14 June 2020

Does India Have a New Playbook for a New Afghanistan?

By Monish Tourangbam and Neha Dwivedi

Talking to The Hindu last week, Zamir Kabulov, Russia’s special presidential envoy for Afghanistan commented, “I believe that New Delhi’s policy of avoiding any engagement with the Taliban has had its day, especially in view of the upcoming launch of intra-Afghan talks and eventual transformation of the Taliban movement into an influential legal political force in Afghanistan.”

The rationale for talking to the Taliban has never been the same for each of the different stakeholders engaged in Afghanistan. All have had to recalibrate and renegotiate their terms of engagement with the Taliban as the group has persisted in the country, seeming destined to be a fundamental player in how war-torn Afghanistan is governed in the near future. As the possibility of an American-led military victory appeared distant, negotiating with the Taliban became the only feasible path forward. It became even more clear when U.S. President Donald Trump unveiled his South Asia policy in 2017. 

With the signing of the peace deal between the United States and the Taliban in late February, the question as to India’s engagement with, or rather estrangement from, the Taliban is being debated more intensely. As the U.S. prepares to withdraw the majority of its forces from Afghanistan by 2021, it is imperative to interrogate the new terms of engagement with the Taliban, India’s understanding of the new political and security landscape in Afghanistan, and whether India has a new playbook for a new Afghanistan. 

The Taliban's emerging tactical terror alliances


A new type of threat has reportedly emerged in Afghanistan. Under the façade of negotiating peace, the Taliban’s military hardliners have allegedly set in motion tactical alliances with other non-Taliban groups as part of their double game to continue fighting and disrupting peace efforts. One such emerging relationship relates to recent reports about the growing ties between the Haqqani Network and ISIS-Khorasan, the terror group’s Afghan branch. 

The Haqqani hardliners are the Taliban’s lethal arm, who have long believed they have no military reason to stop fighting or sue for peace. A recent United Nations report emphasized the network’s evolving partnership with ISIS-K, noting that most ISIS-K-claimed attacks had some degree of “involvement, facilitation, or the provision of technical assistance by the Haqqani Network.” 

Operationally, the Haqqanis seek to establish a lethal triangle with ISIS-K and a third group, Lashkar-e-Taiba, or LeT—the Pakistani jihadists that lend active training and logistical support to this emerging front. To a large extent, the partnership in the triangle seems more transactional than ideological, where each side brings its comparative advantage in supporting attacks and logistics. Yet there appears to be a clear division of labor and responsibility among the three factions.

Energy Grid Supply-Chain Risks and U.S.-China Entanglement

By Justin Sherman, Tianjiu Zuo 

On May 1, President Trump signed an executive order on securing the U.S. bulk-power system, aimed at limiting foreign influence in the U.S. energy grid by targeting grid suppliers potentially compromised by those adversary governments. The bulk-power system, made up of interconnected devices that generate and transmit electricity across the country, is an especially vital component of U.S. national infrastructure. Jim Dempsey wrote an informative analysis of this executive order. Dempsey places these attempts to bolster supply-chain security in broader context, linking them with recent executive branch actions against foreign telecommunications companies. But it’s also worth examining the executive order in a context specific to the U.S. energy grid and focusing on Chinese suppliers, because of the notable role Chinese firms play in the U.S. energy grid supply chain.

Much attention has been paid of late to “decoupling,” the forcible separation of interdependent and interconnected supply chains, particularly between the United States and China. The recent executive order, to a certain extent, aims to do just that: identify foreign suppliers of bulk-power equipment that pose unacceptable security risks and ensure they aren’t included in U.S. critical infrastructure. As Dempsey noted, the order’s passage “indicates how the ‘great decoupling’ of China-U.S. supply chains, previously driven by trade war-induced uncertainties, increasingly may be cast in terms of cybersecurity and national security imperatives.” Even more broadly, U.S. actions to limit the presence of foreign suppliers in U.S. digital infrastructure are increasingly framed in terms of national security rather than purely economic considerations.

Question: How Does Racism Affect the Immune System?

by April Thames

The COVID-19 pandemic and the deaths of George Floyd and Ahmaud Arbery are two major catastrophes that shine a light on longstanding social inequities and injustices toward African Americans. Emerging research in the field of social genomics demonstrates how social stress, such as racism and discrimination, can shift the body’s biological resources toward a state that increases risk for disease.

