4 August 2019

Privatising The Defence Sector Is A Dangerous Idea That Will Have Drastic Consequences

Sudhanva Shetty

The government’s approval to sell 26% of the shares of India’s leading defence equipment manufacturer, BEML, to the private sector is will mark the first time in Indian history that the Ministry of Defence will lose control over one of its own companies (more here).

The government has also announced that similar strides will be made with ten other public sector companies. It says this is to increase profits, efficiency and to meet its deficit goal. However, critics have said that this is an effort of the government to allow back-door entry to corporates in the defence sector.

In light of recent developments, one might wonder about the consequences of having private defence manufacturers. India has nine public-sector defence manufacturers and most of its indigenous defence manufacturing belongs in the public sector, with the government. However, now, with the private sector poised to take a larger role in defence manufacturing, it will be apt to try to understand defence manufacturing around the world, and the consequences of privatising it.

Afghanistan Heads Toward a Turning Point

Things are moving fast in Afghanistan. On July 31, Zalmay Khalilzad, the U.S. Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation and the lead negotiator in U.S. talks with the Taliban, tweeted that the United States is ready "to conclude the agreement" provided the Taliban "do their part." Khalilzad’s comments, which came ahead of the eighth round of talks between the United States and the Taliban in Doha, Qatar, offer the strongest indication yet that the two parties are on the cusp of sealing a landmark peace deal to end their 18-year-long conflict. Just two days earlier, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said U.S President Donald Trump wanted a reduction in U.S. forces from Afghanistan ahead of the 2020 presidential elections. Though a peace deal appears imminent, this juncture provides the perfect opportunity to look at what's driving the three most likely outcomes to the contentious, 10-month-long peace process: namely a collapse in talks, a continuation of both negotiations and fighting — that is, the status quo — or a peace deal to finally end the fighting. 

The Big Picture

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.

The Asian Century Is Over


The air forces of four of Asia’s leading powers nearly came to blows in the skies over the Sea of Japan, or East Sea, last week. As Russia and China conducted their first joint aerial patrol, South Korean fighters fired more than 300 warning shots at a Russian command and control aircraft that crossed into South Korea’s air defense identification zone. Meanwhile, Japanese fighters scrambled in case Japanese territory came under fire.

The unprecedented encounter was just one more reminder of the risks that threaten peace in the Indo-Pacific—and that the “Asian Century,” once heralded by writers such as Kishore Mahbubani and Martin Jacques, is ending far faster than anyone could have predicted. From a dramatically slowing Chinese economy to showdowns over democracy in Hong Kong and a new cold war between Japan and South Korea, the dynamism that was supposed to propel the region into a glorious future seems to be falling apart.

Putin and Xi’s Buddy Act Could Blow Up East Asia

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First came the long-range bombers. Flying in formation, four Chinese and Russian nuclear-capable aircraft appeared in the skies between South Korea and Japan on the morning of July 23, prompting both nations to scramble fighter jets. Then a separate Russian military surveillance plane headed for a small group of islands claimed by both Seoul and Tokyo.

What happened next is disputed, but it ended with South Korean pilots firing hundreds of machine gun rounds in warning shots toward the Russian aircraft, Japan accusing both Russia and China of breaching its airspace, and the two countries denying they had done anything wrong, with Moscow accusing Seoul of “aerial hooliganism.”

It’s not hard to see how this could have escalated—how a midair confrontation between two of the United States’ allies and its adversaries could have spiraled into a much larger conflagration. And that matters, because beyond drawing attention to the region’s long-simmering and deeply entrenched territorial disputes, the wider significance of this incident is what it reveals about the emerging Chinese-Russian military relationship, and the chances of this happening again.

Competition Without Catastrophe

By Kurt M. Campbell And Jake Sullivan 

The United States is in the midst of the most consequential rethinking of its foreign policy since the end of the Cold War. Although Washington remains bitterly divided on most issues, there is a growing consensus that the era of engagement with China has come to an unceremonious close.The debate now is over what comes next.

