17 December 2022

Hackers Planted Files to Frame an Indian Priest Who Died in Custody

THE CASE OF the Bhima Koregaon 16, in which hackers planted fake evidence on the computers of two Indian human rights activists that led to their arrest along with more than a dozen colleagues, has already become notorious worldwide. Now the tragedy and injustice of that case is coming further into focus: A forensics firm has found signs that the same hackers also planted evidence on the hard drive of another high-profile defendant in the case who later died in jail—as well as fresh clues that the hackers who fabricated that evidence were collaborating with the Pune City Police investigating him.

On Tuesday, Boston-based forensics firm Arsenal Consulting, which has been working on behalf of the defendants in the Bhima Koregaon case, released a new report revealing their analysis of the hard drive of Stan Swamy, perhaps the most famous of the 16 activists arrested in the case, all of whom have advocated for rights for Dalits—the Indian group once known as “untouchables"—as well as for Indian Muslims and indigenous people. Swamy, an 84-year-old Jesuit priest who suffered from Parkinson's disease, died in a hospital last year after being arrested in 2019 and contracting Covid-19 in jail. Arsenal has now found that evidence found on Swamy's computer was fabricated by the same hackers whom Arsenal found planting evidence on two other defendants in the case, Surendra Gadling and Rona Wilson.

Taiwan Is Already Independent

Nathan F. Batto

For the people of Taiwan, joining with the People’s Republic of China (PRC) has never been less appealing. According to a frequently cited tracking survey by National Chengchi University, the share of Taiwanese residents who want to unify immediately with the mainland has always been miniscule, consistently less than three percent. But the percentage that think Taiwan should eventually move toward unification—that is, not necessarily with today’s Chinese regime—has fallen dramatically, from 20 percent in 1996 to five percent today. In the last two presidential elections, the historically pro-unification Kuomintang party (KMT) has suffered landslide defeats, failing to garner even 40 percent of the vote either time.

It's easy to understand why unification is so unpopular. Over the last four decades, Taiwan has transformed itself into a liberal, tolerant, pluralist democracy while China has remained a harsh autocracy, developed an intrusive surveillance state, and executed a genocide against its own population. Unifying with the PRC would mean the end of almost all of Taiwan’s hard-won political freedoms, something that was made manifest when China forcibly integrated Hong Kong into the mainland despite its promise to allow the territory to remain self-governing under a formula called “one country, two systems.” And many, or perhaps most, Taiwanese people would not want to unify with China regardless of the nature of its government. Taiwan has its own history, culture, identity, and sense of national pride.

A Historical Evaluation of China’s India Policy: Lessons for India-China Relations



The violent clash in the Galwan valley in eastern Ladakh in 2020 fundamentally altered the dynamics of the India-China relationship. China’s increasing transgressions and attempts at coercion in the border areas since 2008–2009 have put the boundary question to the center of the India-China relationship. The salience of this question has also increased because the geopolitical backlash to China’s actions in 2020 has been greater than in previous instances, and because India’s policymakers and strategic community are no longer willing to give Beijing the benefit of the doubt regarding its intentions and actions. This has prompted a comprehensive relook in India at the past, present, and future of the relationship. While much of this has focused on the relationship from the Indian perspective and on trying to understand India’s China policy, the current chill in ties has highlighted the necessity of understanding China’s India policy. Thus, using Chinese sources, this paper analyzes the drivers of that policy and the options available to Indian policymakers to engage with, adapt to, and mold it.

This paper argues that from the time of Mao Zedong’s rise to the helm of the Chinese Communist Party and the founding of the People’s Republic of China in 1949, China’s India policy has been shaped by its view of the larger great power strategic triangle of China, the Soviet Union (later Russia), and the United States. As this triangle has evolved, this has had a direct effect on the India-China relationship. For much of the past seventy years, China was the weakest corner of the triangle and therefore driven by goals of security and status. In that context, it saw India—another large, developing country in Asia—as a competitor for security and status alike. As a result, China always looked at India through the lens of its own relations with the Soviet Union and the United States. It did not view India on its own merits, or credit it with agency, but as unequal as well as untrustworthy. China’s objective during the Cold War was to keep India as neutral as possible. In the post–Cold War period, the goal evolved to limit through containment and coercion India’s capacity to harm China’s strategic goal of hegemony.

