28 January 2019

US confirms its envoy held talks with Taliban in Qatar

The United States has confirmed that its envoy met the Taliban in Qatar as Washington seeks to negotiate an end to the 17-year-old war in Afghanistan.

Zalmay Khalilzad, US special representative on Afghan reconciliation, on Tuesday, met Taliban representatives in the Qatari capital Doha, the US State Department said.

"We can confirm that Special Representative Khalilzad and an inter-agency team are in Doha today talking with representatives of the Taliban," a State Department spokeswoman said, adding that the talks were taking place over two days.

The Taliban and the US envoys have officially met four times since July, in an attempt to find a negotiated settlement to the war in the embattled country.

However, Wednesday's comments mark the first time the US State Department has confirmed his meetings directly.

The meeting came even though the Taliban claimed responsibility for an attack on Tuesday against an Afghan intelligence base in central Wardak province.

Levantistan and The Confederacy of Afghanistan: How Redrawing the Map Can End America’s Wars

Michael Gladius

Nation-state borders are not sacrosanct. Exchanging land for peace is always a viable option, and this could provide a solution to America’s involvement in both Iraq and Afghanistan. Although multiple solutions are available, we will focus on two: merging nations and fragmenting nations. Merging nations would entail merging Iraq with Syria, and merging Afghanistan with Pakistan. Fragmenting nations would break up the two nations into numerous smaller nations, as happened to Yugoslavia, albeit peacefully.

Merging Nations: Pros and Cons

Merging Iraq with Syria, and Afghanistan with Pakistan, would have three main advantages. First, they would allow former state-aligned insurgents to become part of the governing process. Syria is ruled by the Ba’ath Party, and the Ba’ath in Iraq played a crucial role in the formation and success of ISIS. Merging the two states would allow the Ba’ath party in Iraq to merge with the Syrian Ba’ath, and their expertise could be useful in helping Assad manage his new territory. In Afghanistan, the Paki government has been a partner with the Taliban from the start, and a merge would permit the Taliban to become a partner of Pakistan’s government. Pakistan fears India, and the possibility that Afghanistan might align with India, creating a two-front war. Pakistan’s military is the only force holding the country together, and they see Afghanistan as their strategic depth. Understanding this explains much of their conduct since 2001. Merging the two countries would merely make it official.

US may offer FTA to Pakistan to assist in ending Afghan war: Report

ISLAMABAD: The US may offer Pakistan a free trade agreement (FTA) in return for its assistance in ending the Afghan war, a media report said on Thursday.

Dawn reported from Washington that official sources said that US Senator Lindsey Graham, who visited Islamabad this week, is believed to have discussed this idea with Pakistani leaders.

Graham first proposed offering an FTA to Pakistan, after a recent visit to Afghanistan.

"If we can go to Pakistan and put a free trade agreement on the table to get the Pakistanis to push the Taliban to the peace table, and you can end the Afghan war," he said.

Graham, a Republican member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, is considered President Trump's closest ally in Congress and the US media say that the president often uses him to float ideas that he wants debated publicly.

East And South Asia Remain World’s Most Dynamic Regions, But Risks Are Increasing: UN Report

The global economy will continue to grow at a steady pace of around 3 per cent in 2019 and 2020 amid signs that global growth has peaked. However, a worrisome combination of development challenges could further undermine growth, according to the United Nations World Economic Situation and Prospects (WESP) 2019, which was launched Wednesday.

UN Secretary-General António Guterres cautioned, “While global economic indicators remain largely favourable, they do not tell the whole story.” He said the World Economic Situation and Prospects 2019 “raises concerns over the sustainability of global economic growth in the face of rising financial, social and environmental challenges.”
Growth prospects in East and South Asia

Japan: Finally Beefing Up Its Military – Analysis

By Richard A. Bitzinger

Japan, increasingly concerned over China’s military buildup and corresponding aggressiveness in the western Pacific, has decided to buy additional F-35 fighter jets and to convert two naval ships into fixed-wing aircraft carriers. These moves are part of a broader effort to beef up Japan’s Self-Defence Forces.

China, with its military buildup and corresponding assertiveness in the western Pacific, has become a growing military challenge to its neighbours, one that is expanding in terms of size, capabilities, and quality. Beijing is increasingly hard-line in pushing its regional great-power objectives, largely because its improving military permits such an aggressive approach. It is, quite simply, the foremost military threat to the West and to the political-military status quo in the Asia-Pacific region.

