14 April 2021

India has proved to be a popular—and clever—investor in poor countries


IN CENTRAL Lusaka a brand-new flyover flutters with the green, white and saffron of the Indian flag. Throughout the Zambian capital lorries produced by Tata Motors, part of the steel-to-tech Tata empire, are used in everything from construction to rubbish collection. Signs inside the vehicles instruct drivers in both English and Hindi. The lorries’ occupants phone each other over a mobile network run by Bharti Airtel, an Indian telecoms firm.

Zambians, like those in many developing countries, are vocal about their dislike for the Chinese firms that invest heavily there. India is also a big commercial presence but no one bats an eyelid. Tata Motors has huge assembly plants from South Africa to Malaysia. Bharti Airtel is one of the biggest telecoms operators in Africa. The Aditya Birla Group is the world’s largest producer of carbon black, an ingredient in car tyres. It is one of Egypt’s biggest industrial investors and exporters.

Extending Constitutional Rights to Pakistan’s Tribal Areas

BY: Umar Mahmood Khan; Rana Hamza Ijaz; Sevim Saadat

When Pakistan’s Federally Administered Tribal Areas were officially merged into Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province in May 2018, the five million residents of the former tribal areas acquired the same constitutional rights and protections—including access to a formal judicial system—as Pakistan’s other citizens. This report, based on field research carried out by the authors, explores the status of the formal justice system’s expansion, finding both positive trends and severe administrative and capacity challenges, and offers recommendations to address these issues.Supporters of the FATA youth jirga celebrate the merger of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province and the Federally Administered Tribal Areas in May 2018. (Bilawal Arbab/ EPA-EFE/ Shutterstock)


The inability to access formal justice has long been a driver of conflict in Pakistan’s tribal communities. The merger of the former Federally Administered Tribal Areas into Pakistan’s formal judicial system in 2018–19 has the potential to promote both justice and peace.

Post-Coup Myanmar Could Become a Failed State

Joshua Kurlantzick 

In the days after Myanmar’s military staged a coup on Feb. 1, it likely hoped to consolidate power with minimal bloodshed. Having overthrown the elected government led by Aung San Suu Kyi, the Tatmadaw, as the armed forces are known in Myanmar, set out to create a managed democracy like neighboring Thailand’s, with an electoral system that guarantees victory for military-aligned parties and their allies.

The coup leader, Gen. Min Aung Hlaing, probably hoped that neighboring states and possibly even the world’s leading democracies would eventually recognize Myanmar’s new government. Indeed, as protests erupted across the country in the coup’s immediate aftermath, security forces responded at first with crowd control efforts rather than the widespread use of lethal force. The junta even tried to gain the support of some of Myanmar’s ethnic armed groups, many of which had signed cease-fire agreements with Suu Kyi’s government.

The Cost of the Coup: Myanmar Edges Toward State Collapse

What’s new? The 1 February coup has plunged Myanmar into political, social and economic turmoil. Mass protests, public- and private-sector worker strikes, and the security forces’ brutal violence against the population, including the killing of at least 158 unarmed civilians on 27 March, are pushing the country toward collapse.

Why does it matter? Neither the military regime nor the popular uprising is likely to prevail soon. Nor is either likely to back down. The crisis is set to deepen, with the prospects of greater bloodshed, economic damage, humanitarian emergency and refugee flight to neighbouring countries growing in coming months.

What should be done? Getting the regime to change course will be an uphill struggle. Still, foreign actors should not recognise the junta; they should impose arms embargoes and targeted sanctions on the military and its interests. Asian and Western powers should continue working together. Donors should plan for significant humanitarian and development needs.

The 1 February coup d’état has triggered a mass uprising across Myanmar. The security forces have responded with brutal violence, first against demonstrators and now against the broader population, with the apparent aim of terrorising people into submission, particularly in cities. The worst so far came on 27 March, when the military killed at least 158 people. Far from quelling dissent, this approach has hardened many people’s resolve to resist, including through strikes that paralyse governance and the economy, nudging Myanmar closer to state collapse. Outside actors have few good options, but the stakes are too high not to try to pull the country back from the brink. Foreign governments should pressure the regime and deny it tools of repression. They should not recognise the junta and should engage the elected government’s representatives. They should impose or strengthen arms embargoes and targeted sanctions on the military and its business interests. Western and Asian powers should pursue a unified approach in urging the regime to change course so as to avert a deeper crisis that would reverberate across the region.

