6 April 2019

US State Department Approves Sale of 24 MH-60R Helicopters to India

By Franz-Stefan Gady

The U.S. State Department has cleared a possible sale of 24 Lockheed Martin-Sikorky MH-60R Seahawk Romeo multirole maritime helicopters to India for an estimated cost of $2.6 billion, the Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) announced in a statement on April 2.

The deal is still subject to congressional approval before final contract negotiations between the United States and India can begin and the price as well as the quantity of helicopters to be delivered may change prior to the inking of the final sales contract.

Notably, India has walked away from defense deals in the past as, for example when it recently abandoned plans to procure 16 U.S.-made Sikorsky S-70B-x helicopters, although the purchase had already been cleared in 2014 by India’s Defense Acquisition Council (DAC).

The helicopter potential sale would also include 30 APS-153(V) Multi-Mode radars, 60 T700-GE-401C engines, 24 Airborne Low Frequency System (ALFS), 1000 AN/SSQ-36/53/62 sonobuoys; 30 MK 54 torpedoes; 10 AGM-114 Hellfire missiles; 38 Advanced Precision Kill Weapons System (APKWS) rockets; 70 AN/AVS-9 Night Vision Devices, next to other equipment and parts.

Pakistan admits use of F-16 jets against India, says Islamabad retains right to use anything

Abhishek Bhalla 
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Pakistan on Monday admitted that the country's Air Force had used F-16 fighter jets against India in the aerial combat on February 27. Pakistan also said that Islamabad retains the right to use "anything and everything" in its self-defence. Pakistan had been denying the use of F 16 in the air raid. The shift in their stand came after an India Today expose.

Pakistan's military spokesman Major General Asif Ghafoor issued a statement with reference to what he said "repeated Indian claims" about shooting down of Pakistani F-16 and Islamabad's use of F-16 in the air battle on February 27.

He said, "As regard Pakistan Air Force (PAF) action for strikes across Line of Control, it was done by JF-17 from within Pakistan airspace," he said, claiming that two Indian jets crossed the Line of Control (LoC) which were shot down by the PAF.

However, he immediately said that it was immaterial to discuss whether it was F-16 or JF-17 which shot down the two Indian aircraft.

Pakistan’s Deep Frustrations on Afghanistan- Analysed:

By Dr Subhash Kapila

Pakistan’s deep frustrations in March 2019 on Afghanistan stand manifested by Pakistan PM Imran Khan calling for installation of an Interim Government in Kabul. United States needs to evidently note that Taliban has no capability to over-run Afghanistan and Pakistan is seeking in 2019 a back-door entry for Taliban in Afghanistan’s governance.

The United States has for two decades been fighting the “Wrong Enemy” in Afghanistan. The real enemy that continues to destabilise Afghanistan is the Pakistan Army which to achieve its strategic designs uses its creation, the Afghan Taliban, as the cat’s paw. United States should tickle its memory as to how Pakistan Army ISI refused to remove Taliban regime in Kabul until the United States had to rely on its airpower with the Northern Alliance speedy advances in ground offensives to liberate Kabul

If sustainable peace and, security and stability have to be restored in Afghanistan then the United States faces the stark challenge of chastising the Pakistan Army on its disruptive strategies in Afghanistan. In 2019, the United States would also have to factor-in the China Factor, the Great Wall with which China underwrites Pakistan Army’s strategy of state-sponsored terrorism against Afghanistan and India.

Middle Eastern Protests Challenge Debilitating Gulf Counterrevolution – Analysis

By James M. Dorsey

Much of the Middle East’s recent turmoil stems from internecine Middle Eastern rivalries spilling onto third country battlefields and Saudi and United Arab Emirates-led efforts to roll back the achievements of the 2011 popular Arab revolts and pre-empt further uprisings.

So does the record of the past eight years. The counterrevolution’s one success, Egypt, has produced some of the harshest repression in the country’s history.

