8 July 2022

How the U.S. Army Is Preparing for Cyber Armageddon

Kris Osborn

The U.S. Army is working to strengthen and accelerate the development of its fast-emerging combat network. The goal of the network is for ground, air, space, and unmanned platforms to be able to simultaneously share time-sensitive combat data across the force in seconds. Cross continental satellite data links, artificial intelligence-enabled computer analysis, drone-to-manned platform information sharing, and instant attacks through fast-paced “call for fires” are all critical elements of the Army’s network.

This effort has been successfully demonstrated for several years now at the Army’s Project Convergence, a “campaign of learning” intended to advance future concepts of combined arms maneuvers.

Douglas Bush, the Army’s top acquisition executive, explained the importance of “hardening” the network against intrusion and building in redundancy to ensure continued functionality in the event it is disabled or hacked.

The Myth of the Global

Shannon K. O’Neil

Aconstant and largely unquestioned refrain in foreign policy is that the world has globalized. Closets are full of clothes stitched in other countries; electronics and cars are often assembled far from where consumers live. U.S. investment flows into Asian markets, and Indians decamp to the United States for graduate school. The numbers show the magnitude of international exchange. Trade among all countries hovers around $20 trillion, a nearly tenfold increase from 1980. International capital flows also grew exponentially during that period, from $500 billion a year to well over $4 trillion. And nearly five times as many people are traveling across borders compared with four decades ago.

It is, however, misleading to claim that this flow of goods and services and people is always global in scale. Globalization, as commonly understood, is mostly a myth; the reality is far closer to regionalization. When companies, supply chains, and individuals go abroad, they don’t go just anywhere. More often than not, they stay fairly close to home.

Climate Change Isn’t a Threat Multiplier. It’s the Main Threat.


Why hasn’t humanity responded to climate change—currently on track to produce global catastrophe—with the same intensity in which we respond to military threats? And is there a way to reorient the defense sector to enable and support a whole-of-society effort to protect our planet’s ability to support life as we know it?

One barrier is the way we think. Research finds that humanity’s “deep frames”—worldviews wired into our neural circuity over a lifetime, and which influence perception and decision-making at the sub-conscious level—hinder our capacity to understand new kinds of threats. These frames, often reinforced by those they benefit, influence security posture and institutional design.

This helps explain why the climate crisis is generally approached as a scientific, economic, and governance issue. IPCC reports employ social scientists, not security practitioners, to tease out climate-security issues. Legitimate concerns about securitization help ensure that climate response remains a strictly civil matter.

The Risks of US Military Assistance to Ukraine


The donated weapons pouring into Ukraine—more than $6.1 billion so far from the U.S. alone—have been welcomed by Kyiv, but they also carry a variety of potential national security and strategic consequences. Defense planners, lawmakers, and the public should develop safeguards to keep these weapons from feeding future conflict, violence, and instability.

The most serious and talked-about risk is provoking a direct response from Moscow. President Biden insists that escalation risks are being carefully measured, yet Vladimir Putin has attempted to target Western supply lines to Kyiv, conducted strikes dangerously close to the borders of NATO member states, and taken to repeatedly reminding the world about Russia’s nuclear arsenal. Reassurances aside, conflict escalation is perilously hard to predict, frequently occurs beyond the control of the powers involved, and often defies the assumptions and cold logic justifying a given course of action. Amid increasing concerns for Putin’s state of mind, the risk calculus taking place in Washington could easily be off.

U.S. military’s newest weapon against China and Russia: Hot air


The Pentagon is working on a new plan to rise above competition from China and Russia: balloons.

The high-altitude inflatables, flying at between 60,000 and 90,000 feet, would be added to the Pentagon’s extensive surveillance network and could eventually be used to track hypersonic weapons.

The idea may sound like science fiction, but Pentagon budget documents signal the technology is moving from DoD’s scientific community to the military services.

“High or very high-altitude platforms have a lot of benefit for their endurance on station, maneuverability and also flexibility for multiple payloads,” said Tom Karako, senior fellow for the International Security Program and Missile Defense Project director at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.

Scary Thought: Is Putin On The Verge Of Conquering Eastern Ukraine?

