27 July 2019

The Army wants better cyber defense in 4 areas

By: Mark Pomerleau 

The Army’s research and development community is looking for contractor information in developing state-of-the-art cyber defenses that can improve decision-making across the battlefield.

In a notice posted online, the Army Combat Capabilities Development Command Command, Control, Communication, Computers, Cyber, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance (C5ISR) Center’s Space & Terrestrial Communications Directorate; Cybersecurity Defense Operations and Research (CDOR) Branch is looking for capabilities to support cyber operations and security in four areas:

Battlespace awareness. Providing friendly forces with better information to improve decision making to gain an advantage over the adversary. This can include combining intelligence related to threats, adversaries, technology and environment information.

The radical politics of futurists and fascists—and us, here, today

by K.N.C.

MUCH OF what exists originated as an inkling in the human mind. That enslaving other people is acceptable; that it is utterly heinous. That a royal despot is the norm; that freedom, rights and self-governance is better. Conservative or left-leaning, capitalist or Marxists, sushi-lover or vegan—they’re all products of thinking.

A history of these synaptic outputs is the subject of Felipe Fernández-Armesto’s latest book, “Out of Our Minds: A History of What We Think and How We Think It” (Oneworld, 2019). It covers the range of human ideas, from prehistoric man’s preoccupations to artificial intelligence. But the focus is on topics like the emergence of scientific truth and democracy—themes that seem under threat today, with talk of “fake news” and authoritarians on the march.

LIEUTENANT, IT’S TIME TO MEET THE KING: RE-INTRODUCING JUNIOR LEADERS TO THE FIELD ARTILLERY

William Hodge

Gen. Mark Milley became the Army chief of staff in 2015. In the four years he has held that position, his highest priority has not changed: prepare the US Army to fight and win a peer or near-peer conflict fundamentally different from the ones that it has experienced in the twenty-first century. Success will require not only the embrace of new technology, but also a revival of skills that have withered during recent counterinsurgency operations. One of these skills is, as described by Gen. Milley, the ability to “deliver massed timely and accurate” artillery fire in support of ground forces. In a counterinsurgency, where enemy combatants mingle with civilian populations and aircraft with precision munitions face little threat from enemy air defenses, field artillery is unsurprisingly the last choice for a ground force commander. Unfortunately, the resulting reliance on airpower has produced an Army of battalion and company commanders who lack the experience to fully employ surface fires in support of their operations.

The World Used to Fear German Militarism. Then It Disappeared.

By Jochen Bittner

HAMBURG, Germany — The rebuff from Berlin may have been rough, but at least it marked a new age of clarity. Not only did the German government decline a recent American request to send ground troops to Syria to fight the remnants of ISIS, but it didn’t even consider the idea: There was no debate in the Bundestag, and not even a real one in the press.

This year, Germany’s postwar federal republic turns 70. Born from the moral and physical rubble of World War II, and reunited only 30 years ago, some of its national character traits are still being formed. Others have fully matured — including a deep and abiding anti-militarism. 

Germany didn’t start out on this path alone. After 1945, having crushed the Nazi regime, the Western allies granted West Germany its own army, but only as a deterrent against the Soviet Union. It was fully integrated into NATO, with no general staff of its own. Instead, Bonn paid upkeep for the American troops stationed in West Germany. From the start, responsibility for national security was outsourced to others.

26 July 2019

Can Modi Steer India Back to Relevance?


Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s overwhelming victory in India’s recent elections solidified his grip on power and ensured that he will set the country’s agenda for the foreseeable future. While the vote was technically a victory for his right-wing, nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party, Modi turned it into a referendum on himself, becoming the face of nearly every BJP candidate’s local campaign. The landslide victory has critics paying close attention to whether Modi doubles down on the Hindu nationalism and illiberalism that characterized his first term in office, or reins it in.

Modi played up his strongman persona on the campaign trail, particularly with regard to Pakistan. He pushed a message that only he could protect India and even used images of the Indian military in his advertisements. That could complicate any rapprochement between the two countries. 

