22 March 2019

Pakistan and India Can't Escape the Conflict Cycle

by Adam Lammon

The outbreak of violence last week between India and Pakistan once again reaffirmed that South Asia is home to one of the most dangerous rivalries on Earth. As has happened several times since the Kargil War in 1999, a terror attack involving non-state actors based in and supported by Pakistan brought the two subcontinental rivals into direct conventional conflict, raising fears that an already unstable situation could precipitate nuclear Armageddon. While it is notable that this outbreak of violence subsided fairly quickly (following a decision by Pakistani military and political leaders to de-escalate), it is of far greater significance that no progress has been made in addressing the ethno-religious and political frictions that keep bringing India and Pakistan to blows.

Why do Pakistan and India remain mired in a volatile and perilous status quo, despite that neither side desires escalation nor the prospect of continued conflict? According to Husain Haqqani, a former Pakistani ambassador to the United States and the current director for South and Central Asia at the Hudson Institute, much of the blame falls on Pakistan. Pakistani foreign policy, Haqqani observed at a recent event at the Center for the National Interest, is utterly beholden to the country’s military and intelligence services, which have driven the securitization of Pakistani politics—whether against India, or, more recently, Afghanistan. This problem, he said, goes back to the creation of Pakistan after the partition of British India, where the fledgling Pakistani state was left with only 17 percent of the former British colony’s resources, but 33 percent of its military forces. Since then, he continued, the Pakistani military has done its utmost to “raise the size of the threats to match the army that it inherited,” using external threats to justify its existence and to unify the various ethnic groups living within the country.

Why biotechnology can be Indian economy's next success story

By Amit Kapoor

Biotech-bcclOver the last two-to-three decades, the major success story of the Indian economy has been the stellar growth of its IT industry. But as the dividends from the sector reach the eventual inflection point, India needs to build similar competencies in other industries to ensure sustained growth and prosperity. 

It is not acknowledged as often but the biotechnology industry seemed poised to take over the mantle. In the span of a decade beginning in 2007, the industry has grown exponentially in size from about $2 billion to over $11 billion in terms of revenue. By 2025, it is targeted to touch $100 billion. 

The biotechnology industry, however, has been impacting Indian lives long before it grew so much in size. Back in the mid-1960s, advancements in biotechnology drove the Green Revolution, which enhanced farm yields and made the country self-sufficient in food production. 

On Building Peace in Maoist-Torn Central India

By Avinash Giri

Around 300 tribal people, along with rights activists, took part in a week-long bicycle rally, calling for peace in the central Indian state of Chhattisgarh, which has been mired with a decades-long violent conflict between Maoist rebels and security forces. The conflict has claimed more than 12,000 lives in the past two decades.

The tribal people started their procession from Chhattisgarh’s rebel-affected Bastar region on February 22, urging the newly elected Congress party government in the state to rehabilitate numerous villagers who have fled their homes fearing violence from both security forces and Maoists. They also demanded that the government release innocent tribal people languishing in state prisons on charges of being “Naxals,” another name for rural Maoist guerrillas active in the region.

Shubhranshu Choudhary, a former journalist-turned-tribal rights activist working in the region, believes that if the government accepts these demands, which it is obliged to under various domestic and international laws concerning internally displaced persons (IDPs), it can help vulnerable tribal people trust the government – which would facilitate a conducive atmosphere for dialogue between the state and locals who have turned against the government.

A First: India Begins Military Exercises With 17 African Countries

By Ankit Panda

On Monday, Indian military personnel were joined by counterparts from 17 African states to begin the inaugural Africa-India Field Training Exercise 2019, or AFINDEX-19. An opening ceremony for the exercises was held at the Indian Army’s Aundh Military Station in Pune, Maharashtra, in the country’s west.

The 17 participating African states include Benin, Botswana, Egypt, Ghana, Kenya, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, South Africa, Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, and Zimbabwe, according to a statement by Lt. Col. Mohit Vaishnava, an Indian Army public relations officer.

“The aim of the exercise is to practice the participating nations in planning and conduct of Humanitarian Mine Assistance and Peace Keeping Operations under Chapter VII of United Nations Peace Keeping Operations,” the statement added. It continued:

Indian State Priorities for Health Innovation Partnerships

Many international institutions—universities, foundations, companies, NGOs, and governments—would like to engage more deeply with the government of India to improve health outcomes. However, a lack of transparency, changing state-level priorities, and the absence of a single venue to learn about engagement opportunities holds back many potential partnerships.

The Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) Wadhwani Chair in U.S.-India Policy Studies and Duke University’s Innovations in Healthcare have launched the “Indian States Health Innovation Partnership” to address this information gap and encourage subnational health care cooperation between Indian government entities and external partners. The primary goal of this project is to strengthen health outcomes in India by methodically identifying which Indian states are ripe for innovative partnerships with international institutions and broadcasting these opportunities publicly to spur future partnerships. In the first phase of this project, the team developed a clearer picture of India’s state-level health care reform priorities and identified specific areas for potential partnership across four categories: capacity building, organizational delivery, financing, and specific health conditions. 

This report was made possible by the generous support of Hans Foundation and Ford Foundation.

Trump’s Bad Deal with the Taliban


Thomas Joscelyn and Bill Roggio are senior fellows at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD) and the editors of FDD’s Long War Journal.

Last week, Afghanistan’s national security adviser, Hamdullah Mohib, launched into a broadside against Zalmay Khalilzad, the chief American diplomat responsible for negotiating with the Taliban. Addressing reporters in Washington, Mohib insinuated that Khalilzad is seeking to install himself as the “viceroy” of a new “caretaker government.” The State Department quickly issued a sharp rebuke, saying that any condemnation of Khalilzad was really a critique of its leader, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

While Mohib’s specific charge may have been hyperbole, it almost certainly wasn’t a slip of the tongue. Mohib has been around Washington for years, including as Afghanistan’s ambassador to the U.S., so he knew how his words would be received. His harsh critique of Khalilzad reflects the Afghan government’s deep mistrust of the Trump administration’s plans. Everyone knows that President Donald Trump wants out of Afghanistan, and the Afghans know that the State Department’s dealings with the Taliban will not deliver “peace.” Instead, Khalilzad’s talks have further empowered the same jihadists America has been fighting for nearly two decades.

Real Reason Behind Washington's Huawei Ban: US Wants To Spy And China Won't Cooperate

by Tyler Durden

Over the past several months, American officials have tried to pressure, scold and, increasingly, threaten other nations that are considering using Huawei in building fifth-generation, or 5G, wireless networks. Mike Pompeo, the secretary of state, has pledged to withhold intelligence from nations that continue to use Chinese telecom equipment. The American ambassador to Germany cautioned Berlin this month that the United States would curtail intelligence sharing if that country used Huawei.

But the campaign has run aground. Britain, Germany, India and the United Arab Emirates are among the countries signaling they are unlikely to back the American effort to entirely ban Huawei from building their 5G networks. While some countries like Britain share the United States’ concerns, they argue that the security risks can be managed by closely scrutinizing the company and its software.

Exclusive: Dalai Lama contemplates Chinese gambit after his death

Krishna N. Das, Sunil Kataria

DHARAMSHALA, India (Reuters) - The Dalai Lama, the spiritual leader of Tibetan Buddhism, said on Monday it was possible that once he dies his incarnation could be found in India, where he has lived in exile for 60 years, and warned that any other successor named by China would not be respected.

Sat in an office next to a temple ringed by green hills and snow-capped mountains, the 14th Dalai Lama spoke to Reuters a day after Tibetans in the northern Indian town of Dharamshala marked the anniversary of his escape from the Tibetan capital, Lhasa, disguised as a soldier.

He fled to India in early 1959 after a failed uprising against Chinese rule, and has since worked to draw global support for linguistic and cultural autonomy in his remote and mountainous homeland.

China, which took control of Tibet in 1950, brands the 83-year-old Nobel peace laureate a dangerous separatist.

Pondering what might happen after his death, the Dalai Lama anticipated some attempt by Beijing to foist a successor on Tibetan Buddhists.

China Faulted For Cutting Power Prices – Analysis

By Michael Lelyveld

China is making major cuts in electricity rates to support business and its sagging economy, raising questions about government subsidies and environmental concerns.

On March 9, China’s central electric utility, State Grid Corp., announced a 10-percent reduction in average electricity charges for business users this year “to relieve the burden on the real economy,” the official Xinhua news agency said.

The break comes on top of a 10.6-percent rate cut for “commercial” users in 2018 that saved China’s businesses 79.2 billion yuan (U.S. $11.7 billion), according to the report.

With industrial users included, the assistance last year totaled 91.5 billion yuan (U.S. $13.6 billion), the state-owned utility said.

