25 August 2019


By John McLaughlin

When the latest India-Pakistan flare-up arose over disputed Kashmir, my mind went back to Christmas Eve, 2001. My family was urging me to get to the dinner table, but I was in the secure home office I had as CIA’s then-deputy director. I was on an encrypted phone giving a situation report to the National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice, Secretary of State Colin Powell, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and other national security officials. The situation concerned the mobilization of military forces by India and Pakistan along their border and in the disputed territory of Kashmir following attacks by Pakistani militants on the Indian Parliament and the legislative assembly in Kashmir. The overriding concern was, as always in disputes between these two rivals, that the dispute could escalate, with the danger of going nuclear.

That once again must be at the forefront of everyone’s mind as the latest chapter in this long-running conflict plays out. Kashmir has been a flashpoint since 1947 and the subcontinent’s partition into Hindu-majority India and Muslim-majority Pakistan following independence from Britain. When the then-ruler of Kashmir (also Muslim-majority) wavered between affiliation with India or Pakistan, Pakistani fighters pushed into Kashmir. This drew in Indian troops, and the fighting eventually settled along the so-called Line of Control, dividing Kashmir state in two. The U.N. called for demilitarizing Kashmir and holding a plebiscite on its future status. Neither ever occurred, and the argument has taken the two countries to war or to the brink on numerous occasions.

As Taliban Talk Peace, ISIS Is Ready to Play the Spoiler in Afghanistan

By Mujib Mashal
Source Link

KABUL, Afghanistan — Even as the United States and the Taliban seem close to a deal on an American troop withdrawal, the Islamic State in Afghanistan is making clear that it stands to inherit the role of violent spoiler if any peace agreement is reached.

That message was punctuated on Saturday by a suicide bomber who killed 63 wedding celebrants in Kabul, mostly from the country’s Shiite minority, in an attack that the Islamic State attributed to one of its loyalists from Pakistan. It was among the most devastating attacks in Afghanistan claimed by the Islamic State in the five years since it first established a beachhead in the eastern part of the country.

The bombing was a painful reminder of the immediate threat posed by the militants: that they can slip through tight security in the capital and cause the kind of carnage that devastates a vulnerable community, while cranking up pressure on a government already on the edge.

The Civil Challenges to Peace in Afghanistan

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. Its options now consist of finding some form of peace, leaving the country without any form of victory or security, or fighting indefinitely in a country whose central government has no near or mid-term capability to either defeat its opponents or survive without massive military and civil aid.

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 of its military support within one to two years 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.

Afghanistan's Terror Threat Is Much Bigger Than the Taliban

By Saurav Sarkar

Recent terror attacks in Afghanistan prove that violence continues unabated even as peace talks progress between the Afghan Taliban and the United States. There is ample evidence that terrorist groups are active in the country even as the United States looks to negotiate an exit. The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) estimated in June 2019 that there are 8,000 to 10,000 foreign terrorist fighters (FTF) in Afghanistan, out of which 2,500 to 4,000 are affiliated with the Islamic State Khorasan Province (ISKP), which is anti-Taliban and al-Qaeda. The UN assesses that the Taliban is the “primary partner” of a variety of terrorist groups: al-Qaeda, the Haqqani Network (Miranshah Shura Taliban), Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (non-ISKP faction), and the Turkestan Islamic Party, “as well as nearly 20 other regionally and globally focused groups” in Afghanistan. Al-Qaeda and ISKP both consider Afghanistan an important region to recuperate and plan their next phase of operations. In case of a weakened central authority and security vacuum in the country, these groups will increase in strength and influence and might shift their operations abroad, posing regional and global security risks.

Al-Qaeda Networks in Afghanistan

Can U.S.-Taliban Peace Talks End the War in Afghanistan?

By Amber Duan

U.S. officials say that they are close to reaching a deal with the Taliban, but peace in Afghanistan would still not be guaranteed.

U.S. officials, led by envoy Zalmay Khalilzad, have met with Taliban leaders in eight rounds. The negotiations have gathered momentum over the past few months, in part driven by pressure from Washington to reach a deal by September 1. The parties produced a draft agreement in March and have since inched closer to finalizing its terms.

