19 February 2023

Japan-India Security Cooperation: Progress Without Drama

Masahiro Kurita

Japan’s security cooperation with India can be expected to steadily deepen under the new National Security Strategy (NSS). As long as China remains both countries’ main and imminent security concern, Japan and India, which have currently no direct issues in their bilateral relationship, have every reason to proceed further in their partnership.

Meanwhile, there are no signs that Tokyo, much less Delhi, is intending to qualitatively upgrade this partnership into a formal alliance-like relationship involving a commitment to collective defense, which would surely create controversies between the two partners. In short, what awaits the Japan-India security cooperation under the 2022 NSS may be progress without drama.


The Japan-India security partnership has developed over the last two decades, not so rapidly but steadily, to a significant level. As both Japan and India have faced increasingly assertive behaviors from China, there have been ample reasons for Tokyo and Delhi to deepen security cooperation. Of course, because of geographical distance and insufficient power-projection capabilities, as well as their respective strategic orientations—Japan’s pacifist security policy and India’s strategic autonomy—which continue to be strong, this cooperation has always embraced a structural limitation: no chance to be elevated into a formal alliance with a commitment to collective defense. Nonetheless, even below that level, a wide range of meaningful cooperation can be possible.

Is the tide turning on classroom bans for Afghan girls?


For more than 500 days, the daughters of Afghanistan have been the only girls in the world to be systematically denied access to higher education – again. Global apathy is now excruciatingly evident after two decades of promising that Afghan girls would not be forgotten.

In the chaos following the collapse of the Afghan Republic in August 2021, including the disastrous withdrawal of US and other troops and the Taliban’s takeover of power, public institutions ceased operating due to the potential for civil war. A month later, as the new reality sunk in, the de facto Taliban authorities announced that elementary schools for girls and all grades for boys would resume. There was no mention of girls’ secondary schools.

Despite both local and international outrage, a sliver of hope endured as female university students were allowed to return to campus – albeit in gender-segregated classes. The Taliban assured that the suspension of female high school students was temporary and would be reversed in due course.

On the very morning that teenage girls were lined up across the country to re-enter school, an urgent edict from the Supreme Leader rescinded the directive, ordering thousands of teenagers to return home.

How China Is Leveraging Its Belt & Road Initiative In Pakistan, Egypt To Expand Its Space Internet Edge In LEO

The latest space race seeks to deliver real-time latency satellite internet for data-intensive industrial and commercial communication applications. LEO (low earth orbit) satellites closer to the Earth have the advantage of increasing data transmission since a shorter journey equals faster travel.

LEOs are safe because communication occurs in space, protected from natural calamities and man-made disasters. As terrestrial broadband access becomes more limited, LEOs may raise the standard by offering lightning-fast connection and omnipresent satellite internet to various enterprises.

To give access to high-speed and low-latency broadband internet services, Amazon and SpaceX intend to deploy a constellation of more than 7,500 satellites for Project Kuiper and over 4,400 satellites for Starlink.

While Blue Origin plans to build the LEO space station Orbital Reef for use in business, research, and leisure, Raytheon Technologies seeks to provide high-value LEO satellite missions.

China's Belt and Road Initiative – Strategy: China's Evolving Ambitions

The Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) has helped to deepen China’s relationships with developing countries around the world and has served Beijing’s ambitions in regional economic development, international trade and China’s industrial development. But since the BRI’s launch, Beijing’s ambitions in international trade and industrial policy have evolved, and the BRI – designed explicitly as a flexible endeavour – has been adapted to accommodate Beijing’s changing preferences. Beijing’s changes to the scope of the BRI should not be taken to imply that the BRI has ever been tightly directed; on the contrary, the lack of a discrete institutional identity has been one of the defining characteristics of the initiative and is one of the challenges in analysing the BRI (see ‘Management’ chapter). But, by stepping back, it is possible to observe an evolving pattern of ambitions which Beijing has promoted through the BRI.

