16 January 2023

Pakistan: Five major issues to watch in 2023

Madiha Afzal


Politics will likely consume much of Pakistan’s time and attention in 2023, as it did in 2022. The country’s turn to political instability last spring did not end with a dramatic no-confidence vote in parliament last April that ousted then Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan from office. Instability and polarization have only heightened since then: Khan has led a popular opposition movement against the incumbent coalition government and the military, staging a series of large rallies across the country through the year.

The struggle for power in Pakistan continues into 2023. While the incumbent government has not ceded to Khan’s demand for early elections, country-wide elections are constitutionally mandated to be held by October this year. It benefits the government politically to hold them off as long as it possibly can as it tries to dig itself out of Pakistan’s urgent economic crisis and its lackluster domestic performance (its diplomatic foreign policy approach has fared better, but that may not matter for elections). The last year has cost it precious political capital, and Khan’s party did very well in a set of by-elections held in July and October. The state has tried to mire Khan and his party in legal cases, relying on a familiar playbook used against opposition politicians in Pakistan, albeit to limited effect, with the courts’ involvement.

Khan’s party still controls two of Pakistan’s four provinces, Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP), and the incumbent federal government’s (extra-legal) efforts to try to wrest power from it in Punjab, the largest province, have been unsuccessful (thanks to the courts). The year is off to a dramatic start, with Khan’s party initiating the process to dissolve the Punjab and KP assemblies this month to pressure the federal government into early elections.

Are the Taiwanese People Willing to Fight China?

Charles K.S. Wu,  Fang-Yu Chen

In the wake of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, there has been much speculation about Taiwanese citizens’ willingness to defend themselves against a Chinese attack. A poll in March 2022 revealed that the Taiwanese public, rather than chickening out, has actually become much more willing than in the past to support the country’s self-defense. Since then, more than half a year has elapsed. With the threat of a war with China continuing to loom large and the ruling Democratic Progressive Party’s significant setback in Taiwan’s local elections, there is renewed interest in gauging the pulse of the public on this critical national security issue.

We draw insights from the results of the most recent Taiwan National Security Survey (TNSS), conducted in mid-December 2022 with over 1,0000 respondents. The TNSS is one of the most consistent sources of national security research on Taiwan, as it has conducted annual surveys since 2002. TNSS survey results are often seen as representative of the entire voting population in Taiwan. We feel reassured that, overall, attitudes toward self-defense continued to stay at a high level. In an open-ended response setting, 31 percent of respondents gave responses that could be seen as defending Taiwan when asked, “If Taiwan and China were to fight a war, what action would you take?” Their answers ranged from joining the military to joining local defense groups to donating money. Owing to the complexity of this open-ended question, 15 percent answered, “Don’t know,” and another 15 percent answered, “Follow whatever the government decided.” Comparing this result to previous versions of the TNSS reveals that support for self-defense has grown. Support for self-defense from the past eleven waves hovered around 15 to 27 percent and never surpassed the threshold of 30 percent.

Beyond the Quad: Booming Security Cooperation Efforts in the Indo-Pacific

Rajeswari Pillai Rajagopalan

Quad partners are becoming much more serious about security cooperation in the Indo-Pacific. They are coming up with bilateral and other agreements among themselves but also bringing in other countries from Europe, such as France and the United Kingdom, who have an interest in the region. This is not designed to supplant the Quad itself but rather to supplement it.

Nevertheless, there is a danger that the Quad as a group could be left behind as these other agreements become more widespread and more in-depth in their focus on security cooperation.

Most recently, Japan and the U.K. signed a defense agreement that would facilitate deployment of troops in each other’s countries. A Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs statement on the signing of the Japan-U.K. Reciprocal Access Agreement said that the agreement is meant to “simplify procedures when implementing cooperative activities, such as port calls of vessels and joint exercises between the two countries and further promote bilateral security and defense cooperation.” A U.K. government press release said that the agreement “will also cement the UK’s commitment to Indo-Pacific security, allowing both forces to plan and deliver larger scale, more complex military exercises and deployments.”

Taiwan is finally beefing up its defenses. Will it be too little, too late?

