20 August 2020

China’s Soft Power: Why Confucius Institutes Are Under Scrutiny in India and Across the Globe

Padmaja Venkataraman

The Indian government has recently announced a review of the Confucius Institutes (CI's) in colleges across the country. Reports said that Indian chapters of Confucius Institutes and Confucius Classrooms in seven colleges and universities are under the scanner.

The review was launched after security agencies sounded the government about their concerns around the growing Chinese influence in higher education and culture. The move assumes significance as it comes nearly two months after Chinese and Indian troops clashed at the Galwan Valley in Ladakh, leading to the death of 20 Indian soldiers.

Reacting to the development, Chinese embassy spokesperson, Hi Rong, urged India to treat Confucius Institutes in a “fair manner” and “avoid politicising” normal cooperation. India, however, is not the first country to launch a crackdown on these institutions.

Last year, Australia had raised concerns over the increasing influence of CIs in its universities and constituted a task force to thwart what it described as attempts by foreign governments to interfere in the country’s educational institutions. Many universities in the US have also ordered closures of these Chinese-backed language and cultural programs on their campus. There have also been shutdowns in France, Sweden, Canada and Belgium among others.

Trade, Industrialisation, and British Colonial Rule in India

Roberto Bonfatti and Björn Brey

One common feature of European empires was the prominence of trade between the colonies and imperial power. This resulted in a pattern of specialisation whereby the colonies exported mainly primary products and imported mainly manufactures. The imperial powers encouraged this specialisation, which simultaneously benefited their consumers of primary products, producers of manufactures, and investors in colonial plantations and mines (see e.g. Findlay and O’Rourke, 2009). Accordingly, in the colony, this likely benefited consumers of manufactured products, and producers of primary products. From the colonies, however, two additional questions arise: did colonial trade limit industrial growth in the colonies? And did it reduce the colonies demand for independence, by making them dependent on trade with the imperial power?

In Bonfatti & Brey (2020), we attempt to answer these questions empirically, in the context of early 20th century colonial India. We exploit the exogenous collapse in trade generated by World War I – which, as shown in Figure 1, more than halved Indian imports from Britain in real terms – to show that districts exposed to a greater 1913-17 decrease in imports from the UK experienced faster industrial employment growth in 1911-21, placing them on a higher level of industrialisation which is visible to these days (2011).

The Undertold, Undersold Story of Kamala Harris

By Frank Bruni

When I saw on Wednesday morning that Kamala Harris had released a short video marking and celebrating her selection as Joe Biden’s running mate, I clicked — eagerly and instantly. I wanted to continue riding my wave of excitement about all the firsts: first woman of color on a major party’s presidential ticket, first Black woman specifically, first Asian-American.

By the time I finished the video, that wave had crashed.

OK, that’s an overstatement. But as I listened to her flat, desultory recitation of her biography and philosophy, I did feel a sense of frustration, and it was familiar. I’d wrestled with the same letdown during the Democratic primary, when the experience of Harris didn’t live up to the idea of Harris. She often skipped or skimmed over facets of her background that she would have benefited from dwelling on. She frequently zoomed past the poetry to the prose, more a steely lawyer rattling off lists than a soulful leader serving up inspiration.

Harris the prosecutor can find the holes in your argument and make you tremble. But can Harris the history-making vice-presidential candidate find the cracks in your heart and make you cry?

League of Nationalists

By Shivshankar Menon

Under President Donald Trump, the United States’ relations with many of its closest friends have deteriorated drastically. Longtime allies and partners in Asia, Europe, and North America have been reeling from the president’s trade disputes, decisions to withdraw the United States from international treaties, allegations of free-riding, and “America first” approach to the world. German Chancellor Angela Merkel spoke for many spurned allies when she said in 2017, “We Europeans must really take our fate into our own hands.”

Yet some countries have had a very different experience. Governed by leaders who share Trump’s worldview and politics, they have accepted the Trumpian terms of engagement and strengthened their ties with the United States as a result. Like Trump, these leaders see diplomacy as more about giving and getting favors than finding a common purpose. Brazil’s Jair Bolsonaro, Israel’s Benjamin Netanyahu, and Saudi Arabia’s Mohammed bin Salman—all fit this mold. Yet the best example of the phenomenon may be Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, another leader who has resorted to ultranationalism to compensate for his divisive domestic agenda. Like the others, Modi has sought a closer relationship with Trump, and in this, he has succeeded.

