29 June 2020

To Stand Up to China, India Must First Boost Its Economy


While last week’s border skirmishes between India and China sent commentators rushing to Google Maps to locate obscure mountainous locales, the jousting in the Himalayas may prove to be a geopolitical inflection point. On strategic affairs, New Delhi and Beijing have long been at loggerheads, but the former has attempted a tightrope walk of cozying up to the West without alienating the communist regime. That may be about to change. In the wake of the brutal killing of at least twenty Indian soldiers by Chinese forces wielding a medieval mix of stones, clubs, and nail-studded rods, India might be forced to rethink its longstanding policy of strategic hedging.


Yet the foreign policy impact of last week’s high-altitude encounter will turn less on India’s diplomatic and defense maneuvers than on simple economics at home. India’s ability to project power abroad, protect its homeland, and assemble and sustain meaningful partnerships depends on the capacity of India’s political leaders to quickly and competently get its economy back on track. The foreign policy crisis consuming the government of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the wake of the border clash—as real and raw as it might be—cannot be resolved unless India first fixes its economic emergency.

The Sino-Indian Clash: Russia in the Middle

By Rajeswari Pillai Rajagopalan

In the midst of a border crisis with China, Indian Defense Minister Rajnath Singh is away in Moscow. At the same time, India’s foreign minister joined his Russian and Chinese counterparts online for an Russia-India-China (RIC) meeting. The Sino-Indian crisis potentially puts Russia in a difficult position, having to choose between its traditional partners in India, which also represents a lucrative arms market, and its new but much more powerful friend in the east, China. 

The ostensible reason for Singh’s visit to Russia was to attend the rescheduled Victory Day Parade. The annual parade commemorating the end of World War II was supposed to be held on May 9, but was postponed due to the pandemic. A 75-member tri-service Indian military contingent participated in the parade. 

The Chinese defense minister was also in Moscow to attend the same parade. However, the Indian side made it clear that there would be no meeting between the two ministers. All negotiations between India and China on the border crisis are taking place bilaterally either through diplomatic channels or through local military commanders. The fact that the RIC meeting was an online affair also helps to ensure that Russia is not forced to mediate between the two sides. 

Afghanistan: Road To Nowhere – Analysis

By S. Binodkumar Singh*
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On June 17, 2020, at least 10 Police personnel were killed when Taliban militants aggressively attacked their checkpoints in the Shurabak District of Kandahar Province.

On June 17, 2020, seven Police personnel were killed in a Taliban attack in Pul-e-Khumri, capital of the Baghlan Province. Another five Police personnel were wounded in the attack.

On June 16, 2020, six Afghan soldiers were killed when Taliban militants attacked an Army post in the Bala Hisar area of Aqcha District in Jowzjan Province. Another three soldiers were injured in the incident.

On June 5, 2020, 15 Police personnel were killed in an ambush by the Taliban on the Zabul-Kandahar highway near the city of Qalat in Zabul Province.

On May 28, 2020, 14 members of the Afghan Border Force were killed in an attack by the Taliban in the Dand-e-Patan District of Paktia Province. Three members of the Border Force were also wounded in the attack.

China’s Military Provokes Its Neighbors, but the Message Is for the United States

By Steven Lee Myers
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In the same week that Chinese and Indian soldiers engaged in a deadly brawl, one of China’s submarines cruised through the waters near Japan, prompting a scramble of aircraft and ships to track its furtive movements. Chinese fighter jets and at least one bomber buzzed Taiwan’s territorial airspace almost daily.

With the world distracted by the coronavirus pandemic, China’s military has encroached upon its neighbors’ territories on several fronts throughout the spring and now into summer, flexing its military might in ways that have raised alarms across Asia and in Washington.

China’s military assertiveness reflects a growing sense of confidence and capability, but also one of confrontation, particularly with the United States over the pandemic, the fate of Hong Kong and other issues that China considers central to its sovereignty and national pride.

China Has ‘First-Strike’ Capability To Melt U.S. Power Grid With Electromagnetic Pulse Weapon

James Conca

Last week, the Department of Homeland Security issued a scary report on China’s ability to conduct an Electromagnetic Pulse attack on the United States. The key takeaway, according to Dr. Peter Pry,
 executive director of the department’s EMP task force, is that China now has super-EMP weapons, knows how to protect itself against an EMP attack, and has developed protocols to conduct a first-strike attack, even as they deny they would ever do so.

