2 September 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.

Chinese Cyber Exploitation in India’s Power Grid – Is There a linkage to Mumbai Power Outage?

 Maj Gen PK Mallick, VSM (Retd)


On Feb. 28, 2021 The New York Times (NYT), based on analysis by a U.S. based private intelligence firm Recorded Future, reported that a Chinese entity penetrated India’s power grid at multiple load dispatch points. Chinese malware intruded into the control systems that manage electric supply across India, along with a high-voltage transmission substation and a coal-fired power plant.

The NYT story1 gives the impression that the alleged activity against critical Indian infrastructure installations was as much meant to act as a deterrent against any Indian military thrust along the Line of Actual Control as it was to support future operations to cripple India’s power generation and distribution systems in event of war.

Indian military to brain-storm over Taliban in Afghanistan

Shishir Gupta

The Indian military brass led by Chief of Defence Staff Gen Bipin Rawat is expected to brain-storm on impact of a Taliban regime in Afghanistan and its security ramifications on India and the sub-continent this week.

Given the ideological and operational affiliation of the Taliban, a UN designated global terrorist group, with Pakistan based terror groups like Tehreek-e-Taliban, Jaish-e-Mohammed and Haqqani Network, the military brass including all the three service chiefs will study and assess the security imperatives of rise of Taliban in Kabul. The topic is a matter of concern as for the first time there will be no US forces on ground in Afghanistan.

The Indian military has a few areas of security concerns. Firstly, with the US leaving behinds billions of dollars’ worth hardware in Afghanistan, there will be serious proliferation of conventional weapons among the jihadists in the Indian sub-continent with sophisticated M-4 and M-16 rifles replacing the ubiquitous AK-47. The biggest worry are the military grade night vision devices, which are normally subjected to US export control regimes, the tactical drones and loitering ammunition. These US made military hardware is expected to find its way to Punjabi Islamists group like Jaish-e-Mohammed and Lashkar-e-Tayebba (LeT) targeting India in Kashmir. The security situation will become dire when the Taliban cadre are able to fly the abandoned squadrons of Blackhawk helicopters and operate the all-terrain military vehicles.

Containing the Taliban after America’s Defeat

Mark S. Cogan and Paul D. Scott

The ancient Chinese strategy game of weiqi, or Go, involves a competition in which the player who occupies the most board space wins. Logic would dictate that in Afghanistan, a Go strategy by the Taliban would have resulted in a decisive victory, but that would be absolutely wrong. Had the Taliban pursued a Go strategy, holding the countryside, where some three-quarters of the Afghan population lives, it would not have succeeded as spectacularly as it did in seizing power following the U.S. withdrawal earlier this month. Such a strategy would have left the Afghan national government in control of most of the major cities, plus the capital Kabul, which would have been enough to produce a stalemate – the best possible outcome for Ashraf Ghani’s national government, the Americans and their allies, and the Afghan people.

The creation of a stalemate in the 20-year war in Afghanistan would have been a win because nation building, the expansion and consolidation of democratic norms, and the promotion of good governance would have continued. The status quo, while expensive, would have been maintained. Most importantly, accepting a stalemate would have avoided a total Taliban victory. By not accepting the real and present advantages of a stalemate, U.S. President Joe Biden, instead, opted for a complete loss for the U.S. and its allies, as well as the people of Afghanistan. By continuously reiterating that he wanted to end a war and not saddle another U.S. president with an “endless war,” his decision has created a dilemma of how to handle the newly-founded Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan.

Are the Taliban’s Captured Weapons Any Use?

Jacob Parakilas

The collapse of the Afghan government and its replacement with the Taliban has precipitated a humanitarian crisis and a political reckoning in the West about the limits of political will and military power.

It has also brought to the fore, once again, the question of what happens to weapons after the war they were bought for comes to an end – especially when they were bought by the losing side.

The United States, as has been widely reported, spent an enormous amount on training and equipping the Afghan National Army and Air Force – some $83 billion since 2002. Though some of this equipment has been lost or destroyed in battle, the bulk of it is now in the hands of the Taliban.

