23 March 2019

The Limits Of India’s Soft Power In Afghanistan – Analysis

By Dr. Shanthie Mariet D Souza

The latest round of US negotiations with the Taliban in Doha has garnered considerable international attention, with the group’s co-founder, Mullah Baradar, leading the insurgent team. As the search for an end to the long war in Afghanistan has intensified, prospects of a quick-fix solution through peace negotiations by major powers like the US and Russia has left India in a quandary. New Delhi’s policy of unconditional support provided to the Afghan government is hitting a roadblock as Kabul is being increasingly sidelined not only in these externally mediated peace negotiations, but also in the internal reconfiguration that is taking place in the light of the ongoing negotiations and the upcoming presidential election.

However, with a possible delay of the elections and talk of establishing an interim government to achieve progress in the negotiating efforts, what are India’s policy options? Will New Delhi reach out to the Taliban and other stakeholders? Or will it continue with its present policy of support to the Afghan government? More importantly, will the benefits of the last decade of soft power translate into tangible gains? These are serious questions that New Delhi will be confronted with in the summer of 2019.

The Quad: Whistling By Its Grave – Analysis

By Mark J. Valencia

The Quadrilateral Security Dialogue (the Quad) is an informal strategic dialogue between the US, Japan, Australia and India. It was initiated in 2007 by then Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe during his first term. Since 2014, these discussions have been bolstered by the annual trilateral Malabar (US-Japan –India), other trilateral exercises and at least one quadrilateral naval exercise. It was widely perceived as part of a China containment strategy. After China issued formal diplomatic protests to its members asking their intention, Australia withdrew from the Quad and the meetings ceased.

In 2018 the administration of US President Donald J. Trump re –raised the concept as part of its ‘free and open Indo-Pacific’ strategy. But some members are balking. In 2018, India—in deference to China– objected to Australia’s inclusion in Malabar even though the exercise took place in US waters. Admiral Phil Davidson, the head of the U.S. Indo-Pacific Command has suggested that the Quad be shelved for now. https://www.navytimes.com/news/your-navy/2019/03/07/indopacom-the-quad-might-be-shelved/

Italy’s plan to join China’s Belt and Road Initiative ruffles feathers

China’s president, Xi Jinping, was due to land in Rome on March 21st, as The Economist went to press. His itinerary will include a state dinner, accompanied by a performance by Andrea Bocelli, an Italian opera star. Even more enjoyable for Mr Xi will be welcoming Italy into his Belt and Road Initiative (bri), a programme of infrastructure projects that spans Eurasia, the Middle East and Africa. Italy’s prime minister, Giuseppe Conte, hopes the planned agreement, due to be signed on March 23rd, will boost Italian exports to China. But the accord has caused consternation both within his government and among Italy’s traditional allies.

The bri is China’s project to create a modern-day Silk Road, the ancient network of trade routes which once connected east and west. Billions of dollars have been invested since it was launched in 2013 across over 60 countries, in disparate infrastructure projects including railways, roads and ports. Some estimates of the total investment over the coming years run to $1trn or even more.

Inside China’s Plan for Global Supremacy

By David P. Goldman

In 2013 my friend Eduardo Medina-Mora became Mexico’s ambassador to the United States. We had known each other since 1988, when I was preparing a study of Mexico’s tax and regulatory system for a U.S. consulting firm, and Eduardo was running a small Mexico City law firm after a stint as press officer for the Ministry of Fisheries. We kept in touch over the years. In 2003, when he headed Mexico’s foreign intelligence service, the CISEN, and I ran the fixed income research department of Bank of America, we compared notes over dinner in Mexico City. He went on to serve as attorney general and other senior posts.

Eduardo complained that no one in the Obama administration seemed responsible for Mexico. “We don’t even know who to call when a problem comes up,” he told me at his office at Mexico’s Embassy on Pennsylvania Avenue, where I called on him to offer my congratulations. “It’s easier for [then Mexican President Enrique] Peña Nieto to get the president of China on the phone than Barack Obama. What would you advise me to do?”



Over the past few years, China has dominated the South China Sea disputes and, subsequently, secured the acquiescence of most other claimant states. Now, it has fixed its gaze on gaining a foothold in strategic locations and sectors of those claimants, a strategy that—in a nod to its layered paramilitary strategy—could be called its “economic cabbage strategy”.

