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Monday, November 13, 2017

India's National Security - Key Factors - 1998, 2004 and 2017 - Networks and Nature of Earfare

How to Evaluate National Security?

The Analytic Hierarchy Process (AHP) can be used as we described in our book.

India's National Security is impacted by the structural changes across many dimensions around the world.

1. In 1998, Feb, in a conference titled " Battle scene in Year 2020", I contributed 5 papers. From my paper titled Future of Warfare - Search for Military Doctrine - 5 high level factors that were perceived to impact India's National Security were 

(a) Power System (b) Technological Systems (c)  Economic-Commercial Systems (d) Geo-political system (e) Social System

2. In 2004, Feb, in my book" Strategic Decision Making - Applying the Analytic Hierarchy Process", these factors were expanded/modified to 6  high level factors that were perceived to impact India's National Security were 

(a) Power System (b) Technological Systems (c)  Economic-Commercial Systems (d) Geo-political system (e) Social System (f) Organizational Forms (emergence of Network form)

Use of AHP for national security evaluation as described in our book has been recommended by others (for example Here)  
3. In 2017, Nov, During the CUG-Carnegie Workshop on Strategic Issues for young scholars at Gandhinagar, these factors were expanded/modified to 7  high level factors that are perceived to impact India's National Security till the year 2025

(a) Power System (b) Technological Systems (c)  Economic-Commercial Systems (d) Geo-political system (e) Social System (f) Organizational Forms (emergence of Network form) (g) Changing Form of Warfare

In the last 20 years - one can see two main trends

(a) Emergence and prevalence of Network form of organization
(b) Nature of Warfare has changed drastically

Saturday, October 07, 2017

General’s Intelligence Vs Artificial Intelligence – Can Military Strategy become an Algorithm?

General’s Intelligence Vs Artificial Intelligence –
Can Military Strategy become an Algorithm?

11th May 1997 is a significant day. Besides being exactly a year before India conducted its second nuclear tests, it is the day that IBM’s Deep Blue computer made Gary Kasparov, the human world champion, concede defeat in less than 20 moves in the 6th Game of Chess that they played together. Kasparov reflect today, 20 years later, in his book “Deep Thinking – where machine intelligence ends and human creativity begins”, even if he would have won, it was just a matter of time when computers would have started winning. The supporters of Artificial Intelligence – called the hard AI – were delighted then – proclaiming a day, not in too far in future ahead, when machines will be able to replicate the human decision-making process. In contrast, soft AI proponents believe that intelligence cannot be created artificially. It can at best be simulated at an appropriate level of detail to create solutions for some of human decision-making problems.

Winning a game of Chess, of course, cannot be considered a comprehensive test of intelligence. Various alternatives in Chess can be known in advance. The win depends to a considerable extent upon look-ahead of number of moves of the opponents a player can analyze from the present board position. Supercomputers will have more look-ahead capability than the best human chess player like Kasparov. But do they have vision, can they create, invent or innovate? More important and perhaps interesting is the question can they, the machines with artificial intelligence, systems with a mind, if one may, can they conduct war operations? Can they assist in military tactics, operations and strategy? Can an Artificial Intelligence replace our military commanders and Generals?

Military Competence as a test case of Intelligence
Human intelligence, a particularly demonstrable version of it, arguably, is amenable for potential study in war scenarios, as it is likely to be highly pronounced under stress and crisis. Wars and military situations can produce a set of intelligence traits under extremely stressful conditions with greatest stakes, although war itself can be considered a most foolish act of human intelligence. Each of the two world wars in the last century showed and resulted in rapid advancements of science and technology due to the enhanced pace of competition for creating combat superiority. The wars may have ended but the technology competition continued during cold war. Advanced technologies started to overpower the classical warfare doctrines and strategies so much that a new term was coined in erstwhile USSR - Military Technology Revolution (MTR). By mid 1990s the term has mutated to Revolution in Military Affairs (RMA). The technological armed forces of US, allies and other high-tech powers, however, were faced with low-tech warfare of different type of actors – guerillas, insurgents, terrorists, freedom fighters who usually get embedded in urban, rural, hill populations or in dense jungles. The vapor army of these actors – non-state as well as state actors used methods and techniques that the conventional militaries despite their cutting-edge technologies are not able to fathom clearly, what to say about responding with finesse.

In 1975, Norman Dixon published a fascinating and provocative book titled “On the psychology of military incompetence” that brought to the fore the inherent human traits that Military Generals in the wars of the past displayed that can only be termed as incompetence. He writes, “One thing is certain: the ways of conventional militarism are ill suited to ‘low intensity operations’ “. Clausewitz says, “Although our intellect always longs for clarity and certainty, our nature often finds uncertainty fascinating.” Given the Clausewitz’s fog of war and military incompetence inherent in the psychology of human Military Generals, a case for AI based military generals can be made.

