15 April 2019

What Did India’s Foreign Secretary Achieve on His Trip to Russia?

By Rajeswari Pillai Rajagopalan

Recently, India’s Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale, the most senior bureaucrat in India’s foreign ministry, completed a visit to Russia. The visit shed light on the ongoing collaboration between the two countries and the opportunities and challenges for the relationship.

Unsurprisingly, official accounts of the visit focused on areas of collaboration, most of it already ongoing. The Russian embassy release said that the two countries examined “cooperation within the BRICS format, the current issues of the key multilateral export control regimes, including New Delhi’s application for NSG [Nuclear Suppliers Group] membership, other non-proliferation and arms control issues, as well as topical international issues of mutual interest.”

The evolving situation in Afghanistan too was covered by the two leaders. The foreign secretary is reported to have also met Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Igor Morgulov for Foreign Office Consultations, where they “reviewed the implementation of the decisions of the 19th Annual Bilateral Summit” between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Vladimir Putin in 2018.

What Kashmir's Looming Water Crisis Means for India-Pakistan Relations

Christopher Snedden

Nowhere is the relationship between India and Pakistan more contentious than in the disputed region of Jammu and Kashmir. Complicating this dispute is the fact that the Indus River Basin, which is critical for the livelihood of nearly three-fourths of Pakistan’s population, flows through Indian-controlled territory. The dispute over control of various portions of the Indus River and its tributaries was formally arbitrated by the World Bank and resolved with the Indus Waters Treaty of 1960–to which India and Pakistan are both signatories. However, Pakistan has asserted that recent hydroelectric damming projects undertaken by India in Jammu and Kashmir violate the treaty. To better understand this issue, NBR spoke with Christopher Snedden.

What is the Kashmir water crisis?

The Kashmir water crisis is an ongoing dispute between India and Pakistan over the use of three rivers—the Indus, the Chenab, and the Jhelum—that flow through the disputed region of Jammu and Kashmir and into Punjab, the fertile geographic and cultural region located in northern India and eastern Pakistan. The name “Punjab” comes from the Persian words punj (five) and ab (waters). The region is thus defined by the five tributary rivers of the Indus River (the Jhelum, Chenab, Ravi, Sutlej, and Beas) that flow through it, collectively called the “Indus waters.” In 1960, India and Pakistan, with the assistance of the World Bank, agreed on the Indus Waters Treaty. Without much consideration of efficiency, three of the rivers—the Beas, Ravi, and Sutlej—were given to India, and the other three rivers—the Indus, Chenab, and Jhelum—were essentially given to Pakistan.

Afghanistan’s ‘China Card’ Approach to Pakistan, Part 1: 1991-2014

By Ahmad Bilal Khalil

With the establishment of Afghan National Unity Government (NUG), the Afghan government has been trying to get Chinese help in jumpstarting moribund peace talks with the Afghan Taliban. Kabul hopes to entice China to use its leverage on Pakistan, which hosts the Afghan Taliban leadership.

However, this is not the first time that an Afghan government turned to China for help in a desperate situation. There have been at least three other attempts in the past three decades; all of them went in vain. The piece will discuss the recent historical background of such attempts; Part 2 will focus on the NUG’s tilt toward China and its results.

There are two main reasons behind Afghanistan’s use of the “China card” to approach Pakistan over peace and security in Afghanistan. First, China has good neighbor relations with Afghanistan, but also strategic ties with Islamabad. Second, China has serious concerns over the “three evils” of terrorism, separatism and extremism not only in the region but in China as well. However, the earlier lack of particular Chinese interests in the region (compared to the driving force of the Belt and Road Initiative today) made Beijing largely unresponsive to Afghan outreach.

Najibullah, the First ‘China Card’ Player

What Happens When China Becomes the Most Powerful Country in the World?

by David Batashvili

Globally preeminent states have a tendency to shape the world in many ways. Obviously, they do it in a rather direct manner through their geostrategic activities, but the phenomenon goes much further than that. On purpose or by accident, preeminent states export their internal arrangements to the entire international system. The global political, economic, social, cultural and legal effects of this process are profound.

