October 04, 2018

Did China successfully hack hardware at the CIA, Apple, Amazon, and nearly 30 major American companies?

Supchina.com

Did China successfully hack hardware at the CIA, Apple, Amazon, and nearly 30 major American companies?

If this bombshell report in Bloomberg Businessweek (porous paywall) is true, then China has pulled off a feat of hacking so incredible that one expert describes it as “like witnessing a unicorn jumping over a rainbow,” or, if you prefer, “black magic.”

According to an ongoing U.S. investigation, which dates back to 2015, a Chinese military unit implanted microchips “as small as a sharpened pencil tip” on server motherboards made in China. Bloomberg cites “six current and former senior national security officials,” as well as multiple anonymous sources who worked in or with the companies involved.The chips are really, really small — click here for a picture of one next to a penny — and were “unlikely to be detectable without specialized equipment.”These tampered motherboards were then sold, unwittingly, by Supermicro, a San Jose–based company that is one of the world’s biggest suppliers of server motherboards for data centers.Elemental Technologies, a startup that uses Supermicro motherboards, then sold the chips to the CIA, Apple, Amazon, and nearly 30 major American companies.In 2015, Amazon and Apple both inspected their chips and found the unexpected implanted microchips, and Amazon was the first to alert authorities and provide them access to the sabotaged hardware.U.S. investigators believe that the tiny chips have the ability to “create a stealth doorway into any network that included the altered machines,” and that they are designed to give China “long-term access to high-value corporate secrets and sensitive government networks.”Apple severed its relationship with Supermicro in 2016, but that is “a decision a spokesman for Apple ascribed in response to Businessweek’s questions to an unrelated and relatively minor security incident” — that link is to a separate Bloomberg report where Apple acknowledged that it had found “malware downloaded from Supermicro’s customer portal” in 2016.

Amazon, Apple, Supermicro, and the Chinese government have all strenuously denied the hardware hacking allegations, according to a follow-up report from Bloomberg Businessweek. Here are some selections from their statements:

Amazon said: “At no time, past or present, have we ever found any issues relating to modified hardware or malicious chips in Super Micro motherboards in any Elemental or Amazon systems. Additionally, we have not engaged in an investigation with the government.” (This version of the statement is cited by Reuters.)Apple said: “On this we can be very clear: Apple has never found malicious chips, ‘hardware manipulations’ or vulnerabilities purposely planted in any server. Apple never had any contact with the FBI or any other agency about such an incident. We are not aware of any investigation by the FBI, nor are our contacts in law enforcement.”Supermicro said: “We are not aware of any investigation regarding this topic nor have we been contacted by any government agency in this regard. We are not aware of any customer dropping Supermicro as a supplier for this type of issue.”The Chinese foreign ministry said:“China is a resolute defender of cybersecurity… Supply chain safety in cyberspace is an issue of common concern, and China is also a victim… We hope parties make less gratuitous accusations and suspicions but conduct more constructive talk and collaboration so that we can work together in building a peaceful, safe, open, cooperative and orderly cyberspace.”

Nevertheless, as the investigation wore on, U.S. officials reportedly came to believe that “the security of the global technology supply chain had been compromised, even if consumers and most companies didn’t know it yet.” And despite years of research into tampered hardware detection, “no commercially viable way to detect attacks like the one on Supermicro’s motherboards has emerged — or has looked likely to emerge. Few companies have the resources of Apple and Amazon, and it took some luck even for them to spot the problem.”

—Lucas Niewenhuis

October 03, 2018

Public Diplomacy: MEET THE AUTHOR: DEBORAH L. TRENT



Oct 1, 2018

 
USCPUBLICDIPLOMACY

Deborah L. Trent, 2014-16 CPD Research Fellow, is editor and co-author of the book Nontraditional U.S. Public Diplomacy: Past, Present, and Future published by the U.S. Public Diplomacy Council. The volume showcases effective nontraditional approaches to public diplomacy around the world and is now available digitally through CPD’s PD Hub Online Library here

An independent consultant and analyst in public diplomacy and international development for such clients as the Global Humanities Institute at Montgomery College, Maryland and other academic institutions and educational organizations, Trent’s current research focuses on designing, monitoring and evaluating public-private partnerships and other programs that support cross-cultural understanding and international enterprises.

Can you offer some examples of nontraditional public diplomacy? Is a break with tradition a good thing for PD?

