31 August 2021

Cyber Weapons – A Weapon of War?

  Maj Gen PK Mallick, VSM (Retd)

The character of warfare has changed fundamentally over the last decade. In the past, it was essential for an adversary nation or insurgent to physically bring weapons to bear during combat. That requirement is no longer a necessity. In cyber operations, the only weapons that need to be used are bits and bytes. In this new era of warfare, logistics issues that often restrict and limit conventional warfare and weaponry are not impediments. This new weaponry moves at the speed of light, is available to every human on the planet and can be as surgical as a scalpel or as devastating as a nuclear bomb.

Cyber attacks in various forms have become a global problem. Cyber weapons are low-cost, low-risk, highly effective and easily deployable globally. This new class of weapons is within reach of many countries, extremist or terrorist groups, non-state actors, and even individuals. Cyber crime organisations are developing cyber weapons effectively. The use of offensive Cyber operations by nation-states directly against another or by co-opting cyber criminals has blurred the line between spies and non-state malicious hackers. New entrants, both nation-states and non-state actors have unmatched espionage and surveillance capabilities with significant capabilities. They are often the forerunners for criminal financial gain, destruction and disruption operations. Progressively, we see non-state actors including commercial entities, developing capabilities that were solely held by a handful of state actors.

Social Media in Violent Conflicts – Recent Examples

  Maj Gen PK Mallick, VSM (Retd)

Alan Rusbridger, the then editor-in-chief of the Guardian in his 2010 Andrew Olle Media Lecture, stated, “News organisations still break lots of news. But, increasingly, news happens first on Twitter. If you’re a regular Twitter user, even if you’re in the news business and have access to wires, the chances are that you’ll check out many rumours of breaking news on Twitter first. There are millions of human monitors out there who will pick up on the smallest things and who have the same instincts as the agencies—to be the first with the news. As more people join, the better it will get. ”

The most important and unique feature of social media and its role in future conflicts is the speed at which it can disseminate information to audiences and the audiences to provide feedback.

Facebook’s Taliban Ban Will Prove Costly for Afghans

Bhaskar Chakravorti

As the Afghan state collapsed, the international community headed for the exits, and hundreds of thousands of Afghans were struggling to follow, social media remained on the ground as the only reliable eyes and ears on the unfolding calamity. But even those eyes and ears may be at risk of being lost. Citing its stance on “dangerous individuals and organizations,” Facebook reaffirmed its ban on the Taliban and pro-Taliban content on Aug. 17. After being on the wrong side of history so many times for spreading misinformation and propaganda, the beleaguered tech company seems eager to nip another reputational risk right in the bud.

I fear Facebook will end up on the wrong side of history yet again. Notwithstanding the Taliban’s record of violence and oppression and likely brutal rule, deplatforming the group may make a monumental failure of U.S. intelligence and nation-building even worse. For several reasons, it is ill-advised.

For one, Facebook’s ban is halfhearted and full of leaks. Pro-Taliban users can still freely use WhatsApp, the wildly popular Facebook-owned messaging app. This is because the app is end-to-end encrypted, which means its content cannot be monitored by Facebook’s observers. While it is true that Facebook has blocked official Taliban WhatsApp accounts, such tactics have also had unintended consequences: For example, a WhatsApp hotline set up by the Taliban for Afghan citizens to report violent incidents and looting also got shut down.

It’s Crazy to Trust the Haqqanis

Anchal Vohra

Yesterday’s explosions at Kabul’s crowded airport gate served as a grim reminder of the threats in Afghanistan that still confront Afghans, the region, and the United States. The Islamic State-Khorasan, an offshoot of the Islamic State, claimed responsibility for the attacks that killed more than 70 Afghans and at least 13 U.S. service personnel.

But Islamic State-Khorasan isn’t the only jihadist group the United States needs to be worried about as it leaves Afghanistan. The Haqqani network is at the center of numerous militant networks and the new Taliban-dominated Afghan government. Although its leaders pretend to have had a change of heart as they assume national power, no one believes they intend to cut ties with terror groups.

Over the last two decades, the Haqqanis became a leading face of armed opposition to U.S. forces and carried out lethal attacks, including a 19-hour siege of the U.S. Embassy. They also became a transnational mafia trading in sectors from a ransom industry to real estate, telephones, car dealerships, mineral smuggling, and narcotics trafficking.