British and then American global preeminence accounts for the fact that it is the English language that ended up the planet’s lingua franca, not French or German. Slave trade received an ultimately mortal blow in 1807, when philosophical and political developments within Britain resulted in its prohibition, and because it was Britain that had the naval strength to actually enforce the ban. The Western victory in World War One placed the democratic form of government at the forefront of the world’s political fashion, where it remains to this day. The implications of the totalitarian regimes’ potential success in their quests for hegemony during World War II or the Cold War are as clear as they are unpleasant.

Belt and Road Without China? It’s Possible

By Nisha Gopalan

Italy’s new role in the Belt and Road Initiative has alarmed G-7 allies fearful of China’s expanding reach. Give it time: This project is going to look a lot less Chinese as it unfolds.

At the moment, the heft of the funding for President Xi Jinping’s global infrastructure project comes from policy banks, such as China Development Bank and the Export-Import Bank of China. The $40 billion state-backed Silk Road Fund, and to a lesser extent, the Asia Infrastructure Investment Bank also contribute. 

Global competitors may soon join the fray. Standard Chartered Plc said it plans to allocate as much as $20 billion in coming years to Belt and Road projects. That’s just a drop in the bucket considering the $1 trillion tag on Xi’s ambition to connect China by land and sea to cities as far-flung as Nairobi and Rotterdam. But more could be coming.

Keep Those Iraq War Notes Handy: Small Wars, Not Great Power Battles, Still the Most Likely Future Fight

by Kyle Rempfer 

Great power competition has been the primary driver of the Pentagon over the past few years, but the Defense Department doesn’t get to pick the next war.

It is more likely that the U.S. military will be drawn into another conflict against an insurgent or proxy force, than it will end up fighting naval battles in the South China Sea or halting Russian armor in the Fulda Gap.

“While you’re going to have the larger force-on-force kind of engagements, at the same time, there’s going to be action in ‘gray zone’ ... the space in between war and peace,” said retired Col. Frank Sobchak, co-author of the long-delayed Iraq War Study and a former Army Special Forces officer.

“We see this through proxies, we see militias, we see the involvement in democratic elections," Sobchak said Tuesday at a Foundation for Defense of Democracies event in Washington.

Terrorist Use of Cryptocurrencies Technical and Organizational Barriers and Future Threats

by Cynthia Dion-Schwarz, David Manheim, Patrick B. Johnston

Are terrorist groups currently using cryptocurrencies to support their activities? If not, why?
What properties of new and potential future cryptocurrencies would make them more viable for terrorist use?

Given the key role of funding in supporting terrorist operations, counterterrorism finance (CTF) efforts often focus on tracking money and preventing financial transactions that might be used to support attacks and other terrorist activities. However, the success of these strategies in reducing terrorist access to official currencies has raised concerns that terrorist organizations might increase their use of such digital cryptocurrencies as Bitcoin to support their activities.

Current cryptocurrencies are not well matched with the totality of features that would be needed and desirable to terrorist groups but might be employed for selected financial activities. The authors' research shows that, should a single cryptocurrency emerge that provides widespread adoption, better anonymity, improved security, and that is subject to lax or inconsistent regulation, then the potential utility of this cryptocurrency, as well as the potential for its use by terrorist organizations, would increase. Regulation and oversight of cryptocurrencies, along with international cooperation between law enforcement and the intelligence community, would be important steps to prevent terrorist organizations from using cryptocurrencies to support their activities.

Brexit and a Border Town: Troubles Ahead in Northern Ireland?

