10 January 2023

Pakistan’s Port City Gwadar in Chaos

Muhammad Bezinjo

Pakistan’s port city of Gwadar, the hub of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), is in a siege-like situation amid unrest caused by a crackdown against protesting citizens. The city faced a blackout of mobile and internet communications for almost a week. While the mobile networks have been restored, the internet has been shut down since December 28. The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan has taken notice of the unofficial obstruction of information in Gwadar and asked the government to shed its tacit policy of relegating Balochistan to second-class status.

The unrest erupted when police raided a sit-in protest camp and arrested members and leaders of the Haq Do Tehreek Gwadar (HDT) movement (in English: Give Gwadar Its Rights). This was followed by mass demonstrations against the crackdown of the police and paramilitary forces.

The HDT movement, led by local leader Maulana Hidayat ur Rehman, has become a symbol of hope for the people of Gwadar in a very short span of time. The foundation of the movement rests on certain demands that found widespread support among the masses. These include an end to illegal trawling in the sea off Gwadar’s coast, a reduction of security checkpoints in the region, recovery of missing persons, and an easing of curbs on border trade with Iran. These demands have been called genuine by the provincial government, but have not yet been met.

Pakistan Army’s Tehreek-E-Taliban Pakistan Problem

Nilesh Kunwar

To be on the same page with Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari is certainly not a compliment. Hence, when I say that by expressing the “hope that the establishment’s [Pakistan army’s] practice to remain apolitical will continue” he has dittoed my apprehensions [expressed in a recent article], I can’t be accused of trying to blow my own trumpet.

Though former army chief Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa has emphatically declared that Rawalpindi’s “institutional resolve to remain apolitical will remain steadfast,” this assertion has failed to find any meaningful resonance with domestic audiences. The reason is simple- the people of Pakistan know that unlike other nations, theirs is not a country with an army, but an army with a country, and as such it will never give the extra-constitutional powers it enjoys without any responsibilities!

Complete subservience of political parties to the army in Pakistan is no secret. In 2018, while nominating Gen Bajwa as the 68th most powerful person in the world, Forbes magazine justified the same by stating, “Although the president is his boss on paper, Pakistan’s chief of army staff is de facto the most powerful person in the nuclear armed state.” [Emphasis added].

‘Spies and Lies’: Peeling Back the Curtain on China’s Covert Ops

Mercy A. Kuo

The Diplomat author Mercy Kuo regularly engages subject-matter experts, policy practitioners, and strategic thinkers across the globe for their diverse insights into U.S. Asia policy. This conversation with Alex Joske ̶ author of “Spies and Lies: How China’s Greatest Covert Operations Fooled the World” (Hardie Grant Books 2022) and a former senior analyst at the Australian Strategic Policy Institute – is the 349th in “The Trans-Pacific View Insight Series.”

Identify the key components of China’s security system and the roles of the Social Investigation Bureau and united front work.

The Chinese Communist Party oversees the world’s largest security apparatus. If we’re just talking about intelligence agencies, then that includes three separate military intelligence systems and the Ministry of Public Security and the Ministry of State Security on the civilian side. Other organs such as the United Front Work Department, Taiwan Affairs Office, and International Liaison Department also engage in activities that cross into the realm of covert and clandestine operations.

China developing own version of JADC2 to counter US

Colin Demarest

WASHINGTON — China is pursuing a new military construct known as Multi-Domain Precision Warfare to align its forces from cyber to space, an effort U.S. officials say is fueled by a need to counter the Pentagon’s Joint All-Domain Command and Control initiative.

Like JADC2, the MDPW core operational concept, as it’s known, relies on interlinked command and control, communications, computers, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance to quickly coordinate firepower and expose foreign weaknesses, according to the annual China Military Power Report, which the U.S. Department of Defense delivered to Congress in November.

“As we note in the report, this new concept is intended to help identify key vulnerabilities in an adversary’s operational system and then to launch precision strikes against those vulnerabilities, which could be kinetic or non-kinetic,” a senior U.S. defense official told reporters Nov. 28, speaking on condition of anonymity. “Basically, it’s a way that they’re thinking about looking across domains to identify vulnerabilities in an adversary’s operational system and then to exploit those to cause its collapse.”

The Chinese military, the People’s Liberation Army, “refers to systems destruction warfare as the next way of war,” the official added. Under that premise, warfare is no longer solely focused on the destruction of enemy forces; rather, it is won by the team that can disrupt, cripple or outright destroy the other’s underlying networks and infrastructure.

