16 April 2016

*** China Expanding Its Nuclear Capabilities

China Moves to Expand Its Nuclear Capabilities
Omar Lamrani, Stratfor, April 11, 2016


-China will significantly adjust its nuclear force structure, even as it officially maintains its no-first-use and minimal deterrence policies.

-Adjustments will include enlarging the Chinese nuclear arsenal while enhancing its mobility and capabilities.

-As China’s nuclear force grows, the United States and Russia will make a greater effort to include Beijing in future arms control agreements.

Since conducting its first successful nuclear test in 1964, China has maintained one of the least belligerent nuclear policies in the world. But certain changes in technology over the past two decades have forced Beijing to re-evaluate its approach. In the coming years, China will look to revamp its nuclear force to keep its deterrent credible against the increasingly lethal arsenals of the United States and Russia.

Of all the nuclear powers, China was the first to declare a no-first-use nuclear policy, pledging to use its nuclear weapons only against states that launch a nuclear attack against it first. Beijing has also promised never to deploy its nuclear weapons on foreign soil, and it has long opposed the idea of establishing an extended nuclear deterrence. Furthermore, though China has built up an arsenal that is both large and diffuse enough to survive an initial strike, it has avoided engaging in an arms race with the United States and Russia to match their nuclear strength. It also stores its nuclear warheads in a separate location from its delivery systems, mating the two only in times of great tension. In short, Beijing has confined its nuclear program to providing a credible but minimal deterrence. 

And for the past few decades, the approach has suited China’s particular needs. Beijing has long understood that it lacks the technological capability, industrial capacity and financial resources needed to keep up with its U.S. and Russian rivals. Joining the massive nuclear arms race of the Cold War would have been a losing proposition, especially since China’s minimal deterrence was effective on its own. (Even though the U.S. and Russian arsenals were vastly superior, China was able to use its expansive geography and numerous underground facilities to maintain its second-strike capability.) 

Beijing also feared the prospect of keeping its nuclear arsenal on high alert, ready to launch at a moment’s notice. Doing so would have made its missiles more vulnerable to seizure and use by rogue forces, a particularly troubling possibility for Beijing during periods of political turbulence, such as the Cultural Revolution. Because of its minimal deterrence policy, China has been better able to ensure that it retains control of its nuclear arsenal.

Beijing’s nuclear doctrine has given it more room to maneuver in its interactions with other nuclear states as well. For example, its own refusal to extend its nuclear deterrence outside its borders has given China the ability to similarly denounce the inclusion of neighboring Japan under the U.S. nuclear umbrella. In addition, China’s stance has likely done less to drive countries in its region, including South Korea and Japan, to pursue their own nuclear arsenals than an aggressive approach would have.

Is Beijing Falling Behind?

However, since the end of the Cold War, technological progress has gradually undermined China’s certainty that its nuclear arsenal and policies are enough to protect it. Though the U.S. and Russian nuclear arsenals have gotten smaller, they have also become far more accurate — and as a result, more deadly. At the same time, new technologies have dramatically improved countries’ intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance capabilities, while emerging weaponry, such as hypersonic missiles, is undermining traditional missile defense systems. Each of these developments has weakened Beijing’s ability to rely on its vast territory and underground facilities to protect its nuclear arsenal from attack. The United States, for instance, is in theory much more able to find and destroy China’s nuclear missiles now — no matter where they are located in the country’s expansive terrain — than it was during the Cold War.

Beijing has similar concerns about its nuclear weapons’ offensive effectiveness. Advances in ballistic missile defenses have raised the question among Chinese leaders as to whether their nuclear weapons, should they survive a first strike, would even be able to penetrate an enemy’s defenses.

As China’s assessment of its nuclear posture changes, so will its patterns of investment and technological development. Beijing has already begun pouring more money into the sea leg of its nuclear triad, launching its first nuclear ballistic missile submarine patrol last year. Nuclear submarines are difficult to detect, and their exposure to danger can be reduced when they are used as part of a bastion strategy, which involves protecting nearby seas without venturing too far from Chinese ports. China’s ability to pursue nuclear ballistic missile submarines, which require nuclear warheads to be mated with their delivery systems, can be credited at least in part to Beijing’s growing assurance that it can keep its arsenal secure. The same confidence will encourage the Chinese to start wedding the two sets of components in land-based systems as well, enabling Beijing to order a more immediate nuclear response to any incoming attack.

Meanwhile, China will also continue to grow its nuclear arsenal in a way that improves its chances of surviving an enemy assault. The Chinese are not only moving their missiles from fixed silos to mobile platforms, which are more difficult to target, but they are also building nuclear missiles that have a much longer reach and can be launched from deep in the heart of China. These missiles include the DF-41, the world’s longest-ranged nuclear missile. Moreover, China will begin to rely more on missiles equipped with multiple independently targetable re-entry vehicles, or MIRVs, rather than single warheads. Such missiles have a better chance of making it past an enemy’s ballistic missile defenses with at least some of their warheads intact.

China’s nuclear force alterations will not mean the abandonment of its long-standing no-first-use and minimal deterrence policies. In fact, from its perspective, arsenal upgrades are a necessary measure for maintaining the credible threat underpinning those policies. However, other states are unlikely to assume such benign motives and will remain wary of China’s actions. Rapidly advancing nuclear powers with roughly equivalent arsenals, such as India, may interpret Beijing’s moves as the initial signs of an impending arms race. Even China’s non-nuclear rivals, including Japan, could respond by reviewing their own nuclear positions. Meanwhile, the United States and Russia, ever cognizant of China's increasingly powerful nuclear arsenal, will try to tamp down Beijing’s efforts by integrating it into future arms control agreements.

*** Europe, Islam and Radical Secularism

Reality Check
A daily explanation of what matters and what doesn't in the world of geopolitics.
April 14, 2016
By George Friedman
Post-Enlightenment Europe has replaced its Christian values with secular ones.
In traveling to Europe this week, I am going to a place that is experiencing both an influx of Muslim refugees at the same time that it is experiencing terrorist acts by Muslims. In one sense, this is a very old story. Muslims invaded Europe in the 8th century, seizing Spain and penetrating France. Muslims also invaded Europe from the southeast, penetrating as far as Vienna in the 17th century. Europe invaded Muslim lands during the Crusades in the 12th and 13th centuries. The Europeans again mounted major penetrations in the 19th and 20th centuries. These were accompanied by lesser attacks as well as population movements. 
So in this sense, this conflict has been waged for well over a thousand years, with endless friction and occasional major movements. This has been a conflict between two religions, which both see their foundations in the book of the Jews, the Old Testament, but expanded on that with new and in some ways contradictory revelations. Both have many followers, and fairly defined, vast territories. In the struggle between Christians and Muslims, both have lost at some times and won at others, but neither has been able to decisively defeat the other.

