19 November 2017

Win the Battle Lose the War

Win the Battle Lose the War

                                                                      -    Maj Gen P K Mallick,VSM (Retd)

During the later part of Obama Administration Ashton Carter was appointed as Secretary Defence. He had a very impressive track record, his CV spoke for him.

Very quickly he grasped the major issues confronting Dept of Defence. He initiated the Third Offset Strategy. Third Offset Strategy was an attempt to offset shrinking U.S. military force structure and declining technological superiority in an era of great power competition—a challenge that military leaders have not grappled with in at least a generation. The third offset investments fall into six targeted areas: anti-access and area-denial, guided munitions, undersea warfare, cyber and electronic warfare, human-machine teaming, and wargaming and development of new operating concepts. Much of it is weighted toward the Air Force and Navy. Tradeoffs were made among many programs to finance the new emphasis on next-generation breakthroughs that might begin to restore American military technological superiority toward the latter end of the 2020s.

In late 2016, then-Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter outlined a broad strategy to address five “immediate, but distinct, and evolving challenges.

The inherently human nature of war has changed little over many millennia. Influence operations, propaganda, disruptions of order, political subversion, psychological operations, etc., have been part of conflict since time immemorial. Nonetheless, forces are afoot that may affect the character of war (how wars are conducted) and strategic competition in complicated ways across the “continuum of conflict.” They include:

• The pace of technological change

• The “Fourth Industrial Revolution” and the social and societal effects of accelerating, interacting economic developments

• The “diffusion and convergence of technology,” including the democratization of air power and commercial developments in command, control, communications, computers, intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (C4ISR) that are extending such capabilities beyond the sole province of governments

• The growing dependency of all advanced societies on cyberspace and the rapidly expanding “attack surface” there

• The volume, velocity, veracity, and value of information (IV4) generated by social media and the 24x7 news cycle

• The effectiveness of multidimensional, hybrid forms of warfare and measures short of armed conflict in coercing adversaries and undermining potential opponents

These are explored in more detail below.

Security Developments Outside DoD Control

The Velocity of Technological Change

Exceptional increases in science and technology capabilities are likely over the next 15 years, and this will have social as well as operational effects. The rate of technological change is important. If a capability, say computing power per unit cost, doubles every 18 months, in five years there will be a 900 percent increase, in ten years 10,000 percent, and in 15 years 100,000 percent. Some predict the rate of growth will slow, which it may. On the other hand, dramatic increases in certain types of capabilities, such as in quantum cryptography, may be introduced. In any case, linear projections based on present conditions cannot work, however comfortable they may be.

Moreover, these changes are occurring in many fields. For example, in biotechnology, the cost of sequencing a human genome dropped a millionfold in about ten years; robotics and autonomous vehicles soon will be ubiquitous; additive manufacturing (such as 3-D printing) grows more sophisticated daily; nanotechnology is entering widespread use, from batteries to medicine to explosives; and the energy that underpins everything is undergoing several different types of transformation. Changes and interactions across all these domains—biotech, robotics, additive manufacturing, information, nano­tech, and energy—need to be considered in national security planning.

The Fourth Industrial Revolution

Dr. Klaus Schwab, founder of the World Economic Forum, posits that the world is in the midst of a “Fourth Industrial Revolution,” characterized by a fusion of technologies that is blurring lines among the physical, digital, and biological spheres. The scope of the adjustments and their systems-wide impact will be massively disruptive. Such forces are two-edged, providing important collective benefits to society but also negatively affecting many individuals through social turbulence and the loss of jobs.

The disruption of labor markets is likely to increase inequality within societies.13 This poses severe challenges for advanced economies and potentially even more serious effects in youth bulge areas where the workforce may have only modest skills, as well as in underserved parts of the developed world. Such areas already may be prone to conflict, which further undermines development. By any definition, these can create security problems. In 2015, a million refugees nearly overwhelmed Europe’s political structures. Many times more people are likely to be affected in the future.

