19 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.

Investors pivot to India after China’s tech crackdown

Benjamin Parkin and Mercedes Ruehl

In 2011, Vijay Shekhar Sharma, a 33-year old Indian entrepreneur, watched Alibaba founder Jack Ma speak in Hong Kong. “I did not know my life would change at that conference,” Sharma later said. “I became totally interested in China, Alibaba and Jack.”

Three years later Sharma travelled to China to meet his hero, taking a selfie with him and securing the first of several investments from Alibaba. The Chinese ecommerce and fintech group went on to pump hundreds of millions of dollars into Sharma’s fast-growing start-up Paytm, building up a 30 per cent stake in the Indian payments company.

Paytm is now set for a $2.5bn listing on Thursday, India’s largest ever IPO. It is the biggest test to date of whether India’s start-ups can recreate the success of a generation of Chinese tech groups that remade the country’s stock market, and provide the exit routes investors need to have confidence in the market.

India: Breathing Space For Rebels In Manipur? – Analysis

Giriraj Bhattacharjee

On November 13, 2021, five Security Force (SF) personnel, including the commanding officer of 46 Assam Rifles (AR), also known as Khuga battalion, Colonel Viplav Tripathi, were killed after their convoy came under heavy attack by militants near S. Sehken village under the Behiang Police Station, close to pillar number 43, on the India-Myanmar border, in Churachandpur District. Colonel Tripathi’s wife and son, who were accompanying him, were also killed in the attack. Another five troopers were injured in the attack. According to official reports, Colonel Tripathi visited his Behiang Company operating base on November 12 and stayed there for the night. The convoy was attacked when he was returning to his battalion headquarters in Khuga.

The People’s Liberation Army (PLA) and Manipur Naga People’s Front (MNPF), jointly claimed responsibility for the attack saying, “We are not going to sit silently till we get our rights and our sovereignty.”

This is the worst incident targeting SFs in the State, in terms of overall fatalities, since June 4, 2015, attack. On June 4, 2015, militants ambushed a military convoy of 6 Dogra Regiment of the Indian Army killing at least 18 Army personnel and injuring 11 others, at a place between Paralong and Charong villages in Chandel District. The Khaplang faction of the National Socialist Council of Nagaland (NSCN-K), Kanglei Yawol Kanna Lup (KYKL) and Kangleipak Communist Party (KCP) had jointly claimed responsibility.

The tangled web of Pakistan’s cyber war

Sergio Restelli
Source Link

Towards the end of September 2021, a disinformation war campaign was launched against India, targeting India’s economic interests. A trend, #BoycottIndianProducts on Twitter was launched to start the campaign. According to a Report by the Dis Info Lab, the campaign was launched by the Muslim Brotherhood using unfortunate incident of violence during an anti-encroachment drive in Assam as a bait to trigger the campaign.

This Report suggests a major tectonic shift in the Islamic world, where the Qatar-Turkey-Pakistan nexus dominated by Muslim Brotherhood, a radical political – religious organisation based in Qatar, is becoming the new hub for radical Islamists. This invariably, also explains why the Taliban invited Qatar, Turkey and Pakistan as three of the six countries it invited for the inauguration ceremony of its interim government. Left out are its previous friends and supporters; Saudi Arabia and UAE, who supported them in their first rule in the 1990s.

What Life Is Like Under the Afghan Taliban

Hollie McKay

KABUL, Afghanistan – Three months ago, a band-aid was ripped for a bullet wound. President Ashraf Ghani fled the Presidential Palace on the searing Sunday afternoon of August 15, paving the way for the encroaching Taliban to storm right in without a crescendo of bullets. Two weeks later, the last U.S. evacuation aircraft rose into Kabul’s night sky from the Hamid Karzai International Airport (HKIA), dramatically drawing to a close a bitter and bloody twenty-year war.

So what has become of life under the Taliban three months into their iron-clad rule over Afghanistan?

Indeed, it marks a bizarre and brash maneuver from insurgency and into forming a government in charge of 38 million people. Much of the leadership has little experience running formal procedures, a far cry from wielding an AK-47 as a mountain militia. Those in top positions typically prefer to conduct business inside a mosque or away from the confines of an office. If they do show up, it is usually only for a few hours—with ministries and directorates effectively shutting shop after 2 pm.

