15 August 2020

The Army in Indian Military Strategy: Rethink Doctrine or Risk Irrelevance


Ground forces dominate Indian military strategy. Since its independence, India has fought five wars along its unsettled northern land borders, and its most vexing security threats today—as illustrated by the ongoing Chinese incursions in the northern region of Ladakh—still loom across those same borders. The Indian Army commands a clear and growing majority of military budget allocations and an even larger share of military personnel. But how does India use its ground forces, and how well do they serve Indian security interests?

This paper argues that the Indian Army—and by extension, Indian defense policy more generally—is dominated by an orthodox offensive doctrine. This is an approach to the use of force that centers on large army formations, operating relatively autonomously from political direction, seeking to impose a punitive cost on the enemy. The punitive cost often takes the form of capturing enemy territory as a bargaining chip, even though India usually pursues strategically defensive war aims to maintain the territorial status quo.

This paper advances four analytic propositions before concluding with recommendations for the Indian Army. First, the orthodox offensive doctrine has been at the center of the Indian military’s wartime experience, organization, and doctrine. It defined India’s strategy during the wars against Pakistan in 1965, 1971, and 1999, and has shaped Indian crisis behavior since. Doctrinal innovations along the way, such as the Cold Start doctrine, have sought to optimize rather than rethink the orthodox offensive doctrine.

An ISIS Jailbreak in Afghanistan

Thomas Joscelyn

On Sunday, an ISIS suicide bomber drove his explosive-laden vehicle into the front gate of the main prison in Jalalabad—the capital of Afghanistan’s eastern Nangarhar province. Shortly after the so-called “martyr” detonated the bomb, his jihadist comrades stormed the prison from multiple sides. Their siege was finally put to an end on Monday, after the terrorists battled security forces for upward of 20 hours. It was the most sophisticated operation claimed by ISIS in Afghanistan in some time—perhaps ever. Days later, it still isn’t clear how many ISIS members and other jihadists are now on the lam. That Afghan government initially trumpeted its supposed success in rounding up the escapees, but then conceded that hundreds are still at large.

ISIS has a history of orchestrating jailbreaks. The group has made such operations a global priority and it’s easy to see why. There’s no better way for ISIS and other jihadist organizations to replenish their ranks than by reincorporating dedicated cadres. Time and again, ISIS and its predecessor organizations have received a boost from those who returned to the fight. The former caliphate’s leaders know this history well, as many of them were once imprisoned. They have repeatedly reminded their men that their detained brethren shouldn’t be forgotten. And jail raids like the one in Jalalabad send a clear message to the jihadists who have been captured: Your co-religionists will not abandon you. It’s a message that is intended to boost morale, especially after the group has suffered multiple setbacks.

If America and China Go to War, It Won’t Be an Accident

Hal Brands
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Hal Brands is the Henry A. Kissinger Distinguished Professor at the Henry A. Kissinger Center for Global Affairs at Johns Hopkins University's School of Advanced International Studies and a senior fellow at the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments. His latest book is "American Grand Strategy in the Age of Trump."

US-China relations are deteriorating by the day, and the bad news is that the two countries could end up fighting in the coming decade. The good news is that such a war won’t start by accident.

There is a venerable argument that states can stumble into a major conflict that neither truly desires, and it has been revived as tensions between the two great powers escalate. Nevertheless, history shows that big wars don't just happen inadvertently.

The accidental war thesis was raised recently by former Prime Minister Kevin Rudd of Australia. Noting the many flashpoints at which US and Chinese interests collide, he argued that there is a growing danger of them “stumbling into conflict.” An accidental collision between ships or planes in the South China Sea, or several other plausible scenarios, could lead to crisis, escalation and war. Just as the great powers of the early 20th century “sleep-walked” into World War I, China and America could blunder their way to disaster today.

Why Is China Coming After Americans Like Me in the U.S.?

By Samuel Chu

WASHINGTON — On Thursday, July 30, I fell asleep watching reruns of “Law and Order.” The next morning, I woke up a fugitive.