Approaches to Indo-Pacific: India and US

By SUYASH DESAI

The US Department of Defense (DOD) released its first ever Indo-Pacific Strategy Report (IPSR) in the first week of June. The report outlines Washington’s approach in dealing with various stakeholders in the Indo-Pacific region. It identifies China as one of the most important challenges to the US, noting that great-power competition has returned and threatens the stability of the Indo-Pacific region. The report emphasizes the need for alliances and partnerships to maintain peace and security in this region.

The IPSR identifies India as an important partner of the US. It takes a cue from a speech in 2017 by Rex Tillerson, then the US secretary of state, in which he identified India’s role in United States’ vision of a “free and open Indo-Pacific” (FOIP). India too believes in the principles of FOIP. There are a few parallels in the two countries’ visions for the Indo-Pacific region.

Convergences

What's Behind the Pakistani Prime Minister's Public Address in Washington DC?

By Daud Khattak

Just a day before his long sought-after meeting with President Donald Trump at the White House, Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan addressed a gathering of thousands in Washington, D.C., where he launched into his usual tirade against the opposition and their alleged corruption being the only reason for his country’s poverty and other problems.

While Capital One Arena, the venue for Imran Khan’s public meeting located around a dozen blocks away from the White House, was ringing with zealous songs, patriotic anthems, and party slogans, his government back in Pakistan’s Punjab province had stopped an opposition leader from holding a public meeting in the city of Faisalabad.

That was the second attempt in less than a month. Earlier, the local administration had created hurdles in Mandi Bahauddin district to stop Maryam Nawaz, daughter of the jailed former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, from holding a public meeting. Maryam, the most charismatic leader in the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PMLN) party, is struggling to build up pressure for the release of her father.

Why was Trump in a hurry to please Imran?


President Donald J Trump claims Prime Minister Narendra Damodardas Modi asked him to intervene and mediate in resolving the Kashmir issue when they met on the sidelines of the G-20 summit in Osaka on June 28. This claim has predictably raised shackles in India and ecstasy in Pakistan.

Interestingly, the statement issued after the Osaka meeting, by no less than Trump's favourite child Ivanka, merely spoke of the two leaders discussed issues pertaining to 5G communications and technology and its security implications, apart from Iran and bilateral trade relations.

There were no references at all by Ivanka to any 'revolutionary' offers made by Trump to mediate on the Kashmir issue, allegedly in response to a plea from Prime Minister Modi for such intervention.

Remarks by President Trump and Prime Minister Khan of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan Before Bilateral Meeting


PRESIDENT TRUMP: Well, thank you very much. It’s my great honor to have the very popular and, by the way, great athlete — one of the greatest — but very popular Prime Minister of Pakistan.

We have many things to discuss: military and terrorism and trade. And I think we’re going to spend a lot of time talking about trade because we do very little trade with Pakistan compared to what we could be doing and should be doing when our countries really get along perfectly. And I think we’re having that start. We’re going to have that start.

But there’s tremendous upside with respect to trade. One of the things we’re going to be discussing too is hostages; perhaps the polio vaccine, because Pakistan is one of the countries, and we’ll talk about that as to, you know, what your feeling is on that. But we have a situation in Pakistan where we want to talk about the polio, or the possible polio vaccine.

Al-Qaida Is Stronger Today Than It Was On 9-11

by Christian Taylor


Al-Qaida has recruited an estimated 40,000 fighters since Sept. 11, 2001, when the Osama bin Laden-led extremist group attacked the United States, according to the not-for-profit Council on Foreign Relations.

Despite a United States-led global “war on terror" that has cost US$5.9 trillion, killed an estimated 480,000 to 507,000 people and assassinated bin Laden, al-Qaida has grown and spread since 9/11, expanding from rural Afghanistan into North Africa, East Africa, the Sahel, the Gulf States, the Middle East and Central Asia.

