4 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.

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.

India Poised to Lose Influence in Afghanistan

Krzysztof Iwanek

Let me be straightforward about it: With the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan, Pakistan, which supports the radical Islamic group, is poised to enhance its influence over the state to a large degree, while India, which stood by the U.S.-backed Kabul government, is set to lose most of its influence.

The news of the last two weeks had already brought us images of Taliban fighters taking over the Salma Dam (which had been reconstructed thanks to India’s assistance) or posing next to a Mi-25 helicopter they captured from the Afghan National Army (and which New Delhi had earlier gifted to Kabul). But this is just the tip of the iceberg. India’s vast assistance to Afghanistan in the 2001-2021 period is a subject I briefly summarized in a previous article for The Diplomat, so I will not repeat all of it here.

The bottom line is this: Most of the influence India built with its aid is likely to vanish, especially assuming that New Delhi is not positioned to keep open deep political relations with Kabul (whether or not India recognizes the new Taliban government, its ties — whatever they become — are unlikely to be as deep). At the same time, however, Indian aid will likely remain a fond memory in many Afghan hearts.

In Afghanistan, Contractors Were Unsung Heroes Of US Efforts


In the popular imagination — and the eyes of some political commentators — there are few greater evils in the world than military contractors. The very phrase brings to mind high-profile human rights abuses and financial malfeasance. Rachael Maddow, the MSNBC commentator, criticized “[reliance] on a pop-up army . . . of greasy, lawless contractors.” Others have called contractors “mercenaries” or “a dangerous addiction” or simply “greedy.”

But negative incidents, while real and serious, are the exception. The truth is that military forces in Afghanistan (and elsewhere) could not have operated without the services that contractors performed. And contractors have performed: They supported the troops during the long years of war in Afghanistan and stayed on the job under fire right up to the final collapse. As the Middle East wars wind down, the accomplishments and sacrifices of these contractors deserve recognition.

Creating American hostages, abandoning Afghan allies


Today, Aug. 31, 2021, is another day that will live in infamy — but not because of foreign aggression against America. The recent incompetence and callousness of our government toward both the Afghan and American people make it also a day of national shame. The Afghanistan debacle will forever mark the Biden tenure as a disaster, and a bitter validation of Robert Gates’s 2020 indictment that Biden had been “wrong on nearly every major foreign policy issue in the last 40 years.”

Biden has acknowledged his erratic behavior, saying that his vote against the first Gulf War and for the second Gulf War were both mistakes. Among other examples are his opposition to the elimination of Osama bin Laden in 2011, and his enthusiastic support for the U.S. withdrawal from Iraq.

Yet, his entire presidential campaign was premised on his claim of unique foreign policy judgment and experience to serve as commander in chief. The world now sees that the U.S. president’s judgment may be permanently flawed and that he has learned nothing — or all the wrong lessons — from his long government service.

Taliban members escorted Americans to gates at Kabul airport in secret arrangement with US

Barbara Starr and Brianna Keilar

(CNN)The US military negotiated a secret arrangement with the Taliban that resulted in members of the militant group escorting clusters of Americans to the gates of the Kabul airport as they sought to escape Afghanistan, two defense officials told CNN.

One of the officials also revealed that US special operations forces set up a "secret gate" at the airport and established "call centers" to guide Americans through the evacuation process.
While one of the military officials said the arrangement with the Taliban "worked beautifully," Americans involved in an unofficial network dedicated to helping Americans and vulnerable Afghans said there were problems -- particularly in the beginning -- as the Taliban turned away US citizens and legal permanent residents the militant group was supposed to allow through.
The two US defense officials said Americans were notified to gather at pre-set "muster points" close to the airport where the Taliban would check their credentials and take them a short distance to a gate manned by American forces who were standing by to let them inside amid huge crowds of Afghans seeking to flee.

The US troops were able to see the Americans approach with their Taliban escorts as they progressed through the crowds, presumably ready to intervene in case anything happened.

Joe Biden’s Critics Lost Afghanistan

Ross Douthat

A month ago I thought I was a cynic about our 20-year war in Afghanistan. Today, after watching our stumbling withdrawal and the swift collapse of practically everything we fought for, my main feeling is that I wasn’t cynical enough.

