25 January 2016

The Changing Face of Globalization

22 January 2016
What impact will globalization have over the next twenty years? According to Mathew Burrows and Alexander Dynkin, it will inevitably create a new international order. In today’s extract, they speculate on how violence in its various guises may define this order for both good and ill. 
By Mathew J Burrows and Alexander A Dynkin for Atlantic Council 
The following extract is from [A] Global System on the Brink: Pathways towards a New Normal, a report which the Atlantic Council published on 2 December 2015.
The character of globalization is changing, creating a more volatile global environment with increasing gaps between the core and periphery of the world economy. The loss of national sovereignty is a growing battle cry for those opposed to globalization. Globalization is no longer equivalent to Westernization; instead, it is occurring on terms set by non-Western cultures, as wealth and technology spreads to the east and the south. Globalization has reduced inequalities between developed and developing economies, but it has deepened economic differences domestically in practically all countries. Anti-immigrant sentiment is rising at a time of increasing job insecurity. The sources of instability are not just on the surface between nations, but are deeply rooted in cultures and societies undergoing immense unraveling. Financial crises can’t be ruled out even if the more polycentric financial system becomes more stable. The governance deficit—the absence and ability of any regulatory body to control market forces—is seen as a universal problem in both advanced and fledgling countries. 

Governmental power is becoming more diffuse. The nation- state system is challenged from above by globalization and from below by ethno-nationalism and individual empowerment, which will remain potent forces through to the year 2035. The instant, 24/7 access to information has sparked a “global awakening” in expectations—seen dramatically but briefly across the Middle East with the 2011 Arab Spring—and local, traditional sources of identity have become reinvigorated. Forces of fragmentation are evident worldwide in secessionist efforts from Scotland and Catalonia in Europe to South Sudan in East Africa. The future of the Arab state system in the Middle East is in doubt. Anti-globalization stirrings by themselves won’t stop globalization, but they will undermine trust in governance at all levels, from local to global.

Demographic trends—rapid aging, greater urbanization, and increased mobility and migration—will continue to compound the difficulties of governing. Many governments will struggle to temper “demography as destiny” if aging causes an economic slowdown, and rapid urbanization and increased migration intensify public discontent.
Despite the promise of cooperation and integration emanating from the rapid globalization of the past few decades, the potential for major state conflict is growing because of deep fragmentation within and between societies. The old confrontation between capitalism and communism has given way to nationalism and conflicts of intellectual and moral values with more or less religious and historical-psychological overtones. These differences are even more serious when linked to the domestic political interests of particular countries’ ruling circles.

Pakistan’s Monster

In Mary Shelley’s “Frankenstein,” the eponymous scientist, saddened by the death of his mother, sets out to create a human replicant in his laboratory. But instead of a human, a giant grotesque emerges, with yellow eyes, over-stretched skin, and a volatile disposition. Victor Frankenstein refers to it as “the Monster” and “the Creature.’’ His creation runs wild, killing Victor’s bride and his best friend, driving its creator to torment and sadness.
The tale of Frankenstein is the proper lens through which to view the attack by Taliban gunmen this week on a school in Pakistan. The assault, at Bacha Khan University in the city of Charsadda, killed at least twenty-two people and wounded at least nineteen. In this case, Victor Frankenstein, the scientist, resembles the generals of the Pakistani military, whose Creature is the out-of-control Pakistani Taliban.
The attack in Charsadda could have been worse: guards at the university killed a man before he could detonate an explosive vest that he’d wrapped around his body. Last year, there was an even more horrific assault on a school in the nearby city of Peshawar, where Taliban gunmen killed a hundred and forty-five people, most of them children.
In both cases, Pakistan’s leaders vowed to crush the Taliban. And the Pakistani military has launched a series of offensives in the desolate reaches of the Federally Administered Tribal Areas, where the group has its headquarters. We can only hope that the Pakistani military succeeds. But this is where our sympathy should end—and where the tale of Pakistan’s Frankenstein begins.

The Afghan Taliban came together with the assistance of the Pakistan military, which helped organize the group in the mid-nineties, during the long and horrible civil war that followed the withdrawal of the Soviet Union from Afghanistan. By 1995, with tens of thousands dead, Afghanistan had devolved into a state where rapacious warlords and their gangs fought each other over the spoils of conflict, which often included the country’s young women and boys. There was no functioning government.
Pakistan’s military-intelligence service, known by its acronym, the I.S.I., feared that the chaos would spread across the border. So, spotting a group of fierce fighters driven by a medieval vision of Islam, the I.S.I. poured its support behind them. The Taliban, led by a one-eyed cleric called Mullah Omar, swept across the country and captured the capital, in 1996. (The story has been told in many places, including in “The Wrong Enemy,” from 2014, by the Timesreporter Carlotta Gall.) Omar gave sanctuary to another religiously inspired madman, Osama bin Laden, and they stayed in Afghanistan until they were chased away by American forces, in 2001.


Everybody seems to have a story about Seymour Hersh. Mine goes way back to sometime in 1971, about two years after I got back from Vietnam. Late one night in Boston, my phone rang. It was Hersh, asking what I knew about the CIA’s Phoenix assassination program. He’d heard that I’d given testimony about it from my time as a military intelligence spy-handler in Vietnam. He didn’t waste time on niceties.
Of course I knew who he was. He was already world famous from his recent exposé of the My Lai massacre in Vietnam. What more could I tell him? he demanded. Could I corroborate what somebody else had said about the torture of a captive? Did I know about so-and-so, such-and-such? The questions came ratatatat, more of an interrogation than an interview. And then he was gone. The 1972 publication of his book Coverup, which showed how high-level U.S. Army officers buried the facts of yet another Vietnamese massacre, got far less attention than his original Pulitzer Prize-winning My Lai story, which focused on the soldiers.

Exposing high-level skullduggery is Hersh’s line of work, as has been fully noted again this week, in stories recounting his astounding exposés in the Watergate affair, the CIA’s meddling in Chile, CIA domestic spying and so on, right down to the atrocities at Abu Ghraib, which pried open the window on CIA torture—stories that turned out, with notable exceptions, to be right on the money. But even way back then, Hersh was as much a story as his revelations. His taser-like style was legendary four decades ago. As somebody cracked this week, he’s the Alec Baldwin of journalism, quick to take umbrage at questions about his work. So it went last week with the publication of his 10,000-word blockbuster about the Obama administration’s multiple versions of the Osama Bin Laden assassination, which he proclaimed were full of “lies, misstatements and betrayals,” something that “might have been written by Lewis Carroll.” When critics leveled similar charges about his own story, Hersh’s response was pretty much, “Get off my lawn.”

