20 February 2019


Maj Gen P K Mallick, VSM (Retd)

A targeted operation was launched a little after midnight on a tip-off that three Jaish terrorists, including the handler of the Pulwama suicide bomber, were hiding in the Pinglan area. Personnel of the 55 Rashtriya Rifles, the CRPF and the Special Operation Group of the Jammu and Kashmir police were involved in the encounter.

The encounter took place about 12 km away from Lethpora where a JeM suicide bomber, identified as Adil Ahmed Dar, drove his explosives laden vehicle into a CRPF bus, killing 40 personnel and injuring many others on Thursday. The encounter began after the security forces launched a cordon and search operation in the area during the night after receiving inputs about the presence of militants. The search operation triggered a gun battle early on Monday morning, which continued intermittently till Monday evening..

Three militants affiliated to the extremist group were killed in a 17-hour gunfight with security forces. Two terrorists have been identified as Pakistanis. All the three killed terrorists were affiliated with JeM and were wanted in a series of terror crimes including attack on security establishments and civilian atrocities. One of the Pakistani terrorists identified as Kamran had taken over as operational commander of JeM after Mufti Waqas who was killed in an encounter in February last year. Kamran was a key aide of Jaish chief Masood Azhar. Kamran, the mastermind of the Pulwama terror attack and top commander of Jaish, remained active in Pulwama and Awantipora since 2017 and had a history of terror crime records. He was responsible for the recruitment of people to the terror fold and several terror crime cases were registered against him. "Kamran's role in the February 14 suicide bombing of a CRPF convoy was under the scanner of investigators," a senior police official said.

Millions Could Perish: 5 Weapons India Would Use in a War Against Pakistan

by Kyle Mizokami

Recently India alleged a series of ceasefire violations—in the form of automatic weapons fire—by Pakistan on the border between the two countries. According to India, it was the sixth attack in just five days . Such events are a reminder that tension remains high on the Indian subcontinent.

(This first appeared in 2014 and is being reposted due to breaking news.)

The nuclear arsenals of both sides—and the red lines that would trigger their use—have made conventional war much more risky to conduct. The 1999 Kargil War is considered the closest the world has come to a nuclear war since the Cuban Missile Crisis. If India were to use its superiority in ground forces to seize a sizable amount of Pakistani territory, Pakistan could respond with nuclear weapons.

India’s submarine rivalry with China in the second nuclear age

Ramesh Thakur

There are substantially fewer nuclear weapons today than at the height of the Cold War. Yet the overall risks of nuclear war—by design, accident, rogue launch or system error—have grown in the second nuclear age. That’s because more countries with fragile command-and-control systems possess these deadly weapons. Terrorists want them, and they are vulnerable to human error, system malfunction and cyberattack.

The site of great-power rivalry has shifted from Europe to Asia with crisscrossing threat perceptions between three or more nuclear-armed states simultaneously. With North Korea now possessing a weaponised ICBM capability, the US must posture for and contend with three potential nuclear adversaries—China, Russia and North Korea.

View: War with Pakistan not an option for India, focus on Kashmiris

By GK Pillai 

The game of terrorism and counter-terrorism is a perpetually evolving one. So we need to always be prepared for new challenges. If it’s a suicide bomber today, it might be a different challenge tomorrow. We started seeing IEDs (improvised explosive devices) being used in Left Wing Extremism-hit areas and then stone pelting in Kashmir. These patterns will keep changing and our effort must be to stay a step ahead of these designs. 

In Kashmir, since 2003, the security forces — the army, the BSF, CRPF and others — have succeeded in bringing the situation to what I call a manageable level. Yes, there have been ups and downs in between, but that’s something our democracy and our society can handle very well. 

Kashmir is not a territorial issue. It’s not about a statement that we control Kashmir. It’s about bringing the people of Kashmir to our side, making them feel that they have a say in how Kashmir and their lives are governed. 

India needs sub-conventional capabilities


The car bomb attack in Indian-administered Kashmir last Thursday has caused the biggest loss of lives in the Kashmir Valley so far. The vehicle packed with 25 kilograms of explosives blew up next to a convoy of 72 vehicles carrying some 2,500 Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) personnel, killing 42, with scores injured. After the blast 30 kilometers outside Srinagar, terrorists opened fire.

