4 August 2022

‘Securing India against China should matter to the world’

Cleo Paskal

In this edition of “Indo-Pacific: Behind the Headlines”, we speak with Se Hoon Kim, the Director of the Captive Nations Coalition of the Committee on Present Danger: China. For the last eight years, he has been advocating for the security of India as well as increased global economic ties with India.

Q: How did you become interested in India?

A: I’m part of what’s called the Kims of the Gimhae clan—descendants of Queen Suriratna who, around 2,000 years ago, came from India to Korea and married King Suro. They founded a very well-known kingdom that once existed in southern Korea.

The first people who told me the story were my mother and my father: “we don’t know much about India, but never forget that this is what you are from.” In Korea, anyone who has heard this story, is extremely fascinated by it.

How CIA hunted 9/11 mastermind al-Zawahiri for more than 20 years before dicing him with two twin blade Ninja missiles when he stepped onto his Kabul safehouse balcony at 6:18 a.m.


It was 6:18 a.m. on Sunday and the sun was still rising over the Afghan capital of Kabul when an American MQ-9 Reaper drone - circling up to 50,000ft overhead - fired two R9X 'Ninja' Hellfire missiles at a house in the city's upmarket district of Sherpur.

Ayman al-Zawahiri, Osama bin Laden's former deputy and leader of the al Qaeda terror group since his master's death 11 years before, had just completed his morning prayer - the second of the day - and was watching the dawn from his rooftop balcony in keeping with a well-worn routine.

Moments later, the 71-year-old was no more, pulverized into oblivion by the R9X's 100lbs reinforced metal warhead and six katana-like blades that would've silently popped out of the fuselage moments before impact.

India: Crumbling Bastion In Sukma, Chhattisgarh

Deepak Kumar Nayak

On July 29, 2022, a ‘commander’ of the ‘Katekalyan Area Committee’ of the Communist Party of India-Maoist (CPI-Maoist), identified as Rakesh Madkam, charged with eight cases of violence and carrying a reward of INR 500,000 on his head was killed in an encounter with the Security Forces (SFs) near Bindrapani village forest in Sukma District. SFs recovered the body of the slain Maoist along with a country-made gun, ammunition and other Maoist-related material, from the encounter site.

On July 22, 2022, a CPI-Maoist cadre was killed in an encounter with SFs in a forested patch near Muler village under Phulbagdi Police Station limits in Sukma District. A group of Maoists from the ‘Kerlapal Area Committee’ opened fire on the patrolling team and tried to ambush it in the Gogunda Hill area, following which the SFs retaliated. After the encounter ended, the body of a male cadre was recovered from the spot. The slain Maoist’s identity is yet to be established.

A New World Order Ensues Ukraine War

Timothy Hopper

During the last few months since the start of Russia’s war against Ukraine, the perception of most of the countries of the world about the war in Ukraine has been formed not according to the western framework; and now they see the continuation of the conflict as a geopolitical game in which the west, instead of solving the Ukraine crisis, is trying to weaken Russia and does not intend to back down from aiming to discredit it.

The west was aware that the expansion of NATO in Russia’s security environment is a red line for Moscow. On the other hand, having the vital energy artery of Europe, Russia thought it can maintain this security red line and adjust its relations with Europe and America based on its own geopolitical goals and achievement. However, not only did Russia not remove the threat, but Moscow’s actions up to this point have backfired and created a front against it that has even placed the eastern and northern countries of Europe against it.

Arm Ukraine Now: Game Changers in Russo-Ukrainian War

Yuri Lapaiev

On July 20, Sergey Lavrov, minister of foreign affairs for the Russian Federation, declared that Moscow had new objectives in Ukraine, as it now wants to expand its gains beyond the borders of the so-called Donetsk and Luhansk “people’s republics” by capturing Kherson, Kharkiv, and Zaporizhzhia regions. Lavrov underlined Western military equipment transfer and the alleged need to protect the occupied territories from long-range weapons as main reasons for this shift (TSN, June 20).

