14 December 2022

A Model Comprehensive MSME Policy for Indian States

Richard M. Rossow
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Executive Summary

Small businesses are the job-creating engines of any healthy economy. Having a supportive policy environment can help high-potential businesses accelerate. Creating such an environment is a shared responsibility of both the central government and India’s 28 states.

Many state governments in India have piecemeal policies and programs to support micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs). About one-third of India’s states have worked to craft multifaceted and supportive policies and practices to encourage MSME growth. This paper reviews the ideas already enacted in different Indian states, as well as in national and subnational governments around the world.

Developing a single comprehensive MSME policy is an effective approach for a state-level government to consider. It allows small firms to find policy incentives and programs in a single place, and perhaps most importantly, it allows a state to directly consider a range of intertwined incentives that can work together. This will maximize the positive impact to small firms that are poised for growth.

Why India Can’t Replace China: The Barriers to New Delhi’s Next Boom

Arvind Subramanian and Josh Felman

With China’s status as the “workshop of the world” marred by rising political risks, slowing growth, and increasingly untenable “zero COVID” policies, no country seems more poised to benefit than India. In May, The Economist ran a cover story about India, asking whether this was the country’s moment—and concluded that yes, it probably was. More recently, Stanford economist and Nobel laureate Michael Spence declared that “India is the outstanding performer now,” noting that the country “remains the most preferred investment destination.” And in November, Chetan Ahya, Morgan Stanley’s chief Asia economist, predicted that the Indian economy

Mapping Anti-Taliban Insurgencies in Afghanistan

Peter Mills

The Afghan Taliban has moved swiftly to consolidate control over Afghanistan and eliminate any opposition to its rule since the August 2021 collapse of the Afghan Republic. The Taliban claim to rule all of Afghanistan for the first time in 40 years. Armed groups opposed to the Taliban remain active in the country, however. Anti-Taliban groups fall into two main categories: Islamic State–aligned groups and non–Salafi-jihadi resistance groups.

How 5G can help defend Taiwan: Commercial parts for military systems


Will China invade Taiwan? It’s a question that comes up in almost every defense-related event in Washington, and the answers tend towards the pessimistic. But there may be a way to deter Beijing from action, using widely available technology, write Bryan Clark and Dan Patt of the Hudson Institute in this new analysis.

Xi Jinping’s unprecedented third term as Chinese president began with widespread protests and an economic downturn as COVID restrictions and debt burdens took a toll on China’s social contract. Beyond the immediate impacts on global supply chains, US leaders worry the instability may accelerate Xi’s efforts to force unification with Taiwan before a combination of economic, demographic, and environmental problems constrict his options.

The timing couldn’t be worse for the Pentagon. Faced with rising costs for recruiting, maintenance, and equipment, US fighter, bomber, submarine, and destroyer fleets are all smaller and older than at any time since World War II. With new ships and aircraft taking more than a decade to build, the US military will need to improve the reach, survivability, and lethality of today’s force.

Holes in the great fire wall: Dissent and protests in China

In contrast to many countries currently living with the COVID-19 virus, Chinese leader Xi Jinping has tried to reduce infections to zero with his “dynamic” zero-COVID policy. Preventing infections in China over the past few years, according to the Chinese government, meant locking people in their homes and welding their doors, sending those exposed to COVID-19 to quarantine camps, and lining millions of people up for tests each day, sometimes in the freezing cold. Xi’s policy has in turn contributed to China’s slower-than-predicted economic growth rate and high youth unemployment.

After a fire erupted in November in an apartment building in Urumqi, Xinjiang—a city that was under a one-hundred-day lockdown—and ten residents perished, protests spread widely across major cities in China. Protesters clashed with police and epidemic workers, calling for the end of the lockdowns and some even demanding Xi’s resignation. Since the peak of the protests, Beijing has detailed plans to relax COVID-19 restrictions and reduce testing requirements.

