12 August 2017

Indian Defence University Bill

It’s been almost a year since the Indian National Defence University (INDU) bill has been drafted. Last year, on 5th August, the bill went online at MyGov.in and the website of Ministry of Defence for six weeks for public consultations. The draft bill proposed to establish a world class fully autonomous institution under Ministry of Defence.

INDU is proposed to be governed by its own norms and will inculcate and promote coordination and interaction between the Armed Forces and other Government Agencies including friendly foreign countries.

The idea of National Defence University was conceived way back in 1967 by the Chief of Staff’s Committee. Fifty years have passed since then but the idea hasn’t been implemented yet. Though, the process of implementing the idea, itself has a long history. For nearly three decades after 1967, nothing much happened on this issue. It was only after the Kargil war in 1999 that this idea was taken seriously by the government. A committee on the National Defence University (CONDU) headed by the late K. Subrahmanyam was created. This committee (Kargil Review Committee) submitted its report in 2002 and provided the rationale for creating a National Defence University.

India Takes a Bold Approach in Border Standoff With China, but the Endgame Is Unclear

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Anubhav Gupta 

The border standoff between Indian and Chinese troops on the remote Doklam area in the Himalayas is approaching the two-month mark with no end in sight. Simultaneously egged on and hemmed in by nationalistic fervor at home, neither government can afford to back down, making escalation a real risk. India’s national security adviser, Ajit Doval, met with China’s state councilor, Yang Jiechi, and President Xi Jinping at the end of July, but the two sides failed to reach an agreement to quell the border row. 

The most serious dispute between India and China in decades, the standoff at Doklam represents a shift in ties between Asia’s two primary powers, with India acting more forcefully to counter Chinese influence and activities in South Asia. New Delhi’s bold decision to confront Chinese troops at Doklam—an area near India’s so-called tri-border with China and Bhutan—surprised and angered Beijing. While India may have succeeded in standing up to China in the short run, the endgame remains unclear and fraught with danger. Even if a peaceful resolution is achieved quickly, the China-India relationship, complicated under the best of circumstances, has entered a new, tenser stage. 

New Delhi’s actions are noteworthy—and this standoff unlike previous border incidents between India and China—because India does not actually have a direct claim to Doklam, which is instead territory claimed by both China and Bhutan. On June 16, Chinese engineers started building a road in Doklam. Two days later, on Bhutan’s behalf, Indian troops crossed India’s border to stop the construction work. Around 300 troops from India and China have been facing off since. China has demanded that Indian troops withdraw first, while India has called for joint withdrawal. 

Doklam: To start at the very beginning


There is a geographical and geopolitical aspect to the ongoing Sino-Indian standoff in the Doklam region. Geography locates Bhutan on a sensitive part of the Himalayan belt. Its history, small size and state capacity have made it an element in the geopolitical contest between India and China.

The Doklam issue came to the fore between June and July this year almost without preamble. Since the clashes at Nathu La and Cho La in 1967, this border had been relatively quiet as the alignment of the Sino-Indian border in Sikkim is, to a large extent, accepted by both sides. However, there has always been a pr oblem with the China-India-Bhutan trijunction. In 2007, India rushed the deployment of forces to the region following the destruction by China of a number of Indian bunkers in the Batang La area. China also laid claim to the 2.1-sq km “Finger Area” in north Sikkim that protrudes into the Sora Funnel and dismantled some cairns marking the border in the region. This story would be repeated in 2012.

The ongoing crisis has amplified the question-mark over where that trijunction lies. Indian and Bhutanese maps put it some 200 metres south-east of Batang La, while the Chinese say it is at a place called Gipmochi which is also confused for Gyemochen (or Gamochen). As of August 2, the Chinese say that the name of the mountain is Ji Mu Ma Zhen.

Doklam may bring Bhutan closer to India

Sandeep Bhardwaj

If India remains firm in its commitment to Bhutan, the Doklam standoff against China will only serve to deepen the India-Bhutan ties even further

The Doklam standoff on the tri-junction of India, China and Bhutan is well into its second month and Beijing continues with its hardline position and refuses to negotiate on equitable terms. What it aims to gain out of this crisis has been subject to much speculation in New Delhi. Most likely, it hopes to peel Bhutan away from India’s orbit. However, perhaps it should recall the last Doklam crisis between India, China and Bhutan in 1966. That imbroglio only ended up strengthening the India-Bhutan alliance.

