11 June 2018

Is a China-India ‘Reset’ in the Cards?

By Ivan Lidarev

The “informal meeting” between Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping at Wuhan has raised hopes for a reset between China and India in the mold of Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi’s groundbreaking visit to Beijing in 1988. During that visit, Gandhi and his host, Deng Xiaoping, relaunched the China-India relationship after a rocky period and pushed to decouple it from their troublesome territorial dispute. The summit proved a turning point which paved the way for a massive improvement in Sino-Indian relations in the 1990s and the early 2000s.

Why Indian IT is staring at an uncertain future

There will be a huge shortage of skills in emerging technologies among our information technology (IT) companies such as in the areas of analytics, big data, cloud, artificial intelligence (AI) and automation. The NITI Aayog National Strategy for AI, released this week, notes India will face a demand-supply gap of 200,000 data analytics professionals by 2020. Further, Gartner, an American research and advisory firm, says, 60 per cent of Indian companies looking to advance their data and analytics maturity will by 2020 cite non-availability of talent in these areas as the single biggest inhibitor of adoption and growth.


The growing territorial reach exercised by the Taliban poses a notable threat to the stability of the Afghan government. The insurgents’ persistence and adaptability points to an underappreciated trend. While guerrilla warfare has been consistently identified as a way for less powerful actors to counter much stronger fighting forces, treating the tactic as a “primitive’” weapon of the weak underestimates the complexity involved in fighting guerrilla wars, let alone transitioning into movement warfare. Guerrilla warfare requires reliable small units that can fire and maneuver to retain the tactical offensive against much stronger foes.

The Challenges and the Benefits for U.S. National Security of Providing Foreign Assistance to Afghanistan

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Testimony presented before the Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee, Subcommittee on Federal Spending Oversight and Emergency Management, on May 9, 2018.
Testimony In Brief. This report is part of the RAND Corporation testimony series. RAND testimonies record testimony presented by RAND associates to federal, state, or local legislative committees; government-appointed commissions and panels; and private review and oversight bodies. Permission is given to duplicate this electronic document for personal use only, as long as it is unaltered and complete. Copies may not be duplicated for commercial purposes. Unauthorized posting of RAND PDFs to a non-RAND Web site is prohibited. RAND PDFs are protected under copyright law. For information on reprint and linking permissions, please visit the RAND Permissions page.

Reflections on the 2018 Shangri-La Dialogue: What's the Indo-Pacific Anyway?

By Ankit Panda and Prashanth Parameswaran

The Diplomat‘s Ankit Panda (@nktpnd) and Prashanth Parameswaran (@TheAsianist) discuss themes from the 2018 Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore. Click the arrow to the right to listen. If you’re an iOS or Mac user, you can also subscribe to The Diplomat’s Asia Geopolitics podcast on iTunes here. If you use Android, you can subscribe on TuneIn here. If you like the podcast and have suggestions for content, please leave a review and rating on iTunes and TuneIn.

What Is China's Objective With the 2018 16+1 Summit?

By Andrew Witthoeft

Ahead of this July’s 16+1 summit in Bulgaria, Chinese officials are busy trying to sell the idea that Beijing’s outreach work in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) is about “win-win” cooperation. The summit, launched in Warsaw in 2012, brings together 16 CEE countries, including 11 EU member states, with high-ranking Chinese officials, ostensibly to foster economic cooperation and investment. Many leaders, pundits, and experts, however, fear that the Chinese-driven initiative is nothing more than a Trojan horse, threatening to undermine EU norms, disadvantage Western investors, and spread corrupt development practices amongst vulnerable democracies. But are they right or is this just European Sinophobia?

US-China Trade: Future of ICT Governance And Global Security

By Mercy A. Kuo

Trans-Pacific View author Mercy Kuo regularly engages subject-matter experts, policy practitioners, and strategic thinkers across the globe for their diverse insights into U.S. Asia policy. This conversation with William Plummer – former vice president of external affairs at Huawei for eight years and previously senior executive at Nokia and U.S. Foreign Service Officer – is the 142nd in “The Trans-Pacific View Insight Series.” Describe the global ecosystem of information communication technologies (ICT) and key issues in ICT governance.

Bullies Don’t Win at Diplomacy

Successful foreign policy requires combining the various instruments of national power to produce a desired positive outcome. Because each state coexists with many others, in practice this means using those instruments to persuade both allies and adversaries to act in ways that will further the state’s own interests. Thus, an effective foreign policy depends on an accurate understanding of other states’ preferences and how they are likely to respond to one’s own initiatives.

