14 July 2019

Russia Offers India Joint Development of New Diesel-Electric Attack Submarine

By Franz-Stefan Gady

Russia is offering India to jointly develop a new diesel-electric attack submarine (SSK) class based on the Russian Amur-1650 SSK, the deputy director of the Russian Federal Service of Military-Technical Cooperation, Vladimir Drozhzhov, said on July 9.

The joint SSK project would reportedly involve a significant transfer of military technology from Russia to India that would go beyond usual license-production agreements.

“We are not put forward [an idea of] usual licensed production of submarine, we are proposing to jointly devise a project with our Indian partners and jointly build the first pilot model on the basis of the Amur-1650 diesel-electric submarine project, equipped with an air-independent propulsion system,” Drozhzhov was quoted as saying by TASS news agency on July 9.

Last month, India’s Ministry of Defense (MoD) said it was seeking to domestically construct six SSKs equipped with air-independent propulsion systems (AIP) under the ministry’s long-deferred Project-75 India (Project-75 I).

Opinion | We need not whine about India’s small defence budget

Harsh V. Pant

The Narendra Modi government’s first budget of the second term has generated predictable reactions, but one of the most predictable ones pertains to its treatment of the defence sector. Finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman has allocated ₹4.31 trillion for military spending (including military pensions of₹1.12 trillion), keeping it unchanged from the 1 February interim budget. Compared to around 17% in 2014-15, this year’s defence budget will comprise 15.5% of government expenditure and only 2.04% of gross domestic product (GDP), as compared to 2.28% of GDP in 2014-15. What was significant was the decision of the finance minister to exempt the import of defence equipment from basic customs duty in light of the nation’s defence modernization requirements.

Given the above numbers, as was expected, there has been criticism of the government for failing to adequately provide for the needs of the armed forces. India’s challenging security environment means Indian armed forces need to upgrade themselves rapidly and prepare for modern-day threats. But successive Indian governments have now been signalling that resources for defence will be at a premium. India’s other socio-economic needs will be prioritized and Indian armed forces will have to become smarter in how they manage their dwindling resources. It is one of the main reasons why every year there is an expectation that capital allocation would see a significant hike, only to face disappointment.

Tell Me How This Ends: Military Advice, Strategic Goals, and the “Forever War” in Afghanistan

When the United States invaded Afghanistan after the attacks on September 11, 2001, and then overthrew the Taliban regime, senior military officers were not predicting that the United States would be militarily involved 18 years later. Yet, after expending nearly $800 billion and suffering over 2,400 killed, the United States is still there, having achieved at best a stalemate. This CSIS report concludes that the mission in Afghanistan expanded from a limited focus on counterterrorism to a broad nation-building effort without discussion about the implications for the duration and intensity of the military campaign. This expansion occurred without considering the history of Afghanistan, the Soviet experience, and the decades-long effort required in successful nation-building efforts. The report makes a series of recommendations: improving the dialogue between senior military and civilian officials about desired goals/end states and the implied intensity/duration of a military campaign; continuing the development of military strategists; revising military doctrine publications to include discussion of choices about goals/end states; and taking more seriously the history and experience of others.

Seeking Revenge, Taliban Target Afghan Soldiers’ Families

by David Zucchino and Farooq Jan Mangal 

… The killings were the latest in a series of retaliatory Taliban attacks against the families and homes of Afghan soldiers and police officers. They have continued even as American and Taliban negotiators have reported progress in talks aimed at reaching a lasting peace agreement.

The wedding party killings shocked many Afghans because they were a grievous violation of a traditional code of hospitality — and because an Afghan had killed his own relatives.

“It is against our culture and it is against Islam,” said Abdul Malik Zazai, head of the provincial council in Paktia. “In our culture, we cannot kill those who come to our homes as a guest. We have to protect them.”…

How Portugal Forged an Empire in Asia

By Franz-Stefan Gady

In just a little over 16 years at the beginning of the 16th century, the impoverished Kingdom of Portugal, under the House of Aviz, became the dominant power in the Indian Ocean region and laid the foundation for one of the largest and longest-lived empires in world history. Between Vasco de Gama’s epoch-making 309-day voyage from Lisbon around the Cape of Good Hope and across the Indian Ocean to the docking at the Indian port of Calicut on May 20, 1498, and the death of the general Afonso de Albuquerque in December 1515, Portugal established a permanent foothold in Asia from which it would not be finally dislodged until 1999 when China repossessed Macau.