'Didn't need to happen': Pentagon seeks answers for deadly attack

Idrees Ali

WASHINGTON, Aug 28 (Reuters) - By Wednesday night, U.S. intelligence agencies were near certain that an attack was imminent outside Kabul airport, triggering a State Department warning to American citizens to leave the area immediately.

Just over 12 hours later, a suicide bomber walked through the large crowds to a gate manned by U.S. troops and detonated explosives, killing at least 13 U.S. service members and 79 Afghans.

It was a tragic coda to America's 20-year war in Afghanistan, the largest loss of life for the U.S. military there in a decade, on the cusp of the full withdrawal of troops by Aug. 31 ordered by President Joe Biden.

Among the most pressing questions as the U.S. military launches its investigation: How did the bomber make it through Taliban checkpoints? Why were U.S. troops in such a concentrated space when they knew an attack was imminent?


There is only one good thing about the fact that the 20th anniversary of the September 11, 2001, terror attacks will take place less than a month after the Taliban have re-established the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan. It will serve as a reminder of why it was necessary to invade the country and topple the Taliban government two decades ago.

When nearly 3,000 people are slaughtered on your soil in an operation planned and ordered by a known terrorist group residing in a country whose government refuses to cooperate in bringing that group and its leader to justice, there are no good options. The retaliatory attack on Afghanistan was the only time Article 5 of the North Atlantic Treaty, under which signatories agree to consider an attack on one as an attack on all, was invoked. The United States-led invasion was widely supported; unlike the invasion of Iraq two years later, only a few countries condemned or opposed it.

Last U.S. Troops Leave Afghanistan After 20 Years of War

Robbie Gramer and Jack Detsch

The U.S. military’s 20-year war in Afghanistan is now officially over.

On Monday night in Kabul, a mere one minute before midnight and U.S. President Joe Biden’s self-imposed Aug. 31 deadline to extract U.S. forces, a final American C-17 aircraft took off from Hamid Karzai International Airport, capping weeks of chaotic evacuation efforts.

The last U.S. officials to leave Afghanistan were Gen. Christopher Donahue, commander of the 82nd Airborne Division, and Ross Wilson, the acting U.S. ambassador to Afghanistan, according to Gen. Kenneth McKenzie, Jr., commander of U.S. Central Command.

“Every single U.S. service member is now out of Afghanistan,” McKenzie said. “I can say that with absolute certainty.”

Officials described the evacuation of 123,000 people, most of them Afghans, as the largest noncombatant mission in U.S. history. The fate of tens of thousands of other vulnerable Afghans—including interpreters and others who supported the U.S. war effort, women’s rights activists, and journalists—remains unclear.

“We did not get everybody out that we wanted to get out,” McKenzie conceded.

Afghanistan 20/20: The 20-Year War in 20 Documents

Tom Blanton with Claire Harvey, Lauren Harper, and Malcolm Byrne

Washington, D.C., August 19, 2021 – The U.S. government under four presidents misled the American people for nearly two decades about progress in Afghanistan, while hiding the inconvenient facts about ongoing failures inside confidential channels, according to declassified documents published today by the National Security Archive.

The documents include highest-level “snowflake” memos written by then Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld during the George W. Bush administration, critical cables written by U.S. ambassadors back to Washington under both Bush and Barack Obama, the deeply flawed Pentagon strategy document behind Obama’s “surge” in 2009, and multiple “lessons learned” findings by the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) – lessons that were never learned.

No Clear Winner, One Clear Loser in Afghanistan

Gabriel Honrada and Daniyal Ranjbar

Depending on which perspective, the Fall of Kabul could be described as an utter tragedy or a stroke of military genius. The humanitarian tragedy that unfolded has been widely documented on international media, with desperate Afghans fleeing for their lives from advancing Taliban forces, alongside an outpouring of global sympathy to the beleaguered Afghan people. Arguably, this humanitarian crisis was the culmination of the smart application of protracted and irregular warfare strategy and tactics, wherein the technologically inferior Taliban outlasted the political will of far superior Western forces. Eventually, the Taliban mounted a campaign of rapid dominance, which saw the embryonic Afghan military put up a token resistance before surrendering or fleeing in droves to neighboring countries.