A "China Model?" Beijing’s Promotion of Alternative Global Norms and Standards

A public hearing on “A ‘China Model?’ Beijing’s Promotion of Alternative Global Norms and Standards” was unable to be held on the originally scheduled date, March 13, 2020, due to the Sergeant at Arms' decision to temporarily limit access to the Capitol Complex. Witness testimony has since been accepted and posted below. Questions for the record solicited by the Commission will be similarly be posted below once available.

Opinion – China’s Wolf Warrior Propaganda Versus Western Criticism in the Xinjiang Cotton Crisis

Lin Pu

Amid the growing tensions between China and the West, the Chinese propaganda apparatus has found another battlefield to retaliate against the United States and other Western countries. On March 24, the Communist Party’s youth wing denounced H&M on Chinese social media over its sanctions on Xinjiang cotton. Meanwhile, Chinese state-backed media outlets were also calling for consumers, owing to the same reason, to boycott other international clothing brands, including Nike, Adidas, Uniqlo, etc. This boycott campaign against foreign clothing brands has quickly swept into all Chinese social networking platforms and it’s obvious that China is experiencing a new nationalist upsurge in countering the West. In this crisis, the Chinese government has ramped up its propaganda machine in an antagonistic way to fight back against the Western criticism on Xinjiang human rights violations.

From the COVID-19 pandemic to the Xinjiang cotton crisis, China’s diplomatic department and diplomats aggressively hit back against Western criticism in confrontational ways; and this type of diplomatic practice is also known as another name, “Wolf Warrior diplomacy”. Since the outbreak of the pandemic, the Wolf Warrior diplomacy has been guiding the official rhetoric of state propaganda and it is manifest that the practice of Chinese propaganda organs has also served the same rhetoric with the Wolf Warrior style.

Last month, the United States, the European Union, and other allies issued to impose sanctions on Chinese officials over Xinjiang human rights issues respectively. This coordinated effort is not only the first sanctions on China for the US government under the Biden presidency, but also the first time for the EU to impose such punitive measures against Beijing since the 1989 Tiananmen Square crackdown. In response to the Western pressure, the Chinese government strongly rejected the Western countries’ accusations and immediately retaliated to sanction the Western politicians, officials, and scholars. Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson, Hua Chunying, even hit back to denounce the Western human rights records with the examples of US slavery and Western colonialism in history.

Ideas Matter: The Fight Against the Ideology of the Chinese Regime

Dean Cheng and Olivia Enos

As the Biden Administration forms its policy on Asia, China will unquestionably be an area of focus. There is a great need for a nuanced understanding of the Chinese Communist Party’s motives. It is evident that great-power competition is alive and well in the region, and that China operates from a desire to maintain power and stability within its borders and in the region writ large. It is also clear that there are some ways in which China’s actions and activities in the region are ideologically motivated. Tackling these challenges requires a clear-eyed view by the U.S. government of the delicate balance between ideological and great-power competition in the region today.

Opinion: Don't Help China By Hyping Risk Of War Over Taiwan


A soldier holds a Taiwanese flag during a military exercise in Hsinchu County, northern Taiwan, in January. Taiwanese troops using tanks, mortars and small arms staged a drill aimed at repelling an attack from China.Chiang Ying-ying/AP

Richard Bush (@RichardBushIII) retired from the Brookings Institution in 2020, after 18 years as a senior fellow and serving as director of its Center for East Asia Policy Studies. Bonnie Glaser (@BonnieGlaser) is director of the China Power Project at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. Ryan Hass (@ryanl_hass), a former foreign service officer, served on the National Security Council in the Obama administration and is a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution.

A growing chorus of officials and experts in the United States has been raising alarm about the risk of a Chinese attack against Taiwan. Adm. Philip S. Davidson, the United States Indo-Pacific commander, recently handicapped the threat of a Chinese assault on Taiwan as "manifest during this decade, in fact, in the next six years." China is preparing to invade and unify Taiwan by force, the thinking goes, as soon as it gains the capabilities to do so. Such doomsday predictions deserve interrogation.

Beijing has pierced Washington’s deterrence bubble. How can the US recover?

