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Georgetown Journal of International Affairs

The Private Sector: A Reluctant Partner in Cybersecurity

December 19, 2014

It may seem obvious that the private sector should be keen to protect its computers and networks from cyber-attacks by criminals and foreign agents. After all, hacking has caused considerable losses of trade secrets and other proprietary information. Moreover, evidence suggests that cyber-attacks can take a kinetic form, which can harm the equipment and facilities—such as the national electrical grid—of those attacked. However, as will be seen shortly, the private sector is far from rushing to protect itself from such attacks. The reasons for this reluctance range from the understandably pragmatic to the ideological. Meanwhile, in spite of major implications of this reluctance for homeland security, both the Bush and the Obama administrations have limited themselves to cajoling the private sector to embrace much stronger cybersecurity measures rather than mandating their introduction.

Defense & Security Analysis Journal Cover

The United States’ retreat from the Middle East and pivot to the Far East is likely to intensify

December 10, 2014

This article outlines the reasons why one should expect that the USA will shift more military forces to and focus more diplomatic efforts on the Far East and away from the Middle East. The term forecasting is employed, rather than prediction, to remind us that the statement holds only if no “black swans” appear, that is, if no major unexpected forces come into play. (This caveat deserves special attention given the poor record of those who predict international developments, as demonstrated vividly when the Arab Spring unexpectedly erupted in Tunisia and when Russia annexed Crimea in 2014.) The US’s role is akin to that of a physician who finds two abnormalities in an X-ray and is influenced in choosing on which to base his intervention by subconscious motives.