21 October 2018

China’s real aim in 1962 was to cut Nehru down to size and neutralise India as a rival


The politico-strategic aim of the war was to ‘teach India a lesson’, and prevent it from challenging the Chinese borders and sovereignty over Tibet. War is not an act of senseless passion, but is controlled by political objective,” said military theorist Carl von Clausewitz. Chinese maps had started showing Aksai Chin and the North East Frontier Agency (NEFA) as part of China in the early 1950s. In 1954, India also issued new maps to show our boundary along the Kunlun Mountains in Ladakh and the McMahon Line in the east. Both sides began to ‘flag’ the frontier region as per their claims, with the Chinese preempting us in Aksai Chin, and India preempting them in NEFA.

India’s Agriculture: The Failure of the Success.

It was around the mid-1960s when the Paddock brothers, Paul and William, the ‘prophets of doom’, predicted that in another decade, recurring famines and an acute shortage of food grains would push India towards disaster. Stanford University Professor Paul R. Ehrlich in his 1968 best selling book The Population Bomb warned of the mass starvation of humans in the 1970s and 1980s in countries like India due to over population. Their prophecies were based on a rising shortage of food because of droughts, which forced India to import 10 million tonnes of grain in 1965-66 and a similar amount a year before. Little did they know that thanks to quick adoption of a new technology by Indian farmers, the country would more than double its annual wheat production from 11.28 million tonnes in 1962-63 to more than twice that within ten years to 24.99 million tonnes. It was 71.26 million tonnes in 2007. Similarly rice production also grew spectacularly from 34.48 million tonnes to almost 90 million tonnes in 2007.

S-400s don’t solve India’s geostrategic dilemma


The 2018 India-Russia summit may have turned out to be one for the ages. The stakes superficially centered on whether India would seal the acquisition of five S-400 missile defense systems from Russia for $5.43 billion. The deal was clinched immediately after Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Russian President Vladimir Putin finalized their get-together in New Delhi. Negotiations started in 2015. The S-400s will be delivered in 2020. So what’s next? Trump administration sanctions against India under the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA)?

If only such a geopolitical game-changer was that clear-cut.

Sustainable Development: Can ASEAN Lead The Process? – Analysis

ByKaewkamol Pitakdumrongkit*

ASEAN is planning to establish its Centre for Sustainable Development Studies and Dialogue (ACSDSD). Whether the Centre will provide ASEAN leadership in SD cooperation depends on the entity’s design. Southeast Asian policymakers should apply the lessons learned from ASEAN’s past experiences and practices to craft the Centre’s mandates and legal frameworks. Last week, the world’s financial leaders convened the annual IMF-World Bank meeting in Bali, Indonesia on 12-14 October 2018. On the sidelines, Southeast Asian leaders held an informal gathering among themselves a day earlier, on 11 October. While these meetings involved different players, one thing in common was discussions on sustainable development (SD).

US-China tensions soar as 'new cold war' heats up

by Julian Borger 

The US and China have shrugged off rules and constraints that have kept their 21st-century global rivalry in check, opening the way for an escalating conflict on many fronts that neither side appears willing or able to stop. Chinese officials have accused Washington of starting a new cold war, but the jostling between the two powers has already shown its potential to turn hot through accident or miscalculation, if action is not taken to defuse tensions. Within the past few weeks, as a trade war loomed between the two countries, US and Chinese warships came within yards of colliding in the South China Sea. And the FBI set a trap in Belgium for a senior Chinese intelligence official and had him extradited to the US, provoking fury in Beijing.



A week before Vice President Mike Pence accused China of election interference in a bellicose speech at the conservative Washington think tank the Hudson Institute, the same institute hosted an event where participants advocated for an end to the trade war between the Washington and Beijing. “We should focus not on the tariffs and tit-for-tat and this kind of narrative. We should think about how we can benefit and how we can keep the world in prosperity and have another four decades of continuous growth between the U.S. and China,” said Huiyao Wang, president of China’s Center for China and Globalization and an adviser to the Chinese government.