Max Boot

TAIPEI, Taiwan — It is both thrilling and sobering to visit Taiwan nearly a year after the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

It’s inspiring to see the achievements of the Taiwanese people in building a flourishing democracy — the first in China’s long history — under the constant shadow of attack from the People’s Republic of China. Taipei is a vibrant city of 2.6 million people full of high-rise office and apartment buildings, shopping malls and “night markets,” beef noodle parlors and bubble tea shops. It is the capital of a de facto nation that is far freer and wealthier than the mainland (per capita gross domestic product is nearly three times higher). Taiwan, an island smaller than West Virginia with a population of just 23.5 million, produces more than 90 percent of the world’s most advanced semiconductors. While China is only now escaping the prison of President Xi Jinping’s misguided “zero covid” policy, Taiwan (which, unlike China, has used Western mRNA vaccines) has already returned to normal.

But it’s also dismaying to realize how quickly all of this could turn to ashes, as has happened to so many cities in Ukraine. Taiwan’s skyscrapers — including the iconic Taipei 101, one of the world’s tallest buildings — could all too readily become targets for the growing Chinese missile stockpile.

The threat is not, of course, new. Taiwan has been in the Communists’ crosshairs ever since Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek relocated his Nationalist government here in 1949. But the Russian attack on Ukraine has made it harder — if, sadly, far from impossible — to be in denial about the danger. You can no longer pretend that this sort of naked aggression cannot occur in the modern world. It is happening in Ukraine right now — and it could happen in Taiwan at some point in the near future, given Xi’s fixation on seizing control of what he regards as a renegade province. While many ordinary Taiwanese remain in denial, most of their leaders have awaked to the danger and are belatedly acting to avert it.

What’s Behind China’s Resumed Imports of Australian Coal?

Zhongzhou Peng

On January 3, China’s National Development and Reform Commission decided to allow four state-owned companies – China Baowu Steel Group, China Datang, China Huaneng Group, and China Energy Investment Corp. – to import Australian coal for their own use. This marked an end of a ban on Australian coal imports that lasted for more than two years.

Some analysts contended that this decision was driven by China’s domestic energy supply pressure. Some suggested that it was promoted by Australia to offset the impact of declining iron ore prices on its export revenue. However, rather than emphasizing the economic incentives, it is more convincing to understand this decision as another step taken by the Chinese side to gradually improve the bilateral relationship with Australia.

Indeed, scrutiny of the Chinese and Australian economies and coal trade data indicates that both sides lack significant economic impetus to reopen their coal trade. China has increased its coal imports from Indonesia, Russia, and Mongolia to fill the gap created by the ban on Australian coal import, which amounted to 80 million tons before the ban. These replacement suppliers have to a large extent satisfied China’s needs, as China’s coal imports have increased from 300 million tons in 2019 and 2020 (before the ban) to 320 million tons in 2021. In addition, Beijing has increased its energy supply by producing more electricity from thermal power generation, solar farms, and wind farms at home, leading to considerable alleviation of its energy shortage at the end of 2022.

The China-US Quantum Race

Sam Howell

Quantum researchers in China claim to have an algorithm capable of breaking public-key encryption, years before anyone expected. Accurate or not, the announcement serves as a reminder that surprising quantum breakthroughs are possible in the near term. If the Biden administration is serious about its designation of quantum information science (QIS) as a critical technology area for national security, it must do more to safeguard U.S. quantum superiority.

QIS uses the laws of quantum physics, which describes the properties of nature on a tiny scale, to advance the processing, analysis, and transmission of information. Quantum computing, quantum encryption, and quantum sensing constitute the three primary domains within QIS. Although it is an evolving field, QIS promises to transform almost any industry dependent on speed and processing power, from aerospace and automotive to finance and pharmaceuticals.

Like other emerging technologies, quantum has become a crux of China-U.S. competition. The first country to operationalize quantum technologies will possess a toolkit of capabilities that can overwhelm unprepared adversaries. Quantum-enabled countries could crack existing encryption methods, build unbreakable encrypted communications networks, and develop the world’s most precise sensors. The country leading in quantum will be able to threaten adversaries’ corporate, military, and government information infrastructure faster than an adversary can implement effective defenses.

The 6 Horsemen of the Apocalypse for China

Kung Chan

2022 was not an easy year for China. Outbreaks of COVID-19 and the subsequent strict control measures that induced protests nationwide, as well as the geopolitical challenges that the country faces, are all but outward signs of the crises that the country will encounter soon, or is currently undergoing.

