30 November 2017

A War Between India and Pakistan: Nuclear Weapons Could Fly (And Millions Die)

Sebastien Roblin

India possesses a smaller number of nuclear weapons, estimated in 2015 to range between ninety and 120. However, New Delhi recently acquired a full nuclear triad of air-, land- and sea-based nuclear platforms when it deployed its first home-produced nuclear-powered submarine, the INS Arihant. The Arihant is capable of launching a dozen K-15 Sagarika submarine-launched ballistic missiles. However, these are limited to a range of 750 kilometers, and are thus incapable of reaching the major inland cities of Pakistan or China, a shortcoming India is attempting to address with new K-4 missiles, derived form the land-based Agni-III. New Delhi intends to produce three more nuclear submarines over the years, while Pakistan is considering building one of their own.

Inside Pakistan’s Biggest Business Conglomerate: The Pakistani Military


Retired military officers are profiting from private security contracts around some of Pakistan's most contested regions, stoking new fears of nepotism and corruption. 

In July 2016, the Pakistani senate was informed that the armed forces run over 50 commercial entities worth over $20 billion. Ranging from petrol pumps to huge industrial plants, banks, bakeries, schools and universities, hosiery factories, milk dairies, stud farms, and cement plants, the military has a finger in each pie and stands today as the biggest conglomerate of all business in Pakistan. 



In 2015, the U.S. Congress decided it was time to take a public accounting of the U.S. government’s war against al-Qaeda. In that year’s National Defense Authorization Act, Congress mandated: The Secretary of Defense, in coordination with the Secretary of State and the Director of National Intelligence, shall provide for the conduct of an independent assessment of the effectiveness of the United States’ efforts to disrupt, dismantle, and defeat Al-Qaeda … since September 11, 2001.

The End of the End of History

by Klaus Brinkbäumer

The collapse of coalition talks in Berlin are far from a national crisis. But it is symptomatic. It is time for German politicians to realize what is at stake for their country and the rest of the Western world.

Sometimes we in the West forget that our view of the world is just one among many that are possible. And that neither our understanding of human rights nor our adherence to liberal democracy are attractive across the globe. Is the Western way of life morally superior? And even if it were, is it the most constructive or effective way of organizing human societies?

Why Does ISIS Kill Muslims?

by Raymond Ibrahim

At least 305 civilians were killed on November 24 when ISIS bombed a Sufi mosque in the Egyptian Sinai village of al-Rawdah and opened fire on the panicked crowd. On Friday, November 24, some 30 gunmen carrying the Islamic State flag bombed and stormed a Sufi mosque in Egypt's North Sinai, about 125 miles northeast of Cairo. They managed to massacre at least 305 people, 27 of whom were children. "The scene was horrific," said Ibrahim Sheteewi, an eyewitness. "The bodies were scattered on the ground outside the mosque. I hope God punishes them for this."

Putin Nukes Trump

By Mark B. Schneider

On October 27, 2017, the Kremlin announced that “Vladimir Putin took part in Strategic Nuclear Forces’ training.”[1] Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov declared, “During the training, its participants practiced interaction between the RVSN [Russian Strategic Rocket Forces], nuclear submarines of the Northern and Pacific Fleets and long-range aviation of the Russian Aerospace Forces.”[2] He emphasized the fact that Putin personally gave the launch order.[3] The Russian Defense Ministry gave some details about the exercise. It stated:

Units of Strategic Missile Forces control centres, crews of nuclear missile submarines of the Northern and Pacific Fleets as well as long-range strategic bombers of the Russian Aerospace Forces carried out training missions.

NATO ‘not ready for FUTURE WAR’: Fears over rising threat from Russia and North Korea


A group of experts warned the military alliance “risks falling behind the pace of political change and technological developments that could alter the character of warfare”. The panel, put together by security NGO Globsec, set out a raft of recommendations that leaders should adopt by the organisation’s 70th anniversary summit in 2019. They include enhancing security forces and building relationships with influential rising powers like the Chinese. It warned: “To maintain its credibility as a defensive alliance NATO must embark on a more far-reaching process of adaptation. “NATO must ensure it has the capacity to fight a future war if it is to deter and prevent such a war. 

Egypt mosque attack: New level of horror in decades-long struggle to control Sinai

The bomb-and-gun attack in Egypt’s north Sinai on Friday November 24 is now known to have killed more than 300 worshippers at a Sufi-affiliated mosque, making it the deadliest attack in modern Egyptian history. Carried out by terrorists claiming links with the so-called Islamic State (IS), the attack exposed just how weak a grip the Egyptian state has in Sinai – and by extension, just how dangerous this piece of pivotal territory is for the rest of the region.Though the scale of Friday’s attack is unprecedented, Sinai has been unmanageable for years, if not decades. Many security experts agree that large parts of it fit the definition of an “ungoverned space”: the monopoly of force that the Egyptian state should exercise there is weak or nonexistent, while government services to citizens are extremely poor. This makes Sinai ideal territory for violent jihadist militant groups.

Providing Access and Growth

Energy has played, and will continue to play, a pivotal role in the economic development of the world’s major emerging economies and other developing countries. Increasingly, these countries will serve as the centers of energy-demand growth and energy investments. As such, the decisions they make about how to develop their energy sectors will be important to not only their own development but also in determining future levels of energy consumption, fuel choices, patterns of trade, and other factors. These countries are influenced not only by their own domestic priorities, policies, and regulations, but also by the international investor and donor communities. Several major shifts are taking place in the energy and development landscapes that warrant increased attention from policymakers, academia, and the private sector.

