5 January 2018

Pakistan Has All the Leverage Over Trump

Pakistan Has All the Leverage Over Trump
                                                                        --  Maj Gen P K Mallick, VSM (Retd)

Over the last several decades, U.S aid to Pakistan has fluctuated depending on Washington’s regional objectives. For example, during the 1965 Indo-Pakistan War, the U.S. decreased its aid to Pakistan, only sending $26 million to the country. Alternatively, during the 1980s, the U.S. significantly increased its assistance to Islamabad to upwards of $5 billion as Pakistan helped funnel weapons and funds to anti-Soviet rebel fighters in Afghanistan.Between 2002-2017, the U.S. provided more than $33 billion in total aid to Pakistan.
Bill Milam, former U.S. Ambassador to Pakistan said :

“The U.S. started withholding our goodies from Pakistan in 1965, when President Lyndon Johnson cut off most of our military assistance to Pakistan when it attacked India. We cut off most assistance, both military and aid, when President George H. W. Bush could no longer certify, as required by the 1985 Pressler Amendment, that Pakistan did not possess a nuclear device. And when those sticks didn’t work, we tried to use a huge assistance package as an irresistible carrot to get Pakistan to conform completely to our way of thinking in the fight against terrorism, including in Afghanistan. The results are clear – none of it worked. Pakistan marches to its own beat.”

The U.S. has turned to Pakistan for vital cooperation in rooting out militant groups, such as the Taliban and the Haqqani network, that regularly orchestrate violence in neighboring Afghanistan. At the same time, however, the U.S. has repeatedly accused Pakistan of harboring these groups to promote their own regional interests.

During the late 1970s and 1980s, Washington used Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence agency (ISI) as a conduit to funnel arms and money to rebel groups fighting the Soviet Union’s invasion of Afghanistan. Following the Soviet Union’s withdrawal, however, the ISI helped support the Taliban’s rise to power in Afghanistan during the 1990s. Today, it is widely believed that the ISI continues to protect and assist the Taliban, the Haqqani network and Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), all designated as terrorists by the U.S. government, as part of its strategy to keep Afghanistan on unstable footing and advance its ambitions in the disputed Kashmir region bordering India and Pakistan.

Pakistan has assisted with U.S. efforts to dismantle al-Qaida. Pakistani intelligence facilitated the 2003 apprehension of Khaled Sheikh Mohammed, the mastermind of the 9/11 attacks, and has provided information that helped target other key figures by CIA drone strike. Yet questions still linger about whether the Pakistani government knew of Osama bin Laden’s whereabouts after the al Qaida leader’s compound was raided in close proximity to a Pakistani military facility in May 2011.

The Pakistani government has permitted the CIA and U.S. military to use bases inside Pakistan for drones and even launch drone strikes in Pakistani territory. In 2017, at least eight such strikes were conducted, which resulted in the deaths of several Taliban militants. However, many in the U.S. still accuse the Pakistani government of harboring leaders of the Taliban and the Haqqani network, although Pakistani officials have repeatedly rejected such accusations.

After rescuing an American-Canadian family from the Haqqani network in October, the Pakistani military captured one of the organization’s members but reportedly refused to grant the U.S. access to the man. The Haqqani network is still believed to be holding at least two other Americans hostage.

Anthony Cordesman, Arleigh A. Burke Chair in Strategy, CSIS said :

“The practical issues affecting any hardline approach towards Pakistan are (a) what can the U.S. actually do that will matter enough to really change Pakistani behavior, and (b) what will happen if the Pakistanis respond by limiting U.S. access to Pakistan’s airspace, ports and land routes; giving more freedom of action and support to the Taliban and other threats to Afghanistan; and/or titling even more towards China.”

It is unlikely that Trump’s decision to withhold aid from Pakistan in and of itself will lead Pakistan to amend its approach, as Islamabad boasts a track record of withstanding such maneuvers. However, by implementing a multifaceted strategy that extends beyond U.S. fiscal leverage to include a greater alignment of the two countries’ core interests, the Trump administration may begin to chip away at the barriers preventing enhanced and honest cooperation.