Like many debates throughout the history of U.S. foreign policy, this one has elements of both productive innovation and destructive demagoguery. Most observers can agree that, as the Trump administration’s National Security Strategy put it in 2018, “strategic competition” should animate the United States’ approach to Beijing going forward. But foreign policy frameworks beginning with the word “strategic” often raise more questions than they answer. “Strategic patience” reflects uncertainty about what to do and when. “Strategic ambiguity” reflects uncertainty about what to signal. And in this case, “strategic competition” reflects uncertainty about what that competition is over and what it means to win.

Are China and Russia on the Cyber Offensive in Latin America and the Caribbean?

Robert Morgus, Brian FonsecaKieran Green

This report explores the current military cyber structures and operations of China and Russia in order to postulate how both countries could conduct cyber operations in Latin America and the Carribean, and their motivations for doing so. We look at key actors in each state to provide an overview of current capabilities, and use the DIME (diplomacy, information, military, economics) framework to assess how they might use cyber and information capabilities in pursuit of national objectives in the region.

Stealing a March: Chinese Hybrid Warfare in the Indo-Pacific; Issues and Options for Allied Defense Planners

Ross Babbage

Volumes 1 and 2: Stealing a March: Chinese Hybrid Warfare in the Indo-Pacific: Issues and Options for Allied Defense Planners examines Beijing’s hybrid warfare campaigns, their origins, means and modes, level of success and possible future shape. It also assesses the primary options for U.S. and allied counter-strategy.

Winning Without Fighting: Chinese and Russian Political Warfare Campaigns and How the West Can Prevail

Ross Babbage
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Volumes and Winning Without Fighting: Chinese and Russian Political Warfare Campaigns and How the West Can Prevail assesses the role of political warfare in Chinese and Russian strategy. The report goes beyond diagnosing the challenge to offer a range of potential allied counter-strategies and proposes a new conceptual approach to such thinking.

What’s in it for China? A Beijing Insider’s Surprising Insight on Nuclear Arms Control


If bookies took wagers on nuclear weapons, the odds would be very high that in eighteen months all legal controls on nuclear arsenals will have ended. That’s because the smart money says that Washington and Moscow will not extend the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (New START) before it expires in February 2021. This means that the United States and Russia, like China and the six other nuclear-armed countries, will be free to build and deploy as many of these weapons as they want.

U.S. President Donald Trump’s administration—perhaps against the odds—says its top priority is to establish a new “twenty-first-century model of arms control” that would include China, as well as Russia and the United States. But Beijing declined an invitation to discuss these issues with U.S. and Russian diplomats in Geneva in July 2019. (The U.S.-Russian talks ended with no report of progress).

Perkovich works primarily on nuclear strategy and nonproliferation issues; cyberconflict; and new approaches to international public-private management of strategic technologies.

US Obsession With Containment Driving China And Russia Closer


July 2019 marks an important milestone in the Russia-China strategic relationship. For the first time, Russian and Chinese bombers have carried out joint air patrols over the East China Sea and the Sea of Japan. The Diplomat quoted a Russian government decree as saying that "the two countries are currently negotiating a new military cooperation agreement." The news stories have resulted in speculation that in the emerging new global bipolar order between the US and China, Moscow was casting its lot with Beijing. The reality is much more nuanced, but it is clear that the China-Russian entente has now reached the quality of strategic cooperation partnership in the Western Pacific aimed at countering and deterring the US.

Russian-Chinese military cooperation did not start recently. Soon after the normalization of relations between Moscow and Beijing 30 years ago, Russia started selling arms to China. In the last five years, Moscow has sold Beijing advanced weapons like the S-400 air defense system and the Su-35 fighter aircraft. Almost 15 years ago, the two countries' armed forces began holding joint military exercises, initially to train troops to fight terrorists. 

Vietnam’s Strange Ally in Its Fight With China

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As heavily armed Vietnamese and Chinese coast guard ships stare each other down in the South China Sea near the submerged Vanguard Bank, Hanoi appears to have found its spine despite threats from its gigantic neighbor. Unlike in the past two years, when Vietnam quietly scrapped a pair of drilling ventures with the Spanish energy firm Repsol under Chinese pressure, Vietnam is currently demanding that China withdraw its survey ship, Haiyang Dizhi 8, and its escorts from the vicinity of the oil and gas blocks. This time, Vietnam has teamed up with an old friend and key shareholder in the drilling: the Russian government.

