12 June 2022

Give Ukraine A Chance To Win

Robert Kelly

The last few weeks have seen the rise of ‘Ukraine fatigue.’ Early expectations were that Russia would win the war quickly. The Western debate was initially whether we should support an insurgency. Then came a burst of enthusiasm that Russia might lose. This is fading now. The conflict seems to be settling into a war of attrition.

Russia is making gains in Donbas but at a high cost. Ukraine is pushing back elsewhere, and Western arms shipments will likely help it blunt concentrated Russian power in the east. That said, a Ukrainian counteroffensive to take back much of what Russia now controls in Ukraine would be extraordinarily difficult. A long slog seems likely over the summer, with the initiative slowly passing to Ukraine as sanctions crimp Russia’s ability to replace losses and as Western weapons level the playing field.

India Faces a Diplomatic Storm in the Middle East

Rajeswari Pillai Rajagopalan

Indian Muslims shout slogans as they react to the derogatory references to Islam and the Prophet Muhammad made by top officials in the governing Hindu nationalist party during a protest in Mumbai, India, Monday, June 6, 2022.Credit: AP Photo/Rafiq Maqbool

Indian diplomacy is facing an international furor after a spokesperson of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) made derogatory comments about Prophet Muhammad in a televized debate recently. Nupur Sharma, the BJP’s main spokesperson, made the comments during a debate last month while Naveen Jindal, another BJP official, followed up with a tweet about the Prophet. The tweet has been deleted, but the controversy from these comments has created a big headache for Indian foreign policy, at least temporarily.

What India's Hedging Over Ukraine Means for the West

Sumantra Maitra

“Europe has to grow out of the mindset that Europe’s problems are the world’s problems but the world’s problems are not Europe’s problems,” barked Subrahmanyam Jaishankar, India’s influential minister of external affairs and a man of unusually refined sartorial sense for that part of the world, in response to a meek question in Slovakia about India’s balancing act over Ukraine. “This is the construct you are trying to impose on me and I don’t accept it,” he said when asked whether India needs to “choose a side.”

“I am one-fifth of the world’s population, I am today the fifth or sixth-largest economy in the world, I mean forget the history, civilization bit, everyone knows that I, think I am entitled to have my own side,” Jaishankar continued.

Will Russia’s Severodonetsk Offensive Decide the Fate of the Donbass?

Mark Episkopos

As street battles continue for control of the key city of Severodonetsk, Russian forces are mounting a new offensive in the direction of Sloviansk in an effort to consolidate their presence in Ukraine’s eastern Donbass region.

Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskyy said the ongoing battle for Severodonetsk could decide the course of Russia’s Donbass campaign. "In many respects, the fate of the Donbass is being decided there," he said. "Our [forces] now again control only the outskirts of the city, but the fighting is still going on, our [forces] are defending Severodonetsk,” Zelenskyy added. "It is impossible to say the Russians completely control the city.”

World Bank: Most Countries Are Heading for a Recession

Ethen Kim Lieser

The World Bank’s latest global economic forecast indicates that most countries should begin preparing for a recession, as global economic growth is expected to slow down in the months ahead.

“For many countries, recession will be hard to avoid,” David Malpass, the World Bank’s president said in a statement, warning that a period of stagflation like what was witnessed in the 1970s is certainly possible.

Global growth is expected to slump from 5.7 percent in 2021 to 2.9 percent in 2022, which is markedly lower than the World Bank’s January estimate of 4.1 percent. Growth will likely hover around that level until 2024 as inflation remains above target in most countries.

Does Pakistan’s First Cybersecurity Policy Go Far Enough?

Muhammad Riaz Shad

Pakistan falls among the developing countries that have recently experienced the fast-growing application of information and communication technologies, particularly the internet. According to Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) data, the country’s internet penetration rate stands at 52.60 percent as of April 2022. Internet usage saw a surge following the accelerated shift to cyberspace for work and business amid the pandemic. Consequently, Pakistan is increasingly adopting e-services across its economy and government. To develop its digital ecosystem, comprised of technological infrastructure and institutional frameworks, Pakistan has adopted the Digital Pakistan Policy. These trends and measures indicate that digitization has become an ever-growing phenomenon in Pakistani society and government.

