24 January 2018

Has India Done Enough For Tibet’s Cause? – OpEd

By N. S. Venkataraman

More than six decades have gone after China forcibly entered Tibet and occupied the land and unjustifiably claimed that Tibet belongs to it. His Holiness the Dalai Lama had no alternative other than leaving Tibet with his disciples and he entered Indian territory on 31st March, 1959. When China occupied Tibet India led by the then Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru just kept watching and did nothing to stop China from its aggressive move. Obviously, Nehru was very friendly at that time with Chinese government and he did not want to upset China by commenting on China’s occupation of Tibet. While Nehru took such stand, there were many sane voices in India who felt concerned about the inaction of Jawaharlal Nehru and reminded him that he was doing historical mistake.

Five months on, understanding Doklam ‘disengagement’, a few other issues


On Thursday, the Ministry of External Affairs issued a clarification on Doklam: “It may be recalled that last year, the faceoff situation that had arisen in the Doklam region was resolved following diplomatic discussions between India and China, based on which both sides arrived at an understanding for the disengagement of their border personnel at the faceoff site.” The careful choice of words echoed the Ministry’s statement issued on August 28, 2017, when the “disengagement” ended the 73-day face-off in the Dolam plateau of Doklam area.

XI JINPING AND HIS GENERALS: CURIOUSER AND CURIOUSER

DEAN CHENG

It was reported this week that Chinese general Fang Fenghui was “transferred to the military prosecution authority on suspicion of offering and accepting bribes.” Fang had reportedly been under investigation since late last year. Gen. Fang had been a senior member of the People’s Liberation Army’s (PLA) Central Military Commission – the entity that heads China’s armed forces. Before that, he led the Joint Staff Department – an organization that succeeded the General Staff Department and is effectively in charge of China’s warfighting and war-planning organizations.

PUTTING THE U.S. SHALE REVOLUTION IN PERSPECTIVE FOR AN AUDIENCE FROM CHINA



The PowerPoint PDF below accompanied a presentation by fellow Gabriel Collins at an Oct. 25, 2017 briefing on the U.S. shale revolution.

Investigating Crises: South Asia's Lessons, Evolving Dynamics, and Trajectories


South Asia remains one of the most crisis-prone regions in the world with some of the highest levels of contested borders, militarized interstate disputes, and terrorist attacks. India and Pakistan's continued expansion of their fissile material stockpiles and nuclear arsenals and modernizations of their conventional forces add layers of risk, especially in periods of power transitions. For over 25 years, the Stimson Center has closely studied the cadence and dynamics of South Asian crises to better inform policymakers in New Delhi, Islamabad, Washington, D.C., and even Beijing.

Tracking Global Terrorism in 2018


With the start of a new year, we once again examine the state of the global jihadist movement. Shared from Threat Lens, Stratfor's unique protective intelligence product, the following column includes excerpts from a comprehensive forecast available to Threat Lens subscribers. In some ways "the global jihadist movement" is a misleading phrase. Rather than the monolithic threat it describes, jihadism more closely resembles a worldwide insurgency with two competing standard-bearers: al Qaeda and the Islamic State. To make matters more complicated, grassroots extremists have been known to take inspiration from each group's ideology — and, in some cases, both.

SPECIAL REPORT: In Shattered Raqqa, Top US General Calls for the World’s Help

BY KEVIN BARON
Source Link

Votel assures SDF fighters the U.S. will remain committed to them, but bringing this Syrian city back to life will take more than the troops who liberated it can give. The calm. When Gen. Joseph Votel emerged from the dank tunnels where ISIS tortured its victims before executing them in the soccer stadium above, he walked somberly back to his convoy of grimy pickup trucks. The leader of U.S. Central Command was struck, he said, by the calm and industriousness of people who have come back to Raqqa to rebuild “some semblance of a normal life.”

