21 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 Nuclear and Missile Capabilities: An Overview

Maj Gen PK Mallick, VSM (Retd)

Since China first conducted a nuclear weapon test in 1964, its nuclear doctrine has remained unchanged and is underpinned by two principles: a minimum deterrent doctrine and a No First Use (NFU) policy. China’s 2019 defence white paper states, “China is always committed to a nuclear policy of NFU of nuclear weapons at any time and under any circumstances, and not using or threatening to use nuclear weapons against non-nuclear-weapon states or nuclear-weapon-free zones unconditionally.”

However, a recent U.S. Department of Defence (DoD) report claims that the scope of China’s nuclear modernisation and its lack of transparency “raise concern that China is not only shifting its requirements for what constitutes a minimal deterrence but that it could shift away from its longstanding minimalist force posture.” The data available show that China is modernising and expanding virtually every element of its nuclear forces, including each aspect of its nuclear weapons and missile, sea, and air delivery systems. What is not clear are China’s current and planned holdings of nuclear weapons, China’s future plans for deploying additional delivery systems, its commitment to some form of NFU, first preemption, or launch on warning, and the extent to which it will accept what might be called a form of ‘minimum assured destruction.

Linking Land Borders: India’s Integrated Check Posts

Riya Sinha

This paper examines the role of India’s Integrated Check Posts (ICPs) in South Asia in facilitating regional connectivity. The ICPs are entry and exit points on India’s land borders and house various facilities such as customs, immigration, and border security, quarantine, among others, within a single facilitation zone. Formulated in the early 2000s in the aftermath of the Kargil War (1999) and initiated since 2012, the ICPs have helped streamline cross-border trade and passenger flows through the modernisation of border management infrastructure. In 2019-20, 40% of India’s total trade with Bangladesh, Nepal, Myanmar, and Pakistan took place through the six ICPs at Agartala, Petrapole, Raxaul, Jogbani, Moreh and Attari.

However, several challenges such as the lack of mirror infrastructure in the neighbouring countries, limitations in public-private partnership, and ground-level issues including inadequate warehousing space to handle increasing volumes, narrow approach road, lack of digitisation etc., have affected the utilisation of the ICP to its full potential. The paper delves into these challenges, both at the policy and operational level, and suggests recommendations to overcome the same. It also analyses international best practices in border management through two comparative case studies: the USA–Mexico and Norway–Sweden border check-posts. Finally, the paper argues that while ICPs are integral for regional economic integration in South Asia, the future expansion of ICPs ought to be aligned with other regional connectivity initiatives to complement the existing and envisaged economic corridors and supply-chain routes.

Gwadar Port: Global Visions & Local Realities

Ayesha A. Malik

Situated on the shores of the Arabian Sea, Gwadar Port in Pakistan’s southwest Balochistan Province has long been touted as a potential hub for regional connectivity that would play an active role in the geopolitics of South Asia. A flagship project of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) managed under 40 years lease project of China Overseas Ports Holding Company Pakistan (Pvt.) Ltd., the vision has been to turn Gwadar into a maritime trade hub connecting Pakistan, Afghanistan, Central Asia, and China.

The vision of regional integration positions Gwadar as foundation connecting economies of South, Central, and East Asia (primarily China). However, realizing this vision means not only building up Gwadar port as an economic hub, but through a network of roads and transit systems connecting the port to the region. This includes transit via Peshawar-Karachi Motorway —passing through Sindh, Punjab, and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KPK) as well as western route of CPEC, which has been designated as a “short-term” project and is under construction. However, the main transit is likely to go through the motorway crossing Punjab, Islamabad, and then Peshawar, creating a faster connection between Gwadar and China.

Pakistan Braces for U.S. Withdrawal from Afghanistan through Extra-Regional Partnerships

Syed Fazl-e Haider

While the United States is expected to withdraw its forces from Afghanistan well before its September 11 deadline, the countries bordering the country are enhancing their capacity to combat a potential new wave of terrorism. The chaos emanating from Afghanistan poses a large security challenge to Pakistan, since a complete collapse of the country could provide further safe haven to Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) and Islamic State Khorasan Province (IS-K) (Dawn , July 26, 2020). The TTP’s attacks inside Pakistan have surged since May 1 when U.S and NATO forces commenced their withdrawal from Afghanistan. For example, on May 5, four Pakistani soldiers were killed and six were injured on the Pakistan-Afghanistan border in the Baluchistan region when TTP militants opened fire from Afghan territory (Dawn, May 5).