The facts on the ground have barely changed since the most recent standoffs in 2017 and 2018. All of them occurred within China’s “nine-dash line,” the imprecise self-defined boundary in which Beijing lays claim to almost all of the South China Sea. But the contested fields, all within the 35,000-square-mile, energy-rich Nam Con Son Basin, are also largely within 200 nautical miles of Vietnam’s coastline, the international rule of thumb for determining exclusive economic zones. China is distant—more than 600 miles away—leaving Beijing no real options under the global status quo to claim the Vanguard Bank.

International development cooperation in the age of US-China strategic rivalry

Minxin Pei

The defining geopolitical feature of the first half of the 21st century, should current tensions between the United States and China continue escalating, will almost certainly be the strategic rivalry, or even a new cold war, between these two countries. A geopolitical clash will be costly to both countries. Such an outcome may even be catastrophic for China, where the combination of a hard-line Leninist regime, the revival of a cult of personality-driven leadership, and stalled economic reforms are on track to derail the country as it strives to become a high-income economy.

More broadly, this conflict will produce immense collateral damage worldwide. Besides dismantling the world’s highly efficient supply chain and possibly bifurcating technology standards, the zero-sum U.S.-China strategic rivalry could make it impossible for humanity to confront today’s climate emergency (largely because the policymakers in each country will see each other as their respective existential threat). Meanwhile, poverty reduction will slow considerably, because the fragmentation of the global economy will reduce global growth.

Houthi attack kills more than 30 in Yemen's Aden, Saudi blames Iran

Fawaz Salman, Mohammed Ghobari

ADEN (Reuters) - Yemen’s Iran-aligned Houthi movement launched missile and drone attacks on Thursday on a military parade in Aden, the seat of government and a stronghold of the Saudi-led military coalition, killing 36 people according to the interior ministry.

Soldiers carry the injured following a missile attack on a military parade during a graduation ceremony for newly recruited troopers in Aden, Yemen August 1, 2019. REUTERS/Fawaz Salman

An explosion hit a military camp belonging to the Yemeni Security Belt forces backed by the United Arab Emirates, which is a member of the Western-backed coalition battling the Houthis, a Reuters witness said.

Soldiers screamed and ran to lift the wounded and place them on trucks. Red berets lay on the ground in pools of blood as several soldiers cried near the body of a commander who was a leading figure among southern separatists.

Is The Cyber War With Iran Every Man For Himself?

By Shimrit Tzur-David 

The U.S. retaliation for the Iranian downing of a U.S. surveillance drone came in a new form; a cyberattack against Iran’s revolutionary guard.

Christopher C. Krebs, Director of the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, said in an official statement that his organization was “aware of a recent rise in malicious cyber activity directed at United States industries and government agencies by Iranian regime actors and proxies.” 

What was particularly concerning about the DHS warning was that recent attacks did not follow the typical pattern of hackers seeking data for financial gain. Rather, Krebs announced that Iranian actors and their proxies were after much more than money - they were using “destructive wiper attacks.” “What might start as an account compromise, where you think you might just lose data,” Krebs said, “can quickly become a situation where you’ve lost your whole network.”

Why Is Russia on Fire?

By Vladimir Ruvinsky

Thick smoke from forest fires has covered cities in Siberia, the Urals, and the Volga region. It would have been possible to cope with the initial stages of the blaze, but regional leaders have tried to extinguish as little as possible. 

According to Greenpeace Russia, over 3 million hectares of forest have been consumed by the current blaze (an area approximately the size of Belgium) and 11 million hectares (an area larger than Portugal) have been affected throughout spring and summer. 

There have been worse forest fires this century in Russia, in 2003 and 2012, but it looks like those records will be broken this week. Usually, the smoke is blown towards the uninhabited areas in the east and north, whereas this year it is more noticeable as it is traveling westward towards Novosibirsk, Yekaterinburg, Chelyabinsk and Kazan.

The current fires are largely a result of a controversial law. More than 90 percent of the burning forests are within so-called control zones: Areas where regional authorities do not have to put out fires if the cost of the effort to do so exceeds that of the fire damage. This policy was introduced in 2015 when the federal authorities basically re-introduced a Soviet-era practice. 

