7 February 2018

Nepal and India: Mending Fences

By Kamal Dev Bhattarai

With Indian Minister for External Affair Sushma Swaraj’s sudden visit to Kathmandu on Februray 1-2, there are signs of a rapprochement between Nepal’s newly elected Left Alliance and New Delhi.

For the Communist Party of Nepal (Unifed Marxist-Leninist) (CPN-UML) leader (and presumptive prime minister in the new coalition government) K.P. Oli, a friendly relationship with India is must. Two-thirds of Nepal’s trade is with India; the country is heavily dependent on its larger neighbor to

Not made in India

by Arun Prakash 

The public is often bemused on hearing senior military leaders make gratuitous public pronouncements regarding India’s readiness to “fight a two-front war”. Bewilderment, however, turns into trepidation on reading media reports that the army is looking for eight lakh rifles, carbines and machine-guns, in the international market, to equip its 13-lakh jawans! Our

China, Russia delight as North Korea preoccupies US


In his State of the Union address, Donald Trump said that the United States is “waging a campaign of maximum pressure to prevent” North Korea from threatening “our homeland” by its “reckless pursuit of nuclear weapons.”

But the Trump administration’s goal of sanctioning North Korea back to the Stone Age has yet to bring the nuclear-arming

Tech, training key to upgrading China’s military forces: analysts

By Zhao Yusha 

Technological innovation and training are the most important factors for transforming China's forces "into a world-class military," experts noted.

The goal of building world-class forces matches the country's international status, and plays a leading role in building a strong army to consolidate our national security and interest, People's Daily said in an article on Sunday.

What Happens When China Eclipses the U.S. in Asia

By Tobin Harshaw And Daniel Moss 

Contrary to what you might read or hear, President Donald Trump alone hasn't surrendered U.S. strategic leadership in Asia to China. What he has done is accelerate long-term trends that have severely diminished America's position in the Western Pacific, an area where the U.S. had held sway largely unchallenged since World War II.

That era of primacy is close to an end. In

China’s terror dilemma in CPEC: A Xinjiang strategy?


This brief aims to examine one of China's possible responses to the various extremist and terrorist activities that plague the internal security of Pakistan, given the necessity of securing its USD 62 billion investment in the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). Given that Pakistan is failing to control this problem, China will have to take measures of its own to secure CPEC. The response of China could possibly be inspired by its strategy in Xinjiang, where it has successfully managed to keep the insurgency under control with a mix of hard military power and wide-ranging measures aimed at clamping down on the religious

The Case for Counter Insurgency ‘Light’ in Afghanistan

By Charles Barham

"One man seemed to speak for everyone when he made a brief, impassioned plea to the visiting officials. “Our homes are being destroyed, our youths are being killed, people are suffering every day and being forgotten,” he said. “If, God forbid, we lose Lashkar Gah, then Helmand will collapse and the whole region and Afghanistan will collapse. Please save us from this chaos.”


The Taliban was and remains an insurgency. It must be dealt with as an insurgency by

The New Global Competitive Model Based on Cyber and Asymmetrical Hybrid Warfare

by T. Casey Fleming


Imagine if Pearl Harbor had been attacked and there had been no response from Washington.

This is the actual case today due to a highly sophisticated, mature, and stealth strategy perpetrated against the United States (US) by advanced nation-state military methods leveled at every sector and organization in our society. This includes private sector businesses, all government agencies, the military, and academia - every US organization


By Danny Lam

Competition between public and controlled information is as old as life.

From the beginning of time, there were information hoarder / controllers and disseminators / distributors. Information science tells us that 99% of information is public and only a tiny portion is significantly restricted.

The Endless War: Taliban Reaping the Rewards From the Deteriorating Security Situation in Afghanistan

By Max Fisher

They were hardly the first Taliban attacks in the capital. Still, there was something particularly alarming in their scale and implication about the pair of episodes, just a week apart, that rocked Afghanistan: a hotel siege that killed 22, then a car bomb, loaded into an ambulance, that killed 103.

Attacks Reveal What U.S. Won’t: Victory Remains Elusive in Afghanistan

by Helene Cooper 

The Taliban are in retreat, the Afghan military is on the brink of assuming control of the country, and the government in Kabul is one step away from being able to provide security across the land. So three successive presidential administrations have said over 16 years about the war in Afghanistan.

Yet devastating attacks on villages, convoys, government offices and hotels continue.

Americans Are Rising to This Historic Moment


The commitment of ordinary citizens to democratic ideals is being tested each day—and its enduring strength is containing the damage of Trump’s presidency. 

