3 May 2018

Testimony of Admiral Michael S. Rogers and Implications for India

By Maj Gen P K Mallick, VSM(Retd)

Admiral Michael S. Rogers is the Director of the National Security Agency (NSA), Commander of the U.S. Cyber Command (USCYBERCOM) and Chief of the Central Security Service (CSS) since April 3, 2014. He is going to be replaced by US Army’s Army Cyber Command Chief Lt. Gen. Paul Nakasone. On 27 February 2018 Admiral Michael Rogers testified before the Senate Committee on Armed Services. In his prepared speech the Admiral explained the various progress made by the USCYBERCOM. This was his last testimony to the Senate.

In the USA the top officials of the Government are madae to undergo hearings before taking over, during the tenure and while handing over the responsibilities. They are grilled by the Senators and often asked very searching and sometime uncomfortable questions. The top official has to answer on his own without any support from his staff.

China-India border dispute

Keegan Elmer
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China will be keen to woo India away from a US alliance against Beijing when Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi meets Chinese President Xi Jinping for informal talks in Wuhan this week, diplomatic observers said. The two days of talks starting on Friday come as China faces threats of US trade action and India seeks to put its economic development on track ahead of an election next year. It also comes nearly a year after military personnel from both countries faced off for 73 days over a contested border in the Doklam Plateau in the Himalayas.

America has been afflicted by an ideology that doesn’t work, says Joseph Stiglitz

Ajith Vijay Kumar

Nobel laureate Joseph Stiglitz, in an exclusive interview with timesnownews.com, talks about what is wrong with current American capitalism, rise of a new kind of politics emerging from dissent towards government and more. Here are some excerpts from the interview: Nobel laureate Joseph Stiglitz, in an exclusive interview with timesnownews.com, talks about what is wrong with current American capitalism, rise of a new kind of politics emerging from dissent towards government and more. Here are some excerpts from the interview: Interviewer: Professor Stiglitz, it is such a pleasure to have you with us for this Thinker’s interaction. I would like to start with your view as to how the world is changing today, there seems to be so much of turmoil that we are seeing and especially the rise of certain kind of leaders which I would call as the leaders that define the coalition of restoration. How would you really react to that?

China Is Not Alone in Adding to the Indian Ocean Woes

Atul Bhardwaj

The navalists of the world are ­smiling. The maritime domain is back in the reckoning. A new era of great power competition at sea has arrived. Existing, emerging, erstwhile, and aspiring empires are engaged in ocean-romance in the Asia–Pacific theatre. American carrier battle groups are making frequent forays into the region and struggling to fulfil the promise of “pivot to Asia.” China recently held its biggest naval combat drill in the South China Sea. The rise of the Chinese navy is manna for the American navalists who are constantly in search of a ­raison d’être to justify their massive budget of roughly $145 billion.

RIP: Russia and India Had Big Plans to Build a Deadly Stealth Fighter. What Happened?

Sebastien Roblin
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In April 2018, India’s Defense Secretary Sanjay Mitra met with a Russian delegation to announce that India was withdrawing from its joint development of the FGFA stealth fighter. This rupture was years in the making, and does not constitute a surprise—but finally clears the air for the Indian military to explore a different path to acquiring stealth aircraft. Back in 2007, India’s Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) entered into a partnership agreement with Russian aviation manufacturer Sukhoi to jointly invest in the fifth-generation fighter then known as the PAK-FA T-50. However, the Indian Air Force wanted a more sophisticated two-seat variant of the PAK-FA called the FGFA, with improved stealth characteristics, a more powerful 360-degree AESA radar and supercruise-capable engines. (Supercruise is the ability to sustainably fly over the speed of sound without using fuel-gulping afterburners.) New Delhi promised $6 billion for R&D—$295 million of which was directly transferred in 2010—and was originally supposed spend an additional $30 billion for over 144 production stealth fighters.

