12 December 2018

The farmer’s biggest enemy? The Indian state

The late farmer leader Sharad Joshi used to recite a poem that described the Indian farmer’s plight perfectly. It addresses the non-farmer from the farmer’s point of view, and it goes:“Marte hum bhi hain, marte tum bhi ho./ Marte hum bhi hain, marte tum bhi ho./ Hum sasta bech ke marte hain,/Tum mahanga khareedke marte ho.”

I would translate it thus: “I die, my friend, and so do you./ I die, my friend, and so do you./ I sell my produce cheap, and die./ You pay so much that you die too.”

This beautiful shair expresses an old truth that many journalists wrote about anew this week, as protesting farmers congregated on Delhi: the gap between what farmers get for their produce, and what the consumer pays. One report revealed that a farmer sold tomatoes at Rs 2 per kg, and consumers bought them for Rs 20. Too little; and too much. Both the farmers and consumers were getting killed by this, just like in the poem.

Afghanistan as US Policy Conundrum-end 2018

By Dr Subhash Kapila

Geopolitically in end-2018 the United States finds itself in a policy conundrum on Afghanistan primarily because of the inability of US policy planners to recognise that Afghanistan geographically flanked by Pakistan and Iran as Islamist Sates adversarial to United States complicates effective US embedment in Afghanistan for restoration of stability and security.

Of the two, Pakistan has a sordid record of double-timing the United States and undermining US national security interests in Afghanistan despite US beatification of Pakistan by past US Presidents as ‘Major Non-NATO Ally’ and ‘An Enduring Ally in the US Global War on Terrorism’ Pakistan’s proxy war in Afghanistan against the United States through the Afghan Taliban stands exhaustively recorded. The foregoing stands repetitively reflected in my writings for the last eighteen years.

Pakistan’s Water Woes: India Bashing Continues at Higher levels!

By S.Chandrasekharan.

On 29th October, the Supreme Court of Pakistan overturned an order of the Lahore High Court and directed to introduce blocking of Indian Content in TV Channels. This ruling came after Pakistan accused India of shrinking the flow of Water into Pakistan.

It is curious that the court did not examine any evidence oral or documentary to examine the accusation of India being held responsible for the “shrinkage” of water in Pakistan.

The Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Pakistan said that the ruling was justified since the country’s neighbor -India was damming the rivers that flow into Pakistan! He said, “ India is shrinking the flow of water into Pakistan- Why shouldn’t we close their channels?”

A Game as Old as Empire: The Return of Proxy Wars in Afghanistan

Tamim Asey

History is repeating itself in Afghanistan. Proxy wars and great power politics is returning to the country. It is putting Afghanistan once again at the center stage of regional and global rivalries over influence for a variety of geo-strategic interests and the quest for resources. This time, unlike the past, there are many players including almost all of Afghanistan's neighbors - with the prominent players being Pakistan, Iran, China and India.

Afghanistan at its origin, observed Lord George N. Curzon, was an empty space on the map which was neither Persian nor Russian nor British. It was purely a geographical space which emerged and used as a buffer zone as a result of great power politics between the British Empire and Russian Tsar. Some scholars and historians term Afghanistan as an accidental nation. The nomadic, semi nomadic and settled ethnic groups living in this rugged but vitally strategic land were used as tools to extend the influence and interests of one Empire against the other. The monarchies and militia groups trained and funded by these two empires emerged as a result of these great rivalries used to take turns in preparing the ground for government collapse and capturing Kabul’s centric power through assassinating monarchs and waging coups and rebellions to further the interests of their empire pay masters.

Myanmar: Kyaukphyu Port-The Dragon Enters in a Big Way

By S. Chandrasekharan

In a meeting with Suu Kyi, the Chairman of the China Development and Reforms Commission (NDRC), Ning Jizhe, tried to hustle Myanmar to workout an ‘implementation Plan’ for the China-Myanmar Economic Corridor (CMEC) under the Belt Road Initiative. Suu Kyi stood her ground and made a very significant response that said – “the CMEC Projects (are) needed to be implemented in line with the Myanmar’s sustainable Development Plan and should support the long-term interest of both peoples. Th message was that it should not be in the interest of China alone but that of Myanmar also.

She also stressed that China needed to negotiate the projects systematically and in accordance with domestic rules and regulations.( thus avoid going to BRI Courts in Xian in China later)

This timely reminder to China is not only for Myanmar itself but for other countries who are negotiating various projects in this region under the BRI. 

