26 October 2021

Deterrence Theory– Is it Applicable in Cyber Domain?

Maj Gen PK Mallick, VSM (Retd)


The Deterrence Theory was developed in the 1950s, mainly to address new strategic challenges posed by nuclear weapons from the Cold War nuclear scenario. During the Cold War, the U.S. and the Soviet Union adopted a survivable nuclear force to present a ‘credible’ deterrent that maintained the ‘uncertainty’ inherent in a strategic balance as understood through the accepted theories of major theorists like Bernard Brodie, Herman Kahn, and Thomas Schelling.1 Nuclear deterrence was the art of convincing the enemy not to take a specific action by threatening it with an extreme punishment or an unacceptable failure.

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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.

Opportunities Open Up For Reset in US-India-Pakistan Relations

Don McLain Gill

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken in talks with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his visit to New Delhi, India in July 2021.Credit: Facebook/Ministry of External Affairs, Government of India

On October 7, U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman said that Washington has “no interest” in hyphenating India and Pakistan, and that it does not envision building a “broad relationship with Pakistan.” This statement comes at a time when the situation in Afghanistan is evolving. As the Taliban continue to consolidate power in the country, the overt role of Pakistan throughout the take-over process cannot be overlooked.

Despite behavior that often violates international norms, the U.S. continued to maintain positive relations with Pakistan. Pakistan was often viewed as a significant component in U.S. efforts to stabilize Afghanistan. This perception allowed Washington to turn a blind eye towards Pakistan’s supporting and granting haven to terror groups. Due to the assumed significance of Pakistan in U.S. Afghan policy, Washington’s relations with India had an unspoken limitation.

Who Gets to Escape the Taliban

Jane Ferguson

Even at midnight, the Dubai airport is sweltering in mid-August. My colleague and cameraman Eric O’Connor and I stood on the tarmac, sweating our way through one of the hardest decisions of our careers. It was the evening of August 14th, we were on assignment for “PBS NewsHour,” and the Taliban seemed poised to take Kabul. We had checked in, cancelled, and then checked in again for our flight to the Afghan capital. Should we get on that plane? We knew that the moment Kabul fell, the airport would likely close and we would be trapped. Journalists from the Times and the Wall Street Journal were already evacuating. Twice, we got on and off the bus to our flight. There were about two dozen other passengers, all Afghans. “Don’t worry,” I told Eric, as we finally clambered up the steps of the plane. “If there is fighting in Kabul we won’t land.” Neither of us was convinced. After takeoff, suspended in the quiet, dark hum of the flight, I journalled to settle my nerves. “As we land, I don’t know if the city will have fallen, or if the evacuations will be over. Everything changes with each hour,” I wrote. “The truth is, I’m afraid.”

Pakistan's Imran Khan Is in Hot Water

Here's What You Need To Remember: This fractured PTI government found it hard to speak with one voice and offer a coherent vision for improving governance. Yet it muddled through, aided by an equally divided opposition that failed to mount a unified challenge.

Imran Khan became Prime Minister of Pakistan in 2018 after defeating entrenched dynastic political parties that had been alternating in government for decades. His Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) had not been a strong force on the national scene but promised a ‘tsunami’ of change to produce a ‘New Pakistan’. It is struggling to fulfill that promise.

As Khan enters the second half of his five-year term, the situation does not augur well — partly because of the intrinsic weaknesses of his own government, and partly because of external factors that are hurting the economy. PTI retains a majority in the National Assembly but does not control the Senate, hindering Khan’s ability to fully enact his legislative agenda. Even though he faces a fractured and somewhat discredited opposition, an uncertain economy and turmoil in Afghanistan will affect his ability to manage Pakistan and prepare for a fresh election.

COVID-19 Intensifies Digital Repression in South and Southeast Asia


Before the COVID-19 pandemic, several countries in Asia had experienced rising levels of autocratization and digital repression as governments leveraged digital technologies to stifle online dissent and surveil critics. The pandemic, however, could deepen governments’ capacities for digital repression. Recent developments in South and Southeast Asia offer insights about this worrying trend.

