27 January 2019

Where Would India Fit in a Missile Defense Partnership in the Indo-Pacific?

By Rajeswari Pillai Rajagopalan

Last week, U.S. President Donald Trump announced the 2019 Missile Defense Review (MDR), outlining the rapidly evolving threats and the U.S. measures and capabilities that are required to protect the homeland, bases abroad and U.S. allies and partners around the world. The document, the latest among a series of strategy documents released under the Trump administration, bears noting in terms of what it means for India and the wider Indo-Pacific.

The Indo-Pacific factors significantly in the MDR. There is a mention of threats such as North Korea, Iran, Russia, and China, the advancements in missile defense and anti-satellite (ASAT) advancements in a few countries that could negatively impact the United States, and references to the importance of working with U.S. allies and partners including Japan, South Korea, Australia, and India.


Another Success, Another Warning

The identification and neutralization of a terrorist module purportedly 'inspired' by the Islamic State (aka Daesh) by the Maharashtra Anti-terrorism Squad (ATS) reinforces trends already noted, first, that investigative and enforcement agencies continue to discover these cells well before their conspiracies reach fruition; second, that their 'association' with Daesh is, at worst, marginal, and these are overwhelmingly cases of 'rebranding' of existing elements radicalized by other local organisations or affiliations; third, that, while the overall threat of Islamist extremist terrorism is progressively declining, fringe elements remain susceptible to mobilisation; and fourth, the capabilities of various incipient groups are fairly rudimentary at the time when they are brought under surveillance, indicating, both, excellent intelligence penetration and also a significant level of cooperation from within the Muslim community.

India and South Africa: Adjusting to the New World

By Harsh V. Pant

This week will see South African President Cyril Ramaphosa gracing India’s Republic Day celebrations. These invitations to be the chief guest at India’s most high-profile public event carry high symbolic value as New Delhi sends out important strategic messages with the choice of its guests. Last year, the 10 leaders from the member states of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) were the chief guests to reinforce India’s priorities in the region. Other guests have included key partners of India, such as former U.S. President Barack Obama, former French President Francois Hollande, and the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan. India had first invited U.S. President Donald Trump for this year, but the offer was declined by the White House because of “scheduling constraints.”

America Knows It Cannot Win in Afghanistan—So Why Keep Fighting?

by Charles V. Peña

Washington’s defense hawks keep insisting on staying in Afghanistan even though the majority of Americans want out.

A recent survey found that 57 percent of Americans, including 69 percent of military veterans, said they would support a decision by the president to remove all troops from Afghanistan. But Washington’s foreign-policy elites—neoconservatives, defense hawks, and liberal interventionists alike—reject such a notion. According to Richard Hass , president of the Council on Foreign Relations, “Neither winning the war nor negotiating a lasting peace is a real option in Afghanistan. Just leaving, though, as we are about to do in Syria, would be a mistake .”

Incredulously, Haas admits that we are “spending on the order of $45 billion a year on a war that cannot be won,” but believes we should spend more. A report published last year by the Center for Strategic and International Studies concluded that Department of Defense (DoD) Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO) funding for the Afghan conflict from Fiscal Year (FY) 2001 to FY 2018 would be more than $840 billion . However, one estimate has the war costing more than $1 trillion to date and another estimates total war spending for Afghanistan at roughly $2 trillion when other war-related costs are included. With the U.S. national debt at $21 trillion and counting (almost a third of which is owned by foreign investors with China being the largest foreign holder), Washington can ill afford to continue wasting money on a war America can’t win—as well as risking American soldiers’ lives.

Afghan Presidential Race Takes Shape as Ghani’s Challengers Emerge

By Mujib Mashal and Fatima Faizi

Afghanistan’s presidential race is in full swing, with several former officials lining up to challenge President Ashraf Ghani in a vote to be held in July, amid a raging war and fears that yet another fraud-marred election could further destabilize the country.

On Friday, Mohammad Hanif Atmar, a powerful former national security adviser who parted ways with the government in August, became the most serious challenger to formally join the race so far. He vowed to “save the country” from what he has described as Mr. Ghani’s mismanagement.

