18 December 2022

Chinese Warships In Target, “Brahmos” Coastal Missile System Is Sent To The Philippines By India

Indian company BrahMos Aerospace Private Ltd. has started sending BrahMos coastal-based anti-ship missile systems to the Philippine Navy’s Marine Corps. On December 12, DA-REAL Military Channel, a YouTube channel for the Philippines military, said that the first parts of the system are now being approved. India and the Philippines have not said anything official about it.

Indian Ambassador to the Philippines Shambhu Kumaran told the state-run Philippine News Agency in mid-August that the first BrahMos missile system will be sent to the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) in 2023.

The Brahmos Contract

End of 2021, Secretary of National Defense Delfin Lorenzana released a “notice of award of contract” that said the Philippines accepted BrahMos Aerospace Private Ltd’s offer to provide shore-based anti-ship missile systems as part of an intergovernmental agreement.

Cyber warfare group caused AIIMS hack: sources

Aashish Aryan & Priyanka Sangani

A cyber warfare group backed by a “neighbouring” nation’s government was involved in the cyberattack on servers of the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), two sources aware of a government probe into the breach said.

According to the sources, the findings of the probe, which has not yet been made public, have revealed that at least five servers of the state-run hospital had been “left unattended” which resulted in cybercriminals getting access to the AIIMS system.

“The group has been involved in cyberattacks and (had been) identified by our probe agencies in the past as well. We are taking measures to thwart attacks from them in future,” a senior government official said.

The probe is being conducted by the National Investigation Agency and the Indian Computer Emergency Team (CERT-in), the country’s nodal cybersecurity agency.

“We found several inconsistencies with cybersecurity practices in AIIMS,” another official said.

The Water Wars Myth: India, China and the Brahmaputra

Mark Giordano; Anya Wahal

South Asia’s Brahmaputra has been cited as one of the basins most at risk for interstate water conflict. While violent conflict has occurred between China and India within the Brahmaputra’s basin boundaries, the risks of conflict over water are in fact low. This is in part because China functionally contributes less to the Brahmaputra’s flow than is commonly perceived and in part because, despite its massive volume, the river can contribute little to solving India’s significant water security challenges. Nonetheless, the Brahmaputra is and will continue to be intimately connected to Sino-Indian tensions largely through the use of water infrastructure investment as a form of territorial demarcation and control.

The Water Wars Theory and Brahmaputra Basin Realities

A simplified version of the water wars argument is that per capita water availability will drop as populations grow and water supplies remain constant. At the same time, economic growth will multiply demand as effective supplies are reduced with quality declines. Climate change will only worsen the situation. For internationally shared rivers, conflict over the vital resource will occur when some tipping point is reached, particularly if tensions over other issues are high and there is no history of institutionalizing cooperation over water through treaties or other mechanisms.

Afghanistan and its neighbourhood: A stocktaking of regional cooperation since the Taliban takeover

Jiayi Zhou

Twenty years ago, the six countries bordering Afghanistan signed a declaration expressing their shared commitment to help rebuild the country and a desire for ‘peace and stability in the region’ after the fall of the then Taliban government.

The situation in Afghanistan today is a far cry from what those six countries—China, Iran, Pakistan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan—envisaged in 2002. The abrupt withdrawal of United States and allied forces and the return to power of the Taliban in August 2021 has generated a host of new security and development challenges. Over a dozen transnational militant and terrorist groups are now present in Afghanistan, several under the auspices of the Taliban. Discrimination on the grounds of gender, ethnicity and religion is pervasive, as are human rights abuses. Already difficult humanitarian, developmental and economic conditions have further deteriorated into a crisis that is unlikely to end as long as the Taliban government—diplomatically isolated and under a range of international sanctions—remains recalcitrant in meeting demands to form a more inclusive government, uphold the rights of women, and counter rather than facilitate terrorist groups.

However, regional cooperation has been quite limited in the past two decades. With the USA and its allies’ governments turning their attention elsewhere, Afghanistan’s neighbours have started to consider how they can best respond to these risks and challenges, and even intervene collectively to tackle them. This topical backgrounder presents several indications that a more regionally grounded, cohesive perspective and approach is indeed emerging—small seeds from which a sustainable response to Afghanistan’s peace, security and development challenges might grow.

