30 March 2019

Pak lie exposed by India Today TV: Terroristan flew F-16 jets to attack India

Rahul Kanwal 

In an interview, Chaudhry Fawad Hussain said no American warplane had been deployed India Today's findings revealed Nauman Ali Kahn is an F-16 pilot Sourced images show Khan taking part in joint military exercise with US Air Force in 2010

Pakistan has consistently denied scrambling F-16s against India in last month's aerial combat that followed the IAF raid on terror camps at Balakot in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

"They said they shot down a Pakistani F-16. Pakistan, in the first place, did not use F-16s," said Major-General Asif Ghafoor, their military spokesman, on February 27, a day after the Indian strikes happened.

In an interview to an Australian network on March 1 in Punjabi, Pakistan's federal minister Chaudhry Fawad Hussain echoed that no American warplane had been deployed so far.


Asian Free Trade Proposal Is Broad in Scope, Narrow in Focus

The proposed Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP)'s comparatively narrow focus on tariffs to the exclusion of nontariff barriers would limit the agreement's boost to Asian trade. The 16 countries negotiating RCEP likely will not reach consensus on a final deal until after the conclusion of 2019 elections in India, Australia and Indonesia. Because India views free trade as a vehicle for economic growth in an era of rising protectionism, it will remain committed to negotiating an RCEP agreement, though its demands are likely to further delay a conclusive deal. Despite its limitations, RCEP offers the Association of Southeast Asian Nations a chance to help promote intraregional trade. China will demand a rapid resolution to negotiations so it can seek enhanced market access to offset a cooling economy against the backdrop of its trade war with the United States.

One Step Closer to an Elusive Peace in Afghanistan

Ahmed Rashid

Last year, when President Donald Trump gave the go-ahead for negotiations to start between the US and the Taliban, nobody expected his patience to last very long. He could sabotage the American negotiating team at any time, many observers feared, by ordering an arbitrary pullout of US forces from Afghanistan, leaving the Afghan government vulnerable to a Taliban takeover of Kabul.

Nor was there much hope that, having decimated the State Department, Trump would ever play by normal diplomatic rules and depend on institutions like the intelligence community that does the leg-work in such negotiations, rather than his own Fox News-driven instincts. Yet Trump has surprised everyone. By appointing Zalmay Khalilzad as chief US negotiator, he chose a highly experienced, Afghan-born diplomat. Although Khalilzad was sometimes seen as a controversial figure during the Bush administrations, when he served stints as the US ambassador to Afghanistan, Iraq, and the United Nations, for this job he was acceptable to both Republicans and Democrats in Congress as the most qualified person from the foreign service community.

US-China Who Is Bigger and When

When will China pass the US in economic size? The near-universal belief that the People's Republic of China (PRC) has already passed or is soon to pass the US in size' has multiple distinct flaws. These range from the gross—Chinese government statis­tics are unreliable—to the subtle—none of the ways economic size is measured are especially reliable. 

Obviously, the policies of the two countries matter, especially whether China ever returns to the pro-market reform path.2 While evaluating the competing development models is contentious and complex, growth arithmetic is simple. Putting policy aside, "the year 2030" turns out not to be a bad call for when China will pass the US in economic size, but so is "never." 

Purchasing Power Parity (Briefly) 

Gross domestic product (GDP) is the standard measurement of national economic size, but it is illuminating to start with a variation, GDP adjusted for purchasing power parity (PPP). PPP-adjusted GDP is arguably the core US-China comparison because 

When China Convinced the US That Uighurs Were Waging Jihad


They arrived at the American detention center in Guantánamo Bay, Cuba—where, as Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld put it, the “worst of the worst” would be held—a few months after 9/11, directly from Bagram Airfield in Afghanistan. There were 22 of them, all men, all of them Muslim, bearded, ranging in age from their early 20s to their mid-40s. Five had been captured by American forces following a battle in northern Afghanistan, and the other 17 were seized by police in Pakistan.

But there was something different about these detainees: All were members of China’s Uighur minority, a Turkic group chafing under Beijing’s tight control of their ancestral home in Xinjiang, northwest China. Uighurs had not been known to have harbored anti-American sentiments, much less to have participated in terrorist attacks against Western targets. None of these men, for example, appeared to have fought in any of the past jihadist battlegrounds—not in Afghanistan itself during the Soviet invasion, nor ir Bosnia or Chechnya. And yet, despite the lack of evidence against them, the Bush administration for years resisted legal efforts to free these Uighur prisoners, some of them remaining among “the worst of the worst” for 12 years, until, finally, they were released.

