8 November 2021

India in Space Domain - Pathbreaking Developments

Maj Gen PK Mallick, VSM (Retd)


India is now a major spacefaring nation. Initially, the Indian space programme was focused primarily on societal and developmental utilities. Today, like many other countries, India is compelled to use space for several military requirements like intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance. Hence, India is looking to space to gain operational and informational advantages.

India has had its fair share of achievements in the space domain. It includes the launch of the country’s heaviest satellite, the GSAT-11 which will boost India’s broadband services by enabling 16 Gbps data links across the country, GSAT-7A, the military communication satellite and the launch of the Geo-synchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle GSLV Mk III-D2, the GSAT 29. The Anti-Satellite (ASAT) test is an intrinsic part of today’s geopolitics and the national security context.

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’s Coming ‘Rocket Force’

Saurav Jha

In September 2021, India’s Chief of Defense Staff (CDS), General Bipin Rawat, stated that India was looking to set up a “Rocket Force” of its own. This announcement was in many ways a belated recognition of a stark asymmetry that currently exists in the China-India military balance – the People’s Liberation Army Rocket Force (PLARF) has the ability to mount a major conventional missile strike campaign against critical Indian military and civilian targets with New Delhi’s response options being limited in comparison. Such a missile strike campaign could inflict tremendous pain while remaining below the nuclear threshold. Naturally, the long standoff between Indian and Chinese forces along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) that began in summer 2020 has catalyzed New Delhi’s intention to appreciably reduce, if not remove, this asymmetry.

However, an Integrated Rocket Force (IRF) is not being advanced merely to serve as a deterrent to preemptive surface-to-surface (SSM) missile barrages or to trade salvos with the PLARF if it comes to that. In general, it is reflective of a worldwide trend toward exploiting strategic standoff strike opportunities against enemy centers of gravity such as command and control posts, air defense sensors and sites, force concentrations, staging areas, and logistics nodes presented by relatively hard to intercept ground-launched vectors. No longer are road-mobile SSMs seen as redundant or ineffective for prosecuting targets at strategic ranges – even by air forces.

With Haqqanis at the Helm, the Taliban Will Grow Even More Extreme

Abdul Sayed and Colin P. Clarke

Afghanistan’s newly appointed minister of interior and acting minister of refugees each have $5 million bounties on their head for their involvement with international terrorism. Sirajuddin Haqqani and his uncle, Khalil, are members of the Haqqani network, an Afghan Sunni Islamist militant organization that is functionally part of the Taliban and which the United States designated as a foreign terrorist organization in 2012.

The Haqqani network has long been the most lethal and vicious element of the Taliban, itself a highly violent and rapacious group. Now, with Sirajuddin in a leadership role, the Taliban will inevitably grow more radical over time, quashing any hopes for a “kinder, gentler” Taliban.

The Haqqanis’ rise to power has been long in the making, stretching back to its founding in 1970 by the family’s patriarch, Jalaluddin, a veteran jihadi, favorite of Pakistan’s intelligence services, and longtime associate of terrorist Osama bin Laden. Haqqani founded the group to fight in the anti-Soviet jihad and was a valued CIA asset in the 1980s.

Does Taiwan Stand a Chance Against a Chinese Invasion?

Mark Episkopos

Here's What You Need to Remember: Taiwan’s military must be able to survive the initial wave of PLA strikes against the country’s critical assets and infrastructure, retaining the ability to counterattack following the initial PLA assault.

In the midst of an unprecedented wave of threats and provocations from Beijing, Taipei is rapidly reforming its armed forces and modernizing key parts of its military. Taiwan’s ongoing efforts run parallel to a new holistic approach known as the Overall Defense Concept (ODC). But what exactly is the ODC, and how does it seek to change Taiwan’s defense posture?

