THE REAL PURPOSE FOR A MILITARY 

Most Warriors when engaged in conflict may have either killed and broken things, but, as a soldier, that was never the end. There was a purpose, a reason, a goal. Always. My country, profession, and family demand this, as is the case for all in uniform.
The military’s purpose is not to kill people and break things. This idea is factually, historically, professionally, and philosophically wrong — and must itself be remorselessly killed and violently broken. This 11-word platitude has no place in modern society.
To suggest the military’s purpose is to break and kill confuses purpose and task, ends with means. Ironically, this miscalculation came from a minister. To apply the error in ecclesiastical terms would be to claim that Jesus’s purpose was merely to die a painful physical death, without any higher design. This might seem like silly semantics to some, but to professionals carrying either cross or carbine, words matter.
Beyond the logic, consider U.S. military doctrine’s first among equals — Joint Publication 1: Doctrine for the Armed Forces of the United States — which affirms that “military power is integrated with other instruments of national power to advance and defend US values, interests, and objectives.” This purpose applies even to the ground-pounding infantry, whose mission is “to close with and destroy the enemy.” Again, “destroy” is a task, which does not a purpose make. And recent reality reflects a much broader set of tasks for the grunts than myopic fixation on stabbing and smashing, all of which serve the same purpose Joint Publication 1 describes: training the Ukrainian army, assuring the Baltics, supporting African states, not to mention the development of security forces in Iraq and Afghanistan for the past decade. Doctrine and recent experience combine to confirm that killing and breaking are not the military’s sole purpose or occupation.

Huckabee’s oft-repeated assertion is also wrong historically. Consider the Berlin Airlift, or the responses to the Ebola outbreak in West Africa, the earthquake in Haiti, and the massive disasters in Indonesia and Japan. Or the military’s role in creation and discovery: the Panama Canal, the Space Race, Lewis and Clark, the Great White Fleet, the Internet. We stand watch over the heroes in Arlington, as well as the environment: the U.S. Army protected Yellowstone, our first National Park, for over 30 years (which is where Smokey the Bear got that great campaign hat). Dr. Seuss drew political cartoons as a lieutenant, while director Frank Capra of It’s a Wonderful Life fame made movies as a major in the U.S. Army during World War II. The military does many diverse tasks. The common denominator is serving and protecting America, Americans, and American interests.
To sharpen this edge with a personal point, I write from a forward-stationed position in the Republic of Korea. Tensions are up after North Korea planted mines on our side of the Demilitarized Zone, maiming two South Korean soldiers, which resulted in an escalatory exchange of psychological operations loudspeaker broadcasts and indirect fire. If I were to receive a real-world alert call tonight, the entire range is possible: humanitarian aid and disaster relief, airstrikes and artillery, tanks and tunnels, not to leave out the fully present danger of nuclear, chemical and biological warfare. Or all of the above.
Critics will counter with Clausewitz, dismissing my argument as the naïve, “kind-hearted” words of someone that misguidedly believes there is “some ingenious way to disarm or defeat an enemy without too much bloodshed.” But Clausewitz was writing in an era of limited options, when a bloodsucking leech was often the medical profession’s first and only recourse. Today is different. New U.S. Army Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Milley just alluded to the same kind of red stuff. “As America, we have no luxury of a single opponent,” Milley said, warning that “we will pay the butcher’s bill in blood” if the military is not prepared to succeed at tasks across the full spectrum. Limiting the military to killing and breaking would inappropriately constrain us to black/white responses in a Technicolor world.
Not everything has changed. The Spartans had a saying, which roughly translates to “Come back with your shield or on it.” The shield was valued above all, because in the ranks, the shield protected not just its immediate bearer, but also the next soldier, and on, and so on. The shield mattered more than the sword. The message was clear: If you do not have your shield, if you lost that implement of integrated defense, then you had better not come back at all. And this rings true today: The military is both the country’s shield and sword, but, always the shield over the sword.