Saudi and UAE intervention in Yemen has sparked one of the world’s worst humanitarian crises, tarnished the image of the two Gulf states, and provided opportunity to Iran to expand its network of regional proxies.

Bolton Builds Anti-China Campaign at the U.N.

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John Bolton, the U.S. national security advisor, is leading a campaign to contain China’s growing influence in the United Nations and other international organizations, a move that reflects growing alarm that Beijing is taking advantage of the U.S. retreat from the world stage to build diplomatic alliances and promote its own global interests.

The effort is one part of a broader bid by the Trump administration to try to stall China’s rise as a global power, breaking with decades of U.S. diplomatic efforts to manage China’s inevitable emergence as a responsible global competitor. In recent months, the United States has moved beyond trade sanctions, pressing European governments to bar the Chinese telecom giant Huawei from building the region’s infrastructure for high-speed 5G internet access.

Bolton’s new push to contain China’s influence at the U.N. is ironic given the national security advisor’s efforts to sideline the international institution. Bolton, a former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations during the George W. Bush administration, backed stripping the U.S. ambassador post at the U.N. of cabinet rank, supported the withdrawal of the United States from the U.N. Human Rights Council, and threatened to sanction the International Criminal Court if it tried to prosecute American soldiers.

Half of Cyber-Attacks Involve the Supply Chain

A new Carbon Black study confirms the rise of supply chain attacks. The report found that about half of cyber-attacks involve “island hopping” techniques that are used to indirectly target high-value companies by infecting their supply chain partners.

Island hopping is most common in the financial (47%) manufacturing (42%) and retail (32%) sectors. 44% of companies said that the main difficulty in protecting against supply chain attacks is a lack of visibility.

Why Europe Is Getting Tough on China

By Andrew Small

Over the past two years, Washington has come to embrace a policy of strategic competition with China. The Trump administration’s National Defense Strategy and National Security Strategy make clear that the United States sees China as a great power rival not only militarily but also in a contest for economic and technological supremacy.

As a result, an effective coalition to manage China’s rise can no longer center on Asian security partnerships alone but must now include the world’s principal concentrations of economic power, technological progress, and liberal democratic values. Among these are many of the United States’ partners in the Indo-Pacific, such as Australia, India, and Japan. But the European Union and its major member states are also becoming increasingly critical U.S. counterparts in dealing with China.

As next week’s EU-China summit approaches, Europe has begun to fundamentally rethink its China policies. The shift is so substantial than even seasoned Asia hands have described it as a “revolution.”Despite differences among the EU member states, the overall thrust of the change is in convergence with the new U.S. approach. As recently as three years ago, member states resisted even modest changes to strengthen EU trade defense instruments, despite the flood of Chinese steel imports. The notion of an EU-level mechanism to scrutinize Chinese investments was still anathema to most European leaders. If the United States in early 2016 had suggested closer coordination in restricting Chinese access to Western technologies, a common public front on China’s non-market practices, or cooperation on infrastructure financing as a counterbalance to China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), European allies would have responded with a bemused rebuff.

Xi Jinping Is Winning the National Security War

by Gordon G. Chang

So said Susan Shirk, a Clinton-era deputy assistant secretary of state and now chair of the 21st Century China Center at the University of California San Diego. The prominent academic issued her attention-grabbing warning in Beijing on Saturday, at the Yenching Global Symposium at prestigious Peking University.

At the same time, and more importantly, she maintained that America was overreacting to challenges posed by Beijing.

William Henry Harrison dies of pneumonia becoming the first President of the United States to die in office and with the shortest term served.

Shirk raises important issues, but ethnic Chinese and China-friendly figures in the United States are not now in imminent danger. And if there is any policy misjudgments at this time, it is Washington underreacting—not overreacting—to Beijing’s threats.

Chinese in America, whether citizens, permanent residents, or temporary visa holders, are always at a general risk of prejudice, discrimination, abuse, and physical injury. After all, Richard Hofstadter, the great historian, titled his 1964 Harper’s essay “The Paranoid Style in American Politics.” Yet at least at this moment, Chinese people look safe from paranoid Americans. The United States is at peace with the People’s Republic of China.

