29 December 2019

India’s Space Program - International Competition and Evolution

Rajeswari Pillai RAJAGOPALAN

India’s space program has grown and evolved significantly in the last five decades. The program originally focused on developing space assets that provided direct developmental benefits, for example telecommunications and remote sensing satellites that helped both in improving communication facilities and giving direct assistance to India’s farmers. But over time, India has shifted a part of its focus towards space exploration and other high-profile missions that do not have as clear a developmental purpose as earlier. This includes, for example, India’s Mars and Moon exploratory missions. Overall, India has been fairly successful in these efforts and its space program has become a comprehensive one that includes not only a robust launch capacity and very large remote sensing satellite systems, but also a very well rounded scientific and deep space exploratory program.

The next major step for India is a first crewed space mission, Gaganyaan, to be undertaken by 2022. This is a very ambitious target, which is important for various reasons. First and foremost, as the Indian space program evolves, this is the next logical step. While one may not see an immediate and direct economic linkage, in the longer-term, such missions are likely to bear fruit, especially in terms of the spin-off technological benefits derived from the mission. Second, Gaganyaan will add great weightage and visibility to the Indian space program, just like the Moon and Mars missions. This is an aspect that India should not shy away from emphasizing as the space security competition picks up momentum. 

Community in Exile: India’s ‘Little Tibet’

By Subir Rana
Source Link

Debating Society or rtsod pa is central to the Gelug sect (also practiced in other sects in varying degrees) especially for earning kenpo degrees. The debate starts with the standing challenger invoking Manjushri, the bodhisattva of wisdom. The seated defender must assert a thesis and attempts to defend its truth. A particular gesture of forcefully hitting one’s palm assures an effective counterpoint in the opponent’s arguments. Each hand and arm represent a part of the rebirth process, with wisdom and compassion all tied into it. A stomp that accompanies the clap is meant to slam closed the door to rebirth.Credit: Subir Rana

Tibet (known as Bod in Tibetan and also called Ü) is a civilization with over two millennia of history. But ever since the invasion by China in 1950, Tibetan culture has been under siege. From the 1960s onwards, more than 150,000 Tibetan refugees have fled into exile to different parts of the world; out of those, an estimated 120,000 refugees remain in various camps and settlements in India today. The journey of the Tibetans in exile to India began after then-Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru announced in the Rajya Sabha (the lower house of India’s parliament) that “the Indian government grants political asylum to the Dalai Lama.”

Hizb ul-Ahrar: Pakistan’s Cross-border Taliban Problem Remains Critical

By: Animesh Roul

Following a notable lull in militant activity, Pakistan is now facing a unique militant escalation targeted against its security forces in the North Waziristan area and bordering regions. Despite the Taliban force largely being subdued following the concerted counter-terrorism efforts by Pakistan’s military, such as Operation Zarb-e-Azb and Radd-ul-Fasaad, a resurgent faction Hizb-ul-Ahrar (HuA) has been carrying out targeted attacks in regular intervals. Although these incidents are downplayed by the Pakistani military as being sporadic and low-scale violence, several Pakistani soldiers and police officers have been killed by HuA in daring targeted assaults in the past year.

HuA, a violent offshoot of Jamaat-ul-Ahrar (JuA) and Pakistan’s Tehrik-e-Taliban (TTP), claimed responsibility for at least four attacks in November 2019. On November 29, at least fourteen people were injured when a bomb planted in a stationary rickshaw detonated near Chauburji on Multan Road in Lahore (Dawn, November 30). On November 12, three Pakistan Army soldiers were killed in North Waziristan’s Miranshah. On November 14, a senior police official, Ghani Khan, was killed in the Mian Gujjar area of Peshawar city (Dawn, November 15). In early November, HuA also claimed responsibility for killing four Pakistani soldiers in North Waziristan’s Razmak area (Gandhara, November 4).