All in all, there are six such major crises, which we can call the “Six Horsemen of the Apocalypse” for China. These problems are not unknown to those who have even a glimpse of the actual situation of the country, though they have not always attracted the attention that they should.

First of all, China is one of the countries facing a serious demographic problem in the form of an aging population. The disastrous effect of this is clearly seen in the current pandemic. There are countless discussions and reports about the spread of COVID-19 in the country, many of which are sensational. However, as China’s population grows older and older, even other common diseases, such as the influenza virus, could have an equally disastrous result – or even worse. The elderly have worse survival rates from such illnesses, so an older population will mean more deaths. China’s pandemic crisis is thus actually a manifestation of its aging crisis, seen in the depletion of public medical resources, and even of social resources, including funeral preparations.

Satellite images show crowds at China’s crematoriums as covid surges

Samuel Oakford,  Lily Kuo,

An overwhelmed funeral home in Chengdu, China, stopped offering memorial services, budgeting just two minutes for each family to say goodbye to loved ones before cremation. A funeral parlor on the outskirts of Beijing quickly cleared space for a new parking lot. Scalpers in Shanghai sold places in line at funeral homes for $300 a pop to grieving relatives trying to get cremation slots.

Still, the Chinese government continues to insist that fewer than 40 people have died in China of covid since Dec. 7, when “zero covid” restrictions aimed at entirely eliminating the virus were suddenly dropped — and infection numbers exploded.

A Washington Post examination of satellite imagery, firsthand videos posted to social media and witness accounts suggests that China’s covid death toll is far higher than the government’s tally, undermining Beijing’s claim that the outbreak remains under control.

Funeral homes across the country have seen a dramatic increase in activity compared with a few months ago and with the same time last year, as vehicles deliver bodies and residents line up to have their loved ones cremated, according to The Post’s analysis. It provides clear visual evidence that official records do not reflect the full toll of the outbreak.

What the West Doesn’t Know About China’s Silicon Valley


NOVELIST NING KEN first saw Beijing’s Zhongguancun neighborhood in 1973 as a 14-year-old on a school trip to the Summer Palace, former imperial gardens looted by European troops during the Opium Wars. “At that time, once you passed the zoo, Beijing was just countryside and farmland,” he says, recalling the bus ride heading northwest. Out the window and amid the fields, Ning saw the campuses of China’s most prestigious research institutions, which had birthed China’s nuclear program and hydroelectric dams. They included the Chinese Academy of Sciences and Peking and Tsinghua Universities.

Today that stretch of road is the heart of China’s technology industry, a busy neighborhood with a subway stop and glass towers housing Chinese and Western tech companies. The neighborhood’s transformation mirrors the dramatic changes to China’s economy and culture over the past four decades. Tech companies that grew out of Zhongguancun expanded the boundaries of how businesses could operate—often by staying one step ahead of regulators—and came to shape Chinese power overseas.

In the West, coverage of China’s tech industry often focuses on how it is restricted or controlled by the government. In Ning’s telling, the innovators of Zhongguancun helped “liberate” the Chinese people from the strictures of a fully state-run economy by carving out a path for entrepreneurship as the country tentatively opened up.

Decoupling Wastes U.S. Leverage on China

Paul Scharre

In October, the Biden administration announced sweeping export controls on semiconductors to China. Denying access to chips is necessary, the administration said, to keep them out of Chinese weapons and protect U.S. national security. The new policy is a mistake, however, and will harm U.S. security rather than defend it. In cutting off China’s access to advanced chips today, the United States is giving up its long-term leverage over Chinese artificial-intelligence development and accelerating China’s drive toward chip independence. Recent U.S. export controls are the latest step in “decoupling” U.S.-China technology ties, yet decoupling is not enough to secure U.S. interests in a long-term competition. A better approach would be to keep China dependent on U.S. technology, giving the United States the ability to deny China access to key technologies when necessary.

Recent U.S. export controls are a major escalation in the U.S.-China tech competition. In September, National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan announced a change from the U.S. goal of being “only a couple of generations ahead” of China in key technologies to maintaining “as large of a lead as possible.” The Biden administration’s aggressive new semiconductor export controls put this principle into practice, aiming to stop Chinese chip development in its tracks. Yet key elements of the policy are likely to backfire.

