23 November 2020

The Trump administration can still seal a trade deal with India—and cement a legacy

by Mark Linscott

It seems even a US presidential election is not sufficient to settle political debates over the future leadership of the country, but it is increasingly clear that the nation has entered a lame-duck period at the end of which a new Biden administration will take office. Lame ducks are notorious for the propensity of outgoing administrations to rush through executive actions to finalize their legacies. It is safe to assume that the Trump administration will be no different, including possibly on pending trade matters, such as current reviews underway against a number of foreign trading partners over their digital services taxes under Section 301 of the 1974 Trade Act. These reviews, if closed out before the end of the administration, could lead to new retaliatory tariffs, which may stay in place for a period of time even after the Biden administration takes office.

One additional possibility, which should have been chalked up as a success months ago, is a US-India trade deal. There are even precedents for new trade agreements in lame-duck presidencies. President George H.W. Bush signed the North American Free Trade Agreement in December 1992.

Naval drills in the Indian Ocean give bite to the anti-China “Quad”

AMERICAN AIRCRAFT-CARRIERS have not always been welcome in the Indian Ocean. In 1971, during a war between India and Pakistan, America sailed the USS Enterprise into the Bay of Bengal to intimidate India. Decades later, the slight has not been forgotten—but it has been forgiven. The USS Nimitz, an American supercarrier launched a year after that war, has joined its fellow carrier, the INS Vikramaditya, the Indian Navy’s ex-Soviet flagship, off Goa, on India’s west coast, for the second phase of the annual “Malabar” exercises, from November 17th to 20th. Japan, which joined Malabar in 2015, has sent warships, too. So has Australia, which has been invited for the first time in 13 years. The quartet met for the first round of Malabar in the Bay of Bengal, off India’s east coast, earlier this month.

Military drills in Asia are a dime a dozen. China’s naval expansion and tensions in the South China Sea, among other hotspots, have resulted in an explosion of maritime activity in recent years. What is notable about Malabar is its membership, for with Australia’s return it has become a naval reflection of a deepening diplomatic quartet. In 2007 America, Australia, India and Japan met for a “quadrilateral dialogue”, which promptly acquired the snappier title of the “Quad”. That initiative lost steam, in part because Australia, spooked by China’s prickly reaction, broke ranks. A decade later, it was revived: first, among diplomats from the foursome; and then foreign ministers, who met for the second time on October 6th in Tokyo. Though the group’s public statements are replete with diplomatic bromides and euphemism—“a region governed by rules, not power”—the spectre of China and its growing muscle is obvious.

Afghanistan Withdrawal Should Be Based on Conditions, Not Timelines

BY: Scott Worden

The Taliban’s tactic of running out the clock on the U.S. troop presence may bear fruit after the announcement on Tuesday that U.S. forces will reduce to 2,500 by January 15. The Trump administration successfully created leverage by engaging directly with the Taliban to meet their paramount goal of a U.S. withdrawal in exchange for genuine peace talks and counterterrorism guarantees. This strategy brought about unprecedented negotiations between Afghan government representatives and the Taliban in Doha. A walk down a conditions-based path to peace, long and winding as it may be, had begun. 

But at each step along the way, the U.S. government made concessions in the form of accelerated troop reductions with seemingly little of value in return. As the current administration’s term winds down, plans for a troop withdrawal have sped up again, and the Taliban’s dream of biding its time until the United States leaves moves closer to reality. If the current trajectory continues, they can anticipate retaining their military capability to continue battling the Afghan government without taking difficult steps to eliminate al-Qaida safe havens.

The impact of the new Asian trade mega-deal on the European Union


The 15 November agreement to form the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) between the 10 members of ASEAN and Australia, China, Japan, Korea and New Zealand has only modest immediate economic effects for the European Union. However, with China playing a central role in the new arrangement, the long-term strategic and geopolitical implications are major. Europeans tend to look inwards and when they look outwards tend to look mainly west, riveted, for example, by the recent US elections. But, increasingly, most economic activity, most economic growth and some of the more significant geopolitical shifts are occurring in the east.


Viewed from the standpoint of European firms, RCEP is best understood as a free trade agreement between three manufacturing powerhouses – China, Japan and the Republic of Korea– and their joint outreach towards a vast periphery in Asia. For example under RCEP, China commits to eliminate tariffs on 86% of Japan’s exports, including auto parts. The three nations together generated $5.3 trillion of value added in manufacturing in 2019, over $1 trillion more than the United States and the EU combined. In addition to the China/Japan/Korea population of 1.6 billion, RCEP enables outreach to 675 million more people in ASEAN, Australia and New Zealand, a population larger than that of the European Union.

Has China Peaked?

by Andrew Latham

Over the past year or so, China has made a series of bold moves across the Indo-Pacific region—moves that seem to reflect a growing confidence in Beijing that China’s moment has arrived. Those moves include aggressive actions along the border with India, continuing efforts to assert sovereignty over the South China Seas and the finalization of a new strategic partnership agreement with Iran. In addition, Beijing has carried out a crackdown on democracy in Hong Kong and dropped the word “peaceful” from its annual call for unification with the island democracy.

Taken together, Chinese actions seem to suggest that Beijing believes it is now powerful enough that it can finalize its bid for regional, perhaps even global, hegemony. In short, Beijing’s actions seem to suggest that China’s leadership has come to believe that China is no longer merely a rising power, but a rising power whose time has come.

The fault lines in China's economy have been exposed

Stephen Bartholomeusz

There has been a spate of Chinese companies defaulting on their bond repayments in the past few weeks, sending anxious ripples through the market that have even touched China’s sovereign bond yields and caused its central bank to pump liquidity into its bond market to try to calm it.

While there’s something of a focus of concern on the coal mining sector, which was hit hard by the impact of the coronavirus on demand, it isn’t confined to that sector.

On Monday chip maker Tsinghua Group (also known as Unigroup) – a state-backed entity controlled by Tsinghua University and regarded as one of the stars of Beijing’s push to reduce its reliance on imported semiconductors – defaulted on a 1.3 billion yuan ($270 million) bond redemption that was due that day.

Last week state-owned Yongcheng Coal & Electricity Holding Group was unable to repay a 1 billion yuan bond, which sent shudders through the entire sector, tanking bond prices, and triggered an investigation by the bond market regulator into its disclosures. Other coal companies cancelled planned bond issues or shrunk the size of their offerings.

The future of US policy toward China

Ryan Hass, Ryan McElveen, and Robert D. Williams

In recent years, U.S.-China relations have grown increasingly rivalrous. The incoming administration will inherit a bilateral relationship in which areas of confrontation have intensified, areas of cooperation have shrunk, and the capacity of both countries to solve problems or manage competing interests has atrophied.

To address these challenges, the incoming administration will need to develop new thinking on how most effectively to address the myriad challenges and opportunities of the U.S.-China relationship. Whether for strengthening coordination with allies on China, addressing security challenges, or advancing American interests in the areas of economics, technology, and rule of law, fresh ideas will be needed to adapt American policy to meet the competitive and complex nature of U.S.-China relations.

The Paul Tsai China Center at Yale Law School, directed by Paul Gewirtz, and the John L. Thornton China Center at Brookings, directed by Cheng Li, have drawn upon the expertise and experiences of their scholars and other outside experts to compile a monograph geared toward providing policy recommendations for the next administration. Edited by Ryan Hass, Ryan McElveen, and Robert D. Williams, the monograph offers array of affirmative and pragmatic proposals for how the United States should adapt its policy toward China to respond to current realities in a manner that best protects and promotes America’s security, prosperity, interests, and values.

Why China's New South Asian Trade Deal Is Making Washington Sweat

by Raul Diego

A 15-member South Asian trade agreement that includes China and Japan has put the West on notice that its influence in the region is waning and possibly done for.

For most Americans, the mention of Hanoi elicits memories of the Vietnam war and the peak of the antiwar movement in the United States. Nearly half a century later, unexploded ordnances (UXO) left behind by U.S. soldiers are still killing and maiming Vietnamese people, but a new day has arrived for the long-suffering southeast Asian country along with fourteen regional countries, including powers China and Japan, with a blockbuster trade agreement that is sure to spark controversy in Washington, which was excluded from the 15-nation Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP).

ASEAN bloc countries Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam are joining regional powerhouses China, Japan, and South Korea as part of a larger economic bloc that will account for one-third of the global economy and be composed of 2.2 billion consumers.

BRI’s ‘Debt Trap Diplomacy’: Reality or Myth?

Pradumna Bickram Rana, Jason Ji Xianbai

THE GEOSTRATEGIST from India, Brahma Chellaney, is frequently credited with having coined the term “Debt Trap Diplomacy (DTD)” in 2017. Chellaney opined that the aim of China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) was to saddle small nations with debt that they could not hope to repay “leaving them even more firmly under China’s thumb”.

Since then, based on a review of a limited number of cases and projects, many other commentators and analysts have come up with similar views on the BRI. The DTD thesis has, therefore, morphed into something approaching conventional wisdom.
World Leaders’ Use of DTD Thesis

The DTD thesis has also been widely used by world leaders. For example, in 2018, United States Vice President, Mike Pence, referred to the imperative to provide “foreign nations a just and transparent alternative to China’s debt-trap diplomacy”. A bipartisan group of 16 US senators in August 2018 also expressed apprehensions about the BRI by citing “the dangers of China’s debt-trap diplomacy”.

Biden in the Balkans

By Majda Ruge

In winter 2001, President-elect Joe Biden, then a senator, visited Visoki Decani, a Serb Orthodox Monastery in Kosovo, during a post-war trip to what was then a U.N. protectorate.

While there (according to Mike Haltzel, Biden’s long-time foreign policy advisor), Biden briefly met Ramush Haradinaj, who had until recently been a guerilla fighter in Visoki Decani during the Kosovo war and who would later become prime minister of the country. Biden, eager to ensure the protection of Orthodox culture, asked Haradinaj for his personal assurances that he would give special care to the monastery. When violence again erupted in Kosovo three years later, dozens of Serbian Orthodox churches were demolished, but the monastery remained untouched. Years later, Haradinaj reportedly asked Haltzel to tell Biden that he had kept his promise.

This story evokes two simple principles that should inform future European and U.S. policy in the region. First, instability often comes from the leaders, not the people. Interethnic tensions, which Western diplomatic missions continue to treat as “ancient,” are steered and controlled by leaders with very immediate agendas. There are divisions in the region, of course, but political leaders make a conscious choice to amplify or to tamp them down. In the case of Visoki Decani, an influential strongman reportedly kept things in check as other areas descended into a flash of violence.

What Will a Vengeful President Do to the World in His Final Weeks?

Over the past half century, American Presidents have often scrambled on the global stage in their final weeks in office to salvage troubled legacies at home. They usually fail. Several have created messes or additional unfinished business for their successors. In his final weeks, Richard Nixon went to Israel, Egypt, Syria, Saudi Arabia, and Jordan to 

Every one of those foreign-policy issues—from Iran, Iraq, and Middle East peace to Russia’s nuclear arsenal and Somali warlords—remains a flash point. And Donald Trump, whose mood in his final weeks varies from sulking to spiteful, seems to be plotting to rescue his own image by derailing the Presidency of the man who defeated him. Joe Biden was already going to inherit a world far more dangerous than it was four years ago, but Trump’s final acts on foreign policy threaten to slow, complicate, or stymie Biden’s attempts to stabilize the country and the world.

Nagorno-Karabakh Peace Deal Cements Russian and Turkish Influence

In late September, the frozen conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan over the disputed region of Nagorno-Karabakh rapidly heated up. The six weeks of full-scale war that followed left thousands dead and tens of thousands more displaced. Unlike previous rounds of fighting that resulted in little exchange of territory, however, Azerbaijan’s well-armed and well-prepared military was able to make substantial gains on the battlefield, with significant support from neighboring Turkey.

Just as Azerbaijani forces looked poised to advance deep into Nagorno-Karabakh, Russia brokered a deal between the two sides to bring the fighting to an end last week, under terms that Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan called “unbelievably painful.” The agreement requires Armenia to relinquish much of the territory it controlled in and around Nagorno-Karabakh, and for Moscow to dispatch 2,000 peacekeepers to the region.

According to Alexander Gabuev, a senior fellow and the chair of the Russia in the Asia-Pacific Program at the Carnegie Moscow Center, the deal is a win for the Kremlin, which has successfully reasserted its influence in the South Caucasus, independent of Western powers. But will the peace hold? Gabuev joins WPR’s Elliot Waldman on the Trend Lines podcast this week to discuss the aftermath of the recent fighting and the outlook for Nagorno-Karabakh. Click here to read a transcript of an excerpt from the interview.

The anatomy of a ceasefire in Nagorno-Karabakh

By Jérôme Sessini

DAVID BEK, Armenia — The days leading up to the cease-fire agreement brokered on November 10 to stop fighting in the Nagorno-Karabakh region are ridden with tension and fear.

In the Armenian village of David Bek, named for the 18th-century Armenian warlord, volunteer fighters have taken shelter in the town hall. Azerbaijani forces started bombing the town at the end of October. Today — Monday, November 9 — there is another relentless assault.

Every time there is an explosion, the women moan, the men jump. A man in battledress in his thirties — pale, his eyes reddened by tears — decides to hide in the cellar.
A volunteer fighter waits for shelling by Azeri forces to stop in David Bek on November 9.

Two hours later, the bombing dies down. Some 15 fighters arrive from the front line, less than a kilometer away. They look exhausted but determined to fight to the death.

Immunity to the Coronavirus May Last Years, New Data Hint

Apoorva Mandavilli

How long might immunity to the coronavirus last? Years, maybe even decades, according to a new study — the most hopeful answer yet to a question that has shadowed plans for widespread vaccination.

Eight months after infection, most people who have recovered still have enough immune cells to fend off the virus and prevent illness, the new data show. A slow rate of decline in the short term suggests, happily, that these cells may persist in the body for a very, very long time to come.

The research, published online, has not been peer-reviewed nor published in a scientific journal. But it is the most comprehensive and long-ranging study of immune memory to the coronavirus to date.

“That amount of memory would likely prevent the vast majority of people from getting hospitalized disease, severe disease, for many years,” said Shane Crotty, a virologist at the La Jolla Institute of Immunology who co-led the new study.

Oxford-AstraZeneca Covid vaccine shows robust immune response among older adults

LONDON — The coronavirus vaccine being developed by the University of Oxford and AstraZeneca is safe and triggers a similar immune response among all adults, according to the preliminary findings of a peer-reviewed phase two trial.

The promising early-stage results were published Thursday in The Lancet, one of the world’s top medical journals.

The study of 560 healthy adults, including 240 over age 70, found the vaccine to be safe and produced a similar immune response among people age over 56 and those ages 18 to 55.

Older people face a “significant risk” of developing severe illness on contracting Covid-19, the WHO has said, citing decreased immune function and potential underlying health conditions. People of all ages are at risk of contracting the virus, however.

AstraZeneca, which is working the University of Oxford, has previously said interim data showed their experimental vaccine had produced an immune response in older and younger adults.

“We’re really delighted with the results,” professor Andrew Pollard, the head of Oxford’s vaccine trial team, told reporters Thursday.

Why ransomware is still so successful: Over a quarter of victims pay the ransom

By Danny Palmer 

Over a quarter of organisations that fall victim to ransomware attacks opt to pay the ransom as they feel as if they have no other option than to give into the demands of cyber criminals – and the average ransom amount is now more than $1 million.

A Crowdstrike study based on responses from thousands of information security professionals and IT decision makers across the globe found that 27 percent said their organisation had paid the ransom after their network got encrypted with ransomware.

While law enforcement agencies say organisations should never give in and pay the ransom, many businesses justify making the payment because getting the decryption key from the attackers is viewed as the quickest and easiest way to restore the network.

However, not only does paying the bitcoin ransom just encourage ransomware gangs to continue campaigns because they know they're profitable, there's also no guarantee that the hackers will actually restore the network in full.

Infecting networks with ransomware is proving to be highly lucrative for cyber criminals, with figures in the report suggesting the average ransom amount paid per attack is $1.1 million.

The Azerbaijan-Armenia conflict hints at the future of war

Azerbaijan’s armed forces may be busy waging war over Nagorno-Karabakh, a disputed enclave run by Armenia. That did not stop them from setting aside scarce helicopters and tanks to star in a music video, complete with khaki-clad singers, guitarists and a drummer. The bellicose heavy-metal tune, accompanied by a montage of bombing raids, would not be out of place in the Eurovision song contest, and is part of a crude attempt by Azerbaijan’s corrupt and autocratic government to rally people round the flag.

The real war, which began on September 27th, has been less telegenic. Hundreds of people, most of them soldiers, are already believed dead. The fighting is the worst since 1994, when ethnic Armenian forces seized Nagorno-Karabakh and surrounding Azerbaijani districts after a conflict that saw tens of thousands killed and a million people displaced. Azerbaijan claims to have taken a dozen villages in the Jabrayil district, one of seven that ring Nagorno-Karabakh and were occupied by Armenian forces. Azerbaijani cluster munitions have struck Stepanakert, the capital of the breakaway province. Armenian forces have shelled Ganja, Azerbaijan’s second-biggest city. Both sides seem to have used ballistic missiles, and a few stray rockets have landed in next-door Iran.

Long-Term Behavioral Change in a Knife Fight:

Wade Pommer

BLUF: Special Operations Forces - Psychological Operations should not exist in its current form. Rather, it should be moved to Conventional Forces with direct access to the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense.


Psychological Operations (PSYOP) is the influencing of foreign Target Audiences leading to long-term behavior change that achieves strategic level objectives. Due to this, the approval process for PSYOP is often retained at the highest level echelons of command (for good reason); however, most of the Active Duty PSYOP Soldiers operate at a much lower level, often times at the tactical level. This leads to extremely long approval timelines, resulting in missed opportunities to conduct true behavioral change. Missed opportunities have led to stresses in relationships with host nation partners as well as other SOF Soldiers. This holds particularly true when attempting to counter propaganda. In order to mitigate the missed opportunities, moving PSYOP to the national level gives the US Government the capability to conduct long-term behavioral change comparable to our adversaries’ capabilities. One counter argument in favor of keeping the status quo is a concern over a loss of capabilities to ground force commanders. My response to this concern is to question the capabilities a ground force commander is required. I propose that what a Ground Force Commander is wanting should be considered Psychological Warfare (PSYWAR) and deception operations.

The Department of Defense Needs to Relearn the (Almost) Lost Art of Net Assessment

By Bryan Clark & Dan Patt , Timothy A. Walton

Tough choices lie ahead for the U.S. Department of Defense. Government relief in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and rising costs to service the federal debt are expected to constrain discretionary spending, including spending on defense. At the same time its budgets are being squeezed, the U.S. military will need to address a peer competitor in China; creative Russian, Iranian, North Korean adversaries; and a potentially unaffordable approach to deterring and waging war.

Tough choices are often unpopular. Consider the opposition to Commandant of the Marine Corps General David Berger’s efforts to restructure his service to fight inside enemy weapons range from places like the islands around China’s coast. The argument made by Berger and other defense leaders is that the U.S. military cannot continue to rely on the forces and concepts that won in Iraq and Afghanistan to deter or defeat sophisticated adversaries like China. The U.S. military is already pursuing new warfighting approaches to overcome the People’s Liberation Army’s robust sensor and weapons networks and growing air and naval forces. In a tight fiscal environment, equipping U.S. forces for these new concepts may require the divestment of some traditional capabilities.

Army Hires Company To Develop Cyber Defenses For Its Strykers After They Were Hacked


The U.S. Army has hired a company to develop a prototype cybersecurity kit for its Stryker family of 8x8 wheeled armored vehicles. This comes more than a year after it first emerged that unspecified "adversaries" had successfully launched cyber attacks on up-gunned XM1296 Stryker Dragoon variants, which The War Zone was first to report.

On Nov. 16, 2020, Virginia-based cybersecurity firm Shift5, Inc. announced that it had received a $2.6 million contract from the Army's Rapid Capabilities and Critical Technologies Office (RCCTO) to "provide unified cybersecurity prototype kits designed to help protect the operational technology of the Army's Stryker combat vehicle platform." The company says it first pitched its plan for these kits at RCCTO's first-ever Innovation Day event in September 2019.

"Shift5 is answering the call to arms about military weapon system cybersecurity vulnerabilities," Josh Lospinoso, the company's CEO, said in a statement. "Our products are currently deployed protecting commercial rail and aircraft, and this newest engagement will integrate our products onto military ground vehicle platforms."

What the Nagorno-Karabakh Conflict Revealed About Future Warfighting

Franz-Stefan Gady, Alexander Stronell

Last week’s Russia-brokered agreement between Armenia and Azerbaijan ended 44 days of bloody clashes over the disputed enclave of Nagorno-Karabakh—the first interstate war fought by conventional forces in recent years. The deal calls for Armenia to give up large swathes of territory in and around the breakaway region, which lies within Azerbaijan’s internationally recognized borders, and Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan called the deal “incredibly painful.” The ostensible Azerbaijani victory, gained at substantial cost in men and materiel, has triggered intensive interest among military analysts about the conflict’s lessons for future warfighting.

In particular, the wearing down of Armenian air defenses and armored platforms by unmanned aerial vehicles, or UAVs, has led to significant debate over the continued utility of main battle tanks for high-intensity military operations. Indeed, a narrative has emerged in the media, fueled by propagandized videos shared on social media channels, that armor may be obsolete in the face of air-launched precision strikes carried out by UAVs. ...

Why Chinese Drones Instead of Russian Su-30 Jets Could Have Helped Armenia Beat Azerbaijan In Karabakh War?

By Younis Dar

Armenia suffered significant military setbacks at the hand of Azerbaijani forces in the war over Nagorno-Karabakh, losing most of the originally Azerbaijani-inhabited territories it occupied in 1993. The latter also captured Nagorno-Karabakh, along with the strategic and symbolic city of Shusha.

The country’s media and the opposition have blamed the obsolete military infrastructure and the lack of any modernization of its weapons arsenal for the humiliating loss to the Turkey-allied country. Much of the criticism is being directed at the futility of purchasing the expensive Su-30SM fighters from Russia, four of which were reportedly brought for $120 million in 2019.

They argue, instead of buying those expensive jets, Armenia should have procured Chinese drones at a relatively lower price. Drones were one of the key weapons of the Azerbaijani army and helped them get an edge over the Armenian forces.

The Su-30SM is a modernized 4+ generation version of the original Russian Su-30 fighter aircraft. Being a supermaneuverable jet, it is one of the world’s finest dogfighters with upgrades being done to equip it with credible BVR (beyond visual range) engagement options. The country had reportedly ordered eight new Su-30SMs to bolster its airpower capabilities.

A Better Way to Fight the Forever War


While it is certainly time to end the war in Afghanistan, doing so does not necessarily require a complete withdrawal of all American forces. Indeed, this would leave the United States with no ability to enforce the central guarantee of February’s agreement with the Taliban: to ensure Afghanistan does not again become a safe haven for terrorist networks seeking to attack the United States or her allies. Instead, the U.S. should withdraw all but a small residual force, multinational if possible, with a primary focus on intelligence and enough counterterrorism capability to preserve American interests in Afghanistan. 

This joint task force would be used to dismantle violent terrorist networks that pose a direct threat to the United States or its allies, but would otherwise avoid kinetic operations. This specific and achievable objective is nested within the strategic aim described in the 2018 National Defense Strategy: to “defeat terrorist threats to the United States, and consolidate our gains in Iraq and Afghanistan while moving to a more resource-sustainable approach.” 

In fact, if properly negotiated and employed, the counterterrorism force could serve the best interests of the United States, its NATO allies, the current Afghan government, and even the Taliban. By leveraging vast intelligence capabilities, the counterterrorism force would focus primarily on disrupting and deterring non-state actors seeking to capitalize on the power vacuum created by an otherwise complete American withdrawal. Most importantly, this proposal serves as both a politically feasible and militarily acceptable option to finally ending the war in Afghanistan without capitulating American interests in a volatile and strategic region.

AI Governance in Military Affairs – AI Ethical Principles: Implementing US Military’s Framework

Megan Lamberth

THE US DEFENCE Department is still in the early stages of determining how best to ensure the development and deployment of AI that is ethical, reliable, and secure. Earlier this year, the DoD formally adopted a set of AI ethical principles that are meant to guide the Department’s development, adoption, and use of AI-enabled systems.

The DoD, and in particular, the Joint Artificial Intelligence Centre (JAIC), is in the midst of transforming those principles into actionable guidance for DoD personnel. For the principles to be meaningful and enduring, the JAIC will need additional authority and resources; the DoD will also need to work hand-in-hand with allies and partners who are also tackling the challenge of ensuring safe, secure, and ethical AI. What can others learn from the US experience?

Adopting and Implementing AI Principles

Over the last two years, the DoD has taken a number of steps to lay the groundwork for AI adoption. In June 2018, the DoD established the JAIC to serve as the synchronising body for AI activities across the entire Department, including the military services. Eight months later, the DoD’s first AI strategy called for the development of “resilient, robust, reliable, and secure” AI systems and vowed to articulate a set of principles to ensure AI capabilities were used in a “lawful and ethical manner”.

Going under the Hood: Transitioning from Literal to Virtual Teaching at the Command and General Staff College

Lt. Col. Richard A. McConnell, DM, U.S. Army, Retired *, Lt. Col. George Hodge, U.S. Army, Retired, Lt. Col. Thad Weist, U.S. Army, Retired

Any pilot will confirm that flying straight and level in clear weather with unlimit­ed visibility is prefera­ble. However, most of those same pilots will also admit that they obtained a higher level of proficiency once they learned how to fly under instrument con­ditions in circumstanc­es where the weather was bad and visibility was limited.

Parameters and Constraints

Due to COVID-19, curriculum delivery meth­ods had to be adjusted to support force protection by preventing further spread of the virus. These protective measures initially created challenges but ultimately resulted in opportunities. The obstacles were numerous in a learning situation that was as difficult as building an aircraft in flight. Here is just a short list.

First, faculty were, in general, unquali­fied for telework and had to be processed through the five-mod­ule certification in a reduced time frame while mostly working from home. Second, most faculty mem­bers were unfamiliar with DL platforms that had to be established with little preparation or any chance to test the systems before execution.