25 January 2023

2023 Should Be India’s Year

Raymond E. Vickery, Jr.

The stars are aligned to make 2023 India’s year for international leadership.

India is the president of the Group of 20 (G-20) and will host its summit in September. It holds the rotating presidency of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) and will host the meeting of the SCO Heads of State, probably in August. Additionally, India has convened a virtual meeting of the 75 nations of the Global South and will host the Quad Foreign Ministers Meeting. India has positioned itself between NATO and Russia over Ukraine and has leverage with both that can be used for good. The Indian economy appears better prepared to withstand the headwinds facing the world than other major economies.

All these factors put together, make 2023 an opportune year for India to position itself as a global leader. However, India will need to maintain its economic stride, and promote global peace and security to make the most of this opportunity.

India is concentrating on economic and developmental issues in both the G-20 and the SCO to the exclusion of security issues. It has already hosted a meeting of the G-20 Development Working Group in Mumbai and plans to hold over 200 meetings in over 50 cities in India this year. Similarly at the SCO, India is emphasizing three “pillars of cooperation” – Startups & Innovation, Science & Technology, and Traditional Medicine. The high-level engagement and frequency of meetings underlines the seriousness with which India has taken up the mantle of its leadership.

A Lesson from West Bengal


NEW DELHI – The world has reached a major turning point. As artificial intelligence increasingly edges out traditional labor, it becomes clear that the future belongs to countries that can adapt to the changing nature of work. But adaptability requires an education system that nurtures creativity. This is particularly true in countries like India, where the growing digital divide threatens to widen existing inequalities.

I have been on the road in India over the past month, interacting with people engaged in education and research. I happened to arrive in Delhi just as the 2022 Annual Status of Education Report (ASER), the most important source of information on schools and education in rural India, was released.

This year’s report, the first to rely on in-person interviews since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, is based on the accounts of volunteers who visited more than 17,000 schools across the country. Given the four-year gap, this report provides the first meaningful glimpse of the pandemic’s devastating effect on learning outcomes for Indian children. It also provides crucial insights into the experience of millions more pupils in other developing and emerging economies.

The report shows that Indian children’s basic reading skills have dropped to pre-2012 levels across all ages, reversing the slow improvement that was achieved before the pandemic began. For example, the share of third-grade students who can read at a second-grade level dropped from 27.3% in 2018 to 20.5% in 2022.

As US, China Fight Over Bangladesh, India Is the Real Winner

Anu Anwar

In this file photo, Bangladesh’s Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, left, speaks during a meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping at the Diaoyutai State Guesthouse in Beijing, July 5, 2019.Credit: AP Photo/Mark Schiefelbein, Pool

Bangladesh is again on the radar of global geopolitics, this time thanks to turmoil in domestic politics amid upcoming elections and near-simultaneous high-level visits from the United States and China – each aiming to limit the other’s gains, while securing their own advancement.

On January 10, in an unprecedented move, newly appointed Chinese Foreign Minister Qin Gang stopped over in Dhaka as his first-ever foreign trip, which broke a streak that had lasted 32 years. It is customary for the Chinese foreign minister to make their first foreign trip of the calendar year to an African country, but this time – although it was not an official state visit – Qin met Bangladeshi Foreign Minister Abul Kalam Abdul Momen first. This happened in tandem with Chen Zhou, the deputy head of the International Department of the Chinese Communist Party Central Committee, leading a delegate on a three-day visit to Bangladesh.

The Chinese high-level visits to Bangladesh came amid a flurry of U.S. diplomatic activity. Eileen Laubacher, the senior director for South Asia at the White House’s National Security Council, arrived in Dhaka for a four-day visit on January 7; she met with Momen on January 9, just before Qin’s brief sojourn at the Dhaka airport. Donald Lu, the U.S. assistant secretary of state for South and Central Asian affairs, concluded a high-voltage visit last week.

This high-level diplomacy reflects the broader geopolitical competition between the United States and China, and their efforts to court Bangladesh, a geostrategically significant country situated on the head of the Bay of Bengal. The United States and China are in intense competition to win this battle, but the ultimate beneficiary is neither the U.S. nor China – it’s India. New Delhi is quietly playing Beijing and Washington against one another without draining its own resources in this geopolitical battle.

The United States’ 2023 Agenda for Building a Stronger Relationship with India

Richard M. Rossow

U.S.-India relations will start 2023 on solid footing. However, 2022 showed us that some lingering weaknesses persist. Senior-level support in both governments to meaningfully expand the relationship remains deep, yet precariously narrow. In the face of domestic political challenges in the United States and escalating threats abroad, it can be hard to give the bilateral relationship with India the focus it requires. The long-term promise of the relationship is not yet assured. Fulfilling that promise takes patience, vigor, and speed when opportunities for progress present themselves.

