28 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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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.

India, the Quad, and the Future of Outer Space


On September 24, 2021, leaders from the four countries that make up the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue (the Quad)—Australia, India, Japan, and United States—issued a joint statement that mentioned, for the first time, a partnership on matters related to outer space. For India’s civilian-led commercial space industry, the statement was an encouraging sign of opportunities to come.

Even today, much discussion about outer space remains focused on the military. For instance, former U.S. president Donald Trump’s decision to constitute the U.S. Space Force, a new branch of the country’s armed forces, was met with widespread skepticism and derision. India has two military-focused agencies—the Defence Space Agency and the Defence Space Research Agency—that are entrusted with creating space warfare weapons and technologies.

Civilian or commercial space ventures, however, tend to spur wider public interest. The recent launch of SpaceX’s Inspiration4, a commercial spaceflight mission crewed by private citizens, was widely celebrated. It also marked a sign of things to come, as space travel becomes more accessible to the general public through the involvement of private enterprise.

Takshashila Discussion Document – India-Russia Space Cooperation: A Way Forward

Aditya Pareek1 and Dr. Andrey Gubin

Executive Summary
India – Russia space cooperation in the past includes the USSR launching India’s first few satellites, Rakesh Sharma’s inclusion in a manned Soviet mission, and Russia’s sale of cryogenic engines for India’s Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicles. Currently, India-Russia space cooperation is largely limited to NavIC-GLONASS ground stations and Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS)–Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System (IRNSS) augmentation.

Glavcosmos, a subsidiary of the Russian state space company ROSCOSMOS, is also providing commercial services to India’s human space flight mission Gaganyaan. Russia is pursuing the development of a potential deep space mobility platform, a nuclear space tug called “Zeus” that can significantly shift the course of human space exploration worldwide — which could hold potential for new India-Russia collaboration in space. India has historically been able to harness much needed know-how and technology for its space industry by closely co-operating with Russia. Given the right impetus, it can continue to do so today.

US nearing a formal agreement to use Pakistan's airspace to carry out military operations in Afghanistan

Natasha Bertrand, Oren Liebermann, Zachary Cohen and Ellie Kaufman

(CNN)The Biden administration has told lawmakers that the US is nearing a formalized agreement with Pakistan for use of its airspace to conduct military and intelligence operations in Afghanistan, according to three sources familiar with the details of a classified briefing with members of Congress that took place on Friday morning.

Pakistan has expressed a desire to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) in exchange for assistance with its own counterterrorism efforts and help in managing the relationship with India, one of the sources said. But the negotiations are ongoing, another source said, and the terms of the agreement, which has not been finalized, could still change.

The briefing comes as the White House is still trying to ensure that it can carry out counterterrorism operations against ISIS-K and other adversaries in Afghanistan now that there is no longer a US presence on the ground for the first time in two decades after the NATO withdrawal from the country.

A Counterfactual Look at the Afghan War: the “SOF-only” COA and its Implications for the Future

Michael Perry

The U.S.-led war in Afghanistan began as a war to combat transnational terrorism but quickly evolved into something deeper and more profound. To combat terror emanating from a foreign country the U.S. sought a cooperative Afghan government, and thus the war became an exercise in first toppling an uncooperative regime in the Taliban, and second establishing an effective government with a monopoly on force. The first step proved easy, while the second led to a revival of counterinsurgent theory and doctrine in the U.S. military, as the deposed Taliban fought to undermine the newly established government. With President Biden’s announcement all U.S. troops will be withdrawn after 20 years of engagement, it’s natural to take stock of what’s been achieved. Most now recognize the error in the strategy of deploying large numbers of U.S. and Coalition troops to augment the Afghan defense forces. Economically, through 2017 the combined efforts of the Afghan War had cost $877 billion, a price tag few would argue is justified by the realized returns.[i] Many have even argued the large deployments of U.S. troops to Afghanistan have been counterproductive. Micro-level studies of popular sentiment in Afghanistan have shown the Taliban is more popular in many regions than the Coalition,[ii] and macro-level studies have shown an approximate threefold increase in global terrorist manpower.[iii] Throughout the war an alternative course of action (COA) that was often floated, but never materialized, was a light-footprint approach made primarily of special operations forces (SOF), who would continue to train the Afghan National Security Force (ANSF) that was created after the 2001 disposal of the Taliban regime, coordinate air support, and provide direct assistance on the ground when necessary.

Taiwan Vows to 'Defend Itself' Amid U.S. Reversal, Here's How Much Stronger China Is

Tom O'Connor

Taiwan has said it would express the will to defend itself amid a quick U.S. reversal on an apparent promise to defend the self-ruling island and warnings from mainland China, which claims it as part of the People's Republic.
© Statista A graphic using the latest U.S. military assessment of Chinese and Taiwanese military strength shows the scope of the imbalance of power across the geopolitically sensitive Taiwan Strait.

