B61-12: First Pictures Show New Military Capability

The guided tail kit of the B61-12 will create the first U.S. guided nuclear bomb.
Image: National Nuclear Security Administration. Annotations added by FAS.

By Hans M. Kristensen

The U.S. government has published the first images of the Air Force’s new B61-12 nuclear bomb. The images for the first time show the new guided tail kit that will provide new military capabilities in violation of the Nuclear Posture Review.

The tail kit will increase the accuracy of the bomb and enable it to be used against targets that today require bombs with higher yields.

The guided tail kit is also capable of supporting new military missions and will, according to the former USAF Chief of Staff, affect the way strike planners think about how to use the weapon in a war.

The new guided weapon will be deployed to Europe, replacing nearly 200 non-guided nuclear B61 bombs currently deployed in Belgium, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, and Turkey.  Continue reading

Inspector General Blasts NRO Secrecy Practices

The National Reconnaissance Office (NRO), the agency that builds and operates U.S. intelligence satellites, frequently makes mistakes when it classifies national security information, according to an assessment performed last year by the NRO Inspector General.

“From the classified documents we reviewed at NRO headquarters, 114 of 134 documents contained classification errors,” the IG report said.

Agency classification officials “lack sufficient knowledge of classification principles and procedures necessary to perform their duties,” the NRO Inspector General found. “One OCA [original classification authority] had almost no knowledge of his responsibilities.”

“Because of the lack of full compliance in multiple areas, the NRO is susceptible to the risk of persistent misclassification,” the IG said.

The IG report was performed in response to the “Reducing Over-Classification Act of 2010,” which required the Inspectors General of all agencies that classify information to evaluate their classification programs. A copy of the report was obtained under the Freedom of Information Act by the GovernmentAttic.org web site.

Most of the classification errors discovered by the Inspector General are administrative rather than substantive. Like other IG evaluations conducted under the Reducing Over-Classification Act, the NRO Inspector General review does not allow for the possibility that an agency could be in full compliance with classification rules and nevertheless be overclassifying information.

Instead, the IGs have focused on errors in marking documents, failures to specify proper authorities or to cite responsible officials, and similar defects in conformity with established rules.

Still, these are not necessarily trivial failures. Between 2005 and 2012, for example, NRO improperly exempted records from automatic declassification at 25 years when it had no authority to do so, the IG said.

The Inspector General reviewed NRO classification guides (which dictate the classification levels of particular items of information) “and we found that all but one of the 62 guides had classification errors.”

Puzzlingly, the Inspector General also reported that NRO “has not conducted timely reviews [of] its security classification guides” and that “three of the 62 SCGs had not been reviewed within five years.”

This finding appears to be inconsistent with a 2012 NRO report which affirmed that all of its security classification guides — of which there were 67, not 62 — had been reviewed in response to the Fundamental Classification Guidance Review. An explanation of the inconsistency was not immediately available.

NRO officials “non-concurred” with the findings and conclusions of the Inspector General report.

The report contains “numerous sensationalized, exaggerated and misleading statements,” wrote A. Jamieson Burnett, the director of the NRO Office of Security and Counterintelligence.

Other previously disclosed IG reports issued in response to the Reducing Over-Classification Act addressed classification programs in the Department of Defense, Department of Justice, Department of Homeland Security, and the Environmental Protection Administration.

Perhaps the biggest incentive for reducing overclassification is the negative impact that unnecessary secrecy can have on government operations.

“A major impediment to operating with international partners is the U.S. tendency to classify information, complicating the crucial flow of important data to our allies as well as within and among our own Services,” according to a new article in Joint Force Quarterly, which is published by National Defense University for the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

“The U.S. military needs to […] try harder to communicate in the unclassified domain,” wrote Jeffrey M. Shaw in his article “Putting ‘A Cooperative Strategy for 21st Century Sea Power’ to Work,” Joint Force Quarterly, January 2014.

Options for US Nuclear Weapon Pit Production (CRS)

A major new report from the Congressional Research Service examines the infrastructure for producing the plutonium “pits” that are used in US nuclear weapons, and the feasibility of sharply increasing the rate of pit production.

