22 June 2022

U.S. Must Preserve its Quantum Advantage

John C. Johnson

U.S. dependence on networks for secure financial transactions, communications, man-machine interface and unbreakable battlefield situational awareness has grown significantly over the years to a point where “arms race” is now a misnomer.

Instead, the situation is best described as “technology quest.” Research centers around the globe are now under pressure, pushing state-of-the-art technologies. In the commercial environment, first-to-market yields higher revenue and greater profits. In national security vernacular, “profits” equate to safeguarding communications and realizing national security objectives.

U.S. dependence on technology has become acute, especially with the current maneuvering and positioning by those willing to upset international stability. It is now an imperative to prevent a slow, spiraling descent while potential adversaries ascend. A survey of the sciences that have the potential to shift the paradigm yields a sole area of technical knowledge with enormous implications across the spectrum of commercial and defense: quantum technology.

Eisenhower, the Defense Industrial Base, and the Digital Divide

Gregory T. Kiley

Some sixty years ago, one of our great Presidents, Dwight D. Eisenhower, warned us of a burgeoning military industrial complex in our Nation and its potential threat to freedom of innovation and national security itself. In hindsight, it appears he both underestimated the virtue of such a defense industrial base and the vice of such a system to ossifying processes and programs.

As President Eisenhower foresaw in his farewell address, “This conjunction of an immense military establishment and a large arms industry is new in the American experience. The total influence-economic, political, even spiritual-is felt in every city, every state house, every office of the Federal government. We recognize the imperative need for this development. Yet we must not fail to comprehend its grave implications. Our toil, resources and livelihood are all involved; so is the very structure of our society.”

Our country won the “Cold War” because of our Defense ecosystem. Advances in critical technologies were fueled by true public-private partnerships and developed platforms and systems such as the F-15 and F-16 fighter aircraft, Abrams and Bradley fighting vehicles, and nuclear Nimitz class carriers. These platforms continue to prove their worth in the modern battlespace. And, in many ways those critical technologies have all transitioned to this country’s commercial marketspace, which is the basis of our country’s economy.

The Evolution of Great Powers

George Friedman

The evolution of military power is one of the most important if underrated geopolitical changes happening in the world today. Throughout the 20th century, military power was the province of large nations. Machines dominated the battlefield, and the production of these machines, the materials that fueled them and the ordnance they used required access to complex factories and massive amounts of raw materials. This, in turn, required vast numbers of workers – and the housing and food the workers needed to function. An economy of this scale needed to produce large numbers of ships, planes, tanks and all other manners of wartime materiel, even as they required functioning economies outside the wartime economy, providing the basic necessities of life and, ideally, maintaining national morale.

Battlefields are black holes of consumption. Any nation can build a plane or tank or send a man to his death, but wars were won by nations that could build enormous numbers of planes and tanks and replace the ones that had been destroyed by the enemy – not to mention replenish the steady stream of dead soldiers.

Small nations could not engage in high-intensity war because they lacked the resources to do so. The definition of a great power, then, was a country with a large population, the agricultural system that fed it and the mineral base that could arm it. Given the deaths and damage the enemy could inflict, the key to military power was the size of the population and its resources. It also ideally had to be vast, with resources dispersed such that an enemy victory in one region would not mean a victory in all regions.

Despite Recent Attacks, Southern Thailand’s Peace Talks Are Making Progress

Michael Hart

After a two-year hiatus in talks due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the first half of 2022 has seen quantifiable progress in the peace dialogue between Thailand’s government and separatist rebels based in the country’s Muslim-majority south. Since the beginning of the year, two rounds of formal negotiations have been held in Kuala Lumpur, in a Malaysia-facilitated process that has seen the government’s Peace Dialogue Panel, or PDP, meet face-to-face with leaders of the Barisan Revolusi Nasional, or BRN, the most powerful rebel group in southern Thailand.

