9 December 2022

Resisting the Leviathan: The Key Change in India’s New Proposal to Protect Personal Data


The recently released draft of the Digital Personal Data Protection Bill, 2022 is a pragmatic, evolved, and contextual approach to protecting Indian personal data. Significantly, it marks a clear rupture in the direction in which the debate on privacy has been evolving, where data privacy necessarily has to be protected by a powerful, cross-sectoral, and intrusive regulatory agency.

The 2019 version of the law, the Personal Data Protection Bill, 2019, was an expansive, cross-sectoral law that proposed many consumer rights and significant privacy-related compliance obligations on Indian businesses. Elevated protections were accorded to sensitive and critical personal data. Data fiduciaries had additional requirements to be designated as “significant.” Cross-border transfers of data were restricted based on whether the data was sensitive or critical. While some of these rights and requirements are necessary, the 2019 bill would have required a significant increase in compliance costs across the economy, especially for small businesses. The bill also proposed an independent regulatory agency, the Data Protection Authority, to implement the law, specify the details of many of its parts through regulations, and supervise compliance with the law and its own regulations. One major flaw in the 2019 bill—that is sadly present in the new version as well—was the exemptions given to government agencies from many data protection requirements. The bill’s biggest issue was the challenge of implementing all its provisions effectively, from ensuring a wide degree of compliance requirements to setting up a new regulatory agency with an expansive mandate. In contrast, when the EU adopted the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR), it was preceded by almost three decades’ worth of privacy regulation and court jurisprudence. The GDPR harmonized this developed field of regulation across the EU. This was an incremental step in privacy regulation. Importantly, after the GDPR was enacted, many countries in the EU transitioned from pre-existing agencies or departments to creating independent Data Protection Authorities (DPAs).

Malabar and More: Quad Militaries Conduct Exercises

Rajeswari Pillai Rajagopalan

The militaries of the Quad — Australia, India, Japan, and the United States — conducted the joint Malabar exercise off the coast of Japan in November. The exercise came against the backdrop of not only China’s aggressive behavior but also increased belligerence from North Korea, which has conducted more ballistic missile tests in 2022 than in any previous year. The four participating countries have more in common in terms of their strategic goals for the Indo-Pacific region as well as their desire to gain greater operational efficiency through better integration.

This edition marked the 30th anniversary of the Malabar exercises that began between India and the United States in 1992. It expanded to include Japan as a permanent partner since 2015. From 2020 onward, Exercise Malabar has seen the participation of the Australian Navy as well. This is the third edition in a row that has involved the participation of the Australian Navy in the Malabar exercise.

Watching China, And The Western Trap Of Wishful Thinking

BOGOTÁ — It isn’t easy to gauge the scope of the protests in China on the basis of Western media reports. Beyond the correspondents present on the ground, those running news operations in Europe and especially the United States have tended to overestimate the public discontent, exaggerate economic problems and project a greater desire for freedoms and democracy than really exists in China.

Meanwhile here in Latin America, the editorial tendency has instead been to highlight the 'eccentric' aspects of modern Chinese culture, which has strengthened some existing myths and misperceptions. Coverage of politics was always cautious and reporting on the regional characteristics of China's economic progression hardly a top item on our weekend news bulletins. When I was a freelance journalist in China, it was always easier for me to sell articles on, say, types of firearms you could buy there on Taobao, a Chinese equivalent of Amazon.

I am barely qualified to criticize the quality of reporting on China then, as I myself fed this “Orientalism” in my time. While editor of China Files, once the only independent news outlet reporting in Spanish from China (only available in Italian now), we just needed clicks on our webpage. To achieve this I designed a section entitled the Truth on China (La verdad sobre China), where every week we responded to some received ideas on China, and the more tabloidy the better! Our most widely read item ever was on whether or not the Chinese eat dog meat.

