30 August 2019

Is India Facing an Economic Crisis?

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Welcome to Foreign Policy’s weekly South Asia Brief. Sign up here to receive this weekly newsletter directly in your inbox.

The highlights this week: India tries to boost its economy, Kashmir remains under a broad lockdown, the Rohingya mark a sad anniversary, and Amazon opens its biggest office space in the world.

“Unprecedented” Fears About the Indian Economy?

Last Friday, India’s government finally acknowledged that all was not well in the world’s seventh-largest economy. Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman rolled back a tax on foreign investors and promised to speed up tax refunds to small businesses, among other announcements. Investors seemed pleased: On Monday, the key Mumbai stock market gained more than 2 percent, after recording its worst July in nearly two decades. And the markets continued to rise on Tuesday.

INX Media case: ED cannot arrest Chidambaram till August 29, orders Supreme Court

The Supreme Court Wednesday extended till Thursday the interim protection from arrest granted to former finance minister P Chidambaram in the INX Media money laundering case lodged by the Enforcement Directorate (ED).

A bench of Justices R Banumathi and A S Bopanna heard arguments advanced by Solicitor General Tushar Mehta who said that Chidambaram was trying to play the "victim card" and prevent ED from exercising its right to arrest him in the case.

"This is not a witch hunt as alleged by them. We have material to show that it is a serious case of money laundering. We have collected cogent materials in the case," Mehta told the bench, which would continue hearing arguments in the case on Thursday.

The apex court is hearing a plea filed by Chidambaram who has challenged the August 20 verdict of the Delhi High Court denying him anticipatory bail in the INX Media corruption and money laundering cases lodged by the CBI and the ED.

"A ghost is sought to be created by playing the victim card," Mehta said while opposing grant of anticipatory bail to Chidambaram.

Taliban says near agreement on U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan

Abdul Qadir Sediqi, Sayed Hassib

KABUL (Reuters) - The Taliban said on Wednesday it was close to an agreement with U.S. officials on a deal that would see U.S. forces withdraw from Afghanistan in exchange for a Taliban promise that the country would not become a haven for international militants.

FILE PHOTO: U.S. military advisers from the 1st Security Force Assistance Brigade sit at an Afghan National Army base in Maidan Wardak province, Afghanistan August 6, 2018. REUTERS/James Mackenzie/File Photo

Negotiations over how to end the 18-year war in Afghanistan have been held in Doha, capital of Qatar, since late last year. The ninth round of talks began last week.

“We hope to have good news soon for our Muslim, independence-seeking nation,” said Suhail Shaheen, a spokesman for the Taliban’s political office in Doha.

U.S. officials engaged in talks with the Taliban in Doha were not immediately available for comment.

Two sources with knowledge of the negotiations said the U.S. special representative for Afghanistan, Zalmay Khalilzad, who has been leading the talks, is scheduled to be in Kabul to brief President Ashraf Ghani about the agreement.

Proposed U.S. deal with Taliban uses name of insurgency's former 'emirate'

By Dan De Luce and Mushtaq Yusufzai
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WASHINGTON — The Trump administration is weighing a possible deal with the Taliban that would refer to the insurgents by the name of their former hard-line regime, which Washington has previously rejected as illegitimate, two foreign diplomats and a Taliban source told NBC News.

If approved in a final agreement, the phrase “Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan” would be greeted as a diplomatic coup by the Taliban, who have presented themselves as a government in waiting since they were ousted from power in a U.S.-led intervention in 2001. But Afghan officials and skeptics of the negotiations have long viewed any reference to the former Taliban regime as repugnant, and a potentially damaging concession.

In a draft of the proposed U.S.-Taliban agreement, the insurgents are referred to as the “Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan,” but the word “Taliban” also appears in the text, two foreign diplomats familiar with the discussions told NBC News.

The formulation is an attempt at a compromise as the Taliban uses its former regime name to refer to the country.

Pakistan & China are building an SEZ in PoK’s Gilgit-Baltistan, satellite images show

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Moqpondass SEZ: an overview | Source: Col. Vinayak Bhat (retd.) | ThePrint

New Delhi: After ignoring India’s objections to the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, Islamabad and Beijing are now in the process of setting up a Special Economic Zone in the Gilgit-Baltistan region of Pakistan-occupied Kashmir.

Pakistan has long facilitated China’s forays into the Jammu and Kashmir region, ceding vast tracts of land in 1963 in the Shaksgam Valley, north of the Siachen Glacier. The Chinese built a road and military posts there in 2017.