To further improve relations, the CSIS Wadhwani Chair offers seven key goals that U.S. officials should prioritize in the coming year. Each has a cost, either in terms of money, time, or political influence. Despite the costs, they will meaningfully contribute to a more positive economic and security partnership with India.

Confirm a U.S. ambassador in Delhi. The United States has now passed two years without a confirmed ambassador to India—the longest period of vacancy in the history of our bilateral relationship. With each passing day, the United States loses some degree of political access, has a reduced ability to mobilize Washington, and on a more basic level, strongly signals the deprioritization of links with India.

Dramatically increase senior government engagement and programs involving India’s powerful regional leaders. Senior U.S. government engagement tends to be limited to visits to a small number of diplomatic and commercial centers in India, namely Delhi and Mumbai. Yet India’s commercial and development trajectories are almost entirely written by state governments. The United States’ four consulates (Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai, and Hyderabad) provide crucial day-to-day presence, which should be further utilized. Moving ahead with the long-planned fifth consulate is crucial, especially after the short-sighted decision to close the “North India Office,” a quasi-consulate covering key northern states like Uttar Pradesh.

Pakistan Cannot Defeat the Tehreek-i-Taliban

Arwin Rahi

Pakistan is once again in trouble. Since the Afghan Taliban (hereafter the Taliban) returned to power in August 2021, Pakistan has witnessed an uptick in violence perpetrated by the Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), which uses Afghanistan as a safe haven. The Taliban’s reluctance to rein in the TTP or to hand it over to Islamabad has disappointed Pakistan, where many celebrated the Taliban victory over Ashraf Ghani. In 2021-2022, the Taliban brokered a ceasefire between the Pakistan Army and TTP. The TTP, however, brought an end to the ceasefire in November 2022, ordering its fighters to resume their attacks.

Pakistani opinion and decisionmakers are now suggesting hitting the TTP hard, initially in Pakistan and, if need be, even in Afghanistan. But Pakistani decisionmakers should remember that they have tried to both negotiate and fight with the TTP since the latter’s inception in 2007—Neither approach seems to have worked in Pakistan’s favor. Therefore, given Pakistan’s past experiences with the TTP, any future military campaign by the Pakistan Army is likely to fall short of achieving long-term strategic success. Afghanistan is in no position to help Pakistan with its TTP problem either. At this point, Pakistanis should accept living with the TTP. While such a proposal might sound offensive, Pakistan’s choices are limited given historical and ground realities.

Afghanistan and TTP Challenge

First, it should be recalled that Afghans do not take away the protection they offer to others. The Taliban preferred to lose their government in 2001 rather than hand over Osama bin Laden to the United States. The only major exception to this practice is the Afghan government’s decision, during World War II in 1941, to ask German and Italian nationals to leave Afghanistan on the condition that the Allies would guarantee their safe return to their home countries. Even at the height of World War II, while being sandwiched between the British and Russians, Afghanistan did not hand over the Germans and Italians to the British or Russians.

China’s Declining Population Can Still Prosper

EARLIER THIS WEEK, the National Bureau of Statistics in China announced that the Chinese population has decreased for the first time in 60 years. The population decrease does not come as a complete surprise. Curbing population growth was the entire point of the one-child policy in effect between 1980 and 2015, and women in China have been having fewer babies than needed to sustain the population since the early 1990s. But even before the one-child policy, fertility in China had been on a downward trend. Fertility dropped from over six to just three children per woman in just the 11 years between 1967 and 1978. And aside from a slight uptick in the years immediately after the end of the one-child policy, fertility has continued to decrease since 2017. According to various estimates, the total fertility rate in China now stands at just over one child per woman.

Many people see China’s low fertility and declining population as a threat to its economic prosperity, assuming the labor force will shrink at the same time that social security costs and the number of older dependents will explode as the population gets older. Such alarmist reactions are typical in the discourse about low fertility and population aging. But while low fertility and population aging certainly pose a number of challenges, they need not spell demise.

