29 April 2017

*** An American Recession and the World

By George Friedman

A recession in the United States is likely to come in the next two years. It is difficult to determine when a recession will occur based solely on economic activity. Economists argue about the precursors to a recession as a matter of course. I am not making the case that one will happen because I believe I am competent to enter that debate. Rather, I am making the case that one is increasingly likely simply by looking at the frequency with which they occur.

The last recession started in 2007 and ended in 2009. The one before that started and ended in 2001. The two previous recessions ran from 1990 to 1991 and from 1981 to 1982. In these cases, the time between the end of one recession and the start of another was about eight years on average. Between 1945 and 1981, recessions were much more frequent, but obviously something has happened to extend the time between them.

Newspapers are seen for sale at a newsstand Sept. 16, 2008 in New York City. The previous day, the Dow Jones Industrial Average plunged 4.4 percent or 504 points, the worst single-day loss since the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. Mario Tama/Getty Images

*** Security in the Indian Ocean

By Shivshankar Menon 

The world’s centre of political and economic gravity is moving eastwards to Asia. The maritime order in the Indian Ocean is calm but fragile due to the lack of an overarching security architecture and a diverse range of traditional and non-traditional security threats facing the region. Maritime cooperation agreements, naval risk reduction measures and negotiations around code of conduct, policing and applicability of UNCLOS are needed in peace time to keep the Indian Ocean secure in the future.

The importance of the Indian Ocean needs no reiteration especially for a country like Singapore whose existence, prosperity and security was, and always will be, intimately linked to it. It is not necessary to go into the figures to convey the importance of the Indian Ocean to the world’s container trade, oil trade and even the transportation of coal. And yet, the Indian Ocean region as a whole is one of the least economically integrated regions of the world. There is a historical irony here, because thanks to the predictable monsoons, the Indian Ocean didn’t have to wait for the age of steam to be united unlike the other oceans. Deep water sailing developed here first. The 38 states around the Indian Ocean account for over 35% of the world population but only over 10% of the world GDP. Rather strangely, these states are more integrated with the rest of the world then they are with each other.



When I arrived at European Command in Stuttgart, Germany, in 2008, Gen. Bantz Craddock was wrapping up his time as the European Commander. Then, in 2009, Adm. Jim Stavridis took over. After his arrival, some immediate and interesting changes occurred. To begin, Stavridis sent a note to the staff listing over 30 books — from Russian history to the Balkans conflict — for the staff to read, think about and debate. It was the first salvo in a series of blogs and e-mails that he would use to tell the staff what he was reading and, more importantly, where his head was. A few weeks later, books in his reading list showed up on shelves in directorates’ offices, in the base library, and always in his talks he gave when he was in town.

Then, after a few months, Stavridis began inviting authors to give talks at the command: people like Dave Kilcullen on his book The Accidental Guerilla and the classical historian Barry Strauss on his book The Battle of Salamis. No doubt about it, it was an intellectually stimulating place to work.

Now Stavridis is out of uniform, but ever the voracious reader and advocate for self-improvement, he has co-authored a book titled The Leader’s Bookshelf, for which he interviewed 200 general officers and flag officers about their reading habits and their favorite books. And from those interviews he and his co-author, R. Manning Ancell, came up with a list of 50 books that provide lessons for leaders today. I had the chance to chat with Admiral Stavridis about what he is reading, the health of our military reading culture, and all things bibliomania.

** A rogue neighbour’s new rogue act


Periodically, Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) offers fresh evidence that it remains a rogue agency. This includes the year-long saga involving its abduction from Iran of a former Indian naval officer, Kulbhushan Jadhav, who was recently sentenced to death by a secret military court in Pakistan for being an Indian “spy”. The case indeed stands out as a symbol of the thuggish conduct of an irredeemably scofflaw state.

Just because Pakistan alleges that Jadhav was engaged in espionage against it cannot justify the ISI’s kidnapping of him from Iran or his secret, mock trial in a military court. Under the extra-constitutional military court system — established after the late 2014 Peshawar school attack — judicial proceedings are secret, civilian defendants are barred from engaging their own lawyers, and the “judges” (not necessarily possessing law degrees) render verdicts without being required to provide reasons.