The trend toward “lawfare”—the abuse of laws to criminalize oppositional civil society and generate a chilling effect to achieve self-censorship—emerged in South and Southeast Asia long before the pandemic. Provisions condemning defamation, sedition, and public assembly have been instrumental in suppressing pro-democracy voices for years in established autocracies such as Vietnam, increasingly authoritarian regimes such as in Cambodia and Thailand, and democracies like India. In the past decade, computer- and cyber-related laws have added a new ingredient to this cocktail of legal repression. In Thailand, for instance, social media users have been charged under the Computer Crime Act for online speech offending the royal family. In India, Section 66a of the Information Technology Act have empowered the authorities to censor posts and websites or to arrest citizens for any online content deemed offensive or inciting.

What Do People in Taiwan Think About Their Military?

Austin Horng-En Wang, Charles K. S. Wu, Fan-Yu Chen, and Yao-Yuan Yeh

In recent decades, Taiwan’s people have seen their military in a negative light due to perceptions that mandatory military service is a “waste of time” and that Taiwan’s chances of prevailing in a war against China are meager as the gap in military capabilities continues to widen across the Taiwan Strait. The death of college student Hung Chung-chiu during military training in 2013 revealed deep issues in the country’s military training system, such as its opaque process for dealing with complaints from comrades from all ranks. These issues contributed to the Ma Ying-jeou administration’s decision to shorten the duration of mandatory service to initiate a transition to an all-voluntary force.

However, as China continues to threaten Taiwan’s safety, such as by constantly sending warplanes near Taiwan, there are signs that citizens in Taiwan have also started to change their perceptions toward their military. In September, the Ministry of Defense in Taiwan announced that citizens serving the reduced four-month mandatory training would be dispatched to serve in military units or even stationed on Taiwan’s offshore islands. The Tsai Ing-wen administration has also been gauging the possibility of reverting to the previous conscription system in which all citizens serve at least one year, and in some cases two years, in the military.

China’s Tests Are No Sputnik Moment


In October 1957, electronic beeping from the Soviet satellite Sputnik—the first artificial object placed into orbit around the Earth—sparked near-panic in the United States. Heading the list of concerns was the possibility that future Soviet satellites could be loaded with nuclear weapons, potentially allowing the commies, in the words of then Senate majority leader Lyndon B. Johnson, to drop “bombs on us from space like kids dropping rocks onto cars from freeway overpasses.”

Superficially, therefore, it seems appropriate that China’s reported tests of an orbital nuclear delivery system, which occurred in July and August 2021, have repeatedly been described as a “Sputnik moment”—if not something “waaaay scarier.”

While the prospect of a nuclear attack against the United States is terrifying, this is no Sputnik moment—partly because it’s not entirely clear what was tested, but mostly because the threat of a Chinese nuclear attack on the United States isn’t remotely new.

A New Great Game? Situating Africa in China’s Strategic Thinking

Nadège Rolland


Absent from the abundant available scholarship dedicated to China’s growing role and presence on the African continent is a study of whether and how Africa fits into Beijing’s grand strategy, as seen by Chinese strategic thinkers. This report fills this gap. Serious strategic discussions about Africa only began in China after the Chinese leadership adopted a global outlook. Beyond economic engagement and development assistance, Chinese strategists evidently envisage the continent as an essential piece in an escalating geostrategic contest for global influence between China and the U.S.-led West. Beijing’s emerging strategy aims at making the continent fit into a new subsystem comprising much of the “global South” that China aspires to dominate. China’s “new great game” seeks to outflank the U.S. by mobilizing African endorsement of China’s distinctive institutions and governing ideology. To that end, China aims to persuade African countries to adopt aspects of its political and economic system. Contrary to Beijing’s protestations, and despite the skepticism of many Western observers, China is in fact preparing to export its model to Africa and perhaps to other parts of the developing world as well.

China Must Restore Growth


BEIJING – China is having an eventful month, marked by proliferating power-supply disruptions and the debt crisis of the country’s second-largest property developer, Evergrande. What does this mean for China’s post-pandemic economic recovery and growth prospects?

Begin with the energy crisis, which started when a rapid increase in exports – driven by the global recovery – fueled a sharp increase in demand for electricity. China remains dependent on coal for 56.8% of its total electricity supply. And yet, in an effort to meet mandatory targets for reducing energy consumption, local governments have shut down many coal mines in recent years.

