30 April 2022

Five ways Elon Musk can transform Twitter

Darrell M. West

News that Elon Musk bought Twitter could usher in substantial changes for the social media platform. Given its influential role in public conversation and policy actions, a shift in management control could have substantial consequences for the role of social media. Here are five things that could happen under Musk’s ownership.


Musk brings a strong free speech perspective that likely would alter some of the firm’s current content moderation policies. In the face of public concern over extremism, violence, hate speech, and false information, Twitter and other large social media platforms have strengthened their content moderation policies to remove content that encourages violence or spreads misinformation.

Elon Musk Thinks Social Media Isn’t Rocket Science

Nicholas Konrad
When Elon Musk talks about making electric cars, he sounds like he knows what he’s talking about, probably because he does. “We basically messed up almost every aspect of the Model 3 production line, from cells to packs to drive inverters,” he said, earlier this month, during an onstage interview at the ted conference in Vancouver. “I lived in the Fremont and Nevada factories for three years, fixing that production line, running around like a maniac.” He spoke with confidence and without hesitation, his eyes swinging from side to side as if he were watching himself, in his memory, striding purposefully across his factory floor. “At this point,” he concluded, “I think I know more about manufacturing than anyone currently alive on earth.” The audience applauded. They didn’t seem to doubt him.

Training Tomorrow’s AI Workforce

Diana Gehlhaus and Luke Koslosky

Community and technical colleges offer enormous potential to grow, sustain, and diversify the U.S. artificial intelligence (AI) talent pipeline. However, these institutions are not being leveraged effectively. This report evaluates current AI-related programs and the associated number of graduates. The authors find that few AI and AI-related degrees and certificates are being awarded today. They propose five recommendations to address existing challenges and harness the potential of these institutions to train tomorrow’s AI workforce.

The United States, Japan, and Taiwan What Has Russia’s Aggression Changed?

Sheila A. Smith

This essay considers Russia’s recent invasion of Ukraine and analyzes similarities, differences, and lessons from that conflict to date for a cross–Taiwan Strait scenario that involves the U.S. and Japan. main argument Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has sent shockwaves around the globe and upended assumptions about the likelihood of great-power war, including in the Taiwan Strait. Differences abound between the two scenarios. Yet Russia’s war in Ukraine is already reshaping NATO’s future and influencing alliance thinking in the Indo-Pacific. With growing Chinese military activity putting pressure on Taiwan’s defenses, the U.S.-Japan alliance would be instrumental to U.S. strategy in a cross-strait crisis, and a cross-strait contingency would have widespread ramifications for the defense of Japan. The U.S. and Japan must not only develop a comprehensive strategy to deter aggression across the Taiwan Strait but also consider the risks each is willing to take should major-power conflict erupt. Even though Russia’s aggression against Ukraine does not offer a parallel case study, it raises new questions that must be addressed by the U.S. and Japan as they assess how to avoid the outbreak of war around Taiwan. There is already cause for the U.S. and Japan to revisit some of their assumptions about how to prepare for a cross-strait crisis. In particular, China’s use of force against Taiwan would not be a localized conflict; it would have systemic consequences. Understanding this and other risks is paramount to ensuring that such a crisis is deterred.

How the Ukraine War Is Changing Japan

Takako Hikotani

At 6 p.m. on March 23, when Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky appeared before the Japanese parliament via video link from Kyiv, broadcasters across Japan interrupted their evening programming to carry Zelensky’s address live. Millions of ordinary Japanese citizens watched in real time as Zelensky praised Japan’s courage as the first Asian nation to stand up for Ukrainian democracy, expressed grave concerns about the security of nuclear power plants and the potential use of nuclear weapons—subjects that have particular resonance in Japan—and received a standing ovation from the hundreds of senior Japanese officials and lawmakers who had crowded a meeting room in the lower house of the Japanese Diet for the historic virtual meeting with Zelensky.

A political reckoning in Sri Lanka as debt crisis grows


COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) — Sherry Fonseka joined millions in 2019 in electing President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, a military strategist whose brutal campaign helped end Sri Lanka’s 30-year civil war 10 years earlier.

Now he is one of thousands who, for weeks, have protested outside the president’s office, calling on Rajapaksa and his brother, Mahinda, who is prime minister, to resign for leading the country into its worst economic crisis since its independence from Britain in 1948.

Russia Unable To Fight Another War After Catastrophic Military Losses


On Monday, U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin said that the U.S. wanted to see Russia so "weakened" that it won't be able to support another war like the one it initiated in Ukraine.

Now, analysts suggest Moscow might have already reached that point.

In an article published on Wednesday, analysts told The Times they believe Russia already burned through so much of its military strength in the past two months of war that it could be "years" before the Kremlin is able to order another such invasion of a neighboring country.

It took a war for Big Tech to take a side

Peter Kafka

The internet is global. But tech companies do business in individual countries. So tech companies have to obey those countries’ rules, even if they’re onerous or worse.

That’s the rubric that Big Tech companies — almost all of which are based in the United States — have used for years, even when it’s been uncomfortable for the companies, their employees, or their customers. Now that’s over: Following the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Big Tech has finally taken a side. It’s a move that has real-world consequences today but may be even more meaningful down the line.


Olivia Garard

Much of the analysis on the Russian invasion of Ukraine has focused on the Russians. Why did analysts overestimate the strength of the Russian forces? Why is the Russian military performing so poorly? Why did Vladimir Putin miscalculate? The list goes on.

This article seeks to answer none of these questions. Instead, it sets out to reorient focus onto the Ukrainians. In doing so, it reveals a fundamental reason why they have been successful so far: because they have been fighting on defense.

