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The first edition of the Defence IQ Review features opinion on the UK’s recent U-turn on the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter and an exclusive interview with Peter Luff, the Defence Minister responsible ...

The first edition of the Defence IQ Review features opinion on the UK’s recent U-turn on the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter and an exclusive interview with Peter Luff, the Defence Minister responsible for procurement. Other topics include a great analysis of the use of social media during the Arab Spring and the U.S. Army’s decision to equip its troops with smartphones.

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    Defence IQ Review Defence IQ Review Document Transcript

    • Issue 1 July – September 2012The Arab How militaries What doesSpring: leverage their The FlameRevolution greatest mean forwithout asset: cyberRevolutionaries? information? security?
    • Welcome Welcome to the first edition of the Defence IQ Review. Everyday we publish articles on the website but we thought it would be a good idea if we picked out the very best and brightest pieces once in a while. We wanted to put them all in one place to make it an easily accessible and engaging read. And so the Defence IQ Review was born. In this edition we look at the UK’s recent U-turn on the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter and talk to Peter Luff, the Defence Minister responsible for procurement, in an exclusive interview. Other topics include a great analysis of the use of social media during the Arab Spring and Richard de Silva considers the U.S. Army’s decision to equip its troops with smartphones. We hope you enjoy it! Andrew Elwell, Editor Defence IQ www.defenceiq.com 3. News in brief 9. F-35 head to head: STOVL vs Carrier Variant 4. New cyber-weapon ‘The Flame’ Discovered 10. Opinion: Two carriers now a necessity following F-35 U-turn 5. Leveraging our greatest asset: Information 12. US Army gets smart… Phones 6. Defence IQ announces winners 14. The Arab Spring: Revolution without of the 2012 Blogging Awards Revolutionaries? 7. F-35 in Focus: Defence Minister 17. Op ed: France: out of the frying pan Peter Luff discusses the F-35 and into Syria? and carrier strike capability For further information on the Defence IQ Review: For editorial enquiries, please contact: Andrew Elwell, Editor, andrew.elwell@iqpc.co.ukFor marketing and advertising enquries, please contact: Samantha Tanner, Marketing Manager, samantha.tanner@iqpc.co.uk For all other enquiries: newsletter@defenceiq.com© Defence IQ – a division of IQPC International July 2012. 2 Defence IQ Review Issue 1 Q3 2012
    • News News in Brief The throwable robot....catches on The Throwbot, designed by the robotics specialists at ReconRobotics Inc. in Minnesota, has been chosen by the U.S. Army’s Rapid Equipping Force to provide four- and five- man fire teams with immediate tactical reconnaissance during urban warfare operations, surveillance missions and counter- IED efforts. The Indefinite Delivery, Indefinite Quantity (IDIQ) contract is for an initial 1,000 units at a cost of $13.9 million. “For several years, our micro-robot systems have played a key role in protecting the lives of our soldiers and Marines as they conduct operations in active combat theatres,” said Ernest Langdon, Director of Military Programs for ReconRobotics. "We are honored that the Rapid Equipping Force has once again selected ReconRobotics to deliver this unique capability to those warfighters at the tip of the spear.” Study to reveal 30-year defence landscape in Europe The European Defence Agency (EDA) is conducting the Future Land Systems study to review the European land system industrial base over a 30 year period. With BAE Systems leading the study and another 16 member companies supporting it, the study is designed to MI5 boss reveals "astonishing" cyber highlight capability gaps as ties between the European nations attack secrets continue to strengthen as the economic mire hastens. Claude-France Arnould, Chief Executive of the European Defence Agency, said that Everyday the UK is subject to an “astonishing” “now is a critical moment for EU defence … there is a strong political number of cyber attacks, according to the head of impulse to cooperate …and clearly it’s time to act.” Britain’s Security Service. Jonathan Evans, the Director General of MI5, made his first public Amazonas to make a splash in Brazil as appearance in over two years to warn against the BAE set to deliver first OPV increasing threat of state-sponsored cyber attacks. “Vulnerabilities in the internet are being exploited In June BAE Systems will delivered the first of three aggressively not just by criminals but also by states," Offshore Patrol Vessels (OPVs) to Brazil as part of Evans said. “The extent of what is going on is the £133 million deal it struck earlier in the year. astonishing.” The OPV, named Amazonas, was handed over to Brazil at the end of the month. Originally the three Exoskeleton robot to produce He-Man Army ships were to be built for Trinidad and Tobago but the contract was cancelled following schedule and design issues. The new deal with Brazil now The French Ministère de la Défense is developing an includes a manufacturing license for the Brazilians exoskeleton robot designed to assist service personnel to continue to build additional OPVs indigenously. while carrying and handling heavy loads. The exoskeleton is intended to enhance a soldier’s strength by providing a mechanized frame that enhances the muscle power of the wearer. Hercule will allow the user Replacement Trident nuclear programme gets to lift loads “effortlessly” by supporting the dorsal £1 billion boost structure through its revolutionary “mechatronic” legs Each arm has the capability to carry up to 20kg and the Philip Hammond, Secretary of State for Defence, has entire system will be able to support 100kg in its final said that a £1 billion deal has been struck to develop configuration, although current demonstration models the next generation of nuclear reactors that will replace only have a payload of 40kg. Britain’s current Vanguard class submarines, which carry the Trident nuclear missiles. Find all the latest news at www.defenceiq.com 3 Defence IQ Review Issue 1 Q3 2012
    • Cyber By Andrew Elwell May 2012A cyber weapon 20 times more sophisticated than Stuxnet has about targeted systems, stored files, contact data and even audiobeen discovered by Russian internet security firm Kaspersky Lab it conversations.”was revealed this morning. It’s believed that such a complex programme is unlikely to be theThe malicious programme, called the Flame, is thought to have work of cyber criminals or individuals within a group, such asbeen undetected for two years having been active, or “in the wild”, Anonymous or LulzSec, and is probably a government-backedsince March 2010. Middle Eastern countries including Iran, Israel, virus just as the Stuxnet virus was.Sudan, Syria, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia and Egypt have all beenaffected according to reports. It is, however, easy to overstate this threat. The term ‘cyber warfare’ itself is one that polarises opinion, with manyDue to the complex nature of the virus, the Flame has been commentators and experts insisting that there will never be a ‘war’labelled a “super-cyberweapon.” Fears have been growing over a fought solely in the cyber domain; rather, that attacks in the cyberpossible ‘cyber war’ for a number of years; the uncovering of the domain will be utilised as a warfare tactic during a physical conflict.Flame as the next phase in that conflict is unlikely to allay those Indeed, according to Kaspersky, “the primary