The Taliban is in over its head—and it is all coming at a time when the nation is on the brink of a harrowing economic collapse.

Despite Mistrust, Afghan Shiites Seek Taliban Protection

Lee Keath

Outside a Shiite shrine in Kabul, four armed Taliban fighters stood guard on a recent Friday as worshippers filed in for weekly prayers. Alongside them was a guard from Afghanistan’s mainly Shiite Hazara minority, an automatic rifle slung over his shoulder.

It was a sign of the strange, new relationship brought by the Taliban’s takeover of Afghanistan. The Taliban, Sunni hard-liners who for decades targeted the Hazaras as heretics, are now their only protection against a more brutal enemy: the Islamic State group.

Sohrab, the Hazara guard standing watch over the Abul Fazl al-Abbas Shrine, told The Associated Press that he gets along fine with the Taliban guards. “They even pray in the mosque sometimes,” he said, giving only his first name for security reasons.

Not everyone feels so comfortable.

Imran Khan Seals Deal With the Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan

Umair Jamal

Last week, Pakistan and the Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) signed an agreement on a month-long ceasefire, which can be further extended if agreed upon by both sides.

The Pakistan government has said that the negotiations with the TTP were taking place under the ambit of the Pakistani Constitution. While making the announcement last week, Minister for Information and Broadcasting Fawad Chaudhry said that the “sovereignty of the state, security, peace in the affected areas, and social and economic stability will be kept in view during the talks with the TTP.”

In a letter signed by its chief, Noor Wali Mehsud, the TTP told its fighters that a “process of talks has been started with the government of Pakistan and to extend the process further, the parties have agreed on a one-month ceasefire…therefore, all the fighters associated with the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan [were] to refrain from any action during the said period.”

The Taiwan Question: How to Think About Deterrence Now

Keith B. Payne

A prominent deterrence challenge now confronting Washington is how to deter China from resolving the Taiwan Question forcefully. There are many nuances to the Taiwan Question and the U.S. deterrence challenge involved, but the fundamental deterrence question is: can the United States now deter the Communist Party of China (CCP) from deciding to forcefully change the status quo on Taiwan, i.e., from removing the current democratically-elected governing authority and installing the CCP’s own repressive governing authority instead? China’s recent harsh repression in Hong Kong in violation of the 1984 Sino-British Joint Declaration looms large in the background.

Deterrence success in this regard is not to end in any definitive sense China’s desire to unite Taiwan with the Chinese mainland; that is a much heavier political burden than deterrence can or should be expected to bear. But, effective U.S. deterrence in this case is for the Chinese leadership to conclude, when considering its options for Taiwan, that the risks/costs of moving against Taiwan forcefully are intolerable compared to the relative greater safety of deciding, “not this year.” Deterrence surely cannot solve all geopolitical problems, but it may be able to accomplish that much.

Warfare Is More Than Just Bullets

Thomas Joscelyn
Source Link

The fate of Taiwan is a hot topic in Washington these days. The clear and present danger from Beijing is growing. Less clear is the extent to which America is willing to rise to Taipei’s defense. Secretary of State Anthony Blinken said this week that the U.S. would take “action” if the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) decided to use force against the tiny island nation, but no one really knows what that would entail.

Much of the discussion surrounding America’s commitment to Taiwan, or lack thereof, focuses on the possibility of a full-scale invasion by China’s military. Given the Chinese military’s increasingly aggressive behavior just off Taiwan’s shores, this concern is well-placed. But a large-scale offensive is only one scenario policymakers are currently weighing.

According to a new report published by Taiwan’s Ministry of National Defense, the CCP’s goal is “seizing Taiwan without a fight.” How? The answer lies in the CCP’s “Three Warfares” doctrine.

The “Three Warfares” concept is also discussed in the U.S. Department of Defense’s (DoD) annual report on China, which was submitted to Congress earlier this month. The Pentagon explains that China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) began developing the strategy as early as 2003. The PLA’s intent is “to demoralize adversaries and influence foreign and domestic public opinion during conflicts.” Simply put, the PLA wants to undermine its adversaries willingness to fight even before the battle begins.

