5 July 2019

Fostering Strategic Convergence in US-India Tech Relations: 5G and Beyond

By Justin Sherman and Arindrajit Basu

As world leaders gathered for the G-20 summit in Osaka, Japan this past weekend, a multitude of issues from climate to trade to technology came to the fore.

Much of the focus was on U.S.-China interactions at the summit, as the two nations are locked in both a trade war and broader technological and geopolitical competition. Despite the present focus on the U.S. and China, however, it is crucial to not overlook another bilateral relationship of ever-growing importance in the process: The tech relationship between the United States and India.

Certainly, the two countries have many disagreements on some technology issues. But this is a geopolitical relationship that is both strategically important for each country, and a vital opportunity for the two largest democracies in the world to collectively combat Chinese-style digital authoritarianism.

Huawei and 5G

Defence University to Defence Chief – Modi govt now has political capital for the big reforms


Time Modi government moved decisively to create a fully-empowered CDS with a road map for integration of commands.

Astriking feature of the 2019 Lok Sabha elections was the unusual prominence accorded to national security in the Bharatiya Janata Party’s campaign. In 2014, the party’s election manifesto discussed security policy, but only towards the end. By contrast, the 2019 manifesto began with national security. Political scientists will debate the extent to which these issues shaped voters’ preferences, but the Narendra Modi government now has enormous political capital to bring about far-reaching reforms in defence — reforms that cannot be put off.

Indeed, the Modi government faces a string of daunting challenges from reforming the security architecture and structuring the armed forces to strengthening the defence industrial base and military readiness. Rhetorical fixes and institutional band-aids can no longer help.

U.S. Troops in Afghanistan Down Nearly Half as Trump Quietly Reduces Forces

by Kathy Gannon and Amir Shah 

A surprise announcement by President Donald Trump seemed to accelerate the expected time frame for U.S. troop withdrawal from Afghanistan ahead of an all-Afghan peace summit planned for July 7-8 in Qatar. The gathering apparently will be held on Taliban terms as there will be no official Afghan government representation.

Trump told Fox News Channel's Tucker Carlson Tonight on Monday that nearly half of all American troops have already been pulled out.

That pullout was expected to be announced as part of a time frame being negotiated by Washington's peace envoy Zalmay Khalilzad, who is in the middle of talks with the Taliban in Qatar…

Pakistan’s 2020 Perspectives Dismally Suggest ‘Failed State’ Syndrome – OpEd

By Dr Subhash Kapila

Pakistan figured repetitively in the last two decades as a ‘Failed State’ mired in economic bankruptcy and dysfunctional political governance but was repeatedly bailed out committedly earlier by United States and now China with more economic colonisation impulses than commitment. On the verge of 2020, Pakistan once again is tottering on economic bankruptcy and likelihood of intensification of political turbulence.

Before an analysis is attempted, it is imperative to highlight that the sole reason for Pakistan’s economic and political woes is the vice-like stranglehold that Pakistan Army exercises on the governance of Pakistan and being the root cause of Pakistan’s economic bankruptcy by misappropriating the lion’s share of Pakistan’s limited budget for its nuclear weapons and missiles arsenal, running an economic industrial empire contributing nothing to Pakistan’s national budget and illegal funds for spawning Islamic Jihadi terrorist groups used against India and Afghanistan.

Pakistan's Prime Minister Will Struggle With an Economic Slowdown of His Own Making

Reducing Pakistan's trade and fiscal deficits will be the main domestic challenge Prime Minister Imran Khan faces in the months ahead. Austerity measures will dampen demand in Pakistan's consumption-driven economy, slowing growth. The slowdown will offer the country's two main opposition parties an opportunity to challenge Khan and deflect attention from the corruption scandals that beset them.

