19 May 2019

Eye on China: Trade War Flux – India’s BRI Tryst – Xi’s Policing Vision – Pompeo Talks Tough


A quick look at the key stories that dominated the domestic headlines in China. Of course, it took a long time for the trade war rumblings to hit China’s state media. We’ll get to that later, however. Here’s what’s been happening inside the country in the meantime.

The Party’s Police: Xi Jinping spoke at a national conference on public security this week, outlining his vision for policing in the country. There are three parts to this vision – ensuring political loyalty, promoting reform and maintaining strict discipline. Xi wants the police to “closely follow the CPC Central Committee in terms of thinking, political orientation, and actions at all times…to ensure that the Party’s lines, principles, policies, and major decisions and plans are implemented to the letter.” When he talks about reform, he essentially means ways and means to improve efficiency. This, he believes, can be done using more technology, big data and some rather old school approaches, such as the Fengqiao Experience – a Mao-era campaign of mass mobilisation against so-called reactionary elements in society. This suggestion along with the objective “to proactively prevent and properly defuse various kinds of social contradictions to guarantee a society of vitality, stability and order” sounds rather disturbing.

Can our water, power woes hit data localisation plans? New BJP or Congress govt must answer


One of the key challenges the new government will have to face after the Lok Sabha elections, be it a BJP or a Congress-led alliance or a federal front coalition, is data localisation and assuring foreign investors and states about the disruption associated with it.

RBI’s notification, Justice B.N. Srikrishna-led committee’s report, and the draft e-commerce policy have all called for data localisation without explaining how such a step will benefit India.

For a move that could define the future of domestic and international data in India, a cost-benefit analysis would be much appreciated by the industry, academia as well as civil society.

Cost, resources and security are fundamental to localisation. Its impact on ease of doing business and the start-up ecosystem as well as the geopolitical implications of other countries following India’s lead are yet to be understood in full. India needs to work out a comprehensive cost benefit model so that people can get a holistic picture of data localisation.

The Peculiar Presence of the Islamic State in Kunar

By Franz J. Marty

CHAPA DARA, KUNAR, AFGHANISTAN – In late March, a local chapter of the self-declared Islamic State attacked and took over two valleys in Chapa Dara district in Afghanistan’s eastern province of Kunar. The violence forced thousands of families to flee their homes. However, even the refugees don’t know much, if anything, about the group that displaced them. Accordingly, its exact affiliation to the Islamic State is less clear than reports suggest.

Fleeing Without Anything

In the bazaar of Chapa Dara, the center of the district with the same name, a crowd of men in traditional Afghan garb has gathered under the grey clouds of a late April sky. The reason is sobering: They are awaiting the distribution of flour bags donated by the World Food Programme and USAID. Most had left everything behind when they fled an advance of the local chapter of the self-styled Islamic State. They are now dependent on aid.

5G, Xi and Huawei: Looking Beyond Trump and the ‘China Price’

By Michael Shoebridge

There’s a right way and a wrong way to think about 5G networks in a nation-state. Right now, according to Bloomberg, 40% of the world seems to be thinking the wrong way.

The debate on 5G and Huawei has descended into a simple binary choice: ‘Do you want to “follow the U.S.” and ban Huawei?’ or ‘Do you want cheap 5G from Huawei, while sending comforting messages about trade and investment to Beijing?’

The second of these ideas has been stoked at telco-world events such as Barcelona’s Mobile World Congress, where corporate CEOs like Vodafone’s said banning Huawei will bring higher costs (and disturb commercial relationships).

This sets up an attractive rationale for national leaders who want to show their independence from Donald Trump’s America, and get plaudits from companies that have commercial relationships with Huawei—all while signalling a desire for more Chinese investment. Nationalism and cash: what a delightful result.

If only it were that simple and that attractive. It’s not, as the 30 nations’ representatives at the recent security discussions in Prague are no doubt thinking.

Who Wins When U.S.-Iran Tensions Rise? China


The Sino-Iranian relationship advances Chinese interests — and particularly when Washington tries to turn the screws on Tehran.

