4 May 2017

*** America and China’s strategic relationship

After seven decades of hegemony in Asia, America now has to accommodate an increasingly powerful China, says Dominic Ziegler. Can Donald Trump’s administration manage that?

THE LAST TIME China considered itself as powerful as it does today, Abraham Lincoln was in the White House. At that time, and against the mounting evidence of Western depredations, the emperor still clung to the age-old belief that China ruled all under heaven, a world order unto itself. It never had allies in the Western sense, just nations that paid tribute to it in exchange for trade. Both China and “the outside countries”, he wrote to Lincoln, constitute “one family, without any distinction”.

Today, after a century and a half that encompassed Western imperial occupation, republican turmoil, the plunder of warlords, Japanese invasion, civil war, revolutionary upheaval and, more recently, phenomenal economic growth, China has resumed its own sense of being a great power. It has done so in a very different world: one led by America. For three-quarters of a century, America has been the hegemon in East Asia, China’s historical backyard.

*** Untangling the Web of Russia's Cyber Operations

If the Russian state falls into another period of crisis, the cyber operatives working for the Kremlin could turn against it, much as Moscow's criminal contacts have in the past. 

Still, the benefits of hiring criminal hackers to conduct cyber operations abroad will continue to outweigh the risks for the Russian government. 

As investigators around the world keep working to dismantle Moscow's hacking networks, digital meddling in foreign elections will remain a mainstay of Russian intelligence operations. 

Russia's interest in foreign elections didn't end with the U.S. presidential race. Two days after the first round of the French presidential election on April 23, a cybersecurity firm based in Japan reported that Russian hackers had targeted Emmanuel Macron's campaign in the runup to the vote. Macron, one of two candidates who advanced to the runoff slated for May 7, had accused the Kremlin of discrediting his campaign, and his staff complained of constant, sophisticated phishing attempts throughout the race. Phishing, though not the most advanced technique, has proved highly effective for conducting criminal activity and espionage; the Kremlin allegedly used the same tactic to interfere in the U.S. vote. Recent developments have shed light on the apparent ties between Russia's state security apparatus and the world's most sophisticated cybercriminals.

** Commercial Logistics Critical to U.S. Global Power Projection

When government officials and defense experts speak of the ability of the U.S. to project military power globally they usually make reference to this nation’s dominance in warfighting capabilities, such as aircraft carriers, amphibious warfare ships, strategic bombers, advanced fighters, mobile air and missile defenses or military space systems. Without question, all of these capabilities, along with forward deployed and rapidly deployable Army and Marine Corps units, are important constituent elements of a superpower military. However, it takes logistics for these U.S. fleets, systems and capabilities to go anywhere, fight anyone and stay there, for years and decades.

One area where this country has a significant advantage over any putative adversary is in logistics. Over the past several decades, even as the bulk of forward deployed U.S. forces came home from their overseas bases, the military not only retained but improved its ability to conduct overseas operations, deploy and sustain joint forces worldwide. No other nation on Earth has this ability. It is particularly significant to the operations of a military that is largely continental-U.S. (CONUS)-based but tasked with multiple security responsibilities around the globe.

** US Military Spending Still Makes China, Russia Look Small

By Rob Garver

For the decade that ended with 2016, the United States’ two major geopolitical rivals doubled their spending on defense, a new analysis from the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute shows. That only leaves them several hundred billion dollars per year behind what the US spends.

Between 2007 and 2016, China increased the amount it spends on defense each year by 118 percent, to $215 billion, and Russia over the same period increased its military spending by 87 percent to $69.2 billion, the SIPRI report states.

But as an indication of the extraordinary amount of money the U.S. pours into the Pentagon each year, they still spend less than half of what the Pentagon gets from U.S. taxpayers every year. In 2016, the US spent about $611 billion on defense, according to SIPRI estimates -- more than China, Russia, Saudi Arabia, France, the UK, Japan and Germany combined.

