19 May 2017

*** Russia Tries the Diplomatic Approach in Syria

It can be difficult to separate the important from unimportant on any given day. Reflections mean to do exactly that — by thinking about what happened today, we can consider what might happen tomorrow.

For months, Russia has been looking for a way out of the Syrian conflict. Moscow is working to devise an exit strategy that will enable it to both safeguard its interests in the war-torn country and avoid getting stuck in a quagmire there. To that end, Russia proposed a plan during the latest round of peace talks in Kazakhstan to set up "de-escalation zones" in Syria. Iran and Turkey agreed to the deal, and Moscow has since pressed the United States to join in. The issue figured prominently in U.S. President Donald Trump's conversation with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov when the two met in Washington on Wednesday. Though the de-escalation zone initiative — Russia's latest attempt to ease its way out of Syria and improve its standing with the United States — is a risky one, it has several factors working in its favor. Still, its success is far from certain.

The de-escalation zone plan is full of loopholes and deliberately vague, excluding key areas where loyalist forces are still advancing. These features could prove strong selling points for Iran and the government of Syrian President Bashar al Assad, Russia's primary — but increasingly wary — allies in the conflict. Moscow crafted the plan so as not to interfere with the loyalist campaigns currently underway against rebel sectors. The proposal includes a clause sanctioning strikes against terrorists, a provision Russian and loyalist forces could invoke to continue their attacks on rebel forces. (Each party, after all, has demonstrated its skill in labeling the same rebel factions alternately as terrorist groups and as opposition fighters to suit their operational military goals.) At the same time, however, the plan gives loyalist forces the option to halt the fighting in rebel-held areas as needed.

** Decoding the Joint Indian Armed Forces Doctrine

Dinakar Peri

More clarity is needed on implementing the Joint Indian Armed Forces Doctrine

“Surgical strikes”, probably the most abused term of 2016, are now the new norm. The Joint Doctrine of the Indian Armed Forces 2017, released in April, has formally embedded them as a part of sub-conventional operations — meaning that from now on, they are among a range of options at the military’s disposal to respond to terrorist attacks.

The more interesting aspect in the second such joint doctrine since 2006 is that the scope of “surgical strikes” has been left open. There is no mention of their employment being within the country or beyond its borders — the ambiguity is intended to send a message in the neighbourhood.

Larger message lost

In this context, it is important to note that the surgical strikes in September 2016 on terror camps along the Line of Control, though much maligned due to political chest-thumping draped in the camouflage of nationalism, did achieve some far-reaching strategic objectives. They were never meant to put an end to terrorism but reversed a discourse which began in 1998 that India was out of conventional options in its quiver in the face of continued cross-border terrorism after the Indian and Pakistani nuclear tests. Unfortunately, this bigger message was lost in the noise.

** Iran warns will hit militant 'safe havens' inside Pakistan

The head of the Iranian armed forces warned Islamabad on Monday that Tehran would hit bases inside Pakistan if the government does not confront Sunni militants who carry out cross-border attacks.

Ten Iranian border guards were killed by militants last month. Iran said Jaish al Adl, a Sunni militant group, had shot the guards with long-range guns, fired from inside Pakistan.

The border area has long been plagued by unrest from both drug smuggling gangs and separatist militants.

"We cannot accept the continuation of this situation," Major General Mohammad Baqeri, the head of the Iranian armed forces was quoted as saying by state news agency IRNA.

"We expect the Pakistani officials to control the borders, arrest the terrorists and shut down their bases."

"If the terrorist attacks continue, we will hit their safe havens and cells, wherever they are," he said.

Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif visited Pakistan last week and asked Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to improve the border security. Pakistan assured Iran it would deploy additional troops along its border.

* What Drives Terrorism Part 1: Ideology And Theory

What drives terrorism? It's a question asked by governments and individuals, militaries and businesses. In an April 27 webinar in which Fred Burton and I discussed the evolution of terrorist threats toward soft targets, we briefly discussed this very topic. Knowing what these influential forces are is crucial to understanding how an attack is conducted, placing it in context and, perhaps most important, anticipating and even forecasting future changes in terrorism trends.