Chinese state television said that the Hong Kong authorities had issued arrest warrants for six activists who promote democracy for that supposedly semi-autonomous region.

I was one of the six. The charges? “Inciting secession” and “colluding with foreign powers” — part of the National Security Law imposed on July 1 by the Chinese Communist Party. Both crimes are punishable by up to life in prison.

It doesn’t matter that I’ve been an American citizen for 25 years — having left Hong Kong in 1990 to live in the United States.

I had violated Article 38 of the new law, which states: “This Law shall apply to offenses under this Law committed against the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region from outside the Region by a person who is not a permanent resident of the Region.”

In other words, every provision of this law — which was concocted in Beijing and enacted without the Hong Kong legislature — applies to everyone outside of Hong Kong. Nobody is beyond the law’s reach, not me in the United States, and certainly not the estimated 85,000 Americans living and working in Hong Kong itself.

China’s Plan To Buy Iran Won’t Go So Smoothly

Alireza Nader

A prospective twenty-five-year agreement between Communist China and the Islamic Republic of Iran has become immensely controversial in Iran, with many ordinary Iranians viewing it as a sell-out of Iran’s sovereignty. To be sure, Tehran and Beijing have yet to formally sign the deal, and the leak of a draft text to Western media likely represents a trial balloon to gauge public reaction. Still, officials such as President Hassan Rouhani and Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif have described the treaty as a major win for a cash strapped and isolated regime, depicting Beijing as a valuable strategic partner for Tehran.

Yet from what we know, the treaty is not a win for the Islamic Republic. Rather, the regime is merely trying to demonstrate that it is doing something to resolve Iran’s economic crisis.

The details of the agreement between China and Iran remain murky. According to some reports, China will invest heavily in key industries in return for access to Iran’s abundant energy and mineral resources. Yet several rumors about the pact have enraged a population deeply resentful of the regime. In particular, reports of the regime “renting” Iranian islands such as Kish to Beijing have sparked major criticism on social media and Persian language television broadcasts outside of the country. The Persian hashtag “the selling of Iran is forbidden” is currently trending on Twitter.

Hong Kong Police Mix Colonial and Communist Brutality

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At the end of last month, 19-year-old pro-democracy activist Tony Chung was arrested in his home and frog-marched into an unmarked car by plainclothes police in the early hours of the morning. “Snatched in the middle of the night” was how one former independence activist described it to me.

Now facing charges that could land him life imprisonment—or even the death penalty in mainland China—the shadowy unit that oversaw and carried out his arrest, by pro-Beijing media’s own admission, has been designed using the former British colonial administration’s elite intelligence and counterespionage unit as a “template.” It’s the same team that just carried out a raid to arrest the pro-democracy media tycoon Jimmy Lai and raid his newspaper’s offices. It is a shocking reminder of how Beijing will go to any lengths and co-opt almost anything in pursuit of stamping out what it regards as among the gravest threats to its rule in decades.

The text of the national security law compelled the Hong Kong government to establish a new national security taskforce, described as a “department for safeguarding national security with law enforcement capacity.” Critics have rightly pointed to the grim history of the secret police on the mainland—but the actual blueprint is the colonial Special Branch, which has its own grim history.

Another Step Forward in the Saudi Nuclear Program

Yoel Guzansky, Ephraim Asculai, Eyal Propper

A facility for the extraction of yellowcake from uranium ore has been detected in Saudi Arabia. The facility, which has been in place for some time, was constructed in cooperation with two Chinese companies. The report comes on top of a number of discoveries indicative of an effort by Saudi Arabia, apparently in the early stages, to test elements of the nuclear fuel cycle, as well as closer cooperation between Saudi Arabia and China. The nuclear agreement with Iran (JCPOA) did not lessen Saudi Arabia's motivation to acquire nuclear capability, although it made it less urgent. Iran's waning commitment to the agreement and the less time needed for an Iranian breakout to a nuclear weapon are liable to increase the anxiety in Riyadh, and accelerate its efforts to obtain nuclear capability, including through the use of shortcuts.