Biden, Taiwan, and Strategic Ambiguity

Dennis V. Hickey

On October 21, U.S. President Joe Biden committed yet another faux pas with respect to the U.S. security commitment to the Republic of China (ROC), more commonly known as Taiwan. When asked whether the United States would defend Taiwan in the case of an attack by China, the president replied, “Yes, we have a commitment.”

It’s not the first time and likely won’t be the last time that a US administration has scrambled to walk back a president’s unscripted comments on the topic. On April 24, 2001, when President George W. Bush was asked if the U.S. had a commitment to defend Taiwan, he replied, “Yes, we do…and the Chinese must understand that.” Just like Biden’s gaffe, officials quickly sought to “clarify” Bush’s comments and insisted that there was no change in U.S. policy.

To state it succinctly, the United States has never had an iron-clad security commitment to defend Taiwan. That policy of “will-they-or-won’t-they” has worked well for over 70 years and should continue to serve American interests. Here is why.

Japan defense minister warns of Crimea-style invasion of Taiwan


TOKYO -- In a veiled reference to China's recent aggressive moves on Taiwan, Japan's defense minister pointed to Russia's annexation of Crimea as an example of how an invasion can begin without deploying troops.

Russia's act was an "illegal annexation of Crimea," Nobuo Kishi said on Friday in a video message to the 18th CSIS/Nikkei Symposium. "An invasion may begin without anyone realizing it, and a war may be fought without the use of military forces."

Information control and cyberattacks became prominent before Russian troops took control of the Crimean region in 2014.

Kishi's comments come as China ratchets up pressure on Taiwan. Earlier this month, Beijing flew a record number of warplanes near the island it claims but has never ruled, and Taiwan's defense minister warned that China already has the ability to invade and will be capable of mounting a "full scale" invasion by 2025.

It’ll Take More than American Military Might to Shore Up Taiwan

John Bolton

It begins by affirming that Taiwan is a sovereign, self-governing country, not a disputed Chinese province. It meets international law’s criteria of statehood, such as defined territory, stable population and the performance of normal governmental functions such as viable currency and law enforcement. Washington, Tokyo and others would be entirely justified to extend diplomatic recognition, and its attendant legitimacy, to Taipei.

The 1972 Shanghai Communiqué, the foundational statement of current U.S.-China relations, is effectively dead. The communiqué says that “the United States acknowledges that all Chinese on either side of the Taiwan Strait maintain there is but one China and that Taiwan is a part of China,” and “doesn’t challenge that position.” Beijing warped these words to mean “one China run by Beijing,” a formulation the U.S. never accepted.

The reality the U.S. acknowledged in 1972 no longer exists. Taiwan’s National Chengchi University has polled the island’s people about their identity for 30 years. Between 1992 and 2021, those identifying as Taiwanese rose to 63.3% from 17.6%; those identifying as Chinese fell to 2.7% from 25.5%; those identifying as both Taiwanese and Chinese fell to 31.4% from 46.4%. (Some 2.7% didn’t respond, down from 10.5%.) The “silent artillery of time,” as Abraham Lincoln called it, will likely continue these trends. Taiwan’s citizens have made up their own minds: There is no longer “one China” but “one China, one Taiwan,” as Beijing has feared for decades.

Opinion – China’s Belt and Road Initiative: Pragmatism over Morals?

Tabita Rosendal

Is China beating the US and EU through its pragmatic approach towards cooperation under the “Belt and Road” Initiative (“一带一路”倡议) (BRI)? Despite the advent of the US’ “Build Back Better World” (B3W) and the EU’s “Connecting Europe Globally” (CEG), evidence from Sri Lanka suggests that some countries still look to China for support due to the ‘no-strings-attached’ nature of its investments. The stark reality is that China’s “pragmatic values”, combined with loans, may outcompete the two Western initiatives.

The US and EU forward their initiatives through a focus on Western values such as liberalism, democracy, freedom of speech, and human rights – all moral frameworks which supposedly lead to ‘good governance’ (US White House, 2021; EU Council, 2021; Yan, 2021; Pleeck and Gavas, 2021; Qureshi, 2021). Conversely, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) holds that the BRI has pursued a pragmatic framework of non-interference (respecting sovereignty) and ‘win-win’ (mutual benefits) (FMPRC, 2021A; Ginsburg, 2021). In a nutshell, China claims to meet the countries where they are, with investments made in areas or sectors in which they seek support (Li and Vicente, 2020; FMPRC, 2021B; Wang and Cao, 2021: 65). Moreover, non-interference goes both ways: China remains pragmatic about cooperation and urges other countries to do the same, ultimately securing mutual political support in times of strife (China Power, 2017; Dezenski, 2020; Jie and Wallace, 2021). However, while countries do benefit from Chinese investments, China arguably remains at the head of the negotiation table, with its own interests at the fore (Rolland, 2017; China Power, 2017). But what does this mean in practice?