Tactics and tradecraft never stop changing, either: They are constantly evolving to respond to external forces that enable, constrain and otherwise shape them. And while the list may differ among experts, the main drivers the Stratfor Threat Lens team tracks are ideology and terrorist theory, political and economic developments, counterterrorism efforts, technology, and media coverage.

Based on public interest from the webinar, I'd like to pull back the curtain and provide a glimpse into how our methodology assesses these five driving forces. In this series, each one will be examined individually, but it's important to remember that not one factor operates in isolation - the world does not work that way. They are all interconnected, and almost always working together (or at cross purposes) to help transform terrorism dynamics.
Terrorist Ideology

There are many definitions of terrorism, but for our purposes we will loosely define it as politically motivated violence against noncombatants. While many groups and individuals practice terrorism, terrorism for the sake of terror is not their end goal. Instead, it's merely one tool that's used to achieve a greater purpose, whether that objective is launching a revolution that will bring about a "workers' paradise," providing animals the same rights as humans or establishing a global caliphate.

From Jadhav to Jindal, It’s Clear the Pakistani Military is Feeling More Confident Than Ever


Since the 1960s, the risk of conflict has increased every time both India and Pakistan were at the same level of geopolitical buoyancy. 

The current state of hostilities between India and Pakistan has grown sharper, more intense and ugly than what it was a decade ago. There is now little formal communication but increased finger pointing. Part of the problem is that the key decision makers on either side look through a different set of lenses. 

India and the civilian leaders in Islamabad may desire peace and the resolution of outstanding disputes but this can’t be accomplished through secret negotiations between the two political governments.The Pakistani military has built and popularised the narrative that it alone caters can secure the territorial and ideological integrity of the country and that matters between India and Pakistan may certainly not be resolved by a prime minister whose future hangs in the balance due to a court case accusing him of corruption. The recent announcement by military spokesman Maj. General Asif Ghafoor that he had withdrawn his tweet against the prime minister’s notification regarding the Dawn leaks is in no way an indicator of Sharif now having the power to move forward on India. 

China and India's Diplomatic Space Race

By Namrata Goswami

Today, space programs have very practical diplomatic and economic functions here on earth. 

During the Cold War, achievements in outer space were viewed as demonstrations of power and ideological reputation. For instance, when the Soviet Union broadcast its technological competence by launching the first ever man-made satellite, Sputnik, in 1957, the world stood up and took notice. The United States followed suit with its Apollo program and achieved mankind’s first moon landing in 1969. Winning the race to be first somewhere in outer space mattered a great deal then.

Since then, however, dynamics have changed. Today, countries like India and China link their outer space programs not to achieving global “firsts” but to their advancing their economic development and wielding diplomatic influence here on Earth. For instance, Chinese President Xi Jinping believes that China’s investment in outer space will enhance scientific innovation, boost creative entrepreneurial success, and create long-term prosperity for the Chinese nation. With this in mind, China is encouraging private outer space start-ups like Landspace and Onespace to enter the lucrative commercial market of outer space launches.

Thinking the Unthinkable: Are American Organizations in China Ready for a Serious Crisis?

By: Matthew Brazil

Since the 2016 General Election, American relations with the People’s Republic of China (PRC) have followed a rollercoaster-like trajectory. Days before his inauguration, President Trump briefly reversed decades of predictable American conduct in a telephone conversation with Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen and hinted a departure from the “one China policy,” (CNA.com.tw, December 3, 2016; Reuters, January 12). During his confirmation hearings, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson proposed blocking access to China’s artificial islands in the South China Sea and triggered an outraged response from Beijing (C-SPAN, January 11, Global Times, January 13).

