8 August 2018

Independent India and the Secret UK-US Deal That Changed It All

Kannan Srinivasan

A sea change, with many long term consequences, took place in the US view of India between 1944 and 1947. By the 1940s, India had many friends in the US. Important members of President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s administration, including vice president Henry Wallace, secretary of state Cordell Hull, presidential assistant Lauchlin Currie and state department political adviser Wallace Murray, lobbied strongly for India, as did the conservative Republican Congresswoman Clare Boothe Luce. Roosevelt himself pressed Britain for Indian independence. Henry Wallace exposed British responsibility for the Bengal famine. Republican Congressman Karl E. Mundt worked with Democrats to pass US law (PL 267) that would enable the United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Agency to provide food assistance to India, though this was eventually prevented by the British refusal to allow it.

Looking back at the Simla Agreement and its failure to achieve peace


As India has passed another anniversary of the India-Pakistan Simla Agreement of July 2, 1972, fresh and fascinating insights into the assumptions, motivations and aims of the eventual head of Indian negotiators, P N Haksar, have been put into focus through Jairam Ramesh’s interesting book Intertwined Lives: P N Haksar and Indira Gandhi. Do they establish the charge that the opportunities created by what was won on the battlefield were squandered on the high table of diplomatic negotiations? As the Simla Agreement has acquired seminal importance in India-Pakistan relations, a sober and objective assessment in light of the material in Ramesh’s book would be timely, especially at a time India-Pakistan bilateral ties are deeply troubled. So, in the first place, what was won by the force of Indian arms, and consequently what were the opportunities that may have been frittered away by the diplomats and the political leadership?

Pakistan's Sham Election How the Army Chose Imran Khan

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.

Muzzling the media: How Pakistan’s army helped Khan win


Pakistan's cricketer-turned politician Imran Khan, who heads the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (Movement for Justice) party, addresses the nation at his residence in Islamabad a day after election. As the global media watched and covered the election in Pakistan, local journalists were denied entry to several polling stations despite having accreditation issued by the national Election Commission. “We have orders from the top not to allow media people at the polling station,” an army officer deployed at Mohni Road in Lahore said. Similarly, reporters were not allowed to enter polling stations in Lahore Cantonment. “Without a permission letter from Inter Services Public Relations [the military’s media arm], media people are not allowed to enter the Cantt area,” an army official deployed at an entry point in Lahore said.

Rules of the new game: Can India do business with an Imran Khan-led Pakistan?

Raj Chengappa

Every victor in a political election soon realises that once he or she occupies the seat of power, responsibility takes precedence over rhetoric. Imran Khan had to do that almost instantly. On the stump, he had mocked his arch-rival, Nawaz Sharif, for reaching out to Prime Minister Narendra Modi when he was in power, with the slogan -- "Modi ka jo yaar hai, woh gaddar hai" (He who is a friend of Modi is a traitor). A week later, when the election results showed that his party, the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), was in a position to form the government, Khans tone was more conciliatory, promising that if Modi took one step towards improving relations between the two countries, he would take two. When Modi graciously called Khan on July 30 to wish him well, they both hoped that they could begin a new innings together in India-Pakistan relations.

The Secret Ingredient to China’s Aggression? Sand

By Vince Beiser

One of the most dangerous confrontations between the United States and China is heating up. Warships are being deployed, bombers are taking wing and threats are being exchanged — all of it sparked by China’s growing mastery of the use of the world’s most overlooked natural resource: sand. The point of contention is a set of man-made islands China has built in a strategic and hotly disputed patch of the South China Sea. It’s one of the world’s busiest shipping routes, and home to some 10 percent of the world’s fish. What’s more, billions of barrels of oil and trillions of cubic feet of natural gas lie under the seafloor.


Ryan Gallagher

GOOGLE IS PLANNING to launch a censored version of its search engine in China that will blacklist websites and search terms about human rights, democracy, religion, and peaceful protest, The Intercept can reveal. The project – code-named Dragonfly – has been underway since spring of last year, and accelerated following a December 2017 meeting between Google’s CEO Sundar Pichai and a top Chinese government official, according to internal Google documents and people familiar with the plans. Teams of programmers and engineers at Google have created a custom Android app, different versions of which have been named “Maotai” and “Longfei.” The app has already been demonstrated to the Chinese government; the finalized version could be launched in the next six to nine months, pending approval from Chinese officials.