EXCLUSIVE: Pentagon not prepared for software updates at the speed of war, report finds


WASHINGTON — Without working software, the F-35 stealth fighter is a trillion-dollar lawn ornament.

Called “a computer that happens to fly” by one former Air Force chief, with algorithms running everything from basic flight controls to long-range targeting, the F-35 runs off eight million lines of code. That’s actually less than a late-model luxury car like the 2020 Mercedes S-Class, which has over 30 million lines, notes a forthcoming report from a national security thinktank, the Hudson Institute.

Yet, co-authors Jason Weiss and Dan Patt told Breaking Defense that even as private-sector software surges ahead, a Pentagon bureaucracy built to handle industrial-age hardware still struggles to get all the fighter’s code to work.

And that’s in peacetime. What if war broke out tomorrow — say a desperate Vladimir Putin lashes out at NATO, or Xi Jinping decides to seize Taiwan — and the stress of combat reveals some unexpected glitch? Imagine, for instance, that enemy anti-aircraft radars reveal a new wartime-only mode that doesn’t register in the F-35’s threat-detection algorithms. In that nightmare scenario, every day without a software update means people die.


Amany Zaid Mahran
Source Link


The Russian attack on Ukraine earlier this year provoked various responses of different magnitudes worldwide. Since the beginning of the conflict in February, the United States has led the efforts to support Ukraine, providing humanitarian, economic, and military assistance on an unprecedented scale. This aid has been financed primarily through the Ukraine Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2022 (March), the Additional Ukraine Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2022 (May), and the Ukraine Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2023 (September). Passed by Congress over a period of six months, the bills allocated a total of $66 billion in aid, $39.2 billion of which is dedicated to direct and indirect security assistance to Ukraine.

The United States Couldn’t Stop Being Stupid if It Wanted To

Stephen M. Walt

Defenders of U.S. “global leadership” sometimes concede that Washington has overextended itself, pursued foolish policies, failed to achieve its stated foreign-policy aims, and violated its avowed political principles. They see such actions as regrettable aberrations, however, and believe the United States will learn from these (rare) mistakes and act more wisely in the future. Ten years ago, for example, political scientists Stephen Brooks, John Ikenberry, and William Wohlforth acknowledged that the Iraq War was a mistake but insisted that their preferred policy of “deep engagement” was still the right option for U.S. grand strategy. In their view, all the United States had to do to preserve a benign world order was maintain its existing commitments and not invade Iraq again. As former U.S. President Barack Obama liked to say, we just need to stop doing “stupid shit.”

George Packer’s recent defense of U.S. power in the Atlantic is the latest version of this well-worn line of argument. Packer opens his essay with a revealingly false comparison, claiming that Americans “overdo our foreign crusades, and then we overdo our retrenchments, never pausing in between, where an ordinary country would try to reach a fine balance.” But a country that still has more than 700 military installations worldwide; carrier battle groups in most of the world’s oceans; formal alliances with dozens of countries; and that is currently waging a proxy war against Russia, an economic war against China, counterterror operations in Africa, along with an open-ended effort to weaken and someday topple the governments in Iran, Cuba, North Korea, etc., can hardly be accused of excessive “retrenchment.” Packer’s idea of that “fine balance”—a foreign policy that is not too hot, not too cold, but just right—would still have the United States tackling ambitious objectives in nearly every corner of the world.

How to Avoid a Transatlantic Trade War over Climate

Max Bergmann, Federico Steinberg


Not for the first time, transatlantic relations are facing a crisis over climate change. But this latest row is not because of U.S. climate denialism or rejection of the Paris Climate Accords, but due to U.S. climate action. The landmark Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), passed in August 2022 to accelerate the energy transition in the United States and fight climate change, has caused an uproar in Europe that threatens to undermine the transatlantic unity forged in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

The December 5 round of the much-hyped U.S.-EU Trade and Technology Council (TTC) did not result in much. One senior EU official even reportedly boycotted the event in protest. Europe’s complaints about the legislation, while not unfounded, might have lost sight of what should be the overarching priority: addressing the threat posed by climate change. Instead of threatening a transatlantic trade war, the United States and European Union should both adjust their positions and use the IRA legislation as a catalyst to elevate the ambition of the transatlantic relationship.

