13 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.

Cyber Weapons – A Weapon of War?

   Maj Gen PK Mallick, VSM (Retd)

The character of warfare has changed fundamentally over the last decade. In the past, it was essential for an adversary nation or insurgent to physically bring weapons to bear during combat. That requirement is no longer a necessity. In cyber operations, the only weapons that need to be used are bits and bytes. In this new era of warfare, logistics issues that often restrict and limit conventional warfare and weaponry are not impediments. This new weaponry moves at the speed of light, is available to every human on the planet and can be as surgical as a scalpel or as devastating as a nuclear bomb.

Cyber attacks in various forms have become a global problem. Cyber weapons are low-cost, low-risk, highly effective and easily deployable globally. This new class of weapons is within reach of many countries, extremist or terrorist groups, non-state actors, and even individuals. Cyber crime organisations are developing cyber weapons effectively. The use of offensive Cyber operations by nation-states directly against another or by co-opting cyber criminals has blurred the line between spies and non-state malicious hackers. New entrants, both nation-states and non-state actors have unmatched espionage and surveillance capabilities with significant capabilities. They are often the forerunners for criminal financial gain, destruction and disruption operations. Progressively, we see non-state actors including commercial entities, developing capabilities that were solely held by a handful of state actors.

India bets its energy future on solar—in ways both small and big


DUNGARPUR, INDIAMarried at 13 and a mother by 16, Rukmini Katara once ran a small grocery store with her husband in her village near Udaipur in Rajasthan. Like millions of rural Indian women, she expected to follow a familiar path: doing what her husband’s family asked of her, devoting herself to domestic responsibilities at the cost of any personal ambition. But Katara has become the face of an effort to ignite a solar energy revolution in India’s villages.

Katara, 34, is the C.E.O. of Durga Energy, a company that manufactures solar panels and is staffed by about 40 women—including many who never finished high school. Launched with help from the Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay, and the Rajasthan state government, the company has sold more than 300,000 solar panels since its factory began operations in 2017.

Most have gone to homes, businesses, and institutions in and around Dungarpur, a small town near Udaipur, where Durga Energy is located, in a neighborhood a few blocks away from the town’s main thoroughfare. One solar installation that Katara is particularly proud of is a set of panels that powers the pump of a well in a nearby village. It saves dozens of women the daily effort of drawing water by hand.

Only Diplomacy Can Save Afghanistan from Disaster

Lise Howard, Michael O'Hanlon

With winter and starvation looming in Afghanistan, and uncertainty over terrorist threats there growing, it is time for the Biden administration to lead an international effort to cut a deal with the Taliban. We should insist on at least minimal standards for women and minority rights, as well as some travel and press freedoms, in exchange for diplomatic recognition and some limited degree of economic assistance. There must also be dialogue and information sharing on the terrorist threat from Afghanistan, even if the Taliban will not actively collaborate with us against extremists.

The politics of this idea may be unappealing to a Biden administration still reeling from the August debacle, captured by television for all the world to see, in Kabul and the rest of Afghanistan. But this is a manageable risk. After all, whether rightly or not, most Americans agreed with President Joe Biden’s decision to pull out U.S. (and, therefore, all NATO/foreign) forces this year.

China Snubs India, Backs Pakistan in Dueling Afghanistan Meetings

Shannon Tiezzi

China will take part in “extended troika” talks on Thursday, as officials from China, Russia, and the United States will gather in Pakistan to discuss Afghan issues. Notably, Afghanistan’s foreign minister, Amir Khan Muttaqi, will also be in Islamabad for the meeting, making him the first minister from the Taliban’s interim government to visit Pakistan.

The extended troika meeting will be the first to bring together all the parties since the Taliban took over Afghanistan in August. A previous iteration, hosted by Russia in October, was not attended by the United States.

“Troika Plus has become an important forum for engagement with Afghan authorities,” an unnamed Pakistani diplomatic official told Dawn. “It will express support for an inclusive government, discuss ways to prevent a humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan as well as the protection of human rights, particularly women’s rights.”

