22 November 2017

American Leadership in the Asia-Pacific

American Leadership in the Asia-Pacific

- Maj Gen P K Mallick,VSM (Retd)

Those who are China watchers would be familiar with the name of Dr. Michael Pillsbury . He has been a China expert from USA. His book Chinese Views of Future Warfare published in 1998 has been read by people interested in China and are available in all libraries of Indian defence services.

His recent book The Hundred-Year Marathon: China's Secret Strategy to Replace America as the Global Superpower published in 2016 has been getting rave reviews.

Dr. Michael Pillsbury , presently Senior Fellow and Director, Center for Chinese Strategy, The Hudson Institute, Washington, D.C. gave a statement to U.S. Senate Subcommittee on East Asia, the Pacific, and International Cybersecurity Policy on “American Leadership in the Asia-Pacific, Part 4: The View from Beijing” on 14 November 2017. His statement was very interesting. But what caught my attention was a statement of the fact of US informing China about our troop movement during 71 Operations.

He stated and I quote :

Two months after Zhou’s conversation with Kissinger, with Nixon’s visit just around the corner, Kissinger made the first of many covert offers to the Chinese. Unbeknownst to a public that would have been shocked to see the United States aiding and abetting the People’s Liberation Army, Kissinger gave China detailed classified information about Indian troop movements against Pakistan, as well as America’s “approval of Chinese support for Pakistan, including diversionary troop movements.” In return, Kissinger asked for Chinese troop movements on the Indian border to distract India from its efforts to invade and then dismember eastern Pakistan. China’s troops did not move, but that did not dampen American expectations.

Now there is nothing new in this. Uncle has been and will be doing these. See uncle’s refusal to access Hadley by our intelligence agencies. However, there is a sizable number of our strategic community who bend over backwards to support everything Uncle does and keep quiet about these issues.

Any reasons? Your guess is as good as mine.


By: Jennifer Cafarella and Caitlin Forrest with Charles Aubin

Key Takeaway: Afghanistan remains a safe haven for terrorist plots against the U.S. homeland. The Islamic State of Iraq and al Sham’s (ISIS) affiliate in Afghanistan and an American ISIS member in Pakistan coordinated an attack attempt in the U.S. in early 2016. ISIS seized at least one district in northwestern Afghanistan in early November, and is assembling new foreign fighter units. ISIS will use this safe haven to conduct new attacks abroad.

Infographic Of The Day: 35 Chinese Cities With Economies As Big As Countries

Of course, cities like Shanghai, Beijing, and Hong Kong are the metro economic powerhouses that most people are familiar with. But have you heard of cities like Shijiazhuang, Wuxi, Changsha, Suzhou, Ningbo, Foshan, or Yantai? There are literally dozens of Chinese cities that most people in Western countries have never heard of - yet they each hold millions of people and have an economic output comparable to nations.

The Rise Of A Not-So-New World Order

by Sarang Shidore

For decades the United States has sat atop a unipolar world, unrivaled in its influence over the rest of the globe. But now that may be changing as a new, informal alliance takes shape between China and Russia. The two great powers have a mutual interest in overturning an international order that has long advantaged the West at their own expense. And as the Earth's sole superpower turns inward, they will seek to carve out bigger backyards for themselves. Will their marriage of convenience once more give rise to the bipolarity that characterized the Cold War, or will it unravel in the face of a natural rivalry rooted in geopolitics?

An Informal Alliance Emerges

Ian Bremmer Argues That We Are At The End Of The Global Free Market — As The Rise Of China Dominates Recent Asean Summit

Ian Bremmer, the President and Founder of the EURASIA Group, a leading global political risk research and consulting firm, spoke to a luncheon in Boston, Mass., on November 14, 2017 at the Boston Committee on Foreign Relations. Mr. Bremmer’s main thesis was that “the U.S. is no longer fit to lead in global governance; and, that is driving a change in world order. As a consequence, the coming decade will be vastly more unstable,” Marianne Brunet wrote on the November 16, 2017 online edition of the website — Advisor*Perspectives.

