10 April 2014


April 8, 2014
What Briefing Chinese Officials on Cyber Really Accomplishes
by Adam Segal

http://blogs.cfr.org/asia/ 2014/04/07/what-briefing- chinese-officials-on-cyber- really-accomplishes/

U.S. President Barack Obama, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and China’s President Xi Jinping talk during a family photo at the Nuclear Security Summit in The Hague March 25, 2014. (Doug Mills/Courtesy Reuters)

U.S. President Barack Obama, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and China’s President Xi Jinping talk during a family photo at the Nuclear Security Summit in The Hague March 25, 2014. (Doug Mills/Courtesy Reuters)

David Sanger wrote an interesting article in the New York Times about Washington’s efforts to prevent escalating cyber attacks with Beijing. According to Sanger, U.S. officials have tried to allay the concerns of their Chinese counterparts about the buildup of Pentagon capabilities through greater transparency. They have briefed them on the “emerging doctrine for defending against cyber attacks against the United States-and for using its cyber technology against adversaries, including the Chinese.” We should, however, be clear about their real purpose. These briefings have more to do with deterring China than assuring it.

The ideas on assurance found in the Sanger article build on comments made about ten days ago by Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel at the retirement ceremony for General Keith Alexander, director of the NSA and commander of U.S. Cyber Command. Hagel tried to reassure other countries that despite the build up of personnel at Cyber Command and rising funding for cyber capabilities, “the United States does not seek to militarize cyberspace,” and, “DOD will maintain an approach of restraint to any cyber operations outside the U.S. government networks.” There is little reason to believe that these public statements will have any effect on Beijing or anyone else. The Snowden revelations have made it significantly more difficult for the United States to lecture others about cyberattacks. In addition, as Sanger points out, the distinction the United States makes between the operations it conducts for national security reasons and those China is said to support for economic motivations is not meaningful to Chinese officials.


By the time this piece sees the light of the day, one sincerely hopes and prays that the Indian navy will get its new ‘regular’ four-star admiral, instead of the present three star vice-admiral acting as the chief. In fact, this has never happened before for any of the three wings of India’s defence forces — as it has happened for the navy that continues to be headless for more than six weeks now.

Why? All because of a perceived confusion and chaos being woven around the Indian governance system in recent times. And nothing seems to have been worse hit than the Indian armed forces, both in terms of man-management and material ‘mismanagement’. And this, too, happens at a time when Indians are crying themselves hoarse over the Chinese policy of ‘string of pearls’ being set up all around the coastline of India’s neighbourhood; from the Bay of Bengal shoreline of Myanmar to the north-west tip of the Arabian Sea port of Gwadar in Pakistan.
In the history of independent India’s 67 years, this long vacancy at the top has never happened before. There was the packing off of top generals in the aftermath of the disastrous Sino-Indian war, there were the deaths of incumbent chiefs in office, of superseding of the seniormost officer and the resignations in consequence, there was the unceremonious sacking of a chief by the defence minister without any coherent or logical reason, but never was the post of the top office of the armed forces kept under an acting chief for an agonizingly long period of more than three weeks, except once, for 23 days, in 1960.

It would, therefore, be in order today to look into the genesis and tradition of an issue where a sudden and unexpected development like death or sacking results in such a vacancy, although the present case could be likened more to a ‘vacuum’ than to a vacancy. A vacancy is filled up fast. A vacuum is perceived to be of a longer duration, that is, a version of a vacancy that has all the potential to demoralize and depress the soldiers, thereby giving a morale-booster to the adversary.

In a way it can be said to be linked to the psychology of the ‘politics of the higher command appointment’ of the Indian armed forces. It somehow had begun with the post-1947 era perception of the inherent Nehruvian distrust of the Sandhurst-trained Anglicized officer corps of the British Indian army. It, however, seldom struck the mind of the wise of the time that if an Anglicized civilian, Nehru, could be fit to rule the country without any question, why would an Anglicized military top brass be perceived as a potential persona non grata so far as state machinery and the administration thereof were concerned?

Be that as it may, a crisis-like situation occurred with the unexpected demise of the then incumbent (first Indian) air force chief of India, Air Marshal Subroto Mukherjee, in Tokyo, on November 8, 1960. It took the then Indian government 23 days to appoint Aspy Engineer as the successor air chief to Subroto Mukherjee, on December 1, 1960.

Political consensus on foreign policy This is despite passions being inflamed in Tamil Nadu

G Parthasarathy

A placard carrying a picture of Sri Lanka President Mahinda Rajapaksa. An AFP file photo

IN April 1977, just after the Janata Party government assumed office, the eminent Soviet Foreign Minister, Andrei Gromyko, arrived in Delhi, looking visibly nervous. Having backed Mrs. Gandhi’s Emergency rule, Gromyko expected a cold reception in South Block. His counterpart, Atal Bihari Vajpayee, smilingly put him at ease, saying that he had no hard feelings, asserting that “Indo-Soviet relations are strong and do not depend on the political fortunes of any individual or political party”. Happily, that type of statesmanship was retained amidst the heated rhetoric of the current election campaign. Both major national parties have not bickered about the approach to two major foreign policy issues.

As tensions escalated in Ukraine, the UPA government took the position that while we would like issues to be resolved peacefully between the parties concerned, the legitimate interests of Russia cannot be overlooked. This was followed by the courageous decision for India to abstain in a US-sponsored resolution in the UN Human Rights Council, seeking an international inquiry into the civilian casualties in the last days of the ethnic conflict in Sri Lanka. This was a sensitive issue in which passions were competitively inflamed by political parties in Tamil Nadu, some of whom are allied to the NDA. Despite the surcharged atmosphere in Tamil Nadu, the BJP did not oppose the government action and, in fact, let it be known what it felt about India's larger national interests.