China’s leaders may be anxious about the emerging trade war with the United States, but at least something is going their way: U.S. policy toward Iran is furthering their strategic interests.

Of the several “comprehensive strategic partnerships” that Beijing has struck in the Middle East, the Sino-Iranian one is the most comprehensive and the most strategic. China has established similar close ties with Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, but Iran represents a contrarian’s bet and a vital hedge for China. 

One reason the Iranian relationship serves China so well is that it is not a relationship of equals. China is Iran’s largest trading partner, supplying and consuming more than 30 percent of the latter’s imports and exports. The converse is not true at all: Iran represents less than one percent of China’s international trade. Iran needs China, but to China, Iran is expendable. 

The China challenge and critical next steps for the United States

Mark Warner (D-VA)

The following is a light adaptation of a speech delivered at Brookings on May 9, 2019 by Senator Mark Warner (D-VA). In conversation with Brookings Nonresident Senior Fellow Victoria Nuland, Sen. Warner offered his view of China’s overseas activities and footprint. These are issues that Brookings scholars will be researching closely over the coming year as part of a new Foreign Policy initiative: “Global China: Assessing China’s growing role in the world.” This piece reflects only the view of Sen. Warner.

Until a few years ago, my views of China were pretty similar to a lot of people in the business world. As a former entrepreneur and venture capitalist, I looked at China—a rapidly modernizing country of 1.3 billion people with rising incomes and expectations—and saw mostly opportunity. At the time, I believed what a lot of people believed: that a rising China could be good for the world, and that our two countries—one a true democracy, and one inevitably headed, at least, in a less authoritarian, more open direction—could co-exist peacefully. That we could rise together as competitors, but partners nonetheless.

But a few years and many, many classified briefings later, a lot has happened to fundamentally shift my viewpoint.


The worry about 5G: ‘They control whether or not we communicate’

By: Dwight A. Weingarten  

Chinese company Huawei’s efforts to sell its 5G network equipment to U.S. allies worried members of the Senate Judiciary Committee May 14 about disruptions in global communications, intelligence sharing and military operations if the Chinese-backed company is allowed to take the lead in this technology internationally.

“If [Huawei] controls the network, they control whether or not we communicate,” said Christopher Krebs, director of the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency at the Department of Homeland Security.

He said that a military mission overseas relying on a Huawei network could be shut down by its operators. Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., agreed, saying aircraft carriers become “sitting ducks” if communication systems are vulnerable.

China Cracks Down on Foreign Firms Over Cyber Security

Angus Whitley

Foreign companies in China are being subjected to cyber-security probes as the government tightens controls over areas such as cloud computing, the Financial Times reported, citing documents seen by the newspaper.

The government plans to strengthen its cyber rules in December to bolster “national information security,” the newspaper reported, citing the documents. The rules might be announced as soon as this week, the Financial Times said, citing people familiar with the matter.

The tightening of China’s so-called multilevel protection scheme is set to broaden government oversight of areas including the mobile internet, the internet of things, big data and industrial security, according to the documents, the newspaper said.

At least two foreign companies dealing with consumer data in China are already under investigation for possible cyber-security violations, the newspaper said, citing risk-management firm Control Risks. The names of the companies weren’t disclosed.

What are China's naval goals? The West can't wait to find out

By Carl Schuster

Carl Schuster is a retired US Navy captain, a former director of operations at the US Pacific Command's Joint Intelligence Center, a current Hawaii Pacific University instructor and a part-time defense consultant. he opinions expressed in this commentary are solely his own.

Newport, Rhode Island (CNN)It's no secret that China's navy has experienced unprecedented growth, rapid modernization and an expanded range of operations over the past 15 years -- and this has raised concerns about the country's ultimate intentions.

At a conference earlier this month, more than 200 naval experts gathered at the United States Naval War College to discuss these concerns and the broader challenges posed by China's expanded naval power.

