11 December 2019

India faces unrestricted warfare. It isn’t prepared | Analysis

Ajai Sahni

The nuclear umbrella, we would like to believe, has secured India against the threat of conventional war. We just have to contend with the irritants of terrorism and proxy warfare, and the trajectory of these patterns of violence suggests improving capacities of containment, if not resolution. A few planes, warships and submarines, some tanks, artillery and missiles, and a smattering of other military hardware — discarded generations that the great powers hive off at exorbitant prices to what is still substantially a backward country — will not only ensure our security, but put us well on our way to emerging as a global power. All we need is a healthy growth rate, and all will fall into place. Meanwhile, our internal “enemies” can simply be crushed by sheer majoritarian force.

This is the fantasy that fuels the nationalist juggernaut today.

The world, however, is being transformed at a pace few in India’s policy establishment appear to comprehend. At the heart of this transformation are new ways of warfare that obliterate the distinction between domestic and external, between professional soldiers and non-professional “warriors”; battlespaces overlap with the civilian realm. We have moved into an era of what Chinese strategists describe as “unrestricted warfare” that “transcends all boundaries and limits”.

The Prospect of ‘Chindia’ as a World Power


A significant global development in the first decade of the 21st Century has been the rise of several nations hitherto not considered key players in the international scene. The following up and coming nations have recently been grouped respectively as BRIC and BASIC: Brazil, Russia, India, and China (BRIC); and Brazil, South Africa, India, and China (BASIC) (Wilson & Purushothaman, 2003). Noticeably, the two nations featured in both these groupings are China and India. China’s and India’s meteoric rise to the global arena, and the sheer magnitude of their populations, has led some scholars to assert that there is an ‘irresistible’ shift of global power toward Asia, dubbing this as the ‘Asian Century’ (Mahbubani, 2008, p. 43). And some scholars have gone so far as to coin the portmanteau ‘Chindia’ to signify the ascendency of these two Asian giants (Ramesh, 2005; Sheth, 2008). In this article, I begin by examining Ramesh’s (2005) and Sheth’s (2008) definitions of the term Chindia. I then proceed to situate Chindia according to classical international relations theory of how global peace and prosperity have been historically attributed to a few strong nations in the world. I then undertake an historical overview of China-India relations, followed by a brief summary of the commonalities and differences between the two nations. Finally, I make an assessment whether Chindia is a dream or a possibility.

Chindia and hegemony in international relations

Sheth (2008) contended that with the rise of China and India, a fusion may take place between these nations. Hence Chindia may usher in a new world order, replacing the USA:

Subversive Statecraft The Changing Face of Great-Power Conflict

By Melissa M. Lee 

The U.S. security and intelligence communities are buzzing with talk of the return of great-power competition. Beijing and Moscow increasingly vie for influence on the global stage. China is remaking the map of Southeast Asia, rolling out infrastructure projects across the developing world, and creating new regional and global institutions. Russia’s intervention in the Middle East and in eastern Europe has restored its geopolitical relevance. And in Washington and other Western capitals, policymakers and pundits fret that Chinese and Russian competition with the West could, before long, give way to conflict.

Should great-power conflict come, however, it will bear little resemblance to the traditional interstate wars that analysts study, that academics teach, and for which militaries train. Those wars rarely occur anymore, and that is a good thing for humanity. Instead, conflict plays out indirectly, through a kind of proxy warfare called “foreign subversion.”

Foreign subversion is a covert, indirect form of modern statecraft. It involves empowering illicit and armed nonstate groups that act as extensions of a sponsor state. These proxies inflict damage on target states with the aim of deconsolidating them and creating ungoverned space. Their attacks distract the target state and deny it resources, creating bargaining leverage for the sponsor. 

The likes of China and Russia fight wars in the shadows. Time for Britain to shine the light


Political warfare is back. That was the key message from Chief of the Defence Staff Sir Nick Carter’s annual lecture, delivered on Thursday evening. Such warfare, he said, is “being conducted by authoritarian opponents” and “is attacking our way of life and our freedom”. He went to warn that it was “remarkably difficult to defeat without undermining the very freedoms we seek to protect”.

To those who have been paying attention, however, political warfare never went away.

For much of the last two decades, China and Russia have been conducting political warfare operations against the West. They have made used of a wide range of domestic and international instruments to persuade, intimidate, undermine,...

