23 April 2020

India’s National Cyber Security Strategy : How to Go About It

By Maj. Gen. P K Mallick

The exponential growth and rapid adoption of information and communication technologies (ICT) with its associated economic and social opportunities have benefited billions of people around the world. The Internet has become the backbone of modern businesses, critical services and infrastructure, social networks and the global economy. The confidentiality, integrity and availability of ICT infrastructure are challenged by cyber threats including electronic fraud, theft of intellectual property and personal identifiable information, disruption of service and damage or destruction of property. Cyber security is a foundational element for achievement of socio-economic objectives of modern economies. It encompasses governance policy, operational, technical and legal aspects.

Coronavirus Is Pushing Afghanistan Toward a Political Crisis

by Arif Rafiq

Fate has been cruel to the average Afghan over the past four decades. The country’s story, from the Soviet invasion to today’s Taliban insurgency, is well-known. Now, as the United States is in the midst of a phased withdrawal and a civil war looms, so too does the Coronavirus pandemic. The effects could compound these challenges by an insurmountable magnitude. 

Ravaged by war for four decades, Afghanistan is one of the world’s poorest countries. It lacks the public health infrastructure to adequately provide primary care, let alone the tertiary care necessitated by severe cases of the coronavirus disease. According to the World Health Organization, Afghanistan has less than three doctors per ten thousand people. Upwards of one hundred thousand Afghans seek medical care in neighboring Pakistan each year. And, like Pakistan, it is among the three countries in the world that have not stopped the transmission of the poliovirus.

The first confirmed case of coronavirus in Afghanistan was in the western city of Herat, located near the border with Iran. And it’s Herat that has remained the center of gravity. As of April 14, roughly 40 percent or 284 of the 714 confirmed cases are in Herat, driven by a surge in returnees from Iran as the virus plagued the country.

Coronavirus in Afghanistan: An Opportunity to Build Trust with the Taliban?

Belquis Ahmadi and Palwasha L. Kakar
Source Link

With the peace process deadlocked, cooperation to tackle the COVID-19 pandemic could build bridges.

The COVID-19 crisis comes at a critical juncture for Afghanistan. The disputed 2019 presidential election has led to a stalemate between incumbent President Ghani and the chief executive of the last government, Abdullah Abdullah, both of whom claim the right to govern. At a time when the Afghan government should be focused on the best chance to bring peace in years, it’s distracted by a political crisis. Meanwhile, progress in the peace process has slowed since the U.S. and Taliban signed a deal in late February. And now the coronavirus is spreading through Afghanistan, a country ill prepared for such an immense public health challenge. Above all, cooperation is needed among all parties, including the Taliban, in order to deal with the COVID-19 crisis. Could such cooperation serve as a springboard to a renewed peace process?

Last month, U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres appealed for a global cease-fire to combat the COVID-19 pandemic. Some warring parties in Colombia, Myanmar, Sudan, Syria, Ukraine, and Yemen have expressed their acceptance of the secretary-general’s call. What would it take for Afghan leaders and the Taliban to follow suit?

An Unfolding Disaster in Herat 

The Secret to Vietnam’s COVID-19 Response Success

By Minh Vu and Bich T. Tran

Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc, left, and his staff prepare documents ahead of the Special ASEAN summit on COVID-19 in Hanoi, Vietnam Tuesday, April 14, 2020.Credit: AP Photo/Hau Dinh

Vietnam planned to have a year packed with activities as the chair of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) for 2020 and a nonpermanent member of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) for the 2020-2021 term. However, the COVID-19 pandemic has led to the cancellation or postponement of numerous events and summit meetings. While it is said that the outbreak has derailed Vietnam’s diplomatic ambitions, the door remains open for Hanoi to transfer its domestic success in fighting the disease into diplomatic achievements. As the world enters the fourth month of the pandemic, Vietnam boasts a remarkably low infection rate in a country of 95 million people, with only 268 confirmed cases (97 active and 171 recovered) with no deaths as of April 17. This statistic is even more impressive given the long shared border with China, where the virus originated. Let us review the timeline of Vietnam’s response to COVID-19 and discuss its political implications. 


