1 July 2018

Report: Foregrounding India’s Nuclear Responsibilities: Nuclear Weapons Possession and Disarmament in South Asia

Rishi Paul

The BASIC Programme on Nuclear Responsibilities shapes the approach to international nuclear weapon policy to draw out the “nuclear responsibilities” of states around nuclear weapons during the process of global disarmament. Each nuclear weapons possessor state has described itself as a 'responsible' nuclear-armed state, but there exists no common understanding of what this entails. This presents an opportunity for a new, inclusive and engaging discussion of nuclear deterrence, restraint, and disarmament that is centred around the nuclear responsibilities frame.

What this report does

India’s evolving response to China’s ‘stealth threat’


New Delhi has been alarmed by China’s deployment of J-20 aircraft near India’s sensitive northeastern border. Last January the Chinese Air Force – officially known as the People’s Liberation Army Air Force or PLAAF – conducted extensive military exercises in Tibet with the Chengdu J-20 and other fighters, primarily the Chengdu J-10C and Shenyang J-11. The Chinese planes were using improved Tibetan airfields that China has made all-weather capable. Sometime in March, Indian SU-30MKI fighter jets were able to detect the J-20 stealth or low observable fighters on radar, according to senior Indian officials and even reported by Russian news agencies. India followed this up in April with a large-scale air exercise called Gagan Shakti 2018, covering the border with Pakistan, China and supporting maritime operations. (Gagan means GPS Aided Augmented Navigation; Shakti means power, ability and strength.) The Indian government said: “The aim of the exercise was real-time coordination, deployment and employment of air power in a short and intense battle scenario.”

A tough balancing act: What 15th Finance Commission can and cannot do on deciding states’ shares

Arvind Panagariya

Collection of broad-based taxes is more efficient if done by the Centre than individual states. Expenditures on items such as education, health and local infrastructure require decentralisation. This calls for the Centre to collect the broad-based taxes and share them with the states. But who is to decide how this divisible pool of revenue is to be shared between Centre and states? A neutral umpire is required. The Constitution designates the Finance Commission (FC) as that umpire. It calls for the appointment of an FC minimally every five years. The current FC is the 15th such commission. The FC must perform a tough balancing act. If allocation to the states is disproportionately small, there is risk that expenditures on education, health and local infrastructure, which must be substantially locally provided, will go underfunded. Equally, if allocation to the Centre is unduly small, national public goods such as defence, internal security, highways, waterways and railways may go underfunded.

Drone Strikes: Pakistan

A U.S. drone strike targeted and killed Khalid Mehsud, the deputy commander of Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan, or the Pakistani Taliban (TTP). VOA reports that "several of his aides" were also killed, but New America cannot confirm casualty numbers outside of Mehsud. A Taliban spokesperson, Azam Tariq Mehsud, told media that the strike occurred in the Gorwak village of North Waziristan, which has been widely reported. Alternatively, Dawn and the Express Tribune report that officials, presumably from the Pakistani government, claim that the strike occurred in Afghanistan. At this time, New America--given the lack of clarity from the "officials" quoted by Dawn at the Express Tribune and the widely-reported claim from the TTP spokesman of Mehsud's death in Pakistan--is placing the strike in Pakistan, though will change and/or update should more information become available.

U.S. Drone Strikes in Pakistan

How Can Islamabad Further Isolate the Pakistani Taliban?

By Umair Jamal

Last week, the Pakistani Taliban appointed a new leader after its former chief, Maulana Fazlullah, was killed in a drone strike carried out by the United States in Afghanistan. The new leader of the Taliban, Mufti Noor Wali Mehsud, is considered a ruthless militant commander who has led the group’s activities in Pakistan’s urban areas, particularly Karachi. In Pakistan, the group’s operational capacity has been degraded by the Pakistani security agencies after a comprehensive military operation against the militant outfit. However, the change in leadership may reunify the group in the near future and any such prospect is likely to challenge Pakistan’s ongoing counterterrorism efforts along the way. 

Saudi Arabia and Pakistan: Moving From the Personal to the Strategic Domain

Kamal Alam and Ibrahim Al-Othaimin

On many fronts, Saudi Arabia and Pakistan are working to deepen and formalise ties that have historically been determined by the quality of relationships between kings and prime ministers Prince Turki Al-Faisal, the former head of the General Intelligence Directorate, Saudi Arabia’s main intelligence agency, once described the relationship between Saudi Arabia and Pakistan as ‘probably one of the closest relationships in the world between any two countries without any official treaty’. Prince Turki himself was at the helm of Saudi decision-making for over three decades and oversaw the close cooperation between the two countries during the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, the first Gulf War, the Afghanistan campaign, and in post-9/11 defence diplomacy.