Taliban Legacy/ Offshoot

Strategic Implications of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor

Great power politics is resurgent in South Asia today. China’s growing military ambition in the region is matched in financial terms by its Belt and Road Initiative, the largest and most advanced component of which is the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor. What remains unclear is how the United States should navigate the new dynamic. This report, which is based on research and consultations with experts worldwide, addresses the question of how the India-Pakistan rivalry will play into the emerging great power competition.The Karakoram Highway connects Pakistan and China through the Khunjerab Pass, the highest altitude border crossing in the world. (View Stock/Alamy Stock Photo)

China’s changing role in Pakistan offers an opportunity to examine China in a learning mode, in a challenging environment, and as an actor in the decades-long rivalry between Pakistan and India.

China’s long-term investments in the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) can be explained in at least three ways: to demonstrate China’s attractiveness as a partner; to prove that China’s development model can be exported; and to use Pakistan as an element of its strategic competition with the United States and India.

China-Pakistan to Deepen Military Ties With Arabian Sea Exercises

By Eleanor Albert

China and Pakistan are set to hold joint military exercises in January 2020 in the Arabian Sea. The naval exercises are anticipated to include the participation of a Chinese destroyer, frigate, a supplement ship, and submarine rescue ships, according to China’s Ministry of National Defense.

“The exercise is conducive to deepening security cooperation between the two militaries, consolidating and developing the China-Pakistan all-weather strategic cooperative partnership, and promoting the building of a maritime community with a shared future,” said Ren Guoqiang, the ministry’s spokesman.

The joint drills are significant, especially for China, as it gains experience in conducting operations off of the Pakistani coast in the Arabian Sea. This body of water feeds into the Indian Ocean, a maritime area that has grown in strategic importance as Chinese economic ties have expanded and as the country has sought to modernize its military and establish a blue water navy.

The High Price of Afghanistan’s Disputed 2019 Presidential Election

By Umair Jamal

The preliminary results of the Afghan presidential election are out. According to the data released by Afghanistan’s Election Commission (EC), President Ashraf Ghani has won a slight majority and thus a second term in office.

While it’s encouraging that the presidential election is entering its final phase following months of controversy, the results are suggestive of an ominous outcome in many ways. Afghanistan appears more internally divided than ever, with groups like the Taliban and regional states positioning to take advantage of the ongoing fragmentation to extract maximum benefits.

A map published by the EC shows a treacherous division between the north and south. Ghani is leading or winning in the 16 south and eastern provinces while rival candidate Abdullah Abdullah received the highest number of votes in 18 provinces in the north and central highlands of Afghanistan. This division is not only reflective of a deep ethnic divide in the country, but also suggests that another feud between the leaderships of two sides and their position on key issues is in the offing.

To start, there appears no likelihood of compromise between Ghani and Abdullah as the former has completely endorsed the results and the latter has rejected the outcome and considers it fraudulent and bogus. Several other candidates have raised concerns about the irregularities in the voting system and expect the EC to discard thousands of votes.

The CCP’s Renewed Focus on Ideological Indoctrination, Part 1: The 2019 Guidelines for “Patriotic Education”

By: John Dotson

Author’s Note: This is the first part of a two-part briefing series that will address new directives issued in November 2019 by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) in the field of ideological “education.” This first part examines a new set of directives for intensified “patriotic education,” which is intended to indoctrinate Chinese youth—as well as Chinese society as a whole—with loyalty to the ruling Party. The second part, to appear in our next issue, will examine a new five-year plan recently unveiled by the CCP for ideological training among its own cadres.

Introduction: The Hong Kong Crisis and Beijing’s Renewed Calls for “Patriotic Education”

Per the official narratives of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), the unrest that has roiled the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) throughout 2019 has resulted from a range of causes: these include economic factors such as income inequality and the lack of affordable housing (China Daily, September 9), as well as the alleged sinister influence of foreign forces (China Brief, September 6). However, one of the strongest and most consistent themes promoted by CCP sources is that the youth of Hong Kong lack a proper political consciousness and sense of identity (SCMP, March 4). As stated in an early November op-ed in the state-run China Daily, “The wish for Western-style liberal democracy is a malignant virus that infects places with weakened ideological immune systems… Without addressing this weakness, Hong Kong will face similar, perhaps even worse, problems in the future.” As a result of this, the “most important responsibility” of the city administration is “raising the moral standards of its citizens”—and therefore, “Hong Kong should find a way to improve the patriotic education of its residents” (China Daily, November 6).