U.S. and China Got Into a Trade War and Mexico Won

(Bloomberg) -- The Trump Administration’s trade war with China has turned out to be a windfall for another country the president frequently berates: Mexico.

Consider Fuling Global Inc., a Chinese maker of plastic utensils that developed a lucrative business making paper cups and straws for U.S. restaurants. But President Trump upended all that with tariffs on $250 billion worth of Chinese imports, including paper products. So the company found an alternative, opening a $4 million factory in Monterrey, Mexico, that will soon begin shipping millions of paper straws across the border.“We had to look for other ways to do business,'” said Fuling Chief Financial Officer Gilbert Lee. The move means the Wenling, China-based company will avoid the tariffs and make up for pricier Mexican labor with lower shipping costs. “Mexico is a very logical and advantageous location for us.”

Fuling isn’t alone. Mexico has seen big gains in shipments to the U.S. in categories where competing Chinese goods were hit with tariffs, everything from poster board to air conditioner parts. In all, U.S. imports of goods from Mexico surged 10 percent to almost $350 billion last year, the fastest growth in seven years. That helped widen America’s trade deficit with Mexico by 15 percent to more than $80 billion. Meanwhile, the growth in shipments from China slowed by about a third.

US-China Trade War: Mixed Currency Fortunes? – Analysis

By Dr Tomoo Kikuchi and Yohei Tanaka*

The last trade war that the United States fought against the world’s second largest economy was in the 1970s witht Japan. That trade war fundamentally changed the structure of the Japanese economy while the nature of the US trade deficit remained unchanged. In the early 1980s, Japan accounted for 50 percent of the US trade deficit. Today, China accounts for nearly 50 percent of the US deficit.

The Executive Order 13806 by President Trump conveys that the restoration of the manufacturing sector is a matter of national security. The dilemma of the US is to restore the manufacturing sector and the fiscal balance of the indebted nation at the same time. To resolve this dilemma and the shortage of liquidity in global financial markets, the Chinese yuan and the Japanese yen will have to be further internationalised.
Reducing Excessive Dependence on US Dollar

Internationalisation of stock markets in Tokyo, Shanghai and Shenzhen and promotion of the Chinese yuan and the Japanese yen as settlement and clearing currencies in energy markets will reduce the excessive dependence on the US dollar in the global financial markets.

No Middle-Income Trap for China


The days of 10% annual growth for the Chinese economy have ended, as was inevitable. But there is good reason to believe that the real story is not the slowdown, but the shift in Chinese output from quantity to quality.

BEIJING – There has always been a fixation on Chinese economic growth. And with good reason. For a large economy, sustaining annual growth rates of 10% over several decades is unprecedented. And yet that’s exactly what China did from 1980 to 2011. But now the miracle is over. Since 2012, annual growth has slowed to 7.2%, and Premier Li Keqiang’s recent annual “work report” set a growth target of just 6-6.5% for 2019.

For the vast legions of China doubters, this is a “gotcha” moment. After all, the lower bound of the premier’s target implies a 40% deceleration from the “miracle” trend. This seems to vindicate warnings of the dreaded “middle-income trap” – the tendency of fast-growing developing economies to revert to a much weaker growth trajectory just when they get their first whiff of prosperity. The early work on this phenomenon was precise in terms of what to expect: as per capita income moved into the $16,000-$17,000 range (in 2005 dollars at purchasing power parity), a sustained growth deceleration of around 2.5 percentage points can be expected. With China having hit that income threshold in 2017, according to International Monetary Fund estimates, its post-2011 slowdown looks all the more ominous.

China's Slowdown and the World Economy

by Brad W. Setser

China, it now seems, has entered into a real slump.

There were plenty of leading indicators. I should have given more weight, for example, to the slowdown in European exports to China over the course of 2018.

China's total imports remained pretty strong though until the last couple of months. But they have now turned down. Sharply.