India’s Cold-Blooded Realism Will Help Balance China

Benjamin Giltner

The West remains determined to punish Russia over its invasion of Ukraine. The European Union announced new sanctions in early May. Meanwhile, the U.S. Congress approved $40 billion in military aid to Ukraine, an action that follows Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin’s comment that the United States wanted to weaken Russia. However, not every state is behind the Western effort to isolate and punish Russia.

Besides China, India is one of the more prominent countries to not be on this train. So far, India has abstained from voting on multiple United Nations resolutions condemning Russia. Obviously, the United States does not want India to remain neutral over this conflict, with the White House expressing its displeasure over its neutral stance.

India’s position of neutrality may seem like bad news to the United States. However, India is following the centuries-old thinking of foreign policy known as raison d'etat. What is raison d'etat, and what does India’s practice of it mean for the United States in the long term?

Does International Trade Actually Breed Conflict?

Sorin Adam Matei, Nagisha Ishinabe

The war in Ukraine has revealed an amazing paradox: nations can be at war while still trading with each other. Between the beginning of the war on February 24 and June 1, 2022, the European Union paid Russia 60 billion euros for fossil fuel deliveries only, while the Russian Federation was waging a savage war against a EU de facto ally, Ukraine.

Yet, the paradox of trading while fighting is not the product of hypocrisy or a cruel joke of the gods. It reveals an unexpected facet of economic globalization: the more it integrates nations, the more it creates the premises for conflict. The paradox did not become apparent until now because common and received wisdom claimed that economic integration leads to political convergence. However, for this to be true, the nations caught up in the process of globalization should have been close enough to converge. When they were at the polar opposite ends of the political spectrum, the results turned out to be disastrous. Autocracy and democracy pushed toward each other will end up clashing, not making peace.

Is time on Ukraine’s side?

Marvin Kalb and Henry J. Aaron

The united North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) response to the Russian invasion of Ukraine has survived more than a hundred days of brutal fighting. But cracks have recently emerged on both the diplomatic and domestic fronts, along with talk of a negotiated settlement of the war on terms most Ukrainians now reject. Rarely discussed in this new phase, hidden among the cracks, looms a legitimate, realistic concern: what happens when and if Ukraine and the United States differ on what constitutes an acceptable outcome to the war? Now is not the time to talk of concessions Ukraine may one day choose to make. But is it not too early to consider what the United States should do if, as now seems possible, Ukraine demands total Russian withdrawal and the U.S. is willing to accept a partial withdrawal?

Meanwhile the war continues, with no end in sight. Among diplomats, however, things have begun to stir, kicked off by a Jovian warning from former U.S. secretary of state Henry Kissinger that the war could widen if negotiations between Ukraine and Russia do not begin “in the next two months,” based, he said, “ideally” on a return to an undefined “status quo ante.” Kissinger’s warning triggered an angry rebuttal from Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, who said Kissinger had 1938 on his calendar. A Ukrainian parliamentarian added it was “truly shameful” that Kissinger could recommend “giving up on part of the sovereign territory” of Ukraine as a “way to peace.”

Unregulated U.S. Firearms Are a Global Problem

Robert Muggah

The United States is the indisputable mass shooting capital of the world. But in the wake of the recent horrifying incidents in Buffalo, Uvalde, Tulsa and over 230 other communities in 2022, it is worth recalling that the U.S. not only has the highest rate of gun deaths and gun possession among wealthy countries. It is also the world’s preeminent arms merchant. In fact, the U.S. is responsible for more than 40 percent of all reported arms exports globally over the past five years.

About half of U.S. sales between 2017 and 2021 were directed to clients in the Middle East, with the rest scattered across more than 100 countries, including many with a record of serious human rights violations. The most valuable exports include fighter jets and guided missiles, but it is the millions of small arms, light weapons and ammunition that exact the higher human toll. Man-portable air-defense systems, machine guns, semi-automatic rifles, handguns and small arms ammunition make up an estimated $228 billion of the more than $1.3 trillion in U.S. arms export authorizations issued since 2009

Russia Warns Growing Cyber Conflict With U.S. Could Spark War in Real World


Russia's top cyber diplomat has warned that a worsening conflict with the U.S. in cyberspace could lead to a real-world escalation between the two powers as both sides vowed to strike back against any virtual provocations.

