27 March 2019

China Deploys Troops Near India-Pak Border to Safeguard CPEC Projects - Reports

The move was reportedly prompted by the perceived threats to coal mine projects in the China Pakistan Economic Corridor which have been facing stiff resistance from locals in Pakistan. China is reportedly unhappy over the Pakistani Army’s alleged inability to ensure the safety of the project despite repeated assurances.

New Delhi (Sputnik): China has deployed a contingent of the People's Liberation Army (PLA) to the Thar region of Sindh province in Pakistan which is about 90 kilometres away from Pakistan's international border with India. Indian television channel Zee Newsquoted a senior intelligence officer saying that Indian forces had noticed the movement of Chinese troops close to the border.

"The Border Security Force (of India) deployed at the India-Pakistan border has also noticed the movement of Chinese troops close to the border. It seems that due to the opposition of Chinese projects by locals in Sindh and Balochistan provinces, China has deployed its PLA," the intelligence officer told Zee News.

The F-16 vs Mig-21 Bison: More Questions than Answers

By Air Marshal Harish Masand

The analysis of the much-reported dogfight between the IAF and the PAF on 27th February as a fall-out of the Balakot strike the previous morning has thrown up a number of theories, conjectures and scenarios particularly with regard to the brief and sharp dogfight between an F-16 against a vintage, though upgraded, MiG-21 Bison. Claims and counter-claims have flown thick and fast, perhaps as thick and fast as a modern day aerial engagement between high-speed jets in some numbers.

Very little has been confirmed by the officials concerned on both sides. This is except for the claim of an F-16 shot down by India by the Defence Minister, Ms Sitharaman, herself at the India Today Conclave on 12th March. From the Pakistani side, the Prime Minister, Imran Khan, initially claimed two Indian aircraft shot down, with two pilots in their captivity. Later, this turned out to be just one aircraft and one pilot, the latest hero of India, Wing Commander Abhinadan Varthaman who was soon on social media and TV. No further explanation has emerged from Pakistan on Imran’s claim of the second aircraft and the mysterious second pilot.

The Brahmaputra as a new model of democracy and development

By Shiv Visvanathan

A river is a rite of passage, a flow of narrative few men understand. It connects past and present, upstream and downstream, links creation myths to everyday history. A river is a composite of time in a way Heraclitus did not understand. You cannot step into the same river twice because I am never one at any time. I am composite, a collage. I have no one form because I am so many incarnations. It is crucial to understand the link between time and the river because I am not past, present or future. I am each of them and all of them simultaneously. It was Raimundo Panikkar in his Rhythms of Being who understood time and the river when he says this narrative does not take place in linear time but it is Kairological, I am simultaneously past, present and future. I only make sense in the simultaneity and multiplicity of time.

Pakistani Hindus lose daughters to forced Muslim marriages

Naila Inayat

The police refused to intervene. Her kidnapper told them she ran away from home, and converted to Islam and married him voluntarily. But after her family pressured a court to intervene, she told judges the truth and they freed her.

“Her life was threatened,” her attorney, Ramesh Gupta, said. “She wanted to go back to her parents and the statement (she made to the court) helped to sway the decision in her favor and she was freed to join her family.”

Meera Bai, a Pakistani Hindu immigrant in New Delhi, says "Muslims in Pakistan will never treat Hindus as their own." (Photo: Naila Inayat)

Anila is one of many Pakistani Hindu girls kidnapped because of religious discrimination in a country that is 98% Muslim.

Why Afghans Are Angry

Afghan Leaders’ Anger Over Peace Talks Is Focused on the U.S. Diplomat in Charge” (news article, March 16) did not fully capture the concerns of Afghans over the talks between the United States and the Taliban. We Afghans are getting angry, frustrated and worried.

We are angry that a monumental deal about the future of our country is being made without our presence. Our elected government and our people are being sidelined from the peace talks.

