1 February 2020

Return of the Hashishin (Assassin) Cult?: Wider Implications of the Attack on Saudi Oil Facilities

Maj Gen P K Mallick,VSM(Retd)

The attack on Saudi oil installations has large scale implications for the hydrocarbon supply to the world specially for countries like China, India and the Asian giants of Japan and South Korea. The Strait of Hormuz becomes critical for energy imports of these countries.

The Middle East has become the world’s most polarized region. Both Saudi Arabia and Iran exploit the Shiite-Sunni rift to mobilize their respective constituencies. Iran’s military strategy is to keep tensions at a low level and avoid a direct confrontation with the U.S. Even if neither side wants to fight a war it could still happen due to miscalculation and missed signals. A minor clash can lead to a regional conflagration with devastating effects for Iran, the U.S. and the Middle East. India has to remain sensitive to the happenings in the Gulf region. India spent $111.9 billion on oil imports in 2018-19. Saudi Arabia is the second-largest supplier of crude oil and cooking gas to India. Every dollar increase in the price of oil raises the import bill by around Rs10,700 crore annually.

This Monograph tries to provide how the attack took place, its effect on world economy and oil market, effects on various stake holding countries and their reactions, military implications and India’s concerns..

India's indigenous missile defense capability is nowhere near strong

By Fang Xiaozhi

India has recently completed the development of its homemade ballistic missile defense system and all the tests have been successful. The Indian Air Force and the Defense Research and Development Organization (DRDO), the system developer, are seeking the approval to install and activate this system near the capital city of New Delhi, which is expected to take three or four years.

India has been working to develop its own anti-missile system for a long time, and even formed a cross-service committee to conduct comprehensive and elaborate research on the technology, combat capability and cost of establishing a missile defense network covering the whole country. It has developed a “two-step” strategy, which means that theater/tactical ballistic missile defense system that is of a low technological level will be deployed first, which will then be upgraded gradually to the strategic defense system.

The successful development of homemade missile defense system marks a critical step forward on India’s way to achieving that goal, laying a solid foundation for it to establish the Indian-style missile defense network and maintain its strategic superiority in South Asia.

However, missile defense system is a very complicated project that reflects a major country’s overall strength, and it requires a thorough and solid technical foundation in terms of anti-missile early warning system, missile interception system and command and control system, in all of which India has nothing much to say for itself. Compared with Russia, the US, Israel and other countries with strong anti-missile capabilities, India’s technology is completely left behind and its R&D has had too many twists and turns. Besides, it has conducted too few tests, far from enough for it to fully understand the technology.

Across the Border from China, How Should India Prepare for the Coronavirus?


The December 2019 outbreak of the coronavirus originated in a city in central China called Wuhan, and the strain has now spread to more than ten countries. In China, over 4,500 people are known to be infected, and 106 have been reported dead; these numbers are rising rapidly every day. The global spread of this outbreak should serve as a wake-up call for governments around the world, particularly India, which not only shares a border with China and is densely populated but also has a fragile public health infrastructure.

Wuhan and several other Chinese cities have been quarantined to contain the disease. But amid the Chinese New Year celebrations, millions of people elsewhere in the country have been traveling, exacerbating the risk that the virus has continued to spread.

Since the Wuhan outbreak, India has taken some steps to ramp up its vigilance and preparedness. But it needs a stronger strategy to deal with any infections. So far, a travel advisory has been issued and at least twenty airports in major metropolitan areas have been instructed to screen passengers coming from China. Several laboratories under the Indian Council of Medical Research, including the National Institute of Virology, have been equipped to test samples of the virus. India’s Health Secretary has also told all states and union territories “to review their preparedness, identify gaps and strengthen core capacities needed to prepare for, detect, and respond to possible outbreaks.”


Within the Indo-Pacific region, the United States and Pakistan have sharply divergent strategic objectives. While American objectives have changed over time, focusing in recent years on rivalry with China, Pakistan’s strategic objective has remained constant—to maintain a balance of power with India. Yet Pakistan retains close strategic and economic ties with China, and the United States considers India an important strategic partner. Nevertheless, the two countries have worked together for nearly two decades toward two tactical goals—achieving a political settlement in Afghanistan and eliminating terrorism in South Asia. There is potential for them to cooperate more broadly, for example, increasing direct foreign investment to Pakistan and helping Islamabad balance its relations with the United States and China. Washington’s willingness to expand such cooperation will depend on Pakistan’s cooperation in fighting terrorism in the region.

