25 January 2020

Force Development Options for India by 2030

By Chris Dougherty

Strategists and military force planners in India and the United States are grappling with a similar set of challenges posed by China’s military modernization and increasingly aggressive foreign policy. While the overall challenge may be similar, India’s responses must conform to India’s unique strategic position rather than attempt to emulate the United States in reduced form. Moreover, while increased budgets and institutional defense reform may improve India’s capacity, these efforts are politically and bureaucratically difficult and cannot singlehandedly solve the challenges India faces in competing with China.

This paper proceeds in three parts. The first part compares the strategic situations of India and the United States vis-à-vis China and uses the contrasts in this analysis to shade in the outlines and assumptions for the rest of the paper. Next, the paper explores two specific military challenges—one on the land border and one at sea—that China could pose, and recommends Indian strategies and operational responses. Finally, the paper concludes with force-planning recommendations for India based on the demands of these responses and informed by the core strategic assumptions laid out in the first section.

Can The Korean War Teach India How to Defeat China?

Michael Peck

How can India defeat China in a war, even though China has a larger and more technologically advanced military? By essentially using the same tactics that China successfully used to fight the United States in the Korean War in 1950-53.

How can India defeat China in a war, even though China has a larger and more technologically advanced military?

By essentially using the same tactics that China successfully used to fight the United States in the Korean War in 1950-53. Hit-and-run tactics in which Indian troops lurk in the Himalaya mountains, and then swooping down to surprise Chinese troops in the valleys below.

That’s the argument of an American defense expert who believes that India and America face parallel threats. While America is concerned about the security of the Western Pacific, India must worry about its disputed Himalayas border with China – over which the two nations fought in 1962 – as well as a growing Chinese presence in the Indian Ocean.

Why the U.S.-China Cold War Will Be Different

by Robert D. Kaplan
Source Link

The United States and China are locked in a rivalry over trade, technology, military control of the South and East China seas, and increasingly over ideology and human rights. The two countries have been in a cyberwar for years already, featuring Chinese attacks on the Pentagon’s personnel system and the U. S. Navy’s ship maintenance records. There is a military build-up on both sides in the direction of great power conflict. Yet, neither side sees it remotely in its self-interest to initiate a violent clash. In short, this is a cold war, but vastly different from the cold war between the United States and the Soviet Union.

China’s cultural genius and geographical capacity surpass that of the Soviet Union. Whereas the northern coastline of the Soviet Union was ice-blocked for much of the year, and historic Russia has been a frigid and insecure land power with few natural frontiers, infusing an all-encompassing and debilitating “cynicism” into its national spirit, as Joseph Conrad observed, China, with a shoreline in the temperate zone extending 9,000 miles along one of the world’s major shipping lanes, constitutes a mineral-rich continent, able to be both a land and sea power. Moreover, China’s 3,500-year-old succession of dynasties, of which Mao Zedong’s is only the most recent, has bequeathed it with a legacy of institutional order and self-confidence appreciably greater than Russia’s. Russia produces few exportable consumer goods, even as China’s fifth-generation mobile network, led by Huawei Technologies, constitutes stiff competition for our own, with a revenue of $122 billion in 2019. There is, too, China’s key role in supply chains for the world’s most desired electronic products; famously the Apple iPhone. There is not the old Soviet Union that could produce hydrogen bombs and little else.

With Brexit imminent, what are the chances of a UK trade deal with China?

Rana Mitter

Last week, Donald Trump and Liu He, the Chinese vice-premier, signed phase one of a new trade arrangement between the US and China. The talks surrounding the agreement have been tortuous, leading to fears that the world could be caught up in a trade conflict between these two economic giants. The signing showed there is space for compromise as well as confrontation in dealing with China, but the negotiations illustrate the difficulties of dealing with a US that has embraced economic nationalism and a China whose markets are still restricted in many important areas.

Nonetheless, as Britain prepares to leave the EU, there has been a resurgence of interest in the possibility of a major UK trade deal with Beijing. Just days after the 2016 referendum, the incoming Brexit secretary, David Davis, declared that “trade deals with the US and China alone will give us a trade area almost twice the size of the EU”. 