Why CPEC could be the end of China-Pakistan relationship

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The China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) is best described by the Trumpian expression "covfefe": everyone has some idea of what it is, but no one is quite sure what it is. No surprise then that while some people in Pakistan are excited over what they think CPEC means, others are apprehensive. In December 2015, the governor of State Bank of Pakistan admitted that he had no idea about how much of the money that the Chinese were committing on CPEC was debt, how much was equity and how much was in kind. More than two years later, it now transpires that even the government of Pakistan is not clear about the composition of funding for CPEC projects. A couple of weeks ago, the federal cabinet was informed that “the amount of money, whether in the form of loan or grant, coming through CPEC is not known”. Clearly, if even the government of Pakistan is clueless about the structure and composition of CPEC funding, the sums they have worked out to sell CPEC as the greatest thing to happen to Pakistan are quite flaky.

State Urges Taliban yet Again to 'Run for Office'

By Bill Roggio

Just hours after the Taliban announced the launch of this year’s spring offensive, named the “Al Khandaq Jihadi operations,” the U.S. Department of State issued a statement urging the Taliban to lay down its arms, conduct negotiations, and join Afghanistan’s election process. State’s repetitive call for the Taliban to make peace demonstrates an unthinkable fundamental misunderstanding of the Taliban and its goals some 16 years after the U.S. first entered Afghanistan. The Taliban has no intention of joining a political process and as it has stated numerous times, its goals are the expulsion of U.S. and foreign forces, the overthrow of the Afghan government, the re-establishment of the of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (the name of the Taliban’s government) and the imposition of its harsh brand of Sharia, or Islamic law. Yet, U.S. officials across three administrations have either failed to recognize those intentions or are low on options with their incessant push for the Taliban to negotiate.

The Quad Needs Wind in its Sails

'Chinese dominance reduces India's influence in South and Southeast Asia and erodes its status globally.' 'For a country striving to create a multipolar Asia, it would be a serious setback,' says Brigadier S K Chatterji (retd).

The Chinese game currently in the South China Sea is one of outright belligerence. The Chinese strategy in the Indian Ocean region is more attuned to creating assets that could provide a strategic advantage at a later date. The Chinese are trapping the littorals in partnerships that would lead to an umbelical connect of their economies to China. In the process, we are already witnessing a gradual gravitation of some littorals of the South China Sea and Indian Ocean States towards China. Among the major regional powers dependent on sea lanes through the Indo-Pacific region are India, Japan, Australia, and China.

Xi Doubles Down on China’s Cyber Goals and Semiconductor Plans

By Jesse Heatley

Days after the United States announced a seven-year restriction on American companies doing business with the Chinese telecom giant ZTE, Chinese President Xi Jinping responded in defiance by laying out a broad vision to build China as a cyber and technology superpower. At a recent national Chinese conference on cyberspace, Xi declared that China will press ahead with plans to dominate cyberspace and emerging internet technologies. As a trade war with the United States escalates through tit-for-tat announcements, the speech reflected China’s yearning to end its reliance on foreign technologies. China still lags behind in key technology sectors and Xi urged officials to “keenly seize this historic opportunity” to master new internet technologies in the face of foreign pressures and growing technology demands.

The role of BRI in developing trade corridors

The improvement of trade corridors for Chinese and foreign companies is a key component of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). The improvement of trade corridors for Chinese and foreign companies is a key component of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) as the world’s second-largest economy seeks to make the transition from a low-value manufacturing economy to one driven by consumption and higher value-added manufacturing services. Six international economic cooperation corridors – The New Eurasia Land Bridge and routes between China-Mongolia-Russia, China-Central Asia-West Asia, China-Indochina, China-Pakistan and Bangladesh-China-India-Myanmar – are set to jump-start trade between China and its neighbours near and far.

China tries to enlist European allies in Trump's trade war

While Beijing is courting the European Union for support in a trade war, European officials are sounding the alarm on China's ambitions in their countries. Why it matters: If the U.S. starts closing off its market to the Chinese, Beijing needs the EU to remain neutral and stay open to business with China, but the Europeans are increasingly frustrated with China's behavior and wary of its ever-growing influence.

China is going green. Here’s how

Sha Song

The factories and power plants that have driven its economic growth have also polluted its air, water and soil, to the point where environmental hazards could lead to a significant risk to China’s society and economy, if not corrected in a timely manner. In a bid to tackle these challenges, China’s government has declared a “war on pollution” and introduced a number of green initiatives.

