28 June 2021

The PLA’s Developing Cyber Warfare Capabilities and India's Options

 Maj Gen P K Mallick, VSM (Retd)

Chinese President Xi Jinping has made it clear that his objective for China is to emerge as a ‘cyber superpower’. China wants to be the world’s largest nation in cyberspace and also one of the most powerful. The information technology revolution has produced both momentous opportunities and likely vulnerabilities for china. China is home of largest number of ‘netizens’ in the world. It also hosts some of the world’s most vibrant and successful technology companies. It also remains a major victim of cyber crime. 

Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) believes that with the rise of the Information Age future wars will be contests in the ability to exploit information. Wars will be decided by the side who is more capable to generate, gather, transmit, analyse and exploit information.

China’s Cyber-Influence Operations

Maj Gen PK Mallick, VSM (Retd)

… With its growing assertiveness in the international arena, China uses new technologies to achieve its foreign policy goals and project an image of responsible global power … spending billions on influence operations across the world ... fits in with China’s larger aim of expanding its soft power alongside its growing economic and military power … reach of Beijing’s overseas media is impressive and should not be underestimated. But the results are mixed ...

As China-India Border Construction Heats up, So Do Confrontations

Riya Singh Rathore

Recent China-India clashes follow a trend: The surest way to forecast flashpoints is by keeping an eye on infrastructure developments along the border.

The pattern of border industrialization and infrastructure development serving as flashpoints is best evidenced by the fact that the last two major clashes, the Doklam standoff and the Galwan valley clashes, also resulted from infrastructure disputes.

The 2017 Doklam dispute was catalyzed by Chinese attempts to build a road within Bhuta’s Doklam region. Indian troops reached the scene to assist their Bhutanese allies and protect the strategically important Siliguri Corridor (the corridor that connects mainland India to its northeastern states), which is only 80 kilometers from Doklam ridge. Similarly, the 2020 Galwan Valley clashes occurred over India’s construction of a road bridge in the valley that connected the important Shyok-Daulat Beg Oldi road to Durbuk in Ladakh. Although the bridge lies firmly within Indian territory, it is only 7 kilometers from the Line of Actual Control (LAC), which provoked the Chinese.

Russia and India Still Have a Lot to Offer Each Other

Aryaman Bhatnagar

In late April, India and Russia announced the establishment of a “2+2” dialogue between each side’s ministers of defense and foreign affairs. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted at the time that this will “add further momentum to our strategic partnership.” Until recently, India had adopted this format only with Australia, Japan and the United States—the other members of the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue, better known as the Quad—while Russia has an equivalent arrangement with only a few select countries.

The announcement comes at a time when geopolitical trends, as well as consequent foreign policy adjustments in both Moscow and New Delhi, have pulled the two powers in opposite directions, raising concerns about the future of their bilateral ties. A more comprehensive dialogue mechanism like the 2+2 could stabilize relations and help prevent further ruptures. ...

Catastrophe stalks Afghanistan as the US and its allies dash for the exit

Simon Tisdall

Military retreats from Afghanistan are problematic, as the British (1842) and the Red Army (1989) discovered to their cost. The cliffs of the Khyber Pass feature many memorials and plaques to departing or defeated foreign forces.

This year’s Afghan withdrawal is less fraught — the US is not yet retreating under fire — but the march to the exit has nonetheless turned into an undignified sprint.

Most Americans will welcome this accelerated end to an unpopular war, yet it spells catastrophe for Afghans who pinned their hopes and their nation’s future on Western support in fighting the Taliban and Islamist terrorism, and who believed the nation-building promises made by former US president George W. Bush and others.

Fighting is spreading like a bushfire from district to district. There is no peace deal in place, no power-sharing, no intra-Afghan ceasefire, and growing fear of nationwide conflagration — and yet still the Americans are leaving.

Will Turkey Keep Providing Security for the Afghan Capital’s Airport?

Catherine Putz

Turkey has long provided security for Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul as part of its contribution to the NATO mission in Afghanistan. But as the missions ends, with a NATO withdrawal occurring in parallel to the U.S. drawdown, Ankara is angling for concessions in exchange for continuing its management of the critical airport’s security matters.

