9 December 2018

Nobel-winner Paul Krugman warns India story could end with mass unemployment

Krugman said India's growth story was incredible but it never got the attention it deserved because China hogged the world's attention.

"There is this concept called artificial intelligence that you should be wary of. In future, while diagnosis may be outsourced to a doctor in India, it could also go to a firm based on artificial intelligence. Things like this could be a cause for worry for Indian services sector," Krugman said while speaking at a News 18 event.

"Japan is no longer a superpower because its working-age population declined, and China is looking the same. In Asia, India could take the lead but only if it also develops its manufacturing sector, not only the services one,” he said.

America's War in Afghanistan Is Now About Only One Thing: Pride

by Jerrod A. Laber

Washington must face its failures and bring the conflict to a close.

In an interview with the Washington Post on November 27, President Trump reiterated his personal skepticism of the continuing American military presence in Afghanistan. He said the only reason for this status quo policy was because “virtually every expert” told him the United States needed to keep fighting there, otherwise they will be fighting here.

This deference to the Pentagon and military experts didn’t begin with Trump, as presidential candidates since 9/11 have always defended their foreign policy prescriptions by insisting they would listen to the counsel of the military brass. Trump alarmed many Washington insiders during his campaign for his seeming willingness to reject the advice of experts on most topics, but the foreign policy establishment has been successful thus far in containing his more unconventional instincts.

Afghan Taliban’s Continued Symbiotic Relationship With Al Qaeda And International Terrorism – Analysis

By Tamim Asey

In a recent peace conference in Moscow, Taliban representatives from their office in Qatar sat in front of the Russian media cameras and gave interview to a select number of Russian women journalists. It was a message of change as compared to their brutal regime and their repressive policies towards Afghan women. The move was calculated and strategic; it was to send a message to the world that they have changed and no more a threat to regional and global security. Question is have they really changed and cut ties with Al Qaeda and its allies? Are they really different after almost two decades of fighting? Has the Taliban movement been fundamentally transformed or they have just become really good politicians i.e. pretenders and sugarcoating themselves into a new role only to change later on once they assume power.

The America hawks circling Beijing

The epiphany that inspired Wang Xiangsui’s best known book came when he was a 41-year-old colonel in China’s air force, posted near the Taiwan strait.

It was March 1996 and the People’s Liberation Army had launched military exercises intended to intimidate Taiwanese voters ahead of their self-ruled island’s first presidential election. The Chinese government feared that Lee Teng-hui, the incumbent and eventual winner of the election, was determined to formalise Taiwan’s de facto independence.

As the crisis escalated, Mr Wang felt that Mr Lee was more worried about the exercises’ effect on Taiwan’s stock market than he was about the PLA missiles splashing down in the island’s territorial waters. If falling share prices made people feel poorer, Mr Wang reckoned, they might be less inclined to vote for Mr Lee.

The coming cyberwar: China may already be monitoring your electronic communications


“Sometime they’ll give a war and nobody will come.”

In Carl Sandburg’s epic book-length poem “The People, Yes” from 1936, one of the best-known antiwar slogans was born. It highlighted the isolationist stance the United States kept prior to World War II.

Then we were at war. From Pearl Harbor and the Battle of Guadalcanal in the Pacific, to D-Day and Operation Market Garden in Europe, America’s soldiers, sailors, and airmen battled for freedom around the world, supported by the ferocious war machine back home.

But, today, what if China and Russia declared war upon us and we forgot to show up?

What the US wants from China during the 90-day trade war truce

Finbarr Bermingham

With the US and China facing a 90-day deadline to resolve their differences over trade, we look at some of the areas where Washington will be looking for concessions and its chances of getting what it wants.

Forced technology transfer

China has officially denied that it forces foreign companies to hand over technology as a condition of doing business in the country – a long-standing complaint from the US and other countries.

In October Commerce Minister Zhong Shan said: “I want to emphasise that China’s laws and regulations do not contain any requirement for technology transfer and that companies’ purchases of technologies and patents are pure market behaviour.”

This makes it unlikely that China will openly commit to reforms in this area, which means any movement on this is likely to happen behind the scenes.

US-China Defense Dialogue Dashes Hopes For Progress In South China Sea – Analysis

By Mark J. Valencia

The long anticipated Second US-China Diplomatic and Security Dialogue has come and gone and there with no apparent progress on any of the wicked issues – especially their confrontation in the South China Sea. Sharp policy differences and high tensions remain with no apparently agreed risk reduction measures in place.

