15 March 2020

The India-U.S. Relationship Is Bigger Than Its Showboating Leaders


When it comes to pure political theater, few can match Donald Trump and Narendra Modi. But during their recent encounter in New Delhi, the U.S. president and Indian prime minister were upstaged by the avoidable tragedy unfolding across town.

In the Indian capital’s worst communal violence in decades, clashes between Hindus and Muslims left over 50 people dead and injured more than 200. At least some local police, who fall under federal jurisdiction, failed to protect residents or even incited rioters. The calamity thrust upon the U.S. president a difficult test of how to react while on the foreign soil of an important but sensitive partner—with the whole world watching.

India’s leadership has been roundly criticized for the background to the violence. After his 2019 reelection, Modi elevated the Bharatiya Janata Party’s Hindu majoritarian agenda. He revoked the constitutionally provided autonomy of Jammu and Kashmir, India’s only Muslim-majority state. His party ushered in a law expediting citizenship for religious minorities fleeing neighboring countries, but not Muslims. The measure touched off nationwide protests and set the stage for the debacle in Delhi. Journalists, civil society, and businesses are all under pressure, not to mention India’s secular constitution.

How to Lose Friends and Strain Alliances

By Michael H. Fuchs 

Since launching the trade war in 2018, U.S. President Donald Trump has tried to corral U.S. allies into joining a wider struggle against China. So far, few countries are willing to follow Trump’s lead.

In January, the United Kingdom announced its decision to allow the Chinese telecommunications company Huawei to build part of its 5G wireless network—an investment that U.S. officials fear poses a security threat. The U.S. president was reportedly “apoplectic” in a phone call with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

Weeks later, at the annual Munich Security Conference, U.S. Secretary of Defense Mark Esper said that when it comes to China, “we are asking our friends to choose.” But observers at the conference noted that Washington’s warnings about China fell on “deaf ears” and that the United States and Europe were “speaking a completely different language” regarding the rising Asian superpower.

These recent disagreements have brought into stark relief an inconvenient reality at the center of the growing competition between the United States and China: no U.S. policy toward China is likely to succeed without the cooperation of allies and partners, but getting those countries on board requires finesse and clear thinking, not bullying coercion.

What You Need to Know About the Coronavirus Outbreak

by Claire Felter and Lindsay Maizland

A new coronavirus first reported in the Chinese city of Wuhan in late 2019 has spread worldwide, reaching more than one hundred countries by March 2020. It has infected more than 125,000 people and killed over four thousand.

The World Health Organization (WHO) declared the crisis a public health emergency and eventually designated it a pandemic. Governments around the globe have ramped up efforts to limit the virus’s spread, including quarantines, border closures, and intensified medical research. Many economies are already under stress as measures to contain the virus disrupt supply chains and bring some businesses to a halt.

What are coronaviruses?

They are a family of viruses common in animals, including bats, camels, and cows, and can sometimes be transmitted to humans. They are named for the crown-like spikes on their surface, which scientists believe the virus uses to enter cells and delay the immune system’s response. Common symptoms of coronaviruses, including the new virus, are fever, cough, and shortness of breath; in more severe cases coronaviruses can cause kidney failure, acute respiratory illnesses such as pneumonia, and even death.
Have they caused outbreaks before?

Several coronaviruses have spread from animals to humans, leading to outbreaks in recent years. Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) was first transmitted to humans from camels in 2012 in Saudi Arabia. It has been fatal in one-third of patients, and has led to more than 850 deaths.

Coronavirus and climate change: 6 ways the Trump administration has botched responses to both

By Dawn Stover

Here in Washington state, a spokesman for the nursing home that is the epicenter of a coronavirus outbreak said on Sunday that he and his colleagues “had seen some residents go from no symptoms to death in just a matter of hours.” COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus, does not necessarily progress little by little toward a critical stage.

The spokesman’s comments about the unpredictability and volatility of COVID-19 reminded me of how our planet is responding to climate change. While scientists measure climate change in fractions of degrees Celsius, its symptoms stubbornly refuse to emerge slowly and incrementally. We can no longer expect that weather patterns and glaciers and ecosystems will continue to change bit by bit. They may reach a tipping point and then collapse suddenly and perhaps even irreversibly—like a patient in a nursing home who seems fine one day but is dead the next.

