10 March 2020

Democracy India’s Greatest Asset, Poses Challenge To China: Ex-Foreign Secy

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 Democracy India’s Greatest Asset, Poses Challenge To China: Ex-Foreign Secy
NEW DELHI: Democracy is India’s greatest asset and poses a challenge to the Beijing model, says former Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale. India must remain an independent player in the global strategic affairs game and needs to play to its strengths, he told a seminar in Pune on March 3. Given below is the transcript of his address at the seminar on ‘India-China Relations in the 21 Century: Challenges & Opportunities’: 

I am honoured to address all of you on a topic that will pre-occupy not just our Government, but every segment of our society for the next half century. It is already one of our two most important relationships and it might the subject of our primary interest in the next 25 years. The topic suggests that we have the capacity to predict what is likely to happen in our relationship with China in this century. The truth is that in the past half-century, predictions about China have rarely been accurate. Few, if any, predicted that a new Communist State would be established in 1949 and that this State would almost tear itself apart during the Cultural Revolution in the 1960s and fewer still foretold of China’s spectacular rise to global st power since then. The fact is that there is a paucity of scholarship on China, including in India. And this deficit is something we can ill afford, if we are to deal with, arguably, the greatest power in this century.

What Has Pakistan Gained From the US-Taliban Peace Deal?

By Umair Jamal

The agreement between the United States and the Afghan Taliban has begun a process that can potentially bring peace to Afghanistan.

However, the agreement between the Taliban and the United States has already come under pressure from actors that feel sidelined or stand to lose politically from the intervention of external states in Afghanistan. In this regard, Pakistan’s role, which has remained crucial as far as the first phase of the peace talks is concerned, is being hailed by Afghan leaders as Islamabad positions itself for a more entrenched space in the negotiation process.

Since the agreement-signing ceremony, both Washington and the Taliban appear to have showcased an intent to uphold the deal, but at the same time are determined to use military power to defend their interests. Already, the Taliban have attacked the Afghan forces. In apparent retaliation, the United States has carried out airstrikes against the Taliban and urged the group to halt “needless attacks.”

How Do Afghans See the U.S.-Taliban Agreement?

by Niamatullah Ibrahimi

The US has signed an historic agreement with the Taliban that sets Washington and its NATO allies on a path to withdraw their military forces from Afghanistan after more than 18 years of unceasing conflict.

It is now hoped the deal will lead to a more complicated process of negotiations between the Taliban and Afghan government – starting as early as next week – to work toward a complete ceasefire and new political roadmap for the country.

This is critically important because until now, the government has been absent from the peace process at the insistence of the Taliban.

The opening of this window to end one of the world’s most debilitating and protracted conflicts has been welcomed by many US allies, including Australia.

However, many seasoned observers, including prominent American politicians and former diplomats and military leaders, are concerned the agreement concedes too much to the Taliban without requiring it to make any substantive commitments to ensure a genuine peace process.

Is Donald Trump Trapped In Afghanistan?

by Madhav Joshi

After 18 months of negotiations, the U.S. and the Taliban signed a peace deal on Feb. 29. It is expected that the deal will provide a plan for a comprehensive Afghan peace process.

The deal addresses the security of foreign troops; the Taliban’s commitments to sever ties with terrorist organizations; prisoner exchange; a gradual withdrawal of U.S. and foreign troops; and the beginnings of a negotiation between the Afghan government and the Taliban.

The Afghan government was not a party to the deal, and the Taliban must now negotiate a final peace agreement with that government. Yet that prospect is far from certain.

The U.S. approach of negotiating withdrawal first and initiate a peace process later is unheard of and has never been tested in the contemporary peace process. This nontraditional method is not necessarily doomed to fail, but it does not align with tactics of successful peace processes to date, as I know from my years of research on peace building.

