17 November 2020

A new growth formula for manufacturing in India

By Rajat Dhawan and Suvojoy Sengupta

The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed the fragility of the world’s supply chains for medicines and medical products, food, energy, vehicles, telecom equipment, electronics, and countless other goods. Certain companies have begun to reconfigure their sourcing and manufacturing footprints for greater reliability and resilience, setting up more locations so that they don’t have to depend on just a few geographies. But some nations are not yet ready to take full advantage of these shifts.

India stands out as one such country: a potential manufacturing powerhouse that has yet to realize its promise. From fiscal year 2006 to fiscal year 2012, India’s manufacturing-sector GDP grew by an average of 9.5 percent per year. Then, over the next six years, growth declined to 7.4 percent. In fiscal year 2020, manufacturing generated 17.4 percent of India’s GDP, little more than the 15.3 percent it had contributed in 2000. (By comparison, Vietnam’s manufacturing sector more than doubled its share of GDP during the same interval.) And in the past 13 years, India’s manufacturing-sector share of employment increased by just one percentage point, compared with a five-point increase for the services sector.

As our colleagues argue in the McKinsey Global Institute report India’s turning point: An economic agenda to spur growth and jobs, developing globally competitive manufacturing hubs represents one of the biggest opportunities for India to spur economic growth and job creation this decade.

Post-pandemic Infrastructure and Digital Connectivity in the Indo-Pacific

Daniel F. Runde, Conor M. Savoy, Owen Murphy

The Issue
The Indo-Pacific region is critical to the interests of the United States. The pandemic presents challenges to infrastructure and economic development but also reveals openings for U.S. leadership to collaborate with allies, development banks and institutions, and the private sector to compete with China as the region seeks to accelerate recovery efforts and diversify its investment and development opportunities post-pandemic.

Even prior to the global Covid-19 pandemic, economic trends already forecast changes to global supply chains. More specifically, trends indicated an increase in global value chains, a heightened focus on closing the infrastructure gap, as well as greater digital expansion, diversification, and connectivity in the Indo-Pacific. China has dominated the infrastructure development space in the region in recent years with extensive funding and project allocation through its Digital Silk Road and broader Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).

The pandemic triggered a slowdown in funding for core infrastructure projects, an upsurge in concerns about debt sustainability issues in emerging countries, and a continued emphasis on enhancing digital and energy infrastructure in the Indo-Pacific.

China Congratulates Joe Biden on Election Win After Week of Silence


The Chinese government has congratulated President-elect Joe Biden on his victory in last week's presidential election, having delayed doing so for several days even as other foreign nations lined up to support the former vice president.

AFP reported Friday that the Chinese Communist Party had congratulated Biden, following comments by foreign ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin at a daily press conference in Beijing.

"We respect the American people's choice and extend congratulations to Mr. Biden and Ms. Harris," Wang told reporters, according to China's state-backed Global Times newspaper.

"We also understand that the U.S. election result will be decided in accordance with U.S. laws and procedures," he added, referring to President Donald Trump's ongoing legal battle against the result.

Soon after the election Beijing said it was looking to work with the next administration but did not congratulate Biden, though it was clear that Biden has defeated Trump.

Reorienting China Policy By Working With Europe


To the President-elect of the United States

Mr. President-elect,

The past four years have ushered a significant new course for policy toward China in both Europe and the United States. Yet on both sides of the Atlantic, there are reasons to believe that actual results, as opposed to declarative policy, are still lagging behind China’s many actions and initiatives.

Tariffs have inconvenienced China’s exporters but have not changed the overall picture of the U.S. trade deficit with the world. Export restrictions for critical technology are often a contentious topic among allies, some of whom fear a systematic unwinding of supply chains and a costly economic decoupling with China.

Europe has been generally more united than it was before on defensive trade measures and in some sectors where foreign direct investment and technology interact with internal security and national defense. But European efforts to leverage this newfound unity to gain concessions from China have not met with success so far.

All eyes on Trump for parting South China Sea salvo


MANILA – The 11th hour appointment of a group of hardline Donald Trump loyalists to top Pentagon positions has raised the prospect of an escalation of tensions in the South China Sea in the weeks ahead.

Trump’s perfunctory dismissal this week of Defense Secretary Mark Esper has raised concerns in some quarters of a Trump initiated parting blow aimed at China and its expansion in the contested sea in his twilight days in office.

