23 February 2019

This Is How the Kashmir Terrorist Attack Could Start a Major War

by Mohammed Ayoob

The recent violence in Kashmir has provoked New Delhi.

On February 15, after chairing a top-level meeting of his cabinet’s Security Committee, Indian prime minister Narendra Modi declared, “I want to tell the terrorists and their backers... they have made a big mistake. You will have to pay a very heavy price . . . I assure everyone that the forces behind the attack... we will bring them to justice.” This declaration came after the February 14 suicide bomber attack on a convoy of vehicles carrying 2,500 Indian security personnel on the Jammu-Srinagar National Highway in the Pulwama district in southern Kashmir.

The attack resulted in the death of over forty Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) personnel. The Pakistan-based Islamist militant group Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM), which has very close ties with Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) and often acts as its surrogate in the context of the ongoing unrest and terrorism in Indian-administered Kashmir, immediately claimed responsibility for the terrorist operation.

Are Indian Separatist Rebels in the Myanmar Army’s Crosshairs?

By Rajeev Bhattacharyya

A few camps and training facilities belonging to separatist groups from India’s northeast have been evacuated in Myanmar’s Taga region following the deployment of army columns late last month in a development that has taken the rebel groups by surprise.

The Tatmadaw — the Myanmar military — in press releases has said that the operation was carried out between January 29 and February 1 after it was found that “some Assam and Kathe (Manipur) armed insurgent groups deploy their strengths in NSCN(K) Camp near Takar (Taga) Village in Naga Self-Administered Zone of Sagaing Region and its surrounding areas in the disguise of NSCN(K) group and may conduct military training.”

'US does not want India, Pakistan to go to war'

'Washington is telegraphing here is its willingness to support a low-grade, limited use of force meant to send a strong message to Pakistan.'
'Perhaps something along the lines of the surgical strikes in 2016, or perhaps something a bit more -- but not much more.'

Michael Kugelman is one of the most astute observers of developments in India, Pakistan and Afghanistan, and all you need to do is read this interview -- and the next part -- and amaze at his understanding of the complexities of the region in which we live.

In the first part of an e-mail interview with Rediff.com's Nikhil Lakshman, Michael -- Deputy Director and Senior Associate for the South Asia programme at the Wilson Center, the Washington, DC-based think-tank -- looks closely at the fog of war enveloping current strategic conversations in the Indian sub-continent and discusses the events that could emerge from the miasma of anger and loathing.

Moving Beyond Informality? The Process Toward Peace in Afghanistan.

Nilofar Sakhi

Peace making through intrastate and interstate diplomacy are central aspects of the process toward peace in Afghanistan. Beginning in early 2010, these dual diplomatic strategies have, however, been confined to discussing the logistical arrangements for various peace talks; initiating intra-Afghan peace initiatives that have included building a constituency for peace, convening a national jirga for peace, and considering how to demobilize and reintegrate insurgents; informal exchanges between various parties to the conflict, particularly the Afghan government, the Taliban, Pakistan and the United States; and preparing a regional consensus for peace that has involved initial engagement with Pakistan.

From the presidential palace in Kabul (the Arg) to foreign embassies, international agencies to local non-governmental organizations, the proverbial march toward ending the Afghan war and ushering in sustainable peace saw each of these entities begin to draft concept papers, proposals, and coordinate efforts to initiate peacebuilding activities. Simultaneously, in 2010, Ambassador Richard Holbrooke, former Special Envoy to Afghanistan and Pakistan, emphasized the need to initiate a targeted and detailed dialogue between Afghan political leaders and a key regional player, Pakistan. Secret talks between specific Afghan leaders and Taliban representative, Mullah Akhtar Muhammad Mansour (whose identity and participation in meetings remained unclear for a long time), marked another critical juncture in the process toward discussing peace in Afghanistan.

The Balochistan Insurgency and the Threat to Chinese Interests in Pakistan

By: Adnan Aamir


On November 23, 2018, insurgents of the Baloch Liberation Army (BLA) attacked the PRC Consulate in Karachi, Pakistan. The assault resulted in the deaths of seven people, including two police officers and three of the attackers (Dawn, November 23 2018). One month after this incident, the BLA commander responsible for the attack—Aslam Baloch, alias “Achoo”—was himself killed in a suicide attack in the Afghan city of Kandahar (Tolo News, December 26 2018). Despite the death of their leader, the BLA has vowed to continue attacks on Chinese interests in Balochistan (Balochistan Post, December 26 2018).