IT IS UNLIKELY that fertility in China will increase substantially in the years to come. Once low fertility has become the norm in one generation, it is much less likely to increase again in subsequent generations. We have done research on this topic and refer to this as the “low fertility trap.” Mathematically, fewer births in one generation mean fewer potential parents in the next. Moreover, people who grow up with fewer siblings and less exposure to bigger families internalize smaller families as “normal,” and hence tend to have smaller families themselves. Each generation also tends to have higher material aspirations than the last while also needing longer to achieve the same standard of living. In China’s case, the country’s total fertility rate reached what we postulated to be the “level of no return” of 1.5 children per woman in 2019. Many men are struggling to find a female partner due to the surplus of men compared to women—largely caused by a traditional preference for sons and sex-selective abortions during the one-child policy. China’s population decline may thus accelerate in the future, as many men will remain childless.

Is China About To Destroy Encryption As We Know It? Maybe


Late last month, a group of Chinese scientists quietly posted a paper purporting to show how a combination of classical and quantum computing techniques, plus a powerful enough quantum computer, could shred modern-day encryption. The breakthrough–if real–would jeopardize not only much U.S. military and intelligence-community communication but financial transactions and even your text messages.

One quantum technology expert said simply “If it's true, it's pretty disastrous.”

But the breakthrough may not be all it’s cracked up to be.

The paper, “Factoring integers with sublinear resources on a superconducting quantum processor,” is currently under peer review. It claims to have found a way to use a 372-qubit quantum computer to factor the 2,048-bit numbers of in the RSA encryption system used by institutions from militaries to banks to communication app makers.

That’s a big deal because quantum experts believed that it would require a far larger quantum computer to break RSA encryption. And IBM already has a 433-qubit quantum processor.

The Chinese researchers claim to have achieved this feat by using a quantum computer to scale up a classical factoring algorithm developed by German mathematician Claus Peter Schnoor.

Drone Havoc In Ukraine Puts Iran’s Asymmetric Warfare Advantage Into Sharp Relief – Analysis

Oubai Shahbandar

The distinctive sound of an approaching wave of loitering munitions, commonly known as kamikaze drones, has become all too familiar over the cities of Ukraine since Iran began supplying the Russian military with its domestically designed and manufactured Shahed-136.

With its roughly 2,000 km range and 30 kg explosive payload, these destructive, swarming drones have become an almost daily terror for civilians in the capital Kyiv since September, routinely striking apartment buildings and energy infrastructure.

“The Russian purchase and deployment of Iranian drones has allowed Russia to attack the broad range of civilian infrastructure in Ukraine,” David DesRoches, a military expert at the US National Defense University, told Arab News.

Designed and built by an Iranian defense manufacturer closely linked to the regime’s powerful Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, the Shahed is low-tech compared with the unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) systems developed by other nations.

However, their strategic utility lies in the fact that they can be mass produced at a relatively low cost. According to Ukrainian officials, the Russian military has ordered more than 2,000 of these drones and has been in talks to establish a joint manufacturing facility on Russian soil.

A recent report by the Washington Institute also claims the Kremlin has expressed interest in purchasing more advanced Iranian drones, such as the Arash, which has a longer range and can carry a larger explosive payload than the Shahed.

But before Iran’s drones made their debut in the largest and most significant conflict on the European continent since the Second World War, they were battle-tested across multiple fronts in the Middle East where the IRGC and its proxies are active.

Iran has been able to trial its drone technology against US-built air defenses stationed in Iraq and the Arabian Gulf, including the Patriot surface-to-air missile system. Now that know-how is proving invaluable to the Russian military against the Western-backed Ukrainians.

Water Wars: The Geopolitics of Resource Conflict in the Middle East

Alp Sevimlisoy

Across the Euphrates lies one of the most precious commodities, not a dark viscous liquid that we formally refer to as Petroleum or a shimmering precious metal such as gold, but rather a translucent substance that is imperative to our lives, simply called, water. The Euphrates Dam has been the site of many historical conquests ranging from the Akkadian Empire to the Seleucids and subsequently the Romans and the Ottomans. In more recent history it led to a standoff between the Turkish Armed Forces and the Syrian Republic when, during the 1990s, water disruptions led the Atatürk Dam in Southeast Turkey to be prioritized by the country’s national security apparatus, with an ultimatum being delivered that any obstructions would lead to Turkish troops entering Syria to restore order. Following the statement, the Arab Republic of Syria met Turkish demands and an agreement was made to ensure unobstructed flows of water across the Euphrates River across their shared border.

The Turkish Armed Forces conducted operation Euphrates Shield in 2016 to achieve a foothold in the area and clear out Marxist and religious fundamentalist groups; however, a secondary objective was to take control of water flows from the Euphrates. Many policy makers have been discussing diminishing oil reserves to be the main facet of resource-based conflicts, yet water – an imperative day-to-day commodity – is often overlooked and is in reality a major asset that is sought to be secured as a vital state interest.

