20 May 2021

China’s Cyber-Influence Operations

Maj Gen PK Mallick, VSM (Retd)
China’s Cyber-Influence Operations
The digital era has transformed the way we communicate. Using social media like Facebook and Instagram, and social applications such as WhatsApp and Telegram, one can be in contact with friends and family, share pictures, videos, messages, posts and share our experiences. Social media has become an effective way of influencing human society and behavior, and shaping public opinion. By sharing a post, tweeting an idea, contributing a discussion in a forum and sharing a sentimental picture, we can influence others and sometimes convince into with our opinion.

Use of cyber tools and methods to manipulate public opinion is called ‘Cyber Influence Operation’. In the present day, many countries use cyberspace, especially the social media, to accomplish Cyber Influence Operations as a part of Information Warfare. Most of these operations are done covertly. It is difficult to differentiate between legitimate or malicious influence operations. Continue Reading..... 

Why is China making a permanent enemy of India?

Brahma Chellaney

Brahma Chellaney is a geostrategist and author of nine books, including "Asian Juggernaut: The Rise of China, India and Japan."

When India, currently fighting a devastating second COVID wave, was similarly distracted a year ago with enforcing the world's strictest coronavirus lockdown, China took advantage to stealthily infiltrate key border areas in India's high-altitude Ladakh region.

As thawing ice reopened access routes after the brutal Himalayan winter, a shocked India discovered that the People's Liberation Army had occupied hundreds of sq. kilometers of the borderlands, fortified by heavily armed bases. The discovery triggered the first deadly clashes in the region since 1975.

The intruding PLA forces remain well dug in, with Beijing in no mood to roll back its encroachments or accept further buffer zones of the kind established in two other confrontation areas to avert further armed clashes.

With tens of thousands of Chinese and Indian troops facing each other in multiple areas, the standoffs constitute the longest period of military confrontation since China imposed itself as India's neighbor in the early 1950s by occupying then-autonomous Tibet. Even China's 1962 military attack on India -- the only foreign war that communist-ruled China has won -- only lasted 32 days.

Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan: Is China in its Crosshairs?

By: Sudha Ramachandran

On April 21, a car packed with explosives detonated in the parking lot of the Serena Hotel in Quetta, the capital of Pakistan’s restive Baluchistan province. Five people were killed and another twelve were injured in the attack (Dawn, April 21). Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) claimed responsibility for the deadly explosion (The News, April 23). An umbrella grouping of Pashtun militias that operate in the Pakistan-Afghanistan border areas, the TTP wreaked havoc in Pakistan between 2007 and 2014. It carried out countless attacks on military installations, convoys, police stations, schools, and places of worship for minority religious sects. The violence it unleashed claimed the lives of over 80,000 soldiers and civilians in this period (Terrorism Monitor, March 26). However, the TTP’s capacity began to weaken in 2014, relegating it to “near-irrelevance” in subsequent years (TRT World, August 21, 2020). It is in this context that the TTP’s attack at the Serena Hotel is significant as it indicates that the grouping is ascending again. The TTP could also increasingly target Chinese projects and nationals in Pakistan.

The TTP’s Rise and Fall

The TTP was established in December 2007 in response to the Pakistani military’s crackdown on militant clerics holed up in Islamabad’s Lal Masjid. Its main objective is to topple the Pakistani state and establish Islamic law in the country. Within a year of its formation, the TTP was in control of much of the seven Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) and wielded influence over a large expanse of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province. After taking control over much of Swat, it advanced to Buner and seemed within striking distance of Islamabad (Dawn, July 13, 2017).

China, the victim? From behind the Great Wall is a government under siege by foreign threats

By: Mike Yeo

MELBOURNE, Australia, and BEIJING — Activity by U.S. military ships and surveillance planes directed toward China has increased significantly under the Biden administration, a spokesperson for the Chinese Defense Ministry said April 29.

As an example, Wu Qian said the U.S. Navy’s Arleigh Burke-class destroyer Mustin recently conducted close-in observation of the Chinese aircraft carrier Liaoning and its battle group.

That had “seriously interfered with the Chinese side’s training activities and seriously threatened the safety of navigation and personnel on both sides,” Wu said. The ship had been warned to leave and a formal protest filed with the U.S., he added.

Compared to the same period last year, activity by U.S. military ships was up 20 percent and by planes 40 percent in areas China claims as its territory since President Joe Biden took office in January, Wu said. At the same time, China is continuing to modernize its military across all domains amid what it considers diverse and complex security threats and challenges from foreign actors.