The research and firsthand experience of 11 practitioners, analysts and scholars contributing to this latest volume of the Public Diplomacy Council invites broader PD approaches that demonstrate more than a break from traditional modes. Our authors’ case studies show that effective PD often blends innovative and time-tested methods of engagement. Organizational context is key to each analysis where nontraditional PD was adopted or would have been beneficial. Helle Dale argues for stable coordination of PD with its sibling, strategic communication, whose implementation has suffered bureaucratic turf wars and name changes. Craig Hayden’s chapter explores the Collaboratory in the Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. Brian Carlson cites unconventional, multiorganizational tools and processes, from messaging with seed packets and soap wrappers during WWI to nimble, localized, civil-military provincial reconstruction teams in post-9/11 Iraq and Afghanistan.

Why is Nontraditional U.S. Public Diplomacy: Past, Present, and Future crucial reading for students of public diplomacy?

It’s a set of carefully researched cases peppered with vivid stories touching on all world regions. We have four-time ambassador Anthony C. E. Quainton writing on the foundational issue of defining PD. Dick Virden dissects PD successes and failures during the late 1960s counterinsurgency in Thailand, the war against the Viet Cong and pre- and post-Soviet Poland. Peter Kovach explicates the cultural whys and regulatory hows of faith-based diplomacy. Yours truly offers an integrated process for holistic evaluation and advocacy of cultural diplomacy partnerships. Authors emphasize the PD standards—listening for understanding through informational, cultural and educational programs to explain, influence and support U.S. interests—along with relationship-building. They point out missed opportunities or diminished credibility when participants’ perspectives and experiences are not fed into the policymaking grinder. John Brown’s treatise on the contrasting approaches of President Woodrow Wilson’s assistants George Creel and Walter Lippmann, two of PD’s forebears, couldn’t be more instructive right now, as charges of propaganda and fake news swirl.    

What surprised you in editing this volume?

The practical, compelling content, owing to evidence-based conclusions. Jong-on Hahm’s chapter on the latest trends in structuring and funding international scientific research in STEM fields is valuable to grant-seekers and administrators. Carol Balassa delivers a firsthand account of negotiating the 2005 UNESCO Cultural Diversity Convention—which emerged in opposition to the domination of the U.S. motion picture industry and was adopted by all but the United States and a few allies—and recommends a training program in film distribution. Robert Albro coins the concept of “transnational applied cultural networks” to encourage collaboration among disparate non-state actors in the arts, human rights, antiquities preservation and other areas.

How has nontraditional public diplomacy been faring under the Trump administration?

The rapid-fire “counter-Twiplomacy” of the president diverges from micro-blogging norms among heads of democratic states. Similarly, prioritizing domestic rebuilding, deregulation, border security and smaller government over nation-building abroad, Trumpian PD appears to favor contracts and public-private partnerships over cooperative assistance agreements and grants. One can also see a continued push to build digital and social media capacity for aggressive counterterrorism messaging as well as more emphasis on programs benefitting the U.S., from entrepreneurship to countering violent extremism to sustainability. We’ll see where the era of #BrandAmerica has lasting traction.  

October 02, 2018

Global Commission Agrees on Five Critical Norms To Protect Cyberspace



September 28th 2018 - 13:35

The Global Commission on the Stability of Cyberspace (GCSC)agreed to five new norms of responsible behavior in cyberspace, focusing on improving and maintaining the stability and security of cyberspace. It is the intention of the GCSC that these norms be adopted by governments, companies and other players in their behavior, policies and laws.

This norms package was developed by the GCSC Commissioners, advisory experts and the GCSC Research Advisory Group, and refined by extensive debate. The new norms were agreed at the fourth full Commission meeting on September 20 in Singapore, held during the Singapore International Cyber Week (SICW). The finalized norms package will be released in the next few weeks.

“This package of norms recognizes the increasing interdependence of people around the world who rely on a stable and secure Internet. They aim to prevent the very real consequences of any major disruption,” stated Marina Kaljurand, Chair of the GCSC. “They represent an important step towards defining and promoting changes in behavior on the part of all parties involved.”


Once finalized, the norms will urge governments and others to avoid taking actions that would substantially impair the stability of cyberspace, including inserting vulnerabilities into products and services, commandeering others’ devices to create botnets, and allowing non-state actors to conduct offensive cyber operations. The norms will also urge action to preserve the stability of cyberspace, including establishing vulnerabilities equities processes and ensuring basic cyber hygiene. The GCSC agreed to continue discussions on artificial intelligence, on the cybersecurity responsibilities of product and service providers and on principles and definitions. The GCSC will next meet in Wuhan, China, in early December.