While state-controlled rates are subject to change, the announcement appeared to be unusual in citing the economic benefit as the purpose without any reference to market conditions, fuel prices, or generating costs.

Quit Worrying and Learn To Love Trade With China

Deirdre Nansen

Get ready for the Great Trump-Xi Depression. The White House is pursuing two stupid policies, trying to reduce the United States' "balance of payments" with China and trying to protect "intellectual property" from China's thievery. These policies are leading to a crash in the Chinese economy, which has been grossly ill-managed under President Xi Jinping. International knock-on effects were already apparent last autumn, even as the trade deficit ballooned and Americans benefited from Chinese theft.

"Balance of payments" is a silly way of talking, right from the get-go. Are you concerned about your balance of payments with your grocery store? You give Kroger cash and it gives you goods. Worried? I thought not. After all, you have a balance of payments surplus with your employer, right? Hope so. And your scary-sounding deficit with Kroger is good for you. In exchange for money, the store provides healthy food such as oatmeal, walnuts, olive oil, and blueberries. (Try it: I just lost 30 pounds that way, a good deficit.)

From Hardware to Software: China’s 2019 Military Budget and Priorities

By Ankit Panda

March has marked the budget season for the United States and China alike. Earlier this month, at the National People’s Congress, Beijing announced a 7.5 percentage increase in its projected defence spending over last year. It will spend $177.54 billion on sustaining, growing, and modernising its military. The United States, a little more than a year after acknowledging it was in an era of great-power competition again, announced a $750 billion defence budget.

Headlines have zeroed on the relative decrease in spending growth on defence. After all, in 2018, China’s defence budget growth stood at 8.1 per cent. Percentages can be misleading, however. China’s military modernisation objectives remain as ambitious as ever. It continues to plan for multiple contingencies and allocate resources as necessary.

Commensurate with its rapid economic growth and growing global ambitions, China has pursued a large-scale modernisation – and more recently reorganisation – of its military. Under President Xi Jinping, the People’s Liberation Army has diversified away from its historical focus as a land-based force towards the seas.

In Search of ‘Real’ Data on China’s Economy

By Dmitriy Plekhanov

Information about economic activity is a key ingredient for policymaking and business decisions. However, official statistics in China have long been criticized for lack of transparency, data collection problems at the grassroots level, and frequent data manipulation. The inadequacy and insufficiency of official statistics have created a desperate need for alternative data. In an attempt to meet the market demand for data, investment banks, academic researchers, and media have raced to deliver their own estimates on various aspects of the Chinese economy (the banking and financial system, real estate markets, consumer markets, etc.). However the recent advent of new technologies can be a game-changer for the industry. It has created new opportunities for data collection in China and produced a plethora of indicators that are capable of satisfying the growing demand for quantitative measures of economic activity.

The Spread of Internet Use in China Is Leading to New Data Sources

China’s internet user base is huge and constantly growing. According to a recent report from the China Internet Network Information Centre (CNNIC), the number of internet users in China amounted to 829 million at the end of 2018, with a penetration rate close to 60 percent. The report highlights other interesting figures on how the internet is becoming increasingly integrated into the everyday life of Chinese citizens. According to CNNIC data, more than 70 percent of the total number of Chinese people on the internet are shopping and paying online.

A Repulsively Casual Terrorist Manifesto

Graeme Wood

I have just read the manifesto written by the alleged killer of almost 50 Muslims in Christchurch, New Zealand. I can think of more pleasant ways to spend a Friday morning, such as nursing a throbbing case of pink eye, or seeing how long I can hold my palm on my hot plate without screaming. But the evaluation of nauseating ideological statements is a specialty of mine, and regrettably, today I am once again on duty.

The sole virtue of “The Great Replacement,” a 78-page Microsoft Word document containing poetry and illustrations, is its clarity. It provides a catechism about the intentions of its author, as if to preempt the usual questions that follow atrocities of this kind. (Certain lines are written in an ironic, messing-with-you tone, but they are easy to detect if you spend enough time reading this stuff.) The author is a white Australian and wishes to hasten a civilizational war. His model is Anders Behring Breivik, the Norwegian neckbeard who murdered 77 people, mostly liberal teens at an island retreat, in 2011.