At the same time, the government’s climate goals – to reach peak carbon-dioxide emissions by 2030 and achieve carbon neutrality before 2060 – discourage investment in the coal industry. Of course, these goals also encourage investment in renewables, which are a growing part of China’s energy mix. But renewables are nowhere near where they need to be to cover the current shortfall.

Could Russia’s Buddhist Republics Complicate Relations With China?

James Utley and Jade McGlynn

The Russian Federation is an authentically multiconfessional society, as opposed to the West’s imported multiculturalism and militant secularism – or so goes the story promoted by the Russian state around the world. Part of the Kremlin’s broader, sophisticated religious diplomacy efforts, these narratives draw upon all four of Russia’s “official” religions: Orthodox Christianity, Islam, Judaism, and Buddhism.

But, as ever, diversity can be a source of both strength and weakness. The Russian government’s uses of, and relations with, its Buddhist republics reveal the limitations of its religious diplomacy, especially in the context of the developing China-Russia partnership.

There are three Buddhist-majority republics in Russia: Kalmykia in the North Caucasus, plus Tuva and Buryatia in Siberia. Despite top-down efforts at centralization over the last two decades, these republics still exercise a degree of control over their own affairs, including conducting low-level diplomacy.

China’s Shenzhou 13 Mission and Its Long-Term Impact

Namrata Goswami

On October 16, China launched its most ambitious human space mission yet, the Shenzhou 13, to the Tianhe core module of China’s permanent space station (Tiangong) in Low Earth Orbit (LEO). The crew of three astronauts (Zhai Zhigang, Wang Yaping and Ye Guangfu) will be staying on the Tianhe for six months, the longest stint for Chinese astronauts so far, if accomplished successfully. Earlier missions, including the Shenzhou 12, the first human mission to the Tianhe, were for a period of three months.

The Shenzhou 13 astronauts arrived safely and have settled into the Tianhe, including opening the hatch of the Tianzhou 3 cargo spacecraft for their supplies.

This mission, decades in the making and launched on schedule as per stated deadlines, has five critical implications for China and its space ambitions.

The Puzzle of U.S.-Saudi Ties

Jon B. Alterman
Source Link

By most accounts, the Biden administration is pleased with the results of its policy toward Saudi Arabia. The Saudi leadership has stepped up its efforts to end the war in Yemen, it has generally stayed mum about the administration’s nuclear negotiations with Iran, and it has opened up its own dialogue with Iran to try to reduce tensions. Domestically, several advocates for women’s rights have been freed from jail, and the extraordinary effort to harass—and in at least one instance, kill—prominent Saudi critics overseas has been dialed back.

Saudis seem less satisfied, though. They feel the Biden team has pocketed their efforts at partnership and has given little in return. They also express wonderment that the kingdom is undergoing a deeper transformation in economics and society than any in the country’s history and it is happening at breakneck speed, yet their closest and most important partner neither notices nor cares.

One might argue that mutual disappointment has been a consistent theme in the countries’ bilateral relationship. Anyone who has spent time working on ties between the two countries has heard a lot of griping. Expectations have rarely been met. Even so, cooperation has been vital for both. It is worth asking, though, if there might come a time when Saudi Arabia would interpret U.S. disinterest to be permanent and act accordingly. Many Americans would welcome such a development now, but they are likely to come to regret it.

The Illusion of Arab Nationalism

Hilal Khashan

The Arab uprisings briefly resurrected the idea of Arab nationalism. During the 2011 Pan Arab Games in Qatar, spectators sang the unofficial Arab national anthem, the lyrics of which promote the idea that Arabs cannot be separated by artificial borders or religion because the Arabic language unites them all. But the euphoria of the moment soon dissipated, as the reality of factionalism set in. Despite various attempts at unity, Arab nations have time and again failed to act collectively or agree on common interests.

False Beginnings

The first Arab nationalist movement was launched in Beirut in 1857. The Syrian Scientific Society ushered in a short-lived Arab cultural and intellectual renaissance. Failing to attract a broad audience, it fizzled out as the First World War began. It was essentially an elitist organization of primarily Syrian and Lebanese Christians and a few Americans and Britons living in the area. (Secular Arab nationalism appealed to Christians because it meant they could be integrated as full-fledged citizens.) Decades later, the Young Arab Society was established in Paris in response to the 1908 Young Turks’ coup against Ottoman Sultan Abdul Hamid. The group demanded a democratic transition, administrative autonomy for Arabs and the designation of Arabic as an official language on par with Turkish.

