24 August 2022

Afghanistan’s Terrorist Threats to America Are Growing

Seth G. Jones

One year after the U.S. military withdrawal from Afghanistan, the Biden administration faces a complex counterterrorism challenge. The successful U.S. strike in July 2022 that killed Al Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri in Kabul was a blow to Al Qaeda. But with the Taliban’s continuing close relationship with Al Qaeda and the deterioration of Afghanistan into a terrorist sanctuary, the United States needs to rethink its counterterrorism strategy.

Afghanistan is the only country in the world today with a close, working relationship with Al Qaeda. According to one recent United Nations Security Council assessment, Al Qaeda’s leadership “plays an advisory role with the Taliban, and the groups remain close.” In addition, the location where Zawahiri was killed—a safe house apparently owned by an aide to Sirajuddin Haqqani, the Taliban’s acting minister of interior—highlights the intimacy between the Taliban and Al Qaeda.

The China Trap U.S. Foreign Policy and the Perilous Logic of Zero-Sum Competition

Jessica Chen Weiss

Competition with China has begun to consume U.S. foreign policy. Seized with the challenge of a near-peer rival whose interests and values diverge sharply from those of the United States, U.S. politicians and policymakers are becoming so focused on countering China that they risk losing sight of the affirmative interests and values that should underpin U.S. strategy. The current course will not just bring indefinite deterioration of the U.S.-Chinese relationship and a growing danger of catastrophic conflict; it also threatens to undermine the sustainability of American leadership in the world and the vitality of American society and democracy at home.

There is, of course, good reason why a more powerful China has become the central concern of policymakers and strategists in Washington (and plenty of other capitals). Under President Xi Jinping especially, Beijing has grown more authoritarian at home and more coercive abroad. It has brutally repressed Uyghurs in Xinjiang, crushed democratic freedoms in Hong Kong, rapidly expanded its conventional and nuclear arsenals, aggressively intercepted foreign military aircraft in the East and South China Seas, condoned Russian President Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine and amplified Russian disinformation, exported censorship and surveillance technology, denigrated democracies, worked to reshape international norms—the list could go on and will likely only get longer, especially if Xi secures a third five-year term and further solidifies his control later this year.

A Duty to Disobey?

Doyle Hodges

Among the many revelations in Susan Glasser and Peter Baker’s recent article in the New Yorker about the last days of Trump’s presidency was that Gen. Mark Milley, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, resolved to thwart any orders he received from then-President Donald Trump to deploy troops domestically or to attack Iran without sufficient provocation. As the article details, “[Milley] settled on four goals: First, make sure Trump did not start an unnecessary war overseas. Second, make sure the military was not used in the streets against the American people for the purpose of keeping Trump in power. Third, maintain the military’s integrity. And, fourth, maintain his own integrity.”

As Trump’s presidency drew to a close, according to the article, Milley spoke by phone each morning with the secretary of state, the attorney general, and the White House chief of staff. He frequently called the White House counsel, as well. The goal of these phone calls was to “land the plane,” that is, to ensure that Trump’s presidency concluded with a peaceful transition of power, thereby achieving the four goals Milley had set for himself.

On Russian invasion, US intel got it right — but policymakers stumbled

George Beebe and Anatol Lieven

The United States got it half right on Ukraine. That is the picture that emerges from the Washington Post’s extensive new reporting on the lead up to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

The Post advances a narrative that the Biden administration no doubt embraces: that the Intelligence Community performed superbly in providing early warning to the White House about the gathering storm, and that the White House did everything within its power to stop this invasion before it began by talking tough to Russian leaders, providing robust military support to Ukraine, and working to organize a united front among NATO allies.

This depiction rings only partially true. Certainly, the record on the Russian invasion represents a resounding success for American intelligence. And policymakers used the time afforded by early and accurate warnings from the IC to prepare Ukraine and NATO allies for the coming onslaught. Absent such preparation, Russia’s initial bid to seize Kyiv and sweep the Zelensky government quickly from power might have been far more successful.

China Is Preparing To Go To War

Gordon Chang

Last month, a Chinese entrepreneur making medical equipment for consumers told me that local officials had demanded he convert his production lines in China so that they could turn out items for the military. Communist Party cadres, he said, were issuing similar orders to other manufacturers.