Pakistan's $300 billion economy is approaching the doldrums after a period of strong growth. In the 2018-19 fiscal year that ended in June, economic expansion is forecast to have cooled to 3.3 percent, down from a 13-year high of 5.5 percent set the previous fiscal year. For Prime Minister Imran Khan, managing the economy has proved a major challenge since his Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf took the helm in a coalition government in August 2018. To rein in the country's unsustainable trade and fiscal deficits, the government has hiked interest rates, allowing the Pakistani rupee to weaken, and cut public spending — measures that initiated a slowdown by dampening growth in the consumption-driven economy. The slowdown will make for volatile politics in Pakistan in the short term as the opposition tries to exploit the economic pain.

The US, Iran, and Oil-Hungry Asia

By Nicholas Trickett

The steady escalation of tensions between the United States and Iran, most recently brought to a head by attacks on two tankers on June 12, which the United States says Iran was responsible for, have not had a large impact on the oil market. A short-term price rally of 2.2 percent based on rising supply risks evaporated as weakening economic figures overshadowed other concerns for traders, investors, and consumers. Asia – the world driver of oil demand growth – was already watching closely as Washington moved to squeeze out Iranian oil exports in late April. With the odds of a military confrontation rising, the import-dependent economies of the Asia-Pacific need to prepare for rising supply risks in the Strait of Hormuz.

Lessons from Bhutan

Louis Jude Selvadoray

Bhutan’s teachers, doctors and other medical staff will earn more than civil servants of corresponding grades, if a policy recently announced by the country’s government is implemented. The new salary scales will benefit about 13,000 teachers and doctors. This is a novel move. No other country has accorded teachers and doctors such pride of place in its government service, both in terms of remuneration and symbolism. Remarkably, the proposal was announced by Bhutan’s Prime Minister Lotay Tshering, himself a qualified doctor — which suggests that professional experience informs the policy.

Inspired or fanciful?

Let us examine the policy’s educational aspect. Is the proposal part of a coherent strategy, or an inspired announcement that is resolute in intent but likely effete in effect?


HUAWEI DOESN’T LEAP to mind as an innovative company. In the US, the Chinese telecom giant is best known for the government’s national security concerns—and allegations that it stole intellectual property from companies like Cisco and Motorola.

Yet Huawei was the fifth-biggest research and development spender in the world in 2017, according to a European Union report. Its €11.3 billion ($12.9 billion) R&D spend that year outpaced Intel (€10.9 billion), Apple (€9.7 billion), and Nokia (€4.9 billion). Huawei claims its investments over the years have paid off in the form of 87,805 patents—11,152 of which were granted in the US.

Now Huawei is trying to turn those patents into cash. This month Reuters reported that Huawei wants Verizon to pay $1 billion to license 230 patents. It wouldn't be the first time a company has paid Huawei for patent licenses. The company claims to have generated $1.4 billion in revenue from patent licensing since 2015.

China's New Data Protection Scheme

By Qiheng Chen

China had held off on publicly releasing several cybersecurity and privacy regulatory measures due to fears of complicating the U.S.-China trade talks. But after the talk stalled in early May, they went out at short intervals. On June 13, the Cyberspace Administration of China released a draft regulation on outbound transfers of personal information that fleshed out the personal information (PI) protection component of the Chinese cybersecurity law.

Notably, the draft adopted a contractual approach to transferring data from domestic network operators to foreign data receivers. According to Dr. Hong Yanqing, an influential scholar of data privacy, this approach draws from the European Union General Data Protection Regulation’s (GDPR’s) binding corporate rules that allow multinational companies to transfer data internationally between their subsidiaries. Both the Chinese and EU regulations emphasized the need for an adequate level of data protection in destination countries and mandated regulatory approval prior to transfer. Yet, there is a difference. Binding corporate rules are more lightweight, an internal code of conduct without obligation to report the current year’s outbound transfers.

The PLARF’s New Hainan Island Base and China’s Recent Anti-Ship Ballistic Missile Tests

By Ankit Panda

This week, U.S. officials have told media here that China has, for the first known time, conducted tests of unspecified anti-ship ballistic missiles into its near seas—specifically the South China Sea this time. The development marks an important new kind of Chinese military activity in the area.