Ahead of the June 14 NATO summit, the Wall Street Journal reported that U.S. President Joe Biden’s first bilateral meeting with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, planned to take place on the sidelines, would “center on Turkey’s longtime role in securing Kabul’s airport.” Jessica Donati and Nancy A. Youssef wrote for the Wall Street Journal that the Turkish leader was expected to “seek concessions,” particularly “an agreement from the U.S. that allows Ankara to keep and operate a Russian air defense system,” which has been a point of contention between the two.

The Ghani Visit: Time to “Write Off” Afghanistan?

Anthony H. Cordesman
Source Link

Many aspects of the situation in Afghanistan remain fluid and uncertain. The fact remains, however, that the time has come to write off Afghanistan. There are no signs that a strong, unified, and effective Afghan government is emerging.

Most of the U.S. withdrawal will be complete by the time the U.S. celebrates the 4th of July, and there has not been one substantive meeting with the Taliban to define a future peace, Afghanistan’s future structure of government, security, or development. Afghan forces are clearly losing the war, and they are years away from being able to stand on their own. The economy – to the extent there is one – survives only through outside aid and the export of narcotics.

Brutal as it may be to say so, it is simply too late to reverse the departure of U.S. and allied forces that the Trump Administration planned as part of its original peace initiative The U.S. has already withdrawn and closed too much. Too many forces and bases are gone, too many capabilities are lost, and the Taliban has already made too many gains.

The Indian Ocean and the Asia Chessboard

Andrew Schwartz: Welcome to The Asia Chessboard, the podcast that examines geopolitical dynamics in Asia and takes an inside look at the making of grand strategy. I'm Andrew Schwartz at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.

Hannah Fodale: This week, Mike is joined by Darshana Baruah of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace to discuss the strategic significance of the Indian Ocean to the United States and our allies and partners in the region. Darshana provides historical context for the new focus on the Indo-Pacific and dives into the politics of the Indian Ocean region. Mike and Darshana also tackle the rise of Chinese influence and how the Indian Ocean fits in with US-China strategic competition.

Mike Green: Welcome back to The Asia Chessboard. I'm Mike Green. I'm joined by Darshana Baruah, and we're going to talk about the geopolitics of the Indian Ocean. The Indian Ocean is emerging as one of the most important parts of strategic competition in the Indo-Pacific. The very fact we are now calling it the Indo-Pacific reflects that. But the history of American engagement in this region has been a bit uneven. In 2008, the Quadrennial Defense Review of the Pentagon publicly stated that the United States will develop an Indian Ocean strategy. And I was briefly pulled in together with my friend and earlier guests on this podcast, Ashley Tellis, to meet with the Obama NSC in 2009 to think through the Indian Ocean strategy idea. I don't think much came of the effort, actually. And part of the thing that I saw was that the Indian Ocean is owned by too many agencies, too many commands, and so a coherent geopolitical, geographic strategic concept for this region has been elusive. But I think that has also been true even for India or Australia, which, of course, border the Indian Ocean.

China Holds Slimmed-Down Belt and Road Conference

Shannon Tiezzi

On June 23, China held a virtual conference on the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), formally titled the “Asia and Pacific High-level Conference on Belt and Road Cooperation.” The meeting was hosted by Foreign Minister Wang Yi, with President Xi sending a written address.

According to the Chinese Foreign Ministry, the conference was attended by “more than 30 parties, including foreign ministers or economic ministers of relevant countries in Asia-Pacific and representatives of the United Nations and other international organizations.” The countries in attendance, according to a Foreign Ministry press release (in Chinese), were Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Brunei, Cambodia, Chile, China, Colombia, Fiji, Indonesia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Laos, Malaysia, Maldives, Mongolia, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan, Philippines, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Solomon Islands, Sri Lanka, Tajikistan, Thailand, Turkmenistan, the United Arab Emirates, Uzbekistan, and Vietnam.

Myanmar was an especially interesting inclusion, continuing China’s trend of recognizing the junta that took control in a February 1 coup as a legitimate diplomatic actor.