Sino-Bhutanese relations first took a nosedive in the late 1950s, mirroring the growing tensions between India and China over their boundary dispute. From 1958, Chinese maps began showing large swathes of Bhutanese territory as part of China. In 1959, as it suppressed the Tibetan rebellion, China also took over certain Bhutanese enclaves in Tibet. At the same time, around 4,000 Tibetan refugees entered Bhutan, straining the country’s limited economy.

Thimphu viewed these developments with alarm and responded by closing its northern border. It also moved closer to India and embarked on an ambitious project to modernize the country’s military and economy. While it had a special treaty relationship with New Delhi since 1949, the two countries did not share any formal defence arrangement until then. Fear of China changed the situation. The Indian Army began training Bhutanese forces. India also began pouring in economic aid into the country (increasing it by 1,000%), most of which went into building roads and airfields of strategic value.

India is winning Doklam war without firing a single bullet. A policy expert explains how

By Abhijit Iyer-Mitra

For some strange reason people in India seem to think that India is somehow on the backfoot in its latest showdown with Chinaover the Dokalam trijunction. Some feel that should the situation continue or deteriorate, ‘strategic defiance’ may be the only option. This, however, is not the impression in Beijing. In private, the Chinese feel that they, rather than India, are caught in a bind, unable to resort to the use of force for fear of destroying the myth of nuclear deterrence, but still supremely confident that strategic defiance by India, on the other hand, will be economically and diplomatically disastrous for India.

As a dear friend in Beijing summed it up rather rudely, “India is a dog. Whatever we do to you, you will first bark and snarl, but then accept and come back wagging your tail. The problem now is what we can do to you is also very limited.” This raises the question as to why India feels it is losing control of the situation. And second, if this idea that India will somehow finally turn on China is based on reality or plain wishful thinking.

Let us be clear about one thing — far from losing control, this has, in fact, been one of the best managed crises by India’s ministry of external affairs. India’s tone has been persistently calm, not threatening action, but sticking to its guns. And for the first time in decades, it is standing up to Chinese bullying and staring it down. The ‘losing control’ and ‘escalating crisis’ narratives seem to be emerging only from a set of strategic commentators whose window seems to be limited to Xinhua and Global Times, and completely devoid of primary research.

Bhutanese government rejects China claim on Doklam

New Delhi: The Bhutanese government has once again reportedly referred to its foreign ministry statement issued about six weeks ago that Doklam is Bhutanese territory, thereby rejecting a recent Chinese claim that Bhutan had agreed the area belongs to China.

“Official sources in the Bhutanese government” were quoted as telling an Indian news agency over the phone, “Our position on the border issue of Doklam is very clear. Please refer to our statement which has been published on the web site of Bhutan’s foreign ministry on June 29, 2017.”

In that initial statement issued on June 29, Bhutan had said it had conveyed to the Chinese side on the ground and through diplomatic channels that the construction of the road inside Bhutanese territory (Doklam) is a direct violation of the agreements (between Bhutan and China) and affects the process of demarcation of the boundary.

Also, Bhutan had called for status quo in the Doklam area to be maintained as before June 2017.

Bhutan had accused China of violating the boundary agreements and asked it to refrain from taking unilateral action or use of force to change the status quo of the Bhutan-China boundary between the two countries, saying that on June 16, 2017, the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) started constructing a motorable road from Dokola in the Doklam area towards the Bhutan Army camp at Zompelri.

To ‘Win’ in Afghanistan, Devise a Strategy and Do Not Quit

By Robert Cassidy

Pakistan’s sponsorship of the Taliban is the main reason for the continued stalemate in Afghanistan after almost 16 years. To be sure, there are other ancillary factors that help explain the instability, but Pakistan is the key reason. 

The war in Afghanistan will not end, or it will end badly unless the U.S.-led Coalition and its Afghan partners compel Pakistan to cease its malign conduct. 

What a win looks like.