US-China Trade Talks and American Strategy

By George Friedman 

As the U.S. continues to negotiate a trade deal with China, a shift in American global strategy has emerged. The United States is reducing its use of direct military action and instead using economic pressure to drive countries like China, Russia, North Korea and Iran into conceding to U.S. demands. Even in places where the U.S. is still engaged militarily, such as Afghanistan, serious talks are underway for a withdrawal. It’s a shift that has been long in the making. In my book “The Next Decade,” published in 2011, six years before Donald Trump took office, I argued that the United States would reduce its military activity dramatically because it couldn’t maintain the tempo of engagement it had established over the years. I also discussed the topic in a 2018 article titled “The Trump Doctrine,” which argued that the United States would eventually be forced to scale back its foreign engagements. 

U.S.-China Tariffs: Is There an End in Sight?

The sudden escalation of the trade war between the U.S. and China in recent days could lead to longer-term shifts in not just China’s import programs but also in global manufacturing arrangements, according to experts at Wharton and the University of Pennsylvania. U.S. trade policies that are not rooted in economic considerations but are driven by political postures could prove costly for U.S. businesses and consumers, in addition to eroding the country’s leverage in global trade, they warned.

The latest conflict between the two countries has seen tit-for-tat actions. China on Monday announced that it will raise tariffs to between 5% and 25% on certain U.S. products entering its country, worth some $60 billion in annual trade. That came after the U.S. move on Friday to increase tariffs to 25% on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods, with a threat to extend that to another $300 billion worth of imports from China. In 2018, U.S. exports to China were $179.3 billion; imports were $557.9 billion. The U.S. goods and services trade deficit with China was $378.6 billion in 2018, according to government data.

The worry about 5G: ‘They control whether or not we communicate’

By: Dwight A. Weingarten 

Chinese company Huawei’s efforts to sell its 5G network equipment to U.S. allies worried members of the Senate Judiciary Committee May 14 about disruptions in global communications, intelligence sharing and military operations if the Chinese-backed company is allowed to take the lead in this technology internationally.

“If [Huawei] controls the network, they control whether or not we communicate,” said Christopher Krebs, director of the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency at the Department of Homeland Security.

He said that a military mission overseas relying on a Huawei network could be shut down by its operators. Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., agreed, saying aircraft carriers become “sitting ducks” if communication systems are vulnerable.

Instead of a backdoor in the networks that just Huawei or the Chinese could exploit, Krebs said, potential vulnerabilities in Huawei’s systems could be a “bug door” that any knowledgeable actor could exploit, leaving Huawei with plausible deniability of an attack.

Vietnam Is the Chinese Military’s Preferred Warm-Up Fight

By Derek Grossman

In mid-April, China conducted a series of fresh military flights through the Bashi Channel and Miyako Strait, on the south and north ends of Taiwan, respectively. As has been the case many times in the past, these new activities were clearly meant to signal Beijing’s resolve to resort to force against the island and its U.S. and allied defenders if necessary. But there is another, less often discussed reason for these drills. Repeated transits through the Bashi Channel and Miyako Strait offer the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) the opportunity to train over future potential battlefields.

Indeed, practice makes perfect. And this is especially true when the PLA is playing from behind. During his address to the 19th Party Congress in October 2017, Chinese President Xi Jinping called for the PLA “to be fully transformed into world-class forces” by 2050. An apparent reference to reaching on par status with U.S. forces, “world-class forces” would be nearly impossible to achieve without realistic training. According to a recent analysis by long-time PLA watcher Dennis Blasko, the PLA has been highly critical of its warfighting capabilities internally and even, to some extent, publicly. These shortcomings prompted Xi this year to order the PLA to engage in intensive rounds of realistic combat training scenarios.

Terrorist Use of Cryptocurrencies

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.

Using Proxies, Iran Appears to Be Hitting Back in the Fight Over Oil


With two suspicious attacks in three days on Saudi oil installations, Iran appears to be signalling that the U.S. maximum pressure campaign to choke off its oil exports and strangle its economy will come at a price.