A writer usually itches to rewrite any article that is more than a week old: I confess to no such temptation with my first article for The

France's Geographic Challenge

France's Geographic Challenge

France is a country in Western Europe bound in the south by the Alps, Pyrenees Mountains and the Mediterranean Sea. To the west and north is the Atlantic Ocean,

The Impact of Turkey’s Afrin Operation on U.S.-Kurdish Stability Operations

By: Patrick Hoover

On January 20, the Turkish army, with Free Syrian Army (FSA) proxies, launched Operation Olive Branch to clear the Kurdish enclave of Afrin in northwestern Syria. Ankara’s chief strategic objectives include eliminating the Syrian Kurdish militia’s People’s Protection Units (YPG) and their political partner, the Democratic Union Party (PYD), which are defending Afrin; ensuring

Taking Stock: An Analysis of Russia’s Military Campaign in Syria

William McHenry and Gabriel White

On December 11, 2017, Vladimir Putin announced the withdrawal of the majority of Russia’s military presence from Syria. Though he has made similar announcements in the past, there is mounting evidence that major military operations are nearing their end. Two years have passed since operations began – and it is time to take stock of Russia’s achievements.

The primary goal of the Russian intervention was to protect Bashar al-Assad from regime

Why Ukraine should become a Balkan country

Günther Fehlinger

Ukrainian politicians, diplomats, journalists and intellectuals should start paying more attention to how the countries of South-Eastern Europe (SEE) are currently preparing for their entry into the European Union. Kyiv can accelerate its own European integration by entering a number of SEE cooperation formats specifically designed to prepare the Western Balkan states for their future EU membership. 

Dealing with America – and the Deep State


Two important commentaries have appeared recently that reflect on how Russia should deal with the United States of America (USA).

The first, “Russian Approaches to the United States: Algorithm Change Is Overdue,” by Andrey Kortunov, Director General of the Russian International Affairs Council (RIAC)



Artificial intelligence has increasingly been integrated into the weapons systems of the world's leading militaries, and at least one expert has said the futuristic technology may soon be the subject of a new Cold War.

In a piece published Tuesday by The Conversation, North Dakota State University assistant professor Jeremy Straub argued that unlike the nuclear weapons that dominated much of the 21st century arms race between the U.S. and the Soviet Union, the use of

NATO’s Crossed Swords exercise preps cyber warriors

By Daniel Cebul

WASHINGTON ― NATO has concluded an exercise meant to prepare the alliance’s cyber warriors for future cyber-kinetic operations has concluded. Crossed Swords 18 hosted 80 participants from 15 countries.

NATO’s Cooperative Cyber Defense Centre of Excellence, or CCDCOE, coordinated the exercise in Latvia, which focused on “enhancing further cooperation and information sharing between civilian and military spheres, joining together Critical Information Infrastructure (CII) providers and military units.”

How do you solve a problem like Facebook?

By Oliver Wiseman

We're spending less time on Facebook. But only because Mark Zuckerberg says that's okay 

Regulating Facebook would only raise barriers to entry for its rivals 
Innovation is the ultimate weapon against monopolies 

For those worried about Facebook’s economic and political might, there

Identifying Promising Approaches to U.S. Army Institutional Change

by Lisa S. Meredith, Carra S. Sims

Which approaches would best help the U.S. Army commit to organizational change to meet challenges stemming from behavioral health issues, misconduct, and changing demographics? 

What are the drivers of cultural change in an organization, and how do these drivers apply to the specific culture of the U.S. Army? 

Yes, a cyberattack could spur the president to launch a nuclear attack

By: Aaron Mehta

The Nuclear Posture Review, officially revealed Friday, does not change when a president might order a nuclear strike in response to a non-nuclear attack. But it does provide more hypotheticals about the circumstances that might force the president’s hand.

Language in the NPR — a comprehensive look at America’s nuclear weapons and the doctrine behind it — does not differ from the

The Kremlin Subverts Media Abroad to Cement the Narrative at Home

by Gavin Wilde

Russian President Vladimir Putin established his standing early on by seizing the domestic media narrative. His assaults on foreign media should be viewed as a continuation of that process. Recognizing that Moscow lashes out from a defensive crouch will help the US avoid assuming one in response.

In the intervening year since the US intelligence community (IC) assessed Kremlin-orchestrated meddling in the 2016 US presidential election,[i] Washington and the general

The Russian Way of Warfare

by Scott Boston, Dara Massicot

How might Russia's military fight in the event of a major conflict against a peer or near-peer adversary? 

Russia has recently carried out substantial reforms to its military forces, increasing capability in several key areas. Russia's military has improved to the extent that it is now a reliable instrument of national power that can be used in a limited context to achieve vital national interests. Russian strategists, concerned about the capability of an advanced

The good, the bad and the ugly of H.R. McMaster’s national security advice

By Daniel W. Drezner

National security adviser H.R. McMaster sits behind President Trump during a Cabinet meeting at the White House in December. (AFP) 

A year ago, the name H.R. McMaster would have evoked near-unanimous praise from the national security community. He was a venerated tank commander and counterinsurgency warrior who earned a PhD in history. He wrote a widely praised book about the failure of military leaders to