20 November 2019

The War That Made India a 'Great Power' (And Hurt Pakistan to This Day)

by Michael Peck

This is what happens when you chop a nation in half.

Before December 3, 1971, Pakistan was a country suffering from a split personality disorder. When British India became independent in 1947, the country was divided into Hindu India and Muslim Pakistan. The problem was that East Pakistan and West Pakistan were almost a thousand miles apart, and wedged in between them was archenemy India. Imagine if the United States only consisted of the East Coast and West Coast, and Russia controlled all of North America in between.

Thirteen days later, Pakistan had been amputated. Indian troops had conquered East Pakistan, which became the new nation of Bangladesh. More than ninety thousand Pakistani soldiers were taken prisoner, half the Pakistani Navy had been sunk and the Indian Air Force came out on top. It was total humiliation, and not just for Pakistan. The United States and Britain sent aircraft carriers in a futile attempt to intimidate India, and ended up facing off against Soviet warships. Pakistan’s defeat also spurred its rulers to begin the development of nuclear weapons.

The 1971 India-Pakistan War, the third major conflict between the two nations in twenty-five years, was sparked by unrest in East Pakistan. The Bengalis of East Pakistan, who constituted 54 percent of Pakistan’s population at the time, chafed under the rule of West Pakistan. The two Pakistans belonged to different ethnic groups and spoke different languages.

Reviewing America in Afghanistan

Carter Malkasian

Given the length of the conflict in that country, there is no shortage of literature covering America’s longest war. Yet, many works on the war in Afghanistan cover the accounts of military members and their tactical engagements. Sharifullah Dorani has written a short history of high-level U.S. policy making in Afghanistan, entitled America in Afghanistan: Foreign Policy and Decision Making from Bush to Obama to Trump. The book reviews the major decisions of the Bush, Obama, and Trump administrations. Dorani covers this well-tilled ground in an interesting, locally informed way and, unlike other works, brings it together in a single volume.

Dorani grew up in Kabul, living through the Soviet-Afghan war and then the civil war that followed. He and his family finally fled the country in 1994 because of the violence wracking Kabul. After the fall of the Taliban, he returned to work for several years. He then earned his doctorate at Durham University, going back and forth to Afghanistan over ten years to complete his research. America in Afghanistan is based on his doctoral dissertation.

The testing ground: China’s rising influence in Southeast Asia and regional responses

This paper examines China’s foreign policy toward Southeast Asia in the context of its neighborhood diplomacy more broadly. It describes how China is navigating between the competing imperatives of pulling the region closer to it economically via the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), while at the same time seeking to consolidate control over contested territorial claims in the South China Sea. The paper also discusses China’s relations with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and individual Southeast Asian countries, focusing on Indonesia and Vietnam. The discussion shows how Southeast Asia looms large both as a testing ground for China’s development as a great power and as a gateway for its global expansion in the future. Yet, it also shows that Southeast Asian countries aren’t just inanimate stones as China crosses the proverbial river; they are countries with agency of their own that can frustrate or take advantage of China’s moves. China could also face trip wires if it fails to better assess the social and ethnic dynamics in the region, and pushes ahead with old-style United Front activities with overseas Chinese communities at its own risk and folly.

How China’s actions in the South China Sea undermine the rule of law

This paper argues that China’s actions in the South China Sea have contributed to a weakening of the international law of the sea. This hurts all countries, including China, which have an interest in ensuring that competition stays within the parameters of international law, which helps promote stability and minimizes the risk of conflict. It provides an overview of the South China Sea dispute and the 2016 arbitral tribunal ruling in a case the Philippines brought against China under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea. The paper identifies actions China has taken to pursue its territorial and maritime claims and control around features, including encroaching on coastal states’ exclusive economic zones, increasing its military presence around features, seeking to deny the United States and other countries navigational and other freedoms of the seas, and escalating its militarization of features it occupies. These actions have allowed China to gain military advantages in the event of conflict and, significantly, non-military advantages in situations short of outright conflict, by deterring other claimants from putting up a strong resistance to Chinese incursions and undermining U.S. credibility in the region. The paper examines the responses of Vietnam, the Philippines, and Malaysia.

