23 February 2020

Ahead of Trump Visit: India Clears Procurement of 24 MH-60R Seahawk Helicopters

By Franz-Stefan Gady

India’s Cabinet Committee on Security headed by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi approved on February 19 the procurement of 24 Lockheed Martin-Sikorky MH-60R Seahawk Romeo multirole maritime helicopters worth $2.6 billion, according to local media reports.

“The Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) cleared the procurement of 24 MH-60R multi-role helicopters for the navy,” an official was quoted as saying by The Economic Times on February 19.

The approval comes only days ahead of a much anticipated visit of U.S. President Donald Trump to the subcontinent. It marks the first official state visit of Trump to India since taking office in 2017. 

The MH-60Rs will be bought directly from the U.S. government under a Foreign Military Sales (FMS) agreement with the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) to expedite the induction of the new helicopters into the Indian Navy. 

The Ministry of Defense’s (MoD) Defense Acquisition Council (DAC) already approved in August 2018 the procurement of 111 armed light naval utility helicopters (NUH) and 24 naval multirole helicopters (NMRH) for the Indian Navy under the Indian Ministry of Defense’s (MoD) new strategic partnership policy.

Will China and India Collaborate or Feud Over Afghanistan?

by Zoe Leung 

India has enjoyed a long period of primacy in Afghanistan but a growing Chinese interest in the war-ridden country is poised to upset that delicate arrangement. China and India’s acrimonious border disputes epitomize their ongoing strategic rivalry but inadequately reflect the nature of their coexistence in a third country like Afghanistan. Investing in development projects on increased connectivity and trade to stabilize Afghanistan―also to fill the gap given the potential U.S. exit―makes economic and strategic sense for both countries, which have their respective objectives, and also provides opportunities for a deepened cooperation. As the China-India competitive dynamics play out elsewhere, Afghanistan presents an opportunity for those dynamics to fluidly and seamlessly switch between cooperation and competition.

The China-India competition has many of the smaller neighboring countries in the region concerned about getting caught between the two Asian giants. The 2017 Dolkam standoff exemplified the predicament for countries like Bhutan, which became the site of a conflict beyond its control. Even absent direct confrontation, India has been suspicious of any Chinese presence in its immediate vicinity, such as its presence in Pakistan and Sri Lanka, and, likewise, Beijing has been intently watching the growing India-Japan rapprochement through joint projects and defense cooperation. However, there has been a recent effort from both sides to strike a more cooperative tone even amid mutual suspicion and rivalry, and Afghanistan is well-positioned to benefit from this sentiment.

Pakistan Test Launches Ra’ad II Nuclear-Capable Air-Launched Cruise Missile

By Franz-Stefan Gady

Pakistan test-launched a new variant of its Ra’ad II nuclear-capable air-launched cruise missile (ALCM) on February 16, according to the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR), the media wing of the Pakistani military.

The new longer-range Ra’ad II “significantly enhances air delivered strategic standoff capability on land and at sea,” ISPR said in a February 18 statement. “The weapon system is equipped with state of the art guidance and navigation systems ensuring engagement of targets with high precision.”

A video of the launch released by ISPR shows the Ra’ad II being launched from a Pakistan Air Force (PAF) Mirage III fighter aircraft. ISPR referred to the new weapon system as “a major step towards complementing Pakistan’s deterrence capability.”

The Ra’ad II was first publicly revealed as a mock-up in 2017 during Pakistan’s annual military parade in Islamabad. 

The 4.85 meter-long Ra’ad-II had a stated range of 550-600 kilometers. It is capable of carrying both conventional and nuclear payloads.

Ghani’s Rivals Reject Election Result

By Catherine Putz

On Tuesday, Afghanistan’s Independent Election Commission (IEC) announced incumbent President Ashraf Ghani as the winner of last September’s election. Ghani narrowly avoided a second round by capturing 50.64 percent of the vote. His victory came after nearly five months of recounting and squabbling, and the disagreements are far from settled.

Chief Executive Officer Abdullah Abdullah — who, the IEC says, captured 39.52 percent of the vote, finishing second — immediately protested the result. Abdullah declared victory and announced the formation of an “inclusive government.”

