16 September 2019

East India Company: the original corporate raiders


In 1930, a book emerged by the young American historian and philosopher Will Durant that occasioned apoplectic outrage in British colonial India. The Case for India was a brief but savage indictment of the British Raj, written in indignant passion with the forensic precision of the historian and the moral empathy of the philosopher. Durant had interrupted a research visit to India, part of a worldwide journey that would result in the 11-volume The Story of Civilisation (1935-75), to record what he saw and read of Britain’s “conscious and deliberate bleeding of India”. So shocked was he by “the invasion and destruction of a high civilization by a trading Company [the British East India Company] utterly without scruple or principle”, that he set aside his research into the ancient past to produce a philippic about the present, depicting in wounding terms this “greatest crime in all history”.

Durant’s portrait of a corporation running amok, “overrunning with fire and sword a country temporarily disordered and helpless, bribing and murdering, annexing and stealing”, profoundly shocked its readers in 1930. The plunder of India marked the beginning of the destruction of a thriving and prosperous civilisation, and its supplanting, eventually, by the rise to global dominance of imperial Britain.

4 New Data Protection Trends in India Jeopardize Innovation

By Nikhil Sud

Indian policymakers last year launched the praiseworthy effort to develop a cross-sector data protection law. Separately from the draft bill’s several provisions which risk undermining investment and innovation in India from companies globally, four recent trends surrounding this law’s development trigger fresh concerns.

First: narrow consultation.

Though the government last year commendably consulted a wide range of stakeholders, it has now reportedly launched another consultation seeking only a few stakeholders’ views. While the government describes this consultation as merely an exercise to seek “clarifications,” the consultation raises meaningful issues that can significantly impact India’s investment and innovation potential.

While all stakeholders had the opportunity to comment on some of those issues last year, other issues are new. For the issues that are not new, providing some stakeholders another opportunity to comment but depriving other stakeholders of that opportunity risks producing an inadequate law.

A Terrific Deal—For the Taliban

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The president should have to answer for the Afghanistan mess in the 2020 election.

The relentless spectacle of the Trump administration makes it difficult to hang onto even important blunders, but the recently revealed-only-to-be-canceled Camp David peace conference with the Taliban, as well as the underlying deal, is one the president ought to be forced to defend throughout the 2020 election. It represents the worst elements of President Donald Trump’s “America first” strategy: A repudiation of what we’re fighting for and abandonment of America’s allies, served up with a narcissistic flourish.

The proposed conference was evidently modeled on President Jimmy Carter’s landmark Israeli-Egyptian peace summit, where leaders of the crucial factions personally committed to the terms. That’s clearly what Trump wanted, to personally seal the deal and triumphantly take credit for bringing America’s longest war to an end in time for the accomplishment to color his reelection prospects.

The True Power of the Afghan Drug Trade


It is hard to be optimistic about the ongoing U.S. led peace talks with the Taliban. After nearly 18 years of conflict, the Taliban and its terrorist affiliations have proved to be impressively resilient adversaries. 

Despite significant growth in the capacity of the Afghan Government and its security forces, the Taliban still controls more territory than at any point since 2001. If Afghanistan is to ever prevail against this threat, it is imperative to understand what has enabled the Taliban to not only survive, but flourish against formidable counterinsurgency efforts. One likely source of strength is the drug trade.

The source of nearly 90% of the world’s supply of heroin, Afghanistan’s drug trade is as unique as it is vast. There are few modern examples of narco-states where drugs have become so intertwined in the political, economic and social structures of the nation. 

Trump's Taliban peace talks have collapsed. But many Afghans aren't surprised — or sad.

By Gayle Tzemach Lemmon

The one hope Afghans have for this disappointing moment is that a process can be created in which they will have a say in their nation’s fate.

A group of Afghan boys sit on the water tank over looking Kabul, Afghanistan on Aug. 23, 2019.Rafiq Maqbool / AP file

Relief mixed with fear. That is the reaction of many Afghans I spoke with via social media and WhatsApp about the collapse of U.S. talks with the Taliban.