Steve Balestrieri

With Luhansk Taken, Russia Turns Its Sights On Donetsk, Ukraine – Ukraine’s Armed Forces confirmed on Sunday that its troops were forced to withdraw from the city of Lysychansk, or run the risk of having its forces becoming encircled. By taking the city, Russia now controls all of Luhansk province.

The Russian Defense Ministry has said that its forces now have “full control” of the industrial city. The taking of Lysychansk represents “the liberation of the Luhansk People’s Republic,” the ministry’s statement said, using the self-styled name of Moscow’s proxy separatists.

Putin’s Victory: What Does it Mean?

This is another significant step in Russia’s aim in capturing all of the industrial heartland of the Donbas. And the Russians quickly turned their attention to Donetsk province, unleashing massive artillery strikes on the cities in that province.

Drones, Sweat, and the Shadow of Death

“If before joining the army you imagined death as something sacred, evil, something that happens very rarely and shouldn’t happen, then in the army you begin to understand that death is commonplace,” Serhiy Hnezdilov says on a video link from a field near Kurakhove, west of Donetsk. “Anyone can die at any moment. Your relationship with death simply reaches a new level.”

Born and raised in the port city of Odesa, Serhiy was just 14 years old when Russia invaded Crimea and the east of Ukraine in 2014. Back then he was unable to fight back. Now 22, the former student and charity worker is on the frontline in a war for the existence of his country.

Serhiy’s comrades-in-arms, who can be heard teasing him while he talks via a laptop in the shade of a tree near the frontline, share his determination to expel the Russian invader. “Everyone understands why we are here,” he says.

The World Can’t Wean Itself Off Chinese Lithium

THE INDUSTRIAL PORT of Kwinana on Australia’s western coast is a microcosm of the global energy industry. From 1955, it was home to one of the largest oil refineries in the region, owned by British Petroleum when it was still the Anglo-Persian Oil Company. It once provided 70 percent of Western Australia’s fuel supplies, and the metal husks of old tanks still dominate the shoreline, slowly turning to rust in the salt air.

The refinery shut down in March 2021, but it isn’t just oil below the region’s red soil: Australia is also home to almost half of the world’s lithium supply. The trucks and machinery are humming once again, but now they’re part of a race to secure the clean energy sources of the future—a race being dominated by China.

How to Work Offline and Still Be Productive

I, LIKE ALL millennials, am no longer young, meaning it's my duty to remember and share things about the past that would otherwise be forgotten. For example: Most software used to work pretty well without an active internet connection.

I know, it's hard to believe. Computers in the 1990s and early 2000s treated "going online" as a novel state, but if anything the opposite is now true. Most software assumes you're online constantly, and a lot of it doesn't work if you're not. This is fine most of the time, but is annoying if you want to get work done on a plane or while visiting the family farm.

Some things simply can't be done offline now, particularly if your job involves responding to people in real time. Most jobs done at a computer, though, can be done at least partly offline—if you have things set up to work that way. Here's how to work offline in a world that assumes constant connectivity.

Do Advances in Synthetic Biology have the Potential to Transform the Future of Warfare?

Kieran Green

This essay will argue that while advances in synthetic biology may have the limited potential to transform the future of warfare, these technologies do not operate in a vacuum and their use will be constrained and shaped by contextual and political factors. As such, they are less than likely to lead to transformation. This case will be made largely in relation to the body of work surrounding Revolution in Military Affairs (RMA) theory, however, before discussing this proposition in more depth, some qualification of terms is necessitated in order to delineate the boundaries and underlying assumptions of the argument being forwarded. Firstly, regarding warfare, this paper only considers it in relation to more conventionally held notions of the concept – as the means and methods by which war is fought between two organised state military forces. Consequently, this is a much narrower scope of analysis than if one was to adopt even a Clausewitzian definition of war and warfare; importantly, this excludes terrorism from this analysis.[1] Secondly, with regards to the ‘future’, in order to provide cogent and empirical analysis, the scope of this investigation will be limited to biotechnologies that either exist today or are known to be in development and theoretically feasible.

With the above established, this paper will progress, as follows; firstly, a look RMA theory and how it can be used as a framework to assess if new technologies are potentially ‘transformative’ will be briefly outlined. Next, a brief definition of synthetic biology will be offered, which will then compliment a discussion relating to how certain exemplar technologies under the synthetic biology umbrella, such as CRISPR and germ line editing, may have utility in warfare. This will then be examined in relation to the wider RMA framework to show that while there may be some novel elements to synthetic biological approaches to biowarfare, there is a need for much scepticism regarding its potential transformative effects on the conduct of future war.

