14 May 2020

Cyber Wargame - An Indian Scenario


Immediately after the first gulf war in the early 1990’s the theories of Revolution in Military Affairs (RMA) and Information Warfare were being studied all over the world as a new kind of warfare. During that time, a course on Information Warfare was conducted at the National Defense University of USA. The course participants were from senior officers of the armed forces, representatives of Department of Defence and Department of State and policy makers from the government. Rand Corporation of US was conducting this course.

India’s foreign affairs strategy

Shivshankar Menon
India finds itself in an increasingly dangerous world, one that is fragmenting and slowing down economically. It is a world in transition, one in which India’s adversaries — state or non-state, or both as in Pakistan’s case — are becoming increasingly powerful. If the external world is becoming more unpredictable and uncertain, so are internal politics and security in most of the powers. These are challenges that traditional institutions and state structures are not well-equipped to handle, mitigate, or solve. In this changing world, what are some of the basic and long-term drivers of India’s foreign policy which determine the overarching goal? What is India’s strategy to achieve those goals? What should India be doing?

Simply put, the task of India’s foreign policy is to protect and secure India’s integrity, citizens, values and assets, and to enable the development and transformation of India into a modern nation in which every Indian can achieve his or her full potential. The task of foreign policy professionals is to enable the transformation of India and to create an environment for that transformation.

At present, India should concentrate its efforts on strengthening itself, consolidating its periphery and external balancing.

For the Taliban, the Pandemic Is a Ladder

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In late March, the Taliban released an unusual video. Instead of the usual imagery of fighters in formation or training, the footage showed members of the Islamist group in surgical masks as they conducted door-to-door temperature checks and distributed hand sanitizer. A heavily accented voice-over in English promised that the Taliban health commission had the pandemic under control. The narrator claimed that the Taliban had established public health information teams, a dispensary campaign, and even quarantine centers.

This is but one example in a string of videos, announcements, and restrictions the Taliban have undertaken in response to the unfolding global crisis. Several weeks prior, the Taliban announced that returnees from Iran, where the virus was then rapidly spreading, would be forced to quarantine in their homes for two weeks. The Afghan government, by contrast, was facing growing criticism for having taken little action to screen the 15,000 people entering its borders each day.

How COVID-19 is reshaping China’s medtech industry

By Sizhe Chen, Franck Le Deu, Florian Then, and Kevin Wu

As the COVID-19 pandemic sweeps across the globe, it is leaving few industries untouched. In China, as the medtech industry starts to emerge from the crisis, leaders are anticipating and preparing for the trends that will reshape the sector.

This article draws on McKinsey’s experience helping clients navigate the international medtech landscape, as well as conversations with company executives and a survey of around 23 general managers (GMs) leading medtech businesses in China.1

Medtech companies still find China an attractive market and are confident in its growth outlook. But many aspects of the way in which they operate have changed profoundly, and perhaps permanently. These key themes are set out below, together with McKinsey’s views on what it will take to succeed.
A different outlook

The global COVID-19 outbreak is firstly a humanitarian challenge, but it is also having a marked and growing impact on the world economy. Many forecasters say the global economy is already in recession and policymakers in multiple countries are taking steps to support industries and job markets.

From surviving to thriving: Reimagining the post-COVID-19 return

By Kevin Sneader and Bob Sternfels

For many, the toughest leadership test is now looming: how to bring a business back in an environment where a vaccine has yet to be found and economies are still reeling.
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The 1966 World Cup marked a low point for Brazilian soccer. Although the winner of the previous two tournaments, the team was eliminated in the first round, and its star player, Pelé, failed to perform. Fouled frequently and flagrantly, he threatened never to return to the World Cup. Many wondered if Brazil’s glory days were over. Four years later, however, Brazil won again, with such grace and style that the 1970 team is not only widely regarded as the best team ever to take the pitch but also as the most beautiful. And Pelé was named the player of the tournament.

Making this turnaround required innovation, in particular, the creation of a unique attacking style of soccer. It required building a cohesive team, even as most of the roster changed. And it required leadership, both in management and on the field. The result: by reimagining everything, Brazil came back stronger.

Contact tracing for COVID-19: New considerations for its practical application

By Molly Bode, Matt Craven, Markus Leopoldseder, Paul Rutten, and Matt Wilson
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Contact tracing, a venerable public-health approach, is being widely applied in the fight against COVID-19. Collaborative public-health and private-sector efforts are addressing new social and medical challenges in diverse ways.

