30 December 2022

Maritime Road to 2030: EU’s Indo-Pacific Footprint and India

Jagannath Panda

Europe’s role in the Indo-Pacific has become a matter of strategic importance in global politics. China’s disruptive role in the region, especially with its hardening stance towards Taiwan and burgeoning relations with Russia, have forced a shift in the European Union’s (EU) outlook towards the Indo-Pacific. With the Indian Ocean being a gateway to the region, the EU’s Indo-Pacific outlook and Maritime Security Strategy (MSS) require careful scrutiny.

This policy paper by Jagannath Panda looks at the EU’s policy frameworks – like the MSS, Strategic Compass and the Indo-Pacific strategy – to understand their complementarities and impact on its presence in the Indo-Pacific domain. Through a review of such an integrated EU approach, which emphasizes regional maritime multilateralism alongside bilateral frameworks, the paper outlines key trends that Brussels will need to contend with over the coming decade, including dissonance over the China factor and collaboration with regional middle powers.

The paper highlights that moving forward, the EU must focus on broadening partnerships in the Indian Ocean, and collaboration with states like India, as well as greater participation in regional multilateral forums, is critical. India-EU maritime diplomacy is at a nascent stage and requires continued impetus; the paper outlines key policy recommendations for such India-EU cooperation. The EU’s Indo-Pacific approach is constructive, inclusive and non-confrontational. Whether it moves beyond its limited scope and translates into meaningful action remains to be seen.

Why China Is Losing Leverage Against India

Atul Kumar

On December 9, a conflict broke out between Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) forces and Indian soldiers in the Yangtze Mountains in India’s Tawang district. Approximately 300 PLA soldiers attempted to cross the McMahon Line, the de-facto border, into India and dismantle sentry posts on the ridge. However, Indian soldiers repulsed the Chinese intrusion. The confrontation became public three days later and reignited tensions between the two nations.

Both China and India have been engaged in negotiations to resolve the ongoing border standoff that began in April 2020. These efforts have led to partial disengagements and the establishment of a belt of buffer zones in eastern Ladakh. However, the recent conflict in the eastern sector highlights the unstable and unpredictable situation on the Sino-Indian border. The clash in Yangtze further reveals China’s limited options to prevent India’s slide toward the Western camp in the growing Sino-American strategic competition.

The Yangtze Mountains in the eastern sector of the Sino-Indian border are a mutually recognized disputed area. The McMahon Line, accepted as the boundary in the 1960 China-Myanmar border agreement, separates India and Tibet through the ridgeline. The mountain range is home to grazing grounds where locals have traditionally brought their livestock. Its 17,000-foot-high peaks offer a direct line of sight to survey military developments in both the Chinese and Indian directions. Consequently, control over these peaks confers a natural military advantage.

China Says It’s Ready to Work with India to Improve Ties

Rajeswari Pillai Rajagopalan

India-China relations have been under enormous strain in recent years. The Indian foreign minister, S. Jaishankar, on many occasions has stated that India-China relations are going through an “extremely difficult phase.” For the two to return to normalcy in the relationship, he added that it will depend on three mutuals: mutual sensitivity, mutual respect and mutual interest. On the current status of the ties, Jaishankar remarked that “the state of the border will determine the state of the relationship.”

China appears to want a reset of ties. Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi stated that China is ready to work with India in improving bilateral ties. Speaking at a symposium on the international situation and China’s foreign relations in 2022, Wang reportedly said that both countries “have maintained communication through the diplomatic and military-to-military channels, and both countries are committed to upholding stability in the border areas. We stand ready to work with India in the direction toward steady and sound growth of China-India relations.”

Taliban Erasing Women From Society in Afghanistan

Baktash Siawash

On Saturday, the Taliban banned women from working with nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) in Afghanistan. The ban comes days after the Taliban indefinitely banned women from universities.

