9 October 2022

Reshoring Semiconductor Manufacturing: Addressing the Workforce Challenge

Sujai Shivakumar, Charles Wessner and Thomas Howell

On August 9, 2022, President Biden signed the CHIPS and Science Act, sweeping legislation that seeks to strengthen the U.S. semiconductor supply chain, encourage investments in semiconductor manufacturing facilities in the United States, stimulate semiconductor research and development (R&D), and disincentivize U.S. investments in chip-making plants in China. Among other things, the legislation will provide $52.7 billion in federal outlays over five years for loans, loan guarantees, grants, and other financial support for domestic chip-making investments, as well as a 25 per cent tax credit for semiconductor investments in the United States. Bolstered by this unprecedented level of federal support, six major chip makers are investing in new wafer fabrication facilities (“fabs”) in the United States: Intel, Samsung, TSMC, GlobalFoundries, Texas Instruments, and Micron Technology.

The legislation will provide $52.7 billion in federal outlays over five years for loans, loan guarantees, grants, and other financial support for domestic chip-making investments.
Finding the Construction Workers and Fab Operators

This is very good news for the U.S. economy from many perspectives. Yet while a number of these projects have already broken ground, they are encountering a significant challenge: a shortage of construction workers needed to build the new facilities and a lack of qualified workers to run them. A prime illustration is in Arizona, where TSMC and Intel are racing to build new fabs while competing for scarce workers in the tightest U.S. labor market in decades.

Army Piloting Pentagon’s Counter-UAS Efforts

Mikayla Easley

Once considered an everyday, low-risk hobby, small unmanned aircraft systems have become a key capability for militaries on modern battlefields. While the availability and technology of these systems advance at a rapid pace, the Pentagon wants to take an enterprise approach to defeat the growing threat.

The Army’s Joint Counter-small Unmanned Aircraft Systems Office, or the JCO, is leading a department-wide effort to address how the U.S. military will combat adversaries’ use of small drones both now and in the future.

Established in 2020, the office is collaborating with the services to develop and deploy multi-domain solutions through capability demonstrations, joint training plans and global partnerships.

Congress directed the Pentagon in the 2021 National Defense Authorization Act to create a plan to develop and field a counter-small UAS system. The budget request for fiscal year 2023 shows the department plans to spend at least $668 million for counter-drone research and development and $78 million for procurement.

Putin’s Apocalyptic End Game in Ukraine

Tatiana Stanovaya

On September 30, following a series of sham referendums held in occupied territory in Ukraine, the Russian government declared that four Ukrainian regions were now officially part of Russia. The annexation came amid a “partial” Russian mobilization that is in fact rapidly becoming a large-scale one and that has left many Russians aghast and anxious. With these moves, the war in Ukraine has entered a new stage in which the stakes have risen drastically.

Russian President Vladimir Putin is explicitly demonstrating that he is going to do whatever it takes to win, even at the risk of undermining his own regime. Blindly believing in his own rectitude, Putin may resort to nuclear weapons if events in Ukraine continue to confound his ambitions. The key question is whether Russia’s elites and broader society are prepared to accompany their president on this journey to hell, or if Putin, in doubling down on his disastrous gamble in Ukraine, has only paved the way for his own end.


Ukraine’s counterattack, launched at the end of August, has completely changed Putin’s calculations regarding how Russia should fight. His previous plan, based on the idea that Kyiv would not dare to carry out a full-fledged offensive on Russian positions, presumed that the Kremlin had plenty of time to establish itself in the territory it had occupied, while the Ukrainian government, exhausted by the war and with the economy in ruins, would sooner or later have to capitulate.

How the US might respond to a Russian nuclear attack in Ukraine


As concerns grow over Russian President Vladimir Putin’s nuclear saber-rattling amid continued losses in Ukraine, what a U.S. response would look like has become an increasingly urgent question.

U.S. officials since the start of Russia’s attack on Ukraine have stressed there are plans being developed to counter a range of moves by Moscow but have kept specifics under wraps.

