18 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.

Did China Create New Facts on the Ground Along the LAC With India?

Rajeswari Pillai Rajagopalan

Following the Galwan conflict in June 2020, China-India relations have gone through one of their worst phases. Despite several rounds of military and diplomatic talks, progress in military disengagement has been painstakingly slow, and there is a deployment of 50,000-60,000 troops on each side of the line of the actual control (LAC), the temporary border between India and China. Even though talks are continuing between the two sides, China has been engaged in the construction of villages near the border areas. There have been reports for close to a year about such activities, but this has once again risen to the attention of the Indian policy community and the media following the U.S. Department of Defense’s recent annual report on China’s military power.

Back in January this year, China claimed that its village construction in Arunachal Pradesh was “beyond reproach” since it “never recognized” Arunachal Pradesh.

According to the Pentagon report, “Sometime in 2020, the PRC built a large 100-home civilian village inside disputed territory between the PRC’s Tibet Autonomous Region and India’s Arunachal Pradesh state in the eastern sector of the LAC.”

The Taliban Is Vulnerable. Here’s How to Seize the Moment


You can win the war but lose the peace. That’s a lesson Americans have been taught (not for the first time) by the conflict in Afghanistan. It’s a lesson the Taliban is being taught today. With no cash reserves and no idea how to govern, with the country’s spectacular fruit crops rotting in transport trucks lined up at closed borders, and the population struggling just to survive, Taliban rule is already tottering. That comedown gives the U.S. and its former coalition partners leverage over the group — leverage of a kind we have never enjoyed before.

I know what it looks like to lose the peace. For the best part of a decade, I watched us do it, squandering a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for that beleaguered country. I saw the disintegration from the Afghan perspective, living as I did amongst ordinary people in the Taliban stronghold of Kandahar. I arrived in 2001 as a reporter for National Public Radio, then stayed, launching a manufacturing cooperative that made fragrant body-care products from the region’s legendary horticulture. By 2010, I was on the staff of the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, offering Adm. Mike Mullen an on-the-ground view he was not getting otherwise.

The young generation risking all to topple the Myanmar junta


The knife that carved through Gue Gue’s abdomen wasn’t exactly meant for pulling out her inflamed appendix. But it was the only one available in the sweltering jungle clinic, a bumpy ride over mountainous terrain from her guerrilla training camp.

There was no option for general anesthesia to put her under, so Gue Gue was conscious for the operation. The former tour guide, a stylish 26-year-old who listed her interests on Facebook as “Traveling, Adaptive Hiking, Dance, Writing, Gymnastics, Fashion Photography, Listening to Music, and Reading,” tried to keep her mind focused on all the work she had yet to do and not the surgery. “They were cutting the muscle like we are chopping pork,” said a friend who was there.

Gue Gue had no regrets, she said later, except about the jagged red mark left behind. “I really don’t want any scars!” she said, laughing. “After the revolution, I’ll go and remove my scar with a laser.”

China’s Private Sector Is a Victim of the CCP’s Growth Model

Michael Pettis

After two to three decades during which Beijing supported the marketization of the Chinese economy and the growing role of the private sector, many analysts now worry that the Chinese Communist Party has turned its back on its earlier commitment to market-oriented reforms. For example, Stephen Roach, an economist at Yale University and former chairman of Morgan Stanley Asia, worries in a recent essay that the Chinese government’s current focus on re-regulation and income redistribution is undermining “the heart of the market-based ‘reform and opening up’ that have underpinned China’s growth miracle.”

Indeed, in recent years Beijing has implemented a series of policies that have tightened control over the country’s financial system, undermined private businesses and expanded the role of state-owned enterprises and public-sector investment. Among other measures, Chinese authorities have intervened in a number of local banks, beginning in May 2019 with Baoshang Bank; interrupted several very high-profile initial public offerings, including last year’s much-anticipated IPO of Ant Financial, which would have been the world’s largest; and clamped down ferociously on the activities of the powerful property sector and the once-dynamic fintech and private education sectors

How the U.S. Hid an Airstrike That Killed Dozens of Civilians in Syria

Dave Philipps and Eric Schmitt

In the last days of the battle against the Islamic State in Syria, when members of the once-fierce caliphate were cornered in a dirt field next to a town called Baghuz, a U.S. military drone circled high overhead, hunting for military targets. But it saw only a large crowd of women and children huddled against a river bank.

