14 March 2020

Opinion | The prospect of an oil stimulus in the time of Covid-194

Ajit Ranade
A supply glut along with falling demand could prove to be a mixed blessing for India

Three major players in a market are trapped in a brutal price war. Investors stand to lose billions of dollars unless a price floor is fixed, and there is fear of bankruptcy. Authorities are hoping that a price floor cartel succeeds. Does this ring a (telecom) bell? Well, it’s not what you think. This market is oil, and the three players are the US, Saudi Arabia and Russia. The US has private shale oil suppliers, while the latter two have state-owned oil companies. Over the weekend, the price of crude dropped precipitously toward $30 a barrel, after the Saudi-led oil cartel failed to agree on production cuts with non-member Russia. US shale oil players, who were not party to the negotiations, were hoping for a cartel agreement, since their very viability depends on higher oil prices. Anything below $50 is bad news for them, especially for the junk bond investors who have financed these shale oil wells. The Saudis, with a vengeance, decided to up the ante, increasing their oil production and offering customers steep discounts, thus effectively trying to muscle into the market share of Russian oil companies in Europe. Russia, which is not a part of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (Opec), refused to play ball on production cuts because its oil firms seemed bent on hurting US shale oil producers. The price war might very well be a proxy manifestation of a geopolitical showdown in West Asia between a Russia-Iran alliance and a US-Saudi one.

India can fight COVID-19, but only if the private sector is allowed to step in quickly


Last week, the global number of confirmed cases of novel coronavirus or COVID-19 crossed 110,000 in over 100 countries, with a significant number of new cases emerging in South Korea, Iran and Europe. Concern over the extent of the pandemic has already affected both the world’s financial markets as well as the economy. Although India has been relatively less affected so far — with only 43 confirmed cases as of 9 March— it is too early in the international disease cycle to relax. China managed to contain the spread by enacting a cordon sanitaire around lakhs of people, using authoritarian measures that might be hard to implement elsewhere in the world. So, the global outbreak could get a lot worse, and if it does, we will certainly be affected.

That is why India and the Narendra Modi government must take a national approach to manage the risks of a COVID-19 epidemic in India. Such an approach would not only pull together all government departments and institutions, but also involve the private sector and civil society. (Disclosure: A member of my immediate family works for a private genetic testing firm.)

Will India’s Proposed Data Protection Law Protect Privacy and Promote Growth?



How should a legal framework for data protection balance the imperatives of protecting privacy and ensuring innovation and productivity growth? This paper examines the proposed data protection legislation in India from the perspective of whether it maintains this balance. In December 2019, the government introduced the Personal Data Protection Bill, 2019, in parliament, which would create the first cross-sectoral legal framework for data protection in India.1

This paper argues that the bill does not correctly address privacy-related harms in the data economy in India. Instead, the bill proposes a preventive framework that oversupplies government intervention and strengthens the state. This could lead to a significant increase in compliance costs for businesses across the economy and to a troubling dilution of privacy vis-à-vis the state. The paper argues that while the protection of privacy is an important objective, privacy also serves as a means to protecting other ends, such as free speech and sexual autonomy. A framework for protecting personal data has to be designed on a more precise understanding of the role of privacy in society and of the harms that emanate from violations of individual privacy.

Managing China: Competitive engagement, with Indian characteristics

Tanvi Madan

This paper explores India’s ties with China, outlining how they have evolved over the course of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s years in office. It lays out the elements of cooperation, competition, and potentially conflict in the Sino-Indian relationship, as well as the leverage the two countries potentially hold over each other. The paper also examines the approach that Delhi has developed to manage its China relationship — one that can be characterized as “competitive engagement with Indian characteristics.” The paper details how and why India is simultaneously engaging with Beijing, where that is feasible, and competing with China, alone and in partnership with others. Finally, the paper considers what could cause India to reevaluate its approach to China either toward greater accommodation or greater competition.

