18 May 2019

The outrage about Modi is hiding the real story of these elections—the failings of Rahul Gandhi


After having danced to Narendra Modi’s tune for over five years, the media is doing much the same during the ongoing Lok Sabha elections—only now, it is doing so without coercion. Much of the media is reporting, as it should, the violations of the electoral code, the divisive rhetoric, the bigotry and the sheer uncouthness of language that Modi brings to the campaign. But it is doing so with a misplaced sense of outrage. This language is exactly what is expected of Modi—he is not doing anything that is out of character. He has been elected and endorsed by a good many voters for doing exactly this.

We can but hope that at some point, some institution will show the necessary sense and courage to act, but it seems Modi’s actions are guided by careful deliberation. He appears sure that no one will act, and that the media will report events in just the fashion he wants, to provoke the outrage he seeks.

In selecting service Chief, merit is crucial

Air Marshal Brijesh D Jayal (retd)

When appointment to the post of Chief in any of the armed forces is made, there is much debate on whether the government has adhered to the tradition of seniority and, if not, then allegations and counter-allegations fly thick and fast. This leaves the moral fabric of the forces weakened and shows the government of the day in a poor light. While meekly sticking to the seniority route may be the government’s alibi for appearing to be fair and objective and avoiding controversy, the impact of such a lazy approach on the national security firmament merits a closer look. 

There can be no dispute that while selecting individuals for highest-level military appointments, the system should be objective and fair and, to the extent possible within the defence ministry, transparent. It is important, however, that these attributes should not relate to an individual’s interest but to that of the service concerned and, more importantly, to the security interests of the nation. It is this conflict between personal interest and the larger national one that lies at the heart of the ‘seniority versus merit’ debate. 

ISIS announces a ‘province’ in India


During the weekend, Amaq News Agency, the mouthpiece of the terrorist group Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), announced it had established “Wilayah of Hind” – a “province” of its own – in the Kashmir Valley.

The announcement also claimed that ISIS had inflicted casualties on Indian soldiers in Amshipora, a town in Shopian district of the state of Jammu and Kashmir (J&K). This came after a militant who had pledged allegiance to ISIS was killed in a clash with Indian security forces.

The loss of territory by ISIS in Iraq and Syria led to hundreds of its cadres moving elsewhere – some on their own and others orchestrated by the nations that continue to support and arm them. ISIS claimed responsibility for the recent Easter Sunday bombings in Sri Lanka. But the announcement of “Wilayah of Hind” was something that was waiting to happen, with India’s lackadaisical handling of the ISIS issue, particularly in J&K, despite ominous signs that have been present for years.

India’s Foreign Policy- Post May 23 2019- Three Scenarios:

By Dr Subhash Kapila

India’s geopolitical significance rose to unprecedented heights in global strategic calculus under the assertive foreign policy initiatives and formulations of Prime Minister Modi during period 2014-19 coupled with international recognition of India’s pragmatic economic foreign investor-friendly policies.

India’s foreign policy bars therefore stand set high not only for possible and favoured return of PM Modi as Prime Minister yet again but far higher and challenging to the unlikely emergence of an alternative Prime Minister in the event of a badly fractured electoral mandate on May 23 2019.

India’s foreign policy well calibrated thrusts during Prime Minister Modi’s tenure 2014-19 stood characterised by a singular emphasis on securing India’s national security imperatives as the central focus of India’s foreign policy formulations while at the same time ensuring a semblance of balance in approaches to India’s reinforced strategic partnerships with the United States, Western Europe and Japan.

1963: Indian PoWs in Beijing

I recently came across an interesting book, My Peking Memoirs of the Chinese Invasion of India by Dr Purnendu Kumar Banerjee, the Indian Chargé d’Affaires in Beijing during the Sino-Indian War.

In the chapter reproduced below, he mentioned the reception given to the senior Indian officers who had spent more than six months as prisoner of war in Tibet, in extremely dramatic conditions.

Against their will, the officers were taken on a propaganda tour of 'New China'.

