30 July 2018

Pakistan’s Populist Triumph


ISLAMABAD, Pakistan—At long last, Imran Khan is the prime minister of Pakistan. After winning the highest number of seats in parliament in this week’s election, the former cricket legend and philanthropist is now set to form a national government and possibly rule two of Pakistan’s four provinces, making him the country’s most powerful civilian leader in decades. It’s a remarkable reversal of fortunes for Khan, who for decades was mocked by his opponents as a naïve, inexperienced celebrity keen to perpetuate his own fame. Khan, however, remained determined. “I always fight till the last ball,” he told me a few years ago. 

Pakistan General Elections- Sobering Thoughts the day After

By Dr Subhash Kapila
Source Link

Pakistan’s political dynamics in the last seventy years stand significantly distinguished by a singular irony that in rare periods when there is no military rule, the civilian Prime Minister of Pakistan appoints the Pakistan Army Chief at least notionally. The very Pakistan Army Chiefs so appointed turn around at the next General Elections to put in place their own script as to who the next Prime Minister should head Pakistan. Pakistan General Elections 2018, once again substantiate this propensity of Pakistan Army Chiefs. Pakistan General Elections 2018 has not thrown up any dramatic surprises as the emergence of PTI Chairman Imran Khan as the Prime Minister of Pakistan has worked out as scripted by Pak-Army-Judiciary nexus and whose opening moves were initiated by this not so benign combination in mid-2017 with political disqualification for life of Former PM Nawaz Sharif on judicially debatable charges.

Pakistan's Sham Election

By C. Christine Fair

Newcomers to Pakistani politics greeted the outcome of Wednesday’s general election—an apparent victory for former cricket star Imran Khan’s Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party—with optimism. They were quick to note that Pakistani authorities focused on increasing female participation, both as candidates and as voters. (Although women have had the right to vote since the country came into existence in 1947, cultural norms have often denied them the right to cast their ballots.) The Wall Street Journal gushed that Khan’s apparent victory will “break the country’s two-party system.” Others wondered whether his election will have salubrious effects on Pakistan’s shambolic economy, foreign policy, or internal security.

Can Imran Khan be the new face of Pakistan?

Kiran Stacey and Farhan Bokhari 

The crowd gathered under the Thokar Niaz Baig flyover has been waiting in the steamy Lahore night for over an hour when Imran Khan finally appears. He climbs on top of a shipping container, his white shalwar kameez fluttering behind him, and leans over the railing to salute hundreds of flag waving supporters. “This is the moment of change for Pakistan,” he bellows. “I will deliver a Pakistan which is different.” Mr Khan, the country’s charismatic former cricket captain, has for the past few weeks been delivering the same message at rallies across the country, attracting crowds of several thousand during what aides say has been a gruelling and bitterly fought general election. More than 20 years since he first began campaigning to end what he says is endemic corruption in Pakistan, opinion polls suggest he is on the verge of victory in Wednesday’s election. He had hoped to win in 2013 but came a distant third, with analysts saying he spent too much time giving speeches at mass rallies and not enough on stitching together political alliances. 

Hard days ahead

I.A. Rehman

THANK heavens election 2018 is over, though the bitterness and acrimony it generated will take long to subside. Many people have won the contest, many times more have lost. The real winners seem to be the much-maligned and resourceless citizens who remained true to their commitment to democracy, a system whose benefits they have never enjoyed. They braved all kinds of hardships yesterday, including bad weather, and trudged long distances to uphold the majesty of the ballot box. They were also keen to prove the political pundits wrong.

Trump Provides China an Opening in Europe

Philippe Le Corre

While Donald Trump and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin were busy gathering for a high-profile summit in Helsinki on Monday, a far less publicized meeting between two other world powers was simultaneously held in Beijing. The twentieth EU-China summit was maybe less attention grabbing but is still significant in its own right. Although the EU-China relationship is becoming more fraught, both sides shared an interest in a summit marked by more positive tone this time around.