“Maintaining the integrity of cyberspace and all of the benefits it provides is the responsibility of government, the private sector, manufacturers and non-state actors, among others,” said Latha Reddy, Co-Chair of the GCSC and Former Deputy National Security Advisor of India. “The norms set forth by the GCSC today acknowledge the role of each organization and individual in maintaining appropriate standards and refraining from compromising the Internet, for the greater good.”


The norms package builds on previous norms introduced by the GCSC concerning the disruption of elections through cyber attacks on electoral infrastructure and a Call to Protect the Public Core of the Internet.

To inform its work, the Commission held a public hearing in Singapore. The hearing featured the participation and input of senior representatives from international organizations including Izumi Nakamitsu, United Nations Under-Secretary-General and High Representative for Disarmament Affairs, and representatives from ICANN, the United Nations Institute for Disarmament Research (UNIDIR), the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), and the Secretariat of the UN Secretary General’s High-Level Panel on Digital Cooperation. Several cyber coordinators also participated in the meeting, including from the Asia-Pacific Network Information Centre (APNIC), Australia, Belgium, Canada, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, India, Japan, Kenya, Mexico, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Singapore, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and the United States. Microsoft, JPMorgan Chase and other private sector actors were present as well.

For general inquiries, please contact Louk Faesen at loukfaesen@hcss.nl or Anneleen Roggeman at aroggeman@eastwest.ngo.

Ananta Center, Foreign Policy Digest

Ananta Center, Foreign Policy Digest

South Asia

Peace, Security In South Asia Essential For Progress: Sushma Swaraj
PTI / NDTV | 28th September
External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj emphasised to SAARC countries that an environment of peace and security in South Asia is essential for cooperation and economic development.
Ms Swaraj's statement came at a meeting of South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation on the sidelines of the ongoing United Nations General Assembly session in New York.
She said the number of incidents endangering South Asia are on the rise and terrorism remains the single-largest threat to peace and stability in the geopolitical region, and the world.

General Bipin Rawat says Nepal, Bhutan can’t delink from India due to geography, cautions countries against China's aid
First Post (With inputs from agencies) | 17th September
Army chief General Bipin Rawat, while addressing the media, said that countries like Nepal and Bhutan cannot delink themselves from India as they are more inclined towards India “because of the geography”. He also cautioned the countries taking aid from China stating that these ties are "temporary". He was speaking to reporters on the sidelines of the closing ceremony of the Bay of Bengal initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation- Field Training Military Exercise, also known as BIMSTEC-MILEX 18.

Afghanistan

Ashraf Ghani India visit: PM Narendra Modi holds talks with Afghan President in Delhi
PTI / Financial Express | 19th September
Prime Minister Narendra Modi held wide-ranging talks with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani on ways to further boost bilateral cooperation. Ghani arrived on a day-long visit.
“Strategic partners and a valued neighbour! PM @narendramodi warmly received President of Afghanistan, @ashrafghani at the Hyderabad House ahead of the bilateral talks,” External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Raveesh Kumar tweeted.
It is understood that Ghani briefed Modi about the status of the peace process in the war-ravaged country. India has always been favouring an Afghan-led and Afghan-owned peace process to bring peace and stability in that country. India has also been actively involved in reconstruction efforts in war-ravaged Afghanistan. Since 2002, India has committed USD 2 billion for the socio-economic development of the country.

Afghan Ambassador to India Shaida Abdali resigns from post
ZEE New (With inputs from agencies) | 19th September
Afghanistan Ambassador to India Shaida Abdali submitted a resignation from his post. He made the announcement on Twitter Calling his decision 'a tough but an appealing' one, Abdali announced his step-down in a series of tweets.
"Stepping Down - A tough but an appealing decision: On a high note ending a successful visit of HE the Afghan President in India, I resigned today as the Afghan Ambassador to India. Serving in India for more than six years was indeed a great honour and privilege," he said.

Bangladesh

PM Narendra Modi, Sheikh Hasina jointly inaugurate Indo-Bangla friendship pipeline
PTI / Times Now News | 18th September
Prime Minister Narendra Modi described the cooperation between India and Bangladesh as an example for the world as he and his Bangladeshi counterpart Sheikh Hasina jointly inaugurated the construction of a friendship pipeline project through video conferencing. The 130-kilometre India-Bangladesh Friendship Pipeline Project will connect Siliguri in West Bengal in India and Parbatipur in Dinajpur district of Bangladesh.