All Over the Map: The Chinese Communist Party’s Subnational Interests in the United States

Emily de La Bruyère

Across the political spectrum, Americans are moving toward a consensus that China’s authoritarian regime poses the foremost threat to U.S. national security. Under the firm control of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), the People’s Republic of China presents a challenge that goes well beyond the military, or even the technological, domain. Beijing seeks to shape global architectures, and through them to assert global control. Beijing’s ambitions are evident in its efforts to set global technical standards and control emerging infrastructure, to convert foreign dependence on Chinese resources and manufacturing capabilities into market-making power, and to influence international opinion through disinformation and propaganda.

These efforts target the public and private sectors. And in its efforts to influence governments, including the U.S. government, Beijing does not limit itself to the national level. Beijing also runs systematic campaigns to influence subnational — that is, state and local — governments.

Beijing understands that subnational political leaders respond to different incentives than do federal officials and authorities — and that those incentives may create favorable conditions for China’s influence campaigns. States and localities often prioritize the creation of jobs and economic growth, with less concern for national security risks. Beijing appeals to such economic interests to shift attitudes, open doors for China and Chinese entities, and foster relationships that can offset growing resistance in Washington to Beijing’s global agenda. Success on this score brings strategic and security returns for the CCP. It also obscures the extent to which short-term boons from economic cooperation may lead to long-term losses for the United States by hollowing out key industrial sectors and gradually offshoring jobs and economic growth.

China’s Growth Spurt Ends. What’s Next?

Derek Scissors

The time of outperforming Chinese growth is coming to an end. There will be a temporary growth surge whenever the global economy can put COVID-19 in the rearview mirror and, of course, the Communist Party can announce whatever it pleases whenever it pleases. But advocates for Chinese economic policies have lost the long-standing debate over whether the country will get old before it gets rich.1 The most likely answer for when the People’s Republic of China (PRC) will be truly rich is “not while any of us are alive.”

There are two reasons. The first has to do with reality: The PRC faces an unprecedented aging challenge that will sharply intensify late this decade, has serious debt problems, and prefers wealth-killing approaches to innovation and rural land. This has been clear for some time.2 The second is more recent and regards the central government’s version of reality. It has been willing to report progressively (and remarkably steadily) slowing growth while insisting plenty of jobs are being created, so slowing growth seems harmless.3 There have also been a series of slogans, given credibility by the recently published numbers, deemphasizing growth in favor of other objectives.

China: The Civil-Military Challenge: Volume One of a Graphic Net Assessment

Anthony H. Cordesman, Grace Hwang

There is no simple way to address the complex changes that China’s growing strategic presence and military capabilities pose in competing with the United States and other states. It is clear, however, that China’s capabilities to compete have increased radically in virtually every civil and military area since 1980, and that China has set broad goals for achieving strategic parity and superiority in the future – although its timeframes and definitions of such goals are vague.

The end result is that the United States adopted a new National Security Strategy in 2017 and a new National Defense Strategy in 2018 that both focused on China as an emerging peer threat to the U.S. and as a central focus of its strategy. The Biden administration has not issued revised versions of these documents, but its FY2021 budget submission as well as the testimony of senior U.S. officials to Congress on U.S. strategy and force plans make it clear that China is now a central focus of the Biden administration’s national security planning efforts.

This report is Volume One of a two-part e-book that helps to explain these shifts in China’s strategic position and the reasons why major changes are needed in U.S. strategy. It is entitled, China: The Civil-Military Challenge: Volume One of a Graphic Net Assessment and is available for download at https://csis-website-prod.s3.amazonaws.com/s3fs-public/publication/211115_Cordesman_Civil_Military.pdf?nBk7u7CTjnEQnuZtPRcTyikt_XcgTrLe

China’s Search for Allies

Patricia M. Kim

The United States’ network of alliances has long been a central pillar of its foreign policy—and, as competition with China has intensified in recent years, held up as a major U.S. advantage. The administration of President Joe Biden has put a particular emphasis on allies in its Asia strategy. In its first year, the administration has both strengthened long-standing alliances such as those with Japan and South Korea and put considerable energy into bolstering multilateral partnerships such as the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue (with Australia, India, and Japan) and the newly formed AUKUS pact (with Australia and the United Kingdom).