The ODC was formulated in the late 2010s by former Chief of General Staff, Admiral Lee Hsi-ming. Described by former U.S. Defense Department official Drew Thompson as “a revolutionary new approach to Taiwan’s defense,” the ODC is based on the core strategic realization that Taiwan’s military cannot win a conventional war against China in the Taiwan Strait, nor can it impose decisive costs on the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) through attrition. Not only can this underlying reality not be meaningfully altered, but the gulf in conventional military capabilities between China and Taiwan is only likely to grow in coming decades as the PLA continues to modernize at a breakneck pace. Thus, according to the ODC’s proponents, Taiwan must adopt an asymmetric defensive posture to ensure its security in the coming decades. That is, the country must focus its limited resources on deterring and, if that fails, defeating a Chinese invasion and occupation of Taiwan.

China has debated attacking Taiwan-controlled islands, Taiwan official says

Sarah Wu

TAIPEI, Nov 4 (Reuters) - A top Taiwan security official told lawmakers on Thursday that China had internally debated whether to attack Taiwan's Pratas Islands but will not do so before 2024, the year President Tsai Ing-wen's term ends.

National Security Bureau Director-General Chen Ming-tong did not say how he knew that such a move had been debated or why it would not happen during the next few years.

China's defence ministry did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Thursday.

Taiwan, a self-ruled island claimed by Beijing, has complained for over a year of repeated sorties by China's air force, often in the southwestern part of its air defence zone near the Taiwan-controlled but lightly defended Pratas Islands.

Lying roughly between southern Taiwan and Hong Kong, the Pratas are seen by some security experts as vulnerable to Chinese attack due to their distance - more than 400 km (250 miles) - from mainland Taiwan.

Report: China Is Capitalizing on ‘Informatized’ and ‘Intelligentized’ Warfare

Kris Osborn

China’s efforts to steal or copy U.S. weapons systems are unsurprising. A recently published Defense Department report, titled Military and Security Developments Involving the People’s Republic of China, shows that Beijing’s Central Military Commission (CMC) has placed a growing emphasis upon “networking” and preparing for “informationized” warfare, introduces an extremely significant nuance.

“In 2004, the CMC under Hu Jintao ordered the military to focus on winning ‘local wars under informationized conditions,’” according to the report. “In 2014, the CMC under Chairman Xi Jinping placed greater focus on conflicts in the maritime domain and fighting ‘informatized local wars.’” The report suggests that China is focused on practicing tactics that could help it annex or take over Taiwan.

“In 2020, the PLA added a new milestone for modernization in 2027, to accelerate the integrated development of mechanization, informatization, and intelligentization of the PRC’s armed forces, which if realized would provide Beijing with more credible military options in a Taiwan contingency,” according to the report.

A Closer Look at China’s Missile Silo Construction

Matt Korda and Hans Kristensen

What’s underneath the shelters over China’s suspected silo construction sites? Image © 2021 Maxar Technologies

After the discovery during the summer of what appears to be at least three vast missile silo fields under construction near Yumen, Hami, and Ordos in north-central China, new commercial satellite images show significant progress at the three sites as well as at the People’s Liberation Army Rocket Force (PLARF)’s training site near Jilantai.

China Stresses Developed Nations’ Promises at COP26

Jesse Turland

China’s top leader Xi Jinping stated Monday the world must “accelerate the green transformation” and “developed countries must not only do more themselves, but also support developing countries to do better.” Xi’s written statement to the World Leaders Summit of the 26th Conference of the Parties (COP) of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in Glasgow came in place of an in-person speech. Xi did not attend, in keeping with his decision to avoid international travel since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“All parties should keep their promises, formulate realistic goals and visions, and do their best to promote the implementation of climate change measures in accordance with national conditions,” according to Xi’s statement.

In a video appearance at the G-20 Summit on Sunday, the Chinese leader also emphasized international equity, citing the principle of “common but differentiated responsibility” among developed and developing nations.

What Is China’s Climate Agenda?