The Islamic Republic’s Power Centers

Ayatollah Ali Khamenei

Who calls the shots in Iran on economic policy, security, and responding to domestic calls for reform? A look at the government's organization chart indicates how complicated the answer is. At the start of 2018, Iran experienced the largest nationwide protests since the 2009 Green Revolution, provoked initially by anger over economic stagnation and the government’s failure to act. Their calls for improved welfare are a test for the Islamic Republic, which was founded in 1979 on the principle of delivering social justice but has been dogged by charges of abusing civil and human rights and abetting corruption.

Turkey, the Arab World Is Just Not That into You

by Burak Bekdil

He runs around in a fake fire extinguisher's outfit, holding a silly hose in his hands and knocking on neighbors' doors to put out the fire in their homes. "Go away," his neighbors keep telling him. "There is no fire here!" I am the person to put out that fire, he insists, as doors keep shutting on his face. That was more or less how Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's neo-Ottoman, pro-ummah (Islamic community), "Big Brother" game has looked in the Middle East.

Europe’s economy: Three pathways to rebuilding trust and sustaining momentum

By Jacques Bughin, Eric Labaye, Sven Smit, Eckart Windhagen, Jan Mischke

Europe has an opportunity to ensure that growth and well-being continue in the long term, and to strengthen trust in its institutions. Europe is bouncing back after a “lost” decade. Business and citizen optimism has returned and eurozone GDP in 2017 expanded at its fastest pace since the 2008 financial crisis. This changing mood creates an opportunity for European political and business leaders to take the action needed to ensure that growth and well-being are sustained in the long term, and that trust in Europe’s institutions is strengthened. Rebuilding trust is critical: even in a time of economic recovery, divergent forces linger, anti-globalization sentiment is gaining ground in a number of countries, and distrust of politicians and political institutions is rife. Business leaders, meanwhile, tell us that they favor “more Europe” but still worry about the fragility of the eurozone. Drawing on research by the McKinsey Global Institute, this briefing explores three pathways where Europe could take concrete action to begin restoring trust while sustaining economic momentum:

It’s No Longer About ISIS: US Government Is Moving the Goalposts By Changing the Rationale/Excuse for Keeping US Troops in Syria

Paul R. Pillar

Behind a façade of continuity, the deployment of U.S. armed forces in Syria for the purposes that Secretary of State Rex Tillerson described in a speech [3] this week represents a departure from what such forces were originally sent to Syria to do. The Trump administration is having U.S. troops participate indefinitely in someone else’s civil war, for reasons that are quite different from the original stated objective of helping to quash the so-called caliphate of the Islamic State (ISIS). The new reasons do not stand up to scrutiny in terms of defending any threatened U.S. interests. The administration has in effect made a decision to immerse the United States in yet another foreign war.

The Necessity and Impossibility of “Strategic Autonomy”

Hans Kundnani

WASHINGTON, DC — As the first anniversary of the inauguration of Donald Trump as president of the United States approaches, Europeans are still debating how to respond. The most fundamental question is about the U.S. security guarantee toward Europe, which Trump had radically questioned during the election campaign and even after winning it. After conspicuously failing to commit to Article 5 of the North Atlantic Treaty at the NATO leaders meeting in Brussels in May, he finally did so a month later in the Rose Garden at the White House. So should Europeans now feel reassured that the uncertainty about Article 5 is over? Or should they quickly move toward “strategic autonomy” — just in case it turns out that they can no longer depend on the United States?

North Korea and Cyber Catastrophe—Don’t Hold Your Breath


BY: JAMES A. LEWIS

The heightened tension over North Korea’s missile and nuclear weapons programs, combined with growing DPRK cyber capabilities and their use for coercion or theft, has led some to conclude that the North may launch cyber-attacks against US critical infrastructure, perhaps with catastrophic result.[1] We can best assess this risk by placing it in a larger strategic context, and in this context, a major cyber-attack by the North is unlikely.[2]

Fake News: Defining and Defeating



Following U.S. President Donald Trump’s decision to present his media critics with so-called “fake news awards,” it is more important than ever to define what “fake news” actually is, and what it is not. President Trump’s repeated accusations of fake news are dangerous both for journalists around the world, and for the integrity of free and fair democratic discourse in America.

