24 August 2019

Street scene of businesses in India

By Subrata Majumder

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s concern on India’s population explosion raises eyebrows among the global viewers. In his Independence speech on 15th August 2019 from the rampart of Red Fort, he said “Population explosion in India is a big problem for us and our future.” It’s to be wondered why India’s increase in population is considered a burden, while a major part of the developed nations plunged in aging society. 

Countries like Japan, UK, Germany, France, USA, South Korea and even China with biggest population are sinking in ghettoization by aging people. To this end, surge in population in India is an human capital for these countries to overcome shortage of working population. Given the people mired in aging society in developed nations owing to low fertility rate and depopulation, global working population is in danger.

According to a report by United Nation, by 2050, 36.4 percent of Japanese population will plunge in 65 years of age and above – earliest nation to be ghettoized by aging society. This will be followed by S. Korea with 35.3 percent of 65 years of age and above, France with 26.7 percent, Germany with 30.7 percent, USA with 22.1 percent and China with 26.3 percent in 2050. 

From AFSPA to street protests, Modi govt needs new thinking in J&K with Article 370 gone

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Whatever we may think of the merits, the method and the timing of the Narendra Modi government’s move to scrap Article 370, the fact is that the deed has been done. While the constitutionality of the government’s actions has been challenged in the Supreme Court, we should not expect the judiciary to overrule the decision entirely. What ought to be of utmost concern now is: Where do we go from here? How do we try to make India — including Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh — a better place than it was before 5 August 2019? If the moment presents us with an opportunity to bring to an end a decades-old conflict that has brutalised Indian society, what should India do to avail it?

I will address these questions in this space over the next few weeks. The Modi government’s action will have broader consequences in the domain of international relations, constitutional rule, and our national self-image. Today, I want to focus on the most important stakeholders in the whole affair: the Kashmiri people. What are the necessary policies that the Modi government must adopt to prevent the situation from deteriorating further?


By Rohan Seth

France and America are gearing up for a tussle thanks to France’s plans to tax U.S. tech firms. Washington is threatening to respond with investigations and tariffs. As the French look to extend digital taxation — they’ve proposed a 3 percent tax on companies that provide digital services to French users — should India do the same?

The arguments against doing so are endless. India does not have a domestic substitute for Facebook, Google or Twitter, and Indians rely on these technologies daily. According to WhatsApp, Indians spend 50 million minutes a day on video calls alone. Silicon Valley’s continued investments are also welcomed in India and have contributed significantly to Bangalore becoming the tech hub that it is today. Taxing these investors might make them reconsider any future plans. And then there’s the Trump administration, which is also likely to crack down on any attempt to tax American tech companies. Just last month, Trump tweeted that Indian tariffs were “no longer acceptable,” so any attempt to tax American companies is undoubtedly going to make the situation worse, stoking geopolitical tensions.

The Loss of South Vietnam and the Coming Loss of Afghanistan

Stephen B. Young

Unlike conventional wars, which in Vietnam we called the “War of the Big Battalions”, small wars, or what back then we called “the other war”, integrate the military with the cultural and the political. Thus, small wars are hard to win with kinetic engagements and firepower alone. The complex reality of small wars also implies that they can be lost for cultural or political reasons even if single military engagements are won handily again and again.

Such a loss happened in Vietnam. For cultural and political reasons, the United States decided to lose the war, or at least to give up any continuing attempt to win it.

Such a loss is now happening in Afghanistan as the Trump Administration focuses on withdrawal of American forces leaving the Afghans to fight on among themselves, winner take all.

As Yogi Berra said: “It’s déjà vu all over again.”

How Does This War End? Afghanistan Endgame, Part 2


Many senior scholars and analysts argue that the “forever war” in Afghanistan long ago evolved, expanding 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.” In the latter years of Barack Obama’s presidency, that broader effort was scaled down dramatically, but it was extended in the face of a renewed understanding of Afghanistan’s potential to serve as a Petri dish for transnational terrorist organizations such as the self-proclaimed Islamic State and al-Qaeda. Consequently, as a recent Center for Strategic and International Studies report concludes: “After expending nearly $800 billion and suffering over 2,400 killed, the United States is still there, having achieved at best a stalemate.”