Moreover, Chinese academics privately say the ongoing expulsion of foreign colleagues from China’s universities appears to be a preparation for hostilities.

The People’s Republic of China is preparing to go to war and is not trying to hide its efforts. Amendments to the National Defense Law, effective the first day of last year, transfer powers from civilian to military officials.

In general, the amendments reduce the role of the central government’s State Council by shifting power to the CMC, the Communist Party’s Central Military Commission. Specifically, the State Council will no longer supervise the mobilization of the People’s Liberation Army.

What Did China Gain From Taiwan Exercises?


OPINION — China, the U.S., and Taiwan showed they can manage a crisis without miscalculations or confrontations taking place based on their handling of the Beijing-created uproar over House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s publicized visit to Taipei.

For example, China announced its military exercises on August 2, the day Pelosi arrived in Taipei, but said they would not begin until August 4. That gave civilian airlines and maritime traffic time to change their plans and avoid the areas involved.

In addition, although the Chinese exercises were supposed to start at 6:30 a.m. August 4, they actually did not begin until noon. That shift allowed U.S., Taiwan and other international observers to follow Chinese military assets getting into position and avoided their movement during nighttime or early morning hours where they would be less visible.

China’s Semiconductor Breakthrough

Che-Jen Wang

Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corporation (SMIC), the largest chipmaker in China, has reportedly achieved a major breakthrough. TechInsight, a Canadian tech media outlet, revealed that SMIC had advanced its technology to a quasi-7-nanometer (nm) process, which might be a stepping stone for a true 7nm process. According to TechInsight, SMIC products made from the quasi-7nm process had been shipped for a year. Some media argued that the SMIC’s advancement showed that the U.S. blockade was too little, too late, and out of date.

SMIC’s most advanced chip process node successfully made in the past was 14nm, although it has always made strong attempts to move toward an advanced process node (below 10nm). However, due to SMIC’s inclusion on the Entity List by the U.S. Bureau of Industry and Security in December 2020, which was designed to limit SMIC’s ability to reach advanced technology nodes of 10 nanometers or below, it has been blocked from obtaining the necessary Extreme Ultraviolet Lithography (EUV) machines from ASML of the Netherlands.

Victory? In Modern Wars That’s an Increasingly Elusive Goal

Max Hastings

Once upon a time, it was deemed a mark of virility to insist that a war must end with a victory. In 146 BC, Cato the Censor repeatedly told the Roman Senate “Carthaginem esse delendam” — Carthage, Rome’s great enemy, must be obliterated, as indeed it was.

In World War II, US Treasury Secretary Henry Morgenthau called for the “pastoralization” of Germany following allied victory. In 2003, President George W. Bush proclaimed, “The security of the civilized world depends on victory in the war on terror, and that depends on victory in Iraq. So the United States of America will not leave until victory is achieved.”

Victory … victory … victory. Throughout history the word has had a seductive resonance for political and military leaders. Yet in the 21st century, such an outcome of conflict has become elusive. Some people who should know better, on both sides of the Atlantic, have used it in the context of Russia’s war on Ukraine. In their ideal world, they would urge “Kremlin esse delendam.”

China is losing ground in Sri Lanka


The Chinese tracking ship Yuan Wang 5 has finally docked at Hambantota Port in Sri Lanka for replenishment after India and the United States tried, and ultimately failed, to persuade the local government to turn it away. The arrival of the massive vessel might seem like a victory for Beijing in this strategically important island nation.

But it is, in fact, nothing of the kind, because it reinforces the image of China as a predatory imperial power that is trying to exploit Sri Lanka for its own purposes. Beijing has done little to help the country through its devastating economic meltdown, providing far less aid than regional rival, India.

Quite why China would sit back and allow an adversary to reap the soft power benefits of this current crisis is baffling when it has often been blamed by the US government and others for causing Sri Lanka’s problems and could use an opportunity to improve its reputation on the island.

China Hasn’t Reached the Peak of Its Power

Oriana Skylar Mastro and Derek Scissors

As relations between the United States and China have spiraled down to a half-century low, a frightening new narrative has taken hold among some U.S. analysts and policymakers. It supposes that China’s window of opportunity to “reunify” Taiwan with the mainland—one of Chinese President Xi Jinping’s core foreign policy objectives—is closing rapidly, intensifying the pressure on Beijing to act swiftly and forcefully while it still has the chance.