Facing Up to China’s Military Interests in the Arctic

By Anne-Marie Brady
Source Link


China’s military ambitions in the Arctic, and its growing strategic partnership with Russia, have rung alarm bells in many governments. In May 2019, for the first time, the U.S. Department of Defense annual report on China’s military capabilities had a section on China’s military interests in the Arctic and the possibility of Chinese submarines operating in the Arctic basin (Department of Defense, May 2019). In August 2019, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg raised concerns about what he diplomatically referred to as “China’s increased presence in the Arctic” (Reuters, August 7).

From a nuclear security point of view, the Arctic is China’s vulnerable northern flank. The flight path of U.S. and Russian intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) targeted at China transit the Arctic. [1] Key components of the U.S. missile defense system are also located in the Arctic.

Chinese submarine-based ballistic missile submarines (SSBNs) operating in the Arctic could restore China’s nuclear deterrence capability (Huanqiu Ribao, October 28, 2013). China currently operates six nuclear-powered attack submarines, four nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarines, and fifty diesel attack submarines, with more under construction. If Chinese nuclear-armed submarines were able to access the Arctic basin undetected, this would be a game-changer for the United States, the NATO states and their partners, and the wider Asia-Pacific (Huanqiu Ribao, April 11, 2012). China would be able to target missiles at the United States and Europe with ease; such ability would strengthen China’s military dominance in Asia and bolster China’s emerging position as a global military power. [2]

How China Sees the Hong Kong Crisis

By Andrew J. Nathan 

Massive and sometimes violent protests have rocked Hong Kong for over 100 days. Demonstrators have put forward five demands, of which the most radical is a call for free, direct elections of Hong Kong’s chief executive and all members of the territory’s legislature: in other words, a fully democratic system of local rule, one not controlled by Beijing. As this brazen challenge to Chinese sovereignty has played out, Beijing has made a show of amassing paramilitary forces just across the border in Shenzhen. So far, however, China has not deployed force to quell the unrest and top Chinese leaders have refrained from making public threats to do so.

Western observers who remember the violent crackdown on pro-democracy demonstrators in Tiananmen Square 30 years ago have been puzzled by Beijing’s forbearance. Some have attributed Beijing’s restraint to a fear of Western condemnation if China uses force. Others have pointed to Beijing’s concern that a crackdown would damage Hong Kong’s role as a financial center for China.

The European Union-Russia-China energy triangle

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This Policy Contribution is a version of a paper prepared for the seminar ‘Trade relations between the EU, China and Russia’, co-organised by the Delegation of the European Union to Russia and Bruegel with the support of the EU Russia Expert Network on Foreign Policy (EUREN). The seminar was funded by the European Union. The content of this paper is the sole responsibility of the author and does not represent the official position of the European Union. Research assistance by Francesco Castorina is gratefully acknowledged.

We argue that energy relations between the EU and Russia and between China and Russia influence each other. We analyse their interactions in terms of four areas: oil and gas trading, electricity exchanges, energy technology exports and energy investments.

We discuss five key hypotheses that describe the likely developments in these four areas in the next decade and their potential impact on Europe:

1. There is no direct competition between the EU and China for Russian oil and gas

2. China and the EU both have an interest in curbing excessive Russian energy rents

3. The EU, Russia and China compete on the global energy technology market, but specialise in different technologies

Europe and China’s Belt and Road Initiative: growing concerns, more strategy

By Gustaaf Geeraerts 
Geopolitical shifts are engendering a transformation of the globalized economic order that has flourished in the post-Cold War period. This trend runs deep and raises structural challenges, – such as the rivalry between different economic models, the competition for technological leadership as well as control over physical and digital connectivity. As the European Union (EU) now accounts for a lower share of world trade, investment, currency holdings, defence expenditure, and development assistance, this shift has also produced growing concerns about the EU’s relative decline and its future economic security.