While the administration says there are no signs that the Kremlin has made moves toward a nuclear strike — and that Washington has not changed its own nuclear position — experts say the potential U.S. options could turn into a very real scenario given Russia’s floundering military campaign and an increasingly frustrated Putin.

U.S. Believes Ukrainians Were Behind an Assassination in Russia

Julian E. BarnesAdam Goldman, Adam Entous and Michael Schwirtz

WASHINGTON — United States intelligence agencies believe parts of the Ukrainian government authorized the car bomb attack near Moscow in August that killed Daria Dugina, the daughter of a prominent Russian nationalist, an element of a covert campaign that U.S. officials fear could widen the conflict.

The United States took no part in the attack, either by providing intelligence or other assistance, officials said. American officials also said they were not aware of the operation ahead of time and would have opposed the killing had they been consulted. Afterward, American officials admonished Ukrainian officials over the assassination, they said.

The closely held assessment of Ukrainian complicity, which has not been previously reported, was shared within the U.S. government last week. Ukraine denied involvement in the killing immediately after the attack, and senior officials repeated those denials when asked about the American intelligence assessment.

Guerrillas on the Bench: Operationalizing Resistance in Ukraine and Beyond

Dr. Nicholas Krohley

The new great game is under way. The rules-based global order is unravelling, and America’s rivals are making moves. Russia has staggered wildly into Ukraine, undeterred by the West. China is flexing its economic muscles across the Global South, currying high-level influence among dictators and democrats alike—while steadily massing resources for a potential move on Taiwan.

Within this chaotic environment, the US special operations community has embraced “resistance” as its core value proposition. Whereas conventional forces are posturing to deter or defeat our adversaries using the latest technologies and weapons platforms, capabilities like Special Forces are to be employed in subtler ways, maneuvering across the competition continuum to cultivate and weaponize resistance movements worldwide. This vision, articulated most notably in NATO’s Resistance Operating Concept (known colloquially as “the ROC”), sits at the heart of contemporary American thinking on special operations.

How, then, do we explain the general irrelevance of the US special operations community’s resistance paradigm to the war in Ukraine? Notwithstanding the embarrassing innuendo of occasional press reports, the Ukrainians have charted their own distinct path to counter Russian aggression. The notion that American special operators are pulling the strings of the Ukrainian resistance (or that the Ukrainians are reading from a script that we have provided) is farcical to anyone with direct experience of the chaos and spontaneous ingenuity of the front lines. America’s experts in resistance are sitting on the sidelines, with little prospect of getting into the game.

Security News This Week: Microsoft Exchange Server Has a Zero-Day Problem

THERE WERE GLOBAL ripples in tech policy this week as VPN providers were forced to pull out of India as the country’s new data collection law takes hold, and UN countries prepare to elect a new head of the International Telecommunications Union—a key internet standards body.

After explosions and damage to the Nord Stream gas pipeline that runs between Russia and Germany, the destruction is being investigated as deliberate, and a complicated hunt is on to identify the perpetrator. And still-unidentified hackers are “hyperjacking” victims to grab data using a long-feared technique for hijacking virtualization software.

The notorious Lapsus$ hackers have been back on their hacking joyride, compromising massive companies around the world and delivering a dire but important warning about how vulnerable large institutions really are to compromise. And the end-to-end-encrypted communication protocol Matrix patched serious and concerning vulnerabilities this week.

The Challenge of Cracking Iran’s Internet Blockade

AMID WIDESPREAD PROTESTS across Iran sparked by the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini in “morality police” custody earlier this month, the government has imposed severe and extensive internet blackouts and blocked numerous digital services around the country for days. With most of Iran’s 80 million citizens impacted, people around the world have been searching for ways to get Iranians back online. But every approach comes with caveats.

Iranians have faced escalating internet restrictions for years and have some workarounds in place as a result, like VPNs and other relay services. As repressive governments have increasingly deployed connectivity blackouts as a means to control citizens, the measure has morphed from a dark horse tactic to a well-known strategy. But even with increased awareness, there’s still no easy, affordable, and broad way to restore digital access to people whose government is actively blocking it.