This seems to be a rather minor phase of conflict in an ongoing war. But this chapter is different in a fundamental way. All prior conflicts have been between Christians and Muslims. This one is not. Since World War II, Europe has redefined itself. It was once Christian. It is now officially secular, and this is therefore a conflict between Muslim religiosity and European secularism. And that makes the dynamics of the conflict different.
Europe has embraced the principles of the French Enlightenment, which holds that religion is an entirely private matter that ought not become part of public life and that cannot be blamed for what others do in public life. The critique of the idea that Islam, migrants and terrorism are the same thing is rooted in a complex understanding of public and private, and collective and individual responsibility based on the complexities of the European enlightenment. 
Europe has become profoundly secular, more so than the United States. That should not surprise anyone since Europe was the center of the Enlightenment. Europe therefore was once a Christian continent, until Christianity became a private matter, seen as one system of belief among many, with the public sphere neutral on all such matters. 
Of course, such neutrality is impossible. Public life is impossible without some shared moral principles. European public life is filled with such principles, usually derived from the themes of the French Revolution, such as liberty, equality and fraternity – the right of citizens to live as they chose, to be treated equally under the law and with brotherhood, in which no one is excluded. These are of course complex values and more interesting in the things they exclude than what they include. They exclude any mention of God in general and Christ in particular. In other words, in neutralizing the public sphere, all religions have been rendered equal and made to respect the values of the public sphere. 

Religions are also political movements, because in reshaping private things like conscience and obligation, they must reshape how the religious behave in public life. Christian private beliefs – or those of any other religion – ultimately demand public action and empower the leadership of the faith to make political demands. Therefore, today the demand to halt abortion derives from a private Christian belief that cannot be contained simply as a private value. Believing in that requires political action. 
That action encounters not merely the moral imperative of public neutrality, but the entire structure of values derived from the Enlightenment. In a sense, Enlightenment values are more extreme than religious ones. They not only object to the religious political agenda, but demand that the religious not express their political will. So on the one hand, all religions are equal, but all must be apolitical, including Christianity, which used to be integral to Europe’s public life.

Glacial mistrust - Whose Siachen is it anyway?

J.J. Singh
South of the Pamirs, there is a knot of mountains formed by the Karakoram, Hindu Kush and Kuen Lun ranges. Emanating from the mighty Karakoram range, which forms the northern crown of India is the Siachen: the second-longest glacier (76 kms) in the world. The Siachen glacier is joined by many smaller glaciers and is the source of the Nubra river, which flows into the Shyok and then after entering Pakistan Occupied Kashmir joins the Indus river. This frozen landscape has craggy and rocky pinnacles and a sea of ice and snow with moraines on both sides. The people of the region have a saying, "The land is so barren and the passes so high that only the best of friends and the fiercest of enemies come by."
As debate on the demilitarization of this frozen battlefield rages in our society and media consequent to the unfortunate natural calamity that struck there recently, the question, "Whose Siachen is it?", begs asking. Did the brave martyrs who made the highest sacrifice on those icy heights die in vain or could the loss of lives be avoided? ask our countrymen. The fact is that de jure the whole of Jammu and Kashmir and de facto the Siachen glacier, an important part of it, are unquestionably Indian. Consequent to the signing of the instrument of accession by the Maharaja of J&K in 1947, the state became a part of the Union of India.

At the end of hostilities in the Indo-Pak war of 1947-48, a ceasefire line in J&K was agreed to by both countries and was authenticated on the maps. This delineation was specific up to a point: NJ 9842. Beyond that, the agreement went on to say, "and thence north to the glaciers". This broad definition was resorted to as neither side had any troops in that area nor believed that the glaciers would one day spawn a conflict. In case the CFL was to run beyond NJ 9842 in a straight-line northeast-ward to the Karakoram Pass as Pakistan's maps depict, the Karachi Agreement would have stated so. After the decisive victory in the 1971 Indo-Pak war, India had every reason to insist on a precise definition of the line of control beyond NJ 9842 in a northward direction along the Saltoro Range towards Indira Col on the Karakoram Range, thereby respecting in letter and spirit the Karachi Agreement of 1949. Historically, too, the Saltoro has been the traditional boundary dividing the Balti people and the Ladakhis. It was a huge political error when we let that opportunity pass. In an engrossing account of the deliberations during the Simla Conference of 1972, Harish Kapadia, a renowned adventurer, has stated, "A desperate Bhutto had pleaded with our Prime Minister Indira Gandhi that he be trusted to do so [to agree to delineate the borders along the Saltoro Range, but later], as he did not want to antagonize his generals at that point in time. Aap mujhpe bharosa kijiye [Trust me], he is reported to have said." We know what happened thereafter.

Defending the frontiers of India, however daunting the challenges posed by an adversary and inhospitable the terrain, is a sacred and primary responsibility of the armed forces. For the defence of the motherland, loss of life or limb and other sacrifices in the line of duty is a part of soldiering. That notwithstanding, one of the most important functions of military leaders is to ensure minimum casualties without compromising operational imperatives. Every soldier's life is precious and a national asset, and that is why the martyrs earn the privilege of being draped in the tricolour and eternal respect of our countrymen. In our case, we must not lose sight of the fact that we have unresolved boundary issues with both Pakistan and China, and hence face a situation of "no war - no peace". Occupation of our territory in Aksai Chin in north Ladakh by China in the early 1950s and Pakistan's intrusions in Kargil in 1999 resulted in costly armed conflicts. Ironically, Rudyard Kipling's words have become a truism: "In times of war and not before, God and the soldier we adore. But in times of peace and all things righted, God is forgotten and the soldier slighted."

Why fighting for Balochistan is key to Modi's Pakistan policy Much of the story of the country is uncontested, provided we do not pay undue attention to the neighbour's claims.

Activists fighting for a cause, especially one that has a lot of popular emotion attached to it, are usually loud and shrill when holding forth at public fora. They tend to be belligerent and turn excessively aggressive if their views are contradicted.
In a sense, loud speech, belligerence and aggression are necessary for effective activism. After all, if an activist is an easy pushover, then his or her cause cannot be worth fighting for. At the same time, needlessly pushy activism can put off people and make them indifferent to causes that could be perfectly legitimate and deserving of support.

Hence listening to professor Naela Quadri Baloch at a recent discussion on Balochistan organised by the Observer Research Foundation came as a pleasant surprise. She was soft-spoken yet firm, persuasive yet polite. She presented her case, or rather the case for free Balochistan, without taking recourse to either maudlin sentiments or theatrical hyperbole.

