5 December 2019

New civil-military tensions in Pakistan aren't necessarily good news for India; New Delhi must be vigilant

Praveen Swami 

Everything had been planned with military precision, down to the last detail — bar one: Someone had forgotten that Lieutenant-General Khwaja Ziauddin would need a fourth star on his uniform when he took his place as Pakistan's next army chief. Then-prime minister Nawaz Sharif, though, wasn't about to let a pip undo his plans. The prime minister's military secretary, Brigadier Javed Malik, gallantly tore a star off his own uniform, and handed it over to the newly-appointed army chief.

Late that evening, though, General Pervez Musharraf flew back to Pakistan and staged a coup. Ziauddin was relieved of his new rank at gunpoint. Malik never got his pip back. Nawaz went to prison, and then exile.

From his hospital bed in London, the former prime minister will be watching television with some satisfaction. Tuesday's extraordinary orders by Pakistan's Supreme Court, suspending now-army chief General Qamar Bajwa's three-year term until it can hear the case, mark an historic challenge to military supremacy in Pakistan — one that could open the way for prime ministers to pin pips on whom they wish.

Behind the courtroom drama, though, there is a larger struggle playing out. Evicted from office by Bajwa, and then imprisoned, to enable the rise of Prime Minister Imran Khan's proxy-for-the-generals government, Nawaz is once again being seen as a credible partner by actors in the military opposed to Bajwa.

The Larger Significance of Pakistan’s Army Chief Extension Debate

By Daud Khattak

In Pakistan, the word “extension” has become synonymous with one particular usage: extending the service of a retiring chief of the country’s all-powerful military. The concept has a history as old as Pakistan itself — six army chiefs in the past have either extended their period of service upon reaching the age of retirement, or their term was extended by the then-governments.

However, the floodgates opened by the term extension of General Qamar Javed Bajwa, Pakistan’s current army chief whose service term was ending on November 28, was unprecedented.

The government notification granting Bajwa another three years as chief of the army staff (COAS) was challenged by the country’s top court and the issue remained the subject of public and private debates and speculations for three consecutive days across Pakistan.

Assessment of Increased Chinese Strategic Presence in Afghanistan

By Humayun Hassan
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Humayun Hassan is an undergraduate student at National University of Sciences and technology, Pakistan. His areas of research interests include 5th and 6th generation warfare and geopolitics of the Levant. He can be found on Twitter @Humayun_17. Divergent Options’ content does not contain information of an official nature nor does the content represent the official position of any government, any organization, or any group.

Title: Assessment of Increased Chinese Strategic Presence in Afghanistan

Date Originally Written: September 15, 2019.

Date Originally Published: December 2, 2019.

Author and / or Article Point of View: This article is written from the Chinese standpoint, with regards to U.S and North Atlantic Treaty Organization member country (NATO) presence in Afghanistan and the pursuit of the Belt and Road Initiative.

London Bridge attacker Usman Khan a terror convict who sought Sharia in POK

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New Delhi: A Pakistani-origin terror convict has been identified as the assailant who stabbed two people to death near the London Bridge Friday, British media reported. 

Usman Khan, 28, who was tackled by bystanders and shot dead by police, was reportedly found wearing a fake suicide vest.

Khan was convicted on terrorism charges, including an alleged conspiracy to attack the London Stock Exchange, in 2012. His hit-list, it is believed, included British Prime Minister and then London mayor Boris Johnson. At the time, the judge had called him a “serious jihadist”. 

Sentenced to eight years, he was released on parole last December with an electronic monitoring tag on his body. He had since been living at Staffordshire in the West Midlands of England. 

“We are now in a position to confirm the identity of the suspect as 28-year-old Usman Khan who had been residing in the Staffordshire area,” London Metropolitan Police assistant commissioner Neil Basu said in a statement

Pakistan’s Highest Court Suspends the Army Chief’s Term Extension. What Now?

By Umair Jamal
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The Supreme Court of Pakistan has suspended a government-issued directive that approved a three-year term extension for the current chief of army staff. It’s an extraordinary development, as never in the country’s history has a court intervened to question — let alone suspend — an army chief’s extension or appointment.