An intelligence advisory marked “extremely urgent” on February 8 had warned all concerned including the CRPF, Before occupying your place of deployment, please sanitize the area properly as there are inputs of use of improvised explosive devices (IEDs). Matter most urgent.”

The Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM), believed to be a covert arm of the Pakistan Army, like the Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), has claimed responsibility for the attack. A video released by JeM indicates the extreme degree of radicalization of the bomber.

India has done little to stem radicalization in Kashmir beyond doling out money. For instance, 10% of central government grants go to Jammu and Kashmir (J&K), which has only 1% of India’s population.

Gilgit-Baltistan: Pakistan’s Geopolitical Loophole

By Kunwar Khuldune Shahid

On February 5, Kashmir Day was observed across Pakistan to mark the unfulfilled freedom struggle going on in Kashmir. It was also commemorated on either side of the divide that separates Pakistani- and Indian-administered portions of the disputed Kashmir territory.

On the same day, protests were organized in Gilgit-Baltistan against the Pakistani state’s violations in the region. While local media hushed the protests, similar to its blackout of the Pashtun Tahaffuz Movement, there has been a nationalist movement brewing in Gilgit-Baltistan as the locals stand up against continued denial of their basic human rights.

The locals’ long pent up sentiments spilled over in May last year, when the then-Pakistan Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi announced the Gilgit-Baltistan Reforms Order 2018 in front of the GB Assembly. Police had to be summoned, with tear gas being fired to contain the protesters, several of whom were injured as a result.

How the U.S. Can Escape the Graveyard of Empires

By James Stavridis

The problems in Afghanistan often feel intractable, like a knot of countless ropes bound together. Every time a strand is pulled, another part of the knot tightens up. Currently, the Taliban refuse to have talks with the Afghan government, which they label a puppet regime; the Kabul government insists that any power-sharing agreement allow limited numbers of Western troops to remain; the Pakistanis, who have long sheltered Taliban leaders, are unwilling to fully encourage a peace settlement; the U.S. and its NATO partners are sick of war and want out; the Russians play a complex double game, sometimes encouraging the Taliban and other times working with the government; and India and China covet the rare-earth metals and other minerals under the dry soil -- perhaps $2 trillion worth.

China’s Digital Silk Road and Southeast Asia

Brian Harding
Source Link

Southeast Asia is home to many of China’s most high-profile Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) projects, including Kyakpyu port in Myanmar, a high-speed railway in northern Laos, and now-stalled rail and pipeline projects in Malaysia. While these physical infrastructure projects have attracted widespread attention, China’s involvement in the region’s digital infrastructure has been far less examined despite holding the potential to have even greater strategic importance in the coming years.

Southeast Asia’s rapidly growing economies, buoyed by young populations living in some of the world’s most digitized societies, offer tremendous business opportunities for information and communication technology (ICT) companies from around the world. However, Southeast Asia’s strategic importance for China, the United States, Japan, and others, and the advantages that will come with control over data flows, mean that the region’s decisions on digital infrastructure and internet governance will have implications that far transcend business outcomes. The United States, Japan, and other countries have begun to focus considerable attention on this issue, but the challenge of competing with China in an environment in which its companies enjoy substantial advantages over competitors due in part to government support is daunting.
Digital Silk Road and Southeast Asia

China's Digital Dividend

by Longmei Zhang and Sally Chen

Digitalization has created millions of new jobs in China, accounting for between one-third and one-half of employment growth in the world’s second-largest economy.

Our Chart of the Week shows employment in two sectors: information and communications technology (ICT) and retailing. ICT added 14 million new jobs for high-skilled workers in the five years through 2016, and the average wage doubled.

The Little-Known Security Gaps In China's Belt and Road Initiative

by Mollie Saltskog Colin P. Clarke

China’s Belt and Road Initiative, sometimes referred to as “One Belt, One Road,” or “the new Silk Road,” is Beijing’s signature foreign policy project focused on developing robust infrastructure to connect China to key hubs of economic activity throughout the world. Even though the Chinese Communist Party might dispute this characterization, the initiative is also a geopolitical strategy—underpinned by energy security and access to resources—that is thinly veiled as an economic policy.