Afghanistan has been marked by sporadic conflict and chronic instability since the 1979 Soviet-Afghan War. However, its strategic location and substantial natural resources have always been a contested area for regional and international players. As the conflict has reached this decisive phase, it has profound implications for all regional and international parties involved. What can be said in the aftermath is that there is no clear winner but one clear loser.

Opinion | What ISIS-K Means for Afghanistan


The Taliban hadn’t run Afghanistan for two weeks before the nation saw its first horrific terror attack. Finger-pointing began immediately after Thursday’s suicide bombing near the Kabul Airport. President Joe Biden, in a speech to the nation, said America would hunt down the perpetrators—members of the extremist group ISIS-K, which has taken root in Afghanistan over the past several years. The Taliban blamed the United States, not for the bombing but for failing to keep things safe at the airport, saying the bombing “took place in an area where U.S. forces are responsible for security.”

The Taliban now claims to be the government of Afghanistan, so if the group wants to garner broad respect from Afghans and the international community going forward, it already has a huge challenge: protecting Afghans—and foreigners—from terrorist attacks on its watch. It can no longer just blame the U.S. for the nation’s ills. The bombing offered an instant preview of just how hard that will be.

China’s Neighbors Hope Afghanistan Pullout Means Pivot to Indo-Pacific

Hiroyuki Akita 

The catastrophic turmoil in Afghanistan following the withdrawal of U.S. troops has raised serious concerns in East Asian capitals. The scenes of desperate Afghans trying to get a spot on a U.S. military aircraft departing Kabul have left a deep, indelible image of declining U.S. leadership.

However, Asian countries do not see this week’s turmoil as an event that marks a major shift in U.S. foreign policy. It was the Obama administration that decided on the withdrawal as part of a broader pullback from the greater Middle East, the Trump administration negotiated with the Taliban to set conditions, and the Biden administration only implemented what everyone already knew to be U.S. policy, even if the timing and method of withdrawal were far from ideal.

Now, Asian countries are watching closely to see whether and how the end of military involvement in Afghanistan will affect U.S. President Joe Biden’s approach to the Indo-Pacific region. Governments from Tokyo to Taipei don’t believe that the turmoil in Afghanistan has negative repercussions for the Indo-Pacific, not least because of their region’s geostrategic importance. On the contrary, insofar as the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan allows Washington to engage more deeply in the Indo-Pacific, they even welcome the pullout.

So far, China’s regional neighbors have applauded Biden’s diplomacy—not because he is doing anything fundamentally new but because he is continuing the Trump administration’s policies in the Indo-Pacific, just as he did in Afghanistan. Biden, like his predecessor, has defined China as a strategic competitor and emphasized his determination to meet the challenge posed by Beijing.

How the U.S. Learned to Stop Worrying About the Pacific and Love the ‘Indo-Pacific’

Jack Detsch 

In early 2017, U.S. and Japanese strategists were poring over maps on the top floor of the U.S. State Department. Satoshi Suzuki, a Japanese official, and Brian Hook, his U.S. counterpart, zoomed in on almost every touch point in Asia: the honeymoon between then-newly elected U.S. President Donald Trump and then-Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, the emergence of India, and a potential flare-up on the Korean Peninsula. And then Suzuki widened the lens.

The Japanese side presented a series of maps, labeled “Free and Open Indo-Pacific Strategy.” Suzuki told Hook that Tokyo wanted to radically redraw the geography of the region, from the north-south orientation of the World War II era focused on the first and second island chains of the western Pacific Ocean to a two-ocean strategy that envisioned Japanese policy in Asia stretching to India and even as far as the Persian Gulf.

“It wasn’t the old and more narrow Asia-Pacific. It was the broader Indo-Pacific, and it recognized the significance of India in particular,” said a former senior Trump administration official. “It was a sense that, you know, we weren’t going to get what we wanted by asking Beijing nicely.”