Efforts to reinstate digital lifelines in Iran center around two goals. Both broadband internet and mobile data are suffering outages, thanks to what are essentially internet “off” switches—infrastructure the regime has spent years investing in. So one area of focus is the potential to establish alternative connections, namely through satellite services. But the government is also filtering and blocking access to specific digital services even when people can connect to Wi-Fi or mobile data. This means people inside and outside of the country are also attempting to provide technical workarounds so Iranians can maintain access to vital services that would otherwise be inaccessible, like WhatsApp and Instagram. Given the extent of the government’s control, the logistical hurdles, and extensive global sanctions currently in place against Iran, progress is slow.

Τrolling IR About Trolling in International Affairs

Kyriakos Mikelis

‘That’s a troll!’ Unless this statement is made while fishing or narrating a fairy or folk tale, it would likely be found when referring to either a provoking – possibly insulting – message or its conveyor. If a social or political scientist is merely asked to analyse trolls, then she would, in all probability, refer to neither fish, nor dwarfs nor giants but to someone being a provocateur or something disrupting in a communication, usually taking place on the internet and/or social media. The Merriam-Webster Dictionary addresses this meaning by defining ‘to troll’ as ‘to antagonize (others) online by deliberately posting inflammatory, irrelevant or offensive comments or other disruptive content’ or ‘to harass, criticize, or antagonize (someone) especially by provocatively disparaging or mocking public statements, postings or acts’ or ‘tο act as a troll’. Succinctly put, the phenomenon includes targeting, defaming and humiliating (Coleman 2014, 19). Even so, the meaning of trolls/trolling is fairly varied and not fixed, as is highlighted by the relevant scholarship, in respect to the acknowledgement of the term’s initial appearance. Earlier manifestations seemed to predominantly refer more to humour or trickery than to merely offensiveness and harassment of individuals or of collective identities.

In this context, and addressing trolling with just a bit of a trolling spirit, this chapter constitutes an exercise in self-reflection and critical pedagogy, within the field/discipline of International Relations (IR). That is achieved by invoking the concept and its use, with the aim of contributing to the tackling of the post-truth predicament in world politics. On the one hand, the disruption of one’s official narrative has increasingly become a challenging feature in a variety of arenas of social and political engagement. As shown below, those arenas include (dis)information, public diplomacy, cyberwar, communication and manipulation and lastly, identity, digital or social media politics.

US Foreign Wars, Mass Marketing, and the Development of Post-Truth Politics

Ido Oren

Since 2016, when the Oxford English Dictionary selected post-truth as its Word of the Year, it has become commonplace to assert that we have entered an era of post-truth politics. In this chapter, I argue that, although the term post-truth may be relatively new, the social and political culture that the term denotes – a culture in which public opinion is not shaped by fact-based arguments so much as by reality-creating chanting of talking points – has been evolving for at least a century, if not longer. What may be new about the present is not that we have entered a new era characterised by the repeated assertion of talking points so much as that post-truth has itself become one of the talking points that saturate our discourse. Furthermore, I argue that the evolution of this post-factual culture has been pivotally shaped by the domestic politics of US foreign wars, most notably the campaigns to sell to the American public the US interventions in Europe in 1917 and Iraq in 2003.

I first sketch the propaganda campaign orchestrated by the Wilson Administration in 1917–1918 to rally support for the war effort. Public chanting of anti-German talking points was an integral part of the campaign. I then discuss how wartime propaganda methods were later transplanted to the realm of mass marketing. Commercial and political advertising campaigns have come to consist not in communicating facts about products or political candidates so much as in constant repetition of logos and taglines. When such campaigns succeed, they perform speech acts, that is, their taglines become the product (or candidate) they ostensibly refer to. Finally, I explain how such marketing practices returned with a vengeance to the foreign policy sphere in the Bush administration’s campaign to mobilise public support for the 2003 invasion of Iraq. The campaign’s central tagline was Iraqi ‘weapons of mass destruction’. This ambiguous phrase – chanted by the administration and echoed by a chorus of journalists, commentators, and the public at large – became the Iraqi threat it ostensibly referred to.