My cynicism consisted of the belief that the American effort to forge a decent Afghan political settlement failed definitively during Barack Obama’s first term in office, when a surge of U.S. forces blunted but did not reverse the Taliban’s recovery. This failure was then buried under a Vietnam-esque blizzard of official deceptions and bureaucratic lies, which covered over a shift in American priorities from the pursuit of victory to the management of stalemate, with the American presence insulated from casualties in the hopes that it could be sustained indefinitely.

Under this strategic vision — to use the word “strategic” generously — there would be no prospect of victory, no end to corruption among our allies and collateral damage from our airstrikes, no clear reason to be in Afghanistan, as opposed to any other failing state or potential terror haven, except for the sunk cost that we were there already. But if American casualty rates stayed low enough, the public would accept it, the Pentagon budget would pay for it, and nobody would have to preside over anything so humiliating as defeat.

The Taliban Takeover in Afghanistan: Who Is Really to Blame?

Rajeev Agarwal

As August 31 dawned in Kabul, the United States as well as the international community completed evacuations of their citizens and Afghan partners from Afghanistan, bringing down the curtains on a very controversial and heavily criticized pullout.

All hell broke loose on August 15, when the Taliban rolled into Kabul, much earlier than estimated by most intelligence agencies. Afghan government figures, the media, and security experts – including those based in the U.S. – blamed the United States for running away from its responsibility and betraying the Afghan people, leaving them exposed to Taliban atrocities. The disturbing images of people desperate to escape Kabul running alongside a U.S. military plane on the runway, with two of them falling off the aircraft in mid-air to their deaths, compounded the criticism against the U.S. pullout. The attack at the Kabul airport on August 26, which killed more than 170 people, including 13 U.S. servicemembers, made it even more difficult for the United States to defend its decision to pullout from Afghanistan.

Should Social Media Companies Ban the Taliban?

Andressa Oliveira

In the same year that former U.S. President Donald Trump got deplatformed – banned from major social media sites like Twitter and Facebook – the technology industry hit the headlines again with the Taliban’s social media presence. Despite the Taliban’s history of oppression and violence, specifically against women and ethnic minorities, the “new Taliban” are changing their rhetoric by spreading the message of inclusion and peace through a “diplomatic charm offensive.” While some may suggest it might be too early to know if the Taliban have changed, it is clear that they are different in one important way: The Taliban have embraced technology, social media, and communication strategies for their own benefit.

At this point, it may be too early to know what type of leaders are coming to power. The gut instinct may be to deplatform the Taliban. However, banning specific actors from mainstream social media platforms does not make these groups suddenly disappear. Additionally, such actions may fuel polarization and intensify tensions at a global level. At this moment, it is also unclear if the technology companies are able to be consistent in their policy and enforcement operations. No matter the platforms’ decisions about the Taliban, or any other specific actor, their actions will always reverberate in places far from their headquarters in California.

Is Afghanistan Headed for a Financial Collapse?

Trevor Filseth 

During the 1990s, as the Taliban implemented their strict vision of Islamic law across Afghanistan—including banning certain jobs, forbidding women from working, and generally neglecting their duties as government officials—the country’s licit economy shrunk significantly. After the group’s re-conquest of Afghanistan, which concluded with the capture of Kabul on August 15 and the flight of most of the country’s top leadership, renewed fears have circulated of another economic collapse.

One of the most disturbing observations has been the fact that three-fourths of the pre-Taliban Afghan government’s budget as provided by the United States, which has indicated that it will not continue to underwrite the Taliban. Washington has also frozen Kabul’s assets in the United States, preventing the Taliban from claiming them, and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has declined to honor the country’s Special Drawing Rights (SDRs), effectively leaving it bereft of international aid.

Three Points on Afghanistan


Joe Biden must have thought he was finally due for a run of good luck.

After a Senate career that resembled the Rio Grande — long but shallow, and grand only in name — he was a figure of fun in the Obama administration and slid immediately into obscurity. He didn’t even run for the big job in 2016, and nobody was looking for him. His prospects were resurrected by the unlikely phenomenon of Donald Trump, perhaps the only man in American politics both tawdry enough to make Joe Biden look statesmanlike and incompetent enough to lose an election to him.

