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Legal & Forensics

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China Law Blog

Digital Forensic Research Workshop (DFRWS)

Financial Cryptography

FindLaw, generic; FindLaw Special Coverage, topical issues

FOI resources, resources for research on freedom of information law maintained by Alasdair Roberts

UK Freedom of Information Act Blog, the UK Freedom of Information Act and worldwide FOI

International Journal of Digital Evidence (IJDE), Current issue, Archives, theory, research, policy, and practice of digital evidence

National White Collar Crime Center (NW3C)

Reddy's Forensic Page, Reddy Chamakura, forensic scientist with Police Laboratory, NYPD

Zeno's Forensic Site, forensic evidence (Zeno Geradts, forensic scientist at Netherlands Forensic Institute of the Ministry of Justice)

Gordon Housworth



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IT Security

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Black Hat archives, hackers, crackers

Crypto-Gram Newsletter, Bruce Schneier

George Ou, network and server architecture and security

Infosyssec, portal for information security (useful but tries to tie you to the portal)

Internet Storm Center - SANS

Ipsec trace tools

Sam Spade, trace tools

SecurityFocus

Gordon Housworth



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Gadgets - COTS dual use paradise

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BoingBoing, gadgets

Engadget, gadgets

GIZMODO, gadgets

Gordon Housworth



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Energy

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Alexander's Gas & Oil

Energy Bulletin, energy and peak oil news

Gordon Housworth



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Defense & Foreign Policy

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Applied Sciences and Analytics [Click on newsletter archive], NBC defense, disarmament and verification, emergency and disaster medical planning

Arms and influence, political uses of violence

Center for Defense Information (CDI)

Center for Nonproliferation Studies (CNS) Monterey

Center for Strategic & International Studies (CSIS)

Center for Technology and National Security Policy (CTNSP), technology and policy, CTNSP Defense Horizons

Counter-deception Blog

Counterterrorism Blog

Defense and the National Interest, Military in society, Strategy & force employment

Defense Institute of Security Assistance Management (DISAM), Journals

Foreign Affairs, US foreign policy and international affairs

Global Guerrillas, John Robb, networked organizations, infrastructure disruption, and the emerging marketplace of violence

Global Security

Henry L. Stimson Center, international peace and security

International Action Network on Small Arms (IANSA), proliferation and misuse of small arms and light weapons

International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS), political-military conflict

Medical NBC Information Server, from U.S. Army Surgeon General

Militarily Critical Technologies (MCT)

Militarily Critical Technologies List (Revised)

Developing Science and Technologies List (DSTL)

National Defense, NDIA business & tech, Archives

PARAMETERS, US Army War College Quarterly

Overseas Security Advisory Council (OSAC) Depart of State, security related information (note that accessing Constituent Services requires registration and approval)

RAND Policy Research

Strategic Insights (Center for Contemporary Conflict)

Strategic Security Blog, Hans Kristensen on nuclear weapons, with Federation of American Scientists & Natural Resources Defense Council

Terrorism: Q & A, Council on Foreign Relations

Virtual Information Center (VIC) Pacific Command, NE, SE, S Asia, and Oceania, conducts research among public domain materials for the CDR U.S. Pacific Command (USPACOM), complex but useful site

Washington Institute for Near East Policy

Gordon Housworth


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Asia regional

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About Intellectual Property, IP with China focus

All Roads Lead to China, business in China

Asia Business Intelligence, Rich Kuslan

Asia Business Law, Asian legal issues

Asia Pundit, irreverent look at cultural and business affairs

Beijing Review, Beijing Review Archives

Chief Asia Inspector, practical matters, large and small

China Business News, good China news feed

China Confidential, Chinese geopolitical issues

China Digital Times, wide reporting on Chinese political, security and diplomatic actions

China Economic Review

China Intel, geopolitical risk

China IPR Law

China Law Blog

Chinese Law Working Group, Chinese-Central European business relations

Chosun (Korea) national/political, english

Danwei, Chinese media & advertizing

EastSouthWestNorth

IP Dragon

Jamestown Foundation, security trends in Eurasia, from Russia to China

North Korea and Iran Nuclear Crisis Tracker

Pan Asian Biz, commercial issues in East Asia from Russia to Japan

PLA Monitor, focus on People's Liberation Army activities

Simon World, Asian news

View From Taiwan

VoxPI, French IP site, perspective outside the US

Gordon Housworth



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Arab, Muslim, Maghreb, Middle East

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Al-Ahram Weekly On-line, Weekly english version of the Arabic daily version Al-Ahram Daily

Al Jazeera

Global Terror ALert

United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI), UNAMI has taken over material formerly at Humanitarian Information Center (HIC)/Iraq, providing a variety of archived maps, documents and resources for the Iraq assistance community. See UNAMI's Map Centre

