9 December 2016

*** Saudis Bankroll Taliban, Even as King Officially Supports Afghan Government


A hilltop overlooking Kabul, where a $100 million Saudi-funded mosque and education complex was to be built. Construction was scheduled for completion this year, but the hilltop site remains a dusty lot where boys fly kites and drug addicts crouch beside a cemetery wall.CreditSergey Ponomarev for The New York Times

KABUL, Afghanistan — Fifteen years, half a trillion dollars and 150,000 lives since going to war, the United States is trying to extricate itself from Afghanistan. Afghans are being left to fight their own fight. A surging Taliban insurgency, meanwhile, is flush with a new inflow of money.

With their nation’s future at stake, Afghan leaders have renewed a plea to one power that may hold the key to whether their country can cling to democracy or succumbs to the Taliban. But that power is not the United States.

It is Saudi Arabia.

Saudi Arabia is critical because of its unique position in the Afghan conflict: It is on both sides.

*** China Puts the Squeeze on Taiwan

Sino-Taiwanese tensions are rising and the effects have begun to spread, so much so that they have started to complicate China's relationship with the United States. Over the past month, China has redoubled its efforts to weaken Taiwan's ties with diplomatic allies and defense partners while also tempering its own economic and diplomatic involvement with the newly elected Democratic Progressive Party in Taipei. Beijing's push to isolate Taiwan suggests that China thinks its approach toward Taipei over the past decade is becoming less effective, particularly in light of a potential shift in U.S. policy as Washington prepares to inaugurate a new president. This has moved Taiwan to the center of Beijing's foreign policy agenda, a shift that the Dec. 2 phone call between U.S. President-elect Donald Trump and Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen has given added weight.


On Nov. 23, Hong Kong authorities, apparently acting at Beijing's behest, interdicted a shipment of armored personnel carriers heading from Taiwan to Singapore — a city-state that has long maintained military ties with Taipei. A week later, reports surfaced that Beijing has been seeking to establish official ties with the Dominican Republic, a move that would invalidate the island's existing relationship with Taiwan. (Mainland China and Taiwan both adhere to the idea that there is only one China, so if a country forges ties with either Beijing or Taipei, it must sever ties with the other.) On Dec. 2, a Chinese business delegation arrived in Panama — another of the few countries that still recognizes Taiwan — scouting investment opportunities, particularly in energy and port infrastructure.

** China Fomenting Trouble In Northeast To Help Pakistan

Jaideep Mazumdar 

India has to deal with two fronts instead of one. This diversion of attention is just what Pakistan’s deep state needs to keep up its terror activities aimed at destabilizing India as well as Afghanistan.

China has, in recent months, reverted to a time-tested tactic to try and ease India’s pressure on Pakistan: create trouble in Northeast India to divert attention from the India’s western front.

** Trump, Taiwan and an Uproar

Source Link
By George Friedman
U.S. President-elect Donald Trump spoke on the telephone with the president of Taiwan. This caused deep upset because it was counter to an understanding in place since President Richard Nixon opened the door with China in 1972. This understanding included an American endorsement of the one-China policy, which held that Taiwan is part of China but would continue to behave as if it weren’t. The United States agreed not to have diplomatic relations with Taiwan and pretend it isn’t a close ally. The agreement was a fairly meaningless concession that allowed the Chinese to domestically claim they had forced the U.S. to capitulate on an important issue. This was important for China. By speaking with the Taiwanese president, Trump undermined that agreement. The Chinese responded by saying that President Trump will be judged differently than President-elect Trump, and they remained calm.

The context of this agreement should be recalled. When Nixon went to China, the Vietnam War was still being fought, and it had weakened U.S. military capabilities sufficiently that it was unclear if the U.S. could resist Soviet military action in Europe. The Chinese fought a major battle in 1969 with the Russians on the Ussuri River, along the Siberian-Chinese border. Sino-Soviet relations had plummeted in the 1960s, and China was worried about a Soviet attack, including a nuclear strike.

* American and British Spy Agencies Targeted In-Flight Mobile Phone Use

In the trove of documents provided by former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden is a treasure. It begins with a riddle: “What do the President of Pakistan, a cigar smuggler, an arms dealer, a counterterrorism target, and a combatting proliferation target have in common? They all used their everyday GSM phone during a flight.”