Without warning, an American F-15E attack jet streaked across the drone’s high-definition field of vision and dropped a 500-pound bomb on the crowd, swallowing it in a shuddering blast. As the smoke cleared, a few people stumbled away in search of cover. Then a jet tracking them dropped one 2,000-pound bomb, then another, killing most of the survivors.

It was March 18, 2019. At the U.S. military’s busy Combined Air Operations Center at Al Udeid Air Base in Qatar, uniformed personnel watching the live drone footage looked on in stunned disbelief, according to one officer who was there.

Why Iraqi Kurds are Heading for Europe

Sarkawt Shamsulddin

Europe is facing another humanitarian crisis on its doorstep, this time on the border with Belarus. As before, many migrants waiting to cross into the European Union are from the Middle East, with this episode mostly involving Iraqi Kurds, according to reports. Unlike in 2015, they are not fleeing ISIS or war, but are escaping a situation borne of political malfeasance and neglect by their own government. And, Europe and the United States have played a role in exacerbating the crisis.

According to recent reports, there are around 5,000 migrants stranded on the Belarussian border with Poland. These migrants travel to Belarus because it is one of the few destinations where Iraqi citizens can get visas on arrival, a recent change made by Belarussian president Alexander Lukashenko in order to weaponize the migration issue in retaliation for the European Union’s (EU) criticism of its human rights record. Belarus has a long border with Poland and is considered a safer way to get to the EU compared with the Aegean Sea route. In response, Poland has deployed 15,000 soldiers on its border to prevent these refugees from entering the country. Several refugees have died as weather conditions deteriorated.

It’s Time to Be Honest About Fossil Fuels’ Role in Energy Transition

Brenda Shaffer

The global energy crisis has hit U.S. shores: Fuel prices are rising, and a global supply shortage of natural gas is driving up the cost of heat and electricity as winter approaches. The Biden administration, worried that rising energy prices could cost votes and kneecap its ability to implement policies, has begged OPEC to pump more oil and Russia to step up gas supplies to Europe. At the same time, the Republicans have no useful energy policy alternative on offer. The United States needs a fundamentally new energy policy that will deliver reliable energy supplies at affordable prices with low impact on the environment and climate.

Any energy policy will have to start by considering several inconvenient but incontrovertible facts.

First, no matter how quickly the administration wants to raise the share of energy from renewable sources, U.S. energy security will require continued domestic oil and natural gas production for transportation, heating, industry, and electricity generation. Faced with the current energy crisis, the Biden administration is debating a new transition policy that recognizes fossil fuels will be necessary for the next decade or two. President Joe Biden’s current transition strategy—as embodied in the Build Back Better program—is not enough to get what the United States and the world need to solve the energy crisis: the return of U.S. oil and gas production after plummeting during the COVID-19 pandemic and not recovering to its previous level since then. Capital will not return to the U.S. oil and gas patch if the administration’s regulations limit production—nor if the administration continues to beat up on fossil fuel producers, leaving investors uncertain about the future of U.S. oil and gas. The administration’s ongoing evaluation of planned fuel and crude pipelines, which could result in their cancellation, adds to the industry’s concerns.

The U.S. Public Hasn’t Been Properly Prepared for Competition With China

Judah Grunstein

U.S. President Joe Biden will hold a video summit Monday with his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping, their first face-to-face encounter since Biden took office in January. The meeting, which is reportedly the culmination of background exploratory talks over the past month, follows several high-profile encounters between top-level officials that veered toward the explosive. Sparks flew in Anchorage, Alaska, when both sides’ senior diplomats met for the first time in March. More recently, Wendy Sherman, deputy secretary of state, faced an acrimonious reception in Tianjin when she visited in July

U.S. 'Has No Strategy' for Cyber War, Garry Kasparov Warns


Legendary chess master Garry Kasparov said the U.S. is "lagging behind" in cyber warfare and lacks a strategy in countering threats.