Reinventing Climate Change Education

Ulla Hemminki-Reijonen, Halla Hrund Logadóttir

This paper will review the changing world of climate change education and opportunities for adopting innovative pedagogical approaches such as immersive technologies, participatory methods, and art-based learning. It will also point out examples of how institutional collaboration and support from policymakers can facilitate climate change education and make a great impact. It concludes with a pilot project on increasing engagement in climate change education at Harvard Kennedy School. The lessons learned offer three main considerations when designing climate change education: 1) allow students to experience climate change instead of just asking them to read about it, 2) prioritize creative, cross-curricular, and participatory methods, and 3) improve the systemic support and involve policymakers and educational institutions to collaborate.

Advancing International Cooperation under the Paris Agreement: Issues and Options for Article 6

Michael A. Mehling

Note on COP-26

This paper will serve as the basis for a panel event conducted by the Harvard Project on Climate Agreements at COP-26 in Glasgow, Scotland. Details:

Securing Climate Ambition with Cooperative Approaches: Options under Article 6

Hosted by the Harvard Project on Climate Agreements, the Enel Foundation, and Foundation Environment - Law Society (FURG)

Wednesday, November 10, 2021; 4:45 – 6:00 pm Location: Clyde Auditorium (within the “Blue Zone” at COP-26)

Abstract and Background

Article 6 of the Paris Agreement enables Parties to engage in voluntary cooperation as they implement their nationally determined contributions (NDCs). Specifically, Article 6 sets out three pathways for voluntary cooperation:

Russia Is No Mideast Superpower

Frederic Wehrey and Andrew S. Weiss

The Russian Ministry of Defense pulled out all the stops for its annual arms expo outside Moscow in late August. For three days, defense ministers and dignitaries from 41 countries, including from the Middle East, were treated to exhibits of cutting-edge technology, live-fire demonstrations, ballerinas pirouetting on tank turrets, and the trailer for an action movie about the 2015 rescue of downed Russian pilots behind enemy lines in Syria.

This spectacle occurred the same week as the United States’ bungled evacuation from Afghanistan. The message was clear: Russia is back in a big way on the global stage, and especially in the Middle East.

Russia has long been exploiting U.S. missteps and doubts among some longtime U.S. partners to widen its footprint in the Middle East. Yet the threat it poses to the American-led security order in the region is less dire than the recent warnings from such Trump-era figures as former National Security Advisers John Bolton and H. R. McMaster would suggest. Especially in the Arab world, Moscow’s lofty aspirations outstrip its actual influence. U.S. policymakers should avoid overstating Russia’s capabilities in the Middle East as they work to recover from the Afghanistan debacle, reassure partners, and refocus the United States’ military engagement toward Asia.

A Quartet of Warnings Highlight Climate-Related Threats


Climate change is likely to crank up geopolitical tensions as temperatures rise and nations argue about who is responsible for fixing it, according to a new national intelligence estimate.

The intelligence community document is one of four climate-related reports released on Thursday by national-security agencies ahead of President Joe Biden’s trip to the United Nations Climate Change Conference at the end of this month. They explain how a warming planet is expected to escalate geopolitical tensions, increase instability, and drive migration. Biden will travel to Glasgow for the conference armed with this data in a bid to convince allies around the world to act.

“We alone cannot solve this challenge. We need the rest of the world to accelerate their progress alongside with us,” a senior administration official told reporters ahead of the report release. “These analyses will serve as a foundation for our critical work on climate and security moving forward.”

The Commercial Space Sector and Russia’s Space Strategy

Pavel Luzin

Even as the commercial space sector grows quickly in the United States as well as in Europe, China, Japan, India and other countries, Russia continues to lack a robust approach to advancing in this area. The Russian government has for years been declaring an interest in developing space startups (NTI News, July 30, 2019; Roscosmos, January 9, 2021). The main reason here is political: space affairs are important for Russian society raised on heroic stories of Sputnik and Yuri Gagarin, and they signal the ostensible strength of Russia as a political and economic actor on the world stage. Successes in outer space generate national pride and feelings of greatness; whereas failures cast doubt on the capacity of Russia’s political economy system (see EDM, July 15).