Amid this development, it’s important to ascertain where exactly the People’s Liberation Army Rocket Force may have conducted its latest test launches. The first launch likely took place on this past Sunday, according to statements from anonymous U.S. officials who spoke to NBC News.

As I noted yesterday in The Diplomat, some open source evidence supports the notion that China did indeed conduct ASBM tests into the South China Sea this weekend.

Two data points, including a Notice to Airman that cordoned off a patch of airspace southeast of Hainan Island and a maritime exclusion zone announced recently by the Hainan Maritime Safety Administration, paint a picture of a ballistic missile test. (See this helpful map from Henri Kenhmann at East Pendulum.)

China’s Li Keqiang Doubles Down On Economic Globalization

China is committed to building an open economy within the framework of globalization, said Li Keqiang, Premier of the People’s Republic of China, at the opening plenary of the World Economic Forum’s 13th Annual Meeting of the New Champions.

Premier Li reaffirmed China’s readiness to work with the international community to steer economic globalization.

“We now live in a world of profound interdependence,” he stressed. “Countries rely on each other’s markets. No country can single-handedly provide all resources … or offer all needed goods to consumers. Nor can any country sustain its development in isolation from the global system.”

Li underlined that “fundamental principles, such as free trade, must be upheld.”

A Financial Statecraft Strategy for the United States to Address the Rise of China

Michael B. Greenwald

For the first time since the fall of the Soviet Union, the United States finds itself in a great power competition, this time with China. In the post-World War II era, this competition has many more, and more sophisticated, financial battlefields than in the past. In the field of sanctions, there are two issues posed by Chinese behavior: first, the use of Chinese actors to evade sanctions regimes targeting third parties; second, the use of Chinese actors domestically for goals that violate international norms, including on human rights, cyberspace, and territorial sovereignty.

Unlike prior enforcement challenges, China’s financial system is of such a scope that large-scale sanctions infractions are difficult to punish with a normal suite of secondary sanctions, highlighting the need to target new sectors of the economy.

With this in mind, Washington should adjust its coercive economic strategy to reflect a broader use of tools beyond sanctions. The end goal of a sanction should not merely be a penalty, but rather a change in an actor’s behavior. Given the degree of political interference in China’s banking system via formal state ownership and the indirect influence of opaque party committees, penalties imposed against the country’s banks, which conduct the majority of their operations in the domestic market, are unlikely to produce a meaningful change in behavior. Although in past disputes with European banks, the threat of secondary sanctions was potent, the wide array of state tools to support sanctioned banks, coupled with China’s hostility to the use of sanctions, reduces this leverage. 

China and Japan’s Pragmatic Peace

By J. Berkshire Miller

Facing U.S. unpredictability, both countries have decided that they’re better off working together.

Last week, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe hosted Chinese President Xi Jinping for a bilateral summit in Osaka on the sidelines of the G-20 summit. World leaders frequently hold such meetings alongside international gatherings, but this one was special, particularly because it happened during Xi’s first visit to Japan since he took office in 2013. During the meeting, both sides praised the positive trajectory of ties between the two countries and made plans for Xi to visit Tokyo next spring.

At least as measured by visits, the trajectory is positive indeed. Xi’s meeting follows Abe’s own official state-level visit to Beijing last October, which came on the heels of a state-level visit to Japan in May by Chinese Premier Li Keqiang, during which the two sides agreed to memoranda of understanding on a range of issues, from social security to private sector cooperation on infrastructure development in third countries. Underlining the importance of reestablishing a pragmatic relationship with China, Abe even took the step of accompanying Li to Japan’s northern island of Hokkaido following official meetings in Tokyo.

Iran Isn’t Trying to Build a Bomb Tomorrow. It Wants Sanctions Relief.


On Monday, for the first time since the nuclear deal with Iran went into effect on Jan. 16, 2016, Iran has deliberately violated its terms by producing more low-enriched uranium than the agreement permits. The threshold of 300 kilograms of uranium hexafluoride—corresponding to 202.8 kilograms of enriched uranium—was designed to keep Iran at a comfortable distance from nearly 1,500 kilograms of 3.67 percent enriched uranium that would be needed for a single nuclear weapon if the uranium were to be further enriched to 90 percent.