This narrative rests on the belief that China’s rise is nearing its end. Unprecedented demographic decline, a heavy debt burden, uneven innovation, and other serious economic problems have slowed China’s growth and are likely to slow it even further, leaving the country without the military power or political influence to challenge the United States. Beijing is aware of these headwinds, the thinking goes, and is therefore likely to act soon, before it is too late. As the scholars Hal Brands and Michael Beckley have argued in Foreign Affairs, “China is tracing an arc that often ends in tragedy: a dizzying rise followed by the specter of a hard fall.” In their view, it is now or never if China wants to redraw the world map.

Mongolian Independence and the British: The Chinese Backdown

Matteo Miele

A year after the Russo-Mongol Agreement, in a declaration signed in Peking on November 5, 1913 (October 23 of the Russian calendar), ‘[l]a Russie reconnaît que la Mongolie Extérieure se trouve sous la suzeraineté de la Chine’, while the Chinese accepted Mongolian autonomy (‘La Chine reconnaît l’autonomie de la Mongolie Extérieure’).[1] The Russians had come to that agreement after having faced several difficulties.

Indeed, in April 1913, while preparing to leave Urga, Korostovets had confessed to Morrison the complexity of dealing with the Mongols and also of enforcing the 1912 treaty:

My position here is a trying one in every respect and the Mongols very difficult people to deal with. I have made my best to satisfy both sides that is my own people and the Government of Urga but have hardly succeeded. The treaty has been signed nearly six months ago and according to my opinion is not enforced yet and perhaps will not be. The new Consul General Miller must arrive in a fortnight and will continue my work, but on what lines and in what direction I do not venture to say. [2]

Mongolian Independence and the British: The Parallel Negotiation

Matteo Miele

On July 3, 1914, the British and Tibetans signed the Simla Convention.[1] Much has been written about this document, which is so important for East and South Asia.[2] The agreement recognized Chinese suzerainty over Outer Tibet, but also the full autonomy for internal matters – including the choice of the dalai lama – of the Tibetan government in Lhasa. Peking could not transform Outer Tibet into a province of the Republic and at the same time the British undertook not to annex the country to their dominions. The Chinese, as is known, refused to sign the Convention.

Previous pages have discussed the weight of Mongol independence on the British approach to the Tibetan question. At this point, Russian interventions in Mongolia had authorized the idea of a British action in Tibet. Furthermore, having secured a solid bond with Nepal, Sikkim and Bhutan strengthened a very long stretch of the northern border of the Raj. Further west, Ladakh, another important Himalayan region, had lost its independence in 1842 and had come under the control of Golab Sīng who, in 1846, with the protection of the British, ascended the throne of Kashmir.[3]

Here’s What Happens When Countries Use Bikes to Fight Emissions

TRANSPORTATION PRODUCES ABOUT a quarter of the world's greenhouse gas emissions, and passenger vehicles account for over half that figure. As such, nearly every plan for future emissions cuts includes some variant of getting people out of internal-combustion vehicles—typically into electric versions of the same vehicle. But a couple of countries have managed an alternate route to lower emissions: Denmark and the Netherlands both have bicycle-focused transportation that gets many people out of cars entirely.

An international team of researchers decided to look into what factors have enabled these countries to make that shift and what might happen if more countries adopted a similar transportation focus. Two conclusions are clear: It's hard to get reliable data on bicycles, and bicycle-focused transportation could eliminate emissions equivalent to that of a decent-sized industrialized country.

Microsoft disrupts Russian-linked hackers targeting NATO countries


WASHINGTON — Microsoft has taken actions to disrupt hacking campaigns linked to a highly persistent Russian threat actor that has targeted defense and intelligence consulting companies, among other entities, primarily in NATO countries, the company announced today.

The Microsoft Threat Intelligence Center (MSTIC) has been tracking the Russian state-sponsored group SEABORGIUM since 2017, whose campaigns involve phishing and credential theft campaigns. Its intrusions have also been linked to hack-and-leak campaigns, where stolen data is “used to shape narratives in targeted countries,” the company said in an advisory.

The company said information collected during SEABORGIUM intrusions likely supports traditional espionage objectives and information operations as opposed to financial motivations.