How much does Xi matter? New voices on China’s foreign policy

Ryan Hass

The future of U.S.-China relations has not been so uncertain since before the normalization of relations in 1979. There are acute differences over fundamental issues, ranging from governance models to economic practices to human rights to strategic issues.

The Trump administration has identified China as a “revisionist power” and “rival” seeking to “shape a world antithetical to U.S. values and interests” by “displac[ing] the United States … and reorder[ing] the region in its favor.” Reports of China’s efforts to influence public discourse in the United States have drawn growing scrutiny from journalists, academics, Congress, and the counterintelligence and law enforcement communities. The mass incarceration and repression of ethnic minorities in the Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region has soured public attitudes toward China. Beijing’s retrenchment on economic reform, and Xi’s calls for the state to play a larger role in the economy, has alarmed the business community. Aspects of China’s Belt and Road Initiative have led many analysts to conclude that Beijing seeks to establish an illiberal “sphere of influence” in Asia. China’s efforts to tighten societal controls through new legal frameworks and emerging technologies, and to make such capabilities available to other countries, may herald a dawning era of “digital authoritarianism.” These trends have underscored concerns that U.S.-China ideological and “systems” competition may intensify and, in the process, increase friction across the board.

The history of fissile-material production in China

This article reconstructs the history of China’s production of highly enriched uranium and plutonium for nuclear weapons based on newly available public sources. It begins with discussion of China’s first set of fissile-material production facilities, which China started building in 1958. It then details the first and second “third-line” construction campaigns, initiated in 1964 and the late 1960s, respectively. Finally, the article considers the policy implications of the history of China’s fissile-material production, particularly its influence on China’s attitude toward negotiating a fissile-material cutoff treaty.

In 1955, China initiated its nuclear-weapon program with assistance from the Soviet Union.11 More can be read from China’s official nuclear history: Li Jue, Lei Rongtian, Li Yi, and Li Yingxiang, eds., Dangdai Zhongguo de Hegongye [China Today: Nuclear Industry] (Beijing: China Social Science Press, 1987). Selections were translated and published by the US Foreign Broadcast Information Service, JPRS-CST-88-002, January 15, 1988; and JPRS-CST-88-008, Washington, DC, April 26, 1988.View all notes In 1958, Beijing approved a plan to build “five plants and three mines” as key facilities to produce fissile materials and nuclear weapons. The five plants included Plant 272, the Hengyang uranium-processing mill in Hunan Province; Plant 202, the Baotou nuclear-fuel-fabrication plant in Inner Mongolia; Plant 504, the Lanzhou gaseous-diffusion plant (GDP) in Gansu Province; Plant 404, the Jiuquan plutonium-production complex in Gansu; and Plant 221, the nuclear-weapon laboratory at Haiyan in Qinghai Province, the predecessor of today’s Chinese Academy of Engineering Physics at Mianyang in Sichuan Province. This article will focus on the development of those plants which perform uranium enrichment, plutonium production, and nuclear-fuel fabrication.

Why China is lavishing money on foreign students

In a restaurant in the backstreets of Beijing, 12 Pakistanis and Afghans studying at the China University of Communications tell stories of their arrival in China. No one came to pick them up; none of them spoke a word of Chinese. They have plenty of tales of getting lost, disoriented and ripped off by taxi drivers.

The students, all but two of them ethnic Pushtuns, roar with laughter as they swap yarns and savour the cuisine from Xinjiang, a Chinese region that borders on their home countries and has cultural bonds with them. Any ill feeling about those early days has long since dissipated. They agree that, apart from some taxi drivers, the Chinese are very helpful. Friendly relations between their countries and China mean they are welcomed as brothers. Most important, they are all on full scholarships—free tuition, free accommodation and a stipend of 3,000 yuan ($441) a month, more than three times Pakistan’s gdp per person. Beijing’s many Xinjiang restaurants serving halal food are a big plus.

'UNPRECEDENTED DANGER': Billionaire investor George Soros just went scorched earth on China during his annual Davos speech


George Soros, the billionaire investor and chairman of Soros Fund Management, delivered his annual speech at the World Economic Forum's Annual Meeting in Davos, Switzerland.

Soros absolutely unloaded on China and President Xi Jinping, warning the audience of the "unprecedented danger" the world faces at the hands of the emerging nation.