The Pentagon move comes as Trump and his Republican Party allies refuse to concede that Democratic rival Joe Biden won the November 3 election. Trump is expected to file legal challenges to the resounding result against him in the days ahead.

While US rivals such as China may relish post-election mayhem and festering polarization, there are simultaneous worries about Trump’s possible final acts in office.

Trump’s firing of Esper and appointment of new Acting Defense Secretary Christopher C Miller has raised widespread speculation about the motivation behind the move.

The Biden Administration Needs to Junk Trump’s Deal With the Taliban

By Carlo J.V. Caro

The Trump administration’s peace agreement with the Taliban has been flawed from the start, as it has ignored Pakistan’s role in Afghanistan. Indeed, it has been a critical mistake by both the United States and Afghanistan to continue to include Islamabad in these negotiations, as Pakistan’s aim has been to try to turn Afghanistan into its Islamic satellite. The Trump administration even failed to remember the lesson from 2009 when Pakistan frustrated the Obama administration’s negotiations with the Taliban as Islamabad’s main concern was to safeguard and advance its interests.

Pakistan’s vision has always been simple: if peace negotiations fail, then Pakistan wins, as it continues to influence Afghanistan through the Taliban, and if the peace negotiations succeed, then Pakistan also wins, as its influence will extend to a power-sharing agreement between the Taliban and a very weak Afghan government. An Afghanistan dominated by Pakistan, through either reality, is a safe haven for radical Islamic movements, including al-Qaida and the Islamic State, and from which they are able to launch attacks against the United States and Europe. But if the United States withdraws its personnel and infrastructure, it will have little leverage to influence that landscape, and it will be difficult to return, as Pakistan will not open a supply route and Russia is no longer an option.

The revenge of Col. Douglas Macgregor

Mark Perry

As it turns out, not only does Donald Trump hate to lose, he can be vindictive when he does. The defeated president — clearly pouting over his election loss to Joe Biden and unforgiving to those who he thinks have crossed him — has roiled the national security establishment with a shake up that rippled through the Pentagon this week. 

The first to go was Defense Secretary Mark Esper, summarily dismissed by presidential tweet. But Esper was soon followed by the swift resignations of several others, a gallery of figures that Trump (apparently) felt had not shown sufficient fidelity to his governing style: Jen Stewart, Esper’s chief of staff (whose exit, once Esper was gone, was predictable); James Anderson, acting undersecretary of defense for policy (reports say he was forced out); Vice Adm. Joseph Kernan, undersecretary of defense for intelligence; and Lisa Gordon-Hagerty, head of the National Nuclear Security Administration. 

Then there are the rumors: a deeper flush at the Pentagon, that CIA director Gina Haspel would soon be dragged to the block, and that Trump will consign to oblivion any and all who have disagreed with him. Excepting, presumably, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. 

Embracing underseas robots: a US strategy to maintain underseas superiority in an age of unmanned systems

US defense globally relies heavily on US presence and superiority at sea. The strength, versatility, and vastness of the US submarine force underpins US underseas superiority, which is key to US naval dominance globally. While submarines remain a staple of underseas superiority, unmanned undersea vehicles (UUVs) will be crucial to maintaining the US military advantage in this domain in the decades to come.

What is “underseas superiority”?

Underseas superiority refers to US military dominance over any opposing force within the underseas domain, permitting the United States to conduct underseas operations at any given time and place without prohibitive interference by adversaries. 
From an emerging military technology to a critical capability… 

While submarine precision-strike capabilities, covertness, and energy efficiency have proven increasingly essential to naval success since the American Revolution, the future of warfare is progressing towards automation. The US Navy is just beginning to realize the advantages unmanned undersea vehicles (UUVs) offer in underseas warfare. Currently, naval UUVs are primarily used for data gathering and counter-measure operations. 

How to Use the World Trade Organization to Deal with China

Riley Walters

According to many observers in Washington, during the past 20 years the World Trade Organization (WTO) has failed to address many of China’s worst economic practices. This has led some policymakers to go as far as to suggest the U.S. should leave the organization—even though the U.S. benefits from being in the WTO more than any other member, and trade is extremely popular among Americans. Some of these misgivings about the WTO may come from a failure to understand the organization’s limitations. The WTO primarily focuses on trade issues and is not a tool that can be used against every problem arising out of China’s fall back into state authoritarianism.

