10 October 2020

Pakistan and the IMF: Debts, Deficits and Dependency

Nadia Dohadwala, Muhammad Bin Khalid, Karthik Nachiappan

For decdes, Pakistan has depended on the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to fill economic gaps as crises erupt. What binds both entities? Will this persistent dependency continue post COVID-­‐19 or will a self-­‐reliant growth model emerge? This paper focuses on the last three packages (in 2008, 2013 and 2019) provided by the Fund to identify the continuities that compel the recent Pakistani governments to seek IMF assistance.


Pakistan’s relationship with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) dates back to the 1950s. The IMF manages the international monetary system by assisting member countries address their balance of payment issues. This assistance comes mainly through either short-­‐term loans under its Standby Agreement (SBA) or medium-­‐to-­‐long-­‐term loans under its Extended Fund Facility (EFF). Both packages come with conditionalities. Pakistan, over the years, has relied on IMF assistance to paper over economic dips that have followed cyclical growth spurts. Two factors are largely responsible for Islamabad’s requests to the IMF for financial assistance – current account deficits and fiscal mismanagement.

Pakistan-­IMF Packages, 2008-­2020

The 2008 Bailout

China AI-Brain Research Brain-Inspired AI, Connectomics, Brain-Computer Interfaces

William Hannas

Since 2016, China has engaged in a nationwide effort to "merge" AI and neuroscience research as a major part of its next-generation AI development program. This report explores China’s AI-brain program — identifying key players and organizations and recommending the creation of an open source S&T monitoring capability within the U.S. government.Download Full Report

Executive Summary

Since 2016, China has engaged in a nationwide effort to “merge” artificial and human intelligence as a major part of its next-generation AI development program. The effort is not unique to China, although China enjoys natural advantages that may expedite its success.

The term “merge” is meant both figuratively, in the sense of creating a more human-friendly AI, for example, to support human decision making, and literally, in the sense of erasing distinctions between how AI and the brain operate, and how the two forms of intelligence interact.

China’s initiative involves research in three disciplinary areas: “brain-inspired” AI that models aspects of human cognition, “connectomics” or brain mapping, and brain-computer interfaces that link the two platforms. “Neuromorphic” digital-analog hybrid chips also play a role.

U.S. ability to monitor China’s AI and other high-tech development is hampered by the lack of a national scientific and technical intelligence organization.

China’s System of Oppression in Xinjiang: How It Developed and How to Curb It

Dahlia Peterson

How should the United States understand and respond to China’s technologically driven mass surveillance, internment and indoctrination in Xinjiang? Dahlia Peterson offers a set of policy recommendations in a coauthored report for the Brookings Institution.Download Full Report

Executive Summary

Chinese Communist Party (CCP) policies towards Xinjiang have increased colonial development, further eroded Uyghur autonomy through force and ethnic assimilationism, and co-opted the “Global War on Terror” framing to portray all Uyghur resistance as “terrorism.” Since 2016, an intensified regime of technologically-driven mass surveillance, internment, indoctrination, family separation, birth suppression, and forced labor has implicated the provinces and municipalities of eastern China that fund the Xinjiang gulag through the Pairing Assistance Program, as well as potentially thousands of Chinese and international corporations that directly and indirectly supply and benefit from the system.

Today, more than 1,400 Chinese companies are providing facial, voice, and gait recognition capabilities as well as additional tracking tools to the Xinjiang public security and surveillance industry. While a handful of these companies have been placed on the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Industry and Security’s (BIS) Entity List, limiting their access to imported components, this sanctioning has not yet significantly arrested these companies’ development. While it is infeasible to sanction every company operating in or associated with Xinjiang, it is still of great concern that many companies have evaded scrutiny and continue to perpetuate oppression today. Furthermore, Western companies continue to sell Chinese firms core hardware such as chips and storage solutions, for which China currently lacks viable homegrown alternatives.

