5 November 2016

*** Lessons from India’s Wars - Post Independence

By Lt Gen JS Bajwa
04 Nov , 2016

“Everything in war is very simple, but the simplest thing is difficult … so in war it is difficult for normal efforts to achieve even moderate results.” – Clausewitz’s note of caution.

History has always recorded a nation’s battles and wars in minute detail. Battles and manoeuvres from the times of Alexander to Genghis Khan, Shivaji to Napoleon, Ranjit Singh to Rommel, Patton and Guderian have been exactingly poured over so as to be able, virtually, to re-enact the event of that era. Attributes for success and reasons for failure were identified and lessons drawn up. With progress of technology weapons evolved and warfighting methods changed. However, certain aspects remained, quite literally, constant. On these constants the Principles of War were propounded. With minor modifications these have remained applicable in the wars in the post-modern era.

It is often said that armies are training and preparing to fight the ‘last’ war but end up confronted with a war they had not visualised and which is wholly different. If that were to be true then why bother to draw and learn lessons of the ‘last’ war when the course and construct of a future war is unfathomable? Well the simple answer to that is at least the earlier mistakes will not be repeated. Armies find it easier to train for the ‘last’ war than prepare for a ‘future’ war. A deliberate and concerted effort requires to be put in by commanders at all levels to prevent cerebral calcification wherein status quo finds favour.

India’s national policy has always been non-confrontational with emphasis on resolving issues diplomatically through dialogue and negotiations. Despite India’s morbid aversion for employment of hard power in pursuit of national interest and protect its territorial integrity, India has been drawn into a number of major conflicts by its belligerent neighbours. J&K in 1947-48, Hyderabad in September 1948, liberating Goa in 1961, Chinese debacle in 1962, Indo-Pak War in 1965, liberation of Bangladesh in 1971, 1987-89 OP PAWAN, 1999 Kargil War and 2001-2 OP PARAKRAM. On the face of it Indian Army is a battle hardened force. Therefore, it becomes imperative to draw useful lessons from its redoubtable experience to further hone individual skills and operational techniques and to be prepared for any future contingency when the Army will be called in to defend the country’s territory and its cherished core values.

With that as background, Indian Army’s war experience could be studied to draw lessons and also see which lessons were ignored in subsequent wars and how it did impact the course of the war/battle.

Operations in Jammu and Kashmir 1947-48.

*** Here’s How the Pentagon Wants to Use Social Media On the Battlefield

OCTOBER 28, 2016

Artificial intelligence will weave open-source and satellite data into useful intelligence in real time, the Pentagon’s No. 2 says.

It still takes the U.S. military too long to turn social media and other open-source information into something that operators in the field can use. Artificial intelligence is going to change that, and give U.S. troops a distinct battlefield edge, says U.S. Deputy Defense Secretary Bob Work.

Take the 2014 downing of Malaysian flight MH17 over Ukraine. (A conventional investigation by a European Union Joint Investigation Team took more than a year to affix blame to pro-Russian separatists operating a Russian-made BUK surface-to-air missile.) To test the current state of machine learning applied to open source intelligence, the Pentagon hired a data integration and geospatial intelligence company called Orbital Insight, a big-data analytics company with a focus on satellite imagery and geospatial data. Most of their business is commercial — for example, they, analyze pictures of parking lots from space topredict holiday sales trends.

The company quickly scanned all available open-source media and assembled a picture of evidence, and did it instantly. He used slides to tell the story to an audience at the Center for Strategic and International Studies: “On the lower left is a Twitter shot ofMH17 taking off…The next one comes from ParisMatch.com. It is the picture of the Russian SA-11 launcher with a serial number on it, date and time stamped near the village where the shootdown occurred; then on Bellingcat.com, the exact sameSA-11, at the exact same location. Then there’s a Twitter shot of a contrail of a missile rising at the time of the shootdown. Then a rebel leader takes credit for the shoot down on VK.com. That was immediately taken down, by the way. Finally on YouTube, there’s a picture of the exact same SA-11 with a missile rail that is now mysteriously empty going back into Russia. Learning machines did this without any human interaction.”

*** Examining ISIS Support and Opposition Networks on Twitter

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Research Questions 
How can we differentiate ISIS supporters and opponents on Twitter? 
Who are they, and what are they saying? 
How are they connected, and who is important? 

The Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS), like no other terrorist organization before, has used Twitter and other social media channels to broadcast its message, inspire followers, and recruit new fighters. Though much less heralded, ISIS opponents have also taken to Twitter to castigate the ISIS message. This report draws on publicly available Twitter data to examine this ongoing debate about ISIS on Arabic Twitter and to better understand the networks of ISIS supporters and opponents on Twitter. To support the countermessaging effort and to more deeply understand ISIS supporters and opponents, this study uses a mixed-methods analytic approach to identify and characterize in detail both ISIS support and opposition networks on Twitter. This analytic approach draws on community detection algorithms that help detect interactive communities of Twitter users, lexical analysis that can identify key themes and content for large data sets, and social network analysis.

Key Findings

*** Identifying Efficiencies in the Supply Chain for Training Ammunition

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Research Questions 
Does the Army have standardized performance metrics for ASPs? 
Are there baselines for common ASP processes? 
How can ASPs perform more efficiently? 
Can methods be developed by which to measure ASP performance? 

The U.S. Army Materiel Command (AMC) asked RAND Arroyo Center to analyze the U.S. Army's training ammunition supply chain to determine where efficiencies leading to cost reductions could be realized while maintaining or improving service levels. The project targeted a goal of achieving a more efficient supply chain for CONUS-based training ammunition with an eye toward meeting the Army's requirements for operational preparedness in light of current fiscal constraints. The study reviewed the generation of ammunition requirements, stockpile management processes, and policies and practices at CONUS-based Ammunition Supply Points (ASPs) and Installation Ammunition Management Offices. To supplement existing information, the research team surveyed ASP personnel and interviewed various stakeholders. Because the Army does not have a standard set of metrics by which to oversee or govern operations across the ammunition enterprise, the project developed the RAND ASP Benchmarking Tool. This tool and the data collection used to populate it allowed the research team to compare ten sample ASPs across dimensions that included cost, performance, tasks lists, and resources. Additionally, the researchers conducted an in-depth case study of the ASP at Fort Hood, Texas, and examined the management of training ammunition in the U.S. Marine Corps, in order to draw other insights and identify best practices.

Key Findings


October 13, 2016

As we exit from our second war in this new century, many in authority sense something is missing in American strategic generalship. Wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have shown that the services have come up short at the strategic level, the level at which national security and political objectives are translated into war-winning plans and policies.

Much of the blame for this perceived sense of failure rests with the senior officers—mostly generals—who devise policy, advise civilian leaders, and command very large military organizations. In a strange irony, these same serving soldiers performed very well as tactical and operational commanders earlier in their careers. Why the difference? How is it that a midgrade officer can do so well as a tactical commander and then, when elevated to a position of national strategic leadership, perform poorly?

Part of the reason abides with how the Army selects leaders. For example, the Army does a terrific job of identifying tactical commanders, those at battalion and brigade level, using a proven command selection board system. Young officers from commissioning onward build their careers around the hope that someday they might command soldiers at higher tactical levels. Yet no service has a parallel career system for selecting, educating and rewarding officers for strategic leadership.

Every special calling in life, if it is to be followed with success, requires peculiar qualifications of understanding and soul. Where these are of a high order, and manifest themselves by extraordinary achievements the mind to which they belong is termed genius.

—Carl von Clausewitz

** Why China And The U.S. Need Each Other In Space

01 November 2016

Space may be miles above us, but how it is being used - and by whom - is becoming increasingly important here on Earth. As of now, the United States leads the world inspace exploration and exploitation, but China is determined to narrow the gap. Beijing has set its sights on becoming a major power in space, and in the next two decades it could surpass veterans in the field such as Russia, perhaps even someday rivaling the United States itself.

It may come as little surprise, then, that Washington and Beijing rarely consider each other partners in space. Though not for lack of trying on China's part, U.S. leaders are suspicious of Beijing's intentions, particularly since the Chinese space program remains shrouded in secrecy. China's propensity for stealing technology is only added cause for concern in Washington, as is the Chinese army's interest in using civil and commercial advances in space for military gain.

In fact, in some ways the United States' current competition with China is not unlike its Cold War-era space race with the Soviet Union. Today's contest, however, is unfolding in a profoundly different atmosphere. Space is no longer a theater reserved for the world's militaries, and as the skies become more crowded, the costs of an accidental confrontation are rising. At a time when many civil space programsare struggling to stretch their shrinking budgets to cover growing expenses, most countries can no longer afford to pursue their lofty ambitions in space on their own. The United States and China are no exception, and despite their mutual distrust, they may have no choice but to work together to achieve some of their common goals in space.

