24 May 2019

Troubles Aplenty: Foreign Policy Challenges for the Next Indian Government


Although Prime Minister Narendra Modi enjoyed a string of foreign policy successes during his term in office, the new government that will be formed in New Delhi—which could witness Modi’s return to the helm—will have to confront serious external challenges both around India’s periphery and farther beyond. Modi has displayed an extraordinary international activism ever since he was elected in 2014. Arguably not since former prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru’s long tenure has India been so engaged in such a wide range of global issues ranging from climate change to strategic realignments—and in so conspicuous a fashion revolving around the sheer personality of the prime minister himself. This activism and its underlying motivations are ultimately grounded in a vision of India as a leading power in the international system: both Nehru and Modi are united by their shared conviction that India is destined for greatness on the global stage, even if the wellsprings of that conception are quite different in each case.

Can Pakistan Protect CPEC?

By Muhammad Akbar Notezai

Undoubtedly, Gwadar – the port city in Balochistan on the Arabian Sea — is the backbone of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), which is why it has been in the center of media attention ever since the announcement of the multi-billion dollar project. In this regard, Pakistan’s prosperity is also linked to the development of the Gwadar port project. On some occasions, Pakistani officials have gone as far as to assert that Gwadar has the potential of changing the fate of the whole region.

But on May 12, Baloch militants carried out an assault in the heart of CPEC.

Three armed militants reportedly stormed the luxury Pearl Continental hotel in Gwadar. The attackers were killed, but only after killing five people inside the hotel and a soldier.

Now or Never: America is on the Clock to Remove Troops from Afghanistan

by Jarrett Blanc

Afghanistan has entered a period of intense political uncertainty. In December, President Donald Trump reportedly ordered the Pentagon to draw up plans for drawdown options including a complete troop withdrawal from the country. By March, bilateral talks between the United States, led by Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad, and the Taliban had “agreed in draft” on counterterrorism assurances the Taliban will provide to the United States and on U.S. troop withdrawal, addressing Washington’s key objectives. Kabul is not at the table, and its needs (an intra-Afghan dialogue and comprehensive ceasefire) were much more loosely “agreed in principle.” An informal intra-Afghan dialogue planned for Doha in April was canceled, and a Loya Jirga to demonstrate non-Taliban unity in Kabul instead laid bare deep divisions, with most opposition leaders refusing to attend.

With Afghanistan’s bedrock security relationship with the U.S. apparently in flux, now they must manage a set of constitutional political transitions with institutions that have never managed previous transitions without severe crises. Afghan parliamentary elections originally due in 2016 finally took place in October 2018. Results were only finalized in May for large parts of the country, including Kabul, amid claims of fraud and mismanagement. Presidential elections have already been postponed from April until September, meaning that President Ashraf Ghani’s term will end in May without a successor in place.

How Baloch Separatists Are Trying to Derail China’s Investments in Pakistan

Adnan Aamir

QUETTA, Pakistan—In the early hours of April 18, a group of militants in southwestern Pakistan blocked the coastal highway that connects the port of Gwadar, near the Iranian border, to Karachi farther east. The militants stopped six buses near a mountain pass and checked the identity cards of all the passengers. They singled out 14 members of Pakistan’s armed forces, and then executed them all.

People across Pakistan woke up to the disturbing news the next morning. Hours later, a coalition of three Baloch separatist groups, known as Baloch Raaji Aajoi Sangar, or BRAS, claimed responsibility for the attack. A coalition spokesman said that such violence would continue until China ceased all activity in southern Pakistan. The same group had previously claimed responsibility for an attack on the Chinese Consulate in Karachi and a bus of Chinese engineers in the town of Dalbandin, north of Gwadar. 

US-China Decoupling and Vulnerabilities in the American Defense Industrial Base

By Robert Farley

As the United States and China have begun to consciously decouple, the implications of breaking up the relationship that has driven global economic growth for the last 30 years are coming into view. The complex relationships between U.S. and Chinese firms, which manufacture goods in both countries for sale around the world, are under threat as tariff and regulatory walls make inter- and intra- firm trade more difficult. These developments have made FDI, and the establishment of long-standing alliances between firms, a sketchy prospect for U.S. companies.

This process, which could have huge implications for the future of global economic growth and the distribution of economic power, necessarily has security implications. As Stephen Brooks argued in Producing Security, the globalization of production has served to increase the costs of great power conflict, while also giving the United States (in particular) access to a broad set of technologies that underlie its national innovation system (NIS). Essentially, globalization (and the existence of a stable network of allies) enabled U.S. defense firms to take advantage of the same returns to globalization that firms in other sectors have long enjoyed.


