6 March 2019

No Country for Strongmen How India’s Democracy Constrains Modi

By Ruchir Sharma

Like most national elections in India, the one coming this spring will be decided in the mofussil. Originally a colonial term for any town outside the commercial capitals of the British Raj, mofussil now refers to the provincial areas beyond the burgeoning megacities of Mumbai and New Delhi, that is, to the rural and impoverished stretches where two out of three Indians live.

Come April or May, the inhabitants of these rural towns will vote in what is shaping up to be an unexpectedly tight race pitting the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party of Prime Minister Narendra Modi against the Indian National Congress, led by Rahul Gandhi. Until a year ago, Modi looked like the sure winner. He had sidelined all rivals in the BJP and overshadowed Gandhi and the rest of the opposition. He was running the most centralized administration India had seen in decades, with decisions large and small funneled through the prime minister’s office. The BJP and its allies went from governing six of India’s 29 states in 2014 to holding 21 by early 2018. So firm seemed Modi’s grip on power that many Indian liberals began drawing parallels to the slide toward one-man rule in Vladimir Putin’s Russia and Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s Turkey.

Hold My Chai: Escalation and De-Escalation Scenarios in South Asia

Hijab Shah John Schaus

In a tense, highly fluid interaction between India and Pakistan, there is a great deal of uncertainty. As of this writing, however, we do have some facts: we know that India blames Pakistan for harboring—if not outright abetting—the Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) terrorists that attacked an Indian military convoy and killed 40 soldiers in Pulwama, Indian Kashmir, on February 14. We know that Indian aircraft entered Pakistan’s airspace to target an alleged JeM training site, striking an alpine mountainside instead—prompting charges of “eco-terrorism”—in the Pakistani town of Jabba. We know that Pakistan responded by firing weapons from aircraft within Pakistani airspace, striking an uninhabited area within India. We know that in a follow-on engagement between Indian and Pakistani air forces, an Indian MiG-20 was downed and its pilot, Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman was captured and held prisoner, until being released unconditionally released as a “peace gesture” by Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan on Friday. And we know that India will hold closely contested elections in May 2019, and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has made the Pulwama attack a large part of his closing campaign message.

Indian Air Strategy After Balakot: The China Factor

By Vasabjit Banerjee and Prashant Hosur Suhas

In the aftermath of the February 14, 2019 Pulwama attack in Indian Kashmir, where 44 Indian paramilitary personnel were killed in a suicide attack conducted by Jaish-e-Muhammad (JeM), India struck a target in Pakistan on February 26. The strike on the JeM camp in the city of Balakot in Pakistan’s Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province by 12 Indian Mirage 2000 aircraft was the first aerial bombardment of Pakistani territory since the India-Pakistan War of 1971. On February 27, Pakistani aircraft, either F-16s or JF-17s, shot down an Indian Mig-21 aircraft. The Pakistani aircraft were intercepted during an attempt to cross the line-of-control between Indian- and Pakistani-administered Kashmir for a retaliatory bombing run. There are reports of a Pakistani F-16 being hit, too.

Now that India has taken a watershed decision to use air power to fight terrorism, it will increasingly find itself in the line of fire from the Pakistan Air Force (PAF), and must account for further escalation. Consequently, the debate on India’s air strategy has exited the theoretical realm and will have significant real-world implications.

In the Wake of the Pulwama Massacre: What India Should Not Do

Manpreet Sethi

For India, 14 February, a day that should have ended with rosy pictures of a romantic sunset ended with bloody images of death and gore. Even before New Delhi could point a finger towards Pakistan, a neighbour that has long sustained a policy of cross-border terrorism, Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM), an outfit well known to operate from Pakistani territory with the help of its military, owned up to the attack on the CRPF convoy that killed 44 Indian paramilitary forces personnel. In the wake of this massacre, analysts across TV channels, South Asia watchers across Twitter and other social media platforms, and political leaders in front of every camera have been garrulous in their advice on what India should now do in response. Opinions have been voiced non-stop on how New Delhi should respond, the kind of action that must be taken to teach Pakistan a lesson and to avenge the death of the Indian martyrs.