The Real Winner in America's Russia Crisis Is China

Leon Hadar

When thinking about male-pattern baldness, what comes immediately to mind? Genetics? Thanks for this, grandad. But then I conducted my own scientific research and discovered the following: I started losing hair at the temples or the crown of the head when Vladimir Putin first held the position of president from 2000 to 2008, and my hairline receded big time after the Russian leader took office again in 2008. Coincidence? Or is it possible that the balding Putin, resenting the hairy Dmitry Medvedev, not to mention those American presidents with their incredible full heads of hair, decided to do something about that? Isn’t that what you would expect from the Kremlin’s notorious alpha male, who was probably envious of my Fabio-like flawless hair in the late 1990s?



China recently announced the launch of its Jinan Project, a quantum information effort billed as “the world’s first unhackable computer network.” Building on its launch last year of the world’s first quantum-enabled satellite, China has made significant strides in quantum technology, a field with rapidly increasing relevance to national security. Its satellite has been hailed as a major step toward “unbreakable” encrypted communications.

Nuclear War: Could China's Mach 10 Hypersonic Weapons Unleash the Unthinkable?

Dave Majumdar

The People’s Republic of China is continuing its quest to develop a new class of hypersonic weapons that could strike at the continental United States in less than 15 minutes from launch.

An operational long-range hypersonic weapon is likely years away, but China, the United States, Russia and other states are in a race to field such weapons. In the meantime, China is working on building the world’s fastest hypersonic wind tunnel to help its scientist develop this new class of weapon. The new facility should become operational by 2020.

ISIS, Radicalization and Humiliation

Nir Eisikovits

The Islamic State is in retreat and has been for a while. It has lost most of its holdings in Iraq and Syria and has just lost its capital, Raqqa. Its leaders and fighters are on the run. It is tempting to breathe a sigh of relief and tell ourselves that the nightmare of lightning conquests, mass executions and devastating attacks against European cities is finally over. But that would be a mistake. For one thing, the Islamic State still holds a small amount of territory, roughly the size of Lebanon, near the Iraqi-Syrian border. More importantly, the organization’s franchises in Africa and Asia are doing quite well. So are its training camps in Afghanistan. The group has probably implanted sleeper cells across the Middle East, North Africa and Europe. And we should remember that the Islamic State managed a spectacular comeback last time it was nearly defeated—when it was decimated in Iraq by the American “Surge” and the so called “Sunni Awakening.”



LATE on the evening of Sept. 20, 2015, Basim Razzo sat in the study of his home on the eastern side of Mosul, his face lit up by a computer screen. His wife, Mayada, was already upstairs in bed, but Basim could lose hours clicking through car reviews on YouTube: the BMW Alpina B7, the Audi Q7. Almost every night went like this. Basim had long harbored a taste for fast rides, but around ISIS-occupied Mosul, the auto showrooms sat dark, and the family car in his garage — a 1991 BMW — had barely been used in a year. There simply was nowhere to go.

Dealing with the Russian Bear: Improving NATO’s Response to Moscow’s Military Exercise Zapad 2017

By Guillaume Lasconjarias and Lukáš Dyčka

Major military exercises are never a simple routine but carry important political significance. This is the case with the recent Russian military manoeuvres of Zapad 2017, which took place in Belarus as well as in the Russian enclave of Kaliningrad – bordering the territory of two NATO Baltic States – on 14-20 September. The exercise was closely monitored by European and US military and political elites and caused considerable concern in Poland and the Baltic states.

Roger Pielke Jr. describes the decay of climate science

Welcome to issue #7 of my occasional newsletter on climate and energy issues. As a reminder, my day-to-day research or writing is focused on sports governance and various issues of science policy. But I’ve written a fair bit on the topics of climate and energy over the past 25 years, including two recent books and a boatload of academic papers, and I’m paying attention. So caveat lector {reader beware}! …
Mertonian Norms and Climate Debates.

Russia's T-72 Tank: Over 40 Years Old and Still the Backbone of the Russian Army

Michael Peck

While Russia has 3,500 T-80s, that tank seems to be a dead end. While the T-14 Armata is an intriguing and sophisticated next-generation tank, it seems unlikely that it will be mass-produced enough to become the primary Russian main battle tank any time soon. Which means that for the foreseeable future, the T-72 will continue to be the backbone of Russia's armor fleet. When the Soviet T-72 tank was first deployed, Richard Nixon was President, the F-4 Phantom was America's primary fighter, and the world's steel beasts had yet to discover a nemesis called the wire-guided anti-tank missile.