Craig Singleton

The fishing vessels arrived one and two at a time, dropping anchor off the disputed Whitsun Reef near the Philippines. As the Chinese-flagged fleet grew larger, the vessels tethered themselves together, hunkering down for a gray zone standoff that has captured policymaker interest throughout the Pacific region.

And with that, Beijing burst Washington’s deterrence bubble.

In congressional testimony last month, officials advocated for new, multibillion-dollar investments in long-range strike capabilities and a sophisticated missile system in Guam. These new platforms, it was argued, are essential to reassuring our regional allies and deterring China.

And yet, the Whitsun spectacle lays bare that Washington’s continued embrace of a costly, conventional deterrence strategy is alone unlikely to prevent Beijing from achieving many of its security objectives.

What’s more, China is banking on America’s prioritization of traditional deterrence at the expense of a robust, and potentially more effective, asymmetric strategy.

No doubt, American military supremacy has deterred China from achieving many of its goals. Nevertheless, Beijing has continued its incremental march forward in Hong Kong, in the Taiwan Strait and at various overseas ports.

Blackout Hits Iran Nuclear Site in What Appears to Be Israeli Sabotage

By Ronen Bergman, Rick Gladstone and Farnaz Fassihi

A power failure that appeared to have been caused by a deliberately planned explosion struck Iran’s Natanz uranium enrichment site on Sunday, in what Iranian officials called an act of sabotage that they suggested had been carried out by Israel.

The blackout injected new uncertainty into diplomatic efforts that began last week to salvage the 2015 nuclear deal repudiated by the Trump administration.

Iran did not say precisely what had caused the blackout at the heavily fortified site, which has been a target of previous sabotage, and Israel publicly declined to confirm or deny any responsibility. But American and Israeli intelligence officials said there had been an Israeli role.

Two intelligence officials briefed on the damage said it had been caused by a large explosion that completely destroyed the independent — and heavily protected — internal power system that supplies the underground centrifuges that enrich uranium.


Moving Trends and Statistics in the US During the COVID-19 Pandemic


Molly has been writing about the moving industry for more than 10 years and knows exactly what makes a mover great.

The COVID-19 pandemic has just passed its 1st anniversary. In the year that the pandemic has been wreaking havoc across the world, forcing governments to impose lockdowns, close borders, and restrict business activities, a lot has changed. However, people have still been moving.

In this article, we examine America’s moving patterns and statistics during the year of COVID-19.

People Are Always Moving

People moved for various reasons during the year of COVID-19. The majority of people who moved during the pandemic did not do so because of reasons linked to the coronavirus. This is a view acknowledged by the data journalist Marie Patino in an article published by Bloomberg.com.

Patino says that the movements noted during COVID-19 “vary significantly by city and region — and in many cases likely accelerate trends already in effect before the pandemic.”

How a growing fight against a little-known ISIS affiliate pulled in US Green Berets and foreign mercenaries


Security officials stand guard as people wait for friends and relatives fleeing an attack claimed by ISIS-linked insurgents on Palma in Mozambique, April 1, 2021.REUTERS/Emidio Jozine

US Army Green Berets are on the ground in Mozambique training the army to take on a growing insurgency linked to ISIS.
Mozambique's inability to quell the violence has already drawn in Russian and South African mercenaries, who've failed to counter the militants.

Last week, militants stormed the city of Palma in northeastern Mozambique's Cabo Delgado province.

The fighters attacked civilians with machetes and assault rifles, leaving behind beheaded and bullet-ridden bodies. Thousands of people have fled the besieged city for the coast.The violence lasted several days and culminated at the Amarula Palma Hotel, an oasis for expats and foreign workers, where helicopters evacuated people barricaded inside and searched for others hiding nearby. Reports put the death toll anywhere from scores to hundreds.

The bloodshed was a surprise to most but likely not to the US Army Green Berets who have been in Cabo Delgado for weeks training Mozambique's army, according to a March report by The New York Times.

The Implications of Stabilisation Logic in UN Peacekeeping: The Context of MINUSMA

Jemma Challenger

This content was originally written for an undergraduate or Master's program. It is published as part of our mission to showcase peer-leading papers written by students during their studies. This work can be used for background reading and research, but should not be cited as an expert source or used in place of scholarly articles/books.

