12 August 2019

Will breaking up Coal India Limited lead to efficiency and competition?

Rahul Tongia and Anurag Sehgal

Inherent and structural differences mean simply breaking up CIL will not unleash meaningful competition, not unless the system is willing to bear a high spread in coal prices. Location matters enormously, and coal ends up being a not very liquid commodity (no pun intended).

Newspaper reports have spoken about breaking up Coal India Limited (CIL), the world’s largest coal miner, to unleash efficiency, raise production, and raise cash for the government (which still owns 70.96% of CIL). Separating CIL subsidiaries is not a new idea, having been floated in 2017 before. Leaving aside political considerations, including worries about unions (i.e., “can this be done?”), the real issues are structural, institutional, and regulatory. The view to break up CIL is to end its de-facto monopoly (producing almost 85% of domestic production), and unleash efficiency, perhaps through competition. Unfortunately, the differences between subsidiaries aren’t just stark, they are structural or legacy, and predominantly outside the hands of management, including based on geo-technical differences. Locational issues are also critical, making coal across diverse mines much less fungible. Any policies that fail to reflect system-level effects and underlying issues might result in minimal change, but could also lead to huge price spreads across subsidiaries, something end-users (like power plants) will have to bear. In the worst case, such changes these may even lead to loss of production.

The indigenisation of India’s defence industry

Dhruva Jaishankar

An indigenous defence industry is a vital objective for India given its security environment and strategic objectives. India has a large and growing defence budget and a long history of defence industrial production. However, the country remains heavily reliant on defence imports, particularly for major platforms, while its own exports are extremely meagre. Although several high-level committees have been established to address the problem of defence industrial indigenisation, very few of the necessary steps have been taken. In part, this is because India faces a number of dilemmas in trying to reform its defence industry: the normal rules of market economics do not apply; ideal objectives of quality, cost, and timeframes cannot be achieved simultaneously; defence budgets remain susceptible to cuts; the nature of defence supply chains is changing; and little heed has been paid to policies to maximise technological absorption. Moreover, major stakeholders confront their own challenges: India’s powerful defence public sector faces conflicts of interest and is resistant to change; the armed services provide unrealistic qualitative requirements; the Ministry of Defence lacks specialisation; the Finance Ministry discourages long-term spending; and the political leadership lacks expertise and is reluctant to make decisions due to political perceptions. To address these diverse challenges, efforts should be made to ensure predictable long-term requirements and create a more level playing field between the public and private sectors. Further, a mechanism must be found to ensure predictable capital expenditure, in order to incentivise investment. Without such steps being taken, India will continue to struggle in its quest for defence indigenisation.

'Washington is not going to fall for Pakistan's trap'

‘India remains a critical player in the Trump administration’s thinking,’ Michael Kugelman, Deputy Director, Asia Programme, and South Asia Senior Associate at the Woodrow Wilson Centre in Washington, DC, tells Rediff.com’s Archana Masihin the second part the interview.

What challenges do you foresee for the Modi government in the short term in its relations with the Trump administration? How has Imran Khan’s visit to the United States affected India-US relations?

We can be sure that New Delhi wasn’t exactly overjoyed by Khan’s successful trip, but I don’t think we should overstate its impact on US-India relations.

And for all the talk of Trump’s mediation offer for Kashmir, once New Delhi announced its intention to repeal Article 370 of the Indian Constitution, Washington was completely silent -- underscoring that it’s not going to fall for the trap likely hoped for by Pakistan of the United States reacting to India’s controversial move on Article 370 by proposing to get involved to ease tensions.

How the CIA Aims to Keep a Footprint in Afghanistan

Source Link

KHOST, Afghanistan—The muezzin had just called for the morning prayer when soldiers brandishing guns jumped off their Toyota Hiluxes, surrounded Noor Walli Khan’s house, knocked down the door, and entered the dark rooms where his family slept. 

Minutes later, they had tied everyone’s hands and feet and started pouring gasoline over the family’s only car. Khan, 42, watched as the vehicle went up in flames. His children hid in the rooms left devastated by the raiders. 