At its outset, the BRI was partly designed to address the problem of economic development in Western China. Far from the affluent ports of China’s east coast on the East and South China seas, Western China was (and, to a lesser extent, remains) poorly connected to international trade routes. Moreover, at the time of the BRI’s launch, Beijing was confronting a low-level insurgency in Xinjiang in Western China by the Turkistan Islamic Party terrorist group and saw Xinjiang’s large ethnic-minority Uighur population as a threat to the region’s stability. Before Xinjiang became known for its large-scale detention of Uighurs in so-called re-education camps, China aimed to build stability in the region by boosting economic growth.

Assessing the Role of the PLA Southern Theater Command in a China-India Contingency

Suyash Desai


Soon after Xi Jinping assumed charge as the Central Military Commission (CMC) Chairman in November 2012, he set the stage for a sweeping military restructuring. On February 1, 2016, the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) moved away from the old Soviet-inspired Military Regions (MR) system to the U.S.-inspired Theater Command (TC) model. Under this new model, the seven Military Regions—Shenyang, Beijing, Jinan, Nanjing, Guangzhou, Chengdu and Lanzhou—were reorganized into five geographic TCs, each with a specific “strategic direction” (战略方向). [1]

Following the force restructuring, the three TCs that concern India are the Western Theater Command (WTC) along with Tibet and Xinjiang Military Districts (TMD and XMD), the Southern Theater Command (STC) and the Central Theater Command (CTC). WTC’s 76th and 77th Group Armies (GA) under the PLA Army’s (PLAA) jurisdiction are mandated to ensure the security of China’s land boundaries with Central Asian states, India, Nepal, and Bhutan. The TMD and XMD were retained to oversee security on the Chinese border with the Indian state of Arunachal Pradesh and the Union Territory of Ladakh, respectively. In addition to the PLAA, the PLA Air Force (PLAAF), the PLA Rocket Force (PLARF) and the PLA Logistic Support Force (JLSF) are also significant services under the WTC command, while the PLA Navy (PLAN) plays a minor role at Pangong Tso in the Aksai Chin region. Elsewhere, PLAN forces under the STC’s jurisdiction are responsible for securing Chinese interests not only in the South China Sea but also possibly in the Indian Ocean Region and the Western Pacific Ocean. The CTC is mandated to protect the capital but also acts as an anchor to provide additional troops to other theaters in case of a contingency, including WTC. This is an important division of responsibilities for the Chinese armed forces after Xi’s recent military reforms. [2]

China’s Hidden COVID Catastrophe

Yanzhong Huang

Over the past three months, the Chinese government has faced a seemingly debilitating series of crises. In late November, after years of large-scale lockdowns, closures, quarantines, and almost constant mass testing, Chinese citizens took to the streets and, for the first time, called into question the leadership of President Xi Jinping. Soon after, in response to the simmering discontent and other pressures, the government ended, virtually overnight, the “zero COVID” measures it had staked its public reputation on for nearly three years. Perhaps not surprisingly, what followed was a public health emergency in which the virus spread across some 80 percent of China’s highly vulnerable population. Hospitals and morgues overflowed, and more than one million people may have died. On top of all this, by the end of 2022, economic growth—long a sustaining pillar of the communist regime—had fallen to its lowest level in years.

Yet instead of going into crisis mode, Beijing has largely shrugged off these setbacks. It offered no official explanation for its abrupt reversal of zero COVID, and it weathered the high death rates that followed mainly by suppressing official data and not talking about COVID fatalities. On January 14, the government asserted that the viral wave had peaked. And to herald the Lunar New Year a few days later, state censors even launched a campaign aimed at “preventing the exaggeration of gloomy emotions.” To the outside world, meanwhile, China announced that it is open for business and that its economy is back.

China has U-turned on almost all major policies it put in place in the last 3 years — and it's not surprising, given the state of its economy


For the past few years, China has focused on zero-COVID, and reining in the tech and real-estate sectors to promote "common prosperity."