China-Africa Relations In Review – Analysis

“China did this,” “the Chinese did that.” There is an essentialization of China and Chinese actors that hinders our understanding of China-Africa relations – whether to praise or demonize them – as it lumps a multiplicity of approaches, as well as actors, into a fantasized strategy. Hence, the need to use the plural to talk about these Chinese presences in Africa.
Chinese Actors in Africa

To begin with, there are institutional actors who may clash within the embassies themselves. There are divergences between officials from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, who subordinate the commercial to the political, and those from the Ministry of Trade who, conversely, subordinate the political to the commercial. This disagreement was particularly sensitive after the institutional reform of 2003 which, in fact, granted a certain pre-eminence to the Ministry of Trade over that of Foreign Affairs. This rivalry between the commercial and the political is also reflected in the relationship between officials from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the ExIm Bank of China, which is under the Ministry of Finance: the former encourages the granting of loans at subsidized rates, while the latter prefers to grant loans at commercial rates. These frictions in Africa can be expressed through political confrontation – and thus opposing strategies – at the central government level in China. These institutional disputes may become even more important as the National Development and Reform Commission depends on piecemeal information from institutional actors, or even the inevitably biased information provided by recipient companies.

If China invades Taiwan

After decades of threats, is China preparing to attack and annex the island nation? Here's everything you need to know:

Why would China invade?

China has long claimed sovereignty over Taiwan and aimed for reunification with the island nation of 24 million people, located just 110 miles across the Taiwan Strait. The two have been separate entities since the Chinese civil war in 1949, when Mao Zedong's Red Army defeated the forces of Chinese nationalist Chiang Kai-shek, who fled to Taiwan and set up an authoritarian government there. After Chiang's death in 1975, the island transitioned into a prosperous democracy; it is now led by President Tsai Ing-wen of the pro-independence Democratic Progressive Party, and the vast majority of the nation's citizens do not want to come under Beijing's repressive rule. But Chinese President Xi Jinping sees Taiwan as he did Hong Kong — a natural part of China stolen by pro-Western forces. To complete China's "great rejuvenation" and become the world's leading power, Xi believes, China must reclaim territory it lost in the 19th and 20th centuries. Experts believe Xi sees a window of opportunity to invade that might close if Taiwan succeeds in arming itself with major help from the U.S. "At some point, China will decide, 'We have to do this,'" a Biden administration official told The New Yorker. "And they'll just look for a casus belli."

The failure of integrated deterrence, and what to do about China

Rep. Ken Calvert

A year before the U.S. entered World War II, Gen. Douglas MacArthur warned: “The history of failure in war, or in any other human endeavor, can almost be summed up in two words: ‘too late.’ Too late in comprehending the deadly purpose of a potential enemy. Too late in realizing the mortal danger. Too late in preparedness. Too late in uniting all possible forces for resistance.”

With China’s military growing in size, scope and sophistication, American military leaders are echoing this very same warning.

Recently, Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Michael Gilday said: “What we’ve seen over the past 20 years is that they [the Chinese Communist Party] have delivered on every promise they’ve made earlier than they said they were going to deliver on it.”

“So when we talk about the 2027 window, in my mind that has to be a 2022 window or potentially a 2023 window. I can’t rule that out. I don’t mean to be alarmist by saying that,” Adm. Gilday added.

Fake parts: A Pentagon supply chain problem hiding in plain sight

Stephen Losey and Joe Gould

WASHINGTON — For about half the summer, 18 newly completed F-35 fighter jets sat outside Air Force Plant 4, a Lockheed Martin-operated facility in Fort Worth, Texas.

Instead of flying to military bases around the world, the F-35s were parked while U.S. Defense Department officials tried to untangle the supply chain mess that had stuck them there.

In August, the Pentagon had halted delivery of the aircraft after Honeywell, the maker of a key engine component in the F-35, told Lockheed it had new concerns about the provenance of one part. Specifically, the subcontractor had learned a magnet in the component had been made for years using raw materials sourced in China — a violation of federal procurement rules.

The Defense Department ultimately decided the Chinese alloy didn’t endanger or compromise the F-35, and it granted a waiver in early October for deliveries to resume.

Biden’s ‘America First’ Economic Policy Threatens Rift With Europe

Edward Alden

After a nearly two-year honeymoon since the inauguration of U.S. President Joe Biden, major rifts are opening up between Washington and its European allies over economic policy. Unless these rifts are handled deftly, the Biden administration’s vision of a new global economic order in which the United States works with allies and partners in Europe and Asia to contain Chinese and Russian ambitions could degenerate into a world of competing economic blocs.

After quietly rumbling for months, the spats burst into the open last week. Thierry Breton, the European Union’s internal market commissioner, announced he would pull out of this week’s meetings in Maryland of the U.S.-EU Trade and Technology Council, a key coordinating body for trans-Atlantic economic policy. He said the agenda “no longer gives sufficient space to issues of concern to many European industry ministers and businesses,” pointing to EU complaints over new U.S. subsidies for electric vehicles and clean energy that disadvantage European carmakers and other companies. Instead, he said, he would focus on “the urgent need to preserve the competitiveness of Europe’s industrial base.”