Governments can influence these trends but not control them. The boundaries are blurring between war and peace, civil and military, combatant and noncombatant, domestic and foreign, public and private, and physical, digital, and biological. Long-established state monopolies and well-defined professional spheres no longer ensure stability and security. In a world of distributed power, the responsibility for defending citizens is shifting from state to private hands. Changes under way can challenge the social compact of large parts of societies and affect “why, how, and whom do we fight, and who will pay?” The potential for domestic unrest, scapegoating, radical nationalism, and protectionism is high unless governments and the private sector are skillful in managing these transitions. The track record is not encouraging.

The Diffusion and Convergence of Technology

Many important capabilities are being developed outside government control. For example, T. X. Hammes notes that the emergence of “small, smart, and many” capabilities in the hands of small states, or nonstate actors, can significantly raise the costs of intervention by advanced militaries, even as deglobalization may reduce the incentives for intervening in the first place. Open-source sensors, such as commercial space imaging, autonomous systems, mobile phones, wearable devices, and the Internet of Things (IoT), plus data analysis and decision-support capabilities, are proliferating relentlessly, which means many sophisticated C4ISR capabilities no longer are the sole province of governments. This will challenge anyone’s ability to move and mass forces undetected in the not-so-distant future.

Dependence on Cyberspace

All societies, especially advanced ones, are becoming more dependent on cyberspace. The cyber “attack surface” also is expanding. Increasingly sophisticated hacks, denial-of-service attacks, misinformation, etc., reinforce that there is no room for complacency about cybersecurity. The exceptionally fast deployment of insecure IoT components particularly challenges the ability to protect “smart” critical infrastructures. Moreover, within the OODA (observe, orient, decide, act) loop, the “observe” and “orient” phases increasingly are derived from electromagnetic sensors and processed information, while the “decide” and “act” phases are supported by information processing. This means cyber can dominate the OODA loop in any domain (land, sea, air, and space).

The Volume, Velocity, Veracity, and Value of Information

British journalist Nik Gowing pointed out as early as 2009 that few organizations, military or civilian, public or private, can deal effectively with the volume and velocity of information generated by social media and the 24x7 news cycle. These pressures have only accelerated in the years since and now are compounded by “fake news” and other disinformation campaigns that add doubts about the content’s veracity and value. A result is to amplify widespread feelings of social and financial insecurity, concerns that nearly anyone can be affected by cyber attack or cyber crime, and perceptions that there are no safe havens.

Hybrid Forms of Warfare and Gray Zone Conflicts

There are several different definitions of hybrid warfare within a continuum of conflict. Some focus on the “integration of military means and non-military tools, including propaganda and cyber activity.” Others emphasize “the fusion of advanced capabilities with irregular forces and tactics.” Related to hybrid warfare are gray zone conflicts, where actors employ “sequences of gradual steps to secure strategic leverage. These efforts remain below thresholds that would generate a powerful U.S. or international response, but forceful and deliberate, calculated to gain measurable traction over time.” Russian efforts in Crimea and Eastern Ukraine and China’s in the South China Sea are examples. Such integrated, long-term, multidimensional campaigns cross the boundaries of policy, technology, sociology, and economics and greatly complicate decision making and effective response.

The “center of gravity” in future conflicts may be shifting from combat forces and key military nodes to the living rooms and mobile devices of the citizens of the engaged states. Traditional combat power certainly will be needed, but national security establishments also must consider how to help sustain their citizens’ resilience to diverse and persistent hybrid warfare attacks and measures short of armed conflict.

Countering—and conducting—such campaigns needs to be a core part of the national security portfolio, and planning needs to extend beyond DOD to national levels.

Prepared for War?

The United States must maintain effective combat capabilities in land, sea, air, space, and cyberspace, but are these capabilities sufficient for the sorts of future conflicts we may face? Consider a notional campaign against USA with the following components, each of which is feasible today:

• For a few thousand dollars, some drones are printed, along with explosively formed penetrators for each. The drones are fitted with smart phones and told to fly to waypoints until they reach an airport, and then to look for the intersection of wing roots and fuselages on large transport aircraft, set down, and detonate. In an afternoon, U.S. strategic airlift in Afghanistan could be destroyed at Bagram or global air traffic could be disrupted, if not halted. Congress and the public rightly will demand to know why we were not prepared.

• Components of critical national infrastructures are disrupted or destroyed by unattributed cyberattacks on a recurring basis. Connections between industrial control systems and the burgeoning IoT (like smart power meters) make it almost impossible to stop these attacks. Utilities such as power and water become unreliable. Smart cities will be especially vulnerable.