Kasparov, who is antivirus software company Avast's security ambassador and has written at length on cyber security, told Newsweek that America must be tougher on hostile actors.

Speaking at Web Summit in Lisbon, Kasparov said the U.S. is behind others on cyber warfare "but not for the lack of technology, because in every war, you know what's important is political will, is will behind your army."

"So you can have the strongest army in the world, but where the commander could be not even a coward, but, you know, indecisive, and that may decide the outcome of the battle. Now, what we're saying is that America has no strategy," Kasparov said.

The paradox of American power: Even when we're losing, we're winning

Michael O'Hanlon

With the American and allied withdrawal from Afghanistan, resulting in what was recently described by Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley as a “strategic failure,” we have now again witnessed the post-World War II paradox of U.S. foreign policy: We often fail to win wars, yet at the same time we sustain the most successful grand strategy of any power in the history of the planet.

In 1950, after practically green-lighting a North Korean invasion of South Korea by declaring the latter outside our perimeter of strategic concern, the United States put together a military coalition that was twice driven back below the 38th parallel, twice losing Seoul in the process – once at the hands of North Korean troops and once due to Chinese intervention.

Ultimately we fought to a stalemate at huge cost in lives and treasure – with the war only being concluded after a newly-inaugurated President Dwight D. Eisenhower threatened the Chinese with nuclear attack if they did not accept a reasonable ceasefire.

Beijing urges US businesses to lobby against China-related bills in Congress

China has been pushing US executives, companies and business groups in recent weeks to fight against China-related bills in the US Congress, four sources familiar with the initiative told Reuters, in letters to and meetings with a wide range of actors in the business community.

Letters from China’s embassy in Washington have pressed executives to urge members of Congress to alter or drop specific bills that seek to enhance US competitiveness, according to the sources and the text of a letter sent by the embassy’s economic and commercial office seen by Reuters.

Chinese officials warned companies they would risk losing market share or revenue in China if the legislation becomes law, according to the text of the letter.

The Chinese embassy and the head of its economic and commercial office did not return separate requests for comment.

Can the United States Overcome These 4 Nuclear Challenges?

Peter Huessy

Four new geostrategic realities are challenging U.S. deterrent and arms control strategy. These are the rise of China’s nuclear forces; the near-completed Russian nuclear build-up; the modernization of the U.S. nuclear deterrent; and the need to defend against directed energy and hypersonic, maneuverable missiles.

First, China’s nuclear forces are completely unconstrained by treaty and could rise from around 300 to over 4,000 warheads. Over 55 percent of Russia’s nuclear forces are also not constrained by treaty.

Second, the initial operating capability for new U.S. nuclear platforms and much of the United States’ new conventional weaponry begins in 2028-2030, a window of opportunity during which China or Russia might act militarily against the Baltics or Taiwan.

Third, while the United States has built a very modest number (forty-four) of interceptors to defeat long-range ballistic missiles, opponents claim their deployment in 2003-2004 prevented the Russians from agreeing to ban multiple-warhead land-based missiles and encouraged the Chinese to begin to build multiple hundreds of such missiles, making future arms control deals impossible in the near term.

How to Avert Catastrophe in Ethiopia

Addisu Lashitew

The Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) ruled Ethiopia for nearly three decades before anti-government protests dislodged it from power in 2018. Now, three years later, the renegade rebels are on the verge of storming back into Addis Ababa. The United States—the superpower that can bring the most political and economic clout to bear on the situation—must do all that it can to prevent that. If the TPLF is allowed to shoot its way back into power, Ethiopia is almost certain to fragment into warring ethnic fiefdoms, and the country will again become a scene of apocalyptic suffering.

You only need to look at the TPLF’s history to understand why.