China-Russia Report

The Russian intelligence community’s 2022 failures start at the top, with Vladimir Putin, the “King of the Spies,” to borrow Mark Galeotti’s framing. While Putin was a longstanding KGB counterintelligence officer, the war exposed Vladimir Putin’s misunderstanding of fundamental elements of power, including 21st century espionage. As The Report wrote in early March 2022:

“Putin tried to conceal his plans from everyone – Western technical intelligence, potential Western spies in the Russian policymaking and security apparatus, and, apparently, the Russian military. Putin’s attempts to conceal the invasion failed utterly; he valued secrecy over operational efficiency but obtained neither. Indeed, the 69-year-old, like many intelligence officers from the pre-digital age, seems to have failed to grasp how technology – satellites, cellphones, computers, cameras, etc – has produced a revolution in intelligence affairs.”

Putin’s obsession with secrecy, while useful in many intelligence and counterintelligence contexts, proved disastrous for coordinating a complex, joint operation.

The FSB’s blunders in preparing the invasion of Ukraine

Wu Jinglian, prominent pro-market economist, on China's economic reforms

Zichen Wang, Han Yuxi, and Xinyi Zhang

Wu Jinglian is one of China’s most prominent and influential pro-market economists. Recently, he wrote a preface to the second edition of《中国经济改革进程》China's Economic Reform Process published by the Encyclopedia of China Publishing House, where he reviewed not only the 40-plus years of reform but also its lessons for what China faces today.

The preface has been published in a number of outlets, including Caixin, where it is dated December 15, 2022. Below is a translation.

This book is a work first published in 2018 to commemorate the 40th anniversary of China's reform and opening up. Four years have passed, and many new phenomena have emerged in China's economy, especially in the past two years, when China's external environment has become more complex and uncertain. Domestic economic development is also facing many risks and challenges.

Adam Tooze: Washington Is Undermining the Trade System It Helped Build

Cameron Abadi

The United States, which was central to the establishment of the global trading system 75 years ago, is challenging it these days. Last month, the World Trade Organization (WTO) declared that some of the tariffs imposed by the Trump administration, which U.S. President Joe Biden has kept in place, are illegitimate, according to the WTO’s own rules. The Biden administration responded essentially by saying it considers the tariffs to be justified on national security grounds. Conveniently, the appellate body at the WTO that would be tasked with adjudicating the dispute is unable to do its job because the United States has refused to appoint judges that would allow it to function. This comes as Europe is also upset at the United States for subsidies and the 2022 Inflation Reduction Act, which Europe claims are also in violation of the WTO. That may lead to other retaliatory tariffs—essentially the kind of trade war the WTO was designed to prevent.

Is the United States intentionally trying to sabotage the WTO? Is China the real culprit, as Washington suggests? And who defines what free trade means in the first place? Those are a few of the questions that came up in my recent conversation with FP economics columnist Adam Tooze on the podcast we co-host, Ones and Tooze. What follows is an excerpt, edited for length and clarity.

America’s True Divide: Pluralists vs. Zealots

Ben Sasse

The most important divide in American politics isn’t red versus blue. It’s civic pluralists versus political zealots. This is the truth no one in Washington acknowledges but Americans must realize if we’re going to recover.

Civic pluralists understand that ideas move the world more than power does, which is why pluralists value debate and persuasion. We believe America is great because it is good, and America is good because the country is committed to human dignity, even for those with whom we disagree. A continental nation of 330 million souls couldn’t possibly agree on everything, but we can hash out our disagreements in the communities where we live and the institutions we build. The small but important role of government, for the civic pluralist, is a framework for ordered liberty. Government doesn’t give us rights, or meaning, or purpose or permission. It exists to protect us from the whims of mobs and majorities.

Political zealots reject this, holding that society starts and ends with power. Government in their view isn’t to protect from the powerful or the popular. More than anything else, zealots—on the right and the left—seek total victory in the public square. They believe that the center of life is government power. They preach jeremiads of victimhood and decline. On the left, they want a powerful bureaucracy. On the right, they want a strongman. But they agree on a central tenet: Americans are too weak to solve problems with persuasion. They need the state to do it.

U.S. national cyber strategy to stress Biden push on regulation

Ellen Nakashima and Tim Starks

The Biden administration is set to unveil a national strategy that for the first time calls for comprehensive cybersecurity regulation of the nation’s critical infrastructure, explicitly recognizing that years of a voluntary approach have failed to secure the nation against cyberattacks, according to senior administration officials.