Cybersecurity by Design in Civil Nuclear Power Plants

Dr Beyza Unal

• The application of ‘security by design’ in nuclear new builds could provide operators with the opportunity to establish a robust and resilient security architecture at the beginning of a nuclear power plant’s life cycle. This will enhance the protection of the plant and reduce the need for costly security improvements during its operating life.

• Security by design cannot fully protect a nuclear power plant from rapidly evolving cyberattacks, which expose previously unsuspected or unknown vulnerabilities.

• Careful design of security systems and architecture can – and should – achieve levels of protection that exceed current norms and expectations. However, the sourcing of components from a global supply chain means that the integrity of even the most skilfully designed security regime cannot be guaranteed without exhaustive checks of its components.

Only the United States Can Pull Japan and Korea Back from the Brink

In the vast U.S. alliance network, there are few tasks as prone to disappointment as managing the Japan-South Korea bilateral relationship. Just ask staffers at the National Security Council, the Pentagon and the State Department, who must continually push for enhanced bilateral and trilateral competition in the face of a steep hill of historical and political issues. Even amidst a half-century of occasional spats over these historical debates, U.S. alliance leadership has led to serious accomplishments: the Trilateral Information Sharing Arrangement (TISA), the General Security of Military Information Agreement (GSOMIA), and a litany of bilateral agreements that have significantly expanded trade, military, and people-to-people ties between Japan and South Korea. But while previous disputes threatened to curtail future agreements or derail proposed initiatives, the threat of a full-bore Japan-South Korea trade war over the result of judgement ordering expropriation of Japanese property to compensate former South Korean forced laborersthreatens the very foundations of ties between the two nations. Though it has received little coverage in the Western press, make no mistake: the trade war is now a political war; a full-blown emergency that merits the full attention of U.S. senior leadership.

Training the Next Revolution in American Manufacturing

In the United States, there is currently a dichotomy: employers are unable to fill manufacturing jobs, and yet there are hundreds of thousands of manufacturing workers looking for jobs. How can this be? Many point to a skills deficit across the U.S. workforce. Much like other aspects of daily life and the economy, technology is changing the way U.S. based companies manufacture goods for the global market. As technology permeates and alters the manufacturing industry, it has created a massive boost in manufacturing productivity, while simultaneously requiring fewer workers to maintain and increase production. For those still employed in the manufacturing sector, they also need to be better equipped with the skills to handle the new demands such advanced technology and techniques impose. This report analyzes different workforce development programs for advanced manufacturing across the nation, seeking to better understand what is required to educate and retrain the worker of the future.

Vietnam's Balance Between Great Powers May Start Skewing West

The U.S.-China trade war has escalated Vietnam's move up the industrial value chain in recent years by more deeply integrating Hanoi's economy with manufacturers seeking refuge from the fallout. But with the sixth-largest trade surplus with the United States, Vietnam now risks becoming the target of the White House's next trade salvo, which will force Hanoi to make concessions to evade tariffs that could thwart its economic progress. Fears of complicating relations with China have so far kept Vietnam from taking the action needed to adequately ease its growing trade imbalance with the United States, such as upping its arms purchases. However, rising tensions in the South China Sea could provide an opening for Hanoi to take a stronger stance against Beijing after decades of delicately balancing between the two great powers.

For the past two decades, Vietnam has leveraged its strategic location as the gateway to Indochina to become one of the biggest success stories in the Asia-Pacific. This position has allowed it to largely remain neutral among great power competitions over the years, which continues to serve to its benefit today as now the top export "safe haven" from the U.S.-China trade war. This, however, has come at the cost of ramping up its trade deficit with the United States, which has threatened to retaliate should Hanoi not increase its purchases of American goods and services — a warning the U.S. trade representative reiterated on July 29, noting the "host of unfair trade barriers" that U.S. businesses face upon entering the Vietnamese market.

U.S. Export Controls: What Has Changed?

With the launch of Stratfor Worldview Enterprise, business leaders from a variety of backgrounds share their opinions on geopolitical risks and business strategies. Andrea Winn has a Masters of International Affairs, National Security and Diplomacy from the Bush School of Government and Public Service at Texas A&M University. She is the author of the third article in a three-part series on U.S. export controls. In this column, she discusses what has changed since new export control regulations were put into place.