A radical political party with Marxist roots, the TPLF was founded in 1975 with the goal of establishing an independent Tigrayan republic. In the years after its formation, the party moderated its position. For a time it wanted to achieve Tigrayan self-rule within Ethiopia, and then it adopted a grander vision of reshaping the Ethiopian political system to serve its own interests.

The forest for the trees: trouble at the Poland-Belarus border


The 418 kilometre border which separates Poland and Belarus does more than divide two states. It forms part of the Eastern border of the European Union and of NATO. Loosely speaking, it partitions “Europe” and “Eurasia”.

Straddled by the Białowieża Forest, Europe’s largest remaining primeval forest, the border zone is one of the continent’s last truly wild places. Today, however, it is the site of a very modern crisis which is confronting European leaders with issues they have struggled to manage in recent years: the hardening of European borders, the ongoing project carried out by some illiberal non-EU regimes to undermine the bloc’s stability, and EU concerns about Poland’s own undemocratic drift.

Beginning in July and early August, asylum seekers from Iraq (mainly Kurds and Yazidis), Yemen, Syria, Afghanistan (displaced by the impending Taliban restoration), African states such as Cameroon, Nigeria and even from as far away as Cuba began crossing into Poland, Lithuania and Latvia from Belarus.

The Uneven Global Response to Climate Change

Recently published climate science ultimately underscores the same points: The impacts of climate change are advancing faster than experts had previously predicted, and they are increasingly irreversible. One blockbuster report, from a United Nations grouping of biodiversity experts in May 2019, found that 1 million species are now in danger of extinction unless dramatic changes are made to everything from fuel sources to agricultural production. Despite these warnings, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s most-recent report, released in August, confirmed that the world remains on pace to blow past the goal of restricting warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius above preindustrial levels, with likely catastrophic consequences.

Persistent climate skepticism from key global figures, motivated in part by national economic interests, is slowing diplomatic efforts to systematically address the drivers of climate change. In particular, former U.S. President Donald Trump’s decision to pull out of the Paris climate agreement upon taking office in 2016 immediately undermined the pact. Despite these hurdles, negotiators made substantive progress during a U.N. climate change conference in December 2018, putting in place an ambitious system of monitoring and reporting on carbon emissions for nations that remain part of the agreement. But the subsequent round of talks in December 2019 ended in abject failure, and the coronavirus pandemic hobbled further diplomatic efforts in 2020. Now the outcome of the COP26 climate summit, which just took place in Glasgow, is getting decidedly mixed reviews.

The Threat of a Sino-Russian Fleet Circumnavigating Japan


In late October, ten vessels of the Chinese and Russian navies, which had been conducting joint exercises in the Sea of Japan, passed out of the Tsugaru Strait into the Pacific Ocean, and entered the East China Sea through the Osumi Strait via the waters off the Izu Islands. Both navies had circumnavigated Japan in the past, but this joint cruise was a first. Yet in light of the deepening military cooperation between China and Russia in recent years, this is hardly a surprising development, and indeed it is likely to be repeated in the future.

With the end of the Cold War, the hostile relationship between China and the Soviet Union (and later Russia) eased, and China, facing economic sanctions from the West after the Tiananmen Square massacre, began to purchase Russian-made weapons to modernize its military capabilities. However, a dispute eventually ensued over China’s imitation of Russian-made weapons and the price of Russian crude oil. Military cooperation between the two peaked in 2005 and subsequently stalled.

Without Coal, What Happens to Cement, Steel, Iron — and Asia’s Path to Development?

Monika Mondal

One of the highlights of this year’s U.N. Climate Change Conference, COP26, has been that over 40 countries pledged to phase out coal from the power sector. However, beyond power generation, some of the most heavy-polluting, fossil fuel-reliant industries are steel, iron, cement, and concrete – the same industries that are crucial to aspirations of development in Asia and beyond.