Bonnie Weir

On a Saturday night in mid-January, just days after the House of Commons rejected Prime Minister Theresa May’s Brexit deal for the first of three times, a car bomb exploded in the center of Northern Ireland’s second-largest city. Footage from a security camera trained on Derry’s Bishop Street courthouse showed a man in a balaclava jogging away from the highjacked van and a group of teenaged revelers strolling past only minutes before the bomb detonated. It was the first such attack in Northern Ireland in three years, and some observers were quick to speculate that it foreshadowed an escalation in violence that a “hard Brexit” could trigger. 

Clues as to whether this will be so, or whether Brexit merely exacerbates enduring divisions in the dislocated UK region, can be found by looking no further than Derry itself. The town of roughly 100,000 (called Londonderry by most Unionists) was carved out of the Republic of Ireland and partitioned into the UK during the 1920s. The River Foyle bifurcates Derry, with the east bank historically populated by mostly Protestants, the west bank mainly by Catholics—the latter originally crammed into the poorest areas under the ramparts into a place called the “Bog” (the area is still known as the Bogside). Housing estates, church steeples, and patches of field climb the slopes of the valley up from the banks, and from colorfully named vantage points like Piggery Ridge and Irish Street (this last, paradoxically, located on the Unionist side), the town cuts an image of a storybook place, an Inisfree or Brigadoon. 

An economist explains how to go carbon neutral in our lifetim

Nicholas Stern

Fear and despair are an understandable reaction to climate change. Unless we radically change the way we live, we're on the path to a terrifying future of wild storms, scorched earth and conflict. In fact, it's already happening.

But the way the world economy works is not set in stone. Professor Nicholas Stern, one of the most influential economists in the field of climate change, argues that we already have all the tools we need to turn the economy carbon neutral and create a better future for humanity.

At Davos this year, as the youth activist Greta Thunberg urged leaders to act as if "our house is on fire," I talked to Professor Stern about what it would really take to change course. This is an edited transcript of the interview.

What will happen if the world economy carries on with business as usual?

An economist explains the pros and cons of globalization

Gita Gopinath

As we enter the fourth wave of globalization, driven by the digital revolution, there is renewed debate over whether it is a beneficial force: powering economic growth, and allowing the spread of ideas to improve people’s lives; or whether it erodes communities, and widens the gap between the elites and the rest of the world.

Globalization results in increased trade and lower prices. It heightens competition within domestic product, capital, and labour markets, as well as among countries adopting different trade and investment strategies.

But how do these impacts net out? What are the positive and negative effects of globalization? The below is an edited transcript of a conversation with Gita Gopinath, Chief Economist of the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

Overall, what are the advantages of globalization?

A Mysterious Infection, Spanning the Globe in a Climate of Secrecy

By Matt Richtel and Andrew Jacobs

Last May, an elderly man was admitted to the Brooklyn branch of Mount Sinai Hospital for abdominal surgery. A blood test revealed that he was infected with a newly discovered germ as deadly as it was mysterious. Doctors swiftly isolated him in the intensive care unit.

The germ, a fungus called Candida auris, preys on people with weakened immune systems, and it is quietly spreading across the globe. Over the last five years, it has hit a neonatal unit in Venezuela, swept through a hospital in Spain, forced a prestigious British medical center to shut down its intensive care unit, and taken root in India, Pakistan and South Africa.

Recently C. auris reached New York, New Jersey and Illinois, leading the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to add it to a list of germs deemed “urgent threats.”

The man at Mount Sinai died after 90 days in the hospital, but C. auris did not. Tests showed it was everywhere in his room, so invasive that the hospital needed special cleaning equipment and had to rip out some of the ceiling and floor tiles to eradicate it.

10 Ways Central Banks Are Researching Blockchain Technology Today

By Ashley Lannquist, Blockchain Project Lead at the World Economic Forum

While research and experimentation with blockchain technology across sectors have been underway for the past several years, few organizations have deployed the technology. Although central banks are among the most cautious and prudent institutions in the world, a recent whitepaperpublished by the World Economic Forum indicates that these institutions, perhaps surprisingly, are among the first to implement blockchain technology.