The Euphrates Dam in Syria is currently in the hands of the aforementioned internationally outlawed groups whereby prior to this it was held by religious extremists, a point to outline with regard to many illegal groups seeing it as a base from which to ‘leverage’ their demands across the region. The liberation of the dam and a restoration to a mutual management of the Euphrates River via both the Atatürk Dam in Turkey and the Euphrates Dam in Syria is only possible via the cooperation of the Turkish Armed Forces and the Syrian Army in synchronicity with the National Iraqi forces also. Only via the control of nation states which have a proven track record of the successful upkeep and flow of water resources regionally can we ensure that proxy conflicts do not occur as a result of potential resource ‘blackmailing.’

Opinion – The Nagorno-Karabakh Conflict: Russia’s Exit Cue from South Caucasus?

Vahagn Avedian

Since the 2020 war and its trilateral ceasefire agreement on November 9th, Russia’s future in South Caucasus seems to be intertwined with the Nagorno-Karabakh Conflict. The way Moscow demonstratively chose not to aid its military ally Armenia in the face of the joint Azerbaijani-Turkish assault on Nagorno-Karabakh or to put a stop to it as it had done previously, aggravated an already existing public distrust and bitterness among Armenians towards Russia. The recent developments, with Nagorno-Karabakh left isolated and practically under siege by Azerbaijan while the Russian peacekeepers seem to be incapable of resolving the situation, have further fomented that criticism.

The developments in the Nagorno-Karabakh Conflict are perhaps the most pivotal in recent times regarding Russia’s presence in the South Caucasus (consisting of the three republics of Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia), often labelled as the “backyard of Russia.” Since long ago, Georgia has been on bad terms with Russia. This was accentuated by a brief war in August 2008, and by Tbilisi’s recent move to officially apply for EU membership in the wake of the Ukraine War.

As for Azerbaijan, there is no secret that ever since the dissolution of the Romanov Empire in 1917, the Muslim population of Caucasus (Azerbaijan did not exist until May 1918) yearned to be “liberated” by their Turkish “brothers,” at the time at war with the Russian Empire. This was overtly visible when the Muslims, in the wake of the Russian Army’s abandonment of the Caucasian front in the midst of the ongoing WWI due to the Bolshevik Revolution, not only refused to continue to fight against the advancing Ottoman Army, but even started sabotaging and attacking the Armenian armed forces who were left on their own to defend the front (Georgia had by May 1918 signed a friendship treaty with Germany and changed side).



Since the Russian invasion of Ukraine on February 24, 2022, there has been a flurry of analyses, op-eds, and commentaries expressing considerable concern for the health of the United States’ defense industrial base (DIB) given the unprecedented level of U.S. security assistance to Ukraine.1 This brief will first provide an overview as to why the U.S. foreign and defense policy establishment is currently expressing concern for the health of the DIB and then conduct a survey of recent Congressional and Executive actions taken and proposals made to strengthen the DIB. From there, the brief will articulate how these current actions and proposals do not actually address the root causes of the perceived weakness of the DIB, but instead act only to increase the annual U.S. government funds directed to the military contractors that already dominate the defense industrial base. In that sense, actions to strengthen the U.S. DIB are best characterized as constituting an additional, unrecognized, cost of U.S. security assistance to Ukraine. 1. Alice Speri, “U.S. Military Aid to Ukraine Grows to Historic Proportions — Along with Risks,” The Intercept, 9/10/2022, theintercept. com/2022/09/10/ukraine-military-aid-weapons-oversight/. 

Why is the U.S. Foreign & Defense Policy Establishment Expressing Concern for the DIB? One of the primary methods through which the Biden administration has provided security assistance to Ukraine has been through the use of the Presidential Drawdown Authority (PDA). This Authority pulls weapons systems, arms, equipment, and other materiel directly from U.S. Department of Defense stockpiles and allows for deliveries to occur within days of authorization.2 Foreign Military Financing (FMF) and the Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative (USAI) are the foremost alternatives to PDA, but equipment ordered through these two funding sources is frequently newly-manufactured meaning that deliveries may not take place for months or years at current production rates. A $1.1 billion security assistance package for Ukraine in September, for example, included 18 High Mobility Artillery Systems (HIMARS) that would be manufactured through the USAI in a process scheduled to take multiple years to complete while other equipment in the same package is expected to be delivered in six to twenty-four months.3 The Drawdown Authority, FMF, and the USAI have all been heavily drawn upon to provide military aid to Ukraine, but the Presidential Drawdown Authority “remains the U.S. government’s most responsive tool to rapidly transfer U.S. military and other equipment in an unanticipated emergency that cannot be addressed by other means.”4 As the Security Assistance Monitor has previously reported, of the roughly $19 billion in U.S. military aid provided to Ukraine to date since February 24, 2022, approximately $11.5 billion, or 60%, has come through the Presidential Drawdown Authority.5