The surprise raid was the handiwork of the Khost Protection Force (KPF), a unit of Afghan soldiers trained, equipped, and funded by the CIA, operating mainly in the eastern province of Khost. The KPF’s U.S.-directed mission: Root out anyone remotely suspected of al Qaeda or Taliban ties. Interviewed after the raid, Qais, a 29-year-old KPF commander and drone operator who asked to be identified by a pseudonym, remarked casually that he himself was sure Khan’s family was innocent. But he shrugged off the raid as a warning that the CIA directed him to deliver.

“Our main objective is to bring security and to remove Taliban threats in Khost,” he explained, puffing out smoke from his cigarette. The CIA did not respond to several requests for comment.

US-Pakistan Relations after Imran Khan’s Visit

Husain Haqqani

Media attention and domestic praise aside, Imran Khan’s visit to the US has not really changed Pakistan’s fundamental challenges; its coffers remain depleted and economy stagnant, the country still remains on the UN Financial Action Task Force (FATF) Grey List, and the military’s dominance over society – coupled with the weaknesses bred by it - continues unabated.

Imran Khan can be happy that his meeting with Trump went well, possibly too well by the standards of Pakistanis eager for good news. Khan returned home to applause and claims that he had managed to break Pakistan’s isolation, secured a central role in efforts for peace in Afghanistan, and even evoked Trump’s interest in the Kashmir question.

Although the White House meeting went well, it is unlikely that the American side will open its checkbook and resume aid to Pakistan any time soon. Khan’s visit was weak on substance, notwithstanding the symbolic value of a Pakistani prime minister and army chief showing up at the White House together to make new promises of counter-terrorism cooperation.

Playing the Right Hand: US Negotiations With the Taliban

By Jeff Smith

After a period of relative quiescence, Afghanistan burst back into the headlines in August. Current and former administration officials signaled U.S. President Donald Trump was keen to withdraw all U.S. troops from Afghanistan before the 2020 election. The administration is now reportedly close to signing an interim peace agreement with the Taliban. There is growing concern, however, that in a fairly public rush for the exits, the Trump administration is both alienating U.S. allies in Afghanistan and vulnerable to signing a bad deal with a partner negotiating in bad faith.

President Trump has never been coy about his desire to end the “endless wars.” Last September his impatience with the stalemate in Afghanistan led him to appoint Zalmay Khalilzad as Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation. Khalilzad was given a mandate to hasten a diplomatic resolution and pursue direct talks with the Taliban, which proved willing to reciprocate. Within just a few months, the two sides claimed to have reached agreement on 90 percent of outstanding issues.

In Afghanistan, the Endgame Demands a Difficult Balancing Act in a Region on Edge

by Mujib Mashal 

Six days into negotiations that many expect will deliver a preliminary deal to end nearly two decades of United States military presence in Afghanistan, the last stretch is proving to be a difficult balancing act.

Most of the American and Taliban negotiators were stuck in talks late into the night Thursday in the Persian Gulf state of Qatar — but others, including the delegation leaders, were on the road in a region in turmoil, visiting other nations that could have some sway in the outcome.

For both sides, the challenge is to craft a face-saving resolution for all the vested interests that also sets a path for stability in Afghanistan.

Counterterrorism After a Peace Deal in Afghanistan

Francis X. Taylor

Even as violence in Afghanistan continues at a gruesome pace—Afghan civilians suffered more deaths and injuriesin July than in any month over the last two years—talks between the United States and the Taliban also continue to make slow but steady progress. An August 1 report in the Washington Post suggests that an agreement may be in the works which includes a withdrawal of 5,000-6,000 U.S. troops in exchange for the Taliban cutting ties with Al-Qaeda, entering into a ceasefire, and participating in negotiations with the Afghan government.

While it’s difficult to know everything that is going on around the negotiating table or how close the parties are to a final accord, what we can say with reasonable certainty is that any deal at the end of the day will need to be verifiable. Signing an agreement without a clearly spelled out, enforceable mechanism that holds all sides to the terms would be as effective as signing a useless sheet of paper. This is particularly the case with the Taliban, a movement that has shown little interest in compromise and has never truly stopped dreaming of retaking Kabul by force. 