The Weaponization of Minority Rights and Russia’s Invasion of Ukraine

Dr. Philip Dandolov

The respect for minority rights remains of fundamental importance and may be regarded as a yardstick pertaining to the degree to which a country is committed to the observance of human rights as a whole. In fact, the persistence of negative trends with regard to the compliance with the rights of racial, ethnic, cultural or linguistic minorities could be a worrisome harbinger of democratic failure. However, while historically there have been a few instances of largely morally justifiable humanitarian interventions for the sake of upholding minority rights, Russia’s actions fall short of such standards and may even have far-reaching negative consequences for the international minority rights regime. Notably, on 23 May 2022 the Advisory Committee on the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities explicitly lamented the use of the minority rights angle as a pretext for the war in Ukraine.

One of the Putin regime’s main publicly stated justifications for the invasion of Ukraine is the protection of the minority rights of the Russophone Ukrainians, with the Russian president even appearing to invoke the “Responsibility to Protect” global political commitment in the context of the need to stop a supposed genocide in its tracks. Not only is the latter statement at odds with the expert consensus regarding the situation in eastern Ukraine prior to the beginning of the war, but Putin’s Russia itself exhibits plenty of flaws when it comes to ensuring adherence to international recommendations on minority rights.

China-backed APT41 Group Hacked at Least 13 Victims in 2021

Advanced persistent threat (APT) group known as APT41, Bronze Atlas, Barium, Double Dragon, and Wicked Panda, has been observed targeting at least 13 organizations spanning several countries during the 2021 calendar year. According to new information from Group-IB, the Chinese threat actor targeted organizations in Taiwan, the US, India, Vietnam, and China. The campaigns have been split up into four distinct parts. Group-IB released a report stating that this marks the first time that researchers were able to identify the group’s 2021 working hours. According to Group-IB, the threat actor operates during times similar to regular office business hours.

Group-IB stated that the majority of the attacks were identified as primarily relying on SQL injections on targeted domains. In addition, the group launched several attacks that included custom Cobalt Strike tools. The Cobalt Strike beacons were often split and delivered in smaller pieces of code so as to avoid detection. Group-IB also stated that organizations in the public sector, manufacturing, healthcare, logistics, hospitality, aviation, and education were most likely to be attacked in the previously observed campaigns.

Cyber Command chief tells Congress chip shortage has national security implications

Suzanne Smalley

China’s increasing progress toward producing enough semiconductor chips domestically to avoid relying on foreign trade is a “very timely question” and one of “great concern for us in terms of broader impacts,” U.S. Cyber Command and National Security Agency head Gen. Paul Nakasone told House Intelligence Committee members this week.

China’s increasing progression toward so-called chip independence — which, if achieved, would give the Chinese more leverage to act as they please without fear of sanctions — poses a threat, Nakasone told Congress Tuesday. Rep. Rick Crawford, an Arkansas Republican who sits on the Intelligence Committee, told CyberScoop that Nakasone’s private remarks in a subsequent closed-door session made clear that American reliance on Russia and Ukraine for the neon gas needed to make chip component parts is among the “broader impacts” the general referenced.

The United States is lagging in domestic semiconductor chip production, while Ukraine and Russia produce 90% of America’s neon gas supply and about half of the total global supply, said Sujai Shivakumar, senior fellow of the Renewing American Innovation Project at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. China and Japan are the other major producers. If America is forced to rely on hostile countries for chip production and is unable to get the components needed to manufacture them, it could have a powerful cascade effect.

Who is Winning the Russo-Ukrainian War?

Doug Bandow

What’s happening in the nearly six-month-old Russo-Ukrainian war? It’s hard to say. Moscow expected a proverbial cakewalk and bungled its initial attack. After rebuffing Russia’s assault, the Zelensky government expanded its objectives, expressing its desire to reconquer portions of the Donbas seized by separatists with Russian support in 2014, as well as Crimea, which had been formally annexed by Moscow.

In recent months, however, Russian forces have made slow progress in the Donbas and now occupy a fifth or more of Ukrainian territory. But Ukraine and its advocates have been threatening counteroffensives against Moscow’s supposedly overstretched forces. Conflicting claims have been made about casualty levels, the impact of high-tech allied weapons sent to Ukraine, and both sides' prospects in the war.