The Neocons Speak: Afghanistan As Political Real Estate – OpEd

Binoy Kampmark

When the tears dry, it is worth considering why there is so much upset about the fall of Kabul (or reconquest) by the Taliban and the messy withdrawal of US-led forces. A large shield is employed: women, rights of the subject, education. Remove the shield, and we are left with a simple equation of power gone wrong in the name of paternalistic warmongering.

The noisiest group of Afghanistan stayers are the neoconservatives resentful because their bit of political real estate is getting away. In being defeated, they are left with the task of explaining to the soldiery that blood was not expended in vain against a foe they failed to defeat. “You took out a brutal enemy,” goes a statement from US President George W. Bush and his wife Laura, “and denied Al Qaeda a safe haven while building schools, sending supplies, and providing medical care.” The couple throw in the contribution of Dr. Sakena Yacoobi of the Afghan Institute of Learning, behind the opening of “schools for girls and women around the nation.”

Paul Wolfowitz, who served as Bush’s deputy defence secretary, is less sentimental in his assessment of the Afghanistan fiasco. To Australia’s Radio National, he was unsparing in calling the victors “a terrorist mob that has been hating the United States for the last 20 years.” They had provided the launching ground for “one of history’s worst attacks on the United States” and were now “going to be running that bit of hostile territory.”

Afghanistan’s Economic Uncertainty: Will China Fill The Gap? – Analysis

Francis Kwesi Kyirewiah*

Since the takeover of Afghanistan, there is a growing concern most importantly about the fragile Afghan economy. It’s a fact that the United States of America has been providing huge economic assistance for Afghanistan for the past 20 years and all this is possibly coming to an end with the Taliban in power. For the past 20 years, the Afghan economy has depended on foreign aid, it is on record that 75% of Afghan’s public expenditure was financed by international aid, and the withdrawal of foreign troops will lead to a drastic drop in funding for their administration. For now, the Taliban has failed to gain international recognition except China. China has so far openly expressed its willingness to trust and cooperate with the Taliban. Will China replace the United States’ financial support in Afghanistan?

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) announced in a statement that due to a lack of consensus on the Taliban regime in the international community, the Taliban in Afghanistan will not be able to access nearly $500 million in reserve funds and other IMF-related resources. The United States, in addition, had frozen nearly $7 billion of assets deposited by the Afghan government in the United States Federal Reserve Board. The outgoing Governor of the Central Bank of Afghanistan, Ajmal Ahmady in a conversation with the Wall Street Journal emphasized that the financial resources available to the Taliban are only 0.1% of the total Afghans international reserve.

Taliban’s Attitude To ISIS Will Be Critical For US Decisions On Afghanistan – Analysis

P. K. Balachandran

The airport blasts could re-open the military option if the Taliban do not crackdown on the ISIS

The ISIS-engineered blasts near the Kabul airport on Thursday, in which 13 US soldiers were killed along with dozens of Afghan civilians, have put the US at the crossroads. The blasts have put a question mark on US military withdrawal by August 31. They could also re-open the military option if the Taliban is unable or unwilling to crackdown on the ISIS as a priority. At any rate, peace in not in the offing in Afghanistan.

US President Joe Biden is undecided on what to do. On the one hand, he says he will stick to the withdrawal plan, and on the other, he vows to teach the ISIS-KP a lesson, which can be done only by waging war against it in Afghanistan, primarily.

“To those who carried out this attack, as well as anyone who wishes America harm, know this: We will not forgive; we will not forget,” Biden said in Washington. “We will hunt you down and make you pay. I will defend our interests in our people with every measure at my command,” he vowed even as he stated that the US will continue the evacuations of American citizens and US allies despite the attack. “We will not be deterred by terrorists; we will not let them stop our mission. We will continue the evacuations,” he said.

Amid Afghan Chaos, a C.I.A. Mission That Will Persist for Years

Mark Mazzetti, Julian E. Barnes and Adam Goldman

WASHINGTON — As the Afghanistan war wound down, the C.I.A. had expected to gradually shift its primary focus away from counterterrorism — a mission that transformed the agency over two decades into a paramilitary organization focused on manhunts and killing — toward traditional spycraft against powers like China and Russia.

But a pair of deadly explosions on Thursday were the latest in a series of rapidly unfolding events since the collapse of the Afghan government and the Taliban takeover of the country that have upended that plan. Like a black hole with its own gravitational pull, Afghanistan could draw the C.I.A. back into a complex counterterrorism mission for years to come.