The strategy builds on the first-ever oil and gas pipeline regulations imposed last year by the administration after a hack of one of the country’s largest pipelines led to a temporary shutdown, causing long lines at gas stations and fears of a fuel shortage. The attack on Colonial Pipeline by Russian-speaking criminals elevated ransomware to an issue of national security.

The strategy, drawn up by the White House Office of the National Cyber Director (ONCD), is moving through the final stages of interagency approval — involving more than 20 departments and agencies — and is expected to be signed by President Biden in the coming weeks, according to the officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the document is not yet public.

“It’s a break from the previous strategies, which focused on information sharing and public-private partnership as the solution,” said James Lewis, a cybersecurity expert at the Center for Strategic and International Studies think tank. “This goes well beyond that. It says things that others have been afraid to say.”

Wargames Can’t Tell Us How to Deter a Chinese Attack on Taiwan—But Different Games Might

Timothy R. Heath

Wargames that simulate combat between the United States and China near Taiwan can provide useful insight about potential military challenges. However, analysts should be wary of repurposing the same games to explore political questions such as those related to deterrence, escalation control, alliance politics, and war prevention or termination. Asymmetries in the information requirements for political versus military topics make it exceedingly difficult to design games to explore both in a rigorous manner. Paradoxically, the deliberate falsification of facts in peacetime offers the best hope of painting a more vivid and convincing portrait of a situation that would actually confront policymakers in wartime.

Wargames featuring conflict between China, the U.S., and Taiwan have taken the Washington, D.C., area by storm in the past two years. The U.S. military has held classified wargames on the topic. The Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) held 22 iterations of such a scenario, and other think tanks such as the Center for a New American Security (CNAS), CNA, and RAND have held their own wargames on the topic as well. The appeal of wargames is not hard to figure out: They provide a vivid and dynamic simulation of armed conflict. The China-Taiwan war scenario is especially appealing because the U.S. and China are locked in a rivalry and are also equipped with large, advanced, and powerful militaries. What would happen if the two fought is an inherently fascinating question. The U.S. military advantage is fading, and China’s military is growing stronger. But how the two might fare against each other in combat is unclear. Wargames offer the possibility of exploring such critically important topics, whether as part of a research design or as critical context for creative discussion.

The New Industrial Age: America Should Once Again Become a Manufacturing Superpower

Ro Khanna

For many citizens, the American dream has been downsized. In recent decades, the United States has ceased to be the world’s workshop and become increasingly reliant on importing goods from abroad. Since 1998, the widening U.S. trade deficit has cost the country five million well-paying manufacturing jobs and led to the closure of nearly 70,000 factories. Small towns have been hollowed out and communities destroyed. Society has grown more unequal as wealth has been concentrated in major coastal cities and former industrial regions have been abandoned. As it has become harder for Americans without a college degree to reach the middle class, the withering of social mobility has stoked anger, resentment, and distrust. The loss of manufacturing has hurt not only the economy but also American democracy.

China has played a significant role in this deindustrialization of the United States. The explosion in job losses occurred after the U.S. Congress granted China the status of “permanent normal trade relations” in 2000, ahead of China’s accession to the World Trade Organization. Between 1985 and 2000, the U.S. trade deficit with China had grown steadily from $6 billion to $83 billion. But that deficit ballooned more dramatically after China joined the WTO in 2001, and it now stands at a stratospheric $309 billion. Once in the WTO, China unfairly undermined U.S.-based manufacturing by using exploited labor and providing sweeping state subsidies to Chinese firms. Even more than NAFTA—the 1994 free trade deal that allowed many U.S. manufacturing and farm jobs to move to Mexico—the liberalization of trade with China decimated factory and rural towns, particularly in the Midwest and in the South. This devastation fueled the rise of anti-immigrant xenophobia, anti-Asian hate, and right-wing nationalism that has threatened democracy at home through extremism and violence in U.S. politics.

Bradleys, Self-Propelled Howitzers Head to Ukraine as More Difficult Fight in the South Awaits


The Defense Department on Friday announced its largest aid package to Ukraine to date, a reflection in scale and content of Ukrainian advances in proficiency and territory.

Valued at more than $3 billion, the package includes 50 Bradley fighting vehicles, 100 M113 armored personnel carriers, 18 self-propelled howitzers, missiles, munitions and more.

U.S. President Joe Biden previewed the announcement Thursday during remarks at a White House cabinet meeting.