The Threat of a Trade War with China That Nobody Is Talking About

By Patrick W. Watson
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Trade and tariffs are all over the news because President Trump is going after China.

The president’s tweets and public statements tell us he doesn’t like trade deficits, particularly the one with China. He seems to view it as a win-or-lose proposition.

That’s not exactly right.

For one, a trade deficit between two nations isn’t unusual. Precise balance would be strange. Countries have different needs, so some import more than others.

Also, it’s not like the side with the deficit loses anything.

In this case, China gets our dollars and we get Chinese-made goods. Your house is probably stuffed with little pieces of the U.S.-China trade deficit.

Is that bad? As an economic matter, it’s just reality.
Americans want Chinese goods more than we want the dollars spent on them.
Chinese want those dollars more than they want the goods.

The New China Scare

By Fareed Zakaria 

In February 1947, U.S. President Harry Truman huddled with his most senior foreign policy advisers, George Marshall and Dean Acheson, and a handful of congressional leaders. The topic was the administration’s plan to aid the Greek government in its fight against a communist insurgency. Marshall and Acheson presented their case for the plan. Arthur Vandenberg, chair of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, listened closely and then offered his support with a caveat. “The only way you are going to get what you want,” he reportedly told the president, “is to make a speech and scare the hell out of the country.”

Over the next few months, Truman did just that. He turned the civil war in Greece into a test of the United States’ ability to confront international communism. Reflecting on Truman’s expansive rhetoric about aiding democracies anywhere, anytime, Acheson confessed in his memoirs that the administration had made an argument “clearer than truth.” 

China, Japan, and the East China Sea: Beijing’s “gray zone” coercion and Tokyo’s response

Adam P. Liff

China’s approach to Japan, its most economically powerful neighbor and a key U.S. treaty ally for nearly 70 years, is an important metric with which to assess China’s rapidly expanding role in the world — in particular, how Beijing is using its growing power and influence when its neighbors’ self-perceived rights and interests are in conflict with its own. The vicissitudes of China-Japan relations today also carry immense implications for, and are themselves shaped by, the United States’ relationships with these two major powers.

This paper focuses on the competition between China and Japan over their festering territorial dispute in the East China Sea. Though political frictions over the Senkaku (Diaoyu in Chinese) Islands are decades-old, since a 2012 contretemps over the islands led Beijing to begin regular, provocative deployments of government vessels into the islands’ contiguous zone and territorial seas, the dispute has become the most significant geopolitical flashpoint and locus of security competition between China and Japan today.

Terrorism Returns To London – OpEd

By Duncan Bartlett

A dark atmosphere has descended on Britain’s capital city following the latest terror attack on London Bridge.

Just before 2pm on Friday, Usman Khan appeared wielding knives and claimed that he had a bomb strapped to his chest. Within a few minutes he had killed two young graduates, 23-year-old Saskia Jones and her friend Jack Merrit, 25.

A small group of people, later praised for their bravery by the Queen, used a fire extinguisher, a whale’s tusk and even their bare fists to try to prevent further bloodshed, before armed police arrived and shot Khan dead.

Those who stepped into the fray included some men who had previously served time in prison for various offences, including murder. They had attended a meeting called to help rehabilitate offenders. Khan had been invited to take part in one of the workshops. The event brought together ex-offenders, prison reform campaigners, academics, and graduates.

Russia Is Teaching the World to Spy

By Alina Polyakova

Huawei, the Chinese telecommunications company and the largest telecommunications equipment manufacturer in the world, has helped African governments spy on political opponents. Beijing has also sold mass video surveillance to Ecuador and is advising a growing number of autocratic regimes on “information management.” There’s good reason to be worried about the exportation of Chinese technology.

But China isn’t the only merchant offering digital surveillance tools to strongmen. It may be tempting to dismiss Russia as irrelevant in this domain, but that would be a mistake. In fact, Russia’s low-tech model of digital authoritarianism could prove to be more readily adaptable and enduring.

A lot more countries look more like Russia than China: resource strapped aspiring authoritarians without “Great Firewalls” to filter data and block content. The Chinese surveillance model rests on the principle of wholesale integration of offline and online data, linking everything from closed-circuit television footage to social media activity to medical records. This requires vast administrative resources. Few states can afford the level of investment needed to obtain them.

That may be the strength of Russia’s model.