The final stake in this mistaken sentiment’s heart is that it misrepresents me as a military person. If my purpose is to kill people and break things, how do I explain this to my wife and two young daughters? Particularly as Gen. Milley considered this our primary audience, stating: “Most importantly, we serve for our children.” Should I get down on bended knee and tell my girls, “Daddy is a killer and a breaker?” Would this make them smile? Proud?
The idea that the military exists to kill and break rests on a Hollywood-informed view of the world, loaded with giant, muscular superheroes that never have to submit to the laws of physics or a weapon’s maximum ammunition capacity, perpetually ready to whack a terrorist at a moment’s notice. This Bruckheimerian theology might be captured at its uniformed best in Marvel’s Captain America (played by a CGI-enhanced Chris Evans). Ironically, friends at work have taken to calling me “Steve Rogers” — as in the scrawny, scrappy, hard charger who eventually transforms into Captain America after taking a mystery drug (steroids). As in all jokes, there’s some truth in the punchline: As a runner, I fill out every bit of my extra-small uniform.
But here’s why I’m proud, fiercely proud, to be nicknamed “Steve Rogers.” In the movies, you take some chemicals, get big and impervious to heavy-weapons fire, and start mauling bad guys. In reality, those of us in uniform are human, not Terminators. There’s a telling moment in Captain America when a senior officer tests a group of recruits by rolling a grenade into a large gathering of soldiers. Without hesitation, the smallest of them, Steve Rogers, hurls himself onto the explosive. The protective instinct on display represents the military far better than any written description ever could — sacrificing one’s all to safeguard the many.
The purpose of the military is not to kill people and break things. While sometimes it must break, it must always guard. While sometimes it must kill, it must always keep. In all things, in all tasks, beyond any debate, the military’s purpose is to serve and protect America.

Major Matt Cavanaugh, a U.S. Army Strategist, has served in assignments from Iraq to the Pentagon and New York to New Zealand. He writes regularly at WarCouncil.org and invites others to connect via Twitter @MLCavanaugh. This essay is an unofficial expression of opinion; the views expressed are those of the author and not necessarily those of the US Military Academy, Department of the Army, the Department of Defense, or any agency of the U.S. government.

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Making Co-Housing Trendy 

  
In cities with rapidly rising rents, foreclosed hotels and office/ industrial buildings have steered the creation of hotel-like spaces that may also house the young or the penniless masses.  You can have a few hundred housemates in an abandoned office building that is turning into one of the world’s largest experiments in co-living, designed in response to London’s insane rents. Inside, residents will have private space to sleep, storage, and a bathroom. A kitchenette may or may not be shared. But they’ll also have access to 12,000 square feet of shared living space, including full kitchens, a library, a spa, a “secret garden,” and a theater. “The idea is that we provide a compact but well-designed living space where you can have all of your basics. … It’s really your crash pad,” says Reza Merchant, CEO of The Collective, the London startup that is developing the building along with several other co-living spaces around the city. “The wealth of amenity space is the modern form of the living room.”
  
If you want to have a dinner party, for example, you can book a room for that. “It’s the whole sharing economy phenomenon when you share things with other people you get a lot more bang for your buck,” he says. “How often are you going to have a 15-person dinner party? You don’t have that every night, so if you share that with other people, you can have access to all these amazing living spaces that you wouldn’t otherwise have.”It’s designed to be something that someone in their twenties or thirties can afford as London rents which have doubled in the past decade keep soaring. Depending on the neighborhood, the co-living spaces The Collective is building can be 15%-40% cheaper than renting a typical apartment.”At the moment, people earning less than £40,000-£50,000 a year don’t have the option of renting a flat in a decent location,” Merchant says. “So they’re forced at the moment to rent rooms in often illegally converted houses.” Merchant, who is 26, is also convinced that millennials prefer living in communities. “I think if you look at our generation, there’s a shift toward wanting to be part of a community and share experience with their peers,” he says. “The whole concept of sharing is much more acceptable today than it was previously. So on the one hand, people actually prefer to share. On the other hand, there are simply no options.”

  
The building is designed to be suitcase-ready and is a little like living in a millennial-filled hotel. “We change the linen, we clean the rooms, we have an on-site concierge, we fully furnish the rooms, even down to the knives, the forks, the TV, so that people can show up with their bag and they’re ready to live,” Merchant says. “That’s very much part of the psyche of the millennial generation. They don’t want to own material possessions.” When it opens in 2016, the building will be one of several massive co-living spaces The Collective is planning for London. PLP Architecture, which designed the space, also has plans for another big project, a 30-story skyscraper with co-living on the top and co-working for startups on the bottom.The Collective isn’t the only company to attempt co-living spaces, but there’s still questions about whether the business model works. Campus, a startup from Silicon Valley, notably failed at the same thing. Others, like a new co-living space in Brooklyn, have been criticized for charging rents that aren’t much better than a studio in the area. Still, more are being planned. Overall we think that the growing interest in co-living is a logical reaction to the housing affordability crisis many cities face. There is a massive issue in big cities like London, San Francisco and New York where the lifeblood of these economies simply cannot afford to live affordably. In short this idea is long over due as when you have such an acute issue for what is such a key part of the economy, the market will inevitably come up with solutions.

