17 July 2019

India closely watches US reaction after Turkey gets missile system from Russia

By Pradip R Sagar 

Indian authorities are keenly observing reaction from the United States after Russia delivered its S-400 missile system to Turkey. India too is scheduled to procure the S-400 missile systems from Russia.

India has been negotiating hard with United States to get waiver from Washington's Countering America's Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA). Notably, Moscow and New Delhi have agreed on a new payment mode to avoid US sanctions, as India is expected to pay the first installment for the $5.2 billion soon for the missile systems.

The first unit of S-400 Trimf missile systems is scheduled to be handed over to India by the end of next year, while the remaining four will be delivered before 2024. Russia has assured the Indian authorities that there will be no delays in the delivery schedule.

The four lessons from the Kargil war for a new India | Analysis

Shishir Gupta

On July 26, 2019, President Ram Nath Kovind will be at the Operation Vijay memorial in Drass to pay homage to fallen Indian soldiers during the Kargil war two decades ago. Defence minister Rajnath Singh will lay the wreath to the fallen in Drass on July 20, and will be with Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the National War Memorial on anniversary of the day India declared victory at Kargil.

It has been 20 years since the Indian Army, with the help of the Indian Air Force, wrested back the glaciated heights of Kargil, in the Ladakh sector, from the Pakistan Army. But the attitude of the latter remains unchanged on cross-border terrorism, and against the normalisation of bilateral relations.

One of the key lessons from Kargil is that the Rawalpindi GHQ, working with Pakistan-based terror groups, will stymie all attempts made by the political leaderships of both India and Pakistan to bridge the gap between the two countries. It was General Pervez Musharraf who moved the Northern Light Infantry in the guise of jihadists across the Line of Control (LoC) in the Kargil sector before then prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee hugged his Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharif at Wagah in February 1999 as they signed the Lahore Declaration.

What Is the Indo-Pacific?

By Udayan Das

The cartography of the world can be broadly understood in three ways. One can make sense of the world through its geographical demarcations — land and water, plateaus and peninsulas, seas and oceans. Another way of perceiving the world is through its political boundaries — continents and states, islands and territorial seas, continental shelves and exclusive economic zones. A third way of interpreting the map is through an imagination of a space that transcends both of the above. In simple terms, a mental map carved out of a space. An imaginative space of such kind might not find itself on the geographical map, like the Af-Pak region, nor does it always fits into existing political dimensions, for example the Asia-Pacific region. 

The Indo-Pacific is one such mental map that has gained currency in recent times. Like every imagined space, there is disagreement over what characterizes the space and who imagines it. In terms of geo-spatiality, the Indo-Pacific is broadly to be understood as an interconnected space between the Indian Ocean and the Pacific Ocean. Its expanse is debated to be ranging from the eastern shores of Africa to the western coast of the United States, albeit with variations in definitions depending on each actor and their own geographic positioning in the vast expanse. In a more functional understanding, the interconnectedness and the interdependence of the two oceans is a product of growing forces of globalization, trade and changing equations between various actors which has broken down older boundaries and opened up new avenues. Growing mobility across the oceans has helped formulate an integrated approach. Given that it contains the world’s most crucial sea routes, the world’s most populous nations fueling high energy demands on its rims and a stretch encapsulating finest global commons, the Indo-Pacific is adjudged to be the center of the globe in terms of politics and economics. 

India-China-Sri Lanka Triangle: The Defense Dimension

By Shantanu Roy-Chaudhury

With increasing Indo-Chinese competition in the Indian Ocean, their respective military relationships with Sri Lanka play an important part in this maritime great game. This article will examine this relationship from an Indian perspective, looking at the current scenario and what this means for the future geopolitical scenario in the region.