With all of the focus on economics and energy, however, there have been few public discussions about the security concerns surrounding this endeavor, especially as the various lines of effort extend across and through a range of failed states and ungoverned spaces in some of the most unstable parts of the globe. In addition, increasing anti-Chinese sentiment in parts of Central Asia and Africa have brought increased threats of terrorism and sabotage aimed at disrupting China’s growing presence in these regions.

China's Logistics Modernization is Changing the Pacific Military Balance

by Lyle J. Goldstein

The well-worn formulation that “amateurs study tactics, while professionals study logistics” has significant explanatory power when considering the rapidly changing balance of power in the western Pacific. This derives from the single, unalterable fact that Beijing will operate on interior lines in almost any scenario in that theater, while Washington will operate on exterior lines in such a conflict. Thus, the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) will not only bring more initial firepower to any fight, but perhaps more importantly, can sustain that immense volume of firepower. “Blue” forces, by contrast, will be operating at the end of very long and likely tenuous supply lines for an extended period.

Myanmar:The Dragon on a ‘Roll’

By S.Chandrasekharan

Events in Myanmar are moving at a bewildering pace both in the ethnic front and in moving towards Constitutional amendments. There is an indirect benefit for India too with the Myanmar Army acting against the Indian Insurgents operating from Myanmar for the first time in a serious manner. Above all, what is seen is the shadow of China taking the initiatives which were absent all these years- but not to be ignored is that China is not doing for any selfless service for the sake of Myanmar but to further its interests on its border. The war in Rakhine State is getting intensified with heavy casualties on both sides.

First, on the Myitsone Dam. 

As I had said earlier it looks that China will some-how manage to re start the Myitsone Project despite protests from the people in the region. In this both Suu Kyi and even the Army Chief appear to be interested to accommodate China.

The Minister of Investment and Foreign Relations U Thang Tun was honest enough to admit that the Government is working hard to find a solution with all options from down-sizing to re-locating or even develop other projects instead.

The End of Strategic Luxury for China

By Zhixing Zhang

Signs of China's economic maturation, such as decreased reliance on exports and reduced returns on government-led investments, have promised an era of slowed Chinese economic growth since the years after the global financial crisis. China needs more time and space to facilitate its domestic socio-economic transformation and upgrade its value chain, but it is losing the "strategic luxury" of a relatively stable external environment. Beijing will reverse infrastructure spending and credit expansion and try to use financial incentives to stimulate domestic consumption where it can, but it is likely to face greater economic pain, at least in the short term.

Editor's Note: This assessment is part of a series of analyses supporting Stratfor's upcoming 2019 Second-Quarter Forecast. These assessments are designed to provide more context and in-depth analysis on key developments over the next quarter.

How do you fight China? Stealth aircraft and submarines would dominate the first days of a Sino-American war

by Alex Hollings

The role of military strategists in America’s defense apparatus isn’t to establish policy that leads to war, nor is it to inform the politics that surround one. Strategists are tasked with identifying potential conflicts and developing strategies to mitigate, manage, or win those conflicts if they were to manifest. This is why the media occasionally drags out stories about “plans” to conduct military operations on foreign soil as though they’re evidence of some nation-level ulterior motive, when the truth of the matter really is that you need to have a plan to act on the day a conflict arises. If you wait for the conflict to arise before establishing a plan, you’ll be fighting from your heels.

ISIS fighters have been fleeing from Syria into Iraq, perhaps with millions of dollars in tow

By Barbara Starr

(CNN)More than 1,000 ISIS fighters have likely fled from Syria into the mountains and deserts of western Iraq in the past six months, and they may have up to $200 million in cash with them, according to a US military official familiar with situation. ISIS fighters have continued to flee even as the final fighting has unfolded in the group's last stronghold in southeastern Syria. Some of the last fighters are also believed to be former members of al Qaeda in Iraq, according to a second official. The assessments and estimates of ISIS' strength come in the finals days of the physical caliphate, the officials said. Earlier this month, Gen. Joseph Votel, the four-star general in charge of US military operations in the Middle East, estimated there were 20,000 to 30,000 ISIS fighters remaining -- which lines up with a UN estimate from August. A US Defense Department report from the summer estimated there are between 15,500 and 17,100 ISIS militants in Iraq and another 14,000 in Syria.