Understanding China’s ‘New’ Assertiveness from Resolved Territorial Questions

Bhaso Ndzendze

The assertiveness and aggression with which the People’s Republic of China (PRC) has chosen to deal with the various territorial disputes in which it is currently engaged has ramped up in recent years, calling into question that regime’s willingness to resolve these disputes with a diplomatic solution. In the past, however, this is precisely what leaders in Beijing have shown themselves capable of accomplishing. This chapter looks at the history of Chinese methods of dealing with disagreements over sovereignty by examining three distinct case studies: Mongolia, Shandong, and Macau. The Mongolian declaration of independence during the 1911 Xinhai Revolution, which brought down China’s last imperial dynasty, remains the only successful case of secession by a former Chinese geographical entity. Moreover, the transfer of Shandong from Japan in 1922 and the transfer of Macau from Portuguese administration in 1999 through a process of bilateral negotiation, upon insistence of its removal from UN oversight and direct engagement with Lisbon instead, demonstrate that force need not be the only outlet for Beijing to settle its outstanding territorial disputes. This chapter highlights the need to look back at these revolved cases using a comparative perspective to understand China’s current assertiveness and territorialism.

The chapter examines each case in its own domestic and international context and offers cross-case observations with regards to the more controversial questions of China’s stance toward Taiwan, Hong Kong, Tibet, and Xinjiang in order to examine the differences in conditions for the successful secession and retention of international sovereignty by Mongolia compared to Tibet, Xinjiang, and even Taiwan; the relatively seamless takeover of Macau and Shandong compared to Hong Kong; and the relative lack of analysis that these cases engender in recent literature.

Reflecting on Chinese and Indian Negotiation Styles

Oorja Tapan

Today, China is proving to be India’s biggest security dilemma – be it in the Indo-Pacific or on the land frontier. The era of China’s ‘peaceful rise’ is, practically, seeming to be over; as seen by its ‘wolf-warrior diplomacy’ phase kicking in under Xi Jinping’s rule. There is a need for India to understand Chinese negotiators better. The government of India has had its fair share of negotiations with the Chinese officials since independence of the two nations – be it the recognition of People’s Republic of China by Government of India in December 1949, the Agreement on trade between India and Tibet region of China in 1954, Chinese reaction to Indian nuclear tests in 1998, China’s formal recognition of Sikkim in 2005, setting up of special representative mechanism for border negotiations since 2013 (and so on). The challenge of mutual understanding becomes great between the two countries – not only due to differences in terms of capabilities (military or economic) but also due to differing perceptions, approaches and international postures. Culture might also play a role in contributing towards a mismatch between Indian and Chinese negotiations. However, such cultural differences play a greater role between the West and the Chinese on the negotiation table.

The US isn’t investing nearly enough in critical tech to outpace China: Report


WASHINGTON: Based on rhetoric around Washington, it would seem government agencies, including the Defense Department, have skyrocketing investments in advanced technologies. But a closer look reveals the US isn’t investing nearly enough in order to outpace adversaries like China in areas like artificial intelligence and machine learning, warns data analytics group Govini in a new report.

“In recent years, the U.S. Government has recognized the importance of emerging technology to both strategic competition with China and our future national prosperity, and multiple administrations and congresses have taken action accordingly,” Govini’s 2022 Federal Scorecard report states. “But despite these efforts, moving fast enough to beat China remains a pernicious challenge.”

Govini’s analysis is derived from a list of critical technology areas revealed earlier this year from the office of the undersecretary of defense for research and engineering. The list includes 14 technologies, among them artificial intelligence, quantum science, biotechnology and space technology, according to a Feb. 1 memo obtained by Breaking Defense.

The Worst Hacks and Breaches of 2022 So Far

WHETHER THE FIRST six months of 2022 have felt interminable or fleeting—or both—massive hacks, data breaches, digital scams, and ransomware attacks continued apace throughout the first half of this complicated year. With the Covid-19 pandemic, economic instability, geopolitical unrest, and bitter human rights disputes grinding on around the world, cybersecurity vulnerabilities and digital attacks have proved to be thoroughly enmeshed in all aspects of life.

