25 December 2019

Citizenship Amendment Act: Uncalled for Protests

Amb Satish Chandra

In the wake of the recently passed Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) several parts of the country have been rocked by violent protests including with the participation of some prominent institutions of learning. While violent protests are per se reprehensible, in the instant case an objective analysis of the nature of the Act and the prevailing circumstances would militate against even a peaceful agitation. Clearly, the protests being witnessed are the result of unfounded apprehensions fomented by vested interests who are acting against the national interest. A classic example of this is Mamata Bannerjee's call for a UN monitored referendum on the CAA !!! The fact that students have joined the protests does not inspire much confidence in our centres of higher learning. The least that one would have expected of such students was to be better informed about the realities of the CAA before mindlessly taking to the streets and resorting to vandalism.

Unfortunately, the Government narrative designed to set at rest these apprehensions has not succeeded. Much greater attention is required to address perception management both on internal and foreign policy related issues.

The CAA, in essence, contemplates the possibility of accord of Indian citizenship to the minority communities of the three Islamic states of Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Afghanistan who entered India up to 31st December 2014. These minorities comprise Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis and Christians who, living in these countries under constant threat of persecution simply because they are non-Muslims, have, even after the massive migration of 1947, been coming to India in driblets over the years.

China’s influence in Asian Geopolitics: Implications for India

Arvind Gupta

China, in Xi Jinping’s words, is a building a “new model” of major-country relations, and crafting a policy of building relations with neighbouring countries, based on “amity, mutual benefit and inclusiveness”.

Geographically speaking, China is an Asia Pacific country. It has 22 neighbours. In its multi-dimensional foreign and security policy, Asia, in its broadest sense, figures in a big way. China is expanding relationship with all regions of Asia and Asia Pacific namely South East Asia, Central Asia, West Asia, South Asia, South-East Asia and Eurasia. On the maritime front, China is extending its influence across the Indo-Pacific region. Thus China’s policy have both continental as well as maritime dimensions. In fact they are interlinked. The Belt and Road Iniiative (BRI) is an ambitious project of Xi Jinping aimed at expanding China’s influence in all region of Asia and beyond.

India is also a major Asian country, with 4000 Km long border with China which has yet not been demarcated. This puts a major constraint on further development of Sino-Indian relations. China-Pakistan-Economic-Corridor (CPEC) which passes through the Indian territory of J&K has adverse political and security implications for India. The Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), also provides China an opportunity to expand its India’s neighbourhood. China projects BRI as a “public good” but the reality is very different as more and more countries find themselves in debt distress. BRI has prompted China to build new institution like the AIIB and Silk Road Fund, to fund connectivity between China and the neighbouring countries and beyond. India will be affected whether or not the BRI project succeeds. India’s neighboring countries can fall into unhealthy dependencies on China.

China and India: The Cold War No One Is Watching

by Richard A. Bitzinger
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“Rich nation, strong army,” was the adage that drove Japanese modernization – both civilian and military – in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Today it is a rallying cry for other Asian countries seeking great-nation status. A corollary to this saying might be that great nations have great arms industries.

China and India share this outsized ambition to be a “great power” in Asia, if not the most powerful. The two countries have, respectively, the largest and second-largest militaries in Asia, as well as the highest and second-highest defense budgets. And both have huge domestic defense industries, dedicated to providing their armed forces with the best weapons possible.

Home-grown armaments and nationalism go hand-in-hand in both China and India. A country cannot consider itself to be capable of great-nation status, so the argument goes, if one’s military is dependent on foreign suppliers for its weapons. Outside sources are always subject to embargoes or other restrictions, and overseas sellers are usually loath to part with their best and most advanced military technologies.

Pakistan: Army’s Grip On Nation’s Political Dynamics Challenged – Analysis

By Dr Subhash Kapila
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Pakistan and the Pakistan Army stand at unprecedented political crossroads in December 2019 where Pakistan Army’s shock and awe with which Pakistan Army inflicted long spells of Army rule by Army Chiefs usurping political power seems to have waned as evidenced by cumulative political civilian protests and questioning of the Army combined with Judiciary assertion dating back to 2008.

Pakistan Army’s decades of a predominant grip on Pakistan’s political dynamics and governance stands seemingly challenged in December 2019 as evidenced by two unprecedented recent developments where the Supreme Court halted Pakistan Army Chief’s three years extension and a Special Court headed by Chief Justice of Peshawar High Court gave awarded ‘Death Sentence’ by hanging to former military dictator General Pervez Musharraf on charges of ‘High Treason’.