“We’re going to provide the Bradley infantry fighting vehicles—the United States—to the Ukrainians, and the Germans are going to provide the Marder infantry fighting vehicles that they have to the Ukrainians,” Biden said.

The announcement comes the same week as a promise from France to provide AMX-10 RC armored fighting vehicles.

What’s Going to Be in Biden’s Inbox in 2023

Amy Mackinnon, Jack Detsch, Robbie Gramer, Rishi Iyengar, and Christina Lu

The year began with Russia’s sword of Damocles hanging over Ukraine as almost 200,000 troops massed at the country’s border. In late February, it came crashing down as Russian forces poured into Ukraine, only to be swiftly rebuffed. Since then, the war has charted a course that few could have predicted, while shockwaves on food and energy markets have been felt around the world.

The conflict monopolized much of the Biden administration’s attention throughout the year. While the long-awaited national security strategy, released in October, made it clear that the White House sees Russia as an immediate threat to the international system, it fears that China may soon have the capabilities to remake the world order entirely. Beijing was the target of one of the administration’s most consequential moves of the year as the little-known Bureau of Industry and Security slapped a wide-ranging ban on the export of semiconductors to China, a move that is certain to have ripple effects into the coming year.

Afghanistan, the biggest foreign-policy challenge—or catastrophe—of U.S. President Joe Biden’s first year in office got little mention in the national security strategy. But while the administration may be keen to move on, the chaotic nature of the withdrawal is likely to rear its head again in the coming year as Republicans take the gavel in the House of Representatives, promising more Benghazi-style hearings into the messy end of the United States’ longest war.

For many of the 1,271 Americans under Russian sanctions, it’s a point of pride

Adam Taylor

A Harvard astrophysicist. A Silicon Valley billionaire. Hollywood actors. Convicted murderers.

These are among the select but slowly growing list of Americans living under a penalty that has proved a source of pride, bafflement and, in some cases, consternation: Russian sanctions.

Some 1,271 U.S. citizens have made Moscow’s “Stop List,” posted online by Russia’s Foreign Ministry.

Washington has increasingly used sanctions on individuals as a foreign policy tool of choice, wielding the U.S. financial system as a sledgehammer or scalpel penalize its enemies, or those of its allies. Russia has come under crushing U.S. sanctions since it invaded Ukraine last February: Washington has imposed sanctions on more than 1,300 Russians in recent years and on more than 1,000 Russian legal entities. Sanctions keep designees from doing business with U.S. companies or individuals and often come at a steep penalty.

In an act of apparent diplomatic desperation, or perhaps for the theater of it, Russia is trying to respond in kind — and coming up against the harsh one-sidedness of U.S. economic power.

U.S., Allies Say Armored Vehicles Will Give Ukraine’s Troops an Edge

Gordon Lubold

The U.S., France and Germany have said they will send dozens of armored infantry vehicles to Ukraine, a significant deployment of Western support at a critical juncture in its war against invading Russian forces.

President Biden said Thursday that the U.S. would provide Bradley Fighting Vehicles, a tracked vehicle that resembles a tank but with a smaller gun, fulfilling months of requests from Kyiv. The Bradleys are part of a new military-aid package—which officials said they expected to outline formally Friday—that would include other munitions, vehicles and weaponry.

Germany, meanwhile, said it would send Marder infantry vehicles, and France said it would send AMX-10 wheeled armored vehicles.

The vehicles will give Ukraine a new armed and armored capability, enabling its forces to roll mechanized infantry troops into the fight and giving them a higher level of maneuverability and firepower.

“It will provide a significant boost to Ukraine’s already impressive armored capabilities and we’re confident that it will aid them on the battlefield,” said Brig. Gen. Pat Ryder, a Pentagon spokesman, adding that it will be particularly effective against Russian tanks. “It’s not a tank but a tank-killer,” he said.

Gen. Ryder declined to give details on the types of Bradleys that would be provided, how long it would take to furnish them or the time that would be needed to train Ukrainians on the vehicles.