Can war outcomes be predicted or can operations be modeled mathematically?
In a war situation like the 1991 Gulf-war, for example, various factors affecting the outcome and conduct of war are uncertain, unquantifiable and usually unique to the war context. An attempt to list down the key factors was made by military historian Col. T.N. Dupuy who identified 73 factors. He developed the ‘Quantified Judgement Method of Analysis’ (QJMA) based upon analysis of historical war data which was published in his book “Numbers, Prediction and War”. On 13 December 1990, about a month before the 1991 Desert Storm started on 16 January 1991, Col. Dupuy successfully analyzed and presented the military options in the Gulf war to the House Armed Committee. The five options discussed by Dupuy were named – Colorado Springs, Bulldozer, Leavenworth, Razzle-dazzle and Seize. His models calculated the potential US casualties in D+40 days to range from 680 to 10479 (dead and wounded) in various options. Iraqi casualties were estimated to be 118500. He published his options in a 1991 book titled – “If war comes, how to defeat Saddam Hussein”.

It must be noted that the five options discussed by Dupuy were perceived/conceived by him through his experience as a retired service officer and not by computer. Computer though helped in the analysis of these five options based on the QJMA and associated theory developed by Dupuy. Incidentally, other such models have also been made by various actors – for example, Rand Corporation developed a model named Situational Force Scoring (SFS) that uses certain expert judgement factors besides assigning a firepower scores to each weapon. Unlike Chess, war is what can be termed an open system, where many imponderables exist. To successfully model a war is not only difficult but perhaps may fall under the realm of not amenable for modeling systems – due to the chaotic regions the non-linear effects of war may lead the interactions into – what Clausewitz termed the fog of war.   

What computers can then do?
Computers can help in evaluating various options, particularly for problems which, though complicated, are well-defined. Before and during the 1991 Gulf-war, the allied forces needed to schedule several lakhs of troops and hundreds of thousands of tons of cargo. Manually it was a challenging task since each mission required a three-day round trip, visiting seven or more different airfields under the command of up to four different air crews and consuming almost million pounds of fuel. This challenge was met by a computer/operational research team of scientists who helped to schedule more than 100 missions each day – a task humanly impossible to plan without computers.
Consider another example of selecting and attacking different targets. For each target depending on its classification as land, air or naval target, fixed or mobile, defended or undefended, a strike package of aircraft to achieve maximum damage had to be created and chosen. This required identification, assessment and location of targets using reconnaissance photographs. In case of mobile targets such as Scud launchers, a track of movement from one location to another must be made continuously. Also, an assessment whether the target needs another attack must be made on a continuous basis. This planning for an attack required computer support and could not have been achieved without the help of computers and related technological support.

1991 Gulf war is already more than a quarter century old. Today’s wars have evolved into a peculiar mix of hybrids and multi-dimensional mutants that the RMA based strategic thinkers of 1990s didn’t predict. Generals in future wars will face more complicated decision-making scenarios. The progress being made in the field of Artificial Intelligence is no doubt substantial, but we are still far from behind a scenario in which military commanders will be replaced by computers. No computer program as of now has passed the critical “Turing test” which is the threshold to assign “intelligence” to the computer. The Turing test proposed by the famous British mathematician Allan Turing, considers a scenario in which a human being is talking to a computer through a network or any other means without being aware of its identity. If the human being after lots of questions and answers starts believing that he is talking to another human being instead of a computer, then the computer can be considered as intelligent. Currently, computers are essentially data processing and information processing machines. Their role is predominantly applicable to first three levels of the intelligence pyramid which has data, information, knowledge, intelligence and wisdom. The current state of use is limited to knowledge processing systems to aid intelligent decisions. Wars continue to be led by Generals or military commanders with computers used for information processing and as an aid for decision-making by investigating outcome of various alternatives. The evolution of strategies which require creativity and innovativeness continue to depend upon the wisdom and experience of Generals. Computers are supposed to assist the generals in determining optimal strategies, despite the psychology of military incompetence that they are plagued with.

Technology, however, is evolving and now making inroads into the realms hitherto unthought. As per Law of increasing intelligence of technical systems (One can download the pdf on law of increasing intelligence of technical systems at ), dumb/unguided systems became guided systems, then smart systems, brilliant systems and genius systems. Today, we are already in the era of smart munitions. Brilliant munitions are emerging. Genius munitions will the next stage.