A ‘win’ in Afghanistan would not resemble the win in World War II where the Allies thoroughly defeated and then received the unconditional surrenders of Germany and Japan. The end will be negotiated and conditional.

A ‘win’ would see the Afghan government and its security forces have sufficient capacity to secure Afghanistan’s future.

A ‘win’ would see a durable Afghan state, with the government, the security forces and the population aligned against a marginalized Taliban.

A ‘win’ is an Afghanistan that does not fragment and endures as a state that is inhospitable to al-Qaeda, the Taliban, the Islamic State-Khorasan (ISIS-K) and other Islamists groups.

Sectarian War Is Looming Over Afghanistan

By Rustam Ali Seerat

On July 22, 2016 twin suicide bombers attacked a rally of the Shiite Hazara community, taking the lives of more than 80 people. More than 250 were injured. In November 2016, a suicide attacker targeted a Shiite mosque in Kabul, killing 27 members of the Shiite Hazara community. On June 6, 2017 in an attack on Herat Jamma Masjid, seven Shiite Hazaras were killed by a suicide bomber. On August 2, in the same city, a suicide attack blew up a Shiite mosque, claiming the lives of 29 worshipers. Islamic State’s Khorasan Province (the group’s outfit in South Asia) claimed responsibility for each of these attacks.

The Taliban, a Sunni religious group, so far has attacked the citizens of Afghanistan regardless of their sectarian beliefs. However, in recent months their bombings and suicide attacks have also been concentrated on the Shiite populated areas of Kabul, the capital. In a more recent attack on August 5, 2017, the Taliban and ISIS teamed up and took control of a village in Sar-e Pul province inhabited by the Shiite Hazaras. According to official reports the militants have slaughtered at least 60 men, women, and children and took more than 150 families as hostages. At the time of this writing, 235 hostages have been released, after mediation by a neighboring village’s elders, but around 80 are still captives.

The 3 Known Unknowns of Xi Jinping’s China

One of the most famous comments from the Bush era, running from 2000 to 2008, came from then-Secretary of Defense Don Rumsfield who talked acerbically about “known knowns, known unknowns, and unknown unknowns.” His convoluted language was interpreted at the time as referring to the complete mess that was starting to unfold in the newly “liberated” Iraq. Even so, many realized that there was ironically a deep logic behind what he said: some things we know, and some we don’t. It is better at least to recognize the vast expanse of our ignorance than simply trying to go around ignoring it.

There are plenty of things we know about China under Xi Jinping – from the profuse economic data spewing out from its statistics agency, to the granular reports produced by journalists, analysts, and observers of the situation on the ground across the country. Then there are a massive number of very important things that we don’t know, and have no real way of easily finding out – how, for a very topical example at the moment, elite political leaders are actually going to be chosen at the imminent 19th Party Congress later this year

But on top of these issues, there are three very clear known unknowns about China – things where we have lots of evidence and analysis, and plenty of observations, but which we have no way of decisively resolving now. These known unknowns all relate to China’s relationship with the outside world.

Be prepared for China's Electronic Warfare

'In India, China's capacities to conduct new types of warfare is critically underestimated,' says Claude Arpi.

China's People's Liberation Army is ready with extensive plans for Electronic Warfare

General Bipin Rawat, the chief of the army staff, recently mentioned the future of the defence forces in India; the general spoke of a long-awaited integrated command.

While dismissing apprehensions about shortage of funds, he asserted: 'If we are going to fight a war someday, the war is going to be fought by the three forces together. Integration has to be in a holistic manner. Can we have a joint forces mechanism? Is it better or not? We have to look at the option.'

'You also economise by integration of logistics. The integration has to be in the form of all services utilising their resources in a harmonised manner, the amy chief said.

Though often expounded upon, little has been concretely done to make the integrated command a concrete reality.

At the same time the Chinese People's Liberation Army under President Xi Jinping is taking giant steps towards the future.

This Is the Moment of Truth on North Korea

By David Ignatius

The North Korean nuclear threat is a “hinge” moment for the United States and China, and for the new international order both nations say they want.

If Washington and Beijing manage to stay together in dealing with Pyongyang, the door opens on a new era in which China will play a larger and more responsible role in global affairs, commensurate with its economic power. If the great powers can’t cooperate, the door will slam shut — possibly triggering a catastrophic military conflict on the Korean Peninsula.