By Naved Jafry & Garson Silvers

Ref: A Peters

Tragedy Of The Homeless 



Every year over 70 million rural migrats are moving into urban centers around the world. Unfortunately most of them land up  into the slums of their new cities.  In such a situation can the buy-one-give-one model work for housing? Imagine if every slumdweller or homeless family on earth had their fully paid home. Thanks to our new social concious buyers Many such projects and proposals are well under way to make that a reality. Buy A Luxury Condo or home, Give A Slum Dweller A New Home is a reality and is launched one of the first partnership in the U.S. and India. Buy a new luxury condo in San Diego, and you can help build a home for a family currently living in a slum in Manila or Mumbai. The philosophy and the social impact behind this has inspired many developers a one-for-one real estate gifting model,” says Pete Dupuis, who co-founded World Housing with his business partner Sid Landolt in 2013, beginning with a development in Vancouver.

  

The business model is simple in theory: Real estate developers donate a portion of their marketing budget to the nonprofit, and then the nonprofit creates local factories that build low-cost homes in the developing world. Each home, which can cost about $5,000 in a place like Manila or Mumbai, is part of a bigger neighborhood with a playground, community garden, and other common areas. “Our mission at World Housing is to create social change by connecting the world to be a better community, so the idea of ‘community’ is foundational to how we think, design, and create our homes,” says Dupuis. In Cambodia, where the nonprofit has been building homes for the last two years, they’ve partnered with Cambodia Children’s Fund to help provide services like health care, nutrition, and education for residents.The team’s new project in Manila was inspired in part by a trip Dupuis took to a slum called Smokey Mountain, where about 300,000 people live in shacks in a landfill. “The abject poverty has left a lasting impression on how I saw the world,” he says. “However, the one thing I discovered was the welcoming and hopeful nature of the people there. One of my best memories was playing a game of pool in the middle of a slum, on a table reconstructed from garbage. The people made me feel like part of their family and I made a promise to myself that when World Housing opened we would return to help the people there.”

In India, anyone who buys a condo or house at any of its new developments in and near Mumbai, Houston and Tanzania called micro Cities will help change the lives of a family locally. The Bosa condo development in San Diego will fund 64 homes in Manila, housing 300 people.
The condos, which will be available in 2017, are polar opposites of the simple houses under construction in Manila, with amenities like ocean views, a pool and sauna, and even potentially an indoor dog run. But the developer thinks that buyers will respond to the idea of doing good as an added perk. “We hope to set a new norm in residential development and inspire buyers, who will be the driving force in building this community,” says Nat Bosa, president of Bosa Development, the company behind Pacific Gate. Companies such as Zeons Realty which builds off the grid Micro-Cities also donates to the local community in which it starts any project.  “We believe it will attract domestic and international buyers, so it is a natural progression for the company to expand its philanthropic footprint within the community it does business,” Garson Silvers says CEO for Zeons. World Housing has housed 2,000 people so far, and hopes to reach 30,000 by 2020. Bosa believes the model may start to spread in the development community. “As the industry continues to grow we believe this model of giving will also grow,” he says. “There’s nothing more powerful than having owners and developers see the physical impact they are having on a global scale. They are affecting lives in the most profound way.”

By Naved Jafry

Reference : A. Peters

Cost Of Security

  
Just like with cheap car insurance, the United States might not see the consequences of under-spending on defense until something really bad happens. It is worth spending more today to be prepared for the challenges of tomorrow. The debate about defense spending will likely reignite in September as Congress returns from recess and the end of the fiscal year draws near. Unfortunately, much of that debate will not be very helpful or informative.
Instead of arguing the merits of a particular military spending level, much of the debate will revolve around Democratic opposition to increasing defense spending without proportional increases to non-defense spending. The usual arguments for cutting defense spending will likely pop up as well. But what’s really needed is a more thoughtful debate. Once you get beyond the talking points and the political agendas, what should the United States spend on defense? The Ideal Defense Budget Debate Determining what the United States (or any country) should spend on national defense is much easier in theory than in reality. But let’s start with the theory.