Balochistan continues to witness horrors. (Reuters)
Much of the story of Balochistan is uncluttered and uncontested, provided we do not pay undue attention and attach unwarranted credibility to Pakistan's claims. In 1947, when British colonial rule came to an end in the Indian subcontinent, 535 princely states were given the option of either acceding to India or Pakistan through merger of territory, or remain free and independent.
The Khan of Kalat, which comprised nearly all of Balochistan barring three minor principalities, was not too eager to accede to Pakistan. The Baloch were, and remain, a fiercely independent people with their own cultural and social identity, along with a land endowed with natural resources. That early impulse for freedom became the root cause of Balochistan's subsequent misery.
Since its violent Caesarian birth, assisted by a scalpel-wielding Britain, on August 14, 1947, Pakistan has been as deceitful as its Quaid-e-Azam Mohammed Ali Jinnah was during his brief and bitter life as the ruler of a moth-eaten country, one half of which fell off the map in 1971.

Jinnah, the barrister helped the Khan of Kalat to prepare his brief for independence and a Standstill Agreement in the interim. Jinnah the smash-and-grab politician paved the path for Kalat's annexation by Pakistan on March 27, 1948. Thus was Balochistan forcibly converted into a province of Pakistan, against the wishes of the Baloch and their Khan.
Balochistan's struggle against Pakistani rule and Islamabad's "One Unit" policy has been relentless since the annexation of Kalat. Brutal repression by the Pakistani army has failed to break the spirit of resistance. Beginning with 1948-49, it has been horrific campaign to put down dissent and silence voice of freedom.
There are several similarities between the Pakistani army committing hideous crimes in Bangladesh (then East Pakistan) and Balochistan. Mass killings, rape of women, laying human habitations to waste, targeted assassinations, Bangladesh saw it all during its Liberation War of 1971. Balochistan continues to witness these horrors.

General Tikka Khan, nicknamed the "Butcher of Bangladesh", had the dubious distinction of also being called the "Butcher of Balochistan" for the bloody campaign he led from 1973-77. But for all the sorrow, grief and misery heaped on the people of Balochistan, they have risen again. The freedom movement, relaunched in 2004 continues unabated.
Divided by the Goldsmith Line of 1871, Balochistan is split between Pakistani and Iranian occupation, with some bits spilling into Afghanistan on account of the flawed Durand Line. Britain understood the strategic importance of Balochistan and played its game accordingly to keep the Russians out. Today, both Pakistan and Iran are leveraging that strategic importance to further their own economic and security interests.
India's position on Balochistan has been, at best, ambivalent. Notwithstanding the arrest of an Indian national (Pakistan claims he is a "RAW agent" and was arrested on its side of the Goldsmith Line; there are credible claims he was arrested by the Iranians and handed over to the ISI) it would be silly to imagine a grand Indian conspiracy in action. New Delhi has long been incapable of doing what Indira Gandhi did in 1970-71.


Yet there is a case for an Indian policy on Balochistan. India did play a major role in propping up the Northern Alliance so as not to concede all ground to the Taliban and its mentor, Pakistan, in Afghanistan. A hands-off approach, therefore, is lacking in precedence, even if we were to discount India's proactive role in the liberation of Bangladesh from the tyranny of Pakistan.
The issue is what should be that policy. Investing in Chabahar port that lies on the Iranian side of Balochistan cannot be a policy in entirety. At best, it will partially countervail China's captive port at Gwadar on the Pakistani side of Balochistan. That's one pawn moved. Next what?

India’s Rock ’n’ Roll Approach to Guarding Its Nuclear Sites


By Adrian Levy and R. Jeffrey Smith On 2/14/16

This article first appeared on the Center for Public Integrity site.
On October 8, 2014, Head Constable Vijay Singh awoke before dawn in Kalpakkam, India, and scurried across the ocher gravel outside the constabulary barracks at the Madras Atomic Power Station, “looking like the monsoon was about to break,” as a grounds sweeper later recalled.
Singh was one of 620 paramilitary officers in the country’s Central Industrial Security Force assigned to protect the facility’s nuclear-related buildings and materials. But he did not have his usual tasks in mind that morning.
By 4:40 a.m., the 44-year-old officer reached the armory, where he signed out a 9 mm submachine gun and 60 rounds of ammunition in two magazines. Singh loaded one clip into his weapon, pocketed the other and entered the portico of a cream and red, three-story residential complex.
He climbed up one flight to the room where a senior colleague, Mohan Singh, dozed and abruptly opened fire at him in a controlled burst, to conserve rounds, just as he had been trained.
Then he jogged downstairs, where he shot dead two more men and seriously injured another two. With 10 rounds left in his magazine, and an unused 30-round clip in his pocket, he prowled unimpeded across the gravel, with no alert called.
A bystander shouted out to him, and suddenly Singh halted and dropped to his knees, an eyewitness recalled later. He was finally surrounded and led away, glassy-eyed, “as docile as anything, a neat guy, his hair still perfectly parted,” the witness said.
The episode was a fresh example of what officials here and outside India depict as serious shortcomings in the country’s nuclear guard force, tasked with defending one of the world’s largest stockpiles of fissile material and nuclear explosives.

An estimated 90 to 110 Indian nuclear bombs are stored in six or so government-run sites patrolled by the same security force, according to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, an independent think tank, and Indian officials.
Within the next two decades, as many as 57 reactors could also be operating under the force’s protection, as well as four plants where spent nuclear fuel is dissolved in chemicals to separate out plutonium to make new fuel or be used in nuclear bombs.
The sites are spread out over vast distances: from the stony foothills of the Himalayas in the north down to the red earth of the tropical south. Shuttling hundreds of miles in between will be occasional convoys of lightly protected trucks laden with explosive and fissile materials—including plutonium and enriched uranium—that could be used in civilian and military reactors or to spark a nuclear blast.
As a result, the Kalpakkam shooting alarmed Indian and Western officials who question whether this country, which is surrounded by unstable neighbors and has a history of civil tumult, has taken adequate precautions to safeguard its sensitive facilities and keep the building blocks of a devastating nuclear bomb from being stolen by insiders with grievances, ill motives or, in the worst case, connections to terrorists.