The Communuist leadership had planned to 'parade' these officers on the Tiananment Sqaure on May 1 on the occasion of the Labour Day.

Brig John Dalvi strongly opposed this final humiliation for his men.
The Chinese had not choice, but to drop their plans.

It is in these circumstances that they were 'allowed' to visit the Indian Embassy in Beijing (it was certainly part of Beijing's propaganda efforts, to show how 'liberal' was China).

Before going into PK Banerjee's memoirs, here is the account of Maj Gen (then Lt Col) KK Tewari, one of the Commanding Officers who spent seven months in captivity.

You Don't Want To Know How Pakistan Would Fight a Nuclear War

by Kyle Mizokami

Pakistan is clearly developing a robust nuclear capability that can not only deter but fight a nuclear war.

Sandwiched between Iran, China, India and Afghanistan, Pakistan lives in a complicated neighborhood with a variety of security issues. One of the nine known states known to have nuclear weapons, Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal and doctrine are continually evolving to match perceived threats. A nuclear power for decades, Pakistan is now attempting to construct a nuclear triad of its own, making its nuclear arsenal resilient and capable of devastating retaliatory strikes.

Jessica Watson becomes the youngest person to sail, non-stop and unassisted around the world solo.

Al-Insaniyyah, the first Arabic communist newspaper, is founded.

Pakistan’s nuclear program goes back to the 1950s, during the early days of its rivalry with India. President Zulfikar Ali Bhutto famously said in 1965, “If India builds the bomb, we will eat grass or leaves, even go hungry, but we will get one of our own.”

Taliban Fighters Double as Reporters to Wage Afghan Digital War

by Abdul Qadir Sediqi and Rupam Jain 

Zabihullah Mujahid, the Taliban’s chief spokesman and editor-in-chief of the insurgent group’s daily news bulletin, starts every day by collecting reports of overnight fighting with U.S. and Afghan forces.

Mujahid says he gets his team of writers to cross-check facts shared by some of the hardline Islamist groups fighters, who double as reporters in the 34 provinces across the country. The writers prepare press statements in five languages and gather footage and photographs shot on smartphones.

The editor-in-chief then approves final drafts of the reports - highlighting the group’s claimed victories in its war aimed at toppling the U.S.-backed Afghan government - before they are published by IT specialists based outside the country.

While some Afghan journalists say its accuracy is patchy, and its opponents accuse it of spreading “fake news”, the Taliban’s slick media operation has emerged as a key weapon in the information war that often leaves the Western-backed government and its U.S. partners struggling to catch up…

Walking A Tightrope: Pakistan Struggles To Juggle Multiple Balls – Analysis

By James M. Dorsey

Pakistan risks falling off the tightrope it walks as it attempts to balance its relations with rivals Saudi Arabia and Iran.

Developments in recent days, including this weekend’s Baloch nationalist attack on a luxury hotel in the strategic port city of Gwadar and a legal dispute over completion of a gas pipeline against the backdrop of Saudi-Iranian-Qatari competition for the Pakistani gas market, suggest that Pakistan is caught between a rock and a hard place.

The South Asian nation’s seemingly unsustainable tightrope walk is likely to have consequences for the security of China’s massive US$45 billion investment in the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), a crown jewel of Beijing’s Belt and Road initiative; an approximately US$10 billion planned Saudi investment in a refinery and a copper mine in the troubled Pakistani province of Balochistan; and Pakistani hopes of getting a grip on political violence in a bid to attract further badly needed foreign investment and avoid sanctioning for inadequate counterterrorism measures.

Who Was behind Sri Lanka’s Easter Terrorist Attacks?

by Arie Kruglanski Malkanthi Hettiarachchi Michele Gelfand

To millions of Sri Lankans the Easter Sunday tragedy must have seemed a nightmare come true, a frightening déjà vu of the rampant violence this island nation has known for thirty years of LTTE terror (Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam). The horrific attacks in which estimated 253 lost their lives and many hundreds were wounded signaled that the decade’s calm that prevailed after LTTE’s 2009 destruction by Sri Lanka’s Army is over.