“People are not surprised” that President Donald Trump’s Camp David meeting with the Taliban collapsed, said Wazhma Frogh, an Afghan civil society activist based in Kabul. “Time to let Afghans decide about the roadmap to peace in their own country.”

Many ordinary Afghans were happy to see the current talks with the Taliban end, even if they feel deeply frightened that more violence will be the result.

Fact-Checking Trump’s Statements on Increased Military Strikes in Afghanistan

By Thomas Gibbons-Neff
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WASHINGTON — Since the Afghan peace talks collapsed last weekend, President Trump has repeatedly said that the American military was striking the Taliban harder than it has for a decade, or even since the start of the war in 2001.

“We have been hitting our Enemy harder than at any time in the last ten years!” the president tweeted on Monday. He said it again, and even more forcefully, on Wednesday as he commemorated the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks at the Pentagon. “The last four days, we have hit our enemy harder than they have ever been hit before, and that will continue,” Mr. Trump said.

But the president, the military’s Central Command and the American-led mission in Kabul have offered no statistics to back up the statements. A survey of the scope of military operations over the course of the 18-year war seems to indicate that, at best, the president is exaggerating the pace of current operations, even if they have increased in recent weeks to counter the uptick in Taliban attacks across Afghanistan.

We Lost the War in Afghanistan. Get Over It.


Afghanistan has been back in the news lately, but most commentators are missing the big picture. In recent weeks there has been a raft of articles suggesting the United States and the Taliban were nearing a peace deal that would enable the United States to withdraw most, if not all, of its forces there. These rumors prompted immediate warnings from skeptics such as retired Gen. David Petraeus, who failed to win the war on his watch but wants his successors to keep trying, and assorted other hawks who want America’s longest war to continue and still think victory is achievable.

Next up was U.S. President Donald Trump. Eager for another high-profile photo-op, the narcissist-in-chief came up with a scheme to invite Taliban leaders to Camp David and crown the peace deal there. According to some reports, Trump eventually got persuaded to drop this ill-conceived idea, but this latest sign of a White House in disarray may have contributed to the decision to fire National Security Advisor John Bolton earlier this week.

Bridging the Gaps in the Asia-Pacific Information Superhighway

By Liu Diyi

In remote rural villages in Bangladesh, women in pink and blue uniforms, known as the Info Ladies, arrive on bicycles bringing a connection to villagers who want to see the faces of their loved ones working overseas.

Among 163 million people in the country, only 24 million are connected to the web. As the world becomes even more interconnected online, there are still many who cannot access the information they need for daily life.

Inclusiveness has been a major concern regarding new technologies. The 2014 Information and Communication Technology (ICT) education survey by UNESCO showed that only 7 percent of all public schools in Cambodia were connected to a reliable power source, making it difficult to integrate radios and televisions into the curricula, not to mention computers.

To Counter China, Out-Invent It

By Jonathan Gruber and Simon Johnson

China’s economic strategy is no secret. In the short term, Beijing will grow the country’s economy by manufacturing and exporting cheap, globally competitive goods. Over the longer term, it will build the capital, infrastructure, and expertise necessary to make the country an innovation powerhouse.

China is not the first to adopt this strategy. The same measures powered the rise of countries such as Germany, France, and Japan over the last 70 years. And even then they caused considerable trade friction with the United States. Washington accused all three of those countries of unfair trade and monetary policies—Germany and France in the 1970s and Japan in the 1980s. Recent U.S. administrations have accused China of the same. But this time around, the tension is more concerning. China is much more populous than Germany, France, or Japan, and its economy could easily become the world’s largest. Beijing also projects influence beyond its borders, sharing technology with smaller countries and endeavoring to create a set of close trade and investment relationships—ones that may one day be based on Chinese renminbi instead of the U.S. dollar.

Speak softly, make tough decisions: An interview with Alibaba Group chairman and CEO Daniel Zhang

While visionary founder Jack Ma has provided Alibaba Group’s most public presence during the company’s journey from apartment start-up to global e-commerce powerhouse, current chairman and CEO Daniel Zhang can be credited with many of the company’s game-changing successes. Nonetheless, the pair present as opposites—Zhang, with calm and collected cogitation, in the face of Ma’s restless dynamism—a duality that drew attention when Ma nominated Zhang last year to succeed him as company chairman in September 2019.