Separately, the Taliban has met with Afghan leaders since 2017, though only unofficially, because the Taliban views the Afghan government as an illegitimate “puppet regime” of the West. These meetings, especially the recent “intra-Afghan dialogue,” are a positive step, experts say, but still far from the formal negotiations needed for a peace deal.

Meanwhile, China, Pakistan, Russia, and the United States have held related meetings on the peace process.
What do the Taliban and the United States want?

The negotiations appear to be focused on four elements:

Withdrawal of foreign forces. Both sides agree on the full withdrawal of the fourteen thousand U.S. troops currently in Afghanistan, as well as of additional foreign forces, but they disagree on the timeline. The United States is reportedly offering a two-and-a-half-year deadline, while the Taliban insists on nine months.

A Marriage of Convenience

Brahma Chellaney
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The partnership between the world’s largest autocracy (China) and the Mecca of jihadist terrorism (Pakistan) has been cemented on the issue of Jammu and Kashmir (J&K), 55% of which the two together occupy. As revanchist states, Pakistan and China are still seeking to grab more of J&K.

Like a typical school bully, China doesn’t have a lot of friends. Having joined with the US to impose international sanctions on its former vassal, North Korea, China has just one real ally left — an increasingly fragile and debt-ridden Pakistan. China, however, has little in common with Pakistan, beyond the fact that both are revanchist states not content with their existing borders. Despite China’s brutal repression of its Muslims, Pakistan remains Beijing’s tail-wagging client. The marriage of convenience between the world’s largest autocracy and the fountainhead of jihadist terrorism is founded on a shared strategy to contain India.

America has no good options in Afghanistan and is literally negotiating with terrorists because of it

John Haltiwanger and Ellen Ioanes
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All roads in Afghanistan lead to bad outcomes for the US, which doesn't want to leave behind a disintegrating and violent country but also is wary of spending billions more and risking more US lives on America's "forever war." The Afghan government isn't involved in the talks, which means the Trump administration is betting on the Taliban, an extremist group that continues to stage brutal, deadly attacks on Afghan forces and civilians. The roughly 14,000 US troops in Afghanistan forces are stopping the Taliban from gaining even more than half the country and a hasty withdrawal will certainly have consequences — from bad to catastrophic.

Just because the US plans to pull out, that doesn't mean the situation in Afghanistan will become any less of a crisis — it will just be someone else's crisis.

There are concerns ISIS not only poses a threat to Afghanistan, but will also use it as a launching pad for global attacks, and that the Taliban and the central government won't have the capability or ambition to stop it.

What I Saw in Hong Kong

by Brenda Hafera

The people are fighting for their rights and institutions, but things are only getting worse.

I spent July in Hong Kong. It’s a regular part of my year, as the director of an international program for undergraduate students. But this summer the city was immersed in protests. And I witnessed something inspirational, disquieting, and foreboding. I saw people fighting for the character of their country. 


Hong Kongers have been protesting since the introduction of an extradition bill which would have allowed citizens, residents, and potentially visitors to be sent to China for trial. The public reaction was as immediate as the implications were recognizable. Under that bill, political dissenters could be handed over to a regime which dubiously defines crimes and where prisoners are made to commit suicide. In the face of such a reality, two million of Hong Kong’s seven million came out in protest. 

China Urges Dialogue During Trilateral Meet With Japan, South Korea

By Shannon Tiezzi

Ongoing tensions between Tokyo and Seoul cast a notable pall over the foreign ministers meeting.

Even as South Korea announced it was withdrawing from an intelligence sharing agreement with Japan, amid broader tensions in that bilateral relationship, the foreign ministers from both countries were in China for an annual trilateral dialogue. China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi hosted his counterparts from South Korea and Japan, Kang Kyung-wha and Taro Kono, respectively, for a ministerial dialogue on Wednesday, with a bonus meeting between Kang, Kono, and Chinese Premier Li Keqiang on Thursday.