What Went Wrong?

At the time, victory over the LTTE inspired confidence and heady optimism. A 2012 defense seminar in Colombo (in which two of the present authors participated) heralded “Peace and Stability” as its core theme and the five Rs (Reconstruction, Resettlement, Rehabilitation, Reintegration and Reconciliation) as the imperative agenda for Sri Lanka. The mood at the time was upbeat and the country’s future seemed bright. The safety of the post-war period brought to the country millions of tourists (2.1 million in 2017 alone) and the reconstruction of Sri Lankan economy and infrastructure commenced apace.With the horrific Easter disaster, this process has come to a grinding halt. And the troubling question is what developments allowed it to happen.

The Global War on Terrorism Has Failed. Here’s How to Win.

By Brahma Chellaney

The jihadi bombings in Sri Lanka on Easter Sunday are the latest reminder that terrorism is not driven by deprivation or ignorance. As with the 2016 cafe attack on foreigners in Dhaka, Bangladesh, the slaughter of churchgoers and hotel guests in Sri Lanka was carried out by educated Islamists from wealthy families. Two of the eight Sri Lankan suicide bombers were sons of one of the country’s wealthiest businessmen. Several of the attackers had the means to study abroad.

One reason why these attacks keep taking place is that the U.S.-led global war on terrorism has failed—and that is because it has focused on eliminating terrorists and their networks, not on defeating the jihadi ideology that inspires suicide attacks around the world. The bombings in a place as unlikely as Sri Lanka—a country with no history of radical Islamist terrorism—underscore how far militaristic theology can spread and why the world needs to tackle it at its roots.

Opinion | Geostrategic concerns complicate US-China trade

Narayan Ramachandran

The spring skies over Beijing this past week were exceptionally clear and smog free. Not so the state of trade talks between Beijing and Washington, which had materially darkened by the end of the week with US tariffs coming into effect on another $200 billion of Chinese imports. US President Donald Trump had tweeted that tariffs would rise by the end of the week, in response to Chinese back-tracking on many points hammered out in a deal reached between the two sides last December. Talks held this week between Liu He, the Chinese vice premier, and Robert Lighthizer, the US trade representative, and Steve Mnuchin, the US treasury secretary, ended without conclusion. Just before the talks started, in a diplomatic cable, Beijing had made multiple edits to the seven-chapter, 150-page trade deal, primarily reversing its position on a change in Chinese laws that would be required for the previously agreed deal to be consummated.

Here is the long story that led up to this week. The US and China did not engage in normal diplomatic or trade relations from the Chinese Communist revolution in 1949 until 1971. In the early 1970s, a window opened up after a freeze in the Sino-Russian relationship following border skirmishes between the two countries in 1969. After a secret visit by US secretary of state Henry Kissinger, the People’s Republic of China was recognized by the United Nations and the permanent Security Council seat held until then by Taiwan was transferred to China. US president Richard Nixon visited China in 1971 and US president Jimmy Carter established full diplomatic relations with the country in 1979. US president Bill Clinton signed the US-China Relations Act of 2000 that paved the way for China to join the World Trade Organization (WTO) in 2001. China maximized its WTO entry with remarkable zest and effectiveness, rising to become the second-largest economy after the US by 2010 and also the largest foreign creditor to the US in the process.

China’s Propaganda Machine Takes Aim at U.S. Over Trade War

By Javier C. Hernández

BEIJING — The trade dispute between the United States and China is escalating — and so is the war of words between the two countries.

Nationalism has surged in China in recent days as the government seeks to portray China as a victim of American bullying. With trade talks stalled, Chinese commentators have taken aim at President Trump and vowed to resist American demands. Here’s a look at what is being said on social media and state news outlets.
Allowable Anger

The sign hangs outside a restaurant in China, informing the public that Americans must pay an extra 25 percent fee to dine. “If there is any inconvenience,” the sign says, “please consult the U.S. Embassy!”