China’s Digital Yuan: An Alternative to the Dollar-Dominated Financial System


Central bank digital currencies (CBDC) are digital tokens issued by central banks. In a way, they are the digital version of cash; their value is guaranteed by a central bank. Unlike money held in credit cards and mobile wallets, CBDCs are not a mere representation of physical money stored elsewhere. Instead, they are a complete replacement for currency notes. While several countries are developing their digital currencies, China is well positioned to take the lead with the digital yuan. This paper highlights ways in which China can use its digital yuan to internationalize the renminbi (RMB) and gradually chip away at the hegemony of the dollar.

The first part of the paper focuses on the dollar’s dominance in the global financial system and the privileges the United States accrues as a result of the dollar being the world reserve currency. The United States has a tight grip on the world’s payment rails, especially in the case of cross-border transactions. For example, the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunications (SWIFT)—the largest cross-border payment clearinghouse in the world—has to comply with and implement unilateral U.S. sanctions. These sanctions seriously hinder trade and damage the economies of the countries affected by them, as was the case with Iran, which lost $150 billion worth of revenue as a result of U.S. sanctions.1 Once a country is cut off from SWIFT’s network, it becomes extremely difficult for it to trade with the rest of the world. Thus, via the dollar’s dominance and its geopolitical muscle, the United States is positioned to maintain a tight grip on the world’s financial system.

To Honor the Fallen, Americans Must Learn the Right Lesson from Afghanistan

Michael Poce

It’s been through misty eyes that I’ve observed the events of the past few days unfold in Afghanistan. While it’s been years since I’ve been sanguine in my outlook toward how US (and our allies) involvement in Afghanistan would end, it is nevertheless surprisingly difficult to watch a total collapse happen in real time. The past few days have thrust questions back to the forefront of my awareness that, while never looming far off, had eased their grip over the years. Was Cody Board’s sacrifice “worth it?” What could I have done differently that might have saved his life? Did we make a difference? And do Americans even care?

It hasn’t taken long for me to reach the same conclusions that I have time and again, that brooding over questions such as these leads nowhere and will drive you mad if you let them. There is nothing we can do to change the past. But we must be deliberate in how we choose to move forward. In order to move on in the right direction, however, we must first learn the right lessons. Reading the analysis over the past several days has led me to question whether we as a country are in fact learning the right lessons from America’s Afghan experience. Specifically, that after twenty years of trying to establish a democratic government in Afghanistan that resembles our own, we have emerged as a nation that more closely resembles Afghanistan. Let me explain.

How Biden Can Save His China Strategy After Afghanistan

Michael J. Green and Gabriel Scheinmann

In June, we argued that a rapid withdrawal from Afghanistan would complicate the Biden administration’s pivot toward countering China in the Indo-Pacific rather than enabling it, as proponents were claiming. That is now manifestly obvious. Resources are being withdrawn from the Pacific to cover the withdrawal. The Japan-based aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan, for example, is now on a sustained deployment in the Arabian Sea, leaving the U.S. Navy and its allies in the Western Pacific with none to replace it. Beijing has already warned Taiwan that the abandonment of Afghanistan proves Taipei cannot count on U.S. protection, prompting Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen to address the nation to urge greater efforts at self-defense. While not as critical in public as Washington’s European allies, senior national security officials in Tokyo and Canberra have quietly expressed to us their consternation not only at the lack of consultation on Afghanistan but also at the poor execution by what they had been led to believe was a U.S. national security dream team after the tumultuous years of the Trump administration.

Yet as chaotic and tragic as the Afghanistan withdrawal has been thus far, it should not change the logic of the Biden administration’s strategy on China. Domestic backing remains high: There is strong support among Americans for defending Asian allies against attack, which is unlikely to go down given the bipartisan backlash in the U.S. Congress against President Joe Biden for abandoning both Afghan and coalition allies in Afghanistan. Nor is there any evidence that Afghanistan has given U.S. allies in the Indo-Pacific cause to give up on their own strategies of aligning more closely with Washington to counter Chinese hegemony, as the Stanford University lecturer Daniel Schneider writes.