Beijing Knows Who to Blame for the Virus: America

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Amid a national lockdown, desperate patients, anger at a cover-up, an economic crisis, and a virus breaking beyond its own borders, the Chinese government’s priorities were clear: It was time to publish a glossy book on how wonderful Beijing’s handling of the virus has been.

A Battle Against Epidemic: China Combating COVID-19 in 2020 compiles numerous state media accounts on the heroic leadership of President Xi Jinping, the vital role of the Communist Party, and the superiority of the Chinese system in fighting the virus. It has gotten rave reviews in Chinese media, not least because it was published by their ultimate boss—the Central Committee Publicity Department, formerly known as the Propaganda Department.

The Chinese audience won’t be the only lucky readers. The book will be translated into English, French, Spanish, Russian and Arabic, with more likely to follow. Authorities know the virus could irreparably damage China’s image in the world s eyes, but they also see an opportunity to push their own narrative of organization, success, and triumph. Part of that involves glossy propaganda texts, combined with more sophisticated, individually targeted efforts. Part of it is pushing a new set of conspiracy theories about the virus itself, aimed at the ultimate enemy: the United States.

What COVID-19 Means for International Cooperation


WASHINGTON, DC – Throughout history, crisis and human progress have often gone hand in hand. While the growing COVID-19 pandemic could strengthen nationalism and isolationism and accelerate the retreat from globalization, the outbreak also could spur a new wave of international cooperation of the sort that emerged after World War II.

Like climate change, the COVID-19 pandemic is a perfect example of why we need multilateralism in a globalized world. Rather than resorting to thinly veiled racism and isolationist policies, global leaders – particularly the United States – should have started organizing a collective response weeks ago.

COVID-19 may become not only a huge health crisis, but also a crisis of globalization and global governance. Most obviously, it raises the question of how the world should organize itself against the threat of pandemics. But it also has implications for how globalization is perceived and what that perception means for the future of international cooperation.

Five decades of increasing interconnectedness have opened up the world to massive cross-border flows of goods, services, money, ideas, data, and people. While globalization itself is not new, the sheer scale and scope of the current version has made the world unprecedentedly interdependent – and thus fragile.

The Rise and Fall of International Currencies


A new international monetary system that ends the global dominance of the US dollar is both necessary and desirable. But to anticipate what might come next, one first must understand the political and economic dynamics that give rise to international currencies in the first place.

LONDON – The Bretton Woods international monetary system that came into being after World War II was based on a set of clear rules. The US dollar stood at the system’s center, and other countries pegged their currencies to it. The US promised that central banks’ dollar holdings would be convertible into gold at a fixed price, and the International Monetary Fund oversaw the system to make sure that everyone followed the rules.

Although this was a rules-based system, there was, almost from the very start, dissatisfaction among scholars about the way it functioned. Numerous conferences were organized to air criticism of the system and to explore ambitious proposals to reform it. Among the proposals that actually were implemented was the creation of a new kind of international money to replace the dollar. In 1969, the IMF introduced its special drawing rights (SDR), an international reserve asset that is now based on a basket of five leading currencies (the US dollar, the euro, pound sterling, Japanese yen, and, since October 2016, Chinese renminbi). But the SDR has never really gained ground as an international reserve currency, and it certainly has never come close to rivaling the dollar.

Can We Trust China's Promise To Never Use Nuclear Weapons First?

by David Axe 

Key point: While China has not adopted a more aggressive nuclear policy, it does continue to upgrade its small nuclear arsenal and its command systems.

China has reaffirmed its policy of never being the first in a conflict to use nuclear weapons. Experts refer to this policy as “no first use,” or NFU.

The NFU policy reaffirmation, contained in Beijing’s July 2019 strategic white paper, surprised some observers who expected a more expansive and aggressive nuclear posture from the rising power.

Notably, the United States does not have a no-first-use policy. “Retaining a degree of ambiguity and refraining from a no first use policy creates uncertainty in the mind of potential adversaries and reinforces deterrence of aggression by ensuring adversaries cannot predict what specific actions will lead to a U.S. nuclear response,” the Pentagon stated.

