4 October 2022

Putin’s annexation of parts of Ukraine is a critical moment for the world

Alissa de Carbonnel

President Vladimir Putin’s planned annexation of parts of Russian-occupied Ukraine, after sham referendums there, is at least as dangerous a moment in the war as the marathon televised spectacle that prefaced Russia’s invasion in February.

Of course, things have not gone as Putin planned.

Back in February, he sought to justify the invasion in an angry speech laced with legal verbiage coupled with a pre-recorded show of support from the country’s top brass. The only thing genuine in Putin’s effort to frame the “special military operation” as something other than naked aggression was Putin schooling the head of his spy service, Sergei Naryshkin, as he flubbed his script and said he backed the proxy states in east Ukraine becoming part of Russia.

Naryshkin was half a year too early and too mean in his ambition. With its invasion, Russia had planned to swiftly decapitate the political leadership in Kyiv, occupy a huge swath of territory, and exercise influence over a newly friendly Ukraine, perhaps leaving some troops there. Ukraine’s dogged resistance culminating in the lightning recapture of territory in the Kharkiv region has put the Kremlin on the back foot, forcing it to rush forward haphazardly with what has emerged as its plan B.

China’s Big Tech: From Free Development to Strict Regulation

Leonid Kovachich

After a decade of explosive growth, China’s tech sector lost hundreds of billions of dollars in less than two and a half years of the state’s large-scale regulatory campaign. China’s five largest Big Tech companies lost nearly 50% of their combined market capitalization. While in 2020, Tencent had larger capitalization than Facebook and most other American companies, today America’s Apple with its market value of $2.7 trillion exceeds the capitalizations of Tencent, Alibaba, Baidu, Meituan, JD.COM, and Pinduoduo combined. Following the start of the regulator’s probe into its activities, DiDi alone lost over 90% of its market capitalization. Generally, China’s tech sector lost its former foreign investor appeal. In the first quarter of 2022, investment into it fell by 42.6% in quarterly terms or by 76,7% in annual terms. Over 200,000 employees were fired from internet companies over the last year.

Nonetheless, it would be a mistake to think that Chinese authorities wanted to stifle the development of China’s tech sector. Beijing successfully applied its regulatory measures to address almost all its problematic areas in the sector’s development. Chinese authorities demonstrate their commitment to creating a fully controlled regulatory environment for the so-called platform economy. Regulatory measures are intended to increase the social responsibility of businesses and bring companies and their activities compliant with national security demands.

Islamic State in Khurasan Province Exploits Tajik Martyrs to Recruit in Central Asia

Lucas Webber

On June 18, Islamic State in Khorasan Province (ISKP) militants attacked a Sikh place of worship, or gurdwara, in Kabul, killing two people, although Islamic State (IS) touted a much higher casualty total (The Hindu, June 19). IS formally claimed the operation through its Amaq News Agency outlet and stated the raid against the “temple for Hindu and Sikh polytheists” was intended to avenge the Prophet Muhammad following recent blasphemous comments made by Indian politicians (Twitter/@Minalami, June 18). These comments about India drew considerable attention. However, there was another prong to the IS media strategy in revealing the attacker as “Abu Muhammad al-Tajiki,” which received much less commentary (NDTV, June 20).

In 2022, ISKP has ramped up its outreach efforts to target potential supporters in Tajik communities throughout Afghanistan and the broader region (Caravanserai, May 9). IS and its supporters have accordingly expanded propaganda production in the Tajik language and have framed the Taliban as Pashtun-centric and hostile towards Afghanistan’s other ethnic groups. This involves specifically noting the Taliban’s oppression of and violence against Tajiks, while presenting ISKP as the vehicle for smashing Central Asia’s arbitrarily drawn borders, destroying the Tajik government, and forming an IS province in Transoxiana (Jihadology, June 22, 2020). ISKP matched words with action on May 8 when a volley of rockets was fired at Tajikistan that galvanized supporters online (Twitter/LucasADWebber, May 11). Moreover, ISKP has made it a point to highlight martyrs of Tajik ethnicity, who are extolled as examples of courage, devotion, and self-sacrifice to the IS cause.