In those places, al-Qaida has developed new political influence - in some areas even supplanting the local government.

So how does a religious extremist group with fewer than a hundred members in September 2001 become a transnational terror organization, even as the world’s biggest military has targeted it for elimination?

How Bangladesh Learned to Love the Belt and Road

By Sudha Ramachandran

Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s recent visit to China saw the two countries sign nine instruments — these included five agreements, three memorandums of understanding (MoUs) and a document — covering a range of sectors including power, investment, culture, tourism, and technology. Important among these is a Letter of Exchange under which China will provide Bangladesh with 2,500 metric tons of rice as aid for Rohingya refugees and two agreements that relate to China’s extension of loans worth $1.7 billion for Bangladesh’s power sector.

During Hasina’s visit, Beijing also assured Dhaka that it would better align its projects under the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) with Bangladesh’s development priorities, a key issue of concern for the Bangladeshis.

With the Prospects Fading for a U.S.-China Trade Deal, Trump Turns to Japan

Kimberly Ann Elliott

Weeks after Presidents Donald Trump and Xi Jinping agreed to a truce in the U.S.-China trade war on the sidelines of the G-20 summit in Osaka, negotiations remain on pause, and speculation is growing that neither side is particularly eager for a deal. Last week, reports emerged that American and Japanese negotiators are intensifying efforts to strike a smaller trade deal that Trump and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe could sign during the annual meeting of the United Nations General Assembly in New York in September. The news hardly looks like a coincidence.

Trump is desperate for a trade deal that could provide some relief to American farmers hard hit by his protectionist policies. The U.S. farm lobby wields substantial influence in Washington, and that means its members are frequently in the bullseye when other countries retaliate during trade disputes. With China having become one of the largest markets for U.S. agricultural exports like soybeans, cotton and pork, the pain from this trade war is particularly intense for farmers.

Looking before we leap: Weighing the risks of US-China disengagement

Jonathan D. Pollack and Jeffrey A. Bader

In recent years, American views of China (especially in elite opinion circles) have grown increasingly antagonistic. Though in part attributable to China’s behavior and to the policies of the Trump administration, these shifts in U.S. thinking reflect a larger unease over the implications of Beijing’s emergence as a global power, with China seen as an ever-larger danger to American commercial, political, and security interests. To many, the defining question is no longer how to manage relations with China, but how to counteract and (if possible) impede China’s advance to major-power status.

The political right and left in the United States have both long hewed to antagonistic views of China, though for very different reasons. The far more pronounced shifts in thinking now emanate from intellectual constituencies and commercial interests in the center of U.S. policy debate. By default or by design, centrist opinion now aligns with sentiments in the Trump administration and on the right and left of the political divide, with all arguing that China’s policy goals and strategic intentions are increasingly malign.

China’s Defense Industry Barges Into Global Spotlight

By PAUL MCLEARY

Chinese DF-15B Short-Ranged Ballistic Missile (SRBM) during PLA Rocket Force exercise.

WASHINGTON: The burgeoning Chinese defense industry has blown past the majority of its US counterparts while leaving virtually all of Europe in the dust, according to a new study of the global defense market.

A whopping six Chinese companies have stormed into the top 15 global defense firms according to a new report by Defense News, which today released its annual Top 100 list of the biggest defense companies in the world. 

The top Chinese company on the list, Aviation Industry Corporation of China, boasts an estimated revenue from defense sales of $24 billion, pushing past traditional US defense giants General Dynamics and BAE Systems. The company has also inched within roughly a billion in revenue of fellow behemoths, Raytheon and Northrop Grumman, both of which pulled in just over $25 billion in 2018. 

1984: China Edition

by Doug Bandow 

What to say when a Chinese colleague you admire tells you he is barred from traveling abroad since, as the border guard explained to him, the government believed he might “threaten national security.” This indignity followed a ban on his work. The injustice to him—an advocate of peaceful reform, not counterrevolutionary violence—is great.