A deal in exchange for pressure on politicians to avoid discussion of issues like Hong Kong would be too high a price for the UK

The Trade War between the United States and China: The “Phase One” Deal is only the First Step

Doron Ella, Shira Efron
Source Link

On January 15, 2020, the United States and China signed an interim agreement as a first phase toward a comprehensive deal that will end the trade war between the two countries. However, the actual achievement is questionable, since the key components of the agreement focus on at least partial elimination of the tariffs imposed during the trade war, while the American demand that China reduce its subsidies to state-owned Chinese enterprises – which give Chinese companies advantages over other companies – was left out of the agreement. Therefore, it appears that the agreement constitutes primarily a first step toward restoring the commercial relations between China and the United States to what they were before the trade war began. In terms of United States allies, including Israel, the agreement seems to constitute a ceasefire enabling dialogue in a calmer atmosphere. US pressure with regard to 5G cellular communications and against technological cooperative efforts with China, and the American demand for supervision over Chinese investments and acquisitions in Israel, can be expected to continue. 

What Americans Don’t Understand About China’s Power

By David Leonhardt

Chinese leaders stretching back to Deng Xiaoping have often thought in terms of decades. A decade encompasses two of China’s famous five-year plans, and it’s a long-enough period to notice real changes in a country’s trajectory.

As it happens, I spent time in China at both ends of the decade that just ended, first in 2010 and again recently. And I was left with one main conclusion: China has just enjoyed a very good decade.

Yes, it still has big problems, including the protests in Hong Kong. But by the standards that matter most to China’s leaders, the country made major gains during the 2010s. Its economy is more diversified. Its scientific community is more advanced, and its surveillance state more powerful. Its position in Asia is stronger. China, in short, has done substantially more to close the gap with the global power that it is chasing — the United States — than seemed likely a decade ago.

Many Americans, of course, understand that China is on the rise and are anxious about it. Yet I also returned from my trip thinking that this American anxiety tends to be misplaced in one crucial way: China is not preordained to supplant or even match the United States as the world’s leading power. China’s challenges are real, not just the protests in Hong Kong but also the dissent in Xinjiang and Tibet, the bloat in its state-run companies and the looming decline in its working-age population.

How to avoid a war in the Taiwan Strait

From the facts set out in Parts 1 and 2, one reasonably, albeit reluctantly, concludes that a war in the Taiwan Strait might escalate and spread, with harmful effects on societies, commercial activities, economies and the entire global structure that has existed since 1945. How did this happen?
How we got here

The West and other nations wasted decades expecting that if they accommodated Beijing, the PRC would liberalize and adjust its behavior to the US-led world system. Yet, it was clear at least 20 years ago that this was not going to happen – that China was a military, political, and economic threat. In effect, the US created and funded its principal enemy.

It is as maddening as it was avoidable. And throughout, Taiwan was given the bare minimum of support in hopes the PRC would appreciate the favor. Beijing did not. It smiled smugly, pocketed the concessions – and screamed for more while turning up the heat on Taiwan.

Such is life. But studying what happened is useful. Not least, it shows what works and what doesn’t when dealing with the PRC. Of course, any study of history going back 2,500 years tells one plenty about dealing with powerful, aggressive, covetous nations.
Avoiding a fight

Oman After Qaboos: A National and Regional Void

Simon Henderson

The Washington Institute has been sponsoring a series of discussions about sudden succession in the Middle East. Each session focuses on scenarios that might unfold if a specific ruler or leader departed the scene tomorrow. Questions include these: Would the sudden change lead to different policies? Would it affect the stability of the respective countries involved, or the region as a whole? What would be the impact on U.S. interests? Would the manner of a leader's departure make a difference? The discussions also probe how the U.S. government might adjust to the new situation or influence outcomes.

This essay, tenth in the series, covers Oman, a Gulf nation ruled by Sultan Qaboos bin Said since 1970, when he overthrew his own father. Qaboos has enjoyed wide popularity over his five decades in power, helping to build national cohesion and guiding his country into the modern era. But the sultan is seventy-nine years old and has a history of illness. To ensure national stability and continued progress, his successor will have to enact far-reaching economic reforms, aimed especially at broadening the economy beyond its current oil dependence. At the same time, a new sultan will need to navigate challenges posed by powerful neighbors such as Iran, the UAE, and Saudi Arabia.

Iran’s Cyber Attack on Billionaire Adelson Provides Lesson on Strategy

Alyza Sebenius, Kartikay Mehrotra and William Turton

(Bloomberg) -- As the U.S. awaits possible retribution over a recent airstrike that killed a top general, there’s at least one American businessman who can attest, in detail, to what happened after he provoked Iran.

