8 June 2016

The New York Times Trips Up on India and the NSG

By Siddharth Varadarajan on 06/06/2016

India must be held accountable for the commitments it made in 2005, when the nuclear deal with the United States was first struck
The New York Times is free to take whatever position it likes on any issue and if it believes India should not be admitted into the Nuclear Suppliers Group, it has every right to write an editorial advocating ‘No Exceptions for a Nuclear India’.
What it ought not to do is build its argument on faulty analysis, misrepresentation and factual inaccuracies. What follows is a paragraph-by-paragraph explanation of how the newspaper – that I have read and liked for years – has gone wrong, horribly wrong in this editorial.

Para 1
America’s relationship with India has blossomed under President Obama, who will meet with Prime Minister Narendra Modi this week. Ideally, Mr. Obama could take advantage of the ties he has built and press for India to adhere to the standards on nuclear proliferation to which other nuclear weapons states adhere.
Here, the NYT makes a huge assumption: that there are “standards on nuclear proliferation to which other nuclear weapons states adhere” and to which India doesn’t. The ‘other nuclear weapons states’ are the United States, Russia, China, France and Britain (the N-5). The main standard to which the N-5 are meant to adhere is the prescription set out in Article 1 of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) to not provide nuclear weapons or knowhow or assistance to non-nuclear weapon states. Article 6 also applies to them but is non-binding: to “pursue negotiations in good faith on effective measures relating to cessation of the nuclear arms race at an early date and to nuclear disarmament, and on a treaty on general and complete disarmament under strict and effective international control.”
The Chinese assisted Pakistan’s nuclear weapons programme before Beijing acceded to the NPT in 1992 but there are suspicions the relationship continued beyond that date., thus violating Article 1. The New York Times itself reported about this in 1996:
China secretly sold nuclear-weapons technology to Pakistan last year and could face the loss of billions of dollars in business deals under United States law, Administration officials said today. But, they said, President Clinton may waive the penalties to ease tensions with Beijing.
“China sold Pakistan magnets used to refine bomb-grade uranium, the Central Intelligence Agency told the Administration late last year. State Department officials said today they had concluded that the evidence regarding the magnets was strong enough to trigger the penalties. We regard it as very serious,” said a senior State Department official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity.
As for Article VI, the suggestion that the N-5 have adhered to the disarmament obligations prescribed by the NPT is, quite frankly, laughable. Even if the US and Russia have cut the size of their arsenals – retaining enough to destroy each other and the world – China, France and Britain have shown no inclination to pursue negotiations on disarmament.
India, despite being outside the NPT, can hardly be accused of not adhering to the same standard as Article 1 of the treaty. As for Article VI, it is the only nuclear weapon state to actively demand, each year at the UN, a series of arms control and disarmament measures, including a convention banning the use of nuclear weapons.

Para 2
The problem, however, is that the relationship with India rests on a dangerous bargain. For years, the United States has sought to bend the rules for India’s nuclear program to maintain India’s cooperation on trade and to counter China’s growing influence. In 2008, President George W. Bush signed a civilian nuclear deal with India that allowed it to trade in nuclear materials. This has encouraged Pakistan to keep expanding a nuclear weapons program that is already the fastest growing in the world.
Pakistan’s nuclear weapons programme is expanding, but it has nothing to do with the civilian nuclear deal India signed. A crucial part of that deal was a separation plan that India implemented in which it agreed to place several of its indigenous power reactors under international safeguards – thus surrendering the ability to use those reactors to produce fissile material for weapons. Six years after doing so, and after winning the right to import new (safeguarded) reactors, no new reactor has been built or operationalised following the 2008 deal, except for the Russian reactor at Kudankulam which predates the 2008 agreement. One could argue that a greater quantity of indigenous Indian uranium can now be used in its unsafeguarded pressurised heavy water reactors to produce fissile material, but these reactors are connected to the electricity grid and the publicly observable higher electricity output makes it clear they are not being run in ‘low burn up mode’.

***The Patrol Leader

By Sumit Walia
07 Jun , 2016

This is the story of a young officer, all of 23 years and his five brave soldiers who sacrificed their lives for us. They did not get martyrdom in a best thinkable way, that is, fighting the enemy but by being tortured slowly for 22-23 days and were finally shot dead.

I wrote about these 6 valiant soldiers in 2009 on 10th anniversary of Kargil war and again I am feeling compelled to remind the nation of the story of supreme sacrifice of Lt. Saurabh Kalia and his five men.