But the embarrassment for what purports to be a great power should be even greater. What does President Xi Jinping’s government so fear from someone who even when free to write was obscure in China and abroad? Could the slightest sign of dissent really destroy a putative global hegemon?

Sadly, authoritarian injustice is not new to China. A better question is, when in that nation’s lengthy but tragic history have people been free? Only the form of oppression has changed.

Digital Equipment Corporation files antitrust charges against chipmaker Intel.

Iran crisis: what are Britain's options in tanker standoff?

Patrick Wintour

Henry Kissinger, the former US diplomat and occasional adviser to the UK foreign secretary, once wrote: “Policy is the art of the possible, the science of the relative.”

As the Foreign Office surveys the wreckage of its relations with Iran, even the possible seems unavailable to British diplomacy. There are few if any good options as Britain finds its alliances and strengths tested in a new dangerous context.

Jeremy Hunt awaits a new prime minister, with a lingering hope in his heart it may yet be him but knowing in his head it will most likely be Boris Johnson, an unpredictable man with an instinct to favour the US over Europe. The foreign secretary has only the lukewarm support of Europe, not over the capture of the British-flagged oil tanker Stena Impero, for which there is solidarity, but for the UK’s original decision to seize the Iranian-flagged Grace 1 in Gibraltar. That action directly led to the Stena Impero being taken under the control of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards.

Where’s the Coverage of Civilian Casualties in the War on ISIS?

BY ALEXA O'BRIEN

New studies reveal important gaps in coverage of this aspect of the anti-ISIS operation, largely a war of air strikes.

Most journalists believe that reporting on the loss of innocent lives is central to coverage of military conflicts. Yet coverage of civilian casualties in the war against so-called Islamic State has been largely absent, to the detriment of the public’s ability to both understand and weigh the costs of war against the national interest. 

Despite efforts to improve precision targeting systems, and to better protect the life of non-combatants by both the U.S. and allies, civilian casualties remain a ubiquitous reality in military conflicts. Since the war on the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria began in 2014, 29,000 civilian deaths have been locally alleged against the U.S.-led coalition, according to the London-based non governmental organization Airwars. Coalition officials themselves concede causing more than 1,300 civilian deaths. Yet news coverage of civilian casualties has been largely absent. Why is that? 

There are many good reasons why the Gulf is looking eastward to the future


What to make of a rising China, and the extent to which it will shape this “Asian Century”, have been and will continue to be the subject of endless debate. As the current visit to Beijing of Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed, the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, shows, however, the countries of the Arabian Gulf are clear that they see opportunity and mutual benefits in deepening engagement between the Middle Kingdom and the Middle East.

Sheikh Mohamed and President Xi Jinping witnessed the signing of at least 10 important agreements on Monday. “We share common aspirations, ambition, a vision of investment in human capital and envisage a future of safety, peace and stability worldwide,” tweeted the Crown Prince.

Abu Sayyaf Is Bringing More of ISIS’ Brutal Tactics to the Philippines

Michael Hart 

Midday on June 28, a suicide bomber struck a checkpoint outside a military camp in the town of Indanan, on the restive southern Philippine island of Sulu. Moments later, a second bomb exploded. The attack killed three Philippine soldiers and three civilians, as well as the two bombers. The local military commander quickly blamed an ISIS-affiliated faction of Abu Sayyaf, the extremist group that has been active in the southern Philippines for decades.

Within hours, the Islamic State released a statement claiming responsibility for the attack, marking the second time this year it has linked itself to a twin suicide bombing in Sulu. In January, double blasts tore through a packed cathedral in the town of Jolo, not far from Indanan, killing 22 worshippers. Authorities hoped that attack was an outlier, but June’s bloodshed has reignited fears over ties between the Islamic State and an Abu Sayyaf splinter group led by Hatib Hajan Sawadjaan, a militant described by the U.S. State Department as the Islamic State’s “acting emir” in Southeast Asia and whom Philippine authorities also blamed for the cathedral bombing.