Japan-South Korea ties are locked in a downward spiral. Prior to today’s announcement about the scrapped intelligence agreement, Japan had placed export controls on materials critical to South Korea’s high-tech industry and removed South Korea from its “white list” of trusted trade partners. South Korea responded in kind. Japan’s trade restrictions are widely understood to be retaliation for 2018 court rulings that hold Japanese companies liable for Koreans’ forced labor during World War II (although the Japanese government has officially denied any connection). As always, historical issues continue to haunt Japan’s relationships with its neighbors.

The Sources of Chinese Conduct

In February 1946, as the Cold War was coming into being, George Kennan, the chargé d’affaires at the U.S. embassy in Moscow, sent the State Department a 5,000-word cable in which he tried to explain Soviet behavior and outline a response to it. A year later, the text of his famous “Long Telegram” was expanded into a Foreign Affairs article, “The Sources of Soviet Conduct.” Writing under the byline “X,” Kennan argued that the Soviets’ Marxist-Leninist ideology was for real and that this worldview, plus a deep sense of insecurity, was what drove Soviet expansionism. But this didn’t mean that outright confrontation was inevitable, he pointed out, since “the Kremlin has no compunction about retreating in the face of superior force.” What the United States had to do to ensure its own long-term security, then, was contain the Soviet threat. If it did, then Soviet power would ultimately crumble. Containment, in other words, was both necessary and sufficient. 

Kennan’s message became the canonical text for those who tried to understand the conflict between the United States and the Soviet Union. Always controversial and often revised (not least by the author himself), the containment strategy that Kennan laid out would define U.S. policy until the end of the Cold War. And as Kennan predicted, when the end did come, it came not just because of the strength and steadfastness of the United States and its allies but even more because of weaknesses and contradictions in the Soviet system itself. 

Bailing Out China’s Belt and Road

On August 3, in his first visit to the Asia-Pacific region, new U.S. secretary of defense Mark Esper called out several examples of aggressive conduct by China, including “using predatory economics and debt-for-sovereignty deals.” The Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) has created some conflicts between recipient governments and international institutions in the past. Perhaps the latest and starkest example is in Pakistan, where a wave of BRI projects was followed by this summer’s bailout by the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

When the $62 billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) was announced in 2015, it should have been easy for followers of the BRI to foresee where the initiative was heading. Even at its initial announced value of $46 billion, the initiative would have amounted to more than 20 percent of Pakistan’s GDP. While details were unclear, as they often are with the BRI, the majority of lending would inevitably come in the form of direct bilateral loans from The Export-Import Bank of China (EXIM) or the China Development Bank (CDB). This was the case for Pakistan’s precedents in Sri Lanka, Kenya, Montenegro, Congo, and other recipients of ambitious bilateral lending initiatives, each of which led to a debt crisis several years later.

Rare Earths: Next Element in the Trade War?

When Chinese President Xi Jinping toured a rare-earth processor a week after the Trump administration blacklisted Huawei in May, he highlighted the importance of rare earths in global supply chains—a statement widely interpreted as a threat to restrict Chinese exports to the United States. Since then, Chinese government organizations and state media have indicated that China is prepared to follow through on that threat as economic tensions between the world’s two largest economies continue to escalate. With the trade war having moved beyond tariffs and into issues such as currency, rare earths could be the next salvoin the conflict.

Q1: What are rare earths and what are they used for?

A1: Rare-earth elements are a group of 17 metals that includes the 15 lanthanides of the periodic table as well as yttrium and scandium, which possess similar chemical properties. As an input for a variety of advanced industries, rare earths play an integral role in the modern economy. Together, these elements are found in everything from LED displays to weapons systems. For example, europium and terbium are a key component found in televisions, while neodymium and samarium are used to guide precision missiles and smart bombs.

Selling to Huawei

The announcement by Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross extending a license that allows Huawei to purchase from U.S. suppliers should not be that baffling nor does it reflect contradictions in U.S. policy. The items sold to Huawei do not pose a national security risk. In fact, banning these items would harm national security by unnecessarily damaging U.S. companies.