These restrictions add to the growing list of impositions by the Taliban on Afghan women. Since its takeover in August 2021, the group has barred girls from secondary schools, women from most of the workforce, women and girls from participating in sports, and women from traveling without a male chaperone. Further, the Taliban have dismantled domestic abuse shelters, created barriers for women and girls to access health care, and arrested and tortured female protesters demanding their basic rights, among a litany of other abuses. In its recent report, Amnesty International referred to the Taliban’s policies against women as “death in slow motion.”

Afghan women are being erased from society in Taliban-run Afghanistan.

As the Taliban have not lived up to its international obligations, countries must take measures beyond condemnation, such as avoiding bilateral meetings with the Taliban (since their return to power, the group has had at least 440 engagements with foreign countries) and ensuring all interaction is limited within the purview of the United Nations to tackle the country’s humanitarian crisis, conditioning economic assistance, placing travel ban restrictions on group leaders, and freezing their personal bank accounts to raise the costs of denying Afghan women their rights.

Pakistan and the US Join Hands Against the Pakistani Taliban

Umair Jamal

The United States has offered to help Pakistan in dealing with the terror threat posed by the banned Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP). Recent developments indicate that a conversation between Pakistan and the U.S. in this regard may have begun, allowing space for coordinated action against TTP and other militant groups.

Addressing a news briefing last week, U.S. State Department Spokesperson Ned Price said that Pakistan remains an important security partner. Highlighting concerns regarding militant threats in the region, he said terrorist groups are “present in Afghanistan, in the Afghan-Pakistan border region that present a clear threat as we’re seeing not only to Pakistan but potentially to countries and people beyond.”

“We’re in regular dialogue with our Pakistani partners. We are prepared to help them take on the threats they face,” he added.

The Taliban and Isis are in a battle for control

Joe Wallen

An insurgency has once again started in Afghanistan – and this time, the Taliban is the target. Since the Americans left Kabul last year, high-profile Taliban figures have been the victims of 220 remote explosive and suicide attacks, one of which took place the day before I arrived in the capital in October. A suicide bomber somehow managed to strike in a mosque inside Afghanistan’s Interior Ministry, which is responsible for security and law enforcement in the country. It was the type of attack that should have been impossible to carry out. Four people were killed and two dozen wounded. They were the latest victims of a war between the Taliban and Isis.

Isis and the Taliban both follow variations of jihadist Sunni Islam, but they are ideological enemies. The Taliban’s beliefs are drawn from the Deobandi branch of Islam – which is less extreme than the Wahhabi-Salafist form of Islam practised by Isis (and also by al Qaeda). Many of the Taliban’s beliefs come not only from Sunni Islam but also the traditional Pashtun tribal way of life in Afghanistan. Isis’s jihadi-Salafism places greater emphasis on the ‘purity’ of anti-idolatry than the Taliban. Crucially, the two groups also disagree over nationalism: Isis rejects it, which runs counter to the Afghan Taliban’s aims of ruling Afghanistan.

To Please the IMF, Sri Lanka is Cutting Troop Numbers

Rathindra Kuruwita

In early December, Sri Lankan media outlets announced that the Sri Lankan Army had decided to reduce troop numbers by 16,000. According to Sri Lanka’s libertarian-leaning publication, EconomyNext, President Ranil Wickremesinghe proposed to introduce a voluntary retirement scheme for troops in a bid to reduce military spending.

Sri Lanka is working on negotiating a $2.9 billion package from the IMF and several influential figures close to the government have been pressing for a reduction in military spending.

They argue that in recent decades, military spending has been excessive, reducing the residual supply of productive resources (that is, capital and labor) available for private and non-defense public investment, thereby weakening the economy, i.e., the depletion theory. The hypothesis is that lower rates of investment and economic growth are the effect of higher levels of military spending. Thus, the expected result of reduced military spending is greater investment and economic growth.

As I pointed out in a previous article, of the total defense allocation of $1.45 billion, $1.29 billion is for recurrent expenditure, mainly for the payment of troops. Only a fraction of the budget goes toward capital expenditure and any meaningful reduction of the defense budget cannot be made without a reduction in troop numbers. Defense spending is about 2 percent of the country’s GDP.