Chinese troops must stay off the streets of Hong Kong

It is summer, and the heat is oppressive. Thousands of students have been protesting for weeks, demanding freedoms that the authorities are not prepared to countenance. Officials have warned them to go home, and they have paid no attention. Among the working population, going about its business, irritation combines with sympathy. Everybody is nervous about how this is going to end, but few expect an outcome as brutal as the massacre of hundreds and maybe thousands of citizens.

Today, 30 years on, nobody knows how many were killed in and around Tiananmen Square, in that bloody culmination of student protests in Beijing on June 4th 1989. The Chinese regime’s blackout of information about that darkest of days is tacit admission of how momentous an event it was. But everybody knows that Tiananmen shaped the Chinese regime’s relations with the country and the world. Even a far less bloody intervention in Hong Kong would reverberate as widely (see article).

What Happened to Aung San Suu Kyi?

Arinze Stanley
Source Link

The first time I met Aung San Suu Kyi, she embodied hope. It was November 2012, and we were in her weathered house at 54 University Avenue, in Yangon, where she’d been held prisoner by the ruling Burmese junta for the better part of two decades. She sat at a small, round table with Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, and Derek Mitchell, who had recently been named the first U.S. ambassador to Myanmar in more than 20 years. At 67, Suu Kyi was poised and striking, a flower tucked into her long black hair, which was streaked with gray. Looking up at the worn books on the shelves behind her, I imagined the hours she must have spent reading them in enforced solitude. A picture of Mahatma Gandhi looked down with a serene smile.

The meeting was a high-water mark for three historic figures. Obama had just decisively won a second term as president. Clinton, then secretary of state, was about to prepare her own run for the presidency. Released from house arrest in November 2010, Suu Kyi had just been elected to the Myanmar Parliament in a by-election that her party had won in a rout. In a country where any unauthorized assembly had until recently been illegal, tens of thousands of people had greeted Obama’s motorcade. Later, he would address the Burmese people at the University of Yangon, which had been shuttered since shortly after students were gunned down in the pro-democracy protests that followed Suu Kyi’s 1988 entry into politics. It felt as if a heavy shroud was being lifted off the country.

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

Ross Babbage

Volumes 1 & 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.

Don’t Underestimate Iran’s Ability to Fight a Bloody War


On July 29, President Trump tweeted: “Just remember, Iranians never won a war, but never lost a negotiation.” In just 12 words, Trump leveled a multi-layered, ahistorical insult against both his predecessor, Barack Obama, and Iran. 

More importantly, the remarks betray a dangerously ignorant understanding of Iran that could result in another careless Middle East war of choice.

The tweet invokes a clichéd, colonial-era stereotype that Iranians, like other Middle Eastern peoples, are wily swindlers—rapacious, greedy bazaar merchants who aim to take advantage of honest and unsuspecting Westerners. Trump is hardly the first American leader to dabble in such denigrating stereotypes. Wendy Sherman, a senior State Department official and former lead negotiator who helped forge the Iran nuclear deal in 2015, infamously quipped that Iranians could not be trusted because they have “deception in their DNA.” 

Review – Thucydides on the Outbreak of War

By Seth N. Jaffe

Drums of war have not sounded in Iran but tensions with the United States are dangerously rising after the recent tanker attacks in the Gulf of Oman (13/6/2019). Relations between the nuclear armed adversaries, North Korea and the United States, remain strained despite the proclaimed détente following the 2018 Singapore Summit between the leaders of the two countries. The future of the United States-China relationship is replete with dangerous uncertainties that might spiral into conflict. War is again more thinkable than it was in the optimistic years following the end of the Cold War.

In Thucydides on the Outbreak of War: Character and Contest Seth Jaffe offers an eminently readable analysis of Thucydides’ classic work on the History of the Peloponnesian War that addresses the million-dollar question: why do wars break out? Interestingly, he focuses on the relative importance of the opposing national characters of Athens and Sparta, much like the opposing characters of the United States and China or Iran or North Korea, to explain the outbreak of the Peloponnesian War. His analysis adds value to contemporary debates about war by virtue of being less deterministic and more psychological than other accounts. His approach departs significantly from (and offers an implicit critique of) recent dominant analyses of Thucydides, like Graham Allison’s thesis that the United States and China are in danger of falling into ‘Thucydides’ Trap’; hence, sleepwalking into a conflict. Jaffe avoids such quasi-deterministic metaphors, and opts for a more holistic analysis of Thucydides’ understanding of history, the specific causes of the Peloponnesian War, and the causes of war in general as a guide for public policy. The whole volume revolves around the elusive concept of the national character of great powers, what shapes it, and how, in turn, it shapes war. Crucially, this can be approximated partly subjectively and partly objectively.