The 9 November meeting in Washington was between delegations led by Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo and Secretary of Defense James Mattis for the U.S. and Politburo Member Yang Jiechi and Defense Minster Wei Fenghe for China. Their meeting had been postponed, reportedly due to rising tensions between their militaries. Indeed, some question why the meeting took place at all– especially in Washington.

Trump and Xi: From Ceasefire to Lasting Deal?

On December 1, President Donald Trump and President Xi Jinping met at the G20 Leaders’ Summit in Argentina following months of rising tensions and tit-for-tat tariff retaliation between the United States and China. What resulted from the meeting can best be described as a ceasefire: President Xi agreed to purchase “a very substantial” amount of U.S. products to reduce China’s trade surplus with the United States, and President Trump agreed to a temporary pause on any tariff increases. The two countries intend to use this window to negotiate structural changes in China, aiming for completion “within the next 90 days.” However, observers should not expect a quick resolution to issues that have built up over decades.

Q1: What specifically did the two leaders agree?

Japan woos Russia for its own security

James D. J. Brown

Valery Gerasimov, chief of the general staff of Russia's armed forces, is visiting Japan this week, in a trip that will raise eyebrows in the U.S. and western European capitals.

For Gerasimov is none other than the controversial creator of the "Gerasimov doctrine," an expanded theory of modern warfare that includes the deployment of information tools and is widely thought to have guided Russia's interference in the 2016 in the U.S. presidential election. In Washington he would be close to persona non grata. In the European Union meanwhile, Gerasimov is subject to sanctions for his role in Moscow's violent intervention in Ukraine. 

But for Tokyo, the Dec.11-13 visit of Russia's top uniformed officer is entirely consistent with Japan's broader Russia policy. Following the 2014 annexation of Crimea, Japan followed Group of Seven partners in introducing sanctions. However, in contrast with Western measures, the Japanese sanctions are merely symbolic and designed to have no meaningful impact. For instance, while Japan imposed visa bans on 23 Russian individuals, the names were never released.



The U.S. may be headed down a similar path in Syria as it was in the lead-up to the Iraq War in 2003, a conflict that vastly changed the dynamics of the region and entrenched the Pentagon in the country to this day.

In a press briefing following a meeting of the so-called United Nations "small group" on Syria—the U.S., Egypt, France, Germany, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, and the United Kingdom— U.S. special envoy James Jeffrey outlined what many had criticized as a vague approach to Washington's true goals in the conflict. Since 2015, the U.S. has led a coalition tasked with bombing the Islamic State militant group (ISIS), but officials have said they did not plan on removing the military until forces allegedly under Iranian control were withdrawn and Syrian President Bashar al-Assad was ousted.

The Saudi Dilemma: To Cut Or Not To Cut – Analysis

By Irina Slav

To cut and push up prices or not to cut and preserve market share, this is the question that Saudi Arabia is facing ahead of this year’s December OPEC meeting. It seems like just yesterday when OPEC met in 2016 and decided to cut production by 1.8 million barrels daily, including from Russia, to reverse the free fall of oil prices. At the time, it worked because everyone was desperate. Now, many OPEC members are both desperate while not yet recovered from the 2014 blow. Saudi Arabia is not an exception.

A recent report from Capital Economics said Saudi Arabia has its problems but it could withstand lower oil prices without feeling too much of a pinch. “Even if [Brent] prices fall further to $40-$50 a barrel, immediate balance of payments strains are unlikely to emerge,” the report said, with its authors adding the Kingdom would be able to finance its trade deficit from its foreign exchange reserves “for at least a decade.”

Avoiding A World War Web: The Paris Call for Trust and Security in Cyberspace

By Arthur P.B. Laudrain

On Nov. 11 at 11:00 a.m., more than 70 world leaders walked towards the Arc de Triomphe in Paris to commemorate the centenary of the end of the First World War and to honor the 19 million people who lost their lives in it. French President Emmanuel Macron delivered a charged speech denouncing nationalism and urging all leaders to pursue peace through multilateralism. On November 12th 2018 at the Internet Governance Forum, Macron unveiled France’s first international initiative to that end, the “Paris Call for Trust and Security in Cyberspace.”

Potential Norms for Cyberspace are Fragmented

The Paris Call is not the first of its kind. In April 2018, Microsoft launched its “Digital Peace” campaign along with a “Cybersecurity Tech Accord” aimed at getting the internet and the technology industry to better protect their customers’ privacy and security against cyberattacks. Similarly, Siemens unveiled in May 2018 a “Charter of Trust” that seeks to develop adherence to security principles and processes, with the aim of developing a “global standard” for cybersecurity.