On the Ukrainian side, Alexey Danilov, secretary of the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine, stated in an interview that President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has issued orders to liberate the occupied portions of southern Ukraine (YouTube.com/RadioFreeEurope-RadioLiberty, July 12). One potential area where Ukraine could launch an all-out counteroffensive is in Kherson region. Some progress has already been made, such as the liberation of several villages close to Kherson city and the destruction of the Antonovsky bridge on July 26 (Slovo i Dilo, June 26).

Data Centers Are Facing a Climate Crisis

WHEN RECORD TEMPERATURES wracked the UK in late July, Google Cloud’s data centers in London went offline for a day, due to cooling failures. The impact wasn’t limited to those near the center: That particular location services customers in the US and Pacific region, with outages limiting their access to key Google services for hours. Oracle’s cloud-based data center in the capital was also struck down by the heat, causing outages for US customers. Oracle blamed “unseasonal temperatures” for the blackout.

The UK Met Office, which monitors the weather, suggests that the record heat was an augur of things to come, which means data centers need to prepare for a new normal.

The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) says there’s a 93 percent chance that one year between now and 2026 will be the hottest on record. Nor will that be a one-off. “For as long as we continue to emit greenhouse gases, temperatures will continue to rise,” says Petteri Taalas, WMO secretary general. “And alongside that, our oceans will continue to become warmer and more acidic, sea ice and glaciers will continue to melt, sea level will continue to rise, and our weather will become more extreme.”

5 Weapons You’ll See on the Battlefield of the Future, Influenced by Russia’s War in Ukraine


The Russian invasion of Ukraine in February 2022 has demolished the expectations of military experts worldwide. Some staples of war, like tanks, fighter jets, and howitzers, have proven surprisingly vulnerable over the course of the conflict, while rocket artillery, drones, and anti-tank weapons have punched above their weight. Others, like lasers that could protect cities and weapons that home in on radio signals, are urgently needed, but are yet to be developed.

War supercharges innovation; the life-and-death struggle between nations pushes participants to adopt new technologies to enable fresh tactics and strategies. Battlefield experience rapidly sorts out what works and what does not—the former rapidly adopted, and the latter just as eagerly discarded. The invasion of Ukraine is no exception. Here are five weapons you’ll be seeing a lot more of in the near future as a result.
Defensive Lasers

Former Japanese defense minister calls for "United Nations 2.0"

Bethany Allen-Ebrahimian

The global community should create a "United Nations charter 2.0" in which no country has a veto, former Japanese Defense Minister Taro Kono said at a conference in Taipei last week.

Why it matters: Calling for a UN alternative was once a fringe idea but has edged towards more mainstream debate since Russia used its Security Council veto to block action against its invasion of Ukraine in February.

What he's saying: "As long as dictators have a seat in the Security Council with a veto, we cannot take actions against aggression by dictators," said Kono, who first served as foreign minister and later as defense minister under former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe."The United Nations may continue to function as a token forum, but we need a system in which the global community could take collective actions such as establishing a global peacekeeping operation," he said.

Commentary: Study Predicts BioTech’s Long-Term Impact on Defense

Diane DiEuliis, Peter Emanuel and Brian Feeney

The Biotechnology Community of Interest released a study on the future of biotechnology in April, titled “Bio-Futures 2050: Defense Impacts and Opportunities.”

Produced at the direction of the office of the undersecretary of defense for research and engineering, it identifies a range of biotechnologies likely to be part of everyone’s lives over the next 30 years.

These are technologies that will fundamentally change the economy and how the nation is defended. The study provides recommendations for the U.S. government on how to best harness these technologies to bolster national security and improve the lives of Americans.

In China, New Purges, New Targets

Victoria Herczegh

China’s restructuring of real estate giant Evergrande Group is not exactly going as planned. In mid-May, the company was on track to deliver a preliminary restructuring plan by the end of July that never materialized. Instead, the Chinese government has taken measures into its own hands. Beijing forced the chief executive officer and the chief financial officer to resign, and then arrested them for their alleged involvement in an embezzlement scheme. Similar fates have befallen officials of smaller real estate development companies, and there’s evidence to suggest the crackdown is spreading to the tech sector as well. All signs point to a possible countrywide purge, impeccably timed with the Central Committee Meeting in November and rapprochement talks between China and the United States. Politically, the purges help President Xi Jinping remove opposition; economically, they could help improve how Chinese companies interact with the West. Beijing needs both to succeed for it to have any hope of saving the Chinese economy.

