22 March 2018

Chinese crackdown separates Pakistani husbands from Uighur wives

Memphis Barker
“Where is Mama?” screams Ahmed’s 10-year-old daughter in a WeChat message he can hardly bear to replay.  Like many traders in Pakistan’s northernmost region of Gilgit-Baltistan, Ahmed fell in love with a Chinese woman on a work trip across the border. And like dozens of others, he has now been forcibly separated from the woman he married – and the child they had together – for months.Last week lawmakers in Gilgit-Baltistan demanded that authorities in China’s Xinjiang province immediately release from detention at least 50 Chinese women married to Pakistani men, some of whom have been held for a year on vague charges of extremism.

The Bajwa Doctrine: from chauvinism to realism

After 70 years of extreme chauvinism, we are finally into the doctrine of realism which focuses on the peaceful coexistence with the neighbouring countries. The Bajwa Doctrine, initiated by the rationalistic and logical Gen Qamar Bajwa and his equally able team of the top military command, is all about realising the changes taking place around the country and reshaping policies according to the needs of the modern times.

Water Wars: Conflict in the Maldives Between Major Powers

By Timothy Saviola, Nathan Swire

India and China have become entangled in a constitutional crisis in the Maldives, with both countries brandishing their navies while attempting to come to a diplomatic solution. The crisis began on Feb. 1 when the Maldives Supreme Court ordered the release of all political prisoners, citing violations of due process in their trials. The released prisoners included multiple members of the opposition Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP), and the order also covered former president Mohamad Nasheed, who was sentenced to 13 years in prison in 2015 but is now living in exile in London. In response to this ruling, President Abdulla Yameen declared a state of emergency, arresting members of the Supreme Court, dispatching police to keep order, and suspending parts of the constitution. However, the Maldives government has stated it does not intend to extent the state of emergency past March 22. The Maldives are scheduled to hold presidential elections this summer.

Ex-chief of strategic missile force named China’s defence minister

Ex-chief of strategic missile force named China’s defence minister 

BEIJING - China has named its former strategic missile force chief as defence minister, completing a shake-up of its top military brass that began in October last year. General Wei Fenghe’s appointment on Monday (March 19) underscored the firm grip that President Xi Jinping now has over the People’s Liberation Army (PLA), said analysts. Gen Wei, 63, was the first officer to be promoted to full general when Mr Xi took office in 2012 and also the youngest to hold the rank at the time. A career artillery officer, he rose through the ranks of the Second Artillery Force, which oversees China’s land-based nuclear arsenal, and became its commander in 2012. That year, Gen Wei was among the first in the PLA’s senior leadership to both pledge allegiance to Mr Xi and actively execute his military reform agenda, which included a sweeping reorganisation of the PLA and its command structure.

How to Beat Russia and China on the Battlefield: Military Robots

Jeff Becker

Thinking of robotic systems coupled with artificial intelligence (AI) and robotics as an existential threat to humanity as (for example) Elon Musk, Stephen Hawking and other scientists have done recently is at best premature, and at worst that thought process threatens to cede U.S. military advantage to hostile and aggressive state competitors. Of course, objections by scientists to the militarization of technological advances of all types has a rich—if somewhat misguided—history. But as military professionals, it is incumbent to discount breathless reports of our imminent extinction at the claws of our silicon superiors and understand the concrete reality of robotic systems and AI on the battlefield to solve specific military problems.

15 Years After Invading Iraq: Winning the War, But Still Fighting for Peace

Monday marks 15 years since President George W. Bush announced the start of the Iraq war, followed by a ‘decapitation’ air strike on Baghdad meant to target Saddam Hussein. After a 48-hour deadline for Saddam to leave Iraq expired, ground troops from the U.S., UK, Australia and Poland invaded Iraq from Kuwait, launching a war that lasted from 2003 to 2011. The Cipher Brief asked its experts in the intelligence, diplomatic and military to assess the war’s impact. Their conversations are adapted for print below.

