sábado, 29 de julio de 2017

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Today's Insight

Border Dispute: China Won't Back Off, India Can't Back Down | Will Edwards, The Cipher Brief
After six weeks of tension between China and India over a Chinese road building project on contested territory, neither side is prepared to back down. Known as the Doklam Plateau, this small area high up in the Himalayas where Bhutan, India, and China share a vaguely defined border, is now the center of a potential conflict with much larger geopolitical consequences.

Expert Commentary

Signs of a Thaw in India, China Border Dispute |
 Sameer Lalwani, Deputy Director, South Asia Program, Stimson Center
"The Dolam standoff comes amidst decades of competitive buildups in infrastructure and troops in response to frequent border incidents along the India-China border. China has undertaken large-scale initiatives to improve its military infrastructure and capabilities along its Western border for decades. Over the last decade, India has also pursued a broader military buildup of new infrastructure projects and forces over a decade, including a new, 90,000-strong, mountain strike corps along its northeast border."

India and China's Game of Chicken at the "Chicken's Neck" |
 Michael Kugelman, Senior Associate for South Asia, The Wilson Center
"This plateau is no ordinary plateau. It leads to a narrow swath of real estate, known formally as the Siliguri Corridor and popularly as the Chicken’s Neck, that links India’s northeastern states to the rest of India. By staking a claim to it, China knows that it can make India feel strategically vulnerable."

Today's Column: Fine Print

Trump's Memory Failures | Walter Pincus, The Cipher Brief
President Donald Trump’s penchant for making misleading or false statements has been well documented. Former CIA Director John Brennan last week offered a possible reason – one that should be a concern with any Trump descriptions of his one-on-one meetings, particularly when it comes to foreign leaders. Trump, according to Brennan, at times apparently does not remember things accurately.

Must-Read On The Cipher Brief

Afghanistan Needs a Special Envoy |
Daniel Hoffman, Former Chief of Station, CIA
The U.S. has deployed special envoys since our independence. In modern times, presidents have recognized that while ambassadors generally oversee bilateral relations, an envoy can provide invaluable leadership by effectively managing a crisis or regional portfolio by negotiating with multiple parties, rather than just a representative of a single government.

House Rejects Quick Passage of Bill Requiring Report on Election Threats |
Steve Hirsch, Senior National Security Editor, The Cipher Brief
The House Monday failed to pass under expedited procedures legislation to require the Trump Administration to produce a public report on foreign threats to federal elections, as well as two other reports related to Russian meddling in U.S. and Western elections.

The (Soft) Power to Transform Fragile States |
Larry Sampler, Former Assistant to the Administrator for Afghanistan and Pakistan Affairs, USAID
Governments and aid organizations have used soft power for decades to stabilize countries on the brink of political, social, or economic failure. One example of how soft power was instrumental in encouraging warring parties to meet at the negotiating table is the peace treaty between the Colombian government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC). 

The Cipher Brief Special Reports

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The Cipher Brief Daily Podcast
Get a daily rundown of the top security stories and previews of the exclusive content available on The Cipher Brief.

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15 Minutes
A U.S. ambassador to the European Union, Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan, envoy to Kosovo, Bosnia, Haiti, and Somalia: James Dobbins has had years of experience representing U.S. interests abroad. Along with his numerous positions, he was also lead negotiator to the Bonn Agreement, which re-created the state of Afghanistan following the U.S. invasion. In this week’s 15 Minutes podcast, The Cipher Brief’s Fritz Lodge speaks with Ambassador Dobbins about his experiences as a diplomat, what role the U.S. has abroad under the Trump administration, and his new book, Foreign Service: Five Decades on the Frontlines of American Policy.

Listen to 15 Minutes: Ambassador James Dobbins on America's Future Abroad- or get it on iTunes

The Cipher Take

Bombing in Pakistan Kills At Least 25

A suicide bomber killed at least 25, including many policemen, and wounded more than 52 others in the eastern Pakistani city of Lahore Monday. The Pakistani Taliban (TTP) claimed responsibility for the attack in a message sent to the media by spokesman Muhammad Khurassani. Lahore police operations chief Haider Ashraf told Reuters, “We suspect that [the suicide bomber] came on a motorcycle and he rammed it into a police checkpoint,” resulting in the ensuing carnage.

The Cipher Take:
Both the TTP and ISIS continue to conduct large-scale attacks across Pakistan, leading the Pakistani national army to crack down on both groups. The TTP aims to overthrow the Pakistani government and is most notorious for its December 2014 attack on a military school in northwestern Pakistan that left approximately 150 people dead, including many children, and more than 100 others wounded. ISIS has also carried out several attacks in Pakistan, including a massacre at a Sufi shrine in February that killed 88 people. Pakistani officials have reaffirmed Pakistan’s desire to root out both groups, and say that the Pakistani army has launched a full-scale offensive to eliminate their bases of operation.

Want more of The Cipher Take? Read the rest of our analysis on today's headlines at thecipherbrief.com.

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