Contact tracing is a decades-old tool for helping control the spread of infectious diseases. It has been used successfully in efforts to contain Ebola, SARS, MERS, tuberculosis, and other disease outbreaks.1 It is now a critical part of the fight against COVID-19. In practice, contact tracing begins with those who test positive for COVID-19. Those with whom they have had close contact are then identified, as they may have been infected too. These contacts are notified and supported through a period of quarantine—until they develop symptoms, pass the window of risk, or are proven not to have been exposed. Widespread testing enables optimally effective contact tracing (Exhibit 1).
Exhibit 1
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Clouded thinking in Washington and Beijing on COVID-19 crisis

Ryan Hass

In 2015, an action movie about a group of elite paratroopers from the People’s Liberation Army, “Wolf Warrior,” dominated box offices across China. In 2020, the nationalistic chest-thumping spirit of that movie is defining Chinese diplomacy, or at least the propaganda surrounding it. This aggressive new style is known as “wolf warrior diplomacy,” and although it is not embraced by all of China’s foreign policy mandarins, it does appear to reflect the current zeitgeist in Beijing. The style is characterized by triumphalism — equal parts eagerness to assert the superiority of China’s approach to COVID-19 and enthusiasm for pointing out the shortcomings of Western countries’ responses.

This brash new approach is helping China’s leaders stoke nationalism and shore up support at home amidst a spike in unemployment and a sharp economic downturn. The same messages that are playing well at home, though, are having the opposite effect abroad.

China’s propaganda push to assert the superiority of its response to COVID-19 is arousing antipathy on nearly every continent. So, too, are its efforts to push countries that receive Chinese health assistance to praise China’s response to the virus while staying silent on its negligent initial response to it.

Is the EU’s COVID-19 Response Losing Central and Eastern Europe to China?

Aryaman Bhatnagar 

China has made concerted attempts recently to rewrite the global narrative about the coronavirus pandemic, especially its own lack of transparency about the early outbreak in Wuhan, in order to project an image of itself as a responsible global power. It has shipped medical supplies to help countries around the world contain the virus’s spread, and has launched a far-reaching disinformation campaign about the origins of the contagion and China’s response to it.

Europe has been at the heart of these efforts. Chinese state media outlets have insinuated that Italy was the source of the novel coronavirus, while Beijing has faulted European countries for their allegedly poor crisis management and supplied medical aid of poor quality. All this has caused a backlash in some quarters of Europe. ...

Looking Beyond China: Asian Actors in the Russian Arctic (Part One)

By: Sergey Sukhankin
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Among the non-Arctic states seeking partnership with Russia as a means to increase their presence in the northern polar region, China has become by far the most visible player (see EDM, May 20, 2019). Yet, other emerging actors—India and Japan—should be noted.

On January 14, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov claimed that New Delhi and Moscow are tightening cooperation in the development of Arctic-based oil and natural gas projects (TASS, January 14). This information was confirmed by Indian Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas Dharmendra Pradhan (Rambler.ru, January 15). Following these statements, Russian state-owned petroleum giant Rosneft concluded an agreement with Indian Oil, envisaging the latter’s annual procurement of two million tons of crude from the Russian High North. Other Indian energy firms, including Hindustan Petroleum and Bharat Petroleum, were also reportedly negotiating contracts with Rosneft (Oilcapital.ru, January 22).

More far-reaching news arrived on February 5, when, following negotiations in New Delhi with Rosneft CEO Igor Sechin, Minister Pradhan announced that Indian companies would be joining the Vostok Oil extraction project (Interfax, January 13). Expected to begin operations in 2024 Vostok Oil (according to Rosneft) will be pivotal in transforming the Russian Arctic by contributing to the development of 15 new industry towns in the region, 2 airports and a seaport, as well creating at least 100,000 new jobs (Kremlin.ru, February 11). The main strategic advantage of this project is its geographic proximity to the Northern Sea Route (NSR)—Russia’s much-hyped east-west maritime transportation corridor (under continued development), which hugs the country’s Arctic coast and is anticipated to become an engine of Russian economic growth for decades to come (RIA Novosti, January 15).