This column is not about what India should do in the wake of the Pulwama tragedy. It is about what India should not do. The response from India is best left to the judgement of the government of the day since it has all the intelligence inputs, resources and the complete picture on the possible effectiveness and desirability of actions. However, there are at least four things the country must refrain from doing, and thus contribute to minimising more such instances.

Were India’s airstrikes in Pakistan a strategy for public approval?

After 12 days of heightened tension between India and Pakistan following the 14 February Pulwama attack in Indian-administered Kashmir, considerable hostilities broke out between the two countries. In the early morning of 26 February, Indian fighter jets reportedly bombed a target in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province of Pakistan after crossing over the line of control and Pakistani-administered Kashmir.

While the Indian and Pakistani military have regularly conducted firing across the line of control in recent years, including airstrikes in September 2016, this incident marks the first time that Indian forces have released munitions into Pakistan’s undisputed territory since the 1971 India–Pakistan War.

Indian media has reported that the target of the strike was a concentration of militants—members of Jaish-e-Mohammad, a Pakistan-based organisation that has conducted significant terrorist attacks in Indian-administered Kashmir—who had evacuated disputed Kashmir out of fears of Indian retaliation for the Pulwama attack. India claimed that the facility, roughly 10 kilometres into undisputed Pakistani territory and near the town of Jaba, was largely destroyed, resulting in the death of hundreds of militants.

Infinite darkness of war lies ahead for India and Pakistan: Islamabad needs to ask if forcing New Delhi's hand is truly in its interest

Praveen Swami 

In 415 BCE, the high noon of the power of the greatest empire the world had known, Athens dispatched its massive naval forces to punish the rebellious citizens of Syracuse. For the next several years, Thucydides, son of Olorus, owner of gold mines and survivor of the great plague of Athens, fought weapon in hand for the city he loved—and watched as its wealth, power and values were slowly extinguished in a relentless march to annihilation. In exile, he would reflect on the lessons in a work that, today, ranks among the greatest works of the philosophy of war:

“Think, too, of the great part that is played by the unpredictable in war,” Thucydides wrote, “and think of it now, before you are actually committed. The longer a war lasts, the more things tend to depend on accidents. Neither you nor we can see into them; we have to abide their outcome in the dark.”

Why cybercriminals are stalking your social media accounts

SINGAPORE: Just from his social media posts, it was easy to pin down radio deejay Joakim Gomez’s running route, the street he lives at and even the layout of his home.

This came as a surprise to the 987FM radio personality, who had thought “it was harmless information I was sharing about myself”. He declared: “I might just think twice before I post something at home.”

Like many Singaporeans, Mr Gomez is active on social media. He posts live updates on what he’s doing, tweets almost every day and shares pieces of his life with nearly 60,000 people who follow him on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.

Many people are similarly unaware of the extent to which someone with nefarious intent can extract all sorts of information about them from their social media posts, the free Wi-Fi they connect to or something as innocuous as their name card, as the programme Why It Matters discovers. 

Indian politicians lack good quality policy advice

Kunal Singh 

In September 2017, Prime Minister Narendra Modi introduced some new faces to his cabinet of ministers. Some of them have had previous expertise in a particular area of governance. However, the portfolios allotted to them had nothing to do with their expertise. Hardeep Singh Puri, a former diplomat, was sent to the ministry of housing and urban affairs; KJ Alphons, who had experience in housing and urban affairs, was allotted tourism, and electronics and information technology; Satyapal Singh, a former police commissioner, was given the twin portfolios of human resource development, and water resources, river development and Ganga rejuvenation; and RK Singh, India’s former home secretary, found his new offices in the power ministry and the ministry of new and renewable energy. This cabinet reshuffle reminded me of a problem in a school mathematics textbook: In how many ways can four different letters be put in four distinctly addressed envelopes such that no letter goes in the right envelope?

