16 March 2020

What Is in India’s Sweeping Personal Data Protection Bill?


This publication was produced under Carnegie India’s Technology and Society Program. For details on the program’s funding, please visit the Carnegie India website. The views expressed in this piece are solely those of the author.


Introduced in India’s parliament on December 11, 2019, the Personal Data Protection Bill sets rules for how personal data should be processed and stored, and lists people’s rights with respect to their personal information. It also proposes to create an independent new Indian regulatory authority, the Data Protection Authority (DPA), to carry out this law. The bill also sets out grounds for exemption.


The bill imposes hefty new compliance requirements for data protection on most businesses in India.

Connecting the Dots: The West’s Wars at Home and Abroad

Paul Rogers

The war on terror has been underway for nearly two decades. Yet there is still little appreciation in some political quarters of how this approach has often been counterproductive and even created the conditions for violent extremism to thrive. If we are ever going to move towards a less violent future, this must change.

Introduction - Why Do They Hate Us?

In the immediate aftermath of the 9/11 attacks in 2001, the understandable desire in the United States to respond with force was interspersed in some minds with the question “Why do they Hate Us?” It was rooted in the need to understand why any group could attack the United States in this appalling manner, given that America was an undoubted force for good, consistently acting as the world’s police force and ensuring peace and stability.

What It Means to Contain and Mitigate the Coronavirus

On Sunday, after a frightening spike in the number of people infected and killed by covid-19, the coronavirus disease that the World Health Organization on Wednesday declared a global pandemic, the Italian government enacted a mandatory lockdown in Lombardy and fourteen other northern provinces, including the cities of Milan and Venice, and the tiny nation of San Marino. In addition to a cordon sanitaire, which halted travel into or out of the affected areas, the lockdown prohibited the sixteen million people living inside the so-called zone rosse from any movement that was not required for work, health, or other “necessary” reasons. The decree also forbade Masses and funerals, closed movie theatres and museums, and required shopping malls and supermarkets to stay closed on weekends. On Monday, a day after Italian news organizations showed videos of people running to catch the last trains out of Milan, Giuseppe Conte, Italy’s Prime Minister, extended the emergency measures to the entire country.

Monetary And Financial Stability During The Coronavirus Outbreak

by Tobias Adrian

The global spread of the coronavirus is a human tragedy unfolding across the world. Quantifying the economic impact is complex, giving rise to significant uncertainty about the economic outlook and the associated downside risks. Such an abrupt rise in uncertainty can put both economic growth and financial stability at risk. In addition to targeted economic policies and fiscal measures, the right monetary and financial stability policies will be vital to help buttress the global economy.

Global cooperation to synchronize monetary policy must be high on the agenda.

Higher uncertainty and tighter financial conditions

Measures of economic uncertainty such as equity market volatility increased sharply in countries around the world. Stock markets in major economies, such as the United States, the Euro area, and Japan, all fell sharply and witnessed a surge in implied volatility as skittish investors tried to factor in the latest risks posed by the new virus.

What the Coronavirus Means for China’s Foreign Policy



As the coronavirus has spread, mistrust between the United States and China has hampered the global coordination such a crisis requires. Both countries share responsibility for failing to cooperate. Beijing’s lack of transparency about the true extent of the outbreak, due to political imperatives and economic concerns, fueled suspicions from the outset. Prior to the outbreak of the virus in the United States, Washington offered aid and assistance that China was reluctant to accept, though U.S. health experts were eventually allowed to join the visiting World Health Organization (WHO) delegation. Later, Beijing criticized the United States for being one of the first countries to impose restrictions on those traveling from China.

Meanwhile, U.S. President Donald Trump’s administration has pursued policies, all born of a broad rejection of engagement, that have left the United States poorly positioned to respond to a pandemic. Under previous administrations, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention maintained a substantial presence on the ground in China. U.S. public health experts established relationships with Chinese counterparts and instituted procedures that were called upon when the severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) outbreak took place in 2002 and 2003. The Trump administration has rolled back much of that presence.