America’s Great-Power Challenge: Managing Russia’s Decline And China’s Rise – Analysis

(FPRI) — Russia is in strategic trouble. Vladimir Putin’s war of choice in Ukraine has weakened Russia’s global posture and eroded the carefully honed image of great-power prowess Putin cultivated for two decades. But Russia’s loss of relative power is not necessarily America’s gain. Modern geopolitics has returned to the framework of past multipolar, great-power competitions, the last of which was contested prior to World War II. American policymakers must help manage Moscow’s strategic malpractice in a manner that does not harm Washington’s prospects for success in the long-term Sino-American rivalry.

Courageous and competent Ukrainian resistance fortified by external assistance has exposed Putin’s weak strategic hand and eroded Russian relative power standing vis-à-vis China and the United States. Washington must continue to help Ukraine prevail against norm-busting Russian aggression and deter the potential for Russian-initiated nuclear weapon usage. At the same time, American leaders should guard against two other ugly potential outcomes that would damage its strategic interests: a rapid Russian collapse or China’s capture of key Russian power resources, technologies, or land-access rights in exchange for propping up the Putin regime. In this context, there are key lessons for the United States today from Britain’s behavior toward Imperial Russia and Imperial Germany in the early 20th century.
Multipolar Great-Power Competition versus Bipolar Superpower Competition

Finally, New York Times, Guardian And Three Other Newspapers Urge US To End Prosecution Of Julian Assange – OpEd

Andy Worthington

On Monday November 28, the 12th anniversary of the “Cablegate” release of over 250,000 US diplomatic cables leaked to Wikileaks by Chelsea Manning, the editors of the New York Times, the Guardian and three other newspapers who worked on the cables as media partners — Le Monde, Der Spiegel and El País — sent an open letter to the Biden administrationcalling on the US government “to end its prosecution of Julian Assange for publishing secrets,” because “[p]ublishing is not a crime.”

As the editors stated, “The Obama-Biden Administration, in office during the Wikileaks publication in 2010, refrained from indicting Assange, explaining that they would have had to indict journalists from major news outlets too. Their position placed a premium on press freedom, despite its uncomfortable consequences. Under Donald Trump however, the position changed. The DOJ relied on an old law, the Espionage Act of 1917 (designed to prosecute potential spies during World War I), which has never been used to prosecute a publisher or broadcaster.”

How China’s Water Challenges Could Lead to a Global Food and Supply Chain Crisis

Gabriel Collins, Gopal Reddy

Following a record-breaking drought this summer, China is on the brink of a water catastrophe that could have devastating consequences for global food security, energy markets and supply chains. The 2022 drought, which mainly impacted China’s Sichuan province, offered an uncomfortable preview of what the future could bring if water supplies continue to run dry: Low reservoir levels slashed hydroelectricity output, which in turn forced power rationing to major industrial consumers such as metals and battery producers and electronics assemblers.[1] A prolonged multi-year drought would have exponentially larger impacts across global grain, energy and industrial materials markets due to water-driven and electricity-caused supply chain disruptions within China. Billions of people worldwide would be affected in ways worse and potentially longer-lasting than the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and the ongoing war in Ukraine.

This essay aims to bring the criticality of China’s water challenge onto policymaker radar screens around the world. Policy discussions of China-driven risks so far have mostly centered on the nation’s slowing growth, real estate bubbles, high debt and potential military conflict over Taiwan. These factors are significant, but China’s incipient water crisis, which receives far less attention from policymakers, could plausibly overwhelm such issues. An unsettling question emerges: What happens if China suffers a multi-year water crisis that significantly reduces its grain production and electricity supplies?
China Is Already Seriously Water-Stressed

Would A NATO Vs. Russia Conflict Really Be ‘World War III’?

Peter Suciu

Stop Saying We’re Facing World War III: Just days after Russia launched its unprovoked invasion of Ukraine, U.S. President Joe Biden cautioned that any direct NATO-Russia clash would trigger “World War III.” The hyperbole of a Third World War has continued ever since.

In recent months, tech billionaire Elon Musk has repeatedly taken to social media to warn that there is a threat of the conflict escalating into a world war.

But is it?