Central bank activities with blockchain and distributed ledger technology are not always well known or communicated. As a result, there is much speculation and misunderstanding about objectives and the state of research. Dozens of central banks around the world are actively investigating whether blockchain can help solve long-standing interests such as banking and payments system efficiency, payments security and resilience, as well as financial inclusion.

Russia is talking about scrapping its only aircraft carrier, putting the troubled ship out of its misery


Russia may "write off" the troubled Admiral Kuznetsov, the country's only aircraft carrier, if it can't find a way to replace a sunken dry dock and repair the damaged hull of the ship, Russian media reported recently. The Kuznetsov was severely damaged when a crane fell on it at the massive dry dock in Roslyakovo, the only one suited for carrier maintenance, unexpectedly sank last fall while the Kuznetsov was undergoing a major overhaul. Rather than attempt to salvage the sunken dry dock and repair the damaged ship, there is now talk of decommissioning the vessel to invest in alternative capabilities.

Russia is admitting it may be forced to scrap its only aircraft carrier as the troubled flagship suffered a catastrophic shipyard accident last fall.

The Admiral Kuznetsov, Russia's sole aircraft carrier which was built during the Soviet-era, was severely damaged last October when the massive Swedish-built PD-50 dry dock at the 82nd Repair Shipyard in Roslyakovo sank with the carrier on board.The carrier was undergoing an extensive overhaul at the time of the incident.

The End of the American Century


What’s called the American century was really just a little more than half a century, and that was the span of Richard Holbrooke’s life. It began with the Second World War and the creative burst that followed—the United Nations, the Atlantic alliance, containment, the free world—and it went through dizzying lows and highs, until it expired the day before yesterday. The thing that brings on doom to great powers—is it simple hubris, or decadence and squander, a kind of inattention, loss of faith, or just the passage of years? At some point that thing set in, and so we are talking about an age gone by. It wasn’t a golden age—there was plenty of folly and wrong—but I already miss it. The best about us was inseparable from the worst. Our feeling that we could do anything gave us the Marshall Plan and Vietnam, the peace at Dayton and the endless Afghan War. Our confidence and energy, our reach and grasp, our excess and blindness—they were not so different from Holbrooke’s. He was our man. That’s the reason to tell you this story.

He served as a diplomat under every Democratic president from John F. Kennedy to Barack Obama, from Vietnam to Afghanistan. But his egotism alienated superiors and colleagues, and he never reached his lifelong goal of becoming secretary of state. He wasn’t a grand strategist, but his frenetic public presence made him the embodiment of certain ideas in action. His views, like everyone’s, emerged from his nervous system, his amygdala, the core of his character, where America stood for something more than just its own power. He believed that power brought responsibilities, and if we failed to face them the world’s suffering would worsen, and eventually other people’s problems would be ours, and if we didn’t act, no one else would. Not necessarily with force, but with the full weight of American influence. That was the Holbrooke doctrine, vindicated at Dayton, where he ended a war and brought an uneasy peace to Bosnia. The country owed its existence to the liberal internationalism of Pax Americana. Now that those words are history, and we’ve retreated into a nationalism whose ugliness more and more reminds me of Balkan politics, we should revisit Bosnia to see what’s lost when America decides to leave the world alone.

Peaceful Coexistence 2.0


Today’s Sino-American impasse is rooted in “hyper-globalism,” under which countries must open their economies to foreign companies, regardless of the consequences for their growth strategies or social models. But a global trade regime that cannot accommodate the world’s largest trading economy is a regime in urgent need of repair.

CAMBRIDGE – The world economy desperately needs a plan for “peaceful coexistence” between the United States and China. Both sides need to accept the other’s right to develop under its own terms. The US must not try to reshape the Chinese economy in its image of a capitalist market economy, and China must recognize America’s concerns regarding employment and technology leakages, and accept the occasional limits on access to US markets implied by these concerns.