With another six months left in the year, though, there's more still to come. Here are the biggest digital security debacles that have played out so far.

For years, Russia has aggressively and recklessly mounted digital attacks against Ukraine, causing blackouts, attempting to skew elections, stealing data, and releasing destructive malware to rampage across the country—and the world. After invading Ukraine in February, though, the digital dynamic between the two countries has changed as Russia struggles to support a massive and costly kinetic war and Ukraine mounts resistance on every front it can think of. This has meant that while Russia has continued to pummel Ukrainian institutions and infrastructure with cyberattacks, Ukraine has also been hacking back with surprising success. Ukraine formed a volunteer “IT Army” at the beginning of the war, which has focused on mounting DDoS attacks and disruptive hacks against Russian institutions and services to cause as much chaos as possible. Hacktivists from around the world have also turned their attention—and digital firepower—toward the conflict. And as Ukraine launches other types of hacks against Russia, including attacks utilizing custom malware, Russia has suffered data breaches and service disruptions at an unprecedented scale.

UK Military Chief ‘Heaps Praises’ On Russia; Calls ‘Land Warfare The Real Domain’ As Moscow Cripples Ukraine

Parth Satam

The war in Ukraine has left some profound lessons for the Western world, particularly Great Britain (UK), whose Chief of General Staff General Patrick Sanders called for “mobilizing” against Russia.

But what stood out in his speech was quoting Britain’s wartime Field Marshal Bernard Law Montgomery’s exhortation in 1937, two years before World War 2.

“There is no need to continue doing a thing merely because it has been done in the Army for the last thirty or forty years – if this is the only reason for doing it, then it is high time we changed and did something else,” Monty had said.

While slamming a “revanchist” Russia for its war in Ukraine, Sanders went on to call “land” the “decisive domain,” putting it before “standoff, air, maritime or cyber” capability, which “alone cannot” win a war – or at least one against Russia in Europe.

NATO aims to take on Russia with its own cyber military-industrial complex


Western military allies want cybersecurity and defense technology firms to step up in countering digital threats from Russia.

The war in Ukraine has put technology front and center of armed conflict. Satellite network firms like Elon Musk’s Starlink, drone-makers like China’s DJI, citizen-supported information-sharing apps and a raging fight to control the online narrative have shaped the war since its start in February.

Now, NATO leaders want to set out a plan to win the war for tech supremacy and cyber defenses in the long run. The defense alliance meets Wednesday to Thursday for a summit in Madrid and will present a “Strategic Concept” for how it plans to protect the bloc from threats and attacks for the next few years, including in cyberspace.

NATO forging cyber response force amid growing Russian, Chinese threats

Colin Demarest

WASHINGTON — NATO will establish a program to quickly respond to cyberattacks and other malign activity in the digital domain, while pledging to boost Ukraine’s cyber defenses amid relentless Russian attacks.

The creation of the “virtual rapid response cyber capability” was included in a June 29 declaration from NATO heads of state and other governments participating in a high-profile summit in Madrid.

The program is voluntary and relies on existing assets, the alliance said. The U.S. will “offer robust national capabilities” to support the cooperative, which is using lessons learned from the Russia-Ukraine war to tailor its methods, according to a fact sheet put out by the White House.

Great Power Competition — China’s Use of Guerrilla Warfare and Information Power in Pursuit of Its Epochal World Order

Richard M. Crowell


Great power competition (GPC) has returned to the global stage with rivalry between the People’s Republic of China and numerous nations with which they are competing.[*] The idea that the world’s most prized resource is no longer oil but data has changed the character of GPC in the twenty-first century.[3] Today nations are competing for access to data vital to control machines of trade and war vice oil essential to operate the engines of the industrial age.