All Weather Friends: China and Pakistan Space Cooperation

By Preethi Amaresh

Pakistan’s space program is set to benefit greatly from China’s advanced technology.

The increasing competition for space-related power and prestige in Asia has echoes of the Cold War space race of the mid-20th century. In 1961, John F. Kennedy, a young, charismatic leader determined to land a man on the moon, had just taken the oath of office in the United States; the Soviet Union put the first man in space; and in Pakistan, world renowned physicist Abdul Salam was convincing President Ayub Khan to set up a national space agency, which was considered to be the first in the subcontinent.

In September of the same year, Salam started the Space and Upper Atmosphere Research Commission (SUPARCO) in Karachi, eight years before India formalized its own space agency, the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO). After that, four top scientists from Pakistan were sent to United States for training at NASA. Salam’s growing eminence in the scientific world won him accolades. He was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1979, which became a beacon to attract young talents to Pakistan’s space organization.

In 1962, Pakistan became the third Asian country to launch rockets. That year, SUPARCO launched its first rocket, Rehbar I, from the Karachi coast with help from NASA just before India launched its first rocket from Thumba launching station. Despite this headstart, today SUPARCO is a long way behind ISRO due to poor education funding and military leadership interfering in scientific goals.

The Indo-Pacific Vs. the Belt and Road: Nepal’s Great MCC Debate

By Kamal Dev Bhattarai

A $500 million grant under the U.S. Millennium Challenge Corporation faces opposition within Nepal’s ruling party.

Nepal, which is in the club of Least Developed Countries (LDC), aspires to become a middle-income country by 2030. To achieve that goal, it desperately needs massive international investment in the form of both grants and loans. Yet despite that, the United States’ $500 million grant under Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) — one the largest U.S. grants in recent history for the development of energy infrastructure and road maintenance in Nepal — has faced opposition inside the ruling Nepal Communist Party (NCP).

The MCC, describes itself as an “independent U.S. foreign assistance agency that is helping lead the fight against global poverty.” Nepal formally requested an MCC grant back in 2012 and all successive governments – meaning all major political parties — supported that request.

Once Nepal made its formal request, the United States started its study of conditions that individual countries have to fulfill to get an MCC grant. Some of the necessary indicators are quality of the electoral process, political pluralism and participation, government corruption and transparency, and fair political treatment of ethnic groups. After Nepal was found to fulfill all the conditions, the two governments started to negotiate on specific ideas for cooperation. The projects were selected by Nepal based on its local needs.

China’s economy held up well in 2019 – Serious challenges ahead

2020: Making a smooth transition to lower levels of growth will be the government’s key challenge

Given the serious challenges confronting China’s economy, 2019 GDP growth held up well. China’s economy suffered no major disruption from either the deteriorating Sino-US relationship or domestic efforts to contain risks in the financial system. GDP growth grew by 6 percent in the fourth quarter of 2019, unchanged to growth in the previous quarter.

For the year the economy expanded by 6.1 percent, well within the government’s growth target of between 6 and 6.5 percent. However, though China ended the year with stronger economic data, 2020 will remain a challenging year.

Expansionary fiscal and monetary policies unleashed in stages during 2019 played a large part in stabilizing China’s economy. China’s economy will continue to slow in 2020, despite the improvements in key macroeconomic data in the last quarter of 2019. There is no indication of a sharp decline in growth. Nor is a GDP growth rebound likely. Instead, China’s economy will continue to slow but at a more moderate pace than in 2019.

The CCP Response to the Wuhan Coronavirus: A Preliminary Assessment

By: Ryan Oliver

Editor’s Note: Our previous issue contained an initial analysis of the Chinese government’s response to the outbreak of a previously unknown coronavirus in the central Chinese city of Wuhan (The State Response to a Mystery Viral Outbreak in Central China, January 17). Since the publication of that earlier article, the Wuhan virus has proliferated rapidly—in terms of both persons infected and the geographic spread of the disease. In this issue, contributor Ryan Oliver provides an update on the spread of the virus, as well as further analysis regarding the government response at both the local and national levels.