“There was no negotiation. There was no warning […] and bombing our positions was also a very serious political error,” asserted Moussa Ag Acharatoumane, spokesman for Tuareg separatist group, the National Movement for the Liberation of Azawad (MNLA), as he recounted fatal air strikes that targeted the faction in January 2015 (Lewis and Farge, 2015, no pagination). The air strikes were carried out by the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali’s (MINUSMA’s) Dutch AH-64 Apache attack helicopters to quell a rebellion in northern Mali. They elicited violent demonstrations in MNLA strongholds of Kidal and Ber, exacerbating already acute tensions between rebel factions and government forces at a critical juncture immediately preceding the final round of peace talks (Kjeksrud and Vermeij, 2017). Lieutenant-General Babacar Gaye, former Military Advisor for peacekeeping operations, stresses, “It may look like war […] but it is peacekeeping […] we are impartial” (quoted in Rhoads, 2016, p. 1).

The confrontation was no anomaly. It epitomises a ‘new era’ (Peter, 2015, p. 351) of unprecedentedly ‘proactive and robust’ (Boutellis & Zahar, 2017, p. 38) United Nations (UN) ‘stabilisation’ peacekeeping operations (PKOs). These operations are deployed in the midst of intractable asymmetric conflicts, equipped with increasingly sophisticated military apparatus, and authorised to practise offensive force against specified armed elements over an indefinite period of time. Stabilisation operations are increasingly prolific. The titles of four PKOs deployed since the turn of the Century included ‘stabilisation’, and the phrase was cited in almost half of all UNSC meetings by 2014 (Gilder, 2019a).

Earth, Water, Air & Gas: The Four Elements of Turkish Geopolitics

Irini Iacovidou

This content was originally written for an undergraduate or Master's program. It is published as part of our mission to showcase peer-leading papers written by students during their studies. This work can be used for background reading and research, but should not be cited as an expert source or used in place of scholarly articles/books.

The Ottoman Empire was known as the ‘sick man of Europe’; its successor –Turkey – has now become Europe’s boogeyman. In clearly realpolitik actions, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has established the Mediterranean region as a stage to showcase his geopolitical prowess. The immediate involved actors, Greece, Cyprus, Israel, and Egypt, are strengthening their bilateral and multilateral relations to minimize the causalities and mitigate further conundrums caused by Erdoğan’s ‘bully’ tactics. In what can be called as a feast of provocations, Turkey has spawned its web into four geopolitical elements: earth, water, air and gas. After providing a brief conceptual framework, this study will contextualise the four elements of Turkish geopolitics in the south-eastern Mediterranean. The effects of such actions will be critically analysed in order to reach the conclusion that Erdoğan’s expansionary visions intrinsically interfere with the sovereignty of the Mediterranean states. This perplexed regional puzzle has led to the militarization of the area which is pivotal for the escalation of the tensions. In the final section, a scope of recommendations will be given as to the de-escalation and stabilisation of tensions.

Conceptual framework

Knowledge Diplomacy and the Future(s) of Global Cooperation

Ariel Macaspac Hernandez

Power is a key concept of international relations. For realists, power is an instrument. They assume that the national interests of state actors are defined in power terms, which reflect their foreign policy. From the realist perspective of rational state actors, power is having the capacity to advance national interests even when it requires coercing others. The goal of the state is to maintain and increase its power in a system depicted by negative-sum power relations. Understanding what power means for international relations can be achieved by looking at how and where states derive their capability to persuade other countries to actively support, tolerate or at least to refrain from ‘spoiling’ actions. This understanding of power has evolved and with new challenges arise new actors that although do not have the military capability are still able to persuade other actors, dictate international norms or even establish new global institutions.

Howard Raiffa provides a different conceptualization of power, which offers a distinct way of measuring the power of states. He argues that power can be measured by its ‘casting out’ ability, which is the ability of state actors to convert different values to make them relevant, quantifiable and comparable. Such abilities include providing the needed technical and expert information for example for a state to present itself as an appropriate role model and therefore a ‘rightful’ global or regional leader. This ‘casting out’ ability as an indicator of power is central to the concept of knowledge diplomacy. This article builds on this type of power and discusses the concept of knowledge diplomacy, which is interesting, because it contends that the processes of negotiations and interactions between states are not only changing the preferences and behavior of states, they also shift the understanding of power and what it means for international relations. Power becomes both an independent and a dependent variable of scholarly analysis.