5 big questions China and Xi Jinping face in 2023

Lili Pike

Heading into 2022, some things were foreseeable: President Xi Jinping’s appointment to a third term at the October Communist Party Congress was all but assured, U.S.-China relations were bound to remain rocky, and a real estate crisis would continue to grip the nation.

But the main story of the year — China’s draconian zero-covid policy — was just beginning to take hold; few predicted how it would upend life for millions of Chinese people. And even fewer foresaw that China would — as a result — be hit with its most widespread protests in years.

Now, on the precipice of 2023, one thing is clear — how China handles the messy unwinding of zero-covid looks to be the most profound question facing the country as new year begins. Almost everything else, from the fate of the economy to the future of climate action, hinges to some degree on how smoothly — or not — the government and the nation move from harsh restrictions to a true reopening.

Our list leaves out key topics — from U.S.-China relations to potential breakthroughs on technologies like electric vehicle batteries and semiconductors — but it covers core questions involving the pandemic, internal politics and China’s economic growth (or lack thereof). The answers to these questions will have major reverberations in China, and they may well have impact all over the world.

China’s Afghanistan Strategy May Be In Trouble

Kabir Taneja

An attack on a hotel in central Kabul housing Chinese visitors and businesses by the Islamic State Khorasan Province (ISKP) last week once again brought Beijing to the centre of the ‘new’ Afghanistan’s security problems, one that today is standing on a more precarious ground than it was a few months ago.

The ISKP has been filling in vacuums that, ironically, have been left behind by the Taliban as the latter continues its efforts to metamorphise from an insurgency and terror group to a state and political system seeking global recognition. Pro-ISIS propaganda publications targeting South Asia, such as ‘Voice of Khorasan’ which replaced, or subsumed, more hyper-local propaganda outlets such as ‘Sawt Al Hind (Voice of Hind)’ have upped their ante when it comes to anti-China rhetoric as part of extension of criticising the Taliban’s global outreach and the few developing relations it is trying to keep together. While for 20-years the Taliban built the rhetoric of the US presence in the country as an imperialistic conquest of their land and solidified their Islamist ideology around this war against crusaders, like the way it did against the erstwhile USSR, it today finds itself fighting against the likes of ISKP that see China from a similar lens. But of course, Beijing is not seen from a traditional imperial lens, but from an economic one, despite not yet putting in any notable amount of cash into the Taliban’s coffers.

Increased Iranian Terrorist Activities: Emphasis on Israeli and Jewish Targets

Yoram Schweitzer, Anat Shapira, Sima Shine

Over the past two years, about 13 terrorist attacks by Iran’s Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) against Israeli and Jewish targets were publicly revealed and foiled on four continents. In addition, attempts to attack former senior officials in the US administration and Iranian opposition targets in New York and London were thwarted. These events point to Iran’s focused activity in the use of terrorism in the international arena without being deterred by the results of this activity. Prominent in these events is the use of assassins and squads composed of foreign citizens with local assistance, which allows Iran plausible deniability. The brazen stance of IRGC operatives, with the approval of the Supreme Leader, reflects Iran’s intentions to avenge and even deter Israel and the United States from what Iran identifies as their aggression against it, and at the same time to deter exiled Iranian opposition members living in Western countries from their growing criticism of the regime in Tehran.

Iranian Activity against Jewish and Israeli Targets Abroad

Is A New Cold War On The Way?

Deedage Anwar

Around the course of the last several years, geopolitical tensions all over the world have increased. A great number of pundits are of the opinion that a new Cold War is on the verge of breaking out between the United States of America, the current global hegemon, the growing China, and Russia, the former superpower.

On the one hand, Russia’s military assertiveness in Ukraine and the wider Middle East, as well as China’s growing strategic and territorial claims in its neighborhood, appear to be challenging the foundational logic of the post-Cold War security order. This has led many analysts to wonder if we’re going back in time. It would appear that the recent deterioration in relations between the United States and China and Russia as a result of the COVID-19 breakout has given credence to the hypothesis that we are currently on the cusp of a new cold war. Anti-Western and anti-American attitude has arisen in both Moscow and Beijing in response to the fact that China and Russia pose the largest severe dangers to the security of the United States. In what ways are the escalating geopolitical confrontations between the United States, Russia, and China similar to the original Cold War that took place between Moscow and Washington.