Since the announcement of the Export Control Reform Initiative (ECRI) in 2011, the revisions have been slowly rolled out and implemented. Since the beginning of the three-phase ECRI rollout, exporters, agencies, and the system at large have experienced major changes. The changes have three overreaching themes: prioritization of business and commerce, unintended consequences, and enforcement and prosecution.
Prioritization of Business and Commerce

The Trump Administration Wants to Be Able to Break into Your Encrypted Data. Here’s What You Need to Know.


In a speech last week, Attorney-General William Barr began again to push for a law that would oblige U.S. businesses to decrypt people’s data if the government told them to. This is far from the first time that U.S. law enforcement officials have demanded such a law.

What’s different now is that the U.S. initiative is just one initiative among many: Other governments also are pressing for similar authorities. Why is this happening now, and why so many countries? Here’s what these initiatives have in common, and how they differ in critical ways.


The Trump administration’s arguments for a ban on uncrackable encryption may sound more like Beijing than ordinary D.C. politics. But other countries are making similar demands. In Australia, the government rushed through a new law at the end of last year giving it the authority to force companies to decrypt data, including by requiring them to “creat[e] a new interception capability.” In Germany, a similar proposal by its minister for interior this spring encountered significant pushback by civil society and the hacker community.

What Russia Stands to Gain, and Lose, From the Thawing Arctic

By Rodger Baker

Among the eight countries with territory inside the Arctic Circle, Russia currently sees the greatest economic benefits from its vast, resource-rich northern regions. In recent years, Russia has begun returning to Cold War-era levels of Arctic activity in order to seize the frozen energy reserves that the warming climate is helping bring to the surface.
But Moscow's financial constraints, coupled with U.S. and European sanctions, will leave it dependent on China to build out the infrastructure needed to fully develop its northern frontier. As a result, Moscow will be placed in a complex situation in the coming years — balancing its national and economic security with its evolving relations with the United States and China.

Although the Arctic was a front line during the Cold War, the harsh climate and limited transit options also made it a relatively secure frontier in the post-Cold War era. And as a result, Russia's Arctic infrastructure and activity — particularly in the security realm — waned considerably as the country's priorities shifted elsewhere. But this has been changing in recent years, as the sea ice that has long barricaded Russia from the rest of the world begins to open up. Russian shipping in the Arctic recently reached levels not seen since the late 1980s, with Russian President Vladimir Putin highlighting Arctic shipping along the Northern Sea Route as a key development project for the country.

Why Is Trump Seeing Red Over France’s ‘Google Tax’?

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France’s decision this month to levy a tax on big technology firms—dubbed the “Google tax”—has sparked another trade fight with Washington and prompted U.S. President Donald Trump to threaten retaliatory tariffs against French products. So far, Paris is all alone—but it may not be for long. Other European countries, including the United Kingdom and Spain, are preparing their own versions of the digital tax, and other big tech countries such as India are considering similar measures. The once-arcane question of tax liability for digital firms is sure to play a big part in the upcoming G-7 summit next month in France, where French President Emmanuel Macron hopes to forge a global solution to an increasingly thorny problem.

What exactly is the Google tax?

France just passed new legislation that went into effect this week that levies a 3 percent tax on the revenues—not profits—that technology firms earn inside the country. The measure is meant to close loopholes in existing international tax law that lets firms earn money in one place—say, France—while having their headquarters and tax liability somewhere else.

Consumer Attitudes Toward Data Breach Notifications and Loss of Personal Information

by Lillian Ablon, Paul Heaton, Diana Catherine Lavery, Sasha Romanosky

How frequently do consumers receive breach notifications and what type of data are typically lost or stolen?

What is the typical consumer response toward the notification, the company, and the company's follow-on actions after a breach?

What are the perceived personal costs resulting from a breach?

How satisfied are consumers with breach notifications?

What actions, if any, do consumers take following a breach notification?

What is the average rate of customer attrition following a breach notification?

PIERCING THE FOG OF PEACE: Developing Innovative Operational Concepts for a New Era

Thomas G. Mahnken, Grace B. Kim, Adam Lemon
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The 2018 National Defense Strategy and the congressionally-mandated 2018 National Defense Strategy Commission refocused U.S. defense planning on the reality of competition and the possibility of conflict with China and Russia and highlighted the urgent need to address eroding military balances and growing operational challenges by developing innovative operational concepts to help bridge the gap between our ends and our means. 