The TTP leadership had been on the run since 2014 when Pakistan launched the Zarb-e-Azb operation across Pakistan, including its border areas with Afghanistan. The operation dismantled TTP networks in Pakistan, resulting in it breaking into different factions. The TTP’s leadership along with several local commanders then took refuge in Afghanistan (Dawn, April 23). Without U.S. forces in Afghanistan, terrorist groups like the TTP will experience fewer checks on their operations and the instability in the country will likely act as a catalyst for their militant activities.

Hong Kong and the Limits of Decoupling

Kurt Tong

As Beijing pushes forward with its crackdown on political freedom in Hong Kong, undeterred by protests from outside China, many Western observers have comforted themselves with the notion that China will eventually pay a hefty price for its aggression. The crackdown, in this view, will inevitably lead to Hong Kong’s demise as a global financial center. A number of analysts, including the Bloomberg columnist Michael Schuman and the journalist William Pesek, have predicted that a hobbled Hong Kong economy will be the unavoidable result of the deterioration of rule of law and that the territory will wind up a casualty of the “decoupling” between China and the West—one that will cause Beijing more pain than Washington.

The appeal of that view for China hawks in Washington is obvious. So far, however, the prediction has not held up. In the first quarter of 2021, as Hong Kong authorities rounded up unprecedented numbers of political prisoners and Beijing announced a sweeping dilution of the city’s electoral institutions, Hong Kong’s stock exchange ranked fourth globally in the number of initial public offerings and second in the volume of proceeds from such deals. Foreign banks operating in Hong Kong have gone on a hiring spree, eyeing new opportunities to invest in China’s economy. And despite much media hype, the trickle of assets that skittish Hong Kong families moved to Singapore or elsewhere in the aftermath of China’s imposition, in July 2020, of a stringent new National Security Law in Hong Kong has been dwarfed by a steady flow of capital pouring into the city from mainland China and foreign countries.

Xi's Big Mistake

John Mauldin

I have mixed feelings about China. On the plus side, I think the country’s massive economic transformation may be one of the most impressive events in human history.

Bringing hundreds of millions from primitive rural lives into relatively prosperous cities within a few years was awe-inspiring. I greatly admire the millions of Chinese entrepreneurs worldwide who create jobs and technology. They’ve helped the entire world in countless ways.

And yet, I can’t forget that China’s leaders are devoted, ideologically centralist communists. Americans sometimes apply that term casually to our political opponents. Xi Jinping is an actual communist. His regime permits some limited market-like activity, but only to help achieve the government’s goals, which remain communist.

When the West first began engaging with China in the 1980s and then allowed it into the World Trade Organization in 2001, many hoped exposure to our ways would tug China toward capitalism. It seemed to be happening for the first few decades, too. But the hope is fading.

Is China Under-Exploiting One Legal Avenue in the South China Sea?

He Xiaheng Derek

The tension over conflicting sovereignty claims in the South China Sea has seen substantial growth in the past decade. The People’s Republic of China (PRC) as the largest claimant in the region has resorted to a wide range of means to justify and consolidate its claims in the disputed region, from the reclamation work on the features it occupies to the issuance of several official documents presenting evidence of its historical connections to the South China Sea. However, there is one legal avenue that seems to have been under-exploited for the PRC, and that is the 1952 Sino-Japanese Peace Treaty. Officially the PRC denies the validity of this treaty but to an ambiguous extent it still refers to the content of this treaty to justify its legitimacy in the South China Sea. The purpose of this article is to present the reasons why this treaty might be potentially helpful to the PRC’s claim and explain why its attitude towards the treaty has largely been hesitant so far.