Really, World War III?

Why Germany Won’t Go Nuclear

Roger George, Robert Levine

Stephen Szabo’s provocative article in The National Interest presents what we as former intelligence analysts would characterize as a “what if” or “low probability/high impact” scenario. “What if” exercises are useful to challenge the conventional wisdom, if only to demonstrate that the underlying conditions for current assessments remain solid. In this case, we believe that the counterargument for Germany remaining a non-nuclear ally within NATO is much stronger than the case for Germany exiting the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty (NPT) or even seriously considering developing its own nuclear capability.

Szabo’s argument rests on several factors and questionable assumptions that he and a few German commentators cite. First, Russia has proven to be a much less capable conventional military threat and now must rely more on its nuclear forces. Second, that the entire European security architecture is now dramatically changed for the worse and U.S. security guarantees are untrustworthy. And third, that Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine has thrown out all previous German commitments made regarding its rejection of nuclear weapons

The Global Zeitenwende

Olaf Scholz

The world is facing a Zeitenwende: an epochal tectonic shift. Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine has put an end to an era. New powers have emerged or reemerged, including an economically strong and politically assertive China. In this new multipolar world, different countries and models of government are competing for power and influence.

For its part, Germany is doing everything it can to defend and foster an international order based on the principles of the UN Charter. Its democracy, security, and prosperity depend on binding power to common rules. That is why Germans are intent on becoming the guarantor of European security that our allies expect us to be, a bridge builder within the European Union and an advocate for multilateral solutions to global problems. This is the only way for Germany to successfully navigate the geopolitical rifts of our time.

The Flawed Discourse Over the War in Ukraine

Paul R. Pillar

Questions surrounding U.S. policy toward the Russo-Ukrainian War provide ample grounds for debate. The war has presented Washington and its Western allies with difficult decisions and unavoidable tradeoffs. The commendable urge to support Ukraine's courageous resistance against a ruthless invasion must be coupled with recognition that Ukraine’s national interests are not identical to those of its supporters. The principle of not letting naked aggression be rewarded needs to be balanced against the risk of escalation into a wider war. Additionally, aid to Ukraine involves resource tradeoffs, and keeping states in an anti-Russian posse may conflict with other things the United States wants from the countries concerned.

Although any policy on the subject will give commentators something to object to, a policy is most likely to be sound if it is based on a public debate that employs clear and correct conceptions of how military operations and diplomacy relate to each other in war. In this respect, the debate in the United States has displayed several recurrent deficiencies as it has developed over the past nine months.

Ukraine Pushes Government Digitization As War Rages


Even as rolling blackouts darken parts of wartorn Ukraine, Kyiv is working to digitize its government operations, to help citizens access services, to reassure international supporters about aid donations, and to better fight off invading Russian forces, Ukraine’s top digital innovation official said Friday.

“We have not stopped in the construction of the digital state,” said Mykhailo Fedorov, deputy prime minister for digital innovation.

Fedorov, who spoke at an Atlantic Council event, was in the United States to meet representatives from Google and other companies.

Google is donating 50,000 Google Workspace licenses to the Ukrainian government, company officials announced on Friday.

Why Outsourcing Counter-Terrorism Online Won’t Work in Future

David Wells

Policing online hate speech currently falls into a murky space shared between governments and big tech.

The past five years have seen the creation of a latticework of overlapping methodologies to identify and remove online terrorist content and hate speech. Most notably, a significant proportion of these efforts have effectively been privatised by being outsourced to the tech sector.

So, how concerned should governments be that the big tech bubble has begun to burst? Falling share prices have led to thousands of job cuts across the tech sector over the past few months. While there is little evidence yet – with the exception of Twitter – that those cuts have directly impacted content moderation staff, the direction of travel is not a positive one.

Up to now, and under pressure from both governments and advertisers, tech platforms have invested significantly in people and technology to proactively remove or block harmful content. Some national and regional initiatives have introduced legal requirements for tech companies to remove content identified by authorities as being illegal or harmful. To improve the efficacy and cross-platform nature of these content moderation efforts, the UN Security Council has also called for voluntary tech sector engagement in collaborative initiatives and encouraged public-private partnerships.