China Wants to Take Taiwan 'Without a Fight,' Says Defense Report


China is continuing an expansive military buildup as part of a multifaceted campaign to frighten Taiwan into submission and capture the island without firing a single shot.

That was the assessment Taiwan provided on Tuesday in publishing its 2021 National Defense Report, a biennial government document that has been tracking the shifting power balance across the Taiwan Strait for the last three decades.

In a report that echoed many of the observations and concerns raised in Japan's own defense white paper in July, Taiwan described the People's Republic of China (PRC) as having ambitions that reach far beyond the so-called first island chain, the frontline of the American alliance system and its maritime deterrent.

In a foreword for the report, Taiwan Defense Minister Chiu Kuo-cheng said the democratic island was caught in the middle of the "strategic competition" taking place between the United States and the PRC, with the latter "leveraging its comprehensive national power to expand geopolitical influence."

Is Iran behind cyberattacks on Israeli hospitals?

Ben Caspit

Israel’s Health Ministry reported Nov. 8 during an urgent Knesset hearing that the Hillel Yaffe Medical Center had still not returned to fully normal operations some four weeks after undergoing a massive cyberattack. “We are in a third world war on cyber,” Reuven Eliyahu, director of information security and cyber at the Health Ministry, told lawmakers at the hearing convened to discuss growing cyberattacks on Israeli health-care institutions. Israel, he added, blocks hundreds of such attacks every month.

The Oct. 13 attack on Hillel Yaffe, a major hospital in the town of Hadera serving the north-central part of the country, was the most sophisticated and damaging of them all, bringing down and locking all the facility’s computer systems, both administrative and medical. The hospital responded with preventive measures, shutting off all its computerized digital systems, ranging from medical imaging equipment to doors and parking garages.

Despite intense repair work, the facility is still not fully back online, with some of the affected data not yet retrieved and some systems still disabled. Experts say the ransom ware attack had all the hallmarks of “state-sponsored” cybercapabilities, although Israel did not point a finger at the obvious culprit, Tehran, not even after a subsequent powerful attack on the Mor Medical Centers run by Israel’s largest HMO, Clalit, that also caused significant damage.

Iran and Saudi Arabia Battle for Supremacy in the Middle East

Over the past decade, the struggle between Iran and Saudi Arabia for dominance in the Middle East has insinuated itself into nearly every regional issue, fracturing international alliances and sustaining wars across the region, while raising fears of a direct conflict between the two powers that could involve the U.S. Now both sides seem to be seeking a diplomatic offramp to confrontation, amid a broader shift toward lowering tensions across the region.

Saudi Arabia ramped up its regional adventurism after Mohammed bin Salman, the powerful son of King Salman known as MBS, was appointed crown prince in 2017. From the Syrian civil war to the Saudi-led war in Yemen, that has meant proxy conflicts with Iran-backed regimes and nonstate armed groups that have on several occasions veered dangerously close to direct hostilities between to two rivals. A precision missile and drone strike on Saudi oil facilities in 2019 was widely blamed on Iran. And the Trump administration’s confrontational approach to Tehran brought the U.S. and Iran to the brink of war in January 2020, with direct implications for Riyadh.

End of the Forever War and US Strategy in South Asia

Monish Tourangbam

Following the withdrawal of the United States (US) from Afghanistan and the Taliban takeover of the war-torn country, many questions are being posed on the future of American power and its image as a security guarantor. Like in the past, many have relished singing swan songs of American primacy in global affairs. However, as the US attempts to reorient its South Asia policy in the midst of a growing US-China great power competition in the larger Indo-Pacific region, it is imperative to make a sober assessment of how the US’ approach to South Asia will pan out in the near future. More specifically, minus its large-scale involvement in Afghanistan, it will be important to analyse Washington’s approach to working with New Delhi and Islamabad.

Given the historical antecedents of American retreat from and return to South Asian geopolitics, what does the current withdrawal and the US strategic compulsions in the Indo-Pacific vis-à-vis China, portend for the stronger undercurrents as well as the more immediate features of US role in South Asia? Based on an understanding of the linkages between the withdrawal from Afghanistan and broader US foreign policy trends, the paper attempts to undertake an assessment of what could guide the shape of things to come, as far Washington’s engagement with New Delhi and Islamabad are concerned.