purpose of Flamefears. appears to be cyber espionage, by stealing information from infected machines.”Eugene Kaspersky, CEO and co-founder of Kaspersky Lab, said:“The risk of cyber warfare has been one of the most serious topics Espionage is not an act of war. The Cold War was underpinned byin the field of information security for several years now. Stuxnet 50 years of espionage and intelligence gathering on all sides; it didand Duqu belonged to a single chain of attacks, which raised not lead to conflict per se. Similarly, no nation is likely to perceivecyberwar-related concerns worldwide. The Flame malware looks to any such attack on its computer networks as an act of war.be another phase in this war, and it’s important to understand that Dick Crowell of the U.S. Navy War College has a thoughtfulsuch cyber weapons can easily be used against any country. response to this, which he expressed at a recent conference onUnlike with conventional warfare, the more developed countries are cyber security. “I don’t believe there will ever be a thing which weactually the most vulnerable in this case.” can call a ‘Cyber War’ … but I think cyber warfare tactics will be employed in all future conflicts.”What’s worse, considering the Flame has been running wild forover two years, the “next phase” of cyber warfare and the even the The Flame is clearly a serious threat to national security, personalphase after that may also be running through our networks privacy and commercial intellectual property, but it’s flippant toundetected as we speak. throw terms like ‘cyber war’ around unduly. The discovery of each of these new “phases” should be considered within a sensibleKaspersky said that the Flame “can steal valuable information, and contextual framework.including but not limited to computer display contents, information 4 Defence IQ Review Issue 1 Q3 2012
    • Joint C4ISR Leveraging our greatest asset: Information By Padraic McCluskey May 2012 As a decade of operations begin to wind down in Afghanistan, it convince militaries that its solutions, often with hefty price tags, is clear that the military’s insatiable demand for timely, secure are the answer to their problems. and high quality information will continue to grow exponentially. Some estimates forecast a near 1000% rise in information While it’s fair to say industry solutions have not quite reached a generation before 2020. level of operational relevance for the military yet, there are also other issues that need to be resolved. Afghanistan has shown that severe challenges exist in how information is gathered, exploited and shared in the global Organisational structures within the military have often battlespace. While recent multinational and national networks contributed to the problem as rigid and antiquated operating have gone some way in alleviating a number of these procedures have meant that critical information has often not challenges, it is far from certain that future mission networks will been shared with the right people at the right time. In turn, not suffer from the same problems. countless operations have been unable to utilise their most important asset: Information. The continuing proliferation of remotely piloted aircraft, satellite based intelligence, handheld devices and a whole host of Operation Unified Protector has recently shown that some networked devices means that the amount of information nations often had to revert back to commanders very high up rocketing around the theatre will only but continue to rise. One the chain before information could be shared, with the delay thing is clear: More than bullets or bombs, information will marring the effectiveness of the information. remain militaries’ greatest force multiplier. Former ISAF commander General Stanley McChrystal encountered these same organisational strictures during his No circle, full circle time in Iraq. His approach to reduce delays in sharing In yester year the warfighter couldn’t gather enough information, information throughout the chain of command across a wide but now the issue is coming full circle as the data that military area of operations is something that has now started to be devices and platforms are able to collect, store and analyse incorporated more widely. increases in both volume and quality. If such an agile structure could be transposed into the Industry solutions have raced ahead of the military on the front multinational environment then it would go a long way to lines, back at HQ, and within its rigid organisational structure. rectifying a growing problem. Information is being churned out at a rate and at a quality that is overwhelming the military’s capacity to handle it, meaning it is The solution then does not then lie in the military, political or often duplicated, lost or simply unused. industrial realms alone. A balanced approach will be required so that nations can make the most of the information that is out With a drive underway to extend networks down to the tactical there. level, forces’ battlespace agility and speed should increase but it also opens up new avenues for more information to bloom out Industry needs to provide solutions that are simple for people to of. use, can handle and exploit increasing volumes of data, and not cost the world. Militaries and their political superiors must start Industry continues to promise that its solutions will make the to take a serious look at the organisational structures and information gathering, exploitation and sharing process more procedures they employ on operations. seamless and less over-burdening but challenges still abound. Solutions using commercial technology, existing architectures There will be little value in adopting future technological and commercial levels of security have made great in-roads into advances if they are met by antiquated structures that constrict the problem. However, industry has not yet managed to the flow and utilisation of information. 5 Defence IQ Review Issue 1 Q3 2012
    • Blogging AwardsWinners of theDefence IQBlogging Awards2012 announcedIn May, Defence IQ launched the search for the best defence and military blogs in a bid to recognise those who constantly keep us informedof worldwide events. From these nominations, 33 blogs were chosen to make up the shortlist while the panel discussed and debated whoshould be crowned the winner from each category. On 20th June 2012, Defence IQ finally revealed what the blogoshpere had been waitingfor - the list of winners… Counter Terrorism: Information Operations: WINNER: The Freedom Fighter Blog WINNER: Small Wars Journal http://www.matthewvandyke.com/blog/ http://smallwarsjournal.com/ Defence Industry: Regional Defence: WINNER: RAF Airman WINNER: Livefist http://rafairman.wordpress.com/ http://livefist.blogspot.in Maritime Security: Cyber Security: WINNER: Daly History Blog WINNER: CWZ http://dalyhistory.wordpress.com/ http://www.cyberwarzone.com/ For more information on all upcoming awards, join Defence IQ now www.defenceiq.com/join.cfm 6 Defence IQ Review Issue 1 Q3 2012