Working Group on Climate, Nuclear, and Security Affairs: Report One

A First-of-its Kind Framework for Managing the Intersection of Climate Change and Nuclear Security

In its initial report released on November 15, 2017, the Working Group on Climate, Nuclear, and Security Affairs (CNSA), chaired by the Center for Climate and Security, articulates a first-of-its kind framework for understanding and addressing the complex connections between climate change, security, and nuclear issues.

Countries such as Nigeria, Jordan, Bangladesh, Egypt, and Saudi Arabia are dealing with numerous internal climatic, economic, security, demographic, and environmental pressures as they pursue nuclear energy. The report notes the importance of such countries in terms of how these issues might influence one another—and raises concerns that Russia may be a dominant nuclear supplier to such countries.

How technology has taken the Cold War online

By Con Coughlin

Fifty years ago, when the Cold War was in full swing, the easiest way for Moscow to sow the seeds of discord and disharmony in the West was to recruit and fund Communist sympathisers who sought to destroy the political status quo. Now a new form of information warfare being waged against the West by hostile states can achieve the same aims through the clever application of modern technology. And what is really terrifying about this new propaganda war is how credible it can appear. One of the more egregious examples of Moscow’s modern-day black arts was the photograph that went viral on the internet that appeared to show a Muslim woman nonchalantly walking past the bodies of victims of the westminster Bridge terror attack in March as they lay prone in the street. It was an image that was guaranteed to stoke the fires of Islamophobia in the highly charged atmosphere immediately after the attack, and could easily have resulted in greater antipathy towards Muslims in Britain.

Pandora’s Box of the Digital Age


a series of hacks and ransomware attacks by hostile governments and other malign actors have raised alarms about a major threat to global stability. Unfortunately, many governments are responding by developing still more cyber weapons, on the mistaken assumption that offense is the best defense. One country after another has begun exploring options for bolstering their offensive capabilities in cyberspace, and many other countries have already done so. This is a dangerous escalation. In fact, few other trends pose a bigger threat to global stability.

Dunford: U.S. Military Advantage Over Russia, China Eroding

By Jim Garamone

Marine Corps Gen. Joe Dunford, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, speaks with a student after a moderated discussion at the Tufts University Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy in Medford, Mass., Nov. 14, 2017. The chairman spoke about challenges facing the Defense Department and answered questions from students, faculty, and alumni. DoD photo by Army Sgt. James K. McCann Marine Corps Gen. Joe Dunford -- an alumnus of the school -- said Russia and China have examined U.S. operations since the Gulf War and invested in capabilities and doctrines to counter America's conventional overmatch.

An Expert on Warfare Examines Centuries of Evolving Mayhem

By Gary J. Bass

When it mattered most, the next war was too awful to imagine. In 1933, the year Adolf Hitler took power in Germany, an influential French author warned what might happen: “A hundred planes each carrying a ton of asphyxiating shells would cover Paris with a gas sheet 20 meters high, all in an hour.” To a French public preoccupied with aerial bombardment and chemical warfare, much of the appeal of appeasing Nazi Germany was that the alternative was unthinkable. To justify selling out Czechoslovakia to Hitler in 1938, Neville Chamberlain played on similar fears among the British, emphasizing how “horrible, fantastic, incredible” it was that a foreign quarrel led to “trying on gas masks here.”

NSA: Cyber Attacks Are Becoming More Sophisticated, Aggressive, and Disruptive

BY: Bill Gertz

Cyber attacks by foreign nations and criminals against both government and private sector networks are increasing in both sophistication and scale, a senior National Security Agency official said Wednesday.

Jonathan L. Darby, deputy chief of NSA’s cybersecurity operations group, said in a speech that recent cyber attacks against Ukraine’s power grid, malware strikes in Saudi Arabia, the Equifax data breach, and global ransomware attacks are the latest examples of the kind of attacks that are growing more dangerous and that will increase in the future.

“I expect the trend lines to continue. We’re going to continue to see attacks all around the world,” Darby told a conference sponsored by the State Department’s Overseas Security Advisory Council.