Ilaria Mazzocco

With the world’s attention turned to Glasgow and the 26th Conference of the Parties (COP26) for the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), the biggest variable in the equation of whether and when the world gets to carbon neutrality seems to be China. Beijing, at least on paper, has made greening its economy a central part of its economic development plans. Beijing recently issued two policy documents: the Working Guidance For Carbon Dioxide Peaking And Carbon Neutrality In Full And Faithful Implementation Of The New Development Philosophy and the Action Plan For Carbon Dioxide Peaking Before 2030, also known as the 1+N framework. In addition, China recently submitted its updated nationally determined contribution (NDC) goals to the UNFCCC, ahead of this week’s meeting. Many observers understandably question whether China’s commitments are both credible and bold. The purpose of this piece is to provide a foundational understanding of China’s approach and its recent policy steps.

Q1: What is COP26 and why does it matter for China’s climate commitments?

Can the world trust China on climate change?

India Bourke

Last September, as the US election placed US climate action on a knife edge, China stepped in with an unexpected show of leadership: the country would become carbon neutral before 2060 and peak its emissions within the decade. Yet since then it has offered no major new update in ambition. President Xi Jinping, already not attending Cop26, did not even address the summit by video link (sending his leaders’ speech by written statement instead).

For many, this limited progress is not enough. “Six years have passed since the adoption of the Paris Agreement,” said Greenpeace China’s Li Shuo, “the benchmark we use to evaluate climate leadership should evolve. A country can no longer lead by simply putting long-term carbon reduction targets forward. It needs to accelerate near-term climate action.”

The planet’s largest polluter and biggest coal consumer is essential to ensuring the world avoids exceeding a dangerous 1.5°C of warming. Scientists have warned that without pushing global emissions down to zero by 2050, as well as reducing them by 45 per cent by 2030 (not peaking, as China has pledged), the 1.5 limit will be breached.

How the U.S. Drone Warfare Program Evolved Over Two Decades

Emma Rogers

On October 7, 2001, a Predator drone armed with an AGM Hellfire laser-guided missile developed specifically for drone missions, was used in a targeted strike against Mullah Mohammed Omar, supreme commander of the Taliban. Instead of striking the facility that Omar was seen walking into, the missile hit a vehicle outside the compound. The strike killed several guards, but the compound was untouched. Before any further action could be taken, Omar and the other Taliban leadership in the vicinity fled. The United States never successfully launched another attack against Mullah Omar; he would eventually die of natural causes in 2013.

On August 29, 2021, in one of its last attacks in Afghanistan, the United States executed a drone strike that killed 10 people. At the time, the strike was lauded as a success—allegedly thwarting an attempted attack on the Kabul airport. Onlookers were told there was one primary target, and nine civilian casualties—collateral damage justified to avoid much greater loss of life if the attack had occurred. However, it soon became clear that American intelligence failed that fateful day. The target posed no provable threat to American security interests in Afghanistan. While the United States has ordered drone strikes in the months since those strikes have been carried out with additional scrutiny from myriad directions.

The Heated Debate Over America’s Nuke Policy


A debate is raging behind closed doors in the Biden administration over whether to declare that the U.S. will never be the first country to use nuclear weapons in a conflict—that the “sole purpose” of such weapons is to deter, and retaliate against, a nuclear attack by another country.

To most people, the news may seem puzzling: Isn’t this U.S. policy already—if an enemy nukes us, we’ll nuke the enemy? In fact, it is not U.S. policy. Our war plans and our relations with key allies have long been premised on the pledge, and the rehearsed possibility, that we will use nuclear weapons first—not in a surprise attack but in response to conventional aggression against an ally or to a large-scale chemical, biological, or cyber attack that can’t be halted without resorting to nukes.

Some of Biden’s midlevel aides are known to favor a “sole purpose” policy. Biden himself, as vice president, endorsed the view in a speech (vetted by President Barack Obama) 11 days before the end of their second term:

U.S. Blacklists NSO Group and 3 Others for Selling Spyware, Hacking Tools

Mariam Baksh

The Commerce Department’s Bureau of Industry and Security banned U.S. persons from dealing with four companies—including Israel’s NSO Group—that they say acted against national security interests by trading in hacking tools and selling spyware to foreign governments.

The other listed companies include Israel’s Candiru, Singapore’s Computer Security Initiative Consultancy and Russia’s Positive Technologies.