The BLA is one of the oldest, and arguably the largest, of at least six nationalist-separatist militant groups fighting against the Pakistani government for an independent Balochistan—a large province occupying the southwestern region of Pakistan, with its provincial capital in the city of Quetta (Terrorism Monitor, January 25). The November 2018 incident in Karachi raised the question as to why the BLA would seemingly turn aside from its struggle with Pakistan’s government in order to make a symbolic attack against a foreign country. The answer is found in the PRC’s extensive investments in the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), and how Baloch nationalists view the Chinese presence in their region.

Breakdown Of The Long Peace And Taliban’s Bloody Nose Strategy – OpEd

By Tamim Asey

With each passing day attaining a sustainable, inclusive and broad based peace seems distant and farther away in Afghanistan primarily because of a divided political elite in Kabul, a deceptive Pakistan, an emboldened Taliban playing the long game and an impatient America in a hurry to declare victory and bring US service members back home. Nobody underestimated that the Afghan peace process will be a straight line and if history is any guide it shows that almost all of the Afghan peace negotiations have failed in the process whether it was the Geneva accords in the 1980s or the Jeddah peace deal between the warring mujahidin factions during the civil war in the 1990s.

President Trump’s patience is running thin towards the Afghan war – his State Department Special Envoy, Zalmay Khalilzad, is under pressure to deliver a peace deal in months rather than years whereas the Taliban and their sponsors in Pakistan and the wider region are playing the long game. This has made the Afghan public wary to say the least and the Afghan elite to shift their loyalties to the powerbrokers in the region.

Slowly but surely, China is moving into Afghanistan


As the war in Afghanistan winds down, China looks to make Afghanistan a bigger part of its regional ambitions.

In 2013, Chinese president Xi Jinping inaugurated the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), a vast network of infrastructure projects spanning more than 60 countries. But the BRI largely excludes Afghanistan, moving through Central Asia and Pakistan instead.

That may now be changing. China has steadily increased its involvement in Afghanistan in recent years, and a nascent peace process offers some hope that stability might return to the country, bringing with it the possibility of greater trade and investment.

This shift is reflected in a major new report on the BRI’s expansion into Afghanistan by the Organization for Policy Research and Development Studies (DROPS), a Kabul-based think tank.

China's Cognitive Warfare, with Rachael Burton

DEVIN STEWART: Hi, I'm Devin Stewart here at Carnegie Council in New York City, and today I am speaking with Rachael Burton of the Project 2049 Institute in Arlington, Virginia.

Rachael, great to speak with you today.

RACHAEL BURTON: Hi, Devin. Thank you for having me. I'm looking forward to the conversation.

DEVIN STEWART: Let's talk a little bit about Project 2049 Institute. Your website says it's "a non-profit research organization focused on promoting American values and security interests in the Indo-Pacific region." Tell us a little bit about what the organization does and how it was founded. I understand that one of the co-founders was Randy Schriver, who is now at the Pentagon. That's quite interesting.

What's the mission and background?

Britain's Empty South China Sea Gesture

By Kerry Brown

The rumors that the planned visit of British Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond to China is being postponed due to Chinese displeasure at the deployment of a Royal Navy aircraft carrier in the South China Sea area on February 16 had an ominous feel to them. Britain is well used to being in the doghouse with Beijing. After all, former Prime Minister David Cameron had enraged Chinese leaders in the final years of the Hu presidency by meeting the Tibetan religious leader the Dalai Lama while he was in London to pick up a prize in 2012. But for the U.K. now, facing an imminent Brexit, the stakes have increased dramatically if they do get things wrong with China.

As the world’s second biggest economy, China would be a natural target for all the talk of a global Britain freed from the constraints of the European Union (EU) and able to head into the world and make trade deals with a new set of partners. At the moment, unlike the United States and Australia, China ranks not as Britain’s largest trading partner, but comes in an underwhelming fifth, ranked below Ireland. In terms of investment, too, it accounts for under 2 percent of the U.K.’s stocks. The vast bulk of investments are from the EU, or the U.S.

