28 November 2021


 Maj Gen P K Mallick, VSM (Retd)

Microsoft released its second annual Digital Defense Report, covering July 2020 to June 2021. This year s 134 pages report is quite detailed, with sections on cybercrime, nationstate threats, supply-chain attacks and Internet of Things attacks. The report includes security suggestions for organizations with remote workforces. It has a section describing the use of social media to spread disinformation. The report is a compilation of integrated data and actionable insights from across 

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.

S-400s, CAATSA Complicate India-US Ties

Rajeswari Pillai Rajagopalan

India appears to be going ahead with the controversial Russian S-400 air defense system. Dmitry Shugaev, director of Russia’s Federal Service for Military-Technical Cooperation (FSMTC), recently stated that Russia has started the scheduled delivery of S-400s to India. The delivery of these missiles brings with it the risk of possible sanctions by the United States under the 2017 Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA), which will create considerable difficulties in India-U.S. ties.

India inked the $5.43 billion deal with Russia for five squadrons of S-400s in October 2018. The delivery of the first squadron of the S-400 system will be completed by the end of the year. In October, the chief of the Indian Air Force (IAF), Air Chief Marshal (ACM) V.R. Chaudhari, commented that the “first regiment should be inducted within this year.” The deliveries appear to have been accelerated ahead of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s visit to India and summit meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

After the deliveries are completed, they will be assembled for “acceptance trials” in the presence of Russian officials. Indian press previously reported that IAF officers were already in Russia undergoing training in assembly, operations, and maintenance of the S-400 systems. According to sources, the first squadron is to be deployed in the western sector. Specifically, the S-400s are meant to address India’s “inadequate” radar and air defense coverage.

Afghan Insurgents Are a Dead End

Kai Thaler

Following the United States’ withdrawal of ground forces from Afghanistan and the Taliban’s renewed control, members of Congress and Afghan opposition actors called for supporting new anti-Taliban rebellions. The National Resistance Front, now based in Tajikistan, has been ramping up lobbying efforts in Washington in recent weeks, seeking support for a new fight against the Taliban. Amid a humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan, renewed repression of women and minorities, and doubts about the Taliban’s pledges not to offer a base to al Qaeda or other terrorist organizations, some policymakers might be increasingly tempted to give insurgents a chance.

That would be a mistake, repeating U.S. errors of creating partnerships with unaccountable and potentially abusive or corrupt armed groups in Afghanistan and elsewhere. It would also potentially violate international law. If the Biden administration wants to fulfill its promises to value human rights and shore up a rules-based international order, it should cut off aid to nonstate armed groups in Afghanistan and beyond.

As I show in new research, state ties to armed groups vary depending on the balance of power between them and what strategic aims are pursued. States may delegate to armed groups to take on tasks the government would carry out itself if not for political or resource constraints. In the 1980s, the United States organized and supplied Contra rebels in Nicaragua in place of a politically unpopular military intervention. Or states may sponsor loosely connected armed groups aligned with their ideological goals, like former Libyan dictator Muammar al-Qaddafi arming and training Basque and Northern Irish separatist groups.

Could the Taliban Get India and Pakistan to Cooperate?

Umair Jamal

Pakistan has agreed to allow India to send humanitarian assistance in the form of 50,000 metric tons of wheat to Afghanistan through an overland route, as millions of Afghans face hunger and starvation under Taliban rule.

Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan announced the decision earlier this week when he chaired the first Apex Committee meeting of the newly established Afghanistan Inter-ministerial Coordination Cell (AICC) in Islamabad. Pakistan’s foreign office has conveyed the decision formally to Indian authorities.

The development is significant for a number of reasons.

Afghanistan is on the brink of a massive food shortage. The World Food Program (WFP) recently said that the country faces a shortage of 2.5 million tons of wheat and that only percent of its people has “enough to eat.”