For example, our research group has found that racial discrimination may be impacting the way genes are expressed, leading to increased levels of dangerous stress hormones.

These differences were found even when social determinant factors such as poverty and other forms of stress were accounted for. Hence, racial discrimination experiences may also explain why African Americans continue to remain at higher risk for poor medical outcomes, such as cardiovascular disease and hypertension, and psychiatric outcomes, such as depression and anxiety, even when social determinant factors, such as poverty and educational levels, are controlled.

Why Coronavirus Reparations From China Are Just a Distraction

Luke Moffett

There have been increasing demands for reparations from China for the harm caused by COVID-19. President Donald Trump called for compensation from China for the economic costs of the virus. Some reports suggest US officials are also discussing whether families of victims could sue China. Obiageli Ezekwesili, a former World Bank vice president, has called on China to pay reparations to African countries.

In one case in the US state of Missouri, the attorney general, Eric Schmitt, filed a legal claim in federal court in April seeking cash compensation from China. The civil claim alleges that China responded slowly to the coronavirus outbreak in Wuhan, which led to billions of dollars of damages to the economy. Mississippi announced plans to bring a similar claim. China has dismissed these out of hand as “absurd”.

Reparations have long been a means to remedy wrongdoing in international law. The 1919 Treaty of Versailles after the first world war is a common example, but in the past century reparations have been used for a range of violations of international and domestic law. These include for Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait, payments to Holocaust victims, to indigenous communities who lost their land, and pay outs by churches for institutional abuse.

Contact Tracing Is Working Around the World – Here’s How to Make It Succeed

by Andrew Lee

At the most basic level, controlling an infectious disease depends on interrupting its spread from person to person. This means stopping the disease at source by treating infected people; disrupting transmission using quarantine, personal protective equipment (such as facemasks) and hygiene measures; or protecting susceptible people with vaccines. In the absence of an effective treatment or vaccine for SARS-CoV-2, identifying and isolating infected people is currently the only option.

COVID-19 is most infectious around the time of disease onset and the first week of illness. After this point, infectiousness is believed to drop off rapidly. In addition, people are infectious for the two days before their symptoms start, so there’s a crucial need to identify infected persons early so that they can be isolated. This raises several key considerations for any test, track and trace system.

First, is the system fast enough to identify possible cases? If the test takes days (from sample collection to processing through to reporting results), that introduces too much delay at the point when the disease is most infectious. Testing performance in the UK is improving, but it’s not yet quick enough to provide same-day test results universally.

Could Iran Test a Nuclear Bomb Within a Year?

by Matthew Petti 
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Anew International Atomic Energy Agency report reveals that Iran has doubled its stockpile of enriched uranium since February, but experts disagree on how quickly the country could build a nuclear bomb if it wanted to.

Iran had agreed to limit its nuclear program under the JCPOA, a 2015 deal with six world powers. U.S. President Donald Trump declared the agreement the “worst deal ever” and pulled out of it in 2018, prompting Iran to begin stockpiling nuclear materials that could eventually be used to make a weapon.

But it is difficult to tell how much closer Iran is to actually building a bomb.

“Iran could test a nuclear weapon in the desert within a year now,” said former IAEA inspector David Albright, founder of the Institute for Science and International Security, at a conference call hosted by the Foundation for Defense of Democracies. “I think it would take them longer to have a missile deliverable nuclear warhead, but often countries don't do that first.”

Other experts disagreed.

Transformation of Russian Strategic Culture: Impacts from Local Wars and Global Confrontation

Pavel BAEV

Russian strategic culture is evolving fast, despite the consolidation of the ruling regime, which is maturing into a more rigid autocracy, whereby its ideological outlook becomes increasingly conservative.

Transformation of Russian Strategic Culture Download

The Russian leadership’s strong propensity to glorify the past and emphasize victories inevitably distorts the content of internalized experiences and reduces the capacity to learn from mistakes. This assertive conservatism fits well with interpreting the new confrontation with the West as a return to the Cold War pattern of relations, despite the obvious vast differences in the geographic and power parameters of the conflict. At the same time, the pressure of actual engagements in military conflicts and fast-evolving technologies induce and drive changes in the strategic culture, which has become more fluid than the Russian political and military elites have been used to.