Japan's Subtle China Strategy on Display

By Daniel Hurst

At the latest round of ASEAN summitry, Abe emphasized rapprochement with China even while raising criticisms. 

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe performed a delicate balancing act regarding China as he attended a series of regional summits this month.

Abe noted repeatedly that during his recent trip to China – the first such official visit in seven years – both sides had agreed to play a constructive role for peace and prosperity of the international community. That did not prevent Abe from raising concerns in a number of key areas.

In Singapore, at a meeting of ASEAN Plus Three on November 15, Abe delivered a pointed message with China apparently in mind when he warned that “substandard infrastructure investments” that fall short of international standards “could compromise sustainable prosperity of the region.” That forum brings members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations together with Japan, China, and South Korea. Abe, according to a Japanese government readout, noted that Tokyo would “promote the development of quality infrastructure that ensures openness, transparency, economic efficiency in view of life-cycle cost, and fiscal soundness including debt sustainability of the recipient countries.”

North Korea, US 'Left of Launch' Cyber Capabilities, and Deterrence

By Ankit Panda

U.S. “left of launch” cyber capabilities may have unexpected and undesirable consequences on crisis stability.

North Korea today is a de facto nuclear state. The diplomatic process that has been running throughout 2018 between North Korea and the United States has, with the exception of a few cosmetic steps, revealed a pathway to Pyongyang’s disarmament.

If North Korea’s disarmament remains a possibility, it is not a realistic one in the short-term. What is, however, real in the short-term is the nature of the threat posed by Pyongyang’s nuclear arsenal to the United States and its Northeast Asian allies.

Fortunately, the basic logic of deterrence that has prevailed with North Korea since the 1953 armistice to end the Cold War remains largely in place. Pyongyang understands that nuclear employment in a conflict would be costly and possibly trigger the very regime change its nuclear weapons were designed to prevent.

A Standing Army for the EU?


French President Emmanuel Macron reviews an honor guard at the French Navy base in Toulon, January 19, 2018. (Claude Paris/Pool/via Reuters)Emmanuel Macron envisions a military force that would fight for peace and against ignorance and climate change.

With German chancellor Angela Merkel yielding her grip on the reins of European leadership, French president Emmanuel Macron knows his moment has come and aims to take advantage of it. Two recent interventions by the French president illustrate his desire to further the European project of “more Union.” The one that has received much positive notice was the speech he gave in Paris on the centenary of Armistice Day, in which he portrayed nationalism as “a betrayal” of patriotism. The nationalist says “our interests first and who cares about the rest!” And there goes the European neighborhood, because to the extent that we can love our own country, it must be on the basis of its “moral values.” But those are universal, shared, a self-fulfilling project of values, according to Macron.

These 5 Numbers Explain Why the French Are in the Streets

By Liz Alderman

PARIS — President Emmanuel Macron of France is facing the toughest crisis of his leadership after three weeks of violent protestsacross the country. “Yellow Vest” demonstrators have demanded that the government give financial relief to large parts of the population that are struggling to make ends meet.

Prime Minister Edouard Philippe sought to calm the furor on Tuesday by suspending a planned fuel tax increase for six months, reversing a policy that had set off the revolt.

But it’s not apparent that this single concession can clear the streets.

The Yellow Vest movement — whose followers wear or display high-visibility vests used in emergencies — has morphed into a collective outcry over deeper problems that have plagued France for years: declining living standards and eroding purchasing power. Both of which have worsened in the aftermath of Europe’s long-running financial crisis.

Three Trump Lieutenants, Three Different Approaches to Mueller


The fateful decision to work for Donald Trump years ago has put a lot of people in the position of making much harder legal decisions. As Special Counsel Robert Mueller, as well as prosecutors in New York and investigators from the House and Senate, zero in on the president himself, they’ve swept up a series of his lieutenants in what’s been called “a classic Gambino-style roll-up”: Go after aides, then get them to hand over information.

Denouements in three of the most high-profile cases are expected this week. On Tuesday, Mueller’s team is expected to file a sentencing memo for Michael Flynn, the former national-security adviser. Memos on Michael Cohen, Trump’s former fixer, and Paul Manafort, who ran Trump’s campaign during the summer of 2016, are also expected this week, though the Manafort memo could be under seal. All three men came to Trump via different paths. Cohen was a true believer, an admirer who became a loyal attack dog for Trump’s business interests. Flynn was an ideologue who found common cause with Trump’s anti-Muslim rhetoric and critique of Barack Obama. Manafort was the consummate mercenary, a washed-up operative looking for a return to glory.