Xi Jinping’s Vision for Xinjiang

The systematic campaign of religious and cultural repression—as well as mass incarceration of minority populations—in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region is one of the most disturbing and shocking human rights atrocities of the twenty-first century, combining as it does the basic and brutal elements of violence and fear with the latest manifestations of modern technology.

As governments and human rights organizations struggle to conceive of effective ways to pressure China to dismantle the network of detention facilities and concentration camps throughout the region, key questions remain about why the Xi administration has adopted such extreme measures to punish entire ethnic and religious populations.

As part of the Freeman Chair’s ongoing project to translate neglected articles, speeches, and other documents that shed light on China’s evolving political system and security considerations, the below translation offers some additional perspective from inside the Xinjiang party apparatus as to what is driving the repressive measures. Written in late 2017 by a researcher at a Chinese Communist Party (CCP) training facility in Xinjiang, the article was republished on various official websites, including the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences and the Hunan National Religious Affairs Committee. While a good deal of the article contains the expected levels of platitudes that are part and parcel of Party-speak (the active reading of which Simon Leys once likened to “munching rhinoceros sausage, or to swallowing sawdust by the bucketful”), a cold and hard vision nonetheless imbues the piece. Xinjiang as described here is not a land of proud people with a rich and diverse culture and heritage, but is instead depicted as a stark security challenge, one that can only be pacified through “striking hard” and promoting state planned-economic development. That such a hostile narrative permeates Party discourse speaks volumes about how deep-seated the Party’s dystopian vision for Xinjiang is. 

Studying and Understanding the Essentials and Meaning of General Secretary Xi Jinping’s Strategy for Governing Xinjiang

China's Space Narrative

China Aerospace Studies Institute --

Both China and the United States have created separate parts of their military dedicated to space. Commercial, scientific, and military endeavors in space are all intimately linked, and one must understand how they are viewed to better understand how a nation might proceed in one or all of those fields. In accordance with our charter to support the Secretary of the Air Force, the Chief of Staff of the Air Force, the Chief of Space Operations, and other DoD and U.S. government leaders, the China Aerospace Studies Institute designed its 2020 CASI Conference around China’s space activities. This report serves as the baseline and the core of that effort. This report was a collaboration between CASI and CNA’s China and Indo-Pacific Security Affairs Division. We would like to thank the team at CNA for their work on this project. The authors would like to thank Second Lieutenant Owen Ou (USA) for contributing his research for this project, and Dr. Brian Weeden for his review of the study.

The rise of China’s space program presents military, economic, and political challenges to the United States. In March 2019, Vice President Michael Pence stated that the United States and China are in a new space race “with even higher stakes” than the space race between the United States and the Soviet Union and that China has an “ambition to seize the lunar strategic high ground and become the world’s preeminent spacefaring nation.”

Enlisting NATO to Address the China Challenge

By Carisa Nietsche, Jim Townsend and Andrea Kendall-Taylor

China’s penetration of Europe through its high-tech capabilities and low-tech acquisition of ports and rail lines can pose problems for NATO, including slowing military mobility, providing Beijing (and possibly Russia, at some point) with intelligence on allied force movements, and compromising NATO command and control. Undue Chinese influence in some allied capitals can also be used to coerce those governments from joining consensus at NATO on issues considered inimical to Chinese (or Russian) interests.

To combat this influence, NATO must make sure that allies are able to fill their capability gaps through homegrown solutions, not purchases of Chinese technology. NATO should also work with the European Union, including to jointly develop a review mechanism that considers Chinese purchases of critical infrastructure in Europe and supply chain security.

The United States should continue to press NATO allies to meet their defense spending requirements, which would allow the United States to direct greater resources toward the Indo-Pacific. At the same time, the Department of Defense (DoD) should work with allies to reassess what expenditures count toward the 2 percent target, broadening the definition to include 5G and counter-hybrid investments that address China and Europe’s evolving security landscape.

The United States should keep pushing the China challenge in NATO and identify opportunities to work with NATO in the Indo-Pacific, including deepening joint military engagement there through military exercises with partners that will signal to China that any aggression will be met with alliance unity and resolve.