Pakistan’s political dynamics would certainly be impacted by this unprecedented development in Pakistan’s political history there are also dangers for regional security in South Asia. Pakistan Army to divert domestic public attention from the challenge to its authority and hold on Pakistan’s polity may be tempted towards increased military adventurism on both its flanks—India and Afghanistan. With India, the enhancement chances are more likely keeping in mind that Pakistan is already steeply increasing the escalation ladder in its confrontation with India.

From Vietnam To Afghanistan, All US Governments Lie

by Gordon Adam

The Washington Post has, after more than two years of investigation, revealed that senior foreign policy officials in the White House, State and Defense departments have known for some time that the U.S. intervention in Afghanistan was failing.

Interview transcripts from the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction, obtained by the Post after many lawsuits, show that for 18 years these same officials have told the public the intervention was succeeding.

In other words, government officials have been lying.

Few people are shocked. That’s a stark contrast to 1971, when the Pentagon Papers, a classified study of decision-making about Vietnam, were leaked and published. The explosive Pentagon Papers showed that the U.S. government had systematically lied about the reality that the U.S. was losing the Vietnam War.

I Helped Write the Afghanistan Papers. What They Reveal Shouldn’t Be a Surprise

Candace Rondeaux

If there is one big takeaway from The Washington Post’s publication of thousands of pages of documents detailing the extent of policy failures in Afghanistan, it is the great lengths that it takes to wake the American public up to the costs of pursuing a war without a strategy. As The Post’s examination of interviews produced as part of a wide-ranging and years-long review of U.S. policy by the Office of the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction, known as SIGAR, clearly shows, few officials charged with leading the war effort were willing to openly admit that most of what passed for strategy was purely ad hoc. I should know—I was one of the lead analysts and interviewers who led the “Lessons Learned” inquiry into U.S. strategy for SIGAR.

Since the publication of the Afghanistan Papers, veterans of America’s longest war have pointed out that the shortcomings of U.S. policy were well known to anyone who had ever done a tour of duty in Afghanistan. Those failures were advertised by members of the U.S. government in congressional testimony and by U.S. military officials themselves. They were also meticulously documented in the myriad audits produced by both SIGAR and the U.S. Government Accountability Office. ...

China’s Power: Up for Debate 2019

The challenges and opportunities presented by China’s rise are hotly contested. ChinaPower hosted its fourth annual conference on December 4, 2019, featuring leading experts from both China and the U.S. to debate core issues underpinning the nature of Chinese power. The audience was polled for their opinion both before and after each debate. Polling results, debate descriptions, and conference videos are posted below.

Morning Keynote

Senator David Perdue

Read the transcript of Senator Perdue’s keynote.

How is China advancing its space launch capabilities?

Conducting activities in space embodies the pinnacle of technological achievement. While space technologies like communications satellites and navigation systems underpin much of modern life, only a handful of countries have the capability to indigenously launch payloads into space. China sits among this elite group of spacefaring nations. Closing the technology gap with more-advanced space powers will, however, require China to make significant headway.

China’s Growing Presence in Space

The successful launch of Sputnik 1 by the Soviet Union in October 1957 ushered in a new era where countries around the world raced to develop and launch their own satellites. The US launched Explorer 1 in January 1958. France and Japan delivered their own satellites into orbit in the following years. With the launch of Dong Fang Hong 1 (East Is Red 1) in April 1970, China became the fifth country to indigenously launch a satellite into orbit.

How is China modernizing its nuclear forces?

The advent of nuclear weapons fundamentally transformed the nature of warfare and strategy. Changes in policy, posture, and the number of nuclear weapons in one country can have global ramifications. China is one of only nine countries that possess nuclear weapons. Although its nuclear arsenal is small relative to those of the United States and Russia, China is currently expanding and modernizing its nuclear forces. Beijing’s primarily defensive nuclear strategy may also be revised in the coming years. Understanding the changing nature of China’s nuclear posture is critical to maintaining international peace and security.

China detonated its first atomic device on October 16, 1964. In doing so, China became the fifth country – after the United States, the Soviet Union, the United Kingdom, and France – to successfully develop a nuclear weapon.

Following its entrance into the atomic era, China prioritized the development of an increasingly capable arsenal composed of nuclear warheads delivered on land-based ballistic missiles. Most of China’s nuclear forces continue to be made up of land-based systems.