Aircraft Carrier Target In Desert Is China’s Deterrence Message To US

The reported building of an aircraft carrier-shaped missile target range in China’s Xinjiang region can be seen as a thinly veiled message of deterrence to Taiwan and its ally the United States, a respected security analyst said.

China has denied any knowledge of the development of missile targets in the shape of U.S. military ships, as revealed by the U.S. space technology and intelligence company Maxar.

But in an interview with RFA, John Blaxland, professor of International Security and Intelligence Studies at the Strategic and Defense Studies Centre at the Australian National University, said this latest satellite discovery may have been deliberate on China’s part in order to send a message to both the U.S. and Taiwan.

Satellite imagery captured in October but only released by Maxar Technologies on Sunday showed structures that looked like a full-scale aircraft carrier and at least two other warships in the Taklamakan desert in Xinjiang, northwest China.

The U.S. Role in the Rise and Fall of Political Islam


OPINION — The euphoria that surrounded Arab and Turkish Islamic political parties’ participation in national elections in the early 1990s has dissipated. Since then, strongman regimes in Egypt, Jordan, Tunisia, Sudan, the Gulf States, Turkey, and elsewhere have muzzled these parties, eviscerated the electoral process, and jettisoned democracy as the basis for governance. In addition, U.S. policymakers have generally been skeptical about political Islam and often worked to undermine it.

The decision by the Muslim Brotherhood and its ideologically affiliated political parties in the region to enter national elections was a strong signal to Muslim publics that Islam was not inimical to democracy and that political reform and change could occur gradually from within without resorting to violence. These parties signaled to their publics that mainstream political Islam could be a catalyst for change as a mediating structure between the state and society.

Many of these parties were already providing social, medical, economic, and educational services to their publics which the state has been unable, unwilling, or slow to deliver. The MB and its affiliated parties across the region — from Turkey to Morocco and Egypt — made a strategic decision to participate in elections despite the perceived undemocratic nature of their regimes.

A sustainable, inclusive, and growing future for the United States

Asutosh Padhi, James Manyika, Anu Madgavkar, and Eric Chewning

As the United States looks beyond the COVID-19 crisis, it has an opportunity to create the conditions for an economy that grows robustly—and at the same time, grows in an inclusive and sustainable way. The benefits of an economy that delivers broad-based prosperity; advances many more people in more places, leaving fewer behind; and protects the environment for this generation and the next are manifold.

Achieving this ambitious goal will be difficult. As our McKinsey colleagues have outlined, creating the conditions for an economy that is growing and sustainable and inclusive is particularly challenging. While the three elements of sustainability, inclusion, and growth together can create a powerful and self-reinforcing dynamic, they can also counteract one another in challenging ways (Exhibit 1). Even if they are not seen as trade-offs or in conflict with one other, the goals may be viewed by some as ideals to be pursued in sequence, with little agreement on what that right sequence should be.

The Tragedy of Stopping Climate Change

Jessi Jezewska Stevens

As nations everywhere struggle to decide how best to salvage Earth, perhaps it’s only to be expected that our global generalized anxiety disorder has reached the fever pitch of a writer under deadline: How should the plot to save the world proceed?

The 2051 Munich Climate Conference, organized by the Munich-based Büro Grandezza theater troupe and hosted by the Bellevue di Monaco center for refugees, met in September of this year to reverse-engineer an answer to this question. The conference invited scholars from around the world to present on climate attitudes in 2021 as if it were 30 years in the future, exactly one year after the carbon neutrality deadline set by the Paris Agreement. Such a unique call for papers promised an event at once wholly academic and wholly “fictional.” As Andreas Kohn, a founding member of Büro Grandezza, told me over Zoom a few days before I arrived for the gathering, the basic structure of the conference-cum-performance amounted to an urgent thought experiment in 20/20 hindsight: In 2051 people will look back on what we knew about curbing emissions and say, “Why didn’t they do that?’”

Hack Back - When A Cyber Attack Victim Turns 'Digital Vigilante'

BERLIN - What with malware able to easily cancel out whatever security measures are in place on a computer, the cyber-crime phenomenon is in full developmental swing.