As with climate change, the impacts of the coronavirus are unevenly distributed. Some places are harder hit than others, and some people are more vulnerable than others. Moreover, the Trump administration’s response to COVID-19 has been remarkably similar to how it has handled climate change: with a combination of denial and delaying tactics that will ultimately cost the public far more than taking quick action. And not just in dollars: Coronavirus denial could get people killed, by discouraging them from taking precautionary measures.

Coronavirus will bankrupt more people than it kills — and that's the real global emergency

Omar Hassan

Coronavirus’s economic danger is exponentially greater than its health risks to the public. If the virus does directly affect your life, it is most likely to be through stopping you going to work, forcing your employer to make you redundant, or bankrupting your business.

The trillions of dollars wiped from financial markets this week will be just the beginning, if our governments do not step in. And if President Trump continues to stumble in his handling of the situation, it may well affect his chances of re-election. Joe Biden in particular has identified Covid-19 as a weakness for Trump, promising “steady, reassuring” leadership during America’s hour of need.

Worldwide, Covid-19 has killed 4,389 with 31 US deaths as of today. But it will economically cripple millions, especially since the epidemic has formed a perfect storm with stock market crashes, an oil war between Russia and Saudi Arabia, and the spilling over of an actual war in Syria into another potential migrant crisis.

We may look back on coronavirus as the moment when the threads that hold the global economy together came unstuck; and startups and growing businesses like mine could end up paying the price. 

Estimates of COVID-19's Fatality Rate Might Change. And Then Change Again.

by Raffaele Vardavas, Courtney A. Gidengil, Sarah A. Nowak

With infections of the new coronavirus confirmed now in 114 countries or regions, people around the world are following the daily tally of COVID-19 cases, wondering exactly how lethal this new disease is.

The truth is, it's hard to know. An important measure of the deadliness of a disease outbreak is the case-fatality rate (CFR). The CFR is the ratio of the number of deaths attributed to a disease to the total number of confirmed cases. For example, a disease with two deaths out of 100 confirmed cases has a CFR of 2 percent.

Media outlets often imply that the ratio of current deaths to all current cases is the case-fatality rate, but it's not. The case-fatality rate can only be calculated based on finalized cases in an outbreak—that is, once all patients have either recovered or died.

But early in an outbreak, even good estimates of the CFR can be too high—or too low.

U.S. and China Turn Coronavirus Into a Geopolitical Football

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In a bid to restore its reputation globally, China claims to have fundamentally contained the spread of coronavirus in its hardest-hit areas and has pledged $20 million to help the World Health Organization to help improve public health systems in poor countries, China’s United Nations ambassador wrote in a letter to U.N. member states. 

The message—which was delivered as the United States and Europe brace for a major surge in cases—underscored how Beijing is attempting to rebrand itself as the international leader in a global fight against a virus that likely originated in its own territory and which WHO on Wednesday formally declared a pandemic.

The letter, obtained by Foreign Policy, appeared calculated to rebut growing criticism from the United States and elsewhere over its initial handling of the outbreak that allowed the disease to spread so rapidly. “The spread of the epidemic has been basically contained in Hubei and Wuhan,” China’s U.N. ambassador Zhang Jun boasted in a letter to representatives of the U.N.’s other 192 member states. “We are ready to strengthen solidarity with the rest of the international community to jointly fight the epidemic.”

The Medical Ethics of the Coronavirus Crisis

By Isaac Chotiner
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As the novel coronavirus, covid-19, spreads across the globe, governments have been taking increasingly severe measures to limit the virus’s infection rate. China, where it originated, has instituted quarantines in areas with a large number of cases, and Italy—which is now facing perhaps the most serious threat outside of China—is entirely under quarantine. In the United States, the National Guard has been deployed to manage a “containment area” in New Rochelle, New York, where one of the country’s largest clusters has emerged. As the number of cases rises, we will soon face decisions on limiting movement and, potentially, rationing supplies and hospital space. These issues will be decided at the highest level by politicians, but they are often influenced by medical ethicists, who advise governments and other institutions about the way to handle medical emergencies.