Most of the items that can continue to be sold are "end items," final products like semiconductors. Huawei cannot make modern mobile phones without these chips. But refusing to sell them does not mean that Huawei would go out of business. It will develop alternate sources of supply, and in the interim, the Chinese government is not going to let its favorite national champion collapse because of U.S. pressure. China will pay what it takes to keep Huawei going. At the same time, Huawei will find less advanced replacement technologies that will let it keep selling, at least to the lower end of the market. If there is any harm, it is will fall on U.S. companies.

The Sources of Chinese Conduct Are Washington and Beijing Fighting a New Cold War?

In February 1946, as the Cold War was coming into being, George Kennan, the chargé d’affaires at the U.S. embassy in Moscow, sent the State Department a 5,000-word cable in which he tried to explain Soviet behavior and outline a response to it. A year later, the text of his famous “Long Telegram” was expanded into a Foreign Affairs article, “The Sources of Soviet Conduct.” Writing under the byline “X,” Kennan argued that the Soviets’ Marxist-Leninist ideology was for real and that this worldview, plus a deep sense of insecurity, was what drove Soviet expansionism. But this didn’t mean that outright confrontation was inevitable, he pointed out, since “the Kremlin has no compunction about retreating in the face of superior force.” What the United States had to do to ensure its own long-term security, then, was contain the Soviet threat. If it did, then Soviet power would ultimately crumble. Containment, in other words, was both necessary and sufficient. 

A Malaysian Rare Earth Processing Plant Looms Large in the U.S.-China Trade Spat

The extension of Lynas' mining permit removes a key threat to the global supply of rare earths from outside China — at least for now. Domestic Malaysian political maneuvering could jeopardize the project, as Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad maintains a tenuous hold on his coalition government. Additional rare earth processing plants are likely to come online in the coming years, especially if tensions remain high between the United States and China, thereby slowly reducing the significance of the Malaysian facility. 

A key link in the global rare earth supply chain is set to stay in business — albeit perhaps not for very long. The Malaysian Atomic Energy Licensing Board officially decided on Aug. 15 to extend an operating permit for Pahang state's Australian-owned Lynas Advanced Materials Plant, which processes rare earths that the company mines in Australia, for an additional six months ahead of a Sept. 2 expiration date. The decision addresses an eight-month dispute between Lynas and Kuala Lumpur regarding the processing and disposal of low-level radioactive materials like thorium that are mined alongside rare earths but become waste after the rare earth elements are separated. 

The Big Picture

Hong Kong: Despite a Lull in Violence, the City Remains on a Knife-Edge

Anti-government protests in Hong Kong that erupted over a now-suspended extradition bill and escalated dramatically and violently over the past few weeks have put the city's all-important business and transport activities at risk and raised the prospect of direct intervention by Beijing. Protests over the weekend, although sizable, remained relatively peaceful. But given the general course of the protest movement and the demonstrators' deep — and unaddressed — grievances, the path to a resolution is far from certain.

What Happened 

Hong Kong's standoff is no closer to resolution — this weekend's otherwise peaceful protests notwithstanding. On Aug. 17, teachers rallied against the government and the actions by the city's police before opponents gathered in support of the security forces. Another protest in the city's Mong Kok neighborhood nearly touched off clashes between police and protesters before cooler heads prevailed. Far larger protests followed the next day, as hundreds of thousands of people, many clutching umbrellas, rallied peacefully at an event organized by the Civil Human Rights Front (CHRF), which previously staged several peaceful protests, including two large gatherings in June against the extradition bill that ignited the territory's unrest in the first place.

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


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

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

To learn why, I called a highly regarded nuclear expert in Beijing. Though no one outside the Chinese leadership circle knows what the main considerations are, this expert is generally well informed. In the end, I was surprised by where he took the conversation.

ISIS vs. Al Qaeda: What Lies in the Future of Global Jihadism?

by Colin P. Clarke

The fallout from the split between the Islamic State and Al Qaeda has led to a competition viewed by both sides as zero sum in nature, where progress by one of these groups signaled a loss for the other.

