13 May 2018

Sugar, Ayurvedic secrets and a Chinese invasion

There’s an oversupply of commentary on the Wuhan hangout between Narendra Modi and Xi Jinping. Everyone agrees it’s a big deal although few dare to point out what exactly India is likely to gain as a result of it. Let’s wait and see if Beijing’s positions actually change, at least on non-core issues such as designating Pakistani terrorist leaders as such at the United Nations, before we start applauding a new dawn in India-China relations. Let’s wait and see if Xi Jinping’s time-out from his global domination project to have a cup of tea with the Indian prime minister will continue after Donald Trump takes the heat off him on trade and North Korea.

Andaman & Nicobar Command set to get IAF fighter base

by Sushant Singh
Source Link

With a view to create a model for integration of three defence services, the government is moving ahead with plans to give more punch to the tri-service Andaman and Nicobar Command (ANC) by permanently stationing fighter jets and other combat platforms on the islands. Sources in the Ministry of Defence told The Indian Express that air bases in Car Nicobar and Campbell Bay have been identified as possible bases to station the IAF fighters. The IAF currently has only one Mi17V5 helicopter unit and two Dornier aircraft permanently stationed at ANC. There are limitations to the length of the runway, which do not allow the IAF to fully exploit the potential of its more modern aircraft on the island chain. The airstrip at Campbell Bay is being extended to accommodate heavier aircraft. The air base at Car Nicobar is operational, but may need minor upgrades to house fighter jets permanently.

Pakistan Finds a Friend in Russia

As the United States intensifies its pressure against Pakistan over the latter's continued support for the Taliban in Afghanistan, Islamabad will deepen its outreach to Moscow in a counterbalancing effort. Russia and Pakistan will focus on building a security partnership based on counterterrorism cooperation to combat the threat of transnational jihadism posed by the Islamic State's Khorasan chapter in Afghanistan. While the depth of Russia's connections with Pakistan's archrival, India, suggest that the Russo-Indian relationship will endure, the growing U.S.-India defense partnership will drive Moscow increasingly toward Islamabad.

Afghanistan: Conflict Metrics 2000-2018

By Anthony H. Cordesman

The U.S. has now entered its seventeenth year of war in Afghanistan, and there is no clear end to the war in sight. At present, there seems to be little prospect that a combination of Afghan government, U.S., and allied forces can defeat the Taliban and other insurgent and terrorist forces or will be defeated by them. The conflict has become a war of attrition which can drag on indefinitely, and can only be ended through some form of peace negotiation or the sudden, unexpected collapse of either Afghan government or threat forces – a transition from a war of attrition to a war of exhaustion on one side.

Selectively Surveying Official, UN, and NGO Combat Metrics

Xi Jinping and the 'Chinese Dream'

The rest of the world rubs its eyes in astonishment. In just under three decades, China has transformed itself from being a bitter-poor developing country into a global economic power. Beijing now has set its eyes on becoming a world superpower. For now, at least, fears about China's rising power and influence are mixed with admiration for the rapid pace of its growth and development. The Chinese people, on the other hand, and especially the political class in Beijing, see the strengthening of their country as the correction of a historical anomaly. This view is promoted by Beijing's propaganda departments and President Xi Jinping's "Chinese Dream" is meant to address it.

Don’t Poke the Dragon: War with China Would Be an Unnecessary Disaster

Maj. Danny Sjursen 

There’s nothing military men like more than obsessively training for wars they will never have to fight. The trick is not to stumble into a conflict that no one will win. Let’s everyone take a breath. Yes, China presents a potential threat to American interests in the economic, cyber, and naval realms. The U.S. must maintain a credible defensive and expeditionary posture and be prepared for a worst case scenario. What we don’t need is to blunder into a regional, or, worse still, all-out war with the Chinese dragon. Not now, probably not ever. And yet, in Washington today, and within the Trump administration in particular, alarmism seems the name of the game. This is risky, and, ultimately, dangerous. In his 2018 National Defense Strategy, Secretary of Defense Mattis, a known hawk, refers to Russia and China as "revisionist powers," and announces that the US military must now pivot to "great power" competition. Look, I’m all for extricating our overstretched armed forces from the Middle East and de-escalating the never-ending, counterproductive "war on terror." What doesn’t make sense, is the reflexive assumption that (maybe) dialing down one war, must translate into ramping up for other, more perilous, wars with nuclear-armed powerhouses like Russia or China.

