14 July 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 ...

Review – Warlord Survival: The Delusion of Statebuilding in Afghanistan

Florian P. Kühn

As Western military support for Afghan troops is ending, warlords are preparing for yet another bitter fight for dominance, influence, and survival against their rivals. In four case studies, Romain Malejacq from Radboud University Nijmegen impressively demonstrates how they, often reduced to being described as ruthless and brutal, manage to navigate adversarial circumstances. Ismail Khan, Abdul Rashid Dostum, Ahmed Shah Massoud and Mohammad Qasim Fahim all had their own path to power and influence, basing their position on different and variedly violent skills. Moreover, all four were able to adapt to changing circumstances of external intervention, attempts at central state control, and demands for legitimacy.

In a very lively narrative, the author manages to unpack the trajectories of these men’s ‘careers’ layer-by-layer, based on over a decade of research which included many interviews with members of those actors’ entourage. He contributes to our understanding of the dynamic politics in intervention settings with a micro-perspective often overlooked or ignored by ‘grand politics’, which assumes that decisions are taken in Western capitals and international organizations’ headquarters. Methodologically, Malejacq enriches the literature with in-depth research which reconstructs and critically evaluates the structural conditions of the micro-politics of violent actors but also sheds light on the normative orientations and political calculations influencing their decisions. This allows – unlike many other descriptions of violent actors and their considerations – to reconstruct warlord politics as carefully calibrated and rational, and violence as an often precisely metered means of politics.

Madrassa Sex Abuse Case Shocks Pakistan

Allia Bukhari

For over a year, Sabir Shah, a madrassa student, was sexually abused by an influential religious cleric in Pakistan’s populous city of Lahore. In a video spread on social media and filmed by Shah himself, Mufti Azizur Rehman – a religious leader belonging to the conservative Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) party, who confessed to his crime – could be seen involved in inappropriate acts with the victim, his student at the seminary.

The incident sent shockwaves across the country, with many citizens demanding strict punishment for the vile act. Pakistan’s Special Representative for the Prime Minister on Religious Affairs Tahir Mehmood Ashrafi even said that Rehman should be “hanged to make an example of those who sexually abuse children,” a demand that echoed the views of many Pakistanis on burgeoning cases of abuse against minors and adolescents, both male and female, within seminaries and in society.

This further revived debate on the role of madrassas as hotbeds of rape and sexual molestation and exploitation of juveniles and young adults. Recently, more old and new videos involving clerics engaged in sexual abuse, including one who is part of a Shia Ulema, have surfaced online. The on-record incidents point toward a deep-rooted problem, one that has existed for a while but been willfully overlooked by society.

Joe Biden Sees Afghanistan As A PowerPoint Slide. That’s Why The Taliban Will Prevail.

Michael Rubin

Asked at a press conference about whether he trusted the Taliban, President Joe Biden responded, “Do I trust the Taliban? No. But I trust the capacity of the Afghan military, who is better trained, better equipped, and more competent in terms of conducting war.” Maybe in the corridors of Washington, his answer is believable, but it completely misunderstands Afghanistan’s dynamics.

My introduction to Afghanistan came in 1997. I was studying Tajik in Uzbekistan at the time, and decided to make a quick trip to the northern city of Mazar-e-Sharif that, at the time, Abdul Rashid Dostum, an ethnic Uzbek warlord, held. The Taliban controlled Kabul, but the front line was 100 miles away. As for Mazar, the shrine city was peaceful: I was able to wander around with little security, and I had lunch at Dostum’s office with diplomats from the local Iranian consulate. Within a day, however, the situation would change: the Taliban would be marching on the city and I would be convoying to the Uzbek border town of Termez. The Iranians with whom I ate were not as lucky and, the following year, ended up murdered at the hands of the Taliban.

The threat of China invading Taiwan is growing every day. What the U.S. can do to stop it.

Lee Hsi-min and Eric Lee

In his speech celebrating the Chinese Communist Party’s 100th anniversary last week, Chairman Xi Jinping proclaimed that China has never bullied or oppressed the people of any other country. Yet that is exactly what Beijing is doing to Taiwan, and its intensifying aggression toward the democratic island is increasingly raising concerns that it will try to take it by force.

The question is not whether the United States should defend Taiwan during war but how to prevent war in the first place. Now is the time to strengthen U.S.-Taiwan security cooperation.