Beijing’s intervention in Evergrande’s leadership embodies China’s internal debate over how it should recover economically. The company entered default in late December 2021 with over $300 billion in liabilities. The promise of debt restructuring, a measure of last resort, did not happen. Given the company’s size, it had an outsized influence on China’s GDP expanding by only 0.4 percent year-on-year. But it’s just a matter of economic policy. The two officials arrested are affiliated with Shanghai-centered banks and other large companies associated with political opposition to Xi. They aren’t politicians, strictly speaking, but their shared interest in maintaining foreign trade and investments comport with the opposition’s coastal growth model, as opposed to Xi’s consumption-based model.


Stavros Atlamazoglou

It has been 159 days since the Russian invasion of Ukraine began. On Monday, the Russian military continues to push in the Donbas but without any major gains.

The war in the Donbas

Most of the Russian activity is taking place in the vicinity of Izium, in the north of the Donbas, where the Russian forces are trying to set the conditions for an advance toward Slovyansk. The Russian military is also pushing in several other directions, most notably Bakhmut (in the south of the Donbas) and Siversk (in the northeast of the Donbas). However, the Russian military has shown an inability to advance simultaneously on many fronts.

Why Advocates of Nuclear Disarmament and Deterrence Practitioners Will Never Agree

Adam Lowther

In hopes of opening a debate between the nuclear disarmament and nuclear deterrence practitioner communities, I responded to Alan Kaptanoglu and Stewart Prager’s critique of Guide to Nuclear Deterrence in a Time of Great-Power Competition in the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientist. The editors published a second response from Kaptanoglu and Prager, but did not care for my reply, which seems endemic of the challenge two communities face when largely talking past each other. Fortunately, Real Clear Defense is a home for open debate about the role of nuclear weapons in national security.

Rather than offering a point-by-point refutation of the technical errors made by Kaptanoglu and Prager in their latest reply, I wanted to take a more fundamental look at why the disarmament and practitioner communities rarely find any common ground.

Leveraging Loitering Munitions

Brennan Deveraux

Modern militaries like the United States appear to be pigeonholing loitering munitions into a niche tactical role, with lightweight systems designed for close combat. In contrast, other nations are likely modelling their modernisation efforts on Azerbaijan’s successful use of exquisite loitering munitions in the 2020 Nagorno-Karabakh War. While neither path to integrating this weapon is inherently wrong, focusing on a single aspect of the weapon’s potential leaves militaries with significant capability gaps. Instead, loitering munitions—like other indirect fire assets—should vary across echelons to support numerous mission sets. In turn, incorporating loitering munitions to their fullest potential requires a balance of equipment and doctrine to address the close fight, support operational campaigns, and shape the battlefield for future operations. To strengthen the management of this critical emerging technology, this article examines loitering-munitions loiter time, range, destructive capacity, and autonomy requirements across these three distinct missions.

The Close Fight

Loitering munitions designed to support the close fight are proliferating globally, including models like the US-made Switchblade 300, the Turkish Kargu, and the Polish Warmate. These systems are designed to be dispersed around the battlefield with small units and expended at rates comparable to mortar or artillery rounds. This provides leaders at the platoon or company level with an organic strike system capable of precision and beyond-line-of-sight attacks. Large quantities and low cost define loitering munitions for the close fight. As such, actual system requirements can remain minimal.

Preparing the Battlefield

Seth Cropsey

Nancy Pelosi’s trip to Taiwan is a rare and commendable act of strategic sense that received equally rare and commendable bipartisan support. Yet considering the geostrategic and economic conditions that China faces, it is not without risk. The CCP faces a closing window of opportunity. It must act soon to shape the battlefield and divide the United States from its Taiwanese partner. The U.S. should act accordingly, making contingency plans for a military response if needed, staging major exercises to demonstrate its seriousness, and above all, accepting that deterrence in this crisis will not reduce the possibility of conflict in the next one.