The Signal and the Noise: Understanding China’s Military Threats

Nathan Beauchamp-Mustafaga

Last month, Hu Xijin, the editor of the Chinese state-run Global Times newspaper, made a startling threat on his Twitter account: “I believe once Australian troops come to Taiwan Strait to combat against the PLA, there is a high probability that Chinese missiles will fly toward military bases and key relevant facilities on Australian soil in retaliation.” This followed an earlier editorial he authored in his own newspaper, titled “China needs to make a plan to deter extreme forces of Australia.”

This appears to be the first public (and rather high-profile) Chinese threat of military action against Australia. Hu’s threats received some coverage in Australia (and globally), but were generally cast aside as the now-unsurprising ravings of a bombastic Chinese government-tolerated provocateur. Yet Hu’s threats suggest that as Australia-China relations enter a new, more confrontational era, Canberra is likely to be an increasingly frequent target of Chinese deterrence signaling.

Russia and China Make War-Gaming Fashionable Again in the West

Marc Champion Daryna Krasnolutska
Source Link

(Bloomberg) -- Even as Russia massed over 100,000 troops on Ukraine’s borders in April, Andriy Zagorodnyuk felt sure President Vladimir Putin wouldn’t go to war.

The former defense minister in Kyiv, who’d also spent years on projects to modernize Ukraine’s military, reasoned that Putin knew an invasion would be no walk in the park for Russia this time.

“Our task has been to make sure we can inflict unacceptable damage, a damage level so high that they will be demotivated to advance,” Zagorodnyuk said in a video interview from the Ukrainian capital.

That was a bold bet, though Ukraine had made dramatic improvements to its armed forces since a few thousand Russian troops, in uniforms with no identifiable markings, annexed Crimea without firing a shot in 2014. It could potentially have been catastrophically wrong.

The 3 pillars of China's booming start-up ecosystem

Saemoon Yoon

• China's transition from manufacturing hub to tech hotbed has largely been driven by government policies.

• Collaboration between industry and academia in Zhongguancun, China’s Silicon Valley, has created a nurturing environment for start-ups.

• The country's immense domestic market is an environment in which competition drives success.

Once known as the “world’s factory”, China has risen to become an economic superpower in recent decades. In fact, the nation is expected to become the world’s largest economy in 2027 in terms of nominal GDP. Aside from its sheer size, China has successfully transformed its economy from manufacturing towards nurturing an environment to enable high-tech innovations: It is home to more than 150 unicorns, leading the world in the field of AI, robotics and computer vision, to name just a few.

Mapping China's Tech Giants: Supply chains & the global data collection ecosystem

Dr Samantha Hoffman & Dr Nathan Attrill

What's the problem?
Most of the 27 companies tracked by our Mapping China’s Technology Giants project are heavily involved in the collection and processing of vast quantities of personal and organisational data — everything from personal social media accounts, to smart cities data, to biomedical data.1 Their business operations—and associated international collaborations — depend on the flow of vast amounts of data, often governed by the data privacy laws of multiple jurisdictions. Currently, however, existing global policy debates and subsequent policy responses concerning security in the digital supply chain miss the bigger picture because they typically prioritise the potential for disruption or malicious alterations of the supply chain. Yet, as we have defined it in this report, digital supply-chain risk starts at the design level (Figure 1).

For the People’s Republic of China (PRC), the designer is the Chinese party-state, through expectations and agenda-setting in laws and policy documents and actions such as the mobilisation of state resources to achieve objectives such as the setting of technology standards. It’s through those standards, policies and laws that the party-state is refining its capacity to exert control over companies’ activities to ensure that it can derive strategic value and benefit from the companies’ global operations. That includes leveraging data collection taking place through those companies’ everyday global business activities, which ASPI’s International Cyber Policy Centre (ICPC) described in the Engineering global consent report.2 Technology isn’t agnostic—who sets the standards and therefore the direction of the technology matters just as much as who manufactures the product. This will have major implications for the effectiveness of data protection laws and notions of digital supply-chain security.