Erdogan the Magnificent, Turkey's Neo-Ottoman Revival

By Joseph V. Micallef 

In 1994, an aspiring Turkish politician named Recep Tayyip Erdogan leveraged his fame as a player for Istanbul's Kasimpasa Soccer Club into a successful run for mayor of Istanbul as a candidate of the Islamist Welfare Party. His initial success proved short-lived. In 1998, he was dismissed from his position as mayor, banned from further political office and imprisoned for four months for having recited a poem, during a speech, that promoted an Islamic point of view of the role of government.

15 Years After Invading Iraq: Winning the War, But Still Fighting for Peace

Source Link

Monday marks 15 years since President George W. Bush announced the start of the Iraq war, followed by a ‘decapitation’ air strike on Baghdad meant to target Saddam Hussein. After a 48-hour deadline for Saddam to leave Iraq expired, ground troops from the U.S., UK, Australia and Poland invaded Iraq from Kuwait, launching a war that lasted from 2003 to 2011. The Cipher Brief asked its experts in the intelligence, diplomatic and military to assess the war’s impact. Their conversations are adapted for print below.

How Will America Respond To Cold War II?

Robert Kuttner

In the past month, we’ve learned from special counsel Robert Mueller that 13 Russian officials and three Kremlin-linked agencies were involved in 2016 election trolling and hacking to a sufficient degree to indict them; that the Kremlin was almost certainly behind the assassination attempt on a former double agent living in Britain; and that Russian cyberwar agencies penetrated vital U.S. electrical and other infrastructure systems, and could have shut them down. That latest finding, reported last week by the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security, was sufficiently alarming that even the White House bleated a mild protest, for the very first time. And the Trump administration joined Britain and other allies in condemning the attempted hit job. 

Putin Plans for a Russia Without Him

By Lauren Goodrich

Though Russian President Vladimir Putin is assured an election win on March 18, his fourth term will usher in a period of deep challenges for Russia and his continued rule. Putin's pledge to maintain stability is facing economic and demographic shifts that will ripple throughout society and test compliance with Putin's government. Thinking of the longer term, the Kremlin is considering a spate of reforms and has allowed political discourse to return to Russia, though each maneuver is not without its risks. Putin, his cultlike government and the Russian people are starting to consider what life in Russia will look like after he leaves the political stage.

Why Israel Is Stuck with Hamas

By Daniel Byman

Hamas, the anti-Israel Palestinian faction that rules the Gaza known for its terrorist attacks on Israel—is on the ropes. Although the violent back-and-forth with Israel goes on, Hamas spends much of its energy trying to undermine its Palestinian rivals rather than fighting Israel with all its might. Israeli pressure, international isolation and Hamas’s own failings all make the group’s fate unclear. However, this seeming policy success poses a dilemma for Israel. Although Hamas is Israel’s enemy and would happily see the Jewish state destroyed, its continued control of Gaza (for now) is a necessary evil for Israel given the paucity of alternatives.


Nerea Cal

Last month, the Trump administration officially unveiled the results of a year-long review of the United States’ nuclear posture and its strategic vision for how to incorporate nuclear capabilities into an overarching security strategy. In the official White House press release announcing the publication of the 2018 Nuclear Posture Review (NPR), President Trump states that this strategy “enhances deterrence of strategic attacks against our Nation, and our allies and partners, that may not come in the form of nuclear weapons.” The NPR makes clear that the American nuclear arsenal serves a deterrent purpose not only against nuclear threats, but also against “non-nuclear aggression,” including cyber threats. It also emphasizes that the United States’ non-nuclear forces, though an important component of its overall deterrent strategy, “do not provide comparable deterrence effects—as is reflected by past, periodic, and catastrophic failures of conventional deterrence to prevent Great Power war before the advent of nuclear deterrence.” Thus, it seems that while the Trump administration’s nuclear strategy considers non-nuclear actions as legitimate causes for retaliation, it sees a nuclear response as the most effective threat against those actions.