Urumqi 2009 and the Road to Xinjiang Re-education Centers

By Michael Clarke

Today’s headlines are now dominated by the fact that China is undertaking a program of mass incarceration of the Uyghur population of its far northwestern region of Xinjiang (which many Uyghurs refer to as East Turkestan) in a system of “re-education” centers.

Up to 1.5 million Uyghurs (and other Turkic Muslim minorities) are now estimated to be caught up in the largest human rights crisis in the world. Analysis based on Chinese government procurement contracts for construction of these centers and Google Earth satellite imaging has revealed the existence of hundreds of large, prison-like facilities throughout Xinjiang. One of the largest detention centers, Dabancheng near the regional capital, Urumqi, alone is estimated to have a capacity to hold up to 130,000 people.

“How did a revolutionary state,” David Brophy has pointedly asked, “which came to power promising to end all forms of national discrimination, end up resorting to such horrific policies?”

Takeover Trap: Why Imperialist China Is Invading Africa

by Akol Nyok Akol Dok Bradley A. Thayer

Africa is on the cusp of a new period in its history, its renaissance. Freed from centuries of colonialism and neo-imperialism, Africa has the opportunity to become a center of economic might to provide prosperity to the continent’s growing population. Yet, at present, Africa unfortunately faces a new danger: Sino-imperialism, the risk of falling under the control of China largely through Chinese economic investment and loans. The People’s Republic of China has long supported African states since the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) came to power in 1949. Under Mao, China’s backed African liberation movements in an effort to advance Maoism and offset Soviet and American influence. In much of Africa today, China is the imperialist power. 

Russia, China Offer Challenges in the Arctic


As the United States celebrated Independence Day last week, the ballistic missile submarine USS Alaska arrived for a port visit to Faslane, Scotland — home to a Royal Navy submarine base strategically situated near a gateway to the Arctic Ocean. This rare visit by an SSBN upholds our nation’s special relationship with the United Kingdom and our ironclad commitment to NATOand our partners in the North Atlantic. It particularly underscores our Navy’s presence in the Arctic, where warming seas are creating new geostrategic challenges. 

We must pay particular attention to the improved capability of Russia to project power into the region, especially in light of Moscow’s aggressive and destabilizing actions in the Black Sea and Eastern Mediterranean. Russian forces have reoccupied seven former Soviet bases in the Arctic Circle and built two new ones: the Trefoil base in Franz Josef Land and the Northern Clover base on Kotelny Island. Last October, Russia jammed the GPS signals of NATO warships participating in Exercise Trident Juncture off Norway the alliance’s largest since the Cold War. 

The Value of Global China


At a time when the risks of international engagement are more obvious than ever, China faces important questions about whether – and to what extent – it should continue to pursue opening up its economy to the rest of the world. At stake may be some $22-37 trillion in economic value – or 15-26% of world GDP – by 2040.

SHANGHAI – Over nearly 40 years of economic reform, China has reaped extraordinary rewards from opening up to the world. Integration into the global economy – albeit a supporting element of the country’s broader historic turn to the market mechanism – has enabled millions of China’s citizens to escape poverty, while transforming China into the world’s largest economy in purchasing power parity terms. And the potential of such engagement is far from depleted, our new research shows. 

For example, while China commands 11% of global merchandise trade, it accounts for only 6% of global trade in services. Moreover, while China’s banking, securities, and bond markets all rank among the world’s top three in size, foreign entities account for less than 6% of their value. And though China has 110 Global Fortune 500 companies, less than one-fifth of their revenue is earned overseas, compared to 44% for S&P 500 firms.

