8 October 2022

Cyber and Information Warfare in Ukraine: What Do We Know Seven Months In?

Christopher Bronk, Gabriel Collins, Dan Wallach


The Ukraine war is in its seventh month.[1] At the outset of hostilities, many figured that Moscow’s bold gamble to storm Ukraine by force and seize the country’s capital would succeed as similar operations did in Hungary (1956), Czechoslovakia (1968), and Afghanistan (1979). Before the invasion commenced, it was hard to predict how effectively Ukraine’s military would fight. That will to fight answers a great information question of warfare. Once the shooting started, we learned that Ukraine’s military was indeed motivated and fought well. With a form of stalemate now in place, we believe it is wise to consider less tangible forms of action that have occurred and how they may shape future fighting. There have been some real surprises in this war, not least in our areas of expertise—cyber and information operations. An accounting of both is provided here, as well as how information and cyber action may influence the outcome of this war, whether it ends in a negotiated settlement, capitulation, or collapse.

Our thinking about the unexpected turns of the Ukraine war has yielded observations that cover communications, logistics, operational art, and a variety of other topics. Many, if not most, of these involve information and computation. From propaganda to air defense, this war is one in which the proliferation of computation and information technologies has produced a battlefield environment far different from earlier conventional engagements of the post-Cold War period. There are many issues we wish to cover, although some more briefly than others, because we are unaware of the classified operations undertaken by the belligerents and their supporters. We receive hints—say of information sharing by the U.S. (Harris and Lamothe 2022) or supportive cyber action by the Chinese (Milmo 2022)—in the public record, but these anecdotes suggest that there will be some interesting reads months or years down the road as more information is revealed.

Russia and India: A New Chapter



The encounter between President Vladimir Putin and Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the September 2022 summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) in Samarkand, Uzbekistan, captured the change that is occurring in the partnership between Russia and India. Speaking about the Kremlin’s invasion of Ukraine, Modi, in what amounted to a public admonition, told Putin that he had spoken to him “many times before” about the need to rely on diplomacy and take the path toward peace to wind up a war that had caused food and fuel prices to soar.1 Xi Jinping, who also attended the SCO gathering, did not endorse Putin’s war, but neither did he overtly criticize it; Modi did. India, while it has long depended on Russia and still regards it as an important country, increasingly seeks to set the terms of their engagement.

Russia and India have enjoyed a long history of friendly, mutually beneficial relations. Throughout the Cold War, the Soviet Union as a superpower had the upper hand in the relationship with India, which was part of the community of “developing” nations, albeit also one of the leaders of the Non-Aligned Movement. The breakup of the Soviet Union and Russia’s subsequent diminished international status shifted the balance in the relationship toward India, which had emerged as a major power transformed by the economic reforms initiated in the early 1990s and as well as a growing global presence. In the continuing friendly and extensive ties between Moscow and New Delhi, no observer would describe the latter as the junior partner.

Are worsening US-China relations in Taiwan’s interest?

Ryan Hass

I was privileged to have an opportunity to meet with many of Taiwan’s leaders and leading thinkers during a study tour visit in August. One theme I heard several times during that trip was that bad relations between the United States and China benefit Taiwan.

At first thought, I empathize with the argument. After all, there is a troubling record of America’s leaders negotiating with Beijing over the heads of Taiwan’s leaders. For example, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt returned Taiwan to the Republic of China after World War II. President Richard Nixon surprised Taiwan leaders with his 1972 visit with Mao Zedong. President Jimmy Carter unilaterally chose to normalize relations with Beijing and de-recognize Taipei in 1979. President Ronald Reagan also negotiated a communiqué with Beijing on future reductions of U.S. arms sales to Taiwan without the support of Taiwan’s leaders. In other words, American leaders of both parties pursued interests with China at the expense of Taiwan.

Importantly, though, all these examples predate Taiwan’s transition to democracy. Since the transition, American leaders generally have recognized that Taiwan’s elected authorities are the best judges of Taiwan’s interests and that they must be consulted on any potential changes to U.S. policy that would impact Taiwan’s security. There also has been a tradition of U.S. officials quietly consulting with their Taiwan counterparts before and after high-level exchanges with Chinese leaders on issues relating to Taiwan.