Chinese intelligence agencies are believed to be operating in Sri Lanka.

Diplomatic sources said that Chinese intelligence operatives have entered Sri Lanka with or without the direct knowledge of Sri Lanka.

China has a large presence in Sri Lanka and it is understood that intelligence operatives have entered Sri Lanka through some of the projects funded by Sri Lanka and through other Chinese companies.

Meanwhile, it was reported today that Sri Lanka has turned to China to obtain mass online surveillance systems which will encompass the entire nation.

With the unexpected eruption of riots, Sri Lanka will obtain Chinese support to prevent the fuelling of communal discord via the use of the internet in the future, The Sunday Morning reported.

No Longer a Trade Tiff: China Screams ‘People’s War’

by Gordon G. Chang 

“People’s war.” That’s the Communist Party’s new term for the trade dispute with the United States.

The Global Times, the party’s nationalist tabloid, used that phrase on the May 13, but China’s leaders obviously approved of the rhetorical escalation. Both People’s Daily, the self-described “mouthpiece” of China’s ruling organization, and the official Xinhua News Agency carried the piece to wider audiences.

There seems to be a mismatch in perceptions. President Donald Trump, in comments to reporters on Tuesday, characterized the trade disagreement this way: “We’re having a little squabble with China.”

Sixteen-year-old Otto III is crowned Holy Roman Emperor.

After Executive Order, Trump Administration Puts More Pressure On Huawei


The Chinese telecom company can no longer buy U.S. tech without a waiver, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross announced Thursday.

A declaration Thursday from the Commerce Department cleared up any guesswork about the target of a new executive order on supply chain risk.

President Trump signed an executive order Wednesday prohibiting government agencies from buying communications technology—or tools or services that incorporate such technologies—developed by corporations operated or influenced by foreign adversaries. Based on recent events—including a Justice Department indictment in January—most assumed the order was directed at Huawei, a Chinese telecom firm.

Experts and officials in the U.S. and globally have been warning about Huawei’s practices and connection to the Chinese government, leading to fears that the company is helping China spy on other nations through its technology.

China's Growing Status In Innovation

St Louis Fed

The U.S. has long been a leader in innovation, but a recent Economic Synopsesessay argues that China is starting to catch up.

Economist Ana Maria Santacreu and Research Associate Makenzie Peake noted that China has long been an adopter of foreign technology. However, two measures have been on the rise over the past several years:

China’s innovation efforts

The pace at which China is being paid for its own intellectual property

Innovation Efforts

Santacreu and Peake compared research and development (R&D) efforts of the U.S. and China for the period 1999-2015. As of the most recent year, China’s R&D intensity, measured by R&D spending as a percentage of GDP, was 2.1% of GDP versus 2.8% for the U.S.

Great Power Rivalry Is Also a War For Talent


China’s military is working harder to find and keep good people. The U.S. must step up its own efforts.

China’s technological prowess suggests that United States cannot indefinitely assume a military advantage based on weapons and equipment. Yet Pentagon leaders tempted to find comfort in the superiority of the American servicemember — “people are our greatest asset,” as they are wont to say — should note that the People’s Liberation Army is prioritizing efforts to catch up in its ability to find, attract, and retain talented people. If the U.S. military is to keep this edge, it needs to improve its own efforts, and quickly.

Traditionally, human capital has been a relative weakness for the PLA, which has been more generally known for its quantity, not the quality, of its personnel. However, ongoing reforms have shrunk and reshaped that a force that once relied heavily on conscription, including the demobilization of several hundred thousand personnel. Increasingly, the PLA is trying to recruitmore educated and “high-quality” officers and enlisted personnel. In the process, the Chinese military has also changed its system for recruiting civilian personnel, including to concentrate on those with technical proficiency. China is also explorating of new options to apply a national strategy of military-civil fusion to talent development.

Beyond the Tesla bubble: The future of electric cars is being scripted in China

by Akshat Rathi & Echo Huang 

Electric cars are the future we’ve all been waiting for. Oh wait. Maybe they’re a sub-optimal solution to our transport needs that has failed in the past and is doomed to fail again. It all depends on who you ask.