We are frustrated that the United States is considering agreeing on a timeline for the withdrawal of American troops in exchange for the Taliban’s empty promise to oppose international terrorist organizations in Afghanistan. The Taliban’s ambitions for an Islamic emirate, a theocratic totalitarian government, have not changed.

A Retired Brigadier General's Lessons from the War in Afghanistan

by Don Harvel

For the last several months, U.S. special representative Zalmay Khalilzad has been deeply involved in a negotiation with the Taliban—an effort that may or may not lead to a comprehensive political resolution of the seventeen-year-long Afghan conflict. For the sake of peace in Afghanistan, we should all hope that Khalilzad—a man of eminent experience who has worked on the Afghan portfolio for decades—can pull a rabbit out of his hat and close the book on this latest bloody chapter in Afghanistan’s history.

But while those of us on the outside wait to see whether peace negotiations with the Taliban produce a lasting and positive result, it’s important for America’s national-security insiders to look back at where we are; whether what we’ve done works; and what lessons we should extrapolate in order to avoid similar endless wars in the future.

The U.S. war in Afghanistan started off in the most noblest of ways. The September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks in New York, Washington, DC and rural Pennsylvania shocked the conscience of the entire world. If there was ever an instance in history of a justifiable military operation, the U.S. military campaign against Al Qaeda and the Taliban in Afghanistan fit the bill perfectly. Operation Enduring Freedom, planned and executed with a specific and clear mission—eliminating Al Qaeda’s base of operations—was a classic case of self-defense. The U.S. military succeeded in this objective in a matter of months. By the winter of 2002, Osama bin Laden was on the run, his network was degraded, and the same Taliban officials that ruled Kabul with an iron-first were now running for their lives, hoping to avoid capture.

China in Djibouti: The Power of Ports

By Mercy A. Kuo

Trans-Pacific View author Mercy Kuo regularly engages subject-matter experts, policy practitioners, and strategic thinkers across the globe for their diverse insights into U.S. Asia policy. This conversation with Basil M. Karatzas – CEO of Karatzas Marine Advisors & Co., a shipping finance advisory and ship-brokerage firm based in the New York City – is the 181st in ”The Trans-Pacific View Insight Series.” 

Why is China Merchants Port Holdings taking control of operations at Djibouti’s Doraleh Container Terminal? 

While the case is still under litigation, it is known that in February 2018, the government of Djibouti unilaterally terminated DP World’s concession to operate the Doraleh Container Terminal. At the same time, again the government of Djibouti nationalized the shares of the holding company for the Doraleh Container Terminal, in which DP World had a 33 percent stake; it is understood that China Merchants also had an unspecified minority stake in the Doraleh Container Terminal. And, upon cancelling of the concession, control has been offered to China Merchants Port Holdings to operate the terminal, for which it immediately seems to have taken an active role at expanding the port facilities not only of the container but also of dry bulk and multi-purpose terminals. A $3.5 billion free trade zone and a “global logistics hub” are envisioned under the present regime.

These futuristic Chinese space denial weapons can disable or destroy opposing satellites


Satellite view of NGARI Space tacking station | Col. Vinayak Bhat (retd)

New Delhi: China has made great advancements in future weapons systems, many of which suggest that the Asian giant is planning a lethal battle against its adversaries, especially when it comes to space denial and disabling or destroying satellites.

From directed energy weapons (DEW) to electromagnetic pulses (EMP) and mobile pulse generators, China has a plethora of options to choose from, most of which are difficult to get information on.

America and China's Great AI Competition: What Is Driving It

For better or worse, the advancement and diffusion of artificial intelligence technology will come to define this century. Whether that statement should fill your soul with terror or delight remains a matter of intense debate. Techno-idealists and doomsdayers will paint their respective utopian and dystopian visions of machine-kind, making the leap from what we know now as "narrow AI" to "general AI" to surpass human cognition within our lifetime. On the opposite end of the spectrum, yawning skeptics will point to Siri's slow intellect and the human instinct of Capt. Chesley "Sully" Sullenberger – the pilot of the US Airways flight that successfully landed on the Hudson River in 2009 – to wave off AI chatter as a heap of hype not worth losing sleep over.