A recent report indicates the possible use cases of Artificial Narrow Intelligence (ANI), Artificial General Intelligence (AGI) and Artificial Super Intelligence (ASI) in Defence and Security of a nation. Pentagon already has established an algorithmic warfare cross functional team that will fight the ISIS through application of machine learning and deep learning on the rapid infusion of real-time satellite and drone data, images and video feeds. The immediate task is for the machines to learn about 38 critical objects in the video/image feeds. Once learned, machines would prefer and so would their controllers to let them decide on what to do with or against the identified targets. A scary “automated kill” intelligence to be built in the machines. Recent incident of the AI creating its own language resulting in the closure of the system (for the time being) at Facebook, clearly indicates the potential as well potential pitfalls that we are getting into.

AI for Generals

Although we are away from replacing the military commanders by AI, we reckon technology is fast evolving when we must take a serious call on how much of the Generals intelligence we should replace by artificial intelligence, when and for what tasks. Giving the last point to Kasparov – the human Chess master who gave in to the Artificial Intelligence two decades back – despite the military incompetence, human stupidity and increasing machine intelligence, human creativity and imagination will be needed by the machines in the way forward – not only for controlling the machines but also enabling the machines. AI will continue to require the human mind – with intelligence or otherwise as thinking – specifically reflective or critical thinking is still not mechanizable. The way forward indeed will be with AI supplanting and enhancing general’s intelligence and of course suppressing their military incompetence.     


Tuesday, June 27, 2017

How to "Take Your Jobs" Back from Machines

Dear Friends,

Are you in danger of losing your jobs to RPA, Machines and AI?

HOW TO BEAT THE MACHINES .. AI and machines that are learning ...
Recommendation of these 5 books .. to counter the hyperAutomation that all workers are facing .. the Robotic Process Automation and loss of Jobs ...

1. TOYOTA KATA - what practices Toyota follows for managing "people" for improvement adaptiveness and superior results

2. HOW WE LEARN - in the age of machines which are getting inititaed to learning .. humans who have been learning as part of evolution need to go deeper into deep learning. No machine could learn the way we learned to learn.

3. DEEP WORK - minimization of the shallow work that we have been doing is the key. Get your deep work On - defined as " ...activities performed in a state of distraction free concentration that push your cognitive capabilities to their limits. These efforts create new value, improve your skills and are hard to replicate ( even by machines)."

4. PEAK - why machines will beat us. They will be at their peak performance 24x7 unlike we humans. However we have practices that can give PEAKS and extend our practices to extraordinary achievements that no machines can beat.

5. HUMANS ARE UNDERRATED .. what high achievers know that brilliant machines never will

I suggest a read of these 5 books .. then you are good to go for taking on deep learning machine intelligence ! GOOD LUCK !

For those who are " busy" in work - shallow or deep - I leave it to you. the algorithm from the books is

Get more percentage of "deep work" into your work. Continuously learn to learn. Maximize the peak performance by practicing for specific skills (the "10000 hours rule" is just a myth), Get your humanness On - as in "the machines will take over media gloss" humans are being unnecessarily getting under-rated, and finally, get into managing yourself and your people NOT by "implementing" Lean, Agile or Design Thinking, but maximizing the cognitive and thinking skills of all the minds working with you to improve continuously , adapt robustly and evolve creatively .  

Sunday, April 09, 2017

Choice Crafting - Invention and Decision Making

(abstract of Talk given in 2012)

The new world is characterized by extreme pace of change. This is driven by science and technology. The key pillars of these changes have emerged as technology, software, innovation and complexity. Making effective decisions in the new world requires not only selecting an alternative from a predefined set but also creating new alternatives, simultaneously. The new alternatives need to be - novel, inventive and useful – the three key conditions for getting a Patent right. In fact, inventing and decision making as a continuous interplay of human mind is now becoming an essential skill. Unfortunately the literature and practice of invention, innovation and creativity has traditionally been separated from the body of knowledge developed and available for decision-making. We, however, believe new world decisions require a new craft combining invention and decision making. We call this new framework – Choice Crafting.