China routinely objects to the U.S. military presence in the South China Sea, which it claims virtually in its entirety, as well as the passage of Navy ships through the Taiwan Strait.

Pentagon Backs Off Xiaomi Blacklisting After Legal Challeng

By Dan Strumpf

HONG KONG—The U.S. Defense Department agreed to remove Xiaomi Corp. from a blacklist banning U.S. investment in the Chinese tech giant, opting against further defending a Trump administration action that alleged ties between the smartphone maker and the Chinese military.

The retreat comes two months after Xiaomi won a key victory in a federal lawsuit challenging the listing, in which a Washington, D.C., judge criticized the Pentagon’s rationale for the move and ordered a temporary halt against its enforcement.

In a one-page legal filing on Tuesday, lawyers for both Xiaomi and the Pentagon said the company’s removal from the blacklist was appropriate following the judge’s order. Shares of Xiaomi ended 6.1% higher in Hong Kong following the announcement.

In agreeing to delist Xiaomi, the Pentagon signaled a willingness to walk away from a sustained fight over one of the Trump administration’s final actions against a major Chinese tech company. Xiaomi joins a small but growing list of Chinese tech companies including the owners of Chinese social-media apps TikTok and WeChat that have successfully won courtroom reprieves against Trump-era actions.

In an emailed statement, a spokeswoman for the National Security Council said: “U.S. courts found that the Trump administration failed to develop a legally sufficient basis for imposing restrictions on the company and compelled this action. The Biden administration is deeply concerned about potential U.S. investments in companies linked to the Chinese military and is fully committed to keeping up pressure on such companies.”

When and Why China Might—or Might Not—Attack Taiwan


Security tensions are brewing in East Asia. China has on several recent occasions sent military aircraft to fly around Taiwan, including into its air defense identification zone, complete with taunts from the Chinese pilots. Officials and analysts worry that an attack on the self-governing island could be in the offing. But when? Sometime between tomorrow and mid-century. Or never. No one knows, and that’s because no one really knows what drives China’s decision-making.

Some commentators have advanced what might be called structural theories about when and why China could attempt to invade Taiwan. General Secretary Xi Jinping has proclaimed the goal of achieving the “great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation” by the centennial anniversary of the founding the People’s Republic of China in 2049 (often shorthanded as “mid-century”). Rejuvenation and unification are inextricable in the eyes of the CCP. Xi asserted in January 2019 that the “Taiwan question…will definitely end with China’s rejuvenation.” Others expect it sooner: by 2035, when state-run media say the People’s Liberation Army, will “basically” be modernized enough to fight and win a regional war against another advanced military. The implication being that China will invade once it concludes the PLA can win.

Alternative structural assessments see a more imminent peril. They argue the world, especially the United States, is entering a dangerous decade in relations with China generally and with regard to Taiwan specifically, where Beijing’s relative power is reaching an apex compared to would-be geopolitical competitors. Those theories posit that Chinese leaders might conclude they must attempt to forcibly annex Taiwan while they are at their strongest or risk it falling out of their grasp forever. Others acknowledge China faces future challenges but note that even slowing economic growth rates would arrive on top of a massive base, so Beijing’s power, at least relative to Taiwan, will likely continue to accrue.

The Two Sides of Chinese GDP


CHICAGO – Economic reporting about China focuses far too much on total GDP and not enough on per capita GDP, which is the more revealing indicator. And this skewed coverage has important implications, because the two indicators paint significantly different pictures of China’s current economic and political situation. They also focus our attention on different issues.

The prevailing consensus among Israelis that Palestinian nationalism had been defeated – and thus that a political solution to the conflict was no longer necessary – lies in tatters. And even as the violence escalates, it has become clear to both sides that the era of glorious wars and victories is over.

A quick search through all English-language news outlets in the ProQuest database for the ten-year period from 2011-21 shows that 20,915 articles discussed China’s GDP, whereas only 1,163 mentioned its GDP per capita. The difference was proportionally even larger among the eight largest and most elite papers, including the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and Washington Post, where 5,963 articles referred to Chinese GDP and only 305 discussed the per capita measure.