One of those ethicists, with whom I recently spoke by phone, is Christine Mitchell, the executive director at the Center for Bioethics at Harvard Medical School. Mitchell, who has master’s degrees in nursing and philosophical and religious ethics, has been a clinical ethicist for thirty years. She founded the ethics program at Boston Children’s Hospital, and has served on national and international medical-ethics commissions. During our conversation, which has been edited for length and clarity, we discussed what ethicists tend to focus on during a health crisis, how existing health-care access affects crisis response, and the importance of institutions talking through the ethical implications of their decisions.

The Hidden Dangers of China's Digital Silk Road

by John Hemmings 

China switched on the largest commercial 5G network to date on October 31, 2019. That’s when China’s three state-owned wireless carriers, China Mobile, China Unicorn, and China Telecom, unveiled 5G subscription packages. The wireless carriers noted that they would be charging customers for speed rather than data use—and peak speed would cost around $45 a month. Beijing has promised that the next-generation network will unleash “a technological revolution.” The announcement is a message to the United States and the world that China’s push toward 5G global dominance will not be slowed by U.S. opposition.

China’s investment in next-generation technologies, including information communications technology (ICT), artificial intelligence, big data analytics, cloud computing, and blockchain among others has become a high priority under President Xi Jinping. A series of government directives, white papers, initiatives, and planning strategies have pushed Chinese tech firms toward the “right” technologies. This ambition to turn China into a global technological and cyber power is openly geopolitical in nature as the 2016 Outline of the National Strategy for Innovation-Driven Development shows: “disruptive technologies are constantly emerging, continually reshaping the world’s competitive landscape, and changing the balance of power among states.”

To Fight Covid-19, Curb the Spread of Germs—and Rumors

We need to combat misinformation about the virus the same way we’re combating the virus itself: with a communitarian focus.

“If you’re not going to give me information,” one of my students said during class, “I’m going to take what I have and run with it. Even if something is just a possibility, I’m still going to share it. I want people to know.”

Why Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Tanked Oil Markets

Frida Ghitis 

With the global economy already teetering as the result of the coronavirus outbreak that is now officially a pandemic, Saudi Arabia’s young and powerful crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman, has risked pushing the world into recession by firing a shot directly into the oil markets. It was a trademark move by the prince, known as MBS, who has shown he can be brazen and ruthless—and occasionally self-destructive—when he’s determined to get his way.

On Sunday night, MBS announced that Saudi Arabia would sharply increase its oil output despite a steep decline in global demand. It was precisely the opposite of what oil producers normally do, and it worsened an existing slump and immediately triggered a wave of panic selling across already-anxious markets around the world. Oil prices fell by an incredible 30 percent as markets opened Monday, and by the time the markets closed on Wall Street, major indexes had experienced their deepest losses since the global financial crisis a dozen years ago.

Rodrigo Duterte Will Not Go Gently

By Sheila S. Coronel 

President Rodrigo Duterte is on a roll. In the Philippines, where reelection is banned, most presidents become lame ducks halfway into their six-year terms. But four years into his presidency, Duterte remains at the top of his game, impervious to blistering criticism of his autocratic tendencies and his bloody war on drugs, which has killed at least 6,000 suspected drug users and sellers. A December poll shows his popularity at 87 percent, surpassing that of every Philippine president since competitive elections were reintroduced in the 1980s, after the 20-year reign of the dictator Ferdinand Marcos.

The president’s opponents hope that “Dutertismo” will fade away in 2022, when his term ends. But they should not assume that Duterte will quietly leave office like his predecessors. Buoyed by public support, Duterte is making every effort to consolidate his base, cement his legacy, and handpick a successor so he can continue to exert influence and exercise power beyond his term. If he succeeds, then Duterte’s illiberalism, anti-Westernism, and anti-elitism may endure for years to come.


Tomgram: Nomi Prins, The Global Economy Catches the Coronavirus

by Nomi Prins 

In 2017, the news came in that three men -- Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos, and Warren Buffett -- were wealthier than the bottom half of American society or 160 million people. In fact, from 2013-2018, the number of billionaires globally rose by 40% and their collective fortune grew by 34.5%. So it shouldn’t be surprising that, for the first time in history, an election campaign featured three billionaires, one already in the White House. Meanwhile, in 2019, another 31,000 people joined the ranks of the “ultra-wealthy” with assets of more than $30 million each. Yes, we’re on a planet of extremes and when it comes to those extremes, add in climate change and the quick-spreading new coronavirus that the billionaire in the White House would prefer to do anything but actually deal with.