Air University Press

AEther: A Journal of Strategic Airpower and Spacepower, Winter 2022, v. 1, no. 4 Special Issue - International Space Policy

Offensive Defense: PLA Logic of Preemption in Space

The Paradox of Article IX and National Security Space Activities

International Space Collaboration and Security: A NATO Perspective

Devising National Space Policy in Pakistan

Holding the High Ground: Operational Considerations for the Earth-Moon System

Mitigating Noncooperative RPOs in Geosynchronous Orbit

In-Space Sustainment: An International, Civilian-Led Logistics Architecture

Lawn Dart Network Utilization on the Moon

IJ Infinity GroupMilitary

Strategy Magazine, Winter 2022, v. 8, no. 3 Does Artificial Intelligence Change the Nature of War?

Great in Theory: Does the U.S. Need a New Strategic Paradigm?

Turnaround Bundeswehr: What Money Cannot Buy

On Two Antecedent Principles of War

Quantum Principles

Because War Matters: The Communications Problem in Strategic Studies

The Erosion of Democracy Is Contagious

Paul R. Pillar

Aleading U.S. role in nurturing democracy worldwide can operate in either or both of two ways. One is by reaching out, using any of several foreign policy tools, to shape events in a foreign country in a pro-democratic direction. The American policy context for such efforts has ranged from the human rights agenda of Jimmy Carter to the more militant democracy-spreading objectives of the neoconservatives.

The reaching out can include persuasion of governmental leaders through diplomacy, and the use of economic carrots and sticks such as aid and sanctions to reward moves toward democracy and to punish backsliding toward authoritarianism. The work of two organizations associated with U.S. political parties—the International Republican Institute and the National Democratic Institute—such as the teaching of political skills to potential candidates in free elections, also represents an active U.S. effort to promote democracy abroad.

The other fundamental way in which the United States can affect the strength or weakness of democracy in other countries is by setting an example. The concept goes back to John Winthrop’s metaphor of a shining city on a hill, which in modern times Ronald Reagan resurrected. Some analysts argue this is the more effective way in which the United States can affect the prospects for democracy in other countries. As a superpower, any example the United States sets—intentionally or unintentionally, for better or for worse—is bound to be powerful. And being an exemplar on a hilltop avoids possible backlash from those who might see more active democracy-promotion activities as meddling or interference in another country’s internal affairs.

Today, the main story about democracy worldwide is not its advance but rather its decline. Much of the analysis of the reasons for this decline focuses on conditions and developments within the individual countries where democracy is most under attack. But as with an advance of democracy, the erosion of it involves influences that cross international boundaries. Again, the United States is a major player in the process. And again, influence gets exerted both through direct action and through example.

Jeremy Corbyn: Free Julian Assange And End The Ukraine War – OpEd

Adam Dick

Julian Assange should be freed, and the Ukraine War should be ended right away. These are two views expressed by Jeremy Corbyn, the former Labour Party leader of Great Britain. These views are in sharp contrast with views typically expressed by prominent politicians of Corbyn’s nation that has imprisoned Assange for extradition to the United States as well as funded and armed Ukraine’s war against Russia.

And Corbyn, who has stayed a member of Parliament after serving as Labour Party and opposition leader from 2015 to 2020, has not just expressed these views quietly to friends or reluctantly when pressed in questioning. He has instead gone out of his way to proclaim prominently these views in an effort to influence a large audience.

Imagine a current or former top Republican or Democrat from the United States Senate or House of Representatives doing that.

Good for Corbyn. He has neither been a poodle of an American president, as was claimed regarding British Prime Minister Tony Blair, nor an enemy of free speech and peace.

This week, Corbyn is in Washington, DC where his agenda includes promoting the goals of gaining freedom for Assange and ending the Ukraine War. Hopefully, he will be able to make headway with both efforts.