U.S. Treasury's Mnuchin: Revoking Boeing, Airbus licenses to sell jets to Iran

David Lawder

Licenses for Boeing Co and Airbus to sell passenger jets to Iran will be revoked, U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said on Tuesday after President Donald Trump pulled the United States out of the 2015 Iran nuclear agreement. Trump said he would reimpose U.S. economic sanctions on Iran, which were lifted under the agreement he had harshly criticized. The pact, worked out by the United States, five other world powers and Iran, lifted sanctions in exchange for Tehran limiting its nuclear program. It was designed to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear bomb. IranAir had ordered 200 passenger aircraft - 100 from Airbus SE, 80 from Boeing and 20 from Franco-Italian turboprop maker ATR. All the deals are dependent on U.S. licenses because of the heavy use of American parts in commercial planes.

Assessing the Iran deal pullout

Calling it a “great embarrassment” that fails to “halt Iran’s nuclear ambitions,” President Trump said Tuesday that he will pull out of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), the Iran nuclear agreement that the previous administration negotiated to halt that nation’s progress toward atomic weapons. Trump said he would re-impose sanctions on Iran and seek a better deal. In response, the national security, nuclear, and regional experts at Harvard Kennedy School’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, who have been assessing the Iran nuclear situation for years, examined the president’s remarks and weighed in on the significance of Washington’s policy change and on what’s likely to follow it. Here are their initial reactions:

If summarizing my reaction in a tweet: bad choice. If given a few more characters: bad for the U.S. and bad for our ally Israel, which stands much closer to this front line. Yes, Prime Minister [Benjamin] Netanyahu will applaud. But the individuals who shoulder responsibility for Israel’s survival and security have been crystal clear: This will most likely lead to an outcome that is much worse not only for the U.S. but also for Israel. As Chief of the General Staff Gadi Eizenkot, who commands the Israel Defense Forces, stated bluntly recently: “Right now the agreement, with all its faults, is working and is putting off the realization of the Iranian nuclear vision by 10 to 15 years.” Before the agreement, Iran’s nuclear program had advanced to less than a year away from its first bomb. The agreement not only halted that advance but rolled it back a decade, and imposed on Iran the most intrusive inspection regime ever negotiated — to prevent its cheating for fear of being found out. Trump’s decision gives Iran an option to escape this penalty box. Bad choice.


Belfer Center senior fellow; CEO of the Nuclear Threat Initiative; former U.S. Secretary of Energy, and lead technical negotiator of the Iran nuclear deal

President Trump’s decision today to withdraw from the Iranian nuclear deal is a major strategic mistake that not only damages the United States’ ability to prevent Iran from acquiring the material for a nuclear weapon, but also impairs our ability to prevent the spread and use of nuclear weapons, to work with allies and partners on issues of global concern, and to protect our interests in the Middle East for years, if not decades, to come. The Iran nuclear deal rolled back Iran’s nuclear program and imposed uniquely stringent monitoring and verification measures — the most important elements of which were permanent — to prevent the country from ever developing a bomb. The United States is now in violation of the terms of the deal without offering a credible alternative. The Iran deal is and has always been about depriving Iran of the nuclear materials — highly enriched uranium and plutonium — needed to make a weapon. As international inspectors, who have been on the ground every day since the deal was concluded, have confirmed: The Iran agreement has accomplished this. The fact that the advice of this nation’s most-important allies was ignored in this decision adds to the consequence of the president’s decision. Remaining in the agreement was very clearly in the U.S. national interest. It’s hard to predict what will unfold from here, but the president has driven a deep wedge between the United States and our allies in Europe and has withdrawn from the process that would allow a comprehensive investigation of the Iran archives recently revealed by Israel.


