15 August 2019

India responds to Belt and Road Initiative with infrastructure push

The recent launch of a direct flight between Guwahati in northeast India and Dhaka in Bangladesh marks the beginning of a new phase in the ties between that region of India and its neighborhood. Bangladesh is a key country for India, particularly in the light of the friendly relations between the two governments.

But more than a simple aeronautical arrangement, the route shines a light on India's Act East Policy, which aims to improve connectivity -- and relationships -- between India and its eastern neighbors, including the ASEAN countries. That this comes as China increases its influence in the region through the Belt and Road Initiative should not surprise anyone.

New Delhi is working on a host of other connectivity initiatives. It is involved in the Kaladan transport project, which links the remote Northeast with other parts of the country via Myanmar and the Bay of Bengal.


by Sujata Ashwarya

Oil and gas trade is emerging as a new area of engagement between India and the United States against the backdrop of increasingly complementary interests. The emergence of the United States as the world’s top oil and gas producer in the last few years dovetails perfectly with India’s energy-deficient status and growing demand. With high rates of economic growth and over 17 percent of the world’s population, India’s energy consumption growth is largely fed by foreign imports of fossil fuels.

While the increasing supply and demand are the obvious drivers of this upward trend in trade, the contours of energy ties have been fleshed out in the India-US Strategic Energy Partnership (SEP) launched in April 2018. The trade component of the SEP envisages the sale of oil and gas to India from the burgeoning shale rigs in the United States.

According to BP Statistical Review (June 2019), “the U.S. achieved a unique double first last year [2018], recording the single largest-ever annual increases by any country in both oil and gas production.” The Energy Information Administration (EIA) projects that the United States will export more energy than it imports by 2020.

Afghan Forces in Worst State in Years as U.S. Nears Pullout Deal

by Rod Nordland and David Zucchino 

As the United States appears to be nearing a deal with the Taliban on pulling its troops from Afghanistan, the country’s security forces are in their worst state in years — almost completely on the defensive in much of the country, according to local military commanders and civilian officials.

Afghan commanders vowed last year to take the offensive, rather than go on fighting a static “checkpoint war.” But in most major battlegrounds, the bulk of the regular Afghan forces are still holed up in fortified bases and outposts. Most offensive operations have been left to small numbers of Afghan and American Special Operations soldiers, backed by both countries’ air forces.

The woeful state of the regular Afghan forces has been widely seen as giving the Taliban a valuable edge in its negotiations with the United States, which have gone on for eight rounds in Doha, Qatar, and are believed to be near a conclusion. An announcement could come as early as Tuesday but also may be delayed, perhaps for weeks…

The Rise of Afghanistan's Taliban

by Masood Ahmad Azizi 
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The latest round of U.S.-Taliban talks appears to be heading to a framework for peace. In exchange for a timeline for the withdrawal of U.S. forces, the Taliban have agreed to a guarantee that Afghan territory will not be used to sponsor terrorist groups or stage attacks against the United States or its allies. This would be followed by a nationwide ceasefire and the start of an intra-Afghan dialogue, leading to the release of prisoners from both sides.

For all the progress, the peace talks face criticism for excluding the Afghan government. The Taliban have consistently refused to recognize Afghanistan’s elected government—calling it a U.S. puppet—and demanded to negotiate solely with the United States. But intra-Afghan negotiations between the Taliban and Afghan leadership will only begin once a deal with the United States is agreed upon.

The ugly truth is that the Taliban have a legitimate claim of representing a part of Afghan society…

Pakistan’s New Plight in Kashmir: What to Do About the Jihadists

by Saheed Shah

India’s decision to revoke Kashmir’s autonomy leaves Pakistan’s leadership in a bind over how to handle jihadist groups that Pakistan’s military nurtured to liberate the disputed area.

Islamabad is under international pressure to crack down on the extremists or face financial sanctions. Worst, attacks by those militant outfits could ignite armed conflict between India and Pakistan.