A History of U.S. Unease

* A Tribute to INAS 310 Cobra Squadron in the 1971 Eastern Theatre

By Dr Krishna S Dhir, PhD
04 Nov , 2016

As Spring began in Hyeres, France,
On twenty-first March of Sixty One,
The Cobras began their history
With Alizés’ founding an arial den.

Before too long, in a mere decade,
While thriving still in Hansa’s gaze,1
They heard a thunder in the East;
And saw green fields turn to grey.

A call was heard in Seventy One
To change a Wrong to Right.
Cobras from across the Nation
Came forth to show their might;

From Rajasthan, Maharashtra, Kerala,
Tamil Nadu, and Andhra Pradesh!
From Gujarat, Bengal, and Haryana,
Karnataka, Punjab, and Uttar Pradesh!

King Cobra Dhir from Punjab,
Panwar was from Rajasthan.
Vijendra, Gupta, Singh, were there with
Damodaran, Divakaran and Dewan,

Rajinder Dass of Haryana joined
Shankar Ghosh, a Bengali,
Ramsagar, Naidu, from Andhra Pradesh.
With Saxena, Clarke, and Kapahi.

From Kerala: Verghese, Mohanan, Paul.
Bhagwat, Patil – both Marathis.
Engineer Chopra from Punjab.
Patel was there, a Gujarati,

Accession Of Jammu & Kashmir: Some Less Known Facts – OpEd

By Brig Anil Gupta (Retd)*
NOVEMBER 3, 2016

October 26, 1947 is a red letter day in Indian history since on this day, Jammu & Kashmir — the crown of India — acceded to India and became its integral part from a princely state ruled by the Dogras.

Maharaja Hari Singh signed the Instrument of Accession (IOA) on this day as was required by the Indian Independence Act 1947. Under this Act, the British Crown decided to grant independence to British India by dividing it into two independent nations — namely Pakistan and India.

The Partition was based on religion on the basis of the two-nation theory propagated by the Muhammad Ali Jinnah-led Muslim League and conceived by the Anglo-Muslim Alliance formed by the British to weaken the Indian freedom movement.

The two-nation theory was flawed right from its conception because it contradicted the very idea of a nation-state. If religion could form the basis of a nation-state then bulk of Europe should have been one Christian state and the Arabian lands would have been a single Muslim country.

Since the western nations, led by Britain, were scared of the potential of a united India, they decided to divide it. Prior to independence, the Indian nation comprised of British India, administered by the Crown, and 569 princely states which were ruled by their hereditary rulers who had accepted the suzerainty and paramountcy of the British Crown.

School Burning: Turning The Clock Back In Kashmir – OpEd

By Brig Anil Gupta (Retd)* 
NOVEMBER 3, 2016

In the last 48 hours, more than three schools have been burnt in South Kashmir taking the tally to 25 so far since July 9 — a day after Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani was gunned down by security forces.

Why are schools being targeted and why are only government school buildings being burnt? Is it to destroy government property or is it part of a bigger sinister game plan?

The separatists and the fundamentalists in the Kashmir Valley are determined to turn back the clock and take the Valley once again to the medieval era where the Maulvis and Qazis ruled the roost and their writ ran unchallenged. They want the common Kashmiris to remain ignorant, poorly educated and under-developed so that they continue to hold sway over the masses as well as keep them deprived of the benefits of modern education that is mandatory to enjoy the benefits of development and economic growth.

“Great minds are always feared by lesser minds,” goes an old saying. It would answer the question as to why schools are being targeted. Schools are temples of learning. They impart knowledge. Through proper curriculum, schools imbibe the quality of reasoning in young minds, cultivate the spirit of nationalism and inculcate the habit of acquiring knowledge through the process of learning.

India’s Northeast: A Rugged Link To ASEAN – Analysis

By Nazia Hussain* 
NOVEMBER 3, 2016

India’s Northeastern region bordering Myanmar plays a critical role in the ‘Act East’ Policy and serves as a potential link to ASEAN.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ‘neighbourhood first’ and ‘Act East’ policies got a fresh boost with the recently concluded four-day visit to India by Myanmar’s State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi. The two leaders gave out enough indications they were pursuing a development partnership that would take bilateral ties to a higher level.

Prime Minister Modi said India’s financial commitment of US$1.75 billion is ‘people centric’, meaning the development projects were aimed at the welfare of the people of Myanmar. In fact, Northeast India, sharing a 1,640 km-long land border with Myanmar, holds the key in this development partnership. This makes it imperative to take a close look at this far-eastern Indian frontier and the linkages that can be established through Myanmar to ASEAN.