The current army chief, General Qamar Javed Bajwa, will see his constitutionally fixed three-year tenure ended on Friday, November 29. After three days of hearings, the court has decided to give Bajwa six months’ extension with a condition that the parliament will amend the constitution to find a permanent solution to the issue. Regardless, the situation will have far-reaching implications for Pakistan’s politics. The case’s hearing not only challenged the technicalities presented by the government, but has also asked some fundamental questions concerning the entire subject of army chief term extensions.

To begin with, the Supreme Court didn’t have to intervene in the army chief extension debate, particularly after the original petitioner withdrew the case. However, the court overruled the application to withdraw the petition, stating that the case fell into the “domain of public interest under Article 184 (3) of the Constitution.” The Supreme Court’s forceful involvement is a extraordinary development that has raised concerns as to whether the intervention is an independent decision or if something else is at play.

The New Geography of Global Diplomacy

By Bonnie Bley

As China’s rise has become a central force in global politics, analysts and policymakers have tracked its path to potential preeminence on a number of fronts: the size of its economy, the scale and reach of its investment and commercial relationships, the budget and capabilities of its military forces. But as of 2019, China has surpassed the United States in an underappreciated but crucial measure of global influence: the size of its diplomatic network.

For decades, Washington had the largest diplomatic network in the world. Now China does, boasting 276 diplomatic posts—including embassies, consulates, and permanent missions to international organizations. The United States’ network, meanwhile, stands at 273, down one post since 2017.

This shift could mark a turning point in great-power competition. As Beijing becomes more and more willing to deploy its global power, seemingly no longer interested in former leader Deng Xiaoping’s instruction to “hide your strength, bide your time,” it has invested in active and far-reaching diplomacy. Washington, meanwhile, has seen both a turn inward and a privileging of other tools. Where once the United States enjoyed global diplomatic primacy, the playing field is now leveling.


Exclusive: China secretly building landing strip near Myanmar

Manish Shukla
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According to Defence sources, China is secretly building a landing strip in Sanchahe, south-west Myanmar, through which the Chinese Army can comfortably use fighter aircraft, Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV), and transport aircraft. This comes as a shocking bit of news since it is generally held that the relationship between India and China had improved post-Doklam crisis when Beijing had really been arming itself to its teeth against New Delhi.

As per exclusive information received by Zee News, this is the first time reports have come up on a Landing Strip being constructed by Chinese government in Sanchahe. A source deployed in central security establishment says, ''We are not having much information about the landing strip which is under construction by China in South West of Sanchahe.We are watching closely on these developments."

Despite the bitter Doklam-standoff with India, China has beeen secretly building up its military presence in Tibet and is reports are anything to go by, it has upgraded its military camp under its western command in the region. China's People Liberation Army (PLA) is upgrading one of the civil airports in Tibet's Gongga, which is situated very close to the Indian border.

Combating China’s Influence Operations


NEW YORK – As trade negotiations between the United States and China limp toward an uncertain conclusion, much of the world remains fixated on the potential escalation of the conflict between the world’s two largest economies. But narrow discussions about tit-for-tat tariffs, Chinese mercantilism, and intellectual-property theft fail to recognize the broader implications of the trade war: the US and China are losing their ability to interact in a manner that is anything but adversarial.

Today, too many politicians offer facile answers, mutually incompatible promises, and a return to purportedly simple and exclusive identities. Instead, the world's democracies need leaders who are able to counter the populist narrative in three main areas.19Add to 

For the US, China represents a rapidly escalating threat – a perception underpinned partly by the large bilateral trade surplus and China’s brazen efforts to capture American technology. But it is also – and perhaps more importantly – driven by China’s pursuit of military hegemony in the Asia-Pacific region, its rapidly growing overseas investments, its attempts to reshape global policy debates, and its efforts to exert influence over other countries, including the US itself.