Pentagon to Industry: Show Us Your Latest Information-Warfare Tools

The Joint Information Operations Warfare CenterJoint Information Operations Warfare Center wants to know the realm of the possible. Knowledge is power, and the Defense Department wants to ensure it can outpower any enemy in any domain. But first, it needs to know what is technically possible and how industry can support those efforts. Information warfare—controlling the flow of information in and out of a battlespace to gain a tactical edge—is one of the oldest military tactics in existence. But with the rise of the internet and other advanced communications technologies, it is fast becoming a core tool in every military’s playbook. In February 2017, Russian military leaders announced the existence of an information warfare branch, replete with troops trained in propaganda and other information operations. In the U.S., these duties are performed by troops in the Joint Information Operations Warfare Center.

Merkel and Macron: edging towards change?

Now is not a comfortable time for a country like Germany – or at least, a government like Germany’s. With states large and small challenging multilateral agreements, and a disintegrating “international community” standing apart from regional conflicts even as they spill across the world, any country relying on order, rules, and due process is taking a gamble at best. This situation is particularly unsettling to Germany, which is a sizeable actor but whose history and contemporary political culture make it a power dependent on working with others. The country certainly has significant leadership potential, but Germany best applies this in process management and incentivising other players that follow a similar order-centric rationality. Because of Germany’s global economic links and through the vulnerability of its primary habitat of the European Union, the political class here is particularly sensitive to changes in the international climate. The nervousness within government circles is growing.

Letter from Trump’s Washington

By Susan B. Glasser

The Canadian Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, was less than forty-eight hours away from hosting the biggest diplomatic gathering of his career when I spoke with one of his top advisers on Wednesday afternoon. Trudeau’s team was searching for strategies to salvage the annual G-7 summit with the American President, Donald Trump, and leaders of five of the world’s other large democratic economies—all of them close allies of the United States, and all of them furious with Trump. “Look, he personally decided he wanted to be fighting with everybody,” the Trudeau aide told me, referring to Trump. “Maybe he thinks it’s in his best interests to be combative and fighting.”


The Kremlin’s basic economic strategy is to trade efficiency and growth for political control and a tight rein on Russia’s strategic sectors. Russia’s economy has faced substantial difficulties since 2013, although it is once again performing reasonably well and there is no basis for believing that sanctions will force a change in Moscow’s foreign policy. Confronted with sanctions, low oil prices and reputational risks as a result of its foreign-policy actions, the Russian government responded to the economic crisis of 2014 without pursuing major economic reforms. The Kremlin eschewed potentially disruptive economic policies beneficial for growth but detrimental to the regime’s primary bases of support in favour of cutting budget deficits, reducing public spending and maintaining – and even expanding – political control over the economy. More widely, Russian President Vladimir Putin’s approach since coming to power has been similar, heavily prioritising macroeconomic stability in managing the economy.

Time for Global Action Against Radiological Threats

By Rajeswari Pillai Rajagopalan
As a general proposition, the security of nuclear and radiological materials has been a global concern since the disintegration of the Soviet Union, when there were fears that these materials and expertise from Soviet Union would fall into the wrong hands. But the issue only really gained serious attention only after the 9/11 terrorist attacks in the United States. In its aftermath of the incident, there were genuine worries that terrorists may get hold of these materials.The fears are not unfounded – according to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Incident and Trafficking Database (ITDB), there were a total of 2,889 confirmed incidents involving nuclear and radiological materials between 1993 and 2015. Though only around 25 countries around the world have nuclear materials in their possession, radiological sources are far more widely available because of their dual-use nature and their use for medicinal, industrial, and agricultural purposes.

Brazil Loses Its Appetite for Economic Reforms

Protests and strikes against President Michel Temer's administration, which have exposed the political consequences of Temer's economic liberalization reforms, could continue if fuel prices remain high. Right-wing candidate Jair Bolsonaro, who has been running on a "law and order" agenda, could benefit from the disorder caused by these protests and Temer's perceived inability to deal with them. Social upheaval and the need to find a unity candidate ahead of the October general election will force Brazil's political establishment to slow the pace of economic and trade liberalization reforms in the next quarter.