Ending China’s chokehold on rare-earth minerals

China dominates the global market in rare-earth minerals, producing 70% of the world’s exports. But this isn’t a gift of nature — it’s the result of 15 years of industrial policy. The Chinese government identified a critical economic chokehold, invested in building companies, subsidized production to underprice and ultimately destroy competition, and then constructed a monopoly.

U.S. supply chains — both military and commercial — are almost wholly dependent on China for processed rare earths for our advanced weaponry and microelectronics.

Seventeen elements comprise “rare earths,” with unrecognizable names such as ytterbium (used in TVs, computer screens and cancer drugs) and praseodymium (used in magnets and to strengthen metal for aircraft engines). They are essential to the production of high-tech electronics: rechargeable batteries, computer memory, illuminated screens, medical devices, fluorescent lighting and laser-guided missiles.

China’s approach to rare earths follows the pattern of its dominance of the steel industry, with the same destruction of Western businesses and increased brittleness in supply chains.

Rare earths are an extreme example of Western reliance on Chinese production. Despite the exclusivity conveyed by the term “rare earths,” American dependence on China for their extraction and processing is a straightforward and fixable problem. If, that is, the U.S. brings to it foresight, concerted government effort and sustained Executive Branch attention.

What Happens When China Leads the World


What kind of superpower will China be? That’s the question of the 21st century. According to American leaders such as Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, China will be a rapacious authoritarian nightmare, intent on destroying democracy itself. Beijing, needless to say, doesn’t quite agree.

Fortunately for those of us seeking answers to this question, China was a major power for long stretches of history, and the foreign policies and practices of its great dynasties can offer us insights into how modern Chinese leaders may wield their widening power now and in the future.

Of course, Chinese society today is not the same as it was 100 years ago—let alone 1,000 years. But I’ve long been studying imperial China’s foreign relations, and clear patterns of a consistent worldview emerge that are likely to shape Beijing’s perceptions and projection of power in the modern world.


China Ramps Up a War of Words, Warning the U.S. of Its Red Lines

By Steven Lee Myers

The soldiers run through the forest, through the surf, through smoke and flames, ready to die for the motherland. The video, one of a series that has recently appeared online in China, climaxes with the launch of nine ballistic missiles and a fiery barrage of explosions.

“If war breaks out,” a chorus sings, “this is my answer.”

Chinese propaganda is rarely subtle or particularly persuasive, but the torrent of bombast online and in state media in recent weeks is striking and potentially ominous.

The targets are China’s main adversaries: the United States and Taiwan, which are moving closer and closer together.

The propaganda has accompanied a series of military drills in recent weeks, including the test-firing of ballistic missiles and the buzzing of Taiwan’s airspace. Together, they are intended to draw stark red lines for the United States, signaling that China would not shrink from a military clash.

While the prospect of war remains remote, the militaristic tone reflects the hawkishness of the country’s leader, Xi Jinping. The risk is that the propaganda could translate into more provocative actions, at a time when the relationship with the United States has sharply deteriorated. The recent military moves in the South China Sea and the Taiwan Strait raise the possibility of actual clashes, intended or not.

Quad gains traction as unified anti-China front


Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga underscored today his commitment to the Quadrilateral (Quad) alliance of like-minded powers in the Indo-Pacific region, a sign his new administration plans to tackle head-on China’s rising strategic assertiveness.

Suga signaled his foreign policy direction in hosting this week’s high-profile meeting among Quad ministers, including US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who pushed ahead with the crucial visit even after President Donald Trump was admitted to hospital for Covid-19 treatment.

“Prime Minister Suga is a powerful force for good,” Pompeo said following today’s (October 6) meeting with his counterparts from India, Australia and Japan for talks that aimed to institutionalize the loose alliance. 

“The United States has every reason to believe he will strengthen our enduring alliance in his new role,” he added, emphasizing the centrality of Japan to any enduring regional strategy vis-a-vis China.