Surprisingly, the simultaneous demands of inventing new choices and selecting appropriate sub-set of choices are making today’s decision makers, inventors, creators and innovators ineffective as they are trained either to invent/create OR to decide/choose, but not perform both these tasks seamlessly, in a synergistic manner and simultaneously. This is having large impact on our ability to operate in the changing world. On one side we are faced with machines taking control of large part of monotonous processes and increasingly large part of repeatable procedures that we have designed and developed over couple of centuries of industrialization, and on the other hand world is increasingly becoming complex due to conflict of interests of disconnected part of humanity. The interplay of these trends shows a failure of our ability to make decisions using the old ways. We need new ways. There are many new ways and methods developed and employed in solving these problems. With the speakers personal experience of applying and developing various techniques – this talk offers a comprehensive approach to making decisions or leading to decisions using various known, old and new methods in a comprehensive framework. The talk details these mechanisms in cases where speaker has developed and applied for solving decision problems in Software, Innovation, Technology, and Complexity space.

Decision making traditionally has been about choice. Most of decision making methodologies have focused on courses of action, choices or alternatives to achieve desired objectives/purpose. The decision making methodologies have given predominant focus on selecting a specific choice or a subset of choices from the available set of choices. Decision making methodologies have not emphasized much on creation of alternatives, in fact, it has been relegated to psychological capabilities, creativity methodologies or more of an “art” form. We emphasize in this talk that – choices are not available upfront, in clear high resolution demarcation in the new world of extreme connectedness enabled by technology, high level of complexity, rapid innovation and revolutionary impact of software. To decide in the new world characterized by STIX (Software, Technology, Innovation and complexity) we need to re-look at our traditional decision making methods. The key methodological construct is to combine the known theories and new methods of creativity, invention and idea-generation with the known theories and new methods of decision making primarily characterized by selection or choice from a rank-ordered list of alternatives based on predefined set of criteria or under assumed, estimated or data based probability distributions under uncertainty conditions.
The requirement of creating new or different choices along with the selection of choices has led the speaker into methodologies such as Theory of inventive problem solving (TRIZ), Scenario Planning, Lateral thinking, game theory, Scenario planning and Scenario writing, design thinking, patent creation and patent analysis, systems thinking, simulation and modelling, computational emergence, computational creativity, network science and the architecture of human genome. This is besides the techniques of standard multi-criteria, multi-objective decision making methodologies.
In essence, to operate in the new world – one need to amalgamate two uniquely distinctive features of human mind. One is to invent/create and second is to select/choose. In fact, invent/create select/choose cycles are played out naturally in human mind whenever it has to operate in the world. In the new world, invent-decide cycle is become excruciatingly difficult – one who masters this will be the new world decision maker who will thrive in the world of STIX – Software, Technology, Innovation and complexity. This talk gives the methodologies in a framework for new world decisions – we call this new framework Choice Crafting.

Wednesday, March 08, 2017

List of my published articles on defence and security affairs

List of my published articles on defence and security affairs available online
List of my articles at IDR as an author

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Pakistan’s Nuclear Arsenal – The Babur-Nasr are Quick First Use, Not Second Strike

(***** Now published in Indian Defence Review and can be accessed HERE *****)

Pakistan’s Nuclear Arsenal – The Babur-Nasr are Quick First Use, Not Second Strike
The report of a successful test of a submarine launched cruise missile, Babur III, by Pakistan claims achievement of second strike capability by Pakistan. It is unambiguously clear that Pakistan’s nuclear capability, missile forces, and even conventional army have been focused, developed and designed against India. As is well-established Indian Nuclear Doctrine has the most stringent basis of No First Use (NFU). Since India will not be conducting first nuclear strike as per its vowed doctrine and ground evidence, what is the rationale of Pakistan describing this SLCM test as “achieving a credible second strike capability”?
Indian Nuclear Doctrine and need for a credible second strike capability
When I explained in my Agni-V article in Indian Defence Review (Please see Agni-V : A True Game Changer article) that Agni V gives India second strike capability , I meant second strike counter force capability it is a way to destroy enemy missile launchers in hardened sheltered strategic command and control systems in hardened underground with Target Strength of above 300 pounds per square inch of pressure, on second strike even with one single MIRVed Agni V at 5000 km range.
For Indian Nuclear Doctrine with deep roots in No-First-Use and creating a credible nuclear deterrence with massive retaliation on first strike on India, it is imperative that India should develop a counter value second strike capability. The counter value second strike implies an ability of some nuclear forces to survive the first nuclear strike on India, which may be decapitating first strike by say Pakistan and launch sufficient nuclear warheads to demolish major cities of the potential opponents. Given the consistent, complete and comprehensive posture that India has taken since 1974 PNE, Indian Nuclear Doctrine is clear case of an unambiguous anti-nuclear stance of India as a model nation of the world. A nation that taken almost a quarter century (1998) to carry out further nuclear tests when it became clear that Pakistan has the nuclear bomb – acquired under Nelson eyes of superpowers of the time. Since we have three key attributes of Indian Nuclear Doctrine – NFU, Credible Minimum Deterrence and Massive Retaliation on receiving a nuclear attack, it is but obvious that India need to develop credible, visible and viable capabilities to be able to accredit the nuclear doctrine. In this regard, India need to have second strike counter value capability.
Further, since India must create a massive retaliation capability in second strike – it is imperative that we should develop not only the second-strike counter value but also the second-strike counter force capability. Our uniquely articulated doctrine requires massive retaliation that should decapitate the capability of the attacker to launch any further nuclear attacks on us. Agni-V with MIRV capability as well as SLBMs provide that capability.
Pakistan Nuclear Doctrine – Quick First Use and Strike below Indian Threshold
Pakistan has been developing a dangerous doctrine after Kargil loss. In 1999, in what can be the only direct war between two nuclear armed adversaries, Pakistan miscalculated the value of its overt nuclear status and carried out the Kargil adventure. Since then, there have been umpteen attacks below the conventional levels. On the nuclear end of the spectrum Pakistan has been developing diverse and deeper nuclear capabilities that can only be termed usable and all of them are first strike capabilities.
NASR, Babur, Cold Start Doctrine and Mutual Assured Destruction (MAD)
NASR – the 60 KM range nuclear capable NASR test fired by Pakistan, couple of years back was a very specific response to India's so called "Cold Start Doctrine" ostensibly conceived in 2004 to send 8 Independent Battle Groups (each an armored division equivalent) into Pakistan at high speed and quickly. Pakistan has been giving this excuse - the CSD excuse - to develop tactical nukes and delivery mechanism like NASR.