IP21018 | India and Afghanistan: Constructing Strategic Options

Sinderpal Singh


The fall of Kabul to the Taliban in August 2021 initially alarmed many in India, who saw it as a major strategic victory for Pakistan. Since then, however, recognition that India has several levers to keep the diplomatic pressure on the Taliban regime has led to more optimistic assessments of the longer-term implications of the Taliban’s re-emergence for India.


The Taliban’s ability to wrest control of Kabul in mid-August 2021 surprised and alarmed several governments. India’s leaders seemed particularly stunned, and Indian analysts bemoaned the grave setback to broader Indian interests. The event was viewed as a major victory for Pakistan, with comparisons drawn to the Taliban victory in 1996. China’s seeming public endorsement of the Taliban’s seizure of power in Kabul further entrenched this view within India.

Following these early apprehensions, however, there have been more sanguine observations on the longer-term implications for India arising from the Taliban’s capture of Kabul. These can be grouped into three main points. The first relates to India’s expanded options in the context of the changing geopolitics within the Middle East as they relate to Afghanistan. The second speaks to the change in Pakistan’s role within the United States’ regional strategic calculus. The third observation relates to the challenges involved in constructing a new political settlement in Afghanistan, which could work to India’s advantage by the hold-up of international recognition for the Taliban.

Afghan Refugees Get Cold Welcome in Pakistan

Betsy Joles

Qader, 43, worked for a government-affiliated news channel in Nangarhar province, and two of his nephews served in the Afghan National Army, which he feared would make his family potential Taliban targets. To make matters worse, Qader and other relatives faced pressure from his cousins to join the group. “Nobody from our side agreed,” he said in late September. “We said we cannot trust them.”

Under normal circumstances, the trip to Peshawar, Pakistan, is a four-and-a-half-hour drive from Qader’s house in Khogyani District, Afghanistan. Qader left home with his wife, their five kids, and his brother’s family, traveling toward the Torkham border crossing. Along the way, he learned the Taliban were stopping vehicles on the road. So he rerouted, cutting down to Kandahar and over to Spin Boldak, where they crossed into Pakistan. Days after their journey began, Qader and his family finally reached Peshawar.

For decades, Pakistan has received displaced Afghans, creating one of the most protracted refugee crises in the world; it hosts 1.4 million officially registered refugees and as many as 3.5 million displaced Afghans in total, according to government estimates. But since the Taliban takeover, Pakistan has pushed back against new arrivals from Afghanistan, tightening its border restrictions and deporting some people who have crossed over without visas. Many Afghans are being turned back from borders they previously crossed with ease.

What’s Ahead for Venezuela’s Crisis?

There is no end in sight to the political and humanitarian crises that have overwhelmed Venezuela and spilled over into neighboring countries for the past several years. In fact, the protracted fight for control of the country has only meant additional suffering for its citizens, who are already living in the most dire conditions outside of a warzone in recent memory.

Even if the political stalemate were to be broken, there are no easy solutions for fixing the country’s economy, which was too dependent on oil and collapsed as global crude prices fell. But President Nicolas Maduro has shown more interest in consolidating his grip on power than making needed structural changes. The result has been growing shortages of food and basic supplies, widespread power outages and alarming rates of malnutrition. The crisis has also decimated the country’s health care system, leaving Venezuela at the mercy of the coronavirus pandemic, which is likely to further exacerbate all of its challenges.

A demonstrator wearing a gas mask and carrying a shield calls for others to join him in confronting Venezuelan National Guardsmen blocking the entry of U.S.-supplied humanitarian aid, La Parada, Colombia, Feb. 25, 2019 (AP photo by Fernando Vergara).

Chinese Communist Party Will Outlive United States: State Media Editor

Source Link

The outspoken chief editor of a nationalistic Chinese newspaper tweeted on Wednesday that the country's ruling party would definitely outlive the United States, in a viral response to a quip by JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon.

Hu Xijin of the Global Times quoted a headline in which Dimon said his Wall Street investment bank would outlast the Communist Party of China (CPC).