Global China: East Asia

East Asia has emerged as both a key engine of global economic growth and the region where U.S. and Chinese interests most clearly intersect. America’s longstanding role as the predominant military, diplomatic, and economic power across East Asia has in recent years come under challenge from a rising China. As Beijing’s power and influence have grown, so too have its ambitions. No longer content to merely protect its “core interests” on issues of sovereignty, political stability, and economic development, China now seeks to reshape the region. Beijing’s toolkit for incentivizing acquiescence to its aspirations for regional leadership includes both carrots and coercion. The ways China pursues its objectives in East Asia, and the ways the U.S. and regional states respond, will together have an outsized impact on the evolution of global politics and the international system.

The papers in this installment of the Brookings Foreign Policy project “Global China: Assessing China’s Growing Role in the World” demonstrate that China’s ambitions across East Asia have come into clearer focus and analyze the expanding toolkit China employs in pursuit of them. Our contributors show that China is seeking adjustments to the status quo in each sub-region of Asia. China also appears to be growing less restrained about employing coercive tactics to influence its neighbors as its power expands, though staying at levels generally below the threshold of direct military conflict. In certain respects, China appears to be approaching its immediate periphery as a testing ground for how it wields its growing power and influence on the world stage. Regional countries, for their part, have shown varying levels of dexterity in balancing between economic imperatives with China and their own security requirements, and in finding common cause among themselves — and with the United States — in responding to Beijing’s advances.

Does LNG Have a China Problem?

Nikos Tsafos

In the first nine months of 2019, China’s liquefied natural gas (LNG) imports rose by 17 percent. In today’s market environment, that growth rate is seen as bearish, underscoring the extent to which the global LNG market has come to rely on China to soak up excess supply.

In just three years, from 2016 to 2018, global LNG supply rose by an unprecedented 28 percent, with China absorbing half of that new supply. China’s LNG imports, which had grown slowly in the early 2010s, almost tripled between 2015 and 2018. Unlike other countries, LNG grew alongside domestic production and piped imports—in fact, from 2015 to 2018, local production grew more than imports did (88 billion cubic meters, or bcm, versus 62 bcm). But through September 2019, the weight of different supply options has changed: pipeline imports have not grown at all, while domestic production has grown by 10 percent. One way to look at the reduction in LNG imports is to see domestic gas displacing gas imports.

BREAKING: Commission Warns AI Could Help China Surpass U.S. Military

By Mandy Mayfield

A commission established by Congress to regularly review the national security implications of the U.S.-China relationship is warning that Chinese leaders' prioritization of artificial intelligence technology could provide them with military advantages in a potential conflict with the United States.

The U.S.–China Economic and Security Review Commission — a bipartisan group created as part of the 2001 National Defense Authorization Act — released its annual report on Nov. 14 warning of China’s growing capabilities.

“Chinese firms and research institutes are advancing uses of AI that could undermine U.S. economic leadership and provide an asymmetrical advantage in warfare,” the report said. “Chinese military strategists see AI as a breakout technology that could enable China to rapidly modernize its military, surpassing overall U.S. capabilities and developing tactics that specifically target U.S. vulnerabilities.”

The Pentagon's national defense strategy identifies China as a great power competitor, and adopting artificial intelligence is also a top technology priority for the Defense Department.

The Way Forward for Hong Kong

by James Jay Carafano

If Beijing plays its cards correctly, then it can face the world with more confidence, less bullying, and gain the respect and trust of other nations around the world that are increasingly doubtful about the wisdom of doing business with China.

How can the Hong Kong protests end in a way that serves everyone’s best interests? 

How can China take a black-eye and turn it into a positive?

How can both sides build constructive, sustainable models for peace and prosperity?

The answer is: Everybody—Beijing, the Hong Kong government, and the protestors—must put something on the table.