Briefly speaking, the national space program provides inter alia legitimacy for the Russian authorities. And in the face of growing pressure from the private space sector—particularly US companies like SpaceX, Planet Labs, Rocket Labs, Blue Origin, Axiom and many others—Russia’s state-run corporation Roscosmos as well as the government are trying to demonstrate their competence and pay greater attention to domestic private space activity. Another reason for this renewed focus is economic: Moscow is interested in sharing the burden of space-related spending among Russian firms from other economic sectors to balance the governmental space budget while still maintaining Russia’s role as one of the world’s leading space powers.

Our Common Agenda and the Road to 2023


WASHINGTON, DC – Not since World War II has the international community confronted as monumental a test as the intertwined crises of COVID-19 and climate change, and the profound social and economic inequalities they have exposed. Yet precisely when global, collective action is most needed to address these crises, exclusionary nationalism and rising great-power tensions, including a new Cold War-like standoff between democracies and autocracies, are eroding essential multilateral cooperation.

In his pathbreaking new report, Our Common Agenda, UN Secretary-General António Guterres argues that “humanity faces a stark and urgent choice: a breakdown or a breakthrough.” Guterres underscores the fundamental values of trust and solidarity – and the need for a new social contract between citizens and their institutions at all levels of governance – in seeking a just and sustainable global recovery from the current pandemic. As we mark another UN Day (October 24), these values must inform a politically savvy yet ambitious strategy for long-overdue institutional and legal changes to the post-1945 multilateral system.

NATO agrees master plan to deter growing Russian threat

Robin Emmott

BRUSSELS, Oct 21 (Reuters) - NATO defence ministers agreed a new master plan on Thursday to defend against any potential Russian attack on multiple fronts, reaffirming the alliance's core goal of deterring Moscow despite a growing focus on China.

The confidential strategy aims to prepare for any simultaneous attack in the Baltic and Black Sea regions that could include nuclear weapons, hacking of computer networks and assaults from space.

"We continue to strengthen our alliance with better and modernised plans," NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said after the meeting, which also agreed a $1 billion fund to provide seed financing to develop new digital technologies.

Officials stress that they do not believe any Russian attack is imminent. Moscow denies any aggressive intentions and says it is NATO that risks destabilising Europe with such preparations.

The Two Koreas’ Recent Arms Displays Are Sending Very Different Messages

Duyeon Kim

North Korea has announced that it successfully tested a new, smaller submarine-launched ballistic missile, or SLBM, on Tuesday. State media claimed the missile—launched from the same submarine from which Pyongyang tested its first Pukguksong-1 SLBM in August 2016—has “advanced control guidance technologies, including flank mobility and gliding skip mobility,” designed to make it harder to track and intercept. The name of the submarine used for the launch—the “8.24 Yongung”—also seems noteworthy, as a reflection of the importance Pyongyang puts on this vessel: It means “hero” and apparently signifies the Aug. 24 date of the 2016 SLBM launch.

The test is another sign that Pyongyang is trying to secure a second-strike capability—the ability to respond to a nuclear attack with its own nuclear weapons. The aim would be to protect the regime and perhaps even cause Washington to hesitate in defending Seoul in the event of an attack, for fear of possible North Korean SLBM strikes.

The launch came on the heels of an extravagant display of force the previous week. Pyongyang showed off some of its new weapons and military hardware on Oct. 11, to mark the 76th anniversary of its ruling Workers’ Party the day before. It’s a common ritual in the insular one-party state, but this year, the format was different. For the first time, new additions to the country’s arsenal were on display at a museum-style exhibition rather than a military parade or other major celebration.

National Defense University Press

Joint Force Quarterly (JFQ), 103, (4th Quarter, October 2021)

Project Convergence: Achieving Overmatch by Solving Joint Problems

The Tactical Defense Becomes Dominant Again

The New Era of Great Power Competition and the Biden Administration: Emerging Patterns and Principles

Reading the Tea Leaves: Understanding Chinese Deterrence Signaling

Purpose-Built Antiarmor Teams: An Imperative for the Marine Corps Ground Combat Element

Degrading China’s Integrated Maritime Campaign

Realizing Energy Independence on U.S. Military Bases

Educating Senior Service College Students on Emerging and Disruptive Technologies

Specialized Analytic and Targeting Study: A Methodology and Approach for Conducting Faster Full-Spectrum Targeting

Understanding the Vulnerabilities in China’s New Joint Force

Green Fields of France: Mortuary Affairs in a Peer Conflict

History of the Senior Enlisted Advisor to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff

Wartime Innovation and Learning

Read the Manual: Reversing the Trends of Failure in NATO Humanitarian Interventions with Airpower

Army’s ‘unconventional warfare’ division signs £8m deal to improve data sources

Sam Trendall

The Army’s specialist force dedicated to “unconventional warfare” has signed an £8m-plus deal to provide new data sources to support its operations.