From Malaysia to Maldives, China has sought to dominate critical infrastructure across sea lines of communications, gradually building a global network of access and dependencies, often at the expense of smaller nations’ sovereignty.

Under this approach, Chinese companies—most of them state-affiliated if not state-owned enterprises—zero in on prized infrastructure projects in critical sectors like electricity, telecommunications, police surveillance projects, and, most recently, major port facilities.

The blossoming Philippines-China relationship has opened a floodgate of Chinese investments, unnerving domestic players including the influential military establishment. In particular, China’s bid for a 300-hectares shipping yard in Subic Bay, the former site of one of the United States’ largest overseas naval bases, has unleashed a political firestorm, exposing the fragility of the ongoing rapprochement and the resilience of Beijing-skeptic sentiments in the Southeast Asian country.

A Forgotten Battle: Fifty Years Ago, Russia and China Slugged it Out on Damansky Island

by Lyle J. Goldstein

Few skirmishes have had consequences on the scale of the violent clash on Damansky Island [Даманский остров/珍宝岛] from early March 1969. Thankfully war was averted between the two Communist powers, but the reverberations had an enormous impact on geopolitics, and most likely also contributed in a partial way to both the demise of the USSR and the concomitant rise of China. Putting these larger historical questions aside, however, another vital question also arises when considering the blood on the Ussuri River ice that was spilled in some quantity during those dark days. As Beijing and Moscow are once again enjoying “a golden age”—quite akin to the heady days of the 1950s—will these nettlesome historical issues continue to impact the otherwise blossoming partnership?

Even as more and more oil and gas projects come on line, with new rail and highway bridges connecting the two countries, and ever more frequent joint exercises bring the Russian and Chinese militaries together, many doubters remain. They point out that trade and investment remains relatively limited, regional cooperation has yielded few clear diplomatic “wins,” and even military cooperation remains quite stilted amidst a paucity of significant joint endeavors. The resolution of this important debate will be determined by China and Russia themselves, of course. But what of the emotive historical issue with all its attendant “baggage?” In this short article, I cannot hope to offer a comprehensive historical accounting. Instead, I will merely summarize a couple of the articles that have appeared on the Damansky episode in the Russian-language press.

Whether on purpose or not, the Russian coverage of the sensitive anniversary appears to have been quite low key. Many major news outlets, to include Gazeta.ru, Kommersant, Izvestiya, and Rossiskaya Gazeta, seemed to ignore the anniversary completely. Nezavisimaya Gazeta was also silent on the anniversary, but had published a rather detailed retrospective piece back in mid-December 2018 under the not too delicate title: “Damansky – An Island Covered in the Blood of Our Heroes [Даманский – остров, залитый кровью наших героев].”

U.S. Firms Are Helping Build China’s Orwellian State


When a Dutch cybersecurity researcher disclosed last month that Chinese security contractor SenseNets left a massive facial recognition database tracking the movements of over 2.5 million people in China’s Xinjiang province unsecured on the internet, it briefly shone a spotlight on the alarming scope of the Chinese surveillance state.

But SenseNets is a symptom of a much larger phenomenon: Tech firms in the United States are lending expertise, reputational credence, and even technology to Chinese surveillance companies, wittingly or otherwise.

The SenseNets database logged exact GPS coordinates on a 24-hour basis and, using facial recognition, associated that data with sensitive personal information, including national ID numbers, home addresses, personal photographs, and places of employment. Nearly one-third of the individuals tracked were from the Uighur minority ethnic group. In a bizarre juxtaposition of surveillance supremacy and security incompetence, SenseNets’ database was left open on the internet for six months before it was reported and, according to the researcher who discovered it, could have been “corrupted by a 12-year-old.”

For Africa, Chinese-Built Internet Is Better Than No Internet at All


The Chinese telecommunications company Huawei has made huge inroads in Africa in recent years even as the United States urges its allies around the world to avoid working with the firm over cybersecurity concerns.

Huawei has built about 70 percent of the continent’s 4G networks, vastly outpacing European rivals, according to Cobus van Staden, a senior China-Africa researcher at the South African Institute of International Affairs. The construction is often accompanied by loans from Chinese state banks, which are approved faster and with fewer conditions than loans from international institutions.

While concerns about Huawei are shared by other countries around the world, in Africa they are largely overshadowed by the imperative for greater internet access. The continent is home to some of the world’s fastest-growing economies, and its population is expected to double by 2050.