The paper argues that India’s recent “reset” has thus far been limited, consisting of greater high-level interaction, efforts to improve economic and people-to-people ties, and the restarting of boundary and military dialogues. However, the persisting boundary dispute, China’s support for Pakistan, concerns about China’s increasing activities and influence in South Asia and the Indian Ocean region through the Belt and Road Initiative and beyond, and an unbalanced economic relationship have ensured that the Sino-Indian relationship remains a fundamentally competitive one. In response, at home India is trying to enhance its military, nuclear, space, and technological capabilities, as well as its infrastructure. Abroad, it is establishing or enhancing partnerships in India’s extended neighborhood, as well as with like-minded major powers — including Australia, France, Japan, Russia, and the United States — that can help balance China, and build India’s and the region’s capabilities.

Afghans Set to Release 1,500 Taliban; US Wants Less Violence

By Rahim Faiez and Tameem Akhgar

After a series of delays, Afghan President Ashraf Ghani issued a decree early Wednesday promising to release 1,500 Taliban prisoners as a goodwill gesture to get intra-Afghan negotiations started. 

A recent peace deal signed between the United States and the Taliban called for the release of up to 5,000 prisoners ahead of the much sought-after negotiations.

There was no official response from the Taliban, but the Associated Press saw a letter that Mullah Nooruddin Turabi, the head of the Taliban’s Prisoners Commission, sent to the prisoners, their families, and Taliban leaders promising there would be no intra-Afghan talks until all the prisoners are released.

The Pashto-language letter was sent last weekend. It says the Taliban would verify that each prisoner released is among those on the list given to an American delegation. 

However, the presidential decree went on to say the first round of 1,500 prisoners will be selected based on age, health, and the length of their sentences already served. The released prisoners, who will be biometrically identified, will also have to give a written guarantee that they will not return to the battlefield.

DOD, Feds Issue Coronavirus Guidelines for Civilian Employees


New memos spell out expanded telework flexibilities, leave policies, alternative work schedules, and more.

On Saturday, the Office of Personnel Management published updated guidelinesfor agency leaders giving federal employees needed flexibility to handle fallout from the spread of the highly-contagious novel coronavirus. The Defense Department followed suit Monday afternoon with risk-based guidance for military commanders in protecting the department’s 860,000 civilian employees. 

Critically, supervisors may allow employees to work from home during an emergency with a child or others in the home who need care, so long as employees document the hours they actually work and take appropriate leave for the time they aren’t working.

The guidance identifies authorities and best practices to help agencies minimize risk to civilian personnel and their families. OPM also provided answers to anticipated questions about the flexibilities. 

Iranian, Russian, Chinese Media Push COVID-19 ‘Bioweapon’ Conspiracies


Chinese authorities maintain that COVID-19 likely originated at a market in Wuhan where people were selling bat meat. But Iranian, Russian, and Chinese propaganda media outlets would like you to believe, without evidence, that the emerging public health crisis comes from U.S. biological weapons. 

Disinformation about the coronavirus is spreading as quickly as the outbreak, fueled by Iranian, Russian, and Chinese government-backed campaigns blaming and attacking the United States as the source for the scourge. 

“One narrative all three countries [including China] highlight is the notion that the United States is weaponizing the crisis for political gain and thus worsening its spread globally,” Rachel Chernaskey, a project manager for the Foreign Influence Election 2020 Project with the Foreign Policy Research Institute, or FPRI, wrote yesterday

“While all three countries’ state-sponsored outlets pushed explicitly anti-U.S. sentiments, Iran and Russia appeared to push far more conspiratorial content than China. In the disinformation ecosystem, each country’s state-sponsored media played off the others to promote shared preferred narratives,” she wrote. 

COVID-19: Implications for business

By Matt Craven, Linda Liu, Mihir Mysore, and Matt Wilson

The coronavirus outbreak is first and foremost a human tragedy, affecting hundreds of thousands of people. It is also having a growing impact on the global economy. This article is intended to provide business leaders with a perspective on the evolving situation and implications for their companies. The outbreak is moving quickly, and some of the perspectives in this article may fall rapidly out of date. This article reflects our perspective as of March 9, 2020. We will update it regularly as the outbreak evolves.

A range of outcomes is possible. Decision makers should not assume the worst.