In October 2013, Sheldon Adelson, the casino magnate and prominent supporter of conservative politicians and Israel, appeared on a panel in New York in which he suggested that the U.S. could send a message to Iran, regarding its nuclear ambitions, by detonating an American warhead in the middle of the Iranian desert.

“You want to be wiped out? Go ahead and take a tough position,” said Adelson, who later became a major supporter of President Donald Trump. His comments infuriated Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who two weeks later said America “should slap these prating people in the mouth.”

Months later, in February 2014, hackers inserted malware into the computer networks of Adelson’s Las Vegas casino. The withering cyber-attack laid waste to about three quarters of the company’s Las Vegas servers; the cost of recovering data and building new systems cost $40 million or more.

Bashar al-Assad’s Hollow Victory

By Lina Khatib 

President Bashar al-Assad’s regime in Syria has now endured through nearly nine years of civil conflict. The question for those invested in Syria’s future is no longer whether the regime will survive but how it will seek to consolidate its power before ending the war still ravaging the country. Assad may have entered battle thinking that his regime could retain the authority it enjoyed before 2011, but today his goals are likely more modest.

Their circumscription, however, does not make Assad’s current priorities less dangerous. They may even be more so. In order to demonstrate to the world that he remains in control and that relations with his regime should be normalized, Assad will undoubtedly seek to take back all of the country’s former territory. In order to sustain his regime internally, he will not dally with meeting the needs of the Syrian people but aspire to bare survival, which he can achieve by maintaining the patronage network that has become the Syrian regime’s lifeline throughout the conflict.

But if Assad realizes these minimalist aims—survival and the restoration of Syria’s territory—his victory will be a Pyrrhic one. He will sit atop a hollow state with weak institutions, beset with war profiteers, and subservient to external powers.

How Would Israel Attack Iran?

by Ehud Eilam

In July 2019 Iran announced it would break the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) by enriching more uranium than allowed under the agreement. If Iran gets closer to producing a nuclear weapon then the United States might stop this process by force. If not, then Israel might choose to attack Iran’s nuclear sites. This article explores how Israel could attack Iran’s nuclear sites if the country chose to do so.
Capabilities of the Israeli Air Force

The IAF has hundreds of aircraft, mostly fighter bombers such as F-15I, F-16I and the new F- 35 which would spearhead any attack on Iran’s nuclear facilities. Those aircraft carry a variety of munitions, including the GBU-28 “bunker buster”. The F-35 has already been used in combat by Israel in Syria. The IAF also has several kinds of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV), notably the Heron with a payload of 2,700kg, that could participate in the strike by gathering intelligence and attacking objectives. 

Whilst Israel has the capability, the core military problem is distance. Iran is more than 1,000 kilometres from Israel and at the limits of the IAF’s capability. The IAF would need to support this attack with air to air refuelling tankers, tankers which are vulnerable to attack adding risk to the operation. Israeli air planners would need to consider trade offs for refuelling including how to avoid detection and recovery plans. One way of mitigating this problem would be by mounting, or supporting, the operation from countries closer to Iran in the Gulf States.

Regional Assistance and Escalation

The 2019 UK PONI Papers

by Sam Dudin and Chelsey Wiley

The 2019 UK Project on Nuclear Issues (UK PONI) Annual Conference gathered established and emerging experts from academia, industry, government and the military to share insights and debate a broad range of civil and military topics. Emerging experts who gave presentations at the conference have adapted those presentations for this publication.

There are two primary factors which make this conference different from many others. First, UK PONI is a broad church – it prides itself on transcending many of the barriers between the various nuclear communities, including those between the deterrence and disarmament communities, and the technical and policy communities. The authors within this publication cover an extremely diverse array of positions.

Second, this conference specifically focuses on developing the next generation of nuclear experts in academia, industry, government and the military by giving emerging experts a platform to present and publish their research. And because these experts are emerging, their research is often more novel than that of established experts.

All views expressed in this publication are the authors’ own, and do not necessarily reflect those of the authors’ institutions, UK PONI or RUSI.