What the End of the INF Treaty Means for China

By Andrey Baklitskiy

Beijing perceives the U.S. withdrawal from the INF and possible deployment of ground-based missiles to Asia as part of Washington’s broader campaign to contain China. Overall, China can be fairly confident regarding its chances in a potential missile race in Asia, thanks to several advantages.

For many years, the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF) acted as a security guarantee for China: Beijing successfully made use of the mutual limitations imposed by the treaty on Russia and the United States to minimize the military threat to itself.

The open confrontation between Washington and Beijing that has begun under U.S. President Donald Trump has changed all that. The United States needed to free itself of restrictions to its military potential, and this was one of the factors in the collapse of the INF treaty. Washington’s focus on containment of China was not unexpected for Beijing, but the new military dimensions of that policy compel China to take measures in response.

How will the Belt and Road Initiative advance China’s interests?

Announced in 2013, the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI, also known as One Belt, One Road) aims to strengthen China’s connectivity with the world. It combines new and old projects, covers an expansive geographic scope, and includes efforts to strengthen hard infrastructure, soft infrastructure, and cultural ties. As of October 2019, the plan touches 138 countries with a combined Gross Domestic Product of $29 trillion and some 4.6 billion people.

A Jungle Airstrip Stirs Suspicions About China’s Plans for Cambodia

By Hannah Beech
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DARA SAKOR, Cambodia — The airstrip stretches like a scar through what was once unspoiled Cambodian jungle.

When completed next year on a remote stretch of shoreline, Dara Sakor International Airport will boast the longest runway in Cambodia, complete with the kind of tight turning bay favored by fighter jet pilots. Nearby, workers are clearing trees from a national park to make way for a port deep enough to host naval ships.

The United States Is Preparing For War Against Russia Or China (Or Both)

by Kris Osborn
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The Army is developing its weapons, technologies and platforms with a greater emphasis on being ready for great-power, mechanized force-on-force war in order maintain cross-the-board readiness and deter near-peer adversaries from unwanted aggression.

While the service aims to be prepared for any conceivable contingency, to include counterinsurgency, counterterrorism and hybrid-type conflicts, the Army has been shifting its focus from 15-years of counterinsurgency war and pivoting its weapons development toward major-power war.

“We are excellent at counterinsurgency,” Lt. Gen. Michael Williamson, Military Deputy, Assistant Secretary of the Army – Acquisition, Logistics and Technology, told Scout Warrior in an exclusive interview last month. “We’re developing systems to be prepared for the full range of potential conflict.”

The Role of the Arctic in Chinese Naval Strategy

By: Ryan D. Martinson


In her recent China Brief article, Dr. Anne-Marie Brady examined the prospect of China deploying military power to the Arctic (China Brief, December 10). Applying the methods she used in her pathbreaking 2017 book, Brady draws from authoritative Chinese sources to demonstrate the growing importance of the Arctic in China’s strategic calculus. [1] She also cites a host of other indications that Beijing intends to send naval forces—especially submarines—north through the Bering Strait. Her research provides important context for an oracular 2019 U.S. Department of Defense claim that China could be laying the foundation for naval operations in the Arctic (Department of Defense, May 2).

Building on the excellent work done by Brady and others, this article argues that the available evidence allows for more categorical conclusions about China’s Arctic intentions. Specifically, the Chinese Navy has formally decided to incorporate Arctic ambitions into its naval strategy, and Chinese scientists and engineers are already conducting research to help it realize these ambitions.

What can we expect in China in 2020?

By Gordon Orr

2019 in China brought together long running challenges, such as uncertainty over US–China tariff levels and ever more intrusive regulation of business in China, with a few unexpected ones as well: the crisis in Hong Kong and the flare up triggered by tweets from an NBA coach, to mention just two. Yet for many businesses, opportunities flourished throughout the year as China’s economy grew roughly 6 percent. And in multiple key industries, the government’s commitment to global leadership started to pay dividends.

2020 will offer a similar mix of evolving, often worsening, challenges. Growing separation between the US and China in technology sectors seems inevitable. While some companies will evolve to remain relevant in both markets, others will choose to focus on one. In 2020 this separation may become broader, impacting financial markets much more directly. China’s economic momentum will continue in 2020 with domestic consumption leading the way, selectively creating opportunities. If China’s priority sectors match those of your business, 2020 will be a good year to step up as the taps of government funding remain open for now.

US–China relations

Hypothetical: How A Real U.S.-China War Could Start

by Chen Pokong

Editor's note: The following is a translation of Chapter 14 of the book If the U.S.and China Go to War《假如中美开战》 by the author and analyst Chen Pokong. The current volume was published in Chinese in 2013 and was later translated to Japanese.