China Is Joining The Kamikaze Drone Arms Race

by Michael Peck

Here's What You Need To Remember: For the U.S. military and other potential Chinese adversaries, this is one more advanced weapon that they may encounter in battle. Like drones in general, loitering munitions can be hard to detect and shoot down, especially the smaller models.

China’s military is looking to buy suicide drones.

The military wants two types of suicide drones, according to an announcement posted on a Chinese military procurement Web site. The desired technical specifications of the drones, or the number to be purchased, is classified.

But Chinese drone manufacturers do have products that might satisfy the demands of the People’s Liberation Army. In 2018, China Aerospace unveiled the CH-901, which Chinese media described as being 4 feet long and weighing 20 pounds, with a speed of 150 kilometers (93 miles) per hour, a range of 15 kilometers (9 miles) and an endurance of two hours. The larger WS-43 is a 500-pound weapon with a range of 60 kilometers (37 miles) and an endurance of 30 minutes.

Coronavirus Has Taken A Toll On China's Military

by Charlie Gao

Here's What You Need To Remember: It suggests that China’s military industry’s supply chain is relatively insulated from that used to supply the factories that produce goods for export.

The disruption that COVID-2019 coronavirus has inflicted on China’s industry is well documented. Wuhan, a major industrial center, is still in lockdown as of early March 2020. Many factories have gone to a standstill, with major effects on the supply of goods around the world. However, less talked about is the effect the coronavirus has had on the Chinese military industry. While this is understandable, given how China has restricted information about the coronavirus’s effects and the general opacity of the Chinese military industry, some information has come out.

Evidently the effect on the military industry is waning, as announcements of resumption of production of certain items have come out. On February 21, Shenyang Aircraft Corporation announced that it was resuming production of J-15 fighters after a short pause due to coronavirus fears. This follows announcements earlier that other aviation industry firms had resumed full production. Measures against further coronavirus infections were also included in speeches in which productions were resumed, including regular temperature checks among the workforce. In other sectors, such as shipbuilding, major efforts have taken place to resume full pace production, including the use of reserve manpower to replace those who are sick.

The role Chinese army played in the pandemic

From Day One, a PLA unit has been on the central stage of what the Communist Party of China called the 'People's War' against the 'demon' virus.

We all know that the world will be different once the coronavirus crisis is over; very few countries will be spared. China, the origin of the virus, whether it came from the wet market or the Wuhan Institute of Virology, will never be the same too; more importantly, the Middle Kingdom will never be perceived as before. Further, Beijing is bound to face tremendous economic difficulties. Will Beijing be able to find innovative solutions and the Communist regime be able to adapt to the new realities? It remains to be seen.

Handpicked by Xi

In this context, it is interesting to look at the role played by the People's Liberation Army (PLA) during the pandemic and at the future of the Chinese Armed Forces, which could become far more aggressive in view of the general economic slowdown. From Day One, a PLA unit, the Joint Logistics Support Force (JLSF), has been on the central stage of what the Communist Party of China called the 'People's War' against the 'demon' virus.

The Specter of Terrorism During the Coronavirus Pandemic


Currently the entire globe is inundated with the coronavirus pandemic and its rapid spread along with its devastating and disruptive effects. A number of stories have predicted a changed society that will be left in the wake of the pandemic. For example, a Foreign Affairs article by Richard Haass, predicts that the crisis shall tend to accelerate history rather than reshape it. This is a reference to the rise of a post-American world owing to the decline of appeal in the American model and an anarchic post-liberal world. A crisis of this kind also offers some actors outcomes and possibilities that are not ordinarily available because those same threats represent opportunities. There has been some speculation as to whether terrorists may take advantage of the massive suffering, chaos and upheaval inflicted upon governments and publics around the world. In a time of fear and panic there are weaknesses that terrorists can exploit.

Understandably, some actors have used the humanitarian crisis caused by COVID-19 to call for humanity to put aside their differences and to form a unified front to better focus and combat the challenges presented by the virus. Specifically, they have been using the timing of the moment to employ political symbolism to cease armed conflicts that are plaguing the globe. The vision of the UN Chief, António Guterres, reflects the desire for the international community to give up arms and to fight together against the coronavirus pandemic. His vision is focused mainly on geographical areas such as Syria, Lebanon and Yemen as “The COVID-19 storm is now coming to all these theatres of conflict.” Guterres wrote a letter to G20 economic powers in March pressing them “to ensure access to food, essential health supplies, and COVID-19 medical support“.