Electronic Weapons: Pixel Perfect Targets

March 20, 2019: A mysterious photo from China recently appeared on the Internet showing what appeared to be a mock-up of a Russian T-90 tank built on the chassis of a heavy truck. The photo came from a Chinese army weapons testing facility and while the mock-up seems to accurately replicate the key elements of a T-90 chassis, from the ground you don’t have to be too close to see the truck wheels beneath the “tank.” It was unclear what this mock-up was for until you consider that while Russia is a Chinese ally, the largest user of T-90s in the world is India, not Russia.

It is known that China is building new fire control systems which make their helicopter gunships and fighter-bombers more effective when using guided missiles and smart bombs against armored vehicles. Then consider the fact that the T-90, like most current Chinese tanks, are also based on the T-72 design and that China provides Pakistan (another enemy of India) with most of its modern tanks as well as air-to-ground missiles, smart bombs and fire control systems to make these aircraft weapons work. From the air, the Chinese mock-up wheels will often not show up at all but the details of the shape of a T-90 can be quickly distinguished from similar looking Chinese tanks that are also based on the T-72. The new fire control system contains an electronic library of enemy vehicles (including all sorts of armored vehicles and even small warships). These shape recognition libraries are also used in targeting pods which China is also introducing. With a targeting pod, a pilot can confirm that the tanks up ahead are hostile, and not Chinese. At that point, the pilot can launch missiles or smart bombs that can also confirm that they are hitting the right target (and self-destruct if they don’t find a suitable target).

Kazakhstan Caught In Great Power Rivalry – Analysis

By Agnia Grigas*

President Nursultan Nazarbayev’s resignation from leadership marks an end of an era for Kazakhstan – a country he has ruled since 1989, when it was still part of the Soviet Union. As Central Asia’s largest and richest country that borders revisionist Russia and rising China, Kazakhstan could become the epicenter for great power competition as Beijing seeks global dominance at the expense of the United States and Russia. As Kazakhstan’s regime undergoes transition, so will the country’s foreign policy and a regional dynamic that centers on triangular competition among Russia, China and Central Asia over natural resources and markets. How China positions itself in Kazakhstan and Central Asia could become a litmus test of Beijing’s economic diplomacy and geopolitical aims in challenging Russia.

China’s rising power will drive the greatest shift in geopolitics over the coming decades, raising a challenge to the US-led world order with Beijing’s growing influence in Europe, Asia, Africa and beyond. Central Asia is China’s neighborhood, and the nation shares borders with Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan. China’s interests have been predominately economic to date, though political and other influence can be expected to increase in the coming years.

Strategic Strong Points and Chinese Naval Strategy

By: Conor Kennedy


On August 1, 2017, China opened its first overseas military base, in the East African nation of Djibouti. This was a landmark event that raised a whole host of questions for Indo-Pacific states: Is Djibouti the first of other bases to come? If so, how many? Where will China build them? How will they be used? Where do they fit into Chinese military strategy? Chinese policymakers and analysts are pondering these same questions. However, they are employing concepts unique to Chinese strategic discourse, and it is essential to grasp these concepts in order to understand how Beijing intends to project military power abroad.

For the People’s Republic of China (PRC), the term “overseas military base” (haiwai junshi jidi, 海外军事基地) carries significant historical baggage: foreign imperialists built them on the soil of other countries in order to colonize and exploit them. On the other hand, Chinese policymakers have come to recognize the value of maintaining locations overseas where the Chinese military—above all, the People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN)—can concentrate resources needed to support operations abroad. To distinguish Chinese actions from the predatory deeds of Western and Japanese imperialists, Chinese military thinkers have adopted a specialized term: the “strategic strong point” (zhanlüe zhidian, 战略支点). [1] A careful analysis of the Chinese use of this concept offers valuable insights into Beijing’s strategic intentions outside of East Asia.

Italy’s Belt and Road Deal With China Widens Rifts in the Euro-Atlantic Alliance

Marcello Rossi

On March 23, Italy officially joined China’s Belt and Road Initiative, or BRI, an expansive development strategy first unveiled in 2013 that aims to build a network of roads, railways and ports connecting China with more than 60 countries across Africa, the Middle East and Europe. 

In addition to the memorandum of understanding on the infrastructure-building initiative, signed during Chinese President Xi Jinping’s visit to Rome last week, the two countries agreed on a constellation of deals worth 2.5 billion euros ($2.8 billion), ranging from banking and energy to sports. The visit’s outcome reflects deepening relations between the eurozone’s third-largest economy and the Asian powerhouse. 

