15 November 2020

Biden Can Make an Ally of India

By Brahma Chellaney

President-elect Joe Biden will inherit a U.S.-Indian relationship that is nearer than ever to a formal alliance. In the past decade, Washington and New Delhi have deepened their diplomatic and defense ties, but the Indian government has not yet officially allied with the United States. During the administration of U.S. President Donald Trump, India and the United States signed a series of foundational defense, logistics, and intelligence-sharing agreements that pave the way for close security cooperation. Last month, former U.S. Secretary of Defense Mark Esper declared that India will be “the most consequential partner for us, I think, in the Indo-Pacific for sure in this century.” 

India’s newfound interest in defense collaboration with the United States is mainly a reaction to Chinese imperial expansionism. Beijing’s territorial aggression in the Himalayas this year and the resulting clashes with Indian troops laid bare the risks to India of dealing with its giant neighbor without the clear support of the United States. As the specter of additional Himalayan battles—or even a reprise of the 1962 border war with China—looms large, India has grown more willing to work with the United States to meet common challenges. To that end, India has intensified its involvement with the Quad—a loose coalition among Australia, India, Japan, and the United States that is central to the United States’ strategy for maintaining a “free and open Indo-Pacific.” As a result of these efforts, India is currently hosting the first-ever Quad military exercise: the Malabar naval war games in the Indian Ocean.

Taliban Assures New US Administration of Implementing Doha Deal

Taliban in a statement about the outcome of the United States election on Tuesday said they remain committed to the implementation of the agreement they signed with the US in February, calling it an “excellent document” to end the war in the country. 

The group said that they emphasize to the new US administration that the withdrawal of “all US forces” from Afghanistan, avoiding interference in Afghan affairs and preventing the use of Afghanistan as a threat to the US is in the interest of Afghanistan and the US as well as the people of both countries. 

The Taliban said the implementation of the US-Taliban agreement “is the most reasonable and effective tool for ending the conflict with the US,” referring to their fight against US forces. 

“We remain committed to the agreement on our part and view it as a powerful basis for solving the Afghan issue and we also give preference to solving our internal problems through dialogue and negotiations,” the statement said. 

Heart to Heart: How the U.S. and Taiwan Can Save the Chip Industry From China

By Rob Spalding

Semiconductors are the “heart” of the American tech industry; it is the silicon in these chips from which Silicon Valley derives its name. Semiconductors function as the heart of any digital system, from cell phones to toasters, rendering them crucial to the security of any device. The United States, along with Taiwan, dominates the various facets of the semiconductor industry. All roads of modern tech—including wireless networks, artificial intelligence, and fighter jets—lead to Silicon Valley or Taipei. Now, China is clamoring for a seat at the table by way of kicking the legs out from under America’s high-tech throne.

Little, if any, cutting-edge semiconductor fabrication happens in the PRC today. The specialized tools used to produce chips, the software used to program them, and the materials used for testing all largely originate outside of China. Yet China accounts for 60% of the world's semiconductor consumption. The goliath of Chinese manufacturing relies heavily on semiconductor chips designed with American software and then fabricated using equipment sourced from American companies by the Taiwanese semiconductor giant TSMC, China's largest supplier. The heart of Chinese manufacturing, and subsequently its technology, is American and Taiwanese. This is an essential strategic advantage for the U.S., an advantage the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) plans to undermine.

Singapore to work with UN to help nations implement norms for responsible cyber behaviour

With the Covid-19 pandemic disrupting normal life, this year’s Singapore International Cyber Week (SICW), the region’s most established cybersecurity event, was held in a hybrid physical-virtual format. Most of the tracks were held online, with selected events, like the Opening Ceremony, organised at Marina Bay Sands under strict social distancing guidelines. The event brought together political leaders, policymakers and thought leaders from around the world to discuss major cybersecurity related issues and geopolitical challenges related to them. 138 speakers from across governments, industry and academia participated in the event, with more than 6,000 public and private sector attendees from 60 countries around the world.