Recent empirical evidence suggests a larger significance to the expanding influence of modern terrorism. The ways Islamist militants are effectively adapting to Western nation-building efforts indicate that they have become ineluctably political actors. Rather than focus on constructing new, parallel governance institutions, like the “shadow” structures of the Quetta Shura Taliban in southern Afghanistan, the Haqqani network has adopted a far more opportunistic approach: infiltrating the existing state architecture.

Trouble in Sri Lanka

By Taylor Dibbert 
Source Link

In the wake of the Easter bombings, retaliation and violence against Sri Lanka’s Muslim community continues to be a major concern. It’s important to keep in mind this wave of anti-Muslim action isn’t just about the Easter attacks; long-standing grievances and past hatreds are also contributing to this discriminatory behavior.

Particularly during these difficult times, government officials should be doing what they can to promote social harmony and reduce ethnic and religious tensions. They should be reaching out to Muslims. Colombo should consistently acknowledge that Sri Lanka’s Muslim community is a big part of the solution. Curtailing violent extremism and ensuring that the threat of Islamic terrorism doesn’t grow will require nothing less. Yet that’s clearly not happening.

A report published last month by Human Rights Watch (HRW) does a good job of documenting the range of violent actions committed against Muslims. This includes arbitrary arrests, mob attacks, discrimination and human rights violations pertaining to religious freedom. The assault of the Muslim community has been pervasive and systematic. Even worse, it has the support of the Sinhala-dominated state.

China’s Belt and Road ‘Reboot’ Is Really a Foreign Influence Campaign

Zach Montague 

Of the many paradoxes surrounding China today, the trajectory of its massive Belt and Road Initiative has become one of the most puzzling. Even as the expansive plan has become essentially synonymous with Chinese foreign policy in general, it remains increasingly difficult to nail down with precision what, exactly, it is. 

The Belt and Road Initiative today is most readily identifiable as an infrastructure development program, since media coverage tends to focus on flagship projects like ports and power plants, as well as the fallout when some of them go awry. But while Chinese Communist Party leaders hail the scheme in lofty economic terms, in practice, it has become something of a catchall for an almost catholic variety of loosely connected projects and initiatives overseas, all bearing its name. 

Can China be a responsible power in a new era?


Frank Ching is a Hong Kong-based journalist.

Tensions over Kashmir, the border region that’s contested by India and Pakistan, have simmered and flared for more than seven decades. But earlier this month, India’s government decided to strip the special region of the autonomy guaranteed to it in its constitution since Kashmir became quasi-independent in 1947 and institute a two-week military lockdown. Pakistan, which claims the region as its own and has fought three wars with India, has predictably pushed back.

And stepping into the breach, urging multilateral peace, is China.

The fact that Beijing wants to involve itself in finding peace between two other countries dealing with governance problems may be something of a surprise, given the international attention currently being paid to the still-roiling pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong. But on Aug. 16, the United Nations Security Council held a meeting on the Kashmir issue, the first in more than 50 years. Pakistan had requested the meeting, and it was backed by China, wielding its permanent Security Council membership.

Information operations directed at Hong Kong

By Twitter Safety

We are disclosing a significant state-backed information operation focused on the situation in Hong Kong, specifically the protest movement and their calls for political change.

What we are disclosing

This disclosure consists of 936 accounts originating from within the People’s Republic of China (PRC). Overall, these accounts were deliberately and specifically attempting to sow political discord in Hong Kong, including undermining the legitimacy and political positions of the protest movement on the ground. Based on our intensive investigations, we have reliable evidence to support that this is a coordinated state-backed operation. Specifically, we identified large clusters of accounts behaving in a coordinated manner to amplify messages related to the Hong Kong protests.

As Twitter is blocked in PRC, many of these accounts accessed Twitter using VPNs. However, some accounts accessed Twitter from specific unblocked IP addresses originating in mainland China. The accounts we are sharing today represent the most active portions of this campaign; a larger, spammy network of approximately 200,000 accounts — many created following our initial suspensions — were proactively suspended before they were substantially active on the service.