For years, world leaders have been hesitant to respond to China’s military aggression in the region. But Beijing’s escalating rhetoric and military developments are pushing Washington and its allies to work together in ways never done before, such as the joint U.S.-Japanese military planning for a conflict with China over Taiwan. Just Monday, Japanese Deputy Prime Minister Taro Aso declared that in the case of an attack on Taiwan, “Japan and the U.S. must defend Taiwan together."

Why Russia and China are Cooperating More Than Ever

Andranik Migranyan

As I predicted on Russian television on Channel One’s key political program "The Big Game," for Moscow the recent summit between Joe Biden and Vladimir Putin is not only “seminal”, but also meaningful. Although one can hardly call the return of ambassadors to Washington and Moscow and the willingness to discuss the issues of strategic stability a great success, the very fact that these leaders were facing each other and outlining the red lines for the opposite side can already be justifiably construed as a success.

In general, the red lines have come down to the following. On the Russian side: inadmissibility of Ukraine’s membership in NATO; non-deployment of short- and medium-range missiles in Europe, especially in the former Soviet republics; the West's rejection of attempts to overthrow Lukashenko's regime in Belarus; inadmissibility on the part of the U.S. and Europe of attempts to organize a “color revolution” in Russia; and refraining from financial and political support of the Russian antisystem opposition. On the U.S. side: Russia's non-interference in the U.S. elections; Russia's non-use of cyberattacks on important U.S. infrastructure facilities; Ukraine's territorial integrity; and protection of human rights in Russia and Belarus.

Regime Change Is Not an Option in China

Evan S. Medeiros and Ashley J. Tellis

The relationship between China and the United States is the central drama of global politics today. It captures and defines the current era: great-power rivalry, ideological competition, the diffusion of advanced technology, and the weakening of U.S. hegemony. Dealing with China is shaping up to be a far more significant challenge for U.S. policymakers than competing with the Soviet Union ever was. Not only is Beijing more capable than Moscow was during the height of the Cold War, but China’s sprawling economic footprint makes it a far more difficult rival. A sharply segregated global economy allowed the United States to contain the Soviet Union, but China today is the top trading partner of over 100 countries, including many with close links to the United States.

This perplexing combination of intensifying competition and growing interdependence has sparked a searching conversation in the United States about how to approach China. The debate has taken a dangerous turn in recent years. Beginning in 2020, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Deputy National Security Adviser Matt Pottinger, among others, started speaking about putting pressure on the Chinese Communist Party in ways that many interpreted as calls for regime change. Pompeo, slamming

The Rift Between Turkey and Israel Continues to Deepen

Jon Hoffman

Tensions are rising in the eastern Mediterranean. Turkey’s sparring with Israel is combining with its conflicts with Saudi Arabia and its partners, and is increasingly drawing in other countries—from Libya to Greece, and maybe soon the United States. Just a few months ago, there appeared to be signs of rapprochement between Turkey and Israel, but that now seems unlikely. The considerable rise of conservative ethnic and religious nationalism in both Israel and Turkey over the past couple decades is often cited to help explain this tension, and nationalist sentiment is associated with aggressive foreign policies. But this emphasis misses a strategic dimension of critical importance. Ankara and Tel Aviv are on opposing sides of a broader struggle for regional hegemony that is remaking the Middle East and the eastern Mediterranean corridor.

Despite being one of the first Muslim nations to recognize Israel—doing so in 1949, only one year after the formal creation of the state—Turkey has increasingly found itself at odds with Tel Aviv over their respective struggles for regional influence, particularly following the 2011 Arab uprisings. Israel, on the basis of its shared enmity with Iran, has increasingly aligned itself with the “Counterrevolutionary Bloc” (CRB), which comprises Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and post-2013 Egypt, all of which have sought to crush the wave of mass mobilization that emerged in 2011 and maintain the regional geopolitical status quo. The CRB is opposed to the other two primary ad-hoc regional alliances: the bloc represented by Qatar and Turkey, both of which have sought greater independence in their foreign policies by supporting certain elements of the uprisings, and that of Iran and its regional partners.

War with Russia is not hypothetical and our lumbering bureaucracy is unprepared for it


In his recent annual “town hall,” Russian President Vladimir Putin signaled his resolve to take Moscow’s confrontation with Washington to the next level — an outright war that, in his view, the United States is unable to win. Having served as a Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) intelligence officer for Russian doctrine and strategy, I am concerned that our government bureaucracy is indeed woefully unprepared for a full-on war with Russia, which appears to be a hypothetical scenario no longer.