PacNet #49 – Xi Jinping’s top five foreign policy mistakes

Denny Roy

Xi Jinping’s aggressive foreign policy is stimulating increased international opposition to the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) agenda, undoing years of effort by Chinese officials to assure regional governments that a stronger China will be peaceful and non-domineering. Here are five examples of Xi’s self-defeating decision-making in the People’s Republic of China’s (PRC) foreign relations.

Wolf Warriorism

Xi has ordered his diplomats to demonstrate “fighting spirit” and to “dare to show their swords.” Accordingly, over the past two years Chinese diplomats have aimed jarring insults and threats at various countries, not just Western democracies, but also Brazil, Kazakhstan, Iran, Pakistan, Venezuela, Thailand, and South Korea. The result is unsurprising. Public opinion surveys by the Pew Research Center and other pollsters show a marked increase in negative feeling toward China since 2019 in Europe, Australia, Japan, the United States, and other countries. Former Singaporean senior foreign ministry official Bilihari Kausikan said “China’s ‘Wolf Warriors’ are doing a better job than any American diplomat of arousing anti-Chinese feelings around the world.” Chinese diplomats could defend their country’s actions differently. Instead, Wolf Warriorism acts as an extension of domestic politics, with little regard for harm done to China’s international prestige and relationships.

Red Flag River and China’s Downstream Neighbors

Genevieve Donnellon-May and Mark Wang

The Red Flag River Water Diversion Project Proposal (Red Flag River) is a new enormous inter-basin water diversion proposal in China. It is not an official project and has not received approval from the Chinese government; however, since the semi-official release of the proposal in November 2017 by the S4679 Research Group, it has attracted plenty of attention. The proposal aims to annually divert 60 billion cubic meters of water from the major rivers of the ecologically fragile Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, including three transnational rivers (Mekong, Salween, and Brahmaputra), to arid Xinjiang and other parts of northwest China.

As a transboundary project, the Red Flag River proposes to not only cross several provincial borders in China, but to also reduce the flow of these transnational rivers. This has has raised concern. How much more power could this project proposal give China, an upstream country and the regional hydro-hegemon, over many of Asia’s major rivers? So far, scholars in China have expressed various hydrological concerns over the Red Flag River, as has India, while the other downstream countries are yet to publicly speak about their concerns related to this project proposal.

The New Cold War

Hal Brands and John Lewis Gaddis

Is the world entering a new cold war? Our answer is yes and no. Yes if we mean a protracted international rivalry, for cold wars in this sense are as old as history itself. Some became hot, some didn’t: no law guarantees either outcome. No if we mean the Cold War, which we capitalize because it originated and popularized the term. That struggle took place at a particular time (from 1945–47 to 1989–91), among particular adversaries (the United States, the Soviet Union, and their respective allies), and over particular issues (post–World War II power balances, ideological clashes, arms races). None of those issues looms as large now, and where parallels do exist—growing bipolarity, intensifying polemics, sharpening distinctions between autocracies and democracies—the context is quite different.

It’s no longer debatable that the United States and China, tacit allies during the last half of the last Cold War, are entering their own new cold war: Chinese President Xi Jinping has declared it, and a rare bipartisan consensus in the United States has accepted the challenge. What, then, might previous contests—the one and only Cold War and the many earlier cold wars—suggest about this one?

What Iran Has Learned From Biden’s Afghanistan Debacle

Wang Xiyue

There are bitter lessons aplenty about America’s 20-year and $2 trillion Afghan excursion. There are equally as many about the U.S.’s botched exit from that country this August, which has been dubbed “Biden’s debacle” by formerly favorable international outlets. Yet neither the horrendous scenes from the rapid Taliban takeover, the glee of U.S. adversaries, nor the domestic political debates that the withdrawal has deepened have managed to slow America’s eagerness to head for the exits in the Middle East. Despite the fiasco, the Biden administration’s desire for a regional drawdown continues apace.

When President Joe Biden proclaimed on August 31 that the Afghan withdrawal mission was an “extraordinary success,” he meant it. Not far behind was Secretary of State Antony Blinken, who called the airlift out of Kabul “an extraordinary effort” in his September 14 testimony to Congress.