China, by contrast, has shied away from formal alliances, based on its supposedly distinct view of international relations and a pragmatic desire to avoid the risks of entanglement. But there are signs that Beijing’s resistance is starting to erode. In more recent years, it has upgraded its strategic partnerships and expanded military exchanges and joint exercises with countries including Russia, Pakistan, and Iran. These partnerships are still a far cry from U.S. alliances (which involve mutual defense clauses, extensive troop-basing agreements, and joint military capabilities). But they could in time form the basis of China’s own alliance network if Chinese leaders come to believe that one is necessary for both its deterrent effect and its operational value to prevail in a long-term competition with the United States and its allies. Such a development would mark a true turning point in this era of U.S.-Chinese competition and pave the way to an alarming new world with lower thresholds for regional and great power conflict.

New details emerge on Beijing's hypersonic weapons test last summer

Shawna Chen

Gen. John E. Hyten, vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, warned in an interview with CBS News that the Chinese government's hypersonic weapons test last summer could jeopardize the world order's current nuclear balance.

Why it matters, via Axios' Zachary Basu: Weapons experts caution that China's hypersonic missile test is not a technological game-changer in the same way that Sputnik was. But the fact that the breakthrough caught U.S. intelligence by surprise is raising alarms in Washington, especially in the context of the Chinese government's rapid nuclear expansion and military modernization efforts.

Hypersonic weapons are harder to detect on radars compared to intercontinental ballistic missiles, which has led to concern about the possibility of a surprise nuclear attack on the U.S.

The test last summer launched a missile at more than five times the speed of sound.

Readiness for Open Systems: How Prepared Are the Pentagon and the Defense Industry to Coordinate?

Gregory Sanders

The Issue

Driven by advances in commercial technology and increasing investments by competitors, the Department of Defense (DOD) is attempting a transition as to how it acquires new technology by following in the footsteps of commercial open systems like IBM personal computers or the Android smartphone. This method of acquisition would rely on open standards and interfaces to increase competition and make integrating innovative technology easier. However, success will disrupt present business models and requires navigating a difficult coordination problem. To better understand how to make this transition a success, this paper presents a framework for evaluating the DOD’s readiness for Modular Open Systems Approaches (MOSA).

Why MOSA? Why Now?

MOSA is an attempt to change the way the DOD buys weapon systems by making it easier to incorporate technology from a range of sources. Modularity refers to the segmenting of systems into tightly integrated systems or components that are loosely coupled with one another. Standardization in weapons goes back to the interchangeable parts of the early industrial age. Today software is increasingly important and often a module itself. For modern complex weapon systems, segmenting into modules is commonplace. Still, the interfaces between modules, the overall system, and the modules themselves are often proprietary with the intellectual property (IP) and data rights owned by the manufacturer or integrator. Openness means that key interfaces instead use an architecture that is freely available and ideally in widespread use. This increases competition and, through standardization, reduces the transaction costs of developing and bringing together modules.

Inflation the key monetary policy variable in wake of COVID-19

Paola Subacchi

The year 2021 will prove to be memorable for the global economy.

After the deep recession caused by COVID-19 in 2020, the recovery is now in full swing. Projections point to a solid 5.9% increase in the world's real GDP for 2021. Growth is due to slowdown in 2022 but should remain robust.

Still, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development estimates that only the United States and China, among its 38 member countries, will have recovered from the losses by the end of this year, with their economies larger by about 1% and 9% respectively than in 2019. Europe and Japan, on the other hand, will not have recovered, with their economies 1.5% below and almost 3% below where they were in 2019.

People and countries are now gradually returning to pre-COVID life mingling with each other in many different social contexts but the question on everybody's mind is how long it will take to switch economic policy back to normal and remove the support that monetary policy has been providing since March 2020.

The New Economics: How the U.S. and Its Allies Are Rewriting the Rules on Spending and Trade

Felicia Wong

Amid the arduous fight in Congress over President Joe Biden’s economic agenda, it is easy to lose sight of a more important development: the dramatic shift in economic thinking now taking place not only in the United States but also among many of its allies and partners. In its ambitious economic plan, the Biden administration is doing more than trying to push through a large-scale stimulus. It is also departing from a long-dominant neoliberal consensus—including the position of the Democratic Party itself for much of the past few decades—in favor of a sweeping new vision for economic growth based on privileging work over wealth and planet over profit. In doing so, the administration is moving in tandem with new and recently reelected governments in Canada, Germany, and Japan that are pursuing expansive policies aimed at tackling inequality and decarbonizing the economy.

