23 October 2018

India’s Sleeping Tech Giants Are About to Awaken


Perhaps Walmart’s $16 billion acquisition of India’s online shopping leader Flipkart this summer was the last straw. Soon after the massive deal was signed, journalists got a look at a draft proposal for a new e-commerce policy from the central government. Suddenly India seemed prepared to follow China’s playbook: Measures that appeared to be copied straight from Beijing included closing loopholes permitting foreign ownership and requiring firms to store Indian consumer data in country and make it accessible to the government. All this and more, the proposal asserted, is needed to “level the playing field,” “encourage domestic innovation,” and give India’s tech companies an opportunity to flourish.

Opinion | A new process for peace in central India

Rohit Prasad

In his Nobel Memorial Prize lecture, entitled ‘War and Peace’, game theorist Robert Aumann emphasizes that characterizations of war as irrational may only serve to prolong conflict. Violent conflict has to be understood as a rational, albeit painful, response to certain incentives. He also demonstrates that peace can emerge, even with selfish parties involved, through a process of long-term interaction, provided the parties have a sufficiently low discount rate—they do not inordinately prioritize present gains over future benefits. He memorably writes, “If you want peace now, you may well never get peace. But if you have time—if you can wait … then you may get peace now.”

Infosys Built Its Global Machine With Indian Workers. Can It Adjust to Trump’s ‘Hire American’?

By Steve Lohr

When Infosys, a big Indian technology outsourcing company, opened a new office in Indianapolis this year, executives hailed it as a step along a new path. Infosys built itself into a global giant by running the digital engine rooms of American corporations with armies of engineers in India. But the new technology center — a sprawling open-plan space in a downtown office tower — is in the epicenter of the American Midwest. And its recruits are people like Keith Smith Jr., a graduate of Indiana University, who previously held a variety of jobs before Infosys trained him as a software engineer. Ravi Kumar, a president of Infosys, described the office as “a manifestation of what the future is going to look like.”

Saudi Investment in Pakistan Could Yield Global Returns

By Xander Snyder

Pakistan’s tenuous economic situation is opening the door to foreign competition in the country. Since Islamabad signed on with the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, the largest project in Beijing’s expansive Belt and Road Initiative, China has spent billions of dollars on the endeavor. And the financing comes with plenty of strings attached. Sri Lanka, for example, had to concede control of Hambantota port, another Belt and Road production, to a state-owned Chinese firm after failing to repay what it owed for the project. Though Pakistan hopes to avoid the same fate, doing so won’t be easy. To fend off downward pressure on its currency, the rupee – which has lost 15 percent of its value this year – Pakistan has had to dip into the foreign exchange reserves it needs to service its mounting obligations. The country, facing a balance of payments crisis, seemed to have no choice but to borrow even more money from Beijing or solicit yet another bailout (its 12th since the 1980s) from the International Monetary Fund.


Ajit Kumar Singh, S. Binodkumar Singh


INDIA: J&K: Political Fiasco 
Ajit Kumar Singh
Research Fellow, Institute for Conflict Management

On October 13, 2018, elections for the third of the four-phase Municipal Elections 2018, were held in 96 wards spread across the State of Jammu and Kashmir (J&K). The average polling percentage in this phase worked out to a sorry 16.4 per cent. Elections for the second phase on October 10, 2018, held across 263 wards, recorded an average of 31.3 per cent poling. On October 10, 2018, elections for the first phase were held across 321 wards, with 56.6 per cent of voters participating. The State average after the completion of the third phase of polls stands at 41.9 per cent.

The fourth phase of the polls are scheduled to be held on October 16, 2018. The date of counting is October 20, 2018.

A Sting Operation Lifts the Lid on Chinese Espionage

By Scott Stewart

China and others, such as Russia, will continue their attempts to acquire intelligence as they strive to achieve technological parity with the West. Because it is faster and cheaper to steal technology than develop it from scratch, Western companies, universities and other organizations will remain prime targets. Although the Chinese operative at the center of the latest case has been captured, the high stakes involved mean that the arrest will do little to curb the persistent threat of industrial espionage.

China Risks a Backlash to Secure a Western Buffer

In recent years, China has intensified its security crackdown on Uighur Muslims and other minority groups in Xinjiang as part of its efforts to control the strategic region, but the move has drawn international criticism. Now, the United States is weighing whether to impose human right sanctions as part of its campaign against China. International criticism is growing against China over its crackdown on Uighur Muslims and other minority groups in the western province of Xinjiang — and now there are rumblings that Washington could impose targeted sanctions against Beijing as peer competition grows. The White House reportedly is considering all its options to increase pressure on China, including sanctions on human rights grounds that could cause wider international ramifications.