Burkina Faso: Jihadists’ Ethnic Strategy and the Koglweogo Problem

By: Nicholas Lazarides

The Sahel has quickly become an epicenter of terrorism, with the once relatively stable Burkina Faso on the verge of replacing Mali as a focal point of jihadist violence. Instability from the prolonged conflict in Libya has been emanating into Mali and beyond since the fall of Ghaddafi in 2011 and the subsequent influx of weapons and fighters. This influx, coupled with the lack of effective state control and flexible narratives espoused by terror groups in the region, allowed militant groups to gain a strong foothold in southern Mali. The violence inevitably began to spill across the border into Burkina Faso and Niger as militants expanded operations and found haven near the Sahel Reserve, a protected wildlife area that straddles the borders of the three countries.

The primary jihadist groups responsible for attacks in Burkina Faso are Jama’a Nusrat ul-Islam wa al-Muslimin (JNIM), Islamic State Greater Sahara (ISGS), and the locally grown Ansaroul Islam. The dramatic increase in terrorist attacks in Burkina Faso, however, is not solely indicative of a newfound support base and is as much a reflection of the ease in which these groups can exploit and operate in areas characterized by ethnic diversity and a lack of basic services and state control, particularly by police or security forces. Jihadist groups have been responsible for a staggering number of attacks over the past three years, but the second order effect of widespread communal violence has been equally devastating and, if unchecked, could outlast the existence of these jihadist organizations and become a lasting fixture of Burkinabe society.

Islamic State and AQAP Could Exploit Disorder in Southern Yemen

By: Brian M. Perkins

Though the war in Yemen is far from over, the conflict is at least seemingly moving in a more positive direction as the Saudi coalition is engaging in indirect talks with the Houthis and facilitating a fragile ceasefire referred to as the Riyadh Agreement between the Southern Transitional Council (STC) and the Hadi-led government. While the Saudi coalition is working to address two of the most glaring issues in the war, another key problem has been left festering—the persistence of al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) and Islamic State in Yemen (IS-Y). AQAP is very much still alive and has always been quick to exploit security vacuums and the moments between governance transitions. IS-Y, while not particularly strong, is still capable of playing a spoiler in the war and could see growth if the war provides the operational space.

There has been little concerted effort against AQAP since the group was pushed out of its many traditional safe havens in the coastal regions of Yemen’s southern governorates and corralled deeper into al-Bayda, Hadramawt, and Marib between 2015 and 2016. AQAP’s retreat inland was prompted more by constant pressure from UAE-trained and backed forces—which provided the bulk of the forces fighting in the south—than actions by the Yemeni military and forces loyal to President Hadi or Saudi Arabia.

Terrorism in the age of technology

Terrorists are and have always been children of their time – like you and me. We increasingly make use of modern technology, whether it is by ordering groceries through an app or reading articles selected through artificial intelligence (AI). These benefits come with a downside: those with bad intentions might use these technologies as well.

In this Report for Clingendael’s Strategic Monitor 2019-2020, ICCT Director Renske van der Veer completed a study on Terrorism in the Age of Technology, which aims to put the threat posed by the use of technology in terrorism to the West, more specifically to The Netherlands, in perspective. It will reflect in particular on the signals to watch in the Global Security Pulse on ‘Terrorism in the Age of Tech’ (tracks emerging security trends and risks worldwide). Moreover, it will reflect on the probability and evidence-based nature of the threats that are prominent in this publication and highlight some threats that have not been included.

Read the Report here.