Thinking About Space Deterrence and China

By Steve Lambakis

U.S. space systems are the backbone of the U.S. economy and national security. Chinese counter-space weapon developments promise to make the satellite protection mission ever more challenging. There are significant challenges to deterring China from aggressive behavior in space, and for this reason U.S. policy makers and defense strategists must start planning now for a possible future military confrontation involving China that also may involve military space operations.


Successful deterrence strategies are, to the extent possible, tailored to the unique characteristics of diverse adversaries and political circumstances.[1] By merely threatening to attack U.S. space systems unprotected by a strong deterrent or defenses, a country might be able to deter, or significantly alter, the U.S. involvement in the region or even its willingness to enter a conflict. When it comes to a possible conflict involving China, space cannot be considered a sanctuary from war.[2]

Is China Starting Its Own RimPac?

By Captain Tuan N. Pham, U.S. Navy

Last October, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and China held a field-training exercise in the South China Sea.1 The joint naval maneuver followed a joint ASEAN-China tabletop exercise in Singapore on 2 August 2018.2 Together, these drills marked the inaugural ASEAN-China maritime exercise, the first such activity between ASEAN and a non-member country. China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs touted the maritime exercise as a “new level of China-ASEAN strategic coordination and a new starting point for China and ASEAN countries to jointly address security threats and uphold regional peace and stability.”3

The big question, then and now, is what China will do next. In an article in the East Asia Forum, I posited that Beijing could leverage the nascent exercise to gradually establish its own version of the world’s largest multilateral naval exercise, the biennial Rim of the Pacific (RimPac)—potentially creating a “Rim of China” (RimChn).4 The timing, scope, and nature of a possible China-led multilateral maritime exercise may depend on how ASEAN, the rest of the Indo-Pacific region, and the world respond to that inaugural ASEAN-China maritime exercise. With a favorable response, Beijing may accelerate its plan to establish a recurring, exclusive exercise. Otherwise, Beijing may bide its time for a better opportunity to do so later.

China just threatened the US over Taiwan

by Tom Rogan

Via its Global Times propaganda outlet, China posited that "The U.S. and Taiwan must not step out of line; otherwise, a price must be paid." The article continued, "We might as well make a bold assumption. If an arms sale between the U.S. and Taiwan is not acceptable to the Chinese mainland, if the latter announces it would resolutely destroy the equipment once they are placed on the island, what would happen?"

Interestingly, the Chinese government also used its article to claim that the U.S. sale has no threat-potential. And that invites the question of why, if China believe this sale doesn't significantly strengthen Taiwan's defenses against prospective invasion, is Beijing also so aggravated? First, because it's a lie. China knows this sale does indeed effectively improve Taiwan's defense portfolio. Battle tanks, armored vehicles, and man-portable Stinger anti-aircraft missiles, were specifically chosen to contest Chinese military gaps in the early stages of any invasion. It's a common misconception that naval invasions are now simple because we're in the 21st century or something. China knows that crossing the more than 80-mile Taiwan Strait will likely entail taking major casualties from Taiwanese missile, artillery, naval, and air forces (especially if U.S. Navy submarines come into play).

Understanding the US-China Trade Disconnect

By Liu Baocheng and Hilton Root

Heading into May, global markets were on the rise amid optimism for an imminent trade deal between the world’s two largest economies. Throughout the spring and into that first week of May, U.S. negotiators reported continued progress on key national security issues and trade laws to reduce intellectual property theft. China appeared willing to substantially increase its imports of U.S. goods, narrow the mounting bilateral trade imbalance, open its markets to U.S. financial services, and reduce its overseas “dumping” of artificially low-cost, subsidized goods.

In China, too, expectations ran high. In early April, the state-run Xinhua news service reported that the eighth round of talks had achieved new progress in matters pertaining to technology transfer, agriculture, and enforcement. Yet barely a month later, negotiations sputtered and then stalled altogether. U.S. President Donald Trump slapped additional tariffs on Chinese imports, China retaliated with tariffs of its own, and pressure on both sides escalated. “China has always been reluctant to fight but is not afraid to fight,” noted a Xinhua commentary, “and will fight when necessary.”