Washington and Moscow have long denied conducting malicious cyber activities against one another, but U.S. Cyber Command Director General Paul Nakasone confirmed last week in an interview with Sky News that the Pentagon's cyber branch was involved in "a series of operations across the full spectrum," including those both "offensive" and "defensive" in nature, as well as "information operations," in support of Ukraine as it struggles to fend off a Russian incursion launched in February.

Days after the senior U.S. military official's comments, Russian special presidential representative for cooperation in the field of information security Andrey Krutskikh accused the U.S. of having "unleashed cyber aggression against Russia and its allies" in an interview Monday with the newspaper Kommersant.

Can Grid Governance Fix the Party-state's Broken Windows? A Study of Stability Maintenance in Grassroots China

Jianhua Xu


Grid governance has been developed by the Chinese party-state to collect intelligence at the grassroots level for the early pre-emption of what it defines as social instability. Using data collected from four months’ participant observation and extensive interviews with personnel who work in the grid governance system in what we call W Street, a location in a second-tier city in southern China, this paper examines how China's grid governance is used for stability maintenance and how in practice the system has become alienated from its original purpose of social control. We find that grid governance is achieved mainly through three mechanisms: intelligence gathering, case coordination and real-time reporting for stability maintenance. We further reveal that while grid governance provides an important infrastructural power for intelligence gathering, the realization of this power could be hindered by contradictory logics among different levels of government. This research not only provides empirical data on how China's grid governance works in practice but also calls for a rethinking of the capacity of China's stability maintenance regime.

US, China cashing in on global arms trade shakeup


Russia’s war in Ukraine is upending the global arms industry.

As the US and its allies pour significant sums of money into arming Ukraine and Russia bleeds tanks and personnel, countries across the world are rethinking defense budgets, materiel needs and military relationships.

Countries that historically have had low levels of defense spending such as Japan and Germany are bulking up, while nations that purchase most of their weapons from Russia are questioning their reliability and future delivery.

My research in this area suggests that however this war eventually ends, the repercussions for the global defense industry, and for the countries whose companies dominate this sector, will be enormous. Here are four takeaways.

UK Joins The ‘Hypersonic Race’ – Will Develop A New Weapons Demonstrator Under $2.5B Research Funding

Ashish Dangwal

The Ministry of Defence of the United Kingdom (UK) recently announced that it had chosen a number of crucial future technologies on which it expects to spend $2.5 billion over the next four years.

The ministry revealed that the country will concentrate on programs to develop “the generation-after-next of military capabilities” between 2022 and 2026. However, one initiative, in particular, has garnered attention: the development of hypersonic weapons.

According to this press release, the British Armed Forces will be better equipped against future threats by developing a new weapon demonstrator capable of operating at hypersonic speeds.

Furthermore, the country will increase research into AI technologies in order to understand how they could aid front-line service personnel. It will also invest in improving intelligence, communication, and surveillance capabilities in space.

Science & Technology drive to deliver UK space launch

Science & Technology Portfolio launched to support new projects across Defence

More than £2 billion of R&D funding allocated between now and 2026.

New space sensors to be launched from UK later this year

A new, ambitious Defence Science & Technology agenda, backed by £2 billion of investment and including an exciting new satellite launch, has been commissioned today.

Aimed at driving forward cutting-edge research and developing new Defence capabilities, the Science & Technology Portfolio outlines a series of ambitious programmes, encouraging industry collaboration and input to meet future Defence needs.

Ministry of Defence’s Science and Technology portfolio

The Defence Science and Technology Portfolio is a series of programmes and standalone projects designed to meet the Ministry of Defence (MOD)’s capability needs and to ensure the UK armed forces remain at the cutting edge of technology.

This guide gives an overview of each programme and standalone project for the benefit of industry, academia, other government and non-government organisations and partners.

To deliver on the scale and ambition set out by the MOD’s Chief Scientific Adviser will require a whole-of-UK effort as well as collaboration and cooperation from international allies.

Sustaining strategic advantage through science and technology (S&T) is the first objective of the UK’s combined security, defence, development and foreign policy.