Violent Extremism in the Maldives: The Saudi Factor

By Henry Storey

Last week, the Maldives Independent reported some rather startling news. Security services revealed that there are close to 1,400 Maldivians who would kill in the name of Islam. Officials also confirmed that an Islamic State bomb plot was foiled in 2017 and that, since 2013, 423 Maldivians attempted to enter Iraq and Syria – 173 successfully – to fight for the so-called caliphate. This makes the Maldives possibly the highest per capita source of foreign fighters of any nation.

The Maldives provide an interesting case study of how the international proliferation of Saudi-sponsored Wahhabism has contributed to violent extremism and the radicalization of foreign fighters. Although there are many complex factors contributing to extremism in the Maldives, Saudi proselytization is nonetheless an important factor.

The increasing religious conservatism and intolerance displayed in Maldivian society contrasts sharply with the island nation’s Sufi-orientated Shafi’i Sunni Islam. Interspersed with influences from the country’s Buddhist past, this mellow form of Islam emphasized tolerance. Overt signs of piety were relatively rare, as was religious-inspired violence.

Four Scenarios for Belarus in 2025–2030

By: Artyom Shraibman

Executive Summary

At least three trends will define the future of Belarus until 2025. The role of the state in the economy will continue to decrease. Belarusian foreign policy will continue to become more sovereign. And, unless he drops his widely announced plans, President Alyaksandr Lukashenka will amend Belarus’s constitutional framework so as to prepare for a smooth transition of power. However, in the long run (2030 onward), a lot may depend on two key factors, the development of which is hard to predict today: Russia’s policy toward Belarus, and the Belarusian regime’s capability to weather economic woes while avoiding domestic political turbulence and serious repressions. This study considers four possible future scenarios, examining various combinations of these two variables.

Introduction: The Kingdom of Stability?

Starting from the early 21st century, most of the former Soviet republics of Eastern Europe and the Caucasus have experienced a series of headwinds—pivots of foreign policy, revolutions and even wars—all of which have changed the face of the region. Seemingly, only Belarus, according to its own strong truism, could boast a level of enduring stability. However, this impression is only partly true.

Indeed, Belarus has kept its borders and political system untouched, largely due to its personality-based authoritarianism, with no ruling party, clans or oligarchy, and buttressed by minimal social inequality and selective repressions against the most unwanted opposition members. Yet, this situation changed by the second half of the 2010s, when the country began to face mounting internal and regional challenges.

Air University

Air and Space Power Journal, v. 33, no. 4, Winter 2019

o Unfinished Business: Refining the Air Component Structure

o Space Power and the Foundations of an Independent Space Force

o Evaluating the Train-Advise-Assist Mission Impact on Engineering and Facilities Management in the Afghan Air Force

o Leadership and Ethics across the Continuum of Learning: The Ethical Leadership Framework

o Consolidating and Automating Social Media Impacts to Risk

o On Critical Thinking: It Takes Habits of Mind and Patterns of Inquiry

o The US Air Force Suicide Prevention Program and Our Airmen Today

o A Case for Open Mission Systems in DOD Aircraft Avionics

A Public, Private War: How the U.S. Government and U.S. Technology Sector Can Build Trust and Better Prepare for Conflict in the Digital Age

A new report co-published by the Center for Long-Term Cybersecurity and Technology for Global Security (Tech4GS) provides a blueprint for how the U.S. government and private-sector companies can collaborate to prepare for a cyberwar or other massive cyberattack on U.S. interests.

Authored by Jonathan Reiber, former Chief Strategy Officer for Cyber Policy and speechwriter in the Office of the Secretary of Defense, A Public, Private War: How the U.S. Government and U.S. Technology Sector Can Build Trust and Better Prepare for Conflict in the Digital Age outlines a series of policy recommendations for both the government and companies to improve their preparedness. “At some point in the future the United States will likely enter into escalating hostilities with a cyber-capable adversary,” Reiber writes. “Public-private preparation for war is an uncomfortable but necessary process to prepare for that day or, better, help deter that day from ever arriving.”