India’s national interests must not be subsumed by politically-motivated, competitive machismo masquerading as patriotism

by Arun Prakash 

The unthinkable has happened. For the first time ever, the air forces of two nuclear-armed neighbours, India and Pakistan, have crossed national boundaries and carried out kinetic attacks on each other’s soil. Aerial combat has also resulted in casualties and losses on both sides.

Although an inevitable sequel to the February 14 Pulwama car-bomb attack by the Pakistan-based Jaish-e Mohammad (JeM), India’s air-strike inside Pakistan did carry the risk of tit-for-tat hostilities spiralling into a full-scale war with nuclear connotations. This is not an alarmist view because the current environment, on both sides of the India-Pakistan border, remains fraught for two reasons.

Pakistan has been turned into a neurotic theological state by the military and its cohort of jihadi proxies. Pakistan’s shadowy “deep state” comprising the army and its Inter-Service Intelligence (ISI) directorate, has also kept alive the myth of an ever-present “existential threat” from “Hindu India”. This mythology is vital for the survival of the “deep state” and its jihadi allies. The Pakistan Prime Minister, beholden to the army for his survival, has been blowing hot and cold in the past few days and his “peace overtures” must be treated with caution.

Familiar Issues Cloud the Prospects for Afghan Peace

Because Washington is seeking to exit Afghanistan — one of the Taliban's main demands — their talks will proceed, but various other outstanding issues will impede greater progress. Pakistan, the Taliban's primary external sponsor, will push the movement to remain in talks with the aim of ensuring that any U.S. withdrawal proceeds in an orderly manner. The collapse of the Afghan state would threaten Islamabad's economic and security interests. Even though the talks might not soon produce a breakthrough, yet regional powers like Iran, India, China and Russia will all prepare for the ramifications of a U.S. withdrawal.

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.

Having called Pakistan's bluff, India must now make its own 'nuclear doctrine' more intimidating and relevant

Srinivasa Prasad 

'Nuclear deterrence' would have been a lovely phrase, if there wasn't a ring of menace to it.

After all, it's meant to stop wars between nuclear-powered nations because one country doesn't want to be reduced to rubble and ash by the atomic bombs of another. Nobody wants "mutually assured destruction". Although it may deter wars without often guaranteeing total peace, the resulting "no-war-no-peace" stalemate is still better than bloodshed and mayhem. That's the essence of nuclear deterrence, which has been talked about since the Cold War.

But since then, nuclear deterrence has acquired as many connotations as there are atomic weapons today. The one that exists in the Indian sub-continent is easily the most bizarre of them all.

The treacherous fault lines between Kashmir and the Afghan peace negotiations

The US is pushing negotiations with the Taliban in a bid to cut its losses and leave Afghanistan. But the recent India-Pakistan conflagration over Kashmir has exposed the treacherous fault lines in one of the world’s most dangerous regions.

On Wednesday, February 27, shortly after Pakistan announced that it had captured an Indian Air Force pilot following an aerial dogfight over Kashmir, the Taliban issued a “statement” warning that India-Pakistan clashes would affect Afghan peace negotiations.

"The continuation of such conflict will affect the Afghanistan peace process," Reuters quoted Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid as saying.

The warning came as US diplomats and representatives of the Pakistan-backed Taliban were meeting in the Qatari capital, Doha, for talks aimed at ending the US military engagement in Afghanistan.