Iran’s Presidential Election Demonstrates Limits of U.S. Pressure Campaign


With the election of Ebrahim Raisi in Iran, many in Washington and U.S. media will be quick to caution the Biden administration about its ongoing attempts to revive the Iran nuclear deal. Raisi is a conservative aligned with the hard-line faction of Iran’s political spectrum and has a dismal human rights record. But what is missing from the discussion of Raisi, the future of the deal, and the prospects for U.S.-Iran relations is a consideration of the role the United States played in bringing about the current state of affairs.

In the short term, Raisi’s “election”—most competition was disqualified from running—is not likely to obstruct diplomacy surrounding the nuclear deal under way in Vienna. Raisi signaled his support for a return to the deal during Iran’s presidential debates and in his first press conference after the election. But over the horizon, under Raisi the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, as the deal is called, could become a ceiling to diplomacy between the U.S. and Iran, rather than a foundation to build on that could help address other sources of tension.

Is There Anything New Under the Technological Sun?

Jacob Parakilas

It was recently reported that the first two copies of the U.S. Air Force’s first new bomber in a quarter century, the B-21 Raider, are nearly ready to begin flight testing. No one outside the classified world has yet seen a B-21, but thanks to renderings released by the Air Force and the plane’s manufacturer, Northrop Grumman, we have a pretty good idea what it looks like: a flying wing or, in other words, a slightly smaller, slightly less complex-looking cousin of the existing B-2 Spirit.

Flying wings are one of the rarest and most exotic types of aircraft in operational service, and even so, their basic design is not new. The Raider’s distant ancestor, the YB-35, first flew shortly after the end of World War II; its design was itself based on aerodynamic research dating back to the first years of the 20th century, only a few years after the very beginning of powered flight itself.

Aircraft, it seems, increasingly resemble one another. It takes a moderately serious observer to be able to distinguish between an F-16, a Eurofighter Typhoon, or a J-10 at a glance; it takes a significantly more serious observer to be able to do so between an Airbus and a Boeing. And the similarities are not just apparent in aircraft: armored fighting vehicles, warships, missiles, and even military uniforms and body armor are increasingly alike in appearance and basic design (if, admittedly, not in technical detail and theory of employment).

US-Russian Contention in Cyberspace: Are Rules of the Road Necessary or Possible?

In recent years, as news of U.S.-Russian tensions in the cyber domain has dominated headlines, some strategic thinkers have pointed to the need for a bilateral cyber “rules of the road” agreement. American political scientist Joseph Nye, a former head of the U.S. National Intelligence Council, wrote in 2019 that, even “if traditional arms-control treaties are unworkable” in cyberspace, “it may still be possible to set limits on certain types of civilian targets, and to negotiate rough rules of the road that minimize conflict.” Robert G. Papp, a former director of the CIA’s Center for Cyber Intelligence, has likewise argued that “even a cyber treaty of limited duration with Russia would be a significant step forward.” On the Russian side, President Vladimir Putin himself has called for “a bilateral intergovernmental agreement on preventing incidents in the information space,” comparing it to the Soviet-American Agreement on the Prevention of Incidents on and Over the High Seas. Amid joint Russian-U.S. efforts, the Working Group on the Future of U.S.-Russia Relations recommended several elements of an agreement in 2016, among them that Russia and the U.S. agree “on the types of information that are to be shared in the event of a cyberattack” (akin to responses to a bio-weapons attack) and prohibit both “automatic retaliation in cases of cyberattacks” and “attacks on elements of another nation’s core internet infrastructure.” Most recently, in June 2021, a group of U.S., Russian and European foreign-policy officials and experts called for “cyber nuclear ‘rules of the road.’”

Biden Faces Tough Path to Building A Better Belt and Road than China


President Joe Biden has set out on an ambitious mission to rebuild the United States both in image and infrastructure, a goal he's pegged not only to the country's own needs but one tied to a fierce race with China for 21st-century global leadership.

At home, this already means devoting trillions of dollars to domestic work. But abroad, the task is even more gargantuan, as Washington attempts to align allies in a concerted yet costly effort to take on Beijing's intercontinental Belt and Road Initiative as it expands across the globe.

The message Biden brought with him to the G7 summit in the United Kingdom earlier this month was a direct extension of his "Build Back Better" campaign slogan, now marketed as "Build Back Better World" for international audiences.