Not Just Fences And Walls

by K J Singh

Alongside technical measures to secure defence bases, involving people is vital.

There is growing concern about increasingly frequent attacks on our defence bases, especially the breaching of perimeters. While the concern is genuine, it should be tempered with better understanding of the challenges faced by base commanders. Most breaches entail some failures at a tactical level — but all slip-ups are subjected to rigorous post-mortems, defaulters taken to task and appropriate lessons learnt. Yet, defences are never perfect as attackers keep innovating; hence, simply guarding bases is a repetitive activity which leads to complacency.

Our defence camps are from a pre-insurgency era. Their location is a function of land availability. Otherwise, why should an armoured division get sited in Hisar, where the first challenge is extreme weather? Many of our defence installations are hemmed-in within civilian areas; some have highways passing through them. In outlying areas, some installations have become real estate destinations, despite initially being in barren or water-logged areas. As a result, there have been rampant encroachments, making a mockery of mandatory safety distances.

A great year for Isro

This astounding success rate has made it a world leader in the light satellite launch sector.

The perfect launch of remote-sensing Resourcesat-2A on Wednesday rounds off a great year for Indian space research. Nine missions that took off from Satish Dhawan Space Centre off the Bay of Bengal were all successful, a significant one being the powerful GSLV’s launch. Isro is one Indian organisation that stands out for its to-the-minute precision through another tumultuous year, unlike most segments of Indian life. This astounding success rate has made it a world leader in the light satellite launch sector. Having placed 79 satellites of 21 different nations in orbit till now, Isro also aimed higher this year in terms of futuristic research in its flight demonstration in August of the hypsersonic air-breathing dual mode ramjet engine, popularly called the scramjet, using atmospheric oxygen for a part of its journey.

Isro’s ongoing programmes in developing reusable launch vehicles, along with its capabilities in offering access to space at a very economical price means it’s in an enviable position globally in cutting-edge technology in research as well as space transportation of the future. What makes its last launch of 2016 significant is the extent of technology indigenisation, including remote fuelling and using its Navic system to navigate the launch vessel rather than depend on foreign help. Efforts to reduce propellant mass and rocket size to take on higher payloads are aimed at tackling keys to the future of space launches. There are exciting projects on the anvil for 2017, and given Isro’s track record we can look forward confidently to more feathers on the cap of an elite organisation.

Shame On Us

Jay Bhattacharjee 

Since Independence, politicians and bureaucrats have systematically worked to undermine, even humiliate, our armed forces.

All of us remember 29 September, when Lt. General Ranbir Singh, the Indian Army’s Director-General of Military Operations (DGMO), announced that the armed forces had carried out a carefully planned and meticulously executed strike against terrorist launching pads across the Line of Control (LOC) in Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (POK), earlier in the morning. General Singh was restrained and professional in his brief presentation, carefully avoiding hyperboles and table thumping. Indeed, his conduct was perfectly in consonance with the image of the professional and dedicated soldier that every Indian (well, almost every Indian) has about the nation’s armed forces.

There was widespread jubilation that India had finally come out from its stupor and punished Pakistan and its proxy terrorists for the atrocious attack on the Uri military camp 10 days earlier, and indeed, for the innumerable attacks on India by Pakistani terror modules for more than 30 years. During the few days following the Uri outrage, the country clamoured for a decisive Indian riposte that would send the appropriate message to our perpetually sabre-rattling western neighbour.

Walmart vs. Amazon: Is India the Next Battleground?

Amazon is on overdrive in India. Earlier this year, the world’s largest online retailer became the second-largest online marketplace in the country by shipments and gross merchandise value. (Flipkart remains number one in India.) It also announced an additional $3 billion investment, taking its total investment in India to $5 billion; it launched its popular subscription-based program Amazon Prime to drive customer loyalty; and it announced that it would be soon be introducing its Prime Video service. Recently, in October, the firm launched its “Global Store” for Indian customers enabling them to buy products sold on its U.S. website while paying in Indian currency. Prior to this, while customers from India could buy on Amazon’s U.S. website, they had to pay in dollars.