China’s Grand Plans for Shenzhen

By Eleanor Albert

China’s State Council and the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China issued a new guideline earlier this week outlining an ambitious plan for the future of Shenzhen, a major city in southeast China’s Guangzhou province that links Hong Kong to the mainland.

The plan sets out plans to transform Shenzhen into a pilot area demonstrating “socialism with Chinese characteristics” by making it a leading city in the world in terms of economic might and development quality, specifically focusing on research and development, industrial innovation, emerging industries, public services, and ecological environment.

This individual plan for Shenzhen fits within a larger strategy to develop a Greater Bay Area that would integrate the Hong Kong and Macau Special Administrative Regions with nine other municipalities in the surrounding region in Guangdong province (Dongguan, Foshan, Guangzhou, Huizhou, Jiangmen, Shenzhen, Zhaoqing, Zhongshan, and Zhuhai), which account for approximately 12 percent of China’s national GDP and a combined population of 70 million people. The Greater Bay Area initiative, whose outline was released in early 2019, is designed to create a mega-hub in the Pearl River Delta that will be a vehicle for “breaking new ground” on economic growth, reforms, and innovation and take the practice of “one country, two systems” a step further, though how the latter will be achieved remains largely unclear. The more tangible developmental areas include boosting infrastructure connectivity, cooperating and participating in China’s Belt and Road Initiative, focusing on innovation and technology, and building a modern industrial system.

Aircraft Carriers In The Indo-Pacific: Enduring Value – Analysis

By Richard A. Bitzinger*

The power of the aircraft carrier was proven in the Pacific. The Battle of Midway, in June 1942, was the first carrier-on-carrier clash, and the United States’ decisive victory was a major vindication of the potential of the aircraft carrier.

Three-quarters of a century later, the aircraft carrier and carrier operations continue to captivate regional navies in the Indo-Pacific. China commissioned its first aircraft carrier, the ex-Soviet Varyag (now the Liaoning), in 2012. Moreover, one homebuilt carrier – the Type 001A – is currently undergoing sea trails, while a third carrier (Type 002) is under construction. It has been speculated that the Chinese navy (PLAN) could eventually operate up to six aircraft carriers, equipped with an indigenous fighter (probably the Shenyang J-15).
New Kids on the Block

India, China’s major regional competitor, is keeping apace. The Indian Navy is in the process of accepting two new carriers, one based on the 45,000-ton Admiral Gorshkov (sold to India in 2004 and heavily refitted as the INS Vikramaditya), and an indigenously built INS Vikrant, which is currently undergoing sea trials. A second indigenous carrier is likely, for a total of three carriers.

The Takshashila PLA Insight

The Big Story: Hong Kong Saga Continues, Will China intervene? 

The Hong Kong protests have entered its tenth week. The protesters started swarming the international airport last week, demanding greater democracy in Hong Kong. It soon turned ugly as hundreds of protesters turned on an "undercover police officer" and a reporter from the Global Times. This prompted the Hong Kong police to launch a rescue operation. The protesters then clashed with the riot police, who attempted to force their way into the airport with pepper sprays. The protesters haveapologised for the airport violence saying, “after months of prolonged resistance, we are frightened, angry and exhausted. Some of us have become easily agitated and over-reacted last night.” The Hong Kong airport was cleared and re-opened on Wednesday on court orders.

China has called the protests as “near terrorism”. Xu Luying, spokeswoman for the Hong Kong and Macao Affairs Office of the State Council said, “We express the strongest condemnation of these terrorist-like actions. This has seriously damaged the international image of Hong Kong and hurt the feelings of a vast number of mainland Chinese compatriots. The extremely abominable violent crime must be severely punished according to the law".