China’s Nuclear Power Sector: What It Is and What It Is Not (Yet)

China’s recent, rapid expansion of its domestic nuclear power generation fleet sets it apart from most, if not all, of nuclear power-dependent economies around the world that have seen the zero-carbon source of electricity come under economic or social pressure. Only a few weeks ago, the fourth and the last of U.S.-designed AP1000 rector project units China had embarked on a decade ago came into commercial operation in Shandong province. Indeed, between 2012 and 2018, China added the most nuclear power capacity in the world, strongly aided by its government promotion of nuclear power as a crucial tool to combat the grave air pollution the country faces. China has 42.8 gigawatts (GWe) operable net nuclear capacity today, making its fleet the third largest in the world behind France (63.1 GWe) and the United States (99.3 GWe). According to the Chinese government targets, China’s installed nuclear capacity would reach 58 GWe by 2020, and 120-150 GWe by 2030, overtaking France within a decade, and the United States by 2030.

China Plans to Turn Hong Kong and Macau Into a Silicon Valley Rival


China unveiled a sweeping plan to link Hong Kong and Macau with cities in southern China to create a so-called Greater Bay Area, aiming to transform the coastal region into a high-tech megalopolis to rival California’s Silicon Valley.

The outline plan, published in Chinese by Xinhua News Agency late Monday, said the government will seek to turn the area into a leading global innovation hub, boost infrastructure connectivity between cities and strengthen Hong Kong’s role as an international center of finance, shipping and trade as well as the center for the offshore yuan business.

Hong Kong, Macau, Shenzhen and Guangzhou will be the four key Bay Area cities, driving the region’s economic development, according to the blueprint. HSBC Holdings Plc has estimated the region — with more than 67 million residents — would boast a trillion-dollar economy and eclipse Japan as the world’s fourth-largest exporter.

The New Containment Handling Russia, China, and Iran

By Michael Mandelbaum

The quarter century following the Cold War was the most peaceful in modern history. The world’s strongest powers did not fight one another or even think much about doing so. They did not, on the whole, prepare for war, anticipate war, or conduct negotiations and political maneuvers with the prospect of war looming in the background. As U.S. global military hegemony persisted, the possibility of developed nations fighting one another seemed ever more remote.

Then history began to change course. In the last several years, three powers have launched active efforts to revise security arrangements in their respective regions. Russia has invaded Crimea and other parts of Ukraine and has tried covertly to destabilize European democracies. China has built artificial island fortresses in international waters, claimed vast swaths of the western Pacific, and moved to organize Eurasia economically in ways favorable to Beijing. And the Islamic Republic of Iran has expanded its influence over much of Iraq, Lebanon, Syria, and Yemen and is pursuing nuclear weapons.

Is the Future of ISIS Female?

By Vera Mironova

MOSUL, Iraq — Sitting in a room in a burned-out house here in 2017, a group of Iraqi Special Operations Forces soldiers and I watched with surprise as two Islamic State fighters appeared on the live video feed of a security camera. The two fighters were preparing to fire a rocket-propelled grenade in our direction. But instead of the usual bearded men with long hair, the fighters, clad in black abayas and niqabs, appeared to be women.

As it has lost power and land over the past year and a half or so, the Islamic State has quietly shifted from insistence on a strict gender hierarchy to allowing, even celebrating, female participation in military roles. It’s impossible to quantify just how many women are fighting for the group. Still, interviews with police forces in Mosul suggest they’ve become a regular presence that no longer surprises, as it did two years ago. “After ISIS fell in Mosul, we are worried about ISIS females more and more,” Mosul’s mayor, Zuhair Muhsin Mohammed al-Araji, told me this month.

Syrian Experience Provides New Impetus for Russia’s UAV Strategy (Part Two)

By: Sergey Sukhankin

A popular saying among Russian military historians is that “the AK-47 is a weapon of the proletariat” due to this automatic assault rifle’s extreme popularity with insurgent forces in regional conflicts around the world throughout most of the Cold War and beyond. Yet, the Syrian civil war has arguably seen the AK-47 be superseded by the unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) as the latest indispensable tool of asymmetric warfare (Vpk-news.ru, January 16, 2018; see EDM, January 16, 17, 2018). In light of this reality, Russian has been cultivating its ability to utilize UAVs over the battlefield as well as working to develop its first unmanned combat aerial vehicle (UCAV) (see Part One, February 13, 2019). At the same time, Moscow seems to be experimenting with employing UAVs to bolster the Russian Armed Forces’ Network Centric Warfare (NCW) capabilities in addition to being able to use drones to disrupt the enemy’s NCW systems. Moreover, Russia is seeking to develop effective anti-UAVs capabilities as quickly as possible. Reportedly, it is practicing these skills mainly in the Southern Military District (SMD) and partner countries along Russia’s southern perimeter—apparently due to this area’s climactic and geographic similarities to Syria (see below).