Amit Agarwal, Amazon India’s vice president and country head, says that “enhancing shopping experience” for customers is “one of the key pillars” for the company. With the Global Store, customers in India will have direct access to thousands of international brands and a starting selection of over 4 million global products. While initially the Global Store will have products from the U.S., over time, products from other key markets such as the U.K., Germany and Japan are also expected to be listed. India, which is one of the fastest growing e-tail markets around the globe, is the third country after China and Mexico to get the Amazon Global Store. This move will no doubt help Amazon compete more vigorously against Flipkart.

India at the Nuclear Security Ministerial Conference

Statement of India by Minister of State for External Affairs, Shri MJ Akbar at IAEA Ministerial Conference on Nuclear Security

His Excellency Mr. Yun Byung-se,Foreign Minister of the Republic of Korea and President of the IAEA Ministerial Conference on Nuclear SecurityHis Excellency Mr. Yukiya Amano, Director General, IAEADistinguished Ministers,Excellencies,Ladies and Gentlemen I would like to commend the IAEA and Director General Amano for organizing the 2016 International Conference on Nuclear Security: Commitment and Actions.I would also like to reiterate at the outset India’s commitment to global nuclear disarmament, non-proliferation and peaceful uses of nuclear energy. Today, with India having taken a leadership position in the effort to combat climate change, India will expand its nuclear energy capacity from the current level of around 6 Giga Watts to over 60 Giga Watts.

Mr. President, few phrases in the language can wholly convey the magnitude of the potential danger of terrorists finding their way, while acting on their own or with the help of revanchist elements, to nuclear instruments. The sane World wants to prevent malignant actors from getting access tonuclear and radiological material and facilities. Recent developments show that terrorist use of WMD materials is not a theoretical concern.A breach of nuclear security could lead to unimaginable consequences. Our meeting is therefore critical, urgent and essential. It underlines the Agency’s central role in strengthening the global nuclear securityframework, in facilitating national efforts on nuclear security, in fostering effective international cooperation,in setting future priorities and in forging technical and policy guidance.This meeting must carry forward the legacy of the Nuclear Security Summit (NSS) process.

US Sanctions Against China Over the East and South China Seas: A Serious Proposal?

By Ankit Panda

Earlier this week, U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) introduced a bill in the Senate Foreign Relations committee that proposes punitive sanctions against China over its activities in maritime disputes in the East and South China Seas. The bill, called the “South China Sea and East China Sea Sanctions Act of 2016” (PDF), proffers a plan to sanction Chinese individuals and entities “that participate in Beijing’s illegitimate operations in the South China Sea and East China Sea,” according to a release by Rubio’s office.

“China’s aggressive actions in the South China Sea are illegitimate and threaten the region’s security and American commerce, with reverberations that can be felt here at home, including Florida’s ports and throughout our state’s shipping and cargo economy,” Rubio noted. “The security of our allies in the region and our own economic livelihoods cannot be endangered by Beijing’s ongoing, flagrant violations of international norms in its pursuit of dominance in the South China Sea and East China Sea.”

The bill would represent an ambitious change in U.S. policy. If it becomes law, it would require the U.S. president to execute a range of punitive sanctions against Chinese individuals and entities for activities in the South China Sea and in turn sanction third-party financial institutions that interact with those entities knowingly. Rubio’s proposals also contain important changes to U.S. policy, such as restricting foreign aid to states that may side with China’s position on disputes in the East and South China Seas and, more importantly, shifting the long-standing U.S. position on not taking sides in questions of territorial sovereignty in maritime disputes (with some exceptions).

Taiwan, Trump And A Telephone: How A Simple Act Called Out A Contradiction In U.S. Diplomacy

With his characteristic bluntness, U.S. President-elect Donald Trump has, at least briefly, wiped away some diplomatic niceties and sent China a clear message: If Beijing wants to sit at the grown-ups' table, it will have to act like an adult.