But the endeavor has been met with a degree of skepticism and wariness from both experts and officials who worry that the elite, wealthy Group of Seven (Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom and the U.S.) may lack the unity and commitment to seriously compete with one of China's most successful and influential economic projects.

Italy Has Learned a Tough Lesson on China

Ludovica Meacci

When Italy signed a memorandum of understanding supporting China’s Belt and Road Initiative in 2019, then-Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte had been governing for less than a year. The governing coalition of the populist Five Star Movement and the right-wing League party could not seem to agree on what the memorandum was meant to codify. Previously, Beijing had not occupied a prominent position in the country’s foreign policy, and discussions around China were limited.

As the protagonists in a dysfunctional coalition jostled, the debate over the memorandum and Italian interests toward China occurred only through their electoral programs. For the Five Star Movement, China represented an opportunity to export products made in Italy, while the League party insisted on the need to safeguard national interests.

Before signing the agreement, warnings came on many fronts. Both American and European leaders cautioned Rome against signing a bilateral deal with Beijing. Conte, on the other hand, was quick to reassure the public that the agreement was purely a commercial one and that it favored Italian national interests.

Geopolitical Implications of Scientific Innovation Trends in Northeast Asia

Seth G. Jones, Andrew Philip Hunter, Gregory Sanders, Lindsey R. Sheppard

This report examines the implications of scientific innovations and emerging technologies on geopolitics in Northeast Asia. It focuses on five areas: (1) data-driven techniques and software-intensive technologies, (2) advanced materials and supply chains, (3) cybersecurity, (4) uncrewed systems and robotics, and (5) space technologies, including satellites and missiles. The applications of today’s emerging technologies are exacerbating regional tensions, bringing new considerations to longstanding security challenges, and propelling new non-state and commercial actors onto the global stage. The report explores the implications of these technologies and recommends policy responses: engaging the private sector; establishing norms and standards; and extending bilateral cooperation to a “high-tech” alliance. The findings are a reflection of expert perspectives and analyses, including from leading experts within the security and foreign policy communities in both the United States and the Republic of Korea.

Blending the physical and virtual: a hybrid model for the future of work


Executive summary
With the roll-out of COVID-19 vaccines, countries are beginning to imagine a future in which workers’ and employers’ choices are not conditioned by the pandemic. The crisis hit everyone hard but also generated an opportunity. It has shown that workers with suitable jobs can efficiently work remotely, with no negative implications for their productivity or performance. Telework may even unlock new working processes with the ultimate effect of increasing productivity. The pandemic crisis has also emphasised the need for the creation of safeguards within the work environment to protect workers’ well-being and to ensure an efficient blending of remote and on-site workers, with no differences in the way they are treated or their career opportunities.

From a European Union policy perspective, there is a clear opportunity to build on the lesson from the pandemic and create the conditions for hybrid work models within the single market. European trade unions and business federations should grab that opportunity and start an EU dialogue between employers, employees and governments. We recommend that the dialogue should lead to the adoption of a new Framework Agreement on Hybrid Work that would supersede the 2002 Framework Agreement on Telework. The new framework could set out the conditions for a general increase in teleworking.

Defending the Free and Open Internet in an Age of Authoritarianism

The free and open internet has been getting less free and less open in recent years. Stopping this erosion and reversing the tide should be a foreign policy priority of liberal democratic leaders around the globe. There is a real risk that the considerable social and economic benefits the internet has brought people across the globe are under threat from a new model of control online, one that seeks to restrict peoples’ rights, hobble competition in markets, and put up new borders.

The meeting of the G7 leaders this week in Cornwall will rightly focus on global health coordination, and attempt to renew institutions and modes of international collaboration that have been left wanting. But there is also a new opportunity for these digitally advanced nations (with the welcome addition, next week, of South Korea, India, Australia, and South Africa) to imagine a new vision of the internet that can support prosperous, open, and progressive societies. And reports this week about plans for a bilateral US-EU “Trade and Technology Council” are a welcome sign that international coordination in defense of the open internet is beginning to take shape.