And the timing could not have been better for Biden as president-elect. The worst of the COVID-19 epidemic was behind us (or so it appeared at the time), and the hard work of developing vaccines against the virus had been done, leaving only the considerable but manageable logistical challenge of the vaccination campaign. The worst of the economic suffering associated with the epidemic had passed — GDP had grown at an astounding 33.4 percent in the third quarter of 2020 and a solid 4.3 percent in the fourth quarter — while employment and wages had been headed in the right direction.

Smith Says Afghanistan Withdrawal Won’t Change Russia, China’s Calculus


WASHINGTON: The day after the last US service members boarded aircraft leaving Kabul, a top House lawmaker responsible for crafting the annual defense policy bill said the military’s withdrawal from Afghanistan is not likely to trigger excessive aggression from Russia or China.

“I think anyone who thinks that their [Russia or China] calculation has significantly changed because we just pulled the last 2,500 troops out of Afghanistan — I really don’t see that,” the chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, Rep. Adam Smith, D-WA., said Tuesday. “There are a lot of other issues that go into whether or not Russia and China are going to feel like they have the ability to be aggressive in those parts of the world.

“The fact we’re no longer tied down in Afghanistan, I don’t really think is going to be one of them,” he added.

China may ‘gloat’ about Afghanistan now, but the Taliban’s return comes with problems, says professor

Weizhen Tan

The fall of Afghanistan to the Taliban and the ensuing chaos present a “complicated situation” for China, a Cornell professor told CNBC.

“At one level, what is happening in Afghanistan might be considered a win for China because it suggests that the U.S. has a lot of weaknesses in terms of its intelligence … the way it deploys its massive military arsenal and economic power, sometimes to not very productive ends,” Eswar Prasad, a professor of trade policy at Cornell University in New York told CNBC “Street Signs Asia” on Tuesday.

America’s “long and unproductive involvement” in Afghanistan has been a “black eye” for U.S. foreign policy, said Prasad, who was formerly head of the International Monetary Fund’s China division.

“This will certainly knock the U.S. down a peg or two in the eyes of the rest of the world, although it is far from clear that the outcome in Afghanistan will by itself ... drive any country deeper into China’s economic and political embrace,” he said in a separate email.

How will China seek to profit from the Taliban’s takeover in Afghanistan

Ryan Hass

In recent days, many analysts have stepped forward to provide predictions on how America’s withdrawal from Afghanistan will impact China’s regional and global standing. Some argue the withdrawal will free up American resources to focus on China and the Indo-Pacific. For others, the withdrawal opens a vacuum for China to exploit. Still others assert that Taiwan is now more vulnerable because Beijing has taken the measure of America’s resolve and competence and found it lacking.

While it is difficult to know with certainty how China’s leaders are evaluating developments in Afghanistan, it is possible to draw a few preliminary conclusions. The following observations are based on over a decade of discussions with Chinese officials and experts focused on such questions.


China's Autonomous Attack Drones are Ready to Take Off

Michael Peck

Here's What You Need to Remember: Up to ten heli-drones can be assembled into a swarm, with Artificial Intelligence guiding and coordinating the group. “The 10 drones can be a combination of different types, including those that can drop proximity explosive mortar shells, while others can carry grenade launchers, or make suicide attacks,” said Global Times.

China has a history of overwhelming its enemies with sheer numbers of troops.

Now, China may have a modern iteration on that tactic: swarms of tiny rocket-armed helicopter drones that will swamp enemy forces like angry bees.

“China’s domestically developed helicopter drones carrying proximity explosive mortar shells, grenade launchers and machine guns can now form swarms and engage in coordinated strikes,” according to Chinese newspaper Global Times, citing a statement by the Guangdong-based Zhuhai Ziyan company, which makes unmanned aerial vehicles. The system was also displayed at a recent Turkish defense trade show.

George Soros: Investors in Xi’s China face a rude awakening

George Soros

Xi Jinping, China’s leader, has collided with economic reality. His crackdown on private enterprise has been a significant drag on the economy. The most vulnerable sector is real estate, particularly housing. China has enjoyed an extended property boom over the past two decades, but that is now coming to an end. Evergrande, the largest real estate company, is over-indebted and in danger of default. This could cause a crash.