Measuring Strategic Progress Against ISIS

Patricia H. M. Morrissey

“’All the airstrikes and the operations were for nothing if we aren’t able to hold the areas cleared of the militants,’ said Rezwanullah Basharmal, the senior Afghan official in Deh Bala. ‘We, the district government, don’t have the capacity and enough numbers of forces to protect the area.’”

-- WSJ: “U.S., Afghan Offensive Crushes Islamic State in Area Near Pakistan,” 21 June 2018


Over the past four years the United States and its partners have labored mightily to remove ISIS “Core” from its self-declared Caliphate in Iraq and Syria, sever the global organization’s connection to its branches, and disrupt its propaganda and recruitment capabilities, but the number of ISIS-affiliated groups has grown and emerged in new places. In this global fight, we continue to assess progress against ISIS and its branches and networks using maps that show territory physically taken, fighters killed, locations of enemy and friendly forces, and we count numbers of IDPs in camps or returned to their homes. We attempt to identify jihadist leaders and their locations so they can be detained or targeted. This information tells us very little about the underlying political and social competition or the longer-term prospects of our partners for sustainably defeating ISIS. As history has taught us, quantitative assessment of an insurgent or violent extremist enemy’s strength versus our own only provides a fleeting, surface-level snapshot of current conditions. 

How To Feed The World By 2050? Recent Breakthrough Boosts Plant Growth By 40 Percent

One of the most significant challenges of the 21st Century is how to sustainably feed a growing and more affluent global population with less water and fertilizers on shrinking acreage, despite stagnating yields, threats of pests and disease, and a changing climate.

“The meeting this year is about ‘Science Transcending Boundaries’–the idea for the session is to highlight research that is transcending scientific and knowledge boundaries, with the ultimate goal to transcend geographic boundaries and reach smallholder farmers in Africa,” said Lisa Ainsworth, a scientist with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service (USDA-ARS) and an adjunct professor of plant biology at the University of Illinois. Recently, Ainsworth was awarded the 2019 National Academy of Sciences Prize in Food and Agriculture Sciences.

What can the EU do to keep its firms globally relevant?


Big is beautiful – so goes the claim of many European business leaders and Peter Altmaier, the German economics minister, when they talk about Europe’s corporate position in the world.

It is true that EU companies remain highly competitive globally and very successful exporters. It is also true that the EU continues to be a very open economy with a trade surplus. Yet, despite this, there is a fear that EU companies will find it increasingly difficult to be on top of the global value chains – or, put differently, to be global leaders. And despite the successes of EU companies, among the top 50 Fortune 500 global companies there are only 10 firms from the EU, while there are 21 firms from the US and 11 from China.

Europe clearly lags behind its global competitors in the platform business (Evans and Gawer, 2016) and forecasts are no better while 70% of the global economic impact of AI is expected to be concentrated in North America and China. Many argue that EU-based firms simply lack the critical scale to compete.

Political Turmoil And An Unravelling Budget: Why Spain Is Europe’s Next Powderkeg; And, A Message To The U.S.

The title above is from Anna Issac’s article in today’s (February 17, 2019) DailyTelegraph. I refer you to the Daily Telegraph and Ms. Issac’s article for the full details. But, the title sums it up pretty well. If Spain was a volcano, there would be smoke rising; and, increasing signs of an impending eruption. For the first time since the end of the Francisco Franco dictatorship in 1975, a far-right party, Vox, is gaining prominence and stature in the more impoverished southern regions of Spain. emerged. Founded in 2013 by Santiago Abascal, Vox became the first far-right party to win seats in parliament since 1977. As Raphael Minder wrote in today’s New York Times, “With Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez’s decision on Friday to call for new elections, Vox, which got its election breakthrough in El Ejido, [Spain’s southern coast], will now have a chance to test its appeal on a national stage. Its entry will break a taboo for Spain, which until now, has resisted the pull of the far-right nationalism alive in much of Europe.”