President Trump’s bullying style, even in dealing with trivial matters of domestic politics, obscures the extent to which he has tried to marry U.S. policy on North Korea with that of China. For the most part, he has been surprisingly successful. Beijing and Washington have mostly been aligned, as in this past weekend’s unanimous U.N. Security Council vote in favor of additional sanctions against Pyongyang to punish its continued missile tests.

Washington’s diplomatic goal, although it hasn’t been stated publicly this way, is to encourage China to interpose itself between the United States and North Korea and organize negotiations to de-nuclearize the Korean Peninsula. The U.S. threat is that if China doesn’t help the United States find such a diplomatic settlement, America will pursue its own solution — by military means if necessary.

Trump amped up the rhetoric Tuesday, telling reporters: “They will be met with fire and fury like the world has never seen.”

Everything Israel's Gaza Wars Can Teach America

Michael Peck

What can the U.S. military learn from Israeli military operations in Gaza?

Plenty—and yet not much, according to a new study by RAND Corporation, which examined Operation Cast Lead in 2009 and Operation Protective Edge in 2014.

For starters, smart weapons are no panacea. The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) attempted to destroy Hamas rocket launchers and tunnels with airpower alone (surprising in light of the failure of such an approach in the 2006 Lebanon War). Lack of success meant ground troops had to be sent in.

The failure of airpower meant the revival of artillery. The IDF barely used artillery in 2009, but used lots of big guns in 2014. “On a technical and tactical level, the IDF’s use of artillery support was impressive,” RAND noted. “It increased its use of precision artillery from earlier campaigns and reduced the minimum safe distances for providing fire support. Artillery fire often proved quicker and more responsive than other means of firepower, such as CAS [close air support].”

Armor also proved its worth in Gaza. “Before Protective Edge, the IDF invested in intelligence and airpower, often at the expense of particularly heavy armor,” RAND found. Or as Israeli sources told RAND, “Half a year before, they closed the Namer [a tank converted into a troop carrier] and we said it was a mistake; and immediately after, they reopened the project. You need protection. Mobility is protection.”

North Korea, Nukes and Negotiations

By George Friedman

The narrative about North Korea, a narrative I believe to be true and have since early March, is simple: The North Koreans have reached a point in their nuclear and missile programs where they could soon have the capability to strike the United States. The U.S. isn’t prepared to let itself be vulnerable to the whims of what is seen as a dangerously unpredictable regime in Pyongyang. Therefore, the U.S. is prepared to strike at North Korea’s nuclear and missile facilities.

At the same time, the U.S. is extremely reluctant to attack. The nuclear program sites are dispersed and hardened, making airstrikes difficult, and North Korean artillery concentrated near the demilitarized zone could devastate Seoul. So as it considers not just whether a strike should be made, but whether one is even possible, the U.S. has been trying to motivate China to use its influence in North Korea to get Pyongyang to halt its weapons development. The U.S. position is that a strike will take place if diplomacy fails, but also that a conflict with North Korea would be difficult, dangerous and potentially devastating to allies. Thus, the U.S. is postponing such an action as long as possible.

As time passes, it is important to re-examine old assessments. The United States didn’t suddenly in the last few months conclude that an attack on North Korea was dangerous. The Americans had to have known the North Korean nuclear development program was dispersed and hardened, and they have publicly spoken about the artillery threat to Seoul. But they might have been galvanized by indications that the North Koreans had a miniaturized and ruggedized warhead and were close to having an intercontinental delivery capability. Given the degree of U.S. focus on North Korea, however, the appearance of sudden apprehension is odd.

The Smart Way to Deal With Putin’s Russia

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WASHINGTON — I last visited Russia in October to do research for a study of American-Russian relations. I returned home just before the election of President Trump, recognizing that the relationship was in terrible shape and heading steadily downhill. It continues on that trajectory, with Russia’s demand that the American diplomatic mission reduce its staff by 755 employees, in response to new sanctions imposed by Congress that were signed last week by President Trump.

That October trip and succeeding events raise important questions: Where does the United States want this to go? What is our vision of an acceptable end point? More than six months into the Trump administration, there are no answers.