According to Carl von Clausewitz, not only is the defensive form of warfare stronger than its attacking counterpart, but the defense also has access to additional means. These means arise out of the structure of the defense itself and are uniquely afforded to the defender. Enumerated in book six, chapter six of On War, the means include the Landwehr, fortresses, the people, the people in arms, and allies. Observing through the fog, it seems that not only has Ukraine valiantly used all of these means to its advantage, but also in a way that helps to elucidate how these means operate today.

JUST IN: Military Lagging in Data Processing Capabilities

Shreeya Aranake

The U.S. military is falling short in developing and implementing crucial data collection, artificial intelligence and machine learning capabilities, the head of Northcom said April 25.

The U.S. military continues to deploy new sensors, satellites and other technologies to collect and produce data, and that in turn requires more computing power to process volumes of information.

“Candidly, we’re not moving fast enough for me,” said Air Force Gen. Glen VanHerck, commander of North American Aerospace Defense Command during a Defense Writers Group event.

Send Ukraine Cyber Help, Not Bureaucratic Gridlock

Michael Ellis & Dustin Carmack

The United States has sent Ukraine a variety of military equipment, including killer drones, Stinger surface-to-air missiles, Javelin anti-tank missiles, small arms, and ammunition. We should do more.

If ordered, U.S. Cyber Command could develop the ability to temporarily disable key Russian military, intelligence, or logistics networks. This would be a tremendous boon to Ukrainian forces. Moreover, such cyber operations would not be clearly traceable back to the U.S.—reducing the possibility of escalating tensions with Russia.

Germany’s Zeitenwende: Not a War-Ender

Oxana Schmies

Chancellor Olaf Scholz's “turn of the times” (Zeitenwende) speech of February 27 called things by their proper names – the war of aggression, the change of epoch, Putin and his sidekicks an “oppressive regime,” seeking to resurrect the Russian empire and fundamentally reorder Europe to the detriment of free peoples and the benefit of corrupt elites.

It named the challenges and Germany's self-obligations and promised that: “What is needed to secure peace in Europe will be done.” Among other things, Scholz promised to deliver weapons “to defend the country” because “there could be no other answer to Putin's aggression.”

India and the U.S. Navigate Their Differences

Jeff M. Smith

Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin in April hosted their Indian counterparts, External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar and Defense Minister Rajnath Singh. The ministers met for the fourth edition of the 2+2 defense and foreign policy dialogue that began during the Trump administration.

The talks were preceded by a virtual meeting between President Joe Biden and Prime Minister Narendra Modi as the two countries celebrated 75 years of diplomatic relations. The dialogue was largely successful, if not entirely groundbreaking. What was achieved may have been less important than what was avoided: a diplomatic rupture over the Russia-Ukraine crisis.

Preparing for a Cyberattack Starts at the Local Level

Grace Hindmarch, Aaron Clark-Ginsberg

The ongoing Russian war in Ukraine has highlighted the need for federal, state, and local level emergency managers to prepare to respond to a “cyber–Pearl Harbor”—a cyberattack with widespread impacts that significantly disrupt critical infrastructure. Although the war today is mostly being fought on the ground, Russia has been waging cyberwar against Ukraine for years—including an attack in 2016 that shut down much of its power grid, and attacks in 2017 that disrupted its hospital systems and banks. Such acts of aggression have given rise to growing concerns that Russia could successfully launch similar attacks across the United States and other Western nations. In the past, Russian state-sponsored actors have targeted government agencies, election organizations, and critical health care, pharmaceutical, defense, energy, nuclear, water, aviation, and manufacturing infrastructure in the United States, Germany, United Kingdom, and other countries. In fact, at the end of last month, President Biden issued a warning that the Russian Government is exploring options for cyberattacks on the United States.

Russian Cyberattacks May Be Coming. What Might Be an Optimal Strategy for Responding?

Dmitri Alperovitch and Samuel Charap

Russian cyberattacks may be coming. Last month, the White House issued its starkest warning yet that “evolving” intelligence indicates Moscow is planning major cyber operations against the United States in retaliation for the economic penalties that the country has imposed on Russia for its invasion of Ukraine. It may only be a matter of time before these warnings become a reality.

This comes as little surprise. Since before the start of the war, cybersecurity experts—including one of us—have predicted that the likelihood of Russian cyber operations against the West would increase as the United States and its allies placed more severe economic sanctions on Moscow. Now, with the Russian economy beginning to feel the effects of sanctions, Russian President Vladimir Putin appears poised to use his intelligence agencies' significant cyber capabilities to hit back at the West.

Keeping Russians Informed About Ukraine Could Help End This War

Todd C. Helmus and Andrew Radin

“Light will win over darkness.” President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine spoke these words in his stirring address to the United Nations, and U.S. President Joe Biden cited these same remarks during his State of the Union address in emphasizing U.S. support for Ukraine.

Russian President Vladimir Putin, on the other hand, is placing his bets on darkness. He is shielding his people from what is actually happening in Ukraine, the casualties inflicted by the Ukrainian Army, the mayhem unleashed by Russia on Ukrainian civilian centers, and the West's rationale for inflicting damaging sanctions. Increasing Russian access to this information, however, could be key to undermining Russian support for the war and undermining the political standing of Putin.