How China Views Energy Today, Tomorrow And The Future – Analysis

By Todd Royal*

Nothing will move the world negatively or positively more than China when it comes to energy. Though China’s economy is 12 percent smaller than previously believed according to the US based, Brookings Institution. Brooking’s research backed up longstanding suspicion that the government hasn’t been keeping accurate economic statistics that is then publicly reported data.

The study also found “real growth has been overstated by 2 percentage points annually for years.” This revelationcaused Chinese communist backed State-rivals to “muscle in on China tech start-ups.”

If data is misinterpreted at best or official lies are coming from China then party-backed companies will encroach further into China’s economy causing energy chaos that will be difficult to interpret. What likely occurs is China builds the cheapest and most abundant, scalable, efficient and flexible energy they have: COAL.

The Improbable Rise of Huawei

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A decade ago, in 2009, the Swedish phone giant Teliasonera set out to build one of the world’s first fourth-generation wireless networks in some of Scandinavia’s most important—and technologically savviest—cities. For Oslo, Norway, Teliasonera made an audacious and unexpected choice of who would build it: Huawei, a Chinese company with little presence outside China and some other developing markets.

The same year, Huawei landed an even bigger and more unexpected contract to completely rebuild and replace Norway’s mobile phone network, which had first been built by the global standard-bearers: Ericsson of Sweden and Nokia of Finland. The Chinese upstart eventually completed the world’s most ambitious network swap ahead of schedule and under budget.

To many in the wireless industry, it was a coming-of-age moment for Huawei, and for China. Huawei was no longer just another Chinese catch-up clawing out market share thanks to cut-rate pricing or thriving on stolen intellectual property. Suddenly it had cutting-edge technology of its own and was elbowing aside established European giants like Ericsson and Nokia in their own backyard.

Turkey's Opposition Takes the Shine off Erdogan's Victory

Turkey’s government and political institutions are heavily controlled by Turkey’s powerful ruling party, the Justice and Development Party of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. In March 31 local elections, the largest opposition party challenged some of that dominance in Turkey’s largest cities when it won mayoral races in Ankara, Izmir and Istanbul, according to preliminary data. The close races in Turkey’s biggest cities show that Turkish voters worried by the country’s unstable economic conditions are divided over whether the ruling party or the opposition can best help Turkey emerge from a nascent recession. To maintain its dominance over the next several years before the next elections, the ruling party will have to adjust its messaging and reassess its alliances.

What Happened

Terrorist Use of Cryptocurrencies – Technical and Organizational Barriers and Future Threats

New research by RAND’s National Security Research Division (NSRD) scrutinizes the use of cryptocurrencies in the context of terrorist activities. While it is not currently viable for terrorist groups to exclusively rely on cryptocurrencies for their financial transactions, the researchers believe that this may change in the future.

The study identifies 4 main factors that will make the use of cryptocurrencies more viable to terrorist groups. These are:

increased global adoption of cryptocurrencies

growing adoption of second-generation cryptocurrencies that are easier to use anonymously
increased trading activity in decentralized exchanges and in countries lacking regulatory oversight

rising adoption of cryptocurrencies in complementary and adjacent markets such as dark web market places

The Battle for Democracy in Central and Eastern Europe

Democracy is fragile in the post-communist countries of Central Eastern Europe, where the specter of authoritarianism and corruption has been rising. Find out more when you subscribe to World Politics Review (WPR).

Even under the best of conditions, democracy-building is difficult and uncertain. Historical experience shows that failure is more common than success, even in periods when liberal democracy has few rivals. But the post-1989 transformations of Central and Eastern European countries (CEE countries) from communism to democracy are often held up as a model of successful democratization. Despite initial pessimism about the prospect of establishing liberal democracy, several CEE countries have developed consolidated democratic systems, functioning market economies and efficient democratic states with extensive welfare policies and relatively low inequality.