Setting the tone for SICW 2020 with his keynote address, Singapore Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat said: “We are not only in the midst of a global pandemic; we are also at the centre of a digital revolution, one that would fundamentally change societies and economies around the world.”

DPM Heng noted that there are challenges to digitalisation that need to be addressed early, such as the ethical use of technology, user privacy and a growing digital divide. DPM Heng reinforced the need to strengthen cooperation between countries, businesses and people. He also announced the launch of the Safer Cyberspace Masterplan, the Government’s blueprint to create a safer cyberspace in Singapore.

China’s industrial 5G ecosystem remains immature as companies struggle to find applications

Che Pan

On a foggy morning in Beijing last Friday, two dozen tech entrepreneurs were vying for the attention of judges in a competition to find the best new 5G applications.

The event, co-sponsored by the Zhongguancun Software Park in the capital, was meant to highlight how next generation 5G wireless technology was being used in real-life projects today, but many contestants struggled to convince judges there was even a connection.

“Do you actually use 5G chips in your products?” one asked. “How is this related to 5G exactly?” probed another. The grilling continued: “Why does it have to be 5G?”

The new Battle of Triangle Hill: China's bid for technological supremacy


During the Korean War, the U.S. military under United Nations command engaged in a 42-day battle, Operation Showdown, against the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) to capture a forested ridge called Triangle Hill — Shangganling in Chinese. The U.S. terminated the operation because of high casualties, and since then the Chinese have propagandized it as a great victory over the United States. Largely forgotten by the West, it is framed by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) as the iconic symbol of defeating its arch enemy through great sacrifice, focus and determination. 

At the party’s Fifth Plenum last month, Chinese leader Xi Jinping revealed a plan for a “new Battle of Triangle Hill.” This battle is about technology, not terrain. China possesses the same determination and focus as it did 70 years ago, to realize its aim of seizing the commanding heights of science and technology from the United States. For the first time in the CCP’s history, this objective is included in the 14th Five-Year Plan. The plan requires that China focus on technological innovation as a core component in all of the country’s modernization. It also compels China to make technological self-sufficiency a strategic pillar of national development. Notably, this receives priority over all other planned missions. 

Is China Preparing to Set Up an ADIZ in the South China Sea With Taiwan in Mind?

By Lu Li-shih

The day after the U.S. presidential elections, on November 4 the U.S. government announced its decision to sell MQ-9B (Sea Guardian) drones to Taiwan. As Taiwan’s ADIZ (Air Defense Identification Zone) is frequently intruded by the People’s Liberation Army’s (PLA) nautical and airborne vehicles, the drones, when acquired, will provide the country with a counterweight and help correct the military imbalance between the two sides.

Responding to the Foreign and National Defense Committee of Legislative Yuan, Minister of National Defense Yen Teh-fa noted that a total of 276 PLA aircraft has entered Taiwan’s southwest ADIZ since the beginning of the year, with 87 sorties since September 16 alone. Taiwan’s Deputy Chief of Defense staff has also noted that there have been drone intrusions in Taiwan’s southwest ADIZ, something that was not mentioned in the official website monitoring them. Evidently, there are gaps in the officially published data.

PLA intrusions in Taiwan’s ADIZ since September have made up for more than 30 percent of the whole year. A third of these intrusions are by the Y-8Q/KQ-200 (also known as Y-8GX6) aircraft. The Y-8Q is like the U.S. Navy’s P-3C Orion; it is a fixed-wing anti-submarine and maritime surveillance aircraft. It has magnetic anomaly detectors and sonobuoys, which can help detect submarines.

China’s tech R&D to go into overdrive as five-year plan seeks self-reliance, more innovation

Celia Chen

China’s technology sector is expected to double down on research and development over the next five years, as the country’s new economic road map pushes for increased self-reliance and innovation amid trade disputes with the United States, according to analysts.