China has been the largest supplier of arms to Sri Lanka since the 1950s. These transactions have included small arms, ammunition, landmines, naval vessels, and aircraft. China and Sri Lanka’s defense and security cooperation intensified during the Sri Lankan civil war, where China’s support came in several forms. In 2007, then-President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s visit to China led to a $37.6 million deal to purchase Chinese Jian-7 fighter jets, anti-aircraft guns, JY-11 3D air surveillance radar, armoured personnel carriers, and other weaponry.

The 2020 Politics Behind Trump’s Trade War Against India

By Pratik Chougule

Ahead of U.S. trade representatives arriving in New Delhi on Friday, President Donald Trump fired off another Twitter attack on July 9: “India has long had a field day putting Tariffs on America products. No longer acceptable!”

The tweet follows Trump’s meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the G-20 Summit late last month, where the leaders agreed only to further meetings to resolve an ever-growing number of trade disputes, from import quotas on agricultural goods to price caps on medical devices to outsourcing and intellectual property protections on generic drugs.

Prior to the summit, Trump had delivered a similarly threatening tweet: “India, for years having put very high Tariffs against the United States, just recently increased the Tariffs even further. This is unacceptable and the Tariffs must be withdrawn!”

Afghanistan: Al-Qaeda Primed to Continue Expanding in Afghanistan

Brian M. Perkins

Despite being less flashy than its rival Islamic State (IS), al-Qaeda and its affiliates have achieved a lot over the past several years. Al-Qaeda’s successes include completing a complex merger of various militant groups to help expand in the Sahel, the growth of al-Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent, and the persistence of al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) and its local victories against the Yemeni IS branch. Arguably, the group’s greatest achievement, however, is its return to and growth in Afghanistan over the past year.

A UN report released on June 13 highlighted al-Qaeda’s growth in Afghanistan and continued partnership with the Taliban and Haqqani Network as well as other foreign terrorist organizations, including the primarily Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) (UNSC, June 13). Al-Qaeda has strengthened and expanded its area of operations as the Taliban has managed to take over an ever-increasing number of districts and is particularly active in Badakhshan, Kunar, Zabul, Helmand, and Kandahar. Additionally, it has been working to expand in Paktika Province’s Barmal District along the Pakistan border where LeT is notably active. What is also particularly concerning is that the report noted the arrival of al-Qaeda activists from Egypt, suggesting an effort to draw in more foreign fighters.

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.

Can CPEC Meet Pakistan’s Development Goals?

By James Pershing

In early June, Prime Minister Imran Khan agreed to Pakistan’s thirteenth IMF bailout in the last thirty years. Facing a balance of payments crisis and foreign exchange reserves insufficient to cover even three months of imports, Pakistan will assume austerity measures in order to receive $6 billion of rescue funds from the international lender. Khan, who once declared that he “prefer[red] death to the begging bowl,” now finds himself dependent on external financing to fulfill the lofty development goals on which he campaigned in 2018.

Perhaps the biggest target of austerity is the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), originally a $62 billion series of infrastructure projects aimed at improving Pakistan’s transport and energy infrastructure. Once viewed as Pakistan’s great hope for job creation and economic development, this leg of China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) is subject to an estimated 60 percent spending cut in Pakistan’s latest budget. Cynicism around CPEC has flared as investment projects of questionable commercial viability have exacerbated Pakistan’s already severe fiscal and financial problems while failing to adequately address underlying obstacles to sustainable development.

How Bangladesh Is Benefiting From the China-India Rivalry

By Anu Anwar

Conventional wisdom says great power rivalry makes smaller neighbors vulnerable. As recently echoed by Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, “When elephants fight, the grass suffers, but when they make love, the grass suffers also.” However, this conventional wisdom seems flawed in the case of the China-India rivalry for regional influence in Bangladesh. Instead of losing, the small South Asian country is reaping benefits.