Although experts say they regard the issue as urgent, Washington is not pressing India for quick reforms. The Obama administration is instead trying to avoid any dispute that might interrupt a planned expansion of U.S. military sales to New Delhi, several senior U.S. officials said in interviews.
The experts’ concerns are based in part on a series of documented nuclear security lapses in the past two decades, in addition to the shooting:
Several kilograms of what authorities described as semiprocessed uranium were stolen by a criminal gang, allegedly with Pakistani links, from a state mine in Meghalya, in northeastern India, in 1994. Four years later, a federal politician was arrested near the West Bengal border with 100 kilograms of uranium from India’s Jadugoda mining complex that he was allegedly attempting to sell to Pakistani sympathizers associated with the same gang. A police dossier seen by the Center for Public Integrity (CPI) states that 10 more people connected with smuggling were arrested two years after this, in operations that recovered 57 pounds of stolen uranium.

US wants a stronger Indian military to deter, not provoke, conflict with China - See more at: http://indianexpress.com/article/opinion/columns/us-wants-a-stronger-indian-military-to-deter-not-provoke-conflict-with-china-mind-the-dangerous-gap/#sthash.jdljHHBB.dpuf

US wants a stronger Indian military to deter, not provoke, conflict with China
If the United States could flip a switch and make the Indian military more powerful than it is today, it would have every interest in doing so
Written by Benjamin Schwartz | Updated: April 12, 2016 
If the United States could flip a switch and make the Indian military more powerful than it is today, it would have every interest in doing so. The US has other interests as well, such as maintaining its military edge and ensuring that its “crown jewel” defence technology doesn’t find its way into the hands of adversaries like Russia. But for the foreseeable future, the US has interest in a stronger Indian military. This was not always true. Indeed, this was not the case about 20 years ago. The most significant difference between now and then is the growing capability and assertiveness of the Chinese military. Now, it is very important to be very clear about the very big difference between an interest in a stronger Indian military and an interest in an Indian military that is in conflict with China. America has no interest in the latter. In public, Americans often skirt around the topic of China in discussions of the US-Indian defence partnership. There are a number of good reasons for this, including the fact that this partnership is important for a range of reasons that have nothing to do with China. But one reason that mention of China is avoided is because of concern that public discussion will feed into a false perception that the US is trying to push India into a conflict with China. Unfortunately, ambiguity seems to have fed the Indian public’s anxiety.

So it is important to highlight the widespread consensus among thought leaders in Washington DC that no one seeks a military conflict with China. And we don’t want to see India in a conflict either. In fact, this is precisely the reason why a stronger Indian military is in America’s interest. Relative military weakness is provocative. The trajectory of China’s growing military capabilities threatens to widen the gap between China’s military capabilities and those of India. This is the kind of gap that increases the chance of conflict. And the US and India have an undeniable common interest in trying to prevent it from growing further.

Unfortunately, this common interest is often overshadowed and, instead, there is focus on the “foundational defence agreements”. As someone who worked on these issues while serving in the US government, it’s difficult to understand why this is the case because as Pratap Bhanu Mehta recently noted in this newspaper, these are “prosaic agreements” (‘The American hug’, April 2). They are basic arrangements that facilitate rather than compel military-to-military cooperation and certainly do not “prematurely foreclose” India’s options. They are a far cry from anything approaching a treaty or alliance, which suggests they are widely misunderstood or being criticised for political purposes. I hope that they are signed because they do help facilitate military cooperation, but they will not lead to some kind of military alliance.

* A billion-dollar digital opportunity for oil companies

By Richard Ward

Making better use of existing technology can deliver serious returns—by increasing production, streamlining the supply chain, or reducing engineering time.
The computers in the offices of the average big oil company can find an additional $1 billion in value, if you let them.
Modern advanced-analytics programs are able to diagnose, sort, compare, and identify cost savings, or opportunities for increased production, in a manner beyond the capabilities of the average employee. The tools that allow you to do this have been available for several years, but adoption by the oil and gas industry has been slow. This is partly the result of the recent crash in oil prices, but competing internal IT projects and organizational reluctance to put in the effort required are also factors.
In this article, three stories are told. In each story, the average big oil company (AB Oil Co.)1 could realize $1 billion in cost savings or production increases by deploying technologies that exist today.
Finding $1 billion in the supply chain

The vendors have been brought in for meetings. AB Oil Co. has demanded discounts, and the vendors have agreed. What more can be done to save money?
For the past several years, hundreds of millions of design, procurement, and operational choices have been made by the organization. Valves have been sized and ordered, casing-team contracts awarded, and orders for cement placed, pretty much with the same vendors in the same way. In the meantime, some vendors were charging less in one field than another; some crews had fewer failures than others; one supplier had lowered the cost of an entire class of suitable products. But AB Oil’s engineers never took advantage of any of these opportunities. Why? Because there is too much of this type of information: there are too many dynamic variables in too many places for any single person to know everything, or enough to make optimal decisions. It is too much even for a team of professionals dedicated to the task.
But it is not too much for your computers.
The new generation of advanced-analytics programs are able to execute a massive analysis of all these data, normalize them, and identify opportunities for cost savings that can be leveraged across future operations.

In one case, a super-major drilling horizontal shale wells in North America found that its costs, as well as those of its competitors, varied highly across plays. The company assembled a data team and collected information from finance, operations, competitor investor presentations, and industry news stories. A software program did bottom-up analysis, churning through millions of records, normalizing, correlating, and seeking high-probability maximums and minimums, guided by an experienced team of engineers and procurement staff. At the end of this multiweek process, the team could confidently propose critical changes to casing design, procurement, and casing crew selection.
The savings came to $700,000 per well. As this company had about 1,300 future wells to drill, the total potential was $910 million—not quite a billion, but awfully close.
Saving $1 billion in engineering time

AB Oil Co. employs tens of thousands of engineers and technicians working on thousands of projects. They are scattered around offices and facilities in many locations and time zones. Instinctively, we know that not all those projects can be successful, or even efficient in how they operate. The challenge for oil and gas companies long has been how to quantify, and thereby identify, the poor performers. Project reviews inevitably surface unique circumstances that justify the status quo, and reviewers are rarely given the resources to drill down to the root causes of poor performance.

But your computers can.

A new analytical method to study this exact problem was developed in the world of Formula One racing, in which global racing teams have hundreds of engineers pursuing thousands of technical projects in parallel. Researchers gathered communications data (for example, email subject lines, dates, and names), interim work products (for example, meeting presentations), time sheets, staff locations, and travel expenses. Then, using analytical tools, they were able to gain comprehensive views of the efficiency and effectiveness of the different teams. Without the bias of any top-down assumptions (for example, that bigger teams are less efficient), the tools processed millions of correlations and hypotheses. Each step in the analysis highlighted high correlations with and predictions of high performance while eliminating low-value insights. After thousands of iterations, two clear sources of inefficiency became apparent.