China's commander-in-chief orders his military to stop running kindergartens and figure out how to fight


Chinese President Xi Jinping ordered the Chinese military to clean up its act and to get out of the side businesses officers have been running for years, including running kindergartens and real estate projects. The directive is part of an effort to end military corruption that began three years ago. Xi is determined to build China's military into a world-class fighting force by the middle of this century, but many problems remain. Chinese President Xi Jinping has ordered the military to put an end to paid service activities once and for all and focus on combat readiness as the commander-in-chief attempts to build a world-class fighting force by mid-century.In an effort to fulfill a pledge first made three years ago, Xi instructed the armed services Tuesday to halt all commercial activities, such as "kindergarten education, publishing services, and real estate rentals," before the year's end, Bloomberg News reported Wednesday, citing China's state-run Xinhua News Agency.

Chinese media praise new air defense missiles

China’s media has been praising its next generation of air defense systems, with the state-owned military-industrial complex China Aerospace Science and Industry Corp taking the lead. Party mouthpieces have been bragging about the might of the central processing units, or CPUs, and the control systems being mounted on new anti-air missiles. “Metaphorically put, these control systems are all capable of guiding a needle to fly 1,000 kilometers to pierce the eye of another needle,” Wang Mengyi, the deputy head of the CASC Second Academy’s General Design Department, told the People’s Daily.

The US is at Risk of Losing a Trade War with China


The “best” outcome of President Donald Trump’s narrow focus on the US trade deficit with China would be improvement in the bilateral balance, matched by an increase of an equal amount in the deficit with some other country (or countries). In fact, significantly reducing the bilateral trade deficit will prove difficult. NEW YORK – What was at first a trade skirmish – with US President Donald Trump imposing tariffs on steel and aluminum – appears to be quickly morphing into a full-scale trade war with China. If the truce agreed by Europe and the US holds, the US will be doing battle mainly with China, rather than the world (of course, the trade conflict with Canada and Mexico will continue to simmer, given US demands that neither country can or should accept).

Why Chile Is Chasing Tech Over Copper

Chile will seek to diversify its economy away from a dependence on copper by becoming a technology hub in South America. Chile’s new visa system for technology workers and entrepreneurs will make the country more attractive to tech giants like Amazon, which are seeking to make large-scale investments. Large technology investments require massive upgrades to Chile’s power grid, but the country is likely to succeed in making such improvements in concert with other South American countries.

Daily Memo: Explosions in Venezuela, Protests in China, Updates in Iran, Borders in the UK

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro survived an assassination attempt over the weekend – or at least he claims he did. In his version of the story, two drones carrying C4, an explosive that is hard to come by in Venezuela, exploded prematurely on their way to kill him. The government has blamed the United States and Colombia for the attack, but both countries have denied any involvement. And in any case, a group called Soldados de Franela claimed responsibility for the attack on Twitter, saying it was just a matter of time until Maduro was brought down. The government is calling the event a terrorist attack and has begun to round up the usual suspects. More arrests are likely on the way. The thing is, it still isn’t clear exactly what happened. Some reports say it was the result of a malfunctioned military drone, while others suggest it was merely an explosion resulting from a gas leak. And the rumor mill is predictably churning out stories that Maduro is simply taking advantage of the crisis. That’s always a possibility, but it’s worth noting that the government’s response has been much more measured compared to the last time something like this happened. (Tanks were let loose on the streets of Caracas after a stolen helicopter was used to attack the Supreme Court.) Whatever the case may be, the important thing is to monitor how the Venezuelan military and the political opposition react. So far, it doesn’t look like much will come of anything.

Deterrence and its discontents

What might Sigmund Freud, the father of psychoanalysis, have found, had he lived long enough to study the 2018 US Nuclear Posture Review and its drafters? Anxiety about failure and death, fear of impotence, and an obsession with deterrence that obscures the ultimate question: “What is it that the United States wants in this world?” In this essay, the author uses psychoanalytic metaphors to explain why the United States does not currently have a long-term strategy for dealing with its most fundamental foreign policy challenges – and why it needs one, particularly as regards the global nuclear dilemma.