Soros also doubled down on comments made during his 2018 address, which saw him criticize "IT monopolies" like Facebook and Google. He believes that their behavior is enabling China's quest for a closed society.

DAVOS, Switzerland - George Soros has made a tradition out of giving a big speech at the World Economic Forum's Annual Meeting.And based on how the last two years have gone, he's not in the business of making friends - especially not in the Chinese government.

A celebrity blogger in China shines a light on political intrigue

Suspicions surround a former provincial chief

It seems like a story straight out of a legal thriller: powerful figures conniving in the shadows at the highest level of the legal system to tip the scales of justice in a dispute over billions of dollars’ worth of mining riches. Also featured are sabotaged security cameras, missing court documents, the apparent disappearance of a supreme-court judge and the downfall of a provincial Communist Party boss. Twists in the plot are being recorded by China’s state-owned media. But it is a celebrity television-host and blogger, Cui Yongyuan (pictured), whose tweets have been keeping the story moving.

Are GCC States Seeking Alternatives to Saudi Arabia?

by Clayton Crockett

There appear to be multiple ways in which both Kuwait and Oman can forge strategic alliances within and beyond the GCC without tying their fates to the house of Saud.

An officer in the Kuwaiti Ministry of Defense once shared with me an idiom reflective of life in the Persian Gulf: the camel falls once, and suddenly every man has a knife. The Gulf Cooperation Council was created with the intent of ensuring its members states’ sovereignty, but the recently concluded—andinconclusive —summit in December held to address the ongoing blockade against Qatar invites a reassessment of the United States’ priorities in the region. Saudi Arabia currently holds the spotlight with its fumbling of an extrajudicial murder, ongoing war in Yemen and tribal-familial drama, but recent moves by steadier hands in the region betray a growing notion that the camel may have finally stumbled.

Ending Endless Wars and the Islamic State

Michael J. Mooney

Last week, U.S. Vice President Mike Pence, in a speech at the Global Chiefs of Mission Conference in Washington, DC, emphatically declared that the Islamic State (or ISIS) caliphate had “crumbled” and that “ISIS is defeated”. This statement garnered much attention in the press due to the awkwardly tone-deaf nature of his pronouncement. Only hours before his speech, ISIS had claimed responsibility for a deadly attack in Manbij, Syria which killed four Americans, making his claim ring hollow. Later that day the Vice President issued a statementdenouncing the attack, removing any mention of the defeat of ISIS to more precisely restate that the caliphate had been “crushed” and its capabilities “devastated”.

What is just as telling, but lost in the rush to point out Mr. Pence’s ill-timed declaration of defeat, are the comments made by the Vice President immediately following his boast of victory, which bear examination and scrutiny as well.

Toward Understanding the Actions of the Islamic State and Other Jihadist Groups as Military Doctrine

Ido Levy

After over a decade and a half of the “War on Terror,” the United States and its allies have discovered the difficulty of fighting insurgent terrorist organizations like al-Qaeda and the Taliban. Operating from hard-to-reach areas, such as mountains and deserts, exploiting lack of effective government control, and leveraging support from local populations, these organizations have developed a way of war that defies even U.S. military efforts.[1]

The rise of the Islamic State (IS) over the past five years has posed a new jihadist approach to warfare. This new way of war directly translates the organization’s ideology, based on a radical interpretation of Islamic theology, into military strategy and does not differentiate between its political ends and military means. The IS approach poses a formidable new challenge to world security.

In this article, I conceptualize IS’s new way of war as “perpetual jihad” as opposed to the traditional “conventional jihad” practiced by other jihadist groups.[2] I discuss the global jihadist movement to illuminate the actors involved in the development of jihadist ways of war. I then expound on conventional jihad before using it as a basis for understanding perpetual jihad. My analysis aims to understand the jihadist movement in general and IS in particular and set the groundwork for the composition of coherent jihadist military doctrines. 

Saudi Arabia: We’ll Pump The World’s Very Last Barrel Of Oil – Analysis

By Tsvetana Paraskova

Saudi Arabia isn’t buying the peak oil demand narrative.

OPEC’s largest producer continues to expect global oil demand to keep rising at least by 2040 and sees itself as the oil producer best equipped to continue meeting that demand, thanks to its very low production costs.

Saudi Arabia will be the one to pump the last barrel of oil in the world, but it doesn’t see the ‘last barrel of oil’ being pumped for decades and decades to come.