17 years ago, during this time of the year, we were at war with Pakistan. Pakistan guerrillas along with regular Pakistan army had crossed over the Line of Control (LOC) and occupied number of strategically located peaks in Kargil, Dras, Mushkoh, Turtuk sectors, all along the National Highway from Srinagar to Leh (NH 1A). Entire nation and Indian Army was surprised and was trying to gauge the extent of intrusion.

In first week of May 1999 two shepherds – Tashi Namgyal and Tresing Morup reported seeing few strangers on the ridgeline in Batalik Sector. A patrol from 3 PUNJAB was sent to verify the report. Lt Saurabh Kalia of 4 JAT was to lead a patrol in Kaksar area but they had to return because of heavy snow.

Saurabh was born to Dr. N.K. Kalia, a senior scientist at the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research and Vijay Kalia in Palampur, Himachal Pradesh on June 29th 1976. He was brilliant academically and wanted to become a doctor but destiny had a place reserved in history for him.

*** Pakistan Restarts Its Cyber Spying Operations Against India

Catalin Cimpanu
June 6, 2016

Pakistan Resumes Cyber-Espionage Operations Against India

FireEye security researchers have discovered a new wave of attacks against Indian government officials, yet again linked to Pakistan, just like Operation Transparent Tribe in February and Operation C-Major in March.

The security firm reports that, starting May 18, Indian officials have been receiving a wave of spear-phishing emails masked as news items from a Times of India look-alike domain.

The emails either contained malicious file attachments or they included a link redirecting users to a domain where a drive-by download attack would secretly take place and download malware on the user’s computer.

If the users received a malicious attachment instead of a link, then the file would be a Microsoft Office document that exploited the CVE-2012-0158 vulnerability to install malware.

APT group used a new RAT called BreachRAT

FireEye says the group used a new Remote Access Trojan, which the company named BreachRAT. Previously, the organization had used the njRAT, DarkComet, and the MSIL/Crimson RATs.

** India’s Unresolvable Nuclear Debate

June 1, 2016 

A substantial gap exists between Indian offensive conventional military planning for Pakistan contingencies and its defensive nuclear policy that seeks to deter aggression with threat of massive retaliation.

When news emerges that Pakistan has tested another short-range missile or increased its stockpile of nuclear weapons, debate resumes in New Delhi over whether India should revise its nuclear doctrine and forces. If Indian leaders do not actually intend to put army boots on Pakistani soil, then nuclear escalation is unlikely and India’s nuclear doctrine need not be concerned with Pakistan’s battlefield nuclear weapons. But if they do intend to send Indian armed forces across the border, India’s current nuclear doctrine has a credibility problem.

The root of the problem is the substantial gap that exists between Indian offensive conventional military planning for Pakistan contingencies and its defensive nuclear policy that seeks to deter aggression with threat of massive retaliation. Indians know that nuclear weapons are not suited to deter terrorism. Rather, nuclear weapons back up the threat to project conventional military forces into Pakistan in response to another major terrorist attack, as envisioned by proactive defence plans proffered by figures in and around the Indian Army. India’s nuclear weapons would need to deter Pakistan from using nuclear weapons to rebuff such punitive attacks.

** US Cyber Command Not Yet Ready for Primetime

Andrew Tilghman
June 6, 2016

Without solid training options, mysterious Cyber Command remains a work in progress

The military’s demand for cyber capabilities is soaring. Defensive and offensive operations, including those targeting the Islamic State group, are occurring with greater frequency. There’s talk of elevating U.S. Cyber Command’s profile within the Defense Department. And yet six years after its creation, the organization does not have a training environment for large-scale exercises and to evaluate the readiness of its force.

Unlike other major military components, the mysterious CYBERCOM, which is headquartered at Fort Meade in Maryland, does not have a permanent interconnected range for units to practice new tactics, test new weaponry and fight hypothetical enemies in exercises designed to simulate real-world conflict. It’s working to build one, officials say, suggesting — without offering much detail — that they’re looking to engineer a network of facilities that replicates command-and-control systems and allows for large units to train with potentially catastrophic cyber weapons. Meanwhile, the definition of unit-level readiness remains a work in progress.

“We don’t have — but we need — an exercise environment where you do rehearsals, go against adversary networks, and figure out ways to better protect your own,” said Jim Keffer, a retired Air Force major general who served as a CYBERCOM’s chief of staff in 2015. “For individual training, I think we’re really good. But the team training, the force-on-force training, that is primarily limited by a lack of a persistent training environment.”