An election poster for Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban is displayed on a roadside next to an official government anti-immigrant banner, Miskolc, Hungary, March 31, 2018 (Sipa photo by Michal Fludra via AP Images).

Is geoengineering worth the risk?

The Bulletin's Dawn Stover and Durwood Zaelke, president of the Institute for Governance and Sustainable Development, have kicked off a conversation about whether "soft" geoengineering is at least part of the solution to a rapidly warming planet. Find out what Stover, Zaelke, and other experts have to say, and then tell us what you think.

Have an opinion on geoengineering? Share it with us by commenting directly on the pages of the articles below. We'd love to hear from you--join the conversation on geoengineering:

Dawn Stover

Science and Security Board member Raymond Pierrehumbert

Andy Skuce 

Seth Baum

Mario Molina, Veerabhadran Ramanathan, Durwood Zaelke

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.

Germany, France to launch multilateralism alliance

Germany and France announced on Tuesday the creation of an "Alliance of Multilateralism" to promote global cooperation at a time of rising nationalism and isolationism.

The initiative will officially launch in September at the United Nations General Assembly, German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas and his French counterpart, Jean-Yves Le Drian, said at a joint press conference.

Le Drian said he and Maas had spoken to Canada and Japan about the effort. Australia, India, Indonesia and Mexico could possibly join the initiative as well.

The alliance's first objective would be to show that countries that "support multilateralism and support the United Nations remain the majority in the world," Le Drian said.

The second objective would be to establish a network of countries ready to support multilateralism and cooperation, including joint efforts on inequality, climate change and the consequences of new technology. 

The New German Question

By Robert Kagan

Many have been lamenting the dark path that Europe and the transatlantic relationship are currently on, but there hasn’t been much discussion of where that path leads. European weakness and division, a strategic “decoupling” from the United States, the fraying of the European Union, “after Europe,” “the end of Europe”—these are the grim scenarios, but there is a comforting vagueness to them. They suggest failed dreams, not nightmares. Yet the failure of the European project, if it occurs, could be a nightmare, and not only for Europe. It will, among other things, bring back what used to be known as “the German question.”

The German question produced the Europe of today, as well as the transatlantic relationship of the past seven-plus decades. Germany’s unification in 1871 created a new nation in the heart of Europe that was too large, too populous, too rich, and too powerful to be effectively balanced by the other European powers, including the United Kingdom. The breakdown of the European balance of power helped produce two world wars and brought more than ten million U.S. soldiers across the Atlantic to fight and die in those wars. Americans and Europeans established NATO after World War II at least as much to settle the German problem as to meet the Soviet challenge, a fact now forgotten by today’s realists—to “keep the Soviet Union out, the Americans in, and the Germans down,” as Lord Ismay, the alliance’s first secretary-general, put it. This was also the purpose of the series of integrative European institutions, beginning with the European Steel and Coal Community, that eventually became the European Union. As the diplomat George Kennan put it, some form of European unification was “the only conceivable solution for the problem of Germany’s relation to the rest of Europe,” and that unification could occur only under the umbrella of a U.S. security commitment.

Preserving the Power of U.S. Economic Sanctions in a Multipolar World

Kimberly Ann Elliott 
Economic sanctions are not a panacea for national security and other foreign policy challenges, though American policymakers often treat them as such. Just in the past year, the Trump administration has imposed new sanctions against Iran, North Korea, Russia and Venezuela, many of them building on sanctions previously imposed by the Obama administration. The overall results are mixed, although in some of these cases, sanctions have contributed to changes in foreign behavior that the United States finds discomfiting or dangerous.

Tough United Nations sanctions against Iran, under President Barack Obama, and North Korea, under President Donald Trump, forced both Tehran and Pyongyang to the bargaining table. In the Iranian case, those negotiations produced the multilateral agreement, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, to prevent Iran from developing a nuclear weapons capability in exchange for lifting international sanctions. But Trump railed against the deal while running for president, and once in office, he withdrew from it—over the strong objections of American allies in Europe who had helped negotiate the agreement—and imposed new sanctions. Getting Kim Jong Un to the table has not yet produced an agreement to constrain the nuclear threat from North Korea, though the regime in Pyongyang has refrained from testing nuclear devices or missiles for over a year

Japan Stumbles as China’s Growth Engine Slows

By Ben Dooley
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A slump in exports raises questions about how effective Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s economic policies would have been without Chinese help.