China, The West, And The Future Global Order

Julian Lindley-French and Franco Algieri 

The primary purpose of this article is to respectfully communicate to a Chinese audience a Western view of the future world order. China needs the West as much as the West needs China. However, the West has awakened geopolitically to the toxic power politics that Russia is imposing on Ukraine and China’s support for it. China is thus faced with a profound choice: alliance with a declining and weak Russia or cooperation with a powerful bloc of global democracies that Russia’s incompetent and illegal aggression is helping to forge. The West is steadily morphing into a new global Community of Democracies with states such as those in the G7, Quads, and Quints taking on increasing importance as centers of decisionmaking.2 All three groupings reflect an emerging implicit structure with the United States at their core, European democracies on one American geopolitical flank, with Australia, Japan, South Korea, and other democracies in the Indo-Pacific region on the other American geopolitical flank.

As shelling over Ukrainian cities continue, Putin claims he's ready for talks that could end the war. Others says he's bluffing or growing weary.


Russian President Vladimir Putin claimed he's ready for talks that could end the war in Ukraine but blamed the other side for refusing to come to the table, The Associated Press reported on Sunday.

In the statements, taken from a state television interview, Putin said that Russia is "prepared to negotiate some acceptable outcomes with all the participants of this process" but that "it's not us who refuse talks, it's them."

Putin further tried to justify Russia's actions by stating that Moscow has no other choice and that the Kremlin was defending Russia's national interests, the interests of its citizens, and people.

The Russian president has previously made comments about wanting to end the war. In September, he responded to criticism over the ongoing conflict by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi during an in-person meeting in Uzbekistan, Reuters reported. Putin said, "I know about your position on the conflict in Ukraine, and I know about your concerns. We want all of this to end as soon as possible."

Kremlin Can't Stop Ukraine's Mounting Strikes Deep in Russia: Ex-Commander


Aformer Russian commander who played a pivotal role in the 2014 annexation of Crimea said Monday that Ukraine's increased strikes inside Russia cannot be stopped.

Igor Vsevolodovich Girkin, known by the alias Igor Ivanovich Strelkov, posted on his Telegram page that older Soviet Union systems are not equipped to deal with enemy unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) and the "massive use" of High-Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems (HIMARS). Increased military assistance from NATO countries will also lead to "more frequent" attacks on strategic Russian facilities, he added.

"By the beginning of the current war, our air defense came up 'ready for the last colonial war,'" Gurkin wrote. "And, accordingly, now the enemy has the ability to 'cheaply and cheerfully' hit strategic targets in the depths of our territory, spending disposable kamikaze attack vehicles on this with the complete or partial inability of our air defense to resist them."

His warnings come following a report by the Russian Ministry of Defense that a Ukrainian drone targeting Russia's Engels-2 air base, located more than 350 miles from the nearest Ukrainian-controlled territory, was shot down at 1:35 a.m. local time Monday.

The Ghosts of Kennan: Lessons From the Start of a Cold War

Fredrik Logevall

We all read him, those of us who did graduate work in U.S. diplomatic history in the late 1980s and early 1990s. For although there were other important figures in modern U.S. foreign relations, only one was George Kennan, the “father of containment,” who later became an astute critic of U.S. policy as well as a prize-winning historian. We dissected Kennan’s famous “Long Telegram” of February 1946, his “X” article in these pages from the following year, and his lengthy and unvarnished report on Latin America from March 1950. We devoured his slim but influential 1951 book, American Diplomacy, based on lectures he gave at the University of Chicago; his memoirs, which appeared in two installments in 1967 and 1972 and the first of which received both the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award; and any other publication he wrote that we could get our hands on. (I figured there was no skipping Russia Leaves the War, from 1956, as it won not only the same awards garnered by the first volume of his memoirs but also the George Bancroft Prize and the Francis Parkman Prize.) And we dove into the quartet of important studies of Kennan then coming out in rapid succession by our seniors in the guild—by David Mayers, Walter Hixson, Anders Stephanson, and Wilson Miscamble.