The fact is that the development of AI – a catch-all term that encompasses neural networks and machine learning and deep learning technologies – has the potential to fundamentally transform civilian and military life in the coming decades. Regardless of whether you're a businessperson pondering your next investment, an entrepreneur eyeing an emerging opportunity, a policymaker grappling with regulation or simply a citizen operating in an increasingly tech-driven society, AI is a global force that demands your attention.

An Unstoppable Force

All ISIS Has Left Is Money. Lots of It.


BEIRUT—If you’re looking to transfer money here, there’s a chance you will be directed to Abu Shawkat. He works out of a small office in a working-class suburb of the Lebanese capital, but won’t give you its exact location. Instead, he’ll direct you to a nearby alleyway, and whether he shows up depends on whether he likes the look of you.

Abu Shawkat—not his real name—is part of the hawala system, which is often used to transfer cash between places where the banking system has broken down or is too expensive for some to access. If he agrees to do business, you’ll set a password and he will take your cash, then provide you with the contact information of a hawala broker in the city where your money is headed. Anyone who offers that specific password to that particular broker will get the funds. Thus, cash can travel across borders without any inquiry into who is sending or receiving it, or its purpose.

The ‘Caliphate’ Is Dead, but Americans Might Not Be Any Safer


The Islamic State is gone, even if only in strict geographic terms. Once estimated to span territory up to about the size of Maine, the group’s self-declared caliphate in Iraq and Syria has disappeared entirely in less than five years. As of early February, the group held just about a square mile on the Syrian border, and though the final assault took six weeks, the U.S.-backed Kurdish forces conducting the operations announced the collapse on Saturday.

The collapse is a major achievement for the U.S. and its allies, even though it won’t stop the group from conducting attacks in the region or inspiring them overseas. At its peak strength in 2014 and 2015, ISIS was considered unique among terrorist organizations for controlling so much territory. But that very distinction underscored how terrorist groups throughout history have waged violence perfectly well without states of their own. So why did territory in particular help make ISIS look so threatening to the United States? And is America safer now that the “caliphate” has fallen?

US Army Moving Forward on Hypersonic Missile and 1,000-Mile Super Cannon

By Steven Stashwick

The U.S. Army is moving quickly to develop and test new long-range strike weapons in the early 2020s, with plans to test a ground-based hypersonic missile by 2023 and prototype a super-cannon with a planned range of 1,000 miles.

The U.S. Army, Navy, and Air Force are all working on hypersonic weapons with major shared components, with the army designing the maneuverable warhead likely to be used by all three services. One of the principle reasons the United States says it needs these weapons is to defend against similar long-range and hypersonic weapons being developed or already fielded by China and Russia. While the United States is exploring possible space-based and laser weapons to complement its missile defenses, their viability against hypersonic weapons is doubtful. A 2016 study concluded that the only likely way to defend against hypersonic weapons was for the United States to use its own hypersonic weapons to destroy its adversaries’ weapons before they are launched. The Pentagon’s chief of research and development has said recently that the United States cannot intercept hypersonic weapons in the air and they will need to be destroyed on the ground.

Europe's Divided Approach to China and Human Rights

By Björn Jerdén and Tim Rühlig

The European Union (EU) recently labeled China “a systemic rival promoting alternative models of governance.” Friction over political models increasingly shapes the relationships between Europe and China. The EU was founded on the principles of human rights, democracy and the rule of law. Moreover, the Lisbon Treaty of 2007 stipulates that the EU and its member states should promote these values in their external relations. With the Chinese government presenting its authoritarian political system as an alternative to liberal democracy, the consequences of this undertaking are becoming more apparent.

How is Europe meeting its commitment to defend and spread democracy, human rights, and the rule of law in its relations with China? Is China increasingly influencing how Europe relates to its core political values, as claimed by some?