He joins a list of former officials who have either formally joined the race or declared that they will do so. They include Rahmatullah Nabil, a onetime intelligence chief who has selected an army general and a female former cabinet minister as his running mates (Afghanistan has two vice presidents); Zalmai Rassoul, a 75-year-old former foreign minister, who came a distant third in the disputed 2014 race that brought Mr. Ghani to power; and Shaida Abdali, a former diplomat seen as close to former President Hamid Karzai.

More Bad News for China


The Wall Street Journal (paywalled) reports that China’s economy is growing at its slowest rate since 1990 — and that those are the official figures, which, as the article notes, are viewed increasingly skeptically by economists. Of course, the official 6.6 percent growth rate would be the envy of all developed countries, but for China, it’s a continuation of a slowdown that underscores the major challenges facing the Chinese Communist Party and government in the next decade. As I argued in my book, The End of the Asian Century, decades of sweeping problems under the rug have caught up with China. From a labor shortage (thanks to the One Child Policy), which drives up labor costs, to malinvestment and crony capitalism, along with horrific environmental damage, China’s vaunted economic model was unsustainable in the long run. The extraordinary growth that China underwent from the 1980s onward was real, and yet in starting from such a low base, extraordinary growth was possible if even modest economic reforms were implemented.

Pondering China's Future Nuclear Submarine Production

By Rick Joe

Recently a number of news articles relating to Chinese nuclear submarines have been written. These include reporting on a test launch of a new submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM), as well as reviewing the number of Chinese ballistic missile submarines (SSBNs) and nuclear attack submarines (SSNs) in service.

A rumored new nuclear submarine production facility under Bohai Shipbuilding Heavy Industry Company (BSHIC) at Huludao may also be edging closer to completion. Therefore it’s a good occasion to reflect on what Chinese nuclear submarine production may look like in the future. Satellite imagery of Huludao and other nuclear production yards around the world will be examined to try and gauge the sort of production capacity the new Huludao may yield — if it is indeed for nuclear submarines. All satellite imagery is open source, acquired from Google Earth.

From Taiwan to the belt and road, China’s ‘grand plan’ is to push the US out of Asia

Patrick Mendis and Joey Wang say the US should not take China’s talk of a ‘peaceful rise’ at face value, but must work with allies to move China towards international norms, rather than contain it

The communique reveals a subtler “grand plan” of China. The Taiwan issue is simply one step in Beijing’s larger strategic goal of pushing the United States and its influence out of the Indo-Pacific region.

However, this strategic endgame cannot be achieved without the support of other objectives such as the Belt and Road Initiative and establishing control over the East and South China seas. Each of these objectives must be understood within the geopolitics of the regional balance of power through the US-led security dialogue also involving Japan, Australia and India, a grouping commonly known as the Quad.

'We owe China, what can we do?' Why Muslim countries stay silent over China's mass detention of Uighurs

When Imran Khan was asked this month why he did not criticise China's alleged mass detentions from its Uighur Muslim minority, Pakistan's prime minister was uncharacteristically coy.

The former cricketer said he did not know much about the situation in China's neighbouring Xinjiang province, where Beijing is allegedly holding hundreds of thousands in brainwashing re-education camps.

Moreover, if there were truth to the allegations, he would not criticise his Chinese allies publicly, but raise the subject in private “because that's how [the Chinese] are”, he said.

His restraint contrasted with his own previous condemnation of the Islamic world's “shameful” silence over attacks on another Muslim minority, the Rohingya of Myanmar.

China’s tech, North Korea’s nuclear weapons and Russia among major threats facing US, says intelligence report

Report sets out the priorities for the various agencies that make up the US intelligence community

It cites ‘traditional adversaries’ seeking to take advantage of the weakening of the post-second world war international order and the increasingly isolationist tendencies of the West

China is making technological advances in a far shorter time frame than it took the United States, quickly narrowing the gap between the two countries, a senior US official said on Tuesday amid the release of a national intelligence strategy.

Reaping the benefits of sending tens of thousands of students and researchers to the United States, and a determined policy to buy and steal US technology, Beijing has “compressed the time frame” for catching up and now has “remarkable” capabilities, the intelligence official said on condition of anonymity.