Henley Putnam University

· Journal of Strategic Security, 2019, v. 12, no. 4 https://scholarcommons.usf.edu/jss/vol12/iss4/

o Huachicoleros: Criminal Cartels, Fuel Theft, and Violence in Mexico

o Profiling Lone-Actor Terrorists: A Cross-Sectional Study of Lone-actor Terrorists in Western Europe (2015–2016)

o Can Volunteer Forces Deter Great Power War? Evidence from the Baltics

o The Future of Strategic Information and Cyber-Enabled Information Operations

o Delegated Interstate War: Introducing an Addition to Armed Conflict Typologies

As World Economy Shifts Gears, Trade Growth Slows

By Adam Tooze
Source Link

As the global business and political elite gather at Davos this year, the question remains open: Is the trade war on? Or is it off again?

As far as China and the United States are concerned, a tenuous truce seems to have been declared. Phase 1, signed last week, eases some Trump administration sanctions on China in return for Beijing’s vow to step up its purchases of American farm products and other goods.

But cheer not. Few experts believe that this opens a path to Phase 2 and beyond.

The ongoing trade challenges lie not only with China. In an election year, the Europeans, with their trade surpluses in autos and luxury goods, could also be a tempting target for President Trump.

Adding to the uncertainty is the administration’s decision to block the World Trade Organization from adding members to its appellate court, crippling the organization’s ability to rule in trade disputes.

Trump’s Growing European Base

Source Link

Over the last year, European anti-Americanism has ebbed somewhat, thanks in large part to the sentiments of right-wing populists enamored with U.S. President Donald Trump. Their fond feelings have created a surprising opportunity for Washington to repair the trans-Atlantic relationship that it has recently done so much to dismantle.

If there is one unifying sentiment among supporters of the Alternative for Germany (AfD), Italy’s Lega Nord, the Sweden Democrats, the National Rally in France, and the UK Independence Party (UKIP), it is that they all increasingly approve of Trump. That’s rooted in the extreme right’s soft spot for authoritarians and Trump’s own anti-immigrant stance.

To be sure, among the general public, Trump is still extremely unpopular in most of Europe. Just 13 percent of Germans, 18 percent of Swedes, and 20 percent of the French have confidence in him to do the right thing in world affairs, according to a recent survey by the Pew Research Center. These numbers are a fraction of Europeans’ support for U.S. President Barack Obama in his last year. Only in Poland do half of those surveyed back Trump. Overall antipathy to the U.S. president has been prevalent since Trump was elected. As a senior German official told me in 2017: “It took George Bush eight years to become this unpopular. It took Donald Trump four months!”

Japan and Myanmar’s Toxic Friendship

By Yuzuki Nagakoshi
Source Link

Myanmar offered the starving Japanese people affordable rice in the early 1950s, when Japan was struggling to recover from World War II. Japan is paying the people back by supporting Myanmar’s apartheid regime against the Rohingya.

The 2016-17 violence that bore the hallmarks of genocide was only a tip of the iceberg of the Myanmar government’s longstanding discriminatory policies. Marzuki Darusman, the head of the UN Independent International Fact-Finding Mission on Myanmar, stated in October 2019 that Myanmar is still failing to prevent, investigate, and effectively criminalize genocide. The threat of extreme violence recurring is real. Myanmar has perpetrated rounds of violence since the 1970s, and the international community failed to protect the Rohingya every time.

In the International Court of Justice proceedings that The Gambia brought against Myanmar, Aung San Suu Kyi denied the allegations that genocide is ongoing in her country. She portrayed the situation as an armed conflict, counterinsurgency, counterterrorism operations, and intercommunal violence, without any genocidal intent involved. Apart from the time she referred to the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army, she never used the word “Rohingya” in her speech — following the official policy of her government, which claims that the Rohingya are illegal immigrants from Bangladesh and not native to Myanmar. That the Rohingya are illegal immigrants is a fully debunked yet common misbelief among people in Myanmar and such a notion underlies the disenfranchisement and persecution of the Rohingya.

Its rivals and allies are both looking at other options

Ever since the dollar cemented its role as the world’s dominant currency in the 1950s, it has been clear that America’s position as the sole financial superpower gives it extraordinary influence over other countries’ economic destinies. But it is only under President Donald Trump that America has used its powers routinely and to their full extent, by engaging in financial warfare. The results have been awe-inspiring and shocking. They have in turn prompted other countries to seek to break free of American financial hegemony.

