12 July 2022

Japan’s Return to Great Power Politics: Abe’s Restoration

Kenneth B. Pyle

After more than 70 years of subordination in the U.S.-led world order, Japan is pulling free from its self-binding constraints and restoring an activist foreign policy not seen since 1945. Coming to power with a surge of conservative nationalist support in the Liberal Democratic Party, Abe has engineered Japan’s return to great-power politics. He has achieved a historic reinterpretation of the constitution to permit collective self-defense, ended the ban on arms exports and other self-binding policies, and pressed for new offensive military capacity, all of which have made possible a much more cohesive and integrated U.S.-Japan alliance. Although Abe and the policy elite have had to override public opposition in returning Japan to this activist role, in such circumstances of transition in the international order, Japan has historically experienced rapid swings in geopolitical position. With the growing uncertainty of regional conditions, we should not be surprised if the pacifist identity that postwar generations have long embraced gives way and we see changes in the prolonged resistance of the Japanese public to revision of the constitution and to an activist and assertive foreign policy.

Putin, Erdogan And The Expansion Of NATO

Neville Teller

Sincethe collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, no less than fourteen of its one-time satellite states in eastern Europe have joined NATO. Russia’s president Vladimir Putin has watched the NATO boundary advance inexorably toward his western border with increasing concern. In particular Latvia and Estonia now stand nose-to-nose with Russia, since each shares a land border with it. As for Belarus and Ukraine, Putin has been determined that neither would ever enter the NATO camp, since that would bring NATO right into the heart of Mother Russia. At least, Putin has consoled himself, up in the far north Finland, with its long land border with Russia (1,340 kilometers or 830 miles) is neutral and has always steered clear of NATO membership.

The failure of the West in general, and NATO in particular, to react decisively to Putin’s invasion and annexation of Crimea in 2014 must have led him to regard the West as disunited and ineffective. He had done his best, moreover, to ensure that Western Europe had grown very largely dependent on Russia for its energy needs, putting Putin in a dominant negotiating position. A swift land grab of Ukraine, he must have calculated, would not only halt NATO’s advance in its tracks, but probably evoke as little adverse reaction as his Crimea adventure had done.

What Would Happen To Russia Without The United States And Europe?

Kester Kenn Klomegah

Approximately a year ago, August 2021, Dr Andrey Kortunov, Director General of the Russian International Affairs Council (RIAC) wrote an opinion article in which he rhetorically asked What Would Happen to the World Without the United States. That article was and still is an informative and thought provoking. It offers an insight into the need for global cooperation, peace and solidarity. It brings into memory the Communist slogans: the world without nuclear, peace and development, friendship and international solidarity.

After the historic fall of the Soviet era, Russia really dreamed of raising its status by joining international organizations. Over the past three decades, it became a member of many global bodies, participating actively at the United Nations. In addition, Russia, however, created the Greater Eurasia Union, BRICS – a group of states comprising Brazil, India, China and South Africa – and the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO). With the changes taking place, Russia has exited some of the foreign organizations including, Group of Eight (G-8), the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), the World Trade Organization (WTO) and the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR). There are currently hot debates whether to let it go out of the Group of Twenty (G-20).

War in Ukraine Transforms Russia’s Hydrogen Strategy Into Illusion

Sergey Sukhankin

The Kremlin’s unprovoked war of aggression against Ukraine and ensuing international economic sanctions targeting the Russian Federation have already damaged Russia’s non-renewable energy export capabilities, hitting both the oil and natural gas sectors (The Moscow Times—Russian service, June 28). Now, those economic measures are taking their toll (see EDM, April 11), and it is uncertain how long Moscow can count on its main Indo-Pacific region customers, India and China, to continue buying Russian hydrocarbons (shunned by the West but presently highly discounted). As such, it appears the time has come for Russia to start considering alternative means for filling the state’s coffers.

Even prior to the outbreak of full-scale hostilities in Ukraine (launched by President Vladimir Putin on February 24, 2022), certain segments of Russia’s economic and business elite had claimed that the production and export of hydrogen could become a way for the country to gradually move away from oil and gas as its main export commodities. Indeed, the year 2021 marked a spike in interest in hydrogen development. According to the Ministry of Energy (Minenergo), by 2050 Russia was supposed to become one of the largest exporters of hydrogen, occupying up to 20 percent of the global market (Kommersant, December 24, 2021). Importantly, “green energy” (and hydrogen in particular)—as a key tool of Russia’s economic transformation—became one of the main topics of discussion at the Sixth Eastern Economic Forum 2021 (EEF-2021), held in Vladivostok (see EDM, September 14, 2021).