    • By Andrew Elwell May 2012Does the UK need an aircraft carrier? Does carrier strike represent current plan then the UK would have been without carrier strikea relevant strategic capability considering Britain’s likely role and capability for 13 years. With the STOVL variant, carrier strike will beinfluence in world affairs over the next 50 years? restored three years earlier.There is growing debate among politicians, the military, historians “A ten year gap [in carrier strike capability] was the most we felt weand analysts about whether or not carrier strike capability is could take strategically – a thirteen year gap would have beenjustifiable on the back of the significant cost of building two Queen irresponsible,” said Luff.Elizabeth class carriers and acquiring the new fleet of fifthgeneration fighters that they will accommodate. I posed this In his article, ‘Does anybody still need aircraft carriers?’, Tom dequestion to Peter Luff, the Minister responsible for defence Castella says that “there have been sceptics for some time.“procurement at the MOD, during an interview recently. He is firmlyon the side of the exponents. “In 1981, David Howarth wrote in Famous Sea Battles that "the only practical value of carriers in the future will be in simply“It would be a very big decision for the UK to abandon carrier strike existing, not in fighting". To use them in anger would be to trigger aas one of its key capabilities to project power around the world,” nuclear war, he argued. “But just a year later, the UKs carriersLuff said. ensured that the Falkland Islands were regained.”His slight hesitation in answering the question suggested the Having an operational aircraft carrier capability allows the UK to notpremise itself was somewhat amiss. That even the thought of not only project power on the world stage, but also support otherproceeding with a carrier strike strategy was unrealistic, irrational. nations around the globe. “They will play a pivotal role in the UKsAs a strategic defence capability to protect our nation we need defence strategy,” Geoff Searle, Programme Director for the QECcarrier strike. As an effective way of safeguarding our trade, aircraft carriers, told Defence IQ in an interview earlier this month,resources and supplies globally we need carrier strike. As a way of “while also providing a platform for humanitarian aid.”projecting our power around the world we need carrier strike. Aside from strategic relevance, there’s also the plain fact that we“We are still, I think, fundamentally a maritime power with absolute are building the carriers now. Does mothballing both really presentdependence on trade,” said Luff. “Our ability to show that we are itself as a viable option? “We have two superb carrier ships beingable to use the sea to protect our nation is of strategic importance. built, not to use them would be a crime,” Luff concluded.“The ability to project power around the world is uniquely offered bycarrier strike, so it’s the right thing to go for.” God Save the Queen…and the Prince of Wales On the QEC aircraft carriers though Luff did say that, although theThe strategic importance of carrier strike was highlighted in the reversion to the STOVL variant may lead to both carriers beinggovernment’s recent decision to revert back to the STOVL F-35Bvariant of the Joint Strike Fighter. One of the key drivers for that active in the future, “there’s no immediate plan to operate twodecision was based on the fact that if the MOD proceeded with the carriers.” 7 Defence IQ Review Issue 1 Q3 2012
    • F-35“We now have the ability to operate a second carrier should we So cost was a major driver in the decision. But so was capability.choose to do so,” said Luff, “but that decision is effectively for the “The other fact that changed from the SDSR was that there werenext SDSR. “So at present we stick with using one, but with the doubts being stressed about the B variant,” Luff said, referring tonext SDSR due by 2015 … we will review that.” the questions being asked about the design of the new jets after a number of issues surfaced at the time.That’s probably not quite the affirmative answer many would hopefor. The Navy Campaign, an independent body borne out of the “But those doubts have now been swept aside; [the F-35B] is offSDSR, has been working closely with the government as it probation,” Luff confirmed. “It’s done a lot of flying hours andweighed up which F-35 variant to buy. At the time of Hammond’s landing on vessels, so that uncertainty over the B variant hasannouncement it said the following: disappeared.”“The Government has repeatedly stated that by reverting to the “The 2010 SDSR decision on carriers was right at the time, but theSTOVL jet, both carriers will become operational sooner than the facts have changed and therefore so too must our approach,”one ‘cats and traps’ carrier would. We look forward to seeing both Philip Hammond announced in a statement to parliament earliercarriers in service.” this month regarding the F-35 decision. “This Government will not blindly pursue projects and ignore cost growth and delays.”The F-35The obvious question: Why did the government choose to make a On the F-35 U-turn Luff is equally clear: “It was the responsibleU-turn on the decision to procure the STOVL F-35B variant of the thing to do.”JSF? “The facts changed,” the purposeful and candid defenceminister told me. Are two carriers now a necessity?“We had understood that the carriers were easily adaptable to takethe ‘cats and traps’ system. That probably was true in their early David Moroz from Defence Datelinedesign life, say ten years ago … but it was just more expensive to Group presents the case for it…install the equipment in the carriers than we had been told at thetime of the SDSR [in 2010].” 8 Defence IQ Review Issue 1 Q3 2012
    • F-35 F-35 head-to-head: STOVL vs. Carrier Variant 9 Defence IQ Review Issue 1 Q3 2012
    • F-35 Opinion By David Moroz, Defence Dateline Group May 2012Nineteen months ago, when the new coalition government will not adversely impact the UK’s ability to protect her interestspublished its hurried and much-maligned Strategic Defence and overseas and then justify abandoning a ‘superior’ replacement onSecurity Review (SDSR), I was engaged in studying the review the grounds that such a gap was intolerable for any longer thanprocess for my dissertation. In interviews with officers and eight years. Although the latter is not an argument that has yetacademics alike, all echoed the same warning: (I paraphrase) been used explicitly, many have come close to it in recent days.‘The SDSR is only the beginning. You watch – the government will The facts stand that the correct decision has been made and forrealise its mistake before the 2015 SDSR.’ that we should be grateful.And so it came to pass. On the decision to abandon the Short Take Within days of the F-35 decision the MoD also announced, withOff Vertical Landing (STOVL) F-35B in favour of the catapult- considerably less fanfare, that it had succeeded in balancing itslaunched F-35C the experts have been proven remarkably budget, plugging the alleged £38 billion gap in its finances soprophetic. widely publicised in the run up to the SDSR. This is a bold claim to make but, if true, then it is a considerable achievement for the newTo be entirely fair, the carrier variant of the Joint Strike Fighter did, Defence Secretary after only seven months in office.in 2010, appear to offer three distinct advantages over the STOVLF-35B. Closer inspection and subsequent events, however, show Key programmes now ‘guaranteed’ to be going ahead include thethese to be far from the ‘compelling evidence’ we were presented delivery of fourteen new Chinooks; upgrades to the Apache, Pumawith in the SDSR. and Merlin; the building of all the Type 45 destroyers, Type 26 frigates, Astute class submarines and two Queen Elizabeth classFirstly, it is entirely true that the F-35C has a greater range and aircraft carriers; introduction of the Lynx Wildcat, Voyager andpayload, operating out to 30% further and carrying almost 20% A400M; and ‘continued investment’ in Typhoon and F-35.more weight. This ignores the facts that both variants can carry thefull range of weapons that the UK intends to operate with the Taken together, these recent developments would seem to makeaircraft, and that the STOVL variant offers greater flexibility and possible the rectification of one of the biggest strategic mistakesagility – not least with regards to