How to be a leader in the Fourth Industrial Revolution


Jennifer Artley

We often underestimate the scale and speed of change that occurred in the 20th century. Wave upon wave of scientific discovery and technological advance has transformed many aspects of our daily and working lives. As we strike out into the digital age it is our responsibility as business leaders to navigate these changes with integrity and to provide positive, impactful leadership as the business landscape takes a new shape.

Russia and the Limits of Power


By George Friedman

The government of Belarus has announced that it will not permit more than two foreign military bases on its territory. There are now two Russian military bases in Belarus, and it is unlikely that any other country has suggested placing bases there. It is therefore reasonable to assume that the Russians have asked Belarus for additional facilities and that the Belarusians have turned them down. The reason for Russia’s interest in Belarus is obvious. The Baltics are part of NATO, Ukraine has a pro-Western government, and Belarus is the last piece of the Russian buffer zone that is not overtly anti-Russian. If Belarus were to shift its stance and turn against Russia, the entire buffer zone would be gone and with it the strategic depth Russia has depended on. Obviously, more bases would strengthen Russia’s position in Belarus.

National Defense Strategy a ‘Good Fit for Our Times,’ Mattis Says

By Jim Garamone

Defense Secretary James N. Mattis announces the new National Defense Strategy at the Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies, a division of the Johns Hopkins University based in Washington, Jan. 19, 2018. DoD photo by Navy Petty Officer 1st Class Kathryn E. Holm The secretary unveiled the strategy at the Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies and stressed that the strategy is not merely a defense strategy, but an American strategy. The school is a division of the Johns Hopkins University based in Washington.

The New National Defense Strategy: Some Good Broad Goals, and Bad Buzzwords, But No Clear Strategy

By Anthony H. Cordesman

The unclassified summary of new National Defense Strategy (NDS) is just that: An unclassified summary. It sets goals and objectives that do build on the National Security Strategy (NSS) announced in December, and it raises many of the same themes: the need to adapt to new forms of war and to engage in “long-term strategic competitions with China and Russia as emerging potential threats.” It talks about an increasingly complex global security environment, characterized by overt challenges to the free and open international order and the re-emergence of long-term, strategic competition between nations. These changes require a clear-eyed appraisal of the threats we face, acknowledgement of the changing character of warfare, and a transformation of how the Department of Defense conducts business.

U.S. MILITARY PLANS NEW NUCLEAR WEAPONS, MAKING WAR WITH RUSSIA AND CHINA MORE LIKELY, EXPERTS SAY


BY JOHN HALTIWANGER 

The Pentagon plans to build two new nuclear weapons to keep up with the modernizing arsenals of Russia and China, according to a comprehensive Department of Defense review on the U.S. military’s nuclear capabilities, sparking heated debate about the strategy: Will it bolster the U.S. military's ability to deter threats, or make a nuclear war more likely?  "While the United States has continued to reduce the number and salience of nuclear weapons, others, including Russia and China, have moved in the opposite direction," an unclassified draft of the Pentagon’s Nuclear Posture Review (NPR) states. "The United States must be capable of developing and deploying new capabilities, if necessary, to deter, assure, achieve U.S. objectives if deterrence fails, and hedge against uncertainty."