In 2018 America’s Treasury put legal measures in place that prevented Rusal, a strategically important Russian aluminium firm, from freely accessing the dollar-based financial system—with devastating effect. Overnight it was unable to deal with many counterparties. Western clearing houses refused to settle its debt securities. The price of its bonds collapsed (the restrictions were later lifted). America now has over 30 active financial- and trade-sanctions programmes. On January 10th it announced measures that the treasury secretary, Steven Mnuchin, said would “cut off billions of dollars of support to the Iranian regime”. The State Department, meanwhile, said that Iraq could lose access to its government account at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. That would restrict Iraq’s use of oil revenues, causing a cash crunch and flattening its economy.

NATO Is Expanding, and Everyone Is Curiously Silent


North Macedonia has existed, technically, for only about a year. Not the nation itself—that country, an outgrowth of the Yugoslavian collapse, will soon be entering its fourth decade as an independent polity. But “North Macedonia” only came into being in early 2019, when the Macedonian government in Skopje officially changed the country’s name from “Macedonia.” The name change eased an ongoing dispute with the Greek government, which claimed that Macedonian nationalists had designs on the similarly named region in northern Greece.

The dispute was, for a region buffeted by bloodshed in the 1990s, a clear victory for the forces of dialogue. “They had imagination, they took the risk, they were ready to sacrifice their own interests for the greater good,” Donald Tusk, then serving as European Council president, said at the time. It was, in a very real sense, inspirational: After nearly three decades of tension over the country’s name, Skopje and Athens found a solution that pleased both polities. More importantly, the deal eased North Macedonia’s path firmly into the European fold, ending Greek reservations that had prevented North Macedonia’s formal move into NATO. With Greece’s concerns alleviated, Athens stepped up as a champion for Macedonia’s rush toward Europe.

5 reasons why US-Europe tensions will grow in the 2020s — and how to stop it


The United States’s strike on an Iranian commander opened another rift with its European allies. Transatlantic relations are at a low. From Iran to trade with China to climate change, the two sides of the Atlantic disagree: the West is split. 

Many in Europe blame President Trump for the situation — and, indeed, the Trump administration clearly bears some responsibility. But transatlantic tensions run much deeper than America's 45th president. Without corrective action, the U.S. and Europe will drift further apart over the 2020s, regardless of who sits in the Oval Office.

U.S. tensions with Europe are not new. The Iraq War famously divided the Atlantic partners. But previous fallouts have been over policy. Today, the very concept and value of the transatlantic alliance is questioned. Donald Trump is the first modern U.S. president to undermine, rather than encourage, European integration; to view the European Union as a threat instead of an ally; to inject conditionality and uncertainty into NATO.

With Reshuffle at the Top, the Kremlin Consolidates Russia

By: Pavel Felgenhauer

President Vladimir Putin once again surprised everyone by using his annual address to a joint session of both houses of parliament to announce constitutional changes, a government reshuffle and the ouster of his long-time loyal subordinate, Dmitry Medvedev (54). The dismissed prime minister has been working with Putin since the early 1990s, in the St. Petersburg city administration. And he served as quasi-figurehead president of Russia from 2008 to 2012 to allow Putin to bypass the constitutional rule forbidding more than two consecutive presidential terms by temporarily taking the position of head of government—though continuing to serve as the de facto ruler of Russia throughout this period. In 2011, at a congress of the ruling United Russia party, Medvedev announced he would not seek reelection and was duly replaced by Putin in 2012. Medvedev was rewarded for his presidential seat warming with the post of prime minister from 2012 to 2020; but now, he has been ousted and offered the post of deputy chair of the Security Council (SC)—a position that legally does not exist. In accordance with Article 83 of the Russian Constitution, the SC is a presidential consultative body and is chaired by the president; it has a secretary, permanent and appointed members, but no deputy. To create this position for Medvedev, legislation must be introduced and approved and signed by Putin (Interfax, January 15, 2020). According to the Russian president, in his new capacity Medvedev will be working on “defense and security issues.” But those are, in essence, Putin’s main field of personal responsibility. Medvedev could end up playing a grand title role with little substance. Apparently, Medvedev will continue as chair of the United Russia party—also a superficial title since all day-to-day party work is run by its general secretary, Andrei Turchak (Interfax, January 16, 2020).