The new geopolitics of the Middle East: America’s role in a changing region

For about 20 years since the end of the Cold War, the regional power dynamics of the Middle East were relatively stable, and United States was the uncontested and dominant external power. Today, a combination of the upheavals, revolutions, and civil wars in the region, U.S. war fatigue, the shale energy revolution, and the return of great power competition have dramatically transformed the geopolitics of the Middle East. In September 2018, Bruce Jones, director of the Brookings Foreign Policy Program, convened 10 Brookings experts—Jeffrey Feltman, Samantha Gross, Martin Indyk, Kemal Kirişci, Suzanne Maloney, Bruce Riedel, Natan Sachs, Amanda Sloat, Angela Stent,and Tamara Cofman Wittes—to discuss new geopolitical alignments in the Middle East and the future of U.S. policy in the region. The edited transcript below reflects their assessments of the landscape of the new geopolitics of the Middle East; the reality and perception of U.S. withdrawal from the region; the strategic interests and goals of major regional actors; the interactions between these regional actors, including in proxy wars; and policy recommendations for U.S. strategy going forward.

Syrian Pantsir-S aerial defense system destroyed by simple Israeli drone

One of Syria’s Pantsir-S1 missile defense systems was destroyed by an Israeli SkyStriker drone, military expert Vladislav Shurygin told the Russian newspaper Izvestia.

The specialist noted that the SkyStriker, a so-called kamikaze drone produced by Elbit Systems, is a small, slow (up to 190 kph) unmanned aerial vehicle with a pusher propeller and an electric engine. The drone ways a mere 35 kg, of which the payload accounts for 5-10 kg. It has a maximum flight time of two hours, and is controlled remotely by an operator who can view what the drone is seeing.

According to Shurygin, using the drone in daylight is problematic, since it is vulnerable even to small arms fire, but at night time “flocks” of these “kamikazes” moving towards the aerial defense position “can pose a serious problem to the enemy”.

On the night of 20 January, Israel attacked several Iranian military targets in Syria. A video of the attack, published by the Israel Defense Forces, shows A Russian-made Pantsir-S1 missile system being destroyed.

Israeli Strikes in Syria Reveal New Battlefield for Post-Civil War Era

Seth Frantzman

Airstrikes against Iranian targets in Syria on Sunday and Monday revealed a new Syrian battlefield that is emerging as the Syrian civil war ends and the US prepares to withdraw.

For eight years, since the Syrian rebellion began in 2011, Syria has been the center of great power politics, and an attempt by various forces to control the region through proxies in the conflict. It also became a battlefield between different ideologies, and quests for autonomy amid the chaos and the rise of Islamic State. Now that era is drawing to a close and a new battlefield shift is taking place.

The Syrian conflict went through several phases over the greater part of the last decade. What began as a conflict between revolutionaries seeking to overthrow the regime, and reactionaries who sought to keep the Assad family in power, degenerated into a series of different conflicts and contests for who would control the country. Great and regional powers, such as the US, Russia, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Turkey all sought a role in Syria. They did so often through backing local forces or proxies.

Why Hasn't Syria Used the S-300?

by Seth Frantzman

The self-launching component of the S300 surface-to-air missile. 

Russian and Syrian media emphasized that Syrian air defense "repelled" the attack by Israel on Sunday. According to a spokesman for Russia's national defense management center, the Syrians used the Pantsir and Buk air defense systems. Israel struck at a Pantsir defense system in retaliation on Monday. But why wasn't the S-300, which Russia supplied to Syria in September, used by Damascus?

The continuing quiet among the S-300 gunners is a perplexing mystery that underpins the shadowy and deadly conflict unfolding in Syria's skies. In late September, Russia announced it would give the Syrian regime the S-300 system in the wake of Syrian air defenses mistakenly shooting down a Russian Il-20. The Syrians had used an S-200 to hit the Russian plane, mistaking it for an Israeli warplane during an Israeli raid in Latakia.

Dwindling Brexit Options: What’s the Path Ahead?

British Prime Minister Theresa May’s government narrowly survived a no-confidence motion on Wednesday (325 votes against the motion, 306 for it), a day after the House of Commons voted 432-202 to reject her revised Brexit plan. May has begun talks with political parties ahead of another Brexit vote coming up Jan. 29 and continues to reject the idea of a second referendum. She also does not want the U.K. to remain in the EU Customs Union because that would preclude it from pursuing independent trade deals with other countries.