Roy and Barbara Goodman Family Professor of the Practice of Diplomacy and International Relations; former U.S. Ambassador to NATO

President Trump’s disavowal of the Iran nuclear agreement is reckless and one of the most serious mistakes of his presidency. While flawed, the deal has dismantled Iran’s nuclear apparatus and denied it the possibility of developing a nuclear weapon for more than a decade into the future. Trump’s major challenge will be to convince Americans that his decision leaves us better off. He is betting that Iran will agree to negotiate a new and more advantageous deal with the U.S. But all the evidence points in the opposite direction. Trump’s action will isolate us from our European allies by placing us in violation of the agreement. It will also strengthen the Revolutionary Guard hardliners in Tehran who may now seek to free Iran from the deal’s handcuffs and pursue anew a nuclear weapon. Where is Trump’s strategy leading us? To satisfy an ill-advised campaign pledge, he has jettisoned a decade-long effort by the Obama and Bush Administrations from 2005-2015 to isolate, sanction, and weaken Iran’s nuclear ambitions. Trump is giving Iran a potential new pathway to a nuclear weapon, with a resulting risk of war, in the next few years. As in Trump’s exit from the Paris Climate Change Accord and the Trans Pacific Partnership, he appears to have no strategy for what comes next. He tears down major international agreements but suggests nothing to put in their place. In doing so, Trump is accelerating the retreat of America’s singular global leadership role. He is reducing our credibility and influence with our allies as well as adversaries. These are the acts of an irresponsible leader.


Belfer Center senior fellow; former deputy U.S. secretary of Energy

Trump’s decision to unilaterally pull out of the JPCOA is a reckless strategic mistake of immense consequence. The Iranians have been fully implementing the agreement, and the world has been safer since it came into effect in January 2016. With Trump’s action today, the onus is now on the United States if Tehran chooses to restart its nuclear weapons program. What the president has done does not make us safer. He has isolated us from our allies, handed a gift to the hardliners in Iran, undermined U.S. credibility as a negotiating partner, set back global nuclear-proliferation-prevention efforts, and increased the risks of war.


Visiting fellow, intelligence and defense projects, Belfer Center

The decision today by President Trump to exit the JCPOA was a much-needed move to correct a historically catastrophic policy by the Obama administration. The Achilles heels of Iran’s regime is its weak economy, and re-instituting economic sanctions will only further isolate Iran from the global system and the foreign investments it so needs to sustain its failing political system. The JCPOA did not limit Iran’s monstrous actions in Syria, Iraq, and across the Arab world. It was done to push the Iran problem further down the road, not deal with it. Now there is a chance to take on the “Persian Puzzle” head on.


Executive director for research, Belfer Center; former White House coordinator for arms control and weapons of mass destruction 

President Trump thinks he can crash the nuclear deal, reimpose international economic sanctions, and force Iran to negotiate a better deal. He is mistaken. For now, Iran will try to salvage the JCPOA with the other parties to the deal (European nations, Russia, China), promising to retain nuclear constraints if the other parties give assurances that they will resist secondary U.S. sanctions. Over time, however, as secondary sanctions reduce the flow of economic benefits to Iran, Iran will threaten to unwind nuclear constraints under the JCPOA. However, Iran will be cautious to avoid nuclear actions that risk provoking a U.S. military response. The ultimate Iranian objective is to avoid a confrontation until the 2020 elections, in hopes that Trump will not be re-elected.


Professor of practice, Harvard Kennedy School co-principal investigator of the Project on Managing the Atom

President Trump has handed a huge gift to Iran’s hardliners, freeing Iran to build up its ability to make nuclear bomb material and curtail international inspections while discrediting Iran’s advocates of engagement with the West. Trump’s action isolates the United States, not Iran, as the country unwilling to live up to its promises, and raises the risks of war or of Iran getting a nuclear bomb. It would still be in Iran’s interest to stay in the deal, which would put the blame on the United States, limit other countries’ willingness to join in sanctions, and limit the danger of military strikes on Iran.


Belfer Center senior fellow; former deputy Israeli national security advisor; author of “Israeli National Security: A New Strategy for an Era of Change”

A historic error that may lead to a nuclear Iran. The critical question is whether there is an effective post-withdrawal strategy. Regime change and the hope that Iran will now agree to a “better deal” are important aspirations and, if achieved, would constitute major successes, but they are longshots. In the meantime, Israel faces a growing crisis with Iran in Syria. Imagine how Israel would be reacting in the absence of the JCPOA and [if] Iran had crossed the nuclear threshold. It may take a year or more, but Israel may soon be facing a crisis with a nuclear Iran.