The future of cyberwar: ​Weaponised ransomware, IoT attacks and a new arms race

By Steve Ranger 

After at least a dozen years in the shadows, cyberwarfare is gradually emerging into daylight. While cyber weapons were mostly developed and used by intelligence agencies as part of secret missions, they are now becoming an acknowledged military option during conflicts. Here are predictions about how cyberwarfare will evolve over the next year.

The cyber arms race will accelerate

Having a cyberwarfare capability is the latest must-have for many nation states, which has sparked a cyber arms race that shows no sign of slowing down. NATO, for example, recently updated its strategy to include the potential use of cyber weapons alongside traditional munitions. In the short term, this will likely mean that researchers will find a ready market for the zero-day exploits, as governments continue to build their stockpiles. However, as intelligence agencies and the military spend more on building up cyber weapons there will come, inevitably, pressure to prove the worth of that investment.
Cyber weapons will become a standard feature of warfare

The Pentagon is set to make a big push toward open source software next year

by Kelsey Atherton 

Nestled hundreds of pages into the proposed bill to fund the Department of Defense sits a small, unassuming section. The National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2018 is the engine that powers the Pentagon, turning legislative will into tangible cash for whatever Congress can fit inside. Thanks to an amendment introduced by Sen. Mike Rounds of (R-SD) and co-sponsored by Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), this year the NDAA could institute a big change: should the bill pass in its present form, the Pentagon will be going open source.

21 November 2017


                                                                                - Maj Gen P K Mallick,VSM (Retd)


Prussian military theorist Carl von Clausewitz outlined two facets of war: its nature, which remains constant under all circumstances; and its character, which encompasses the varying ways and means by which war is fought.

In December 1995, there were 16 million internet users in the entire world. In September 2016, there are about 3.8 billion – and growing every day. In only 21 years, half the world’s population became connected. The proliferation of technology into everything will radically change the future military and operational environment. In 2035-2050 the battlespace will be elongated and deepened – and hyper-connected. Engagements will occur at home station military bases through ports of debarkation to tactical assembly areas all the way to the adversary’s motor pool. From space to the ocean floor; from military to nonmilitary; from governmental to non-governmental; from state to nonstate; from physical to virtual. The operational area will be wherever effects are generated – and the array of stimuli that will generate effects is staggering. The interconnected and global nature of everything will produce physical and virtual effects that have tremendous range, saturation and immediacy – along with daunting complexity and stealth. More than ever before, the tactical fight will be influenced less by the tactical fighter and more by actors or organizations either unknown to the warfighters, or beyond their ability to affect. A hacked and corrupted computer server in the Defense Logistics Agency will have a disproportionally greater impact on a brigade’s combat readiness than an enemy’s attack on a main supply route.

Increased adversary reach and the ubiquitous battlespace in the future will mean freedom of action in all domains will be heavily contested and both sides will take asymmetric cross-domain approaches to offset overmatch. An advantage in fighter aircraft quantity and quality will be offset by adversary interdiction of airfields, radar spoofing, and cyber paralysis of air command and control. Overmatch in ground combat systems will be offset by multi-domain deception, cyber-corrupted logistics networks and swarms of autonomous lethal and non-lethal weapons. An advantage in strategic mobility will be offset by formidable anti-access capabilities, sophisticated information campaigns, and contested deployment that extend into service members’ homes, families and private lives.

We are approaching a period where commercial markets will cause bleeding edge technologies to spread faster than the key technologies of the past generation, such as stealth or precision guidance. The technologies that are part of the third offset strategy – artificial intelligence, robotics, 3D printing, cyber, directed energy, and others. Militant groups are employing modified commercial drones to threaten ground forces, which represents an early manifestation of commercial diffusion informing cross-domain threats.

In general, the larger the commercial applications of a technology, the faster it spreads due to market forces. These emerging technologies are more like the combustion engine than a new type of rifle. They will be part of everything, and thus many will have access to them, from allies and partners to adversaries.

Today fast moving trends across the Diplomatic, Information, Military, and Economic (DIME) spheres are rapidly transforming the nature of all aspects of society and human life – including the character of warfare. These trends include significant advances in science and technology, where new discoveries and innovations are occurring at a breakneck pace; a dizzying pace of human interaction and a world:

  • That is connected through social media and the “Internet of Things” and all aspects of human engagement where cognition, ideas, and perceptions, are almost instantaneously available.
  • Where economic disparities are growing between and within nations and regions; where changing demographics—like aging populations and youth bulges—and populations moving to urban areas and mega cities capable of providing all of the benefits of the technological and information-enabled advances.
  • With competition for natural resources, especially water, becoming more common.
  • And where geopolitical challenges in which near-peer competitors, regional hegemons, ideologically-driven non-state actors, and even super empowered-individuals are competing for leadership and influence in an ever-shrinking world.