The military courts show, if any evidence were needed, that decisive power still rests with the military generals, with the army and ISI immune to civilian oversight. In fact, the announcement that Jadhav had been sentenced to death with the Pakistani army chief’s approval was made by the military, not the government, despite its major implications for Pakistan’s relations with India.

* China has fundamentally altered landscape in South China Sea

China has fundamentally altered the physical and political landscape in the strategic South China Sea through militarisation and large-scale land reclamation, a top American admiral alleged today. Chinese military modernization is focused on defeating the US in Asia by countering US asymmetric advantages, Admiral Harry Harris, Commander of US Pacific Command told lawmakers during a Congressional hearing. “North Korea continues to disregard UN sanctions by developing and threatening to use intercontinental ballistic missiles and nuclear weapons that will threaten the US Homeland. “China has fundamentally altered the physical and political landscape in the South China Sea through large-scale land reclamation and by militarising these reclaimed features,” Harris said.He said China continues to press Japan in the East China Sea, stepping up diplomatic and economic pressure against Taiwan, and methodically trying to supplant US influence with “our friends and allies in the region”.

“Furthermore, China is rapidly building a modern, capable military that appears to far exceed its stated defensive purpose or potential regional needs. China’s military modernisation is focused on defeating the US in Asia by countering US asymmetric advantages,” Harris alleged. China’s military modernisation cannot be understated, especially when one considers the Communist regime’s lack of transparency and apparent strategy, he said, adding that China is committed to developing a hypersonic glide weapon and advanced cyber and anti-satellite capabilities that present direct threats to the Homeland. “China’s near-term strategy is focused on building up combat power and positional advantage to be able to restrict freedom of navigation and overflight while asserting de facto sovereignty over disputed maritime features and spaces in the region,” the top American commander said.

Ground Report: How Bastar Has Been Preparing For The Final Push Against The Maoists

Jaideep Mazumdar

There is a silent revolution happening in Bastar, and not what the Maoists had dreamt of.

And emerging out of the pernicious shadow of the Maoists, people - almost all of them adivasis - have started to aspire for a normal life like the rest of their countrymen.

On 24 April, Maoist terrorists killed 25 CRPF men in the latest atrocity in Sukma district in the Bastar region of Chhattisgarh. Yet, this may be part of the last throes of a failed revolution that has little support anymore from the adivasis it was supposed to liberate. Yes, there is a war on, but the state is winning that war.

Travelling extensively around Bastar, this correspondent saw a remarkable change in mood among the people. I saw hope, I saw aspirations, I saw development that was striking at the roots of the demented Maoist cause.

The land where a lot of blood has been spilled is now nurturing many dreams: farmers wanting to sell their organic produce in faraway cities, children orphaned by Maoists aspiring to become doctors and fashion designers, women widowed by the red terrorists dreaming of becoming entrepreneurs, and a lot more.

CRPF personnel on patrolling duty at Sukma’s Dornapal area where Monday afternoon’s ambush took place 

Four Steps to Winning Peace in Afghanistan

Four Steps to Winning Peace in Afghanistan by Stephen J. Hadley, Andrew Wilder and Scott Worden, Washington Post

The U.S. bombing of an Islamic State stronghold in eastern Afghanistan two weeks ago, and Thursday’s news of two service members killed in an anti-Islamic State operation, are needed reminders of why we still have troops in Afghanistan. In mountains near those that once hid Osama bin Laden, a terrorist group that seeks to attack the United States is again seeking sanctuary.

Last weekend’s devastating attack on an Afghan army base in Mazar-e-Sharif that killed more than 140 soldiers is a grim reminder of the challenges confronting the Trump administration as it completes its Afghanistan strategy review. How can the United States eliminate international terrorist threats emanating from Afghanistan while the Afghan government is fighting a war of attrition in which the Taliban has gained the upper hand?