Executive director, Project on Managing the Atom

President Trump’s announcement that the United States will unilaterally withdraw from the nuclear deal with Iran is the most consequential foreign policy blunder yet from an administration that appears determined to undermine U.S. influence around the world. Trump’s move demonstrates that the United States cannot be trusted to keep its promises. It deepens the divide between United States and its closest European allies. It will heighten tensions in an already smoldering Middle East, while giving fodder to hardliners and nuclear bomb advocates in Iran. It will disable the U.N. Security Council for the remainder of the Trump administration and perhaps beyond. And it will weaken the International Atomic Energy Agency’s ability to carry out its mission at a time when there may be a particular need to monitor Iran’s nuclear activities.


Director of the Belfer Center’s international security program; editor-in-chief of “International Security”

President Trump’s decision to withdraw from the JCPOA and openly violate the provisions of the agreement may not quite be a gift to Tehran, but it is at least as damaging to the United States as it is to Iran. It isolates the United States and positions it as the wrecker of the deal. It discredits the United States as a trustworthy negotiating partner — at least with Iran, if not more broadly. It divides Washington from its European allies, all of whom are deeply opposed to this move. It creates an opening for Iran to collaborate more closely with Europe, Russia, and China in arrangements that will exclude the United States. It offers Iran the opportunity to escape from the confining limits and intense scrutiny put in place by the JCPOA. It will require the United States to seek additional sanctions in an environment in which there is little sympathy for the U.S. position and some respect for Iran’s compliance with the JCPOA. It raises the prospect of a world in which U.S. sanctions are ineffective while Iran’s nuclear program steadily advances. It signals a return to the purely confrontational approach that for more than a dozen years failed to halt Iran’s nuclear progress. Iran may attempt to salvage the deal by continued cooperation with the other parties to the agreement, but, if not, then Trump’s decision will have created a world in which Iran’s nuclear program is much less constrained and much less inspected — and he will have paid a high price to do so.


Belfer Center senior fellow, former deputy administrator for defense nuclear nonproliferation at the National Nuclear Security Administration

The decision to leave the JCPOA is a blunder. The deal has significant flaws, notably a relatively brief duration and a failure to compel from Iran a complete and correct declaration of its nuclear weapons activities — the bedrock of any effective verification system. Withdrawing, however, only compounds those problems, shortening the duration and abandoning the deal’s mechanisms to investigate and respond to compliance issues. Ironically, Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu’s recent bombshell revelation of Iranian deceit offered an opening to improve and enforce the JCPOA. Unfortunately, President Trump flouted appeals from our closest allies and chose not to use it.

‘I told everybody this is what I was going to do’: Why Trump torpedoed Obama’s Iran deal

By John Hudson and Philip Rucker

The lobbying campaign to save the Iran nuclear agreement was intense and took months. British Prime Minister Theresa May raised the deal with President Trump in more than a dozen phone calls. French President Emmanuel Macron pressed him on it during an elaborate state visit. So did German Chancellor Angela Merkel in a one-day work trip in April. And the Europeans made a Hail Mary pass Monday in the form of a White House visit by British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson. But for Trump, the decision to torpedo one of President Barack Obama’s signature foreign policy achievements had effectively been made last October, when he declared that Iran was not in compliance with the deal and called on European allies to negotiate better terms. The foundation was laid even earlier, in fact, as Trump declared the Iran accord one of the “worst” deals in U.S. history at his campaign rallies — even mocking its architect, former secretary of state John F. Kerry, as weak for having fallen off his bicycle during a visit to Geneva for negotiations. 

The cyber battlefield isn’t all about Russia

Source Link

Not since President Reagan’s off mic quip has the American chattering class worked itself into such a lather about the Russian menace. Unfortunately, while the interminable discussion over Moscow’s “election hacking” continues, The Big Three — Iran, China, and North Korea — continue to assault our cyber flank, driven by a force as committed to malice as the Gipper was to a good laugh. The cyber battlefield is fluid, difficult to monitor and has a low barrier of entry. Initially, Russian hacks and propaganda drew attention and appropriate, quiet response. Now, we risk supersizing the damage by being pulled into a dangerous cave of tunnel vision.