According to newly published procurement dcoument, the 6th (UK) Division’s mandate requires it to “monitor and assess the information environment” in which it operates; the unit “orchestrates intelligence, information and partner operations and conducts cyber and electronic warfare activities”.

Its assessment of information sources is “currently achieved through the monitoring of limited data sources provided through OSINT (open source intelligence) collection tools… and other parts of the intelligence community”.

“Through operational experience it has become clear that, in many cases, OSINT sources do not provide great enough fidelity, timeliness or accuracy that commercially procurable data sources could,” the division said.

Israel Is at the Forefront of Cutting-Edge Warfare

Seth J. Frantzman

Israel hosted air forces from seven countries in a biennial exercise called Blue Flag. The last time the exercise took place was in 2019. That year, it included 725 personnel from Israel, the United States, Greece, Germany and Italy. This year, the United States, Germany, France, Italy, India, the UK and Greece took part in the exercise alongside Israeli pilots and advanced fifth-generation F-35 fighter jets.

This is important because it brings together key Israeli partners and allies. Israel has become much closer to Greece in recent years. This is due to shared interests in the Eastern Mediterranean, including a planned pipeline. Israel also hosts the Noble Dina naval exercise which has included Greece, France and Cyprus. Israel has conducted joint F-35 fighter jet drills, called Enduring Lightning, with the United States in 2020. This is part of a wider process that shows Israel integrating into Central Command and Israel normalizing relations with the UAE and Bahrain, two countries that also host U.S. military bases. In July, Israel brought together drone operators from the United States, France, Italy, Germany, and the United Kingdom for the Blue Guardian drone drill.

Russian Military Enhances UACV Strike Capability

Roger McDermott

The leadership of Russia’s Armed Forces has used the introduction and diversification of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) as a means to boost target acquisition in combat operations. The role of both UAVs and unmanned aerial combat vehicles (UACV) in Russian military planning is extending into developing such systems for conducting strikes. A key example of this technological process is the effort to combine the Su-57 fifth-generation fighter with the heavy-strike UCAV S-70 Okhotnik (“Hunter”), first publicly seen in early 2019 and which underwent its first test flight in August of that year (see EDM, November 19, 2019). The Okhotnik remains at its testing stage, yet advances in its design suggest it will offer a formidable strike capability for the Aerospace Forces (Vozdushno Kosmicheskikh Sil—VKS) (Rossiyskaya Gazeta, October 10, 2021).

The reported development of the Su-57 focuses on its strike potential. It differs from the United States Air Force (USAF) F-22 and China’s People’s Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF) J-20 since it is designed to be much more versatile, less focused on gaining air superiority, and with greater ability to engage ground and sea-based targets. The Su-57 will have an array of weapons systems at its disposal. In particular, the PBK-500U Drel allows the Su-57 to strike ground targets at a distance of 30–50 kilometers based on the “fire and forget” principle. The GLONASS-guided cluster glide bombs use inertial and satellite guidance for maximum accuracy. Long-range strike for the Su-57 involves the use of Kh-59MK2 cruise missiles with a warhead weighing 320 kilograms. These can destroy targets at a distance of up to 285 kilometers. In 2018, these cruise missiles were used in Syria to strike bunkers and underground facilities. The evolution of the Kh-59MK family of cruise missiles pose a potential threat to surface ships. The Su-57 can also carry Kh-58 missiles to neutralize enemy radars and air-defense targets from distances of more than 150 km. Moreover, the Su-57 benefits from ongoing development of hypersonic missile systems, including the miniature version of the Kinzhal hypersonic missile. The Kinzhal missile is believed to have a strike range of more than 1,000 kilometers, leading Russian military specialists to conclude that the Su-57 is ideal for targeting adversary surface ships (Topwar.ru, October 19; Vpk-news.ru, October 18).