The 6 Reasons Why Huawei Gives The U.S. And Its Allies Security Nightmares

by Martin Giles and Elizabeth Woyke

The detention in Canada of Meng Wanzhou, Huawei’s CFO and the daughter of its founder, is further inflaming tensions between the US and China. Her arrest is linked to a US extradition request on undisclosed charges, but China says it’s a human rights violation and is demanding her swift release.

Behind this very public drama is a long-running, behind-the-scenes one centered on western intelligence agencies’ fears that Huawei poses a significant threat to global security. Among the spooks’ biggest concerns are:

Huawei arrest of Meng Wangzhou: A 'hostage' in a new US-China tech war

Karishma Vaswani

It is hard to overstate the symbolism and significance of the arrest of Meng Wangzhou, Huawei's chief financial officer and daughter of its founder. Huawei is the crown jewel of Chinese tech and Ms Meng is effectively its princess.

On December 1, the same day as President Trump and President Xi sat down at the G20 over grilled sirloin and caramel pancakes, to work on easing the trade war, Ms Meng was arrested in Canada and is now facing extradition to the US.

Although it's still not clear what the charges against her are - we know that the US has been investigating Huawei for possible violations of US sanctions on Iran - this is not simply a case about the arrest of one woman, or just one company.

China's real endgame in the trade war runs through Europe

SCHLOSS ELMAU, GERMANY – Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban recently shared some history with a friend, explaining why he reached out to China's then-Premier Wen Jiabao in 2011, seeking urgent financial support and providing Beijing one of several European inroads in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis.

Orban's reason was a simple one: survival. Facing a potential debt crisis and unwilling to accept austere loan conditions from Western institutions, Beijing offered a lifeline. For his part, Orban convened some Central European leaders with Beijing, and they laid the groundwork for the "16-plus-one" initiative based in Budapest that since then has provided China unprecedented regional influence.

It didn't take long for China's investment to bear fruit. In March 2017, Hungary took the rare step to break European Union consensus on human rights violations, refusing to sign a joint letter denouncing the alleged torture of detailed lawyers. In July of the same year, Hungary joined Greece – another distressed European target of Chinese largesse – in blocking reference to Beijing in a Brussels statement on the illegality of Chinese claims in the South China Sea.

For China: One Belt, One Road, No Plan?

By Ian Morris

China's Belt and Road Initiative is one of the biggest geoeconomic developments of the 21st century. On that point, there is agreement. On the question of Beijing's strategic motives, speculation abounds.

China's economic rise has come within American-dominated institutions and markets. Chinese President Xi Jinping wants to break out of this system.

Since the 15th century, the West has ruled the waves and thus dominated the globe. The Belt and Road Initiative is China's attempt to access to the oceans by building roads and harbors across Central and South Asia.

China’s ‘development for stability’ Root Cause model faces challenges

Lars Erslev Andersen & Yang Jiang

In the latest policy report in DIIS’s Defence and Security Studies series, Lars Erslev Andersen and Yang Jiang discuss the potential of China’s approach to stabilising security conditions in Pakistan and Afghanistan through development. The report explores China’s westward policy by analysing the opportunities and obstacles related to its flagship Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) in South Asia, in particular the China–Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). One aspect of the philosophy behind the CPEC is that lifting people out of poverty by providing them with better opportunities for jobs and incomes and hence improved living conditions will reduce the attractions of violent extremism and the inclination to indulge in it, thereby enhancing stability. This so-called Root Cause model draws on China’s experience of successfully lifting more than 600 million of its own citizens out of poverty due to the reform policy that has changed China rapidly over the past forty years, especially in the big cities in eastern China.

Securing China’s Belt and Road Initiative

The November 23 attack on the Chinese consulate in Karachi, Pakistan, is the latest sign that anti-Chinese sentiment may be taking root in countries that have received massive inflows of investment from China’s Belt and Road Initiative. USIP’s new Special Report provides an overview of the different security arrangements China is using to protect its overseas investments and workers, and examines how the Belt and Road Initiative is spurring the rapid growth of China’s domestic private security industry.


China’s Belt and Road Initiative—a large-scale connectivity project encompassing infrastructure, energy, and trade—has extended China’s economic presence throughout Eurasia and around the world. It has also posed new security challenges for Chinese companies operating abroad.