Defense Dept. blocks 36M malicious emails daily, fends off 600 Gbps DDoS attacks


by Teri Robinson

That the Defense Department blocks 36 million malicious emails daily aimed at accessing U.S. military systems, as Defense Information Systems Agency Director of Operations David Bennett recently said, underscores that attackers continue to consider email an attractive attack vector and highlights the stresses that security pros face daily trying to sort through threats. "Our threat labs have observed cybercriminals recently migrating to email as the most common attack vector. As the tension between nations is increasing, more of the conflict is being fought online. They use email because it is effective,” said Nick Bilogorskiy, cybersecurity strategist at Juniper Networks, noting that he wasn't surprised that the Defense Department had seen an uptick in email attacks. "While most such attacks are simple phishing scams, the most dangerous ones are usually the work of rogue nation states and can be political in nature.”

FINDING YOUR VOICE Forget About Siri and Alexa — When It Comes to Voice Identification, the “NSA Reigns Supreme”

Ava Kofman

AT THE HEIGHT of the Cold War, during the winter of 1980, FBI agents recorded a phone call in which a man arranged a secret meeting with the Soviet embassy in Washington, D.C. On the day of his appointment, however, agents were unable to catch sight of the man entering the embassy. At the time, they had no way to put a name to the caller from just the sound of his voice, so the spy remained anonymous. Over the next five years, he sold details about several secret U.S. programs to the USSR. It wasn’t until 1985 that the FBI, thanks to intelligence provided by a Russian defector, was able to establish the caller as Ronald Pelton, a former analyst at the National Security Agency. The next year, Pelton was convicted of espionage.

How Smartphone Users Benefit From Artificial Intelligence

by Felix Richter

As we’re surrounded by smartphones, smart homes, smart cities and many more supposedly smart things, artificial intelligence and machine learning are already helping us in ways that we may not even realize. According to Deloitte’s Global Mobile Consumer Survey, 65 percent of smartphone owners across 16 developed markets have used an application featuring machine learning in the past. Many of these applications, think predictive text and route suggestions for example, are designed to make our mobile experience feel more personalized and convenient; and as algorithms, hardware and the underlying data sets improve over time, we can expect AI-infused services to get a lot smarter going forward.

Four new ‘superpowers’ changing our world

Pat Gelsinger

The term ‘superpowers’ conjures an image of major nations shaping the course of global history. But in the digital era, I believe it’s time we expanded that definition to include four extraordinary technological superpowers that promise to wield as much influence over the next 20 years as any nation state: mobile technology, the cloud, artificial intelligence (AI) and the internet of things (IoT). Each of these capabilities is transformative in its own right, but together they unlock game-changing opportunities that have not been available to us until this moment in history. And we are just beginning to tap their full potential.

5th Generation Air C2 and ISR

Author:Bart A Hoeben 

5th Generation Air C2 and ISR provides tangible recommendations about improving Air C2 and ISR systems, their integration, collaboration and Information & Communication Technology (ICT) at the tactical level, including the possible application of a combat cloud, and towards F-35 employment and follow-on development. It furthermore explores the possibility for distribution of control towards the tactical edge, concluding that RAAF and RNLAF should further pursue this concept. The paper also looks at command and ISR at the operational level and strategic employment of F-35 and draws two conclusions: first, that new concepts for Air C2 and ISR related to F-35 employment deserve increased attention from RAAF and RNLAF, and second, that successfully employing F-35 requires strong(er) influence of RAAF and RNLAF at the operational and strategic level. Overall, the paper recommends possible ways in which RAAF and RNLAF could cooperate to face the Air C2 and ISR challenges and opportunities that come with the transition to a 5th Generation Air Force. This could involve stimulation and facilitating international discussion on new concepts for Air C2 and ISR. 

THE IMPORTANCE OF LAND WARFARE: THIS KIND OF WAR REDUX


Since the terrorist attacks on the U.S. homeland on 11 September 2001, the United States has been engaged in worldwide military operations. The initial campaigns during Operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom demonstrated the unmatched conventional capabilities of the U.S. military, developed mostly during the Cold War, as they rapidly toppled the regimes of the Taliban in Afghanistan and Saddam Hussein in Iraq. These rapid victories soon turned into protracted irregular wars, for which the United States and its allies and partners were not fully prepared. In the years that followed, new concepts and capabilities rapidly evolved to fight these wars. Nowhere were these adaptations more profound—and costly—than in U.S. land forces. 