Russia’s Strategy, ISIS’ Future & Countering China: CJCS Dunford Speaks


Gen. Joe Dunford, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs Staff, spoke last week with a small group of traveling reporters after attending a conference of NATO Military Chiefs in Warsaw, including Breaking Defense contributor James Kitfield. Dunford described Russia’s strategy for pulling NATO apart and reiterated that Moscow poses the single greatest global threat to the UnIted States. Edited excerpts of that interview follow.

Q: How would you describe Moscow’s strategy?

China’s Moon Missions Could Threaten US Satellites: Pentagon


A satellite on the far side of the moon might not be quite what the Chinese say, Air Force official warns. China’s lunar probes may one day threaten critical U.S.satellites, said one of the military’s top experts on space threats. “We’ve seen [reports] in open press…that say the Chinese have a relay satellite flying around…the flipside of the moon. That’s very telling to us,” Jeff Gossel, the senior intelligence engineer in the Space and Missile Analysis Group at the Air Force’s National Air and Space Intelligence Center, said at an Air Force Association event on Friday. In May, China launched the Chang’e 4 lunar relay satellite on an unusual trajectory: a lunar swing-by that pulled the satellite in a wide arc before settling it into a “parking orbit” at Lagrangian 2 on the moon’s far side.

Decoding the Bombshell Story for China

Right or wrong, claims Beijing hacked computer chips has accelerated a push to cut out China from US supply chains. This article first appeared on The Interpreter, published by the Lowy Institute. The original publication can be found here.  It is near impossible to find any mention of the Chinese chip hacking story in Bloomberg Businessweek that does use the words “bombshell” or “explosive” to describe the piece. These descriptions have become cliché. But the cliché is actually fitting because even if the story unravels amid vehement denials, its impact will be far-reaching no matter what we learn about what actually occurred. Immediately after the story broke, debate erupted in the US information security community over what exactly happened. Some argued that Bloomberg’s story appeared deeply sourced, and the companies implicated have every incentive to stridently deny allegations that could cripple their reputation and upend supply chains.

Debt trap? Chinese loans and Africa’s development options

Djibouti's President Ismail Omar Guelleh, left, shakes hands with Chinese President Xi Jinping during the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation held at the Great Hall of the People on 3 September, 2018 in Beijing, China. 

US-China tensions soar as 'new cold war' heats up

by Julian Borger 

The US and China have shrugged off rules and constraints that have kept their 21st-century global rivalry in check, opening the way for an escalating conflict on many fronts that neither side appears willing or able to stop. Chinese officials have accused Washington of starting a new cold war, but the jostling between the two powers has already shown its potential to turn hot through accident or miscalculation, if action is not taken to defuse tensions. Within the past few weeks, as a trade war loomed between the two countries, US and Chinese warships came within yards of colliding in the South China Sea. And the FBI set a trap in Belgium for a senior Chinese intelligence official and had him extradited to the US, provoking fury in Beijing.



The relationship between major military allies the United States and Saudi Arabia has come under intense scrutiny as Turkey asserted that the kingdom was behind the disappearance of a prominent journalist last seen entering Riyadh's consulate in Istanbul. The U.S. has long invested in Saudi Arabia, viewing the conservative Sunni Muslim monarchy as a stable partner in the Middle East, and President Donald Trump has only consolidated his ties to Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, widely seen as the power broker at home. On Wednesday, Trump appeared to dismiss lawmakers' concerns about continuing to provide military assistance to Saudi Arabia, the leading international buyer for U.S. weapons, amid mounting evidence that media commentator and Washington Post contributor Jamal Khashoggi was killed within the consulate building.