• Nationwide ransomware attacks disrupt medical facilities and transportation organizations and distract public and private decision makers at key moments.

• Unattributed paramilitary operations, conducted by well-armed soldiers or sailors with no national markings, undermine security at borders or maritime boundaries.

• Disinformation operations, amplified by social media and compounded by diverse “nothing is true, anything is possible” themes, weaken national resolve and undermine the confidence of target populations in the correctness of many of their long-held beliefs.

Left uncountered, such campaigns could, over time, undercut the credibility of governments, the resolve of nations, the norms of international behavior, the core of the international security structure, and the foundational tenets of Western democracy itself.

How do we counter an adversary whose compunctions about using disinformation, lethal autonomy, and biological weapons are less severe than our own? How can our multi-hundred-billion-dollar defense establishment protect us from such challenges? How do we keep our populations and institutions, and those of our allies, from being worn down by such long-term, multifaceted disruptions? These are key questions for nations, not just militaries.

There are signs the nation is beginning to pay more attention to the challenge of gray zone conflict. In the past few years, a great deal more thinking and writing has been devoted to the hybrid warfare/gray zone topic. President Barack Obama signed the “Countering Disinformation and Propaganda Act” into law in December 2016. The Department of Homeland Security and the Federal Bureau of Investigation have released their report on Russian malicious cyber activity. But a much more sophisticated and nuanced approach will be necessary.

Members of the Sea Services can contribute in many ways. The sine qua non is to maintain effective combat power that addresses the full spectrum of the threat, not just “the wars for which we are most prepared or most inclined.” Few things would undermine the public’s confidence faster than an event that showed the nation’s very large defense budgets had not bought adequate capability. Every service member needs to understand that hybrid warfare/gray zone conflicts are part of his or her fight, so the CNO’s challenge to achieve high-velocity learning at every level is essential. Admiral James Stavridis’s recommendations to build intellectual capital, work with coalition partners, and leverage knowledgeable players are valuable in any environment.

Dr. Schwab lays out a daunting but essential challenge from the Fourth Industrial Revolution perspective: “We must develop a comprehensive and globally shared view of how technology is affecting our lives and reshaping our economic, social, cultural and human environments.” Decision makers need to break free of traditional linear thinking and “think strategically about the forces of disruption and innovation shaping the future.” A strategic perspective is needed, but it must be well articulated and broadly supported. The challenges we face transcend our traditional concepts of defense. Citizens will not be persuaded by the pronouncements of national security experts alone. A national strategy needs to be built through whole-of-society approaches that engage different groups with messages that will resonate with them (as Singapore did in countering the SARS epidemic in 2005). We also will need to work through the legal parameters within which the nation can operate in today’s information space. We have done this before, when information assets were integral elements of national power during the Cold War. Appropriate capabilities need to be developed again, recognizing that they must be tailored to the rapidly evolving environment and may be very different from those of yesteryear.

Without such a strategic framework we are likely to find ourselves in a conflict we are not prepared to win. 

[https://www.realcleardefense.com/articles/2017/11/16/prepared_for_the_battle_but_not_for_the_war_112642.html ]

** Has Not Backed Down on Its Guam Threat

Is North Korea really "backing down" on its plan of action for a missile test in the direction of Guam? The country's military briefed President Kim Jong Un on Aug. 14 on the drafted plan during his visit to the Strategic Force of the Korean People's Army, according to a report in the official Korean Central News Agency. The North Korean president then urged Washington to stop its aggressive posturing or Pyongyang "will make an important decision as it already declared."

The new geopolitics of trade in Asia

Mireya Solís

The APEC Leaders’ summit meeting, which took place last week in Danang, Vietnam, crystallized the new geopolitics of trade in Asia. The leaders of the three largest economies in the world—the United States, China, and Japan—each redefined the roles their nation will play in sustaining, torpedoing, or adjusting the postwar trading order. Little is assured on how free trade and multilateral undertakings will fare as the three giants reposition themselves in their leadership bid. The only certainty ahead for us is that it will be a bumpy ride.