China Has a Plan to Turn Old Planes into Stealth Fighters

Eugene K. Chow
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Chinese researchers are hard at work on an “invisibility cloak” that could turn older jets into stealth planes. The “cloak” consists of a coating of metamaterial, which is made up of microscopic structures that can bend light or electromagnetic radiation to help planes evade radar. According to the South China Morning Post, a research team from the Southeast University State Key Laboratory of Millimeter Waves is currently testing the metamaterial on aircraft at a military production facility in Shenyang, Liaoning province.

How Long Can the ‘Chinese Miracle’ Last?

What goes up must come down, as the saying goes. This could well be true of China, which has seen a massive expansion of its economy in recent years, driven by rampant construction and wild indebtedness. Journalist Dinny McMahon, who covers China’s financial sector for The Wall Street Journal, has written a book that offers a wide perspective on the country’s economy. China’s Great Wall of Debt: Shadow Banks, Ghost Cities, Massive Loans, and the End of the Chinese Miracleexplains the danger of the debt-fueled growth bubble and what could happen in the near future. McMahon discussed how China’s actions have ripple effects at home and globally on the Knowledge@Wharton show, which airs on SiriusXM channel 111. (Listen to the full podcast using the player at the top of this page.)

How the UAE’s Chinese-Made Drone Is Changing the War in Yemen

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An airstrike that killed a senior Houthi leader shows that the Emirates is growing more assertive in its military operations.
Saleh al-Samad, the president of the Houthis’ Supreme Political Council, sits behind bulletproof glass at a rally in Sanaa, Yemen, on Aug. 20, 2016.On Monday evening, video began circulating online of a black-and-white drone feed monitoring a two-car convoy driving north along Road 45, east of Hodeidah, Yemen. In the video, the drone’s target — a blue Toyota Land Cruiser — turns onto a side street. Seconds later, it is struck by a Chinese-made Blue Arrow 7 missile.

Germany Is Pitching For A Seat On The UN Security Council - Here's Why

by Dennis R. Schmidt, Durham University

The debate about the myth and withering of the liberal international order is in full flow. To the surprise of many, not because non-Western emerging powers such as China and India are succeeding in overturning it, but because its founders - the US and the UK - are retreating from the global stage (at least temporarily). One country that seems to be stepping up to fill their shoes is Germany. While its administrations have long shied away from taking on a leading global role, Berlin is finally realising that the shift in the global order requires a more assertive foreign policy. But given Germany’s history and culture, its ability and willingness to lead through military power is limited. It’s therefore looking for greater influence in the UN as an alternative.

Can North Korea Really Give Up Its Nukes?

Ahead of the landmark inter-Korean summit, North Korea has offered to shutter its nuclear test site, suspend intercontinental ballistic missile and nuclear weapons tests, and ultimately denuclearize the Korean Peninsula. Although it was framed in ambiguous terms, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un's announcement serves to set up both the impending meeting with South Korean President Moon Jae In and the subsequent proposed sit-down with U.S. President Donald Trump. A year ago, it appeared as if nothing would get North Korea to budge on its nuclear weapons program and its insistence on being recognized as a nuclear state. Now, it is making numerous public "concessions" even before it sits down with South Korean and U.S. leaders. It is little surprise, then, that there is quite a bit of confusion over just what North Korea wants, what it is willing to do, and whether the North Korean leadership can be trusted to stick to any deals that may be struck.

North Korea’s Secret Weapon: A Huge Electromagnetic Storm

The diplomatic circuit is awash in optimism as the proposed summitbetween North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un and President Donald Trump draws near. Indeed, Trump is right to go to the table with the North Koreans and negotiate for full denuclearization. Still, given the long history of North Korea’s double-dealing, outright lying, and surreptitious construction of weapons of mass destruction, the likelihood of Kim actually surrendering his nuclear weapons is extremely low, no matter what he says publicly.


By James Rogers 

Russia’s reported development of a formidable nuclear-powered torpedo or underwater drone is fueling concern about the potential devastation if the weapon were ever unleashed against U.S. cities. While there has been speculation that the purported ‘doomsday’ device could be fake, Russia has offered up some recent hints about the shadowy system. During an address to the country’s Federal Assembly on March 1, Russian President Vladimir Putin described the development of unmanned submersible vehicles that can move at great depths much faster than submarines. “It is really fantastic. They are quiet, highly maneuverable and have hardly any vulnerabilities for the enemy to exploit. There is simply nothing in the world capable of withstanding them,” he said.