But the government is also under domestic pressure to counter India’s move in a region Pakistan views as an integral part of its identity, making such extremist groups a tempting tool. Now, after India’s shift, experts say Pakistan is unlikely to continue what they say is the government’s first serious effort to dismantle its jihadist infrastructure…

Losing the War in Forgotten Afghanistan

by Andrew C. McCarthy
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The media are struggling to fix the nation’s limited August attention on Captain Ahab (a.k.a. House Judiciary Committee chairman Jerry Nadler) and his quest to nab the great white whale of impeachment. Meanwhile, in Afghanistan, the United States of America, the world’s lone superpower, is about to lose a war to the Taliban.

You heard me right: the Taliban.

This would be the same ragtag gang of sharia-supremacists that harbored al-Qaeda — its enduring ally — while the terror network slaughtered nearly 3,000 Americans on September 11, 2001, the bloodiest attack by a foreign power on our homeland in American history. Worse even than Pearl Harbor.

The Taliban will soon be ruling Afghanistan again, just as it did in those years before 9/11. That is when al-Qaeda was encouraged to make Afghanistan the headquarters of its global anti-American jihad. In recent years, while we were fixated on ISIS, al-Qaeda became stronger, more resilient, and more battle-hardened. When the Taliban retakes control, al-Qaeda will be right back in business.

Lest we forget, its business is killing Americans…

Why Are the Taliban Reluctant to Declare a Ceasefire?

By Daud Khattak

As the Afghan reconciliation process advances toward a deal for a phased withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan that may likely pave way for direct talks between the Taliban and the Afghan government, the militia’s leadership is still reluctant to end hostilities by declaring an all-encompassing ceasefire.

Last week, a document billed as a draft agreement was leaked to media in Kabul. Key points include the withdrawal of U.S. forces, the release of some 13,000 Taliban prisoners over the course of two months, assurances from the Taliban that Afghan soil will not be used by terrorists for staging attacks against any other country, and the start of talks with the Afghan government, which the Taliban have so far refused to sit down with.

Left unaddressed so far is a ceasefire: a commitment that the Taliban will stop attacking Afghan security forces and public places alongside putting an end to attacks on U.S. troops. And such an end to hostilities is exactly what the average Afghan looks forward to. Last year was the deadliest yet for civilians in the 18-year-old war, with 3,804 dead and another 7,000 wounded.

The State of the Fighting in the Afghan War in Mid-2019

By Anthony H. Cordesman

The Afghan War has entered a critical period in which the U.S. is actively seeking a peace settlement with the Taliban, and doing so in spite of the fact that it is negotiating without the full participation of the Afghan government.

Peace is a highly uncertain option. There are no official descriptions of the terms of the peace that the Administration is now seeking to negotiate, but media reports indicate that it may be considering a full withdrawal within a year of a ceasefire, and other reports indicate that it is considering a 50% cut in U.S. military personnel even if a peace is not negotiated.

As of mid-August 2019, the Taliban has continued to reject any formal peace negotiations with the Afghan government, and has steadily stepped up its military activity and acts of violence while it negotiates with the United States. Terrorist groups like ISIS-K add to the threat, as do the many splits within the Afghani government and political structure. The Taliban has not encouraged further ceasefires, or shown any clear willingness to accept a lasting peace on any terms but its own. It may well see peace negotiations as a means of negotiating a withdrawal of U.S. and other allied forces and a prelude to a peace that it could exploit to win control of Afghanistan.

China is a rival, not an enemy


China has one-fifth of the planet’s population; the world’s second largest economy; a small but significant nuclear arsenal for deterrence; and an increasingly repressive government which combines elements of market economics with single-party totalitarianism, incredibly invasive surveillance, mass internment camps; and a newly minted “president for life,” Xi Jinping. Should it also be the recipient of Washington’s antagonism?

