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Contributor PerspectivesJul 12, 2019 | 11:00 GMT
A NATO training center conducts an exercise on cyberwarfare and security on June 22, 2017, in Bydgoszcz, Poland.
Security and the 'Holographic Society'
The cyber world is dissolving distinctions between war and non-war, between what's "inside" a country and what's outside it, between the state and society. In fact, the very distinction between the virtual and physical worlds is itself dissolving. So perhaps we ought to be thinking about security in the physical world as we do in cyber.
On GeopoliticsMay 30, 2019 | 05:30 GMT
A print depicting U.S. Commodore Matthew Perry arriving in Japan in 1853.
The Contradictory Nature of U.S.-Japan Relations
U.S. President Donald Trump's Memorial Day weekend visit to Japan serves as a reminder of the complex relationship between the United States and Japan. In addition to ceremonial events, meeting the new emperor and visiting U.S. military personnel, Trump held discussions with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe about trade frictions (driven by the United States' nearly $68 billion trade deficit with Japan) and regional security concerns ranging from North Korea to China to Iran. This contrast between bilateral trade competition and mutual security cooperation in many ways exemplifies the modern U.S.-Japan relationship.
On SecurityOct 23, 2018 | 05:30 GMT
A Mexican Army expert in protective gear displays crystal meth paste at a clandestine laboratory near la Rumorosa town in Tecate, Baja California state, Mexico on Aug. 28.
How the Globalization of Mexican Business Helped Spread Crime
Recently, I found myself explaining to a client how illicit goods flow into and through Mexico and then onward to the United States, and it occurred to me that there are many logistical similarities between Mexican transnational criminal organizations and the countless manufacturers operating in Mexico. After further consideration, it became clear that many of the factors that make Mexico an attractive destination for foreign businesses also make it attractive for criminal enterprises. It is no mistake that the pieces of real estate that Mexican criminal groups fight over often directly overlap with major logistical and production nodes of the traditional economy. In many ways Mexico's globalized criminal landscape is a mirror of its globalized legitimate economy -- and they have both been growing in power.
AssessmentsOct 5, 2018 | 10:00 GMT
U.S. President Donald Trump speaks during a Jan. 31, 2017, White House meeting with cybersecurity experts.
A New, More Aggressive U.S. Cybersecurity Policy Complements Traditional Methods
The administration of U.S. President Donald Trump released its National Cyber Strategy on Sept. 20, which most notably indicated a greater willingness than before to conduct offensive cyber operations against adversaries. Discussing the strategy, national security adviser John Bolton hinted that the administration had already taken steps to bolster offensive efforts in recent weeks, warning that the United States is no longer just playing defense when it comes to cybersecurity. But despite the Trump administration's more hawkish tone regarding cybersecurity, it will continue mainly to rely on traditional measures such as the legal process, regulations and cooperation with the private sector when it comes to cybersecurity.
On SecuritySep 18, 2018 | 09:30 GMT
White House homeland security adviser Tom Bossert speaks about the WannaCry virus, which was tied to North Korea, during a briefing at the White House in Washington on Dec. 19, 2017.
North Korea's Hackers Play the Long Game
In July, we noted that the Islamic republic has been playing the numbers game in the world of cyberattacks, using relatively rudimentary tactics in a shotgun approach that targets thousands of individuals in the hopes that a small percentage become victims. Now, the recent release of a U.S. Department of Justice criminal complaint depicts a similar, yet very different, threat from North Korea over the past four years. In addition to laying out in technical details why North Korea was the mostly likely perpetrator of attacks on Sony Pictures in 2014, Bangladesh Bank in 2016, the 2016-2017 WannaCry attacks and dozens of other lower-profile attacks in between, the complaint revealed many new insights into how North Koreans allegedly crafted their operations to conduct those attacks. The alleged operations by both North Korea and Iran shared much in terms of targeting and tactics, but one key difference provides insight into how
Contributor PerspectivesJan 8, 2018 | 09:00 GMT
Digital games have exploded in popularity, and militaries around the world have taken notice.
The Digital Games That Militaries Play
The global video gaming population grew to an estimated 2.2 billion people in 2017. This included around 64 percent of Americans. Given this level of participation, I perhaps shouldn’t have been surprised that the industry in 2017 generated some $149 billion in revenue. And all the forecasts show that these numbers will continue to grow in the coming years. The demand for competitive gaming -- popularly known as "eSports" -- seems particularly remarkable to me. According to a recent report, the revenue generated by that sector grew by some 41.3 percent over the last year. And people are interested in watching these events. Some 194 million individuals did so in 2017; by 2020, an additional 100 million are expected to join them. The explosion in digital gaming has been accompanied by military interest in similar technologies, which have been deployed in battlefields around the world.
AssessmentsOct 26, 2016 | 09:17 GMT
Over the past three decades, lithium-ion batteries have become the industry standard in battery technology -- but they are nearing their limit.
Battery Technology: A Different Kind of Power Struggle
The lithium battery is in no danger of losing its spot atop the pile of commercial battery technologies anytime soon. The ubiquitous technology meets the two most important criteria for batteries used in consumer electronics and electric vehicles: It can store high amounts of energy for its size, and it can be recharged thousands of times. But if batteries are ever to reach their full potential as a geopolitically disruptive technology, they still have a long way to go in improving energy density and lifetime and, perhaps more important, reducing cost. In the long term, as more abundant elements are adapted for wider use in batteries, they may eventually force the lithium-ion battery from its throne. Until then, lithium will continue to play an integral role in powering our world.
AssessmentsJan 3, 2016 | 14:01 GMT
Attendees look at 65-inch Skyworth 4K curved OLED televisions on display at the 2015 International CES at the Las Vegas Convention Center.
The Geopolitical Impact of Consumer Electronics
Although new consumer electronics products could eventually change the world, the research involved in developing consumer electronics is as important as the devices themselves. Moreover, we cannot rule out the possibility that consumer electronics -- and electronics in general -- will gain greater influence and import in the global economic system, meaning that companies such as Google, Facebook or possibly Chinese companies such as Baidu could replace energy firms as arguably the most geopolitically important companies.
AssessmentsMay 27, 2010 | 17:48 GMT
China Security Memo: May 27, 2010
Operating in China presents many challenges to foreign businesses. The China Security Memo analyzes and tracks newsworthy incidents throughout the country over the past week. (With STRATFOR interactive map)
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