Both Russia and Ukraine have lied and will continue to lie in search of future advantage. Of course, it makes sense to mislead one’s enemies. British Prime Minister Winston Churchill famously observed: “In wartime, truth is so precious that she should always be attended by a bodyguard of lies.”

Evaluating the Use of Non-Lethal Weapons in Operational Environments

Krista Romita Grocholski, Scott Savitz, Jonathan P. Wong

The U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) is employing or developing various non-lethal weapons (NLWs) including acoustic hailers, eye-safe laser dazzlers, flash-bang grenades, blunt-impact munitions (e.g., rubber bullets), tasers, pepper balls, an active denial system that emits millimeter-wave energy to cause a temporary heating sensation, microwave-emitting technologies that disable vehicles and vessels, and systems that entangle vessels' propellers.

NLWs are used to minimize harm to civilians, to manage confrontations short of full-scale conflict (referred to as the gray zone), and for a variety of other purposes.[1] These weapons serve as intermediate force capabilities, a bridge between "shouting and shooting" that can influence behavior or temporarily incapacitate potential threats without inflicting permanent harm.[2] With increasing competition in the gray zone, the importance of these capabilities may expand because they can help demonstrate resolve while mitigating some of the risks of unwanted escalation.


Michael Hugos, Edward Salo, Ryan Kuhns and Ben Hazen

As evidenced in real-time by the current Russo-Ukrainian war, government leaders and military planners often miscalculate or underestimate the impact of logistics on a campaign’s success or failure. Logistics is its own dimension of warfare, and modern warfare depends on agile and adaptive supply chains to connect the defense industrial base to the warfighter. The volume and mass of supplies required to support agile, combined arms operations is significant. The Russo-Ukrainian conflict provides a compelling case study for testing, modifying, and building new strategies and doctrines in the area of contested logistics. Contested logistics has been defined as “an environment in which the armed forces engage in conflict with an adversary that presents challenges in all domains and directly targets logistics operations, facilities, and activities” both at home site or in transit to the war zone. Working with the 2022 cohort of students from the Advanced Studies of Air Mobility program at the Air Force Institute of Technology as part of a course on strategic mobility, we modeled and simulated four hypothetical Russian military scenarios and their logistics requirements. The results obtained can be used to inform current and future contested logistics strategies.

Russia’s War in Ukraine: Russia’s Propaganda War

Igor Gretskiy

The ninth Brief in the “Russia’s War in Ukraine” series concerns Russia’s propaganda war.

Igor Gretskiy, a Research Fellow of the Estonian Foreign Policy Institute at the ICDS, examines key elements of Russia’s propaganda and disinformation that were crucial in the years long preparation of the invasion of Ukraine. He describes how the Kremlin’s official narratives were used to pave the way for Russia’s military aggression against Ukraine, and how Russia’s propaganda has changed as the war has progressed.

He states that the Kremlin began to prepare the Russian public for the invasion of Ukraine after the Biden-Putin summit in Geneva on the 30th of June 2021. He analyses Moscow’s language of war and concludes that Soviet-style narratives about Nazism and Western anti-Russian conspiracies became the main premises of the propaganda offensive. He also concludes that Russia’s president most likely began to plot the outright aggression after his re-election in 2018.

The IPEF Advances – Is India Ready?

Amitendu Palit
Source Link

Within two months of its announcement on 23 May 2022, the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework (IPEF) has picked up momentum. The first round of discussions among officials and experts was held in Singapore on 13 and 14 July 2022. This was followed by a virtual ministerial meeting of the IPEF members on 26 and 27 July 2022.

Considerable engagement has begun on four thematic ‘pillars’ of the IPEF: trade; supply chains; clean energy, decarbonisation and infrastructure; and tax and anti-corruption. The United States (US) Trade Representative is leading the discussions on the first pillar while the US Department of Commerce is taking the lead in the remaining three.

Imperatives driving the momentum on the IPEF include the urgency of US President Joe Biden’s administration to bring in rules for the pillars for enabling greater engagement of the US businesses with the Indo-Pacific. While doing so, the Biden administration is careful in retaining emphasis on protecting the interests of American workers and sustaining efforts for decarbonisation. Both objectives require in-depth and lengthy consultations with the other members on labour and environment standards. The further urgency on the part of the Biden administration in getting on with the IPEF is to ensure that regional rule-making on trade and new-generation business issues remains driven by the US, not by China.

