9 June 2021

Water Security as Part of Non-Traditional Security: Threat - Implications for India

Maj Gen P K Mallick, VSM (Retd)

Like oil or data, water is an integral part of the world’s economy. Although about 71 per cent of the earth’s surface is water-covered, the oceans hold about 96.5 percent of all Earth’s water which is salt water. Freshwater, most of it is frozen in glaciers, accounts for the rest. That leaves less than 1 per cent of the world’s water available to support human and ecological processes. We withdraw 4.3 trillion cubic meters of freshwater every year from the earth’s water basins. We use it in agriculture, which accounts for 70 per cent of the withdrawals. Industry and households consume 19 per cent and 11 per cent, respectively. However, these percentages fluctuate widely across the globe. In the United States, industrial and agricultural usage is almost the same around 40 per cent. In India, agriculture uses 90 per cent of water withdrawals, while only 2 per cent is consumed by industry. Over the past century, rate of withdrawal of available freshwater resources have risen almost six times, outpacing global population growth.

China’s Nuclear and Missile Capabilities: An Overview

 Maj Gen PK Mallick, VSM (Retd)

Since China first conducted a nuclear weapon test in 1964, its nuclear doctrine has remained unchanged and is underpinned by two principles: a minimum deterrent doctrine and a No First Use (NFU) policy. China’s 2019 defence white paper states, “China is always committed to a nuclear policy of NFU of nuclear weapons at any time and under any circumstances, and not using or threatening to use nuclear weapons against non-nuclear-weapon states or nuclear-weapon-free zones unconditionally.”

However, a recent U.S. Department of Defence (DoD) report claims that the scope of China’s nuclear modernisation and its lack of transparency “raise concern that China is not only shifting its requirements for what constitutes a minimal deterrence but that it could shift away from its longstanding minimalist force posture.” The data available show that China is modernising and expanding virtually every element of its nuclear forces, including each aspect of its nuclear weapons and missile, sea, and air delivery systems. What is not clear are China’s current and planned holdings of nuclear weapons, China’s future plans for deploying additional delivery systems, its commitment to some form of NFU, first preemption, or launch on warning, and the extent to which it will accept what might be called a form of ‘minimum assured destruction.

‘Twitter Storm’ Demands Greater Focus on India’s Northeast

By Rajeev Bhattacharya

The frontier region of India’s Northeast has devised a unique way of making the government listen to its long-standing demands.

On June 4, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. local time, a large number of students, professionals, academics, and activists across the country’s northeastern states – Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Sikkim, and Tripura – bombarded Twitter with a “storm” via hashtag campaigns such as #NortheastMatters and #AchapterforNE.

The objective was to make an appeal to the central government for a mandatory chapter on the region in the textbooks taught in schools, which are published by the National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT).

The campaign tagged the offices of the prime minister, home minister, and NCERT, besides other central ministries. More than 25 students’ organizations and well-known personalities across the Northeast and elsewhere in the country lent their support to the campaign.

Beijing Boosts its Position as a “Himalayan Hegemon” Through Hydropower

By: Jagannath P. Panda

China’s building of ambitious hydropower and water diversion projects, and increasing focus on the Himalayan ecosystem as a critical developmental resource, has increased tensions with its regional neighbors, particularly India. The Chinese state contractor PowerChina in November 2020 announced plans for a 60-gigawatt dam on the Yarlung Tsangpo (雅鲁藏布, yalu zangbu) (Global Times, November 29, 2020). The “historic” hydropower project was also included in the “14th Five-Year Plan (FYP, 2021-25) and Long-Range Objectives Through 2035” (国民经济和社会发展第十四个五年规划和2035年远景目标纲要, guomin jingji he shehui fazhan di shisi ge wunian guihua he 2035 nian yuanjing mubiao gangyao), which listed the Chinese Communist Party (CCP)’s near and long-term goals for “socialist modernization” (Global Times, March 13; Gov.cn, March 13). More recently, Chinese President Xi Jinping’s recent visit to a symposium on follow-up projects to the South-North Water Transfer Project (南水北调, nanshui beidiao) on May 14 also underscored the central government’s dedication to water resources development; the CCP’s pursuit of large-scale and prestigious water projects has been closely tied to the party’s legacy as it prepares for centennial celebrations in a month’s time (People’s Daily, May 15).

Will Sri Lanka’s Food Security Sink with the X-Press Pearl?