What does that mean for Beijing? First, the regime needs to drop its bully act: no more threats of “crushed bodies and shattered bones” if Hong Kong tries to split off from China. No serious actor is suggesting a split. And this kind of gratuitously provocative rhetoric accomplishes nothing.

Instead, Beijing ought to trumpet its continuing commitment to the “one country, two systems” agreement—explicitly reaffirm what that means in terms of preserving Hong Kong’s freedoms.

Is China's DF-100 Missile Good Enough To Kill America's Navy?

by Sebastien Roblin

On October 1, 2019, the People’s Liberation Army rolled out an impressive procession of advanced new weapons systems to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the foundation of the People’s Republic of China.

Still, many of the weapons officially debuted that day, like the DF-17, the first hypersonic missile to officially enter regular service, had been public knowledge for some time.

But that was not the case for the regiment of sixteen ten-wheel TEL trucks that came rolling past Tiananmen Square, each lugging two octagonal launch canisters with the designation ‘DF-100’ prominently stenciled on their sides. You can see the video footage here.

The DF, or Dongfeng (“East Wind”) designation, is mostly reserved for China’s many types of ballistic missiles, which arc high into the atmosphere before plunging down at tremendous speeds. But the existence of the DF-100 had never been reported before.

Apollo 12 astronauts Pete Conrad and Alan Bean land at Oceanus Procellarum (the "Ocean of Storms") and become the third and fourth humans to walk on the Moon.

Can open source intelligence combat Russian disinformation in the Baltics?

By: Nathan Strout 

NATO will need to utilize social media and other publicly available information to combat Russian disinformation says a new report from the Atlantic Council.

Utilizing open source intelligence will be essential to combating Russian disinformation in the Baltics, according to a new report published Nov. 14 by the Atlantic Council.

The report focuses on how NATO joint intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance operations can help Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania — three ex-Soviet states that face the most direct threat from Russia of any NATO member. While there are limits to what military assistance the alliance can provide to the region without prompting a Russian response, the report notes that using the alliance’s networked system of sensors, collectors and analysts to provide situational awareness and early warning remains a low risk way to help out the embattled states.

“One of the things that our alliance can do with far less controversy than any of its other activities is gain intelligence — understand the situation as it exists at any one moment,” said retired Air Marshal Sir Christopher Harper, who co-chaired the task force that authored the report.

Will Boris Johnson’s Brexit Gamble Cost Him the U.K. Elections?

Aleks Eror

Having been thwarted three times in his attempts to call a general election, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson finally succeeded on his fourth try in late October. British voters are now set to elect their third government in four years when they go to the polls on Dec. 12.

With Johnson’s Conservative Party enjoying an average poll lead of 12 percent, all signs currently point to a commanding victory for the Tories. Yet as the previous election in 2017 showed, poll numbers in the early weeks of a campaign should be treated with serious skepticism. Two years ago, Johnson’s predecessor, Theresa May, enjoyed an even greater advantage, with most pundits predicting a Conservative landslide. But after a disastrous campaign, the Tories lost 13 seats in Parliament, squandering their majority. ...

What does Russia really want from Africa?

Jideofor Adibe

Last month’s Russia-Africa summit—the first of its kind—ended with the usual optics and photo-ops, but also spawned $12.5 billion in business deals, largely in arms and grains. Beyond the splashy show of unity and camaraderie, the summit also raised a number of questions—namely, what does Russia really want from Africa? How will Africa’s traditional allies, especially the United States, respond to Russia’s newfound love for the continent? And, does Russia have what it takes to compete with China in Africa?

It will be simplistic to frame the just-concluded Russia-Africa summit as a copy-cat jamboree organized by Russia to latch on the bandwagon of the increasingly fashionable trend of organizing and institutionalizing Africa summits by countries like China, India, Japan, France, and the United States. The truth is that, since the 2000s, there has been a noticeable re-awakening of Russia’s interest in Africa. Indeed, between 2005 and 2015, Africa’s trade with Russia grew by 185 percent, and Russia has several reasons to engage Africa more intensely.