The first step is determining the vital interests of the United States. What must we, as a country, protect? Almost everyone would agree that we must protect America and our citizens from attacks by terrorists or nation-states. But beyond protecting the homeland and its people, it gets more complicated. Should the United States protect its allies? International commerce and the commons in and on which this commerce happens? The human rights of individuals in other countries? These are the types of questions that need to be answered in order to determine the vital interests of the United States.
The next step is figuring out what threatens these vital interests. Some of these threats are obvious, such as nuclear war and terrorist attacks. Some threats seem to be growing, such as Russia’s aggressive actions and China’s cyberattacks. The goal should be a clear-eyed analysis of what truly threatens our vital interests today and what may threaten those interests in the future.
The third step is figuring out how to protect America’s vital interests from both the threats of today and those of the future. This will likely include elements of hard power (i.e. the military) and soft power (i.e. diplomacy, alliances, trade) used in concert to deter or, if necessary, defeat the threats. This should produce a cohesive strategy for protecting America’s vital interests. While outlining a full strategy is too large a task for this article, the most recent National Defense Panel report is a good bipartisan example that assesses vital interests and threats and then outlines a strategy.

  Once you have a strategy, you need to develop the tools to implement that strategy. For the military, this means figuring out the capabilities and the capacity needed to execute the strategy. For example, protecting America from North Korean nuclear missiles may require an interceptor (a capability). But one interceptor is probably not enough — instead you need enough interceptors (capacity) to defeat all of North Korea’s nuclear missiles. While capabilities are usually pretty self-evident, questions of capacity are often more complex. Most Americans would agree that the U.S. Air Force should have the ability to defeat the best fighter aircraft of our potential adversaries. But should the Air Force be big enough to fight against more than one potential adversary simultaneously?
Answering questions of capability and capacity will lead directly to a defense budget. The U.S. Navy needs a certain number of destroyers at any given time and the average lifespan of a destroyer is known, so the number of destroyers that need to be built per year can be figured out. This process can be repeated for each military capability, which eventually produces a defense budget.
Of course, reality is not that simple. The defense budget is often constrained for economic or political reasons. The gap between what the United States actually spends and what it takes to fully resource and execute the strategy is risk. Unfortunately, risk is difficult to measure, but all too easy to ignore. A particular threat may be out of sight and out of mind, but it still exists and could still harm a vital interest of the United States. It’s similar to buying cheap car insurance. It may save a few bucks and turn out fine as long as you never have an accident. That is what it means to accept risk.
To be clear, a strategy-based defense budget should not be an excuse for a wasteful defense budget at any level. On the macro level, if the United States spends too much on defense, it is wasting the precious resource of taxpayer money and contributing to the burden of debt on future generations. The total defense budget should not be one dollar more than absolutely necessary. On the micro level, wasteful and inefficient programs prevent capabilities and capacity from being used to protect the nation’s interests. Additional reforms must be implemented so that every dollar is used efficiently and appropriately.