"I made a joke the other day that the Communist Party is celebrating its 100th year—so is JPMorgan. I'd make a bet that we last longer," the chief executive told a Boston College event on Tuesday. "I can't say that in China. They are probably listening anyway," he said in comments that he quickly withdrew the next day.

With Dimon's words having been plastered all over Chinese social media service Weibo, where nationalistic sentiment has left users particularly sensitive to remarks that could be regarded as insulting to China or its ruling party, Hu wrote in a post: "[Dimon] should think long-term. Because I bet the Communist Party of China will definitely outlive the United States of America."

The Drums of War in Taiwan and Ukraine


STOCKHOLM – The vastness of Eurasia is becoming bracketed by belligerence. On the western front, Russia has deployed a growing number of military units to the regions near its border with Ukraine, inviting a flurry of speculation about its motives. And in the east, China’s behavior vis-à-vis Taiwan has grown increasingly worrisome. A widely reported war-game study by a US think tank concludes that the United States would have “few credible options” were China to launch a sustained attack against the island.

In both cases, the aggressor’s strategic intent is clear. Chinese President Xi Jinping’s government has made a point of calling for Chinese “reunification,” regarding that as a fitting conclusion to the Chinese civil war. After World War II, the Communist Party of China took over the Chinese mainland but failed to eliminate Chiang Kai-shek’s Nationalists. They retreated to Taiwan (and some smaller islands), which has remained outside CPC rule ever since.

Sometimes, China’s official declarations about “reunification” have stipulated that it should be achieved peacefully; but on other occasions, China’s leaders have dropped the adverb. Moreover, in expanding and equipping its military, China has focused specifically on building its capacity to subdue Taiwan if it ever tries to declare independence.

AI Is Shaping The Future Of War – Analysis

Amir Husain

Several years ago, before many were talking about artificial intelligence (AI) and its practical applications to the field of battle, retired United States Marine Corps General John Allen, and I began a journey to not only investigate the art of the possible with AI, but also to identify its likely implications on the character and conduct of war. We wrote about how developments in AI could lead to what we referred to as “Hyperwar” — a type of conflict and competition so automated that it would collapse the decision action loop, eventually minimizing human control over most decisions. Since then, my goal has been to encourage the organizational transformation necessary to adopt safer, more explainable AI systems to maintain our competitive edge, now that the technical transformation is at our doorstep.

Through hundreds of interactions with defense professionals, policymakers, national leaders and defense industry executives, General Allen and I have taken this message to our defense community—that a great change is coming and one that might see us lose our pole position. During the course of these exchanges, one fact became increasingly clear; artificial intelligence and the effects it is capable of unleashing have been gravely misunderstood. On one hand, there are simplistic caricatures that go too far; the Terminator running amuck, an instantiation of artificial intelligence as a single computer system with a personality and a self-appointed goal, much like the fictionalized Skynet. Or an intelligent robot so powerful and skilled that it would render us humans useless. On the other hand, there are simplifications of AI as a feature; trivializations in the name of practicality by those who cannot see beyond today and misconstrue AI’s holistic potential as the specific capabilities of one or two products they have used, or most likely, merely seen. I would hear from some that fully autonomous systems should (and more amusingly, could) be banned and this would somehow take care of the “problem.” Others thought the proponents of artificial intelligence had overstated the case and there would never be synthetic intelligence superior to humans in the conduct of war.

Why Has North Korea Struggled to Normalize Trade With China?

Troy Stangarone

According to recent reports, North Korea and China are close to resuming trade. However, this isn’t the first time since the pandemic began that reports have suggested the two sides were close to restarting trade over land routes. Each has ultimately proved a false start.

With the rest of the world having largely resumed trade over a year ago, why is North Korea struggling to normalize trade?

Prospects were looking up earlier this year. There had been multiple indications that North Korea might loosen its border restrictions to allow more trade. After bottoming out in May, trade also seemed to be increasing. For four straight months trade increased and hit a new pandemic high in September. However, trade between North Korea and China declined by 40 percent in October.