Global Risks Report 2020

The 15th edition of the World Economic Forum’s Global Risks Report is published as critical risks are manifesting. The global economy is facing an increased risk of stagnation, climate change is striking harder and more rapidly than expected, and fragmented cyberspace threatens the full potential of next-generation technologies — all while citizens worldwide protest political and economic conditions and voice concerns about systems that exacerbate inequality. The challenges before us demand immediate collective action, but fractures within the global community appear to only be widening. Stakeholders need to act quickly and with purpose within an unsettled global landscape.

How may quantum computing affect Artificial Intelligence?

The use of quantum algorithms in artificial intelligence techniques will boost machines’ learning abilities. This will lead to improvements in the development, among others, of predication systems, including those of the financial industry. However, we’ll have to wait to start these improvements being rolled out.

The processing power required to extract value from the unmanageable swaths of data currently being collected, and especially to apply artificial intelligence techniques such as machine learning, keeps increasing. Researchers have been trying to figure out a way to expedite these processes applying quantum computing algorithms to artificial intelligence techniques, giving rise in the process to a new discipline that’s been dubbed Quantum Machine Learning (QML).

The race to make good on quantum computing is well underway. Millions of dollars have been allocated to developing machines that could cause current computers to become obsolete. But, what is the difference between quantum and classical computing? This is a puzzle that is beginning to be unraveled.

2030: from technology optimism to technology realism

We stand at a critical juncture to put technologies to work in a responsible way.

The Fourth Industrial Revolution can help achieve the SDGs this decade.

70% of the targets could be enabled by already deployed technology applications.

Today’s technological revolution is a time of enormous promise, but also new challenges. As we enter the 2020s it is clear that we are far from unlocking the potential of technology for our toughest challenges.

We are entering a new era where powerful Fourth Industrial Revolution technologies like artificial intelligence (AI) are being infused at exponential speed into the world around us. As organizations and countries race to harness these new technologies to spur growth and competitiveness, we stand at a critical juncture to put these technologies to work in a responsible way for people and the planet.

Data localisation may cause cyber attacks, hurt privacy, business competitiveness, says think tank

By: Sandeep Soni 

Data localisation, if implemented, without adequate preparation and accountability measures, may reduce freedom of speech while enhancing risks of censorship, privacy violations, data breaches and cyber-attacks.

The experts also questioned the ability of law enforcement agencies in fighting cybercrimes.

The need for data localisation mandated under the Personal Data Protection Bill may lead to enhanced risks of privacy violations, cyber attacks, and data breaches, according to trade and regulatory think-tank Cuts International. According to a study titled Consumer Impact Assessment of Data Localisation conducted by Cuts on data localisation impact from the consumer perspective, consumers perceiving higher risks showed lower levels of data usage. Data localisation, if implemented, without adequate preparation and accountability measures, may reduce freedom of speech while enhancing risks of censorship, privacy violations, data breaches and cyber-attacks, the study said.

Manager and machine: The new leadership equation

By Martin Dewhurst and Paul Willmott
Source Link

DOWNLOADABLE RESOURCESOpen interactive popup

In a 1967 McKinsey Quarterly article, “The manager and the moron,” Peter Drucker noted that “the computer makes no decisions; it only carries out orders. It’s a total moron, and therein lies its strength. It forces us to think, to set the criteria. The stupider the tool, the brighter the master has to be—and this is the dumbest tool we have ever had.”1

How things have changed. After years of promise and hype, machine learning has at last hit the vertical part of the exponential curve. Computers are replacing skilled practitioners in fields such as architecture, aviation, the law, medicine, and petroleum geology—and changing the nature of work in a broad range of other jobs and professions. Deep Knowledge Ventures, a Hong Kong venture-capital firm, has gone so far as to appoint a decision-making algorithm to its board of directors.

What would it take for algorithms to take over the C-suite? And what will be senior leaders’ most important contributions if they do? Our answers to these admittedly speculative questions rest on our work with senior leaders in a range of industries, particularly those on the vanguard of the big data and advanced-analytics revolution. We have also worked extensively alongside executives who have been experimenting most actively with opening up their companies and decision-making processes through crowdsourcing and social platforms within and across organizational boundaries.

It's time to redefine how data is governed, controlled and shared. Here's how

Five potential futures for public and private stakeholders to consider that reimagine how data is used, controlled and shared. 

For the individual, data utilities could offer a simpler way for users to manage data without having to manage consent with every firm.