The term “peaceful coexistence” evokes the Cold War between the US and the Soviet Union. Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev understood that the communist doctrine of eternal conflict between socialist and capitalist systems had outlived its usefulness. The US and other Western countries would not be ripe for communist revolutions anytime soon, and they were unlikely to dislodge the Communist regimes in the Soviet bloc. Communist and capitalist regimes had to live side by side.

Trump’s Most Worrisome Legacy


The US president's attacks on America's truth-seeking institutions jeopardize its continued prosperity and very ability to function as a democracy. As corporate giants capture the institutions that are supposed to protect ordinary citizens, a dystopia once imagined only by science fiction writers is emerging before our eyes.

NEW YORK – Kirstjen Nielsen’s forced resignation as US Secretary of Homeland Security is no reason to celebrate. Yes, she presided over the forced separation of families at the US border, notoriously housing young children in wire cages. But Nielsen’s departure is not likely to bring any improvement, as President Donald Trump wants to replace her with someone who will carry out his anti-immigrant policies even more ruthlessly. 

Trump’s immigration policies are appalling in almost every aspect. And yet they may not be the worst feature of his administration. Indeed, identifying its foulest aspects has become a popular American parlor game. Yes, he has called immigrants criminals, rapists, and animals. But what about his deep misogyny or his boundless vulgarity and cruelty? Or his winking support of white supremacists? Or his withdrawal from the Paris climate accord, the Iran nuclear deal, and the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty? And, of course, there is his war on the environment, on health care, and on the rules-based international system.

Kim Jong Un, his rise to power and his rule in North Korea. Find out

For nearly a quarter-century, since the fall of the Berlin Wall, the North Korean regime's continued survival has baffled observers. When North Korea’s founding leader Kim Il Sung died, North Korea entered a period of famine that lasted three years and killed hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of North Korean citizens. Yet the regime carried on under his son, Kim Jong Il, and his grandson, Kim Jong Un, currently leads the country, making it the only communist regime to practice hereditary leadership succession—not once, but twice.

So how has the North Korean regime remained in power for more than 60 years under the unbroken leadership of three generations of the Kim family? To evaluate the future prospects of North Korea—be it gradual evolution, sudden transformation or collapse—it is critical to understand how the hereditary leadership system has developed historically, its current state and its future prospects. 

Baby Steps Toward Reform

AI raises the risk of cyberattack – and the best defence is more AI

Most cyberattacks today do not occur instantaneously with the push of a button. They are resource and time-intensive endeavours (especially the reconnaissance phase), that are orchestrated by humans and unfold at human speeds; the time and resources needed by the adversary are directly proportional to the quality and level of defences employed on the network, argue Meg King and Jacob Rosen of the Wilson Center.

The need for persistent access to a network, whether it is to scan for further vulnerabilities, monitor behavior, move laterally within the network, or manipulate or exfiltrate data, increases the likelihood of strong defensive systems keying in on suspicious activity before too much damage is done. Cyberattacks persist, but time, money, effort, and the potential for failure can all act as deterrents against other would-be cyber criminals.

The application of artificial intelligence – in particular machine learning – to cyber operations, however, promises to upset this balance, offering more efficient and more effective tools for carrying out attacks that occur at machine speeds.

Will AI Save Journalism — or Kill It?

In the past year, you have most likely read a story that was written by a bot. Whether it’s a sports article, an earnings report or a story about who won the last congressional race in your district, you may not have known it but an emotionless artificial intelligence perhaps moved you to cheers, jeers or tears. By 2025, a bot could be writing 90% of all news, according to Narrative Science, whose software Quill turns data into stories.

Many of the largest and most reputable news outlets in the world are using or dabbling in AI — such as The Washington Post, The Associated Press, BBC, Reuters, Bloomberg, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Times and Sunday Times (U.K.), Japan’s national public broadcaster, NHK, and Finland’s STT. Last year, China’s Xinhua News Agency created the world’s first AI-powered news anchor, a male, using computer graphics. This year, it debuted the first AI female news anchor.