*India seeks to snip string of pearls

Jun 7, 2016

India is planning to fast-track military projects in territories on eastern, western seaboards 
Forward-operating bases will be set up in Tuticorin and Paradip in Odisha 
Plan to crank up force-levels and infrastructure in Andaman and Nicobar Command 

NEW DELHI: India is now trying to fast-track long-pending plans to bolster its military presence in island territories on both the western and eastern seaboards to ensure it can keep a hawk-eye on the rapidly-militarising Indian Ocean Region (IOR), as well as protect its huge maritime interests there. 

After "a naval detachment" (NavDet) was commissioned at Androth Island of Lakshadweep last month, the government has now accorded sanction for 2.18 acres of land for another such NavDet on Bitra island in the same archipelago. 

"The aim is to first establish military presence in outlying islands through NavDets and then gradually build them up. Navy and Coast Guard units at Kavaratti, Minicoy, Agatti, Androth and other islands are also being progressively upgraded," said a defence ministry official. 

The overall plan to bolster maritime and coastal security includes setting up of forward-operating bases (FOBs) at Tuticorin (Tamil Nadu) and Paradip (Odisha), smaller operational turn-around (OTR) bases at Kamorta, Campbell Bay, Shibpur and Diglipur in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, and NavDets at Bitra and and Minicoy islands in Lakshadweep. 

China’s Reclamation of Islands in the South China Sea: Implications for India

By Maj Gen PK Chakravorty
07 Jun , 2016

Reclamation of lands in the South China Sea has been an ongoing process by various countries. China initiated the process by building a full-ledged air base on Woody Islands which forms a part of the Paracel Group of Islands. In 2003, Malaysia reclaimed land in Swallow Reef enabling a 1368-metre runway to be constructed which enabled cargo, surveillance and fighter aircraft to operate. Vietnam followed in quick succession by constructing a 550-metre runway on Big Spratly Islands which are being utilised by cargo and surveillance aircraft.

China realises the strategic value of islands and would use these gainfully to control shipping and to counter any naval posturing by the US…

The South China Sea encompasses an area of about 1.4 million square miles. The area has immense geo-strategic significance as one-third of the world’s shipping utilises these waters and is reported to be holding proven oil and gas reserves beneath its seabed. It is located in close proximity to China, Vietnam, Cambodia, Philippines, Malaysia, Brunei, Singapore and Indonesia. The Sea contains over 250 small islands, atolls, cays, shoals, reefs and sandbars which have no inhabitants. Many of these are submerged during high tide. The main archipelagos are Paracel Islands, Spratly Islands, Pratas Islands, the Macclesfield Bank and the Scarborough Shoal. There are several claimants to these islands. In 1974, China craftily annexed the Paracel islands; both China and Taiwan claim the entire Sea to belong to them. The Nine Dash (or Dotted) line virtually overlaps with other countries in the region. Broadly, the competing claims comprise as stated below:

Seven ways India plans to become a $10 trillion economy by 2032

byManu Balachandran
April 25, 2016

India wants to be a $10 trillion economy by 2032. Another way of putting that: In 16 years, it aims to be where China is today.

That’s a remarkable target and could be achievable, especially since India’s economy grew by 4.6 times in the last 16 years. From $494 billion in 2001, India is expected to become a $2.2 trillion economy by the end of this year. China’s economy is currently pegged at over $10 trillion, while the US is worth over $17 trillion, according to the World Bank.

Last year, India’s prime minister, Narendra Modi went even further, announcing that his dream was to make India a $20 trillion economy, without giving a definite time frame.

Now, NITI Aayog—the policy think tank that replaced the socialist era planning commission in India—has laid out a roadmap to help Asia’s third largest economy cross the $10 trillion mark by 2032. In a presentation made to Modi last week, the policy agency said that India can become a $10 trillion economy by 2032 if it increases its growth rate from 7% to 10% annually, starting this year.

“If we achieve a $10 trillion economy target by 2032 by a 10% growth rate year-on-year, the compounding effect would be such that ours could be a $20-trillion economy in the next 6-7 years after 2032,” Amitabh Kant, the CEO of NITI Aayog said last week. “The 10% year-on-year growth is the biggest challenge.”

Nuclear Suppliers Group Need for Enlightened Consensus on India

Rahul Bhonsle 
Jun 6, 2016

Nuclear Suppliers Group Need for Enlightened Consensus on India

India is vying for a membership of the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) which is a, “group of nuclear supplier countries that seeks to contribute to the non-proliferation of nuclear weapons through the implementation of two sets of Guidelines for nuclear exports and nuclear-related exports”. 