Combating Terrorism Exchange (CTX)

Operation Inherent Resolve: Observations from Ninewa’s Tribal Mobilization Effort

The CTX Interview- LTC Kåre Jakobsen, Danish Jaegercorps

Homegrown Terrorism: A Social Network Analysis of a Minnesota ISIS Cell

Special CTX Interview -MG Eduardo Zapateiro, Joint Special Operations Command, Colombia

Special CTX Interview -LTG Danilo G. Pamonga, Armed Forces of the Philippines (RET.)

Ethics and Insights: On Courage

The Moving Image: Hotel Mumbai

New Report Exposes Brutal Methods of Russia’s Wagner Group

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Late last November, videos of a gruesome killing went viral on Russian social networks. The shaky cell phone footage taken at al-Shaer gas plant near Palmyra, Syria, shows a Syrian man, who was known to friends and family as Hamdi Bouta, lying on the ground, surrounded by Russian-speaking men in military fatigues. They beat his extremities with a sledgehammer before decapitating him, setting his body on fire and posing for photographs with his remains. 

The perpetrators, who have not yet been charged, were identified by the Russian independent news outlet Novaya Gazeta as private military security contractors for the so-called Wagner Group. Yevgeny Prigozhin, a close ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin who was indicted in the United States for attempted interference in the 2016 presidential election, is widely regarded as the driving force behind the mercenary group. 

Bouta’s slaying is symptomatic of the accountability vacuum in which the Wagner Group operates. While mercenary groups are outlawed within Russia, they have served as the tip of the spear of the Kremlin’s proxy wars abroad. 

Three Takeaways on the Protests for Racial Equality


In the two weeks since the murder of George Floyd, protests have erupted around the United States and the world. Protests have been held in all fifty states and the District of Columbia, in highly populated urban areas and small, rural towns alike—including those with conservative politics and few racial minorities. The protests have also ricocheted around the world, from Australia to Germany to South Africa, where citizens have gathered to express solidarity with those protesting police brutality against Black Americans. This is the largest protest movement since the coronavirus outbreak brought the global economy to a standstill and shuttered people for months in their homes. It is inextricably wrapped up in the broader moment of anxiety, restlessness, fatigue, and, now, anger.

Here are a few initial takeaways.


Rather than deterring protests, there is ample evidence to suggest that the coronavirus was a contributing factor to the recent popular eruption and mass mobilization. The virus’s savage impact on Black communities had already laid bare long-standing public health and economic inequities faced by Black Americans. Yet, for many, the killing of Floyd and two other unarmed Black people is forcing a conscious reckoning with a temporary public health risk and a systemic public safety one, sending a powerful message about the degree to which Black people fear police violence as a more existential threat than the coronavirus. The protest movement also benefited from the captivity of large numbers of Americans who have been confined to their homes due to lockdown orders, are on social media platforms more frequently and have felt a sense of social isolation and powerlessness in the wake of dual public health and economic emergencies.

‘Never More Adrift’: William J. Burns on Repairing the Damage Trump Has Done

“We are living through a moment in which diplomacy as a tool of promoting American interests … is even more important than ever,” says William J. Burns, president of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and former deputy secretary of state. “And yet, over the three and a half decades that I served as a professional diplomat, I’ve never seen a moment when it’s been more adrift.”

Ambassador Burns joined WPR’s Trend Lines podcast this week to discuss the damage President Donald Trump has done to U.S. diplomacy and how to repair it. Over the course of a 45-minute interview, he shared his alarm at the state of America’s diplomatic institutions, but also Trump’s conception of America’s role in the world, which has turned the “notion of enlightened self-interest on its head, so that it’s all about the ‘self’ part and very little about the ‘enlightened’ part.”

That has undermined America’s position in an international landscape that has become all the more challenging with the rise of China and the proliferation of “problems without passports.” Ambassador Burns says that in the event Trump wins reelection in November, “There’s a big difference between four years, and the damage we’ve seen so far, and eight years. I think if you had a second term of President Trump … that’s going to do permanent damage to American interests in the world.”

Commentary: COVID-19 will bring on the Great Reset the world needs

By Klaus Schwab
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GENEVA: COVID-19 lockdowns may be gradually easing, but anxiety about the world’s social and economic prospects is only intensifying.

There is good reason to worry: A sharp economic downturn has already begun, and we could be facing the worst depression since the 1930s. But, while this outcome is likely, it is not unavoidable.

To achieve a better outcome, the world must act jointly and swiftly to revamp all aspects of our societies and economies, from education to social contracts and working conditions.

Every country, from the United States to China, must participate, and every industry, from oil and gas to tech, must be transformed. In short, we need a “Great Reset” of capitalism.