The US can eliminate its trade deficit or run the world’s dominant currency—but not both

BY Gwynn Guilford Corinne Purtill
Source Link

Shrinking America’s yawning trade deficit is much harder than simply blocking imports and boosting exports—and will likely involve tough tradeoffs, according to Guggenheim Partners’ Scott Minerd.“There is a reason why the United States has a structural trade deficit. That’s because the world wants to hold the dollar as a reserve currency,” said Minerd while speaking on a panel at the Milken Institute 2018 Global Conference in Los Angeles on April 30. “If we insist that we have no trade imbalance, what we’re saying is that we no longer want to be the reserve currency.”

Where Guns Are Sold Through The Darknet

by Niall McCarthy
Source Link

Ordinary citizens and whistleblowers often find refuge in this obscure part of the internet in order to protect their privacy rights. However, the very privacy the darknet affords is also being put to more sinister uses, especially crime such as illegal drug and arms trafficking. The latter is estimated to be worth anywhere between $1.7 to $3.5 billion, equivalent to about 10 to 20 percent of the legal arms trade. Unsurprisingly, all sorts of guns are finding their way onto the darknet from pistols to high-powered assault rifles.

Infographic Of The Day: The Future Of Batteries

There's no doubt that the lithium-ion battery has been an important catalyst for the green revolution, but there is still much work to be done for a full switch to renewable energy.

Is a Multipolar World Emerging?

By Jacob L. Shapiro

Everywhere you turn, people are sounding the alarm about the decline of American power. The alarms are loudest in the U.S. itself. Those who oppose President Donald Trump believe he is destroying America’s influence and credibility abroad. (The threat to tear up the Iran deal is just one example.) Those who support Trump believe U.S. power has already declined. (Implicit in the slogan “Make America Great Again” is the idea that America is not currently great.) Outside the United States, the U.S. has become punching bag, punchline and declining power all at once. The term “multipolar world,” once simply wishful thinking, is now being uttered by U.S. friends and foes alike.

Repeating History

The Art of the Regime Change

Source Link

As long expected, Donald Trump has bowed to his ego, his petulant envy of Barack Obama, his hard-line donors, his new set of hawkish advisors, and above all his own ignorance and walked away from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), the international agreement that prevents Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons. Together with his foolish decision to abandon the Trans-Pacific Partnership, this is likely to be his most consequential foreign-policy blunder yet.

The CIA just lost control of its hacking arsenal. Here’s what you need to know.

WikiLeaks just released internal documentation of the CIA’s massive arsenal of hacking tools and techniques. These 8,761 documents — called “Vault 7” — show how their operatives can remotely monitor and control devices, such as phones, TVs, and cars. And what’s worse, this archive of techniques seems to be out in the open, where all manner of hackers can use it to attack us. “The CIA lost control of the majority of its hacking arsenal including malware, viruses, trojans, weaponized “zero day” exploits, malware remote control systems and associated documentation. This extraordinary collection, which amounts to more than several hundred million lines of code, gives its possessor the entire hacking capacity of the CIA.” — WikiLeaks

Pentagon green lights Army network strategy — with caveats

By: Amber Corrin  
Source Link
A new report from the Pentagon’s chief cost analyst and weapons tester cautiously approves the Army’s plan for a new tactical network, one that is expected to follow the canceled $6 billion Warfighter Information Network-Tactical.
In a report submitted to Congress April 24, the Department of Defense’s director of cost assessment and program evaluation and the director of operational test and evaluation declared some elements of the Army’s new network approach as “suitable” but said it was too early to assess the strategy as a whole.



It may look innocent, but a simple WhatsApp message containing a small black dot emoji can be used to crash your app or smartphone in seconds. Inside the Reddit community for the Facebook-owned chat service, users have complained for days about the glitch—known as a “text bomb”—which stores thousands of hidden characters that will overwhelm the app if clicked. The text in circulation shows the emoji and a short message reading: “Touch here.” While invisible on the screen, the text bomb stores approximately 6,000 Unicode characters that are used to dictate how letters display in order of left-to-right or right-to-left. Multiple computer experts who analyzed the backend code suggest WhatsApp is currently unable to process changes of text direction at scale.