In 2019, China’s GDP (measured at market exchange rates) of $14 trillion was the world’s second largest, after that of the United States ($21 trillion), with Japan ($5 trillion) in third place. Aggregate GDP reflects the total resources – including the tax base – available to a government. This is helpful for thinking about the size of China’s public investments, such as in its space program or military capacity. But it has much less bearing on Chinese people’s everyday lives.

China Is Building Entire Villages in Another Country’s Territory

By Robert Barnett

In October 2015, China announced that a new village, called Gyalaphug in Tibetan or Jieluobu in Chinese, had been established in the south of the Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR). In April 2020, the Communist Party secretary of the TAR, Wu Yingjie, traveled across two passes, both more than 14,000 feet high, on his way to visit the new village. There he told the residents—all of them Tibetans—to “put down roots like Kalsang flowers in the borderland of snows” and to “raise the bright five-star red flag high.” Film of the visit was broadcast on local TV channels and plastered on the front pages of Tibetan newspapers. It was not reported outside China: Hundreds of new villages are being built in Tibet, and this one seemed no different.

Gyalaphug is, however, different: It is in Bhutan. Wu and a retinue of officials, police, and journalists had crossed an international border. They were in a 232-square-mile area claimed by China since the early 1980s but internationally understood as part of Lhuntse district in northern Bhutan. The Chinese officials were visiting to celebrate their success, unnoticed by the world, in planting settlers, security personnel, and military infrastructure within territory internationally and historically understood to be Bhutanese.

About this project: Research for this story and its maps is by Robert Barnett, Matthew Akester, Ronald Schwartz, and two Tibetan researchers who asked to remain anonymous. Produced as part of an ongoing collaborative research project into policy developments on Tibet, using material drawn from official Chinese media reports, Chinese blogs, Bhutanese National Assembly reports, Indian media reports, and open-source mapping services including OpenStreetMap and Map With AI. Note: Links in this story are mainly to Chinese- or Tibetan-language media reports. Place names are given according to usage in Bhutan, where known, or are taken from Tibetan translations of Chinese reports, which may be unreliable. Chinese names are given in parentheses in the photo captions.

The origin of COVID: Did people or nature open Pandora’s box at Wuhan?

By Nicholas Wade 

The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted lives the world over for more than a year. Its death toll will soon reach three million people. Yet the origin of pandemic remains uncertain: The political agendas of governments and scientists have generated thick clouds of obfuscation, which the mainstream press seems helpless to dispel.

In what follows I will sort through the available scientific facts, which hold many clues as to what happened, and provide readers with the evidence to make their own judgments. I will then try to assess the complex issue of blame, which starts with, but extends far beyond, the government of China.

By the end of this article, you may have learned a lot about the molecular biology of viruses. I will try to keep this process as painless as possible. But the science cannot be avoided because for now, and probably for a long time hence, it offers the only sure thread through the maze.

The virus that caused the pandemic is known officially as SARS-CoV-2, but can be called SARS2 for short. As many people know, there are two main theories about its origin. One is that it jumped naturally from wildlife to people. The other is that the virus was under study in a lab, from which it escaped. It matters a great deal which is the case if we hope to prevent a second such occurrence.

Military Review, May-June 2021, v. 101, no. 3

Preparing for the Future: Marine Corps Support to Joint Operations in Contested Littorals

Military Diversity: A Key American Strategic Asset

The Army in the Indo-Pacific: Relevant but Not a Tripwire

The Strategic Significance of the Chinese Fishing Fleet

Preparing Theater Ammunition Supply Points for Large-Scale Combat Operations

Fire Support in Time and Space: Lessons from the Ivy Division’s Joint

Air-Ground Integration Center

The COVID-19 Lockdown as a Window of Opportunity to Degrade

Transnational Organized Crime Groups in Colombia

Artificial Intelligence and Multi-Domain Operations: A Whole-of-Nation

Approach Key to Success

A New Foreign Area Officer Paradigm: Meta-Leadership and Security Cooperation

The U.S. Military Academy and the Africa Military Education Program

Learning “The Dreadful Trade of Death”: Training the U.S. Army at  Legionville, 1792-1793

Understanding Assessments and their Relevance to the Future Success of
the U.S. Army

Britain’s War: A New World, 1942-1947

Why National Cyber Defense Is a ‘Wicked’ Problem


The ransomware attack on Colonial Pipeline on May 7, 2021, exemplifies the huge challenges the U.S. faces in shoring up its cyber defenses. The private company, which controls a significant component of the U.S. energy infrastructure and supplies nearly half of the East Coast’s liquid fuels, was vulnerable to an all-too-common type of cyber attack. The FBI has attributed the attack to a Russian cybercrime gang. It would be difficult for the government to mandate better security at private companies, and the government is unable to provide that security for the private sector.