American officials are reworking plans to counter threats that could emerge from Afghanistan’s chaos, according to current and former officials: negotiating for new bases in Central Asian countries; determining how clandestine officers can run sources in the country without the military and diplomatic outposts that provided cover to spies for two decades; and figuring out from where the C.I.A. could launch drone strikes and other Afghanistan operations.

Kori Schake on why America should keep faith in the rules-based order

Kori Schake

MY FAVOURITE expression of America’s dynamism comes from the country’s former poet laureate, Robert Pinsky: “American culture”, he observed, “seems so much in process, so brilliantly and sometimes brutally in motion, that standard models for it fail to apply.” What pessimists about American power overlook is the protean regeneration that is the country’s essential nature.

The United States has a government created by people who distrusted government, and is a great power whose people would prefer to remain uninvolved in the world. Those anomalies make it difficult to sustain international commitments, especially involving countries not constituted along similar domestic lines. And yet America is the architect of a durable political, economic and security order that has made it and others safer and more prosperous.

The debacle in Afghanistan will require demonstrations of greater commitment elsewhere, but it doesn’t call into question the order itself. In fact, that America and its allies persevered in Afghanistan for 20 years despite very slow progress may even deter some challengers.

After Decades of War, ISIS and Al Qaeda Can Still Wreak Havoc

Ben Hubbard, Eric Schmitt and Matthew Rosenberg

DOHA, Qatar — The nightmare that kept counterterrorism experts awake even before the Taliban returned to power is that Afghanistan would become fertile ground for terrorist groups, most notably Al Qaeda and the Islamic State.

Two explosions claimed by the Islamic State that killed dozens of people, including at least 13 American service members, in Kabul on Thursday bolstered fears that the nightmare was fast becoming a reality.

“I can’t tell you how upsetting and depressing this is,” said Saad Mohseni, the owner of Tolo, one of Afghanistan’s most popular television channels. “It feels like it’s back to business as usual — more bombings, more attacks, except that now we’re going to have to deal with it all under a Taliban regime.”

Twenty years of military action by the United States and its international partners aimed at stamping out terrorism have exacted major tolls on Al Qaeda and the Islamic State, killing many of their fighters and leaders and largely preventing them from holding territory.

Inside the Hidden War Between the Taliban and ISIS

Alan Cullison

“They will let me free if they are good Muslims,” he told The Wall Street Journal in an interview.

When Taliban fighters seized Kabul last week, they took control of the prison, freed hundreds of inmates, and killed Mr. Khorasani and eight other members of his terror group.

Just as the Taliban has been fighting American coalition forces in Afghanistan, it has been waging a separate but parallel war against its rival Islamist group.

On one side are the Taliban, who have co-opted remnants of al Qaeda. On the other is the Afghan arm of Islamic State, known as ISIS-K, which has sought to incorporate parts of Afghanistan into a broader caliphate emanating from the Middle East.

The Taliban, assisted at times by other countries and U.S. coalition forces, were the winner in that effort, defense officials say. ISIS-K has been driven from its enclaves in Afghanistan and its fighters dispersed into hiding. There appeared to be little resistance as the Taliban swept across the country this month in the wake of the U.S. withdrawal.

Decoding the Taliban’s Victory

Mohammed Ayoob

Analysts and observers have advanced many theories to explain the Taliban victory in Afghanistan and the mind-bogglingly sudden collapse of the Kabul government with its army trained and equipped by the United States. Some of these explanations underscore acts of omission and commission on the part of the United States. Others emphasize the shortfalls of Afghan leaders, especially their inability to work together and the endemic corruption within the system presided over by the Kabul government after the overthrow of the Taliban in 2001-2002.

The most important among the first set of explanations is Washington’s decision to invade Iraq. This had several implications for American involvement in Afghanistan. The first was the diversion of American resources in terms of money and personnel that could have been utilized in Afghanistan to better effect. In short, Washington drastically downgraded Afghanistan’s importance in its foreign policy priorities once it decided to overthrow Saddam Hussein, which it did on the pretext that he possessed nuclear weapons and was implicated in the Al Qaeda attack on the United States. Both these claims turned out to be false but the Bush administration had become so much of a captive of its narrative that it ended up totally destroying Iraq’s state capacity and thus unleashing unprecedented chaos, mayhem, and sectarian strife in the country from which Iraq has yet to recover.