Pakistan

Pakistan says deeply disappointed with India cancelling foreign ministers' meet
India Today (with inputs from IANS) | 22nd September
The Pakistan government expressed "deep disappointment" at India's decision to cancel a meeting scheduled between the foreign ministers of the two countries on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly (UNGA) session.
Blaming Pakistan for the killing of security personnel in Jammu and Kashmir and accusing it of glorifying terrorism, in terms of releasing a postage stamp featuring Hizbul Mujahideen terrorist Burhan Wani who was killed by Indian security forces, India called off talks between Indian External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi in New York.

Maldives

Maldives president-elect Solih invites PM Narendra Modi to swearing-in ceremony: Report
PTI / Hindustan Times | 27th September
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been invited to the swearing-in ceremony of the Maldives’ president-elect Ibrahim Mohamed Solih, according to a Maldives media report.
Solih, 56, the opposition Maldivian Democratic Party’s candidate, emerged victorious over incumbent president Abdulla Yameen in the election held on September 23. He will be sworn in on November 17. The president-elect had extended the invitation during a phone call by Modi, after Solih’s victory in the September 23 presidential elections, spokesperson for Solih, Mariya Ahmed Didi was quoted as saying in ‘The Edition’.

North America

The United States

India a free society, successfully lifting millions out of poverty, Donald Trump tells UN
The Indian Express (with PTI inputs) | 26th September
US President Donald Trump heaped praise on India’s efforts to lift millions of its citizens from the clutches of poverty. “There is India, a free society (of) over a billion people, successfully lifting countless millions out of poverty and into the middle class,” Trump said while addressing world leaders at the 73rd session of the UN General Assembly.
His remarks come nearly a week after the 2018 global Multidimensional Poverty Index has revealed that India has made giant strides in reducing multidimensional poverty, bringing down its poverty rate from 55 per cent to 28 per cent in ten years. According to estimates released by the UN Development Programme and the Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative, more than 271 million people have come out of poverty in India between 2005-06 and 2015-16.

Ajit Doval holds talks with Pompeo, Mattis on 'future direction' of Indo-US ties
PTI / Deccan Chronicle | 15th September
National Security Advisor Ajit Doval held "broad-based" talks with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Defence Secretary James Mattis and his American counterpart John Bolton during which they discussed the "future direction" of the strategic Indo-US ties.
Doval's meeting with the top three officials of the Trump administration came a week after the successful India-US 2+2 Dialogue between the defence and foreign ministers of the two countries. This was Doval's first meeting with Bolton, the new National Security Advisor to President Donald Trump.

India-US December dialogue to boost commerce: Prabhu
IANS / Business Standard | 21st September
Stressing the critical importance of the United States as a strategic trade partner for India, Commerce and Industry Minister Suresh Prabhu said a vital India-US Strategic Commercial dialogue will be held in New Delhi in December which will help boost commercial ties between the two nations.
"The US Commerce Secretary and a high-level delegation from the US will come to have detailed discussions with their Indian counterparts to strengthen the commerce tie-up and chart the future agenda for both nations," Prabhu said.

West Asia

Iran

Sushma Swaraj meets Iranian counterpart at UN, discusses US sanctions
PTI / The Hindu | 27th September
External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj held talks with her Iranian counterpart Javad Zarif and discussed bilateral issues, including the U.S.’ sanctions against the major crude exporter that are set to be implemented in November.
During the meeting, held on the sidelines of the 73rd UN General Assembly session, the two sides also discussed the status of Iran’s nuclear deal with the European Union. 

India Will Continue to Buy Our Oil, Says Iranian Foreign Minister After Meeting With Sushma Swaraj
Reuters / News 18 | 27th September
India is committed to buying Iranian oil and continuing the economic cooperation between the two nations, the Iranian foreign minister said after a meeting with his Indian counterpart and ahead of US sanctions aimed at halting Tehran's oil exports.
US President Donald Trump’s May withdrawal from an international nuclear pact with Iran was followed up with plans to impose new sanctions against the third-largest producer among the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC). Washington is pushing allies to cut Iranian oil imports to zero once the sanctions start on November 4.