Could Biden Have Stopped Russia From Invading Ukraine?

David L. Phillips

Russian leader Vladimir Putin telegraphed his plan to attack Ukraine long before the first shot was fired. So why was the West’s response so incremental and ineffective? More proactive preventive measures before Russia’s attack might have changed Putin’s calculus. By exercising unilateral constraint and making unforced concessions, the Biden administration invited Russia to test the boundaries of its bellicosity.

Washington’s initial response was shaped by its fear that Putin would use nuclear weapons. Paralyzed by the possibility of nuclear Armageddon, the Biden administration responded carefully with half-measures.

At the outset, Biden pledged that NATO troops would not fight in Ukraine. Taking the NATO option off the table was unnecessary. Ukraine was provided with weapons from former Warsaw Pact countries, rather than state-of-the-art NATO weaponry. It was enough to keep Russian forces at bay, but not enough to defeat them. Biden hoped that sanctions would deter Russia’s aggression. But sanctions were implemented so incrementally that Putin was able to cushion their impact on Russia’s economy; Russian oligarchs had time to transfer their assets to sanctuary countries like Turkey. Nord Stream 2, which transported gas to Germany, operated at full throttle until Russia attacked.

The US and China: Deterrence in the Danger Zone

E. John Teichert

When U.S. Chief of Naval Operations Admiral Mike Gilday said in October that China might imminently invade Taiwan, it shocked the national security community. Just a week later, Secretary of State Antony Blinken echoed and reaffirmed these concerns, stating that the Chinese Communist Party (CCP)’s plans for reunification with Taiwan are on a “much faster timeline” than previously expected. Conventional wisdom previously held that the earliest timing for China’s invasion of Taiwan would be in the latter half of this decade, but these comments suggest that such aggression could actually take place in 2023.

Indeed, recent record-breaking Chinese incursions into Taiwan’s air defense identification zone and reckless Chinese aerial activity in the South China Sea demonstrate the distinct possibility of a looming conflict. Thus, the world finds itself in a security environment that some experts have called the “Danger Zone.”

The U.S. national security and defense strategies provide a strategic path of success through the perils of this year and this decade: integrated deterrence. This concept utilizes the principles of Cold War-winning deterrence employed across the whole of government and alongside the United States’ broad and trusted network of allies and partners.

Rebuilding U.S. Inventories: Six Critical Systems

Mark F. Cancian

As the United States transfers massive amounts of weapons, munitions, and supplies to Ukraine, questions arise about the health of U.S. inventories. Are inventories getting too low? How long will it take to rebuild those inventories? An earlier CSIS commentary identified those inventories that are at risk as a result of transfers to Ukraine. This commentary continues that analysis by examining inventory replacement times. Most inventories, though not all, will take many years to replace. For most items, there are workarounds, but there may be a crisis brewing over artillery ammunition.

The table below lays out weapons and munitions where concerns have arisen about inventories.

From phishing scams to propaganda: How Russia, rogue nations utilize cyber capabilities against the US

Peter Aitken

Fox News national security correspondent Jennifer Griffin has the latest on cybersecurity threats on 'Special Report.'

Rogue nations including China, Russia, Iran and North Korea continue to close the cyber capabilities gap on the U.S., utilizing a range of operations that have created an increasingly complex and difficult security landscape to navigate.

"Cyber warfare isn't just about access to sensitive or classified information," Jamil Jaffer, founder and executive director at the National Security Institute at the George Mason University Law School, told Fox News Digital. "It can have real physical effects."

The cybersecurity landscape has shifted over the past 10 years, due in part to disclosures from various nations, including the U.S., into how their national cyber toolkits work, allowing other countries to quickly develop capabilities they had lacked.

Jaffer labeled China "the largest threat" in cyberspace due to the long-term hacking campaign the country has maintained with deep inroads to U.S. systems, along with the Russians. But he highlighted the significant threat of developing cyber nations like Iran and North Korea.