In other words, it’s an increasingly small world and we’re all -- rich and poor -- on the equivalent of a single vast cruise ship being buffeted (and I don’t mean Warren Buffetted) by increasingly extreme winds and seas. The waters are ever rougher and while the people in the fancy cabins, well situated atop the ship with every imaginable form of help in sight, are in better shape, those crowded into the modern equivalent of steerage are in trouble deep. Yes, the coronavirus may be indiscriminate, but who can and can’t work from home, to take one example, isn’t; nor is the access of the rich and the bottom half of American society to health care faintly similar. 

Can the nuclear nonproliferation regime be saved when arms control is collapsing?

John Mecklin
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When limits on nuclear weapons get public attention nowadays, the discussion generally focuses on the disintegration of this or that arms control agreement, and whether its diminishment or disappearance should or shouldn’t be lamented. So far, the Trump administration has lamented little, as many arms control and disarmament experts expressed alarm.

The United States’ withdrawal from the landmark Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty, its backing away from the Iran nuclear deal, and the impending lapse of New START – the treaty that limits US and Russian deployed strategic nuclear weapons – would indeed be worrisome enough, even considered in isolation from one another. Taken together, this broad erosion of the world’s infrastructure for controlling nuclear weapons arsenals is part of what the Bulletin Science and Security Board recently called “a new willingness of political leaders to reject the negotiations and institutions that can protect civilization over the long term.” In fact, this erosion was a major factor in the board’s decision to move the hands of the Doomsday Clock just 100 seconds from midnight – closer to the apocalypse than they have ever been.

The NPT turns 50: Will it get to 60?

Henry Sokolski
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In the next decade, it is all too likely that the past success of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) in preventing the further spread of nuclear weapons among the world’s nations will be reversed. Three trends make more proliferation likely. First is the decay of nuclear taboos. Second, and arguably worse, is renewed vertical proliferation – the increase in size and sophistication of nuclear arsenals by states that already have them. Third, the technical information to fuel nuclear breakouts and ramp-ups is more available now than in the past. These trends toward increased proliferation are not yet facts. The author describes three steps the international community could take to save the NPT: making further withdrawals from the NPT unattractive; clamping down on the uneconomical stockpiling and civilian use of nuclear weapons materials (plutonium and highly enriched uranium); and giving real meaning to efforts to limit the threats that existing nuclear weapons pose.

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and the 10th five-year review of its status at the United Nations. With 190 state parties, it is one of the few treaties to enjoy almost universal adherence. Its supporters already are talking about the treaty’s next half century.

But will it see out the next decade? There’s plenty to argue it won’t.

Russian nuclear forces, 2020

Hans M. Kristensen, Matt Korda

The Nuclear Notebook is researched and written by Hans M. Kristensen, director of the Nuclear Information Project with the Federation of American Scientists, and Matt Korda, a research associate with the project. The Nuclear Notebook column has been published in the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists since 1987. This issue’s column examines Russia’s nuclear arsenal, which includes a stockpile of approximately 4,310 warheads. Of these, 1,570 strategic warheads are deployed on ballistic missiles and at heavy bomber bases, while an additional 870 strategic warheads, along with 1,870 nonstrategic warheads, are held in reserve. The Russian arsenal is continuing broad modernization intended to replace most Soviet-era weapons by the mid to late 2020s.

Russia is in the middle of a decades-long modernization of its strategic and nonstrategic nuclear forces to replace Soviet-era weapons with newer systems. President Vladimir Putin reported in late 2019 that modern equipment now makes up 82 percent of Russia’s nuclear triad and that “our equipment must be better than the world’s best if we want to come out as the winners.” He further declared that Russia is “ready to work out new arms control agreements. But until this process is launched we will continue to strengthen our nuclear forces.” Moreover, he said, “we will continue to create other promising missile systems” to deter Russia’s potential adversaries (Russian Federation 2019a). These modernizations, combined with an increase in the number and size of military exercises and occasional explicit nuclear threats against other countries, contribute to uncertainty about Russia’s long-term intentions and growing international debate about the nature of its nuclear strategy. These concerns, in turn, stimulate increased defense spending, nuclear modernization programs, and political opposition to further nuclear weapons reductions in Western Europe and the United States.