Contractors in Afghanistan are Fleecing the American Taxpayer

Kyle T. Gaines

“Mercenary armies afford only slow, laborious, and insubstantial victories, while the losses they bring are sudden and spectacular”- Niccolo Machiavelli

It was an otherwise uneventful day in a year-long advisory tour in Kabul. I was the lead intelligence trainer helping to teach an advanced training class for Afghan helicopter pilots, aircrewmen, intelligence analysts, and medics. The instructors were a mix of NATO uniformed military advisors and defense contractors. At one point between classes, some of the other instructors and I began discussing the state of NATO’s mission in the country and the role defense contracting plays in the effort. “This whole arrangement is a fleecing of the American taxpayer” one of the contractor instructors observed. “If the American people had any idea that this is how contracts work in Afghanistan, they would shut the whole thing down immediately.”

US-China Policy Task Force Warns Of China Threat In South China Sea – Analysis

By Mark J. Valencia

A very distinguished unofficial “task force” of US China experts has issued a rather alarming report regarding the China threat to US security overall –and in the South China Sea in particular. https://asiasociety.org/sites/default/files/inlinefiles/CourseCorrection_FINAL_2.7.19_1.pdf I certainly defer to the group’s expertise regarding the overall picture and the exceedingly complex US-China relationship. However, But assuming that the group’s does not intend to provoke a military conflict I respectfully disagree with both its characterization of the situation in the South China Sea and its recommended way forward.

The co-chair of the task force was Susan Shirk, a former Deputy Assistant Secretary of State. She said the complexity of the China-US relationship lies in the “political tsunami in Washington against the China threat”. http://www.globaltimes.cn/content/1138877.shtml Indeed, given the current pessimistic political mood in the U.S. government regarding China, it is not surprising that the report delineates concludes China as a possible threat to US security– and that the current US security strategy to counter this threat is “defective”. But what is surprising—even alarming—is the report’s rather nationalistic tone and militaristic recommendations– especially regarding the South China Sea.

US-China Policy Task Force Warns Of China Threat In South China Sea – Analysis

By Mark J. Valencia

A very distinguished unofficial “task force” of US China experts has issued a rather alarming report regarding the China threat to US security overall –and in the South China Sea in particular. https://asiasociety.org/sites/default/files/inlinefiles/CourseCorrection_FINAL_2.7.19_1.pdf I certainly defer to the group’s expertise regarding the overall picture and the exceedingly complex US-China relationship. However, But assuming that the group’s does not intend to provoke a military conflict I respectfully disagree with both its characterization of the situation in the South China Sea and its recommended way forward.

The co-chair of the task force was Susan Shirk, a former Deputy Assistant Secretary of State. She said the complexity of the China-US relationship lies in the “political tsunami in Washington against the China threat”. http://www.globaltimes.cn/content/1138877.shtml Indeed, given the current pessimistic political mood in the U.S. government regarding China, it is not surprising that the report delineates concludes China as a possible threat to US security– and that the current US security strategy to counter this threat is “defective”. But what is surprising—even alarming—is the report’s rather nationalistic tone and militaristic recommendations– especially regarding the South China Sea.

China's technology challenge is bigger than just Huawei, British spymaster says

LONDON (Reuters) - The West needs to understand that the challenge of China’s technological revolution runs much deeper than Huawei’s row with the United States over intellectual property theft and state espionage, one of Britain’s top spies said.

Huawei, the world’s biggest producer of telecoms equipment, is under intense scrutiny after the United States told allies not to use its technology because of fears it could be a vehicle for Chinese spy operations.

Jeremy Fleming, the head of Britain’s Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ), said the incredible rate of technological change was unleashing unprecedented uncertainty, instability and risk.

“The strategic challenge of China’s place in the era of globalized technology is much bigger than just one telecommunications equipment company,” Fleming, one of Britain’s top three spies, said in Singapore.

“It’s a first order strategic challenge for us all,” he said. “We have to understand the opportunities and threats from China’s technological offer.”

5 Ancient Chinese Philosophers You Need to Know

By Ned Kelly

The product of a big ugly lump of a 70-year-old retired warrior named Kong He and his 16-year-old concubine, Confucius – from Kong Fuzi, literally ‘Master Kong’ – was born in 551 BC in Zou, Lu State, in what is present day Shandong province.