The uncertainty has rattled investors, and the British pound lost ground after Tuesday’s vote. Investors in the U.S. and elsewhere are worried about a no-deal Brexit, which means the U.K. would crash out of the EU after March 29, the date May has set for the beginning of the exit process. Many firms have moved out of London, or are planning to, and have relocated to Ireland, Germany and the Netherlands.

President Trump’s Syria Critics are Wrong

by Doug Bandow

Damascus has never mattered much to the United States, so why are Washington's experts so determined to see U.S. troops remain in Bashar al-Assad's country?

President Donald Trump announced his plan to withdraw U.S. troops from Syria in his usual way, via tweet. It wasn’t a good way to do diplomacy, but everyone should be used to it by now. Nevertheless, Washington’s policy community went mad.

The “caterwauling,” as Secretary of State Mike Pompeo might put it, was extraordinary. You would think that it was Munich all over again, the United States lost the Cold War, or Gen. Douglas MacArthur had signed America’s surrender aboard the battleship Yamato in San Francisco Bay.

Worse, his own officials went to work to thwart his wishes. National Security Adviser John Bolton suggested that there were conditions for a withdrawal, meaning nothing had really changed.

The most powerful person in Silicon Valley


It’s a bright September morning in San Carlos, California, and Masayoshi Son, chairman of SoftBank, is throwing me off schedule. I’d come, as he had, to meet with the people he’s tapped to run the Vision Fund, his $100 billion bet on the future of, well, everything. After almost four decades of building SoftBank into a telecom conglomerate, Son, an inveterate dealmaker, launched this unprecedented venture two years ago to back startups that he believes are driving a new wave of digital upheaval. He has staked everything on its success–his company, his reputation, his fortune. We’d both arrived with the same basic question: Where is this massive vehicle heading? But because I wasn’t the one footing the 12-figure allowance, I understood that I’d be the one to wait.

In the hubbub of Son’s visit, my 9 a.m. meeting gets rescheduled multiple times until it’s set for 4:30 p.m. When I finally arrive at the Vision Fund’s offices, just off California’s Highway 101, I’m struck by how mundane they are. Son is known for big, showy statements. He reportedly paid $117 million for a home in Woodside in 2013, the highest price ever in the U.S. This glass and concrete building, on the other hand, could be found in any part of suburban America.

U.S., EU: Trade Negotiations Are Headed for High Hurdles

The United States has repeatedly threatened to place significant tariffs on cars made in the European Union in an effort to drive Brussels to the negotiating table. In July 2018, that strategy paid off when the two sides agreed to enter talks on a free trade agreement for non-auto industrial goods. However, now that the two sides have published their demands and objectives for talks, it's clear that Brussels and Washington disagree significantly over which topics to negotiate on.

What Happened

The battle lines have been drawn now that the United States and the European Union have outlined their priorities for future trade talks. On Jan. 11, the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative notified Congress of the Trump administration's negotiating objectives. The goals included two crucial takeaways: The United States is looking to reduce barriers to trade with the European Union, including tariffs, but the objectives make no mention of auto tariffs, marking a departure from previous negotiations.

Flying Cars, Bullet Trains, and Moon Shots: 2019’s Top Tech Quick Hits

By Tekla S. Perry

To the Moon, Israel!

Israel’s SpaceIL is aiming to get a lunar lander to the moon in the first half of 2019. The company initially formed to compete for Google’s Lunar XPrize, but the contest deadlines passed with the prize money unclaimed. SpaceIL’s lander will catch a ride to geosynchronous orbit on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket, piggybacking on an Indonesian telecommunications satellite. Then the plan is for the lander to orbit Earth three times, steadily climbing, until the moon’s gravitational field catches the craft and begins reeling it in. After touching down on the moon, the lander will study the moon’s magnetic field and also send back photos and videos.

Air Force Journal of Indo-Pacific Affairs, Spring 2019, v. 2, no. 1

o The Chinese Aircraft Carrier Program and Its Influence in the Chinese Naval Strategy

o Southeast Asian Hedging and Indo-Japanese Strategies for Regional Balance

o Artificial Intelligence in Weapons: The Moral Imperative for Minimally-Just Autonomy

o Air Intelligence at the Edge: Lessons of Fourteenth Air Force in World War II 

o In China’s Shadow: The Strategic Situation in the Western Pacific

Why Google, Infosys & Amazon Are Betting High On Open-Source AI Projects


With applicability of artificial intelligence and machine language becoming pervasive across various sectors in India and around the world, noted tech giants are now open-sourcing more and more of their AI and ML projects.