Zhang, known on Alibaba’s Hangzhou campus by a nickname that translates to “the free and unfettered one,” had hitherto eschewed the spotlight, but his instinct for innovation proved instrumental in Alibaba’s rise to become the world’s most valuable e-commerce company in 2017. Among Zhang’s initiatives is Alibaba’s annual 24-hour sales promotion, known as the “11.11 Global Shopping Festival,” or “Double 11” for short, which notched gross merchandizing volume of $30.8 billion in just 24 hours in 2018. Zhang was also at the forefront of Alibaba’s drive to become a mobile-first business: more than 90 percent of sales on Alibaba’s China e-commerce sites are now made via mobile device. More recently, the Shanghai native spearheaded the launch of Freshippo (known as “Hema” in Chinese) grocery stores, which combine a high-end, in-store experience centered on fresh foods with rapid e-commerce home delivery and a robot-staffed restaurant option. 1

As China Surges, Europe Is on the Menu


China’s naval expansion and commercial push into Europe are aimed at redefining the global trade and security system to the detriment of the democratic West. Europe and the U.S. need to wake up to the challenge.

Geopolitics is back, in no small part because of the growing realization in Washington that the China strategy the United States has pursued since the end of the Cold War has failed. China’s challenge to the United States, and the West in general, is systemic, and intent on redefining the existing global trading regime, the structure of our alliances, and, last but not least, the existing framework of norms and values that has historically favored the democratic West. After four decades of misplaced expectations that the PRC’s export-driven modernization would bring about democratization, and that Beijing would opt for merging its trajectory with that of the larger global trade and security system, the United States is now confronted with a near-peer competitor intent on assembling a constellation of states to challenge America and its allies. For three post-Cold war decades, encomia for the internationalization of manufacturing and the inevitable triumph of our normative institutions served to push the cause of China’s ever-deeper integration with the West. So it is perhaps ironic that Sino-American competition is now gearing up to spread beyond the Indo-Pacific, deep into the European part of the Eurasian Rimland.

Chinese Propaganda Paints Hong Kong as a Spoiled Brat


Hong Kong protesters know how they see themselves. One crowdfunded statue of the “Goddess of Democracy”—adapted from an image originally adopted during protests at Tiananmen Square in 1989—depicts the archetypal “front line” protester, complete with hard hat, gas mask, and protective goggles.

It isn’t the only female image used by the protesters, whose gender mix is fairly equal. After a young woman offering first aid was shot in the eye with a rubber bullet by the police, images of a woman wearing an eye patch, or with roses dripping blood over her eye, took hold.

China also depicts the protesters as women—but not as brave or martyred ones. Instead, it turns to the language of both parenthood and misogyny.

China is hardly unique in depicting relationships between ruler and subject as parent and child. But the idea is prevalent today in a way that’s largely vanished elsewhere. Chinese President Xi Jinping has reinforced the image of the leader as family patriarch, “Uncle Xi” dominating the table. Official women’s groups increasingly push propaganda suggesting women should step aside to aid men’s careers, or to have babies to prop up the country’s falling birthrate.

How Hong Kong got to this point

Richard C. Bush

What makes today’s situation especially sad is that it didn’t have to happen this way. Five years ago, there was a path being laid towards a government picked completely through competitive election, which in turn would open the way to develop policies to address many of Hong Kong’s numerous social and economic problems. It was a narrow path to be sure, but rather than try to navigate it, factions in China and Hong Kong preferred to fight rather than win, and they appear to have the whip hand again.


To understand the current situation, it’s necessary to understand the political system that China designed for Hong Kong as it prepared to regain sovereignty over the territory 1997. This political system is embodied in the Hong Kong Basic Law. It’s worth keeping in mind a distinction between the protection of civil and political rights and the institutions that pick a society’s leaders. In liberal, electoral democracies, rights and elections work together and reinforce each other. But some, “hybrid” systems have one and not the other. Hong Kong is one of those systems.