His father died when he was just three, and his mother and he were disowned by his wives, so they left for the prosperous city of Qufu. Unattractive, awkward and shy, Confucius was also set apart from other children by his insatiable curiosity and love of learning. From an impoverished single-mother family, he also had to hustle to make ends meet, working various jobs from cowherd to clerk to bookkeeper.

As the only person who ever loved him, Confucius was a momma’s boy, and her death when he was 23 saw him mourn for three years. Alone in the world, without money or family connections, all he had was his learning in a realm ruled by brute force, where ruthless warlords seized land and enslaved the common people.

Introduction to China’s Military Operations Other than War

Fan Gaoyue, James Char

With its increasing capability witnessed in recent decades, the People’s Liberation Army’s (PLA) conduct of military operations other than war (MOOTW) remains woefully understudied. With most analyses concurring it improbable that Beijing would engage in traditional security operations in the foreseeable future, responses to non-traditional security (NTS) threats would appear to be an aspect where the PLA’s capabilities will continue to be showcased. In reviewing China’s MOOTW, this policy report provides a retrospective account of how the PLA has overseen previous MOOTW activities, as well as identify those areas of PLA MOOTW expected to undergo further refinement. A better appreciation of NTS and China’s MOOTW will provide a positive platform for facilitating cooperation between Beijing and other countries in the region.

Yemen: The 60-Year War

Gerald M. Feierstein

The root causes of the ongoing civil conflict in Yemen lie in the failure of Yemeni society to address and resolve the popular anger and frustration arising from political marginalization, economic disenfranchisement, and the effects of an extractive, corrupt, rentier state. This systemic failure has produced a cycle of violence, political upheaval, and institutional collapse since the creation of the modern Yemeni state in the 1960s, of which the current conflict is only the latest eruption.

Over the course of the conflict, Yemenis have come together repeatedly in an effort to identify solutions to these problems, and the result has been a fairly consistent formula for change: government decentralization and greater local autonomy, a federalized state structure, greater representation in parliament for disenfranchised populations, improved access to basic services, health and education, and a more even playing field for economic participation. But none of these reform programs has been implemented successfully. Thus, success in ending Yemen’s cycle of violence and its 60-year civil war will depend on the political will to follow through on implementation and the development of institutional capacity to carry it out.

Clausewitz, Jihad, and Non-Lethal Weapons

Gary Anderson

Carl von Clausewitz famously observed that the objective of war is to impose one’s will on the enemy. Earlier military philosophers such as Sun Tzu and Machiavelli would probably not have disagreed, nor would some of history’s great Moslem practitioners of war ranging from Mohammed himself to Saladin and Suliman the Magnificent. This traditional view of war has it that the destruction of an enemy or the imminent fear of death and destruction of his force will cause an opponent to capitulate. Of late, some modern thinkers such as John Boyd and William Lind have postulated that placing the enemy in a psychological position of hopelessness by maneuver or other means is far more efficient than mere attrition in compelling an opponent to do one’s will. None-the-less, the ultimate consequence of final resistance -even in maneuver warfare- is the threat of death.

What none of these military philosophers foresaw was an enemy that actively seeks death, and who may see death in war as end in itself while rejecting war as merely a means to a political end state. To be sure, some military forces in history have fought to the death even when the possibility of victory became hopeless. The defenders of Thermopylae and the Alamo knew they were buying much needed time for Greece and Texas respectfully, and the defenders of Masada knew that surrender at the hands of the Romans would surely be worse than death. However, “death before dishonor” has generally been an exception to the rule.