Avert US-China Trade War The Japanese Way: Time Bound Trade Truce Is No Permanent Solution – Analysis

By Subrata Majumder

The US-China 90-day trade truce is unlikely to end the trade war once and for all. It will linger unless China shrugs off retaliating. Curbing the trade deficit is not a near term solution. It warrants persuasive business negotiations rather than coercive methods.

To this end, an aversion of trade war as per the Japanese way provides some tips to ponder. The US-China trade war is in a sense a revisition of the US-Japan trade row. During 1980 and 1990, over a decade, the US and Japan were locked in trade skirmish over Japan’s bulging exports to USA. The USA accused Japan of utilizing a fixed exchange rate with US Dollar. It indulged USA for a tactical currency war by abandoning the fixed exchange rate and raised Japanese yen value in Plaza Accord in 1985. Eventually, Japanese goods became uncompetitive and USA’s imports from Japan declined.

Japan’s economy is export based and the USA was the biggest destination for exports, plunged into haywire. To undo the impact of yen appreciation, Japanese companies shifted their factories to Asian countries and USA. Japanese investment increased more than double in Asian Nies and triple in USA during 1987 to 1989.

Radical Islam and White Supremacy


The racist terrorist who took the lives of at least 49 Muslims in the attack on two New Zealand mosques last week wanted to start “a civil war that will eventually balkanize the US along political, cultural and, most importantly, racial lines.” The attacker wrote those words in a deranged white-nationalist manifesto, and he will surely be delighted by the exposure his ramblings are receiving.

For days, the press has pored over this despicable document. Experts have analyzedit, and influential figures have been questioned about it. Though it risks publicizing the semi-literate thoughts of a deluded racist with a messiah complex, some of this was done for good reasons. Most of it, however, was an effort to affix blame to people and institutions closer to us than the monster who executed them—in particular, one Donald Trump, whom the terrorist named as “a symbol of renewed white identity and common purpose” but a terrible executor of white nationalist policy. White House advisor Kellyanne Conway recommended that “people should read” the manifesto “in its entirety” because, in her view, it exonerates the president. This is, to put it mildly, bad advice. An artificial exegesis of a blinkered mass murderer’s incoherent meanderings will not clarify the nature of the threat he and his ideological allies pose. But nor should observers ignore the ideology that compelled this attacker to massacre Muslims in their houses of worship. To do so would contribute to the appearance, perhaps even the reality, that there is a double standard for combating terrorism.

Battle For Leadership Of Muslim World: Turkey Plants Its Flag In Christchurch – Analysis

By James M. Dorsey

When Turkish vice-president Fuat Oktay and foreign minister Mevlut Cavusoglu became this weekend the first high-level foreign government delegation to travel to Christchurch they were doing more than expressing solidarity with New Zealand’s grieving Muslim community.

Messrs. Oktay and Cavusoglu were planting Turkey’s flag far and wide in a global effort to expand beyond the Turkic and former Ottoman world support for President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s style of religiously-packaged authoritarian rule, a marriage of Islam and Turkish nationalism.

Showing footage of the rampage in Christchurch at a rally in advance of March 31 local elections, Mr. Erdogan declared that “there is a benefit in watching this on the screen. Remnants of the Crusaders cannot prevent Turkey’s rise.”

Mr. Erdogan went on to say that “we have been here for 1,000 years and God willing we will be until doomsday. You will not be able to make Istanbul Constantinople. Your ancestors came and saw that we were here. Some of them returned on foot and some returned in coffins. If you come with the same intent, we will be waiting for you too.”

Yes, the U.S. Could Be Drawn Into Yet Another Big War

By Michael J. Mazarr

Sixteen years ago this week, the George W. Bush administration sent U.S. forces crashing into Iraq without a real plan for what to do after defeating Saddam Hussein. It is easy to forget that moment’s fervent convictions about the Iraqi dictator’s supposed weapons of mass destruction and links to al Qaeda—and the calamity into which Iraq soon descended. It all seems to belong to another era. The debate today is more about how we got out of Iraq than how we got in.

The idea that the U.S. would do anything like Iraq again feels ridiculous. We appear to have learned our lesson, and America’s political climate hardly seems primed for new military adventures. No imminent threat demands a response. President Donald Trump arrived in office determined to reduce U.S. commitments abroad, not to multiply them. He is aiming for a deal with North Korea, not war; pulling troops out of Syria and Afghanistan, not pushing more in.