The Risks and Rewards of Growing US-China Space Rivalry

By Nicholas Borroz

Five decades after the Apollo 11 moon landing gave the U.S. victory over the Soviet Union in the space race, a new struggle for extraterrestrial supremacy is gaining momentum. This time, the challenger is China, reigniting fears about the potential militarization of space. But this off-planet rivalry also promises a commercial and technological boom with potentially huge benefits for humanity. Expansion to the stars — no matter by which country — should be welcomed, facilitated, and funded by the U.S. and other governments.

The pace of change is potentially enormous. It is worth recalling that less than nine years passed between U.S. President John F. Kennedy’s undertaking to put Americans on the moon and the Apollo 11 mission that landed Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin there on July 20, 1969. Five further moon landings confirmed U.S. dominance of crewed spaceflight, raising the number of humans who have stood on the moon to 12.

China’s Plan for a New World Order: Review of Maçães’ Belt and Road

By Mark Melton

Resolution to America and China’s tit-for-tat trade war seems improbable for now. Last month the disputes continued when China retaliated against President Donald Trump’s announcement of tariffs on $300 billion of Chinese goods. While the two countries have launched economic salvos against each other since July 2018, China has reduced tariffs for other countries, potentially giving foreign businesses greater access and creating new trading relationships that may endure. The trade war has reshaped global trade, perhaps permanently, and competition between rival economic domains with separate supply chains has emerged in a potential new cold war. This conflict could become much more complex than the US-USSR Cold War, which was essentially a military and political rivalry. European countries and possibly Russia may become geopolitical balancers or battlegrounds between American- or Sino-led orders, as the ongoing fight over Chinese telecommunications firm Huawei demonstrates. Even if a Democrat becomes president in January 2021, disputes with China may continue in some fashion because complaints against the communist regime have been so widespread.

Hong Kong’s protests are just the tip of the iceberg: capitalism is in crisis across the globe

K. K. Tse
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While Hong Kong is embroiled in unprecedented social and political upheaval, a silent revolution is unfolding in the capitalist heartland of the world. Last month, 181 CEOs of major US corporations (including Apple, JP Morgan Chase, Amazon, Walmart and Johnson & Johnson) released a 
joint statement through the Business Roundtable, redefining the purpose of a corporation.

This is a significant milestone in the evolution of global capitalism. And it has a close connection to Hong Kong, via the late Nobel laureate Milton Friedman: the statement is a direct abandonment of the long-held notion by Friedman that businesses’ sole responsibility is to generate profit for shareholders.

In 1997, the Business Roundtable issued a statement endorsing “principles of shareholder primacy – that corporations exist principally to serve shareholders”. The new statement, instead, offers a “modern standard of corporate responsibility” serving all stakeholders.

Secret Pentagon Space Program Driven By Fear Of China

Loren Thompson

The Trump Administration recently held a highly classified meeting for cabinet-level officials to discuss the growing danger Russia and China pose to U.S. space systems. The participants were told that because of heavy U.S. reliance on orbital assets, Moscow and Beijing were acquiring “counterspace” capabilities to deny America’s military victory in future wars, and severely impair the U.S. economy. Most of the danger was traced to China.

It was a shocking litany of challenges about which some of the participants previously had not been aware. But at the end of the meeting the main briefer, General John Hyten of U.S. Strategic Command, cautioned his audience that they could not go back to their agencies and discuss what they had heard. The information was too sensitive.

Similar circumstances surround efforts to brief Congress on the growing threat in space. Select legislators are briefed on the full extent of the danger, but the briefings consist largely of “special access” intelligence that they can’t share even with trusted staffers. As a result, much of Congress and nearly all of the American public is oblivious to just how worrisome orbital challenges are becoming, or what the military is doing about them.

U.S.-Iran Negotiations

With the departure of National Security Adviser John Bolton, analysts are looking at the potential for a resumption of U.S.-Iran talks, perhaps around the UN General Assembly meetings in New York later this month.

Q1: What is the U.S. government’s current approach to Iran?