Even then, some of us wondered whether Kennan was quite as important to U.S. policy during the early Cold War as numerous analysts made him out to be. Perhaps, we thought, he should be considered an architect of American strategy, not the architect. Perhaps the most that could be said was that he gave a name—containment—and a certain conceptual focus to a foreign policy approach that was already emerging, if not indeed in place. Even at the Potsdam Conference in mid-1945, after all, well before either the Long Telegram or the “X” article, U.S. diplomats understood that Joseph Stalin and his lieutenants were intent on dominating those areas of Eastern and Central Europe that the Red Army had seized. Little could be done to thwart these designs, officials determined, but they vowed to resist any effort by Kremlin leaders to move farther west. Likewise, the Soviets would not be permitted to interfere in Japan or be allowed to take control of Iran or Turkey. This was containment in all but name. By early 1946, when Kennan penned the Long Telegram from the embassy in Moscow, the wartime Grand Alliance was but a fading memory; by then, anti-Soviet sentiment was a stock feature of internal U.S. policy deliberations.

Ukraine's Zelenskiy seeks India PM Modi's help with 'peace formula'

NEW DELHI, Dec 26 (Reuters) - Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelenskiy on Monday said he sought India's help with implementing a "peace formula" in a phone call with Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

The conversation comes at a time when India is seeking to strengthen trade relations with Moscow while Western nations introduce new measures to limit Russia's funding of the war.

"I had a phone call with PM Narendra Modi and wished a successful G20 presidency," Zelenskiy wrote on Twitter. "It was on this platform that I announced the peace formula and now I count on India's participation in its implementation."

Zelenskiy asked the Group of 20 (G20) major economies last month to adopt Ukraine's 10-point peace formula and to end the war. India holds the G20 presidency for a year.

U.S. Colonel Training Zelensky Forces Accuses Soldiers of War 'Atrocities'


Andrew Milburn, a retired U.S. Marine colonel who spent months in Ukraine helping to train President Volodymyr Zelensky's forces, said during a recent interview that there had been "all kinds of atrocities" in Ukraine.

Milburn is the founder and CEO of The Mozart Group, a company composed mainly of former special operations soldiers that has provided services to Ukraine ranging from frontline training to medical evacuation and casualty care. Milburn named the company as a direct counterpoint to the Wagner Group, a Russian mercenary outfit that shares its name with another famous composer.

Max Blumenthal, founder of The Grayzone website, posted a clip to Twitter on Monday of Milburn speaking last month on The Team House podcast.

The video, which was originally posted in full on the podcast's YouTube channel, shows Milburn continuing to express his support for Ukraine, saying working there has left him with a sense of purpose. However, he also called the country a "corrupt" society.

Mr. Zelensky Goes to Washington

Jack Detsch and Robbie Gramer

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky is visiting Washington hoping to shore up U.S. support for his country’s efforts to fend off a Russian military invasion and ask for more advanced weapons systems to maintain battlefield momentum against Moscow’s forces in eastern Ukraine.

Coming just a day after Ukraine’s wartime leader visited troops in the eastern city of Bakhmut, where a fevered battle is taking place with Russian forces in the Donetsk region, Zelensky met with U.S. President Joe Biden and will address a joint session of Congress on Wednesday afternoon, as Congress aims to wrap up a $1.7 trillion spending bill that includes billions more dollars in aid money for Ukraine.

The visit coincides with the administration’s announcement that it will send an additional $1.85 billion in military aid to Ukraine, including Patriot air defense systems and other munitions and equipment. The United States has sent Ukraine around $21.3 billion in military assistance since Russia launched its invasion in February. Zelensky is meeting with Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and the top U.S. military officer, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley, alongside Biden this afternoon.

What you really need to know about that fusion news

Casey Crownhart

There’s been a fusion breakthrough. No, for real this time.