Then came the public reversals. With little explanation, Trump endorsed “One China” during his call with Chinese President Xi Jinping in early February (Xinhuanet, February 10). PRC Prime Minister Li Keqiang subsequently expressed optimism about the U.S.-China relationship in the lead up to the Xi-Trump meeting in early April (XinhuaNet and New York Times, March 15). During Secretary of State Tillerson’s visit to Beijing a week later, he adopted Chinese phraseology to describe the bilateral relationship, something that previous U.S. administrations had carefully avoided (Xinhuanet and Washington Post, March 19).

How Russia and China Would Wage War Against America: Kill the Satellites

Dave Majumdar

Russia and China are actively pursuing new weapons and capabilities to counter America’s dominance of space according a U.S. Intelligence Community assessment. Indeed, both nations are considering the development of weapons that could attack U.S. satellites and other space-based assets in orbit.

“We assess that Russia and China perceive a need to offset any U.S. military advantage derived from military, civil, or commercial space systems and are increasingly considering attacks against satellite systems as part of their future warfare doctrine,” reads congressional testimony from Daniel Coats, director of National Intelligence on May 11. “Both will continue to pursue a full range of anti- satellite (ASAT) weapons as a means to reduce U.S. military effectiveness.”

The two great powers—which seek to offset America’s advantages in that domain—are continuing the development of such capabilities despite public statements that would curtain an arms race in space. “Russia and China remain committed to developing capabilities to challenge perceived adversaries in space, especially the United States, while publicly and diplomatically promoting nonweaponization of space and ‘no first placement’ of weapons in space,” Coats stated. “Such commitment continues despite ongoing US and allied diplomatic efforts to dissuade expansion of threats to the peaceful use of space, including international engagements through the U.N.”



The secret, circuitous journey began late one night in February 1979 when an unmarked Boeing 707 took off from Ben Gurion Airport in Tel Aviv, Israel. Roughly 15 hours later, after a stop in the southern Israeli resort town of Eilat and a refueling break in Kolkata, India, the plane landed in Guangzhou, China, where a group of German-speaking Chinese navigators boarded the aircraft for its fourth and final journey—to a sealed-off military base on the outskirts of Beijing. There, they went to a nearby compound.

The “foreigners”—as the Chinese referred to the group aboard—barely spoke to one another, assuming Chinese officials had bugged the cabins. If there was something important to discuss, they went out into the cold, polluted night. The Chinese thought the group consisted of foreign businessmen who had connections with several leading international defense companies, including some from Israel. But that was just a cover. In reality, the delegation included Gabriel Gidor, the CEO of Israel Aerospace Industries, the leading government-owned defense company, along with senior representatives from the Israeli foreign and defense ministries.

All Quiet on the ISIS Front? British Secret Warfare in an Information Age

Emily Knowles, Abigail Watson 

This report focuses on the UK’s secretive military commitments in areas where it’s not generally believed to be at war. The backdoor activities include 1) deploying British Special Forces and drone fleets; 2) personnel and intelligence exchanges with allies; and 3) other practices that lead to accountability gaps and heightened public distrust.

How Russia Weaponized Social Media in Crimea

By Michael Holloway

Within the U.S. military's complex operating environment, acts committed by either side of a conflict may form a narrative that races out of control instantaneously. Within moments, neighbors call family members, witnesses upload video footage, and tweets trend across social media. At this point, those who wish to manipulate the event can employ social media to shape the narrative for a targeted audience to achieve a desired effect. This manipulation can call others to action, divide a population, or sway opinions against U.S. or coalition efforts. The world saw the effectiveness of such a social cyber-attack during the 2014 Russian annexation of Crimea.[1] The militaries of the United States and her allies must internalize the lessons from this conflict and enable soldiers and leaders at every level to shape the fight in this new domain of warfare.

The use of social media continues to rise around the world, with Facebook professing an active user population of 1.6 billion people, a population larger than any one country on the planet.[2] This population accounts for almost half of all Internet users, and provides a domain to easily spread both truthful and fabricated information among mass quantities of people. The average Facebook user boasts 330 friends, and, barring any privacy settings by a user, the statements of that use person can directly reach 330 individuals, and from each of those 330 more, and so on, spreading the message like a virus.