Chinese President Xi Jinping says 'no clash' of civilisations amid US trade war

BEIJING: Chinese President Xi Jinping declared Wednesday (May 15) there was "no clash" of civilisations and denounced racial supremacy as "stupid" amid tensions with the United States and concerns over Beijing's rising global power.

His remarks came after a top-level US official last month described the rivalry between China and the US as "a fight with a really different civilisation and a different ideology".

Kiron Skinner, the director of policy planning at the US State Department, put it in racial terms, telling a security forum that China was the first US "great power competitor that is not Caucasian".

"Thinking that one's own race and culture are superior, and insisting on transforming or even replacing other civilisations is stupid in its understanding and disastrous in practice," Xi said at the opening ceremony of the Conference on Dialogue of Asian Civilisations in Beijing.

If human culture were to take on only one hue, the world would become too dull and uninteresting, he added, extolling the virtue of diverse cultures.

"I have visited many places in the world," said Xi. "What attracts me most are cultures with different charms, such as the ancient city of Samarkand in Central Asia, the Luxor Temple in Egypt, Sentosa in Singapore, the Wat Phra Kaew in Thailand and the Acropolis of Athens in Greece, and so on."

Beijing’s Propaganda Is Playing the Trade War Safe


After a week of tense anticipation, the 11th bilateral trade negotiations between China and the United States concluded on Friday in Washington with no deal, once more postponing a resolution to the trade war between the two countries that has been going on since January 2018.

In the aftermath of the decision, Chinese state media adopted the usual strident rhetoric, applauding the bravery and principles of the Chinese side for not surrendering to “extreme pressure” from the United States. A statement from the Chinese Ministry of Commerce expressed “deep regret” and promised retaliation in the form of “necessary countermeasures.” In a tweet, leading Chinese Communist Party propagandist Hu Xijin of the Global Times effectively called for an escalation of the trade war, declaring that the sooner the tariffs take effect, the better.

China’s Influence Operations in Asia: Minding the Open Door Challenge

By Prashanth Parameswaran

One of the notable features of this year’s iteration of the Pentagon’s annual report on Chinese military and security developments to Congress, released earlier this month, is the inclusion of a special section on what has been termed Chinese influence or interference operations. While the focus on Chinese influence operations is significant within the broader context of greater scrutiny in the United States on this question, beyond China’s behavior, it also ought to further catalyze a broader conversation about the permissive conditions that create a broader enabling environment for the conduct of Beijing’s activities as well as how to deal with this aspect of the challenge.

Foreign influence operations – which can be broadly defined as the coordinated utilization of capabilities to affect changes in the perceptions, practices, and policies of foreign target audiences – in and of themselves are neither new nor not unique to China. But growing concern about aspects of the Chinese state and its broader conduct, as well as a series of recent incidents which have spotlighted the more illicit and coercive aspects of alleged influence operations – be it election interference, the bribing of key influencers, or the manipulation of media environments – have contributed to increasing the spotlight on this subject. The focus on Chinese influence operations is also occurring amid a confluence of broader trends, including intensifying major power competition, deepening ideological struggles between democratic and authoritarian forms of governance, and rising scrutiny on the digital domain, all of which have been particularly worrying for open societies including the United States and its allies.

Trump Is Right to Battle China on Trade, But Now Comes the Hard Part

by Salvatore Babones

On November 10, 2001, after fifteen years of tortuous negotiations, China joinedthe World Trade Organization. The WTO describes itself as a rules-based club whose “overriding purpose is to help trade flow as freely as possible.” If only that were true when it comes to China, then the Trump administration's so-called “trade war” would have been over before it started.

China was only allowed to join the WTO after making several commitments to free trade, the most important of which was to “provide non-discriminatory treatment to all WTO Members.” Specifically, China promised that foreign companies would “be accorded treatment no less favorable than that accorded to enterprises in China” when doing business in the country.

The Last Man and the Future of History


TAI Chairman Francis Fukuyama looks back on his famous essay thirty years later—and looks ahead to the challenges facing the West tomorrow.