“In regional elections last December/2018 in Andalusia, where Almeria is located, Vox won 11 percent of the vote,” Mr. Minder notes. “In El Ejido, a local municipality of about 90,000, it came out on top with 30 percent. What animates Vox, supporters say, is an urge to reclaim and defend Spanish nationalism, in the face of perceived threats to the country’s, integrity” he noted.

Aristotle’s Way: How Ancient Wisdom Can Change Your Life”; New Book On The World’s Greatest Philosopher – Enlightens Us On Finding Meaning & Purpose In Our Lives

There is a new book out — “Aristotle’s Way,” by Edith Hall, that brings a fresh new look at perhaps the greatest philosopher and thinker humankind will ever produce. According to Ms. Hall’s Wikipedia biography, she is a British scholar of classics, specializing in Greek literature and cultural history, and a Professor in the Department of Classics and Center for Hellenic Studies at King’s College, London. Her new book was reviewed in the February 15, 2019 edition of the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) by Julian Baggini, author of “How The World Thinks: A Global History Of Philosophy.” Ms. Hall’s new book was also reviewed by John Kaag in the January 27, 2019 New York Times (book review section). Mr. Kaag is a Professor of Philosophy at the University of Massachusetts, Lowell, a Miller Scholar at the Santa Fe Institute, and author of “Hiking With Nietzsche: On Becoming Who You Are.”

Mr. Baggini begins, “there is no shortage of books promising to show “how ancient wisdom can change your life,” the generic subtitle of Ms. Hall’s new book. “What distinguishes “Aristotle’s Way,” he wrote, “from its predecessors, is the eponymous subject really can deliver on the promise.”

Governance of the Deployment of Solar Geoengineering

Gernot Wagner 

The Harvard Project on Climate Agreements has released a volume of 26 briefs that explores a range of topics related to how we might govern the deployment of solar geoengineering. “Solar geoengineering” (SG) refers to the deliberate alteration of the earth’s radiative balance in order to reduce the risks attributed to the accumulation of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. The method most commonly discussed as technically plausible and potentially effective involves adding aerosols to the lower stratosphere, where they would reflect some (~1%) incoming sunlight back to space.

This type of SG — and possibly some others — are associated with incentive structures that are the inverse of those for reducing greenhouse-gas emissions. The latter is a global commons problem, the structure of which requires cooperation at the highest jurisdictional level (that is, international cooperation) in order to advance mitigation adequately. It has been challenging to design and implement institutions and agreements to support such multilateral cooperation.

Does Rising Artificial Intelligence Pose a Threat?

By Scot A. Terban

Scot A. Terban is a security professional with over 13 years experience specializing in areas such as Ethical Hacking/Pen Testing, Social Engineering Information, Security Auditing, ISO27001, Threat Intelligence Analysis, Steganography Application and Detection. He tweets at @krypt3iaand his website is https://krypt3ia.wordpress.com. Divergent Options’ content does not contain information of an official nature nor does the content represent the official position of any government, any organization, or any group.

Title: Does Rising Artificial Intelligence Pose a Threat?

Summary: Artificial Intelligence or A.I. has been a long-standing subject of science fiction that usually ends badly for the human race in some way. From the ‘Terminator’ films to ‘Wargames,’ an A.I. being dangerous is a common theme. The reality though is that A.I. could go either way depending on the circumstances. However, at the present state of A.I. and it’s uses today, it is more of a danger than a boon in it’s use on the battlefield both political and militarily.

Cyber warfare: Did Russia hack the Army’s Stryker Dragoon armored vehicles?

by Ahmed Hassan

In 2017, the U.S. Army’s 2nd Cavalry Regiment stationed in Europe received the first batch of the improved or up-gunned—in military parlance—Stryker Dragoon armored vehicles. Commanders on the ground requested them, as the 2nd needed to improve its capabilities against near-peer adversaries in theatre. In Europe, this likely would mean Russia.