How Russia Meddled in its Own Elections


Vladimir Putin, Russia’s longest-serving ruler since Joseph Stalin, surprised no one with his landslide re-election on Sunday. While his victory, in which he claimed 73.9 percent of the vote according to state-run exit polls, was a foregone conclusion, the Kremlin was reportedly anxious about turnout, and conducted an elaborate, well-financed get-out-the-vote campaign. For an authoritarian regime in which election results and turnout are pre-ordained, such concerns may seem odd. But even in Russia’s “managed democracy,” appearances still matter, and the Kremlin needed to present believably high levels of support to ensure Putin’s mandate. Shortly after polling centers closed on Sunday night, Putin appeared to be on target to achieve the desired 65 percent turnout. But even more important for Putin is that this election marked the culmination of his nearly two-decades-long project to control information in Russia and manipulate Russian society. Now, Putin has proven beyond any doubt that the Russia he has built is his and his alone.

Infographic Of The Day: Craft Oil - The Lesser Known Side Of America's Energy Industry

Today's infographic focuses on a key part of the turnaround in the U.S. energy sector that often gets overshadowed by Big Oil players like ExxonMobil or Royal Dutch Shell. It covers the role of "Craft Oil" in the industry, an umbrella that includes many small, independent, and focused companies across America that produce oil and gas on a domestic basis.

Russia Sends A Chilling Message With Its Latest Chemical Attack

To pedestrians passing outside the Maltings shopping center in Salisbury, England, on the afternoon of March 4, the pair slumped on a bench appeared to be another tragic case of opioid overdose. The younger woman was unconscious, having lost control of her bodily functions, and was propped against the older man, himself twitching and mumbling in an incoherent manner. But as police arrived at the scene and identified the victims, it soon became clear that this was not an accidental narcotics overdose.

Cryptocurrencies Challenge The Status Quo – Analysis

By Ousmène Jacques Mandeng and Piroska Nagy-Mohacsi*

Cryptocurrencies have been the subject of recent attacks by official sector representatives, and the G20 finance ministers will consider regulatory proposals at their next meeting in Buenos Aires. This column argues that while cryptocurrencies present certain risks, they also represent an important innovation that promises to enhance choice and efficiency in monetary transactions. A proportionate, risk-based regulatory approach is required to accommodate differential attitudes and experiences and to avoid stifling innovation and competition. This implies having an open debate before sweeping regulatory action.  Cryptocurrencies, today’s privately issued monies or quasi-monies, are threatened with a regulatory clampdown. Many central banks and regulators are calling for their comprehensive regulation, and an announcement is expected at the forthcoming G20 meetings in Argentina. Most economists now echo this sentiment (James 2018, Turner 2018, Danielsson 2018) following earlier, more sympathetic voices (Fernandez-Villaverde 2017).

NSA Pick Will Develop Cyber Retaliation Plans But Don’t Expect Government to Use Them


Lawmakers pressed President Donald Trump’s pick to lead the National Security Agency over the government’s failure to deter Russian cyber aggression Thursday at the same time the Treasury Department imposed the broadest sanctions to date against Russian government hackers. The timing underscored two points made frequently by government cyber officials and by their critics outside government. First, the best response to a cyber strike often isn’t a cyber counterstrike. Second, those non-cyber responses, though they keep piling up, still aren’t doing the trick. Thursday’s sanctions target five Russian entities, including intelligence services and social troll creator, the Internet Research Agency, as well as 19 individuals, many of whom were previously indicted by Special Counsel Robert Mueller.

The Pentagon Wants AI To Reveal Adversaries’ True Intentions


The U.S. military is looking to enlist game theory and artificial intelligence to fight tomorrow’s unconventional warfare tactics. From eastern Europe to southern Iraq, the U.S. military faces a difficult problem: Adversaries pretending to be something they’re not — think Russia’s “little green men” in Ukraine. But a new program from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency seeks to apply artificial intelligence to detect and understand how adversaries are using sneaky tactics to create chaos, undermine governments, spread foreign influence and sow discord.