TAI: This year marks the 30th anniversary of your famous essay, “The End of History?” But few of your critics pay any attention to the “Last Man” thesis that you developed in the book based on the essay. Can you talk about that idea—what it means and how it speaks to today’s challenges?

Francis Fukuyama: The whole “Last Man” section is about what could go wrong with democracy in the future. One of the issues is that if you simply have a society that’s stable, prosperous, and peaceful, people don’t have anything to aspire to. That aspiration—what I call megalothymia, the desire to be recognized as greater than other people—doesn’t get satisfied. You have to have outlets for this, and if you can’t struggle for justice, as in prior history, then you’ll struggle for injustice.

Houthi drone attacks in Saudi 'show new level of sophistication'

by Alex Gatopoulos

Drone attacks on a Saudi oil pipeline west of Riyadh on Tuesday have revealed an apparent significant leap in the capabilities of the Ansar Allah fighting group, otherwise known as the Houthis.

The Aramco East-West pipeline, stretching across the country to the port and oil terminal at Yenbu, was damaged in two places as pumping stations were hit.

The attacks caused minor damage but alarmed an international community already rattled by the sharp downturn in relations between Iran and the United States.

Information on the attacks is scarce, posing more questions than providing answers.
Signs of sophistication

Drones have been increasingly used by the Houthis in operations against the Saudi-UAE-led coalition. In July 2018 a drone exploded at Abu Dhabi airport causing only minor damage but sending a message to the UAE that its economic interests were not invulnerable.

Missiles On Ships: Making Sense Of Iran’s Recent Moves In The Gulf – Analysis

By Fabian Hinz*

(FPRI) — Yet again, there is a dramatic rise in tension in the Middle East, and, yet again, missiles are at the heart of it. On May 6, the Trump administration announced that it would deploy the USS Abraham Lincoln Carrier Strike Group as well as four B-52 bombers to the region in response to “clear indications” that Iran or Iranian-supported proxy groups discussed launching attacks against U.S. forces in the Middle East.

Fears that Iran could respond to crippling sanctions against its oil and finance sector with military force, either by itself or through proxies, are not entirely new. In early 2011, as Europe was tightening the screws on Iran’s economy, the specter of Iran closing the Strait of Hormuz emerged in the international media landscape. Even though then-Navy Commander Habibollah Sayyari casually remarked that closing the strait of Hormuz was “easier than drinking a glass of water,” Iran never followed through with its threat. In 2019, as the Iranian retaliation narrative seems to have shifted towards the slightly more realistic scenario of Iranian-sanctioned proxy attacks, the question arises whether there is proof that Islamic Republic is actually preparing to do that. Just what exactly are the “clear indications” that Iran means it this time?

An Imminent Missile Strike?

Strange things are afoot in the Strait of Hormuz

WHEN DONALD TRUMP hired John Bolton to be his national security adviser, he reportedly joked that the mustachioed hawk was “going to get us into a war”. It is easy to see why. When serving under George W. Bush, Mr Bolton embellished intelligence on Cuban and Syrian weapons and lobbied hard for the invasion of Iraq. After leaving government he argued that America should bomb Iran to set back its nuclear programme. Now that he’s back, he appears to be on the warpath once again.

It was Mr Bolton, not the commander-in-chief, who announced on May 5th that America had dispatched an aircraft-carrier strike group and bombers to the Persian Gulf. This was in response to undisclosed intelligence which, unnamed officials claimed, showed that Iran and its proxies were planning attacks on American forces (or its allies) in the region. On May 9th Mr Bolton reviewed war plans, updated at his request, that call for sending up to 120,000 troops to the Middle East if Iran attacks or restarts work on nuclear weapons, according to the New York Times. Such planning is not a sign of imminent conflict. But Mr Trump is reported to be telling that joke again, now with more seriousness, as Mr Bolton also ratchets up pressure on Venezuela.