The U.S. Debt Crisis Is Coming Soon; To Avoid Economic Distress, The USG Has To Reduce Entitlement Spending

The title above comes from Mr. Martin Feldstein’s March 21, 2019 Op-Ed, “The Debt Crisis Is Coming Soon,” in the Wall Street Journal (WSJ). Mr. Feldstein is the former Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers under POTUS Ronald Reagan, and is currently a professor at Harvard.

“The most dangerous domestic problem facing America’s federal government is the rapid growth of its budget deficit and national debt,” Mr. Feldstein writes.

According to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), “the deficit this year/2019, will be $900B, more than 4 percent of the gross domestic product (GDP), and more than the entire U.S. defense budget. “It will surpass $1T in 2022,” Mr. Feldstein warns. “The federal debt is now 78 percent of U.S. GDP,; and by 2028, it is projected to be nearly 100 percent of GDP. All this will have serious economic consequences, and the CBO understates the problem,” he added. The CBO “has to base its projections on current law — in this case, the levels of [current/projected] spending, and future tax rules and rates that appear in law today.”

“The levels don’t match realistic predictions,” Mr. Feldstein observes. “Current law projects that defense spending will decline as a share of GDP, from a very low of 3.1 percent now, to about 2.5 percent over the next ten years. None of the military and civilian defense experts to whom I [Mr. Feldstein] have spoken to, believe that will happen, given America’s global responsibilities, and the need to modernize U.S. military equipment. It is likelier that U.S. defense spending will stay around 3 percent of GDP, or even increase in the coming decade. And, if the outlook for defense spending is increased, the Democratic House majority will insist that the non-defense discretionary spending should match its [defense spending] trajectory.”

Nutrition Policy Primer: The Untapped Path to Global Health, Economic Growth, and Human Security

This policy primer on global nutrition outlines its role as a foundation for lifelong health, economic growth, and political stability and underscores the critical contribution of U.S. funding. The primer serves as a global nutrition 101 for policymakers with key terms, interventions, and target cohorts and a landscape overview of the priority issues in global nutrition, important players, and the U.S. government’s investments. The primer also identifies critical gaps including a $70 billion global funding gap toward the World Health Assembly’s stunting, anemia, exclusive breastfeeding, and wasting goals; data gaps in how best to reach adolescent girls during a critical growth period; and the lack of transparency of U.S. government nutrition investments and impact. The primer sets forth a proposal to increase the annual U.S. investment with specific ideas for how those additional resources can have impact programmatically and operationally, as well as in filling knowledge gaps.

Options for the West to Address Russia’s Unconventional Tactics

By Jesse Short

Jesse Short was enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps infantry and served in the Republic of Iraq between 2005 and 2008. He currently works as a security contractor in the Middle East and recently finished his M.S. in Global Studies and International Relations from Northeastern University. He can be found on LinkedIn at www.linkedin.com/in/jesse-s-4b10a312a. Divergent Options’ content does not contain information of an official nature nor does the content represent the official position of any government, any organization, or any group.

National Security Situation: The Russian Federation’s limited forms of warfare against western states and associated influence in other regions challenges the world as it is conducted below the threshold of war.

Author and / or Article Point of View: The author is a veteran of the infantry in both the United States Marine Corps and United States Army. The author believes in checking clear threats to western states with strong and decisive, but intelligent responses. This article is written from the point of view of western states under the threat of the ‘unconventional’ actions of the Russian Federation. 

Why Is the U.K. Jeopardising Its Five Eyes Partnership Over 5G?

By Michael Shoebridge

The looming U.K. decision on 5G and Huawei has profound consequences for the U.K., for the four other members of the Five Eyes intelligence-sharing group (the US, Canada, Australia and New Zealand) and for the future technological landscape of Europe. But it’s in danger of happening while those around it are distracted by bigger disasters.

The bad news is that, if what Britain’s top cybersecurity official, Ciaran Martin, outlined when he spoke at last month’s CyberSec conference in Brussels is any measure, the U.K. seems intent on defending the wisdom of a decision made a decade ago, despite all the changes in the strategic and technological landscape since then.