China's disappearing ships: The latest headache for the global supply chain

Laura He

Hong Kong (CNN Business)Ships in Chinese waters are disappearing from industry tracking systems, creating yet another headache for the global supply chain. China's growing isolation from the rest of the world — along with a deepening mistrust of foreign influence — may be to blame.

Analysts say they started noticing the drop-off in shipping traffic toward the end of October, as China prepared to enact legislation governing data privacy.

Usually, shipping data companies are able to track ships worldwide because they are fitted with an Automatic Identification System, or AIS, transceiver.

This system allows ships to send information — such as position, speed, course and name — to stations that are based along coastlines using high-frequency radio. If a ship is out of range of those stations, the information can be exchanged via satellite.

But that's not happening in the world's second-largest economy, a critical player in global trade. In the past three weeks, the number of vessels sending signals from the country has plunged by nearly 90%, according to data from the global shipping data provider VesselsValue.

UAE chalks up diplomatic successes with uncertain payoffs

James M. Dorsey

Headline-grabbing, fast-paced moves reinforce the UAE's position as a regional power. They highlight the UAE's willingness to chart a course that increasingly competes with Saudi Arabia, the Gulf's regional behemoth; is at times at odds with US policy; and scoffs at assertions of human rights abuse by activists and Western politicians.

The UAE has denied the allegations. “Major General Al-Raisi is a distinguished professional with a 40-year track record in community and national policing. As the President of Interpol, he will remain committed to protecting people, making communities safer and providing global law enforcement the latest tools in the fight against sophisticated criminal networks,” the UAE embassy in London said.

Erdogan Has Never Been in This Much Trouble

Steven A. Cook

In Turkey, it seems, the chickens are coming home to roost. It has been a terrible few months for the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) and President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Turkey is isolated internationally, the economy continues to deteriorate, there are questions about Erdogan’s health, and his and the AKP’s poll numbers do not look good. To a variety of observers and the Turkish opposition, the AKP’s crack-up is coming.

The Republican People’s Party, the Good Party, and others are confident enough that they are advocating for an early election, making plans to ditch Erdogan’s executive presidency and return Turkey to its hybrid parliamentary-presidential system. This may be premature: an iron law of the AKP era has been to never count Erdogan out. Still, the situation for the president and his party looks bleak.

Among all of Turkey’s problems, it is the deteriorating economic situation that is the Turkish leader’s most serious predicament. As a result of Erdogan’s gross mismanagement, the lira has lost around 75 percent of its value against the dollar in the last decade, 45 percent in the past year, and 15 percent alone on Tuesday. It is true that Turkey—defying the odds and a global pandemic—grew its economy by 1.8 percent in 2020. But the overall economic picture for average Turks is grim: Inflation is running at 20 percent; unemployment is 14 percent; and the gap between wealthy and poor has increased. In response to the lira’s collapse, a number of major Turkish banks closed their online operations and people turned out in the streets to protest in parts of Ankara and Istanbul portending possible further and larger demonstrations.

‘The game has changed’: VMware exec says defense industry faces destructive cyberattacks, belligerent foes


WASHINGTON: Not content to just steal secrets, foreign threat actors targeting the defense industrial base are increasingly becoming more belligerent when encountered by incident response teams, actively engaging cyber defenders and sometimes turning to destructive attacks when pressed, according to VMware Head of Cybersecurity Strategy Tom Kellermann.

“The game has changed,” Kellermann told Breaking Defense in a recent interview. “The adversary now doesn’t just want to break into defense contractor x and steal national secrets. The adversary wants to break into defense contractor x and then use their digital transformation to attack government agencies.”

VMware, usually viewed as an IT infrastructure company best known for its cloud computing and virtualization tech, counts federal government agencies, NATO countries, and Five Eyes partners among its cybersecurity clients. It’s one of the original 15 companies in the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency’s new Joint Cyber Defense Collaborative, or JCDC.