Transatlantic Disputes around the IRA

Despite U.S. perceptions of Europe as being “socialist,” the European Union is at its core premised on creating a free and fair single market, with strong rules against member states subsidizing industries that secure a level playing field. It is also deeply committed to free trade and adhering to global trade rules central to the European Union’s principles. When the IRA was passed, Europeans were puzzled. On the one hand, they praised U.S. climate action, but on the other hand, they balked at what they viewed as “Buy America” measures that violate World Trade Organization (WTO) principles, discriminate against companies in the European Union, and risk deindustrializing parts of Europe.

A World in Crisis: The “Winter Wars” of 2022–2023

Anthony H. Cordesman
Source Link

The world now faces a wide range of potential wars and crises. What is far less obvious is the full level of confrontation that has developed between the U.S. and its strategic partners and Russia, the similar level of confrontation with China, and rising other types of violence and potential conflict that are emerging on a global level.

The Emeritus Chair in Strategy at CSIS has prepared a detailed net assessment that explores these rising levels of risk and confrontation, and the kind of futures that may emerge out of these different crises, confrontations and conflicts, and trends. It focuses on the current level of political, economic, and military risks that shape the world in the winter of 2022-2023, but also examines key strategic trends and military developments.

It is entitled A World in Crisis: The “Winter Wars” of 2022-2023. A downloadable copy is attached at the bottom of this page and the net assessment can be found on the CSIS webpage at https://csis-website-prod.s3.amazonaws.com/s3fs-public/publication/221215_Winter_War_Update.pdf?DYU6shuC3R3yFDMGKqeFQPzT5x53pPzN

Is This the End of Peace Through Trade?

Paul Krugman

In the early 20th century the British author Norman Angell published a famous book titled “The Great Illusion,” which declared that economic progress and growing world trade had made war obsolete. Nations, he argued, could no longer enrich themselves through conquest: Industrial workers couldn’t be exploited like peasants, and even small nations could prosper by importing raw materials and selling their wares on world markets. Furthermore, war between economically interdependent nations would be immensely costly even to the victors.

Angell wasn’t predicting the immediate end of war, which was good for his credibility, since the carnage of World War I was just around the corner. He was, however, hoping to persuade politicians to abandon their dreams of military glory. And an implication of his logic was that closer economic links among nations might promote peace.

Indeed, the idea of peace through trade was to become a cornerstone of Western statecraft in the aftermath of World War II.

In my most recent column, I talked about the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade, which has governed world trade since 1948. This trading system owes its origins in large part to Cordell Hull, Franklin Roosevelt’s secretary of state, who saw world trade as a force for peace as well as prosperity. The road to the European Union began with the creation of the Coal and Steel Community, one of the goals of which was to create so much interdependence between France and Germany that a future European war would be impossible.

The Intricate Balance of Protecting Journalism and National Security


OPINION — Just a few months after being approved out of the Senate Judiciary Committee, the newly amended bipartisan Journalism Competition and Preservation Act (JCPA) could be on track to become law before Congress recesses for the year. The intent of the JCPA is to ensure that smaller news organizations are compensated for their online content by allowing them to negotiate with platforms like Google and Meta. This is a wonderful goal and Congress should be engaged in policies that address the local-news crisis and ensure a competitive, thriving, independent press in the United States. The question is whether this bill will reach the goal?

It’s a tough question. The 2018 version of the bill was five-pages long and provided an antitrust exemption for newspapers and online news outlets. Today, it is a 35-page set of requirements for how negotiations are structured and enforced. Groups like the Public Knowledge Org have provided excellent reviews of the history of JCPA to include the jaded history of antitrust exemptions, and how smaller news companies may not see much benefit from compensation deals.

But another area that needs review is the impact that the bill will have on the spread of foreign disinformation. Under the new version of the JCPA, U.S. companies like Google, Facebook and Apple would have to carry and pay any website in scope of the bill, that provides news. Since this requirement would extend to foreign news sources, the “must carry and must pay” provision could potentially enable foreign sources to control the flow of information on news feeds viewed by millions of Americans.

Ukraine’s Secret Weapon Is Ordinary People Spying on Russian Forces

Matthew Luxmoore

KHERSON, Ukraine—During Russia’s occupation of the southern Ukrainian city of Kherson, a large electronics store served Russian forces as a field hospital, barracks and storehouse for food.

One morning last summer, Ukrainian forces struck the store, completely destroying it. It was one of numerous attacks that day on Russian-controlled territory deep inside the Kherson region.