Goal 1: Projecting power on the global stage

In supporting African countries—who, notably, constitute the largest voting bloc in the United Nations—Russia is cultivating allies in its challenge to the current United States and Euro-Atlantic-dominated security order. This strategy is not going unnoticed: Indeed, in 2018 former U.S. National Security Adviser John Bolton accused Russia of selling arms to African countries in exchange for votes at the United Nations, among other nefarious motivations.

Solving the Mystery: Where Did North Korea Get Its Missiles?

by Kyle Mizokami

A foreign government, or a nonstate actor?

In the quarter century since the end of the Cold War, much of North Korea’s conventional-weapons capability has quietly aged into obsolescence. Abandoned by the now-defunct Soviet Union and China, Pyongyang’s arsenal of tanks, ships, planes and artillery appears trapped in the 1980s—or earlier. A few weapons, however, including a new antiship missile fired just last week, are fairly new, prompting questions as to exactly where they came from.

After the Korean War, the Korean People’s Army was rebuilt with Soviet and Chinese weapons. Wartime T-34 tanks were replaced with Soviet-built T-62 and T-55 tanks in the late 1960s and early 1970s, and a large fleet of seventy-seven Romeo-class submarines was purchased from China. Pyongyang bought from both countries, favoring one over the other as the political winds blew. One of the country’s last major purchases was a fleet of seventeen MiG-29 “Fulcrum” multirole fighters and thirty-six Su-25 Frogfoot attack jets.

The breakup of the Soviet Union in 1991 left the East Asian dictatorship without a patron that dispensed weapons on easy credit terms, and the lack of modern gear is telling. North Korea’s latest tanks are still based on the T-62, and Romeo-class submarines, one of which Kim Jong-un famously took for a ride in 2014, are still in active service. Occasional upgrades, such as the addition of Bulsae (“Firebird”) antitank missiles to the Chonma-ho main battle tank, do little to upgrade the combat effectiveness of what is in reality an obsolete tank.

Reviewing Why America Loses Wars

Adam Wunische


The national defense and foreign policy establishments in the United States are collectively looking away from Afghanistan and Iraq and towards China and Russia. As such, debates now center around how the military should be organized to deal with near-peer conventional conflict rather than the counterinsurgency conflicts it has been fighting for the better part of two decades. The debate is long overdue. Doctrinal documents and international developments are now beginning to refocus the military’s attention on high-intensity conventional conflict. However, reorganizing the military for new missions is far from sufficient. Reorganizing the military for great power competition and then selecting yet another conflict that requires counterinsurgency and stability operations will leave warfighters unprepared and dangerously exposed, as has happened repeatedly in the 70 years since World War II. Poor political decisions have the potential to undermine any advantageous reorganizing of the military, and a new book by Donald Stoker suggests this is likely to occur yet again. 

America's Allies Are More Important Than AI Or Cyber In A War

by Nathaniel L. Moir

Technology cannot overcome human judgment and relationships.

Google’s recent “Quantum Breakthrough” is great for American science but irrelevant for foreseeable conflict. It is ironic that “quantum supremacy” emerged in late October while America conceded its small but stabilizing position in Syria. The Syria decision is understandably construed as unwise because it relieves pressure on ISIS, forfeits a presence now occupied by Russia, and it provides Iran a corridor to Hezbollah in Lebanon. As it currently stands, the U.S. may possess the most advanced computing power known to humankind. Still, none of it ensures commitment to allies, such as Kurds forsaken by the United States, let alone the formation of wise foreign policy elsewhere. Quantum supremacy, A.I., and other technological advancements will not compensate for commitments and partnerships we abandon. 

The dissonance between advancing technology and retreating political commitments to allies should buzz between the ears. The problem is also embodied by the fact that, while the National Security Commission on Artificial Intelligence (A.I.) poses over a dozen essential and enduring questions on A.I.'s future, the most basic components of warfare -- political rationale for operations and partnered cooperation -- are kicked to the curb. How can we square the circle when the problem is more like a parallelogram? 