To be sure, Hersh’s main Bin Laden story—that Pakistan protected the Al-Qaeda boss for years—is full of loony-sounding allegations, particularly the one about the SEAL team raiders tossing pieces of his corpse over the Hindu Kush. And while it’s an axiom of journalism that a story is only as strong as its weakest link, all the fuss about the links has obscured the chain: that Pakistan’s perfidy always gets a pass when the White House decides it’s convenient.
The fact is that American presidents have used Pakistan like a call girl for decades, turning blind eyes to its deadly obsession with India as long as we got what we wanted. In the 1970s, the Nixon administration ignored Pakistan’s genocide in India-backed Bangladesh because we were using Islamabad as a secret diplomatic conduit to China. In the 1980s, the Reagan administration covered up Islamabad’s clandestine nuclear bomb program because it needed it to wage a war on the Russians in Afghanistan. (The Pakistanis were delighted to employ its fellow Sunni holy warriors, like Bin Laden, in the task.) And what happened to Bin Laden and his lieutenants after we came after them in Afghanistan in late 2001? They vanished into Pakistan, with, according to many believable reports at the time, Islamabad’s help. 

The details of Bin Laden’s whereabouts over the following decade have remained buried. He is thought to have spent the first five years in a cave in Pakistan’s tribal area, hidden away in a virtual witness protection program. Hersh was hardly the first to charge that the Pakistanis eventually squirreled away Bin Laden in Abbottabad, home to the nation’s West Point and many of its top military and intelligence officials. Or that, confronted with the Americans’ discovery of him there (thanks to a Pakistani turncoat), the Pakistanis facilitated the May 2011 SEAL raid. Indeed, former Pakistani and American intelligence officials were saying as much within hours of the operation.

On May 7, 2011, a well connected former Pakistani tank officer, Agha H. Amin, noted that no local security forces showed up during the entire 40 minutes that the SEALs were mucking around in Bin Laden’s prominent compound, which began with a very loud helicopter crash and ended with a very noisy exit.

“How do you rationalise the fact that two Pakistani battalions had cordoned [off] the areas 15 minutes before the raid and when the raid started Pakistani troops warned the area’s residents to switch off their lights!” Amin wrote in the Lahore edition of The Nation. “When I said it on 7 May 2011 it was a conspiracy theory,” Amin wrote on his Linkedin page this week. “But when Hersh stated it [in] May 2015 it’s investigative journalism.”

Now, Pakistani journalism is a cesspool of rumors and conspiracy theories. But The New York Times’s veteran foreign correspondent in the region, Carlotta Gall, also reminded us this week that Hersh “is following up on a story that many of us assembled parts of” years ago. In 2013, she said, “I learned from a high-level member of the Pakistani intelligence service that the ISI had been hiding Bin Laden and ran a desk specifically to handle him as an intelligence asset. After [my] book came out, I learned more: that it was indeed a Pakistani Army brigadier—all the senior officers of the ISI are in the military—who told the CIA where Bin Laden was hiding, and that Bin Laden was living there with the knowledge and protection of the ISI.”

Hersh did not identify the alleged Pakistani “walk-in” who he claims volunteered information on Bin Laden’s location to the CIA in exchange for $25 million and relocation to the U.S. But this week a respected Pakistani reporter, Amir Mir, identified him as “none other than an ISI official—Brigadier Usman Khalid.”

Mir added, “The retired Brigadier, who has already been granted American citizenship along with his entire family members, persuaded Dr Shakil Afridi, a Pakistani physician, to conduct a fake polio campaign in the Bilal Town area of Abbottabad to help the Central Intelligence Agency hunt down Osama.”

Nonsense, said former CIA Acting Director Michael Morell. It never happened. In Friday’s Wall Street Journal, Morell laid out a persuasive rebuttal of virtually every detail in Hersh’s jeremiad, calling it “wrong in almost every significant respect.” Gathering DNA via the CIA’s polio doctor? False. The “walk-in”? False. The fake Bin Laden burial? False. “How do I know?” he wrote. “I heard the president give the order, and I saw photographs and video of the burial at sea.”

Morell finds it astonishing that Hersh and expert journalists like Carlotta Gall would take the word of their own sources “over on-the-record statements made in the past four years by people who were in the room—or on the scene.” Then again, Morell insists that CIA torture “produced reams of crucially important intelligence,” a claim contradicted by the CIA’s own internal documents and illuminated in a PBS Frontline documentary this week, Secrets, Politics and Torture.

But another of Morell’s denials deserves more attention. He knocks Hersh’s claim that the Bin Laden raid was a joint U.S.-Pakistani operation, right down to senior generals shutting off Islamabad’s air defenses as the SEAL helicopters came over the mountains.

“The truth is that the decision not to tell the Pakistanis was made early in the discussions of our options,” Morell wrote. “We would have liked to have made the raid a joint operation with the Pakistanis—what better way to strengthen the bilateral relationship?—but we simply couldn’t trust that someone in the Pakistani system would not tip off Bin Laden.”

Now that rings true. It also goes a long way toward explaining how Bin Laden escaped from Afghanistan and remained undetected in Abbotabad for a half dozen years. Our close friends the Pakistanis were protecting him. Did we really not know, or is there yet another chapter to be told?

Morell called Hersh’s piece “one of the most badly flawed documents ever produced by a Pulitzer Prize-winning writer.” But he and others in the Obama administration have a lot more explaining to do themselves.

Correction: $25 million is the amount reportedly paid to the alleged Pakistani “walk-in” who Hersh claims volunteered information on Bin Laden’s location to the CIA. The incorrect figure $25,000 appeared in an earlier version of this article.

Pakistani Taliban Faction Vows to Hit More Universities and Schools

After Wednesday's deadly attack on a university campus that left at least 21 people dead, Omar Mansoor, commander of a Pakistani Taliban faction, vowed to target educational institutions across the country.
PESHAWAR, Pakistan—The Islamist militant group that claimed responsibility for a deadly attack at a Pakistani university this week has vowed to target other colleges and schools, which it said promote democratic governance instead of Muslim theocracy.
Omar Mansoor, leader of the Pakistani Taliban faction that struck Bacha Khan University in northwestern Pakistan on Wednesday, killing 21 people, said in a videotaped message posted on Facebook that the country’s people must “repent of polytheism and democracy.”
Terrorists from Mr. Mansoor’s faction killed more than 130 children in an attack on a Peshawar school a year ago, and his declaration could herald a new wave of jihadist violence in Pakistan, where the government has fought to suppress local militants.
The video included images of four men, posing with guns, identified in the clip as the assailants in the university attack who stormed the campus, shooting students with assault rifles. They were eventually killed by security forces.

A spokesman for the main branch of the Pakistani Taliban, Muhammad Khursani, condemned the attack, saying that students should be considered future jihadists. Mr. Mansoor, however, said universities and schools are “the foundation of Pakistan’s evil, democratic system.”
“These universities, these colleges, these schools: this is a system that has come from Britain and America, and it is made by humans,” Mr. Mansoor said. “We want to disrupt this system, destroy its foundation. We want to establish Allah’s system, and establish Allah’s rule.”
After the 2014 Peshawar school attack, authorities beefed up security at educational institutions around the country. The government of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province, home to Bacha Khan University, allowed teachers to carry guns on campus.
During Wednesday’s attack, Syed Hamid Hussain, a chemistry professor, fought back against the militants with a pistol, students said. Mr. Hussain was killed.