His method for doing so? A 10-minute phone call to the president of Taiwan. But passing such a message isn't as simple as it sounds. The phone call broke a 40-year diplomatic precedent, something no U.S. president or president-elect has done since Washington withdrew its recognition of Taipei in the 1970s in exchange for closer ties with Beijing. For decades, the United States has stuck to the "one-China" policy, which says that the government in Beijing is the only legal representative of China. Yet at the same time Washington maintained its lines of communication with Taiwan, including trade deals and arms sales. This dual approach is predicated on the United States' acceptance and promotion of what is essentially a piece of elaborate diplomatic fiction.

At the risk of inciting angry letters and accusations of naivety, let me say frankly that Taiwan exists. I know because I was there last year, ahead of its general elections in January 2016. Taiwan has its own independent government, laws, military and police force. It also holds its own elections and chooses its own president. That president sent Trump a congratulatory greeting in early November after the results of the U.S. vote were in, and few eyebrows were raised in the United States or China. But a phone call is another matter entirely, one that shatters the facade of Washington's diplomatic narrative and reveals - in a way perhaps only a political outsider like Trump could - that there is clearly something silly about selling weapons to a country that, according to the official line, doesn't exist. (Or about engaging in the linguistic acrobatics needed to say that Washington recognizes one China without making claims as to which China that is.)

The Limits of Air Strikes when Fighting the Islamic State

By Daniel Byman

When it comes to the Islamic State, who doesn’t want to “bomb the shit out of them,” as our President-elect so eloquently put it? The group is violent, aggressive, and almost cartoonishly evil: torture, mass murder, and sexual slavery are only a few of the abhorrent practices the Islamic State embraces. Left unchecked, it may consolidate power and expand. After years of surviving largely underground, in 2014 it took over vast swaths of Iraq and Syria, and it has established so-called “provinces” in Afghanistan, Egypt, Libya, and other countries.

Bombing is attractive because Americans are rightly leery of a prolonged ground campaign in the Middle East. The Iraq debacle still colors our thinking on intervention. A poll taken in August showed that only 42 percent of Americans favored deploying a significant number of ground troops to Syria to fight the Islamic State, though a slight majority is comfortable with limited numbers of special operations forces.

Air power seems like the perfect middle ground between a large ground force invasion and inaction: a way to hit the Islamic State hard while avoiding an Iraq-like quagmire. The previously cited poll also showed that 72 percent of Americans favor airstrikes on the Islamic State, and apparently our President-elect is among their ranks. As Eliot Cohen, one of our country’s leading military analysts, once wryly remarked, “Air power is an unusually seductive form of military strength, in part because, like modern courtship, it appears to offer gratification without commitment.” Yet air power, if not used carefully, runs all the risks of a one-night stand: it can create false expectations, drag America into unwanted relationships with flawed partners, and winds up meaning little in the long-term.

Hezbollah Losses in Syria Force Changes in Organization’s Behavior

Officials in Washington and abroad should pay close attention to the group’s self-styled 'ambassadors,’ who are increasingly being implicated in criminal and terrorist activities around the world.

Given Hezbollah’s deployment of several thousand fighters in Syria, many of its most seasoned military commanders and terrorist operatives have been pulled away from their traditional missions manning posts along Lebanon’s border with Israel or engaging in financial, logistical, and operational activities abroad. The group has suffered more casualties in the Syria war than in all of its battles with Israel, forcing it to use its cadre of international terrorist operatives assigned to the Islamic Jihad Organization (a.k.a. the External Security Organization, or ESO) as battlefield reinforcements. Consequently, Hezbollah has relied even more than usual on its Foreign Relations Department (FRD), whose members formally serve as liaisons to Shiite communities around the world but who have been increasingly employed in various criminal and terrorist activities.

Russia Updates Plan to Counter Cyberattacks and Foreign Influence


MOSCOW — The Kremlin published a new plan on Tuesday to defend Russia against what it described as stepped-up cyberattacks and “information-psychological” methods by foreign intelligence agencies bent on influencing its population with online information.

The plan updates a similar information security doctrine put in place by President Vladimir V. Putin in 2000, early in his first term, that staked out a renewed role for post-Soviet government in monitoring information.

The latest iteration of the doctrine comes as American officials have mulled retaliating against Russia for what the Department of Homeland Security said was government-orchestrated hacking before the presidential election, including stealing emails from the Democratic National Committee.