To discuss the recent lockdown demonstrations in China, DFRLab Resident China Fellow Kenton Thibaut moderated a panel at the Digital Forensic Research Lab’s 360/StratCom this year. Maya Wang, associate director at Human Rights Watch, observed that dissatisfaction with the COVID-19 restrictions has grown steadily over the three years of strict enforcement. “The bottled-up energy essentially exploded,” she remarked. However, it was not just the fire that prompted the unrest. Wang explained that prior grievances also laid the groundwork for the protests today, such as the twenty-seven people killed in the crash of a bus carrying people to quarantine in September and the Sitong Bridge protest before the China’s Twentieth Communist Party Congress.

Tech Warfare With Chinese Characteristics


Washington and Beijing are competing for ‘the world’s most valuable resource’

‘The People’s Republic of China harbors the intention and, increasingly, the capacity to reshape the international order in favor of one that tilts the global playing field to its benefit,” President Joe Biden observes in his National Security Strategy published in October. He continues:

Beijing has ambitions to create an enhanced sphere of influence in the Indo-Pacific and to become the world’s leading power. It is using its technological capacity and increasing influence over international institutions to create more permissive conditions for its own authoritarian model, and to mold global technology use and norms to privilege its interests and values. . . . It benefits from the openness of the international economy while limiting access to its domestic market, and it seeks to make the world more dependent on the PRC while reducing its own dependence on the world.

China Wants Your Attention, Please

Joshua Kurlantzick

Over the past decade, Beijing has invested heavily in trying to upgrade its major state media outlets such as China Global Television Network (CGTN), Xinhua News Agency, and China Radio International (CRI), and to make them seem more professional. It has tried to normalize them to audiences as little different from the BBC, CNN, or Al Jazeera—most likely Beijing’s preferred model—a station based in an authoritarian state but producing respected work.

For years in the 2010s, China hired respected foreign reporters to staff bureaus of outlets such as CGTN in the United States, Europe, Africa, Southeast Asia, and other places, and initially gave them a bit of room to cover interesting stories—as long as those did not directly affect China. The global journalism market is terrible: Between 2001 and 2016, newspaper publishing in the United States lost more than half the jobs in the industry, a higher rate of loss than in coal mining, not exactly an industry of the future. China’s outlets found many willing and credentialed reporters to join. Today, the Chinese government’s funding for state media dwarfs that of any other country’s state media funding, including that of the United States. In 2018, CGTN reportedly spent around $500 million to promote the network in Australia alone; it has also engaged in extensive promotion in Europe and North America.

In an effort to expand its influence within the domestic politics and societies of other countries, China in the past decade dramatically expanded other tools of influence as well, which I chronicle in my new book, Beijing’s Global Media Offensive: China’s Uneven Campaign to Influence Asia and the World. These have included the use of disinformation online, payments to politicians to spout pro-China ideas, control of Chinese student associations in many countries, the funding of programs at universities, and other tactics.

How the Decades-Long Chinese Espionage Campaign "Stole" US Military Technology

Kris Osborn

(Washington D.C.) Paradigm-changing deep-penetrating warheads, new hardened, heat resistant nano-composite materials enabling hypersonic weapons flight, vertical take-off-and-landing drones and a new generation of submarine “quieting” technologies are all massively impactful breakthrough technology of vital significance to cutting-edge and future US weapons systems.

All of these areas of innovation and scientific exploration, some of which involved the discovery and development of “disruptive” or breakthrough technologies, were heavily focused upon in recent decades at the well known, prestigious US Los Alamos National Laboratory. However, to put things simply and clearly, many of the US-driven technological advances in these critical areas appear to have been stolen by Chinese spies.
Chinese Espionage

Technologically driven Chinese espionage at Los Alamos hit the news in a very public way earlier this year, following a private counterintelligence investigation. The discoveries shined additional light on the concerning and well-documented problems arising from Chinese cyber attacks, espionage and deliberate efforts to “steal” sensitive US military technology. Much of this was of course known and certainly became much more widely understood when Chinese operations at Los Alamos were exposed publicly. What is lesser known, yet perhaps of greatest significance, is that China’s infiltration and theft of sensitive US military technologies is a result of a deliberate, multi-decade elaborate campaign to develop, recruit and mature “talent” for the specific purpose of learning and “stealing” impactful technological discoveries under the guise of collaborative scientific exploration.