The Geopolitical Cost of Battling the Coronavirus Separately (China Will Win)

by Daniel P. Vajdich

While the politics of foreign assistance are challenging, especially at a time of domestic crisis, the United States and Europe cannot afford to be outdone by the coronavirus diplomacy of China and other competitors. Europe has realized this and is moving forcefully to offset its early errors, whereas the United States continues to appear lethargic, self-absorbed, and disorganized. The United States must learn from Europe’s initial missteps and, to secure their shared interests, the United States and its European allies should unite their global coronavirus efforts into a single, closely coordinated, and mutually reinforcing transatlantic campaign.

Even though the European Union (EU) is struggling to manage the coronavirus crisis internally, its activities to assist other countries around the world have become increasingly effective. But it certainly didn’t start this way. Initially, the EU and its member states fixated on their own growing difficulties as coronavirus rapidly engulfed the continent, made a number of thoughtless errors that dented the EU’s external profile and influence.

How Donald Trump Should Make China Pay for Coronavirus

by James Holmes
Source Link

Huh. All the best people assured me that only conspiracy theorists could entertain the possibility that the coronavirus might have escaped from a laboratory in Wuhan. Wuhan, the city where the outbreak started. From a laboratory where the staff was known to be working on coronaviruses. A laboratory where precautions against such a release were reportedly spotty. Occam’s Razor rules out such a farfetched confluence of circumstances.

But humor me. Let’s think about the unthinkable. Suppose, for the sake of argument, that Chinese researchers did release the coronavirus into the populace, spawning effects we have all come to know personally and intimately. And let’s assume it was an inadvertent release. That is a safe assumption. If the pandemic is a biological-warfare attack, it’s the clumsiest one imaginable using the clumsiest delivery system imaginable—China’s populace. It’s utterly indiscriminate—an assault on the entire world. And the attack could circle around back to China via cross-border travel or trade. It could prove self-defeating

Turkey’s Drone Blitz Over Idlib

By: Can Kasapoglu

Between February 27 and March 5, Turkey conducted Operation Spring Shield to halt the Syrian Arab Army’s blitz offensive in Idlib and to press Moscow into brokering a ceasefire. Due to the grave risks involved in operating in the Syrian airspace, Turkish military planners opted for using unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) as the principal airpower asset. While the Turkish Armed Forces scored a large number of kills on the Baathist regime’s combat units, the unmanned systems’ success in eliminating Syria’s Russian-manufactured surface-to-air missile (SAM) systems deserve the utmost attention. Within a week, Turkey’s UAVs destroyed a total of eight Pantsir and Buk air defenses (Yeni Safak, March 4).

Turkey’s Indigenous Drones in Action

The Turkish military used two primary unmanned aerial systems in its Idlib campaign, the Bayraktar TB-2 and ANKA-S. In terms of concept of operations (CONOPS), Ankara’s drone inventory came with pros and cons. On the positive side, first and foremost, the indigenous design and production capability provided a certain degree of marge de manoeuvre for the Turkish administration. It is worth noting that in the past, several Turkish administrations’ persistent efforts to procure the MQ-1 Predator and MQ-9 Reaper UAVs were unsuccessful due to the objection of the U.S. Congress (Hurriyet, August 10, 2015).

Islamic State Terror in the Maldives as COVID-19 Arrives The Islamic State is exploiting the COVID–19 pandemic.

By Azim Zahir

On Wednesday morning, just before sunrise, five speedboats and two dinghies at the harbor of Mahibadhoo island in the central Maldives were set ablaze. No one was onboard at the time. In its weekly, al-Naba, the Islamic State (ISIS) claimed responsibility for the attack. This is the first time ISIS has claimed responsibility for an attack in the Maldives. 

However, the attack appears to have a more local dimension. It fits into a recent pattern of revenge attacks following an increase in government crackdowns on radical groups in the Maldives since late 2019. 

The attack also coincided with the first cases of community spread of COVID-19 in the Maldives. The spread of COVID-19 in the Maldives will immensely shrink the government capacity to stem violent extremism. There has already been a renewed effort by ISIS supporters in the Maldives to spread their ideology by exploiting the pandemic. With ISIS now officially recognizing them, local ISIS supporters will be more encouraged to take advantage of the situation. 