Dan Markey, Academic Director of the Global Policy Program, Johns Hopkins SAIS said :

“There are a couple of things that are missing from the Trump Administration’s approach right now. One is evidence of a commitment by the administration to just how far it is willing to push. The Pakistanis are pretty skilled at girding themselves for irritations from the U.S. and aid cutoffs or slowdowns. They can weather all of that. The question is, do we have other pressure tactics that we’re actually willing to use – things like denying them access to international financial institutions and resources that go well beyond U.S. assistance. Just how mean are we willing to get? On the other side, just how committed are we to the fight in Afghanistan in ways that would get Pakistan, over time, to see that its interest is [in] aligning itself with what our strategy is? That is, if they began to believe that the most likely solution in Afghanistan was one in which the Afghan Taliban were either brought to the table and brought into a political process or ultimately defeated, then they would probably be more inclined to get behind that effort themselves and support it. But for the time being, and for as long as I can remember, I think they’ve suspected that the U.S. would leave with a job half-finished and would leave the problem in their lap. Given those assumptions, the idea that they would turn [against] some of their militant allies like the Afghan Taliban and that Haqqani network, seems less compelling. So that’s where we’re stuck.”

C. Christine Fair is assistant professor in the Peace and Security Studies Program in Georgetown University's Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service. She is author most recently of "Why the Pakistan Army Is Here to Stay: Prospects for Civilian Governance" in International Affairs.

She is the foremost Pakistan specialist from USA. Recently she has published a paper " 
Pakistan Has All the Leverage Over Trump" in Foreign Policy.

For me it is the finest paper on US - Pakistan relation in recent time. It is a must read for all who are interested in Pakistan.  I like it when she writes : Logistics will beat strategy every time.

The paper is reproduce below.

The president can tweet all the threats he wants, but Pakistan’s leaders aren’t worried.

Pakistan responded as it has in the past for being called out for its mendacity and perfidy: It rallied its trolls; it summoned the U.S. ambassador in Islamabad for a démarche; and, in all forums possible, it denied the allegations of nefarious deeds with all of the sincerity and credibility of the wholesome human resources manager of the Chicken Ranch.

Even as the tweet continued to titillate Trump enthusiasts in India and at home, however, the responsible members of Trump’s government were strategizing how to roll it back. Later that same day, a White House National Security Council spokesperson explained what, specifically, to expect: “The United States does not plan to spend the $255 million in FY 2016 foreign military financing for Pakistan at this time.” This is not the sweeping cutoff that Trump implied in his braggadocios tweet.

In fact, there is little that is, or ever will be, new in Trump’s Pakistan policy.
That’s true for two simple reasons: the logistics of staying the course in Afghanistan and the night terrors triggered by imagining how terrifying Pakistan could be without American money.

Obama did the same thing, too, and nothing changed

Trump is not the first U.S. president to express distaste for Pakistan’s actions. In August 2007, then-presidential candidate Barack Obama threatened to undertake unilateral military strikes against the terrorists harbored by Pakistan. Obama, upon being president, took the fight to Pakistan with his zealous use of airstrikes by remotely piloted aerial vehicles. Moreover, in March 2009, when Obama announced his so-called Afghanistan-Pakistan strategy, he specifically identified the latter as a terrorist safe haven. You know, eventually those snakes are going to turn on whoever has them in the backyard.” And it was Obama who ordered U.S. Navy SEALs to unilaterally attack a compound near Pakistan’s famed military academy in which Osama bin Laden had been residing in plain sight for numerous years.

The Obama administration also withheld funds from Pakistan for several years. It did so because the U.S. Congress passed legislation that authorized $1 billion in coalition support funds (CSF) but rendered $300 million hostage to Pakistan taking decisive action against the Haqqani Network and in later years against the Lashkar-e-Taiba. This money could only be paid if the administration certified that Pakistan had complied with the requirements. On several occasions, it demurred to do so.