A week before my trip, on Oct. 7, James R. Clapper Jr., then the director of national intelligence, and the Department of Homeland Security issued the first official American statement that Russia was interfering in our election process. When I and my colleagues confronted Kremlin and Foreign Ministry officials with this, they (as expected) adamantly denied it. They launched into the Kremlin narrative, arguing that the United States is responsible for any problems in the Russian-American relationship. They denounced American policies on NATO enlargement, the Balkans, Libya, democracy in former Soviet states and Syria, to mention just a few.

America Is Not Ready for a War in North Korea

If you want to know why you should be concerned that the United States could blunder into an ill-conceived war on the Korean peninsula, consider three statements:

“We’ll handle North Korea. We’ll be able to handle North Korea. It will be handled. We handle everything.” (Donald Trump, July 31) 

“The president’s been very clear about it. He said he’s not gonna tolerate North Korea being able to threaten the United States. If they have nuclear weapons that can threaten the United States, it’s intolerable from the president’s perspective. So of course, we have to provide all options to do that. And that includes a military option.” (Lieutenant General H. R. McMaster, August 5) 

"North Korea best not make any more threats to the United States. They will be met with fire and fury like the world has never seen." (Donald Trump, August 8) Secretary of State Rex Tillerson’s plaintive words about the United States not being North Korea’s enemy (August 1), or his reassurance that the military option has not drawn closer (August 9), do not count much, partly because he does not count much in American foreign policy these days, and partly because in this administration above all, only the president counts. They do, however, confuse the message of an already chaotic administration.

Mentorship: A Strategic Imperative

Before you are a leader, success is all about growing yourself. When you become a leader, success is all about growing others. —Jack Welch

In the fall of 1915, a young lieutenant fresh out of West Point reported to Fort George Wright, Washington for his first assignment. He soon met Edwin Harding, an older more experienced lieutenant. Harding saw something in the new guy and invited him to join a small group he led in informal discussions of tactics, problem solving, military history, and professionalism.[1] Armed with the wisdom gleaned from a career filled with mentorship, this young leader would go on to command a division, corps, army, and army group in World War II, rise to the rank of General of the Army, and culminate his career with two tours as the first Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. While Edwin Harding would certainly not have taken credit for General Omar Nelson Bradley’s success, there can be no doubt the influence mentorship had on Omar Bradley – both the relationship with Harding and his enduring mentorship under the tutelage of General George C. Marshall.

Uncertain. Complex. Ambiguous. Hybrid. We use these words almost interchangeably to describe the operational environment senior leaders face today. Try to imagine the content of the Harding-Bradley discussions framed by global connectivity, real-time media reporting, false news, digital engagement, virtual relationships – you get the picture. We expect leaders at all levels to understand this complex environment and visualize a path to success; articulate a vision that transcends strategic, operational, and tactical organizations and is understood by all team members; become skilled negotiators adept at building consensus among disparate and often competing interests; and serve as stewards of their profession – ensuring the long-term health of their organization.[2] However, it is this last point – stewardship – to which senior leaders must commit to ensure the long-term viability of our force, especially in a future characterized by ambiguity, hybrid warfare, and multiple adversaries who routinely use military power across multiple domains with impunity. By embracing mentorship, senior leaders will ensure the Army continues to grow the leaders necessary for our force to dominate the operational environment.

This Is How America Would Wage a Nuclear War Against North Korea

Dave Majumdar

The standoff between the United States and North Korea continues to escalate with neither side willing to back down.

With each passing day, the possibility of open warfare breaking out seems to increase as each side ups the ante. Indeed, President Donald Trump has ratcheted up his rhetoric in recent days—seemingly threatening to launch a nuclear first strike against North Korea.

“North Korea best not make any more threats to the United States,” Trump told reporters at his golf club in Bedminster, New Jersey. “They will be met with fire and fury like the world has never seen. He has been very threatening beyond a normal state and as I said they will be met with fire and fury and frankly power the likes of which this world has never seen before.”

Just hours later, Kim Jong-un’s regime in Pyongyang threatened to preemptively strike at American forces given even a “slight sign of the U.S. provocation.” That, according to the North Korean statement, would include a “beheading operation” such as a special operations forces raid aimed at assassinating Kim.