Myanmar’s Kyaukphyu Port: The Dragon Enters In A Big Way – Analysis

By S. Chandrasekharan

In a meeting with Suu Kyi, the Chairman of the China Development and Reforms Commission (NDRC), Ning Jizhe, tried to hustle Myanmar to workout an ‘implementation Plan’ for the China-Myanmar Economic Corridor (CMEC) under the Belt Road Initiative. Suu Kyi stood her ground and made a very significant response that said – “the CMEC Projects (are) needed to be implemented in line with the Myanmar’s sustainable Development Plan and should support the long-term interest of both peoples. Th message was that it should not be in the interest of China alone but that of Myanmar also.

She also stressed that China needed to negotiate the projects systematically and in accordance with domestic rules and regulations.( thus avoid going to BRI Courts in Xian in China later)

This timely reminder to China is not only for Myanmar itself but for other countries who are negotiating various projects in this region under the BRI.

Shifting Middle Eastern Sands Spotlight Diverging US-Saudi Interests – Analysis

By James M. Dorsey

A series of Gulf and Middle East-related developments suggest that resolving some of the Middle East’s most debilitating and devastating crises while ensuring that efforts to pressure Iran do not perpetuate the mayhem may be easier said than done. They also suggest that the same is true for keeping US and Saudi interests aligned.

Optimists garner hope from the fact that the US Senate may censor Saudi crown prince Mohammed bin Salman for the October 2 killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi in Istanbul; the positive start of Yemeni peace talks in Sweden with an agreement to exchange prisoners, Saudi Arabia’s invitation to Qatar to attend an October 9 Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) summit in Riyadh, and a decision by the Organization of Oil Exporting Countries (OPEC) to cut production.

The Perils of Remote Warfare

By Abigail Watson

Finding a Political Settlement with Counter-Terrorism in the Driving Seat

As the British Government grapples with the mistakes of the Iraq War, key among the priorities moving forward has been a commitment to ensure military efforts are focused on political goals. This has been evident in successive national strategies and doctrine, such as the 2011 Building Stability Overseas Strategy: “The chances of success are greatest when the international community gets behind a political settlement that lays the foundations for tackling the causes of conflict in a country.”

Major efforts have been made to institutionalise this commitment, most visible of which has been the creation of the National Security Council which brings together military, political, development, and economic stakeholders once a week to discuss national priorities. While these changes have been substantial, 18 months of interviews and roundtables with experts from academia, civil society, the government, and the military—both in the UK and on operation—suggest that many are skeptical about whether the UK can deliver real change.

Moving Toward Korean Cooperation

By GPF Staff

The two Koreas are gradually reducing defenses along the Demilitarized Zone and exploring possibilities for major cross-border infrastructure projects.

To cement their fragile detente and lay the groundwork for potential reunification in the distant future, North Korea and South Korea are gradually reducing defenses along the Demilitarized Zone and exploring possibilities for major cross-border infrastructure projects. This graphic maps out the early stages of this effort – and how these initiatives could deepen South Korea’s economic integration with outside players like Russia and China.

The World Has Failed Children in Conflict Zones


Though Human Rights Day this year marks the 70th anniversary of the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, it is hardly a happy occasion. Around the world, children in conflict zones are increasingly coming under fire because those charged with upholding international law have turned their backs on it.

LONDON – This Human Rights Day (December 10) marks the 70th anniversary of the United Nations General Assembly’s adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Sadly, events over the past few years show that the world is failing to uphold the commitments enshrined in that document, particularly when it comes to protecting children.

Can a two-day conference solve the world's migration issues?

by Faras Ghani

The UN is urging member nations to reach an agreement in Morocco on a framework for global migration issues.

Marrakech, Morocco - There were 258 million international migrants in the world last year, increasing almost 50 percent since 2000, according to the United Nations.

If all of the world's international migrants lived in a single country, it would be the world's fifth largest population, according to a Pew Research Center report.

The number of migrants, representing 3.4 percent of the world's population, is increasing faster than the global population, driven by economic prosperity, inequality, violence, conflict and climate change.

But the migration isn't always safe, either during transit or once the country of destination is reached.

U.S.-Saudi Arabia Relations

Relations between the two countries, long bound by common interests in oil and security, have strained over what some analysts see as a more assertive Saudi foreign policy.

The U.S.-Saudi Arabia alliance is built on decades of security cooperation and strong business ties dominated by U.S. interests in Saudi oil. The relationship has survived severe challenges, including the 1973 oil embargo and 9/11 attacks, in which fifteen of the nineteen passenger jet hijackers were Saudi citizens. Successive U.S. administrations have held that Saudi Arabia is a critical strategic partner in the region.