When the Chips Are Down, It’s a ‘Me First’ World

Stewart M. Patrick

At first glance, the tenacity of vaccine nationalism and the shambolic U.S. departure from Afghanistan appear to be completely unrelated. And yet they both expose the moral costs of a world dominated by sovereign states that consistently place narrow national interest above the ethical imperative of alleviating the suffering of strangers.

This is hardly a news flash. The question of how governments should square their duties to their own citizens with their obligations to those in other countries is an inherent and recurrent ethical quandary in international relations. It is at the heart of debates over humanitarian intervention, foreign aid, human rights policy, the global digital divide and much more. It is becoming more acute, however, as the world becomes more integrated politically, economically, technologically, ecologically and epidemiologically. As interdependence grows, we increasingly speak the language of cosmopolitanism. But when the chips are down, we remain nationalists at heart.

Consider the debate over COVID-19 vaccines. From the outset of the pandemic, wealthy Western governments have paid rhetorical homage to global health security, even as they acted aggressively to lock up supplies of vaccines and therapeutics for their own populations. In April 2020, in an effort to expand global availability, several international actors—including the Global Alliance of Vaccines and Immunizations, the Gates Foundation, the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovation, the World Health Organization and others—launched the Access to COVID Tools Accelerator, or ACT, a multistakeholder arrangement. A core pillar of this initiative is COVAX, which seeks to provide innovative and equitable access to COVID-19 diagnostics, treatments and vaccines.

Do not take the war on terror’s big success for granted

Michael E. O’Hanlon and Lily Windholz

As we near the 20-year anniversary of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, even as the sad events and August 26 truck-bombing tragedy in Afghanistan dominate much of the news, it is a good moment to remember what has gone right in the so-called war on terror these last two decades — and to thank those Americans and allies who have protected us.

Clearly, we have had numerous failures, beyond the recent massacre in Kabul. With regard to improving stability in the Middle East and reducing worldwide levels of terrorism, the so-called global war on terror has largely failed. Terrorism has endured in the broader Middle East, North Africa, and South Asia regions; today the number of attacks, and victims, worldwide are three to five times higher annually than in 2001. Radical clerics recruit terrorists far faster than Washington can capture, kill, or deter them, and political conditions across the Middle East and North Africa remain violent and unstable. The Arab Spring in 2011 yielded more repression and jihadism than democracy and stability. Of course, this assessment must vary from country to country, but any fair reading of the evidence today must conclude on a somber note.

It wasn’t hubris that drove America into Afghanistan. It was fear.

Robert Kagan

Americans long remembered where they were when they learned about the sinking of the Lusitania in 1915. The shock and horror of that event, in which a German submarine deliberately sank a British ocean liner with nearly 2,000 men, women and children aboard, produced more than moral outrage. It also reshaped Americans’ perception of the world and their role in it, ultimately leading them into the First World War. But neither their outrage at Germany nor their reconfigured view of foreign policy lasted very long. Ten years later, Americans still remembered the Lusitania, but they did not remember why they went to war — or, more specifically, how they felt about the series of events, beginning with the sinking, that ultimately led them to embrace war as their only remaining option. Instead, they came to regret their intervention in that war and to wonder what or, rather, who had gotten them into it.

Americans have undergone a similar experience over the two decades since the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001. The feelings and perceptions of threat that led them to war in Afghanistan have faded, and all that is left are the consequences of that decision, the costs in lives and money, the inevitably mixed and uncertain results, and the unanswerable question: Was it all worth it?


The development of new financial technologies and their adoption by nation states and private actors is unleashing transformative effects on the international financial system. Though the dollar remains the dominant international currency today, there is contentious debate over whether it can be, or is in the process of being, replaced.

While another fiat currency replacing the dollar in the short term remains unlikely, the development of digital currencies in the form of central bank digital currencies (CBDCs), de-centralized cryptocurrencies, and private-sector digital currencies all pose threats to the U.S.’s ability to continue capturing gains from current systems, leveraging dollar centrality to enforce sanctions, and otherwise influence international financial transactions over the longer term.

Our 3-part series, The Future of Money, breaks down the technologies and geopolitical forces shaping the global financial landscape and is a critical resource for those looking to better understand and navigate its rapid transformation.