Meanwhile, leaders in France, Italy, and the United Kingdom are moving in a similar direction, using the levers of state power to promote human welfare and green industries. Many of these leaders are also using the power of EU and national institutions to tame and tax the digital monopolies that are increasingly wreaking havoc with democracies worldwide. Indeed, for the last six years and especially since the pandemic began, leaders and policymakers in many developed democracies have concluded that deeper structural reforms are necessary to counter the right-wing populism that brought former U.S. President Donald Trump and other political figures to power.

The Disinformation Business is Booming


Disinformation, the practice of blending real and fake information with the goal of duping a government or influencing public opinion, has its origins in the Soviet Union. But disinformation is no longer the exclusive domain of government intelligence agencies.

Today’s disinformation scene has evolved into a marketplace in which services are contracted, laborers are paid and shameless opinions and fake readers are bought and sold. This industry is emerging around the world. Some of the private-sector players are driven by political motives, some by profit and others by a mix of the two.

Public relations firms have recruited social media influencers in France and Germany to spread falsehoods. Politicians have hired staff to create fake Facebook accounts in Honduras. And Kenyan Twitter influencers are paid 15 times more than many people make in a day for promoting political hashtags. Researchers at the University of Oxford have tracked government-sponsored disinformation activities in 81 countries and private-sector disinformation operations in 48 countries.

Russia’s ‘Irregular War’ Against NATO’s Eastern Flank Must Be Confronted

Andrew A. Michta

If you believe you are engaged in strategic competition while your adversary is engaged in a war against you, for all practical purposes you have already lost. This adage could well be applied to NATO as its leaders stare at the unfolding crisis along the alliance’s eastern border, with thousands of migrants from the Middle East and Central Asia herded by the Belarusian government and pushed to force their way into Lithuania, Latvia, and Poland.

This crisis has been building for weeks now. Precious little attention was paid to it in Western media initially, perhaps because it was happening somewhere “out there” on the borders – to paraphrase a twentieth-century British politician – of faraway countries many in Europe know little about. But we are now at a stage where this assault on Europe’s eastern flank can no longer be ignored.


Anne Applebaum

The future of democracy may well be decided in a drab office building on the outskirts of Vilnius, alongside a highway crammed with impatient drivers heading out of town.

I met Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya there this spring, in a room that held a conference table, a whiteboard, and not much else. Her team—more than a dozen young journalists, bloggers, vloggers, and activists—was in the process of changing offices. But that wasn’t the only reason the space felt stale and perfunctory. None of them, especially not Tsikhanouskaya, really wanted to be in this ugly building, or in the Lithuanian capital at all. She is there because she probably won the 2020 presidential election in Belarus, and because the Belarusian dictator she probably defeated, Alexander Lukashenko, forced her out of the country immediately afterward. Lithuania offered her asylum. Her husband, Siarhei Tsikhanouski, remains imprisoned in Belarus.

Here is the first thing she said to me: “My story is a little bit different from other people.” This is what she tells everyone—that hers was not the typical life of a dissident or budding politician. Before the spring of 2020, she didn’t have much time for television or newspapers. She has two children, one of whom was born deaf. On an ordinary day, she would take them to kindergarten, to the doctor, to the park.

If we falter the Balkans will explode again

William Hague

There are two things I have never forgotten about my first meeting with Vladimir Putin in the Kremlin, alongside David Cameron a decade ago. One was that I thought he had the coldest eyes I had ever seen in the world — and since I have met many of the world’s greatest villains, warlords and tyrants that is saying something. The other was that he simply wanted to sell us a lot of gas. More than any other issue, he kept coming back to gas. Didn’t we need more of it? How about a special pipeline to Britain? Wouldn’t that keep our people warm?