Iran Goes All in for a Game of Nuclear Chicken

By Matthew Bey

Iran has taken the provocative step of reaccelerating aspects of its nuclear program, yet its end goal is not necessarily to develop nuclear weapons but to increase its leverage and reenter talks for sanctions relief. Unlike North Korea, Iran is not structured to survive as an isolated pariah state, meaning sanctions will hurt Tehran much more than they would hurt Pyongyang. Iran has previously refrained from taking the final steps to construct a nuclear bomb, although its strategy has depended on refusing to rule out the possibility entirely. Tehran, accordingly, is likely to resume activities that make those final steps more attainable. Both the United States and Iran are walking a tightrope in the latest game of nuclear brinkmanship, but the latter appears to have calculated that it can accept the risk of a potential U.S. — or Israeli — strike inside the country.

Trump Traded an Imperfect Nuclear Deal for a No-Win Standoff With Iran

Judah Grunstein

With the announcement this week that it has begun to enrich uranium above the 3.67 percent limit allowed by the 2015 international deal curbing its nuclear program, Iran has opened another round of high-stakes signaling with the Trump administration, which withdrew from the agreement last year, and the European nations that helped negotiate it. The move is the latest attempt by Iran to impose costs both on Washington for having reimposed punishing economic sanctions, and on Europe for its inability to mitigate their pain. 

The incremental but reversible breach of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, or JCPOA, as the nuclear deal is formally known, was telegraphed by Iran, and follows a previous announcement that its stockpile of enriched uranium would exceed the allowable limits under the deal. It also comes on the heels of a series of attacks last month on oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman that the U.S. has blamed on Iran, followed by the downing of a U.S. drone by Iran, for which President Donald Trump authorized punitive strikes against Iranian targets only to call them off at the last possible moment. While neither side stands to gain from tensions flaring into open hostilities, both seem locked into positions that make conflict increasingly difficult to avoid

Seoul and Tokyo: No Longer on the Same Side

by Sheila A. Smith

While many focus on the drama of President Donald J. Trump’s meeting with North Korean Chairman Kim Jong-un, a far more worrisome transformation in Northeast Asian geopolitics is underway. Washington’s two allies are in a downward spiral. Japan’s announcement this morning of export restrictionstoward South Korea’s tech industry is only the latest blow in the two countries’ economic relationship over the past year.

In this round of antipathy between Japan and South Korea, history has taken the blame as usual. But history is not the culprit. In the Asia that is emerging, leaders in Seoul and Tokyo seem far too tempted to privilege nationalism over realism.

Much of this dispute has to do with the growing role of South Korea’s courts in adjudicating the grievances of those left out of the 1965 peace treaty between Japan and South Korea. The constitutional court first became involved in 2011 when it called on the Lee Myung-bak government to reopen talks with Japan over its responsibility for acknowledging the suffering of women who were compelled to work in Japanese wartime brothels—the so-called “comfort women.” Late last year, South Korea’s Supreme Court ruled against Japanese companies, ordering them to compensate Korean workers for forced labor during the period of Japanese colonial rule of the Korean Peninsula. 

Europe Is Stuck between the United States and Russia

by Lyle J. Goldstein

For those monitoring Russia policy, the Democratic Party debates proved something of a welcome relief. After all the ink and airtime devoted to Russia in American media over the last three years, questions related to Russia hardly came up at all. It has indeed been profoundly disturbing for this sometimes “Russia-hand” to watch the total conflation (and yes, denigration) of American foreign policy with domestic politics in regards to this crucial bilateral relationship.

Still, it seems U.S.-Russia relations are hardly out of the woods. Many foreign-policy aficionados did not take kindly to President Donald Trump appearing to share a joke over alleged election meddling with President Vladimir Putin at the G20 in Osaka. All joking aside, the reality is that this most fundamental relationship continues to list badly and is in real danger of sinking in the abyss. Despite having a U.S. president that is allegedly pro-Russian, the United States and Russia have now witnessed the dangerous escalationof military conflicts in both Ukraine and Syria, the deployment of more U.S. forces into Eastern Europe, along with ever larger NATO exercises along Russia’s flanks, not to mention the near complete collapse of essential arms control initiatives, along with a dangerous political crisis over the future of Venezuela.