Make No Mistake, War Hawk American Policy Helped Start This War In Ukraine

John Kennedy

On December 21, the president of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelenskyy, spoke to Congress in an effort to get more financial and military support from the American government. Zelenskyy spoke of peace, freedom, and interconnection as the main goals of the Ukrainian fight but that Ukraine needed American resolve.

Zelenskyy stated: “From the United States to China, from Europe to Latin America and from Africa to Australia, the world is too interconnected and interdependent to allow someone to stay aside and at the same time to feel safe when such a battle continues. Our two nations are allies in this battle, and next year will be a turning point . . . when Ukrainian courage and American resolve must guarantee the future of our common freedom.”

After his speech, Congress passed a $1.7 trillion spending plan with $45 billion going to Ukraine. This money is supposed to be used for the Ukrainian war effort, but President Biden insists that he has no intention of sending US combat troops to Ukraine; he was not the first leader to make such a promise.
Parallels in History

Just as in World War I, World War II, and Vietnam, it is never just military support. President Wilson, President Roosevelt, and President Johnson all promised that they would not send Americans into a war. President Wilson created a campaign slogan of “he kept us out of war.” FDR created the lend-lease program to arm the British and later the Soviets, all the while keeping “neutrality.” Presidents Kennedy and Johnson sent military aid and advisors to support the South Vietnamese government until the United States sent combat troops after the Gulf of Tonkin incident. Despite the promises of these politicians, war was the result.

The Wagner Group and Russia’s New General

George Friedman

Moscow has relieved its current general in Ukraine, placing him under the staff of his successor, Gen. Valery Gerasimov. In a way, this makes sense – he can help the new commander find his place – but if he works toward Gerasimov’s failure, it could create problems in morale. The arrangement is odd, but if it works, it works, and Russia is in dire need of something that works.

It’s been nearly a year since Russia invaded Ukraine, and it has yet to claim any semblance of victory. The army has fought battles and has even appeared to have won some, but nothing has been decisive. A potentially decisive battle is being fought now, but the relief of the theater commander does not indicate that it is going well.

The Russian army clearly was not prepared for Ukrainian resistance, nor for the extent to which the United States was prepared to arm Ukrainian troops. Russian intelligence should have known as much, and thus should have baked this into Moscow’s wartime strategy. Russia has yet to lose the war, of course, but conflicts such as this one tend to be affairs of attrition, and the war must be costing Russia far more than it expected.

Which at least partly explains the participation of the Wagner Group, the Russian private military contractor that has served Moscow in many other regions – often to brutal effect – but never served in a theater-level operation that is essentially a multidimensional line. It is not only facing resistance it has not experienced before, but its force has been dramatically increased so that the problems of command are extremely different from lesser wars, the troops less disciplined because of the need to bring in new recruits.

Attacks on Satellites May Trigger Military Response, US and Japanese Officials Say

Thomas Novelly

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and Secretary of State Antony Blinken announced alongside Japanese officials on Wednesday that they would consider military retaliation in response to attacks on satellites, a policy that puts China and Russia on notice amid looming threats in space.

Space Force and U.S. Space Command are in charge of monitoring and protecting America's satellite fleet. With additional treaty obligations between the U.S. and Japan, American forces could be drawn into a skirmish if Japanese satellites are targeted.

"The outer space component of this is important to the security and prosperity of our alliance. We agreed, as you've heard, that attacks to, from or within space present a clear challenge, and we affirmed that, depending on the nature of those attacks, this could lead to the invocation of Article V of our Japan-U.S. Security Treaty," Blinken said, referencing the number of the clause in the treaty that covers mutual defense. "That is significant."

The focus on space as part of the U.S.-Japan partnership is a big shift, according to Matthew P. Funaiole, a senior fellow at the nonprofit Center for Strategic and International Studies who researches issues relating to space and China.

A stronger Japan defense posture is easier said than done


Prime Minister Fumio Kishida’s summit with U.S. President Joe Biden on Friday in Washington will cap a long week of meetings between U.S. and Japanese officials, including a Commerce-METI meeting on trade and a “two-plus-two” meeting between Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin and their Japanese counterparts, Foreign Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi and Defense Minister Yasukazu Hamada.

The intense diplomacy comes at a time when American views of Japan have never been better. In the 2022 Chicago Council Survey, Americans rated Japan among their most favored nations and American support for U.S. bases in the country hit a 20-year high. Similarly, surveys conducted by the Japan Institute for International Affairs find that Japanese view the alliance positively, are confident in U.S. power and support a leadership role for the United States in the region and around the world.