Disrupting Deterrence Examining the Effects of Technologies on Strategic Deterrence in the 21st Century

Michael J. Mazarr, Ashley L. Rhoades, Nathan Beauchamp-Mustafaga

The authors examined potential effects that emerging technologies could have on U.S. national security policy and identified long-term effects that these technologies might have on effectiveness and stability — two major aspects of deterrent relationships. They did this by pursuing several phases of analysis. First, the researchers selected a specific set of eight technology areas from the numerous technologies that could play a role in shaping the practice of deterrence. They then took several complementary steps to assess the problem of deterrence, competitors' views of it, and possible criteria for evaluating the effects of technologies. In parallel with these research efforts, they conducted in-depth assessments of each of the eight technology areas. Finally, they employed four discrete lines of analysis — four "lenses" — to generate possible causal relationships between the eight technology areas and deterrence outcomes.

Commercial Space Capabilities and Market Overview

Emmi Yonekura, Brian Dolan, Moon Kim, Krista Romita Grocholski

The U.S. Space Force (USSF) and U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) are examining and pursuing various ways to leverage commercial space capabilities as part of their policy goal to promote the U.S. space industry and their strategy for improving the national security space architecture. As the commercial space industry continues to grow in capability, capacity, and diversity, opportunities for the USSF and DoD to leverage commercial capabilities are expanding. Specifically, the USSF is considering the role of the commercial space industry in its future space architecture and the innovation ecosystem. It is faced with many choices, such as which commercial capability option to leverage or for which military application it should use commercial instead of organic space capabilities.

What Have US Special Operators Learned from the Ukraine War?


U.S. special operators are taking at least two lessons from Russia’s two-month-old war in Ukraine. First, the international partnerships the United States has been fostering for the past 20 years are playing a huge role. And drones are playing an even bigger one.

The leaders of the Air Force, Army, Navy, and Marine Corps special operations commands all testified before the Senate Armed Services Subcommittee on Emerging Threats and Capabilities on Wednesday. While the focus of the hearing was on general readiness and the shortfalls of the 2023 budget request, many of the questions focused on Ukraine.

The Fight for Ukraine Is Forging a New World

Dmytro Kuleba

Ukraine’s fight for its right to have a future has accelerated a great shift in the global order of the 21st century. One can already see elements of the new world emerging from the fires of war in Ukraine. The unity between North America and the European Union has been restored and cemented, and the notion of the West has regained its original meaning, while Russia’s strategic decline weakens China’s system of alliances.

The Russian invasion of Ukraine has set Europe in motion again. To the discomfort of some European states, Ukraine became central to the rise of the new Europe. For Europe to succeed in restoring peace and solidifying prosperity and security in the region, Ukraine must be part of the European Union and, broadly speaking, of the West, led by the United States. And it will.

Pentagon’s flagship AI effort, Project Maven, moves to NGA


GEOINT 2022: Once the Pentagon’s top-priority program to speed the use of artificial intelligence across the military, Project Maven is now being transferred to the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, according to senior Intelligence Community officials.

“At the end of last month, the White House delivered President [Joe] Biden’s budget request to Congress for fiscal year 2023. In there, you may have noticed something interesting. In the budget, NGA gains operational control of Project Mavens’s GEOINT AI services and capabilities from the Office of Undersecretary of Defense for Intelligence and Security,” said Vice Adm. Robert Sharp, NGA’s outgoing director.

How a Rising China Has Remade Global Politics

As much as any other single development, China’s rise over the past two decades has remade the landscape of global politics. Beginning with its entry into the World Trade Organization in December 2001, China rapidly transformed its economy from a low-cost “factory to the world” to a global leader in advanced technologies. Along the way, it has transformed global supply chains, but also international diplomacy, leveraging its success to become the primary trading and development partner for emerging economies across Asia, Africa and Latin America.

Without Regulation, the Metaverse Will Be Like Social Media on Steroids

Kate Jones

“Society cannot exist without Law,” the 19th-century U.S. Supreme Court Justice Joseph P. Bradley famously declared. Aristotle similarly remarked, “Law is order, and good law is good order.” Both men would have been horrified at the prospect of a new, virtual society that potentially lies outside the scope of any system of law, save for contractual provisions imposed by its commercially motivated, all-seeing creator.

U.S. Enters International Initiative to Oppose Online Disinformation and Censorship

Alexandra Kelley

The U.S. joined a new consortium of nations focused on keeping the global internet free from disinformation and censorship, largely a response to Russia’s physical and digital invasion of Ukraine, where internet infrastructure is being attacked as part of the ongoing war.

Announced on Wednesday in a National Security Council briefing, a senior administration official said that the U.S. is formally launching the Declaration for the Future of the Internet initiative in collaboration with over 50 other countries.

Russia Ramps Up 'War of Disinformation' as 'Victory Day' Looms


Russian President Vladimir Putin and Kremlin officials have increasingly made threatening statements to NATO as a strategic tactic as the Ukraine war enters its third month, according to experts.

During a Wednesday speech, Putin said any countries that intervene in Russian military operations in Ukraine and create "unacceptable threats for us that are strategic in nature" would be met with a "lightning-fast" response, Agence France-Presse reported.

The Syrian Civil War’s Never-Ending Endgame

The Syrian civil war that has decimated the country for more than decade, provoking a regional humanitarian crisis and drawing in actors ranging from the United States to Russia, has been drawing inexorably to a conclusion for years now. President Bashar al-Assad, with the backing of Iran and Russia, has emerged militarily victorious from the conflict, which began after his government violently repressed civilian protests in 2011. The armed insurgency that followed soon morphed into a regional and global proxy war that, at the height of the fighting, saw radical Islamist groups, including the Islamic State, seize control over vast swathes of the country. They subsequently lost almost all the territory they controlled in the face of sustained counteroffensives by pro-government forces as well as a U.S.-led coalition of Western militaries.