This Time It’s Russia’s Emails Getting Leaked

Kevin Poulsen

The Russian oligarchs and Kremlin apparatchiks spared by WikiLeaks in the past will not be so lucky this week, when transparency activists drop a massive archive of leaked docs.

Russian oligarchs and Kremlin apparatchiks may find the tables turned on them later this week when a new leak site unleashes a compilation of hundreds of thousands of hacked emails and gigabytes of leaked documents. Think of it as WikiLeaks, but without Julian Assange’s aversion to posting Russian secrets.

The site, Distributed Denial of Secrets, was founded last month by transparency activists. Co-founder Emma Best said the Russian leaks, slated for release Friday, will bring into one place dozens of different archives of hacked material that, at best, have been difficult to locate, and in some cases appear to have disappeared entirely from the web.

Can Governments Wrestle Power Back From Big Tech?


On September 10, 2015, a small crowd gathered outside a refugee reception center in Berlin. In front of a pink-brick building, Germany’s chancellor, Angela Merkel, leaned into a huddle of media microphones and began to talk about an historic refugee policy that would welcome nearly one million asylum seekers in that year alone.

Anas Modamani was not the only refugee to take a selfie with Merkel that day, but his was the only photo to become a target for trolls on social media. The image of Merkel smiling in her pale blue blazer, and Modamani posing in a khaki jacket, was attached to fake news stories that exploded across Facebook. He was branded one of the suicide bombers in the 2016 Brussels bombings, and then labeled a perpetrator in the Berlin Christmas market attack. Social media turned him into a terrorist, but Facebook refused to take down the photo because it did not violate community standards.

Russia-Ukraine Gas Transit Talks Look Ahead Post-2020

By: Vladimir Socor

On January 21, in Brussels, Russia and Ukraine held ministerial-level talks on the transit of Russian natural gas to Europe via Ukraine (TASS, January 22, 2019). The European Commission is chairing this process, and the ministerial meeting just held in Brussels was the second at this level, the first having been held in July 2018. The Commission is a neutral mediator, impartially seeking to apply the European Union’s legislation to the transit of Russian gas via Ukraine to the EU, in the interest of market competition and supply security for Europe. Correspondingly, Ukraine needs the protection of the EU’s legislation against the recurrence of Russian depredations in Ukraine’s natural gas sector, particularly its transit system at this stage.

Russian-Japanese Negotiations Over Kurile Islands: Another Summit Without Much Progress

By: Pavel Felgenhauer

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzō Abe arrived in Moscow for another summit with President Vladimir Putin, on January 22. Abe and Putin have been meeting regularly during the last year in an attempt to drastically improve relations. Both Moscow and Tokyo continue to express hope a long-awaited peace treaty to formally end World War II may be finally signed, resolving among other problems the territorial issue of the southern Kurile Islands. Russia has controlled these islands as part of its national territory since August 1945 (then as the Soviet Union); but Japan never gave up its claim on them. Most recently, Japanese officials, including Abe, have been expressing optimism that the southern Kuriles territorial issue may soon be resolved, and the peace treaty—signed (see EDM, January 14, 2019).

Europe’s Future Is as China’s Enemy

By Stephen M. Walt

If NATO were a listed stock, would now be a good time to short it? According to the New York Times, U.S. President Donald Trump has told his aides repeatedly that he would like to withdraw the United States from the alliance. The U.S. foreign-policy establishment promptly got the vapors at this news, with former Undersecretary of Defense Michèle Flournoy declaring that such a step “would destroy 70-plus years of painstaking work across multiple administrations, Republican and Democratic, to create perhaps the most powerful and advantageous alliance in history.” Even though NATO’s original rationale evaporated when the Soviet Union imploded, it continues to be the most sacred of cows inside America’s policy elite.

But Trump isn’t the real problem, even though his vulgar, vain, erratic, and needlessly offensive behavior has made a difficult situation worse and to no apparent benefit. Rather, the real problem began as soon as the Soviet Union collapsed because it removed the principle rationale for a deep U.S. commitment to European security.

Venezuela’s crisis: How did it get so bad?

By Siobhán O'Grady

Venezuela has endured years of political chaos, and 2019 looks as though it will bring even more unrest.

On Wednesday, opposition lawmaker Juan Guaidó declared himself the country’s interim president. He was quickly recognized by a number of foreign countries, including the United States, Canada and several South American nations. But President Nicolás Maduro is not backing down.