Let’s Speak in English

by Sunanda K Datta-Ray

LET PURISTS FRET and pundits fume while politicians plot for all they are worth. I am convinced the worthy aspirations of the multitude will save us from being swept away by an avalanche of Hindi fanaticism. The ambitious young Indian is not a prisoner of geography. The world is his oyster. And the world isn’t Hindi-speaking. Indira Gandhi understood the score. I repeatedly come across contemporary versions of her story of the two knowledgeable Englishmen who were arguing whether tashri or rakabi was the right word for a small salver. Unable to decide, they asked their Hindi-speaking bearer. “Huzoor,” he replied, “hum toh isko ‘palate’ kehte hain. (Sir, we call this a plate).” 
Weaned on classical theories of nationhood, which regard linguistic unity as necessary for a country’s cohesion, Jawaharlal Nehru tried to make Hindi the national language. But being a democrat and sensitive to sectarian aspirations, he couldn’t bring himself to force India’s rich diversity into the straitjacket of a single mould. His Official Languages Act ensured English would remain paramount for a decade. Although often accused of dictatorial tendencies, his daughter shared his cosmopolitan outlook and concern for the hopes and fears of people in the South and Northeast who lacked the political clout of the Gangetic plain but were equal members of the Indian family. She amended Nehru’s Act to guarantee indefinite extension of official status for English. That remains the law of the land through which small men burdened with a task much bigger than them threaten to drive coach and horses. Ironically, it’s a minority government that wants to foist a minority language on the majority. While only 26 per cent of Indians speak Hindi, the Bharatiya Janata Party won only 31 per cent of the national vote in 2014. 

Sukma is a wake-up call

Rajeev Chandrasekhar

The injured CRPF jawans being shifted to Raipur for treatment. 

Only better training, equipment and tactics will help security forces prevail over the Maoists

The Maoist attack on the 99-member Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) party in Sukma, Chhattisgarh, in which at least 25 jawans lost their lives, has once again brought the focus on not just the threat represented by left-wing extremism (LWE) but also questions of preparation, equipping, training and strategy of the CRPF that is bearing the brunt of the burden in this fight.

The fight against Maoists has been characterised by high casualty count of our security forces. The Sukma attack of April 24 was reminiscent of the ambush in Dantewada in April 2010 when Maoists killed 76 CRPF personnel and decamped with their weapons and explosives.
Deaths after deaths

Predictably there is anger, and there will be heavy payback for the Maoists. But it is indeed inexplicable that despite the five-decade-long insurgent movement, and a large number of paramilitary personnel along with State police being deployed in Maoism-affected areas, there seems to be no clear strategic approach to the problem and the forces do not have an upper hand in the areas.

Taliban and Islamic State clash in eastern Afghanistan


The Islamic State’s Wilayah Khorasan (or Khorasan province) claimed gains at the Taliban’s expense earlier today. The two sides clashed in the Chaparhar district of Afghanistan’s eastern Nangarhar province, where they have fought each other repeatedly during the past two years.

A “number of soldiers of the caliphate in Wilayah Khorasan set out at dawn yesterday towards positions of the apostate Taliban in the area of Chaparhar,” the Islamic State claimed in a statement released via social media. Abu Bakr al Baghdadi’s followers added that they used “light and heavy” weapons during the “violent clashes,” killing 10 Taliban members and capturing three others. After allegedly forcing the Taliban’s men to flee the area, the self-declared caliphate’s “mujahidin” recovered spoils, including a “machine guns,” “cannons” and “other weapons,” as well as ammunition.

Local Afghan authorities confirmed that the two sides fought one another once again. According to Khaama Press, the provincial government in Nangarhar issued a statement saying several civilians, including children, were killed or wounded during the crossfire. The provincial authority reported that 21 Taliban members and seven Islamic State fighters were killed, with nine more from both sides wounded. (The provincial government’s estimate of the Taliban’s casualties is higher than the Islamic State’s self-reported claim.)

No Sunset for Pakistan’s Secret Military Courts

By Maria Kari

A failure of justice and a black mark on Pakistan’s global image. 

On April 10 Pakistan found guilty and sentenced to death Indian citizen Kulbhushan Jadhav on charges of espionage.