China Just Weaponized The Smartphone: Here’s Why You Should Be Concerned

by Zak Doffman

“File sharing has never been simpler,” claim the developers behind the viral mobile app Zapya. “You can share files from device to device for free—Zapya allows you to seamlessly transfer massive files across multiple platforms.” It’s a compelling pitch—DewMobile, the app’s Shanghai-based developers, claim 450 million downloads since its 2012 launch. Somewhat awkwardly, though, it now appears that the authorities in Xinjiang have been “targeting” Zapya users among the minority Uighur population. If the app is found on a device, it’s reason enough for an investigation. And depending on what files have been shared, that investigation could lead to internment.

The Zapya revelations can be found among a leaked cache of documents that expose the surveillance ecosystem deployed in Xinjiang. The China Cables, published by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, detail the deployment of a no holds barred surveillance laboratory, where patterns of life can be monitored and the population can be controlled. Missteps run the risk of internment, and internment can only be escaped through modified thinking and behaviour.

The China Challenge Continues to Mount

by Wayne Pajunen
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While aware that China suppresses freedom of expression within its borders and territories, we are rarely privy to how Beijing’s propaganda keeps its citizenry acquiescent. Adopting Orwell’s 1984’s Newspeak the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) state-run media projects an image of a superior society with even greater safety and freedoms than in the west.

Beijing’s claims of greater safety are boosted when international headlines tell of multiple mass shootings of children in the USA.

The reality though is just as gruesome within its borders; Attack at School in China Leaves at Least 8 Children Dead.

For many reasons, American atrocities lead headlines even when the likes of the New York Times recently offered counterbalance: “Since 2018, there have been attacks on schools in Shaanxi Province, Hunan Province and in the cities of Shanghai, Beijing and Chongqing. But the authorities often play down news coverage of such violence out of concern for the potential to threaten social stability.”

Turkey and NATO: A Relationship Worth Saving

NATO leaders will gather this week in London to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the alliance; reflect on past accomplishments; implement the remaining deterrence and defense measures agreed at the 2014 Warsaw Summit; and lay the groundwork for future cooperation in new areas, such as emerging technologies and space. And while the military machinery that is the core of NATO continues to run smoothly—generating levels of interoperability, integrated operational planning, and force generation that are unmatched—NATO’s political cohesion is being challenged by both internal divisions among members and by external actors who seek to exploit these differences to their own advantage.

Perhaps the most pronounced case of this fractured political cohesion is the Turkey-NATO relationship, where internal challenges and pressure from external actors uniquely intersect. Internally, allies are alarmed by President Erdogan’s walking back of democracy, press freedom, and civic society in Turkey; Turkey’s repeated unilateral incursions into northern Syria; and its willingness to hold the NATO agenda hostage to domestic concerns, for example, Turkey’s current hold on approving the Graduated Response Plan for the Baltic States and Poland pending NATO recognition of the threat posed to Turkey by the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG). Conversely, Turkey (and many other southern flank allies for that matter) believes that NATO does not fully recognize or address its legitimate security concerns, in particular migration and terrorism. Externally, Russia quickly capitalized on the fissures between Turkey and NATO, offering to assist Turkey in managing the YPG along the Turkey-Syria border and to sell it Russian equipment, such as the S-400 surface-to-air missile system, which would compromise NATO capabilities and has led to a halt in delivery of F-35 aircraft to Turkey. Turkey’s subsequent decisions to fly its F-16 against the S-400 over Ankara and to enter negotiations with Russian on purchasing the Russian Su-35 fighter aircraft have reinforced concerns that Turkey has little interest in maintaining or rebuilding its relationship with NATO as instead plans to continue to test its boundaries.

To Survive Enemy Missiles, the British Landing Force Must Evolve

by David Axe 
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The world’s population increasingly is congregating in near-shore areas. Meanwhile, those same littoral zones are becoming more and more heavily-armed and thus dangerous for attacking amphibious forces. Into this dichotomy sails the Royal Navy’s small beach-landing fleet.

Into this dichotomy sails the Royal Navy’s small beach-landing fleet. The challenge for the U.K. amphibious force -- currently with five assault ships plus landing craft, helicopters and marines -- is to evolve for the world’s dangerous littorals, all without costing a lot more money.