Martin sent some interesting signals in his speech. Apparently, it’s not that important who the 5G technology vendors are, because Russians successfully hacked the U.K. telecommunications system even though ‘those networks didn’t have any Russian kit in them’. So, ‘From the point of view of managing corporate risk, or, in our case, national risk, it essentially doesn’t matter whether the vulnerabilities are deliberate or the result of honest mistakes.’

PETER HITCHENS: 'I fear a British Trump who'll crush our civilisation'


I fear a British Donald Trump. I fear such a person will steal the slogans of the Right and the merciless, dishonest propaganda methods of the Left – as the US President has done. I fear that the rise of such a figure is the likely outcome of the catastrophe caused by David Cameron’s folly in calling a referendum, and everyone else’s folly – of walking into such an obvious trap. It barely matters now how the whole thing ends. The sense of disappointment and betrayal now abroad is here to stay. A lot of people are not going to be forgiven for their part in the EU referendum fiasco.

Can anyone really have thought that this great greasy, congealed granny knot, tied and retied and tightened for nearly 50 years, could be undone by a single clean stroke? Did they think it could be undone without any effort on their part to change the British political, legal, cultural and media elites which had for 40 years supported our membership of the EU? They might as well have expected all the nation’s rivers to reverse their courses, or stood around waiting for figs to grow on thorns.


EVERY YEAR, IN late January, a small group of beetle-browed scientists, politicians, and journalists gather at the National Press Club in Washington, DC, to ponder the end of the world. This is a day of solemn kitsch: the unveiling of the Doomsday Clock, the minimalist midcentury dataviz that, since 1947, has been adjusted to dramatize the imminence of global catastrophe. But that’s too many syllables. Let’s use the shorthand: doom. And it’s close at hand. The Bulletin of Atomic Scientists, the nonprofit group that maintains the clock, used to set the hands based entirely on the probability of nuclear hellfire. Then in 2007 they added climate change to their calculus and, in 2017, cyberwar. The clock’s setting is largely impressionistic. To rough out a relative idea of how safe or imperiled the world is, a committee meets twice a year to weigh signs of peace and climate amelioration—treaties, accords, regulations—against the rumblings of war and environmental disaster.

Capitalism vs democracy: Consumers vs citizens

Arun Maira

‘What will the New Year bring?’ Is a question many of us ask ourselves. It is also the question that many economic and political forecasters and stock market analysts are asked.

How can we know what the future will bring? What are most visible to forecasters are the waves that appear on the surface: such as the ups-and-downs of stock-markets, the quarterly changes in GDP growth rates, and trends towards populism in elections in many countries.

When big systems, like the ocean, are in motion, changes deep within them cannot be noticed merely by looking at the surface. Watching the tide change, one can observe that the small waves right on top are moving one way, whereas the larger waves beneath them are moving the other way. Both oscillate, while beneath them a deeper, invisible current is moving masses of water forward to lift the tide. 

Trump Is Right About Huawei


President Donald Trump got something right. His administration’s recent rule barring the use of federal funds to buy products made by the Chinese telecom firm Huawei is sound national security policy. So is his urging of allied governments to do the same.

Even here, though, the Trump touch—the diplomatic equivalent of an inept gardener’s black thumb, turning even healthy plants to weed—has blighted the policy’s prospects.

To be fair, it would be a hard row to hoe for any president. Huawei is the world’s largest telecommunications manufacturer, with products selling in 170 countries, including in Europe, where it provides the infrastructure for networks under development by such giants as Vodafone, Deutsche Telekom, and BT Group. For these firms to cancel their contracts now would be very expensive, especially since Huawei’s wares are competitive with much more expensive brands.

The problem is that those wares are also potential backdoors for Chinese intelligence. If Huawei gains a foothold in the burgeoning market of 5G networks (as it is working hard to do), those backdoors would open access to streams of sensitive political, financial, manufacturing, and military data.