Trapped in the Trenches in Ukraine

Luke Mogelson

One Sunday in early October, I had lunch at an outdoor restaurant on Andriyivsky Descent, in downtown Kyiv, with a thirty-seven-year-old American who went by the code name Doc. I’d rented an apartment on the same cobblestone street back in March, while the Ukrainian military was repulsing a Russian assault on the city. At the time, the neighborhood had been deserted, and a portentous quiet was broken only by sporadic explosions and whining air-raid sirens. Now Andriyivsky Descent was thronged with couples and families promenading in the autumn sun. Local artists sold oil paintings on the sidewalk. A trumpeter and an accordionist played for tips. Doc sipped a Negroni. Long-bearded, square-jawed, and barrel-chested, he wore a green tactical jacket and a baseball cap embroidered with the Ukrainian national trident. A thick scar spanned his neck, from a bar fight in North Carolina during which someone had sliced his throat with a box cutter. Toward the end of our meal, an older man in a leather fedora approached our table. “International Legion?” he asked, in accented English. I pointed at Doc; the man extended his hand and told him, “I just wanted to say thank you.”

Doc scrutinized his glass, embarrassed. After the man left, I remarked that such recognition must feel good. “It feels weird,” Doc replied. He’d been a marine in his twenties, and had fought, as a machine gunner, in Iraq and Afghanistan. It had always made him uncomfortable when American civilians thanked him for his service. When his contract ended, in 2011, he’d been eager to put war behind him. “It was a hard cut,” he said. “I was never going back.” Shortly after being discharged, he moved from North Carolina to New York City, where he’d been accepted at Columbia University. Using the G.I. Bill, he majored in computer science, with a minor in linguistics. He did two summer internships at Google, and when he graduated the company hired him full time.

How Wars End

Janine di Giovanni

Wars never fit neatly into clean templates. But we can divide them into certain categories: wars of conquest, civil wars, rebel wars, insurgency wars, religious wars. Recent history has also seen proxy wars, preventive wars, regime change wars, and the post-9/11 global war on terrorism, centered on Afghanistan and Iraq. The political philosopher Michael Walzer went one step further when he tried to
determine the moral arguments behind war, dividing them into “just” and “unjust” wars—that is, wars that should be fought on humanitarian grounds and those that are not.

What is even more crucial is analyzing how wars eventually end. There are many conflicts we want to end, but the nature of war has shifted, making resolution and peacemaking more difficult. Wars can end with deep wounds that will lead to more agitation in the future, such as the Bosnian conflict. Or they can heal in a relatively peaceful way. With a fading war in Syria and an uncertain future for Afghanistan, as well as ongoing conflicts in Yemen, Ethiopia, Somalia, the Sahel, Libya, Venezuela, and elsewhere, it makes sense to take a closer look at how wars can end effectively. One way is when there is a strong will to end conflicts. Another is a relatively new development in international negotiating, a mechanism known in diplomatese as “track-two diplomacy.”

One highly instructive example of using will to end a war is one that even readers of Foreign Policy might not recall. In Sierra Leone, a successful British military intervention to end a brutal war there took place in May 2000. That war was characterized by appalling human rights abuses, including amputations perpetrated on civilians, mass rape, torture, and the torching of entire villages. More than 50,000 civilians had been killed by the time British forces arrived in their former colony.

Russia is bombarding Ukraine with drones guided by U.S.-made technology, and the chips are still flowing


They menace Ukraine's skies, killing hundreds, and scarring millions. But while Moscow's drones are Russian and Iranian, key technology inside is European and American.

On an icy Kyiv morning, inside an unnamed location with sandbags shielding the windows, Ukrainian drone specialist Pavlo Kaschuk holds up a 30-pound drone that Ukrainian forces captured from Russia.

"So, this is the Orlan 10," he says. "It is a basic Russian UAV (unmanned aerial vehicle)."

He opens it up and removes a module. The chip inside bears a logo that reads U-Blox, a Swiss company.

"The task of this chip is orientation in the sky," he says. Without it, the drone "doesn't know where to fly."

The Ukrainian government has also shown CBS News proof that similar components, from some Russian and Russian-modified Iranian drones retrieved by Ukrainian forces within the past four months, were produced by U.S. companies Maxim and Microchip.

Japan’s New National Security Strategy Is Making Waves

Ryan Ashley
Source Link

A revolution for Japanese security policy seems to be underway. With the release of its new National Security Strategy (NSS), Japan has sparked headlines claiming that the country is “abandoning pacifism” and committing to its “largest military buildup since World War II.” Certainly, the release of these strategic documents is an impactful moment, setting Tokyo on a course to dramatically increase its defense budget and capabilities, directly affecting Japan’s Self-Defense Forces and security relationships around the Indo-Pacific region.