operating bases. Additionally, committed by the 2010 SDSR, the choice to only bring one aircraftsince 2010, the cost of fitting the necessary catapults and arrestor carrier into service. The farce of the decision was pointed out at thegear to the carriers has spiralled, cited as the primary reason for time but, in the light of recent events, carrier advocates – all toonow reverting to the STOVL variant. aware of their collective failure in the run up to SDSR – have begun to emerge from the woodwork.Secondly, in 2010, the F-35B was suffering from serious power andstress problems that threatened the future of the programme. Since And their argument makes strategic, as well as economic sense. ItJanuary 2012, it has been declared back on track, albeit behind the must be borne in mind that a single carrier capability is a part-timeother two and with a significant cost increase to the aircraft. carrier capability – only available around 60% of the time. Other European nations maintain only one carrier as a perfectly validThirdly, using catapult launched jets offered interoperability with strategic choice – as a discretionary capability it is not strictlyFrench and American carriers and aircraft. This ‘requirement’ was essential for national security. The British case has never beenparachuted into the SDSR at the last minute in order to justify framed in these terms, however – it would appear simply to be costselection of the F-35C. With jets and carriers due to enter service that has led the government to its current position.approximately simultaneously, interoperability was of no use inplugging the ten-year capability gap left by withdrawal of the In addition, the construction of both ships is well underway andHarriers and Invincible class carriers. Besides, weight issues mean breathing a lease of new life into the ailing British shipbuildingthat operating F-35s from the Charles de Gaulle looks unlikely to industry. If the defence budget is back in the black and savingsbe possible. It is true, however, that abandoning ‘cats and traps’ have been made by returning to the F-35B, then surely there is nowill allow the new carriers and jets to enter service up to five years better time to reassess the carrier decision. The Chief of theearlier. Furthermore, there are other important partner nations who Defence Staff, General Sir David Richards, in his recent letter tooperate STOVL carriers – Spain and Italy for example. the Telegraph explaining the F-35 U-turn puts a carrier decision off until 2015:Applauding the decision to finally revert to the F-35B is not to denythat the government is guilty of committing a U-turn of vast ‘It [switching to F-35B] also gives us the ability to operate twoproportions, at a cost of up to £1 billion to the UK taxpayer. It is at carriers if we choose, a decision that the next SDSR will review.’the very least inconsistent to profess that a ten-year capability gap 10 Defence IQ Review Issue 1 Q3 2012
    • Smart Technology By Richard de Silva May 2012On the back of recent reports that the US Army has begun to ship lessen the load that communications equipment adds to the soldierGoogle Android operated touchscreen devices to more of its troops in the battlefield – one of the continuously difficult ambitions ofin Afghanistan, progress on this experimental step has been of militaries worldwide, particularly in an age when troops arehigh interest to militaries worldwide, particularly as the roll out is expected to act as everything from a human broadcasting tower toalso being used as a litmus for the same programme to soon be an artillery piece on legs.delivered to government officials and other key agencies.At a recent forum on the subject of modernising tactical In one example, Lynn said, “we asked whether there is now a needcommunications, Major General Alan R. Lynn, Commanding for voice or a need for data? As soldiers need more data, we needGeneral of the US Army Signal Center of Excellence, addressed a to provide more than the traditional voice systems.room of international delegates on the recent evolution. “Senior commanders didn’t used to understand communications. The extent of it was ‘fix that’. Now, after another decade ofThe aim for the Signal Corps is to ensure that the infantry warfighting, three and four star generals have begun to ‘get’ it.”communication network applies itself is “an extension of the He highlighted here that where the old, “limited” voice kits wouldsoldier” and whatever is fielded should allow the warfighter to train cost $46,000 a piece, swapping these out for commercial off-the-wherever they are, be it on home soil or downrange. shelf tablet computers represents a cost-saving that any level ofLynn outlined the Signals Transformation Project, emphasising the command can appreciate.importance of constantly questioning the utility of what is beingfielded. “Every three years we look at ourselves and ask did we get Usually, it is a 5-7 year process to take an idea for new Armyit right?” said Lynn. “We’re now addressing all of the issues equipment from proposal to theatre. However, due to the generalidentified in the Signal Tactical Functional Area Assessment.” lifespan of relevance for today’s technology being roughly 6 years, soldiers can find themselves taking delivery of kit that provesThe mission has been made all the more complex by a reduction of obsolete within a matter of months. Michael McCarthy, Director ofthe signals soldier teams from nine to four, but with a concurrent the Brigade Modernisation Command, has been leading thedemand for greater capability, and no actual increase in budget. process of rolling out smart devices to US soldiers worldwide whileThe answer to this riddle has been the futuristic-sounding Micro- tackling this very pitfall. According to him, it has been a struggle toCyber (‘μCyber’), which naturally aims to shrink the technology at repeal what he calls the “Bubba Law”.hand and hinges on taking a flexible approach. “Bubba is my cousin’s friend’s sister’s cousin’s friend… basically,This SWAP-C (Small Weight and Power - Cost) programme is there’s a culture of simply following a rule that someone made updesigned to do exactly as it sounds, changing out the old for the and no one wants to change in case something goes wrong,” henew. The priority aim across the board is the concerted effort to said. 12 Defence IQ Review Issue 1 Q3 2012
    • Smart TechnologyMcCarthy knew that he would be taking commanders out of their the barracks is also identical to what they would need to know orcomfort zone when he proposed that they reject the usual 7 year use in the battlefield.wait and fundamentally change how soldiers share information,training and knowledge in both garrison and operations… all in just Lynn provided another example: “If we ask industry to develop an4 months. app, the second part of the conversation goes ‘If you’re giving me a training app, make that the Graphical User Interface’. “We look toFortunately, McCarthy has been able to draw on the benefits of give industry a base line of requirements, and anything above thatsmart technology use currently being implemented across the other is great. Our message is that if you think you can improve on whatUS services. The Air Force is procuring 18,000 iPads for its pilots we have or provide us something useful, show us what you’ve got.”to engage in virtual cockpit training, helping to orient new aviatorsand keep the skills of seasoned officers fine-tuned. Smart devices in theatre are physically connected across their own wave forms, but it is of course an ongoing focus to ensure theThe Navy meanwhile has been seduced by the prospect of security of the network wherever possible. The US Nationalcollating physical on-board manuals and guidebooks to just a few