Bangladesh’s New Military Deal With China

By Shakil Bin Mushtaq

A new contract has been signed that will see China deliver 23 units of Hongdu K-8W intermediate training jets to the Bangladesh Air Force (BAF). The deal was sealed on June 20 at the Bangladesh Air Force Headquarters in Dhaka. Bangladesh’s newly appointed Air Force chief was present at the signing ceremony along with China’s ambassador in Bangladesh. BAF did not disclose the total amount of the deal, but a source told The Diplomat that it’s more than $200 million.

The U.S. Can’t Afford to Demonize China


The United States and China’s lengthy track record of constructive engagement is disintegrating at an alarming rate, requiring a major correction by both sides. Despite U.S. President Donald Trump’s occasional talk of his “truly great” connection with Chinese President Xi Jinping, and Xi’s constant references to “win-win” outcomes all round, recent policies and actions — especially on the U.S. side — have created an enormously destructive dynamic in the relationship.

The Belt and Road Bubble Is Starting to Burst


In a sense, the Sicomines resources-for-infrastructure agreement in the Democratic Republic of the Congo has been just another underperforming deal in a country with no shortage of them. But it is also more than that — namely, a window into the flaws at the heart of Chinese international economic policy, which is already costing its economy dearly.
At the turn of the century, the Chinese government started implementing its “Go Out” policy, which sought to incentivize domestic firms to look for business overseas. Chinese firms would invest and seek contracts abroad, which would make them more competitive globally while alleviating some of the pressures of a domestic market that was starting to saturate. At the same time, the move would allow Chinese firms to secure new markets for their exports. The policy was supported by cheap and easy credit from China’s policy banks.

China, Europe warn trade war could trigger global recession

China and the European Union vowed to oppose trade protectionism in an apparent rebuke to the U.S., saying unilateral actions risked pushing the world into a recession.
Vice Premier Liu He — President Xi Jinping’s top economic adviser — said China and the EU had agreed to defend the multilateral trading system, following talks Monday in Beijing. The comments, made at a press briefing with European Commission Vice President Jyrki Katainen, come as both sides prepare to face off against President Donald Trump’s tariff threats.

China's upstart chip companies aim to topple Samsung, Intel and TSMC


For most of its nine-year history, the museum has been mostly a place for school children to learn about the uses of computer chips. But it has become a hot ticket for officials from all over China ever since Beijing declared that creating a world-leading semiconductor industry was a top national priority. On a recent weekday this spring, Lance Long, the museum's director, was hosting a tour for officials from Urumqi, the Xinjiang capital known for being the world's most landlocked city. Before that, Long hosted groups from distant provinces such as Gansu and Yunnan and even Mongolia. All told, some 200 groups came last year for an education in China's next big thing.

China Think Tank Warns of Potential ‘Financial Panic’ in Leaked Note

A leaked report from a Chinese government-backed think tank has warned of a potential “financial panic” in the world’s second-largest economy, a sign that some members of the nation’s policy elite are growing concerned as market turbulence and trade tensions increase. Bond defaults, liquidity shortages and the recent plunge in financial markets pose particular dangers at a time of rising U.S. interest rates and a trade spat with Washington, according to a study by the National Institution for Finance & Development that was seen by Bloomberg News and confirmed by a NIFD official. The think tank warned that leveraged purchases of shares have reached levels last seen in 2015 -- when a market crash erased $5 trillion of value.

Trump Plans New Curbs on Chinese Investment, Tech Exports to China

By Bob Davis

WASHINGTON—President Donald Trump, already embroiled in a trade battle with China, plans to ratchet commercial tensions higher by barring many Chinese companies from investing in U.S. technology firms, and by blocking additional technology exports to Beijing, said people familiar with administration plans. The twin initiatives, set to be announced by the end of the week, are designed to prevent Beijing from moving ahead with plans outlined in its “Made in China 2025” report to become a global leader in 10 broad areas of technology, including information technology, aerospace, electric vehicles and biotechnology.

Without State Reform, Myanmar Isn’t Going Anywhere Fast

By Tej Parikh

Without a revamp to its archaic state apparatus, Myanmar isn’t going anywhere fast. De-facto ruler Aung San Suu Kyi may have been lambasted for the slow pace of economic reforms, alongside a stalling peace process, but the reality for those losing patience is that anyone in power would have their capacity severely restrained by an inept, corrupt, and bloated bureaucracy underneath.  After storming to an electoral victory in 2015, Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy (NLD) party inherited the unenviable task of meeting high expectations without an effective government architecture to support it. Indeed, decades of rule by the military, also known as the Tatmadaw, has rendered the Southeast Asian nation’s policymaking institutions rigid and ineffective.