Crowded crosswalks in Toyko. Japan seemed to have put years of stagnant growth behind it, but a new slowdown raises questions about the effectiveness of “Abenomics.”CreditKoji Sasahara/Associated Press

TOKYO — The Nidec Corporation likes to say it makes everything that “spins and moves,” from the intricate motors that whir in hard drives to the hulking ones used on oil rigs.

In recent years, things had been going well for the company. Global demand for precision engineering, especially from China, increasedsales for Nidec and other Japanese companies, helping to lift long-sluggish Japan out of its economic doldrums.

Then sales to China plunged in November and December as the country’s economy slowed. Nidec, which counts on China for about 40 percent of its revenue, slashed its profit projections by more than 25 percent.

“I’ve been in management for 46 years,” the company’s founder and chief executive, Shigenobu Nagamori, told reporters in January, “and seeing our monthly orders plummet like this is a first.”


By Keith Patton

“It shall be the policy of the United States to have available, as soon as practicable, not fewer than 355 battle force ships.”

-Section 1025, Para (A) of the National Defense Authorization Actfor FY2018 (FY18 NDAA)

“Battle force ships are commissioned United States Ship (USS) warships capable of contributing to combat operations, or a United States Naval Ship that contributes directly to Navy warfighting or support missions, and shall be maintained in the Naval Vessel Register” –SECNAVINST 5030.8C

Flotillas and Ants Versus the Elephant

Current shipbuilding plans expand the fleet, but no consideration is given to mass producing a warship smaller than the “small surface combatant” role filled by the LCS and new frigates, which are larger than World War II destroyers. The Navy could consider even smaller vessels, less than 100m. These would be of a few different designs, or perhaps one design that can be optimized when constructed for different mission areas. One variant could be an armed replacement for the T-AGOs as they age out of service and to expand their numbers. Another could be a close-in ASW escort for ships. A third would be a surface strike platform with either or both land-attack and anti-ship missiles. The main goals would be ship designs that are compact, can be built in additional shipyards besides the current ones supporting the U.S. fleet, and provide needed niche capabilities. A flotilla of smaller vessels can be in more places at once to show the flag, be part of the deterrence force suggested as an alternative operating concept, and any losses in combat are more easily tolerated compared to large, multi-role vessels. Training would be streamlined as each crew would only have a few missions to focus on. Being able to use more shipyards to produce them would also allow reaching a 355 ship force sooner. However, this would break the mold of building most U.S. surface combatants as multi-mission platforms.

US Strategy In Syria Is Dangerously Adrift – Analysis

By Dr. Christopher J. Bolan*

(FPRI) — After years of aerial bombardment by coalition forces and intense ground battles fought by U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces, the Islamic State in Iraq & Syria (ISIS) has been ousted from every inch of territory in Syria. Although analysts are right to caution that this does not mean the threat from ISIS has been eliminated altogether, the collapse of the physical ISIS caliphate nonetheless marks a significant military accomplishment and transition point for U.S. strategy in Syria. U.S. policymakers cannot afford to rest easy. Transforming this military victory into a durable and successful political outcome in Syria calls for a fundamental re-assessment of where U.S. strategy and been and where it needs to go. Unfortunately, America’s broader strategy for Syria has lacked clear attainable political objectives and has suffered from the absence of a longer-term vision for the future of Syria.

The absence of a feasible American strategy that looks beyond the narrow issue of ISIS undermines U.S. regional leadership, places remaining U.S. troops in Syria at unnecessary risk for undefined goals, and will likely only prolong the suffering of the Syrian people. This article briefly traces the evolution of America’s strategy since the start of the Syrian civil war in 2011, highlights the primary shortcomings of current U.S. strategy, and offers recommendations for needed adjustments in America’s approach to the vexing set of security challenges emerging from Syria.