Post-Truth and Post- Democracy: The Dark Side of the Democratic Planet

Silvério da Rocha-Cunha and Rafael Franco Vasques

In one of his essays, the French social anthropologist Georges Balandier (1990) meditated on the paradigmatic transition that had been taking place during the late 20th century. He strongly emphasised that a necessary ethical evaluation of human actions has been forgotten, which should be based not only on the search for meaning, but also on a broader basis, which he called an anthropological basis. Only in this way would it be possible to compare and arrive at some principles common to all. However, Balandier draws attention to the fact that modernity has introduced fluidity and movement into social and political relations, where different times and values are opposed. And societies can ill afford indeterminacy. Man comes to live in a world where ‘indifference, contempt, violence, can attack him at less cost, disquiet and fear make him more passive and the power of technology makes him malleable’ (Balandier 1990, 5). This idea forces us to reflect on the true meaning of global politics in this digital age.

Some authors have already spoken of a world deprived of meaning, others say that there is a sense of a world integrated into one history. However, there are several perspectives and controversies in today’s world such as cosmopolitanism, pluralism and non-Western visions – each of which aim to explain and overcome the breakdown of sovereignty, interdependence within a competition, and the need to overcome the logic of Westphalia despite the resistance of many of its assumptions, among other challenges. The contingent knowledge of political reality (Dussouy 2019, 172) has provoked contradictions: On the one hand, technical and economic achievement; on the other, an idea of linear and infinite progress that thinks it can overcome all limits. This fascination does not reduce, but rather amplifies, the restlessness of modern man who has conquered the rest of the world and partly imposed his political categories on it. All this translates into a growing entropy due to the increasing complexity of political systems – which does not favour the duty to judge that Hannah Arendt considered prior to any action (Berkowitz 2012).

The Misinformation Age

Cailin O’Connor and James Weatherall

In 2017, the Collins Dictionary declared “Fake News” to be the word of the year — a much deserved honor. But this was only the beginning. Discussions of misinformation, conspiracy theories, and rumors are seemingly everywhere — in academic research as well as popular discourse. Over the last decade, scores of articles and books have been written on the topic of false beliefs and how they spread. In such an environment, it is difficult for authors to shed new light on understanding this widespread problem. But in The Misinformation Age: How False Beliefs Spread, Cailin O’Connor and James Owen Weatherall do just that.

O’Connor and Weatherall make the argument that to truly understand the spread of false beliefs (in their words, “beliefs that are inconsistent with the available evidence, and which are even widely known to be inconsistent with that evidence” (p.7)), we must consider both the nature of those beliefs and the social system in which they spread. That is, we must turn our attention from a sole focus on the content of particular beliefs to a focus on the social dynamics by which all beliefs — both true and false — spread.

Beyond Post-Truth: I-War and the Desire to be an Ethical All-American

Hasmet M. Uluorta

Academic literature, media coverage, and social media posts suggest that entire groups of individuals within the United States set truth aside and instead react incorrectly to fake news (see Bakir and McStay 2018; Polletta and Callahan 2019), or through conspiracy theories (see Hellinger 2019; Chebrolu 2021), or inauthentically because they are ‘woke’ (see Brian 2020; Kanai and Gill 2021) or have fallen prey to ‘cultural Marxism’ (see Jamin 2018; Mirrlees 2018). These conclusions are problematic and require a rethinking of the idea of the so-called post-truth age. At a minimum, the assertions themselves are post-truths predicated, as a matter of course, on a caricature of others and their worldview. More importantly, they fail to understand the elusiveness of truth and the complexity of knowing in a time when information flows have expanded, diversified, and quickened while other information flows are visibly constrained, noticeably blocked, and semi- hidden. But the focus on post-truth closes off deeper issues arising in American politics and society.