The Coronavirus Is Killing Globalization as We Know It

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Until recently, most policymakers and investors remained complacent about the potential economic impact of the coronavirus crisis. As late as the end of February, most wrongly assumed that it would have only a brief, limited, China-specific impact. Now they realize that it is generating a global shock, which may be sharp—but which most still expect to be short. But what if the economic disruption has an enduring impact? Could the coronavirus pandemic even be the nail in the coffin for the current era of globalization?

The coronavirus crisis has highlighted the downsides of extensive international integration while fanning fears of foreigners and providing legitimacy for national restrictions on global trade and flows of people.

All sorts of businesses have suddenly realized the risks of relying on complex global supply chains that are specific not just to China—but to particular places such as Wuhan, the epicenter of the pandemic. Chinese people—and now Italians, Iranians, Koreans, and others—have become widely seen as vectors of disease; senior Republican politicians in the United States have even labeled the disease the “Chinese coronavirus.”

Coronavirus Could Be The End Of China As A Global Manufacturing Hub

Kenneth Rapoza

The new coronavirus Covid-19 will end up being the final curtain on China’s nearly 30 year role as the world’s leading manufacturer.

“Using China as a hub...that model died this week, I think,” says Vladimir Signorelli, head of Bretton Woods Research, a macro investment research firm.

China’s economy is getting hit much harder by the coronavirus outbreak than markets currently recognize. Wall Street appeared to be the last to realize this last week. The S&P 500 fell over 8%, the worst performing market of all the big coronavirus infected nations. Even Italy, which has over a thousand cases now, did better last week than the U.S.

China On Hold

On January 23, Beijing ordered the extension of the Lunar New Year holiday, postponing a return to work. The coronavirus was spreading fast in the epicenter province of Hubei and the last thing China wanted was for that to be repeated elsewhere. Travel restrictions and quarantines of nearly 60 million people drove business activity to a standstill.

Sunk: How China's Man-Made Islands Are Falling Apart and Sinking Into the Ocean

by David Axe 

Key point: Bejing quickly built human-made artificial islands to seize disputed territories. But now it looks like their greed and speed are coming back to haunt them.

China’s island outposts in the China Seas might have a major weakness.

Since 2013 the Chinese government has dredged and mostly destroyed ecologically delicate reefs in disputed waters in order to build seven major military bases complete with ports, airstrips and radar and missile installations.

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

The islands function as unsinkable aircraft carriers and help to cement Beijing’s claims on waters rich with fish and minerals, waters that neighboring countries also claim.

“If the terraforming no longer makes headlines, it is because it is largely complete,” The Economist stated.

Why Are We So Scared of the Coronavirus?

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Feelings are, by definition, hard to put into words. So to accurately describe the anxiety now gripping the world is extremely challenging.

Still, to say that people are merely scared of the novel coronavirus storming around the globe doesn’t do it justice. “Scared” isn’t strong or nuanced enough to capture the kind of fear so many people seem to be feeling.

The signs of alarm are everywhere, both big and small. You can see them in the faces of subway riders when someone coughs or in the eyes of an Uber driver peering above her face mask in the rearview mirror. And you can see them in the massive, disproportionate, and self-destructive responses some societies have taken—more on those below.

Let me make something clear from the start: I don’t mean to suggest that there aren’t plenty of good, rational reasons to be concerned. As of this writing, 116,145 people have contracted COVID-19, the disease caused by the virus, and 4,090 of them have died. Worse, in the West, infections are still accelerating, which means it has yet to experience the pandemic’s full force.

My Lockdown Diary, From a Small, Old Town in Italy

By Beppe Severgnini

CREMA, Italy — An open society in lockdown: It’s almost an oxymoron, a mind game. Until it happens, and life suddenly changes. It’s happening to me and all Italians. Beginning in the north, where I live, and now in the whole country. Everything is shut: no schools, no meetings, no parties, no movies, no plays, no sporting events. No bars and no restaurants. No shops open, except food stores and pharmacies. Across the country, as of Thursday, 15,113 people have contracted the virus (about half are in hospital); 1,016 have died and 1,258 have recovered.