“The U.S. should remembered, however, that once there observed a sign of action for ‘preventive war’ from the U.S., the army of the DPRK will turn the U.S. mainland into the theatre of a nuclear war before the inviolable land of the DPRK turns into the one,” reads a North Korean Foreign Ministry statement. “We do not hide that we already have in full readiness the diversified strategic nuclear strike means which have the U.S. mainland in our striking range.”

The U.S. Is Facing Another Debt Ceiling Crisis

Why does Congress continue to play chicken with the debt ceiling? Not only is it dangerous, but it is counterproductive. The uncertainty surrounding raising the debt ceiling causes borrowing costs to rise, and it can affect the U.S. government’s credit rating as witnessed with the S&P downgrade in 2011. Moreover, it calls into (further) question the ability of Congress to accomplish even the relatively simple task of keeping the government funded. And this could spark a shift in sentiment for the worse. This is where the real danger lies.

So, what happens if Congress fails to raise the debt ceiling before the late September or early October deadline? Technically, the U.S. Treasury will likely delay payments to vendors and employees to avoid missing a payment on its debt. This will keep the United States from technically defaulting on its debt.

In that sense, the debt ceiling may not be a frightening prospect. The debacle in 2011—when the U.S. government found its debt downgraded—proved to be largely a non-event. In fact, the ten-year yield on government debt is lower today than following the downgrade. There was little tangible effect on the U.S. government’s ability to borrow (though bond markets have been dominated by central banks in the intervening years). Oddly, the consequences of the downgrade are difficult to spot.

The Battlefield of Tomorrow Fought Today: Winning in the Human Domain

by James B. Linder, Spencer B. Meredith III 

The Battlefield of Tomorrow Fought Today: Winning in the Human Domain

The battles of tomorrow have already begun today. Threats facing the United States continue to multiply across state and non-state conflicts, yet these challenges come from more than hostile narratives and power politics. Violent conflict has deep roots across societies, ideologies, and the political systems that support them. This fact goes beyond individual countries or histories. We see it in the long-silent fields of the Somme, burned out villages in the Nigerian jungle, and the once vibrant Aleppo reduced to smoldering ruin. Thus, despite centuries of peacemaking efforts, the nature of war remains a fixed point in reality. Whether fought for the glory of the nation or expectations of eternal bliss, human nature and its connection to organized political violence have been a constant throughout social changes over the centuries. As disheartening as that is, changes continue to occur in the character of war, in both the means of violence and the context in which it occurs. Past changes were more than simply the advent of gunpowder that relegated armored knights to the annals of European history, or industrialization of troop movements through railroads and motorized vehicles on land and in the air. Those made tremendous differences in the locations of war, as much as in the lethality of warfare in general. Yet the biggest changes to the character of war seem to be ahead of us as the 21st century opens what looks like Pandora’s Box.

From Cast Lead to Protective Edge

6.2 MB 

How did the IDF operate in Gaza? 
What strategic, operational, tactical, and technological lessons did the IDF learn about urban operations from their experiences in Gaza? 
What lessons can the joint force — and the U.S. Army in particular — learn from the Israeli experience? 

For more than a decade now, Israel has clashed with Hamas in Gaza, in cycles of violence defined by periods of intense fighting followed by relative lulls. This report covers a five-year period of this conflict — from the end of Operation Cast Lead in 2009 to the end of Operation Protective Edge in 2014. Drawing on primary and secondary sources and an extensive set of interviews, it analyzes how an advanced military fought a determined, adaptive, hybrid adversary. It describes how the Israel Defense Force (IDF) operationally, organizationally, and technologically evolved to meet asymmetric threats. Most broadly, this report details the IDF's increasing challenge of striking a delicate balance between the
intense international legal public scrutiny and the hard operational realities of modern urban warfare. In this respect, this report's title — "From Cast Lead to Protective Edge" — captures more than just the names of the two operations that chronologically bracket its scope; it also describes the tension the IDF confronted between the military necessities driving maximalist uses of force and the political imperative for more restrained operations. This report draws a series of lessons from the Israeli experience for the U.S. Army and the joint force: from the importance of armored vehicles and active protection systems to the limitations of airpower in urban terrain and of conventional militaries to deter nonstate actors.