Before the blast, a small group of local Ukrainian activists had been sending photographs of the location and coordinates of the Russians over an encrypted Telegram channel to the Ukrainian military. That intelligence helped Ukrainian forces target the site, according to a military official who worked with such groups.

The Kherson-based group of Ukrainian partisans made spying on the Russians part of their daily routine, playing a key role in guiding the Ukrainian precision strikes that ultimately forced Moscow to abandon Kherson last month, according to Ukrainian military officials.

‘Can We Actually Build It?’ Defense Industry Leaders Look Ahead to Uncertain 2023


SIMI VALLEY, California—With Pentagon budgets headed for a new record, defense officials and industry executives wonder: Can contractors fulfill all the outstanding weapons orders?

Defense spending could rise 10 percent in 2023, though relatively few U.S. troops are deployed in conflict zones around the world. A good chunk of the increase is meant to rush weapons to Ukrainian forces fighting off the Russian invasion and replenish the U.S. missiles, artillery, and other weapons donated to Kyiv.

But it’s not clear whether defense companies—and more importantly, the thousands of small businesses that supply them—can meet the demand, due to a confluence of worker shortages, record-high inflation, and supply-chain disruptions that have been exacerbated by a years-long pandemic and an uncertain economic outlook. On top of that, executives say the Pentagon has been slow to award contracts to rebuild weapon stockpiles. Those that were awarded quickly were fast-tracked by top-level Biden administration officials.

Sanction-Busting Russian Ships Are Going Under the Radar

Elisabeth Braw

Wherever there are sanctions on trade, there will be smugglers, and Western restrictions on Russia are no exception. But in a world where every ship can be tracked from the heavens, smuggling takes on different—and surprisingly dangerous—forms. Some commercial vessels have begun disguising their travel by manipulating their automatic identification system (AIS) navigation software, the global shipping tracking setup that helps vessels avoid collisions, delays, and other risks. And Russian navy vessels, in turn, have been jamming other ships’ AIS. Such location manipulation clearly subverts the sanctions. Even more alarmingly, it puts other ships in danger. But the more the West’s sanctions bite, the more Russia is likely to adopt the techniques already pioneered by veteran sanctions-buster North Korea.

Take the Kapitan Schemilkin, a Russian-flagged vessel, that was located in the Black Sea at position 44° 46’ 09.2” N, 036° 50’ 28.3” E, as the ship-traffic site Marinetraffic.com reported on Dec. 10. The Russian-flagged oil tanker had departed from Istanbul on Dec. 4 and was sailing at 4.2 knots in a northwest direction, headed for the Russian Black Sea port of Novorossiysk, where it was expected to arrive on Dec. 6. It has not yet arrived at its supposed destination. Maritime intelligence sites often upload vessels’ data with some delay, but the Kapitan Schemilkin still traversing the Black Sea a week after its expected arrival date seemed odd.

The U.S. Nuclear Fusion Breakthrough Is a Huge Milestone—But Unlimited Clean Energy Is Still Decades Off


In some ways, scientists at the Department of Energy’s National Ignition Facility (NIF) have been a bit down and out. The $3.5 billion facility was designed to replicate the atom-smashing reactions that occur inside the sun, a difficult process that requires enormous amounts of heat and pressure, and could theoretically solve humanity’s energy and climate woes.

But technical obstacles put NIF a decade behind in its goal of achieving fusion “ignition,” that is, getting more energy out of one of those reactions than it put in. The facility uses the largest lasers in the world to try and do that, focusing energy on a tiny capsule filled with hydrogen isotopes. But those lasers, based on 1980s technology, were in some ways already dated by the time they were installed, taking hours to cool down each time they are fired. And much of the team’s resources aren’t even devoted to achieving the holy grail of nuclear fusion, instead being focused on weapons research.

On Dec. 5—after decades of effort—scientists at the laboratory finally created a controlled fusion reaction that released more energy than the researchers blasted into it, an important step toward the long sought-after goal of generating almost unlimited power from clean, plentiful fusion energy. (Notably we have uncontrolled fusion reactions down pat—they’re the basis of hydrogen bombs). After bringing in an external team of scientists to confirm the findings, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced the development on Dec. 13. “This is a landmark achievement for the researchers and staff at the National Ignition Facility,” said Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm in a press release. “This milestone will undoubtedly spark even more discovery.”