Challenges to Russian Arms Resupply: Tanks, Combat Aviation, Artillery Ammunition

Pavel Luzin

After more than four months of Russia’s aggression against Ukraine, open-source data confirms that the Russian Armed Forces lost, at a minimum, over 830 tanks and 1,650 different types of armored vehicles (destroyed, damaged, abandoned or captured) as well as dozens of combat aircraft and helicopters and many other pieces of military equipment (Oryxspioenkop.com, accessed July 6). This data also does not count damaged but survived weapons systems that Russian troops were able to haul back to their bases; those systems will need a full overhaul before returning to the battlefield. Another issue Russia faces in Ukraine is a looming deficit in artillery munitions, which will become almost inevitable by the end of 2022. Indeed, the Russian reliance on mass artillery shelling raises questions about the amount of ammunition Russia still has in storage or that will need to be replaced. All these difficulties will take several years to solve, even under favorable economic circumstances.

On the eve of its re-invasion of Ukraine (launched by President Vladimir Putin on February 24, 2022), the Russian Armed Forces possessed an estimated 3,300 battle tanks, 1,900–2,000 of which were modernized or produced in 2011–2021, and no fewer than 16,000 armored vehicles of different types, a quarter of which were modernized or produced over that same decade (The Military Balance, 2022). Before 2011, Russia relied mostly on tanks and armored vehicles built in the Soviet era and had not invested much into rearmament.

NATO’s New Strategic Concept Gives Short Shrift to Eastern Neighborhood

Vladimir Socor

The North Atlantic Treaty Organization’s (NATO) new Strategic Concept, approved at the summit just held in Madrid, strongly emphasizes Russia’s multidimensional threats to the Alliance. By way of response, the Concept singles out the task of deterrence and defense from among the Alliance’s core tasks (see EDM, July 6). Yet the Concept barely glances at another core task, that of crisis management, pertinent in this case to NATO’s Eastern neighborhood.

The short shrift to the Eastern neighborhood comes as a surprise in view of Russia’s ongoing war in Ukraine. The war commanded due attention at NATO‘s summit (a one-off event) but forms a peripheral item in the new Strategic Concept, which is designed for several years ahead (Nato.int, June 29).

This document contains only two sentences about Ukraine per se, both of them in the preface (as distinct from the body or executive part of the document): “[Russia’s] brutal and unlawful invasion, repeated violations of international humanitarian law and heinous attacks and atrocities have caused unspeakable suffering and destruction. A strong, independent Ukraine is vital for the stability of the Euro-Atlantic area.” These considerations, however, are for the most part humanitarian, legal and moral; they are not strategic. The barest nod to strategy comes last, and security is conspicuously missing from it, the matter being reduced to stability.

Aiding the Digital Revolution in Global Financial Inclusion


WASHINGTON, DC – Around the world, high inflation, slow economic growth, and food shortages are hurting the poor the most. Coming on top of the unequal effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, today’s multiple crises have already caused dramatic reversals in development and led to a substantial increase in global poverty.

On the positive side, the COVID-19 crisis spurred unprecedented change, especially in industries with a large digital component. This digital revolution has catalyzed increases in access to and use of financial services in developing economies, transforming how people make and receive payments, borrow, and save.

How Abe Changed Japan


LONDON – Former Japanese Prime Minister Abe Shinzō’s assassination at an election campaign event in Nara, Japan, is both shocking and puzzling. It is shocking because Japan has known almost no political violence for at least a half-century, and because gun ownership in the country is tightly controlled. It is puzzling because Abe, having stepped down as prime minister in 2020, had no formal government role; yet the killing was plainly a political act.

Abe’s death is unlikely to have any impact on the July 10 elections for Japan’s House of Councillors (the upper and therefore junior legislative chamber), which the ruling Liberal Democratic Party was already expected to win comfortably. The tragic loss of the LDP’s former leader and prime minister may add some sympathy votes by increasing turnout, but it has primarily astonished and bewildered a country that is completely unaccustomed to such violence.