As a retired naval officer, Jadhav would not have been subject to military justice in India. But a temporary amendment to the Pakistani constitution (originally known as the 21st Amendment, now the 28th Amendment) allows Pakistan to try civilians who have been accused of acts of terrorism or treason in secret military proceedings.

Not much information is available on the inner mechanisms of these courts. What we do know is that they tend to typically operate without being curtailed by the usual checks and balances put in place to rein in civilian courts.

This unchecked freedom means Pakistani military tribunals, since their full-fledged introduction in 2015, have been operating in a clandestine fashion that is undoubtedly in gross violation of the basic tenets of international human rights law.

Such hearings are typically closed not only to the public but also to the accused’s legal counsel, if they even have any, and to their family members. The latter is one of the chief complaints lodged against Pakistan’s military courts as family members have started publicly speaking out against the lack of information given to them over reasons for the arrest and where the accused is being held.

Taliban Unleashes ‘Spring Offensive’ in Afghanistan

Ayaz Gull

The Taliban has unleashed its annual so-called “spring offensive” in Afghanistan, saying it will mainly target U.S.-led foreign “occupation” troops to force them to quit the country.

In a formal announcement released Friday, the Islamist insurgency claimed “Operation Mansouri” went into action early Friday morning across all 34 Afghan provinces.

It explained the offensive has been named after Taliban chief Mullah Akhtar Mansour, who was killed by an American drone last year.

“These operations will involve conventional attacks, guerrilla warfare, complex martyrdom (suicide) attacks, insider attacks, and use of IEDs (improvised explosive devices) to achieve their objectives,” said the statement by the Taliban’s so-called leadership war council.

No Letup in Attacks

While there has been no letup in insurgent attacks in Afghanistan over the past several years, the onset of springtime militants to ramp up their activities because melting snows on mountain peaks allows insurgents to launch major battlefield attacks.



The batteries of North Korean artillery lie just on the other side of the divided peninsula’s demilitarized zone. There are thousands of them—some hidden, others out in the open. Artillery shells are stored in an elaborate network of tunnels; and though much of the weaponry and ammunition is old, U.S. forces stationed in South Korea have no doubt they would be effective.

Less than 40 miles to the south is the sprawling city of Seoul, the capital of South Korea, with a metropolitan area of 24 million inhabitants. Ever since a cease-fire ended hostilities between North and South Korea in 1953, the residents of Seoul have lived with the knowledge that a war with their brethren in the north could break out again; it is a notion not often acknowledged but embedded in their DNA. And now, again, the fraught Korean Peninsula seems a single miscalculation away from calamity. Since his election, President Donald Trump and his foreign policy team have escalated their rhetoric about the North, insisting that U.S. patience with North Korea’s nuclear and missile program has run out. Pyongyang has responded with rhetoric even more bellicose than usual. On April 20, a state-owned newspaper threatened that Pyongyang would deliver a “super-mighty pre-emptive strike’’ against the U.S., whose forces were in the midst of massive military exercises with their South Korean ally.

Trump and China: Risking a Middle East Arms Race

Saudi Arabia & Israel believe Iran’s nuclear agreement bought them a decade free of Iranian nukes.

For Saudi Arabia and Israel, Trump's tougher policy towards Iran supports their approach.

Trump's policy toward Iran risks sparking a regional arms race as an unintended consequence.

Saudi Arabia is preparing for nuclear capability in case Iran is freed from the nuclear agreement.

U.S. President Donald Trump is not pleased. In his fiery election campaign pronouncements, Mr. Trump had described the nuclear agreement as “one of the worst deals I’ve ever seen” and vowed to “dismantle” it. The agreement was concluded two years ago with the world’s major powers.

Limits to U.S. power

To his chagrin, Mr. Trump has found himself forced to acknowledge that Iran is complying with the nuclear deal. His strategy stems from the realization that the United States would render itself impotent if he were to unilaterally terminate the agreement with Iran.