Saudi Arabia demanded defense firms set up in country by 2024. So far, most seem unmoved.


BEIRUT — Almost two years ago, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia announced that it would stop doing business with foreign firms that don’t have their regional headquarters in the Kingdom by the start of 2024.

But while the mandate appeared far-reaching, so far it has done little to sway major defense firms to relocate their regional hubs, largely based in the nearby United Arab Emirates, even if the Saudi rule has managed to draw in some smaller companies, according to analysts and a review of public announcements.

“If a company refused to move their headquarters to Saudi Arabia it is absolutely their right and they will continue to have the freedom to work with the private sector in Saudi Arabia,” Saudi finance minister Mohammed al-Jadaan told Reuters in February 2021. “But as long as it is related to the government contracts, they will have to have their regional headquarters here.”

The clock is ticking, and if KSA sticks to its guns, foreign firms — including such major defense power players as Lockheed Martin, Raytheon Technologies, Northrop Grumman, Leonardo, Thales, General Dynamics and others — are on paper just 14 months away from losing out on the lucrative Saudi market. It should be causing panic in industry, but analysts said that the biggest players appear confident they can find workarounds — including the use of local partnerships and subsidiaries, as they’ve done in other countries — to keep the market open.

Rise of Open-Source Intelligence Tests U.S. Spies

Warren P. Strobel

WASHINGTON—As Russian troops surged toward Ukraine’s border last fall, a small Western intelligence unit swung into action, tracking signs Moscow was preparing to invade. It drew up escape routes for its people and wrote twice-daily intelligence reports.

The unit drafted and sent to its leaders an assessment on Feb. 16, 2022, that would be eerily prescient: Russia, it said, would likely invade Ukraine on Feb. 23, U.S. East Coast time.

The intelligence shop had just eight analysts and used only publicly available information, not spy satellites and secret agents. It belonged to multinational chemicals company Dow Inc., not to any government.

“I’m leading an intelligence center that accurately predicted the invasion of Ukraine without any access to sensitive sources,” said John Robert, Dow’s director of global intelligence and protection, whose unit helps the company manage business risk and employee safety.

In competition for talent, DOD needs to learn, adapt or be left behind

Col. Chris Karns

Competition for talent remains fierce. Businesses — be they locally owned, nonprofits or industry juggernauts — are competing for talent. The military’s recruiting apparatus is working overtime in its efforts to recruit talent. The problem is the private sector has the position of advantage. They own the high ground, if you will — especially in the fervent push to recruit a viable, civilian workforce in the defense industry.

Bottom line up front: If we fail to accelerate change, the Department of Defense will certainly lose out on talent. The continuity and expertise required for mission advancement and sustainment will at best atrophy and at worst evaporate. Foundational services and support will suffer. Readiness will erode. Morale will decline.

Today’s private-sector business models outpace archaic DoD hiring practices, creating barriers to deliver talent swiftly and efficiently. The agility to win or maintain a competitive advantage in the hiring arena requires change, starting with efforts to recruit and retain government civilians.

The entry portal to the federal employee hiring market is a glaring barrier.

Russia’s energy problem

Global energy markets have experienced shocks from the coronavirus pandemic and Russia’s war in Ukraine. Moscow may have thought, upon launching the war, that its energy exports would be a strength that would both restrain Europe’s reaction and serve as a financial lifeline to the rest of the world in the face of economic sanctions imposed by the West. This gamble did not pay off, however, partly because of the pace of change taking place in energy markets. Indeed, it now looks as if energy exports may no longer serve as an engine of growth and vitality for the Russian economy.