Ajit Doval, Top Officials Meet In Iran, Discuss Ways To Counter Terrorism
PTI / NDTV | 27th September
National Security Advisor Ajit Doval attended a high-level meeting in Tehran where he joined top security officials from Afghanistan, China, Iran and Russia to evolve a regional strategy to deal with the threat posed by ISIS and other terror groups.
In the meeting, Mr Doval stressed on the need for disrupting cross-border movement of terrorists, blocking their financing and supply of weapons, and isolating those who support and sponsor terrorism, the Ministry of External Affairs said in a statement.
Mr Doval suggested that the countries should enhance cooperation in information sharing so that support mechanisms for terrorists such as training, financing and supply of weapons can be disrupted.

Miscellaneous

Solution to Korean Peninsula must address India’s concerns: Sushma Swaraj to BRICS
PTI / Hindustan Times | 28th September
Any solution to the Korean Peninsula issue must address India’s concerns about the nuclear proliferation linkages in its neighbourhood, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj has said, in a veiled reference to Pakistan.
In her address to the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) Foreign Ministers’ Meeting here Thursday, Swaraj said India has been consistently supporting the efforts to bring about peace and stability in the Korean Peninsula.
“We have been consistently supportive of efforts to bring about peace and stability in the Korean Peninsula,” she said in the meeting held on the margins of the 73rd session of the UN General Assembly.

Sushma Swaraj holds bilateral meetings with key foreign counterparts
PTI / The Indian Express | 25th September
External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj held bilateral meetings with her key foreign counterparts on the sidelines of the high-level session of the General Assembly and discussed several issues including trade, investment and capacity building.
Swaraj met Moroccan Foreign Minister Nasser Bourita, High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs Federica Mogherini, Liechtenstein Foreign Minister Aurelia Frick, Nepal’s Foreign Minister Pradeep Kumar Gyawali, Spanish Foreign Minister Josep Borrell, Colombian Foreign Minister Carlos Holmes Trujillo, Foreign Minister of Ecuador Jose Valencia, Foreign Minister of Australia Marise Payne and Foreign Minister of Mongolia Damdin Tsogtbaatar.

October 01, 2018

Depreciation of the Indian Rupee:  Implications for the Economy, Trade and Energy Security”


Discussion on

“Depreciation of the Indian Rupee: 
Implications for the Economy, Trade and Energy Security”

 

EVENT DETAILS

DATE

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

TIME

3:00 PM - 5:00 PM (Registration: 02:30 PM )

LOCATION
Seminar Rooms II & III, Kamaladevi Complex, India International Centre, New Delhi 
PANELLISTSMr A. K. BhattacharyaEditorial Director, Business Standard
Dr Arunabha GhoshFounder-CEO, Council on Energy, Environment and Water
Professor Sabyasachi Kar, Professor, Institute of Economic Growth
Dr Rajat Kathuria, Director and Chief Executive, Indian Council for Research on International Economic Relations

ABOUT THE EVENT 
The depreciation in the value of the INR is a trend which merits close inspection, and discussion as to its causes and implications. Depreciation of the rupee is part of a global trend affecting most emerging market (EM) economies, nonetheless it remains a huge cause for concern and deliberation. 
 
Ananta Centre is organizing a Discussion with experts from independent think-tanks, academia, media and industry to discuss “Depreciation of the Indian Rupee: Implications for the Economy, Trade and Energy Security”. 
 
The discussion will touch upon important issues such as the impact of rupee depreciation and fluctuating fuel prices on primary sectors and inflation, impact of depreciation on trade and industry, causes and contributing factors behind depreciation and whether depreciation will have an overall positive and negative impact on India’s interests. 

Please respond by clicking one of the buttons below

 Prior registration is Mandatory 
PANELLISTS


Mr A. K. BhattacharyaEditorial Director, Business Standard

Mr A.K. Bhattacharya is the Editorial Director of the Business Standard. After a 10-year long stint with Financial Express from 1978-1988, in different capacities in the areas of news gathering and news management, A.K. Bhattacharya joined The Economic Times in 1988 and functioned as its Chief of Bureau from 1990 to 1993. In 1994, he became its Associate Editor. He joined The Pioneer as the Executive Editor in September 1994, stabilised the newspaper before becoming its Editor in 1995. He joined the Business Standard in 1996 as Editor, News Services, was its Resident Editor in Mumbai from July 1996 to September 1997 and helped the newspaper launch its Mumbai edition.  
From October 1997 to May 1998, he functioned as the National Editor leading the paper's news operations. As the Managing Editor of the Business Standard between June 1998 and April 2000 and as its Group Managing Editor between May 2000 and October 2011, he oversaw the newspaper's news operations and editorial administration. From November 2011 to July 2016, he was the Editor of Business Standard. Since August 2016, he has been the Editorial Director of the Business Standard on a part-time basis. He has been writing a regular column - New Delhi Diary - commenting on government affairs, since 1990 - that appeared in The Economic Times, Pioneer and now in Business Standard. Since 1997, he has been writing another column - Raisina Hill - commenting on developments/issues concerning bureaucracy.