IMRA, Independent Media Review Analysis, Israeli and Palestinian views

Informed Comment, Juan Cole, Middle East, History, and Religion

Iraq Warblog Tracker

Militant Islam Monitor

Muslim American Society, news clips & mirrors

North Africa Journal

Northeast Intelligence Network (NEIN), Douglas Hagmann et al, useful for translations of Al Battar and Voice of Jihad, other Arab/Muslim items

Terrorism Focus (Jamestown), analysis of developments in the Greater Middle East

Terrorism Monitor (Jamestown), War on Terror and the struggle against al-Qaeda

UNAMI, UN Assistance Mission for Iraq, portal for UN agencies and NGOs working in Iraq, Press clippings, News & events

Gordon Housworth


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East meets West, but will Lenovo and IBM come up like thunder outer China 'crost the Bay?

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It is an understatement to say that, "Lenovo has shown an uncanny ability to extract expertise from its many technological partnerships" and distribution partners. Once it learned to make PCs from two distribution partners, AST Research and Acer, it ceased to distribute either brand.

My prediction is that Lenovo will monitor and mimic IBM's ongoing disengagement from the PC sector by its combination of open-source Linux on aggressively priced HW to "push [IBM's] own (high-margin) proprietary middleware, accompanying applications and services." No rocket science needed. One can expect Lenovo to maximize its knowledge gaining in R&D, advanced manufacturing, networking, enterprise architecture, and client-server apps. Were I in Chinese shoes, I would devote some effort to maximize my knowledge of this new customer base and its needs beyond PCs. For its part, IBM may be better able to weather the expected 2006-2008 down cycle while gaining access to a boom period of China's emerging market.

I would like to add an Asian perspective to Lenovo's purchase of IBM's PC business: face gaining, enormous quantities of it, that Lenovo, and by extension, China, is on a par with, and partner to, IBM. This need for prestige cannot be overestimated as China seeks to gain a global reputation as a respected nation. Lenovo moves from the ninth largest PC maker to third while China can be said to have 'bought the best' even though its current sales are primarily within China.

I remind readers that while Western observers yawned when the "divine ship," Shenzhou 5, made its 14 earth orbits and said 'what's new?' beyond a simple four decade-old copycat of US and Russian efforts, they overlooked its electrifying impact in Asia, that an Asian nation had joined the club a privileged Western, occidental club, and that it was China bringing respect to all Asians:

"By the very fact that it is a space power, China already has set itself apart from most other nations, and certainly all the other Asian states. [China's space infrastructure culminating in a manned space mission] place them above even the Japanese, in terms of demonstrated space capabilities. Instead, they are in the same category as ourselves and the Russians."

In Asian eyes, this was no "Great Creep Forward" as some western, even Indian observers mooted, but a massive short-term prestige effort (with military contributions to follow) as the CCP intended, which went so far as to deny foreign input by referring Shenzhou as "China's self-designed manned spaceship." Shenzhou launched with one "taikonaut" - from the Chinese for space - but unlike first Russian and US efforts, was designed from the onset to carry three.

Most of those observers also overlooked the fact that the PRC pushed the mission by Western and even Russian standards -- a marvel that even though Shenzhou was a modified Russian Soyuz with a number of European components -- as the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) made the decision that putting a taikonaut in orbit was an important prestige project, and they preferred it in the Year of the Dragon.

Bear with me as I harp on this: The symbolism of Shenzhou to Chinese and Asian alike was extraordinary. Xinhua News Agency ran specific headlines of "Chinese food for Chinese astronauts,'' noting that "The astronaut will enjoy himself over a rich variety of Chinese food" that included Chinese medicinal herbs and tonics to drink after eating to assist digestion. China.com went further to note that "It will be more tasty than Western food.''

The symbolism of Lenovo's partnership and purchase should not be discarded.

While I agree that joint ventures "usually don't work" unless one partner is passive or there is a small chance of direction competition (and in this case, both firms compete in other sectors but I can see Lenovo quiescent at least through its knowledge gaining cycle), things can fail sooner than expected. I have found two overriding reasons for failure of a joint venture, merger, or any organizational initiative (in any venue and between any countries/ethnic groups) to be:

  • Failure to set and reset mutual expectations
  • Failure to build and maintain a sustaining relationship

When either or both of these needs are breached, the venture will be allowed to flounder onto one of the three "rocks of convenience" - finances, technology, and operations. Unless both sides design ongoing events/interactions that set realistic agendas and expectations, and attempt to develop a relationship that once built, is validated and renewed, one can expect to see the wheels come off sooner than later.