By invading Ukraine in February 2022, Russia exposed its energy industry to unprecedented international sanctions while also disrupting global commodity markets. Russian exports of natural gas to Europe, sales of oil abroad and shipments of coal became obvious targets for countries wishing to use sanctions to punish Russia and influence its decisions throughout its war in Ukraine. Russian natural-gas exports to Europe began declining in August 2021 during the tense period before the war began. After February, each Russian statement about the war triggered concern in European capitals that their energy supplies would be completely severed. By May, Russian President Vladimir Putin predicted that Western countries were committing ‘economic suicide’ by upholding extreme financial and trade sanctions. He ended natural-gas exports to major European Union importers completely by early September, when the Ukrainian military was near to liberating Kharkiv, hoping that an energy shock as colder months approached would fracture the Western sanctions coalition.

Here’s How to Tighten the Oil Spigot that Finances Russia’s War Without Hurting the World Economy

Catherine Wolfram

A cap on the price of Russian crude oil sold on global markets went into effect on Monday. This is an important step toward reducing Russia’s capacity to continue the war in Ukraine.

The cap was designed with two major goals in mind: to prevent Russia from disrupting global oil markets, and to limit the Kremlin’s oil revenues. So far it has fared well. But to make continued progress, the coalition imposing the cap — the G-7, the European Union and Australia — should create a policy committee, with regular monthly meetings, charged with assessing the effect of the cap and announcing further tightening of the scheme, as appropriate.

The EU this week announced it would no longer buy Russian crude and no longer allow its service providers, including banks and insurance companies, to support this trade. This step was laudable, but Russia is a major oil exporter — selling about 8 million barrels a day, in a world that consumes just over 100 million barrels per day. There was a real danger that the EU embargo would reduce Russian oil flow in a way that would also drive up oil prices so much that Putin’s regime would receive a windfall gain.

Answering Four Hard Questions About Russia’s War in Ukraine

What’s new? Western governments backing Kyiv in the Russo-Ukrainian war must wrestle with four persistent questions: what is the risk Russia will use nuclear weapons? Can diplomacy at this stage help end the war? Would a ceasefire right now be welcome? Could a change in Russia’s government bring peace?

Why did it happen? After its massive assault on Ukraine, Moscow has stumbled in the face of unexpectedly successful resistance, but it fights on. It has claimed to annex new Ukrainian territories, drafted hundreds of thousands, rhetorically brandished nuclear weapons and attacked energy infrastructure. Still, enabled by Western support, Kyiv has the upper hand.

Why does it matter? Western powers see Russia’s efforts to conquer territory and achieve other goals through aggression and nuclear menacing as threatening their interests as well as Ukraine’s. They believe the dangers of accepting Russian aggression outweigh the hazards of continued conflict – including the low but non-negligible risk of nuclear use.

What should be done? The West should continue backing Ukraine while keeping NATO outside the conflict. Pushing for talks or a ceasefire before the parties are ready to compromise would be fruitless. Ultimately, Russia and the West should negotiate new security arrangements, but at present diplomacy will be most helpful in managing the war’s repercussions.

Between Ostpolitik and Zeitenwende—Germany’s Dual Dependence on China and Russia

Anniki Mikelsaar

A firm redirection from the business-first mantra of Ostpolitik towards a tougher foreign policy has taken place in Germany vis-à-vis Russia in 2022. Former Chancellor Angela Merkel and her predecessor Gerhard Schröder increased Germany’s reliance on cheap Russian energy and encouraged the establishment of an intricate web of co-dependence with China. Current Chancellor Olaf Scholz made his Zeitenwende (‘turning point’) speech at the Bundestag only three days after Russia had launched an all-out invasion of Ukraine in February 2022.

Much of the current government coalition now feels an increasing sense of urgency to revisit the country’s approach towards China and go as far as adopting a tougher EU-China policy. Nevertheless, in November 2022, Chancellor Scholz still praised the partnership during his trip to Beijing, proclaiming that “China is and remains an important partner.”

A new China Strategy—a separate element of the new National Security Strategy—is anticipated to come out next year and mark the direction of Sino-German economic and diplomatic interaction for the years to come. Germany’s China policy, in turn, is likely to determine the course of EU-China relations moving forward.

This analysis looks deeper into Berlin’s dependence on both China and Russia and how the two are intertwined. Looking forward into a more secure and sustainable future, it explores how Germany could diversify should it choose to fundamentally and genuinely change its approach to dealing with authoritarian powers in trade and international relations.