Pakistan’s New Chief Of Army Staff: Challenges For General Asim Munir

Vinay Kaura


The Chief of Army Staff of the Pakistan Army (COAS) has often wielded real power in a broader ‘battlespace’ that extends beyond the military domain into the heart of Pakistan’s polity, society and economy. One former Pakistani diplomat has expressed her frustration over the hype surrounding the appointment of the Army chief, arguing that the “impression this created was as if the entire destiny of the country depended on who made it to the army’s top slot.”[1] However, she did not downplay its significance and remarked:

“This is not to say such appointments are inconsequential in a country that has seen repeated military interventions in politics and where the Army continues to wield much influence and power. But the obsessive concern with the change of guard at GHQ [General Headquarters] made it appear as if this is the defining factor that will decide the country’s direction in the years ahead.” [2]

Nonetheless, there should be no doubt that the Army chief has the real power to make Pakistan’s destiny. Even though the constitution provides no space for the Pakistan Army in the political domain, soon after his appointment, the Army chief often becomes almost equal to the prime minister in key decisions that affect Pakistan’s destiny.

How to Stop Chinese Coercion:The Case for Collective Resilience

Victor Cha

It took just seven words for the National Basketball Association to get canceled by Beijing. As pro-democracy protesters swarmed the streets of Hong Kong in October 2019, Daryl Morey, then the general manager of the Houston Rockets, one of the NBA’s 30 teams, posted a simple message to his Twitter account: “Fight for freedom, stand with Hong Kong.” Chinese broadcasters and streamers quickly announced that they would no longer show his team’s games. The league, which has more viewers in China than in the United States, immediately tried to distance itself from Morey’s tweet, writing that the general manager didn’t speak for the NBA and issuing a statement that implicitly rebuked him. That response fostered a backlash among fans outside China and did nothing to please Beijing. A bipartisan collection of U.S. senators blasted the league for not standing by Morey’s freedom of expression while all 11 of the NBA’s Chinese sponsors and partners suspended their cooperation. With a couple of exceptions, China’s broadcasters stopped airing NBA games until March 2022. The league’s commissioner, Adam Silver, estimated that the rupture cost his organization hundreds of millions of dollars.

At first glance, the row between China and the NBA may seem like small potatoes: a tiny example of how the U.S.-Chinese relationship is now more defined by contestation than by close economic partnership. But Beijing’s behavior toward the NBA is emblematic of a much bigger and extremely worrying pattern, and it is one that the Biden administration’s China strategy does not wholly address. Over the last dozen years, Beijing has slapped discriminatory sanctions on trading partners that interact with Taiwan or support democracy in Hong Kong. It has imposed embargoes on and fueled boycotts against countries and companies that speak out against genocide in Xinjiang or repression in Tibet. Indeed, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has gone after almost any entity that has crossed China in any way. And this strategy has worked. Because the Chinese economy is so integral to global markets, China’s coercive behavior has caused tens of billions of dollars in damage. The mere threat of Chinese cutoffs is now prompting states and businesses to stay quiet about Beijing’s abuses.

China's Belt and Road Initiative: A Geopolitical and Geo-economic Assessment

The IISS Strategic Dossier China’s Belt and Road Initiative provides a geopolitical and geo-economic assessment of President Xi Jinping’s flagship foreign-policy initiative. The dossier explores the Belt and Road Initiative’s (BRI) role in China’s domestic industrial strategy and in the country’s growing influence around the world.

China's Belt and Road Initiative studies how Beijing’s ambitions as well as management and financing of the initiative have evolved since its launch in 2013. In addition, the volume reflects on the initiative’s future following the coronavirus pandemic.

Key features

Includes three thematic chapters. A strategy chapter charts the evolution of Beijing’s geo-economic and geopolitical ambitions for the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), and how it has used the initiative to increase its economic security and to pursue ambitions in different industries over time. A management chapter examines how Beijing’s control of the initiative has evolved in response to domestic and international pressures. And a financing chapter looks at how conditions in the wider Chinese economy have motivated and constrained the flow of funds for Chinese lending and investment overseas.