Knowledge Diplomacy as an Emerging Concept – A Call for a Deeper Academic Debate

A History of the Third Offset, 2014–2018

by Gian Gentile, Michael Shurkin, Alexandra T. Evans, Michelle Grisé, Mark Hvizda, Rebecca Jensen

The Third Offset emerged at a time of transition within the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD). In 2014, the U.S. wars in Afghanistan and Iraq seemed to be winding down. At the same time, it had become clear to U.S. defense planners that for the previous two decades, while the U.S. military was concentrated on Afghanistan and Iraq, China and Russia had significantly increased their warfighting capabilities. The aim of the Third Offset, as envisioned by former Deputy Secretary of Defense Robert O. Work, one of its key creators and advocates, was to draw on U.S. advanced technologies to offset China's and Russia's technological advances. This report documents the history of the Third Offset from 2014 to 2018.

A key finding in this history is that the Third Offset was less a military strategy for offsetting what were perceived to be the recently acquired military advantages of China and Russia and more a mechanism for intellectual change within DoD at a time when changes in thinking about future warfare were needed. As a result, this history focuses on institutional efforts to effect change within DoD and the key defense leaders who strove to bring that change to fruition. These efforts were successful in that the 2018 National Defense Strategy (NDS) embraced many of the fundamental tenets of technological advances and organizational changes developed by the Third Offset. In that sense, this history provides an example of how to effect organizational and process changes in large military institutions like DoD.

Technology Futures: Projecting the Possible, Navigating What's Next

What lies ahead for us? Although the modern world allows us to know and control so many things, our collective future remains slippery. This seems particularly true this year, as we live through a global pandemic and amid countless existing environmental, economic and political uncertainties. Combining insights from the history of computing, the practical lens of futurism and the imaginative signposts offered by four fictional stories of life in 2030-something, this report aims to equip leaders with the tools they need to more accurately imagine the future of information, locality, economics and education, and to plan accordingly.

In collaboration with Deloitte Download PDF

US intelligence report warns of increased offensive cyber, disinformation around the world

by Shannon Vavra

Over the course of the next 20 years, nation-states will see a rise in targeted offensive cyber-operations and disinformation in an increasingly “volatile and confrontational” global security landscape, according to a new U.S. intelligence assessment.

The U.S. intelligence community’s Global Trends report, issued on Thursday, notes many of theses offensive cyber-operations will likely target civilian and military infrastructure. Nation-states will likely increasingly favor tools that allow them to operate below the level of armed conflict in order to avoid the geopolitical and resource costs that come with violence and traditional warfare, the report adds. Countries also will leverage proxies such as hackers or military contractors to disrupt their adversaries, according to the assessment, which is issued by the National Intelligence Council, which reports to the Director of National Intelligence.

“Proxies and private companies can reduce the cost of training, equipping, and retaining specialized units and provide manpower for countries with declining populations,” the document states. “Some groups can more quickly achieve objectives with smaller footprints and asymmetric techniques.”

The assessment, issued every four years, touches on a variety of challenges the global security community expects to face over the next two decades, ranging from the fallout from the coronavirus pandemic to the effects of climate change.

Few of the cyber-related assessments will come as a surprise to either intelligence personnel or the cybersecurity community.

Global Cybersecurity Governance Is Fragmented – Get over It

Emma Sandvik Ling

This content was originally written for an undergraduate or Master's program. It is published as part of our mission to showcase peer-leading papers written by students during their studies. This work can be used for background reading and research, but should not be cited as an expert source or used in place of scholarly articles/books.

During the 14th annual meeting of the Internet Governance Forum (IGF) in November 2019, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres posted a ‘Tweet’ of encouragement: “Access to a free and open Internet is at risk. We aren’t working together across siloed social, economic and political divides. But that can change” (Guterres 2019). With this, Guterres summed up a central debate in contemporary cybersecurity. Efforts to implement substantial global cybersecurity norms and regulations have so far seen limited success. However, Guterres, and many more, remain hopeful that more coherent global cyber governance is possible. This essay will discuss the fragmentation of global cybersecurity governance.