Israel Unveils 'Revolutionary' New Scorpius Electronic Warfare System

Paul Iddon

Israel has recently unveiled a new electronic warfare system called Scorpius that its manufacturer, Israel Aerospace Industries, says has capabilities that will revolutionize electronic warfare.

Asked about the namesake of this system, Gideon Fustick, Marketing VP EW Group at IAI, said it intends to convey “the sense of an innocuous thing that actually has a very powerful sting.”

“We call it ‘soft protection.’ It’s an offensive weapon that doesn’t send out missiles. It’s not a hard-kill system,” Fustick told me. “And yet it is very effective in engaging and disabling enemy systems.”

Here’s why IAI thinks this new system is in a league of its own.

‘A whole new generation in electronic warfare.’

Russia’s Move

George Friedman

Russia is not a trustful country – for good reason. Germany invaded it twice in the 20th century, France invaded it once in the 19th century, and Sweden once in the 18th century. These were not the nibbling incursions that Europe was used to, but deep penetrations meant to capture the Russian heartland and permanently subordinate it. Each century saw an assault on Russia that threatened its existence. It’s hard to forget something like that, and it’s hard for Russia not to be suspicious of moves on its periphery. There is nothing in Russian history to cause its leaders to think otherwise.

This attitude makes Russia a threat to its neighbors. The West saw the collapse of the Soviet Union as Russia simply giving independence to foreign countries. The Russians, stunned by what had happened, were prepared to view it this way as well. Moscow assumed the best from the West. It assumed that the newly independent countries would be neutral and would therefore not be a threat to Russia. The dynamics of history are not so orderly, and over time the Ukrainian government and Russia drifted closer. This threatened to undermine the Western vision of the post-Soviet world – as well as the expectation of many Ukrainians.

Make Russia Take Responsibility for Its Cybercriminals

Michael John Williams

Last week, CIA Director William Burns met with Russian President Vladimir Putin’s top national security advisor in Moscow in an effort to reduce U.S.-Russian tensions. The meeting was a good idea—but failed, again, to establish credible red lines when it comes to Russia’s newest form of state-tolerated organized crime—cyberattacks.

Three successive U.S. administrations have failed to develop any form of doctrine to adequately address increasingly problematic cyberattacks from unattributable sources that plague U.S. businesses and can even endanger lives. Instead, the private sector has been left to deal with ever more destructive and dangerous ransomware attacks unassisted, and Russia continues to do nothing about cyberattacks originating from Russian territory. The U.S. government has been loath to get involved, but existing international law and history offer us compelling arguments for the U.S. government and its NATO allies to issue a doctrine of cyber-responsibility that takes the fight to the Kremlin, rather than allowing Russia and other actors such as North Korea and Iran to walk all over the United States and its allies.

Marine Corps University Press (MCUP)

Limited Wars in the Periphery: The Dilemma of American Military Assistance

The Integration of the Evidence-Based Framework and Military Judgment and Decision-Making

Evaluating Military Cross-Cultural Training Programs

The American and Joint Origins of Operational Depth in the Meuse-Argonne Campaign

Exploring Evidence-Based Management in Military Planning Processes as a Critically Appraised Topic

The Desert War: Marine Corps Aviation in Desert Storm, January-February 1991

How Can the United States Move toward Gender-Neutral Special Forces?: Lessons from the Norwegian Military

The Operational Warfare Revolution: How Operational Art Can Prepare the Marine Corps for an Era of Great Power Competition

The Finely-Honed Blade: Clausewitz and Boyd on Friction and Moral Factors

Military Competition between the United States and China in the South China Sea: A Critical Analysis

To Win without Fighting: Defining China's Political Warfare

Policy, Perception, and Misperception: The United States and the Fall of the Shah

Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps: Its Foreign Policy and Foreign Legion