An Endgame in Ukraine: American Strategic Options

Michael Hochberg & Leonard Hochberg

“Justice is benefiting friends and harming enemies.”
- Polemarchus, Plato’s Republic


Polemarchus, in Plato’s Republic, fully appreciated that, from a geopolitical perspective, knowing who your friends and your enemies are, and who they may be in the future, is a cardinal virtue. Considering what can be done to benefit friends and harm enemies in the international arena is a critical feature of strategic thought. Many Americans don’t appreciate the importance of strategic thought, particularly regarding the current conflict in Ukraine. Ukraine may not be the perfect ally. Its democratic institutions are newly formed, corruption is allegedly rampant, and the war with Russia has strained its commitment to classical liberal values. Nevertheless, its strategic interests do align with the United States as far as Russia, an autocratic regime that is seeking to overturn the rules-based international order, has once again invaded Ukraine to seize more territory and constrain Ukraine’s declared intent, as a sovereign state, to join the European Union and NATO. The United States, as the foremost maritime power, has an enduring interest in stopping Russia from dominating the Black Sea; therefore, the United States must seriously consider defending the territorial integrity of Ukraine.

What should the United States do in response to this Russian invasion? In any adversarial relationship, strategic thinking requires aligning means with ends. Any proposal of means–shipment of offensive and/or defensive weapons, economic sanctions, activation of alliances, supply of foreign aid, expressions of indifference, withdrawal of support, or other actions–should start with the articulation of the specific ends sought. The ends may include imposing one’s will on an enemy through a military victory, blunting an attack in preparation for a negotiated settlement on more or less equal terms, the restoration of status quo that existed prior to the conflict, a territorial conquest, rejoining an ethnic irredenta with a nation-state, forcing an adversary to change specific policies, restoring adherence to a rules-based international order, and myriad other outcomes dictated by politics.

The Russia-Ukraine war and its ramifications for Russia

Steven Pifer

Nine months into Russia’s latest invasion of Ukraine, the outcome of the war remains unclear. The Russian military appears incapable of taking Kyiv or occupying a major portion of the country. Ukrainian forces have enjoyed three months of success on the battlefield and could well continue to make progress in regaining territory. The war also could settle into a more drawn-out conflict, with neither side capable of making a decisive breakthrough in the near term.

Projecting the ultimate outcome of the war is challenging. However, some major ramifications for Russia and its relations with Ukraine, Europe, and the United States have come into focus. While the war has been a tragedy for Ukraine and Ukrainians, it has also proven a disaster for Russia — militarily, economically, and geopolitically. The war has badly damaged Russia’s military and tarnished its reputation, disrupted the economy, and profoundly altered the geopolitical picture facing Moscow in Europe. It will make any near-term restoration of a degree of normalcy in U.S.-Russian relations difficult, if not impossible, to achieve.


This latest phase in hostilities between Russia and Ukraine began on February 24, 2022, when Russian President Vladimir Putin directed his forces to launch a major, multi-prong invasion of Ukraine. The broad scope of the assault, which Putin termed a “special military operation,” suggested that Moscow’s objectives were to quickly seize Kyiv, presumably deposing the government, and occupy as much as the eastern half to two-thirds of the country.

Forward resilience: How to help Ukraine win on and off the battlefield

Daniel S. Hamilton

Russia’s relentless barrage of missile and drone attacks on Ukraine in recent weeks signals a horrific escalation of its multi-front war. Russian President Vladimir Putin first wanted to take over the country. Now he wants to shut it down.

Failing on the battlefield, Putin is stepping up his assaults on Ukrainian society. In so doing, he is changing the very nature of the war. Russian forces are committing genocide, war crimes, and crimes against humanity. They have killed thousands of civilians. They are trafficking in children. They are bombing hospitals, schools, homes, and factories. They have targeted subways, railways, and highways. Their hackers sow disinformation and have infiltrated government and financial institutions. Moscow is doing what it can to destroy, degrade, or disrupt the flows of energy, food, water, medicines, goods, services, data, and information that sustain Ukrainian life. These attacks are evidence that the Kremlin is now implementing a recently developed approach known as Strategic Operation for the Destruction of Critically Important Targets, or SODCIT. This concept targets the critical societal functions of a society, rather than just its military forces.