Understanding the Boat Arson Attack 

How to End Lockdown in the UK

by Zania Stamataki Beatrice Heuser David Hunter Jonathan Ball

Italy, Spain and Austria are taking the first tentative steps out of lockdown, with Germany soon to follow. In Italy, forestry workers and IT manufacturers are back at work, while Austria is re-opening parks and small shops. The British government, however, remains tight-lipped about its exit strategy – which is surely just weeks away.

In the absence of information, we asked four experts their views on how Britain should exit the lockdown. Here is what they said.

Zania Stamataki, senior lecturer and researcher in viral immunology, University of Birmingham

It’s too early to say if people who have recovered from COVID-19 have developed protective immunity. Until these studies are concluded, we must take every precaution to avoid re-exposure. This is because in some infections, such as dengue virus, re-infection can result in more severe disease. We don’t know yet if this is the case for SARS-CoV-2, the coronavirus behind COVID-19.

World War III Cometh: These Are 2020s 5 Most Dangerous Hotspots

by Robert Farley

Here's What You Need To Know: The prospect of global conflagration in 2020 is low. Everyone awaits the result of the U.S. election, and a better understanding of the direction of US policy for the next four years. Still, every crisis proceeds by its own logic, and any of Pakistan, India, China, Israel, Iran, Turkey, or Russia might feel compelled by events to act.

As the United States enters an election year, prospects for global stability remain uncertain. President Trump’s foreign policy stood at odds with those of his predecessor, and will likely a central point of contestation in the election. At this point, several crises might emerge that would not only turn the election, but potentially bring about a wider global conflict.

Here are the five most likely flashpoints for world war in 2020 (See my World War III lists from back in 2017, 2018 and 2019).

None are particularly likely, but only one needs to catch fire. Let the wars begin! 

Avoiding the 'Realist’s' Retreat

by Daniel Fried Ash Jain

The coronavirus challenge—the pandemic itself and the resultant economic shock—puts a stress test on individuals, societies, countries, alliances, and the international system—and precedents are sobering. The infection curve may be starting to bend, but economic shock and political dysfunction may lead to a global Great Depression. Last time the world had one of those, the United States had withdrawn from responsibility in the world (something President Donald Trump seems to find tempting). Democracies then seemed to be defensive and floundering; the dictators then felt their time had come; and from these failures came world war and cold war. The United States and its free world allies had better get it right this time around.

This is the context in which Steve Krasner, State Policy Planning Director during the second Bush term (someone we have worked with and respect), has written a piece in Foreign Affairs (“Learning to Live with Despots”) that advocates realism as the guiding principle of U.S. foreign policy. He means by this less U.S. emphasis on democracy in the world (which he calls an attempt “to remake other countries in the American image”) and more emphasis on achieving practical results with non-democratic states: more security, stability, economic growth, and fewer transnational threats (e.g., terrorism, proliferation, and drug trafficking).

US Space Command: Russia Tested Direct Ascent Anti-Satellite Weapon

By Ankit Panda

Russia has conducted another test of its Nudol hit-to-kill interceptor, designed for anti-satellite missions, U.S. Space Command said in a statement on Wednesday. The test took place from Russia’s Plesetsk test site.

The test, which involved the system known as PL19/Nudol, did not involve a live orbital target. U.S. officials criticized the test.

“This test is further proof of Russia’s hypocritical advocacy of outer space arms control proposals designed to restrict the capabilities of the United States while clearly having no intention of halting their counter-space weapons programs,” said Space Command’s chief Gen. Jay Raymond.

“Russia’s DA-ASAT test provides yet another example that the threats to U.S. and allied space systems are real, serious and growing,” Gen. Raymond added. “The United States is ready and committed to deterring aggression and defending the Nation, our allies and U.S. interests from hostile acts in space.”

Direct ascent anti-satellite weapons, or DA-ASATs, are designed to fly off the earth’s surface to intercept a satellite target in orbit. Only two countries have conducted live tests of DA-ASAT style weapons. In 2007, China faced international criticism for testing its SC-19 ASAT against a satellite, generating a massive debris field, parts of which will persist for decades.

Can the US Practice Knowledge Statecraft Again?