One Belt, One Road: Changing Asian Geo-Politics and India

Raviprasad Narayanan


The ‘One Belt One Road’ (OBOR) has remarkably transformed discourse on geopolitics within the Asian context. As an initiative, the OBOR has embedded within itself a peculiar dynamic that propels China as the primary determinant of geopolitical cross-currents in Asia. Evolving into being termed ‘Belt and Road Initiative’ (BRI), this paper adheres to OBOR as primary reference, continuous in its metaphorical and temporal usage. Having won accolades and criticisms, Beijing is determined to construct a new ‘frame’ and ‘template’ for Asia, bypassing existing ‘structures’ and institutions. As scholars, the questions that arise from the OBOR are many: How is the OBOR different from existing arrangements? Why is Beijing highlighting OBOR and is it any different from earlier half-hearted attempts at knitting the region in a seamless manner? What are the theoretical implications of the OBOR? Is the OBOR an atypical construct or one that adheres to existing normative constructs? Will OBOR outlast the current leadership in Beijing with the individual stamp of Xi Jinping bearing a huge imprint on this initiative? What about India’s foreign policy decision-making? This new frame has to take into account the closer relations evolving between the United States and India — a relationship by no stretch of imagination without its discontinuities. This paper will dwell at length on this equation. For OBOR to be explicated, it necessitates the adoption of several approaches to tease the arguments — in favor and against — and this paper will strive to adopt a critical stance in evaluating OBOR theoretically, and in practice with a bearing on generating a prognosis for India.

How to Engage and Prevail in Political Warfare against China

John Lee

In his report to the Twentieth National Congress of the Communist Party in October, Xi Jinping praised the progress made over the past decade under his leadership to advance the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation domestically and internationally. According to Xi, this is taking place in an era of “momentous changes of a like not seen in a century [and which] are accelerating across the world.”1 For Xi, these “great changes” comprise “a significant shift [that] is taking place in the international balance of power, presenting China with new strategic opportunities in pursuing development.”2

A pillar of Xi’s plan to realize the rejuvenation of China and to emerge as the preeminent nation in the region and beyond is to shrink the strategic, military, economic, political, and normative ground in the region on which the United States can sustain, build, and demonstrate its power and influence. This is because China knows there is no material or nonmaterial counterbalance without the US. Additionally, the more China can weaken the resolve of US allies and other countries to support American-led initiatives to counter China and the credibility of the US-led alliance system, the smaller and weaker the ground for Washington to maintain its footholds in distant lands becomes, and the closer China draws to its goal of preeminence.

China's progress in strengthening measures to tackle money laundering and terrorist financing

Overall, China has made progress in addressing some of the technical compliance deficiencies identified in its 32016 Mutual Evaluation report. The country has been upgraded on two recommendations:Recommendation 7 - Targeted financial sanctions related to proliferation
Recommendation 24 - Transparency and beneficial ownership of legal persons

China is now compliant on 9 Recommendations, largely compliant on 22 and partially compliant on 5 Recommendations. The country remains non compliant on four recommendations.

China will remain in enhanced follow up and will continue to inform the FATF of progress achieved on improving the implementation of its AML/CFT measures.

How Realistic Are China’s Plans to Expand CPEC to Afghanistan?

Mariyam Suleman Anees

In October this year, Islamabad played host to the 11th China-Pakistan Joint Cooperation Committee (JCC) meeting to discuss the progress of projects under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). New projects and progress on existing ones as well as the expansion of CPEC were the main items on the agenda of the meeting.

The meeting was important for both countries. When the last JCC meeting was held in 2021, Imran Khan was the prime minister. In April this year, his government was ousted from power after it lost a no-confidence vote in parliament. A new coalition government led by Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has taken charge since. With new ministers heading ministries in the federal government, it was important for both sides to review CPEC projects; discuss new projects, especially in the areas of energy, transport and infrastructure; address security concerns; and explore the inclusion of a third party – Afghanistan – in CPEC.