4 predictions for the future of work

Stephane Kasriel

I contemplate the future of work on a daily basis in both my professional and personal life. As a father of four children from four to 14 years old, and as a citizen of the world, I care about our future. As CEO of freelancing website Upwork, I am witnessing firsthand not only the immense changes within our industry, but also the speed at which they are occurring. At the World Economic Forum, where I co-chair the Council on the Future of Work, Gender and Education, we have heated discussions on the future impact of artificial intelligence on work and our responsibilities to help manage the change. We see that as the workforce evolves, we must finally break free from the industrial-era habits of the past to ensure a more productive and equitable future.

Power Grid Cyber Attacks Keep the Pentagon Up at Night

By Michael McElfresh

It’s very hard to overstate how important the US power grid is to American society and its economy. Every critical infrastructure, from communications to water, is built on it and every important business function from banking to milking cows is completely dependent on it.  And the dependence on the grid continues to grow as more machines, including equipment on the power grid, get connected to the Internet. A report last year prepared for the President and Congress emphasized the vulnerability of the grid to a long-term power outage, saying “For those who would seek to do our Nation significant physical, economic, and psychological harm, the electrical grid is an obvious target.”

Battlefield Singularity

Artificial intelligence (AI) is fast heating up as a key area of strategic competition. U.S. leaders have signaled that AI is a major component of the Defense Department’s strategy to reinvigorate American military technological dominance. In October 2016, the U.S. government released a “National Artificial Intelligence Research and Development Strategic Plan,” one of three reports on AI issued by the Obama administration. Other nations have similarly taken note of the transformative potential of AI. In July 2017, China released its own national-level AI development plan. In September, Russian President Vladimir Putin observed, “whoever becomes the leader in this sphere [artificial intelligence] will become the ruler of the world.”

ISRO computer had malware, could’ve been hacked, say researchers

By Mithun MK
Source Link

HYDERABAD:A malware infected computer of ISRO exposed India’s premier space research agency to hackers, claimed Indian and French security researchers on Sunday. The researchers also claimed that hackers could have taken control of ISRO’s command rocket launches using the vulnerability. Express has not been able to independently verify this claim.The trojan malware, known as XtremeRAT, was detected in ISRO servers in December 2017 and was reported to the agency by an Indian researcher. ISRO reportedly responded and resolved the issue only after French researcher Robert Baptiste reached out to the agency on Twitter. “ISRO in their conversation with me informed that that investigated and found a UTM login port that was not mapped internally to any systems.They claimed to have disabled that port for now,” said Baptiste quoting ISRO’s communication with him that Express has seen.

Dismantling Contemporary Military Thinking and Reconstructing Patterns of Information: Thinking Deeper About Future War and Warfighting

Bradley L. Rees

“Capturing the perceptions of foreign audiences will replace seizing terrain as the new high ground for the future joint force.” “This is a totally new kind of threat, as we all know. Our adversaries, both state and non-state actors, view the entire information domain as a battlespace, and across it, they are waging a new kind of war against us, a war involving but also extending beyond our military, to include our infrastructure, our businesses, and our people.” SASC Hearing on the Roles and Responsibilities for Defending the Nation from Cyber Attack,

Army, Struggling to Get Technology in Soldiers’ Hands, Tries the Unconventional


Soldiers training at Fort Sill, Okla., last month. The Army’s planned Futures Command will consult directly with troops there about how to update artillery pieces to improve speed and range.CreditTamir Kalifa for The New York Times. The platoon of Army Special Operations soldiers was on a routine night patrol in eastern Afghanistan when one of them suddenly opened fire on what looked to the others to be a bush. The bush, it turned out, had been obscuring a militant fighter. He was detectable only to the one platoon member wearing prototype night vision goggles that could detect heat signatures — a happenstance that Army officials say probably saved many lives.

Does Success Come Mostly from Talent, Hard Work—or Luck?