The Trap of Diversity: What Constitutes ‘Non-Western IR Theory’?

During the last decade, the field of International Relations (IR) has witnessed the emergence of ‘non-Western IR theory’. Acharya and Buzan’s seminal work titled Non-Western International Relations Theory: Perspectives on and Beyond Asia (2009) marked a watershed for the discipline. Acharya and Buzan’s book contributed to a disciplinary self-reflection, which resulted in a wide range of academic publications aimed at turning the field of IR into a more pluralistic discipline that respects the subaltern voices that have been silenced by the imperial origins of IR. For this reason, the celebration of ‘cultural diversity’ as an ontological source has become the central focus of new theoretical endeavours. Both the projects of ‘Global IR’ (Acharya, 2016; Yong-Soo, 2019) led by the prestigious scholar Amitav Acharya and the various ‘national schools of International Relations’ (Cho, 2013; Qin, 2018; Shahi, 2019; Shih et al., 2019; Yan, 2019; Zhao, 2019) are prime examples of this new phenomena. Despite the welcoming efforts of promoting ‘cultural diversity’ (Acharya, 2016; Reus-Smit, 2018; Tickner and Blaney, 2012) to produce theoretical projects that seek to transcend both the ‘Western’ and ‘imperial’ origins of the discipline, the field of IR has fallen into a dangerous dynamic that stems from the very imperial origins of discipline: the reification of culture as an essentialist construction.

In this sense, essentialism is ‘the view that cultures have fundamental or “essential” properties, among them their values and beliefs’ (Goodhart 2003, p.940). In the late 19th century, Western imperialism had to imagine essentialist cultural forms beyond the domains of the ‘West’ to rationalise its ‘civilising mission’ (Said, 2014). In a historical and disciplinary twist, both the celebration of ‘cultural diversity’ and the promotion of pluralism have allowed and legitimised the arrival of ‘essentialist’ theoretical projects by a disciplinary ‘back door’. Put it differently, in an act of disciplinary redemption, the field of IR has accepted forms of theorising that would have been disqualified some years ago due to their essentialist tendency. For instance, the celebrated ‘Chinese school of IR’ solely reactivates Confucianism as an ontological source, dismissing thus other political traditions that exist or have existed in China such as 1930’s revolutionary Chinese thought, Mao Zedong’s thought, Buddhism or even a ‘sinicised’ Islam. In this way, only Confucianism is equated with Chineseness. Regarding the project of ‘Global IR’, Hurrel (2016, p.150), wisely warned us about the dangers of Global IR as it ‘can also lead to a cultural and regional inwardness that may work to reproduce the very ethnocentricities that are being challenged’. This is perhaps one of the main paradoxes that exist in IR given the massive and recent disciplinary efforts to evade such ‘essentialist’ constructions. This is what I call the ‘trap of diversity’ in IR. It is worth mentioning that the production of ‘non-Western IR theory’ has manifested several degrees of ‘essentialism’. Although, there are some great contributions (Hurrel, 2016) that seek to transcend these dynamics.

Washington in talks with chipmakers about building U.S. factories

Kanishka Singh

U.S. chipmaker Intel Corp's logo is seen on their "smart building" in Petah Tikva, near Tel Aviv, Israel December 15, 2019. REUTERS/Amir Cohen/File Photo

Intel Corp (INTC.O) is in discussions with the United States Department of Defense over improving domestic sources for microelectronics and related technology, Intel spokesman William Moss said in an emailed statement.

“Intel is well positioned to work with the U.S. government to operate a U.S.-owned commercial foundry and supply a broad range of secure microelectronics”, the statement added.

Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC) (2330.TW), on the other hand, has been in talks with the U.S. Department of Commerce about building a U.S. factory but said it has not made a final decision yet.

“We are actively evaluating all the suitable locations, including in the U.S., but there is no concrete plan yet”, TSMC spokeswoman Nina Kao said in a statement.

Intel Chief Executive Bob Swan wrote a letter to the Department of Defense in late March in which he expressed the company’s willingness to build a foundry - a term used in the industry to reference a chip factory - in partnership with the Pentagon.