Through its Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), China foresees a future of vast expansion of road, rail, and port networks, and consequently, unprecedented growth in its global economic influence. The more countries that sign up for the BRI, the larger will be China’s global business footprint. And CPEC has been described as the “crown jewel” of the BRI.

Can China Continue to Balance Between Saudi Arabia and Iran?

Jesse Marks

Last week, China’s President Xi Jinping visited Saudi Arabia for a historic multi-day visit to attend three major regional events: the Saudi-China summit, the China-Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) summit, and the China-Arab Summit. During the visit, Xi and Saudi King Salman hailed a new era in Sino-Saudi bilateral relations.

The grandeur of Xi’s visit sent powerful signals that Sino-Saudi ties are entering a new period of rapid development. For China’s other Gulf partner, Iran, the strengthening of ties could mean a distinct disadvantage for Tehran in its protracted rivalry with Saudi Arabia.

China’s relationships with Saudi Arabia and Iran are complicated. China’s leadership has to carefully manage its relations with both to maintain its neutrality and protect its own economic, political, and security interests. Every few years, Beijing goes on a diplomatic offensive in the Gulf, sparking speculation from observers that China is favoring one side over the other in the Saudi-Iran dispute.

Exploit Commercial Electronics To Deter Beijing Before It’s Too Late

Bryan Clark & Dan Patt

China's push to become a military "peer competitor" of the United States has been a great leap forward for Beijing. But don't count the United States out just yet. Though few have noticed, the United States has had a trillion-dollar research effort under way for years into exactly the technologies that warfighters will need to gain an edge on the modern battlefield.

The reason it's attracted so little attention? Because it hasn't been the product of Pentagon planning, congressional appropriations, and procurement from leading American defense contractors. Rather, it’s taken place in the commercial world building phones, computers, and gaming consoles. The private sector may now be the Pentagon's biggest asset in maintaining its leadership in tech. And we should make the most of it.

This is a stunning reversal, all the more remarkable because it happened without a guiding hand from government officials. Rather, it's something whose breakthrough implications have gradually been dawning on policymakers.

For decades, military innovation came from within the military-industrial complex Eisenhower fretted about, which served us well through the Cold War and beyond. Custom systems designed to spec were the norm, from fighter jets and naval vessels to artillery pieces and cruise missiles.

Opinion | The Fevered Anti-China Attitude in Washington Is Going to Backfire


With little fanfare or public debate, America has embarked on one of its most difficult and dangerous international challenges since the Cold War. The task: reversing decades of economic and technological integration with its chief rival, China.

This technological decoupling, if done selectively, will help to preserve America’s military edge, protect key U.S. industries from unfair competition, and push back on Beijing’s human rights abuses. But if decoupling goes too far, it will drag down the U.S. economy, drive away allies, stymie efforts to address global crises like climate change, and increase the odds of a catastrophic war.

Balancing these grave risks is a high-wire act for U.S. leaders, but unfortunately, their policies have begun to teeter toward excess. Hawkish figures in the Biden administration, in Congress and in the foreign policy establishment who seek to lunge further and faster toward decoupling are leading the country’s current approach. This “restrictionist” camp is unfailingly confident in anti-China measures like sanctions and blacklists. Its rising influence can be seen in proposals for open-ended investment controls and extraordinary financial sanctions. Most recently, the White House spearheaded new export controls on semiconductors and chip-making equipment, the boldest U.S. leap toward decoupling so far.

Building a U.S.-Australia-Philippines Triad

Gregory B. Poling, Andreyka Natalegawa
Source Link

The Issue

U.S. alliances in the Indo-Pacific vary dramatically in terms of reliability, capability, and clarity of strategic rationale. The two oldest U.S. security alliances in the region—with the Philippines and Australia—illustrate this clearly. The U.S. alliance with Australia has never been stronger. By contrast, the United States’ alliance with the Philippines has barely survived a period of deep uncertainty and remains fragile and underdeveloped, posing significant challenges and risks to U.S. defense strategy and interests. It is increasingly urgent that the United States and Australia shore up the strategic foundations of their partnerships with the Philippines, highlight the mutual benefits of working together, and assess the role that trilateral cooperation should play in regional security.