23 January 2018

The future belongs to biopharma. Can India catch up with China?


China and India together account for close to 40 per cent of the global population. They are among the three largest economies -- on a purchasing power parity or PPP basis -- in the world, and are the two fastest growing emerging economies in the world. They are also the two countries that will most likely be the world’s largest hubs for manufacturing biological drugs. It’s been evident for a decade now that biological drugs are the future of medicine. (A biopharmaceutical, also known as a biologic(al) medical product or a biological or a biologic, Wikipedia says is "any pharmaceutical drug product manufactured in, extracted from, or semisynthesised from biological sources -- therefore different from totally synthesized pharmaceuticals -- they include vaccines, blood, blood components, allergenics, somatic cells, gene therapies, living cells or tissues, recombinant therapeutic protein, and living cells used in cell therapy).

Five months on, understanding Doklam ‘disengagement’, a few other issues

Written by Sushant Singh 
Source Link

On Thursday, the Ministry of External Affairs issued a clarification on Doklam: “It may be recalled that last year, the faceoff situation that had arisen in the Doklam region was resolved following diplomatic discussions between India and China, based on which both sides arrived at an understanding for the disengagement of their border personnel at the faceoff site.” The careful choice of words echoed the Ministry’s statement issued on August 28, 2017, when the “disengagement” ended the 73-day face-off in the Dolam plateau of Doklam area.

‘China pursuing missile defenses; Indian nukes are main worry’

By DOUG TSURUOKA EDITOR AT LARGE

India conducted a successful test of its most advanced intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM), a nuclear-capable Agni-5, on Thursday, underscoring a potential threat to China as well as Pakistan. China is also within range of nuclear-armed North Korean missiles and Japan is mulling whether it should develop similar capabilities. But there has been surprisingly little focus on Chinese efforts to develop a missile defense against these threats.

A Visit to One of China’s First Nuclear Weapons Plants

Chris Buckley and Adam Wu

China — Among the yak herds and Tibetan Buddhism prayer flags dotting the windswept highlands of northwestern China stand the ruins of a remote, hidden city that vanished from the maps in 1958.  The decaying clusters of workshops, bunkers and dormitories are remnants of Plant 221, also known as China’s Los Alamos. Here, on a mountain-high grassland called Jinyintan in Qinghai Province, thousands of Tibetan and Mongolian herders were expelled to create a secret town where a nuclear arsenal was built to defend Mao Zedong’s revolution. “It was totally secret, you needed an entry pass,” said Pengcuo Zhuoma, 56, a ruddy-faced ethnic Mongolian herder living next to an abandoned nuclear workshop, whose family once supplied meat and milk to the scientists. “Your mouth was clamped shut so you couldn’t talk about it.”

How China Infiltrated U.S. Classrooms

By ETHAN EPSTEIN 


Last year, the University of North Carolina at Charlotte made an announcement to great fanfare: The university would soon open a branch of the Confucius Institute, the Chinese government-funded educational institutions that teach Chinese language, culture and history. The Confucius Institute would “help students be better equipped to succeed in an increasingly globalized world,” says Nancy Gutierrez, UNC Charlotte’s dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, and “broaden the University’s outreach and support for language instruction and cultural opportunities in the Charlotte community,” according to a press release.

MAKE CHINA GREAT AGAIN: COMMUNIST PARTY SEEKS TO SEIZE ‘HISTORIC’ MOMENT TO RESHAPE WORLD ORDER

Nectar Gan

The world is in chaos, giving the Communist Party a “historic opportunity” to make China great again and reshape the world order – at least that was the message the party sought to drive home in a high-profile opinion piece in its flagship newspaper this week. needed China so much as it does now,” a commentary on Monday’s front page of People’s Daily asserted.
The world has never focused on China so much and needed China so much as it does now
The 5,500-word article is the latest rallying call for the country to unite around President Xi Jinping – its most powerful leader in decades – to rejuvenate China and achieve its global aspirations. Under Xi, Beijing has become more confident than ever in how it sees itself in the world. It has repeatedly vowed to take on more global responsibility and provide a “China solution” to the world’s woes, at a time when the United States under President Donald Trump is retreating from its global leadership role and Europe is distracted by Brexit.