Even smaller outlets are publishing AI-written stories if they subscribe to services that create them, such as the AP and RADAR, which stands for Reporters And Data And Robots. A joint venture of the U.K. Press Association and tech firm Urbs Media, RADAR is an AI-powered news agency that generates thousands of local stories per week for U.K. media outlets that subscribe. Globally, a survey of nearly 200 top editors, CEOs and digital leaders showed that nearly three-quarters are already using AI, according to a 2018 report by the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism.

Learning Without Fighting: New Developments in PLA Artificial Intelligence War-Gaming

By: Elsa Kania

The Opportunities and Challenges of Intelligentization

A lack of recent experience in combat is often characterized as a major liability and potential disadvantage for the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) in any future conflict scenario. [1] Despite notable advances in its capabilities in recent years, apparent shortcomings remain in the “software” of the PLA’s training and readiness, and perhaps even its will to fight and courage (China Brief, December 1, 2016). The People’s Republic of China (PRC) has not been at war since its 1979 conflict with Vietnam—of which several current military leaders, including members of the Central Military Commission, are veterans—and there are intense concerns today about the perils of “peace disease.” Today, the PLA’s contemporary experiences in military operations other than war (MOOTW), including counter-piracy and peacekeeping operations, offer only limited experience of direct relevance to potential high-end conflict scenarios. In future fights, the PLA could confront a range of difficulties that could include the apparent rigidity of its command structure, and the relative inexperience of its officers and enlisted personnel. Despite major reforms, the PLA could continue to struggle with joint operations, even as it seeks to leverage a new doctrinal approach that is still being formulated (Diplomat, June 6, 2017). At the same time, the PLA is redoubling its efforts in military innovation, rapidly developing and looking to operationalize emerging technologies—particularly artificial intelligence (AI)—that may require major adaptations in concepts, structures, and training.

For the PLA, Xi Jinping’s exhortation to prepare to “fight and win” future wars may thus prove a daunting endeavor. How is the PLA attempting to overcome such critical challenges? While seeking to enhance the realism and sophistication of “actual combat” (shizhan, 实战) training, the PLA is also expanding its activities in war-gaming and adopting new techniques in training, including the use of virtual reality to enhance realism and enable psychological conditioning (Xinhua, January 17, 2017). In this regard, these aspects of the PLA’s exploration of new directions in military innovation will inform its response to what it sees as a “Revolution in Military Affairs” (junshi geming, 军事革命), or RMA, which is catalyzed and deepened by today’s emerging technologies (Xinhua, August 20, 2014). In particular, AI is seen as a critical strategic technology that is transforming today’s “informatized” (xinxihua, 信息化) warfare to future “intelligentized” (zhinenghua, 智能化) warfare (CNAS, November 2017).

Why we Need to break up Amazon, Facebook and Alphabet

Michael K. Spencer

What if we lived in a more ethical version of techno-capitalism? What would that feel like in a more regulated internet?

Elizabeth Warren says she wants to break up big tech companies including Amazon, Google, and Facebook. Think about it.

Warren’s plan includes a call for “platform neutrality” — banning tech giants from both providing a marketplace and selling their product on the same marketplace — and the appointment of new regulators that would undo mergers between massive tech companies. She argues that these mergers smother competition and undermine democracy.
“That means we break Facebook away from Instagram and WhatsApp, Amazon away from Whole Foods, Google away from Nest, and more,” Warren wrote in a campaign email.
Separating the likes of Instagram and WhatsApp from Facebook
YouTube, Nest and Waymo from Google
AWS from Amazon, and so forth.

This ironically is the exact opposite of what Mark Zuckerberg proposes to do with his centralization of all messaging.

“Maslow’s pyramid” is based on an elitist misreading of the psychologist’s work

By Lila MacLellan

Depending on your life experiences, you may think one of two ways about Maslow’s pyramid of needs.