Indian Security Agencies Target Popular Front of India

Soumya Awasthi

On September 22, an India-wide crackdown on the neo-radical Islamic movement, Popular Front of India (PFI), was conducted by the National Investigative Agency (NIA), Enforcement Directorate (ED), and various state police agencies. The raids led to the arrests of more than 100 top leaders of PFI from across eleven states and Union Territories. For example, PFI leaders, including its Chairman, OMA Salam, Delhi head Parvez Ahmed, Kerala head, CP Mohammed Basheer, national secretary, VP Nazarudheen, and national council member, Professor P Koya, were all arrested (India Today, September 22).

The raid on PFI began soon after some members were pressuring young women into wearing hijab to educational institutions. This occurred after the Indian state declared it mandatory to follow the uniform system strictly to ensure “religious neutrality”. Therefore, it was alleged that this hijab controversy was an orchestrated conspiracy by PFI to instigate social unrest (The Hindu, September 22). During the raids, the police found PFI members in possession of some weapons and homemade explosive devices and more than 200 mobile phones, 100 laptops, and other evidence like papers, vision records, enrollment applications, and bank details were seized (India TV News, September 22).

The secrets of the border standoff between the Taliban and Pakistan

Roland Jacquard 

After all that Pakistan did for the Taliban over the two decades they were fighting against the US-backed Afghan Republic, there was a legitimate expectation in Islamabad that this time around the Taliban would show much greater gratitude and accede to Pakistan’s wish-list on a range of issues.
Ever since the Taliban have re-established their Emirate in Kabul, there is not a single issue on Pakistan’s wish-list that has been ticked by the Taliban : Accepting Durand Line as Border? No; Expelling Baloch insurgents? No; Dismantling, degrading and destroying Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP)? No; Keeping India out? No; Inclusive government? No; Allowing education for girls and giving women rights? No!

With every passing day, frustration is mounting in Pakistan as its leverages are reducing. Many analysts are now questioning the entire strategic framework which made Pakistan defy the West and support the return of Taliban in Afghanistan. But Pakistan is caught in a cleft stick, it can neither act against the Taliban, nor can it afford to allow Taliban to string it along endlessly on critical issues that impact its own security and stability and safety of its citizens.

British Prime Minister Liz Truss, in office less than a month, has put forth economic policies that have alarmed financial leaders around the world and damaged her party's standing.

Nikhil Kumar

Former British Prime Minister Harold Wilson is often quoted as having said that a week is a long time in politics. No doubt the current occupant of the office, Liz Truss, would understand Wilson’s point. Prime Minister Truss, who bowed before Queen Elizabeth II and took the country’s reins less than a month ago, has endured a roller-coaster ride with few parallels in modern British history.

Her premiership was supposed to provide stability after a summer of political scandal and turmoil. Now, three weeks and three days after she took office, her plans to deal with an economic tempest have triggered problems far worse than those she was meant to solve. And Truss and her team are being blamed for a crisis that is threatening the British economy, the British currency, and her political career as well.

Such is the panic that even the International Monetary Fund, the financial backstop for the world’s economic basket cases, was moved to issue a striking rebuke, effectively telling Truss to rethink her policies. In the U.S., Treasury officials are reported to be alarmed by what is happening across the pond. And in Britain, there are fears of a crisis on the level of the Lehman Brothers collapse in 2008 that brought the global economy to its knees. One senior London-based banker, speaking anonymously to the Financial Times, said things were so bad at one point this week that “I was worried this was the beginning of the end. It was not quite a Lehman moment. But it got close.”