Understanding Russian Subversion

by Andrew Radin, Alyssa Demus, Krystyna Marcinek

How and why does Russia undertake subversive activities and campaigns to further its interests?

What are the characteristics of Russian subversive efforts, and how do they change based on the intended target audience?

How have states responded to and punished Russian subversion and have these measures been effective?
What policies should be adopted to address Russian subversion?

Since 2014, Russia has undertaken a wide range of subversive activities intended to influence the domestic politics of the United States, its partners, and its allies. This Perspective synthesizes previous work, discussing what subversion is and the capabilities used to undertake it today. The authors explain the interconnected Russian interests that inspire use of subversion—defense of the country and regime, being recognized as one of the world's great powers, maintaining a sphere of interest, stopping European Union and NATO enlargement, and encouraging economic prosperity. They trace the origins of Russian subversion in Soviet and post-Soviet history and examine how Russia engages in military, economic, information, cyber, and political subversion, drawing on recent events, such as attempts to influence elections in other countries, including the United States. To address Russian subversion, the authors propose focusing defensive activities on the greatest vulnerabilities, ensuring that any punishments of Russian actions are closely and clearly linked with particular acts of subversion, conducting additional research on when Russian subversion is effective, and improving rapid attribution of subversion.

Why Democracy Is on the Decline in the United States

By Evan Osnos
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Freedom House, the Washington-based think tank, opened in 1941, with a mission to counter isolationism in America and fascism around the world. It was conceived as a bipartisan project; the honorary chairs were Eleanor Roosevelt, the First Lady, and Wendell Willkie, who had been the Republican Presidential nominee in 1940—and lost to Roosevelt’s husband. Over the years, Freedom House studied a broad spectrum of threats to freedom, from McCarthyism to Soviet oppression. Since 1973, it has published “Freedom in the World,” an annual country-by-country report that has been called the “Michelin Guide to democracy’s development.”

The latest edition was published last week, and, as you might expect, it recorded the fourteenth straight year of deteriorating freedom around the world; sixty-four countries have lost liberties in the past year, while only thirty-seven registered improvements. (India, the world’s largest democracy, has seen some of the most alarming declines.) Its assessment of the United States is also disturbing. In 2009, the U.S. had a score of ninety-four, out of a hundred, which ranked it near the top, just behind Germany, Switzerland, and Estonia. In the decade since, it has slipped eight points; it now ranks behind Greece, Slovakia, and Mauritius. Looking at the United States, Freedom House analysts note the types of trends that they more customarily assign to fragile corners of the globe: “pressure on electoral integrity, judicial independence, and safeguards against corruption. Fierce rhetorical attacks on the press, the rule of law, and other pillars of democracy coming from American leaders, including the president himself.”

Why the Media Gets Russia Influence Wrong

Here they go again. American media organizations could be naive about Russia during and right after 2016, when not that much was known about Moscow’s efforts to sow division in the American elections and the salacious allegations contained in the Steele dossier were given a wide airing. But since then, the Mueller report has appeared as well as the testimony of former Trump administration officials such as Fiona Hill who pointed to Russia’s attempts to create discord in the American political system. Instead of taking those lessons to heart, however, the media, more often than not, continues to act as Putin’s unwitting patsies in floating outlandish allegations.

Consider the website Buzzfeed. The hue and cry over Russiagate was originally triggered by its decision to publish the Steele dossier in January 2017. The problems were with dossier were immediately apparent--sketchy sourcing, reliance on unverifiable claims, sensational allegations, and so on. Some highlights: it reported that Donald Trump’s personal attorney Michael Cohen had traveled to Prague to negotiate with the Russians; that Trump campaign advisor Carter Page was being bribed with shares of the Russian oil company Rosneft worth literally billions of dollars; and that the Kremlin possessed direct “kompromat” on Trump himself in the form of a video with urinating prostitutes. The decision to publish the Steele dossier was made by former editor-in-chief of Buzzfeed’s news section, Ben Smith. In an interview with The New Yorker to discuss his new job as a New York Times columnist, Smith said he had no regrets about the Steele dossier. “I think it was the right decision, and I have never had any doubts about that.”