Diplomats Fear Chilling Effect of British Ambassador’s Resignation


The humiliation of British Ambassador to the United States Kim Darroch, who until a week ago was hosting senior Trump administration officials at dinners and parties but who resigned Wednesday after being cut off by an angry U.S. president, could make foreign diplomats think twice before offering honest assessments of the Trump administration to their governments, veteran diplomats say. 

The United Kingdom’s envoy to Washington, who has been in his job since 2016, found himself on the receiving end of blistering tweets from U.S. President Donald Trump after the leak of Darroch’s confidential cables to London, which cast a negative light on the inner workings of the Trump administration. Beyond back-and-forths on Twitter between Trump and the British foreign secretary, the leaking of a massive trove of diplomatic cables could have other lasting impacts, causing diplomats to self-censor their cables and policy recommendations.

The Longer The US Sino-Tariff Wars Go On, The Harder It Will Be To Undo The Damage

by Dan Steinbock

Compared to pre-2008 crisis levels, world economic growth has plummeted by half and is at risk of a long-term, hard-to-reverse stagnation. Returning to global integration and multilateral reconciliation could dramatically change the scenario.

Since spring 2017, the US-led tariff wars have effectively undermined the global recovery. In the past years, global economy has navigated across several scenarios. Now it is approaching the edge.

I have been following four generic scenarios on the prospects of global economic growth since the U.S. 2016 election. The first two scenarios represent variants of “recoupling." In these cases, global integration prevails, despite tensions. In the next two scenarios, global integration will fail, either in part and regionally or fully and globally.

What should worry us all is that, during the past few years, real global growth prospects have slowly but surely moved from the ideal and preferable scenarios toward the worst and darkest.

The Death of British Steel and the Myth of the Good Brexit

By Sam Knight

On May 22nd, British Steel, which is the United Kingdom’s second-largest steelmaker, went into liquidation. It hasn’t been easy to manufacture steel in the U.K. for a number of years. The country’s high energy costs and property taxes make it an inhospitable place for heavy industry, even compared with other European countries. But it wasBrexit—specifically, the unresolved, purgatorial, shapeless Brexit that Britain finds itself in, three years after deciding to leave the European Union—that carried British Steel over the edge. Last year, with uncertainty stalking the economy, orders began to dry up. In April, because the Brexit negotiations were not complete, the company was hit with a hundred-and-twenty-million-poundprobably Boris Johnson, has not yet arrived. Desperate to avoid a spectacular bankruptcy in the interlude, the state has been paying British Steel’s bills and the salaries of its workers, while looking for a buyer to take four blast furnaces, named after English queens, and a two-thousand-acre steelworks off its hands.

The governance of the International Monetary Fund at age 75

Brahima Sangafowa Coulibaly and Kemal Derviş

July 2019 will mark the 75th anniversary of the Bretton Woods system. John Maynard Keynes and Harry White conceived the system during World War II. Their ideas were then adopted at a conference of 44 countries held at the Bretton Woods resort in New Hampshire from July 1-22, 1944. They founded the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development or IBRD, now the largest part of the World Bank Group, and the International Monetary Fund, or IMF, for monetary purposes. Keynes also wanted a third entity to help encourage and regulate trade and commodity markets, but it was not until 1995 that the World Trade Organization was founded.

The World Bank was initially project-oriented, while the IMF was conceived as a global governance institution to oversee the world monetary and exchange rate system. The founders wanted to avoid the competitive beggar-thy-neighbor devaluations that unfolded after the breakdown of the gold standard. In joining the IMF, countries agreed to fixed-but-adjustable exchange rates, with the IMF monitoring their balance of payments and providing short-term financing to counter temporary imbalances.

Over the decades, the IMF underwent many reforms and now plays a vital role in providing guard rails for the world economy, especially when crises hit.