Criticisms of the WTO have never stopped the U.S. from winning cases against China before, and it should not stop the U.S. from mounting a full-court press against China’s worst economic practices now. The U.S. should be filing more complaints against China at the WTO, including a systemic case against China’s continued failure to protect intellectual property. The Trump Administration is already working with like-minded partners to deal with China’s bad practices, but these efforts need to be intensified if China’s practices are truly a critical focus of the U.S. government. Congress and future administrations need to push back against China’s growing illiberalism, an effort that could take years—and the WTO is a necessary tool with which to do so.

Vaccine Inequality Fuels Suspicion and Division

By Oussama Mezoui

Much of the world is pinning its hopes on Pfizer, after the pharmaceutical company announced this week that it could be months, if not weeks, away from having the first safe and effective vaccine for COVID-19.

An implicit assumption behind the warranted excitement is that almost as soon as a vaccine is found, everyone will get access, and the virus will disappear almost as quickly as it spread. If that does happen, it would be a first.

The historical norm is that a vaccine of this sort is quickly given to those privileged to live in the world’s richest nations, while the rest of the world’s population often suffers for several decades before deadly diseases are eradicated—if they ever are.

Take polio, for example. The disease, which leads to symptoms including muscular atrophy and paralysis, was first described in the late 18th century. In the 1950s and ‘60s, vaccines were found, leading to the eradication of the virus in most developed countries within a decade or so. But it took until August of this year for the continent of Africa to be declared free of wild polio. Afghanistan and Pakistan still suffer from the disease. U.N. programs to eradicate the disease there have been stymied by pockets of resistance from groups skeptical of what they deem to be further Western intervention.

Jihadist Networks Dig In on Social Media Across Central Asia

By Kumar Bekbolotov, Robert Muggah, Rafal Rohozinski

Central Asia was long a digital backwater. Over the past decade, however, the region’s five republics—Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan—underwent a rapid digital transformation. High-speed fiber connections, mobile phones, and social media are widespread, while online services and tech hubs are proliferating. Yet the internet, as always, is a double-edged sword: As more Central Asians get online, they are being exposed to sophisticated extremist content in their native languages—and facing serious risks of radicalization.

Global jihadist movements have established a foothold in the region. Terrorist cells with links to Central Asia were purportedly behind attacks in New York and St. Petersburg in 2017, Stockholm in 2018, and Istanbul in 2019. Central Asian governments have struggled to contain organized terrorist activities, especially after several thousand battle-tested foreign fighters returned from campaigns in war-torn Afghanistan, Iraq, and Syria. Part of the reason they are so hard to control is because many Central Asian extremists have migrated online.

Russia’s Peace Imposed on Armenia-Azerbaijan Bloodshed

Laurence Broers

When all-out war between Armenia and Azerbaijan broke out, the three potential outcomes were a decisive military victory, a revived multilateral diplomatic effort, or a regionalization of the conflict under Russian and Turkish influence.

The accord now signed by Russia, Armenia and Azerbaijan reflects the third scenario, with Russia pre-eminent and Turkey in a secondary albeit significant role. With nine bullet points, the document constitutes more than a mere ceasefire, but it is much less than an actual peace agreement.

Azerbaijan has much to celebrate as it regains the seven districts around Nagorny Karabakh which, after extensive rehabilitation, means thousands of displaced people can return home. And it retains the areas recaptured over the last six weeks, including the strategically-located and hugely symbolic city of Shusha (known as Shushi in Armenian sources).

But crucially, there is no mention of the status of Nagorny Karabakh itself as a subject of ongoing dialogue, an omission given extra weight by Azerbaijani president Ilham Aliyev saying there will be no such discussion as long as he is president.

Would You Die For The Senkakus?


According to a readout of a call between President-elect Joe Biden and Japanese Prime Minister Suga, Biden recommitted the U.S. to defending the Senkaku Islands as part of the mutual defense treaty between the U.S. and Japan:

Biden confirmed that Article 5 of the Japan-U.S. Security Treaty will be applied to the defense of Okinawa Prefecture and the Senkaku Islands. Article 5 stipulates that the U.S. is obliged to defend Japan should its territories come under attack. Former President Barack Obama was the first U.S. leader to declare that the pact applies to the Senkakus.