Leading Democrats and Republicans publicly opposed the Biden administration’s skittishness over Pelosi’s visit. Senators Bob Menendez, the Democratic Senate Foreign Relations Committee chairman, and Republican John Cornyn, who visited Taiwan in 2021, agree on very little. But both explicitly endorsed Pelosi’s visit, demanding that the U.S. not cave to the CCP’s blatant public pressure.

Regardless, the Biden administration has been sent a clear message. Despite brutal domestic divisions over social policy, an intensifying inflationary crisis, and a still poisonous political culture, America’s major parties are in broad agreement on China policy. The PRC and CCP must be confronted. Beijing has designs on Taiwan. Capitulation to Chinese pressure today guarantees aggression tomorrow.

Geopolitics of Oil and Inflation

William Alan Reinsch

Both the U.S. government and the G7 are considering policies to simultaneously address high oil prices and inflation as well as Russia’s control over energy markets. However, the proposed U.S. crude oil export ban would do little reduce inflation, and instead could have the opposite effect of actually increasing U.S. gasoline prices. The effects of the G7 price cap, alternatively, would depend on a few key actors, namely Russia, China, and India. Ultimately, prices levels may eventually decrease not due to government intervention but rather because of growing fears of an economic downturn.

Q1: Would stopping U.S. crude oil exports help reduce inflation?

A1: Curbing or banning U.S. crude oil exports would not help reduce inflation and could further increase it. The price of gasoline and diesel in the United States is based on global energy markets, not just the U.S. domestic market. The United States exports on average about 3 million barrels per day of crude oil, meaning if these exports were cut, there would be a decrease in supply in the global markets which would cause the price of oil to increase. Some industry experts have acknowledged that West Texas Intermediate (WTI) prices—the key U.S. crude oil benchmark—may fall if exports are banned. However, petroleum product prices in the United States reflect global prices. If crude exports from the United States fall and global supply diminishes, product prices may well rise as a result.

Japan’s Gradual Military Reawakening

After its defeat in World War II, Japan was deprived of any military capability. Pursuant to Article 9 of its new constitution, which came into effect in 1947, the country was permitted only a defensive army called the Japan Self-Defense Forces. In 2014, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s government approved a reinterpretation of the constitution, allowing the Self-Defense Forces to provide material support to Japan’s allies in case of war. The reinterpretation was made official in 2015, after which Japan has started engaging in military cooperation with Australia, India, Taiwan, South Korea, Singapore, the United Kingdom and the United States.

Amid the war in Ukraine, an increasingly assertive China, and the nuclear threat from North Korea, Japan has recently begun to focus on its own military capabilities. Japan’s military expenditure is now the third highest in Asia, trailing only China and India. In the next five years, the government plans to sharply increase core defense spending (to 2 percent from 1 percent), a great deal of which is intended for modernization. The JSDF is more and more active in joint military exercises, most recently having accepted an invitation to participate alongside the U.S. and Australia in the Garuda Shield drills hosted by Indonesia.

War in Taiwan will be more shocking than Ukraine

Nigel Inkster

When Russian President Vladimir Putin launched his “special military operation” – in reality a full-blown invasion- of Ukraine in February 2022, he did so immediately after meeting his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping. At that meeting the two sides announced that the China-Russia relationship was a partnership “with no limits”. Since then China, while purporting to remain neutral, has in practice been supportive of Russia’s objectives, seeking to put the blame for the crisis on NATO expansion and reinforcing Russian disinformation about supposed US biological warfare laboratories in Ukraine.

Xi and Putin have long chafed under the US-led system of global governance which they perceive as perpetuating US and western advantage while holding their own countries back. And both have drunk deep of the Cool-Aid exemplified by the common Chinese trope “the East is rising, the West is in decline.” That said, it is important to keep in mind one fundamental difference between the two. Putin’s Russia is a disruptor, seeing its own security as a function of others’ insecurity. China on the other hand prioritises stability above all else.