The Effect of International Proposals for Monitoring Obligations on End-to-End Encryption

Kir Nuthi

European and American policymakers have proposed imposing monitoring obligations on Internet intermediaries in order to improve online safety. Despite their best efforts, these proposals—the UK Online Safety Bill, the US EARN IT Act, and the EU CSAM proposal—risk undermining users’ privacy by eliminating the use of end-to-end encryption. Therefore, policymakers should not pursue them.

AI cooperation on the ground: AI research and development on a global scale

Cameron F. Kerry, Joshua P. Meltzer, and Andrea Renda


The Forum for Cooperation on Artificial Intelligence (FCAI) has investigated opportunities and obstacles for international cooperation to foster development of responsible artificial intelligence (AI). It has brought together officials from seven governments (Australia, Canada, the European Union, Japan, Singapore, the United Kingdom, and United States with experts from industry, academia, and civil society to explore similarities and differences in national policies on AI, avenues of international cooperation, ecosystems of AI research and development (R&D), and AI standards development among other issues. Following a series of roundtables in 2020 and 2021, we issued a progress report in October 2021 that articulated why international cooperation is especially needed on AI, identified significant challenges to such cooperation, and proposed four key areas where international cooperation could deepen: Regulatory alignment, standards development, trade agreements, and joint R&D. The report made 15 recommendations on ways to make progress in these areas.

For joint R&D, recommendation R15 of the progress report called for development of “common criteria and governance arrangements for international large-scale AI R&D projects,” with the Human Genome Project (HGP) and the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) as examples of the scale and ambition needed. The report summarized this recommendation as follows:

The cyber strategy and operations of Hamas: Green flags and green hats

Simon Handler

Executive summary

Cyberspace as a domain of conflict often creates an asymmetric advantage for comparably less capable or under-resourced actors to compete against relatively stronger counterparts.1 As such, a panoply of non-state actors is increasingly acquiring capabilities and integrating offensive cyber operations into their toolkits to further their strategic aims. From financially driven criminal ransomware groups to politically inspired patriot hacking collectives, non-state actors have a wide range of motivations for turning to offensive cyber capabilities. A number of these non-state actors have histories rooted almost entirely in armed kinetic violence, from professional military contractors to drug cartels, and the United States and its allies are still grappling with how to deal with them in the cyber context.2 Militant and terrorist organizations have their own specific motivations for acquiring offensive cyber capabilities, and their operations therefore warrant close examination by the United States and its allies to develop effective countermeasures.

While most academic scholarship and government strategies on counterterrorism are beginning to recognize and address the integral role of some forms of online activity, such as digital media and propaganda on behalf of terrorist organizations, insufficient attention has been given to the offensive cyber capabilities of these actors. Moreover, US strategy,3 public intelligence assessments, and academic literature on global cyber threats to the United States overwhelmingly focuses on the “big four” nation-state adversaries—China, Russia, Iran, and North Korea. Before more recent efforts to address the surge in financially driven criminal ransomware operations, the United States and its allies deployed policy countermeasures overwhelmingly designed for use against state actors.

NATO prepares for cyberwarfare integrated with military operations

As world conflicts have morphed from traditional bombs and footsoldiers into more sophisticated and complex fields such as cyberspace, POLITICO reported that around 150 NATO cybersecurity experts have convened in Estonia to make ready for an upcoming anticipated cyberwar.

“There is a level of seriousness added; it’s not anymore so fictitious. It has become quite obvious those things are happening in reality,” Colonel Bernad Hansen, director of the Cyberspace department at NATO Command Transformation, said referring to the current war in Ukraine.

“It has made it much more live, it’s reality,” Major Tobias Malm from the HQ of the Swedish Armed Forces stated regarding the events in Ukraine.

“It’s the real world, you sit in the middle of it, and it’s a daily struggle to address these issues.”

According to the news site, the events in Ukraine brought NATO to consider the scenario to be "all too real" as Russia is actively engaging in cyber attacks against Kiev and targeting vital infrastructure that could cause more damage to a country than traditional warfare, including cutting the water off, shutting down electricity, putting metro stations in a state of mayhem among many other scenarios.

Credibility Crisis: How to Save Social Media From Itself

Sorin Adam Matei,  Charalampos Patrikakis,  George Loukas

Should social media owners be liable for the content published on their sites, or should they benefit from the privilege of neutrality given to them at the dawn of the internet by the Communications Decency Act? Answers of “yes” or “no” create much discord and polarization. At the same time, extremist content of all kinds does raise concerns. In principle, these challenges should be solved in the spirit of the First Amendment, even when the judge is a private entity. To achieve this, we need to focus on the rights, obligations, and opportunities given to users by social media platforms. Users are the ultimate beneficiaries of social media content, either in terms of freedom of expression or intellectual property. The users should be in charge of their own words. Focusing on legal constraints will always leave the people and two fundamental human values—freedom and opportunity—behind.