Less than ten weeks have passed since China reported the existence of a new virus to the World Health Organization. This virus, now known as SARS-CoV-2, causing COVID-19 disease, spread quickly in the city of Wuhan and throughout China. The country has experienced a deep humanitarian challenge, with more than 80,000 cases and more than 3,000 deaths. COVID-19 progressed quickly beyond China’s borders. Four other major transmission complexes are now established across the world: East Asia (especially South Korea, with more than 7,000 cases, as well as Singapore and Japan), the Middle East (centered in Iran, with more than 6,500 cases), Europe (especially the Lombardy region in northern Italy, with more than 7,300 cases, but with widespread transmission across the continent), and the United States, with more than 200 cases. Each of these transmission complexes has sprung up in a region where millions of people travel every day for social and economic reasons, making it difficult to prevent the spread of the disease. In addition to these major complexes, many other countries have been affected. Exhibit 1 offers a snapshot of the current progress of the disease and its economic impact.

The Takshashila PLA Insight

Manoj Kewalramani and I are soon coming out with a research document on China's military reforms and their efficacy in enhancing the Chinese Party-state's capacity to achieve stated and revealed national security objectives. 

I. The Big Story: PLA Members in the Philippines?

On March 4, 2020, a Filipino Senator Panfilo Lacson expressed concerns about the growing number of Chinese military personnel in the Philippines. He said that a good number of 2000 to 3000 PLA personnel are in the country. However, the information, which he claims to have shared with Senator Richard Gordon, still needs validation by the intelligence committee. Lacson said the PLA members might be here for an immersion mission, of which exact purpose remains unknown. This was followed by Gordon’s statement, where he claimed that certain Chinese citizens had been “assuming” the identities of deceased Filipinos with the help of corrupt personnel of local civil registry offices. He shared the information a day after saying that China may be using Philippine offshore gaming operators (POGOs) for intelligence and for bringing in money to fund espionage in the country.

Takshashila Discussion Slidedoc– Securing China: An Assessment of Xi’s Military Reforms


China’s President Xi Jinping announced landmark military reforms in late 2015. The reforms aim to convert the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) into a world-class force by 2050, that can achieve China’s national security objectives.

This document identifies seven broad areas of the PLA reforms and assesses their implementation. These include:

– Organisational Changes in the CMC

– Changes in the Force Structure

– Financial Allocation & Weapons Acquisition

– Weapons Allocation across Commands

– Changes in Training Regimes

– Military Education

– Veterans Affairs Management

This document further analyses the efficacy of reforms in enhancing Chinese Party-state’s capacity to achieve stated national security objectives.

George Friedman’s Thoughts: Compromising on Corona

By George Friedman

Battling the coronavirus is essential. But the battle has costs, which are invariably measured against the gain. “No matter what the cost” – the approach many countries appear to be taking – is a principle that can be disastrous, particularly when the cost is so high that it cannot be borne socially. With the coronavirus, like all new and lethal diseases, alarm shapes the responses. As the cost starts to emerge, there is an inevitable recalibration. We are approaching that point of recalibration.

First the risk. The coronavirus seems as difficult to contain as other coronaviruses like the common cold. Some people do not know they have been infected, and many who never fall ill carry the disease. Everyone is suspect. The only safe course is complete social isolation. That is of course impossible. Jobs must be worked, children must go to school, food must be bought and consumed, and so on. Humans are inherently social animals, and the perpetual threat of infection undermines a fundamental human imperative: to be with other people.

Coronaviruses are persistent; they appear, disappear, reappear, mutate. There will be no clear moment at which the virus is eradicated, no moment at which the dread of a handshake or of a kiss on the cheek will go away. Obviously, there may eventually be a vaccine that can minimize if not eradicate the virus, but that is a ways away. In the meantime, fear will continue to haunt.

The Realist’s Guide to the Coronavirus Outbreak


The realist approach to international politics and foreign policy does not devote much, if any, attention to the issue of potential pandemics like the COVID-19 outbreak. No theory explains everything, of course, and realism focuses primarily on the constraining effects of anarchy, the reasons why great powers compete for advantage, and the enduring obstacles to effective cooperation among states. It has little to say about interspecies viral transmission, epidemiology, or public health best practices, so you shouldn’t ask a realist to tell you whether you should start working from home.