Mattis Under Pressure to Look into China's Backdoor Threat to National Security

House Armed Services Committee members are ringing the alarm bells about a pending funding deal with China that might give the country access to sensitive U.S. secrets.

A group of lawmakers has begun pressuring Defense Secretary James Mattis to look into whether China’s effort to acquire additional access to the largest dedicated infrared telescope in the Northern Hemisphere would allow it to spy on some of the Pentagon’s space secrets.

House Armed Services Strategic Forces subcommittee chairman Mike Rogers and ranking member Jim Cooper, with chairwoman Elise Stefanik and ranking member Jim Langevin of the House Armed Services Emerging Threats and Capabilities subcommittee, sent Mattis an April 26 letter describing their concerns about the East Asian Observatory’s access to the United Kingdom Infrared Telescope on Wednesday. The Chinese Academy of Sciences funds the observatory in conjunction with Japan, South Korea and Taiwan. The foreign research group wants access to the telescope, which is leased by the University of Hawaii and operated under a Scientific Cooperation Agreement led by the University of Arizona.

Funding for the telescope will cease this year, and now university operators need a new money windfall so that they can continue using it to conduct research.

The U.S. Army Has Big Plans If a War with Russia or China Ever Went Down

Kris Osborn

The Army is now crafting new combat “operations” doctrine designed to better position the service for the prospect of large-scale, mechanized, force-on-force warfare against technologically advanced near-peer rivals – such as Russia or China - able to substantially challenge US military technological superiority.

Rigorous examination is now underway among Army leaders and service doctrine developers in preparation for a new or evolved concept, called “FM 3.0 Operations,” slated to emerge this coming October.

It is intended as a supplement or adjustment to the Army’s current “FM 3.0 Full Spectrum” Field Manual, Rickey Smith, Deputy Chief of Staff, US Army Training and Doctrine Command, told Scout Warrior in an interview.

“We are working on the next iteration of a field manual for operations, which looks at where we are and where we are going. You cannot view the current force as the only answer. Things are evolving and you do not want to wait for some perfect end state,” Smith said.

While the emerging “operations” doctrine adaptation does recognize that insurgent and terrorist threats from groups of state and non-state actors will likely persist for decades into the future, the new manual will focus intently upon preparedness for a fast-developing high-tech combat environment against a major adversary.

Stability Operations in Syria The Need for a Revolution in Civil-Military Affairs

Anthony H. Cordesman

In an ideal world, the U.S. military would only have a military role. But, in practice, no one gets to fight the wars they want, and this is especially true today. The United States is deeply involved in wars that can only be won at the civil-military level, and where coming to grips with the deep internal divisions and tensions of the host country, and the pressures from outside states, are critical. Unless the United States adapts to this reality, it can easily lose the war at the civil level even when it wins at the military level. This is especially true in the case of the “failed states” where the United States is now fighting. The United States either has to hope for a near-miraculous improvement in the governance and capability of host-country partners, or focus on successful civil-military operations as being as important for success as combat.

So far, the United States has failed to recognize the sheer scale of the civil problems it faces in conducting military operations. It has failed to understand that it needs to carry out a revolution in civil-military affairs if it is to be successful in fighting failed-state wars that involve major counterinsurgency campaigns and reliance on host-country forces. The U.S. military role in Syria is a key case in point, and it illustrates all too clearly that any military effort to avoid dealing with the full consequences of the civil side of war can be a recipe for failure.

Russia Has a Ton of Problems in Syria — Israeli Air Strikes Are Not One of Them

Paul Iddon

The Kremlin’s missiles could threaten Israeli warplanes, but it’s curious that they haven’t

Israel’s Arrow missile defense system saw its combat debut in March 2017 when it shot down a Syrian S-200 surface-to-air missile, which was fired at Israeli fighter jets. The jets were returning home from an air strike inside Syria, reportedly targeting Syrian military positions in the country’s Homs province.

This strike possibly constitutes the deepest Israeli air mission into Syrian territory so far during the civil war.

“The next time the Syrians use their air defense system against our planes we will destroy them without the slightest hesitation,” Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman declared following the incident.