Revitalising the ‘Act East’ Policy

It has been two years since India announced the transformation of its moribund two-decade-old ‘Look East’ Policy into what is now called the ‘Act East’ Policy (AEP). Incidentally, New Delhi made the new nomenclature, AEP, public during the East Asia Summit held in Myanmar in November 2014.

It is now clear that the AEP holds a prime place in India’s new proactive policy, because it not only looks at boosting commerce, connectivity and cultural ties with ASEAN, but is also looking beyond to South Korea, Australia, Japan, and Mongolia. High-level visits by Indian leaders to these nations since 2014 have shown that it would no more be just lip service.

In consolidating its ties with ASEAN and beyond, India’s Northeast, known for its rugged landscape and constant turmoil from home-grown ethnic insurgencies, is critical because of the geographic contiguity it provides to India and Myanmar. This region of eight provinces with a population of 40 million shares a total of over 5,400 km of borders with five neighbours — Bangladesh, Bhutan, China, Myanmar and Nepal — while it is connected with mainland India only by the narrow 22 km Siliguri corridor in the state of West Bengal called the ‘Chicken’s Neck’.
Building Bridges

India-Pakistan-Kashmir: After The Surgical Strikes – Analysis

By Syed Ata Hasnain* 
NOVEMBER 3, 2016

It has been a month since the surgical strikes were launched by the Indian Army’s Special Forces and denied by the Pakistani side. The entire strategic advantage which lay in our military claim appeared to have been negated by the political brouhaha that followed, between claims and counter claims of political parties in India. But this essay is not about that. It is about the situation that is unfolding in different domains post the strikes. To look through the complexities of the dynamic situation in J&K we need to examine three areas: first, the internal dynamics within Pakistan; second, the situation at the Line of Control (LoC), International Border (IB) and the counter-infiltration grid; and third, the activities in the Valley’s hinterland, where the agitation continues in different forms.

Pakistan’s Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif – weakened politically by the Panama Papers scandal and under the complete control of Pakistan Army Generals – is being exploited to project a civilian look to the anti-India campaign; a campaign orchestrated and owned entirely by the Pakistan Army and the deep state. On the other hand, Pakistan’s Army Chief Gen Raheel Sharif’s future is yet uncertain.

His ability to take his own decisions on the succession or continuation in office has been under some doubt due to claims and counter claims of other senior Pakistan Army officers in line for the job. Gen Sharif is therefore busy ensuring that the LoC remains alive. A live LoC may not have a change of guard at the ‘Chief’s palace’. Besides, even if Gen Sharif wishes to act like a statesman, he would like to go not with a whimper but with a roar. Possibly, some arrangement could ensure another high profile job once out of uniform. So in either possibility, the LoC will remain a bone of contention, and the location where messaging is done via actions. It is yet premature to say whether the ceasefire of 26 November 2003 will hold. It has successfully held even in turbulent times and even this time, the breaches are only in pockets.

Battles Of Kunduz: US-Afghan ‘Friendly Fire’ – OpEd

NOVEMBER 3, 2016

The first “Battle of Kunduz” took place from April to October 2015 for control of the city, where Taliban forces were playing cat and mouse for months and finally overran the city, forcing government forces to flee. The capture marked the first time since 2001 that the Taliban had taken control of a major city in Afghanistan. The Afghan government claimed to have largely recaptured Kunduz by October 1 in a counterattack. But by 6 October, the Taliban had recaptured substantial portions of Kunduz.

In the confusion, on October 3, long after the government had supposedly recaptured the city, still looking for the Taliban command centre, US fighter pilots ominously circled the Kunduz emergency care trauma hospital. It had been installed and administered by Doctors without Borders (MSF), the only state-of-the-art facility in the war-torn province.

For 45 minutes, like ominous clouds, the planes fired pot shots, as if warming up, taunting or warning the doctors and patients, who started to flee and were mowed down. Finally, the pilots of the gunships launched full scale fire at 2am, on both the hospital and civilians fleeing what was clearly the target of US wrath.

A year later, the Canadian MSF head, Stephen Cornish, described the assault at a memorial gathering at Toronto General Hospital honouring the 42 victims, both the MSF doctors and their patients, killed by US forces. In keeping with NGO tradition, Cornish wouldn’t lay the blame on specific individuals, though there were dozens of eye witnesses. He just kept insisting that there be an independent inquiry.