Abdullah was joined in protesting the results by the distant third-place finisher, with 3.85 percent of the vote according to the IEC, Gulbuddin Hekmatyar. Hekmatyar reportedly challenged Ghani to a head-to-head contest in any province. “If you [Ghani] get 30 percent of the votes, I will accept you as president,” he reportedly said. Hekmatyar, TOLOnews reports, said at a press conference Wednesday in Kabul that he did not support a “parallel government,” but “an inclusive government where all see themselves represented, including the Taliban.”

In 2016, Hekmatyar — who leads Hezb-i-Islami — settled a peace deal with the Afghan government, received a pardon and was allowed into the political arena. 

China Is The World's Manufacturing Superpower

by Felix Richter

While the economic fallout of the coronavirus outbreak will undoubtedly be most severe in China, the negative effects of the pandemic won't be confined by the Great Wall. After all, China is the world's manufacturing hub and the ripple effect of shutdowns across the country is already leading to supply constraints in various industries all around the globe.

According to data published by the United Nations Statistics Division, China accounted for 28 percent of global manufacturing output in 2018. That puts the country more than 10 percentage points ahead of the United States, which used to have the world’s largest manufacturing sector until China overtook it in 2010.

With total value added by the Chinese manufacturing sector amounting to almost $4 trillion in 2018, manufacturing accounted for nearly 30 percent of the country’s total economic output. The U.S. economy is much less reliant on manufacturing these days: in 2018, the manufacturing sector accounted for just 11 percent of GDP in the world’s largest economy.

China Global Security Tracker, No.6

This China Global Security Tracker is part of the China Security Project, an innovative collaboration with the Mercator Institute for China Studies. The project explores China’s defence and security policy and initiatives to determine how and why China’s role in the international security arena is evolving.

The killing of Iranian general Qassem Soleimani by a US drone strike on January 3rd drew strong reactions from Beijing, which condemned the attack as an “abuse of military force” by the United States. However, China held back from supporting Tehran in any more active way. The PRC leadership’s response shows the pressures it faces, torn between supporting Iran and placating the United States. It wants to keep Iran onside as a source of oil, and a willing partner in the expansion of China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) while limiting Iran’s own nuclear program. Yet China also needs US goodwill to end the damaging trade dispute. Despite Beijing’s rhetoric, the US-Iran crisis serves as a reminder of the limitations of China’s narrative and geopolitical ambitions. Beijing faced a choice between supporting its ally by getting more involved in an already tense region or preserving stability by staying out of the fray. It chose the status quo.

The state of China-Iran relations: Increasingly close ties

America Is Alone in Its Cold War With China

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In the contest between the United States and China over who gets to shape the world in the coming century, America seems to be playing to win. But it’s running into a big problem. Despite the global network of alliances Washington has built up, it’s been unable to convince those allies to hop aboard the “great-power-competition” express and leave China behind.

U.S. officials are learning just how challenging it is to persuade friendly nations that America is a reliable partner capable of providing them with viable alternatives to what China has on offer—that the rewards of drawing closer to Washington outweigh the risks of alienating Beijing. That’s in part because of the mixed messages from the American president himself: He’s notoriously iffy about his commitment to allies, even as he often expresses his adoration of the Chinese president (notwithstanding the ongoing U.S.-China trade war).

The consequences of all these doubts have been especially evident in the past few weeks, as America’s closest ally in the world (the United Kingdom) and one of the most pro-American countries in the world (the Philippines) have essentially declared, “We’re good, thanks.”


China and the U.S. are competing to be the world's technological master 10 years from now. After analyzing patent application data in 10 categories, including artificial intelligence and quantum computing, Nikkei has concluded that China will reign supreme in nine categories. Chinese tech giants Baidu and Alibaba Group will be the major innovators. Meanwhile, 64 of the global top 100 companies in terms of patent quality will be American. U.S. President Donald Trump is becoming more cautious regarding increasingly competent Chinese companies as the world's two biggest economies battle it out over the future of technology.

What You Need to Know About the Coronavirus Outbreak

by Claire Felter and Lindsay Maizland
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A new coronavirus first reported in the Chinese city of Wuhan in late 2019 has begun to spread worldwide, reaching at least two dozen countries within weeks. By early February 2020, it had infected tens of thousands of people and killed hundreds, mostly within China.

The Chinese government has struggled to quell the outbreak. At the same time, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the crisis a public health emergency in order to boost the international response, and governments around the globe have ramped up efforts to prevent the virus’s spread within their borders, including quarantines, border closures, and intensified medical research. Scientists warn that the outbreak could soon grow to the level of a pandemic, and analysts say the world should brace for a sizable economic impact.