These 5 Things Could Challenge China's Rise

Jonathan WardReed Simmons

During his presidency, George W. Bush famously asked Hu Jintao, then president of China, what kept him up at night. Hu replied that it was job creation: how would he be sure that he could provide employment for the twenty-five million people entering the workforce every year? Hu’s China was a different era. The “peaceful rise of China” has given way to the “great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation,” and, at the 19th Party Congress last month, Xi Jinping unequivocally stated that China will now be “moving closer to center stage.”



For 70 years, the U.S. military has dominated the seas and skies of East Asia, enjoying almost total freedom of movement and the ability to deny such freedom to enemies. Now, however, China has acquired advanced missiles and launch platforms that may be able to destroy U.S. ships, aircraft, and bases within 500 miles of China’s territory and disrupt the satellite and computer networks that underpin U.S. military power throughout East Asia. Many U.S. analysts fear that China could use these anti-access/area-denial (A2/AD) capabilities to hold the U.S. military at bay while enforcing its expansive territorial claims, which include most of the East and South China Seas. Left unchecked, some fear, China will eventually become the hegemon of East Asia and start projecting military power into other regions, including the Western Hemisphere.

German Help for Raqqa

Moritz Koch

Germany is contributing €10 million to clear mines in the ruined Syrian city of Raqqa, a former Islamic State group stronghold. But the US wants Berlin to do much more. The exodus from Raqqa began early on the morning of October 12. The northern Syrian city had been under the control of the extremist group known as the Islamic State for several years and now, faced with certain defeat, fighters belonging to the brutal group were leaving. Emerging from the ruins of what was once the Caliphate’s capital, camouflaged men boarded buses and trucks heading out of the city, bringing their families and weapons with them.

Trump - The Merchant of Weapons

President Trump has turned into a merchant of weapons, coaxing nations to buy American weapons and warfare systems. Inevitably, modern U.S. presidents are obligated to support the manufacturers of warfare systems. The Republican presidents do it openly whereas the Democratic presidents do it through deceptive quietude. Trump has been most assertive in his rambunctious ways to push the sale of lethal weapons. (Recall how Trump, the realtor, boasts fooling Libya’s Gadhafi by overcharging him for pitching a tent on Trump’s New York City estate.) The U.S. warfare establishment sees war as a necessary evil that must always remain the prime factor in foreign policy.

Warfare Establishment



On Tuesday, President Donald Trump returned to Washington after a marathon tour of Asia. His trip spanned two multilateral summits, five countries, and set an important record: It was the longest Asia trip undertaken by any U.S. president in 25 years. Trump’s trip was a remarkable opportunity to restore to Asia the rare leader-level time and attention so often trained on the Middle East and Europe. And yet, although time was for once abundant, strategy was absent, and the trip was largely a missed opportunity.

World War 3: North Korea to make CYBER-WARFARE its weapon of mass DESTRUCTION

Source Link

Cyber-warfare could become the hermit dictatorship’s new weapon of mass destruction as they threaten the US.The US Department of Homeland Security said Kim Jong-un’s regime has already targeted the aerospace industry, financial services and critical infrastructure in the US and globally. A statement from DHS and the FBI said: “The North Korean government malicious cyber activity noted in these alerts is part of a long-term campaign of cyber-enabled operations that impact the U.S. Government and its citizens.

Russia 'tried to hack' Britain's national grid and tried to penetrate telecoms companies

By Katie French and Larisa Brown

Russia 'tried to hack' Britain's national grid and tried to penetrate telecoms companies including BT, it has been claimed. National Cyber Security Centre chief Ciaran Martin will confirm in a speech today the a major assault on British major power companies ordered by the Kremlin. The bombshell reveals how Russia has successfully targeted media organisations and at times, has even brought down websites. The expert's comments come as the new defence secretary Gavin Williamson warns Russia has increased its number of submarine patrols in the UK waters. 

Hypersonic Missile Nonproliferation

by Richard H. Speier, George Nacouzi, Carrie Lee, Richard M. Moore

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Research Questions

Army Chief of Staff says cyber warriors need to adapt to new threat environment


The Army Chief of staff and its Commander of Cyber Forces believe that increased adaptability will help fortify cybersecurity tactics as more IT specialists and cyber warriors enter the force and address new threats. However, the two also acknowledged the difficulties the Army continues to face in developing the structures within the service to recruit and recognize cyber and IT talent. “We’re not going to get it right...what’s important is we get it less wrong than our enemies,” Gen. Mark Milley said when discussing how the Army would need to continue adapting to face technological change in cyber warfare in remarks given at the Army’s International Conference on Cyber Conflict.