A1: When I speak to people in the Trump administration, they all assure me that their goal is to make a deal. What they’re waiting for is the moment when the Iranian government will be at its most flexible and willing to make the greatest concessions. The Trump administration is not trying to do something small; they’re trying to do something big. They don’t see the path forward to be incremental agreements on small things. I believe they see the path forward as dramatic tension that creates a breakthrough and a radically different environment.

Q2: What is Iran’s strategy?

Competition and Cooperation in the Maritime Domain

Competition over the world’s maritime resources and territorial disputes over maritime borders are becoming increasingly prominent in international affairs. At the same time, depleted fish stocks and polluted waters make the question of how countries can collectively manage maritime resources a central one, particularly in discussions over climate change.

Against the backdrop of heightened competition in the maritime domain, China has been rapidly modernizing and expanding its naval capabilities thanks to an unprecedented shipbuilding effort. By contrast, the U.S. Navy is struggling to meet its ambitious goals toward expanding its fleet while nevertheless maintaining a demanding operational tempo. As a result, ship maintenance and crew training have suffered, a dynamic that appears to have contributed to several recent deadly incidents.

Meanwhile, the resources that lie beneath the ocean’s surface are increasingly at risk of overexploitation. Illegal fishing is devastating already diminished global stocks and may soon present a severe crisis to countries whose populations depend on seafood for their diets. In the South China Sea, competition over fishing rights as well as offshore oil and gas reserves has been a major driver of tensions and conflict.

Bolton’s Departure Signals Trump’s Foreign-Policy Pivot

Thomas Wright

John Bolton’s sudden departure from the Trump administration was inevitable. It had nothing to do with his fabled mustache or even his very real personality clash with the president. It was a matter of principle. Trump wants to write a new chapter, closing the one marked “Militarism and Maximum Pressure” and opening one called “Dealmaking and the Pursuit of the Nobel Peace Prize.” He wants a summit with Iran’s leaders and deals with the Taliban, Kim Jong Un, and Vladimir Putin on arms control. He does not care about most of the details, as long as he gets the credit.

Few of his officials are particularly enthusiastic about this pivot, but led by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, they accept it and will seek to shape it. Bolton did not accept it—with the exception of Russia, where he was playing a constructive role in advancing Trump’s goals—and played the role of a saboteur. This tension has been clear for several months, but with Bolton keen to hang on and Trump famously averse to personal confrontation, it dragged on over the summer. With a Trump summit with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani now imminent, it could not drag on much longer. And earlier this week, it came to an end.

North Korea’s Sanctions-Busting Gets More Sophisticated—and More Lucrative

Neil Bhatiya
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As a United Nations report revealed earlier this month, North Korea continues to dodge international sanctions and raise money for its nuclear weapons program, despite attempts to bar it from the global financial system. The report from the panel of experts charged by the U.N. Security Council with overseeing enforcement of U.N. sanctions on North Korea conclusively shows how Pyongyang capitalizes on an old method of sanctions-busting—smuggling—and a much newer one: hacking. In both cases, its tactics are getting more innovative.

When it comes to smuggling, North Korea’s use of ship-to-ship transfers continues to circumvent sanctions “unabated,” including through previously unreported methods. North Korea has been so successful in importing refined petroleum that the U.N. report said there are no current shortages of gasoline or diesel fuel within the country. Meanwhile, Pyongyang has used increasingly sophisticated cyberattacks “to steal funds from financial institutions and cryptocurrency exchanges,” the report warned, allowing it “to evade financial sanctions and generate income in ways that are harder to trace.” In both cases, North Korea relies on jurisdictions that lack either the will or the ability to stop it.

Fly-Fight-AI: Air Force Releases New AI Strategy

In the 2019 Artificial Intelligence Strategy, the U.S. Air Force declared its intent to employ artificial intelligence (AI) and dominate the air, space, and cyberspace domains. While recognizing that adversaries are pursuing AI for their own gain, the Air Force strategy provides the ways and means to prevent competitors from gaining an advantage over the United States. It recognizes that leveraging AI means investing in the AI ecosystem: the people, computing infrastructure, data, and policies necessary to support any organization’s deployment of AI technology.