Terrorism and Technology: The Front End

Mark D. Robinson and Cori E. Dauber

Despite the fact that there is a robust conversation regarding “terrorism and technology,” that discussion is – as near as we can tell – uniformly about the back end, that is to say exclusively addressing the dissemination of what terrorists have already produced. We have found virtually nothing in the popular press[i] and nothing at all in the academic literature about the technology involved in the production of the materials that are being distributed.[ii]But the technologies available to support content production have changed dramatically in the last few years, and those changes have had major consequences, not only for terrorist groups’ ability to distribute materials, but also for the propaganda quality, and indeed for the very nature of these materials. Yet the literature presumes that the propaganda terrorists post to social media is of some consequence, otherwise there would be no reason to discuss the material.

Likewise, this assumption drives the search for appropriate government or inter-governmental responses to the problem.

ISIS Is Regaining Strength in Iraq and Syria

By Eric Schmitt, Alissa J. Rubin and Thomas Gibbons-Neff

WASHINGTON — Five months after American-backed forces ousted the Islamic State from its last shard of territory in Syria, the terrorist group is gathering new strength, conducting guerrilla attacks across Iraq and Syria, retooling its financial networks and targeting new recruits at an allied-run tent camp, American and Iraqi military and intelligence officers said.

Though President Trump hailed a total defeat of the Islamic State this year, defense officials in the region see things differently, acknowledging that what remains of the terrorist group is here to stay.

A recent inspector general’s report warned that a drawdown this year from 2,000 American forces in Syria to less than half of that, ordered by Mr. Trump, has meant the American military has had to cut back support for Syrian partner forces fighting ISIS. For now, American and international forces can only try to ensure that ISIS remains contained and away from urban areas.

The Evolving Nature of Russia's Way of War

Lt. Col. Timothy Thomas

Staff conversations, which included General Staff Chief Valery Gerasimov (second from left) and then General-Lieutenant Andrey Valerievich Kartapolov (second from right) were held 15 July 2015 at the Russian Ministry of Defense in Moscow with representatives of the Republic of Korea. The writings and published speeches by both men are widely regarded as reflecting dominant strategic concepts guiding development of the Russian military. (Photo courtesy of the Russian Ministry of Defense)

This article discusses the three Russian military articles about which most Western military analysts specializing in Russia have focused their attention over the past four years. Unlike other analyses of those articles, this one offers a different perspective in that it compares them side by side, examining the text of the original versions and not merely the press reports about them. New graphs and tables included in the original versions are named, and a few are discussed further, and one is included here. This article is intended to do four things in particular. First, it demonstrates that five elements of Russian military thought continue to dominate the descriptions of conflict by military experts. Second, it demonstrates the Russian General Staff’s preference for the term “new-type” warfare over the term “new-generation warfare” (NGW) and the near total absence of the latter from Russian publications since 2013. Third, it highlights that there are also indications in the articles that Russia may have in mind yet another way to describe the contemporary way of war still in development. Lastly, the absence of the Russian military’s use of the term “hybrid” to describe its way of war is noteworthy.

Description of the Articles

2 Months on, Hong Kong Remains Defiant

By Adryel Talamantes
Source Link

For over 2 months, Hong Kong has been experiencing the largest and most sustained series of protests in its history. Initially the movement was sparked by the proposal to amend the Fugitive Offenders and Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters Legislation in the Legislative Council of Hong Kong on March 29, 2019. If enacted, the bill, among other mechanisms, would have made it possible to extradite fugitives to mainland China, an eventuality to which citizens of Hong Kong from varying segments of society took exception. After starting as limited protest actions, the movement rapidly grew in size and public participation, resulting in June 9’s march of over 1 million people. At the time, it was the largest public demonstration to occur in Hong Kong, though subsequent marches have been larger. As a result of public disapproval over the violent handling of the protests by the police and the perceived indifference of the local government, the demonstrations continued to expand, leading to the suspension of the bill in the Legislative Council on June 15 and a public apology by Hong Kong’s Chief Executive Carrie Lam.