For its part, the Syrian regime threatened to fire Scud ballistic missiles into Israel in retaliation for future strikes. This response, a Syrian government statement added, would target Israeli military bases were Israel to attack Syrian military targets, and Israeli civilian targets in retaliation for Israeli attacks which hit Syrian civilian targets.

Russia-US Move into Cold Peace- Implications for India in South Asia

By Prateek Kapil

This article argues that contrary to popular opinion, the US military strike on the Syrian Airfield does not indicate a deterioration of US-Russia relations. The Syria strike was limited to punishment for use of chemical weapons[1]- officially supported by the Chinese foreign ministry[2]. The key to understanding present Russia-US relations is the fact that President’s Putin approval ratings have improved[3] markedly among Trump supporters. Despite the Syria strike, Secretary of state Tillerson and foreign minister Lavrov conducted a bilateral meeting and President Trump tweeted the same night that “Things will work out fine between the U.S.A. and Russia. At the right time everyone will come to their senses & there will be lasting peace!” While this sounds uncertain, the onset of the Trump administration has led to marked improvement in communication and meetings between US-Russia in comparison to the Obama administration. However, competition still exists in Syria, Ukraine and South Asia- specifically Afghanistan and Pakistan. It seems that by making statements of deteriorating relations that appeal to the gallery and keep their political opponents guessing, both leaders are aiming for a self-negating prophecy. This is because the Trump administration has faced scathing criticism domestically and the dismissal of ex-NSA Flynn due to secret relations with Russian officials.

Exporting North Korea’s Nukes

The United States has announced that it’s reserving the option of military force to prevent North Korea acquiring the means to deliver a nuclear warhead using a long range ballistic missile. It’s time to check our thinking about what North Korea’s counterattack response might be. Not all of the DPRK’s potential responses, nor their potential impacts, are being discussed.

Current assessments of North Korea’s ability to attack the US are based on the assumption that delivery of a nuclear weapon is dependent on missile technology. But North Korea already has a system capable of delivering nuclear weapons anywhere—it’s just not rocket powered.

Globalisation’s been driven in part by the development of technology. One of the most significant developments was the invention of shipping containers. Designed for peaceful and lawful purposes, they’ve been used—and continue to be used—as instruments of crime, to move narcotics, weapons, stolen property, and humans around the world. They could also be used to deliver nuclear weapons. They’re the perfect intercontinental mobile ballistic ‘missile’ system. A nuclear weapon placed inside a container could be delivered to any country and to any city, including those far from sea ports, using trains or trucks. And they cannot be destroyed by anti-ballistic missile systems being deployed by the US.

How Should We Treat Our Military Robots?


Increasingly human-like automated weapons demand an honest accounting of our emotional responses to them. 

The audience of venture capitalists, engineers and other tech-sector denizens chuckled as they watched a video clip of an engineer using a hockey stick to shove a box away from the Atlas robot that was trying to pick it up. Each time the humanoid robot lumbered forward, its objective moved out of reach. From my vantage point at the back of the room, the audience’s reaction to the situation began to sound uneasy, as if the engineer’s actions and their invention’s response had crossed some imaginary line.

If these tech mavens aren’t sure how to respond to increasingly life-like robots and artificial intelligence systems, I wondered, what are we in the defense community missing?

This is a pressing question. Military autonomous capabilities are no longer an abstract area of promise – and peril. “The idea of artificial intelligence and computing becoming almost human is very much what we’re working on today with some of our technologies,” said AMD President and CEO Lisa Su in a WIRED video interview with legendary film director Ridley Scott, whose Alien saga and Blade Runner films shaped how many of us visualize lifelike robots. 

You don’t have to be a dystopic-minded science fiction writer to realize that the next few years will see military and government officials make long-reaching decisions regarding the use and regulation of AI and machine learning, robotics, and autonomous cyber and kinetic weapons. These choices will alter the course of global affairs in the 21st century, and even shape the conflicts in which we’re engaged today. “Almost nowhere do I see a technology that’s current that offers as much as autonomy,” Will Roper, the head of the Defense Department’s Strategic Capabilities Office, said in a recent interview. “We’re working very hard to produce a learning system.” 

