Illustration by Mike Tsukamoto/staff

Booby Trap

The fundamental problem for space systems is that they are designed assuming protection at their boundaries will be enough. Little internal protection exists if the boundary is breached. Similar schools of thought existed in the beginning days of traditional cybersecurity, where border firewalls were providing the only protection from intrusion. This approach proved to be faulty. … Space system designs must overcome the risk of an adversary breaching the boundary and operating unhindered inside the system.Aerospace Corp.’s Center for Space Policy and Strategy in a November 2019 report on Defending Spacecraft in the Cyber Domain.

Photo: Kremlin

Out of Africa

For Russia, this return to Africa is like jumping on the last wagon of the train. There are still some elites across the continent that have ties to the Soviet era, but the next generation doesn’t have the same links to Russia as before. So, we need to take the opportunity to return now while there are still people with connections.

Olga Kulkova, a senior research fellow at the Institute for African Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences comments on President Vladamir Putin hosting African leaders at a two-day summit to increase Russian world influence [Foreign Policy, Oct. 29].
Photo: Mike Tsukamoto/staff

Connect the dots

If it doesn’t connect in all domains, if it doesn’t share information, … if we haven’t built artificial intelligence into the tactical edge so it’s learning, and I can take humans out of the loop and put them on the loop, then it’s no longer of interest to me as Chief.Chief of Staff Gen. David L. Goldfein on what will spell success for future systems development at an Air Force Association event Nov. 6.

I De-clare War

You may want a war over, you may even declare it over, but the enemy gets a vote. Jim Mattis, former Secretary of Defense, on President Trump’s decision to withdraw American troops from Syria, “Meet the Press” [Oct. 13].

Photo: Steve Kotecki/USAF

A Winner DOD Chooses

In a nutshell, we believe Microsoft and Nadella are popping the champagne tonight in Redmond while Bezos and Amazon are likely shocked they lost the World Series of cloud deals with JEDI.Dan Ives, managing director of equity research at Wedbush Securities, after Microsoft scored a surprise victory over Amazon Web Services to win the Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure (JEDI) cloud computing contract in October [Business Insider, Oct. 25].

Illustration: Mike Tsukamoto/staff

Islands for a Thousand, Alex

Everyone is really scared about the possibility of China turning the island into a military base. That is what really scares people—because why else do they want to lease the whole island? Solomon Islands businessman Michael Salini on a secretive deal to lease the entire island of Tulagi for unspecified development [The New York Times, Oct. 16].

Photo: Republic of Turkey


Some countries have missiles with nuclear warheads [but the West insists] we can’t have them. This, I cannot accept.Turkish leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan [The New York Times, Oct. 20].