That's the word from a new report on the dark side of the information technology revolution in the current issue of "Bundeslagebild Cybercrime," published by Germany's Federal Criminal Police Office. Meanwhile, the UK's domestic intelligence service MI-5 says Internet crimes have now reached "industrial-scale" proportions.

What we know is that cyber attacks are aimed at both businesses and governments; they threaten both public and private sector data; and research and academic facilities are hardly spared. "The extent of what is going on is astonishing," says MI-5 head Jonathan Evans.

This, of course, only pertains to the attacks the police know about. Internet security experts estimate cyber crime levels are much higher. Businesses in particular are known to be reluctant to divulge what they may have experienced, in order to protect their image.

But silence is not just a question of image. The fact is that in no other area are the forces of law and order as helpless as they are when dealing with cyber crime. According to most experts, the discrepancy between the technical know-how and equipment of the perps and that of the cops is vast – and the bad guys have the upper hand.

Can Mining the Seabed Help Save the Planet?

Christopher Pala

The solutions to climate change—solar panels, windmills, electric cars—seem so blissfully clean and also within reach. Yet they also require vast amounts of minerals: cobalt, manganese, copper, nickel, and rare earths. Electric cars, for instance, are made with about six times more minerals than conventional vehicles, and such staggering amounts simply aren’t available now. Not on land, anyway.

Parts of the ocean seabed, lying some 15,000 feet deep, are littered with the stuff. Black, potato-sized lumps called polymetallic nodules can be found in great volumes on the oceans’ muddy bottoms. The nodules contain large amounts of copper, manganese, nickel, and cobalt, as well as other minerals in smaller amounts. Extracting the nodules would ease the pressure for mining on land at a time when ore yields are falling and environmental and social costs are rising. If it can be done efficiently and at scale, mining the seabed could lower the cost of electric vehicles, increasing their sales and slowing emissions.

“We have a renewables transition that has to be done to combat climate change, and the window is less than 10 years to keep things under 2 degrees Celsius,” said Steve Katona, a marine biologist and ocean mining consultant. “If we don’t get the metals we need from nodules, we’ll get them from land, but that just means mines will have to be enlarged or new ones will have to be created. And a lot of the new nickel will probably come from tropical rainforests, which have much more biodiversity than the seabed.” Katona is a co-founder of the Ocean Health Index and a consultant to the Metals Company, a Vancouver-based start-up that aims to be the first to commercially extract minerals from the seabed.

Big Tech Won’t Remake the Global Order

Stephen M. Walt

Will Big Tech transform geopolitics and perhaps one day supplant the nation-state? In a recent article in Foreign Affairs, titled “The Technopolar Moment: How Digital Powers Will Reshape the Global Order,” Eurasia Group President Ian Bremmer argues we can’t rule that possibility out. In a provocative analysis of the rapidly evolving digital space, Bremmer writes that the major technology firms—Facebook, Apple, Google, Amazon, and foreign counterparts such as Alibaba, Huawei, and Tencent—have become powerful, autonomous actors that are “increasingly shaping geopolitics.”

In particular, he suggests that these firms have created a “new dimension in geopolitics—digital space—over which they exercise primary influence.” With increasing power over “how people spend their time, what professional and social opportunities they pursue, and, ultimately, what they think,” these firms are already “exercising a form of sovereignty,” he writes. The future geopolitical environment will take one of three forms: “one in which the state reigns supreme, rewarding the national champions; one in which corporations wrest control from the state over digital space … or one in which the state fades away.” These are starkly different alternative futures, but which one is most likely?

First Global River Database Documents 40 Years Of Change

A first-ever database compiling movement of the largest rivers in the world over time could become a crucial tool for urban planners to better understand the deltas that are home to these rivers and a large portion of Earth’s population.

The database, created by researchers at The University of Texas at Austin, uses publicly available remote sensing data to show how the river centerlines of the world’s 48 most threatened deltas have moved during the past 40 years. The data can be used to predict how rivers will continue to move over time and help governments manage population density and future development.