The term adversary is typically reserved for real foes. According to the official Department of Defense Dictionary of Military and Associated Terms, an “adversary” is “A party acknowledged as potentially hostile to a friendly party and against which the use of force may be envisaged.” However, according to The War Zone, “adversaries” is also a term used by U.S. armed forces to describe “surrogate opponents during an exercise.”

Artificial intelligence, deepfakes, and the uncertain future of trut

John Villasenor

Deepfakes can be used in ways that are highly disturbing. Candidates in a political campaign can be targeted by manipulated videos in which they appear to say things that could harm their chances for election. Deepfakes are also being used to place people in pornographic videos that they in fact had no part in filming.

Because they are so realistic, deepfakes can scramble our understanding of truth in multiple ways. By exploiting our inclination to trust the reliability of evidence that we see with our own eyes, they can turn fiction into apparent fact. And, as we become more attuned to the existence of deepfakes, there is also a subsequent, corollary effect: they undermine our trust in all videos, including those that are genuine. Truth itself becomes elusive, because we can no longer be sure of what is real and what is not.

What can be done? There’s no perfect solution, but there are at least three avenues that can be used to address deepfakes: technology, legal remedies, and improved public awareness.

A Smarter Battlefield?: PLA Concepts for 'Intelligent Operations' Begin to Take Shape

By Brent M. Eastwood


CCP General Secretary Xi Jinping has shown himself to be a great enthusiast for the subject of artificial intelligence (AI). He is often photographed for propaganda purposes meeting with scientists at various research centers around the country, and has delivered high-profile speeches on the importance that AI development holds for China’s future (South China Morning Post, October 31 2018; Xinhua, November 1 2018). This intensive AI focus on the part of the PRC leadership has generated concerns among national security circles in the United States and other countries that emerging AI technologies will be incorporated into the Chinese military—and there is ample evidence that PRC political and military leaders do indeed see AI as a critical component of their country’s future military capabilities (CNAS, February 6; MIT Technology Review, February 7).

Most of China’s current AI military research is focused on hardware—such as robotic tanks and vehicles, autonomous drones, and remotely-piloted submarines. These pursuits are heavy on mechanical engineering and traditional research and development. They also fit within a broader pattern that has been noted by PLA scholars for the past two decades: the development of advanced weapons and military technologies as part of the “assassin’s mace” concept, in which the PLA will seek to conduct crippling asymmetric blows against potential opponents. [1] Previous examples of “assassin’s mace” weapons might have included the deployment of an anti-ship missile versus an aircraft carrier; however, assassin’s mace weapons might now include the use of big data, the Internet of Things, or cloud computing integrated with next-generation weaponry.

Who is to be Trusted with Military History?

Franklin C. Annis

Georges Clemenceau once asserted that “War .. [is] much too serious a thing to be left to the military”. U.S. Service Members would recognize this assertion to be true as applied to modern warfare. Clemenceau’s assertion presents an interesting follow on question. If war exceeds the limits of the military, should the recording of military history also be perceived as a task exceeding the abilities of Department of Defense historians? In this paper, we will examine Clemenceau’s original assertion and if demonstrated to be true will examine the question of who should be responsible for the recording and the examination of military history.

War Exceeds the Scope of the Military

The Most Eventful Night in the White House Situation Room: Year 2051

Lydia Kostopoulos

This scenario takes place late February 2051 in the White House. The incumbent President [Addison Grant] has won reelection, by a large margin, and is in the first 100 days of her second term. President Grant spent her whole first term focusing on jobs and upskilling the nation. She revamped the public education system K-12 and made four years of university part of government funded public education in efforts to bolster the domestic talent pool – which was common practice among U.S. allies in Europe. She held companies accountable to provide upskilling opportunities to employees in efforts to curb technological unemployment and keep as many people as possible inside the labor market. As the middle class grew so did her support. While she was criticized for putting more money into education instead of defense, at such a contentious moment, she was resolute in her belief that it was human ingenuity that was going to win the next war not the number of autonomous weapons she had in her arsenal.