What are coronaviruses?

Eye on China

I. Coronavirus Update

There have been a bunch of developments related to the coronavirus outbreak in China. Like last week, I’ll try and compile some of the key aspects of the story, beginning with the numbers. 

In a nutshell: The numbers are likely to continue to keep going up for the moment, with Wuhan and other cities in Hubei facing difficult times ahead. The peak of the outbreak is still some way away. As expected, the central leadership is taking more visible command, replacing local officials and directing propaganda. It’s also clear that there is greater concern among central leaders about the economic impact of the outbreak. The political risk still remains rather high for local officials across the affected regions. They have the difficult task of ensuring growth, stabilising employment and meeting poverty reduction targets while ensuring that the outbreak doesn’t spread further.

Spike in Numbers: The past two days have witnessed a dramatic spike in reported infections and deaths in Hubei. At present, the death toll stands at 1380, with over 63000 cases of infection. The Hubei health commission said that the central government’s decision to change diagnostic guidelines led to the spike in cases. What this means is that now chest x-rays used alongside standard laboratory tests can be sufficient for diagnosis.

The U.S. and Europe Are Speaking a Different Language on China

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MUNICH—The Americans came on strong. Defense Secretary Mark Esper warned America’s allies at the Munich Security Conference that it was time to “wake up” to the Chinese threat. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo declared that the West was “winning” the conflict with China. And a senior Trump administration official said Europe was “missing the point” if it did not see China through an “us against them” lens. 

The Europeans also heard from a Republican member of the U.S. Congress that the raging coronavirus was an “opportunity” to turn the Chinese people against their government. And they listened as Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi described the Chinese telecommunications group Huawei as an “insidious form of aggression.”

But most of these warnings fell on deaf ears at the three-day gathering, which ended Sunday and, as it does each year, brought leaders, diplomats, and the world’s top foreign-policy thinkers to a crammed hotel in the Bavarian capital for frank debates about global challenges. What all the panels, breakfast meetings, and side discussions about China revealed most was that Washington and Europe are speaking a completely different language when it comes to China. And so long as they do, developing a trans-Atlantic agenda to respond to China’s rise will be very difficult, perhaps impossible.

Chapter One: Tehran’s strategic intent

Explore how Iran has refined its strategic doctrine since the end of the Iraq-Iran War and learn how its expeditionary security and military capacity has evolved to meet new demands. 

On 19 March 2003, American cruise missiles hit Baghdad, beginning a series of high-intensity, precision salvos. Within three weeks, the US-led international coalition had occupied the Iraqi capital and effectively ended a regime that Iran had failed to defeat during the eight-year Iran–Iraq War, a conflict that had consumed a generation of Iranians and crippled Iran’s economy.

Within months, Iran had executed the initial stages of an aggressive hybrid-warfare strategy1 aimed at frustrating US objectives in Iraq, while simultaneously attempting to reshape Iraq’s political dynamic to favour Iran. The campaign drew upon a military doctrine that acknowledged Iran’s conventional military weakness and avoided direct confrontation with powerful adversaries. The doctrine eschewed operations that might invite heavy casualties and instead focused on the use of unconventional forces and proxies.

What is Iran's next move?

The nature of US–Iran hostilities has changed, so what happens next? In the wake of Soleimani’s killing, Iran is likely to double down on the doctrine most closely associated with him that has served it so well, explains John Raine.

Iran’s missile attack on US targets in Iraq in retaliation for the killing of Qassim Soleimani may be the end of this round of hostilities. But behind the visible tit for tat, Iranian rhetoric and doctrine suggest that this exchange marks for Iran a new phase of hostilities with the US. Regardless of who drew the knife first, the nature of the fight has now changed. 

Washington is likely to continue with its attempts to isolate and pressure Tehran through non-military means first, but with a clear readiness to use lethal force. But what will Iran do next?

Balance of effective force

Tehran’s performance in other theatres is relevant. Over four decades, Iran has developed a doctrinal method of fighting. It relies on a combination of third parties, calibrated escalation and minimal exposure to casualties. Whilst Iran has been heavily outmatched by its principal adversaries in terms of conventional arsenals, this capability, highly adapted to complex regional conflicts and so far without any successful counter measure, has tipped the balance of effective force in Iran’s favour. It will not be straightforward to use this against the US directly, not least to avoid catastrophic escalation, but it has become Iran’s weapon of choice.