The UNHRC resolution passed this year, unlike in the past, included the constitution of an open-ended international investigation into developments in a sovereign member State. This goes well beyond the current understanding and basic operative principles of the UNHRC. Moreover, unlike resolutions of the UN Security Council, resolutions of the Human Rights Council are not enforceable by international sanctions. Not surprisingly, this resolution did not secure the support of the majority of members on the Council. Only 23 of the Council's 47 members supported the resolution, with the majority either abstaining or voting against. Apart from South Korea, other members in India's Asian and Indian Ocean neighbourhood either abstained or voted against the resolution. These included China, Indonesia, Japan, Kuwait, the Maldives, Pakistan, the Philippines, South Africa and the United Arab Emirates. Despite their reputed global influence, the US and its allies could pick up support only from a few Latin American and African countries,



Thursday, 10 April 2014 | Claude Arpi |

Neville Maxwell, who recently ‘released’ the Henderson-Brooks-Bhagat Report on the 1962 conflict, claims that Nehru forced the war on Mao. This is a dangerously inaccurate interpretation of history and must be debunked

It is necessary to come back to the Henderson-Brooks-Bhagat Report and the role played by Neville Maxwell. The Australian journalist, who recently ‘released’ the famous report by posting it on his website, has been propagating a wrong interpretation of history, that India attacked China in 1962. Even presuming that Indian troops may have crossed what the Chinese perceived as the international border, many other factors have to be taken into consideration.

At age 87, why Maxwell remains a great advocate of China’s theory that India was the aggressor, is a mystery to me. It is not that I have any doubt that Nehru committed blunder after blunder, but Maxwell’s version is truly a biased over-simplification of the facts.

In an interview with The South China Morning Post, when asked by the Hong Kong newspaper: “What do you hope to achieve with this disclosure?” Maxwell answered: “What I have been trying to do for nearly 50 years! To rid Indian opinion of the induced delusion that, in 1962, India was the victim of an unprovoked surprise Chinese aggression, to make people in India see that the truth was that it was mistakes by the Indian Government, specifically Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru, that forced the war on China.”

Reading the HBBR does not show that India forced a war on China, it just proves that India was not prepared to successfully defend some new forward positions ordered by Krishna Menon (and Nehru) in North-East Frontier Agency and Ladakh. It is undoubtedly a Himalayan blunder in itself; it demonstrates the foolishness of the Prime Minister (and his arrogant Defence Minister), but it was certainly not the root-cause of the War. The ‘forward policy’ was, however, the ideal pretext for Mao Tse-tung to show that India could not go unpunished for insulting China by giving refuge to the Dalai Lama and his followers.

Article 370: The untold story

Issue Vol 26.1 Jan-Mar 2011 | Date : 07 Apr , 2014

Troops patrol in Kashmir

It is often not realized that among the causes of Kashmir problem – inclusion of plebiscite in the Instrument of Accession, reference of Kashmir to UN, halting Indian offensive when it was poised to drive out the invaders from Kashmir, Article 370 has played no less a part in preventing J&K from becoming an integral part of the Indian Union. Not many people are aware as how and why this Article was formulated and included in the Indian Constitution despite grave misgivings of Sardar Patel and indeed a large number of the members of Congress Working Committee and Constituent Assembly.

Article 370 was worked out in late 1947 between Sheikh Abdullah, who had by then been appointed Prime Minister of J&K by the Maharaja and Nehru, who kept the Kashmir portfolio with himself and kept Sardar Patel, the home minister, away from his legitimate function. Hence Nehru is answerable to all acts of commission and omission, consequences of which we are suffering till date as far as J&K is concerned.

“Why should a state of the Indian Union have a special status? It conveys a wrong signal not only to Kashmiris but also to the separatists, Pakistan and indeed the international community that J&K is still to become integral part of India, the sooner Article 370 is done away is better.”

While it was Mountbatten who persuaded Nehru to take the J&K issue to the UN, it was Sheikh Abdullah, who, driven by his ambition to be ruler of an independent Kashmir and his hatred for the Maharaja, persuaded Nehru to give special status to J&K. Among his reasons were – occupation of one third of J&K by Pakistan, reference to the UN and plebiscite. The most sinister aspect of proposed Article 370 was the provision that any changes could be brought about in it only by the concurrence of J&K assembly. Nehru’s promise that Article 370 was a temporary provision and will get eroded over a period of time has turned out to be a chimera. The first thing that Sheikh Abdullah got done was to abolish hereditary monarchy and redesignate him as Sadar-e-Riyasat who was to be elected by the Assembly. The accession of J&K State into Indian Union was approved by J&K Assembly only in 1956.

India Adrift

BY KREPON | 10 MARCH 2014 

US-India relations are not in great shape. One indicator: India’s National Security Adviser, Shivshankar Menon, reacted to the arrest and strip search of an Indian diplomat for visa fraud and disregarding US labor laws as “despicable and barbaric.” In contrast, Menon had difficulty finding his voice when a battalion of PLA soldiers camped out for three weeks nine miles inside India’s disputed border with China. Granted, the strip search was extremely worthy of outrage. But still, the differential in official Indian indignation was telling.

Another indicator: India’s liability laws have so far prevented US corporations from constructing nuclear powers plants on Indian soil. The George W. Bush administration and its backers worked very hard to secure a special exemption for India from the international guidelines of nuclear commerce, hoping to build up India as a counterweight to China. So far, they have little to show for their efforts. Bilateral ties will continue to improve, as evidenced by India becoming the number one recipient of US arms sales. But hiccups are the rule, rather than the exception when two democratically unruly, independent-minded, and exceptional states try to work together.

The malaise in bilateral relations reflects a deeper malaise within India itself. How can a country with so much potential, entrepreneurship, and vitality become so torpid? For a start: tired leadership with an absence of ambition, endemic corruption, and an inability to tackle longstanding, structural pathologies, including those relating to national security.