“He told us to run away from the building and that he would stay and hold them back,” said Azeem Ullah, 21 years old, a geology student who escaped unhurt. “We heard a lot of gunshots when he went inside.”
This still image taken from a video released by a faction of the Pakistani Taliban shows 
Operations by Pakistan’s armed forces over the past two years have reduced the total number of attacks in the country, but bloodshed like that at the university has reignited public fear, as militants go after soft targets.
Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, on Thursday that the ability of terrorist groups to strike had been “considerably destroyed” by Pakistan’s military. “Our resolve to fight them is getting stronger every day.”
An increasing willingness by militants to aim at soft targets would pose a serious challenge.

The reek of denial

By Babar Sattar, January 23, 2016
The writer is a lawyer based in Islamabad.
The army chief claimed that in 2016 Pakistan would see end of terror in all its manifestations. Terrorists responded by launching a spate of vicious attacks in Quetta and Charsadda. The Bacha Khan University attack is a sequel to the APS attack one year on. We had been telling ourselves since the blood-curdling APS attack that we were now a different people and that images of our children being slaughtered in cold blood had changed us forever. The Bacha Khan University attack is a wakeup call. We don’t seem to have changed all that much.
What is quite incredible is how the establishment’s attack dogs, in a Pavlovian response, begin shaping the narrative – through a combination of denial and obfuscation – immediately after a terror attack. Even as the Bacha Khan University attack was underway, our terror apologists had already stunk out social media with the same conspiracy theories we suffered in early 2014 when the TTP were still our misguided brethren being controlled, brainwashed and funded by evil India and its cronies in Afghanistan. Didn’t we think we had buried all this after APS?
Then there is counsel by the good Samaritans that at a time like this we must stand united as a nation. This is well-meaning advice. But what does it mean? Does it mean that we must not ask who the architect of a national security policy that has surrendered over 50,000 lives to terror (with the counter running) is? Does it mean we mustn’t vocalise the thought that even if the state is doing its best to fight terror, it still isn’t good enough? Does it mean we must never question the state’s mantra that terrorists are losing and we are winning?

Does a show of unity mean that we mustn’t identify faults in the strategy being employed by the state to fight terror? Does patriotism mean shunning self-accountability and pointing fingers toward everyone else when attacked? If the prognosis is that we as a nation are at war with ourselves, that we have nurtured groups who believe that the state’s mission must be to become a caliphate and expand its frontiers, that its laws must enforce Isis or Taliban-style Shariah and anyone who disagrees must be killed, how then do you stand united as a nation?
After APS we were told that terrorists were winning because our criminal justice system had failed us. If we were to subdue terrorists we needed courts that hung terrorists without distinction and created an environment of vengeful deterrence wherein potential terrorists shook in their shoes. Within days our elected representatives rolled in military courts through the 21st Amendment, without regard for the meaning of due process and justice or the system of separation of powers and checks and balances that underlies the scheme of our constitution.
We were told that Pakistan is in a state of war, that extraordinary times call for extraordinary measures, and that the lily-livered worrying about fundamental rights of terror suspects should take a hike. The state revived the death penalty. As a nation we began cheering executions as if to mark victories against terrorists. According to a report of the International Commission of Jurists, military courts in 2015 tried 64 suspects, found 40 guilty, awarded 36 the death penalty, and 8 of them have been executed.
So why are military court and their instant ‘justice’ not deterring ‘suicide attackers’? It really takes a flight of fancy to imagine that death threat by the state can deter brainwashed youth from executing suicide missions they believe would instantly transport them to ‘heaven’. And yet, led by pied pipers, our nation embarked on this flight. Some had pointed out that our justice system is broken and needs fixing. But military courts are neither the fix nor will they help cure the cancer of terror. They were chided for possessing no love for our kids.

Five Myths to Dispel About An Afghan Peace

Christopher Kolenda
"Getting the Afghan army, the most credible institution in the country, into the field among the population is necessary to recapture and secure important territory, help serve as a watchdog for good local governance and check predatory actors."
Peace in Afghanistan is possible, but first the parties need to let go of five pernicious myths.
The Quadrilateral Coordination Group, consisting of Afghanistan, Pakistan, China, and the United States, met on January 11 and 18 in an effort to forge a road map for a peace process. They are due to meet next on February 6. This is critically important work, but the members appear to remain short of an agreed way forward. Addressing these five myths may assist.
Those serious about peace will immediately stop violence.
Actually, even combatants serious about peace normally use violence as leverage. They want to enter into negotiations at the strongest possible position and maintain that power throughout the process. Only a fool would forfeit advantage prior to bargaining.
Reductions in violence are essential for a credible peace process. Measures to reduce violence are key for building confidence once a process is underway and gaining traction. Start with small steps first; agreements in words, followed by deeds. This process should become more specific over time to include violence-reduction measures and eventually cease-fire agreements.

The Afghan government and Taliban need a power-sharing deal.
Power-sharing deals between warring Afghan parties have a very poor track record. The Peshawar (1992) and Islamabad (1993) Accords, for instance, led to the disastrous Afghan civil war and the Taliban seizure of power. Similar power-sharing deals in conflicts ranging from Sierra Leone to Angola, Cambodia, and Rwanda failed quickly and resulted in even greater losses of life.
A credible peace process is patient about power-sharing. The most difficult compromises tend to occur at the end of a negotiating process, because all sides have enough "skin in the game." Agreements that were unthinkable at the beginning become sensible. Demanding a final agreement up front is a recipe for cynicism. Until the parties can trust the process and each other, any power-sharing agreement runs a high risk of collapsing into even greater violence. After 38 years of war, Afghanistan will require a very deliberate road map that may take more than a decade to unfold.

A New Model for China’s Outbound M&A Deals?