The Pentagon Condemns The State Of US Professional Military Education


Editor’s note: The Long March will be closed for inventory the month of August. We regret any inconvenience this causes our loyal customers. In an effort to keep you reasonably content and focussed, we are offering re-runs of some of the best columns of the year. We value your custom and hope you will stick around for . . . the Long March Longtime Long Marchers know that the lack of rigor in U.S. professional military education is one of my pet peeves. I fear that many officer students at the war colleges and the staff colleges can’t write, don’t read, and resent attempts to make them think. And the system encourages such hebetude. So I was impressed and pleased to see that the new national military strategy agrees. “PME has stagnated, focused more on the accomplishment of mandatory credit at the expense of lethality and ingenuity,” it states right there on page 8. (H/T to @exumam.)

Here’s the real reason the US must talk to Russia


Future historians may well identify Russian President Vladimir Putin’s landmark March 1 speech as the ultimate game-changer in the 21st-century New Great Game in Eurasia. The reason is minutely detailed in Losing Military Supremacy: The Myopia of American Strategic Planning, a new book by Russian military/naval analyst Andrei MartyanovMartyanov is uniquely equipped for the task. Born in Baku in the early 1960s, he was a naval officer in the USSR era up to 1990. He moved to the US in the mid-1990s and is now a lab director in an aerospace firm. He belongs to an extremely rarified group: top military/naval analysts specializing in US-Russia.

Turkey's Detention of Pastor Andrew Brunson Prompts U.S. Sanctions. What's At Stake?

The distance between Turkey and the United States has been growing as each pursues security and economic imperatives at the expense of the other. In our annual forecast, Stratfor mentioned that U.S. rival Russia would use its "deepening ties to widen Turkey's rifts with NATO and with the European Union," just one of many stressors taxing the U.S.-Turkey relationship.

What Happened?

On Aug. 1, the United States sanctioned two Turkish government ministers in response to what Washington views as the "unjust and unfair" detention of Andrew Brunson, an evangelical pastor who has lived and worked in Turkey for two decades. Turkey's government has promised to retaliate.

The Challenge of Bias in AI

By Matthew Bey

One of the most prominent topics at South by Southwest (SXSW) Interactive this year was Artificial Intelligence (AI), which has seen an explosion of interest over the last five years. A good AI application requires sifting through copious amounts of data in order for the AI platform to train itself and learn to recognize patterns. The challenge here, and one that several panels at SXSW focused on, was bias in data sets. When data sets are developed by humans, AI will mirror the biases of its creators. In 2015, for example, Google Photos auto-tagged several black people as gorillas because it lacked a database large enough for proper tagging. Other examples illuminate gender biases in machine learning.
Legal Implications of Discriminatory Algorithms

The Impact of Russia's Hybrid Warfare Strategy

As the Russia-West standoff heats up, the concept of hybrid warfare has emerged as a particularly relevant topic on the global stage. It’s also the focus of a new series of analysis on Stratfor Worldview. In this episode of the Stratfor Podcast, host Ben Sheen sits down with Senior Eurasia Analyst Eugene Chausovsky to explore the motivation behind Russia’s hybrid warfare strategy, which countries are impacted and what tool Russia can leverage against each of them.


Eugene Chausovsky [00:00:00] Hello, I'm Eugene Chausovsky, a Senior Eurasia Analyst at Stratfor, and this podcast is brought to you by Stratfor Worldview, the world's leading geo-political intelligence platform. Individual, team, and enterprise memberships are available at worldview.stratfor.com.

How Artificial Intelligence Can Help Employers Overcome the Demographic Crunch

Mark Hurd

Of all the challenges I face as a CEO, none is more critical than attracting and retaining talented people. The biggest obstacle isn’t organizational or economic—it’s demographic: Declining birth rates are starting to deplete the global labor pool. This problem is particularly acute in Japan, China, South Korea, and most of Western Europe, which have “sub-replacement” birth rates—that is, the number of children born is below the level needed to sustain population and ultimately employment levels. It’s also becoming a major concern in the United States, especially as the country’s declining high-school graduation rate and soaring college costs narrow the supply of highly skilled, highly technical people.

