30 January 2018

Where will our energy come from in 2030, and how green will it be?

Katherine Hamilton
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How can the energy industry adapt to meet the needs of a growing population while also supporting low-carbon growth? Katherine Hamilton, Director of the Project for Clean Energy and Innovation, and co-chair of the Global Future Council on the Future of Energy, says that this essential transition will not happen without collaboration between large energy companies, entrepreneurs, the finance sector and consumers.

Why should we be thinking about the future of energy?

Life in 2030: these are the 4 things experts can't predict

Alvin Toffler predicted a future in his 1970 bestseller Future Shock that looks much like today’s reality. He anticipated the rise of the internet, the sharing economy, companies built on “adhocracy” rather than centralized bureaucracy, and the broader social confusions and concerns about technology. He foresaw that the evolving relationship between people and technology would shape how societies and economies develop.

How can the government revive manufacturing?

R. GopalanM.C. Singhi

An increased use of ratings, credit insurance, and reasonable choice by creditor committees in the IBC proceedings for MSMEs are necessary. Photo: Mint

After decelerating for five quarters, the growth in gross domestic product (GDP) recovered to 6.3% in Q2 of 2017-18 on account of a rebound in manufacturing. The projected growth at 6.5% in 2017-18 is premised on high growth in services in the next two quarters, though manufacturing growth may remain subdued. Our assessment also suggests manufacturing growth will remain subdued until 2018-19. Achieving 7.5% plus growth after 2018-19 will require a series of measures for manufacturing, which we outline below.

How India’s New Russian Air Defence System Will Force Adversaries To Change Tactics

by Prakhar Gupta

The deployment of the S-400 systems on India’s borders with China and Pakistan would affect the strategy of both countries against India, forcing them to change tack and serving as a deterrent. 

When a Russian Sukhoi Su-24, an all-weather attack aircraft on a mission in northern Syria, was shot down by a Turkish F-16 in November 2015 for alleged airspace violation, Russia responded by deploying its formidable S-400 Triumf air defence system in the region. The move pushed the Turkish Air Force out of Syrian airspace while forcing the United States (US) to change tack. The same could happen in Asia once the S-400 system takes up duty defending the Indian skies.

What is the S-400?

errorism related violence declines in Balochistan


Despite the long standing discontent between the ethnic Baloch and Pakistan’s federal government due to its oppressive policies, terrorism-related violence has declined in the province over the last seven years. However, experts say that the reasons that destabilised the province still exist. 

According to partial data compiled by the South Asia Terrorism Portal (SATP), this year till 21 January, Balochistan recorded 26 fatalities out of which seven were civilians, 14 were Security Force (SF) personnel and five were militants. During the corresponding period in 2017, Balochistan had registered 11 fatalities out of which three were civilians, four were SF personnel and four militants.

The myth of the liberal international order

By Niall Ferguson 

The phrase international order reminds me of the phrase Western civilization. As Indian independence icon Mahatma Gandhi wittily replied when asked about Western civilization, "It would be a good idea." The notion that international order exists or has ever existed seems highly questionable to me. The notion of a liberal international order is even more questionable because it is neither liberal, nor international, nor very orderly.

It is often claimed by political scientists that the liberal international order came into existence in 1945. The argument goes that American and British statesmen, having learned from the terrible mistakes of the 1930s and 1940s, decided to make the world anew by creating a series of remarkable international institutions: the United Nations, the

Will the Liberal Order Survive? The History of an Idea

By Joseph S. Nye Jr.

During the nineteenth century, the United States played a minor role in the global balance of power. The country did not maintain a large standing army, and as late as the 1870s, the U.S. Navy was smaller than the navy of Chile. Americans had no problems using force to acquire land or resources (as Mexico and the Native American nations could attest), but for the most part, both the U.S. government and the American public opposed significant involvement in international affairs outside the Western Hemisphere

Tiny, Wealthy Qatar Goes Its Own Way, and Pays for It


DOHA, Qatar — For the emir of Qatar, there has been little that money can’t buy.

As a teenager he dreamed of becoming the Boris Becker of the Arab world, so his parents flew the German tennis star to Qatar to give their son lessons. A lifelong sports fanatic, he later bought a French soccer team, Paris Saint-Germain, which last summer paid $263 million for a Brazilian striker — the highest transfer fee in the history of the game.

Preventing a Post-Collapse Crisis in North Korea How to Avoid Famine and Mass Migration

Joonbum Bae and Andrew Natsios

JOONBUM BAE is Visiting Assitant Professor of Political Science at Hobart & William Smith Colleges. ANDREW NATSIOS is an Executive Professor at Texas A&M University’s Bush School of Government and Public Service and Director of its Scowcroft Institute of International Affairs.