Trump claimed that withdrawal would lead to a better deal—it has not, and chances of that are diminishing if they ever were realistic.It has been a long time coming. A little over a year ago, U.S. President Donald Trump decided to withdraw the United States from the 2015 nuclear agreement that bound Iran to carefully crafted restrictions on its nuclear program and intrusive inspections of its nuclear sites. He claimed that the Iranians were cheating—they were not, as the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has consistently reported. He claimed that this action would lead to a better deal—it has not, and chances of that are diminishing if they ever were realistic.

How Close Is Iran to a Nuclear Bomb, Really?


Iran confirmed on Monday that it has breached the limit on its stockpile of enriched uranium set by the 2015 nuclear deal, renewing concerns that Tehran could, within months, have enough weapons-grade uranium to build a nuclear bomb.

But experts say the violation is more of a symbolic move than a concrete step toward obtaining a nuclear weapon. Though most agree that Iran has the expertise and capability to eventually build such a device, it is not clear that Tehran has the intent or even sees the necessity of doing so.

“This is not a dash to a nuclear bomb,” said Kelsey Davenport, the director of nonproliferation policy at the Arms Control Association. “It is a calculated move designed to gain leverage in negotiations with the Europeans, Russia, and China on sanctions relief.”

The U.S. Army and the Battle for Baghdad

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The U.S. Army's many adaptations during the Iraq War were remarkable, particularly in the areas of doctrine, organization, training, materiel, personnel, and leader development and education. The Army has already institutionalized some of those adaptations; however, other important lessons have not yet been institutionalized. In an effort to help the U.S. Department of Defense and the Army retain institutional knowledge and capabilities and fully prepare leaders for future conflicts, RAND researchers recount the Army's efforts in the Iraq War, especially in Baghdad, and offer lessons learned and recommendations. For example, if the United States engages in a similar conflict in the future, the Army should prepare to prevent insurgencies; provide robust division, corps, and theater headquarters; and consider making advisement a necessary assignment for career advancement. Instability and insurgency are part of the future, and if history is any guide, the United States will look to the Army to deal with these challenges. Thus, the ultimate goal of this report is to help the Army continue to institutionalize the lessons from the Iraq War and the Battle for Baghdad to minimize the amount of adaptation the Army will have to undergo when it is called to serve in similar circumstances.

Farewell, Flat World

The single most important economic development of the last 50 years has been the catch-up in income of a large cohort of poor countries. But that world is gone: in an increasingly digitalized global economy, value creation and appropriation concentrate in the innovation centers and where intangible investments are made.

PARIS – Fifty years ago, the conventional wisdom was that rich countries dominated poor countries, and it was widely assumed that the former would continue getting richer and the latter poorer, at least in relative terms. Economists like Gunnar Myrdal in Sweden, Andre Gunder Frank in the United States, and François Perroux in France warned of rising inequality among countries, the development of underdevelopment, and economic domination. Trade and foreign investment were regarded with suspicion.

History proved the conventional wisdom wrong. The single most important economic development of the last 50 years has been the catch-up in income of a significant group of poor countries. As Richard Baldwin of the Geneva Graduate Institute explains in his illuminating book The Great Convergence, the main engines of catch-up growth have been international trade and the dramatic fall in the cost of moving ideas – what he calls the “second unbundling” (of technology and production). It was Thomas L. Friedman of the New York Times who best summarized the essence of this new phase. The playing field, he claimed in 2005, is being leveled: The World is Flat.

What Will Russian Military Capabilities Look Like in the Future?