Chinese state media posted the government’s white paper in its entirety. "Nuclear capability is the strategic cornerstone to safeguarding national sovereignty and security," the paper asserts.

Could China's New DF-100 Missiles Really Sink America's Carriers?

by Sebastien Roblin

Key point: Beijing is keeping the details of the DF-100 close to its chest. But from what is publically known, it seems that this new anti-ship missile could post a real problem.

On October 1, 2019, the People’s Liberation Army rolled out an impressive procession of advanced new weapons systems to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the foundation of the People’s Republic of China.

This article first appeared earlier in 2019 and is being reposted due to reader interest.

Still, many of the weapons officially debuted that day, like the DF-17, the first hypersonic missile to officially enter regular service, had been public knowledge for some time.

But that was not the case for the regiment of sixteen ten-wheel TEL trucks that came rolling past Tiananmen Square, each lugging two octagonal launch canisters with the designation ‘DF-100’ prominently stenciled on their sides. You can see the video footage here.

The DF, or Dongfeng (“East Wind”) designation, is mostly reserved for China’s many types of ballistic missiles, which arc high into the atmosphere before plunging down at tremendous speeds. But the existence of the DF-100 had never been reported before.

Fears Mount as Trump Administration Guts USAID’s Iraq Presence


The United States’ top aid agency is dismantling its presence in Iraq, leaving a skeleton crew ill-equipped to oversee over $1 billion in aid programs aimed in part at staving off the return of terrorist organizations such as the Islamic State, officials and lawmakers say.

An internal U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) document obtained by Foreign Policy confirms that major cuts in staffing were made late last year and highlights the stark difference between the agency’s footprint in Iraq and other countries that receive foreign aid funding: In fiscal 2019, Egypt received roughly one-fifth the amount of U.S. foreign aid as Iraq, but it has more than seven times the number of staff to oversee it.

U.S. foreign aid programs in Iraq are meant to help stabilize the country as it emerges from years of warfare following the defeat of the Islamic State terrorist group’s caliphate. They also support the Trump administration’s aims of countering Iranian influence in the country, officials say.

Those programs could be in jeopardy now without enough staff to conduct proper oversight, particularly in a country where corruption, fraud, and waste are rife.

The Genius Logic Behind Iran's Attack On Saudi Arabia's Oil Facilities

by Stratfor Worldview

Iranian protestations of innocence notwithstanding, the arrows following last week's massive drone and missile strikes on oil infrastructure in Saudi Arabia all point toward Tehran. In this, there's one key question that's on everybody's mind: What is Iran after? While Tehran's aggression has made the probability of a U.S. or Saudi military strike on Iran higher in the short term, the Islamic republic does not necessarily intend to trigger such a strike and the ramifications it would entail. On the contrary, Iran is hoping to force an end to the United States' maximum pressure campaign sooner, rather than later — even if that requires riling up the world's superpower even further.

Getting on the Front Foot

Ever since the United States withdrew from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, or the Iranian nuclear deal, in May 2018, Iran's hard-liners have emphasized that the country must maintain credible deterrence. This means that Iran's escalation has served two interests: Make the United States and its allies pay a higher cost for its pressure campaign and establish the credibility of Iran's threats. Iran has clearly accepted the risk that such an escalation could result in a conflict with the United States, but its demonstration of a credible regional threat and a willingness to use it is forcing the United States to think twice about conducting a strike on Iran.

The Shallow Persian Gulf Is A Perfect Battleground For Iran's Submarines

by Sebastien Roblin

Key point: Submarines are very effective weapons in the Persian Gulf.

The Iranian military has long planned for a defensive naval war in the Persian Gulf, in which it would leverage its large fleet of fast attack boats toting antiship missiles to launch swarming hit-and-run attacks on adversaries in along Persian Gulf, with the ultimate goal of shutting down passage through the Straits of Hormuz.