A rising chorus of voices from across the spectrum say yes. Defense Secretary Mark Esper said Friday he wants to deploy intermediate-range missiles to Asia, acknowledging the move would rile China and even framing it as a counter to Beijing. Some “80 percent-plus of [China’s missile] inventory is intermediate range systems,” Esper said, “so that shouldn’t surprise them that we would want to have a like capability.” (Not mentioned was the reality that China and Russia are longtime adversaries who share a border, so its missiles—which cannot reach America — might not be about America.)

China May Set Its Navy on Course for the Persian Gulf

China has long wanted to extend its maritime reach and has major strategic interests in energy supplies that transit the Persian Gulf.

The U.S. call for nations to join Operation Sentinel, which would see naval escorts for commercial shipping, gives China an opportunity to do both — but Washington might not welcome Chinese participation, and China itself has reservations.

If tensions continue to escalate in the Persian Gulf, however, Beijing may find it has no choice but to have a security presence in the Middle East.

China has become the latest country to voice interest in becoming involved in the proposed U.S. naval security plan for the Persian Gulf. On Aug. 6, Chinese Ambassador to the United Arab Emirates Ni Jian said China is considering having its navy escort its commercial ships in the region, and that Beijing is also looking at the U.S. proposal for Gulf escorts. Ni hedged that China would only move in this direction in the event of a "very unsafe situation" in the Persian Gulf. If the Chinese decide to proceed, this would mark a significant step forward in China's military and naval presence in the region.

Extending Its Maritime Reach

Deterring and Defeating Chinese Neo-Imperialism

Gary Anderson
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China and the New Imperialism

China is waging a small war for control of the South China Sea (SCS) under the guise of protecting a ridiculous definition of its territorial waters in a manner designed to turn the SCS into a Chinese lake. She has militarized the area by using her Coast Guard to harass ships exercising the right of innocent passage and has built artificial islands in areas of disputed ownership. Taiwan, Vietnam, Malaysia and the Republic of the Philippines have had vessels destroyed, detained, and otherwise intimidated. If a real large-scale shooting war breaks out, China has developed an anti-access/ access denial (AA/AD) anti-navy capability built around precision strike guided by unmanned aircraft and space-based assets, submarines, and massive land-based air attack to keep the United States out of the SCS. To date, the United States has responded with freedom of navigation (FON) operations, but what is needed is a proactive and integrated approach including all elements of US national power to include diplomatic, information, military, and economic (DIME) actions. China has opened a new era of imperialism through its actions in the SCS and in its predatory Great Belt Road initiative. This article suggests an Indo-Pacific anti-imperialist strategy designed to counter China’s overreach.

Any such strategy should address itself in four key areas:

Trading Up: Why America Must Ditch China and Pursue Better Manufacturing Opportunities

by Robert Atkinson
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Underscoring the complexity of the U.S.-China trade relationship, careful observers will notice that there are more than two sides vying for influence at the table as negotiations continue in search of a possible deal. In fact, when it comes to the most important strategic question at the very heart of the dispute—what to do about China’s mercantilist campaign to dominate global markets for key advanced technologies—there are at least three contending positions on the U.S. side alone.

The first position, albeit the weakest, holds that China’s tactics—which include stealing intellectual property, coercing foreign companies into handing over their technologies in exchange for market access, and propping up homegrown firms with massive subsidies—are not a major problem. Thus, America should quickly cut a deal even if it doesn’t make meaningful progress in convincing China to abide by the norms it agreed to when it joined the World Trade Organization almost two decades ago. This view is mostly held by Treasury Department officials, who have long cared more about keeping the global financial system stable and humming than about bolstering U.S. competitiveness, and by many international policy mavens at Washington, DC think tanks who are so committed to the U.S. abiding by free trade principles that they discount the challenge of foreign mercantilism (although, in the current political environment, most are loathe to say this too strongly). But given President Donald Trump’s belief that China is a systemic mercantilist whose actions are harming the U.S. economy, it’s clear that this camp has little influence.