The 14th five-year plan – from 2021 to 2025 – has put self-sufficiency in technology as a major pillar of China’s economic development, marking a shift in priorities towards industrial and national security as well as reduced tech imports.

“China still stands at the middle and lower-end of global supply chains, and relies heavily on others for core technology and parts such as aircraft engines and chips,” said Liu Qiao, dean of the Guanghua School of Management at Peking University. “US-China trade tensions make [supply chains] more complicated … Increased investment in research and development is an important step [for the tech sector to achieve the plan’s goal].”

Hamas uses secret cyberwar base in Turkey to target enemies

Anshel Pfeffer

Hamas has set up a secret headquarters in Turkey for carrying out cyberwarfare and counter-intelligence operations, western intelligence services have learnt.

The headquarters in Istanbul, Turkey’s main city, were set up about two years ago and are separate from Hamas’s official offices in the city which deal mainly with co-ordination and funding, according to western intelligence sources. The unit is directed by Hamas’s military leadership in Gaza and was opened without the knowledge of the Turkish government.

Its operatives are not known to other Hamas members in Turkey and have not notified the government of President Erdogan of their presence, according to sources.

The headquarters is directed by Samakh Saraj, a senior Hamas member based in Gaza who reports directly to the movement’s leader, Yahya

How Bidenomics can unite a divided nation

Isabel V. Sawhill

As president, Biden will need a bold and bipartisan economic agenda. Bold because we are still in a deep hole. Bipartisan because, at this writing, it seems likely that the branches of government will remain divided.

We will have continuing stimulus and relief negotiations during the lame-duck session. But come January, there will be a burst of new legislative proposals. As president, Joe Biden will have to pick his priorities. Ideas that promise to create jobs, help struggling families, and deal with COVID-19 would still get special attention. But a longer-term agenda will also begin to emerge, packaged in the need to build the country back better.

Bidenomics will probably focus on infrastructure and climate change (and clean-energy jobs). Biden wants to improve access to health care by lowering the age for Medicare eligibility to 60, offering a public option, lowering drug costs, and sweetening the Affordable Care Act’s subsidies (assuming the Supreme Court doesn’t eliminate it). He supports social programs such as child care, paid leave, student-debt forgiveness, free college for those with incomes under $125,000, and a stronger safety net. All of this would be expensive. He will probably try to pay for it by raising taxes on corporations and on families with more than $400,000 in income.

U.S. Already 0-1 in Tech War with China

By Stew Magnuson

Chinese President Xi Jinping told the United Nations General Assembly recently that his nation has “no intention to fight either a cold war or a hot one with any country.” 

That may be. But what is really happening is a “technology war.” There is little awareness among the American public about this undeclared war, but it’s well understood in Beijing. The term “Tech War” may one day describe the age we are living in as “the Cold War” did after World War II.

The U.S. record in this rivalry stands at 0-1, or possibly 0-2. The United States lost a major battle that it didn’t even realize it was fighting when China over the past decades established monopolies on several critical rare earth elements and a few other strategic minerals — a topic that this magazine has touched upon several times over the years.

This will prove to be a major strategic defeat as these elements are the building blocks for many of this century’s emerging technologies. Smartphones — and even some U.S. weapon systems — don’t work without them.

Then there is the battle for 5G dominance.

Why Bush Chose War in Iraq

By Melvyn P. Leffler

“Aman is not deceived by others; he deceives himself.” This quotation, from Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, serves as the fitting epigraph to Robert Draper’s riveting new book on U.S. President George W. Bush’s decision to go to war in Iraq. In contrast to most accounts of the decision-making process that led to the invasion in March 2003, To Start a War stresses that the president himself was the decider—not Dick Cheney, the vice president; not Donald Rumsfeld, the secretary of defense; not Paul Wolfowitz, the deputy secretary of defense; not Scooter Libby, the vice president’s chief of staff. Moreover, Draper clarifies that Iraq was not the administration’s obsessive preoccupation from the very beginning. The surprise attack on 9/11 changed the president’s calculus, creating a direct line from that tragic event to the even more tragic decision to invade Iraq. Bush frequently insisted that he had not yet made up his mind, but Draper claims that he was deceiving himself. “In truth, Bush had stacked his own deck,” Draper writes. “Prizing loyalty above all else, he had surrounded himself with subordinates who believed that their job was to support the president’s value judgments rather than to question them.”