Why should we assume the other needs to ‘wake up’ to the truth? Put another way, why do those that accuse the other person of being seduced by fake news, cultural Marxism and so forth assume that they have sole-possession of the truth? Why does the person who assumes a monopoly on the truth take up the position of moral superiority and of being more patriotic? Why do these same people assume that they are representative of the ‘real America’ while those others are actively working to destroy the nation? Why does the exposure to fact-checking, scientific testing and verification, and the consequent debunking of these post-truths, as lies, result not in their abandonment, but in many cases the dismissal and the reaffirmation of those debunked truths?

Never-Ending War on Terror

Mohammed A. Salih

Alex Lubin’s Never-Ending War on Terror (2021) offers a riveting and piercingly critical account of the conception, execution, and cultural promotion and reception of the United States’ host of military and security measures following the tragic terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, on the World Trade Center’s Twin Towers in New York City. Lubin, who is a professor of African American studies at Penn State University, presents his book as a “discussion of the War on Terror’s cultural politics as well as its material history in order to reveal aspects of the war itself, but also to highlight those histories that are willfully forgotten in the process of projecting violence onto racial others” (p.20). To achieve this goal, the book focuses on a set of “keywords”—such as homeland, privacy, security, torture, and drone—that allows one to make sense of the linked political and cultural histories of the War on Terror. It is through these keywords, or master signifiers, that the War on Terror is discursively constructed, sold, and importantly challenged and resisted. Each of the four chapters of this succinct and accessible book dwells on one or two of these keywords that resonates across the political and cultural terrain of the War on Terror, acting “as something like a DNA strand, through which to understand the basic building blocks of the War on Terror” (p.22).

Chapter one focuses on the invocations of the notion of “homeland” after the 9/11 attacks and its role in reconstituting the American national/cultural imagination. Amidst the climate of intense mourning, loss, and melancholia that emerged, cultural artifacts, such as songs and TV shows memorialized the US homeland as possessing mythical qualities of being vulnerable and exceptionally righteous at once, and in need of protection and re-assertion through a range of interconnected measures that traversed US national territory and the global arena.

A Matrix Update Patches Serious End-to-End Encryption Flaws

DEVELOPERS OF THE open source Matrix messenger protocol have released an update to fix critical end-to-end encryption vulnerabilities that subvert the confidentiality and authentication guarantees that have been key to the platform’s meteoric rise.

Matrix is a sprawling ecosystem of open source and proprietary chat and collaboration clients and servers that are fully interoperable. The best-known app in this family is Element, a chat client for Windows, macOS, iOS, and Android, but there’s a dizzying array of other members as well.

Matrix roughly aims to do for real-time communication what the SMTP standard does for email, which is to provide a federated protocol allowing user clients connected to different servers to exchange messages with each other. Unlike SMTP, however, Matrix offers robust end-to-end encryption, or E2EE, designed to ensure that messages can’t be spoofed and that only the senders and receivers of messages can read the contents.

The Drying Up of Europe’s Great Rivers Could Be the New Normal

Along the fabled Danube River, which snakes its way for 1,800 miles from the Black Forest in Germany to the Black Sea in Romania, scores of towns—such as the small Romanian port of Zimnicea on the Bulgarian border—depend on the waterway for their livelihood. But this summer’s epic drought and historic high temperatures, now in a fifth grueling month, have depleted the once-mighty Danube, upending everything that Zimnicea’s residents—port workers, farmers, the shipping industry, anglers, restaurant owners, and families—had for generations counted on to sustain themselves. Never in living memory has the river run so low, with large areas of mud-cracked river bottom exposed along Zimnicea’s shorelines, the dead mollusks evidence of the devastating toll on riverine life.

With the Danube flowing at less than half its usual summer volume, dozens of cargo barges lie motionless in Zimnicea’s harbor, waiting for a turn to use the only channel deep enough for passage. Locals are collecting the scant rainwater to use for household purposes in order to save potable water from the Danube for drinking. Children play along the shoreline’s new beaches.