As outlined in the 2022 National Defense Strategy (NDS), the United States is engaged in long-term strategic competition with China that is playing out with particular intensity in the Indo-Pacific. Beijing seeks to undermine the U.S. alliance system and displace the United States as the preeminent power in the region. Given China’s clear strategic intent, the focus in the NDS on strengthening alliances is well placed, but U.S. alliances in the Indo-Pacific vary dramatically in terms of reliability, capability, and clarity of strategic rationale. The two oldest U.S. security alliances in the region—with the Philippines and Australia—illustrate this clearly. The U.S. alliance with Australia has never been stronger. The two are developing new defense capabilities, building interoperability, and increasingly working together as a networked security architecture. The Australia-United Kingdom-United States pact, or AUKUS, is just the latest sign of this increasingly robust partnership.

The Ukraine War in data: The most generous donors to Ukraine

Alex Leeds Matthews, Tom Nagorski, Justin Rood,  and Mariana Labbate

We have reported often on the staggering figures of financial and military aid given to Ukraine by the United States and other members of NATO since the war began. Not to diminish those contributions in any way, but we were reminded recently that some other countries have pulled their weight in particularly powerful ways, given the relatively small size of their own economies.

The data-gathering site Statista has compiled figures and done the math and found that the United States, for all its largesse, actually ranks ninth in aid to Ukraine, when measured as a percentage of the overall economy. As of late November, the U.S. was providing 0.23 percent of GDP in assistance, or just shy of one quarter of 1 percent. The big donors when measured this way are a pair of Baltic nations: Latvia (0.93 percent) and Estonia (1.1 percent). In other words, Estonia is the only nation giving more than 1 percent of its annual GDP to help Ukraine.

Rounding out the top five donors on this list: Poland (0.50 percent), Lithuania (0.46 percent) and Norway (0.34 percent). As students of history will know, the Baltic nations have long held a mix of fear and suspicion when it comes to Moscow. No doubt those emotions and past realities have much to do with these figures.

Why is the Biden administration changing its mind on giving Patriot missiles to Ukraine?

Joshua Keating

In Ukraine, the realm of the possible is always expanding.

In the early days of the conflict, despite Ukraine’s pleas for more advanced air defense capabilities, U.S. officials were adamant that Patriot missiles, the U.S. military’s premier air defense system, were not on the table. “There’s no discussion about putting a Patriot battery in Ukraine,” a senior defense official told Defense One in March, citing the number of troops — usually around 90 — required to operate a single Patriot missile battery, and the extensive training they would require. Other objections included cost, the relative scarcity of available Patriots, and the fact that they’re not really designed for combating many of the weapons Russia is firing at Ukraine.

U.S. and NATO officials continued to cite these objections in the months that followed. As recently as the end of November, when asked about the possibility of sending Patriots to Ukraine, Secretary of State Antony Blinken replied, “We’ve helped the Ukrainians adapt by making sure that the weapon systems that we were giving them — and many others are giving them — are actually fit for the threat that they’re facing.” In other words, they still weren’t convinced Ukraine needed the Patriots.

GPS Signals Are Being Disrupted in Russian Cities

EVERY DAY, BILLIONS of people use the GPS satellite system to find their way around the world—but GPS signals are vulnerable. Jamming and spoofing attacks can cripple GPS connections entirely or make something appear in the wrong location, causing disruption and safety issues. Just ask Russia.

New data analysis reveals that multiple major Russian cities appear to have faced widespread GPS disruption during the past week. The signal interference follows Ukraine launching long-range drone attacks deep into Russian territory, and it may act as a way to potentially stop drones that rely upon GPS for navigation, experts say.

The GPS interference has “expanded on a scale that hasn't been seen before,” says Erik Kannike, a program manager at Estonian defense intelligence firm SensusQ who has been monitoring the situation. “What we're seeing now, since about a week ago, is GPS jamming bubbles covering hundreds if not thousands of kilometers around tactical cities.”