Jamestown Foundation

China Brief, June 18, 2021, v. 21, no. 12

Special Issue on the Chinese Communist Party at 100

The 2021 Party History Study Campaign Stresses Revolution and Sacrifice

Looking Back on Short Flashes of Liberalization in the Chinese Communist Party’s 100 Years

Military Political Work at the CCP’s Centennial

Globalizing Leninist Institutions: Trends in Overseas Party Building

Post-Reform Developments in Village and Neighborhood Party Building

The challenge of decarbonizing heavy industry

Samantha Gross

Heavy industry makes products that are central to our modern way of life but is also responsible for nearly 40% of global carbon dioxide (CO₂) emissions. Steel, cement, and chemicals are the top three emitting industries and are among the most difficult to decarbonize, owing to technical factors like the need for very high heat and process emissions of carbon dioxide, and economic factors including low profit margins, capital intensity, long asset life, and trade exposure.

Steelmaking uses coal both as a source of heat and as part of the chemical process of converting iron ore to elemental iron. Both of these uses produce carbon dioxide. Eliminating CO₂ emissions from steelmaking requires a change in process. Using hydrogen as the heat source and the chemical reducing agent can eliminate CO₂ emissions, or carbon capture can remove them. Steel can also be recycled without CO₂ emissions, but demand for steel is too large to be met with recycled steel alone.

Cement production also releases CO₂ as part of the chemical process, in this case when limestone is heated to very high temperature to produce calcium oxide “clinker,” the cement’s primary component. Other substances can be mixed with clinker while still maintaining cement quality, but the primary method of decarbonizing the sector is to capture the CO₂ and store or find a use for it.

Space Force Wants Its Operations To Extend To The Expanse Between Traditional Orbits And The Moon


The Air Force Research Laboratory's Space Vehicles Directorate has released a report detailing how the U.S. military is preparing to develop spacecraft and concepts of operations for missions
beyond traditional orbits that could span all the way to the space surrounding the Moon. While the document doesn't offer any specifics in terms of how the U.S. military might be planning to project power in space or protect its space-based assets, it does highlight the complexities that the U.S. Space Force will face as it expands into the uncharted territory of operating beyond Earth's orbit.

The report, titled “A Primer on Cislunar Space,” was written as a guide for military space professionals to help them better understand what cislunar space actually is and how they can better develop operating concepts and relevant capabilities for this relatively new area of operations. Because traditional Space Domain Awareness (SDA) systems were designed for geosynchronous orbits much closer to Earth, future operations beyond this region of space will require entirely new models for planning and tracking the trajectories of satellites or other craft.

Defining the skills citizens will need in the future world of work

Marco Dondi, Julia Klier, Frédéric Panier, and Jörg Schubert

We know that digital and AI technologies are transforming the world of work and that today’s workforce will need to learn new skills and learn to continually adapt as new occupations emerge. We also know that the COVID-19 crisis has accelerated this transformation. We are less clear, however, about the specific skills tomorrow’s workers will require.

Research by the McKinsey Global Institute has looked at the kind of jobs that will be lost, as well as those that will be created, as automation, AI, and robotics take hold. And it has inferred the type of high-level skills that will become increasingly important as a result.1 The need for manual and physical skills, as well as basic cognitive ones, will decline, but demand for technological, social and emotional, and higher cognitive skills will grow.

Governments are keen to help their citizens develop in these areas, but it is hard to devise curricula and the best learning strategies without being more precise about the skills needed. It is difficult to teach what is not well defined.

We, therefore, conducted research that we hope will help definitions take shape and could contribute to future-proof citizens’ skills for the world of work.2 The research identified a set of 56 foundational skills that will benefit all citizens and showed that higher proficiency in them is already associated with a higher likelihood of employment, higher incomes, and job satisfaction.3

4 Industries That Will Disappear Before the Year 2030

Levi Borba

Future events are uncertain, and detailed information about times to come is impossible. But we can use current trends, technological innovation, and reliable information to predict likely scenarios.

During most of my career, this is what I did while working for global airlines. It worked fine — most of the time we were right. Predictions saved considerable money for these companies.

Saving money. In that lives the biggest benefit of futuristic reflections. Predictions are useful when we are planning our next investment or career choice.

