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.