Taliban Begin Their Spring Offensive Against Embattled Afghan Army

Tim Craig
Washington Post, April 13, 2016
KABUL — The Taliban on Tuesday signaled the start of its spring offensive in Afghanistan, vowing “large-scale attacks” while also attempting to challenge efforts by the rival Islamic State to emerge as a dominant militant force in the country.
The warm-weather surge in fighting has become something of an annual rite in Afghanistan. But the Taliban declaration this year prompts deeper questions, including about the ability of Afghan security forces to battle the insurgency largely on its own, with most U.S.-led troops having pulled out of the country in late 2014.
The coming months also could test the reach and resilience of the Islamic State in the country.
In a statement, the Taliban’s leadership council said its 2016 offensive will be called Operation Omari, named after the group’s former supreme leader,Mohammad Omar, whose death was publicly announced in July.

“The operation will employ all means at our disposal to bog the enemy down in a war of attrition that lowers the morale of the foreign invaders and their internal armed militias,” the statement said.
The Taliban has made such pronouncements nearly every year since 2001, when it was driven from power in Kabul. Fighting has traditionally subsided in the winter, when snow chokes mountain passes connecting Taliban strongholds in eastern Afghanistan and western Pakistan.
This year, though, a relatively mild winter ensured that there was not much of a lull in the fighting. Still, military commanders and Western analysts think upcoming battles could be crucial in evaluating the strength of the Afghan security forces.
Last year, after the U.S.-led coalition withdrew all but 13,500 troops, the Talibanmade steady gains in southern, eastern and northern Afghanistan. At the same time, it faced an internal leadership struggle after news leaked that Omar had been dead for years.
The Taliban was also impeded by clashes that erupted against fighters aligned with the Islamic State, which is trying to gain a foothold in northeastern Afghanistan.
On Monday night, the Taliban released a letter that it claimed was written by several former Islamic State commanders pledging allegiance to the Taliban’s new supreme leader, Akhtar Mohammad Mansour. The letter was obtained by the SITE Intelligence Group, which monitors militant groups.

Afghanistan Threat Assessment

Institute for the Study of War
April 12, 2016
By Caitlin Forrest with Harleen Gambhir

The ANSF is unprepared to counter the Taliban militants’ summer campaign. Northern warlords will take advantage of Taliban militants’ gains to establish themselves as security providers and gain leverage against the fragile National Unity Government.
ISW last published its Afghanistan Partial Threat Assessment on February 23, 2016
Readiness gaps challenge the assumptions behind the U.S.’s current plan to draw down from 9,800 to 5,500 troops by the end of January 2017. General John W. Nicholson took command of U.S. and NATO Forces in Afghanistan from General John Campbell on March 2. On April 4, GEN Nicholson stated the U.S. is behind schedule to train a self-sufficient Afghan security force. The ANSF will be particularly pressed as the Taliban intensify their operations under the banner of their summer campaign, “Operation Omari,” which they announced on April 12. Taliban militants seek to degrade the ANSF, discourage foreign presence, and demonstrate the weakness of the unity government during Operation Omari. They will achieve these objectives through increased insider attacks, assassination campaigns, and attacks against Western and diplomatic targets in Kabul City and beyond. Taliban militants also seek to gain control of additional territory, for which they have already set conditions over the winter.

A U.S. Military Equal to the Threat

MAX BOOT / APR. 14, 2016
The U.S. Navy’s supremacy at sea — a reality since 1942 — is being challenged more than at any time since the end of the Cold War. Just a few days ago Russian Su-24 fighters and a KA-27 Helix helicopter repeatedly buzzed a U.S. Navy destroyer steaming in international waters in the Baltic Sea. The Navy reports: “The Russian aircraft flew in a simulated attack profile and failed to respond to repeated safety advisories in both English and Russian. USS Donald Cook’s commanding officer deemed several of these maneuvers as unsafe and unprofessional.”
Meanwhile, on the other side of the world, China is ramping up its offensive to secure control of the South China Sea. There is new evidence of how China is building up its military arsenal on Woody Island, part of the Paracel chain in the South China Sea about 250 miles southeast of China’s Hainan Island, home to a major Chinese naval base. Satellite imagery shows the presence on Woody Island of two J-11 fighter jets, comparable to the U.S. F-15 or F-18. There is also a new HQ-9 fire-control radar system on the island, comparable to Russia’s S-300, along with surface to air missile launchers that can target U.S. aircraft from 125 miles away.

China is also apparently planning to construct a new island at Scarborough Shoal that would allow it to create a military base only 120 miles from the main Philippine island of Luzon, where U.S. aircraft are now returning after having left Clark Air Force Base in the early 1990s.
Defense Secretary Ash Carter has just visited the Philippines and he is working to strengthen military cooperation with our oldest ally in Asia. The U.S. will now rotate military forces back through the Philippines and conduct joint naval and air patrols with our Philippine partner, who lacks the resources to deal with the Chinese threat on their own. The U.S. Navy is also undertaking some freedom of navigation patrols through the South China Sea to make clear the U.S. doesn’t recognize China’s claims to sovereignty.
There is more that can and should be done on both counts — to strengthen the U.S. military presence in the Philippines and to more regularly challenge China’s claims. Two patrols in six months isn’t enough!

But the largest priority is one that nobody seems to be discussing in Washington: It is the urgent need to reverse budget cuts that have cut the end-strength of all of our armed forces. The Army has been particularly hard hit, which makes it harder to deal with the growing Russian conventional threat in Europe. But while the Navy hasn’t suffered the kind of drastic downsizing that the Army is undergoing, it has become much too small to handle all of its missions. There are currently only 272 deployable Navy ships. Based on exiting requirements the Navy should have 350 ships. Unless the Navy is increased in size, it will be increasingly difficult to counter China’s power-grab which is made possible by double-digit growth in China’s defense budget every year.
It is imperative that any increase in the size of the Navy not come out of the hide of the other services, which need to grow too. Can we afford to spend more on defense? Absolutely! We are currently spending only 16 percent of the federal budget and 3.5 percent of GDP — far less than we did for decades during the Cold War.

Report Calls for Dramatic Change to Rebuild Societies in Conflict Amid Refugee Crisis

SWJ Blog Post | April 13, 2016 
Report Calls for Dramatic Change to Rebuild Societies in Conflict Amid Refugee Crisis
The millions of people forced from their homes in the midst of the Middle East’s violent conflicts should be seen for the potential economic benefit they can bring, if the international community is to more effectively address the current crisis in the years to come, according to a report released today by a working group led by the U.S. Institute of Peace as part of an Atlantic Council-led task force.