There are plenty of quips about fusion power, and there’s a reason that the technology has a bit of a “boy who cried wolf” reputation: researchers have been talking about using it to build limitless clean energy for decades, making big promises about commercial power plants being only a few years away. And so far, things haven’t quite turned out that way.

So when a news cycle about fusion starts calling something a “breakthrough,” many are understandably suspicious. We’ve entered into one of those news cycles, as a national lab reached a major research milestone, finally running a reaction that gave off more energy than contained in the lasers used to start it. So let’s talk about the announcement that sparked the most recent fusion hype, what it means, and what you should take away from it.

What is fusion power, and what's the hype about?

In a nutshell, fusion reactions generate energy by slamming atoms into each other until they fuse, releasing energy. (The sun’s core is powered by nuclear fusion, so in a way, I guess you could say solar power is a form of indirect fusion power?)

The Realist Guide to World Peace

Stephen M. Walt

It’s the holiday season, that brief period each year when we are encouraged to think about peace. Warring armies sometimes declare cease-fires at this time, and around the world different communities of faith are told that pursuing and preserving peace is a sacred duty. If we are fortunate, most of us will spend some part of the next few days enjoying the company of friends and family and trying to put humanity’s crueler instincts to the side, at least for the moment.

Let’s be honest: 2022 was not a good year for peace. In addition to a brutal and senseless war in Ukraine—a war that shows no signs of ending and could still get much worse—violent conflicts are still underway in Yemen, Myanmar, Nigeria, Ethiopia, Syria, and many other places. Although U.S. President Joe Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping managed a fairly cordial meeting at the G-20 summit in Bali in November, the two most powerful countries in the world remain divided on a host of important issues. Given the state of the world and the United States’ desire to remain the leading global power, it should surprise no one that the Senate just voted an 8 percent increase in the U.S. defense budget. Even formerly pacifist-leaning countries such as Germany and Japan took dramatic steps to rearm during 2022.

A year of economic warfare

David Uren

The world has witnessed the outbreak of economic warfare this year, quite unlike anything seen since the end of World War II.

The machinery of economic sanctions, which has been honed over decades against minor dictatorships, has been turned by the West on Russia with a ferocity never before applied to a major economy.

Russia has been using its role as the world’s largest energy exporter to strike back, curbing supplies to Europe as the northern winter approaches in the hope that freezing its citizens will persuade their governments to cut support for the Ukraine.

At the same time, Washington has choked the flow of US technology to China and is trying to enlist allies to do the same, with the objective of maximising the West’s technological lead and, implicitly, retarding China’s economic development.

China has not yet found ways to retaliate against the US but is continuing its campaign of economic intimidation against smaller nations, including Australia and Latvia, by closing its markets to selected exports.

Dear Electric Vehicle Owners: You Don’t Need That Giant Battery

WHEN HANS ERIC Melin thinks of battery waste, he imagines American driveways filled with electric vehicles. They look much like the gas-powered cars of yesterday, large and handsome and well-equipped: family-haulers, boat-towers, off-road ready. They also do things that those cars didn’t do, like go from zero to 60 in three seconds and travel 400 miles without emitting any carbon. The trade-off is that they carry a burden: a massive battery pack that can push the vehicles’ weight to over 10,000 pounds. Most of the time that pack is parked, or is being used to a fraction of its capabilities on school pick-ups or runs to the grocery store. Unless those cars are flying hundreds of miles down the open highway, which they rarely are, the precious atoms of cobalt, lithium, and nickel inside of them have very little to do.

In the United States, fewer than 5 percent of trips are longer than 30 miles. For a gas engine, that represents a portion of a fuel tank. For an EV, range is the result of a more complicated set of decisions about how to best use expensive, hard-to-obtain metals. Melin, an expert in battery recycling, is often asked by governments and automakers how those resources can be stretched. It would be nice if he could tell them that recycling materials from old batteries would do the job. But it can’t. Batteries can power cars for a decade or more, and with EV adoption and the size of the average vehicle increasing every year, old batteries can contribute only so much. So Melin’s suggestion: Start off with less. Use smaller batteries in the first place.