Similarly, the SolarWinds hack, one of the most devastating cyber attacks in history, which came to light in December 2020, exposed vulnerabilities in global software supply chains that affect government and private sector computer systems. It was a major breach of national security that revealed gaps in U.S. cyber defenses.

These gaps include inadequate security by a major software producer, fragmented authority for government support to the private sector, blurred lines between organized crime and international espionage, and a national shortfall in software and cybersecurity skills. None of these gaps is easily bridged, but the scope and impact of the SolarWinds attack show how critical controlling these gaps is to U.S. national security.

Instead of Waiving Vaccine Patents, Build the Global South’s Capacity

Howard W. French 

When the Biden administration made its surprise announcement last week that it would seek to waive American patent protections on coronavirus vaccines, many were quick to cheer this as evidence that the president’s much-beloved slogan about global leadership, “America’s back,” was already becoming something more than mere rhetoric.

Here was Washington appearing to put self-interest aside for the benefit of global public health, and in doing so, it would not only be taking on the American pharmaceutical giants that had pioneered the most important vaccine technologies in the first phase of this crisis, but also those of America’s European allies, some of which—particularly Germany—are more reluctant to relinquish lucrative patent rights of their own. ...

Will Corporate Greed Prolong the Pandemic?


NEW YORK – The only way to end the COVID-19 pandemic is to immunize enough people worldwide. The slogan “no one is safe until we are all safe” captures the epidemiological reality we face. Outbreaks anywhere could spawn a SARS-CoV-2 variant that is resistant to vaccines, forcing us all back into some form of lockdown. Given the emergence of worrisome new mutations in India, Brazil, South Africa, the United Kingdom, and elsewhere, this is no mere theoretical threat.

The prevailing consensus among Israelis that Palestinian nationalism had been defeated – and thus that a political solution to the conflict was no longer necessary – lies in tatters. And even as the violence escalates, it has become clear to both sides that the era of glorious wars and victories is over.

Worse, vaccine production is currently nowhere close to delivering the 10-15 billion doses needed to stop the spread of the virus. By the end of April, only 1.2 billion doses had been produced worldwide. At this rate, hundreds of millions of people in developing countries will remain unimmunized at least until 2023.

It is thus big news that US President Joe Biden’s administration has announced it will join the 100 other countries seeking a COVID-19 emergency waiver of the World Trade Organization intellectual-property (IP) rules that have been enabling vaccine monopolization. Timely negotiations of a WTO agreement temporarily removing these barriers would create the legal certainty governments and manufacturers around the world need to scale up production of vaccines, treatments, and diagnostics.

Larry Kudlow: Cyber hacking of the Colonial Pipeline and 'Hamas shooting war on Israel' are linked

‘'Kudlow" host Larry Kudlow Tuesday theorized that the "cyber hacking in the U.S. southeast is absolutely linked to the Hamas shooting war on Israel," noting that President Biden is being tested, and "just kinda taking the punches."

LARRY KUDLOW: We’ve had a shooting war in the Middle East, we’ve had a breakdown on the Colonial Pipeline from Russia’s cyber hacking, we’ve had more evidence that overly-generous unemployment benefits are keeping people at home rather than work. We’ve got a big stock market sell-off, and another $350 Biden dole to state and local government unions, and you can’t cut taxes. So, let me just step back for one moment, and review the bidding.

I’m going to say this: I believe the cyber hacking in the U.S. Southeast is absolutely linked to the Hamas shooting war on Israel. I see it all of one piece, and President Biden is being tested. And so far, he has not shown any strength.

Look, these ransomware cyber hackers are in fact, Russian cyber hackers. As Gen. Keane said earlier today, they may be moonlighting, but make no mistake, they are Russian cyber hackers, and this is their boldest strike yet. And if we don’t do something about it fast, much more is coming. That’s point number one.

U.S. and Russia Are on a Collision Course in the Black Sea

James Stavridis

James Stavridis is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist. He is a retired U.S. Navy admiral and former supreme allied commander of NATO, and dean emeritus of the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University. He is also an operating executive consultant at the Carlyle Group and chairs the board of counselors at McLarty Associates. His latest book is "2034: A Novel of the Next World War."