The report, “Rebuilding Societies: Strategies for Resilience and Recovery in Times of Conflict” (Arabic-language executive summary), is the result of discussion in one of five working groups in the Middle East Strategy Task Force. The task force is an Atlantic Council initiative co-chaired by former Secretary of State Madeleine K. Albright and former U.S. National Security Advisor Stephen J. Hadley, who is chairman of USIP’s board of directors.
Manal Omar, USIP’s associate vice president for the Middle East and Africa, and Elie Abouaoun, USIP’s Middle East director, co-convened the working group, which also includes other USIP and Atlantic Council staff among the U.S.-based experts as well as civil society leaders from the region who have successfully guided local-level negotiations to avert further violence.

The report proposes a shift away from the sequencing in crisis response characterized by a “day after” approach to a more innovative, sustainable and efficient effort to rebuild society “fromday one.” The “day one” approach asks what can be done now to plant the seeds for full recovery and social cohesion in societies that are in the midst of protracted conflict, and it provides more sustainable, coherent, and substantive answers to the refugee crisis.
“Radically changing the way in which the international community has been supporting millions of Syrian, Iraqi, Libyan, Yemenis and Palestinians is not only a matter of humanity,” Omar said. “It is good politics.”
The report, written with lead author Béatrice Pouligny, an independent consultant, identifies and provides examples of five key imperatives for the international community, including better responses across borders and supporting people on the ground to direct their own revitalization efforts.
“Helping people move beyond their day-to-day struggle for survival requires a long-term commitment on the part of the international community,” says Omar. “There will be no reconstruction and no development tomorrow if we don’t start investing in people’s resilience now.”

Why Xi is Purging the Chinese Military

China's president pulls a page from Mao's little red playbook.
April 15, 2016
Much has been made of the flurry of announcements in recent months by Xi Jinping—China’s president, general secretary of the Chinese Communist Party, and chairman of the Central Military Commission (CMC)—signaling major structural reforms to the People’s Liberation Army (PLA), scheduled for completion by 2020. Veteran China watchers have diligently catalogued what is known and unknown at this point from authoritative pronouncements, and what is speculated on the basis of unofficial sources. Observers, for example, have paid especially close attention to Xi’s establishment of the PLA Strategic Support Force and ruminated over its stature in the PLA vis-à-vis the services, as well as its precise role and mission. Analysts have also pondered questions such as the future membership of the CMC and how cooperative the traditionally army-dominated top levels of the PLA’s leadership will become under the reforms.

While understanding the details of Xi’s reforms is critical to assessing the direction of PLA modernization going forward, it is also necessary to consider the broader implications of Xi’s apparent relationship with the military. Many observers have stated the obvious: Xi is as “large and in charge” in military circles as he is in Chinese politics generally. This is true, but his control over the PLA deserves more attention than it has received. That is the subject of this article. We argue that Xi is reviving Maoist-style tactics—including purges of corrupt officers, forced public displays of respect for Mao and support of Maoist thinking, and a formidable internal monitoring system—to ensure his personal dominance over the military. Xi’s leadership style vis-à-vis the military will have profound implications for civilian-military relations in China.

Purging the Military
When Xi assumed power in November 2012, he vowed to fight both “tigers” and “flies”—a reference to taking on corrupt leaders as well as lower-level bureaucrats engaged in corrupt practices throughout the Chinese system. The PLA would be no exception.
The first warning shot was aimed toward the tigers. In 2014, Xi arrested a former CMC vice chairman, Xu Caihou, for participating in a “cash for ranks” scheme. After expelling Xu from the party, Xi followed up in 2015 with thearrest and purging of another former CMC vice chairman, Guo Boxiong, on similar charges. The arrests were unprecedented in that Xu and Guo were the two highest-ranking officers in China’s military when they served as CMC vice chairmen, and their arrests marked the first time the PLA’s highest-level retired officers faced corruption charges. As of early March 2016, Xi’s anticorruption campaign had resulted in the arrest of at least forty-four senior military officers, although the actual numbers could be higher.
Xi did not forget about the flies, either. At least sixteen lower-level military officers are facing punishment for corruption charges as well. The military anticorruption drive is part of a much broader dragnet: all told, nearly 1,600 individuals throughout China’s government are either under investigation for corruption, or have been arrested, purged or sentenced since Xi came to power.

* A Grain of Salt for China’s Export Growth

April 15, 2016
By Jacob L. Shapiro
Recently released data has been celebrated, despite explaining little about the Chinese economy.
Summary The reported growth in China's exports should not be taken as a sign that the Chinese economy is stabilizing. This single statistic is very misleading if not placed within its proper context. A deeper inspection of the recent growth actually reveals that the world's second largest economy continues to face serious and complex challenges.
New trade data released April 13 from China’s Bureau of Statistics has sent markets around the world trending upward. The news was greeted with confidence from investors, from the German DAX to the Japanese Nikkei, which were up over 3 percent and 6 percent respectively over the last two days. Reuters described the 11.5 percent year-on-year growth in exports as a “blistering” rate of increase. After nine straight months of decline in exports, the surprise numbers have been identified as a sign of potential stabilization in the Chinese economy. For a number of reasons, however, we tend to view such momentary market rallies with a certain degree of skepticism, particularly in this case.

The first reason we are skeptical is that, for the most part, we do not believe that any one data point by itself can reveal that much. A single month does not tell you if China is succeeding in its attempt to boost internal demand and consumption – in fact, even a year’s worth of export data in a vacuum can’t tell you about the underlying health of the Chinese economy. For one thing, it doesn’t take into account potential anomalies – such as a seasonal distortion due to the previous month’s Lunar New Year celebrations.
It also does not give you an answer to the more important question: Why have exports actually gone up? It is entirely within the realm of possibility (and perhaps probability) that China cut prices in order to boost exports. China does not include profits in these monthly reports, perhaps simply because such data is hard to collect from the entire economy, but also perhaps because it doesn’t want people to know. However, we do know for a fact that China has boosted its steel and steel product exports, much to the chagrin of an oversupplied global market. China exported more steel last year than any other country save Japan, and according to the Wall Street Journal, China’s steel companies would routinely undercut already deflated market prices by 20 percent to 50 percent. If China cutting prices is the reason its exports are up, suddenly what looks like a healing salve for the Chinese economy is actually indicative of much deeper problems.

Also, the particular statistic being cited as the most hopeful – the percentage change in exports on a year-on-year basis – is unhelpful in benchmarking how the Chinese economy is doing overall. Consider that at this time last year, China watchers opened the newspapers to reports of a 15 percent contraction in Chinese exports in March 2015, as compared to March 2014. So even if China’s exports increased by 11.5 percent from 2015 to 2016, we are still talking about an 11.5 percent increase on a total that declined by 15 percent the previous year.
A Reuters report pointed to the fact that imports decreased by less than expected, only 7.6 percent, as the real reason the numbers should be considered positive. But does that say more about outside expectations of a notoriously opaque economy or about the importance of a year-on-year percentage of import growth? Overall, Chinese imports are still declining, and it is not necessarily a positive sign that imports of copper and iron ore, for which there is an oversupply already in China, are not decreasing as quickly as projected. China may be oversupplied in these commodities because it is continuing to pour money into construction irrespective of actual demand.