Key Point: The chapter sketches the hypothetical beginnings of a conflict scenario between the United States and China. In it, the U.S. responds to provocative Chinese cyberattacks by launching one of its own, tearing down the Great Firewall. In response, Chinese authorities clamp down Internet access completely, which America quickly responds to. Ultimately, regime-organized street violence endangers the lives of American consular staff, and U.S.-China relations quickly descend from the current modus vivendi to outright hostilities.

While both the United States and China can be expected to avoid going to war, it’s by no means difficult to imagine a scenario in which such a war might break out. Let’s consider such a development from the perspective of a young Chinese computer technician named Xiaolu:

Sleeping dragon no more: China about to replace US as strongest naval power and Washington is too late to stop it

China might soon shift the world naval balance and unseat the US as the modern master of the seas. The process appears to already be under way, and there is little that Washington can do about stopping it.

Visibly shaken by what it has seen on a photo showing just one of China's military shipyards near Shanghai, the business magazine Forbes recently told its readers an alarming story about the "impressive rate" and "vast scale" of Chinese naval modernization.

The shipyard in question indeed appears to be an impressive sight to behold. There, one can see a total of nine newly constructed destroyers lined along the quay and docked in an inner shipyard basin. By contrast, the entire UK Royal Navy has a total of just six similar-class vessels, Forbes notes.

As if it was not enough, the same shipyard is also building China's newest aircraft carrier – the third in a row. The second one, called the Shandong, was commissioned by the People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) earlier this week. Designed to carry 36 J-15 fighter jets, it is China's first fully domestically produced carrier.

Infographic Of The Day: Visualizing 30 Years Of China's Unstoppable Economic Growth

President Trump constantly warns about China as a threat to the world. China takes American jobs, adds to the national trade deficit and steals intellectual property. But how should we understand the rapid rise of China on the global economic stage?

Iran And The Great Power Politics Of The Middle East – Analysis

By Aditya Raj*

This article intends to bring before the general readers, a first hand idea of Iran’s role in geopolitics of Middle East since the Islamic Republic’s inception after the Islamic Revolution in 1979. It analyses what role does religious fundamentalism plays in formulation of Iran’s foreign policy. It talks about Iran’s Hybrid warfare strategy which it practices through its Shia militias in the region. The piece also focuses upon the role of Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps and its foreign wing the Quds Force in Iranian politics and security decisions. It focuses upon Iran’s relations with Syria and Tehran’s role in securing the Assad regime during the Syrian civil war, Iran’s support to Yemen’s Houthi Rebels, Iranian influence in Iraqi politics and Tehran backed Popular Mobilization Units, the wing responsible for recruiting Shia Militias and Iran’s interference in Lebanese politics through Hezbollah. Finally, the author argues about the future of Iran in the Middle East and future of US-Iranian relations. 

The 1979 Islamic Revolution of Iran which resulted in ouster of Shah Muhammad Reza Pahlavi and “rule of the jurisprudent” or Wilayat-al-faqih never remained confined to Iran. Back in 1970, while still living in exile, the leader of the Islamic Revolution, Ayatollah Ali Khomeini in his book Islamic Government: Governance of Jurisprudent said that all the problems and conflicts which have arisen in the Middle East is due to deviance from the path of Islam and declared his intention of spreading the revolution to whole of the Islamic world (1). In the early 1980s only, when Iran was facing a war with Iraq, it started its policy of recruitment and mobilization of Shia Muslims and setting up Shia militias in all over the Middle East to counter its arch-foes, Saddam Hussein’s Baathist Iraq at that point of time, Israel, Saudi Arabia and the United States’ involvement in the geopolitics of Middle East.

Saudi Arabia sentences five to death for murder of Jamal Khashoggi

Bethan McKernan

Five men have been sentenced to death and another three face a total of 24 years in prison for their roles in the gruesome murder of the dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul last year, the Saudi public prosecutor’s office has said.

Eight of the 11 people on trial were found guilty of the killing, which triggered the kingdom’s biggest diplomatic crisis since the 9/11 attacks as world leaders and business executives sought to distance themselves from Riyadh.

However, the investigation concluded “the killing was not premeditated … the decision was taken at the spur of the moment,” the deputy public prosecutor and spokesperson Shalaan bin Rajih Shalaan said, reading the verdict in the Saudi capital on Monday. Three senior figures, including the de facto ruler Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s former top adviser, Saud al-Qahtani, were cleared of wrongdoing during the trial.