Italy is the first member of the Group of Seven, or G-7, to back the BRI, in what some have seen as a defiant act toward an already embattled European Union and a diplomatic coup for Xi. The decision to sign up to the initiative bears the stamp of the Five Star Movement, the euro-critic, anti-establishment party that, along with the far-right League, governs the country in a populist coalition. Matteo Salvini, the head of the League and deputy prime minister, took a more circumspect view of the deal, but expressed support as long as it did not undermine Italy’s national interests.

They Are Thriving After Years of Persecution but Fear a Taliban Deal

By David Zucchino and Fatima Faizi

KABUL, Afghanistan — Daoud Naji was a student in the northern Afghan city of Mazar-e-Sharif during a massacre of members of his ethnic Hazara minority in 1998. He remembers digging tunnels to hide terrified families during a Taliban killing spree that left as many as 2,000 civilians dead.

Mr. Naji, now 45 and a leader of a Hazara political movement, fears more mass killings if peace talks between the United States and the Taliban produce a deal that brings the insurgents back into government. He and many other Hazaras worry that the negotiations will deliver oppression rather than peace.

Persecuted for more than a century, Hazaras have carved out a thriving urban enclave in west Kabul, the capital of Afghanistan, since the Taliban government was overthrown by an American-led coalition in 2001. But they say peace talks have put those gains at risk, especially with Hazaras already bloodied by persistent attacks from Taliban insurgents and Islamic State suicide bombers.

Israel, Palestinian Territories: With Rockets and Retaliation, the Specter of Another Gaza Conflict Looms

Relations between the Israeli government and the militant forces who rule the Palestinian Gaza Strip frequently deteriorate into small-scale skirmishes along the Gaza-Israel border. Yet political constraints on both sides contain the violence, preventing a larger conflict — such as the localized war that took place between Israel Defense Forces and Hamas in 2014 — from evolving. If unusually long-range rocket launches from the Gaza Strip occur more frequently, the Israeli threshold for a stronger retaliation will lower, even on the eve of a contentious general election.

Editor's Note: After this Snapshot was published, a provisional ceasefire agreement was announced at 10 p.m. local time. Though it remains to be seen whether the ceasefire if effective, the willingness of both parties to negotiate in the face of escalatory rhetoric and military preparations indicates a shared desire to avoid a sustained confrontation. Israel's retaliation against the most recent long-range rocket launch by Hamas was substantial, but it did not deviate much beyond previous responses to fire from Gaza. Israel targeted offices and residences of top Hamas leaders with precision strikes, though it should be noted that the premises were empty. Israel's military preparations included a major mobilization of ground forces. This act demonstrates Israel's willingness to escalate the fight against Hamas, something not only for Palestinian militants to take into account but also the Israeli population and government. Following the ceasefire, reports of strikes in Gaza and rocket attacks against Israeli communities continued. It is important to note, however, that even if the ceasefire is successful, it requires time to take effect. 

Europe’s Largest Party Suspends Its Resident Autocrat—for Now

By Kim Lane Scheppele

Less than two months ahead of elections to the European Parliament, the body’s largest party is in disarray. The European People’s Party (EPP), a center-right, pro-EU alliance of more than 40 national member parties, has been roiled by a dispute over how to deal with its enfant terrible: the far-right nationalist party Fidesz, led by Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban.

Since 2010, Orban has taken Hungary far enough down the road to autocracy that the NGO Freedom House demoted the country from “free” to “partly free” in its 2019 report—a first in EU history. Fidesz’s slide into authoritarianism has drawn growing criticism from the European Parliament, including from many EPP backbenchers. But it took a blatant anti-EU campaign by Fidesz, featuring unflattering posters of Jean-Claude Juncker, the president of the European Commission and one of the EPP’s own, for the EPP to take action. At a party conference in Brussels last week, the EPP announced it was suspending Fidesz—but stopped short of kicking the party out entirely.

A Test Case for Reciprocity: The US 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.

As a result of its developing country status, China is the beneficiary of special treatment in the World Trade Organization. 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 many foreign news services, including the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal, are banned in China.