Phillip Bobbitt, the noted constitutional scholar, defines a great power as a state capable of initiating an epochal war—a conflict that threatens the survival of the leaders of the society of states.[4] Bobbitt contends that GPC throughout the twentieth century can be viewed as one long war to answer the constitutional question of how nation states would be governed— communism, fascism or parliamentary democracy.[5] When the Cold War ended many believed the question was answered with parliamentary democracy. However, once China’s twenty-first century actions are viewed holistically, it is clear they have become a threat to existing constitutional order of states in which they are competing. The Communist Party of China (CPC) skillfully promotes their closed authoritarian model as an alternative to democratic governance and free-market societies.[6] Furthermore, Bobbitt describes the relationship between how states are governed and how they conduct war, “Fundamental innovations in war bring about fundamental transformations in the constitutional order of states, while transformations in the constitutional order bring about fundamental changes in the conduct and aims of war.”[7] The CPCs fundamental innovation in war, a successful guerilla war, determined how they govern China and subsequently how they view competition and war.[8]

Army Continues Build Up of Integrated Tactical Network

Meredith Roaten

FORT MYER, Virginia — Bullets whizzing through the air. Missiles launching through the skies. But what the Army thinks will make all the difference in warfare against technologically advanced adversaries is an invisible network that links every soldier, commander and weapon in the field.

After the Army finished its critical design review for its second stage of network capabilities in April, the service is looking toward two major operational demonstrations of its tactical network this year that will collect additional data needed for fielding it more widely.

The network is a “cornerstone” not just to the Army’s operations, but also to the domain operations across the joint force, said Brig. Gen. Robert Collins, program executive officer for command, control, communications-tactical, or PEO 3CT.

American Grand Strategy: Disguising Decline

Michael Lind

AMERICAN TRIUMPHALISM is back. The difficulties encountered by Vladimir Putin’s regime in its invasion of Ukraine are being used to revive Cold War rhetoric about American leadership, the struggle for global democracy, and Western unity. America as the leader of the Free World is once more in the saddle!

Unfortunately, it is far from clear that Putin will actually lose the war. If, as a result of a negotiated compromise or prolonged stalemate, much of Ukraine remains indefinitely under Russian occupation, then in spite of the costs Putin will have succeeded in territorial revanchism in Ukraine—in addition to having annexed Crimea and successfully gone to war to keep Georgia out of NATO. The possible admission of Finland and Sweden to NATO would be a symbolic insult to Moscow, but Russia was not going to invade either country anyway.

Can South Korea Bridge NATO and the US Indo-Pacific Strategy?

Sukjoon Yoon

On June 29, the NATO summit in Spain showed indications of an emergent strategic linkage between the European and Indo-Pacific theaters.

South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol, together with the leaders of Japan, Australia, and New Zealand, also attended the top-level meeting of the transatlantic alliance. It was the first time a South Korean president has joined a NATO summit, and Yoon’s first overseas trip since his inauguration in May. There was also a trilateral summit between Japan, South Korea, and the United States. The most important item on the agenda was how NATO can continue to support Ukraine in its war of resistance against Russian President Vladimir Putin’s invasion, but the security issues of the Indo-Pacific also played a prominent role.

In his remarks at the summit, Yoon articulated his vision of interconnecting South Korea’s security and foreign policies with NATO’s robust stance against Russia in the European theater. He seeks a global role for South Korea by developing new strategic concepts to create a comprehensive security network with NATO. South Korea, as an established liberal democracy and a rising economic power, will contribute toward managing emerging security issues by networking with like-minded states, and by revitalizing economic interactions on nuclear energy, semiconductors, renewable energy, and defense industries.

Russia-Ukraine War: Implications for Asian Geoeconomics

Ali Ahmadi

The Russian invasion of Ukraine has set off a series of sanctions from Western states and many others that will have broad implications for some time to come, even in the unlikely scenario of a relatively quick end to the fighting. The impact on the global economy and supply chains from both the war and the escalating sanctions regime has already been significant but will have long-term consequences on the geoeconomics of Asia and East-West trade that require closer examination.

The term geoeconomics is poorly defined in academia. It is most frequently used to refer to economies being instrumentalized for national security purposes. Here, I use the term specifically to refer to how countries use geography to achieve their economic ambitions in light of security-related issues. In that sense, my definition is closer to scholars who see geoeconomics as the interplay between economics and geopolitics.

I argue that there are three interrelated and intersecting trends brought about by the Russian invasion of Ukraine and the unprecedentedly fast succession of Western sanctions imposed on Moscow, which redrew trade maps in Asia. Ultimately, Iran stands to be the primary beneficiary of these changes.

Can China Achieve Its BRICS Ambitions?