The CRS report does not deal with whether or why that is a sensible goal, but instead probes deeply into how it could possibly be achieved.

“The Department of Defense states that it needs the Department of Energy, which maintains U.S. nuclear weapons, to produce 50-80 ppy [pits per year] by 2030. While some argue that few if any new pits are needed, at least for decades, this report focuses on options to reach 80 ppy.”

In recent years, U.S. pit production has not exceeded 11 pits per year.

“The current infrastructure cannot produce pits at the capacity DOD requires, and many efforts stretching back to the late 1980s to produce pits have been canceled or have otherwise foundered.”

Based on a close examination of the nation’s nuclear weapons infrastructure, the CRS report presents a dozen options that might satisfy the proposed requirements with minimal new construction, by assigning various functions to existing buildings and facilities. It also notes the structural, political and bureaucratic obstacles to achieving any such outcome.

“Of all the problems facing the nuclear weapons program and nuclear weapons complex over the past several decades, few, if any, have been as vexing as pit production,” the CRS report states.

A copy of the report was obtained by Secrecy News. See U.S. Nuclear Weapon “Pit” Production Options for Congress, February 21, 2014.

Putting Declassified Records to Good Use

The final, climactic step in the declassification of government records is not the formal removal of classification markings or even the transfer of the declassified documents to public archives. The culmination of the declassification process is when the records are finally examined by an interested reader and their contents are absorbed into the body of public knowledge.

The records themselves are mute. It is the reader who interprets them, assigns them their significance, and thereby adds value to them.

Declassification of government records can be a tedious bureaucratic process.  But at its most successful, it can also be an electrifying, revelatory source of fundamental new insights.

So, for example, “The declassification of imagery from CORONA and subsequent intelligence satellite programs has inspired a revolution in landscape archaeology in the Near East,” wrote Harvard archaeologist Jason Ur in a book chapter last year.

Support for archaeological research was never intended or imagined by those who built or operated Cold War intelligence satellites. Yet “CORONA has emerged as an irreplaceable source for reconstructing ancient landscapes.”

Declassified CORONA satellite imagery “allows virtual survey of regions where ground observation would be difficult or impossible” and it has already yielded a near doubling of the number of archeological sites of interest, Dr. Ur wrote.

See Spying on the Past: Declassified Intelligence Satellite Photographs and Near Eastern Landscapes, Near Eastern Archaeology, volume 76, no. 1 (2013).

In another promising new initiative using declassified government records, historians, statisticians, computer scientists and others at Columbia University have joined forces to try to develop new ways to derive insights from such records.

Their project, known as the Declassification Engine, works to apply statistical tools and machine learning to cast new light on declassified record collections. With such tools, the project believes it will be able to characterize declassified records in meaningful new ways.

Near-term objectives include the attribution of authorship to anonymous documents, identifying patterns of secrecy in previously redacted text, and correlating the production of (de)classified diplomatic cables with international events in order to help uncover significant events that may have gone unrecognized. Another seemingly mundane but vital goal that is coming within reach is to enable the cost-effective digitization of documents that are in non-standard formats or that are not entirely legible.

“The long-range goal is to create a cloud-based virtual archive,” according to the project website. “It would aggregate the digitized documents now scattered across dozens of different repositories, offer a place for scholars and journalists to upload their own archival finds, and provide a range of visualization and attribution tools to advance research on the history, and future, of world politics.”

See also The Ghost Files by David J. Craig, Columbia Magazine, Winter 2013-14.

For now, however, these kinds of innovative approaches to the exploitation of classified documents stand out as novelties. They are still exceptions to the conventional rule.

Even when declassification is successfully accomplished, many — probably most — declassified records go unexamined by researchers and other members of the public.

This is partly a resource issue, said William J. Bosanko, the chief operating officer of the National Archives and Records Administration. NARA’s holdings have quadrupled in the last few decades, while its staff support has remained close to level. As a result, archivists have been unable to produce detailed indexing of many incoming records so as to make them easily “discoverable.”

At the same time, there seem to be fewer and fewer individual researchers that are inclined to delve deeply into archived collections of hardcopy records. It appears that many of them — many of us — have become habituated instead to the instant gratification of online access. (There are, however, backlogs of FOIA and mandatory declassification review requests.)