Eilish Zembilci, Caitlin Welsh

On May 21, 2020, the X-Press Pearl erupted into flames about 18 kilometers northwest of Colombo, Sri Lanka, while awaiting permission to enter port. The fire is believed to have been caused by the chemicals aboard the cargo ship, which was carrying 1,486 containers, including 350 tons of fuel oil and 25 tons of nitric acid. Efforts to pull the ship farther out to sea have failed, and the boat’s sinking is imminent. Sri Lanka now faces an environmental disaster, and coastal communities—especially those that rely on fishing to sustain their livelihoods—are at risk.

Q1: How severe is the impending environmental disaster?

A1: As of June 3, 2021, the X-Press Pearl reported no signs of leaking oil. However, bags of nurdles—small, pellet-sized pieces of plastic—are washing up on miles of coastlines. Nurdles are the raw material used to manufacture plastic products and are not a far cry from the kinds of microplastics banned in the United States since 2015. These beads do not biodegrade and remain in waterways virtually forever unless painstakingly removed. For this reason, and because they are stored in sacks that can easily tear, environmentalists are vocal about changing the way nurdles are transported.

China Steps Toward De Facto Recognition of Myanmar’s Junta

By Sebastian Strangio

On Saturday, China’s ambassador to Myanmar held his first official meeting with Myanmar junta leader Sen. Gen. Min Aung Hlaing, marking an important watershed in Beijing’s recognition of the government that seized control in February.

As per a characteristically bland and sunny Chinese Embassy statement, Min Aung Hlaing told Ambassador Chen Hai that his government is “committed to promoting national stability, economic growth and improvement of people’s livelihoods, and safeguarding democracy and rule of law.” He said that his government “sees China as an important neighbor and is willing to maintain communications with China.”

For his own part, Chen “stressed that the Chinese side has always cherished and attached great importance to the traditional friendship with Myanmar” and “sincerely hopes for the earlier restoration of peace and stability in Myanmar.” The envoy added that China supported the implementation of the five-point consensus formulated by the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) at its special meeting in April, and said Beijing would “continue to play a constructive role in this regard.”

Why Vietnam Needs to Adopt a Biological Defense Strategy

By Phuong Pham

Once regarded as a role model for its successful containment of COVID-19, Vietnam is now in the midst of its fourth wave, its worst since the beginning of the pandemic. Even worse, the stringent measures that previously helped Vietnam put the virus under control have been relatively ineffective, illustrated by the surge in infections since the end of April. This raises a great concern for Vietnam not only with regard to COVID-19 but also on its ability to counter biological threats writ large. With this in mind, Vietnam should establish a national strategy on biological defense in order to help it counter biological threats more effectively, given the current inadequacy of the country’s biological defense capabilities.

The Vietnamese government’s Decree 81/2019 on preventing the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction (WMDs) classifies biological threats among the four kinds of WMD threats: chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear (CBRN). In 2018, the European Union helped Vietnam to finalize its National Action Plan (NAP) on preventing CBRN threats. However, both the decree and the NAP are merely general, if not vague, guidelines for tackling CBRN threats without any in-depth plans on how to deal with specific kinds of threat. Moreover, despite having specialized agency for dealing with some kinds of CBRN threat, like the Chemical Team of the Vietnam People’s Army and Vietnam Agency for Radiation and Nuclear Safety, Vietnam does not yet have one responsible for countering biological threats.

Myanmar Pressure Campaign Stalls at the United Nations

By Colum Lynch

The international campaign to pressure Myanmar’s military putschists to relinquish power has run aground at the United Nations, amid growing resistance by the country’s Chinese and Southeast Asian neighbors against imposing an arms embargo and sanctions on the military junta. The United States and many of its European allies continue to maintain economic sanctions on Myanmar’s military junta, but efforts to muster wider international backing for tough action have lost steam at Turtle Bay.

The development has frustrated Myanmar’s pro-democracy forces, who have struggled to convince regional and global powers to ratchet up political and economic pressure on the military. Myanmar’s U.N. Ambassador Kyaw Moe Tun, who publicly denounced the military in a defiant speech before the U.N. General Assembly in late February, says the international community is failing to do enough to support him and the forces of democracy in Myanmar, even amid signs that the military regime is ruthlessly seeking to crush any opposition to its rule.