Taiwan might save the day for Hong Kong


WASHINGTON – As Hong Kong recovers from a general strike that paralyzed transportation and led to mob violence and tear gas fired on protesters, the Beijing-controlled government’s chief executive, Carrie Lam, is hinting at even stronger action. “Such disruptions have seriously undermined Hong Kong’s law and order and are pushing our city, the city we all love, and many of us helped to build, to the verge of a very dangerous situation,” she said.

The Chinese government agency that oversees Hong Kong held a rare news conference Tuesday, announcing support for Lam and accusing the protesters of fomenting a revolution. Most ominously, Chinese authorities have mobilized troops near the border with the mainland.

Having visited Hong Kong many times in the course of my naval career, both when it was a British colony and after the 1997 handover to China, I think I have a pretty good feel for how large the stakes are and how worrisome the situation is. My military and diplomatic colleagues are questioning the long-term viability of the “one country, two systems” construct that has governed the relationship between Hong Kong and the rest of China for two decades. The threat of large-scale capital and physical flight is increasing.

Assessment of U.S. Strategic Goals Through Peacekeeping Operations in the 1982 Lebanon Intervention

Edwin Tran

This article is published as part of the Small Wars Journal and Divergent Options Writing Contest which ran from March 1, 2019 to May 31, 2019. More information about the writing contest can be found here.

The United States’ intervention in the Lebanese Civil War was a peacekeeping operation defined by long term strategic goals centered around increasing American hegemony in the region. The United States sought to leverage its position as a peacekeeper against Israeli and Syrian advances. However, significant overreach and unplanned events would play a substantial role in limiting the extent of American success in Lebanon. 

In 1975, tensions between Lebanon’s sectarian groups erupted into civil war[1]. The influx of Palestinian refugees throughout the 1940s-1960s threatened the political status quo of the country and civil war saw Palestinian militias engage Maronite militias[2]. As the Lebanese Civil War waged on, various peacekeeping operations were attempted. June 1976 saw the entrance of the Syrian military on behalf of Maronite President Suleiman Frangieh. This entrance was followed by a task force known as the Arab Deterrent Force founded in October of that year[3]. In response to the 1978 Israeli invasion of South Lebanon, the United Nations Security Council enacted resolutions 425 and 426, which created the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNFIL)[4]. Despite these measures, further instability was promoted by the 1982 Israeli invasion of Lebanon. The U.S. Reagan administration was deeply divided by these actions, and after serious cabinet discussions, Secretary of State Alexander Haig resigned. Haig was replaced by George Shultz, and after further discussions with the Lebanese regime of Elias Sarkis, it was decided that the U.S., United Kingdom, France, and Italy would establish a peacekeeping mission[5]. Known as the Multinational Force in Lebanon (MNF), this iteration of international peacekeeping operations would, as described by U.S. Deputy Press Secretary Larry Speakes, “facilitate the restoration of Lebanese Government sovereignty and authority over the Beirut area and thereby further its efforts… to bring an end the violence which has tragically recurred[6].”

How uncertainty in the cyber domain changes war

By: Andrew Eversden  

LAS VEGAS — Uncertainty clouds the cyber domain. The ability to blur where attacks originated raises questions about how to strike back, while cyber weapons are changing the theory of deterrence.

Discussions swirl throughout the globe about whether cyberattacks constitute acts of war and whether they warrant a military response. In 2011, the Pentagon decided that they would.

“It’s very easy to say these things; it’s much more different to do these things,” Mikko Hypponen, chief research officer of Finnish cybersecurity and privacy company F-Secure, said at Black Hat USA, a hacker conference in Las Vegas running Aug. 3-8. “The reason why it’s so hard is basically one word: attribution.”

What Are the Rules of Engagement in a Cyberwar?