Securing Semiconductor Supply Chains: An Affirmative Agenda for International Cooperation

William Alan Reinsch, Emily Benson and Aidan Arasasingham

Technological innovation has been a driving force for U.S. global leadership and economic prosperity for over a century. This legacy of innovation largely stands on the foundation of a key component: semiconductor chips, found today in almost all electronic products. Semiconductors are an integral component of various consumer products across industries, including cars, smartphones, and household appliances. But semiconductors can also be used in dual-use goods—products that have both military and civilian applications—such as air guidance systems for both civilian and military aircraft. The tension between economic gain and security risk inherent within dual-use semiconductor goods is heightened in fields with national security implications, such as supercomputing and artificial intelligence (AI). How the government and private sector manage the global value chains (GVCs) of chips will directly affect U.S. global competitiveness and national security going forward. Given the evolving security relationship between the United States, the Quad, and the European Union, this paper focuses on both Quad and EU countries and the possibilities for friend-shoring in both. It assesses how the EU and U.S. governments can collaborate to avoid duplicative policies that fail to enhance the overall resiliency of transatlantic semiconductor supply chains.

Taliban's Embrace of Al Qaeda Puts Afghan Peace Talks in Doubt

Mullah Akhtar Mansour, the new leader of the Afghan Taliban, who calls himself the "Commander of the Faithful," acknowledged and accepted a pledge of loyalty from the emir of Al Qaeda, Ayman al-Zawahiri, last week in a public message broadcast by the Taliban's media outlet.

This is an unusual open acknowledgement by the Taliban of its continued alliance with Al Qaeda and a blatant violation of the ground rules for any political reconciliation process in Afghanistan.

The Taliban's Voice of Jihad this week issued a statement of acceptance of al-Zawahiri's pledge of loyalty to Mullah Mansour that al-Zawahiri issued earlier this month on Al Qaeda's official media outlet, As-Sahab. In the statement, Mullah Mansour praises al-Zawahiri as the "respected emir" of his "mujahedeen" and urges them to continue the war against America.

China’s role in supplying critical minerals for the global energy transition: What could the future hold?

Rodrigo Castillo and Caitlin Purdy

The world faces major challenges in responsibly sourcing large quantities of minerals that are critical for the transition to low-carbon energy sources. Consumption of these critical minerals—most notably nickel, copper, lithium, and cobalt—is projected to rise, largely driven by their use in the renewable energy sector. Demand is expected to quadruple by 2040 under the International Energy Agency’s Sustainable Development Scenario, in which global action would limit the global temperature rise to well below 2°C, and it is projected to rise by six times under a net-zero scenario.[1] Many governments, including the United States, European Union members, and China, seem to share the goal of increasing the supply and rate of production of the raw materials needed for the energy transition to address the challenge of global climate change. However, meeting this demand will be difficult—and producing these minerals in strict adherence to robust environmental, social, and governance criteria will be even more so.

China is the dominant player in global mineral processing. This report analyzes how its strategic position in regard to critical minerals may evolve, to shed light on current and emerging challenges for the energy transition, given the country’s high level of engagement in global mineral supply chains.

Al Qaeda Leader Killed In US Drone Strike, Biden Says

Al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri was killed by a U.S. drone strike in Afghanistan, President Joe Biden said Monday.

“We make it clear again tonight that no matter how long it takes, no matter where you hide, if you are a threat to our people, the United States will find you and take you out,” Biden said in a televised prime-time address.

An unmanned aerial vehicle launched two Hellfire missiles at a safe house in Kabul just before 10 p.m. Eastern time on July 30, hitting al-Zawahiri when he stepped onto a balcony, the official said. Family members in other parts of the safe house were not harmed, and there are no indications that any other civilians were hurt in the strike, a senior administration official said.

10 years on: China's military strengthening puts a new look on its armed forces

Li Yun

Today marks the 95th anniversary of the founding of the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA), and is also an occasion to reflect on the journey it has taken. After the 18th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC), along with socialism with Chinese characteristics, China's national defense and military development entered a new era.

President Xi Jinping, with the strategic vision to achieve national rejuvenation within the context of global changes of a scale unseen in a century, put forward the CPC's goal of building a strong military in the new era, establishing a military strategic guideline for a new era, and outlining a three-step plan for China's national defense and military modernization that included three milestone objectives, namely to achieve substantial progress by 2020 in improving the quality and efficiency of the military services and upgrading their combat capabilities, to mostly complete the modernization of China's national defense and military by 2035, and to transform the PLA into a world-class military by the middle of the 21st century.