Supporting this naval guerilla-warfare strategy are twenty-one indigenously produced Ghadir-class mini submarines, derived from the North Korean Yono class. The 120-ton vessels can poke around at eleven knots (thirteen miles per hour) and each carry two 533-millimeter torpedoes. All in all, shallow littoral waters are very favorable for mini-submarine operations, with interference from rocky shallows and loud surf reducing sonar detection ranges and giving mini submarines abundant opportunities to hide and wait in ambush. On the high end of the capability spectrum, Iran operates three much larger and more capable Kilo-class diesel-electric submarines purchased from Russia in the 1990s. These can comfortably hunt in the waters of the Indian Ocean.

Four years ago, Iran also launched its own domestically built Fateh-class submarine. The homemade vessel may lack modern features such as antiship missiles or quiet Air Independent Propulsion system, but it does seem to be the genuine article—not something one should take for granted with reports of new Iranian weapons.

Is Iran's Rag-Tag Speed Boat Navy a Real Danger?

by Sebastien Roblin

Key point: These speed boats would die easily in a fight, but Iran has studied asymmetric war. Tehran knows its small boats can still cause damage through missile strikes.

Iran has fielded a variety of unusual weapons over the years: F-14 Tomcat fighters hotwired to fire Russian missiles, homemade mini-submarines, and remanufactured Cold War jets.

In 2006, Iranian television showcased a peculiar sea-skimming flying boat, and four years later Tehran triumphantly announced it had three squadrons of them serving in the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps Navy. News commentators boasted it was one of the few countries to “design and produce such advanced flying boats,” which is technically true.

The blue-painted Bavar-2 flying boats seen in this video are examples of Ground Effect Vehicles, also known as ekranoplans, sea skimmers, or Wing-In-Ground vehicles. Basically, these are designed to fly at very low altitudes by capitalizing on “ground effect,” the phenomenon in which wing surfaces encounter less drag the closer they are to the surface. After generating lift through speed during takeoff, GEVs can stay airborne as long as they remain within that low-altitude envelope. This makes them more applicable to maritime operations, where inconvenient mountains are scarce.

Tanker War: Can America's Navy SEALs Stop Iran's Attacks On Oil Shipping?

by Sebastien Roblin

Key point: The Tanker War demonstrated how Iran could retaliate against foreign pressure through calibrated, and semi-deniable attacks on the valuable shipping passing through the narrow waters of the Gulf...

On July 21, 1987, a gigantic 414,000-ton supertanker entered the Persian Gulf with an unusually prominent escort—a U.S. Navy missile cruiser and three frigates.

The narrow straits of the Persian Gulf had become a shooting gallery due to the Iran-Iraq War, still raging seven years after Iraq’s surprise invasion of Iran in 1980. As Iran counterattacked into Iraqi territory, Baghdad—supplied and armed by the Soviet Union, France, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia—began blasting Iranian oil tankers with missiles, often with assistance from U.S. surveillance assets.

Iran retaliated by targeting Kuwaiti tankers with imported Chinese Silkworm missiles. Though terrifying, both side’s anti-ship missiles inflicted relatively little damage as the tankers were simply too bulky to be easily sunk. The same was not true for the frigate USS Stark, struck accidentally by an Iraqi Exocet missile in May 1987 that killed thirty-seven crew.

Iran's Retaliation Against America Is Not Yet Complete

by Enea Gjoza

Key point: It is not too late to de-escalate and move toward a solution that preserves U.S. security by avoiding a war with Iran.