Ukrainians breathed a collective sigh of relief last month when Russian President Vladimir Putin said he would withdraw the majority of more than 100,000 troops that had been shifted to the Russian-Ukrainian border. So did the U.S., NATO and the rest of Europe.

But nobody should be breathing easy: Putin isn’t one to stay on the retreat. So, where should we expect his next provocation? Very likely, the waters of the Black Sea.

Russia invaded Ukraine in 2014 and carved off the strategically vital peninsula of Crimea, the largest land grab from a sovereign state in this century. Since then, he has supplied money, training, arms and military advisers to separatist forces in the Donbas region of southeast Ukraine.

U.S. and Russia Are on a Collision Course in the Black Sea

James Stavridis

James Stavridis is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist. He is a retired U.S. Navy admiral and former supreme allied commander of NATO, and dean emeritus of the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University. He is also an operating executive consultant at the Carlyle Group and chairs the board of counselors at McLarty Associates. His latest book is "2034: A Novel of the Next World War.

Ukrainians breathed a collective sigh of relief last month when Russian President Vladimir Putin said he would withdraw the majority of more than 100,000 troops that had been shifted to the Russian-Ukrainian border. So did the U.S., NATO and the rest of Europe.

But nobody should be breathing easy: Putin isn’t one to stay on the retreat. So, where should we expect his next provocation? Very likely, the waters of the Black Sea.

Russia invaded Ukraine in 2014 and carved off the strategically vital peninsula of Crimea, the largest land grab from a sovereign state in this century. Since then, he has supplied money, training, arms and military advisers to separatist forces in the Donbas region of southeast Ukraine.

Why Vaccine Confidence Matters to National Security

The CSIS-LSHTM High-Level Panel on Vaccine Confidence and Misinformation was convened jointly by the CSIS Global Health Policy Center and the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine’s Vaccine Confidence Project™ with the goal of assessing the implications of misinformation and vaccine confidence for U.S. national security within the Covid-19 context. This consensus document is the culmination of a year’s worth of consultations with a bipartisan and international group of 25 experts from public health, cybersecurity, public opinion research, and communications. The experts focused on two key questions: In what ways do vaccine hesitancy and misinformation impact national security? And what are the concrete, feasible steps that the U.S. government, Congress, social media, industry, advocates, and community leaders should stand behind to improve Americans’ health and security?

The panel argues that vaccine confidence is essential to mitigating the Covid-19 pandemic and ensuring national security, and recommends bolstering confidence-building efforts in five critical areas:

Innovations in reaching diverse and underserved populations with vaccines delivered in the context of health and social services;

Pledges and actions by mainstream and digital media platforms to stop the spread of misinformation and to collaborate with health providers and the scientific community to increase the availability of accurate content;

Foreign Policy Shouldn't Be a Rubik's Cube

By Daniel DePetris

U.S. President Joe Biden’s recent joint address highlighted the administration’s early focus on domestic priorities, the most prominent being the rapid acceleration of Covid-19 vaccinations and the recovery of the U.S. economy. However, the world hasn’t stopped moving.

Although the White House continues to declare that “America is back,” broad promises of U.S. leadership in the world won’t meet the moment. What the United States needs is a difficult but honest, long-overdue examination of its foreign policy. This means recognizing, first and foremost, when certain policies are counterproductive.

U.S. foreign policy as it exists today is convoluted and contradictory. Frankly, the United States is often its own worst enemy.

It is U.S. policy, for instance, to promote burden-sharing among its NATO allies in Europe. While the term is frequently associated with higher defense budgets —something the Trump administration considered a top objective—burden-sharing also involves incentivizing NATO’s European members to build the military capabilities, intelligence systems, and logistical networks required to take on greater responsibility for the continent’s defense. Yet the U.S. decision to increase its troop presence in Germany, even if the increase was marginal, will have the effect of negating the very burden-sharing goal Washington purportedly seeks to promote. If the Biden administration is genuinely interested in getting a wealthy Europe to do more for itself, adding U.S. forces on top of an already bloated U.S. military presence on the continent is a strange way to do it.