Relations between the two countries have grown especially warm under U.S. President Donald J. Trump and Saudi de facto leader Mohammed bin Salman, who was elevated to crown prince in mid-2017. Both have ramped up efforts to counter Iran, Saudi Arabia’s main regional rival. However, recent actions under the crown prince’s leadership, particularly the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, are posing new strains on the alliance, as many members of the U.S. Congress have called for punishing Riyadh and reassessing the relationship.

Mikhail Gorbachev: George H.W. Bush and I Ended a War Together. But Peace Is Now in Jeopardy


Gorbachev, a Nobel Peace Prize laureate, was the only President of the Soviet Union.

On the day when I learned of the passing of George Bush, I recalled my meetings with him that marked turning points in our personal relationship and in the relations between our countries.

Our first serious conversation took place in December 1987, when I was on an official visit in Washington. George was then Vice President and running for President.

The visit culminated in the signing of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty; after, I would depart from an Air Force base. According to the protocol, or perhaps according to his own wish, the Vice President was to accompany me there. George suggested that he go in my car, which was unusual—certainly not according to protocol.

Whose Civilization? Which Clash?

Daniel McCarthy

When Samuel Huntington died on Christmas Eve ten years ago, at the age of eighty-one, his reputation was mixed. He was a giant in his field of political science and practically an institution unto himself at Harvard University, where he had taught for more than four decades—nearly six, in fact, but for a few years at Columbia University and serving in the Carter administration. Yet some of his peers thought he had veered onto dangerous terrain with his last major works, The Clash of Civilizations and Who Are We?, two books on the place of Western and American identity in a world of rival, incommensurable cultures. Whatever vogue Huntington had acquired shortly after the 9/11 attacks for his seeming prescience about the inter-civilizational character of wars in the twenty-first century had dissipated by 2008. And with Huntington on the side of restricting immigration into the U.S. and calling in Who Are We? for the assimilation of newcomers into the dominant—by default “Anglo”—American culture, he had become, as far as liberals were concerned, an outright reactionary.

The AI Advantage of Nations in the Fourth Industrial Revolution

By Juergen Braunstein and Marion Laboure

Like revolutions in the past the on-going AI revolution will produce winners and losers. The first industrial revolution in the 18th century changed the world of production and paved the way for Britain’s global leadership. Similarly, the current digital revolution is redefining the service sector and China’s role in the world.

What is artificial intelligence and why it matters? AI refers to the simulation of human intelligence behavior by computer systems. These processes include learning (information acquisition and information rules), reasoning (reaching approximate or definite conclusions thanks to rules to), and self-correction. AI will impact our lives (both leisure and work) and all industries with the most common applications being expert systems, speech recognition and machine vision. 

JFK Special Warfare Center and School

Special Warfare, July-September 2018, v. 31, no. 3 

Special Operations Command South.
In Depth Q&A with Rear Admiral Collin P. Green, U.S. Navy.
Regional Threat Overview: Latin America and the Caribbean.
Measuring Indirect Effects Over Time.
SOTF-77: A Model for Component Support to Combatant Commands.
Integrated Campaigning: Countering Threat Networks in Latin America.
Optimization of the Information and Influence Competencies.
The Last Line of Defense: Latin America: Beyond Counter-Drug and Counter Transnational Organized Crime.
How SOCSOUTH Enablers Live by the 5th SOF Truth.
A Team Effort: Rapid Response and Proactive Theater Response in the Caribbean.
The People Business: Leveraging Interagency and Partner Nation Relationships to Shape Narratives in the Information Environment.
Changing Culture: Operational Adjustments to Match the Operating Environment.
Focus: Colombia.
Focus: El Salvador.
Focus: Panama.
Off the Range, Into the Jungle: Optimizing Special Forces in a Combined Operation.

Huawei agrees to UK security steps to avoid 5G ban: report

Britain’s National Cyber Security Centre says it has ‘concerns around a range of technical issues’ and has set out improvements Huawei must make

Huawei executives met with senior officials from Britain’s National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC), where they accepted a range of technical requirements to ease security fears, according to sources cited by the report.

The NCSC said in a statement that it was “committed to the security of UK networks, and we have a regular dialogue with Huawei about the criteria expected of their products”.

“The NCSC has concerns around a range of technical issues and has set out improvements the company must make,” it said.