It is also worth noting that Trump’s tweet only reinforced what the New York Times reported on Dec. 29, that the Trump administration was going to withhold — wait for it — $255 million in foreign military financing (FMF). FMF funds enable partner countries to buy “U.S. defense articles, services, and training” and are provided either as a nonrepayable grant or on a loan basis. This is hardly a sweeping punishment that will persuade Pakistan to begin acting against terrorism. Historically, FMF funds have not been the mainstay of the American dole to Pakistan. Out of the more than $33 billion given to Pakistan since fiscal year 2002, FMF has accounted for less than $4 billion. The most lucrative payouts have been through the CSF program, which totals more than $14.5 billion.

America’s preferred roads to Afghanistan go through Pakistan

Why is it that the United States continues to make huge payouts to Pakistan even though it is widely recognized that the country continues to fund the very organizations — such as the Haqqani Network, the Taliban, and groups like the LeT — that are killing U.S. troops and allies in Afghanistan? Why can’t the United States simply take its checkbook and let China take over paying Pakistan’s bills as Pakistan continually threatens will happen should the United States walk away from this abusive relationship for good? There are several important reasons, none of which are easily ignored.

First, Pakistan has the fastest growing nuclear program in the world, which includes efforts to develop so-called tactical nuclear weapons (I prefer to call them “battlefield nuclear weapons,” as even the smallest nuclear bomb will have strategic effects if used). Given Pakistan’s well-known reputation for black market nuclear trafficking, well-publicized reports of moving its warheads around in unescorted soft-skin vehicles (such as ordinary vans), and a petting zoo of every kind of domestic, regional, and transnational Islamist terrorist organization thriving under its protection, America and its allies are rightly concerned that any instability in Pakistan may result in terrorists getting their hands on Pakistan’s nuclear technology, fissile material, or a nuclear device. This is Washington’s worst nightmare. Ironically, Pakistan has invested in both its nuclear and terrorist arsenals on Washington’s time and dime. Yet, even as the continued payments to Pakistan intensify the country’s nuclear coercion, American officials in virtually all branches of government fear that a complete breakoff in aid will hasten the worst-case outcome.

Second and related to the first, the United States worries about Pakistan’s solvency. If it really wanted to bring Pakistan’s to its terrorism-loving knees, it would let the International Monetary Fund (IMF) cut the country off when it reneges on its own commitment to financial reform. Soon, international contributors to the IMF will essentially be subsidizing Pakistan’s exorbitant loan repayments to the Chinese. This alone should be adequate reasoning to let the IMF cut Pakistan off. However, this is unlikely to happen. Pakistan has essentially developed its bargaining power by threatening its own demise.

With any economic collapse of Pakistan, Washington again fears that the specter of a nuclear-armed terrorist group rising up from Pakistan will materialize.

Finally, the United States has placed itself in an unwinnable position in the Afghan war. One can argue that the United States lost the war in Afghanistan when it went to war with Pakistan, one of the states most committed to undermining U.S. efforts there. Whereas the United States wants a stable Afghan government that can resist its predatory neighbors and keep Islamist militants out of the government and prevent these militants from using Afghanistan as a sanctuary to train, recruit, and plan terrorist attacks in the region and beyond, this is precisely the Afghanistan that Pakistan wants. The only way Washington could have had any hope of avoiding the situation in which it finds itself is if then-President Bush had capitalized on the opening with Iran that President Mohammad Khatami offered.

In 2001, Iran was incredibly supportive of the American effort in Afghanistan. U.S. Ambassador James Dobbins, who was present at the talks in Germany that led to the Bonn Agreement, has attested to Iran’s productive role in trying to secure a democratic future for Afghanistan. The United States instead spurned Iran and even labeled it a founding member of the Axis of Evil. The Bush administration was clueless about Pakistan’s interests and had believed that then-President Pervez Musharraf was sincere in offering his country’s help in defeating its own proxies in Afghanistan. We know now that this was a preposterous assumption. Yet the die had been cast. The United States became singularly reliant on using Pakistan’s air and land corridors to move supplies for the war effort. Its efforts to cultivate a so-called northern distribution route failed to materialize.