How Donald Trump Is Making It Harder to End the War in Ukraine

By Joshua Yaffa
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On Monday, in Paris, Volodymyr Zelensky and Vladimir Putin will meet, for the first time, for face-to-face peace talks on a five-year conflict in eastern Ukraine that has cost more than thirteen thousand lives. Ending the war in the Donbass has been the primary policy goal for Zelensky since he took office last May. “I am focussed on the Donbass, on ending this war,” he told me in Kyiv this summer, when I was reporting a profile of him for the magazine. Ukrainian voters had given him a “quota of trust,” as he put it, and it was time to bring the war to a close.

Yet unlike on matters of, say, land-sale reform or anti-corruption legislation, that is not something that Zelensky, or any Ukrainian President, can will into being. Zelensky needs the acquiescence, or at least participation, of Putin, who provides the military firepower and diplomatic backing that props up the Donbass’s separatist enclaves. Making things even more complicated for Zelensky, and affecting both his and Putin’s calculations, are the impeachment hearings in Washington, where President Trump is accused of suborning U.S. policy toward Ukraine in the service of his own political bugbears.

From the moment of Zelensky’s inauguration, last May, he and his advisers saw relations with Trump as imperative to the goal of reaching a negotiated settlement to the Donbass war. The hope in Kyiv was that Zelensky and Trump could meet as soon as possible, and that Zelensky could sell to Trump the idea of playing the “grand peacemaker” in Ukraine, Alyona Getmanchuk, the director of New Europe Center, a foreign-policy think-tank, told me. The United States provides hundreds of millions of dollars in military assistance, and its suspension by Trump for alleged political reasons is a central argument for impeachment. But Washington has no formal role in the multiparty “Normandy Format” talks between Russia and Ukraine that began in 2014, stalled in 2016, and will resume in Paris on Monday.

Thank Lisbon for Macao’s Peacefulness


The Macao Special Administrative Region turns 20 this year, and no one wants to celebrate it more than Beijing. As protests enter their seventh month in neighboring Hong Kong, China’s central government is increasingly turning to the Portuguese colony-turned-gambling haven as proof that its governing principle for the two cities—known as “one country, two systems”—is “entirely viable, doable, and able to win the heart” of local populations. That’s particularly important since the success of the system is also critical for winning over Taiwan—where the prospects of Beijing-favored electoral candidates in January’s elections are sinking fast.

But the only reason Macao looks like a viable model is the unique circumstances of its past. To be sure, Macao’s colonial history is just one factor in the territory’s relative quietude. As many scholars point out, demographics are a factor. Macao’s population is less than one-tenth that of Hong Kong, making it that much more susceptible to economic and sociopolitical forces such as investment and migration.

Navy operations chief puts cloud, networks at center of maritime war strategy

By Lauren C. Williams
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The Chief of Naval Operations is making good on promises to make cybersecurity central to the service's mission.

CNO Adm. Mike Gilday wrote that cybersecurity should be "part of our DNA" in a fragmentary order released Dec. 5.

U.S. Fleet Cyber Command is tasked with creating operational cyber readiness training for commanders by January, including a standardized cyber readiness dashboard that explains a system's integrity.

The order also stipulated plans to integrate space, cyber, electronic warfare, and special operations in fleet maritime operations centers by January and develop field small tactical cyber teams as forces for fleet commanders by February.

Gilday emphasized interoperability and called for the Navy to connect all weapons and sensors.

Climate Change And Financial Risk

by Pierpaolo Grippa, Jochen Schmittmann, and Felix Suntheim
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Climate change is already a reality. Ever-more-ferocious cyclones and extended droughts lead to the destruction of infrastructure and the disruption of livelihoods and contribute to mass migration. Actions to combat rising temperatures, inadequate though they may have been so far, have the potential to drive dislocation in the business world as fossil fuel giants awaken to the need for renewable sources of energy and automakers accelerate investments in cleaner vehicles.

But measuring the economic costs of climate change remains a work in progress. We can assess the immediate costs of changing weather patterns and more frequent and intense natural disasters, but most of the potential costs lie beyond the horizon of the typical economic analysis. The economic impact of climate change will likely accelerate, though not smoothly. Crucially for the coming generations, the extent of the damage will depend on the policy choices that we make today.