29 April 2022

IMF Staff Statement on the Economic Impact of War in Ukraine

Kristalina Georgieva

Washington, DC: The International Monetary Fund (IMF) Executive Board met on March 4 in a meeting chaired by Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva. Staff briefed the Board on the economic impact of the war in Ukraine, and on possible fast-tracked financial assistance for affected countries.

The war in Ukraine is resulting in tragic loss of life and human suffering, as well as causing massive damage to Ukraine’s physical infrastructure. It has sent a wave of more than 1 million refugees to neighboring countries. Unprecedented sanctions have been announced on Russia.

Ukraine crisis: Why India is buying more Russian oil

Shruti Menon

The Indian government has defended the move to buy Russian oil, and said what it buys from Russia in a month is less than what Europe buys from Russia in an afternoon.

Why is India buying more Russian oil?

India has taken advantage of discounted prices to ramp up oil imports from Russia at a time when global energy prices have been rising.

The US has said that although these oil imports do not violate sanctions, "support for Russia...is support for an invasion that obviously is having a devastating impact".

Russia doubles fossil fuel revenues since invasion of Ukraine began

Fiona Harvey

Russia has nearly doubled its revenues from selling fossil fuels to the EU during the two months of war in Ukraine, benefiting from soaring prices even as volumes have been reduced.

Russia has received about €62bn from exports of oil, gas and coal in the two months since the invasion began, according to an analysis of shipping movements and cargos by the Centre for Research on Energy and Clean Air.

Taliban Faces Rising Armed Resistance From Former Government Factions

Abubakar Siddique

For nearly two decades, the Taliban launched an annual deadly spring offensive in a bid to regain the power it lost in 2001.

As the snows melted in the Afghan mountains, Taliban fighters hastened their attacks on officials and troops of the pro-Western Afghan republic and soldiers from dozens of NATO-led Western countries allied with it.

Now, in an apparent reversal of roles, factions of the fallen Afghan republic are claiming attacks on the Taliban in many provinces in what seems to be an uncoordinated spring offensive.

Can Western Tanks, Artillery, And Missiles Save Ukraine? Don’t Count On It.

Daniel Davis

On Monday, Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin said one U.S. objective in its support of Ukraine was to “weaken” Russia. Former NATO commander Gen (ret). Wesley Clark recently told CNN that one way to accomplish that goal is to send Ukraine “500 tanks, a couple thousand tubes of artillery and rockets.” And, he added, “we’ve got to get (all those tanks and artillery tubes) moving if we’re going to break” Russia’s offensive in the Donbas.

While it may seem self-evident that Ukraine could defeat Russia’s attack if the West provided large numbers of tanks to the front quickly enough, the difficulties and challenges of combat realities make such an outcome highly unlikely. In a best-case scenario for Ukraine, it would take the better part of a year to be able to produce an armored combat capacity strong enough to expel the Russian army from Ukrainian territory – and as explained below, even with such weapons, Ukraine may still not succeed.

The hybrid war in Ukraine

Tom Burt 

Today, we released a report detailing the relentless and destructive Russian cyberattacks we’ve observed in a hybrid war against Ukraine, and what we’ve done to help protect Ukrainian people and organizations. We believe it’s important to share this information so that policymakers and the public around the world know what’s occurring, and so others in the security community can continue to identify and defend against this activity. All of this work is ultimately focused on protecting civilians from attacks that can directly impact their lives and their access to critical services.

Labelling initiatives, codes of conduct and other self-regulatory mechanisms for artificial intelligence applications

Camilla d'Angelo, Isabel Flanagan, Immaculate Dadiso Motsi-Omoijiade

Artificial intelligence (AI) is recognised as a strategically important technology that can contribute to a wide array of societal and economic benefits. However, it is also a technology that may present serious challenges and have unintended consequences. Within this context, trust in AI is recognised as a key prerequisite for the broader uptake of this technology in society. It is therefore vital that AI products, services and systems are developed and implemented responsibly, safely and ethically.

A New Framework for Understanding and Countering China's Gray Zone Tactics

Bonny Lin, Cristina L. Garafola, Bruce McClintock, Jonah Blank

Gray zone tactics—coercive actions that are shy of armed conflict but beyond normal diplomatic, economic, and other activities—are widely recognized as playing an increasingly important role in China's efforts to advance its domestic, economic, foreign policy, and security objectives, particularly in the Indo-Pacific. But there is little consensus to date on which tactics pose the greatest challenges to the United States and its allies and partners in the region.

Future Uses of Space Out to 2050

James Black, Linda Slapakova, Kevin Martin

Recent years have witnessed major changes in how humans are utilising space. Access to and use of space has become essential to modern digital society and many aspects of everyday life. The number of space-related activities conducted by government, military and commercial actors around the world is increasing. This second 'space race', brings both threats and opportunities to the UK's economy, security, interests, values and way of life.

NGA shifting tech investment to reflect ‘GEOINT revolution’


GEOINT 2022: The outgoing National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency director has unveiled a new set of “mission imperatives,” alongside the technical means the agency needs to pursue to improve its performance — with the top priority being assured positioning, navigation, timing and targeting.

“We need to make these changes in order to increase our speed and keep ahead of the GEOINT being created every day,” Vice Adm. Robert Sharp told the USGIF GEOINT 2022 annual conference here in Denver. “These concepts are not new, but we’ve never put them on paper in public before.”