While developed countries have moved away from the secondary economy (manufacturing) to the tertiary economy (services), developing countries are expected to witness rapid growth in infrastructure projects in the coming years. The International Energy Agency (IEA) has noted that as the populations and GDPs grow in developing countries in South Asia, Southeast Asia, and Africa, demand for steel, cement, and concrete will increase.

The focus on a just transition for cleaner energy and the rapid phase-out of coal has been at the heart of COP26, and is seen as crucial in the attempt to limit global temperature increases to 1.5 degrees Celsius in accordance with the Paris Agreement. However, the focus on the power sector meant the second largest source of carbon emissions – heavy industry – didn’t attract enough attention.

When Coal Comes to Paradise

Dana Ullman

LAMU, Kenya—China’s ambition to become a world leader on climate change has led its government to pursue an ambitious initiative to reduce emissions domestically. Amid massive reforms to switch to cleaner energy sources such as natural gas, China has barred new coal plants in 10 regions and proposed suspending construction of more than 100 coal plants last year.

China’s carbon-dioxide emissions grew by 2.3 percent in 2018, and are set to peak in 2030. (There has been some easing of restrictions, Bloomberg reports, indicating how coal-dependent China remains.) Still, the growth is slower than climate researchers expected. With investments in alternative energy increasing and domestic demand for coal-fired power dropping so quickly, China has been left with a surplus of labor, technology, and equipment. To remedy this, China’s coal industry has been encouraged by the government to look to outside markets for its survival.

While China is on track to meeting its Paris climate agreement targets domestically, it continues to invest in and profit from coal power projects across the world. Domestic restrictions do not apply to projects abroad, and China has capitalized on this exception by exporting its surplus of coal-related equipment and technology to countries desperate for industry, undermining a global push to phase out coal. China has invested in coal projects in 34 countries, 11 of which are in Africa, according to data compiled by Global Energy Monitor’s Global Coal Plant Tracker, an industry watchdog.



In February, a group of Cofán men dressed in dark tunics and bandoliers studded with forest seeds gathered around a fire pit in northeastern Ecuador. In the thin light of dawn, they prepared to set out on a patrol of the Cayambe Coca National Park, a protected area that covers more than 1,500 square miles of rainforests, wetlands, glacial lagoons, and snowcapped cordillera, the tallest peak of which belongs to the massive Cayambe volcano. The men were all members of la guardia, a unit established by the Cofán in 2017 to push back against trespassers’ growing encroachment onto their ancestral lands.

“The state claimed this land in 1970 and told us how to live in our own territory,” said Alex Lucitante, a 25-year-old guard, “but it does nothing to protect it or enforce park rules.” He accused wildcat miners of using pollutants, including mercury, that deplete and contaminate local fish stocks. When the Cofán sought to protect their food chain by building an inland fishpond a few years back, Lucitante said, Ecuador’s Environment Ministry attempted to shut it down before they could complete it, citing park rules. The Cofán community of Sinangue informed officials that it did not recognize the ministry’s authority on matters relating to its traditions or survival. The fishpond remains.

Applying Ancient Chinese Philosophy To Artificial Intelligence


BEIJING — There has been much discussion on the global stage around China’s ambition to lead artificial intelligence and robotics innovation over the coming decades. But few if any of the discussions by Chinese philosophers on the threats of AI and approaches to AI ethics have managed to penetrate Western-language media.

Like many Western commentators, many Chinese philosophers (mostly trained in Confucianism, Daoism and Buddhism) have expressed deep concern over diminishing human autonomy and free will in the age of data manipulation and automation, as well as the potential loss of purpose and meaning of human life in the long run. Others are concerned about humankind’s eagerness to tinker with the human genome and the natural evolution process to achieve much-desired longevity and physical wellbeing. Confucian scholars seem to be the most alarmed as certain developments in AI and robotics, especially those related to familial relationships and elder care, directly threaten the foundation of Confucianism, which emphasizes the importance of bloodlines and familial norms.

Twitter Vigilantes Are Hunting Down Crypto Scammers

EARLY LAST MONTH, a jargon-laden post by a pseudonymous Twitter handle set off a storm in the cryptocurrency world.