As Ukraine Conducts Deep Strikes, Russia Turns to Iran

Pavel K. Baev

On December 5, two Ukrainian strikes on Russian air bases deep into Russian territory and far from the frontlines produced a painful shock for Russian forces and could signify a further mutation, if not escalation, of the war. Each time Ukrainian forces deliver a long-range high-precision attack—from the sinking of the Moskva cruiser in mid-April 2022 to the strike on Saky air base in Crimea in early August and the swarm attack of air and naval drones on Sevastopol in late October—Russia has been caught unprepared and has struggled to find a response. In retaliation for the December 5 strikes, Russia sought to hit back with yet another missile strike on Ukrainian energy infrastructure, but the strength of this operation was slightly below the six previous missile attacks from October 10, and this was certainly no surprise for Ukraine’s missile defense (
Nezavisimoe voennoe obozrenie, December 8).

The material impact from the Ukrainian strikes on the Engels air base in Saratov region and the Dyagilevo air base in Ryazan region was limited: one Tu-95MS bomber was damaged during the former attack, while one Tu-22M bomber was damaged during the latter, in which several casualties were also reported (Meduza, December 7). The capacity of Ukrainian forces to hit targets 700 kilometers away from the launch site truly astonished the Russian top brass and infuriated “military-patriotic” bloggers, who deplored the carelessness and feebleness of Russia’s air defense (Topwar.ru, December 7). Russian official sources quickly clarified that the strikes were delivered by old Soviet Tu-141 Strizh drones, designed for intelligence and reconnaissance but recently modernized to carry a small warhead, of which only a score remain in Ukraine (Izvestiya, December 7; Currenttime.tv, December 9). Kyiv did not confirm this data, but it has succeeded—in addition to receiving Bayraktar TB2 strike drones from Turkey and Switchblade 300 loitering munitions from the United States—in producing several of its own long-range weapon systems, despite multiple Russian missile strikes on its industrial facilities (Nezavisimaya gazeta, December 6).

Perils of ‘Water Wars’ in Central Asia

Syed Fazl-e-Haider

On November 3, Uzbekistani Foreign Minister Vladimir Norov and his Kyrgyzstani counterpart Jeenbek Kulubaev signed a bilateral deal in Bishkek, under which Kyrgyzstan agreed to cede to Tashkent the territory surrounding the Kempir-Abad Reservoir, covering 4,485 hectares, in exchange for over 19,000 hectares elsewhere (Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, November 3). The deal effectively grants Uzbekistan control over the reservoir, a burning issue that has contributed to rising tensions between the two Central Asian neighbors (Eurasianet.org, November 17). On November 17, the Kyrgyzstani parliament approved a contentious border deal, and on November 29, Kyrgyzstani President Sadyr Japarov ratified the agreement, allowing for joint management of the reservoir (Asia Plus, November 29).

Central Asia has been historically plagued by tension over access to water resources. Even the administrative divisions under the Soviet Union constantly fought over the allocation of water and pastures (Tnu.tj, May 6, 2021). In this, with the introduction of private land ownership in Kyrgyzstan, some rented Tajikistani pastures were declared the property of Kyrgyzstani citizens. Although multiple factors (e.g., strategic, political and ethnic) contribute to the escalation of border tensions among the Central Asian neighbors, the management of water resources has been a perennial issue, frequently sparking conflict. Over the past decade, more than 150 conflicts have occurred on the shared Kyrgyzstani-Tajikistani borders, with victims on both sides (Cabar.asia, February 15, 2021). In September 2022, 24 Kyrgyzstanis died as a result of the escalation of armed conflict on the border (Novosti.kg, September 17). Water is vital to the Central Asian states’ agricultural and energy sectors and, by extension, their economies. Hydropower projects are of particular concern as they can generate electricity that is consumed both domestically and abroad. A strong example of this is the Nurek hydropower plant project in Tajikistan, which will have a planned capacity of 3,000 megawatts (Worldbank.org, October 24).

Gold Is Money: Everything Else Is Credit – OpEd

Claudio Grass

What physical precious metals investors can expect 2023 and beyond

Throughout the better part of 2022 there has been one question that has consistently, and predictably, popped up in conversations with my friends, clients and readers. Those who know me and are familiar with my ideas are well aware of my position on precious metals and the multiple roles they serve, so I can’t blame them for them for being curious whether I still “stick to my guns” in this era of irrationality in the markets and the economy. Especially for those not versed in monetary history, which is regrettably the vast majority of the population, it is natural to wonder: “If gold is such a great hedge against inflation, why hasn’t it skyrocketed now that inflation is finally here?”.