  
So in theory, that is how a defense budget should be built. But where do things really stand? Since the imposition of the Budget Control Act in 2011, the base defense budget (excluding war costs) has gone down by 15 percent in real terms, while the threats to U.S. vital interests have, if anything, increased. The Heritage Foundation’s 2015 Index of U.S. Military Strength assessed the current capacity, capability, and readiness of the U.S. military as “marginal.”
In this context, President Obama has proposed increasing the base defense budget to $561 billion in FY2016, which represents a 5.8 percent inflation-adjusted increase over FY2015 defense spending. Republicans in Congress also want to spend $561 billion on defense, but plan to use overseas contingency operations (OCO) funding, or war budget, which is exempt from the Budget Control Act spending caps. In other words, the defense spending debate will not really be about defense spending. The true driving forces of the debate are the use of a budget gimmick and Democratic opposition to increasing defense spending without proportional increases in non-defense domestic spending.
While the White House and Congress propose a defense spending level of $561 billion, many believe this is still well below a strategy-driven defense budget. A Heritage Foundation analysis suggested $584 billion as a starting point, a 10 percent increase over FY2015. The bipartisan National Defense Panel argued that the last budget proposal from former Defense Secretary Robert Gates in 2012 should be the minimum defense budget. For FY2016 that would be $638 billion, which is 20 percent higher than FY2015 in inflation-adjusted dollars.
Let’s assume for a moment that the defense budget was increased to the Heritage Foundation or National Defense Panel’s preferred levels in FY2016. Where would this money come from and where would it go? Both the Heritage analysis and the National Defense Panel point out that entitlement programs are driving the national debt and must be reformed. For example, with two months of FY2015 remaining, the three major entitlement programs have already spent $108 billion more than last fiscal year. Until these programs are reformed, the budget situation will remain very challenging for discretionary spending. The Heritage Foundation analysis also proposes ways to save more than $50 billion in non-defense discretionary spending in FY2016 alone.
The reality is that imposing many of these reforms to pay for increased defense spending will be politically challenging. The tempting alternative is to either increase deficit spending or increase taxes. Neither is a wise route. Increased deficit spending (and therefore higher national debt) has been shown to hurt economic productivity. Similarly, increasing taxes also hurts economic productivity. Enacting reasonable entitlement reform and cutting non-defense discretionary programs is the best way forward. There is much debate to be had on how best to reform entitlement programs and where to cut non-defense programs, and it will not be easy, but it is the best path toward an economically strong and militarily secure country.
And where would this money go? The Heritage analysis proposes $31 billion in specific additions, primarily in preserving force structure and increasing readiness and modernization. This includes keeping the Army active duty end strength at 490,000 and the Marine Corps active duty end strength at 183,000. It also includes things like preserving the Navy cruiser fleet and accelerating F-35 purchases for the Air Force. Another obvious place to increase spending is in response to the military’s unfunded priorities lists. The FY2016 requests from each service total $21 billion and are largely focused on smaller items, such as an Army facility sustainment request for $912 million.
While these documents provide a good way to increase the defense budget by roughly $52 billion, defense spending advocates should be willing to recognize that increasing defense spending too rapidly can be wasteful. Immediate budget increases can preserve today’s force structure, increase readiness, and increase procurement quantities for current production lines. New technologies and systems, however, cannot be bought overnight and large cash infusions can actually wreak havoc. The ideal scenario is an immediate defense budget increase to preserve force structure while increasing readiness and modernization. This should be followed by a steady increase over time to allow for the development of future systems and technologies.
Whatever final defense budget number Washington settles on for FY2016, it will doubtless be well below the minimum level dictated by a rigorous, risk-informed, strategy-based analysis. Just like with cheap car insurance, the United States might not see the consequences of under-spending on defense this year. But when the accident happens, or when the threat grows so great not even Congress can turn a blind eye, the costs will be higher than if we had adequately invested in national defense today.
 
By N. Jafry & C J Pacheco

BRANDING THROUGH LEVERAGE

  

Here’s how you can leverage your personal brand into a money-making machine just like the Kardashians, When it comes to business and people, there really isn’t much of a difference between them. The only difference is that personal brands, on average, tend to last longer than companies do. Both parties embrace branding, marketing, and sales. They just do them in a slightly different way. But if you were to embrace what the Kardashians did, it would propel your personal brand to success.
The Kardashians are brilliant when it comes to the art of the personal brand. They know how to get themselves straight into the spotlight and leverage their personal brands into money-making machines.
What they do best is they stack their success.
I’ve leveraged my personal brand a bit to help leverage me into doubling my income, being featured in a few publications, and building out a social-media following. What I did doesn’t nearly compare to the level of success of the Kardashians, though.
From my personal experience in building my brand, there are a lot of similarities between what I did compared to what they have done. But then again, they’ve also done it a lot better than I could ever do.
It’s easiest to track the success of the Kardashian brand by following these 10 steps Kim Kardashian paved the way for:

1. Have a USP (Unique Selling Proposition).
Originally, Kim wanted the attention of the media. To get it, she needed to differentiate herself. She needed a USP (Unique Selling Proposition). And while I’m not advocating a sex tape as a springboard to success, it’s undeniable that her sex tape with B-list celebrity Ray J put her in the spotlight.
That USP garnered the attention of the regular people, like us.
Regardless, using a sex tape certainly isn’t advisable for anyone, since it is an absurd thing to do. Plus, in today’s age, it’s no longer a USP–it would never generate the same type of buzz that Kim K. initially created.
There are many other, more straightforward ideas for generating a unique selling proposition. For me, my original USP was failure. For James Altucher, it was his sense of authenticity. For Michael Simmons, it was his ability to gather multiple perspectives and back his claims with research. Find your USP and separate yourself from the crowd.

2. Leverage your network.
Since Kim launched her career with Ray J, a B-list celebrity, people felt she might be as important, if not more important, than Ray J. People associated who she was with her surroundings, bringing her status up from regular person to potential celebrity.
If you plan to move up in the world, start to surround yourself with people who are in higher positions than you. By associating yourself with high-level people, others will think of you as a high-level person as well.

