14 October 2018

Modi sees India making a big contribution to ‘4th Industrial Revolution’

Sandeep Saxena

“India was not independent when the first and second industrial revolution happened.When the third one happened, India was struggling with challenges of just attained independence” Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday allayed fears of job loss due to technological development, saying the ‘4th Industrial Revolution’ will change the nature of jobs and provide more opportunities. He was speaking at the launch of the World Economic Forum (WEF) Centre for the Fourth Industrial Revolution. The government was open to policy changes to help reap benefits of the ‘4th Industrial Revolution’. “Our diversity, our demographic potential, fast-growing market size and digital infrastructure have the potential to make India a global hub of research and implementation,” he said.
'India's contribution will be astonishing'


By Tom O'Connor 

Chinese Xinjiang Military Command and Pakistani Khunjerab Security Force personnel discuss the China-Pakistan border situation during a joint border patrol in the mountainous Khunjerab Pass of northwest China’s Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region, on June 26. China and Pakistan have boosted security cooperation as Beijing invests in the One Belt, One Road initiative spanning Asia and beyond. China has reached a major deal to send military drones to Pakistan just days after Russia and India signed a multibillion-dollar arms sale in a display of defiance to the United States. The Pakistani air force's Sherdils Aerobatic Team first announced Sunday via social media that the state-run Pakistan Aeronautical Complex company and China's own government-owned Chengdu Aircraft Industry Group would "jointly produce 48 Wing Loong II UCAV," an unmanned combat aerial vehicle in service with the People's Liberation Army Air Force. The deal was carried Monday by The Global Times, the official organ of the ruling Communist Party of China.

Lessons From An Islamist Neighbourhood Of London In The 1990s: Why ‘Urban Naxals’ Are The Wrong Kind Of ‘Safety Valves’

by Pritam Banerjee

Justice Chandrachud’s reference to dissent as a form of safety valve in democracies is undoubtedly well meant and pertinent. But as any engineer would tell you, safety valves need to be well designed. Otherwise they can lead to all kinds of lethal accidents. To allow dissent without discernment is dangerous to the very fabric of civilian engagement and compromise that modern democracies embody. I am speaking from personal lived experience from late 1990s United Kingdom. Living as a student in London in 1999-2000, I found cheap lodgings with a Bangladeshi immigrant family in Bounds Green area of north London. This stretch of the city from around Finsbury Park northwards had a large immigrant population, South Asian, Turkish, and West African, which was predominantly Muslim. These were pre 9/11 days, and mosques, ‘social clubs’, and shops brazenly displayed poster exhorting the faithful to jihad, and the destruction of the infidel in Kashmir and Chechnya.

Pakistan’s new prime minister turns to the IMF

ON THE campaign trail, Imran Khan, Pakistan’s new prime minister, presented himself as the man to break the country’s addiction to hand-outs from the West. Whereas previous governments used to go begging to the IMF for funds, he said, his Pakistan Movement for Justice (PTI) would focus instead on recouping billions of dollars hidden from the taxman abroad. But after less than two months in office, Mr Khan reversed himself on October 8th. His finance minister announced that the government would, after all, be seeking a big loan from the IMF.

Blackwater Founder Meets With Afghan Powerbrokers, Aims to Privatize War

Hasib Danish Alikozai

The founder of the U.S.-based Blackwater security firm has been meeting with powerbrokers in Afghanistan to rally support for his plan to privatize the Afghan war. Erik Prince heads the private military company known as Academi, renamed in 2011. According to a report in The New York Times, Prince sent a letter to Afghan President Ashraf Ghani in 2017 to secure a meeting, but Ghani refused to meet with him. Prince, based in United Arab Emirates, has reportedly been holding regular meetings with influential Afghans, including some who have an eye on Ghani’s job as he faces reelection in less than a year.

Remodeling The Belt And Road: Pakistan Picks Up The Torch – Analysis

By James M. Dorsey

Preparing for his first visit to China as Pakistan’s prime minister, Imran Khan is insisting that the focus of the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), a US$60 billion plus crown jewel of the Belt and Road, shift from infrastructure to agriculture, job creation and foreign investment. “Earlier, the CPEC was only aimed at construction of motorways and highways, but now the prime minister decided that it will be used to support the agriculture sector, create more jobs and attract other foreign countries like Saudi Arabia to invest in the country,” said information minister Fawad Chaudhry.