To this end, I first reflect on the nature of global governance in general. With reference to Ian Hurd (2017) I argue that traditional global governance, beyond cybersecurity considerations, is not synonymous with unity. There is in fact evidence of fragmentation in global governance beyond cybersecurity. I then quickly explore a definition for the terms ‘cybersecurity’ and ‘cyber governance,’ highlighting how the concepts are highly political. Moving on, I reflect on current trends in global cybersecurity governance, finding that the tendencies of fragmentation in global governance do indeed extend to cybersecurity. I highlight evidence of increased collaborative efforts among states with established traditions of cooperation, while the issue is more complicated between adversarial actors. Having identified fragmentation, I ask how the fragmentation should best be addressed. I first consider values-based approaches to uniting cybersecurity governance using work from Mihr (2014) and Fliegauf (2016). Finding that these approaches fail to consider broader security dynamics, I look to Brechbühl et al. (2010) to suggest that cybersecurity governance is based on a network of collaboration, meaning that even local or regional efforts of collaboration can potentially contribute towards global stability. To round out, I point to confidence building measures and the Responsibility to Troubleshoot (R2T) as examples of low-threshold initiatives which could stabilise the cybersecurity landscape without leaning on an unrealistic expectation of a unified global approach. In this essay I argue that fragmentation in global governance in general, and cybersecurity in particular is normal, and indeed inevitable. Rather than aspiring for unified global cybersecurity governance, the focus should shift to finding means of increasing and ensuring stability in cyberspace.

The Modern Security Battlefield: What 2020 taught us about gaps in vulnerability management

With prolific security breaches such as SolarWinds dominating the news, organizations are daunted by the fear that they could be made infamous in the next major breach. Developing a mature and tightly connected security framework that enables the reduction of risk and improves security capabilities is more critical than ever. While 2020 was fraught with tragic outcomes of social and economic proportions, security teams have learned many lessons on resilience and have orchestrated many technical innovations to secure a distributed workforce. An expanded attack surface, defending against sophisticated multi-stage and multi-vector attack campaigns, and a pressing need to improve operational efficiencies have reframed digital transformation priorities. One important element to help address this challenge is having better automation tools that simplify remediation, provide an operational advantage, and improve security. But are these tools primed and ready to deliver the CISO with quick time to value, a comprehensive risk remediation plan to present to the Board, and assurance that the organization will maintain a mature vulnerability and risk management program that averts increasing attacks? A fresh approach to breach and attack prevention is needed to shift defense paradigms towards proactive security.

Artificial Intelligence and Governance: Going Beyond Ethics

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is changing our world. This new phenomenon carries many threats, but also offers many opportunities. We need to find a suitable framework to support trustworthy AI. A key challenge remains: can we, as humans, retain control over the technology or will the technology take control of humanity? In responding to this challenge, the following question needs to be considered: What kinds of tools are needed, not only to keep control of AI development, but foremost to multiply the possible opportunities it offers?

The current pandemic has shown how useful and important AI can be in helping us to fight COVID-19. Moreover, it has clearly demonstrated that we cannot afford not to utilise it, nor do we have time to lose with regard to its development.

Hence, it is our responsibility to urgently establish an adequate framework for the development of AI systems based on a revision of the existing law and followed by possible new legislative proposals with a clear focus on future-proof tools. We have to generate a suitable governance model that not only has its foundation in law, but that also ensures democratic oversight through the open and collaborative participation of all partners and the validation of AI solutions by science and society. We should build trustworthy AI based on a human-centric and principled approach. The practical implementation of ethical rules in the design of AI (through the existing ex post model of analysing the consequences, including unintended ones, as well as a new ex ante model that provides an impact assessment in the early stages of development) and the evaluation of the everyday functioning of AI systems are essential.

Neutrality and Cyberspace: Bridging the Gap between Theory and Reality

Noam Neuman, Israeli Ministry of Justice

While there exists a broad consensus among States that international law generally applies to the cyber domain, particular views regarding the applicability of the law of neutrality have rarely been put forward, and presently there seems to be insufficient State practice and domain-specific opinio juris in this regard. Against this backdrop, several attempts have been made throughout the years to apply certain neutrality rules to cyberspace by referring to analogies from other domains. However, this legal regime provides an emblematic example of what the introduction of traditional rules of international law, formulated with the physical domains of warfare in mind, would entail in cyberspace, given the unique features of this domain. This article therefore presents a critical analysis of such attempts by examining three scenarios that describe cyber activities in the context of an international armed conflict and exploring how the law of neutrality might be applied to them. After discussing the legal, practical, and policy challenges that arise, the article concludes that a mutatis mutandis application of neutrality rules provides, at best, a limited contribution to the clarification of the legal framework. Therefore, the article points to the importance of pursuing a case-by-case, norm-specific examination and reaching conclusions regarding the lex lata based on the actual practice of States in cyberspace, rather than relying on broad statements.