The United States and Japan are also increasingly aligned on policy. The U.S. Indo-Pacific Strategy is full of phrases and ideas imported from Japan, with none more central than the “Free and Open Indo-Pacific.” With similar conceptual underpinnings, Tokyo and Washington find themselves in sync on the major security challenges facing both countries, particularly the growing power and influence of China.

That alignment extends to the public as well. Joint polling from Yomiuri Shimbun and Gallup finds that majorities of Japanese (81%) and Americans (77%) view China as a military threat to their countries and similarly-sized majorities in both nations say the same about Russia and North Korea.

The Global Struggle for Tech Mastery


PALO ALTO – The past year offered some old lessons about great-power competition. But it also introduced some new ones about how technology is changing the strategic terrain.

There is no longer any doubt about the challenge that China, Russia, and other authoritarian regimes pose to international rule of law, respect for sovereignty, democratic principles, and free people. These threats have grown as China and Russia have harnessed new technologies to surveil populations, manipulate information, and control data flows. They are setting an example for how authoritarians can further clamp down on freedom of thought, expression, and association. China’s draconian zero-COVID measures may yet test that control, but its use of technologies like drones to monitor quarantine adherence represent a new era of digital repression.

Rising geopolitical tensions have coincided with growing encroachments by disruptive technologies into all aspects of public and private life. The implications for 2023 and beyond are clear: the technology platforms of the future are the new terrain of strategic competition. The United States therefore has a core interest in making sure that these technologies are designed, built, fielded, and governed by democracies.

Iran and Israel May Never Get Along, But Both Learn to Live With Russia in Syria


Russia has managed to weigh ties between sworn enemies Iran and Israel, developing strategic relations to both as it ultimately pursued its own goals in war-torn Syria. As recent Israeli strikes against Syrian and suspected Iranian positions in Damascus proved, however, this delicate balancing act could fail at any point.

Now each of these players look to Moscow to prevent such a catastrophic result.

Rather than choose a side in Israel and Iran's conflict, Russia has elected to engage with both nations in hopes of deconflicting tensions and restabilizing Syria under President Bashar al-Assad. Still, government-controlled territory is regularly subjected to airstrikes from Israel as it strives to prevent the establishment of any forward bases by Iran, Assad's other major ally and an influential regional force deeply hostile to Israel.

As for why Russia's state-of-the-art air defenses stay silent when Israel attacks, Moscow-based PIR Center President Evgeny Buzhinskiy, a retired Russian lieutenant-general who is also vice president of the Russian International Affairs Council, told Newsweek: "It seems to me they have a kind of bargain between Russia, Israel and Syria, as far as those strikes."

"First of all, they're not detrimental; second, they inflict no major damage on Syrian positions, to say nothing of the Russian positions in Syria," he said.

New Israel System Digitally Maps Battlefield, Changing How Wars Are Fought


The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) have established a new high-tech system that provides real-time tracking of troop locations and where they may be exposed to enemy fire, offering the country a significant digital edge on the battlefield.

In the first explanation of what's known as the Identify & Alert ("I&A") System to the international media, two senior Israeli officers discussed with Newsweek how the platform works and what it means for the future of warfare.

Contending with foes tied to longstanding conflicts on nearly every border, Israeli troops have frequently faced sudden hostilities from a range of actors, making it difficult to anticipate attacks.

Lieutenant Colonel Idan Hariri, outgoing commanding officer of the IDF J6 and Cyber Defense Directorate's Gaza Battalion, told Newsweek that, "we took these events and thought about their common denominator and how we can improve toward the next operation by developing a new system, such as alerting soldiers that are at risk from anti-tank missile fire and sniper fire."

Enabling an Economic Transformation of Ukraine

Conor M. Savoy, Janina Staguhn

Experience has shown that countries should begin planning for the postwar period before the end of a war. The geostrategic stakes in Ukraine are such that failure could have disastrous consequences not just for Ukraine but also for the broader region. The war has already caused repercussions around the world through global food insecurity, a growing energy crisis, and disruptions of the broader global supply chains. It is in the national security interest of the G7 and European Union for Ukraine to become a modernized economy and remain a secure democracy.