After 2012 hack, Saudia Arabia relied on US contractors

By: Justin Lynch

Lawmakers are urging President Donald Trump to reconsider America’s relationship with Saudi Arabia following the Kingdom’s alleged role in the murder of a commentator, but the U.S. defense industry and the Saudi government have a tangled history on the topic of cybersecurity. Following a 2012 hack, the Middle Eastern country relied heavily on American and Western cybersecurity contractors, according to public records, former intelligence officials and experts. Financial details of the relationship between the Saudi government and American cybersecurity contractors are not public. But the Department of Commerce has approved more than $166 million in sales of controlled information security equipment and software to Saudi Arabia from 2012 to 2017, according to an analysis by Fifth Domain of documents that detail approved exports from the Bureau of Industry and Security’s commerce control list. According to the Department of Commerce, the items are controlled because they relate to encryption capabilities that are tied to information security.

Saudi Arabia: A Real Test for America!

It is a real test not only for President Trump, but also for America - Who are we really and what do we really stand for: real money vs. any moral value at all?

1. The incident

Below is an excerpt from the article cited above.

A prominent Saudi journalist who contributed to The Washington Post was killed in "a pre-planned murder" at the Saudi Arabia consulate in Istanbul, Turkish investigators told the Post.

In the Wake of Khashoggi’s Disappearance, Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Is Pushed to the Brink

By Dexter Filkins

It seems nearly certain now that Jamal Khashoggi, the Saudi journalist, died a slow and agonizing death, the kind that none of us could dare imagine for ourselves. It seems equally clear that Khashoggi, a Virginia resident and a columnist for the Washington Post, was murdered, probably on orders of the Saudi crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman. The latest evidence pointing to M.B.S.’s direct involvement is the identities of members of the team sent to Istanbul to kill Khashoggi: several of the individuals identified by Turkish officials were part of the Royal Guard, responsible for protecting senior members of the House of Saud. “They answer directly to M.B.S.,’’ Bruce Riedel, a former Middle East specialist for the C.I.A. and National Security Council, told me.

America's Failed State Wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, and Yemen: Still Less Than Half a Strategy

By Anthony H. Cordesman

The U.S. needs to make critical and time-sensitive decisions regarding the future of its wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, and Yemen – as well as in its broader struggle with terrorism and extremism, and its dealings with Iran. The U.S. is now trapped in four “failed state” wars where there are no clear prospects for lasting “victory” unless the current threats can be defeated at the military level and the host country can both develop forms of politics and governance that can create an enduring peace and also make enough progress in recovery and development to sustain peaceful stability. At this point, it is unclear that tactical victories against a current enemy can create a temporary peace in any given war. It is all too clear that any form of real and lasting peace requires “victory” at the civil level as well as the military one, and that such a victory has three critical components: political unity, effective governance, and economic progress. Economic progress must mean progress for all of the elements of a country’s population in order to provide a lasting incentive for unity and cooperation among the major factions.

Murder In The Middle East – Analysis

By Bruce Riedel*

The disappearance of Jamal Khashoggi in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul will have long-lasting implications for the region and especially for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The grisliness of the affair has already tarnished the reputation of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, or MBS, perhaps irredeemably. The Trump administration’s ambivalent response is a measure of the huge stakes at risk for Washington. A Saudi journalist who undertook self-imposed exile in Virginia in 2017, Khashoggi became an increasingly outspoken critic of the crown prince. In his last opinion piece before disappearing into the consulate, he lambasted MBS for starting the brutal Saudi war in Yemen which has put 20 million Yemenis at risk of malnutrition and disease, a quagmire costing Riyadh at least $50 billion a year. He compared the crown prince to Syrian President Bashar Assad and suggested Saudi Arabia lost its “dignity.” He pressed for the Saudis and allies to cease fire in Yemen immediately. Apparently, this was a bridge too far for the crown prince who knows the war is part of his ugly legacy.

World Bank’s optimism about declining global poverty is missing a crucial point

By Alf Gunvald Nilsen

The World Bank’s latest annual report on poverty and shared prosperity has an unsurprisingly positive message that only 10% of the world’s population lived in extreme poverty in 2015, which is the most recent year that available data allows for global poverty estimates to be made. As World Bank President Jim Yong Kim points out in the foreword to the report, this is “the lowest poverty rate in recorded history”. This is a story that we have become accustomed to hearing from the Bank, and other significant participants in the debate about poverty and development in the global South (Asia, Africa, and Latin America). But does the story actually hold true? For example, the World Bank measures extreme poverty in terms of the number of people who live on less than$1.90 a day. But is this in fact a meaningful measurement of poverty?