The Kargil Review Commission, led by K. Subrahmanyam, clarified a laundry list of failings after dissecting India’s intelligence and military deficiencies associated with Pakistan’s surprise initiative along the Kashmir divide in 1999. Failure at the macro level, Subrahmanyam wrote, was one of stasis:

There has been very little change over the past 52 years despite the 1962 debacle, the 1965 stalemate, and the 1971 victory, the growing nuclear threat, end of the cold war, continuance of proxy war in Kashmir for over a decade and the revolution in military affairs.

Fifteen years later, very little has been done to follow up on the Kargil Commission’s recommendations, prompting a spate of new reports and critiques. Here’s a sampler:.

“[S]tagnation of thought hardly serves the national interests.” – “India’s Nuclear Doctrine: An Alternative Blueprint,” Task Force Report convened by P.R. Chari of the Institute of Peace and Conflict Studies, 2012

“Dealing with the challenges presented by Pakistan and China requires several crucial changes to our defence and security structures. First, we should establish a Maritime Commission that will guide the development of India’s maritime capabilities… Second, we need to increase functional efficiency and improve civil-military relations, and this will require the establishment of an integrated Ministry of Defence by populating the ministry with civilian and armed forces personnel… A Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff should head the existing Integrated Defence Staff, which should become the Military Department of the Ministry of Defence. Third, we should establish integrated commands—which will be both regional and functional that includes Special Forces, Air Defence and Logistics. Fourth, the regional commanders should report to a Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff…” — “Nonalignment 2.0: A Foreign and Strategic Policy for India in the Twenty-First Century,” Sunil Khilnani et. al., 2012.

Massive Retaliation


Massive retaliation is a siren song that appeals to states that cannot afford a nuclear competition but can afford to let an adversary cross the nuclear threshold first. It’s a money-saver, and it sounds persuasive, until the threat of massive retaliation is actually tested — when a nation’s nuclear bluff is called. What national leader would actually respond to the use of a single nuclear weapon, or just a few, with massive retaliation?

Of course, a single thermonuclear weapon targeted on a major city might be considered massive retaliation when compared to the use of a low-yield, tactical nuclear weapon. Great Britain and France are postured to do far worse – one of the consequences of relying on MIRVed missiles aboard submarines — but it’s hard to imagine their bluff being called, because plausible tripwires are so remote.

No nuclear doctrine can be persuasive when the use of nuclear weapons seems incomprehensible. States possessing nuclear weapons are therefore obliged to suspend disbelief and draw up plans for the unthinkable. Planning occurs in a vacuum until another mushroom cloud appears on a battlefield, whether by accident, inadvertence, or design. Only then will doctrine and declaratory policy be tested. But no possible test can be aced by the option of massive retaliation. Massive retaliation is the antithesis of nuclear planning. Yes, I remember that Lawrence Freedman defined all nuclear strategy as an oxymoron, but massive retaliation makes other nuclear employment options seem downright thoughtful.

The best-laid plans tend to go awry in conventional warfare, and we can only imagine how badly the execution of nuclear planning could go awry. Flexible response and graduated nuclear punishment were conceptualized to make greater sense of weapons in bloated arsenals. The problem was that no one could make a convincing case of escalation control in the smoking, irradiated ruin of a nuclear battlefield. The more rungs of graduated response that Herman Kahn conceptualized, the more he became an object of ridicule.

India election: country awaits a demographic dividend or disaster

A generational shift is under way in India with half of the population under 24. How the 150m first-time voters cast their ballot will dictate the future

Jason Burke in Delhi 
theguardian.com, Monday 7 April 2014 

Vijay Kumar is preparing for his India civil service exam, alongside 500,000 other hopefuls. Photograph: Sami Siva for the Guardian

There is not much of a view from Vijay Kumar's home near Shadipur depot, west Delhi. He lives in one of the most deprived slums in the Indian capital, in a square mile of narrow lanes, teetering brick tenement homes and open sewers shared by 15,000 people. Yet Kumar's ambitions have never been restricted by his circumstances.

Kumar, 22, is studying for exams for entry to the prestigious Indian Administrative Service – at least when there is power to run a light in the two rooms he shares with his parents and siblings. There are only 4,500 of these elite bureaucrats, and just a hundred or so new recruits each year. Kumar will be among up to 500,000 candidates.

"I want to be in the system and from within do something for my community and for my country," he says. "To change things you need power. I am not interested in money but in doing something for India. This is the responsibility of my generation."

Over the next six weeks more than half a billion Indians will go to 930,000 polling stations in the 16th general election since the country won independence from Britain in 1947. The exact impact of the 120 million first-time voters expected to cast their ballots is hotly debated. What is undisputed is that Kumar's generation will decide their nation's future.

Pakistan/US: Ties that Chafe and Bind


Husain Haqqani has many detractors in Pakistan due to his shifting political allegiances and book publications. The thesis of Pakistan: Between Mosque and Military (2005) is about a longstanding alliance of convenience between the Army and Pakistan’s religious parties “to seek strategic depth in Afghanistan and to put pressure on India,” which cemented the Army’s domestic dominance and policies with dire consequences. Husain treads lightly on the failings of Pakistan’s political class, which bid for the Army’s favors while accumulating wealth. Washington comes in for heavy criticism for backing military strongmen and for not making assistance conditional on behavioral change. Pakistan comes across as a “rentier state” – one that “lives off the rents of its strategic location” — yet another reason why this book did not receive rave reviews in Rawalpindi.

Payback came when Husain was forced out of his post as President Asif Zadari’s emissary to Washington. After the US raid on Osama bin Laden’s compound, an orchestrated media campaign charged him of conspiring with a Pakistani-American living in Monaco to seek the Obama administration’s help to prevent an imaginary military coup attempt. Pakistan’s judicial system, which has difficulty prosecuting the perpetrators of mass-casualty attacks, quickly found sufficient evidence to launch judicial proceedings of treasonous behavior.