The account called itself Gabagool.Ξth (a blend of references to the The Sopranos and the Ethereum blockchain) and featured a fuchsia nebula as a profile picture. It called out what it saw as foul play in decentralized finance, or DeFi—a galaxy of blockchain-based apps providing cryptocurrency lending and exchange services. Creators of DeFi protocols often foster user loyalty by staging “airdrops”: distributions of cryptocurrency tokens rained down unannounced on users who have deposited a certain amount of cryptocurrency on the network. In May, a service called Ribbon carried out such an airdrop, doling out 30 million Ribbon tokens to 1,620 wallets. The tokens were designed so that they could not be cashed out until October 8.

On October 8, Gabagool spotted something suspicious. A cluster of 36 wallets that had received the Ribbon tokens had swiftly exchanged them for the popular ether cryptocurrency, then transferred the ether to one cryptocurrency wallet. Gabagool thought that the person or people behind that wallet had likely created the 36 Ribbon accounts shortly before the airdrop, to maximize their chance of getting tokens. By Gabagool’s calculations, the wallet to which they were transferred accrued at least 652 ether, valued at $2.3 million at the time. “I thought, ‘OK, this person kind of gamed the airdrop,’” the man running the Gabagool handle tells me in a phone call.

How to Run Your Own Secure, Portable PC From a USB Stick

FOR THOSE LOOKING for the ultimate in portability and security in their computing, there's the option of running a system straight from a USB drive you can carry around in your pocket.

Plug this into a spare USB port on a Windows or macOS computer, and the flash drive acts as the storage and the software of the system while borrowing everything else—display, keyboard, processor, graphics—from the machine it's connected to.

Shut down the computer, pull out the USB drive, and it's as if you were never there. It's an appealing option for those who value their privacy, as well as those who spend a lot of time moving between offices.

For the purposes of this guide, we're going to take a look at Tails. It was developed as a way to avoid surveillance, censorship, advertising, and viruses, and it comes with a stack of useful, privacy-focused software applications. It's also free to use, and all you need to provide is the USB stick.

Why the biggest cyber attacks go undetected

Eyal Arazi

This may make for great TV, but the reality of data breaches is not as exciting. In fact, the biggest and most damaging attacks don't happen in minutes. Rather, they include multiple steps that unfold over months. They aren't executed in a few clicks, but through a long process of exploration and exploitation. According to IBM's Cost of Data Breach Report, the average time to detect and contain a cyber attack is 287 days. That's over nine months!

If a data breach is made of so many individual steps, why aren't the steps detected and the malicious exploit immediately identified? The answer is that they are detected, but the main problem of cloud security today is not detection. It's correlation.

Tracing the steps

Data breaches and cyber attacks are not singular events. They are an ongoing process with multiple steps.

The first step usually is infiltration, during which an attacker gains a foothold in the network. Infiltration can happen in many ways. It can come by way of targeted credential theft, exploiting vulnerable web applications, third party credential theft, malware, and more.

Hackers sent spam emails from FBI accounts, agency confirms


The Federal Bureau of Investigation is acknowledging that hackers compromised its email servers and sent spam messages. But the bureau says hackers were unable to access any personal identifiable information or other data on its network.

The fake emails appeared to be from a legitimate FBI email address ending in @ic.fbi.gov, the FBI said in a statement on Saturday. The hardware impacted by the incident "was taken offline quickly upon discovery of the issue," the FBI said.

In an update issued on Sunday, the bureau said that a "software misconfiguration" allowed an actor to leverage an FBI system known as the Law Enforcement Enterprise Portal, or LEEP, to send the fake emails. The system is ordinarily used to by the agency to communicate with state and local law enforcement partners.