On Tuesday, an apparent Houthi drone strike damaged a pair of pumping stations on a crucial Saudi oil pipeline, the East-West pipeline that sends Saudi crude across the desert from the shores of the Persian Gulf to the Red Sea, far from Iran and the vulnerable Strait of Hormuz. Saudi officials said damage was minor, but they did temporarily halt the pipeline, which can ship as much as 5 million barrels a day. Riyadh blamed Iran-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen for the attack.

Those strikes came just days after a still-unexplained attack on four vessels off a key oil-export port in the United Arab Emirates, including two Saudi oil tankers. While regional governments have yet to point the finger at Iran for that attack, a U.S. official told The Wall Street Journal that it believes Iran was behind the sabotage.

Iran's coming response: Increased terrorism and cyber attacks?


We need to prepare. With the deployment of the USS Abraham Lincoln and a group of B-52 bombers to the Middle East, tensions with Iran have reached a critical phase. While Iran poses a very real threat to the world’s supply of oil, the current situation also underscores that we must be prepared — immediately — to counter Iranian-sponsored terrorism and to respond to the threat that Iran’s growing cyber capabilities pose to the United States and our allies in the region.

The stark reality is that Iran is constantly putting our interests and those of our allies at direct risk. We’ve seen this happen in a wide range of ways: For nearly four decades, Iran has funded Hezbollah, a terrorist organization responsible for the deaths of hundreds, if not thousands, of Americans; Iran’s support, along with Russia’s, for the Syrian regime has made that conflict hugely bloody; and Iran’s meddling in Yemen has created one of the worst humanitarian crises of our era. Moreover, Iran’s covert and illegal pursuit of nuclear weapons is precisely why we are now in the current situation.

Trump’s Counter-Iran Moves Are Provocative, But They’re Not War


Truly bad messaging is undermining trust among allies and the American public — and increasing the chance of accidental escalation.

War with Iran? America, stop right there. President Donald Trump is not leading you into a new head-to-head war with a regional power. This administration is not going to war with Iran. Not this week, anyway.

No matter how much the events of the past few weeks have dismayed many (and excited a few), what senior administration and military leaders have said repeatedly is that they do not want war — but they are more willing and ready to strike back at Iran or Iranian-backed proxy fighters in the region, following a credible threat against U.S. troops and allies. Now, that may eventually lead to a larger war. Or it may not. But it sounds like Washington is doing more of the same, rather than something new.

America, you have been fighting with Iran for years. You knew that, right? And you’ve been postured for war in the region for years. This didn’t start with sending an aircraft carrier last week. The United States has enormous firepower, troops, and intelligence assets in the region at permanent and temporary land, air, and naval bases. The Pentagon has tens of thousands of troops at bases in Kuwait, UAE, Qatar, Iraq, Jordan, Turkey, Bahrain, and Djibouti. Bombers, fighters, warships, carriers, drones, trucks, special operators — you name it, the U.S. already has it there. Or can get it there, even if it has to fly bombs in from Missouri.

Two Great American Intellects: Gore Vidal and Noam Chomsky

Frank Li

America faces a wide variety of deficits, from the budget (U.S. deficit swells to $691 billion in first half of 2019) to trade (Trump's Plan to Reduce Trade Deficit Falters as it Hits an All-Time High Instead). However, the worst deficit is intellectual - We can no longer think properly - America: It's Democracy, Stupid!

In this post, I will highlight two great American intellects: Gore Vidal and Noam Chomsky, focusing on their strong opposition to America's #1 enemy at home: The Evil Military-Industrial Complex.

America Must Not Stumble into a Third Gulf War

by John Dale Grover 

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo claims that Washington is not interested in war with Iran. However, America has ordered all U.S. nonemergency staff and families out of neighboring Iraq. In addition, a recent report by the New York Times said that the Pentagon was given plans to deploy 120,000 troops to the Middle East in the event of a crisis. Given that America previously sent 125,000 soldiers to invade Iraq in 2003, it seems unlikely that a similar number of troops today could be used for anything other than regime change.