During a U.S. Institute of Peace visit to Pakistan and Afghanistan this month, we met with senior officials and civil society and business leaders. Based on those discussions, we believe the solution lies in Afghan and regional politics, not just on the battlefield. The United States should shift its strategy to prioritize reaching a political settlement based on the Afghan constitution among all Afghan groups, including the Taliban. In doing so, the Trump administration can move from a policy of avoiding failure to one of achieving success.

Taliban strikes US base in eastern Afghanistan

The Long War Journal
Bill Roggio

The Taliban claimed credit for a suicide attack outside of a US base in eastern Afghanistan that has hosted CIA operatives who are hunting al Qaeda and other jihadists in the region.

A suicide bomber detonated a vehicle packed with explosives at the main gate for Camp Chapman, a base in Khost province that used to be known as Forward Operating Base Chapman. A US military spokesman confirmed to Reuters that the assault took place and it appears casualties are among Afghan forces guarding the perimeter. No US military or civilian personnel are reported to have been killed, and the number of Afghan casualties has not been disclosed.

On Voice of Jihad, the Taliban’s official website, the group claimed that the suicide bombing was followed up by an attack team that was able to enter the base and engage Afghan forces.

“To begin, a brave Mujahid of the martyr team slammed a van filled with explosives into the base, enabling the rest of Mujahideen to get in and engage in a deadly fighting,” the Taliban stated. This version of the operation cannot be verified at this time.

Afghan defense chief quits over attack; U.S. warns of ‘another tough year’ in Afghanistan

Afghanistan’s defense minister and army chief of staff resigned on Monday after the deadliest Taliban attack on a military base, and U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said he was “under no illusions” about the problems facing the country.

Mattis, visiting as the United States looks to craft a new Afghanistan strategy, held talks with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, officials and U.S. commanders, who want more troops.

“2017 is going to be another tough year for the valiant Afghan security forces and the international troops who have stood, and will continue to stand, shoulder to shoulder with Afghanistan against terrorism,” Mattis said.

General John Nicholson, the head of U.S. and international forces in Afghanistan, said he was “not refuting” reports that Russia was providing support, including arms, to the Taliban.

A senior U.S. military official, speaking on condition of anonymity, told reporters that intelligence showed Russia was providing money and machine guns to the Taliban.

Russia has previously denied providing any material or financial aid to the insurgent group, but has said it maintains ties with Taliban officials in order to push for peace talks. Moscow has been critical of the United States over its handling of the war in Afghanistan.


by Shiyana Gunasekara

Shiyana Gunasekara, former Fulbright Scholar in Sri Lanka, explains that “This should be of particular concern to India, since China has used the Colombo South Container Terminal to dock submarines, as opposed to the Sri Lanka Port Authority’s mooring designated for military vessels." 

Is Chinese Growth Overstated?

For analysts of the Chinese economy, questions about the accuracy of the country’s official GDP data are a frequent source of angst, leading many to seek guidance from alternative indicators. These nonofficial gauges often suggest Beijing’s growth figures are exaggerated, but that conclusion is not supported by our analysis, which draws upon satellite measurements of the intensity of China’s nighttime light emissions - a good proxy for GDP growth that is presumably not subject to whatever measurement errors may affect the country’s official economic statistics.

Doubts about the Data

In the eyes of many observers, China’s economy seemed to be entering a tailspin in 2015, with a stock market crash in June followed by a surprise currency devaluation in August. And yet, the official GDP data showed growth slowing hardly at all, ticking down to 6.8 percent at the end of the year from 7.2 percent in 2014. The financial press pounced on these “questionable" statistics, often citing a now-famous 2007 exchange between Premier Li Keqiang, then the Communist Party secretary of Liaoning Province, and U.S. Ambassador Clark Randt. Li admitted that he preferred to assess the state of Liaoning’s economy by averaging the growth rates of electricity production, rail freight, and bank loans, adding that official statistics were “man-made" and “for reference only."