The coming decade will see the ability to advance and exploit science and technology as an increasingly important metric of global power and an essential driver of economic, political, and military competition.

Inflation isn’t China’s problem, income is: ‘all we can do is spend less’

He Huifeng

Unlike in the West, where soaring inflation has brewed into a political storm, China’s middle class is more concerned with the ramifications of falling wages that are curbing non-essential spending and depressing the economic outlook.

While the United States is battling its highest inflation rate in about four decades, China has seen food prices increase just over 2 per cent from a year ago.

But for the roughly 400 million members of China’s middle class, income reductions have become increasingly commonplace amid the nation’s strict zero-Covid policy and difficult economic conditions.

“From international and domestic news, we have seen that global commodity inflation is significant, and it will definitely affect China’s oil, natural gas and grain prices in the second half of the year,” said Gong Wentao, an independent investor in Shenzhen’s property market and the mainland’s stock market.

Home versus abroad: China’s differing sovereignty concepts in the South China Sea and the Arctic

Liselotte Odgaard


The article contrasts China’s interpretations of sovereignty within its so-called motherland in the South China Sea and far from China’s shores in the Arctic. The People’s Republic of China (PRC) has maintained a pre-modern definition of Chinese boundaries in the South China Sea as territorial and ocean frontiers with blurred boundaries to other political authorities. Frontiers were without permanent settlements, but nomads and fishermen recurringly used them within a Chinese imperial system of reciprocal socioeconomic responsibilities. The South China Sea forms part of this frontier where the PRC argues that national Chinese legislation applies. By contrast, far from China’s shores in the Arctic, where China is not the political centre, the PRC seeks to globalise the region, depicting it as a frontier with blurred boundaries of political authority. China recognises the sovereignty of Arctic states, but simultaneously applies standard interpretations of international law to legalise the presence of extra-regional states.

Warrior monk: guns, grenades, and the rise of the Ninth Panchen Lama on Sino–Mongol–Tibetan frontiers, 1924–1937

Huasha Zhang


This article revisits the Ninth Panchen Lama’s (Choekyi Nyima, 1883–1937) controversial exile in China and Inner Mongolia between 1924 and 1937. As the most renowned political dissenter of the then-nascent Tibetan state and the second most important religious leader for Mongolian and Tibetan Buddhists, the Ninth Panchen Lama played a significant role in the early-twentieth-century Chinese, Tibetan, and Mongolian political and spiritual worlds. Academic scrutiny of the Ninth Panchen Lama’s association with China has facilitated the scholarly understanding of the “subimperialist” policy that the Chinese Nationalist government devised to replicate the Qing Empire’s success in managing Mongol and Tibetan territories. Assisted by newly released sources and a shifting focus away from Chinese statesmen to the Tibetan monk, this article reassesses the power that the Ninth Panchen Lama wielded on the Sino–Mongol–Tibetan frontiers and his collaboration with the Chinese Nationalist government. This article argues that despite possessing many cosmetic features of the Qing-style relationship centering on the mutually agreed reinterpretation of an established status quo within a hierarchal framework, the alliance between the Ninth Panchen Lama and the Chinese Nationalist government was a venturesome entente based upon shared objectives that were audacious, contentious, and bore little resemblance to Qing precedent.

Between a rock and a hard place: academic freedom in globalising Chinese universities

Tim Pringle & Sophia Woodman


This article examines academic freedom in China amid the tensions within a marketised global political economy of knowledge production. Joining the global competition for hegemony in the ‘knowledge economy’, the Chinese authorities signalled an acceptance of the ‘rules of the game’, even though these have the potential to undermine domestic political control. Global (as opposed to national) rankings of universities were actually initiated in China, and Chinese universities are competing for status. Likewise, China has created space for marketised higher education institutions and increasingly collaborates with global commercial publishing platforms, while academics there are under growing pressure to publish in globally ranked journals. The dynamic authoritarianism pursued under Xi Jinping has exacerbated the tensions inherent in these differing imperatives. The Xi era has witnessed declines in university autonomy; growing content-related restrictions in teaching, research and publishing including extending these to global firms; and increased distrust of research collaborations with ‘foreigners’. We focus here on a central support for academic freedom: institutional and individual autonomy, showing how threats to autonomy in Chinese universities are related to two different types of authoritarianism: party control and managerialism. We also point to areas of tension between internationalisation of Chinese higher education and authoritarian impulses.