The Erratic State of U.S. Foreign Policy Under Trump

U.S. foreign policy under Trump does not appear to have a consistent logic. Trump has promised to put “America First,” and pursued that end in a variety of ways. At the same time, he has stocked his Cabinet with hawkish interventionists. While adopting a more unilateralist approach, Trump has neglected the institutions that help formulate and execute U.S. foreign policy.

After more than three years in office, President Donald Trump’s administration does not appear to have seized on a consistent approach to dealing with the world. Instead, U.S. foreign policy under Trump has become erratic and seems predicated on somewhat random factors. Decisions often seem to depend on the ability of an individual—whether a world leader, a Cabinet official or an informal adviser—to sway Trump’s opinion. Trump himself seems to revel in any opportunity to undo the accomplishments of his predecessor, Barack Obama, as well as any chance to right a perceived slight against the United States.

Trump entered office promising to put “America first,” which he has pursued by lambasting America’s traditional allies, tearing down international institutions and attempting to cut foreign aid. He has criticized NATO members for not meeting their commitments to defense spending, and both threatened and imposed tariffs against allies. He promised to impose steep sanctions on Mexico unless Mexican authorities manage to stop the flow of immigrants across the United States’ southern border, despite the fact that the move could have upended the renegotiated North America Free Trade Agreement and hurt the U.S. economy.

The future is not what it used to be: Thoughts on the shape of the next normal

By Kevin Sneader and Shubham Singhal
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The coronavirus crisis is a world-changing event. Here are seven elements for business leaders to consider as they plan for the next normal.

Dealing with the coronavirus crisis and its aftermath could be the imperative of our times. Indeed, we have argued that it augurs the “imminent restructuring of the global economic order.” As Ian Davis, one of our previous managing partners, wrote in 2009 in the midst of the global financial crisis:

“For some organizations, near-term survival is the only agenda item. Others are peering through the fog of uncertainty, thinking about how to position themselves once the crisis has passed and things return to normal. The question is, ‘What will normal look like?’ While no one can say how long the crisis will last, what we find on the other side will not look like the normal of recent years.”

It is impossible to know what will happen. But it is possible to consider the lessons of the past, both distant and recent, and on that basis, to think constructively about the future. We believe the following elements will be important in the shaping of the next normal—and that business leaders will need to come to terms with them.

1. Distance is back

Dwight Eisenhower: Lessons from the ‘balancer in chief’May 8, 2020 | Interview

Seventy-five years ago, the supreme allied commander of the Allied Expeditionary Force dictated a message simple and sublime: “The mission of this Allied force was fulfilled at 0241, local time, May 7, 1945. Eisenhower.” It was the end of World War II in Europe, a victory then as now venerated by millions. It also marked an amazing achievement for Eisenhower himself. When German and Soviet tanks rumbled across Poland to start the war in September 1939, Ike had been a mere lieutenant colonel (and a major, stuck in rank for 12 consecutive years before that). When Japan bombed Pearl Harbor, on December 7, 1941, bringing the United States into the conflagration, he had been promoted to a one-star brigadier general only a few short months before. Yet Eisenhower concluded the war as a five-star general, the architect of Operation Overlord—the allied invasion of Normandy—and the indispensable man who had balanced the interests and egos of a galaxy of generals and political leaders.

Balance and mission would distinguish Eisenhower’s presidency in the 1950s. For Eisenhower, it was the “Great Equation.” How could the United States afford to project military power against expansionist, totalitarian regimes abroad, while at the same time foster economic prosperity at home and do so for decades, if needed, without going bust? It’s a choice commonly referred to as “guns or butter.” 1 But for Eisenhower, it was both guns and butter, today and tomorrow, and more—a shared sense of national purpose. When the newly elected Eisenhower took office in early 1953, America was embroiled in the Korean War, Western Europe seemed to lay open before the USSR, and the Great Depression still weighed heavy in Americans’ recent memories. Eight years later, when Eisenhower gave his farewell address, America had extracted itself from the Asian land war, avoided a European war, and was deep into what’s remembered as a halcyon era of good jobs, comfortable suburbia, and “Happy Days.” The ’50s have come down to us as a golden age.

Can the Middle East Recover from the Coronavirus and Collapsing Oil Prices?