Self-Regulation and Trust on Social Media

According to Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, “no provider or user of an interactive computer service shall be treated as the publisher or speaker of any information provided by another information content provider.” Computer networks, and social media specifically, are like road networks that are open to anyone but cannot be held responsible for any traffic accidents.

How Hackers Are Stealing Billions In Cryptocurrency


Cryptocurrency continues to sit at the forefront of finance news. Led by juggernauts such as Bitcoin or Ethereum, cryptocurrency (or simply "crypto") offers a new way to invest in, and develop a portfolio of, financial assets (via Investopedia). Cryptocurrency remains a volatile asset class, so anyone engaging in market speculation should do so only after conducting extensive research into the topic and any particular crypto assets that may be of interest.

One thing that's causing a lot of this volatility is the vulnerability that crypto exhibits when it comes to hackers and the theft of portfolio assets. Cybercriminals target cryptocurrency as a rule rather than an exception. The FBI has warned users in the past about scammers using ATMs and QR codes to steal money, but this is just scratching the surface.

CNBC notes that by July of 2022, hackers had already made off with almost $2 billion worth of cryptocurrency assets this year, almost double the same figure from last year. Experian reports that financial crimes are a gigantic cottage industry around the world, with over $6 billion in non-identity theft losses in 2021, and almost $50 billion in costs across the industry relating to compliance with financial law (via Insurance Journal). But the surging momentum of these thefts should be alarming to anyone invested or thinking of investing in crypto. Cryptocurrency is and has long been a prime target for cybercriminals for a variety of interesting reasons.

Google shares details of newly found commercial spyware threats

Stephanie Condon

Google on Wednesday shared the details of newly exposed exploitation frameworks capable of deploying spyware to targeted devices. Dubbed the "Heliconia" exploits, they appear to have ties to the Spanish company Variston IT, according to Google Threat Analysis Group (TAG).

Heliconia targets n-day vulnerabilities, meaning that there are already patches available for the vulnerabilities. The new frameworks go after vulnerabilities previously found in Chrome, Firefox and Microsoft Defender. All of the vulnerabilities were addressed in 2021 and early 2022. However, Google's research suggests these exploits were used as zero-days – in other words, before the vulnerabilities were spotted.

To ensure you're protected against Heliconia and other exploits, it's important to keep all of your software updated.

Expect AR/VR on the Battlefield, Air Force CIO Says


Expect tomorrow’s airmen and guardians to use augmented- and virtual-reality tools to fight real battles, an Air Force leader said Wednesday.

“We're doing some pretty cool stuff across the Department of the Air Force with AR/VR, with our maintainers and with our pilots. And AR/VR, in some cases, it's gotten so good that you really can feel like you were there and experiencing something,” Department of the Air Force CIO Lauren Knausenberger said at a Mitchell Institute event. “And so I think that there will be increasing use cases where we are using AR and VR and where we are moving something throughout a battle space, for instance.”

Augmented and virtual reality tech isn’t new, but has become more prevalent for uses outside of video games. And for the military and intelligence community, it’s a multibillion-dollar space. The Air Force has been toying with the idea for years, experimenting with AR/VR to assist airmen prepare aircraft for combat missions and used helmets outfitted with the tech to help pilots train for encounters with enemy fighters. Moreover, the Air and Education Training Command has been testing models that let airmen train with VR and artificial intelligence simultaneously.

Irregular warfare will win ‘strategic competition’


Imagine a group of former Pentagon officials, retired senior military officers, and think tank experts gathered around a table and staring at a hexagonal map of Taiwan. Quietly they move pieces around the board: F-35 fighter jets, aircraft carriers, Marine units. Their mission is to defeat a Chinese invasion of Taiwan. War gaming has become a cottage industry inside the Beltway, led by the Pentagon and think tanks, to develop “evidence-based” strategies. Rightly, the Defense Department must study how to win against China and/or Russia in “strategic competition,” should it become a shooting war.

