Managing the Potential Chaos in Cyberspace

When one looks for a “full spectrum” contest between the United States (the lone superpower) and China (its “peer competitor”), cyberspace stands out as a place where that competition is gathering momentum.  The Pentagon has accused Chinese hackers of breaking into the DOD computer system.  Now, we are hearing about a new round of cyber attacks in Britain and 103 other countries, including NATO members.  The alleged source of the attacks is the PRC.  Needless to say, Beijing is describing those allegations as “baseless.”  What is interesting is that the nature of the activities in cyberspace may not be described by the use of the phrase “competition” alone.  It also has the making of a non-kinetic war (kinetic space warfare is excluded from this analysis), with winners and losers. 

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Iran to Obama: Rapprochement Means Going Beyond Diplomatic Symbolism


The ongoing positive diplomatic overtures of President Barack H. Obama toward Iran definitely point to a new beginning, but the time has come to go beyond diplomatic symbolism.  Iran is listening, and is sending clear signals that it wants to see concrete policy changes as evidence of America’s earnestness.  Speaking of policy changes, the Obama administration, as well as the government of the Islamic Republic of Iran, has to narrow a very wide gulf of ill-will, animosity, and hostility that has been in the making for the past thirty years. 


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How to “Win” in Afghanistan

President Barack Obama’s recent admission that the U.S. is not winning in Afghanistan is quite refreshing when compared to George W. Bush’s arrogant declaration of “mission accomplished” in Iraq in June 2003.  Obama’s candor notwithstanding, the most important thing is that the U.S. should not lose in Afghanistan.  Allowing Afghanistan to descend into chaos once again is akin to issuing al-Qaida an invitation to succeed.  No one needs reminding that Afghanistan was the place where the 9/11 attacks on the United States were planned.  It was also the country from where Usama Bin Laden declared his infamous “fatwa” of Jihad against the United States in 1998.  So, a defeat of the lone uberpower in Afghanistan will be envisaged by the self-styled “Jihadists” as the beginning of the ultimate defeat of the “infidel in-chief.” 

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Thinking about Israel’s Unthinkable Image in Palestine

A London Times

dispatch reads:  “Tony Blair makes his first trip to the Gaza Strip.”  In the growing global economic meltdown, the world has forgotten the suffering of the Palestinians who became victims of Israel’s “war” against Hamas.  How can there be a war between the most well equipped military of the Middle East and a state which does not even have an armed force of any credibility.  But this is the era of asymmetric war, and Hamas did launch rockets or missiles on Israel.  Those terror weapons did not cause much damage, but they provided a “justification” for Israel to let loose its military wrath on the civilian Palestinians.

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