AUSA’s Carter Ham To Macgregor: Futures Command Will Work

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The battle for the soul of the Army is, once again, engaged. Doug Macgregor, best known to Army aficionados for his book Breaking The Phalanx and more recent studies on Joint maneuver warfare, called out the service in an op-ed we published Monday. The Army, he argued, would once again botch procurement of new weapons, as it did with the Future Combat System (FCS) and a whole raft of earlier modernization efforts. The effort to institutionalize Army modernization in Army Futures Command is bound to fail, Macgregor argued. Today, we publish a vigorous rebuttal of Macgregor’s views by the CEO of the Army’s doppleganger, the Association of the US Army. Retired Gen. Carter Ham offers this well written and pointed response, arguing that the top Army leaders know what the service has done wrong in the past and possess the will and intelligence to do it right this time.

SASC Seeks Sweeping ‘Roles & Missions’ Report: Wither The Marines?


While its provisions cover topics ranging from swarming robots to “construction and maintenance of public works in Cis-Lunar Space,” its overwhelming focus is reorienting the military from a generation of guerrilla warfare to great power conflict with China and Russia. From reading Section 1041 of the draft National Defense Authorization Act, talking to Senate staff, and tracking years of SASC reform proposals, it’s clear SASC chairman John McCain thinks the services are making that shift far too slowly. McCain has long sought to revisit the landmark 1986 Goldwater-Nichols Act which laid the foundation for the modern military, and now he may have found an ally in Defense Secretary Jim Mattis.

Goldman Sachs’ Cybersecurity Training Utilizes War Games

Goldman Sachs is using cyber security war games so that its technology staff will better learn how to fight and prevent threats that could harm the bank and its clients. According to the Financial Times, Goldman is the first financial institution to sign up with U.K.-based Immersive Labs, which offers learning tests and war games on cyber threats. Immersive was able to create a tool just four hours after the WannaCry malware attack became public that enabled users to analyze how the ransomware behaved so they could create prevention antidotes.

How your stolen data ends up on the Dark Web marketplace

By Dan Patterson

TechRepublic's Dan Patterson talked with Munish Walther-Puri, chief research officer of cybersecurity services provider Terbium Labs, about how personal and company data ends up on the dark web. Patterson: It's no secret that stolen data ends up on the dark web, but how does it get there and who are the parties involved. ... Let's start with the incident. When a data breach occurs and sensitive data, whether it's (personally identifiable information) PII or intellectual property or anything else, is exfiltrated from an enterprise company's site, or even an SMB and a startup, who takes that data, and then where does it go? What is the transit path?

Uncovering the new administration’s drone war policy

By: Kelsey Atherton  

An MQ-9 Reaper, assigned to the 62nd Expeditionary Reconnaissance Squadron, armed with four GBU-38 Joint Direct Attack Munition parks on a flightline before a mission on Kandahar Airfield, Afghanistan Feb. 22, 2018. The 62nd ERS provides close air support, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance capabilities in Afghanistan. Over three administrations and 16 years, there has been nothing as iconic in the United States’ forever war on terror as the matchstick-with-wings silhouette of the modern drone. Understanding the drone program has never been easy; the covert nature of some of the program, as well as a strong executive emphasis on the needs of national security, meant that even at its most transparent, the drone war was largely opaque. In its third report on drone policy, the Stimson Center finds that after a gradual movement towards more transparency by the end of President Obama’s second term, the Trump administration has fully reversed course.

Cyber security: Nation-state cyber attacks threaten everyone, warns ex-GCHQ boss

By Danny Palmer

The dynamics of cyber warfare have changed so dramatically that nation-state attacks are now a problem everyone needs to face up to, the former head of the UK's intelligence agency has warned. "Five years ago we were aware of nation-state attacks but we would've seen them as something that only a nation-state needs to worry about. Today they're a problem for everybody, as we've seen over the last year," said Robert Hannigan, who served as director general of GCHQ from 2014 to 2017. Those cyber campaigns blamed on nation-states in the last year include the WannaCry ransomware outbreak - which has been attributed to North Korea - and a Russian-government backed campaign targeting home routers across the west which US and UK authorities warn is designed to conduct espionage and potentially lay the groundwork for future offensive cyber operations.

Merkel's Dark View of the World We Live In

By René Pfister

When Angela Merkel visited her party's parliamentary group in mid-April, she didn't talk about how she wants to change the pension system. Tolls on German highways were also not on her list, nor were all the problems with diesel emissions in the country. She didn't even complain about the Christian Social Union (CSU), the outspoken Bavarian sister party to her Christian Democrats. Instead, she wanted to talk about the Peace of Augsburg, signed in 1555.