Bush’s vision, moreover, was clear, Draper argues: “to liberate a tormented people,” “to end a tyrant’s regime.” The president should have known that Saddam Hussein, Iraq’s dictator, had no weapons of mass destruction (WMD), no links to al Qaeda, and no responsibility for 9/11. According to Draper, Bush led the United States into a needless war. He did so because he believed deeply in the United States’ nobility and its mission to spread freedom—which Draper says the president considered “God’s gift to the world.” Not only was Saddam “the guy who tried to kill my dad,” as Bush once noted, referring to a failed plot to assassinate George H. W. Bush in 1993. Far worse, the president said, “he hates the fact, like al Qaeda does, that we love freedom.” These, according to Draper, were Bush’s animating impulses. 

Can We Compete in Cyberspace?

The best intelligence, the best capabilities in the intangible cyber domain, do not compensate for strategic shortcomings.

This is the central dilemma of Paul Nakasone and Michael Sulmeyer’s excellent article in Foreign Affairs, “How to Compete in Cyberspace.” Competition in cyberspace is a subset of the larger competition between the United States, China, and Russia. If some historian, unaffected by emotion or self-interest, was to review the first decades of this competition in the twenty-first century, he would notice the emergence of a troubling pattern: U.S. opponents have developed tactics to pursue their strategic objectives that the United States and its allies find difficult to counter (and where there is sometimes a lack the political will to respond). This is a new style of interstate conflict for which we still have not developed an effective response.

The lack of an effective response goes beyond the need to develop capabilities and tactics—Cyber Command has done well in this regard. What it points to is the general ineffectiveness of U.S. foreign policy and the strategies derived from it. We have not thought seriously about strategy since 1990, and strategic incoherence began well before Trump. A reasonable case can be made that the Bush administration decision to invade Iraq marked the onset of the unraveling of American global power.

U.S. Semiconductor Exports to China: Current Policies and Trends

Saif M. Khan

The United States has long used export controls to prevent the proliferation of advanced semiconductors and the inputs necessary to produce them. With Beijing building up its own chipmaking industry, the United States has begun tightening restrictions on exports of semiconductor manufacturing equipment to China. This brief provides an overview of U.S. semiconductor export control policies and analyzes the impacts of those policies on U.S.-China trade.

Repairing the World : The Imperative—and Limits—of a Post-Trump Foreign Policy

By Richard Haass

A successful candidate for president of the United States has plenty of choices to make. He can select his vice president, the members of his cabinet, and the text of his inaugural address. (I say “he” only because Americans have yet to elect a woman to the position.) He can also decide which executive orders to issue, where to make his first trip abroad, and whom to invite to the United States. One thing that an incoming president cannot choose, however, is the inbox that awaits him.

When he first enters the Oval Office, President-elect Joe Biden will be greeted by an inbox that can only be described as daunting. There will be a seemingly unlimited number of domestic and international challenges that call out for his attention. The question of what to do and in what sequence is inescapable, since presidents have only so much time and so many resources at their disposal. They must set clear priorities that reflect their assessment of urgency, opportunity, and reality.

The Jewish concept of tikkun olam means “repairing the world.” For individuals, it is a code to live by—the responsibility of each and every one of us to mend the broken world we live in and try to make it a better place, to work to improve the welfare of others rather than just our own. But tikkun olam also offers a code to govern by. This world is in dire need of repair, a process that will take time and inevitably meet with uneven success. But it is essential to keep in mind that repair is distinct from building. Repair means taking what exists but is broken and making it work; building is about creating something new, be it to better achieve existing goals or in some cases to accomplish new ones. Repair should define the opening initial six to nine months of a Biden administration’s foreign policy, and only after that will there come the opportunity, and in some areas the necessity, to build.