America's Constant State of Hybrid War

by Jyri Raitasalo

Hybrid warfare has been in the limelight for more than a decade within the Western strategic discourse. During the last five years, this slippery concept has mostly been attached to the malign actions of Russia towards the West. First, it has been claimed that Russia’s hybrid warfare towards the West—containing information warfare, cyber warfare and political warfare—has succeeded in attaining favorable outcomes for Russia. Thus, Russia has been able to achieve concrete security-related goals with its hybrid tools, according to this narrative.

Supposedly, from the Crimean Peninsula to Donbass, and from the Brexit vote to the 2016 presidential election in the United States, it was Russian hybrid warfare that excelled in bringing about outcomes that benefitted Russia. Surely enough, Russia cannot be blamed for trying to undermine the ability of the West to achieve its security interests. But trying does not equal succeeding. Evidence confirming Russia’s success is scarce—if not nonexistent. Buying Facebook ads does not equal having an influence on voters. Disrupting internet sites or stealing usernames, passwords, or credit card information can be awkward or troublesome, but they surely enough are not national-security threats. Even if the “absence of evidence is not evidence of absence,” as former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld has noted, a whole industry of Russia’s successful hybrid warfare thesis is based on shaky—if not nonexistent—ground.

We Need a NATO/EU for Cyber Defense


The world’s democracies aren’t properly organized to fend off today’s authoritarian attacks, let alone reshape the internet and key industries to stop tomorrow’s.

The role of military cyber is expanding in the westernized democracies, from simply protecting the militaries’ own networks to supporting the national cyber defense of their economies. Whole-of-society defense strategies and more tightly integrated civil-security forces relations have emerged. These national efforts are critical to the survival of democratic societies in an increasingly cyber-enabled authoritarian world, but they do not go far enough.

Now is the time to take these internal civil-military defense efforts to the next step. We must build a NATO/EU equivalent for the cyber conflict age — call it a Cyber Operational Resilience Alliance, or CORA — to defend across the whole of the democratic community. 

Infographic Of The Day: 5 Emerging Technologies And Their Impact On Health Informatics

Health informatics represents the intersection of information technology and design and delivery of health care services. As new health care technologies emerge, a wealth of data is available to help professionals provide quality patient care. It's important for health informatics professionals to understand how to leverage data, build effective information tech systems, and share insightful discoveries and information access across organizations.

Losing 5G fight with China would be a disaster for US


The fifth and latest generation of wireless-network mobile communications, called 5G, will make communications exponentially faster than today — but it requires cellphone tower equipment to be no further from users than about 500 feet. (The distance between users and antennae for the current generation is about 20 miles.) For the U.S. alone, wireless companies such as Verizon, AT&T, Sprint and T-Mobile must install about 300,000 new antennas (adding to the 200,000 antennas already installed).

Yet, 5G has great benefits: All users will have more bandwidth, so connections will be fast even in high-density areas; the time between emails or texts being sent and received will be reduced to milliseconds; the downloading of files and streaming videos will take a few seconds. Moreover, increased speed will expand the number and capability of smart devices, like cameras, alarms and appliances; they will be able perform tasks now accomplished with a computer or a smartphone.

We Need a NATO/EU for Cyber Defense


The world’s democracies aren’t properly organized to fend off today’s authoritarian attacks, let alone reshape the internet and key industries to stop tomorrow’s.

The role of military cyber is expanding in the westernized democracies, from simply protecting the militaries’ own networks to supporting the national cyber defense of their economies. Whole-of-society defense strategies and more tightly integrated civil-security forces relations have emerged. These national efforts are critical to the survival of democratic societies in an increasingly cyber-enabled authoritarian world, but they do not go far enough.

Now is the time to take these internal civil-military defense efforts to the next step. We must build a NATO/EU equivalent for the cyber conflict age — call it a Cyber Operational Resilience Alliance, or CORA — to defend across the whole of the democratic community. 