Vladimir Putin makes the war in Ukraine even more dangerous by annexing 15 percent of Ukrainian territory

Joshua Keating

On Friday, in an announcement paired with an elaborately staged celebration in Moscow’s Red Square, Russian President Vladimir Putin formally announced the annexation of four oblasts, or provinces, of Ukraine, comprising some 40,000 square miles and 15 percent of the country’s territory.

“This is the will of millions of people,” Putin said Friday, speaking in the Grand Kremlin Palace. “This is their right. Their inalienable right.” The residents of the four provinces, he said, “are becoming our citizens — forever.” His annexation complete — rhetorically at least — the Russian leader called on Ukraine to negotiate.

But no matter what Putin says, unless you live in Russia itself, you probably don’t need to buy a new map.

“The United States, I want to be very clear about this, United States will never, never, never recognize Russia’s claims on Ukraine sovereign territory,” President Joe Biden said in Washington on Thursday. U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres said the annexation “stands against everything the international community is meant to stand for” and “has no place in the modern world.”

How to arm Ukraine: The case for tanks, air and missile defense


On a recent trip to Ukraine, sponsored by the Polish think tank PISM, a group of scholars whom I was privileged to join saw remarkable progress in the recent war effort by brave Ukrainians. Kyiv is bustling; its northern suburb of Bucha, where Russian atrocities took place last winter, is recovering; and President Volodymyr Zelensky and his leadership team display a calm resolve and clear sense of moral and political purpose. Recent successful counteroffensives in the Northeast in particular have reclaimed some 10 percent of the land lost to Vladimir Putin since Russia’s invasion began on Feb. 24; Ukraine is wielding weapons and employing tactics that augur well for future efforts to liberate lost territory as well.

However, we would be wrong to take further progress for granted. Already, Russia is reportedly employing new Iran-sourced drones with considerable effect against some Ukrainian fighting positions. Putin has called up reservists — of admittedly questionable combat readiness — who can help strengthen Russian positions on many of the front lines. And the localized progress by Ukrainian forces in recent weeks has depended on specific geographic features — some Russian forces being sandwiched between rivers, for example, which made it possible to deny them resupply for a period before launching a counterattack. In other cases, successful Ukrainian ruses fooled Russian troops about the intended locations of Ukrainian assaults. That smart approach will not always work. It is far from clear where the next phase of this battle will go — and with winter looming in north-central Europe, the opportunity for significant additional counteroffensives this year is waning.

Has US policy toward Taliban-ruled Afghanistan failed Afghans?

Madiha Afzal

Afghanistan’s year under the Taliban has been grim. The country went into economic collapse with the Taliban takeover and U.S. troop withdrawal last August, as aid dried up, sanctions against the Taliban went into effect, and a regime lacking international recognition meant Afghanistan’s central bank reserves held abroad were frozen. The country’s liquidity evaporated, its currency nosedived, inflation rose, and people lost jobs, all in turn triggering a massi

As Afghanistan faded from the headlines after those chaotic weeks last August, its population faced starvation, its children malnourishment. Aid officials warned of a catastrophic winter. Aid organizations worried about running afoul of sanctions even for humanitarian assistance; in December, the U.S. Treasury granted workarounds so that the delivery of money for humanitarian purposes became easier. The U.S. has given more than $1.1 billion in humanitarian aid to Afghanistan over the last year; the U.N. launched its largest ever appeal for a single country for Afghanistan — more than $5 billion — in March, raising about half that amount. In the end, the worst of the humanitarian crisis in the winter was held off with such assistance — but some 19 million people — half of the population — still face acute food insecurity. Ultimately, an indefinite provision of humanitarian aid is not a sustainable equilibrium for Afghans. They need a functioning economy.