Pudong is a district of Shanghai, home to the Lujiazui Finance and Trade Zone, the Shanghai World Financial Center, and the Shanghai Stock Exchange. CC-BY-SA 3.0 via Wikipedia.

The Rise of China is over.

Note, by the way, that in saying the rise of China is over, I am not saying that China is on the verge of a collapse—I am not even certain what a collapse would look like. There are many people outside of China, portentously predicting a collapse, who evidently have in mind



The Chinese State Council Information Office published Friday a white paper titled "China's Arctic Policy," a document detailing Beijing's desire to get involved in opening shipping routes, harvesting resources, and investing in tourism, conservation and scientific exploration in the once–largely restricted 5.5 million square miles north of the Arctic Circle. China said it wished to achieve its goals in cooperation with other involved nations, including Russia, which has largely dominated efforts to traverse the Arctic region.

"On the one hand, melting ice in the Arctic has led to changes in the natural environment, or possibly can result in accelerated global warming, rising sea levels, increased extreme weather events, damaged biodiversity, and other global problems," the white paper read. "On the other, with the ice melted, conditions for the development of the Arctic may be gradually changed, offering opportunities for the commercial use of sea routes and development of resources in the region.

Taliban’s New Strategy: Attack the Cities

by Sami Yousafzai

KABUL—The horror continues: Two recent attacks on foreigners in Afghanistan—one on Sunday targeting the iconic Intercontinental Hotel on a hilltop in Kabul, and one on Wednesday against the offices of the Save the Children charity in Jalalabad—are meant to show that the government here cannot protect its people or those who come to help them.

And that, clearly, is the lesson many people in Kabul are taking away from them in an atmosphere of fear that is fed not only by the calculated violence of the Taliban and the so-called Islamic State, but by kidnapping and other crimes linked to warlords, and a deeply corrupt system of governance.

How a nuclear attack order is carried out now

 By Lisbeth Gronlund

If the president is not at the White House or other location with secure communication, he or she would use the so-called nuclear football to order the use of nuclear weapons. The football, or Presidential Emergency Satchel, is a briefcase containing various items, including a book laying out various attack options, from striking a small number of military targets to launching an all-out attack against Russian nuclear forces, military installations, leadership facilities, military industry, and economic centers. This briefcase is carried by an aide who stays near the president at all times.

Turkey’s attack on Syrian Kurds could overturn the entire region

Gareth Stansfield

In whichever state they live, the Kurds endure a perilous existence. In Iran, the Kurdish people of the west have suffered significant persecution at the hands of the Islamic republic, while in Iraq, the Kurds of the north were confronted with a well-organised military operation. They also faced a diplomatic initiative that illustrated that, even in the fractious world of Middle East politics, Kurdish aspirations can manage to unify Iraq, Iran and Turkey in common opposition, following the independence referendum.

Russia Is Poised to Surprise the US in Battlefield Robotics


How? It's a story of leaders' unusual agreement, a focus on fast-and-cheap production, and a decision to field lethal robots for combat. No one would call Russia’s government and budgetary bureaucracy particularly nimble, nor its defense industry particularly advanced. Certainly, it trails Western economies in such key areas as communication equipment, microelectronics, high-tech control systems, and other key technologies. But in certain aspects of the field of unmanned military systems, Russia may be inching ahead of its competition in designing and testing a wide variety of systems and conceptualizing their future use.

Trump Must Issue Executive Order on EMP Defense

By Henry F. Cooper
On page 12 of his National Security Strategy released on December 19, 2017, President Trump acknowledged most urgent threats to our critical infrastructure, including the electric power grid: “Critical infrastructure keeps our food fresh, our houses warm, our trade flowing, and our citizens productive and safe. The vulnerability of U.S. critical infrastructure to cyber, physical, and electromagnetic attacks means that adversaries could disrupt military command and control, banking and financial operations, the electrical grid, and means of communication.” You would think that Secretary of Defense, James Mattis, would at least give a nod to the existential electromagnetic pulse (EMP) threat to all we hold dear, but alas no such reference is to be found in his National Defense Strategy summary released a month later.

Controlling the Chief

Charlie Savage

It was August 2004, and the Iraqi insurgency was raging in Anbar province. Major General James “Mad Dog” Mattis of the Marines, who is now the Trump administration’s defense secretary, called a meeting with a group of religious leaders outside Fallujah. His division was coming under daily fire from both local militants and foreign terrorists associated with al-Qaeda’s affiliate in Iraq, and he hoped to persuade the leaders that it was misguided of them to encourage local young men to pick up rifles and shoot at American forces rather than trying to throw out al-Qaeda, whose bombings and beheadings were transforming their province into a hellscape.