The US Is Unprepared to Mobilize for Great Power Conflict

BY ELSA B. KANIAADJUNCT 

In an era of lightning wars and easy-to-reach civilian populations, U.S. planners are giving mobilization far less attention than it requires.

The “fully mobilized Joint Force,” the National Defense Strategy tells us, will be capable of “defeating aggression by a major power; deterring opportunistic aggression elsewhere; and disrupting imminent terrorist and WMD threats.” Yet neither that document, nor U.S. planners in general, are sufficiently grappling with certain mobilization challenges that could prove decisive in a future great power conflict.

There are a few reasons for this shortfall. While U.S. strategists have in the past tended to assume that overmatch will flow from military-technological superiority, this may be no longer feasible, given advances in Chinese military innovation. Tomorrow’s conflicts are also likely to begin far more quickly than wars of the past, allowing little time to shift from a peacetime to a wartime posture and thus necessitating greater concern for competitive mobilization. In addition, efforts to disrupt U.S. critical infrastructure and sow disinformation among the American population to undermine national resolve may be prominent features of future geopolitical competition. 

Russia's Secret Intelligence Agency Hacked: 'Largest Data Breach In Its History'

Zak Doffman

Red faces in Moscow this weekend, with the news that hackers have successfully targeted FSB—Russia's Federal Security Service. The hackers managed to steal 7.5 terabytes of data from a major contractor, exposing secret FSB projects to de-anonymize Tor browsing, scrape social media, and help the state split its internet off from the rest of the world. The data was passed to mainstream media outlets for publishing.

FSB is Russia's primary security agency with parallels with the FBI and MI5, but its remit stretches beyond domestic intelligence to include electronic surveillance overseas and significant intelligence-gathering oversight. It is the primary successor agency to the infamous KGB, reporting directly to Russia's president.

A week ago, on July 13, a hacking group under the name 0v1ru$ that had reportedly breached SyTech, a major FSB contractor working on a range of live and exploratory internet projects, left a smiling Yoba Face on SyTech's homepage alongside pictures purporting to showcase the breach. 0v1ru$ had passed the data itself to the larger hacking group Digital Revolution, which shared the files with various media outlets and the headlines with Twitter—taunting FSB that the agency should maybe rename one of its breached activities "Project Collander."

Russia's Secret Intelligence Agency Hacked: 'Largest Data Breach In Its History'

Zak Doffman

Red faces in Moscow this weekend, with the news that hackers have successfully targeted FSB—Russia's Federal Security Service. The hackers managed to steal 7.5 terabytes of data from a major contractor, exposing secret FSB projects to de-anonymize Tor browsing, scrape social media, and help the state split its internet off from the rest of the world. The data was passed to mainstream media outlets for publishing.

FSB is Russia's primary security agency with parallels with the FBI and MI5, but its remit stretches beyond domestic intelligence to include electronic surveillance overseas and significant intelligence-gathering oversight. It is the primary successor agency to the infamous KGB, reporting directly to Russia's president.

A week ago, on July 13, a hacking group under the name 0v1ru$ that had reportedly breached SyTech, a major FSB contractor working on a range of live and exploratory internet projects, left a smiling Yoba Face on SyTech's homepage alongside pictures purporting to showcase the breach. 0v1ru$ had passed the data itself to the larger hacking group Digital Revolution, which shared the files with various media outlets and the headlines with Twitter—taunting FSB that the agency should maybe rename one of its breached activities "Project Collander."

The Hidden Costs of Automated Thinking

By Jonathan Zittrain

Like many medications, the wakefulness drug modafinil, which is marketed under the trade name Provigil, comes with a small, tightly folded paper pamphlet. For the most part, its contents—lists of instructions and precautions, a diagram of the drug’s molecular structure—make for anodyne reading. The subsection called “Mechanism of Action,” however, contains a sentence that might induce sleeplessness by itself: “The mechanism(s) through which modafinil promotes wakefulness is unknown.”

