31 October 2017

*** In China, Innovation Cuts Both Ways

By Matthew Bey

China is in a bind. The heavy industry that propelled the country's economy through three decades of dizzying growth has reached its limits. To escape the dreaded middle-income trap, China will need to shift its focus from low-end manufacturing to other economic industries, namely the technology sector. Beijing has put tech at the center of its long-term economic strategy through campaigns such as Made in China 2025 and Internet Plus. But these initiatives alone won't push the Chinese economy past its current plateau. The tech sector is notorious for relentless innovation. And innovation requires flexibility.

Army finalises mega procurement plan to replace ageing weapons

A large number of light machine guns (LMG), battle carbines and assault rifles are being purchased at a cost of nearly Rs 40,000 crore to replace its ageing and obsolete weapons. The broad process to acquire around 7 lakh rifles, 44,000 light machine guns (LMGs) and nearly 44,600 carbines has been finalised and the defence ministry is on the same page with the army in moving ahead with the procurement, official sources said.

Arming India’s response to Xi Jinping thought

Narayan Ramachandran

The 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (NCCPC) held at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing came to a conclusion last week. The NCCPC is held every five years in the fourth calendar quarter and is technically the apex body of the single party that has ruled China since the Communist revolution in 1949. In recent years, the NCCPC has lasted about a week each time and it is commonly understood that all important decisions are taken before the meeting convenes. The NCCPC is a giant career-defining body that shifts people upwards, laterally or out. Younger members are inducted every five years and older members are retired. 

India ships wheat to Afghanistan via Chabahar

Kallol Bhattacherjee

New route being used for first time to send consignment

Days after hosting U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, India on Sunday began shipment of wheat to Afghanistan through the Iranian port of Chabahar.

A press release from the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) noted that the consignment would be the first to use the new route via Chabahar to access Afghanistan, even as India plans similar transfers in the coming months.

The Chinese Juggernaut Continues To Run Strong, Leaving The US, Europe Behind

Manish Singh

They have to lower tariffs. They open up telecommunications for investment. They allow us to sell cars made in America in China at much lower tariffs. They allow us to put our own distributorships there. They allow us to put our own parts there. We don’t have to transfer technology or do joint manufacturing in China anymore. This a hundred-to-nothing deal for America when it comes to the economic consequences.

Chinese Internet Law: What the West Doesn’t See

By Jan Fell

The People’s Republic of China entered the Internet age in 1994; 23 years on, China is considered to have the largest online population worldwide, with 731 million active users. At the same time, China has one of the world’s strictest online legal frameworks. One could easily assume that an online ecosphere as vibrant and active as China’s would lead to many differentiated approaches to interpreting Chinese Internet law. Instead, China researchers, legal scholars, and observers of the Chinese internet industry have engaged in ever-repeating, entrenched, and constricted narratives focused on human rights abuses, censorship, and political oppression. Simultaneously and largely unnoticed, China has devised a strategy of innovation security as part of its internet law.

ISIS post caliphate: who's left, and where they are

The rapid territorial losses in Iraq and Syria will likely drive the jihadists underground there, but ISIS 'provinces' and expatriates are scattered broadly, and the resilient organization remains a threat even without its caliphate. 

Can ISIS Survive Defeat in Raqqa?

As the last remaining ISIS fighters are hunted down in Raqqa after a four-month Kurdish-led and US-backed offensive, some are heralding the group’s final defeat, three years and four months after it declared its ‘Caliphate’ across Syria and northern Iraq. But while its impending territorial defeat is significant, reports of ISIS’s death are wrong. You can’t kill an idea. Especially when the group has laid down deep ideological roots through its “Islamic state,” building a flourishing global network and a considerable online presence.

America’s love affair with uniformed men is problematic

A POIGNANT feature of American bases in Iraq were their walls of Thank You cards sent by American schoolchildren. Often displayed outside the chow-hall, where the troops gathered to eat, they typically thanked them for “being over there to keep us safe”. Hardly any of the soldiers Lexington spoke to, during several trips to Iraq, believed that to be the case. Their Iraqi enemies were fighting a defensive war, not trying to launch one against America. Yet the soldiers accepted the sentiment unblushingly. No soldier expects the beloved chumps back home to understand what he gets up to. He just needs to feel appreciated.

America Asleep at the Keyboard as Cyber Warfare Gets Real Dmitri Alperovitch on Russian hacks at the DNC

by Christine Parrish

It took Dmitri Alperovitch and the CrowdStrike cybersecurity team a few minutes on May 6, 2016, to find two hacks into the Democratic National Committee computer network. They recognized one, Fancy Bear, as being affiliated with Russian military intelligence. Alperovitch, co-founder of CrowdStrike, is an expert in detecting and stopping hacks that can undermine financial systems and governments.