James Farwell

The Taliban didn’t topple the Government of Afghanistan purely through kinetic operations. Complex reasons, including a corrupt, inept government whose leaders insisted on centralized control in a culture that valued decentralized power, account partly for the failure. And although he ignited a firestorm of controversy, General David Petraeus has argued that the United States needed to show more strategic patience, stronger and more consistent commitment, and work with the government to make it more effective.

But information warfare proved central to the Taliban in toppling the Kabul government. The Taliban marshaled propaganda through channels ranging from flyers to social media to help discredit and de-legitimize a struggling central government.

The success of the Ukrainians in turning back the Russian invasion has turned on its ability to do what the Afghanistan government failed to do. President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s courage and resourceful leadership united and rallied his citizens to resist the Russian invasion. He used words, deeds, images, and symbols to wage information warfare. The former actor and comedian had low approval ratings prior to the war but when the war broke out, Zelenskyy measured up to the task. He showed that information is power.

How China Trapped Itself The CCP’s Economic Model Has Left It With Only Bad Choices

Michael Pettis

As China emerges this month from the all-important 20th National Congress of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), its leadership will have to confront the most difficult set of economic choices it has faced in decades. It can shift out of an economic growth model that has generated a great deal of wealth, albeit at the cost of escalating inequality, surging debt, and an increasing amount of wasted investment over the last decade. Or Beijing can choose to continue with its current economic model for a few more years until it is forced by these rising costs into an even more painful transition.

The problem facing China is one that the German American economist Albert Hirschman described many decades ago. All rapid growth is unbalanced growth, Hirschman noted, and a successful development model is one in which unbalanced growth addresses and reverses the existing imbalances in the economy. But as these are reversed and the economy develops, the model becomes increasingly irrelevant to the original set of imbalances and eventually begins to create a very different set of problems.

Unfortunately, Hirschman noted, it is difficult to abandon a successful development model. Its very success tends to generate a set of deeply embedded political, business, financial, and cultural institutions based on the continuance of the model, and there is likely to be strong institutional and political opposition to any substantial reversal.

Taiwan Local Elections Are Where China’s Disinformation Strategies Begin

Ben Sando

Taiwanese civil society is gearing up to fight another election disinformation battle with China, or the People’s Republic of China (PRC). This November, when Americans choose their representatives in the U.S. Congress, Taiwanese citizens will also come forward to vote for a wide variety of local officials ranging from city mayors to village chiefs. Taiwan’s local elections have gradually become China’s testing ground for techniques to disrupt the democratic process through internet disinformation.

Outside observers are often aware of Chinese attempts to influence Taiwan’s presidential elections. However, Taiwanese civil society activists such as Ttcat, co-founder of Doublethink Lab (a digital defense NGO and this author’s institution), identify the island’s local elections as being far more significant targets for China’s disinformation efforts. With Taiwanese voters set to elect candidates to fill over 10,000 offices, the information space is fragmented, which gives China greater scope to spread rumors and conspiracy theories through local communities. China also capitalizes on Taiwanese citizens’ lack of attention toward cross-strait relations in local votes. Chinese actors can intervene on behalf of candidates who espouse the value of closer economic ties with China, without these candidates suffering from fatal accusations that they will cede sovereignty to China. Elected candidates, especially city mayors, are then placed in prominent positions to challenge in the national and presidential elections held a year later.

Kremlin Gushes Over Elon Musk as Heroic ‘Russian Officer’

Shannon Vavra

Top Russian officials are rallying around Tesla CEO Elon Musk following his commentary Monday that Ukraine should be “neutral” as Russia continues to wage war in the country.

Russian Security Council Deputy Chairman Dmitry Medvedev said that Musk should be given an award for his comments.

“Musk did well, by the way. He’s worthy of being awarded with a new officer rank out of order,” Medvedev said.

The Kremlin spokesperson, Dmitry Peskov, said that he was glad Musk was proposing this peace deal.

“In fact, it is very positive that a person like Elon Musk is looking for a peaceful way out of the crisis,” Peskov said, adding that the proposals “deserve attention.”

With the right words, Biden could help China avoid making a wrong move toward Taiwan


President Biden has been chipping away at America’s longstanding policy of strategic ambiguity on a potential defense of Taiwan. Four times he has stated unequivocally that his administration will defend Taiwan.

Just as faithfully, State Department and White House spokespersons responded to each Biden defense commitment by “clarifying” that U.S. policy regarding Taiwan has not changed and is still governed by the Taiwan Relations Act (1979), the three Sino-U.S Communiques (1972, 1979, 1982) and the Six Assurances (1982).