Dr Arunabha GhoshFounder-CEO, Council on Energy, Environment and Water

Dr Arunabha Ghosh is a public policy professional, adviser, author, columnist, and institution builder. As the founder-CEO of the Council on Energy, Environment and Water, since 2010, he has led CEEW to the top ranks as one of South Asia's leading policy research institution (five years in a row); and among the world’s 20 best climate think-tanks in 2016. He has been actively involved in the design of the International Solar Alliance since inception. He conceptualised and is the founding board member of the Clean Energy Access Network (CLEAN). With experience in 43 countries, he previously worked at Princeton, Oxford, UNDP (New York), and WTO (Geneva).
In 2018, the UN Secretary-General nominated him to the UN's Committee for Development Policy. He is the co-author/editor of four books: The Palgrave Handbook of the International Political Economy of Energy (2016); Energizing India: Towards a Resilient and Equitable Energy System (SAGE, 2016); Human Development and Global Institutions (Routledge, 2016); and Climate Change: A Risk Assessment (FCO, 2015).  Dr Ghosh’s essay “Rethink India’s energy strategy” in Nature was selected as one of 2015’s ten most influential essays. He advises governments, industry, civil society and international organisations around the world, including India’s Prime Minister’s Office, several ministries and state governments. He was invited by France, as a Personnalité d’Avenir, to advise on the COP21 climate negotiations; and also advised extensively on HFC negotiations. He serves on the Executive Committee of the India-U.S. PACEsetter Fund. He is a member of Track II dialogues with ten countries/regions; and formulated the Maharashtra-Guangdong Partnership on Sustainability. His monthly column in the Business Standard, Inflexion Points, is widely read. He hosted a documentary on water in Africa, and featured in a National Geographic documentary on energy. He is a World Economic Forum Young Global Leader, was a member of WEF’s Global Future Council on Energy (2016-18), and an Asia Society Asia 21 Young Leader. He holds a D.Phil. from Oxford and topped Economics from St. Stephen’s College, Delhi.
  Professor Sabyasachi Kar, Professor, Institute of Economic Growth

Professor Sabyasachi Kar is a Professor at the Institute of Economic Growth, Delhi, and an Honorary Senior Research Fellow at the University of Manchester, UK. He received his Ph.D in economics from the Jawaharlal Nehru University and he is an alumni of the Executive Education Program of the Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University. He is currently a researcher with the ESID growth consortium based at the University of Manchester and a Research Partner of the ESRC GPID research network based at the King's Collage, London. He is the Associate Editor of the academic journals Indian Growth and Development Review (Emerald, UK) and the Journal of South Asian Development (Sage, India).     
Professor Kar's research spans macroeconomics, economic growth, development economics and political economy, with a particular focus on the Indian economy. He has published many academic articles in peer-reviewed Indian and international journals of repute. He has also written and edited a number of books and contributed chapters to edited books. His latest book is entitled 'The Political Economy of India's Growth Episodes' which has been published by Palgrave Macmillan, UK, in 2016. In the past, he has worked extensively for the Indian Planning Commission, and provided them inputs for the successive five-year plans in India. He has also worked on projects sponsored by the World Bank, the Global Development Network (GDN), the European Commission and the DFID, UK. His media outreach includes op-eds in newspapers like the Hindu, the Mint etc. and tweets regularly on current economic issues from his twitter handle Sabya_K.
  Dr Rajat Kathuria, Director and Chief Executive, Indian Council for Research on International Economic Relations

Dr Rajat Kathuria is the Director and Chief Executive at the Indian Council for Research on International Economic Relations (ICRIER), New Delhi. He has over 20 years experience in teaching and 15 years experience in economic policy, besides research interests on a range of issues relating to regulation and competition policy. He has worked with the World Bank, Washington DC as a Consultant and has carried out research assignments for a number of international organizations, including ILO, UNCTAD, LirneAsia, World Bank and ADB.He has published in international and national journals, besides in popular magazines and newspapers. 
He is the founder member of Broadband Society for Universal Access and has served on the Board of Delhi Management Association. He is on several government committees and on the research advisory council of SBI. He has an undergraduate degree in Economics from St. Stephens College, a Masters from Delhi School of Economics and a PhD degree from the University of Maryland, College Park.