By Robert Farley

How can the United States recapture momentum in its technological competition with China? A new CNAS report titled Forging An Alliance Innovation Base lays out a long-term strategy for leveraging alliances to facilitate faster rates of innovation. Written by Daniel Kliman, Ben FitzGerald, Kristine Lee, and Joshua Fitt, the proposal effectively calls for is knowledge statecraft of the sort that the United States practiced after the end of World War II, but to some extent abandoned at the end of the Cold War. Their answer to the problem of China’s technological expansion is to pursue cooperative technology development with a select group of allies, and to build partner capacity to protect technological innovation from Chinese acquisition.

The argument is implicitly structured around a particular argument about how the United States won the Cold War. This argument, most concisely put forward in the work of Stephen Brooks, suggested that the United States derived enduring military and economic advantage by creating a broad-based, multilateral system of investment and innovation with Japan and Western Europe. This system enabled much more rapid technological innovation than the Soviet Union and its less advanced economic base could produce, even given extravagant state investment in research and development. Information protection policies designed to prevent the diffusion of technology to the Soviet Union and its allies backstopped this multilateral innovation system.

A Historic Agreement to Reduce Oil Production

Daniel Rakov, Eldad Shavit, Tomer Fadlon

The understandings led by the United States, Russia, and Saudi Arabia to cut oil production are the principal multilateral measure aimed at stabilizing the global economy during the coronavirus crisis. It is expected to revive OPEC+ and build the initial infrastructure for strengthening the cartel's influence on the entire energy market. Despite the conflicting interests of the respective parties and the loose nature of the agreement, the common economic distress should help to maintain compliance in the coming months. If the crisis persists, it is possible that the understandings will evolve into an institutionalized mechanism that will contribute to less confrontational political discourse among the superpowers. The United States, Russia, and Saudi Arabia can regard the agreement as an achievement. President Trump demonstrated leadership in the international arena, and alleviated the pressure on the American oil industry. 

President Putin proved the importance of Russia for the global economy, and utilized the crisis to restore Moscow’s dialogue with the United States. Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman showed his resolution in the face of a Russian maneuver. A strengthened America-Russian dialogue following the agreement is likely to present Israel with an opportunity to restore Iran to the center of the international agenda. At the same time, it could also create a challenging strategic environment if Russia feels more confident in the Middle East, while the United States concentrates on internal affairs ahead of the presidential elections.In an effort to stabilize the global oil market, the United States, Russia, and Saudi Arabia held intensive talks in recent weeks, culminating in a historic agreement whereby the expanded oil cartel OPEC+ will cut production by 9.7 million barrels of oil by the end of June. Under the agreement, the production cut is also planned to continue afterwards (7.7 million barrels a day until the end of 2020, and 5.7 million barrels a day until April 2022). Most of the cut in production is to be carried out by Russia and Saudi Arabia; each of them will produce only approximately 8.5 million barrels, compared with approximately 10 million barrels in February 2020.

The European Identity: An Attempt at a Novel Approach


The 2019 European elections drew huge attention for many reasons. On the one hand, over 50 percent of the eligible voters cast their votes. This rendered these turnout rates the highest since the 1994 elections, alongside marking the first time increase in the voter turnout rates since the first direct elections to the European Parliament (EP) in 1979 (European Parliament, 2019). Seeing this rise in the turnout rates, many senior officials of the European Union (EU) even prematurely welcomed it as a boost to the legitimacy of the Union (Euronews, 2019). On the other hand, the final election results revealed that in response to the heavy losses suffered by the mainstream centre-right and centre-left groups in the EP, the right-wing nationalist and populist groups made the biggest gains (BBC, 2019). Since then, this unexpected surge of the Eurosceptic and anti-European forces in the 2019 European elections has provoked new debates on the legitimacy and the future of the Union. In such a political climate, it thus seems more than necessary to readdress the European (Union) Identity, a construct which has a solid link with European integration due to developing within its confines.

Based on these points, the main argument of this article is that the European Identity is caught amid five primary tensions, between supranationalism and intergovernmentalism; civic and cultural forms of Europeanism; the past and the future of the integration; the goals of maintaining the integration and appealing to the citizens; and quantitative versus qualitative Europeanism. Therefore, alongside examining the repercussions of each tension, this article will simultaneously attempt to present an alternative outlook to the European Identity, through defying its limited room of manoeuvre left by those tensions.