Army cyber general: ‘What a difference a year makes’

By: Mark Pomerleau

Things move quickly in cyberspace, and so the Army has been hard at work trying to find solutions in regard to training and organizing for emerging cyber and electronic warfare.

Maj. Gen. John Morrison, commander of the Army Cyber Center of Excellence at Fort Gordon, Georgia, highlighted some of the flashpoints for progress within the last year during his opening keynote address at TechNet Augusta.

“What a difference a year makes,” he said, prefacing the varying points of progress. “If you would have talked to us last year, we were training basically lieutenants in cyber school. Today we’re training all three cohorts — officers, warrant officers and this afternoon we graduate our first enlisted course.

“Absolutely tremendous growth lead by the cyber school team.”

Morrison, who assumed command a year ago, also highlighted training at the Army Signal School to make signal soldiers more multidisciplined and less specialized. “Quite frankly,” he said, the school is “upping the game of the signal regiment so they can do not only the operations and maintenance of the network but to the security of it as well.”

Can Johnny Read? - A Guide to Reading for Military Self-Development

by Franklin C. Annis

Reading is the most common recommendation for Army self-development. Even in my doctoral research with Northcentral University (Annis, 2016), I would often get the single word reply of “read” from senior officers when I asked for recommendations for practical self-development techniques. While on the surface it may seem like a simple and straightforward advice, the meaning and techniques of the term “reading” vary greatly. I would even assert that a new term specific to how warfighters engage in reading for self-development might be required. In this article, we will examine the terms and approaches to reading to maximize its utility for military self-development. 

Reading in its simplest definition might be said to be the translation of written characters (in our case, letters) into spoken word. While we have developed the ability to now read silently, the intent remains the same. Can you take marking on a parchment and translate them into the message that would have been spoken by the author? While we take this skill for granted in the modern era, the act of reading would have been perceived on the level of magic in days of old. If one thinks about it, it is the ability to re-animate the words of the dead or in some ways an act of time travel back into the past when the words were written. It is this ability to translate written text into spoken word (often read silently) that is referred to when someone might ask if you know how to read. But the ability to translate symbols into spoken word is not what is being implied when senior officers suggest their Soldiers “read” as a form of self-development.

Defining the protection of ‘the public core of the internet’ as a national interest


The norm to protect the public core of the internet, originally advocated by the Netherlands Scientific Council for Government Policy, can be operationalised in two ways. Both a layered approach and a functional approach to defining the public core of the internet provide productive ways to discuss safeguarding the functionality and integrity of the core logical and physical infrastructure of the internet from unwarranted state interventions. This brief discusses the tensions between the concept of ‘the public core of the internet’ and those of state sovereignty and national security. It describes two tiers of objection to the protection of the core internet infrastructure and suggests ways to mitigate them. It concludes that even though there are no easy answers to national security in the cyber age, in the long run, reducing ambiguity in cyberspace will benefit all states. Lifting the public core of the internet out of that ambiguity would be a good starting point.

This brief engages with some of the arguments and discussions about the concept of ‘the public core of the internet’ and the proposed norm to protect it that were coined in the 2015 report, The Public Core of the Internet: An International Agenda for Internet Governance by the Netherlands Scientific Council for Government Policy (Wetenschappelijke Raad voor het Regeringsbeleid or WRR). [1] Since then, this author has debated the concept in various venues and conferences across the world, and can now offer answers to some of the questions and criticisms that have been raised. Section 2 will briefly set out the concept of ‘the public core of the internet’ as introduced in the WRR report and will highlight how the concept has been taken up in other initiatives and by other public and private actors. 

DoD beefing up missile systems’ cyber defenses

By: Meredith Rutland Bauer 

A tenant of the internet of things industry is that anything connected to the internet is connected to hackers. But when you’re talking about a trillion-dollar ballistic missile system, that possibility is unacceptable.

As network-connected devices are increasingly incorporated into military operations, defense experts understand that cybersecurity is a key concern. If missiles become vulnerable to cyber infiltration, that could hand enemy soldiers a live weapon that could be rendered useless against a threat or turned against the U.S.