The Italian government’s mantra is three words: “Restate a casa” — Stay at home.

What happens to daily life in a small, old town near Milan during an epidemic?

Crema is pretty, wealthy and proud, a quintessential Italian community where everyone knows each other. It has been described in books and became a backdrop for the film “Call Me by Your Name.” Outside my window, I can see the whole of the main square, Piazza del Duomo.

The oil shock of 2020 appears to be here – and the pain could be wide and deep

Scott L. Montgomery
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Scott L. Montgomery does not work for, consult, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organisation that would benefit from this article, and has disclosed no relevant affiliations beyond their academic appointment.

The world is again undergoing an oil shock.

Prices, already on a downward trend, have collapsed 30% in less than a week, bringing the total fall to nearly 50% since highs in early January. Consumers, of course, can expect gasoline prices to go down, but the story is far more complicated than that.

Having researched energy for decades, I see this as a big deal, not only for the global economy, but for geopolitics, the future of transport and efforts to mitigate climate change, particularly if the world enters into a sustained period of cheap oil.

What happened?

Oil prices have been forced downward due to major influences from both the demand and supply sides.

Digital Strangelove: The Cyber Dangers of Nuclear Weapons

By Jon Lindsay 

Cyberspace is the most complex sociotechnical system ever created, while nuclear weapons are the most destructive military tools in history. They are increasingly entangled in ways that we do not fully understand. Partly this is due to a lack of information—cyber operations and nuclear weapons are both highly classified realms. Partly this is due to the increasing complexity of interactions, which are hard to model. Yet the greater challenges, perhaps, are political.

Nuclear command, control and communications (NC3) is the nervous system of the strategic deterrent. NC3 enables critical informational functions such as early warning and situation monitoring, operational planning and assessment, strategic decision-making and tactical force direction. Commanders aim to ensure that weapons are always available for authorized use and never usable without authorization. There is some tension between these requirements, insofar as a highly alert posture to ensure usability increases the risk of accident, and some close calls resulted during the Cold War.

One War Is Not Enough: Strategy and Force Planning for Great Power Competition

by Hal Brands

What are the implications of the Department of Defense’s adoption of a one-war standard that is focused on defeating a great-power rival? Hal Brands and Evan Braden Montgomery discuss the gap between America’s global commitments and the military challenges it can realistically meet.

The main pillar of this strategy is a new approach to force planning, which outlines how the U.S. military should be built to fight. For more than a generation, the United States maintained a two-war standard to ensure that it could defeat a pair of regional adversaries simultaneously or in quick succession. Now, the Defense Department has adopted a one-war standard geared toward defeating a great-power rival. In other words, rather than planning to win multiple medium-sized wars, the Defense Department is preparing to win a single major war against a formidable competitor, one that can match (at least in some areas) American military might. This shift represents the most significant departure in American defense strategy since the end of the Cold War, and it has tremendous ramifications for a country that still has security commitments — and security challenges — around the globe.

Trouble: Could Russia Jam American Communications During a Land War in Europe?

by David Axe 
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Key point: Here is what could happen if Russia and America fought. Moscow has invested a lot in its electronic warfare capabilities.

The U.S. military is spending more and more on electronic-warfare systems, all in a desperate bid to keep pace with China and Russia’s own investments in jammers.

But the roughly $10 billion that the Pentagon plans to spend on electronic warfare every year over the next five years isn’t helping as much as it should, the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments explained in a November 2019 report.

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

“The growth in [Defense Department] E.W. spending ... is not guided by a coherent vision of how U.S. forces would operate and fight in the [electromagnetic spectrum, or EMS] and is unlikely to yield significant improvements against China and Russia, the U.S. military’s most challenging competitors,” CSBA experts Bryan Clark, Whitney McNamara and Timothy Walton explained.