“The United States is committed to aggressively using export controls to hold companies accountable that develop, traffic, or use technologies to conduct malicious activities that threaten the cybersecurity of members of civil society, dissidents, government officials, and organizations here and abroad,” Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo said in a press release Wednesday about the companies addition to Commerce’s Entity List.

Boris Johnson’s Roman Fantasies

Mateusz Fafinski

It was in Rome ahead of this year’s G-20 summit that aspiring classicist Boris Johnson, Britain’s prime minister, decided to lay down another of his misguided visions of history. “When the Roman Empire fell,” he said while traveling to the Italian capital last week, “it was largely as a result of uncontrolled immigration. The empire could no longer control its borders, people came in from the east, all over the place, and we went into a Dark Ages.”

Ostensibly, this was meant as a warning against the pitfalls of inaction in face of the climate crisis. In fact, this is a well-established far-right trope, rooted in a weaponized narrative of the “fall of Rome” that has little to do with what historians know about it. Johnson is reproducing a xenophobic and dangerous vision of history.

There are many legitimate historical theories that try to explain how the Roman Empire transformed, over the course of a few centuries, into a group of successor polities ranging from the kingdom of the Franks to the Byzantine Empire that saw themselves as heirs of Rome. Others, from the Ottomans to the Romanovs, would envision themselves as such in the future. Historians assign different weight to societal or economic factors and argue over the degree of continuity or decline. The so-called fall of Rome was a complicated, multicausal affair.

Biden’s Foreign Policy for the Middle Class Has a Blind Spot

Tim Hirschel-Burns

This past weekend, the G-20 countries endorsed a plan that would overhaul the international corporate tax system. The agreement fit neatly into U.S. President Joe Biden’s vision of a “foreign policy for the middle class.” Biden revived stalled global negotiations and achieved a deal that will cut down on multinational companies’ ability to avoid taxes. In turn, the deal will provide revenue to fund a major increase in government support for the U.S. middle class.

But for the global middle class, the vast majority of whom live in developing countries, the deal looked far less promising. One of the two major components of the tax deal is a global minimum corporate tax. Many companies currently use creative accounting methods to put their money in countries with low tax rates, a practice that the agreement would counter by raising those havens’ tax rates to at least 15 percent. But rather than sharing those additional revenues among the countries where a business operates, it would give them to a company’s home country—almost always a rich country. Indeed, according to some estimates the global minimum tax would distribute 60 percent of revenues to the G-7.

The second major component of the deal would impose a new tax on around 100 of the world’s richest companies based on where they sell their products. However, because the agreement requires countries to remove existing digital services taxes, it could actually cause developing countries that rely on such taxes to lose revenue. Kenya, Nigeria, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka refused to sign on to the final agreement, and a group of economists including Nobel laureate Joseph Stiglitz issued a statement arguing that the tax deal would “overwhelmingly benefit rich countries.”

Can Ethiopia Survive?

Nic Cheeseman and Yohannes Woldemariam

In October, Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed ordered an offensive against the Tigrayan rebel forces that control much of the country’s northern Tigray region and part of the neighboring Amhara and Afar regions. His aim was to force the insurgents into a final stand on their home turf, ultimately concluding a yearlong war that has claimed thousands of lives and uprooted more than 1.7 million people. Instead, the gambit appears to have backfired. Not only have Ethiopian troops failed to advance but they have suffered a series of defeats that have left the capital, Addis Ababa, open to attack—forcing Abiy to declare a state of emergency this week and to call on residents to take up arms to defend the city.

Even if Abiy’s military offensive had succeeded, he would have faced a major challenge in reintegrating Tigray and restoring a sense of national identity. Now that he appears on the brink of failure, however, the prime minister has called into question his own capacity to govern and, potentially, the very existence of the Ethiopian state in its current form.

Ethiopia is at war with itself. Here's what you need to know about the conflict

Eliza Mackintosh

(CNN)When Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed received the Nobel Peace Prize in 2019, he was lauded as a regional peacemaker. Now, he is presiding over a protracted civil war that by many accounts bears the hallmarks of genocide.

