19 October 2017

The Rohingya Crisis in Myanmar: Options for India

By Sumit Kumar

Ever since Rohingya Muslim militants killed 12 local persons in the Rakhine state of Myanmar on August 25, 2017, the situation in the country is highly volatile, with least 370 Rohingya having been killed by the Myanmar armed forces and a huge number of Rohingyas having moved to Bangladesh and other neighbouring countries.

The political conflict between the Muslim-dominated Rohingya community and the country’s majority Buddhist has continued for decades. However, the political conflict between the two groups suddenly changed into an armed struggle in 1982 when the Citizenship Act enacted by Burmese government did not recognise the Rohingyas as citizens and also prevented this community from holding any government office and moving freely.

America’s Mumbai – Modern War Institute

by John Spencer 

It will take months, possibly years, to fully understand how the senseless attack in Las Vegas will change American society. Hotels are considering metal detectors, X-ray screening of guest luggage, and mandatory room checks. Some are even questioning whether open-air concerts and festivals should be organized anymore. We should not change the way we live our lives in America. But we must begin to take a hard look at how we secure our cities.

India informs US it’s ready to buy Raytheon ISTAR aircraft

By: Vivek Raghuvanshi  

India has made an official request to purchase two ISTAR aircraft under a government-to-government deal. The move comes within a month of U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis’ visit to India.

A formal letter of request was sent to the U.S. Defense Department earlier this month expressing intent to procure two intelligence, surveillance, target acquisition and reconnaissance aircraft via the Foreign Military Sales program, a Ministry of Defense official said.

Rise of China: An Enigma

By Col Anil Athale

Arnold J. Toynbee, a doyen of historian, in his multi volume magnum opus ‘Studies in World History’ had predicted rise of China and India and the challenge it will pose to the West dominated world order.

Toynbee wrote that when the process of industrialization going on in India and China reaches its conclusion, the huge populations of these countries will begin to weigh in the politico-military balance of the world. Such invigorated Giants will then seek their just share in resources of the world, currently skewed in favour of the West.

Special Report: Seven things to watch at China’s 19th Party Congress

by James Tunningley 

China’s 19th Party Congress (19PC) will answer some key questions that are preoccupying China-watchers: will Xi Jinping stay on as President? And how centralised will power become? In this Special Report, GRI’s James Tunningley presents a guide of what to expect during the coming weeks.

The Key to Countering Iran

Political and economic pressure from the United States will unite Iran's fractious political system behind the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), which lies at the heart of Tehran's regional strategy.

Washington's recent addition of the IRGC to the Treasury Department's list of terrorist groups probably won't have a substantial impact on the organization's ability to fund itself and allied militant groups across the Middle East.

In response to the U.S. decision, Iran will boost its military and political support for the IRGC by expanding its budget for asymmetric operations, including the activities of the elite Quds Force and ballistic missile development.

The Need for a Real New Strategy to Deal with Iran and the Gulf

By Anthony Cordesman

Early in the Trump Administration, the President signed Executive Orders calling for the development of a new strategy to deal with Iran and the defense of the Gulf. The White House announced the broad outline of this strategy for Iran on October 13, 2017—going far beyond the expected focus on failing to certify Iran's compliance with the Iran nuclear arms agreement with the UN—the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action or JCPOA.

The White House Outline of the New Strategy

Drop Zone: OTH Interview with Lt Gen David Deptula, USAF (Ret.)

“[The United States] is still undergoing a transition from the industrial age of warfare to the information age. And, even if […] the military could achieve a fully functioning combat cloud today… And, what I mean by combat cloud is achieving a means of rapidly and seamlessly sharing information. It is highly unlikely that the military would make the most of that new system. The reality is the Department of Defense and its respective service branches are still aligned in an industrial age fashion with employment doctrine still based on traditional attrition and annihilation strategies of warfare.”

– Lt Gen David Deptula, USAF (Ret.)
Mitchell Institute of Aerospace Studies

The Book Mattis Reads To Be Prepared For War With North Korea

Last Monday, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, a retired Marine Corps general with a legendary appetite for military history, ticked off a list of book recommendations to a crowd of U.S. Army leaders and supporters—titles that might help them understand command, strategy and the ways war is evolving. But he kept coming back to one book in particular: T. R. Fehrenbach’s This Kind of War, a 54-year-old history of the Korean War that’s much better known in military than civilian quarters.

The U.S. Thinks About Space Warfare

By Malcolm Davis

The last couple of weeks have been big ones for space in the U.S.. Vice President Pence chaired the newly re-formed U.S. National Space Council, the peak body for charting U.S. space policy, which had lain moribund under the previous Obama administration. The key news for the military was that a full-scale strategic review of space warfare was underway, headed by National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster.