Biden is reaffirming the position that the Obama administration took in 2014, but that doesn’t make this commitment any wiser or better than it was when it was first made. As a general rule, the U.S. shouldn’t extend its defense commitments to include disputed territories. In this particular case, committing to defend the Senkakus makes even less sense because these are just uninhabited rocks in the ocean. It strains credulity that the U.S. would actually go to war with China for the sake of these rocks, and that makes it more likely that China will test that commitment. The U.S. risks undermining its commitments to treaty allies when it recklessly expands them to include territory that we aren’t going to defend when push comes to shove. Instead of deterring China and protecting a treaty ally, this commitment seems more likely to create an unnecessary flashpoint that could lead to further escalation. Our colleagues at Defense Priorities made the same points earlier today:

Russia and the Nagorno-Karabakh Conflict: Genuine Threat or Misconception?

By Jason E. Strakes

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: While government officials and others have alleged a strategy that involves Russian-sponsored security organizations in recent escalations in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, these claims are largely misconceptions. The conventional wisdom fails to recognize these structures as representing alternative security perceptions held by Russia and other participating states rather than traditional NATO-style military alliances.

In the wake of recent escalations in the Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, government officials and observers of the South Caucasus have referred ominously to intentions to directly involve Russian-sponsored security organizations in the fray.

During the clashes that occurred in the Tavush/Tovuz border region the week of July 12, 2020, for example, public figures such as Azerbaijani presidential foreign policy adviser Hikmet Hajiyev and Ambassador of Azerbaijan to the US Elin Suleymanov, as well as government-affiliated analysts, alleged that offensive actions by the Armenian Armed Forces beyond the line of contact (LoC) in Karabakh and the seven occupied districts of Azerbaijan demonstrate that Armenia seeks military intervention from fellow member states of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO). In addition to the Russian Federation and Armenia, this organization includes Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and Tajikistan (Serbia and Afghanistan were granted observer status in 2013).

Macron vs. Radical Political Islam in France: A War of Civilizations?

By Dr. Tsilla Hershco

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: France has declared a state of emergency following the recent terrorist attack in Nice, and violent demonstrations are being held across the Arab and Muslim worlds amid calls for boycotts and terrorist attacks against France. Exacerbated by the severe economic and social consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic, this crisis reflects France’s failure to integrate its Muslim minority and to set and enforce clear boundaries against anti-democratic and separatist tendencies within it.

The shocking murder of teacher Samuel Paty by a teenaged Islamist Chechen immigrant provoked a tumultuous emotional response in France. Paty was killed after he showed his students the cartoons of the prophet Muhammad published by the satirical publication Charlie Hebdo that led to the January 2015 Islamist massacre of that paper’s journalists. Paty’s object in displaying the cartoons was to prompt a class discussion on the values of freedom of speech and expression that characterize French society.

This murderous blow to the heart of the liberal French republic, which welcomes refugees and immigrants and grants them civil and economic rights, provoked a heated debate. In the past five years, France has experienced 33 terrorist attacks by French Muslim citizens. The targeting of Paty for assassination, his gruesome public beheading, and the posting of video of the murder on the internet illustrated that Islamic zealots pose an existential threat to France’s basic republican order.

Nagorno-Karabakh: The Caucasus Time Machine

By Lev Stesin

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: No major power has attempted in earnest to mediate the Nagorno-Karabakh crisis, and some have actively participated in keeping the situation ablaze. Both Armenia and Azerbaijan have been actively preparing for hostilities, but Armenia finds itself at a political and military disadvantage.

Anyone who has been following world politics for the past 30 years must feel overwhelmed these days by déja vu. At times it seems as though decades-old headlines are being recycled.

The conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan in Nagorno-Karabakh is one example of this phenomenon. The conflict was artificially created by the Soviets, starting with Stalin, who paid special attention to the Caucasus and the drawing of its borders in order to ensure that nobody there would feel confident, secure, or satisfied. The clash flared up in the last years of Soviet Union, culminating in direct military conflict and an Armenian victory—and both sides thoroughly exhausted.

The Incentive Effects of Cash Transfers to the Poor

By Anna Aizer, Shari Eli, and Adriana Lleras-Muney

Spending on means‐​tested anti‐​poverty programs in the United States accounted for $688 billion, or 16 percent, of total federal government expenditures in 2012; such spending is projected to increase to $877 billion by 2023. All large redistributive and social insurance programs trade off the potential benefits of transfers with their costs, which include the distortions they generate through eligibility rules. All social insurance programs today, including the Earned Income Tax Credit, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), Social Security, and food stamps, have eligibility criteria based on some combination of income, work status, and family size. These criteria create incentives for individuals to reduce their work effort and income, remain single, and increase their fertility, raising the cost of the programs and possibly having other undesirable effects on the well‐​being of the families.