France’s Macron Hack Likely By Same Russian Group That Hit DNC, Sources Say


A growing list of indicators point to a hack squad associated with the Russian GRU.

The same Putin-backed hacking group that targeted the Democratic National Committee last year has been targeting French presidential candidate Emmanuel Macron, according to multiple cybersecurity groups.

On Friday, Macron claimed that his campaign had suffered a “massive and coordinated” data theft and smear campaign, some 9 gigabytes of data stolen and published to an anonymous sharing site called Pastebin.

No hard evidence has yet emerged linking the targeting to the doc dump. But over several weeks leading to the attack on Macron’s campaign, several firms in the private security community issued warnings. On April 25, cybersecurity group Trend Micro claimed a group known as APT 28, or Fancy Bear and Pawn Storm, was actively targeting the Macron campaign with bogus emails to convince campaign higher-ups to click on links.

The evidence: On March 15, operators working from IP addresses associated with APT 28 were registering domain names that were related to the Macron campaign, such as onedrive-en-marche.fr. Registering phony email domains would allow the operatives to send emails to targeted campaign workers that appear to be from the campaign. A cybersecurity professional with direct knowledge of the hack told Defense One that the same Putin-backed hacking group that targeted the DNC had also been targeting Macron. But they could not say with certainty that those actors were the same individuals who put the documents on the Pastebin site, (or if the documents on Pastebin were even authentic.)

Where U.S. Troops Are Based Around The World

by Niall McCarthy

The United States has the third largest number of active-duty troops (1.3 million) of any military worldwide, trailing China (2.2 million) and India (1.4 million).
As well as substantially higher military spending, the U.S. military's unparalleled presence across the world also sets it apart from those nations. Earlier this year, it was reported that U.S. special forces alone deployed to 138 nations in 2016, an impressive 70 percent of the world.

The following infographic shows the global footprint of the U.S. military as a whole. Specifically, it shows countries with some form of U.S. military presence ranging from a single military attaché to the Marine Corps personnel providing security at American embassies. When every single country with some kind of U.S military presence is taken into account, nearly every country on the map has to be highlighted. According to the Defense Manpower Data Center, the Army, Marine Corps, Navy, Air Force and Coastguard have about 200,000 active-service members deployed to 170 countries worldwide.

Japan hosts the most U.S. troops with 39,000 in total while Germany comes second with 34,800. South Korea has the third-highest number of U.S. service members overseas with 23,468.

This chart shows active U.S. troops deployed outside the contiguous USA in 2017.

Next Steps For U.S. Cyber Security In The Trump Administration

By Paul Rosenzweig

The failure of the government to provide adequate protection has led many cybersecurity analysts, scholars, and policymakers to suggest that there is a need for private-sector self-help. The 2016 Republican platform even included a provision regarding active cyber defense.3 If the government is unable or unwilling to take or threaten credible offensive actions to deter cyberattacks or to punish those who engage in them, it may be incumbent upon private-sector actors to take up an active defense. In other words, the private sector may wish to take actions that go beyond protective software, firewalls, and other passive screening methods and instead actively deceive, identify, or retaliate against hackers to raise their costs for conducting cyberattacks.

While these private-sector actions take many forms, they go by the collective name of “active cyber defense” and include actions that are commonly referred to as “hack back.” In essence, it is the idea that private-sector actors may push back at the hackers who are attacking them. Before the United States authorizes such activities by private-sector actors, it is important to consider not only how to manage effects of these actions within U.S. domestic law, but also foreign and international law governing cyberspace and the implications of such laws for U.S private actors that engage in active cyber defense.

HUMINT: A Continuing Crisis?

Before Vietnam completely fades from memory and its lessons learned gather even more dust, it might be worth exploring a few issues that will likely resurface again.

During the latter months of the Vietnam War (1971-72), the United States was actively sending units home, turning facilities and functions over to the South Vietnamese and to U.S. forces located elsewhere before the 29 March 1973 deadline for all U.S. forces to be out of the country. In January 72, President Nixon announced that 70,000 troops would be withdrawn by 1 May 72, reducing the troop level in Vietnam to 69,000.