Interview: Col. Kaupo Rosin, Estonia’s military intelligence chief

By: Aaron Mehta  

WASHINGTON — In September, Russia and Belarus ran the latest version of the biannual Zapad training exercise. While training against an incursion from the fictional nation of Veshnoriya, the exercise was widely viewed as practice against NATO allies, with particular concern from Poland, Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia. Among those closely watching Zapad was Col. Kaupo Rosin, Estonia’s chief of military intelligence. During a recent visit to Washington, Rosin sat down with Defense News to discuss lessons learned from Zapad and what Russia may do next.

Libya Is a Failed State (and It's America's Fault)

Ted Galen Carpenter

When the Obama administration led a 2011 NATO military intervention on behalf of rebels seeking to overthrow Libyan dictator Muammar el-Qaddafi, there was considerable optimism that the move would produce a much better country. Although U.S. officials and their media cheerleaders acknowledged that significant challenges remained for a post-Qaddafi Libya, they argued that the outcome could scarcely be worse than the oppressive status quo. Events over the past six years have proven their assumptions spectacularly wrong. Libya is now a cauldron of turmoil and Islamic radicalism.

Why NATO's European Members Can No Longer Expect America to Pick Up the Bill

Valbona Zeneli

For nearly seven decades, NATO has created and strengthened the bonds of the transatlantic relationship, generating a sense of shared identity of the West. It is the essential organization for defense and security for 66 percent of Europeans and 62 percent of Americans. Views of NATO have generally improved over the years. After the fall of communism in Europe, the objectives and priorities of NATO have changed and multiplied in many areas. However, one legacy from the Cold War era still remains, the imbalance in burden sharing among allies.

Is the US behind in cyber-enabled info operations?

By: Mark Pomerleau 

Information Systems Technician 3rd Class Jacquelyn Jose, left and Information Systems Technician 2nd Class Aubrey Diehl, assigned to the amphibious assault ship USS Boxer (LHD 4) set up administrator accounts on a virtual server during a network training course provided by Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command (SPAWAR). Within the broader realm of cyberwarfare, the prospect of data and information war is becoming much more prevalent.

Tech company alliance gives critical infrastructure cybersecurity a boost

By: Michael Peck 

Defense contractor Raytheon and digital communications company MetTel are teaming up to provide cybersecurity for government agencies and private companies. “The companies will provide a range of cybersecurity offerings and support the migration from legacy technologies to ensure cybersecurity is designed into the government’s telecom infrastructure,” said a Raytheon and MetTel news release. “This alliance is well-positioned to support the administration’s IT modernization and cybersecurity priorities, including the emerging security challenges posed by internet-connected devices, including computers, routers and security cameras.”

Venezuela and Russia Teamed Up to Push Pro-Catalan Fake

Here’s a chilling fact: At the height of the Catalan separatist crisis, analysis of more than 5 million messages about Catalonia posted on social networks between Sept. 29 and Oct. 5, shows that only 3 percent come from real profiles outside the Russian and Venezuelan cybernetworks. These are the conclusions of a report prepared by Javier Lesaca, visiting scholar at the School of Media and Public Affairs at George Washington University.

Net Neutrality and the Transatlantic Relationship in the Digital Age

Amy Studdart

WASHINGTON, DC — On Tuesday, the U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) released its plans to revoke net neutrality — a series of policies that require Internet service providers (ISP) to treat all Internet traffic equally. Without those policies, an ISP like­ Comcast, Verizon, or AT&T will be able to charge consumers more for access to certain websites and charge websites for preferred access to consumers; make some sites faster or slower, potentially privileging, for example, their own streaming services over Netflix and YouTube; and block access to some sites altogether. It will also eliminate FCC authority over data privacy. In essence, it will give telecommunications companies the power to control how Americans use the Internet, undermining Washington's claim that its technology policies are geared toward protecting entrepreneurship, defending freedom of speech, and prioritizing consumer choice.

Inside The Wargame: The Challenges Facing Air Force’s MDC2


The Lockheed Martin MDC2 exercise was designed to look at the challenges facing the military as they try to create an “integrated tasking order” similar to a traditional Air Tasking Order. An ATO assigns missions and schedules sorties for every aircraft in a theater, the integrated tasking order would assign tasks to all space and cyber forces as well. Building a weapons system is complex but there can be even more daunting challenges when you’re in the early stages of designing and building a command and control system such as MDC2. Culture, training, language and even nationality can pose challenges as large as — or even bigger than — the technology.



Recently, Dan Helmer, a West Point graduate running for a U.S. House of Representatives seat in Virginia’s 10th Congressional District, released a list of eight retired generals and admirals he calls his “National Security Advisory Committee.” At the top is retired Lt. Gen. Dan Christman, who formerly served as superintendent at West Point (akin to a college president) while I was a cadet. I looked up to him then.

Is the U.S. Army on Verge of Creating 'Super Soldiers'?

Kris Osborn

Developed by Lockheed with internal research and development funds, FORTIS is designed to help soldiers run, maneuver, carry injured comrades and perform a wide range of combat tasks while preventing hyperextension of the knee.
Engineers report that FORTIS reduces the amount of energy required to perform a task by nine percent, using on-board AI to learn the gait of an individual soldier. The system integrates an actuator, motor and transmission all into one device, intended to provide 60 Newton Meters of additional torque, Maxwell explained.

Why Leaders Must Fail to Ultimately Succeed

Maj. Timothy Trimailo

Sgt. Gregory Padilla (second from left) gives a status report to 2nd Lt. Randy Jozwiak (left) during a live-fire exercise 20 July 2015 as part of Northern Strike 15 on Camp Grayling Joint Maneuver Training Center, Michigan. Padilla is a team leader and Jozwiak is a platoon leader assigned to the 1st Battalion, 126th Cavalry Regiment. (Photo by Sgt. Seth LaCount, U.S. Army)

When a reporter asked him how it felt to fail a thousand