The upshot is that “there are lots of [record] series never used by the public,” said Mr. Bosanko. He noted that this is true of both declassified records and of records that were never classified.

This neglect is not a reflection on the contents of those records, which are endlessly rich. “There is a huge, vast treasure trove of fascinating stories waiting to be revealed” at the National Archives, Mr. Bosanko said. But they continue to wait.

Another persistent problem is the erratic, often illogical character of the declassification process.

The Department of Defense recently sought to redact the well-known fact that there were U.S. missiles deployed in Turkey during the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962. This and other “inane and contradictory declassification actions” were highlighted recently by the non-profit National Security Archive.

“It is a waste of resources and a sign of a seriously defective declassification system when reviewers redact 50-year-old documents when nothing about them is sensitive,” wrote William Burr of the National Security Archive.  See Dubious Secrets of the Cuban Missile Crisis, February 21, 2014.

As with classification, so too with declassification: new oversight procedures are needed to prevent egregious errors and to promote more discriminating judgment.

DC Event: Challenges in Verifying a Nuclear Deal with Iran

The American Society of International Law will host a briefing on Friday, February 28, 2014 in Washington, DC on challenges in verifying a nuclear deal with Iran. Speakers include David Albright from the Institute for Science and International Security (ISIS) and Orde Kittrie from Arizona State University.

The event will be held in Rayburn House Office Building Room B-354 from 12-1:30 pm; lunch will be provided.

RSVP to [email protected]

The event is organized by Christopher Bidwell, FAS Senior Fellow for Nonproliferation Law and Policy.

Kakehashi Trip Report #5: JSA Perspective on Japanese Law No. 55 of 2009

As part of my Kakehashi Project independent research day, I had the opportunity to meet with the Japanese Shipowners Association (JSA). In 2006, JSA took notice of the growing maritime security threat posed by Somali-based pirates to international commercial maritime shipping. However, the issue was not top of mind in Japan, even among the major lines. It simply wasn’t a priority. And, many Japanese felt that it was not the responsibility of the Government of Japan (GoJ) to intervene in such matters overseas.

However, JSA did not endorse this line of thinking. Even in 2006, JSA felt that the GoJ had the responsibility to protect Japanese flagged vessels. JSA viewed “the protection of Japanese life and property” as a basic sovereign responsibility. However, JSA recognized that the GoJ had “limited powers” to fulfill those responsibilities outside of Japanese territorial waters. This was a consequence of the severe political and legal limitation placed on the military in the aftermath of the Second World War. If the GoJ were to act without explicit legal authorizations, JSA felt that there would be serious disagreement within Japanese society over whether such actions were allowed under the Constitution. JSA therefore realized that Japan needed new legislation to tackle the problem. But, they were not going to push for such legislation unless there was a clear and present need, which did not appear to be the case at that time.

In 2007 and 2008, that changed. The number of serious attacks off the coast of Somalia continued to rise, including high-profile hijackings of Japanese associated vessels. Soon, JSA was being asked by its members to “push the government to do something.” In April of 2008, the JSA President responded by sending a demanding letter to the Japanese Minister of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and TourismMinister of Finance, and Minister of Defense  asking for new legislation to tackle maritime piracy. To be clear, the JSA did not ask for legislation to authorize the deployment of the Japanese Maritime Self-Defence Forces (JMSDF). That would have been unthinkable given Japanese political sensitivities about the Japanese navy since World War II. Instead, the JSA took the indirect approach of asking for something to be done; deferring the decision about what that something entailed to the GoJ. However, given the perceived seriousness of the threat to Japanese associated ships and seafarers, the JSA “hoped the government would pass legislation to deploy the (JMSDF)” as a result of their request.