A war with Iran is unnecessary and harmful to American interests. Although Tehran is an enemy, there is no immediate danger other than the threat inflation from hawks in Washington, DC. Moreover, a preemptive war would be an overreaction that would cost American lives, money, and bandwidth when deterring China, North Korea, and Russia is more important.

American officials and many pundits in Washington have long-engaged in threat inflation over Iran. Today, unverified claims of heightened Iranian activity and an alleged attack on four oil tankers in the Strait of Hormuz is being used as justification for military preparations.

How to Really Honor the Troops

Andrew Exum

The email to me, inviting me to dinner, began with two seemingly random letters, followed by two numbers. My assistant was the first one who read the email and was confused.

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.”

What Does Israel’s Missile Strike on Hamas Hackers Mean for Military Cyber Response?

To date, nation-states have been extremely hesitant about responding to cyber attacks with physical military force. That’s what makes Israel’s early May attack on Hamas so unusual. While it’s not uncommon for the Israel Defense Force (IDF) to respond to rocket attacks from Gaza with targeted strikes, this is the first time they have done so in response to hacking. The move has left many wondering how common an armed cyber response will be going forward.

The IDF released video showing an air strike on a Hamas-occupied building that the cyber attacks were being launched from. The IDF did not release any details of the nature of the cyber attacks, other than describing them as a threat to “the quality of life of Israeli citizens.”

Not only is this the first time that Israel has responded to a cyber threat in this way, it is believed to be the first time any military has responded to a digital threat with immediate force.

A lethal cyber response

One day they may part, but for now Cyber Command loves working with the NSA

By: Mark Pomerleau   

U.S. Cyber Command shares its leader with the National Security Agency and for the last decade the former has relied on the latter’s infrastructure and talent to help get up and running.

The two organizations have fundamentally different missions, which sometimes are at odds, but the relationship was always thought to be temporary and observers have long wondered when the two agencies may go their own way.

Documents obtained via FOIA provide some details on the degree to which NSA was involved with the expansion of Cyber Command's cyber force.

Gen. Paul Nakasone, who heads both organizations, delivered his assessment on a split to the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and secretary of defense in August. In congressional testimony in March, he said the assessment remains classified and has declined to say publicly which way he leans. The decision whether to keep the two organizations so closely knit remains with the Secretary of Defense and president.

How To Wage Global Cyber War: Nakasone, Norton, & Deasy


TECHNET 2019: America’s four-star combatant commanders need a global network to coordinate different services, agencies, and allies against threats — especially in cyberspace — that metastasize beyond a single theater. Making full use of that technology will also require new planning processes, new training, and — hardest of all — cultural change.

“The most important thing for all of the COCOMs is interoperability — joint and coalition/allied interoperability,” Vice Adm. Nancy Norton said, “because we have to be able to fight across all of the COCOMs….. seamlessly, regardless of where we’re fighting.”

Vice Adm. Nancy Norton

How do you retaliate against a WhatsApp attack?

James O’Malley

We don’t yet know for sure who used Israeli company NSO’s software to hack WhatsApp users – the messaging service’s parent company Facebook has said only that the culprit is an “advanced cyber actor” – but all signs point to it being a government. According to one analysis, NSO has 45 governments as clients including, amazingly, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, even though officially these states don’t recognise Israel.

Whoever the culprit, the WhatsApp attack will surely be added to a long list of state-backed attacks that includes Russia’s 2015 takedown of Ukraine’s power grid, China’s persistent intellectual property thefts and North Korea’s attack on Sony Pictures over the film The Interview. And yes, the west does it too – the United States used a cyber-weapon to take down Iran’s nuclear programme in 2010 – the so-called Stuxnet attack.


YOU'VE HEARD THE advice a million times. Don't click links in suspicious emails or texts. Don't download shady apps. But a new Financial Times report alleges that the notorious Israeli spy firm NSO Group developed a WhatsApp exploit that could inject malware onto targeted phones—and steal data from them—simply by calling them. The targets didn't need to pick up to be infected, and the calls often left no trace on the phone's log. But how would a hack like that even work in the first place?