Russia’s Armed Forces Expand UAV Strike Capability

By: Roger McDermott

Complementing the Russian Armed Forces’ drive to integrate Command, Control, Communications, Computers, Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (C4ISR) capabilities, growing interest additionally centers on the development of new unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV). This links to General Staff perspectives on modern and future warfare, while drawing upon the lessons learned from extensive UAV use in the conflicts in Ukraine and Syria (see EDM, July 10, 2018; February 13, 2019). In these theaters, Russian drones have mainly been employed for reconnaissance, Electronic Warfare (EW), battle damage assessment (BDA) or experiments with reconnaissance-strike complexes. Yet, that battle experience exposed the need to both diversify UAV types and to develop greater strike potential. Recent appearances of experimental UAVs and those displayed at arms shows indicate a surge in design activity around offensive lethal UAV systems (Kalashnikovgroup.ru, February 17; see EDM, January 29).

You Have 19 Minutes to React If the Russians Hack Your Network


After Moscow's hackers breach one PC, that network's defenders have less than a half-hour to prevent wider data theft or destruction, a new report finds.

Nineteen minutes. That’s how long the average victim of a Russian state-sponsored hacking group has to react before the initial penetration of a network becomes wider access, theft, and destruction, according to data published today by computer security company CrowdStrike.

By comparison, the second-fastest groups were North Koreans, who needed an average of two hours to jump from the first compromised computer to the second; Chinese groups needed an average of four hours.

A Battle Plan for the World Bank

By David Miliband

The abrupt resignation of Jim Yong Kim as president of the World Bank on February 1—more than three years before the scheduled end of his term—sent ripples of concern through the global development community. With the multilateral system under sustained attack, the last thing it needs is instability at the top.

On February 6, U.S. President Donald Trump nominated David Malpass, a U.S. Treasury official, to succeed Kim at the bank’s helm. Other countries have until mid-March to put forward their own candidates, but the United States controls 16 percent of votes in the executive board, giving Malpass every chance of becoming the latest in a long line of American leaders at the bank.

The American objective of isolating Iran continues to be a failure

Recent days have been witness to important events; The Middle East Conference at Warsaw, co-hosted by Poland and the US State Department on February 13 & 14, and the Munich Conference. Differences between the EU and the US over dealing with challenges in the Middle East, as well as Iran, were reiterated during both these events.

The Middle East Conference in Warsaw lacked legitimacy, as a number of important individuals were not present. Some of the notable absentees were the EU Foreign Policy Chief, Federica Mogherini, and the Foreign Ministers of Germany, France, and Italy. Significantly, on February 14, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, Russian President Vladimir Putin, and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan met in Sochi, Russia to discuss the latest developments in Syria and how the three countries could work together.

Personalised aspect of Trump’s Diplomacy

Does Rising Artificial Intelligence Pose a Threat?

By Scot A. Terban

Date Originally Published: February 18, 2019.

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.

Text: Artificial intelligence (A.I.) has been a staple in science fiction over the years but recently the technology has become a more probable reality[1]. The use of semi-intelligent computer programs and systems have made our lives a bit easier with regard to certain things like turning your lights on in a room with an Alexa or maybe playing some music or answering questions for you. However, other uses for such technologies have already been planned and in some cases implemented within the military and private industry for security oriented and offensive means.

A New Generation of Intelligence: National Security and Surveillance in the Age of AI

Alexander Babuta

Engaging in open debate will be crucial for the UK Intelligence Community to gain public trust regarding the use of artificial intelligence for national security purposes.