Understanding Russia's Intervention in Syria

by Samuel Charap, Elina Treyger, Edward Geist

Research Questions

What were the key factors that led to the Russian decision to intervene in Syria in 2015?

What were the drivers of the recent smaller-scale Russian interventions in conflicts such as Afghanistan, Libya, Yemen, and Syria itself before 2015?

Where and under what conditions could Russia intervene in other civil conflicts outside of post-Soviet Eurasia?

What drives Russian leaders' decisionmaking on intervention?

Russia's 2015 military intervention in Syria's civil war took many by surprise and raised questions about the potential for similar actions in other conflicts outside of post-Soviet Eurasia. The authors of this report assess where and under what conditions Moscow could intervene again by analyzing the factors that drive Russian decisionmaking on intervention. In addition to the 2015 intervention in Syria, they examine four smaller-scale interventions in conflicts outside of Russia's immediate neighborhood: Libya, Afghanistan, Yemen, and Syria itself before 2015.

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.

How Warren Buffett broke American capitalism

By Robin Harding
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Growing up, I admired nobody more than Warren Buffett, the greatest investor ever. His achievement is towering. The market is an implacable opponent but here was a man who beat it year after year, making $75bn out of nothing but wisdom and charm. There was moral purity in his modesty, his ethics and his quiet attachment to home in Omaha, Nebraska. What footballer, politician or thinker could compare?

Now 87, Mr Buffett wields huge influence over US business and finance, usually positive. He pushed companies to expense stock options, warned of danger in derivatives and taught the public to invest long term in low-cost index funds.

But however much you admire the man, his influence has a dark side because the beating heart of Buffettism, celebrated in a thousand investment books, is to avoid competition and minimise capital investment in the real economy.

A torrent of recent studies show how exactly those forces — diminished competition, rising profits and lower investment — afflict the US. Economists Jan de Loecker and Jan Eeckhout chart a rise in corporate mark-ups, a measure linked to profit margins, from 18 per cent in 1980 to 67 per cent today. In a paper presented at the Brookings Institution last week, Germán Gutiérrez and Thomas Philippon show how investment has fallen relative to profitability. Mr Buffett did not cause these trends. However, they are central to his fortune. When you celebrate him, you celebrate them.

Mapping the Digital Economy in 2020


HANGZHOU – From mobile Internet to artificial intelligence, blockchain to big data, digital technologies have the potential to bring about dramatic improvements in human wellbeing. But they also pose serious risks to communities and individuals in their roles as consumers, workers, and citizens. Reaping the digital revolution’s benefits, and avoiding its pitfalls, will require us to manage an unprecedented structural transformation for which the world is woefully unprepared. 

Given the transformational effects of digitization, it may seem prudent to think through the risks before allowing new technologies to take hold. But, with digital technologies proliferating at an unprecedented rate, that may not be an option. Automobiles existed for 62 years before reaching 50 million users, and electricity took 46 years to reach that level of penetration. But mobile phones took just 12 years, and the Internet seven. The augmented-reality mobile game Pokémon GO had 50 million users after 19 days.

This is partly because, unlike industrialization, digitization is sweeping across the planet practically simultaneously; more than 60% of people in low-income countries already own a mobile phone. And, unlike the advanced economies, developing countries are adopting mobile Internet at the same time as they acquire smartphones, computers, and even electricity.

Art of the Blitzkrieg: How Hitler Nearly Conquered Europe (And Changed Warfare)

The attack was beginning despite the widespread lack of artillery support, engineers, or armor. Normally this would be a recipe for disaster. Clusters of gray-clad German infantrymen braved the torrent of enemy fire, carrying assault boats right up to edge of the Meuse River. On the opposite bank, French soldiers crouched in their bunkers and trenches as German aircraft roared overhead, bombing and strafing, paying particular attention to the French artillery positions within range of the river. The Luftwaffe pilots were determined to keep French heads down with a storm of bombs and bullets. Men on both sides braved fire to accomplish their respective missions on the afternoon of May 13, 1940.

On the German side of the river, Lt. Col. Hermann Balck urged his men forward. His command, Panzergrenadier Regiment 1 of the 1st Panzer Division, was tasked to get across the river and establish a bridgehead. The situation was already unfolding against his unit. Earlier in the day, the least German movement drew artillery fire, keeping the German troops pinned in their hastily dug foxholes and entrenchments. Their own artillery was hopelessly mired in a traffic jam rearward and could not get there in time. The boats for the crossing had arrived, but the operators had not. The only thing that had gone right was the Luftwaffe’s air attack. The aviators’ efforts had been so successful the French gunners had reportedly abandoned their guns and refused to return to them.