Introduction: The Latest on the Wuhan Coronavirus

In December 2019, a novel coronavirus (冠状病毒, guanzhuang bingdu) emerged in the central Chinese city of Wuhan. The precise origin of the coronavirus remains unclear, although experts agree that it is zoonotic and likely originated at a now-closed marketplace that sold seafood and other animal products for consumption. After initial submissions to the World Health Organization (WHO) on December 31 reported that an unknown pneumonia virus had infected 59 people in Wuhan, cases soon began to surface in other Chinese cities (WHO, December 31). The disease—now officially designated “2019-nCoV”—has spread beyond China’s borders and is now present in 16 other countries. As of January 28, the Wuhan coronavirus has resulted in 4,599 confirmed cases of infection and 106 fatalities (Phoenix News, January 28).

The Takshashila PLA Insight

I. The Big Story: CMC’s Outlines to Strengthen Primary-level Units

China’s Central Military Commission (CMC) released a set of outlines to strengthen the military at the primary level. The outlines, approved by President Xi Jinping, will take effect from February 1. The newly revised outlines adhere to Xi’s thought of ‘socialism with Chinese characteristics in the new era.’ CMC issued the first formal outline in 1990, providing basic guidelines for the grassroots construction of the armed forces. Since then, it has been revised five times in 1993, 1995, 2003, 2009 and 2015. This is the second revision since Xi became the President of the People’s Republic of China.

The PLA and CMC are undergoing reforms since late 2015. “There are requirements of a new system, new functions and new missions, the grassroots construction is facing many new situations, and some difficulties need to be solved urgently. It is necessary to come up with a radical solution,” claims the organising bureau of the Political Work Department of CMC in an interview to the PLA Daily.

The outlines insist on the establishment of grassroots-level party organisations in important positions. It puts forward specific requirements around strengthening the political advantage of "branch construction on the continuum," sets new standards for building the "four teams" and gives new roles of two mass organizations.

The Wuhan Virus Is Not a Lab-Made Bioweapon


The recent outbreak of a new and potentially deadly coronavirus in China has, unsurprisingly, kicked off a deluge of misinformation and conspiracy theories.

As of Tuesday, there were more than 6,000 confirmed cases of the virus, with 132 people dead. The center of the epidemic, and still the location of around a third of the cases, is Wuhan, in the central province of Hubei. Other cases have rapidly sprung up worldwide—but the transmission of paranoia and inaccurate information has managed to keep pace.

There is still plenty unknown about the virus, but researchers say it shares similarities to Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) and severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS)—two infectious diseases that have emerged in recent decades but that have been managed. While concerns inside China are serious and travel restrictions have been imposed across much of the country, public health officials stress there is no need for panic, especially not in the West where the risk of transmission remains low.

New SIPRI data reveals scale of Chinese arms industry

​​​​​(Stockholm, 27 January 2020) New research from the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) suggests that China is the second-largest arms producer in the world, behind the United States but ahead of Russia. This research represents the most comprehensive picture of Chinese companies’ weapons production to date.

In the past, a lack of transparency has meant that the value of Chinese companies’ arms sales has been either unknown or difficult to reliably estimate. For this reason, the SIPRI Top 100—an annual ranking of the world’s 100 largest arms-producing and military services companies—has so far not been able to include Chinese arms companies.

The New China Scare

By Fareed Zakaria 

In February 1947, U.S. President Harry Truman huddled with his most senior foreign policy advisers, George Marshall and Dean Acheson, and a handful of congressional leaders. The topic was the administration’s plan to aid the Greek government in its fight against a communist insurgency. Marshall and Acheson presented their case for the plan. Arthur Vandenberg, chair of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, listened closely and then offered his support with a caveat. “The only way you are going to get what you want,” he reportedly told the president, “is to make a speech and scare the hell out of the country.”

Over the next few months, Truman did just that. He turned the civil war in Greece into a test of the United States’ ability to confront international communism. Reflecting on Truman’s expansive rhetoric about aiding democracies anywhere, anytime, Acheson confessed in his memoirs that the administration had made an argument “clearer than truth.” 

Operation Iranian Freedom: What Would Happen If America Invaded Iran in 2026?

by Phil Walter, Diane Maye, Nathan Finney

Key point: In an era of forever wars, this fictional account tells what it would be like to fight Iran. Needless to say, it would be no cakewalk.