Toward a New Global Charter


Whereas the failure to forge a lasting world order at Versailles resulted in the catastrophe of World War II, the establishment of shared principles under the 1941 Atlantic Charter led to eight decades of prosperity and relative stability. With the world undergoing another geopolitical sea change, a new global charter is needed.

STOCKHOLM – In August 1941, even before the United States had entered World War II, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill and US President Franklin D. Roosevelt met secretly off the coast of Newfoundland to discuss how the world could be organized after the war. A similar feat had been attempted at Versailles just over two decades earlier, but it had clearly failed.

Churchill and FDR’s assignation resulted in the Atlantic Charter, which established a set of shared principles and institutions that still define the international order eight decades later. In 1944, the Bretton Woods conference laid the groundwork for the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank, and other global financial institutions; the establishment of the United Nations soon followed. The defeated Axis powers were transformed into dynamic democracies with market economies, and were integrated into the new global system, while stability was maintained through cooperative security structures spanning the transatlantic and Pacific theaters.

International Relations Theory Doesn’t Understand Culture


In today’s world politics, culture is everywhere. The rise of non-Western great powers, the return of ethnonationalism, violent extremism justified in the name of religion, and so-called white resistance—the list goes on. Yet those who should be best placed to explain it—international relations scholars—are ill equipped to do so.

Conventional wisdom holds that IR theory has little to say about culture. After all, the argument goes, its dominant schools of thought focus on struggles for material power and treat actors as self-interested egoists. In fact, IR scholars talk about culture all the time. It permeates their arguments about the Western foundations of the modern international order, about China as a civilizational state, and about the fate of the Arab Spring. And if discussions of the Western nature of human rights aren’t about culture, then what are they about at all?

The real problem is that IR scholars cling stubbornly to a view of culture that anthropologists and sociologists last took seriously between the 1930s and 1950s. Indeed, when discussing culture, IR looks like a conservation zoo for concepts long dead in their natural habitats.

Trump Wants NATO’s Eyes on China


The Trump administration is pushing NATO to address potential threats from China in its day-to-day work in Brussels and at an upcoming meeting of foreign ministers in Washington next month, U.S. and European officials say. The move is part of a shift in American priorities away from fighting Islamist terrorists and toward a so-called era of great power competition.

For months, the administration has been working to persuade Europeans to rebuff Chinese investment in the continent’s critical infrastructure and telecommunications networks. The campaign has received a lukewarm reception in some parts of Europe, where U.S. allies are already troubled by the U.S.-China trade war and President Donald Trump’s hostile jabs at the European Union and NATO.

While many Europeans view China as a potential challenge to the West, some are skeptical that NATO, oriented toward deterring Russia and still engaged in the yearslong fight in Afghanistan, is the best forum to address the threat. China has never before been a key conversation topic in the alliance.

Turkish intervention could trigger Syria's 'second great war'

Amberin Zaman 

AL-OMAR OIL FIELD, Syria — After a bloody and protracted five-year war, the Kurdish-dominated Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) and the US-led coalition are on the verge of declaring victory against the Islamic State after the fall of its last crumbs of territory in Baghuz. With Islamic State cells continuing to operate to deadly effect in Syria and neighboring Iraq, it's too early to say "mission accomplished," cautioned Mazlum Kobane, the commander in chief of the SDF, in an exclusive interview with Al-Monitor March 10 at a heavily guarded complex near al-Omar oil field in eastern Syria. The charismatic 50-year-old Syrian Kurd, whom coalition officials address as “general,” is seen as one of the chief architects of the battle against the jihadis.

US diplomats and officers of all ranks who have worked with him for the past four and a half years are full of praise for Kobane, whose nom de guerre was Sahin Cilo when he was a militant in the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK). The PKK, which has been fighting Turkey for Kurdish independence, and now autonomy, since 1984, is on the US State Department's list of terrorist organizations. Turkey likes to remind Washington of this irony, and it's the reason why Kobane is unlikely to be rewarded for his prowess on US soil anytime soon. His real name is Ferhat Abdi Sahin and he is on Turkey's list of most wanted terrorists. 

Whither Europe?