But the country reversed some major policies in response to the abysmal GDP growth.

In recent months, China has pulled major U-turns on a series of political and economic policies.

Most recently, after three years of pandemic lockdowns and isolation, China abruptly reversed course and abolished its zero-COVID policy — leaving the world guessing why.

And one major economic indicator — its GDP — was throwing up alarming signals.

China's GDP grew only 3.0% in 2022 — the worst in nearly half a century since the chaotic Cultural Revolution ended. Even though the growth was better than the 2.8% that economists polled by Reuters had expected, it was still far lower than the average growth rate of around 7.7% that the country posted in the decade before the pandemic, according to World Bank data.

Is China ‘Probing With Bayonets’?

Bret Stephens

It’s easy to let your imagination run wild when it comes to the unidentified flying objects now making frequent appearances over North America. At least one object was reported to be cylindrical, eerily suggestive of past imagined visitors. “The cylinder was artificial — hollow — with an end that screwed out!” wrote H.G. Wells in “The War of The Worlds.” “Something within the cylinder was unscrewing the top!”

Maybe the Martians really are coming.

Alternatively, maybe the U.F.O.s that were shot down over Alaska, Canada and Lake Huron emerged from somewhere in China, just like the large balloon that was shot down on Feb. 4 off the South Carolina coast. There’s a lot we still don’t know, and the White House is being appropriately careful not to jump to conclusions. Maybe it’s the Russians, or something altogether innocent. But let’s think through the implications of the Made in China hypothesis.

Why would Beijing do it? The likeliest answer comes in the form of an old Leninist maxim: “Probe with bayonets. If you find mush, push.”

Balloons (if that’s in fact what the mystery aircraft really are, a point that remains unconfirmed) may hardly seem threatening like bayonets. But, as The Times reported last week, Beijing has sent balloons over more than 40 countries. Balloons can scrape up photographic and other data that reconnaissance satellites cannot. And they can operate in a zone known as “near space,” between 12 and 62 miles above the earth, that the Chinese military calls “a new battleground in modern warfare.”

The Pentagon Isn’t Ready for Spy Balloons of the Future

James Stavridis

Over a decade ago, as part of an indoctrination course for newly selected admirals and generals, I toured Cheyenne Mountain, the sophisticated command and control citadel in Colorado that is the beating heart of the North American Aerospace Defense Command, or NORAD.

It was what you’d expect in a sophisticated military installation: huge screens, flashing lights, softly humming machines and serious-looking watch officers. The coffee reminded me of what you’d get on the bridge of a Navy warship on the midnight watch — dark, strong and consumed at a high rate. I went away impressed.

Over the past two weeks, that beating heart has probably been running at a very high rate. After four shootdowns of aerial objects, at least one likely a Chinese surveillance balloon, those watch officers must be getting a bit frazzled. Fire up another pot of coffee, sergeant!

As we learn more about aerial intrusions into American and Canadian airspace — NORAD is a joint US-Canada operation — we need to think anew about technology, tactics, operations and strategy. Each has a role in understanding a complex ecosystem that has been flying under the radar, so to speak.

Balloon goes up for Washington’s “decisive decade”


US President Joe Biden’s 2022 US National Security Strategy underscored the “decisive decade” ahead for Washington to advance vital interests and out-manoeuvre its competitors. A key challenge warned of China’s interest in and capacity to reshape the existing international order. But in the year since the release of the document, Russia’s war in Ukraine, and the shattering of European peace along with it, has absorbed much of Washington’s strategic gaze.

Efforts to manage the “pacing challenge” posed by Beijing have been somewhat relegated to the back seat. This wasn’t a problem – Washington could present this approach as merely managing US-China strategic competition responsibly. That was until the recent Chinese “spy” balloon saga (dubbed meteorological research assets by Beijing).
China appears disinterested in baiting Washington in good news for the rest of us, yet indicative of a smart strategy on Beijing’s part.