The Future of Fracking

Willa Glickman

“I do rule out banning fracking, because we need other industries to transition to get to ultimately a complete zero-emissions,” said Joe Biden in the presidential debate on October 22, 2020, referring to the main extraction method of the US natural gas industry, hydraulic fracturing. Climate change generally was a surprise hot topic of the debates, as Donald Trump sought to use the Democrat’s position on cutting fossil-fuel use as a wedge issue against him, but fracking was a particularly contentious point since both nominees knew that Pennsylvania—the nation’s second-largest producer of natural gas—was a crucial swing state in the election (Biden eventually carried it by just over a percentage point).

Biden seemed to want it both ways: he spoke of moving toward a fully renewable economy, but wouldn’t put the kibosh on oil and gas. “We’re not getting rid of fossil fuels,” Biden clarified to reporters after the debate. “We’re getting rid of the subsidies for fossil fuels, but we’re not getting rid of fossil fuels for a long time.”

A common argument in favor of fracking among those who acknowledge the perils of climate change—and a popular industry talking point—is that the abundant natural gas fracking produces will serve as a “bridge fuel,” a lower-emissions alternative to coal that will tide us over while renewable technologies continue to develop and drop in price. The industry’s clean energy credentials are dubious, and the process of fracking itself raises a host of health and pollution concerns, but the shift toward natural gas is already well underway. Natural gas surpassed coal as the primary source of US electricity generation for the first time ever in 2016, and increased its share to 39 percent last year, while coal, renewables, and nuclear were each responsible for around 20 percent.

Russian UAV Technology and Loitering Munition

By Roger McDermott

During the ongoing modernization of Russia’s Armed Forces, increasing attention has turned to developing and exploiting unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) and unmanned combat aerial vehicles (UCAV). In Russian military exercises and over battlefield in Ukraine and Syria, the overwhelming use of UAVs has focused on reconnaissance to enable improved target acquisition. Nevertheless, efforts are now underway to produce heavy-strike UAVs and UCAVs. One such heavy-strike-capable UCAV is the experimental S-70 Okhotnik (Hunter). And earlier, during the 2019 International Defense Exhibition and Conference (IDEX), in Abu Dhabi, the Kalashnikov Concern (part of Rostec) presented a model of an improved high-precision-attack Kub UAV, designed by the Izhevsk-based Zala Aero (see EDM, February 20, 2019 and November 13, 2020).

This past April, Russia’s Ministry of Defense released video footage from Syria of the country’s Special Operations Forces using a Lantset (Lancet) loitering drone to conduct strikes against moving and stationary ground targets (Rossiyskaya Gazeta, April 17). While the Lantset illustrates the growing diversity of Russian UAV technologies and interest in fielding unmanned platforms for strike operations, Moscow-based military specialists note the limits of such systems.

The Lantset UAV acts as a loitering munition (barrazhiruyushchiy boyepripas), sometimes referred to as a “kamikaze drone.” The first of these systems appeared in Russia’s military inventory in 2019. Kalashnikov Concern announced that the Lantset strike UAV had completed tests in July 2019. Its novelty for the Russian Armed Forces lay in the UAV carrying out both reconnaissance and strike missions similar to a high-precision missile. Such UAVs have an integrated warhead, are capable of long flights, and can loiter for lengthy periods over the battlefield while fixing and locating the target before destroying it. Similar drones are produced internationally and notably featured in Azerbaijan’s military operations in Karabakh in 2020 (Nezavisimoye Voyennoye Obozreniye, October 9, 2020).

Russia Is Using Drones To Help Its Big 'Guns' Attack the Enemy

by Peter Suciu

The purpose of the Russian-built Orlan-10E reconnaissance drone is to aid in the targeting of the Msta-S howitzer, but earlier this week the unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) took to the skies not just to help artillery crews in their aiming but actually to be seen by potential foreign buyers.

Uralvagonzavod, which is part of the high-tech state conglomerate Rostec, conducted a demonstration of a Msta-S, upgraded for the NATO 155mm shell, as it was linked and integrated with the UAV at the Staratel proving ground in Nizhny Tagil in the Urals.

"The combat capabilities of a 155mm 2S19M1-155 upgraded self-propelled howitzer operating as part of an artillery system were demonstrated to a foreign customer," the press office of the Rostec Armament Cluster told Tass, but didn't specify the customer.

"The gun fired to a maximum range of 40 km with automatic gun-laying," the press office added. "Besides, the Msta-S demonstrated an excellent result of its inter-operability with a command vehicle and an Orlan-10E drone."