Drawing on interviews with leaders from both the public and private sectors, the report details past examples of cooperation between the public and private sectors—for example, when the national security community and IT firms cooperated to close a vulnerability in computers’ Basic Input/Output System (BIOS)—as well as instances when trust between the public and private sectors degraded, including the release of classified information by Edward Snowden and protests at Google over the company’s participation in contracts with the U.S. Defense Department. “These stories and others should inform the government and the private sector’s approach to cybersecurity planning,” Reiber writes.

Conflicts to Watch in 2020

Paul B. Stares
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Each year since 2008, the Council on Foreign Relations’ Center for Preventive Action (CPA) asks foreign policy experts to rank thirty ongoing or potential conflicts based on how likely they are to occur or escalate in the next year, and their possible impact on U.S. interests.

This year, “perhaps as an indication of rising concern about the state of the world, respondents rated more threats as likely to require a U.S. military response for 2020 than in any other Preventive Priorities Survey (PPS) from the last eleven years,” notes Paul B. Stares, CPA director and General John W. Vessey senior fellow for conflict prevention. “Of the thirty conflicts in this year’s survey, only two were judged as having a low likelihood of occurring in 2020.”

Experts continue to rank threats to the U.S. homeland as top concerns. For the second year in a row, a highly disruptive cyberattack on critical infrastructure, including electoral systems, was the top-ranked homeland security–­­related concern. A mass-casualty terrorist attack was a close second. A confrontation between the United States and Iran, North Korea, or with China in the South China Sea remain the biggest concerns overseas.

Brexit, the Democratic Question in Europe, and the Future of the EU

Rosa Balfour

The United Kingdom is holding elections in which polarized political leaders claim to represent the people against the elite. As British-based Turkish novelist Elif Shafak recently noted, this inflammatory language has been the soundtrack accompanying the deterioration of democracy around Europe.[1] Brexit is emblematic of a generalized complacency about the strength of European democracies, and not just the product of the United Kingdom’s politics. It is also symptomatic of a new European fissiparousness that is likely to accelerate further fragmentation across the continent, also as a consequence of Brexit. Improving the health of its democracies will be critical if Europe wants to offer an alternative to the global disorder, power politics, and illiberalism that are taking hold.
A British Quagmire 

In 1941 George Orwell wrote: 

Probably the battle of Waterloo was won on the playing-fields of Eton, but the opening battles of all subsequent wars have been lost there. One of the dominant facts in English life during the past three quarters of a century has been the decay of ability in the ruling class.[2]

The Future of Fires: Maximising the UK’s Tactical and Operational FirepowerJack Watling

The UK’S 2015 National Security Strategy made clear that there was a risk that Russia would undertake offensive operations against NATO, and that the UK should maintain a credible deterrence posture. The ground forces’ contribution to this posture was framed as a warfighting division. Critical to any divisional formation are its fires, which shape the battlespace, protect Allied forces by eliminating enemy guns, break up enemy force concentrations, and enable friendly ground manoeuvre by destroying adversary enablers and suppressing their manoeuvre elements. The UK currently possesses a critical shortage of artillery, and the army lacks the transportation capacity to deploy and sustain a credible divisional fires group. If conventional deterrence is to remain a key component of the UK’s National Security Strategy, then the modernisation of its fires capabilities should be a top priority.

Modernisation should not simply replicate existing platforms. There are four capability trends that are transforming the delivery of fires. The first is range, which may be expected to increase by 50% to 100% across most platforms by 2040. The second is the maturation of active seeker munitions able to autonomously course correct, which is simplifying kill chains, and improving the probability of kill (PK) of fires systems. The third is the ability to rapidly fuse sensor data to centrally coordinate large numbers of guns. Finally, there are an increasing array of effective defensive measures which, though small in number and with a limited range, can produce protected nodes on the battlefield.