Lake Chad: Changing Hydrography, Violent Extremism, and Climate-Conflict Intersection
Water Scarcity in Brazil: A Case Study

Freedom’s “Flying Snake”: The AIM-9 Sidewinder in the Cold War

Totalitarian Cyber-Creep: Mark Zuckerberg In The Metaverse – OpEd

Binoy Kampmark

Never leave matters of maturity to the Peter Panners of Silicon Valley. At their most benign, they are easily dismissed as potty and keyboard mad. At their worst, their fantasies assume the noxious, demonic forms that reduce all users of their technology to units of information and flashes of data. Such boys (they are mostly boys), felt somehow left out by the currents of reality, their own world excruciatingly boring and filled with pangs of childhood disturbance and regret. So they sought vengeance upon us all: imposing a global regime of fairly useless cyber architecture that saps intelligence in the name of experience, destroys imagination even as it celebrates it, and luxuriates in a lowly prurience.

Facebook, in particular, has been trying to push such a model using a tactic all companies in distress have sought to adopt: rebranding. Be it the scandals disclosed by the Facebook papers, the scrutiny over the use of algorithms by the company, the inability to combat galloping misinformation on its platforms, or the stark amorality of the company’s founder, Mark Zuckerberg, the chance to seek the metaverse has presented itself.

Enter, then, the world of Meta Platforms, aided by the virtual reality headset company Oculus, which was acquired by Facebook in 2014 for $2 billion. Astute watchers then would have been the strategy afoot at the time; most, however, thought the decision misguided and destined to flop.

It’s Time to Stop Paying for a VPN

Brian X. Chen

I’m done with paying for a virtual private network, a service that claims to protect your privacy when you’re connected to a public Wi-Fi network at the local coffee shop, the airport or a hotel.

For more than a decade, security experts have recommended using a VPN to shield your internet traffic from bad actors who are trying to snoop on you. But just as tech gadgets become outdated over time, so does some tech advice.

The reality is that web security has improved so much in the last few years that VPN services, which charge monthly subscription fees that cost as much as Netflix, offer superfluous protection for most people concerned about privacy, some security researchers said.

Many of the most popular VPN services are now also less trustworthy than in the past because they have been bought by larger companies with shady track records. That’s a deal-breaker when it comes to using a VPN service, which intercepts our internet traffic. If you can’t trust a product that claims to protect your privacy, what good is it?

Layered Leadership and Apple’s Rise to the Top

Strategic leadership should emanate from multiple tiers in a company or a country, not just the top rung. While the enterprise’s strategic intent is conveyed by the most senior leader in the organ­ization, it is then the responsibility of the managers populating the next tier to convey the same message downward and for their own subordinate managers to do the same in turn, with strategic leadership cascading down the company pyramid in what can be termed layered leadership.

In formulating his principles for leading Apple Inc., founder and CEO Steve Jobs had put innovation at the center. One of his specific agendas was to create a “digital hub” for every private residence. He foresaw homes with linked music players, appliances, cameras, computers, telephones, security systems, and video recorders; Mac computers and their proprietary software would serve as connectors. All of the devices would be multifunctional, easy to operate, and aesthetically appealing. A new operating system, OS X, developed at a reported cost of $1 billion, would furnish the required interoperability and adaptability to subsequent generations of Intel chips.

Meanwhile, Jobs introduced devices for the digital hub one by one, each becoming a game changer in its own right. The iPod, for instance, displaced MP3 digital audio players with a smaller gadget that allowed for internet updating and a choice of songs. Serving as a first node in an ecosystem of related services, including iTunes, the iPod affirmed the potential of the digital hub strategy, knitting varied features seamlessly. Observers attributed Apple’s build­out of the iPod and the hub concept more broadly to the vision and creativity of the chief executive, but it also depended on the leadership of layers well below him.