How to Partner With the Taliban


With the Trump administration apparently close to announcing a peace deal with the Taliban, it is now time for a major consideration of U.S. strategy for Afghanistan. Virtually everyone agrees that Americans should seek to maintain current liberal political gains and prevent a future sanctuary for international terrorists in the country. The question is: What is the best plan to achieve America’s core security aims over the long haul?

Three options are now imaginable. The first is to maintain U.S. ground forces in Afghanistan indefinitely at, near, or even above today’s current levels of 14,000, a position favored by many in the U.S. Defense Department, think tanks such as the American Enterprise Institute, and prominent media commentators.

The second is a negotiated complete withdrawal of all U.S. ground forces from Afghanistan in 2020, supported by Trump administration officials who favor negotiated promises from the Taliban; the New York Times editorial board, which would pass the buck to regional players like Pakistan, Russia, Iran, India, and China; and “offshore” balancers, who believe a complete withdrawal would allow for more counterbalancing against potential regional hegemons like China in Asia.

Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad and China's Premier Li Keqiang. File Photo: Tasnim News Agency

By Murray Hunter

China and Malaysia have a shared trade, cultural, and immigration history that goes back more than 1,000 years, directly connected with each other by ancient Silk Road sea routes through the South China Sea.

Today the relationship is based on trade, investment, and tourism. China has been Malaysia’s largest trading partner for over a decade and Malaysia is China’s third largest trading partner in Asia, just after Japan and South Korea. China invested US$4.75 billion last year and US$43.8 billion over the past 10 years. Rapidly growing Chinese tourism to Malaysia reached almost 3 million visitors last year.

China over the past seven years under General Secretary Xi Jinping, a neo-Maoist in his vision of a great revival of the Chinese nation, has been reasserting its place in the world. Xi, an inspired Leninist in his view of the importance of the state, has focused his government’s activities on spreading trade, investment, technology and culture with an appropriate military presence across the world in pursuit of what is dubbed the Chinese Dream. 

Trump Can Battle China or Expand the Economy. He Can’t Do Both.

By Peter S. Goodman

LONDON — As President Trump intermittently escalates and moderates his trade war with China, his conflicting signals reflect a reality that limits his actions: He can try to sever the deeply intertwined American commercial relationship with China, or he can prod economic growth to assuage the fears of investors around the planet.

But he cannot do both at the same time.

Mr. Trump need not rely on the testimonials of economists to deduce this. He can disregard the admonitions of news outlets he derides as fake news. He can simply consult the one source whose verdicts he tends to celebrate: the stock market.

Among those who control money, portents of further trade hostilities between the United States and China, the two largest economies on earth, have proved an impetus to sell with abandon while amplifying talk of recession. Intimations of a deal avoiding further animosity reverberate as a clarion call to buy, sending share prices higher while easing worries about a potential global economic downturn.

China’s Long March to Technological Supremacy

By Julian Baird Gewirtz 

Until recently, American perceptions of Chinese technology tended to be either hopeful or dismissive. On the hopeful side, the information revolution was taken as a sure drive of greater freedom. “Imagine if the Internet took hold in China,” George W. Bush said in a presidential debate in 1999. “Imagine how freedom would spread.” Some observers noted considerable theft and imitation of U.S. technology firms, but Chinese technology was generally thought to represent little or no competitive threat, with analysts explaining—as a 2014 Harvard Business Review headline put it—“why China can’t innovate.”

But China has quickly moved up the value chain, creating world-class industries in everything from 5G and artificial intelligence to biotechnology and quantum computing. Some experts now believe that China could unseat the United States as the world’s leading technological force. And many U.S. policymakers view that prospect as an existential threat to U.S. economic and military power. “Very dangerous,” President Donald Trump said recently when talking about the Chinese telecommunications company Huawei; National Security Adviser John Bolton has warned of a “Manchurian chip.”

The One Word That Could Foretell Catastrophe in Hong Kong

Howard W. French

One of the first things that clinched my interest in China—and this will inevitably date myself—was its fierce and utterly unique political language, the stuff of endless campaigns of denunciation and ideological warfare. Think the bloodcurdling epithets used to attack enemies during the late Mao period, like “running dog of imperialism” or “capitalist roader,” and, when that long era finally wound to a close, “gang of four.”

Language like this has almost entirely disappeared from the rhetorical lexicon of the Chinese state. But there is one important form of it that has remained on the shelf, in two words found only in China: “splittism” and “splittist.” The first is for any movement that seeks to break away from China; the second is used to label and thereby castigate any adherent of such a movement and target him or her for destruction. ..