The underlying cause is that China’s birth rate is much lower than the statistics indicate. The officially reported figure overstates the population by a significant amount. Xi inherited these demographics, but his attempts to change them have made matters worse.

One of the reasons why middle-class families are unwilling to have more than one child is that they want to make sure that their children will have a bright future. As a result, a large tutoring industry has grown up, dominated by Chinese companies backed by US investors. Such for-profit tutoring companies were recently banned from China and this became an important element in the sell-off in New York-listed Chinese companies and shell companies.

Niall Ferguson on why the end of America’s empire won’t be peaceful


“THE MULTITUDES remained plunged in ignorance… and their leaders, seeking their votes, did not dare to undeceive them.” So wrote Winston Churchill of the victors of the first world war in “The Gathering Storm.” He bitterly recalled a “refusal to face unpleasant facts, desire for popularity and electoral success irrespective of the vital interests of the state.” American readers watching their government’s ignominious departure from Afghanistan, and listening to President Joe Biden’s strained effort to justify the unholy mess he has made, may find at least some of Churchill’s critique of interwar Britain uncomfortably familiar.

Britain’s state of mind was the product of a combination of national exhaustion and “imperial overstretch”, to borrow a phrase from Paul Kennedy, a historian at Yale. Since 1914, the nation had endured war, financial crisis and in 1918-19 a terrible pandemic, the Spanish influenza. The economic landscape was overshadowed by a mountain of debt. Though the country remained the issuer of the dominant global currency, it was no longer unrivalled in that role. A highly unequal society inspired politicians on the left to demand redistribution if not outright socialism. A significant proportion of the intelligentsia went further, embracing communism or fascism.

Biden Defends Afghanistan Withdrawal

Tarini Parti and Ken Thomas

“Leaving Aug. 31 is not due to an arbitrary deadline,” Mr. Biden said. “It was designed to save American lives.”

After campaigning on completing the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan, Mr. Biden and top administration officials have been confronted by images of chaos as Afghans seek to flee the country and the deaths of 13 service members and dozens of Afghans in a terrorist attack attributed to ISIS-K at the Kabul airport.

Republicans were divided on continuing the U.S. troop presence in Afghanistan, but many say the administration’s handling of the withdrawal undermines the president’s promise to provide competent leadership and serve as a steady hand on foreign policy.

Joe Biden had exactly one advantage on foreign policy and that was a promise of stability and predictability. This looked neither stable nor predictable nor strong,” said Brad Todd, a Republican strategist advising Senate candidates in battleground states next year.

New York Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney, chairman of the House Democrats’ campaign arm, said voters from both parties supported leaving Afghanistan and would understand the difficulty for Mr. Biden in going through with the withdrawal.

The Two Blows America Is Dealing to the Taliban


Imagine how the scene at the Kabul airport looked to the suicide bomber in the last seconds before he committed his act of murder yesterday: thousands of men, women, and children queuing and jostling in desperate escape from the coming Taliban regime. These were not randomly selected men, women, and children either. These were people with technical skills: medicine, computers, electrical engineering. These were people who spoke foreign languages. These were people who could navigate the modern world and its complex demands. These were people who could do work that could fetch dollars and euros and yen and rupees from the world outside Afghanistan.

The people at the Kabul airport wanted no part of the Taliban’s future. They were risking their lives to flee that future. In the end, that flight cost them their lives, as well as those of U.S. Marines guarding and guiding them on their way out to new and freer lives.

This latest terrorist atrocity casts further gloom upon America’s already grim exit from its longest war. It will further embitter the already polarized American recriminations over that war’s end. It may also portend the next phase of violence inside Afghanistan, as different factions of Islamic militancy turn against one another.

Biden Plays the Long Game as He Justifies the End of the ‘Forever War’

Peter Baker

The forever war is over, but the forever debate may be only beginning. As he presided over the end of a lost 20-year mission in Afghanistan, President Biden on Tuesday touched off a prolonged argument for history over his decision to get out, how he handled it and what it means for the future of America.

In declaring an end to America’s misadventure in nation-building halfway across the world, Mr. Biden was playing a long game, banking on the assumption that he will be remembered by posterity for finally extricating the country from a quagmire, not for how he did it. While his approval ratings have sagged to the lowest levels of his short tenure, most Americans in polls still support leaving Afghanistan, and the White House assumes that they will quickly move on to other issues like the pandemic and the economy.