Could a Multibillion-Dollar Canal Be Erdogan’s Undoing in Turkey?

Clare Busch 

ISTANBUL—Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has made multibillion-dollar infrastructure schemes a hallmark of his years in power, championing megaprojects like an ongoing extension of Turkey’s high-speed rail network and a gargantuan new airport outside Istanbul. He and his ruling Justice and Development Party, or AKP, claim they spur economic development and create jobs. Many activists in Turkey have long opposed Erdogan’s building spree due to its high social and environmental costs, but have had little success in stopping it.

That may change with Erdogan’s latest push for what he once called his “crazy project”: digging a 28-mile canal on the western side of Istanbul to connect the Black Sea with the Sea of Marmara. It would amount to a second Bosporus. Critics argue the massive canal would have calamitous impacts on the environment and on the city’s urban landscape. Their efforts have the backing of Istanbul’s mayor, Ekrem Imamoglu, a rising star in the opposition Republican People’s Party, or CHP, who was elected mayor last year in an upset victory over the AKP. If the protest movement gains traction, it could dent Erdogan’s popularity and become a major issue in the 2023 presidential election, when Imamoglu could challenge Erdogan’s hold on power. ...

A Persistent Crisis in Central America

Violence and corruption in Central America, particularly in the Northern Triangle countries, is causing a wave of outward migration. The Trump administration's response to the problem could make it worse. Meanwhile, newly elected reformist leaders in El Salvador and Panama face opposition from entrenched interests that benefit from the status quo. Explore WPR's extensive coverage of the Central America crisis.

For years, Central America has contended with the violence and corruption stemming from organized crime and the drug trade. Now the countries of the region also find themselves in U.S. President Donald Trump’s line of fire, due to the many desperate Central Americans who make their way across Mexico to seek asylum at the United States’ southern border.

The steady stream of outward migration is driven by ongoing turmoil, particularly in Nicaragua and in the Northern Triangle countries of El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras. The three Northern Triangle countries rank among the most violent in the world, a legacy of the civil wars in El Salvador and Guatemala, which destabilized security structures and flooded the region with guns. In that context, gangs—often brought back home by deportees from the U.S.—have proliferated, and along with them the drug trade and corruption, fueling increasing lawlessness. Popular unrest has done little to produce political solutions, leading many of the most vulnerable to flee.

The Erratic State of U.S. Foreign Policy Under Trump

U.S. foreign policy under Trump does not appear to have a consistent logic. Trump has promised to put “America First,” and pursued that end in a variety of ways. At the same time, he has stocked his Cabinet with hawkish interventionists. While adopting a more unilateralist approach, Trump has neglected the institutions that help formulate and execute U.S. foreign policy.

After more than three years in office, President Donald Trump’s administration does not appear to have seized on a consistent approach to dealing with the world. Instead, U.S. foreign policy under Trump has become erratic and seems predicated on somewhat random factors. Decisions often seem to depend on the ability of an individual—whether a world leader, a Cabinet official or an informal adviser—to sway Trump’s opinion. Trump himself seems to revel in any opportunity to undo the accomplishments of his predecessor, Barack Obama, as well as any chance to right a perceived slight against the United States.

Global defence spending: the United States widens the gap

In 2019, the United States remained by far the world’s largest defence spender, widening the gap between it and the second largest spender, China. US investments in weapons procurement and R&D alone were larger than China’s total defence budget. The United States’ defence investments in weapons procurement and R&D were also worth around four times as much as European states’ combined.

IISS data shows that in 2019 the United States, China, Saudi Arabia, Russia and India retained their positions as the world’s top defence spenders. Indeed, the only movement in the top 15 saw Italy and Australia swap places, with Italy taking the 12th position and Australia the 13th (Figure 1).

The lack of change in the top 15 reflects an interesting underlying trend, in that the US has if anything just restated its spending dominance. In 2019, global defence spending rose by 4.0% in real terms over 2018 figures, but spending in the US grew by 6.6%. China’s spending also rose by 6.6% over 2018 data, but the trajectory of the two states’ defence spending is diverging. The budget increase in the US was the largest in ten years, and spending has increased year-on-year since US President Donald Trump took office. While spending is still rising in China, the pace of growth is decelerating, in line with Beijing’s relative economic slowdown. This divergence in trajectories means that the spending gap between the two countries, which had narrowed since 2010, has since 2018 increased once more (Figure 2). It remains to be seen, however, if this trend will continue given Washington’s plans for a more limited defence-spending increase in FY2021.