In addition to Bangladesh’s pivotal geographical location on the contested Indian Ocean, it is one of the world’s fastest-growing economies and, with 160 million people, the eighth most populous country in the world. The size of the population, which signifies the size of the market, helps overshadow the small territorial size of this country. Bangladesh recently became eligible to graduate to developing country status by 2024. Still, development — both physical (large-scale infrastructure and military capabilities) and social (human resources and services) — is likely to persist as a dominant national priority for Bangladesh in the coming decades. Therefore, the country is keen to leverage the China-India rivalry in order to fulfill its growing demands for foreign direct investment (FDI) and beyond.

China says will cut ties with US firms selling arms to Taiwan

China's government and Chinese companies will cut business ties with US firms selling arms to Taiwan, the Chinese foreign ministry has said, in a move likely to worsen already poor ties with Washington.

China claims self-ruled and democratic Taiwan as its own and has never renounced the use of force to bring it under Beijing's control. China regularly calls Taiwan the most sensitive issue in its relations with the United States.

Last week, the Pentagon said the US State Department had approved the sale of the weapons requested by Taiwan, including 108 General Dynamics Corp M1A2T Abrams tanks and 250 Stinger missiles, which are manufactured by Raytheon.

China said on Friday it would sanction US companies selling weapons to Taiwan but did not elaborate.

The latest deal involves $2.2bn worth of tanks, missiles and related equipment for Taiwan.

US seeks to discredit UK spies in war against Huawei

Richard Kerbaj, Tim Shipman and Caroline Wheeler

The CIA and American State Department officials are working to discredit British spy agencies by undermining their national security judgments on the Chinese telecoms giant Huawei, The Sunday Times can reveal.

Britain’s closest intelligence allies are leading a secret propaganda offensive through a series of briefings, including some in Brussels to European security agencies, according to a senior British intelligence official involved in the discussions.

They have told such agencies “you’re either with us or against us” on Huawei’s ambition to roll out 5G mobile infrastructure in the UK, because of concerns about the company’s links to the Chinese government.

Fresh Kidnappings of Chinese Nationals in Nigeria

By Eleanor Albert

In early July, two Chinese nationals were kidnappedby armed gunmen in Edo State in southern Nigeria. The two expatriates reportedly work for a glass company. This was the latest in a string of kidnappings of Chinese citizens in Nigeria in the past several years. Most recently, two other Chinese nationals working for a road construction company were abducted and later rescued by police in Nigeria’s southeastern state of Ebonyi in late April. Incidents of this nature typically garner little international press and are a byproduct of Nigeria’s often volatile security conditions and China’s increased investment and presence in the west African nation.

Sporadic kidnappings have not stymied the growth of economic ties between China and Nigeria. As Africa’s largest economy, endowed with oil reserves and a booming population, Nigeria is an attractive destination for Chinese outbound investment and exports. Cooperation between the two countries has led to the development of critical industrial infrastructure for Nigeria, including railways, roads, airports, and telecommunications networks. Currently, Nigeria has taken more than $70 billion in loans from China to finance its development.

Domestic and International Considerations Hamper Development of Russo-Chinese Rail Links

By: Paul Goble

The common desire of Moscow and Beijing to develop railways linking Asia with Europe is not making as much progress as the two parties had hoped or as many had expected. This is due in part to international concerns involving third countries, including the Central Asian states, but it mostly stems from domestic political considerations inside Russia.

On the one hand, this situation, as Russian and Western analysts recognize, represents a reprise of what occurred at the end of the 19th and beginning of the 20th centuries, when the Russian Empire built the first railroads crossing Eurasia. Perhaps most notably, Russia opened the Trans-Siberian Railway in 1903, linking Vladivostok with Moscow. That development not only sparked the Russo-Japanese War but also prompted Halford John Mackinder to elaborate his “heartland theory” in a paper to the Royal Geographic Society in 1904. That theory held that the country that controls the Eurasian heartland is in a position to dominate the world (Casp-geo.ru, July 10).