“We no longer had a clear purpose in an open-ended mission in Afghanistan,” the president said from the East Room of the White House, where so many important speeches about Afghanistan have been delivered by four American presidents over the past two decades. “After 20 years of war in Afghanistan, I refused to send another generation of America’s sons and daughters to fight a war that should have ended long ago.”

The Risk of Terrorism at Home and Abroad

As information emerges about Islamic State of Khorasan, or ISIS-K – the terrorist group that claimed responsibility for last week’s suicide attack that killed 13 US service members and more than 160 Afghans – there is an increased effort to predict how Afghanistan, under Taliban rule, may emerge once again as a breeding ground for terrorist groups.

A United Nations report released in June estimates that thousands of fighters from the region had already poured into Afghanistan. Many of them are believed to be affiliated with either the Taliban – still seen as a terrorist organization – or al Qaeda or ISIS-K.

The New York Times reports that ISIS-K was created six years ago by members of the Pakistani branch of the Taliban. There is a range of thought among experts as to what their ability to successfully carry out a terrorist attack in a Taliban-ruled area means for the terrorist threat moving forward.

The Cipher Brief spoke with respected terrorism experts Bruce Hoffman, Mitch Silber and Colin Clarke to get their thoughts on the current risk of terrorist attacks against Americans both home and abroad.

It’s Time to Rethink How We Judge Rich Countries’ Performance

Howard W. French 

The topic of my column last week, the first in an occasional series of a Q&As with interesting thinkers, was ostensibly the rapidly changing nature of cities in Africa. But an important subtext of the piece, present throughout the conversation, was African performance or, perhaps better stated, underperformance on a range of issues.

My interlocutor last week, George Kankou Denkey, noted, for example, that Africa, a continent that is presently urbanizing on a scale never experienced anywhere before, generally lacks urban planners; even its universities seem unengaged with the topic. Elsewhere, he pointed out that although one of the largest megalopolises in the world is fast taking shape in the densely populated coastal region of West Africa from Lagos to Abidjan, there are almost no true highways covering the 500-mile distance between them, and no rail of any kind to facilitate east-west travel and commerce across borders.

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The Remote Sensing Revolution Threat

Arctic Space Strategy: The US and Norwegian Common Interest and Strategic Effort

Comprehensive Security Approach in Response to Russian Hybrid Warfare

What’s Next for Multilateralism and the Liberal International Order?

The United Nations’ ability to carry out its mission has been severely constrained in recent years by its member states. And many of its agencies are now facing funding shortages that could severely curtail their work. In fact, multilateralism of all stripes is under strain, from the International Criminal Court to the World Trade Organization—to the World Health Organization.

The United Nations is perhaps the most prominent manifestation of an international order built on balancing sovereign equality with great-power politics in a bid to maintain international peace. But its capacity to do that—and to meet its other objectives, which include protecting human rights and delivering aid—have been severely constrained in recent years by its member states.

The real power in the U.N. lies with the five veto-wielding members of the Security Council—the United States, Russia, China, Great Britain and France. And they have used their positions to limit the institution’s involvement in major recent conflicts, including civil wars in Syria and Yemen. Beyond the Security Council, the U.N. has sprouted additional specialized agencies to address specific issues—health, women’s rights and refugees, among others—that have met with varied degrees of success. In some instances, they have been able to galvanize global action around urgent goals, like UNAIDS’ work curbing the international AIDS crisis. But many of those agencies are now also facing funding shortages that could severely curtail their work, not least the World Health Organization, which is leading the global coronavirus response.

Debating North Korea: US and Chinese perspectives

Susan A. Thornton, Li Nan and Juliet Lee

The deteriorating U.S.-China relationship is hindering prospects for meaningful cooperation on persistent security challenges, including the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) nuclear issue. The threat perception gap, different long-term objectives and increasing mutual suspicion between the two major powers continue to widen despite mutual interest in ensuring peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula. Both countries view the other as an obstacle to progress—China is seen as prioritizing DPRK regime security over the nuclear nonproliferation regime and nuclear threats, while the U.S. is seen as a destabilizer plotting to contain China. As the region waits to see if and when North Korea will reengage, the U.S. and China should engage now on overcoming obstacles to cooperation and on a possible road map for sustained denuclearization negotiations.