War of Words Pushes Belarus-Russia Relations to the Brink

The nonchalance with which the Russian ambassador and his sparring partners in Minsk are raising the stakes in their rhetoric is a symptom of deeper forces at work in Belarusian-Russian relations. Both sides are starting to sense that they have reached some kind of historic threshold. But the old format of friendship is so worn out that there is little to lose.

In just one month, Belarus and Russia have gone from a three-day amicable meeting between their presidents in Sochi to a new flare-up in tensions. The Belarusian Ministry of Foreign Affairs has accused the Russian ambassador in Minsk, Mikhail Babich, of manufacturing artificial figures in his interviews, and of being unable to distinguish an independent state from a Russian federal district, prompting a similarly outraged response from the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Right from the start of the current dispute between Belarus and Russia, there was no obvious compromise, and this set it apart from previous arguments between the two countries, in which it was always possible to agree on a figure somewhere in between Belarusian requirements and Russian resources for friendship. 

Europe and the New Imperialism


For decades, Europe has served as a steward of the post-war liberal order, ensuring that economic rules are enforced and that national ambitions are subordinated to shared goals within multilateral bodies. But with the United States and China increasingly mixing economics with nationalist foreign-policy agendas, Europe will have to adapt.

A few years ago, globalization was assumed to dilute market power and stimulate competition. And it was hoped that greater economic interdependence would prevent international conflict. If there were early-twentieth-century authors to refer to, they were Joseph Schumpeter, the economist who identified “creative destruction” as a driving force of progress, and the British statesman Norman Angell, who argued that economic interdependence had made militarism obsolete. Yet we have entered a world of economic monopolies and geopolitical rivalry.

The first problem is epitomized by the US tech giants, but it is in fact widespread. According to the OECD, market concentration has increased across a range of sectors, in the US as well as in Europe; and China is creating ever-larger state-backed national champions. As for geopolitics, the US seems to have abandoned the hope that China’s integration into the global economy would lead to its political convergence with the established liberal Western order. As US Vice President Mike Pence crudely put it in an October 2018 speech, America now regards China as a strategic rival in a new age of “great-power competition.”

The United Kingdom Has Gone Mad

By Thomas L. Friedman

LONDON — Politico reported the other day that the French European affairs minister, Nathalie Loiseau, had named her cat “Brexit.” Loiseau told the Journal du Dimanche that she chose the name because “he wakes me up every morning meowing to death because he wants to go out, and then when I open the door he stays in the middle, undecided, and then gives me evil looks when I put him out.”

If you can’t take a joke you shouldn’t have come to London right now, because there is political farce everywhere. In truth, though, it’s not very funny. It’s actually tragic. What we’re seeing is a country that’s determined to commit economic suicide but can’t even agree on how to kill itself. It is an epic failure of political leadership.

I say bring back the monarchy. Where have you gone, Queen Elizabeth II, a nation turns its lonely eyes to you.

NATO at 70: Where next?

As member nations gather to celebrate NATO's 70th anniversary this week, POLITICO asked experts to forecast what the military alliance will look like 10 years from now.

How should it spend its growing resources? What new technologies are needed to counter Russian aggression? What threats must NATO prepare for that are not being discussed today?

Answers have been edited for length and clarity.

Get ready for NATO 4.0

Retired Adm. James Stavridis is operating executive at the Carlyle Group. He is a former supreme allied commander of NATO.

It’s Time To Make Data Strategic For Our Navy

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Our military is in a high-stakes race to harness the power of data, a revolution that may make previous leaps in military technology — think radar, nuclear power, or space — seem trifling in comparison. To fully seize these opportunities before our adversaries do, we need to look less at the technologies we covet and more in the mirror about our own data structures and culture.