My father told me this would happen — he said the conflicts in this area of the world would never end. He served in Iraq as part of Operation Iraqi Freedom; I was only five years old when he went on his first deployment. I’ve been told that it was the worst time to be in Iraq. It was 2006 and the violence was at an all time high. He went back two more times, in 2009 when I was just eight, and again in 2018 when I was a senior in high school. Each time he went he stayed for a year or more. The justification for the invasion of Iraq during my father’s time was that Saddam Hussein, the ruler of Iraq, had violated United Nations (UN) resolutions as part of his weapons of mass destruction program. The invasion of Iraq led to many years of conflict in that country, and the broader region, before the UN-backed partitioning in 2020.

Isis starting to reassert itself in Middle East heartlands, UN warns

Jason Burke

Islamic State has begun to reassert itself in its heartlands in the Middle East and continues to seek opportunities to strike in the west, the United Nations has said.

A report to the UN security council based on recent intelligence from member states describes how the group is mounting increasingly bold insurgent attacks in Iraq and Syria, calling and planning for the breakout of its fighters from detention facilities and exploiting the weaknesses of local security forces.

The report portrays an organisation that has suffered significant setbacks but is tenacious, well-funded and still poses a considerable local and international threat.

Though Donald Trump said Isis had been “largely defeated”, the claim has been repeatedly questioned by analysts, allies and some senior US officials. A Pentagon report warned of a resurgence in August, before the killing by US special forces of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the self-declared caliph and former leader of Isis, in October.

Mistake: Banning Huawei Makes It Harder to Access 5G

Christopher Findlay

An absolute ban on Huawei might stunt the next technological revolution.

Productivity growth matters. In advanced economies over the past 15 years it has fallen by half.

Which is why it doesn’t make much sense to risk damaging one of the most important potential sources for future growth in productivity: the rollout of 5G.

5G is the next generation of wireless technology. Download speeds will be many times faster than what is possible under 4G.

And it’s not just speed. It’ll cut latency, which is the time it takes for signals to start travelling – something that will be critically important for the Internet of Things.

Nurtured well, 5G has the potential to become a “general-purpose technology”, analogous to electricity.

It holds open he possibility of creating new markets for goods and services that we can’t yet imagine.

Can Belarus Ever Overcome the Pull of Russia?

By: Grigory Ioffe

On January 21, media outlets reported that Belarus had purchased 80,000 tons of crude oil from Norway (Tut.by, January 21, 2020). A Norwegian tanker delivered this oil to the Lithuanian port of Klaipeda, from where it will proceed by rail to Naftan, one of two Belarusian refineries located in the city of Novopolotsk. The news provoked a number of observations in the context of Belarus’s relationship with Russia.

First, the Norwegian oil purchase is a trial balloon. As such, it will allow Belarus to fully evaluate the attendant costs of such an import option while simultaneously sending an unambiguous message to Russia, Belarus’s major—and typically only—external oil supplier. The volume purchased is equivalent to what Naftan normally processes every three days.

Second, by preliminary estimate, this purchase is much more expensive than the deal Belarus has with Russia. For example, the transportation costs for the Norwegian oil will exceed the Russian equivalent by $20 per ton. Additionally, the price that Belarus pays for the Russian oil itself is only about 83 percent of the free market price; and Russia’s adoption of the so-called oil tax maneuver will not to raise that rate to the global market level until 2024 (Carnegie.ru, January 23, 2020). In contrast, the current impasse in Belarus’s ongoing haggling with Russia is over only a $10 per ton premium. Apparently, aside from cost accounting, negotiations are stalled over the issue of Belarusian dignity.

Getting to Less? The Progressive Values Strategy

This is the third CSIS Brief in a series called Getting to Less, which explores different philosophies and motivations that could lead to a decreased emphasis on U.S. defense ends, ways, or means. In this brief, the authors explore a defense approach they have labeled the Progressive Values Strategy.1 The strategy is grounded in a view that the military instrument is not well suited to meeting many of the security challenges facing the United States. Rather than seek military primacy, which only diverts resources and attention from more constructive statecraft solutions, the United States should strive for a level of military sufficiency that deters adventurism by others—as well as itself. The authors explore likely changes that such a strategy might entail. The brief concludes by exploring the risks and opportunities associated with the Progressive Values Strategy.