March of an empire- China's aggression over land and water must be resisted

Ashok Sekhar Ganguly
Much of our earth is covered by the water in oceans, rivers, wells, underground reserves, snow on mountains and moisture in the atmosphere. Water is the principal source of life and commerce. Discovery of new lands in search of wealth and adventure across oceans is a part of history. National rights over oceans, major rivers and mountain ice-melts are well-defined and governed by international law and covenants. Yet, the pursuit of sovereign rights and predatory moves by nations over water is a part of peoples' past, present and that of the future.
Uncertainty of access to food and water, two essentials for all living beings and plants, is growing. Global warming and climate change are now critical factors affecting these elements. The rate of population growth in poor and emerging nations is exacerbating the availability challenges.

In India, we have instances in our post-Independence phase of sharing the Indus waters with Pakistan on the basis of treaties. On the other hand, the India-Bangladesh discussions on sharing the waters of Teesta river are yet to be resolved. Within India, a 50-year-old master plan for interconnecting rivers in order to facilitate riverine transport for commerce and conserving more water during seasonal monsoon rains has, sadly, remained on paper to this day. Constructing dams on some of the perennial as well as seasonal rivers, in turn, has delivered some benefits at the cost of serious environmental problems and troubles for downstream areas. Differences over riparian rights among the states of India are the reason for protracted disputes and legal battles that have, in some instances, led to violence and social unrest.

When it comes to flouting international riparian laws and coastal rights, China is the gorilla in the room. The two major rivers of Asia - the Mekong and the Brahmaputra - are primarily sourced from the Tibetan ice-melt and monsoon rains. The disputes between countries along the Mekong - Myanmar, Laos, Cambodia, Thailand and Vietnam with China - are critical for livelihood matters in these nations. But they remain unresolved owing to China's stubbornness and its habit of flouting established laws. The problems are a combination of China's plans to build damns in the upstream regions of the Mekong by progressive diversion of the Tibetan ice-melt in order to promote power generation and the building of new waterways to direct water flows toward some of the most arid regions of the Chinese mainland.
Not very long ago, the government of India stated in Parliament that China was not planning to divert the water source of the Tibetan ice-melt that feeds the Brahmaputra. Sadly, satellite images and other evidence indicate the contrary. India must urgently seek to address this major violation by China at appropriate international fora before the situation becomes irreversible.

Dictators don’t stabilize the Middle East. They just create more terrorists.

I learned that firsthand working on the Middle East for the State Department.
By Lauren Kosa April 13 
Lauren Kosa worked at the State Department from 2008 to January 2016 and covered the Human Rights portfolio for the Egypt Desk from 2010 to 2012. She is working on her first novel, inspired by her experiences in the region. These views do not necessarily reflect the views of the U.S. government.
Egyptians celebrate on Tahrir Square in Cairo on the eve of the fifth anniversary of the “Arab Spring” uprising. (Khaled Elfiqi/EPA )
Lately, I’ve noticed an increased number of American politicians suggesting that the Arab Spring was a disaster and that the region needs strongmen to stabilize it. Ted Cruz famously insisted that the Middle East was safer when Saddam Hussein and Moammar Gaddafi were in power. Rand Paul said the current chaos stems from the toppling of dictators. Even Bernie Sandersargued on “Meet the Press” that while our ultimate goal is democracy, the region would be more stable under dictators.

But when I worked on Middle East policy at the State Department, I saw just how destabilizing dictators in the region are. I worked on Egypt and human rights as a human rights-focused country desk officer from 2010 to 2012. There, I saw the brutal tactics of President Hosni Mubarak’s government destabilize the country.
On the desk, I watched Mubarak’s government undermine and dismantle the very institutions that could have paved the way to a more stable and peaceful country. By restricting which new political parties could be established, controlling what they could say and engaging in election fraud, it prevented Egypt’s political opposition parties from gaining experience. And by attempting to control the activities and funding of organizations such as the National Democratic Institute, International Republican Institute and the International Foundation for Electoral Systems, it diminished Egyptians’ access to important political training in democratic processes.

At times, it resorted to a more direct approach. I met with liberal Egyptian activists who were arrested for their political beliefs, journalists who were jailed for their writing and others who had suffered violence at the hands of Egypt’s security forces. Most genuinely wanted to improve their government and help build bridges between their government and its people. They could have been partners for helping their government to address grievances, but too often they were met with harassment or worse. I will never forget my meeting with one brave blogger who had been threatened and detained by security forces. He told me his heart was broken because the country he loved and wanted to help was the same one persecuting him. Nor could I forget the politician who longed to run as a candidate on liberal democratic values but was a member of one of the many political parties denied the right to form under Mubarak’s government.

The Hell After ISIS

Even as the militant group loses ground in Iraq, many Sunnis say they have no hope for peace. One family’s story shows why. 
Falah sabar heard a knock at the door. It was just before midnight in western Baghdad last April and Falah was already in bed, so he sent his son Wissam to answer. Standing in the doorway was a tall young man in jeans who neither shook Wissam’s hand nor offered a greeting. “We don’t want you here,” he said. “Your family should be gone by noon tomorrow.” For weeks, Wissam, who was 23, had been expecting something like this, as he’d noticed a dark mood taking hold of the neighborhood. He went to get his father, but when they returned, the stranger was gone.

Falah is tall and broad-shouldered, with salt-and-pepper hair. At 48, he was the patriarch of a brood of sons, daughters-in-law, and grandchildren. He sat down with Wissam to talk things through. They had been in Baghdad for just three months, but that was long enough for the abiding principle of refugee life to imprint itself on Falah’s psyche: Avoid trouble. When Wissam had managed to find a job at a construction firm, Falah had told him to be courteous, not to mix with strangers, and not to ask too many questions. If providence had granted them a new life in this unfamiliar city, it could snatch that life away just as easily.
Six months earlier, isis had seized their village, in Anbar province, the Sunni heartland of Iraq, blowing up houses and executing civilians as they fled. A few hundred families had managed to escape and were now scattered across Iraq. Many had wound up in squalid refugee camps near the front lines. The Sabars considered themselves lucky to have landed in Baghdad, a city solidly under the control of anti-isis forces.