The US Protects the Global Commons. Others Can Police Its Choke Points


When two tankers, one from Japan and the other from Norway, were sabotaged in the Gulf of Oman in June, President Trump tweeted, “China gets 91 percent of its Oil from the [Strait], Japan 62 percent, & many other countries likewise. So why are we protecting the shipping lanes for other countries (many years) for zero compensation.” The commander-in-chief has a point.

The attacks, along with four others in less than two months, should serve as a notice to European, Middle Eastern, and Asian countries that rely on Persian Gulf choke points to conduct their international commerce. Those who benefit from global shipping lanes ought to help protect them. The current tensions in the Persian Gulf are a result of faulty U.S. policies, but nonetheless, an opportunity exists for the Trump administration to promote one of its most consistent foreign policy goals: preventing our allies (and our adversaries) from free-riding on the United States.

Dunford: US Will Provide Intel, Not Escorts, In Strait Of Hormuz


The United States will provide surveillance and organizational support to a proposed coalition to bolster maritime security against Iranian threats in the Strait of Hormuz, but U.S. ships will not escort other nations’ ships through the passage, the nation’s top uniformed officer said on Tuesday.

“Escorting in the normal course of events would be done by countries who have the same flag, so a ship that is flagged from a particular country would be escorted by that country,” Joint Chiefs chairman Joseph Dunford told reporters at Fort Myer in Washington, D.C.“The United States is uniquely capable of providing is some of the command and control, some of the intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance; but the expectation is the actual [security] patrolling and escorts would be done by others.”

Questions have swirled for weeks around the Trump administration’s plan to rally other countries to help guard against potential attacks on oil tankers transiting through the strait. Since late June, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has sought to recruit allies to participate in a program called Sentinel that gives security cameras to ships transiting the strait — and was thought to include a military escort or patrol component — but details have remained sketchy. 

Tech vanguard is dodging Pentagon

To attract more tech experts, the Department of Defense should create a universities-to-Pentagon pipeline, professors say. (iStock)

The Pentagon’s cybersecurity mission is facing a classic supply and demand problem: There’s a nationwide shortage of tech talent and an oversupply of jobs.

This leaves the Pentagon starved of the cyber-sentries needed to defend its digital networks as the nation’s top computer scientists and software engineers often choose careers in the private sector that offer fat salaries and generous benefits.

“They are so talented and in such high demand,” then-acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan said of the Pentagon’s red team members, cybersecurity experts who test and defend Defense Department computer networks, at a Senate Defense Appropriations Subcommittee hearing in May. “We really get out-recruited.”

If there was ever a time the Pentagon would not want to lose the recruiting battle with the private sector, it’s now. The Chinese, Russians and Iranians have all hacked important aspects of American society since 2016. Moscow and Tehran targeted U.S. elections, and Beijing has hacked U.S. defense contractors, highlighting the Pentagon’s need for cyber-defenders.

Tech vanguard is dodging Pentagon

The Pentagon’s cybersecurity mission is facing a classic supply and demand problem: There’s a nationwide shortage of tech talent and an oversupply of jobs.

This leaves the Pentagon starved of the cyber-sentries needed to defend its digital networks as the nation’s top computer scientists and software engineers often choose careers in the private sector that offer fat salaries and generous benefits.

“They are so talented and in such high demand,” then-acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan said of the Pentagon’s red team members, cybersecurity experts who test and defend Defense Department computer networks, at a Senate Defense Appropriations Subcommittee hearing in May. “We really get out-recruited.”

If there was ever a time the Pentagon would not want to lose the recruiting battle with the private sector, it’s now. The Chinese, Russians and Iranians have all hacked important aspects of American society since 2016. Moscow and Tehran targeted U.S. elections, and Beijing has hacked U.S. defense contractors, highlighting the Pentagon’s need for cyber-defenders.

What Lies Ahead for South Korea’s Strategic Diversification Efforts?

By Robert Farley

The Trump administration is trying, in its own clumsy way, to convince Western companies to abandon China. With the benefit of years of exposure, South Korea may have a leg up on bailing out of the China market. According to the South China Morning Post, South Korean firms have been reducing their exposure to the Chinese market for several years, in preference for investment and supply chain diversification in Vietnam.