On the other hand, the emergence of new domestic and international players complicates Russia and China’s contest for power and influence. Each of them must contend not only with domestic factors, such as regionalism and competition for scarce development dollars, but also with new players in the form of the independent countries of Central Asia. Both also face a West that has been committed for most of the last three decades to the development of transportation corridors between China and Europe that bypass the Russian Federation.

Fear Won’t Stop China’s Digital Silk Road

A version of this commentary was originally published by the Financial Times on July 11, 2019. It is reprinted here with permission.

“The biggest of big brothers is increasingly helpless against communications technology.” So said former U.S. president Ronald Reagan 30 years ago in London.

Having recently left office, Reagan was triumphant. He saw democracy on the rise in Hungary, Poland, and even China. The Soviet Union was crumbling. The West had won.

If only. Democracy is now retreating in Hungary, Poland, and around the world. China, the biggest of big brothers, is the world’s biggest provider of communications technology. Alarmingly, as more countries embrace Chinese censorship and surveillance systems, these trends are mutually reinforcing. The Iron Curtain, some warn, is being replaced by China’s digital silk road.

Competing with China’s telecom giants, however, will require Western officials to focus more on economics than security. In its campaign to limit Huawei’s technology in 5G networks, the United States has built its case around espionage risks. But even some of the world’s richest democracies are hesitant to pay for more expensive alternatives. Clearly, these arguments will not persuade the rest of the world.

China, U.S.: Beijing Takes Aim at U.S. Defense Firms Over Taiwan

Negotiators from China and the United States are still working on breaking the gridlock in their recently resumed trade talks. Their wider strategic competition, however, threatens to complicate their negotiations as Beijing is hardening its stance on Washington's support for Taiwan — even though the United States has shown some restraint from seriously challenging China on its periphery.

What Happened

Once again, Taiwan is poised to throw a wrench into U.S.-Chinese ties. On July 12, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Geng Shuang said China would sanction any U.S. firms that sell arms to the self-governing island, just days after the White House approved the sale of $2.2 billion in tanks, missiles and related military equipment. The arms sales include 108 General Dynamics Corp. M1A2T Abrams tanks, which are produced and serviced at the Joint Systems Manufacturing Center in Ohio, as well as surface-to-air Stinger missiles that Raytheon Co. primarily manufactures in Tucson, Arizona.

Why It Matters 

U.S. plan to fight China and Russia is too good to be true


WASHINGTON - An American war against China or Russia would be truly awful. Even if the United States won — no sure thing — it could well suffer costs and casualties that would make the toll of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars seem minor by comparison. So is there a way the U.S. could stymie a Chinese attack in the Pacific, or a Russian land-grab in Eastern Europe, without having to defeat enemy forces head-on? This is the motivating question behind the idea of “horizontal escalation.”

Horizontal escalation is a strategic concept that relies on attacking an adversary’s weaknesses outside the theater where the fighting started, so as to avoid confronting its strengths within that theater. It is an alluring idea that has won support from some key national security professionals. Unfortunately, it probably won’t work.

Horizontal escalation is a response to a genuinely difficult problem: the immense challenges associated with directly defeating Chinese or Russian aggression.

The frightening reality of a war with Iran


President Trump has said that a U.S.-Iranian military conflict “wouldn’t last very long,” implying that the U.S. would emerge triumphant with minimal costs. While the president is correct that a fight most likely would end quickly and the U.S. would dominate it, the short- and long-term damage to U.S. interests would be devastating.

Neither Iran nor the United States seemingly wants a military conflict, but that does not mean one could not happen. Indeed, the likelihood of such a conflict is higher today than at any time since 2011, when Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu seemed intent on a massive strike on Iran's nuclear program, which could have drawn the U.S. into war. 

A conflict likely would begin with an Iranian provocation that trips U.S. tolerance, triggering an attack to deter Iran from further provocations. Iran would see this as disproportionate, and the response would quickly escalate. This would be a “fight tonight” war, without a weeks- or months-long buildup of U.S. forces; the U.S. would fight with what it has in the region.