This is a good sign of organic growth in the field because AI enthusiasts believe phasing out black box model will eventually de-escalate the risks associated with it. This will also allow coders to understand the breadth and depth of the technology and use it for the larger good.

Taking The White Box Route

With tech giants like Google, Facebook and Amazon completely betting on the ‘openness‘ of AI, it is certain that in the coming years, we sure are going to hear some big news related to the tech. According to recent reports, open source AI can increase innovation, enable faster time-to-market products, and lower the costs of production for companies.


In 2016, fileless attacks such as PowerWare and the alleged hack against the Democratic National Committee (DNC) stole sensitive information and global headlines. In 2017, WannaCry, NotPetya and BadRabbit demonstrated ransomware’s global ubiquity.

Then, as we kicked off 2018, the Spectre and Meltdown vulnerabilities offered an ominous start to a year that many thought would be marred by high-profile, global-scale cyberattacks.

In some respects, the prognosticators were correct. Billions of personal records were stolen in 2018, unearthed in breaches that successfully targeted household names in government, technology, healthcare, travel and hospitality. Compounding the problem has been increased geopolitical tension between western democracies and countries like Russia, China and North Korea.

En garde! 'Cyber-war has begun' – and France will hack first, its defence sec declares

By Gareth Corfield

Hacking first: Florence Parly, France's Defence Secretary, today said her country would not shy away from hacking its enemies

FIC2019 France’s defence secretary Florence Parly today declared: “Cyber war has begun.”

And she said the Euro nation's military will use its “cyber arms as all other traditional weapons… to respond and attack,” as well as setting up a military bug bounty program.

Parly made her pledges during a speech to the Forum International de Cybersecurite (FIC) in the northern French town of Lille. Her speech was on a topic that most Western countries shy away from addressing directly in public.

“The cyber weapon is not only for our enemies,” said France’s defence secretary this afternoon, speaking through a translator. “No. It’s also, in France, a tool to defend ourselves. To respond and attack.”

Make Way for Generation Z in the Workplace

As a group, they are “sober, industrious and driven by money,” reports the Wall Street Journal, but also “socially awkward and timid about taking the reins.” They are risk-averse and more diverse, says Inc. magazine. Forbessays they “want to work on their own and be judged on their own merits rather than those of their team.”

Generation Z is arriving, and they are different than previous generations – or at least that’s how this young cohort is being portrayed as it begins to enter the workforce. After the traditionalists, baby boomers, Generation X and Generation Y/millennials, we have Generation Z – that group born after 1995 now starting to graduate college.

But is Generation Z really different, and if so, how? When it comes to ascribing characteristics and accepting advice about a particular generation, caveat emptor. Over-generalizing about any group is a slippery business.

The Army wants to use AI to prevent cyberattacks

By: Justin Lynch 

If the U.S. Army has its way, soldiers deployed on the battlefield will be shielded from cyberattacks without human involvement.

The Army’s Aberdeen Proving Ground is conducting research into how artificial intelligence can protect soldiers’ tactical networks and communications from cyberattacks, according to a Jan 14. announcement.

Among the areas of research are ways for machine learning to automatically detect known cyber vulnerabilities, spot previously unknown malware and respond to a cyberattack.

After the market research is submitted, the Army will use the submissions for informational and planning purposes only.

Information Overmatch: How Information Dominance Will Win Our Nation’s Wars

Matthew A. Horning

Since its inception, DoD’s Acquisition workforce has been focused on the idea of combat overmatch, particularly in its combat systems. Combat overmatch, simply put, is the concept where my (insert lethality system here) can willfully and without prejudice or luck defeat your (insert your protective system here). Combat overmatch has been the goal in military forces since the first armed forces organized and entered in combat. In prehistory, combat overmatch is achieved by overwhelming numbers. Technology plays a role, such as bronze weaponry, but by in large, the force who overwhelms the other with more forces is victorious. As prehistory turns to ancient history other factors start coming into play. Standoff distance becomes a factor and technologies are integrated into warfare to increase standoff distance: archery, polearms, and early ballistic devices such as catapults and trebuchets. Standoff distance is the notion that if I can reach you but you can’t reach me I have the advantage. Standoff is the reason a boxer’s reach is a measured quantity.