That’s precisely because getting out of the way, no matter the facts on the ground or the wherewithal of the enemy to continue fighting, is fast shaping up to be a feature, not a bug, of the Biden administration’s approach to conflict zones across the Middle East. Nowhere is this truer than with respect to Afghanistan’s western neighbor, the Islamic Republic of Iran, whom Washington is trying to tempt back into compliance with the 2015 nuclear deal known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

Francis Fukuyama on the end of American hegemony


THE HORRIFYING images of desperate Afghans trying to get out of Kabul this week after the United States-backed government collapsed have evoked a major juncture in world history, as America turned away from the world. The truth of the matter is that the end of the American era had come much earlier. The long-term sources of American weakness and decline are more domestic than international. The country will remain a great power for many years, but just how influential it will be depends on its ability to fix its internal problems, rather than its foreign policy.

The peak period of American hegemony lasted less than 20 years, from the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 to around the financial crisis in 2007-09. The country was dominant in many domains of power back then—military, economic, political and cultural. The height of American hubris was the invasion of Iraq in 2003, when it hoped to be able to remake not just Afghanistan (invaded two years before) and Iraq, but the whole of the Middle East.

The two most important ways to deter China


“China, China, and China.” U.S. Air Force Secretary Frank Kendall has said those are his top three priorities. While he acknowledges being glib, Kendall nevertheless mentioned China 29 times in his recent speech to the Air Force Association.

The pacing threat posed by the People’s Republic of China (PRC) will be deterred in large part by two major strategic efforts: accelerating the fielding of advanced capabilities, and deepening interoperability with allies and partners.

Progress has been made on both fronts, but in the words of Air Force Chief of Staff C.Q. Brown, we need to “accelerate change — or lose.”

China has become much more formidable in recent years, increasing its modernization efforts. On the conventional side, China has invested in precision weapons of steadily longer range, going from hundreds to thousands of miles, able to hit any American or allied asset anywhere in the world.

Today, China fields a growing arsenal of anti-satellite, anti-air and anti-ship missiles, as well as advanced cyber and electronic warfare capabilities — not to mention a growing hypersonic weapons program.

Counterintelligence Head Narrows Focus to Five Technologies Critical to U.S. Dominance

Kate O’Keeffe

WASHINGTON—The U.S.’s top counterintelligence official said he is narrowing his team’s focus to safeguarding five key technologies, including semiconductors and biotechnology, seeing their protection from rivals as determining whether America remains the world’s leading superpower.

The National Counterintelligence and Security Center’s acting director, Michael Orlando, said Thursday he is sharpening the center’s priorities in order to conduct an effective outreach campaign to educate businesses and academia about the expansive efforts by China and Russia to collect cutting-edge research.

The five technologies identified by Mr. Orlando include artificial intelligence, quantum computing and autonomous systems such as undersea drones and robots that can perform surgeries. The sectors are often depicted by scientists and researchers as future drivers of economic growth and military dominance.

Mr. Orlando, who took up the post in January after serving as deputy director, said at a media briefing that losing leadership in these fields could lead to the U.S. being eclipsed as the world superpower.

America Is Turning Asia Into a Powder Keg

Van Jackson

Asia is trending in a dangerous direction. Across the continent, advanced missile technology is proliferating among U.S. friends and rivals alike. Nuclear powers are undertaking expansive nuclear modernization efforts. Democratization is stalling and, in some cases, rolling back. And the economic influence of the United States is waning while that of authoritarian China is growing.

The United States is not the cause of these troubling trends, but its overly militarized approach to Asia is making them worse. By surging troops and military hardware into the region and encouraging its allies to enlarge their arsenals, Washington is heightening tensions and increasing the risk of an avoidable conflict. Even worse, by treating the Chinese and North Korean military threats as Asia’s only real problems, the United States is ceding the economic playing field to Beijing and relinquishing its ability to address inequality, climate change, and other underlying causes of regional insecurity through nonmilitary means.

What Joe Biden Could Learn From Henry Kissinger

Martin Indyk

Last month, president joe biden went before the United Nations General Assembly in New York and declared the end of America’s forever wars in the Middle East. “As we close this period of relentless war,” he told the assembled representatives, “we’re opening a new era of relentless diplomacy.”

But Biden’s speech was accompanied by inauspicious diplomatic steps. First came the shambolic and ignominious withdrawal from Afghanistan, which left America’s allies feeling that the United States had failed to consult adequately with those who had fought beside it before it rushed for the exits. Then Biden announced a new Indo-Pacific defense pact with Australia and the United Kingdom. France, America’s oldest ally, was shafted in the process, its $60 billion contract to build diesel submarines for the Australian navy abruptly canceled, its role and interests in the Indo-Pacific rendered irrelevant to the Asian power equilibrium that Biden was striving to shore up in the face of a growing challenge from China. Relentless diplomacy was beginning to look like ruthless diplomacy. Indeed, if the art of diplomacy is to tell a person to go to hell and make him look forward to the trip, French President Emmanuel Macron’s outrage suggested that Biden had failed to meet that standard.