However, do these new documents truly represent a turning point for Japanese security policies? For the past ten years, since the second administration of Prime Minister Abe Shinzo, commentators have spoken of Japan “flexing its military muscles” and “abandoning pacifism.” To be sure, the NSS contains several groundbreaking commitments and policies. Yet, it is better understood as a culmination and formalization of long-changing processes, rather than a novel pivot in priorities. Nevertheless, across the Indo-Pacific, Tokyo is being met with a range of reactions motivated by two feuding priorities: the historical memory of Japanese atrocities during World War II and the current fear of Chinese military aggression. That Tokyo is even willing to risk such regional backlash highlights Japan’s deep commitments on defense and the US alliance, and reflects a near-unprecedented public mandate for a stronger national security.

What the Documents Say

Russian Peacekeepers Find Themselves Sidelined in Nagorno-Karabakh

Kirill Krivosheev

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has caused the resolution of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan to drift away from Russia’s mediation toward that of the West. Now, Russian peacekeepers in the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh region appear to be in a catch-22 situation. Azerbaijan is becoming increasingly emboldened by the Kremlin’s weakness, with the country’s pro-government media now describing the peacekeepers as “occupiers,” but Moscow’s hands are tied: any response will only make its situation worse.

Since Dec. 12, Azeri eco-activists have blocked the Lachin Corridor, stopping traffic along the only road connecting Nagorno-Karabakh with Armenia. Just six months ago, Baku did not contest the special status of the Lachin Corridor, or the right of Armenians to travel unimpeded along it. On the contrary, the Azeri government built a new road well ahead of schedule, bypassing settlements in the Lachin region that had come under Azerbaijan’s control.

The trilateral agreement of Nov. 9, 2020 that put a stop to the Second Karabakh War states that “Azerbaijan guarantees safe travel along the Lachin Corridor in both directions for civilians, means of transport, and cargo.” Yet Baku is now hinting that the agreement has been violated so many times that its patience has run out.

Russia Is Afraid of Western Psychic Attacks

Lauren Wolfe

There are plenty of reasons these days to wonder if Russian President Vladimir Putin and his cronies are off their rockers. But a recently leaked memo from the Kremlin reveals that those in charge of the Russian government are farther down the rabbit hole than most of us realized.

The memo, published by the Insider, a Russian news outlet in exile, outlines how the Russian Federal Guard Service (FSO), which protects high-ranking officials such as Putin, would handle the invasion of Ukraine — or any other war — spilling over onto the country’s own soil. It focuses on psychological preparedness, ensuring that FSO officers would have the “moral and psychological support” needed to resist what the memo calls a potential “massive ideological attack.” But the Russians aren’t simply worried about the usual wartime propaganda, like sneaky radio broadcasts or underground newspapers. Instead, the Kremlin is mounting preparations for what it calls the “psychological infection of personnel” by an enemy who would manipulate them through hypnosis—as well as through unknown mystical and psychic powers. The memo warns of “psi-generators” and “hypnotic abilities” used by foreign personnel.

Belief in mystic powers is relatively common in Russia, where roughly 20 percent of people have visited a psychic and more than 60 percent believe in some form of magic. Natalia Antonova, a Washington-based writer and Russia expert who spent seven years reporting from Moscow, said “This issue of hypnosis and telekinesis, whatever it is that they’re attempting to do, I think the Russians truly believe it. Most of us are still trying to exist in the real world, and [the Russian leadership] are not. They’re not trying anymore.”

Putin Should Be Scared: Ukraine Could Attack Deep Into Russia

Peter Suciu

As the war in Ukraine shows no signs of ending and is set to enter its 11th month, there are indications that Kyiv will become increasingly emboldened in taking the fight to Russia.

Last year, Ukrainian forces launched a number of raids against the Russian Navy’s Black Sea Fleet in Sevastopol, using a variety of aerial and sea-skimming drones.

In addition, a number of Soviet-designed Cold War-era reconnaissance drones were employed in strikes against Russian Aerospace Force bases deep within Russia.

According to Ukraine’s military intelligence head, Kyrylo Budanov, the Kremlin should expect similar attacks in 2023.

Though the actual Kremlin complex in the capital city of Moscow might not actually be targeted, Russian military facilities throughout the country could come under attack, the intelligence chief told ABC News this week without specifically saying that Kyiv would be behind such strikes.

Russia’s Rebound

By Barry R. Posen

“All the dumb Russians are dead.” So said Ukrainian officials in July 2022 as they sought to explain why the Russian army had abandoned the overambitious strategy and amateurish tactics that defined its conduct in the early weeks of the war. It was probably too early to make this quip. The Russians continued to do many dumb things and indeed still do. But broadly speaking, the Ukrainians’ intuition in the summer now appears correct: when it comes to overall military strategy, Moscow seems to have gotten smarter.