Significantly, the document seeks to catalyze decisions in the upcoming budget and planning cycles to grow the Air Force’s AI ecosystem through focus areas and objectives. Recent surveys of both the federal workforce and the Department of Defense (DoD) and Intelligence Community highlight that budget and organizational culture, along with a dearth of technical talent in the workforce, are the most frequently cited barriers to AI readiness. Currently, DoD has limited investment in the education and training necessary to make AI a reality in the military. Further, investment in data and information technology (IT) modernization are difficult budgetary commitments. The Air Force’s strategy provides the clear and concise direction for decisions to prioritize budgetary allocations to workforce education initiatives, data management and integration, and IT modernization efforts.

Tomgram: Andrew Bacevich, Ending War, American-Style

Tom Dispatch 

Years ago, a man drove me around Vietnam, day after day, taking me to villages where I interviewed people about their experiences during what they called the American War. They told me about how they had lost eyes or legs or siblings or parents. They told me about being shot or raped, about surviving artillery shelling, helicopter gunships, or even a massacre.

Most knew very little English beyond what they recalled Americans yelling at them: “VC! VC!” (an abbreviation of “Viet Cong,” meaning Vietnamese Communists). The driver, however, spoke passable English and, from his age, I guessed the reason why. The tour company he worked for employed men who, in the 1960s and early 1970s, had thrown in their lot with the Americans, not the VC. For supporting the U.S.-backed government of South Vietnam, which collapsed in 1975, many of them paid a steep price -- either in reeducation camps or opprobrium in their home villages.

That shouldn’t be a shock. Those who end up on the wrong side of such conflicts generally don’t fare well and Americans are notorious for abandoning their allies.

Could hackers gain a global ‘kill click’?

By: Andrew Eversden 

The internet cables that connect the world are vulnerable to cyberattacks and Congress wants to know who’s in charge of protecting them.

There is no clear answer for its members, however.

“It’s not so much that here’s clear jurisdiction and it ends at this part of the internet architecture and then the next person picks it up,” said Jeanette Manfra, assistant director for cybersecurity at the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA). “It’s really largely private sector-led in all cases and what we have is different tools to analyze and make assessment and take action if we have some concerns.”

Manfra, testifying at a Sept. 10 joint hearing in front of the House Armed Services Subcommittee and the House Oversight Committee about internet architecture security, said that it works across several agencies in the federal government on the issue, including the Pentagon, National Telecommunications and Information Administration, the intelligence community and several other entities.

Why can’t the Pentagon use more open source code?

By: Andrew Eversden

The Pentagon has said that the open source software pilot program mandated by the NDAA is not feasible.

The Department of Defense has not adequately implemented a pilot program, mandated by Congress, that would increase the Penatgon’s reliance on open source code, according to a Sept. 10 report from Government Accountability Office.

The Pentagon failed to follow an August 2016 memorandum from the Office of Management and Budget, which directed agencies to create a pilot program that released 20 percent of their new developed code as open source, as well as establishing a metric for measuring success. The fiscal year 2018 National Defense Authorization Act required the Pentagon to follow that policy. Open source programming allows users to modify, reuse and share code. As a result, open source can reduce costs and improve efficiency, the GAO wrote. According to the report, titled “DOD Needs to Fully Implement Program for Piloting Open Source Software,” officials from 11 components within the DoD said there would be efficiency and financial benefits.

Everything You Should Do Before—And After—You Lose Your Phone

It's an unfortunate fact that the pricey pocket computers we carry around with us at all times are prime targets for thieves—as well as very easy to leave behind in subway cars or on coffee shop tables. Now that we all rely on our smartphones for so much, having one stolen or misplaced can feel like the end of the world. But it doesn't have to be, not quite. Here are the preparations you can take before the worst happens, and what to do if it does.

Turn on Remote Tracking

Whether Android or iPhone, your phone will come with a built-in tool that lets you track it from the web or another device. On (stock) Android, it's called Find My Device, and you can enable it under the Security & location menu in Settings. On iOS, it's called Find My iPhone, and from Settings you need to tap your name, then your iPhone, to turn it on.