The latest meeting, which concluded on April 1, led to a 40-day truce that covered the holy month of Ramadan and the Thai New Year, or Songkran. The festivities were held without incident, as the army and BRN avoided clashing, building momentum ahead of a third round of dialogue scheduled for July or August.

Autonomy on a Stryker? ‘It’ll be challenging,’ general says


EUROSATORY 2022: As House lawmakers weigh pushing the Army to explore the “feasibility” of adding autonomy to Strykers, the Army’s ground vehicle leader is warning that adding the capability to the armored troop carrier wouldn’t be a simple, straightforward process.

“It’ll be challenging to do on Stryker because Stryker is not a drive-by-wire platform,” Brig. Gen. Glenn Dean, program executive officer for ground combat systems, told Breaking Defense in an interview at Eurosatory. “So we’re gonna have to do a lot to adapt the platform to take an autonomy kit, to even begin the experimentation.”

A subcommittee markup from the House Armed Services Committee’s FY23 National Defense Authorization Act had a provision that directed the Army to assess the “advisability, feasibility, and estimated cost” of developing and prototyping Strykers with autonomous, optionally manned or advanced operator assistance capabilities.

Ukraine war raises questions about military insight into commercial SATCOM


WASHINGTON: The Russia-Ukraine conflict has expanded global military use of commercial satellite communications while raising questions about how much insight US European Command has into the commercial SATCOM industry, EUCOM’s chief information officer said this week.

Speaking at a C4ISRNET event Wednesday, Brig. Gen. Chad Raduege, who also serves as the director of EUCOM’s command, control, communications and computers/cyber directorate, said the war, now in its 113th day of conflict, has resulted in an “explosion of activity” for commercial SATCOM.

“We have seen no step down in performance and, in fact, in many ways, probably a step up in performance just because our commercial partners have been able to keep up with the technology and they’re putting newer and newer capabilities and technology into place,” Radeuge said. “And so that’s absolutely going to be one [area] that as we move forward, we will have to integrate in. The constellations that our commercial partners are putting up help fill in a whole bunch of gaps and make us more connected than ever.”

How technology is shaping learning in higher education


The COVID-19 pandemic forced a shift to remote learning overnight for most higher-education students, starting in the spring of 2020. To complement video lectures and engage students in the virtual classroom, educators adopted technologies that enabled more interactivity and hybrid models of online and in-person activities. These tools changed learning, teaching, and assessment in ways that may persist after the pandemic. Investors have taken note. Edtech start-ups raised record amounts of venture capital in 2020 and 2021, and market valuations for bigger players soared.

A study conducted by McKinsey in 2021 found that to engage most effectively with students, higher-education institutions can focus on eight dimensions of the learning experience. In this article, we describe the findings of a study of the learning technologies that can enable aspects of several of those eight dimensions (see sidebar “Eight dimensions of the online learning experience”).

In November 2021, McKinsey surveyed 600 faculty members and 800 students from public and private nonprofit colleges and universities in the United States, including minority-serving institutions, about the use and impact of eight different classroom learning technologies (Exhibit 1). (For more on the learning technologies analyzed in this research, see sidebar “Descriptions of the eight learning technologies.”) To supplement the survey, we interviewed industry experts and higher-education professionals who make decisions about classroom technology use. We discovered which learning tools and approaches have seen the highest uptake, how students and educators view them, the barriers to higher adoption, how institutions have successfully adopted innovative technologies, and the notable impacts on learning (for details about our methodology, see sidebar “About the research”).

merica’s real deterrence problem

Melanie W. Sisson

The United States has a deterrence problem. Precisely what that problem is, however, depends upon whom you ask. The answer for some is that Washington suffers from an overall lack of credibility, caused by a recent past in which red lines in Syria were “written in disappearing ink” and threats of reprisal for Russian President Vladimir Putin’s aggression in Georgia in 2008 and Ukraine in 2014 were hollow. For others, the issue is Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin’s recent transition to “integrated deterrence” — a concept that elevates the role of non-military levers, such as diplomacy, economic sanctions, and information operations. Because this approach to deterrence mistakenly under-weights the importance of military might, they argue, it failed to protect Ukraine and for the same reason is unlikely to deter China from acting forcibly against Taiwan.