So how exactly did Venezuela get to this point?

In March 2013, longtime Venezuelan leader Hugo Chávez died of cancer. Maduro, his handpicked successor, took over after a narrow election win the following month. Maduro echoed the rhetoric of his predecessor and “pledged to complete the socialist transformation of this oil-rich nation that began under the man he served loyally for 20 years,” as The Washington Post reported at the time.

The world generated $14 trillion in wealth last year. Here’s the story in five charts.

By Credit Suisse

Thanks to hearty growth from countries such as U.S. and China, the world is significantly wealthier in 2018 than it was the year prior.

That’s just one of the many noteworthy takeaways from Credit Suisse’s Global Wealth Report, which breaks down the world’s wealth, spots trends, and explains what the changes mean for the global economy. Here’s an executive summary of some of the report’s key findings.

Global wealth continues to rise, led by the United States

The Climate Change Solution That Could Spark Global War

Alexander C. Kaufman

It could be any country, but let’s say it’s Vietnam.

The year is 2069. World governments failed to halve greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 — the deadline set in a 2018 United Nations report — setting off a chain of rapid warming. Megastorms and wildfires regularly kill hundreds and displace tens of thousands, and coastal cities are abandoning low-lying neighborhoods to the rising sea. Freshwater and food are in short supply as drought dries wellsprings and parches the Mekong Delta’s rice basket.

In an effort to provide some relief and rein in the chaos, global superpowers decide to block out the sun.

The world’s most powerful militaries take the lead, deploying aircraft to soar 32 miles upward into the stratosphere and spray particles that reflect sunlight. The technique mimics one of the planet’s most awesome natural functions: the cooling effect that comes from volcanoes erupting and filling the atmosphere with reflective gas that bounces energy from the sun back into space.

Automation and Artificial Intelligence: How machines are affecting people and places

Mark Muro, Robert Maxim, and Jacob Whiton

At first, technologists issued dystopian alarms about the power of automation and artificial intelligence (AI) to destroy jobs. Then came a correction, with a wave of reassurances. Now, the discourse appears to be arriving at a more complicated understanding, suggesting that automation will bring neither apocalypse nor utopia, but instead both benefits and stress alike. Such is the ambiguous and sometimes disembodied nature of the “future of work” discussion. 

Hence the analysis presented here. Intended to bring often-inscrutable trends down to earth, the following report develops both backward and forward-looking analyses of the impacts of automation over the years 1980 to 2016 and 2016 to 2030 to assess past and upcoming trends as they affect both people and communities in the United States.

The report focuses on areas of potential occupational change rather than net employment losses or gains. Special attention is applied to digging beneath national top-line statistics to explore industry, geographical, and demographic variations. Finally, the report concludes by suggesting a comprehensive response framework for national and state-local policymakers.

Nuclear Emulation: Pakistan’s Nuclear Trajectory


Summary: Pakistan’s nuclear policy is heavily influenced by 1960s NATO flexible response strategy, and has essentially imported its contradictions into Islamabad’s own. This emulation has raised serious questions about Pakistan’s “full-spectrum deterrence” credibility, deterrence stability and future measures to manage regional security competition.
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“The more it changes, the more it stays the same”—Jean-Baptiste Alphonse Karr could well have been writing his famous epigram about Pakistan’s nuclear deterrence policy. For a nuclear program some have called the “fastest growing in the world,” how can this axiom apply? After declaring a strategy in the early 2000s of “minimum credible deterrence,” to deter a perceived existential threat from India, in 2013 Pakistan announced that henceforth it would adopt a “full spectrum deterrence capability,” 1 backed by a suite of air-, land- and sea-based nuclear delivery vehicles that Islamabad tested over the last decade. These include short-range, “tactical” missiles that are postured to deter “limited” Indian conventional military operations, and longer-range missiles that might be used either for countervalue or counterforce targeting. This is a picture of a nuclear arsenal in full bloom, whose growth probes the limits of what can be deterred with the threat of nuclear use. 

Why Is Nuclear Entanglement So Dangerous?


Summary: It is not a good idea to mix nuclear and non-nuclear weapon systems. What are the risks, and why are countries still doing it?


Entanglement describes how militaries’ nuclear and non-nuclear capabilities are becoming dangerously intertwined.