Trump’s Push to Ban Iranian Oil Could Mean Pain at the Pump


The Trump administration’s demand that all countries quit importing Iranian oil outright starting in November won’t just be a tough sell diplomatically — it also threatens to derail the U.S. administration’s own effort to push down high crude prices. On Tuesday, State Department officials said that the administration is taking a much tougher line on Iranian oil exports than the Obama administration did when it put sanctions on Tehran’s main source of revenue. President Donald Trump expects all buyers of Iranian oil to curtail all purchases by Nov. 4, with no waivers planned for countries that have few alternatives.

The American Dream Deferred

By Senator Cory Booker

My father was born in the small, segregatedmountain town of Hendersonville, North Carolina, in 1936. Less than 100 years before his birth, enslaved black Americans were building Hendersonville’s Main Street. The son of a single mother, my dad grew up in poverty. When his mother became too ill to raise him, his grandmother stepped in until she too was no longer able to care for him, and then a local family took him in as their own. With no source of financial support and no tradition of college in his family, my dad never considered going to college. But members of the local community, recognizing his potential, encouraged him to go. His church even sent around a collection plate to help pay his first semester’s tuition at North Carolina Central University.

In Europe, the Split Between Open and Closed Has Not Replaced Traditional Politics

Hans Kundnani

Much of the discussion about ‘populism’ that is currently taking place is hopelessly binary and reductive. Perhaps the best example of this is the idea that there is a new fault line in politics between ‘open’ and ‘closed’ that is more important than, or has even replaced, the fault line between left and right. In particular, against the background of the referendum on British membership of the EU, ‘pro-European’ centrists have come to identify the European project with the idea of ‘open’ societies and an ‘open’ world and both left-wing and right-wing Eurosceptics with the idea of ‘closed’ societies and a ‘closed’ world.

4 takeaways from Turkey's elections

Turkish president Tayyip Erdogan won yet another election this past Sunday, gaining a new mandate under Turkey’s soon-to-be instituted presidential system with 52.5 percent of support. Erdogan has been elected for a 5-year term under the new system, and as the executive president will have sweeping powers to appoint a cabinet to shape many of Turkey’s institutions. Despite Erdogan’s win, his ruling party, Justice and Development (AKP), has seen a decline in votes since the November 2015 elections ending at 42.5 percent, thereby making the Turkish president dependent on his ultra-nationalist ally, the Nationalist Action Party (MHP) in the parliament and in governance. AKP and MHP had entered the elections on a joint ticket and this coalition arrangement will continue to be the fundamental dynamic in Turkey’s domestic and foreign policy. Nationalism will be the dominant color in the Turkish body politic.

Wargaming with Athena: How to Make Militaries Smarter, Faster, and More Efficient with Artificial Intelligence

Benjamin Jensen, Scott Cuomo and Chris Whyte argue that while artificial intelligence (AI) stands to alter the very nature of military power, the technology’s integration into military decision-making processes will still be a daunting task. In response, our authors highlight how wargames provide the right platform to use as a test bed for data collection and experimentation on such integration. They also look at the US Marine Corps University’s use of Athena, a wargaming platform designed for training and education as well as the testing of future AI applications.

EU crackdown has not changed US tech

Leonid Bershidsky

Apattern is emerging in the war between the European Union’s (EU’s) antitrust authorities and US tech companies. The changes that Google and Apple made after adverse rulings and large fines appear to be little but window-dressing, and left intact the problems the penalties were intended to solve. In June 2017, the European Commission fined Google €2.4 billion for giving priority to its price- comparison service, Google Shopping, over rival services in search results. The company put in place a remedy in September of that year: All services can bid on spaces in a special box that appears on the search result page when consumers type in an item they would like to buy; Google Shopping is supposed to bid like any other company. Yet it’s almost always the only offering in the box.

The CyberWar Map is a visual guide

The CyberWar Map is a visual guide to some of the most prominent players and events in state-to-state cyberconflict created as a part of the National Security Archive's Cyber Vault Project. This resource focuses on state-sponsored hacking and cyber-attacks.

Clicking on map elements will produce links and descriptions for documents relevant to each subject. Elements, connections, and documents will be added on a regular basis to this ever-evolving research aid.

All links lead to unclassified or declassified sources.

Cyber Risk for the Financial Sector: A Framework for Quantitative Assessment

Antoine Bouveret

Disclaimer: IMF Working Papers describe research in progress by the author(s) and are published to elicit comments and to encourage debate. The views expressed in IMF Working Papers are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the views of the IMF, its Executive Board, or IMF management. 


Microsoft’s next act

CEO Satya Nadella talks about innovation, disruption, and organizational change.