These explanations diverge on the mechanism of U.S. deterrence failure, but they converge on the root cause: inadequacy of a willingness to threaten — and ultimately to use — military force.

Deterrence is a form of coercion, an effort to convince another actor to choose to behave in the way the United States prefers by manipulating expectations of the costs to be borne and the benefits to be won. This requires knowledge, or as close to it as possible, of how that actor defines gain and loss, and identifying ways to work on those sensibilities. The possibility that the U.S. military could be brought to bear if the other actor makes the wrong choice can be quite persuasive. But all too often, calling a potential adversary’s attention to the fact of U.S. military superiority — generally, or in specific circumstances — is conflated with a strategy for coercive success.

After a Pivotal Period in Ukraine, U.S. Officials Predict the War’s Path

Helene Cooper, Eric Schmitt and Julian E. Barnes

WASHINGTON — When Russia shifted its military campaign to focus on eastern Ukraine this spring, senior officials in the Biden administration said the next four to six weeks of fighting would determine the war’s eventual path.

That time has passed, and officials say the picture is increasingly clear: Russia is likely to end up with more territory, they said, but neither side will gain full control of the region as a depleted Russian military faces an opponent armed with increasingly sophisticated weapons.

While Russia has seized territory in the easternmost region of Luhansk, its progress has been plodding. Meanwhile, the arrival of American long-range artillery systems, and Ukrainians trained on how to use them, should help Ukraine in the battles to come, said Gen. Mark A. Milley, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

“If they use it properly, practically, then they’re going to have very, very good effects on the battlefield,” General Milley told reporters traveling home with him this month after visiting Europe.

Why the Physical Russia-Ukraine War Might Become a CyberwarSecurity

Michael Novinson

The ongoing war between Russia and Ukraine isn't an abstract concern for SecurityScorecard CEO Aleksandr Yampolskiy. It's a deeply personal one since he grew up in Russia and rode the train to Ukraine every summer to visit his grandmother. Yampolskiy has since immigrated and is now a U.S. citizen, but his concern for the people of both countries remains, and he fears the conflict will escalate into cyberwarfare.

In a video interview with Information Security Media Group at RSA Conference 2022, Yampolskiy discusses:Why the physical Russia-Ukraine war might turn into a cyberwar;
A concerning lack of urgency around security posture improvements;
Why risk intelligence is so important in keeping organizations safe.

Yampolskiy is a globally recognized cybersecurity innovator, leader and expert and has led SecurityScorecard since its start in 2013, helping to make it one of the world's most trusted cybersecurity brands. His vision is to create a new language for cybersecurity by enabling people to work collaboratively across the enterprise and with external parties to build a more secure ecosystem. Prior to founding the company, Yampolskiy was a hands-on CTO at Cinchcast and BlogTalkRadio, the largest online talk radio and podcast hosting platform. He previously led security and compliance at Gilt Groupe, where he managed all aspects of IT infrastructure security, secure application development and PCI compliance.

An Evolving Agenda for the Quad

Jyotsna Mehra

The informal “Quad” group of major Indo-Pacific democracies—Australia, India, Japan and the United States of America (USA)—has been energized in recent years, with virtual summits in March and September 2021 affirming their commitment to the Indo-Pacific region. Nevertheless, the Quad countries are at a critical juncture for articulating the value of the partnership. Quad leaders must develop a robust agenda that delivers meaningful success to justify the Quad as a “force for global good.” Under the three broad themes of pandemic cooperation, emerging technologies, and defense and security, this policy memo identifies initiatives and specific recommendations that can build out this agenda.