Speaking on the record to an invited audience at RUSI on 21 January 2019, GCHQ Deputy Director for Strategic Policy Paul Killworth described how Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) have the potential to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of various intelligence functions. However, these capabilities bring with them complex legal and ethical considerations, and there is a strong public expectation that the UK’s intelligence agencies will act in a way that protects citizens’ rights and freedoms.

The national security community has expressed a desire to engage in a more open dialogue on these issues, with Killworth stressing that ‘it is absolutely essential that we have the debates around AI and machine learning in the national security space that will deliver the answers and approaches that will give us public consent’. However, it may prove difficult to provide sufficient reassurances to the public concerning national security uses of AI, due to understandably high levels of sensitivity. 

Trump’s Artificial Intelligence Strategy: Aspirations Without Teeth

By Caleb Watney

On Feb. 11, the White House released an executive order on “Maintaining American Leadership in Artificial Intelligence” (AI)—the latest attempt to develop a national strategy for AI. The order envisions the United States taking significant steps to increase research and development efforts while reforming its executive agencies to better compete with the Chinese government’s investments in AI development through its Made in China 2025 plan. Although the order is full of promising language and constructive suggestions for executive agencies, it is unlikely to have much of a long-term effect without further support from Congress.

The executive order has three basic prongs. First, it charges executive agencies to “prioritize AI” across several dimensions. Essentially, if a department handles research and development, it’s encouraged to put work on AI at the top of the queue. If it issues educational grants, the department should emphasize programs that increase apprenticeships and educational opportunities that build science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) skills. If a department regulates products that incorporate AI, department heads should be on the lookout for ways to reduce entry barriers and promote innovation while addressing new challenges. Given the broad scope of this prioritization effort, the order could theoretically have an impact on a wide swath of existing agencies. Research and development funds are concentrated primarily within eight different agencies, but many other agencies regulate parts of the economy on which AI is encroaching.

What’s in Singapore’s First New Attack Submarine Launch?

By Prashanth Parameswaran

On February 18, Singapore officially launched the first of a set of new submarines that the country has acquired. The launch spotlighted the Southeast Asian state’s ongoing efforts to boost its submarine fleet and maritime capabilities more generally amid the growth of other navies and rising regional and global security challenges.

As I have noted before in these pages, Singapore, which currently has one of the more capable maritime forces among Southeast Asian states, has a submarine fleet that consists of two Challenger-class submarines (two others were retired in 2015) along with two Archer-class submarines, which it received from the Swedish navy in the 1990s and 2000s. Over the past few years, Singapore has been looking to further boost its fleet, including through the procurement of new attack submarines from Germany’s ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems (TKMS).

DARPA Thinks AI Could Help Troops Telepathically Control Machines


The Pentagon is looking to build artificial intelligence into neural interfaces to let humans control machines with their thoughts.

The Pentagon’s research office is exploring how artificial intelligence can improve technologies that link troops’ brains and bodies to military systems.

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency recently began recruiting teams to research how AI tools could augment and enhance “next-generation neurotechnology.” Through the program, officials ultimately aim to build AI into neural interfaces, a technology that lets people control, feel and interact with remote machines as though they were a part of their own body.

Countering the geographical impacts of automation: Computers, AI, and place disparities

Mark Muro

This report is part of "A Blueprint for the Future of AI," a series from the Brookings Institution that analyzes the new challenges and potential policy solutions introduced by artificial intelligence and other emerging technologies.

The 2016 presidential election revealed—as nothing before it—one of the most striking but least-anticipated aspects of the global digital revolution. In a single dramatic vote, the victory of Donald Trump highlighted the emergence of a stark and widening divide between two Americas: one based in large, digitally oriented metropolitan areas; the other found in lower-tech smaller cities, towns, and rural areas.[1] In doing so, the vote displayed—with its stark red-blue map—the underrated power of technology to reshape the geography of nations.

The divide came as a shock to many.[2] Yet it was not just the starkness of the revealed geographical gap that was so disconcerting. Also disturbing was the extent to which the nation’s revealed regional divides reflected something important about the fundamental nature of emerging digital technologies, including various forms of automation, such as artificial intelligence (AI).[3]

Artificial Intelligence: Will Special Operators Lead The Way?