By Marc Szepan, January 22, 2016
In 2015 Chinese companies announced a record volume of outbound mergers and acquisitions (M&A) that came in north of $100 billion per annum for the very first time. Chinese dealmakers have rung in the New Year by picking up right where they had left off in 2015 and have announced two – in one case quite literally – blockbuster deals: Dalian Wanda Group’s $3.5 billion acquisition of Legendary Entertainment, the co-financier of Godzilla and Jurassic World, and Haier Group’s $5.4 billion take-over of GE’s iconic home appliances business. However, among deals announced since the beginning of the year, it might be China National Chemical Corporation’s acquisition of Germany’s KraussMaffei Group that is most interesting in terms of its potentially standard-setting impact on future deal structures, despite its smaller transaction volume.
China National Chemical Corporation, widely known as ChemChina, is active in advanced chemical materials, basic chemicals, oil processing, agrochemicals, tire and rubber products, and chemical equipment. It is the largest company in China’s chemical industry, ranks among the largest state-owned enterprises in China, and was listed as 265th in the current Fortune Global 500.
Among China’s state-owned enterprises, ChemChina is one of the most active players in the global market for corporate control and has been a serial acquirer since 2006. In that year alone, ChemChina entered into three cross-border acquisitions. In 2015, it agreed to its largest outbound M&A deal so far: The acquisition of majority control of Italy’s Pirelli, one of the world’s leading tire manufacturers.
ChemChina has also made a bid for Syngenta, a Swiss pesticide and seeds conglomerate, which values Syngenta at around $44 billion. Should ChemChina succeed in completing this deal, it would very likely be the largest outbound M&A transaction made so far by any Chinese state-owned or private enterprise.

Erdoğan’s Neo-Ottoman Vision Meets Xi’s Silk Road Dream in the Middle East

22 January 2016
As Christina Lin sees it, Recep Erdoğan’s desire to protect Turkey’s energy interests in its near-abroad may disrupt the Middle East segment of China’s One Belt, One Road (OBOR) Initiative. To avoid this burgeoning problem, Ankara will have to tread cautiously and operate within a conciliatory “multiple modernities” framework.
By Christina Lin for Institut für Strategie- Politik- Sicherheits- und Wirtschaftsberatung (ISPSW)
This article was originally published by the Institut für Strategie- Politik- Sicherheits- und Wirtschaftsberatung in January 2016.
The ancient Silk Roads crossed Eurasia to link trade between China and its Greco-Roman trading partners until the Ottoman Empire cut it off in the 1400s. With the newly revived One Belt, One Road (OBOR) Initiative under Chinese President Xi Jinping, will it meet the same fate as Turkey’s President Erdoğan asserts his Neo-Ottoman ambitions in the greater Middle East?
China hopes it won’t. On December 17, DHL Global Forwarding, a leading provider of air, sea and road freight services in Europe and Asia, inaugurated its China-Turkey intermodal corridor as part of the One Belt, One Road initiative.1
The Lianyungang-Istanbul corridor takes around 14 days to transit Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, and Georgia as well as the Caspian and Black Seas, with the option for immediate freight forwarding by truck to any Turkish city.
The rail corridor is expected to generate US $2.5 trillion in annual trade within the next ten years, and was recently expanded to connect Taiwan with Europe via China, thereby linking the Pacific Ocean with the Atlantic Ocean through the Eurasian continent.2
Steve Huang, CEO of DHL Global Forwarding China, said: “Turkey already counts China as its second-largest source of imports, and the EU as its largest export market… new corridors like the Lianyungang-Istanbul link will only further boost Turkey’s strategic importance and associated economic development as a conduit for trade between China and Europe.”
However, challenges remain. Foremost is how China and Turkey can cooperate in the Middle East segment of China’s OBOR, especially as Turkey is also taking a more robust military posture to protect its energy interests.

Turkey’s expanding military footprint in its oil & gas rich near abroad
After winning the November election, Erdoğan has taken a more aggressive posture to realize his dream of reviving the Ottoman Empire both domestically by pushing for a presidential system and internationally by deploying Turkish troops abroad.
Qatar: In December, Turkey announced it is establishing a new military base in natural gas-rich Qatar, with an initial 3,000 troops being stationed at the base, including air and naval units, military trainers and special operations forces.
In an interview with Reuters, Turkey’s ambassador to Qatar Ahmet Demirok said, “Today we are not building a new alliance but rather rediscovering historic and brotherly ties,” referring to the Muslim Ottoman Empire which stretched from eastern Europe to the Arab Gulf.3
Iraq: At the same time, Hurriyet Daily announced Turkey would also set up a permanent military base in Iraq when Ankara sent around 200 soldiers and 20-25 tanks to Bashiqa (near oil-rich Mosul), following a deal with the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) on 4 November.4 After Iraq protested against Turkey’s invasion at the UN, Ankara responded by moving its troops around, some deeper inside Kurdistan, while it is not yet clear where other troops would move to.

U.S. Relies Heavily on Saudi Money to Support Syrian Rebels

By MARK MAZZETTI and MATT APUZZO, January 23, 2016
WASHINGTON — When President Obama secretly authorized the Central Intelligence Agency to begin arming Syria’s embattled rebels in 2013, the spy agency knew it would have a willing partner to help pay for the covert operation. It was the same partner the C.I.A. has relied on for decades for money and discretion in far-off conflicts: the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
Since then, the C.I.A. and its Saudi counterpart have maintained an unusual arrangement for the rebel-training mission, which the Americans have code-named Timber Sycamore. Under the deal, current and former administration officials said, the Saudis contribute both weapons and large sums of money, and the C.I.A takes the lead in training the rebels on AK-47 assault rifles and tank-destroying missiles.
The support for the Syrian rebels is only the latest chapter in the decadeslong relationship between the spy services of Saudi Arabia and the United States, an alliance that has endured through the Iran-contra scandal, support for the mujahedeen against the Soviets in Afghanistan and proxy fights in Africa. Sometimes, as in Syria, the two countries have worked in concert. In others, Saudi Arabia has simply written checks underwriting American covert activities.

The joint arming and training program, which other Middle East nations contribute money to, continues as America’s relations with Saudi Arabia — and the kingdom’s place in the region — are in flux. The old ties of cheap oil and geopolitics that have long bound the countries together have loosened as America’s dependence on foreign oil declines and the Obama administration tiptoes toward a diplomatic rapprochement with Iran.
And yet the alliance persists, kept afloat on a sea of Saudi money and a recognition of mutual self-interest. In addition to Saudi Arabia’s vast oil reserves and role as the spiritual anchor of the Sunni Muslim world, the long intelligence relationship helps explain why the United States has been reluctant to openly criticize Saudi Arabia for its human rights abuses, its treatment of women and its support for the extreme strain of Islam, Wahhabism, that has inspired many of the very terrorist groups the United States is fighting. The Obama administration did not publicly condemn Saudi Arabia’s public beheading this month of a dissident Shiite cleric, Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr, who had challenged the royal family.
Although the Saudis have been public about their help arming rebel groups in Syria, the extent of their partnership with the C.I.A.’s covert action campaign and their direct financial support had not been disclosed. Details were pieced together in interviews with a half-dozen current and former American officials and sources from several Persian Gulf countries. Most spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the program.