Despite these obvious limitations, realism can still offer useful insights into some of the issues that the new coronavirus outbreak has raised. It is worth remembering, for example, that a central event in Thucydides’ account of the Peloponnesian War (one of the founding texts in the realist tradition) is the plague that struck Athens in 430 B.C. and persisted for more than three years. Historians believe the plague may have killed about a third of Athens’ population—including prominent leaders such as Pericles—and it had obvious negative effects on Athens’ long-term power potential. Might realism have something to say about the situation we find ourselves in today?

US Military Scientists Hope To Have Coronavirus Therapeutic By Summer


A new approach would use RNA or DNA to help the body develop antibodies to the rapidly spreading illness.

A U.S. military research program that seeks a new way to boost a body’s immunity to viruses could change how governments and militaries prepare for pandemics — and might even arrive soon enough to help with the COVID-19 outbreak.

DARPA’s Pandemic Prevention Platform isn’t looking to create a vaccine, which can take years to produce and weeks to take effect in the body. Rather, the goal is to identify the specific monoclonal antibodies that the body naturally produces when it encounters a virus, and then trick the body into producing the one that guards against a specific illness. That could serve as a temporary, months-long shield that can protect the individual from the pathogen until a vaccine can be brought online.

But these antibodies “take a long time to find and discover. There’s a long pipeline in the biomedical world to identify and test them and really understand these antibodies,” said Dr. Amy Jenkins, who manages the program at DARPA.

One of the goals of the program is to accelerate the discovery process.

Science Can’t Save Us From Coronavirus Panic

By Amy Lauren Fairchild 

On February 24, after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) warned that the United States should prepare for widespread domestic transmission of the novel coronavirus known as COVID-19, President Donald Trump contradicted the advice on Twitter. “The Coronavirus is very much under control in the USA. We are in contact with everyone and all relevant countries. CDC & World Health have been working hard and very smart. Stock Market starting to look very good to me!” the president wrote.

Two days later, amid criticism of the president’s handling of the COVID-19 crisis, the White House announced that Vice President Mike Pence would coordinate all public health messaging about the outbreak. Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, told MSNBC’s Hardball that he had not been “muzzled” but noted that he had received clearance to appear on the program.

It is easy to dismiss the Trump administration’s communications crackdown as a heavy-handed attempt to restrict the flow of information about the disease and minimize the scale of the outbreak. But it also reflects a century-old American belief that it is possible to prevent mass panic by controlling information during a rapidly evolving public health crisis

Trump’s Iran Strategy Is Still Just an Anti-Obama Vendetta

Kimberly Ann Elliott 

Since President Donald Trump withdrew the United States from the international deal designed to prevent Iran from getting a nuclear bomb, the time it might take Tehran to build such a weapon if it so chooses has dropped from more than a year to just a few months. The world now has much less time to react if that happens—and no good options in response.

After Washington, to the dismay of its allies, reimposed economic sanctions and demanded that Iran do more to change its behavior, there have been no new negotiations and no clarity on exactly what the Trump administration wants from Iran. If anything, the “maximum pressure” campaign seems only to have strengthened the hard-liners in Tehran. ...

FVL: Attack Of The Drones


L3 Harris FVR-90 drone

WASHINGTON: As Russian and Chinese-made anti-aircraft weapons become ever more lethal, human pilots are, quite literally, the last thing the Army wants to send into harm’s way. Before the Future Attack Reconnaissance Aircraft makes its first probe into enemy airspace, and long before the Future Long-Range Assault Aircraft carries troops deep into hostile territory, a whole array of unmanned aircraft will scout out the enemy defenses, deceive their radars, and strike vital points.

In fact, much of this drone technology should be available years before the manned FARA and FLRAA aircraft enter production, which means it can help the Army’s existing helicopters survive an increasingly dangerous world.