Over the years, I have offered reminders that Americans could work with Indian contractors to move goods from Chabahar to Afghanistan, thus providing an opportunity to further consolidate the two countries’ fast-growing ties with India. This would require using Iran’s port in Chabahar, which the Indians have helped to develop along with the road and rail lines connecting it to Afghanistan.

But most Americans recoil at the suggestion of cooperating with Iran, arguing that Tehran is a potential nuclear-proliferating sponsor of terrorism. Needless to say, Pakistan is an actual nuclear-proliferating sponsor of terrorism. Moreover, Pakistan is actually more dangerous than Iran: Tehran’s terrorist proxies are regional menaces rather than the international, hydra-headed scourges cultivated by Islamabad.

Under the Obama administration, the United States made unprecedented progress in thawing relations with Iran with the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), also known as the Iran nuclear deal, which opened up at least the possibility of exploring the idea of moving supplies from the port in Chabahar. In fact, India just completed its first shipment of 1.1 million tons of wheat to Afghanistan that traveled through Chabahar. However, Trump has made it clear that he prefers to scrap the JCPOA entirely.

Without an alternative port, the United States will have no choice but to continue working with Pakistan if it wants to remain engaged in Afghanistan, as Trump intends to do. (The proposed troop surge is now complete with about 14,000 U.S. troops in the country.) While Trump can tweet whatever he wants about Pakistan or Iran, the professionals on his staff know the truth: U.S. policy in Afghanistan requires a port with road or rail access to Afghanistan. This administration — like each one before — has cast its lot with Pakistan. And this administration will confront the same failures as its predecessors. Logistics will beat strategy every time.

India must tread with caution at Davos meet

D. Ravi Kanth

Can India become “magnetized” for global industry, finance, and trade in 2018? That is the question Prime Minister Narendra Modi could face when he meets the “Davos Man” (DM) on 23 January. DM is a term popularized by controversial political scientist Samuel Huntington of The Clash of Civilizations fame to denote the international movers and shakers of industry, finance, and trade. The sole demand of the DM is the elimination of national boundaries that act as obstacles/barriers to their profits touching stratospheric levels.

Russia's Afghanistan Strategy How Moscow Is Preparing to Go It Alone

By Julia Gurganus

For the last decade and a half, Russia and the United States have had largely similar aims in Afghanistan: preventing chaos and the reemergence of a safe haven for terrorists. That convergence has allowed the two countries to work together. But beneath the surface, there are important differences. Although both want stability, they define it in very different ways. The U.S. approach is founded on creating a strong central government in Kabul and a well-equipped and well-trained national security force; Russia, meanwhile, works with a wide range of actors, some of which compete directly with the government in Kabul. Moscow has even reached out to the Taliban, legitimizing a group that continues to threaten the security of both the Afghan government and U.S. and NATO forces.

Why the Taliban Isn't Winning in Afghanistan

By Seth G. Jones

We must face facts,” remarked Senator John McCain in August 2017, “we are losing in Afghanistan and time is of the essence if we intend to turn the tide.” He is not the only one who has argued that the Taliban are on the march. “The Taliban are getting stronger, the government is on the retreat, they are losing ground to the Taliban day by day,” Abdul Jabbar Qahraman, a retired Afghan general who was the Afghan government’s military envoy to Helmand Province until 2016, told the New York Times over the summer. Media outlets have likewise proclaimed that “The Taliban do look a lot like they are winning” and that this is “The war America can’t win.”

How Pakistan Is Responding to Trump


Pakistan once was the focal point of the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff’s attention, when Adm. Mike Mullen personally made it his mission for years to keep U.S. relations open and active with Islamabad’s top general and intelligence chief. But in the years since those players left office, President Barack Obama downsized the war, declared an official end to combat operations in Afghanistan, and the ISIS war in Iraq and Syria took the spotlight. Pakistan — specifically, U.S.-Pakistani national security relations, as an issue — has gone relatively quiet.

