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Showing posts from October 21, 2018

PICKING A LANE

Volume VII, Issue 10, October 2018   by  Matthew P. Goodman Read Online The eye of the Trump trade policy storm passed over CSIS earlier this month when U.S. ambassador to the World Trade Organization (WTO) Dennis Shea sat down with my colleague Bill Reinsch for an  armchair conversation . It was a moment of calm clarity on what the administration hopes to achieve on the interrelated issues of WTO reform and China. Shea made a number of reassuring points but also used a turn of phrase that—particularly when viewed in light of Vice President Mike Pence’s  forceful speech on China  this month—was worrisome.   The reassuring bits were Ambassador Shea’s description of U.S. activities and immediate priorities at the WTO. He made clear that his team of experienced officials at the U.S. mission in Geneva is deeply engaged in the day-to-day work of the organization, attending committee meetings, tabling proposals, and trying to shape the debate on WTO reform. Shea described the United S

Tech's role in immigration enforcement

AXIOS.com Photo: Atilgan Ozdil/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images   A new report commissioned by advocacy groups finds that multiple tech companies, including Amazon and Palantir, are of special importance to immigration authorities "due to their involvement at multiple points in the profiling, tracking and apprehension of undocumented persons." Why it matters:  Contracts between major tech companies and immigration enforcers have drawn attention from the companies’ employees, some of whom object to playing a role in the Trump administration's immigration crackdown. The report draws on  various sources, notes Axios' David McCabe, including congressional testimony, contracting records and agreements between agencies. It was backed by Mijente, the National Immigration Project and the Immigrant Defense Project. It was produced by outside research firm Empower. Details , per the report: “Recent changes in policy and contracting at ICE have heightened the importance of t

How repressive regimes weaponize social media

Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios  Source: AXIOS.com Saudi Arabia's use of troll farms to harass journalists is just the latest example of repressive regimes and insurgent candidates using social media technology to silence critics or exert control over vulnerable populations. Driving the news:  A Saturday  report  from The New York Times found that Saudi-backed troll farms were inundating journalists, like the late Jamal Khashoggi, with hateful messages and threats of violence in an effort to silence them. The regime has admitted murdering Khashoggi. Why it matters:  General lack of oversight and regulation of social media makes it easy for those in power to influence populations without being detected — or at least not being identified until after damage is done. Other examples: In Myanmar,  a UN-backed fact-finding  mission  found that members of the Myanmar military used Facebook as a tool in the government’s campaign of ethnic cleansing against the country's Rohing

Predictive road maintenance

Predictive road maintenance Roads have it rough. Keeping them in good repair starts with understanding when, where and how streets endure wear and tear. “Knowing how many vehicles have gone through areas and knowing the type or size of those vehicles allows city planners to do more predictive road maintenance,” Tucker explains. IoT sensors can be installed in the pavement that will detect the frequency and type of vehicles passing above. This allows cities to manage roads proactively — before potholes and cracks appear. https://www.verizon.com/about/news/how-internet-things-can-create-congestion-free-cities

#Reviewing The Future of Strategy

Source: The Strategy Bridge Von Lambert     October 18, 2018 The Future of Strategy . Colin S. Gray. Cambridge, UK: Polity Press, 2015. “It can, and probably should, be a chilling realisation that the future of strategy in the twenty-first century will rest very much in people’s hands, minds, and emotions as much as it did in the 1910s and 1930s.” —Colin Gray[1] The central statement that strategy is a pervasive and enduring aspect of human history describes the theory, practice, and predictions surrounding the study of strategy posited by Colin Gray in his 2015 book, The Future of Strategy . This book is a useful start point for any student of strategy, strategic history, and for those who seek to understand its foundation, formulation, and fallibility. Gray ultimately offers that the future of strategy is contiguous, susceptible to the human condition, and a generally difficult enterprise in which to succeed. Nevertheless, he explains its definition, origins, and utility f

India must evolve better relations with democratic states

India must evolve better relations with democratic states Dr Sandeep Gopalan Dr Sandeep Gopalan is the pro vice-chancellor for academic innovation and a law professor at Deakin University, Melbourne Published :  Oct 21, 2018, 3:55 am IST Updated :  Oct 21, 2018, 3:56 am IST China has been rapidly expanding its maritime capability beyond its immediate neighbourhood to project power into the Indian Ocean.  The Indian Ocean is gaining recognition as the key to peace in the Asian Century. The Indian Ocean’s vital role for commercial relations, peace, and prosperity for our region has assumed a renewed importance in recent years with the escalation in competition between two dyads of states: India-China and China-US. For too long the Indian Ocean has been an afterthought in geopolitics as other theatres presented more clear danger to the strategic interests of the great powers. Over the last two decades, the Indian Ocean is gaining recognition as the key to peace in the Asian Cent

India’s Balancing Act Between the US and Russia

India’s Balancing Act Between the US and Russia Vinay Kaura Commentary , 19 October 2018 India proposes to purchase the S-400 Russian missile defence system. The plan unnecessarily infuriates the United States, and is unlikely to enhance India’s long-term security objectives. Nikolay Kudashev, Russia’s ambassador to India, is excited about the just-concluded $5.4 billion S-400 missile defence system deal between India and  Russia . So is his boss, Russian President Vladimir Putin. And so is everyone who still ruminates about the good old days of India–Russia friendship. Kudashev also believes that broader US sanctions on Russia will not pose hindrance to more defence contracts between New Delhi and Moscow in the near future. But US President Donald Trump is nowhere near as sanguine; in his first reaction to the Indo-Russian deal and in his inimitable style, the US leader  ominously proclaimed  that ‘India is going to find out’ Washington’s response ‘sooner than you think’. Russia

E-Commerce, Delivery Services and the Illicit Tobacco Trade

Occasional Papers Rusi.org E-Commerce, Delivery Services and the Illicit Tobacco Trade Alexander Babuta, Cathy Haenlein and Alexandria Reid Occasional Papers , 17 October 2018 This Occasional Paper explores the exploitation of the internet and delivery services in relation to illicit tobacco and tobacco products.   Download the paper This Occasional Paper examines the exploitation of the internet and delivery services in relation to illicit trade in tobacco products in Europe. The findings are based on primary research in the form of semi-structured interviews with subject matter experts from law enforcement agencies, government, the private sector, NGOs and international organisations conducted in the UK, France and Germany between May and July 2018.  The research demonstrates that the growth of e-commerce and proliferation of postal and small parcel delivery services have had a significant impact on the trade in illicit tobacco products in many of the locations under consider