“When we think about river management strategies, we have very little to no information about how rivers are moving over time,” said Paola Passalacqua, an associate professor in the Cockrell School of Engineering’s Department of Civil, Architectural and Environmental Engineering who leads the ongoing river analysis research.

The World Is Fed Up With China’s Belligerence

Chris Horton

In chinese-speaking communities beyond the reach of Beijing’s censorship regime, the song “Fragile” has been an unexpected hit. With more than 26 million views on YouTube since dropping in mid-October, the satirical love song to Chinese nationalism has topped the site’s charts for Taiwan and Hong Kong, its lyrics mocking Chinese Communist Party rhetoric about Taiwan while also taking aim at Xi Jinping and Chinese censors.

In parts, the Mandarin Chinese duet portrays Taiwan as an object of unwanted overtures that simply wants to get along with a hypersensitive and aggressive Beijing. Its chorus goes full it’s-not-you-it’s-me: “Sorry I’m so strong-minded / The truth always upsets you / Maybe I shouldn’t be so blunt / I’m so sorry / I’ve angered you again.”

The song, by the Malaysian rapper Namewee and the Australian singer Kimberley Chen, seems to have hit all the right notes for those tiring of a perpetually offended and angry China—and resulted in the scrubbing of the duo’s Chinese social-media accounts.

Europe Is Doubling Down on Taiwan

Thorsten Benner

Last Wednesday, for the first time ever, an official delegation of members of the European Parliament arrived in Taiwan. During the three-day visit, the delegation from the Parliament’s Special Committee on Foreign Interference received a high-level welcome. The program has included meetings with Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen, the premier, and the speaker of the Taiwanese parliament. Two weeks ago, in what was also a first, Taiwan’s Foreign Minister Joseph Wu held meetings in Brussels with members of the European Parliament from nine countries as well as undisclosed European Union officials “at a non-political level.”

These unprecedented visits are signs of a major shift in Europe’s Taiwan policy that are driven by the European Parliament and some member states, and increasingly supported by the European Commission and the External Action Service, Europe’s joint diplomatic corps. At the heart of this new approach is a massive European investment in political and economic relations with Taiwan to support a fellow democracy, make use of economic opportunities, and help defend the status quo and keep the peace in the Taiwan Strait. Europe’s shift is a direct reaction to Beijing’s ever more aggressive stance vis-à-vis both Taiwan and Europe.

Climate Diplomacy Must Take Africa Into Account

Howard W. French

The standard, “flirting with apocalypse” narrative that dominates U.S. media coverage and political debates regarding climate change goes something like this: China, which is the world’s biggest carbon emitter, and India, which is lightly industrialized and still quite substantially poor, currently represent the biggest threats to saving the environment. The supposedly more altruistic West, by contrast, is prepared to make huge investments to forestall disaster.

People who cling to this all-too-easy framing correctly say that if the world’s two most-populous countries do not radically constrain their carbon output, nothing the United States or Europe can do, including rapidly attaining net-zero emissions, will be enough to spare the world from catastrophe. Adding to this, conservatives warn that if China and India don’t agree to difficult and costly reforms in their use of energy, Western publics will find it unacceptable to bear these burdens themselves.

In Ethiopia and Sudan, U.S. Policy Needs Less Talk and More Teeth

Cameron Hudson

In his first weeks in office, U.S. President Joe Biden declared that “America is back. Diplomacy is back at the center of our foreign policy,” as part of an overall strategy to advance an agenda focused on human rights and democracy, where Americans would stand “shoulder to shoulder with our allies and key partners once again.”

But nearly one year into his administration, it has become clear that all carrot and no stick is not sufficient when hoping to dissuade forces seeking to maintain their grip on power.

Nowhere has this been clearer than in the Horn of Africa, where rulers are proving more responsive to the gun than to the street. In such an environment, to be feared is to be respected.

But in a year of sustained high-level diplomacy to support a democratic transition in Sudan and to avoid a civil war in neighboring Ethiopia, U.S. rhetoric has not inspired enough fear or respect from those countries’ respective leaders to avoid a potentially catastrophic outcome for U.S. interests in the region.