Approaching the European Identity from a Novel Perspective

The EU’s Global Health Crisis Management: Past and Present


Covid-19 is bending and at times nearly breaking the EU’s capabilities to act as global health crisis manager. The far-reaching multi-sectoral impact and the internationally entangled nature of the health crisis are challenging not only Europe but the whole international community. Transnational health crises demand an international response and can offer windows of opportunities to introduce change. The EU might be able to emerge stronger out of the crises if it learns from the past and further elaborates sustainable health crisis management structures. However, the best prevention against health crises remains a solid investment in health systems. This article will show that a successful EU’s crisis response depends on four key aspects. Firstly, the creation of sustainable and rapidly available medical and human resources on EU level. Secondly, the willingness and ability to proactively contribute to an international response. Thirdly, the delegation of responsibilities to the European Commission in health crises. Lastly, the involvement of civil society actors to include social impact assessments in policy planning and implementation.

To provide an understanding of global health crises, the article will begin by revisiting characteristics of transnational health crises and their framing as risks or opportunities. After teasing out challenges and untapped potential of crises, barriers and drivers for a successful health crisis response will be deducted from the past. The analysis of EU’s global health crisis management in previous settings will allow to draw lessons for the current Covid-19 outbreak.

Transnational health crises need transnational responses

Caught in a superpower struggle: the inside story of the WHO’s response to coronavirus

by Julian Borger

Donald Trump has suspended payments to the World Health Organization over its handling of the coronavirus pandemic. Photograph: Alex Brandon/APWhen a pandemic strikes, the world’s leading experts convene – physically or virtually – in a hi-tech chamber in the basement of the Geneva headquarters of the World Health Organization.

It is called the “strategic health operations centre”, or SHOC, an appropriately urgent acronym for a place where life and death decisions are taken, and it is where critical choices were made in the early days of the coronavirus outbreak.

“We’re mostly like a 1950s, never-been-upgraded place, except for the SHOC room, which was built with all the screens everywhere and the desks with computers that rise up. The whole thing does look like something that Hollywood set up, imagining a pandemic,” a WHO official said.

Can the US Practice Knowledge Statecraft Again?

By Robert Farley

How can the United States recapture momentum in its technological competition with China? A new CNAS report titled Forging An Alliance Innovation Base lays out a long-term strategy for leveraging alliances to facilitate faster rates of innovation. Written by Daniel Kliman, Ben FitzGerald, Kristine Lee, and Joshua Fitt, the proposal effectively calls for is knowledge statecraft of the sort that the United States practiced after the end of World War II, but to some extent abandoned at the end of the Cold War. Their answer to the problem of China’s technological expansion is to pursue cooperative technology development with a select group of allies, and to build partner capacity to protect technological innovation from Chinese acquisition. 

The argument is implicitly structured around a particular argument about how the United States won the Cold War. This argument, most concisely put forward in the work of Stephen Brooks, suggested that the United States derived enduring military and economic advantage by creating a broad-based, multilateral system of investment and innovation with Japan and Western Europe. This system enabled much more rapid technological innovation than the Soviet Union and its less advanced economic base could produce, even given extravagant state investment in research and development. Information protection policies designed to prevent the diffusion of technology to the Soviet Union and its allies backstopped this multilateral innovation system. 

Is NATO Still Necessary?

by Sharon Tennison David Speedie Krishen Mehta
Source Link

The coronavirus pandemic that is ravaging the world brings a prolonged public health crisis into sharp focus—along with the bleak prospect of a long-term economic crisis that can destroy the social fabric across nations.

World leaders need to reassess expenditures of resources based on real and present threats to national security—to reconsider how they may be tackled. A continuing commitment to NATO, whose global ambitions are largely driven and funded by the United States, must be questioned. 

In 1949, the first Secretary-General of NATO, described NATO’s mission as “to keep Russia out, the Americans in, and the Germans down.” Seventy years on, the security landscape has totally changed. The Soviet Union and the Warsaw Pact are no more. The Berlin Wall has fallen, and Germany has no territorial ambitions on its neighbors. Yet, America is still in Europe with a NATO alliance of twenty-nine countries. 