Deepfakes and the New Disinformation War

By Robert Chesney and Danielle Citron

A picture may be worth a thousand words, but there is nothing that persuades quite like an audio or video recording of an event. At a time when partisans can barely agree on facts, such persuasiveness might seem as if it could bring a welcome clarity. Audio and video recordings allow people to become firsthand witnesses of an event, sparing them the need to decide whether to trust someone else’s account of it. And thanks to smartphones, which make it easy to capture audio and video content, and social media platforms, which allow that content to be shared and consumed, people today can rely on their own eyes and ears to an unprecedented degree.

Therein lies a great danger. Imagine a video depicting the Israeli prime minister in private conversation with a colleague, seemingly revealing a plan to carry out a series of political assassinations in Tehran. Or an audio clip of Iranian officials planning a covert operation to kill Sunni leaders in a particular province of Iraq. Or a video showing an American general in Afghanistan burning a Koran. In a world already primed for violence, such recordings would have a powerful potential for incitement. Now imagine that these recordings could be faked using tools available to almost anyone with a laptop and access to the Internet—and that the resulting fakes are so convincing that they are impossible to distinguish from the real thing.

Hack, Jam, Sense & Shoot: Army Creates 1st Multi-Domain Unit


WASHINGTON: The Army has created its first unit to combine long-range targeting, hacking, jamming, and space under one command, a vital component of Multi Domain Operations. The battalion-strength Intelligence, Information, Cyber, Electronic Warfare, & Space (I2CEWS) detachment was created at Fort Lewis, Washington to counter China, while a second will follow in Europe for Russia.

Lt. Gen. Gary Volesky, commander of I Corps at Fort Lewis, tours an Air Force C-17 at neighboring McChord Field.

“Today, we’ll activate the Army’s first I2CEWS detachment,” declared Lt. Gen. Gary Volesky, commander of Fort Lewis-based I Corps, which supports Army operations across the Pacific and would deploy as a Joint Task Force headquarters in wartime. The new detachment, he said, “is the critical unit in the Multi-Domain Task Force” – that’s an experimental Army unit which tests new tactics in the Pacific – “and the centerpiece of how the Army will conduct Multi-Domain Operations in the future.”

Finding needles in haystacks: The future of military intelligence?

by Stavros Atlamazoglou

In the national security decision-making process and military operations, more often than not, intelligence drives action. Actionable intelligence, that is, timely and accurate information about a target of interest, is the most precious commodity.

There are numerous ways to gather actionable intelligence: Human Intelligence (HUMINT) is highly valued but very difficult to acquire as it requires experienced officers on the ground. Additionally, HUMINT often comes with a time-lag that frustrates prompt action.

Imagery Intelligence (IMINT), on the other hand, is a safer and faster option since it usually requires an aerial platform of some sort, for example, an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV), aircraft, or satellite, to orbit above the target. However, IMINT still needs to be analyzed by experts that will squeeze out any useful information. Moreover, there is often the possibility that things will escape the unblinking eyes of technology, and this has been proven numerous times in the last two decades of war in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Low-Tech, High-Reward: The Houthi Drone AttackLow-Tech, High-Reward: The Houthi Drone AttackAaron SteinJanuary 11, 2019

Aaron Stein

A recent drone attack in Yemen hasn’t received much attention outside the small circle of experts that pay attention to the conflict in Yemen or the proliferation of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV or drones), but it will likely be a historical footnote in the proliferation of unmanned technology to sub-state militants.

On January 10, a weaponized unmanned aerial vehicle exploded above a number of senior officers, killing at least 6 members of the Saudi-backed Yemeni forces gathered at an army parade near the al-Anad airbase, just outside the Saudi- and Emirate-controlled port city of Aden.

Imagery of the attack and drone wreckage suggests the vehicle in question was an Iranian Ababil-T from the Ababil II family of drones. Iran is a documented supplier of weapons to the Houthi movement and has used the Ababil drone, redubbed “Qasef-1,” in at least 12 attacks throughout the country.