India’s aim of gaining membership of this group which at present has a galaxy of nuclear suppliers is to obtain resources for expansion of nuclear energy as a part of the country’s drive to promote development, expand economy without contributing to the vestiges of climate change which are the outcome of use of fossil fuels.

As per current estimates 40 percent of India’s power component would be derived from non-fossil fuels by 2030 of which nuclear will be an important component. Quite apparently a population of 1.25 billion would be dependent on the supply of clean energy in the future for which nuclear trade is important.

While India has post the 2008 Indo US 123 Agreement popularly known as the Indo US nuclear deal worked out bilateral agreements with a number of major suppliers – main amongst which are the United States, Russia and France, full fructification of benefits would come about only in case the country is a member of the NSG.

Can India capitalize on its digital advantage?

The major obstacle is muddled government thinking and policymaking 

Venture capitalist Mary Meeker has seen the Internet’s peaks and troughs, from the dot-com boom and bust of the 1990s to the smartphone revolution. Her annual Internet Trends report has been the bible of the business for two decades now. The latest iteration, released last week, could be one of the more interesting ones—juxtaposing the slowdown in Internet growth globally and the manner in which India is bucking the trend. That contrast has positive implications for connectivity and economic growth in India, of course. But there are also pitfalls along the way.

The 2016 report’s major takeaway is that the Internet’s boom times are over. The digital economy has been hit in the past, but there were external factors at play such as the weak economic conditions in the aftermath of the financial crisis. This time around, the flat global Internet growth rate—9% year on year—hints at a deeper malaise. Market saturation to the point that the explosive growth of past years becomes impossible was inevitable at some point—at least in developed economies.

India’s 43% year-on-year growth shows that underserved economies are a different matter altogether. Add the sheer size of its market—with 277 million users, it has now overtaken the US to have the second largest Internet user base after China—and it’s likely to occupy a unique position over the next few years. There are two particular trends the report highlights that will play heavily into this. The first is global smartphone shipments slowing year on year from 28% to 10%. And the second is the rapid rise and fall of digital brands and constant push for innovation.

India's black economy contracting; still exceeds Thailand's GDP: study

Jun 5, 2016

The study said the size of the India's black economy expanded rapidly over the 1970s and 1980s.
A new study says that India's black economy is gradually sinking but still remains higher than overall economic size of countries like Thailand and Argentina. (Representational image) 

New Delhi: Pegging India's 'black economy' at over Rs 30 lakh crore or about 20 per cent of total GDP, a new study says it has been contracting gradually over the years but still remains bigger than the overall economic size of countries like Thailand and Argentina.

Peripheral Consolidation

S. Binodkumar Singh

Research Associate, Institute for Conflict Management

Amidst surge in violence and talks with the Afghan Taliban hitting a roadblock, the Afghan Government signed a draft peace agreement with the Hezb-e-Islami (HeI) led by Gulbuddin Hekmatyar on May 18, 2016. The draft agreement was signed by HeI representatives and High Peace Council (HPC) officials in the residence of Pir (revered religious instructor, usually of Sufi orientation) Syed Ahmad Gilani. HeI has agreed to have no links with anti-Government armed militant groups. 

The other salient features of the draft peace agreement prominently include: the Government would offer an official pardon to associates of the HeI militant group and would work to have the group removed from the United Nations blacklist; the group would not join the Government but would be recognized as a political party involved in major political decisions; the agreement gives legal immunity for all past political and military actions by HeI members and mandates the release of all HeI prisoners within three months; and under the agreement, Hekmatyar would have a consultant role on important political and national decisions.

However, a final agreement has not yet been reached. On May 24, 2016, Deputy Spokesman for President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani, Syed Zafar Hashemi announced that there is no specific timeframe for the conclusion of the peace deal with HeI. He added that a peace process is always complicated and it would be a mistake to confirm a timeframe regarding the final accord.

Has US lost Afghanistan WAR ?

Posted By: News Desk
June 06, 2016

WASHINGTON: Thirteen retired US generals and diplomats warned President Barack Obama of serious consequences if he reduces US troops in Afghanistan.

They urged Obama to maintain the current level of US troops and financial support as it is in the national interest of US.

They shared their view through an open letter that was published in The National Interest Magazine.