Trans-Atlantic Scorecard — October 2021

Welcome to the thirteenth edition of the Trans-Atlantic Scorecard, a quarterly evaluation of U.S.-European relations produced by Brookings’s Center on the United States and Europe (CUSE), as part of the Brookings – Robert Bosch Foundation Transatlantic Initiative. To produce the Scorecard, we poll Brookings scholars and other experts on the present state of U.S. relations with Europe — overall and in the political, security, and economic dimensions — as well as on the state of U.S. relations with five key countries and the European Union itself. We also ask about several major issues in the news. The poll for this edition of the survey was conducted from October 5 to October 8, 2021. The experts’ analyses are complemented by a timeline of significant moments over the previous three calendar months and a snapshot of the relationship, including a tracker of President Biden’s telephone conversations with European leaders, figures presenting data relevant to the relationship, and CUSE Director Thomas Wright’s take on what to watch in the coming months.

New activity from Russian actor Nobelium

Tom Burt

Today, we’re sharing the latest activity we’ve observed from the Russian nation-state actor Nobelium. This is the same actor behind the cyberattacks targeting SolarWinds customers in 2020 and which the U.S. government and others have identified as being part of Russia’s foreign intelligence service known as the SVR.

Nobelium has been attempting to replicate the approach it has used in past attacks by targeting organizations integral to the global IT supply chain. This time, it is attacking a different part of the supply chain: resellers and other technology service providers that customize, deploy and manage cloud services and other technologies on behalf of their customers. We believe Nobelium ultimately hopes to piggyback on any direct access that resellers may have to their customers’ IT systems and more easily impersonate an organization’s trusted technology partner to gain access to their downstream customers. We began observing this latest campaign in May 2021 and have been notifying impacted partners and customers while also developing new technical assistance and guidance for the reseller community. Since May, we have notified more than 140 resellers and technology service providers that have been targeted by Nobelium. We continue to investigate, but to date we believe as many as 14 of these resellers and service providers have been compromised. Fortunately, we have discovered this campaign during its early stages, and we are sharing these developments to help cloud service resellers, technology providers, and their customers take timely steps to help ensure Nobelium is not more successful.

These Authors Share the Good, the Bad and the Ugly about Technology's Role in Society

Peter Daisyme 

Ask a dozen people how they feel about technology and you’ll get a dozen answers. Some would say it’s kept them sane and connected throughout the craziness of 2020. Others would insist that without regular digital deprivation, tech wreaks havoc on mental health and social bonding. Regardless, though, tech is here to stay.

The key is figuring out how and where technology belongs in your personal and professional life. But to make that conclusion, you’ll probably want to get a broader understanding of how tech has changed and is continuing to change the human race. And you’ll find lots of insight from a decidedly offline source: books.

If you’re interested in delving into technology’s direction, pick up these noteworthy reads. They’ll give you a contemporary outlook on tech from unique and thoughtful perspectives.

1. Eric Pilon-Bignell — Surfing Rogue Waves

Humans are curious creatures. They can’t stop themselves from inventing and innovating. So is it any wonder that a futurist like Eric Pilon-Bignell believes our tenacity is bringing about the Fourth Industrial Revolution? Pilon-Bignell believes that what’s happening today with the rise in digitization is causing a tsunami of disruption in every fabric of the culture. As a result, he invites readers to make a deliberate choice: Sit back and watch the waves coming or take the bold step and begin Surfing Rogue Waves.


These are unprecedented times. The world continues to battle the COVID-19 pandemic, while democracies and economies around the globe are tested. Through it all, climate change is destabilizing natural and social systems, and driving new security risks. It has never been more important to engage the next generation of leaders on addressing these systemic risks.

The Climate and Security Advisory Group (CSAG), a project of the Center for Climate and Security, founded the Climate and Security Fellowship to do just that. The 2019-2020 Climate and Security Fellows are a distinguished group of professionals, all with one thing in common: a desire to address the security threats of climate change. They are emerging leaders in their respective fields of study and bring the necessary diversity of perspectives and backgrounds to address such wicked problems.

A self-selected group of Fellows wrote briefers on emerging climate security vulnerabilities. Each chose a topic that they felt was underrepresented in the current literature and deserved further examination. Our hope is that these briefers will spark a broader conversation on these vital security concerns.