China Puts Pensions At Risk To Promote Growth – Analysis

By Michael Lelyveld

As economic pressures on China pile up, the government is orchestrating an awkward two-step response to support sagging growth rates using social security funds.

Under a stimulus plan outlined by Premier Li Keqiang in March, the government has allowed enterprises to reduce their social security contribution rates to 16 percent of workers’ wages from 20 percent previously, starting May 1.

The break, intended to ease “corporate burdens,” is a significant part of the government’s 2-trillion-yuan (U.S. $283-billion) tax-cutting program aimed at promoting economic growth, which slowed to 6.2 percent in the second quarter this year.

By the end of the first half, employers had already saved 128.8 billion yuan (U.S. $18.2 billion) in payments for basic pensions, unemployment insurance and work-related injury coverage, the official Xinhua news agency reported.

Corporate savings are expected to rise to at least 310 billion yuan (U.S. $44 billion) by the end of 2019, said You Jun, vice minister for human resources and social security.

Goldman Sachs Cuts Global Growth Forecast As Trade War Triggers U.S. Recession Fears; Stock Picks For Investors To Play In The Next Phase Of The U.S./China Trade War

Maggie Fitzgerald posted an August 11, 2019 article to the website of CNBC, with the title above. She writes that “the U.S./China trade war is going to have a bigger [negative] impact on [global] growth than originally forecast.” The financial corporate giant “lowered its fourth-quarter forecast by 20 basis points to just +1.8 percent — citing a larger than-expected [negative] impact of recent trade ‘war’ events.”

“We have increased our estimate of the [negative] growth impact of the trade war,” said Goldman Sachs Chief Economist Jan Hatzius in a note to clients on Sunday,” Ms. Fitzgerald wrote. “The drivers of this modest change are that we now include an estimate of the sentiment and uncertainty effects that financial markets have responded notably to recent trade news.”

“The policy uncertainty effect may lead firms to lower capex spending, as they wait for uncertainty to resolve. Relatedly, the business sentiment effect of increased pessimism about the outlook from trade war news, may lead firms to invest, hire, or produce less.”

Unequal Sequel: China’s Belt and Road Initiative

During the spring of 2019, China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) notched up some notable successes. In March, Italy became the first major Western country to sign up as a participant. Then in April, Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad announced that his country would proceed with the BRI-backed East Coast Rail Link, a railway project across peninsular Malaysia. His revelation at the BRI’s second forum in Beijing reversed his government’s earlier statements that it would cancel the project. The two successes were much needed after a year or more of unrelenting headwinds for the BRI.

Once known separately as the “Silk Road Economic Belt” and the “21st-Century Maritime Silk Road” and then together as the “One Belt, One Road” initiative before its current appellation, the BRI has never been particularly well defined. Even so, it is credited with having financed over $200 billion-worth of infrastructure projects around the world. Though often portrayed as an international development scheme, the BRI has always had a more self-serving side.[1] That was made clear by the fact that the vast majority of BRI projects required the use of Chinese companies, labor, and raw materials. The BRI also happened to be a good way for China to recycle part of its foreign exchange. Given China’s big current account surplus at the time, Chinese investments abroad eased the upward pressure on China’s currency and, in so doing, helped its export industries.

Goldman Sachs economists say fears rise that U.S.-China trade war leading to recession

(Reuters) - Goldman Sachs Group Inc said on Sunday that fears of the U.S.-China trade war leading to a recession are increasing and that Goldman no longer expects a trade deal between the world's two largest economies before the 2020 U.S. presidential election.

"We expect tariffs targeting the remaining $300bn of US imports from China to go into effect," the bank said in a note sent to clients.

U.S. President Donald Trump announced on Aug. 1 that he would impose a 10% tariff on a final $300 billion worth of Chinese imports on Sept. 1, prompting China to halt purchases of U.S. agricultural products.

The United States also declared China a currency manipulator. China denies that it has manipulated the yuan for competitive gain.

The year-long trade dispute has revolved around issues such as tariffs, subsidies, technology, intellectual property and cyber security, among others.