The World's Climate Will Suffer if China Decides to Convert Its Coal Into Natural Gas

Matthew Brown

(BEIJING)—China's conversion of coal into natural gas could prevent tens of thousands of premature deaths each year. But there's a catch: As the country shifts its use of vast coal reserves to send less smog-inducing chemicals into the air, the move threatens to undermine efforts to rein in greenhouse gas emissions, researchers said Tuesday. 

The environmental trade-off points to the difficult choices confronting leaders of the world's second largest economy as they struggle to balance public health and financial growth with international climate change commitments. 

Between 20,000 and 41,000 premature deaths annually could be prevented by converting low-quality coal in the country's western provinces into synthetic natural gas for residential use, according to the findings of researchers from the United States and China published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 

If the gas were used for industrial purposes, fewer deaths would be averted and they would carry a steeper price — a dramatic increase in carbon dioxide emissions, according to the researchers and a separate report released Tuesday by Greenpeace. 

Why China Could be a Game Changer for Global Health

By Charlotte Röhren

Many of today’s greatest risks to global health originate in China. The latest outbreak of avian flu has claimed more than 160 lives since October 2016, triggering memories of earlier pandemics like SARS. The virus H7N9 has not yet spread to other countries, but according to international health authorities, it does have pandemic potential. According to Lloyd Risk Assessment, seven out of 20 cities most at risk of initiating a human pandemic are located in China, with an estimated GDP of $80 billion at risk for those seven cities.

As the world’s biggest consumer of human and animal antibiotics, China, whose health system is notorious for the over-prescription of antibiotics, also poses an increasing threat of spreading antimicrobial resistance. Antibiotic resistant strains of bacteria have become one of the biggest health concerns of our era, triggering urgent warnings from the World Health Organization (WHO).

China is not only a source of many serious global health problems, however. Increasingly, it also offers solutions. China was one of the first countries to provide a significant amount of financial, technical, and human resources to the three African countries that were affected by the Ebola outbreak in 2014. China’s quick and decisive response to this crisis was an important milestone in its growing integration in global health governance.

Reform Eludes Iraq's Oil Sector

After just over 10 years of debate, amendment and repeated rejection in Parliament, Iraq's landmark oil bill is no closer to passing. The Cabinet first introduced the draft law in February 2007 to revamp and jump-start the country's crucial oil and gas sector after the fall of longtime leader Saddam Hussein. And though the intervening decade has done little to address the underlying factors that paralyzed Baghdad's attempt at reforming the energy industry, that hasn't stopped the country's leaders from trying. Since taking office in August, for instance, Oil Minister Jabbar al-Luaibi has steered Iraq's energy policy in a more pragmatic direction. The legislature will soon debate the latest iteration of a bill to reinstate a national oil company to oversee the country's smaller, regional firms, and al-Luaibi recently announced that Baghdad is exploring new contract models for foreign investors. Leaders such as Shiite National Alliance head Ammar al-Hakim, meanwhile, have proposed various plans to reconcile Iraq's different stakeholders to end the country's political gridlock. Even so, the differences between and within Iraq's Sunni Arab, Shiite Arab and Kurdish communities will continue to undermine progress in the oil and gas sector, particularly with elections looming on the horizon.
Mapping Iraq's Discord

If a picture is worth a thousand words, a map is just as valuable in assessing the challenges facing the Iraqi government. The country's oil production, which even at today's depressed oil prices generates roughly 30 percent of its gross domestic product, is concentrated in just a handful of areas. In southern Iraq, the predominantly Shiite province of Basra alone accounts for roughly two-thirds of the country's oil production; were it a country, Basra would be among the world's top 10 oil producers. The Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) in northern Iraq, along with the nearby disputed territories under Kurdish control, produces another 13 percent of the country's oil. And the Sunni-majority regions in central and western Iraq produce little oil to speak of.