Will Donald Trump's Strategy Bring Down Iran?

by Michael Rubin

Iran and the United States are as close to direct conflict as they have been for three decades, since Operation Praying Mantis in 1988 which was, at the time, the largest surface naval engagement since World War II.

A lot of ink has been spilled and oxygen expended discussing the matter, some of it good and some of it simplistic. Here a few thoughts, informed by being lucky enough to spend close to seven months studying in the Islamic Republic while finishing a doctorate in philosophy on Iranian history. I worked on the Iran desk at the Pentagon during the George W. Bush administration, frequently visit the Persian Gulf, and have followed Iran almost continuously for a quarter century.

1) Pressure can work on Iran. There has been, for more than a decade, a curious line of argument that pressure upon Iran is counterproductive. The Century Foundation’s Dina Esfandiary, for example, tweeted that “#Iran won’t talk as pressure increases because it would be suicide for the government. They will talk when they can get something tangible in return for concessions.” And, using numbers of centrifuges as a metric, Wendy Sherman, an Obama administration negotiator, has repeatedly argued that conciliation trumps coercion on Iran.

What Really Happened in Bolivia?


MEXICO CITY – Events in Bolivia remain exceptionally fluid following the ouster of President Evo Morales. There may or may not be free and fair elections within 90 days. Morales, who has been given political asylum in Mexico, may run again for president or seek to return to power by other means. The Latin American left may recover from the fall of an icon, or continue to lose ground. Morales’s policies, good and bad, will be overturned by a rightward swing in Bolivia, not unlike the recent anti-incumbency backlash elsewhere in Latin America, or they will outlast him.

Nonetheless, three preliminary conclusions can already be drawn. The first involves the regional implications of Morales’s downfall, regardless of the details of its consummation. After Latin America’s so-called pink tide – roughly from 2000 to 2015 – many of the left’s emblematic leaders were voted out of power, or resorted to various authoritarian stratagems in order to remain in control. Once the commodity boom ended, and when corruption scandals erupted in several countries, many leftist leaders or parties were unceremoniously evicted.

This occurred in Brazil, of course, as well as in Argentina, El Salvador, and Chile. In Venezuela, Nicaragua, and Bolivia itself, the left hung on to power through increasingly repressive and anti-democratic procedures. With the exception of Mexico, where Andrés Manuel López Obrador won the presidential election in 2018, the left has been on the wane across the region.

The case for a falling dollar

Why the dollar’s ascendancy is looking tired

Nobody wants to be called an unthinking optimist. Prospects for the riskier sort of investments are cloudy. The global economy faces numerous threats. Being even mildly bullish can seem a bit unreflective.

So whisper it, don’t shout it, but the mood has changed recently for the better. Since the start of October, global equity prices are up by around 7%. Bond yields have risen. There has been a move away from the safe or defensive assets that hold up in bad economic times, towards those that do well in an upswing (see article). Hopes for a preliminary trade deal between America and China pushed the yuan briefly below seven to the dollar last week.

At times like these, thoughts naturally turn to the outlook for the dollar more generally. A weaker dollar would be both a signal and a driver of a broader improvement in risk appetite. The dollar’s fortunes have not yet shifted decisively. But the conditions for it to weaken are starting to fall into place.

The Rise Of Robots In The Workplace - Part 1

The use of automation has been steadily growing in recent years, which raises a question about automation’s impact on the demand for certain types of jobs.

A recent article in the Regional Economist examined the expanding presence of robots - a key type of automation - in the workplace. St. Louis Fed Economist Maximiliano Dvorkin and Research Associate Asha Bharadwaj discussed how this may be affecting the U.S. labor market.

The authors noted that there has been a decline of U.S. middle-skill occupations (e.g., manufacturing jobs), even as there has been growth in both high- and low-skill occupations (e.g., managerial jobs on one end and home aide jobs on the other).

Economists, who coined the term “job polarization" to describe this process, have argued that “the most likely drivers of job polarization are automation and offshoring because both these forces lower the demand for middle-skill occupations relative to the rest," the authors wrote.