Pompeo went on to set the tone by calling on allies to counter China’s “exploitation, corruption and coercion” while claiming “the pandemic that came from Wuhan” was “made infinitely worse by the Chinese Communist Party’s cover-up.”

Nagorno-Karabakh: An Update on the Fighting

Fierce fighting and shelling erupted again between Armenia and Azerbaijan on September 27, for the second time in three months. The latest clashes, occurring in the Armenia-occupied Azerbaijani region of Nagorno-Karabakh, represent the most serious bout of violence in this internationally recognized Azerbaijani territory since 2016. The three-decades-old conflict has grown more explosive in recent years due to growing frustration with the deadlocked international mediation process as well as both sides’ increasing willingness to resort to military options for breaking the status quo. At the same time, the two rivals are each bolstered by regional allies, with Turkey supporting Azerbaijan and Russia maintaining a mutual defense pact with Armenia, though frequently showing a willingness to play both sides of the conflict. Continued fighting could pull in these outside powers and further destabilize the South Caucasus, which serves as a strategic transit corridor between Europe, the energy-rich Caspian basin and eastern Asia.

To provide a clear-eyed perspective on the ongoing fighting, The Jamestown Foundation has gathered Amb. Farid Shafiyev, Chairman of the Baku-based Center of Analysis of International Relations, Caucasus expert and prolific writer Thomas Goltz, with commentary by Amb. Matthew Bryza, the former Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Europe and Eurasia and Jamestown Board Member, and moderated by Jamestown President Glen Howard.

Daily Memo: Iran Nervously Watches Nagorno-Karabakh

By Geopolitical Futures

Fighting in Nagorno-Karabakh risks drawing in others. Azerbaijani forces are gathering near the Iranian border in preparation for an offensive, according to an Armenian Defense Ministry representative. He said Azerbaijan hopes to provoke forces from the mostly ethnically Armenian region of Nagorno-Karabakh into firing at the massing troops, endangering Iran in the process. In the meantime, fighting continues along the Line of Contact in the disputed region, and Azerbaijan’s Defense Ministry threatened to retaliate using “weapons with great destructive power” if Armenia deploys Iskander short-range ballistic missiles against it. On Tuesday, Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan said in an interview that his government and Nagorno-Karabakh were prepared to make concessions if Azerbaijan did the same. Also on Tuesday, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani spoke with his Azerbaijani counterpart, Ilham Aliyev, to express his government’s concern and hope for a swift, peaceful resolution. Aliyev reportedly said Azerbaijan’s troops would reoccupy captured land near the border and establish border infrastructure there. The commander of the Iranian Border Guards also said the guards were “vigilant” and had been “moved into the necessary formation.” Finally, there’s Turkey and Russia. On Tuesday, Turkey’s foreign minister, Mevlut Cavusoglu, was in Azerbaijan, where he said Turkey would act […]

International Affairs Review, Summer 2020, v. 28, no. 2

o Prolific, Digital, and Violent: The Far-Right’s Online ‘Republic of Letters’10/10 

o A Talk With Tish: Leading with Integrity 

o Which Side Are You On, Comrade? Potential for Convergent Protests across the People’s Republic of China 

o The Return of Foreign Terrorist Fighters: Opportunities for Chechnya and Dagestan to Quell Local Insurgencies 

o China’s Military Employment of Artificial Intelligence and Its Security Implications 

o Implications for NATO: Latvia and the Russian Hybrid Warfare Threat

Prolific, Digital, and Violent: The Far-Right’s Online “Republic of Letters”