U.S. Military Could Collapse Within 20 Years Due to Climate Change, Report Commissioned By Pentagon Says

By Nafeez Ahmed

According to a new U.S. Army report, Americans could face a horrifically grim future from climate change involving blackouts, disease, thirst, starvation and war. The study found that the US military itself might also collapse. This could all happen over the next two decades, the report notes.

The senior US government officials who wrote the report are from several key agencies including the Army, Defense Intelligence Agency, and NASA. The study called on the Pentagon to urgently prepare for the possibility that domestic power, water, and food systems might collapse due to the impacts of climate change as we near mid-century.

The report was commissioned by General Mark Milley, Trump's new chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, making him the highest-ranking military officer in the country (the report also puts him at odds with Trump, who does not take climate change seriously.)

The report, titled Implications of Climate Change for the U.S. Army, was launched by the U.S. Army War College in partnership with NASA in May at the Wilson Center in Washington DC. The report was commissioned by Gen. Milley during his previous role as the Army’s Chief of Staff. It was made publicly available in August via the Center for Climate and Security, but didn't get a lot of attention at the time.

‘No One Wins if War Extends Into Space’

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When U.S. President Donald Trump called for a separate Space Force in the summer of 2018, the American public imagined a force of spacesuit-clad officers fighting terrorists above the earth. The reality is much less exciting.

The proposed Space Force, which would fall under the Department of the Air Force, and its associated combatant command, the newly reestablished U.S. Space Command, will be responsible for all U.S. military space operations. But rather than fighting a war in space, those operations are primarily focused on preventing such a conflict, says Brig. Gen. Thomas James, the director of operations for Space Command.

The focus for the brand-new command is defending U.S. assets in space—the satellites that provide critical communications and navigations capabilities to U.S. and allied armed forces—and deterring potential adversaries. James spoke with Foreign Policy about his new job, and the emerging threats from Russia and China that Space Command must counter. This interview has been edited and condensed for length and clarity.

Foreign Policy: Why do we need a separate Space Command right now?

In a Season of Discontent, Are Latin American Democracies at Risk?

Eric Farnsworth
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A season of discontent has descended across Latin America, where economies have stalled, politics have become more polarized and poisonous, and millions of newly middle-class citizens have begun to wonder whether they will be able to hold on to their hard-won gains. Sparked by a stolen election here, an increase in the price of gasoline or subway fares there, people from Ecuador to Chile to Bolivia and now Colombia have spilled into the streets angry with their leaders. Where mass protests haven’t erupted—in Argentina, Brazil and Mexico—voters have instead registered their mounting frustrations against incumbents at the ballot box.

It all represents a sharp rebuke of the cozy political and economic arrangements from both the left and the right that continue to hold back the full promises of democracy in the region. Latin Americans en masse seem to be rejecting the self-dealing of their elites and demanding a better quality of life. Regrettably, this popular outcry is also an invitation for outsiders to meddle for their own purposes. ...

Larry, Sergey, and the Mixed Legacy of Google-Turned-Alphabet

On August 10, 2015, Google CEO Larry Page shocked the business world by announcing he was restructuring the company he cofounded into a holding company called Alphabet. Page would head the new entity, and Google itself would be one of a number of companies under Alphabet’s control—like Google X, Google Fiber, Google Ventures, and Nest—each with a separate CEO reporting to him. The idea was to make The Company Formerly Known As Google “more clean and accountable.”

Now Page and Brin are gone, kind of. In a letter they released on Tuesday, they explained that while they will continue to advise and stay on the board, they are removing themselves from “day to day responsibilities.” That’s an interesting claim, because the Alphabet structure had freed them of a lot of those responsibilities already, allowing them to pursue the bigger, moonshot-y ideas they preferred to corporate wranglings. Brin embedded himself in X, Alphabet’s long-range research division. Page also pursued his passions, while doing a disappearing act that didn’t live up to the “more accountable” part of the bargain. He gave no press interviews, stopped participating in earnings calls, and didn’t even go to the last shareholders meeting.