Husain is now back in the United States writing books. His latest, Magnificent Delusions: Pakistan, the United States, and an Epic History of Misunderstanding, will add Pakistan’s diplomatic corps to his list of detractors. He has burned another bridge, this time with a historical narrative of Pakistan’s play book to secure US economic and military assistance. “Since 1947,” he argues, “dependence, deception, and defiance have characterized US-Pakistan relations. We sought US aid in return for promises we did not keep.” His sources – US archival material providing direct quotes and summaries of high-level exchanges, as well as personal recollections – are too detailed to be dismissed as anti-Pakistan propaganda.

Husain’s bottom line: “Pakistan and the United States have few shared interests and very different political needs… If $40 billion in US aid has not won Pakistani hearts and minds, billions more will not do the trick… The US-Pakistan alliance is only a mirage.” Not exactly your standard, dispassionate diplomatic history.

Taken to the cleaners: U.S. picks up coalition’s $700 million laundry, food, base support tab

Military failed to pass along bills to other countries in Afghanistan
The Washington Times
Monday, April 7, 2014

In a staggering loss of money even by Pentagon standards, the U.S. military and two contractors left American taxpayers on the hook for more than $700 million in food, laundry and other services that should have been billed to countries that sent troops to Afghanistan.

Coalition countries tacitly agreed to reimburse the Army, but U.S. regional commands in Afghanistan frequently failed to pass along the charges, according to audit records obtained by The Washington Times through the Freedom of Information Act.

The failures, which spanned a 27-month period from 2010 to 2012, included contractors, who didn't report the costs of services to coalition forces, and poorly trained military overseers who neglected to enforce key contract terms with the two companies, identified as DynCorp and Fluor.

What's more, the lapses occurred just as sequestration loomed and Pentagon leaders scrambled to slash spending. Indeed, by one measure, the cost of Afghanistan-based billing failures represents nearly 60 percent of the $1.2 billion that the Pentagon saved by furloughing 640,450 civilian employees.

The billing problems, detailed in an internal Army Audit Agency report sent to U.S. commanders in Afghanistan last summer, also raise questions about oversight of the Army's Logistics Civil Augmentation Program, a multibillion-dollar outsourcing program that uses contractors to support deployed troops.

"The mismanagement of $700 million in reimbursements is mind-blowing, and we need to hold all parties involved accountable," said Scott Amey, general counsel of the Project on Government Oversight. "Contractors need to estimate coalition partner costs, and the Army must get bills out the door and push to recoup every penny that is owed."

Charles Tiefer, a professor at the University of Baltimore law school who served on the U.S. Wartime Contracting Commission, said the report showed that contractors were "making their lives easier, treating Uncle Sam as their personal piggy bank."

Intelligence: Pakistan Tries A DNI

April 8, 2014: Pakistan recently decided to form the NID (National Intelligence Directorate) in order to pool intelligence gathered by over 30 Pakistani agencies. Even many Pakistani intelligence officials are not sure how many government and military intelligence collecting organizations there are in Pakistan. An effort is under way to compile a definitive list. The NID was created because of the growing number of instances in which counter-terrorism efforts failed because vital information existed but was not known or available to the army or police. Not unusual, but there have been a growing number of cases in which vital information was available within the intelligence community but there was no easy way to connect the agency with the information with the army or police units tasked with actually doing something about the problem. The NID is supposed to solve the problem but many inside Pakistan and in intelligence agencies worldwide doubt it. 

Much of this doubt comes from a failed American effort to do what NID is attempting. Back in 2004 the United States decided, for the same reasons, to create a similar agency called the DNI (Director of National Intelligence). The DNI was to control all intelligence. This promptly ran into resistance from the CIA which had, for a long time, filled the role as the "Central" Intelligence Agency. The DNI got things rolling quickly by proposing that the chief intelligence officer (the CIA "station chief") at each U.S. embassy be someone other than a CIA officer. The main alternatives proposed were someone from the DIA (the Department of Defense intelligence agency) or the NSA. The problem, as the CIA saw it was that if the intelligence station chief is from NSA or DIA, the senior CIA guy there would have another layer of bureaucracy to go through, and this would slow things down. Although the DNI, technically, has the power to order this change, the CIA unofficially threatened to use its considerable influence (in Congress, the media and elsewhere) to oppose the move. 

This proposal actually makes some sense. For example, there are a lot of talented espionage operatives in NSA and DIA who would make good station chiefs. Moreover, in many small countries, the DIA has more agents and intelligence operations than the CIA. Same deal with the NSA whose electronic eavesdropping is often the primary source of intel on some nations. But the CIA countered by pointing out that the CIA has been handling the station chief duties competently for decades, so why change something it is working well. 

China: The Pundits Of War Are Unleashed

April 8, 2014: China watched, and supported the recent Russian operation to take the Crimean Peninsula from Ukraine with great interest. The land grab had a bracing effect on the other countries that, until 1991, were part of the ancient Russian Empire. The Crimean operation was the second such land grab Russia has undertaken in the last five years. The first was against tiny Georgia in 2008. Many of these former Russian subjects feel that the Russians are trying to get their empire back. Ask many Russians that question and most agree that it would be a nice thing. Some Russians are more outspoken and bluntly call for the empire to be reassembled no matter what. Poland and the Baltic States managed to join NATO after the Cold War ended and are hoping that the mutual defense terms of the NATO alliance will dissuade Russia. Nevertheless all four, plus Finland, have increased their military readiness this year and are seeking assurances from the West that they will have help against Russia. Many Finns have called for Finland to join NATO, but a large minority has opposed this because of the fear it would anger the Russians. There was a similar division in Ukraine but now more Finns are thinking that NATO membership is preferable to trusting Russia to always behave. Even Sweden, never part of the Russian empire and successfully neutral since the early 19th century is thinking about joining NATO for protection from an increasingly aggressive Russia. 