The United States and Iran remain locked in a tense standoff, punctuated by periodic escalations, that could easily transition into a full-blown conflict. Following the U.S. withdrawal from the JCPOA, Iran has been subjected to crushing sanctions that have contracted its economy and put pressure on its leadership. Rather than concede, Iran has responded with increasingly provocative moves—sabotaging several oil tankers, shooting down a U.S. drone, and openly violating the uranium enrichment and storage thresholds in the JCPOA. Many in Washington want the United States to launch military strikes on Iran because they believe the prospect of a war that it would lose would force Iran into submission. Military action is much more likely to backfire, however, since it would only legitimize Iran's nuclear program and make a nuclear arsenal essential to defend itself from the United States.

Iran has clearly telegraphed that it would restart uranium enrichment unless America’s European allies—who want to remain in the JCPOA—defy U.S. sanctions and continue to import Iranian oil. Iran’s recent moves are a desperate effort to recapture some of the economic benefits of the deal in exchange for its continued compliance. So far, modest European efforts to that end have done little to ease Iran’s economic crisis. Iran’s recent seizure of a British oil tanker—retaliation for the Royal Navy’s seizure of an Iranian vessel—is likely to make the Europeans even less willing to risk angering the United States on Iran’s behalf.

NATO Is in Denial About the Risk of War Between Turkey and Russia

Candace Rondeaux 

For most close observers, it has long seemed only a matter of time before the long, bloody proxy war between Turkey and Russia for regional predominance in the Middle East would break out into full-scale direct hostilities. That came closer to happening last week, when Russian-backed Syrian forces attacked a Turkish military outpost in Idlib province, leaving more than 30 Turkish soldiers dead. However, few observers would have predicted the utter impotence of Turkey’s ostensible military partners in NATO in the face of what is arguably the gravest threat to the future of the alliance since the Russian annexation of Crimea in 2014.

In retaliation for last week’s attack, which some initial reports claimed was the work of Russian bombers, Turkey has pounded Syrian forces with drone strikes and taken out the Syrian army’s Russian-made anti-aircraft batteries. Earlier this week, Russian warships in the Black Sea fleet steamed across the Bosporus strait to boost the Russian navy’s presence in the eastern Mediterranean. 

Has Time Run Out for Guaido in Venezuela?

There is no end in sight to the political and humanitarian crises that have overwhelmed Venezuela and spilled over into neighboring countries for the past several years. In fact, the protracted fight for control of the country has only meant additional suffering for its citizens, who are already living in the most dire conditions outside of a warzone in recent memory.

Even if the political stalemate is broken, there are no easy solutions for fixing the country’s economy, which was too dependent on oil and collapsed as global crude prices fell. But President Nicolas Maduro has shown more interest in consolidating his grip on power than making needed structural changes. The result has been growing shortages of food and basic supplies, widespread power outages and alarming rates of malnutrition.

Opposition leader Juan Guaido’s attempt to overthrow Maduro’s government in early 2019 with the backing of the United States appears to have backfired. Instead of seizing power, Guaido appears to have hardened political divisions within the country, resulting in an impasse. Meanwhile, Washington’s public attempts to help bring down Maduro’s socialist administration have pushed the Venezuelan leader to look to strengthen his partnerships with Russia and China.

Russia’s Defiance Sets the Stage for Oil Price ‘Bloodbath’


Russia surprisingly torpedoed an attempt by big oil producers to cut crude output and stabilize the market, sending the price of oil sharply down on Friday.

Saudi Arabia and other big oil exporters that make up OPEC had agreed on Thursday to further cut their oil output by 1.5 million barrels a day, a desperate attempt to shore up the price of oil as the new coronavirus wreaks havoc on the global economy. But that agreement was conditional on the support of Russia—which ultimately balked, ending the two-day OPEC meeting in Vienna with no new agreement and sending crude prices into freefall.

“It’s time for a good old-fashioned bloodbath, for which Russia deserves all the blame,” said Matt Reed, the vice president at Foreign Reports, an energy consultancy.