How the U.S. Can Play Cyber-Offense

By Michael Sulmeyer

The United States has been the victim of repeated cyberattacks by foreign powers, and it seems to have little power to stop them. During the 2016 U.S. presidential campaign, Russian hackers broke into the Democratic National Committee’s e-mail servers and made more general efforts to influence the election’s outcome, as detailed in Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s indictment of 13 Russians and three Russian entities. In February, U.S. intelligence and law enforcement officials warned that the Russian government would again try to use cyber-operations to interfere with midterm elections in November. That same month, the White House publicly blamed Russia for “the most destructive and costly cyberattack in history,” the 2017 NotPetya malware campaign, which crippled the government of Ukraine before spreading to multinational corporations such as FedEx and Maersk, causing billions in damage.

The Russians are not the only ones hacking at the United States’ expense. Chinese hacking groups have stolen U.S. intellectual property from industrial manufacturers and military contractors. In 2015, China weaponized its “Great Firewall” and conducted distributed denial of service attacks against U.S. websites, including GitHub, which Beijing wished to punish for hosting content that the Chinese leadership found undesirable. In 2014, North Korean hackers attacked the U.S. film studio Sony Pictures to block the release of a movie, The Interview, that depicted the attempted assassination of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. The attack erased the content of thousands of computers, released embarrassing internal e-mails, and intimidated Sony into canceling the movie’s theatrical release. Iran too has lashed out in cyberspace, attacking U.S. financial institutions and a dam in New York.

The white swan harbingers of global economic crisis are already here

Nouriel Roubini

In my 2010 book, Crisis Economics, I defined financial crises not as the “black swan” events that Nassim Nicholas Taleb described in his eponymous bestseller but as “white swans”. According to Taleb, black swans are events that emerge unpredictably, like a tornado, from a fat-tailed statistical distribution. But I argued that financial crises, at least, are more like hurricanes: they are the predictable result of builtup economic and financial vulnerabilities and policy mistakes.

There are times when we should expect the system to reach a tipping point – the “Minsky Moment” – when a boom and a bubble turn into a crash and a bust. Such events are not about the “unknown unknowns” but rather the “known unknowns”.

Beyond the usual economic and policy risks that most financial analysts worry about, a number of potentially seismic white swans are visible on the horizon this year. Any of them could trigger severe economic, financial, political and geopolitical disturbances unlike anything since the 2008 crisis.

Trump's 'America first' policy offers Beijing and Brussels a chance to lead
Barry Eichengreen

Quantum Internet: The Technology That Could Change Everything?

by Harun Šiljak

Google reported a remarkable breakthrough towards the end of 2019. The company claimed to have achieved something called quantum supremacy, using a new type of “quantum” computer to perform a benchmark test in 200 seconds. This was in stark contrast to the 10,000 years that would supposedly have been needed by a state-of-the-art conventional supercomputer to complete the same test.

Despite IBM’s claim that its supercomputer, with a little optimisation, could solve the task in a matter of days, Google’s announcement made it clear that we are entering a new era of incredible computational power.

Yet with much less fanfare, there has also been rapid progress in the development of quantum communication networks, and a master network to unite them all called the quantum internet. Just as the internet as we know it followed the development of computers, we can expect the quantum computer to be accompanied by the safer, better synchronised quantum internet.

Like quantum computing, quantum communication records information in what are known as qubits, similar to the way digital systems use bits and bytes. Whereas a bit can only take the value of zero or one, a qubit can also use the principles of quantum physics to take the value of zero and one at the same time. This is what allows quantum computers to perform certain computations very quickly. Instead of solving several variants of a problem one by one, the quantum computer can handle them all at the same time.

Cyber Week in Review: Feb 14, 2020

by Adam Segal
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Department of Justice blames Chinese military hackers for 2017 Equifax attack; Personal data of all Israeli voters leaked; Iran partially shuts down internet to thwart cyberattack; UK to empower regulator to enforce rules on online content; and Federal Trade Commission expands big tech antitrust review to include smaller acquisitions.