  
3. Define your brand.
Once Kim started to gather our attention, her social-media profiles started to inflate. She knew that a lot of people would follow her just because of her sex tape, but she didn’t want that to be all she was known for. She defined herself as a trendsetter, then laid out the foundation of who she was through her social-media accounts.
I pivoted from failure to self-help and personal branding. What you start out with doesn’t need to be what you end up with. You just need to stay true to yourself and figure that your USP is just what separates you from the crowd, not something that defines who you are.

4. Embrace your fans.
Kim knew that the only way she would continue to grow her audience was if she showed some love to her fans. She engaged and connected with her audience. This kept up the steady growth of her social-media accounts until they hit the millions they are at today.
I replied to the people who commented on my writing. I showed them appreciation. They then showed their appreciation in return.

5. Turn to the media.
Once Kim started to gain fame and popularity online, she turned to the media. They picked up her stories and ran with them. That media coverage turned her from an average girl straight into a celebrity.
Each publication I have written for has added a tiny bit of credibility to who I am. When all of that compounds, though, it becomes much more powerful. This will allow you to stand out from the crowd.

6. Bring up your team.
Once the media had granted Kim celebrity status, she was given her own show. She took this opportunity to spread her success to her whole family. Now, she wasn’t the only celebrity, her entire family became celebrities.
I work closely with a core team of people who have helped me move ahead in life. We all work together on raising each other up and encouraging each other every step of the way.

7. Make bold and risky moves.
Kim wanted to redefine beauty. She went off and got naked on the cover of a few magazines. Caitlin wanted to be true to who she was. She went onto the cover of Vogue.
These types of moves both empower and anger the general population. It makes the believers feel that they, too, can live the dream of being true to who they are, while it angers the traditionalists.
This controversy keeps the Kardashian names in the media and keeps the focus on their brands, so they are continually talked about.
I divulged details of my personal life for the world to see. As scared as I was, people were receptive and encouraging. This helped me be more well-rounded and likable to my audience.

8. Own what you do.
Controversy is hard to deal with. When haters hate, most people break down. I’ve been hated on before, and I rolled over. The Kardashians, on the other hand, have thick skin. They don’t care what anyone else thinks, they own what they do. Being confident and owning what you do, no matter the opinion of others, turns you into a bold leader.

9. Partner with successful people.
Kim partnered with Brian Lee of Legalzoom to make Shoedazzle. She partnered with billionaire jeweler Pascal Mouawad to make Belle Noel jewelry. Her partnerships with successful people are her way of creating a long-term business legacy through the utilization of her name.
I partnered with many successful entrepreneurs. Because of this, I was able to take big strides forward instead of small baby steps. But since I laid out all the baby steps ahead of time, the strides became much easier to make.

10. Stack your successes.
The basis to the foundation of the whole Kardashian family brand is how they stack their successes. Kim leveraged a sex tape into a social-media following. She leveraged her social-media following into garnering attention from the media. She leveraged the media to turn her into a mini-celebrity. She leveraged her mini-celebrity status to get her own TV show. She leveraged the TV show to turn herself and her whole family into celebrities.She leveraged her celebrity status to get sponsorships and partnerships with major brands across the world.She leveraged her status to make her millions. She leveraged her celebrity status to marry a celebrity. She leveraged her marriage into a national holiday.

All through Kim’s career, she leveraged every success that came her way and doubled down on it. This gave her family the ability to double down on their successes as well. Then the whole family grew together. Being in branding and having experience in building my own brand, I’ve seen firsthand that this is the recipe for success. Now, the Kardashian brand holds far more value than many other companies out there today. They understand the importance of building and maintaining a life-long business, plus they always keep themselves ahead of the curve.

How are you stacking your successes to propel you forward?
By Naved Jafry & Garson Silvers

New Hope For Life Extension

  

  

More than 50 sheep and pigs have been implanted with human-animal hybrid embryos. In 2014, 429 people died while on the organ transplant waiting list. But human organs are being grown inside sheeps and pigs in a bid to save the lives of those on organ donation waiting lists. More than 50 sheep and pigs have been implanted with human-animal hybrid embryos with the aim of them developing into fully functional human hearts, livers and other major organs. Although these techniques have yet to arrive in Britain, the Government’s animal research advisers are expected to make them legal when the first full guidelines are published this week, The Times reported. The experiments rely on a cutting-edge fusion of technologies, including recent breakthroughs in stem cell biology and gene editing techniques.  By modifying genes, scientists can now change the DNA in pig or sheep embryos so they are genetically incapable of forming a specific tissue. Then, by adding stem cells from a person, they hope the human cells will take over the job of forming the missing organ, which could then be harvested from the animal for use in a transplant operation.  