Defusing the South China Sea Disputes

The CSIS Expert Working Group on the South China Sea brings together prominent experts on maritime law, international relations, and the marine environment from China, Southeast Asia, and beyond. The members seek consensus on realistic, actionable steps that claimants and interested parties could take to boost cooperation and manage tensions at sea. The group meets regularly to discuss issues that it considers necessary for the successful management of the South China Sea disputes and produces blueprints for a path forward on each.

ISIS’s New Plans to Get Rich and Wreak Havoc

Source Link

Although the Islamic State has lost nearly 98 percent of the territory it once controlled, the group is ripe for a comeback in Sunni-majority areas of Iraq and Syria. The main reason is its existing war chest, coupled with its skill at developing new streams of revenue. The Islamic State used to mostly rely on the territory it controlled, including cities and urban strongholds, to amass billions of dollars through extortion, taxation, robbery, and the sale of pilfered oil. But the group has proven that it is capable of making money even without controlling large population centers.

The Unknowable Fallout of China’s Trade War Nuclear Option

By Andrew Ross Sorkin

In the trade war between the United States and China, economists and investors have long tried to game out how both sides might use their clout. In virtually all the predictions, at least until recently, they revolved around a tit-for-tat tariff war. Even in the gloomiest of doomsday scenarios, there is one weapon that has long been considered unthinkable: the Chinese, the biggest holder of United States foreign debt with more than $1 trillion, publicly taking a step back from buying United States Treasuries — or worse, dumping what they own in the open market. The very idea is typically dismissed as a waste of time to even consider, and the reason is a sort of mutually assured destruction. It would be wildly irrational in economic terms, the thinking goes. China selling Treasuries would send interest rates up and hurt the United States, but it would simultaneously severely damage the value of China’s own Treasury holdings. As the industrialist J. Paul Getty famously said, “If you owe the bank $100, that’s your problem; if you owe the bank $100 million, that’s the bank’s problem.” In the United States-China relationship, China is very clearly the bank.

China is seeking a stable solution to its economic slowdown, not the quick fix of a stimulus package

Aidan Yao
Source Link

However, recent data, such as the manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index, has been unimpressive, suggesting more policy support is needed to relieve the pressure on growth. More economic stimulus measures can be expected, but Beijing is not about to revisit its policy of pumping money into the economy at the expense of long-term sustainability. This round of policy easing is likely be more cautiously managed and executed to minimise the side effects associated with a previous stimulus package. Already, there is some evidence of this. Watch: Jack Ma urges business leaders to help stop US-China trade war

China's Alleged Big Hack -- 'No There, There'

By David Craig

Responding to Bloomberg’s blockbuster story last week regarding China’s alleged implanting of microchips into the U.S. supply chain, National Security Agency official Rob Joyce says the NSA found “no there, there.” At a Wednesday event hosted by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and RealClearPolitics, Joyce was asked twice about the sensational Oct. 4 story headlined “The Big Hack: How China Used a Tiny Chip to Infiltrate U.S. Companies.” The piece asserted that in 2015 spyware in the form of tiny microchips was surreptitiously placed – apparently by the Chinese military -- on mother boards assembled in San Jose, Calif., for computer servers sold to American companies, including Amazon’s AWS and Apple Inc.

The China-Europe Disconnect

By Nicholas Olczak

Recent shifts around the world are currently offering a good opportunity for China and Europe to develop closer relations. However, as recent incidents in Sweden and Germany have shown, mutual misunderstanding between China and European states and the resultant mishandling of diplomacy could threaten to derail this potential advancement. The presidency of Donald Trump in the United States and the current, escalating “trade war” mean that China is increasingly looking toward Europe, something which is also the result of the continent’s position at the western end of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). At the same time, Trump’s actions have pushed some in Europe toward reassessing their traditional relationships. The BRI and China’s ongoing economic growth mean that it continues to offer considerable economic opportunities for European states at a time when the United States appears to be turning inward. 