Rightsizing the Afghanistan mission

Michael E. O’Hanlon

It has not been pretty to watch, but it appears that the United States’ military footprint in Afghanistan policy will wind up in a reasonable place as the 2017-2021 Trump term winds down. After President Trump’s tirades and tweets on the subject helped persuade Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis to resign two years ago, such an outcome is as welcome as it is surprising. But next steps, by President Trump or a President Biden, need to be much more cautious and gradual.

Secretary of Defense Mark Esper recently announced that U.S. forces in Afghanistan will number fewer than 5,000 by the end of November. Unless big things happen on the Afghan political front, that is a good place to leave things for the foreseeable future. The next U.S. administration might even adopt a mantra of “5,000 troops for 5 years” in order to convey its commitment to an acceptable outcome of this frustrating, but far from lost, mission — and to avoid having the American president and Congress consume too much time on perpetual Afghanistan policy reviews.

Deploying 5,000 troops in Afghanistan will be a substantial reduction from the current level of more than 7,000 American troops, or the roughly 10,000 that Trump inherited from President Obama. It will be far less than the 100,000 U.S. troops during the Afghanistan surge under General David Petraeus and General John Allen back in 2011-12. It is a reasonable and sustainable figure, not unlike the number the United States deploys in several other regional footholds like Iraq, Qatar, Kuwait, Bahrain, and Djibouti today.

Asian Security amid China’s Dominance

Rameez Raja and Zahoor Ahmad Dar

The tilt in the geography of power from a “unipolar moment”, characterised by American dominance in the global distribution of power, to the waning of American supremacy is not a unipolar illusion, but rather a reality. The United States (US) as a dominant actor has shaped and mapped global politics without being balanced by other great powers since the collapse of the erstwhile Soviet Union. Kenneth Waltz, the neo-realist thinker, argued that the balance of power will recur. However, this factor concerning the non-cognizance of temporality in relation to balancing strategies has been discounted by realist scholarship. The hegemonic positionality of the US, by virtue of its superiority in Command of Commons as well as its offshore balancing strategies, has been quite successful in deterring rising powers. While contextualising this in China’s case, Washington’s policies seem to be less effective.

Why and how is the American position of pre-eminence challenged and extended deterrence restrained by growing Chinese assertions? Equally, how is the American agenda of taming and containing China in the Asian Hemisphere through the use of India as a buck-passer falling short of India’s own burgeoning challenges? Why is India not an effective balancer vis-a-vis China is also a critical question to pose. This discussion will seek to address these questions in light of the changing geography of global power that we are bearing witness to today.

Theorising China within Power Transition Theory

Here's What Must Change to Keep Asia's Rise Peaceful

by Parag Khanna

AS THE coronavirus roiled global economies and fractured relations among major powers, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres called for the five permanent members of the Security Council to declare a global ceasefire to calm conflict zones such as Syria and Yemen. But geopolitics does not stop in crisis. Often, it accelerates. In Asia, China has used its rapid recovery from the pandemic to accelerate its probing for weaknesses from Taiwan to Indonesia to India, seeking to tilt outstanding disputes in its favor. This reminds us that there are two interpretations of the adage to never let a crisis go to waste: To press for advantage or to build a new and more stable order. China is doing the former. But can its actions ultimately inspire the latter?

The most fundamental test of whether Asia’s principal powers can maintain stability is whether they can resolve outstanding territorial disputes. Asia has managed three post-Cold War decades of great power stability, keeping major escalations from crossing the point of no return. From the South China Sea and Taiwan to North Korea and the Senkaku Islands, many flashpoints that have elevated fears that World War III would break out in Asia have not yet come to pass. But past success does not guarantee future stability: Asia’s evolution into a mature system is far from guaranteed. On the contrary, Asians have not developed sufficiently robust dispute resolution mechanisms to keep conflicts from boiling over.

China Is Getting Mired in the Middle East

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Recent reports of an ambitious 25-year comprehensive strategic partnership agreement between Iran and China have reverberated across Southwest Asia and beyond. The agreement raises the question of whether we are witnessing a tectonic shift in Asia’s geostrategic landscape or merely a marriage of convenience. The answer is not yet clear, but the agreement will likely face several hurdles, and may have unintended consequences by drawing China into the vortex of Middle Eastern politics.