Three further suspected balloons have since been shot down over North American airspace with missiles in the past week. While the attributions have since become more ambiguous as to what was flying and who exactly sent them, social media’s meme machine has exploded, Sinophobia has reared its head, and Washington’s effort to constructively (and quietly) manage its relationship with Beijing has become much more complicated.

U.S. tracked China spy balloon from launch on Hainan Island along unusual path

Ellen Nakashima, Shane Harris and Jason Samenow

By the time a Chinese spy balloon crossed into American airspace late last month, U.S. military and intelligence agencies had been tracking it for nearly a week, watching as it lifted off from its home base on Hainan Island near China’s south coast.

U.S. monitors watched as the balloon settled into a flight path that would appear to have taken it over the U.S. territory of Guam. But somewhere along that easterly route, the craft took an unexpected northern turn, according to several U.S. officials, who said that analysts are now examining the possibility that China didn’t intend to penetrate the American heartland with its airborne surveillance device.

The balloon floated over Alaska’s Aleutian Islands thousands of miles away from Guam, then drifted over Canada, where it encountered strong winds that appear to have pushed the balloon south into the continental United States, the officials said, speaking on the condition of anonymity to describe sensitive intelligence. A U.S. fighter jet shot the balloon down off the coast of South Carolina on Feb. 4, a week after it crossed over Alaska.

This new account suggests that the ensuing international crisis that has ratcheted up tensions between Washington and Beijing may have been at least partly the result of a mistake.

China is already at war with America and the Biden administration is ignoring the signposts

Rebekah Koffler

On Thursday, President Biden characterized as "not a major security threat" the breach of U.S. sovereign airspace by a Chinese high-altitude reconnaissance vehicle that executed a pre-programmed flight path across the continental United States, surveilling America’s most sensitive military facilities.

After an American F-22 warplane finally shot down Beijing’s intruder, three more mysterious aerial objects crossed into U.S. territory and were subsequently downed by fighter jets. In an even more peculiar reaction to a potentially unprecedented in peacetime series of intrusions into the homeland, Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin said, "while authorities don't yet know what the objects are, they are not a threat."

Let’s look at the Biden administration's own words. The surveillance balloons are not a threat, but we are sending F-22 warplanes to shoot them down. And we somehow know they are not a threat even though we don’t know what they are.

Global Warming, Hot Wars, Closed Societies


MUNICH – I’ve spent my entire life trying to understand the world I was born into, and I can claim some modest success. At a relatively early age, I realized that our understanding is inherently imperfect.

That’s because we are part of the world in which we live. We are both participants and observers. As participants, we want to change the world in our favor. As observers, we want to understand reality as it is. These two objectives interfere with each other.

The interference doesn’t affect all domains of reality equally. For instance, natural scientists like astronomers can come close to perfect knowledge because they have an objective criterion, like the movement of the stars, that allows them to judge whether their predictions are correct.

Social scientists don’t have it so easy. People’s behavior already reflects their imperfect understanding. Therefore, it doesn’t provide as reliable a criterion for social scientists as the movement of stars does for astronomers.

Why the Semiconductor Supply Shortage Is Here to Stay

Richard Li

Before the supply chain woes suffered from COVID-19, now-National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan and now-high-level White House official Jennifer M. Harris argued that the United States needed to implement an industrial policy to be more economically resilient for the coming global challenges in the twenty-first century. In addition, bipartisan calls in 2020 to strengthen the U.S. supply chain made it clear that national industrial policy legislation would be inevitably introduced. Immediately after taking office, the Biden administration signed an executive order aimed at improving the resilience of U.S. supply chains. The White House also hosted a global summit attended by leaders from fourteen countries and the European Union to discuss semiconductor supply chain vulnerabilities. During the summit, the Biden administration urged European countries to work with the United States in developing resilient semiconductor supply chains that minimize dependencies on non-Western actors. Most notably, the Biden administration signed the CHIPS and Science Act of 2022, providing $52 billion in federal subsidies to encourage domestic semiconductor manufacturing.