How Serbia Became China’s Dirty-Energy Dumping Ground

Vuk Vuksanovic

Back in late 2015, Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic, then prime minister, was a guest at the national TV broadcaster, RTS. When asked by the host Olivera Jovicevic why the Chinese are interested in investing in Serbia, Vucic replied in his typically forceful fashion: “It is because they have their interests. It is because they have to shut down part of their forge factories and part of their steel mills. I guess it is because of clean air, of which I do not have enough knowledge, to be honest with you. And why should I be concerned about that?”

Six years later, these words have special weight. Serbia, a major link in China’s Belt and Road Initiative , is importing environmentally damaging economic projects from China while also embracing the Chinese model of politics in which the elite sacrifices environmental safety and public health for the sake of economic growth and to stay in power.

The story began in China back in 1978, when Chinese leader Deng Xiaoping decided to open China up to the global capitalist market. Deng’s economic reforms enabled China 40 years later to become the world’s second-largest economy and pull large swaths of its population out of poverty. However, this economic transformation that prioritized rapid industrialization over environmental security came at a heavy price in terms of environmental degradation and public health.

Here's What the Crackdown on China's Big Tech Firms Is Really About


Back in July 2014, China’s top business regulator summoned executives at Alibaba to a meeting. The State Administration for Industry and Commerce (SAIC) accused the e-commerce giant of selling illegal, dangerous and counterfeit goods, dealing with unlicensed vendors, and offering misleading sales promotions, among other alleged misdeeds.

Two months later, Alibaba debuted on Nasdaq with a world record $25 billion IPO. The substance of the SAIC’s allegations weren’t published until the following January—and when they were disclosed, billions were shaved off the firm’s valuation, albeit briefly. An investigation was also launched into whether investors had been misled by the failure to disclose, on the firm’s prospectus, the SAIC’s concerns.

A war of words then erupted between the SAIC and Alibaba’s charismatic founder, Jack Ma. In the end, to believe well-sourced reports, the Chinese Communist Party’s top leadership stepped in and smoothed things over, mindful of the damage the spat could do to investor confidence in China’s nascent tech industry. The SAIC—which admitted not going public with complaints earlier to avoid upsetting Alibaba’s IPO—quietly buried its probe. In the battle between big tech and regulators, Ma had emerged victorious.

Is China's 'Cyber Capacity' Really 10 Years Behind the US?

Rashmi Ramesh

Some security experts are questioning the findings of a recent report by the International Institute for Strategic Studies, a London-based think tank, that concludes China is 10 years behind the United States in "cyber capacity."

The report attempted to measure cyber capacity of 15 countries based on their strategy and doctrine; governance and command and control; core cyber intelligence capability; cyber empowerment and dependence, cybersecurity and resilience; global leadership in cyberspace affairs; and offensive cyber capability.

But some security experts say the report does not adequately take into account cyberattacks by nonstate actors. They say it attempts to rank countries on capabilities that are difficult to measure. And they say the report doesn't adequately consider defensive powers.

China’s Big Tech crackdown has opened a new front: national security

In the span of just a week, Chinese ride-hailing giant Didi Chuxing, went from being a tech darling with a successful US listing to the face of a new dimension to Beijing’s crackdown on its tech firms.

After the last-minute cancellation of fintech giant Ant’s IPO last year, many investors, including SoftBank and Uber, may have been holding their breath in the run-up to Didi’s US debut on June 30. But the IPO seemingly went off without a hitch—Didi priced its shares at the top range and raised $4.4 billion. A day later, its shares rose and it hit a value of $80 billion. The day after that, the Cyberspace Administration of China opened a cybersecurity investigation into Didi, citing “risks related to national data security.”

Soon, the watchdog ordered all app stores in China to remove Didi’s app, saying the company had committed “serious violations of laws and regulations in collecting and using personal information.” Shares of Didi have so far shed around 20% of their value since its debut.

China Is Worried About a Post-U.S. Afghanistan

Haiyun Ma and I-wei Jennifer Chang

The U.S. military exit from Afghanistan has predictably escalated internal turmoil and increased regional security concerns in neighboring countries like China. In the United States, though, there have been fears that China will step in to fill the gap left by Washington. Headlines such as “America departs Afghanistan as China arrives” summarize the prevailing narrative. The Daily Beast claims that China has a big plan for post-U.S. Afghanistan. Such claims are largely built on the back of the China-Pakistan-Afghanistan dialogue and cooperation program that launched in 2017.