The Economic Consequences of Global Uncertainty

by A. Michael Spence

As Lawrence J. Lau of Stanford University has shown, the problem is not that tit-for-tat tariffs have had an especially large impact, except perhaps on particular US and Chinese economic sectors. Rather, the conflict has cast doubt on the future of global economic connectivity, which has led to lower investment and consumption in China and the United States, and among their respective trading partners.

Moreover, the Chinese state has expanded its role in the economy. State-owned enterprises are back in favor among young jobseekers and in the eyes of the largely state-owned banking sector, even though many SOEs really should be restructured rather than kept afloat. At the same time, many private-sector firms are finding credit scarce and very expensive, and bankruptcies appear to be on the rise. Periodic policy interventions to reverse these longstanding public-private asymmetries have proved insufficient.

As for the US, the economy is coming down from a pro-cyclical fiscal stimulus that was bound to leave a mild hangover. And until very recently, the US Federal Reserve has been tightening monetary policy, with the effects of higher interest rates probably delayed by the Trump administration’s December 2017 tax cuts.

A Middle Path? US Public Opinion and Grand Strategy

By Ionut Popescu

In recent years, a sharp debate dominates the scholarly literature on American foreign policy and grand strategy: should the United States retrench from the expansive commitments undertaken in the aftermath of World War II as a globe-spanning military superpower, or should it renew its efforts to pursue the present strategy of global leadership? This issue is not merely of parochial interest to academics; rather, it represents the key dilemma faced by Washington foreign policymakers in the aftermath of the 2016 election campaign and the changes brought by the anti-establishment Trump presidency. Both sides of this debate contend that the American public supports their preferred strategy. However, a closer examination of recent public opinion date actually shows that the American people favor a “middle path” rather than either of the two preferred grand strategies advanced by proponents of Global Leadership and Restraint, respectively.

The Lost Art of American Diplomacy

By William J. Burns

Diplomacy may be one of the world’s oldest professions, but it’s also one of the most misunderstood. It’s mostly a quiet endeavor, less swaggering than unrelenting, oftentimes operating in back channels, out of sight and out of mind. U.S. President Donald Trump’s disdain for professional diplomacy and its practitioners—along with his penchant for improvisational flirtations with authoritarian leaders such as North Korea’s Kim Jong Un—has put an unaccustomed spotlight on the profession. It has also underscored the significance of its renewal.

The neglect and distortion of American diplomacy is not a purely Trumpian invention. It has been an episodic feature of the United States’ approach to the world since the end of the Cold War. The Trump administration, however, has made the problem infinitely worse. There is never a good time for diplomatic malpractice, but the administration’s unilateral diplomatic disarmament is spectacularly mistimed, unfolding precisely at a moment when American diplomacy matters more than ever to American interests. The United States is no longer the only big kid on the geopolitical block, and no longer able get everything it wants on its own, or by force alone.

Global police arrest dozens of people in dark web stin

Tomáš Foltýn 

Law enforcement from Europe, the United States, and Canada have announced the results of a recent international operation against dozens of people who reportedly sold and bought illicit goods on the dark web.

The sting led to the arrests of 61 people who are believed to have plied their trade using 50 dark web accounts. The police also seized nearly 300 kilos of drugs, 51 firearms, and over €6.2 million (US$7 million). Two-thirds were in virtual currency, while the remainder was in cold hard cash.

In Europe, the operation encompassed 17 countries, notably Germany, the Netherlands, Austria, and Portugal, according to the press release that Europol, Europe’s law enforcement agency, released on Tuesday. A statement from the US Federal Bureau of Investigation sheds additional light on the operation, dubbed SaboTor.

Preparations for the crackdown began in July 2018, when “60 experts from 19 countries, Eurojust and Europol looked for the illegal sale and signs of counterfeit goods and money, drugs, cybercrime, document fraud, non-cash payment fraud, trafficking in human beings and trafficking in firearms and explosives”.

U.K., EU: London Buys More Time for Brexit. What's Next?

In our 2019 Annual and Second-Quarter Forecasts, Stratfor said that a delayed Brexit was possible, considering the United Kingdom's difficulties with approving an exit agreement. Developments on March 21 confirmed those forecasts. But the United Kingdom has only bought more time, and a hard exit is still possible considering the country's internal divisions.