Behind Enemy Lines: Will America Face an Afghan Hostage Crisis?

Patrick Fox

The current situation in Afghanistan grows more dire by the day for the fate of the thousands of American, coalition, and Afghan civilians trapped by the Taliban. The last time the United States was faced with comparable thousands of its civilians trapped behind enemy lines was 1942 when the Japanese invaded and overran the Philippines. Back then, the outcome for U.S. civilians and prisoners of war was brutal beyond belief. Fortunately, the situation in Afghanistan should not require three years and a sixteen-division invasion force to rectify. What it will require is a willingness to embrace harsh expediency, to a degree not evidenced by the U.S. military in decades.

Conditions in Afghanistan are fluid. For the moment the Taliban seem to be limiting themselves to harassing and curtailing the movement of foreign nationals to Hamid Karzai International Airport (HKIAP), rather than abducting them or worse. There is no guarantee that restraint will continue. The United States should prepare for this status quo to deteriorate rapidly once the euphoria of the Taliban’s victory dissipates and they begin to exercise a greater degree of control over their various forces.

Fall of Kabul: Inconvenient Truths for NATO

Rachel Ellehuus, Pierre Morcos

Since 2001, the United States and its NATO allies and partners had been heavily committed in Afghanistan, where more than 3,500 of their soldiers paid the ultimate sacrifice. It is therefore not surprising that the rapid fall of Kabul sent shockwaves across Europe and stirred an intense debate among European leaders about its implications for the transatlantic partnership.

In the United Kingdom, during an extraordinary session of the House of Commons on Afghanistan, Conservative lawmaker James Sunderland remarked, “The fall of Kabul, like Suez, has shown that the United Kingdom may not be able to operate autonomously without U.S. involvement.” Sunderland was not the first to use this historical analogy to convey the sense of disillusion and anger prevailing in London, with British defense secretary Ben Wallace calling it a “failure of the international community.” Armin Laschet, leader of the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) and candidate to succeed Angela Merkel, went further, declaring this “the biggest debacle that NATO has suffered since its founding.”

While such emotional sentiments reflect the frustration and anger of the present and may soften over time, the withdrawal from Afghanistan is likely to have both immediate and long-term effects on Europe, NATO, and transatlantic relations.

What Intelligence was there on Afghanistan?

When The Washington Post reported this week that CIA Director William Burns slipped into Afghanistan on Monday to meet with Taliban leader Abdul Ghani Baradar, it was described as the highest-level face-to-face encounter between the Taliban and the Biden Administration. WaPo cited anonymous sources for the information and the CIA offered no immediate comment on the reporting. If the reporting is accurate, it doesn’t answer any immediate questions about why the President would dispatch the CIA director for such a meeting.

What we do know, is that the unexpected advances of the Taliban that have dominated the headlines over the past week and a half were initially blamed on an intelligence failure by many. Early on, Cipher Brief Expert and former Acting Director of CIA John McLaughlin tweeted that “The ‘intelligence failure’ drumbeat is starting. People should be careful about the charge if they have not actually seen/read the intelligence…”

So, what intelligence did the US have that would have led to a different outcome in Kabul and throughout the country?

U.S. officials provided Taliban with names of Americans, Afghan allies to evacuate


U.S. officials in Kabul gave the Taliban a list of names of American citizens, green card holders and Afghan allies to grant entry into the militant-controlled outer perimeter of the city’s airport, a choice that's prompted outrage behind the scenes from lawmakers and military officials.

The move, detailed to POLITICO by three U.S. and congressional officials, was designed to expedite the evacuation of tens of thousands of people from Afghanistan as chaos erupted in Afghanistan’s capital city last week after the Taliban seized control of the country. It also came as the Biden administration has been relying on the Taliban for security outside the airport.

Since the fall of Kabul in mid-August, nearly 100,000 people have been evacuated, most of whom had to pass through the Taliban's many checkpoints. But the decision to provide specific names to the Taliban, which has a history of brutally murdering Afghans who collaborated with the U.S. and other coalition forces during the conflict, has angered lawmakers and military officials.

Why Terrorists Will Target China in Pakistan

Abdul Basit

With great power comes great responsibility, as the old Marvel comics maxim goes. But great power also attracts envy, anger, and enemies.

This is something that China is learning belatedly—and much to its chagrin—in Pakistan, where its investment projects are facing complications and its citizens and facilities are increasingly being targeted by local terrorist organizations, from jihadi groups like Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) to ethnoseparatists in Balochistan and Sindh.