September 30, 2018

Libya in Chaos: Where To?

By Lt. Col. (res.) Dr. Mordechai Kedarand Col. (res.) Dr. Dan GottliebSeptember 30, 2018

Wall painting of Muammar Qaddafi via Flickr page of Thierry Ehrmann

BESA Center Perspectives Paper No. 962, September 30, 2018

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: Post-Qaddafi Libya is divided between two governments, and the consequence of that division is mounting chaos. Europe, the US, Canada, and the UN will have to decide at what point it will be necessary to go back into Libya to restore order.

On August 15, 2018, Tripoli’s Appeals Court sentenced 45 convicts to death by firing squad for opening fire on August 21, 2011 on residents abandoning Tripoli while it was falling into the hands of anti-government insurgents. The 45 are all ex-members of Muammar Qaddafi’s security forces.

On the same day, August 15, 2018, the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague issued an arrest warrant for Mahmoud Werfalli, a senior commander in the Libya National Army (LNA). According to the indictment, Werfalli “appears to be directly responsible for the killing of, in total, 33 persons in Benghazi or surrounding areas, between on or before 3 June 2016 and on or around 17 July 2017, either by personally killing them or by ordering their execution.”

Armed groups have been executing civilians in Libya with almost complete impunity ever since the toppling of Qaddafi’s government in 2011.

As of 2018, after the demise of ISIS in Libya due to its defeats at both Sirte and Benghazi (an unknown number of currently inactive ex-ISIS fighters remain in Bani Walid and south of Sirte), the country remains divided between two governments: 1) the Tripoli-based Government of National Accord, which is backed by the UN and headed by Fayez Sirraj; and 2) the Benghazi government, which is based on Libya’s national army, headed by General Khalifa Haftar, and backed by some Arab governments (Egypt, the UAE).

Oil plays a dominant role in the competition between the two rival governments. The UN and its affiliate in Libya, UNSMIL (UN Support Mission in Libya), arranged for Libya’s oil to be re-exported through the Tripoli-based National Oil Corporation, oil exports being the main pillar of Libya’s exports.

In the last year of Qaddafi’s government, 1.6 million barrels of oil per day were exported. Oil exports were heavily slashed due to the conflict in Libya, but by the end of 2017, they had regained a level of 1.2 million barrels per day.

But through an understanding between the Haftar government and the UAE, 850,000 barrels per day are exported directly by the Benghazi government through UAE companies based in the Benghazi part of the country. (In 2017, the UN accused the UAE of supplying military equipment to Haftar’s forces in violation of an international arms embargo.)

In June 2018, the Ras Lanuf and Sidra oil fields were seized by Haftar’s forces and their production taken away from the national oil company of Tripoli. As a consequence, oil exports from the ports of Zweitina and Harija were stopped.

An attempt in July 2018, supported by the UN, to reconcile the two rival governments failed over Haftar’s demand that he remain chief commander of the united army. The conflict continues.

The consequences of all this are detrimental to the chances of finding any reconciliation between the two governments in Libya. The state is divided, and there are no prospects of a solution in the foreseeable future.

The chaotic situation enables the emergence of enclaves of terror, inspired by the ideology of ISIS and al-Qaeda. The world should make sure that Libya does not turn into another pre-2001 Afghanistan-like state on the doorstep of Europe.

Since there is almost no power on the ground in Libya with which the EU can come to an agreement to stop the influx of illegal migrants from the sub-Saharan states through Libya to Europe, this migration route will probably continue to be a gateway for many more thousands of Africans into Europe. The consequences for the EU are complex and difficult.

The question that Europe, the US, Canada, and the UN should deal with is this: in what situation will the world intervene in Libya once again to contain the domestic chaos before it spills out to other parts of the world? The sooner this question is answered, the better.