The following exchange of views between Susan Thornton, Project Director of the Forum on Asia-Pacific Security at the National Committee on American Foreign Policy, and Li Nan, Senior Fellow at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, highlights the differing perspectives, mutual suspicions and lingering contradictions between the U.S. and China on North Korea policy and the prospects for future negotiations.

20 years after 9/11, jihadi terrorism rises in Africa

Alexandre Marc

The very rapid fall of Afghanistan to the Taliban is bringing back the nightmarish thought that global jihadi terrorist groups will again find a haven where they can reorganize and thrive. It also draws attention to Africa, where jihadi groups have been on the rise. Twenty years after September 11, they are expending their war of terror in large portions of the continent. A scenario where a country such as Mali — with its corruption, lack of political cohesion, and weak armed forces — would be overwhelmed by jihadi groups is realistic: it nearly happened in 2013. Reflecting on the lessons of Afghanistan for Africa is urgent, as Western nations become extremely reluctant to increase their engagement in fighting these insurgencies after the Afghanistan fiasco.

Terrorism linked to radical Islamist movements has decreased since 2014 when it had reached a record year, both in terms of number of incidents and deaths. Terrorism outside of countries experiencing a jihadi insurgency has declined even more sharply, suggesting that the capacity of many groups to conduct attacks against civilians outside of their areas of day-to-day operations has been seriously curtailed. The Global Terrorism Index, which measures terrorist incidents around the world, shows that deaths linked to terrorist attacks declined by 59% between 2014 and 2019 — to a total of 13,826 — with most of them connected to countries with jihadi insurrections. However, in many places across Africa, deaths have risen dramatically.

The Hollowness of Global Britain


Nobody with the slightest humanity could equate the horrific events in Kabul with McDonalds running out of milkshakes. Yet in recent UK news broadcasts, stories of mildly inconvenient food shortages at home have vied for viewers’ attention with the desperate plight of families 4,000 miles away.

In their very different ways, both stories give fresh urgency to an old question, now that Washington has turned its back on London, and London has turned its back on Brussels: what should be Britain’s place in the world?

In recent years the answers have often rested on two illusions that Boris Johnson’s government has fought to sustain: that the UK really does have a special relationship with the United States and that Brexit would enhance prosperity at home and Britain’s influence abroad. Johnson combined these notions into an ambitious prospectus he labelled “Global Britain.”


Jonathan B. Rotner, Ronald Hodge, Lura Danley

These lessons derive from a more holistic view of automated technologies. Such technologies are more than independent widgets; they are part of a complex ecosystem that interacts with and influences human behavior and decision making.

"AI Fails" proposes a shift in perspective: we should measure the success of an AI system by its impact on human beings, rather than prioritizing its mathematical or economic properties (e.g., accuracy, false alarm rate, or efficiency). Such a shift has the potential to empower the development and deployment of amazing as well as responsible AI.

Combatant Commands Worry About Service JADC2 Stovepipes


WASHINGTON: Combatant Command officials remain worried about whether the Defense Department will truly be able to create a Joint All Domain Command and Control (JADC2) network to manage future, rapid-paced battles against China and Russia, given that the military services each continue to focus on building their own internal capabilities.

“One of the challenges that I see with JADC2 is: is it really joint? Or is it SADC2 — in other words, is it really just a service all domain command and control?” quipped George Ka’iliwai, director of requirements and resources (J8), at Indo-Pacific Command (INDOPACOM) headquarters.

“At least from my perspective, what I see is a lot of the services who are working very hard within their service centric silos, doing some really tremendous things, but they are being done separately,” he told a webinar sponsored by the Potomac Officers Club today.

Military AI Cooperation Toolbox

Zoe Stanley-Lockman
The Department of Defense can already begin applying its existing international science and technology agreements, global scientific networks, and role in multilateral institutions to stimulate digital defense cooperation. This issue brief frames this collection of options as a military AI cooperation toolbox, finding that the available tools offer valuable pathways to align policies, advance research, development, and testing, and to connect personnel–albeit in more structured ways in the Euro-Atlantic than in the Indo-Pacific.