But here’s the problem: It will not happen, at least not like this, and we may be learning the wrong lessons. As the Cold War teaches, competition between nuclear great powers risks World War III Armageddon, and why the USA and USSR avoided putting their troops into direct conflict. The nature of war is escalation, and no one wanted another 1914 Sarajevo moment with nukes. Both sides maintained large conventional forces and nuclear arsenals for deterrence, but the actual fighting was done through “irregular warfare,” such as political warfare and proxy wars. It’s why the U.S. Army Special Forces, or “Green Berets,” were founded, how Stinger missiles broke the USSR’s back in Afghanistan, and how Javelin anti-tank missiles blunted Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Panel of three-star generals to lead military training modernization

Rachel S. Cohen

ORLANDO, Fla. — The United States and its allies must make substantial progress toward more modern, collaborative military training as Russia’s war in Ukraine continues to rattle NATO and the prospect of conflict with China looms in the Pacific, defense officials said at an annual conference here.

Military leaders from across the world argued it’s time to resolve the longstanding issues with security clearances, syllabus design, hardware and software integration and quick-turn flexibility that keep the U.S. armed forces and foreign countries from working together.

They also called on companies to stay a few steps ahead of the global security situation and anticipate what training will be needed. The U.S. must invest in that enterprise or risk falling short in a conflict, they said.

“Gone are the days when we could hand-wave training away. Warfare is obviously way too complicated for that now,” said Caroline Baxter, the Pentagon’s top training official.

Bayraktar TB2 Drones ‘Out Of Action’ From Ukraine War; Russia’s Air Defense Or Diplomacy Behind Their Disappearance?

Ashish Dangwal

The Turkish drones’ success was extensively covered in the media in the initial stages of the war. The success of these drones was documented in countless videos heavily shared on social media, depicting Ukrainian drones decimating Russian advances.

However, the sudden disappearance of these drones from both the battlefield and from the media has baffled many analysts who are trying to figure out the rationale behind the action.

Russian reports claim that since the start of the conflict, Russian military forces have knocked down at least 130 Ukrainian drones. However, the Russian figure differs dramatically from the number of drones sent by Turkey. Ukraine has received 50 drones, according to Turkey. File Image: A Ukrainian TB2 drone armed with precision-guided weapons.

Russian media outlets have also highlighted the lack of latest information regarding Bayraktar TB2’s combat operations in Ukraine since mid-August. Turkish drones are not operating as effectively as they were in Libya, Syria, and particularly during the Nagorno-Karabakh war.

Ukrainian HIMARS Can’t Fire Long Range ATACMS Missiles: Report


The M142 High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems, or HIMARS, that the U.S. military has transferred to Ukraine have been modified to prevent them from firing any variant of the Army Tactical Missile System (ATACMS) short-range ballistic missile, according to a new report today.

ATACMS missiles have been high on the Ukrainian military's wishlist for some time as they would greatly extend the range the country could hold Russian targets at risk. It can also destroy larger, more heavily fortified targets across its up to nearly 200-mile range. However, American officials have so far denied those requests for fear the missiles could be used to strike targets deeper inside Russia proper, which they worry could lead the Kremlin to seek to further escalate the situation in Ukraine or to retaliate more directly against the United States and its NATO allies.

The Wall Street Journal first reported on the modifications made to the 6x6 wheeled HIMARS launchers that have been delivered to Ukraine. As of November 23, the U.S. military had transferred, or was planning to transfer, a total of 38 HIMARS to the Ukrainian armed forces, according to the Pentagon. So far, these launchers, which have had a major impact on the battlefield already, fire M30A1 and M31A1 227mm precision-guided rockets, which have advanced fragmentation and unity high-explosive warheads respectively. Both types have a stated maximum range of at least approximately 43.5 miles (70 kilometers).

Arms Sales Of SIPRI Top 100 Arms Companies Grow Despite Supply Chain Challenges

Sales of arms and military services by the 100 largest companies in the industry reached $592 billion in 2021, a 1.9 per cent increase compared with 2020 in real terms. This is according to new data released Monday by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI).

The increase marked the seventh consecutive year of rising global arms sales. However, while the rate of growth in 2020–21 was higher than in 2019–20 (1.1 per cent), it was still below the average for the four years leading up to the Covid-19 pandemic (3.7 per cent).
Supply chain issues seen in 2021 likely to worsen due to Ukraine war

Many parts of the arms industry were still affected by pandemic-related disruptions in global supply chains in 2021, which included delays in global shipping and shortages of vital components.