The GPS issues were first spotted by the monitoring system GPSJam, which uses data from planes to track problems with the satellite navigation system. The website has logged an increasing number of GPS disturbances in the Russian cities of Saratov, Volgograd, and Penza since the start of December. All of the cities are in western Russia and within hundreds of kilometers of the border with Ukraine.

Emerging Security Issues in Space Policy

Kari A. Bingen: Welcome, everybody. This is our event today on emerging space security issues. Welcome to our guests both here in person as well as online. I’m Karin Bingen, the director of the Aerospace Security Project here at the Center for International – for Strategic and International Studies – I should know my own organization – CSIS here in Washington, D.C.

It is a privilege to welcome the Honorable John Plumb, the assistant secretary of defense for space policy, the first ASD space policy, for what I believe is his first public discussion on space issues other than having to appear before Congress. So I think the event today is also timely with next week’s third birthday of the Space Force.

This is a multipart event this afternoon. First, my chat with Dr. Plumb, which I think will be a tour de force across national security space. Then, we’ll take a short break and then welcome a distinguished panel of experts to discuss the topic of low-Earth orbit – LEO – broadband communications, the impact of which we’re seeing daily in Ukraine and the subject of a CSIS report that was just released this afternoon. Finally, we welcome those that are joining us in person to a reception in our foyer afterwards. This panel discussion is made possible by the generous support of Amazon Kuiper and SpaceX.

Building Supply Chain Resilience

Emily Harding, Harshana Ghoorhoo

"Innovation for Resilience: A New Framework for Security" is a series of articles from the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS). This initiative is a partnership between CSIS's Diversity and Leadership in International Affairs Program, Energy Security and Climate Change Program, International Security Program, and Strategic Technologies Program.

In late 2021, global supply chains were stretched to breaking point. A British parliamentary committee found that an average of one in six adults in Great Britain experienced essential food shortages in late October and 37 percent struggled to get fuel. Two months earlier, a survey found that business stock levels were the lowest they had been since 1983.

Around the same time, the port of Los Angeles was in the middle of a crisis. Ships were lined up for miles, unable to move products through the bottleneck at the port. The port’s executive director said the port had the capability to run 24 hours a day, but a shortage of truck drivers and nighttime warehouse workers prevented a nonstop schedule. He cited the tremendous challenge of getting “this entire orchestra of supply chain players to get on the same calendar.”

Japan to join US effort to tighten chip exports to China

Japan and the Netherlands have agreed in principle to join the US in tightening controls over the export of advanced chipmaking machinery to China, according to people familiar with the matter, a potentially debilitating blow to Beijing’s technology ambitions.

The two countries are likely to announce in the coming weeks that they will adopt at least some of the sweeping measures the US rolled out in October to restrict the sale of advanced semiconductor manufacturing equipment, according to the people, who asked not to be named because they are not authorised to speak publicly on the matter.

The Biden administration has said the measures are aimed at preventing Beijing’s military from obtaining advanced semiconductors.

The three-country alliance would represent a near total blockade of China’s ability to buy the equipment necessary to make leading-edge chips.

Russia’s New Theory of Victory: How Moscow Is Trying to Learn From Its Mistakes

Mick Ryan

Christmas Day will be a grim milestone for the Ukrainian people. It will mark almost exactly ten months since Russian forces crossed into their country, bringing devastation on a scale not seen in Europe since World War II. Tens of thousands of Ukrainians have been killed. Millions have fled their homes. Most of the state has lost power, leading Kyiv to worry that—as winter sets in—many of its citizens will freeze.

But Christmas will also be a grim marker for Russia. Moscow planned for a short, victorious campaign. Ukraine has instead dealt it a bitter lesson on modern warfighting and national resilience. The Ukrainians have steadily degraded Russia’s military capacity by damaging its forces on the battlefield and in support areas. They have undermined Russia’s reputation both around the globe and in the minds of Russia’s own soldiers, commanders, and citizens. The Ukrainians eschew methodical battles with high attrition where possible, but they engage in close combat when they have opportunities to gain ground. It has all been to great effect. Ukraine pushed Russia away from Kyiv, took back the northeast province of Kharkiv, and liberated parts of the Donbas. Most recently, it freed Kherson, the only provincial capital that Russia has succeeded in capturing.