What Happened

The European Union agreed on March 21 to delay Brexit until May 22 under the condition that the British Parliament approves the withdrawal agreement next week. If Parliament rejects the agreement, then the Brexit date will be April 12, but the United Kingdom will have the chance to present new Brexit proposals and the European Union will consider another extension. On March 22, junior Brexit minister Kwasi Kwarteng said the government will hold a new vote on the withdrawal agreement next week. He also suggested that, should members of Parliament reject the deal, the government would hold a series of "indicative votes" on different Brexit options.
What It Means

Have the grown-ups killed the Green New Deal?

Yesterday, the United States Senate rejected the Green New Deal. The measure, a non-binding resolution containing ambitious goals but no specific policies, is down but not out. With kids striking for climate action and intense discussion happening over solutions, 2019 may be the year the US finally comes to terms with climate change.

Here are the pros and cons of an historic effort for climate action in the US:

Dan Drollette Jr.

Myles Allen

Nathanael Johnson

Dan Drollette Jr.

Maddy Fernands, Isra Hirsi, Haven Coleman, Alexandria Villaseñor

Rebecca Leber

Dana Nuccitelli

How to Read a Scientific Paper in 5 Steps

by Ashley Hamer

In a perfect world, we'd all have access to the same information, the training to make the right judgments about it, and the wisdom to know how it should be implemented. But the fact is, we don't. Scientific research is often blocked behind paywalls, and even when it's freely available, few people have the ability or patience to wade through its scientific jargon. That's why websites like this one exist: to wade through it for you and put it into language that's easy to understand. But if you really want to be a responsible consumer of information, sometimes you've got to wade through it yourself. And for that, we've got this handy guide. Here's how you can read a scientific paper and actually understand what it means.

First Things First: How to Get Access

That thing we said about paywalls is definitely no joke: More than three-quarters of scholarly papers on the web are only available if you're either affiliated with a university or another institution that can afford a subscription, or you can afford to buy them (usually at about the price of a tank of gas). But there are online tools out there that can help: Google Scholarsearch results will usually indicate if there's a PDF of the paper freely (and legally) available, and Chrome extensions like Unpaywall and Open Access Button will automatically search the web for a free and legal version. There's also the old-fashioned way: Just contact the authors and ask. As Canadian researcher Dr. Holly Witteman noted on Twitter, "If you just email us to ask for our papers, we are allowed to send them to you for free, and we will be genuinely delighted to do so."

Andrew Marshall, Pentagon’s Threat Expert, Dies at 97

By Julian E. Barnes

WASHINGTON — Andrew Marshall, a Pentagon strategist who helped shape American military thinking on the Soviet Union, China and other global competitors for more than four decades, died on Tuesday in Alexandria, Va. He was 97.

His death was confirmed by Jaymie Durnan, his executor.

Mr. Marshall, as director of the Office of Net Assessment, was the secretive futurist of the Pentagon, a long-range thinker who both prodded and inspired secretaries of defense and high-level policymakers. Virtually unknown among the wider public, he came to be revered inside the Defense Department as a mysterious Yoda-like figure who embodied an exceptionally long institutional memory.

In the early 2000s, at a time when the Pentagon was focused on counterinsurgency and wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, Mr. Marshall urged officials to focus on the challenge of China — a view that many considered outdated. But today, national security officials are increasingly adopting Mr. Marshall’s view of China as a potential strategic adversary, an idea now at the heart of national defense strategy.

Lasers: Beyond The Power Problem


WASHINGTON: Integration of lasers on ships and other weapons is the biggest challenge today— not power. Officers and officials say there are lots of devilish details to deal with before the US military can employ laser weapons on the battlefield, from beam control to targeting to controls you can operate without a PhD.

“I’m not as worried about the power,” said Rear Adm. Ron Boxall, director of surface warfare (N96) on the Navy’s Pentagon staff. “Everyone seems to be on this race to get more and more power, and make no mistake, we’ve got to get more power — but to me the problem I have today is the integration of that [laser] into my existing combat system.”

Navy & SOCOM: Integration

The Navy’s already experimented with a 30-kilowatt laser, LaWS, on the USS Ponce, and this year it will field a “roll-aboard” laser to blind sensors, ODIN, that can go on “anything that’s floating,” Boxall told last week’s Directed Energy Summit. But LaWS and ODIN are stand-alone systems that don’t connect to the combat system that controls a ship’s permanently installed weapons and sensors.