A bitter Beijing is ready to fight Washington and win the trade war.

by Gordon G. Chang

On Wednesday, Qualcomm Inc., the world’s leader in mobile-phone chips,announced the abandonment of its bid to buy Dutch-based NXP Semiconductors. The $44 billion deal, which would have been the semiconductor sector’s biggest takeover ever, had to be scrapped because Beijing, escalating the so-called “trade war” with the United States, withheld approval.  In withholding approval, Chinese leader Xi Jinping made clear that it’s not possible to bargain with his country at this time. America now has no choice but to fight Beijing to the end.

RIP Taiwan?

by John J. Mearsheimer

WHAT ARE the implications for Taiwan of China’s continued rise? Not today. Not next year. No, the real dilemma Taiwan will confront looms in the decades ahead, when China, whose continued economic growth seems likely although not a sure thing, is far more powerful than it is today. Contemporary China does not possess significant military power; its military forces are inferior, and not by a small margin, to those of the United States. Beijing would be making a huge mistake to pick a fight with the American military nowadays. China, in other words, is constrained by the present global balance of power, which is clearly stacked in America’s favor.

China and Africa: the Zimbabwe file

Source Link

The Chinese link with Zimbabwe’s ruling party, Zanu-PF, goes back to 1963—as does, notably, China’s association with new president Emmerson Mnangagwa. For the first decade and a half, the connection was military, with the Chinese providing training and materiel in the fight against white rule. Mnangagwa was part of the first group of guerrillas sent by Robert Mugabe to a military academy in Nanjing. Yet the cynical and tactically agile Mugabe also ensured that independence in 1980 did not bring with it much reward for the Chinese. Speaking privately to a colleague (who happened to be a spy of apartheid South Africa), Mugabe described a celebratory state visit to China and North Korea as ‘a lot of bull’. It had been a necessary obligation, but the offer of aid by these allies was, in his view, just an attempt to establish a fifth column in Zimbabwe—a posse of ‘Marxists who will start a process of undermining’. If the relationship could be described as manipulative during the early years, it was Mugabe pulling the strings.

Daily Memo: Turkish Military Matters, US Energy Supplies

Is the U.S. preparing to bomb Iran? Australia, of all places, seems to think so. The Australian Broadcasting Corporation cited government officials as saying the U.S. was preparing to strike Iranian nuclear facilities as early as next month. Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull dismissed the reports, while the defense minister said Australia was unaware of any U.S. action. That said, the report is strange. Top U.S. officials wrapped up meetings with their Australian counterparts this past Tuesday without mentioning Iran. And it’s unclear why the Turnbull government would leak this story. From a purely strategic perspective, a U.S. strike on Iran makes little sense. It can’t destroy Iran’s nuclear program with tactical strikes, and tactical strikes are the only thing it’s in a position to conduct. An attack would only galvanize the Iranian people, who are otherwise upset with a government reeling from the dissolution of the nuclear deal. Strategic or not, though, some officials in the Trump administration such as National Security Adviser John Bolton have advocated military action in Iran for years. The bottom line is that it is unlikely that the U.S. is preparing to attack. If that changes, we’ll let you know.

Counterterrorism: Taking Down the Big Man

By Kevin Ivey

Disrupting terrorist networks is inherently difficult, and success is difficult to measure. Clandestine by nature, these groups generally hide their internal functions, institutions, and various chains of command. While a potentially vast cadre of fighters, sympathizers, and suppliers wait in the wings, the outside world only glimpses a few leaders, who often serve as figureheads for their organizations. With little else to go on, states often make targeting these leaders a key priority. From the Shining Path in Peru to ISIL in Syria and Iraq, security forces carry out operations to capture or kill mid- and upper-level leaders in the hopes that their absence will be the knockout blow necessary to defeat a terrorist organization. Recent attention has turned to ISIL leader Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi, who is rumored to be still alive. Intelligence gathering and planning is likely underway in multiple countries to capture or kill the man who continues to lead one of the world's deadliest terror groups. But is leadership decapitation, as this strategy is known, effective?