On Friday, Democracy Now host Amy Goodman interviewed Corbyn regarding these and other issues. Here, from the interview transcript, is Goodman and Corbyn’s exchange regarding ending the Ukraine War:

REPORT: "Russia Shifting Import Sources Amid U.S. and Allied Export Restrictions"

Silverado Policy Accelerator

Following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, the United States formed a coalition with 37 allies and partners that imposed sanctions and export controls to limit Russia’s access to foreign goods and technology and erode its ability to sustain the war. U.S. sanctions have immobilized Russian Central Bank assets and targeted thousands of individuals and entities. U.S. export controls were imposed to “choke off exports of technologies and other items that support Russia’s defense industrial base ... and to degrade Russia’s military capabilities and ability to project power.” Export controls include bans or restrictions on products for military end use or to military end users, bans on exports of certain foreign-origin items like semiconductors produced with U.S. advanced technologies, tools, and software, and restrictions on exports of luxury goods to impose costs on Russian oligarchs. In addition, many multinational companies closed their Russian plants or stopped exports to Russia.

The combination of these actions by the United States and its partners has isolated Russia from the global economy and degraded Russia’s military capabilities. However, despite an initial decline in overall Russian imports, Russia continues to have access to some dual-use technologies, such as semiconductors, through increased trade with countries like China. Looking specifically through the lens of trade statistics, this report examines the impacts of government measures and company actions on Russia’s ability to access foreign goods and technologies, including those that could support and sustain the Russian government's war efforts.

The report examines: (1) overall trends in Russia’s imports to determine the extent to which Russia can import goods generally and (2) Russia’s imports of select goods (integrated circuits, smartphones, appliances, passenger vehicles, and vehicle parts) directly impacted by export controls or firm exits to assess in more depth the impact of these measures. This report finds that the United States, its allies, and the private sector need to continue to stay ahead of Russia’s efforts to adapt to government measures and shift to new supply chain networks to access important goods and technologies, including by shifting import sources and importing goods directly or through transshipment points in some post-Soviet states. This can be done through enhanced coordination, additional resources, and further strengthening enforcement efforts.

Empty Bins in a Wartime Environment: The Challenge to the U.S. Defense Industrial Base

Seth G. Jones

The U.S. defense industrial base is not adequately prepared for the international security environment that now exists. In a major regional conflict—such as a war with China in the Taiwan Strait—the U.S. use of munitions would likely exceed the current stockpiles of the U.S. Department of Defense. According to the results of a series of CSIS war games, the United States would likely run out of some munitions—such as long-range, precision-guided munitions—in less than one week in a Taiwan Strait conflict. The war in Ukraine has also exposed serious deficiencies in the U.S. defense industrial base and serves as a stark reminder that a protracted conflict is likely to be an industrial war that requires a defense industry able to manufacture enough munitions, weapons systems, and matériel to replace depleted stockpiles.

As timelines for a possible conflict in Asia shrink, the goal should be to support the production capacity required to enable the United States and its allies and partners to deter and, if deterrence fails, fight and win at least one major theater war—if not two. “Just in time” and lean manufacturing operations must be balanced with carrying added capacity. The U.S. Department of Defense, in coordination with Congress, should develop a plan now that involves taking steps to streamline and improve production, acquisitions, replenishment, Foreign Military Sales, ITAR, and other policies and procedures. A revitalization of the defense industrial base will not happen overnight for the United States or its allies and partners. It is time to prepare for the era of competition that now exists.

This report was made possible through general support to CSIS. No direct sponsorship contributed to this report.

Surprising Cyber Focus at the World Economic Forum

And this year at the WEF meetings, cybersecurity made headlines in many ways. Here are a few examples:

Experts at Davos 2023 call for a global response to the gathering ‘cyber storm’”: “As economic and geopolitical instability spills into the new year, experts predict that 2023 will be a consequential year for cybersecurity. The developments, they say, will include an expanded threat landscape and increasingly sophisticated cyberattacks.

“‘There’s a gathering cyber storm,’ Sadie Creese, a Professor of Cyber Security at the University of Oxford, said during an interview at the World Economic Forum’s Annual Meeting 2023 in Davos, Switzerland. ‘This storm is brewing, and it’s really hard to anticipate just how bad that will be.’

“Already, cyberattacks such as phishing, ransomware and distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks are on the rise. Cloudflare, a major US cybersecurity firm that provides protection services for over 30% of Fortune 500 companies, found that DDoS attacks—which entail overwhelming a server with a flood of traffic to disrupt a network or webpage—increased last year by 79% year-over-year.”

The 2023 annual meeting coincided with the release of the Forum’s Global Cybersecurity Outlook 2023, an excellent report.