The verdict contradicts the conclusion of the CIA and other western intelligence agencies that Prince Mohammed directly ordered Khashoggi’s assassination, an allegation the kingdom has strenuously denied.

GAO: DoD has no clear plan to acquire satellite-based wideband communications

by Sandra Erwin
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DoD should “develop a plan to guide implementation of the Wideband AOA recommendations,” said the Government Accountability Office.

WASHINGTON — The Government Accountability Office says the Pentagon has not figured out how it will meet future demand for wideband satellite communications for military operations even though it has spent years studying the problem.

A study that DoD wrapped up in June 2018, titled Wideband Communications Services Analysis of Alternatives, or Wideband AoA, laid out options for how to move forward but DoD has not taken action to implement those recommendations, the watchdog agency said in a report released Dec. 19.

DoD should “develop a plan to guide implementation of the Wideband AOA recommendations,” GAO said.

Challenges Facing Palestinians Unlikely To Abate In 2020 – Analysis

By Ramzy Baroud

The year 2019 has been a defining one for Palestine and Israel. Despite the usual political stagnation of the Palestinian leadership, two factors contributed to making the year particularly eventful and, looking ahead, consequential too: The unprecedented political power struggle in Israel and the total American retreat from its self-proclaimed role as an “honest peace broker.”

Since his first day in office, US President Donald Trump has made no secret of his desire to fully embrace the right-wing agenda of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Although the process started earlier, 2019 has witnessed the complete collapse of traditional US foreign policy, which was, for nearly three decades, predicated on the principle of a negotiated political solution.

This year delivered the final American assault on Palestinian rights. At the stroke of midnight on New Year’s Day, the US officially quit UNESCO, accusing the global institution of “anti-Israel bias.” The US government had contributed 22 percent of UNESCO’s budget. Among other things, this action was meant as a warning to the Palestinian leadership and its allies that Washington was ready and willing to use its financial and political prowess to suppress any form of criticism of Israel.

Army Testing New Tactical Network Capabilities

By Connie Lee
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Over the next few years, the service plans on improving its tactical network by fielding new sets of capabilities on a biennial basis. Through a series of experiments, the Army has begun using soldier feedback to determine what its future communications systems will look like on tomorrow’s battlefields. National Defense recently sat down with a group of officials to discuss the service’s vision.

“It is completely an iterative process,” said Col. Rob Ryan, deputy director of the Army’s network cross-functional team, which is spearheading the modernization effort.

“There’s no shot clock in how we do this because what is your iPhone going to look like in 2030? You don’t know how [you are] going to communicate in 2030.”

Col. Garth Winterle, project manager for tactical radios and integrated tactical network, said the service plans to field new capability sets to four brigade combat teams in fiscal year 2021, five BCTs in fiscal year 2022, and then six BCTs per year starting in fiscal year 2023.

Analyzing Weapons Acquisition through the Prism of Future War

Warren Chin
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James Kurth posed the question of ‘why we buy the weapons we do’ in an article in the magazine, Foreign Policy in 1973. Surprisingly, forty-seven years later, we are still trying to provide a satisfactory answer regarding why we spend so much money on technologically complex weaponry; weapons acquisition typically accounts for over 40 percent of defence budgets. We do this even though we are not entirely sure the capabilities we are fielding will be appropriate or effective in a future war. You only have to look at the huge sums spent on Urgent Operational Requirements by the UK MoD in Iraq and Afghanistan to see how poor MoD’s prescience was. When state of the art capabilities were being imagined in the 1998 Strategic Defence Review, little thought was given to the possibility of ‘super terrorism’, even though this formed an important strand of analysis in academia and policy think tanks in the 1990s. Instead, the focus of SDR was on the need to generate two aircraft carriers and the Typhoon air superiority fighter, capabilities that took so long to acquire that they played no role in the war against al Qaeda. Even the House of Commons Defence Committee thought it odd that we continued on the same trajectory mapped out in 1998 after 9/11.

NSA, Army Seek Quantum Computers Less Prone to Error

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Even ordinary computers flip a bit here and there, but their quantum cousins have a lot more ways to go wrong.

As the power and qubits in quantum computing systems increase, so does the need for cutting-edge capabilities to ascertain that they work. The Army Research Office and National Security Agency recently teamed up to solicit proposals for research that can help do exactly that. 