Department of Justice Blames Chinese Military Hackers for 2017 Equifax Attack

On Monday, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) indicted [PDF] four members of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army, alleging they stole the personal information of over one hundred million Americans in a 2017 attack on credit monitoring company Equifax. In the 2017 breach the hackers stole names, birth dates, social security numbers, and, in some cases, credit card information and driver’s license numbers. Security researchers originally suspected that the attack was the work of cybercriminals, but the fact that the information never appeared for sale fed suspicion that a state actor was involved. The indictment contained specific details about the attackers’ actions, but no details about how the U.S. acquired them. This is not the first time China has been accused of stealing Americans’ personal information—over the past few years it stands accused of hacking the Office of Personnel Management, the Marriott hotel chain, and Anthem health insurance in search of sensitive data. U.S. Attorney General William Barr alleged that China could use the information it acquired to target American officials.

Hundreds of Millions of PC Components Still Have Hackable Firmware

That laptop on your desk or that server on a data center rack isn't so much a computer as a network of them. Its interconnected devices—from hard drives to webcams to trackpads, largely sourced from third parties—have their own dedicated chips and code. That represents a serious security problem: Despite years of warnings, those computers inside your computer remain disturbingly unprotected, offering an insidious and nearly undetectable way for sophisticated hackers to maintain a foothold inside your machine.

A new cyber group to help Marines - and they don’t have purple hair

Mark Pomerleau

A new pool of subject matter experts of who can be called in to help on cyber or IT issues for the Marine Corps has begun its work, including for a project on defensive cyber operations and another to improve automated tasks on networks.

Officials told Fifth Domain the members of the Marine Corps Cyber Auxiliary aren’t hackers with tattoos and purple hair, as was thought, when the program was activated in May. Instead, they are industry, academic, technical and project management experts.

“It is a pool of highly qualified individuals who want to help the Marine Corps and increase their effectiveness and readiness in the cyberspace domain,” Maj. Stephen Magee, the auxiliary’s program manager within the Deputy Commandant for Information, told Fifth Domain in an interview. He added the program is entirely voluntary.

European defence policy in an era of renewed great-power competition

What does the future of European defence look like? To think systematically about the challenge of providing capabilities that can meet Europe’s emerging military requirements, The International Institute for Strategic Studies and the Hanns Seidel Foundation convened a group of thinkers and practitioners from Germany and the United Kingdom. This research paper draws on the group's deliberations.

In 2019, European governments’ combined defence spending, when measured in constant 2015 US dollar terms, surpassed the level reached in 2009, before the financial and economic crisis led to a series of significant defence-spending cuts. However, a different strategic paradigm – one that Europe is struggling to adjust to and which is once more a concern for European governments – has re-appeared in this past decade: great-power competition.

Russia attempted to change international borders in Europe through the use of force in 2014 by annexing Crimea and continues to support an armed insurgency in eastern Ukraine. Moscow’s challenge to Euro-Atlantic security exists in multiple dimensions: as both a conventional military and also a hybrid-warfare issue, with Russia working to dislocate existing societal alignments and disrupt political processes in Western states. The poisoning of a former Russian intelligence officer (and of his daughter) in the United Kingdom, attributed by the British government to Russia, underlines further how much the character of conflict has changed. How to manage the challenge Russia poses without simply reverting to Cold War logic remains a worrying problem for governments in NATO and the European Union member states.

Gen. Hyten On The New American Way of War: All-Domain Operations


This is the first in a series of in-depth stories and interviews with senior defense officials about the future of the American way of war and a concept now known as All-Domain Operations. It’s a vision of a computer-coordinated fight across land, sea, air, space, and cyberspace, with forces from satellites to foot soldiers to submarines sharing battle data at machine-to-machine speed. We hope this series will help educate Capitol Hill, the public, our allies, and much of the US military itself on an idea that’s increasingly important but is still poorly understood. Why do so many of the Pentagon’s most senior leaders care so much about this? Read on — The Editor.

PENTAGON: No one who knows Gen. John Hyten would expect him to resort to hyperbole or bombast. Sitting beside me in his E-Ring office, the Vice-Chairman of the Joint Chiefs is, as always, focused and careful in his words. So when he told me that All-Domain Operations is “the biggest key to the future of the entire budget,” I had to ask him to repeat what he said. He explained its importance this way.