The US, China and Japan: Grand Strategy

By George Friedman 
The United States emerged from World War II with complete control of the Pacific Ocean. Japan emerged from the war occupied and effectively governed by the United States. China, a few years after the end of the war, emerged as a communist state, united after a century of internal conflict, with limited global trade and extreme internal poverty. China and Japan defined their foreign policies in terms of U.S. actions, the Chinese sometimes in concert with the Soviet Union, but since the 1970s working with the United States against the Soviet Union. Each in its own way took its bearings from the United States.

Core Strategies

The core American strategy, in place for a century, has been twofold. First, to dominate North America, the United States had to control, at a minimum, the Western North Atlantic and the Eastern Pacific to prevent either invasions or blockades. Second, to maintain its place at the top, it had to make sure that no hegemonic power could emerge from Eurasia. Thus in 1917, following the fall of the Russian czar, the United States sent a massive expeditionary force to France to block German forces transferring from the east. In World War II, when the European balance of power was failing because of France’s collapse, the United States again sent forces to France to contain Germany.

Trump Looks to Open Another Front in the Trade War With China

With the White House strategy of escalating tariffs against China nearing the point of diminishing returns, it will explore other means to respond to Chinese intransigence in trade negotiations. His threats notwithstanding, the damage to the U.S. economy and companies will likely restrain President Donald Trump from invoking emergency powers to stop businesses from operating in China. Beijing's negotiating position is likely to continue hardening as the White House ups the ante, particularly if it tries to ban U.S. business activity or sanction Chinese entities.

Editor's Note: This assessment is part of a series of analyses supporting Stratfor's upcoming 2019 Fourth-Quarter Forecast. These assessments are designed to provide more context and in-depth analysis on key developments over the next quarter.

For much of August, the United States and China have followed a tit-for-tat pattern of tariffs as they wage their trade war, with Beijing answering the round of U.S. tariffs announced Aug. 1 by President Donald Trump with some of its own. But a bombshell announcement by Trump on Aug. 23 has the potential to change the rules of the game.

Turkey Can’t Host Syrian Refugees Forever

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As the civil war in Syria and its spillover to neighboring Iraq displaced millions of people from their homes, Turkey took on a daring political experiment from 2011 onward that made it home to the world’s largest refugee population—about 4 million registered and more than a million off the books—in the space of a few years. The courage and generosity that countries like Turkey have shown cannot be overstated: They opened their doors to millions of people in need when the rest of the world barely lifted a finger. In Turkey alone, the response to the refugee crisis cost more than $35 billion, and most of it came out of the country’s own pocket. 

Turkey has been pushed to its breaking point, and it is starting to crack. 

After almost eight years, the experiment seems to be coming to a close. In Turkey, as well as in other countries, such as Lebanonand Colombia, that have been left to carry on their shoulders a moral and practical burden that belongs to the entire world, the mood is souring, and long-bottled-up grievances are erupting. 

Will Trump Break the Yuan?

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It’s time for everyone to admit that the trade war between the United States and China is not going anywhere anytime soon. With China due to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the proclamation of the People’s Republic on Oct. 1, nothing is going to give on the Chinese side for at least another month. Meanwhile, the United States has already slapped tariffs on just about everything except Christmas ornaments, baby diapers, and “live mushroom spawn,” whatever that is. And even those last few items are scheduled to be taxed starting Dec. 15, after U.S. stores are fully stocked for the holidays.

As the trade war enters a phase of stagnant trench warfare, the real action has shifted to the currency markets. The Chinese yuan is closely pegged to the U.S. dollar, with China’s central bank, the People’s Bank of China, fixing the official rate every day but allowing the currency to float plus or minus 2 percent on offshore markets. These days, that usually means minus. In fact, the yuan has fallen more than 5 percent since trade negotiations broke down at the end of April.

Trump’s Weird Whoppers at the G-7 Summit

By Robin Wright
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As the world’s seven largest economic powers met in glamorous Biarritz, the lungs of the planet, in the Amazon rain forest, were ablaze. “I’m an environmentalist,” President Trump insisted, at a press conference on Monday, claiming that he knows more about the subject than most people. Yet hours earlier he had skipped the session on climate change, biodiversity, and oceans; the white high-backed chair reserved for him had been conspicuously empty. The White House insisted that he had “scheduled meetings” with the leaders of Germany and India, even though both were plainly in view at the climate session. (Never mind, as well, that the Trump Administration has rolled back at least eighty-three environmental regulations in less than three years.)