Chinese Cyber Threat Now Represents a Major Threat to National Security, Say US Officials


Based on testimony from top U.S. law enforcement and national security officials in front of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, the Chinese cyber threat to the United States appears to be much greater and more extensive than originally thought. According to FBI Director Christopher Wray, Chinese intelligence agencies are becoming much more sophisticated in how they conduct spying activities in the realm of cyber espionage. They are engaging a variety of different players – ranging from counterintelligence officials posing as diplomats to “for hire” cyber syndicates – in order to carry out the massive and systematic theft of state secrets, trade secrets, data and valuable intellectual property.

The evolving Chinese threat

In fact, so advanced and persistent has the Chinese cyber threat become, says FBI Director Christopher Wray, that China should now be viewed as the “most severe counterintelligence threat” to the United States. While Russia has meddled in past elections and Iran has been linked to cyber threats against critical infrastructure, China has been brazenly stealing U.S. intellectual property and using all of this stolen IP to bolster China’s economic power. For now, say intelligence officials, the Chinese cyber threat is bigger even than the domestic terrorism threat.

Reflections on TikTok and Data Privacy as National Security

By Robert D. Williams

What does the U.S. government want with a video-sharing app used primarily by tweens and teens?

News broke last week that the interagency Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) has opened a national security investigation into the Chinese company that owns TikTok, a globally popular video-streaming and social media app boasting more than 100 million downloads in the United States. The CFIUS inquiry crystallizes several emerging issues in the law and politics of national security and in U.S.-China relations that have been overshadowed by the media’s focus on the trade war negotiations.

The TikTok drama is a useful reminder that our future is one in which the principal sources of prosperity and conflict alike will be informational in nature. In this world, privacy concerns often bleed into national security concerns; issues of free speech, data privacy and cybersecurity are inextricably intertwined; and even the most technically proficient experts are hard-pressed to calibrate the optimal balance of technological openness and interdependence.

Assessing ethical AI principles in defense

Mark MacCarthy

On October 31, the Defense Innovation Board unveiled principles for the ethical use of AI by the Defense Department, which call for AI systems in the military to be responsible, equitable, reliable, traceable, and governable. Though the recommendations are non-binding, the Department is likely to implement a substantial number of them. The special focus on AI-based weapons arises because their speed and precision make them indispensable in modern warfare. Meanwhile, their novel elements create new and substantial risks that must be managed successfully to take advantage of these new capabilities.


The chief concern of the Board was the possibility that an AI weapon system might not perform as intended, with potentially catastrophic results. Machine learning incorporated into weapons systems might learn to carry out unintended attacks on targets that the military had not approved and escalate a conflict. They might in some other way escape from the area of use for which they had been designed and launch with disastrous outcomes.

As former Secretary of the Navy Richard Danzig has noted, whenever an organization is using a complex technological system to achieve its mission, it is to some extent playing “technological roulette.” Analyses of the 1979 Three Mile Island nuclear power incident and the 1986 Challenger Space Shuttle disaster have shown a combination of organizational, technical, and institutional factors can cause these systems to behave in unintended ways and lead to disasters. The Department of Defense has devoted substantial resources to unearthing the causes of the 1988 incident where the cruiser USS Vincennes downed an Iranian civilian flight killing 290 people. That tragedy that had nothing to do with the advanced machine learning techniques, but AI weapons systems raise new ethical challenges that call for fresh thinking.

5G doesn’t belong to just one country, Cisco’s vice president says

Holly Ellyatt

The advent of a super-fast 5G mobile network has been dominated by heated debates over national security concerns and fears that major players in the 5G industry, like tech giant Huawei, could be used by China to spy on other nations.

But Guy Diedrich, the vice president and global innovation officer at Cisco, insisted to CNBC that no one country or company would have a monopoly on the next generation of mobile internet.

“There is not any one country, one company or one continent that’s going to own 5G,” he said, speaking at CNBC’s East Tech West conference in the Nansha district of Guangzhou, China on Monday. 

The advent of a super-fast 5G mobile network has been dominated by heated debates over national security concerns and fears that major players in the 5G industry, like tech giant Huawei, could be used by China to spy on other nations.