By Andrew Michta

Bogged down by a feckless political elite and deep structural flaws, the European Union will continue to hollow out

These are not happy times in Europe. The ongoing spectacle of a British political class hell-bent on performing political seppuku over Brexit continues to dominate the headlines. Regardless of Brexit’s final outcome, the damage done to Labour and Conservatives alike will change British politics for decades to come. It will alter party loyalties and shift the baseline expectations of the electorate. Most important, it will permanently color the perception of the elite’s competence to govern. Still, the political farce unfolding in London should not overshadow a more fundamental ongoing transformation: the hollowing out of the European Union. 

The United Kingdom is not only Europe’s second-largest economy, but also the most powerful EU nation not part of the common currency zone. There was already an imbalance between the eurozone and the non-euro countries, and as Britain exits the Union, that imbalance will accelerate the process of Europe’s bifurcation.

Godot In Westminster, Waiting For Brexit – Analysis

By Ronald J. Granieri*

(FPRI) — That sound you hear is the clock ticking. The United Kingdom will cease to be a member of the European Union on March 29. Or maybe not. Perhaps with a formal Withdrawal Agreement. Or maybe not.

What is the fate of Brexit? After a dizzying array of votes in the House of Commons this week, the answer to that question remains as elusive as ever.

This week was supposed to decide the fate of the Withdrawal Agreement that Prime Minister Theresa May negotiated with the EU at the end of last year. That 500-page agreement, designed to provide for an orderly withdrawal as the basis for a new relationship, included legal protections for maintaining trade and regulatory relations for a transitional period of about two years, as well as an agreement on how much Britain needs to pay to settle its outstanding obligations to the Union, and also a “backstop” agreement to guarantee that the border between Ireland and Northern Ireland should remain as open as it has been since the completion of the historic Good Friday agreement of 1998.

Why Reciprocity Matters: The U.S. Reciprocal Access to Tibet Act

By Natasha Kassam

Western governments have long complained about the lack of reciprocity in dealing with China. As the traditional basis for international relations, reciprocity suggests that benefits and penalties alike, granted from one state to another, should be returned in kind.

In diplomatic relations, Chinese ambassadors expect – and agitate – to meet foreign ministers. But foreign ambassadors to China are generally given access to much more junior officials.

As a result of its developing country status, China is the beneficiary of special treatment in the World Trade Organisation. China is entitled to more relaxed environmental protections under various treaties and defends its human rights record on the basis of this status – despite now being the world’s second-largest economy. Western governments have catered to various demands in trade and elsewhere, based on the principle that the benefits of engagement with China outweighed the drawbacks.

We are now at a point where China’s state broadcaster is able to beam news programs that often amount to little more than propaganda into the living rooms of Americans and Australians. By contrast, access to most foreign news services, including the New York Times and the ABC, is banned in China.

ASEAN’s Digital Economy: Development, Division, Disruption – Analysis

By Amalina Anuar*

Boasting an increasingly wired and growing middle class, as well as a wealth of data stemming from a 642-million-strong population, ASEAN’s digital economy is ripe for the picking. By 2025, it will be worth an estimated US$240 billion.

The prospects of market dominance and significant data pools to be mined for developing future technologies, combined with ASEAN’s geostrategic location, have lured greater major power interest into the region’s digital economy. Though global tech titans are more visible players in ASEAN’s digital space, greater government-to-government cooperation is emerging as economics and security become increasingly intertwined. What then might this mean for ASEAN?
Development Opportunities

Boosting financing for ASEAN’s infrastructure, digital or otherwise, could increase digital economy take-up. Competing infrastructure partnerships such as China’s Digital Silk Road (DSR) and the Washington-initiated Indo-Pacific Economic Vision (IPEV) could help service hard and soft infrastructure gaps across the region.

Russia Tightens Its Grip on Uzbekistan’s Oil and Gas Industry

By: Rauf Mammadov

A major challenge for Central Asia’s oil and natural gas industry has always been how to transport petroleum products from the landlocked region to global markets. That issue resurfaced last week (March 6) in Uzbekistan, where a delay in building a pipeline to export more gas to China helped Russia deepen its hold on the domestic energy industry. The Central Asian republic’s liquidity crunch has allowed Russia’s Lukoil to acquire local petroleum assets as well as to boost supplies of Russian gas to Uzbekistani consumers—thereby, putting Moscow in a much stronger position to dictate the terms for gas exports from Uzbekistan.