1,700 Planes Ready for War: Everything You Need To Know About China's Air Force

Sebastien Roblin

Roughly 33 percent of the PLAAF and PLANAF’s combat aircraft are old second-generation fighters of limited combat value against peer opponents, save perhaps in swarming attacks. Another 28 percent include strategic bombers and more capable but dated third-generation designs. Finally, 38 percent are fourth-generation fighters that can theoretically hold their own against peers like the F-15 and F-16. Stealth fighters account for 1 percent. However, the technical capabilities of aircraft are just half the story; at least as important are training, organizational doctrine and supporting assets ranging from satellite recon to air-refueling tankers, ground-based radars and airborne command posts.

Where China leads, the rest of the world follows

Enrique Dans

A highly recommended article in The Wall Street Journal, “Twelve days in Xinjiang: how China’s surveillance state overwhelms daily life”, details the findings of a team the paper sent to Xinjiang, the vast province in the northwest of the country and home to a Muslim Uyghur majority that has been fighting for greater autonomy from Beijing over its affairs. In response, the Communist Party has deployed vast resources to monitor the population.

Nine ways Chinese scientists pushed the envelope in 2017

Military breakthroughs, supercomputers, dark matter and more. Chinese scientists marked several firsts in 2017, such as testing spy drones in near space and detecting the world’s first trace of dark matter. They also embarked on some groundbreaking research projects, including building the world’s most powerful facial recognition system that can identify its 1.3 billion citizens within three seconds. Here are some of the most popular China science stories we covered this year.

China’s Ambitious New ‘Port’: Landlocked Kazakhstan

China’s largest shipping company has poured billions of dollars into buying seaports in Greece and other maritime nations around the world. But the location of its latest big foreign investment has given a curious twist to the expanding ambitions of the China Ocean Shipping Company: The nearest ocean is more than 1,600 miles away. he state-owned Chinese shipping giant, known as COSCO, became the 49 percent owner this past summer of a patch of frost-covered asphalt bisected by railway tracks and lined with warehouses in landlocked Kazakhstan. The barren wilderness close to the border with China stands near the Eurasian Pole of Inaccessibility, meaning that nowhere on the landmass of Europe and Asia is more distant from the sea.

China fires up advanced hypersonic missile challenge to US defences

Minnie Chan

China’s new “hypersonic” ballistic missiles will not only challenge the defences of the United States but also be able to more accurately hit military targets in Japan and India, according to Chinese military specialists. The assessment comes after Tokyo-based The Diplomat magazine reported that China’s rocket forces conducted two tests late last year of a new “hypersonic glide vehicle”, or HGV, known as the DF-17, citing US intelligence sources. HGVs are unmanned, rocket-launched, manoeuvrable aircraft that glide and “skip” through the earth’s atmosphere at incredibly fast speeds. Compared to conventional ballistic systems, HGV warheads can travel at much higher speeds, lower altitudes and less-trackable trajectories. The approach leaves defence systems less time to intercept the warhead before it drops its payload.

Can Iran Become a World Power?

by Hilal Khashan

Since Cyrus the Great founded the Achaemenid Empire in 625 B.C., Iran has stayed true to its imperial identity. Even the architects of the 1979 Iranian Revolution kept the country's ambitions to build a new empire alive, albeit with an Islamic political spin. In a 2014 essay in Foreign Affairs, Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif left no room for doubt about the Islamic republic's aspirations for "a prominent regional and global role." And still today, the leaders of the country constantly remind foreign officials about its claim to cultural exceptionalism. Iran's leaders genuinely believe their state has emerged as one of the world's most powerful countries thanks to its perseverance and steadfastness, an attitude that comes across unmistakably in Iranian foreign policy.