AI Is Now Essential National Infrastructure

ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE IS evolving rapidly, with projects like OpenAI’s DALL-E 2, Google’s MINERVA, and DeepMind’s Gato all pushing new technological boundaries. Until now, national governments have been slow to adopt this cutting-edge technology. In 2023, however, the opportunities to provide effective, targeted, and affordable services to citizens will prompt them to finally embrace AI, making government more transparent, accessible and effective.

In some countries, AI is already being used to improve people’s interaction with the state. This year, the Estonian government launched a new AI-based virtual assistant called Bürokratt. Taking inspiration from Amazon’s Alexa and Apple’s Siri, Bürokratt provides Estonians with a voice-based way to navigate key services provided by the state, such as renewing a passport or applying for benefits.

In Finland, a similar platform called AuroraAI was announced in 2018. It is part of a broader effort to provide Finns a personalized and autonomous service that helps them navigate various life stages, whether that be the birth of a child, marriage, or elderly care. This platform not only helps citizens interact with government departments, but also offers a proactive, concierge-like medical service that helps them renew prescriptions or even notifies them of new health risks.

Russia’s Electronic-Warfare Troops Knocked Out 90 Percent Of Ukraine’s Drones

David Axe

The Russian military’s failures in Russia’s wider war on Ukraine almost are too numerous to list.

Too many attacks along too many sectors, which thinned out Russia’s best battalions. Too few infantry to screen the tanks. Inflexible air support. Artillery batteries that bombarded too many empty grid squares. And perhaps most importantly: inadequate logistics for what would become a long, grinding war.

But it’s important to note where the Russians succeeded. If only to understand where Ukraine might need to improve its own forces. For a rare picture of Russian military competence, consider the Kremlin’s battlefield electronic-warfare troops.

Amid the chaos of the Russian army’s initial push into Ukraine starting in late February, it took a few weeks for the Russians to deploy their extensive jamming infrastructure. But once they did, they began deafening and confusing the Ukrainians’ most sophisticated systems—in particular, their drones—in numbers that surely startled Ukrainian commanders.

Why artificial intelligence needs to be on your mind in 2023

Ja'han Jones

The best advice I can give you for 2023 is to familiarize yourself with the concept of “artificial intelligence” and its impact on our everyday lives.

Today, so-called machine learning and AI factor prominently in daily activities. And in the wrong hands, this technology can wreak havoc on society.

To me, social media platforms have been the clearest example of this. Twitter and Facebook feeds, powered by artificial intelligence and controlled by some of the world’s wealthiest people, have bombarded users with politically opportunistic conspiracy theories, misinformation, and hatred.

These days, I tend to see the misery evoked by social platforms as an opportunity to highlight the potential dangers of artificial intelligence.

But the trouble with AI isn’t limited to social media. Law enforcement agencies use artificial intelligence to “predict” (read: assume) where crimes will occur and who will commit them. Employers use AI to help them determine who they think will be the best fit for their workplace. And medical professionals use AI to help them make diagnoses and prescribe remedies.

The Cyber Defense Organizations Protecting Israel’s Critical Infrastructure and Related Challenges

SHIMAZU Takaharu
Source Link


Israel was ranked as a Tier Two country on a three-tier scale in the International Institute for Strategic Studies (U.K.)’s “Cyber Capabilities and National Power: A Net Assessment” report published in June 2021. Standing below Tier One, which is comprised solely of the U.S., Tier Two includes the U.K., Canada, and Australia, all part of the Five Eyes alliance, as well as China, Russia, and France. The report lauds Israel for having created both a vibrant cyber eco-system as well as a relatively high level of preparedness and resilience in the private sectorthrough close cooperation between government agencies, private companies, academic institutions as well as international partners, led by the Israel National Cyber Directorate (INCD).1

On the other hand, the Israeli agencies responsible for cyber defense went through a decidedly disorderly transition reflecting numerous conflicting viewpoints before the civilian cyber defense posture of today was put in place, including its Critical Infrastructure Protection (CIP) policy. It has also been noted that there remain challengesto be resolved in terms of Israel’s cyber security policies, including both legal and privacy concerns.