By Neil J. Rubenking

"The lines between real and virtual worlds are blurring fast," Mikko Hypponen, Chief Research Officer for Finnish security company F-Secure, said here at Black Hat. "Several governments have publicly stated that they reserve the right to respond to cyber attacks with kinetic force. Now we are seeing that happening for real."

War and conflict exist in a new domain, Hypponen told a rapt Black Hat audience at Black Hat. "What are the rules of engagement in these new conflicts? And where is the cyber arms race taking us next?"

These are not new questions; Hypponen has been attending Black Hat and its partner conference, DEF CON, for years. But "world is more and more virtual. We live 50 percent of our daily lives in a world where geography doesn't exist, doesn't matter, or matters differently."

The Problem of Attribution

Government officials have already established that computer sabotage could be an act of war, Hypponen pointed out. And "they reserve the right to respond with any means, including kinetic attacks."

Why the Google Walkout Terrifies the Tech Moguls

By Geoffrey James
Source Link

Inthe first book of Gulliver’s Travels, the hero wakes to find himself tied to the ground by tiny human-like creatures, who he then treats not as his equals but as his superiors. Even though Gulliver could go all Godzilla on Lilliput — or use that potential to get his needs met — he slavishly seeks approval from the diminutive and ludicrously petty royal court.

The point of Swift’s satire was obvious to 18th century readers: Gulliver represented the population of England which, despite its immense power to overthrow the government, obliviously bowed and scraped to a government of weaklings, knaves and fools.

In the novel, Gulliver never “wakes up” to his power, but one could argue that over the next two centuries England (and its American colonies) “woke up” and instituted a more representative government that better reflected the will of the people.

The seeds of a similar revolution just happened at Google, where 20,000 workers walked out to protest the decisions of Google’s management to support oppressive government and to provide a $90 million platinum parachute to an executive who was credibly accused of sexual harassment.

Infographic Of The Day: The Tech Giants Sending Your User Data To Governments - Part 3

These infographics show where the tech giants are sending data. Facebook is top the list, granting 138,317 requests for user information. 64,351 instances of those involved data being sent to the US government, which made 75,208 requests to Facebook alone between 2010 -2018. In comparison, Germany, the second biggest requester of data, was granted 6,970 data requests from Facebook between 2010 - 2018. However, Germany was more interested in Apple's user data, requesting and receiving 22,080 instances of user data in the past 8 years.

How uncertainty in the cyber domain changes war

By: Andrew Eversden   

LAS VEGAS — Uncertainty clouds the cyber domain. The ability to blur where attacks originated raises questions about how to strike back, while cyber weapons are changing the theory of deterrence.

Discussions swirl throughout the globe about whether cyberattacks constitute acts of war and whether they warrant a military response. In 2011, the Pentagon decided that they would.

“It’s very easy to say these things; it’s much more different to do these things,” Mikko Hypponen, chief research officer of Finnish cybersecurity and privacy company F-Secure, said at Black Hat USA, a hacker conference in Las Vegas running Aug. 3-8. “The reason why it’s so hard is basically one word: attribution.”

Cyber-Realpolitik: US Foreign Policy and a Fragmented International System

Jonathan Lancelot

When international policymakers are in war rooms around the world, making decisions that could determine the difference between détente or a megadeath, it is not always clear where the directive ends up, who received it, or what will become if it. During World War I, a war which resulted from machines of war that were so destructive, mechanical, without respect for distance from ground zero, and a fail attempt of diplomacy across Europe, populations of people were destroyed by the incongruency between the governing body and the governed. Regardless, all that perished under the mismanagement of the international system did not even know why bombs were falling into their villages and towns. World War I is an example of the lack of leadership within government to adapt to the nuances of old, renewed, and current conflict in a region that championed the art of war, and aligning this tradition with military offensive technology that was capable of prolonging an already bloody and senseless melee.


Lily Hay Newman posted an August 7, 2019 article in WIRED.com, with the title above. She begins, “when you think about how hackers can break into your smartphone, you probably imagine it would start with clicking on a malicious link in a text, downloading a fraudulent app, or some other way you accidentally let them in. It turns out that’s not necessarily so — not even on the iPhone, where simply receiving an iMessage could be enough to get you hacked,” Ms. Newman wrote.