Turkish Officials Say Khashoggi Was Killed on Order of Saudi Leadership

By David D. Kirkpatrick and Carlotta Gall
Source Link

ANKARA, Turkey — Top Turkish security officials have concluded that the Saudi dissident Jamal Khashoggi was assassinated in the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul on orders from the highest levels of the royal court, a senior official said Tuesday. The official described a quick and complex operation in which Mr. Khashoggi was killed within two hours of his arrival at the consulateby a team of Saudi agents, who dismembered his body with a bone saw they brought for the purpose.

“It is like ‘Pulp Fiction,’” the official said.

Iran's Imploding Strategy

by Jonathan Spyer

Originally published under the headline "The logic behind Iranian moves in the Middle East."
The effort by the US and its allies to contain and ultimately roll back the gains made by Iran in the region over the last half decade is currently taking shape, and is set to form the central strategic process in the Middle East in the period now opening up. New sanctions on the export of Iranian oil are due to be implemented from November 4. Israel’s campaign against Iranian entrenchment in Syria is the most important current file on the table of the defense establishment.

The Only Way Donald Trump Can Truly Put America First

by Douglas Macgregor

Intentionally or not, President Donald Trump filled many of his top national security and foreign-policy positions with Neo-Wilsonian, Bush-Obama era Liberal Interventionists; an action that became a source of endless frustration for the president. On issues ranging from preventing transgender people from serving in the armed forces to disengaging U.S. forces from Afghanistan and Syria , Trump’s own national-security team has actively obstructed the president’s defense- and foreign-policy agenda.


by Colin P. Clarke 

Although the Islamic State has lost nearly 98 percent of the territory it once controlled, the group is ripe for a comeback in Sunni-majority areas of Iraq and Syria. The main reason is its existing war chest, coupled with its skill at developing new streams of revenue. The Islamic State used to mostly rely on the territory it controlled, including cities and urban strongholds, to amass billions of dollars through extortion, taxation, robbery, and the sale of pilfered oil. But the group has proven that it is capable of making money even without controlling large population centers.

Egypt Goes on an Arms Spending Spree

Over the past five years, Egypt has drastically increased its arms imports, making it the third largest destination for weapons in the world. Military necessity does not adequately explain the major increase in arms purchases. Egypt has pursued the arms buildup to bolster regional influence and global prestige and to lessen its dependence on the United States. The buildup has come at a significant cost to military efficiency, because the types of weaponry differ widely throughout the armed forces. Ultimately, such expenditures are unsustainable due to Egypt's economic realities.

The Truth About the U.S. Military in Africa

The role of the U.S. military in Africa isn’t clear to anyone. And that will only hurt American interests. The U.S. military has been expanding its presence and operations in Africa over the past decade. In doing so, it has obscured the nature of its actions through ambiguous language and outright secrecy. It limits the amount of information available about the objectives of its operations, how those operations are carried out, the facilities it uses, and how it partners with governments in the region. At times, this has involved subverting democratic processes in partner countries, an approach that runs counter to years of diplomatic engagement ostensibly designed to strengthen governance institutions. 

How the United States Could Lose a War

Steven Metz

The U.S. military doesn’t spend much time thinking about how America could lose a war. Neither do America’s political leaders and security experts. Whether described in operational plans, strategic wargames or even fiction, the pattern mirrors the Civil War or World War II: Things are hairy at first and defeat even seems possible since an aggressor struck first, but then the United States gets serious, turns the tide and fights its way to victory. In the collective American memory, armed conflicts that have not followed this script—Vietnam, Korea—are largely forgotten or attributed to political ineptitude. Victory is still considered the norm.

Facebook, are you kidding?