In November 2020, Abiy ordered a military offensive in the northern Tigray region and promised that the conflict would be resolved quickly. One year on, the fighting has left thousands dead, displaced more than 2 million people from their homes, fueled famine and given rise to a wave of atrocities.

Ethiopia was struggling with significant economic, ethnic and political challenges long before a feud between Abiy and the region's former ruling party, the Tigray People's Liberation Front (TPLF), bubbled over into unrest.

But now, with escalating hostilities in other areas of Ethiopia, fears are growing that the fighting in Tigray could spark a wider crisis with the potential to pull Africa's second-most populous country apart and destabilize the wider Horn of Africa region.

The EU’s Humiliating Failure in Bosnia


The EU has jealously protected and sought to augment its leading role in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH), where it has held a steering responsibility for a decade and a half.

The union was the primary determinant for the democratic world’s policy in BiH. That policy has long been failing by its own standards as well as in the eyes of BiH’s citizens. The EU’s demand for primacy without responsibility has forced it into a humiliating capitulation to the world’s two leading autocracies, Russia and China.

A vote in the UN Security Council (UNSC) on November 3 demonstrates this.

Permanent members France, the United Kingdom, and the United States acquiesced to Russian blackmail on the wording of the resolution. This amounts to an abject humiliation for the West.

The resolution radically denuded hitherto standard references to the international Office of the High Representative (OHR), the civilian executive peace enforcement instrument. Paris, London, and Washington wanted to save the EU’s peacekeeping mission EUFOR—the executive military instrument—from a veto.

Ethiopia’s capital is under threat


Few could have imagined it would come to this. When the civil war began almost a year ago to the day, Abiy Ahmed, Ethiopia’s prime minister, promised a swift military operation to bring to heel the Tigrayan People’s Liberation Front (tplf), the ruling party of the rebellious Tigray region. The goal, he said, was to bring its leaders to justice for attacking a base that housed federal troops. In less than a month federal Ethiopian forces, backed by paramilitaries from the Amhara region as well as troops from Eritrea, to the north, had captured almost all of Tigray, including Mekelle, its capital. tplf leaders disappeared into the mountains. Abiy declared victory.

Since then the tplf has staged such a dramatic comeback that it may now be poised to launch an assault on Addis Ababa, the Ethiopian capital and seat of the African Union. The tplf’s leaders, who controlled the central government for almost 30 years until they were ousted after massive protests ushered Abiy into power in 2018, claim they are advancing south at a speed reminiscent of the last time they captured the city, as a battle-hardened band of guerrillas three decades ago.

Ethiopia at risk of Balkanization

Two years after Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, his country is engulfed in a war with the potential to destabilize the whole region for decades to come, says DW's Ludger Schadomsky.

The Ethiopian conflict threatens to destabilize the entire region

Jeffrey Feltman's visit to Ethiopia is the West's last, desperate attempt to rescue the tottering country. The US special envoy to the Horn of Africa will try to persuade Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed to agree to a cease-fire and peace talks. The hope is to bring an end to the war between the Ethiopian government and the Tigray People's Liberation Front (TPLF) before it descends on the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa.

The war, which has been going on for a year now, has long spilled out of Tigray and has devastated half of the country. Neighboring countries Sudan and Eritrea are involved, as well as other nations such as Iran, Turkey, the United Arab Emirates, Russia and China.

Outer Space, the next Wild West

Susmita Mohanty

Space debris is currently growing rapidly, because of the expanding number of satellites circulating in Low Earth Orbit (LEO), designed to increase global Internet coverage and provide earth observation data. LEO satellites are now being launched in mega-constellations, vast clusters of satellites that number in the thousands. These satellites typically have a short lifespan, lasting no more than a couple of years. The defunct satellites then add to the growing number of debris objects. Collisions at orbital velocities can be dangerous, even deadly.

To better appreciate the scale of things to come, let us consider the case of Starlink, the mega-constellation currently being launched in batches by billionaire Elon Musk’s company SpaceX. The intended size of this LEO constellation is 42,000 spacecraft (a figure based on current frequency spectrum filings with the US Federal Communications Commission).