Provigil isn’t uniquely mysterious. Many drugs receive regulatory approval, and are widely prescribed, even though no one knows exactly how they work. This mystery is built into the process of drug discovery, which often proceeds by trial and error. Each year, any number of new substances are tested in cultured cells or animals; the best and safest of those are tried out in people. In some cases, the success of a drug promptly inspires new research that ends up explaining how it works—but not always. Aspirin was discovered in 1897, and yet no one convincingly explained how it worked until 1995. The same phenomenon exists elsewhere in medicine. Deep-brain stimulation involves the implantation of electrodes in the brains of people who suffer from specific movement disorders, such as Parkinson’s disease; it’s been in widespread use for more than twenty years, and some think it should be employed for other purposes, including general cognitive enhancement. No one can say how it works.

The top brass is not in your DMs

By: Mike Gruss  

U.S. Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Joseph Dunford speaks at the Halifax International Security Forum in Halifax on Saturday, Nov. 17, 2018. Dunford says it’s problematic that American tech companies don’t want to work with the Pentagon but are willing to engage with the Chinese market. (Darren Calabrese /The Canadian Press via AP)

Just before noon on June 28, the official Twitter account of the Pentagon’s Joint Staff, which is made up of the Department of Defense’s most senior leaders, posted an unusual message.

“We are seeing an increase in impersonator accounts for #GenDunford of late,” the tweet read. “Please note @thejointstaff & @SEAC_Troxell are the only official accounts for Joint Staff leadership.”

Russia's Secret Intelligence Agency Hacked: 'Largest Data Breach In Its History'

Zak Doffman

Red faces in Moscow this weekend, with the news that hackers have successfully targeted FSB—Russia's Federal Security Service. The hackers managed to steal 7.5 terabytes of data from a major contractor, exposing secret FSB projects to de-anonymize Tor browsing, scrape social media, and help the state split its internet off from the rest of the world. The data was passed to mainstream media outlets for publishing.

FSB is Russia's primary security agency with parallels with the FBI and MI5, but its remit stretches beyond domestic intelligence to include electronic surveillance overseas and significant intelligence-gathering oversight. It is the primary successor agency to the infamous KGB, reporting directly to Russia's president.

Mosquito, Nadezhda, Nautilus: hackers revealed the essence of the projects of the secret contractor of the FSB

Andrei Soshnikov

The hackers broke into the server of a major contractor of the Russian special services and departments, and then shared with reporters descriptions of dozens of non-public Internet projects: from de-anonymization of users of the Tor browser to research the vulnerability of torrents.

It is possible that this is the largest data leak in the history of the work of Russian special services on the Internet.

The hack occurred on July 13, 2019. Instead of the main page of the site of the Moscow IT-company "Sitek", an image of a face appeared with a wide smile and smugly squinting eyes (on the Internet slang - "Yoba-face").

Deface, that is, the replacement of the main page of the site, is a common hacker tactic and a demonstration that they were able to access the victim’s data.

IBM gives cancer-killing drug AI project to the open source community

By Charlie Osborne 

IBM has released three artificial intelligence (AI) projects tailored to take on the challenge of curing cancer to the open-source community.

At the 18th European Conference on Computational Biology (ECCB) and the 27th Conference on Intelligent Systems for Molecular Biology (ISMB), which will be held in Switzerland later this month, the tech giant will dive into how each of the projects can advance our understanding of cancers and their treatment. 

Cancer alone is estimated to have caused 9.6 million deaths in 2018, with an estimated 18 million new cases reported in the same year. 

Predisposition through genetics, environmental factors including pollution, smoking, and diet are all considered factors in how likely someone is to develop such a disease, and while we can treat many forms, we still have much to learn.

50 Years After The Moon Landing, Astronomer Royal’s Compelling Insight Into Why Cyborg Astronauts Will Make The Next Great Leap Forward In Space


Martin Rees posted a July 19, 2019 article in the DailyMail with the title above. According to his Wikipedia biography, Dr. Rees is a British cosmologist and astrophysicist, and has been Astronomer Royal since 1995. Dr. Rees was Master of Trinity College, Cambridge from 2004-2012; and President of the Royal Society between 2005-2010.