Gary Anderson

The United States is actively involved in two hybrid conflicts (ISIS in Syria and Iraq) and is supporting the Ukraine against hybrid threats from Russia. That said, America lacks a formal doctrine for dealing with such conflicts or even an agreed-on doctrinal definition of what they are. This article is an attempt to begin a serious discussion of a doctrinal approach to counter attempts by other state actors to use kinetic hybrid techniques to further state interests in ways harmful to us. The Hybrid Center of Excellence in Finland is a good start to begin examining cooperative approaches to countering hybrid threats, but the United State will likely play a key role when a NATO ally or a partner with which we have a bilateral security agreement comes under a hybrid attack.

The Rhetoric And Reality Of Trump Administration And Transatlantic Relationship – Analysis

By Zachary Selden*

(FPRI) — Headlines such as “Trump calls NATO obsolete,” “Trump bashes allies,” and “Trump says Putin meeting easiest” fuel speculation that the U.S. is on the verge of abandoning its traditional allies in Europe in favor of an improved relationship with Russia.[1] Of course, President Donald Trump’s own inflammatory comments are the source of much of this speculation, particularly his solicitousness towards Vladimir Putin at the Helsinki Summit that sparked outrage among even his Republican allies for his acceptance of Putin’s denial of Russian interference in U.S. elections. Yet, the actions of the current administration speak to a very different reality. Rather than weakening, the U.S. military commitment to Europe has actually increased during Trump’s presidency in ways that send direct signals to Russia and limit potential Russian involvement in Europe. What accounts for this disparity between rhetoric and action?

Enjoy the Trump-Xi trade war truce while it lasts

Mireya Solís

The G-20 Trump-Xi meeting yielded a reprieve to the U.S.-China trade war. Mireya Solís writes that we might as well enjoy it while it lasts, knowing the maelstrom of forces that will make 2019 an epochal year for the future of the trading system. This piece originally appeared in The Mainichi.

The international community sighed with relief at the news that President Trump and President Xi had agreed to press pause on the rapidly escalating tariff war between the two largest economies in the world. On the sidelines of the G-20 summit in Buenos Aires, both leaders dined on Argentinian beef and wine and struck a more cordial note in disclosing a truce agreement that, for now, avoids a breakdown in Sino-American economic relations.

Whose fault is it when AI makes mistakes?

Cassie Kozyrkov

Don’t get me wrong, I love machine learning and AI. But I don’t trust them blindly and neither should you, because the way you build effective and reliable ML/AI solutions is to force each solution to earn your trust.

Blind trust is a terrible thing.

Before you start thinking that this has anything to do with robots or sci-fi, stop! ML/AI systems aren’t humanlike, they’re just useful thing labelers with poetic names. Instead, their untrustworthiness comes from somewhere else entirely. I think it’s best to show not tell, so let’s see a familiar example

Global Perspectives: G20 Leaders Summit

Council of Councils global perspectives roundups gather opinions from experts on major international developments. In this edition, members of five leading global think tanks sum up the outcomes of the G20 summit, held in Buenos Aires, Argentina, from November 30 to December 1. 

If the G20 is the steering committee for the global economy, the latest summit, in Argentina, lurched all over the map. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has for more than a year been sending a clear message of growing risks to global growth and the priority was reducing trade-restricting actions. For those expecting leadership from this group on this challenge, this was a disappointing event. It further strengthens the voices of those who fear that the G20 has lost its way and is becoming nothing more than an expensive talk shop.


FOR ITS FEARSOME size and confident leadership, Facebook seems strangely precarious. Maybe it’s my feeling that something that can grow so big so fast might disappear swiftly, too. Or the sense that the world is revving up to take on Facebook. A hearing last week by a grand committee representing nine governments was brimming with anger, as politicians lashed out at an apologetic Facebook underling unlucky enough to be sitting next to an empty chair behind a Mark Zuckerberg placard. One Canadian member of Parliament spoke for the room when he concluded that, “While we were playing on our phones and apps, our democratic institutions seem to have been upended by frat-boy billionaires from California.”

All solutions are on the table: fines, regulations, breaking up the company. And as serious as these inquiries may be, the real problem for Facebook is internal, not external. The mythology of Facebook as a well-meaning company doing good by connecting the world didn’t only pacify an unsuspecting public for a decade, it inspired a fiercely loyal workforce. How does a company bounce back after its deepest myths have been smashed?

The Security And Resilience Of DoD’s Cloud-Based Architecture – Analysis

By William Schneider*

The ability to store, process, protect, and distribute data is at the heart of modern U.S. and allied defense networks. Under its Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure initiative, or JEDI, the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) has been making significant strides in shaping its path toward the adoption of a cloud-based IT architecture to replace its legacy IT infrastructure: 

Cloud-based IT infrastructure will become the locus for storage and processing of DoD data as well as its protection from cyber and physical attacks.1 

DoD aspires to benefit from the ability of the commercial IT sector to produce and rapidly exploit technological innovation at low cost and at scale. 