Inflation Dos and Don’ts


NEW YORK – In the decades since the 1970s oil-price shocks sent inflation soaring and shackled economic growth, price stability was maintained even when growth was robust. Many policymakers and economists took a bow, proudly claiming that they had found the magic formula. Underpinning the so-called Great Moderation were independent central banks that could anchor inflationary expectations by credibly committing to raise interest rates whenever inflation reared its ugly head – or even act preemptively when necessary. Independence meant that central banks need not – and typically did not – worry about balancing the costs (generally lost output and jobs) against any putative benefits.Politics

But this conventional wisdom has always been challenged. Because interest-rate hikes achieve their intended outcome by curtailing demand, they don’t “solve” inflation arising from supply shocks – such as sharply rising oil prices (as in the 1970s and again today) or the kinds of supply-chain blockages seen during the COVID-19 pandemic and in the wake of Russia’s war in Ukraine. Higher interest rates will not lead to more cars, more oil, more grain, more fertilizer, or more baby formula. On the contrary, by making investment more expensive, they may even impede an effective response to supply-side problems.

America’s Path to War with Russia

Christopher Blattman

The Biden administration has worked hard to keep Russia from treating America as a co-combatant in Ukraine. But that doesn’t mean NATO isn’t deeply embroiled in the fight. The level of support is extraordinary and increasing, including sanctions, intelligence sharing, weapons transfers, and money. Add to that the ever-heightening political rhetoric: “The United States is in this to win it,” one US Congressman tweeted from Kyiv.

But nothing in international law stops Russia from changing its mind and treating the United States as an active party to the conflict. Instead of providing bright red lines, the conventions are fuzzy and subjective. The fact that Vladimir Putin hasn’t deemed NATO a co-combatant comes from a mix of murky international norms, strategic calculation, and luck.

At some point, that could change. Perhaps a Ukrainian military unit uses a long-range system from NATO to attack Belgorod, just inside the Russian border, and Putin orders his military to retaliate against a Western country. Or, as the torrent of heavy weapons to Ukraine grows, perhaps Russia decides that supply depots in Poland are fair game. We can imagine these scenarios by the dozen.

Viewpoint: JADC2 Should Embrace Hardened 5G, Edge Computing

Robert Spalding

Joint all-domain command and control, or JADC2, is the military’s latest buzzy acronym and one of the stated priorities for the Defense Department. Yet it is a concept without a clear solution and is likely to languish without the infrastructure to ensure its success.

One of the biggest challenges for JADC2 is interoperability. Today, just in nuclear command and control, which is a subset of JADC2, there are more than 100 programs underway. Since these programs often involve technology that was not built to be interoperable, bridging information is a challenge. Data becomes trapped and unable to be used quickly to build a comprehensive picture for decision makers.

The question becomes, why not use the cloud? There, the focus is on data transport. If we could just get the data to the cloud, then we could solve many of the problems. But then that raises the question, which cloud? And inevitably, how do I move my data there?

Deterrence is Not Rocket Science: It is More Difficult

Dr Keith B. Payne

In a recent published article, two physicists offered remarks that illustrate a fundamental basis for the stark differences reflected in the public debate about deterrence.[1] A “fundamental issue” raised by the authors is, “Who is qualified to participate in the debate over US nuclear weapons policy?” Their expressed concern is that “discussion of these policies” is held “within silos,” and that “one such silo is the US defense establishment,” which, they suggest, is that side of the nuclear policy debate that does not “promote arms control or disarmament.” The authors emphasize that all who engage in this discussion are “arm-chair generals” because no one has experience in nuclear warfare, and that “no political actors can know all the possible pathways of escalation from conventional to nuclear war.” Their fundamental point in this regard appears to be that the “defense establishment” has no great advantage in this discussion because, “deterrence theory is not rocket science. Except for aspects of mathematical logic or game theory applied to deterrence, this ‘theory’ is essentially a collection of suspect assumptions and speculations on how one state would respond to the actions of an adversary. We can all partake in those speculations.”[2]

There are points of truth in these various observations. All the possible pathways to nuclear escalation surely are not known, thankfully. In some important aspects of this subject—we all are amateurs. And, deterrence theory is speculative. The prediction of foreign leadership decision making in unprecedented and stressful future circumstances is particularly speculative. This much has been recognized by some for generations. More than six decades ago, Herman Kahn emphasized the speculative character of deterrence theory and questioned the prevalent expectation that the reliable functioning of deterrence can be orchestrated: “In spite of our reliance on the idea that deterrence will work, we usually do not analyze carefully the basic concepts behind such a policy….This somewhat lackadaisical interest in bedrock concepts is probably related to a subconscious fear that our foundations cannot stand close examination.”[3]

Who Would Replace Boris Johnson? Here Are His Likely Successors

Bobby Ghosh

It’s been a tumultuous 24 hours in British politics. As resignations pile up, the odds that Prime Minister Boris Johnson will be forced to resign shorten. But who would take over? Bobby Ghosh spoke to Bloomberg Opinion columnists Adrian Wooldridge and Clive Crook on Twitter Spaces on Wednesday afternoon. Here is part of their conversation, lightly edited for clarity and length.