The nature of warfare is changing. It's time governments caught up


If the day comes when you wake to find the tap produces no water, your mobile has no signal and your local supermarket is out of essentials, you may have become an unsolicited participant in cyber war. If that day includes the destruction of key power stations, 10 Downing Street demolished and the Bank of England left a smoking wreck by high-precision ballistic and cruise missiles, you will be witness to war in the Information Age.

What it Means to Be an Ally: A Vietnamese-American’s View on the US in the Vietnam War Image

By Tom Le

My mother was a teenager when she made her perilous journey to America as a “boat person.” Undoubtedly hiding from me many of the ugly realities of the Vietnam War, she instead loved to tell me the story of how American soldiers had given two dogs to my grandfather. He became so attached to them that after one of the dogs died protecting my mother from a snake, he used what little money he had for a proper burial.

Cyber operators to commanders: Bring us in early and often

By: Kathleen Curthoys

The Army’s cyber operators want unit commanders to know they’re ready to bring solutions that can be tailored to the unit, the network and the commanders’ missions — and they’re bringing their servers and sensors with them.

“We’re coming into our own as a brand new brigade, a brand new unit and a brand new domain,” said Maj. Josh Rykowski, a mission team leader with Cyber Protection Brigade.

The World Once Laughed at North Korean Cyberpower. No More.


A military officer who teaches computer science at the Mangyongdae Revolutionary School, on the outskirts of Pyongyang, North Korea. CreditAlexander F. Yuan/Associated Press

When North Korean hackers tried to steal $1 billion from the New York Federal Reserve last year, only a spelling error stopped them. They were digitally looting an account of the Bangladesh Central Bank, when bankers grew suspicious about a withdrawal request that had misspelled “foundation” as “fandation.”

Cyber Command stands up planning cells at combatant commands

By: Mark Pomerleau  
Source Link

Officers from multiple branches analyze a scenario during Cyber Flag, an exercise that strategically focused on exercising the command's mission of operating and defending the Department of Defense networks across the full spectrum of operations against a realistic adversary in a virtual environment.

Cyber Command has stood up forward-deployed planning cells within the combatant command staffs to help better coordinate offensive and defensive cyber effects.

Israel hacked Kaspersky, then tipped the NSA that its tools had been breached

In 2015, Israeli government hackers saw something suspicious in the computers of a Moscow-based cybersecurity firm: hacking tools that could only have come from the National Security Agency.

Israel notified the NSA, where alarmed officials immediately began a hunt for the breach, according to people familiar with the matter, who said an investigation by the agency revealed that the tools were in the possession of the Russian government.

12 Keys to Successful National Defense Strategy Planning

Source Link

As the Pentagon preps this year's version of the report formerly known as the QDR, a new study gleans practical advice from past efforts.

There is plenty of advice in the air as the Defense Department prepares its latest National Defense Strategy, the report formerly known as the Quadrennial Defense Review. Most of the advice concerns the strategy itself, which will set direction for the new administration and explain its thinking. Yet planners should also think about how they will go about formulating strategy, because a good process facilitates both the production of good strategy and the strategy’s adoption in a contentious political environment.



In light of revelations that their company’s platform was used by Russian actors during the 2016 election, Facebook executives have embarked on an extensive public-relations rehabilitation campaign. Last month, C.E.O. Mark Zuckerberg appeared in a rare Facebook livestream to discuss steps the company would take to ensure that it wouldn’t be compromised again. Part of that effort, Zuckerberg explained, would require hiring a small army of staff whose explicit job would be to safeguard against the kind of cyber psy-ops that Russia deployed so effectively—an effort that, as Bloomberg reported Monday, appears to be taking shape.

U.S. Commandos Want This Technology for Special Forces Raids

By Michael Peck

For Dungeons & Dragons roleplayers, part of the fun of make-believe adventure is searching for hidden chambers where the monsters keep their treasure. For that matter, it’s a familiar theme in horror movies to have villains and vampires pop out from behind walls and bookcases.

But for U.S. commandos, hidden compartments are not entertainment. They are obstacles to a successful mission to capture fugitives, or seize documents and weapons. And on a house raid in hostile territory, there isn’t a lot of time to go tapping on walls to find a stash.

Three Truths About The Personal Study of War

Imagine if someone told you that a year from today, you would be required to take a test in which every wrong answer resulted in the loss of a human life. How would you approach studying for the test? Would you study for 20-30 minutes every night or would you wait until a week before the test and start cramming? You’re probably saying that this is a no brainer, and that you would spend a year studying in small increments so that you get a 100 percent and nobody dies. While the logic is clear-cut in this scenario, it is lost on many leaders in their professional military careers.