Paul Krugman Explains Trade and Tariffs

By Paul Krugman

Paul Krugman took questions from readers about trade after President Trump’s announcement of tariffs on steel and aluminum imports. Here are his answers to some of the hundreds of questions he received. — By the Editors

1. Literally every small consumer item I buy is made in China. Please explain how this came to be (and whether you think we can or should take steps to change it).

2. Should all manufacturing jobs flow to the lowest-cost, lowest-wage environments, regardless of working conditions or environmental impacts? If not, how can a free-trade system prevent this?

Senate bill could empower America to hack back

By: Justin Lynch  

If, say, the Russian government hacks the 2018 midterm elections using infrastructure located in Ukraine, the United States might want to respond. Today, experts say that U.S. officials have not publicly acknowledged they could forgo permission from the Ukrainian government to hack-back. But in its version of annual defense authorization bill, the Senate Armed Services Committee proposes bolstering America’s cyber prowess through a collection of new funding and programs. Included in the measure is a provision that means the U.S. would not need to ask-first before responding to cyber interference.

Smart cities: Digital solutions for a more livable future

By Jonathan Woetzel, Jaana Remes, Brodie Boland, Katrina Lv, Suveer Sinha, Gernot Strube, John Means, Jonathan Law, Andres Cadena, and Valerie von der Tann

As cities get smarter, they are becoming more livable and more responsive—and today we are seeing only a preview of what technology could eventually do in the urban environment.
Until recently, city leaders thought of smart technologies primarily as tools for becoming more efficient behind the scenes. Now technology is being injected more directly into the lives of residents. Smartphones have become the keys to the city, putting instant information about transit, traffic, health services, safety alerts, and community news into millions of hands. Today, cities are moving beyond the pilot stage and using data and digital technologies to deliver results that are more relevant and meaningful to residents.

Why Are We Buying The Army’s Big Six? What Will They Do?

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Army slide showing elements of canceled Future Combat System

10 June 2018

The Strategic Logic of Modi’s Indonesia Visit

By Rajeswari Pillai Rajagopalan

Last week, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi was on a three-nation visit to Southeast Asia – Indonesia, Malaysia, and Singapore – in an effort to give a fillip to India’s ‘Act East’ Policy. India’s Act East Policy acquired fresh momentum when Modi re-launched the original Look East Policy at the East Asia Summit in 2014. Most recently, the leaders of the ten Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) countries were in India for the 69th Republic Day celebrations in January 2018, a reflection of the growing strategic convergence between India and Southeast Asia in ensuring a free, open, and transparent Indo-Pacific.

Deciding Kashmir’s Future: Look Before You Leap – OpEd

By Farooq Wani*

Pakistan and India’s vastly divergent political trajectories are often treated as a puzzle. Despite the fact that the people of both countries had a common past, India has ended up as a vibrant democracy with elected governments firmly in control, whereas Pakistan has witnessed a series of direct military interventions in the past and though it has an elected government in place for some time now, the army still controls Islamabad’s foreign and domestic policies from behind the scenes. This has created a severe civil-military imbalance that is retarding Pakistan’s progress. By institutionalising fundamentalism Gen Zia ul Haq sowed the seeds of sectarianism and due to this Pakistan is today reaping a bitter harvest of religious intolerance and it is ironical that India which Islamabad accuses of being a ‘Hindu nation’ has a far better record of ethnic and communal diversity than Pakistan.

Pakistan Reflects on Nuclear Achievement in Run Up to Election


Bottom Line: Pakistani citizens are heading to the polls next month in a public display of democracy and choice. Yet, with Pakistan’s military continuing to play a leading role in the country’s political affairs, it seems that the upcoming elections will once again amount to a stamp on an otherwise inevitable outcome. The elections come on the heels of Pakistan’s 20th anniversary of Youm-e-Takbeer, the day commemorating the country’s first nuclear test. For Pakistan, Youm-e-Takbeer symbolizes the country’s monumental achievement of becoming the first Muslim nation to obtain a nuclear weapon. The day also emphasized Pakistan’s resolve for defense and solidarity.