Succeeding in the AI competition with China: A strategy for action

Jessica Brandt, Sarah Kreps, Chris Meserole, Pavneet Singh
Source Link


Technology is perhaps the most intense realm of competition between the United States and China today, and artificial intelligence (AI) is central to that contest. By developing state-of-the-art capabilities in AI, China seeks to achieve a strategic advantage over the United States and its allies. It also aims to leverage new forms of AI-enabled surveillance and repression in ways that strengthen its illiberal model of governance – both within China and around the world. Democratic countries have started to push back, with rising calls for the development of robust AI norms, and the United States and EU each passing major semiconductor bills. Nonetheless, China still threatens to outpace the United States and its allies in AI research and standards-setting.

Ultimately, the United States’ and China’s competition over AI and emerging technology will create ripple effects that go far beyond the digital domain. The values that underpin free and open societies are at stake, and the countries and coalitions that gain a sustainable advantage will be rewarded with economic benefits and a national security edge. Luckily, there are steps that the United States can take, working with democratic allies and partners, to protect democracy and liberal values in an age of AI.

Managing the risks of US-China war: Implementing a strategy of integrated deterrence

Michael E. O’Hanlon, Melanie W. Sisson, and Caitlin Talmadge


China’s economic and military rise is changing geopolitics globally. No region is either immune to or insulated from the push-and-pull between China’s growing role in international politics and U.S. wariness about it. Nowhere, however, are these dynamics emerging as quickly or as dangerously as they are in East Asia itself, and in particular in the already delicate politics of the relationships among China, Taiwan, and the United States. The combination of China’s desire to expand its influence, the U.S. desire to maintain its own, and Taiwan’s history, international aspirations, and role in the global economy makes the island’s status an especially contentious and combustible issue.

Ongoing disagreement between China and Taiwan about the desirability of unification and intensified competition between the United States and China are pressurizing the three-way relationship. If the United States is to maintain a constructive role in preventing the outbreak of a cross-Strait war, it will need to implement a strategy to deter Chinese aggression against Taiwan that is consistent with U.S. interests and capabilities, and that provides clarity around the existentially important matter of preventing nuclear escalation, in the event a conflict does occur. Some prevalent thinking in the United States today errs in believing either that U.S. conventional military supremacy in and around Taiwan can be realistically restored to what it once was, or that threats of nuclear escalation could be wisely employed by Washington in the event of a serious crisis.[1] The United States also remains too slow to improve its own resilience against possible Chinese economic, cyber, and/or military attack.

The Thorny Problem of Keeping the Internet’s Time

Pierre Buttin

In 1977, David Mills, an eccentric engineer and computer scientist, took a job at comsat, a satellite corporation headquartered in Washington, D.C. Mills was an inveterate tinkerer: he’d once built a hearing aid for a girlfriend’s uncle, and had consulted for Ford on how paper-tape computers might be put into cars. Now, at comsat, Mills became involved in the arpanet, the computer network that would become the precursor to the Internet. A handful of researchers were already using the network to connect their distant computers and trade information. But the fidelity of that exchanged data was threatened by a distinct deficiency: the machines did not share a single, reliable synchronized time.

Over decades, Mills had gained wide-ranging expertise in mathematics, engineering, and computer science. In the early seventies, as a lecturer at the University of Edinburgh, he’d written programs that decoded shortwave radio and telegraph signals. Later, largely for fun, he’d studied how the clocks in a power grid could wander several seconds in the course of a hot summer’s day. (The extent of their shifts depended not just on the temperature but on whether the grid used coal or hydropower.) Now he concentrated on the problem of keeping time across a far-flung computer network. Clock time, Mills learned, is the result of an unending search for consensus. Even the times told by the world’s most precise government-maintained “master clocks” are composites of the readings of several atomic clocks. The master clocks, in turn, are averaged to help create international civil time, known as Coördinated Universal Time and initialized as U.T.C.