There are many reasons to pursue a Great Reset, but the most urgent is COVID-19.

Having already led to hundreds of thousands of deaths, the pandemic represents one of the worst public-health crises in recent history. And, with casualties still mounting in many parts of the world, it is far from over. 

Lessons from Sino-Russian border row

Vappala Balachandran
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The Sino-Soviet border dispute began with the Cossacks-Manchu (Qing dynasty) wars in the 1670s-80s over a Cossack settlement on the Amur river basin. The process towards its solution began in the early 1980s when Moscow gave up its ‘escalation strategy’. China favourably responded by suggesting that “intractable’ issues should not halt or ‘sour’ settlement in other sectors.” In December 1988, Deng Xiaoping gave the same suggestion to Rajiv Gandhi to usher in an ‘Asian century’.

In 1689, the Qing rulers were more powerful. Initially, they planned to demolish Nerchinsk. However, they concluded the Treaty of Nerchinsk in 1689. Peace prevailed till the mid 19th century. By then, the Qings were debilitated through the Opium War and the Taiping rebellion. The Russians who emerged stronger, started colonising Amur basin including the Chinese coast of the Sea of Okhotsk. They said that the 1689 Treaty of Nerchinsk should be renegotiated. They forced the 1858 Treaty of Aigun and the 1860 Treaty of Peking on China, depriving it of huge tracts of land and access to the sea north of Korea.

In 1861, another blow was given. Peter Kazakeevich, Russia’s boundary commissioner, coerced Chinese map makers to accept some co-ordinates not mentioned in the Treaty of Peking. It showed the international boundary along the Chinese banks of Amur and Ussuri rivers. The treaty had only mentioned these as boundary rivers. This map violated the Thalweg principle, accepted in international law since the beginning of the 19th century, that co-owners of the rivers would have equal rights over the waters and islands on their side.

Demonstrations Prompt National Security Community Push for Diversity

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Nationwide demonstrations against racial injustice and police brutality in the wake of the killing of an African American man in police custody in Minnesota last month have prompted soul-searching within Washington’s national security community about the lack of diversity in its own ranks.

In a letter undersigned by more than 150 organizations and practitioners in the peace and security, national security, and foreign-policy communities, and shared exclusively with Foreign Policy, organizations are pledging to add more diversity to their ranks and boards of directors.

“These racial attitudes exist in all facets of our lives, weakening our democracy, and opposing our values of equality, justice, and freedom,” said the letter, led by Women of Color Advancing Peace, Security and Conflict Transformation, a Washington-based advocacy organization. “To root out institutional racism, it is vital that we re-examine our implicit and explicit biases, as well as biases within our organizations.”

“Institutional racism purposefully disadvantages Black people and people of color through social, economic, and political systems, reinforcing white supremacy, and must be consciously confronted, addressed and removed,” the signatories added in the letter, which also calls for national security organizations to develop mentorship programs for African Americans and to develop processes to hire more employees from lower-income communities. 

Is America’s Future South Africa’s Past?

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As a South African immigrant to the United States and a longtime observer of South African politics, I am attuned to the ways in which appeals for racial justice and demands for change can unleash powerful social and political forces.

Granted: I am biased by my particular experience, and the United States is by no means an apartheid state (at least not since 1964). But it is striking to see the United States in 2020 look so much like the failing state that was late-apartheid South Africa—albeit at American scale, and at American speed.

The sudden speed of events has triggered growing warnings of the death of U.S. democracy or even another civil war. But the South African precedent suggests that the future, while certainly challenging, is not quite so dire.

First, it’s useful to identify the parallels so I can’t be accused of a false optimism.

The explosion of protest against racial injustice and police brutality across the United States that followed the killing of George Floyd, and the over-militarized police response to it, mimic the caught-on-tape, globally inspiring demonstrations in 1970s and 1980s South Africa. Like many social movements before and since, they have in common a complex fusion of a majority of nonviolent protesters with violent radicals, outside agitators, and opportunistic looters.

America the Unexceptional

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Ever since its founding, the United States has presented itself as a shining city on a hill—a nation in which liberty and fundamental freedoms thrive and an example for the rest of the world.

It is a mythology refuted by American history. And today, killings of African Americans that continue with impunity, systemic racism across institutions of U.S. life, and official violence against Black Lives Matter protesters once again demonstrate the hollowness at the center of American exceptionalism.