Russian strategic decisions are finally starting to make military sense. The partial mobilization of reservists that Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered in September has strengthened Russian forces at the front. The bombing campaign against Ukrainian energy infrastructure that began in October is forcing Ukraine and its allies to divert resources toward the defense of the country’s urban population, vulnerable to bitter winter weather in the absence of electricity. And the withdrawal of Russian forces from the city of Kherson in November has saved capable units from destruction and freed them for action elsewhere.

In July, I argued that the war was stalemated. Given Ukraine’s subsequent successes in liberating territory in and around the cities of Kherson and Kharkiv, my assessment was clearly premature. But it is worth noting that Ukraine achieved these successes during the period in which Russia’s forces were at their weakest and its leadership was at its poorest. Despite Kyiv’s advances, the grim truth remains that then and now, the ratio of Russian casualties to Ukrainian casualties stands at one to one, according to U.S. estimates.

Open Source Can Leverage Artificial Intelligence, Here Is How

Laveesh Kocher

Researchers and developers working on AI projects may find it easier to use open source software because it is typically less expensive to use than proprietary software. This may help to lower the price of creating AI solutions, which may boost the field’s advancement.

Over the past few years, the importance of open source software in the realm of AI has increased significantly. Open source software has several advantages, one of which is the possibility for programmers to work together and exchange information. AI developers can build on the work of others and share their own contributions by adopting open-source software, which promotes innovation and growth in the field of AI more quickly. Since a result, the subject may advance more quickly as programmers can collaborate and benefit from one another’s contributions.

open source software has played a bigger part in the realm of artificial intelligence. The ability for developers to cooperate and share information is one of the main advantages of open source software. AI developers can build on the work of others and share their own contributions by adopting open source software, resulting in more rapid advancement and innovation in the area. Because developers may share knowledge and build on one another’s work, the profession may advance more quickly as a result.

Après Twitter, the Deluge?

Rishi Iyengar

On the day in mid-November when Elon Musk told Twitter’s remaining employees to commit to being “hardcore” or leave, Mayank Bidawatka landed in San Francisco on a one-way ticket and checked into an Airbnb downtown.

Bidawatka, the co-founder of Indian social media app Koo, was there to cash in on the disarray inside Musk’s Twitter.

“It’s just so erratic and chaotic. With every new tweet [from Musk], some new thing happens,” he said in an interview with Foreign Policy soon after arriving in the city. “I think we deserve a chance to be heard. I think we deserve a chance to be tried.”

Koo’s fortunes have been intertwined with Twitter’s since day one. The social media platform, sporting a yellow bird logo to Twitter’s recognizable blue one, went mainstream in early 2021 when the Indian government was at loggerheads with Twitter over the company’s refusal to take down some accounts linked to protests in the country. Koo, presented as a homegrown alternative, was enthusiastically touted by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government, and several prominent officials and agencies have joined the platform (though Modi himself hasn’t yet).

TAIWAN is plotting an Elon Musk-style 'army of satellites' to combat looming threats by China to bring the island offline.

But the eccentric billionaire is not the only one ambitious enough to undertake such a feat.

Taiwan has tabled plans to mirror Musk’s satellite constellation as part of a mission to resist an internet and communication blackout should China escalate its war threats.

China has long claimed that Taiwan is part of its territory and has made increasingly militaristic threats over the past few months to bring the island under its control.

The Taiwanese government is plotting 700 ground-level satellite receivers, according to a report by local news outlet CM Media.

The country’s space agency, known as TASA, wants to spearhead the effort – which is expected to take several years’ worth of planning.

Taiwan is currently in early stage talks with investors across the world in hopes of raising funds for the project, the Financial Times reported.

Army Design Methodology: Framing the Operational Environment

Jason L. Glenn

According to the Department of the Army (2019), Army design methodology (ADM) is a system of creative thinking and critical reasoning that assists the commander and staff in visualizing and understanding problems within an operational environment (OE). Additionally, ADM is a tool used in the conceptual planning process that fuels the military decision-making process (MDMP) with a problem set for further analysis and development of a course of action. The activities associated with ADM include framing the OE, framing problems, framing solutions, and reframing as necessary while utilizing specific tools, techniques, and key concepts (Department of the Army, 2015). The synthesis of framing activities, key concepts, tools, techniques, the role of the senior enlisted leader, and the Ia Drang battle in Vietnam will highlight the importance of the ADM framing activity within a genuine OE.