But though the Biden administration has recognized and made necessary changes to strengthen U.S. supply chains, there remain three pressing issues: the mapping of supply chains to determine existing vulnerabilities, persistent labor shortages, and the need for improved human capital. As long as the three problems persist, U.S. supply chains cannot be secure from geopolitical changes.

Russia-Ukraine War

BRUSSELS — With Russia bearing down on a strategically important city in eastern Ukraine, NATO defense ministers promised continued military support to Kyiv, whose forces are expending ammunition faster than allies can produce it.

As Russia continues to make gains — particularly around the fiercely contested eastern city of Bakhmut — and the war nears its first anniversary, the U.S. defense secretary, Lloyd J. Austin III, said Western nations were focusing on Kyiv’s “most pressing needs,” including tactical training that could reduce Ukraine’s dependence on artillery fire.

“They have used a lot of artillery ammunition,” he said after meeting with fellow NATO defense officials and the U.S.-led Ukraine Defense Contact Group, a larger group of nations that has pledged military and financial support to Kyiv. “We’re going to do everything we can working with our international partners to ensure that we give them as much ammunition as quickly as possible.”

At the same time, Mr. Austin said, allies were working with Ukrainian soldiers to emphasize training on maneuvers and “shaping the battlefield,” which could help ease their consumption of ammunition.

“There’s a good chance that they’ll require less artillery munitions," he said, “but that’s left to be seen.”

Russian balloons are drifting over Kyiv, likely to fake out its air defenses and force them to waste valuable missiles, Ukraine says

Chris Panella

Ukrainian forces reportedly spotted six Russian balloons in Kyiv airspace this week.

The Kyiv City Military Administration posted about the balloons on Telegram on Wednesday.

"According to preliminary information, these were balloons that were moving with the wind," the post said, according to a translation from Ukrinform, a Ukrainian multimedia news broadcasting platform. "The objects could have been carrying corner reflectors and reconnaissance equipment."

The Kyiv City Military Administration said in its Telegram post that most of the balloons were shot down and that officials will investigate the remains of the downed balloons.

Yuriy Ihnat, a spokesman of the Air Force of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, said the high-altitude balloons "were launched to detect and exhaust our air defense forces," the BBC reported.

"These objects could carry radar reflectors and certain reconnaissance equipment," he added.

After almost a year of war, how do Russia and Ukraine's military capacities compare?

Anton Khmelnov

After almost one year of fighting following Russia's invasion of Ukraine, how do the military capacities of the two countries compare? Exact figures and precise information are, understandably, hard to come by, but we do know that Western powers are supplying some heavy weaponry to Ukraine. Most recently, according to statements made in Brussels on 9 February, Ukraine is asking several Western partners for fighter jets. This follows an historic agreement to supply modern tanks by Germany, the UK and the USA, with lighter weaponry coming from France, Poland and other NATO members in Europe.

Will Russia be able to produce and purchase enough arms to continue its ongoing aggression or even simply to defend the occupied territories?

Is the Ukrainian military prowess sufficient to retake the occupied and unilaterally annexed territories, or is the principal task today - resistance to the Russian advancement?

"Ukraine critically dependent on Western supplies"

With Battles Looming, Ukraine’s Allies Meet to Plan Arms Supply

Steven Erlanger and Matthew Mpoke Bigg

As Ukraine urged its citizens to flee a hotly contested city in the east, the country’s allies worked on Tuesday to come up with ways to provide Kyiv with the basic supplies it will need for the larger battles looming ahead — especially artillery shells.

The allies, meeting in Brussels, discussed ways to ramp up production as stockpiles dwindle, but warned that it is a problem not easily solved.

“The current rate of Ukraine’s ammunition expenditure is many times higher than our current rate of production,” Jens Stoltenberg, the secretary general of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, said in advance of the meeting. “This puts our defense industries under strain.”