Where Russian Information Warfare Is Failing

Given the news the past few years, one could be forgiven for concluding Vladimir Putin’s Russia is the world’s grand practitioner of information warfare. Moscow ostensibly tried through various information warfare techniques to influence the Brexit referendum, the U.S. presidential election, and several European elections. As a result, there has been much hand-wringing in the West about how to counter this menace. 

10 Conflicts to Watch in 2018 From North Korea to Venezuela, here are the conflicts to watch in 2018.

Robert Malley

It’s not all about Donald Trump. 

That’s a statement more easily written than believed, given the U.S. president’s erratic comportment on the world stage — his tweets and taunts, his cavalier disregard of international accords, his readiness to undercut his own diplomats, his odd choice of foes, and his even odder choice of friends. And yet, a more inward-looking United States and a greater international diffusion of power, increasingly militarized foreign policy, and shrinking space for multilateralism and diplomacy are features of the international order that predate the current occupant of the White House and look set to outlast him.

Last Year’s Top 5 Worst Nuclear Nightmares (That Aren’t Going Away)


The top five nuclear nightmares we faced in 2017 will continue to haunt us in 2018. In fact, each has gotten worse this year.  It is not that the past year has been devoid of good news, but the bad outweighed the good.The overall number of nuclear weapons in the world continues to shrink, thanks to arms control treaties negotiated over the past few decades. The steady defeat of ISIS has reduced the risk of nuclear terrorism. Tensions seem to have eased between India and Pakistan, reducing the risk of war in South Asia.

Space: Keeping ELINT In Orbit

January 2, 2018: In December 2017 Russia put a third Lotos S spy satellite into orbit using a Soyuz rocket launched from the Plesetsk Cosmodrome in the far north. Lotos S is a six ton electronic surveillance satellite which an elliptical orbit that brings the satellite as low as 200 kilometers to earth. The first Lotos went up in 2009 while the second went up in late 2014. The first Lotos was classified as “experimental” and had several problems that limited its effectiveness. The second and third ones apparently worked as intended and the third one was designated Losot S1 indicating substantial upgrades. Lotos is part of the Russian effort to catch up with the United States in space-based ELINT (electronic reconnaissance, also called SIGINT for signals intelligence).

U.S. Tech Giants Lobbying In Europe

by Martin Armstrong

Having had 84 high-level meetings with the European Commission since 2014, the Washington-based company has recorded €4.5 million of spending on lobbying. Close behind, but with many more meetings (153), Google had a budget of €4.25 million.


Source Link

But have you talked to Siri or Alexa recently? Then you’ll know that despite the hype, and worried billionaires, there are many things that artificial intelligence still can’t do or understand. Here are five thorny problems that experts will be bending their brains against next year. Machines are better than ever at working with text and language. Facebook can read out a description of images for visually impaired people. Google does a decent job of suggesting terse replies to emails. Yet software still can’t really understand the meaning of our words and the ideas we share with them. “We’re able to take concepts we’ve learned and combine them in different ways, and apply them in new situations,” says Melanie Mitchell, a professor at Portland State University. “These AI and machine learning systems are not.”

European Populism: Trends, Threats, and Future Prospects

Europe’s political landscape is undergoing the biggest transformation since the end of the Cold War. Over the past two decades, populist parties have steadily increased their support, entering most national parliaments across the continent. In many countries, they have even taken over the levers of government. An unprecedented populist belt now covers a big and strategically important stretch of Central and Eastern Europe, from the Baltic Sea all the way to the Aegean. 

A New Year's Salute to Our Readers

By David D. Judson

Amid the resolutions, laments and aspirations that tend to occupy our thoughts at the turn of a new year, change is usually the leitmotif. And this year, the change taking place throughout the world and within Stratfor has been dizzying. Many are the incantations we could and will utter over what has changed in the past 12 months and what we seek to make different in the 12 to come.