Mobility’s second great inflection point

By Rajat Dhawan, Russell Hensley, Asutosh Padhi, and Andreas Tschiesner

There’s a well-known quote attributed to Henry Ford that he actually never said but that historians confirm he almost certainly believed: “If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses.”1 The story resonates, of course, because we know what consumers circa 1900 thought mobility was supposed to mean, and we know from about 1920 onward what mobility in fact came to mean.

And still does. Indeed, the extent to which Ford’s (and his contemporaries’) automobile paradigm has endured is remarkable. One hundred years ago, mobility conjured cars and trucks, a space to park and the price at the pump, city streets and open roads. And more: “the freedom machine,” mass transportation, car dealerships, internal combustion. Congestion. Accidents. Pollution.

At the first great inflection point, the fundamental dimensions of transportation—cost, convenience, user experience, safety, and environment—saw “mobility” and “cars” become well-nigh synonymous. That was a dramatic shift from the previous several hundred years, when overland mobility meant horses, which people needed in ever-growing numbers. Emissions problems of a different sort than today’s were an unintended consequence. In 1894, the London Times ran the numbers: at prevailing rates, nine feet of manure would accumulate on city streets by the mid-1940s.2

Understanding the Army’s new approach to its tactical network

By: Mark Pomerleau  

As Army leaders develop a new approach to the tactical network, which allows soldiers on the battlefield to communicate with their commanders, officials are deviating from past practices as a way to improve connectivity, bolster resiliency and keep pace with technology.

They said the easiest way to think of the integrated tactical network — which is not a new network — is as a mix of existing programs of record and commercial off the shelf capabilities that allows a unit to communicate in congested environments and provide situational awareness. This approach is different than years past in that it is relies more on commercial systems — and a variety of them strung together — and a DevOps model that allows the Army to continuously iterate.

Three of the main benefits of the ITN that didn’t previously exist are the redundancy in communications, unprecedented situational awareness for units and a secure but unclassified capability for lower echelons unburdening units and allowing for greater information sharing with coalition partners. This detailed vision of the network, one of the Army’s top acquisition priorities, has emerged through several interviews with service leaders and visits to industry days and exercises over multiple months.

How 5G Can Advance the SDGs


A powerful tool for achieving the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda is already here. African governments must come together not only to invest in building 5G networks, but also to seize all of the opportunities those networks create – including a quality education for all.

ADDIS ABABA – Ultra-fast 5G wireless technology has been widely touted as a potentially transformative development, on par with the advent of electricity. This is not mere hyperbole. One area where 5G will play a decisive role is in progress toward achieving the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, adopted unanimously by the United Nations in 2015.

Consider Sustainable Development Goal 4 – to “ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all” – which affects the achievement of all other SDGs, beginning with ending poverty (SDG 1). As the UN Development Programme’s Multidimensional Poverty Index shows, of all of the deprivations that affect the poor – from inadequate nutrition to lack of access to clean water and sanitation – lack of quality education is among the biggest obstacles to upward social mobility.

The adverse effects of educational deprivation intensify as a person ages. And, because the children of uneducated adults are less likely to attend school, deficient education is a leading contributor to intergenerational poverty.

In Test of Boeing Jet, Pilots Had 40 Seconds to Fix Error

By Jack Nicas, James Glanz and David Gelles

During flight simulations recreating the problems with the doomed Lion Air plane, pilots discovered that they had less than 40 seconds to override an automated system on Boeing’s new jets and avert disaster.

The pilots tested a crisis situation similar to what investigators suspect went wrong in the Lion Air crash in Indonesia last fall. In the tests, a single sensor failed, triggering software designed to help prevent a stall.

Once that happened, the pilots had just moments to disengage the system and avoid an unrecoverable nose dive of the Boeing 737 Max, according to two people involved in the testing in recent days. Although the investigations are continuing, the automated system, known as MCAS, is a focus of authorities trying to determine what went wrong in the Lion Air disaster in October and the Ethiopian Airlines crash of the same Boeing model this month.

The software, as originally designed and explained, left little room for error. Those involved in the testing hadn’t fully understood just how powerful the system was until they flew the plane on a 737 Max simulator, according to the two people.