Huawei issues long statement, defending safety of its networks

By Li Xuanmin 

In a rare move to defend its corporate prestige amid a relentless US government attack, Huawei Technologies publicized a position paper on Sunday, stating Huawei-made telecom gear is safe, without serious cyber security breaches in the past years. 

The world's top 5G networks manufacturer urged all telecom stakeholders to evaluate risks in a manner that is "rational, objective, and based on evidences."

The 78-page statement on cyber security is the first time that Huawei systematically summarizes its stance on protecting cyber security in detail while the US-initiated trade war with China is entering its 17th month. In May, Huawei was put on a trade black list by US Department of Commerce, which sought to cut off crucial US component supplies to Huawei. 

In the statement, Huawei called the international community to allow facts to speak aloud for themselves. It stressed that Huawei's advanced networks has never experienced any serious cyber security breach nor caused a large-scale network breakdown so far. 

"If we focus our attention on irrelevant factors like vendors' country of origin, it will only make assessing security issue more complicated and may lead to an uncontrollable outcome," the position paper said.

Assessment of Militia Forces as a Model for Recruitment and Retention in Cyber Security Forces

By Franklin Holcomb

Summary: U.S. and Western Armed Forces are struggling with recruitment and retention in their cyber units, which leaves their countries vulnerable to hostile cyber actors. As society becomes increasingly digitalized in coming years, the severity of these vulnerabilities will increase. The militia model adopted by the Baltic states provides a format to attract civilian experts and decrease vulnerabilities.

Text: The U.S. Armed Forces are facing difficulties recruiting and retaining cyber-security talent. To meet this challenge the U.S. Marine Corps announced in April 2019 that it would establish a volunteer cyber-auxiliary force (Cyber Aux) consisting of a “small cadre of highly-talented cyber experts who train, educate, advise, and mentor Marines to keep pace with constantly-evolving cyber challenges[1].” The Cyber Aux will face many of the issues that other branches, and countries, have in attracting and retaining cyber-security professionals. Cyber Aux takes notably important steps towards increasing the appeal of participation in the U.S. armed forces for cyber-security experts, such as relaxing grooming and fitness standards. But Cyber Aux will struggle to attract enough professionals due to factors such as its role as a mentorship organization, rather than one that conducts operations, and the wide military-civilian pay gap in the cyber-security field[2]. These factors will ensure U.S. and North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) military forces will have suboptimal and likely understaffed cyber components; increasing their vulnerabilities on and off the battlefield.

The Navy's Networks Are Vulnerable To Cyber Attacks—It's Time For Action

by Dan Goure

Hackers, particularly those from Russia and China, are not limiting themselves to attacks on computers and networks.

The threat to the U.S. Navy from cyber intrusion has become a crisis. Hackers, particularly those from Russia and China, are not limiting themselves to attacks on computers and networks. Now they are engaged in a massive assault on the entire Navy enterprise, including ships, weapons systems, research and development establishments, the supply chain, and shore facilities. According to a recent report, the Navy and its private sector partners are inadequately prepared to deal with the growing threat. But the Navy is working to improve the security of its systems and networks. It is requiring industry to get secure. Critical to this effort will be the adoption of technologies and techniques that provide continual monitoring of all networks and devices and the prompt identification and isolation of non-compliant devices and software.

Evidence that a massive cyber campaign is being waged against the Navy, and every organization associated with it is mounting. The defense industrial base and associated supply chains are under constant assault. The hackers have two objectives: steal U.S. defense secrets and undermine confidence in the ability of the industrial base to function during a conflict. In 2018, Chinese government hackers successfully penetrated a major Navy contractor’s network, making off with more than 600 GB of sensitive and secret data, including information on a Navy program to develop a supersonic anti-ship missile. The Navy’s shore infrastructure is being subjected to repeated attacks. Hackers particularly go after the facility-related control systems that monitor and direct critical functions such as utilities, fire and safety, and security. It is worth noting that the Department of Defense has recognized the problem of control systems’ vulnerabilities and has a list of tested and approved control system products.