Treading the Way of Ignorance Officer Education and Critical Thought

In order to arrive at what you do not know 
You must go by a way which is the way of ignorance.

—East Coker,” T. S. Eliot

On 25 November 1950, a Chinese army numbering in the hundreds of thousands unexpectedly emerged from the forbidding mountains of North Korea and crashed into the U.S. Eighth Army. Chinese soldiery, fired by revolutionary zeal and hardened by twenty years of constant conflict, flowed around U.S. units in the broken terrain like a human tide.1 U.S. forces, strung out “from hell to breakfast,” as one corps commander put it, found themselves isolated in individual companies and battered until they broke and fled south.2 In ensuing days, the U.S. 2nd Infantry Division was beaten, broken, and forced to retreat down a six-mile corridor of fire and death that earned the sobering appellation “the Gauntlet.” As U.S. forces retrograded toward Seoul, strident voices in the United States demanded to know what had happened. How had the mighty U.S. Army, that muscular organization that had crushed two aspiring world empires within the last decade, taken such a blow from a rabble of lightly armed peasant soldiers? How could an army three hundred thousand strong mass against U.S. forces and achieve complete surprise?

Multi-Domain Battle Will Require a Totally Different Type of Leader

By A.J. Shattuck

The strategic challenges posed by resurgent global powers have largely escaped the headlines of major news publications. Most citizens do not realize that Russia and China possess the technology capable of denying US forces the ability to operate uncontested in the western Pacific Ocean or eastern Europe. Given that preserving the current rules-based international order is a key security interest of the United States, this issue poses significant problems for the US military. Fortunately, members of the defense community are formulating ways to solve this new challenge.

Planners and strategists within the institutional Army are underway developing the much-publicized concept known as Multi-Domain Battle (MDB). This concept attempts to mitigate recent gains by near-peer (soon to be peer) competitors by leveraging rapid joint execution. In order to succeed, the United States must create temporary windows of superiority in a given domain of battle by using cross-domain fires, and then exploit that window to create temporary footholds with which to create further gains. Dedicated professionals remain hard at work creating new doctrine and even new task forces to optimize military efforts in line with this future warfighting concept. However, they are failing to make advances in one key area: leader development. Until the US Army develops leaders with the means, authority, and education to properly execute MDB, it will fail to adapt to an increasingly rapid pace of battle.

Lawfare 101 A Primer

Maj. Gen. Charles Dunlap Jr., U.S. Air Force, Retired

Sgt. Kyle Hale of 1st Battalion, 6th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Armored Division, contains an unruly crowd 10 June 2008 to protect a man who was nearly trampled outside the Al Rasheed Bank in the Jamila market in the Shiite enclave of Sadr City, Baghdad, Iraq. (Photo by Petros Giannakouris, Associated Press)

For many commanders and other military leaders, the role of law in twenty-first century conflicts is a source of frustration. Some think it is “handcuffing” them in a way that is inhibiting combat success.1For others, law is another “tool that is used by the enemies of the West.”2 For at least one key ally, Great Britain, law seems to be injecting counterproductive hesitancy into operational environments.3All of these interpretations have elements of truth, but at the same time they are not quite accurate in providing an understanding of what might be called the role of lawfare in today’s military conflicts.

Law has become central to twenty-first century conflicts. Today’s wars are waged in what Joel Trachtman calls a “law-rich environment, with an abundance of legal rules and legal fora.”4 This is the result of many factors outside of the military context, including the impact of internationalized economics. Still, as the Global Policy Forum points out, globalization “is changing the contours of law and creating new global legal institutions and norms.”5

Moving microwave weapons from lab to battlefield

By Kevin Robinson-Avila

Massive ray guns that use microwaves to instantaneously down a swarm of incoming enemy drones are approaching prime-time reality, and could propel New Mexico into a leadership role in the next wave of modern defense technology.