As Challenges Mount, Can Europe Correct Its Course?

The liberal European order that emerged after World War II and spread after the collapse of the Soviet Union has been under attack from both within and without in recent years. The European Union—the ultimate expression of the European project—became a convenient punching bag for opportunistic politicians in many of its member countries, as anti-EU sentiment was integrated into the broader populist platform of protectionism and opposition to immigration.

The EU took a huge step toward enhanced integration in July 2020, when it agreed to a historic deal that included a collective debt mechanism to help finance pandemic relief funds. Nevertheless, there is no way of knowing whether the populist wave that once seemed like an existential threat to the union has crested. Illiberal governments hold power in Hungary and Poland, and far-right parties were briefly part of coalition governments in Austria and Italy. Centrist leaders seem unable to come up with a response to immigration that doesn’t alienate more voters than it unites. And the coronavirus pandemic further highlighted the EU’s difficulties in providing effective collective responses to a crisis that, at least initially, saw each member state looking out for itself.

Jamestown Foundation

Xinhua Infiltrates Western Electronic Media, Part 2: Relationships with News Agencies and Distribution Services

Expanding China’s Central Asia Playbook to Afghanistan

‘Lips and Teeth’: The Enduring China-North Korea Relationship

China’s New Biosecurity Law Gives Limited Insight into Government Priorities and Next Steps


Duane M. Blackburn, Michael D. Garris

National leaders are seeking to remodel the nation’s overall S&T approach to better ensure the future of our national and economic security. To do this effectively, a national-level partnership will be needed: a synergy between government and non-governmental entities (NGEs)—academia, the commercial sector, contract research organizations, and federally funded research and development centers/national labs—to holistically address our nation’s most critical S&T priorities.

Better collaboration between the federal government and NGEs requires enhanced federal government coordination, setting new expectations for federal S&T programs, and creating a framework to speed delivery of new discoveries and technological advances into the hands of American consumers, enterprises, and state, local, and national leadership. One of the more influential mechanisms in meeting these new needs will be the National Science and Technology Council (NSTC), whose focus and approach will need to be enhanced.

6 Things You Need to Do to Prevent Getting Hacked

THERE ARE TWO big reasons why people get hacked. Flaws in software and flaws in human behavior. While there’s not much you can do about coding vulnerabilities, you can change your own behavior and bad habits.

Just ask former US president Donald Trump, whose Twitter password was “maga2020!” Or Boris Johnson, who revealed details of sensitive Zoom calls at the start of the pandemic in 2020. (These world leaders will have had specific security training from protection agencies too.)

The risks are just as real for the average person—even if the stakes aren’t quite so high. If your accounts aren’t properly protected, your credit card could be compromised or your private messages and photographs stolen and shared for all to see. Working out if your accounts have been hacked is a time-consuming and potentially frustrating process. You’re better off taking some steps to mitigate the risks of getting hacked in the first place. Here’s what you can do to protect yourself.

The $150 Million Machine Keeping Moore’s Law Alive

INSIDE A LARGE clean room in rural Connecticut, engineers have begun constructing a critical component for a machine that promises to keep the tech industry as we know it on track for at least another decade.

The machine is being built by ASML, a Dutch company that has cornered the market for etching the tiniest nanoscopic features into microchips with light.

ASML introduced the first extreme ultraviolet (EUV) lithography machines for mass production in 2017, after decades spent mastering the technique. The machines perform a crucial role in the chipmaking ecosystem, and they have been used in the manufacture of the latest, most advanced chips, including those in new iPhones as well as computers used for artificial intelligence. The company’s next EUV system, a part of which is being built in Wilton, Connecticut, will use a new trick to minimize the wavelength of light it uses—shrinking the size of features on the resulting chips and boosting their performance—more than ever before.

JADC2’s ambitions to connect everything, everywhere

The US Department of Defense’s (DoD) Joint All-Domain Command and Control (JADC2) project is quite possibly its largest-ever IT modernisation programme. It will mean that data from all six US Armed Forces will be accessible in one platform, covering everything from fighter jets, submarines, and tanks, to even potentially individual troops in the field.