Iran’s Reformists: ‘This War Will Have Only Losers’

Mohsen Aminzadeh

The consequences of waging another Middle Eastern war will be catastrophic not only for our country, Iran, but for the United States and its regional allies. It will lead to untold human suffering, environmental disaster, and a prolonged conflict that will forestall the possibility of peaceful coexistence and prosperity in the Persian Gulf area for decades to come. As veteran members of the reformist movement in Iran, we are also concerned about the mortal blow that even a limited military conflict with the United States of America will deal to the democratic movement of Iran. We can already feel the restrictions that the crisis of the last two years has imposed on the fragile civil society and peaceful political activity in Iran. 

The international agreement on Iran’s nuclear program known as the JCPOA was devised as a comprehensive framework for addressing security concerns of all regional and international parties represented by the Permanent Five members of the UN Security Council plus Germany. Our constituency was elated by the rapprochement between Iran and its most visible adversary, the United States of America. Likewise, they were disappointed when President Trump chose to withdraw from that agreement, which included verifiable guarantees of nuclear nonproliferation and strictly peaceful use of nuclear energy by Iran. It is imperative that we return to the mode of peaceful diplomatic dialogue and eschew the path of conflict.

Turkey’s Libya Problem

By Xander Snyder 

If it didn’t know it already, Turkey was reminded last week of the dangers posed by meddling in a war-torn country such as Libya. First, Gen. Khalifa Haftar’s Libyan National Army, the eastern-based militia that opposes the internationally recognized Government of National Accord, threatened to fire on any Turkish ships approaching Libya’s territorial waters. Then, the LNA arrested (and later released) six Turkish sailors. Finally, the LNA said it destroyed a Turkish drone that was parked at the Tripoli airport. As you may have guessed, Turkey and the LNA are on opposite sides of the conflict. All this raises an obvious question: What is Turkey doing in Libya in the first place?

Its interests there are partly financial. Turkish companies are no strangers to investment in Libya. When the civil war started, for example, Turkish construction firms had an estimated $15 billion worth of deals in the country. These projects likely won’t be restarted in territory held by Haftar.

Can Greece’s New Democracy Abandon Its Aggressive Rhetoric and Govern?

Yiannis Baboulias 

When the nominally center-right New Democracy party emerged victorious in snap elections last week, it potentially marked the end of a long and tumultuous chapter in Greece’s history. The now former Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras had announced the vote following deep losses by his radical, left-wing party, Syriza, in the European Parliament elections in May. 

With 39.5 percent of the vote, New Democracy and its leader, Kyriakos Mitsotakis, have a strong mandate to push forward with a program he describes as reforming the state, by reducing taxation and turbo-charging investment in the country. Mitsotakis appears very optimistic. When challenged on where the money for the costly tax cuts would be found, he responded that his policies would secure strong economic growth of up to 4 percent per year, to cover for the shortfall.

To save forests, think beyond the trees

Roy Parizat

If you skim the headlines, you get the impression that the role of forests in mitigating climate change has virtually unanimous global recognition and support. From the 2014 New York Declaration on Forests to the 2015 Paris Agreement on climate change and the U.N.’s Sustainable Development Goals, global leaders seem to agree that we won’t be able to end poverty and reduce planet-altering greenhouse gas emissions without forests.

But forests around the world are still under significant threat. Increasing demands for fuel, housing, and nourishment drive large-scale changes in land use at the cost of forest and tree cover. Some studies estimate that 27 percent of all forest loss—about 50,000 square kilometers per year—is caused by commodity-driven deforestation. That’s an area about the size of Costa Rica.

While this land-use change might help livelihoods and economies in the short term, we know none of this is helping in the fight against climate change. Deforestation is the second-leading cause of climate change after burning fossil fuels and accounts for nearly 20 percent of all greenhouse gas emissions. If we stand a chance of achieving the Paris Agreement’s targets, unsustainable levels of deforestation need to be addressed.