What Is Russia Thinking??

George Friedman

The reason for Russia’s invasion of Ukraine was clear: Moscow wanted strategic depth. Nothing Russia has done since, however, has been clear. The military has suffered several reversals, but this alone is not unexpected. Reversals are part of war, and prudent commanders anticipate and respond to them. Ideally, the responses are meant to solve or at least mitigate the problem as the war continues. Moscow is behaving as if the challenges it faces are a surprise.

Russia assumed from the beginning that it would bring overwhelming force to bear on a much weaker military. The expectation was that the Ukrainian military would fragment and thus be unable to offer much resistance. Moscow thought Ukraine believed the same. That the Kremlin was wrong isn’t the fundamental problem. The fundamental problem is that the Russian command structure, starting at the top with Vladimir Putin, didn’t banish their confidence. An invading force should be built on the assumption it is dealing with a powerful and motivated enemy, and that it needs to prepare for a tough war.

Meanwhile, Russia also did not expect the sheer amount of aid and weaponry the United States would send. It saw the U.S. as too disjointed politically and socially and with too strong an opposition to make much of a difference. The Russians have been very effective in waging psychological warfare as a key dimension of combat and engaged, as was reasonable, in creating division over the war in the United States. Moscow believed the U.S. would see the fall of Ukraine and the deployment of Russian troops to NATO’s eastern frontier as a potential recipe for another Cold War. Washington would probably want to respond but would be too fragmented to do so, or so the Russian thinking went.

Biden’s AI Bill of Rights Is Toothless Against Big Tech

LAST YEAR, THE White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) announced that the US needed a bill of rights for the age of algorithms. Harms from artificial intelligence disproportionately impact marginalized communities, the office’s director and deputy director wrote in a WIRED op-ed, and so government guidance was needed to protect people against discriminatory or ineffective AI.

Today, the OSTP released the Blueprint for an AI Bill of Rights, after gathering input from companies like Microsoft and Palantir as well as AI auditing startups, human rights groups, and the general public. Its five principles state that people have a right to control how their data is used, to opt out of automated decisionmaking, to live free from ineffective or unsafe algorithms, to know when AI is making a decision about them, and to not be discriminated against by unfair algorithms.

How edge computing will support the metaverse

Andy Wolber

When people point to an example of the metaverse, expect edge computing to be nearby. That single statement encapsulates the essence of the relationship between these two sometimes amorphous concepts.

Importantly, the metaverse more closely resembles virtual reality than augmented reality. AR applications add information to your environment: An arrow to indicate direction, text to label or describe, or a button to access additional information. VR systems, as initially conceived by Jaron Lanier in 1987, supplant your surrounding environment with a simulated one. You might think of the metaverse as a comprehensive, coordinated network of various VR environments.
What is the metaverse?

Science fiction stories, simulators and immersive game environments offer the most vibrant visions of virtual environments. A holodeck as depicted on Star Trek encapsulates the experience well: Choose an environment, open a door and enter a virtual world created and managed by a hidden computer.

White House wants to hold big tech accountable in new artificial intelligence ‘blueprint’


WASHINGTON — The White House today released a “blueprint” to help guide the development and use of artificial intelligence and automated systems with a focus on protecting the rights of consumers, a step that the White House says aims to hold big technology companies accountable and one that comes in the wake of the Defense Department’s own ethical AI pledges.

“Automated technologies are driving remarkable innovations and shaping important decisions that impact people’s rights, opportunities, and access,” Alondra Nelson, White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) deputy director for science and society, said in a statement. “The Blueprint for an AI Bill of Rights is for everyone who interacts daily with these powerful technologies — and every person whose life has been altered by unaccountable algorithms.”

The 73-page document [PDF], published by the OSTP, outlines five “common sense protections”: safe and effective systems; algorithmic discrimination protections; data privacy (both with built-in protections and having agency over how data is used); notice and explanation (knowing when an automated system is being used and why); and human alternatives, consideration and fallback (being able to opt out).