An ‘Act of Creativity’

Consider the role of Ken Kocienda, an Apple software developer whom the company had asked to create a virtual keyboard for the new iPhone. Given the mobile device’s modest dimensions, the keys on the iPhone’s virtual keyboard would have to be tiny, and for that, devising an autocorrect function would be essential so that users could type quickly and not have to backtrack to fix mistakes. Another challenge was how to cram letters, numbers, and symbols onto the phone’s slender keyboard. Here, Kocienda’s team came up with a toggling function, allowing users to easily switch the keyboard from letters to numbers to symbols, or even the Greek alphabet. Users readily embraced both innovations.

Kocienda’s leadership of his engineering team’s decisions — along with Jobs’s leadership of his top team’s decisions — proved foundational for the iPhone’s launch. “The iPhone was an act of creativity,” Kocienda said, but “it wasn’t inevitable.” Rather, it was an “accumulation of many small choices by a group of people working together closely in a specific time and place.”

When Jobs introduced Apple’s iPhone in 2007, he anticipated it would be transformative for the company and even the industry. “Every once in a while, a revolutionary product comes along that changes everything,” Jobs said. “Today, we are introducing three revolutionary products in this class. The first is a widescreen iPod with touch controls. The second is a revolutionary mobile phone. The third is a breakthrough internet communication device. These are not separate devices, it is one device and we are calling it the iPhone.” The resulting product became one of the most successful technology combinations of all time, accounting for as much as half or more of Apple’s annual revenue for years to come.

Having successfully created the keyboard and autocorrect function for the iPhone, Apple then assigned Kocienda the role of developing a keyboard for the next big thing, the iPad. Kocienda brought in Bas Ording, a software designer who had already invented inertial scrolling, where a finger swipe can make a screen slide quickly at first but then slow down, a function that users found appealing and one that has become a standard feature on virtual screens. Kocienda’s group sought to understand whether the new iPad keyboard should be a full replica of the Mac keyboard or just a subset of the Mac’s keys. Kocienda worked with Ording and the team on a range of design concepts, converging on two prototypes. The first, a virtual replica of the full keyboard, would be familiar to Mac users. The second, which allowed users to switch the virtual keyboard from lowercase letters to capital letters and back, would be less familiar. They tested a range of sizes for the virtual keys and a variety of ways for correcting typos.

Layered Leadership at its Finest

To determine which keyboard was better, Kocienda demonstrated his options to a room of top executives, including Jobs himself, in a conference room called Diplomacy at Apple’s headquarters in Cupertino, California. As Kocienda entered the room, he saw Henri Lamiraux, vice president of engineering for iOS, the operating system created by Apple for its mobile hardware, including the iPhone, iPod, and iPad. Lamiraux reported directly to Jobs, coordinating engineering for the software and hardware interfaces for Apple products, and he served as a conduit between senior­most management and teams of engineers. Also present were Scott Forstall, senior vice president for iOS software engineering, and Greg Christie, head of the Human Interface Team. Here was the top layer, the big brass.

“Behind the launch of both the iPhone and the iPad were several layers of leadership, with the CEO resolving the final issues but engineers … reaching important decisions at their own levels.”

Kocienda displayed the two main options to them: the full Mac­ like keyboard with smaller keys and the switchable keyboard with larger keys. In earlier demonstrations with other executives, Kocienda had found little agreement on the preferred option. As Jobs and the top team looked on now, Kocienda opened two screens on a prototype iPad. “There are two designs,” he explained. “One has more keys, like a laptop keyboard, and the other has bigger keys,” like “a scaled-­up iPhone. We are thinking of offering both. Try the zoom key to switch between them.”

Flipping from one to the other, Jobs tested each of the versions several times. Revealing no emotion or preference yet, he turned to Kocienda. “We only need one of these, right? Which one do you think we should see?” Kocienda was taken aback, having assumed that this was a choice for the upper layer, not his own. With time for only a moment’s reflection, he shot back, “I’ve started to like the layout with the bigger keys. I think I could learn how to type on it.” He added that the autocorrect feature already on the iPhone could easily be incorporated here. Jobs responded, simply but fatefully, “OK. We’ll go with the bigger keys.”