Three Lessons for Americans from the British Pound’s Plunge

John Cassidy

For now, the Bank of England has restored some calm to the global financial markets, which got the jitters a week ago, after the new British government of Prime Minister Liz Truss and her Conservative Party announced an enormous unfunded tax cut. As economists and financial analysts criticized this policy, calling it ill-timed and irresponsible, the value of the pound plunged, and so did the prices of British government bonds. In finance, though, the weight of money almost always wins out. So, when the Bank of England, which can create unlimited amounts of cash, announced on Wednesday that it would buy U.K. government bonds “on whatever scale is necessary” to “restore orderly market conditions,” investors snapped up assets that they had been treating like radioactive waste. In just a few hours of trading, the yields on thirty-year British government bonds, which move inversely with prices, went from 5.1 per cent to 3.9 per cent—an enormous rally. The pound also stabilized. After hitting an all-time low of $1.035 on Monday, it was trading at about $1.11 on Friday afternoon.

More to the point for Americans, the yields on U.S. Treasury bonds, which rose sharply during the sell-off in sterling, have also fallen since the Bank of England’s intervention. Since interest rates throughout the American economy are linked to the rates on Treasury bonds, that’s reassuring news for mortgage applicants, car buyers, and anybody else who is looking for a loan. As the Federal Reserve has increased the federal funds rate to fight inflation this year, mortgage rates and other borrowing costs have risen sharply. The last thing the economy needs is a further spike in interest rates unrelated to the Fed’s actions.

What if We’re Already Fighting the Third World War with Russia?

Nuclear blackmail, illegal annexation of territory, hundreds of thousands of Russian men rounded up and sent to the front lines in Ukraine, undersea gas pipelines to Europe mysteriously blowing up. After endless speculation, we can now say it for sure: this is how Vladimir Putin responds when he is backed into a corner.

Throughout seven awful months of war in Ukraine, President Joe Biden has held to a steadfast line when it comes to the Russian invasion: his goal is to help Ukraine win while also insuring that victory does not trigger a Third World War. But as Russian forces have experienced U.S.-aided battlefield setbacks in recent days, Putin has reacted by ratcheting up the pressure. It’s far from clear how Washington will be able to continue to pursue both goals simultaneously, given that Putin is holding Ukraine—and the rest of the world—hostage to his demands. On Friday, Putin plans to affirm the results of what the Biden Administration has sternly termed “sham ‘referenda’ ” as a pretext to declare Russian-occupied territories in Ukraine part of the Russian state. How could Biden, or the Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, or anyone else who believes in international order agree to that?

Afghan Resistance Leaders See ‘No Option’ but War

Lynne O’Donnell

Afghanistan is now perhaps the most dangerous country in the world, controlled by Taliban terrorists who are sheltering dozens of anti-Western jihadi groups while torturing, raping, starving, and killing their Afghan opponents. Yet the one person who could make a credible claim to be the leader of an opposition group to overthrow the Taliban has been unable to draw international support or unite fellow Afghans behind him.

Ahmad Massoud, the 33-year-old son of an anti-Taliban war hero, leads the National Resistance Front (NRF), which is concentrated in the Panjshir Valley, a lush and mountainous province close to the capital, Kabul, where the Taliban have been struggling to dislodge them in the year since they took control of Afghanistan. The NRF is one of at least 22 resistance groups the United Nations says have emerged since the Taliban’s takeover last year. A few thousand men are fighting in disparate groups, taking and holding territory in a dozen provinces mainly across the north, where anti-Taliban sentiment is strongest. But they’ve yet to form a cohesive opposition to the Taliban, who have an increasingly tenuous hold on power as factional feuds emerge and international legitimacy remains elusive.

Is the British Economy in a Doom Loop?

Cameron Abadi

When the government of British Prime Minister Liz Truss unveiled the details of her first budget one week ago—with a major tax cut for the country’s highest earners at its center—panic ensued: Britain’s currency fell in value to historic lows, the interest rate on government debt increased, and the Bank of England was forced into emergency action to purchase government bonds. British financial markets have lost a total of $500 billion in just the first three weeks since Truss took office, and observers around the world have wondered whether this could be the start of an international crisis.