In 1993, one of the co-authors, David Speedie, interviewed Mikhail Gorbachev and asked him about the assurances he claimed to have received on NATO’s non-expansion eastwards. His response was blunt: “Mr. Speedie, we were screwed.” He was very clear in his judgment that the trust that the Soviet Union had placed in the West, with the reunification of Germany and the dissolution of the Warsaw Pact, was not reciprocated. 

The Covid-19 Crisis and Future US National Security

Joseph J. Collins

I have been sick since mid-March.

No, I don’t have the Covid-19 virus, thank God, but I have had a month-long bout of nausea, anxiety, and mental discomfort. It is not the first time I had this condition. It began the first time on September 11, 2001 on the lawn adjacent to the Pentagon helipad. In the past month and the weeks after 9/11, both illnesses were caused by the frustration of knowing that, after spending hundreds of billions of dollars in the name of national security, the United States of America was again caught looking in the wrong direction at horrendous cost in blood and treasure. The US national security establishment has failed again.

In the last 20 years, we have twice suffered strategic surprise attacks. In each case, we were unprepared for what was an entirely foreseeable attack on the homeland. In each case, the national security bureaucracy --- Defense, State, Intelligence, and various homeland security entities --- paid inadequate attention to preparing for an event that its own Cassandras had declared as probable. In each case, hundreds of billions were spent on traditional, old fashioned missions and equipment, while inadequate sums were spent on preparing to fight the smaller but more vicious wolves closest to the sled. In each case, Americans died by the thousands on their own soil. In each case, we then spent trillions of dollars to combat the ill effects of an attack that could have been prevented or otherwise defeated.

We can do much better in securing our nation, but only if we open the aperture of national security and see the future problem set in all of its dimensions. With a severely damaged economy, the well-funded Pentagon is likely to be the biggest loser in the changes that will inevitably follow as the pursuit of national security expands beyond traditional national defense missions.

The Current Crisis

Trump Puts U.S. Public Diplomacy on Notice

by Ilan Berman

Last week, a funny thing happened amid America’s full-court press against the coronavirus: the White House declared war on one of its most significant tools of public diplomacy.

The April 10 edition of the 1600 Daily, the Trump administration’s dedicated newsletter, included a broadside aimed squarely at the Voice of America, arguably the U.S. government’s most prominent and influential news outlet. “Voice of America is a global news network funded by American taxpayers. It spends about $200 million each year on its mission to “tell America’s story” and “present the policies of the United States clearly and effectively” to people around the globe,” the missive said. “Today, however, VOA too often speaks for America’s adversaries—not its citizens.”

The charge, coming as it does in a time of unprecedented national crisis, seems extraordinary. But in truth, it is nothing new. The Trump administration has long chafed at a public diplomacy apparatus that, while nominally a part of the federal bureaucracy it inherited in January of 2017, has all too often proven itself to be aloof and unaccountable. The situation has become all the more problematic because repeated attempts at reform—from the installation of a new CEO to plans to overhaul the constituent services that make up the U.S. Agency for Global Media (USAGM)—have been thwarted over and over by savvy politicking and bureaucratic maneuvering.

Learning From the Past: How to Mitigate Pandemics in the Future

by Richard Gunderman

Two years ago marked the 100th anniversary of the great influenza pandemic of 1918. Between 50 and 100 million people are thought to have died, representing as much as 5 percent of the world’s population. Half a billion people were infected.

Especially remarkable was the 1918 flu’s predilection for taking the lives of otherwise healthy young adults, as opposed to children and the elderly, who usually suffer most. Some have called it the greatest pandemic in history.

The 1918 flu pandemic has been a regular subject of speculation over the last century. Historians and scientists have advanced numerous hypotheses regarding its origin, spread and consequences. As a result, many of us harbor misconceptions about it.

By correcting these 10 myths, we can better understand what actually happened and learn how to prevent and mitigate such disasters in the future.

1. The pandemic originated in Spain

Guiding Principles for the Development and Use of LAWS: Version 1.0


The advent of lethal autonomous weapon systems (LAWS) presents states with new political, technological, operational, legal and ethical challenges. This paper addresses these various challenges within defined parameters. The principles set out below are framed by the assumptions that underpin IHL and ethics of war traditions, which accept that war is sometimes necessary and can be just, but should be restrained in its practice. It is acknowledged from the outset that there is not the scope here to provide a comprehensive response to every issue raised by LAWS. Inspired by the Montreux Document, the goal here is to provide guiding principles for the development and use of LAWS without taking a position on the broader political and philosophical questions of acceptability of developing and using autonomous weapons. 