Governments seeking greater control over data and its commercial potential must balance national goals with the need for global innovation and business effectiveness in this space.

The first chapter of the Fourth Industrial Revolution has been powered by an explosion of data harnessed by extraordinary advances in technology and the spread of connected devices. As a result, seven technology companies are now among the eight most highly valued companies in the world. The success of the next chapter in the world’s digital transformation depends on governments and companies ensuring data is used in a way that balances benefits across the broader economy and society as a whole.

Navy LCS Gun Could Get Potent Airburst Rounds to Take Out Drones

By Gina Harkins

Crews on Navy littoral combat ships could soon be armed with powerful rounds that can blast hard-to-hit drones out of the sky.

Northrop Grumman, which produces modules for the LCS based on its mission, is eyeing a powerful precision airburst munition to combat drones targeting ships at sea. The round would be compatible with the 30mm gun module that's already installed on some ships.

"We're looking at another round called the proximity round, which detects the drone as it approaches and then blows up," Kevin Knowles, who works on Northrop Grumman's LCS and unmanned surface vessel programs, said Tuesday at the Surface Navy Association conference. "It's not a radar system, but it's something similar. That's what we're looking at for drones."

Drones can be tough to hit with solid rounds, Knowles added, so an airburst option could prove useful against the threat.

The Third Revolution in Military Affairs

By Harlan Ullman

Former Deputy Secretary of Defense Robert Work was a powerful advocate of what he called the “third offset” strategy. The first was the advent of nuclear weapons that offset Soviet power; the second, the revolution in precision weapons that offset numerical U.S. military inferiority; and the third involves protecting vital command, control, intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance networks against enemy attack that could strip the United States of its military advantages. Taking the third offset strategy to its logical conclusion, what is needed is a third revolution in military affairs principally—but not entirely—driven by potentially revolutionary technology.

Nuclear and thermonuclear weapons constituted the first modern revolution in military affairs. For the first time in history, war could be existential with no winners—just losers in the aftermath of a conflict that obliterates each society. The second revolution was precision strike and the supporting sensor, detection, and surveillance systems that obviated wars where nearly every bullet, bomb, missile, stone, spear, and arrow missed its target. With precision weapons, first- or second-round lethality was practically assured, as the 1991 Iraq war demonstrated.

Putting the Enemy Back in CAS: An Argument for Flexible Tactics in Close Proximity

By Major E. Aaron Brady
Source Link

Boar 81, we’ve got approval to strike the convoy you found. This will be Type 2 control, single GBU-38s, 30-second spacing, attack from the north. Your target is a column of vehicles near coordinates 123 456. Nearest friendlies are 40 kilometres east. Expect weapons clearance on final…


The situation described above is becoming increasingly common in US and NATO air operations. Aircrew found a legitimate target in an area in which risk of fratricide is nil, yet the strike is being closely controlled by ground personnel hundreds of kilometres away via satellite radio and using Close Air Support (CAS) procedures. The trouble with this example – based on an actual occurrence during Operation INHERENT RESOLVE – Is that it illustrates the US military’s misapplication of CAS procedures to situations for which those procedures were not designed. This issue largely stems from two factors: a continued inability to resolve tensions inherent in operational frameworks (how we divide battlespaces up for command and control purposes) and weaknesses within United States and European doctrine that cleaves all air-to-surface operations against enemy military capabilities into either Air Interdiction (AI) or Close Air Support (CAS) categories.

The military’s love affair with computer-based training needs to change

Carl Forsling 

Editor's Note: The following is an op-ed. The opinions expressed are those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Task & Purpose.

It's no surprise that the military loves computer-based training. Billed as the future of education, most high school and middle schoolers are doing some computer-based training, and more than 33 percent of college students are taking at least one online course.

Some courses even use advanced technologies like adaptive learning — it figures out where a student is strongest and weakest and adjusts the curriculum accordingly to deliver customized instruction — helping people learn almost anything from almost anywhere.

Unfortunately, military CBT is often terrible, especially in courses commonly referred to as "General Military Training," which most service members are required to take on recurring intervals.

Unlike the best programs in civilian education, military CBT is, almost by its nature, formulaic and staid. It's designed to get very rote lessons across, often annual training objectives mandated by higher echelons. This training ranges from trivial to mission critical, but whether it's smoking cessation or the Code of Conduct, it is uniformly painted with the same mind-numbingly bland brush.