The American defense secretary, Lloyd J. Austin III, speaking to reporters in Brussels after a meeting of the 54-nation Ukraine Defense Contact Group, said it was also critical to train Ukrainian soldiers to use the equipment allies have already agreed to provide, as fighting intensifies. Russia is seen as ramping up a major new offensive in eastern Ukraine, and Mr. Austin said the United States expects Ukraine to conduct a new counteroffensive in the spring.

Missiles hammer Ukraine as Russia eyes Bakhmut's capture by April

Max Hunder and Pavel Polityuk

KYIV (Reuters) -Russia rained missiles across Ukraine on Thursday and struck its largest oil refinery, Kyiv said, while the head of the Wagner mercenary group predicted the long-besieged city of Bakhmut would take weeks if not months to fall.

Following a pattern of heavy bombardments after Ukrainian battlefield or diplomatic gains, Russia launched 36 missiles in the early hours, Ukraine's Air Force said.

NATO alliance officials had on the previous day discussed plans for more military hardware for Kyiv, and Britain and Poland agreed after their leaders met on Thursday that support should be stepped up in coming weeks.

The Russian missiles triggered air-raid sirens and landed across Ukraine, including at the Kremenchuk refinery, where the extent of damage was unclear. About 16 were shot down, the Air Force added, a lower rate than normal.

Ukraine said the barrage included three KH-31 missiles and one Oniks anti-ship cruise missile, which its air defences cannot shoot down.

India’s Economic Decoupling from China

Raj Verma


India’s recent attempts at economic decoupling—attempts to reduce its economic dependence on China—have so far failed as evidenced by an increase in bilateral trade in 2021 relative to 2019 and 2020. Economic decoupling from China is infeasible in the near to medium term because the Chinese economy is deeply intertwined with the Indian economy. It will be expensive, and in some cases impossible, to replace China as a supplier in economic value chains. Moreover, reducing imports from China or restricting Chinese investment does not greatly hurt or punish China because its exports to and investments in India are a very small proportion of its global exports and investments. On the contrary, restricting investments from China into India will damage India much more than it will China. Chinese investments in India can play an important role in enhancing economic growth in the post-pandemic period by creating employment, strengthening the manufacturing sector, improving infrastructure, and increasing exports under Indian government’s Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan (“self-reliant India campaign”).

Issues & Insights Vol. 23, SR2 – The World After Taiwan’s Fall


Let us start with our bottom line: a failure of the United States to come to Taiwan’s aid—politically, economically, and militarily—would devastate the Unites States’ credibility and defense commitments to its allies and partners, not just in Asia, but globally. If the United States tries but fails to prevent a Chinese takeover of Taiwan, the impact could be equally devastating unless there is a concentrated, coordinated U.S. attempt with likeminded allies and partners to halt further Chinese aggression and eventually roll back Beijing’s ill-gotten gains.

This is not a hypothetical assessment. Taiwan has been increasingly under the threat of a military takeover by the People’s Republic of China (PRC) and, even today, is under attack politically, economically, psychologically, and through so-called “gray zone” military actions short of actual combat. The U.S. government, U.S. allies, and others have begun to pay attention to this problem, yet to this day, they have not sufficiently appreciated the strategic implications that such a takeover would generate. To address this problem, the Pacific Forum has conducted a multi-authored study to raise awareness in Washington, key allied capitals, and beyond about the consequences of a Chinese victory in a war over Taiwan and, more importantly, to drive them to take appropriate action to prevent it.

How Democracy Can Win: The Right Way to Counter Autocracy

Samantha Power

When U.S. President Joe Biden took office in January 2021, the United States had just witnessed four of the most turbulent years in recent memory, culminating in the failed insurrection at the U.S. Capitol on January 6. Without a doubt, American democracy had been shown to be far more fragile than it was when Biden left the vice presidency in 2017.