Global Energy Transport Security – Analysis

By Jeff D. Colgan and Morgan D. Bazilian*

Global trade in liquefied natural gas sets new records, reshaping international relations and raising transport security concerns 

A series of attacks and detentions for oil cargo ships this year have made the Strait of Hormuz a geopolitical hotspot once again, harkening back 35 years to the so-called “tanker wars,” part of the Iran-Iraq War. And while Hormuz’s role as the world’s primary most important oil transit route has not changed, much else about the energy security landscape has – especially growth in liquefied natural gas markets. The concerns around disruptions to oil markets are now salient for natural gas markets as well. 

In today’s numbers, an average of more than 20 million barrels pass through the strait daily, about 20 percent of the world’s oil consumption, with 75 percent destined for Asia. And while wars for direct oil conquest are relatively rare, oil is frequently involved in wars in other ways. Research published by the Belfer Center at Harvard University points to complex connections between oil and geopolitical conflict, including resource wars, insulation of aggressive leaders and financing of insurgencies. The report on “Oil, Conflict, and U.S. National Interests” notes: “between one-quarter and one-half of interstate wars since 1973 have been linked to oil.”

Is Britain Becoming a Failed State?


LONDON – What is a failed state? Not so long ago, when I was Britain’s Overseas Development Minister, and later European Commissioner for External Affairs, I would probably have tried to answer the question by pointing to specific examples, including several countries in Latin America and Africa.

I would have highlighted tribal conflicts, military coups, economic failure, extremes of poverty, and high mortality rates. I might have referred to the failure of more prosperous societies to ensure that globalization helped everyone and did not leave some communities trapped in deprivation. In addition, I would certainly have mentioned systems of government that had ceased to deliver what they were intended to do, and certainly what outside well-wishers hoped and assumed they would do.

By these latter criteria, one no longer needs to travel to Latin America or Africa to discover failure. Indeed, many of us in Britain worry that failure is increasingly evident within our own borders – which are soon to be clogged after Brexit – and particularly in the way the country is governed.

The World Is Getting Messier. It’s Not All Trump’s Fault

Judah Grunstein

It’s easy to imagine the reaction of Republican critics of former President Barack Obama if tiny, semi-autonomous Gibraltar had released an impounded Iranian oil tanker in direct defiance of his administration’s request to turn it over to American authorities. 

“No one fears him, not even Gibraltar,” we would have heard. Or perhaps, “Obama lost Britain.” ...

Trends and Developments in the Malicious Use of Social Media

The malicious use of social media is a widespread phenomenon, targeting individuals, public opinion, and in some cases even the functioning of the state. In recent years, social media platforms have been abused by foreign governments, private companies, and individuals to influence the outcomes of democratic elections and to undermine public trust in the societies in which we live.1 Today, social media platforms are manipulated by malign actors in order to pursue their political and military goals. In other words, social media platforms have developed into an effective tool for waging information warfare.2 Although information warfare is nothing new, social media platforms offer a cheaper, more efficient, and less demanding stage for influencing larger numbers of people than ever before.3

CO19158 | Balancing Sino-US Tight Rope: Role of ‘Smart Power’

RSIS Commentary is a platform to provide timely and, where appropriate, policy-relevant commentary and analysis of topical and contemporary issues. The authors’ views are their own and do not represent the official position of the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies, NTU. These commentaries may be reproduced with prior permission from RSIS and due recognition to the author(s) and RSIS. Please email to Mr Yang Razali Kassim, Editor RSIS Commentary at RSISPublications@ntu.edu.sg.

The Sino-US rivalry has implications for small states like Singapore. How can the city-state maintain its sovereignty and relevance without being subsumed by the ‘big powers’? The answer could lie in enhancing its ‘smart power’.


Electromagnetic Defense Task Force 2.0—2019 Report

By Maj David Stuckenberg; Amb. R. James Woolsey; Col Douglas DeMaio

In spring 2019 Air University hosted subject matter experts from across the country to expand on the accomplishments of the inaugural Electromagnetic Defense Task Force (EDTF).