While a great amount of theoretical literature explores the negative incentive effects of means‐​tested anti‐​poverty programs, the evidence is mixed regarding the empirical importance of these incentive effects, especially regarding long‐​term effects. We estimate the short‐ and long‐​run incentive effects of the first welfare program in the United States, known as mothers’ pensions. First implemented in 1911 in Illinois, the program had been enacted in 47 states by 1930. In 1935, it was replaced by the federal Aid to Dependent Children program, the precursor to TANF, today’s welfare program.

China will create its own technological future: The Huawei war

by Evgeny Morozov

In 1994, when Huawei was still a minor domestic player selling switches for telephone networks, its founder Ren Zhengfei met China’s leader Jiang Zemin. Ren, a former engineer with the People’s Liberation Army who went into consumer electronics, played the patriotic card, cautioning Jiang that ‘switching equipment technology was related to national security, and that a nation that did not have its own switching equipment was like one that lacked its own military’ (1). A quarter of a century later, other countries, led by the US, have belatedly grasped the wisdom of Ren’s remarks; the technology in question today is 5G, and it is Huawei’s equipment that they regard as a danger to their national security.

Huawei is an employee-owned firm with a highly unusual rotating leadership structure, a disdain for public markets — Ren Zhengfei finds them too ‘greedy’ — and a corporate ethos that venerates Maoist values and emphasises indigenous innovation as a means of lessening China’s dependence on imperialist foreign firms.

Worst of all, Huawei might be building backdoors into its products so the Chinese regime can extend its spying apparatus and turn our smart, 5G-powered refrigerators against us

Pressure grows to reinstall White House cyber czar


Pressure to reinstate a cyber czar within the White House is growing, with bipartisan allies lining up on Capitol Hill to push such a proposal while the incoming administration zeroes in on addressing cybersecurity challenges.

Outside experts and allies say they are optimistic President-elect Joe Biden will establish a cybersecurity coordinator position in the White House, after the Trump administration cut such a position in 2018.

Then-national security adviser John Bolton said the move was intended to reduce bureaucracy, but members of both parties criticized the decision, saying it took away a key mechanism for coordinating cyber policy.

With a new administration set to take over in January, lawmakers are ramping up their efforts to establish a national cyber director position to provide a central coordinating force for federal cybersecurity initiatives.

Is Big Tech Setting Africa Back?

By Nima Elmi

Technology transcends national borders, so it shouldn’t be surprising that, in 2020, private technology and telecommunication companies control more data on the average person than governments do. And it’s not just data ownership: Policymakers similarly fall behind in understanding the power of data. That’s a problem, particularly as social media platforms are able to influence political outcomes with few to no repercussions and geopolitics becomes a duopoly of technological trailblazers like the United States and China, with the rest of the world looking on as spectators—and reluctant participants.

The coronavirus pandemic has moved many people’s lives online and demonstrated the revolutionary power of technology in driving economic growth despite physical stasis—whether in e-commerce, continuing employment for those able to work digitally, or virtual schooling. This dramatic shift wouldn’t have been possible without artificial intelligence (AI) embedded within now-essential services like Alexa, Siri, and Zoom.

Artificial intelligence is usually talked about in sensationalist terms. But hyperbolic language can mask simple business truths: AI capabilities—understanding everything from shopping habits to future careers or propensity for criminality—will only ever be as good as the datasets that feed them and, without diverse data sets, the ability to innovate and enhance existing AI functionalities is limited. The de facto U.S.-China AI duopoly doesn’t accurately represent the cross-cutting, global consumer bases tech companies serve; for the game to go on, spectators need to pitch in—lest they lose their pastime.

Destructive Cyber Operations and Machine Learning

Dakota Cary,  Daniel Cebul

Machine learning may provide cyber attackers with the means to execute more effective and more destructive attacks against industrial control systems. As new ML tools are developed, CSET discusses the ways in which attackers may deploy these tools and the most effective avenues for industrial system defenders to respond.