I was assigned in 1971 to the 571st Military Intelligence Detachment in Da Nang, the unit primarily ran Human Intelligence (HUMINT) operations throughout I Corps in northern South Vietnam. I was quickly exposed to Viet Cong (VC), North Vietnamese Army (NVA) and friendly forces’ activity in our area of interest. As such it was evident that South Vietnamese forces that had taken part in Lam Son 719 in Laos were licking their wounds - even the much touted 1st Army of the Republic of Vietnam (ARVN) Division, garrisoned in Hue had been severely crippled in this failed campaign in 1971.

Intelligence and the Presidency

By Jami Miscik

U.S. presidents and other senior policymakers often come into office knowing little about the 17 federal agencies and offices that make up the U.S. intelligence community, but in short order, they come to rely heavily on its unique technologies, tradecraft, and expert analysis. The intelligence community’s mission is to provide national leaders with the best and most timely information available on global affairs and national security issues—information that, in turn, can help those leaders achieve their foreign policy objectives.

The president is the country’s top intelligence consumer and the only person who can authorize a covert action, and the services he receives from the intelligence community can be invaluable—providing early warning of brewing trouble, identifying and disrupting threats before they materialize, gaining insight into foreign leaders, and discreetly affecting developments abroad. For the relationship between intelligence producers and consumers to work effectively, however, each needs to understand and trust the other.


The most common misperception about the intelligence community is that it makes policy. It doesn’t. As Allen Dulles, the director of central intelligence from 1953 to 1961, once said, “Intelligence is the servant, not the master, of foreign policy.” A new administration considers and articulates what it stands for and what it hopes to achieve; it develops policies and informational priorities, and then it deploys the resources of the intelligence community based on those priorities.

Perspectives on Terrorism, Volume 11, Issue 2 (2017)

The contributions in this issue of Perspective on Terrorism focus on 1) the shifting content and style of two prominent extremist magazines (Dabiq and Rumiyah); 2) managing non-state threats, specifically by relying on cumulative deterrence-by-denial; 3) tracking radical opinions in US Muslim polls; 4) gauging the ambiguous effect of population size on the prevalence of terrorism; and 5) reviewing the pioneering, Saudi Arabian-based online counter-radicalization campaign known as ‘Sakinah’.

The Biggest Military Spenders

by Dan Steinbock

The conventional narrative is that the world is threatened by the assertive China and Russia. The inconvenient narrative is that China is modernizing, while US priorities are misguided.

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When China recently launched its first domestically built aircraft carrier, The New York Times saw it as “a milestone in President Xi Jinping’s drive to extend China’s military reach far beyond its shores."

First reports surfaced in early 2016, when The Washington Post headlined, “By 2030, South China Sea will be ‘virtually a Chinese lake’."

The US Navy commissioned its first aircraft carrier in 1922. Today, it has 19 of the 36 such ships plying waters around the world. The same goes for overseas military bases. While China’s first overseas military base in Djibouti has been portrayed as a world threat, the US has almost 40 “named bases" around the world, military deployments in more than 150 countries, and over 300,000 of its personnel abroad.

Joint Doctrine of the Indian Armed Forces – Wholly Informational, Hardly Doctrinal


The document should have been a forward looking and ambitious doctrine. Instead, written in complex, difficult to unravel sentences, it seems almost inward-bound.

If news reports of the statements made by the army chief are correct, the army seems to be on the verge of unfolding a national military strategy and perhaps coming up with a draft of a national security strategy. As a veteran, one can only hope that these would be robust, muscular and forward-thinking publications that enhance India’s interests, especially in light of a rather confused, meandering and poorly written joint doctrine of the Indian armed forces (JDIAF) that was released recently. Again, as a veteran, one hesitates to critique a publication issued by a military headquarters. The hope, however, is that such vital public documents would benefit from frank appraisals.