In a conventional war, for example, one state could use non-nuclear weapons to attack its adversary’s nuclear weapons or their command-and-control systems. Such strikes could pressure the country being attacked into using its nuclear weapons before they were disabled.

The Return of Mercenaries, Non-State Conflict, and More Predictions for the Future of Warfare

Sean McFate

Everywhere around the world, the nature of war is changing, and the West is failing to adapt. Western powers are already losing on the margins to threats like Russia, China, and others that have made the leap forward and grow bolder each year. Eventually someone will test us and win.

The West has forgotten how to win wars because of their own strategic atrophy. Judging by how much money the United States invests in conventional weapons like the F-35, many in our country still believe that future interstate wars will be fought conventionally. But although Russia and China still buy conventional weapons, they use them in unconventional ways. China has armed its fishing fleet in the South China Sea, turning it into a floating militia. Russia gave T-72 tanks, truck-mounted rocket launchers, and howitzers to its mercenaries in Syria. Tellingly, Russia even cut its military budget by a whopping 20 percent in 2017, yet it shows no sign of curbing its global ambitions. Its leaders understand that war has moved beyond lethality.


THERE’S NO DOUBT technology is shaking up the American workplace. Amazon employs more than 100,000 robots in its US warehouses, alongside more than 125,000 human workers. Sears and Brookstone, icons of brick and mortar retailing, are both bankrupt. But as machines and software get ever smarter, how many more workers will they displace, and which ones?

Economists who study employment have pushed backagainst recent predictions by Silicon Valley soothsayers like Elon Musk of an imminent tidal wave of algorithmic unemployment. The evidence indicates US workers will instead be lapped by the gentler swells of a gradual revolution, in which jobs are transformed piecemeal as machines grow more capable. Now a new study predicts that young, Hispanic, and black workers will be most affected by that creeping disruption. Men will suffer more changes to their work than women.

Cybersecurity Experts: World Needs ‘Coalition Of The Willing’ To Meet Cyberthreats

Cybersecurity experts at the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting have called for a “coalition of the willing” to embrace the Paris Call of 12 November 2018 for Trust and Security in Cyberspace (the Paris Call), a multistakeholder declaration that favours the development of common principles for securing cyberspace. The Paris Call, which has been signed by 64 states, more than 300 private-sector companies and over 150 NGOs and other civil society organizations, offers a framework for multilateral action on addressing the critical issue of cybersecurity in a time of increasingly prolific and sophisticated attacks by criminal organizations as well as nation states.

“It’s really about keeping the world safe,” said Bradford L. Smith, President and Chief Legal Officer of Microsoft. “The world depends on digital infrastructure, it depends on our devices, and they’re under attack every single day,” he said.

The Hard Part of Computer Science? Getting Into Class

By Natasha Singer

Lured by the prospect of high-salary, high-status jobs, college students are rushing in record numbers to study computer science.

Now, if only they could get a seat in class.

On campuses across the country, from major state universities to small private colleges, the surge in student demand for computer science courses is far outstripping the supply of professors, as the tech industry snaps up talent. At some schools, the shortage is creating an undergraduate divide of computing haves and have-nots — potentially narrowing a path for some minority and female students to an industry that has struggled with diversity.

The number of undergraduates majoring in the subject more than doubled from 2013 to 2017, to over 106,000, while tenure-track faculty ranks rose about 17 percent, according to the Computing Research Association, a nonprofit that gathers data from about 200 universities.

The View From Olympus: Helping the Infantry

William S. Lind

Although former Marine General James Mattis proved a disappointment as Secretary of Defense, he began one initiative that deserves to continue. Called the Close Combat Lethality Task Force (CCLTF), this joint Army-Marine Corps program is aimed at improving the effectiveness and survivability of the men who do most of the dying in combat, the infantry. Such an effort is long overdue and deserves substantial funding, as Secretary Mattis intended.

However, as presently conceived the CCLTF has some problems. They begin with a misplaced focus on improving squad lethality. Lethality and effectiveness are not the same thing. In maneuver warfare, including maneuver tactics at the small unit level, most of the enemy end up prisoners, not dead or wounded. Modern, i.e. Third Generation, tactics are not “close with and destroy”, much less “ bombard and attrit”. Rather, as demonstrated by the German infantry in 1918, they are tactics intended to “bypass and collapse”. If you are constantly appearing in your enemy’s rear and encircling him, he tends to give up.