One possible solution to this problem is a mixed fleet of traditional assault ships working alongside commercial-style vessels. That’s the same solution the U.S. Navy is considering as it mulls the littorals dilemma.

“On the one hand, the clustering of states’ economic assets and population centers in littoral areas will make the ability for the joint force to impact the littoral ever-more critical over the course of the coming decades,” the Royal United Services Institute explained in a November 2019 study.

This Is How NATO and the EU Have Managed to Make Things Work

by Simon J Smith
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In the face of growing security challenges to Europe, from an antagonistic Russia, to instability in the Middle East, cyberwar and terrorism, there is a growing recognition that enhanced cooperation between the EU and NATO will be key to an effective response.

Calibrating such cooperation to respond to perceived common threats, however, has never been straightforward. The political context, as well as rivalry between the EU and NATO, have often hampered the capacity of the institutions to work together.

The meeting of NATO leaders in London on December 3-4 offers an occasion to further move that relationship forward. But having tracked EU-NATO relations for over a decade, I wouldn’t count on any major strategic or political breakthroughs.

Ever since NATO was created in 1949, with the dual aim of keeping the peace among the Allies and providing a security alliance against the Soviet Union, there has been a tension between whether or not NATO should drive the security agenda in Europe.

Look Out America, Russia Just Tested Its S-500 Air Defense System In Syria

by Mark Episkopos
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Russia’s next-generation air and missile defense system is on the verge of entering serial production, according to the Russian Deputy Prime Minister Yuri Borisov. “On time, they are putting a new system into operation-- the S-500,” Borisov told Russian news outlet Interfaks earlier today.

Borisov is the latest top-tier Russian official to tease the readiness of the S-500 over the course of this year, joined by the likes of Aerospace Forces Deputy Commander Lieutenant General Yuri Grekhov and Rostec CEO Sergei Chemezov. The Russian government and defense industry continues to reaffirm that the S-500 will be delivered within the timetable set by Russia’s 2027 state armament program, which established that the first, serially-produced S-500 will enter service in 2020.

A defense industry source told Russian news outlet Izvestia last month that the S-500 recently underwent field testing in Syria, where the Russian Aerospace Forces continue to maintain a significant presence. The Russian Defense Ministry unequivocally denied that the S-500 was ever on Syrian soil in an October 2 statement, claiming that “there was no need” for further testing.

The Many Questions Trump’s Pardons Raise About Civil-Military Relations

Loren DeJonge Schulman 

When President Donald Trump granted pardons to two Army officers—one convicted of war crimes, the other accused of them—and reversed the demotion of a Navy SEAL who was convicted of posing with the corpse of an enemy combatant, he exposed several troubling ambiguities about civilian-military relations in the United States. Civilian and uniformed defense officials feel most at ease when the dynamics of their relationship are clear-cut, with formal and tacit assignments of roles and responsibilities that leave little room for uncertainty. In practice, though, things are rarely so black and white.

There is only one certainty so far in the drama unfolding over the pardons: that Trump, as commander-in-chief, can legally order the Navy to cease an administrative review and allow Eddie Gallagher to remain a Navy SEAL. The many other questions of civilian control raised by this incident are gray areas. ...

Thinking in Space: The Role of Geography in National Security Decision-Making

Andrew Rhodes

Being able to "think in space" is a crucial tool for decision-makers, but one that is often deemphasized. In order to improve its ability to think in space, the national security community ought to objectively assess how effectively it is employing geographic information and seek every opportunity to sharpen its skills in this area.

Only statesmen who can do their political and strategic thinking in terms of a round earth and a three-dimensional warfare can save their countries from being outmaneuvered on distant flanks.

-Nicholas Spykman

Leaders who fail to think in space do so at their own peril. Nicholas Spykman published the above warning on the importance of mental maps in the context of World War II and the global challenges it presented, but his argument regarding the importance of spatial thinking to the nation’s security has never been more relevant. Thinking in space has long been an essential tool for thinking critically and communicating clearly when it comes to national security decision-making. The importance of mental maps and geographic communication are only growing in an era of new global challenges and renewed great power competition. Strategists and diplomats would benefit from gaining greater insight into the ways geographic information shapes national security decision-making. Moreover, understanding this impact can help produce recommendations for how American strategists can more effectively think in space.