The urge to ‘get going’ is also noticeable among the other members of the Quad – Australia, India and Japan – as they realise the importance of hastening the rules on strategic and geopolitically sensitive issues, such as clean technology, resilient supply chains and digital trade. The IPEF has commenced as a Quad-plus grouping, underlining the Quad’s ability to bring together several regional economies on a common standard-setting platform. This is notwithstanding the possibility of the IPEF being seen as anti-China and not being a framework for trading preferential market access, as usual free trade agreements do.

The ASEAN members of the IPEF – Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, Vietnam, Brunei and the Philippines – note its significance in energising regional economic prospects and greater integration with major global markets. The IPEF can align the ongoing trade and investment rule-making efforts of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) to those of the US, Japan, Australia and India. The alignment can institutionalise ASEAN-plus functional standards in digital trade, including the cross-border flow of data and recognition of privacy, growth of clean energy systems, and transparent tax practices, convincingly and purposefully.
Much attention is focused on India’s contribution to the IPEF. India participated as an ‘observer’ in the recently concluded virtual ministerial, triggering speculation over whether it was ready to participate meaningfully in the discussions on the four pillars.

India’s Quest for a Data Protection Framework

Karthik Nachiappan

The Indian government withdrew the long-delayed legislation on data protection in early August 2022, citing the need to create a broader “comprehensive legal framework” to address prevailing concerns on data and related issues like privacy, social media regulation, cybersecurity, telecommunication regulations and non-personal data. This move comes nearly four years after the bill’s introduction once the Justice Srikrishna committee completed its deliberations. The withdrawal will come as a surprise to firms and other entities operating in India’s digital economy looking for clarity vis-à-vis data collection and sharing. Citizens are generally unsure of what happens to the data they submit while transacting online will be flummoxed by this withdrawal. Also jolted will be India’s partners abroad, especially the United States and the European Union, and big technology firms keen to identify and soften, or deflect seemingly onerous regulatory burdens.

The delay, in effect, benefits the government, giving it more time to reconcile aspects related to data generation, collection and transfer. Indeed, the justification provided by the government attests to the complications tied to the legislation and the need to understand better how personal data connects with issues like cybersecurity, artificial intelligence (AI) and social media regulation. The time lost with this withdrawal, however, must be considered. India now has a vacuum in its data governance, just as its digital economy experiences meteoric growth. India is currently going through an inexorable pace of digitalisation that is centred on personal data – collecting, storing, using and transferring it. Across all sectors – from agriculture to welfare and retail – the Indian citizen engages through digital devices, applications, systems, mechanisms, portals and infrastructures that require policy clarity. The withdrawal of this bill means that all digital economic activity will occur in a legal and policy vacuum that will have to be addressed quickly.

Lockheed Martin, General Dynamics win Army electronic warfare contract

Catherine Buchaniec

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Army awarded Lockheed Martin and General Dynamics Mission Systems a contract worth $15 million to develop concepts for the Terrestrial Layer System-Echelons Above Brigade, an electronic warfare platform.

The EAB is an electromagnetic attack and collection system that integrates cyber, signal intelligence and electronic warfare capabilities. Put together, the system’s various capabilities can be used to give soldiers indications and warnings about their surroundings across thousands of miles.

The companies will develop concept designs, undergo a system review and participate in a software architecture demonstration as part of Phase I of the developmental process. The overall value of the prototype project is expected to total $163 million in all phases.

Conference held on enhancing pairing-up support for Tibet


BEIJING, Aug. 18 (Xinhua) -- A conference on pairing-up support for the Tibet Autonomous Region was held on Thursday in Beijing, with focus on enhancing the program that rallies national support to boost the development of Tibet.

The meeting, the third of its kind, was attended by Wang Yang, a member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee and head of a central coordinating group for Tibet work.

Addressing the meeting, Wang called for full implementation of the Party's policies for the governance of Tibet in the new era.

He called for efforts to address deep-seated problems affecting Tibet's lasting stability and high-quality development, as well as better effects in the pairing-up support.