The plan, signed by Mr. Putin on Monday but published on Tuesday, described a threat to Russia of technological malfeasance similar to what the United States has accused the Russians of committing. It did not mention, however, any specific online strikes against Russia indicating that American retaliation could be underway.

Russia, the document says, is at risk of attacks on systems of “information support for democratic institutions” and the spread of harmful, false information.

Goodbye to the West


BERLIN – Now that Donald Trump has been elected President of the United States, the end of what was heretofore termed the “West” has become all but certain. That term described a transatlantic world that emerged from the twentieth century’s two world wars, redefined the international order during the four-decade Cold War, and dominated the globe – until now.

The West shouldn’t be confused with the “Occident.” While the West’s culture, norms, and predominant religion are broadly Occidental in origin, it evolved into something different over time. The Occident’s basic character was shaped over centuries by the Mediterranean region (though parts of Europe north of the Alps made many important contributions to its development). The West, by contrast, is transatlantic, and it is a child of the twentieth century.

When World War I began, it was a European conflict between the Central Powers and the Entente of Britain, France, and Russia. It became a true world war only in 1917, when the US entered the fray. This is the moment when what we now call the West began to take form.



It is official: Gen. James Mattis, USMC ret., is President-Elect Trump’s nominee for secretary of defense. Although many national security professionals in the know breathed a sigh of relief, others pulled the alarm on civilian control of the military. It is not good, the argument goes, for general and flag officers to assume the role of civilian leadershipwhen the shine has not yet worn off their stars. But Mattis is so good, others argue. We might have gotten stuck with an ideologue or an outright neophyte. And he even wrote a book on civil-military relations! Surely, one of our most expert warrior-scholars is superior to the other possibilities.

That is probably so. And being a pragmatist, I will stipulate up front that of the names floated for SecDef, I like Mattis the best. He is expert, thoughtful, experienced, tough, smart, and savvy. So, I am not especially worried about how Mattis the man will handle the job. I am far more worried about how the military as an institution will respond and what comes after Mattis.

The 2 Big Reasons Why Russia's Only Aircraft Carrier is Having So Many Problems

Dave Majumdar

The Russian Navy has lost two carrier-based fighters onboard its sole remaining carrier Admiral Kuznetsov in the span of only a few weeks. On both occasions, technical problems with Kuznetsov’s arresting gear played a central role in the accidents—which have cost the Kremlin a Mikoyan MiG-29KUBR Fulcrum-D and a Sukhoi Su-33 Flanker-D. While Kuznetsov’s hardware is old, the bigger issue is Russia’s relative lack of experience in naval aviation and insufficient proficiency with launching and recovering combat aircraft onboard a carrier at sea.

In the case of the first crash on Nov.14—where a MiG-29KUBR ran out of fueland crashed into the Mediterranean—the aircraft was orbiting while deck crews attempted to fix a broken arresting cable that had become entangled with one or the three remaining wires. The cable had snapped when another MiG-29KR had landed safely onboard Kuznetsov—however, that aircraft had caught the fourth and last cable on deck. Meanwhile, the second crash on Dec. 5—this time involving a Su-33 Flanker—was also due to a snapped arresting gear cable.

A Recruiter Offers Real Advice On Getting A Civilian Job After You Transition


A recruiting manager explains what you need to know about getting a job after the military.

Editor’s Note: The following story highlights a veteran who manages recruiting for Amgen. Committed to filling its ranks with talented members of the military community, Amgen is a Hirepurpose client. Learn more here.

When veterans are applying for jobs, there are companies and positions that they may overlook. We spoke with Troy Knapp, a recruiting manager for Amgen, one of the nation’s top biotechnology companies, to find out how veterans can find the right job after transitioning out of the military. As a Marine Corps veteran, Knapp, 45, knows all the typical challenges you’ll face as you try to get your foot in the door in the civilian sector — and all the jobs you’re missing out on because of it. He gave us the lowdown on what you can do to better prepare for your new career after the military.

What jobs are typically open to veterans at Amgen?

Here’s why Ash Carter should stop saying we have the best military in the world

By Col. Gary Anderson, USMC (Ret.)