Jacob Mardell

Beijing and Moscow have so far failed to repurpose the BRICS group into an anti-U.S. coalition, but they are not done trying and might yet succeed. The BRICS countries share a common dissatisfaction with the status quo, and the group is becoming increasingly important to Beijing’s global agenda.

The five leaders of Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa met virtually on June 23 for the 14th annual BRICS summit. In his opening remarks, Chinese President Xi Jinping, this year’s host, was the only leader to directly reference what he called the “Ukraine crisis.”

Russian leader Vladimir Putin made a swipe at Western sanctions, decrying the “selfish actions of certain states,” but Xi was even more explicit and detailed in his criticism of the West, claiming that attempts by “some countries [to] expand military alliances” and “pursue unilateral dominance” were “dangerous trends” that could not be allowed to continue.

25 Years On: Reflecting on Hong Kong’s Handover

Martin Duffy

It is 25 years since sovereignty over Hong Kong was passed from the UK to the People’s Republic of China. To be precise this occurred at midnight on 1 July 1997. That ceremony, architecturally ensconced in an impressive Commemoration Monument which now geopolitically dominates the skyline of the island, terminated a British colonial history of almost 160 unbroken years. Thus, with the handover, the island state metamorphosed into a special administrative region of China (SAR) for 50 years, during which (technically) it should have conserved economic and governing systems distinct from those of mainland China. In practice, central government in Beijing has become omniscient, especially after the passing of the Hong Kong national security law in 2020.

The 1997 hand-over formally and precipitously concluded the UK’s 99-year lease for the New Territories. The 1984 Sino-British Joint Declaration prescribed how Hong Kong was to be transferred, with China agreeing to maintain existing structures of government under, “one country, two systems” for fifty years. Hong Kong was China’s first special administrative region. Next was Macau after its transfer from Portugal in 1999. As someone who has worked intermittently on migration assignments in Hong Kong and the region for a couple of decades, I may be forgiven for offering a few historical time-lines which explain the complex and frustrating events which now cut completely against the will of the majority of the island’s population.

Afghan Clerics’ Assembly Urges Recognition of Taliban Government

Rahim Faiez

A three-day assembly of Islamic clerics and tribal elders in the Afghan capital concluded Saturday with pledges of support for the Taliban and calls on the international community to recognize the country’s Taliban-led government.

The meeting in Kabul was tailored along the lines of Afghanistan’s traditional Loya Jirgas: regular councils of elders, leaders, and prominent figures meant to deliberate Afghan policy issues.

But the overwhelming majority of attendees were Taliban officials and supporters, mostly Islamic clerics. Women were not allowed to attend, unlike the last Loya Jirga that was held under the previous, U.S.-backed government.

Unrest in Central Asia: The Trouble in Karakalpakstan

Catherine Putz

Less than a week after proposing a vast array of constitutional reforms, the Uzbek government backtracked on a select few amendments that had set off large protests in Nukus, the capital of Karakalpakstan, on July 1. Among the suggested constitutional changes was the rewriting of Karakalpakstan’s political position within Uzbekistan, stripping the region of its sovereignty and right to hold a secession referendum.

The flash of unrest shocked Tashkent, which quickly shut off internet communications to the region and moved in to suppress the protests. On July 2, Uzbek President Shavkat Mirziyoyev flew to Nukus and announced the scrapping of the offending proposals.

Specific details are difficult to verify about what happened in Nukus. According to the government, 516 people were detained during clashes between protesters and government forces, 243 people were injured, and 18 were killed. Eurasianet’s Joanna Lillis was briefly detained by police as she interviewed people in a crowd outside the main police building in Nukus. The police reportedly deleted the footage on her phone and warned her against reporting on the situation. A month-long state of emergency was declared for Karakalpakstan.

A Post-War Stand-Off Between Russia and the West Is Inevitable

Michael Kimmage

THE WAR in Ukraine is likely to last for years and to end in a Russian defeat of one kind or another. The essence of this war, apart from the enormous suffering it has caused, is that Vladimir Putin has made an epic strategic blunder by launching it and that the Russian political system does not have the flexibility or the resilience to change course. This does not portend Putin’s fall from power or the emergence of democracy in Russia. Nevertheless, the waging of a catastrophic war by a country that is only partially a great power and that is not by any means a great economic power will impose long-term costs on Russia. The country will have enormous difficulty dealing with these costs.