The United States, European Union, and G7 should do everything possible to realize this vision after Ukraine wins the war with Russia. However, there will not be enough foreign assistance to rebuild Ukraine. Therefore, Ukraine and its allies need to create an environment within which businesses and companies have the confidence to invest and deliver the reconstruction the country critically needs.

ChatGPT Has Investors Drooling—but Can It Bring Home the Bacon?

WHEN ChatGPT—the ingenious, garrulous, and occasionally unhinged chatbot from OpenAI—was asked this week how much the company behind it is worth, its responses included: “It is likely that its worth is in the hundreds of millions of dollars, if not more.”

Microsoft, which is rumored to be weighing a $10 billion investment in OpenAI on top of an earlier $1 billion commitment, is betting that the company is worth a lot more—despite the fact neither ChatGPT nor other AI models made by OpenAI are yet raking in huge amounts of cash. OpenAI has built several impressive and attention-grabbing demos and powers a popular autocomplete function for coders offered by Microsoft’s GitHub. But despite the hype swirling around its technology, the startup hasn’t created a breakout, highly lucrative product or business.

“We don't really know what ChatGPT is going to be great at,” says James Cham, a partner at Bloomberg Beta, an investment firm. But while the bot’s path to riches may not be clear, Cham shares the feeling of many VCs and entrepreneurs that the technology behind the bot will pay out in a big way. OpenAI’s technology is at the heart of a swell of interest in so-called generative AI, a term encompassing algorithms that can generate text, images, or other data.

ChatGPT: Teachers Weigh In on How to Manage the New AI Chatbot

Larry Ferlazzo

The new question of the week is:

How do you think artificial intelligence-powered tools like ChatGPT are going to affect K-12 schools, and what are practical strategies teachers can use to respond to them?

ChatGPT took the world by storm last month when it was made available to the public. Using artificial intelligence, it could produce responses to prompts that were remarkably fluent and cogent and could pass muster as reasonable written responses to class assignments, among other tasks.

Teachers will share their reflections in this series on how these kinds of AI tech developments might affect our classrooms.

Ally or Foe?

Brett Vogelsinger teaches 9th grade English in Doylestown, Pa., where he begins class each day with a poem. His book, Poetry Pauses, is available for preorder now and releases from Corwin Press in February:

I am paranoid that I may later eat these words, and my optimism was misplaced, about ChatGPT in K-12 classrooms, but to agonize over this topic is to use my head and my heart in a way that AI cannot yet. Therefore, I will forge ahead.

Government’s Role in Promoting Open Source Software

Georgia Wood, Eugenia Lostri

The CSIS government policies on open source software (OSS) data set captures the different ways in which governments around the world have engaged with OSS. The research team relied on publicly available information to populate the data set. To capture a broad array of policies, researchers used unofficial translations. The research took place between January–August 2022; however, researchers have included some well-documented policies and bills that have been introduced since then.

This survey found a total of 669 open source policy initiatives between 1999 and 2022. After a sharp increase in OSS policies in 2003 (2003 remains the year with the most activity, with 58 initiatives), interest remains constant overall, with an average of 28 initiatives being considered in any given year.


Nate Huber

One advantage of the technique is that it mitigates cognitive bias by focusing attention on the indicators and variables that would lead up to the event rather than focusing on the consequences of the event.

“What If analysis” is a structured analytic technique employed by intelligence professionals to think about the future. To use the technique, an analyst assumes some future event of interest has occurred and then works their way back, plotting the course of events that would be necessary to get to that future point. What if analysis is a particularly useful tool for thinking about low-probability/high-impact events. One advantage of the technique is that it mitigates cognitive bias by focusing attention on the indicators and variables that would lead up to the event rather than focusing on the consequences of the event.

This article demonstrates the use of what if analysis by examining the possibility of a terrorist attack that weaponizes, a potent narcotic whose legal use is as a tranquilizer for very large animals. In the last few years, drug cartels have begun to lace narcotics such as heroin with fentanyl and its analogues, one of which is carfentanil. Among individual drug users, the potency of these substances has led to a widely reported and tragic increase in drug overdoses. This article considers another potential danger posed by carfentanil, its potential use as a method of attack by terrorists. This is precisely the kind of low-probability/high-impact event for which what if analysis is so well suited to analyze. It should be noted that this article is not based on any knowledge that such an attack is imminent. Indeed, drug cartels would have a strong interest in not allowing carfentanil to be used for terrorist purposes, because such an attack would inevitably lead to a strong response. This case is simply used to demonstrate a technique that might be of interest to readers.