Russia Campaigns for the French Presidency

The European Union's busy election season is an important campaign opportunity, not only for the politicians running, but also for the Kremlin. Several leaders and governments around the world have accused Moscow of coordinating disinformation campaigns to influence other countries' political affairs over the past year. The Kremlin quadrupled its spending on media activities abroad in its latest federal budget, and since half its projected expenditures are labeled confidential, Moscow may well be devoting hundreds of millions more to the cause. Vyacheslav Volodin, the speaker of Russia's legislature and a top political strategist, has been stumping across the European Union this campaign season, meeting with representatives of nationalist parties such as Alternative for Germany. And now Moscow has turned its focus toward France as the country gears up for two months of presidential and legislative elections.

Rumors of Russia's meddling in the run-up to the vote, mostly through disinformation campaigns on social media, have been swirling for months. The allegations are not terribly surprising; given its interest in deepening the divides in the European Union as a whole, Russia is likely trying to amplify the political discord in one of the bloc's core member states. But as much as Moscow hopes to sway the outcome of the upcoming votes, or at least disrupt the subsequent political transition, it knows from recent experience that its electoral interventions can only do so much.

America's Innovation Edge Is at Risk

Peter Engelke

It seems a growing number of people refuse to accept living in a post-fact world. Saturday’s March for Science was billed by its organizers as necessary “to defend the vital role science plays" in our health, safety, economies, and governments.”

It is no coincidence that the march was held during the opening weeks of Donald Trump’s presidency, and on Earth Day to boot. Many of the nation’s scientists fear a serious threat to both science itself and federal policies rooted in science. Look no further than the hatchet the Trump administration hopes to take to the federal government’s research and development budgets, or to its goal of eviscerating or weakening evidence-based regulations across a number of areas, most prominently in environmental policy.

How has it come to this? The fact that scientists feel a need to organize mass marches is a sign of something gone very wrong. As in so many areas of contemporary American life, science has become a political football. For whatever reason, a sizable portion of our body politic no longer equates science with progress and prosperity. That sentiment has been years in the making.



At approximately 2:40 in the afternoon of March 22nd, British-born Khalid Masood — a violent criminal who had previously been investigated by MI5 for links to extremists — deliberately drove into pedestrians making their way across Westminster Bridge. He killed a mother on her way to collect her children from school, a pensioner, and two tourists. After crashing the rented vehicle into the gates of Parliament, Masood ran into New Palace Yard and stabbed an unarmed policeman to death before being shot and killed by plainclothes officers. In contrast to other recent attacks in Western nations, which have frequently (sometimes incorrectly) been labeled acts of “lone-actor” terrorism, Masood’s assault was followed by a volley of articles with titles such as “Remote-Control Terror,” “Don’t Bet on London Attacker Being a Lone Wolf,” and “The Myth of the ‘Lone Wolf’ Terrorist.” Analysts were keen to point out that “lone-actors” are very rarely truly alone and that instead they tend to emerge from within broader, extremist milieus. Moreover, what sometimes seems like lone-actor terrorism at first glance turns out to be connected to, if not directed by, foreign terrorist organizations. Yet the official word on Masood is that, regardless of his associations, he acted “wholly alone.” To accurately understand the nature of terrorism today, patient, measured analysis and consistent use of terminology are necessary. It is therefore important to re-examine the concept of lone-actor terrorism and to try and appreciate where it fits within the overall spectrum of jihadist terrorist activity in the West.


Scott Harr

Taking meaningful action against a challenging problem requires first and foremost an understanding of the cause-and-effect relationships that characterize the challenge. While that statement might be so obvious as to border on platitude, inaccurately assessing those relationships has proven to derail more than a few US efforts to come to grips with strategic security challenges. Perhaps nowhere is this clearer today than in the struggles that US policymakers have had in crafting a coherent strategy to defeat ISIS. Like the comically overweight character in the Austin Powers film who declared, “I eat because I’m unhappy, I’m unhappy because I eat,” defense planners have wrestled with the question of whether ISIS’s strength causes a requirement for more US troops, or the prospect of more troops will cause ISIS to grow in strength.