The Changing Geopolitics of Nuclear Energy: A Look at the United States, Russia, and China

The nuclear industry of advanced industrialized countries is under significant pressure to remain competitive as the market landscape for new nuclear power opportunities changes. The relative decline of U.S. nuclear export competitiveness comes at a time when Russia is boosting its dominance in new nuclear sales, and China is doubling down on its effort to become a leader in global nuclear commerce. This report illuminates how the changing market competition among the United States, Russia, and China will affect their future relations with nuclear commerce recipient countries, and discusses why Russia and China promote nuclear commerce, as well as which factors may alter their market competitiveness. The report further provides recommendations regarding the U.S. approach to continued commercial competitiveness in nuclear energy.

The key findings include:

Nuclear power generation projects have never been a purely commercial endeavor in the United States, and civilian nuclear export is difficult to be viable as a purely commercial undertaking.

Global nuclear market dominance by state-led capitalist economies with limited accountability and governance capacities would endanger the future of global nuclear safety and nonproliferation.

What if we did everything right? This is what the world could look like in 2050

In many places around the world, the air is hot, heavy, and depending on the day, clogged with particulate pollution. Your eyes often water. Your cough never seems to disappear. You think about some countries in Asia, where out of consideration sick people used to wear white masks to protect others from airborne infection. Now you wear a daily mask to protect yourself from air pollution. You can no longer walk out your front door and breathe fresh air: there is none. Instead, before opening doors or windows in the morning, you check your phone to see what the air quality will be. Everything might look fine— sunny and clear— but you know better. When storms and heat waves overlap and cluster, the air pollution and intensified surface ozone levels make it dangerous to go outside without a specially designed face mask (which only some can afford).

Meet our Young Global Leaders for 2020

What does the winner of the FIFA Women's World Cup have in common with the prime minister of Finland? They are both young leaders who gained international repute over the last 12 months. And now Megan Rapinoe and Sanna Marin have been recognized as Young Global Leaders by the World Economic Forum - joining a community of people dedicated to changing the world for the better.

Each year, the Forum of Young Global Leaders identifies the world’s most promising leaders under the age of 40 - people driving innovation for positive change across civil society, arts, culture, government and business. By connecting them to a community of remarkable peers and investing further in their leadership abilities, the aim is to create a ripple effect over five years that benefits their organizations and the world.

Here are some of the 115 YGLs that make up the class of 2020:

Is The U.S. Already In A Recession?

Challenger Gray and Christmas
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The World Health Organization has declared COVID-19 a global pandemic. How is the virus impacting business and the workplace?

Companies Race to Get Workforces Remote-Ready. Employers around the nation are instituting tests to determine whether their teams can work remotely during the pandemic, without sacrificing productivity.

"The ability to work remotely has long been a desirable benefit to attract workers. Many employers had specific departments or individuals remote-work capable and, in many cases, it was used maybe once or twice a week," said Andrew Challenger, Senior VP of global outplacement and executive and business coaching firm, Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc.

"Now, as employers try to protect their employees, it's crucial that companies align their IT teams with available resources to institute company-wide remote work," added Challenger.

Singapore Was Ready for Covid-19—Other Countries, Take Note

This pandemic—the new disease Covid-19, the virus SARS-CoV-2—is not Singapore’s first epidemiological nightmare. In 2002 and 2003, Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome, the original SARS, tore out of China and through Asia, killing 33 people in Singapore and sparking wholesale revisions to the city-state’s public health system. “They realized they wanted to invest for the future, to reduce that economic cost if the same thing were to happen again,” says Martin Hibberd, an infectious disease researcher now at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine who worked in Singapore on SARS.

The Damage at the State Department Is Worse Than You Can Imagine

William J. Burns
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Donald trump is at war with his own government. And on at least one front of the administration’s campaign—the demolition of the State Department—the damage is even more severe than we imagine. It is also more reparable.