By Christopher Estep


The publication of online manifestos has become a common element associated with far-right terrorist violence in the West. Perpetrators of extremist attacks produce and circulate written materials for inspiration, tactical instruction, and notoriety. This presents policymakers and media organizations with considerable analytical challenges. Each far-right text represents a constituent element within a growing body of extremist literature stewarded by a digitally interconnected community; situating texts in this way yields intriguing findings. This article examines the reception and circulation of four written texts, both printed and online, by the violent far-right: (1) William Luther Pierce’s The Turner Diaries, (2) written works attributed to the White Wolves in Britain during the 1990s, (3) Anders Behring Breivik’s 2011 manifesto, and (4) Christchurch attacker Brenton Tarrant’s 2019 livestream and online manifesto. An analysis of contemporaneous responses to and critical examination of these four texts finds that the presence of undisputed authorship, extensive media attention, historical motifs, multiple references to other extremist works, and the use of creative literary devices all play critical roles in shaping how adherents to violent far-right ideology view the “success” of extremist texts. In light of these findings, this article concludes with recommendations for Western media organizations, policymakers, and the academic community to better address the challenges posed by the far-right’s growing body of digital literature.


Written manifestos have become increasingly characteristic of planned, far-right terrorist attacks. The authors draw inspiration from across a spectrum of far-right ideologies, and commit attacks around the world in various countries.1 2 Prolific, Digital, and Violent Each piece of violent far-right literature presents media organizations and governments with a challenge. Perceiving these manifestos as individual written materials underscores the extent to which online far-right communities are interconnected.2 Attackers who publish far-right texts in connection with acts of violence seek ongoing recognition even after their attacks have ended.3 This article analyzes four case studies in far-right literature to identify key elements in an “influential” manifesto in light of the challenges that governments and media face. Finally, this article concludes with recommendations for better addressing and analyzing this growing corpus of violent literature.

The Chipmakers: U.S. Strengths and Priorities for the High-End Semiconductor Workforce

Will Hunt 

Technical leadership in the semiconductor industry has been a cornerstone of U.S. military and economic power for decades, but continued competitiveness is not guaranteed. This issue brief exploring the composition of the workforce bolstering U.S. leadership in the semiconductor industry concludes that immigration restrictions are directly at odds with U.S. efforts to secure its supply chains.Download Full Issue Brief

Executive Summary

Technical leadership in the semiconductor industry has been a cornerstone of U.S. military and economic power for decades. Semiconductor innovation is a key driver of progress in critical technologies such as artificial intelligence, while the Internet of Things has introduced ever-more sophisticated computer chips into everything from toasters to highways. But continued competitiveness is not guaranteed: top American firms face foreign competitors, often backed by concerted government support, in a number of high-value parts of the semiconductor supply chain.

To remain competitive and ensure access to secure and leading-edge computer chips, the United States will need to leverage one of its greatest strengths: its capacity to attract, develop, and retain the deepest bench of science and engineering talent in the world—both at home and from abroad. This report explores the composition of the talented workforce that undergirds continued U.S. leadership in the semiconductor industry, and assesses workforce policy options for protecting and promoting technological competitiveness going forward.

Key Findings

Learning from Rabin


NEW YORK – Assassinations are by definition significant because they involve the murder of a prominent individual for political purposes. But not all assassinations constitute turning points. World War I, for example, would likely have happened even without the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand. The stage was already set for what was to become The Great War, and something else would have provided the spark.

Nor is it obvious that the assassination of US President John F. Kennedy, as significant as it was, was a historical turning point. Some say that, had he lived, he would have limited US involvement in Vietnam, a war that in the hands of his successors ultimately claimed some 58,000 American lives. Obviously, there is no way of knowing. What can be said with some confidence, though, is that the US political system was sufficiently robust that the broad direction of domestic and foreign policy alike were not dependent on a single person.

By contrast, the assassination of Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin 25 years ago by a right-wing Jewish extremist almost certainly was a turning point in the Middle East. The reason is clear: Rabin may well have been the only Israeli leader of his generation both willing and able to make peace with the Palestinians living under Israeli occupation. He saw the need to compromise and was strong enough to take calculated risks and persuade a majority of Israelis that it was wise to do so.

Conflict in the Caucasus and the New American Strategy

By George Friedman

During the Cold War, the United States opposed the Soviet Union wherever the Soviet Union sought to make inroads. Some interventions were necessary and therefore took place in obvious locales: in Germany to shield Europe, in Turkey to limit Soviet naval movement into the Mediterranean, and in Japan to block the Soviet port of Vladivostok and the Pacific. Others such as Angola and Afghanistan were less so.