How to Analyze the Cyber Threat from Drones

by Katharina Ley Best, Jon Schmid

What are the cybersecurity implications of the rapid growth in UAS, in terms of both UAS as cyber weapons and UAS as cyber targets?

What are some conceptual approaches that can enable the enumeration and categorization of drone-related cyber threats?

What are the industry trends related to cybersecurity and UAS and the implications thereof?

What threats exist related to cybersecurity and UAS, from the perspective of the Department of Homeland Security?

This work explores approaches for understanding, inventorying, and modeling cybersecurity implications of the rapid growth in unmanned aerial systems (UAS), focusing specifically on current vulnerabilities and future trends. The authors propose conceptual approaches meant to enable the enumeration and categorization of UAS-related cyber threats and explore some of the potential benefits and challenges of modeling the commercial UAS threat. These approaches are applied to real-world threat scenarios to test their validity and illustrate the types of attacks that are currently feasible. Industry trends and the implications of these trends for cybersecurity are presented. Finally, the authors consider the UAS-related cybersecurity threat from the perspective of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). Specifically, the authors describe the vulnerability of particular DHS components to the threats described in this report and suggest possible means of threat mitigation.

Deterrence in the Age of Thinking Machines

by Yuna Huh Wong

What are the implications of adding thinking machines and autonomous systems to the practices that countries have developed to signal one another about the use of force and its potential consequences?

What happens to deterrence and escalation when decisions can be made at machine speeds and are carried out by forces that do not risk human lives of the using state or actor?

How might the rise of these capabilities weaken or strengthen deterrence?

What are potential areas of miscalculation and unintended consequences?

Congress, Warning of Cybersecurity Vulnerabilities, Recommends Overhaul

By Julian E. Barnes and David E. Sanger
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A yearlong effort by a bipartisan group of lawmakers suggests steps to deter attacks, including clearer communication of operations. 

 “The U.S. government is currently not designed to act with the speed and agility necessary to defend the country in cyberspace,” a congressional report concludes.Credit...Jonathan Ernst/Reuters

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.

Deterrence in the Age of Thinking Machines

by Yuna Huh Wong

What are the implications of adding thinking machines and autonomous systems to the practices that countries have developed to signal one another about the use of force and its potential consequences?

What happens to deterrence and escalation when decisions can be made at machine speeds and are carried out by forces that do not risk human lives of the using state or actor?
How might the rise of these capabilities weaken or strengthen deterrence?

What are potential areas of miscalculation and unintended consequences?

The greater use of artificial intelligence (AI) and autonomous systems by the militaries of the world has the potential to affect deterrence strategies and escalation dynamics in crises and conflicts. Up until now, deterrence has involved humans trying to dissuade other humans from taking particular courses of action. What happens when the thinking and decision processes involved are no longer purely human? How might dynamics change when decisions and actions can be taken at machine speeds? How might AI and autonomy affect the ways that countries have developed to signal one another about the potential use of force? What are potential areas for miscalculation and unintended consequences, and unwanted escalation in particular?

2019 West Coast Aerospace Forum

by Susanna Blume
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RAND Project AIR FORCE joined the Aerospace Corporation, the Center for Strategic and International Studies, the Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies, and the MITRE Corporation in sponsoring the fifth annual West Coast Aerospace Forum on December 6th, 2019. The forum provided a rare chance to engage with some of the Air Force's most senior and experienced leaders as well as top civilian national security experts in a setting that encouraged debate, discussion, and audience interaction. The theme of the 2019 event was "An Air and Space Force Designed for the Future."

Strategy after Deterrence

“A military is built to fight . . . and focus on fighting and fighting to win.”

— Xi Jinping at the 19th Party Congress

One dilemma (among several) for U.S. strategic thinking is the still-powerful influence of the dead hand of Cold War thought. If there are historical precedents for the current situation, it is not the somewhat static bipolar competition of the last century but instead some combination of nineteenth century great power competition and the rise of aggressive authoritarianism in the 1930s. Yet we continue to try to apply Cold War ideas to strategic challenges, including cybersecurity, and chief among these is the concept of deterrence. What does deterrence mean in an international environment where:
Opponents have spent years developing strategies to circumvent United States’ deterrent capabilities;

They perceive the United States as strategically inept and believe it can be outmaneuvered in ways that reduce the risk of retaliation; and

Cyberspace has become the central domain for conflict, and, unlike nuclear weapons, whose use was to be avoided, cyber “weapons" are used daily in ways that do not pose existential threats.