Examining this causality puzzle requires an understanding of ISIS’s grand strategy. As a report by the Institute for the Study of War concludes, ISIS has adopted a three-tiered geographic worldview to advance, protect, and prosecute its global strategic objectives. The first tier involves protecting the borders of its declared caliphate and physical domains in Iraq and Syria. ISIS views this territory as its heartland and prioritizes protecting and preserving its territorial gains for the sake of the group’s credibility and to maintain access to the natural resources that fund its operations and governance. Outside this heartland lies the second tier—the Middle East and North Africa, what the group conceives of as its “Near Abroad.” Here, ISIS aims to destabilize apostate (“Western-friendly”) governments in order to create conditions favorable for recruitment and an eventual replacement with ISIS-aligned governments. Finally, the third tier consists of the rest of the world—the “Far Abroad.” In this space, ISIS aims to export its terrorist activities to foment fear and induce an over-reaching international response. Ultimately, ISIS has a very real “doomsday” end-state in which the Western world is drawn into a military conflict in Syria that ends with Islam’s triumph over Western armies on the fields of Dabiq, a region in Syria where the proposed “Armageddon” battle will take place.



Does the United States have the right tools to tackle criminal groups that use terrorist tactics? Or should the Department of Homeland Security be empowered to lead a new effort against the select few but most viciously violent gangs established in this country?

For special access to experts and other members of the national security community, check out the new War on the Rocks membership.

Just days ago, Attorney General Jeff Sessions fixed his sights sharply on the MS-13 gang and, in particular, the brutal violence and crimes the group has perpetrated — including against children — in the United States. He even suggested the group “’could qualify’” as a terrorist organization. That characterization matters, in part because an official designation as such would expand the toolkit the U.S. government would have at its disposal to combat the group and crack down on its unlawful activities. Designating an entity is further intended to contain and quarantine it globally by spurring others to shun and undermine it. Indeed, this issue of designating gangs reflects debates that have been ongoing in the Justice Department and partner agencies for quite some time.


By Rebecca Farrar 
The boundaries of war have widened significantly with the technological investments each new era brings. Some believe war has lost the boundaries it once possessed, prompting an adoption of what some see to be a new way of war. The idea of “hybrid warfare” has become the 21st century political obsession, and allegedly poses a problem for the United States’ military strategy against growing powers like Russia, China, and even non-state actors like Daesh. While it may be true that the U.S. has reached a difficult point in foreign relations, the notion of “hybrid warfare” poses a fatal threat to U.S. security only so long as it continues to be hyperbolized. By deconstructing the idea of hybrid war, the U.S. can better articulate an effective form of strategy, like budget reform and multilateral cooperation, to address inherent threats without the fervor created by the exaggerated significance given to this dystopic concept.

This Failed Secret Mission Changed Special Ops Forever

On Nov. 4, 1979, approximately 3,000 Iranian militants took control of the U.S. embassy in Tehran, holding 63 Americans hostage. An additional three U.S. members were seized at the Iranian Foreign Ministry for a total of 66.

This was in response to President Jimmy Carter allowing Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi, the recently deposed Iranian ruler, into the U.S. for cancer treatment. New leadership in Iran wanted the shah back as well as the end of Western influence in their country.

After a few weeks, 13 hostages, all women or African Americans, were released but the remaining 53 would wait out five months of failed negotiations.

President Carter, originally wanting to end the hostage crisis diplomatically and without force, turned to alternative solutions as he felt the political pressure to resolve the problem. On April 16, 1980, he approved Operation Eagle Claw, a military rescue operation involving all four branches of the U.S. armed forces.

Countries That Use Criminal Hackers Are Vulnerable to Compromise and Counterattack

WASHINGTON (AP) — Foreign governments that rely on the services of private criminal hackers leave their operations vulnerable to being exposed and disrupted, creating something of a “silver lining” for U.S. law enforcement investigations of cyberattacks, a top Justice Department official said Monday.

Criminal hackers hired by nations are more likely to travel and expose themselves to the risk of being arrested and prosecuted, and may be less savvy about evading detection than a sworn intelligence officer, Adam Hickey, a deputy assistant attorney general in the Justice Department’s national security division, said during a cybersecurity panel discussion at Georgetown University.