NOWHERE TO HIDE: How a nuclear war would kill you — and almost everyone else.

François Diaz-Maurin

This summer, the New York City Emergency Management department released a new public service announcement on nuclear preparedness, instructing New Yorkers about what to do during a nuclear attack. The 90-second video starts with a woman nonchalantly announcing the catastrophic news: “So there’s been a nuclear attack. Don’t ask me how or why, just know that the big one has hit.” Then the PSA video advises New Yorkers on what to do in case of a nuclear attack: Get inside, stay inside, and stay tuned to media and governmental updates.

But nuclear preparedness works better if you are not in the blast radius of a nuclear attack. Otherwise, there’s no going into your house and closing your doors because the house will be gone. Now imagine there have been hundreds of those “big ones.” That’s what even a “small” nuclear war would include. If you are lucky not to be within the blast radius of one of those, it may not ruin your day, but soon enough, it will ruin your whole life.

Effects of a single nuclear explosion

Crisis propaganda

Gregory Asmolov

Starting from February 2022, the Russian authorities initiated a large-scale information campaign with the aim of justifying the war against Ukraine and neutralising potential protest-oriented attitudes. In addition to maintaining the legitimacy of authorities in the context of worsening living conditions for Russians, propaganda has systematically downplayed the value of human life on both sides of the conflict. On the one hand, propaganda continues its efforts to justify civilian deaths on the ‘enemy’ side while, on the other, it explains the inevitability of fatalities on the propagandist’s side. The Russian information campaign has also conjured up a simplified picture of the world, which helps to find answers to potential difficult questions. According to researchers, the demand for such simplifications rises in crisis situations, and propaganda turns into a tool for mass therapy through news.

However, Russian propaganda has had an Achilles’ heel right from the outset of the aggression in February: the war coverage by the Russian media built an expectation of imminent victory. The further the hostilities dragged on, the more difficult it became to construct an ‘image of victory’, especially given that the Ukrainian successes were associated with strikes against targets with high symbolic value, be it the Moskva warship or the Crimean Bridge. The unattainability of victory presumably generated increased frustration and a wave of rising negative emotions. Once control over these emotions is lost, they could be directed not only at external targets, but also ones within the political system.

Ten Lessons from the Return of History

Richard Haass

Few will miss 2022, a year defined by a lingering pandemic, advancing climate change, galloping inflation, slowing economic growth, and, more than anything else, the outbreak of a costly war in Europe and concerns that violent conflict could soon erupt in Asia. Some of this was anticipated, but much of it was not – and all of it suggests lessons that we ignore at our peril.

First, war between countries, thought by more than a few academics to be obsolete, is anything but. What we are seeing in Europe is an old-fashioned imperial war, in which Russian President Vladimir Putin is seeking to extinguish Ukraine as a sovereign, independent entity. His goal is to ensure a democratic, market-oriented country seeking close ties to the West cannot thrive on Russia’s borders and set an example that might prove attractive to Russians.

Of course, rather than achieving the quick and easy victory he expected, Putin has discovered that his own army is not as powerful, and that his opponents are far more determined, than he – and many in the West – had anticipated. Ten months later, the war continues with no end in sight.

Cyber Warfare: How the Digital World Became a Battlefield

With the Russia-Ukraine war in full swing, cybersecurity experts point to a cyber front that had been forming online long before Russian troops crossed the border. Even in the months leading up to the outbreak of war, Ukrainian websites were attacked and altered to display threatening messages about the coming invasion.

“In response to Russian warfare actions, the hacking collective Anonymous launched a series of attacks against Russia, with the country’s state media being the main target. So we can see cyber warfare in action with new types of malware flooding both countries, thousands of sites crashing under DDoS (distributed denial-of-service) attacks, and hacktivism thriving on both sides of barricades,” Daniel Markuson, a cybersecurity expert at NordVPN, says.
The methods of cyberwarfare

In the past decade, the amount of time people spend online has risen drastically. Research by NordVPN has shown that Americans spend around 21 years of their lives online. With our life so dependent on the internet, cyber wars can cause very real damage. Some of the goals online “soldiers” are trying to pursue include:Sabotage and terrorism

Missiles or signals? How Misawa’s Joint Threat Emitters keep Wild Weasel pilots combat ready

35th Fighter Wing Public AffairsMISAWA AIR BASE, Japan -- Misawa Air Base pilots are constantly training and attending exercises to hone their skills to fine points, but ultimately nothing beats real-world experiences when preparing to project agile combat air power.