Word of the agreement comes amid rising tensions between Iran and the United States. Iran’s economy has been devastated by U.S. sanctions, and the agreement could offer Tehran a lifeline and potential leverage against Washington. Indeed, the leak of the impending agreement may have been a message intended to signal to a U.S. audience that Iran can frustrate the United States’ so-called maximum pressure campaign by aligning closely with China.

China’s relations with the United States also have deteriorated sharply, but it would be a mistake to categorize the agreement as simply another example of a recent flurry of assertive Chinese moves. Instead, the agreement is best understood through the lens of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), which aims to connect China economically with major markets in Asia, Europe, and Africa, as well as making China’s long-term energy supplies more secure, and consolidating China’s overall strategic position in the Gulf.A partnership with Tehran offers Beijing a geostrategic foothold in a prime location.

What to expect from Biden-Harris on tech policy, platform regulation, and China

Darrell M. West and Nicol Turner Lee

Democratic candidate Joe Biden’s decision to put U.S. Senator Kamala Harris on his ticket means that we now have the fall lineup against Republicans Donald Trump and Mike Pence. Biden’s historic choice to put a prominent and well-respected African American woman on the ticket as his vice presidential selection guarantees high-level attention on Democrats’ bid to reclaim the White House.

What is less clear, however, is what the Biden-Harris combination will mean for technology policy, internet platform regulation, emerging technologies like artificial intelligence (AI), and relations with China. Harris has been critical of technology companies on several issues, but also has close personal ties with a number of leading tech executives. In looking at Biden’s “Build Back Better” plan for economic recovery and other papers, though, several likely principles and projects stand out, which are outlined below. Taken together, these principles may form the basis of a new policy regime for the technology sector that shifts the prevailing guardrails in meaningful ways.


We Need to Reorganize More than the Military


A strong United States military is necessary, but insufficient to meet the truly global response to China and Russia that is needed today. And simply reorganizing within the military is not the solution.

To stay ahead in the 21st century, the United States needs to think well outside of the Pentagon and create new interagency and integrated regional commands that are guided from the top by a China-Russia Task Force in the National Security Council at the White House.

China and Russia operate within the gaps and seams of U.S. policy and in roughly the last decade have challenged America’s military and non-military power, accomplishing their goals mostly short of armed conflict. While some herald this as the reemergence of great power competition, it is more appropriate to acknowledge that America is simply rejoining the game it chose to ignore for the last three decades. But after nearly three years of the Pentagon’s current National Defense Strategy, which purported to shift U.S. focus from counterterrorism to China and Russia, the United States must question whether its structures and processes can meet this challenge. Institutionalizing the Joint Chiefs chairman’s relatively new powers to move troops around as the ‘global force integrator’ within the Defense Department is not the answer.

Opinion – Making Sense of China’s ‘Wolf Warrior’ Diplomacy

Ragul Palanisami

Chinese diplomacy in the past decades is known for its blandness and use of long verbose statements. Recent years has witnessed the emergence of a new brand of Chinese diplomat. Unlike the older generation who used ‘conservative, passive, and low-key diplomacy’, these so-called ‘wolf warriors’ are known for their ‘aggressive, proactive and high-profile’ tactics. They are adept in using social media platforms like twitter to defend Chinese national interests. During the Covid-19 pandemic, these wolf warrior diplomats are seen to have used social media platforms to full effect to respond aggressively to US slander against China. Additionally, they were responsible for spreading misinformation about the origin of the coronavirus and the western response to the pandemic. In this manner, the pandemic season has seen heightened activism from Chinese diplomats in the global arena.

It is noteworthy to draw a comparison between the Chinese military aggressiveness in the period beginning with the global financial crisis of 2007–08, and China’s ‘wolf warrior’ diplomacy at the peak of the coronavirus pandemic. In both periods China was noticed to have come out relatively unscathed compared to western liberal democracies. This prompted the Chinese government at both instances to promote their governance model as the best alternative to the West. Speculation is therefore ripe that the pandemic could push forward the much-anticipated power transition between the US and China.

In the post-financial crisis period, China became more assertive in its claims over the disputed territories in the South and East China seas. Yet, it is important to draw attention to the fact that China’s soft power took a beating because of its aggressive stance. It lost much of the good will cultivated over the years through its benevolent acts towards its neighbors. The idea of China’s ‘peaceful rise’ began to be questioned by the international community. It can also be said that this bellicose nature of Chinese behavior was the reason behind President Obama’s ‘Pivot to Asia’ policy. More than anything, this changed behavior was perceived by China watchers as signaling a marked shift from the dictum of Deng Xiaoping: ‘Hide your strength, Bide your time’.