Lyft exec Craig Martell tapped as Pentagon’s AI chief: Exclusive Interview


WASHINGTON: Craig Martell, head of machine learning at Lyft, has been named the Pentagon’s Chief Digital and Artificial Intelligence Officer, Breaking Defense has learned.

The hiring of a Silicon Valley persona for the CDAO role is likely to be cheered by those in the defense community who have been calling for more technically-minded individuals to take leadership roles in the department. At the same time, Martell’s lack of Pentagon experience — he was a professor at the Naval Postgraduate School for over a decade studying AI for the military, but has never worked in the department’s bureaucracy — may pose challenges as he works to lead an office only months old.

The Ukraine War, Redefined

George Friedman

The war in Ukraine began under a faulty assumption shared by many, including the United States, that if Russia invaded, it would defeat Ukraine, and it would do so quickly. The Russians deployed their forces carelessly, without much regard for the Ukrainians. When the Russians encountered resistance against their disorganized armored and infantry forces, operating pretty much without air support, they acknowledged problems but continued to assume that the problems they faced were simply the friction of the battlefield rather than something that risked the outcome they assumed was theirs.

More than AI or hypersonics, microelectronics dominate DARPA’s investments


WASHINGTON: Flashy programs like hypersonic systems or altering human skin to be less attractive to mosquitos may get more public attention, but figures released by the military’s fringe R&D department today reveal that its money is really pouring into microelectronics.

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) plans to spend some $896 million on microelectronics, a total that is more than the combined figures for its second and third big money investment areas — biotech and artificial intelligence, respectively, at about $410 million each — in fiscal 2023, according to slides presented today by DARPA Director Stefanie Tompkins. Cyber projects come in fourth at $184 million, followed by hypersonics at $143 million and quantum research at $90 million.

Stealth Fighter Showdown: Can The US Military Beat China’s J-20 In Battle?

Brent M. Eastwood

China’s newish J-20 stealth fighter has been making headlines for over a decade now. However, how good is compared to America’s F-22 or F-35? China’s J-20 fighter is getting a boost – a new pep in its step – if the Chinese can be believed. The J-20 Mighty Dragon is reportedly receiving new engines. This should help with its dogfighting ability, according to the country’s air force. The WS-15 dual turbofan engines are supposed to improve the J-20’s performance in a potential showdown with the F-35 or F-22.

How Emerging Technology Is Breaking Arms Control

Amy J. Nelson

Until recently, arms control—the system of agreements, organizations and processes to regulate certain types of weapons—has proved an effective tool for threats from conventional and nuclear technologies. Today, however, arms control is suffering from a spate of major violations, suspensions and withdrawals.

But it is not only state behavior that is undermining arms control. The regimes are being disrupted by the rapid pace of technological change in three key ways. First, industrially advanced nations (and aspiring ones) are accelerating the rate of development for innovations. New technologies are emerging too quickly for working group members—typically a combination of technologists and diplomats—to keep control lists current with emerging threats. Second, the technologies underlying existing weapons, platforms and systems—from the schematics for how they’re made to the software that makes them run—are being digitized, and newer technologies are emerging in digital formats that circumvent existing regulation. Third, the combination of accelerated innovation and digitization is contributing to the digital diffusion of technologies that augment the risk of proliferation and enable states to maintain latent military capabilities.

The Russia-Ukraine War: Where Do We Go from Here?

Zvi Magen, Sophie Kobzantsev

Russia's war is not only against Ukraine, but rather, as the Russian regime repeatedly declares, against NATO and the West in general. The sequence of events has changed Russia's initial intention not to become entangled in a long military campaign, but rather, through a short operation, to replace the government of Ukraine or at least to distance Ukraine from the West. But in practice, Russia has been drawn into a prolonged conflict – the result of effective Ukrainian resistance that is supported by NATO, which trained Ukraine’s army and helps it with the supply of weapons, intelligence sharing, and technological warfare.

Central Asia Is Keeping a Nervous Eye on Russia’s War in Ukraine

Jeffrey Mankoff

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is upending the geopolitical calculations of states around the world. The fallout is especially complex for the post-Soviet states of Central Asia, which maintain extensive economic, political, cultural and other ties to both Russia and Ukraine. While Central Asia is far from the front lines of the ongoing war, and therefore less directly impacted than states like Moldova or Georgia, its leaders also face difficult decisions.

How Congress Can Prevent Elon Musk from Turning Twitter Back Into an Unfettered Disinformation Machine

John Cassidy

Over the weekend, a story came out of Brussels that many may have missed. The twenty-seven member states of the European Union reached an agreement on a new law requiring big online platforms, including social-media companies, to police hate speech and disinformation more effectively. Under the E.U.’s Digital Services Act, European governments now have the power to ask Web platforms like Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube to remove any content that promotes terrorism, hate speech, child sexual abuse, or commercial scams. The platforms will also be obliged to prevent the “manipulation of services having an impact on democratic processes and public security.”

Why Elon Musk Bought Twitter

Patrick T. 

On Monday, Elon Musk bought Twitter for forty-four billion dollars. Musk, the C.E.O. of Tesla and the richest man on earth, plans to take the social-media company private, and has said that he wants Twitter to adhere more closely to the principles of free speech, which, in a statement, Musk called “the bedrock of a functioning democracy.” (In the same statement, he described Twitter as the “digital town square where matters vital to the future of humanity are debated.”) Musk himself is a frequent tweeter, and it is assumed that he will continue to use the platform, and potentially reinstate the account of former President Donald Trump. He is also thought to be less likely to ban people for violations of the platform’s policies, which themselves may change.