A similar pattern of presidential commitments to defend Taiwan, followed by administration assurances of policy continuity, occurred with President Bush in 2001 and President Trump in 2020.

The only way to reconcile these alternating and seemingly inconsistent messages would be to accept them both at face value and conclude that the Taiwan Relations Act (TRA) — which declares “any effort to determine the future of Taiwan by other than peaceful means, including by boycotts or embargoes, a threat to the peace and security of the Western Pacific area and of grave concern to the United States” — was tantamount to a resuscitation of the Mutual Defense Treaty that President Carter had just terminated weeks earlier.

On Agent Compromise in the Field

Zach Dorfman

In 2017, a team of New York Times journalists revealed that, beginning in 2010, Beijing’s counterintelligence apparatus had systematically rolled up the CIA’s sources in China. What caused the breach? The piece pointed to a potential agency turncoat — later identified as Jerry Chun Shing Lee, a former CIA operations officer — or a compromise of the agency's covert communications (COVCOM) system, the surreptitious digital means by which the agency interfaced with its assets there.

After the initial Times report, I dug into the asset roll-up in China. Many of my sources were adamant that Lee’s betrayal could not account for the extent of the agency’s losses there, if at all. They laid blame on the Internet-based COVCOM system used to communicate with the agency’s Chinese sources, characterizing the system as rudimentary and insecure. Former intelligence officials told me dozens of the U.S.’s Chinese sources had eventually been killed.

But the story went beyond China. Jenna McLaughlin and I spent months reporting on how Iranian counterintelligence had compromised a version of this same secret online COVCOM system, which relied on fake, CIA-created websites. As a result, Iranian counterintelligence extirpated the agency’s network there as well. We revealed that this breach occurred at around the same time as the one in China, and may have been the result of enhanced security cooperation between Beijing and Tehran. The breach also likely exposed and endangered any CIA asset around the world using some iteration of this system.

The Looming Threat of Cyber War

David Jackson

New technology has always played a pivotal part in warfare. In World War I, death tolls reached massive heights due to the incorporation of poison gasses and machine guns on both sides of the trenches. In World War II, the devastating impact of the nuclear bombs on Japan brought the world’s greatest tragedy to an end. Today, the United States spends hundreds of billions of dollars every year to ensure its military has the latest weaponry in its arsenal. Yet just like the rest of the world’s activities, the threat of war has made the transition to the cyber sphere.

The threat of cyber war looms over every country to some extent, but for some countries, it’s already arrived. In the first 10 weeks of the year, over 150 cyber attacks were launched against Ukraine. In January 2022, hackers disabled more than 70 different government websites in Ukraine. In their investigation, Microsoft found malware in Ukraine government systems that could be triggered remotely. A month later in February, the FBI asked US companies to alert them to any increased cyber activity against Ukraine. The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) issued a “shields up” alert to encourage organizations to adopt a heightened cybersecurity posture. Finally in March, mere hours before Russian troops began the physical invasion, Ukraine was hit by new malware designed to wipe data from government systems. Cyber war both preceded and heightened the conventional war now taking place in Ukraine.

New report says critical nuclear weapon systems could be at risk of getting hacked

Samantha Manning

We’ve all seen how devastating a cyber attack can be on private or public organizations when they’re targeted.

Now, a new watchdog report says the government agency in charge of overseeing nuclear weapons needs to do a better job of protecting itself against cyber attacks.

Channel 2 Washington correspondent Samantha Manning spoke to experts who say these critical systems are at risk of getting hacked.

A new report points out that our current nuclear weapons were developed during the Cold War, a time before we were really worried about cyber attacks, but the government has worked over the last two decades to modernize the digital system for tracking the nuclear stockpile, and that means it also needs to be protected against cyber criminals.

It’s an agency many people may not even know about, called the National Nuclear Security Administration.

Dealing with Defeat

Edward Lucas

Vladimir Putin cannot win. But Ukraine can. The only questions are when, at what cost, to what extent — and what happens next. That is the verdict after seven months of the bloodiest and most destructive war Europe has suffered since 1945. Ukraine’s army is already bigger and more effective than Russia’s. It gets stronger every day. The Kremlin’s armed forces are disintegrating before our eyes, demoralized (literally) by their bad leadership, botched planning, and poor logistics.