Obscure Dots In AfPak Region: Is There A Pattern? – Analysis

By Lt Gen P.C. Katoch*
NOVEMBER 3, 2016

Speaking at the Paul H Nitze School of Advanced International Studies, in Washington DC recently, US Acting Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence Adam Szubin said: “We continue to urge our partners in Pakistan to go after all terrorist networks operating in their country. We stand ready to help them. But there should be no doubt that while we remain committed to working with Pakistan to confront ongoing terrorist financing and operations, the US will not hesitate to act alone, when necessary, to disrupt and destroy these networks.”

“The problem is that there are forces within the Pakistani government — specifically in Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence or ISI — that refuse to take similar steps against all the terrorist groups active in Pakistan, tolerating some groups — or even worse,” he added.

At the same time, he said Pakistan has been, and remains, a critical counter-terrorism partner in many respects.

General John Nicholson, Commander of US and NATO forces in Afghanistan, also said last month: “There is not adequate pressure being put on the Haqqanis.” (The Haqqani network is an Afghan guerrilla insurgent group using asymmetric warfare to fight against US-led NATO forces and the government of Afghanistan.)

But is Pakistan worried about such periodic ‘warnings’.

Malaysia’s Navy Deal With China: Meeting A Complex Security Challenge – Analysis

By Koh Swee Lean Collin*
NOVEMBER 3, 2016

Beyond geopolitics, the latest revelation of Malaysia’s purchase of Littoral Mission Ships from China needs to be viewed in perspective.

Prime Minister Najib Razak’s current visit to Beijing has been underscored by what the Malaysian leader described as a “landmark decision” – a two-year defence contract to buy and build four Littoral Mission Ships (LMS) from China. This deal might have come across as surprising to many who have long known that Malaysia has customarily operated Western naval equipment. As Najib told the Malaysian media in Beijing: “I call this a landmark decision because before this, we had not bought such vessels from China.”

Such a revelation sparked much speculation about Kuala Lumpur’s further geopolitical shift towards Beijing and consequent ramifications for regional security, especially the United States’ Asia rebalancing strategy. But geopolitics aside, this deal, if it is formally inked and implemented, should not have come across as any surprise. In fact, last year the Royal Malaysian Navy (RMN) reportedly also mulled Chinese replacements for the aging Italian-made missiles on board its Laksamana-class corvettes.
Persistent Shortfalls

Notwithstanding Malaysia’s sprawling maritime zone that spans from its Indian Ocean-facing peninsular western seaboard, all the way across the South China Sea to the Celebes and Sulu seas off Borneo, the country has long been afflicted by budget and equipment shortfalls.

Russia-China Bonhomie: India Has No Reason To Worry – Analysis

By Divya Kumar Soti* 
NOVEMBER 3, 2016

Chinese President Xi Jinping recently made an offer of alliance to Russia saying: “The world is on the verge of a radical change. We see how the European Union is gradually collapsing, as is the US economy — it is all over for the New World Order. So, it will never again be as it was before… in 10 years we will have a new world order in which the key will be the union of China and Russia.”

Xi’s July 1, 2016 statement on the 95th anniversary of the founding of the Chinese Communist Party came within a few days of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s visit to Beijing. And the fact that Xi decided to make this offer at the CPC meeting spoke volumes about his sincerity.

Xi was not just doing an exercise in futurology — he went further to articulate the possibility of a concrete military alliance between the two countries: “We are now seeing aggressive actions on the part of the United States, regarding both Russia and China. I believe that Russia and China could create an alliance towards which NATO will be powerless and which will put an end to the imperialist desires of the West.”

While Russia did not immediately react to the Chinese proposal, President Putin — on the sidelines of the G-20 summit held in September at China’s Hanzhou — supported China’s rejection of the Hague Arbitration Court’s Ruling on the South China Sea. Putin called it a “purely legal position”.

In September itself, China and Russia held 8-day-long joint naval drills in the South China Sea which involved “island defence and offence exercises”. China and Russia have been holding such naval drills for a couple of years but this year, the exercises were shifted to South China Sea with Kremlin putting its diplomatic weight behind the Chinese stand against the Hague Arbitration Court’s South China Sea ruling.