ISIS: Forgotten But Not Gone

Megan O'Dwyer

Despite complete territory loss in recent months, ISIS still has plenty of life left, and its predecessors have recovered from far more difficult situations in the past. ISIS has more manpower, money, and reliable networks than it ever had before it began controlling territory. Considering how successful the group became with less resources, its current status should still be very worrisome. Combine these factors with diminishing interest from policymakers,impending critical infrastructure shortages in Iraq, inadequate reconstruction funds to Sunni-dominated areas, and ISIS’s history of co-opting civil unrest, and suddenly an ISIS resurgence doesn’t seem so far-fetched.

The group originally emerged as al-Qaeda in Iraq (AQI) in 2003 after capitalizing on sectarian tensions and conflict brought on by the U.S invasion. However, a series of AQI bombings in 2005 targeting civilian Muslims alienated its key demographic, and the U.S.-funded Awakening Movement — an initiative which armed Sunni tribes frustrated with AQI’s brutal tactics and attempts to govern — nearly destroyed the group in the late 2000s. Despite near annihilation and a fraction of the support that the group has today, AQI reemerged as the Islamic State (IS) with shocking success in 2014.


Iran’s Revolutionary Guard: A Strong Family of Four Generations

The Iranian Revolutionary Guard has seized an oil tanker carrying 700,000 liters of "smuggled fuel" in the Gulf late July 2019, according to Iranian state media. The tanker was identified to be “Iraqi” and was seized in a northern part of the strait of Hormuz with a cargo of 700,000 litres of oil bound for neighbouring Arab states. This incident showcases a further escalation of tensions between Tehran and Washington and its regional allies after Trump’s White House decided to sanction Iran's foreign minister Mohammad Javad Zarif. Iranian President Hassan Rouhani ridiculed the decision in his statement: "They (Americans) are resorting to childish behaviour ... they were claiming every day: 'we want to talk, with no preconditions' ... and then they sanction the foreign minister.”

Earlier in July, the Iranians seized a British vessel came after Britain’s seizure of an Iranian oil tanker near the Strait of Gibraltar. Retired admiral of Britain’s Royal Navy Alan West expressed serious concerns as “some powerful groups in Israel, Saudi Arabia and the United States want war and think a precision strike against key parts of Iran’s military capability would lead to regime change.”

A Mysterious Explosion Took Place in Russia. What Really Happened?

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On Thursday, Aug. 8, Russian authorities issued a surprising announcement. Some sort of accident had occurred during a test of a missile engine near the city of Severodvinsk, along Russia’s Arctic coast. Two people died, and there had been a brief spike in radiation detected. Soon after, images and videos appeared on social media of first responders in hazmat suits, ambulances, and a helicopter for an emergency airlift.

The reference to radiation was striking—tests of missile engines don’t involve radiation. Well, with one exception: Last year, Russia announced it had tested a cruise missile powered by a nuclear reactor. It calls this missile the 9M730 Burevestnik. NATO calls it the SSC-X-9 Skyfall.

A nuclear-powered cruise missile is an outrageous idea, one the United States long ago considered and rejected as a technical, strategic, and environmental nightmare. Vladimir Putin’s Russia, though, thinks differently. My colleagues and I at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies—who regularly use open-source tools to monitor the state of nuclear proliferation around the world—wondered if something had gone wrong with the Skyfall. We soon discovered there was good reason to believe so.

3-Star General: Tomorrow’s Troops Need Controversial JEDI Cloud

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On Friday, Lt. Gen. Jack Shanahan, who runs the Pentagon’s Joint Artificial Intelligence Center, and Defense Department CIODana Deasy added several supporting details to the ones offeredlast week by anonymous former Pentagon officials to Defense One and Nextgov. The officials’ willingness to go on the record shows how important they believe the pending contract is to current and future U.S. military operations.