Afghanistan is the place where al-Qaeda and ISIS still have modest footprints that could be expanded if a security vacuum developed.

Afghan Taliban are emerging stronger than ever they were since 2001.

If Afghanistan were to revert to the chaos of the 1990s, millions of more refugees would emerge, creating another humanitarian crisis in the world; the retired generals and diplomats wrote.

The US Generals and Retired Diplomats opinion has surfaced at a time when Obama administration had announced to reduce the Forces strength in Afghanistan by 2017.

Currently 9,8000 US troops are stationed in Afghanistan for Operation “Resolute Support”.

US plans to reduce the Armed Forces strength to 5,500 in 2017 from current level of 9,800.

US backs India-Iran Chabahar port deal as it outflanks China-Pakistan Gwadar project

May 26, 2016

New York: Washington broadly supports India and Afghanistan signing a deal with Iran for a transport corridor opening up a new route to Afghanistan via the Iranian port of Chabahar, as it outflanks the $46-billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor project with Gwadar as its focal point.

Analysts say Washington is acutely aware that China's plans to develop Pakistan's southern coastal fishing town of Gwadar into an economic hub, potentially redraws the region's geopolitical map. It gives China a new trade link from its relatively undeveloped west to key Arabian Sea shipping routes at the mouth of the oil-rich Persian Gulf - giving it potentially strategic as well as economic leverage.

"The massive Gwadar project reveals China's regional power play. There is no comparison in scale and intent between China's role in Gwadar and India's in Chabahar, but the Americans are pleased that India is pushing back against the Chinese expansionist mindset," said author and South Asia expert Adam V Larkey.

"The transport corridor will open up a much-needed independent route to Afghanistan via Iran's Chabahar port circumventing Pakistan. This is significant for India and Afghanistan, whose economic stability in turn, is important to the United States. There are fissures in Pakistan's relations with the US and Afghanistan, while its ties with old friend China remain rock solid," added Larkey.

The ‘Rail plus Property’ model: Hong Kong’s successful self-financing formula

By Lincoln Leong

What can other cities learn from Hong Kong’s approach to transit?

Cities around the world are building or expanding public-transit systems to cope with population growth and urbanization. But even as metro systems get bigger and serve more people, most continue to lose money.

For more than three decades, though, Hong Kong’s MTR Corporation has defied the odds and delivered significant financial and social benefits: excellent transit, new and vibrant neighborhoods, opportunities for real-estate developers and small businesses, and the conservation of open space. The whole system operates on a self-sustaining basis, without the need for direct taxpayer subsidies.

MTR’s railway system covers 221 kilometers and is used by more than five million people each weekday. It not only performs well—trains run on schedule 99.9 percent of the time—but actually makes a profit: $1.5 billion in 2014. MTR fares are also relatively low compared with those of metro systems in other developed cities. The average fare for an MTR trip in 2014 was less than $1.00, well under base fares in Tokyo (about $1.50), New York ($2.75), and Stockholm (about $4.00).

One important reason the system has been able to perform so well is that the government of Hong Kong has enabled MTR to make money from the property-value increases that typically follow the construction of rail lines. The key is a business model called “Rail plus Property” (R+P). For new rail lines, the government provides MTR with land “development rights” at stations or depots along the route. To convert these development rights to land, MTR pays the government a land premium based on the land’s market value without the railway.

China's Evolving Approach to "Integrated Strategic Deterrence"

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Research Questions
How does China see and implement integrated strategic deterrence?
How are China's strategic-deterrence concepts evolving in response to external circumstances?
What are China's evolving deterrence capabilities?
What are the implications of China's growing capabilities in strategic deterrence?

Drawing on a wide range of sources, including Chinese-language publications, this report finds that China's strategic-deterrence concepts are evolving in response to a changing assessment of its external security environment and a growing emphasis on protecting its emerging interests in space and cyberspace. At the same time, China is rapidly closing what was once a substantial gap between the People's Liberation Army's strategic weapons capabilities and its strategic-deterrence concepts. Chinese military publications indicate that China has a broad concept of strategic deterrence, one in which a multidimensional set of military and nonmilitary capabilities combine to constitute the "integrated strategic deterrence" posture required to protect Chinese interests. For China, powerful military capabilities of several types — including nuclear capabilities, conventional capabilities, space capabilities, and cyberwarfare forces — are all essential components of a credible strategic deterrent. Chinese military publications indicate that nonmilitary aspects of national power — most notably diplomatic, economic, and scientific and technological strength — also contribute to strategic deterrence alongside military capabilities.