The picture abroad wasn’t much brighter. Populist parties with xenophobic and antidemocratic tendencies were gaining momentum in both established and nascent democracies. The world’s autocracies seemed newly emboldened. Russia was clamping down on dissent at home and encouraging authoritarianism abroad through election interference, disinformation campaigns, and the actions of its paramilitary Wagner Group. Meanwhile, China’s government had become even more repressive at home and more assertive abroad, stripping Hong Kong of its autonomy and leveraging its vast bilateral financial investments to secure support for its policies in international institutions. In February 2022, just three weeks before Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine, Chinese President Xi Jinping and Russian President Vladimir Putin announced a new strategic partnership that they claimed would have “no limits.”

Top 5 Differences Between ChatGPT and Google Bard AI


ChatGPT and Google Bard AI ate both AI language models but there are some key differences

There are several significant differences between ChatGPT and Google Bard AI even though both are AI language models. A few days ago, Google unveiled Google Bard AI, a chatbot that competes with Open AI’s ChatGPT model. In this article, we’ll discuss the differences between ChatGPT and Google Bard AI but before that let’s get to know more about these AI chatbots.

Google developed the language model known as Google Bard AI (Bidirectional Encoder Representations from Transformers) to produce high-quality text by anticipating the next word in a given phrase based on context. It is trained on a sizable corpus of text and may be tailored using smaller datasets to produce material in a particular style or domain.

The third version of OpenAI’s language model, GPT-3 (Generative Pretrained Transformer 3), was trained on enormous volumes of text data and is capable of producing text, summarising text, translating text, responding to inquiries, and carrying out a range of other natural language tasks.

5G and EVs Crucial Technologies for 2023


The five most important areas of technology this year, according to a recent survey, will be cloud computing, 5G, the metaverse, electric vehicles, and the Industrial Internet of Things.

The survey consulted 350 CIOs, CTOs, IT directors, and other technology leaders in Brazil, China, India, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

In “The Impact of Technology in 2023 and Beyond: An IEEE Global Study,” the global senior executives also weighed in on what areas could benefit from 5G implementation, what tasks would be automated by artificial intelligence, and how they plan to adopt the metaverse.

Almost 95 percent of the leaders said incorporating technologies that would help their organization become more sustainable and energy efficient was a top priority.

The executives said they thought telecommunications, transportation, energy, and financial services would be the areas most affected by technology this year.

Smartphones Are Changing the War in Ukraine

Stephen Fidler

Smartphones are making the war in Ukraine the most intensively documented in history, changing the shape of the conflict and transforming the world’s understanding of it.

Each of the millions of devices in and around Ukraine are sensors that can provide data located to place and time. Their microphones and cameras can record and transmit sounds and images that depict the facts of war or provide tools for propaganda. These records are allowing investigators to build extensive visual archives of the conflict that could eventually provide a reckoning for war crimes.

They have been deployed to identify military targets with the witting or unwitting involvement of users and to assess damage. They allow ordinary people the means to provide the military with targeting information, blurring the division between civilians and combatants. They are used by the Russian and Ukrainian public to raise funds for uniforms, drones or other military equipment, and by the Ukrainian military to guide drones and bomb targets. They are also used to phone home.

What Chatbot Bloopers Reveal About the Future of AI

WHAT A DIFFERENCE seven days makes in the world of generative AI.

Last week Satya Nadella, Microsoft’s CEO, was gleefully telling the world that the new AI-infused Bing search engine would “make Google dance” by challenging its long-standing dominance in web search.

The new Bing uses a little thing called ChatGPT—you may have heard of it—which represents a significant leap in computers’ ability to handle language. Thanks to advances in machine learning, it essentially figured out for itself how to answer all kinds of questions by gobbling up trillions of lines of text, much of it scraped from the web.

Google did, in fact, dance to Satya’s tune by announcing Bard, its answer to ChatGPT, and promising to use the technology in its own search results. Baidu, China’s biggest search engine, said it was working on similar technology.