NASSCOM–DSCI Annual Information Security Summit [AISS 2017]

The 12th edition of NASSCOM – DSCI Annual Information Security Summit [AISS] is scheduled on 13th, 14th, and 15th December 2017. With digital advancements all over the world, cyber security is the need of the hour and AISS serves as the perfect platform for the amalgamation of ideas and convergence of leaders where India Meets for Security. AISS provides a unique platform to engage, deliberate and extend the cyber security paradigm to greater heights. It’s a confluence of security thought leaders and rich content insights to emancipate the possibilities and opportunities of this cyber world. This year the agenda leaps beyond technology know-hows to inspire actions and change the way people approach security.

The rich know how to sidestep responsibilities

Rajrishi Singhal
Source Link

The Paradise Papers show how the wealthy and powerful use tax havens—some do it legitimately, others for re-routing illegal wealth—to avoid or evade tax liabilities Industrialized nations are historically responsible for greenhouse gas emissions. They have a moral obligation to help poor countries tackle climate change. Photo: Getty Images Three developments over the past few weeks provide pointers to how the rich, whether individuals or nations, behave when it comes to meeting obligations.

FBI hacking ops could lead to strained relationships with foreign countries

By: Armin Haracic

The operation in question was the 2015 FBI Operation Pacifier investigating the child pornography site Playpen. The site was situated in the dark web, and used the software Tor to mask the physical location of servers and site visitors. Playpen’s administrator’s were found to be operating in the U.S, though when the FBI gained access to the site’s server, the bureau kept it operational. The idea was to utilize a network investigative technique, an exploit and malware in order to grab the identifying information of Playpen users from their computers and use that to subpoena internet service providers in revealing Playpen visitor identities.

Muslim Hacktivists Declare All-Out Cyber-War on ISIS

Tara Seals

The hacktivist group known as Di5s3nSi0N said that it will attempt to “wipe them off the internet” on November 17, which is Friday, by attacking all ISIS-related websites and servers in an offensive that it’s calling #SilenceTheSwords. Di5s3nSi0N has already exposed an ISIS mailing list after carrying out cyberattacks against ISIS’s Amaq news agency’s website. The list has 2,000 email subscribers listed, and is no doubt of great interest to Western intelligence agencies.

Why AI Is the ‘New Electricity’

Just as electricity transformed the way industries functioned in the past century, artificial intelligence — the science of programming cognitive abilities into machines — has the power to substantially change society in the next 100 years. AI is being harnessed to enable such things as home robots, robo-taxis and mental health chatbots to make you feel better. A startup is developing robots with AI that brings them closer to human level intelligence. Already, AI has been embedding itself in daily life — such as powering the brains of digital assistants Siri and Alexa. It lets consumers shop and search online more accurately and efficiently, among other tasks that people take for granted.

Hacking Secrets: WikiLeaks Drips Out ‘Gift That Keeps on Giving’

The intelligence community has been taking body blows lately – with Friday’s WikiLeaks dump of CIA hacking tools and a report in The New York Times discusses just how damaging the August 2016 Shadow Brokers thefts from NSA have turned out to be. While there has been no acknowledgment by law enforcement officials on who was directly responsible for the 2016 attack – the perpetrator possibly being Russia, an NSA insider, or both – the tools revealed by the Shadow Brokers have since been used by a number of hostile actors, including possibly North Korea and Russia.

Cyberwar's battlefield: The commercial secto

By: Tidal McCoy

Cyberwar is an unprecedented threat to our national security, our economic security our personal lives, fortunes and sacred democracy. How did it come to be this way? We developed open systems and networks including the internet with the idea that a benign world would use it for their betterment, but as with all technology advances we found that the technology that makes lives easier, more efficient, and better can be turned against us. Today, much as the arena of cyberspace has morphed into this same Heaven-Hell configuration.