Hypersonic Missile Nonproliferation Hindering the Spread of a New Class of Weapons

by Richard H. Speier, George Nacouzi, Carrie Lee, Richard M. Moore

What are the implications of the proliferation of hypersonic missiles to additional nations? That is, why should the United States and the rest of the world be concerned with such proliferation, and why should it be addressed now? What are the possible measures to hinder such proliferation? That is, is it feasible to hinder the spread of this technology, and who should buy into such an objective and with what measures? Which specific hypersonic technologies could be subject to export controls? What are the technical barriers to mastering hypersonic technologies? What are the economic barriers to mastering hypersonic technologies?

Hypersonic missiles — specifically hypersonic glide vehicles and hypersonic cruise missiles — are a new class of threat because they are capable both of maneuvering and of flying faster than 5,000 kilometers per hour. These features enable such missiles to penetrate most missile defenses and to further compress the timelines for a response by a nation under attack.

Resilience and Adaptation Strategies Can Address the Impacts of Climate Change

by Malte Müller

By the end of this century, Chicago could face the kind of searing summer heat that Las Vegas sees now. Phoenix could hit 110 degrees, 60 or more days a year.

That's not wild speculation. It's the official position of 13 federal agencies on climate change, released late last year with a warning: Local governments need to do more to prepare. Every road they build, every storm drain they put in, will have to hold up under conditions that modern civilization has never seen.

How do you plan for that? Researchers at RAND have been working on that problem for years now. Their solution: Don't try to guess what the future might bring; imagine an entire range of possible futures, and then look for solutions that work regardless of which one comes to pass. If that sounds complicated, it is. So for now, just consider the Pittsburgh sewer system.

Anticipate New Climate Threats and Impacts

Engagement with North Korea: Small Steps May Matter More Than Big Ones

by Rafiq Dossani and Heejin Kim

The second summit between U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un is scheduled for February 27 and 28 in Vietnam. What can be expected?

The first summit, held in Singapore in June 2018, produced some small, quick, and positive gains, notably reducing the heightened tension of the time. The provocative rhetoric between Trump and Kim has since been muted. The United States canceled its usual joint military exercises with South Korea, which were later resumed but on a smaller scale. North Korea closed its Punggye-ri nuclear test site and returned the remains of 55 U.S. soldiers killed in the Korean War. Pyongyang also has kept its promise not to carry out nuclear and missile tests.

From those hopeful beginnings, however, the two countries soon reached a stalemate. The fitful discussions between the two sides since June have not resulted in any progress on three key issues: denuclearization, a peace treaty, and the removal of sanctions on North Korea. Meanwhile, there are reports that North Korea has continued producing nuclear weapons.

Energy Geopolitics in 2019

Steven Wright

2018 was a significant year in terms of energy geopolitics: The United States once again was able to regain its title as the world’s largest producer of oil. For much of the 20th Century, the United States had been the world largest producer of oil and that dominance lasted until 1974 when it was overtaken by the Soviet Union at the height of the Cold War. The Soviets were subsequently passed by Saudi Arabia in 1976 – from that point onwards, it was the Saudis who were to dominate the oil market, which they have done for the last four decades. The manner, in which the United States overtook Saudi Arabia’s position, necessitates a broader consideration of the geopolitical change in the global energy markets, and what that means geopolitically in terms of US engagement with the Middle East.

Twenty-First Century Proxy Warfare: Confronting Strategic Innovation in a Multipolar World

By: Candace RondeauxDavid Sterman

New America, as part of its partnership with Arizona State University, has embarked on a multiyear research project on twenty-first century proxy warfare. This report is the first in a series on conflicts in the Greater Middle East and its periphery that will be published as part of the project. This study highlights research gaps and reconceptualizes proxy warfare as a strategy that relies on third-party armed forces that lie outside the constitutional order of rival states engaged overtly or covertly in armed conflict. The analysis draws on a broad review of the existing literature and conversations with more than three dozen policymakers, researchers, and practitioners from July to October 2018. The analysis is also informed by discussions during a workshop on the subject of proxy warfare held by New America in coordination with Arizona State University and the Omran Center for Strategic Studies in Istanbul, Turkey, featuring more than 35 journalists, analysts, and former policymakers.