If the U.S. and China Go to War: The Battle of the Senkakus

May 27, 2016

Editor’s note: The following is a translation of Chapter 7 of the book If the U.S. and China Go to War《假如中美开战》 by the author and analyst Chen Pokong. The current volume was published in Chinese in 2013 and was later translated to Japanese. It presents a range of potential conflict scenarios between China and the United States, including what may trigger conflict, and what the order of events may be.

Chapter 7 of the book presents a hypothetical scenario involving “Brother Choy,” an eager Chinese patriot based in Hong Kong, and shows how the activism of groups like this around the Senkaku Islands might easily lead to a conflict that quickly spirals out of control. With continued tensions in the region, the chapter makes for sobering reading.

For a time, there was tranquility around the Senkaku Islands—Chinese maritime police boats or surveillance aircraft were nowhere to be found. The serenity persisted for several months. During this period, Chinese media carried articles by scholars urging a maintenance of good relations between China and Japan, and a cooling of tensions. Chinese government officials also adopted a milder stance when discussing Sino-Japanese relations in public.

The Forgotten Mutiny that Shook the British Empire

By Rakesh Krishnan Simha
06 Jun , 2016

The naval mutiny of 1946 was among the hardest blows the British received during their brutal 200 year occupation of India. The unexpected revolt by more than 25,000 ratings of the Royal Indian Navy (RIN) achieved what two generations of nonviolent political struggle couldn’t – it drove a stake of fear through British hearts.

The mutiny proved the British could not continue to hold on to India with the help of Indian soldiers any longer. It started in Bombay on February 18 and spread like wildfire to naval establishments countrywide, ending on the 23rd. The following day the British started packing their bags.

Without the support of the navy, over 100,000 British troops, administrators and civilians and their families were in no position to make it to Britain safely. At the very least, a large number of them would have been slaughtered. The British knew this, and they quit India post-haste.

British caste system

The world’s refugee crisis: past and present


May 27th 2016

THANKS in part to the surge of refugees from Syria, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the UN’s refugee body, now puts the world’s displaced population at a post-war record of 60m, of whom 20m are stranded outside their own countries (the map and chart show only registered refugees, for whom firm figures are available). Except for a couple of bright spots, such as the possible return of up to 6m internally displaced Colombians after a peace deal between the government and the guerrillas, the problem is getting worse. New conflicts in places like South Sudan are creating fresh refugee problems; older ones, such as Somalia’s, grind on with no solution in sight.

As Peter Sutherland, the UN’s special migration representative, notes, it seems unfair for a country’s proximity to war zones to define its responsibility to refugees. To ward off this danger, the 1951 convention, which makes up the main framework for international protection of people fleeing persecution, calls on signatories to act in a “spirit of international co-operation”, but places no specific obligations on countries. Last year’s crisis in Europe revealed the weaknesses of the global refugee regime. Europe learned that its carefully constructed asylum and border rules were no match for migrants who flouted them en masse. To keep them out, in March the EU signed a deal with Turkey that skates close to the edge of international law by obliging asylum-seekers who reach Greece to return to Turkey, where some may face inadequate protection.

All this shows up a glaring difference in the treatment of refugees between the rich and the poor world. In Europe, asylum-seekers are treated generously by global standards, even if some countries have tightened their rules. In most EU countries they can work before they obtain refugee status (or some lesser protection), and certainly afterwards. They are promised housing, freedom of movement and protection from official harassment. After five years refugees in EU states can usually become permanent residents, and in some cases full citizens. And even those whose bids for asylum fail are often granted some of these privileges, partly because governments find it so hard to send them back.

Read more about the migration crisis in our Special Report here.

33 Facts You Didn’t Know About Hitler’s Invasion of the Soviet Union

Bundesarchiv, Bild 101I-268-0169-09 / Böhmer / CC-BY-SA 3.0

A quick look at the invasion of the Soviet Union by Nazi Germany in 33 facts

1.The invasion of the Soviet Union was the most ambitious campaign of the Second World War, and yet Hitler believed that it could be won within three months with a fast, powerful blitzkrieg strike.

2. The campaign was launched with Fuhrer Directive 21. Signed on 18 December 1940, it set out the intention to “crush Soviet Russia in one rapid campaign”.

3. In February 1941, British and American intelligence learned of the planned invasion of the USSR. Hoping to encourage Stalin to act against Hitler, they informed him of the plan. Stalin did not believe them, as he believed that Hitler would stick to the non-aggression pact the two countries had signed before the war.