We’re Losing Our Chance to Regulate Killer Robots


Scores of countries are gathering at the United Nations this week to discuss lethal autonomous weapon systems – essentially, robots that would pick their own targets. This marks their fourth year of debate with little to show for it; the group does not even have a shared working definition of “autonomous weapon.” Meanwhile, the technology of autonomy and artificial intelligence is racing forward.

18 November 2017

Cyber Security in India – Present Status

Maj Gen P K Mallick, VSM (Retd)

Introduction: The Information Technology (IT) Act in India was promulgated as early as 2000. The Indian Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-In) was established in 2004 and continues to act. India has undertaken several steps at protection, detection and containment of these potentially disruptive attacks against the nation’s networks. Government initiatives such as ‘Digital India’ and ‘Smart City’, and the increasing involvement of the private sector in nation-building endeavours are progressive steps that are also increasing the scope and complexities of cyber security efforts. It is time to review the Indian Cyber Security scene in the present context.

*** International Organizations Are Tools for Powerful Countries

By Jacob L. Shapiro

In the modern world, relations between states operate at two levels. The first is the bilateral level. The U.S. and China, for instance, don’t see eye to eye on issues like Taiwan, the South China Sea, or how to denuclearize the Korean Peninsula. Their representatives communicate with each other to try to address their disagreements. The second is the multilateral level. For example, the United Nations passes a resolution placing economic sanctions on North Korea. Most of the U.N.’s 193 member states do not themselves have a problem with North Korea, but they go along with the sanctions because the U.N. says so.

Products of Geopolitics

Indian economy has bottomed out, set to show gradual acceleration

By: M Govinda Rao 
The finance minister’s unveiling of the Rs 9 trillion economy-booster plan, involving the Rs 2.11 trillion recapitalisation of public sector banks and the Rs 7 trillion investments in roads and highways, has not come a day sooner. With mounting criticisms over the slowing down of the economy, in part due to the adverse effects of the demonetisation and glitches in the implementation of GST, it was necessary for the government to focus on the ways to rejuvenate the investment climate. 

Arming India’s response to Xi Jinping thought

Narayan Ramachandran

The 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (NCCPC) held at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing came to a conclusion last week. The NCCPC is held every five years in the fourth calendar quarter and is technically the apex body of the single party that has ruled China since the Communist revolution in 1949. In recent years, the NCCPC has lasted about a week each time and it is commonly understood that all important decisions are taken before the meeting convenes. The NCCPC is a giant career-defining body that shifts people upwards, laterally or out. Younger members are inducted every five years and older members are retired. The purpose of the NCCPC, at least in the Deng Xiaoping era, was to prevent the concentration of power and to institutionalize succession at different levels of the party. While members to the congress are elected, those making it up the ranks are elevated in an opaque system that most Sinologists are still attempting to decipher.

Oil caution for Indian economy

By Ajit Ranade

Apart from these three ways, India’s current account deficit also came down sharply, since dollar outgo on oil imports reduced drastically. The lower CAD meant that the rupee gained strength. The stronger rupee and relatively higher interest rates attracted record foreign inflows. India’s stock of foreign exchange stands at $400 billion , the highest ever. Foreign funds into India’s corporate bond market are at record highs of more than 2.5 trillion rupees.

China's Belt and Road Initiative Is Stoking Tensions with India

Mitchell J. Hays

The Chinese Communist Party enshrined President Xi Jinping’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) into its constitution at the 19th National Congress in October. This move signaled the depth of the Chinese commitment to its massive infrastructure investment plan and ostensibly prompted last week’squadrilateral meeting between senior officials from the United States, Japan, India, and Australia on the future of a “free and open Indo-Pacific.” India’s participation in the dialogue is yet another signal that China’s method of implementing the BRI is driving a wedge between these neighbors and creating an opportunity for the United States to strengthen its ties with New Delhi.

Qatar Is at the Center of Today's Arab Tangle

David B. Rivkin JrNawaf Obaid

In early November, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s defense forces intercepted a Burkan-2 ballistic missile targeted at Riyadh’s King Khalid International Airport. Yemen’s Houthi-controlled defense ministry has taken the credit for the launch—but given the extent of the Iranian sway over the Houthi military, the real responsibility for the attack lies with Tehran. Since the airport is a civilian installation and, as such, under international humanitarian law, cannot be attacked, the Iranian missile strike is also a war crime.