According to the Center for Strategic International Studies, China has the most active ballistic missile development program in the world, so this is doubly troubling. China used stolen U.S. technology to develop at least three types of high-tech weapons to attack the electric grid and key technologies that could cause a surprise “Pearl Harbor” attack that could produce a deadly blackout to the entire country.

Dr. Pry outlines how China has built a network of satellites, high-speed missiles, and super-electromagnetic pulse weapons that could melt down our electric grid, fry critical communications, and even takeout the ability of our aircraft carrier groups to respond.

In U.S.-China Trade War, New Supply Chains Rattle Markets


With relations between Washington and Beijing in freefall, the future of global supply chains is uncertain. Even as inconsistent White House messages continue to raise questions about the direction of U.S. trade policy, trade war tariffs remain in effect. Meanwhile, the fallout from Beijing’s proposed national security law, which threatens to constrain Hong Kong’s autonomy, further imperils the already fragile phase one trade agreement between the two superpowers. This friction, paired with the race to secure medical supplies and develop a coronavirus vaccine, is provoking a reevaluation of just-in-time supply chains that privilege efficiency above all else.

A chorus of ‘re’-themed supply chain buzzwords—resiliency, redundancy, reshoring, restructuring, and regionalization, to name a few—is music to the ears of White House protectionists, who launched the trade war and who think China’s global manufacturing role is long overdue for revision. U.S. President Donald Trump’s strategy of reducing the United States’ trade deficits and rejuvenating the U.S. economy stems from a nationalist view of supply chains. In this vein, Trump’s trade adviser Peter Navarro signaled the country’s $2 trillion in spending on stimulus packages in part aims to bring more manufacturing jobs back to American shores.

The US and China Tussle Over Hong Kong

HONG KONG: President Donald Trump’s announcement that the United States would sanction China for ending Hong Kong’s autonomous status is unlikely to have much impact on the ground, but does reflect the depth of deterioration in the bilateral relationship during the weeks since March 27, when he last spoke with his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping.

“Possession is nine-tenths of the law,” as the adage goes, and China undoubtedly possesses Hong Kong. No one challenges that. The United States and other countries, including Britain, may challenge the legality of China’s actions but since there is no way to enforce international law, the most any can hope for is that Beijing will be more circumspect in its actions. Immediately, this means drafting the national security law for Hong Kong narrowly to avoid unduly affecting the vast majority of the city’s residents.

Trump has indicated a lack of personal support of pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong and in 2019 referred to them as “riots.” He earlier referred to the 1989 pro-democracy protests in Beijing as “riots” and called the Chinese leaders “strong” for having put the uprising down.

The China “Constrainment” Doctrine


LONDON – It is necessary to know some history in order to draw the right lessons from it. All too often, alleged parallels and similarities seem far-fetched on close examination. So, when it was suggested recently that China’s recent behavior – bullying, lying, and violating treaties – was similar to that of Germany prior to World War I, I was doubtful.

In 1911, for example, Germany’s Wilhelm II provoked an international crisis by deploying a gunboat to Agadir, Morocco to try to squeeze concessions out of France and drive a wedge between that country and Britain. Instead, the episode convinced France and Britain of Germany’s aggressive intentions – a conclusion borne out three years later by the outbreak of war.

Maybe it is too pessimistic to draw similar conclusions today about the behavior of the Communist Party of China (CPC). But the events of the last few months surely call for a coordinated response by the rest of the world, and especially by liberal democracies. If Chinese President Xi Jinping’s aggressive behavior is to be discouraged, we need to get together and stick together.

The list of China’s transgressions is long. While the rest of the world has been distracted by a pandemic that spread in part because of the CPC’s secrecy and lies, China has increased its military threats against Taiwan and reneged on treaty-based promises to respect Hong Kong’s traditional freedoms under the rule of law.

China’s Approach to Global Governance

For more than two millennia, Chinese leaders saw their country as one of the dominant actors in the world. The concept of zhongguo—the Middle Kingdom, as China calls itself—is not simply geographic. It implies that China is the cultural, political, and economic center of the world. This Sino-centrist worldview has in many ways shaped China’s outlook on global governance—the rules, norms, and institutions that regulate international cooperation. The decline and collapse of imperial China in the 1800s and early 1900s, however, diminished Chinese influence on the global stage for more than a century.

In the past two decades, China has reemerged as a major power, with the world’s second largest economy and a world-class military. It increasingly asserts itself, seeking to regain its centrality in the international system and over global governance institutions.