New Biden AI Framework a 'Blueprint' for Future Regulations

Alexandra Kelley

The Biden administration unveiled a blueprint Tuesday for a new national framework governing the design and usage of artificial intelligence, a landmark federal initiative emphasizing the need for civil rights protections and greater accountability in AI, bolstered by complimentary work from other federal agencies.

Announced by the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, the framework, dubbed the AI Bill of Rights, is composed of five guiding principles to be considered when developing AI technologies. These include: creating safe and effective systems, data privacy, algorithm discrimination protections, user notices and human alternatives.

Officials confirmed that while the framework sets fresh standards for AI developers and users, it is only a guidebook and not enforceable legislation. The White House hopes that it will lay the groundwork for current and future bills in local governments and on Capitol Hill, alike.

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

Jessica Brandt, Sarah Kreps, Chris Meserole, Pavneet Singh


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.

The United States and NATO at a Crossroads regarding the War in Ukraine

Eldad Shavit, Shimon Stein

The United States administration persists in its determined statements regarding Russia's actions in the war in Ukraine. In response to Russia's decision to annex four regions of Ukraine's territory, President Biden condemned the move, defined it as illegitimate, and stated that the United States will continue to help Ukraine restore its control over its territory by strengthening its military and diplomatic capabilities. Biden also warned Moscow that Washington would defend every inch of NATO territory. NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg emphasized that Russia's actions constitute a rhetorical escalation the likes of which have not been seen since the beginning of the war.

President Putin's "implicit" threats regarding the possibility of using nuclear weapons have received considerable attention in Washington. The administration is increasingly concerned that in light of Ukraine's success in its counterattack, the likelihood of this scenario has increased, even if at the present time sources at the Pentagon emphasize that no concrete signs have been identified. In any case, the administration and its NATO allies have repeatedly stated that the response to any use of nuclear weapons will be "decisive." The US National Security Advisor emphasized that the administration has "communicated directly, privately and at very high levels to the Kremlin that any use of nuclear weapons will be met with catastrophic consequences for Russia, that the US and our allies will respond decisively, and we have been clear and specific about what that will entail.”

Asian Territorial and Maritime Disputes: A Critical Introduction

Moises de Souza, Gregory Coutaz and Dean Karalekas

This volume is designed to be a practical, yet critical, introduction to the main maritime and territorial disputes in the Indo-Pacific region. It covers the most controversial disputes, including those in the South China Sea, the Senkaku/Diaoyu Islands, Dokdo/Takeshima, the Kuril Islands, Taiwan, and Sino-India border issues. In addition, the role of the key actors in the region is examined, offering various perspectives on the disputes along with the basic rationales behind claimant nations’ diplomatic approaches. With a team of contributors made up of both senior and early-career scholars, diplomats, and legal specialists, the book provides a wide range of insights that go beyond what is provided in the media.

What Surprised One Drone Maker About Russia’s War on Ukraine


A family of drones designed to operate against extremist groups is proving effective against the Russian military, and their manufacturer is quickly working to upgrade them with information from the Ukrainian troops putting them to use. But even company officials caution that drones won’t serve as a substitute for the larger weapons Ukraine needs.

Cyprus drone-maker Swarmly has already sent about 50 drones to Ukraine, a company official told Defense One. The smaller is the Poseidon H10 with a 3.5-meter wingspan, two-hour endurance, and 8-pound payload. The larger is the Poseidon H6, a gasoline/electric propulsion hybrid with a five-meter wingspan, 7-hour endurance, and 50-pound payload.

All 50 were purchased with private donations.

“Certainly, the government of Ukraine never bought anything from us,” the Swarmly official said.

Fighting Russia with a laptop: Meet the women on the front lines of Ukraine’s information war

Tom Nagorski

When it comes to the information war over Ukraine, Russia has President Vladimir Putin, the Kremlin’s well-resourced propaganda machine, and a hammerlock on Russian television and radio. It also has laws Putin put in place in the early days of war, which made any counternarratives a crime.