Don’t take my word for it. Look at Russian talk shows, the sounding boards for the Kremlin propaganda machine. Nobody now believes this is just a “special military operation”. The word “war” — once taboo — is spoken regularly. Recent military setbacks are discussed openly too. Asked to explain the loss of the logistics hub of Lyman, Andrey Gurulyov, the once-bombastic former deputy commander of Russia’s southern military district, blamed “constant lying”, from the bottom to the top. Seconds later, his Skype connection dropped. Maxim Yusin, a political editor on state television, said: “It’s hard to argue with dreamers who live in their own world”. That sounds like a barely veiled attack on Putin’s delusionary bombast. As military practicalities and political aims diverge, the Russian leader has scored a geopolitical first. He is claiming to have annexed territory from which his forces are in headlong retreat.

Putin deposed, Russia broken up, and NATO in a face-off with China: As Ukraine sees a path toward victory and a desperate Vladimir hits the panic button, expert argues THIS is how the war could end


Land grabs, hundreds of thousand of conscripts thrown on to the front lines, and a nuke for anyone who dares stand in his way: Vladimir Putin has spent the past week doubling down on his war in Ukraine.

But his bluster belies a simple fact: Russia is losing the war, and he knows it.

The despot is desperate. His army is in tatters, his battleplans shot, he's burning through his cash reserves at an unsustainable rate, and winter is looming. Meanwhile Ukraine's army continues to advance across the country, giving Kyiv a viable path to victory. Which begs the question: What happens if Russia is beaten?

According to Alp Sevimlisoy - millennium fellow at think-tank Atlantic Council, who spoke to MailOnline - that would mean Putin being deposed, Russia itself breaking apart, and NATO in a face-off with China over the spoils.

The U.S. Has a Microchip Problem. Safeguarding Taiwan Is the Solution.

Jason Matheny

Taiwan’s domination of the microchip industry has been a boon to the global economy, but it now presents an acute challenge. Taiwan today manufactures most of the world’s microchips, which are in practically everything: cars, coffee makers, combine harvesters. The whole world hums with microelectronic components—including about 92 percent of all advanced microchips—that are made largely in a handful of factories on an island less than one-tenth the size of California. Little more than 100 miles away across a strait lies mainland China, which views Taiwan as a breakaway region and has vowed to bring it back under its control.

Were China to seize Taiwan, one of two things could happen to the chip supply: The microchip factories could end up being controlled by China, or they could be destroyed in a conflict. Either way, a global catastrophe would ensue. In the first scenario, China could decide to limit access for the U.S. and its allies to advanced chips, significantly reducing American technological, economic, and military advantages. But if the second scenario came to pass, the world could experience an economic crisis the likes of which we have not seen since the Great Depression.

U.S. military kills wanted Shabaab leader in airstrike in Somalia


The U.S. military killed a senior Shabaab leader in an airstrike in a terrorist haven in southern Somalia on Oct. 1. Abdullahi Yare, the Shabaab commander who was killed, had a $3 million reward out for his capture, and is the first senior Shabaab leader killed in more than two years.

Somalia’s Ministry of Information stated that Yare, also known as Abdullahi Nadir, was killed in a joint operation with “international security partners in Haramka village in Middle Jubba region.” According to the Somali government, Yare was acting as the head of Shabaab’s da’wah, or proselytizing, department at the time of his death.

The Somali government also noted that Yare was a close ally of both Ahmad Abdi Godane (a.k.a Mukhtar Abu Zubeyr), Shabaab’s first emir, and its current emir, Abu Udaidah Ahmad Umar. Yare was also reportedly a co-founder of Shabaab, which emerged as the youth wing of the former Islamic Courts Union (ICU) around 2005.

How We Would Know When China Is Preparing to Invade Taiwan


As tensions between China, Taiwan, and the United States have increased over the past year, numerous articles and pundits have posited that war could come sooner rather than later. These speculations were prompted by comments from senior U.S. military officers that Chinese President Xi Jinping has directed the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) to be prepared to invade the island by 2027, although the basis for this claim is not given. A new report claims some in the U.S. intelligence community now assess that China could attack as soon as 2024 (presumably around Taiwan’s January 2024 elections).