Automation and Digitalization of Justice in China’s Smart Court Systems

By: Straton Papagianneas


The automation of justice has become a worldwide phenomenon. Various big data and artificial intelligence (AI)-driven technological applications have been introduced in the administration of justice over the past years. These range from predictive analytics to automated divorce proceedings and automated decisions in small claims cases.[1] The People’s Republic of China (PRC or China) stands at the vanguard of this development. Its judiciary has embraced the power of technology to promote judicial reform and “to build a judicial mechanism that is open, dynamic, transparent, and convenient and improve public understanding, trust, and supervision of the judiciary” (The Supreme People’s Court, February 26, 2015).

Under Chinese Communist Party (CCP) General Secretary Xi Jinping’s “ruling the country according to the law” (依法治国, yifa zhiguo) reform platform, the modernization of the judiciary is a top priority. The Xi administration has indicated that it wants to re-establish the legitimacy and credibility of its legal system, mainly by centralizing control and improving judicial consistency across the country. Additionally, it has launched reforms aimed at improving procedures and compliance.[2] Judicial reform has, among others, focused on increasing judicial accountability and supervision mechanisms (Supreme People’s Court, August 5, 2020; Supreme People’s Court, April 18, 2017), unifying and standardizing law application (Supreme People’s Court, July 27, 2020), and improving transparency and judicial services (Supreme People’s Court, November 21, 2013; Supreme People’s Court, September 25, 2020).

Chinese Leaders Project Confidence in Self-Sufficiency Amid Post-Pandemic Food Security Concerns

By: Elizabeth Chen

The Chinese agronomist and “Father of Hybrid Rice” Yuan Longping (袁隆平) passed away on May 22. Chinese President Xi Jinping sent his condolences to Yuan’s family, and the state news agency Xinhua ran a rare weekend commentary to honor his passing—actions more usually suited to the deaths of former political leaders, not scientists (Hunan Daily, May 23; South China Morning Post, May 23). Such officially sanctioned national mourning was especially significant given that Yuan—famously not a Chinese Communist Party (CCP) member—had been a vocal critic of past CCP mistakes such as the Cultural Revolution and the Great Leap Forward. Predictably, state censors also leapt into action. The Weibo accounts of 68 users accused of spreading false information about Yuan’s passing were shut down, and several people were arrested for insulting Yuan online (China Digital Times, May 24).

A careful spotlight was cast on Yuan’s achievements, even as censors moved to silence criticisms of his life’s work. Yuan successfully cultivated the world’s first high-yield hybrid rice in the 1970s, helping to fight hunger and poverty on a global scale. By the time of his passing, 57 percent of all rice grown in China was comprised of hybrid varieties developed from his research, and propagandists praised his contributions to China’s alleviation of absolute poverty last year (Xinhua, May 23). Yuan was also a vocal anti-food waste proponent and a symbol of China’s quest for food security, two issues that have gained renewed focus for Chinese policymakers in the wake of last year’s coronavirus pandemic. Lawmakers in April passed an “Anti-Food Waste Law” ([反食品浪费法], fan shipin langfei fa) (Xinhua, April 29), and are preparing to pass a new “Grain Security Law” ([粮食安全保障法], liangshi anquan baozhang fa) in the next two years (Xinhua, January 14).

Chinese Strategy and Military Forces in 2021

Anthony H. Cordesman

There is no simple way to introduce the challenge that China’s strategic presence and growing military capabilities pose in competing with the United States. China’s capability to compete at given levels has generally increased radically since 1990 in virtually every civil and military area, and China has set broad goals for achieving strategic parity and superiority, although such goals are vague – and neither China nor the United States has published anything like a credible unclassified net assessment of current and future capabilities or how broad statements about strategic goals would actually be implemented.

The Burke Chair has prepared a summary briefing on key developments, supported by a wide range of graphs, maps, and tables that provide a substitute in the form of summary data on a wide range of China’s strategic and military capabilities where these can be summarized in quantitative form or by using maps and selected quotes.

It draws heavily on official sources, and it should be noted that the data provided often do not agree in detail – even if they are generated by the same source. It relies, where possible, on the U.S. Department of Defense’s annual report on Chinese Military Power for 2020, (https://media.defense.gov/2020/Sep/01/2002488689/-1/-1/1/2020-DOD-CHINA-MILITARY-POWER-REPORT-FINAL.PDF), which seems to be the most reliable and balanced official unclassified source available. It also includes reporting by the Congressional Research Service, U.S. combatant commands, Japanese and South Korean official reporting, and a wide range of other expert sources so to deliberately illustrate the wide range of different official and expert estimates.