Ukraine spotlights ‘criticality’ of space in conflict : Saltzman


WASHINGTON — The new head of the Space Force, Gen. Chance Saltzman, says that the clearest take-away so far from the ongoing war in Ukraine is that space systems are key to winning current and future conflicts.

“I’m a history major. So, I don’t like to draw too many lessons learned while an event like this is unfolding, but I think it would be fair to say that what we’re observing is the criticality of space in modern warfare,” he told the Space Force Association in an online interview yesterday evening.

Noting that there are a “number of different lenses” for analyzing the situation, Saltzman ticked off a handful of observations that he said the Space Force will absorb as it continues to work on developing operational concepts, tactics and training for Guardians.

“The ability to deny single satellite capabilities became very obvious very early in this conflict. The ability to cyber attack ground networks that facilitate space capabilities became very obvious. Those vulnerabilities became obvious early in the conflict,” he said.

“And then the commercial augmentation of space capabilities showed its merits,” he said.

Ukraine war leaves British Army ‘very uncomfortable’ with Future Soldier capabilities


BELFAST — A top UK military leader revealed this week that operational analysis of the Ukraine war led the British Army to feel “very uncomfortable” with aspects of its Future Soldier modernization program.

Lt. Gen. Sharon Nesmith, Deputy Chief of the Defence Staff, said the Eastern European conflict had in “the first instance” caused the army to reconsider how to address air defense, uncrewed systems, deep fires and intelligence, surveillance, targeting and reconnaissance (ISTAR) capability gaps.

During the three-hour-long Wednesday UK defense committee hearing — which provided the clearest glimpse yet into the war’s impact on UK land strategy — Nesmith told lawmakers that in an attempt to fix the problems, the service has already completed an “internal balance of investment” and continues to look for opportunities to accelerate procurement. But the new approach could be troubled by “two realistic constraints,” Nesmith said: supply chain difficulties and industrial capacity.

“There is a lot [regarding] our industrial capacity [to focus on] and recognition that we have not invested in the land industrial base, as we would now wish to,” she added.

The First Battle of the Next War: Wargaming a Chinese Invasion of Taiwan

Mark F. Cancian, Matthew Cancian, Eric Heginbotham

CSIS developed a wargame for a Chinese amphibious invasion of Taiwan and ran it 24 times. In most scenarios, the United States/Taiwan/Japan defeated a conventional amphibious invasion by China and maintained an autonomous Taiwan. However, this defense came at high cost. The United States and its allies lost dozens of ships, hundreds of aircraft, and tens of thousands of servicemembers. Taiwan saw its economy devastated. Further, the high losses damaged the U.S. global position for many years. China also lost heavily, and failure to occupy Taiwan might destabilize Chinese Communist Party rule. Victory is therefore not enough. The United States needs to strengthen deterrence immediately.

S-400 vs. Patriot: Who Has the World’s Best Air Defense System?

Alex Hollings

With plans now underway to equip Ukraine’s armed forces with America’s Patriot Air Defense System, the internet is aflutter with debate about just how effective it really is, and whether or not it stacks up against its Russian competition.

The MIM-104 Patriot Air Defense System first entered service in the early 1980s as a replacement for both Nike Hercules high-to-medium air defense and MIM-23 Hawk medium tactical air defense systems. Today, the Patriot is operated by 18 nations, with the United States operating the largest fleet of systems, with 16 Patriot battalions operating upwards of 50 Patriot batteries that have more than 1,200 interceptors in the field.

In comment sections and forums around the world, you’ll find no shortage of self-appointed air warfare experts citing seemingly imagined statistics about American, Russian, and other air defense platforms to justify their hyperbole… But the complicated truth about air defenses at large comes in the form of two equally hard-to-swallow pills for those waging war in the comment section:

1. Publicly-released details about most air defense systems tend to be as rare as they are dated.