From the moment the C.I.A. operation was started, Saudi money supported it.
“They understand that they have to have us, and we understand that we have to have them,” said Mike Rogers, the former Republican congressman from Michigan who was chairman of the House Intelligence Committee when the C.I.A. operation began. Mr. Rogers declined to discuss details of the classified program.
American officials have not disclosed the amount of the Saudi contribution, which is by far the largest from another nation to the program to arm the rebels against President Bashar al-Assad’s military. But estimates have put the total cost of the arming and training effort at several billion dollars.
The White House has embraced the covert financing from Saudi Arabia — and from Qatar, Jordan and Turkey — at a time when Mr. Obama has pushed gulf nations to take a greater security role in the region.
Spokesmen for both the C.I.A. and the Saudi Embassy in Washington declined to comment.

The Man Obama Asked To Defeat The Islamic State

Meet Robert Malley, the president’s ISIL ‘czar.’
By Michael Crowley, 01/18/16
Read more: http://www.politico.com/ story/2016/01/robert-malley- syria-bashar-assad-isil- 217503#ixzz3xcqVD43U
A few years before Syria’s civil war broke out, a Middle East researcher named Robert Malley paid at least two visits to Syrian President Bashar Assad to hear his views on the region.
Today, as President Barack Obama’s top adviser on Middle East issues, it’s Malley’s job to push Assad from power and help restore peace to a country where Malley himself has family roots.
Story Continued Below
That hugely influential – and challenging – role is a kind of redemption for the 52-year-old Malley, whose last encounter with Obama ended painfully. Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign severed its ties with Malley after reports that he’d met with members of the Palestinian militant group Hamas. Ardent Israel supporters piled on with charges that Malley, a former member of Bill Clinton’s Middle East team, harbored anti-Israel views. Top foreign policy hands denounced the “vicious” attacks, but the damage was done; the Obama campaign said that Malley never had a formal campaign role and never would.
Today, Malley holds one of the most important jobs in Obama’s White House, with a hand in everything from the Iran nuclear deal to the fight against the Islamic State, also known as ISIS or ISIL. In late November, Obama granted Malley a second title as his senior adviser for the counter-ISIL campaign – in effect an ISIS “czar” coordinating U.S. efforts against the terror group after complaints about an unclear chain of command.
Friends say Malley’s return from exile is no surprise, given Malley’s expertise and key beliefs he shares with Obama, including pragmatism and a willingness to seek common ground with enemies. “Rob brings a fundamentally realpolitik perspective to his job, and that’s well suited to the president’s worldview,” says one former colleague. “He’s capable of holding his nose.”
In that spirit, Malley has counseled Obama that, however despicable Assad may be, the U.S. has more urgent goals than fulfilling Obama’s vow that Assad be removed from power. Malley does not favor an outright partnership with Assad against the Islamic State, according to sources familiar with his thinking. But, as the former colleague put it: “He’s more inclined than some others to be flexible on the question of Assad’s durability.”
Since Malley took over the national security council’s Middle East job in March, the Obama administration has shown more tolerance for letting Assad hang on for several months, possibly into mid-2017. Obama is trying to broker a political settlement to the Syrian conflict but insists it must pave the way for Assad’s exit.
Other Obama administration officials, including Secretary of State John Kerry – who also met with Assad before the 2011 Syrian uprising began – are more impatient for the Syrian leader’s departure.

How Russia Sees the World


There's a middle course between nationalist isolation and globalist impulses.
Vladimir Lukin, January 22, 2016
Russian public and political discussions have recently been revolving around two important issues. On the one hand, Russians have been desperately trying to find some transcendental national peculiarity in their past, present and future, seeing their uniqueness in virtually everything, from the first days of Russian statehood to the tectonic shifts and controversial changes of the twentieth and early twenty-first centuries. In other words, Russians are different and essentially much better than the rest of the world. Or maybe they are not better—but that’s for the better as well.
This self-perception (or its cynical imitation) is the backbone of the “national idea” everyone has been diligently seeking but not finding. It is common knowledge that practically all national entities tend to emphasize their uniqueness. At times, this perception becomes more acute, such as when such metaphysical self-admiration is employed as a distraction from more serious and mundane problems. After all, euphoria brought on by feeling unique is a sure sign of inner trouble.
But pompously advertising one’s uniqueness has nothing to do with feelings of exceptionalism. In fact, the absence of such advertisement would be unusual. Practically every country considers itself different from others in some essential way. I once asked a colleague in Luxembourg how he thought his country differed from its neighbors, including Germany. He pondered for a moment, and then said: “It’s dirtier there.” I still cannot understand whether this assessment was based more on perception or reality; to Russians, both are quite clean. So this judgment seems not only ridiculous in this context but in fact quite dangerous.
On the other hand, against this “national idea,” we all have experienced terrible spells of one-dimensional globalist concepts. Such concepts mercilessly erase distinctions that do not fit into the absolute mainstream while purporting to be an ultimate and irreversible triumph. When such ideas possess the masses, they become a material force that destroys everything in its way, including the masses possessed by these ideas.

New Russian Gas Politics or Adapting to a Changing Gas Trading Dynamics in Central Asia?

22.01.2016 | 
Inherited gas pipeline infrastructure, after the collapse of the Soviet Union, turned Russia into a monopolist on moving Central Asian energy resources to external markets in the 1990s and the first decade of 2000s. Possessing almost complete control over the transportation of the Central Asian gas abroad Russian authorities were in a position to dictate the terms of trading arrangements, particularly with its major supplier–Turkmenistan. Over the course of the past few years, gas export–import relationships between Turkmenistan and Russia has been rather unstable showing negative dynamics. Representatives of Gazprom, Russia's state-controlled energy conglomerate, announced that the company stops purchasing Turkmen gas starting from January 2016. This announcement was immediately followed by another statement highlighting Gazprom’s plans to increase gas purchases from Uzbekistan in 2016. Some experts labeled these two interlinked statements as another move by the Russian authorities to force their Turkmen counterparts to change the terms of the gas trade that no longer suites Russia’s interests. I would argue, however, that this whole situation signifies Russian authorities’ attempt to adapt to a changing gas trading dynamics in Central Asia in which they no longer possess an upper hand.
Central Asian gas pipeline system was designed to operate in connection with the Russian gas pipeline networks in which Turkmenistan contributed the largest share of supplies. Having consumed 8 billion m3 Turkmenistan exported 86 billion m3 of gas to Russia and other former Soviet Republics in 1990.[i] Five lines of the Central Asia Center gas pipeline with the initial capacity to transport up to 90 billion m3of gas, which was later reduced to less than 50 billion m3, and Bukhara–Ural gas pipeline capable of transporting up to 8 billion m3 of gas up until recently were the largest networks to move gas out of the region.[ii] Despite some ups and downs in the Russia–Turkmenistan gas trade in the 1990s, Russian authorities envisioned the boost of demand for the Turkmen gas in the future and signed a 25-year contract in 2003 to increase the volume of gas supplies to 80 billion m3 annually.[iii] However, supplies of Turkmen gas to and through Russian never reached the targeted level.
Russia needed Central Asian resources to keep up with the growing demand for gas in Europe. When the stability of the Russian gas supplies to the European customers was compromised, due to Russia–Ukraine gas crises in 2008–2009, the volume of trade started declining. Russia imported 42.6 billion m3 of Turkmen gas in 2007, but the volume of gas supplies dropped four times in 2009 and accounted for only 11.8 billion m3. Russia received 11.2 billion m3 in 2011, 10.95 billion m3 in 2013,[iv] 10 billion m3 in 2014 and less than 5 billion m3 in 2015.[v] A complete supply cut of the Turkmen gas export, however, was instigated by the disagreements between two parties over the terms of contract and delays in payment. In response to the request by Gazprom to reconsider the terms of gas contracts, according to which Russia was obliged to pay the average European price for the Turkmen gas plus cover the transit fees, Turkmen representatives first blamed it for turning into an “insolvent partner,” but later claimed that that Gazprom was not delivering full payment for the received gas.[vi] In its turn, Gazprom filed a case in international arbitration court in Stockholm demanding a revision of prices. As a result, Turkmengaz has received a notification on January 4, 2016 that Gazprom Export stops purchasing gas from Turkmenistan. Following the notification Gazprom representatives made an announcement on increasing the volume of gas trade between Russia and Uzbekistan indirectly point out to the possibility to replace Turkmen gas with Uzbek supplies.