Principle 1. International Humanitarian Law (IHL) Applies to LAWS

There is agreement among States Parties that IHL applies to the development and use of LAWS. The key principles of IHL, including military necessity, humanity, distinction and proportionality, apply regardless of the type of armed conflict. Several States have domestic policies reaffirming this point. This commitment to IHL principles is key to the development and employment of LAWS. Responsibility for compliance with IHL remains with human operators and cannot be delegated to technology. Therefore, LAWS must be designed so they can be operated in a way that carries out commander’s intent. 

Introducing Guiding Principles for the Development and Use of Lethal Autonomous Weapon Systems


The legal, security and diplomatic communities are being challenged to assess the impact on the conduct of future warfare brought about by the advent of lethal autonomous weapon systems (LAWS). The novelty of the military capabilities that LAWS could provide states will test the foundations of international humanitarian law, military doctrine, and applied ethics depending on how these systems are developed and fielded. The Canberra Working Group seeks to provide guiding principles within those categories for the development and use of LAWS in conflict to ensure that emerging systems do not undo those foundations. One compelling reason states seek the addition of autonomous capability into the functions of weapon systems is because it offers the potential of a machine being able to react to complicated inputs in a desired way when communication and direct control are infeasible. That type of capability offers obvious military utility to states in terms of being able to operate faster, in more environments, and with different risk parameters to its own forces. This paper sets in context the accompanying ‘Guiding Principles for the Development and Use of Lethal Autonomous Weapon Systems’ by highlighting the following: outcomes of previous international discussions concerning new military technologies; key aspects of ongoing discussions between governments; and a potential way forward in the event of political stalemate at the United Nations (UN) Group of Governmental Experts (GGE) on LAWS.


The High-Tech Arsenal of Democracy: Economic Strength and Scientific Innovation in the Evolution of Modern Warfare

Doug Livermore
“We must be the great arsenal of democracy. We must apply ourselves to our task with the same resolution, the same sense of urgency, the same spirit of patriotism and sacrifice as we would show were we at war.”

-- Franklin Roosevelt, Dec 29, 1940

The ability to leverage financial capabilities to bankroll both technological innovation and large-scale production of war materiel has increasingly driven the evolution of modern warfare. There is every indication that these interdependent elements will continue to have an even greater impact on the international security environment in the 21st century and beyond. In his thesis The Western Way of War, Geoffrey Parker presents several common characteristics unique to Western societies that contributed to their military success.[i] Among these characteristics, the West enjoyed marked advantages related to financial mobilization and technological innovation that greatly explain the evolution of modern war. Certainly, other characteristics identified by Parker are still applicable, but these two characteristics had the greatest overall impact on the evolution of warfare. Parker discussed how Western countries leveraged their burgeoning economies and financial institutions to fund large land armies and massive fleets with rapidly evolving technologies to both fight other Western states and ultimately expand into grand global empires. Such conferred advantages continue to have an outsized influence on modern warfare, and it is clear that this trend will continue to impact the future security environment. 

Doing Intelligence Differently via ‘Intelligence Engineering’ (IE)

Adam D.M. Svendsen and Salem B.S. Dandan


Today is an appropriate time for encouraging and indeed advocating some further innovative change both to and for contemporary intelligence. This article aims to accomplish that objective by featuring and further advancing an understanding of the recently introduced and developing concept of ‘Intelligence Engineering’, abbreviated henceforth as ‘IE’, and also known as the ‘Bridgehead Methodology’.

Without the wholesale dismissal of previous intelligence efforts, and, in fact, as demonstrated, in many ways building on current intelligence endeavours to take them further forward in the current, early-2020 COVID-19/Coronavirus context, a claim prevails that contemporary to future intelligence work can be done ‘differently’. That is with Intelligence Engineering (IE) and what follows throughout this article proposed as a possibility- and opportunity-generating solution. A working definition of IE forms a helpful place to begin.

What is ‘Intelligence Engineering’ (IE)?