At a campaign rally in Roanoke, Va., before the 2012 election, President Barack Obama opined: “If you were successful, somebody along the line gave you some help. There was a great teacher somewhere in your life.... Somebody invested in roads and bridges. If you've got a business—you didn't build that. Somebody else made that happen.”  Although Obama was making a larger point about the power of collective action, such as building dams, power grids and the Internet, conservative heads exploded at the final sentiment. “I did build that!” is an understandable rejoinder to which I can relate. I research my books, edit my magazine, teach my courses and write these columns (this one is my 200th in a row for Scientific American). If I don't make them happen, nobody else will. But then I started thinking as a social scientist on the role of circumstance and luck in how lives turn out. It's a sobering experience to realize just how many variables are out of our control:

21 March 2018

‘Pakistan is isolated and has fewer friends in the international community’


Last month the Supreme Court of Pakistan issued an arrest warrant for the former ambassador to the United States, Husain Haqqani, after he failed to appear in court for a hearing on “Memogate.” The “memo” in question had allegedly been sent by Haqqani to a high-ranking US official in May 2011 – days after the operation that killed Osama bin Laden in Abbottabad, Pakistan – exposing clashes between the civilian government then led by the Pakistan Peoples Party and the army.

We Asked Gen. Petraeus If The Iraq War Was Worth It. Here’s What He Said

by Jeff Schogol 

Fifteen years of war have turned Iraqi cities such as Ramadi, Fallujah, and Mosul into ruins. Iraq remains as divided as ever along sectarian lines, despite the deaths of more than 4,500 U.S. troops and untold numbers of Iraqis. U.S. troops remain in Iraq to help advise and assist Iraqi forces as they try to prevent ISIS from launching yet another insurgency. Meanwhile, Iran has flooded the country with thousands of proxy fighters, giving it a large say in what the government of Iraq does post-ISIS. This wasn’t the Iraq that was supposed to emerge when U.S. troops crossed the berm from Kuwait to Iraq in March 2003. Nor is this the Iraq that troops who trounced al Qaeda during the surge bled for. There are few tangible signs of success, and Iraq’s future is still unclear.

A New Order for the Indo-Pacific


China has transformed the Indo-Pacific region’s strategic landscape in just five years. If other powers do not step in to counter further challenges to the territorial and maritime status quo, the next five years could entrench China’s strategic advantages. Security dynamics are changing rapidly in the Indo-Pacific. The region is home not only to the world’s fastest-growing economies, but also to the fastest-increasing military expenditures and naval capabilities, the fiercest competition over natural resources, and the most dangerous strategic hot spots. One might even say that it holds the key to global security.  The increasing use of the term “Indo-Pacific” – which refers to all countries bordering the Indian and Pacific oceans – rather than “Asia-Pacific,” underscores the maritime dimension of today’s tensions. Asia’s oceans have increasingly become an arena of competition for resources and influence. It now seems likely that future regional crises will be triggered and/or settled at sea.

Chinese APT15 Group Steals UK Military Docs

Phil Muncaste
Source Link

A suspected Chinse APT group has been spotted raiding a UK government contractor for military and other sensitive documents. APT15 is also known as Ke3chang, Mirage, Vixen Panda GREF and Playful Dragon – a group operating for several years from servers registered in China and with Chinese language infrastructure. NCC Group claimed at the weekend that it spotted the group stealing sensitive documents from one of its clients, a government contractor, back in May. It appeared to be using a blend of old and new tools: previous backdoor BS2005 now appearing alongside new versions RoyalCli and RoyalDNS.

The Fatal Flaw in China's Plan for Dominating the World Economy

Milton Ezrati

Chinese premier Li Keqiang recently delivered a remarkably revealing speech. Addressing the National People’s Congress for two full hours early in March, he stressed the county’s determination to rely on broad industrial policies as a means to development. The objective, to use Li’s words, is to “speed up work to build China into a leader in manufacturing.” Li doubtless wanted his audience and the world to hear his remarks as a challenge to Western economic power. Many no doubt did. What Li failed to note, and assuredly does not realize, is how his blueprint for progress, rather than ensure Chinese dominance, will instead keep that country indefinitely dependent on the West, doom it to repeat its already well-established pattern of wasteful overbuilding, and ensure that its economy will always remain just a bit behind the West technologically.