The intention behind the project is to provide the US Military with a significant advantage and offer commanders a greater insight into what is happening in both their field of operations and the wider operational context. But while the general concept may be simple enough to explain, the project itself remains complex.

On 13 May June, US defence secretary Lloyd Austin signed off the strategy for JADC2. While full details about what it contains have not yet been made public, that approval represented a significant step forward for the project. However, myriad hurdles remain.

Army Issues Big RFP For IT To Bolster Network Modernization


WASHINGTON: The Army has issued a large request for proposals (RFP) covering a broad range of IT systems and services to support the department’s “net-operations/net-centric” capabilities.

The RFP, called the Information Technology Enterprise Solutions – 4 Hardware (ITES-4H) solution and released on Wednesday, seeks “a full range of IT equipment” to support the Army’s “enterprise infrastructure and infostructure goals” both within and outside the continental US. The procurement is being handled by Army Computer Hardware, Enterprise Software, and Solutions (CHESS), in coordination with the Army Contracting Command – Rock Island.

The solicitation will result in multiple, firm-fixed-price, indefinite delivery indefinite quantity contracts for an initial five-year period, with an optional five-year extension. Under the current ITES-3 contract, the Army has placed approximately 52,000 orders. It is unclear how many orders will be placed under ITES-4H contracts.

US Navy launches autonomous technologies strategy

Carlo Munoz

The US Navy's (USN's) new autonomous technologies strategy seeks to accelerate development and deployment of intelligent platforms, linked through a highly distributed command-and-control (C2) architecture, to provide the necessary combat hardware to enable the sea service's Project Overmatch requirements.

The Intelligent Autonomous Systems (IAS) strategy, as per senior service leaders, will be a “confluence of autonomy with unmanned systems and artificial intelligence (AI) ” – from technology development and acquisition management to system maturation and infrastructure support across the enterprise, according to the strategy.

“IAS has the potential to provide high-impact, transformative operational and administrative capabilities in peacetime and wartime. These strategic goals cultivate a continuous development and operationalisation process for evolutionary and disruptive IAS technologies and concepts,” the strategy stated. “They also drive the adoption of operational IAS-based capabilities to provide continuous, effective, and efficient support ... across all phases of force development and force application,” it added.

Dueling Dyads: Conceptualizing Proxy Wars In Strategic Competition – Analysis

Frank G. Hoffman and Andrew Orner*

(FPRI) — Strategic competition with the Russian Federation and People’s Republic of China has become the new orienting challenge for the U.S. national security community. While many officials and writers envision strategic competition across many domains, the increased likelihood of proxy wars in strategic competition does not gain much purchase in the strategic planning documents of the U.S. government, including the recent Biden administration’s Interim National Strategic Guidance. Both the 2017 National Security Strategy and the supporting 2018 National Defense Strategy acknowledged that the United States faces a re-emergent period of strategic competition from both China and Russia. The Biden administration appears to embrace the competitive nature of the relationship between democratic states and authoritarian rivals, and the necessity of military modernization, but does not address the range of malign methods that the competition could lead to. In response to the strategies, the U.S. military is adapting from protracted counter-terrorism missions to deterring large-scale, conventional wars. This is a natural reflex for the Pentagon, yet strategic competition does not automatically generate symmetric and conventional contests.

NRO, NGA, SPACECOM, Space Force Hammer Out Boundaries


COLORADO SPRINGS: After a series of recent tussles over who manages what in space, National Reconnaissance Office Director Christopher Scolese today announced a new agreement between his office, the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, the Space Force and Space Command, dubbed the Protected Defense Strategic Framework.

“This high level document formalizes end-to-end operations between DoD and the IC on everything from acquisition to operations. In practical terms, it defines and deconflicts each of our roles. It drives consistent and deliberate coordination at multiple levels,” Scolese said during a speech at the annual Space Symposium. “It establishes crisis planning, and improves communication. And most importantly, it establishes an unprecedented level of collaboration on all space security matters.”

The document, which Breaking Defense has learned is classified, includes a formal list of the missions each organization tackles, in hopes of creating clear boundaries for all involved.