WASHINGTON: The Pentagon’s new artificial intelligence strategy shows how the military is shifting from old-school heavy-metal hardware – tanks, ships, planes – to a world where software makes the difference between victory and defeat. And the bigger this shift becomes, several experts suggest, the bigger the role for Special Operations Command in pioneering new technology. Then the new Joint Artificial Intelligence Center can cherry-pick the successes and scale them up for wider use.

Sure, SOCOM has a long tradition of innovation in general, but with a $14 billion budget, it can’t build aircraft carriers or stealth fighters. (It gets its aircraft from the larger services and modifies them for special missions). What SOCOM can test-drive for the services is the smaller stuff, from off-road vehicles to mini-drones to frontline wireless networks – but in the information age, the small stuff is a big deal.

How to fix the gaps in weapons system cybersecurity

By: Bill Wright  

Airman 1st Class Tevin Miller and Airman 1st Class Amanda Button, 707th Communications Squadron client system technicians, update software for computers that will be used on Air Force networks January 9, 2018, at Fort George G. Meade, Maryland. The 707th CS, aligned under the 70th Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Wing, supports more than 5,700 global personnel and 57 National Security Agency missions with their 230 ‘Thunder Warriors.’ (Staff Sgt. Alexandre Montes/Air Force)

The modern U.S. military is the most effective fighting and peace-keeping force ever to form on Earth. Multiple factors make that true, but perhaps one of the most important is the cutting-edge technology the United States employs as a force multiplier. The ability to detect threats, move information and understand the battlefield that technology grants is critical to the modern war fighter.

Microsoft Says Russian Hackers Targeted European Think Tanks

By Natalia DrozdiakDavid Tweed, and Stefan Nicola

Microsoft Corp. uncovered cyber attacks targeting European think tanks by hackers linked to the Russian government, underscoring concerns of potential interference in European Union elections this May.

The U.S. company said it was “confident” that attacks targeting employees of organizations including the German Council on Foreign Relations, The Aspen Institute and The German Marshall Fund, originated from a group called Strontium, also known as Fancy Bear or APT 28. Microsoft, which is continuing to investigate the source of the attacks, has previously said the group is widely associated with the Russian government.

The German Council on Foreign Relations was hacked “for a limited time” last year and has since beefed up its digital defenses, said Eva-Maria McCormack, a spokeswoman for the Berlin think tank.


The Army has made progress in rebuilding readiness lost during a period of declining end strength, but still faces challenges filling slots in cyber and electronic warfare units, maintenance depots and ballistic missile defense units, according to a new government report.

The February Government Accountability Office report also says unit manning shortages lead to longer periods away from home on official duties for soldiers, which negatively affects readiness.

According to the report, Army officials project the service will reach its readiness goals by 2022, but the service has “struggled to meet its authorized end strength because it has had difficulty meeting recruiting goals.” It cites as an example fiscal 2018, when the Army missed its goal by 6,500 soldiers.

Accelerating by eight months the deployment of the first security force assistance brigade “posed challenges to manning the unit,” the report says. The Army plans to complete five more SFABs by the end of 2019 by pulling senior leaders and soldiers with specific skills away from active-duty brigades, which will compromise their readiness for large-scale combat, the report says.


The Army has made progress in rebuilding readiness lost during a period of declining end strength, but still faces challenges filling slots in cyber and electronic warfare units, maintenance depots and ballistic missile defense units, according to a new government report.

The February Government Accountability Office report also says unit manning shortages lead to longer periods away from home on official duties for soldiers, which negatively affects readiness.

According to the report, Army officials project the service will reach its readiness goals by 2022, but the service has “struggled to meet its authorized end strength because it has had difficulty meeting recruiting goals.” It cites as an example fiscal 2018, when the Army missed its goal by 6,500 soldiers.

NATO troops got catfished & honeypotted on social media, revealing serious vulnerabilities

By: Tara Copp   

A NATO cyber “red team” decided to see if they could infiltrate their forces through social media accounts and learned it was far easier to get data, locations and to sway their troops’ behavior than they thought it would be.

“Overall we identified a significant amount of people taking part in the exercise and managed to identify all members of certain units, pinpoint the exact locations of several battalions, gain knowledge of troop movements to and from exercises and discover the dates of active phases of the exercises," the NATO report found. "The level of personal information we found was very detailed and enabled us to instill undesirable behavior during the exercise.”

The sudden removal of the account calls into question transparency concerns regarding the Corps’ combat missions overseas.