Providing real-world scenarios is expensive and it can also be dangerous. Misawa AB, with the help of a commercial defense industry partner, recently installed two new Joint Threat Emitters (JTEs) to get as close to real-world conditions, as safely possible.

“To best train pilots, we have to give an accurate representation of enemy anti-air systems,” said Maj. Daniel House, 35th Operations Support Squadron range operations officer. “These JTEs allow us to prepare against enemy air defenses, and stop them from destroying friendly aircraft in combat scenarios.”

These JTEs provide ground threat warnings to the aircraft via an electronic signal to simulate a surface-to-air missile or anti-aircraft artillery -- giving Wild Weasel, joint, and partner nation pilots realistic aerial combat training.

The threats aren't physical, but they emulate numerous types of radar, electronic warfare and other threats. The emitters also have the ability to respond to aircraft’s countermeasures, and can help further train pilots by mirroring enemy tactics, techniques, and procedures.

Defenses Carved Into the Earth

Marco Hernandez and Josh Holder

Russia is building a vast network of trenches, traps and obstacles to slow Ukraine’s momentum. Will it work?

Trenches are not new to Ukraine. Trench warfare has long been a feature of the battle in eastern Ukraine for the Donbas region. Ukrainians fight from their own trenches on their side of the line near Popasna, where Russians are waging an intense campaign to dislodge Ukrainian troops from the city of Bakhmut.

But the pace and the scale of Russian construction over the last couple of months is unmatched. All of the structures in the image above appeared within six days.

The fortifications show how Russia’s military is trying to set up more robust, defensible positions against Ukrainian pressure, often with the help of natural obstacles like rivers.

Last month, Ukraine recaptured a large amount of territory in the south, including the regional capital of Kherson, pushing Russian forces across the Dnipro River. The river serves as a natural barrier, and Russia has built an enormous series of defensive obstacles south of the river to discourage Ukraine from crossing it.

17 Great Tech Books to Gift (or Keep for Yourself)

TECHNOLOGY IS EXERTING an ever-growing influence on our world. A cast including Facebook—or Meta—Google, and Apple, with leads like Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos, and Elizabeth Holmes, looms large in the public consciousness. Give the gift of knowledge to enlighten the technology-obsessed people in your life and help them learn more about the companies and characters dominating the industry, the news cycle, and, increasingly, our lives.

From painstakingly researched biographies and histories charting the rise and fall of modern business empires to deep dives into the birth of influential gadgets, these are some of the best tech books to gift. You may also be interested in our Best Cookbooks of 2022 and Best Kindles guides.

Why Joe Biden Should Give ATACMS To Ukraine

Lindsey Neas

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky is repeatedly rebuffed in his requests for the long-range Army Tactical Missile System, or ATACMS. He knows these precision-strike missiles, with their range of 190 miles, would fundamentally change the course of the war if used against Russian supply lines.

The Biden administration contends that ATACMS missiles aren’t needed, and, if provided, could be used against Russia directly. It fears that giving these missiles to Ukraine would escalate the war, a concern stoked daily by Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Russian forces occupy about 40,600 square miles of Ukrainian territory. Most of Crimea and an arc along the coast sit beyond the 50-mile range of U.S.- and British-supplied missiles, making it an operational sanctuary for Russian resupply efforts.

Putin’s frontline troops depend on vulnerable supply lines in Ukraine that stretch back 200 miles. If attacked in depth, those routes would prove to be the Russian military’s greatest weakness. This is Russia’s jugular, and Putin knows this. In requesting ATACMS missiles, Zelensky proposes a deep-strike assault to substantially degrade Russia’s capability to resupply.