In the world that will come to be after the war, Russia’s near-inevitable defeat will have one positive and one negative consequence for the United States.

The positive consequence will be global. Prior to the war that Russia began in February 2022, the United States was struggling to find a role for itself. It was no longer the undisputed hegemon. It was still recovering from the fraught transition from the Trump to the Biden administrations. It had stumbled in the practical management of the withdrawal from Afghanistan in the summer of 2021. The Biden administration’s division of the world into autocracies and democracies was a clear enough distinction. But it could seem to be an abstraction—the stuff of speeches, not something crucial to U.S. foreign policy in action.

Big Tech Should Ban Invasive TikTok App That Mines Personal Data For China


Brendan Carr, one of the commissioners of the Federal Communications Commission, is urging U.S. big tech companies to ban the popular Chinese app, TikTok, from their app stores due to data security concerns.

Carr made his case in a letter addressed to Apple Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook and Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai. Carr shared a copy of his letter in a tweet, stating, “TikTok is not just another video app. That’s the sheep’s clothing. It harvests swaths of sensitive data that new reports show are being accessed in Beijing. I’ve called on @Apple & @Google to remove TikTok from their app stores for its pattern of surreptitious data practices.”

TikTok, a popular app for creating short, looping videos, is owned by ByteDance, a Beijing-based internet company. Since it debuted in China under the name “Douyin” in 2016, TikTok has experienced phenomenal growth globally. It claims more than 1 billion users worldwide and is especially popular among young people aged 16-24. In the United States, the app is used by about 80 million Americans every month.

Assessing the Impact of Hybrid Threats on Ontological Security via Entanglement

Petros Petrikkos

A growing body of scholarly work has used the concept of ontological security to explain the ways through which political actors in international politics exhibit certain traces when it comes to how they understand security. In simple words, ontological security at the state level is ensuring a sense of routinised continuity, order, belonging, as well as the survival of the self-image and identity states wish to project at home and in the wider international political scene (Giddens 1991: 37; Steele 2008; Innes and Steele 2014: 15). Not only does the subdiscipline of Ontological Security Studies (OSS) raise questions beyond the confines of physical security and materiality, but it also asks difficult questions about how we live and what it means to feel and be secure and safe. Is security merely about securing ourselves from a threat? Is it the state in which we are secure and free to pursue stability in our lives? These questions are equally posed to states and societies when exploring their daily operations across time and space.

Nonetheless, the insights obtained from this highly engaging approach are largely conceptual in nature; in practice, critical approaches to security are often not easily understood by policymakers and decision-makers. Even though the policymaker is not concerned with academic debates, they should be concerned with how key concepts in academia can transform their own work. From a policy perspective, OSS has strong practical applications that are discussed within academic spaces, yet not so easily understood within policymaking circles. For instance, the discipline addresses the importance of continuity in states’ routine operations as a means of securing society. However, what happens when state action (or inaction, for that matter) is a security threat on its own? As such, an important question that has been left largely unaddressed is the capacity for political actors to secure themselves from themselves. In other words, how do we, in our present form and capacity, ensure that we protect our stability in the future from our current actions and discourse? To what extent do state institutions and society plan ahead of large, disrupting crises? Finally, how resilient are our institutions across state and society in the face of less predictable and irregular dangers in the hybrid threat era?

You Have to Be There

James R. Holmes

Director and actor Woody Allen famously joked, “Eighty percent of success is showing up.” Admiral J. C. Wylie, the author of Military Strategy: A General Theory of Power Control, opined that to control something, an armed force must stage firepower on the scene sufficient to control that thing.1 Implicit in Wylie’s analysis is that if you want to control something forever, you may need to remain there forever. Combine the insights from this odd couple, and it seems that 80 percent of martial affairs is showing up and the remaining 20 percent is staying in force.

This oversimplifies matters, but it is sage counsel, nonetheless. Contenders must bestride the field of competition—and stay on the field as long as the contest lasts—to entertain any hope of success. Yet militaries have flouted this simple but profound axiom throughout history. Beguiled by offense, they take territory only to move on—and relinquish control back to the foe, who promptly reoccupies the ground and resumes his own agenda. Intermittent control is no control at all in strategic terms.