What makes the White House’s efforts so destructive is not just the venality and vindictiveness of the president, or even the stupidity of sidelining or driving away professional diplomats at a moment when the coronavirus is spreading, great-power competition is simmering, and regional conflicts are bubbling. George Packer’s recent dispatch from the front lines of Trump’s war paints a vivid portrait not only of the targeted strikes against experienced and honorable public servants, but also of the indiscriminate attacks on the institutions they animate and, in turn, the citizens they serve.

Putin’s Choice: What do Russia’s Latest Constitutional Maneuvers Mean?

A new Russian state is taking shape that is unashamedly authoritarian in design. If Russia ever wants to return to the European model, it will have to dismantle the entire political legacy that this regime has built.

President Vladimir Putin has surprised the pundits again. On January 15, many Kremlin watchers heard him announce planned changes to the constitution and a government reshuffle, understanding that the transition from Putin’s personal rule had been primed to begin in 2024. 

Now, after Putin’s speech in the Duma on March 10, that transition has been delayed almost indefinitely. If the latest proposed constitutional amendments go through, Putin, having served four presidential terms, will be allowed to run for two more, which could see him keep that office until 2036. 

Many were asking why this operation was launched so early, four years before the next scheduled presidential election. Was this to install a new successor quickly before behind-the-scenes plotters could sabotage the transition? No, it seems the Kremlin wanted to re-consolidate the power of the regime without Russian society or local and foreign observers having time to react. 

Trump Can’t Deport the Coronavirus

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In a speech that terrified markets and got basic facts wrong, U.S. President Donald Trump announced a ban on travel from much of Europe to the United States on Wednesday night. In it, he described COVID-19 as a “foreign virus” and attempted to put the blame on European countries for not responding as quickly as he claimed the United States had.

But the new coronavirus is not a foreign problem now. It never was, nor could be, in an age as globalized as this one. Once it had escaped containment within its original small patch in Wuhan, China, making its way to the United States was as inevitable as the arrival of McDonalds in downtown Beijing more than two decades ago.

Right now, COVID-19 is burrowed into bodies and smeared on door handles nationwide in the United States, regardless of where its hosts came from or what passport they hold.
Right now, COVID-19 is burrowed into bodies and smeared on door handles nationwide in the United States, regardless of where its hosts came from or what passport they hold. It leaps from American host to American host, just as it does between others. When the chains of contact are reconstructed, they will show patterns of infection inside U.S. communities—quite possibly from well before the virus was first detected. This is the same the world over, even in China. The virus is not a Chinese problem or a foreign one. It is universal.

Not Just Climate Change: The Other Dangerous Ways Fossil Fuels Hurt Us

by Noel Healy Jennie C. Stephens Stephanie Malin
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Many Democratic lawmakers aim to pass a Green New Deal, a package of policies that would mobilize vast amounts of money to create new jobs and address inequality while fighting climate change.

Led by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Sen. Ed Markey, they are calling for massive investments in renewable energy and other measures over a decade that would greatly reduce or even end the nation’s overwhelming reliance on fossil fuels.

As experts in environmental geography, sociology, and sustainability science and policy, we wholeheartedly support this effort. And, as we explained in a recently published study, climate change is not the only reason to ditch fossil fuels.

The Use of Mercenaries: A New Recourse to an Old Practice for Waging War in the Middle East

Yoel Guzansky, Daniel Rakov, Gallia Lindenstrauss
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A phenomenon that has intensified over the past decade in the Middle East is the use of mercenaries to project power and to realize interests. It seems that the Gulf states, Turkey, and Russia are leaders in this trend, using numerous mercenaries for combat missions beyond their borders. Mercenaries give those who deploy them a tool for managing warfare beyond their own borders, and another means of power projection while reducing their official losses. Israel, which is currently engaged in the struggle against Iranian entrenchment in Syria, has so far no direct military contact with mercenaries. However, the recourse to mercenary forces figures increasingly in its strategic environment, demonstrated both by its rivals and by its partners. It is therefore important to consider the challenges and opportunities posed by this tool.