Seeing Is No Longer Believing: Deepfakes, Cheapfakes and the Limits of Deception

Emilia Anna Porubcin
Source Link

Claiming another person’s identity is a practice that stretches all the way from ancient Rome to imperial Russia. Today’s technology, however, has introduced a bevy of tools that enhance and complicate duplicity online. One such tool has garnered significant interest from academia, industry, and the public, in recent years but especially in recent months: deepfakes. A portmanteau of “deep learning” and “fakes,” deepfakes are videos altered with the help of artificial intelligence (AI) algorithms, often to portray one individual performing words or behavior of the deepfake creator’s choice.

This paper explores the social and political ramifications of deepfakes. It documents their recent uses, surveys regulatory responses from both the private and public sectors, and explores the landscape of recommendations that have been made for their further regulation. In straying from a purely technical understanding of deepfakes and their effectiveness, this paper seeks to emphasize the value of non-regulatory responses to potentially malicious technologies. Deepfakes sit at the confluence of several consequential issues, including privacy, free speech, online identity, and who is in charge of defending these values. Their intersection produces an invaluable, and perhaps unprecedented, space for constructing and understanding information online. Finding a solution that can mitigate deepfakes’ negative use cases without hampering their positive assets will grant digital citizens a degree of freedom online that might be difficult to secure so effectively in any other environment.

Can Malaysia Solve Its Big Migrant Worker Challenge?

By Luke Hunt

Since Mahathir Mohammad was returned to power last year in a shock election, Malaysia has initiated some reforms that have been welcomed relative to previous years. That includes amendments to laws governing capital punishment as well as more transparency in areas such as defense, which had been a source of corruption previously.

One of the areas of reform to watch is with respect to labor and the treatment of migrant workers. Overseas workers, numbering around 6 or 7 million from countries such as Nepal and Bangladesh and making up nearly half of Malaysia’s labor force by one count, have often been prone to human trafficking and other forms or abuse. This has at times affected the country’s foreign relations too: Indonesia and Cambodia, also key sources of migrant workers to Malaysia, have previously banned maids from going to Malaysia after cases of abuse.

The challenge is a big one for Malaysia. Of the 6 million estimated migrant workers, about half are characterized as illegal, with many working as indentured labor on construction sites, as domestic helpers, and on palm oil plantations. The overwhelming majority of foreign workers toil for paltry pay, long hours and often amid poor conditions. Domestics live in-house and work seven days a week and all have only limited, if any, legal access for wrongful dismissal. According to the Global Slavery Index, about 212,000 are “trapped in slavery” and that underpins Malaysia’s low ranking on the U.S. State Department’s 2019 Trafficking in Persons list.

National Cyber Security Strategy 2016 to 2021: progress so far

The National Cyber Security Strategy 2016 to 2021 and progress so far against its strategic outcomes.
Published 31 May 2019


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The National Cyber Security Strategy 2016 to 2021 set out the government’s plan to make Britain secure and resilient in cyberspace. With two years of the Strategy remaining, this report sets out the progress we have made so far and the impact our interventions are having.

National Security Strategy for 5G: Findings & Recommendations on Meeting the 5G Challenge

The Trilateral Cyber Security Commission was formed to make recommendations to the governments of the United States, Japan, and like-minded European countries individually and collectively to improve the security of their information networks. Some of the most critical challenges to all these countries are the economic and security risks of future 5G networks. These rapidly developing networks will become a new and dominant form of critical infrastructure. Unless the free market democratic countries can develop polices and take actions in the near term, China is poised to dominate this emerging market and could use its position to undermine the national security of its adversaries.

To develop effective policies for the long term, it is necessary to differentiate between the systemic information security threat of integrating foreign-made gear into 5G networks, on the one hand, and the economic dangers of China’s government-orchestrated unfair trade practices and intellectual property theft, on the other. In the midst of a trade dispute driven by China’s massive trade imbalance with the West, there is an understandable temptation to handle all three related challenges—information security, mercantilism and trade deficits—with a single approach. However, a sustained successful response requires that they be treated separately. The following observations summarize the major points supporting this conclusion and ultimately, drive the Commission’s recommendations on 5G:

The Department of Defense Posture for Artificial Intelligence

by Danielle C. Tarraf,

Research Questions

What is the state of AI relevant to the DoD?