U.S.-Russia Talks Expose Deep Fissures, Despite Hopes for Better Ties

By Andrew E. Kramer and Richard Pérez-Peña

MOSCOW — Russia and the United States remain far apart on Iran, election interference and a host of world crises, the nations’ top diplomats made clear Tuesday, despite President Vladimir V. Putin’s expressed hope that the end of the special counsel’s investigation would clear the way for fully restored relations.

In the Black Sea resort of Sochi, Russia, both Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov described their discussion as “frank,” often diplomat-speak to describe disagreements verging on testy, and they bemoaned the state of affairs between the two nations. “It is clear that our relations have seen better times,” Mr. Lavrov said.

During a joint news conference, Mr. Pompeo had some particularly sharp words on Russia’s election meddling, telling his counterpart that “interference in American elections is unacceptable, and if the Russians were engaged in that in 2020 it would put our relationship in an even worse place than it has been.”

Is Trump Yet Another U.S. President Provoking a War?

By Robin Wright

The United States has a long history of provoking, instigating, or launching wars based on dubious, flimsy, or manufactured threats. In 1986, the Reagan Administration plotted to use U.S. military maneuvers off Libya’s coast to provoke Muammar Qaddafi into a showdown. The planning for Operation Prairie Fire, which deployed three aircraft carriers and thirty other warships, was months in the making. Before the Navy’s arrival, U.S. warplanes conducted missions skirting Libyan shore and air defenses—“poking them in the ribs” to “keep them on edge,” a U.S. military source told the Los Angeles Times that year. One official involved in the mission explained, “It was provocation, if you want to use that word. While everything we did was perfectly legitimate, we were not going to pass up the opportunity to strike.”

How to Really Honor the Troops


But I wasn’t. I smiled.

Once upon a time, I didn’t wear any visible rank or insignia, but if a Ranger or another special operator saw those two letters and two numbers on a Velcro patch on my sleeve in the middle of the night, or heard those two letters and two numbers over a radio, he wouldn’t have needed to know me personally to know precisely who he was speaking to: an officer, for one, and an officer leading a particular unit. If a firefight started, or if the situation became confused, as situations in Iraq and Afghanistan often did, he could turn to me for guidance: What do we do now, sir?

This is the role of officers. They set the standard. George MacDonald Fraser, in his memoir of the Burma Campaign, wrote, “If you want to know how scared you’ve a right to be, look at the men around you. And if you happen to be a young subaltern, remember that they’re looking at you.

Five things to watch for as Alibaba and Tencent reveal earnings

HONG KONG -- Chinese e-commerce company Alibaba Group Holding and social media group Tencent Holdings have begun to look very much alike. Both have expanded into new fields such as cloud computing and artificial intelligence. Both have set their sights outside China. And the two companies -- one listed in New York, the other in Hong Kong -- have even chosen the same day to report their earnings.

As Alibaba and Tencent unveil their financial results on Wednesday, here are five things analysts will be watching.

Macroeconomic factors

China's sluggish growth hampered both companies in the fourth quarter of 2018. Alibaba grew at the slowest pace in three years, as Chinese shoppers skipped big-ticket items, while Tencent suffered its steepest decline in quarterly profit since 2005 in part because of weaker advertising spending.

A better way for Cyber Command to get the tools it needs?

By: Mark Pomerleau 

The Joint Cyber Warfighting Architecture (JCWA), was established by Cyber Command within the last year to guide capability development priorities. Cyber is unique within the Department of Defense in that from an operational perspective nearly all aspects are joint. This means in the traditional warfighting realm, the services are responsible for manning, training and equipping for a certain function, infantry or fighter pilots, for example. While those forces are part of a theater-wide campaign plan beneath a combatant command, they are still deployed under their own services.

In cyber, by contrast, the services don’t own any of the offensive cyber teams or capabilities. While developed by the services, they are deployed by Cyber Command in support of combatant commands through Joint Force Headquarters.

Given this setup, Cyber Command wanted to move away from the services developing their own unique cyber tools and capabilities and rather create a more joint architecture where capabilities can be developed for the use of the entire cyber mission force across all the services.