4. The German navy was to play a part in the operation, blocking Soviet ships from breaking out of the Baltic Sea.

5. Ready for the invasion, the Germans mustered over 3 million soldiers in 152 divisions. This included 17 Panzer and 13 motorized divisions.

Text of President Obama’s Speech in Hiroshima, Japan

MAY 27, 2016

President Obama spoke after a wreath-laying ceremony with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe of Japan at the Hiroshima Peace Memorial on Friday. Credit Doug Mills/The New York Times

The following is a transcript of President Obama’s speech in Hiroshima, Japan, as recorded by The New York Times.

Seventy-one years ago, on a bright cloudless morning, death fell from the sky and the world was changed. A flash of light and a wall of fire destroyed a city and demonstrated that mankind possessed the means to destroy itself.

Why do we come to this place, to Hiroshima? We come to ponder a terrible force unleashed in a not-so-distant past. We come to mourn the dead, including over 100,000 Japanese men, women and children, thousands of Koreans, a dozen Americans held prisoner.

Their souls speak to us. They ask us to look inward, to take stock of who we are and what we might become.

It is not the fact of war that sets Hiroshima apart. Artifacts tell us that violent conflict appeared with the very first man. Our early ancestors having learned to make blades from flint and spears from wood used these tools not just for hunting but against their own kind. On every continent, the history of civilization is filled with war, whether driven by scarcity of grain or hunger for gold, compelled by nationalist fervor or religious zeal. Empires have risen and fallen. Peoples have been subjugated and liberated. And at each juncture, innocents have suffered, a countless toll, their names forgotten by time.

The way out of poverty and corruption is paved with good governance

Sri Mulyani Indrawati 
For the first time in history, the number of people living in extreme poverty has fallen below 10%. The world has never been as ambitious about development as it is today. After adopting the Sustainable Development Goals and signing the Paris climate deal at the end of 2015, the global community is now looking into the best and most effective ways of reaching these milestones. In this five-part series I will discuss what the World Bank Group is doing and what we are planning to do in key areas that are critical for ending poverty by 2030: good governance, gender equality, conflict and fragility, creating jobs, and, finally, preventing and adapting to climate change.

Twenty years ago, the World Bank took up the fight against corruption as an integral part of reducing poverty, hunger, and disease. The decision was groundbreaking then and remains valid today. Corruption diverts resources from the poor to the rich, leads to a culture of bribes, and distorts public expenditures, deterring foreign investors and hampering economic growth.

A Higher Standard: Communicating Technical Intelligence

June 6, 2016

What do a cyber analyst, a satellite marketer, a physics professor, and a technical intelligence collector have in common? Well, based on some of the feedback from our previous War on the Rocks article, quite a lot. These professionals shared the challenges they face regarding their ability to effectively communicate scientific and technical information to the policymakers, public, or funding institutions they serve. Some voiced frustration over their ordeals, while others reminisced about their successes. Others requested an immediate answer to solve their problems in the form of new training or a graduate-level course at the National Intelligence University. Regardless of the context or tone of the feedback, empathy for the intelligence officers’ plight was real.

Science and technical intelligence officers, sometimes referred to as “functional” experts in the community, cover and analyze an incredible swath of scientific topics and technical information, from foreign cyber intrusions to emerging military technologies. As technology and its effects become more globalized, the importance of communicating key aspects of the technology and its impact on national security becomes more important. Further, this explication must be provided to a wider audience than the current norm. While it’s crucial for intelligence analysts to offer an assessment, it’s equally important to provide enough detail or context in the report for the consumer to fundamentally understand the underlying concepts and their role in the strategic picture.

Taking the Kamasutra seriously

Far from being a mere sex manual, its devious strategies for seduction are rooted in politics and spirituality, according to Wendy Doniger

Redeeming the Kamasutra Wendy Doniger

The rough English translation of Kamasutra is pleasure (kama) treatise (sutra). In the West, since it was first (rather surreptitiously) translated and published back in 1883, the book has generally been associated with a series of beautiful, ancient illustrations of a couple determinedly coupling in a variety of fascinating — and often utterly improbable — positions; as essentially ‘the erotic counterpart to the ascetic asanas of yoga’. But there is so much more to it than that, as Wendy Doniger doggedly contends in this, her fine collection of frank, brief, clear-eyed essays. Doniger believes the Kamasutra to be not only a precious and under-appreciated part of the Sanskrit canon, but also a great Indian literary landmark which has been — for way too long now — criminally undervalued in its place of origin. Hence its need for ‘redemption’ (a paradoxically Christian notion, perhaps).