Awesome Resources: Revealing Critical Information Infrastructure

“Governments spend a lot of time thinking about what they used to call critical national infrastructure, now they call Critical Information Infrastructure,” says Sam Tilston, CEO of Cyber Security specialists, Awesome Resources. “It is time that people and companies did the same about their data”. 

Imagine if the mobile networks of the UK were all blocked at the same time by a mega virus. Imagine if the national electricity was hacked and turned off. Imagine if control of the air traffic control system was seized by terrorists. Governments spend a lot of time imaging these kinds of things and making contingency plans for what they would do about them. That means thinking about what is critical to the security and well being of the people of a country that is delivered via information systems. Then working out how to defend them. 

“Most people and many companies still do not think about their own critical information infrastructure and how to protect it. What we tend to find at Awesome is that clients calls us after the crisis has taken place, after the fake news is out there, after their laptop is hacked. Many companies are the same: when the malware closes them down, they call us in.” Imagine if states behaved like that and waited for the attacks to take place before trying to put systems in place to defend themselves. “Well,” says Sam, “we believe that a person or a company that does not take their own critical information infrastructure seriously is leaving themselves wide open to attack”. 

Information Domination Through Mission Integration

By George I. Seffers

The newly created Cyber and Non-Kinetic Operations Division within the Air Combat Command is expected to reach full strength this summer. The new organization integrates multiple missions, including cyber, electronic warfare, intelligence and information warfare.

Located at Joint Base San Antonio, the division is being constructed at the same time the Air Force is expected to combine the 24th Air Force, the service’s lead organization for both offensive and defensive cyber operations, with the 25th Air Force, which has the lead on the intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance mission. Additionally, the service is considering a major reorganization of its headquarters staff within the Pentagon that will combine the deputy chief of staff for intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance with the deputy chief of staff for information dominance.


The Joint APG and Middle East & North Africa FATF (MENAFATF) typologies report on Social Media and Terrorism Financing was initiated following the 2016 Joint APG/MENAFATF Typologies workshop, which was held in Jeddah, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

This report was co-led by Egypt and Malaysia.

The report has been adopted at the APG Plenary meeting (July 2018) held in Kathmandu/Nepal, and MENAFATF 28th Plenary meeting (November 2018) held in Beirut/Lebanon.

The importance of this report:


John P. Thomas

The new fifth generation (5G) cellular system that is being installed in major American cities such as Dallas, Atlanta, Waco, Texas, and Sacramento [1, 3] will intensify the microwave radiation health risks for everyone living in those cities. 

Eleven More Cities Targeted for 5G Deployment this Year

The new 5G cell systems that Verizon and AT&T are planning to install in other cities in 2018 [1, 3] will use shorter length microwaves than the existing 4G (fourth generation) systems. New generation cell phones will be able to communicate with either 5G or 4G microwave towers to optimize connectivity.

Copper phone lines will be replaced with 5G rooftop antennas on homes and businesses. These antennas will communicate with 5G cell towers and with the wireless equipment in homes and offices to provide phone and broadband services.

Putting a Spotlight on Information

By Kimberly Underwood 

As the U.S. Army continues to evolve its newest warfighting domain, the cyber domain, information plays a key role. The service is working to incorporate information capabilities along with intelligence, electronic warfare, cyber and space, as well as with traditional fire capabilities.

In December, the Army released a doctrine guiding multidomain operations through 2028. The policy acknowledges that U.S. adversaries are contesting all domains, and that in the information environment American dominance is not guaranteed.

The policy states China and Russia are exploiting the operational environment to achieve their objectives just short of armed conflict. Their use of information warfare—in particular, the use of social media, false narratives and cyber attacks—along with diplomatic and economic actions, unconventional warfare, electronic warfare, and threats or actual use of conventional forces, all aim to create instability within countries and global alliances.