Africa Is a Continent of Contradictions

It makes sense that a continent that is home to 54 countries and 1.2 billion people would also house many contradictory developments. Africa features several of the world’s fastest-growing economies and a burgeoning middle class. But much of the continent remains mired in debt, burdened by conflict and beset by elites clinging to power. Now, although the human cost of the coronavirus pandemic was less catastrophic than many feared, the unfair distribution of vaccines worldwide continues to leave African populations vulnerable to future waves and variants, even as the pandemic’s economic impact could undo much of the continent’s growth over the past two decades.

Even during the years when economies across Africa were expanding, many people were driven to migrate—either within Africa or to Europe and even South America—because of humanitarian catastrophes or because economic opportunities were not coming fast enough for everyone. Those who remained behind at times succeeded in disrupting the status quo. Civilian-led reform movements toppled regimes in Algeria and Sudan in 2019, and recent examples of independent courts overturning fraudulent elections—as well as other signs of democratic institutions taking hold in previously corrupt or authoritarian states—offered hope for the health of democracy in Africa. Yet, the relative frequency of elections marred by fraud and violence, including many that involve incumbents seeking constitutionally dubious third terms, confirms that the phenomenon of long-ruling authoritarian leaders—known as “presidents for life”—remains a problem. And a resurgence of military coups, including in Mali, Guinea, Chad, Sudan and most recently Burkina Faso, has underscored the fragility of democratic governance across the continent.

New OSINT foundation aims to ‘professionalize’ open source discipline across spy agencies

Justin Doubleday

Former intelligence leaders are trying to boost the role of open source intelligence at U.S. spy agencies through a new foundation that plans to develop community-wide standards and help professionalize the OSINT workforce.

The unveiling of the OSINT Foundation comes at a time when social media feeds and other public analysis are providing unprecedented public insights into world events like Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Meanwhile, Congress and other advocates are calling on intelligence leaders to develop new open source strategies to better take advantage of publicly available information.

The foundation’s board includes several former high ranking officials, including Ron Burgess, a retired Army lieutenant general who served as director of the Defense Intelligence Agency; Barbara Fast, a retired Army major general who commanded the Army Intelligence Center; and Tom Fingar, the former deputy director of national intelligence for analysis.

China-India Relations in a State of Limbo

Rajeswari Pillai Rajagopalan

China-India relations are in a state of limbo. There is no progress but no deterioration either, at least on the surface. Despite frequent meetings between the two sides, India and China have not made much progress on their border stand-off. There are still more than 60,000 troops on each side of the Line of Actual Control (LAC), the de facto border in regions disputed between the two neighbors, and the potential for an accidental resumption of conflict cannot be emphasized enough.

India’s Minister for External Affairs Dr. S. Jaishankar met Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi on July 7 in Bali, Indonesia, on the sidelines of the G-20 Foreign Ministers’ meeting. According to a statement released by the Indian Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) after the Bali meeting, the Indian minister raised the border issue and “called for an early resolution of all the outstanding issues along the LAC in Eastern Ladakh.” Jaishankar used the opportunity to reiterate the importance of maintaining momentum and “complete disengagement” in order to “restore peace and tranquility in the border areas.” He called on China for full compliance with the various bilateral agreements and protocols agreed to previously, as well as the different “understandings reached between the two Ministers during their previous conversations.” The two ministers also agreed to continue conversations through different channels including through senior commander meetings.

Understanding China’s Role in Sri Lanka’s Debt Restructuring Efforts

Aquilah Latiff and Anushka Wijesinha

As Sri Lanka embarks on debt restructuring negotiations with key lenders in parallel to discussions with the International Monetary Fund (IMF), it is useful to consider the seminal role of China, one of Sri Lanka’s top creditors. How China deals with Sri Lanka will be a crucial determinant in the trajectory and timing of Sri Lanka’s debt restructure, and in turn, consequential to the country’s path toward debt sustainability and economic recovery. Just this past week, in an interview about Sri Lanka’s crisis, an IMF official singled China out, remarking “Sri Lanka (should) engage proactively with (China) on a debt restructuring,” even as talks with the Fund continue in parallel.