China sees an opportunity here. That’s because the former Soviet stans of Central Asia (Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan) have another option; China. The stans have been very receptive to Chinese diplomatic and economic cooperation. This bothers Russia, but not to the extent that threats are being made, as was the case with the former imperial provinces to the west. The stans also have a problem with never having been democracies. When the Russians conquered them in the 19th century the local governments were monarchies or tribes. When the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991, locals who were former Soviet officials held elections and manipulated the vote to get themselves elected "president for life." But many people in the Stans want clean government and democracy, as well as continued independence from Russia. China is no help with that because the Chinese prefer dictators. But China does offer more economic opportunities and protection from what happened ti Ukraine and Georgia. 

Another reason for China to back Russia is the fact that China is also an empire trying to reclaim lost territories. That some of those territories are currently Russia’s Far East (areas bordering the Pacific) is not officially discussed in Russia or China but is no secret to many Russians and Chinese. That is a problem for another day as currently Russia and China support each other’s imperial ambitions (as in Ukraine and the South China Sea) and help each other out to deal with any associated problems, especially the UN or economic sanctions. China is also helping by putting economic pressure on Ukraine by suing Ukraine to cancel a $3 billion loan. 

U.S. and China Discuss Disputes Over Disputed Islands and Airspace Restrictions

April 8, 2014
Hagel, Chang air differences over disputed islands
Associated Press

BEIJING (AP) — The defense chiefs of China and the U.S. are facing off over Beijing’s escalating territorial disputes in the region, with Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel wagging his finger and telling China it doesn’t have the right to unilaterally establish an air defense zone over disputed islands with no consultation.

And he said on Tuesday America will protect Japan in a dispute with China, as laid out in U.S. treaty obligations.

Chinese Defense Minister Chang Wanquan said his country will not take the initiative to stir up troubles with Japan, but Beijing is ready to use its military if needed to safeguard its territory. And he warned that the U.S. must “stay vigilant” against Japan’s actions and “not be permissive and supportive” of Tokyo.

The U.S. has criticized Beijing’s recent declaration of an air defense zone over a large swath of the East China Sea, including disputed islands controlled by Japan.

In their remarks, the two men aired their countries’ well-known positions about the territorial disputes, although doing it for the first time in China, shoulder to shoulder after nearly two hours of meetings here.

"Every nation has a right to establish an air defense zone, but not a right to do it unilaterally with no collaboration, no consultation. That adds to tensions, misunderstandings, and could eventually add to, and eventually get to dangerous conflict," said Hagel, poking his figure toward the television cameras and photographers at the back of the room, as shutters clicked.

For his part, Chang said China stands ready to resolve the disputes diplomatically. But he made it clear that China is always ready to respond to threats.

On the issue of territorial sovereignty, Chang said, “we will make no compromise, no concession, no trading, not even a tiny … violation is allowed.”

On a broader scale, the meeting focused on how the U.S. and China can build stronger ties, in the wake of years of frosty relations over Beijing’s military buildup, persistent cyberattacks against U.S. government agencies and private industry, and aggressive Chinese territorial claims in the East China Sea.


By Michael Lelyveld

Western pressure on Russia over its annexation of Crimea has raised expectations that it will offer China better terms on a long-delayed gas deal in time for President Vladimir Putin’s planned visit in May.

The takeover of the region from Ukraine has heightened the risk that European countries will reduce their reliance on Russia for energy, increasing the importance of exporting its resources to China instead.

The threat of European sanctions is seen as driving Russia’s Gazprom to reach an agreement in its decade-old talks with China National Petroleum Corp. (CNPC) for Siberian gas supplies by offering lower prices.

“With Western sanctions, the atmosphere could change quickly in favor of China,” said Brian Zimbler, managing partner in the Moscow office of Morgan Lewis, an international law firm, in comments cited by Reuters.

Western nations have made clear that they are considering energy penalties as a next step.

At a press conference in The Hague on March 25, President Barack Obama warned that Washington could join Brussels in imposing sanctions to “include areas potentially like energy, or finance, or arms sales, or trade that exists between Europe and the United States and Russia.”

The energy option would strike at the heart of a critical source of Russian income, as well as European interests.

Last year, Europe imported 167.2 billion cubic meters (5.9 trillion cubic feet) of gas from Russia, valued at some U.S. $57 billion, Platts energy news service reported.

Russia supplied one-third of Europe’s gas demand and 36 percent of its crude oil imports, Platts said.

But Europe may now be seeking ways to ease its dependence, giving it a freer hand in responding to Russian expansion moves.
Energy leverage

U.S. Defense Policy in the Wake of the Ukrainian Affair

APRIL 8, 2014

Ever since the end of the Cold War, there has been an assumption that conventional warfare between reasonably developed nation-states had been abolished. During the 1990s, it was expected that the primary purpose of the military would be operations other than war, such as peacekeeping, disaster relief and the change of oppressive regimes. After 9/11, many began speaking of asymmetric warfare and "the long war." Under this model, the United States would be engaged in counterterrorism activities in a broad area of the Islamic world for a very long time. Peer-to-peer conflict seemed obsolete.

There was a profoundly radical idea embedded in this line of thought. Wars between nations or dynastic powers had been a constant condition in Europe, and the rest of the world had been no less violent. Every century had had systemic wars in which the entire international system (increasingly dominated by Europe since the 16th century) had participated. In the 20th century, there were the two World Wars, in the 19th century the Napoleonic Wars, in the 18th century the Seven Years' War, and in the 17th century the Thirty Years' War.