In his staged Q&A session with ostensibly ordinary Russian citizens, Putin answered questions, almost certainly planted by the Kremlin, regarding the June 23 incident involving the Russian and British militaries in the Black Sea. The incident, in which Russia claimed to chase a British destroyer out of Crimea waters, clearly demonstrates that the U.S.-NATO and Russian military policies are on a collision course, risking a kinetic war — one the Kremlin apparently believes is inevitable.

Rare Earth Minerals Will Put The U.S. Between A Rock And A Hard Place

José Rodríguez Jr., 

Big auto in the U.S., along with the current administration in Washington D.C., are both about to experience growing pains as we pivot to EVs. The problem of missing microprocessors can’t even start to scratch the surface of other issues electrification will run into, namely those of rare earth mining and processing.

The U.S. will now have to choose between adding much-needed mining and processing capacity for the rare earth minerals that EVs need, or risk letting other countries dominate that sector, according to a new report from the Financial Times. Adding mining capacity is a dirty endeavor, as the residents of a South Texas town articulated in the FT report, saying “Hello, more pollution.”

The residents of Hondo, Texas, are right, which is why a lot of first-world countries have been happy to offload the problem to China, as the FT cites:

“This is gross, dirty and polluting stuff,” said Aaron Mintzes, senior policy counsel at environmental group Earthworks, about mining rare earths. “And, frankly, it’s why it happens in China.” Processing the mined rare earths, which happens once they are extracted from the ground, can also create wastewater.

The Global Dangers of Rising US Inflation


NEW YORK – As US inflation continues to accelerate, with consumer prices increasing 5% year on year in May, it is not only the US Federal Reserve that needs to remain vigilant. Policymakers around the world – and in vulnerable economies in particular – also should prepare for the possibility that US interest rates will rise faster and sooner than most forecasts currently predict.

After all, the Fed has raised its inflation forecasts significantly over the last 12 months. At its mid-June meeting, the policy-setting Federal Open Market Committee estimated that whole-year inflation in 2021 for personal consumption expenditures would be 3.4%. That is a full percentage point higher than their median projection in March, and more than twice the level forecast back in June 2020.

The rise in US inflation reflects a combination of temporary and structural factors. For example, while partial pandemic-related lockdowns have caused production to decline, large government stimulus programs have sustained household demand, which exceeds supply in many sectors. This component of today’s price increases would presumably disappear once output returns to its full potential.

Joe Biden’s Nixon Strategy


STANFORD – The strategic imperative behind US President Joe Biden’s recent summitry in Europe was to forge a united Western response to China. In the three weeks since those meetings, it has become clear that he succeeded.

The United States, France, and Germany are now essentially on the same page. Each recognizes that broad international agreement is necessary to convince China to curtail its aggressive behavior. The Chinese attitude was laid bare in Chinese President Xi Jinping’s remarks this month commemorating the centennial of the Communist Party of China. Any attempt to interfere with his country’s ascent, he warned, will lead to “heads bashed bloody against a Great Wall of steel.”

In Asia, the Biden administration’s strategic imperative has led it to place greater emphasis on the “Quad” of Asia-Pacific democracies: Australia, India, Japan, and the US. Late last month, the US and Japan staged joint naval maneuvers to prepare for any Chinese aggression toward Taiwan. And in Europe, both NATO and the European Union have elevated China to the top of the policy agenda after previously trying to avoid “out-of-region” commitments.

Ethiopia’s Problems Aren’t Postcolonial

Robert D. Kaplan

The recent defeat of Ethiopian government forces at the hands of rebels in Tigray in the country’s north has not ended the conflict that has threatened to tear Ethiopia apart. Rather, it has opened a veritable Pandora’s box of possibilities regarding where Ethiopia is headed next. Much will depend on whether a cease-fire can be negotiated and if food can get through to the hundreds of thousands of potential famine victims.

But much will also depend on how the outcome of the war in Tigray impacts the country’s wider politics. That’s because the embattled province of Tigray is a bellwether of Ethiopia’s very destiny. To understand why, it is necessary to explore Ethiopia as a geographical, cultural, and political concept, in all its considerable uniqueness.

Ethiopia is wondrously indefinable. It is an outpost of Middle Eastern and Semitic civilization, dislodged on the continent of Africa, as historically involved in the affairs of Yemen and Saudi Arabia as with those of its African neighbors, and with its languages of the northern highlands related to Hebrew and Arabic. Ethiopia’s Monophysite Christianity is redolent of both Indigenous cults and Greek Orthodoxy. Ethiopian Orthodoxy represents the second-oldest official Christian church in the world after Armenia’s, even as it has links with Judaism.