Dubbed the Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure, or JEDI, program, the networking contract that could be worth as much as $10 billion over ten years is intended to link all of the military’s service branches and provide cloud capabilities to operators in combat as well as the commanders at headquarters behind them. Pentagon officials aimed to award it as early as this month to finalists Amazon Web Services or Microsoft. Defense Secretary Mark Esper declared his intention to review the program on Aug. 1 but officials said that Esper’s review was not going to delay the award.

North Korea: Geopolitics and War

Aaron Farley
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The North Korean conflict has been one of the most intractable – and opaque – issues on the international stage for decades. Analysts attempt to read into every new development like a haruspex interpreting so many chicken entrails. The internal politics of the regime are only dimly grasped, and the occasional glimpses the world receive into its inner workings often raise as many questions as they answer. North Korea can – and does – exploit its reputation for unpredictability. Renewed armed conflict with “the hermit kingdom” is a daunting prospect, and policymakers often go to great lengths to minimize this risk.

Due to the closed nature of the regime, it is extremely difficult to make precise assessments about its intentions in any given instance. Nonetheless, enough information is available to make broad guesses about the factors driving North Korean behavior and that of its neighbors. Although nothing is certain, some contingencies are significantly more likely than others. Every major actor in the conflict is constrained by certain geopolitical imperatives which nudge its decision-making in particular directions. These imperatives are significant enough that it is possible to calculate the most likely circumstances under which renewed war is likely, and, to some degree, what the most likely outcome of that war would be.

This analysis is written under the assumption that all parties to the conflict are rational actors. Rational actor is a term whose definition is not always clear. For purposes of this paper, a rational actor is defined as someone whose decision-making is driven by the desire for self-perpetuation i.e. to maintain, and if possible, increase, their own wealth, power, status, etc.

Toward a Better Understanding of North Korea’s Cyber Operations


The cybersecurity capabilities of the North Korean government are certainly more advanced than a country with such a small economy would traditionally field and should not be underestimated. The commitment of the regime to acquire cybersecurity capacities is consistent with its broader efforts to pursue disruptive technologies such as nuclear, chemical and biological weaponry. While it is assumed that much of the information on North Korea’s cyber capabilities is classified, there is a large amount on their attacks in the public domain, making it relatively easy to unpack and discuss these capabilities abilities (also known as the Lazarus Group, APT37 or Hidden Cobra). A careful reading of this information suggests that while North Korean cyber operations are broadly reported and studied, they are often treated separately from other issues on the peninsula, increasing the risk that decision makers will produce an incomplete analysis of the strategic environment.

North Korean Cyber Operations

Africa Is a Continent on the Brink ... but of What?

It makes sense that a continent home to 54 countries and 1.2 billion people would also house a mass of contradictory developments. Africa features several of the world’s fastest-growing economies and a burgeoning middle class. But much of the continent remains mired in debt, ravaged by conflict, disease or terrorism, and plagued by elites clinging to power.

Even as economies expand, people are driven to migrate—either within Africa or across continental borders—because of humanitarian catastrophes or because opportunities are not coming fast enough for everyone. Yet, many remain behind and look to disrupt the status quo. Civilian-led reform movements have toppled regimes in Algeria and Sudan already this year.

From a geopolitical perspective, European nations and the United States are looking to shore up bilateral trade across the continent. These moves are driven both by an interest in spurring individual economies to help stem migration flows, but also to counter China’s growing presence in Africa. On the back of its Belt and Road Initiative, China has been leveraging infrastructure financing deals for access to resources and increasing influence.

Russian Intelligence and Immigration in Europe

By George Friedman 

There have been several stories in the media asserting that Russia has been funding anti-immigration groups in Europe. Over the weekend, The New York Times published a storydetailing how Russian money supported anti-immigrant forces in Sweden, which has accepted more refugees per capita than any other country in Europe, according to the Times. The story also linked these groups to other anti-immigrant organizations in Europe and the United States. The idea that Russia is supporting such groups, particularly in Europe, is not new; it has been accused in the past of supporting similar organizations in Austria, Italy and other countries. The question is whether it is true and what effect it will have.