Over the past decade, Saudi Arabia has turned to the development of a nuclear program for the production of electricity and desalination, and has issued tenders for construction of the first two nuclear reactors. Announcement of the winners of the tender has been delayed, while Riyadh attempts to convince Washington to waive the stipulation that Saudi Arabia refrain from uranium enrichment in its territory as a condition for obtaining US civilian nuclear assistance. Until now, Saudi Arabia has refused to accept these restrictions as well as to sign the IAEA Additional Protocol. Concern that Saudi Arabia will develop a military nuclear program in certain circumstances and conditions grew after Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman stated in 2018 that the kingdom would act without delay to acquire nuclear capability if Iran does so. Bin Salman's brother Abdulaziz bin Salman, Minister of Energy, expressed Saudi Arabia’s desire in 2019 to master all aspects of the nuclear fuel cycle.

Will Lebanon Rise From the Ashes?

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Bad times have visited Lebanon before, but the Lebanese have never been as tested and humbled as they have been recently. On Tuesday, the Lebanese caught a glimpse of the apocalypse, which came by way of decades of political dysfunction; a diabolical culture of criminal negligence and corruption; and economic plunder of resources and public assets by an entrenched, lawless coalition of feudal political families, former and current warlords, and new oligarchs. This corruption culminated in the explosions that flattened Beirut’s whole port area and caused severe damage within a 5-mile radius. The port’s huge grain silo suffered the brunt of the blasts, leaving part of it standing like an ancient ruin signifying the hulk of a bygone civilization. The dead will be in the hundreds, and the wounded already exceed 6,000. The reverberations from this man-made earthquake will continue to be felt for many years to come.

Lebanon is a remnant of its fading past. By now, the country’s tale of woe, which brought it to this nadir, is well known. The veneer of economic prosperity centered on a glitzy Beirut could not hide the rot that afflicted every facet of life in a country that imports more than 80 percent of its needs and produces very little worthy of foreign currency. Years of economic mismanagement, endemic corruption, overspending, indebtedness, and outright plunder of financial resources by the dominant powers with the complicity of a compromised banking sector led to the collapse of the Lebanese lira, which has lost more than 80 percent of its value since last October. By the time of the Beirut explosions, Lebanon had become a Weimar Republic on the Mediterranean.

Iran Policy in Holding Pattern Before Elections


Brian Hook’s abrupt departure as the Trump administration’s top Iran envoy leaves an uncertain future for the White House’s biggest Middle East policy, two years after President Donald Trump abandoned the Iran nuclear pact and proclaimed he could secure a “new and lasting deal.”

Hook’s replacement, Elliott Abrams, will simultaneously continue as the administration’s envoy for Venezuela, making him responsible for two defining Trump foreign-policy initiatives—neither of which has yielded the kind of high-profile victory the White House once hoped for. 

The big question now is who wins this November’s U.S. presidential election. Iran has been rocked by mysterious explosions for weeks and may privately suspect U.S. involvement, but it is wary about rocking the boat before seeing if Trump wins reelection. But there’s also little chance for any last-minute outreach to Iran to secure a new and improved deal before the vote.

The U.N. Secretary-General Is Letting Powerful Countries Get Away With Killing Kids

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The United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres is undermining one of the U.N.’s most effective tools for holding wartime abusers to account: He has repeatedly omitted powerful governments from his annual list of shame for grave violations against children in armed conflict, ignoring the U.N.’s own evidence of abuse.

When the Security Council first requested the list in 2001, it was limited to governments recruiting and using child soldiers, but over the years the Security Council has expanded it to include military forces and armed groups that kill and maim children, commit acts of sexual violence, attack schools and hospitals, abduct children, and deny them humanitarian access. Many of the state and nonstate actors named—including the governments of Somalia, South Sudan, and Syria—are on the list for multiple violations.