The United States was in a global competition with the Soviets, and they both used the tools they had available to counter each other. Washington’s primary tool was its military, particularly its massive navy. Moscow’s was what were called “wars of national liberation.” They involved covert support to insurgents in countries throughout the world, most notably in former colonies of European imperialists. The United States usually had little interest in the battleground country. It had an overriding interest in blocking Soviet success in these countries, since success might create the perception of greater Soviet power. The U.S. tended to use covert forces to wage a covert war against Soviet proxies, though some such as Vietnam are notable exceptions.

Rogue Superpower

By Michael Beckley

President Donald Trump came into office promising to overhaul U.S. foreign policy. Since then, he has scorned allies, withdrawn the United States from international agreements, and slapped tariffs on friends and foes alike. Many experts bemoan the damage Trump’s “America first” policy has done to the so-called liberal international order—the set of institutions and norms that have governed world politics since the end of World War II. They hope that once Trump has left the Oval Office, the United States will resume its role as leader of a liberalizing world. 

Don’t count on it. The era of liberal U.S. hegemony is an artifact of the Cold War’s immediate afterglow. Trump’s transactional approach to foreign policy, by contrast, has been the norm for most of U.S. history. As a result, Trump’s imprint could endure long after Trump himself is gone.

Trump’s approach already appeals to many Americans today. That appeal will grow even stronger in the years ahead as two global trends—rapid population aging and the rise of automation—accelerate, remaking international power dynamics in ways that favor the United States. By 2040, the United States will be the only country with a large, growing market and the fiscal capacity to sustain a global military presence. Meanwhile, new technologies will reduce U.S. dependence on foreign labor and resources and will equip the U.S. military with new tools to contain the territorial expansion of the country’s great-power rivals. As long as the United States does not squander those advantages, it will remain the world’s dominant economic and military power.

The Uneven Global Response to Climate Change

Recently published climate science ultimately underscores the same points: The impacts of climate change are advancing faster than experts had previously predicted, and they are increasingly irreversible. One blockbuster report, from a United Nations grouping of biodiversity experts in May 2019, found that 1 million species are now in danger of extinction unless dramatic changes are made to everything from fuel sources to agricultural production. Despite these warnings, however, scientists confirm that the world remains on pace to blow past the goal of restricting warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels, likely with catastrophic consequences.

Persistent climate skepticism from key global figures, motivated in part by national economic interests, is slowing diplomatic efforts to systematically address the drivers of climate change. In particular, U.S. President Donald Trump’s decision to pull out of the Paris climate agreement immediately undermined the pact. But it has also had long-term implications, giving cover to countries that were never eager to participate in the first place to back away from their commitments.

5G Outlook Series: Transforming Essential Services for Economic Recovery in the Great Reset

The global health pandemic and the severe recession that many countries face have brought into focus a number of important challenges as governments attempt to keep their populations healthy and workforce productive. There is a growing crisis for essential services, such as healthcare and public transport as well as inequality in access to opportunities to work remotely. The emerging “new normal” is a window of opportunity to shape the economic recovery for essential health and public transport services and the move to hybrid modes of working. Looking further ahead, countries can accelerate their economic recovery by upgrading their digital infrastructure to enable flexible working, innovation, and more geographically even distribution of work opportunities. This second publication of the 5G Outlook Series explores three ways for 5G to accelerate the digital transformation of these types of essential services and workplace activities in the near term:

Accelerating the move to a value-based healthcare system that is predictive, preventative, personalized, and participatory.

Building confidence in public transport so citizens can travel safely to their workplace and begin to bring citizens back into city centres.

Enabling the widespread use of extended reality using 5G to usher in a more immersive alternative to current collaboration tools which will unlock efficiencies and opportunities in the workplace.

To illustrate the enabling opportunities to transform essential services and boost economic recovery in the Great Reset, see the accompanying Compendium of Use Cases that can be found here.