#Reviewing Tank Warfare on the Eastern Front 1941-1942

Russell Hellyer

Robert Forczyk’s Tank Warfare on the Eastern Front 1941-1942: Schwerpunkt is an excellent analysis of the first 18 months of armored warfare on the Eastern front during the Second World War. This account differs from previous work primarily through its wide-ranging use of primary sources from Russian and German records, in addition to leaning on the excellent groundwork laid by David M. Glantz and others. Glantz's work is essential to understanding the Eastern front and his work, in particular Barbarossa: Hitler's Invasion of Russia 1941, remains relevant to the current discussion.

For decades, popular history has perpetuated misunderstandings about the Eastern Front of the Second World War. Some of these, such as the “endless hordes” of the Soviet Army overwhelming the professional and competent Wehrmacht through sheer numbers, border on myth, if not outright fabrications. Other myths include the technical superiority of German war machines (Death Traps) and the genius of certain commanders, Soviet and German, with the memoirs of Generalfeldmarschall Manstien being among the most famous examples of these, along with much of the early post-war work by Sir B.H. Liddell Hart. This myth busting is part and parcel of the motivation behind this book.

How Lockheed Martin Is Trying To Link Everything on the Battlefield


Experiment by experiment, the company is weaving aircraft, ground vehicles, satellites, and the rest into a network that will someday give commanders unprecedented decision-support options.

The Pentagon’s efforts to digitally connect everything on the battlefield has a big challenge to overcome: getting disparate vehicles and weapons to share data. 

“The interoperability of various, different systems, that’s really where we are struggling. We don’t have that machine to machine connection to begin with,” Air Force Brig. Gen. David Kumashiro recently told the audience at last week’s Defense One Outlook 2020 conference.

Over the past several years, Lockheed Martin officials say they’ve been working to build those connections, piece by piece and plane by plane. They started by asking, “How would we go fight in 2030, 2045?” and then working backwards, J.D. Hammond, vice president of C4ISR systems, told reporters at one of the company’s offices. The company began by asking “How would we go fight in 2030, 2045?” They started with an idea of the state they wanted to reach and then worked backward. 

A War By Other Means?

By Jack Bowers

“How, when, and why was it noticed or imagined that what is going on beneath and in power relations is a war? When, how and why did someone come up with the idea that it is a sort of uninterrupted battle that shapes peace, and that the civil order...is basically an order of battle?...Who saw war just beneath the surface of peace; who sought in the noise and confusion of war, in the mud of battles, the principle that allows us to understand order, the State, its institutions, and its history?”—Michel Foucault[1]

What if, just for the sake of argument, we were to reverse Clausewitz’s famous maxim? What if, say, we considered that war is not the continuation of politics by other means, but instead that politics is really the continuation of war? What would this say about war? Or politics? One of the most influential philosophers of the twentieth century, Michel Foucault, speculated in just this way, simultaneously turning Clausewitz on his head and questioning the very nature of the relationship between war and peace. What does it mean, then, for war to be the default strategy?

The Rise of the Present Unconventional Character of Warfare

Mike Fowler

The character of war has changed. Technological advancements and operational approaches have changed the face of warfare. Conventionally-focused Western militaries have created a sufficient deterrent built on their overwhelming advantages in firepower, technology, tactics, and effective training. However, unconventional warfare has become the method of choice to mitigate the technological military advantages of the United States and its allies.[1]


Militaries axiomatically search for methods and equipment to find an asymmetric advantage over their adversaries. Leading up to World War I, countries across Europe sought an advantage in mobilization. Assuming modern warfare could deliver a quick, decisive blow, the first country to mobilize their massive army gained a significant advantage.[2] During the interwar period, countries sought to prevent repeating the stalemate of trench warfare by leveraging new technologies: airpower, submarines, and armor.[3] These innovations were effective at providing short-term, tactical advantages. But, both sides were able to match the innovations, negating any lasting strategic advantage—World War II still resulted in a conflict of exhaustion.[4]