In 2014, Satya Nadella was appointed CEO of Microsoft, making him only the third leader in the software company’s 40-year history, following Bill Gates and Steve Ballmer. Since taking the top job, Nadella has doubled down on cloud computing, artificial intelligence (AI), and social networking while also pushing Microsoft to become more innovative, collaborative, and customer focused. In 2017, he published Hit Refresh: The Quest to Rediscover Microsoft’s Soul and Imagine a Better Future for Everyone, a book reflecting on his journey from a cricket-obsessed childhood in India to leadership of one of the world’s largest companies.

Why Project Maven is a ‘moral hazard’ for Google

By: Justin Lynch
Source Link

Capt. Sean Heritage strode to the stage on Tuesday wearing a white Navy uniform, holding up a black hacker hoodie with military stripes on the sleeve. The home-brew sweatshirt represented a fusion of two mindsets that can have different priorities ― hacker and sailor. Like the hoodie, Heritage is a combination of two worlds: He is acting head of the Defense Innovation Unit ― Experimental, a military project investing in Silicon Valley. But despite the peace offering from Heritage, disagreements between the two communities were on display Tuesday at a Defense One conference in Washington, D.C., over the uses of artificial intelligence. Current and former military officials criticized tech-giant Google for “creating a moral hazard,” by dropping out from a top military program called Project Maven, and called on the company to rethink its decision.

Is cyberwar politics by other means?


Should cybersecurity see the global Internet as an open network, or as sovereign walled gardens? Robert Potter writes that thanks to countries like Russia and China, today’s cyber landscape is more complex than either model. Our thinking about the place of cybersecurity within politics is being revolutionised. Traditionally, Australia and other like-minded states have thought of the Internet as a politically open platform supported by segregated corporate networks. We believed that over time the Internet would lead to more information sharing, more openness and greater political freedom. Cybersecurity practitioners would work to harden their corporate networks which would facilitate greater openness of the broader Internet.

This may still be true, but it is surely being tested.

Controversial ‘hack back’ debate undecided after new details

By: Justin Lynch 

When the cybersecurity firm Mandiant detected Chinese hackers were infiltrating networks of their clients sometime around 2013, the company did not stand idly by, according to a new book by David Sanger. In “The Perfect Weapon,” released June 19, the national security correspondent at The New York Times describes how Mandiant’s investigators “reached back through the network to activate the cameras on the hackers’ own laptops.” Sitting with the Mandiant investigators, Sanger watched how the Chinese hackers “carried on like a lot of young guys around the world.” They wore leather jackets, Sanger wrote. They checked sports scores. They watched porn.

The new cyber leader focused on national defense

By: Mark Pomerleau  

As one of CYBERCOM’s four main headquarters elements, the CNMF is in charge of deterring and disrupting cyberspace operations to defend the nation. CNMF components include cyber support teams that provide intelligence support, cyber protection teams that specialize in defending the Department of Defense Information Network, and national mission teams that help protect the DoDIN and, when ordered, other U.S. cyberspace. NMTs are also aligned against specific nation-state actors. With potential changes to the construct of CYBERCOM’s cyber teams writ large, some have indicated that the CNMF construct is a good model. “The way the Cyber National Mission Force is organized, having … mission teams, support teams and CPTs, that is an ideal construct for doing full-spectrum operations,” Brig. Gen. Maria Barrett, who formerly served as deputy of operations at CYBERCOM, said.

Israel Cyber Week: Intelligence sharing - do we trust you?

by Tony Morbin

In a high level panel meeting during Israel Cyber Week, Yigal Unna, the new chief executive director of the new Cyber Technologies Unit in the Israel National Cyber Directorate, and former head of the Sigint Cyber Division In Shin-Bet, found himself moderating between representatives of the US, UK and Singapore government intelligence agencies and the private sector, with each needing to share information while being wary of the other.

We don't trust you

The worries over U.S. intelligence

After a 55-year career deep inside U.S. intelligence, James Clapper has recently found something akin to notoriety, first as co-author of the famous Oct. 7, 2016, declaration that Russia was trying to tip the scales of the 2016 presidential election, and now as one of a handful of top former intelligence officials who have taken their criticisms of President Trump and concerns over a possible conspiracy with Russia to the public. The son of a U.S. Army signals intelligence officer in World War II, Clapper carried on that service tradition by joining the Air Force in 1963, rising to lieutenant general and becoming director of the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) from 1992 until his retirement from uniformed service in 1995.

Myanmar’s Brutal Military Is Convicting Its Own Soldiers of Atrocities


On a bright afternoon this January, a group of Kachin villagers in Myanmar’s mountainous north perched on plastic chairs at a courtroom inside a military compound. Standing a few feet away were six soldiers, who were convicted of kidnapping, torturing, and murdering three of the villagers’ relatives near a camp for displaced people in war-torn Kachin state months earlier. A panel of uniform-clad judges read closing statements and handed down the sentences: 10 years with hard labor for each man.