Pentagon’s Science Board Crams For Critical New Report

Source Link

WASHINGTON: The Pentagon’s Defense Science Board announced Friday it is holding a series of classified meetings in California next week to chew through issues the Pentagon might not see coming for its forthcoming “2018 Summer Study on Strategic Surprise” report. The study is slated to consider “what potential technological capabilities may not be sufficiently acted upon by the Department of Defense in the decade to come, that will lead to U.S. regrets in 2028,” according to a memo sent to the board by Under Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering Michael Griffin. Griffin and other Pentagon leaders have made no secret of their concerns over technological advances made by China and Russia in recent years in areas like ballistic missiles, undersea warfare, space, and electronic warfare, all made while the U.S. military was pouring hundreds of billions of dollars into fighting insurgents in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Trump and the crumbling of the US-led world order

Robert Kagan, Will Moreland, Thomas Wright, and Adrianna Pita

In this episode, Robert Kagan, author of the forthcoming “The Jungle Grows Back: America and Our Imperiled World,” and Thomas Wright, author of “All Measure Short of War: The Contest for the 21st Century and the Future of American Power,” discuss with guest host Will Moreland how the success of the post-World War II international order left it vulnerable to internal complacency and external pressure from authoritarian regimes. They explain how at the same time, Trump’s longstanding disdain for global commitments finally found audience with an American public who have forgotten why the U.S. originally engaged in the system of international alliances and institutions designed to defuse the great power conflicts that led to two world wars.


LIVING IN NEW York, one grows accustomed to building safeguards. Commuting via the subway, for instance, requires specific defensive measures. The MTA suffers from chronic delays, regular breakdowns, the occasional track fire, and serious overcrowding. One conventional escape for most passengers is the application of headphones. Listening to music or a podcast (the city is home to many a "super listener") for the duration of a trip helps to obstruct the surrounding clamor.

Air Force’s future ISR architecture could feature drone swarms and hypersonics — with AI underpinning it all

By: Valerie Insinna

POZNAN, Poland — The Air Force’s ambitious new ISR strategy calls for a sensing grid that fuses together data from legacy platforms like the RQ-4 Global Hawk, emerging technologies like swarming drones, other services' platforms and publicly available information. And deciphering all of that data will be artificial intelligence. Such a system may sound like something out of a sci-fi book, but the service believes it could be in service by 2028. In a July 31 interview, Lt. Gen. VeraLinn “Dash” Jamieson, the Air Force’s deputy chief of staff for ISR, explained the Air Force’s new “Next Generation ISR Dominance Flight Plan,” which lays out the service’s intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance goals for the next 10 years.

Myths of automation and their implications for military procurement

By Robert R. Hoffman, Nadine Sarter, Matthew Johnson, John K. Hawley

Several mythical beliefs surround military automation, including the belief that automation reduces manpower needs, that it requires less training for operators, and that it reduces errors. The unbridled enthusiasm for automation exhibited by some technologists – and, consequently, by some technology acquisition programs – extends to claims that computers will achieve and even surpass human-like reasoning capabilities. Such attitudes must be balanced by a recognition that automation’s reality rarely matches its promise. When automation is introduced, human operators must assume the additional tasks of monitoring and coordinating with the technology. When automation “takes over,” human operators – instead of having fewer things to do – have new things to do. Automation requires that operators be trained to high proficiency. Even the most well-intentioned systems trigger new problems, different kinds of problems, and unanticipated problems. Procurement processes for automated military technology could be improved by awareness of, and efforts to escape from, the mythical beliefs that surround military automation.

Army Futures Command: A Move in the Right Direction

Thomas Spoehr

In order to improve modernization outcomes, the U.S. Army has established a new major command—Army Futures Command (AFC)—with the stated purpose to better integrate and execute requirements and acquisition processes. Given the time and attention the Army is devoting to understanding the challenges that made AFC necessary and the resources being applied to this change, it is reasonable to expect it will be successful. In addition to the activation of this new organization, there are other areas that must be carefully managed in order to ensure positive outcomes. Of particular importance, the Army must deliberately create a career path that grows AFC leaders, lest there be a dearth of qualified leaders in the future.