Cyber Command, NSA open new $500 million operations center

By: Mark Pomerleau   
Source Link

The National Security Agency and Cyber Command marked the official opening of a new $500 million building May 4, one that is designed to integrate cyber operations across the U.S. government and foreign partners. The new Integrated Cyber Center and Joint Operations Center, or ICC/JOC, is Cyber Command’s “first dedicated building, providing the advanced command and control capabilities and global integration capabilities that we require to perform our missions,” former commander Adm. Michael Rogers said in recent congressional testimonyThe center puts Cyber Command, NSA, other government organizations and foreign partners together under the same roof to better synchronize, coordinate and de-conflict cyber operations.

How Frightened Should We Be of A.I.?

Precisely how and when will our curiosity kill us? I bet you’re curious. A number of scientists and engineers fear that, once we build an artificial intelligence smarter than we are, a form of A.I. known as artificial general intelligence, doomsday may follow. Bill Gates and Tim Berners-Lee, the founder of the World Wide Web, recognize the promise of an A.G.I., a wish-granting genie rubbed up from our dreams, yet each has voiced grave concerns. Elon Musk warns against “summoning the demon,” envisaging “an immortal dictator from which we can never escape.” Stephen Hawking declared that an A.G.I. “could spell the end of the human race.” Such advisories aren’t new. In 1951, the year of the first rudimentary chess program and neural network, the A.I. pioneer Alan Turing predicted that machines would “outstrip our feeble powers” and “take control.” In 1965, Turing’s colleague Irving Good pointed out that brainy devices could design even brainier ones, ad infinitum: “Thus the first ultraintelligent machine is the last invention that man need ever make, provided that the machine is docile enough to tell us how to keep it under control.” It’s that last clause that has claws.

Technology And The Future Of Work

by Adrian Peralta, and Agustin Roitman

Many feel anxious about the impact of new technology on their jobs. This is not new. In fact, it dates back at least to the Luddites movement at the outset of the Industrial Revolution. And it resurfaced during the Great Depression and again in the 1960s, following a period of high productivity growth, and in the 1980s at the outset of the IT revolution. In the past, technological advances have helped raise incomes for most. But we should not forget that the transitions involved - for workers, firms, sectors, and whole economies - have been difficult for many. Many observers think the latest wave of technological innovation will be more disruptive than the ones in the past, especially for labor. They point to the timid growth of real wages and the falling labor share in national income in recent decades. New technological advances - in artificial intelligence, automation and robotics - might be even more dramatic. This is because of the presumed ease with which some technologies can substitute for a broad range of human skills.

Who Is Going To Make Money In AI? Part I

We are in the midst of a gold rush in AI. But who will reap the economic benefits? The mass of startups who are all gold panning? The corporates who have massive gold mining operations? The technology giants who are supplying the picks and shovels? And which nations have the richest seams of gold? Weare currently experiencing another gold rush in AI. Billions are being invested in AI startups across every imaginable industry and business function. Google, Amazon, Microsoft and IBM are in a heavyweight fight investing over $20 billion in AI in 2016. Corporates are scrambling to ensure they realise the productivity benefits of AI ahead of their competitors while looking over their shoulders at the startups. China is putting its considerable weight behind AI and the European Union is talking about a $22 billion AI investment as it fears losing ground to China and the US.

eport: Chinese government is behind a decade of hacks on software companies


Though sloppy at times, Winnti Umbrella remain advanced and extremely prolific. 

82nd Airborne hosts first electronic warfare competition

Sgt. 1st Class Mike Sanders and Sgt. Sam Odior stood just outside a cluster of pine trees and stared at a small screen. Sanders pressed an icon on the screen as Odior glanced up at the antenna protruding from a pack on the other soldier’s back. “I think I’ve got something,” Sanders said as Odior leaned forward to get a better look. “We’ve got a possible hit on the freq,” the paratrooper repeated, this time into a radio, signalling three other soldiers nearby. In a wooded training area on Fort Bragg, the team of soldiers from 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division were involved in a complicated game of hide and seek.

Future Challenges for Special Operations Forces


The U.S. Special Operations Command has about 67,000 troops and an annual budget of around 14 billion dollars. That may not seem to be a huge dent in the overall DoD budget (about 2%), but it greatly outnumbers the special operations budgets of other U.S. allies around the world. With deployments operating at high frequencies today and with operations increasing in places like Syria, what should we be thinking about in terms of the impact on U.S. Special Operations in the coming decade?