Well, there are a couple of reasons for that, some more obvious than others. The interest rate hikes that the Fed spearheaded and repeatedly escalated are the most straightforward explanation. At least that’s the answer most mainstream economists and analysts will give you. And it makes sense: If gold pays you no interest for holding it, then why not switch to something that does? This is the mindset of most investors and that weakens demand, which in turn drags the price down. That’s how the theory goes anyway.

Russia Struggles To Maintain Munition Stocks (Part One)

Hlib Parfonov

In the ninth month of Russia’s war against Ukraine, it is becoming increasingly obvious that the Russian army is being gradually overtaken by “shell hunger.” This should be expected based on earlier analyses made in August 2022 (see EDM, August 16, 18) and has been partly confirmed by Estonian intelligence data (Err.ee, November 25), as well as analysis from the United States regarding Moscow’s purchase of artillery ammunition from North Korea (Aa.com, November 11).

Overall. critical logistical difficulties continue to plague the Trans-Siberian and Baikal-Amur railways. Thus, we can observe an exhaustion in capacity due to the redirection of supply flows eastward, which is leading to serious economic problems (RBC, November 2). Therefore, we should not exhaust ourselves discussing the possibility of a steady flow of ammunition from North Korea.

Meanwhile, arms deliveries from Iran to Russia have been much more stable than from any other source. In addition to the Shahed-136 drones, we can observe Russian soldiers using other pieces of Iranian equipment on the battlefield (T.me/TyskNIP, November 18). With Moscow granting access for Iranian ships to pass through the Volga-Don Canal, we should expect an increase in the supply of Iranian-made ammunition to the Russian side (see EDM, November 14).

What Putin’s War in Ukraine Reveals About Russia—and the Likely Path Ahead

Eliot A. Cohen

On Feb. 24, Russia invaded Ukraine on multiple fronts, launching the most violent phase of a war to re-establish the Russian empire. It is a war that did not begin then, or even in 2014 when Russian forces occupied Crimea and pressed into the Donbas. Rather, the conflict began at least 20 years earlier, within years of the collapse of the Soviet Union, when Russia began a number of campaigns to restore its former power.

In short, Russia’s attack on Ukraine is no normal power grab. And that is why so many experts have misunderstood it.

Attempts by international-relations theorists to explain Russian behavior in terms of “realism” founder because they think of states apart from their cultures and histories, not to mention the personalities of their leaders. In thinking that the war was the result of NATO expansion, they misread Russia as a normal state seeking normal guarantees of security that in turn meant they misunderstood its predatory and destructive proclivities. As grasping and brutal as Vladimir Putin might be, the issue is much larger than one dictator.

Report says that action is needed to prevent AI-based attacks winning the cyber war

While the use of artificial intelligence (AI) in today’s cyber attacks is limited, a new report, The security threat of AI-enabled cyberattacks, warns that this is poised to change in the near future.

The report, co-created by WithSecure, the Finnish Transport and Communications Agency (Traficom), and the Finnish National Emergency Supply Agency (NESA), analyzes current trends and developments in AI, cyber attacks, and areas where the two overlap. It notes that cyber attacks that use AI are currently very rare and limited to social engineering applications, (such as impersonating an individual) or used in ways that aren’t directly observable by researchers and analysts (such as data analysis in backend systems). However, the report highlights that the quantity and quality of advances in AI have made more advanced cyber attacks likely in the foreseeable future.

According to the report, target identification, social engineering, and impersonation are today’s most imminent AI-enabled threats and are expected to evolve further within the next two years in both number and sophistication.

Within the next five years, attackers are likely to develop AI capable of autonomously finding vulnerabilities, planning, and executing attack campaigns, using stealth to evade defences / defenses, and collecting/mining information from compromised systems or open-source intelligence.

Top Cybersecurity Predictions 2023

Emil Sayegh

Society has been predicting the technology of the future since Jules Verne. Remember the Jetsons? Based on the predictions in that show, we should be flying cars to work and enjoying fully automated robot maid service. But for cybersecurity, predicting the future is grounded in realities that are already here. For the casual reader, forecasting the future of cybersecurity for the year ahead might seem like guess work or prognostications, but those in cybersecurity have to proactively anticipate what the “bad guys” may be planning. When it comes to predicting industry trends, a good rule of thumb is that the more reliable a source is then the more accurate the prediction will tend to be. With the benefit of decades in this industry and the available expertise of a thriving cyber security services company, there are countless signals that we use to accurately forecast what is going to happen over the course of the new year.