But the idea that U.S. loss equals China’s gain is contradicted by China’s recent moves in Afghanistan. Since late May, the Chinese Embassy in Kabul and China’s Foreign Ministry have repeatedly urged Chinese citizens to leave Afghanistan. Beijing’s simultaneous criticism of the abrupt U.S. military withdrawal from Afghanistan, as voiced by China’s ambassador to the U.N., Zhang Jun, and Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi, actually reveals a deep-rooted Chinese view that the sustained U.S. military presence in Afghanistan aided in securing Beijing’s interests there.

Nagorno-Karabakh: The Endless Conflict in the Black Garden

Roland Benedikter

Following U.S. President Joe Biden’s April 2021 recognition of the mass murder of Armenians in the 20th century as genocide, there is new movement in the Caucasus. Both Turkey and Armenia have been involved in the conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh, the “mountainous black garden” in the South Caucasus. In 2020, the latest war between Azerbaijan and Armenia occurred in a seemingly endless history of conflict. The situation seems intractable to many. The war over the territory has hardened the fronts and plunged Armenia, the losing nation, into chaos. Many questions remain unresolved. Nevertheless, there are (limited) prospects, including the diplomatic initiatives of the OSCE as well as individual states such as Russia. A very special institutional-regulatory model of pacification has been repeatedly brought into play since the 1990s: South Tyrol. Territorial autonomy there has transformed ethnic conflicts into institutionalized coexistence. The question is how realistic it is to adapt this model in the Caucasus.

Iran’s Pretense of Strength

Hilal Khashan

Iran presents itself to the outside world as the mighty Islamic Republic, built on strength, perseverance and independence. But in reality, Iran is a weak country. Its military hardware is obsolete, and its economy is hurting. It became a regional power only by default following Iraq’s loss in the 1991 Gulf War and the subsequent crippling blockade. The uprisings that shattered several Arab countries didn’t affect Iran, which then gained a modicum of power and influence in the region, despite its internal weakness. Iran thus succeeded in transforming its mediocre capabilities into assets in a turbulent Middle East, but  this should not be confused with real strength.                                       (click to enlarge)

Top Pentagon weapons office faces vacancies as the military rushes to focus on China


The Pentagon is facing a leadership vacuum in the office tasked with buying and modernizing its weapons and developing new technologies, even as the Biden administration pushes through its first budget and launches sweeping reviews on strategy and nuclear policy.

Stacy Cummings, who has been performing the duties of undersecretary of defense for acquisition and sustainment, is leaving the Pentagon in the coming weeks, a Pentagon spokesperson told POLITICO. Two people familiar with the situation say Cummings is taking a position within NATO.

“Succession plans are in place to ensure continuity of operations and support of the Secretary’s priorities," Pentagon spokesperson Jessica Maxwell said in a statement. "We will be announcing the transition plan in the coming weeks.”

Cyberspace and security: Biden’s ongoing battle

Sarah Kuszynski

The term ‘cyberspace’ was coined by William Gibson in his 1989 novel Neuromancer, he defined it as a system comprising of “Unthinkable complexity. Lines of light ranged in the non-space of the mind, clusters and constellations of data”. This ‘unthinkable complexity’ challenges US defence and security policy in multiple ways. These challenges include the cyber domain’s “reach, speed, anonymous nature, and offence-dominated conflict”. Of course, cyberspace has enabled prosperity and increased innovation, but along with it has been rapidly expanding threats and vulnerabilities which intersect with all dimensions of American society.

In cyberspace the US faces a panoply of threats from organised cybercrime and ransomware attacks to state-sponsored economic espionage and state-led attacks on health care, financial services, and manufacturing. All this comes at great economic cost. The Centre for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), estimates that $600 billion a year is lost from the global economy due to cybercrime. This cost will only increase as the ‘Internet of Things’ expands. As John P. Carlin, states in his book Dawn of the Code War: “we’re living online in a straw house – that even as the wolf approaches the door, we’re continuing to cram ever more stuff into”. Hence, for the US to stand any chance of ‘winning’ the Code War it “requires both building a stronger house (defence) and chasing away the wolf (offence)”.