“What we have to do is improve our stand-off and our survivability with the introduction of some technology that will be available prior to the actual FVL [Future Vertical Lift] platform,” said Maj. Gen. David Francis, the commander of the Army’s Aviation Center at Fort Rucker, Ala. That includes a new Long-Range Precision Munition – the Army’s buying the Israeli Spike missile as an interim solution, but that may not be the permanent one – and a whole family of mini-drones known as Air-Launched Effects (ALE), because they can be launched from the missile racks on both future and existing helicopters.

Shock Saudi Move Causes Historic One-Day Plunge in Price of Crude Oil: What Next?

By Ankit Panda

Crude oil prices fell more than 20 percent on Monday, marking the largest one-day downward price movement for the commodity since the 1991 Gulf War. Brent crude, an international crude oil benchmark, dropped as low as $31 from $45 after Saudi Arabia’s state energy firm, Saudi Aramco, prepared to increase crude production.

This crude oil crash is, by any measure, historic, and its effects were felt immediately as markets opened for trading in Asia. Japan’s Nikkei 225 index and South Korea’s KOSPI opened sharply lower — reflecting a mixture of continued concern about the global spread of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) and the Saudi moves on oil price.

Saudi Arabia currently produces around 9.7 million barrels per day of crude, but may increase its production capacity to as much as 12 million barrels per day, nearing its maximum capacity of 12.5 million barrels per day. Indication of crude oil price volatility came on Saturday after Riyadh published steep monthly pricing cuts, suggesting it was setting out on a price war.

Why This Oil Crash Is Different


When Saudi Arabia, Russia, and other oil-producing countries met in Vienna last week, they debated who should slash oil output to offset the collapse in demand due to the coronavirus outbreak. When the meeting was over, the answer was clear: America.

Last week’s drama between Saudi Arabia and Russia, the world’s two largest oil producers after the United States, made for a historic meeting of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) that may cripple the organization’s credibility for years to come—and undermine the shale revolution in the process.

While past oil shocks have been driven by either supply or demand, the price collapse of 2020 is highly unusual in oil market history: It results from a massive demand shock and a huge supply overhang at the same time.

Trump’s Iran Strategy Is Still Just an Anti-Obama Vendetta

Kimberly Ann Elliott 

Since President Donald Trump withdrew the United States from the international deal designed to prevent Iran from getting a nuclear bomb, the time it might take Tehran to build such a weapon if it so chooses has dropped from more than a year to just a few months. The world now has much less time to react if that happens—and no good options in response.

After Washington, to the dismay of its allies, reimposed economic sanctions and demanded that Iran do more to change its behavior, there have been no new negotiations and no clarity on exactly what the Trump administration wants from Iran. If anything, the “maximum pressure” campaign seems only to have strengthened the hard-liners in Tehran. .

Syria Is Turkey’s Problem, Not America’s

Source Link

Last week, Turkey went to war with Russia—sort of. Ankara’s present military operations are in response to a Feb. 27 attack in Syria that killed 36 Turkish soldiers and wounded another 30. (Turkish authorities in Hatay province, which is closest to the area where the attack occurred, initially blamed Russia, but in Ankara officials placed responsibility with Syrian regime forces.) Since then, the Turks have deployed the firepower of an advanced NATO military machine against Syrian targets, while the Russians have been forced to stand aside. Both Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin have said they want to de-escalate, which is precisely what they did in Moscow on Thursday when they agreed to a cease-fire.

With all the talk in Washington these days about “great-power competition,” events in Syria have taken place without much in the way of U.S. involvement. And, guess what? The sun rose over the Potomac River in Washington anyway. Throughout the post-World War II era, American officials and commentators have created the expectation—mostly among themselves—that the United States was a necessary presence in places near and far, because everything was important to the strategic interests of a global power. Yet this new Turkish phase of the conflict in Syria is just the latest example that undermines this idea. At least in the Syrian case, Turkey seems to be doing just fine on its own.

'Horror Movie' for US Oil Industry: Why Russia and Putin are Waging a Crude War With America

Vladimir Putin knows America's fragile oil industry is built on a mountain of debt. So when Saudi Arabia called for production cuts to mitigate oversupply, Putin decided to pounce.