Resource-hungry China is in overdrive as it wages water wars by stealth

Brahma Chellaney

China’s hyperactive dam building is a reminder that, while the international attention remains on its recidivist activities in the South China Sea’s disputed waters, it is also focusing quietly on other waters – of rivers that originate in Chinese-controlled territory like Tibet and flow to other countries. No country in history has built more dams than China. In fact, China today boasts more dams than the rest of the world combined. As part of its broader strategy to corner natural resources, China’s new obsession is freshwater, a life-creating and life-supporting resource whose growing shortages are casting a cloud over Asia’s economic future. Dams are integral to this strategy, although they have wreaked havoc on the natural ecosystems.

5 ways the Fourth Industrial Revolution transformed 2017 (and 5 ways it did not)

Nicholas Davis, Anne Marie Engtoft Larsen,

In a fast-paced world it can be difficult to see the big changes even as they unfold in front of us. Looking back at 2017, in what ways did emerging technologies significantly impact the world in the past 12 months? We found five signposts indicating that the Fourth Industrial Revolution indeed transformed our lives and societies in 2017 — and five areas where transformations are yet to come.

1. Ethics: addressing biases and assumptions in technologies

President Trump's New Defense Strategy Is a Return to the Cold War

By W.J. HENNIGAN

President Donald Trump is bracing the Pentagon for a long-term, strategic competition with the world’s major powers that puts the U.S. military on a Cold War footing with Russia and China for the foreseeable future, the administration said on Friday. The National Defense Strategy, set to be rolled out by Defense Secretary James Mattis at John Hopkins’ School of Advanced International Studies in Washington, directs the U.S. government to engage in a multi-year build-up of the military involving more troops, more weapons and stronger foreign alliances. he document, which serves as the Administration’s roadmap for global security, says China and Russia aim to upend the global hierarchy that the United States has sat atop of since World War II. The strategy serves as the latest sign the Administration wants to pivot from the morass of violence and counter-terrorism operations in the Middle East to intensify great power competitions in the western and eastern hemispheres.

Tracking Global Terrorism In 2018


In some ways "the global jihadist movement" is a misleading phrase. Rather than the monolithic threat it describes, jihadism more closely resembles a worldwide insurgency with two competing standard-bearers: al Qaeda and the Islamic State. To make matters more complicated, grassroots extremists have been known to take inspiration from each group's ideology - and, in some cases, both. This complex network of international organizations, local militancies and individual adherents cannot be dismantled by simply killing its members and leaders one by one. Instead, governments around the globe will have to split off local groups from the Islamic State and al Qaeda ideologies they have chosen to adopt and tackle them separately using the principles of counterinsurgency if the jihadist movement is to be eradicated once and for all.
Al Qaeda: Surviving Under Pressure

Really? We’re Gonna Nuke Russia for a Cyberattack?

By GEORGE PERKOVICH 

The front page of Tuesday’s New York Times contained an alarming headline: “Pentagon Suggests Countering Devastating Cyberattacks With Nuclear Arms.” The article, by David Sanger and William Broad, reported on a leaked draft of the Trump administration’s Nuclear Posture Review, which determines what the role of nuclear weapons should be. This draft departs from previous posture reviews by broadening the range of attacks that could trigger a massive U.S. retaliation, including with nuclear weapons.