As part of the joint operation between the drone and the gun, the Orlan-10E transmitted coordinates to the command vehicle, which then calculated data to fire and sent the coordinates to the self-propelled howitzer's crew, the press office further specified.

Old-Time Radio: Pentagon’s Electronic-Warfare Gear Is Dated, Experts Say


The U.S. military is spending too little on new electronic warfare gear, putting it behind China and Russia in the race to jam radios, spoof radars, and hide their own emissions, experts and lawmakers said Tuesday.

A decade of past development is bringing new tools online, but too little of the approximately $10 billion per year allocated for electromagnetic warfare is being spent on what comes next, while too much is being spent to maintain even older gear, said Bryan Clark, a senior fellow and director of the Center for Defense Concepts and Technology at the Hudson Institute.

Speaking online during a Hudson Institute event, Clark said the U.S. military “needs to move away from” having “a small number of relatively large systems that are mostly devoted to protecting legacy platforms, so systems for the protection of aircraft that have self-protection jammers or...ships that have counter missile systems that use electromagnetic warfare.”

Timothy Walton, a Hudson colleague of Clark’s and co-author of a new report on EW, said that Chinese electromagnetic warfare tactics have evolved in recent years.

What It Will Take to Overcome the Pandemic


GENEVA – As special envoys on COVID-19 for the director-general of the World Health Organization, we have witnessed firsthand the intensity of the suffering caused by the pandemic, especially in poorer communities. This profound tragedy has been evolving before our eyes and still is nowhere near its end.

The prevailing consensus among Israelis that Palestinian nationalism had been defeated – and thus that a political solution to the conflict was no longer necessary – lies in tatters. And even as the violence escalates, it has become clear to both sides that the era of glorious wars and victories is over.

In our experience, the first priority in responding to an infectious disease is to save lives and protect the health and well-being of current and future generations. At the same time, we are increasingly concerned by the tremendous social and economic damage that COVID-19 has wrought. With people everywhere struggling to preserve their livelihoods under the constant threat of the coronavirus, it has become clear that this pandemic is more than a health emergency. It has become a global whole-of-society crisis.

In this context, one of our greatest fears is that after decades of improvement, future generations’ prospects have suddenly plummeted. Some regions are experiencing a reversal of gains achieved in the past 20 years. Achievements such as higher employment, expanded essential services, and better education (particularly for girls) are at risk. So are improvements in infrastructure, water and sanitation, disease control, political stability, and governance institutions.

Democracy in the Digital Age


MOSCOW – For decades, the United States – and the West more broadly – stood as a shining example of liberal-democratic prosperity that much of the rest of the world sought to emulate. But the cracks in Western political systems have lately begun to show, with Donald Trump’s presidency – which ended with the storming of the US Capitol on January 6 by a mob of his supporters – both highlighting and widening them.

The prevailing consensus among Israelis that Palestinian nationalism had been defeated – and thus that a political solution to the conflict was no longer necessary – lies in tatters. And even as the violence escalates, it has become clear to both sides that the era of glorious wars and victories is over.

The West’s decline is not inevitable. But, to safeguard their democracies and restore their global standing, Western countries must demonstrate that they possess both the awareness and political will to tackle their weaknesses head-on.

Leaders should begin by addressing some immediate and urgent challenges – beginning with lack of trust in institutions, particularly those related to governance and elections. The “Stop the Steal” campaign that took root after Trump’s electoral loss last November, and fueled the Capitol insurrection, was based on no evidence. But, aided by social media, it spread rapidly among his supporters, where it found fertile ground and remains entrenched.

NSA Calls For Review Of Op Tech Security


WASHINGTON: The NSA is spotlighting the importance of conducting risk-based security reviews of operational technologies (OT) across critical infrastructure, including defense.

“A significant shift in how [OT] are viewed, evaluated, and secured within the US is needed to prevent malicious cyber actors from executing successful, and potentially damaging, cyber effects,” the guidance says.

OT include hardware and software that enable infrastructure physical components to function, such as circuit breakers, motors, and valves. OT are prevalent throughout critical infrastructure environments, from power grids and telecommunications networks to manufacturing plants, transportation systems, and energy pipelines.

Cyberattacks against critical infrastructure usually entail targeting industrial control systems (ICS), which monitor, regulate, and automate OT. Supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) systems and distributed control systems are well-known types of ICS. Compromised ICS/OT can allow attackers, in some cases, to cause physical damage to systems and even widespread outages.