Russia shocked the world last week by blowing up its shaky alliance with OPEC. Moscow's refusal to join with the cartel is aimed in part at drowning US shale oil companies that rely on higher prices in a sea of cheap crude.

Putin's goal is to wrest market share back from American frackers, whose debt-fueled growth caused Russia to lose its title in 2018 as the world's largest oil producer. "This is a response to try to cripple the US shale industry," said Matt Smith, director of commodity research at energy research firm ClipperData. Oil prices crashed Monday after Saudi Arabia said it would slash oil prices, launching a ferocious response against Russia's move. US crude plummeted 26%, its worst day since 1991, to a four-year low of $31.13 a barrel.

Crude is now so cheap that many US shale companies will be forced to cut production. Bankruptcy fears are already rippling through the oil patch, sending the SPDR S&P Oil & Gas ETF to its lowest price on record going back to 2006.

Air Force Research Institute (AFRI)

Strategic Studies Quarterly, Spring 20120 v. 14, no. 1

o Time for a Counter-AI Strategy

o Success of Persistent Engagement in Cyberspace

o Artificial Intelligence: A Threat to Strategic Stability

o Three-Way Power Dynamics in the Arctic

o Strategic Choice and the Orbital Security Dilemma

o Strategic Contours of China's Arms Transfers

o Strategy in the New Era of Tactical Nuclear Weapons

Center for Terrorism and Security Studies

Perspectives on Terrorism, December 2020, v.14, no. 1

o Detecting Future ‘Marawis’: Considering Alternative Indicators for Assessing the Potential for New Manifestations of Violent Extremism in Mindanao

o The Threat of Transnational Terrorist Groups in Kashmir

o Learning in a Double Loop: The Strategic Transformation of Al-Qaeda

o Brain and Body “Fingerprints” of Existential Anxiety and their Relevance for the Identification of Potential Terrorists

o A New Inventory of 30 Terrorism Databases and Data Sets

o Online Deceptions: Renegotiating Gender Boundaries on ISIS Telegram

o Counterterrorism Bookshelf: 62 Books on Terrorism & Counter-Terrorism-Related Subjects

o Bibliography: Deradicalization

o Bibliography: Terrorism by Country – Iran

o Recent Online Resources for the Analysis of Terrorism and Related Subjects

o M.A. and Ph.D. Theses on Terrorism and Sectarianism



Venezuela, which has one of the largest hydrocarbon endowments in the world, offers a striking case study on the resource curse, write Francisco Monaldi, Igor Hernández and José La Rosa.

This working paper is part of a series titled “The Role of Foreign Direct Investment in Resource-Rich Regions.”

Congress, Warning of Cybersecurity Vulnerabilities, Recommends Overhaul

By Julian E. Barnes and David E. Sanger
Source Link

WASHINGTON — A yearlong congressional study of American cyberspace strategy concludes that the United States remains ill-prepared to deter attacks, including from Russia, North Korea and Iran. It calls for an overhaul of how the United States manages its offensive and defensive cyberoperations.

The report, mandated by Congress and led by a bipartisan group of lawmakers, says the military needs far more personnel trained for cyberoperations. It also says Congress needs to dedicate committees to cyberoperations, and the public and private sectors need vastly improved defenses created in layers, along with more aggressive offensive actions inside the networks of other nations.

Those steps would be intended to drastically raise the cost of attacking the United States or its companies.

“The U.S. government is currently not designed to act with the speed and agility necessary to defend the country in cyberspace,” the final report of the Cyberspace Solarium Commission concludes. “We must get faster and smarter, improving the government’s ability to organize concurrent, continuous and collaborative efforts to build resilience, respond to cyber threats, and preserve military options that signal a capability and willingness to impose costs on adversaries.”

Cyber Command doubled its contract spending in the past year

Mark Pomerleau

Cyber Command increased its contracting activity and hired its first command acquisition executive last year. (U.S. Cyber Command Public Affairs)

U.S. Cyber Command nearly doubled the amount of money it issued in defense contracts between fiscal years 2018 and 2019, according to figures provided in written testimony to Congress.