Chinese Anti-Submarine Warfare: Aviation Platforms, Strategy, and Doctrine

By Rick Joe

This is the second piece in a two part article evaluating the anti-submarine warfare (ASW) capabilities of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN). The first piece documented the PLAN’s significant recent growth in capable ASW surface combatants, with many of those warships equipped with capable organic ASW sensor suites including variable depth sonar (VDS) and towed array sonar systems (TASS). Frigates (FFGs) and destroyers (DDGs) also have organic ASW weapons, such as vertically launched missile/rocket launched torpedo systems. This piece will consider the rotary and fixed wing ASW capabilities the PLAN currently has and their trajectory, as well as briefly describing some of the other specialized ASW assets that the PLAN is developing. Finally, all of the aforementioned systems and platforms will be brought together to consider what an overall PLAN ASW strategy may look like.

How China’s AI Technology Exports Are Seeding Surveillance Societies Globally

By Scott N. Romaniuk & Tobias Burgers

China has increasingly used its technological advances against its own people. Enabled by striking innovation in both the private and public spheres, it has gradually become the “perfect police state,” a “high-tech superpower” in-the-making, and a world leader in oppression. Authoritarian regimes have long tried to control their societies through surveillance, policing, and fear. China presents no exception to this. What is significant, however, is China’s application of new technologies to build an ever-growing, an ever-intruding surveillance state. To be sure, China has created a novel model of networked authoritarianism. Xinjiang in China’s far west has become a real-life experiment: An area where individual freedom, liberty, and security are absent, replaced by a state surveillance system that aims for near total control.

A First: China, EU Launch New Combined Military Exercise

By Zoe Stanley-Lockman

For the first time, as announced on October 16, European Union military forces have completed a combined exercise with the People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN). While European Union Naval Force (EU NAVFOR) interactions with the PLAN in the Gulf of Aden are not entirely new, this exercise indicates an unprecedented level of coordination between European and Chinese naval forces. Set in the current geopolitical context, this new development merits attention for activity not only in the Gulf of Aden, but also in the Mediterranean Sea.


DoD knows future terror groups will seek to copy ISIS, turn social media into a weapon

By: Tara Copp  

The Islamic State’s 2014 invasion of Iraq, military futurist Peter Singer writes, “was launched with a hashtag.”

#AllEyesOnISIS became a viral propaganda machine that inspired followers, generated bots and is credited in part with driving enough fear to lead thousands of U.S.-trained and equipped Iraqi forces to abandon their posts. The organization fed that fear and gained followers by broadcasting terrifying orange suit-black hood beheadings, terror attacks or the obscene cruelties awaiting anyone in their path.

Four years later, the coalition of nations that rose up against ISIS in Iraq and Syria sees conventional operations coming to a close, and ISIS' ability to manipulate social media has also been largely dismantled, said Chairman of the Joint Chiefs Marine Corps Gen. Joseph Dunford. Dunford spoke to reporters as he hosted defense chiefs from more than 80 nations at Andrews Air Force Base, Maryland, to discuss what needs to be done to keep other terror groups around the world from making a similar rise.

How a Journalist's Disappearance Could Affect U.S.-Saudi Ties

The Khashoggi affair is unlikely to cause a rupture between the United States and Saudi Arabia because of their deep and longstanding ties. While the United States could follow any number of courses of action, it is Congress, not the president, that will likely lead the way. Riyadh could retaliate against Washington in a variety of ways, but the United States will remain on the front foot in shaping the countries' relations following Khashoggi's disappearance. Just how far will the U.S.-Saudi fallout over the disappearance of journalist and dissident Jamal Khashoggi go? There is a lot at stake: The United States needs Saudi Arabia to balance oil markets, combat Iran, fight terrorism and purchase arms. Saudi Arabia, in turn, needs American weapons and defense cooperation, access to U.S. technology and investment, and U.S. protection against a resurgent Tehran. It all means that the geopolitical ties that bind Riyadh and Washington are likely to remain tight. But with congressional rhetoric hot and media outrage at a fever pitch, American repercussions against the kingdom are likely in some form — though the Saudis aren't devoid of their own courses of action either.

Crossing Borders: How the Migration Crisis Transformed Europe’s External Policy

Between 2014 and 2017, Europe saw its largest influx of migrants in decades, with 1.9 million arrivals to the continent (and thousands of lives lost at sea during the dangerous crossings of the Mediterranean Sea) and 3.6 million first-time asylum applicants across the 28 EU member states. The European Union and its member states have struggled to absorb this large influx of migrants and refugees and to manage the European Union’s external borders. As migration management has remained principally a national mandate, a delicate balance had to be found between the European Union and its member states to process asylum seekers, manage borders, and address the drivers of migration and instability in Europe’s neighborhood through policy and funding. This led to what is now called the “European migration crisis” of 2015 and 2016.