Kiev, Ukraine—Since 2014, Russia has used Ukraine as a testing ground for its hybrid warfare doctrine, underscoring what some security experts say is a case study for the new kinds of security threats the U.S. and its Western allies can anticipate from Moscow. “The threats Ukraine faces are harbingers of things to come for the U.S. and its other allies,” said Junaid Islam, chief technology officer and president of Vidder, a California-based cyber security firm that does work in Ukraine.

Can Kim Jong-un Control His Nukes?

Michael Auslin 
Any travelers waiting for the few flights out of Pyongyang International Airport early on August 29 were treated to the spectacle of a North Korean intermediate-range missile blasting off only a few miles beyond the runways. Just before six in the morning, a Hwasong-12 missile, also known as the KN-17, with a purported range of nearly four thousand miles, arced northeastward over North Korea and the Sea of Japan. Eight minutes later, it passed over Hokkaido, the northernmost of Japan’s four home islands. Roughly six minutes after that, and approximately 730 miles east of Hokkaido, it broke apart and fell into the Pacific Ocean.

Infographic Of The Day: 3D Printing Is Finally Changing The Manufacturing Landscape

Today's infographic highlights a most recent snapshot of the 3D printing industry. Importantly, it shows that the technology is still chugging along in a way that is changing how things are made - just at a less hype-worthy pace.

Cyber Defense Must Be Global

by Emanuel Kopp, Lincoln Kaffenberger, and Christopher Wilson

Cyberattacks on financial institutions are becoming more common and considerably more sophisticated. High-profile cases like the Equifax breach, which compromised the confidentiality of 143 million Americans’ credit information, and the theft of US$81 million from Bangladesh Bank, are just two examples of recent cyber breaches in the financial industry.

Where Fiber Broadband Is Most Prevalent

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Although South Korea is well ahead of the pack with 30 percent of inhabitants enjoying a superfast internet subscription, other developed countries such as the U.S. and Germany can boast a mere 3.7 and 0.7 percent, respectively.

We Must Listen to Clausewitz

By Daniel DePetris

As the foreign policy establishment in Washington should have learned over the last 16 years, nothing in the Middle East is straightforward or clean. There simply isn't a black-and-white, good vs. evil paradigm that Americans can use to navigate the treacherous and complicated politics of the region. Sure, Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad is undeniably a war criminal whose forces have slaughtered hundreds of thousands of people, wiped out entire city districts through merciless bombing, and sent over 11 million Syrians to leave their homes. Assad is a bloodthirsty authoritarian, but his opponents in the Syrian civil war are not angels either.

Why America Could Lose a War with Russia or China

William Adler

Incremental improvements in doctrine, global basing, and force structure are all steps in the right direction, but they are fundamentally insufficient to allow the United States to prevail in a large-scale conventional war. Political and military leaders seek solutions in sterile funding debates, vociferous force size comparisons and acquisition deliberations, but then fail to address one of the elements critical to success in warfare – endurance. The ability to regenerate expended war-fighting capability is essential to maintain military staying power in a protracted war. The United States must build this kind of endurance into future force design and emphasize those military means that can be regenerated quickly and affordably to preserve military options.

Challenge of rapid equipping in a technology-centric world

Mark Pomerleau

“With ready availability of these commercial drones, ISIS and other groups have taken advantage of that…and have adapted it for everything from the intended purpose of some of these drones to conduct reconnaissance because they’re camera-equipped,” said Tim Clauss, an intelligence analyst with the Joint Improvised-Threat Defeat Organization, during an event at Fort Belvoir, Virginia, on Oct. 17. “But in some instances…they’ve adapted them and dropped some small munitions,”

How Americans Learned to Fight Modern War

By David Fitzgerald

In a recent interview reflecting on his experiences in Iraq and Afghanistan, General David Petraeus recalled an incident that took place during the invasion of Iraq. Petraeus, then commanding the 101st Airborne, recounted that after a tough fight to take the city of Najaf, he called the V Corps Commander, General William Wallace to say, “Hey boss, there’s good news and bad news. The good news is that we own Najaf...The bad news is the same as the good news: we own Najaf. What do you want us to do with it?”

Street Sense: The Urban Battlefields of the Future


Conflict follows humanity wherever it goes, and the world’s population is increasingly living in cities. Waning are the days of the Maoist blueprint of rural insurgents pillaging small peripheral villages and seeking refuge in the hard terrain of mountainous caverns, dense forests, or expansive deserts. Soon terrorist and insurgent groups will mount operations from crowded slums and ritzy skyscrapers – not just in a dense urban landscape, but in coastal megacities that pose a unique challenge for which the U.S. military largely remains unprepared.