The fall-out from the split between IS and al-Qaeda has led to a competition viewed by both sides as zero sum in nature, where progress by one of these groups signaled a loss for the other. One of the primary drivers of such a heated competition is that, in many ways, the ideology and objectives of the group are so similar. The Islamic State reverted to extreme levels of violence as one method of differentiating itself from its rivals, including al-Qaeda. Both groups are attempting to recruit from the same milieus and influence similar constituencies. The main differences are that IS sought to create a caliphate on a timeline considered premature by al-Qaeda, and IS pursued a far more sectarian agenda in attempting to achieve this objective. Whether and how these differences are ever resolved will have a major impact on the future of the movement writ large.

The Mark of a Terrorist Is Behavior, Not Ideology

By Scott Stewart
Terrorism is a tactic used by radical extremists of many different ideologies, which means there is no fixed ethnic, religious or gender profile for what a "terrorist" looks like. But while their motives may vary, all would-be attackers are still bound to generally follow the same attack cycle. Thus, tactics used to disrupt terrorism of one strain can also be successfully used against others. Combating terrorism, however, is not just the responsibility of the government but of society at large. "See something, say something" works, which is why the public must be educated on how to spot activities associated with the terrorist attack cycle. 

The Las Vegas Joint Terrorism Task Force arrested a 23-year-old man Aug. 8 who was allegedly plotting to attack Jewish houses of worship and bars frequented by the LGBTQ community in the city. In 2017, he began to frequent websites peddling a narrative that people who shared his extremist views were under attack. And as he began to relate to that narrative, he started frequenting online forums and social media groups that peddled even more radical messages that contained urgent and overt calls for violence. This eventually mobilized him to gather bombmaking materials and firearms, as well as establish contact with like-minded individuals to discuss potential targets and attack tactics. But little did he know that the co-conspirators he thought were his allies were actually undercover FBI agents who had been monitoring his online activity.

The Big Picture

‘Desperate Need For Speed’ As Army Takes On Chinese, Russian, ISIS Info Ops


TECHNET AUGUSTA: The Army wants to expand its fledgling cyber branch into an information warfare force that can do everything from jamming insurgent radio stations to fighting Chinese cyber espionage and protecting US elections from online subversion.

It’s a tremendous task, even within the Army — and the implications of information operations go far beyond the military, touching sensitivities central to a democracy. At a minimum, the service’s new strategy requires:

Reorganizing Army Cyber Command into an Information Warfare Command, at the same time as it relocates its HQ from Fort Belvoir outside DC to Fort Gordon, South Carolina, just 10 miles from here.

What Trump Doesn’t Get About the Chinese Economy

The president likes to say that his tariffs are hurting China and no one else. But if China is feeling the pain, so will the United States.

As President Donald Trump escalates his trade war with China, the administration is adamant that China is bearing the brunt of the tariffs. “They’re not hurting anybody [in the United States],” White House trade adviser Peter Navarro said on CNN’s “State of the Union” on Sunday. “They’re hurting China.”

Trump and his defenders quite often use this rationale for the tariffs currently imposed on nearly $250 billion of Chinese exports to the United States. The tariffs, they say, will cause economic pain to China and force the Beijing government to make concessions on things like market access and stronger protections for intellectual property. When China recently announced that its quarterly economic growth had slowed from 6.4 percent to 6.2 percent, Trump tweeted that the slowdown was a direct result of his tariffs and would compel China to make a trade deal. The administration routinely claims that it wants to make a trade deal, but Trump especially seems to delight in evidence that his policy is causing economic suffering in Beijing. As a recent analysis in Foreign Affairs put it, “it has become clear that the administration is bent on severing, not fixing, the relationship.” 

Previewing the G7 Summit

Andrew Schwartz: This is actually Andrew Schwartz at CSIS. Caleb’s going to jump on for me in a couple minutes. But thank you all for joining us today for a preview of the G-7 summit in France and President Trump’s visit to Europe in early September. CSIS experts will address the issues likely to be brought up at the meeting. And of course, you can ask questions as soon as they go through their opening remarks. 