How Afghanistan's Next Elections Can Succeed

By Rafi Fazil

Distrust of electoral institutions haunts Afghanistan’s prospects of inclusive and credible elections as it embarks on another elections year. In a bid to restore public trust and confidence in the democratic process, the election law of 2016 requires the conduct of new voter registration in order to prepare a polling station-specific voter list to reduce instances of electoral fraud ahead of the long-delayed parliamentary and district council elections, which are scheduled on 20 October this year. The newly set up Independent Election Commission (IEC) formally launched the voter registration process – using the original paper national identity cards – on April 14 with the first phase scheduled to be completed on June 22.

In Pre-Election Pakistan, a Military Crackdown Is the Real Issue

By Douglas Schorzman
Source Link

Just a month and a half away from national elections, Pakistan’s powerful military establishment has mounted a fearsome campaign against its critics in the news media, on social networks, and in mainstream political movements. It is all adding up: journalists abducted or threatened, major news outlets blocked, sympathetic views toward the civilian governing party, the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz, censored or punished. Interviews with journalists and political analysts in recent days have been dominated by concerns that a military campaign of intimidation and crackdown on dissent is intensifying ahead of the vote — and nearly unanimously, none dared discuss it on the record.

How Chinese Tariffs Will Impact U.S. Beef, Ethanol and Apples

As trade negotiations between the United States and China continue on their bumpy and uncertain path, U.S. agricultural producers face the threat of retaliation across multiple fronts. This graphic illustrates where business and political fallout could be most keenly felt outside the intensive soybean production of the U.S. heartland.

The Legacy of Tiananmen

By Bonnie Girard

It has been 29 years since tanks rolled into Tiananmen Square from both east and west in Beijing, killing hundreds along the way, and irrevocably changing the history of modern China. In early 1990, a few months after the massacre and not long after a six-month period of martial law and curfews had just been lifted in Beijing, a Chinese Red Cross official told this correspondent that her organization’s official tally of the dead was 2,312. I was on a domestic flight in China, the only foreigner, as was often the case at that time. I do not know the woman’s name, nor did she want me to. She saw me sitting in a row just in front of her and created an opportunity to speak to me. She was nervous and afraid. She had every right to be. People had been disappearing in Beijing for months just for talking to foreigners.

China's Naval Expansion Is No Threat

Lyle J. Goldstein

American strategists seem to agree on little these days, except to say that America is in grave danger. Some maintain that Iran is the root of all evil and believe that a final showdown in the Middle East is now inevitable since the Obama-era nuclear accord has been abrogated. Still more are anxious that a major war with North Korea is just around the corner, because after all the probability of theSingapore talks succeeding is rather low. Journalists have begun tofret about an old question—once quite theoretical—concerning whether the U.S. military could “handle” medium-sized wars against both Iran and North Korea simultaneously. 


The Kremlin’s basic economic strategy is to trade efficiency and growth for political control and a tight rein on Russia’s strategic sectors. Russia’s economy has faced substantial difficulties since 2013, although it is once again performing reasonably well and there is no basis for believing that sanctions will force a change in Moscow’s foreign policy. Confronted with sanctions, low oil prices and reputational risks as a result of its foreign-policy actions, the Russian government responded to the economic crisis of 2014 without pursuing major economic reforms. The Kremlin eschewed potentially disruptive economic policies beneficial for growth but detrimental to the regime’s primary bases of support in favour of cutting budget deficits, reducing public spending and maintaining – and even expanding – political control over the economy. More widely, Russian President Vladimir Putin’s approach since coming to power has been similar, heavily prioritising macroeconomic stability in managing the economy.

East Asia Comes to Europe

By Irina Angelescu and Václav Kopecký

Mid-May marked the one-year anniversary since the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), China’s massive foreign policy initiative, held its first official Forum in Beijing. International reception of the initiative has been mixed, with the United States, Europe and Japan in particular expressing concerns about China’s possible ulterior motives, including in Europe. By contrast, there is little discussion of Japanese investments in Europe other than general agreement that more of them would be welcome. The countries in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) in particular enthusiastically welcome Chinese investments with little consideration about potential hidden economic and political costs, and put comparatively little effort in attracting more Japanese investments.

Spain’s Uneven Success Story

By Jacob L. Shapiro

By all accounts, Spain should be a European success story. As recently as 2012, the country was teetering on the edge of economic meltdown. Its economy contracted by 3 percent that year. Unemployment climbed to over 20 percent, on its way to a staggering 27 percent by the following year. A banking sector collapse was averted only by a 51 billion euro ($60 billion) bailout package from the European Stability Mechanism that June. There was real fear in Europe that Spain might be the next Greece.