A Key U.S. Ally is Close to Adding Swarming Attack Drones to its Military Arsenal

by Aaron Gregg

Swarms of small attack drones that confuse and overwhelm anti-aircraft defenses could soon become an important part of the modern military arsenal, Britain’s defense secretary said, something that would mark a major evolution in robot-enabled warfare.

Speaking at the London-based Royal United Services Institute think tank, British defense secretary Gavin Williamson said Britain will fund the development of “swarm squadrons of network enabled drones capable of confusing and overwhelming enemy air defenses,” noting that such vehicles would complement the British fleet of F-35 Joint Strike Fighters.

He seemed to confirm what some military experts have said for years: The technology to enable synchronized drone swarms is here, and military leaders are starting to embrace the idea of building it into their operations.

Tech companies have demonstrated that they can organize drone swarms for complex light shows and other flashy endeavors. And some widely publicized systems tests in the United States have shown how the military can adapt that concept for its own use.

Who is to be Trusted with Military History?

Franklin C. Annis

Georges Clemenceau once asserted that “War .. [is] much too serious a thing to be left to the military”. U.S. Service Members would recognize this assertion to be true as applied to modern warfare. Clemenceau’s assertion presents an interesting follow on question. If war exceeds the limits of the military, should the recording of military history also be perceived as a task exceeding the abilities of Department of Defense historians? In this paper, we will examine Clemenceau’s original assertion and if demonstrated to be true will examine the question of who should be responsible for the recording and the examination of military history.

War Exceeds the Scope of the Military

The United States Military recognizes that the military is only one of the instruments of national power. The Joint Publication 1 presents the acronym “D.I.M.E” to describe the various instruments of national power. These instruments are Diplomatic, Informational, Military, and Economic.[i] It should be immediately clear that the military only fully controls one of these domains. The other domains are at least partially controlled by other organizations. When we look at war, we must recognize that the military doesn’t have full control or visibility of all the activities occurring in their four instruments. With full visibility of only one of these factors, we must recognize that any record of historical events produced by the military will be restricted to the limited information they control and what information they can access from other agencies. Therefore, the resulting histories produced by Department of Defense historians are likely to be biased on how they present the impact of military actions because of ignorance of ongoing activities in other instruments of power at the time. With a lack of understanding of the full activities of other governmental agencies, there may be a natural tendency to overly attribute battlefield success or failure on to military leaders and units. 

A Retrospective on the So-Called Revolution in Military Affairs, 2000-2020

by Michael E. O’Hanlon 

Executive Summary Excerpt

This paper revisits the debate that raged in American defense circles in the 1990s over whether a revolution in military affairs was imminent in the early parts of the 21st century. It also seeks to establish a benchmark, and reaffirm as well as refine a methodology, for forecasting future changes in military-related technologies by examining what has transpired in the first two decades of the 21st century. Taking this approach helps improve and validate the methodology that is employed in my forthcoming book, The Senkaku Paradox: Risking Great Power War Over Small Stakes (2019). A subsequent paper seeks to extrapolate a similar analysis out to 2040, gauging the potential for major breakthroughs in military technology and associated operational concepts over the next two decades. Such analysis is of critical importance for evaluating American and allied military and strategic options relevant to great-power war and deterrence in the years ahead.

Germany’s soldiers of misfortune

BERLIN — Fighter jets and helicopters that don’t fly. Ships and submarines that can’t sail. Severe shortages of everything from ammunition to underwear.

If it sounds like an exaggeration to compare Germany’s Bundeswehr to “The Gang that Couldn’t Shoot Straight,” look no further than the army’s standard-issue assault rifle, Heckler & Koch’s G36. The government decided to scrap the weapon after discovering that the gun misses its target if it’s too hot.

“There is neither enough personnel nor materiel, and often one confronts shortage upon shortage,” Hans-Peter Bartels, a Social Democrat MP charged with monitoring the Bundeswehr for parliament, concluded in a reportpublished at the end of January. “The troops are far from being fully-equipped.”

Once one of the fiercest (and most brutal) fighting forces on earth, today’s German army increasingly looks more like a volunteer fire department — last month, mountain troops were dispatched to shovel snow from roofs in Bavaria — than a modern military machine.