The Cult of Breivik


The manifesto of the terrorist responsible for the horrific attack at the Al Noor Mosque in Christchurch, New Zealand, on Friday—a 78-page rambling text titled “The Great Replacement”—paid tribute to an array of racially motivated terrorists, including America’s Dylann Roof, Italy’s Luca Traini, Sweden’s Anton Lundin Pettersson, and Britain’s Darren Osborne. But the New Zealand attacker, a 28-year-old Australian named Brenton Harrison Tarrant, seemed to place Anders Behring Breivik in a separate category, at once a symbol to be revered but also as a call to action, a justification for political violence. Tarrant specifically mentioned Breivik as someone who, through his actions, was willing to “take a stand against ethnic and cultural genocide.” He also mentioned that while he read the writings of Dylann Roof “and many others,” he considered Breivik to be his only “true inspiration” for launching the attack, demonstrating just how significant the Norwegian terrorist’s impact was on Tarrant’s own willingness to act.

As more information emerges about the attack, one thing has become particularly clear—the perpetrator was heavily influenced by Breivik, the Norwegian white supremacist responsible for killing 77 people at a summer camp in 2011.

The Dark Web Enabled the Christchurch Killer


Over the past three decades, large-scale terrorist attacks motivated by extreme-right beliefs have almost exclusively been carried out by lone actors and small autonomous cells. The reason is simple. Maintaining an extreme-right group with terrorist ambitions is impossible in Western democracies today due to state monitoring and the lack of external support and safe havens. A recent example of extremists who tried, but failed, to prepare an attack while keeping a public profile is the British group National Action, whose leaders and activists are currently serving long prison sentences. This leaves extreme-right revolutionaries with two options: operate in the public but refrain from illegal behavior, or go underground.

The key to understanding today’s terrorist threat is to be found underground—especially the online underground

The key to understanding today’s terrorist threat is to be found underground—especially the online underground, which has become a breeding ground for contemporary extremists of all kinds, including the Christchurch shooter. Notably, he announced his attacks in advance on an online forum and even shared a Facebook link used to livestream the attacks.

The Roots of Islamophobia

by Mohammed Ayoob

The recent act of white supremacist terrorism in Christchurch, New Zealand, that left fifty Muslim worshippers dead and an equal number wounded has once again dramatically brought to the fore the issue of Islamophobia around the world and its evident links to white supremacist ideology. It should, therefore, not be dismissed as the act of one deranged person acting alone but as a manifestation of deep-seated hatred against Muslims among some segments of Western societies.

The most perceptible reason for the rise of hostility against Muslims settled in the West is, of course, acts of terrorism carried out by extremist Muslim groups against innocent civilians in Europe and the United States, most dramatically symbolized by the attacks on 9/11 that brought down the twin towers in New York. Other similar acts in London, Madrid, Orlando and elsewhere have augmented the feeling in Western societies that this is indeed a fight to the finish that pits the “civilized” West (formerly known as Christendom) against the “barbaric” world of Islam.

From myth to reality: How to understand Turkey’s role in the Western Balkans

European fears of Turkish expansionism in the Western Balkans have no basis in reality. Turkey spots opportunity in the region – yet it actually wants the Western Balkans inside the EU and NATO. The AKP’s approach once deserved a ‘neo-Ottoman’ tag, but Erdogan has since refocused on personalised diplomacy and pragmatic relations. Western Balkans governments remain reluctant to act on Turkey’s behalf by pursuing Gulenists, despite overall warm ties. Europeans should cease questioning Ankara’s motives and work on shared goals instead – hugging Turkey close and keeping it out of Russia’s embrace.


In October 2017, the president of Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, made an official visit to Serbia. It was not the first time a Turkish leader had gone to the country. But it was the first occasion on which Serbs had received a Turk with such warmth.

Erdogan toured Belgrade with Serbian leader Aleksandar Vucic, visiting one of the capital’s burgeoning Turkish-run establishments – a cafe chain called Simit Sarayı. In the historic Kalemagdan, crowds cheered and snapped photos as the Turkish president explored the old Ottoman fortress. At an official dinner, Erdogan and Vucic enjoyed the banquet with their wives, as the Serbian foreign minister, Ivica Dacic – a Serbian nationalist, no less – serenaded the Turkish leader with “Osman Aga”, a traditional Turkish folk tune that the minister sang in Turkish.