So, I’d like to start off my introducing my colleagues. We have Matt Goodman, who’s our Simon chair in political economy. Matt is going to cover the broader significance of the G-7 and expectations for the global economy. We have Dr. Jon Alterman, director of the Middle East Program. Jon will cover ongoing tensions in the Middle East. We have Nick Szechenyi, who is a deputy director of the Japan chair. And Nick will talk about the significance of the G-7 to Japan and the Trump-Abe relationship. Finally, we have Heather Conley, who is the director of our Europe Program. And she’ll wrap it up. Heather will cover the EU perspectives going into the summit and President Trump’s visit to Warsaw and Copenhagen in early September as well.

Trump Has Defected

Thomas Wright
Yesterday, President Donald Trump canceled a meeting with the new Danish prime minister, Mette Frederiksen, because she refuses to discuss the sale of Greenland. Greenland used to be a Danish colony but now belongs to the people of Greenland—the Danish government could not sell the island even if it wanted to. Trump likely did not know that Denmark is one of America’s most reliable allies. Danish troops, for example, fought alongside U.S. forces in Iraq and Afghanistan and suffered 50 fatalities, and Danish forces were among the earliest to join the fight against the Islamic State.

Many Americans may laugh off Trump’s latest outrage, but Trump crossed an important line. It is one thing to float a cockamamie idea that no one believes is serious or will go anywhere. “Let’s buy Greenland!” Yes, very funny. A good distraction from the economy, the failure to deal with white supremacy, White House staff problems, or whatever is the news of the day. It is quite another to use leverage and impose costs on Denmark in pursuit of that goal—and make no mistake, canceling a presidential visit is using leverage and imposing costs. What’s next, refusing to exempt Denmark from various tariffs because it won’t discuss Greenland? Musing on Twitter that America’s defense commitments to Denmark are conditional on the negotiation? Intellectual justifications from Trump-friendly publications, citing previous purchase proposals and noting Greenland’s strategic value and abundance of natural resources? (That last one has already happened.)

German-U.S. Ties Are Breaking Down

By Matthias Gebauer, Christiane Hoffmann, René Pfister and Gerald Traufetter
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When it comes to fostering relations between Germany and the United States, the Atlantik-Brücke in Berlin is the most important player. For almost 70 years, the non-profit organization has worked, according to its statutes, to "deepen the collaboration between Germany, Europe and America on all levels."

The American ambassador usually plays a key role in this process. When a new chief U.S. diplomat arrives in the German capital, the Atlantik-Brücke organizes a big dinner, an event that has become a regular tradition.

When U.S. Ambassador Richard Grenell took up his posting in Germany last year, there were plans to welcome him according to that custom, but Grenell didn't want to. He wasn't interested.

What’s In A PhD? – OpEd

By Murray Hunter
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A Doctor of Philosophy or PhD is the highest form of degree conferred by universities. The PhD exists in many forms and has varying requirements depending on country, subject area, university, and faculty. The degree is reflective of the traditional apprentice-master relationship going back to Medieval times, where a candidate undertakes a project or piece of research under a supervisor or number of supervisors to produce a thesis or dissertation that is accepted by experts in the field. The research is required to be original and push out the boundaries of knowledge in the field. 

The degree carries with it a salutation “doctor” which signifies one is now a peer in a particular field of research. Undertaking a PhD is one of the few ways one can get a salutation that is perceived to generate respect in the community. However, culture, ethics, and professional practices of using this salutation greatly varies from country to country. 

Russian military chief pitches 'information' ops as form of war

MOSCOW • The chief of Russia's armed forces has endorsed the kind of tactics used by his country to intervene abroad, repeating a philosophy of hybrid war that has earned him notoriety in the West, especially among US officials who have accused Russia of election meddling in 2016.

At a conference on the future of Russian military strategy last Saturday, General Valery Gerasimov, Chief of the General Staff, said countries bring a blend of political, economic and military power to bear against adversaries.

The speech outlined what some Western analysts consider the signature strategy of Russia under President Vladimir Putin - and what other experts call a simple recognition of modern war and politics.

Gen Gerasimov said Russia's armed forces must maintain both "classical" and "asymmetrical" potential, using jargon for the mix of combat, intelligence and propaganda tools that the Kremlin has deployed in conflicts such as Syria and Ukraine.