Containing Russia, Again

By Robert D. Blackwill and Philip H. Gordon
Source Link

With each passing week, the evidence of Russia’s interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election—and in U.S. politics and society more generally—grows. Since at least 2014, in an effort to influence the election and undermine confidence in U.S. democracy, Russia has hacked private American citizens’ and organizations’ computers to steal information; released that information in ways designed to affect electoral outcomes and divide Americans; planted and disseminated disinformation in U.S. social media, through its own state-funded and -controlled media networks and by deploying tens of thousands of bloggers and bots; cooperated with Americans, possibly including members of Donald Trump’s campaign, to discredit Trump’s opponent in the election; and probed election-related computer systems in multiple states. We will never know for certain whether Russia’s intervention changed the outcome of the 2016 election. The point is that it tried.

Inside a European Center to Combat Russia’s Hybrid Warfare

BY REID STANDISH
Source Link

HELSINKI — Located in an unassuming office building filled with boardrooms, lecture halls, and projectors in the Finnish capital, a new entity under the joint auspices of the European Union and NATO was founded with a herculean mission. Tasked with a 1.5 million euro budget, the European Centre of Excellence for Countering Hybrid Threats was created to find new ways to defend against hybrid warfare: the blending of diplomacy, politics, media, cyberspace, and military force to destabilize and undermine an opponent’s government.

Age of Ignorance


Charles Simic

Widespread ignorance bordering on idiocy is our new national goal. It’s no use pretending otherwise and telling us, as Thomas Friedman did in the Times a few days ago, that educated people are the nation’s most valuable resources. Sure, they are, but do we still want them? It doesn’t look to me as if we do. The ideal citizen of a politically corrupt state, such as the one we now have, is a gullible dolt unable to tell truth from bullshit. 

Warming, Water Crisis, Then Unrest: How Iran Fits an Alarming Patter

By SOMINI SENGUPTA

Lake Urmia, in northwestern Iran, has diminished by nearly 90 percent since the early 1970s. In each country, in different ways, a water crisis has triggered some combination of civil unrest, mass migration, insurgency or even full-scale war. Protestors in Tehran on Jan. 5. “Water is not going to bring down the government,” one analyst said. “But it’s a component — in some towns, a significant component — of grievances and frustrations.” In the era of climate change, their experiences hold lessons for a great many other countries. The World Resources Institute warned this month of the rise of water stress globally, “with 33 countries projected to face extremely high stress in 2040.”

A Tough National Defense Strategy

By MARK CANCIAN

The National Defense Strategy, released this morning, may be the single most important document penned by Defense Secretary Jim Mattis. It encapsulates the Trump Administration’s defense policies in one place for the first time and provides guidance for the 2019 defense budget, to be released in a few weeks. That budget will mark the administration’s first chance to shape the defense budget from the beginning and will set the stage for the rest of the Trump Administration. Mark Cancian, who used to build defense budgets at the Office of Management and Budget and now works for the Center for Strategic and International Studies, got a detailed briefing yesterday at the Pentagon about the NDS. (Hint: Check the last paragraph.) He offers our readers this exclusive look inside the strategy. Read on! The Editor.

Infographic Of The Day: The 10 Companies That Dominate The Global Arms Trade

The world puts $1.69 trillion towards military expenditures per year, and about $375 billion of that goes towards buying arms specifically.Whether it is guns, tanks, jets, missiles, or ships that are on your shopping list, in the international arms community, there is a supplier for any weapon your country desires.

Artificial Intelligence: the impact on employment and the workforce


Although Artificial Intelligence dramatically improves our world in many ways, there are notable concerns regarding the forthcoming impact of A.I. on employment and the workforce. There are predictions talking about millions of unemployed people in the next decades — primarily due to the impact of Intelligent Automation and A.I. systems. In any case, the entire socioeconomic system is entering a phase of accelerating transformation: markets, businesses, education, government, social welfare and employment models will be severely impacted.

