Why It’s So Hard to Stop a Cyber Attack — and Even Harder to Fight Back

Michael’s opinion: A very interesting comment of the Rand Corporation. Cyber War will be one of the major means used in international conflicts. I don’t think that Germany is prepared well enough. 

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Analysis by the Rand Corporation
Christopher S. Chivvis, Associate Director, International Security and Defense Policy Center; Senior Political Scientist

Introduction:
Imagine that the United States is hit by a cyber attack that takes down much of the U.S. financial infrastructure for several days. Internet sites of major banks are malfunctioning. ATMs are not working. Banks‘ internal accounting systems are going haywire. Millions of people are affected.The first question that policymakers might debate is whether such an attack deserves a military response. But several problems immediately arise. First, would the U.S. government—and specifically the National Security Agency—know for certain who had conducted the attack?

Without being able to attribute the attack, or if there were some uncertainty about who was responsible, it would be very hard to strike back. Unlike conventional attacks, cyberattacks can be difficult to attribute with precision to specific actors. In the event of a major cyberattack, the pressure to respond would be immediate—and probably intense. But if a country strikes back and the forensics are erroneous, then the retaliation will have unnecessarily and inadvertently started a war.

for the full article click on this link

Study: The Kremlin Playbook – Understanding Russian Influence in Central and Eastern Europe

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by: CSIS – Center for International Strategic Studies / Heather A. Conley, Senior Vice President for Europe, Eurasia, and the Arctic; and Director, Europe Program

 

Description: 
There was a deeply held assumption that, when the countries of Central and Eastern Europe joined NATO and the European Union in 2004, these countries would continue their positive democratic and economic transformation. Yet more than a decade later, the region has experienced a steady decline in democratic standards and governance practices at the same time that Russia’s economic engagement with the region expanded significantly. Regional political movements and figures have increasingly sought to align themselves with the Kremlin and with illiberalism. Central European governments have adopted ambiguous—if not outright pro-Russian—policy stances that have raised questions about their transatlantic orientation and produced tensions within Western institutions. Are these developments coincidental, or has the Kremlin sought deliberately to erode the region’s democratic institutions through its influence to “break the internal coherence of the enemy system”?

The CSIS Europe Program, in partnership with the Bulgarian Center for the Study of Democracy, recently concluded a 16-month study to understand the nature of Russian influence in five case countries: Hungary, Slovakia, Bulgaria, Latvia, and Serbia. This research determined that Russia has cultivated an opaque web of economic and political patronage across the region that the Kremlin uses to influence and direct decision making. This web resembles a network-flow model—or “unvirtuous circle”—which the Kremlin can use to influence (if not control) critical state institutions, bodies, and economies, as well as shape national policies and decisions that serve its interests while actively discrediting the Western liberal democratic system. The United States can no longer be indifferent to these negative developments, as all members of NATO and the European Union must collectively recognize that Russian influence is not just a domestic governance challenge but a national security threat.

Click this link to the download of the full study

Analyse: AmCham Business Barometer 2017

download-1 (1)AmCham Germany’s Business Barometer is a survey among US subsidiaries regarding Germany as an investment location. Respondents are asked to rate business prospects as well as the overall investment conditions in Germany. This year’s study focused additionally on the German parliamentary elections in fall 2017 and the new US administration. The study was first conducted in 2003. The XIV. Business Barometer was published by AmCham Germany along with the consulting firm Roland Berger in April 2017.

 

Executive Summary: 

THE CURRENT INVESTOR OUTLOOK
REMAINS POSITIVE

The results of this year’s survey leave little
room for ambiguity: 2016 was a successful
year for US companies in Germany.
Compared to 2015, 70 percent generated
more sales revenue, nearly half increased
their investments and one-third employed
more workers. The majority of remaining
US companies maintained current levels of
investment, employees and sales revenue.
Looking at the 2017 fiscal year,
85 percent of respondents anticipate
increased sales revenue – a ten-year high.
Moreover, 49 percent plan on increasing
their investments in Germany, and 30
percent expect to hire more workers.