I've found it useful to employ the Three Tests of Gregory III. Active in the 8th century, Gregory applied three tests to every papal bull brought before him:

  • What fairness suggests
  • What the law allows
  • What will work

When things don't "work" as I think they should, I've failed to identify one or more stakeholders or a substantive interest of at least one stakeholder. That becomes quite hard to do in Asia.

IBM sells PC group to Lenovo
By John G. Spooner and Michael Kanellos
CNET News.com December 8, 2004

Why Lenovo-IBM is a tough sell
By Michael Kanellos
CNET News.com December 8, 2004

Gordon Housworth



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Wounds to the US, external and self-inflicted

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It is appropriate to end this series with the direct threats to US economic, military, and diplomatic strength, and to note that many of those impacts are due to self-inflicted wounds which show no signs of amelioration.

I submit that bin Laden and al Qaeda is categorically winning the war on terror, despite any numbers of enemy killed or detained, if for no other reasons than the:

  • Vast expenditures that the US is diverting to non-productive military and counterterrorist efforts (deflection)
  • Induced uncertainty and doubt inhibiting business investment (deference)
  • Security efforts that virtually repel foreign nationals that seek employment, education, and safe haven here (personal deflection)
  • Collapse of support for US diplomatic and commercial initiatives in a startlingly large and growing portion of the globe (isolation, even some revenge)

Our own tunnel vision, reactionary steps, and misadventures make for self-inflicted wounds. For al Qaeda's part, they now knows that the best way to attack us is economically (Peter Berger says they know that a dollar expended costs the US a million) and if they cannot get at US soil, then Saudi Arabia will do. This is a war of attrition and al Qaeda can afford to buy time.

Add to that our:

  • Unbounded borrowing for military (some related to the GWOT) and domestic purposes that do not result in increased manufacturing output
  • Demographics race which the US is losing not only to China, but closer to home, Mexico -- which in the case of China had significant GDP impacts that will increasingly impact our military readiness and force projection
  • Cost overhangs of a mature workforce which I do not limit to retirement per se but, say, the roughly $US 2000 tax that goes into the glove box of every US car for health care and pension (all major US competitors have combinations of national health insurance, younger workforces, or little ability to protest)
  • Catastrophic lapse in fostering investment in general higher education, especially the sciences and engineering, especially so as I feel education is an essential national strategic weapon, and was the instrument - not crop production - that allowed the US to make its economic breakout in the 19th century. The PRC can sift the best of its populace and field a technical body equal to the population of the US.
  • Outsourcing of an increasingly larger portion of our GNP to low cost countries with no greater thought than short term lower production costs, and with no national strategic plan - at least to this writer - to replace maturing and sunset industries with sunrise industries (No, I am not against outsourcing per se but we are reaching an accumulative percentage of GNP based upon individual corporate action that the issue deserves some attention from the administration before it significantly awakens voter anger and visits us with equally dim alternatives)

For a thoughtful look at requirements and impacts of globalizing and outsourcing, I recommend World assembly required? which looks at Boeing's efforts retain market share, fend off Airbus, and gain a larger share of Asian markets. As of early 2003, Boeing made 36% of an average aircraft while buying in 64% from domestic and foreign suppliers. That figure is expected to tilt to outsourcing with the new 7E7 Dreamliner (Japan will make a third of it), especially as Boeing holds out the US auto industry as a model. While Boeing forecasts that China will need some 2,400 new aircraft (197 billion USD) over the next 20 years, is earnestly seeking more Chinese participation, the Chinese are categorically not resigned to foreign domination of its airspace. In China tries to break Boeing, Airbus domination with self-made aircraft, the People's Daily says:

China now pins its hopes on ARJ21, (short for Advanced Regional Jet for the 21st century), a self-designed passenger aircraft of the country's own intellectual property rights, to lead its fight against domination by Boeing and Airbus in the aviation industry. ARJ21 is not a large mainline plane, but its birth means [it] will fly side by side with Boeing and Airbus planes. Unlike earlier planes jointly developed with foreign countries, ARJ21 is a completely China designed airplane [and] although a regional jet, ARJ21 is of a higher grade that lies between feeder and mainline jets. "China is now able to make large mainline aircraft, on top of designing, China can also produce and manage mainline aircraft.."

I was amused at this comment:

Since it adopts general equipment of mainline jets, such as Boeing 737, its designing work is more difficult because it's harder to put equipment of the same size for large aircraft into a smaller one.

Applying common product migration strategies, that also means that they are designing in the next generation of aircraft needs that will be able to absorb ARJ21 modules. Difficult, possibly, but more like good family of parts design to me.

The US must have the strategic infrastructure in engineering, manufacturing, and education to compete in that coming environment. A few more allies so that we look less like Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs would also be helpful, but I digress.