And here’s an excerpt from the WEF cybersecurity report executive summary for 2023:

The World Economy No Longer Needs Russia

Jeffrey Sonnenfeld

For much of the past year, and since his invasion of Ukraine last February, Russian President Vladimir Putin has been riding high on his supposed energy omnipotence, holding the global economy hostage to his whims. Since last summer, Putin has choked off natural gas supplies to Europe, hoping that Europeans, shivering and without heat during the winter, would turn on their leaders and make it politically infeasible to continue support for Ukraine.

The threat was potent: In 2021, a whopping 83 percent of Russian gas was exported to Europe. Russia’s total global exports of 7 million barrels of oil a day and 200 billion cubic meters (bcm) of piped gas a year accounted for about half of its federal revenue. Even more importantly, Russia’s commodities exports played a crucial role in global supply chains: Europe was reliant on Russia for 46 percent of its total gas supply, with comparable levels of dependence on other Russian products including metals and fertilizer.

Now, as we approach the one-year anniversary of Putin’s invasion, it is apparent that Russia has permanently forfeited its erstwhile economic might in the global marketplace.

Free the Leopard? Why a German battle tank is now at the top of Ukraine’s weapons wish list

Joshua Keating

Early in the Russian invasion of Ukraine, when the Russian army was losing an average of ten tanks per day, military experts debated whether the bulky armored behemoths that have been a fixture of warfare since World War I still had a place on the modern battlefield. The columns of damaged or destroyed tanks in Ukraine seemed to suggest otherwise. But if the tank is obsolete, no one has told the Ukrainians, who are pleading with their Western allies for hundreds of them in order to turn the tide on the battlefield and retake Ukrainian territory.

Those pleas were a key subject of Friday’s NATO defense meeting at Ramstein Air Base in Germany, where defense ministers and military commanders gathered to discuss the state of the war and NATO’s assistance.

NATO should send tanks to Ukraine “as soon as possible,” President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s chief of staff, Andriy Yermak, said in advance of the meeting. And in his opening remarks at Ramstein Friday, Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin said, “We’re starting a new year with renewed resolve to support the brave defenders of Ukraine. ... This is not a moment to slow down.”

For nearly a year, the U.S. and its NATO allies have resisted sending heavy tanks to the Ukrainians, but now that resistance is starting to wane. In a major development this week, the United Kingdom made the first move, pledging to send 14 of its Challenger 2s. Much of the attention now is on the possibility that German-made Leopard battle tanks — which several countries in the alliance use — may be offered to Ukraine. The hope among Ukrainians and their supporters is that the British move will pressure other countries to follow suit.

But at the Ramstein meeting, there was no deal.

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern arrives to announce her resignation on Thursday in Napier, New Zealand.

Charlotte Graham-McLay

It’s odd to think that the next few weeks will bring a return of the hazy, pre-2017 days when nobody outside of New Zealand actually knew the name of the country’s prime minister. It’s perhaps stranger still that for more than five years, people all over the world did know the name of the leader of a South Pacific nation of 5 million people — and that Jacinda Ardern became one of the most popular, admired and recognizable political figures on the planet.

The impact was felt in ways large and small. Introducing myself as a New Zealander anywhere from D.C. to Dhaka no longer prompted questions about cricket or the “Lord of the Rings” films. I’m such a fan of your prime minister, people enthused. They didn’t often cite a favorite policy of Ardern’s; it was more of a feeling.

In many ways, Ardern put New Zealand on the world map. The reality was not so simple.

On Thursday, Ardern — who at her polling peak in 2020 was New Zealand’s most popular prime minister in a century — stunned the country, reporters and her own center-left Labour Party by announcing that she would resign with more than nine months left in her second term in office and with no obvious successor. It brought the career of one of New Zealand’s most successful politicians to an abrupt close — at the age of 42.

“I just don’t have enough in the tank for another four years,” said Ardern, at times holding back tears. “For me, it’s time.”
A meteoric rise

Before Ardern took up the job in 2017, aged 37, New Zealanders traveling abroad were content if people knew their country was not part of Australia. In a 2012 New York Times story about one of Ardern’s predecessors, John Key, who held office for more than eight years, a headline writer mistakenly referred to him as “Jeff.”

If ChatGPT Can Pass a Wharton MBA Class What Does This Tell You About the State of Higher Education (The Paper Belt)?

Christian Terwiesch, A professor at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton school, one of the most prestigious US business schools, decided to test out how well GPT technologies like ChatGPT could do on one of his key course tests. To his surprise, ChatGPT did better than many of his students!