THE FLASHIER FRUITS of Albert Einstein’s century-old insights are by now deeply embedded in the popular imagination: Black holes, time warps and wormholes show up regularly as plot points in movies, books, TV shows. At the same time, they fuel cutting-edge research, helping physicists pose questions about the nature of space, time, even information itself.

Original story reprinted with permission from Quanta Magazine, an editorially independent publication of the Simons Foundation whose mission is to enhance public understanding of science by covering research develop­ments and trends in mathe­matics and the physical and life sciences.

Perhaps ironically, though, what is arguably the most revolutionary part of Einstein’s legacy rarely gets attention. It has none of the splash of gravitational waves, the pull of black holes or even the charm of quarks. But lurking just behind the curtain of all these exotic phenomena is a deceptively simple idea that pulls the levers, shows how the pieces fit together, and lights the path ahead.

Why the S-400 Missile is Highly Effective -- If Used Correctly

Modern long-range surface-to-air missile systems provide some of the most effective air defense in existence. However, extended-range SAMs are also inherently vulnerable to standoff and saturation attacks if not properly supported. Ultimately, the effectiveness of long-range SAMs depends on the country where they are deployed and how that country uses them. 

Russian surface-to-air missiles (SAMs) continue to dominate the headlines. The country's long-range S-400 SAM systems recently made landfall in Turkey, much to the consternation of the West, while its older S-300 variants have been exported to a variety of countries, including Syria. Public discussions persist over whether Gulf states should buy long-range Russian air defense platforms — as opposed to American ones — or whether Iran could acquire S-400s to bolster its air defenses. Given the system's power, it's no wonder that such sales are dominating the news. But the reality remains that the value of long-range SAMs does not directly equal their theoretical capabilities, depending far more on who is using the system — and how.

The Big Picture

Security and the 'Holographic Society'

By Eric B. Schnurer

The very distinction between the virtual and physical worlds is itself dissolving. Is it time we started thinking about security in the physical world as we do in cyber? Successful attacks cannot be entirely prevented but can be survived by building multiple pathways so the enemy cannot take down the entire system. Every point in the network has access to the information, so it can, as a practical matter, never be destroyed or altered, something like a hologram. In that way, blockchain essentially models the logic of “defense” as dispersion and redundancy. "Distributed" rather than concentrated systems are more survivable and secure in the real world, not just the virtual: To the extent that our concern is purely physical survival, even then, the more dispersed or redundant a population, an economy or a culture, the less a physical attack on it will make any sense.

Federer and Nadal’s Wimbledon Rematch Showed Just How Alike the Two Greats Have Become

By Louisa Thomas

When Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal walked onto Centre Court at Wimbledon on Friday, the sight was at once familiar and strange—strange, in part, for seeming so familiar. The two men were meeting for the fortieth time, the fourteenth at a major. They had met only five weeks before, in the semifinals of the French Open. Nadal had runWimbledon, where Federer has won eight titles to Nadal’s two. The last time they had faced each other there was in 2008, in what many consider the greatest match ever played. Federer was twenty-six then, and Nadal twenty-two; now they are thirty-seven and thirty-three, respectively. They were seeded two and three in this tournament,Novak Djokovic, rather than one and two, as they had been then. They have less hair than they used to. In 2008, the match had seemed to represent a passing of the torch or a changing of the guard—pick your favorite cliché. Except the torch wasn’t passed, and the guard didn’t change: instead, what we

A short history of campaign dirty tricks before Twitter and Facebook

Elaine Kamarc

In America today, outrageous lies, doctored videos, and impostors try to influence elections alongside legitimate news and direct campaign communications from would-be leaders. But dirty tricks are nothing new. While the medium may be different, the goals are as old as elections themselves. Thus it is fitting to begin working on the problem of defending democracy in the internet age by trying to understand the world of dirty tricks in the pre-internet age.