What is the DoD’s current posture in AI?

What internal actions, external engagements, and potential legislative or regulatory actions might enhance the DoD’s posture in AI?

The 2019 National Defense Authorization Act mandated a study on artificial intelligence (AI) topics. In this report, RAND Corporation researchers assess the state of AI relevant to the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD), and address misconceptions about AI; they carry out an independent and introspective assessment of the Department of Defense's posture for AI; and they share a set of recommendations for internal actions, external engagements, and potential legislative or regulatory actions to enhance the Department of Defense's posture in AI.

Key Findings

If You Can’t See ’em, You Can’t Shoot ’em: Improving US Intelligence, Surveillance, Reconnaissance, and Targeting

Seth Cropsey

The United States today faces the greatest challenge to its international stature since the mid-twentieth century. America’s adversaries, despite their differences, threaten to come together in a coalition that can dominate Eurasia and by extension, jeopardize American strategic interests and values globally.

Of several potential flashpoints for confrontation, the Western Pacific has the potential to be the most decisive. The most powerful of the three US rivals is Asian, and it is the only adversary with the economic and political power to field a technologically sophisticated, quantitatively superior military force.

Of course, there has been a noticeable, necessary, and welcome increase in discussion of America’s operational and theater strategies in the Pacific, alongside a military and civilian focus on responding to renewed great power competition. But there is a current lack of appreciation for the critical role of intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance, and targeting (ISR/T) capabilities in naval combat success. This operational blind spot has concrete ramifications for the balance of power in the Western Pacific and the ability of the United States to force a political settlement without conflict.

Competing in the Gray Zone

by Stacie L. Pettyjohn, Becca Wasser

How are gray zone activities defined? What are different types of gray zone tactics?

Where are vulnerabilities to gray zone tactics in Europe? What are those vulnerabilities?

Recent events in Crimea and the Donbass in eastern Ukraine have upended relations between Russia and the West, specifically the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and the European Union (EU). Although Russia's actions in Ukraine were, for the most part, acts of outright aggression, Russia has been aiming to destabilize both its "near abroad" — the former Soviet states except for the Baltics — and wider Europe through the use of ambiguous "gray zone" tactics. These tactics include everything from propaganda and disinformation to election interference and the incitement of violence.

To better understand where there are vulnerabilities to Russian gray zone tactics in Europe and how to effectively counter them, the RAND Corporation ran a series of war games. These games comprised a Russian (Red) team, which was tasked with expanding its influence and undermining NATO unity, competing against a European (Green) team and a U.S. (Blue) team, which were aiming to defend their allies from Red's gray zone activities without provoking an outright war. In these games, the authors of this report observed patterns of behavior from the three teams that are broadly consistent with what has been observed in the real world. This report presents key insights from these games and from the research effort that informed them.

Army Fires Capabilities for 2025 and Beyond

by John Gordon IV

What are the likely possible operational environments of the 2025 and beyond time frame?

What are the currently planned and programmed fires capabilities of the Army and other services?

What are the likely conventional threats that U.S. fires units can expect to confront, both in terms of hostile intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) and counterfire threats to U.S. artillery and joint fires systems and in terms of targets that the Army and joint fires will be expected to engage?

What fires capabilities will the Army require to meet these threats?

What actions should the Army consider taking from today to roughly 2030 to strengthen the field artillery?

NIDS International SymposiumNIDS International Symposium (FY 2018)

"A New Strategic Environment and Roles of Ground Forces"

Foreword, Contents(PDF)

Part1 The Past, Present and Future of Ground Forces

Chapter1 An Historical Perspective of American Land Power(PDF)

Conrad C. Crane

Chapter2 Towards an Australian Marine Corps?
Australian Land Power and the Battle between Geography and History(PDF)

Peter J. Dean