Upheavals in the Middle East have created significant areas wracked by violence, involving regional and global players struggling to reshape the region according to their interests. A trend that has intensified over the past decade is the use of mercenaries to project power in the region. The Gulf states, Turkey, and Russia are leaders in this trend, using numerous mercenaries for combat missions beyond their borders. In this they differ from the United States, European countries, and China, who use mercenaries for support tasks, and from Iran, the regional leader in the use of proxies from the Shiite population. However, the rationale underlying the use of proxies and mercenaries is the same: limit military and political costs, reduce the number of casualties for the intervening country, and reduce the potential for escalation. Today, considerable numbers of mercenaries, who unlike proxies are driven by their financial interests, are employed in Iraq, Libya, Yemen, and Syria. Thus, it is important to assess the factors that accelerate this trend and to examine the impact on the regional picture and the potential impact on Israeli considerations.

The Gulf States 

While Everyone Is Distracted By Social Media, Successful People Double Down On An Underrated Skill

Michael Simmons

“The information we consume matters just as much as the food we put in our body. It affects our thinking, our behavior, how we understand our place in the world. And how we understand others.” — Evan Williams, Co-Founder of Twitter and Medium

Right now, somewhere out in the world is a paragraph, chapter, or book that would change your life forever if you read it. I call this kind of information “breakthrough knowledge,” and mastering the ability to find breakthrough knowledge in our era of information overload is one of the most important skills we can develop.

We’ve all had breakthrough experiences. A phrase that a parent, mentor, or teacher said that stuck with us and changed everything. A “quake” book that shook us to our core.

Warren Buffett’s quake book, for example, was The Intelligent Investor, which he read when he was 19. This book cemented the core of the investment philosophy Buffett would use throughout his career. Elon Musk’s quake book was The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, which he said helped him ask bigger questions, and therefore think about addressing larger problems in the world. My most recent quake book was Poor Charlie’s Almanack, written by self-made billionaire Charlie Munger. This was the first book that exposed me to mental models. Learning and applying mental models has been so impactful that I recently created the Mental Model of the Month Club.

An AI early warning system to monitor online disinformation, stop violence, and protect elections

Michael Yankoski,Tim WeningerWalter Scheirer

We’re developing an AI early warning system to monitor how manipulated content online such as altered photos in memes leads, in some cases, to violent conflict and societal instability. It can also potentially interfere with democratic elections. Look no further than the 2019 Indonesian election to learn how online disinformation can have an unfortunate impact on the real world. Our system may prove useful to journalists, peacekeepers, election monitors, and others who need to understand how manipulated content is spreading online during elections and in other contexts.

Over half the world’s population is now online (Internet World Stats 2019). More than 1.6 billion people use Facebook each day (Facebook 2019), while Twitter has another 145 million daily users (Twitter 2019). But our ability to connect online has far outpaced our capacity to distinguish between reliable and unreliable information. Intelligence agencies, political parties, and rogue actors are all taking advantage of this complex and exploitable web of interconnections and using social media to disseminate altered content, fake news, and propaganda to interfere in elections and even to incite direct violence.

As digital forensics researchers, we have been developing artificial intelligence (AI) capabilities that validate the integrity of media such as photos or videos for government, commercial, and humanitarian purposes. We believe one important use for this technology is to preserve peace and security by helping guarantee the integrity of democratic elections. Another use is to help provide real time forecasts of mass violence in volatile contexts. With these ends in mind, we are building an early warning system that will employ AI to observe social media for the coordinated dissemination of manipulated disinformation and other emerging malicious trends. This system will be able to warn human observers such as journalists or election monitors about potential threats in real time.

Understanding Potential Trajectories of Great-Power Ideological Competition

by Stephen Watts, Nathan Beauchamp-Mustafaga, Benjamin N. Harris, Clint Reach

To what extent have China and Russia formulated alternative ideologies or worldviews that challenge today's international order? Because such alternatives have not yet been clearly or systematically articulated, what factors might drive the emergence of a cohesive, alternative ideology?