Dr. Rees begins, “I never look at the Moon without being reminded of Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin and of the day, 50 years ago today (July 20), when they left their first footprints on the dusty surface.”

“Along with hundreds of millions around the world, I watched [as did I] the grainy TV images of this historic moment,” Dr. Rees wrote. “I was then a young astronomer in Cambridge, where Fred Hoyle was the top professor. When I met Fred the next day, he was specially enthralled. He wrote science fiction, as well as doing brilliant science: he’d been anticipating this moment since his own childhood in the 1920s.”

Partisan Politics and Federal Law Enforcement: The Promise and Corruption of Reconstruction

By Daniel Richman 

Partisan attacks on federal criminal enforcement agencies, although louder than usualin recent years, are nothing new. Yet the existence and future prospects of these agencies are largely taken for granted. Often forgotten are the contingency of their survival; the delicacy of the balances we demand they strike between political accountability and insulation, between zealousness and respect for the rule of law; and the relationship between what it takes to survive and what is needed to strike the right balance.

The country may be nearing its 250th birthday—and the Constitution, its 235th—but the federal law enforcement project is just not that old. Sure, there were a few federal criminal statutes and U.S. attorneys’ offices in 1789 and, soon after, a Bill of Rights to protect federal defendants. But there were not many officers or defendants. During the first half of the 19th century, the focus would be on the federal government’s core interests. Deputy marshals might well haul you into court if you attacked or bribed a federal employee, stole from the mails, or deprived the national government of its desperately needed customs revenue (a fact that made the high-volume U.S. Customs House in New York and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York of particular importance). Wrongs against individual citizens, however, were of little federal concern—except when the government put its institutions and personnel at the disposal of Southern slaveholders seeking to return “fugitive slaves.” Federal criminal enforcement institutions—outside the limited-mission Postal Inspection Service (to use its modern name)—would remain minimal and bounty driven.

Is industry cyber(in)security DoD’s Achilles’ heel?

By: Mark Pomerleau   

Military leaders like to point out that the nature of warfare is unlikely to change, but the character of war — how they are fought and with what — is rapidly evolving. Physically, the United States benefits from the geographic isolation, separated from adversaries on all sides by large oceans and friendly nations, but the advent of cyber capabilities has created new attack vectors. In turn, agencies are pursuing case studies and exercises to identify best practices in less transparent, highly vulnerable sectors, such as manufacturing.

The homeland is no longer a sanctuary

The Marines’ New Drone-Killer Aces Its First Real World Test


Last Thursday, nearly a month after Iran shot a $220 million US drone out of the sky, the US Marine Corps took down an Iranian UAV of its own. But the significance lies less in heightened tensions in the region than it does in the weapon of choice. The strike marks the first reported successful use of the Light Marine Air Defense Integrated System, an energy weapon that blasts not artillery or lasers but radio signals.

According to remarks by President Donald Trump last week, the drone had come within 1,000 yards of the USS Boxer, an amphibious Navy assault ship, and ignored “multiple calls to stand down.” When the drone continued its approach, the Boxer turned to its LMADIS.

The LMADIS system comprises two all-terrain vehicles, called Polaris MRZRs. One serves as a command unit, while the other is outfitted with sensors and signal-jamming equipment. The sensor unit feeds information to a tablet on the command and control MRZR, from which an operator can track an incoming drone, get visual confirmation that it’s hostile, and disrupt communications between a drone and its home using a radio frequency blast.

Robot Roadmap: US Army’s Newest Command Sketches Priorities

BY PATRICK TUCKER

There’s one mistake that the leader of Futures Command wants to avoid.

As the new U.S. Army Futures Command begins to develop a variety of small, medium, and large ground robots, its commander says he wants to avoid a common mistake: pushing new gear on field commanders who don’t really need it.