Why Canada Needs a Strong U.S. Economy

To say the economy of Canada has significant dependency on the United States would be an understatement. This is evidenced by the fact that one-fourth of Canada’s GDP comes from its U.S.-bound exports. This dependence is even sharper when viewed in terms of Canada’s most lucrative and important export – petroleum oils. That’s because the U.S. is practically Canada’s only customer for this critical commodity. In fact, 99.1 percent of Canada’s crude oil exports went to the United States, according to Canada’s National Energy Board. At the same time, only 44 percent of U.S. oil imports comes from Canada.

Cyberattacks Are 'Ticking Time Bombs' for Germany


BONN, Germany—It was a cyberattack that showed just how vulnerable Germany’s digital infrastructure truly is. In the summer of 2017, a group of hackers infiltrated NetCom BW, a regional telecommunications provider with about 43,000 subscribers in the state of Baden-Württemberg in Germany’s southwest. Given the company’s modest size, it may not seem like a prime target. But NetCom BW is a subsidiary of EnBW, one of Germany’s biggest power utilities. EnBW is part of what the government regards as its critical infrastructure: companies that operate crucial public services, from electricity to telecommunications to health care.

Satellite Images Can Harm the Poorest Citizens


Mapping a city’s buildings might seem like a simple task, one that could be easily automated by training a computer to read satellite photos. Because buildings are physically obvious facts out in the open that do not move around, they can be recorded by the satellites circling our planet. Computers can then “read” these satellite photographs, which are pixelated images like everyday photographs except that they carry more information about the light waves being reflected from various surfaces. That information can help determine the kind of building material and even plant species that appears in an image. Other patterns match up with predictable objects, like the straight lines of roads or the bends of rivers.

Report: Facebook Shared User Data With Device Manufacturers


Facebook gave at least 60 device manufacturers, including Apple, Blackberry, Samsung, Amazon, and Microsoft, access to huge amounts of data about users and their friends, the New York Times reported on Sunday. These companies in some cases received access to information about a user’s religion, political views, relationship statuses, and other personal details. The manufacturers also reportedly got access to information on users’ friends, even if they tried to prohibit their data from being shared with third parties. 

Deterring cyber attacks: old problems, new solution

Joe Burton

Joe Burton does not work for, consult, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organisation that would benefit from this article, and has disclosed no relevant affiliations beyond their academic appointment. As the investigation into Russia’s interference in the US election deepens, it is becoming obvious that the events in 2016 are just the tip of an iceberg. Ever since the Russian cyber assault on Estonia in 2007, policymakers and cyber security scholars have debated how best to deter cyber attacks that cross international borders. Yet both state and non-state actors continue using the internet for malicious purposes with an unacceptable level of impunity.

Ways 3D Printing May Threaten Security

3D printers already produce everything from prosthetic hands and engine parts to basketball shoes and fancy chocolates. But as with any technological advance, new possibilities come with new perils.​​​​​​​ A new RAND paper, Additive Manufacturing in 2040: Powerful Enabler, Disruptive Threat, explores how 3D printers will affect personal, national, and international security. The paper is part of RAND's Security 2040 initiative, which looks over the horizon to anticipate future threats. The same technology that might one day custom-print heart valves can just as easily produce gun parts. The same machines that allow astronauts on the international space station to print their own tools might also help a state like North Korea print military or industrial equipment to get around international sanctions. Here are four areas to watch as 3D printing makes the leap from high tech to home tech.

Dazzled By Tech: Universities, Googlification And Microsoft – OpEd

By Binoy Kampmark

The mechanical, robotic striving of university politburos and their jack boot managers have always been interesting when it comes to one particular topic: the role of technology and its adoption. For it is in technology that the mediocre paper clip shuffler can claim to have achieved something – on someone else’s back, naturally. The shift to Google by universities as a storage and communication mechanism was something taken with a breezy obliviousness to its implications. For Google, it was a magical boon: mass concentration of staff and student data, cloud facilities, the magic of information. Such decisions are generally taken without asking the staff who actually use it – the nature of university management is piously anti-democratic, with all the usual balloons of sentiment about faux consultation and the like.

Microsoft sinks data centre off Orkney

Rory Cellan-Jones

Microsoft has sunk a data centre in the sea off Orkney to investigate whether it can boost energy efficiency. The data centre, a white cylinder containing computers, could sit on the sea floor for up to five years. An undersea cable brings the data centre power and takes its data to the shore and the wider internet - but if the computers onboard break, they cannot be repaired. Orkney was chosen because it is a major centre for renewable energy research.