With the Saudi monarchy apparently still not prepared to tell the world what happened to Jamal Khashoggi during an interrogation in Turkey, America must act decisively and immediately to oppose authoritarian violence against journalists and critics. As our president assails news media as “enemies of the people,” Congress must step up to compel action in defense of human rights and a free press. Khashoggi—a legal permanent U.S. resident since 2008, and an outspoken critic of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s policies—was last seen October 2 entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul. He sought paperwork so he could marry his Turkish fiancée. He never emerged. On Wednesday, The Washington Post published his last column in which he wrote, “Arab governments have been given free rein to continue silencing the media at an increasing rate.”

How to Save Globalization

By Kenneth F. Scheve and Matthew J. Slaughter

We live in a time of protectionist backlash. U.S. President Donald Trump has started a trade war with China, upended the North American Free Trade Agreement, imposed tariffs on the United States’ closest allies, withdrawn from the Trans-Pacific Partnership, and talked endlessly about building a wall on the U.S.-Mexican border. But the backlash against globalization goes far beyond Trump himself. In fact, his presidency is more a symptom of it than its cause. Even as they may decry Trump’s particular methods, many voters and politicians in both parties approve of his objectives. 

By now, it is well known that this backlash followed a dramatic rise in inequality in the United States. Whether one looks at the percentage of income going to the highest earners (the top ten percent earn 47 percent of national income now, versus 34 percent in 1980), differences in income across educational groups (the premium that college-educated workers earn over high-school-educated workers nearly doubled over the same period), or stagnating real wage performance for many workers (the median real weekly wages for men working full time have not grown at all since 1980), the United States has become markedly more unequal over the past four decades. That period was also characterized by rapid globalization and technological change, which, as a large body of research demonstrates, helped increase inequality.

What Does Mattis’ Visit Reveal About US-Vietnam Defense Ties Under Trump?

By Prashanth Parameswaran

This week, U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis embarked on a visit to Vietnam. Though the headlines focused on the development itself, its significance should be understood in the broader context of U.S.-Vietnam defense ties, which have continued to deepen during the Trump administration despite lingering concerns.

As I have observed before in these pages, over the decades, U.S.-Vietnam defense cooperation has slowly grown to encompass areas including maritime security, humanitarian assistance and disaster relief, and peacekeeping. This realm of the relationship has deepened further across the board under the Trump administration, even amid some lingering concerns about wider aspects of the administration’s Asia policy and some challenges Vietnam has been facing in terms of its own domestic and foreign policy.

What Concerns Japan in the Pacific?

By Grant Wyeth

On a visit to New Zealand this week Japan’s foreign minister, Taro Kono, expressed his concerns — alongside New Zealand Foreign Minister Winston Peters — about the high levels of debt being accumulated by some Pacific Island states. While being careful not to mention China, Kono’s comments were clearly aimed at Beijing’s lending practices in the region. The fear is that some Pacific states are accumulating unsustainable debt burdens to China, which could make them beholden to Chinese interests. The 99-year lease that China now has on Sri Lanka’s Hambantota Port is seen as an example of what may be the consequences of these debts owed to Beijing. This is of obvious concern to Australia and New Zealand, which are in the process of adapting their Pacific strategies to accommodate increased regional engagement from China. But is also of significant interest to Japan, a country that remains a highly active actor in the region, and is wary of the shifts in the international order occurring due to China’s rise.

Europe’s Migration Maelstrom & Its Political Tides

CSIS Briefs

The Issue

Conflict, climate insecurity, and increasingly porous borders have pushed individuals to seek safety and better economic opportunities in Europe, and asylum seeker arrivals peaked in 2015. The European Union and its most impacted member states have struggled to absorb and integrate the largest influx of migrants to Europe since the 1990s. These arrivals have led to a crisis of resources and politics, triggering important shifts in the European Union's foreign policy and development assistance. A forthcoming CSIS report quantifies these shifts through budgetary analysis of the decisions taken at the EU and national level (in Germany, Sweden, and the Netherlands) since 2015 to tackle the crisis. It describes the long-term consequences for the European Union's resources, its role as a foreign policy and soft power actor, and its internal cohesion. But it is not simply a story of funding and borders; it is a story of deepening fissures between Europe’s north and south, and east and west, while unleashing fear-based and xenophobic forces that have been effectively channeled by charismatic political figures. The decisions that European policymakers are taking have altered the European Union's policies, unintendedly altering long-standing European principles and values.