Not surprisingly, most parties to armed conflict—particularly governments—do not want to be included on the list. To be listed means keeping company with pariah groups like the Islamic State, Al Qaeda, or the Taliban—and facing possible Security Council sanctions
To be listed means keeping company with pariah groups like the Islamic State, Al Qaeda, or the Taliban—and facing possible Security Council sanctions, including arms embargoes, asset freezes, and travel bans.

Pompeo’s Arms Sales to Saudi Arabia Were Legal—but Heightened Risks of Civilian Casualties in Yemen

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Akeenly awaited report from the U.S. State Department’s internal watchdog found that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo used proper procedures to expedite arms sales to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates last year over congressional attempts to block the move.

But the report also found that the State Department did not properly assess the humanitarian impacts of shipping more weapons to Riyadh in the midst of the Saudi-led coalition’s involvement in Yemen’s ongoing civil war, marked by the indiscriminate bombing of civilians with U.S. munitions and by devastating humanitarian impacts.

The report, and the Office of Inspector General (OIG) itself, has become a key battleground between the Trump administration’s foreign-policy team and U.S. lawmakers ever since Pompeo overrode congressional opposition and approved the arms sales using an emergency declaration last year.

Tick Tock for TikTok?

There was a new wave of anti-China activity emanating from the administration last week, some of it on target, some of it less so. Taken as a whole, it seems we have turned a corner in the bilateral relationship toward a much more aggressive posture, clearly willing to disrupt economic connections despite not having a clearly articulated policy goal.

In the more understandable category was a recommendation by a presidential working group that Chinese companies be delisted from U.S. stock exchanges if they refuse to allow the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB) to review their auditing documents. Companies would have until 2022 to comply, similar to legislation pending in Congress. There would also be a co-audit alternative if the Chinese auditor is not allowed to comply.

This is not a new issue—it goes back at least 8-10 years—and it is hard to find anyone outside of China sympathetic to the Chinese position, which appears to be that outside regulators looking at Chinese auditing papers is an infringement on its sovereignty. There were efforts in the past to reach a negotiated solution that did not succeed, and it appears patience has run out on the U.S. side. It is hard to argue that Chinese companies should be treated more leniently than everyone else, particularly when there are plenty of examples of Chinese companies engaging in financial fraud. Disruptive or not, this action is overdue.

Is It Possible to Avert Chaos in the Vaccine Scramble?

The race for a Covid-19 vaccine is unprecedented in its scope, speed, scale, and urgency. The stakes could not be higher for the United States, which leads the world with over 4.8 million confirmed cases and over 155,000 deaths, as uncontrolled outbreaks proliferate across the country, triggering a worsening economic crisis and social strife. The stakes are no less profound for other countries. Together with improved diagnostics and therapeutics, a safe and effective Covid-19 vaccine will be fundamental to ending the pandemic, restarting the world’s economy, and mitigating the cascade of crises, including extreme poverty, famine, civil unrest, and instability, that most acutely affect lower-income countries.

The United States has thus far pursued a strictly nationalist approach, one fueled by ideology, escalating confrontation with China, and the 2020 presidential electoral cycle, focused overwhelmingly on procuring doses of the most promising vaccines for the entire U.S. population. Other powerful, wealthy countries are pursuing similar nationalist paths, determined to lock down vaccine supply for their sovereign purposes. But many of these same countries are simultaneously joining COVAX, a nascent international initiative to develop and equitably distribute Covid-19 vaccines to benefit all countries, rich and poor. Despite widespread interest, early progress in fundraising, and promising ongoing action to secure new commitments, COVAX is still short of the ample resources that are urgently needed.

Noam Chomsky wants you to vote for Joe Biden and then haunt his dreams

Anand Giridharadas

Join me today at 12:00 p.m. ET for a live video chat about this newsletter (and whatever else you want to talk about) on Crowdcast. Space is limited on that platform, so it will be first come, first served and for full subscribers. If you’ve already subscribed, look for a link and password in your inbox 15 minutes prior.