It’s Not Really About the Nukes – Crisis Negotiation in North Korea

By Alex Rohlwing
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The United States may soon have a shot at talking directly to North Korea’s Kim Jong-un. Given this unique opportunity, what foreign policy tactics should US negotiators use in the effort to denuclearize the Korean peninsula? It may seem strange, but negotiators might consider taking a lesson from the FBI and the field of Crisis Negotiation to show us a better path to de-escalation. Over several decades and half a dozen administrations, many have weighed in on how to deal with North Korea’s aggression towards the region and its pursuit of nuclear technologies. Solutions from sanctions by the international community (which only really work when China is serious about them) to ways to game potential meetings with the Kim regime all have two things in common: they are tightly focused on North Korea’s nuclear program, and they are pretty solidly ineffective.

Geo-Economics as Concept and Practice in International Relations: Surveying the State of the Art

By Sören Scholvin and Mikael Wigell for Finnish Institute of International Affairs (FIIA)

Sören Scholvin and Mikael Wigell contend that China’s Belt and Road Initiative, Western sanctions against Iran and Russia, and much more demonstrate a clear trend: states are increasingly practicing power politics by economic means and military means appear to matter less. While this shift is captured by ‘geo-economics’, our authors contend there is no clear definition of the term. To help address this gap, Scholvin and Wigell here provide their conception of what ‘geo-economics’ means as an analytical approach as well as a foreign policy practice.

AI and Machine Learning in Cyber Security

Zen monks have been using a tool called a ‘koan’ for hundreds of years to assist them in reaching enlightenment. These koans are like riddles or stories that can only be solved by letting go of ones narrowing believes and stories about how things should be. Zen students sit in silent meditation and observe how the koan is working on them, slowly transforming their way of looking at the world and revealing a tiny piece of the path to nirvana, that place of no suffering.

No laptops in the lecture hall

The typical classroom experience used in high school and college is fundamentally broken, but there’s a simple solution. In a recent NY Times op-ed, Susan Dynarski, a professor of education, public policy and economics at the University of Michigan, describes why she has forbidden students from using laptops in her lectures. There’s now plenty of data that shows that in a lecture setting, students with laptops don’t do as well or learn as much as students without one. The reasons make sense, and I applaud her standards and her guts.

Where Countries Are Tinderboxes and Facebook Is a Match


MEDAMAHANUWARA, Sri Lanka — Past the end of a remote mountain road, down a rutted dirt track, in a concrete house that lacked running water but bristled with smartphones, 13 members of an extended family were glued to Facebook. And they were furious. A family member, a truck driver, had died after a beating the month before. It was a traffic dispute that had turned violent, the authorities said. But on Facebook, rumors swirled that his assailants were part of a Muslim plot to wipe out the country’s Buddhist majority. “We don’t want to look at it because it’s so painful,” H.M. Lal, a cousin of the victim, said as family members nodded. “But in our hearts there is a desire for revenge that has built.”

Why we should bulldoze the business school

By Martin Parker

Visit the average university campus and it is likely that the newest and most ostentatious building will be occupied by the business school. The business school has the best building because it makes the biggest profits (or, euphemistically, “contribution” or “surplus”) – as you might expect, from a form of knowledge that teaches people how to make profits.  Business schools have huge influence, yet they are also widely regarded to be intellectually fraudulent places, fostering a culture of short-termism and greed. (There is a whole genre of jokes about what MBA – Master of Business Administration – really stands for: “Mediocre But Arrogant”, “Management by Accident”, “More Bad Advice”, “Master Bullshit Artist” and so on.) Critics of business schools come in many shapes and sizes: employers complain that graduates lack practical skills, conservative voices scorn the arriviste MBA, Europeans moan about Americanisation, radicals wail about the concentration of power in the hands of the running dogs of capital. Since 2008, many commentators have also suggested that business schools were complicit in producing the crash.

What Makes a Good Grand Strategist?

James Jay Carafano
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On Grand Strategy, by the distinguished historian John Lewis Gaddis, includes remarkably little on grand strategy. Just as well. Writings on strategy has become as weighted down as the cement-sneakered former associates of Tony Soprano. Gaddis strips strategy down to the essential element that allows leaders to move nations. Arguably, there is not much more that great masters and commanders need to know about how to win their wars than what Gaddis has to say.