The World's Most Popular Websites

Ever wondered which websites are the most visited in the world? If you had to guess, you probably wouldn't need to consult Google to know that the search engine is on the number one spot, but as the list moves down from the YouTube/Facebook level of obviousness, some of the sites on this list may surprise you - or even be complete unknowns.

According to SimilarWeb, in fourth place is the Chinese search engine baidu.com, which received almost 7 billion visitors in October. You don't have to go too far before you find porn, of course, with xvideos.com in ninth place and 3.2 billion visits over the month - one of three adult content sites in the top twelve.

5 Dumb Words That May Have Cost Mark Zuckerberg $34 Billion — and How Not to Make the Same Mistake

By Minda Zetlin

Facebook has been drowning in embarrassing news this year, and here’s the latest. Years before Cambridge Analytica gained access to millions of Facebook users’ personal data, creating a major scandal for Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg discussed the possibility of such a breach with another Facebook exec. His conclusion: It was nothing to worry about.

Six years later, when the scandal came out, it was part of the series of negative events that caused the company’s stock to dramatically lose value — and it’s the reason Zuckerberg reluctantly appeared in Washington D.C. earlier this year to answer questions from Congress. As Facebook’s share price dropped, Zuckerberg lost about $34 billion of his net worth from its high point in July.

The British Parliament just released 250 pages of internal Facebook documents related to a lawsuit by app company Six4Three against Facebook. Six4Three briefly published an app called Pikinis which used photo searching technology to find pictures of your Facebook friends in swimsuits. When Facebook shut down third-party apps’ access to users’ friends data in 2015, Six4Three was forced to discontinue its short-lived app. It sued Facebook. In the course of discovery, Six4Three obtained a treasure trove of Facebook internal documents, which a California court placed under seal. But Parliament, which is investigating Facebook in its own right, summoned Six4Three founder Ted Kramer when he was on a business trip to London, and demanded he turn over the documents or be charged with contempt. Parliament’s Digital, Culture, Media, and Sport Committee then published excerpts from the documents on its website — 250 pages of them.

Information Security Forum Predicts 2020's Top Global Security Threats

The Information Security Forum (ISF), a resource for executives and board members on cyber security and risk management, has announced the organization’s outlook for the top global security threats that businesses will face in 2020.

In 2020, ISF notes that the pace and scale of change, particularly in terms of technology, will continue to accelerate substantially. "People will find themselves caught in a vortex of economic volatility and political uncertainly far beyond the levels experienced in the past. As for organizations, some will prosper, and many will struggle – the key separating component will be the degree to which organizations are able to meet the challenges," says a press release. 

“In today’s hyperconnected world, attack surfaces and interdependencies grow rapidly. As our dependence on technology increases, so does the need for sound risk management, assessment and mitigation increase in line with complexity. By understanding and evaluating how new technology will be rolled out, we can focus on the necessary controls to protect our data,” said Steve Durbin, Managing Director, ISF. “We all have a role to play, from individuals to nation states, if we are to avoid creating or indeed perpetuating new technology development as a domain for confrontation.”

The top threats identified by the ISF for 2020 are not mutually exclusive and can combine to create even greater threat profiles. According to ISF, the most prevalent threats include:

The Race for Technology Dominance – Trade and Government

The 10 most important cyberattacks of the decade

by Jonathan Greig

As more sensitive personal data has made its way online, the size and impact of breaches has steadily increased throughout the decade. Attacks have hit almost every sector and show no signs of slowing down as more people are forced to entrust the safety of personal information to various websites.

"For me, the largest hacks of the decade are not just the ones that were the biggest, but the ones that were game-changers in how we approach security. If we had this talk 10 years ago, we would be blown away by the numbers, but now, the numbers don't really affect us that much," said Etay Maor, chief security officer at the cybersecurity firm IntSights.

"All of a sudden, we're in the age of career-ending or career-altering hack. Honestly in 2011, if you had a hack with over a million credentials, everyone would lose their mind," Maor said. "Today, you probably won't even read about hacks that happen with a couple million credentials stolen."

The most important hacks since 2010

Building and Retaining a First-Class Cyber Workforce

By Commander Timothy L. Castro

The first computer virus was created in the early 1970s, and in 1988, the first computer worm was distributed, gaining widespread media attention. More than 30 years later, viruses and malware have evolved significantly in sophistication and complexity. In recent years, there have been numerous high-profile cyber attacks, such as the security breaches at Target or the Office of Personnel Management. There also have been openly reported U.S. offensive cyber operations, such as a recent offensive cyber strike against Iranian computer systems used to control rocket and missile launchers in response to Iran’s shoot down of an unmanned U.S. surveillance drone.