Russian Military Chief Outlines Aggressive Anti-U.S. War Strategy

BY: Bill Gertz

Russia’s large-scale military buildup is being augmented by greater use of non-military warfare against the United States, the chief of the Russian general staff revealed last week.

Gen. Valery Gerasimov, author of Russia’s use of “hybrid” warfare, announced the greater adoption of asymmetric warfare tools—cyber, space, and information weapons—in response to what he said are stepped up plans for information operations by the Pentagon.

“Under these conditions our armed forces must be prepared to wage wars and armed conflicts of a new type using classic and asymmetric methods of operations,” Gerasimov said in a speech March 2.

Gerasimov first outlined Russia’s new hybrid warfare in 2013 and implemented the plan a year later in using covert military forces to annex Ukraine’s Crimean Peninsula. The Russians invaded with “little green men”—special operations troops without military insignia.

By contrast, the doctrine put forth last week used even harsher terms to describe the United States as Moscow’s main enemy.

Russia’s new military doctrine: preparation for large-scale war

Sunday, March 10, 2019 10:00:59 AM

“We must make every effort to ensure our technical, technological and organizational superiority over any potential enemy,” Gerasimov said during a speech at the Academy of Military Science in Moscow.

The Russian general explained that “the difficulty with modern weaponry is that to start producing it on short notice when the fighting begins is unlikely to succeed, and so everything that is needed must be produced in the required quantity and delivered to the troops already in peace time”.

The article’s author notes that Gerasimov also presented a report on “the wars of the future” at a session of the Academy of Military Science in January 2013.

“The report was sealed, and within a year or two, it became known in the West as ‘Gerasimov’s doctrine’ on so-called ‘hybrid war’ after the successful special army operation to annex Crimea, the war in the Donbas, and other dramatic developments of the ‘Russian spring’,” Felgenhauer writes.

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

By Richard A. Bitzinger

Aircraft carriers are admittedly vulnerable to a number of weapons, increasingly hypersonic missiles. However, their value in a variety of scenarios greatly outweighs their vulnerabilities, and for these reasons Indo-Pacific navies are redoubling their efforts to acquire fixed-wing aircraft carriers.

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.

Gerasimov Appeals for Military Science to Forge New Forms of Combat

By: Roger McDermott

On March 2, Army General Valery Gerasimov, the chief of the General Staff of the Russian Armed Forces, addressed the Academy of Military Sciences (Akademii Voyennykh Nauk—AVN), in Moscow. In a wide-ranging speech, Gerasimov explored themes related to Russia’s military strategy and perspectives on modern warfare. He outlined a “strategy of limited actions,” based on operations in Syria, which envisages actions beyond the country’s borders to promote its national interests (see EDM, March 6, 7). Gerasimov’s address was important due to the fact that, last year, President Vladimir Putin ordered a new military doctrine; moreover, his remarks provide insight into current and future priorities in Russian defense planning. Gerasimov addresses the AVN annually, encouraging military science to focus on future warfare and new approaches to combat (Krasnaya Zvezda, March 4).

General Gerasimov’s approach to the military science community builds upon the speeches of his predecessor, Nikolai Makarov, and further draws on various leading Russian and Soviet military theorists. In his highly misunderstood address in February 2013, later prompting some commentators to allege it formed the basis of a “Gerasimov doctrine,” he appealed to the country’s leading military scientists to aid the General Staff in developing strategic foresight, part of which was to remain open to new ideas and deeper understanding of the trends in modern warfare. In many of Gerasimov’s speeches and articles, he cites one of the most outstanding Soviet military theorists, Alexander Svechin (1878–1938). Likewise, in 2013, he reminded the AVN of Svechin’s well-known dictum: “The situation of war […] is extremely difficult to foresee. For each war, it is necessary to develop a special line of strategic behavior, each war is a special case that requires the establishment of its own special logic, and not the application of any template.” Highlighting the uniqueness of each armed conflict or war, Gerasimov called for military science to provide insight into the likely shape of future warfare, or risk becoming irrelevant to the state (Voyenno Promyshlennyy Kuryer, February 26, 2013).