‘Never get high on your own supply’ – why social media bosses don’t use social media

by Alex Hern
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Developers of platforms such as Facebook have admitted that they were designed to be addictive. Should we be following the executives’ example and going cold turkey – and is it even possible for mere mortals? Mark Zuckerberg doesn’t use Facebook like you or me. The 33-year-old chief executive has a team of 12 moderators dedicated to deleting comments and spam from his page, according to Bloomberg. He has a “handful” of employees who help him write his posts and speeches and a number of professional photographers who take perfectly stage-managed pictures of him meeting veterans in Kentucky, small-business owners in Missouri or cheesesteak vendors in Philadelphia.

Opinion The Guardian view on cyberwar: an urgent problem

In the desperate scramble to rearm before the second world war there was always an undercurrent of pessimism. “The bomber will always get through,” Stanley Baldwin warned. In his dark fantasies, destruction and poison gas rained from the skies and obliterated civilisation. That isn’t quite what happened, though the bombers did their best. Today’s equivalent is the feeling that the hacker will always get through, and that attacks on computer networks will become the most devastating form of future warfare.

Lockheed contracted for national cyber range management

By James LaPorta

Senior Airman Zach Wilt, 49th Communications Squadron cyber operator, installs Microsoft Windows 10 to a laptop at Holloman Air Force Base, N.M., on Nov. 1, 2017. Lockheed Martin has been awarded a contract for the national cyber range capability, which allows potentially virulent code to be studied without compromising live computer systems. The deal, announced Tuesday by the Department of Defense, is valued at more than $33.9 million and is a modification to a previous contract under the terms of a cost-plus-fixed fee agreement.



Are drones reliable? Would you bet your life on them? In a recent article, Jacquelyn Schneider and Julia Macdonald argued that “the troops don’t trust drones” to protect them in combat with close air support. To understand how the people who actually coordinate airstrikes feel, they interviewed and surveyed Joint Terminals Air Controllers (JTACs) and Joint Fires Observers (JFOs) about their thoughts on working with manned and unmanned aircraft. They find some measure of hesitation about and distrust towards working with unmanned aircraft. In their conclusion, they argue that manned aircraft overhead inspire a “warm fuzzy” feeling of comfort and confidence in ground troops that unmanned platforms cannot provide. Ultimately, the authors recommend that “[p]olicymakers should reexamine their apparent commitment to an unmanned future.”

Google Parent Alphabet Launches New Cyber Security Business Billed As A ‘Digital Immune System’ To Fight Off Hackers

Agency France Presse (AFP) posted an article, January 24, 2018, to the website of the Daily Mail, with the title above. The article begins by noting that “Google’s parent Alphabet’s ‘moonshot’ lab unveiled a new ‘graduate’ which aims to make a business out of preventing cyber attacks. Chronicle, is the latest business unit to proclaim independence from the “X” lab — devoted to ambitious projects,” the publication noted. “Other ‘graduates’ from X include Waymo, the self-driving car; and, life sciences operation – Verily,” AFP noted.

“Chronicle began as an X project about two years ago,” AFP explained, “according to an online post by Chief Executive, Stephen Gillett. “He described Chronicle as ‘a new independent business within Alphabet that’s dedicated to helping companies find and stop cyber attacks before they cause harm.”

$86,000 + 5,600 MPH = Hyper Velocity Missile Defense


Compare that to Patriot missiles, which require special launchers and cost roughly $3 million each. The Hypervelocity Gun Weapon System (which comprises the HVP itself plus cannon, fire control, and radar) won’t replace high-cost, high-performance missiles, but it could provide an additional layer of defense that’s cheaper, more mobile, and much harder for an enemy to destroy.

Today’s missile defenses are “brittle,” “inflexible,” and “expensive,” said Vincent Sabio, the HVP program manager at the Pe

Gen. Holmes Sketches Multi-Domain Warfare; A-10 Wings Funded in ’19


The Air Force and Army couldn’t start an important set of tabletop wargames last week because of the government shutdown. Air Force Gen. Mike Holmes revealed the information when he disclosed today that the Air Force was starting multi-domain war games to hammer out how the land and air services would work together in a high-intensity fight with RussiaNow, being forced to reschedule these isn’t the end of the world, but it’s a very good example of the waste and confusion that Congress causes when it fails to pass appropriations bills, especially the one that really matters to the Constitution — defense.

GAO: Fix security flaws or anyone will be able to track a F-22

By: Daniel Cebul  
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WASHINGTON ― Some of the military’s most advanced aircraft could be tracked by adversaries, with greater precision than radar, if security flaws in the latest signal technology aren’t addressed. The risk is associated with Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B) Out transponder technology. According to a Government Accountability Office report released this month, a 2010 Federal Aviation Administration rule requires all military aircraft to be equipped with ADS-B Out transponders by Jan. 1, 2020, as part of its program to modernize the air transportation system, but neither the Department of Defense nor the FAA has taken significant steps to mitigate security risks.