For its part, Ukraine has a charismatic president and a ministry for digital information. And it has a few dozen women who run an organization called Dattalion.

The name is a blend of “data” and “battalion” — one word for information, the other a reference to war. Practically speaking, Dattalion is an online database of stories from the front lines in Ukraine — a collection of photos, videos and testimonials from eyewitnesses. It gathers and distributes content from Mariupol and Bucha, Kramatorsk and Izium, and lesser-known scenes of horror.

U.S. Aims to Turn Taiwan Into Giant Weapons Depot

Edward Wong and John Ismay

WASHINGTON — American officials are intensifying efforts to build a giant stockpile of weapons in Taiwan after studying recent naval and air force exercises by the Chinese military around the island, according to current and former officials.

The exercises showed that China would probably blockade the island as a prelude to any attempted invasion, and Taiwan would have to hold out on its own until the United States or other nations intervened, if they decided to do that, the current and former officials say.

But the effort to transform Taiwan into a weapons depot faces challenges. The United States and its allies have prioritized sending weapons to Ukraine, which is reducing those countries’ stockpiles, and arms makers are reluctant to open new production lines without a steady stream of long-term orders.

And it is unclear how China might respond if the United States accelerates shipments of weapons to Taiwan, a democratic, self-governing island that Beijing claims is Chinese territory.

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.”

Alternative battery chemistries and diversifying clean energy supply chains

Reed Blakemore, Paddy Ryan, and William Tobin

The energy transition from fossil fuels to low-carbon energy sources will stimulate great demand for energy storage, and batteries will play an essential role in enabling the electrification of the transportation sector and reducing the intermittency of renewable electricity generation in the power sector. Presently, lithium-ion batteries predominate in both electric vehicle and grid storage applications. However, the continued expansion of these sectors will drive demand for minerals in the lithium-ion battery supply chain by a staggering degree.

Demand for lithium alone is projected to grow by 42 times from 2020 to 2040 and could reach a structural undersupply with a deficit of 1.75 million metric tons by 2030. Geopolitical risks also abound in the battery value chain. Russia controls 21 percent of global class 1 nickel production, and China controls 80 percent of global cobalt processing capacity.

The Pentagon set 18 diversity goals in 2011. It’s fulfilled 6 of them.

Meghann Myers

Back in 2011, the Defense Department’s issued a report with 18 recommendations for how the military could improve diversity, equity and inclusion across the services, with a five-year Department of Defense Diversity and Inclusion Strategic Plan. More than a decade later, just six of those recommendations have been implemented, according to an inspector general report released Tuesday.

The issue is mainly that while the report laid out a wish list, it didn’t include concrete road maps or an oversight plan, so the Pentagon simply didn’t do anything it didn’t feel like doing. It’s unfortunately not uncommon for the military to set policy but not create a mechanism to enforce it.

“As a result of not fully addressing the Strategic Plan’s three goals, the DoD may not be meeting the intent of the Strategic Plan, which is to encourage commitment and incorporate diversity and inclusion initiatives unique to each Service,” according to the report.

The Russian Military Seems To Be In Full Retreat In Ukraine

Stavros Atlamazoglou

Ukraine presses on while Putin retreats: On the 224 of the war, the Ukrainian forces continue to advance in the east and the south while the Russian military seems to be in full retreat.

The Ukrainian Way of War

After weeks of successful Ukrainian counteroffensives, a pattern is emerging. The Ukrainian military has been launching a two-prong attack from the north and south, aiming at an enemy-occupied city. Once it is threatening to envelop or has enveloped the city, the Russian forces retreat, often under heavy artillery fire, and the Ukrainian military captures the city and then repeats the process.

Using this town-hopping approach, the Ukrainians have managed to liberate large swaths of territory in the east. The Ukrainian forces have already done this four times, most notably in Kupyansk, Izium, and Lyman, and are setting the conditions for repeating it two more.