The entities launched a broad agency announcement this week to boost the development of innovative techniques and protocols that allow for Quantum Characterization, Verification, and Validation, or QCVV, of intermediate-scale quantum systems. QCVV is essentially the science of quantifying how well a quantum computer can run quantum algorithms—and experts agree that it’s a necessary step towards useful quantum computing.

“These new methods are sought as the next advances that will empower the quantum computing community to reliably interpret and evaluate emerging larger-scale quantum systems,” officials said in the solicitation. 

Keeping Israel safe: The most significant defense developments of the decade

(December 22, 2019 / Israel Hayom) Much has been said about the complex defense and security challenges Israel faces as a Jewish state in the Middle East. Being the sole democracy in one of the toughest neighborhoods on the planet means that Israel must employ various means to achieve and sustain its national security goals, as well as create and maintain deterrence vis-à-vis its enemies, both near and far.

The past decade has seen Israel deal with more than a few tactical and strategic developments, including the introduction of the cyber sphere as a major theater of battle alongside land, sea, air and space; the rise of subterranean warfare and the evolution of the Iranian threat, to name a few. Looking back at this period, there have been many incidents and occurrences that could easily make any nation’s list of “greatest defense hits.” Here is a countdown of some of the most significant events of the decade in the realm of Israeli national security.

5. Southern exposure: The Israel-Gaza wars

The White House wants new research to ‘deter’ cyberattacks

Andrew Eversden

A White House cybersecurity research strategy released earlier this month lays out several areas where the federal government should invest research and development funding as a way to deter cyberattacks.

The strategy, called the “Federal Cybersecurity Research and Development Strategic Plan” and released Dec. 10 by the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, breaks down federal network defense into four areas: deter, protect, detect, respond.

White House officials wrote that federal networks need to be secured in a way that proves difficult enough for intrusion that an adversary gives up.

“Deterrence, in the broad sense used by this plan, requires increasing the level of effort that adversaries must apply to achieve their objectives and increasing the possible negative consequences for them from their actions,” the document read.

Balancing the Lopsided Debate on Autonomous Weapon Systems

By Natalia JevglevskajaRain Liivoja

The question of whether new international rules should be developed to prohibit or restrict the use of autonomous weapon systems has preoccupied governments, academics and arms-control proponents for the better part of a decade. Many civil-society groups claim to see growing momentum in support of a ban. Yet broad agreement, let alone consensus, about the way ahead remains elusive.

In some respects, the discussion that’s occurring within the UN Group of Governmental Experts (GGE) on lethal autonomous weapons systems differs from any arms-control negotiations that have taken place before. In other respects, it’s a case of déjà vu.

To begin with, disagreements about the humanitarian risk–benefit balance of military technology are nothing new. Chemical weapons and cluster munitions provide the clearest examples of such controversies.

Chemical weapons have come to be regarded as inhumane, mainly because of the unacceptable suffering they can cause to combatants. But the argument has also been made that they’re more humane than the alternatives: some have described the relatively low ratio of deaths and permanent injuries resulting from chemical warfare as an ‘index of its humaneness’.

Reducing the Time Burdens of Army Company Leaders

by Lisa Saum-Manning

What are the physical demands of company leaders' job duties?
What are the psychological demands of company leaders' job duties?
What resources are available to help achieve work goals?
What resources are available to help reduce job demands?
How can personal growth, learning, and development be stimulated?
What aspects of Army culture hinder company leaders' job duties?

Company leaders in the U.S. Army—company commanders, executive officers, and first sergeants—have long been recognized as overworked. Company leaders implement Army and Department of Defense (DoD) requirements through the careful management of the training and duties of their frontline soldiers. Their jobs are burdensome in part because of the number of requirements imposed on them by higher headquarters. These requirements also include garrison tasks that compete for company leaders' time, such as providing personnel for installation support, participating in community events, and coordinating the visits of distinguished guests.

Army company leader workload is unsustainable. Here are some ways to fix it

By: Todd South

A vice-like time crush of demands on Army company leaders is putting their family lives, careers and unit readiness in jeopardy.

Army company leaders clock in an average 12.5-hour workday, more than all but 4 percent of U.S. workers, according to a recently released RAND Corporation study, “Reducing the Time Burdens of Army Company Leaders.”

And less than one-third of that time is spent directly focused on their unit training or readiness, according to the report.

“There are so many different things that you have to track and do. You are constantly playing whack-a-mole. If you are good on something then you are jacked-up on something else,” one commander told interviewers. “The people that pay the tax on this is the junior enlisted, they just have to eat it.”