‘Cheetah,’ ‘Switchblade’ and ‘Phoenix Ghost’: Will the new weapons headed to Ukraine be enough to win the war?

Joshua Keating

Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin and his NATO counterparts are meeting in Germany this week to discuss what may be their most important contribution to Ukraine’s defense against the Russian invasion: the large-scale and growing effort to deliver military hardware to Ukraine.

The U.S. alone has committed more than $2.6 billion in military aid to Ukraine since the war began and pledged an additional $800 million last week. Other NATO countries have committed billions as well. But the Ukrainian government says it needs more — both in terms of volume and the sophistication of the weaponry — to push back against the Russian onslaught. And as the conflict shifts from urban warfare around Kyiv to more traditional tank and artillery battles in the country’s east, Ukraine’s military needs are changing.

How Much Can US Howitzers Help Ukraine?


As Russian forces focus on seizing Ukraine’s Donbas, the United States has begun rushing 90 howitzers—the famed 155mm artillery guns used by the U.S. Army and Marine Corps—to help repel the invaders in the flat, largely rural region. But how much will they help?

“Artillery is a specific item that the Ukrainians asked for because of the fighting that they expect is going to occur in the Donbas,” Pentagon spokesman John Kirby told reporters April 18. “The terrain lends itself to the use of artillery, to long-range fires, as we call it. And we know that the Russians also believe the same thing, because we're seeing them move artillery units into the Donbas as well. And so we want to give the Ukrainians every bit of advantage that we can.”

How Democracies Spy on Their Citizens

Ronan Farrow

The parliament of Catalonia, the autonomous region in Spain, sits on the edge of Barcelona’s Old City, in the remains of a fortified citadel constructed by King Philip V to monitor the restive local population. The citadel was built with forced labor from hundreds of Catalans, and its remaining structures and gardens are for many a reminder of oppression. Today, a majority of Catalan parliamentarians support independence for the region, which the Spanish government has deemed unconstitutional. In 2017, as Catalonia prepared for a referendum on independence, Spanish police arrested at least twelve separatist politicians. On the day of the referendum, which received the support of ninety per cent of voters despite low turnout, police raids of polling stations injured hundreds of civilians. Leaders of the independence movement, some of whom live in exile across Europe, now meet in private and communicate through encrypted messaging platforms.

A Clash of Civilisations: the Russian vs. the Nordic Pavilion at the Venice Biennale

James M. Dorsey

Russia and the Nordic countries’ pavilions at this year’s Venice Biennale, the world’s most prestigious art exhibition, project two different concepts of civilisation, nationalism, and sovereignty that have come to blows in Ukraine.

Newly renovated, brooding, and inward-looking, Russia’s art nouveau pavilion stands empty and abandoned after its Lithuanian curator and artists resigned in protest against Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. A lone armed guard is what is left of what would have been Russia’s cultural contribution.

‘Thanks, Putin’: Finnish and Swedish Lawmakers Aim for NATO Membership

Robbie Gramer

Finnish and Swedish opposition leaders traveled to Washington this week to meet with U.S. officials as their countries kick-start debates on joining NATO in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Petteri Orpo, the chair of Finland’s center-right National Coalition Party, and Ulf Kristersson, the leader of the opposition in Sweden’s parliament and head of the country’s Moderate Party, met with senior Biden administration officials and congressional staffers during their visit to push for swift U.S. support of expanding NATO, should both Finland and Sweden formally make bids to join the alliance. The prospect of the two Nordic countries joining NATO represents a significant shift in their foreign policies after decades of military nonalignment, spurred by Russian President Vladimir Putin’s decision to launch a full-scale military invasion of Ukraine.

Welcome to the Black Sea Era of War

Maximilian Hess

The sinking of the Russian Black Sea Fleet flagship Moskva on April 14 made history as the largest military ship destroyed in conflict since World War II. Ukraine’s claim to have sunk the ship with two of its Neptune missiles was seen as a particular shock and has led to reevaluations of its coastal defense capabilities and, in particular, its ability to secure its southwestern shores. The significance of the fact that the historic sinking took place on the waves of Black Sea, however, has elicited less notice.

What Does Musk's Purchase of Twitter Mean for Disinformation?


Elon Musk just bought Twitter; his ideas on free speech suggest the social-media platform might soon do less to moderate content, track extremism, monitor hate speech, and block domestic and foreign disinformation.

Sara Fischer, a media reporter for Axios, said Monday that some of the content moderation and site integrity features that Twitter has put in place since 2016 could be the first thing on Musk’s chopping block.

28 April 2022


The People’s Liberation Army (PLA) has been increasing its study, training, and preparation for future urban warfare over the past decade. The PLA has limited experience with urban warfare and so often relies on observations of other militaries to inform its outlook. Among the drivers for this interest in urban warfare is that any Chinese campaign to force “(re)unification” with Taiwan could involve intense fighting in Taiwanese cities. The current edition of the Science of Military Strategy mentions an urban offensive (城市进攻) as a component of island operations (岛上作战) but does not elaborate on the conduct of such an offensive, likely because of the sensitivity of this scenario. This campaign could present a particular challenge, given that over 90 percent of Taiwan’s population lives in cities. Beyond the possibility of invading Taiwan, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) is also concerned about terrorist threats, whether real and imagined, within China’s cities or against the security of Chinese citizens and businesses worldwide. Meanwhile, the conduct of urban counterterrorism has become the focus of several exercises and exchanges undertaken by the PLA and the People’s Armed Police (PAP).