We Can’t Secure 5G Networks by Banning Huawei Gear


The Trump administration’s approach to fifth-generation wireless networks has been a confused mash-up of trade negotiations, commercial competition, and national security concerns, all epitomized by its focus on barring equipment from Chinese manufacturer Huawei. Regrettably, this has drowned out any discussion of a larger problem: because of the way 5G works, banning one company’s gear won’t keep our data safe — and nor will even the best cybersecurity practices of today. If America is to harness the promise of 5G in a world of malign online actors, there must be a new relationship between business and government. 

5G networks are particularly vulnerable because the network has moved away from centralized, hardware-based switching, to widely distributed software-defined digital routing and small-cell antennas. Previous networks were hub-and-spoke designs that brought everything to hardware choke points where cyber hygiene could be practiced. In a 5G software-defined network, that activity is pushed outward to a web of digital routers throughout the network. The absence of chokepoint inspection and control makes 5G cybersecurity exponentially more difficult than on traditional telecommunications networks.

General Jim Mattis: The Currents, Undercurrents and Crosscurrents of Chaos’ Re-emergence

Katherine Voyles

In a recent article about James Mattis, Jeffrey Goldberg described him as “a gifted storyteller;” during his long service in public life Mattis displayed that gift. Mattis is best known as a retired Marine general and secretary of defense. He’s also an accomplished writer. In fact, it’s Mattis’s authorship that has him back in the news due to the Wall Street Journal’s publication of an excerpt of his new book, Call Sign Chaos, written with Bing West, and because of Goldberg’s article about him in The Atlantic. As Mattis re-enters public life it’s useful to think of him as a writer in an effort to unpack the complicated dynamics around that re-entry. In particular, it’s helpful to look at several pieces of his: his speech at Boeing Field over Memorial Day weekend, the resignation letter, the book Warriors and Citizens, and his letter to All Hands the night before the start of Operation Iraqi Freedom.

What follows here sketches some of the currents, undercurrents and crosscurrents of Mattis’s re-emergence before zeroing in on the themes, issues and concerns that dominate his writing. Hearing from people talking about Mattis is an important prelude to hearing from him on his own terms, and the current runs in the other direction too, hearing from Mattis himself is an important rejoinder to hearing other people talk about him. The Mattis that emerges in his own writing is a different Mattis than the one argued over.

Could hackers gain a global ‘kill click’?

By: Andrew Eversden
Source Link

“It’s not so much that here’s clear jurisdiction and it ends at this part of the internet architecture and then the next person picks it up,” said Jeanette Manfra, assistant director for cybersecurity at the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA). “It’s really largely private sector-led in all cases and what we have is different tools to analyze and make assessment and take action if we have some concerns.”

Manfra, testifying at a Sept. 10 joint hearing in front of the House Armed Services Subcommittee and the House Oversight Committee about internet architecture security, said that it works across several agencies in the federal government on the issue, including the Pentagon, National Telecommunications and Information Administration, the intelligence community and several other entities.

Edwin Wilson, deputy assistant secretary of defense for cyber policy at the DoD, said the Pentagon also works with several government agencies. He added that the DoD includes undersea cables in its contingency plans and threat exercises.

Preparing for a Space War, the Air Force Hardens Its Satellites

by Kris Osborn

Part of this challenge not only involves defending laser attacks or "jamming" weapons in space, but also hinges upon reconciling the advantages of using smaller form factors for space assets with the increased radiation challenges they present.

Building upon a 33-percent funding increase offered by the 2019 budget proposal, Air Force officials say the service is increasing research, testing and experimentation for Air Force Space initiatives and moving quickly toward more of a “war footing” in the Space domain.

“The space budget focuses on building more jam-resistant GPS satellites, improving missile warning, improving space situational awareness and increasing the nation’s ability to defend its most vital assets on orbit. It adds additional resilience features and user protection to existing satellite communication systems,” Maj. William Russell, Air Force Space spokesman, told Warrior Maven.