Are more offensive cyber operations actually a deterrent?

By: Justin Lynch

“It is hard to measure if deterrence is working or failing,” said Jason Healey, a former Bush administration White House official and senior research scholar at Columbia University.

Days before the midterm elections, one of the Pentagon’s top cyber official was asked if there was any metric that could be used to judge the success of the Trump administration’s new cyber policy, one which promises more aggressive offensive operations.

Burke Wilson, the deputy assistant secretary of defense for cyber, policy pointed to election security efforts the Department of Defense had ongoing at the time. “We will conduct an after-action review on all of the operations that we are conducting,” he told reporters Oct. 30.

Cyber Deterrence: An Oxymoron for Years to Come

By Jyri Raitasalo 

The lack of empirical evidence of cyber warfare between states makes deterrence theorizing nearly impossible.

Western states largely renounced the concepts of defense and deterrence after the end of the Cold War. Instead, Western powers focused on expeditionary warfare—military crisis management, counterterrorist operations, and counterinsurgency operations. Today Russia and China pose a challenge to the Western-defined international security order. The United States and its allies in Europe have lost most of the analytical concepts that would be useful for the great-power politics to follow: defense and deterrence.
Connected Content

Drawing the line for cyber warfare

Phil Wilcox

With alleged Russian meddling in elections and the state-backed attack on Iran’s nuclear programme, it is becoming difficult to define the boundaries of cyber warfare

The difference between cyber warfare and other cyber attacks is merely a frame of reference. For example, we can define cyber warfare as cyber attacks in the context of overt military engagement, such as those conducted against so-called Islamic State as part of ongoing warfare in Syria where these attacks fall within a war’s theatre of operations.

Today’s cyber warfare would therefore be the equivalent of the Russo-Georgian war in 2008 or the annexation of Crimea in 2014, as Russia was openly involved in both conflicts. Nation-state cyber attacks, on the other hand, are covert operations. Staying with Russia as an example, a nation state cyber attack is comparable to ongoing alleged Russian intervention in Eastern Ukraine.

Nokia Report Warns Of Fast-Growing Threat Of Malicious Software Targeting Internet Of Things (IoT) Devices

The use of malicious software to attack IoT devices like smart home security monitoring systems is rising substantially and growing more sophisticated as cyber criminals take advantage of lax security, Nokia’s Threat Intelligence Report 2019 warned on Tuesday.

Driven by financial and other nefarious purposes, IoT botnet activity accounted for 78% of malware detection events in communication service provider (CSP) networks in 2018, according to the report, which is based on data aggregated from monitoring network traffic this year on more than 150 million devices globally where Nokia’s NetGuard Endpoint Security product is deployed.

That is up sharply from 33% in 2016, when IoT botnets were first seen in meaningful numbers. A botnet is a system of computers that can be infected with malicious software and controlled by a single computer for doing things like stealing bank account information and shuttering web sites.

Is Fake News Here to Stay?


Experience from European elections suggests that investigative journalism and alerting the public in advance can help inoculate voters against disinformation campaigns. But the battle with fake news is likely to remain a cat-and-mouse game between its purveyors and the companies whose platforms they exploit.

CAMBRIDGE – The term “fake news” has become an epithet that US President Donald Trump attaches to any unfavorable story. But it is also an analytical term that describes deliberate disinformation presented in the form of a conventional news report.

The problem is not completely novel. In 1925, Harper’s Magazine published an article about the dangers of “fake news.” But today two-thirds of American adults get some of their news from social media, which rest on a business model that lends itself to outside manipulation and where algorithms can easily be gamed for profit or malign purposes.

Foresight in Decision Making: Improving Intelligence Analysis with Probabilistic Forecasting

Matthew Enderlein

In the complexity of today's operational environment, military intelligence requirements go far beyond the simplistic, enemy-centric parameters on which conventional doctrine is based. Today’s battlefield is a complex, dynamic system that is influenced by technology, non-traditional adversaries, and the intersection of military, governmental, and civilian concerns. Now more than ever, commanders require a dynamic flow of information and analysis to support decision making. Intelligence facilitates operations, and military intelligence professionals have developed systems to deliver intelligence support down to the lowest tactical level. Presently, these systems are designed largely to collect and analyze intelligence to produce an understanding of the situation as it is, and to convey this information to enable decision making.