Bobby Ghosh: Betting shops have the former Chancellor Rishi Sunak and Trade Minister Penny Mordaunt as the joint favorites to be Boris Johnson’s successor. Do you think either of them have the ability to bring the Conservative Party together and provide the leadership that Johnson seems unable to?

Adrian Wooldridge: Whoever wins would get a big boost, simply because they’re not Boris Johnson and come without the baggage and the reputation for lying.

Is The Russian Navy Doomed?

Robert Farley

What future does the Russian Navy have? While Russia’s naval forces have played an important role in the war their performance has been, at best, mixed. The Russian Navy has successfully blockaded ports and launched missiles against targets across Ukraine, but along the way it lost its Black Sea flagship, lost one of its most important amphibious warfare vessels, failed to ensure control of Snake Island, and failed to prosecute decisive amphibious operations in the Ukrainian littoral.

The Russian military will in the future face substantial budgetary constraints. While it is true that Russia’s economy has withstood sanctions better than expected thus far, this situation is unlikely to hold in the long term, especially if the United States can maintain the coalition. It is not obvious at this point that the Navy will be able to command sufficient resources to maintain itself, much less rebuild.

What to Expect From Biden’s Big Middle East Trip

Aaron David Miller and Steven Simon

With rare exception, the Middle East has become a place where U.S. presidential ideas, especially big ones, go to die. Wisely recognizing this cruel reality, U.S. President Joe Biden’s administration tried to steer clear of the region through much of the past year and a half.

But the siren call of Arab hydrocarbons amid Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and rising gas prices have forced Biden back in. Still, as he travels to the region, Biden confronts big challenges—the need to increase oil supply; a broken Israeli-Palestinian peace process; looming tensions between Iran and Israel; and an uncomfortable meeting with a Saudi crown prince, whose country Biden once deemed a “pariah”—that only offer the prospect of incremental gains.
Rebeccah L. Heinrichs, Bryan Clark, Matthew Costlow, Timothy A. Walton


Guam, “where America’s day begins,” constitutes an indispensable strategic hub for the United States. The largest of the Mariana Islands in the western Pacific, it allows the United States to successfully project power within the Indo-Pacific region and so makes credible US security commitments to key US allies located there. Guam is home to Andersen Air Force Base (AFB), from which F-22 Raptors and strategic bomber rotations project US power from the skies, and to the deep-water port Apra Harbor, which plays a critical role in US Navy missions aimed at keeping trade routes open. Thus, this US territory is essential to the security of the American citizenry.

Guam’s great strategic value to the United States and its proximity to North Korea and the Peoples Republic of China (PRC) make it a prime target of missile attack by these US adversaries. Of particular concern, however, is the threat posed by possible Chinese long-range missile strikes, and so, to enable the successful projection of US power within the region and provide credible assurance to key allies, Guam’s defenses must be strengthened. Due to its significance to US security and its status as a US territory, military officials have increased their emphases on the need to speed up the construction of an adequate defense. Then-Commander of US Pacific Command Admiral Davidson regularly connected Guam to the US homeland, stating to Congress, “Hawaii, Guam, and our Pacific territories are part of our homeland and must be defended.”1

The Complex Reality of Cyber War and Ukraine


EXPERT PERSPECTIVE — There has been widespread surprise in the media that the ground war in Ukraine has not spilled over into large scale and overt cyber conflict outside the region. A visible campaign of Russian attacks on Western economic sectors and nations, especially those linked most strongly with sanctions, has not materialised yet. Commentators have questioned whether urgent government advice to improve defences, the US ‘Shields Up’ initiative and its equivalents in other countries, was really justified.

The reality is more complex.