Response from NSO Group to the Pegasus Project

Forbidden Stories, a Paris-based journalism nonprofit, and Amnesty International had access to a list of phone numbers concentrated in countries known to surveil their citizens and also known to have been clients of NSO Group, an Israeli firm that is a leader in the field of spyware. The two nonprofits shared the information with The Post and 15 other news organizations worldwide that have worked collaboratively to conduct further analysis and reporting over several months. Forbidden Stories oversaw the Pegasus Project, and Amnesty International provided forensic analysis but had no editorial input.

The reporters of the Pegasus Project found that NSO’s Pegasus spyware, meant be to licensed to governments for tracking terrorists and criminals, was used in attempted and successful hacks of 37 smartphones belonging to journalists, human rights activists, business executives and the two women closest to murdered Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

Below are the responses from the company.

First response

Revealed: leak uncovers global abuse of cyber-surveillance weapon

Stephanie Kirchgaessner, Paul Lewis, David Pegg, Sam Cutler, Nina Lakhani, Michael Safi18 Source Link

Human rights activists, journalists and lawyers across the world have been targeted by authoritarian governments using hacking software sold by the Israeli surveillance company NSO Group, according to an investigation into a massive data leak.

The investigation by the Guardian and 16 other media organisations suggests widespread and continuing abuse of NSO’s hacking spyware, Pegasus, which the company insists is only intended for use against criminals and terrorists.

Pegasus is a malware that infects iPhones and Android devices to enable operators of the tool to extract messages, photos and emails, record calls and secretly activate microphones.

The leak contains a list of more than 50,000 phone numbers that, it is believed, have been identified as those of people of interest by clients of NSO since 2016.

Multidisciplinary Approaches to Security: The Paris School and Ontological Security

Katharina Langwald

In 2006, Jennifer Mitzen famously argued that states do not only seek physical security but also ontological security, or security of the self.[1] Drawing on elements from psychology and psychoanalysis, she proposed a novel approach to the study of security that focuses on the relationship between anxiety and identity.[2] Since then, the concept of ontological security has been increasingly used in the study of international relations as it offers alternative explanations, for example, to the reproduction of security dilemmas through states’ attachment to routinized social relations.[3] The most widely referenced authors in this field are Mitzen, Steele and more recently Rumelili.

Another school of security studies that similarly tries to integrate other disciplines in the study of security and conflict is the Paris School, with Didier Bigo as its most prominent representative.[4] The Paris School aims to analyse security issues by using conceptual and operational tools from the realms of IR, sociology, and criminology.[5] Recognizing the work of Barry Buzan and Ole Wӕver, the Paris School’s main contribution is by adding to the analysis of securitization processes based on speech acts and on the significance of security practices, while building on the sociological approaches of Bourdieu and Foucault.[6]

‘NGOization’: From Activism to Advocacy

Paula Lobato Gonzalez

Since the 1990s, the perception and work of NGOs has begun to shift. Driven both by external and internal pressures, these organizations have increasingly been plunged into a process of ‘NGOization’. NGOization is a trend in the structural construction of NGOs that produces a shift from horizontal and broad organizations to more vertical and professionalized roles (Lang 2012, p. 73). NGOs have moved from “engaging with” to “talking about” social and political concerns (Lang 2012, p. 91). This trend is found both in democratic societies as well as in areas undergoing processes of democratic development, although with different intensity depending on the historical context of each society (Mojab 2009, p. 105-110), and is often motivated by large funding from international organizations (Lang 2012, p. 73). The aim of this article is to look at the concept of NGOization, how it has been constructed, what the trend implies for NGOs, as well as its main consequences and criticisms. Lastly, it will explore the process of NGOization in the particular case of women’s organizations in Turkey.

How the Intelligence Community Can Get Better at Open Source Intel


During his House Appropriations Committee testimony on May 27, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley presciently stated that a country must master ubiquitous intelligence-surveillance-reconnaissance to win the next major war. Indeed, in an era in which the United States can no longer rely on economic or military overmatch to guarantee its security, we need a more intimate understanding of an adversary’s goals, intentions, capabilities, and actions to safeguard our national interests. The chairman’s challenge begs important questions. How do we ensure that our civilian and military leaders enjoy decision advantage in an increasingly contested environment? Channeling the mindset of Sun Tzu, how can we win before the first shot is fired—or prevail without any shots at all?