Body Counts Are Terrible Way for the Public to Assess US Counter-Terrorism Operations

by Charles J. Dunlap

President Donald Trump’s new executive order rescinding a provision of an Obama-era executive order that required public reporting of civilian and combatant deaths in U.S. counterterrorism strikes “outside areas of active hostilities” has garnered concern from transparency advocates. They express fears that President Trump’s action will deprive the public of information it needs to judge the appropriateness of the United States’ use of force in an era of persistent conflict against global terror threats. I agree that it is vitally important in democracy to keep the public informed, but giving the public raw numbers of deaths – “body counts” in essence – in isolation from other key factors essential to determining the propriety of the use of force will likely cause more confusion that clarity.

As Larry Lewis noted, much (albeit not all) of the information required by the rescinded section of the Obama order must now be furnished to Congress in any case, as a result of recent National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) requirements. Those requirements go a long way in providing the necessary transparency to Congress about the actions formerly covered by the Obama order. As Professor Bobby Chesney explained on his National Security Law podcast:

An Overview of Islamic Fundamentalism: A Primer for Understanding Extremist Islam

David E. Williams, Jr.


The Islamist worldview is in direct opposition to contemporary Western ideas about government, society, and the role of religion in everyday life. Despite this opposition, or possibly because of it, the Islamist movement is gaining popularity around the globe. The apparent failure of Western ideologies, unequal distribution of wealth for natural resources exacerbated by globalization, and on-going conflict between Israelis and Palestinians have contributed to Muslim masses to seeking solutions from more traditionally-minded leaders who promise a return to Islamic Golden Ages via rejection of secularism in favor of Islamic fundamentalist ideologies. This, however, sets many on a path of conflict with the West. Examples of radical Islamist organizations abound: Al Qaeda, Afghan Taliban, ISIS, and Hezbollah. Such organizations fill Western minds, as well as Middle Eastern governments, with great concern if not outright fear, but what exactly is an Islamist worldview? Does it inherently include violence? What are its origins and targets of critique? How has it evolved in the twentieth century and why do its tenants appeal to so many in the Muslim world today? This article will briefly look at each of these questions in order to provide a perspective on contemporary Islamism and facilitate a better understanding of the phenomenon as a whole, thus providing some insight into the recent wave of unrest across the Middle East. Ultimately, Islamism is a unique and diverse collection of ideologies and doctrines that range from the progressive to the radical. It is my assessment that one must not make the mistake of lumping all Islamist ideologies, movements, and organizations into a singularly narrow, one size fits all category, nor should one automatically consider Islamism a threat in the Muslim world or beyond. Rather, Islamism is simply another ideological option that must be weighed in terms of its effectiveness and appeal, while recognizing that there is a potential for extremism similar to that manifested in other secular and sacred movements. Because of this, it is imperative for Western nations to open lines of communication with leaders of the protest groups and insurgents in such places as Libya, Yemen, and Bahrain in order to develop an understanding of their motivations, ideologies, and their goals for the Middle East.


Syria’s Civil War Is Now 3 Civil Wars


The war that has ravaged Syria over the last half-decade is coming to an end. The caliphate declared by Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi of the Islamic State organization on June 29, 2014, at the al-Nuri mosque in Mosul now consists of a few ravaged square meters in Baghouz, in Syria’s Lower Euphrates River Valley, that are on the verge of falling to Kurdish forces. The mainly Sunni Arab rebellion against the Bashar al-Assad regime, meanwhile, is already over. What remains of it is now the military component of a Turkish project to turn a corner of northwest Syria into a Turkish client entity.

In place of the old wars, however, three new ones have started. They are taking place in the three de facto independent areas whose boundaries are becoming apparent as the smoke from the previous battle clears: the regime-controlled area, guaranteed by Russia; the area east of the Euphrates River controlled by the Syrian Democratic Forces, which are primarily composed of Kurdish fighters protected by the United States and Western air power; and finally the area controlled by the Turks and their Sunni Islamist allies in Idlib province. The regime area consists of about 60 percent of the territory of the country, the SDF has around 30 percent, and the Turkish-Sunni Islamist area is around 10 percent. Each of these areas is now hosting a civil war of its own, supported by neighboring enclaves.

American Universities Are in Crisis

By George Friedman

Last week, dozens of wealthy parents were charged for allegedly paying a firm to cheat on college entrance exams or bribe officials to get their children accepted into elite colleges. The number of people involved in the scam is small, so the case itself has proved little except that all human institutions can be corrupted. But there’s a broader point that must be considered. This case is an indicator of a profound crisis at American universities. I know that profound crises have become a dime a dozen, manufactured by people like me with writing deadlines, but I ask you to bear with me.