From Data to Insight: Making Sense out of Data Collected in the Gray Zone

Emily Harding, Matthew Strohmeyer

As the United States attempts to identify adversary activity in the gray zone, the assumption is that more data will provide deeper insight and better indications and warning. However, a more likely outcome is that, rather than showing the contours of the forest, expanding the variety of data collected will leave analysts wandering amidst trees of siloed databases. Different sensors create different data streams and different sharing restrictions, forcing analysts to spend time fighting bureaucratic restrictions rather than creating actionable intelligence. The seeds of intelligence failures are planted in such scenarios—policymakers assume that, since we have exquisite sensors and copious data, detection is guaranteed and strategic surprise is impossible. In reality, the vast majority of collected information is left on the cutting room floor.

Operationalizing myriad data sets will become even more challenging as the United States brings new sensing capabilities online, including open source intelligence (OSINT), and expands collection in the cyber domain and at geographical fringes like the Arctic. Rather than allow this data to segregate into siloed databases, this commentary recommends that the U.S. government use its purchasing power to consistently demand interoperability. It also recommends that the intelligence and defense communities lean into unclassified data sets as they seek to move from manpower-intensive sharing mechanisms to a fully integrated, cloud-based, data flow future, such as is envisioned in Joint All-Domain Command and Control. Finally, it maps out necessary contributions from Congress, the executive branch, and industry to achieve an interoperable future.

It’s Not About Submarines. It’s about Software


The Australia-United Kingdom-United States, or AUKUS, security partnership is about much more than submarines. It is a down payment on an even more momentous commitment by the United States and its allies to develop advanced technologies and scale up capabilities such as artificial intelligence and other critical areas in which the United States and allies now face strategic competitors such as China.

President Joe Biden made this explicit last month when he announced the United States and the United Kingdom would help Australia build nuclear-powered submarines, saying it will help “expand our edge in military capabilities and critical technologies, such as cyber, artificial intelligence (AI), quantum technologies and undersea domains.”

Nine days later at the White House, Biden hosted the leaders of the Quad countries—the United States, India, Japan, and Australia—in their first-ever in-person meeting: they discussed collaborating on cybersecurity and AI. Two weeks later, the US-EU Trade and Technology Council held its inaugural meeting in Pittsburgh with Secretary of State Antony Blinken leading the U.S. delegation. One top agenda item: AI systems “that respect universal human rights and shared democratic values.”

The Military is Preparing for a ‘Space Superhighway,’ Complete with Pit Stops


Like any family road trip, future missions to the moon and beyond may require a few pit stops.

U.S. Transportation Command and the U.S. Space Force see a future space superhighway system where the United States, commercial partners, and allies would be able to make repeat, regular trips to the moon or beyond by using multiple hubs where they could gas up, have maintenance done, and even throw out their trash.

Now they’re thinking about getting those orbiting pit stops up and running sooner rather than later. Because it’s not just about making the 238,855-mile lunar journey a little more comfortable. It’s about preventing China from building the hubs first.

“There’s a first-mover advantage here,” Space Force Brig. Gen. John Olson said Wednesday at a panel with TRANSCOM at a National Defense Transportation Association seminar on space logistics.

Learn to Practice Pull-Ups Like the Navy SEALS


If you are looking to join the military, or are a current service member thinking of attempting a transition to a special operations unit, then you probably need to improve your pull ups. Hell, if you’re just trying to find a way to stay in shape and build some upper body strength, they won’t hurt you either.

And let me stop you right there: no, I do not mean CrossFit style “kipping pull-ups.” Those are garbage. Cast them out of your workout routine like the shake-weight-level silliness they are. Mock your CrossFit trainers for making you do them. Ridicule your friends and family that you see swinging on the bar like a fish being ripped from the water, helplessly hooked through the gills and trying like hell to flop off the line and return to the deep. Just don’t do them.

I digress. Back to the pull-up: the real, dead-hang, fingers-pointed-away-from-your-body, straight-up and straight-down, traditional pull-up. That’s where it’s at. That’s the exercise that will strengthen your back, your shoulders, your forearms, your biceps, your grip, and the muscles around your spine. The pull-up will help you master lifting your own body weight. It will even tighten your abdominal muscles.