The informal group of major Indo-Pacific democracies, Australia, India, Japan and the United States of America (USA)—the Quad—has received tremendous impetus over the last four years. The Quad Leaders’ virtual meeting, held in March 2021, and the Leaders Summit, held in Washington, DC in September 2021, saw the four countries embrace their partnership, and affirm their commitment to the Indo-Pacific region.1

China and the Belt and Road Initiative in South Asia

Manjari Chatterjee Miller

In 2013 President Xi Jinping announced the launch of two new Chinese connectivity projects: an “economic belt” along the historical Silk Road in Eurasia and a twenty-first-century Maritime Silk Road to expand cooperation between China and Southeast Asian nations. The common theme of both was to increase China’s collaboration and communication with regional nations to bolster mutual development and prosperity.

Over the next decade the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) became a gigantic infrastructure, trade, and connectivity project, spreading beyond Eurasia and Southeast Asia to regions such as South Asia, the Middle East, and many parts of Africa. Some China watchers argued that the BRI is China’s updated and planned grand strategic vision of its historical Middle Kingdom hierarchy—China centered in a global network of connectivity where all roads (territorial and maritime) lead to Beijing. Others worried that the BRI is China’s strategic plan to gain geopolitical power by making smaller and weaker countries beholden to it indefinitely. Still others cautioned that the BRI, far from being a monolithic and well-planned-out vision, is deeply fragmented by domestic interests, diluting its effectiveness as a unified grand strategy. These arguments evaluate whether the BRI is a success or failure for China—that is, whether the BRI strengthens China’s geopolitical status and brings it economic benefits. Those factors are important, but they are China-centric. In the end, success also depends on a more neglected consideration—the recipient countries’ perceptions of China and their reception of the BRI.

NATO and Countering Disinformation The Need for a More Proactive Approach from the Member States

As the freedom of speech constitutes one of the fundamental and respected rights of democracies, this myth is also widely spread throughout the West. Moreover, the West’s culture of open debates, which respects differing points of view, puts Russian masterminds of false narratives in a privileged position when it comes to influencing Western societies and their decision-making processes. It also renders NATO and EU countries increasingly vulnerable to influence from pro-Kremlin propagandists spurred on by an unbridled sense of initiative and combined with active measures as well as armed conflicts.

The matrix of the myth of Western betrayal and Russian self-victimisation is the “broken promise of not enlarging NATO to the East”. The Kremlin has also used this myth to justify the full-scale invasion of Ukraine on 24 February 2022 – a move that has potentially incalculable consequences for European and even global security. This new stage in Russia’s confrontational policy has been further solidified with support from the increasingly belligerent Belarusian dictator although Alyaksandr Lukashenka’s standing has also been weakened through his complete dependence on Russia. Minsk, assisted in turn by Moscow, created a migration crisis on the Belarusian border with Poland, Lithuania and, to a lesser extent, Latvia, thereby opening an additional hybrid front. Increased tension on NATO’s entire eastern flank and the war waged by Russia against Ukraine have been exacerbated by Russian and Belarusian hostile disinformation activities, which are unprecedented in terms of scope, intensity and toxicity.

Workforce Development Agenda for the National Cyber Director

Laura Bate

Executive Summary

Nearly 10 years ago, researchers hypothesized that market forces would correct the U.S. shortage of cyber professionals over time. This has not occurred, and the cybersecurity community is out of time. The pervasiveness of avoidable cyber problems such as misconfigured systems, slow patching, and insufficient attention to risk management can frequently be directly tied to cyber staffing shortages. Not only are these problems expensive to remediate after incidents occur, but they are also a threat to national security, particularly when they occur in critical-infrastructure systems or in the supply chains upon which that infrastructure depends.