These institutions, created mostly by Western powers after World War II, include the World Bank, which provides loans and grants to developing states; the International Monetary Fund, which works to secure the stability of the global monetary system; and the United Nations, among others. President Xi Jinping, the most powerful Chinese leader since Mao Zedong, has called for China to “lead the reform of the global governance system,” transforming institutions and norms in ways that will reflect Beijing’s values and priorities.

China’s Great Wall of Finance Shows First Signs of a Crack – in Hong Kong

By Macro Yuk-sing Kwan

A day before Beijing passed a decision paving the way for its national security law for Hong Kong, the global index provider MSCI decided to relocate its financial derivative products from Singapore to Hong Kong, citing its confidence in Hong Kong as an international financial center for “years and decades to come.”

Perhaps one should not be too surprised by MSCI’s move. For a long time Hong Kong has been blessed by the fact that China-U.S. decoupling is taking place in everything but finance. Even as Beijing and Washington traded barbs over tariffs, technology, and indeed Hong Kong’s own future, the financial arena has been curiously ringfenced.

As a result, Hong Kong as a global financial hub has continued to prosper amid mounting political tension, even to the point of overtaking Singapore in terms of foreign exchange turnover according to a 2019 survey by the Bank for International Settlements.

China’s Approach to Global Governance

By Yanzhong Huang and Joshua Kurlantzick

For more than two millennia, Chinese leaders saw their country as one of the dominant actors in the world. This Sino-centrist worldview has in many ways shaped China’s outlook on global governance — the rules, norms, and institutions that regulate international cooperation. The decline and collapse of imperial China in the 1800s and early 1900s, however, diminished Chinese influence on the global stage for more than a century.

But in the past two decades, China has reemerged as a major power, with the world’s second largest economy and a world-class military. It increasingly asserts itself, seeking to regain its centrality in the international system and over global governance institutions. President Xi Jinping, the most powerful Chinese leader since Mao Zedong, has called for China to “lead the reform of the global governance system,” transforming institutions and norms to reflect Beijing’s values and priorities.

China is pursuing a multipronged strategy toward global governance. It supports international institutions and agreements aligned with its goals and norms, such as the World Bank and the Paris Agreement on climate change. Yet, on issues in which Beijing diverges from the norms of the current system, such as human rights, it seeks to undermine those values and create alternative institutions and models. In areas where norms and institutions are still being established, such as internet governance, China works with other authoritarian powers to create standards that reflect their interests.

The Trump Administration Has a China Containment Plan

by Ramon Marks

The Trump administration has announced a new strategic approach to China. The move has been interpreted as an escalation into a new “Cold War,” reminiscent of the old competition between the West and the Soviet Union.

But the new strategy for China is profoundly different from the political containment and détente strategies that the United States followed during the real Cold War. The competition with the Soviet Union and its allies was fundamentally political and military. A spiraling nuclear arms race converged in central Europe where two opposing military alliances, NATO and the Warsaw Pact, were poised for war. Moscow aggressively promoted the spread of communism, opportunistically fomenting and supporting revolution and guerilla wars around the world.

The Soviet Bloc, however, could never successfully compete with Western democracies in the marketplace. The rigid, centrally planned approach to economics pursued by Soviet-style communism did not hold a candle to the dynamic free-market economies of the West. The Soviet Bloc operated within its own closed economic world, generating far less prosperity than market-based economies. Ultimately, the Soviet system collapsed of its own weight, strangled both by its centrally planned dirigisme, and Western alliance trade controls that denied the Communist Bloc access to advanced technology and products. Anyone from the United States who traveled to Russia after the Soviet Union’s collapse in the early 1990s thought that they had walked into a time warp, a country stuck in the 1950s. In the end, the Soviets did not have the economic ability to keep up the military competition with the United States and its allies. The arms race bankrupted the Soviet Union and its centrally planned communist, economic system.

How a Rising China Has Remade Global Politics

As much as any other single development, China’s rise over the past two decades has remade the landscape of global politics. Beginning with its entry into the World Trade Organization in December 2001, China rapidly transformed its economy from a low-cost “factory to the world” to a global leader in advanced technologies. Along the way, it has transformed global supply chains, but also international diplomacy, leveraging its success to become the primary trading and development partner for emerging economies across Asia, Africa and Latin America.

But Beijing’s emergence as a global power has also created tensions. Early expectations that China’s integration into the global economy would lead to liberalization at home and moderation abroad have proven overly optimistic, especially since President Xi Jinping rose to power in 2012. Instead, Xi has overseen a domestic crackdown on dissent, in order to shore up and expand the Chinese Communist Party’s control over every aspect of Chinese society. Needed economic reforms have been put on the backburner, while unfair trade practices, such as forced technology transfers and other restrictions for foreign corporations operating in China, have resulted in a trade war with the U.S. and increasing criticism from Europe.