Trump also claimed that China had called his top trade negotiators “numerous” times during the two-day summit to signal China’s interest in getting “back to the table” to work on a deal to end the escalating trade war. On Friday, Beijing had announced retaliatory tariffs on seventy-five billion dollars of American imports—leading Trump to label China the “enemy” and the Dow to tumble more than six hundred points. On Monday, the President announced a surprise breakthrough. “You can say we’re having very meaningful talks, much more meaningful than I would say at any time, frankly,” he bragged. The Dow shot up almost three hundred points. Then, somewhat baffled, China’s Foreign Ministry denied any such recent calls—or any such progress.

UN calls for 'maximum restraint' after alleged Israeli strike in Lebanon

Oliver Holmes
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A spokesman said the UN was unable to confirm the reports about Sunday’s incident, the latest in a series of reported attacks that have stoked a proxy conflict raging between Israel and Iran across the Middle East. “The United Nations calls on the parties to exercise maximum restraint both in action and rhetoric,” he said on Monday night. “It is imperative for all to avoid an escalation.”

Hezbollah’s leader, Hassan Nasrallah, said Sunday’s strike was Israel’s first such hostile action since the 2006 war. It was followed by another alleged Israeli attack yesterday on an armed Palestinian faction in eastern Lebanon, according to the group and Lebanon’s national news agency.

The Lebanese prime minister, Saad Hariri, told ambassadors from the UN security council’s five permanent members his government wanted to avoid a “dangerous escalation” of tensions, but that to do so would require the international community to reject Israel‘s “blatant violation”.

Attacks blamed on Israel across three Middle East countries ratchet up tensions

James McAuley

BEIRUT — Attacks against Iranian-allied forces in three countries, all blamed on Israel, escalated tensions across the Middle East on Sunday, drawing threats of retaliation and intensifying fears that a bigger conflict could erupt.

The attacks Saturday and Sunday targeted Iranian forces and their proxies in Lebanon, Syria and Iraq, in what appeared to be a significant escalation of Israeli efforts to contain the expansion of Iranian influence in the region that could jeopardize the continued presence of U.S. troops in Iraq and draw Lebanon into a new war.

All of the attacks were shrouded in the mystery that engulfs much of the shadowy conflict between Israel and Iran. Israel confirmed that it was responsible only for the first attack, in which its warplanes struck overnight Saturday on what military officials said was an Iranian-operated base in Syria preparing to launch a major drone attack against Israel. At least two members of the Lebanese Hezbollah militia were killed, Hezbollah said.

Friends With Caveats

By Yoel Guzansky And Daniel B. Shapiro 

Something is brewing between Israel and its Arab Gulf neighbors, at least if public diplomacy is any indication. When Israel’s foreign minister, Israel Katz, traveled to a conference in Washington last month, he publicly met, shook hands, and stood for a photo with his counterpart from Bahrain, Khalid bin Ahmed Al Khalifa. Earlier in July, Katz had flown to Abu Dhabi to take part in a UN conference, while Yossi Cohen, director of the Israeli intelligence agency Mossad, claimed that Israel had received approval to open a diplomatic mission in Oman. The Omani government, which took the unusual step of playing host to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu last year, halfheartedly denied the announcement, but there is little doubt that some form of rapprochement is under way behind the scenes.

As the Migration Crisis Evolves, the Wealthiest Countries Still Aren’t Doing Enough

Ellen Laipson 

Migration barely came up at the recent G-7 summit in France—a far cry from just two years ago, when Italy hosted the G-7 in Sicily, which has seen an influx of migrants and asylum-seekers given its proximity to North Africa. The most prominent mention of migration in Biarritz took place on the sidelines of the summit, when President Donald Trump’s adviser, Stephen Miller—the architect of the administration’s restrictionist immigration policies—defended Trump’s efforts to make migrating to the United States even more onerous than it already is. 

Yet even if migration has fallen off the front pages, each member of the G-7, with the possible exception of Japan, still has to address it on a policy level. Managing immigration and dealing with influxes of refugees and asylum-seekers remain delicate issues, with political consequences at home and economic repercussions within and across borders. 

'Persistent Engagement': The Phrase Driving A More Assertive U.S. Spy Agency


The director of the National Security Agency, Gen. Paul Nakasone, often speaks about "persistent engagement" as a way to keep up pressure on adversaries in cyberspace. Since he took over last year, the spy agency has been pursuing a more assertive approach.Evan Vucci/AP

The head of the National Security Agency, Army Gen. Paul Nakasone, has a catchphrase: "persistent engagement."