DISA, worried about cyberattacks, looks to the cloud

By: Andrew C. Jarocki  
For the Department of Defense, that question keeps many planners up at night as they ponder how to answer cyberattacks that aim for users during internet browsing. To address the issue, the Defense Information Services Agency has begun to consider the potential of cloud computing. A recent request for information by DISA explores the feasibility of an enterprise cloud-based internet isolation capability that “would provide defense against a variety of attacks that exploit DoD networks and compromise end clients.” DISA envisions the enterprise cloud as able to “redirect the act of internet browsing from the end user’s desktop into a remote server” external to the department network. The isolation of all internet code execution in the cloud intends to prevent malware from entering the network through web use.


Cyber attacks like the global WannaCry outbreak and the million-dollar CoinDash breach made headlines in 2017. How will 2018 be different? We asked our most experienced threat intelligence analysts at Booz Allen Cyber4Sight to compile a threat forecast to watch for in the year ahead. Here are the top emerging trends and predictions

9 Ways Cybercriminals will make waves in 2018

1. Infiltrating Large Supply Chains through Small Vendors
By infiltrating vendor software that’s used in larger supply chains, criminals could compromise tens of thousands of enterprises simultaneously. Even major forces within the tech industry could become susceptible to breach.

Life as a Private

by Todd C. Helmus, S. Rebecca Zimmerman, Marek N. Posard, Jasmine L. Wheeler, Cordaye Ogletree, Quinton Stroud, Margaret C. Harrell
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The U.S. Army Recruiting Command asked RAND Arroyo Center to undertake research to improve its understanding of soldiers' motivations to join the Army, and how the reality of Army life matches up with expectations. Who joins, why, and how satisfied are they with their decisions? This study's portrayal of the U.S. Army private could serve as an educational tool for a variety of important audiences, such as Army senior leadership, junior officers, noncommissioned officers, and prospective new recruits. To conduct this study, RAND researchers interviewed 81 soldiers, ranked E-1 to E-4, generally assigned to their first Modified Table of Organization and Equipment unit. The findings from this study offer a rich description of experiences by a select few junior enlisted Army personnel; however, due to sample size limitations, the findings of this study cannot be generalized to the U.S. Army as a whole or to any rank or Career Management Field category. The research found that soldiers join the Army for family, institutional, and occupational reasons, and many value the opportunity to become a military professional. They value their relationships with other soldiers, enjoy their social lives, and are satisfied with Army life.

Why the Military Can’t Quit Windows XP


When most organizations are deciding whether to upgrade their computers to the latest version of Microsoft Windows, they don’t have to worry about life-and-death consequences. One exception to that rule is the U.S. Department of Defense: the nation’s largest employer and a globe-spanning organization that must consider both cybersecurity risks and potentially fatal consequences related to computer failures when making the choice to abandon legacy operating systems such as Windows XP. 

World Less Peaceful Today Than At Any Time In Last Decade: Report

By Eurasia Review

The 12th edition of the annual Global Peace Index (GPI) report, produced by the international think-tank the Institute for Economics and Peace (IEP), revealed that the world is less peaceful today than at any time in the last decade. The 2018 GPI reveals a world in which the tensions, conflicts, and crises that emerged in the last decade remain unresolved, resulting in a g radual, sustained fall in peacefulness. The largest contributors to the deterioration in the last year were the escalations in both interstate and internal armed conflicts, rise in political terror and reduced commitment to UN peacekeeping. Syria, Afghanistan, South Sudan, Iraq and Somalia are the least peaceful countries whilst Iceland, New Zealand, Austria, Portugal and Denmark are the most peaceful countries.

Reclaiming Global Leadership

By John Kasich

The international system that the United States and its allies created after World War II has benefited the entire world, but global political and economic engagement have left too many Americans behind. Over the last 70 years, free-market democracies have come to dominate the global economy, U.S.-led efforts have dramatically reduced poverty and disease, and the world has been spared great-power conflict. Yet many Americans—myself included—are increasingly coming to believe that our country suffers from a leadership vacuum. People are losing faith that their leaders will work to make all Americans better off and that they will rally us to join with our allies in order to craft cooperative solutions to the global problems that buffet us. Economic growth is delivering benefits for the few but not for the many. Political discourse has become poisoned by partisanship and egotism.