While its members played a pivot role in pushing the JSA to take action, they were not the only factor behind the JSA’s decision to send the demanding letter to the Ministers. As a member of the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) and through its London Office, JSA was privy to international discussions on the issue of Somali maritime piracy within ICS, at the International Maritime Organization (IMO), and at the United Nations (UN). JSA “followed the decisions of the ICS” on the issue; believing it was important to align with the other major shipping associations on the issue. JSA recognized from those decisions that there was an international movement to respond to the Somali maritime piracy issue with force. And, they agreed with the growing international consensus, later embodied in the June 2008 UN Security Council (UNSC) Resolution, that every country with the military capacity to do so had the responsibility to deploy to the coast of Somalia to protect commercial seafarers regardless of nationality. These developments reinforced JSA’s decision to take action.

However, JSA never believed that the GoJ was ever legally obligated to deploy Japanese military assets to combat piracy under international law. JSA maintained that the decision to do so remained a sovereign one that had to be based upon Japanese laws and supported by the Japanese people. While international consensus on the need to take military action provided strong arguments, the JSA never supported any notion that either the UNSC Resolutions or other international agreements required Japan to pass Law No. 55 of 2009 and deploy the military. JSA held that the decision to deploy the military always remained a decision for the Japanese people to make. And in Japan, like most other democracies, that decision was delegated to the parliament. It was only their passage of Law No. 55 of 2009 that gave the GoJ the political, legal, and moral authority to deploy the military to combat Somali maritime piracy. It was only through the law that those actions would have been accepted by the Japanese people.

When Law No. 55 of 2009 passed, JSA immediately noticed a change – “a turning point” – in how the industry engaged with the GoJ. Prior to the law, the primary channel between the industry and the GoJ was through the MLIT. However, once the JMSDF joined the escort missions, a new channel was opened with the Ministry of Defence (MoD). Over time, this channel has only strengthened and deeper cooperation has followed.

In retrospect, the JSA believes Law No. 55 of 2009 was the right move for Japan. And, they also support the 2013″The Act on Special Measures Concerning the Guarding of Japanese Ships in Pirate-infested Waters.” While JSA would have preferred a non-military solution, JSA believes that the military response remains the only way to successfully mitigate the threat posed by Somali maritime pirates to Japanese national interests. This belief reinforces their support for Japan’s continued engagement in counter-piracy operations off the coast of Somalia, including Japan’s recent decision to join Combined Task Force 151.

This is the fifth in a series of reports related to the Japan Foundation’s Kakehashi Visit for Young Public Intellectuals from January 12-22, 2014. The author represented SOAS, University of London and the Federation of American Scientists as part of the Pacific Forum CSIS Young Leaders delegation.

FAS Roundup: February 24, 2014

Army manual on cyberspace ops, GAO finds data on intelligence contractors unreliable and more.

From the Blogs

Army Issues Guidance on Cyberspace Operations: For the first time the U.S. Army has produced official doctrine on military activities in cyberspace, including offensive, defensive and network operations. The February 2014 introduces the fundamentals of cyber operations, or “cyber electromagnetic activities”(CEMA),defining terms and identifying important operational factors and constraints.

Kakehashi Trip Report #3: In the third of a series of postings by Fellow for Emerging Technology Michael Edward Walsh on his participation in the Japan Foundation’s Kakehashi Visit for Young Public Intellectuals, Walsh writes about his meeting with senior maritime security officers from a major Japanese commercial shipping line and the role of their industry in Japan’s response to Somali piracy and terrorism threats.

Continue reading

U.S. Military Casualty Statistics, and More from CRS

Last week the Congressional Research Service published updated U.S. military casualty statistics for post-9/11 operations in Iraq and Afghanistan through January 2014. There have been 4,410 U.S. military deaths in Operation Iraqi Freedom and 2,299 U.S. military deaths in Operation Enduring Freedom to date.

While overall fatality figures are already made available on Department of Defense websites, the newly updated CRS report presents some more detailed casualty information that was obtained directly from DoD medical experts.

“This report includes statistics on post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), traumatic brain injury (TBI), amputations, evacuations, and the demographics of casualties.” See A Guide to U.S. Military Casualty Statistics: Operation New Dawn, Operation Iraqi Freedom, and Operation Enduring Freedom, February 19, 2014.

Another newly updated CRS report considers the vitality of the U.S. manufacturing sector as compared to that of other countries.