A comment from Lukoil’s leadership this past week put the pipeline issue in the spotlight. According to the energy company, Uzbekistan owes Lukoil $600 million for gas because local customers have lately been consuming excessive amounts of heating and cooking fuel (Trend, March 6). Uzbekistan consumed 43 bcm of gas in 2017—almost three times Kazakhstan’s consumption. One reason for this is that Uzbekistan’s population of 33 million is 2.5 times larger than Kazakhstan’s 14 million. Another reason relates to the fact that Uzbekistan’s centralized domestic pipeline network is inefficient and its own gas impure, containing lots of toxins (Iea.org, accessed March 14).


THE FOUR MEN who shuffled into an antiterrorism court in Islamabad, Pakistan, on a mid-October morning were shackled together, a chain leash extending from each of their handcuffs into the hands of a supervising police officer. One was a college professor, one a self-proclaimed religious revivalist, another a small business owner, one an employee in an oil company. They said they did not know one another—or, rather, had not known one another until they found themselves standing trial in a case that had by then dragged on for 18 months. This was the other, more tenuous link between them: They had all been accused of committing blasphemy on the internet.

It was a slow court day in the Pakistani capital. The lawyer for two of the defendants, the revivalist and the businessman, had not shown up. The judge was exasperated. He scolded them, warning that he might make the two defendants cross-examine witnesses themselves, then adjourned the hearing, to the annoyance of the other two. “I don’t even know them,” protested the professor, his manner imperious despite the shackles. “Why are we being tried together?”

NATO Is Thriving in Spite of Trump

By Charles Kupchan

NATO’s foreign ministers will gather in Washington, D.C., on April 4 to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the alliance. But their festivities will hardly mask the profound anxiety about NATO’s future that is building on both sides of the Atlantic. U.S. President Donald Trump is, of course, the leading cause of the disquiet. His broadsides against allies for not spending enough on defense, his public ambiguity about whether the United States will stand by its commitment to collective defense, and his reported desire to withdraw the United States from the alliance raise fears that 2019 could be a year for eulogizing NATO rather than feting it. 

Trump’s diatribes are not the only cause of the unease. A broadening chorus of realist strategists claims that the United States is overdue for a major strategic retrenchment and that it is past time for Europe to tend its own garden. Even staunch defenders of NATO express doubts about its future. Some worry that the growing U.S. preoccupation with East Asia will lure the United States away from its Atlantic calling and generate transatlantic tensions over how to deal with the rise of China. Others fear that democratic backsliding among members is compromising the alliance’s values-based solidarity. Close NATO watchers are concerned that EU efforts to more deeply integrate European foreign and defense policy could ultimately weaken the Atlantic link. And debate rages on both sides of the Atlantic as to whether NATO enlargement has enhanced or eroded European stability and whether to continue expansion despite the costs to the West’s relationship with Russia.

Half of organizations lack the security talent needed to remain secure

By Anthony Spadafora 

The global shortage of cybersecurity talent is having a detrimental effect on businesses with nearly 50 percent of organizations lacking the necessary talent to remain secure, according to new research from Trend Micro.

The cybersecurity firm surveyed 1,125 IT decision makers in the UK, US and EU to reveal that 69 percent of organizations believe that automating cybersecurity tasks using artificial intelligence (AI) would reduce the impact from the lack of security talent.

Trend Micro's report comes at a time when 64 percent of organizations have experienced increased cyber threats in the last year.

Today's IT security teams are understaffed and overextended as they deal with an increasing number of security alerts. To make matters worse, the challenge of what to prioritize along with the shortage of expertise in the area can be overwhelming for these teams as it introduces risk.

Did The U.S. Just Lose Its War With Huawei?

Zak Doffman

GETTY"There are two things I don’t believe in," Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Tuesday, referring to Germany's standoff with the United States over Huawei's inclusion in her country's 5G rollout. "First, to discuss these very sensitive security questions publicly, and, second, to exclude a company simply because it’s from a certain country."

Europe now seems likely to settle on 'careful and considered' inclusion of Huawei instead of any blanket bans. Chancellor Merkel stressed this week that a joined-up EU response would be "desirable", and Italy and the U.K. are also backing away from Washington's prohibition on Huawei's 5G technology. If they fold, it is likely the broader European Union will follow suit. And if those key European allies can't be carried, what chance Asia-Pacific, Africa, the Middle East?