By Robin Wright

Ayear ago, Iran marked its National Army Day with a flashy display of its military might. As new tensions flared with the Trump Administration, tanks and long-range missiles loaded on flatbed trucks rolled through the streets of Tehran. Neat formations of troops showcased the Army’s diversity—ethnic Turkmen wore fuzzy white-fur hats and maroon robes, and tribal Arabs were in brown capes with black-and-white checkered headdresses. Special-forces soldiers in khaki fatigues and crisp berets goose-stepped past President Hassan Rouhani and the Islamic Republic’s top military brass. This year, it was a very different show—and a different message. With more than a hundred thousand confirmed cases of covid-19 in Iran, the Army Day parade featured troops goose-stepping in hazmat suits and face masks, columns of ambulances, flatbed trucks converted into mobile clinics, and military vehicles spewing huge clouds of disinfectant into the air. Members of the Army band performed—six feet apart. The Iranian President skipped the show. “The enemy now is hidden and doctors and nurses are at the frontlines of the battlefield,” he said, in a message to the nation’s military. “Our army is not a symbol of militarism but a manifestation of supporting the nation and upholding its national interests.”

The Middle East, the world’s most volatile region for more than seven decades, has been ravaged over the past two months by twin disasters—the coronavirus pandemic and the historic collapse of global oil prices. Iran was the region’s original epicenter of the coronavirus. But, by Wednesday, seventeen Arab countries, Iran, and Israel reported a total of more than two hundred and twenty thousand cases, with more than nine thousand dead.

Gulf States: Managing the Oil Crash

The Covid-19 outbreak is wreaking economic havoc across the world, and the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) states are especially vulnerable. Oil revenues for the Gulf states will plummet for at least the first half of 2020. Both fiscal break-even oil prices (the price required to balance the budget) and external break-evens (the price required to keep the current account at zero) show large imbalances this year.

The GCC states are generally in good shape relative to most major oil exporters and have more options at their disposal. Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Kuwait, and Qatar all have ample room to draw on savings and to borrow. Oman and Bahrain are in weaker positions but still have access to capital markets. Bahrain can probably count on aid as well, although it has become increasingly dependent on Saudi Arabia. The GCC countries hope the current pain will be short-lived. If lockdowns subside by the second half of the year, economic activity resumes, and oil prices rebound, the damage may not be too severe. Indeed, as low-cost producers with spare capacity, Saudi Arabia, the UAE, and Kuwait would benefit more quickly than others if the market turns.

Russia Continues To Lead On Chemical And Biological Warfare Military Prep

by Charlie Gao

Here's What You Need To Remember: In NATO, CBRN training has lapsed. While Czechia retains one of the only live-agent chemical weapons training facilities in NATO, there is far less focus on the CBRN threat in NATO nations, in both civil defense and military settings.

The threat of chemical and nuclear warfare loomed large over most militaries during the Cold War. The development of new nerve agents during the 1940s, as well as advanced delivery systems later on meant that chemical weapons could be delivered with precision and deadly effect. As such, most militaries trained extensively for the chemical threat. However, those on the “Eastern” side, the Soviet Union and the Warsaw Pact states, developed a reputation for extensive preparation.

But how much of this remains today?

In the Russian CBRN (РХБЗ) troops, the legacy of Soviet preparation has not only survived, but thrived. New CBRN defense vehicles and equipment continue to be procured, and CBRN equipment is often displayed prominently at large expositions, like Army 2019. The special battlefield role of the Russian CBRN troops is also probably a reason why their capabilities are exercised more. In addition to chemical attack and defense, CBRN troops are in charge of operating battlefield smoke generators and the powerful TOS-1 and TOS-1A heavy flamethrower systems which can fire incendiary and thermobaric rounds. CBRN troops are also armed with the powerful RPO-A thermobaric rocket launcher, which can level weak houses in a single shot.

Thanks To The War On Terror, Micro Missiles Are Here To Stay

by Charlie Gao
As Western militaries shift back into a conventional focus after spending more than a decade fighting insurgencies, they are bringing along some tech developed for counterinsurgency that has applications in a peer or near-peer conflict. One important innovation that is looking to change how air-to-ground support can occur is the development of a new class of “micro precision munitions”: guided rockets, bombs, and missiles that weigh around 20 kg or less. The GBU-44/B Viper Strike was one of the first of this new class of weapon. But does it have a future?