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Because of conflicting interests between Russia and the West and because Russia's future intentions are uncertain, how Russia develops its military presents real challenges to the United States and its allies. Russia's military appears to have improved significantly since the war in Georgia in 2008. Uncertainty about the future strength of the Russian military poses challenges for Western defense planners. Russia could seek to strengthen its numerous ground forces to achieve greater parity with the West, or its economy and demographics may force it to constrain the size and quality of its forces. Russia may also focus its military investment across competing priorities, including preparing for war with NATO, military dominance against former Soviet republics, or global power projection.

This brief summarizes a report analyzing the development of Russia's military capabilities over the next 20 years — with a focus on ground combat — and the implications of that development for U.S.-Russian competition and for the U.S. Army. RAND researchers designed a two-part theoretical framework to analyze the development of Russia's military forces relevant to ground combat: (1) identify and make forecasts about the political, economic, demographic, and societal factors underlying Russian military power, and (2) analyze the likely future development of key military capability areas. This framework provides a transparent, flexible, and systematic approach for making forecasts over the short term (next 5 years), medium term (5–10 years), or long term (10–20 years).

Russia beating U.S. in race for global influence, Pentagon study says


A divided America is failing to counter Moscow's efforts to undermine democracy and cast doubt on U.S. alliances, says the report, which warns of a surge in 'political warfare.'

The U.S. is ill-equipped to counter the increasingly brazen political warfare Russia is waging to undermine democracies, the Pentagon and independent strategists warn in a detailed assessment that happens to echo much bipartisan criticism of President Donald Trump's approach to Moscow.

The more than 150-page white paper, prepared for the Joint Chiefs of Staff and shared with POLITICO, says the U.S. is still underestimating the scope of Russia's aggression, which includes the use of propaganda and disinformation to sway public opinion across Europe, Central Asia, Africa and Latin America. The study also points to the dangers of a growing alignment between Russia and China, which share a fear of the United States' international alliances and an affinity for "authoritarian stability."

Its authors contend that disarray at home is hampering U.S. efforts to respond — saying America lacks the kind of compelling “story” it used to win the Cold War.

Venus Williams Blazed a Trail for Coco Gauff, Who Looks Like the Future of Tennis

By Gerald Marzorati

Inflection points in the history of a sport, as in the history of anything, are seen clearly only in retrospect. Still, sometimes, you can feel in the moment that something is happening—a sense of import in the lead-up to the event, and then a sense of consequence in its outcome, beyond the scoreline. You think, There was a before, and now there will be an after. Something has shifted. If you were watching the women’s singles tournament at Wimbledon nineteen years ago, you saw Venus Williams defeat the defending champion, Lindsay Davenport, in straight sets, 6–4, 7–5, and you might well have sensed that the Williams sisters, after years of anticipation and scrutiny, had arrived. You would have been right. Over the next sixteen years, they would win eleven more Wimbledon trophies between them, and the kind of tennis that they played—imposing serves, unmatched athleticism, fiery determination, attacking offense from anywhere on the court—would reconfigure the women’s game.

OPEC in a Changing World

Andrew Chatzky

Western leaders have long criticized OPEC’s power to raise oil prices, but the bloc’s influence is on the wane as U.S. oil production has soared and alternative energies have come to the fore.

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) is a bloc of fourteen oil-rich member states spanning the Middle East, Africa, and South America. Combined, the group controls close to forty percent of world oil production. This dominant market position has at times allowed OPEC to act as a cartel, coordinating production levels among members to manipulate global oil prices.

OPEC’s golden era occurred in the 1970s, when the United States became increasingly reliant on foreign oil as a result of rapid economic growth. Ever since, U.S. presidents from Gerald Ford to Donald J. Trump have railed against the oil cartel as a threat to the U.S. economy.

In recent years, several challenges to OPEC’s influence have come to the fore, including divisions within its membership, the emergence of the United States as a major oil exporter, and the global shift to cleaner energy sources. Strained relations between the United States and Saudi Arabia, OPEC’s largest exporter, might also test the bloc in the coming years.