Mutually Assured Destruction is a cold war term - Nuke deterrence term indicating the balancing of each side against nuclear strikes by the other side. However, NASR, cannot be construed as MAD. In NASR’s case, the spiral of increasing deterrence may lead to increasing probability of an actual nuke use - and looking at current state of Pakistan - the danger has increased manifolds - as non-state actors may get NASR and arm and launch it. You never know what Hafiz Saeed types can do with what they can get their hands to. In fact, with each such increase the possibility of such nukes falling in the hands of terrorists is increasing considerably (please see my article here)

With NASR Pakistan gave us a key message – “You keep on spending on conventional weapons and bleed your economy. We will sandwich your conventional capability which is not agile and anyway cannot create a tempo quick enough for any real gains - we will sandwich you in the Nukes dimensions with full spectrum capability and keep on poking you in lower end with variety of mechanisms - Kargil, Parliament attack, 26/11, beheading your soldiers and many more to come.” NASR is a first strike capability and by keeping it as tactical nuclear weapon, Pakistan brings it to forward edge of first use.

Babur III -SLCM will NOT be counter force second-strike although it does increase the counter value second strike ability, as it is submarine launched. But the warhead that it carries is sufficient for a Nagasaki/Hiroshima type of nuclear bomb on a city. It cannot destroy the hardened, underground missile launchers or mobile launchers.

Quick First Use is the nuclear doctrine of Pakistan in contrast to India’s NFU. Therefore, a second-strike capability has no logic and doesn’t make sense. NASR and all HATF versions including the Babur III are not second strike but a potential third strike capability.

The escalatory ladder that Pakistan envisage, as discernible by their key nuclear capabilities developed and being deployed, is – (a) Pakistan’s asymmetric/hybrid/multi-domain attacks leads to India launching a Conventional attack – on a variant of Cold Start  (b) Pakistan thwarted 2-3 of 8 Integrated battle groups that were rapidly approaching deep in Pakistan with NASR – sub-KT nukes (c) India retaliates massively to completely decimate Pakistan (d) Pakistan uses SLCM to destroy couple of Indian Cities – say, key cities in West and South of India with SLCM – Babur III.

These stages of escalation make the SLCM a third strike capability and not the second strike. As the second strike, will be by India under massive retaliation as defined by our Nuclear Doctrine.

Key Points

Pakistan has been consistently developing a full-spectrum first-strike nuclear capability including the tactical nuclear weapons such as NASR and now the submarine launched cruise missile Babur III.  In contrast to India’s No First Use (NFU) nuclear doctrine, Pakistan’s nuclear posture and capability can only be termed as Quick First Use (QFU) – a trigger happy posture, capability and intent, that is not only dangerous for the sub-continent but potentially disastrous for the world at large. Positioning SLCM Babur III as credible second strike capability is a misnomer, as second strike in the nuclear exchange will be by India – and it will be massive. As best, if Pakistan survives Indian second strike, Babur may be a third strike counter value capability that may destroy an Indian city, after Pakistan has been eliminated from the world. 

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