Historically, pandemics have forced humans to break with the past and imagine their world anew. This one is no different. It is a portal, a gateway between one world and the next.

We can choose to walk through it, dragging the carcasses of our prejudice and hatred, our avarice, our data banks and dead ideas, our dead rivers and smoky skies behind us. Or we can walk through lightly, with little luggage, ready to imagine another world. And ready to fight for it.

I recently sat down, via a combination of Google Meet and cellphone, with another of our foremost advocates for another world. Noam Chomsky is a linguist, a philosopher, a cognitive scientist, a social critic, and an intellectual godfather of the left. Roy spoke for many when she wrote, years ago, “Hardly a day goes by when I don't find myself thinking — for one reason or another — ‘Chomsky Zindabad’” — long live Chomsky.

Abolish DHS? Reform the Department of Homeland Security Instead

Steven Metz 

The Department of Homeland Security was created quickly in the traumatic year after the 9/11 attacks—a time when a fearful American public was desperate for anything that might make them safer. While the idea of an overarching organization to coordinate defending the U.S. homeland had floated around Washington for several years, 9/11 energized it. In November 2002, Congress passed the Homeland Security Act, combining 22 disparate federal departments and agencies linked only by their broad remit to deal with homeland security.

Like many other actions undertaken in the aftermath of 9/11, the creation of DHS was a visceral and hasty reaction to what was seen as a dangerous new world, cobbled together with inadequate analysis and thought. Its shortcomings soon became evident; within a few years, critics began calling for DHS to be redesigned or abolished. When Donald Trump was elected president and his administration set about refocusing DHS on domestic law enforcement, that criticism only increased. Now, the future of DHS hangs in the balance and will likely be determined by the November election.

Kamala Harris, a Political Fighter Shaped by Life in Two Worlds

By Matt Flegenheimer and Lisa Lerer
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Kamala Harris’s first act as a political candidate was knocking out a former boxer: the progressive San Francisco district attorney who had been her boss.

Her freshman Senate term has been defined by committee performances so lacerating that Trump administration officials have complained of her lawyerly velocity. “I’m not able to be rushed this fast,” a flustered Jeff Sessions once said to her. “It makes me nervous.”

And in Ms. Harris’s most memorable turn as a presidential contender, speaking with practiced precision to the man who on Tuesday chose her as his running mate, she began with a less than charitable disclaimer — “I do not believe you are a racist” — before flattening him with the “but …”

“It was a debate,” she has said repeatedly since then, offering no apology for campaign combat.

That is San Francisco politics, friends say. That is Kamala Devi Harris.

No More Resets With Russia

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Most critics say U.S. President Donald Trump is too soft on Russia and unwilling to criticize it or Russian President Vladimir Putin—for example, on election interference, placing a bounty on the killing of U.S. soldiers, or continuing aggression in Ukraine. It is striking, therefore, to see a large number of experienced and respected U.S. foreign-policy experts criticize the administration’s approach to Russia as too hard-line, calling instead in an open letter for a “rethink” of U.S.-Russia policy.

The argument for rethinking Russia policy arises with surprising regularity. U.S. President George W. Bush took office in 2001 seeking to build a fresh relationship with the newly elected Putin, famously saying he got “a sense of his soul” during a meeting in Ljubljana, Slovenia. By the end of Bush’s tenure in January 2009, however, his understanding of Putin had changed. The year before, Putin had orchestrated a sham role-swap with Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev in order to stay in power. That came after a long list of other troubling activities, including, among other things, selling radars to Iraq as the United States was ramping up pressure on Saddam Hussein, recklessly murdering the Russian defector Alexander Litvinenko in London, driving a wedge between NATO allies over missile defense, supporting Iran’s supposedly civilian nuclear program, and stopping implementation of the Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe. In August 2008, Russia invaded neighboring Georgia. In response, NATO suspended the NATO-Russia Council, which Russia had long stopped taking seriously anyway.