But if war is Beijing’s plan, there ought to be reliable indications that it is coming. So it seems like an appropriate time to consider precisely what Chinese full mobilization for major conflict might entail. Although China last fought a major war against Vietnam in 1979, it is possible to frame how Beijing might prepare for an invasion and what specific indicators we could expect to see. Such a military conflict would reflect four assumptions underpinning Chinese leaders’ decisionmaking.

Biden Administration Foreign Policy Tracker: October

David Adesnik and John Hardie

Welcome back to the Biden Administration Foreign Policy Tracker. Once a month, we ask FDD’s experts and scholars to assess the administration’s foreign policy. They provide trendlines of very positive, positive, neutral, negative, or very negative for the areas they watch.

Iran has erupted in protest after morality police inflicted fatal injuries on 22-year-old Mahsa Amini following her arrest for alleged violation of dress code laws. At the United Nations, President Joe Biden said he stands with “the brave women of Iran,” yet his administration continues to pursue a nuclear deal that would offer hundreds of billions of dollars in sanctions relief to the clerical regime in Tehran. Neither the regime’s deceptive response to Amini’s death nor Tehran’s stonewalling of nuclear inspectors seems to have led the White House to the realization that trusting the clerical regime only increases instability and oppression.

Looking Past China’s Rise for the Trends Shaping Asia

Under the leadership of President Xi Jinping, China has begun to more aggressively challenge America’s role as the key economic and political power in Asia. Increasingly repressive at home, Xi has not shied away from asserting China’s regional influence, positioning Beijing as the powerbroker on everything from trade routes to territorial disputes. And with its Belt and Road Initiative, China’s influence is spreading well beyond Asia, into much of Africa and even Europe. China’s ascendance is also evident in how much attention other global powers are paying to Beijing and its policies.

But while China’s rise often makes headlines, it is not the only trend shaping events in Asia. Illiberalism has become a force in democracies like India, where Prime Minister Narendra Modi has ridden the wave of Hindu nationalism to successive electoral victories. And in the Philippines, former President Rodrigo Duterte’s six years in office have undermined the country’s democratic institutions and rule of law, with the prospects dim that his newly inaugurated successor, Ferdinand Marcos Jr., will be an improvement. Meanwhile, Myanmar’s already faltering process of democratization came to an abrupt end in February 2021, when the military seized power from the democratically elected government. The subsequent protests and the military’s violent crackdown in response have left the country teetering on the edge of civil war and failed state status.

What’s Happened to China’s Economy?


SHANGHAI – Last January, China’s government forecast that the country’s economy – which, at the time, was experiencing a strong rebound after the initial pandemic slowdown – would grow by 5.5% in 2022. But by the second quarter, unfortunately, the rapid spread of the Omicron variant of COVID-19 had forced the government to implement emergency containment measures in its most economically dynamic cities, including Beijing, Guangzhou, Shanghai, and Shenzhen.

The two-month Shanghai lockdown, in particular, dealt a devastating blow to growth, as the entire Yangtze River Delta was effectively sealed off from the global economy. It also shook business and investor confidence. Even if they still have faith in the Chinese economy’s long-run prospects, too many entrepreneurs and investors – both foreign and Chinese – have become more cautious than ever in doing businesses there, at least in the short run. The effects of this shift will be certain to persist, even after economic activities – which have not recovered more than three months after the lockdown was lifted – return to their previous level.

Nationwide Protests in Afghanistan After Attack on Hazaras

Trevor Filseth L

Hundreds of women across Afghanistan marched in protest against an ongoing campaign of violence directed at the country’s Hazara ethnic and religious minority following a suicide bomb attack on Friday targeting a Hazara school in Kabul.

The United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) announced on Monday that at least fifty-three people died following the attack on the Kaaj Educational Center on Friday. The statement observed that at least forty-six of the casualties had been “girls and young women” studying for a university entrance exam. It noted that an additional 110 bystanders had been wounded in the blast, although it provided no information on the severity of their injuries.

On Friday morning, following the sound of gunfire outside the building, an armed militant entered the classroom and detonated an explosive vest inside, according to local sources. No group has yet claimed responsibility for the attack, and the Taliban—though widely denounced for its atrocities against the Hazara during its twenty-year insurgency against the U.S.-backed government—swiftly condemned it, describing it as a “great horror” and vowing to ensure accountability.

OPEC+ to Slash Oil Production by 2 Million Barrels per Day

Ethen Kim Lieser

OPEC+ on Wednesday agreed to impose deep output cuts to oil production in an effort to spur a recovery in crude prices, the Wall Street Journal reported.