Gaining Competitive Advantage in the Gray Zone

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The United States is entering a period of intensifying strategic competition with several rivals, most notably Russia and China. U.S. officials expect this competition to be played out primarily below the threshold of armed conflict, in what is sometimes termed the gray zone between peace and war. In this report, the authors examine how the United States might respond to Russian and Chinese efforts to seek strategic advantage through coercive actions in the gray zone, including military, diplomatic, informational, and economic tactics. The United States is ill prepared and poorly organized to compete in this space, yet the authors' findings suggest that the United States can begin to treat the ongoing gray zone competition as an opportunity more than a risk. Moreover, leaders in Europe and Asia view Russian and Chinese gray zone aggression as a meaningful threat and are receptive to U.S. assistance in mitigating it. In this report, the authors use insights from their extensive field research in affected countries, as well as general research into the literature on the gray zone phenomenon, to sketch out the elements of a strategic response to the gray zone challenge and develop a menu of response options for U.S. officials to consider.

Data, Critical Infrastructure at Core of National Security Focus

James Mersol

With concerns about Chinese espionage, the advent of 5G wireless networks and their effects on American national security mounting, the United States Intelligence and Law Enforcement community is at work to best capitalize on the uses of emerging technologies while also protecting against adversaries’ attempts to weaponize these technologies against personal data and critical infrastructure. Leaders from the Department of Justice and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) spoke on the nature of these threats and what the government is doing to mitigate its risk at the DefenseOne Tech Summit June 27.

The U.S. has defended itself against both internal and external threats since its independence, but “this is different,” said Principal Deputy Director of National Intelligence Sue Gordon. She identified three factors that make security in the 21st century unique: ubiquitous technology that acts as a commodity instead of a strategic advantage; global communications with low barriers to entry; and an abundance of data rather than data scarcity.

A Future Without Currency Wars?


US President Donald Trump's protectionist policies and frequent accusations of currency manipulation by other countries speak to the need for a universal monetary system of the type twentieth-century economists such as John Maynard Keynes envisioned. Thanks to digital technologies, the long quest for such a system could be over.

PRINCETON – The terrible experience of the 1930s should remind us that trade and currency wars go together like a horse and carriage. Now that US President Donald Trump’s administration is fully implementing his protectionist “America First” agenda, it is only a matter of time before a currency conflict erupts.

There has not been a full-scale currency war in quite some time, though the world came close after the 2008 financial crisis, when then-Brazilian Finance Minister Guido Mantega used the term to describe America’s extraordinarily low interest rates. Following the United States, Japan and Europe seemed to adopt similar strategies of export promotion, and a depreciated exchange rate became an unheralded but central feature of economic recovery in advanced economies.

3 challenges facing the national security community in the information age

By: Nathan Strout 

In May, Sue Gordon, deputy director of the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, argued at the annual GEOINT conference that the Intelligence Community was facing an inflection point when it comes to data.

The new information environment will require the Intelligence Community to invest more in research, ensure data can be easily ingested, and learn how to communicate information threats to the public more effectively, the nation’s No. 2 intelligence official said June 27.

In May, Sue Gordon, deputy director of the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, argued at the annual GEOINT conference that the Intelligence Community was facing an inflection point when it comes to data. Her comments June 27 at the Defense One Tech Summit were an extension of that speech.

How open source software is being weaponised

Nicholas Fearn

In the technology world, open source software plays a powerful role. Released under a license that allows users to tweak and distribute applications for any purpose, it promotes open collaboration among technologists and offers a range of advantages.

For starters, adopting open source can provide access to high-quality software that doesn't cost a penny. And users are often surrounded by a community of like-minded users who can support and improve the application. However, there are also advantages when it comes to transparency, flexibility, interoperability and localisation.

Arguably, open source software holds a prized place in the technology ecosystem. But that's not to say there aren't risks, with hackers weaponising open source software libraries (OSSLs) through OSSL trust attacks that target the software supply chain. According to Sonatype, these threats increased by 55% last year.

In one notable example, EventStream - a JavaSciript library used by two million people globally - was infected by malicious code that steals bitcoins from wallets. This software was used by a plethora of Fortune 500 companies and startups. Just how dangerous are such attacks and how can they be mitigated?