US SUBSIDIARIES PLAN ON EXPANDING
THEIR ACTIVITIES – BUT GERMANY’S
ATTRACTIVENESS IS NOT A GIVEN

Over the next three to four years, a
staggering 97 percent of respondents plan
on either expanding or maintaining their
current activities in Germany. However,
while three-quarters of US companies
currently rate Germany’s investment
environment as good or very good,
AmCham Germany Business Barometer 2017
67 percent believe investment conditions
will stay the same in the next three to four
years, and nearly one-fourth of respondents
believe that these will even deteriorate.

KEY STRENGTHS ARE HIGHLY QUALIFIED
WORKERS, SUPPLIER NETWORKS
AND RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT

US subsidiaries in Germany are unanimous:
The quality of Germany’s workforce
is the most attractive investment asset and
is rated by every respondent as good or
very good. Moreover, more than 90 percent
of surveyed companies hold Germany’s
supplier networks and research and
development capabilities in high regard.
On the other hand, nearly two-thirds of
US investors view energy costs unfavorably,
and one-third feel that corporate
taxation rates and labor costs are poor or
less than ideal.

FOCUS TOPIC 1: GERMAN PARLIAMENTARY
ELECTIONS – QUICK AND COMPREHENSIVE
REFORMS ARE NEEDED

More than nine out of ten US subsidiaries
feel that the need for economic reforms in
Germany is high or very high, and
82 percent believe that these will be
difficult to implement. From the
perspective of US companies, the next
German government should increase
advocacy for free trade and open markets
(94 percent), create the proper framework
for a modern digital economy (94 percent)
and strengthen research and innovation
capabilities in Germany (91 percent).

FOCUS TOPIC 2: THE NEW US ADMINISTRATION
– A GREAT DEAL OF UNCERTAINTY REMAINS

While nearly half of respondents are not
yet able to discern the impact of the new
US administration’s policies on their activities
in Germany, there is somewhat
more clarity regarding the anticipated
development of German-American relations.
Nearly 60 percent of US companies
believe that economic ties between the
two countries will remain stable; however,
only 47 percent feel the same about political
ties between Germany and the US.

Nach stehend  der Link zu dem Download der AmCham Germany
Business Barometer 2017
https://www.amcham.de/fileadmin/user_upload/Publications/Business-Barometer/2017/AmCham_Germany_Business_Barometer_2017.pdf

 

Bericht der Hanns-Seidel-Stiftung: Rex Tillerson und die neue amerikanische Außenpolitik

von: Hanns-Seidel-Stiftung, Leiter der Verbindungsstelle Washington Christian Forstner

Summary: 

Rex Tillerson steht für eine Politik der US-Stärke und des pragmatischen Realismus. Damit bildet er die Brücke zwischen einer zu Unberechenbarkeit neigenden America-First Politik des Präsidenten und einem außenpolitisch immer wichtiger werdenden Senat, der Verlässlichkeit und Kontinuität ausstrahlt. Im Congress dominiert parteiübergreifendes Main Stream-Denken: Russland ist eine Bedrohung, Klimawandel ein realistisches Szenario, Handelsabkommen und offene Märkte bringen wechselseitige Vorteile, der Westen ist eine Wertegemeinschaft. Donald Trump bricht mit diesen Überzeugungen. Die eine Stimme der amerikanischen Außenpolitik gibt es nicht mehr, Amerikas Außenpolitik ist im Umbruch. Die Annahme ist falsch, dass die Betonung von Eigeninteressen und die Mahnungen zu regionaler Eigenverantwortlichkeit mit einem neuen US-Isolationismus gleichzusetzen sind. Die Macht in Amerika ist breit gestreut und ein differenzierter Blick auf die unterschiedlichen Akteure im Weißen Haus und im Congress ist notwendig.

hier der Link zu dem Download des ausführlichen Berichts bei der HSS:
https://www.hss.de/fileadmin/user_upload/HSS/Dokumente/Berichte/Berichte_Ausland/2017/Politischer_Bericht_Nr.4.pdf