Even then, when western nations were trying to “reset” relations with Moscow, we declined this offer. Putin presides over a pyramid

How Putin Is Pushing Back Against the West

Nikolas K. Gvosdev

At the end of 2020, I was conferring with colleagues about the likely trajectory of relations between Russia and the West. One was quite optimistic that things were about to “break our way.” Russia was coping with the collapse of energy prices and the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic. Expectations were high that opposition leader Svetlana Tikhonovskaya and mass protests would send Alexander Lukashenko on the same pathway into obscurity in Russian exile as his Ukrainian counterpart Viktor Yanukovych in 2014, and that Belarus would belatedly start down the same pro-Western course as its larger neighbor to the south. Despite the impeachment distraction, Ukraine was set to benefit from new U.S. weapons and training that would contain and roll back the separatists in the east by using the same techniques so adeptly wielded by Azerbaijan in its clash with Armenia. In addition, hopes were high that promised reforms might solidify Ukraine’s entrance into Euro-Atlantic institutions, starting with NATO. Eleventh hour U.S. sanctions would also deal the death blow to the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, forcing Russia to continue using Ukraine as a transit country for energy exports to Europe, while new sources of energy and new infrastructure projects would further reduce Russian sales. Deprived of income and coping with domestic challenges, the Kremlin would have to become much more accommodating of Washington’s preferences.

The Battle for Coal at COP26

Nikos Tsafos

On November 4, 2021, 45 countries and the European Union pledged to “accelerate a transition away from unabated coal power generation.” The statement is broad, more of a declaration than a firm commitment. Several countries signed on with reservations. The world’s six largest coal consumers—China, India, the United States, Russia, Japan, and South Africa—did not sign, although they consume 80 percent of the world’s coal. Yet the pledge is noticeable because it sketches the broad outlines for the coal agenda out of the 26th UN Climate Change Conference of Parties (COP26) in Glasgow, a conference that ended with a high-profile disagreement on whether to call for a “phase out” of coal or a “phase down.” As such, it deserves a deeper parsing.

Blueprint for Phasing Out Coal

The first three clauses of the declaration capture different elements of the coal phaseout challenge. The first is a call to “rapidly scale up . . . deployment of clean power generation and energy efficiency measures.” The second clause sets target dates: major economies should phase out coal in the 2030s, everyone else in the 2040s. And the third clause aims to halt construction of new unabated coal-fired power plants, to stop the issuance of permits for such facilities, and to cease “new direct government support for unabated international coal-fired power generation.” This is the trifecta of phasing out coal.

Deepfakes, cryptocurrency and mobile wallets could become potential cyber threats in 2022

  • The impact of the covid-19 pandemic is giving way to new opportunities for cybercrime.
  • Some new methods include deepfakes, cryptocurriences and mobile wallets.
  • Expect an increase in supply chain attacks.

While cybercriminals continue to leverage the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, they will also find new opportunities to attack such as deepfakes, cryptocurrency and mobile wallets.

In 2021, cyber criminals adapted their attack strategy to exploit vaccination mandates, elections and the shift to hybrid work, to target organizations’ supply chains and networks for them to achieve maximum disruption.

The sophistication and scale of cyberattacks will continue to break records and we can expect a huge increase in the number of ransomware and mobile attacks. Looking ahead, organizations should remain aware of the risks and ensure that they have the appropriate solutions in place to prevent them without disrupting their normal business flow. To stay ahead of threats, organizations must be proactive and leave no part of their attack surface unprotected or unmonitored or otherwise risk becoming the next victim of sophisticated, targeted attacks.

America Is Still Outpacing China on Drone Technology

Kris Osborn

Here's What You Need to Remember: While it is certainly possible that Chinese robots are more capable in terms of autonomy than what may have appeared in the newspaper report, however advanced degrees of autonomy or man-machine networking were not mentioned as potential mission options presented by the robots.

The visible Chinese effort to fast-track new carriers, fighter jets, destroyers and armored artillery vehicles shows no sign of slowing down. Now, a lesser-known but equally impactful commensurate initiative can be seen in China’s apparent attempt to match or exceed the U.S. explosion in the production and development of surface, air and undersea drones.