Those who argued that U.S. defense policy had to shift its focus away from peer-to-peer and systemic conflict were in effect arguing that the world had entered a new era in which what had been previously commonplace would now be rare or nonexistent. What warfare there was would not involve nations but subnational groups and would not be systemic. The radical nature of this argument was rarely recognized by those who made it, and the evolving American defense policy that followed this reasoning was rarely seen as inappropriate. If the United States was going to be involved primarily in counterterrorism operations in the Islamic world for the next 50 years, we obviously needed a very different military than the one we had.

There were two reasons for this argument. Military planners are always obsessed with the war they are fighting. It is only human to see the immediate task as a permanent task. During the Cold War, it was impossible for anyone to imagine how it would end. During World War I, it was obvious that static warfare dominated by the defense was the new permanent model. That generals always fight the last war must be amended to say that generals always believe the war they are fighting is the permanent war. It is, after all, the war that was the culmination of their careers, and imagining other wars when they are fighting this one, and indeed will not be fighting future ones, appeared frivolous.

What Have We Learned from Crimea?

What have we learned from the Russian seizure of Crimea and the Western reaction to it? President Obama seems to have learned nothing; he is more obstinate in pursuing failed policies than Jimmy Carter or Neville Chamberlain. Informed discussion of foreign policy has now expanded to include wide and valuable questioning of Obama’s indecisive, yielding tactics—and his general vision of a world without enemies. But something in the middle is still missing, and that something is important. What have we learned about the former Soviet bloc, and about ourselves? NATO-Ukraine Foreign Affairs Meeting in Brussels, April 1, 2014

Like France and Britain in the years between the great wars, 1919-1939, we have committed ourselves to the defense of an international order in Eastern Europe, including the former Soviet Union, that we don’t really have the energy or will to defend. The two epochs are very different, of course. For all Putin’s hostility to the West and its aspirations, and despite his skillful manipulation of Russian populist sympathies, his are nothing like the volcanic energies of a Hitler or Mussolini, and his people are nothing like the eager, war-hungry Germans and Italians of that time. 

Nevertheless, there remains an important historical echo of the interwar period: what the West, defender of the status quo, is actually defending, and how we are going about the task. The order that the victorious allies could effortlessly impose at Versailles depended on the temporary disappearance of half the European great powers (who were bound to come back), and on the continued cooperation and sustained will of the victors. But as America and Britain retreated from Europe, responsibility for this effort fell more and more to France—a France that was uncertain and weary deep in its bones. In short, the Great War’s victorious allies genuinely preferred their new order—just as we do the Eastern Europe left by the Soviet Collapse—but they turned out not tocare about it as a fundamental matter. As a result, when an aggressor eventually challenged that order, it collapsed with astonishing speed, like a house eaten from within by termites. 


APRIL 8, 2014

Of all the modern genocides, the mass slaughter of two million Cambodians under the Khmer Rouge between 1975 and 1979 was probably the least understood at the time of the killing. Cambodia was cut off from the world. With the war in Vietnam over, the United States and other great powers stopped paying attention to Indochina, as did most of the international press. After the Vietnamese Army overthrew the Khmer Rouge, in January, 1979, the United Nations continued to recognize the deposed regime as the legitimate government of Cambodia. The Vietnamese liberators-turned-occupiers lacked credibility on the subject of human-rights abuses, although they had put an end to the worst of them in Cambodia. Cold War thinking led Western and Southeast Asian countries and China to back the Khmer Rouge for years. 

Reports by survivors came out in bits and pieces, almost all of them after the killing was over. The survivors had few international advocates, and many people around the world, especially on the left, didn’t believe them. It took a Hollywood movie, “The Killing Fields,” to bring the destruction of a quarter of Cambodia’s population to the world’s attention. The Cambodian genocide was an overlooked historical moment between the epic horror of the Holocaust and the more recent genocides in Rwanda and Bosnia that took place under the world’s gaze. 

Thirty years after the fall of the Khmer Rouge, in 2009, a joint Cambodian-U.N. tribunal in Phnom Penh began to hear cases against the handful of alleged perpetrators who are still living. The first defendant was Kaing Guek Eav, whose revolutionary name was Duch (pronounced Doik). Duch was the director of S-21, the Khmer Rouge’s central interrogation center and death camp, from which very few people emerged alive. “The Master of Confessions: The Making of a Khmer Rouge Torturer,” by the French journalist Thierry Cruvellier, has just been published in translation here in the United States. Cruvellier (who is a friend of mine) has covered all the contemporary international courts for war crimes and crimes against humanity, spending the past fifteen years immersed in the details of the genocides in Rwanda and Cambodia, the ethnic cleansing in Bosnia, and the atrocities of the civil war in Sierra Leone. It’s not a job most people would volunteer for, but Cruvellier, a gentle and philosophical soul, has something steely and relentless in him. If journalism were not so parochial, he’d be well known in this country.

The Real Trouble With Russia

Moscow Might Have Violated the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty -- Here's How to Respond
APRIL 7, 2014

Russian servicemen take part in a military parade rehearsal in Red Square, November 5, 2012. (Sergei Karpukhin / Courtesy Reuters)

At the moment, Russia’s march on Crimea tops the United States’ list of issues with its onetime foe. But it is hardly the whole list. Rather, as The New York Times reported in January, Washington apparently believes that Moscow has also been busy violating the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty, a pact between the two banning the use of both nuclear and conventionally armed ground-launched ballistic and cruise missiles within a certain range. This is no minor matter. When the treaty was signed in 1987, it was taken as a signal that the Cold War was finally thawing and, since then, it has been a been a defining element in U.S.-Russian relations, the United States and NATO’s deterrent posture, and the broader architecture of global arms control.