How Ukraine’s 1st Tank Brigade Fought A Russian Force Ten Times Its Size—And Won

David Axe

The 1st Tank Brigade, arguably Ukraine’s best tank formation, didn’t just survive the brutal bombardment that preceded Russia’s wider invasion of Ukraine starting the early morning of Feb. 24.

The brigade fought back—hard.

The 1st Tank Brigade’s six-week defense of the city of Chernihiv, near the border with Belarus just 60 miles north of Kyiv, already was the stuff of legend when analysts Mykhaylo Zabrodskyi, Jack Watling, Oleksandr Danylyuk and Nick Reynolds revealed incredible new details in a study for the Royal United Services Institute in London.

Russian commanders apparently assumed the 1st Tank Brigade would be an easy target on day one of the wider war. In the early morning hours of Feb. 24, Russian missiles and artillery struck the permanent garrisons of most of the Ukrainian army’s 20 or so active brigades.

But these brigades, including the 1st Tank Brigade, had dispersed. The Russian bombardment mostly destroyed empty buildings.

In Major Step, Space Force Takes Over All Military Satellite Communications

Mary Shinn

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — The Space Force has taken over all of the Department of Defense's military satellite communication functions, a major step in building the new service.

The Navy and the Army have transferred major satellite communication operations to the Space Force in an effort to consolidate training, operations, acquisition and other activities, according to a news release. The transfer marks the first time all military satellite communication functions have been consolidated under a single military service.

The Army's transfers were expected to include $78 million in operations, maintenance and 500 positions, the release said. As part of the consolidation, the Army transferred the Wideband Global SATCOM and Defense Satellite Communications System to the Space Force in August. The Wideband Global SATCOM system is considered the "backbone of the U.S. military's global satellite communications," according to the Space Force.

China Primer: The People’s Liberation Army (PLA)


The People’s Liberation Army (PLA) is the military arm of the People’s Republic of China’s (PRC’ or China’s) ruling Communist Party. Since 2018, the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) has referred to China as the “pacing” threat or challenge for the U.S. military. DOD reported in November 2022 that China’s leaders aim to use the PLA, in part, to “restrict the United States from having a presence in China’s immediate periphery and limit U.S. access in the broader Indo-Pacific region.” Members of Congress have responded in part by focusing on resourcing and conducting oversight of U.S.-China security competition.

PLA Organization Established in 1927, the PLA predates the founding of the PRC in 1949. The PLA encompasses four services: the PLA Army, PLA Navy, PLA Air Force, and PLA Rocket Force, as well as two sub-service forces, the Strategic Support Force, and the Joint Logistics Support Force. The Communist Party oversees these forces through its Central Military Commission, which in some respects is akin to the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff. This Commission also oversees a paramilitary force, the People’s Armed Police (which includes the China Coast Guard), and China’s militia forces. Xi Jinping, who serves concurrently as Communist Party general secretary and PRC president, also has chaired the Commission—which currently has six other members— since 2012.

The 10 Best Nonfiction Books of 2022


Agood nonfiction book doesn’t just tell you something new about the world, it pulls you out of your place in it and dares you to reconsider what you thought you knew, maybe even who you are. The best nonfiction books that arrived this year vary in scope—some are highly specific, some broad and searching—but they all ask giant questions about loss, strength, and survival. In The Escape Artist, Jonathan Freedland underlines the power of the truth through the journey of one of the first Jews to escape Auschwitz. In How Far the Light Reaches, Sabrina Imbler reveals the ways marine biology can teach us about the deepest, most human parts of ourselves. From Stacy Schiff’s brilliant chronicle of Samuel Adams’ role in the American Revolution to Imani Perry’s illuminating tour of the American South, here are the 10 best nonfiction books of 2022.

10. The Revolutionary: Samuel Adams, Stacy Schiff