We live in a knowledge-based economy. Our universities are the social institutions designed to produce and educate the next generation that will participate in that economy. But the best universities do more than this. They teach those outside elite circles the manners and customs of power. They allow them to meet others who will form the networks of authority that are indispensable to society. If you go to Harvard, you likely won’t learn any more about biology in your freshman year than you would at a state school. But you will learn something that isn’t taught by professors but is still vitally important: how to fit into the structure and customs of influence.

No Choice and No Exit for the UK


The outcome of the simple binary choice given to UK voters in the June 2016 Brexit referendum has proved almost impossible to implement. The main obstacle is not the complications of negotiating new treaties, but rather the judgment by those in charge of Britain’s political life that the costs of an emphatic withdrawal are too great.

LONDON – The United Kingdom’s protracted attempt to leave the European Union has upended the two illusions by which the world has lived since the end of the Cold War: national sovereignty and economic integration, the twin end points of history, according to Francis Fukuyama’s celebrated 1989 essay.

Juridically, the world consists of 191 sovereign states, which freely enter into treaties, agreements, and associations to order their relations with one another. The UK is one of them. Its failure to make a meaningful exit from the EU would be the first time in modern history that a major sovereign state was forced to remain in a voluntary union because, while legally free to leave, doing so would be too costly.

American Farmers Could Take Another Hit From Trump’s Trade Policies

Kimberly Ann Elliott

American farmers have arguably suffered the greatest collateral damage in President Donald Trump’s ongoing trade war with China, and things could get even worse. A landmark ruling last month by the World Trade Organization—one of Trump’s favorite targets—should have been good news for American farmers, since it could provide a bit of relief for them from the trade war. But even that small compensation is now likely to be delayed or lost—again because of Trump.

Even if Trump’s trade war with China ends soon, American farmers are going to struggle to regain the markets they once had there. Making matters worse is Trump’s antipathy to the WTO. In late February, the WTO announced that a dispute settlement panel had agreed with the United States that Chinese agricultural subsidies were higher than allowed under international rules. The case was originally brought to the WTO under the Obama administration, in 2016. U.S. trade officials argued that the Chinese government was exceeding the cap on subsidies for wheat, corn and rice that it had agreed to when China joined the WTO. ...

Asleep at the Controls: Boeing and the 737 MAX Debacle

By Alessandro Bruno

Boeing Co. (NYSE:BA) should have addressed the Boeing 737 MAX issues after the Lion Air crash in Indonesia last October. The problems appear to be related to an effort, by Boeing, to avoid Boeing 737 pilots from having to re-certify their qualifications to fly the new 737 Max generation. Some of the automated systems are not only too intrusive, the crews appeared to be ignorant of their existence and thus unable to turn them off. Perhaps this was done at the behest of one or two major customers; nevertheless, Boeing itself should have grounded the plane, ahead of any FAA concerns. Instead, it took President Trump issuing an executive order to this effect on March 13.

Grounding the Boeing Max may have been Trump’s best decision as president so far into his mandate. He took responsibility while Boeing, the FAA and many North American based air carriers did not. Boeing may incur a few billion dollars in costs by grounding the plane, but considering it earned 100 billion in revenues last year, its a small price to pay. The company, however, has tarnished its reputation. It’s interesting to note that Trump was once an airline owner himself: Trump Shuttle. Trump’s older brother Freddie Trump Jr., who suffered from alcoholism and died in 1981, was an airline pilot. He flew for Eastern Airlines, the company that Trump used as a platform for his own Trump Shuttle.

Armored Warrior: This is How the Israeli Army Will Use Its Deadly Tanks to Fight

by Michael Peck 

… The IDF would love nothing better than to fight an old-fashioned tank battle, at which it is famously proficient. But twenty-first-century warfare is more about guerrillas and tunnels, and these are the bane of high-tech, mechanized armies. The U.S. military has struggled with subterranean warfare from Iwo Jima to Vietnam, where the famous “Tunnel Rats” had the thankless task of crawling underground to dig out the Viet Cong. The IDF has had to cope with Hamas infiltration tunnels dug from Gaza into southern Israel. Last year, the Israelis discovered several Hezbollah tunnels between southern Lebanon and northern Israel, stoking fears of a surprise Hezbollah attack to seize the Galilee.