WhatsApp, which offers encrypted messaging by default to its 1.5 billion users worldwide, discovered the vulnerability in early May and released a patch for it on Monday. The Facebook-owned company told the FT that it contacted a number of human rights groups about the issue and that exploitation of this vulnerability bears "all the hallmarks of a private company known to work with governments to deliver spyware." In a statement, NSO Group denied any involvement in selecting or targeting victims but not its role in the creation of the hack itself.

WhatsApp flaw let attackers install spyware with a phone call

A vulnerability in messaging app WhatsApp allowed attackers to install spyware onto phones, the Financial Times reported Monday.

The malicious code, developed by Israeli company NSO Group, was installed on both iPhones and Android phones through the app's phone call feature, the newspaper reported. The spyware could be transmitted even if the target victim didn't answer their phone, and the calls often disappeared from users' call logs.

Facebook-owned WhatsApp said the attack has the hallmarks of a private company that reportedly works with governments to deliver spyware that takes over the functions of mobile phone operating systems.

Cyber Solarium sets ambitious goals for U.S. digital strength

By: Jessie Bur 

In 1953, President Dwight D. Eisenhower convened Project Solarium, a group of senior national security officials who met in the top floor of the White House to come to a consensus on how to deal with Soviet expansion.

Over six decades later, members of Congress, federal agencies and the private sector will meet in a similar fashion in a Cybersecurity Solarium Commission to address the cybersecurity threat to the United States, both on a governmental and private sector level.

The commission includes four members of Congress from all parties: republicans Sen. Ben Sasse of Nebraska and Rep. Mike Gallagher of Wisconsin; democratic Rep. Jim Langevin of Rhode Island; and independent Sen. Angus King of Maine.

On the agency side, Department of Defense acting-Deputy Secretary David Norquist, Department of Homeland Security acting-Deputy Secretary David Pekoske, Deputy Director for National Intelligence Susan Gordon and FBI Director Chris Wray will also serve on the commission.

Leaks, Drones, Mystery Attacks: US-Iran Tensions Boil Hot, But…


B-52 takes off from Al Udeid, Qatar

TEL AVIV: In a rapid-fire series of events, Iran has reportedly rolled large numbers of missiles into the open, potentially signaling to American forces they can overwhelm them if necessary. Elsewhere, its drones have reportedly attacked Saudi Arabian oil facilities, and American B-52s were shown yesterday taking off from a base in the Persian Gulf. Back in Washington, plans for moving up to 120,000 troops to the region are leaked by seven Trump administration officials to the New York Times.

President Trump, reacting to the Times report, said today the US has not “planned” to send troops to Iran. “I think it’s fake news, okay? Now, would I do that? Absolutely. But we have not planned for that. Hopefully we’re not going to have to plan for that. And if we did that, we’d send a hell of a lot more troops than that,” Trump told reporters at the White House.

That’s the current state of play between the US, Iran, Israel, Saudi Arabia and her regional allies.

Iran’s supreme leader Ali Khamenei called on the Revolutionary Guards to “prepare fully” and called on the army “to prepare for the worst scenario against America and all the countries in the region where American bases are located if Washington decides to go to war.” According to Arab news outlets, Iran has deployed its ballistic missiles, some of them openly to the Americans intelligence sensors, as part of this show of power.

People are key to securing the defense-industrial supply chain

By: George Kamis  

Infiltrating the defense supply chain is one of the most insidious means by which attackers can compromise our nation’s communications and weapons systems. Successfully targeting a single component of the defense industrial base can cause a ripple effect that can significantly impact everything from data centers to war fighters in theater.

The Department of Defense’s new “Deliver Uncompromised” security initiative is designed to tackle this problem at its root cause: third-party suppliers. In essence, the DoD is requiring its suppliers to bake security into their applications from the beginning of the production process. A “good enough” approach that just clears the bar for minimal security criteria is no longer good enough. Security must be ingrained in the very fabric of the entire production process.

Security starts with people

What’s Great Power Competition? No One Really Knows


More than a year since the new National Defense Strategy refocused 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.