The Geopolitics of the Belarusian Election

By George Friedman

Belarus, whose recent elections are making waves throughout the media, has been a pending flashpoint in Europe for some time. The reasons for this are history and geography.

Since the 18th century, Russia’s national security has depended on buffer zones to the west and south. During that time, it has faced four major invasions: by Sweden, allied with Poland and Turkey, to the south; by France, through the North European Plain; and by Germany, twice, through Poland and Ukraine.

Three things saved Russia in all four invasions. One was the distance that each invader had to pass to reach the Russian heartland, a distance created by Russia’s vital buffer zone. The second was the long, hard winters, which made supply, movement and survival difficult. The third was the massive if poorly trained forces Russia could mount as it retreated eastward.

12 Years After Russian Invasion, Georgia Sees No End in Sight

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This week marks 12 years since Russia’s five-day invasion of Georgia allowed two provinces to break away, splintering the Caucasian nation. Now, its ambassador to the United States only sees further bad behavior from Moscow, which has used the coronavirus pandemic to harden borders and spread misinformation about the response to the virus. 

“Unfortunately, after six months of the aggression against Georgia, business with Russia went back to normal,” David Bakradze, Georgia’s ambassador to the United States, told Foreign Policy in an interview. But he says the international community has become increasingly wary of Russian involvement in the conflict. 

To mark the anniversary, the United States and seven European nations urged Russia to withdraw their troops from Abkhazia and South Ossetia, as Georgian officials warn of an increasingly grave human rights situation. Russian-backed authorities have denied medical evacuations from the breakaway provinces, while Moscow has poured more than 10,000 troops into the area. 

Spacepower Is ‘Catastrophically Decisive’ In War: New Space Force Doctrine


WASHINGTON: The Space Force’s long-awaited capstone doctrine sets out the new service’s raison d’etre, which includes providing decision-makers with potentially war-winning “spacepower” options for attacking enemy satellites in future conflicts.

The Space Capstone Publication: Spacepower “represents our Service’s first articulation of an independent theory of spacepower. This publication answers why spacepower is vital for our Nation, how military spacepower is employed, who military space forces are, and what military space forces value,” says Chief of Space Operations Gen. Jay Raymond in the forward, released today.

As Breaking D readers know, crafting a warfighting doctrine for space has been on Raymond’s to-do list from the get-go, when he was first invested as head of Space Command last August, prior to the Space Force’s creation in December. After a year of wearing both command hats, Raymond is now in charge of Space Force. His successor at SPACECOM, Army Gen. James Dickinson, was confirmed by the Senate on Aug. 6.

Pentagon offers military airwaves for 5G wireless networks


WASHINGTON (AP) — The Pentagon plans to free up a big chunk of its military airwaves in the U.S. for high-speed internet service, part of a broader push to get ahead of China in the deployment of 5G wireless technology.

The Trump administration announced Monday that it has identified radio spectrum used for radar defense systems that can be shared with commercial telecommunications providers without compromising national security.

5G is a new technical standard for the “fifth generation” of wireless networks that promises faster speeds; less lag, or “latency,” when connecting to the network; and the ability to connect many devices to the internet without bogging it down. 5G networks will ideally be better able to handle more users, lots of sensors and heavy traffic.

But a June report by the Congressional Research Service said there aren’t as many frequencies available for 5G technology in the U.S. compared to other countries because the American military holds so much of the usable spectrum. Much of the investment in the U.S. has centered around the higher-frequency “millimeter wave” spectrum that offers fast data speeds but won’t likely work as well outside urban areas. That’s in contrast to China, which has been investing in building out networks using the less-expensive lower and middle bands.

4 Data Trends That Will Digitally Transform the 2020s


The coronavirus has brought massive changes to the way consumers and companies interact. We find ourselves in a new, more digitized economy.

This revolution was already on its way. It just arrived earlier than many expected because of the pandemic.

And now, there's no turning back.

That's good news for all kinds of transformational technologies that have been waiting in the wings for their time to shine. Things like high-speed networks, connected devices, and artificially intelligent everything aren't just possible. Now, they're imminent.