We'll wrap up tomorrow with some GDP implications on the ability of the US to support a substantive military-industrial complex.

Part 5

Gordon Housworth



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What could go wrong.. go wrong.. go wrong.. in Asia?

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Quite a lot. While it is reasonable, based on current trend lines, to envision the PRC as the center of an Asian mercantile empire, and the Yuan to merit reserve currency status, it is by no means certain if, or when, this will occur. Similarly, it is not yet certain that the US will contract but that is where my trends now point.

The Asia Society and the National Intelligence Council considered key issues influencing Northeast and Southeast Asia through 2020:

Regional scenarios: Fragmentation and Intrastate Conflict, Regional Cooperation / Local Autonomy, Competitive States, China Japan Conflict, China’s Benevolent Dominance

Drivers grouped by: Demographics; Governance; Identity, Ideology and Political Religions; Future of Force, Technology, Globalization

Global scenarios into which these Asia-specific drivers and scenarios might fit: Pervasive Insecurity, Regionalization, U.S.-China Conflict, Heterogeneous Globalization

Here's a wager on an Asian relationship model: China will expand its Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) security buffer by promoting the ASEAN Treaty of Amity and Cooperation in Southeast Asia as a model for political operation within and without the FTA bloc as it a virtually unenforceable nonaggression treaty in which "the settlement of differences or disputes between their countries should be regulated by rational, effective and sufficiently flexible procedures, avoiding negative attitudes which might endanger or hinder cooperation."

By this standard, United Nations resolutions are a model of probity and fierce enforcement. China, India, Japan, Pakistan, South Korea, Russia and New Zealand have now signed Amity, but Australia balks as it would muzzle member state criticism while circumscribing the ANZUS Treaty between Australia and the US (further reinforcing Asian fears that it is the US' "deputy sheriff" for security in the region). The US may not even/ever be invited to join the FTA and it would certainly take issue with the limitations of the Amity treaty.

This would suit China's diplomatic aims as Beijing 'consistently characterizes the US as a "hegemon" "connoting a powerful protagonist and overbearing bully that is China’s major competitor."' I note in Hegemons come and go: a renewing Chinese hegemon eyes a mature US hegemon, that:

the Chinese perceive the moderate Peaceful Rise -- Peaceful Development as a ‘permanent’ approach so long as Washington demonstrates a "constructive U.S. response to the moderate Chinese approach." One must presume that a different US policy would occasion a different Chinese policy.

I despair of an already angered future Chinese generation:

Public opinion also was widely regarded as a constraint on US-China cooperation, at least for the time being. Chinese strategists described PRC public opinion as highly nationalistic, deeply resentful of US policy on Taiwan, and highly suspicious of US global objectives. Relatively young Chinese, they added, are notably more nationalistic than their elders. Indeed, several Chinese interviewees observed that the outgoing generation of leaders, and Jiang Zemin in particular, frequently has been criticized in private for being too soft and accommodating toward the United States. PRC interlocutors also contend that US suspicions of China remain high, both in and out of government.

As the Sino American relationship lacks the confidence-building measures (CBMs) that China has put in place with other front line states, surprises could blindside either party. I refer readers to Hegemons for themes, more Chinese proactive and US omissive, of the relationship.

Japan also may not so easily fall into line. Tokyo predicts China will ''strengthen its military capability in order to demonstrate its capability to Taiwan and the United States, and will be the greatest military power in the Asia-Pacific region in the future.'' Tokyo defines three Chinese attack scenarios noting that while China ''is cautious about using military force to solve international issues as it understands that doing so will hinder its own development,'' it is ''likely that the Chinese Communist Party will go its own way to secure its sovereignty and territory as well as expand its interests in the sea.''

Hoge notes that "China and Japan have never been powerful at the same time," which presents an unknown to the Asian equation, especially as I believe that Japan can go nuclear in a matter of months or less (components made, needing only assembly, a technicality that allows Tokyo to say that it 'does not possess'). Given that Japan is well aware of the impact of nuclear weapons, it could conceivably go to first use to forestall Nagasaki redux.

Conversely, while it is true that India and China "have not resolved their 42-year-old border dispute and still distrust each other," they have not let it stand in the way of commercial cooperation (unlike Pakistan's approach to India that inserts a Kashmiri resolution into the most trivial bilateral discussions). China will still play with Pakistan as there is no reason not to and it holds a path into the Stans, but Beijing will forge a larger commercial relationship with New Delhi.

It will be interesting to see how these three states will coexist, share regional control, access energy sources, obtain maritime security, and a multitude of sovereignty matters such as the Spratly Islands in the South China Sea.

Part 4

Gordon Housworth



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