Global 5G Adoption To Take Off In 2021

Mobile internet connections on 4G networks are quicker than the internet connections that many people have at home. What used to be unthinkable in the early days of the mobile internet is now reality. Streaming HD video or downloading music, apps and games on the go without a wi-fi connection is no problem on today's wireless networks. According to Ericsson's latest Mobility Report, there will be 3.4 billion 4G (LTE) smartphone subscriptions worldwide by the end of this year. The next revolution in wireless connections is already on the horizon though: 5G.

Verizon and Samsung issued a joint press release on Monday, touting the new technology and announcing Samsung’s first 5G smartphone for the first half of 2019. The release reads:

“5G mobility service will provide massive bandwidth, greater opportunities for connectivity and improved network reliability. When fully implemented, it will offer capacity and download speed many times faster than today’s 4G LTE network."

Huawei faces catastrophe in the technology cold war

The arrest in Canada of the chief financial officer of the Chinese mobile network and handset tech firm Huawei marks a new stage in a technological cold war between western spy agencies and Beijing. This development could be catastrophic for Huawei: according to reports, the US suspects it broke sanctions by selling telecoms equipment to Iran. If that is proven, the response could exclude Huawei from many of the world’s most valuable markets.

Stock market turmoil wipes £56bn off FTSE 100, in worst day since Brexit vote - as it happened

That quiet war of words had already begun to ramp up this week when first the head of the UK’s secret service, Alex Younger, said in a speech that “we need to have a conversation” about Huawei’s involvement in the UK’s telecoms network. Then on Wednesday, BT revealed it is stripping out Huawei’s networking kit from parts of the EE mobile network.

How 5G Will Shape Innovation and Security A Primer

The fifth generation of mobile network technologies, known as “5G,” promises greater speed, security, and capacity. 5G will underpin the internet economy and provide the backbone for the next generation of digital technologies. So, it is unsurprising that there is intense competition among companies and countries for 5G leadership. 

5G will determine the direction the internet will take and where nations will face new risks and vulnerabilities. Who makes 5G technologies will affect security and innovation in an increasingly competitive technological environment. Decisions made today about 5G will affect national security and economic performance for decades to come. 

This is a competition among companies and groups of companies but also a competition between market-based and state-directed decisionmaking. The United States has relied on the former, China on the latter, and Europe falls somewhere in between. 

Are more offensive cyber operations actually a deterrent?

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.

DoD and the Cloud: Moving Out Bureaucracy to Focus on National Security

By Keith B. Alexander & Jamil N. Jaffer

Recent months have seen much controversy over the Defense Department’s move to a cloud-based infrastructure. In the last year alone, multiple contract protests have been filed, and the award has been delayed numerous times. While there may be much to argue about on process, what has gotten lost in this debate is the fact that Defense Secretary Mattis’s move to the cloud is the right move for our national security. Little, if any of the debate, has focused on the concrete benefits that DoD’s shift to the cloud offers our warfighters, much less its critical cybersecurity benefits. The fact is that continued delays in implementing the Secretary’s plan impose a significant cost on military effectiveness. 

Drowning in the Military Swamp


The Swamp. Candidate Donald Trump alluded to it constantly during his historic campaign. No one explicitly stated the definition of the Swamp but it was tacitly understood to be a visual analogy for what was occurring in Washington: a site of stagnation, stench, and rot.

Translated into political imagery, the Swamp has been identified as the source of dysfunction, waste, and deceit. “For too long,” Trump said in his inaugural address, “a small group in our nation’s capital has reaped the rewards of government while the people have borne the cost.” Some Americans associated the Swamp with selfish elite politicians, bureaucrats, operatives, and lobbyists responsible for outsourcing and the loss of jobs, and trade deals and taxation benefiting the rich. But amidst the righteous patriotic anger at the state of our country, one victim of the Swamp has gone largely unnoticed: the military. As one of the only institutions that Americans continue to have faith and respect in, it nonetheless has not been immune from decay, cronyism, and dysfunctional, scelrotic bureaucracy.

Trump Picks Milley For Joint Chiefs Chairman: A Bold Reformer — But Will They Clash?


WASHINGTON: President Trump has one thing in common with his pick for Joint Chiefs chairman, the current Army Chief of Staff, Gen. Mark Milley: When they speak, they get your attention.

Milley on bypassing Pentagon weapons-buying bureaucracy? “Cut us loose and see what happens. If we fail, fire us.”

Milley on how to wage that war and win? “A perfect harmony of intense violence.”