Of course, the document has emerged at a time when no real progress seems to have been made towards revitalising the apex joint structures. Making these as future-ready as possible and for the truer integration of the defence ministry itself has been a long-standing national need. The movement towards this seemed to have gathered some steam until a little while ago. However, all has remained silent on that front thereafter. Putting out a publication in a vacuum, and one which itself does little to fill the vacuum, seems puzzling.

Joint Doctrine for Armed Forces: the single-service syndrome

Anit Mukherjee

The Joint Doctrine is a diversionary attempt by the services to resist any changes in the status quo

Last month the three service chiefs released the latest iteration of the Joint Doctrine for the Indian Armed Forces. In the foreword the Chairman of the Chiefs of Staff Committee, Admiral Sunil Lanba, wrote that that the Joint Doctrine “provides foundations for greater integration and interdependence, to achieve higher inter-operability and compatibility within the Armed Forces”. To its credit this version of the doctrine was released to the public (the first edition written in 2006 remains classified) with the hope, as argued by Admiral Lanba, that it “should be revisited…to extend our understanding and collative (sic) understanding.” However, that is the best that can be said about this document because a closer reading leads to an inescapable conclusion — those writing this doctrine had very little idea what they were talking about.

Resistance to a joint command

The debate on jointness within the Indian military has been going on for almost sixty years. As we now know Lord Mountbatten, the architect of India’s Higher Defence Organisation, was keen to appoint a Chief of Defence and lobbied repeatedly for creation of a Joint Staff. However, there was reluctance from India’s political and bureaucratic class that were fearful of an empowered military. Later, the services also resisted jointness as they privileged the autonomy afforded by the single service approach. It was only after the post-Kargil defence reforms in 2001 that an Integrated Defence Staff (minus the post of the Chief of Defence Staff, or CDS) was established. In addition, a Joint Command was established on the Andaman and Nicobar Islands with the expectation that this “experiment” would lead to other geographically delineated joint commands. However, while many in the strategic community (rightly) blame politicians and bureaucrats for their reluctance to appoint a Chief of Defence Staff, they often overlook resistance to jointness within the services. Simply put, the Army, Navy and Air Force are unwilling to embrace managerial jointness, through a CDS, or operational jointness, by agreeing to joint commands. In fact, on the latter issue, they have successfully rolled back the idea for joint commands as there are reports that the Andaman and Nicobar Command will be permanently headed by a naval officer — which runs contrary to the vision of those who created the joint command.


Ben Summers 

Slow, Inflexible, and Micromanaged: The Problems of a Military that Overstates Risk

A few weeks ago in my corporate finance class at West Point, I hosted a guest speaker from a Cambodian private equity firm. The lesson focused on valuations and risk. Riskiness in finance relates to the uncertainty of a prediction, and it’s measured with a discount rate. The higher the rate, the riskier the estimate and the less value it would have relative to one with less risk. We analyzed an opportunity to invest in a Cambodian mango plantation. We were shocked when the guest shared that the standard discount rate used for these types of “frontier” investments in Cambodia was 35 percent. To put this into context, analysts predict that Tesla’s discount rate should be about 12 percent. The guest’s comments got us thinking. What are the implications when we have really high discount rates?

When you assume a high level of risk for a project, early cash flows are especially important. You’ll lean towards projects that generate cash quickly. The short term really matters.

But consequently, if you overstate risk, you’ll overstate the importance of short-term profits. Many companies experience short-term losses before realizing long-term gains. Amazon’s recent streak of profitable quarters followed years of losses and slim margins. Only three years ago, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos was dubbed as the “prophet of no profit.” If you overstate risk when valuing companies that take a little longer to gain profitability, you understate their potential.


By Michael Connell

Russia views cyber very differently than its western counterparts, from the way Russian theorists define cyberwarfare to how the Kremlin employs its cyber capabilities. The paper examines the Russian approach to cyber warfare, addressing both its theoretical and its practical underpinnings. The following is a summary of its key findings: 

Russian officials are convinced that Moscow is locked in an ongoing, existential struggle with internal and external forces that are seeking to challenge its security in the information realm. The internet, and the free flow of information it engenders, is viewed as both a threat and an opportunity in this regard. 