OPEC had planned to make more cuts now and to extend the big production cuts they’d made last year, which are set to expire at the end of this month. After the collapse of talks on Friday, it’s not even clear if those previous cuts will remain in place, which could lead to a tsunami of oil production that will add more barrels to the market right when they are least needed. Oil demand in the first half of this year is projected to shrink the most in a decade as the virus outbreak hammers economic activity (and demand for oil) all around the world.



On July 11, 2014, battalions from Ukraine’s 24th and 72nd Mechanized Brigades assembled outside of the town of Zelenopillya, located about 5 miles from the Russian border. Having achieved success against the Russian-led separatist forces in the breakaway oblasts of Donetsk and Luhansk (the Donbass) over the previous two months, they were assembling before what was planned to be a final push to the border to cut off the supply lines of the paramilitary forces from their Russian sponsors.

What started as a fairly normal day soon took an unexpected turn. It started with the buzzing of Russian unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) overhead and cyberattacks against Ukrainian command, control and communications systems. The Russians then launched an attack consisting of short-range BM-21 Grad multiple launch rocket system rockets from across the border. The attack lasted only two or three minutes, but it was immensely destructive to the Ukrainian forces. The attack destroyed most of the armored vehicles, killed at least 30 soldiers and wounded hundreds more. The attack left the Ukrainian forces decimated and demoralized, and represented the high-water mark for the Ukrainian offensive.

Return of the King

US, UK and Estonia Accuse Russia of Cyber Attack on Georgia

UNITED NATIONS — The United States, United Kingdom and Estonia accused Russia’s military intelligence Thursday of conducting cyber attacks against the Georgian government and media websites in an attempt “to sow discord and disrupt the lives of ordinary Georgians.”

The three countries raised the issue at the Security Council after Georgia’s ambassador wrote to the U.N.’s most powerful body in February about the large-scale attack in October.

Estonian Ambassador Sven Jurgenson read a statement afterward, flanked by UK Ambassador Karen Pierce and acting U.S. deputy ambassador Cherith Norman Chalet, saying the cyber attacks “are part of Russia’s long-running campaign of hostile and destabilizing activity against Georgia and are part of a wider pattern of malign activity.”

The three Western countries said the attacks demonstrate “a continuing pattern of reckless ... cyber operations against a number of countries” by Russia’s GRU military intelligence.

“These actions clearly contradict Russia’s attempts to claim it is a responsible actor in cyberspace,” they said, adding that “irresponsibility in cyberspace is detrimental to all of us."

Economist Nouriel Roubini Speculates 2020 Will See “First Global Cyber War”

One of the world’s most notable economists, Professor Nouriel Roubini, has speculated that 2020 will see its first all-out cyber war.

Roubini, speaking on Yahoo! Finance’s ‘On The Move’ show on 28 February 2020, said that the conflict in cyberspace is likely to be between the United States and one of its four main strategic adversaries, namely China, Russia, North Korea, or Iran.

“We imposed sanctions against Russia, China, Korea, and Iran…and they cannot respond to us with conventional power, because we are stronger from a conventional point of view,” Roubini said.

“So if you are a weaker rival of the U.S., and you want to contain the U.S., what you do is asymmetric warfare. Asymmetric warfare means you try to weaken your enemy from the inside, and how you do it is with cyber warfare. So we’ll have the first global cyber warfare this year,” he added.

“All four of them feel the U.S. either wants regime change, or is undermining them, so they are going to respond. And the only way they can respond is cyber.”

How an Elaborate North Korean Crypto Heist Fell Apart

At the end of 2018, North Korea carried out a heist. Hackers acting on behalf of the secretive state infiltrated and extracted more than $250 million (£195m) in cryptocurrency. Where the theft took place is a mystery, but the elaborate scheme the hackers used to move the funds back within North Korea has now started to unravel.

At the center of the heist were two Chinese citizens—Tian Yinyin and Li Jiadong. The pair have been indicted by the US government, following an investigation by the FBI, Homeland Security, and the Internal Revenue Service, for their alleged role in the criminal behavior. They’re unlikely to ever be brought before the courts—they won’t be extradited, freely visit a nation that could extradite them, or visit America—but the charges are the latest in efforts by law enforcement and intelligence agencies to publicly shame hostile nation states for their online behavior.