The billionaire Bill Gates wrote a book called The Road Ahead twenty-six years ago. There he predicts the impact of the Personal Computer revolution. Many of these predictions materialized. In the same book, there is also a phrase that stands true to this time.

We always overestimate the change that will occur in the next two years and underestimate the change that will occur in the next ten.

What Really Happened in the Black Sea? A Victory for Russian Disinformation


On Wednesday, war almost broke out in the Black Sea. Or so it seemed, as news outlets, Twitter users, and state media conveyed accounts of a Royal Navy ship being fired upon by Russian ships off the Crimean coast. The June 23 almost-war dramatically illustrates the power of disinformation – and everyone’s responsibility to check facts.

A British tabloid published a dramatic account of the events by a reporter aboard the destroyer, which was en route from Odesa toward Georgia. “The angry thud of cannon fire rings out on the port side of HMS Defender as I crouch beside the bridge in my hastily adorned flame retardant gloves and balaclava,” it read.

Russia’s Ministry of Defence tweeted dramatic video images of the purported confrontation with the British destroyer under this note: “Footage of Russian Black Sea Fleet and Border Service of the Federal Security Service's prevention of the breach of the Russian Federation state border committed by the UK Navy destroyer ‘Defender.’” The Russian news agency TASS, in turn, reported that a “border guard ship fired warning shots, while a SU-24M bomber had to drop warning bombs ahead of the destroyer before the ship turned back and left the Russian waters.”

Python Will Lose the Hype in the Next 5 Years

Pranjal Saxena

Python programming got the hype and the attention because of the popularity of data science. As of now, in 2021, we have two famous programming languages Python and R, for data science and analytics. But, if we talked about back in 2016, we were having a single famous programming language for data science modeling, Python.

Indeed, Python is also used for web development, and its Django & Flask framework is so much used in many industries. But, we have many other programming languages like Java, Javascript with its popular library React that can do that same web development efficiently. And, today we also have flutter that is getting much attention for web development tasks.

Python programming was never aimed for web development. The primary use of Python is for statistical work and data science. That’s why today, we have most of the data scientists who are using Python for their work. Even employees in Google use Python for their machine learning work. Yes, they use C++ also, but most of the time, Python is being utilized.

Joint ‘Strategic Directives’ Set Requirements For All Domain Ops


WASHINGTON: Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. John Hyten has signed four new Strategic Directives’ that set top-level, joint requirements for All Domain Operations. It’s a first step in implementing the new Joint Warfighting Concept (JWC) defining how the US will fight future wars.

“Together, the Directives provide a roadmap of the capabilities and attributes the Joint Force will need to succeed in the 21st century,” a spokesperson for Hyten said in an email. “The JROC [Joint Requirements Oversight Council] Members — the Vice Chairman and the Vice Chiefs of each of the Services — worked together closely over a year to design these requirements. This is a key milestone in the implementation of the new Joint Warfighting Concept.”

The four directives will guide the services in implementing the four key tenets of the JWC: joint fires, Joint All Domain Command and Control (JADC2), contested logistics and information advantage. They also represent a new set of teeth for the JROC to keep the services aligned with military commanders’ needs — not always an easy task as the service’s jockey for primacy of turf and budgets.

The Marine Corps Is Redesigning Infantry Battalions for the Future


The Marine Corps is honing its plans for smaller, tech-heavy infantry battalions through two years of experimentation intended to reveal the best mix of people and capabilities for the distributed operations of the future.

“Nothing of this scale has been attempted in, certainly, decades,” said Brig. Gen. Benjamin Watson, the commanding general of the Marine Corps Warfighting Laboratory/Futures Directorate and the vice chief of the Office of Naval Research.

Dubbed Infantry Battalion Experiment Campaign Plan, or IBX30, the three-battalion effort is part of the Corps’ push to reorganize for conflicts with near-peer adversaries by 2030, which the current defense strategy says will require spreading forces across larger battlespaces while fending off new technologies like drones and cyber attacks.

“As we've seen in lots of recent conflicts, the proliferation of long-range weapons and sensors and things like that make it very challenging to survive on the current battlefield if you are a large unit that's operating in—--with large groups of people very close to each other. So you need to be able to disperse and distribute your forces and still achieve effects,” Watson said in an interview.