Thumbs Down to Facebook’s Cryptocurrency


Only a fool would trust Facebook with his or her financial wellbeing. But maybe that’s the point: with so much personal data on some 2.4 billion monthly active users, who knows better than Facebook just how many suckers are born every minute?

NEW YORK – Facebook and some of its corporate allies have decided that what the world really needs is another cryptocurrency, and that launching one is the best way to use the vast talents at their disposal. The fact that Facebook thinks so reveals much about what is wrong with twenty-first-century American capitalism. 

In some ways, it’s a curious time to be launching an alternative currency. In the past, the main complaint about traditional currencies was their instability, with rapid and uncertain inflation making them a poor store of value. But the dollar, the euro, the yen, and the renminbi have all been remarkably stable. If anything, the worry today is about deflation, not inflation.

The world has also made progress on financial transparency, making it more difficult for the banking system to be used to launder money and for other nefarious activities. And technology has enabled us to complete transactions efficiently, moving money from customers’ accounts into those of retailers in nanoseconds, with remarkably good fraud protection. The last thing we need is a new vehicle for nurturing illicit activities and laundering the proceeds, which another cryptocurrency will almost certainly turn out to be.

US Marines in Norway pair electronic warfare team with snipers to test new concept


The Marine Corps recently found that pairing scout snipers, well-known for their stealth and deadly aim, with electronics wizards from a little-known and secretive discipline doesn’t mean sacrificing the ability to sneak around the battlefield. It may even enhance it.

A team of Marines from the Corps’ electronic warfare and signals intelligence field accompanied the snipers as they crawled through rough terrain and evaded enemy soldiers last month during Exercise Valhalla in Norway, officials said Tuesday.

“Ultimately, we were able to show that attaching the [electronic warfare] Marines to the scout snipers did not negatively affect operations, specifically in regards to slowing movement or causing compromise,” said 1st Lt. Gabby Gonzalez, an electronic warfare officer in charge of the drill.

Congress is not asking the right questions about missile defense

By Deverrick Holmes

In the first US “salvo” test of ground-based missile interceptors, two interceptors were launched from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California on March 25, 2019. They successfully intercepted a “threat-representative” ICBM target launched from a test site on Kwajalein Atoll in the Marshall Islands. This photo shows the launch of the “lead” interceptor, which destroyed the missile’s reentry vehicle. The “trail” interceptor struck the remaining “most lethal object” it could find. Credit: Missile Defense Agency

The United States is no stranger to colossally bad ideas put forth in the name of security. The invasion of Iraq immediately comes to mind, or that time the Air Force thought about nuking the moon. The national missile defense program deserves a spot near the top of this list. It’s not just that the program is costly and unreliable, although both of those things are true. The real issue is that missile defense creates an unstable environment that is counterproductive to US interests. Of course, none of these arguments are new, yet Congress continues to push forward uncritically despite the clear and present downsides.

The World Has Lost the Will to Deal With the Worst Refugee Crisis Since World War II

Stewart M. Patrick

Disturbing scenes emanating from detention centers along the southern U.S. border have underscored the Trump administration’s indifference to the suffering of strangers, even young children seeking asylum. Unfortunately, the current administration in Washington is far from alone in scorning those seeking refuge in foreign lands. The world is in the midst of a global crisis of displacement, one that is testing both established humanitarian principles and the will of wealthy countries to ease the plight of those affected. This calamity shows no signs of abating. The world is utterly failing to assist and protect those most in need. 

Late last month, the United Nations refugee agency, UNHCR, announced that its global caseload had topped 74.8 million people in 2018—up from 43 million just five years earlier. Some 41.4 million of these individuals are internally displaced persons, or IDPs, uprooted from homes but still within their country, while another 20.4 million are refugees, having crossed international borders. The remainder includes 3.9 million stateless persons lacking recognized nationality, 3.5 million registered asylum-seekers, and 2.9 million recently returned refugees and IDPs. ...