Putin Calls on Germany to Mend Fences by Recognizing Russian ‘National’ Interests

Publication: Eurasia Daily Monitor Volume: 13 Issue: 9
January 14, 2016 By: Pavel Felgenhauer
It has become a cliché to write off President Vladimir Putin’s anti-Western pitches as only intended for internal consumption—uttered to rally the population around the Kremlin and dampen possible social discontent in times of economic and financial strain. However, in a recent interview for the German weekly Bild, clearly aimed at a Western audience, Putin once more accused the West of treachery for enlarging the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). Moreover, he again declared the annexation of Crimea to be absolutely legitimate (Kremlin.ru, January 11).
The interview was given last week in Sochi and published this week by Bild in German and English and by the Kremlin in Russian. During the interview, Putin spoke Russian, then switched to German and back again. Due to apparent redacting, there are discrepancies between the different versions of the text. For example, Putin asserted that relations between Russians and Germans were still good, despite the German mass media spreading anti-Russian propaganda under orders from Washington. The German journalists were dismayed: “Do you mean Bild? This is news to us.” Whereas, in the official Russian-language version of the interview, the German dismay was utterly redacted: Putin insists that Germany (like other Europeans) are proxies of the United States that have surrendered their independence, while the Bild journalists are silent, apparently accepting this purportedly obvious, though unpleasant fact (Kremlin.ru, Bild, January 11).
Putin seems to believe his own rhetoric and also apparently hopes that the European nations can be enlightened and induced to rebel against US domination. During the Bild interview, Putin produced a Russian-language memo, dated 1990, which detailed talks in Moscow between Soviet and German officials about the prospects of German unification. According to Putin, “wise man” Egon Bahr proposed that a new alliance must be formed, “separate of NATO,” that would include the Central European countries, the US and the Soviet Union. Bahr, a German Social Democratic Party (SPD) politician and the creator of the “Ostpolitik” policy in the 1970s, died last August, aged 93. But instead of pursuing the Bahr plan, Putin complained, NATO expanded in Europe, which was a grave mistake and a manifestation of Western post–Cold War triumphalism. “Leading NATO member-nations should have refused to accept new member states into the Alliance,” insisted Putin, “You are not obliged to accept applications” (Kremlin.ru, January 11).
The vision of a neutralized Europe, with the US and Russia as equal partners, with Moscow holding onto a recognized sphere of influence along with veto power on strategic decisions, and with NATO pared down or fully disbanded, could perhaps have been achieved if Moscow pressed harder. But the opportunity was lost, and Putin still laments that. According to Putin, Russia’s main mistake “in the last 25 years” was the failure “to state our national interests from the very beginning; if we did, maybe today the world would be more balanced” (Kremlin.ru, January 11).


Ian Bond, 22 January 2016
Brexit would change the EU as well as the UK. What kind of partner would a diminished EU be for Britain and the rest of the world?
Most discussions of the UK’s possible exit from the EU focus on what Britain would be like afterwards: whether it could trade more freely with the world, escape EU regulations and reduce immigration. Equally important, however, is what the EU would be like afterwards; and how in turn this might affect post-Brexit relations between the UK and the EU.
Former EU legal adviser Jean-Claude Piris set out seven possible models for this relationship in his recent policy brief for the CER, 'If the UK votes to leave: The seven alternatives to EU membership'. He concentrated mainly on the UK’s urgent need to have continued access to the single market.
If Britain left the EU it would have to negotiate a trade agreement with a group that had just lost one of its more economically liberal members. The gap between the laissez-faire British and the dirigiste continentals is smaller than the British imagine, as John Springford showed in ‘Will the eurozone gang up on Britain?’ But the biggest question is whether the EU would be willing to give the UK the market access it currently enjoys – and whether, over time, the market might become more closed to non-EU countries. The UK has consistently pushed for an open EU – especially in financial services, since the City of London is a global financial centre, not just a European one. Without the UK, would any other member-state resist ECB pressure to confine euro clearing to the eurozone, for example?

The centre of gravity in the EU would shift in areas other than the single market, however, including justice and home affairs (JHA), and foreign and defence policy. Though the UK is often caricatured as Europe’s perpetual nay-sayer, the reality is more nuanced. In some areas the UK has indeed been the main obstacle to European co-operation, but in others it has actively promoted it. The EU minus Britain would not automatically become the federal state that eurosceptics fear, but it might not reflect UK preferences as closely as it now does.
In the Justice and Home Affairs area, the UK’s opt-in means that it is already less than a full partner. It has, however, opted in case-by-case to important JHA measures including Europol and the European Arrest Warrant (EAW). The UK has actively employed the EAW, submitting more than a thousand requests to other member-states from 2010-14. Once outside the EU, the UK would have to negotiate a bilateral extradition agreement with the Union, or individual bilateral agreements with each of the EU’s 27 member-states. If the UK were also to reject the European Convention on Human Rights, however, as a result of the government’s proposed ‘British Bill of Rights’, would all EU member-states be able to extradite suspects to the UK? And would the European Parliament (minus UK MEPs) ratify an EU-UK agreement, or reject it on human rights grounds?

The Beard Shavers of Tajikistan

By Catherine Putz, January 22, 2016
Keep it Kempt: Police in Tajikistan’s Khatlon have been busy fighting foreign influences and earlier this week they held a press conference to update the masses on their progress. Last year, amid allegations that officers were detaining men with beards and forcibly shaving them, authorities instructed police not to do so. RFE/RL’s Tajik service reported on the recent presser in which the police said they closed 162 shops selling hijabs and “convinced 1,773 women and girls to shun the alien headwear.” Police also arrested 89 hijab-wearing prostitutes and “brought to order” 12,818 men who “had overly long and unkempt beards.”
The obsession with clothing and well-kempt beards comes straight from the top. President Emomali Rahmon said last year during his Mother’s Day speech that black clothing was not traditionally Tajik. He pointed to “strangers” using clothing to push extremism in the country.