The Ukrainian people have won global admiration by refusing to back down in the face of Russia’s onslaughts. They are determined to persevere in what their president, Volodymyr Zelensky, calls “a war of strength and resilience.” Ukrainian forces have won back over half of their territory lost to Russia since February.

Russia’s Road to Economic Ruin

Konstantin Sonin

After Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February, the Russian economy seemed destined for a nosedive. International sanctions threatened to strangle the economy, leading to a plunge in the value of the ruble and Russian financial markets. Everyday Russians appeared poised for privation.

More than eight months into the war, this scenario has not come to pass. Indeed, some data suggest that the opposite is true, and the Russian economy is doing fine. The ruble has strengthened against the dollar, and although Russian GDP has shrunk, the contraction may well be limited to less than three percent in 2022.

Henley Putnam University

Journal of Strategic Security, 2022, v. 15, no. 4 
  • Domains of Peace: Cyberspace and the First Global Expression Without War
  • Fifth Generation Warfare, Hybrid Warfare, and Gray Zone Conflict: A Comparison
  • Go Big or Go Home? Right-Sizing Security Cooperation to Fragile States
  • Military Leadership by Intellectual Officers: A Case Study of the IDF
  • A Social Network Analysis of Mexico’s Dark Network Alliance Structure
  • Securing Elections Through International Law: A Tool for Combatting Disinformation Operations?

Space Race 2.0: US Goes Head-to-Head with China

Blayce Malaya

A new “promising” contender joins the sophisticated race to dominate space.

The United States literally leaped ahead of the Space Race after famed astronauts Neil Armstrong and Edwin Aldrin landed on the moon on the historic day of July 20, 1969, placing the Soviet Union’s 1957 lofting of “Sputnik,” into orbit in the backseat. Then 1961 came, where Soviet cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin made history as the first person to orbit Earth inside a capsule-like spacecraft named Vostok I, and it seemed the US got beaten again. The Soviet Union didn’t stay ahead in the race, though, as the US managed to reclaim dominance and keep the lead for decades. Rather than meet the Soviets effort for effort, President Kennedy set NASA’s sights on reaching the Moon. An American would be the first to set foot on another planetary body in our solar system.

However, as the world evolves and becomes more high-tech, it appears to be that a new contender in the space race will rise to go head-to-head with the reigning superpower—this time against China.

For DOD, 2023 Is All About Proving It Can Build A Tactical Cloud


The Defense Department’s cloud plans are extending beyond the continental United States in 2023, according to a top IT official.

The Defense Information Systems Agency wants to develop a prototype for OCONUS cloud, which could be on a ship in the middle of the ocean, on an island, or in sub-Saharan Africa, in the first half of next year, Sharon Woods, the director for the agency’s Hosting and Compute Center, told Defense One.

The Defense Department will need connectivity and data tools wherever the fight is, so it can keep up with China. To do so, it will need cloud architecture.

“It's a big effort, but we have to be able to scope it to something that we can deliver in six months, learn from that, and then expand the capability that we develop. So that's really my big focus right now: OCONUS cloud,” Woods said.

The Digital Silk Road: Introduction

David Gordon

The development of the Digital Silk Road (DSR) will have significant consequences for China’s relations with much of the world and for the country’s own technological growth. Yet the nature and implications of the DSR are often misunderstood. This Adelphi book gathers leading experts on China, geo-economics and digital technology to evaluate the DSR’s impacts so far and the possible consequences of its future evolution.

China’s rise is no longer a question. The People’s Republic (PRC) today is an economic powerhouse, a growing high-technology dynamo and increasingly a critic of the current international system. President Xi Jinping’s centralised rule has marked the end of former president Deng Xiaoping’s era of China’s ‘hiding and biding’. If the second half of the twentieth century was defined by competition between the United States and the Soviet Union, competition between the US and China will define at least the first half of the twenty-first.