First, to anyone watching this within the region, there has been no shortage of offensive cyber activity. Ukraine has of course, been a test bed for low intensity Russian cyber activity for at least ten years; but in the months and weeks before the invasion, there was a clear intensification, culminating in the cyber equivalent of an artillery barrage to ‘soften up’ the country immediately before the ground war.

China is relentlessly trying to peel away Japan's resolve on disputed islands

Brad Lendon

Seoul, South Korea (CNN)For all the speculation of quick military action by China to achieve its foreign policy goals, Beijing's track record has been more akin to peeling an onion, slowly and deliberately pulling back layers to reach a goal at the center.

Think of how Beijing built up islands in the South China Sea and then fortified them, eventually establishing what the former head of the US Pacific Command in 2018 called a "Great Wall of SAMs," -- surface-to-air missiles -- on islands that years earlier Chinese leader Xi Jinping had pledged not to militarize.
"Relevant construction activities that China is undertaking in the Nansha (Spratly) islands do not target or impact any country, and China does not intend to pursue militarization," Xi told former US President Barack Obama at the White House in 2015.

Those militarized islands are also claimed in part by the Philippines, Vietnam, and Taiwan, but none of those places are likely to see their claims realized. The islands -- with names like Fiery Cross Reef and Mischief Reef -- are essentially People's Liberation Army bases.

Brad DeLong asks what America can learn from its past bouts of inflation

The first and most important thing to recognise about the macroeconomic situation in America is that Jerome Powell and his Federal Open Market Committee (fomc) should be taking victory laps. Two and a half years after the start of the financial crisis in 2007, America’s unemployment rate was kissing 10%, the Federal Reserve realised that it was out of firepower and the Obama administration had just thrown away its ability to help by promising to veto spending and tax bills that were insufficiently austere. After that moment it would take six years for America’s economy to approach full employment. The impact of deficient employment meant that output was $7trn lower in 2013 than it would have been otherwise. Additional losses stemmed from the investments not made, business models not experimented with and workers not trained during the decade of anaemic recovery.

We have avoided all that this time around. Relative to the Fed presided over by Ben Bernanke between 2006 and 2014, Mr Powell’s team are public benefactors to the residents of America to the tune of $20trn, if you consider that there are more jobs and fewer idle factories now and in the future because of their actions. We have an uptick in inflation partly because the Fed—alongside Congress and the presidency—responded far more aggressively to the pandemic-induced recession than to the global financial crisis. A world in which the economy recovers so quickly that inflation emerges is better than one in which recovery drags on painfully for years.

From Inflation to RecessionIs Germany's Prosperity at Risk?

Markus Feldenkirchen, Markus Dettmer, Timo Lehmann, Ann-Katrin Müller

Part of Ulrich Schneider's job description, as chief executive of the Paritätische Gesamtverband, an association of German social movements, is describing the situation of the poor in Germany as being particularly precarious and threatening. He’s been doing so with great regularity for more than 20 years. But what he described last Wednesday at the presentation of the Poverty Report 2022, titled "Between Pandemic and Inflation," in Berlin exceeded the usual warnings. Schneider spoke of "dramatic findings" and "brutal" effects, and warned: "Germany is in danger of simply disintegrating at the bottom."

Not since reunification have there been as many poor people in Germany, Schneider said, with the number of impoverished in the country hitting 13.8 million in 2021. Never before have more children and elderly had to live in poverty in the country, and the poverty rate has never risen as rapidly as it did in 2020 and 2021, he said. Even among the employed, there is a growing number of people who don’t have enough money for a life with social and cultural participation. Among the self-employed, in particular, there has never been such a marked uptick.

Even outside America, inflation is starting to look entrenched

Inflation dominates the American popular psyche to an extent not seen since the 1980s, when prices were last rising at the current pace. Much like complaining about the weather or last night’s basketball play-offs, moaning about higher prices has become a conversation starter. According to figures published on May 11th, consumer prices rose by 8.3% in April, compared with the previous year. A day earlier, President Joe Biden called fighting inflation his “top domestic priority”. Newspapers are publishing four times as many stories mentioning inflation as they did a year ago; several polls suggest that Americans believe inflation is a bigger problem for their country than the war in Ukraine. But America is not alone. Inflation is also becoming baked into everyday life in other parts of the rich world.

The Economist has gathered data on five indicators across ten big economies—”core” inflation, which excludes food and energy prices; the dispersion in inflation rates for the sub-components of the consumer-price index; labour costs; inflation expectations; and Google searches for inflation. To gauge where inflation has become most pervasive, we rank each country according to how it fares on each measure, and then combine these ranks to form an “inflation entrenchment” score.