But they soon realized that their new home offered little shelter from the conflicts erupting on distant battlefields. As the Islamic State spread its brand of Sunni extremism, their new Shiite neighbors seemed to cast blame on all Sunnis, even those who had lost homes or loved ones to isis. By March, when isis was battling Iraqi forces in Tikrit, 120 miles north, Falah could feel the city changing. In the market, neighbors began to look away from him. At police checkpoints, the family’s IDs were examined more closely. Sometimes, beige pickup trucks with burly Shiite militiamen in the back circled the block. Black banners proclaimingoh hussein!—the grandson of the Prophet Muhammad, revered by Shias—began appearing on the storefronts of Sunni-owned businesses. Falah wondered whether the flags were taunts, or had been placed there for protection by the shopkeepers themselves.

Why ISIS wants a 'clash of civilizations' Extremist tracker sees language of group moving toward notion of revenge

By Adrienne Arsenault, Michelle Gagnon,  Apr 12, 2016
The rash of arrests in Brussels late last week may impress some, but don't expect showers of praise for Europe's intelligence agencies from Pieter Van Ostaeyen.
"They're like a bunch of blind men," he says in his spectacularly blunt way. "Nobody knows what they are looking for, where they should look for it, who to look for. It's like this network will basically only grow. It's not like they are even close, in my opinion, to stopping this."
This isn't a cheap shot from a man being glib. It's a sad warning from a man who should know.
Van Ostaeyen is a Middle East historian, an Arabist, a lover of Syria, a multilingual maestro. For years, from his tiny apartment in Mechelen, Belgium, he has tracked, studied and communicated with European jihadists who joined ISIS and other extremist groups.
His contacts are vast and eyebrow-raising. When we first met in November to talk about the network behind the Paris attacks, he had to break from the interview to read a text from an al-Qaeda contact. They often berate him, try to convert him and sometimes just answer his questions.
Pieter Van Ostayen says intelligence groups are failing in the fight against ISIS. 'Nobody knows what they are looking for, where they should look for it, who to look for,' he says. (CBC News)
Few understand ISIS like Van Ostaeyen. And what he sees now is a mutation in the group, in the rhetoric and the recruiting. He points out that the language is less about Islamic fundamentalism and is increasingly focussed on the notion of revenge.
"What they really want … is the clash of civilizations," he says. Revenge for what ISIS claims the West has done to Iraq and Syria. And the more ground ISIS loses there, the more the group lusts for bloodshed in Europe.
Along the railway line

The shift in language may coincide with recruiting patterns.
After the Paris attacks, Van Ostaeyen pulled out a map and pointed to a train line between Antwerp and Brussels. It was the towns along that line, he said, that were home to the bulk of the foreign fighters from Belgium.
Radical clerics used to preach in those towns, he said. They groomed dozens of young men. They turned them into fundamentalists and then into jihadists. And those young men were the ones investigators worried about. But it's different now.
"We have been looking at the wrong part of the country," Van Ostaeyen says. "We were looking north when we should have been looking south."

Except for UK, German and Netherlands, Most European Nations Refuse to Share Intelligence

NY Times Editorial Board
April 12, 2016
It took two weeks after the devastating attacks in Brussels for officials to discover that the plotters originally intended to hit Paris again or that the two attacks were carried out by a single network. Even now, authorities don’t know the full scale of the Islamic State’s operations in Europe, which involve criminal elements as well as terrorists.
Islamic State operatives have moved freely across borders and, investigators now assume, there may be terrorist cells in countries where violence has yet to occur, with Britain, Germany and Italy believed to be probable targets. All of which reinforces the urgent need to fix the problems in Europe’s flawed security and law enforcement systems.

On Friday, Belgium’s struggling law enforcement authorities arrested Mohamed Abrini, who confessed to being the third man in the Brussels Airport bombing. The arrest, while critically important, was also a reminder of the cross-border nature of the operations. Mr. Abrini is said to have played a logistical role in the Paris attacks in November, where he had gone unnoticed.
Since the Brussels attacks, there have been signs that Europe is taking the terrorist threat more seriously. Yet many governments still seem unwilling or unable to commit themselves to the reforms that are needed to protect their populations.
There are two obvious holes in Europe’s security system. Except for Britain, Germany and the Netherlands, European nations often refuse to share basic intelligence with one another and, in some cases, within their own governments. (Brussels alone has more than a dozen different police forces.) That makes it vastly harder to connect the dots between events and individuals and to figure out when terrorists might strike.

Cooperation is also hampered by differences in languages, budgets, intelligence capabilities and even judgments about the severity of the terrorism threat. From its inception, the European Union has been more about economic than political integration, which among other things means there is no central intelligence service. Indeed, most European governments rely heavily on the United States for intelligence and share data with the C.I.A. or the F.B.I. that they would not share with other Europeans.
The need for greater teamwork has been made all the more pressing by Europe’s porous borders, which once exemplified freedom of movement but now present a huge challenge at a time when thousands of Europeans are being recruited by the Islamic State and hundreds of thousands of refugees are fleeing the war in Syria for Europe.

It’s 2016 and you aren’t using encryption. Why?

All breaches aren’t created equally. Encryption, not breach prevention, separates damaging hacks from annoying intrusions.
By Jason Hart, CTO Data Protection, Gemalto April 13, 2016

Encryption sounds synonymous with complexity.
It's not. It's very, very simple.
There should be no reason why an organization shouldn't be encrypting its data in 2016. The technology is there. And the rationale for using it is simple: Breach prevention is dead.
Recommended:Sponsor Content 2015 in breaches: The year digital attacks got personal
Our 2015 Breach Level Index showed over 1,600 disclosed breaches worldwide. That lead to more than 700 million records being exposed.
To put it simply, blocking breaches isn’t working.
As we watch hackers hone in on data critical to our lives and our businesses, we need to develop a mindset that accepts attackers will find a way in — but that our critical data is protected so it doesn’t make its way out.
Where are hackers headed?

Attackers pursued and achieved more valuable and durable information in 2015, according to the same Breach Level Index. While bad guys pilfered less financial data, the main takeaway from the report was the focus on long-lasting information (think of your health records or massive, comprehensive government databases) that allows them to conduct other attacks.
Hackers, in short, understand that it’s way harder to change your Social Security Number than it is to cancel a credit card — and in some cases, such as with one’s medical history, that information can’t be altered at all.
Bad guys see the enduring value of this data. At a consumer level, if a hacker can capture key information on an individual, they can potentially attack not only that individual but the organization they work for and other organizations that the compromised person accesses online.
Compare that to what happens when a digital attacker steals your credit card information: if the credit card's compromised, it's comparatively extremely easy for that credit card to be rejected, stopped, and a new credit card issued.