But Nadella might want to watch where his company’s fancy footwork is taking it.

Nearly 2000 Tanks Lost, Why Is Russian Military Suffering Heavy Losses Of Its MBTs In The Ukraine War?

Tanmay Kadam

Ukrainian Marines have shared a video compilation of multiple videos featuring unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) targeting Russian tanks.

The 21-second video clip showing several shots of Russian tanks being struck from the perspective of the UAV operator was posted by Ukraine’s 35th Separate Marine Brigade on February 13.

The General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine praised the “successful combat work of UAV operators” of the marine brigade against Russian tanks.

The 35th Separate Marine Brigade uses various kinds of drones against Russian forces in the eastern Donetsk region, according to the head of the brigade’s UAV unit, who goes by the codename Gagarin.

“We generally use three different types of UAVs. One is reconnaissance drones, which are small and quiet. We also have bomb-carrying and kamikaze UAVs,” Gagarin said on February 9.

Victory Through Grand Ideals

Captain Chen Liu surveyed the class from the back of the room. Hundreds of students, all midgrade officers in the PLAN, chatted excitedly with one another. He recalled being in their shoes more than 15 years ago, believing he was a master of his craft. He smirked at his naivete. Hopefully, he could teach his protégés what he wished he had known then.

Chen strode down the center aisle, climbed onto the stage, and surveyed the class as the class instructor called the room to attention. He could see their discipline and drive, even after punishing, back-to-back tours at sea for most of their careers. He nodded approvingly.

“Take your seats,” he said. As the class settled, he slid a remote control from his pocket and clicked a button, and the massive screen behind him flickered to life.

“Good morning. I’m Captain Chen, the Strategic Studies course director. On behalf of the Naval Command College, I’d like to welcome you aboard. I know you’re eager to learn everything you can. After graduation, you’ll be equipped to continue advancing the interests of China at sea.”

Pentagon technology chief seeks low-cost deterrence concepts

Courtney Albon

WASHINGTON — The Pentagon’s chief technology officer is looking for low-cost options for deterring, and, if necessary, intervening in, overseas regional conflicts that involve U.S. allies.

Undersecretary of Defense for Research and Engineering Heidi Shyu is commissioning a study from the Defense Science Board that considers how the U.S. military can apply technology, training and operational approaches in ways that deter “emerging regional powers” from invading neighboring countries.

“The concepts may devolve from novel technology, improvements in training and doctrine, alliance building or exploitation of inherent asymmetric vulnerabilities of adversaries,” she said in a Feb. 13 memo. “The goal is to deter local conflict involving allies or partners and prevail at the lowest cost should deterrence fail.”

The study is driven by concerns that adversary countries and regional aggressors are investing in technology designed to make it more costly for the U.S. to assist its allies or fulfill international treaty agreements.

(Radiological) War by Other Means: A Dirty Bomb in Ukraine?

Robert T. Wagner

Fear is mightier than the sword, and few things stoke fear like a dirty bomb. So, it should have come as no surprise when Russia accused Ukraine of building a radiological dispersal device (RDD), possibly setting the stage for a false-flag attack. By manipulating widespread fear of radioactivity, such a device is a potent weapon of terror, and Russia has transformed it into an instrument of “war by other means.” To manage this, relevant chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear (CBRN) doctrine must also shift to emphasize public information and crisis recovery.

The Dirty Deed

It is no secret that Russia’s military strategy includes targeting Ukraine’s energy infrastructure, aiming to ensure this winter is taxing on the Ukrainian population. While such an effort is nothing new in warfare, the prevalence of nuclear power in Ukraine makes it unique—and dangerous. Heavy fighting has occurred near one of the country’s four operating nuclear power plants, with a missile reportedly landing close to another. This has raised the alarm among the international community; the effects of a nuclear meltdown could reach well beyond Ukraine’s borders, as was the case during the 1986 Chernobyl disaster. Consequently, Russia has been forced to become creative in targeting nuclear facilities.