From the paper summary:

OpenAI’s Chat GPT3 has shown a remarkable ability to automate some of the skills of highly compensated knowledge workers in general and specifically the knowledge workers in the jobs held by MBA graduates including analysts, managers, and consultants. Chat GPT3 has demonstrated the capability of performing professional tasks such as writing software code and preparing legal documents. The purpose of this paper is to document how Chat GPT3 performed on the final exam of a typical MBA core course, Operations Management. Exam questions were uploaded as used in a final exam setting and then graded.

The “academic performance” of Chat GPT3 can be summarized as follows. First, it does an amazing job at basic operations management and process analysis questions including those that are based on case studies. Not only are the answers correct, but the explanations are excellent. Second, Chat GPT3 at times makes surprising mistakes in relatively simple calculations at the level of 6th grade Math. These mistakes can be massive in magnitude. Third, the present version of Chat GPT is not capable of handling more advanced process analysis questions, even when they are based on fairly standard templates. This includes process flows with multiple products and problems with stochastic effects such as demand variability. Finally, ChatGPT3 is remarkably good at modifying its answers in response to human hints. In other words, in the instances where it initially failed to match the problem with the right solution method, Chat GPT3 was able to correct itself after receiving an appropriate hint from a human expert. Considering this performance, Chat GPT3 would have received a B to B- grade on the exam.

Geopolitical Instability Raises Threat of ‘Catastrophic Cyberattack in Next Two Years’

Sahil Raina

Cybersecurity is increasingly influencing how and where businesses invest with half re-evaluating the countries they do business I 93% of cybersecurity experts and 86% of business leaders believe global geopolitical instability is likely to lead to a catastrophic cyberattack in the next two years Lack of skilled cyber experts is a threat to business and societies with key sectors such as energy utilities reporting a 25% gap in critical skills.

Despite challenges, organizations are improving cyber resilience. Read the Global Cybersecurity Outlook Report 2023 report and visit www.weforum.org for more information on the Annual Meeting in Davos 2023. Share on social media using the hashtag #wef23

Davos, Switzerland, 18 January 2023 – Geopolitical instability is exacerbating the risk of catastrophic cyberattacks, according to the Global Cybersecurity Outlook 2023 report, which was launched today at the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting 2023 in Davos. Over 93% of cybersecurity experts and 86% of business leaders believe “a far-reaching, catastrophic cyber event is likely in the next two years” and there is a critical skills gap that is threatening societies and key infrastructure.

The Global Cybersecurity Outlook 2023 findings were based on surveys, workshops and interviews with over 300 experts and C-suite executives. Half of the companies surveyed said the current landscape is making them re-evaluate the countries in which their organization does business.

Despite challenges, organizations are improving cyber resilience, one of the key priorities of the World Economic Forum’s Centre for Cybersecurity. The report, written in collaboration with Accenture, says that awareness and preparation will help organizations balance the value of new technology against the cyber risk that comes with it.

Combatting Cyberwarfare Needs Transparency


When you get a big incident like the shutdown of air traffic across the United States for several hours due to a glitch, you need to take a full assessment of what went wrong and determine what to fix before lives are lost.

One system crash is very suspicious, but no real cause for immediate alarm about potential foul play. That being said, when the air traffic control system of Canada goes down the next day, you need to start asking a lot more questions and asking them quickly.

Could there be foul play of a foreign actor probing our vulnerabilities? It could be in the realm of possibilities and should be investigated. When a third country’s air traffic control system goes down in the same month, it’s time to realize that the chances of all these going out are no coincidence.

Testing and debugging real-time systems is not something for amateurs or those who do not have a solid background in complex mission-critical systems. As someone who worked at Bell Labs in developing and testing real-time software which ran the Long-Distance Network, I can attest that any hiccup uncovered in any toll office on the network was completely diagnosed and assessed to see what the problem was and if it could be something that would eventually appear in other toll offices’ software. Sometimes, the analysis would take more than several days to complete. Back then, cyber threats bringing down the network didn’t really exist. The rigidity of testing was very structured and complete. If an office was down, big money was being lost.

The First Rule of Fight Club and Irregular Warfare Should be the Same

David Maxwell

“You have your way. I have my way. As for the right way, the correct way, and the only way, it does not exist.”

- Friedrich Nietzsche

Scholars, practitioners, and policymakers continue to contemplate the definition of irregular warfare (IW) and what it means for U.S. national security and defense strategy. Many electrons are flowing through cyberspace with debates and arguments about what constitutes irregular warfare, why it is or is not important, who should conduct it (e.g., specific forces or all forces) and how it should be taught in professional military education.