US is ‘outgunned’ in electronic warfare, says cyber commander

By: Mark Pomerleau

Two military leaders admitted at the TechNet Augusta conference this week that the United States is falling behind in its electronic warfare capability. “When it comes to electronic warfare, we are outgunned,” Maj. Gen. John Morrison, the commander of Fort Gordon and the Army Cyber Center of Excellence, said during a Tuesday presentation at the conference held in Augusta, Georgia. “We are plain outgunned by peer and near-peer competitors.” This sentiment was seconded by Lt. Gen. Paul Funk II, the commanding general of III Corps, who addressed the TechNet audience via video teleconference, adding that the U.S. is also outranged in EW.

Strategic Command will now oversee nuclear communications

By: Andrew C. Jarocki   
The communication system which keeps the president in touch with the nuclear triad during a crisis will now be the responsibility of the head of U.S. Strategic Command. The change came about from concerns that the nuclear command, control and communications systems, or NC3, lacked a clear chain of command under the current structure. The system is comprised of satellites, radars and fixed or mobile command posts. “The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff has appointed the commander of U.S. Strategic Command to be the NC3 enterprise lead, with increased responsibilities for operations, requirements, and systems engineering and integration,” a U.S. STRATCOM spokeswoman told SpaceNews.

Daily Memo: The Middle East Makes Waves, North Korea Walks Back, the US Talks Trade Truce

Threats to halt the flow of oil through Middle Eastern waterways are starting to feel more like promises. On Thursday, Saudi Arabia suspended oil shipments through part of the Red Sea after Houthi fighters attacked two tankers, one of which, they claim, was a Saudi warship. (The Houthis are Yemeni rebels that have fought, through the support of Iran, the Saudi-aligned government in the capital of Sanaa.) In coded language, Maj. Gen. Qassem Soleimani, head of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps’ Quds Force, appeared to confirm the attack, saying the presence of U.S. forces in the Red Sea is what led to the attacks. The same day, the U.S., Egypt and Gulf states began demining exercises in the Red Sea – these kinds of exercises would immediately be put to use in the event of an oil blockade.

Hundreds storm border fence into Spain's north Africa enclave of Ceuta

Sam Jones

About 800 people have tried to enter Europe by storming a border fence that separates Morocco from Spain’s north African enclave of Ceuta, according to Spanish police. The incident on Thursday morning followed renewed warnings about Spain’s ability to cope with the rising number of migrants and refugees who have been arriving on its southern coast. It also came just hours before the Spanish prime minister, Pedro Sánchez, was to meet the French president, Emmanuel Macron, to discuss the EU’s response to the migration crisis.

The View From Olympus: Paradigm Shifts

The Establishment’s hysterical reaction to President Trump’s successful summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin is driven not by outrage but by fear. The Establishment knows how to succeed in obtaining what it cares about, power and money, within the current paradigms. Those paradigms include America as the only real world power, before which all other nations must bow; an endless supply of money; Wilsonianism, i.e. forcing “democracy” down all other countries’ throats; and cultural Marxism, which seeks to put women over men, blacks over whites, and gays over straights (where they conflict, cultural Marxism takes precedence over democracy). But those paradigms are all beginning to shift. President Trump represents, at least in part, new paradigms which leave today’s Establishment irrelevant, isolated, and powerless. In response, the Establishment howls in fear and in hatred, especially hatred of a President who represents the heartland instead of the coastal elites.

How Russia Is Taking Over the Middle East, One Country at a Time

Chuck Freilich 

In recent years Russia has staged a comeback in the Mideast, big time, to the extent that it may replace the United States as the leading foreign power in the region. Russia's success has been a combination of both deft diplomacy as well as weapons and nuclear reactor sales to states throughout the region, from Iran to Morocco. The weakness of U.S. regional policy under the Obama administration, followed by the total chaos under Trump, have further contributed to Russia's success. Russian policy has been sophisticated, but has also benefited from the void left by the United States.