Forget Bitcoin, Try Your Mattress

David Gerard

Bitcoin, its advocates keep saying, is the future. But in practice, it looks a lot like the distant past. Back then, you could lose your savings if your banker ran off with your money or died without revealing where it was stored. Today, there’s numerous protections in place for consumers—unless, that is, your cash is in bitcoin.

In Canada, the Quadriga cryptocurrency exchange has gone into bankruptcy protection, leaving its customers bust. An exchange is roughly like a bank for bitcoin; they make your money easier to use in practice. But unlike a bank, there’s usually no guarantees, protections, or reassurances that your money and its holder won’t disappear to a remote island. Quadriga’s founder, Gerald Cotten, apparently died in December. Quadriga finally revealed the news in January, and shortly after the exchange applied for protection from nearly $190 million in outstanding liabilities as it scrambled to find any lurking assets.

This wasn’t a unique problem. Quadriga’s collapse follows from the nature of bitcoin and why it failed as an electronic form of cash, leaving people worldwide stranded in its wake. Most financial institutions with thousands of customers and millions of dollars in holdings have bureaucratic and technical systems in place for such misfortunes. Unfortunately, Quadriga did not—and that’s sadly typical of exchanges.

The Fourth Quadrant—the Unknown Knowns

Herb Lin

With the recent passing of former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, it’s worth revisiting one of his most famous commentaries. In a news conference on Feb. 12, 2012, he said:

Reports that say that something hasn't happened are always interesting to me, because as we know, there are known knowns; there are things we know we know. We also know there are known unknowns; that is to say we know there are some things we do not know. But there are also unknown unknowns—the ones we don't know we don't know. And if one looks throughout the history of our country and other free countries, it is the latter category that tend to be the difficult ones.

At the time, he was referring to intelligence reports stating that there was no evidence of a direct link between Baghdad and terrorist organizations seeking weapons of mass destruction, but Rumsfeld’s words have been cited widely as an epistemological characterization about knowledge in general.

Challenges in Combating Terrorism and Extremism Online

Erin Saltman

Online terrorism and violent extremism are cross-platform and transnational by nature. Nobody has just one app on their phone or their laptop, and bad actors are no different. These trends are evident in case studies—from the international recruitment of foreign terrorist fighters, including women, by the Islamic State, to the violence-inducing conspiracy theories from QAnon.

Any efforts trying to effectively counter terrorism and violent extremism need to similarly go beyond one-country, one-platform frameworks. The next big challenge for governments and nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) working with tech companies is to embrace the reality that the internet and its services are highly heterogeneous, and platforms with global users are increasingly not based in the United States.

Putin's Blunt Message For Germany: Forget Ukraine

Alexander Demchenko, LIVY BEREG

KYIV — The title itself is catchy enough: "To be open despite the past." True, it had nothing to do with the War or post-War years. The article, printed in the German newspaper Die Zeit is rather a call to Germans to forget about the Ukrainian issue and to engage as soon as possible in real, profitable policies, such as the launch of Nord Stream.

Russian President Vladimir Putin is trying to convince the Germans to be open-minded, regardless of the past. But the past he urges Germans to forget has nothing to do with Nazism. Here the Russian president understands that Germans are still bound by the politics of memory, and are unlikely to allow themselves to change history any time soon.

Putin is also aware that the thought viruses propagated by Kremlin propaganda are effective enough to bind the Russian population together in a single aggressive impulse. What he wants the German people to forget about is another, not-so-distant and yet also unpleasant past: the war in Ukraine and the occupation of its territories.

In his Die Zeit article, the Russian president once again recalled the so-called coup d'etat in Kyiv in 2014, saying that he considered Ukraine's breakaway from Russia a tragedy, that there was no occupation of Crimea, but only a split in Ukraine that led to the separation of the peninsula. He recalled many of the old tropes of Kremlin propaganda. The same lines that he has been trying to introduce into the information space of Europe for eight years now.

Finland’s Hushed Energy Dealings with Russia

Cordelia Buchanan Ponczek
Source Link

Finland would rather not discuss its stake in Nord Stream 2, or its other energy dealings with Russia.