Tajikistan isn’t alone in beard-fear, though it’s perhaps the most serious about it. In October 2015 a passerby called the police on a group of bearded hipsters in Sweden, mistaking them for ISIS supporters.
Perspectives on Central Asia: The January issue of the Eurasian Dialogue’s Perspectives on Central Asia has three fascinating articles.

First, Diana Ukhina writes about an art exhibit in Bishkek displaying the works of Olga Manuilova and other female Soviet artists. She examines the ways art influenced and reflected the women’s emancipation movement during the Soviet era and how, with the resurgence of “traditional” patriarchal values, “We find ourselves in a situation where instead of moving forward, it is necessary to defend the freedoms that the previous generations already struggled for.”
The second piece, by Daniyar Kussainov, offers insight on how Kazakhstan needs to reform the process by which religious materials are censored. “The current model of religious censorship in Kazakhstan has not been effective in preventing jihadist recruitment,” he writes. His suggested reforms include measures aimed at increasing efficiency and legitimacy — for example, by focusing on materials identified by a court and being more transparent about selecting experts. He also notes that there needs to be a better method for religious communities to appeal decisions. Ultimately, Kussianov comments that “State authorities are being naive in believing that methods such as religious censorship are effective in controlling religious extremism.”
The last article, by Aitolkyn Kourmanova, makes the case for greater regional cooperation among private sector entities. Central Asia is one of the least interconnected regions in the world, a fact that stymies economic development. Kourmanova notes that “Central Asia has several competitive advantages to offer in hosting links in global production chains, including land, water and energy resources.” Protectionism on the part of regional governments has stood in the way of capitalizing on potential cross-border synergies.

Former Special Operator to Lead State Department's Counter-ISIS Messaging Center

By Stew Magnuson
A former Navy SEAL and current Defense Department official is being called on to revamp the federal government's effort to counter ISIS and other groups' recruitment propaganda.
"The defining characteristics of [special operations forces] -- agility, precision and the effective use of intelligence -- are exactly what is needed to address this challenge," said Michael Lumpkin, in his final speech as assistant secretary of defense for special operations/low intensity conflict. President Obama has tapped him to lead the new Global Engagement Center at the Department of State.
His task is to rethink the government's effort to counter violent extremist propaganda.
"It is a critical part of our overall approach to counter violent extremism and one that quite frankly needs better direction and more resources," he said at the National Defense Industrial Association's Special Operations/Low Intensity Conflict conference in Washington, D.C.
"The center will focus on empowering and enabling partners, both governmental and nongovernmental, to speak out agains these groups to provide an alternative to Daesh's nihilistic vision," he said, referring to another name for ISIS. "The reality is that the U.S government is not always the most effective messenger to contest this propaganda." The most credible messengers come from within the region, he added.
The center's goal is to dismantle the groups' efforts worldwide by targeting recruitment, he added.

Industry can help with tools to counter the extremists online, he said. Attacks in Paris, San Bernardino,California, Istanbul and Jakarta show that this is a global fight, he said. "Working with the defense industry and the tech industry in Silicon Valley, we can use new tools to I detect and measure radicalization," he said. Such technology can also be used to measure how the center's and the violent groups' messaging is resonating, he added.
"With better information we can more effectively counter the narrative espoused by these violent extremist organizations," he said.
He added that there is a serious shortage of credible content that can be used to counter radical messaging. Working with defense and tech industries along with international partners, "we can do better," he said.
Lumpkin is a self-professed "knuckle dragger" who is "not a social media guy."
The center will take a "whole of government approach." He plans to use special operations forces military information support teams, formerly known as psychological operations, in his new job.

** It’s Time to Establish Ethics-Related Metrics

January 12th, 2016
By Col. Charles D. Allen, U.S. Army retired
In July 2006, DoD initiated the “Check It” campaign as part of its internal management controls program and co-opted the military aphorism “what gets checked gets done.” To check that something is being done correctly requires measurement and metrics.
During the past decade, DoD has sought to measure the effectiveness of its counterinsurgency strategy in Afghanistan and Iraq. It also sought to measure the effect of fiscal year 2013 sequestration using varied metrics for readiness, modernization and force structure of the armed services. DoD is still struggling to find appropriate metrics to assess the efficacy of the Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Program.
The difficulties in measuring these areas of strategic concern do not bode well for DoD as it strives to check the character of its leaders and ethics within the profession of arms to ensure that we are “getting it right.”

The White House and Congress have paid a great deal of attention to the ethical missteps and misbehavior of DoD leaders in the early years of the 21st century. In response, the secretary of defense in 2014 appointed a senior advisor for military professionalism to focus its efforts for military ethics, character and leadership development. In a report in September 2015, however, the Government Accountability Office found that DoD “has not fully implemented two key tools for identifying and assessing ethics and professionalism issues, and it has not developed performance metrics to measure its progress in addressing ethics-related issues.” In the years since the renewed focus, ethical issues have continued in operational and institutional settings throughout the Army as well as in other services.

Too Many Failings
News accounts of officer, enlisted and civilian personnel misconduct are, unfortunately, not infrequent and are generally met with cynicism. The perceived lack of accountability for senior leaders is aptly captured by author Tom Ricks’ quip, “different spanks for different ranks.” While the 2011 Army Profession Campaign and study sought to revive trust in the Army as an institution, there are still too many incidents of ethical failings within the ranks.
In early 2015, my U.S. Army War College colleagues, research professor of military strategy Leonard Wong and professor of behavioral sciences Stephen J. Gerras, revealed in “Lying to Ourselves: Dishonesty in the Army Profession” a pervasive culture of false reporting resulting from overwhelming and burdensome requirements, and the accepted norm of telling higher headquarters what they want to hear. 
 Wong and Gerras are known to be provocative in asking tough questions and publishing research findings that are uncomfortable for military members. Ultimately, they challenge the self-image and professional identity of Army officers as well as the Army profession itself. Self-image and identity contribute to the frame of reference developed through career imprinting from the first unit assignment.
Monica C. Higgins, a professor in education leadership at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, offers that career imprinting is a “form of learning that encompasses the professional impression left on individuals by an organization.” Given that career imprinting influences individual leader choices and behavior in an organizational context, then it would also affect the ethical climate of a unit set by its leaders.