SIGINT in Space: An Update

Space: Keeping ELINT In Orbit

In December 2017 Russia put a third Lotos S spy satellite into orbit using a Soyuz rocket launched from the Plesetsk Cosmodrome in the far north. Lotos S is a six ton electronic surveillance satellite which an elliptical orbit that brings the satellite as low as 200 kilometers to earth. The first Lotos went up in 2009 while the second went up in late 2014. The first Lotos was classified as “experimental” and had several problems that limited its effectiveness. The second and third ones apparently worked as intended and the third one was designated Losot S1 indicating substantial upgrades. Lotos is part of the Russian effort to catch up with the United States in space-based ELINT (electronic reconnaissance, also called SIGINT for signals intelligence).

Among Pentagon's New Year's resolutions: more cyber

By: Aaron Mehta 

WASHINGTON — The Pentagon’s No. 2 expects to spend a chunk of time on cyber issues in 2018, amidst a broad reorganization of the department’s management and acquisition structure. Patrick Shanahan, the deputy secretary of defense, told reporters Dec. 21 that part of his focus for the new year will be making sure the Pentagon’s cybersecurity is up to snuff after years of what officials openly talk about as having fallen behind the commercial sector. “There’s certain risks that we understand and that we have vulnerabilities, and the task is to really mitigate that,” Shanahan said.

Monetary policy’s cryptocurrency challenge

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The previous instalment of Cafe Economics focused on the fragile economics of bitcoin—and why its design makes it more a speculative financial asset rather than a stable monetary unit (see Bitcoins, gold standard and monetary stability, 20 December). The column ended as follows: “There are now growing signs that central banks are trying to figure out how to embrace the blockchain future. What will that mean for the money supply process as well as for monetary policy?”

How Antivirus Software Can Be Turned Into a Tool for Spying

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It has been a secret, long known to intelligence agencies but rarely to consumers, that security software can be a powerful spy tool. Security software runs closest to the bare metal of a computer, with privileged access to nearly every program, application, web browser, email and file. There’s good reason for this: Security products are intended to evaluate everything that touches your machine in search of anything malicious, or even vaguely suspicious. By downloading security software, consumers also run the risk that an untrustworthy antivirus maker — or hacker or spy with a foothold in its systems — could abuse that deep access to track customers’ every digital movement.

New in 2018: Army cyber expands training, gains EW soldiers

By: Kathleen Curthoys 

The Army’s growing cyber career field will gain the service’s electronic warfare soldiers in 2018. The 29 series EW force will transition to the 17 series MOS, the career field that is the baseline of Army cyber, said Maj. Gen. Patricia Frost, who leads the Army Cyber Directorate at the Pentagon. The 29 series soldiers will begin training to give them a foundation in cyber. Effective Oct. 1, 2018, they will transition to the 17 series. Maj. Gen. Patricia Frost talks about priorities and what's ahead for the growing Army cyber force.

Where We’re Headed in 2018


Commander in Chief Trump

At 7:21 a.m. on New Year’s Day, you were probably still knocked out from the champagne after kissing 2017 goodbye. President Donald Trump (who doesn’t drink) got up and threatened Pakistan, which is arguably America’s most important regional ally against terrorism, other than Afghanistan. “The United States has foolishly given Pakistan more than 33 billion dollars in aid over the last 15 years,” Trump said in a tweet, “and they have given us nothing but lies & deceit, thinking of our leaders as fools. They give safe haven to the terrorists we hunt in Afghanistan, with little help. No more!”

Entry Operations and the Future of Strategic Autonomy

France’s ambition to autonomously conduct entry operations is central to its defense policy and singular among Western countries. This stems from an array of historical, political and military factors, among which the will to attain strategic autonomy was and remains critical. During recent operations, France demonstrated the extent to which it has a set of unique capabilities and know-how, even amongst European states. These assets increase French freedom of action during foreign operations and strengthen its leverage in multinational campaigns. However, the spread of increasingly sophisticated weapon systems, such as anti-access/area denial (A2/AD) capabilities, undermines the French ability to operate autonomously. Hedging against this trend requires increased resources and tailored capability developments, in order to prevent France from losing strategic credibility, leverage, and autonomy.