This covers a broad spectrum of cyber activities at the nation's largest spy agency. But at its core, it means relentlessly tracking adversaries, and increasingly, taking offensive action against them.

"That's the idea of persistent engagement. This idea of enabling and acting," Nakasone recently told NPR. When he took over the agency last year, he said that rivals didn't fear the U.S. in the cyber realm, and he intended to change that.

As the Migration Crisis Evolves, the Wealthiest Countries Still Aren’t Doing Enough

Ellen Laipson 

Migration barely came up at the recent G-7 summit in France—a far cry from just two years ago, when Italy hosted the G-7 in Sicily, which has seen an influx of migrants and asylum-seekers given its proximity to North Africa. The most prominent mention of migration in Biarritz took place on the sidelines of the summit, when President Donald Trump’s adviser, Stephen Miller—the architect of the administration’s restrictionist immigration policies—defended Trump’s efforts to make migrating to the United States even more onerous than it already is. 

Yet even if migration has fallen off the front pages, each member of the G-7, with the possible exception of Japan, still has to address it on a policy level. Managing immigration and dealing with influxes of refugees and asylum-seekers remain delicate issues, with political consequences at home and economic repercussions within and across borders.

Trump’s National Security Advisor to Visit Belarus

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U.S. President Donald Trump’s national security advisor, John Bolton, is due to visit the former Soviet republic of Belarus as soon as this week, according to current and former U.S government officials, on a trip that is likely to provoke the Kremlin’s ire. 

Bolton’s planned visit is the latest sign of thawing relations with the country often described as “Europe’s last dictatorship” and comes as Trump himself seeks better relations with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Bolton’s trip will mark the highest-level U.S. government visit to Belarus this century. Moscow has also sought to deepen its own ties with Minsk amid speculation that a political union with Belarus could provide a way for Putin to dodge his constitutionally imposed term limit in 2024. 

“Bolton well understands that Putin is pursuing an aggressive policy, and that Putin’s aggressive policy also may include some kind of designs on Belarus,” said John Herbst, a former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine. 

Cyber warfare, IoT hacks, and mass data gathering – the new security threats of a hyper-connected world

With 5G touted as the catalyst that will propel us into a future transformed by the Internet of Things, we spoke to Troy Hunt, Microsoft Regional Director and MVP, and the creator of the Have I Been Pwned? about the changing nature of gadget hacks, industrial cyberattacks, Huawei, and the implications of data gathering on an unprecedented scale by the tech giants…

The immediate benefits of 5G deployment are, at best, nebulous. On 4G you can already stream Facebook videos until either your phone battery or your brain expires, so speed enhancements alone are going to be a tough sell. It’s often said that we won’t know exactly what the world-changing effects of 5G will be until it’s arrived and the innovators of the world start playing around with it. The idea being, first you had 4G, then you had Uber – not the other way around. Or, to put it another way, if you build it, they will come. In this case, that may be true IoT.

It’s widely predicted that the deployment of 5G will pour rocket fuel into the concept of the Internet of Things, Smart Homes, and Smart Cities – basically the process of hooking absolutely everything in sight up to the internet.

The View From Olympus: Mass Shooters and Fourth Generation War

In the wake of mass shootings such as those in Gilroy, El Paso, and Dayton, I am often asked, “Are shootings part of Fourth Generation war?” When the shooter’s motivation is racial, religious, or ideological, the clear answer is yes. The shooter has transferred his primary loyalty away from the state to something else, and he wants to fight for whatever his new primary loyalty is. But what about cases where the shooter’s motive is unclear or he is simply insane?

These mass shootings too are objectively part of 4GW, in that they undermine the legitimacy of the state. The state arose to bring order, safety of persons and property, and when a state cannot provide order it no longer fulfills its function. At that point it becomes just a big money grab and people start looking around for something else worthy of their loyalty. Fourth Generation war is above all else a contest for legitimacy, and mass shootings strike directly and powerfully at the legitimacy of any state that cannot prevent them. Rapid “first response” is not enough; public safety demands prevention.

I think there is another way in which many mass shootings whose motive is unclear are an element of Fourth Generation war. They are responding to the war on men.

In a front-page article, the August 11 New York Times wrote,

Is Data Privacy Real? Don’t Bet on It

In 2009, Netflix was sued for releasing movie ratings data from half a million subscribers who were identified only by unique ID numbers. The video streaming service divulged this “anonymized” information to the public as part of its Netflix Prize contest, in which participants were asked to use the data to develop a better content recommendation algorithm. But researchers from the University of Texas showed that as few as six movie ratings could be used to identify users. A closet lesbian sued Netflix, saying her anonymity was compromised. The lawsuit was settled in 2010.