Senior leaders consistently assert that the key to decision advantage in an ISR construct is timely acquisition and analysis of the best information. Historically, the analysis produced to meet intelligence requirements was based predominantly on data acquired by government collectors and government technologies. Unlike open data sources, intelligence officers can task sensitive intelligence sources and methods to target the specific people, places and events that drive the intelligence needs of our policymakers and commanders.

What Climate Scientists Are Saying About This Catastrophic Summer


By all accounts, the climate crisis is already here. Deadly heat domes across the Pacific Northwest, a petroleum pipeline leak in the middle of the ocean that set the Gulf of Mexico on fire, and the deadly floods in Germany and Belgium in the past few weeks alone have proved that the world is changing in response to how we have changed it.*

No one should be surprised by this. For decades, scientists have been ringing the alarm bell about anthropogenic climate change. Over 30 years ago, NASA scientist James Hansen told the U.S. Congress that the “greenhouse effect is here.” And long before then, in the 1800s, scientists like Svante Arrhenius calculated that doubling the amount of CO2 that was in the atmosphere in 1895 would lead to global warming of 5 to 6 degrees Celsius in average global temperatures. “That wasn’t too far off,” said Peter Kalmus, a climate scientist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, speaking on his own behalf. It was just that Arrhenius’s timeframe for how quickly humans would emit those gasses was way off, Kalmus added: “It only took about 125 years for that increase in CO2 fraction that he thought would take 3000 years. He grossly underestimated the rate of emissions from burning fossil fuels that we actually did.”

‘Wobbling’ moon will cause devastating worldwide flooding in 2030s, Nasa warns

Nick Allen

The world faces an onslaught of coastal flooding starting in the mid-2030s due to a "wobble" in the moon's orbit, Nasa has warned.

Numbers of floods could quadruple as the gravitational effects of the lunar cycle combine with climate change to produce "a decade of dramatic increases" in water disasters.

The space agency said coastal cities would experience "rapidly increasing high-tide floods" and they would occur in "clusters" lasting a month or longer.

It said the main cause was a "regular wobble" in the moon’s orbit, which was first recorded in 1728.

Nasa said: "What’s new is how one of the wobble’s effects on the moon’s gravitational pull – the main cause of Earth’s tides – will combine with rising sea levels resulting from the planet’s warming."

Global Migration Is Not Abating. Neither Is the Backlash Against It

Around the world, far-right populist parties continue to stoke the popular backlash against global migration, driving some centrist governments to adopt a tougher line on immigration. But with short-term strategies dominating the debate, many of the persistent drivers of migration go unaddressed, even as efforts to craft a global consensus on migration are hobbled by demands for quick solutions.

The European Migrant Crisis of 2015 has long since abated, but European nativist and populist parties continue to attempt to stoke the popular backlash against immigrants to fuel their rise. Italy’s Matteo Salvini, the golden boy of Europe’s anti-immigrant populists, even rode the issue into government in 2018, before marginalizing himself with a bid to force early elections in 2019 and, more recently, misplaying the politics of the COVID-19 crisis. Nevertheless, Europe’s other far-right populists, like France’s Marine Le Pen, continue to hammer on anti-immigrant sentiment, hoping it will remain a potent issue in upcoming elections.

2000% increase in cyber security breaches during pandemic

New Delhi: The Covid-19 pandemic and rising digitisation has led to a surge in cybercrimes. India saw the number of breaches increased by 2,000 per cent during the pandemic, said experts at Pursuit 2021 -- an event on cybersecurity organised by Internet and Mobile Association of India.

There has been a rise in targeted attacks, during the pandemic and "cyberwar has started", said Gulshan Rai, India's first Cybersecurity Coordinator and Distinguished Fellow, ORF.