Will Russia Put China’s Arctic Ambitions on Ice?

By Elizabeth Wishnick

Despite its enthusiasm, China’s efforts to become a key voice in Arctic affairs have been met with skepticism, even alarm by Arctic states, and few of its investment initiatives have borne fruit. Are China’s fortunes turning with strategic partner Russia assuming the role of chair of the Arctic Council, a two-year rotating position? For China, an observer in the organization since 2013, Russia’s new status as of May 20, 2021 provides opportunities as well as risks.

While Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has called China his country’s priority partner in the Arctic, he was quick to clarify that he meant the Russian Arctic, not the Arctic Council where Russia intends to focus on engaging Arctic states. China also has garnered praise from Russia’s ambassador-at-large for Arctic cooperation, Nikolay Korchunov, for its “restraint” compared to the Western countries, which Korchunov accused of militarizing the Arctic. It remains to be seen, however, whether Russia’s chairmanship of the Arctic Council will lead to China’s in-depth participation in Arctic governance and greater Sino-Russian economic integration and development in the Arctic, as Tianjin scholar Liu Feng and National Marine Information Center (Ministry of Natural Resources) researcher Liu Rui have predicted.

Hungarians Spurn Chinese-Backed University Campus

By Eleanor Albert

An estimated 10,000 people marched in the Hungarian capital of Budapest on Sunday to protest the construction of the first Chinese university campus in the European Union. Hungarian and Chinese counterparts signed an agreement in the spring to plan and build a campus for Shanghai’s elite Fudan University in Budapest. Although the deal is backed by Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban – who touts an openly pro-Beijing position – local authorities in the capital are against the deal, citing concerns about academic freedom and quality of higher education, as well as broader apprehension about Beijing’s expanding influence and potential espionage in the Central European country. (The deal to open a Chinese university in Budapest also came just a few years after the forced relocation from Budapest to Vienna of the Central European University, founded in 1991 by George Soros with the mission to promote open societies.)

The mayor of Budapest, a prominent member of the opposition party, last week announced name changes to streets surrounding the area of the contentious planned university campus to highlight Chinese human rights violations. One street will be named after the Dalai Lama, another after a jailed Catholic bishop, a third will be called “Uyghur Martyrs’ Road,” and a fourth “Free Hong Kong Road.

The Local Roots of Chinese Engagement in Pakistan



China has become a global power, but there is too little debate about how this has happened and what it means. Many argue that China exports its developmental model and imposes it on other countries. But Chinese players also extend their influence by working through local actors and institutions while adapting and assimilating local and traditional forms, norms, and practices.

With a generous multiyear grant from the Ford Foundation, Carnegie has launched an innovative body of research on Chinese engagement strategies in seven regions of the world—Africa, Central Asia, Latin America, the Middle East and North Africa, the Pacific, South Asia, and Southeast Asia. Through a mix of research and strategic convening, this project explores these complex dynamics, including the ways Chinese firms are adapting to local labor laws in Latin America, Chinese banks and funds are exploring traditional Islamic financial and credit products in Southeast Asia and the Middle East, and Chinese actors are helping local workers upgrade their skills in Central Asia. These adaptive Chinese strategies that accommodate and work within local realities are mostly ignored by Western policymakers in particular.

Deepening Polish-Turkish Cooperation

By: Jakub Bornio

On May 24, a meeting of Polish and Turkish representatives at the highest level took place in Ankara. The two countries’ presidents, Andrzej Duda and Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, were accompanied by ministers and officials from various sectors, including agriculture, culture, and defense. Five bilateral agreements were signed. They included a contract on the purchase by Poland of 24 Unmanned Combat Aerial Vehicles (UCAV) Bayraktar TB2, an agreement on the mutual protection of classified information in the defense industry, a memorandum on agricultural cooperation, and agreements on “safe tourism” and sports cooperation (Prezydent.pl, May 24). The meeting was intended to generate impetus in geopolitical and economic cooperation between two countries. Nevertheless, the impression was that Warsaw was more interested in achieving geopolitical goals, whereas Ankara emphasized the economic character of the meeting.

As declared by both presidents, the two countries are determined to increase their commercial exchange. Since food products account for a large portion of Poland’s total exports—in 2020, their share was 14.3 percent—the memorandum on agricultural cooperation raised some hope in Warsaw (gov.pl, 2021). Turkey remains an untapped destination for Polish farm products as Warsaw seeks to diversify export destinations after Russia imposed a ban on EU food imports.