In 2019, the command awarded $74.9 million through 81 contracting actions, Gen. Paul Nakasone, the command’s leader told the House Armed Services Committee March 4. Those figures are up from the 32 contracts valued at $43 million in fiscal year 2018 that Nakasone provided in testimony in February 2019.

Congress gave Cyber Command limited acquisition authority in 2016 following the model of Special Operations Command. It capped acquisition funds at $75 million per year, with a clause that is scheduled to sunset in 2021.

‘What’s the next step?’: US officials are rethinking how to dissuade cyberattacks

Andrew Eversden

In a coordinated show of force last month, the State Department and the Department of Defense joined more than 20 other nations in attributing and condemning a 2019 cyberattack on the country of Georgia to Russia’s military intelligence wing.

The move was part of a broader “name and shame” strategy aimed at slowing cyberattacks from foreign adversaries, part of a deterrence policy that also includes indictments and sanctions.

But during the one of the cybersecurity community’s biggest trade shows, just days after the State Department announcement, U.S. policymakers repeatedly acknowledged their strategies for discouraging state-backed cyberattacks aren’t working. And, in that vacuum, what’s re-emerging is a debate over what the federal government should do now — especially given the expanding threat several nation-state actors pose to the 2020 presidential election.

While some officials hope sanctions and indictments will eventually force hackers to think twice before attacking American networks, other experts suggested that the federal government should lower the bar for a military strike in response to a digital attack.

USCYBERCOM: Cable-Gate Hindered U.S. Tracking of APT Intrusions

Selections from the US Code related to cyber security.

Selection of presidential orders related to communication and cyber policy.

A compendium of records from important cybersecurity-related legal cases.

White House and Department of Defense documents tracing the evolution of cyber strategy in the United States Government.

Washington D.C., March 9, 2020 - A USCYBERCOM Fusion Cell assigned to evaluate the impact of the 2010 WikiLeaks release of classified Department of State cables determined that information in the cables revealed U.S. intelligence on adversary cyberspace operations, according to a Situational Awareness Report released in response to a National Security Archive FOIA request. The assessment predicted that adversaries would, as a result, be able to more effectively shift their TTPs (tactics, techniques, and procedures) to evade detection by U.S. agencies.

New Army Cannon Doubles Range; Ramjet Ammo May Be Next


WASHINGTON: The latest version of the 57-year-old M109 armored howitzer just threw two different types of shell 65 kilometers downrange, just over 40 miles, in a test today at Yuma Proving Ground. That’s more than twice the range of the current model, even using rocket-boosted ammunition.

And the Army’s Extended Range Cannon Artillery (ERCA) program is already working on further upgrades, including shells with built-in ramjets for yet greater range.

Then-Col. John Rafferty teaches field artillery operations in Tajikistan.

“The platform that was showcased today, we’re already on contract with BAE for that,” with 18 howitzers – a full battalion – entering service in 2023, Brig. Gen. John Rafferty, modernization director for Long-Range Precision Fires, told reporters this afternoon. “The Increment 2 version will be separate contract.”

The Army will hold an industry day for companies interested in Increment 2 “probably in the next three to four months, once we get the acquisition strategy approved,” Rafferty continued.

All-Domain Ops Require Rethinking Combatant Commands


This article is part of a series of in-depth stories and interviews with senior defense officials about the future of the new American way of war embodied in a concept 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.

WASHINGTON: The current combatant command structure governing US military operations will probably have to change for the global, all-domain conflicts of the future, Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. David Goldfein says.

The current architecture is divided between ‘geographic’ commands — such as European Command — lead warfighting campaigns — which are supported by ‘functional’ commands — such as Transportation Command. But that division of labor may not be able to cope with the enormous distances and mixed warfare the US is likely to face. Also, given the realities of how Russia and China are using tools such as information and cyber warfare, the geographic theater commanders will also need to rethink how they work together.

“This is foundational to who we are,” Goldfein stressed in an exclusive interview with me Feb. 27 during the annual Air Force Association (AFA) winter meeting in Orlando.