Future shocks: 10 emerging risks that threaten our world

Alex Gray
Source Link

In the wake of the 2008 financial crisis, we asked ourselves one question over and over again: why didn’t we see it coming? It rocked the global economy and threatened to destroy the financial systems that we rely on. Ten years on, some countries are still picking up the pieces. The World Economic Forum’s Global Risks Report 2018 says that, in our increasingly complex and interconnected world, this type of shock may become more likely.

Four new ‘superpowers’ changing our world

Pat Gelsinger, Chief Executive Officer, VMware Inc.

The term ‘superpowers’ conjures an image of major nations shaping the course of global history. But in the digital era, I believe it’s time we expanded that definition to include four extraordinary technological superpowers that promise to wield as much influence over the next 20 years as any nation state: mobile technology, the cloud, artificial intelligence (AI) and the internet of things (IoT).

Beyond the Bitcoin Bubble


The sequence of words is meaningless: a random array strung together by an algorithm let loose in an English dictionary. What makes them valuable is that they’ve been generated exclusively for me, by a software tool called MetaMask. In the lingo of cryptography, they’re known as my seed phrase. They might read like an incoherent stream of consciousness, but these words can be transformed into a key that unlocks a digital bank account, or even an online identity. It just takes a few more steps. On the screen, I’m instructed to keep my seed phrase secure: Write it down, or keep it in a secure place on your computer. I scribble the 12 words onto a notepad, click a button and my seed phrase is transformed into a string of 64 seemingly patternless characters:

From CES: The sea is alive with cheap, powerful robots — and that will be dangerous

By: Kelsey Atherton  
Source Link

To walk the halls at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas is to be bombarded by the most cloying vision of the future. Robots that dance in sequence! Segway inspired suitcases that walk behind harried travelers! Virtual reality goggles that show tiny imaginary battles over geodoes! Amidst the audio-visual assault of the show floor, there was a trend in consumer robotics that I think is worth following: underwater robots are here, and plentiful, and will likely only get better and cheaper in the years to come. Some of the advancement in underwater robotics will be custom-built for military clients, like the Boeing Echo Seeker. Other sea robots will likely have dual-use bodies, like whatever underwater scout comes from the early tests of the MantaDroid that I wrote about in a prior piece.

Congressional budget skirmishes won’t halt cyber issues

By: Jessie Bur 
Source Link

Worries that the government may shut down Friday at midnight have dominated the airwaves, but everything around Washington hasn’t been mired in deadlock. Federal agencies’ cyberspace policies and posture have seen a lot of activity in the past week, and there will be ramifications regardless of whether Congress manages to avert a Jan. 19 shutdown. Here’s a roundup of the biggest cyber stories: Kaspersky filed a preliminary injunction to counter DHS ban: Kaspersky Lab filed a preliminary injunction in U.S. federal court on Jan. 17, 2018, over the Department of Homeland Security’s binding operational directive banning the product’s use in government agencies.

Discovered: New Malware Espionage Campaign Infecting Thousands Around the World

Electronic Frontier Foundation

San Francisco – The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) and mobile security company Lookout have uncovered a new malware espionage campaign infecting thousands of people in more than 20 countries. Hundreds of gigabytes of data has been stolen, primarily through mobile devices compromised by fake secure messaging clients.The trojanized apps, including Signal and WhatsApp, function like the legitimate apps and send and receive messages normally. However, the fake apps also allow the attackers to take photos, retrieve location information, capture audio, and more.

Why mobiles could be key to solving humanitarian crises

Elaine Weidman-Grunewald

As the months of 2017 went by it became clear that the scale of humanitarian disasters was outpacing the international community’s ability to respond. According to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, there are some 130 million people globally in need of humanitarian assistance. Devastating storms in the Caribbean and protracted conflicts in countries such as Yemen, Iraq, Syria and South Sudan means need for support has never been greater. A combination of innovative thinking and greater corporate engagement will be game-changers in our ability to care for the world’s most vulnerable people in the years ahead.

Data that enables rapid response