Raytheon: Arab-operated Patriots intercepted over 100 tactical ballistic missiles since 2015

By: Barbara Opall-Rome 
Source Link

Correction: This story has been updated to accuratedly identify the owners of the 100 Patriots. DUBAI, United Arab Emirates — Patriot batteries owned by Arab partners in the Middle East have intercepted more than 100 tactical ballistic missiles launched from Yemen since the Saudi-led war against Iranian-backed Houthis began in 2015, according to U.S. prime contractor Raytheon. That number, which appears on the Raytheon website, is much larger than publicly available data from think tanks, the Saudi government or the other eight Mideast and African nations fighting in the Saudi-led coalition against Iranian-backed militias loyal to former Yemeni President Al Abdullah Saleh.

Climate Change and Water Woes Drove ISIS Recruiting in Iraq

SAMARRA, IRAQIt was a few weeks after the rains failed in the winter of 2009 that residents of Shirqat first noticed the strange bearded men. Circling like vultures among the stalls of the town’s fertilizer market in Iraq’s northern Salahaddin governorate, they’d arrow in on the most shabbily dressed farmers, and tempt them with promises of easy riches. “Join us, and you’ll never have to worry about feeding your family,” Saleh Mohammed Al-Jabouri, a local tribal sheikh, remembers one recruiter saying.

From Proxy Wars to Direct War Between Iran and Saudi Arabia: America’s Options

by Masoud Kazemzadeh and Penny Watson

The Middle East appears on the precipice of a great war. The fundamentalist rulers of Iran are confident that their goal of establishing a coalition of Shia countries and regions under their control is nearing fruition. Saddam’s invasion of Iran in 1980 was a response to Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini’s policy of overthrowing the ruling regimes in Iraq and much of the Middle East. By 1988, that war ended not by victory of one side over the other, but by the exhaustion of Khomeini’s regime and the recognition that no end was in sight. The 1988 ceasefire has been but a respite in the warmongering policy of the fundamentalists, whereby despite military adventurism, many members of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) still express bitterness over the acceptance of the ceasefire.

If America Topples North Korea and Iran, What Happens Next?

George Perkovich

On October 19, National Security Advisor H. R. McMaster declared that President Donald Trump was not going to accept the North Korean regime threatening the United States with a nuclear weapon. “He just won’t accept it,” McMaster reported. “There are those who have said, ‘What about accept and deter?’ Well, accept and deter is unacceptable.” McMaster was speaking at a conference organized by the Foundation for the Defense for Democracies—a small but influential Washington think tank. Its leaders advocated the invasion of Iraq in 2003 and now provide intellectual fuel for McMaster, CIA Director Mike Pompeo, and others, such as the Wall Street Journal editorial board, which called for “The Regime Change Solution in Korea.”

U.S. government shares technical details on North Korean hacking campaign

by Dustin Volz

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. government on Tuesday issued a technical alert about cyber attacks it said are sponsored by the North Korean government that have targeted the aerospace, telecommunications and financial industries since 2016. The alert, from the FBI and Department of Homeland Security, said North Korean hackers were using a type of malware known as “FALLCHILL” to gain entry to computer systems and compromise network systems.The FBI and DHS had issued a warning in June that squarely blamed the North Korean government for a raft of cyber attacks stretching back to 2009 targeting media, aerospace and financial sectors, as well as critical infrastructure, in the United States and globally.

Making it in America: Revitalizing US manufacturingBy Sree Ramaswamy

James Manyika, Gary Pinkus, Katy George, Jonathan Law, Tony Gambell, and Andrea Serafino
Source Link

The erosion of US manufacturing isn’t a foregone conclusion. The decade ahead—with increased demand, new technology, and value chain optimization—will give the sector a chance to turn around.

US manufacturing is not what it was a generation ago. Its contraction has been felt by firms, suppliers, workers, and entire communities. In fact, the erosion of manufacturing has contributed two-thirds of the fall in labor’s share of US GDP.