“At the Black Hat security conference in Los Vegas on Wednesday, Google Project Zero researcher Natalie Silvanovich presented multiple, so-called “interaction-less” bugs in Apple’s iOS iMessage client that could be exploited to gain control of a user’s device,” Ms. Newman wrote. “And while Apple has already patched five of them, a few have yet to be patched.”

“These can be turned into the sort of bugs that will execute code, and be able to be eventually used for weaponized things like accessing your data,” Silvanovich said. “So, the worst-case scenario is that these bugs are used to harm users.”

Air Force Grounds More than 100 C-130 Aircraft over Wing Crack Worrie

By Oriana Pawlyk

More than 100 C-130 Hercules cargo aircraft have been temporarily removed from service after cracks were discovered during routine maintenance, Air Mobility Command (AMC) announced Thursday.

Gen. Maryanne Miller, head of AMC, ordered 123 of the 450 C-130 models on Air Force flight lines to be stood down as a safety precaution after "atypical cracks were discovered on the lower center wing joint," also known as the rainbow fitting, according to a news release.

The planes will receive an "immediate time compliance technical order inspection to identify and correct any cracking to ensure airworthiness of these C-130 aircraft," the release states.


Pukhraj Singh

On July 8, Michael Schmitt, a law professor and former judge advocate in the US Air Force, posted a perplexing tweet about changing his mind on the “status of cyber capabilities as ‘weapons.’” He followed it up with the link to a recent paper he coauthored for the International Law Studies journal of the US Naval War College.

Schmitt is one of the key architects of the guiding document on international norms of cyber conflict, widely known as the Tallinn Manual. His latest paper severely curtails the legal logic that is the heart of the manual, which, even prior to Schmitt’s admission, was thought to be shaky at best. In fact, the newer set of assumptions proposed by Schmitt may also not stand up to scrutiny, further limiting the manual’s applicability to real-world scenarios.

A decade after it was initiated, the most prominent project that sought to define responsible state behavior in cyberspace has developed cracks.

The Marines' new commandant has set the bar for real military reform

By David Ignatius

The Pentagon is buzzing about a potentially revolutionary order by the new Marine Corps commandant that bluntly answers the essential question for would-be military reformers: What should we discard from the legacy arsenal to make room for what we need to fight the wars of the future? 

“We cannot afford to retain outdated policies, doctrine, organizations or force development strategies,” wrote Gen. David Berger in his “Commandant’s Planning Guidance” issued July 16, less than a week after he took over. “What served us well yesterday may not today,” when a technologically advanced China is America’s most potent future adversary. 

Talk is cheap when it comes to reforming the military, but Berger backs his call for change with specific recommendations that gore many of the Marine Corps’ sacred cows. He says he’s ready to give up some existing forces to pay for modernization — a sentiment that’s rare indeed in a Pentagon that treasures its aircraft carriers, fighter jets and other legacy weapons. 

Digital Arsenal: Army Inches Forward On Electronic Warfare


Army 8×8 Stryker and Humvees, all mounting variants of the hastily-fielded Saber Fury electronic warfare system — note the veritable forest of antennas.

The Army wants to jam, spoof and hack enemy electronics with such subtlety the target doesn’t even realize what’s going wrong. That takes both high-tech equipment and highly trained personnel to use it.

But the Army largely disbanded its electronic warfare corps after the Cold War, and the rebuilding takes time. The service is moving step by step, through a series of urgent expedients, field experiments, and “proto-prototypes,” towards its ultimate goal: combining electronic warfare, cyber warfare, and signals intelligence into a new form of digital warfare, a key part of the future combat concept called Multi-Domain Operations.

Anatomies of Revolution

Revolutions are all around us, without us always noticing them. Take the place where I live: Highbury in North London. In the late 14th century, rural workers marched on Highbury and burned down its manor house as part of what became known as the Peasants Revolt, an uprising that began as a local tax rebellion, but which turned into a general crisis. In nearby Stoke Newington can be found the Newington Green Unitarian Church, also known as the Meeting House, which was frequented during the 18th century by a number of prominent dissenters, most notably Mary Wollstonecraft and Richard Price. Amongst those who came to hear Price speak were Thomas Paine and Thomas Jefferson.