In the growing disputes between Russia and the West, Finland is wedged between a rock and a very hard place. The government describes itself as militarily non-allied, a traditional Finnish position underlined by its regular role as a summit host, like the Trump-Putin Helsinki summit in 2018. That underlines its geographic reality — despite being a European Union (EU) member, Finland has not joined NATO, and is also on Russia’s doorstep. That can lead to some peculiar outcomes, like Finland’s quiet role in the Nord Stream 2 pipeline.

Last year, the Finnish energy company Fortum, which is majority-owned by the government, bought a controlling share in the German energy company Uniper and now owns 76.1%. This might initially have looked like another everyday European business transaction between two slightly dull companies with predictably anodyne mottos (“For a cleaner world” and “Empower energy revolution”), and Finland’s government would probably be content if that were the case.

Europe is becoming a right-wing continent


For a certain kind of American liberal, it's almost a reflexive gesture to wish the United States were more like Europe. There, health care is provided on a more egalitarian basis and a university education is much cheaper, if not free; sexual mores are more relaxed and gun ownership is rare; religion is vestigial and militant nationalism is strictly taboo. Widespread European distress over the presidencies of George W. Bush and Donald Trump only confirmed what American liberals knew: that the Old Country was also the dreamland of their imagined liberal American future.

I wonder how it will feel when Europe becomes distinctly more right-wing than the United States.

It's not an inconceivable prospect. The United Kingdom has a Tory government right now, and based on current polling their position looks increasingly secure. France's centrist president Emmanuel Macron would likely be re-elected if the election were held today, but Marine Le Pen's right-wing National Rally party polls considerably higher today in a one-on-one contest with Macron than it did in 2017. Italy's fragile coalition could be followed by a right-wing coalition of Matteo Salvini's Lega and the neofascist-derived Fratelli D'Italia.

Beefatarians Not Wanted


MELBOURNE – “If the sound of beef sizzling on the grill brings tears to your eyes, you’re a real beefatarian.” That’s the opening line of a TV ad produced by a European advertising campaign called Proud of European Beef. Just more advertising silliness? No, because the European Union is paying 80% of the cost of it.

The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization’s 2013 report Tackling Climate Change Through Livestock states that beef contributes 41% of the greenhouse-gas (GHG) emissions from the entire livestock sector, and also has the highest emissions intensity – that is, the highest GHG emissions per unit of protein – of any animal products. That is largely because ruminants belch and fart methane, an extremely potent greenhouse gas. As a result, rearing beef cattle brings about, on average, six times the contribution to global warming as non-ruminant animals (for example, pigs) producing the same quantity of protein.

Since that report, the case against beef has strengthened. In 2015, a report from London’s Royal Institute of International Affairs pointed out that worldwide, meat and dairy consumption are rising at a rate that, if projected to 2050, would use 87% of the total quantity of emissions that is compatible with the Paris climate agreement’s objective of staying below a 2° Celsius increase in temperature. A study published in Science in 2018 indicates that producing protein from soybeans in the form of tofu creates only 4% of the emissions required to produce the same quantity from beef cattle, while peas and nuts can both produce protein for less than 1% of emissions from beef cattle.

The Pentagon's AI Chief Prepares for Battle

NEARLY EVERY DAY, in war zones around the world, American military forces request fire support. By radioing coordinates to a howitzer miles away, infantrymen can deliver the awful ruin of a 155-mm artillery shell on opposing forces. If defense officials in Washington have their way, artificial intelligence is about to make that process a whole lot faster.

The effort to speed up fire support is one of a handful initiatives that Lt. Gen. Jack Shanahan describes as the “lower consequence missions” that the Pentagon is using to demonstrate how it can integrate artificial intelligence into its weapons systems. As the head of the Joint Artificial Intelligence Center, a 140-person clearinghouse within the Department of Defense focused on speeding up AI adoption, Shanahan and his team are building applications in well-established AI domains—tools for predictive maintenance and health record analysis—but also venturing into the more exotic, pursuing AI capabilities that would make the technology a centerpiece of American warfighting.