China has long been in the crosshairs of Pakistani militants. But lately the pace of attacks appears to be picking up. Last Friday saw the latest attempt, this time by the Balochistan Liberation Army (BLA) against Chinese transports in Gwadar. The group has repeatedly targeted high-profile Chinese targets in Pakistan, including the Chinese Consulate in Karachi in November 2018.

Reports diverge regarding the casualties of this latest attack, with the BLA claiming it killed six Chinese nationals and three security guards, while Chinese and Pakistani authorities claim one Chinese national was injured and two children were killed (the BLA claims the two children were killed by scattershot firing from Pakistani forces). Whatever the grim count, the attack is the fourth high-profile incident this year, and it also confirms the worrying trend of using suicide bombers, an innovation for the Balochi group.

Taliban Takeover Is Bad News For China – Analysis

Michael Clarke*

The withdrawal of the United States from Afghanistan has prompted much breathless commentary, including on the implications for China’s role in the region. But despite predictions of sweeping geopolitical gains, China will be observing the Taliban takeover with significant concern.

One narrative suggests that US withdrawal from Afghanistan will enable China to swoop in and scoop up the country’s mineral resources or broker a partnership with the Taliban to make Afghanistan a vital part of its Belt and Road Initiative. Supposedly, it may even prompt Beijing to ‘prosecute its interests with regard to Taiwan’ in the near term.

Such commentary is hyperbolic. It ignores both the record of China’s relationship with the Taliban when they controlled most of Afghanistan in the 1990s and the hierarchy of Beijing’s interests in Central Asia. China’s defensive interests — such as ensuring no spill-over of security threats from Afghanistan into Xinjiang — remain pre-eminent. Its more positive interests, from economic investment through to pushing for a greater role for the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), come a distant second.

Afghanistan: China’s Reaction To US Military Withdrawal – Analysis

Dr. Mohamad Zreik*

US President Joe Biden has made a strategic decision to withdraw US forces from Afghanistan, after twenty years of military presence under the pretext of eliminating terrorism and spreading democracy. Twenty years later, the Taliban has become more powerful and influential and has seized all the joints of the state and major cities easily and in a record period, which leaves many questions about the role that the United States was playing in Afghanistan and its relationship with the Taliban. Paradoxically, the superpower, accompanied by an alliance of powerful armies, could not eliminate an armed group not too numerous.

Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, who was one of the political promoters of the US (Western) intervention in Afghanistan, has expressed his shock at the Biden administration’s decision to withdraw military, and considered this decision “tragic, dangerous, unnecessary and idiotic.” Tony Blair led Britain to participate in the US campaign against Afghanistan in 2001 under the administration of President George W. Bush. In a scathing statement to the US leadership, Blair said, “the absence of consensus and cooperation and the deep politicization of foreign policy and security issues clearly weaken the power of the United States.”

Hedging Saudi Bets: Iran Looms, Israel Beckons, And Taliban Cause Goosebumps – Analysis

James M. Dorsey

Prince Khalid bin Salman may not have planned it that way but the timing of his visit to Moscow last week and message to Washington resounded loud and clear.

The Saudi deputy defence minister was signalling by not postponing the visit that he was trying to hedge the kingdom’s bets by signing a defence cooperation agreement with Russia as the United States fumbled to evacuate thousands from Afghanistan after Kabul was captured by the Taliban.

Saudi Arabia would have wanted to be seen to be hedging its bets with and without the US debacle. The kingdom, moreover, realizes that Russia will exploit opportunities created by the fiasco but is neither willing nor capable to replace the United States as the Gulf’s security guarantor.

Nevertheless, Saudi Arabia likely wants to capitalize on jitters in the United States as Washington tries to get a grip on what went wrong and come to terms with the fact that the Central Asian country will again be governed by the very religious militants it ousted from power 20 years ago because they allowed Al Qaeda to plan its 9/11 attacks from Afghanistan.

We Have No Idea What We're Fighting for Anymore


Once again, we are we seeing Americans being airlifted to safety amidst chaos and defeat, abandoning many of those who helped us. There will be much finger-pointing and political posturing about who is to blame. We can have those conversations. But the question no one is discussing is why for decades successive administrations of both parties continue to involve us in wars that not only we don’t win, but that for years we keep on fighting even when we know we can’t win and our objectives in those wars are confusing and malleable. If you look back over the history of our war in Afghanistan, it was clear as early as 2002 that we didn’t fully understand what we were doing there anymore or how to go about doing it. Yet we remained for nearly 20 more bloody years.