Alternative Approaches to Information-Age Dilemmas Drive U.S. and Russian Arguments about Interference in Domestic Political Affairs

Pavel Sharikov

This paper investigates differences in Russian and American approaches to challenges of the information age, and explores some destabilizing effects on bilateral relations. The governments and societies in Russia and the United States base political and economic decisions about the development and use of information technology on different principles; in a globalized, interconnected world Russia’s collectivistic approach clashes with American individualistic approach. This exacerbates numerous problems in Russia-U.S. relations, including reciprocal allegations of information attacks as a form of interference in domestic affairs. Alternative approaches to information-age dilemmas make Russia and the United States particularly sensitive to different ways of using information technology to impact electoral processes and domestic politics, with little understanding of each other’s narratives and national priorities.

CLTC Report: “Security Implications of 5G Networks”

A new report published by the Center for Long-Term Cybersecurity, “Security Implications of 5G Networks,” explores how the widespread adoption of fifth-generation (5G) cellular service will both bring potential improvements in security — and also expose new risks.

Authored by Jon Metzler, a lecturer at the Haas School of Business at UC Berkeley and founder of consulting firm Blue Field Strategies, the paper draws upon research and interviews conducted over a two-year period with support from a CLTC grant. The paper aims to help network operators — and their customers and partners — prepare for new risk vectors opened by 5G service, in terms of service models or network deployment models, at a critical moment in the development of 5G. “The long-lasting nature of network investments means that supplier selection decisions will have implications for decades,” Metzler writes.

Network operators around the world are rapidly expanding 5G service, and this new technology is expected to have significant advantages over prior generations, including increased speed, reduced latency (the time lag experienced by the user between a query and response), and the ability to “slice” wireless spectrum to support different applications. Yet 5G also has potential to introduce new security concerns by introducing greater diversity in suppliers, increased densification in network devices, and other factors.

The paper aims to help policymakers understand the economic and operational implications of 5G network deployment, including the switching costs of replacing suppliers and the site access needed to deploy robust, pervasive 5G networks; and to highlight security benefits of deploying both 5G RAN (which provides the wireless interface with customer devices and manages related radio resources) and core (which handles authentication, switching, interface with other networks, etc.)

Patents and Artificial Intelligence

Dewey Murdick

Patent data can provide insights into the most active countries, fields and organizations in artificial intelligence research. This data brief analyzes worldwide trends in AI patenting to offer metrics on inventive activity.Download Full Data Brief

This data brief informs policymaker audiences who desire to understand how they might use patent data in planning for the quickly advancing impacts of Artificial Intelligence (AI). Such data can provide policymakers with insights into which areas of AI are rapidly developing, which countries are especially active in AI research, and which organizations are responsible for key AI inventions.

In this primer, we report analytic results on worldwide trends in AI patenting and suggest options for how these results might be interpreted and leveraged.

Key findings presented in this primer include:

There were 10 times as many AI patent applications published worldwide in 2019 as in 2013, most of which have yet to be examined.

Patent applications increased by 500 percent from 2009 to 2019 within the Chinese patent office—90 percent were domestic applications. The U.S. patent office has seen a 35 percent increase in applications during the same time, 48 percent of which were domestic.

While the quality of Chinese patents has been repeatedly called into question, there are signs that the situation may be improving.

Large companies—notably IBM, Microsoft, and Google—dominate AI patenting among U.S. organizations. Meanwhile, Chinese AI patenting is distributed much more broadly across companies (e.g., Ping An, Baidu, Tencent), government organizations (e.g. State Grid), and universities (e.g., Electronic Sci/Tech, Zhejiang, Xidian).