The result is a conventional military power may find itself with the very real potential of being out-gunned, out-ranged, out-protected, outdated, out of position, and out of balance against their adversaries. These potential foes have had time to refine their approaches to warfare, develop and integrate new capabilities, and in some cases expedite growing changes in the character of warfare.

The Drivers

An assessment of the Operating Environment’s trajectory in future reveals two critical drivers : one dealing with rapid societal change spurred by breakneck advances in science and technology, the other with the art of warfare under these conditions, which will blur the differences in the art of war with the science of war. 

These drivers work along a continuum beginning in the present in a nascent form, and rapidly gaining momentum through a culmination point around 2050. First, the trends referenced above will create an OE marked by instability, which will manifest itself in evolving geopolitics, resurgent nationalism, changing demographics, and unease with the results of globalization creating tension, competition for resources, and challenges to structures, order, and institutions. Instability also will result from the rapid development of technology and the resulting increase in the speed of human interaction, as well as an increasing churn in economic and social spheres. A global populace that is increasingly attuned and sensitive to disparities in economic resources and the diffusion of social influence will lead to further challenges to the status quo and lead to system rattling events like the Arab Spring, the Color Revolutions in Eastern Europe, the Greek monetary crisis, BREXIT, and the mass migrations to Europe from the Middle East and North Africa, many of which will come with little warning. Also, the world order will evolve with rising nations to challenging the post Cold War dominance of the U.S.-led Western system. New territorial conflicts will arise in places like the South China Sea, compelling USA to seek new partnerships and alliances, while climate change and geopolitical competition will open up whole new theaters of operation, such as in the Arctic.

Global Trends and Challenges to Structure, Order, and Institutions 

   · Evolving geopolitics 

   · Resurgent nationalism 

   · Changing demographics 

   · Unease with globalization 

   · Competition for resources 

   · Challenges to structures, order, and institutions 

   · Rapid development of technology

   · Disparities in economic resources and social influence 

   · Perceived Relative Depravations

The second driver deals with the combination of this instability with adaptive, thinking adversaries who are modernizing, and will continue to modernize their capabilities and adjust them to this changing Operating Environment. Throughout this continuum, these adversaries will present an array of threats that will be lethal and will be presented across multiple domains (land, sea, air, space, and cyber.) Adversaries will operate in and among populations and in complex terrain, and endeavor to mitigate many of traditional technological advantages and force us to operate with degraded capabilities and take advantage of the infrastructure and other resources cities offer. They will adopt complex strategies that take advantage of a range of capabilities that deny us a conventional force-on-force fight unless the situation is advantageous to the adversary. They will use proxy forces that provide plausible deniability, yet directly allow them to not only shape the battlespace, but even achieve their objectives without risking a wider conflict. Similarly, they also may choose to work with, sponsor, or support terrorist or criminal entities to achieve a similar end. Adversaries will rely on strategic capabilities, such as weapons of mass destruction, information operations, and direct cyber-attacks. Space will become a contested domain.

Expanding Doctrine and Capabilities Our adversaries already are working to develop new methods and new means to challenge the United States. These efforts will only continue in future. We can expect to encounter: 

   · Multi-domain threats 

   · Operations in complex terrain, including dense urban areas and even megacities 

   · Hybrid Strategies / “Gray Zone” Operations 

   · Weapons of Mass Destruction 

   · Sophisticated anti-access/area denial complexes 

   · New weapons, taking advantage of advances in technology (robotics, autonomy, AI,       
    cyber, space, hypersonics etc.) 

   · The relationship and trade space between precision and mass 

   · Information as a decisive weapon

Future Trends

Recent decades have witnessed far-reaching changes in how people live, create, think, and prosper. Understanding of these changes is a prerequisite to further understand how the strategic security environment and the character of warfare itself transformed the present into the Era where the combination of technology, speed of human interaction, and the convergence in the realms of nanotechnology, quantum computing, biology and synthetic biology, neurological advancements, and the omnipresence of information moves us into the Era of Contested Equality.