Why do we keep doing this? How can we stop?

We get into these wars on the recommendations of presidents who are influenced by their staffs, most of whom are selected by the president and share the president’s viewpoint. These come after we are already involved militarily. Before the Gulf of Tonkin resolution, Green Berets were advising the South Vietnamese armed forces, our Air Force was bombing North Vietnamese supply routes in Laos, and our Navy was supporting South Vietnamese raids against the North Vietnamese coastline. Before the October 2002 authorization of the use of force (AUF) in Iraq, we were operating a “no fly zone,” and had military bases in several neighboring countries, a clear signal we were prepared to use military force if Saddam Hussein didn’t behave. A decade before the October 2001 AUF in Afghanistan the CIA had been helping the Taliban fight the Russians and we had supplied them with sophisticated weapons. One month before that resolution, President Bush was openly talking about “the war on terror.” What debates there were over these AUFs were largely full of jingoism and rah-rah warrior language, the last thing we want when committing our young to their possible deaths.

Israel’s Spy Agency Snubbed the U.S. Can Trust Be Restored?

Julian E. Barnes, Ronen Bergman and Adam Goldman

WASHINGTON — The cable sent this year by the outgoing C.I.A. officer in charge of building spy networks in Iran reverberated throughout the intelligence agency’s Langley headquarters, officials say: America’s network of informers had largely been lost to Tehran’s brutally efficient counterintelligence operations, which has stymied efforts to rebuild it.

Israel has helped fill the breach, officials say, its robust operations in Iran providing the United States with streams of reliable intelligence on Iran’s nuclear activities, missile programs and on its support for militias around the region.

The two countries’ intelligence services have a long history of cooperation and operated in virtual lock step during the Trump administration, which approved or was party to many Israeli operations in its shadow war against Iran.

Ending the Forever Wars Was Never Up to Us

Adam Kinzinger

The United States has not endured a single combat death in Afghanistan since February 2020. That ended Thursday, with 13 service members killed following the attacks by the Islamic State-Khorasan at the Kabul airport. The attack also claimed the lives of more than 100 Afghans and injured at least 200 people. This tragic loss of life is heartbreaking and marks a dark day in America’s ongoing fight against terrorism.

Leaving Afghanistan will not stop terrorism or leave the threats we in the United States face behind. The weakness we showed in kowtowing to the Taliban made us vulnerable and exposed our forces as a retreating rescue effort rather than a show of force in evacuating on our own terms. This desperate situation on the ground was made worse by the incompetence of our leadership—past and present.

The Taliban cannot be trusted—not before, not now, not ever. It’s shameful that our past president, Donald Trump, negotiated a deal with a terrorist organization. It’s appalling that our current president, Joe Biden, underestimated the impact of his withdrawal announcement and the chaos that would ensue. Worse, the lack of strength being shown by our commander in chief is embarrassing.

At Least 100 Naval Academy Students Cheated on a Physics Test. 18 Have Been Expelled

Konstantin Toropin

The U.S. Naval Academy announced Friday that it has kicked out 18 Midshipmen following an investigation into allegations of cheating during a physics exam.

The Navy's service academy said that in December 2020, 653 Midshipmen took the final exam for General Physics I. The test was administered through the website myopenmath.com, and students were told that they were not to use outside sources or materials.

However, after the exam, the school said it became aware "of potential improper use of outside sources," including conversations on an anonymous chat platform.

"The superintendent immediately directed an investigation," the school said in a press release.

With the help of investigators from the Naval Criminal Investigative Service, the school "reviewed website browsing history during the exam timeframe for all Midshipmen who took the exam."