Building on the 2018 summit, the 2019 EDTF summit advanced and amplified recommendations to leaders nationwide, ensuring the call for awareness, preparation, defense, and mitigation is sounded far and wide. Using extensive research and expertise, EDTF 2.0 participants have contributed to understanding, preparedness, and resilience for communities throughout the United States. [Maj David Stuckenberg, USAF; Amb. R. James Woolsey, Col Douglas DeMaio, USAF; Editor: Donna Budjenska / 2019 / 130 pages / ISSN: 2575-6737 / AU Press Code: LP-4].

Assessment of Civilian Next-Generation Knowledge Management Systems for Managing Civil Information

Ray K. Ragan

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.

Current Civil Information Management Systems are not taking advantage of the leaps of technology in knowledge management, specifically in the realm of predictive analytics, Natural Language Processing, and Machine Learning. This creates a time cost that commanders must pay in real-time in their operating environment, particularly felt in small wars. This cost also diverts resources away from direct mission-enabling operations.

Text: Currently Civil Information Management (CIM) systems employed by the U.S. Military are not keeping pace with the current revolution seen in civilian next-generation knowledge management systems (KMS)[1][2]. These KMS are possible through the convergence of modern computing, predictive analytics, Natural Language Processing (NLP), and Machine Learning (ML)[3]. This CIM limitation is unnecessary and self-imposed as a KMS offers persistent and progressing inputs to the common operating picture. This assessment explores how civilian business harnessed this revolution and how to apply it to CIM.

The C2 of Cyberspace is a Mess!

By Lieutenant Commander Mark G. Hofer II, U.S. Navy

Cyberspace continues to grab headlines, and regardless of what some senior leaders believe, the Navy and the Department of Defense (DoD) are not structured for the cyber fight. Wars in cyberspace will not be won by a latter day Achilles fighting a modern Ajax. Wars will be won or lost by organizations, and U.S. organizational problems start with the most basic: No one understands of the command-and-control of cyberspace forces. 

For example, if the Commander, U.S. Central Command, wants to take an action in cyberspace, where does he turn? The annoying truth is, it depends. For offensive actions he should turn to Joint Force Headquarters-Cyber (JFHQ-C)(Army). For defensive actions, he should turn to JFHQ-DoD Information Network (DoDIN), although he could turn to JFHQ-C (Army) and have them try to answer using their “Regional Coordinating Authority for Cyberspace Operations” hat. If that same defensive action needs to be taken on supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) systems for a pipeline on a Navy base, Commander, Navy Installations Command owns it, the Defense Logistics Agency runs it, and Fleet Cyber Command will defend it.

Getting the Drop in Cyberspace

By Jason Healey 

Gen. Mark Milley, recently confirmed by the Senate as the next chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, will soon ascend to that position after the current chairman, Gen. Joseph Dunford, retires this fall. In testimony during his confirmation hearing, Milley argued that in cyberspace, peace can be achieved through strength: “We have to have those offensive capabilities ... and in the theory of deterrence, if [adversaries] know that we have an incredible offensive capability, then that should deter them from conducting attacks on us in cyber.”

I call this the Cartwright Conjecture, after one of its early proponents, Gen. James Cartwright, who pushed it in 2011. Proponents of offense-assisted defense do not deny the role of defense. But they do elevate the priority of offense, believing a new approach is overdue. Proponents believe that more action will not only yield defensive benefits but may just be the most impactful approach ever taken. This is a risky proposition—and, to make matters worse, there is little evidence that it is actually true.

What to Make of General Gerasimov’s Latest ‘Doctrine’

By Dmitry Stefanovich
Source Link

During an early-March meeting at the Academy of Military Sciences Russia’s Chief of the General Staff of the Armed Forces Valery Gerasimov presented a report on the official view of the development of military strategy and science.

The published version — despite being adapted for the general public — is still crucial to understanding the views of an outstanding military leader and his team on armed conflict in the present and future.

The report is not “The Gerasimov Doctrine 2.0” because an original “Gerasimov Doctrine” never existed. It’s a review of global trends with a few examples from the Russian armed forces.

In terms of strategy, the collapse of agreements on arms control has led to an unpleasant but understandable stance: “We will respond to a threat with a threat.”