Global Counterspace Capabilities

Space security has become an increasingly salient policy issue. Over the last several years, there has been growing concern from multiple governments over the reliance on vulnerable space capabilities for national security, and the corresponding proliferation of offensive counterspace capabilities that could be used to disrupt, deny, degrade, or destroy space systems. This in turn has led to increased rhetoric from some countries about the need to prepare for future conflicts on Earth to extend into space, and calls from some corners to increase the development of offensive counterspace capabilities and put in place more aggressive policies and postures.

We feel strongly that a more open and public debate on these issues is urgently needed. Space is not the sole domain of militaries and intelligence services. Our global society and economy is increasingly dependent on space capabilities, and a future conflict in space could have massive, long-term negative repercussions that are felt here on Earth. Even testing of these capabilities could have long-lasting negative repercussions for the space environment, and all who operate there. The public should be as aware of the developing threats and risks of different policy options as would be the case for other national security issues in the air, land, and sea domains.

International Cooperation to Mitigate Cyber Operations against Critical Infrastructure

Andraz Kastelic

Malicious cyber operations pose a threat to critical infrastructure and thus to the well-being of our societies. Major incidents have the potential to both destabilize States and endanger international peace and security.

To address the risk of increasingly complex and effective cyber threats aimed at critical infrastructure, the international community uses norms of expected behaviour of States in cyberspace to promote cooperation. This report investigates the norm – as proposed in 2015 by the United Nations Group of Governmental Experts on Developments in the Field of Information and Telecommunications in the Context of International Security – that urges States to respond to other States’ requests for assistance or mitigation in the event of malicious cyber operations against critical infrastructure.

The Intelligence Community’s Deadly Bias Toward Classified Sources


For years, government officials, commissions, and think tanks have warned that the U.S. intelligence community has blinded itself to enormous sources of intelligence, simply because the information is publicly available. In other words, the intelligence community would prefer to rely on billion-dollar classified satellites and intelligence-collection programs rather than to gather unclassified information on the internet for free.

Examples are rife. Russia conducted a strategic misinformation campaign to influence the results of elections in multiple countries, including the U.K., Ukraine, France, and, eventually, the United States, and they did it on social media in view of everyone, except the intelligence officers who only look at classified sources. Despite the signals that were available, U.S. elected officials described not being adequately warned.

Or take China, often described as America’s most pressing foreign challenge. Senior advisors to the U.S. government say our country does not understand enough about Beijing’s strategic goals and intentions, and that Congress should create an open source center that translates important Chinese documents for consumption by English-language readers. The tragic irony of this recommendation is that the government already has an open source center, which disbanded its own website.

This willful blindness even persists at home. On Jan. 6, the U.S. Capitol was overrun by people who had organized, planned, and announced their intentions in public view.


The technology of today, while impressive, is developing the tactics and techniques of future terrorist attacks. The most prescient current technology that will enable future terrorist attacks is the drone. Drones have the ability of providing standoff, which can enable terrorists to conduct multiple attacks nearly simultaneously, rapidly magnifying their overall effect. A terrorist attack is meant to create an atmosphere of fear to influence a target audience—a civilian population or government—to force or impose political change. The massive increase in the number of form factors, capabilities, ease of access and ease of operation of drones at low cost will make them the weapon of choice for future terrorists.

The majority of past terrorist attacks have relied on weapons and materials that were readily available. In the United States, the perpetrators of the most significant attacks in the past 30 years, the Oklahoma City bombing1 and the 9/11 attacks,2 purchased the majority of their required materials legally. In addition to acquiring materials, terrorist groups need individuals to carry out their attacks. Many groups typically conduct attacks with the expectation that their members will sacrifice themselves during the attack, either by being caught or killed. The use of drones, however, can allow an individual or a small group to conduct multiple attacks without self-sacrifice.