Russian military theorists generally do not use the terms cyber or cyberwarfare. Instead, they conceptualize cyber operations within the broader framework of information warfare, a holistic concept that includes computer network operations, electronic warfare, psychological operations, and information operations. 

In keeping with traditional Soviet notions of battling constant threats from abroad and within, Moscow perceives the struggle within “information space” to be more or less constant and unending. This suggests that the Kremlin will have a relatively low bar for employing cyber in ways that U.S. decision makers are likely to view as offensive and escalatory in nature.

U.S. Military Cyber Operation To Attack ISIS Last Year Sparked Heated Debate Over Alerting Allies

By Ellen Nakashima

A secret global operation by the Pentagon late last year to sabotage the Islamic State’s online videos and propaganda sparked fierce debate inside the government over whether it was necessary to notify countries that are home to computer hosting services used by the extremist group, including U.S. allies in Europe.

While U.S. Cyber Command claimed success in carrying out what was called Operation Glowing Symphony, the issue remained unresolved and now confronts the Trump administration, which is conducting a broad review of what powers to give the military in countering the Islamic State, including in the cyber realm.

As part of the operation, Cyber Command obtained the passwords to a number of Islamic State administrator accounts and then used them to access the accounts, change the passwords and delete content such as battlefield video. It also shut the group’s propaganda specialists out of their accounts, former officials said.

Cybercom developed the campaign under pressure from then-Defense Secretary Ashton B. Carter, who wanted the command to raise its game against the Islamic State. But when the CIA, State Department and FBI got wind of the plan to conduct operations inside the borders of other countries without telling them, officials at the agencies immediately became concerned that the campaign could undermine cooperation with those countries on law enforcement, intelligence and counterterrorism.

Print Media Had A Blast In 2006-16. But Party Can’t Last Forever As Ad Power Shifts To Google And FB

R Jagannathan

If advertising dollars are shifting from regular media to technology giants, the trend will come to India too.

So, it is anybody’s guess how long Indian print media can keep growing profitably.

India’s print media, it would seem, is growing like gangbusters. In contrast to the doom and gloom in global print media, in the 10 years from 2006 and 2016, Indian print media grew by 4.87 per cent annually, growing circulation from 39.1 million to 62.8 million daily. The north, which is largely the Hindi belt, grew fastest, at an annual compounded growth rate of 7.83 per cent, according to Mint newspaper.

While Hindi newspapers grew at 8.76 per cent, Telugu came a close second at 8.28 per cent and Kannada at 6.40 per cent. English language newspapers were the slow coaches, growing just 2.87 per cent.

What this indicates is that the regional languages, and especially newspapers in the Hindi belt, are the real growth engines in Indian print media.

Encryption Policy 2.0: Securing India’s Digital Economy

The Observer Research Foundation, in collaboration with the Centre for Internet & Society and the Takshashila Institution, convened a multistakeholder consultation on encryption at the TERI campus in Bengaluru on 17 December 2016. Representatives from government, industry, the technical community and civil society participated in the discussion. The roundtable was the second in a series of multistakeholder consultations on encryption organised by ORF. The first, held in New Delhi on 12 August 2016[i] with law enforcement agencies, businesses and regulators, provided context for the conversation in Bengaluru. The second roundtable was convened in Bengaluru to engage the city’s vibrant technical community– comprising individuals from the IT sector, and representatives from internet companies, the government, and academe.

Over the past year, encryption has been at the forefront of conversations on cyber regulation and human rights. The development of full disk encryption, which renders data stored on hard drives unrecoverable, and the easy availability of end-to-end encrypted communication services has become a major concern for law enforcement agencies seeking data for investigation and prosecution. Encryption, however, involves a multitude of actors and manifold, complex issues. While some of these issues have attained relative clarity over time, many others remain unresolved.