Army University Press

The Loss of Private Waller

Clausewitz’s Perspective on Deterring Russian Malign Activities in Cyberspace

Enduring Competition in a New Age of Power

The Battle for Hong Kong: Insights on Narrative and Resistance for the Army in Strategic Competition

The Trouble with Mission Command: Army Culture and Leader Assumptions

Multi-Domain Operations in Urban Terrain and Implications for the Medical Line of Effort

Combat and Operational Stress Control in the Prolonged Field Care Environment

Factor Analysis: A Valuable Technique in Support of Mission Analysis

“We Who Wear the Cloth of Our Nation”: Using Character Development and Education to Combat Partisan Polarization in the Military

Leading the Change: The Field Grade Leader’s Role in Responding to the Fort Hood Report

The Case for an Information Warfighting Function

The Philippine Constabulary: An Example of American Command of Indigenous Forces

Framing Turkey’s Cross-Border Counterterrorism Operations in the Context of Pragmatic Strategic Culture: An Operational Design

The American Maginot Line

An After-War Poem

Vietnam War Portraits: The Faces and Voices

"Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it"

The Uneven Global Response to Climate Change

Recently published climate science ultimately underscores the same points: The impacts of climate change are advancing faster than experts had previously predicted, and they are increasingly irreversible. One blockbuster report, from a United Nations grouping of biodiversity experts in May 2019, found that 1 million species are now in danger of extinction unless dramatic changes are made to everything from fuel sources to agricultural production. Despite these warnings, however, scientists confirm that the world remains on pace to blow past the goal of restricting warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels, likely with catastrophic consequences.

Persistent climate skepticism from key global figures, motivated in part by national economic interests, is slowing diplomatic efforts to systematically address the drivers of climate change. In particular, former U.S. President Donald Trump’s decision to pull out of the Paris climate agreement upon taking office immediately undermined the pact. Despite these hurdles, negotiators made substantive progress during a U.N. climate change conference in December 2018, putting in place an ambitious system of monitoring and reporting on carbon emissions for nations that remain part of the agreement. But the latest round of talks in December 2019 ended in abject failure, and the coronavirus pandemic hobbled further diplomatic efforts in 2020.

Defining cyberwar: towards a definitional framework

Cameran Ashraf

Despite emerging into public consciousness in the 1980s,1 no generally accepted definition of cyberwar exists.2 There are many different and often contradictory definitions, ranging from cyberwar’s non-existence to cyberwar as an existential threat. A clear definition for cyberwar is vital for academic scholarship, security planning, and public policy. Definitional ambiguity makes coherent discussions of cyberwar challenging, limiting theoretical insights, and frustrating efforts at policy development.3 Indeed, Hughes and Colarik discovered that out of 159 cyberwar articles, 103 (65%) failed to offer an explicit definition of cyberwar.4

Awareness of this definitional ambiguity is vital for non-experts in the field for reaching definitional consensus and clarity in research and policy work. To that end, the purpose of this paper is to offer officials, analysts, scholars, and others without expertise in the field an overview of cyberwar’s definitional ambiguity, identify themes in the literature, offer a framework for defining cyberwar, and demonstrate how that framework can be used. While the field is evolving and growing, it is hoped that this paper can provide a conceptual grounding in the ongoing definitional debate over cyberwar.

35 Key “Stranglehold” Technologies

The following article briefly describes 35 different technologies that China must import because it is unable to produce them domestically in sufficient quality or quantity. The article expresses concern that key Chinese industries would be severely hampered if China’s supply of these technologies were to be cut off. This article is a PRC Ministry of Education summary of a series of 35 articles—each profiling a different “stranglehold technology”—that a Chinese government-run newspaper published in 2018.

US $1 ≈ 6.5 Chinese Yuan Renminbi (RMB), as of May 13, 2021.

Science and Technology Daily has put out a series of articles reporting on 35 “stranglehold” (“卡脖子”) technologies that are constraining China’s industrial development, attracting widespread attention and discussion. The following are excerpts:
1. Photolithography machines

These “Details” Keep Top Photolithography Machines a Distant Prospect for China

Why cyber attacks will define 21st century warfare

Peter Yeung

For decades, cyber attacks were widely thought to be the preserve of tech-savvy individuals or gangs seeking to steal or extort money. In recent years, it’s become clear that nations are using cybercrime as a standard part of their armoury.

Ransomware, phishing and distributed denial-of-service attacks are just a few of the many weapons that states are using in geopolitical conflicts that are increasingly playing out in cyberspace rather than on the battlefield.

Mikko Hyppönen, chief research officer at IT security company F-Secure, has been helping authorities in North America, Europe and Asia to fight cybercrime for more than 30 years.

“In the 1990s, I wouldn’t have believed that national governments, intelligence agencies and the armed forces were developing and deploying malware against other countries. The notion would have sounded like science fiction to me,” he admits. “But it’s obvious in hindsight. It makes perfect sense. Cybertools are excellent weapons. They’re efficient, affordable and deniable.”