How to Watch for Freedom Disappearing in Hong Kong

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Last month the Chinese government unexpectedly unveiled plans to authorize the the National People’s Congress Standing Committee to draft national security legislation that would be imposed on Hong Kong, short-circuiting the city’s own lawmaking process.

The forthcoming legislation is expected to criminalize “separatism,” “subversion of state power,” “terrorist activities,” and foreign interference—the very restraints that Hong Kongers have been protesting against for a year. It would also allow mainland China’s domestic security services to operate openly in Hong Kong for the first time. This could facilitate increased surveillance, intimidation, and possibly even rendition of Beijing’s critics in a city that has long enjoyed significantly greater freedom of expression and civil liberties than the rest of China.

Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam and Beijing officials have tried to reassure Hong Kongers that the law will target “an extremely small minority of illegal and criminal acts” and that the “basic rights and freedoms of the overwhelming majority of citizens will be protected.” However, experts on China’s legal system such as Jerome Cohen of New York University have predicted an increase in mass arrests. The territory’s residents appear to agree: Inquiries on emigration options for Hong Kongers have spiked, and greater self-censorship has already begun to take hold.

The Future of Iranian Natural Gas Exports to Turkey

by Omid Shokri Kalehsar 

The diversification of energy resources is a fundamental principle of Turkey’s energy policy. As such, the country has implemented several important natural gas transit projects in recent years, with more planned for the near future. Turkey is positioning itself to become a regional energy hub in the medium term, which will require additional construction of energy infrastructure and the completion of the full liberalization of the country’s gas market.

Turkey has been taking steps to liberalize the energy market since 2001, when it passed a law facilitating the entry of the private sector as well as enabling these firms to engage in exports and imports, leading to the creation of a free and competitive market.

In 1996, Turkey signed an agreement to import gas from Iran, obligating the latter to ship ten billion cubic meters (bcm) per year. By 1999 Turkey consumed 12.382 bcm of natural gas and at the end of 2019 Turkey imported 2.81 bcm of natural gas via pipeline, while 1.87 bcm was purchased as LNG in November 2019, EMRA’s data showed. Turkey’s total gas consumption decreased by 15.8 percent to approximately 3.44 bcm in November 2019, from around 4.09 bcm in November 2018. However, Turkey has consistently faced problems regarding Iran’s gas exports. For one thing, the price and quality of Iranian imported gas was never favorable for Turkey. Compared with Russian and Azerbaijani gas, Iranian supplies were consistently much more expensive, Turkey imports gas via pipelines from Russia, Azerbaijan and Iran. In 2018, Ankara imported 23.6 bcm of gas from Russia, 7.9 bcm from Iran and 7.5 bcm from Azerbaijan.

This Is How Blockchain Can Be Used In Supply Chains To Shape A Post-COVID-19 Economic Recovery

The COVID-19 crisis has rattled supply chains around the globe and created serious questions about the future of commerce. Critical to recovery and restoring economic activity is regaining trust in these systems. This challenge presents an opportunity for the integration of blockchain, a technology with the potential to fundamentally alter the future of supply chain.

Though digitization has driven transaction costs down significantly, most business domains still operate in silos, creating accounting discrepancies that need to be aligned.

The need to process transactions quickly and verify the creation, transmission and reception of a particular exchange of value is ever more critical to business success. To make a supply chains resilient, there must be transparency and integrity across domains, which can be improved through the deployment of blockchain technologies.

Ex-Soviet Bioweapons Labs Are Fighting COVID-19. Moscow Doesn’t Like It.

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Anetwork of Soviet-era laboratories once used to track plague outbreaks and develop bioweapons during the Cold War is at the front line of the fight against the coronavirus pandemic in Central Asia and the Caucasus. That hasn’t stopped Russia from instigating a propaganda and disinformation campaign against these labs, which were modernized and converted to civilian purposes long ago. That’s because these disease-control labs, located in former fiefs of the Soviet empire, are a legacy of one of the most successful and benevolent foreign-policy programs the United States has ever undertaken.

Back in an era of U.S. global leadership—before Washington turned its back on international cooperation—the Nunn-Lugar Cooperative Threat Reduction initiative in 1991 created a series of U.S. taxpayer-funded laboratories in former Soviet republics including Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Kazakhstan, and Uzbekistan. The purpose of these labs, most of which started out as Soviet-era facilities, was to help scientists in former Soviet republics secure and eliminate weapons of mass destruction, including nuclear weapons stocks and biowarfare capabilities.