Still, many embrace the image of an exemplary, exceptional America. Even those who see the fault in the metaphor of a shining city may argue that the United States has historically played a positive global role for human rights. After all, it helped build the postwar global human rights system, drawing in part on constitutional protections Americans enjoy. It led the negotiation of the United Nations Charter, which makes the pursuit of human rights a fundamental purpose of the global organization. Former U.S. first lady Eleanor Roosevelt chaired the U.N. committee that drafted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948. Human rights policy has been built into the structure of U.S. diplomacy since at least the administration of President Jimmy Carter, however inconsistently, if at all, some presidents have been committed to it.

Racism and white supremacy drove the American refusal to enforce human rights at home, and that legacy of hypocrisy shapes human rights policy today.

Welcome Back to Kissinger’s World

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You can hate Henry Kissinger and think him evil. What you can’t do is ignore him—especially now. So argues Barry Gewen in his incisive new intellectual history of Kissinger and his times, The Inevitability of Tragedy. Indeed, not only can we not ignore the old statesman, who turned 97 in May, but we need him more than ever. To be precise, we desperately need Kissinger’s ideas and instincts about how to muddle our way through a world that, we now realize, isn’t working very well—and probably never will.

The world, from Washington’s perspective especially, has gotten Kissingerian again. America’s crusades are over or at best are corroded and crumbling at their derelict foundations. The Wilsonian crusaderism that transformed sensible Cold War containment into a futile and delusional battle against the myth of monolithic communism, ending horribly in Vietnam; and then reawakened in the post-Cold War era as a neo-Reaganite call to end “evil” regimes, finishing tragically in Iraq, has all but exhausted itself. No one wants anything to do with transforming the world anymore—so much so that Americans put a frank neo-isolationist, Donald Trump, in the White House so that he could shut the country off from the world.

Coronavirus Deaths In San Francisco Vs. New York: What Causes Such Big Differences In Cities' Tolls?

by Laura B. Balzer and Brian W. Whitcomb

San Francisco and New York City both reported their first COVID-19 cases during the first week of March. On March 16, San Francisco announced it was ordering residents to stay home to avoid spreading the coronavirus, and New York did the same less than a week later. But by the end of May, while San Francisco had attributed 43 deaths to COVID-19, New York City’s death count was over 20,000.

What explains the stark difference in COVID-19-related deaths between these two cities? Is the delay in the stay-at-home order responsible? What about city-specific measures taken to mitigate COVID-19 before the order? Is something else going on?

The divergent trajectories of San Francisco and New York City, while especially striking, are not unique. Worldwide, COVID-19 is having highly variable effects. Within the U.S., infections, hospitalizations and deaths have skyrocketed in nearly all major cities in the Northeast while remaining fairly low in some other metropolitan centers, such as Houston, Phoenix and San Diego.

Question: Are Viruses Actually Alive?

by Hugh Harris
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Viruses are an inescapable part of life, especially in a global viral pandemic. Yet ask a roomful of scientists if viruses are alive and you’ll get a very mixed response.

The truth is, we don’t fully understand viruses, and we’re still trying to understand life. Some properties of living things are absent from viruses, such as cellular structure, metabolism (the chemical reactions that take place in cells) and homeostasis (keeping a stable internal environment).

This sets viruses apart from life as we currently define it. But there are also properties that viruses share with life. They evolve, for instance, and by infecting a host cell they multiply using the same cellular machinery.

Many viruses can cut the DNA of infected cells and intertwine their own genetic material so that they are copied along with the DNA of their host whenever the cell divides. This process is called lysogeny and it can be contrasted with the more destructive lytic strategy of viruses where they multiply in great numbers within a cell, only to burst the cell open and spread out to infect other cells.

Is Russia Building a Global Network of Drones?

by Peter Suciu

Unmanned and unpiloted vehicles are both a dream for military planners and a nightmare for opponents of weaponized robotic systems. For the military such technology doesn’t put a human pilot, soldier or sailor in harm’s way—but it also takes the human factor out of the equation, meaning that the machine could potentially take a human life based on its own determination.

This has worried academics as well as those in the tech world.

Yet, it hasn’t stopped militaries around the world from employing new advances in artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning to create autonomous weapons. Now the Russian Central Design Bureau for Marine Engineering Rubin is reportedly looking to take this up a notch and is working on the creation of a global network of underwater, surface and air drones.