For more than a decade, report after report has documented the growing number of unfilled cyber positions, both in the U.S. government and nationwide, offering strategies and recommendations to address the shortfall. These strategies and recommendations have too often gone ignored. The congressionally mandated Cyberspace Solarium Commission published a white paper on the cyber workforce in September 2020, identifying systemic barriers stymieing existing workforce development efforts. A lack of centralized leadership, insufficient coordination across the federal government, a nonexistent federal strategy to guide priorities and resources, and ineffective organizational structures all combined to limit the potential of the very programs designed to strengthen and diversify the federal and national cyber workforces.

The Evolving Political-Military Aims in the War in Ukraine After 100 Days


Russia and Ukraine are locked in a bloody war that is hemorrhaging men and materiel at a rate unseen in Europe for over 75 years.[1] The Kremlin’s dreams of quick victories have ended, and the conclusion to the conflict may not come soon. Whenever it’s over, this 2022 war will likely lead to changes on the continent as consequential as those of 1989 or 1945.

This article will attempt to provide the reader an understanding of the war’s current state and a sense of what strategic direction it may take in the near future. Since war is essentially a political action conducted through organized violence, this report will first examine the political objectives of both parties and how changes on the battlefield have morphed into changes of war aims. It will next examine the battle in Donbas and how the tactical fight affects the strategic situation. Two possible radical changes to the strategic situation will be considered: The disintegration of the Russian army and the Russian use of nuclear weapons. This article will conclude with a summary of the war’s possible strategic direction and its growing strategic meaning.

He Tried to Reform the Way a Top D.C. Think Tank Gets Money. Now the FBI Is Looking Into Him.


The establishing documents for the Brookings Doha Center may be uncomfortable reading for advocates of academic freedom.

Inked in 2007, the deal between the storied Washington think tank and Qatar’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs laid out the financial terms under which Brookings established a groundbreaking outpost in the Persian Gulf. The fantastically rich, autocratic emirate would put up $5 million, bankrolling the groundbreaking research facility — but also got a notable degree of contractual prerogatives for a government over a proudly independent organization. The center’s director, the heretofore unreported document read, would “engage in regular consultation with [the foreign ministry],” submitting an annual budget and “agenda for programs that will be developed by the Center.” Any changes would require the ministry’s OK. (The document was obtained from Qatar by a U.S. source; a Brookings spokesperson did not dispute its validity.)

Brookings’s Doha presence was mothballed last year, but the history of chumminess between a Washington liberal bastion and a Middle Eastern monarchy is suddenly relevant again this week due to the abrupt resignation of Brookings’ president in a classic Beltway scandal involving allegations of improper lobbying for that very same country.

New NATO Strategic Concept Will Broaden Vision of Deterrence

Source Link

The new NATO Strategic Concept set to be unveiled later this month will press alliance members to envision deterrence as a matter not just of tanks and bombs but of supply chain security, cyberattacks, climate change, innovation, and more.

“The strategic concept needs to be able to live for the next decade, so it looks far beyond the current crisis in Ukraine. It looks at the implications for our security of…climate change, innovation, the use of…hybrid warfare, cyber war and the role of cyber in our societies. But also resilience. How resilient are our Western societies to these kind of attacks and what do we need to do in order to tackle that?” David van Weel, NATO’s assistant secretary general for emerging security challenges, said on Friday during the Defense One Tech Summit.

Ukrainian troops are deserting battle and Russian troops have 'troubled' morale as the war is expected to last years, NATO chief says

Katie Balevic

Ukrainian troops are deserting battle while Russian troops are facing "troubled" morale as Russia's invasion of Ukraine could drag on for "years," officials said.

"Combat units from both sides are committed to intense combat in the Donbas and are likely experiencing variable morale," the British defense ministry said, per a Sunday report from The Associated Press.

The defense ministry said that "Ukrainian forces have likely suffered desertions in recent weeks," but that "Russian morale highly likely remains especially troubled."

The ministry also reported that there have been "cases of whole Russian units refusing orders and armed stand-offs between officers and their troops continue to occur."

The intel comes as NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg warned that "nobody knows" how long the war could last, per The AP.