A brief history of Nepal-China defense tie

Kamal Dev Bhattarai

As a part of his policy of expanding the scope of Nepal’s foreign policy, King Mahendra, particularly after the 1962 India-China war, started reaching out to western countries for military assistance. Western countries, mainly the US and the UK, responded positively to Mahendra’s request for military assistance, and in 1964, Nepal signed an agreement with the US, under which the Americans agreed to provide logistical support to the then Royal Nepal Army. Subsequently, the UK also started providing some military assistance to Nepal. India was already a major defense supplier to Nepal. Since 1950, Nepal and India have also been awarding the Army chiefs of each other the honorary rank of General in recognition of the harmonious relationship between the two armies.

Three countries—India, the US and the UK—have long been Nepal’s major defense partners, both in terms of grant and sale, and have helped meet the requirements of the Nepal Army (NA). But in the last three decades, there have been many changes in Nepal’s defense cooperation. China has emerged as another major defense partner.

Trump's tech-economic war and self-serving definition of national security

Bobby Naderi

Editor's note: Bobby Naderi is a journalist, current affairs commentator, documentary filmmaker and member of the Writers Guild of Great Britain. The article reflects the author's opinion, and not necessarily the views of CGTN.

The Trumpsters are at it again. After the arbitrary imposition of additional tariffs on Chinese goods, the U.S. Commerce Department is now joyfully adding Huawei Technologies Co Ltd and 70 affiliates to its so-called "Entity List."

An executive order for this, which will begin in the coming days, was autographed by President Donald Trump himself on Wednesday. Under Trump's order, whose tweets lord over the U.S. economy and stock market, the largest telecom equipment producer in the world cannot buy parts and components from American companies without a U.S. government license. Huawei will also need the authorization to sell products in the U.S.

Curiously, Trump, who once tweeted "I want the United States to win through competition, not by blocking out currently more advanced technologies," has claimed his decision is based on "national security" and not on his suicidal trade and technology warfare with the world's second-largest economy. 

The Global Consequences of a Sino-American Cold War


NEW YORK – A few years ago, as part of a Western delegation to China, I met President Xi Jinping in Beijing’s Great Hall of the People. When addressing us, Xi argued that China’s rise would be peaceful, and that other countries – namely, the United States – need not worry about the “Thucydides Trap,” so named for the Greek historian who chronicled how Sparta’s fear of a rising Athens made war between the two inevitable. In his 2017 book Destined for War: Can America and China Escape Thucydides’s Trap?, Harvard University’s Graham Allison examines 16 earlier rivalries between an emerging and an established power, and finds that 12 of them led to war. No doubt, Xi wanted us to focus on the remaining four.

This month’s European Parliament election is widely viewed as a turning point that will decide the European Union’s fate. But even if Europe is spared large gains by disruptive populist forces, it won’t be out of the woods.0Add to Bookmarks

Despite the mutual awareness of the Thucydides Trap – and the recognition that history is not deterministic – China and the US seem to be falling into it anyway. Though a hot war between the world’s two major powers still seems far-fetched, a cold war is becoming more likely.

IRGC chief: US will collapse with one strike just like the World Trade Center

The head of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards said on Saturday that his country is in a full intelligence war with the United States and “enemies of the Islamic Republic” which includes cyber and military operations.

“We are in a full intelligence war with the United States and the enemies of the Islamic Republic. This war is a combination of psychological warfare, cyber operations, military operations, diplomacy, fear, and intimidation,” Major General Hossein Salami, who was named head of the force last month, was quoted as saying by Fars news agency.

Salami also said that the Americans are facing great risks now.

“America has lost its power, and even though they look powerful, they are frail,” he said while adding: “In reality America’s story is the same as the story of the World Trade Center that collapsed suddenly with one strike.

His comments came just days after he said that the Revolutionary Guards were on the “cusp of a full-scale confrontation with the enemy.”

UN Secretary-General Pays a Visit to the Blue Pacific

By Grant Wyeth

This week United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres made a trip through the islands of the South Pacific, visiting Fiji, Vanuatu, and Tuvalu. His visit to the region was conducted with the specific aim of highlighting the existential threat that climate change is posing to these island states. Although this was his first trip to the South Pacific in his current role as Secretary-General, it was nevertheless a demonstration that the Pacific’s unique experience and perspective on these issues should be of greater importance in the world’s peak multilateral forum.

Guterres gave a speech as part of the High Level Political Dialogue between the UN Secretary-General and the leaders of the Pacific Island Form (PIF) in Suva, Fiji. In his speech, he outlined the current shifts in the planet’s environment and their potential knock-on impacts. Guterres also used the speech to commend the work that Pacific Islands states are doing in order to try and raise global awareness of these issues and seek mitigating behavior from other states, stating that “The United Nations is strongly committed to supporting your response to climate change and reversing the negative trends that have put your cultures and very existence at risk.” He concluded that in in regards to climate change, “the Pacific has a unique moral authority to speak out.”