Book Review: 'China's Military Transformation'

People's Liberation Army naval soldiers stand on a military vessel at a naval base in Hong Kong, July 1, 2016

China's military has undeniably made tremendous strides in recent years. The People's Liberation Army (PLA) Navy launched its first aircraft carrier and in 2016 announced construction on a second carrier. In 2015, the PLA Navy began nuclear deterrent submarine patrols. Impressive advancements in military technology (PDF) may be seen in the country's lethal array of ballistic and cruise missiles, its J-20 and J-35 stealth aircraft, and other weapons and platforms.

While analysts have thoroughly scrutinized developments in weapons, platforms, organization, and training, the changes to the political and intellectual aspects of the PLA, such as party-military relations or defense strategy, have earned comparatively less scholarly attention. You Ji's book aims to address that gap in two ways. The first half of the book tackles the formidable challenge of explaining the curious nature of civil-military relations in China. You highlights important developments in the relationship, although his attempts to present a theoretical framework is severely hampered by the decision to resuscitate ideas from a classic, yet dated, mid-century work. The second half of the book surveys developments in the defense strategy and related concepts of the PLA. Besides providing a fine summary of major developments, You's analysis draws attention to key concepts that have been largely overlooked by the PLA-watching community. Students of the PLA will find this book a thought-provoking and useful companion to the growing literature on the Chinese military.

The peculiar evolution of the PLA as an increasingly professionalized military that nonetheless remains the armed wing of an ostensibly communist-led military has baffled observers for years. Assuming that a Marxist party committed to socialist revolution could not possibly tolerate the limited autonomy required of a professionalizing military, analysts have struggled to explain the apparent anomaly of the post-Mao Zedong PLA. A 2010 study by Michael Kiselycznyk and Philip Saunders lamented a “lack of effort to develop, employ, or test new theoretical models that could help produce a new unified theory of Chinese civil-military relations.”[1]

China-Pakistan Corridor Against India’s Strategic Interests – Analysis

By Jai Kumar Verma* 
NOVEMBER 3, 2016

The much touted $46 billion, 3,000-km-long China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) links Gwadar port in the troubled state of Balochistan to China’s restive autonomous region of Xinjiang. The project, which is an extension of China’s ambitious One-Belt-One-Road scheme, passes through Gilgit and Baltistan areas which are part of Jammu and Kashmir which is Indian territory but illegally occupied by Pakistan. Hence, the CPEC is against the geographical and strategic interests of India.

The Official press agency of China Xinhua News Agency, in a clear departure from its past practice, mentioned in December 2014 about the closure of the Khunjerab Pass and in that news item it also stated that Gilgit and Baltistan were parts of Pakistan. Analysts claim that China, before taking up a project of this magnitude, wanted to reconfirm Gilgit-Baltistan as part of Pakistan and wanted to observe India’s reaction which was not severe at that juncture.

China would be constructing several infrastructure and hydropower projects, industrial parks, railway lines and all weather roads and highways in Gilgit-Baltistan as well as in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK). CPEC will also reduce by 12,000 km the distance from Middle East from where China imports POL.

Pakistani leaders describe CPEC, as well as the multifarious projects linked to it, as a great economic achievement for the country and claim that it will solve the economic problems and expedite economic growth of the country. The government agencies declare that more than 700,000 direct jobs would be created and the economic growth of the country would be greatly enhanced.

War with China Thinking Through the Unthinkable

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Research Questions 
What are the alternative paths that China and the United States might take before and during a war? 
What are the effects on both countries of each path? 
What preparations should the United States make, both to reduce the likelihood of war and, should war break out, to ensure victory while minimizing losses and costs? 

Battle For Mosul: Defeat Of Islamic State To Send Important Message – Analysis

By Md. Muddassir Quamar*
NOVEMBER 3, 2016

A U.S. Marine Corps EA-6B Prowler separates from a KC-10 Extender refueling operation near Iraq, Oct. 26, 2016. Prowlers specialize in interrupting enemy electronic activity and obtaining tactical electronic intelligence within the combat area. The Prowler has provided protection for strike aircraft, ground troops and ships by jamming enemy radar and communications in the support of the liberation of Mosul, Iraq. Air Force.

In June 2014, the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) captured Mosul, the capital of northern Iraqi province of Nineveh, and later in the month, the ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi chose the city to proclaim the establishment of a global Sunni caliphate. The way ISIS had run over the city with Iraqi forces meekly surrendering to the militants had underlined the fragility of Iraqi armed forces.

The ISIS continued to govern the city as its prized possession in Iraq and was brutal with religious minorities, especially the Yazidis and Assyrian Christians. Demographically one of the most diverse cities in Iraq, the area is rich in oil and minerals and the Mosul refinery had become one of the major sources of revenue for the ISIS. The second largest city in Iraq lies at a strategic location close to Turkish and Syrian borders and Iraqi Kurdistan.