Although 90 per cent of attacks are traditional attacks, which include phishing, malware, etc, however, the key concern is the rise in the number of targeted attacks (which accounts for 9 per cent currently). Solar winds, Wannacry, are some examples of targeted attacks which are detrimental for any organisation and nation.

Ransomware is the New-age Atomic Bomb

Richard Singha

Ransomware can start cyber warfare! This is why.

What if you can’t drive to your office because the traffic lights are red everywhere? You were to travel somewhere but you can’t take a train because the train control systems are not working. You can’t even take a flight because the systems of air traffic control won’t work. Any of your devices can’t connect to the internet because there is a power outage.

Now imagine if the situations mentioned above arise, how would you react? Or how would the world react?

There will be chaos everywhere!

The worst will be if no one knows why it is happening or who is behind it.

Remember Grozny: How Russia Bombed a City into Submission

Mark Episkopos

Here's What You Need to Remember: Russian troops finally took Grozny on the heels of around 25,000-35,000 civilian casualties, but a small group of Chechen fighters infiltrated and recaptured portions of the city, inflicting devastating defeats on Russian armored columns in the process.

The early 1990’s collapse of the Soviet Union sparked a long procession of armed conflicts across Eurasia, but few of these post-Soviet catastrophes reached the destruction wrought by the First Chechen War.

How It Started

Chechen separatists declared independence from the Soviet Union in 1991. Following years of internal turmoil in Chechnya and a failed coup attempt against Chechen leader Dzhokhar Dudayev, the Boris Yeltsin administration staged a full-scale military intervention to restore Russian control over Chechnya.

Unprepared: Europe Will Definitely Lose the Next War

Michael Peck

Here's What You Need to Know: The problem?

Europe’s navies are falling behind when it comes to anti-aircraft warfare.

The problem? European warships don’t carry as many missiles as their American and Asian counterparts. More specifically, their vertical launch systems (VLS), which consist of dozens of cells that each contain a missile, don’t have as many cells as the VLS on U.S. and Asian warships.

“One striking differential in terms of European navies’ capabilities concerns VLS capacity,” writes Nick Childs, a researcher for the London-based International Institute for Strategic Studies. “Most European platforms are built around a maximum forty-eight-cell VLS capability for their principal weapons systems. U.S. ships accommodate at least ninety cells, rising to 122 on the Ticonderoga. Japan’s ships likewise sport some ninety cells, while South Korea’s latest ships have eighty. The PLAN’s [Chinese navy’s] Type-052Ds host sixty-four cells for their principal weapons and the Type-055s 112. Clearly, such numbers have significance in terms of being able to sustain operations in a high-intensity confrontation. Given the difficulties of resupply, particularly at sea, it also has implications for those European navies, particularly the British and French, contemplating long-range deployments, such as to the Indo-Pacific.”

When It Comes to Hypersonic Weapons What Is America's Strategy?

Mark Episkopos

Arecently updated Congressional Research Service (CRS) report offers a comprehensive look at the many complex issues surrounding the U.S. military’s adoption of hypersonic weapons technology.

The report, authored by defense analyst Kelley Sayler, opens with a primer distinguishing between the two main types of hypersonic weapons: hypersonic glide vehicles (HGVs) and hypersonic cruise missiles. The paper then turns to a succinct outline of the hypersonic projects pursued by Russia, China, and the United States For the former, these include the U.S. Navy’s Conventional Prompt Strike (CPS) weapon, the Army’s Long-Range Hypersonic Weapon (LRHW), the Air Force’s Hypersonic Attack Cruise Missile (HACM) and AGM-183 Air-Launched Rapid Response Weapon (ARRW), and DARPA’s Tactical Boost Glide (TBG), Operational Fires (OpFires), and Hypersonic Air-breathing Weapon Concept (HAWC). The Defense Department is also reviewing hypersonic missile defense options, but those proposals are still in a fledgling state. The report notes that U.S. funding for hypersonic weapons programs has increased in recent years, partly to keep pace with growing Russian and Chinese capabilities in this domain. But, whereas the latter two have primarily focused on nuclear-capable hypersonic systems, most U.S. hypersonic weapons are being designed for tactical use. These conventional weapons, posits the report, require greater accuracy and are more difficult to develop than their nuclear counterparts.