Does France Really Need an Aircraft Carrier?

by Robert Farley
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France’s first carrier entered service in the interwar period, but for a very long time the French navy trailed behind international counterparts in naval aviation. This changed in the Cold War, however, and today France operates the world’s most advanced carrier outside of the U.S. Navy. How did France build its naval aviation force, what does it do today and what direction will France take next?

The History of French Carriers

Soon after World War I, France joined the international carrier community through the conversion of the battleship hulk Bearn. Although large, Bearn did not carry many aircraft and never actively participated in combat, even during World War II. The construction of two additional large carriers was suspended by World War II, but after the war the French navy gained access to light carriers transferred from Britain and the United States.

Modern neon lighting is first demonstrated by Georges Claude at the Paris Motor Show.

Mikhail Gorbachev warns Russia and US must avoid 'hot war'

By Nathan Hodge, CNN

Moscow (CNN)Former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev may be remembered today as the man who presided over the collapse of an empire: The recent anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 saw major celebrations to mark the collapse of Communism in eastern Europe and the reunification of Germany.

Less well remembered was a meeting that followed just a few weeks later between Gorbachev and US President George H.W. Bush off the Mediterranean island of Malta, where the two leaders tried to come to grips with how quickly history had changed.

"Look at how nervous we are," Gorbachev told Bush, according to a Soviet transcript.

"We were shocked by the swiftness of the changes that unfolded," Bush said.

Gorbachev and US President George H.W. Bush met in 1989 for talks signaling the official end of the Cold War.

Thirty years later, some of the top issues discussed at the Malta summit still carry particular resonance -- arms control, Afghanistan and the difficulty building trust between Moscow and Washington.

What Kind of Capitalism Do We Want?


GENEVA – What kind of capitalism do we want? That may be the defining question of our era. If we want to sustain our economic system for future generations, we must answer it correctly.

Generally speaking, we have three models to choose from. The first is “shareholder capitalism,” embraced by most Western corporations, which holds that a corporation’s primary goal should be to maximize its profits. The second model is “state capitalism,” which entrusts the government with setting the direction of the economy, and has risen to prominence in many emerging markets, not least China.

But, compared to these two options, the third has the most to recommend it. “Stakeholder capitalism,” a model I first proposed a half-century ago, positions private corporations as trustees of society, and is clearly the best response to today’s social and environmental challenges.1

Shareholder capitalism, currently the dominant model, first gained ground in the United States in the 1970s, and expanded its influence globally in the following decades. Its rise was not without merit. During its heyday, hundreds of millions of people around the world prospered, as profit-seeking companies unlocked new markets and created new jobs.

Closing the Education-Technology Gap


LONDON – In 2007, Harvard University economists Claudia Goldin and Lawrence F. Katz published The Race Between Education and Technology. America’s once-great education system, Goldin and Katz argued, was failing to keep pace with technological change and the economic disparity that comes with it. Even more concerning, they would likely make the same argument today. As we enter the third decade of this century, students in the United States and around the world are struggling to get an education that prepares them for a rapidly changing workplace.

Technology is clearly winning the race between man and machine. The current wave of technological change is affecting every industry, requiring skills that are far more advanced and diverse than what was expected of workers just a generation ago. With demand for high-skilled labor outpacing supply, a global elite of highly educated, highly paid professionals has emerged, leading increasingly insulated lives. Worse, access to basic education is still being denied to the bulk of school-age children in developing countries, and a university-level education lies far beyond the reach of millions around the world. We estimate that even in 2040, only 25% of the world’s adult population will have secondary education qualifications or degrees and that a higher percentage, 27%, will either have had no schooling at all or at best an incomplete primary education.

The Shoals of Ukraine

By Serhii Plokhy and M. E. Sarotte 

At first, it might seem surprising that Ukraine, a country on the fringes of Europe, is suddenly at the turbulent center of American politics and foreign policy. With an impeachment inquiry in Washington adding further detail to the story of the Trump administration’s efforts to tie U.S. security assistance for the country to Ukrainian cooperation in investigating President Donald Trump’s Democratic opponents, Trump’s presidency itself hangs in the balance. And the repercussions go even further, raising questions about the legitimacy and sustainability of U.S. power itself.