Convergence. The impact of the development of so many new and potential revolutionary technologies is made all the more disruptive by the convergence phenomenon. Virtually every new technology is connected and intersecting to other new technologies and advances. The example of the contemporary “smart phone”, which connects advances in cellular telephones with a camera, gaming, miniaturized computing and the Internet has completely transformed, and in many ways disrupted contemporary life. Future convergences between various technological advances are likely to be equally disruptive and equally unpredictable, but the areas in which we foresee the most likely convergences are:

   · Biology and bio-engineering, to include optimizing human performance 

   · Neurologic enhancement 

   · Nanotechnology 

   · Advanced Material Sciences 

   · Quantum Computing 

   · Artificial Intelligence 

   · Robotics 

   · Additive Manufacturing

Potential Game Changers 

Evolutionary technologies that, if matured and fielded, can provide a decisive edge over an adversary unable to match the capability or equal the capacity. 

   · Advanced ATGM & MANPADS - Proliferate more rapidly than Active Protection  
     systems develop, putting armored vehicles and helicopters at risk. 

   · Robotics – 40+ countries develop military robots with some level of autonomy. 

   · Space - 50+ nations operating in space. Increasingly congested and difficult to monitor. 
     PNT at risk.

   · Chemical Weapons –Non-traditional agents developed to defeat detection and  
      protection capabilities. 

   · Camouflage, Cover, Concealment, Denial, & Deception (C3D2) – Creates                     uncertainty and challenges multi-discipline intelligence. 

· Cannon/Rocket Artillery - Long range artillery, hardened GPS munitions defeat jamming. Point air defense systems defend against PGM. 

· Missiles – Developed for greater range and improved accuracy using inertial guidance.

 · Computing/Cyber - Human-Computer interaction is transformed. Processing power       increases exponentially. Big Data and Quantum Computing.

Revolutionary technologies that, when developed and fielded, will provide a decisive edge over adversaries not similarly equipped. This technological advantage will most probably be temporary. 

· Laser and Radio Frequency Weapons – Scalable lethal and non-Lethal directed energy weapons can counter Aircraft, UAS, Missiles, Projectiles, Sensors, and Swarms. 

· Swarms – Leverage autonomy, robotics, and artificial intelligence to generate “global behavior with local rules” for multiple entities – either homogeneous or heterogeneous teams. 

· Rail Guns and Enhanced Directed Kinetic Energy Weapons (EDKEW) – Non explosive electromagnetic projectile launchers provide high velocity/high energy weapons.

· Energetics – Provides increased accuracy and muzzle energy. 

· Synthetic Biology – Engineering and modification of biological entities has potential weaponization. 

· Internet of Things – Linked internet “things” create opportunity and vulnerability. Great potential benefits already found in developing U.S. systems also create a vulnerability.

· Power – Future effectiveness depends on renewable sources and reduced consumption. Small

Effect of Technology on Character of Warfare

The character of warfare will change. These changes included warfare that was contested in all domains, required faster decisions and decision analysis to be made, needed to take advantage of narrower – in terms of time and space – opportunities, often characterized as windows, saw the proliferation of WMD, occurred in complex, congested terrain, involved hybrid strategies and combatants, and was increasingly difficult to resolve conclusively. Warfare will be enhanced by more advanced, sophisticated capabilities, take advantage of artificial intelligence to improve decision-making and even further increase speed in terms of integration, decision-making, and operational imperatives, occur at even longer ranges, and deliver a range of effects whose impact and destructiveness are both broader and more precisely delivered. Unmanned systems, including advanced battlefield robotic systems acting both autonomously and as part of a wider trend in man-machine teaming means, will become increasingly common, could make up significant elements of a combatant force. In some cases, swarms of small, cheap unmanned systems will be used in novel ways, both offensively and defensively, creating targeting dilemmas for sophisticated, expensive defensive systems. Laser and radiofrequency weapons drawing upon small, lighter, and much more portable sources of power, will become more practical, and will further increase the ranges and lethality of direct fire weapons, particularly defensive weapons designed to counter aircraft, unmanned aerial vehicles, and ground systems. Communications will be critical, and advances in quantum computing, networking, and the Internet of Things will make the need to communicate both easier, and more difficult in the face of the same technologies used to counter an enemy’s communications capabilities. 