China May oil imports from Russia soar to a record, surpass top supplier Saudi

Chen Aizhu

SINGAPORE, June 20 (Reuters) - China's crude oil imports from Russia soared 55% from a year earlier to a record level in May, displacing Saudi Arabia as the top supplier, as refiners cashed in on discounted supplies amid sanctions on Moscow over its invasion of Ukraine.

Imports of Russian oil, including supplies pumped via the East Siberia Pacific Ocean pipeline and seaborne shipments from Russia's European and Far Eastern ports, totalled nearly 8.42 million tonnes, according to data from the Chinese General Administration of Customs.

That's equivalent to roughly 1.98 million barrels per day (bpd) and up a quarter from 1.59 million bpd in April.

The data, which shows that Russia took back the top ranking of suppliers to the world's biggest crude oil importer after a gap of 19 months, indicates that Moscow is able to find buyers for its oil despite western sanctions, though it has had to slash prices.

Ukraine News: Kremlin Calls 2 Captured Americans ‘Soldiers of Fortune’

The Kremlin’s chief spokesman told NBC News on Monday that two American fighters who went missing in Ukraine, Alex Drueke, 39, and Andy Tai Ngoc Huynh, 27, were “soldiers of fortune,” and had been taken into custody. The spokesman also claimed that the two men were not protected by the Geneva Conventions as prisoners of war.

In the first comments the Kremlin has made about the two men, the spokesman, Dmitri S. Peskov, said that they had been involved in shelling and firing on Russian forces and should be “held responsible for the crimes they have committed.” He said they were being held while their case was investigated.

The U.S. State Department released a statement urging Moscow and the authorities in Russian-occupied Ukraine to abide by international law. “We call on the Russian government — as well as its proxies — to live up to their international obligations in their treatment of any individual, including those captured fighting in Ukraine,” the statement from the State Department press office said.

When The Lies Come Home


Diogenes, one of the ancient world’s illustrious philosophers, believed that lies were the currency of politics, and those lies were the ones he sought to expose and debase. To make his point, Diogenes occasionally carried a lit lantern through the streets of Athens in the daylight. If asked why, Diogenes would say he was searching for an honest man.

Finding an honest man today in Washington, D.C., is equally challenging. Diogenes would need a Xenon Searchlight in each hand.

Still, there are brief moments of clarity inside the Washington establishment. Having lied prolifically for months to the American public about the origins and conduct of the war in Ukraine, the media are now preparing the American, British, and other Western publics for Ukraine’s military collapse. It is long overdue.

The Western media did everything in its power to give the Ukrainian defense the appearance of far greater strength than it really possessed. Careful observers noted that the same video clips of Russian tanks under attack were shown repeatedly. Local counterattacks were reported as though they were operational maneuvers.

On the Irrelevance of Ranking Militaries

Lorris Beverelli

The war in Ukraine surprised many commentors and analysts. There are notably two reasons why. The first one is the mere fact that Russia openly invaded and attacked Ukrainian territory which was not traditionally considered “pro-Russian.” The second one is the fact that the Russian military, which had been typically considered as the second most powerful military in the world, got bogged down, struggled even to make light advances, and eventually got repulsed, being forced to limit its operations to southeastern and eastern Ukraine.[1]

How could the so-called second most powerful military on Earth fail so hard in Ukraine, despite facing armed forces with less soldiers and materiel? To answer this question, one must realize that accurately ranking military forces is nearly impossible, meaningless, and irrelevant. It could seem easy to rank military power: take the number of tanks, planes, armies, divisions, or brigades, and the modernity of the equipment. Compare it with any other military, and you have your ranking.[2]

"There are no Inevitabilities in War"


Ukrainians are now fighting “house-by-house” to protect their ground in Severodonetsk, a city which Pentagon leaders say is now “three quarters taken” by the Russians.