How do these rivals currently pursue ideological competition with the United States, and how might they do so in the future?

How do other actors, including nonstate actors, influence this competition?

Under what conditions are China and Russia likely to persuade audiences around the world of the advantages of alternatives to the current international order?

What is at stake for the United States and its allies in this competition?

The United States is engaged in a new era of great-power competition, which is taking place, in part, in the realms of information, ideas, and ideology. The goal of this report is to help U.S. decisionmakers better anticipate changes in the global competition of ideas and adapt policy accordingly. The authors of this report take a closer look at two state actors (China and Russia) and two nonstate actors (populist movements and transnational advocacy networks) to analyze what an ideological competition with the United States might look like in the future. The analysis is based on research literature, recent events, and the public comments of leaders of state and nonstate actors.

DoD Winnowing Efforts To Counter Small Drones


ARLINGTON, VA: DoD will finish down-selecting “best of breed” systems to counter small drones in April, as a first step in a longer-range plan to streamline the myriad programs across the services, according to Army Maj. Gen. Sean Gainey, deputy director for force protection on the Joint Staff

The goal, he told the Association of the US Army (AUSA) here today, is to “eliminate redundancy and excess across the joint forces.”

Gainey heads the new Joint Counter Small Unmanned Aerial Systems (C-sUAS) Office that the Army stood up to manage its 2019 mandate from Secretary of Defense Mark Esper to serve as DoD’s C-sUAS Executive Agent (EA). The EA is charged with finding joint solutions to the threat caused by small drones, and to ensure that the services are not duplicating each other’s efforts. Esper approved the EA implementation plan on Jan. 6.

Gainey showed a chart that laid out the C-sUAS EA’s deliverables for its first year: a DoD Directive; a Joint C-sUAS threat assessment; a DoD counter-drone strategy; down-select of Joint Urgent Operational Need (JUON) counter-drone systems; and a Joint Capability Development Document including delivering capabilities to the warfighter.

Cyber Command doubled its contract spending in the past year

Mark Pomerleau
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.

However, some members of Congress questioned whether it needed $75 million.

The DHS cyber agency has a key role in a new strategy

Andrew Eversden

A major report by the Cyberspace Solarium Commission wants to position the Department of Homeland Security’s cybersecurity agency as the “key” agency in strengthening cybersecurity efforts within the federal government and the private sector as part of a broader overhaul of the U.S. strategy for securing cyberspace.

The recommendations in the report are another signal that Congress views DHS’ Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, which is charged with protecting federal networks and critical infrastructure from cyberattacks, as a critical piece of national security moving forward and plans to take action to bolster its authorities. The agency’s critics, however, question whether CISA is toothless, without the authorities it needs to do its job. Outside of federal government, CISA is largely dependent on voluntary cooperation to deal with what is a a vast attack surface.

The report, which makes 75 recommendations as part of a three-pronged “layered deterrence” strategy, emphasizes that it’s imperative that the federal government and private sector strengthen their relationship. Central to that effort is CISA.

Hacked: How the F-15 Fighter Can Be Taken Own by a Cyber Attack

by David Axe 

Key point: Thankfully the hackers were friendly as it was all just a test. However, these experiments exposed real vulnerabilities in the F-15.

A team of hackers in early August 2019 gained access to an F-15 fighter in an eye-opening U.S. military test. The successful hack underscores U.S. forces’ vulnerability to electronic intrusion.

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

“It was the first time outside researchers were allowed physical access to the critical F-15 system to search for weaknesses,” reporter Joseph Marks wrote for The Washington Post.

And after two long days, the seven hackers found a mother lode of vulnerabilities that — if exploited in real life — could have completely shut down the Trusted Aircraft Information Download Station, which collects reams of data from video cameras and sensors while the jet is in flight.

They even found bugs that the Air Force had tried but failed to fix after the same group of hackers performed similar tests in November [2018] without actually touching the device. …

Felix Mendelssohn's Violin Concerto receives its première performance in Leipzig with Ferdinand David as soloist.