Should Truss have seen this coming? Do Britain’s economic policymakers have any good choices left? And is this not just a crisis, but the start of a new era in international economics?

Ukraine submits an application to join NATO, with big hurdles ahead.

Andrew E. Kramer and Dan Bilefsky

KYIV, Ukraine — President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine responded to Russia’s claims to have annexed four Ukrainian provinces by announcing that Ukraine is applying for membership in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.

“We are taking our decisive step by signing Ukraine’s application for accelerated accession to NATO,” Mr. Zelensky said in a statement posted on the presidential website. He said Ukraine was cooperating closely with NATO and argued that Ukraine’s army has already helped secure alliance members in Europe against Russian aggression by inflicting battlefield defeats on the Russian army in Ukraine.

“It is in Ukraine that the fate of democracy in the confrontation with tyranny is being decided,” he said.

Mr. Zelensky said Ukraine’s application could be fast-tracked similarly to the applications of Sweden and Finland.

Putin’s Roulette Sacrificing His Core Supporters in a Race Against Defeat

Andrei Kolesnikov

At least since Soviet times, Russians have used dark humor to cope with dictatorship. Perhaps it is not surprising, then, that Russian President Vladimir Putin’s partial mobilization has already been colloquially dubbed the mogilizatsia, a wordplay on mobilizatsia, the Russian word for “mobilization,” and mogila, the word for “grave.” What is more, in practice, this move-to-the-graveyard is proving to be far from partial. Despite assurances by Putin and his defense minister that the draft would be limited to 300,000 people, primarily military reservists who had already served in the army and in conflict zones, Russians have already witnessed the forced conscription of men of all ages across the country. The mobilization has turned out to be almost general.

Even the most committed supporters of Putin and the regime can see that the Kremlin is aiming at a much higher figure: likely more than a million men, although Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov has denied that. Such a figure would effectively double the size of the existing army, meaning that a total of two million people would be in uniform. (Although uniforms, like medicines, have become difficult to acquire: those who are mobilized are forced to buy their own uniforms and outfit themselves with first-aid kits.) Much depends, of course, on the administrative zeal of the authorities running regional recruitment offices, which, in many regions, are targeting all male citizens regardless of age or military rank or experience.

Even as Iranians Rise Up, Protests Worldwide Are Failing at Record Rates

Max Fisher

Iran’s widening protests, though challenging that country’s government forcefully and in rising numbers, may also embody a global trend that does not augur well for the Iranian movement.

Mass protests like the ones in Iran, whose participants have cited economic hardships, political repression and corruption, were once considered such a powerful force that even the strongest autocrat might not survive their rise. But their odds of success have plummeted worldwide, research finds.

Such movements are today more likely to fail than they were at any other point since at least the 1930s, according to a data set managed by Harvard University researchers.

The trajectory of Iran’s demonstrations remains far from certain. Citizen uprisings still sometimes force significant change, for example in Sri Lanka, where protests played a role in removing a strongman president this year.

Why Beijing Wants Bolsonaro to Win

Oliver Stuenkel

When Jair Bolsonaro won Brazil’s last presidential election in October 2018, an editorial in the China Daily, a newspaper owned by the Chinese Communist Party, reflected Beijing’s cautious optimism about the new leader. Though Bolsonaro had sounded “less than friendly to China on the campaign trail,” the China Daily expressed “sincere hope” that he would “take an objective and rational look at the state of China-Brazil relations,” opining that the two countries were “hardly competitors.”

At the time, the far-right Bolsonaro had a track record of systematically attacking Beijing. Ahead of the election, he had warned that “China is not buying in Brazil; it is buying Brazil” and visited Taiwan, tweeting that he planned to break with previous Brazilian left-wing governments that had been “friendly with communist regimes.”