Were Drone Strikes Effective? Evaluating the Drone Campaign in Pakistan Through Captured al-Qaeda Documents

Bryce Loidolt 

At a time when the United States seems likely to rely heavily on targeted killing as an instrument of counter-terrorism, scholars, policymakers, and other analysts remain divided over its utility. These disagreements have been especially pronounced in scholarship and commentary regarding the U.S. drone campaign in Pakistan. This systematic review of declassified Arabic-language correspondence among senior al-Qaeda leaders and operatives suggests that drone strikes eroded the quality of al-Qaeda’s personnel base, forced the group to reduce communications and other activities, and compelled it to flee its safe haven in Pakistan’s tribal regions. Yet, the results were sometimes incomplete and took years of sustained pressure to achieve. U.S. policymakers should acknowledge these limitations and plan to supplement future lethal targeting campaigns with other complementary counter-terrorism instruments.

Prospects for U.S.-Japan Cyber Cooperation: Critical Infrastructure Protection and Joint Operations Perspectives

Keisuke Mizuhiro

In recent years, global dependence on cyberspace has deepened dramatically. At the same time, cyber attacks are increasing around the world, and cyber attacks on critical infrastructure such as electricity, gas, water, telecommunications, transportation, and finance are of particular concern.

Cyber attacks on critical infrastructure occur across the spectrum from daily life to inter-state conflicts. Recent full-spectrum examples include the SolarWinds incident in 2020, the Colonial Pipeline incident in 2021 which remains fresh in our minds, and Russia’s wide array of cyberattacks against Ukraine during its invasion of Crimea in 2014 and early in its ongoing 2022 invasion of Ukraine. Cyber attacks on critical infrastructure are now one of the key means of inter-state attack, and their impact is immeasurable.

A Weaker Russia and the West’s Opportunity in the South Caucasus

Nicholas Chkhaidze & Taras Kuzio

In 2021 the Russian Federation, ever seeking to grow its influence and counter Western ‘aggression’, proposed a ‘3+3 Format’ that could be used to bind the region closer together. The 3+3 Format would consist of Georgia, Azerbaijan, Turkey, Armenia, Russia and Iran. There were concerns that it was a return to the days of spheres of influence, where larger nations would be in a position to determine the actions of smaller nations. In a new briefing, ‘A Weaker Russia and the West’s Opportunity in the South Caucasus’, Dr Taras Kuzio and Nicholas Chkhaidze have analysed the effect of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on the region and where there may be opportunities for the West.

China’s military rise and European technology

Joris Teer

The People’s Liberation Army is trying to become a “world class” military by leveraging the technological innovations of the 4th industrial revolution. In 2022, China still struggles with important military-technological gaps. Beijing should not be allowed to catch up with the help of European knowledge and technology. Traditionally a free-trading nation with a highly internationalized university system, the Netherlands is now engaged in a policy debate to put a stop to unwanted knowledge and technology transfer.

HCSS China Analyst Joris Teer outlines the debate so far, provides policy recommendations for the government and highlights a past failure of Dutch industry and the government to protect sensitive technology. That episode made the world a more dangerous place.

Experts Respond: Political Crisis in Pakistan | The Reasons behind the Turmoil and Its Implications

Amina Khan,  Waqas Sajjad

Pakistan has recently been experiencing turmoil, which resulted on Sunday, April 10, with the removal of Prime Minister Imran Khan from office, making him the first Pakistani prime minister removed through a no-confidence motion. The political situation in Pakistan started to deteriorate last week following the ruling of the deputy speaker of the National Assembly against the no-confidence motion against Prime Minister Imran Khan and the dissolving of the National Assembly as requested by the latter.

The political situation in Pakistan is still not stable, and a new government is expected to be formed soon. However, at this point, it is important to understand the reasons that led to this turmoil and what the removal of Khan from office means for Pakistan. Within this framework, several experts from Turkey and Pakistan have briefly analyzed the events and their implications, not only for Pakistan but for the region and the world as well.

Understanding Central Asia’s Cautious Approach to Russia’s Invasion of Ukraine

Bruce Pannier

The governments in Central Asia are treading cautiously in their remarks about Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Central Asia, too, was part of the Russian Empire and Soviet Union, and, when some in Central Asia see the news from Ukraine, they might wonder if they are seeing their own future. That worrying thought must have crossed the minds of some officials in the Central Asian governments as well.

Officials in Kazakhstan, and, more recently, in Uzbekistan, have stated that their governments will not recognize the independence of the Kremlin-backed separatist regions of Donetsk and Luhansk, as President Vladimir Putin announced Russia would do on February 21. Tashkent and Nur-Sultan have also called for an end to the violence in Ukraine but avoided any mention of the aggressor.

Hybrid CoE Paper 13: Digitalization and hybrid threats: Assessing the vulnerabilities for European security

Daniel Fiott

From artificial intelligence to quantum computing, emerging and disruptive technologies (EDTs) may be part of the next revolution in military affairs – but it is not clear how EDTs will shape the future of conflict or strategies aimed at countering hybrid threats. This Hybrid CoE Paper seeks to uncover what kind of role EDTs could play in European security. It does so by contextualizing the emergence of EDTs in the broader process of digitalization.

Challenges mount against U.S., allies in race to maintain stability in space

JOINT BASE ANACOSTIA-BOLLING – JOINT BASE ANACOSTIA-BOLLING – The combined in-orbit space fleets of China and Russia grew more than 70% in just over two years, evidence of both nations’ intent to undercut U.S. and allied global leadership in the space domain, according to a new report from the Defense Intelligence Agency.