I want to thank the Climate and Security Advisory Group for their support and thank all of the climate and security experts who briefed this cadre of fellows including: Hon. Sharon Burke, Hon. John Conger, Col. Mike Gremillion, USAF, Hon. Sherri Goodman, Dr. Rod Schoonover, and Joan VanDervort. Congratulations to the 2019-2020 class of Fellows. We look forward to watching their careers progress, and to their guidance of the next generation of leaders!



The proliferation of small satellites (or "smallsats") has led not only to large numbers of new entrants into the space business, but also to an increasing number of rideshares, and the paradigm of a single launch carrying a single mission to space is no longer the norm. Like the space industry itself, policy is constantly evolving. This paper outlines the processes and approvals involved in getting to space. In addition, it identifies where further work is required to fill in policy gaps and "gray areas" in the overall policy picture.

How to counter China

Charles Parton
Source Link

When another country does something to upset the Chinese Communist party, it gets accused of ‘a Cold War mentality’. This is psychological projection, in Freudian terms, a defence mechanism which projects onto others the negative aspects of one’s own self.

But the CCP is right in a way: we should have more of a ‘Cold War mentality’ or at least a ‘values and systems war’ mentality. China is not the Soviet Union. We never co-operated with the USSR on trade and investment or science and technology. We do with China.

Indeed the CCP sees itself as fighting a ‘values and systems war’. Xi Jinping, in his first speech to the Politburo in 2012, talked of the need for ‘Chinese socialism to gain the dominant position over western capitalism’. Externally the CCP covers up its mentality by constant propaganda slogans, such as talk of its ‘win-win’ Belt and Road Initiative and a ‘community of shared future for mankind’. Beijing does want a shared future for mankind, a Leninist-capitalist one.

Whitehall is currently in the process of fleshing out our approach to China, due to be published in the spring

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.

How Will Moscow Use Its Energy Leverage Over Europe?

Alexander Gabuev

Europe is in the throes of an energy crisis. Supplies of natural gas are so tight that prices are up by almost 400 percent since the start of the year. Utilities are switching to power generated from coal and even fuel oil, two of the world’s dirtiest fuels. That has some accusing Russia—which supplies 35 percent of the European Union’s gas imports—of using energy as a weapon. It didn’t help calm waters when the Russian ambassador to the European Union, Vladimir Chizhov, recently suggested a linkage between gas supplies and Europe’s behavior, hinting that the gas shortage could get resolved if Europe stopped treating Russia as an “adversary.”

But accusations that Russia is restricting gas on purpose are “nothing but politically driven and entirely groundless bloviation,” Russian President Vladimir Putin said at a much-awaited energy conference in Moscow last week.

Putin’s public messaging comes amid heated debate on whether Russia has weaponized its dominant role in the European gas market gas to achieve political goals, including forcing Germany to give final regulatory approval of the controversial Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline or to damage Ukraine by denying it transit fees for Russian gas flowing to Europe.

What’s Really Standing in the Way of European Strategic Autonomy

Rajan Menon

The NATO defense ministers who met yesterday and today in Brussels had a long list of issues to discuss, from the alliance’s role in confronting a rising China to its plans for countering a resurgent Russia. But NATO is also confronting more fundamental questions about its identity that have taken on greater resonance in recent months. Prominent among those questions is what Europe can and should do for itself to provide for its security and defense.

The idea of European strategic autonomy, or reduced dependence on the United States for security, is currently associated with French President Emmanuel Macron, one of its most vocal advocates these days. Although the concept dates back to France’s 1994 defense white paper, interest in it has been revived lately because of developments that have left Europeans uncertain about Washington’s reliability

The Challenge of a Nuclear North Korea

Though North Korea’s nuclearization efforts have faded from the headlines, the country has continued to improve its capabilities. North Korea can now plausibly reach any location in the continental United States with a nuclear weapon, even as Pyongyang has diversified its delivery systems for launching long-range missiles, making its arsenals more likely to survive attack. In the absence of a deal to curb its nuclear and missile programs, North Korea’s arsenal will only grow more lethal.

Striking that deal was at the forefront of former President Donald Trump’s early foreign policy agenda. But despite a period of improved relations between North and South Korea and two unprecedented face-to-face meetings between Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jung Un, no clear progress was made toward denuclearization. Instead of scoring his own foreign policy win, Trump handed Kim a monumental victory. In engaging with Trump, the North Korean leader not only avoided a military confrontation, but also won concessions—including the suspension of some joint U.S.-South Korean military exercises—and international legitimacy.

Israel and South Korea to boost collaboration on loitering munitions

Brian Kim

SEOUL – Major aerospace companies from Israel and South Korea have agreed to expand their partnership on deadly drone technology.

Israel Aerospace Industries, or IAI, and Korea Aerospace Industries, or KAI, signed a memorandum of understanding on Oct. 20 on a loitering munitions program for maximizing the effectiveness of strike missions against enemy air defenses, according to an IAI statement.