Foreign Worker Visas Are the Tech Industry’s Dirty Secret

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U.S. President Donald Trump signed an executive order this week that bars hundreds of thousands of foreigners from seeking employment in the United States by suspending new work visas.

The argument against the most significant of these visas, the H-1B, has always been that that they harm employment prospects for Americans and depress wages. Some of the criticism is justified: The H-1B visa, which U.S. technology companies and outsourcing firms use to hire 85,000 new foreign specialists each year, is indeed problematic, because it puts both American and foreign workers at a disadvantage. These visas are the U.S. tech industry’s dirty secret. They tie the foreign workers to their jobs and allow the employer to pay them less than they could be earning—which drives down pay for American workers as well.

But the solution isn’t for government to lock the doors or try to control wages; it is to let competition on the labor market do its magic. The simple fix is to allow H-1B visa holders to work for any employer that pays them the highest wage or for the start-up that offers the most rewarding work.The visas tie the foreign workers to their jobs and allow the employer to pay them less than they could be earning—which drives down pay for American workers as well.

The Myth of German Coronavirus Exceptionalism


If Western media are to be believed, Germany has dealt exceptionally well with the coronavirus crisis. In the context of U.S. President Donald Trump’s ineptitude and the higher death rates in other big Western democracies, Germany is held up as an example of how to do better. But with whom is Germany being compared?

If Western countries’ responses are compared with those of Asian democracies, the West has failed as a whole. South Korea and Taiwan were confronted with the coronavirus much earlier than the West, yet they managed to keep their infection numbers low while avoiding the extensive economic standstill that afflicts Europe.

Germany has been part of this failure as much as any other Western country. The German government’s lead disease control agency, the Robert Koch Institute, kept the risk level of the coronavirus at low to medium until late February. Two weeks later, the country closed down. The institute’s experts managed to test and systematically trace a small early outbreak, but they were surprised when carnival festivities triggered a major wave of infections in late February. After that, their approach of systematic tracing and tracking was overpowered within days.

The Decline of the American World

“He hated America very deeply,” John le Carré wrote of his fictional Soviet mole, Bill Haydon, in Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy. Haydon had just been unmasked as a double agent at the heart of Britain’s secret service, one whose treachery was motivated by animus, not so much to England but to America. “It’s an aesthetic judgment as much as anything,” Haydon explained, before hastily adding: “Partly a moral one, of course.”

I thought of this as I watched the scenes of protest and violence over the killing of George Floyd spread across the United States and then here in Europe and beyond. The whole thing looked so ugly at first—so full of hate, and violence, and raw, undiluted prejudice against the protesters. The beauty of America seemed to have gone, the optimism and charm and easy informality that entrances so many of us from abroad.

At one level, the ugliness of the moment seems a trite observation to make. And yet it gets to the core of the complicated relationship the rest of the world has with America. In Tinker Tailor, Haydon at first attempts to justify his betrayal with a long political apologia, but, in the end, as he and le Carré’s hero, the master spy George Smiley, both know, the politics are just the shell. The real motivation lies underneath: the aesthetic, the instinct. Haydon—upper class, educated, cultured, European—just could not stand the sight of America. For Haydon and many others like him in the real world, this visceral loathing proved so great that it blinded them to the horrors of the Soviet Union, ones that went far beyond the aesthetic.

Reviving the WTO

Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala

The World Trade Organization is in the news mostly for the wrong reasons nowadays. Many people regard it as an ineffective policeman of an outdated rulebook that is unsuited for the challenges of the twenty-first-century global economy. And WTO members generally agree that the organization urgently needs reforming in order to remain relevant.

Recent months have brought further challenges. The WTO’s appellate body, which adjudicates trade disputes among member countries, effectively ceased functioning last December amid disagreements regarding the appointment of new judges to the panel. And in May 2020, Director-General Roberto Azevêdo announced that he would step down at the end of August, a year before his current term was due to end.

Whoever Azevêdo’s successor is will face a major challenge. Since its establishment in 1995, the WTO has failed to conclude a single trade-negotiation round of global trade talks, thus missing an opportunity to deliver mutual benefits for its members. The Doha Development Round, which began in November 2001, was supposed to be concluded by January 2005.