Ash Carter, the current secretary of defense, has been beginning his recent speeches with the statement that today’s American military is the best the world has ever seen.

That kind of chest beating breeds complacency. History is replete with civilian and military leaders who have made similar claims. The French king said something very similar before the debacle at Agincourt during the Hundred Years War. Numerous French ministers of war, including the infamous Andre Maginot, made similar claims in the 1920s and 30s prior to the humiliating French defeat at the hands of the Germans in 1940. The reality is that Carter currently has no idea how good or bad the American military really is. President-elect Donald Trump and James Mattis, his pick for secretary of defense, have a narrow window to judge how much, if anything, needs to be done at the Pentagon. If they wait too long, any problems will be theirs. Carter has done a good job of looking to the future, and he should be applauded for that. His “Third Offset” strategy is a good blueprint for 2025. But, what about today?

Reforming the National Security Council: It’s About Trust and Accountability

By: Lt. Col. James Price

President Trump’s national security team has to be ready to hit the ground running in January. The list of challenges is long: a resurgent and aggressive Russia, a rising China, a belligerent and nuclear capable North Korea, an Iranian government inserting itself throughout the Middle East, Syria and international terrorism. While a new administration will be eager to address these challenges, one fact is evident: Even the best national security strategy will fail if it does not have the right structure to see it through. As part of my experience as a senior military fellow at a Washington think tank, I have had the good fortune to personally meet with many former Cabinet-level leaders to hear their candid views about our national security process and their message is crystal clear: President Trump needs to reform the National Security Council (NSC) process by shrinking its White House staff and placing trust and accountability back in the hands of his cabinet and NSC principles.

The past two administrations have consolidated national security decision making in the White House by micromanaging the implementation and execution of policy from the NSC staff. President Trump does not need to take a year to find out what previous administrations already recognize; the interagency decision-making and -execution process is broken. Now is the time for our new president to demonstrate trust in Cabinet-level leaders and their departments by cutting his own staff and allowing those NSC principals to advise him and then implement and execute the final policy. The NSC principals, not the NSC staff, should then be held accountable for the implementation and execution in their organizations. The president can and should do this on day one.

How Defense Secretary James 'Mad Dog' Mattis Will Remake The Pentagon

Loren Thompson

President-elect Donald J. Trump’s disclosure that he will seek to name retired Marine Corps General James N. Mattis as the next Secretary of Defense portends big changes at the Pentagon. Although Mattis will require a congressional waiver to serve because he is only recently retired from the military, few in Washington doubt the waiver will be granted.

And with good reason: Mattis is one of the most gifted warfighters of his generation, a highly decorated officer who has led troops in every major U.S. military campaign conducted since the new millennium began. That includes the occupation of Afghanistan, where he was the first marine ever to command a Naval Task Force in combat, and the invasion of Iraq, where he led the 1st Marine Division and then went on to command in both battles of Fallujah.

He subsequently held several of the most senior positions in the Marine Corps before heading two joint commands, retiring in 2013 from the leadership of U.S. Central Command — the regional command that oversees U.S. military operations in the Middle East. As his oft-quoted aphorisms indicate, Mattis is an unusual combination of battle-hardened warfighter and military intellectual. Nobody like him has led the defense department since General George C. Marshall served 65 years ago.

The Danger of the Gray Zone: Flawed Responses to Emerging Unconventional Threats

by Nicholas Hermberg

In the South China Sea, islands able to sustain PLA military operations have been constructed from what previously had been strips of sand or small atolls while Chinese naval militias harass commercial fishing fleets. In Crimea and eastern Ukraine, soldiers lacking national attribution have assisted local forces demanding changes in political boundaries. Russian and Chinese actions have demonstrated a shift in their strategies to project power within their perceived spheres of influence. Less overt than conventional military forces, and more aggressive and assertive than ordinary diplomatic relations, these changed tactics represent a declared “gray zone” between war and peace. The actions of the Chinese and Russian governments convey comprehensive strategic thought, connecting the desired national goals to means able to accomplish these objectives while realizing the realities of the modern international system.