You might believe what I did before reporting this story: That the rainbow-colored pyramid, perhaps first seared into memory in grade school, organizes truths about what motivates people. First, we satisfy our “lower level” needs, like basic nourishment and safety, the base layers of the pyramid. Only then can we be concerned with “higher level” needs, like love and belonging, and esteem, the stepping stones to self-actualization, the reaching of one’s full potential and the pinnacle of the pyramid.

If you’re a psychologist or organizational behavior scientist, however, you may reject the pyramid of needs as unscientific and outdated. But you’ve probably come to accept how ubiquitous it is as a piece of pop psychology.

Either way, you almost certainly believe that the pyramid was invented by Abraham Maslow, the American psychologist who died in 1970. But that part doesn’t appear to be true.

International collaboration on cyber warfare: an essential plan, but is it realistic?

By Andrew Tunnicliffe

“The internet is at risk. Malicious actors are clashing online, using digital products as weapons,” warned French President Emmanuel Macron in late 2018.

His comments weren’t particularly ground-breaking, but they gave new impetus to those who have argued against the militarisation of cyberspace.

“We’ve allowed the enemies of liberty to gain prominence, casting away everything we fought long and hard for,” he added.

Speaking at the Paris Peace Forum, Macron announced more than 50 countries and 250 global organisations had endorsed an agreement to limit the use of cyberspace for hostile purposes, the Paris Call for Trust and Security in Cyberspace (Paris Call).
The Paris Call: keeping cyberspace secure

“The Paris Call seems to have a series of commitments that the endorsers, at least, support,” says AccessNow’s Drew Mitnick, a cybersecurity and human rights expert. “It would limit some of the harms we’ve seen, things like preventing the spread of malicious ICT tools, for example, or ensuing your digital product is secure. Things that would benefit everyone and that have, at times, been challenged by the way some of the actors have treated them.”

Sensor Proliferation Is Changing How We Wage War

By Sim Tack

The proliferation of sensors in warfare, and the ability to combine their output into an unprecedented level of situational awareness, will allow for increased clarity in war. For sensor proliferation to translate into actual situational awareness, incredible challenges in supporting functions such as network bandwidth and artificial intelligence processing will need to be overcome. As the ability to deploy sensors and combine their information increases, so will efforts to disrupt this capability, most likely through the denial of networking and processing capacity by means of electronic warfare and cyber warfare. Increased capabilities from sensor technology will not alter the nature of warfare at its core, but it will further widen the gap between highly technologically advanced military powers and less developed military forces.

When imagining the future of warfare, we often envision newly developed weapons systems and anticipate their impact on the actual conduct of warfare. Not all warfare evolutions, however, can be encapsulated by individual systems or platforms. The most radical changes in the conduct of war often result from particularly extensive technological revolutions that apply across multiple weapons systems, altering the very nature of the constraints and imperatives that drive combat decision-making.

5 Reasons You Can't Beat the U.S. Army On Any Battlefield (Anywhere)

by Michael Peck

The Army already has a robot test vehicle: an armed, remote-controlled M113 armored personnel carrier, and is vigorously pursuing autonomous trucks that can haul supplies without a driver.

The U.S. Army already fields an impressive array of weapons. But as the U.S. Army prepares itself for potential conflicts against high-tech Russian and Chinese armies, the Army is working on a slew of new systems ranging from tanks to missiles.

The result will be the gradual disappearance of the familiar weapons born during the Cold War -- the Abrams tanks and Apache helicopters -- that symbolize America's arsenal. In their place will be a new generation of weapons.

The polio vaccine, developed by Dr. Jonas Salk, is declared safe and effective.

Jim Gary's "Twentieth Century Dinosaurs" opens at the Smithsonian Museum in Washington, D.C.. He is the only sculptor ever invited to present a solo exhibition there.

(This first appeared late last year.)

Here are five that we will likely see in the coming years:

1. Next-Generation Combat Vehicle: