21 April 2021

Limited War and Nuclear Deterrence- Part I and II

Major General PK Mallick, VSM (Retd)

On 15 June 2020, in a brutal, savage skirmish, the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) used fists, rocks, rods, baton, spikes, knuckle-dusters, nail-studded clubs and wooden clubs wrapped in barbed wire at a post at Galwan on the Indian side of Line of Actual Control(LAC) in Ladakh sector at an altitude of 4,250 meters. India lost a Commanding Officer of an infantry battalion and 19 other ranks. China did not divulge its casualty figures. There is a famous saying that no two nuclear-powered states have ever fought a war. William S. Lind, who developed Manoeuvre Warfare and Fourth Generation Warfare theories, is sceptical about two nuclear weapon capable countries ever to fight a conventional war. Continue Reading.....

India’s Trump Card Against China

By Phillip Orchard

Despite its enormous potential, India is by no means an inevitable counterweight to Chinese ambitions in the Indian Ocean. The country’s immense domestic needs and its preoccupation with land-based threats have prevented it from turning its attention fully to the maritime realm. And the more China races ahead with its breakneck military expansion, the harder it will be for India to catch up.

But it’s a mistake to look at Indian and Chinese maritime capabilities as an apples-to-apples comparison. India doesn’t need to match China destroyer for destroyer or missile for missile because India has some extraordinary geographic advantages in its favor – ones that also happen to make it particularly attractive as a partner with other powers in the region. And the strategically invaluable Andaman and Nicobar Islands, India’s great trump card in its intensifying competition with China, is moving into the spotlight.

India’s Point of View

For a country with more than 4,500 miles (7,200 kilometers) of coastline, India has never been particularly ambitious in the maritime sphere. This is, in part, because for much of its history it didn’t have much reason to be. Geographically, India is protected by the near-impenetrable Himalayas to its north, harsh subtropical regions to its east and deserts to the west. Its long coastline makes it vulnerable to seaborne threats, sure, but few powers have ever been capable of exploiting this vulnerability. Buffered by the vast waters of the Arabian Sea, the Bay of Bengal and the open ocean, India is blessed with abundant strategic depth when it comes to naval threats. And at any rate, any invading power would confront India’s demographic immensity, which makes direct subjugation by force nearly impossible.


by Aman Thakker

For at least nine months, Indian and Chinese troops have faced off at multiple points along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) — the disputed and undemarcated border between the two countries. However, on February 11, 2021, India’s Defense Minister Rajnath Singh announced that both countries had reached an agreement to disengage at one of those points — Pangong Tso. The agreement to disengage is certainly welcome news. However, the crisis at the border is far from over. If the situation in eastern Ladakh is to return to status quo ante with both sides completely de-escalating, India and China will need to traverse a crossroads that could shape the future of their bilateral ties at a time when there is little to no trust on both sides.

A Brief Look at What Happened at the LAC

The earliest publicly reported date of the start of the stand-offs is on May 5, when news sources reported Indian and Chinese troops were facing off at Pangong Tso. Soon, reports emerged of additional stand-offs at Gogra-Hot Springs, Demchok, the Galwan Valley, and Depsang. A first round of Army Corps Commanders-level meeting was held on June 6, which resulted in an agreement for both sides to disengage “in a phased manner” in several areas, including the Galwan Valley, Patrolling Point 15, and the Hot Springs. However, when Indian troops from the 16th Bihar Regiment, led by Colonel Santosh Babu, were verifying that the Chinese has disengaged at Patrolling Point 14 in the Galwan Valley, they were attacked, per India’s Ministry of External Affairs, in a “pre-meditated and planned action” that led to the deaths of 20 Indian soldiers, including Col. Babu, as well as at least four Chinese troops. China, in its version of events, suggested that it was Indian troops who crossed the LAC, leading to the clash.

The agreement to disengage is certainly welcome news. However, the crisis at the border is far from over.

India Is an Essential Counterweight to China—and the Next Great U.S. Dependency

David Moschella Robert D. Atkinson
As America seeks to counter a rising China, no nation is more important than India, with its vast size, abundance of highly skilled technical professionals, and strong political and cultural ties with the United States. But the parallels between America’s dependency on China for manufacturing and its dependency on India for IT services are striking.


While America and India are both rightly keen to move more manufacturing operations from China to India, significant shifts will take time, as China still has many advantages.

Most large U.S. companies now rely heavily on India-based IT services—whether from India-headquartered IT service providers, U.S.-headquartered IT services companies with large India-based operations, or their own India-based capability centers.

The United States risks becoming overly reliant on India as an IT services provider if major disagreements emerge over issues such as intellectual property, data governance, tariffs, taxation, local content requirements, or individual privacy.

Leading U.S. tech companies are well positioned in India’s booming Internet and e commerce marketplaces, but strong local competitors are emerging.

India is moving up the value chain into R&D, innovation centers, machine learning, analytics, product design and testing, and other areas, especially in IT and life sciences.

Outside of IT, U.S. companies operating in India typically face stiff competition from Chinese, Japanese, Korean, and of course, Indian firms—and doing business in India is still often difficult.

While geopolitical forces are drawing America and India closer together, long-term alignment with the United States and the West is by no means assured and will require successful policymaking by both India and the United States.

NATO allies to leave Afghanistan along with U.S.

Sabine Siebold

Foreign troops under NATO command will withdraw from Afghanistan in coordination with a U.S. pull-out by Sept. 11, NATO allies agreed on Wednesday, pledging to mirror American plans to start removing troops on May 1 after two decades of war.

Around 7,000 non-U.S. forces from mainly NATO countries, also from Australia, New Zealand and Georgia, outnumber the 2,500 U.S. troops in Afghanistan, but still rely on American air support, planning and leadership for their training mission.

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg, speaking alongside U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken and U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, said the decision was tough.

"This is not an easy decision, and it entails risks. As I said for many months, we face a dilemma. Because the alternative to leaving in an orderly fashion is to be prepared for a long-term, open-ended military commitment with potentially more NATO troops," Stoltenberg told a news conference.

U.S. President Joe Biden gave a speech on Wednesday in Washington announcing the U.S. withdrawal, saying that "it's time to end the forever war." read more

The Looming Catastrophe in Myanmar

By Derek J. Mitchell

Hundreds of people have died in Myanmar since its military, also known as the Tatmadaw, conducted a coup on February 1, seizing control of the government and detaining civilian political leaders. The Tatmadaw continues to kill unarmed citizens (nearly 800, according to press reports), including children, in cities and towns across the country. Gruesome images of the escalating violence flood the global media, and the world watches as Myanmar’s once hopeful future grows ever darker.

Governments, including those of Myanmar’s neighbors, do not seem to appreciate the full extent of the crisis. Instead, too many outside observers, including some in Foreign Affairs, appear jaded and fatalistic. They minimize humanitarian considerations, ignore massive popular opposition to the coup, discount the potential of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) to influence the situation in one of its member states, and assume that the logic of great-power competition makes coordinated policy in

The rapidly emerging crisis on our doorstep

By Robert Glasser

This Strategic Insight report warns that within a decade, as the climate continues to warm, the relatively benign strategic environment in Maritime Southeast Asia - a region of crucial importance to Australia - will begin unravelling. Dr Robert Glasser, Head of ASPI's new Climate and Security Policy Centre, documents the region’s globally unique exposure to climate hazards, and the increasingly significant cascading societal impacts they will trigger.

Dr Glasser notes that hundreds of millions of people living in low-lying coastal areas will not only experience more severe extremes, but also more frequent swings from extreme heat and drought to severe floods. The diminishing time for recovery in between these events will have major consequences for food security, population displacements and resilience.

According to Dr Glasser, 'Any one of the numerous increasing risks identified in the report would be serious cause for concern for Australian policymakers, but the combination of them, emerging effectively simultaneously, suggests that we’re on the cusp of an overlooked, unprecedented and rapidly advancing regional crisis.'

Beware ‘Just Say China’ Politics


The president’s $2 trillion infrastructure bill before Congress proposes a huge expansion of government and government spending, and a tax increase on corporations. Both aspects are broadly popular with the public — and are also a Republican’s nightmare. So how is the White House selling it to lawmakers? By just saying ‘China.’

The White House is banking on getting Republicans on board — or setting them up to be shamed — by calling its bill a must-have if the United States wants to compete with China. That seems smart, if cheeky, at first. After all, Republicans want to compete with China. Hoo boy, do they ever. For the past two to three years, China has become the I’m-tougher-than-you foreign policy issue in American politics, and the right has come hard at Biden early in his presidency. On the Senate and House Armed Services Committees, GOP members have pounded the dais calling for more spending, missiles, ships, fighter planes, Space Guardians, Olympic boycotts, more, more, more.

But will those same lawmakers go along with the Democrats who claim that building American bridges, railways, airports, seaport, and digital infrastructure is as important as starting a hypersonic missile race, going to war to protect Taiwan, or fielding an expanded arsenal of US Army long guns? The White House thinks so.

China as a ‘cyber great power’: Beijing’s two voices in telecommunications

Rush Doshi, Emily de La Bruyère, Nathan Picarsic, and John Ferguson

External Chinese government and commercial messaging on information technology (IT) speaks in one voice. Domestically, one hears a different, second voice. The former stresses free markets, openness, collaboration, and interdependence, themes that suggest Huawei and other Chinese companies ought to be treated like other global private sector actors and welcomed into foreign networks. Meanwhile, domestic Chinese government, commercial, and academic discourse emphasizes the limits of free markets and the dangers of reliance on foreign technologies — and, accordingly, the need for industrial policy and government control to protect technologies, companies, and networks. Domestic Chinese discourse also indicates that commercial communication networks, including telecommunications systems, might be used to project power and influence offensively; that international technical standards offer a means with which to cement such power and influence; and — above all — that IT architectures are a domain of zero-sum competition.

That external Chinese government and corporate messaging might be disingenuous is by no means a novel conclusion. However, the core differences between that messaging and Chinese internal discussion on IT remain largely undocumented — despite China’s increasing development of and influence over international IT infrastructures, technologies, and norms. This report seeks to fill that gap, documenting the tension between external and internal Chinese discussions on telecommunications, as well as IT more broadly. The report also parses internal discourse for insight into Beijing’s intent, ambitions, and strategy. This report should raise questions about China’s government and commercial messaging, as well as what that messaging may obscure.

When #Hashtag Activism Meets Unhinged Terrorism


In Bring Back Our Girls: The Untold Story of the Global Search for Nigeria’s Missing Schoolgirls, Joe Parkinson and Drew Hinshaw provide a powerful account of the April 14, 2014, abduction of 276 Nigerian school girls from the town of Chibok by the extremist militant Nigerian Islamist group Boko Haram, and the three-year saga that followed as the hashtag #BringBackOurGirls ricocheted around the world. Back then, I wrote about the kidnappings for Tablet and a number of other publications. As a woman born and raised in London to Nigerian immigrant parents—who placed massive emphasis on the value of education and went to great expense to send me to some of England’s best schools to get the type of Western education so reviled by Boko Haram—the abduction of these young women felt very personal.

I also knew that my great-grandmother, who started a school for girls in Nigeria in the 1940s and had been a vociferous advocate for women’s education, and my grandmother, a principal of a girls’ school, would have wanted me to use my voice to help bring back these young women. Parkinson and Hinshaw painstakingly depict just how difficult bringing them back really was, including the practicalities of trying to locate and rescue the girls, determining whether they were even alive, and the ethical dilemmas inherent in paying ransoms to groups that, as a result, are encouraged to see kidnapping as a lucrative business.

Natanz Attack: Creating Time For A Nuclear Deal With Iran?

By Michael Rubin

On April 11, 2021, a blackout struck Iran’s Natanz nuclear enrichment facility causing it severe damage a day after President Hassan Rouhani inaugurated new, more advanced centrifuges in contravention of Iran’s nuclear agreements. Iranian nuclear chief Ali Akbar Salehi and Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif labelled the episode “nuclear terrorism.”

Like clockwork, progressive activists and Iran lobbyists parroted such condemnation. Joe Cirincione, a fellow at the Quincy Institute, for example, tweeted that the episode was an “illegal attack” which could “drag us into war,” and the National Iranian American Council warned that the episode “could derail diplomatic progress.” Both the European Union and Germany also condemned the incident. “We reject any attempts to undermine or weaken diplomatic efforts on the nuclear agreement,” EU spokesman Peter Stano said. German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas, perhaps the most pro-Iranian of any European foreign minister, called the cyberattack “not a positive contribution.”

They are wrong.

Alleged sabotage at Iran’s Natanz nuclear facility comes amid talks on reviving the Iran nuclear deal

By Susan D’Agostino 

Iran’s Natanz underground uranium enrichment site—a key nuclear facility for the country—went dark on Sunday in what Iranian officials called an act of “nuclear terrorism” carried out by Israel. While Israel did not confirm or deny responsibility, Israeli and American intelligence officials have indicated that Israel’s Mossad spy agency played a role—a message that has been reported widely in Israeli media.

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif vowed that Iran “will take revenge for this action against the Zionists,” according to the state-run Iranian news agency. The blackout was the result of an apparent physical attack on the power system that supplies the nuclear facility’s centrifuges, which could delay enrichment work there by months. On Monday, Salehi made clear that Natanz had emergency power to continue enrichment activities.

The Natanz power outage brings a shadow conflict between Iran and Israel into sharper focus. It also threatens to derail renewed efforts by Iran and the United States to revive talks on the Iran nuclear deal. Former US president Donald Trump exited the deal three years ago, and since then, Iran has inched away from full compliance with the agreement in a series of steps that aimed to pressure the United States to return to it. The Biden administration and Iran began indirect nuclear deal talks in Vienna last week and are scheduled to talk with other parties this week. The alleged attack will further strain US-Israeli relations. Biden has supported a US reentry to the nuclear pact; Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has strongly discouraged such a move, noting that, “(s)uch deals with extreme regimes are worthless.”

The Rise and Rise of Turkish Drone Technology

By Burak Bekdil

BESA Center Perspectives Paper No. 1,992, April 11, 2021

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: Everything’s coming up roses for Turkey’s thriving drone industry, but a cash-strapped economy and technological challenges may slow further progress.

As recently as the early 2000s, Turkey was dependent on Israeli-made unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs, or drones) in its asymmetric warfare with Kurdish rebels fighting for autonomy or independence in parts of Turkey, Iraq, and Syria. When the country set out to design, develop, and produce its first indigenous drone, the Anka, technological snags beset the program. The 100% Turkish-made Anka ultimately boasted a foreign engine, a foreign automatic take-off and landing system, foreign landing gear, a foreign flight data computer, foreign radio, foreign sensors, and a foreign targeting pod—even a foreign name (“Anka” is a Persian word). During flight tests it suffered several crash landings.

Yet despite that discouraging start, in slightly over a decade Turkey became the operator and exporter of fine drone systems. The credit for this success goes to vigorous private enterprise in the form of a partnership between Kale and Baykar, maker of the famous Bayraktar TB-2 armed drones.

Raw Power Illuminates Russia’s Gains on Black Sea Shores

Hundreds of bitcoin farms in the breakaway region of Abkhazia are draining the grid of cheap energy. That forces Abkhazia into a still-greater dependence on Russia while causing serious knock-on effects for Georgia.

Imagine this — late last year, a young investor in New York or London makes a decision and clicks a computer screen to buy cryptocurrency. More than 5,000 miles away, in the mountains of Abkhazia, above the Black Sea, the lights go out. It is nighttime, it is snowing and the temperature is falling fast.

While the link is not necessarily quite as direct, the existence of bitcoin farms that seek to cash in on cryptocurrency trading is causing serious problems in the South Caucuses — trouble for Abkhazia’s de facto government and trouble for Georgia, which supplies much of the power for its rebellious, breakaway region. And past history suggests that trouble for countries in the region is seen as an opportunity by President Vladimir Putin and his aides.

Since 2016, Abkhazia has become one of the top destinations for bitcoin farms. Energy, subsidized by the Georgian state, is incredibly cheap and unregulated. The price of 40 kopeks per kWh of electricity, approximately $0.005, is 1/20th of the U.S. average; making Abkhazia a bitcoin farmers’ Eden. Lack of state control and an outdated metering system mean many do not even pay that amount.

Ukraine's Troops 'Ready' for Russian Assault As Tensions Rise Amid Envoy Arrest


Atop Ukrainian general said his troops are "ready" for any Russian military assault as concern grows over Moscow's build-up of troops on the countries' borders.

His comments come as tensions between the countries are increasing away from the frontline as well, after Russia's FSB security service said it had detained a Ukrainian diplomat for receiving sensitive information from a Russian national.

Russia has massed tens of thousands of troops by Ukraine's eastern border, including deployments of tanks, rocket artillery and air defense systems. Moscow said this is in response to NATO deployments and has suggested the measures are temporary.

However, as part of the biggest Russian military buildup since 2014—when Moscow annexed Crimea—the movements have raised the specter of another incursion into Ukrainian territory.

Major General Viktor Ganushchak, the deputy commander of what Ukraine calls its Joint Forces Operation, has said his troops are prepared for the Kremlin's next move.

The A1 Verse: Blackout at Natanz

By Thomas Gaulkin 

 Every so often, a story published on the front page of the New York Times is so well written, meaningful, and appropriate to the Bulletin’s concerns that small snippets of it, properly chosen and arranged, produce something more than journalism, something that approaches … poetry. That blessed coincidence occurred April 12, 2021.

A power failure called “uncertainty”?

The administration did not say, and declined to confirm or deny the heavily protected anonymity that compromised, increasingly, the word “community”.


Dr. Michael P. Gleason

In the last few years, the United States has taken significant steps forward in establishing a framework for protecting the sustainability of the space domain and in demonstrating U.S. leadership and commitment to preserving the safety, stability, security, and long-term sustainability of space activities. The framework is implicit in the first ever U.S. National Space Traffic Management Policy, Space Policy Directive-3 (SPD-3), which is re-emphasized and promoted in the December 2020 U.S. National Space Policy (NSP). This paper identifies key lines of effort, extrapolated from SPD-3 and reinforced in the 2020 NSP, to guide understanding and assessment of recent efforts, and provides insights into where new and continuing efforts should be focused.

Covid-19 and Climate Change: How to Apply the Lessons of the Pandemic to the Climate Emergency

Tim Lord

It has been 16 months since the first reports of a new respiratory illness emerged from Wuhan. In that time, there have been more than 131 million confirmed cases and more than 2.85 million deaths globally. Economies and societies across the world have experienced the most drastic changes outside of wartime in decades – perhaps even centuries. And the varying responses of different governments, societies and supranational actors have provided real-time evidence of the effectiveness of different responses to pandemic risks.

The threat of a pandemic has long been near the top of national risk registers. Alongside it is the escalating risk posed by the climate emergency.

The challenges posed by coronavirus and climate change are, of course, different in nature. Covid-19 is health-related rather than environmental; Covid-19 is potentially acute and relatively short-term, while climate change is chronic and long-term.

But there are also significant areas of commonality. Both are challenges with local, national and global implications, requiring local, national and global solutions. Both require urgency of action because of the scale and pace of the problem. And both are susceptible to exponential escalation – demonstrated by the similar curves below of coronavirus cases in the UK in Figure 1a, and northern hemisphere temperature changes in Figure 1b.

Number of casesRolling 7 day averageJul '20Aug '20Sep '20Oct '20Nov '20Dec '20Jan '21020k40k60k80kHighcharts.com

End of interactive chart.

The United Kingdom Returns to the Indo-Pacific

The UK’s latest defence review re-commits Westminster to the Indo-Pacific with a “tilt” to the region that is intended to enhance diplomatic and trade relations between London and its Indo-Pacific partners. While a renewed British presence will be welcomed by many, for China and its partners, it is more likely to be seen as an expansion of the informal US-led “anti-China” alliance.Download PDF

The UK’s latest defence review re-commits Westminster to the Indo-Pacific.

Its “tilt” to the region should enhance diplomatic and trade relations between London and its Indo-Pacific partners.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson is eager to demonstrate to the US that post-Brexit Britain is prepared to defend liberal values across the globe and resist authoritarian behaviour.
Countering a rising China is a core reason behind the “tilt”, but it may see the UK sleepwalk into a war over Taiwan while having insufficient resources to dedicate to European security.
A British presence in the Indo-Pacific will likely concern China and could further divide the region ideologically and economically.

The United Kingdom’s new defence review, Global Britain in a Competitive Age: The Integrated Review of Security, Defence, Development and Foreign Policy (the “Integrated Review”), has seen the UK commit itself to Indo-Pacific security. Westminster will look to enhance its strategic and diplomatic relationship with regional countries and deploy military personnel to uphold and promote a rules-based order. The Integrated Review heralds the UK’s return to Indo-Pacific security and will have far-reaching implications for both London and the region.

DNI: Cyber Is The Common Weapon Among Top Adversaries

By John A. Tirpak

China aims to displace the U.S. as the world’s pre-eminent superpower; Russia is “pushing back” against the U.S., sometimes with force; Iran is a “regional menace” and North Korea is a “disruptive player,” and will be for years to come, Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines said in the U.S. intelligence community’s annual assessment of top threats facing the U.S.

Released April 9 amid Chinese saber-rattling against Taiwan and as Russian troops massed on the border with Ukraine, the 31-page unclassified threat assessment calls China the “pacing threat” for the U.S.—militarily, politically, and economically—noting that the other three nations remain active, potent adversaries, particularly in cyber warfare.

President Joe Biden on April 15 announced new sanctions on Russia stemming from the Solar Winds hack and Russia’s interference in the 2020 U.S. election. The sanctions target 32 individuals and organizations, and Biden also expelled 10 Russian diplomats. Biden called the move “proportionate,” saying his intent is not to “kick off a cycle of escalation and conflict with Russia.” The Solar Winds attack gave cyber criminals access to more than 18,000 computer networks, both government and private. Biden said Russia needs to be held to account for attempting to “undermine the conduct of free and fair democratic elections” in the U.S. and other Western nations.

Moscow said it would come up with “a decisive response.”

US military to blend electronic warfare with cyber capabilities

Mark Pomerleau

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Navy plans to blur the lines between traditional electronic warfare and cyber operations as it prepares to receive its new airborne electronic jammer, according to a top service official.

Cyberspace and the electromagnetic spectrum are inextricably linked, which sometimes leads to arguments over why cyberspace is considered a domain of warfare, yet the electromagnetic spectrum is not.

“Now with the ability to do phased array, advanced jamming techniques, we really start to blur the lines, I think, between what we would consider traditional jamming with cyberwarfare,” Rear Adm. John Meier, commander of Naval Air Force Atlantic, said April 13 during remarks at a virtual event hosted by the Association of Old Crows. “I think that the capabilities inherent in the jamming pod are going to open up a wide, wide array of not only jamming techniques, ranges, effective radiated power, but also taking us into other areas that we’ve never really had the ability to do before.”

Meier was talking about the Next Generation Jammer, the Navy’s — and by extension, the joint force’s — premier aerial electronic attack platform to be mounted on EA-18G Growlers aircraft. It is broken into three pods covering three portions of the electromagnetic spectrum: mid, low and high.

Hybrid CoE Trend Report 6: The future of cyberspace and hybrid threats

Cyber is one of the domains in which hybrid threats occur, and cyberspace is an enabler of both cyber operations and cyber-enabled information operations. In this Hybrid CoE Trend Report, three current trends of hybrid threats in the cyber domain are identified: an increase in the disruptive use of artificial intelligence; the expansion of the role of cyber during times of crisis; and growth in dependencies between policy and technology. These trends are examined from the point of view of relevant technological developments and the possibilities for cascading effects.

Humans and societies in the age of artificial intelligence

Artificial Intelligence (AI) will radically change our lives and transform our societies. This shift, which has already started, will most probably be the deepest and the fastest humanity has ever experienced. While most of the ongoing discussions on AI limit themselves to the short and medium-term effects, this short and comprehensive report tries to go beyond the most immediate challenges and to explore also some of the longer-term impacts that AI may have on humans and societies. It summarizes the key issues in 10 takeaways and suggests a list of possible actions to be taken by policymakers.

Communication, Military and Medical Technologies: Assets to Protect Against the Designs of Violent Extremists

By Abdelhak Bassou

Despite the archaic dogmas and obscurantist thinking underlying it, violent extremism has shown a great appetite for modernity, especially for technology when it serves its purposes. Extremists stigmatise modern society, but make use of its technological discoveries without reservation. Whether in the military or communications field, terrorists do not hesitate to use technology to support their ominous designs:

Communication technology is used by extremists for the purposes of propaganda, recruitment, online training of their recruits, and coordination of their operations;

It also allows extremists to increase their visibility and, when they wish, to benefit from anonymity and to communicate clandestinely, and to thwart the investigations of security services;

Technological advances in military matters allow them to overcome the weaknesses of their military means and to better adapt to asymmetry.

State and regular security forces are characterised by their domination and supremacy in the classical fields of warfare (land space, air space and electronic warfare), insurgent movements, including violent extremism, invest more in human space, which is more vulnerable to psychological action and where cyber-technology plays an important role (see Jacques Baud, ‘’La Guerre asymétrique ou la Défaite du vainqueur’’ [Asymmetric Warfare and the Defeat of the Winner] 2003). For this reason, violent extremists seek to master communication technologies. However, this interest in communication techniques to address the populations does not prevent violent extremist groups from trying to control other technologies.

Army Software Factory experiments with a new culture to unleash coders in its ranks

Andrew Eversden

WASHINGTON — U.S. Army Spc. Jeremy Boyle started creating software when he was 10 years old. Curious how websites were made, Boyle taught himself how to code using online video how-tos.

“I was just always that person that would be looking at tutorials online, trying to figure out how to do it,” Boyle told C4ISRNET. “It just helped me build my way. That went from websites to creating mobile applications to creating Android software — a whole range of variety of things before I went into the Army.”

The medic is learning platform engineering skills as one of the inaugural cohort of about 25 soldiers at the Army Software Factory in downtown Austin, Texas. Boyle is one of many soldiers with software development skills the service theorizes it has within its ranks who could help with its software coding talent shortage.

The Army — and the U.S. military at large — have a ripe need to train software creators to use the DevSecOps development process to roll out digital tools more quickly, improve them and build on them after an initial release. The Army factory, funded through a portion of $26 million allotted for cloud modernization in fiscal 2021, joins similar efforts by the Air Force, which has established more than 10 software factories across the country to prepare for the digital age.

The French armed forces are planning for high-intensity war

In the forests and plains of the Champagne-Ardenne region, where once the great powers went into battle, the French armed forces are beginning to prepare for the return of a major conflict. Planned for 2023, Exercise Orion is a full-scale divisional exercise that will last several days, based probably out of camps at Suippes, Mailly and Mourmelon. It will involve the full range of French military capacity on a scale not tested for decades. The drill will include command-post exercises, hybrid scenarios, simulation and live-fire drills. Around 10,000 soldiers could take part, as well as the air force and, in a separate maritime sequence, the navy. Belgian, British and American forces may join in.

There are other signs that the French armed forces are in the midst of a generational transformation. In January the general staff quietly established ten working groups to examine the country’s readiness for high-intensity war. French generals reckon that they have a decade or so to prepare for it. The groups cover everything from munition shortages to the resilience of society, including whether citizens are “ready to accept the level of casualties we have never seen since world war two”, says one participant. The spectre of high-end war is now so widespread in French military thinking that the scenario has its own acronym: hem, or hypothèse d'engagement majeur (hypothesis of major engagement). The presumed opponents are unnamed, but analysts point not only to Russia, but also Turkey or a North African country.