Russia and Ukraine

Major urban warfare is now underway, and the key question is why Russian progress is so slow and challenged given their overwhelming numerical advantage?

Speaking at NATO headquarters in Brussels Belgium, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley was clear that Ukrainians have a chance, telling an audience “there are no inevitabilities in war.”

To a certain extent, it would seem that urban, dismounted warfare might favor the Ukrainians given their tactical success thus far. Ukrainians also know the terrain and building structures which they could use to their advantage, and they have demonstrated tactical proficiency using dispersed units to stage ambushes, hit-and-run attacks and decentralized attack operations.

How to Password Protect Any File Put a digital lock on your most important data.

YOU NEVER KNOW when one of your files might reach someone it wasn't intended to reach—perhaps through an email forward, a USB stick left behind on a desk, or maybe even an unauthorized user accessing your computer.

Should that happen, password protection is all that stands between your data and the people whom you don't want to see it. It's an extra layer of security you can add to your most sensitive files without too much trouble.

How you go about this will depend on the software you're using to create the file in the first place. Some applications have password protection features built in, while in other cases you'll need to lock up your files using a different method.
Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint

Berlin Is Having Second Thoughts About Its Trade Dependence on China

Aaron Allen

In the immediate aftermath of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, a once-hesitant Germany was shocked into reorienting its national security posture. In response to Moscow’s aggression, Chancellor Olaf Scholz proceeded to announce the creation of a 100-billion-euro supplemental fund for the German military, halt the approval of the Nord Stream 2 natural gas pipeline and support international sanctions and energy embargoes against Russia.

This same sensibility, in which crisis and opportunity converge, has also reinvigorated the long-standing debate in Germany over the country’s dependence on trade with China. Various factions within the Ampelkoalition, or the “traffic light coalition” government made up of the Social Democrats, the Greens and the Free Democrats, are urgently scrutinizing bilateral trade relations, with an eye to recalibrating existing ties with China to better integrate security concerns that have gathered steam in recent years. The challenge for the coalition government will be to accomplish this objective without damaging Germany’s long-term economic interests.

Are We Sure America Is Not at War in Ukraine?

Bonnie Kristian

In the more than three months since Russia invaded Ukraine, the Biden administration has said a lot of things about the war. It had to walk a few of them back almost immediately, like when President Biden’s statement that Vladimir Putin “cannot remain in power” turned out not to be a call for regime change. On other points, its rhetoric has sharpened over time: In March, America’s goal was to help Ukraine defend itself; by the end of April it was a “weakened” Russia.

But on one thing the administration has been very consistent: America won’t get into war with Russia for Ukraine.

“We do not seek a war between NATO and Russia,” President Biden wrote in The Times at the end of May. “As much as I disagree with Mr. Putin, and find his actions an outrage, the United States will not try to bring about his ouster in Moscow. So long as the United States or our allies are not attacked, we will not be directly engaged in this conflict, either by sending American troops to fight in Ukraine or by attacking Russian forces.”

Awakened to Putin’s Threat, Biden and the West Nod Off Again

Garry Kasparov

Earlier this month President Biden addressed the nation. Rather than do so from behind the Resolute Desk, he went on “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” In a 23-minute interview, Russia’s war on Ukraine wasn’t mentioned once. With domestic issues such as inflation, the Jan. 6 hearings, abortion and gun control on the president’s plate, the war in Ukraine may seem less of a priority. But it isn’t. Providing Ukraine with everything it needs to fight the Russians is the right—and popular—thing to do.

Yet Mr. Biden seems as if he’d rather pass the buck than act. During remarks at a Democratic fundraiser two days after the Kimmel interview, he said that President Volodymyr Zelensky “didn’t want to hear it” when warned about Russia’s imminent invasion. The Ukrainians deny this, but even if it were true, what of the U.S. ignoring its own warnings? No sanctions or aid was deployed to deter Mr. Putin’s invasion. Mr. Zelensky was surely skeptical that any U.S. support would be forthcoming after the fighting started.