Presidents Were Never Meant to Have Unilateral War Powers

By Sarah Burns

When Donald Trump became U.S. president in 2017, he promised an “America first” foreign policy of retrenchment. Starting with a flurry of executive orders, he set about undoing the foreign policy decisions of the Obama administration and undermining 70 years of cooperation with NATO allies. Who was there to stop him? Republicans controlled both houses of Congress during the first two years of the Trump presidency; the courts rarely step in when the other branches fight over control; and the American people tend to punish presidents only when they incur major losses in war. 

Trump’s agenda strayed from the norm, but his use of executive power did not. Presidents have dominated U.S. foreign policy decision-making since well before Trump. In fact, structural changes began to warp the separation of powers, allowing presidents tremendous leeway, more than 75 years ago. At first, those changes were difficult to enact: all three branches had to deny Congress the coequal status that the Constitution clearly confers on it. Congress made many efforts to guard the power it enjoyed during the first 150 years of the republic, but the altered relationship eventually became routine. By the twenty-first century, the branches had firmly established a new relationship: executives prosecute wars unilaterally, Congress provides little more than a fig-leaf of authorization (if any at all), and the courts rarely interfere. An accountable presidency attuned to the interests of the American people requires a legislature capable of restricting executive independence—and voters who insist on it. 

No Compromise in Sight for Armenia and Azerbaijan

By Thomas de Waal

For a century, conflict has flared over the region of Nagorno-Karabakh, a predominantly ethnic Armenian enclave nestled within the borders of Azerbaijan. In the 1990s, Armenians believed they had won a military victory over Azerbaijan when they took over the disputed region and many surrounding Azerbaijani areas. In late September, Azerbaijan set out to prove them wrong, launching a new military offensive that has taken many of those territories back and given thousands of displaced Azerbaijanis hope of returning to the lands they still consider home. Russian President Vladimir Putin has claimed that close to 5,000 people have already died—including dozens of civilians. And in reversing one injustice, Azerbaijan is bloodily creating a new one: the Armenians of Nagorno-Karabakh are under attack and may soon be encircled, facing potentially devastating humanitarian consequences. 

The conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh remains one of the most tragic and persistent disputes in Europe. It is one of the last pieces of unfinished business from the end of World War I, still fought by the zero-sum rules of the last century: Armenia and Azerbaijan seek to pummel each other into capitulation. The devilish intractability of this conflict stems from two factors: a century-old security dilemma, in which each side has sought to achieve a sense of safety and control at the expense of the other, thereby undermining the security of both; and a democratic deficit, a total absence of societal trust and real dialogue, that makes compromise between the two sides almost impossible. The current toothless European security order cannot restrain them, nor have recent talks orchestrated by U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. The main prospects for curbing the fighting lie in the logistical limitations of the rugged terrain of Nagorno-Karabakh and the willingness and capacity of two great powers—Russia and now, after a century’s absence, Turkey—to facilitate a peace deal.

These are the top 10 emerging technologies of 2020

David Elliott

A new report reveals the top 10 emerging technologies of 2020.

Innovations include microneedles for painless injections, and electric planes.

The world is racing to develop a vaccine for COVID-19, and there are encouraging signs we might find one in record time. But in a similar situation in the future, could technology help us get there even more quickly?

Yes, says a new report from the World Economic Forum and Scientific American magazine.

Digital replicas – high-tech replacements for human volunteers – could make clinical trials faster and safer. But they’re not the only innovations set to shake up industry, healthcare and society, according to the Top 10 Emerging Technologies of 2020.

Have you read?

From electric planes to tech sensors that can “see” around corners, this year’s list is packed with inspiring advances. Experts whittled down scores of nominations to a select group of new developments with the potential to disrupt the status quo and spur real progress.