Trump, Brexit and Echoes of World War I

Tobin Harshaw 

Of all the famous things Mark Twain never actually said, perhaps none is repeated more often and with less justification than "history doesn't repeat, but it rhymes." And since the election of Donald Trump as president, history as verse has become a farce: He is Hitler, he is Stalin, he is Mao, he is Caligula, he is Cyrus the Great, he is Pharaoh, he is Joe McCarthy, he is Charles Lindbergh, he is King George III (both the sane and insaneversions), he is Julius Caesar, he is Hamlet, he is the Know-Nothing Party, he is Charles Manson, he is Jimmy Carter, he is Andrew Jackson, he is Herbert Hoover, he is Woodrow Wilson, he is -- wait, what: Woodrow Wilson? Seriously?

Security Breach and Spilled Secrets Have Shaken the N.S.A. to Its Core


WASHINGTON — Jake Williams awoke last April in an Orlando, Fla., hotel where he was leading a training session. Checking Twitter, Mr. Williams, a cybersecurity expert, was dismayed to discover that he had been thrust into the middle of one of the worst security debacles ever to befall American intelligence.

Mr. Williams had written on his company blog about the Shadow Brokers, a mysterious group that had somehow obtained many of the hacking tools the United States used to spy on other countries. Now the group had replied in an angry screed on Twitter. It identified him — correctly — as a former member of the National Security Agency’s hacking group, Tailored Access Operations, or T.A.O., a job he had not publicly disclosed. Then the Shadow Brokers astonished him by dropping technical details that made clear they knew about highly classified hacking operations that he had conducted.

Building a Defensible Cyberspace

By Merit Janow

Merit Janow is dean and professor of practice at Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA). Greg Rattray is director of global cyber partnerships and government strategy for JPMorgan Chase. Phil Venables is chief operational risk officer at Goldman Sachs. Attackers in cyberspace have for decades held fundamental advantages, due to factors such as an internet that was never designed for security. As a result, cybersecurity practitioners and policymakers often look at their field with a sense of dramatic fatalism: they look for architectural overhauls to change the landscape, or wait on a deus ex machina technology to rewrite the rules of the game. Worse, some fall into the trap that the best defense is a good offense.

U.S. Takes Fight to ISIS on Cyber Battlefield

Levi Maxey

No terrorist group has capitalized on networked technology more than ISIS, both for recruitment messaging and commanding their fighters on the ground. The internet is their response to asymmetric disadvantage. Where they lack in infrastructure and resources of a state, they use the web to plan attacks, solicit money and reach out to potential members. Meanwhile, however, U.S. Cyber Command has mustered an array of cyber capabilities intended to undermine ISIS's operations and messaging on the web. Cyber Command's campaign against ISIS – and groups that will eventually follow –continues to test their capabilities against terrorists turning to digital technology to advance their own agendas.


Today, 9 November 2017, WikiLeaks publishes the source code and development logs to Hive, a major component of the CIA infrastructure to control its malware. Hive solves a critical problem for the malware operators at the CIA. Even the most sophisticated malware implant on a target computer is useless if there is no way for it to communicate with its operators in a secure manner that does not draw attention. Using Hive even if an implant is discovered on a target computer, attributing it to the CIA is difficult by just looking at the communication of the malware with other servers on the internet. Hive provides a covert communications platform for a whole range of CIA malware to send exfiltrated information to CIA servers and to receive new instructions from operators at the CIA.

Ban on killer robots urgently needed, say scientists

Technology now exists to create autonomous weapons that can select and kill human targets without supervision as UN urged to outlaw them 

The movie portrays a brutal future. A military firm unveils a tiny drone that hunts and kills with ruthless efficiency. But when the technology falls into the wrong hands, no one is safe. Politicians are cut down in broad daylight. The machines descend on a lecture hall and spot activists, who are swiftly dispatched with an explosive to the head.

Weed out bad UN Peace keepers

Richard Gowan

United Nations peacekeepers have a branding problem. The blue helmets, once much-admired symbols of international cooperation, are now routinely associated with venality and incompetence. Regular allegations of sexual abuse have tarnished their reputation, and U.N. forces have struggled to manage surges of violence in trouble spots such as South Sudan. The U.N. has not yet properly come to terms with well-attested claims that Nepali peacekeepers introduced cholera to Haiti, killing thousands.