Security Agency is involved in the software encryption of Micro-tablet computers per vessel. The reason being is that Cyber, and has been one of the most active agencies taking ondocumentation adds several tons of weight to every ship, and in responsibilities for long-term cyber security across military andturn adds significantly to already rising fuel costs. “We’ve got to government infrastructure. McCarthy raises the point of the needkeep thinking that way and looking at second and third effects,” for the technology superseding the immediate availability of thesays McCarthy. technology as a security concern today. “Currently, soldiers are buying cell phones out of their own pocket and using them on localWith the change in technology also comes a change in the way networks, which you’d rather not want in theatre,” he said. “At thesoldiers are trained. Where the technology picks up or simplifies same time, we can’t put a soldier at risk by giving them a systemsome of the hard graft that the traditional user used to be troubled that’s vulnerable.”with, being trained in some of these skills has since becomeredundant, thereby allowing commanders to pare down courses to That being said, he also stressed that there is now the need for themeet the essentials. “As we’re buying boxes more often,” said Army to not act in a strictly risk-averse fashion but instead accessLynn, “and the equipment changes rapidly over the years, training “appropriate risk” in order to see that the door to advancementis becoming more and more theory-based.” The 13 defined skillsets does not swing shut. Lieutenant Colonel Mark Miles, Operationsof the traditional signals officer is now down to 7, including the hot Officer of the Army’s Chief Information Officer, is responsible forbutton issue – cyber defence. Overall, it’s an “agile” approach that the management of data sharing, and explains to us how lessupdates the capability in an incremental basis. If there is no really can be more where IT security is concerned. “We have extrawarfight, or there is budget that is not immediately being funnelled networking capability that we could consolidate,” explained Miles.to operations, funding can instead be diverted to buying further “We have right now many different networks and it’s large on ourunits of the modern kit, such as smartphones. operational environment only because we have a lot of redundant capability. “So it’s an environment of multiple user devices andSuch a tactic should prevent the technology as a whole from multiple networks, which is inherently less secure because there’sbecoming outdated. Eventually, when smart technology or more you need to manage. You have a larger digital footprint.handheld devices become a thing of the past (probably sooner “In the future, where there’s going to be a larger data requirement,than we think), the Army will already have one foot forward in the the network – which will be consolidated – will therefore be moreright direction. “This could be the base we use for all our future secure only because there will be less of a perimeter.”systems,” continued Lynn. ‘Ruggedising’ the equipment is alsoeasier, with gorilla glass and shock cases being easy to obtain, Asked how much information is provided on each of the handheldplus a newfound disregard for the general wellbeing of the devices, Lynn confirmed that virtualisation was already in thehardware. “The whole premise of this is that it’s affordable works. “GPS, base maps, and so on, are physically added to thetechnology,” declared McCarthy. “When you break it, you just get device,” he said, “but additional and more detailed informationanother one.” should be part of a cloud. The NIE (Network Integration Evaluation) is helping with this.” Lt Col Miles outlined the initiative’s role in theHe relates a recent incident of the tablets undergoing field testing, broader picture. “NIE is really looking at how we’re modernising ITduring which a 32,000 lb MRAP armoured vehicle accidentally capabilities in the future, trying to keep a better pace with availablerolled over one of the devices, turning it to dust. The soldiers technology and modernising the entire network, from theinvolved had been worried they would be in trouble for destroying operational and tactical forces to our generating forces prior toit, but as was pointed out to them, this is exactly why the deployment,” he said. “For the overall vision – the vision of oneequipment is undergoing field testing, and there’s little cost in network and enterprise available, having data always available –replacing them. How small a cost? According to the contractors, it’s more than just about their data; it’s about their identity.the company supplying the hardware agreed to a deal that involves “It’s about how we’re changing the soldier interfacing with thethe devices themselves costing a mere $1 cent a piece. network on the battlefield. We are hopefully in the future going to be giving them the same access to the network as they have backJust as benefits the commercial smart phone user, another vital in the rear, and the very same data. “So when the soldiers and thepart of networking the dismounted squad has been in the provision units and the leadership access this data back at a camp postingof apps to further simplify and accelerate tasks. The Signal Corps station prior to deployment, they get on the plane, they get off in ahas long been developing its very own ‘App Store’, with 84 military- contingency environment, and they still have the same identity, thespecific applications completed to date, 75 of which have been same email address, the same products they’re used to using, theirpublished. The Brigade Combat Team app, offering training, staffs are already integrated using the network that they’reterminology and other information, currently tops the charts among comfortable with… the data follows them.”the personnel using smart devices, but Lynn also pointed out that ithas helped keep troops refreshed, entertained and sociable, with For McCarthy, despite the abundance of benefits in the outlookan app offering bugle call audio files one of the other most popular from a joint relations perspective, or even a cost perspective,downloads. there’s also an added incentive that keep him dedicated to seeing this programme through:“My personal goal is that if I can save oneDevelopment of these apps is neither idly done nor limited to soldier’s life or prevent them from being injured because we’vemilitary developers. Industry is encouraged to assist in ensuring the provided them with better access to info and training, then I feel itsoftware soldiers are familiarising themselves with in the comfort of will be worth it.” 13 Defence IQ Review Issue 1 Q3 2012