Rebuilding Strategic Thinking

Churchill is said to have commented after a particularly undistinguished meal: “The pudding [that’s dessert for us Americans] lacked a theme.” This is also true of the world before us today. If that world is less existentially dangerous than the height of the Cold War, it is scary in its shapelessness. Threats seem to emanate from everywhere, unpredictably, even at a luncheon in San Bernardino or a nightclub in Orlando. It is a world that cries out for old-fashioned strategic analysis as an input to strategy: What is important, what is less so? How do issues connect or relate to each other, and where are the trends taking us? Where and how should we intervene, and where should we disengage? What are the important investments to make? What should we be aiming for a decade hence?

Differences Between AI and Machine Learning and Why it Matters

This past week, while exploring the most recent press on artificial intelligence, I stumbled upon an organization that professed to utilize “AI and machine learning” to gather and examine thousands of users’ data to enhance the user experience in versatile mobile applications. Around the same time, I read about another organization that anticipated customer behavior using “a blend of machine learning and AI” along “AI-powered forecasting analytics.” (I will abstain from naming the organizations in order to not disgrace them, since I somewhat “trust” their SaaS may tackle genuine issues, regardless of whether they are advertising their products deceptively.)

Eisenhower On ‘Leading From Within’ And The Art Of Collaborative Leadership


Being the middle brother was a special burden, or blessing, as the case may be. Young Ike. did not carry the expectations or enjoy the deference of being the eldest. He did not carry any of the usual insecurities of being the youngest. Yet being in the middle, he could, if he tried, empathize with both. His younger brothers looked up to him. His older brothers expected him to follow, and they protected him. Describing a schoolboy fight, Eisenhower noted that: … it took me some years to learn that pounding from an opponent is not to be dreaded as much as constantly living in fear of another.… Not that I didn’t need allies, even then. On my first day of school, Arthur kept an eye on me as I explored the playground. It was not long before a bigger boy, one who seemed to me almost as big as my father, began to chase me… Arthur was as big as my tormentor and after this fellow had chased me around the play yard for what seemed an interminable time, Arthur stepped in and said: ‘That’ll be enough of that. Let him alone.’


Peter Pry 

In 2008, the statutory Commission to Assess the Threat to the United States from Electromagnetic Pulse (EMP) Attack delivered over 100 recommendations to Congress to protect the national electric grid and other life-sustaining critical infrastructures — including communications, transportation, energy, business and finance, food and water. We were hopeful the job would get done. Following an EMP attack, 326 million Americans could not long survive bereft of the electronic civilization that sustains their lives. EMP would be a civilization killer. The EMP commission reports are “good news,” because they prove there is no excuse for the nation to be vulnerable. Electric grids and other life-sustaining critical infrastructures can be protected — affordably. For example, the 2008 report estimates that the electric grid’s bulk-power system can be hardened to survive for a few billion dollars. So, in 2008, when the EMP Commission delivered what we thought then was our final report to Congress, we were hopeful America soon would be protected. 

Here’s when industry can expect to hear more on the Army’s tactical cloud

By: Mark Pomerleau
Source Link

The Army plans to respond to more than 70 proposals from industry on how to best take advantage of the tactical cloud before the end of the year. As part of the service’s efforts to modernize its tactical communications and network, the program office and the network cross functional team hosted an industry day in August in Raleigh, North Carolina. Army leaders discussed how to tell industry about the service’s goals and to learn more about what industry can offer. The Army is setting its sights on tactical cloud computing as it continues to modernize its network.

Army officials described the industry day as market research, noting that contracts might not come out of it.

‘A Perfect Harmony Of Intense Violence’: Army Chief Milley On Future War


M1 tank at the National Training Center in Fort Irwin, California.

AUSA: How will the US fight the next war? Today, the Army’s top general declared that the military means “to shift from battles of attrition to battles of cognition, where we think, direct, and act at speeds the enemy cannot match in order to achieve a perfect harmony of intense violence.” The goal is to combine US forces on land, sea, air, space, and cyberspace in a seamless multi-domain operation, assailing the enemy from all sides at once until they’re overwhelmed.

The Army Chief of Staff, Gen. Mark Milley, checks out a cyber/electronic warfare unit at the National Training Center.

The Weaponization of Airspace

By Roncevert Ganan Almond

On September 25, 2018, U.S. President Donald J. Trump addressed the 73rd session of the United Nations General Assembly. Standing before arguably the world’s most representative international body, Trump rejected the “ideology of globalism” and offered the alternative “doctrine of patriotism” wherein “responsible nations” must defend against “threats to sovereignty” from “global governance” and other “new forms of coercion and domination.” Despite laughter from world leaders, Trump spoke without irony. In fact, the president’s call for a muscular nationalism – drawing on the “powerful love for your nation” and “intense loyalty to your homeland” – has found an audience. The argument for individualized homelands has a long history, of course. But Trump’s sovereignty mission goes even further, demanding the fencing-off of international relations and a devolution of global politics. In this regard, the United States is becoming the first among equals in revisionist powers.