“Even in a progressive government disinclined to call on the Pentagon to solve problems, the U.S. military will need to be capable of projecting power into key regions, making credible threats, and achieving political objectives with force and minimal casualties if called on to do so. But a force structure sufficient to meet these purposes might be achieved without the endlessly increasing requirements of military superiority.” 2

Discussion of the potential tenets of a progressive national security strategy is well underway in the United States. Detailed exploration of how such a strategy would affect efense activities and direction, however, has only recently begun. The Progressive Values Strategy described here provides an example of how broadly-agreed internationalist progressive principles and values might drive shifts in U.S. defense policy and programs.

Brexit: Now What?

Luke Reader

It's not as simple as it seemed.

Britain will shortly leave the European Union. So that’s it. Brexit is over, right?

Wrong. To channel former British Prime Minister Winston Churchill – as every leading Brexit supporter seems to want to do – “This is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning.”

Although Britain formally leaves the European Union on Jan. 31, little will changeuntil the end of the year. Britain will still adhere to the four freedoms of the tariff-free single market – free movement of goods, services, capital and people – as well as rulings from the European Court of Justice. This transition period is intended to give Britain and the EU time to arrange their post-Brexit relationship.

The EU wants to extend the transition period to 2022, in order to ensure a comprehensive deal. However, Boris Johnson, the British prime minister, has promised to wrap negotiations up by Christmas.

How Third-Worldism Can Be Reimagined Today

Howard W. French

Not so long ago, nations of what was once called the Third World commonly looked to each other as prospective allies and partners, even extending their diplomatic ties across the oceans in order to advance their shared interests and protect themselves amid the dangers and complexities of the Cold War.

The most famous moment of this period was undoubtedly the Bandung Conference in Indonesia in 1955, which brought together 29 Asian and African states with a combined population of 1.5 billion people and led to the formation of the Non-Aligned Movement. The momentum of Bandung was seriously blunted by the 1962 war between the two giants of the conference, China and India, but much of the spirit of the era persisted at least into the late 1970s, when both politicians and intellectuals from many non-aligned countries continued to invoke the mantra of solidarity. ...

Why can’t South Africa grow its economy?

Source Link

Like most South Africans, I am deeply frustrated by our decade-long economic stagnation. As the economy grows slower than the population does, GDP per capita has been shrinking for the past five years, and sky-high unemployment has become a structural feature of our society, with all its devastating immediate and far-reaching consequences on individuals and families.

I’ve been reflecting on why we cannot seem to get ourselves out of this predicament. 

It’s not as if South Africa is short of ideas on how to grow the economy inclusively. The National Development Plan – despite having been largely ignored and more relevant now as an example of massive lost opportunity – pointed out many of the things we need to do, eight years ago now. 

South Africa has solicited proposals from the best international development economists. Various think tanks have offered useful suggestions. The IMF does an annual economic diagnostic. In Operation Phakisa, SA adapted and tried the Malaysia-style lab concept to develop tangible action plans to accelerate growth in priority sectors. Government and business have had countless dialogues, roundtables and high-level working groups.

Venezuela’s Problem Isn’t Socialism

By Moisés Naím and Francisco Toro 

In the last three years, tragic scenes of poverty and mayhem have dominated the coverage of Venezuela, a nation that used to be one of the wealthiest and most democratic countries in South America. Venezuela has become both a byword for failure and, curiously, something of an ideological hot potato, a rhetorical device dropped into political conversations around the world.

In election campaigns from Brazil to Mexico, Italy to the United States, politicians invoke Venezuela as a cautionary tale of the dangers of socialism. Left-wing candidates from Jeremy Corbyn, in the United Kingdom, to Pablo Iglesias, in Spain, find themselves accused of sympathizing with socialist Chavismo—and suffer real political damage from the association with Venezuela’s rulers. The charge, endlessly repeated, is that Venezuela’s failure is the failure of an ideology; socialism is to blame, and if you make the wrong choice at the ballot box, the chaos of Venezuela could come to your doorstep, too.