    • Arab Spring: Analysis April 2012 Since the Arab Spring commenced lively debate has ensued The long struggle that resulted in Algerian independence in about the part played by social media in igniting the first flash the 60s was initiated before the First World War by Les of revolutions in Tunisia, Egypt, Libya and beyond. Evolues, (the evolved ones), Francophone Algerians Contending theories suggest either that the effect was schooled in France, who exported progressive ideas back to overstated or that new media and social networking sites North Africa. But the people of the salon couldnt achieve were among the critical fulminates. The truth perhaps lies their gradualist agenda because they lacked a strong somewhere in between, and this article attempts to provide attachment to the street. So it is today. The cosmopolitan further perspective. elites and the intellectual Arab diaspora can create the narratives of change in their erudite blogospheres, but they My overriding sense is that within the context of the 2011 require a spark to mobilise the people to recite and pursue revolutions, social media networks were essentially those narratives with passion and purpose. Those sparks barometers, rather than catalysts. They certainly had an are normally born of palpable social, economic and political effect in terms of organisation, mobilisation and networking, grievances, rather than an intellectual or ideological but it hardly needs saying that mass movements of Arab motivation. This was certainly the case during the Arab people pre-date new media and technology. Neither the First Spring, and the socio-political tremors in the years preceding Intifada in Palestine in 1987, nor the Shabaniya revolt in Iraqi it. in 1991 were motivated by blogs, Facebook or Twitter. In the Middle East, freedom isnt a new idea. In 2008 there was unrest in Bahrain, Yemen, Egypt, Jordan and Morocco, largely motivated by the rising cost of In shifting so much focus onto the relevance of social media living. However, the circumstances in Egypt, in particular, in the Arab Spring, my own feeling is that the debate tells us illustrate an important dimension to the current debate more about the Wests impercipience than it does about the regarding the relevance of social media. Middle East. The preoccupation with social medias role in the 2011 revolutions manifests Western commentators and In the Egyptian cyberspace in 2008, a Facebook page was politicians desperate desire to review and interpret the established calling for a General Strike on April 6th, in people of the Middle East through a prism that they can support of a long-running industrial dispute in Ghazl el readily comprehend. Internet access is increasing rapidly, Mahalla, in the Delta. The page soon garnered some sixty but as Hisham Matar has stated ¹, social media usage in the thousand supporters, and is credited with organising and Middle East is limited to a thin crust of cosmopolitan, techo- promoting a successful nationwide expression of dissent. fluent top people. So, really one might argue that this The industrial dispute centred upon the largest cotton mill in preoccupation with Facebook and Twitter merely represents the Middle East, employing some 27,000 workers. The one metropolitan elite reviewing the actions and behaviours Textile Workers League had demanded an increase in the of another, whilst giving insufficient weight to the critical national minimum wage from a mere $6.40 per month - the constituency, al shaab: the people. So, where does the level established in 1984 - and had threatened action if their balance lay? 14 Defence IQ Review Issue 1 Q3 2012
    • Arab Spring: Analysishad called since December 2006, during an era in Egypt where much for a population already weighed down by repression, highlabour unrest was growing, moreover, it was spreading beyond unemployment and inflation. These revelations helped to set thethe industrial working classes to professionals such as doctors mood of the street in the weeks preceding Mr Bouazizis climacticand university professors. Significantly, during this time, act.³expressions of opposition to Mubarak began to feature alongsidethe demands for higher wages too. The net activists, “Anonymous,” also played a minor part in the Tunisian revolution, attacking government websites andThe April 6th General Strike campaign was promoted in blogs and attempting to secure online anonymity for oppositions cybersocial media sites by young, middle class metropolitan internet partisans. However, the Egyptian and Tunisian experiences bothactivists, and is credited with amplifying the mill workers struggle underline the fact that social media might play a role in massto a national cause. Whilst the April 6th General Strike is deemed protest, but it will rarely be the decisive factor.to have been successful, marking a hitherto unknown scale ofcoordinated public protest, a sequel planned for May 4th the To over-estimate the importance of social media in the Arabfollowing year and also promoted by cyber activism, fell flat on its Spring is to misunderstand the character of the Middle East, andface. There were only minor street protests, and the severe to cloud clarity with our own partial perceptions. In the capitals ofrepression of industrial activism in the preceding years deterred the West, where communities are fragmented, social cohesion ismany would-be working class protestors from participating and loose and even family ties are stretched and strained, wereinforcing what was, on this occasion, a largely middle class communicate via Skype, Facebook and of course by email andmovement. In reviewing the failed cyber campaign, Egyptian text. Raves, Flash Mobs, destructive teenage parties, evenblogger and activist, Hossam el-Hamalawy, stated, “this weddings and anti-capitalist demonstrations are convened on thetechnology should be complimentary, and a logistical support for internet. We dont see one another at Church, nor in the Marketwhatever we do on the ground.” In other words, you cant have a Square, we travel alone in our cars, inured to the world by ourvirtual revolution. iPods. But in the Middle East, its wholly different. Communities with strong cohesion still exist. Bonds of faith, family, tribe andIn Tunisia, where the Arab Spring proper first blossomed, the town are far more tangible than ethereal virtual communities,critical and unforeseen inducer of the Jasmine Revolution which the overwhelming majority dont access anyway. In theoccurred on the morning of 17th December 2010, when a young madrassa, masjid, majlis or Muski Street, the great mass of theTunisian street vendor encountered the hostile and unheeding people talk and talk and talk. The social synapses are firingstate in the shape of Ms. Faida Hamdi, a municipal functionary. incessantly, and news travels fast. In the Middle East, socialWith 30% unemployment in his home town, having been turned media is just another form of communication, but not the mostdown by the army and having failed to secure other employment, pervasive, and certainly not the most practical or effective.Mohammad Bouazizi had resorted to selling fruit and vegetablesin order to support his widowed mother, ailing uncle and large As a further illustration of this point, its worth considering theextended family. However, he was trading without a license, and capacity for traditional political mobilisation in the Middle East,for this reason Ms. Hamdi, a local trading inspector, had his taking just three examples: Egypts Muslim Brotherhood, Hamasproduce confiscated and allegedly slapped him around the face, in Gaza and the Sadr Movement in Iraq. These three popularpublicly humiliating him. His further remonstrations to the movements have regularly demonstrated their ability to marchmunicipality were merely met by violence. So great was Mr hundreds of thousands, if not millions of people through theBouazizis sense of rage and injustice, that he returned to the streets and the polling booths of their respective domains. This ismunicipal offices later, doused himself in paint thinner and set achieved not via online social networks, but by real humanhimself afire in a final, desperate act of protest. The internet networks and local community organisations. Its networks suchflashed the reports of the incident around the country. By the time as these which will continue to be the foundation and the primaryMohammad Bouazizi died on January 4th 2011, protests were in engines of political mobilisation in the region. Just as trade unionfull flood across Tunisia. Ten days later, President Ben Ali fled the involvement was critical in Egyptian and Tunisian uprisings, socountry, marking the end of his 23 year rule and the properly organised, unified and coordinated groups will alwayscommencement of the