During its first face-to-face gathering since 2020, the group, which combines OPEC countries and allies such as Russia, decided to slash production by two million barrels per day from November. The cut amounts to about 2 percent of the world’s daily oil production.

The move represents the largest slash to production since 2020, when OPEC+ reduced output by a record ten million barrels per day in response to plummeting demand due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

After soaring above $100 a barrel in the first six months of the year due to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, oil prices have trekked lower by more than 30 percent over the past four months.

North Korea Tests Missile over Japan

On October 3, 2022, North Korea fired an intermediate-range ballistic missile (IRBM), Hwasong-12, over the Japanese archipelago into the Pacific Ocean. According to reports, the missile was launched from Mupyong-ri in Jagang Province, located near the North Korean border with China. The missile flew over 2,850 miles east of Japan and demonstrated a capability to reach the U.S. island of Guam from Pyongyang, just like the September 2017 Hwasong-12 test that overflew Japan.

This latest missile test—the fifth test in the past nine days—adds to the record pace of North Korean missile demonstrations this year. This is the 23rd missile event by North Korea this year, already three more than the previous record of 20 set in 2016, with three more months left in the year.

Q1: What is the significance of North Korea’s IRBM test over Japan?

A1: North Korea’s IRBM test has developmental purposes in advancing the science behind the regime’s nuclear and missile threat to the U.S. homeland. This test was the longest distance carried by one of its missiles thus far.

Why Elon Musk is right

George Beebe

Perhaps not in the particulars of the peace settlement for Ukraine that he recently proposed for his millions of Twitter followers — and which is drawing much the same venomous reaction online that has been directed at other advocates of peace, including the Pope and Representative Ro Khanna.

Such a settlement can only be determined over the course of multi-dimensional diplomatic negotiations involving Russia, Ukraine, the United States, and Europe that would almost certainly require months, if not years, of high-stakes engagement. The specific terms that might form the basis of any agreement are impossible to know in advance.

But Musk is right that if things in Ukraine continue along their present course, the United States and Russia are headed toward a collision that could have catastrophic consequences for all parties to the conflict and for the world. And he is right that America’s approach to this mounting problem requires an urgent adjustment.

What Caused the Ukraine War?


CAMBRIDGE – Russia’s war in Ukraine is the most disruptive conflict that Europe has seen since 1945. While many in the West see a war of choice by Russian President Vladimir Putin, he says that NATO’s 2008 decision in favor of eventual Ukrainian membership brought an existential threat to Russia’s borders, and still others trace the conflict back to the Cold War’s end and the failure of the West to support Russia adequately after the collapse of the Soviet Union. How can we discern the origins of a war that may last for years?

World War I occurred over a century ago, yet historians still write books debating what caused it. Did it start because a Serbian terrorist assassinated an Austrian archduke in 1914, or did it have more to do with ascendant German power challenging Britain, or rising nationalism throughout Europe? The answer is “all of the above, plus more.” But war was not inevitable until it actually broke out in August 1914; and even then, it was not inevitable that four years of carnage had to follow.

Chinese Aggression Is Driving India and Japan Together

Simran Walia

As India and Japan held their Defense and Foreign Ministerial 2+2 talks on September 8, both nations reaffirmed to strengthen their ties through deepening cooperation on defense and both India and Japan planned to hold a joint military drill involving their air forces. China’s increasing military capabilities have been drastically affecting nations like India and Japan which face severe threats from Beijing’s expansionist behavior.

India and Japan have been engaged in security and defense exchange for over two decades now, wherein, they work towards securing their mutual interest in a free and open Indo-Pacific. The 2+2 Ministerial dialogue was held in Tokyo between Indian defense minister Rajnath Singh and External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar with their Japanese counterparts Yasukazu Hamada and Yoshimasa Hayashi. Their main aim was to discuss the future pathway for cooperation in areas of defense, emerging technologies, and joint military exercises. The 2+2 dialogue with Japan was initiated in 2019 to deepen bilateral security and defense cooperation further and bring greater depth to the "Special Strategic and Global Partnership" between the two countries. India has the 2+2 ministerial format of dialogue with very few countries, namely the United States, Japan, Australia, and Russia, which also shows how strongly the Indian government has taken the threat from China.