Beyond the Build: How the Component Command Support the U.S. Cyber Command Vision

By U.S. Cyber Command Combined Action Group | January 01, 2016
Networked technology is transforming society. That transformation has come with significant change to war and the military art. Until recently, cyber considerations rarely extended beyond the computers and cables that supported kinetic warfighting functions. The natural domains—land, sea, air, and space—dominated the planning and conduct of operations, while the risks entailed in using cyberspace for military purposes went largely unrecognized. Today, cyberspace ranks as its own warfighting domain—one that intersects the four natural domains.
U.S. Navy’s fourth Mobile User Objective System communications satellite will bring advanced, new global communications capabilities to mobile military forces (Courtesy United Launch Alliance/U.S. Navy)
Cyberspace operations demand unprecedented degrees of collaboration, which the U.S. Government must approach holistically—leveraging resources and expertise from industry, academia, and state/local governments, as well as allied and coalition partners. U.S. Cyber Command (USCYBERCOM) works as a subordinate, unified command under U.S. Strategic Command (USSTRATCOM) to conduct the full scope of cyberspace operations. These have three distinct mission areas: to secure, operate, and defend the Department of Defense Information Network (DODIN); to provide combatant command support; and to defend the nation against strategic cyber attack. USCYBERCOM is building the cyberspace operations force of tomorrow, and looking beyond that build to how the command will operate with mission partners in this dynamic and contested space.
USCYBERCOM and its components act to help the joint force operate globally with speed, flexibility, and persistence. USCYBERCOM headquarters focuses on defining and achieving strategic objectives and has delegated operational-level cyber mission areas to three types of headquarters. The first of these is the Cyber National Mission Force (CNMF), which defends the United States and its interests against strategic cyber attacks. The second type of headquarters comprises four distinct joint force headquarters (JFHQs) in addition to Coast Guard Cyber Command (CGCYBER) to support the geographic and functional combatant commands across the globe. The standup of a JFHQ-Cyber by each of the USCYBERCOM Service cyber components—Army Cyber Command (ARCYBER), Fleet Cyber Command (FLTCYBER), Marine Corps Cyberspace Command (MARFORCYBER), and Air Forces Cyber (AFCYBER)—constitutes a vital first step to integrating cyberspace operations to deliver effects in support of combatant commanders. The third type of JFHQs and newest of USCYBERCOM’s operational commands, JFHQ-DODIN, provides unity of command and unity of effort to secure, operate, and defend the DODIN.

Cyber Capabilities Key to Future Dominance

January 12th, 2016
By Lt. Gen. Edward C. Cardon
One of the stunning trends since 2001 is the tactical dominance of the American military, especially ground combat units. This success was not gained by accident or chance; it resulted from hard training and the ability of units to harness combat power down to the tactical edge. The historically unprecedented tactical prowess of our ground forces is enabled by a network, with systems and data, connected globally in ways that deliver power to the edge.
This level of connectivity, however, has created expectations within our formations that may no longer be realistic as cyberspace is increasingly contested. This is why mission assurance is so critical. Small ground units connected in ways to harness the power of the U.S. military have a much higher probability of mission success, and in many ways provide an overmatch that is second to none. At the same time, cyber itself, either alone or through its use to change the physical world or human understanding, has evolved to the point that it can lead to lethal kinetic effects, given the increasing connectivity in the world. Our adversaries also recognize this potential and will surely employ these capabilities to challenge our formations the same way.
Unlike the land, sea, air and space domains, cyberspace is continuously evolving and adapting along with each entrepreneur, inventor and actor that uses it. There is an ever-changing convergence and divergence of people, technologies and processes characterized by disruptive technologies and applications. Time is an important component. Software can change at the speed of code; hardware at the speed of chips; and the people change this domain at the speed of human thought, creativity and learning. This distinctiveness translates to a domain that is uniquely contested and competitive; and one that is passive and active, hyperanimated and inanimate, all at the same time. Soldiers participate in a cyber exercise at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash. (Credit: U.S. Army/Capt. Meredith Mathis)
The growth of cyber capabilities has been exponential and is not limited to the U.S. military. We have peer competitors, and the struggle is for both competitive advantage and dominance. To help bring clarity to the U.S. military’s approach to cyberspace, U.S. Cyber Command recently published its vision, titled “Beyond the Build: Delivering Outcomes through Cyberspace.” Most importantly, this vision recognizes that cyber will change both military science and military art, requiring changes in joint and service doctrine, capabilities and operations.
The Army and its headquarters with primary responsibility for cyberspace operations, U.S. Army Cyber Command (ARCYBER), are organized to support this vision by focusing on priorities to strengthen both joint and Army cyber capabilities to support operations, including capabilities to enable ground forces to continue their dominance in the land domain.

Pentagon Delays Cybersecurity Requirement for 10,000 Contractors

Jan. 20, 2016
The Pentagon has delayed for almost two years a requirement that as many as 10,000 companies show that they have systems to protect sensitive but unclassified information from cyber-attacks before signing new defense contracts.
“We got feedback from industry that they did not think they could fully comply Day One” with the demand that contractors document a fully operating access-authentication system down to the subcontractor level, Claire Grady, director of defense procurement and acquisition policy, said in an interview. “We want people headed in the right direction,” but “we probably overestimated what the state of the industry was.”
Congress mandated new cybersecurity rules as part of the Pentagon’s budget authorization in 2013 after repeated warnings from officials about hacking threats and successful incursions at companies including Lockheed Martin Corp., the biggest U.S. defense contractor.
An interim version of the rule, in effect since August, requires defense companies that get new contracts to report penetrations of their networks within 72 hours of discovery if those systems hold critical defense information. They also must report intrusions if the hacking degrades the contractor’s capability to provide critical support to the military or has the potential to do so.
Getting Cooperation
“The goal is to get people to report as quickly as possible” without fear of penalty, Grady said.
While that provision remains in effect, the requirement for contractors to document that they and their suppliers have systems to protect sensitive information was delayed until Dec. 31, 2017.
Hundreds of companies have indicated they are already in full compliance with guidance from the National Institute of Standards and Technology on safeguarding unclassified but controlled information, said Grady, who called it “basic cyber hygiene.”
“But not everyone is at the same place, so we want to make sure we were moving people toward where they need to be and not creating impediments,” Grady said.
Chinese-backed hackers have infiltrated the computer networks of airline, shipping and information technology companies responsible for transporting personnel and weapons for the U.S. military, according to a 2014 Senate Armed Services Committee review.
Attack on Lockheed
The Pentagon also said foreign hackers stole 24,000 U.S. military files from a defense contractor it hasn’t identified in a single incident in March 2011. In May 2011, Lockheed Martin suffered what it called a “tenacious” attack on its computer networks, though the company said no employee, program or customer data was lost.
Against this backdrop, the Pentagon in August put into effect the interim rule on rapidly reporting network penetrations, citing “the urgent need to protect covered defense information and gain awareness of the full scope of cyber incidents being committed against defense contractors.”
One of the challenges that led to extending other provisions of the regulation is meeting the standards institute’s rule requiring multifactor authentication for network access, Grady’s spokesman, Air Force Major Eric Badger, said in an e-mail.