Piercing the Fog of Peace: Developing Innovative Operational Concepts for a New Era is meant to stimulate discussion of, and ultimately spur action to develop, the concepts and capabilities the United States needs to prevail in a more dangerous world. It highlights the operational challenges that should drive defense investment and describes a program of experimentation to meet them.

Data Is a Development Issue


Many wealthy states are transitioning to a new economy built on data. Individuals and firms in these states have expertise in using data to create new goods and services as well as in how to use data to solve complex problems. Other states may be rich in data but do not yet see their citizens’ personal data or their public data as an asset. Most states are learning how to govern and maintain trust in the data-driven economy; however, many developing countries are not well positioned to govern data in a way that encourages development. Meanwhile, some 76 countries are developing rules and exceptions to the rules governing cross-border data flows as part of new negotiations on e-commerce. This paper uses a wide range of metrics to show that most developing and middle-income countries are not ready or able to provide an environment where their citizens’ personal data is protected and where public data is open and readily accessible. Not surprisingly, greater wealth is associated with better scores on all the metrics. Yet, many industrialized countries are also struggling to govern the many different types and uses of data. The paper argues that data governance will be essential to development, and that donor nations have a responsibility to work with developing countries to improve their data governance.

Lost in Translation: The Hong Kong Government’s Dual Messaging Amid Protests

By Kai Yui Samuel Chan and Elizabeth Lui

Hong Kong’s Chief Executive Carrie Lam announced in a press conference on July 9 that the controversial extradition bill was “dead.” The majority of foreign press characterized the pronouncement as Lam’s “most emphatic promise yet.” Those sympathetic to the cause of Hong Kong activists were quick to celebrate their victory over the government. There were, however, no celebratory events among Hong Kong activists themselves; instead, they expressed anger and deep frustration with Lam’s statement.

Why weren’t Hong Kong activists satisfied?

The devil, as always, is in the details. The core demand of the anti-extradition bill activists has remained consistent: nothing short of a “withdrawal” of the extradition bill. Their insistence on the wording is legally grounded on the city’s Legislative Council Rules of Procedure Article 64, which stipulates that the legislative member or public officer in charge of the bill may either “withdraw” or “postpone” it in legislative proceedings.

Algorithmic Warfare: Academia Key to Maintaining U.S. Lead in AI

By Yasmin Tadjdeh
While countries around the world are investing big in AI, the United States’ advantage is in its talent pipeline and universities, said Dana Deasy, the Defense Department’s chief information officer.

“There is no doubt in my mind that we continue to have the most exquisite capability in terms of people, academic talent [and] startups as a nation,” he told reporters during a recent meeting in Washington, D.C.

While experts can run stats and figures that compare the amount of money adversarial nations are investing in AI to the United States, Washington still has the upper hand, he added.

“We’re going to continue to have to have the best academic environment in the world,” Deasy said. “It all starts there. You can look at any great set of technology that’s come out of the U.S. that’s ended up being used and you could find its roots first by somebody who came out of some academic environment [and] then went into either a startup role or some technology firm.”

Audit of the DoD’s Management of the Cybersecurity Risks for Government Purchase Card Purchases of Commercial Off-the-Shelf Items DODIG-2019-106

We determined whether the DoD assessed and mitigated cybersecurity risks when purchasing commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) information technology items. Although we primarily focused on Government purchase card (GPC) purchases, we also assessed risks affecting traditional acquisition processes.


The DoD purchases and uses a wide variety of COTS information technology items, such as laptops, software, security cameras, and networking equipment. According to the Federal Acquisition Regulation, a COTS item is a commercial item sold in substantial quantity in the marketplace and offered to the Government in the same form in which it is sold to non-Government customers.

Statement before the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission on A “World-Class” Military: Assessing China’s Global Military Ambitions

Thomas G. Mahnken
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Dr. Thomas G. Mahnken testified before the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission in a hearing on “A ‘World-Class' Military: Assessing China’s Global Military Ambitions” on June 20, 2019.

Download full “Statement before the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission on A “World-Class” Military: Assessing China’s Global Military Ambitions” report.