The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) released a risk report earlier this year that delivered some sobering cybersecurity news to federal agencies. According to the OMB, a majority of agencies with cybersecurity programs in place are at significant risk of attack. As noted in the report, “agencies cannot detect when large amounts of information leave their networks.”

This revelation provides perspective to the recent prediction from Cybersecurity Ventures that global cybersecurity spending will increase steadily to exceed $1 trillion from 2017 to 2021; and, the cost of cybercrime around the world will rise to $6 trillion annually by 2021. Inherently, something is wrong with any prediction that correlates increased spending on prevention with increased damages from successful penetration of those same defenses.

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Presidential anger would risk United States being blamed for Pyongyang’s actions

A report released this week that exposes the existence of more than a dozen hidden missile bases in North Korea may not be news to intelligence services in Seoul and Washington, but the exposure has important political implications for US negotiations with the North, and indeed stability on the Peninsula. Equally, it highlights the power of crowdsourcing, open-source intelligence gathering, and analysis by the public at large. This, too, has implications for policy making well beyond the report’s findings.    

The Washington Post reported on November 12 on how a small group of Korea experts pieced together publicly available satellite imagery and interviews with North Korean defectors and government officials to identify thirteen undeclared missile bases. They conclude more bases may be hidden. The Washington Post reported on July 30, 2018, that North Korea could be constructing new missiles at the same factory that produced its first intercontinental ballistic missiles capable of reaching the United States. 

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“The security and wellbeing of the United States are at greater risk today than at any time in decades. America’s military superiority… has eroded to a dangerous degree. America’s ability to defend its allies, its partners, and its own vital interests is increasingly in doubt. If the nation does not act promptly to remedy these circumstances, the consequences will be grave.”

The above warning is the opening of the National Defense Strategy Commission’s report, which was released on November 13. The Commission—of which I was a member—was established by the 2017 Defense Authorization Act to independently assess the state of the nation’s defense as well as to review the Department of Defense’s (DOD) January 2018 National Defense Strategy (NDS).

In our report, we note that many of the skills necessary to conduct military operations have atrophied and that the United States’ edge in technologies that underpin US military superiority is eroding or has disappeared. We add that these trends are undermining both our ability to deter adversaries and the confidence of US allies, increasing the likelihood of military conflict. 

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It has long been clear that there are no good Brexit options. As former Prime Minister John Major pointed out recently, the British people were told by Brexit advocates at the time of the last referendum back in June 2016 that they would keep the advantages of the single market, be better off, get cash back from Brussels to fund the National Health Service, be able to negotiate new trade deals overnight, and have no problems with the Irish border if they voted to leave the European Union (EU). None of these claims has turned out to be true.

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BRUSSELS – Few things in the Old Continent inflame national feelings and fears more about losing sovereignty than talk of a European army.

For example, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker raised instant alarm bells, and condemnation, in London and other national capitals in March 2015 when he declared that Europe needed a common army to ward off subversive threats from Russia.

More recently, French President Emmanuel Macron made a similar appeal on November 6. Responding to today’s deteriorating international order, he said Europe must decrease its reliance on what he implied was an increasingly unpredictable United States, a stance US President Donald J. Trump immediately called “insulting,” even if he took Macron’s remarks out of context.

In a speech on November 13, German Chancellor Angela Merkel also called for the creation of a European army.

So how feasible is a common army for the foreseeable future?

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A new round of violence has erupted in the Gaza Strip following an Israeli military raid on November 11 that killed a local Hamas commander. The undercover military operation by the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) took place in the Gaza Strip, a 141-square-mile territory on Israel’s southern border currently controlled by Hamas, which the United States, Israel, and the European Union categorize as a terrorist organization.

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The Great War ended one century ago. Like the Korean and Afghan Wars, it is one of the forgotten wars of American history. Our remembrance of the Great War is colored by its moral ambiguity, by our knowledge that it did not resolve its underlying causes, and by the fact that it ended up causing more problems by how it ended. But the war is enormously influential in American history because it set a template for how Americans forget wars when we forget why they were fought.

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French President Emmanuel Macron on November 12 launched the “Paris Call for Trust and Security in Cyberspace”—the first state-supported initiative that brings together a set of principles that both the public and the non-governmental sector can implement and endorse to increase trust and stability in cyberspace.

Macron introduced the Paris Call at the Internet Governance Forum in Paris. The event was part of Paris Digital Week, which has brought together thinkers, innovators, decision-makers and investors for a discussion on current and future digital issues from November 11 to November 14.

In his speech, Macron called on all actors to work together toward building trust and security in cyberspace. Many states, as well as private companies and civil society organizations, have already thrown their support behind the declaration on developing common principles for securing cyberspace. The Atlantic Council’s Cyber Statecraft Initiative is proud to be one of the early supporters of the Call.

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On foreign policy matters, President Donald Trump through this week’s mid-term elections has demonstrated a refreshing willingness to take on critical issues that his predecessors either avoided altogether or ineffectually kicked down the road.
 
His tactics can lack diplomatic elegance (mostly by intention) and anger partners, but it’s undeniable he has locked his legacy-seeking sites on what looks to be an overwhelming list of long-festering problems. Among them: NATO allies’ unwillingness to bear sufficient defense burdens, China’s unfair trade practices, Russia’s violation of a short and intermediate-range missile treaty, North Korea’s nuclear proliferation and Iran’s dangerously malign behavior. 
 

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The guns of war at last fell silent at the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month of 1918. The Great War was over. The Armistice took effect. The war had lasted more than four years; it had caused the death of close to ten million combatants and more than half as many civilians. An entire generation of European youth, supported by comrades from the United States and around the world, had met the fate foreseen by the young New Yorker Alan Seeger, who had enlisted in the French Foreign Legion even before the formation of the American Expeditionary Force: “I have a rendezvous with death / At some disputed barricade / ... It may be he shall take my hand / And lead me into some dark land / And close my eyes and quench my breath.” Seeger was killed in action on July 4, 1916.

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