This last year, one of the biggest security problems I pointed out was the infestation of bots, and we witnessed their harmful influence emerge in the Game Stop saga and then again over at Twitter where their presence exaggerated the number of accounts that were active and harmed the integrity of what was shared on the platform. We’ll see more bots emerge in the news this year, but new evolving threats are going to be the norm in 2023.

Part trend, part signal, and part experience, here are more cybersecurity predictions to look for in 2023.

Developing a mastery of irregular warfare


This is not a new problem, and it is one that has been recognized by leaders at the most senior echelons of government. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates stated this perhaps most clearly when he admonished the Department of Defense (DOD) in his 2008 National Defense Strategy to “display a mastery of irregular warfare comparable to that which we possess in conventional combat.”

A lack of focus on this form of warfare within the DOD may be to blame. Secretary Gates characterized this challenge in his memoir as the “military services’ preoccupation with planning, equipping, and training for future major wars with other nation-states, while assigning lesser priority to current conflicts and all other forms of conflict, such as irregular or asymmetric war.”

Previous efforts to address this challenge have struggled to gain purchase. The most noteworthy failure, perhaps, was that highlighted by Sens. Sam Nunn, John Warner, Edward M. Kennedy, and William S. Cohen in a 1989 letter to National Security Advisor Brent Scowcroft. In this letter, the senators highlighted their concern with “deficiencies in U.S. capabilities to engage effectively” in irregular warfare (which they referred to by the then-popular term low-intensity conflict) and that the “Executive Branch has blocked meaningful implementation” of the reforms related to low intensity conflict mandated in the 1987 Nunn-Cohen Amendment that resulted in the formation of U.S. Special Operations Command (USSOCOM).

What Is CISA And Why Does It Matter? – OpEd

Jeffrey A. Tucker

On October 27, 2022, Elon Musk fired Vijaya Gadde from her job at Twitter where she was general counsel and the head of legal, policy, and trust. It became quickly obvious to him and others on his team that it was she who drove the censorship policy within the company, including that which blocked all information about Hunter Biden’s laptop before the 2020 election and otherwise shut down critics of government Covid policy.

Her termination from Twitter did not leave her unemployed and homeless. A year earlier, she had already been tapped as an advisor to CISA, which is the government’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency headed by Jen Easterly, who was chosen to head the new agency (created in 2018) out of her tenure at the National Security Agency.

The Ethics of Automated Warfare and Artificial Intelligence

The most complex international governance challenges surrounding artificial intelligence (AI) today involve its defence and security applications — from killer swarms of drones to the computer-assisted enhancement of military command-and-control processes. The contributions to this essay series emerged from discussions at a webinar series exploring the ethics of AI and automated warfare hosted by the University of Waterloo’s AI Institute.

Bessma Momani, Aaron Shull, Jean-François Bélanger

Alex Wilner

James Rogers

No I in Team: Integrated Deterrence with Allies and Partners

Stacie Pettyjohn and Becca Wasser

Executive Summary

The United States faces a strategic landscape unlike anything it has encountered in its recent history. It faces a rising great power in China, a diminished but still dangerous Russian military threat, and myriad “lesser threats” in the form of Iran, North Korea, and violent extremist organizations. Moving forward, the United States will need to deter aggression by two nuclear armed great-power adversaries while also keeping other threats at bay to protect the U.S. homeland and its global interests. But Washington finds itself in a precarious position where it may not have sufficient capacity, capability, nor readiness to contend with multiple advanced threats and crises. The Pentagon, therefore, needs allies and partners to help it deter Chinese and Russian aggression and manage the lesser but persistent threats that could grow if ignored.

To overcome these challenges, the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) has advanced the concept of integrated deterrence in the 2022 National Defense Strategy (NDS). Integrated deterrence seeks to integrate all tools of national power across domains, geography, and spectrum of conflict, while working with allies and partners. But what integrated deterrence entails in practical terms remains unclear, particularly to the very allies and partners Washington wants more from. This ambiguity raises the risk that integrated deterrence may find itself dead on arrival—and along with it, the ally and partner line of effort in the NDS. This risk is particularly high since the unclassified version of the NDS, which is the only one that is available to most allies and partners, was long delayed and finally released in late October 2022.