The city served as the political base of ISIS in Iraq and provided it with a strategic location to expand in all directions and to control the supply lines for weapons and other resources to ISIS-held territories in northern Syria and Anbar province.

Prominence Of Turkish And Islamic Factor In Turkey’s Regional Policy – Analysis

By Hossein Mofidi Ahmadi* 
NOVEMBER 3, 2016

Policies followed by Turkey in the face of regional crises, especially with regard to post-Arab Spring crises, have been always a focus of attention for analysts of regional issues. Recent actions taken by Turkey at a time that can be called the “era of the fall of Daesh,” have been also observed with special sensitivity. Ankara’s actions include establishing new military alliances in Iraq and Syria; dispatching armed forces into Iraq and Syria despite serious protests from both countries; making surprising remarks about the need to leave historical treaties, such as the Treaty of Lausanne, behind; insistence and exerting pressure for serious participation in the operation to retake the Iraqi city of Mosul from Daesh; as well as expressing concern about the Shia composition of the Iraqi army or operations by Shia popular forces in Iraq.

It is obvious that remarkable analyses can be offered about changes in Turkey’s regional policy following the Arab Spring, in general, and the aforesaid actions, in particular. One of the factors is Turkey’s long common borders with Syria and Iraq as an objective and geopolitical reality, which when considered along with the presence of failed states in Syria, and to some extent in Iraq, makes it easier to understand Turkey’s security concerns and actions arising from them. An effort to maintain some degree of influence in Syria and Iraq, especially after possible recapture of the city of Mosul in Iraq and the city of Aleppo in Syria by their respective central governments, could be another reason to justify Turkey’s recent actions. The leaders in Ankara also need to incite nationalistic sentiments inside the country. This point becomes important when taking into account that in the period of transition following the recent botched coup in Turkey, recourse to such nationalistic sentiments to boost the country’s national solidarity has been seen as a necessity. The effort made by Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to take advantage of national solidarity as a tool under the leadership of the Justice and Development Party to promote his goal of establishing a presidential system in the country is also of importance in this regard.

Presidential Elections And US Nuclear Policy: Clinton Vs Trump – Analysis

By Manpreet Sethi* 
NOVEMBER 3, 2016

When the second largest democracy and the most powerful country of the world begins the process of choosing a new leader for itself, it is automatically a matter of global concern. Obviously then, for the last year or so, the twists and turns in the complicated US presidential elections have been on the watch of every government and international analyst across the world. It is now only a matter of weeks before the new occupant of the White House will be decided between Senator Hillary Clinton and billionaire business tycoon Donald Trump. However, neither of them has particularly impressed, nor emerged as a discerning student of nuclear issues.

Given that the US holds a formidable nuclear arsenal that can destroy the Earth several times over, it is normally expected of US presidential candidates to display a reasonably sophisticated understanding of relevant issues. It should, at the least, be enough to inspire confidence in their capability to be stable and able commanders of thousands of nuclear-tipped missiles. In the 2016 presidential race, however, it is disconcerting that a group of US air force officers in the nuclear command and control structures have signed an open letter expressing reservation on the idea of entrusting nuclear launch codes to Donald Trump. Even more distressing is the fact that the letter does not repose faith in the other candidate either!

Meanwhile, at a more tangible level, the stance of the two candidates on significant nuclear issues is peppered with vague articulations and evasive statements to even direct questions posed to them at various instances. Of course, nuclear matters are complex and one cannot expect a deep understanding of all dimensions. But what has emerged so far has not been very reassuring on whether and how the incoming President would seek to address the many complicated issues that he/she would inevitably confront on the contemporary nuclear landscape.

A Rapidly Changing Urban Environment How Commercial Technologies Can Affect Military Intelligence Operations

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Commonplace commercial technologies can be combined and used in unique ways to reshape an urban environment and disrupt how we live and work, in the United States and abroad. The technologies are not new but are becoming ubiquitous and are being used in new ways. The technologies highlight a democratizing trend that gives more people the freedom and power to use any number of new, commercially available technologies to innovate and to challenge existing government rules and community practices. This democratizing trend, however, comes at a cost to privacy, security, and secrecy and is changing the way people interact socially and politically. It is changing the way we conduct business, diplomacy, intelligence operations, and war, the future of which is likely to be increasingly urban in nature.