Why the West Needs to Stop its Moralising against China

Kerry Brown

The great German philosopher Leibniz put it well over three centuries ago. Writing in his `Discourse on the Natural Theology of the Chinese’ he stated, `I did not want to examine to what extent the manner of worship of the Chinese could be condemned or justified… I only wanted to investigate their doctrines.’ These days, the issue of what to think, and in particular, what to feel about China has become entangled in the domestic politics of Europe and America to such an extent that attempts to do precisely as Leibniz did so long ago and simply describe and understand without being seen as validating and condoning become next to impossible. Finding a reasonable, critical space to look in all directions has seldom been harder.

Hong Kong is one issue where this is particularly true. The UK has historic links to the city. The capitalist world has always thought of it as a benign place, despite the fact that since 1997 it has been part of the sovereign territory of a Communist country. Everyone had feelings towards this remarkable, hybrid, and unique place. Perhaps that is why it arouses such strong, possessive feelings. It might not belong to you, but it is still, in some ways, a place everyone can feel is theirs.

Opinion – US-China Rivalry: Moving Closer to the Brink

William Briggs

Former Australian Prime Minister, Kevin Rudd’s most recent article in Foreign Affairs, warns us to ‘beware the guns of August.’ His allusion to the early days of WWI is apt, but the world is by no means ‘sleepwalking’ to war but rather rushing, with eyes wide open, toward the precipice. Rudd portrays the USA and China as belligerent parties playing a dangerous game. They both rely on nationalist appeals to maintain support and legitimacy at home. Economic considerations are driving political responses and international politics are being used to serve domestic ends. Rudd presents the actions of the two states as opposite sides of a coin; on one side is the ‘wolf warrior’ and on the other are calls by US leaders to effectively ‘overthrow’ the Chinese Communist Party. He is right, up to a point and is right to ask, “where will this end?” Where it might end is in some form of armed confrontation that could easily lead to open war. Why this is so, is quite another question.

While the two sides express similar nationalist attitudes and appear to enjoy a shared intransigence, it would be a mistake to ascribe equal responsibility to China and the United States. It is a fact that China’s rise as an economic power threatens the hegemony that America has so long enjoyed. One side is pursuing a careful campaign of economic growth and expansion. This has been met with threat and militarisation. The two approaches are not equal in the threat perception stakes. China’s rise can only come at the cost of America’s demise and yet, it must be remembered, US foreign and economic policy served to create the conditions for the current crisis.

Parag Khanna on China-centric Bias


In 2008, after a stint as a Global Governance Fellow at the Brookings Institution and while serving as a Senior Fellow at the think tank now known as New America, The New York Times Magazine published Parag Khanna's essay, “Waving Goodbye to Hegemony,” a sweeping look at the end of the Cold War and the emergence of a new world order. It was an excerpt from his book, The Second World: Empires and Influence in the New Global Order (2008), and it helped him gain international acclaim as an analyst and thinker who grapples with the complex geopolitics of our time. Since then, Khanna, who was born in India, and grew up in the United Arab Emirates, New York and Germany, has published several other books, including most recently The Future is Asian: Commerce, Culture and Conflict in the 21st Century (2019). Khanna holds a PhD in international relations from the London School of Economics, and a bachelor's and master's degrees from the School of Foreign Service at Georgetown Universit

An Answer to Aggression

By Aaron L. Friedberg
The Chinese Communist Party’s initial mismanagement of the COVID-19 pandemic and its subsequent attempts to exploit the crisis have produced enduring problems for the rest of the world. But the CCP’s behavior has also helped clarify the threat that China poses to the security, prosperity, and well-being of other countries. Public opinion polls show that over 60 percent of Americans of both political parties now hold a negative view of Beijing’s leadership and intentions, and similar attitudes can be found across the democratic world. This heightened awareness of a shared danger creates an opportunity for the United States and its allies to formulate a new and more effective strategy for dealing with China.

For the past four decades, Western democracies have hoped that engagement with China would cause its leaders to abandon any revisionist ambitions they might harbor and accept their country’s place as a “responsible stakeholder” in the U.S.-led international order. Expanding flows of trade and investment would, it was thought, also encourage Beijing to proceed down the path toward greater economic and political openness. The policy of engagement was not absurd on its face; it was a gamble rather than an outright blunder. But as has become increasingly obvious, the West’s wager has failed to pay off.