Don’t Sleep on China’s New Blockchain Internet

By Yaya J. Fanusie

U.S. national security policymakers are working aggressively to push back China’s global market advance in 5G and artificial intelligence technology. Meanwhile, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) is progressing unfettered in a parallel technological campaign: expanding global blockchain infrastructure. 

Earlier this year, Beijing launched the Blockchain-Based Service Network (BSN), a system of low-cost backend architecture on which software developers around the world can build blockchain applications—including digital assets such as cryptocurrencies. The launch happened a few months after Chinese President Xi Jinping pressed for the nation to leverage blockchain technology to complement the rising economic importance of big data and the “internet of things.” This BSN has received little attention in the U.S.—but if the network gains significant international adoption, it could give the CCP greater influence in digital commerce and complicate U.S. economic statecraft. For decades, U.S. financial authorities have benefited from the ubiquity of U.S. computer infrastructure in global business. The BSN is trying to challenge that norm.

According to the BSN website, the network’s purpose is to become the “blockchain Internet.” CCP leadership believes that blockchain technology offers a foundational infrastructure for future technological innovation and that China should set the global standards in that arena. To begin doing so, China is inviting blockchain developers to build decentralized software applications on the BSN’s Chinese-run servers, even though some of the servers are located outside China. The BSN describes itself as a “cross-cloud, cross-portal, cross-framework, global infrastructure network.” Essentially, it is the plumbing for people to run decentralized computer systems via the network.

Azerbaijan’s drones owned the battlefield in Nagorno-Karabakh — and showed future of warfare

By Robyn Dixon

MOSCOW — The drone's-eye view over Nagorno-Karabakh defined much of the six-week war in the mountainous enclave within Azerbaijan: The video first showed soldiers below in trenches, then came blasts and smoke, then nothing.

Drone strikes — targeting Armenian and Nagorno-Karabakh soldiers and destroying tanks, artillery and air defense systems — provided a huge advantage for Azerbaijan in the 44-day war and offered the clearest evidence yet of how battlefields are being transformed by unmanned attack drones rolling off assembly lines around the world.

The expanding array of relatively low-cost drones can offer countries air power at a fraction of the cost of maintaining a traditional air force. The situation in Nagorno-Karabakh also underscored how drones can suddenly shift a long-standing conflict and leave ground forces highly exposed.

On Tuesday, Armenia accepted a cease-fire on punishing terms to possibly end the latest round of fighting over Nagorno-Karabakh, an enclave controlled by ethnic Armenian factions but inside the internationally recognized borders of Azerbaijan.

Military wary that shakeup could upend its apolitical nature


WASHINGTON (AP) — The words spoken by America’s top military officer carried a familiar ring, but in the midst of a chaotic week at the Pentagon, they were particularly poignant.

“We are unique among militaries,” said Gen. Mark Milley, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. “We do not take an oath to a king or a queen, a tyrant or a dictator. We do not take an oath to an individual.”

Milley was speaking Wednesday at the dedication of an Army museum in a week that saw President Donald Trump fire Defense Secretary Mark Esper and install three staunch loyalists to senior Pentagon policy positions. The abrupt changes have raised fears about what Trump may try to do in his final two months of office — and whether the military’s long held apolitical nature could be upended.

Milley’s comments, made as he stood alongside Esper’s successor, acting defense chief Christopher Miller, reflected a view he has long been passionate about: the military’s unequivocal duty to protect and defend the Constitution — what he called the “moral north star” for everyone in uniform.

The military lessons learned in Nagorno-Karabakh


If you look at the video put out by the Azerbaijan Defense Ministry and at other photos taken in and around Shusha, it is clear the city has fallen without any need for heavy artillery, rockets or even drone attacks that have otherwise characterized the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.

For all intents and purposes, the Nagorno-Karabakh war will end in not much more than a week to 10 days and Azerbaijan will retake all or most of the territory it lost to Armenia in 1991-92.