“I’m not going to force anything on a unit or soldiers that they don’t want,” Gen. Mike Murray told reporters on Thursday. “Not that that’s ever really happened in the past, but we tend to push stuff out in experimentation that doesn’t fit the mission profile that they’re after.” 

“It’s going to have to be more of a pull than a push as we start to really develop knowledge across the Army in some of the things that we are working in. If a commander expresses a need for it, we’ll be happy to provide the capability,” Murray said.

Cyber Warfare: U.S. Military Admits Immediate Danger Is 'Keeping Us Up At Night'

Zak Doffman

Cyber warfare has reached a new phase this year—at least in terms of public awareness of the nature of the threat. Nothing is especially new, in truth, at least not capability-wise. But there has been one major development: increased levels of integration between the physical and cyber domains—cyber warfare as an interchangeable battlefield tool, an attack in one domain and retaliation in another. And the catalyst has been the Middle East, the continuing escalation of tensions between the U.S. (and its allies) and Iran. And the small matter of China and Russia—the world's leading cyber and hybrid warfare protagonists—lurking menacingly on the sidelines.

"When people ask me what keeps you up at night," Lt. Gen. Robert Ashley, the director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, told a cyber conference in Aspen last week, "that is kind of the thing that keeps me up at night."

PETER HITCHENS: We’re destroying the Armed Forces - the last great institution that Britain has left

By PETER HITCHENS 

Having wrecked the schools, the police, the courts and the Civil Service, destroyed the married family and debauched the economy, the slow-motion British Revolution now plans to ruin the Armed Forces, the last truly conservative institutions left standing after 60 years of upheaval.

At the end of this process, the Army, Navy and Air Force will still exist in outward form, but they will be useless for the purpose for which we have them – fighting the enemy. 

Instead, they will produce plenty of annual reports showing how sexually equal and inclusive they are.

I am amazed there has not been more fuss about the grotesque ‘report’ claiming that the Forces have ‘unacceptable levels of sexism, racism and bullying’ and are led by ‘a pack of white middle-aged men’ [File photo]

25 July 2019

China's Chump: Why America Can't Trust Pakistan

by Michael Rubin

Pakistani prime minister Imran Khan hopes that his visit to the White House today will jumpstart relations with the United States after years of tension. Within the U.S. political context, President Donald Trump is a polarizing figure and his political opponents usually blame him exclusively for all ills on the international stage. When it comes to Pakistan, however, they should not. Pakistan’s problems are made in Pakistan and Trump should continue the recent bipartisan consensus to hold Islamabad responsible.

Those who seek a revitalized U.S.-Pakistan relationship can say history is on their side. Pakistan became a U.S. ally shortly after its 1947 creation, largely because Jawaharlal Nehru rejected U.S. partnership. As India drifted closer to the Soviet Union, Pakistan grew in U.S. strategic calculations. Between 1954 and 1965, Pakistan received more than $1 billion in arms sales and defense assistance, a huge amount for the time. Cooperation only increased after the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. It was not long until Pakistan became the third largest U.S. aid recipient, after Israel and Egypt.

Trump: US, Pakistan Cooperating to Try to End War in Afghanistan

By Steve Herman

Ayaz Gul in Islamabad contributed to this report.

WHITE HOUSE - The United States and Pakistan are jointly seeking a way to end the war in Afghanistan, U.S. President Donald Trump said alongside Pakistani Prime Imran Khan in the Oval Office on Monday.

“We’re working with Pakistan and others on getting an agreement signed” with the Taliban while the United States continues to “very slowly and very safely” reduce the number of its troops in Afghanistan, said Trump during his initial meeting with Khan at the White House.

The Pakistani prime minister declared “this is the closest we’ve been to a peace deal in Afghanistan. There’s no military solution in Afghanistan.”

In the coming days, Khan added, there are hopes of getting “the Taliban to speak to the Afghan government.”