The pair are accused of running an elaborate money-laundering scheme involving more than $100 million in cryptocurrency between hundreds of accounts, leaving a trail of disruption in their wake. The scheme used North Korean infrastructure to purchase 8,823 Apple iTunes gift cards for $1,448,694, created false identities, and built a sophisticated network of transactions.

US Defense Secretary Says New Virus Won’t Prevent Military Operations

By Lolita C. Baldor

The U.S. military and its warfighting command centers in the Pentagon are prepared to continue operations even if there is a local outbreak of the new coronavirus, Defense Secretary Mark Esper said Thursday, as the department began finalizing its response plans.

Although only one soldier and a handful of family members and Defense Department civilians have so far tested positive for the virus, tens of thousands of troops are in countries and regions that have been hardest hit, including South Korea and portions of Europe.

The nation’s more than 2.1 million active duty, Guard and Reserve forces are spread all around the globe. And they are one of the nation’s last lines of defense against any outside threats or disasters during an outbreak, as well as a force that could be used as a last-resort to maintain order or enforce quarantines within the U.S. in the case of a pandemic.

“Our national military command center has the capability to go for weeks at a time if they have to be locked down inside the building if we have some type of outbreak,” Esper told reporters during a Pentagon press conference. He said the Pentagon is finalizing plans to prevent the spread of the virus across the force and military installations and also mitigate it in the event of any outbreak.

Already on Thursday, workers were wiping down doorknobs at the Mark Center, a major Defense Department complex in northern Virginia, and the Joint Chiefs of Staff had set up a 24-hour operations center inside the Pentagon to track the virus and any impact on the military.

Could Brexit Allow Google To Sell Your Data?

by Henry Pearce

It was recently reported that Google was planning to move the personal data of its UK users out of the EU and into the US. Several outlets reporting on this story have suggested that this would mean that, as Britain has left the EU, the data would no longer be covered by the EU’s world-leading data protection law, the GDPR.

If this were the case, it would make it much harder to access personal data Google holds on you or to work out how, why and for what purposes the data was being used. It would also make it more difficult to make Google correct or delete that data and Google would be able to process your data free from the conditions currently imposed by the GDPR. But this representation of the situation is misleading.

The key message of the UK government has always been that the substance of the GDPR, if not the GDPR itself, will continue to apply in the UK after Brexit. In fact, the main tenets of the GDPR have already been enshrined into UK law with the Data Protection Act 2018.

This legislation will continue to be enforced in its current form by the UK’s data regulator, the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO), until the end of the Brexit transition period on Dec 31 2020. To all intents and purposes, the UK will still be treated as if it were a part of the EU until this time. That means data processing activities involving UK citizens will still be subject to EU regulatory and judicial bodies (such as the European Court of Justice).

The U.S. Military Is Dead Wrong: Hypersonic Weapons Can Be Defeated

by David Axe

The chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff seems a little confused about hypersonic weapons and what the United States can do to defend against them.

U.S. Army general Mark Milley’s confusion was apparent in his March 4, 2020 testimony before the U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee.

Milley overhyped the capabilities of China and Russia’s Mach-five missiles, potentially stirring uncertainty into ongoing negotiations over the Pentagon’s budget for 2021.

"There is no defense against hypersonic,” Milley said. “You're not going to defend against it. Those things are going so fast you're not going to get it.”

It’s true that hypersonic weapons such as China’s DF-17 and Russia’s Avangard essentially are impossible to intercept during the middle of their flight, the so-called “midcourse” phase.

The U.S. Navy deploys SM-3 interceptors that can destroy, during their midcourse flight, slower medium-range ballistic missiles, such as the type to which Iran might fit a nuclear warhead.