5G and Battlespace Dominance

By Chet Nagle

The global rollout of 5G, the replacement for the existing 4G mobile communications network, will cost service providers the enormous sum of $325 billion by 2025. Millions of dollars have already been spent to tout the benefits 5G will deliver to individual and commercial users, but little attention is paid to the role of 5G in the future world of defense and national security.

Glimpses of that future are beginning to been seen through the smoke of the conflict between the United States and Huawei, the telecommunications giant created by communist China to dominate manufacturing and implementation of 5G networks.

A Keystone of Future Technology

Many see 5G as an incremental step in the technical evolution of mobile communications, but its speed and ability to carry much more data, it’s lower latency (network response time) and its greater stability will fundamentally transform mobile digital communications. 5G data is transmitted at10 gigabytes per second, and latency is less than a millisecond, a hundred times faster than 4G. These attributes will connect multiple sensors and allow unmanned air, sea, subsurface and ground vehicles to become effectively autonomous. Significantly, 5G will also greatly enhance connectivity in the future internet of things (IoT).

Lasers, Hypersonics, & AI: Mike Griffin’s Killer Combo


Pentagon R&D chief Mike Griffin wants to revive the idea of space-based lasers for missile defense, a concept he worked on during the Reagan “Star Wars” program, as illustrated here.

WASHINGTON: Laser beam communications no enemy can jam. Microwave emitters to fry enemy satellites or incoming hypersonic missiles. AI-controlled lasers shooting down hostile drones faster than a human can react. The Pentagon’s chief of R&D, Mike Griffin, sees tremendous potential for directed energy — both by itself and in combination with his other high-tech priorities like artificial intelligence, hypersonic weapons, secure communications, and space warfare.

“More than any other of the areas in my portfolio,” undersecretary Griffin said, “I think the leverage of directed energy is so high … that it is right at the top of my investment priorities.”

Would Steve Jobs like the iPad today?

By Dave Gershgorn

The first is that Steve Jobs unabashedly hated styluses. When introducing the first iPhone in 2007, the Apple founder said, “Who wants a stylus? You have to get ’em, put ’em away, you lose ’em. Yuck! Nobody wants a stylus. So let’s not use a stylus.”

The second truth: Every modern iPad—including new versions released on March 18, nearly a decade after the original—now works with the Apple Pencil, which some might call a stylus.
Is the Apple Pencil a stylus?

The first question we have to answer, if we’re to figure out whether Apple is flying in the face of the CEO who led to its becoming the most valuable public company in the world, is whether the Apple Pencil even is a stylus.

At the time of Jobs’ short-form stylus rant, the cheapest and most prevalent kind of touchscreen was the resistive touchscreen. For this kind of technology, you had to push two layers of screen together, which would create a circuit for the device to figure out where on the screen your finger was pressing. If you have ever been annoyed at a touchscreen device, it was probably resistive.


Brandon Morgan

Peaceful protests outside of Vilnius, Lithuania, covered widely by the Russian media, abruptly turn violent, with Russian-speaking civilians inexplicably killed in a sudden explosion. A Russian airborne battalion parachutes just east of the chaos, on the Belorussian side of the border, prompting the 82nd Airborne to rapidly deploy its brigade designated as the core of the US military’s Global Response Force into action. When one of the Russian airborne battalions—fully mechanized with BDM-4 infantry fighting vehicles, BTR armored personnel carriers, and reinforcing tanks—encounters a lone US airborne battalion, with only eight Humvee-mounted anti-tank missiles, the Russian forces find it to be easy prey.

By design, light infantry forces sacrifice certain capabilities in order to maximize flexibility and mobility. But when the capabilities sacrificed leave American light infantry forces particularly vulnerable to a potential adversary, change is required. Army light infantry brigades currently have a critical anti-armor gap. However, by combining solutions across the DOTMLPF spectrum—doctrine, organization, training, materiel, leadership and education, personnel, and facilities—the Army can maximize the anti-armor lethality, standoff, and capability within the light infantry brigade.