Joint Doctrine for Unconventional Warfare 2.0

Robert Burrell

In 2013, under the leadership of Admiral William McRaven, U.S. Special Operations Command made a herculean effort in advocating for joint doctrine on unconventional warfare. The final approval of Joint Publication 3-05.1 Unconventional Warfare (JP 3-05.1) required the combined endorsement of the Joint Staff, the Services, and the Combatant Commands. Published in 2015, this doctrine opportunistically hit the shelves during U.S. efforts to counter ISIS, a success in large part due to working through and with partners in the region. Prophetically, in 2016, General Joseph Votel, wrote about unconventional warfare in the “gray zone” – attempting to push the Defense Department even further past the joint doctrine milestone of JP 3-05.1 into developing real political warfare tools to combat China, Russia, and Iran. Unfortunately, the Joint Force is taking a giant step backward by terminating JP 3-05.1 instead of revising it – again relegating this irregular warfare activity to the sole realm of special operations. 

Each of the five irregular warfare activities – foreign internal defense, counterterrorism, counterinsurgency, stabilization, and unconventional warfare – need institutionalization and operationalization in the Joint Force. On 2 October 2020, the Defense Department endorsed this vision by releasing the Irregular Warfare Annex to the 2018 National Defense Strategy. In an age of great power competition, this new Defense priority on irregular warfare portends to provide important methods in countering the malign activities of China and Russia, who are “undermining the international order,” as well as “rogue regimes,” like Iran, who undercut regional stability through sponsored proxies. If the Cold War is a predictor of a future operating environment, the internal struggle for regime change within nation states – combined with the overt or covert assistance of outside sponsors – will certainly escalate. Instead of direct confrontation with our adversaries, conflict will likely appear on the periphery and fall short of major war. Of all the irregular warfare activities, the Defense Department arguably needs to invest in unconventional warfare the most.

As fighting rages, what is Azerbaijan’s goal?

Joshua Kucera 

The Azerbaijani offensive against Armenian forces is its most ambitious since the war between the two sides formally ended in 1994. But what, precisely, is the aim of the operation?

Azerbaijani officials haven’t said precisely what their strategic goal is in this round of fighting, but the scale of the offensive suggests that it is more ambitious than previous escalations.

Azerbaijani analysts say that the aim this time may be the recapture of one or two of the territories surrounding Nagorno-Karabakh that Armenian forces took during the war three decades ago.

“I assume that Azerbaijan intends at least to retake control in Fuzuli and Jabrayil; [those are] the two main priorities for this campaign,” said Fuad Shahbaz, an Azerbaijani analyst, in an email interview with Eurasianet.

Those two territories are on the southeastern edge of the Azerbaijani territory that Armenia occupies, and they have seen the heaviest fighting since the new offensive began on the morning of September 27. That day, the Azerbaijan Ministry of Defense announced that it had retaken several villages in the Fuzuli and Jabrayil districts.

Armenia-Azerbaijan War: Military Dimensions of the Conflict

Michael Kofman

On Sept. 27, Azerbaijan launched a military offensive, resulting in fighting that spans much of the line of contact in the breakaway region of Nagorno-Karabakh, which is de facto occupied by Armenia. As of this writing, artillery and rocket strikes are taking place through the depth of Armenian lines, including in the regional capital of Stepanakert. This is the most serious fighting to take place between the two sides since 1994. It is a large scale conventional war between the two countries that is likely to upend the status quo of territorial control in the region. Turkey has publicly, and militarily, backed Azerbaijan in this conflict, while Moscow will be forced to reassess its long-standing policy of maintaining relations with both sides and upholding the status quo, which may not be possible given the rapidly unfolding events. What can be surmised about the course of the war thus far is that Armenia is at a disadvantage, but Azerbaijan will pay a considerable price for any territorial gains.

The war should not come as a surprise. In 2016, Azerbaijan conducted a limited offensive, seizing minor tracts of territory in a brief four-day conflict. That war proved an early test of Azerbaijan’s growing qualitative and quantitative military superiority against Armenian defenses in the region, demonstrative of revanchist intent. More recently skirmishes took place in July 2020 after a border incident between the two sides. This fighting was not centered on Nagorno-Karabakh, but rather the border between Armenia and Azerbaijan proper and cost the life of an Azerbaijani Major General. Moscow brokered a ceasefire, but Azerbaijan’s desire to revise the status quo has been met with Armenian recalcitrance.