“China displaced the United States as the largest manufacturing country in 2010,” CRS noted for the first time, as others have done. (Last year’s edition of the CRS report still held, based on World Bank estimates, that “The United States remained the largest manufacturing country in 2010.”)

“This report is designed to inform the debate over the health of U.S. manufacturing through a series of charts and tables that depict the position of the United States relative to other countries according to various metrics.” See U.S. Manufacturing in International Perspective, February 20, 2014.

A CRS report on the Ukraine that was updated last week has already been overtaken by the tumultuous events of the last few days. But it provides background on recent developments and congressional perspectives on them. See Ukraine: Current Issues and U.S. Policy, February 20, 2014.

And see, relatedly, Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Georgia: Political Developments and Implications for U.S. Interests, February 20, 2014. Also, European Union Enlargement, February 19, 2014.

Updates of other previously issued CRS reports include the following.

Gangs in Central America, February 20, 2014

Employment for Veterans: Trends and Programs, February 20, 2014

Countering Violent Extremism in the United States, February 19, 2014

Another CRS report finds that “Four species of non-indigenous Asian carp are expanding their range in U.S. waterways, resulting in a variety of concerns and problems.” See Asian Carp and the Great Lakes Region, January 23, 2014.

Kakehashi Trip Report #4: JICA Officials Share Perspectives on the Security-Development Nexus in East Africa

During my independent research for the Kakehashi Project, I met with officials from the Japanese International Cooperation Agency (JICA) to discuss Japan’s development assistance to East Africa. We specifically addressed the emerging nexus between Japan’s security and development initiatives in the region.

Since 1967, the Government of Japan (GoJ) has been managing defense trade exports under the Three Principles on Arms Exports. The law was intended to avoid any possibility that Japanese arms exports would “aggravate international conflicts.” Under the Three Principles, the GoJ bans Japanese companies from making defense trade exports to: 1) communist bloc countries; 2) countries subject to arms exports embargo under United Nations Security Council Resolutions; 3) countries involved in or likely to be involved in international conflicts. The GoJ took additional steps in 1976 to establish blanket policy guidelines to further restrain defense trade exports to all other countries “in conformity with Japan’s position as a peace-loving nation.”

The Administration of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is now working to change these laws in order to allow Japan to export military equipment to “international organizations such as those involved in U.N. peacekeeping operations on condition they do not take sides in conflicts.” This decision coincides with a growing trade deficit that is threatening to undermine Japan’s economic recovery. From this perspective, the defense trade exports are viewed to be as much a part of the Administration’s export promotion efforts as they are part of the country’s much debated military normalization process.

This brings us to the issue of capacity building in East Africa. One of the initiatives being pushed by the Abe Administration is to provide the littoral countries in the region with new capabilities to conduct counter-piracy operations. This includes the export of modern naval ships to the region and military training for their coast guards. According to JICA, these programs are likely to move forward but will present a challenge for the government because they raise delicate political sensitivities. In the case of the ships, the fact that they will be provided to civil authorities may not be enough. As modern naval vessels equipped with armaments, including machine guns, their export could enflame the domestic debate over the principles that ban arms export to any country since 1976 and the appropriate role for the military and defense industry in Japan today.

Djibouti serves as an interesting case because it has not traditionally been a major focus of JICA. However, the political context has changed since Japan opened its first semi-permanent overseas military base in Djibouti in 2011. That base, which supports counter-piracy and peacekeeping operations in the region, has raised the profile of Djibouti with politicians and defense officials. As a consequence, JICA has been required by the government to expand its operations in the country as part of Japan’s wider efforts to help secure vital trade and energy routes that pass through the region.

That said, JICA is designed to deliver development aid, not to provide military ships and training for security purpose. In other countries, this would typically fall to military defense cooperation agencies. However, it would be politically difficult for the Ministry of Defence to provide such assistance directly in Japan. While that could change once the export laws are changed and society is normalized to the military playing a bigger role in Japan’s foreign policy, JICA officials believe this will take some time. Until then, the GoJ will need to work through JICA and the Japanese Coast Guard to provide coast guard services within the extent that they remain civilian security services.