Newest sats launched by DoD include jammer-evading, classified payloads


WASHINGTON: Among the seven experimental satellites launched last week by Virgin Orbit for the Pentagon’s Space Test Program is a “cognitive” radio frequency system built by Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) designed to enable jam-proof, high-speed satellite communications through the fog of electronic warfare.

The experimental CubeSat, called Recurve, uses artificial intelligence/machine learning to autonomously decide how to route data through large constellations of interlinked satellites in Low Earth Orbit (LEO), called “mesh networks,” to ensure that the right information is relayed to the right user at the right time in the right place, according to an AFRL press release today.

“Recurve advances us towards a vision of ubiquitous communication networks, to include beyond line of sight, to ensure that our warfighters have the information they need both quickly and reliably,” said Lt. Col. David Johnson, AFRL Space Vehicles Directorate’s Integrated Experiments and Evaluations division chief.

The Army is getting leaders ready for a war unlike any the US has ever seen


For several years, the U.S. Army has been considering how to better prepare its leaders and formations for large-scale combat operations (LSCO) against peer and near-peer threats. As an Army officer with over four years in Iraq, Afghanistan, and the broader Middle East, I appreciate the challenges of transitioning a force well-trained and educated in counter-insurgency operations (COIN) to one capable of fighting and prevailing against threats like Russia and/or China. The Maneuver Captains Career Course (MCCC) at Fort Benning, Georgia, the Army’s premier school for educating its officers in tactics and planning, has made revising its course curriculum to fully teach LSCO and competition with China and Russia its top priority. MCCC is building a fully-aligned LSCO curriculum by redefining our operational environment, focusing on the division (DIV) as the unit of action, and considering expansion opportunities within multi-domain operations (MDO) to develop the Army’s next generation of maneuver leaders to fight and win in LSCO.
Identifying the problem

In January 2021, the Maneuver Center of Excellence (MCoE) Commanding General, Major General Patrick Donahoe, directed MCCC to prioritize revising and reorienting its curriculum to better reflect LSCO and competition with China and Russia. As the proponent for MCCC, my team and I thoroughly analyzed our curriculum and found that while MCCC had certainly made incremental transitions toward teaching LSCO, many vestiges from our experiences in Iraq and Afghanistan stubbornly remained in the curriculum.

Oil Sanctions Explore New Shorter Corridor: International North-South Transportation Corridor (INSTC)

Patial RC

In the Socratic dialogue ‘Republic’, Plato famously wrote: “Our need will be the real creator” which over the ages has developed into a well-known English proverb; ‘Necessity is the mother of invention’ meaning that the primary driving force for most new inventions is a Need.

Global oil politics have been relatively unstable ever since the end of World War II. This is because control over the oil market is crucial in positioning the world powers on the stage of the international political Economy. In simple words “He who owns the Oil, owns All”.

At present, in terms of crude oil output, the current top three oil-producing countries in the world are the United States, followed by Saudi Arabia and Russia.

How Boris Johnson Lost His Way

Sumantra Maitra

It would be hard in our age, but a truly neutral and detached biography of Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson, one of the most instinctive politicians of our age wrecked by going against his instinct, would be outstanding to read. His natural and true self was the successful liberal mayor of London, the man who can recite the Iliad in Greek and is more comfortable talking about the anaphora and tricolons in Churchillian rhetoric; or write about why imperial Rome was a better and more cosmopolitan polity than both the Hellenistic Greeks and the European Union. The latter populist hard-Brexiteer, arch-sovereigntist national conservative was a borrowed persona and consequently, a Sophoclean tragedy.

It is illuminating that his last tweet before resignation, which hung on his Twitter feed like an albatross for a while, was about promising more aid to Ukraine. And that should give one an idea of what went wrong. If his idea of “populism” was spending unlimited money during an inflation and coronavirus recovery, on the irrelevant periphery of a continent his countrymen voted to not give a damn about, instead of fixing a housing scarcity in England, or gutting the administrative state and woke civil service, or fixing a broken public infrastructure, or immigration and policing reforms, then his strategic acumen was arguably as strong as his recent bemusing ponderings on history. He forgot his primary job was the good governance of the United Kingdom.

Wind and solar produce more electricity than nuclear for the first time in the US

Michelle Lewis

For the first time ever, wind and solar produced 17.96% more electricity in the month of April than nuclear power plants.