The Pandemic and the Limits of Realism


Stephen Walt’s “The Realist’s Guide to the Coronavirus Outbreak,” together with some of his other recent articles, are compelling examples of how realist scholars of international relations see the coronavirus as helping to validate this school of thought. Realists have good reason for confidence. Responses to the pandemic have demonstrated the primacy of sovereign states, rationale for great-power competition, and obstacles to international cooperation—all key tenets of the realist tradition.

But the pandemic also exposes realism’s shortcomings as a source for successful policy. Better at explaining risks and dangers than offering solutions, realism’s strengths lie in diagnosis rather than treatment or prevention. To fight the pandemic most effectively, policymakers will have to turn to the other theoretical tradition that has, however reluctantly, informed responses to the other great crises of the past three-quarters of a century.

Realism gets a lot right, which is one reason it remains international relations’ foundational school of thought, at least in the United States. One insight the pandemic underscores is the realist view of states as the primary actors in world politics. As the coronavirus struck, states moved swiftly to close or tighten international borders, restricted movement within their borders, and marshaled security and public health resources. That the World Health Organization (WHO) initially recommended against such border controls, businesses dreaded declining economic activity, and individuals chafed against restrictions on their freedom of movement underscores the authority of states to maintain order and shape events.

Japan Radically Increased Immigration—and No One Protested

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In the bustling Ueno neighborhood of central Tokyo, the streets smell of cumin lamb skewers, shish kebab, and kofte. A storefront advertises financial services in more than 20 languages, and the shops sell Korean novelty snacks, Taiwanese bubble tea, and Punjabi curries. At a nearby kissaten, a traditional Japanese diner, a group of young Senegalese men chat in Wolof.

Scenes like these may be familiar in New York or Hong Kong, but they are far less common in Tokyo, a city that is not traditionally known for its cosmopolitan diversity.

That’s beginning to change. While Ueno has been relatively multicultural compared to the rest of Tokyo since the 1980s, the entire capital is becoming increasingly diverse. In the coming decades, similar neighborhoods will mushroom across Japan as the nation pushes ahead with radical immigration reforms. But even as immigration grows in this traditionally homogenous country, Japan appears to be avoiding the organized far-right backlash that has coursed through the West in recent years.

In Europe and the United States, immigration and national identity seemingly consume all politics; in Japan, despite its reputation as closed-off, homogenous, and xenophobic, a large increase in immigration has mostly been met with a shrug. While anti-immigrant sentiments are widespread, they do not run very deep, or so suggests the lack of substantial opposition.

The digital divide: Not everyone has the same access to technology

by Dan Patterson

Sheila Warren: I think we all are well aware, at this point in time, that there is a huge divide in wealth and income in society. That's exacerbated from country to country, but even within countries we see a pretty stark divide in differences in the wealthiest and the haves and have-nots, if you will. But what people don't really connect to is the digital divide.

What this means is, it used to be strictly about access to technology, so who had devices or who was skilled in use of the internet, but now, as mobile phone penetration has become ubiquitous, particularly in the developing world, this is really more about access to the internet, to broadband speed, like you noted, but also just general skills. Is your workforce generally skilled, technically? Are they able to take advantage of some of the economic opportunities that have arisen in the technology economy? Where that has not happened, we use the term digital divide to refer to swaths of the population, whether geographically or by income class, that have been left behind in this revolution.

I think, as we exit the immediate crisis here, the health crisis, and move into a period of economic recovery, we're certainly going to see tremendous amounts of job loss, transitions in needed skills, and our labor force is going to be dramatically affected around the world by what's happening now. We do have an opportunity to think about re-skilling in a new way. Can we provide certain swaths of the economy with educational resources that will help them participate in the technology economy in ways that were not permissible or possible before? Can we think through an infrastructure build that will enable schools, for example, in rural areas or in parts of the world that haven't traditionally had access to technology, to train their students in these kinds of skills?

Senate wants more clarity on cyber ops

Mark Pomerleau

The Senate Armed Services Committee is asking the Department of Defense for greater clarity and formalization of its cyber operations.

In its version of the annual defense policy bill — which passed the committee last week, though full text of the language was only made public this week — the committee takes aim at U.S. Cyber Command’s so-called hunt forward operations.

Hunt forward operations involve teams from Cyber Command physically deploying to other nations to assist them with cyber defense. These operations provide American cyber teams insight into tactics that could be turned against U.S. networks or used to disrupt the elections process, officials have maintained.

The Department of Defense wants to spend $11.6 million in fiscal year 2021 to buy systems that would help cyber operators perform “hunt forward” missions, where teams deploy to other countries to stop malicious cyber activity.