For JICA, this is a “delicate issue” because there is a lot of tension in a development agency to playing a direct role in supporting security operations in the region. The region poses serious dangers for JICA staff. The agency is not allowed to operate in Somalia due to security concerns in that country. And, its staff recently had to be evacuated from both South Sudan and Yemen. JICA is therefore aware of the challenge to provide naval vessels to coastal countries in these areas even though they are intended solely for civil law enforcement purposes.

According to one official, “In my personal opinion, this should be a military operation. JICA is a development assistance agency not a specialist in combatting piracy. We can get support from the Coast Guard, who has the expertise. But, they have the conflict in the Senakakus to manage” and might not have the capacity to support the operation on the scale imagined. JICA is therefore reticent to expand the scale of such programs.

Despite the organization’s reservations, JICA must nevertheless plan for follow through on the GoJ’s request to make these transfers when the export law changes go into effect. At present, JICA believes the first request will be for Djibouti. Even though the United States (U.S.) and United Kingdom (U.K.) would like Japan to send ships to Yemen, the situation there is too unstable. The Japanese Coast Guard and JICA have even stopped their training assistance to the Yemeni Coast Guard.

One official that I spoke with believes that the U.S. and U.K. are more experienced in these complex security environments and should take the lead. The official also said that Yemen is not the case for Japan to take on. Regardless of the operational security concerns, the Three Principles make it clear that Japan is not to export to countries engaged in international conflict. Given the international nature of terrorism and the number of actors engaged in the conflict in Yemen, that official felt that it is unlikely that Japan will provide naval vessels or further training to Yemen anytime soon.

However, Somalia is a potential candidate. In 2013, Japan resumed support to the new government in that country. This followed the Somali government’s perceived consolidation of power in the country. As a result of these changes, Somalia was invited to the Tokyo International Conference on African Development V (TICAD V). Japan is now investigating how to support counter-piracy capacity building in the country. While it is too early to consider the provisioning of a naval vessel to their coast guard, this request could follow. But, trust must be built first. And, there are still serious debates within the GoJ as to whether Japan should lead with security sector capacity building or social sector (education and health) capacity building. Right now, it is too early to tell which direction Japan will take.

However, JICA officials recognize that peace and security (P&S) will be a major focus for their organization moving forward. In TICAD V, the GoJ raised P&S to one of the most urgent areas of focus for development. This followed the deadly attacks in Algeria, which claimed the lives of 10 Japanese engineers. As a consequence of that incident, Abe made P&S a precondition for expanding Japanese business interests abroad. JICA is receiving requests from both the Japanese business community and the GoJ to promote increased peace and stability in Africa as part of the country’s export promotion agenda. Somalia and the Sahel are now viewed as two of the GoJ’s most important commitments in Africa.

The challenge for JICA is that Japanese development assistance traditionally starts from social sector capacity building and infrastructure development. Japan does not have deep experience in security sector capacity building and peace building operations when compared to other major powers. Even though Japan has developed an impressive record supporting U.N. peacekeeping operations in the last decade, this is a very recent shift in focus for Japan. JICA is therefore struggling to respond to the new P&S focus while simultaneously supporting its traditional development assistance programs around the world.

Looking ahead, how JICA responds will have a major impact on Japanese development assistance in Africa. Right now, piracy and terrorism are two important issues for the country. In fact, both piracy and Somalia were highlighted in Abe’s address at TICAD V. However, Japan’s support for counter-piracy operations in Africa is a very small percentage of its overall budget commitments and global strategy. JICA must therefore be careful not to undermine its other commitments.

Whereas Djibouti and Somalia have traditionally been lower priorities for JICA, Kenya remains the organization’s most important commitment in Africa. Since the 1960s, Japan has been engaged in projects in the country. And, according to one official, the Japanese people have developed a “psychological closeness” with Kenyans, Tanzanians, and Ethiopians in a way that’s unrivaled in the rest of Africa. In 2013, Japan committed $100 million in grants and technical cooperation to the country. Plus, Japan has made long-term aid commitments of $200-$300 million annually, including marquee projects like the Mombasa Port and Kenya’s modernization of power generation. While Japan is also talking to Kenya about providing naval vessels and training to its Coast Guard, these efforts pail in comparison to the larger infrastructure, agriculture, education, health, and environmental projects that JICA is leading in the country.