The Air Force Research Laboratory at Kirtland Air Force Base is leading an effort to move such weapons out of the lab and into the hands of war fighters, with help from industry partners like Raytheon Missile Systems’ Ktech division in Albuquerque.

Those efforts have strong backing from New Mexico’s congressional delegation, particularly from Democratic Sen. Martin Heinrich, who is spearheading a push to pump more federal spending into development programs and to encourage the Pentagon to move faster on deployment.

“This technology using microwaves and lasers is ready for prime time,” Heinrich told the Journal. “We’ve spent a lot on research and development over the years, but today we’re now capable of shooting down rockets, missiles or mortars that could put our troops in danger. It’s developed enough to go beyond research and put this technology into the hands of Americans to make a difference.”

Air Force Cyber-Protects F-22


The F-22, often referred to by Air Force developers as an “aerial quarterback,” relies upon data link technology connecting to other aircraft and ground stations as more of the F-22’s technologies and avionics--such as radar warning receivers, mission data files, navigation and target mapping systems--are computer based,

The Air Force is working closely with industry partners to strengthen cybersecurity for larger service platforms such as an F-22 or F-35 fighters.

“We have to understand that today’s weapons systems are not operating in isolation. They are operating as part of a netted enterprise. Each weapons system will interface with a broader DOD network,” Allan Ballenger, vice president of the Air Force division at Engility Corp, told Scout Warrior. 

Engility was recently awarded a $31 million task order deal from the Air Force Life Cycle Management Center, at Hanscom AFB, Mass.

The F-22, often referred to by Air Force developers as an “aerial quarterback,” relies upon data link technology connecting to other aircraft and ground stations as more of the F-22’s technologies and avionics--such as radar warning receivers, mission data files, navigation and target mapping systems--are computer based,

The emerging F-35’s “sensor fusion” is entirely contingent upon modernized computer algorithms able to help gather, organize and present combat-relevant information to a pilot by synthesizing otherwise disparate data such as targeting, mapping and sensor data onto a single screen.

Outgoing CIA lawyer says the top threat facing US is cyber


During her tenure as the CIA's top lawyer, Caroline Krass dealt with investigations into the CIA's enhanced interrogation programs and black sites, unrest in Ukraine and Crimea, the rise of ISIS, normalizing relations with Cuba, the Syrian refugee crisis, and Russian meddling. Now headed out the door, she says the most challenging threat the United States faces comes from cyberspace.

"I think the hardest [legal questions] were those that surrounded cyber," Krass said on Tuesday at an event at Georgetown University Law School. "It's an evolving area of the law, trying to determine answers to questions like what constitutes a use of force…what are the measures to combat such a use of force?"

President Donald Trump is hoping to confirm a new top lawyer for the Central Intelligence Agency this week to replace Krass, who is stepping down after three years. She'd previously worked in the Department of Justice's Office of Legal Counsel, the National Security Council, the State Department, and the Treasury.

Getting the legal lay of the land correct in cyberspace is still on Washington's to-do list, even though think tanks and experts have spent years arguing about what the rules of the road for cyberspace might look like. Washington, for example, has no formal definitions for cyber warfare or any clear standards for how to retaliate for cyber attacks.

America, not the services, needs cyber forces [Commentary]

By: Jim Perkins

The U.S. Army’s effort to create a cyber force is an inspiring example of how to affect rapid change within a bureaucracy. They have made tremendous progress in just a few years and lead the other services. The bad news is that the Army continues to struggle in the war for talent in cyberspace. 

The good news is that this is a fight that the Army does not need to win, or even participate in. The Army and its sister services simply have no reason to have specific cyber forces — and it may be best for the American military if they were to realize it.

Even before cyber was emphasized, each of the services already had teams working on network defense operations, but that’s not a good reason to double-down on poor design. Unfortunately, a widespread lack of understanding and interservice rivalry has clouded judgment on setting up our cyber defenses, and thanks to availability bias, senior leaders see the emergence of cyber through the lens of Special Operations Command in 1987, not the creation of the U.S. Air Force in 1947. We need a professional cyber service — self-policing technical experts — but the current solution is fundamentally flawed.