Deng’s ‘24-character strategy’ called for China to ‘lěngjìng guānchá, wěnzhù zhènjiǎo, chénzhuó yìngduì, tāoguāng yǎnghuì’, or ‘observe and analyse calmly, strengthen your own position, undertake change with confidence, conceal your true potential, contribute your part, never become the leader’.1 Deng’s strategy provided the strategic underpinnings for China’s increasingly successful global engagement over the quarter-century following 1989. In the wake of the global financial crisis of 2008, Beijing’s ambitious domestic economic-stimulus programme enabled it to lead the global recovery from the Great Recession. As the inconclusive outcomes of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan damaged America’s image, China’s status rose.

Inside NATO’s Cyber Range: How armies prepare against attack and why nations must work together

Pascale Davies

At the touch of a button, a soldier holding a laptop sends sparks flying on a circuit board, causing a power generator to flash bright red as a beeping sound grows louder. This is the representation of a country’s power infrastructure coming under a cyber attack.

Though the map of circuit boards depicts a fictional island, with streets called “Blockchain Street” and “Macintosh Street,” a real-life cyber attack may not be as visible as this. Still, the effects on infrastructure can be just as devastating, causing homes to lose power or water.

The scenario is just a simulation but it serves as a training ground for soldiers who are at the NATO Cyber Range in Estonia’s capital Tallinn.

At the CR14 NATO Cyber Range, around 145 on-site commanders from as many as 30 countries - most of them NATO countries but some not - are put to the test on how they would prevent a cyber attack.

Inside the three-storey building which houses it, the first floor is where food and refreshments are provided and some of the innovations are showcased. The second floor is used for training and where phones are not allowed. And the third floor is where the real action happens, but is out of bounds for journalists.

The geopolitics of AI and the rise of digital sovereignty

Benjamin Cedric Larsen

On September 29, 2021, the United States and the European Union’s (EU) new Trade and Technology Council (TTC) held their first summit. It took place in the old industrial city of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, under the leadership of the European Commission’s Vice-President, Margrethe Vestager, and U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken. Following the meeting, the U.S. and the EU declared their opposition to artificial intelligence (AI) that does not respect human rights and referenced rights-infringing systems, such as social scoring systems.[1] During the meeting, the TTC clarified that “The United States and European Union have significant concerns that authoritarian governments are piloting social scoring systems with an aim to implement social control at scale. These systems pose threats to fundamental freedoms and the rule of law, including through silencing speech, punishing peaceful assembly and other expressive activities, and reinforcing arbitrary or unlawful surveillance systems.”[2]

The implicit target of the criticism was China’s “social credit” system, a big data system that uses a wide variety of data inputs to assess a person’s social credit score, which determines social permissions in society, such as buying an air or train ticket.[3] The critique by the TTC indicates that the U.S. and the EU disagree with China’s view of how authorities should manage the use of AI and data in society.[4]

3 Risks of Technology the World Faces Today

Raj Shamani

Thanks to its obvious benefits, technology has advanced in leaps and bounds in the last few decades. People are going through a global digital transformation and embracing all the good this digitization has to offer. But the shiny discoveries can often overshadow the looming threats.

In this blog, I discuss 3 such technological risks the world faces today. When used with malicious intent, it can impact society, the economy, and geopolitical relations. As we are almost dependent on these technologies, terminating these services altogether is not an option. So, we must be aware of the threats to prepare ourselves against them.

1. Artificial intelligence (AI)

Artificial intelligence is the face of emerging technologies in terms of impact, be it for its unmatched contribution toward social and economic growth or its capacity to cause irreversible damage to society. Once a highly complex computer science field beyond the grasp of the mainstream population is now a part of our regular lives. But its massive reach and no ethical boundary or legal repercussions mean it can affect billions of lives, intentionally or unintentionally.

Washington’s conventional war strategy may not succeed if it does not consider new irregular warfare tactics.