She traces the history of the Kamasutra, detailing how the three aims of human life (the Triple Set in Indian parlance) are dharma (religion), artha (power) and kama (pleasure). In a satisfying parallel, these three aims are underpinned by a trinity of ancient texts; the Dharmashastra (written by the sober, strict and rather sexist Manu), the Arthashastra (by Kautilya, the Indian Machiavelli-plus) and the Kamasutra (by the slightly slippery but often refreshingly open-minded Vatsyayana).

How Do We Win the Cyberwar?

01 Jun 2016

We’re losing the war against hackers, and it’s costing business billions. Alumni cybersecurity experts tell us how we can turn the tide
by Dan Morrell; illustrations by Victo Ngai

Your credit card has already been stolen. You just don’t know it yet.

Thomas knows it, though. (A 12-year IT security veteran, Thomas requested anonymity to protect the reputation of his employers, which have included Fortune 100 companies and several of New England’s biggest tech firms.) In the analogy of cyberdefense as a castle—a favorite of his—he tends to the moats, the walls, and the gates. Get past those, and he deploys the dogs. And he’s watched many people scale walls, break gates, evade dogs, and leave with your AmEx number.

“The only reason we don’t see things in the news every day is that bad guys have so much data that they just haven’t gotten to yours,” says Thomas. It’s easy to steal your credit card. “The only hard part is using it without tipping anybody off.”

There is evidence of the relative ease of these crimes in the prices that the stolen goods fetch in the underground hacker marketplaces. Credit card numbers—from premium cards, some offered with money-back guarantees if they don’t work—go for as little as $9. That’s just one segment of a booming hacker market: Attempts to knock a particular website offline can cost around $100; “Trojan” software that gives users control of other computers remotely is priced as low as $20.

Learning at the speed of business

By Richard Benson-Armer, Arne Gast, and Nick van Dam

What digital means for the next generation of corporate academies.

Corporate universities are entering their second century, just as the businesses that rely on them are transforming themselves for the digital age. When pioneers such as General Motors and General Electric began offering standardized in-house training programs, about 100 years ago, they focused on imparting lower-level, day-to-day skills. Back then, it may have seemed fanciful to imagine the full-fledged academies that would emerge in later decades. But emerge they did: GE’s Crotonville leadership center, in 1956; McDonald’s Hamburger University, in 1961; and today’s true learning institutions for global corporations such as Apple, Boeing, and Danone.

Now a new phase is unfolding at these organizations, which must grapple with tools and platforms that facilitate knowledge sharing and employee interactions on an almost limitless scale, challenging—and sometimes appearing to sweep away—the old brick-and-mortar model (exhibit).

Where the findings lead

How the SAC Study Was Released

April 4, 2016

World-wide Press Coverage of the Nuclear Vault Posting on the SAC Target Lists

by Scott Shane
New York Times
22 December 2015

by Thomas Gibbons-Neff
Washington Post,
28 December 2015

by Ollie Gillman
Daily Mail
23 December 2015

by Eric Bradner
23 December 2015

by Paul Lashmar
International Policy Digest
29 December 2015 

by Andrew Buncombe
The Independent
23 December 2015

No More Cyber Maginot Lines: We Need to Hunt Down Hackers Before They Strike

June 5, 2016 

By 2006, the United States was losing two wars simultaneously in Iraq and Afghanistan, and many of the entrenched interests in the country—political, military, economic, journalistic—were whistling past the proverbial graveyard and pretending that everything was fine.


Nate Fick is the CEO of Endgame, a security software company that automates the hunt for sophisticated cyber adversaries. He led Marines in combat in Afghanistan and Iraq, and his book about that experience, "One Bullet Away," was a New York Times bestseller." Full Bio Ten years later, the cybersecurity industry looks very similar. Last year alone, despite more than $75 billion spent on enterprise security products and services, more than three-quarters of the Fortune 500 were breached by cyber adversaries, and the average time from a breach to its detection was nearly 146 days (down from 205 days in 2014, but still too long). For defenders, this is the very definition of strategic failure.

We need to make a change. Rather than relying on imperfect prevention techniques, or waiting for a breach to happen and then reacting to it, defenders need to “turn the map around” and hunt proactively for the attackers in order to root out adversaries before they have a chance to do real damage. This is the next frontier of cybersecurity.