Advances in hypersonic delivery systems, space systems, hypervelocity rail guns, and other systems, coupled with new types of conventional and unconventional warheads will dramatically increase the scope of battlefields, with precision strike effects capable of being delivered rapidly from a continent away. Advances in weapons of mass destruction, including the development of a range of nuclear payloads, advanced chemical weapons employing new technologies and understanding of chemistry and chemical engineering, and perhaps most significantly, biological weapons, present a devastatingly lethal and disruptive WMD threat profile. Exquisite precision weapons allow an adversary to regularly produce critical effects necessary to further their plan. Destruction of key nodes in an opposing force or enemy nation allows measured effects to produce desired conditions. The speed of engagements in this era – which routinely involve lasers, hypersonic weapons, cyber-attacks, and artificial intelligence – will far exceed the reaction time of humans. The decision-making process will require much greater speed; information and intelligence will need to be quickly gathered and assessed so that commanders can make the decisions at increasingly rapid rates. As a result, engagements will be fast, but campaigns could be protracted series of kinetic engagements or conflicts short of war.

No one nation will have an overwhelming technological advantage over its rivals. As a result, sophisticated information operations, enabled by advances in artificial intelligence, high-performance computing, detailed socio-political analysis, data analytics, and a detailed understanding of social media means that competitors will engage in a fight for information on a global scale. The information battle will be waged with well-crafted ideas and Human Evolution Boosted by Technology. Winning the war before the battle is fought through information operations will become an imperative, and land forces will need to contribute to perception management in the cognitive dimension as a core element of military operations.

The Changing Character of Warfare. 

Changes in the operational environment and technology that are so significant, extensive, and pervasive, that they collectively manifest a distinct, and transformed character of warfare that is faster, occurs at longer ranges, is more destructive, targets civilians and military equally across the physical, cognitive, and moral dimensions, and if waged effectively, secures its objectives before actual battle is joined. The nature of war, which has remained relatively constant from Thucydides through Clausewitz, to the Cold War and to the present, certainly remains constant. War is still waged because of fear, honor, and interest, and remains an expression of politics by other means. However, it becomes apparent that the character of warfare has changed to a point where other basic questions, such as those contemplating the very definition of war or those looking at whether fear or honor are removed as part of the equation. In future warfare does indeed look different from its early century model in several key areas

A Changed Character of Warfare

· The moral and cognitive dimensions are ascendant. 

· Integration across the DIME 

· Limitation of military force. 

· The primacy of information.

· Expansion of the Battle Area / hyper-destruction. 

· Ethics of warfare shift.

Homeland Sectors Vulnerable to Disruption

Targeting the Homeland allows an adversary to delay own ability to deploy or intervene in a conflict and directly target the nation’s political decision-making process and will to fight.

· Agriculture & food supply – Those areas affecting acquisition, processing and availability of foodstuff 

· Finance, banking and commerce – Disruption of financial networks, availability of funds, and confidence in markets…access to retail 

· Rule of Law / Government Institutions – Degrade confidence in the Government’s ability to provide functioning, stable, and legitimate law and order, services, and governance. 

· Transportation – Prolonged interruption of air, cargo and public sectors

· Medical – Loss of services, corruption of supply chain, inability to react to pandemics

· Water – Contamination of public supply, disruption of distribution and loss of access to water 

· Power - Disruption to the electromagnetic spectrum over wide areas and interdiction of power generation 

· Entertainment and Information – Attacks against arenas and public gathering places, prolonged internet denial, loss of confidence in journalism.


The ultimate drivers of outcome in the future will depend largely on the imminent decisions we make today with respect to strategy and policy, concepts, innovation, and adaptation, and our ability to become a fully integrated member of a whole-of-government, joint, and combined team designed to succeed under changing conditions. Although the future postulated in this paper is not certain, the trends we see demonstrates that the character of warfare is changing. For the nation to succeed, we must quickly learn and internalize this fact, and lay the groundwork today for success in the future.