The Implications of the UN Cross-Border Vote in Syria

Natasha Hall

The Issue
The Syrian government has restricted humanitarian access to opposition-controlled areas of Syria as part of its efforts to regain control of the entire country.

In 2014, the United Nations (UN) designated four border crossings for delivering aid to those in need without government approval. Russia and China blocked the UN from using all but one border crossing, which serves northwestern Syria, and its mandate is set to expire on July 10, 2021.

The end of UN cross-border aid would pose severe risks not only to the population of northwestern Syria, but also surrounding states and the broader region, since there is no reliable aid alternative.

Major donors to the Syria response—five of them UN Security Council members—should seek to reopen closed crossings and lengthen the mandate, making it clear that a Russian veto would obstruct future negotiations on reconstruction, sanctions, and additional aid through Damascus.

Iran’s Largest Warship Sinks In Suspicious Circumstances


TEL AVIV: Iran’s largest warship, the Kharg, caught fire on Wednesday in the Gulf of Oman and sank. The fire, sources here say, was very strange and the smoke generated by the fire demonstrates “something big went wrong.”

The Kharg caught fire while sailing in international waters. She was engaged in a training exercise, Iranian media said.

According to the Tasnim news agency, the fire started in the engine room, causing parts of the ship to melt and fall into the sea.

Rescue workers tried for 20 hours to extinguish the fire but couldn’t stop it, Tasnim said. Iran’s navy has said the nearly 400 crew were evacuated safely from the ship.

No one has claimed responsibility for the fire but Middle Eastern sources say that for some time it was closely “observed” since it is the biggest ship in the Iranian navy.

America’s ‘Return’ Might Not Be Enough to Revive the West

Stewart M. Patrick

The United States is “back,” proclaims U.S. President Joe Biden, seemingly as often as he can. The coming week will show if the same is true of the West. At successive summits of the G-7, NATO and the European Union, Biden and fellow leaders will confront a dual task: reviving the community of advanced market democracies and showing that the West is capable of resolving today’s complex transnational challenges.

Biden’s election in November heartened the U.S. foreign policy establishment, and understandably so. The new president promised to pick up the mantle of global leadership that Trump had cast aside and make the West once again the core of an open, rules-based world order. The aberrant Trump years might then recede into the past, eventually viewed as a bizarre interregnum between two “normal” periods of U.S. internationalism. ...

Transcript: Bank of America CEO Brian Moynihan on "Face the Nation,"

JOHN DICKERSON: We turn now to the state of our economy with Bank of America chairman and CEO Brian Moynihan. Good morning.


JOHN DICKERSON: I want to start- very well, thank you. I want to start with the question of cyber-attacks. There have been a whole recent number of them, and we've seen the way in which these ransomware attacks can affect the economy. How much time are you spending on this and has your approach to it become- have the stakes increased based on these new recent attacks?

MOYNIHAN: Well, the financial services industry, this has been an issue for many years, and so I- I spent time on it. But frankly, the good news is we have a great team and our spending a year has gone from maybe four or five hundred million dollars a year when I first became CEO a little over a decade ago to a billion dollars a year, 2,000 plus people work on it. We work in deep cooperation with the rest of the institutions in our industry. But there's more that can be done and there are suggestions and proposals that are coming out to do more sharing of information, cooperation, speed and- and things like that, which I think need to be looked at by the administration and Congress and pushed through in order to protect more people.

Preparing for and Responding to Routine “Emergency” Threats to Our Security


Our warming planet is increasing the number and severity of floods, forest fires, hurricanes, and a wide variety of extreme weather events. In late May, the Biden administration doubled the size of a fund that provides local governments with the resources to reduce disaster vulnerability. The funding grew from about $500 million to $1 billion, although the legislative formula that sets funding levels would have allowed an allocation of $3.7 billion. Administration officials did not believe that local governments had the capacity to do more than twice as much as they did last year. It is not clear that the scale of the effort will meet the challenge, but the increased funding is at least an acknowledgment of the threat.

Climate emergencies are no longer really emergencies but routine events. Natural disasters are nothing special and have become a way of life on our warming planet. We need to do far more to prepare for disasters and mitigate their impact. As Christopher Flavelle wrote in the New York Times last month:

“The new money is less than what some disaster experts had said is needed, especially because the warming planet is making storms, flooding, wildfires and other disasters both more frequent and destructive. The United States experienced 22 disasters that exceeded $1 billion each in damages last year, a record.”