A reactive focus on countering these gray zone tactics fails to appreciate that to adversaries such as Russia and China, the gray zone does not occupy a unique battlefield space, but rather that these actions throughout the conflict spectrum are coordinated efforts to achieve national goals despite the current military and economic advantages of the United States. The United States must counter the gray zone by rejecting frameworks which distinguish between military and diplomatic responses, between conflict and peace, and instead counter these threats with a coherent, national, whole of government strategy that recognizes U.S. goals for the international system and the wide variety of means available towards preserving, maintaining, and expanding national interests. The United States should avoid over-militarizing its response and should embrace alternative means for exercising power and influence on battlefields that no longer distinguish between diplomatic and military victories.

Revealed: The US Military's Electronic War Strategy to Counter Russia

Kris Osborn

The Pentagon’s soon-to-be published Electronic Warfare strategy calls for increased investment in advanced electronic warfare technology designed to defend U.S. assets and proactively use the electromagnetic spectrum to attack enemies.

DOD officials say the new strategy will be signed and distributed in the next two months, with additional annexes expected to be ready by Summer, 2017. The strategy will be an unclassified document to be shared with U.S. military developers and defense industry officials, Pentagon officials said.

Scout Warrior has learned of some key elements featured in the report, such as increasing EW attack technology, advancing new systems and training and equipping EW forces.

“In equipping our forces, we plan to develop advanced electronic attack, advanced electronic warfare support, harden our kill-chains with electronic protection, invest in electromagnetic battle management to manage the numerous assets in the battlespace,” Pentagon spokesman Maj. Roger Cabiness told Scout Warrior.

Signs that Iran, too, is stepping up its cyberattacks


Recent cyberattacks have frozen an unspecified number of computers at two government agencies in Saudi Arabia, and security experts say it is likely that Iran is behind the digital mayhem.

The attacks are believed to have affected thousands of computers at the Saudi civil aviation and transportation agencies, harkening back to a devastating Iranian cyberattack in 2012 that nearly crippled the Saudi state oil company, Aramco.

The Saudi Arabian Monetary Agency, the nation’s central bank, denied a Bloomberg report last week that it was hit, too.

Cybersecurity experts caution that they cannot say for sure that the attacks that began Nov. 17 are from Iranian hackers. But they note a series of similarities to the 2012 cyberattack and say Iranian hackers are especially active.

Our dependence on technology may be growing faster than our ability to provide security on the internet, says Joshua Corman, head of a cybersecurity initiative at the Atlantic Council, a Washington DC think tank.

North Korea cyberattack traced to city in China, report says

By Elizabeth Shim

SEOUL, Dec. 5 (UPI) -- A South Korean military source says it has identified the source of North Korea cyberattacks that targeted the internal networks of the military.

The Internet Protocol address linked to the attacks was traced to a location in Shenyang, China, and a malicious code associated with the address was similar to the one used in North Korean cyberattacks against the South, Yonhap reported.

Seoul's military believes the evidence points to North Korean involvement in a hacking incident aimed at the army's intranet.

"It is our understanding the internal network of the military was hacked from an IP address in Shenyang," a military source told Yonhap. "The malicious code used in the hacking is similar to the code used in several computer breaches."

A separate 2014 cyberattack that infiltrated multiple servers at Korea Hydro and Nuclear Power was also linked to an IP address in Shenyang, according to the report.

The Vulnerability of the North Korean Internet (Such As It Is)

The “hack proof” North Korea Red Star PC OS (operating system) is hackable. That has been made public recently. Where there is one vulnerability there are many, at least when it comes to exploits (OS vulnerabilities) that allow hackers to get in via a network. Many Internet security experts saw this as inevitable after the 2014 North Korea decision to increase Internet access and computer use for students and trusted members of the population. Most of these users only have access to the North Korean Internet. This local Internet is called “Bright” and consists of a few thousand web pages on 28 different websites, all hosted within North Korea and mostly containing educational or propaganda material plus government announcements of importance. The news sites on Bright give the government version of the news. Discussion is permitted, but constantly monitored for disloyalty. Bright is isolated from the international Internet and access to Internet sites outside North Korea is strictly monitored, as is email outside the country. Anyone who misuses either Bright or the international Internet access is severely punished. Thus while Internet access is sought, it is also feared.