[ TRADOC Paper on The Operational Environment and the Changing Character of Future Warfare ]

A Vision for India’s Future

By Jacob Shapiro

According to a Pew survey released this week, 88 percent of Indians hold a favorable view of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, and 83 percent are satisfied with the state of the economy. Most notably, 70 percent said they were satisfied with the direction their country is moving in. Just 29 percent felt this way in 2013, which means there has been a seismic shift in public sentiment in India.

The Real Source of China's Soft Power

By Thomas Barker

I can imagine that American studio executives and foreign policy wonks breathed a sigh of relief when the 2016 film The Great Wall (directed by Zhang Yimou) “bombed” at the global box office. Representing a co-production between China and the United States through the Wanda Group’s recent acquisition of Legendary Entertainment, The Great Wall was meant to bring together American film making and marketing skills with Chinese capital in order to showcase China to the world. Starring Hollywood stars Matt Damon and Willem Dafoe and Chinese star Jing Tian alongside Hong Kong superstar Andy Lau, the film was rocked by controversy before its release, including accusations of whitewashing and a formulaic yet meaningless story. Earning $171 million in China and $163 million from the rest of the world including the United States, The Great Wall made a modest profit but nothing of the magnitude of The Fate of the Furious (2017), Transformers: The Last Knight(2017) or the Chinese production Wolf Warrior 2 (2017) which made 5.7 billion yuan domestically ($860 million).

Afghanistan’s Stabilization Can Ensure Maritime Security

M. Ashraf Haidari
I recently participated in an international maritime conference—SAGAR Discourse dialogue organized by the Forum for Integrated National Security—that discussed “security and growth for all” in the Indian Ocean region. The conference took place in India’s coastal city of Goa, which has a long history of maritime trade and commercial exchange among different civilizations of the South, East and West. Coming from a landlocked country, Afghanistan, it was a unique learning experience for the author, as he listened to speaker after speaker on the challenges and opportunities that involve blue oceans.

Is America Prepared to Battle China in an Asymmetric War?

For China, asymmetric warfare represents a tactic with ancient roots that has been successfully applied to the contemporary age. Asymmetric warfare, as seen from Beijing, means using one’s own strengths and capabilities to attack an enemy’s weaknesses. Doing so may involve the use of terrain, tactics, or the application of new or different technologies. Chinese military thought on asymmetric warfare draws heavily on classical strategy. The authors of The Science of Military Strategy 2013, a leading contemporary military tract, cite Sun Tzu’s directive from The Art of War that in order to exact many victories, one must use asymmetric means (fei duicheng) with surprising military movements. Sun Tzu cautions that an army should employ a combination of direct, normal offensive and defensive moves, and unusual, unexpected, or sudden surprising moves in order to achieve dominance on the battlefield.

Controversial Railway Project Consolidates China’s Foothold in Central Asia

By: Farkhad Sharip

On November 5, a cargo train from Kokshetau, North Kazakhstan, carrying 30 containers of wheat, arrived in the Turkish harbor city of Mersin, on the Mediterranean coast. What made this event so notable was that this was the first train from Kazakhstan to use the new 826-kilometer-long Baku-Tbilisi-Kars (BTK) railway, inaugurated in the Azerbaijani capital city of Baku, on October 30. The ceremony in Kokshetau was attended by the presidents of Turkey and Azerbaijan, Recep Tayip Erdoğan and Ilham Aliyev, respectively. These heads of state were also accompanied by the prime ministers of Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and Georgia— Bakytzhan Sagintayev, Abdulla Aripov and Giorgi Kvirikashvili (Inform.kz, November 5).

How to Avoid an ISIS 2.0 in Iraq

Michael O'HanlonSara Allawi

With Mosul and other key cities now liberated from the horrible scourge of ISIS, Iraq stands at a crucial crossroads. Iraqis and Americans have squandered historic opportunities to build a new, stable and prosperous country together before. We must not let that happen again. The key danger, as before, is this: extremism combined with sectarianism build on each other in a vicious spiral. That dynamic, in the absence of a functional state, further polarizes populations within Iraq and produces and endless cycles of violence, which creates opportunities for foreign meddling and a deepening of the kinds of resentments and paranoias that led to the emergence of ISIS—and even Al Qaeda before that. We must secure military gains with a political victory. Otherwise, we risk the emergence of an ISIS 2.0 among embittered Sunni populations.