Our Strategy

After conducting an extensive study including over 300 interviews, a competitive strategy event modeled after the original Project Solarium in the Eisenhower administration, and stress tests by external red teams, the Commission advocates a new strategic approach to cybersecurity: layered cyber deterrence. The desired end state of layered cyber deterrence is a reduced probability and impact of cyberattacks of significant consequence. The strategy outlines three ways to achieve this end state:

Shape behavior. The United States must work with allies and partners to promote responsible behavior in cyberspace.

Deny benefits. The United States must deny benefits to adversaries who have long exploited cyberspace to their advantage, to American disadvantage, and at little cost to themselves. This new approach requires securing critical networks in collaboration with the private sector to promote national resilience and increase the security of the cyber ecosystem.

Impose costs. The United States must maintain the capability, capacity, and credibility needed to retaliate against actors who target America in and through cyberspace.

Each of the three ways described above involves a deterrent layer that increases American public- and private-sector security by altering how adversaries perceive the costs and benefits of using cyberspace to attack American interests. These three deterrent layers are supported by six policy pillars that organize more than 75 recommendations. These pillars represent the means to implement layered cyber deterrence.

Giant Report Lays Anvil on US Cyber Policy

Released today, the bipartisan Cyberspace Solarium Commission makes more than 75 recommendations that range from common-sense to befuddling.

Today, the US Cyberspace Solarium Commission published its final report. The 182-page document is the culmination of a year-long, bipartisan process to develop a new cyber strategy for the United States. Established by the 2019 Defense Authorization Act, the commission draws its inspiration from one set up by President Dwight Eisenhower in the 1950s, as he stared down the barrel of new strategic challenges necessitating a policy overhaul.

Automating Army Convoys

by Shawn McKay

How mature is autonomous vehicle (AV) technology for Army convoy operations?

What are the potential risks of deploying AV technology in the Army over the next five years?

What effects will automated convoys have on Army force structure, operation planning, and execution?

This report examines how the U.S. Army can move ahead with the development and integration of automated driving technology for its convoy operations in the near future. Robotic ground vehicles are quickly maturing in the commercial sphere and could potentially save lives and increase efficiency if utilized in Army convoys. However, it may be many years until fully unmanned convoy vehicles are able to operate in rough terrain or manage adversarial attacks. In response, the authors of this report examine different employment concepts of automated trucks in Army convoys that appear viable in the next one to five years and would still reduce soldier casualties. The authors investigate technical and tactical benefits and risks of these concepts. A bridging option, the minimally manned employment concept, leading to the eventual use of a mix of manned and unmanned trucks in a convoy, is developed in this report to address the current technical and tactical risks of concepts requiring use of unmanned, automated trucks in Army convoys.

Hypersonic Combo: How the Army and Air Force Are Teaming up to Build New Hypersonic Weapons

by Kris Osborn

(Washington, D.C.) They can take out targets faster than enemies can respond by destroying a wide range of air, sea, land and space targets. Traveling at five-times the speed of sound, they are nearly impossible to defend against and place fighter jets, ships, ground vehicles, satellites and ground assets at tremendous risk of nearly instant destruction -- they are hypersonic weapons.

Naturally, the risks and advantages of these weapons, many of which are basically here, are inspiring the military services to massively fast-track hypersonics development. For instance, the Army Research Laboratory and Air Force Research Laboratory are now working closely together to develop hypersonics and, among other things, engineer on a new-generation of hypersonic weapons designed to come after the currently emerging arsenal. This would expand hypersonic mission options in new directions and introduce new air vehicle configurations.

This Army-Air Force collaborative effort includes a wide range of probing scientific research efforts, weapons prototyping, exploration of new materials, experimentation and the pursuit of innovative manufacturing strategies such as “additive manufacturing” or 3D printing. The Army Research Laboratory is, for instance, experimenting with existing materials as well as new combinations of metals and other substances.