Chairman Xi, Chinese Idol

Ian Johnson 

For nearly sixty years since it opened in 1959, the Great Hall of the People has been the public focus of Chinese politics, a monumental granite block that extends 1,200 feet along the west side of Tiananmen Square. It is where the country’s leaders appear in public to display their power: a platform for state banquets, receptions of foreign dignitaries, and symbolic political meetings. It is their throne room, their sacred space. It is the outward manifestation of decisions made in other, darker realms. 

‘Enforcer’ Wang could be let loose on US to quell trade dispute


Wang Qishan has been described as cold, calculating and combative by his enemies. Just the sort of skill set his small, select circle of political allies are counting on, including his old comrade, the Chinese President Xi Jinping. At 69, Wang was forced to step down from the all-powerful seven-man Politburo Standing Committee in October because of his age during a reshuffle at the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China in Beijing. For the past five years, he had been feared and loathed as the anti-corruption tzar in President Xi’s centerpiece “clean up” campaign before he “retired”. But now, he is back after being elected to the National People’s Congress last month.

A Cyberattack in Saudi Arabia Had a Deadly Goal. Experts Fear Another Try.


In August, a petrochemical company with a plant in Saudi Arabia was hit by a new kind of cyberassault. The attack was not designed to simply destroy data or shut down the plant, investigators believe. It was meant to sabotage the firm’s operations and trigger an explosion. The attack was a dangerous escalation in international hacking, as faceless enemies demonstrated both the drive and the ability to inflict serious physical damage. And United States government officials, their allies and cybersecurity researchers worry that the culprits could replicate it in other countries, since thousands of industrial plants all over the world rely on the same American-engineered computer systems that were compromised.

Pentagon Wants Silicon Valley’s Help on A.I.


An Air Force cargo jet in 2016 at a base in the Persian Gulf where drones were launched against the Islamic State. With drone technology just one area open to advances in artificial intelligence, a task force will explore how the government can work better with tech leaders to develop its A.I. There is little doubt that the Defense Department needs help from Silicon Valley’s biggest companies as it pursues work on artificial intelligence. The question is whether the people who work at those companies are willing to cooperate.

The Cambridge Analytica Files

by Carole Cadwalladr

The first time I met Christopher Wylie, he didn’t yet have pink hair. That comes later. As does his mission to rewind time. To put the genie back in the bottle. By the time I met him in person, I’d already been talking to him on a daily basis for hours at a time. On the phone, he was clever, funny, bitchy, profound, intellectually ravenous, compelling. A master storyteller. A politicker. A data science nerd.

Israel says it foiled Hamas bid to rebuild Gaza attack tunnel

Israel says foiled Hamas bid to rebuild Gaza tunnel 

Israeli forces on Sunday knocked out a tunnel in the Gaza Strip dug by Hamas militants to mount cross-border attacks, the military said.  The tunnel had been cut off during the 2014 Gaza war and Hamas had tried to put it back into operation, a military spokesman said. It had been dug inside the Hamas-ruled enclave several hundred meters away from Israel’s border fence. The Israeli forces did not cross the border to render the tunnel inoperable but used a new technique, Lieutenant-Colonel Jonathan Conricus told reporters. “We did not use explosives. It (the tunnel) was filled with a certain material, with a certain compound,” Conricus said.