Following the Calamity in Beirut: Might the Situation in Lebanon Change?

Violent demonstrations, unprecedented public criticism of Hezbollah, and the resignation of the government – these developments, which followed the explosions in Beirut, are shaking Lebanon and opening up a possibility for change in this entangled country. However, change depends on the path that Nasrallah will choose and the willingness of Western countries to enlist in assisting Lebanon, and preventing it from falling into the Iran-led Shiite axis

Following the series of explosions at the Beirut port on August 4, demonstrations in the city resumed, though with more violence than what was seen in previous protests, and on August 10, the Lebanese government formed in January 2020 by the Hezbollah camp resigned. The demonstrators demanded that the current corrupt leadership be replaced and that substantive change be made to the country's political system. Emerging against this background are two trends that may signal prospects for change. The first is the new level of the demonstrations, and the direct blame assigned to Hezbollah in a way that has not been seen for years. The second is the willingness of the international community to mobilize to assist Lebanon. Nonetheless, the road to real change remains long and tortuous. Although Hezbollah's status has been severely injured, the organization will not easily relinquish its dominance in the Lebanese political system. The Western countries that have mobilized to provide assistance and promote an investigation with international involvement will continue to hinge financial assistance on deep political and economic reforms, which are not acceptable to the ruling elite or to Hezbollah. Israel is limited in its ability to influence the situation, but it would be wise to encourage its allies in the West – especially the United States and France – and in the Gulf to offer financial assistance, while also formulating a graduated plan for internal change in Lebanon, in order to prevent the country's collapse into the hands of the Shiite axis, led by Iran and Hezbollah.

This Cobalt-Free Battery Is Good for the Planet—and It Actually Works

THE LITHIUM-ION BATTERY is an electrochemical wunderkind. We use it for everything, whether it’s mundane gadgetry like phones and laptops or more extreme applications like electric ships and helicopters on Mars. The Li-ion battery is so important to modern life that it earned the trio of chemists who invented it a Nobel Prize last year. But somewhere along the way, the battery industry developed a cobalt dependency.

Who Will Intervene in the World’s Hot Spots?

As conflicts and crises persist around the world, there is growing uncertainty about how—or if—they will be resolved. The international order is fraying, generating uncertainty about who will intervene and how humanitarian responses might be funded.

There are interminable conflicts, like the situations in Yemen, Afghanistan and Syria, which have produced years of violence, countless thousands of deaths and even more refugees. Then there are the emerging hot spots, including Mali and Burkina Faso, and any number of potential flashpoints, including in the South China Sea, which is dogged by territorial disputes. Even situations where there was some tenuous hope of reconciliation—such as the Central African Republic, where 14 armed groups signed a peace deal early last year—are in danger of unraveling.

At the same time, the nature of terrorism is also changing. The Islamic State is in the midst of a tactical shift following the loss of its caliphate in western Iraq and Syria, and more recently the death of its leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. The group appears to be transitioning to guerilla-style tactics and dispersed terrorist attacks, while shifting its focus to new theaters of operation, like Southeast Asia. But it is unclear if Western powers have the appetite for mounting the kinds of counterinsurgency campaigns needed to meet these new challenges.

The Plan That Could Give Us Our Lives Back

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Michael Mina is a professor of epidemiology at Harvard, where he studies the diagnostic testing of infectious diseases. He has watched, with disgust and disbelief, as the United States has struggled for months to obtain enough tests to fight the coronavirus. In January, he assured a newspaper reporter that he had “absolute faith” in the ability of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to contain the virus. By early March, that conviction was in crisis. “The incompetence has really exceeded what anyone would expect,” he told The New York Times. His astonishment has only intensified since.

Many Americans may understand that testing has failed in this country—that it has been inadequate, in one form or another, since February. What they may not understand is that it is failing, now. In each of the past two weeks, and for the first time since the pandemic began, the country performed fewer COVID-19 tests than it did in the week prior. The system is deteriorating.

A Historian of Economic Crisis on the World After COVID-19

By Eric Levitz

In March, history broke into our house, and ever since, we’ve been cowering in panic rooms, wondering what our home will look like when the mad thief is finally through.