 

British Government’s animal research advisers expected to legalise techniques. Scientists change the animal DNA so they are genetically incapable of forming a specific tissue. Human stem cells are then injected to the embryo and form the organ. Daniel Garry, a cardiologist who leads a chimera project at the University of Minnesota, said: ‘We can make an animal without a heart. ‘We have engineered pigs that lack skeletal muscles and blood vessels.’The US research was carried out at the National Institutes of Health in Maryland. Twenty livestock have been impregnated in the past year while a further three pregnancies are said to have taken place in other countries. But there are fears that the hybrids will make the animals too human, developing patches of human hair, human reproductive cells or higher intelligence. Other kinds of human-animal chimeras are widely used in scientific research, including mice given a human immune system. The NHS has previously said human-animal chimera technology could save hundreds of lives every year.  

 
By Naved Jafry & Garson Silvers

Understanding State Sponsored Cyberterrorism

As offensive cyber activity becomes more prevalent, policymakers will be challenged to develop proportionate responses to disruptive or destructive attacks. Already, there has been significant pressure to “do something” in light of the allegedly state-sponsored attacks on Sony Pictures Entertainment and the Sands Casino. But finding a timely, proportionate, legal, and discriminatory response is complicated by the difficulty in assessing the damage to national interests and the frequent use of proxies. Perpetrators have plausible deniability, frustrating efforts to assign responsibility. Past experience suggests that most policy responses have been ad hoc.
In determining the appropriate response to a state-sponsored cyber incident, policymakers will need to consider three variables: the intelligence community’s confidence in its attribution of responsibility, the impact of the incident, and the levers of national power at a state’s disposal.
While these variables will help guide responses to a disruptive or destructive cyberattack, policymakers will also need to take two steps before an incident occurs. First, policymakers will need to work with the private sector to determine the effect of an incident on their operations. Second, governments need to develop a menu of preplanned response options and assess the potential impact of any response on political, economic, intelligence, and military interests.
Background: Cyber Incidents and Uncertainty
Even as the number of highly disruptive and destructive cyberattacks grows, governments remain unprepared to respond adequately. In other national security areas, policy responses to state-sponsored activity are well established. For example, a country can expel diplomats in response to a spying scandal, issue a demarche if a country considers its sovereignty to have been violated, and use force in response to an armed attack. Clear and established policy responses such as these do not yet exist for cyberattacks for two reasons. First, assessing the damage caused by a cyber incident is difficult. It can take weeks, if not months, for computer forensic experts to accurately and conclusively ascertain the extent of the damage done to an organization’s computer networks. For example, it took roughly two weeks for Saudi authorities to understand the extent of the damage of the Shamoon incident, which erased data on thirty thousand of Saudi Aramco’s computers. Although this may be quick by computer forensics standards, a military can conduct a damage assessment from a non-cyber incident in as little as a few hours.
Second, attributing cyber incidents to their sponsor remains a significant challenge. Masking the true origins of a cyber incident is easy—states often use proxies or compromised computers in other jurisdictions to hide their tracks. For example, a group calling itself the Cyber Caliphate claimed responsibility for taking French television station TV5 Monde off the air with a cyberattack in April 2015, and used the television station’s social media accounts to post content in support of the self-proclaimed Islamic State. Two months later French media reported that Russian state-sponsored actors, not pro–Islamic State groups, were likely behind the incident. Even when attribution is possible, it is not guaranteed that domestic or foreign audiences will believe the claim unless officials reveal potentially classified methods used to determine the identity of the perpetrator, damaging intelligence assets. Under pressure, responses are likely to be made quickly with incomplete evidence and attract a high degree of public skepticism. This creates clear risks for policymakers. Quick damage assessments could lead to an overestimation of the impact of an incident, causing a state to respond disproportionately. Misattributing an incident could cause a response to be directed at the wrong target, creating a diplomatic crisis.