Another issue of concern with mega-constellations like Starlink is that they represent a takeover of a shared public resource – outer space – that has all the hallmarks of a landgrab by private enterprise. In the absence of farsighted and enforceable space laws, the takeover of LEO will become a fait accompli, as thousands of satellites take to the skies without regulatory oversight or environment-friendly space laws. Furthermore, such networks, comprising thousands of shiny objects, also interfere with ground-based astronomy.

Artificial Intelligence Standardization White Paper (2021 Edition)

1. Preface
The Party Central Committee and the State Council attach great importance to the development of new generation artificial intelligence (AI). General Secretary Xi Jinping noted that: “AI is a strategic technology heralding this round of S&T revolution and industrial transformation, and has a “lead goose” (“头雁”) effect with a strong stimulating nature… Accelerating the development of new generation AI is an important strategic handhold for China to gain the initiative in global science and technology competition.” In response to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Party Central Committee and the State Council have upgraded the construction of new infrastructure, one of which is AI, to the level of national strategy. The State Council issued and implemented the New Generation Artificial Intelligence Development Plan1 and other documents, focusing on the industrialization and integrated application of new generation AI technology to accelerate the integration of AI into the real economy and to strive to promote the comprehensive and healthy development of AI technology and the industry.

New Tech Will Erode Nuclear Deterrence. The US Must Adapt


Nuclear weapons are no longer enough to sustain U.S. strategic deterrence. Senior military leaders and pioneering scholars believe a new technological revolution is now unfolding, and they are right. If we are not attentive now, the United States may lose the ability to deter major attacks in coming years.

The old model of strategic nuclear deterrence is increasingly threatened by a new suite of military technologies, from hypersonic missiles and advanced missile defenses to non-kinetic cyberattacks. Individually, these technologies are potent. But together, they will revolutionize the way that great powers deter and conduct war. To avoid falling behind, the United States must hedge against disruptive capabilities by modernizing its existing nuclear arsenal and undertaking a systematic review of strategic capabilities for the 2030s. This vision for the future balance of strategic forces should then enable defense and diplomatic officials to determine investment priorities accordingly and decide when and how to engage Russia and China to avoid strategic instability in this new era.

How Will SATCOM Evolve From GWOT To Great Power?


The Space Force’s Satellite Communications Enterprise Management and Control (SATCOM EMC) program is the Defense Department’s strategy for melding military, commercial, and coalition satellite communications capabilities found in orbit (LEO), medium-Earth-orbit (MEO), and geosynchronous orbit (GEO). It’s part of a strategic pivot away from the Global War on Terrorism (GWOT) to the Great Power competition against China and Russia and all-domain operations.

In this Q&A with Mike Dean, chief of DoD SATCOM, we discuss the value of developing capabilities in low-Earth orbit, how payment models for SATCOM are changing, and a status report on SATCOM EMC.

Breaking Defense: How is the military using SATCOM today, compared to how it was used at the height of the GWOT?

Improving Joint Operational Concept Development within the U.S. Department of Defense

Paul Benfield and Greg Grant

Executive Summary
For the first time in nearly four decades, the DoD is developing joint warfighting concepts designed to counter advanced military rivals—specifically China and Russia. The last such effort took place at the height of the Cold War in the late 1970s and early 1980s to address the strategic and operational challenges posed by the Soviet Union’s conventional advantage on Europe’s Central Front. Now, as the 2018 National Defense Strategy (NDS) emphasizes, the joint force must “prioritize preparedness for war” which includes developing “innovative operational concepts” for military advantage.1 As operational concepts are fundamentally visions of future war that guide future force design and development, the joint force first must answer the question of how it intends to fight future wars before it tries to answer questions of what it needs to fight with.