Now we know the high cost of that failure to act—the slaughter, destruction and war crimes in Ukraine, and the food and fuel crises around the world. Instead of working to contain Mr. Putin in the eight years since he first invaded Ukraine, instead of insulating themselves against blackmail by becoming less dependent on Russian exports, American and European governments kicked the can down the road.

Achieving True Cybersecurity Is Impossible

Ivan Arreguin-Toft

Cybersecurity the way we like to think of it is actually impossible to achieve. That’s not to say we shouldn’t try hard to achieve it. Nor is it the same thing as saying that our costly efforts to date have been wasted. Instead, if our aim is to make our interactions in cyberspace more secure, we need to recognize two things.

First, part of our troubles has to do with a culture that defines things like success, victory, and security as dichotomous rather than continuous variables. Think of a switch that’s either on or off. Second, speed is hurting us, and calls to replace humans with much faster and “objective” machines will continue to gain momentum, putting us at extreme risk without increasing either our security or prosperity. Let me explain.

[Cyber]security is Not a Switch

In my time in Norway a few years ago, I had the great fortune to be hosted by the Norwegian Institute for Defense. As I toiled to recover the history of Norway’s experience under occupation by the Third Reich, I was able most days to join my Norwegian colleagues for a communal lunch. My colleagues did me the great courtesy of carrying on most conversations in flawless English. As an American academic accustomed to research abroad, I anticipated that sooner or later I’d encounter a classic opening sentence of the form, “You know, the trouble with you Americans is…” And after a month or so my unfailingly polite and generous colleagues obliged. But what ended that sentence has stuck with me since then; and underlines a core value of study abroad at the same time: “You know, the trouble with you Americans is, you think every policy problem has a solution; whereas we Europeans understand that some problems you just have to learn to live with.”

JADC2: How the Army Is Bringing Next-Level Communication Systems to Life

Kris Osborn

What if an enemy mechanized column was approaching friendly forces through mountainous terrain when a forward operating mini-drone detected the fast-approaching force from the air? Consider the possibility that the mini-drone instantly networked real-time video to helicopters and medium-altitude drones engineered with AI-enabled software to process incoming sensor data, organize information, and use data links to transmit time-sensitive data to ground vehicles. Meanwhile, nearby F-35 fighters receive the same target information, enabling a coordinated multi-domain attack upon the enemy positions. Even more, what if this tactical scenario unfolded along a coastal area, and datalinks could network threat information to Navy surface ships in support of the friendly ground force?

These kinds of scenarios are fast becoming a reality as the Pentagon moves quickly to bring its Joint All Domain Command and Control (JADC2) program to life. Yet, bringing this to tactical and operational fruition is not without technical challenges. What if the incoming video was sent through a unique datalink that was not compatible with incoming GPS signals, sensors, helicopter command and control, or even vehicle computer systems? Such a technological infrastructure would impede or even fully preclude the connectivity necessary to make the aforementioned scenario possible.

Bill Gates Slams Cryptocurrencies and NFTs as Scams

Ethen Kim Lieser

Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates has asserted that he believes cryptocurrencies and non-fungible tokens (NFTs) are “100 percent” based on the greater fool theory—referencing the notion that investors can make money on worthless or overvalued assets as long as people are willing to bid higher.

Both are “100 percent based on the greater fool theory that somebody's gonna pay more for it than I do,” the sixty-six-year-old billionaire said Tuesday during a TechCrunch talk, adding that he’s currently “not long or short” crypto.

Gates later joked that “expensive digital images of monkeys” would “improve the world immensely,” referring to the much-hyped Bored Ape Yacht Club NFT collection.

“I’m used to asset classes ... like a farm where they have output, or like a company where they make products,” he continued.

In an interview with Bloomberg last year, Gates contended that the average investor should avoid following Elon Musk’s lead in investing in bitcoin.