To do that, we should distinguish between dirty tricks and negative campaigning, including attack ads and contrast ads. The latter may be offensive but they are based on something that is true as opposed to something that is a wholesale fabrication. For instance, let’s take one of the most infamous ads from the 1988 presidential campaign pitting Vice President George H.W. Bush (R) against Governor Michael Dukakis (D): the Willie Horton ad. It has gone down in history as one of the more offensive and racially incendiary ads ever. Willie Horton, a black prisoner convicted of murder, was released on a prison furlough program in Massachusetts. While out on furlough he kidnapped a young couple, stabbed the man and raped the woman. The ad features a scary photo of Willie Horton and under a photo of Michael Dukakis it says “Allowed Murderers to have Weekend Passes.” The weekend furlough program was created in 1972 under a Republican Governor as the result of a court decision. Dukakis himself defended it.[1]

Are Congress and the White House on a collision course in cyber?

Mark Pomerleau

Despite a long list of grievances and conflicts that exist between the legislative and executive branch under President Donald Trump, cyber policy has largely been spared from ongoing tension; that is, until recently.

Lawmakers have not seen documents governing the administration’s process for gaining approval for cyber operations outside U.S. networks, prompting them to write to the administration and others threatening to compel the documents delivery.

The classified process, known as National Security Presidential Memorandum (NSPM) 13, rescinds Obama administration-era rules and allows the president to delegate certain cyber authorities to the Secretary of Defense for particular missions.

The process went into effect nearly a year ago.

Infographic Of The Day: Libra Coin - A New Digital Currency Developed By FACEBOOK

What if we made the money truly global, stable, and secure. What if everyone was invited to the Global economy with access to the same financial opportunities. This thought laid a pavement for Introducing LIBRA a new global currency designed for the digital world, backed by the belief that money should be fast for everyone from any corner of the world.

Understanding the DNA of DARQ

To compete and differentiate themselves in the post-digital era, companies will need to adopt a new set of emerging technologies. These new technologies will be an important catalyst for change in a world where every industry already has a large arsenal of digital tools. The key set of new tech is DARQ: distributed ledger technology (DLT), artificial intelligence (AI), extended reality (XR) and quantum computing.

The world is rapidly moving toward a post-digital era, where leaders will need to set their sights beyond their ongoing digital transformations. With digital capabilities alone no longer serving as a differentiator, future-minded business leaders will need more in their technology arsenals to succeed.

That means embracing a group of emerging technologies to drive the next waves of innovation and growth. Specifically, they will need to master the set of new technologies we call DARQ: distributed ledger technology, artificial intelligence, extended reality and quantum computing.

Crashed UAE Military Spy Satellite Raises Possibility Of Enemy Cyberattack

Zak Doffman

An investigation has been launched by the European Space Agency (ESA) and French aerospace group Arianespace into the failed launch of a rocket carrying a military spy satellite into space for the United Arab Emirates. Two minutes after take-off, a "major anomaly" sent the expensive, high-tech payload into the Atlantic—the first failure for Arianespace's Vega rockets after 14 successful missions.

The two French-built Falcon Eye satellites, of which this was the first, were designed "to provide a wholly new capability to [the UAE's] military," according to defense analysts, "representing the most advanced optics France had ever sold to another country." So much so that the program suffered significant delays as security regulations over certain component parts were worked through between France and the U.S.

Tensions remain high in the Middle East between the U.S. and regional allies on one side, and Iran on the other. The UAE is seen by Teheran as part of that enemy axis led by the U.S. and set against Iranian interests. One of the core military objectives of the Falcon Eye satellites is to monitor UAE's borders—especially its long maritime shoreline. And when it comes to the integrity of that maritime border, given those ongoing tensions, that means monitoring the activities of Iran in the Persian Gulf.