A ‘Solarium’ For Hacking: Sen. King Launches Cyber Strategy Panel


WASHINGTON: The US lacks a strategy for cyberspace, Sen. Angus King declared today, something many experts would agree with. So Congress is convening a high-level commission consciously modeled on President Eisenhower’s 1953 famous Solarium effort that chose the path of containment the US followed, successfully, for the next 36 years.

“I’ve been engaged in this issue on both Armed Services and Intelligence[committees] for five years and one of the things I’ve concluded is, we’re a cheap date when it comes to cyber,” King told reporters this afternoon. “People can go after us… and not really expect much in the way of a response, whether it’s the Chinese OPM attack or the Russian attack on our elections or… Anthem, Blue Cross, Sony Pictures.

“We want to look at a comprehensive picture,” King said. “One of the motivations of this is that, right now, the cyber responsibility is scattered throughout the federal government. There’s no central leadership and there’s no policy that our adversaries — or our allies for that matter — can discern about what we’re going to do in a particular situation…. until we clarify that, we’re going to keep getting hit.”


Geoffrey Hinton is one of the creators of Deep Learning, a 2019 winner of the Turing Award, and an engineering fellow at Google. Last week, at the company’s I/O developer conference, we discussed his early fascination with the brain, and the possibility that computers could be modeled after its neural structure—an idea long dismissed by other scholars as foolhardy. We also discussed consciousness, his future plans, and whether computers should be taught to dream. The conversation has been lightly edited for length and clarity.

Nicholas Thompson: Let’s start when you write some of your early, very influential papers. Everybody says, “This is a smart idea, but we're not actually going to be able to design computers this way.” Explain why you persisted and why you were so confident that you had found something important.

How data centers will breathe life into 5G

Data centers: balancing the edge

With so many connected technologies taking advantage of 5G, the challenge will be to process the high volumes of data at high speed. This is where edge computing comes in. Often referred to as the next major technology trend after the cloud, edge computing describes an environment where data processing takes place as close as possible to the data source. This will ensure speed and low latency, helping to meet 5G’s performance goals. However, there will still be a need for central data centers, to handle applications’ less latency-critical needs.

What we will see is the development of Next Generation Central Offices (NGCOs). These are edge cloud data centers that can support both fixed and mobile traffic. Serving on average 35,000 subscribers per central office, compared with approximately 5,000 today, they will be located between the radio access network (RAN) and the central core.

Wherever data is stored or processed – be it on the edge, in regional centers known as metros, or centrally – there will be a growing demand for capacity. This is set to increase significantly from late 2019, and service providers will need to refine or transform their architecture to support 5G. Much of the data that will move through 5G networks will exist in the cloud, underlining the vital role that data centers must play.

Scenes from the new Cold War unfolding at the top of the world


FOR MOST OF human history the very top of the globe has remained out of play, too cold, too distant, and too dangerous for the kinds of intense exploitation that have reshaped other regions. But the Arctic is now warming faster than any place on earth, and its protective barrier of sea ice—which once kept commercial and military ambition in check—is melting away.

A long-range radar installation rears up from the tundra in Hall Beach, Nunavut, Canada. The radar is one of 50 unmanned surveillance stations that keep watch over North America’s… Read More

Canadian army Corporal Stewart Hickman keeps watch over two immersion heaters—devices used to melt snow and ice to make water—at an Arctic training camp in Hall Beach, Nunavut… Read More

Canadian soldiers disembark from a CC-117 cargo plane during a training mission in Hall Beach, Nunavut.

What’s Great Power Competition? No One Really Knows


More than a year since the new National Defense Strategyrefocused the U.S. military away from counterinsurgency and back towards the country’s greatest strategic competitors, some policy and strategy experts say the Pentagon hasn’t yet figured out how to “compete” with Russia and China.

In fact, it hasn’t even settled on a definition for the “competition” in “great power competition.”

The uncertainty has left former officials scratching their heads about how, specifically, the Defense Department plans to counter China and Russia beneath the threshold of armed conflict. It also appears to be pulling the Pentagon’s policy planners beyond their traditional purview of fighting and winning wars.