Henry Kissinger Pushed Trump to Work With Russia to Box In China

Henry Kissinger suggested to President Donald Trump that the United States should work with Russia to contain a rising China. The former secretary of state—who famously engineered the tactic of establishing diplomatic relations with China in order to isolate the Soviet Union—pitched almost the inverse of that idea to Trump during a series of private meetings during the presidential transition, five people familiar with the matter told The Daily Beast. The potential strategy would use closer relations with Russia, along with other countries in the region, to box in China’s growing power and influence.

How to Stop Losing the Information War


No one is in charge of messaging, counter-messaging, and coordinating America’s instruments of information power. Here’s a way to change that. Russia “is waging the most amazing information-warfare blitzkrieg in the history of information warfare,” Gen. Philip Breedlove told NATO leaders at their 2014 summit. There’s no evidence that Moscow’s efforts have since slackened—nor that the United States is institutionally equipped to develop an effective response. This was not always the case. During and just after the Cold War, the U.S. more than held its own in the sphere of information operations. And though the internet — and particularly social media — have greatly increased the speed and scale (and decreased the cost) of such operations, the experience of those years suggests a way to build and run an IO organization to lead them successfully.

How the U.S. is Preparing for a Quantum Future

By John Breeden II

For my previous column, I talked about the threat that future quantum computers pose for today’s government data, and how the United States is risking falling behind other countries in the development of quantum science. In turn, I received more comments via tweets, email and other social media platforms than with any other column I’ve written recently. This is clearly a topic that is on people’s minds, which is a good thing because we need to be aware of both the advantages of this emerging technology and also the potential pitfalls.

'Information' is playing outsize role in warfare

By: Mark Pomerleau 

More so now than ever, information is playing an outsize role in military capabilities and being rolled into conventional elements. In 21st century warfare, war is cognitive as much as it’s kinetic, Lt. Gen. Vincent Stewart, director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, told a small group of reporters in his office this week.  Top competitors, Stewart said, are organizing their forces in this new information space and have developed doctrine to fight and win in the information age. Russia views many facets of the information space — to include information operations, space/counterspace, cyber, cyber-enabled psychological operations and electronic warfare, to name a few — as critical to fighting and winning future conflicts, especially against the U.S., according to a recent and unclassified report on Russia’s military published by DIA.

Where do information operations fit in the DoD cyber enterprise?

By: Mark Pomerleau  
Events such as interference in the 2016 election are demonstrating how the internet has amplified the reach and impact of age-old military tactics such as information or influence operations. These new cyber-enabled information operations have many in the U.S. government and thought leadership community concerned both about the United States' ability to counter and coordinate similar activities, especially given the the Department of Defense divested a lot of its information-related capability at the conclusion of the Cold War. Many in Congress and in the academic community, as such, have called upon U.S. Cyber Command as the likely organization to orchestrate these types of activities.

Facebook and Google's race to connect the world is heating up


Big tech firms are battling to connect the half of the world's population who don't have internet access, but their solutions might not be best for the people that they're trying to help. For some villagers living in Mwandi District in rural Zambia, the only way to get online is to pay a visit to the MTN tree. Every day a constant stream of people stand under its branches, phones aloft, hoping to catch a data connection to the tree’s namesake, the telecoms company MTN Zambia. Dotted throughout Sub-Saharan Africa you’ll find countless similar landmarks. Sometimes it's a conveniently-placed rock that marks a place with a decent data connection. At other times getting online means queuing to walk up a termite mound. But with with only 22 per cent of people in Sub-Saharan Africa online, it remains a place where the internet isn’t within easy reach – it’s something that people have to actively hunt down, if they can afford a device in the first place.

The View From Olympus: The Real Cost of NATO

President Trump is right to raise the issue of Europe’s NATO members not spending enough on defense. For decades, those countries have been NATO’s welfare queens, expecting the U.S. to defend them when they have been entirely capable of defending themselves. They’ve had the ships, they’ve had the men, they’ve had the money, too. Since the 1960s they have also had their own nuclear umbrella in the form of France’s nuclear weapons. Quite apart from the American deterrent, the Soviet Union could not risk invading Western Europe because a nuclear exchange with France would have reduced the USSR to a tenth-rate power, unable to compete with America or even China. But why should Europe’s welfare queens go off the dole so long as America is dumb enough to keep paying the bill? President Trump is doing what earlier American presidents should have done but didn’t, mainly because the Washington Military-Industrial-Congressional complex feeds richly off the NATO game.

Cyber Conflict: The Evolution of Warfare

Reena Ninan

Panelists discuss the rise of cyberattacks over the past decade and how the development and dissemination of cyber weapons have changed the nature of modern geopolitical conflict. NINAN: Welcome everyone to “Cyber Conflict: The Evolution of Warfare.” I’m Reena Ninan, a CBS News anchor and correspondent. I’ll be moderating this panel with the illustrious Laura Galante who is a founder of Galante Strategies and a nonresident senior fellow for Cyber Statecraft Initiative, Atlantic Council, and Robert Knake who is a senior fellow here at the Council on Foreign Relations and a cybersecurity policy analyst.

Is that fair to say? Did I get that title right?

Defence companies target the cyber-security market

AIR shows are where the world’s defence giants show off. This year’s Farnborough Air Show, which ended on July 22nd, was no exception. The roar of the engines on Lockheed Martin’s F-35 stealth fighters overhead drowned out many a sales pitch on the ground. But pride of place at Raytheon’s display area went not to a weapon but to a “cyber dome”—a slick 3D cinema showing how hacking works. Its message was clear: governments and firms cannot afford to ignore cyber-attacks. Nor, indeed, can defence firms themselves.

Is America ready for Russian cyberattack on our election?


Of all the attention the recent Helsinki summit generated, one aspect has garnered scant coverage, but it has the ability to shake America and other democracies to their core. This problem is data manipulation. Defending himself in an interview with Chris Wallace, Russian President Vladimir Putin, said: “What was the problem? It concerned the hacking of a Democratic candidate’s email. Did this attack involve manipulation with facts? This is very important. I want the Americans to hear this. Did anyone manipulate with the facts or plant fake information? No.”

This Former British Spy Exposed the Russian Hackers


The Justice Department has charged 12 Russian officials with hacking the DNC. Matt Tait helped shine a light on their meddling in 2016. On Friday, July 13, the Justice Department charged 12 Russian military intelligence officials with hacking Democratic National Committee (DNC) email servers as well as leaking stolen documents to outlets such as WikiLeaks, in an effort to influence the 2016 presidential election. Among those least surprised by the charges was former British spy Matt Tait. I first met Tait in the fall of 2017, when he was in Washington, D.C., to be interviewed by Special Counsel Robert Mueller. The cheerful, lanky 29-year-old does not look or act like someone who is being carefully watched by both U.S. and Russian intelligence communities, nor like someone who has traveled the world as a consultant for technology companies and spent four years working at the U.K.’s top digital intelligence agency.

Rebuilding America’s Military: Thinking About the Future

Dakota Wood

America’s military—engaged beyond capacity and in need of rebuilding—is at a crucial juncture. Its current “big-leap” approach to preparing for future conflict carries great risk in searching for revolutionary capabilities through force-wide commitments to major single-solution programs. The Heritage Foundation’s Rebuilding America’s Military Project (RAMP) recommends that the U.S. military instead adopt an iterative, experimentation-heavy approach that can achieve revolutionary outcomes at less risk through evolutionary improvements that build on each other until transformative tipping points are reached. Critical to this is a military culture that is immersed in the study of war and a force of sufficient capacity to prepare for the future while also handling current operational commitments. 


Chris Telley and Scott Carpenter 

Army Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Milley announced the creation of an innovative Multi-Domain Task Force (MDTF) in 2017. According to the Army Chief, this new unit’s 1,500-plus troops and capabilities to create effects in space, cyber, maritime, air, and ground warfare—the assemblage of which is not found in any other brigade-sized element—are the key to contesting adversaries’ anti-access/area denial (A2/AD) systems. Currently, the MDTF’s primary role centers on “long-range artillery and air and missile defense capabilities,” which, in light of evolving A2/AD threats, will be crucial for the joint force’s ability to maneuver and fight.