The SCMP report describing the decision-making of firms such as Lotte and Samsung gave several reasons for this, including the threat of political uncertainty in China, concerns over industrial espionage, and the need to diversify in face of the threat of U.S. sanctions. Chinese protests of the U.S. THAAD deployment in South Korea, for example, left South Korean companies unsettled about the security of their investments. Similarly, the unstable regulatory landscape in China, where provincial and central governments have different priorities and strategies, often left South Korean companies at a loss regarding nationwide strategy. Finally, South Korean firms have, due to a variety of factors, found their competitive advantages over local firms eroded in the Chinese market.

3 ways IoT devices compromise security

By: Kelsey Reichmann 

The National Institute of Standards and Technology released a new report June 27 detailing the cybersecurity and privacy risks associated with the Internet of Things and solutions for how government agencies can manage them.

IoT devices can create cybersecurity vulnerabilities for government agencies by exposing private data, the accuracy of data or data availability and may compromise personally identifiable information. As the popularity of the devices grows, so too does scrutiny. In March, a bipartisan group in Congress proposed the “Internet of Things (IoT) Cybersecurity Improvement Act of 2019” that would require that devices purchased by the U.S. government meet certain minimum security requirements.

Here are three ways the report, titled “Considerations for Managing Internet of Things (IoT) Cybersecurity and Privacy Risks,” can compromise security:

They are vulnerable to the physical world

Telecoms shouldn't be too worried about Google and Amazon's plans to disrupt wireless

Peter Newman

This is an excerpt from a story delivered exclusively to Business Insider Intelligence Connectivity & Tech subscribers.

Two major tech giants may be looking into expanding the breadth of their services and increasing engagement with customers by moving into providing wireless connectivity.Business Insider Intelligence

Google and Amazon already provide consumers with a range of services while they're on the go — allowing them to shop, stream media, and more — and they're now exploring ways to profit from the delivery of those and other services.

‘War Cloud’: Amazon and Microsoft Battle for $10 Billion Pentagon Fund

By Matt O'Brien

Amazon and Microsoft are battling it out over a $10 billion opportunity to build the U.S. military its first "war cloud" computing system. But Amazon's early hopes of a shock-and-awe victory may be slipping away.

Formally called the Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure plan, or JEDI, the military's computing project would store and process vast amounts of classified data, allowing the Pentagon to use artificial intelligence to speed up its war planning and fighting capabilities. The Defense Department hopes to award the winner-take-all contract as soon as August. Oracle and IBM were eliminated at an earlier round of the contract competition.

But that's only if the project isn't derailed first. It faces a legal challenge by Oracle and growing congressional concerns about alleged Pentagon favoritism toward Amazon. Military officials hope to get started soon on what will be a decade-long business partnership they describe as vital to national security.

"This is not your grandfather's internet," said Daniel Goure, vice president of the Lexington Institute, a defense-oriented think tank. "You're talking about a cloud where you can go from the Pentagon literally to the soldier on the battlefield carrying classified information."

Who Will Respond to Emerging and Persistent Conflicts and Crises?

The international order is fraying, generating uncertainty about who will intervene to resolve persistent conflicts, and who will fund humanitarian responses to human-made and natural disasters. Meanwhile, emerging crises and multiple hotspots pose new risks, even as the nature of transnational terrorism is evolving. 

As conflicts and crises persist around the world, there is growing uncertainty about how—or if—they will be resolved. The international order is fraying, generating uncertainty about who will intervene and how humanitarian responses might be funded.

There are interminable conflicts, like the situations in Yemen, Afghanistan and South Sudan, which have produced years of violence, countless thousands of deaths and even more refugees. Then there are the emerging hotspots, including Mali and Burkina Faso, and any number of potential flashpoints, including in the South China Sea, which is dogged by territorial disputes. Even situations where there was some tenuous hope of reconciliation—such as the Central African Republic, where 14 armed groups recently signed a peace deal—are in danger of unraveling.