Yet, if the DoD is going to move to “joint concept driven, threat informed capability development,” it faces a considerable challenge in that its joint concept development and experimentation process is fundamentally broken.2 While the post–Cold War era has witnessed repeated efforts to develop joint operational concepts, the process fails to yield innovative warfighting approaches to guide future force and capability development. Instead, the process produces concepts that seem almost intentionally designed not to drive significant change. These concepts are not truly “joint,” but rather lowest-common-denominator assemblages of existing service concepts that privilege service priorities. Any innovative joint ideas that make it through the development process are so watered-down and vague that they fail to provoke change (and thus threaten the interests of key stakeholders). In this environment, individual service concepts win out over joint concepts and drive investment priorities.

Nakasone: Cold War-style deterrence ‘does not comport to cyberspace’


WASHINGTON: Gen. Paul Nakasone reiterated on Wednesday that traditional military deterrence “is a model that does not comport to cyberspace,” despite oft-heard calls for cyber deterrence in the wake of the latest cybersecurity incident.

Indeed, the idea that traditional deterrence does not work in cyberspace is not new. In fact, CYBERCOM formalized the view in its 2018 National Cyber Strategy. Yet many observers continue to ask how the US can completely deter adversaries such as Russia, China, Iran, North Korea, and even ransomware gangs in the cyber domain — a goal Nakasone and others have realized is practically futile.

“I grew up in the deterrence world,” the CYBERCOM and National Security Agency leader told the 2021 Aspen Security Forum, referring to the Cold War years when the US and Soviet Union operated according to nuclear deterrence, given the mutually assured destruction presumed to follow a misstep by either side. Traditional deterrence is a “binary world” of “yes or no” in regards to conflict, Nakasone observed.

Army reactivates theater artillery command amid Russian build-up near Ukraine


WASHINGTON: Free of long-standing treaty constraints and with a new heavy focus on long-range precision fires, the US Army has officially reactivated its European Theater Fires Command as the service prepares to introduce new far-reaching fires capabilities.

The reborn 56th Artillery Command will “plan and coordinate the employment of multi-domain fires and effects” to support US Army Europe and Africa, as well as any combined joint force land component command, according to a service press release. The unit’s primary focus will be coordinating long-range missile fires far beyond the distances the Army has fired in recent decades.

The formal announcement from US Army Europe and Africa came Wednesday, as concerns peaked about an apparent Russian military increase along its Ukrainian border. Speaking at a conference in Washington Wednesday, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley said that the build up was “significant,” but “nothing overly aggressive.”

‘Nine Eyes’? Bill Would Look at Adding Four Countries to Intel-Sharing Pact


The United States’ “Five Eyes” intelligence-sharing pact is a World War II relic that needs updating to better keep tabs on China, the chairman of a key house subcommittee on intelligence told Defense One.

Arizona Democrat Rep. Ruben Gallego, chairman of the House Armed Services subcommittee on special operations and intelligence, has added language in this year’s defense bill that opens the door for the decades-old pact’s first expansion.

The provision would require the director of national intelligence and the Defense Department to report on the current status and shortcomings of intelligence sharing between the “Five Eyes” nations: the U.S., Australia, the U.K., New Zealand, and Canada, and what benefits and risks there would be to adding Japan, Korea, India, and Germany to the trusted group.

“We are very much stuck on this ‘Five Eyes’ model, which I think is outdated,” Gallego said at Defense One and Nextgov’s 2021 National Security Forum. “We need to expand the scope. It shouldn’t just be such an Anglophile view of sharing.”

JADC2 will fail without central DoD authority: Study


WASHINGTON: If the Defense Department’s ambitious strategy for building a joint battle network is ever going to come to fruition, a central authority is needed, according to a new study based in large part on an in-depth review of past Pentagon failures.

Such an organization hub for Joint All Domain Command and Control (JADC2) could take a the form of a Joint Executive Program Office, similar to that established to manage the tri-service F-35 jet; a new independent agency under the Office of the Undersecretary for Research and Engineering (OUSDR&E), akin to the Missile Defense Agency; or establish a lead Combatant Command to set requirements, the study says.

The study, authored by Todd Harrison of the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) and released today, first provides a primer on how a US “battle network” would work to defeat a peer adversary, and how that adversary’s battle network would work to counter the US.