Behind the launch of both the iPhone and the iPad were several layers of leadership, with the CEO resolving the final issues but engineers like Kocienda reaching important decisions at their own levels. The formula for the layered leadership included clearly defined goals for each, frequent communications among the layers, a shared tempo to keep all layers on track, and continual feedback up and down the layers. For navigating the several layers, Kocienda invented his own roadmap: “Remove distractions to focus attention where it needs to be. Start approximating your end goal as soon as possible. Maximize the impact of your most difficult effort. Combine inspiration, decisiveness, and craft to make demos.” Also, listen “to feedback from smart colleagues,” and then, “creative selection moves us step by step from the spark of an idea to a finished product.”

Who’s afraid of China’s nukes?


In 1932, John Chamberlain lamented “the unwillingness of the liberal to continue with analysis once the process of analysis had become uncomfortable.” He was critiquing the way Wilsonian liberals drifted into World War One.

Socialists and reformist progressives had thought seriously about both the causes of the war and the realistic consequences for American democracy if the nation opted in. Liberals, he charged, couldn’t stomach such analysis and instead idealized the upside of succumbing to war fever.

I think about Chamberlain’s quote a lot because America has a habit of making (and making worse) what it fears. Why? Because security experts often have shallow or poorly thought through theories underneath their foreign policy advocacy.

The interest of the national security crowd is in examining symptoms, not deeper causes. They can’t stomach the wider frame on current events. They can’t countenance the policy implications of root-cause analysis. That is, they can’t stand the possibility that America’s choices undesirably affect the behavior of its rivals.

Algorithmic power, NATO and artificial intelligence

Simona R. Soare

NATO defence ministers have formally adopted the Alliance’s first artificial intelligence (AI) strategy. The document lays out six ‘baseline’ principles for ‘responsible’ military use of AI – lawfulness, responsibility and accountability, explainability and traceability, reliability, governability, and bias mitigation. It also provides an insight into key implementation challenges.

The strategy is meant to provide a ‘common policy basis’ to support the adoption of AI systems in order to achieve the Alliance’s three core tasks – collective defence, crisis management and cooperative security. The strategy is also designed to challenge established Alliance processes for procurement, technology development and wider engagement with the private sector and academia.

Only a summary of the strategy has been made public. However, it reveals four critical obstacles to implementation that NATO will face: reconciling the objectives of member nations; securing sufficient political and financial support; bridging any disconnect between the Alliance’s policy and operational units; and managing the transnational bureaucracy that will implement the strategy.

Feeling Terrified? The Emotions of Online Violent Extremism

Julian Droogan and Catharine Lumby


This Element presents original research into how young people interact with violent extremist material, including terrorist propaganda, when online. It explores a series of emotional and behavioural responses that challenge assumptions that terror or trauma are the primary emotional responses to these online environments. It situates young people's emotional responses within a social framework, revealing them to have a relatively sophisticated relationship with violent extremism on social media that challenges simplistic concerns about processes of radicalisation. The Element draws on four years of research, including quantitative surveys and qualitative focus groups with young people, and presents a unique perspective drawn from young people's experiences.

1 Introduction

One autumn Friday in 2019 shortly after lunchtime, an Australian man Brenton Tarrant strapped a camera to his helmet, linked the feed to Facebook Live, and went on to carry out New Zealand’s worst-ever terrorist attack. Inspired by far-right Islamophobia and white supremacism, the livestreamed attack eventually claimed the lives of fifty-one adults and children attending two mosques in the city of Christchurch, while leaving a further forty injured. Friday, March 15 became, in the words of Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, “one of New Zealand’s darkest days” and the perpetrator became New Zealand’s first convicted terrorist. That day made history in another sense. The Christchurch attack, as it came to be known, was not the first terrorist attack to be livestreamed across social media to a global audience, but it was the first to go viral.