Tech Issues Should Also Be U.S. Foreign Policy Priorities in the 2020 Race

Justin Sherman

Elizabeth Warren, one of the 13 candidates in an already crowded field of Democrats running for U.S. president in 2020, wants to break up tech giants like Google, Amazon, Facebook, Apple and Twitter by legally designating them as “platform utilities,” she said recently, in order to “keep that marketplace competitive and not let a giant who has an incredible competitive advantage snuff that out.” Amy Klobuchar, another senator seeking the Democratic nomination, says flatly that she doesn’t trust tech companies. She doesn’t want to break them up, but instead has proposed new regulations in the form of antitrust laws, new taxes and federal legislation to protect data privacy.

Thomas L. Friedman and James Manyika: The world’s gone from flat, to fast, to deep

The New York Times columnist reflects on how technology is changing our world in a conversation with James Manyika.

The New York Times foreign affairs columnist, three-time Pulitzer winner, and author of Thank You for Being Late, Thomas L. Friedman and McKinsey Global Institute chairman James Manyika build on their multiyear dialogue by engaging on the impact of connectivity, globalization, digitization, and artificial intelligence on work, skills, incomes, and prosperity. They discuss the opportunities and challenges that these technologies and profound “climate changes” (as Tom calls them) pose for society as well as the implications for individuals, businesses, and governments. The discussion also explores solutions, including building resilience and the role of complex adaptive coalitions in solving local, national, and global challenges.

Removing The Soldier From The Battlefield

by Jimmy Samuel

Employing Augmented Reality for Remote Assistance Tasks on Deployments

Conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan over thepast 15 years saw an increase in civilian contractor and level 3 support tofront line troops. Yet as the tempo and magnitude of operations has decreasedso has the number of soldiers we have to draw from. Whilst recruitment campaigns strive toattract more recruits, the MoD must look to alternative solutions to provide supportto front line troops. This articledemonstrates how Augmented Reality (AR) can provide one such alternative inproviding the immediate and intimate support to deployed personnel whilstreducing the need for expensive contractors or level 3 support. 

Why should we bother with AR?

In Aug 2018 TATRC (2018) reported how the Augmented Reality Forward Surgical Care (ARFSC)”Telestration Team” conducted testing using (AR) to To supportprolonged field medical care in austere environments and in locations wheretrauma or combat surgeons aren’t available. Using AR technology deployed surgeons are able to receive imagesfrom remote assistance support teams in the form of pictures, videos and audiowhilst having the freedom to use his or her hands. In addition, the deployed surgeon can streamlive video and audio back to the remote assistance support team in real time. This solution provides an opportunity formilitary personnel to receive real-time support from several sources usingmulti-media solutions whilst deployed in austere locations. 

What a Military Intervention in Venezuela Would Look Like

By Frank O. Mora

The United States has a clear objective in Venezuela: regime change and the restoration of democracy and the rule of law. Yet sanctions, international diplomatic isolation, and internal pressure have failed to deliver a breakthrough. Minds are turning to military intervention. U.S. President Donald Trump has said that “all options are on the table.” What if he means it?

There are two plausible ways the United States might use force in Venezuela: a precision bombing campaign and a full-scale invasion. Either course would have to be followed by efforts to stabilize the country and establish a civilian government. That could take years, given the country's size and military strength. Venezuela has a population of 33 million spread across a territory twice the size of Iraq. Its military is 160,000 strong and paramilitaries, colectivos (armed leftist groups that support Maduro), and criminal gangs collectively have more than 100,000 members. Even if a military intervention began well, U.S. forces would likely find themselves bogged down in the messy work of keeping the peace and rebuilding institutions for years to come.


The Decline of Deterrence

Andrew F. Krepinevich, Jr.

The Department of Defense’s enduring mission is to provide combat-credible military forces needed to deter war and protect the security of our nation.1

—National Defense Strategy of the United States of America

Since the end of World War II, the United States has relied on deterrence as the centerpiece of its defense strategy. This emphasis endures in the Trump administration’s National Security Strategy and National Defense Strategy. Yet as this study shows, the strategic environment in which deterrence must function has changed dramatically, and continues changing. Moreover, some lessons that we thought had emerged from our Cold War experience regarding the robustness of deterrence strategies have proven false. Similarly, some critical assumptions regarding how rationally humans behave when making decisions under conditions of risk have been overturned by advances in the cognitive and behavioral sciences.