Arab Spring. be necessary to effect change and influence the course of events.The Jasmine Revolution finally combusted when Mr Bouazizis Organisations such as the Muslim Brotherhood are of coursedramatic act of defiance ignited the tinder of pre-existing cognisant of social media, and are embracing it. The Muslimeconomic and social issues. However, in the weeks immediately Brotherhood now hosts its own social networking sites andbeforehand, the internet had also played an interesting role in tweets too. What will be interesting will be whether religiousprecipitating the Tunisian uprising. movements, having real and extensive social networks, can inThe Ben Ali regime was zealous in its repression of dissent, and the future magnify their existing influence exponentially throughdidnt neglect cyberspace. Their efforts to control the flow of such virtual networks.information into the country included a clumsy attempt to block Perhaps we in the West have confused ourselves by conflatingaccess to a Wikileaks revelation that was being circulated by the desire of Arabs to rid themselves of dictators and politicalLebanese newspaper, al-Akhbar. Even for a US ally, this action dynasties with the desire to embrace Western liberal democracy.may at first appear odd, but in December 2010, Wikileaks had One doesnt necessarily follow the other. The language of thereleased classified US diplomatic cables, which revealed some young, progressive Tahrir Square liberals might have impliedfairly un-diplomatic language. Some of it struck a raw nerve in that, but they and their ilk were simply the photogenic posterTunis. boys of the revolutions, the people that the West could relate to. In the wake of the revolutions in Tunisia, Egypt and Libya, weWhilst in the UK we focused with amusement upon candid can already see that whilst everyone seems to want change, notaccounts of Prince Andrews conduct as a UK trade emissary, in everyone wants the same variety or extent of change, and inTunisia, close attention was paid to US Ambassador Robert many instances its not the young, metropolitan liberals who areGodecs wry, yet clearly disapproving account of the outrageously now in the driving seat, its the Islamists. The influence of theopulent lifestyle of Ben Alis son-in-law. Among many other internet revolutionaries currently seems to have been short lived.indulgences, Godec revealed that he kept a pet tiger calledPasha, and had frozen yoghurt flown in by private jet from St In recognising this, one might begin to conclude that the internetTropez. These galling details of extravagance plus commentary is unlikely to be a major catalyst for extensive or rapid politicalupon corruption, nepotism and human rights abuses were too change in the Middle East, except where the preoccupations of 15 Defence IQ Review Issue 1 Q3 2012
    • Arab Spring: Analysisthe cyberspace elites coincide with the immediate concerns of the Social media has drawn in educated and literate female activistsstreet, as they did in 2011. The experience of a non-Arab country too, giving them an opportunity to express themselves powerfullytends to underline this. and eloquently in societies where their voices are sometimes muted. Esra Abdel Fattah, for instance,was the force behind theIrans disputed 2009 election saw alleged millions take to the April 6th 2008 Facebook campaign in Egypt, and was detained forstreets, but aside from the desire to depose the President, the three weeks for her trouble. Across the region, a new generationopposition leadership was divided and some within the religious of young women has been inspired and mobilised by their contactelements of the Green movement certainly didnt want wholesale with politics via the web, and that is surely a positive thing.regime change, they wanted change from within. The regimeitself, however, was ruthless and resolute, and Ahmedinejad Above all, new technology, social media and citizen journalistsapparently had the crucial support of the working class. have helped to draw attention to the struggles for liberty andTherefore, the government prevailed in spite of social media and dignity taking place in remote and misunderstood societies, ofdespite the internet martyrs like Neda Agha Soltan, who died on which many people in the West know little. In some instances,phone-camera for the world to see. despite the continuing feed of emotive footage and information from forsaken fronts like Bab Amr or Deraa or Homs, and despiteSince then, the Green leaders, under house arrest and largely the best efforts of a new breed of bi-lingual citizen cyber-gagged, are seeming to lose support and credibility amongst journalists like Danny Abdul Dayem, nothing substantial hasopposition activists. The regime has cracked down relentlessly on happened, and perhaps for good reason. For, besides UNjournalists and bloggers and jammed foreign and dissenting brokered cease-fires, what can happen?websites.² There were demonstrations in 2011, which werecrushed, and the various opposition groups boycotted the March In conclusion, I think that social media is likely to be more2nd 2012 elections, rendering them a run-off between the influential in terms of evolution as opposed to revolution. Theconservatives. Heavy security presence during the ballot Arab Spring of 2011 represents a first chapter in a process ofrendered any other option suicidal. However, if the hard-pressed change, not the conclusion. The disparate groups whichIranian opposition movement has currently run out of steam, composed the ineluctable popular fronts are now shedding theirthings may to begin to change during the latter part of this year. common revolutionary colours and hoisting their own particularWhen EU oil sanctions begin to bite in earnest from July 2012, flags. The new orders in Tunisia, Egypt and Libya have alreadyIrans present economic travails will start to deteriorate further. expended their honeymoon periods, and face the challenge ofEnergy sales represent Irans major source of foreign exchange, remedying the woes of decades of neglect, corruption andand with inflation worsening and the value of the Rial falling, economic mismanagement. The new Tunisian government haspaying for vital food imports will become increasingly difficult. served its first hundred days, but a new Sigma Conseil opinionAccording to the IMF, Iran imported 62% of its maize during 2010- poll has already revealed that between 75-90% of the public2011, 45% of its rice and 59% of its sugar, so problems are perceive extensive failure to resolve unemployment, corruptionlooming that may exacerbate the existing travails of the Iranian and inflation. Tunisians dont appreciate, or arent prepared topublic and galvanise broad public dissent. So, if change from accept, that democracy takes time. Be uncompromising with yourbelow does eventually occur in Iran, with inflation running at elected representatives, by all means, but be realistic too. In the22.5% and unemployment at 15%, its much more likely to be due results of this poll, in the continuing confusion in Egypt and theto the cost of tomatoes than it is due to the internet. dissatisfaction of people in Libya with the NTC, one can already perceive the greatest challenge facing the internetGiven all the above perspectives, what has social media revolutionaries. The people of the Middle East have no tradition ofcontributed to the Arab Spring? Well, its clearly had an effect, democracy as we know it. The general public need to be taught towhich this article doesnt seek to undermine. The internet understand it and to participate patiently, and thats where thebloggers and cyber activists have played their part, and many online conversations, independent media and information portalshave been beaten, arrested and worse. Their