Should the US temper its expectations of India?


India is reprising its Cold War-era strategy of walking the tightrope between Russia and the United States. During the virtual summit between President Biden and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in April, as well as the in-person Quad leaders’ summit in Tokyo in May, Biden requested India’s support on Ukraine. India has refused to stop purchasing oil from Russia, even if it has cancelled some Russian arms contracts.

India’s neutrality over Ukraine has dampened the enthusiasm even of those Americans who have projected India as the key American partner in its competition with China. Indians argue that they are only acting in their national interest and that even though their long-term interests remains tied to the U.S., they cannot forego the short-term advantage of neutrality towards Russia.

Instead of voicing frustration with India over its continued friendship with Russia, U.S. policymakers and commentators would do better to revise their expectations of India. The rhetoric about India being as important in U.S. plans for Asia as Great Britain was for standing up to the Soviet Union in Europe after World War II ignores India’s changing view of itself and the world.

A New Operation in Syria?


Turkey has conducted four military operations along its border with Syria between 2016 and 2020. On May 26, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s announcement that Turkey would conduct a new operation in northern Syria was endorsed by the Turkish National Security Council to “clear [its] southern borders from the threat of terrorism.” Turkish artillery fire in the region has been registered since early June, while Russia has intensified military patrols in the parts of northern Syria it controls. Why would Turkey launch such a new operation now?

Ankara controls large swathes of territory in northern Syria, but its previous attempts at establishing a continuous 30-kilometer-deep safety zone along the entirety of the Turkish-Syrian border have so far failed. Turkish troops and their affiliates still do not control a stretch of around 70 kilometers east and west of the city of Kobani, as well as a larger portion of territory around the city of Qamishli, all the way to the Tigris River in the east. In these areas, Turkey has been repeatedly blocked by Russian forces, while a “joint patrol” mechanism was put in place between Ankara and Moscow.

Ukraine Situation Report: Attacked On Three Sides, Ukrainians Hold The Line In The East


Ukrainian lines have held around the eastern city of Severodonetsk through more than 24 hours of sustained attack from three sides, forcing a fragile stalemate in Russia’s attempt to surround the salient there.

It is unlikely that either side has gained significant ground in the past day. Russia is concentrating its forces in central Donbas while repelling Ukrainian counterattacks on its northern and southern flanks, according to the latest assessment of the war from the U.K. Ministry of Defense.

Still, the CBC reports that Ukrainian forces are beaten down after weeks of unrelenting fighting in the east, where lines are holding, but morale and the will to fight are flagging.

Japan’s Kishida to send China a warning on Taiwan at Singapore’s Shangri-La Dialogue, analysts say

Maria Siow

Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida is expected to use his keynote speech at a security forum in Singapore on Friday to send a warning to China about the dangers of using force to achieve its ends, analysts said.

The three-day Shangri-La Dialogue, organised by British think tank the International Institute for Strategic Studies, brings together leaders and defence ministers from the United States, Europe and Asia.

Kishida will be the first Japanese prime minister to address the forum since 2014. Other attendees are set to include US Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin and Chinese Defence Minister Wei Fenghe.

China, US defence chiefs square off on Taiwan, Ukraine in first face-to-face talks

Minnie Chan and Jack Lau

The Chinese and US defence chiefs squared off over Taiwan and Ukraine during their first face-to-face meeting on Friday, but Beijing described the talks as “constructive”.

Both sides called for more communication after Chinese Defence Minister General Wei Fenghe met his US counterpart Lloyd Austin, as Beijing and Washington remain at odds over a wide range of issues.

“The two ministers exchanged views on bilateral military ties, Taiwan, the South China Sea, the Ukraine crisis and other issues, which could be seen as a candid and constructive strategic dialogue,” Chinese defence ministry spokesman Wu Qian said after the talks, on the sidelines of the Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore.