Belarus Is Risking Crisis on the Polish Border

Lukasz Olejnik

A dangerous situation is developing on the Poland-Belarus border. Ever since Belarusian dictator Aleksandr Lukashenko launched a brutal crackdown to retain power last August, Minsk has been increasingly isolated—and has lashed out at its neighbors, such as Poland, who support the Belarusian opposition.

The latest so-called weapon is migrants. Belarus has been enticing people to fly to Minsk from Iraq and other places, offering a supposed route into the European Union bloc. That’s produced improvised migrant camps in the forest on the country’s borders with Lithuania and Poland, where authorities are attempting to block migrants’ entry by deploying border control forces and improvised barbed wire fences. The situation is not only a political crisis but also a humanitarian one: As winter sets in, so will freezing temperatures, not to mention civilians between armed personnel.

The Polish media and government has emphasized the role of the migrants, and the move has been framed by Warsaw as an example of a “hybrid attack.” This has galvanized public opinion, the majority of which blames the Belarusian state for the crisis. Public opinion is for defending, perhaps even fortifying, the border.

Australia Shows the World What Decoupling From China Looks Like

Jeffrey Wilson

When Australia had the temerity to call for an independent inquiry into the origins of COVID-19 last year, China was incensed. It responded with an unprecedented wave of trade restrictions that froze many categories of Australian exports, rapidly decoupling economic ties. But if Beijing hoped to punish Canberra for its defiance with economic pain—and send a warning to other countries not to oppose China—it has failed on both accounts. The impacts on Australia have so far been surprisingly minimal. If this is what decoupling from China looks like, Australia’s resilience suggests the costs are far lower than many have assumed. That fact will not be lost on other countries that have differences with China.

Australia-China relations have long been marked by a fundamental tension. Economically, the two sides have been increasingly intertwined, with Australia providing many of the commodities on which China’s industry relies. But politically, much divides them. Beyond differences on values and human rights, Australia is concerned by China’s increasingly belligerent behavior in the Indo-Pacific. China, meanwhile, bristles at what it believes to be Australia’s anti-China stance. Over the past several decades, the two countries operated under an implicit bargain to shelter their rapidly growing economic ties from any political differences.


Mark Peters,  David A. Powner, Chris Folk

This paper identifies eight ways that Congress can act to improve federal cybersecurity practices and to meet the advanced threats posed by China, Russia, ransomware gangs, and other nation-state and criminal actors. These changes will improve the government’s ability to deploy and maintain secure systems ready for today’s threats and increase the effectiveness and efficiency of oversight activities.

Navigating a Big Transition: Military Service Members' Earnings and Employment After Active-Duty Service

Charles A. Goldman, Jeremy Boback, Robert Bozick, Drew M. Anderson

Improving enlisted service member transitions from active duty to civilian life calls for better information about how service members fare in their transitions. The authors examined the relationship among enlisted service members' military occupations, personal characteristics, and civilian employment outcomes over the first three years after separation from active duty. They used detailed empirical analysis of more than 1 million service records, matched to employment and earnings after separation. The data encompass all separations from the armed forces from 2002 through 2010.

Earnings varied markedly in relation to the former service member's military occupation. Individuals who worked in intelligence and information systems consistently appeared in the high tier of post-service earnings. Those who worked in combat arms, medical, supply, and transportation were generally in the moderate or low tier of post-service earnings. These gaps point to military occupations that might need additional support to develop marketable skills, either during the whole of service members' military careers or around the time of transition.


Garri Hendell

There is an apocryphal story that features the founder of the (now defunct) Army school of critical thinking, Colonel Steven Rotkoff. The story involves generals planning the Iraq invasion gaining access to inside, expert information that America’s military foray into that country would not be successful in its then-present form due to insufficient American resolve in the face of a massive and complex problem set. The story ends with the generals being unable to act on that information, as they realize that America’s war logic had its own, inexorable agenda. America’s mistaken premise was already baked into the war plan and there was no way to fix it.

You are wrong. This is not going to be the liberation of Paris with pretty girls throwing flowers at your feet,” al-Khoei warned. “This is going to be post-Tito Yugoslavia. Everybody is going to kill everybody.”