Intelligence Officer Under Information Warfare—A Bolstered Role

By Commanders Lars Ehrlander and Brad Storey

In the past few years there has been much discussion over how the traditional intelligence (N-2) role on a carrier strike group (CSG) staff has been affected by its realignment under a post-command captain (O-6) Information Warfare (IW) officer as the IW Commander (IWC).1 The March 2019 Proceedings Podcast debate between Captains Cliff Bean and Henry Stephenson invited commentary by CSG N-2s who have operated under the new construct. This is our first-hand insight of the concept in practice to supplement the arguments on both sides of the issue. Based on our observations as CSG N-2s with vastly different workup and deployment experiences, we feel the alignment is working to the advantage of naval intelligence and the broader IW community.

The Air Force is all in on software

By: Mark Pomerleau 
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The Air Force is betting big on its digital future. The service is coming to grips with the new norm that to be successful in future conflicts, it needs to become adept in the practice of software coding and adoption.

“Every major modernization for the future involves planes or satellites that can sense more, that can share more, that start having artificial intelligence and then feeding those into exotic behavior like swarming — all of that’s driven by software,” Will Roper, assistant secretary of the Air Force for acquisition, technology and logistics, told C4ISRNET in an Aug. 10 interview.

The Air Force's Kessel Run project is trying to change the culture inside DoD to bring it into the modern software era.

Media Ethics Professional Journalism: As The Conscience Within The Human Mind, Media Experts And Social Justice – Essay

By Dr. Sabahudin Hadzialic

The questions arise, why morality and ethics are important for professional journalists. The answer is simple – To make difference between good and evil. Universal values as the truth, justice, love, beauty, freedom, goodness, solidarity, human dignity, peace-glorifying of the life. Characteristic attributes of the journalists are integrity, honesty, harmony, respect, sacrifice, trust. Questions about universal values and norms that came out of it becomes very important every time when basic human rights are brutally violated in the name of some state, national, racial, class, party…interest.

When the moral decay, than the laws are fulfilling the emptiness: that is why we have today so many law and layers – German saying states: ”Where the law does not have power, that the power become the law.” I add that where we do not have Rule of law, we surely have Law of rule. 

FBI seeks to monitor Facebook, oversee mass social media data collection

By Charlie Osborne
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The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is planning to aggressively harvest information from Facebook and Twitter, a move which is likely to cause a clash between the agency and social media platforms. 

As reported by the Wall Street Journal, the FBI has recently sought proposals from third-party vendors for technological solutions able to harvest publicly-available information in bulk from Facebook, Twitter, and other social media outlets.

The law enforcement agency says the data collected will be used "to proactively identify and reactively monitor threats to the United States and its interests."

The request was made several weeks before the most recent shootings in the US involving cities in Texas and Ohio. 

US President Trump blamed social media as the providers of areas for "disturbed minds" to become radicalized and called for the US Department of Justice (DoJ) to work with vendors "to develop tools that can detect mass shooters before they strike."

Army Chief of Staff Gen. Mark A. Milley's Four Myths of War

Jim Garamone

Army Chief of Staff Gen. Mark A. Milley is a firm believer that a strong military is key in a whole-of-government approach to national security issues.

Still, he cautions, there are Americans who believe some myths about the military. 

Here are his four "Myths of War:"

1. The 'Short War' Myth

This is a very prominent myth and one that recurs throughout history, Milley said. President Abraham Lincoln called for troops to put down the rebellion in 1861. He was so sure it would be a quick war that he only called for 90-day enlistments. Both the French and Germans in 1914 believed the conflict would be short, but World War I lasted four years and took millions of lives.

"War takes on a life of its own," Milley said. "It zigs and zags. More often than not, war is much longer, much more expensive, much bloodier, much more horrific than anyone thought at the beginning. It is important that the decision-makers assess the use of force and apply the logic we've learned over the years. War should always be the last resort."

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
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“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.