The Present and Future of Layered Missile Defense


In the face of expanding global threats to U.S. national security from North Korea and elsewhere, layered missile defense has become more important than ever. This vital capability requires that numerous cutting-edge technologies function together seamlessly to protect against catastrophe. And with the entire U.S. mainland in range of a potential intercontinental ballistic missile, there is precious little room for error.

The Department of Defense has a multi-pronged approach to this complex problem. Administered by the Missile Defense Agency, each layer of missile defense has unique capabilities and specific objectives designed for each type of threat, and these must be integrated to protect the homeland, partner nations, foreign military bases, and forward-deployed U.S. and allied forces.

Brexit: May hints UK could accept extended transition – as it happened

Rolling coverage of the day’s political developments as they happen, including Theresa May and Jeremy Corbyn at PMQs and the opening of the EU summit in Brussels Theresa May arrives at the EU summit in Brussels. I’m afraid we are bringing today’s Brexit excitement to an end. Thanks for following developments with us. We really appreciate your comments. These are the must-reads about Wednesday’s Brexit news:

Heather Stewart, Daniel Boffey and Jennifer Rankin report thatTheresa May has hinted that the UK could extend the Brexit transition period to allow more time for trade talks, but dismayed leaders at a crunch Brussels summit by failing to offer any new ideas to break the impasse over the Irish border.

When Will the Next War Erupt in the Middle East?

By Mohammed Ayoob

The signs are ominous—especially in Israel and its neighbours, Syria, Lebanon and Gaza. Violence, both actual and rhetorical, has been escalating on all three fronts. Gaza could become the immediate flash point as the Palestinians’ ‘March of Return’, which began on 30 March, intensifies and Israeli retaliation becomes increasingly lethal. On 28 September, 20,000 Palestinians marched to the Gaza–Israel border and seven of them were killed by Israeli bullets. Such confrontations are now becoming an almost daily occurrence. The march began as a civil-society movement born of the mounting economic and political frustrations over the Israeli blockade of the territory that has made life in Gaza ‘poor, nasty, brutish and short’.

When Terrorism and Organized Crime Meet

By Mark Shaw and Prem Mahadevan 

In this article, Mark Shaw and Prem Mahadevan highlight how terrorism and organized crime are increasingly indistinguishable. In response, they also argue that policymakers should direct their focus toward stabilizing insecure spaces in the West and developing world. Only by devoting more attention to the so-called violent entrepreneurs operating in these areas, beyond the reach of law enforcement, the authors contend, can we begin to leverage the diplomatic, developmental, economic and policing tools that will be necessary to confront this threat.

An AI Wake-Up Call From Ancient Greece


Those who warn about the potential dangers and unintended consequences of artificial intelligence and machine learning are right to invoke Pandora and her jar of miseries. In fact, the myth of Pandora is actually more appropriate than many realize, not for what it says about naive curiosity, but for what it tells us about humankind's relationship with technology. In discussions about the implications of artificial intelligence (AI), someone almost always evokes the ancient Greek myth of Pandora’s box. In the modern fairytale version of the story, Pandora is depicted as a tragically curious young woman who opens a sealed urn and inadvertently releases eternal misery on humankind. Like the genie that has escaped the bottle, the horse that has fled the barn, and the train that has left the station, the myth has become a cliché.

The Promise and Pitfalls of AI


The AI revolution will bring short-term pain before long-term gains. If that pain occurs against a backdrop of frustration with the unequal distribution of AI's benefits, it may trigger a backlash against technologies that could otherwise produce a virtuous cycle of higher productivity, income growth, and employment-boosting demand. Like any transformative trend, the rise of artificial intelligence (AI) poses both major opportunities and significant challenges. But the gravest risks may not be the ones most often discussed.