The agreement was made during the Seoul International Aerospace and Defense Exhibition 2021 (ADEX 2021) running Oct. 19-23 at an airbase in Seongnam, just south of Seoul.

“IAI is proud to continue expanding our collaboration with KAI, and share our combat-proven capabilities in the field of loitering munitions,” Yehuda (Hudi) Lahav, executive vice president of marketing at IAI, said. “IAI is happy to partner with one of Korean’s leading companies, and to continue growing our collaboration with the local defense market and Korean industry leaders.”

Winners and losers in the fulfilment of national artificial intelligence aspirations

Samar Fatima, Gregory S. Dawson, Kevin C. Desouza, and James S. Denford

The quest for national AI success has electrified the world—at last count, 44 countries have entered the race by creating their own national AI strategic plan. While the inclusion of countries like China, India, and the U.S. are expected, unexpected countries, including Uganda, Armenia, and Latvia, have also drafted national plans in hopes of realizing the promise. Our earlier posts, entitled “How different countries view artificial intelligence” and “Analyzing artificial intelligence plans in 34 countries” detailed how countries are approaching national AI plans, as well as how to interpret those plans. In this piece, we go a step further by examining indicators of future AI needs.


Clearly, having a national AI plan is a necessary but not sufficient condition to achieve the goals of the various AI plans circulating around the world; 44 countries currently have such plans. In previous posts, we noted how AI plans were largely aspirational, and that moving from this aspiration to successful implementation required substantial public-private investments and efforts.

Digital warriors fight in the net’s netherworld

Nevil Gibson

When the grandly titled International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) released the Pandora Papers on October 5, it claimed the biggest leak in media history. More than 600 journalists from 140 news organisations in 117 countries had worked for months on 12 million documents from 14 sources.

The files were mainly culled from various law firms and revealed the financial dealings of the rich and famous. More to the point, these people were stashing their assets in ways that escaped taxes, which seemed to be the motivating factor for journalistic endeavour, as it was for the Panama Papers in 2016 and the Paradise Papers in 2017.

Despite the hype, and the involvement of such global media giants as the BBC, New York Times and Washington Post, the latest tranche was a fizzer. Unlike the Panama Papers – which claimed one scalp, Iceland’s prime minister Sigmunder David Gunnlaugsson – Pandora’s box contained nothing new of substance.

WW3 will begin with a “cyber Pearl Harbor” and finish with a “catastrophic defeat” for the United States


US military experts are warning that new developments in weapons technology – some of which are even being reported as UFO sightings – stand to lead America defenceless

With tensions between China and the US ratcheting up over Taiwan, and increasing Russian aggression in Ukraine threatening to drag NATO into a potential third world war, America has been warned it stands to lose a new hypersonic conflict.

As AI-controlled drone swarms and hypersonic missiles threaten to change the way that future wars are fought, experts warn that America is “lagging behind” in the 21st Century arms race.

The US Navy’s previously unconquerable carrier fleet would be a sitting duck for hypersonic missiles striking too fast to be even detected, let alone intercepted.

General John Hyten, Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, warned the US Congress in 2018 that “we don’t have any defence that could deny the employment of such a weapon against us”.

The Art Of War: How To Use Deception To Achieve Cyber Resiliency

Moran Zavdi

Today, all businesses are trying to achieve cyber resilience, or in layman’s terms, an organization’s ability to prepare for, respond to and recover from cyber attacks. Cyber resilience emerged as a practice over the last few years when traditional cyber security measures stopped being enough to protect organizations from threats.

In order for organizations to handle unknown cyber events, they need to be able to quickly detect and categorize threats before they hit the network. This article will focus on how organizations can utilize deception-based cyber intelligence in order to block adversaries and cyber attacks before that.

Using Deception To Defend Against Adversaries

When trying to build a resilient network, it’s critical to have relevant, specific cyber intelligence ahead of time that is actionable and trustworthy in order to identify cyber attacks in a timely manner and be able to deal properly. If the organization is impacted by a cyber attack, deception-based cyber intelligence products can even automate the process and make the organization defense system work autonomously.

Top official says cyber operations are ‘not just about the systems’

Mark Pomerleau

WASHINGTON — The Department of Defense is at an “inflection point” when it comes to cyberspace and cyber operations and must consider the role of the people behind cybersecurity systems, according to a top official.

With adversaries increasingly using cyber operations to undermine national security, whether by stealing intellectual property or conducting influence campaigns to sow discord among the American public, the Defense Department has moved to a more offensive approach. This was enabled by new authorities from Congress and the executive branch and culminated in the 2018 DoD cyber strategy.