The Design Bureau’s CEO Igor Vilnit told Russian state media, “In the long term the bureau’s specialists have plans for creating a global network consisting of a large number of deep-diving vessels, autonomous underwater vehicles, gliders, lighting devices, UAVs, and means of communication and other components for conducting large scale research and exploration.” 

Why a Marine information warfare unit knows it can win

Mark Pomerleau
The Marine Corps created the Marine Expeditionary Force (MEF) Information Groups (MIG) in 2017 as a means of modernizing its force and keeping pace with adversaries who exploit the so-called information environment via cyberattacks, propaganda and electronic warfare.

As a new commander takes the reins of these units, its outgoing leader explained how it is maturing, adapting, and gearing up for the information fight. Those lessons started at a 2018 exercise known as Trident Juncture.

“[That exercise] was a seminal event for II MIG and really put us on track for where we are now. The first big take-away for us is everything takes place in the information environment,” Col. Jordan Walzer, the outgoing commander of II MIG, told C4ISRNET. “Given this was the biggest NATO exercise of its kind since the Cold War, the world was watching. We knew we’d face cyberattacks, propaganda, disinformation, foreign intelligence collection, and narrative warfare – and we did. For what the MIGs were designed for, Trident Juncture was a live-fire environment."

Col. Brian Russell, who most recently served as the director of plans and strategy for U.S. Cyber Command’s Joint Task Force-Ares, the online offensive against ISIS, is expected to take over June 10.

Cybersecurity Lessons From the Pandemic, or Pandemic Lessons From Cybersecurity

By Herb Lin 

Fred Cohen was the first person to introduce the term “computer virus.” In a 1984 paper, he defined it as “a program that can ‘infect’ other programs by modifying them to include a possibly evolved copy of itself. With the infection property, a virus can spread throughout a computer system or network using the authorizations of every user using it to infect their programs. Every program that gets infected may also act as a virus and thus the infection grows.” (The original 1984 paper was eventually published in 1987.) Since then, the security company Kaspersky claims, rightly so, that “when it comes to cybersecurity, there are few terms with more name recognition than ‘computer viruses.’”

This bit of history has taken on new meaning now that the world is in the midst of a global pandemic caused by a biological virus, the novel coronavirus, that induces an unusual and novel disease, COVID-19.

The Cyber Solarium Commission’s release today of its white paper “Cybersecurity Lessons from the Pandemic” is particularly significant against this backdrop. In March, the commission—a bicameral, bipartisan group tasked by Congress to develop pillars of U.S. cyber strategy—released its original report; this white paper is an appendix to that. Below are some of my thoughts on this commission white paper, as well as some thoughts about the pandemic lessons we can draw from cybersecurity.

Top 10 emerging technologies of 2020: Winners and losers

by Teena Maddox 
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Technology solutions built around artificial intelligence (AI) and 5G offer the most immediate opportunities for tech firms to generate new business and revenue, according to CompTIA's third annual Top 10 Emerging Technologies report released on Wednesday. 

Each year, the Emerging Technology Community of CompTIA, the nonprofit association for the global technology industry, releases its list of the top emerging technologies.

"Our ranking represents a consensus viewpoint that emerged after some spirited debate and discussion with the community," said Michael Haines, director of partner incentive strategy and program design for Microsoft and chair of the CompTIA Emerging Technology Community, in a press release.

"We're not proposing that every solution provider and channel partner needs to immediately add these technologies to their menu of products and services," Haines added. "But these innovations will have a sweeping impact on the business of technology. Companies need to prepare now for the changes ahead."

Spectrum Sharing Key Goal Of Latest DoD 5G Experiments


WASHINGTON: DoD has chosen seven more bases for experiments to enable 5G networks, with spectrum sharing as one of the key technology goals. This will bring to 12 the total number of bases involved in the high-priority effort to leap ahead of China in developing 5G for military use, DoD announced today.

The Pentagon intends to release solicitations for the experiments, each of which focuses on a different of technology, this summer, said Joseph Evans, technical director of 5G at DoD’s office of Research and Engineering.

“Our goal is that by the end of fall to have these test beds stood up, and industry working at those those sites,” he told reporters in a press conference this afternoon.

As Breaking D readers know, standing up 5G networks across the military is one of the top priorities for Undersecretary of Research and Engineering Mike Griffin. DoD’s 2021 budget request includes $449 million in research and development for the 5G next generation information communications technology program, $249 million more than provided by Congress for 2020.