China also appears to be accelerating the development of land and undersea robots to conduct forward surveillance, deliver supplies, search for targets and even launch attacks. A Chinese newspaper report says the People’s Liberation Army “Pathbreaker” robot is a small, 1.2-ton unmanned vehicle able to hit speeds of thirty kilometers. It is a tracked vehicle, meaning it is configured for rugged terrain and off-road missions and intended for what the Chinese paper calls “armed reconnaissance, fire assault, patrol, search and destroy operations, as well as strike guidance in complicated terrain at high mobility.”

Hacking For Defense planners look to expand beyond military problems

Leo Shane III

For the last five years, Army veteran Alex Gallo and the Common Mission Project have been partnering with military officials to use teams of college students in solving a host of equipment and personnel challenges at the Defense Department.

Now the team wants to expand that idea to the rest of the world’s problems too.

“We’re doing programs on hacking for the oceans and the environment and hacking for climate and sustainability at five different universities already,” said Gallo, co-founder and executive director of CMP. “In society today, we solve too many problems in silos. This is a way to bring different groups together in a constructive problem solving process.”

The group’s Hacking For Defense program has drawn headlines in recent years for its unusual approach to Pentagon problems, with programs at more than 50 college campuses, including England.

Should the United States Be Worried About China's Drones?

Kris Osborn

Here's What You Need to Remember: While it is certainly possible that Chinese robots are more capable in terms of autonomy than what may have appeared in the newspaper report, however advanced degrees of autonomy or man-machine networking were not mentioned as potential mission options presented by the robots. This leads to the question as to whether China can in fact truly compete with current U.S. Army unmanned systems technology.

The visible Chinese effort to fast-track new carriers, fighter jets, destroyers and armored artillery vehicles shows no sign of slowing down. Now, a lesser-known but equally impactful commensurate initiative can be seen in China’s apparent attempt to match or exceed the U.S. explosion in the production and development of surface, air and undersea drones.

China also appears to be accelerating the development of land and undersea robots to conduct forward surveillance, deliver supplies, search for targets and even launch attacks. A Chinese newspaper report says the People’s Liberation Army “Pathbreaker” robot is a small, 1.2-ton unmanned vehicle able to hit speeds of thirty kilometers. It is a tracked vehicle, meaning it is configured for rugged terrain and off-road missions and intended for what the Chinese paper calls “armed reconnaissance, fire assault, patrol, search and destroy operations, as well as strike guidance in complicated terrain at high mobility.”

Can a Military Be Both Accountable and Environmental?

Jacob Parakilas

The COP26 climate conference in Glasgow, which concluded last week, saw the expected skirmishes between governments, industries, and campaigning groups around the crucial questions of how to mitigate the worst impacts of a rapidly-warming world. The debates have focused primarily on carbon emissions by sector and questions of fairness between the developed and developing world. But the backdrop is the increasingly sharp strategic competition defining world politics.

That competition, as with its historical antecedents, is taking on an increasingly militarized character. Militaries are themselves a substantial contributor of carbon emissions, but attempting to bring those emissions down may put two overarching harm reduction goals at odds with each other.

The most straightforward way to reduce military carbon footprints would, of course, be a sharp, across-the-board reduction in military expenditure and ambition — if not full disarmament than at least a substantial reversal of the current upward trajectory of military expenditures. But despite the talk of collaboration in Glasgow, the world isn’t becoming more harmonious, and few if any leaders are willing to take the plunge on unilateral disarmament. Realistically, the question is whether militaries can be made more carbon-neutral, not whether they can be unmade.

Back to the Basics: U.S. Military Strategy Must Win the Global Commons

James Holmes

Here's What You Need to Remember: In other words, a global maritime power like the United States must guard North America while preserving its command of the maritime commons that connects North America to embattled zones.

The congressionally-chartered National Defense Strategy Commission set tongues a-wagging in November 2018 by issuing a novella-length report entitled Providing for the Common Defense.

Here’s a tip: read the whole thing.

Nor is it any mystery why the report generated buzz. The commissioners postulate that “Americans could face a decisive military defeat” if the U.S. armed forces tangle with, say, Russia in the Baltic Sea or China in the Taiwan Strait. That’s dark language and marks quite a turnabout from the triumphalism of the post-Cold War years, when Americans talked themselves into believing history had ended in Western triumph underwritten by perpetual U.S. maritime supremacy.