Once Azeri forces took the Lachin corridor and controlled the only road from Armenia into Shusha, the city's fall was certain since without supplies the remaining "army" holding it could not fight. 

Part of the reason the road was cut was that a key bridge connecting Armenia to Shusha was knocked out by a precision Israeli missile called LORA (for LOng RAnge). Without the bridge, Armenia could not move supplies or troops in to relieve Shusha, nor could it pull troops out before they were trapped.

Unlike the Russian-supplied missiles and artillery in the hands of the Armenians and Azerbaijanis, none of those weapons were accurate enough to do much more than strike terror into civilian populations. LORA appears to have changed the game in breaking Armenia's defense of Shusha.

The United States Can’t Sleepwalk Into the Coming Military Revolutions

By Zachery Tyson Brown

Virginia Woolf famously observed that sometime in the first decade of the 20th century—she arbitrarily chose December 1910—human life was fundamentally transformed. That date is near the culmination of what Barbara Tuchman called a “century of the most accelerated rate of change in man’s record.” Tuchman was describing the somatic effects of the Industrial Revolution, Woolf the psychological changes in society that those effects drove.

What Woolf sensed and Tuchman saw, however, was something the political leaders of the time largely missed. Heads of state, foreign ministers, and chiefs of army staffs failed to appreciate the revolutionary technological advances of the late 19th century and the dramatic acceleration of life that followed. The mismatch between their outdated mental models and the new reality led them to practically sleepwalk into the lethality of World War I, unheeding of the warnings of the Boer and Russo-Japanese wars that preceded it.

Today, militaries around the world are experimenting with new technologies and debating which capabilities to invest in and which to divest of—just as the European empires did a century ago. Now, as then, political leaders struggle to make sense of rapidly changing social, technological, and geopolitical milieus. And just like their predecessors, our own leaders risk tragedy by underestimating—or worse, misunderstanding—the profound implications of all that change.

China’s New Aircraft Carrier Killer Is World’s Largest Air-Launched Missile

H I Sutton 

Navies are racing to develop hypersonic missiles which may change the pace of naval warfare. Russia will deploy the Zircon hypersonic missile aboard warships and submarines. The US Navy has started down the path of the common hypersonic glide body (c-HGB) for its destroyers. Meanwhile China’s latest hypersonic weapon is something completely different; it is air launched.

The massive new missile, labelled CH-AS-X-13, is probably the largest air-launched missile in the world.

The missile was first reported by Ankit Panda, the Stanton Senior Fellow at the Nuclear Policy Program, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, in April 2018. More recently candid images have appeared on Chinese social media. These provide a clearer view of the novel weapon.

Analysts believe that it may be intended to target high-value warships, particularly aircraft carriers. This makes it an anti-ship ballistic missile (ASBM). And it appears to be carrying a hypersonic glide vehicle (HGV). This may give it extended range and increase survivability against air defenses.

ANALYSIS - Five key military takeaways from Azerbaijani-Armenian war

Dr. Can Kasapoglu

As the Azerbaijani military progresses to regain Armenian-occupied national territories, the ongoing war offers invaluable lessons for global strategic and military community. Below, I listed five main observations to grasp the future of warfare against the backdrop of the unfolding Upper Karabakh, also known as Nagorno Karabakh, conflict.

Lesson 1: Without adequate sensors, electronic warfare cover, and counter-drone weaponry, traditional ground units are in Trouble

The first lesson that the Azerbaijani–Armenian clashes showed is the vulnerability of traditional land units --armored, mechanized, and motorized formations-- in the face of advanced drone warfare weaponry and concepts. At the time of writing, open-source intelligence [1] publications documented some 175 main battle losses for the Armenian occupation forces in Nagorno Karabakh.

The ongoing clashes showed that while the era of tanks is still not over, main battle tanks, along with other traditional land warfare platforms, would make easy targets for unmanned aerial systems (UAS) unless they are accompanied by an organic composition of mobile short-range air defenses, electronic warfare assets, and counter-UAS systems.