The great news is that many of these trends are as unstoppable as they are investable.

Where do you start? With the one thing that makes them all possible…
Data: The Backbone of Digital Transformation

You’ll also receive a complimentary subscription to The Weekly Profit, Robert Ross's' free e-letter.

In 1980, IBM produced the first 1 gigabyte capacity disk drive. It weighed over 500 pounds and cost $40,000.

Embedding Creativity in Professional Military Education: Understanding Creativity and Its Implementation

Adam Lowther, Brooke Mitchell, Gerard Puccio, and Nathan Schwagler

Is it possible to incorporate a creative mindset into professional military education curriculum? In our War on the Rocks article, “Professional Military Education Needs More Creativity, Not More History,” we argued that it is possible, but did not explain how. Here, we offer some insight into developing a creative mindset by first explaining what we mean by creativity and then offering steps for embedding creativity education into a joint professional military education program. Our recommendations are drawn from successful creativity programs the private sector invests in for their own employees, from examples already used across professional military education, and from academic research. 

Importantly, the Joint Chiefs of Staff’s Vision and Guidance for Professional Military Education and Talent Management provides all the needed reasons to incorporate the successful elements of creativity education into a systems-level approach that weaves evidence-based creativity strategies into existing curriculum. It also does not require eliminating existing subject matter, only modifying the method of delivery. And the desire already exists among various service school faculties to do just that. 


“. . . All Enemies, Foreign and Domestic”: An Open Letter to Gen. Milley

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As chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, you are well aware of your duties in ordinary times: to serve as principal military advisor to the president of the United States, and to transmit the lawful orders of the president and Secretary of Defense to combatant commanders. In ordinary times, these duties are entirely consistent with your oath to “support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic…” 

We do not live in ordinary times. The president of the United States is actively subverting our electoral system, threatening to remain in office in defiance of our Constitution. In a few months’ time, you may have to choose between defying a lawless president or betraying your Constitutional oath. We write to assist you in thinking clearly about that choice. If Donald Trump refuses to leave office at the expiration of his constitutional term, the United States military must remove him by force, and you must give that order. 

Due to a dangerous confluence of circumstances, the once-unthinkable scenario of authoritarian rule in the United States is now a very real possibility. First, as Mr. Trump faces near certain electoral defeat, he is vigorously undermining public confidence in our elections. Second, Mr. Trump’s defeat would result in his facing not merely political ignominy, but also criminal charges. Third, Mr. Trump is assembling a private army capable of thwarting not only the will of the electorate but also the capacities of ordinary law enforcement. When these forces collide on January 20, 2021, the U.S. military will be the only institution capable of upholding our Constitutional order.

Army Electronic Warfare: Big Tests In ’21


Each of the Army’s future jammers plugs into a larger electronic warfare network.

WASHINGTON: After decades of US neglect of electronic warfare – while Russia and China pulled ahead – Army soldiers are just months away from getting their hands on two new and long-awaited long-range jammers.

Two contractors, Lockheed Martin and Boeing DRT, are now converting 8×8 Stryker armored vehicles into prototypes of the Terrestrial Layer System (TLS). Both company’s prototypes will be given to troops for field tests next year, starting with Operational Demonstration 1 in January. Meanwhile, Lockheed is putting together the first Engineering & Manufacturing Demonstration (EMD) prototype of an EW pod for the Grey Eagle drone, called Multi-Function Electronic Warfare – Air – Large (MFEW), which will be assessed by soldiers in April-June next year.

Both the ground-based TLS and the aerial MFEW are supposed to enter service in fall 2022. But that’s just the start. Each system will evolve into a whole family of smaller and larger variants, all built to common hardware and software standards, all sharing data wirelessly with one another, Army commanders, and artillery units. The objective is a diverse digital arsenal that can detect the enemy’s transmissions, crack their codes, locate their units for precision strikes, and disrupt their networks with jamming and hacking, ideally in ways too subtle for the enemy to even detect the deception.