What is the Army’s integrated jamming and cyber pod capable of?

By: Mark Pomerleau
The rise of electronic warfare has meant the U.S. Army is increasingly facing contested, congested environments. One of the clearest examples is Russia’s incursion into Ukraine, where the Russians utilized sophisticated jamming techniques to block communications and geolocate units based upon their signature in the electromagnetic spectrum. As such, the Army has identified that it needs certain capabilities to compete, one being an aerial pod that can sense and jam enemy systems, providing brigades with additional tools to combat sophisticated enemies.

Here’s how industry is helping the Army on its new intelligence and electronic warfare platform

By: Mark Pomerleau   

The Terrestrial Layer System, TLS, is considered by some high ranking Army officials to be a critical capability. The system will provide a much-needed jamming capability that aims to restore electronic warfare capability back into units for one of the first times since the Cold War and aims to offset Russia’s highly sophisticated electronic warfare capabilities. Jerry Parker, senior vice president of C4ISR and electronic warfare at CACI, said Oct. 10 at the Association of the United States Army annual meeting that the company is using its Tactical RF Exploitation Vehicle (TRFE), which is funded through the Army, for work on the new system. Company leaders hope the Army’s program office and the requirements generators can figure out how to best use these capabilities.

Artificial Intelligence is Upon Us – Are We Ready?

Henry Kissinger

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is getting a lot of attention these days, particularly in the technology industry and in corporate boardrooms. AI is also becoming prevalent in consumers everyday lives. Consumers don’t always recognize it as such, as corporate marketing experts prefer to avoid technical jargon and instead use consumer friendly names like Siri and Alexa – but for people that are more technically inclined, the ubiquitous presence of AI is hard to miss. AI is not a new concept. In fact, its roots go back several decades. So why so much buzz now? Is this just another technology hype that is going to fade, or does it truly have the potential to bring about transformations, either good or bad, of epic proportions?

A Historical Perspective

The Military Decision-Making Process Is An Inflexible Mess. Here’s How To Fix It


Skilled leaders have discovered ways throughout history to take advantage of ambiguity. And it can counter the overdoses of established measures we use in military planning, by which I mean the Military Decision-Making Process (MDMP). The historian David Fraser described the ponderousness of operations as a major flaw in the British military during World War II: “There was demonstrated, in British actions, rigidity of mind and reluctance to change positions as swiftly and readily as situations demanded… great fussiness and over-elaboration of detail in orders.” Unfortunately, that’s a pretty good description of our MDMP. It shocks me that we still use this failing and critically flawed technique.

U.S. general says conditions for Islamist extremism still linger

Idrees Ali

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The United States’ top military officer said on Tuesday that little progress had been made in dealing with the underlying conditions that have given rise to armed Islamist militants, even as military gains have been made against groups like Islamic State in Iraq and Syria. FILE PHOTO: U.S. Joint Chiefs Chairman General Joseph Dunford attends a meeting of the National Space Council in the East Room of the White House in Washington, U.S., June 18, 2018. REUTERS/Leah Millis “Little progress has been made in addressing the underlying conditions that lead to violent extremism,” said Marine General Joseph Dunford, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. U.S.-backed forces and Iraqi militias liberated nearly all of the territory that Islamic State, also known as ISIS, once controlled in Iraq and Syria.

To Build Infantry for the Future, Look First to the Past

Edward G. Miller

“I remember thinking that it would be simpler, and more effective, to shoot [replacements] in the area where they detrucked, than to have to try to bring them back from where they would be killed and bury them.”

—Ernest Hemingway

Papa Hemingway made his observation about infantry replacements in a novel about WWII, but he was on point. Presumptions about the nature of future close combat may be correct—support from drones, or swarms of drones; battlefield 3D printing of spare parts; mechanical augmentation to improve strength and endurance; ruggedized mixed/virtual reality eyewear with real-time intelligence feeds, and so on. On the other hand, there is no reason to think that infantrymen will sustain a relatively fewer level of casualties in the future than in the past. As George Marshall said, “We expect too much of machines.”