At the beginning of the Global War on Terror, the smallest precision munition available to aerial platforms was the AGM-114 Hellfire. As a result, the MQ-1 Predator with Hellfires became an ubiquitous light close air support (CAS) platform. But in this role the limitations of the Hellfire became clear. While it was light, the Hellfire was overkill for many point targets it was fired on. The High Explosive Anti-Tank (HEAT) warhead also was found to have a lackluster anti-personnel effect due to being optimized for taking out Soviet tanks, rather than infantry formations. On the other hand, the Hellfire’s warhead was too powerful for other precision targets, especially in urban environments.

Would You Let The Government Track Your Smartphone If It Meant We Could Reopen Sooner?


Before the pandemic, the plan would have seemed like something ripped from a distant dystopian future in which the human race fully surrenders to Big Tech. On the April 10 online document, the logos of Google and Apple sat atop a description of the companies' joint plan to enable America's cellphones to keep track of everyone with whom their owners come into contact.

Who would sign on to such extensive surveillance? Much of the world already has. In South Korea, health officials use apps and video cameras to track down people who came into contact with COVID-19 patients before symptoms appeared. China, Singapore and Australia already have phone-based contact-tracing in place, and much of Europe is following suit. The UK's National Health Service, for instance, has endorsed a scheme that's undergoing a pilot test, and Germany's government is close behind.

As U.S. governors consider how to open up and allow people to go back to work, experts warn that the coronavirus, which is still in circulation, is almost certain to flare up again. To avoid more emergency-room disasters like the one that overwhelmed New York City in April, public-health officials must act aggressively to stop small outbreaks before they develop into big ones. The key, experts say, is contact tracing. For each new COVID-19 case, health care workers would develop a list of people the patient might have interacted with before symptoms developed. Then they would contact each one and recommend self-quarantine.

Competition and Cooperation in the Maritime Domain

Competition over the world’s maritime resources and territorial disputes over maritime borders are becoming increasingly prominent in international affairs. At the same time, depleted fish stocks and polluted waters make the question of how countries can collectively manage maritime resources a central one, particularly in discussions over climate change.

Against the backdrop of heightened competition in the maritime domain, China has been rapidly modernizing and expanding its naval capabilities thanks to an unprecedented shipbuilding effort. By contrast, the U.S. Navy is struggling to meet its ambitious goals toward expanding its fleet while nevertheless maintaining a demanding operational tempo. As a result, ship maintenance and crew training have suffered, a dynamic that appears to have contributed to several deadly incidents in recent years.

Meanwhile, the resources that lie beneath the ocean’s surface are increasingly at risk of overexploitation. Illegal fishing is devastating already diminished global stocks and may soon present a severe crisis to countries whose populations depend on seafood for their diets. In the South China Sea, competition over fishing rights as well as offshore oil and gas reserves has been a major driver of tensions and conflict.

Counterterrorism Yearbook 2020

The seventeen chapters in this yearbook examine terrorism developments and counterterrorism responses around the globe. More specifically, this 2020 edition considers three emerging themes in the current security environment—namely, the demise of the so-​called Islamic State’s (IS) ‘caliphate’ and what that means globally and regionally for Australia; the increased threat from right-​wing extremism; and the role of technology, particularly social media, in propagating violent extremist ideologies. It also includes thematic chapters on mental health, strategic policing, the media, the terror–crime nexus and terrorist innovation.

Patton and Montgomery in Sicily—Allied Generals Or Bitter Rivals?

by Warfare History Network

Operation Husky, the invasion of Sicily, was the only operation in World War II in which generals Bernard Montgomery and George S. Patton, Jr., participated as equals. Monty was commanding the British Eighth Army and Patton the American Seventh. It is also noteworthy that the initial assault force, more than eight divisions, was in fact larger than that used in the invasion of Normandy, making Husky numerically, in terms of men landed on the beaches and frontage, the largest amphibious operation of World War II.

The basic plan included Monty’s Eastern Task Force of some 115,000 men with four infantry divisions, including one Canadian division; an independent infantry brigade; and a Canadian armored brigade. The main effort landed on a 40-mile front in southeast Sicily from the Pachino Peninsula to Syracuse. Patton’s Western Task Force of some 66,000 men with one armored and three infantry divisions was to land in the Gulf of Gela between Licata and Scoglitti and then move rapidly inland to seize the airfields just north of Gela.

Sicily’s Challenging Terrain