A well-trained and properly resourced cadre of U.S. cyber security professionals and cyber warfare–designated military members is needed to address increasingly complex cyber challenges. The government has taken some important steps to grow its cyber capabilities, but its adversaries are already advanced, skilled operators in the cyber arena and the United States continues to struggle to keep pace. More and better measures are needed to attract cyber talent, including a streamlined hiring process for a civilian cyber workforce, incentives to military members and civilian government employees to retain experienced cyber professionals, and a relaxing of cooling-off period requirements for separating military members seeking civilian federal employment.

The Threat

Building and Retaining a First-Class Cyber Workforce

By Commander Timothy L. Castro
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The first computer virus was created in the early 1970s, and in 1988, the first computer worm was distributed, gaining widespread media attention. More than 30 years later, viruses and malware have evolved significantly in sophistication and complexity. In recent years, there have been numerous high-profile cyber attacks, such as the security breaches at Target or the Office of Personnel Management. There also have been openly reported U.S. offensive cyber operations, such as a recent offensive cyber strike against Iranian computer systems used to control rocket and missile launchers in response to Iran’s shoot down of an unmanned U.S. surveillance drone.

A well-trained and properly resourced cadre of U.S. cyber security professionals and cyber warfare–designated military members is needed to address increasingly complex cyber challenges. The government has taken some important steps to grow its cyber capabilities, but its adversaries are already advanced, skilled operators in the cyber arena and the United States continues to struggle to keep pace. More and better measures are needed to attract cyber talent, including a streamlined hiring process for a civilian cyber workforce, incentives to military members and civilian government employees to retain experienced cyber professionals, and a relaxing of cooling-off period requirements for separating military members seeking civilian federal employment.

The Threat

Facebook's Head of AI Says the Field Will Soon ‘Hit the Wall’

Jerome Pesenti leads the development of artificial intelligence at one of the world’s most influential—and controversial—companies. As VP of artificial intelligence at Facebook, he oversees hundreds of scientists and engineers whose work shapes the company’s direction and its impact on the wider world.

AI is fundamentally important to Facebook. Algorithms that learn to grab and hold our attention help make the platform and its sister products, Instagram and WhatsApp, stickier and more addictive. And, despite some notable AI flops, like the personal assistant M, Facebook continues to use AI to build new features and products, from Instagram filters to augmented reality apps.

Mark Zuckerberg has promised to deploy AI to help solve some of the company’s biggest problems, by policing hate speech, fake news, and cyberbullying (an effort that has seen limited success so far). More recently, Facebook has been forced to reckon with how to stop AI-powered deception in the form of deepfake videos that could convincingly spread misinformation as well as enable new forms of harassment.

Pesenti joined Facebook in January 2018, inheriting a research lab created by Yann Lecun, one of the biggest names in the field. Before that, he worked on IBM’s Watson AI platform and at Benevolent AI, a company that is applying the technology to medicine.

Pesenti met with Will Knight, senior writer at WIRED, near its offices in New York. The conversation has been edited for length.

Larry Page and Sergey Brin Hand Over Alphabet’s Reins

It’s officially the end of an era at Google. As the company faces a series of antitrust investigations and mounting employee unrest, its two cofounders, Larry Page and Sergey Brin, announced on Tuesday they were stepping down from their leadership roles at the company. Page had been CEO of Google parent organization Alphabet, while Brin served as president. Sundar Pichai, the current CEO of Google, will keep his job and additionally take over as the CEO of Alphabet.

Page and Brin aren’t totally out of the picture. The two cofounders will remain employees of Alphabet and retain their seats on the board, where they together control 51.3 percent of the voting power, according to the most recent regulatory filings. In other words, they still effectively control the company, though they will no longer be running it day to day.

“Today, in 2019, if the company was a person, it would be a young adult of 21 and it would be time to leave the roost,” Brin and Page wrote in a joint press release. “While it has been a tremendous privilege to be deeply involved in the day-to-day management of the company for so long, we believe it’s time to assume the role of proud parents—offering advice and love, but not daily nagging!”