The Netflix case reveals a problem about which the public is just starting to learn, but that data analysts and computer scientists have known for years. In anonymized datasets where distinguishing characteristics of a person such as name and address have been deleted, even a handful of seemingly innocuous information can lead to identification. When this data is used to serve ads or personalize product recommendations, re-identification can be largely harmless. The danger is that the data can be — and sometimes is — used to make assumptions about future behavior or inferences about one’s private life — leading to rejection for a loan, a job or worse.

How Fintech Can Make Banking More Inclusive – and Empowering

In this era of Big Data, it seems like financial services companies know everything there is to know about our lives as consumers – where we live, what we do for a living, how much we make, how much we have saved, what we buy and what we might want to purchase in the future.

But the reality is there are huge segments of the population in the U.S. and globally about which these companies know very little. Sometimes that’s because people have left very few data “breadcrumbs” offering clues about themselves – they’re unbanked or underbanked and lack a credit history. In other cases, consumers have left a trail, but it’s not accessible to the company or agency that needs it to asses someone’s worthiness for a credit card, a cell phone plan or an apartment.

And in still other instances, companies just don’t know what they don’t know. They haven’t put systems in place to really get to know or collect data about groups of consumers who don’t look like the people who populate the firms’ own front offices – people who aren’t white, aren’t straight, don’t live in a big city, who may lack college degrees or may have recently immigrated to their current country of residence.

Data as Currency: What Value Are You Getting?

In traditional currency transactions people exchange cash for goods and services of equal value. But in the data-as-currency world, trade is one-sided, at least today. Generators of data get practically nothing. Their data is captured and used to sell them more things in a targeted manner. There are also concerns around security and privacy. “There are huge opportunities [to use data] for much better engagement and service, but it’s being used just to target and sell to you,” says Jane Barratt, chief advocacy officer for MX Technologies, a Utah-based firm that provides data to financial institutions and fintech firms.

In a conversation with the Knowledge@Wharton radio show on SiriusXM, Barratt talks about the implications of data as currency, why data-driven innovation is a strategic imperative for companies, and related issues. (Listen to the podcast at the top of this page.) 

An edited transcript of the conversation follows.

Knowledge@Wharton: What do you mean when you talk about data as currency?

On the offense: How federal cybersecurity is changing


From ransomware attacks on local government to election interference by foreign nations, cyberattacks are serious threats to governments, businesses and citizens alike. While the federal government already addresses cybersecurity, responsibility is fragmented and siloed across departments.

The Department of Defense is responsible for various geographical and functional areas; its Cyber Command was established in 2009 partly in response to Russia hacking the Pentagon's network. Outside of DOD, the National Security Agency has its own cybersecurity resources and practices, as does the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security. At the state level, CIOs in individual agencies and those in statewide positions work closely with their federal counterparts. This disconnect and fragmentation is still causing problems today, 18 years after it played a part in the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

Wearing The Network To War


TECHNET AUGUSTA: Wifi gunsights that tell your smart goggles where to aim. Artificial intelligence that tells distant artillery batteries whenever you spot a high-priority target. Backpack transmitters, remotely controlled by technicians miles away, that jam enemy communications while you focus on the fight. A jamming-resistant GPS that double-checks your location against a wearable inertial navigation system and pedometers in your boots. These are all technologies the Army is now developing or, in some cases, fielding in a few months.

The American grunt has gotten ever more high-tech since 2001. Handheld GPS, tactical radios, night vision goggles, electronic gunsights, and more have accumulated to the point where the weight of batteries has become a major burden.

Marines To Roll Out Major Modernization Plan, Heavy On Drones, Fires


WASHINGTON: The Marine Corps plans to roll out a new modernization plan late next month, putting meat on the bones of the ambitious guidance handed down by new Commandant Gen. David Berger in July that sought to light a fire under the Corps to reorient itself away from traditional ideas of amphibious warfare and COIN.

Berger’s paper called the current approach of moving Marines ashore aboard amphibious vehicles and helicopters “impractical and unreasonable,” and charged that the force has fallen behind in organizing and training to survive in high-end combat. His thinking, which had been percolating among Marine and Navy ranks for some time, reflects a new push to refocus for high-end conflict with advanced forces in the Pacific, Arctic, and Europe.