The Two American generals looked at each other and shook their heads.

The Pakistani Air Force's Strange New Chinese Missiles

David Axe

Here's What You Need to Remember: The missile boasts an internal navigation system that guides it near its target, at which point a combination infrared and radar-seeker takes over.

Pakistan’s newest fighter jet could launch a powerful, but strange, new anti-ship missile.

The Pakistani air force is acquiring more than a hundred JF-17s from China in order to complement older F-16s, Mirages and J-7s.

To help the single-engine JF-17s target enemy warships such as India’s growing fleet of aircraft carriers, Islamabad’s air arm in 2017 and 2018 bought 60 CM-400AKG anti-ship missiles.

The CM-400AKG, a product of the Aviation Industry Corporation of China, is an unusual weapon. Unlike many other anti-ship missiles, it follows a high ballistic flight path.

Why Is China Practicing Killing U.S. Navy Aircraft Carriers in the Desert?

Sebastien Roblin

Photos taken by satellite imagery company Maxar on November 7, 2021, on behalf of the U.S. Naval Institute reveal that China has built an accurate mock-up of the deck (but not the island superstructure and other equipment) of a Ford-class aircraft carrier at a missile test range in the Taklamakan desert in western Xinjiang Province.

Also spotted were highly detailed replicas of two U.S. Arleigh-Burke-class guided-missile destroyers and at least two more carrier-shaped targets, as well as a seventy-five-meter-long ship-like target mounted on six-meter wide rails.

You can see the satellite imagery combined in this graphic published by Reuters.

These efforts are almost certainly so the test range can offer more realistic practice targets for China’s growing arsenal of anti-ship ballistic missiles (ASBMs). These weapons, which unlike the more widely used naval cruise loft high into space before plunging down at incredible speeds, have cast a long shadow in military competition between the U.S. and China since Beijing first unveiled its DF-21D “carrier killer” missile in 2009.

Counterterrorism Successes Against Foreign Fighters

Daniel Byman

As I wrote in my book “Road Warriors” and in a recent spinoff article in Political Science Quarterly, jihadists who travel abroad to fight and train—foreign fighters—can become highly lethal terrorists. This danger has received renewed attention in recent months with the withdrawal of U.S. forces from Afghanistan and the Taliban takeover there. These events have kindled fears that, as was true in the 1990s, the country may become a base for international terrorist groups like al-Qaeda and a home for foreign fighters to train and plot. Such concerns, however, neglect the tremendous progress the United States and its allies have made in the post-9/11 era in combating the foreign fighter scourge and limiting the danger they pose to the United States, Canada and Europe.

Still, foreign fighters remain a powerful jihadist force worth understanding. Foreign fighters orchestrated and conducted many of the most important jihadist attacks in the past 25 years. Foreign fighters helped plot and organize the 1998 al-Qaeda attacks on two U.S. embassies in Africa that killed 224 people, al-Qaeda bombings of transportation targets in Spain in 2004 that left 191 people dead and in London in 2005 where 52 innocents died, the bombings and shootings in Paris by the Islamic State in 2015 that killed 130 people, and, of course, the 9/11 attacks, in which almost 3,000 people perished.

Can Drones Make You a Superpower? Turkey Has an Answer

Charlie Gao

Here's What You Need to Remember: The MAM-L proves that Turkey’s investment into building its arms industry has paid off. It’s proven to be able to produce analogs to other modern systems quickly and effectively, adapting existing technology and earlier designs.

The success of Turkish armed drones and its push into Syria in February and March 2020 has shone a spotlight on Turkey’s indigenous drone and armament industry. Turkish drones reportedly destroyed multiple Russian-made but Syrian-operated air-defense vehicles, though Russian sources dispute this. However, their effectiveness at pummeling other targets is undisputed.

Just as the characteristic weapon of American MQ-1 Predator drones has been the AGM-114 Hellfire missile during the global war on terror, Turkey has also developed a drone-ideal weapon in the MAM-L missile. However, unlike the Hellfire which remains the similar in its drone and helicopter variants, the MAM-L was significantly redesigned from its parent missile to be a drone-specific weapon.