Exchanging Hats to Fix the Military Part 1: Air Superiority AFGSC

Michael Gladius

Air Superiority AFGSC: Modernizing the Air Force

In the aftermath of WWI, the question of Air Power’s role in the military as an institution arose. Two competing theories arose: The first treated air power as another branch of the Army and Navy, while the second treated Air power as a separate form of war that would be super-dominant. America’s Military has tried both forms, using the former during WWII and the latter post-1947. In recent decades, many critics of an independent Air Force have called for its abolition and a return to the first model, most notably Robert Farley’s 2014 book “Grounded: The Case for Abolishing the United States Air Force”. However, total abolition of the Air Force may not be necessary to modernize the institutional role of airpower in the military. A solution to reconcile these opposing theories might be accomplished with a simple exchange of hats.

The main argument brought up by supporters of an independent Air Force is the need for Air Supremacy. This could be accomplished by downsizing the Air Force to the Air Force Global Strike Command (AFGSC), which itself is the resurrected Strategic Air Command (SAC) of the Cold War. The SAC was originally formed with air reconnaissance and aerial-delivered nuclear bombs, in addition to the logistical apparatus that enables America to project power across the globe. Today’s AFGSC continues this tradition.

Big Data On The Army Front Line: DCGS-A Upgraded


Army soldiers access the DCSG-A intelligence system during an exercise.

ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND: As the Army upgrades its intelligence analysis system, DCGS-A, it must confront the big data dilemma that bedevils all the armed forces as they refocus on high-intensity, high-tech war. Globe-spanning networks, cloud computing, and artificial intelligence could provide vital data rapidly to frontline units. But forward commanders must not become dependent on all that data, because hacking, jamming, or a well-aimed missile hitting a key network node can all cut off access.

“We certainly see many of the benefits of cloud — they are phenomenal,” said Brig. Gen. Robert Collins, the Army’s Program Executive Officer for Intelligence, Electronic Warfare and Sensors (PEO-IEWS), in a roundtable with reporters here on Friday. “A lot of my focus is on making sure … we’re ready and postured to be able to host into the cloud.” That includes both the intelligence community’s existing C2S, he said, and the proposed Defense Department-wide JEDI system.

Military Scientists Harness AI To Fight Synthetic Opioids

Source Link

TAMPA — A Defense Intelligence Agency team is using artificial intelligence to map the shadowy production-and-distribution networks of synthetic drugs that kill most of the 47,000 Americans who die of opioid overdoses each year — and in the process showing how military and law enforcement will put AIto work.

Tracking fentanyl and other synthetic drugs, which can be made almost anywhere, is harder than tracking cocaine, which is processed by relatively few cartels in relatively few places in South America, said Brian Drake, DIA’s director of artificial intelligence for future capabilities and innovations.

“We can estimate those [cocaine] production numbers because we have lots of data that comes over a long period of time and there’s only so much land mass that is arable for cocaine,” Drake told attendees at the annual DODIIS conference here on Monday. But geography imposes few limits on the production of synthetic drugs. Further confusing matters, illegal producers often masquerade as legal ones.“It can be produced in any quantity you need. So how do you estimate a drug marketplace where you don’t have the primary mathematics in order to estimate that?”

The US Military’s AI Can’t Find Targets On Its Own — Yet, Top USAFGeneral Says


The Air Combat Command leader says the tools are still learning.

Nearly two years since the Pentagon started bringing artificial intelligence to the battlefield, the algorithms still need human help, a top U.S. Air Force general said Tuesday.

But Gen. Mike Holmes said the technology is getting better at identifying people, cars, and other objects in drone video. He also sees promise in other AI applications, like predicting when parts on planes will break.

“[W]e’re still in the process of teaching the algorithms to be able to predict what’s there from the data and be as reliable as we would like it to be or as reliable as our teams of people [who] are doing that,” the Air Combat Command leader said Tuesday at a Defense Writers Group breakfast. 

“Those tools are there. We’re starting to use them and experiment with them,” he said. “I don’t think, in general, they’re at the point yet where we’re confident in them operating without having a person following through on it, but I absolutely think that’s where we’re going.”