achievement has can do their most significant work in the future.been to open up a new frontier in the war of ideas, creatingforums for debate and free expression and helping to galvanise And what of the other, less social, social networks? What of thesolidarity amongst opposition movements throughout the region jihadist forums? What will be their conversations in the years toand with their supporters beyond. Moreover, the internet has come? The Arab Spring has pulled down in a matter of monthscreated another interface between government and the governed, some of the edifices they have been assaulting and railingand the Arab Spring and the years immediately before it do against for years. How much damage has the Arab Spring donedemonstrate that politicians in the region feel bound to take that to their credo of violent jihad? Has it done any at all? Are theseriously. In 2008 Egypts Prime Minister, Ahmad Nazif, surprised converts to democracy amongst the older generation of militantsEgypts internet community by leaving a comment on an really experiencing some Damascene conversion, or isopposition blog, responding directly to criticism regarding democracy simply an expedient route to achieving the sameeducation policy. But if cyber activists alone cant bring ends? Regardless, in the countries of the Arab Spring, the newgovernments down, its reassuring to know that the, “weary giants democratic processes will face a stern test of utility from allof flesh and steel”4 cannot sustain their tenure through online quarters. Moreover, with great optimism comes great scope forforays either - Ahmad Nazifs government was an early victim of disappointment and disillusion: Democracy has its work cut out.the January 25th Revolution. Ironically, prior to holding the office Despite what happens online, the real story will always play outof Prime Minister, Nazif had been Egypts first Minister of on the street. And one of those critical realities will obviously beCommunication and Information Technology. the provision of the technological infrastructure necessary to enable greater access to the cyber elites liberal discourses. The ascendant Islamists, of course, dont require that. Their extensive Notes: social networks are not virtual. ¹ Daily Telegraph, 11th July 2011: “Ways With Words: Role of Twitter and Facebook in Arab Spring uprising overstated” ² As a footnote on Iran, its interesting that the use of social media in the 2009 Green revolution might actually have hampered the oppositions efforts to some degree, since the American Haystack anti- censorship software that was intended to enable Iranian activists to circumvent government filters, allegedly exposed them rather than securing their anonymity. ³ However, there is a second dimension. Its also been suggested by Christopher Alexander, writing in Foreign Policy that some Tunisians concluded that Ambassador Godecs frank critiques must surely have implied US disavowal of the Tunisian regime. How much impetus this gave the rising is open to speculation, but given that Secretary Clinton was quick to state at the time, “We cant take sides”, its probable that it wasnt ultimately a major stimulus. 4John Barlow: “A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace” 16 Defence IQ Review Issue 1 Q3 2012
    • Op ed: Syria France: Out of the frying pan and into...Syria? By Xander Ross June 2012France’s new President François Hollande recently announced that While Syria is obviously a different conflict it is not known just howFrench troops will withdraw from Afghanistan by the end of 2012, much NATO’s aerial tactics would need to re-adapt between lastone year earlier than initially planned. Until recently, Hollande has year’s mission and this new theoretical intervention. We hear timeremained relatively mooted in terms of his overall defence policy. and again that Syria is not simply a stone’s throw from Libya, butHis election was won on the arguably more urgent economic crisis that it instead presents a more genuine risk of loss of life amongthan it was for his stance on getting soldiers out of the desert. troops. Would Hollande roll the die so early into his career given the impact that such publicity has on the home front? Would hisDespite this, the most divisive issue confronting him is perhaps left-wing supporters back the exchange of one conflict for another?now not the Eurozone debate, but instead responding to the And would France’s significant Muslim population (now 10 per centheightening atrocities in Syria. Some commentators have of the total) see him as an aggressive dabbler in the affairs of thesuggested that the withdrawal from Afghanistan is a cynical move Middle East, or as a saviour of the downtrodden?to enable him to justify intervention in Syria. Whether this is theroute that should be taken is as much a bone of contention for allFrench citizens as it is for their new head of state. What is known isthat real action, be it political, economic or military-led, must becarried out quickly as each day sees new reports emerge offatalities.A point asserted by French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius is thathe will call on the UN Security Council to make mediator KofiAnnans Syria peace plan mandatory. This would be achievedthrough the implementation of the UNs Chapter Seven provision,which permits the use of force.The type of support the French could provide has not beendisclosed, but what is likely is that - as in Libya - France could The industry will be playing close attention to developments insupport the intervention through attempted air dominance, Syria and the use of attack helicopters, EW capabilities, fast jetsbeginning with electronic strikes to disable the ground-to-air and early warning systems. Several different rotary wing platforms,defences Syria currently holds in its deck. for example, could already be lined up: the British with their Apaches, the French with the Eurocopter Tigers or AérospatialeAs we know, air power played the deciding role in Libya. In the Gazelles, and the Italian’s Agusta A129 Mangustas – all itching towords of Lieutenant-General Charles Bouchard, Commander of the again prove their worth.NATO operations in Libya, "the use of attack helicopters [provided]the NATO operation with additional flexibility to track and engage There is also the new kid on the block – Turkey’s home-grownpro-Gadhafi forces who deliberately [targeted] civilians and T129, based on the Agusta A129 Mangusta, which could see Syria[attempted] to hide in populated areas.“ as the ideal testing ground to advertise its capabilities to the defence market. The Turkish Army could also bag vital operationalAs mentioned in my previous article on the subject, attack lessons, which those with an eye on Kurdish relations would behelicopters provide a level of accuracy and firepower not wise to consider.necessarily possible with high flying, high speed fighter jets. Ofcourse, Assad has just lost out on several new units of the Russian While speculation remains over how to deal with Bashar al-Assad’sMi-35 owing to NATO’s stance on arms coming into the country. arsenal, one thing that is known is that intervening nations will do all they can to avoid ground engagement beyond Special Force operations, so as to wage a more covert, low-risk and impersonal fight. As strategic analyst James Farwell mentioned in his recent webinar with Defence IQ, it is thought by some that French COS task forces may already be working their way through Syria’s streets. Hollande need only look to his US counterpart to see just how a left-leaning leader can indeed operate an aggressive campaign without coming across as a hawk to his supporters at home. 17 Defence IQ Review Issue 1 Q3 2012
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