Turkish firms unveil two drones during multinational EFES exercise

Tayfun Ozberk

MERSIN, Turkey — The EFES-2022 exercise in the Aegean Sea concluded June 9 and featured more than 1,000 personnel from 37 countries, with the U.S. supplying its San Antonio-class amphibious transport dock Arlington as well as elements of the 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit.

More than 40 Turkish defense companies also attended the exercise to exhibit their products. For the first time, both Lentatek’s anti-radiation loitering drone Kargi and Turkish Aerospace Industries’ target drone were on display.

Ismail Demir, Turkey’s top procurement official, told reporters that some of the products seen in the exhibition area took part in EFES-2022. “While the products are shown here statically, you can also see the performance of these products in the field during exercises. Seeing the performance of our products in the exercise area is important both for the field and for showing the capability of our defense industry,” he said.

War is Too Terrible to Contemplate: America and China Must Confront Risk of Conflict

Doug Bandow

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine raised the specter of a wider conflict involving NATO. Such a war almost certainly would go nuclear. The consequences would be too terrible to contemplate.

Nuclear weapons have been used only twice against a non-nuclear state to end a horrendous conventional conflict. The Cold War featured a dangerous nuclear stand-off between two superpowers. However, fear of escalation caused both Washington and Moscow to avoid direct conventional confrontations, despite multiple covert and proxy conflicts.

Similar concerns caused President Joe Biden to be extremely careful in his policy toward Ukraine. He made clear even before Russia invaded Ukraine that the U.S. would not directly intervene, a commitment he reiterated later. Although a month into the war, President Biden carelessly raised questions about his intentions, the White House’s denial of any policy change was generally believed. Indeed, that stance reflected near unanimous agreement within the foreign policy community.

The next frontier for AI in China could add $600 billion to its economy

Kai Shen, Xiaoxiao Tong, Ting Wu, and Fangning Zhang

By 2030, AI could disrupt transportation and other key sectors in China, adding significant economic value—but only if strategic cooperation and capability building occur across multiple dimensions.

In the past decade, China has built a solid foundation to support its AI economy and made significant contributions to AI globally. Stanford University’s AI Index, which assesses AI advancements worldwide across various metrics in research, development, and economy, ranks China among the top three countries for global AI vibrancy.1 On research, for example, China produced about one-third of both AI journal papers and AI citations worldwide in 2021. In economic investment, China accounted for nearly one-fifth of global private investment funding in 2021, attracting $17 billion for AI start-ups.2

Why are so many Russian generals dying in Ukraine?

THE WAR was nearly over, Yakov Rezantsev assured his troops on day four of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. That was a month ago. On March 25th the lieutenant-general, commander of Russia’s 49th Combined Arms Army, was reportedly dead, killed in a strike near the city of Kherson. Ukrainian officials say he was the seventh Russian general to die in action in Ukraine; Western ones agree. Russia has not confirmed this, and the tally has not been independently verified. But it is clear that the country’s top brass are suffering unusual attrition. Why?

General officers—in most armies, those who rank higher than colonel or brigadier—typically command big formations, like divisions and corps. Those formations need to be run from large headquarters, which tend to remain out of artillery and rocket range and thus a greater distance from the frontlines. That usually puts generals in a safer position.

A Ukraine Strategy for the Long Haul

Richard Haass

With Russia’s war against Ukraine having passed the 100-day mark, calls for the conflict to be brought to an end are multiplying in the United States and Europe. Italy has put forward a detailed peace plan, French President Emmanuel Macron has emphasized the importance of giving Russia an off-ramp, and former U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger has suggested that Ukraine ought to consider ceding territory to Russia in exchange for peace.

But wars end in only one of two ways: when one side imposes its will on the other, first on the battlefield, then at the negotiating table, or when both sides embrace a compromise they deem preferable to fighting. In Ukraine, neither scenario is likely to materialize anytime soon. The conflict has become a war of attrition, with Russian and Ukrainian forces now concentrated against each other in a relatively confined area. Diplomatically, the Ukrainians have little interest in accepting Russian occupation of large swaths of their territory. Russian President Vladimir Putin, for his part, has little interest in agreeing to anything that could be judged at home to constitute defeat. The inescapable conclusion, then, is that this war will go on—and on.