“That matters because apprehending them … can give us the human intelligence into state-sponsored hacking that can be very, very valuable and supplement the technical insight,” Hickey said.

The blended model of foreign government official and hired criminal hacker was illustrated in a punishing 2014 hack of Yahoo’s network that affected hundreds of thousands of user accounts. The Justice Department last month charged two officers of the Russian Federal Security Service, or FSB, and two criminal hackers in connection with the massive breach.

How to Fight ISIS Online Why the Islamic State Is Winning on Social Media

Audrey Alexander

From Twitter to Telegram, Islamic State (ISIS) [1] sympathizers continue to set up camp on social media platforms [2] around the world. While some of the outlets are far-reaching and transparent, others are insular and protected. The range of platforms, the diffusion of sympathizers, and the sheer volume of content make it difficult for governments and private companies to contain the online ISIS threat [3]. To begin doing so, it is necessary to understand the external factors that have shaped ISIS’s communications strategy.

On a strategic level, ISIS is winning the war on social media [4] with effective branding, information distribution, and agenda-setting. For example, in the wake of violent attacks, it has become commonplace for counterterrorism analysts to search for press releases claiming affiliation by Amaq News Agency. In an analysis of the ISIS manual [5], Media Operative, You Are a Mujahid, Too, the terrorism researcher Charlie Winter argues that the organization’s marketing approach allow ISIS to “forcibly inject itself into the global collective consciousness.” But the group is fundamentally dependent on platforms it cannot control, which leaves it vulnerable to changing regulations and security measures. For example, in August 2015, U.S. authorities arrested Jaelyn Young and Muhammad Dakhlalla [6], after the couple disclosed their plans to travel to ISIS-controlled territory to undercover agents on multiple social media platforms, including Twitter. In Syria, a targeted strike reportedly killed Junaid Hussein [7] after the British recruiter and hacker left an Internet cafe in Raqqa, ISIS’ de facto capital. 

The Problem of Siloed Cyber Warriors


The isolation of cyber as an entirely independent domain of warfare is both inaccurate and dangerous.

Today, the Pentagon faces an essential task, to integrate cyber capabilities with warfighting in the physical world.

Cyber capabilities cannot be detached from other domains of warfare, such as electromagnetic, air, land, sea, and space. The future holds two potential battlefields that overlap: one fought between high-tech adversary militaries, and another, between highly specialized military units and insurgent forces in population-dense urban environments. In both situations, cyber capabilities must be integrated into all other domains of warfare.

For instance, on the night of May 2, 2011, two stealthy Black Hawk helicopters carrying U.S. Navy SEALs transited contested airspace en route to a compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan. There, they found and killed al-Qaeda founder and leader Osama bin Laden. As the Black Hawks descended on the compound, a Pakistani computer consultant tweeted, “Helicopter hovering above Abbottabad at 1 AM (is a rare event),” followed by a real-time stream of updates on what was suppose to be a clandestine operation.

The Army is adding the 'Dronebuster' to its set of anti-drone tools

By: Todd South

The newest tool in the Army’s counter-drone arsenal is the "Dronebuster," a 5-pound radar gun-like device that soldiers can use to jam weaponized commercial drones while at remote forward operating bases or on foot patrol.

The Army’s Rapid Equipping Force bought 50 of the devices this month, and they should be delivered in the coming weeks, according to Clay Wild, vice president of marketing for Radio Hill Technologies, a Portland, Oregon-based technology startup.

The device starts at $30,000, depending on accessories, uses five custom antennae and a “technique generator” that uses less than 10 percent of the battery power to create the jamming signal. The power-saving method allows for a smaller device than some competitors, Wild said.

The "Dronebuster" is one of several tools the Army is using to counter unmanned aerial systems. This latest tool weighs just 5 pounds and is designed for soldiers at remote locations or on dismounted patrols.Photo Credit: Courtesy photo via Radio Hill Technologies, Inc.