Heading towards where I work, at LSE, can be found Clerkenwell Green, perhaps the epicentre of revolutionary London. Over the centuries, Clerkenwell Green and its surrounds have been home to Chartists, Suffragettes, and a myriad of groups supporting independence movements around the world. During Lenin’s exile in London, the communist newspaper Iskra was published here in a building that is now the Marx Memorial Library. Down the road in De Beauvoir Town, over 300 hundred communists, including Lenin, Stalin, Trotsky, Kollontai, and Luxemburg met (in a church no less) over two weeks in May 1907 in order to develop a common revolutionary programme that could overthrow Tsarist Russia and build a communist state. And these are just some of the many revolutionaries who have made London their home or headquarters. The list ranges from the well-known figures above, to which could be added Karl Marx, Simón Bolívar and Ho Chi Minh, to lesser known characters such as Madan Lal Dhingra and Francisco Caamaño.

Saving Blood & Treasure: The Evolving Art of War and the Application of Design Methodology to Complex Problems of 21st Century Small Wars

Richard M. Crowell

“Small war may be seen first as states applying small scale organized violence against military targets in order to exhaust the enemy and to compel them to change policy and second the application of organized and unorganized violence by non-state actors against military forces to harass and exhaust the enemy’s army in order to change their policy.”

-- Carl von Clausewitz, Schriften, Aufsӓtze, Studien, Briefe, Band 1 and Bekenntnisdenkschrift[1]

The Art of War

The art of war is characterized by continuous adaptation, movement, and subsequent counter-movement of opposing forces to control events in order to achieve objectives.[2] Successful commanders throughout history have been skilled at adaptation and movement utilizing combined arms in the traditional domains of war—land, sea and air—to achieve lethal effects.[3] In employing their art, commanders must define the ends, ways, and means to achieve victory. The ends are the objectives to be achieved, the means are the resources and authorities to achieve them, and the ways are represented by the creativity of the art of war. 

Modern War and Cultural Change

Julian Koeck

“War is the father of all things”, Heraclitus wrote. In fact, most of human history is about war; war shaped societies; war made people rich; war made people poor; war destroyed cultures; war shaped cultures; war brought religions; war entertained; war was waged for nothing; war was waged for everything. It is only fitting that humankinds first true historian was a general. Thucydides of Athens was one of the ten “Strategoi”, the elected military leaders of the democratic Athens. When the Athenians lost an important battle in 422 BC, Thucydides was blamed for the loss and sent to exile. To serve for the Athenian democracy was in a certain sense not unlike serving under modern dictators: one “wrong” result could lead to banishment or even death. Thucydides, therefore, watched the great conflict between Athens and Sparta from the sidelines. Between 431 and 404 BC, both poleis fought a multidimensional war in which all Greek states and many of the neighboring nations got sucked in. Sparta won in the end, but lost the following peace. The Greek poleis had lost so much blood, treasure, and will that they were no longer able to fight off the monarchies around them (like they did against the Persians in 490 and 480 BC).

For Thucydides there were three reasons for war: fear, interest, honor. Undoubtedly, this was a most insightful concept that holds truth till today. However, in the 20th century another thought about war developed in the West as an answer to the destructive World Wars.

Adaptability is a Must for a Military Career

By Commander Brooke Millard, U.S. Coast Guard

Adaptability: Ability to modify work methods and priorities in response to new information, changing conditions, political realities, or unexpected obstacles.1

“To improve is to change, so to be perfect is to change often.” — Winston Churchill

In October 1942, Coast Guard Commander Merlin O’Neill received orders to command the USS Leonard Wood (AP-25), a 535-foot merchant ship converted into a military troop transport vessel. His report date: within 24 hours of receipt of orders. O’Neill left his office at Coast Guard Headquarters in Washington, DC, packed his seabag, and kissed his wife and children goodbye. Within weeks, O’Neill and the Leonard Wood, with a complement of 50 officers, 600 crew, and 2,500 Marines, set out to cross the Atlantic Ocean for the Allied amphibious invasion of Casablanca. During the next two years, O’Neill and his crew would sail the world as they transported soldiers, prisoners of war, and the injured between Europe, the States, and the Pacific islands.2