Taylor Hatmaker

Facebook is making a video camera. The company wants you to take it home, gaze into its single roving-yet-unblinking eye and speak private thoughts to your loved ones into its many-eared panel. The thing is called Portal and it wants to live on your kitchen counter or in your living room or wherever else you’d like friends and family to remotely hang out with you. Portal adjusts to keep its subject in frame as they move around to enable casual at-home video chat. The device minimizes background noise to boost voice clarity. These tricks are neat but not revelatory. Sounds useful, though. Everyone you know is on Facebook. Or they were anyway… things are a bit different now. Facebook, champion of bad timing


Richard W. Gibson

We need to train a Space Mission Force. We need our space operators focused on what to do in case of a threat and to operate through the threat environment.

-- General John Hyten, April 2016

There is still much work needed for U.S. forces to not be hamstrung by the capabilities of peer and near-peer competitors. China over the last decade has become a peer adversary. Much of this change in status is due to its investment in emerging technologies, specifically huge strides in space launch and spacecraft capabilities. Of concern is emerging counter-space capabilities.

China has developed a counter-space strategy that involves creating a denied, degraded and disrupted space operations environment (D3SOE) against the U.S. government and military in future conflicts. China plans to employ its counter-space strategy through an Anti-Access/Area Denial environment (A2/AD) and the use of anti-satellite weapons (ASAT).

Breaking Encryption Hurts Our Defenses

By Justin Sherman

The so-called “Five Eyes” recently pledged to force “encryption backdoors” into private systems. As I just wrote for Real Clear Policy, this has serious humanitarian implications, but it would also seriously harm those countries’ own cyber defenses. Encryption backdoors operate on a relatively simple premise: The encryption keys used to keep information secret—which are usually only accessible to an end user, such as the recipient of a Signal message or the owner of an iPhone—are instead controlled by a third party, to access systems or data as desired. (Mashable has a great explainer here.) Right now, companies like Apple do not have access to their users’ encryption keys; they cannot quickly bypass user encryption as a result. The argument often made by national-level policymakers is that this impedes law enforcement investigations, usually in the case of national security or counter-terrorism, where it might be more convenient to access the key shielding information or a device from view than to find another way in. National governments around the world have therefore tried to access (or have likely accessed) caches of encryption keys for private systems. This could occur by (a) having the government itself hold those keys or (b) having the company retain the keys and then hand over data in certain situations. (Or, (c), requiring companies to store encryption keys and then stealing them quietly.)

An Algerian Military Purge as a Survival Strategy

The top ranks of the powerful Algerian military have been reshuffled at the direction of the army's chief of staff. The nature and timing of the purge suggest the military is working closely with the civil government to reduce the possibility that rogue generals will act to benefit their own interests at the expense of the government's. The president and the tight circle of elites around him are moving to minimize pushback, both from the public and other elites, as he prepares for another election run.


Steve Leonard 

In the mid-90s, the think tank circuit was abuzz with the concept of “revolutions in military affairs.” The central idea was that at key points in history, technological innovations with broad societal impact spurred subsequent revolutions in military capability. The advent of rail transport coupled with conscription enabled mass mobilization. The emergence of the telegraph allowed for near-simultaneous communication and the ability to closely coordinate and synchronize large military operations. Fusion of the internal combustion engine with mass-production led to the mechanization of warfare in the twentieth century. The invention of the integrated circuit chip heralded the digital age that fostered precision weaponry. As mankind approached Y2K, many of those same theorists were pondering the future: Where would the information take us?

The Army’s future tank may not be a tank

By: Jen Judson   

Brig. Gen. Ross Coffman, the Army's NGCV project lead, explains how the Army's eventual replacement for the Abrams tank might not even be a tank in the first place. WASHINGTON — The Army’s future tank may not be a tank, Brig. Gen. Ross Coffman, who is in charge of combat vehicle modernization, told Defense News in an interview at the Association of the U.S. Army’s annual show. While the M1 Abrams tank still has life in it yet, the Army is starting to begin the thinking and planning process for a future tank, “which is really exciting because it might not be a tank,” Coffman said. “It is decisive lethality and what that decisive lethality is will be determined by academia, our science and technology community within the Army and industry.” The Army will choose a path in 2023 on how it plans to replace the Abrams and some of the ideas cropping up in discussions have been “everything from a ray gun to a Star Wars-like four-legged creature that shoots lasers,” Coffman said, “but the reality is that everything is on the table.