American CHIPS Off the Chinese Block


WASHINGTON, DC –Semiconductors, one of the most important innovations of the last century, are now crucial inputs in mobile phones, personal computers, educational technologies, vehicles, heavy machinery, medical instruments, military equipment, and much more.

From the outset, they have undergone rapid improvement, shrinking in size while increasing in performance. In 1965, Gordon E. Moore, one of the founders of Intel, famously observed that the number of transistors on a computer chip tended to double every year, even as their costs continued to fall. What became known as Moore’s Law remains roughly true today, because research and development continue to advance this critical technology at a rapid rate.

Advances by American companies have enabled more uses and greater cost reductions, positioning the United States as the world leader in chip innovation and development. While some companies focus on research and design, others specialize in semiconductor manufacturing, and still others do both.

NEW DELHI – In the year since the United States’ disgraceful abandonment of Afghanistan to the Taliban, the country has gone down precisely the path any logical observer would have predicted: a medieval, jihadist, terrorist-sheltering emirate has been established. The US will incur costs for betraying its Afghan allies for a long time to come. But nobody will pay a higher price than Afghans.

The geopolitical fallout of America’s humiliating retreat from Afghanistan – after President Joe Biden followed through on the withdrawal commitment of his predecessor, Donald Trump – is still growing. By exposing the US as a power in decline, the withdrawal gave a huge boost to militant Islamists everywhere, while emboldening Russia and China. It is no coincidence that, not long after the fall of Kabul, Russia began massing forces along Ukraine’s borders, and China sent a record number of warplanes into Taiwan’s self-declared air defense identification zone.

Russia-Ukraine: five lessons from the 19th-century Crimean war

Ted Widmer

The war in Ukraine will reach a grim anniversary on 24 August, when we will be six months into a conflict whose terminus we still cannot see.

Can history offer any clues? Vladimir Putin likes to talk about the second world war, Russia’s best war, but the closest parallel is probably the Crimean war, which dragged on for two and a half years, from 1853 to 1856, before the exhausted belligerents worked out a peace agreement.

An underachieving Russian military failed to achieve any of its goals. But the British and French, who forged an alliance with the Turks, encountered frustrations of their own as they groped toward a victory that felt pyrrhic at times. Surprisingly, one of the war’s great legacies was felt in the US, where an unexpected chain of events, tied to Russia’s defeat, helped to end slavery.

American Democracy Was Never Designed to Be Democratic

To look on the bright side for a moment, one effect of the Republican assault on elections—which takes the form, naturally, of the very thing Republicans accuse Democrats of doing: rigging the system—might be to open our eyes to how undemocratic our democracy is. Strictly speaking, American government has never been a government “by the people.”

This is so despite the fact that more Americans are voting than ever before. In 2020, sixty-seven per cent of eligible voters cast a ballot for President. That was the highest turnout since 1900, a year when few, if any, women, people under twenty-one, Asian immigrants (who could not become citizens), Native Americans (who were treated as foreigners), or Black Americans living in the South (who were openly disenfranchised) could vote. Eighteen per cent of the total population voted in that election. In 2020, forty-eight per cent voted.

If the Marine Corps Isn’t Broken—and It Isn’t—Why Fix It?

James A. Warren

No doubt about it: Since the mid ’60s and Vietnam, we’ve witnessed a precipitous decline in the American people’s faith in their government institutions. The “credibility gap” between what the government does and what it claimed it does first surfaced when LBJ presided over the Vietnam War. It came roaring back into our politics when George W. Bush invaded Iraq on false pretenses. Then came Donald Trump, who said, and continues to say, whatever pleases him, regardless of its veracity. Long before Trump oozed on to the national political scene, Congress had all but ceased to function as a legislative body.

Not all government institutions have lost their luster. Think of the military services. Overwhelmingly, Americans respect their servicemembers. For many years, polls have been confirming that the United States Marines are the most admired and respected service, not only for what the Corps has accomplished on battlefields far and wide, which is considerable, but for the values of self-sacrifice, loyalty, and tenacity the Corps puts forward as the heart of its worldview. The Marine Corps’ reputation for getting it done, and done well, reached its apotheosis in the Pacific War, where it fought a long series of increasingly destructive island battles against the Japanese. The Marines have fought with great bravery and distinction in a great many places since then.