Framing Ia Drang Operational Environment

According to the Department of the Army (2015), framing the OE begins with the assemblage of a planning team to assess current conditions within the OE, how the OE may trend, the future state of other actors, and the desired end state as visualized by the commander. Framing is a key concept used in the ADM process that uses models of reality to understand, organize, and interpret situations to solve problems (Department of the Army, 2015). Moreover, visual models and narratives enhance framing activities by demonstrating the relationship between actor goals, culture, history, and other variables within the OE. After the staff receives initial guidance from the commander, they begin the framing process by utilizing several key concepts, tools, and techniques that aid in understanding the air, sea, space, cyberspace, and land domains within the OE (Department of the Army, 2022c). The senior enlisted leader, sergeant major (SGM), or command sergeant major (CSM) assists the commander by assessing, leading, and directing the staff. Additionally, the CSM uses years of experience to assist staff members in the framing process by facilitating the understanding of the relationship between variables and how they have reacted in past scenarios (Department of the Army, 2022a).

Ukraine War Proves The U.S. Government Needs Tech Giants Like Google As Allies

Daniel Goure

Ukraine War Shows Why Digital Giants Will Play A Growing Role In Global Security – The Russo-Ukrainian War is the world’s first digital conflict with profound implications for U.S. national security and the future of conflict. While Russia’s cyber offensive at the outset of hostilities was expected, what came as a surprise was Ukraine’s ability to blunt Moscow’s attacks. This was the result to a significant degree of early support provided to Ukraine by U.S. digital giants such as Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Microsoft.

U.S. IT companies are exploiting their dominance in digital communications to mine Russian cell phone communications and publicly available apps for intelligence and targeting purposes. The extensive use of drones by both sides is enabled by sophisticated, often commercial, information systems for navigation, targeting, and intelligence collection. Private space-based communications are critical to Ukraine’s ability to defend itself. If there is a single lesson to be gleaned from almost a year of war it is that U.S. commercial IT firms will play a growing role in global security.

Russia began its so-called special operation with a massive cyberattack on Ukraine’s civil, military, and commercial infrastructure. This came as no surprise to most defense experts and cyber specialists. The Russian cyber campaign against Ukraine had been ongoing since at least the seizure of Crimea in 2014.

Ukraine unleashes ‘Bonus’ weapon that can destroy two tanks in a single shot

ByJoe Barnes

Each Bonus shell, made in France, contains two submunitions that feature fold-out wings and advanced sensors

Ukraine has started using new high-tech artillery shells capable of destroying two tanks in a single shot from up to 20 miles away, imagery from the battlefield has shown.

Russian sources have shared photos online showing what appeared to be a 155mm (6.1in) Bonus projectile, likely supplied by France to be fired by the Cesar self-propelled howitzers it also sent to Ukraine.

The “Tankers U” channel, run by Russian tank operators, shared an image, believed to be the first, showing an unexploded submunition recovered by Russian troops in the eastern Donetsk region.

Each Bonus shell contains two such submunitions, which feature fold-out wings and advanced sensors.

Once fired, the two submunitions are deployed high above a target area, with each searching the ground below for targets.

New Ukraine Howitzers Make Headlines, While The M-109 Gun Toils In Obscurity

Craig Hooper

In Ukraine, America’s humble M-109 howitzer isn’t getting much attention. Overshadowed by more modern self-propelled guns, the M-109 is apparently slugging it out, fighting the Russians in relative obscurity.

The M-109 should be getting more attention. Though the precise numbers are unavailable, analysts believe Western democracies have provided Ukraine somewhere around 50 M-109s—probably more than any other 155mm NATO-standard self-propelled gun provided Ukraine to date. And yet, while the M-109s are on the field in numbers, the West has heard little about how the relatively “old-school” self-propelled gun is performing on the battlefield.

Old and Boring Platforms Don’t Make Headlines:

While Ukraine is generally closed-lipped about battlefield details, the lack of general news in the platform is a surprise. Coverage may rest in the public perception that the M-109 gun platform is boring, old and less exciting than Europe’s newer howitzers.

And while the M-109 is an old platform—first entering U.S. service in 1963—updated units are still in production today. After serving in conflicts throughout the world, and with hundreds available as near-surplus items, the M-109 remains a strong candidate to backstop future Ukrainian offensives and dominate the Ukrainian battlefield after the war.