Wilson Quarterly

o Why Protest?

o Postcards from the Edge

o The Step-by-Step Revolution

o Protest Tech: Hong Kong

o Protests and Principles

o Speech in a Low Dishonest Decade

o Protest and the Muse

Injecting Electromagnetic Pulses into the Electric Grid and Infrastructure: The Poor Man’s EMP Nuke

By Paul F. Renda

The United States has experienced disruptions from electromagnetic pulses (EMP) due to high-altitude hydrogen bomb explosions and also space weather. The first time that this occurred with the hydrogen bomb was the starfish test detonation experiment. This explosion was over 800 miles away from Hawaii, and it still disrupted many electrical devices. Solar storms also create EMP events that upset these devices. These storms come about from solar flares and coronal mass discharges from the sun.
There is a way for a novice or terrorist to generate an EMP that can disrupt a computer.

The United States has underestimated the ability of an amateur or terrorist to launch an EMP attack on the infrastructure or the electric grid. In addition to the phenomena introduced above, a Tesla coil or Marx generator can easily supply the EMP to disable the infrastructure or a part of the electric grid. Another device that can be an EMP source is the camera flash. This device may be an issue if a terrorist connects it to the wiring of a fly-by-wire jet.

What is an EMP?

An EMP is a high energy, very short duration (in the microsecond range) discharge of radiofrequency energy. This event disables electromechanical devices, but it's particularly toxic at lower energy levels to microprocessors and computers. It can be created by a hydrogen bomb explosion at an altitude far above the surface of the Earth. A Marx generator or Tesla coil can also generate it. Other sources of EMP can be naturally occurring phenomena: Lightning, solar flares, and coronal mass discharges from the Sun can also produce EMP.

There are fewer wars when you take power away from men in big castles

The best ideas now spread sideways. We need to build solutions together – it turns out our survival depends on it

Those who have power want to be told they have it and how to keep it. Those that don't have power want someone to envy. As a result, the audience for books on power is seemingly endless.

So I was initially cautious about another one released this week – but New Power by Jeremy Heimans and Henry Timms turns out to be a nifty guide to the 21st century that is genuinely new. Instead of one more catchy way of describing how the world works, they have written a manifesto for organising that world with more humanity and purpose.

Ultimately you'll either hate it or wish you had written it, depending on whether you believe in old or new power.

But what does that actually mean? For Heimans and Timms, old power is closed, inaccessible, top down and spent carefully. Think of a traditional currency. Old power values are more formal and managerial. Old power thrives on competition, confidentiality and exclusivity. You can picture the colleague. Donald Trump's "I alone can fix this" is the motto of this power model. It has dominated history.

Defense Mergers Are a Win for National Security

By Thomas Hawley

Much metaphorical ink has been spilled—or as my favorite Los Alamos National Lab computer scientist colleague put it—“electrons inconvenienced” since the June announcement of the proposed merger between Raytheon and United Technologies. 

Unfortunately, most of those electrons have been “inconvenienced” for little purpose, as the arguments pro and con have missed the main point. For the ordinary citizen, the merger should be judged by two criteria: is it good for the national defense and is it good for the American taxpayer? Put another way, does the merger promote competition and innovation?

Before answering those questions in detail (hint: the answers are yes on all counts), let’s examine the arguments offered in recent months by various analysts.

Much of the discussion has focused on the advantages and disadvantages of corporate mergers and the value to the stockholder. Those questions were best answered by those with a financial interest, the stockholders themselves, who have approved the deal.

Great Powers Must Talk to Each Other About AI


Even as they compete, major militaries have reason to cooperate: to avoid misunderstanding and to establish best practices and pragmatic parameters.

Imagine an underwater drone armed with nuclear warheads and capable of operating autonomously. Now imagine that drone has lost its way and wandered into another state’s territorial waters. 

A recipe for disaster? Perhaps. But science fiction? Sadly, no.

Russia aims to field just such a drone by 2027, CNBC reported last year, citing those familiar with a U.S. intelligence assessment. Known as Poseidon, the drone will be nuclear-armed and nuclear-powered. 

While the dynamics of artificial intelligence and machine learning, or ML, research remain open and often collaborative, the military potential of AI has intensified competition among great powers. In particular, Chinese, Russian and American leaders hail AI as a strategic technology critical to future national competitiveness. 

The military applications of artificial intelligence have generated exuberant expectations, including predictions that the advent of AI could disrupt the military balance and even change the very nature of warfare.