Cyber operations that impact the physical world rely on attacks against industrial control systems. These are the operational systems that control production lines, electrical plants, and critical infrastructure. Industrial systems’ distinct structures, proprietary communication protocols, and blend of operational technology and information technology make attacking such systems a tall-order for cyber operations, yet machine learning could alter the nature of offensive operations.

Machine learning may change cyber operations against industrial systems in three ways.

First, modeling the industrial process using machine learning may decrease the number of failed attacks by advanced actors. This capability will make the good attackers better, but not improve the operations of less sophisticated attackers.

Adapting to the Hypersonic Era

Ian Williams

Since the late-1940s, the United States has used forward-based forces to deter military aggression against its allies and interests. These forces complicate an adversary’s ability to achieve a quick, fait accompli win, raising the threshold for states to engage in conflict. However, the emergence of aerial hypersonic weapons—specifically, these systems’ combination of speed, maneuverability, and atmospheric flight—challenges traditional U.S. approaches to regional deterrence and stability. Conventional hypersonic strike weapons undermine deterrence by complicating early-warning and increasing the vulnerability of forward-based forces to surprise attack below the nuclear threshold.

Nevertheless, history shows that adaptation to strategically disruptive technologies is possible. Just as the world mitigated the most destabilizing aspects of systems like the strategic bomber and the intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM), the United States can blunt some of the risks posed by aerial hypersonic weapons. Some approaches include improving the ability to detect and track these weapons and improving active and passive defenses of forward-deployed forces. Popular media often vaunts aerial hypersonic weapons as unstoppable, but they do have weaknesses that a defender might exploit. Arms control may also be part of the solution. However, the United States will likely need to gain some advantage in offensive hypersonic weaponry to bring either Russia or China into negotiations.

Preparing for the Age of Deepfakes and Disinformation

Dan Boneh, Andrew Grotto, Patrick McDaniel , Nicolas Papernot

POPULAR CULTURE HAS ENVISIONED SOCIETIES of intelligent machines for generations, with Alan Turing notably foreseeing the need for a test to distinguish machines from humans in 1950. Now, advances in artificial intelligence that promise to make creating convincing fake multimedia content like video, images, or audio relatively easy for many. Unfortunately, this will include sophisticated bots with supercharged self-improvement abilities that are capable of generating more dynamic fakes than anything seen before.

In our paper “How Relevant is the Turing Test in the Age of Sophisbots,” we argue that society is on the brink of an AI-driven technology that can simulate many of the most important hallmarks of human behavior. As the variety and scale of these so called “deepfakes” expands, they will likely be able to simulate human behavior so effectively and they will operate in such a dynamic manner that they will increasingly pass Turing’s test. 

Monopoly Myths: Is Big Tech Creating “Kill Zones”?

Joe Kennedy

Critics accuse big tech companies of stifling innovation by buying start-ups just to kill them or by exerting such dominance that entrepreneurs don’t want to enter their markets. Neither claim holds up to logic or evidence.


Concerns that large Internet companies are impeding competition by engaging in “killer acquisitions” or creating “kill zones” through market dominance are vastly exaggerated.

Although big Internet companies have engaged in hundreds of acquisitions, very few have drawn criticism—and the heavy focus on the few deals that have proven to be highly successful ignores those that have failed.

Acquisitions serve useful purposes such as motivating investments in new companies, obtaining workers with key skills, and putting technology in the hands of those that can develop and scale it the fastest.

So-called “kill zones” are overstated, and certainly have not had a negative impact on venture investing, which has grown dramatically in the last decade.

Top US general stands firm amid Pentagon turmoil

By Ryan Browne and Barbara Starr

(CNN)The top US general is standing firm amid sweeping changes at the Pentagon which have seen senior officials replaced by Trump idealogues and alarmed senior defense officials.

Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley made clear his dedication to the constitution at an event Wednesday while standing beside the newly installed acting Defense Secretary Christopher Miller.
"We are unique among militaries. 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. No, we do not take an oath to a country, a tribe or religion. We take an oath to the Constitution. And every soldier that is represented in this museum, every sailor, airman, Marine, Coast Guardsman, each of us will protect and defend that document, regardless of personal price," Milley said during remarks at the opening of the US Army's museum.

While Milley routinely references the military's oath to uphold the Constitution, he chose to reinforce that message during his first public remarks following the major shakeup of the Pentagon's senior civilian leadership.