Developing a Proportionate Response
Policymakers should consider three variables before developing a response. First, they should understand the level of confidence that their intelligence agencies have in attributing the incident. Although there have been great strides in intelligence agencies’ ability to attribute malicious activity, digital forensics is not perfect. The degree of attributional certainty will have a direct impact on the action taken. For example, if the level of attribution is low, policymakers will be limited in their choice of response even if the severity of the attack is high. They may choose a less valuable retaliatory target to limit the odds of escalation and international criticism. There may also be instances where there is so little evidence for the source of the attack that the victim may choose not to respond.
Second, policymakers should assess the cyber incident’s effects on physical infrastructure, society, the economy, and national interests. Questions include: What was the physical damage caused by the affected systems, and was there any impact to critical infrastructure? What type of essential services are affected? Has the incident caused a significant loss of confidence in the economy? What was the incident’s impact on national security and the country’s reputation?
Third, policymakers should consider the range of diplomatic, economic, and military responses at their disposal, from a quiet diplomatic rebuke to a military strike. Responses need not be limited to cyberspace—nothing bars a state from using other channels, though each carries its own risks.
Cyber responses can be taken in addition to diplomatic, economic, and military activity. However, they would most often be delivered covertly and could be difficult to develop quickly unless a government had prepared capability against a specific target, likely involving prior cyber espionage, an unparalleled understanding of a target’s vulnerabilities, and a custom exploit kit at its disposal. As an example, Stuxnet reportedly took years to develop and deploy. An overt cyber response can be unappealing as states may lose the ability to launch similar responses against other targets. Although states may outsource their responses to a proxy, doing so could limit their control over the response and lead to escalatory activity. Therefore, policymakers are likely to concentrate on other levers of power, alongside whatever they may do covertly.
Recommendations
Given the likely pressure governments will feel to respond to significant cyberattacks, policymakers need to develop a response framework before a disruptive or destructive cyber incident occurs. Although each response will be case specific, a framework will enable policymakers to quickly consider their options.
Figure 1 represents a possible framework that policymakers can build on. Combining incident impact, policy options, and proportionality, it outlines the different levers of state power that can be applied in response to escalating levels of cyber incident. It plots the effects of a cyber incident, with website defacement at one end of the scale and loss of life at the opposite end. This is plotted against the level of response, ranging from media statements to military responses. Across the response spectrum there will be inherent political and legal risks associated with each decision, and risks increase as the level of the response increases. The proposed responses are applicable to state-sponsored activity. For disruptive or destructive activity caused by individuals, criminal networks, or others without state backing, law enforcement responses are more appropriate.

Figure 1. Policy Responses to Escalating State-Sponsored Cyber Incidents
As with other areas of international relations, proportionality emerges through state practice—the expulsion of diplomats in response to a mild violation of sovereignty is perceived as proportionate only because states have been doing it for decades. When one country levies economic sanctions, the sanctioned country often responds in kind—Russia responded to U.S. sanctions over its annexation of Crimea with sanctions of its own. This same logic applies to cyberspace. While there may be pressure to respond disproportionally to deter future attacks, international law requires that states only take forcible measures that are necessary and proportionate to successfully repel or defeat a disruptive or destructive cyberattack, limiting the “scale, scope, duration and intensity” of any action a victim state may take. Furthermore, responding proportionally may make it easier to build the international coalitions necessary to isolate and punish the attacker as well as limit the likelihood of escalation.
If a country is the victim of a state-sponsored website defacement, a public denouncement is likely the most appropriate response. Moving up the scale, any activity that begins to manipulate or destroy data would potentially require diplomatic action, such as a demarche in low-impact cases or the expulsion of diplomats if the incident affects the victim’s economy. Once the economy is adversely affected, a range of economic responses can be used in coordination with diplomatic pressure, from freezing individuals’ financial transactions within the sponsoring state to levying international sanctions. Should an incident cause physical damage, a policymaker could consider a military option as an appropriate and proportional response, from military posturing to an attack, depending on the incident’s severity. All of these options can be complemented with cyber or covert action, which will also need to be proportionate to the damage caused by the incident.
Each state can begin developing its own policy response framework by first working with the private sector, particularly in critical infrastructure. Critical infrastructure is a priority for attackers, making it important for infrastructure operators to be involved in the development of a response framework. They are in a good position to advise government on incidents that would affect their operations and how severe an incident would need to be before a response is required.
Second, policymakers should clearly understand the costs associated with each response in the framework. Each response will have an impact on a country’s diplomatic relations, reputation, and military and intelligence operations. These effects need to be understood before a response is chosen. Assessing options will require input from relevant government agencies, as well as critical infrastructure operators, whose operations could be affected by a response.
Cyber incidents provide governments with a highly complex set of decisions to make, from understanding the severity of the incident to assessing appropriate responses to take, while continually evaluating the risks involved in taking certain courses of action. The framework, while deliberately simplified, provides a rudimentary model for framing the potential responses to a state-sponsored incident before one occurs. This should give policymakers a starting point from which to make their own assessments on courses of action to take during a time of crisis.