Or at least this is how living in the COVID era can feel. We know that an unprecedented economic cataclysm has rippled across the globe. But the precise consequences of this catastrophe — for the global economy, geopolitics, climate change, and our own little lives — remain opaque.

If anyone can discern the outlines of what’s on humanity’s horizon, it may be Adam Tooze.

Tooze is a leading expert on how economic crises have remade the modern world. His books have elucidated the role that fiscal quandaries played in bringing the Nazi regime to power and have charted the globe-spanning, geopolitical consequences of the 2008 crash. Intelligencer spoke with the economic historian this week about how the COVID-19 crisis is upending economic orthodoxy, his nightmare scenarios for the post-pandemic world, and whether the Cold War ever ended, among other things.

The World: A Brief Introduction

By Richard Haass

Writing for a popular audience, Haass provides a clear and concise account of the history, diplomacy, economics, and societal forces that have molded the modern global system. The book begins by telling the story of the rise of the Western state system, the subsequent centuries of war and peacemaking, and the Cold War and its aftermath. In other chapters, Haass examines the political, economic, and demographic forces that have shaped Europe, Asia, the Middle East, Africa, and the Americas, and he explains globalization through sections on trade, finance, migration, climate change, terrorism, and cyberspace. The book avoids theoretical debates, focusing instead on the interplay between broad world-historical forces—science and technology, capitalism, nationalism, power politics—and diplomacy and leadership. The rise of liberal democracy and economic interdependence has encouraged rules-based relations and global governance, but anarchy and the threat of war always loom in the background. Haass gives credit to the United States for underwriting the postwar liberal order, but he also sees American leadership on the wane, nationalism reasserting itself, and an increasingly ambitious China seeking to tilt the world away from liberal democracy. If the liberal order cannot be rebuilt, Haass expects a more fragmented world order to emerge, one organized around spheres of influence.

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.

Infographic Of The Day: AIoT - When Artificial Intelligence Meets The Internet Of Things

The Internet of Things (IoT) is a technology helping us to reimagine daily life, but artificial intelligence (AI) is the real driving force behind the IoT's full potential. From its most basic applications of tracking our fitness levels, to its wide-reaching potential across industries and urban planning, the growing partnership between AI and the IoT means that a smarter future could occur sooner than we think.

As Military Cyber Policies Change, Should Others Do the Same?

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The new strategic plan is available online here, and it includes many new changes in direction. In the foreword to the document, T.J. White, Vice Admiral, United States Navy Commander, U.S. Fleet Cyber Command / U.S. TENTH Fleet, wrote these words:

“In this ever-changing technology ecosystem, we struggle to protect information, knowledge, intellectual property, national security and sovereignty. Across the Navy, many now grasp the severity of the situation. We need an ‘all hands’ response to make changes necessary to prevail in great power competition. GPC is too dynamic for any strategic plan to remain static. Future commanders must adapt or revise as necessary to meet the challenges that will emerge on their watch. We are a maritime nation whose vital interests are firmly tied to the sea. With our colleagues in the Marine Corps and Coast Guard we must safeguard those interests against the challenges of our strategic competitors.

The fundamental purpose of Strategic Plan 2020-2025 is to show ‘We Get It,’ we have a plan to deal with it, and one that can foster unity across the Command to achieve its strategic goals and vision.”

As highlighted by C$ISRNET.com, the plan tweaks the five goals outlined in the previous strategic plan 2015-2020. They include:

Fake News Is Wreaking Havoc on the Battlefield. Here's What the Military's Doing About It

By Gina Harkins
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Texas-based soldiers were training in Poland last year when leaders at U.S. Army Europe spotted some alarming social media posts.

A member of 1st Armored Division had allegedly killed a Polish soldier, stolen a car and was on the run. The posts referenced the soldier's unit, which actually was in the country at the time, and used his real photos.

"The first thing we think when we see it is, 'Yeah, right -- this is bull,'" said Col. Joe Scrocca, director of public affairs at Army Europe. "But then we start searching, and it's like, 'Oh wow. The soldier really is in that unit, and these pictures are not fake."

The unit was in the field, so it took time to track it down. Once they did, Scrocca said they confirmed their initial instinct: The posts were fake news. The soldier was with his unit doing what he was supposed to be doing, but the social media posts -- part fact, part fiction -- show how bad actors' efforts to sow discord about U.S. troops' presence in Europe and elsewhere are getting more sophisticated.