Bolsonaro’s decision to make anti-China rhetoric such a key element of his campaign was a first for a politician who successfully sought national office in Latin America. Prior to the Chinese-fueled commodity boom in the 2000s, the region’s ties to China had been of limited economic and political relevance. Brazil is a case in point: At the turn of the century, Beijing did not figure among its five leading trading partners. Merely nine years later, however, China overtook the United States as Brazil’s top trading partner, a position it now holds in several of the region’s countries, including Chile, Uruguay, and Peru.

With Winter Coming, Europe Is Walking Off a Cliff

Brenda Shaffer

Facing the worst energy crisis since World War II as the cold-weather heating season starts, Europe continues to dither. European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen has presented a series of new European Union energy policies, including planned price caps, additional taxes on energy producers, establishment of a new European hydrogen bank, and new support for electric vehicles. European Union member states, meanwhile, are nationalizing utilities, setting electricity prices, and subsidizing consumers. These EU policies do not represent a significant departure from the policies that got the continent into the energy mess in the first place.

The fundamental problem is that Europe is still not facing the sources of its energy security crisis, preferring to blame outside forces for its current predicament. Von der Leyen and other European leaders point at Russia and its war on Ukraine for Europe’s energy woes. Russian President Vladimir Putin’s throttling of the gas taps has undoubtedly made things worse, but this will already be the third winter of Europe’s energy crisis. In the winters 2020-2021 and 2021-2022, Europe already experienced significant spikes in the prices of electricity and natural gas, as well as gas shortages that led to increased use of coal and fuel oil. European policymakers either did not take notice or preferred not to change course.

As long as so many people in Europe and elsewhere believe that the continent’s energy predicament is all about Putin, it helps to be very clear about the policies that led Europe to this crisis. Knowing what caused the problem is the first step to addressing it.

After Putin’s Land Grab, Zelensky Wants to Fast-Track NATO Membership

Robbie Gramer, Jack Detsch, and Amy Mackinnon

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky announced he was accelerating his country’s bid to join NATO, hours after Russia declared it would annex four new regions of Ukrainian territory in a land grab widely denounced by the international community as illegitimate and illegal.

“De facto, we have already made our way into NATO,” Zelensky said in a 7-minute message released on Telegram. “De facto, we have proven compatibility with alliance standards. De facto. Today, Ukraine is applying to make it de jure. … under a procedure consistent with our significance for the protection of our entire community, under an accelerated procedure.”

NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg said in a press conference on Friday that Ukraine has a right to apply for NATO membership, even as the alliance has sought to avoid entering a shooting war with Russia. “Every democracy in Europe has the right to apply for NATO membership,” Stoltenberg said. “We have stated again and again that NATO’s door remains open.” Stoltenberg said the decision on Ukraine’s possible membership was up to NATO’s 30 member states, but he reiterated that in the meantime, the alliance would continue to support Ukraine because “inaction is a greater risk” to European security.

Biden Administration's Gift to Russia: Iran Nuke Deal

Majid Rafizadeh

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has stunningly made it clear to US lawmakers that the Biden administration will not stand in the way of Russia cashing in on the $10 billion contract as well as Russia-Iran nuclear cooperation. And the State Department spokesman Ned Price reiterated the Biden administration's stance by pointing out: "We, of course, would not sanction Russian participation in nuclear projects that are part of resuming full implementation of the JCPOA".

"The Biden administration is so desperate for a deal with Iran they'll broker a $10 billion payoff to Russia and waive their own sanctions to make it happen." — US Representative Darrell Issa, Washington Free Beacon, May 2, 2022.

In addition, the Biden administration is trusting Russia to conduct the nuclear negotiations on behalf of the US; to be the sole country to oversee compliance of the nuclear deal, and to keep Iran's highly enriched uranium -- able to return it to Iran if the mullahs request it, or possibly even use it themselves.