In fact, that Ukraine is at the center of this storm should not be surprising at all. Over the past quarter century, nearly all major efforts at establishing a durable post–Cold War order on the Eurasian continent have foundered on the shoals of Ukraine. For it is in Ukraine that the disconnect between triumphalist end-of-history delusions and the ongoing realities of great-power competition can be seen in its starkest form.

Trapped in the Archives

By William Burr 

Did the United States have a hand in assassinating Congolese and Dominican leaders in 1961? What did President Richard Nixon’s White House know about a successful plot to kill the head of the Chilean army in 1970? After the Cold War ended, did top U.S. military commanders retain the authority to strike back if a surprise nuclear attack put the president out of commission?

The answers to these and other historical mysteries are likely knowable—but they are locked in presidential libraries and government archives and inaccessible to researchers. The reason: the U.S. government’s system for declassifying and processing historical records has reached a state of crisis. Congress has failed to adequately fund the parts of the government charged with processing records, resulting in understaffed offices and years-long backlogs. At the same time, some agencies responsible for declassifying documents have deliberately dragged their feet and erred on the side of needless secrecy.

What Hides Behind South Korean Cryptocurrency Regulation Policy?

By Valentin Voloshchak
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South Korea has achieved a high level of national informatization in recent years. The country is a world leader in internet access speed, some 92 percent of population is internet users, and, in 2005, South Korea was the first nation to complete the transition from dial-up to broadband internet access. The government is pursuing an active ICT development policy by adopting master-plans for national informatization and initiating the establishment of various institutions in the field of cybersecurity and internet regulation.

One could assume that South Korea should be at the vanguard of cryptocurrency introduction as well, and to some degree, this is correct, inasmuch as South Korea is the world’s third largest bitcoin trade market and therefore has a great potential to attract digital currency investment. However, since 2017 the Korean government maintains an ICO (Initial Coin Offering) ban policy, i.e. it prohibits any forms of receiving investments in exchange for cryptocurrency sale from domestic companies. Many consider such a stance counterproductive and say it seriously affects cryptocurrency trade by making prices volatile and thus undermining the market. 

Artificial Intelligence and the Future of War

BY Michael T. Klare, TomDispatch
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There could be no more consequential decision than launching atomic weapons and possibly triggering a nuclear holocaust. President John F. Kennedy faced just such a moment during the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962 and, after envisioning the catastrophic outcome of a US-Soviet nuclear exchange, he came to the conclusion that the atomic powers should impose tough barriers on the precipitous use of such weaponry. Among the measures he and other global leaders adopted were guidelines requiring that senior officials, not just military personnel, have a role in any nuclear-launch decision.

That was then, of course, and this is now. And what a now it is! With artificial intelligence, or AI, soon to play an ever-increasing role in military affairs, as in virtually everything else in our lives, the role of humans, even in nuclear decision-making, is likely to be progressively diminished. In fact, in some future AI-saturated world, it could disappear entirely, leaving machines to determine humanity’s fate.

Pegasus: Surveilling journalists from inside their phones

Here is an offer many governments cannot refuse: do you want to hack into the phones of journalists, gather every bit of data and trace every call, message and keystroke?

Those governments are in luck, as there is some malware - malicious software - designed specifically for that purpose.

This story starts with an Israeli company called the NSO Group. It says it is in the business of "cyber-intelligence for global security and stability".

The company's primary product is known as Pegasus - a programme so sophisticated that it can embed into your mobile phone through just a phone call - even if you do not take the call.

The governments that use Pegasus - from Saudi Arabia to Mexico to India - say they are out to stop "security threats" but it is also used against civil society, including human rights activists.

And in October, WhatsApp sent the NSO Group a clear message: it is suing the company for developing Pegasus to specifically hack people's devices through that messaging app.