Hillary’s Nuclear Policy: A Time of Change, Dithering, Or Sameness? – Analysis

By Vijay Shankar*
NOVEMBER 3, 2016

The last time a Democrat President was elected to office after two terms of a Democratic presidency was 180 years ago. A certain Martin Van Buren succeeded Andrew Jackson in 1836. Coincidentally he was a former Secretary of State. The occurrence is unique in an unflattering way for a variety of reasons which has little to do with the candidate’s merits but more with the ballotter’s disposition. Significant of these fancies are: exaction for change, anti-incumbency, voter fatigue, absence of choice and the resigned philosophical knowledge that this would be a one-off, destined to enter office as a ‘lame-duck’.

In the current presidential race, two candidates have been thrust on the electorate who under circumstances of choice would have been spurned. Donald Trump comes with dangerous impetuousness while Hillary carries a baggage of alleged chicanery and unimaginativeness. However reality and opinion polls suggests that Hillary would enter the oval office as US’ 45th President (this assumption is central to the narrative).

The 1837 inauguration of Van Buren proved less of a celebration and more of banality. His inaugural address took melancholy note of it: “In receiving from the people the sacred trust twice confided to my illustrious predecessor…I know that I cannot expect to perform the task with equal ability and success. But, I may hope that somewhat of the same cheering approbation will be found to attend upon my path.” And Van Buren pledged to “tread generally in the footsteps of President Jackson.” Needless to state that Buren lasted just one term, his presidency was troubled, weak and had little success to legate; the economy collapsed, there was hostility to Native Americans and compromises in securing the frontiers with Canada and Mexico. On leaving office he was re-baptised ‘Martin Van Ruin’. Clearly if history is to prevail and Hillary elected, then ‘continuity’ is her only deliverance.
Survival of Obama’s Nuclear Policy

U.S. Social Media Strategy Can Weaken ISIS Influence on Twitter

U.S. Social Media Strategy Can Weaken ISIS Influence on Twitter 

August 16, 2016

Opponents of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria are six times greater in number on Twitter than ISIS supporters, but those sympathetic to the group are more active on the social media platform, according to a new RAND Corporation study.

Analyzing more than 23 million tweets posted in Arabic over a 10-month period, researchers found that, on average, a supporter of ISIS produces 50 percent more tweets per day than an opponent, although there is evidence that ISIS opponents are increasing their activity.

Researchers say that U.S. officials should do more to support opponents of ISIS on Twitter, possibly offering social media trainings and other engagements to enhance the effectiveness and reach of their messaging.

“Organizations such as the U.S. military and the State Department looking to counter-message ISIS on Twitter should tailor messages and target them to specific communities,” said Elizabeth Bodine-Baron, the study's lead author and an engineer at RAND, a nonprofit research organization. “The ISIS Twitter universe is highly fragmented and consists of several different communities with different concerns, so messages need to be aimed at specific audiences, rather than trying to craft a one-size-fits-all message.”

Like no terrorist organization before, ISIS has used Twitter and other social media channels to broadcast its message, inspire followers and recruit new fighters. Though less heralded, ISIS opponents also have taken to Twitter to denounce the ISIS message.

Cyberterrorism and the Role of Silicon Valley

June 13, 2016

For the moment, at least, cyberterrorists have not harnessed the technology they would need to destroy Western civilization from a basement lab in some remote corner of the world.

Although Director of National Intelligence James Clapper has said a “cyber-Armageddon” scenario is unlikely any time soon, new technological developments have the potential to allow terrorists to move from low-tech killings aimed at gaining attention and creating fear to high-tech sabotage aimed at disrupting the sinews and social tissue of society.

While defense budgets are declining in much of the developed world, the threat of terrorism has elevated homeland security concerns. Terrorists make no distinction between front lines and home fronts, between combatants and civilians.

Fear of terrorism, sometimes exaggerated, has put governments under pressure to prevent terrorist attacks before they occur, which means intervening before intentions become actions. One way to know what evil lurks in the heart of potential terrorists is to monitor what people say and write. Police states do that all the time, but democracies have strict rules about when and under what conditions that may be permitted.

That is where developments in information technologies are redefining relationships between citizens and their governments and creating new tensions. Governments now possess unprecedented capabilities to collect, store and analyze vast amounts of information about our private communications and individual lives. Some would argue that the mere possession of such files in government hands represents a potential for control and intimidation that is alien to the American form of government.

As national security and war are being redefined, Silicon Valley must be on the front line of counterterrorism.