Just a few days after I stood on the Izumo’s deck, the Japanese government formally announced it would soon be converting the warship into a full-fledged aircraft carrier. In the coming years, it will haul roughly 12 US-made fighter jets, turning the vessel into a sea-based airport capable of projecting power across the Korean Peninsula and onto China’s doorstep.

While that announcement, which I’d been expecting, may seem minor, it was anything but. Rather, it was a major statement about Japan’s military ambition — and the greatest symbol yet that Japan is unshackling itself from the decades of pacifism that have defined its existence since US Gen. Douglas MacArthur accepted the unconditional surrender of the Japanese armed forces on the deck of the USS Missouri in September 1945.

After its disastrous defeat in World War II, Tokyo renounced years of warfare in favor of a pacifist outlook, vowing to only use force to protect the Japanese homeland in the event of an attack — never to wage war on an enemy unprovoked. Which means the Izumo announcement signals quite the sea change. In recent years, Japan’s political leaders have tried to break the country out of its post-war shell. Today, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe — a conservative, nationalist hawk — may be on the verge of doing just that.

Realism Is About Understanding Different Country's Interests and Red Lines

by Daniel R. DePetris

President Donald Trump’s foreign policy has taken quite a hit over the past several weeks, and the poor assessments from foreign policy analysts and journalists alike are beginning to leak onto the front-pages of America’s most popular newspapers. In a span of two days, the New York Times, the Washington Post, and USA Today all ran featured stories about the Trump administration’s struggle to cow three adversarial governments into submission: Iran, North Korea, and Venezuela.

Writing for the Times on May 12 David Sanger and Edward Wong observed that “Mr. Trump’s problems with all three countries reveal a common pattern: taking an aggressive, maximalist position without a clear plan to carry it through, followed by a fundamental lack of consensus in the administration about whether the United States should be more interventionist or less.” Former State Department negotiator James Dobbins made a similar observation to the Washington Post. He commented that “The president’s apparent tendency to brinkmanship brings with it a degree of danger—and it’s even more dangerous when it’s combined with a pattern of bluffing.” USA Today summarized Trump’s foreign policy as approaching an inflection point, “hitting the diplomatic rocks, with potentially disastrous results.”

Exclusive: Google suspends some business with Huawei after Trump blacklist - source

Angela Moon

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Alphabet Inc’s Google has suspended business with Huawei that requires the transfer of hardware, software and technical services except those publicly available via open source licensing, a source familiar with the matter told Reuters on Sunday, in a blow to the Chinese technology company that the U.S. government has sought to blacklist around the world.

Holders of current Huawei smartphones with Google apps, however, will continue to be able to use and download app updates provided by Google, a Google spokesperson said, confirming earlier reporting by Reuters.

“We are complying with the order and reviewing the implications,” the Google spokesperson said.

“For users of our services, Google Play and the security protections from Google Play Protect will continue to function on existing Huawei devices,” the spokesperson said, without giving further details.

5G Danger: 100s Of Respected Scientists Sound Alarm About Health Effects As 5G Networks Go Global

by Tyler Durden

Even though many in the scientific community are loudly warning about the potential health effects that 5G technology could have on the general population, Verizon and AT&T are starting to put up their 5G networks in major cities all across the nation

Today, the total number of cell phones exceeds the entire population of the world, and the big cell phone companies are making a crazy amount of money providing service to all of those phones. And now that the next generation of cell phone technology has arrived, millions of cell phone users are looking forward to better connections and faster speeds than ever before. In fact, President Trump says that 5G networks will be up to 100 times faster than the current 4G networks that we are using right now…

5G will be as much as 100 times faster than the current 4G cellular networks. It will transform the way our citizens work, learn, communicate, and travel. It will make American farms more productive, American manufacturing more competitive, and American healthcare better and more accessible. Basically, it covers almost everything, when you get right down to it. Pretty amazing.