Cybersecurity in 2020: More targeted attacks, AI not a prevention panacea

by James Sanders

Given the proliferation of high-profile attacks in 2019, the security outlook for next year—and the next decade—is filled with potential pitfalls, as challenges persist in maintaining the security profile in enterprises, particularly as security operations teams are spread thinner as attack surfaces widen. 

McAfee CTO Steve Grobman and Director of Engineering Liz Maida--who joined the company through their acquisition of Uplevel Security, a firm that applied graph theory and machine learning to security data--spoke to TechRepublic about the security forecast for 2020. Hackers are increasingly seeking out high-value targets

In contrast to spray-and-pray attacks, relying on port scanning to uncover low-hanging vulnerabilities, an increase in attacks targeting specific industries are anticipated to continue their rise in popularity. "We've seen a good number of ransomware campaigns where the adversaries have done reconnaissance to really understand the critical assets [and] the defenses, and then tailor the attack in order to get into that environment, to demand a higher payment from the victim," Grobman said.

Let's get phygital: Most disruptive tech of 2020

by Macy Bayern

Tech service provider NTT released a report on Monday outlining the top digital disruption predictions for 2020. In the report, NTT CTO Ettienne Reinecke highlighted five specific disruptive technologies expected to impact 2020.

After gathering global insights on intelligent tech solutions from clients, NTT experts determined the future's most impactful disruptive technologies. Gartner's IT glossary defines digital disruption as "an effect that changes the fundamental expectations and behaviors in a culture, market, industry or process that is caused by, or expressed through, digital capabilities, channels or assets." 

While the word disruption may have a negative connotation, digital disruption is a positive movement for the tech world.

"Disruption is actually a good thing, it's not a bad thing at all," Reinecke said. "Disruption could improve and transform a business model, giving professionals the opportunity to re-engineer their organization in a much needed manner.

Reinecke offered predictions on the technologies that will result in the most digital disruptionAt the heart of all digital disruption is data, which fuels operational and digital transformation. The disruptive technologies listed are all related to how data is collected, what data is used for, what platforms manage data, and how data is made available, he explained. 

The 5 disruptive technologies 

How the Defense Digital Service revamped Army cyber training

By: Mark Pomerleau
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Earlier this year, the Defense Digital Service — the Pentagon’s cadre of coders and hackers performing a short stint in government — finished the second phase of a pilot program to streamline cyber training for the Army.

The Army wanted to streamline two phases of cyber training: the Joint Cyber Analytics Course, or JCAC, which takes 27 weeks in Pensacola, Florida, and provides basic cyber training for joint forces that have no prior experience in cyber; and the more tactical training that happens at Fort Gordon in Georgia. Combined, the two phases take a minimum of 36 weeks.

To accomplish this, the Defense Digital Service, working with the Army Cyber Center of Excellence and a private vendor, built a course to conduct training in three months — everything a cyberwarrior needed to know from JCAC, said Clair Koroma, a bureaucracy hacker at DDS.

Joint Force Quarterly 95

This year has been one of important anniversaries and one of change. Just this past weekend, the world marked the 100th year since the Armistice for World War I, the “war to end all wars,” was placed in effect. On that date, at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month, the bloodiest war up to that time ended. Or so the world had hoped. Just 25 years later, Allied forces would assault the beaches and skies above Normandy, France, in an unprecedented invasion to roll back the Nazi empire, which, along with Russian victories on the Eastern Front, would ultimately end that violent period in Western Europe. But that effort would eventually turn into the Cold War, a long struggle between U.S.-led Western powers and Soviet bloc countries. 

The 30th anniversary of the end of that conflict was marked this year, as the Berlin Wall ceased to function as a political and physical barrier between the German Democratic Republic (GDR) and West Germany on November 9, 1989, although official destruction of the wall did not begin until June 13, 1990. And the anniversaries where we can honor our fallen and celebrate those who survived continue to reverberate. Lest we forget. But what can we say we have learned from this seemingly endless cycle of struggle that results in war? One answer has been to improve how our troops fight together as part of a joint force. To do so, its leaders need to understand the past, both good and bad, and find ways to make our joint bonds strong enough to meet the challenges ahead, even those that may surprise us. Download Full PDF →