How Trump could give the Pentagon a McMaster problem


The growing expectation that President Donald Trump is going to force out Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster as national security adviser raises a quandary: would the Army take him back? Like his precarious position in the White House over the past year, McMaster’s stormy relationship with the Army leadership is nearly legendary due to his questioning of orthodoxy and brusque manner. Now, the Pentagon is grappling with what to do with the military’s leading warrior-intellectual should he become the latest Trump aide to be replaced, according to multiple current and former officers and administration officials — a predicament that even McMaster himself hinted at on Friday, when he told a reporter that "everybody has got to leave the White House at some point."

U.S. Imposes New Sanctions On Russia Over Election Interference, Cyberattacks


The Trump administration imposed new sanctions against Russia on Thursday, slapping punitive measures on 19 people and five entities over their alleged role in Moscow's interference in the 2016 election and other "destructive" cyberattacks. The sanctions mark the most significant move against Russia since President Trump took office more than a year ago. They arrived as Washington's closest ally, Britain, is locked in a diplomatic struggle with Moscow after accusing the Kremlin of using a nerve agent to poison a former Russian intelligence officer living in the United Kingdom.Trump also joined the leaders of the U.K., France and Germany on Thursday in issuing a statement that condemned the poisoning attack.

Why we must break the Syria-North Korea WMD trade, and how we can

By Joshua Stanton

Last night, the U.N. Panel of Experts published its latest report. There is sufficient material in it for several posts, but some of the most alarming facts in it have to do with North Korea’s assistance to Syria with its ballistic missiles and chemical weapons, so that’s where I’ll begin.

Putin’s new Cold War


Vladimir Putin is not one to accept criticism from the West, even when his country stands accused of attempted murder using military-grade nerve agents. Russian responses to the accusations have been dismissive, even suggesting that British intelligence was really responsible for the attempted murder on 4 March of Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia in Salisbury, combined with knowing observations that their fate should be a warning to other traitors.

Okay, Say Someone Hacks into the US Power Grid. Then What?


A joint research project between the Department of Energy and a geographic analytics company is mapping just how far the repercussions could spread. “On a scale of 1 to 10,” the threat of a cyber attack on U.S.critical infrastructure is “a 7 or an 8,” the Department of Homeland Security warned lawmakers last week. And indeed, someone has been probing the defenses of utilities, key manufacturers, and others. So what happens if hackers launch a network attack that, say, causes a rolling blackout in the Midwest?

Russians Targeting the “Achilles Heel” of Critical Infrastructure

The Trump administration has accused Russia of a coordinated “multi-stage intrusion campaign” to hack into critical U.S. infrastructure networks and conduct “network reconnaissance” while attempting to delete evidence of their intrusions. Homeland Security officials say they have helped the affected companies remove the Russian hackers from their compromised networks, but the Russians keep trying to hack into these critical systems.

It’s official: Russia is targeting critical American infrastructure with ‘malicious cyberattacks’

By Bryan Clark

Russian cyber operatives are attacking critical American infrastructure such as energy grids, nuclear facilities, aviation systems, and water processing plants, according to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and Department of Homeland Security (DHS). The report details numerous attempts, since at least March of 2016, where Russian cyber operatives targeted government entities and multiple US critical infrastructure sectors.

Pentagon Cloud Migration Fights Cybersecurity Challenges

By Kris Osborn - Managing Editor - Warrior Maven

The Pentagon is working with industry to accelerate migration to cloud technology to enable faster decision making The Pentagon is working with industry to accelerate widespread migration to cloud technology to enable faster decision-making, AI implementation, rapid data organization and improved IT security, Pentagon leaders said. The multi-faceted initiative includes data consolidation, reducing the hardware footprint and efforts to connect satellite ground terminals more seamlessly with one another; the key concept, of course, is to increase access to otherwise disparate pools of information, share information quickly and give combat commanders more options on a faster time frame.