The problem is that tanks can’t get inside a tunnel, but a Hezbollah fighter with an anti-tank missile can pop out of one and destroy a $5 million Merkava tank. Haunting the Israeli Armored Corps is the debacle of the 2006 Israel-Lebanon War, when Hezbollah used a sprawling network of tunnels in southern Lebanon to ambush and knock out numerous Israeli armored vehicles.

The Israeli armor commanders that TNI spoke with seemed grimly determined to avoid a repeat of 2006. “We understood there was a need for change,” Schneider said.

New Challenges Mean Changing Definitions for Successful U.N. Peacekeeping Missions

Are U.N. peacekeeping missions no longer relevant to today’s conflicts? Or do we just need to change the goals? 

There were understandably mixed feelings at the United Nations in June, when the organization marked the 70th anniversary of modern U.N. peacekeeping missions.

The Security Council sent military observers to the Middle East in 1948 to supervise the end of the first Arab-Israeli war, marking the first of over 70 U.N. missions that have become the organization’s trademark. U.N. officials used this year’s anniversary to honor the efforts of today’s peacekeepers to end wars and protect civilians. But the overall mood in New York was sober. 

This was because U.N. operations appear to be entering a new and difficult phase. Over the past two decades, U.N. peacekeeping forces have done a solid if underreported job stabilizing small and medium-sized countries such as Sierra Leone and East Timor. Earlier this year, they wrapped up another broadly successful mission in Liberia. With the closure of these operations, the U.N. now finds itself focusing most of its peacekeeping efforts on five big, problematic operations in Africa. In each case, the blue helmets are thinly spread and face endemic violence. 

What you need to know about Trump's proposed military budget


President Trump just released the proposed military budget for 2020. Even after adjusting for inflation, it’s one of the largest peacetime defense budgets since World War II at $750 billion. Already there is contention over the 5 percent increase from 2019. The all-too-assured fight between the House and Senate has budget analysts predicting only a 2.4 percent increase, landing at $733 billion instead.

President Trump says it’s just right. Democrats say it’s too much.

They’re both wrong. It’s not high enough.

In a recent World War III war game scenario run by RAND, the United States continues to lose against Russia and China. RAND analyst David Ochmanek put it bluntly: “In our games, when we fight Russia and China, blue (the U.S.) gets its ass handed to it.” The flaw in this analysis is that RAND and the military thinks Word War III could be fought in the mid-2020’s.

They’re wrong too. It’s being fought now, and we’re still losing.

U.S. "Gets Its Ass Handed To It" In World War III Simulation: RAND

by Tyler Durden

In simulated World War III scenarios, the U.S. continues to lose against Russia and China, two top war planners warned last week. “In our games, when we fight Russia and China, blue gets its ass handed to it" RAND analyst David Ochmanek said Thursday.

RAND's wargames show how US Armed Forces - colored blue on wargame maps - experience the most substantial losses in one scenario after another and still can't thwart Russia or China - which predictably is red - from accomplishing their objectives: annihilating Western forces.

"We lose a lot of people. We lose a lot of equipment. We usually fail to achieve our objective of preventing aggression by the adversary," he warned.


Walker Mills 

“Sir, what do you want us to do about the tunnel?” one of my squad leaders asked. We were conducting platoon attacks at the massive Range 220 complex at the Marine Air Ground Combat Center in Twentynine Palms, California as part of a training exercise in 2017. Nowhere in my training had tunnels come up or been addressed as a tactical problem.

“Seal it, post security, and we’ll deal with it later,” I replied, an answer that not only seemed best for my platoon at the time, but also sums up the US military’s response to tunnels and subterranean warfare over the last century. We were able to clear our lane successfully and I was proud of how the platoon preformed. But, the tunnel nagged at me. Was there a right answer, or even a good answer?

The Army’s next frontier demands transformations

The information domain requires a level of speed significantly faster than the traditional domains, so the Army to rapidly integrating these capabilities into formations and even organizational changes, according to a top service official.

The Army is moving out on establishing new cyber and information related units.

Army Cyber Command, despite its name, is responsible for integrating and conducting not only cyberspace, but also electronic warfare and information operations. These capabilities, to some extent to include intelligence and space, are now being considered to be under the larger information-related banner of indirect and indirect operations that support U.S. and allied objectives and/or to degrade adversary functions.

Much of what Army Cyber Command does today in the form of supporting combatant commanders around the world is deliver content, a capability that is used to create an information operation, Lt. Gen. Stephen Fogarty, commander of Army Cyber Command, told the AFCEA Army Signal Conference March 13.