Intelligence: The Techno Revolution

May 19, 2019: Since the 1990s ancient espionage techniques have become obsolete and 21 st century spies have had to adapt. The old ways have largely been replaced with new methods that take advantage of the new tech; the Internet, cellphones and more powerful and numerous computers along with new software that can do pattern analysis and automatic analysis of photos or video. For spies, the most immediate impact of this was that it suddenly became much more difficult for spies to hide their identities and activities. These new tools were most disruptive in police states where it had long been easy to control mass media, communications and free movement. It has taken several decades but some police states developed and implemented ways to deal with the new tech. China is the best example of this and that was no accident. China had the money, the tech and the trained (and loyal) personnel to tame these new technologies and bend them to serve the state rather than enable people to live more freely. Cellphones and the Internet along with the widespread use of security cameras proved capable of creating a surveillance and monitoring system that made it much more difficult to use traditional spies. On the plus side, the World Wide Web has made OSINT (Open Source Intelligence) more valuable. OSINT means using information that is available to the public. Even during the Cold War, everyone found OSINT useful, if at times tedious to use. With the Internet available, much better OSINT can be collected much more quickly.

Cyber Command is decoding how to best (re)organize teams

By: Mark Pomerleau  

A year after Department of Defense cyber teams reached the critical designation of full operational capability, U.S. Cyber Command has transitioned from building — both its headquarters and cyberwarrior teams — to sustaining and optimizing teams for mission success.

“Now we’re focused on conducting operations. As such, it was time to take a bit of a pause to say what were our operational lessons learned as we’ve conducted defensive cyber operations, offensive cyber operations,” Brig. Gen. Paul Stanton, deputy director of current operations, J3 at Cyber Command, said May 16 during a panel in Baltimore, Maryland, hosted by AFCEA. “When we designed our force, did we get it right? Are we organized appropriately?”

After several years of operations, many officials believe the time is ripe for training and team structures to be re-evaluated.

News in a Digital Age

by Jennifer Kavanagh

Research Questions

In what measurable ways did the style of news presentation in print journalism change between 1989 and 2017?

In what measurable ways did the style of news presentation in broadcast journalism change between 1989 and 2017?

How does the style of news presentation in broadcast journalism differ from the style used in prime-time cable programming over the 2000–2017 period?

How does the style of news presentation in online journalism differ from that of print journalism over the 2012–2017 period?

What are the implications of these changes for Truth Decay?

Costs Of New Military Space Organizations

The U.S. military conducts many operations that involve space. Such operations consist mostly of launching, operating, and maintaining satellites that are used for various purposes, such as communicating, observing the weather, and monitoring other countries’ missile launches. CBO estimates that about 23,000 full-time positions within the Department of Defense (DoD) are dedicated to performing space activities or to supporting those who do - excluding space activities in the intelligence agencies. At the moment, 93 percent of those positions are in the Department of the Air Force.

The Administration has proposed changing that arrangement by creating what it calls a space force - an independent military service within the Department of the Air Force. The Administration has also proposed two more space organizations in its budget proposal for fiscal year 2020: a new combatant command and a new agency that would be responsible for the development and acquisition of space systems. Furthermore, the Administration has proposed creating a civilian Under Secretary for Space who would supervise the space service, report to the Secretary of the Air Force, and perhaps make policy about space.

Is the U.S. Planning for the Right War?

BY: Aaron Kliegman

On Sept. 10, 2001, the George W. Bush administration had a view of American national security that, in 24 hours, was buried under the rubble of the World Trade Center. The day before 9/11, the administration viewed China as America’s next great adversary. For months, Bush had lambasted his predecessor’s efforts to form a strategic partnership with China, calling Beijing a “strategic competitor.” Condoleezza Rice, then Bush’s national security adviser, wrote a year earlier that, because China wanted to “alter Asia’s balance of power in its own favor,” it was not the “strategic partner” the Clinton administration once called it. Recall how Washington’s worst international crisis of 2001—pre-9/11—involved an American reconnaissance aircraft and a Chinese fighter jet accidentally colliding, the American crew making an emergency landing on China’s Hainan Island, and the Chinese detaining them for 11 days. Then, just days later, Bush approved a major arms sale to Taiwan and said the United States would do “whatever it took” to help the island defend itself. “China’s leaders are increasingly concerned that Washington and Beijing are headed for a confrontation as China emerges as an economic and military power in Asia,” the Washington Post reported two months later. “Officials and analysts described growing unease in Beijing that shifts in attitudes in both nations seem to be pointing toward a showdown.” Bush seemed to believe the military should be geared toward such a showdown and less involved in other, less conventional situations of war, as part of a “humble” foreign policy. “Maybe I’m missing something here,” Bush said during a presidential debate in 2000. “I mean, are we going to have some kind of nation-building corps from America? Absolutely not.” But then Islamist radicals murdered nearly 3,000 people on American soil, and everything changed.