While satellites and other space-based capabilities support vital American infrastructure and communication functions, they also afford the United States and its allies the crucial ability to project combat power to areas of conflict and instability. DIA’s report, “Challenges to Security in Space — 2022,” notes that American efforts to ensure that the space domain remains secure, stable and accessible are under threat.

Attacking the Metaverse

In China, 2021 was dubbed year one of the metaverse with extensive investment by local government, tech companies, major conferences, and studies all related to development and future of the metaverse. While there is not one authoritative definition recognized for the metaverse as it continues to evolve and develop, the basic idea is virtualizing and digitizing the real world. Stylianos Mystakidis from the University of Patras, echoes this idea in his definition, “The Metaverse is the post-reality universe, a perpetual and persistent multiuser environment merging physical reality with digital virtuality". Others have referred to it as a “physical Internet where you don’t just watch content, you’re a whole person in it”.

Conflict prevention: Taming the dogs of war

Mariano Aguirre, Dr Patricia Lewis

Europe finds itself confronted by something many thought would never be seen again: a war. Russia’s illegal invasion of Ukraine has seen millions of people become refugees, fleeing to Poland, Hungary, Germany, Moldova and Romania, and all within a matter of days.

For many, this level of overwhelming aggression and firepower, along with the dangerous, illegal attacks on civil nuclear power stations, the use of cluster munitions, landmines and the threatened use of nuclear weapons has come as an enormous shock.

Beyond India’s Lockdown: PMGKY Benefits During the COVID-19 Crisis and the State of Digital Payments

Alan Gelb, Anurodh Giri, Anit Mukherjee, Ritesh Rautela, Mitul Thapliyal 

India imposed a lock-down in response to the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020 and began a gradual re-opening in June. A telephonic survey in April examined the early effectiveness of information and the massive PMGKY social protection program (Policy Paper 217). This paper analyzes a second-round survey, conducted six months later. Logistical and information constraints had relaxed, and incomes and jobs had begun to stabilize for some. There were not strong indications of differential access to benefits by income or location, but constraints to providing public employment had tightened in the face of increased demand, resulting in greater job rationing. Men made more use of digital channels, with a clear smartphone ownership hierarchy between men and women; this divide carried over into the growing autonomous use of digital payments which is conditioned on access to smartphones. Survey results confirm strong local agglomeration effects in digital payments, mirroring the general pattern with higher use in states hosting India’s major technology hubs. At the same time, trust-based concerns reduced the use of assisted digital cash-outs through agents.

Taliban Defense Minister Challenges Pakistan Over Border Airstrikes

Trevor Filseth

Mullah Mohammed Yaqoob, the acting defense minister of the Taliban-led government of Afghanistan, vowed on Sunday that the country would not allow “invasions” from neighboring countries—an explicit criticism of Pakistan, whose military conducted airstrikes along the Afghan border last week.

The airstrikes, which took place near the eastern Afghan provinces of Khost and Kunar, allegedly killed as many as forty civilians, including twenty children. Pakistan has not yet confirmed its involvement in the strikes.

Has Russia Already Lost the Cyberwar With Ukraine?

Aaron Crimmins

Vladimir Putin’s war in Ukraine has not gone to plan. As sanctions sink their teeth deeper into the Russian economy, and battlefield losses continue to pile up, the Russian leader has found himself with yet another headache, one that just months ago would have seemed absurd.

Since the invasion began on February 24, Russia has become the target of a seemingly unrelenting cascade of cyberattacks. While the Russian state and its citizens are no stranger to cybercrime and espionage, the sharp rise in hacks since the Russian Armed Forces began rolling into Ukraine is unprecedented. From Ukrainian state-affiliated intruders, to “hacktivists” such as Anonymous, and even lone wolves, Russian entities have been paying the price for Putin’s invasion.

Strategic Competition in the Financial Gray Zone

James Andrew Lewis, Eugenia Lostri and Donatienne Ruy

Over the past 10 years, the U.S. government has slowly reoriented its foreign and security policy from the fight against global terrorism toward strategic competition with Russia and China. This reorientation has been accompanied by a new examination of how strategic competition will impact the integrity and future stability of the U.S. economy and financial system. One of the most important elements of strategic competition is sub-threshold warfare (also called asymmetric, hybrid, or gray zone warfare), wherein strategic competitors seek to shape the geostrategic environment in their favor, from information operations to economic warfare—which includes such tools as illicit finance and strategic corruption. Strategic competitors present a clear economic and financial threat to the United States when they operate in the emerging financial gray zone, in which malign actors can take advantage of the U.S. financial system to further their aims and disarm the country internally. The U.S. government, along with its allies, has only begun to acknowledge the sweeping nature of the financial gray zone and to reposition itself to compete within it. Because adversaries exploit the seams between the internal and external policies and authorities, Washington must have greater insights into a complex operating system and better integrate data across the many relevant agencies—in a way, connecting the financial dots. As it develops this comprehensive picture, the U.S. government should develop stronger defensive and offensive policy tools to counter this emerging threat.

Foreign investors are ditching China. Russia's war is the latest trigger

Laura He

Hong Kong (CNN Business)Investors are ditching China on an unprecedented scale as a cocktail of political and business risks, and rising interest rates elsewhere, make the world's second biggest economy a less attractive place to keep their money.

China witnessed $17.5 billion worth of portfolio outflows last month, an all-time high, according to most recent data from the Institute of International Finance (IIF). The US-based trade association called this capital flight by overseas investors "unprecedented," especially as there were no similar outflows from other emerging markets during this period. The outflows included $11.2 billion in bonds, while the rest were equities.