“As technology evolves, it is critical that we protect our systems from a wide array of threats, including cyber threats, to ensure our systems remain ready when needed,” Missile Defense Agency Director Lt. Gen. Sam Greaves told Fifth Domain in an email.

Few Facts in the Ongoing Battle Over Reliability of Kaspersky Labs Software

Robert Service

Does the west have reason to worry that the Russian authorities have penetrated its communications networks and used the information for malign purposes? Declarations by US intelligence agencies in 2016 suggested that the case is clearcut. Russia stands charged with systematic malpractice, including the manipulation of American public opinion in favour of Donald Trump’s campaign for the presidency.

The US Senate reacted with a bill on economic sanctions, supported overwhelmingly, which the president felt obliged to sign in the interests of “national unity”. Events are beginning to overwhelm even him on the Russian question.

Until now Trump has pitched his tent in the camp of the advocates for a positive reset in Russia-US relations. No American, not even Henry Kissinger, has hammered the tent pegs so deep. When Trump met up with Vladimir Putin at the G20 summit there was a visible warmth of mutual feeling. Trump appeared satisfied after Putin denied that his people had probed the American political establishment with untoward intent. Apparently Putin’s word should be accepted without cavil.

A scene that John le Carré might have concocted took place at an FSB board meeting in January this year

Others in America have drawn the opposite conclusion, but surprisingly few have taken proper notice of what has been going on at the Defense department this summer. At the centre of the affair is the Kaspersky Lab. This is a private company whose business lies in providing anti-virus protection to the world’s highest bidders. With large offices in New York and London, it has acquired a global reputation for fending off hacking activity. According to its brochures, Kaspersky can swat down electronic intruders like drugged mosquitoes. Hence why the Pentagon paid out for the company’s help.

'Information' is playing outsize role in warfare

By: Mark Pomerleau

DIA chief: US must avoid 'Kodak moment'

More so now than ever, information is playing an outsize role in military capabilities and being rolled into conventional elements.

In 21st century warfare, war is cognitive as much as it’s kinetic, Lt. Gen. Vincent Stewart, director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, told a small group of reporters in his office this week. 

Top competitors, Stewart said, are organizing their forces in this new information space and have developed doctrine to fight and win in the information age.

Russia views many facets of the information space — to include information operations, space/counterspace, cyber, cyber-enabled psychological operations and electronic warfare, to name a few — as critical to fighting and winning future conflicts, especially against the U.S., according to a recent and unclassified report on Russia’s military published by DIA.

“Moscow perceives the information domain as strategically decisive and critically important to control its domestic populace and influence adversary states. Information warfare is a key means of achieving its ambitions of becoming a dominant player on the world stage,” the report says. “Since at least 2010, the Russian military has prioritized the development of forces and means for what it terms ‘information confrontation,’ which is a holistic concept for ensuring information superiority, during peacetime and wartime. This concept includes control of the information content as well as the technical means for disseminating that content. Cyber operations are part of Russia’s attempts to control the threat environment.”

U.S. Army bans use of Chinese-made drones due to ‘cyber vulnerabilities’

Aug. 5 (UPI) – The U.S. Army banned use of a Chinese-made DJI drones and other equipment after identifying “operational risks.”

A U.S. Army memo, obtained by sUAS News and published online, ordered Army personnel to cease all use of Dajiang Innovation products, uninstall all DJI applications, remove all batteries/storage media from devices, and secure equipment for follow on direction.

“Due to increased awareness of cyber vulnerabilities associated with DJI products, it is directed that the U.S. Army halt use of all DJI products,” the memo stated. “This guidance applies to all DJI UAS and any system that employs DJI electrical components or software including, but not limited to, flight computers, cameras, radios, batteries, speed controllers, GPS units, handheld control stations, or devices with DJI software applications installed.”

The memo stated that DJI Unmanned Aircraft Systems are the “most widely used non-program of record commercial off-the-shelf UAS” used by the Army.

“There are U.S. special operators in Syria using DJI products,” former Army intelligence soldier Brett Velicovich told Defense One. “So I get it. I’m glad [the Army is] finally doing something about this.”

A spokesman for DJI said the company was willing to work with the U.S. military and other organizations to assess the security issues.