Global Migration Is Not Abating. Neither Is the Backlash Against It

The European refugee crisis of 2015 has long since abated, and some of Europe’s leading figures on the far right from that time, like the Netherlands’ Geert Wilder, have lost relevance as a result. Nevertheless, other far-right populists—like France’s Marine Le Pen and, more recently, Eric Zemmour—continue to hammer on anti-immigrant sentiment to fuel their electoral ambitions. And Italy’s Matteo Salvini just made a comeback in recent elections and will likely be part of the next coalition government set to be led by Giorgia Meloni and her far-right, anti-immigrant Brothers of Italy party.

In the aftermath of a global pandemic that at least initially inhibited migrants’ mobility, it is not clear the issue will continue to have the same impact as it did in 2015, when more than 1 million refugees and asylum-seekers arrived in Europe from Syria and elsewhere in the Middle East and Africa. Still, the populist narrative of immigration as a threat is enough to keep centrist governments toeing a tough line on the issue at home, even as they work with countries of origin and transit to restrict migration. And last year, Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko demonstrated the continued salience of that “threat narrative” when he tried to “weaponize” migration by encouraging refugees from Iraq to travel to the Polish border, where many were left stranded in freezing conditions.

Eagle Passive Active Warning Survivability System (EPAWSS)

The advanced all-digital Eagle Passive Active Warning Survivability System (EPAWSS) provides the F-15 with fully-integrated radar warning, geolocation, situational awareness, and self-protection solutions to detect and defeat surface and airborne legacy, current, and future threats in highly contested, dense signal environments. EPAWSS is equipped with advanced radio frequency (RF) electronic countermeasures (ECM), enabling deeper penetration against modern integrated air defense systems and providing rapid response capabilities designed to protect the aircrew.

The all-digital EPAWSS is notably smaller and lighter than previous EW systems for the F-15. EPAWSS is provisioned for new capabilities and future upgradability. EPAWSS improves reliability and maintainability, as well as drastically extending service life. These benefits reduce lifecycle costs, keeping the Eagle relevant now and in the future.

How it works

BAE Systems’ advanced EPAWSS technology provides pilots with maximum situational awareness, helping them detect, identify, and rapidly respond to potential threats by collecting and processing electromagnetic energy, instantaneously creating a comprehensive, 360-degree picture of the battlespace. EPAWSS has broad instantaneous bandwidth and a high-speed scan capability to detect all RF threat classes, including low probability of intercept and modern agile threats. To defeat threats, its ECM toolbox leverages many years of proven countermeasures techniques and can be programmed to defeat both current and future threats.

Key EW system features and benefitsLeverages digital EW technology from fifth-generation fighter aircraft

360º view of the battlespace, for mission success even in dense signal environments

Modular, scalable, open-system architecture

Provisioned for growth to support capabilities such as fiber optic towed decoy (FOTD), frequency extension and cognitive EW

Enhanced situational awareness through all-aspect, broadband radar warning and geolocation capabilities

Multi-spectral, RF countermeasures enable rapid response for complete aircrew protection

Simultaneous jamming without interfering with radar and radar warning receiver

Interoperable with Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) radar

Throughput and memory reserve for capability growth

A fully integrated AN/ALE-47 chaff and flare Countermeasure Dispenser System (CMDS)

Reduces lifecycle costs

A battle-tested heritage of performance and support

With over 60 years of electronic warfare (EW) experience, BAE Systems is unsurpassed worldwide at exploiting the full electromagnetic spectrum to protect fighter aircraft and support the mission. The company is currently flying EW systems on more than 120 platforms around the globe. Our EW systems protect 80% of U.S. military fixed-wing aircraft and 95% of U.S. military helicopters. BAE Systems supports all stages of the product lifecycle, from concept development to engineering, production, and long-term aircraft sustainment. EPAWSS continues BAE Systems’ commitment to providing the F-15 fleets of U.S. and allied nations with the most advanced aviation capabilities on the market.