As the Pentagon weighs how best to respond to and to deter ongoing digital onslaughts, the department is thinking more broadly about cyberspace operations.

“There is another aspect to this that’s not just about the systems. It’s really about the human beings behind the systems,” Mieke Eoyang, deputy assistant secretary of defense for cyber policy, told reporters during a Defense Writers Group breakfast Oct. 20. “How do we think about using cyber in ways that affect the adversary’s calculus, what is the effect on the cognitive domain and what is it that we as humans need to think about for a defensive mindset?”

36 officials, including five admirals, face potential discipline over Bonhomme Richard fire

Geoff Ziezulewicz

The Navy’s command investigation into the fire that destroyed the amphibious assault ship Bonhomme Richard last summer stresses that failures to fight the fire lay across several commands and leadership levels.

That shared blame can be found in the report’s “accountability” section, which recommends disciplinary action against 36 Navy officials, from the amphib’s enlisted ranks up to the former three-star head of Naval Surface Force Pacific.

All told, five admirals are in Big Navy’s crosshairs for failures that led to the flattop’s loss.

“The total loss of a capital asset demands close examination of all personnel to produce fully-informed recommendations,” the section states. “Our rigorous assessment must not be impacted by rank, paygrade, or level of a responsible person, entity, or organization.”

The Department Of Defense’s Multidomain Operations Challenge

John Laudun, Tom Kroh, Mahbube Sidikki, Robert Arp, & Adam Lowther

In response to the shift towards Indo-Pacific regional concerns, the US Army and the Department of Defense began developing multidomain operations as a broad warfighting concept in 2016. Relying on a “third offset” that acknowledges the Army will “operate on congested, and potentially contaminated battlefields while under persistent surveillance, and will encounter advanced capabilities such as cyber, counter-space, electronic warfare, robotics, and artificial intelligence,” the goal is to develop information advantage that allows American forces to operate with greater speed and efficiency.

The problem with this information-dependent future is that adversaries are already working on asymmetric ways to disrupt and defeat this approach. Thus, we see five problems for the Army specifically, and also the overall joint force’s plans for a future where multidomain operations is the warfighting concept around which land forces and the joint force deter or defeat China and Russia: (1) understanding that the US is already at war with Russia and China; (2) multidomain operations rely on artificial intelligence; (3) the US is falling behind Russia and China in the development of robotic and autonomous systems; (4) China and Russia are leveraging Americans’ social media information presence to manipulate truth; and (5) adversaries are seeking to deny the US access to the electromagnetic spectrum.

What If We Are Wrong?

Francis J. Gavin

In his introductory essay for Volume 4, Issue 3, the chair of our editorial board asks the important question of "What if we're wrong?" and further explores how we can use history more wisely in the future.

I recently re-read historian Ernest May’s slim classic, “Lessons” of the Past: The Use and Misuse of History in American Foreign Policy. Published in 1973, the year the United States left Vietnam in defeat and disgrace, the book possesses a dark, gloomy feel. “Lessons,” is in quotes, emphasizing May’s belief that, while statesmen naturally mine the past for answers, more often than not they do so poorly. Makers of “foreign policy are often influenced by beliefs about what history teaches or portends” but “ordinarily use history badly.”1 Their primary sin is to fight the last war and draw linear analogies in a simplistic manner, usually based on the more recent events. With the sting of the Vietnam fiasco all too fresh, perhaps it is not surprising that May largely saw America’s Cold War policies as erratic, shaped by bureaucratic in-fighting and often faulty logic. Even Franklin Roosevelt, the president who successfully guided the nation through a global depression and world war, was not immune from misunderstanding history. He is charged with an obsession with avoiding the mistakes Woodrow Wilson made after the previous world war, leading Roosevelt to overemphasize the danger of a German and Japanese resurgence while underestimating the risk of postwar Soviet belligerence.

A General Who Failed in War Assesses Risk

In 1950, General MacArthur took a huge strategic risk that changed the course of the Korean War, landing Marines in the rear of the North Korean soldiers and forcing them to retreat. In 2010, General McChrystal took a huge strategic risk, deploying 100,000 troops across Afghanistan in a nation-building effort that led to our humiliating defeat after 20 years. McChrystal, a multimillionaire adviser to CEOs, has recently written a book titled Risk: A User’s Guide. What does McChrystal advise about taking risk?

Risk is the possibility of something bad happening because of either human decision or an act of nature. As individuals, we decide on the degree of personal risk involved in personal decisions, such as our investments and career choices. Individuals also impose the degrees of risk upon others: A CEO risks his corporation, and a commander risks the lives of subordinates in battle. Risk is ubiquitous in human nature and life, and so the author of a book titled “Risk” should begin by defining what type of risk he is writing about.