Despite this legacy, Russia has apparently developed a cruise missile designed to operate in the treaty’s prohibited range of 500 to 5,550 kilometers and has reportedly developed an RS-26 ballistic missile that also appears to have been designed for intermediate ranges; the latter missile has just barely reached beyond 5,500 kilometers with a minimal payload in testing. With much of the data about these issues withheld, it is impossible to make a final judgment about whether Moscow has broken the INF pact. But it does seem fairly clear that Moscow is determined to do end-run on INF, something backed up by the many reports, for instance in former U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates’ recent memoirs, that Moscow -- and particularly its military -- has been keen to escape the INF straightjacket for years. Indeed, there are some indications that the country is just waiting for the United States to do it the favor of terminating INF.

In the wake of the tests, some observers, including at the Heritage Foundation, have been calling for the United States to do just that. And terminating the INF would certainly send a strong message. But, at this stage, it would be rash and ill-advised.

That is because the United States still benefits from the treaty. Despite Moscow’s apparent recent bad-faith activities, the agreement nonetheless constrains Russia. The pact, after all, prohibits one of the world’s largest land powers from deploying land-based missiles that could reach key American allies in Europe and East Asia, as well as a host of other countries in the band between 500 and 5,500 kilometers from Russia’s borders. This is an onerous restraint for a country that has become increasingly reliant on missiles for its military striking power. The United States, in contrast, has traditionally relied much more on aerial and naval power for its strike capabilities, and was content in the 1980s to give up its ground-based INF-range missiles. In fact, the “zero option” that eventually became INF was originally proposed as a poisoned pill to kill any arms control pact because it was thought to be totally unacceptable to Moscow.

Commentary: Uphill Battle in Gulf Strategy

GCC Resists Collective Approach by US
Apr. 7, 2014 

While the recent diplomatic strains within the Arabian Gulf will no doubt make US security cooperation efforts more challenging, these concerns are overstated. In truth, US-Gulf security cooperation has always been difficult, and the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) dispute will do little to derail Washington’s long-term strategy.

The recent US-GCC summit in Riyadh during President Obama’s visit has done little to assuage concerns about the future of the relationship. Already on shaky ground after vocal complaints of US inaction over Syria and Egypt and “misguided” policies on Iran, US relations with the gulf states could be further complicated by the rift in the GCC.

And while the recent US effort to sell arms to the GCC as a bloc will be more difficult, Washington’s strategy to increase multilateral security cooperation in the gulf will remain unchanged.

By design, the GCC is meant to be a political and economic union. It is not a security pact, and its founding charter lacks any mention of security. Differing perceptions of external threats and national interests, intra-gulf rivalries, conflicting regional priorities and a desire to maintain sovereignty have failed to transform the GCC into a meaningful political union and security apparatus.

In the wake of the Arab Spring, member states’ focus on internal threats has rarely led to GCC security coordination, with the exception of the controversial Peninsula Shield Force intervention in Bahrain in 2011.

The gulf states have exhibited a deeply ingrained preference for engaging with the US bilaterally on security issues. While the US has pushed for the GCC to act as a collective security organization, it has recognized the gulf states’ need for US security assurances, and has, at times, reinforced the gulf state preference for bilateralism.

Engaging bilaterally with the gulf states over highly charged issues or when reassurance is needed, US officials have been dispatched, for instance, to Riyadh and Abu Dhabi after each round of the P5+1 negotiations with Iran.


By Nick Turse

Lion Forward Teams? Echo Casemate? Juniper Micron?

You could be forgiven if this jumble of words looks like nonsense to you. It isn’t. It’s the language of the U.S. military’s simmering African interventions; the patois that goes with a set of missions carried out in countries most Americans couldn’t locate on a map; the argot of conflicts now primarily fought by proxies and a former colonial power on a continent that the U.S. military views as a hotbed of instability and that hawkish pundits increasingly see as a growth area for future armed interventions.

Since 9/11, the U.S. military has been making inroads in Africa, building alliances, facilities, and a sophisticated logistics network. Despite repeated assurances by U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM) that military activities on the continent were minuscule, a 2013 investigation by TomDispatch exposed surprisingly large and expanding U.S. operations — including recent military involvement with no fewer than 49 of 54 nations on the continent. Washington’s goal continues to be building these nations into stable partners with robust, capable militaries, as well as creating regional bulwarks favorable to its strategic interests in Africa. Yet over the last years, the results have often confounded the planning — with American operations serving as a catalyst for blowback (to use a term of CIA tradecraft).

A U.S.-backed uprising in Libya, for instance, helped spawn hundreds of militias that have increasingly caused chaos in that country, leading to repeated attacks on Western interests and the killing of the U.S. ambassador and three other Americans. [url=]Tunisia[/url] has become ever more destabilized, according to a top U.S. commander in the region. Kenya and Algeria were hit by spectacular, large-scale terrorist attacks that left Americans dead or wounded. South Sudan, a fledgling nation Washington recently midwifed into being that has been slipping into civil war, now has more than 870,000 displaced persons, is facing an imminent hunger crisis, and has recently been the site of mass atrocities, including rapes and killings. Meanwhile, the U.S.-backed military of Mali was repeatedly defeated by insurgent forces after managing to overthrow the elected government, and the U.S.-supported forces of the Central African Republic (CAR) failed to stop a ragtag rebel group from ousting the president.

America’s New Anti-Strategy

Our allies and our enemies have seriously recalculated where the U.S. stands.
By Victor Davis Hanson

It was not difficult to define American geopolitical strategy over the seven decades following World War II — at least until 2009. It was largely bipartisan advocacy, most ambitiously, for nations to have the freedom of adopting constitutional governments that respected human rights, favored free markets, and abided by the rule of law. And at the least, we sought a world in which states could have any odious ideology they wished as long as they kept it within their own borders. There were several general strategic goals as we calculated our specific aims, both utopian and realistic.