There is good reason to pay attention to this, given that China’s approach to debt relief or restructuring in other countries facing debt distress is materially different from that of other lenders. Looking at those examples, it is reasonable to assume that China would seek bespoke negotiations and preferential treatment – something both Sri Lanka and China must seek to avoid in this instance. Meanwhile, China’s latest approach to Zambia’s debt workout – where it has joined the restructure talks, and in fact co-chaired the creditor committee with France – could be an encouraging sign for Sri Lanka’s own efforts.

The Paradox Of Washington’s 5G Sanctions

Hosuk Lee-Makiyama and Robin Baker

Sanctions and embargoes are precarious policy tools that can lead to inadvertent consequences without careful targeting, planning and coordination. In the absence of focussed application, Washington’s attempts to break China’s 5G dominance may have helped Beijing to strengthen its grip on the sector. Meanwhile, US government agencies are promoting alternative technologies that have opened a back door for sanctioned entities to enter the US market.

Consecutive US administrations have voiced concerns over the likes of Huawei and ZTE — particularly over their obligation to conduct surveillance on behalf of Chinese authorities under the country’s National Security Law. The US government has unleashed a raft of sanctions, not least to curb China’s commercial successes in European and Asian 5G markets.

US at ‘relative disadvantage’ in biotech compared to China, report finds


WASHINGTON: The United States is at a “relative disadvantage” in the field of biotechnology compared to adversaries like China and risks “ceding American leadership over one of the most powerful and transformative fields of technology in recent memory,” according to a new report from the Center for a New American Security.

According to the report, Regenerate: Biotechnology and US Industrial Policy, the US is falling behind because incentive structures in the private sector are generally biased against risk, constraining development in ways that don’t have the same effect on firms in other countries like China.

“A successful U.S. biotechnology strategy will not be about biotechnology on its own; it will connect growth in the biotech industry to broader U.S. strategic objectives: building an economy that is resilient to supply chain disruptions, creating well-paying jobs in geographically diverse areas, informing the U.S. response to the COVID-19 pandemic, and promoting sustainable sources of clean energy,” the report states.

Americans Largely Reject Closing Bases in Germany, South Korea and Japan

Timothy S. Rich and Mallory Hardesty

Maintaining bases abroad has become more controversial not only with the American public, but also in host countries. While the US benefits from increased influence and often a foreign policy in line with American interests, the perceived costs may outpace perceived gains Americans. Meanwhile, hosting bases creates a myriad of environmental, economic, and political problems for the host country that influence depress public support. Existing work shows variation by country in public perceptions of the US military presence, although local populations often acknowledge the presence as a deterrence against regional aggressors.

Often missing in discussions of bases abroad is whether the public differentiates among military commitments by location. While the American public may have concerns about overall military spending and indefinite deployments in political unstable countries, evidence seems to suggest broader support for deployments in traditional allies. For example, a 2021 Chicago Council survey finds 63% supported defending South Korea if North Korea invades with a 2018 Chicago Council survey finding 65% support maintaining bases in Japan and 64% support defending Japan against a North Korean attack.

Interview – Chris Blattman

Chris Blattman is the Ramalee E. Pearson Professor of Global Conflict Studies at The University of Chicago’s Pearson Institute and Harris School of Public Policy, where he co-leads the Development Economics Center and directs the Obama Foundation Scholars program. His work on violence, crime, and poverty has been widely covered by The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, Financial Times, Forbes, Slate, Vox, and NPR. He is an economist and political scientist who studies violence, crime, and underdevelopment. His most recent book is Why We Fight: The Roots of War and the Paths to Peace. It draws on decades of economics, political science, psychology, and real-world interventions to lay out the root causes and remedies for war, showing that violence is not the norm; that there are only five reasons why conflict wins over compromise; and how peacemakers turn the tides through tinkering, not transformation.

Where do you see the most exciting research/debates in your field?

The thing that excites me about the study of conflict is that people are moving away from running the same theory-less regressions of “does climate cause conflict” or “does poverty cause conflict,” but now they’re trying to think deeply about what does cause conflict; why normal peaceful bargaining breaks down. They’re trying to design experiments and other kinds of studies that actually test our theories and tell us whether our theories are right. The best work in Economics on conflict is the work that is merging with Political Science and vice-versa.