Army standardizes ‘thinking outside the box’ procedures


In an attempt to encourage critical thinking among its ranks, the U.S. Army announced it has standardized all procedures for thinking outside the box, sources confirmed today.The new Army Doctrinal Publication 9-0: Thinking Outside the Box codifies time-tested methods for thinking unconventionally in “the proper Army fashion,” officials said.“The goal was to have a single, fixed way of thinking outside the box so we can make sure everyone is doing it right,” said Chief of Staff of the Army Gen. Mark Milley. “Now I’m confident that all of our soldiers will think outside the box in accordance with Army regulations.” The publication lays out specific steps for achieving proficiency in outside-the-box thinking. Steps range from, the first, “perform thorough military decision-making process (MDMP) to identify who, what, when, where, and why the box is, and establish rules of engagement for thinking outside of said box” to step 14, “submit thinking outside the box proposal to first general officer in chain of command.”

The Looming National Security Crisis: Young Americans Unable to Serve in the Military

Authors:Thomas Spoehr and Bridget Handy

The military depends on a constant flow of volunteers every year. According to 2017 Pentagon data, 71 percent of young Americans between 17 and 24 are ineligible to serve in the United States military. Put another way: Over 24 million of the 34 million people of that age group cannot join the armed forces—even if they wanted to. This is an alarming situation that threatens the country’s fundamental national security. If only 29 percent of the nation’s young adults are qualified to serve, and if this trend continues, it is inevitable that the U.S. military will suffer from a lack of manpower. A manpower shortage in the United States Armed Forces directly compromises national security. 


Sidharth Kaushal


Combating insurgencies with conventional forces has long been regarded as being, to paraphrase T.E Lawrence’s colorful formulation, comparable to eating soup with a knife (Lawrence, 1922, 53). Indeed, the inutility of force with regards to combating a phenomenon that primarily exists in the minds of a target population has been noted by figures from General Rupert Smith to General David Petraeus, the latter articulating this principle as a central premise upon which he built his population centric theory of counterinsurgency in FM-3-24 (Petraeus, 2006, 60-100) (Smith, 2005, 40). Within the context of this argument, any effort to destroy an insurgent militarily by a policy of attrition or annihilation ignores the insurgents innate capacity to trade space for time, avoiding the strengths of a conventional force and eroding both its domestic will and its control over the target populace (over which the insurgent and counterinsurgent force are fighting) by policies of assassination, intimidation of the counterinsurgency’s local supporters and dispersed attacks on occupying troops. The ability of an insurgency, even one which has held territory for a significant period to revert to what T.X. Hammes dubs phase I of an insurgent strategy (whereby it resorts to asymmetrical warfare) is central to the argument regarding the inutility of an enemy-centric Clausewitzian approach to combating insurgencies (Hammes, 2006, 50).

What the Coming Space Conflict Will Really Look Like

By Lee Ferran

President Donald Trump raised a few eyebrows and prompted no small amount of scorn online when, in apparently off-the-cuff remarks, he proposed creating a “Space Force” as a separate military branch to do battle among the stars. “My new national strategy for space recognizes that space is a war-fighting domain, just like the land, air and sea,” Trump told U.S. Marines at Marine Corps Air Station Miramar Tuesday before appearing to veer off script. “We may even have a Space Force, develop another one, Space Force. We have the Air Force, we’ll have the Space Force … You know, I was saying it the other day, because we’re doing a tremendous amount of work in space, I said maybe we need a new force. We’ll call it Space Force.”

War Games: Army Replacing 1980s Simulators With Gaming Tech


The first phase of the Synthetic Training Environment initiative replaces existing simulators for vehicles. The second phase aims to create — in just two years — something the Army’s never had before: an “immersive” virtual training environment for troops on foot. UPDATED Lockheed Wins Contract To Maintain 100+ Legacy Training Systems After years of toying with the technology, the Army is now racing to replace its clunky 1980s and ’90s-vintage training simulators with virtual reality, massive multiplayer networks and other innovations straight from the commercial gaming industry.


Bradley L. Rees

“This is a totally new kind of threat, as we all know. Our adversaries, both state and non-state actors, view the entire information domain as a battlespace, and across it, they are waging a new kind of war against us, a war involving but also extending beyond our military, to include our infrastructure, our businesses, and our people.”