View PDF

Lt. Col. (res.) Dr. Mordechai Kedar is a senior research associate at the Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies. He served for 25 years in IDF military intelligence specializing in Syria, Arab political discourse, Arab mass media, Islamic groups, and Israeli Arabs, and is an expert on the Muslim Brotherhood and other Islamist groups.

నాడు చెత్తకుండీలో చిన్నారి.. నేడు అసిస్టెంట్ కమిషనర్‌ హోదాలో

నాడు చెత్తకుండీలో చిన్నారి.. నేడు అసిస్టెంట్ కమిషనర్‌ హోదాలో...... (Source TV5 News)

మట్టిలో మాణిక్యం.. ఏ తల్లి కన్న బిడ్డో.. చెత్తకుప్ప పాలైంది.. అదృష్టం బావుండి ఓ నాన్న కాని నాన్న కంట పడింది. అసోంలోని తీన్ సుఖియా జిల్లాకు చెందిన సోబరన్‌‌ బండిమీద కురగాయలు పెట్టుకుని వీధివీధి తిరుగుతూ అమ్ముతుండేవాడు. అదే ఆధారంగా బతుకుతున్నాడు. తల్లి దండ్రులు ఇద్దరూ పెద్దవారు కావడం వారిని చూసుకునే బాధ్యత తనపై పడడంతో పెళ్లి చేసుకోవాలని కూడా ఆలోచించలేకపోయాడు. రోజులానే ఓ రోజు కూరగాయలు అమ్మి చీకటి పడిన తరువాత ఇంటికి వస్తున్నాడు. ఇంతలో ఓ చిన్నారి ఏడుపు వినిపించింది. తల్లి పొత్తిళ్లలో ఉండాల్సిన ఓ పసికందు చెత్తకుప్పలో ఏడుస్తూ కనిపించింది. పరుగున వెళ్లి చుట్టూ చూశాడు. పాప తాలూకూ ఎవరూ కనిపించలేదు. ఏజన్మ బంధమో నాకోసమే పుట్టిందేమో అనుకుని ఆప్యాయంగా అక్కున చేర్చుకున్నాడు. అమ్మానాన్నా అన్నీ తానై పెంచి పెద్ద చేశాడు. 25 ఏళ్లు వచ్చిన ఆ అమ్మాయి.. నాన్నా నీ కష్టం ఊరికే పోలేదు.. అసిస్టెంట్ కమిషనర్ అయ్యానంటూ తనకి ఉద్యోగం వచ్చిన ఆర్డర్స్ తండ్రి సోబరన్ చేతిలో పెట్టింది.

చిన్నారి రాకతో తన జీవితం మారిపోయింది. తన జీవితంలో వెలుగులు పంచిన ఆ చిన్నారికి జ్యోతి అని పేరు పెట్టాడు. రక్తం పంచుకు పుట్టిన బిడ్డ కోసం తండ్రి పడే తపన, కష్టం అంతా జ్యోతి కోసం పడ్డాడు సోబరన్. మంచి స్కూల్లో జాయిన్ చేశాడు. బాగా చదవాలంటూ ప్రోత్సహించాడు. జ్యోతి జీవితంలో ఉన్నత స్థాయికి ఎదగాలని ఓ తండ్రిగా అందమైన కలలు కన్నాడు. కష్టం తెలియకుండా, కన్నీళ్లు రానివ్వకుండా జ్యోతిని పెంచి పెద్ద చేశాడు. ఫలితంగా జ్యోతి కంప్యూటర్ సైన్స్‌లో డిగ్రీ పట్టా తీసుకుంది. అసోం పబ్లిక్ సర్వీస్ కమిషన్ పరీక్షలకు హాజరైంది. పరీక్షల్లో ఉత్తీర్ణత సాధించింది. ఇంటర్వూలో కూడా విజయం సాధించి ఇన్ కమ్ ట్యాక్స్ అసిస్టెంట్ కమిషనర్‌గా ప్రభుత్వం నుంచి ఉత్తర్వులు అందుకుంది. బిడ్డ విజయాన్ని చూసిన తండ్రి సోబరన్ కళ్లలో ఆనంద భాష్పాలు చూసి జ్యోతి తల్లడిల్లిపోయింది. కన్నీళ్లతో తండ్రి పాదాలు తడిపేసింది. వీధిపాలు కావలసిన జీవితాన్ని విద్యావంతురాలిని చేసి ప్రపంచం ముందు విజేతగా నిలబెట్టిన తండ్రికి మనసులోనే ధన్యవాదాలు తెలిపింది.