Kill Empowerment: The Proliferation of Remotely Piloted Vehicles

Scott N Romaniuk and Tobias Burgers

The proliferation of remotely piloted vehicles (RPVs) and remote/robotic weapons systems (RWS) in the form of armed drones, and states’ capacities to engage in the practice of targeted killings by means of armed drones (hereafter, “drone kills”) continues to expand (Callamard and Rogers, 2020). This article will analyze armed drone proliferation at the structural level by addressing four key elements as drivers of lethal autonomous weapons systems proliferation: the plasticity of killing via drones (i.e., the empowerment of capabilities or what we refer to as “kill empowerment”), the systems, the expertise (or guidance by knowledge brokers), and the material instruments employed for the performance of “targeted killings” or “precision killings”. Our analysis resides on two broad levels: those of state exporters and importers. We apply these proliferation mechanisms to the People’s Republic of China (PRC, hereafter China) as a drone exporter and to Nigeria as a drone importer. In the company of the conditions presented, we posit that the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR) has supported China’s entry into the drone market with the MTCR’s recent revamping subsequently exhibiting (still in an embryonic phase) a negative recoil effect that is likely to bring more drones into the global market, intensifying armed drone proliferation.

How to Stop Political Division from Eroding Military-Academic Relations


Much has been written about how our political polarization undermines U.S. national security by enabling adversaries’ influence operations, but the divide among us also hinders fruitful collaboration between academics and the Defense Department. This worries us because the need for diverse, multispecialty teams has never been higher.

Although expressly apolitical, academia is largely left-leaning and the military is largely right-leaning, and these ideological leanings are intensifying. From 1989 to 2016, the liberal-to-conservative faculty ratio doubled, from 2.3 to 5. The self-identifying liberal shift leveled off in more recent years as polarization increased. But the discrepancy remains. A meta-study on political party identification released just before President Joe Biden’s inauguration found 48 percent of academic professors registered as Democrat, whereas only 6 percent registered as Republican.

There is no good polling of the military’s political leanings. In the most recent Military Times survey of its readers, often considered the next-best thing to a statistically accurate sample, favorability toward Trump fell among active duty troops by August 2020—long before Trump’s post-election disputes, the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol, and recent right-wing criticism of military leaders’ initiatives on race and extremism—but there was still a pronounced discrepancy: 40 percent identified as Republican or Libertarian versus just 16 percent as Democrat. It is opposite to that of professors.

Long Road Ahead for Energy Resilience of Army Installations


Army installations are reliant on commercial companies to provide them with electricity and water, but that utility infrastructure is vulnerable to natural disasters and threats like the recent Colonial pipeline cyberattack. Schofield Barracks in Hawaii recently tested its ability to overcome such a threat by using a generation station to provide energy to local bases; however, most Army installations do not have this capability.

The Army and the local power company Hawaiian Electric tested the Schofield Generating Station on May 22 by taking Schofield Barracks, Wheeler Army Airfield, and Field Station Kunia off the local power grid and isolating them to the station. It took about two hours to get power back to the bases, Maj. Gen. James Jarrard, the commander of the 25th Infantry Division and U.S. Army Hawaii, said during a call with reporters Wednesday.

“In the event of an emergency where power is lost, Schofield Barracks and U.S. Army Hawaii can be back up and running in just a matter of hours. This enables us to support the state of Hawaii if requested to provide defense support to civil authorities,” he said.

The station test was done over a 36-hour period before the installations were put back on the local grid, according to a Hawaiian Electric statement.

Pentagon Watchdog Warns Services About Cyber Threat In 3D Printing


WASHINGTON: A Pentagon watchdog is raising the alarm about the military’s prolonged exploration into 3D printing, after discovering officials at several agencies are failing to manage crucial cybersecurity controls necessary for operating the technology safely.

As a result, Defense Department components working with the technology, formally known as additive manufacturing, are “unaware of existing AM system vulnerabilities that exposed the DoD Information Network to unnecessary cybersecurity risks,” according to a new report published by the Defense Department inspector general today.

“The compromise of AM design data could allow an adversary to re-create and use DoD’s technology to the adversary’s advantage on the battlefield. In addition, if malicious actors change the AM design data, the changes could affect the end strength and utility of the 3D-printed products,” the report continued.

Air Force ‘Not There Yet’ On Key Hurdle For Digital Revolution


WASHINGTON: As the Air Force continues to press ahead with its wide-ranging initiative to “digitize” its acquisition processes — from weapon system design to engineering to production to testing — using computerized models, called digital twins, to speed up testing remains a challenge, according to Darlene Costello, the service’s acting acquisition head.

Making digital testing a reality is key to the service’s hopes for its e-Program and e-Series effort. Without the ability to test based on simulations, much of the time savings from those efforts will dissipate. And as of now, the service isn’t where it needs to be.

Simply put, “We’re not there yet,” Costello told the Potomac Officers Club today.

She explained that there are both technical and “cultural” hurdles to be overcome. “We need to work closely with our test community in order to create the models that they can consider valid,” she said.