Another country of focus is Mozambique, where the GoJ sees huge potential for natural gas production. In the aftermath of the Fukushima incident and rising global competition for energy resources, such energy projects are of top priority for Japan. The GoJ has responded by tasking its ministries to focus on the country. JICA has responded by working with Mitsui Group and other private sector actors to secure oil exploration and development projects in the country. However, JICA recognizes that the relationship between the two countries must be built upon more than natural gas exports. JICA is therefore spearheading new projects in the infrastructure and agricultural sectors that could promote development in Mozambique that would make it possible for the country to play a role in Japan’s economic recovery and export promotion strategies. In this way, JICA is building a new import-export market for Japanese investors. The hope is that private sector actors will now follow and make long-term commitments to the country. If they do, Mozambique and Kenya could emerge as major lynchpins for Japanese investment on the continent.

This is the fourth in a series of reports related to the Japan Foundation’s Kakehashi Visit for Young Public Intellectuals from January 12-22, 2014. The author represented SOAS, University of London and the Federation of American Scientists as part of the Pacific Forum CSIS Young Leaders delegation.

Army Issues Guidance on Cyberspace Operations

For the first time the U.S. Army has produced official doctrine on military activities in cyberspace, including offensive, defensive and network operations.

A new Army field manual “provides overarching doctrinal guidance and direction for conducting cyber electromagnetic activities (CEMA)…. It provides enough guidance for commanders and their staffs to develop innovative approaches to seize, retain, and exploit advantages throughout an operational environment.”

It is “the first doctrinal field manual of its kind.” See FM 3-38, Cyber Electromagnetic Activities, February 2014.

The manual introduces the fundamentals of cyber operations, or “cyber electromagnetic activities” (CEMA), defining terms and identifying important operational factors and constraints.

“Today’s Army must operate in cyberspace and leverage an electromagnetic spectrum that is increasingly competitive, congested, and contested.”

However, “execution of CEMA can involve significant legal and policy considerations.” Also, “possibilities of unintended or cascading effects exist and may be difficult to predict.”

Several years ago, any official discussion of offensive cyber operations was considered classified information. That is no longer the case, and the new Army manual — which itself is unclassified — treats the subject as a normal part of military conflict.

“Army forces conduct OCO [offensive cyberspace operations] across the range of military operations by targeting enemy and hostile adversary activity and related capabilities in and through cyberspace,” the Field Manual says.

Cyberspace attacks in support of offensive operations “may be directed at information resident in, or in transit between, computers (including mobile phones and personal digital assistants) and computer networks used by an enemy or adversary.”

“Cyberspace attacks may employ capabilities such as tailored computer code in and through various network nodes such as servers, bridges, firewalls, sensors, protocols, operating systems, and hardware associated with computers or processors. Tailored computer code is only one example of a cyberspace capability… designed to create an effect in or through cyberspace.”

“Cyberspace attacks may employ manipulation which includes deception, decoying, conditioning, and spoofing to control or change information, information systems, and networks.”

The Army manual also presents doctrine on defensive cyberspace operations and on information network operations. “[Defensive] countermeasures in cyberspace should not destroy or significantly impede the operations or functionality of the network they are being employed against, nor should they intentionally cause injury or the loss of life.”

The manual devotes some attention to the legal framework governing cyber operations, which “depends on the nature of the activities conducted.”  Under all circumstances, the manual says, “Army forces conducting CO [cyberspace operations] will comply with the law of war.”

Ordinarily, the manual states, the U.S. Army should not be conducting offensive cyber operations against U.S. targets. “Unless approved by appropriate authorities, Army assets cannot be used to perform attack or exploit operations on U.S. entities.”

“Commanders must ensure that the legal, constitutional, and privacy rights of U.S. citizens are protected throughout the planning and execution of [cyber operations].”

    *    *    *

“Legal Reviews of Cyber Weapons” is one of the topics addressed in the latest issue of the Journal of National Security Law and Policy.

Brendan Koerner reported on “How America’s Soldiers Fight for the Spectrum on the Battlefield” in Wired Threat Level, February 18.