In 1903, the Wright brothers invented the first successful airplane. By 1914, just over a decade after its successful test, aircraft would be used in combat in World War I, with capabilities including reconnaissance, bombing and aerial combat. This has been categorized by most historians as a revolution in military affairs. The battlefield, which previously included land and sea, now included the sky, permanently altering the way wars are fought. With the new technology came new strategy, policy, tactics, procedures and formations.

Twenty years ago, unmanned aircraft systems (UASs) were much less prevalent and capable. Today, their threat potential and risk profile have increased significantly. UASs are becoming increasingly more affordable and capable, with improved optics, greater speed, longer range and increased lethality.

The U.S. has long been a proponent of utilizing unmanned aircraft systems, with the MQ-9 Reaper and MQ-1 Predator excelling in combat operations, and smaller squad-based UASs being fielded, such as the RQ-11 Raven and the Switchblade. While the optimization of friendly UAS capability can yield great results on the battlefield, adversarial use of unmanned aircraft systems can be devastating.



Nothing has transformed modern life like the microprocessor, and nothing has significantly shaped the modern global economy as the rise of cyberspace.

In the first half of the 20th century, through two world wars, the U.S. Army transformed from a largely horse-powered constabulary force into the world’s premier industrial age army.

In the same way, exponential technological change is driving Army transformation today. Cyberspace, the global network of information technology infrastructure and data, has emerged as the most powerful phenomenon in human history, shaping all aspects of social, economic and political interaction. In the military realm, cyberspace has been designated the fifth warfighting domain, joining the traditional air, land, maritime and space domains.

The Army established the U.S. Army Cyber Command (ARCYBER) in 2010 to lead development and employment of Army capabilities in this domain of competition and potential conflict. Still, many in the Army and beyond have little idea about the command’s mission and how it contributes to national security and modern warfare.

Army Evaluates Zero Trust Cybersecurity for JADC2

Mikayla Easley

The Army wants to implement a zero trust cybersecurity framework as it transforms itself into a data-centric force. The service has seen how the technology can safeguard critical decision-making data that it wants to harness for future operations.

The Army recently heard pitches about technology that can protect critical decision-making that the Pentagon will process for future operations.

Raytheon Intelligence and Space demonstrated its Operational Zero Trust platform to service officials at this year’s Project Convergence experiment hosted by the Army, according to the company. Raytheon showcased the platform during the experiment’s inaugural “technology gateway” held in October at Yuma Proving Ground, Arizona, which served as an opportunity for Army officials to assess emerging technologies in operational environments.

During Raytheon’s presentations, the company used a digital model to scale Operational Zero Trust to accommodate different Army command levels and demonstrated the platform’s ability to detect and respond to malicious attacks in a warfighting environment, said Greg Grzybowski, account executive for the Defense Department Cyber Defense Account at Raytheon.

Dissecting Iranian drones employed by Russia in Ukraine


The Russian Federation’s use of Iranian-manufactured uncrewed aerial vehicles (UAVs) in Ukraine represents a notable development in the evolution of the conflict. Conflict Armament Research (CAR) investigators physically documented a number of these UAVs in Ukraine in November 2022 and are conducting a detailed dissection of their design characteristics and key components, comparing them with CAR’s previous documentations of similar technology used in conflicts in the Middle East .

This comparative analysis demonstrates that these UAVs did, as is widely reported , originate in Iran, and that they include many recently manufactured components produced by companies mostly based in the United States. This raises important questions regarding the effectiveness of existing sanction regimes, most notably United Nations (UN) Security Council resolution 2231, which prohibits the transfer of certain goods and equipment to or from Iran.

CAR field investigators have been documenting advanced weapon systems—including UAVs—that the Russian Federation has been using in its war in Ukraine. This is CAR's third dispatch from the field since the invasion in February 2022. In May 2022 , CAR showed that these systems are highly reliant on components produced by companies based in Europe and the United States. This analysis was updated in CAR’s second dispatch in September 2022 , which highlighted the critical commonalities in the technology used across Russian systems.

The Ukraine Drone Effect on European Militaries

Dominika Kunertova

The war in Ukraine is the first large-​scale, high-​intensity military conflict in which both sides deploy different types of drones extensively and to different military effects. European countries should take note to adopt a holistic approach on drones and anti-​drone defenses.