Further, electrical generation by clean energy – which included biomass, geothermal, and hydropower and was driven by strong solar and wind growth – accounted for almost 30% of total US electrical generation in the month of April, according to a SUN DAY Campaign analysis of newly released US Energy Information Administration (EIA) data.

And from the period between January and April 2022, clean energy accounted for more than 25% of electricity in the US.

The latest issue of the EIA’s “Electric Power Monthly” report, with data through April 30, 2022, also reflects that solar (including rooftop) saw a year-over-year percentage change growth of 28.9%, while wind grew year-over-year by 24.2%. Combined, solar and wind grew by 25.4% and accounted for more than one-sixth (16.6%) of US electrical generation (wind at 12.2%, solar at 4.4%). The actual figures are measured in net generation, thousand megawatt hours, and can be seen here.

Japan Needs a National Space Strategy: Former JASDF General

Kosuke Takahashi

Satellites have been playing a prominent role in Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine. By monitoring the ground from outer space, these artificial bodies in orbit have proved to be very effective in battle and are having a great impact on the war situation. Both before and during the Ukraine war, satellite images revealed the scale and movements of the Russian army from moment to moment.

In addition, Ukrainians have secured access to the satellite internet service “Starlink” provided by the space company SpaceX, which is run by U.S. businessman Elon Musk. They have used Starlink not only as a means of obtaining wartime information, but also as a platform for disseminating detailed info on damage and casualties in Ukraine to the world through social media.

The Russia-Ukraine War has demonstrated why outer space is often referred to as the “fourth battlefield,” joining land, sea, and sky as warfighting domains.

What the U.S. Still Doesn’t Get About Countering China

Howard W. French

Last week’s NATO summit in Madrid saved its conclusion for the announcement that many would see as its biggest takeaway: The Western military grouping would henceforth explicitly regard China as a “challenge” to an alliance that was founded with the superpower of another age, the Soviet Union, in mind.

A few days earlier in Germany, members of the G-7 announced that the United States and its European partners had decided to mobilize $600 billion to finance infrastructure development in Africa and other parts of the so-called developing world. The new vehicle unveiled for this purpose, the Partnership for Global Infrastructure and Investment, received less attention than the week’s security news, but it too grew out of concern over China—namely, the West’s perceived need to compete with that country’s Belt and Road Initiative, which is sometimes claimed to be mobilizing trillions of dollars.

“This isn’t aid or charity,” U.S. President Joe Biden said of the West’s still sketchy response, speaking at a resort in the Bavarian Alps. “It’s a chance for us to share our positive vision for the future … because when democracies demonstrate what we can do, all that we have to offer, I have no doubt that we’ll win the competition every time.”

Can Military Tories Save Britain’s Conservative Party?

Elisabeth Braw

It was a surreal day in British politics: On Tuesday, with two fellow cabinet members and several junior ministers about to tender their resignations, Defense Secretary Ben Wallace was cerebrally testifying to the U.K. Parliament’s committee on defense. Wallace is a former British Army officer, as is the committee’s chair, Tobias Ellwood. Indeed, as British politics is descending into chaos, the military specialists in the government and parliament are holding the line.

July 5 is certain to enter modern-history books as the beginning of Britain’s Great Resignation. On Tuesday evening, Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak and Health Secretary Sajid Javid—two heavyweights in British politics—tendered their resignations; they were quickly followed by a slew of junior ministers. By Wednesday morning, 11 ministers and three trade envoys had resigned from the government, and the resignations kept arriving throughout the day. (In Britain’s system, such posts are always held by members of either chamber of Parliament.)

The Growing Tech Focus of the Quad

Rajeswari Pillai Rajagopalan

The Quadrilateral Security Dialogue or the Quad, which includes Australia, India, Japan, and the United States, appears to be taking a particular interest on critical and emerging technologies. From their first summit meeting in March 2021, the focus on technology has been growing.

The March 2021 joint statement stated that the four countries “will begin cooperation on the critical technologies of the future to ensure that innovation is consistent with a free, open, inclusive, and resilient Indo-Pacific.” Further, they noted that the Quad will “launch a critical- and emerging-technology working group to facilitate cooperation on international standards and innovative technologies of the future,” with the Quad efforts focusing on four aspects: “technical standards, 5G diversification and deployment, horizon-scanning, and technology supply chains.”