(1) The strategic cornerstone was the protection of a small group of allies that, as we did, embraced consensual government and free markets, and were more likely to avoid human-rights abuses. That eventually meant partnerships with Western and later parts of Eastern Europe, Great Britain, and much of its former Empire, such as Australia, Canada, and New Zealand. In Asia, the American focus was on Japan, the Philippines, South Korea, and Taiwan. The U.S. military essentially guaranteed the security of these Asian nations, and they developed safely, shielded from Soviet or Chinese Communist aggression, and more recently from Russian or Chinese provocations.

(2) The U.S. also sought a stable, globalized world, predicated on free commerce, communications, and travel. This commitment on occasion involved ostracism of, or outright military action against, rogue regimes of the sort run by thugs like Moammar Qaddafi, Saddam Hussein, Slobodan Milosevic, Manuel Noriega, or the Taliban. There was no predictable rule about what offenses would earn U.S. intervention, and there was plenty of argument domestically over what should properly prompt such action. Perhaps a general observation was that rogue dictatorships that began killing Americans or lots of their own people, or that invaded their neighbors or threatened U.S. interests were most likely to be targeted.

(3) The U.S. tried to combat terrorism, whether, as in the past, Communist-inspired or, more recently, prompted by radical Islam. In the latter regard, the U.S. sought to make the world unsafe for al-Qaeda, Hezbollah, and various terrorist groups funded by Iran and, more stealthily, by opulent Persian Gulf autocracies and rogue Middle East regimes like that of the Assads in Syria. Without the American war on terror, the world would have been an even more dangerous place.

Leadership: India Wins One Over China

April 8, 2014: The recent appointment of an Indian born executive to run Microsoft Corporation caused quite a stir in China. That’s because there are more Indians running major American corporations than there are Chinese. Nationalism and ethnocentrism (“we are better than you”) are big in China these days, in part because that sort of thing has become official government policy. 

The Microsoft appointment promptly led to the emergence of some official, and unofficial, explanations for this shocking imbalance. The first culprit, and one everyone could agree on, was that there are far more Indian managers and executives spoke English. India is united, at least at the top (as in all college graduates and most senior officials) because everyone speaks English. True, it’s a unique South Asian dialect (or dialects) but Indians also know how to speak “proper” (as heard on Indian radio and TV) English and that version is as comprehensible as similar versions in all English speaking countries. This is the version senior managers in corporations tend to use most of the time. Only about ten percent of Chinese college grads know any English and don’t speak it nearly as well as their Indian counterparts. 

More pragmatic reasons for more Indian managers making their fortune in the United States (and the West in general) is that there are more management opportunities in China these days and they pay about four times more than similar jobs in India. So more of the Chinese talent stays home. 

There are also reasons that get less public discussions. This includes racism and loyalty. Both Indians and Chinese look “different” in the United States, but that’s a place where everyone is a minority and if you’re smart and can make yourself useful, the different looks suddenly becomes fashionable and an asset. 

The loyalty issue is more sensitive. China does have a large-scale espionage program in which many ethnic Chinese outside China with any access to data or tech China could use are approached and asked to help out. If often starts, and ends, with nothing illegal, just relating what one had seen in a university or as the user of some new American tech. That can easily escalate into illegal and even treasonous conduct and on many occasions it does. A lot more Chinese than Indians have been prosecuted for this sort of banned behavior in America. One side effect is that it brings undeserved suspicion on the many Chinese who will not betray the United States. 

Cyberwar is War

Journal Article | April 6, 2014
Cyberwar is War: A Critique of “Hacking Can Reduce Real-World Violence”

The latest issue of Foreign Affairs includes an article critical of the “hype” concerning cyberwar. It says that there are “three basic truths: cyberwar has never happened in the past, it is not occurring in the present, and it is highly unlikely that it will disturb the future”, adding that instead we can observe “the opposite trend: a computer-enabled assault on political violence” since “Cyberattacks diminish rather than accentuate political violence by making it easier for states, groups, and individuals to engage in two kinds of aggression that do not rise to the level of war: sabotage and espionage”. This is because “Weaponized computer code and computer-based sabotage operations make it possible to carry out highly targeted attacks on an adversary’s technical systems without directly and physically harming human operators and managers. Computer-assisted attacks make it possible to steal data without placing operatives in dangerous environments, thus reducing the level of personal and political risk”.[i]

The text dismisses the idea that “computer-assisted attacks will usher in a profoundly new era”, adding that “No known cyberattack has met Clausewitz’s definition of an act of war”. The text explicitly refers to three well-known incidents, namely “a massive pipeline explosion in the Soviet Union in June 1982”, the 2007 cyber campaign against Estonia following the removal of a monument to Soviet WWII soldiers, and a “cyber-sabotage” campaign against Georgian Government websites right before the 2008 August War. It considers that none fits with Clausewitz's “three main criteria that any aggressive or defensive action must meet in order to qualify as an act of war”, being first “violent or potentially violent”, second “always instrumental: physical violence or the threat of force is a means to compel the enemy to accept the attacker’s will”, and third “some kind of political goal or intention” by the attacker. For this last reason, “acts of war must be attributable to one side at some point during a confrontation”.[ii]

The purpose of this paper is to provide an alternative reading of Clausewitz,[iii] supporting the view that cyberwarfare can, and will sooner or later, amount to an act of war. This will become an increasingly distinct possibility as the line between the virtual and the real worlds becomes gradually blurred. That is, as the “Internet of Things” becomes a reality.[iv] As a result, it is necessary for countries to develop not only the necessary capabilities to operate in this mixed real-cyber environment, but also to lay down the required doctrinal principles. This is very important in order to reduce the scope for miscalculation. By laying down what kind of cyber attacks, and in what circumstances, would be considered to be an act of war, and the scope of the resulting response, there should be fewer chances of would-be aggressors failing to predict the likely response.