Melissa Galbraith

The Department of Defense is preparing for a war with China that looks like World War II but with better technology, the problem is that such an investment will not be relevant in an unlikely scenario since Xi Jinping will not invade Taiwan, at least not. will putin style in ukraine

Pentagon military chiefs have convened senior retired officers and think tanks who work closely with defense and security advisers in Washington. Its mission is the elaboration of a plan that contains a broad military strategy capable of confronting and defeating a potential Chinese invasion of Taiwan.

Putin’s not-so-surprise invasion of Ukraine in February 2022 did not take the United States or NATO by surprise, the information that this could happen was known to Washington and its partners, and all the elements were in place for it to happen. that military operation was carried out by Russia. However, the Biden administration believes that the reaction against the Kremlin could have been better and more complete in different aspects.

From that experience, the Pentagon-led Global Defense project directed its think tanks to focus on the task of developing evidence-based strategies and concrete tests for the behaviors of potential opponents such as China and North Korea. It is in this direction that the Department of Defense must study and present a comprehensive program with alternatives on how to prevail against China, Russia and other potential opponents in a “strategic contest” in case the crisis between Beijing and Taipei escalates and becomes in a real war.

Accessing Critical Skills in the Department of Defense

Nancy M. Huff, Dave I. Cotting, Matthew S. Goldberg, Peter K. Levine, Matthew J. Reed

The Department of Defense has invested substantially in human capital development to meet its growing need for expertise in critical skills that are essential to U.S. national security objectives. These skills include cybersecurity, science, technology, engineering, math, innovation, computer science and critical languages. DOD asked IDA to assess the effectiveness of recruitment and development programs targeted to improve the availability of skills critical. As part of our analysis, IDA conducted 62 interviews with 127 individuals including recruiters, hiring managers, personnel specialists and a range of stakeholders. We also examined existing data on DOD’s outreach, education, and recruiting programs and other individual-level data to identify common factors that contribute to programs’ successes or failures. Based on the insights we gained from these interviews and data sources, we offer 12 recommendations for how DOD can improve the effectiveness of its recruitment and education programs that supply mission-critical skills.

Army kicks off SATCOM-as-a-service pilot to increase soldier connectivity


WASHINGTON — The Army is moving forward on its long-planned pilot program to buy satellite communications in the same way that individuals subscribe to a mobile phone plan, issuing a draft “performance work statement” to help shape industry pitches.

“There is a need for increased capacity in the SATCOM area,” Col. Shane Taylor, who is heading up the pilot for the Army’s Program Executive Office Command, Control, & Communications – Tactical (C3-T), told Breaking Defense in an interview.

The Army’s hope is “to keep up with the pace of commercial technology” in the area of satellite communications, Taylor explained, and the service is convinced that acquiring SATCOM as a “managed service” provided by a vendor is the way to ensure that goal.

“One of the big advantages of that is it allows us to keep up with new solutions as they come out,” he said. “There’s a lot of vendors in the commercial SATCOM space and so … year-to-year, there tends to be quite a bit of new technology that comes out.”

Drones Galore: Changing Battlefields

Will Brown
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In the 2000s, the mobile phone revolutionized Africa, allowing a continent with fewer landline connections than New York City to leapfrog spectacularly into the digital age, impacting everything from finance and farming to protest movements and surveillance.

Now, something similar is beginning to happen on African battlefields. Governments around the world have all seen how cheap Turkish-made Bayraktar TB2 armed drones costing about $5 million—about a sixth of the price of an advanced U.S. model—gave Azerbaijani forces an advantage over Armenia in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict and have repeatedly given the Russian war machine a bloody nose in Ukraine.

Many African nations are beginning to accumulate significant fleets of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). Niger and Nigeria reportedly recently acquired armed drones to patrol their vast hinterlands for jihadist groups. But often, no one knows who has what until they are seen in action because of the opaqueness of the arms trade.

This was the case for Ethiopia. In November 2021, it looked like the Tigray Defence Forces were poised to advance on the capital, Addis Ababa. But they were beaten back at the eleventh hour by a rafter of armed drones supplied by Turkey, Iran, and the United Arab Emirates.