Harnessed Lightning: How the Chinese Military is Adopting Artificial Intelligence

Ryan Fedasiuk, Jennifer Melot, Ben Murphy

Executive Summary

Artificial intelligence (AI) is progressing at lightning speed. What 10 years ago would have been considered science fiction—self-adapting computer algorithms with billions of parameters—is now a central focus of military and intelligence services worldwide. Owing in part to AI’s fast-paced development, most analyses of its military promise tend to focus more on states’ future aspirations than present-day capabilities. This is particularly true for the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA), which has routinely made clear its desire to harness AI for military advantage, and which prefers to keep a close hold over its actual, technical capabilities. But as tensions mount between the United States and China, and some experts warn of an impending crisis over Taiwan, it is crucial that U.S. policymakers and defense planners understand the commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) AI technologies already available to the Chinese military.

Is Tank Warfare a Relic of the Past?

Charlie Gao

Here's What You Need to Remember: While wheeled MBT supplements have seen success, some nations have pitched the idea of lighter vehicles with full power tank guns as MBT replacements.

While the Main Battle Tank has dominated ground conflict for almost the last half-century of wars, it is a very costly machine in many aspects. MBTs take a lot of resources to deploy, operate, and procure due to their heavy armor and weight. They are often not very strategically mobile, requiring shipping on ships as opposed to aircraft. As a result, in the past thirty years, many concepts have been put forth as MBT replacements or supplements in the form of a versatile gun on a lighter wheeled or tracked chassis. This article will discuss Polish, American and South African attempts to develop such vehicles.

One of the first concepts of an MBT “replacement” came in the 1980s from the United States Marine Corps. A new concept of a rapidly deployable task force came about, and a new Light Armored Vehicle (LAV) would be required to equip such forces. The request for proposal asked for both an infantry carrier armed with the twenty-five-millimeter Bushmaster cannon, and an assault gun variant with a ninety-millimeter Cockerill cannon. A variant of the MOWAG Piranha, submitted by GM of Canada, won this competition in September 1982.

What does China's DF-100 Anti-Ship Missile Mean for the US?

James Holmes

Here's What You Need to Remember: Precise, fast-flying, long-range missiles such as the DF-100 compress space and time for China’s offshore antagonists. PLA firepower could rain down at an instant’s notice if a U.S. or allied fleet ventures within hundreds of miles of Asian seacoasts. It’s as though the fleet is prowling a few miles offshore rather than operating in the vastness—and relative sanctuary—of oceanic space.

So China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) unveiled new weaponry during its October 1, 2019 military parade? Color me gobsmacked. If China’s rise to martial eminence has shown one thing, it’s that PLA commanders and their political overseers delight in surprising and trolling Western observers. They excel at developing new hardware in secret, then springing it on the world and watching the ensuing gabfest consume the China-watching community.

And sure enough, launchers bearing “DF-17” and “DF-100” missiles—weapons both supposedly capable of superfast speeds yet hitherto unknown to outsiders—rumbled through Tiananmen Square to help commemorate the seventieth anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China. (The DF-41 intercontinental ballistic missile also made its public debut on October 1, but Westerners have known about that one for some time.) Alternatively, foreign intelligence services knew about these “birds” but opted not to disclose it in open sources for fear of revealing how they came by the information.

Could the Next-Generation Interceptor Program Help America Defend Against Hypersonic Missiles?

Kris Osborn

Here's What You Need to Remember: Interceptors, seekers and kill vehicles will increasingly rely upon a nee d to distinguish decoys from actual ICBMs, debris or other countermeasures intended to confuse interceptors, therefore improving the prospects for an ICBM to pass through to its target.

The Pentagon is massively fast-tracking its Next-Generation Interceptor program to deploy a missile defense technology capable of tracking and destroying a new sphere of enemy threats to include high-speed, precision-guided intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) and hypersonic weapons potentially traveling through space.

Mobile ICBM launchers, nuclear weapons traveling at hypersonic speeds, multiple precision-guided re-entry vehicles and multiple missiles attack at once, each with several separating warheads are all very serious threats the Missile Defense Agency (MDA) and industry are working quickly to counter through a series of innovations, science and technology efforts, new weapons development such as a Next-Generation Interceptor (NGI) initiative aimed at deploying a new missile defense weapon by the end of the decade.