Yes, we are already finding new ways to inform and accelerate processes so we can increase the pace and transparency of decision making and reduce the cost of generating and operating our forces. But imagine if we could eliminate the need for calendar-driven inspection cycles because we’ve adopted real-time digital feedback in our platforms and systems. This could allow us to measure and evaluate our generating processes as end-to-end systems, regardless of the number of commands involved. Someday soon, we’ll look back and wonder at the arbitrary nature of work that once drove our professional and personal lives.

Future wars will be waged with robots. But so might future peace

While there is plenty of news coverage on potentially dystopian consequences of artificial intelligence (AI) research, especially when it comes to autonomous weapons and the idea that conscious machines may pose a threat to humanity, little attention is being paid to research that aims to use AI to promote peace across the globe.

Researchers with the United Nations (UN) Secretariat are working on ways to apply AI for conflict prevention and mitigation. In this context, the main focus is on two areas of AI research, namely Machine Learning (ML) and Natural Language Processing (NLP). According to the researchers, ML and NLP can be used for the pursuit of peace in at least three ways.

First of all, AI can help decision makers from different countries overcome cultural differences and language barriers that often prevent them from being able to understand and relate to one another. Secondly, AI can expose underlying drivers for conflict that may not be properly understood by all parties involved. Finally, AI can help world leaders make more responsible and informed decisions. This is crucial, since major decisions are often still based on intuition.

On NATO’s Eastern Frontier, Let’s Not Lose a War Before It Starts

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The alliance needs more forces in Poland — and the logistics and enabling capabilities that will allow them to operate effectively.

The reemergence of Russia as a geopolitical threat to the peace and stability of Europe poses a significant challenge to NATO. Russia seeks to regain its traditional sphere of influence, thereby expanding its strategic depth, and reestablishing itself as a great power. While Russia’s recent efforts to achieve its objectives have been sub-conventional “gray zone” actions, plausible paths to a major conflict with NATO exist, especially where NATO is now the most vulnerable: along its eastern frontier, including Poland and the Baltic states. 

In such a conflict, Russia could exploit its time-distance advantage and sophisticated A2/AD capabilities to seize territory in the Baltic region before the alliance could marshal an effective military response. Should a rapid Russian offensive in the Baltics initially succeed, NATO could be forced to choose between launching a difficult, uncertain, and potentially escalatory counteroffensive to liberate allied territory, or accepting defeat and a new status quo in Europe. 

Anatomy of a Taiwan Invasion: The Air Domain

By Rick Joe

The threat of a Taiwan contingency is the most persistent and likely military confrontation that the Chinese military (the People’s Liberation Army, or PLA) faces, and much of the PLA’s modernization over the last few decades has been designed for such a scenario. Various articles, commentaries, and even videos over the years have considered how a PLA invasion of Taiwan may unfold and the degree of success or failure that each side may enjoy.

This piece will be the first of a three-part series discussing the main methods the PLA may use to prosecute a Taiwan invasion in a late 2019 time frame. The part is devoted to PLA air power; part two at the end of this month will examine PLA missile, naval, and ground elements. Part three will finally consider procurement and strategies the Taiwan armed forces (ROCArF) could take to counter PLA advantages, as well as to consider the PLA’s future trajectory and possible Taiwan-specific capabilities they may seek to procure.

Setting the Stage, Wildcards, and Acronyms

Here’s the Army’s plan for getting more mature cyber technologies

By: Mark Pomerleau 
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Cyber materiel development and experimentation will link up with actual Army-level exercises as the service looks to mature technologies quicker.

The move “really does reflect the way that this is probably less now about doing standard technology demonstrations in pristine environments but mainly taking things directly from the lab and putting it in the hands of our operators in the tactical environments that they are actually going to use the equipment in,” Brig. Gen. Jennifer Buckner, director of cyber within the Army’s G-3/5/7, said March 21 during an industry event hosted by AFCEA.

The Army as a whole is looking to use more hands-on soldier experiences with and feedback on new technologies to deliver better solutions based on realistic needs instead of years-long requirements processes that can lead to fielding obsolete technology.