Ransomware attacks saddle Biden with grave national security crisis

by Stephen Collinson

(CNN) - The Biden administration Sunday confronted the implications of a sudden and grave national security challenge as ransom-demanding cyber hackers target the staples of American life -- food, gas, water, hospitals and transport.

The assaults, which have led the FBI director to make comparisons to 9/11, are targeting the country's vulnerable infrastructure as it struggles back to life after pandemic shutdowns and are putting civilians on the front lines of an invisible conflict likely to defy quick fixes to lessen the threat.

They leave President Joe Biden, who took office amid multiple crises, with thorny dilemmas about how to respond without escalating a full-on international cyber war and expose him to new political vulnerability. Many of the attacks appear to be the work of criminal gangs on Russian soil, heaping more pressure on the President's already tense, high-stakes summit next week with President Vladimir Putin during his first foreign trip.

Open Letter to G7 Leaders: A G7 Action Plan to Ensure the World is Vaccinated Quickly and Equitably

The COVID-19 pandemic has cost millions of lives and trillions of dollars in lost economic activity. We are in the midst of a rapidly accelerating global crisis, triggering a cascade of humanitarian and economic disasters in many countries, as well as the proliferation of dangerous new variants that threaten to intensify the pandemic’s impact in the United States and throughout the world. The continuing crisis has one principal cause: an increasingly stark gap in affordable and timely access by most of the world to safe and effective vaccines and the capacity to deliver them.

The G7 member states have historically been the leading group of democracies to drive forward ambitious visions to confront global crises. Such high-level leadership two decades ago led the world out of the then runaway HIV/AIDS crisis. COVID-19, a crisis on a scale and complexity even greater than HIV/AIDS, demands no less.

G7 member states have struggled with their own internal challenges in responding to COVID-19. But thanks to their unprecedented efforts to advance the development, manufacturing, and delivery of highly effective and safe vaccines, they are on a path to containing the pandemic in their respective countries.

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, former U.S. President Donald Trump’s decision to pull out of the Paris climate agreement upon taking office immediately undermined the pact. Despite these hurdles, negotiators made substantive progress during a U.N. climate change conference in December 2018, putting in place an ambitious system of monitoring and reporting on carbon emissions for nations that remain part of the agreement. But the latest round of talks in December 2019 ended in abject failure, and the coronavirus pandemic hobbled further diplomatic efforts in 2020.

Toward Deep Decarbonization

The Deep Decarbonization Challenge

On April 29, Germany’s Federal Constitutional Court ruled the country’s climate law unconstitutional because it placed too great an onus on future generations through post-2030 emissions reductions. Indeed, achieving net-zero carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions by 2050 has been deemed essential to limiting the increase in global average temperatures to 1.5°C or less by 2100, but governments and other decisionmakers are not on track to reach that target. Some 70 percent of today’s CO2 emissions belong to countries with net-zero commitments, but tangible policy action to those ends continues to fall short. Even if all current commitments were implemented and met on schedule, the world would still be on a trajectory to see global temperatures rise by 2.1°C by 2100—an unacceptable and costly outcome.

The ruling by the German court, largely hailed by climate activists and younger generations, gives the government until the end of 2022 to specify binding targets beyond 2030. It gives teeth to the Paris Agreement and sends a strong signal to other governments to get serious. However, the scale and scope of the challenge of fully decarbonizing the global economy is daunting, particularly in the face of growing energy needs for developing countries.

Hacked drones and busted logistics are the cyber future of warfare

Bruce Schneier and Tarah Wheeler

“If you think any of these systems are going to work as expected in wartime, you’re fooling yourself.”

That was Bruce’s response at a conference hosted by U.S. Transportation Command in 2017, after learning that their computerized logistical systems were mostly unclassified and on the internet. That may be necessary to keep in touch with civilian companies like FedEx in peacetime or when fighting terrorists or insurgents. But in a new era facing off with China or Russia, it is dangerously complacent.

Any 21st century war will include cyber operations. Weapons and support systems will be successfully attacked. Rifles and pistols won’t work properly. Drones will be hijacked midair. Boats won’t sail, or will be misdirected. Hospitals won’t function. Equipment and supplies will arrive late or not at all.