23 February 2023

India at a Crossroads


NEW DELHI – India is poised to become the world’s most important country in the medium term. It has the largest population (which is still growing), and with a per capita GDP that is just one-quarter that of China’s, its economy has enormous scope for productivity gains. Moreover, India’s military and geopolitical importance will only grow, and it is a vibrant democracy whose cultural diversity will generate soft power to rival the United States and the United Kingdom.

One must credit Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi for implementing policies that have modernized India and supported its growth. Specifically, Modi has made massive investments in the single market (including through de-monetization and a major tax reform) and infrastructure (not just roads, electricity, education, and sanitation, but also digital capacity). These investments – together with industrial policies to accelerate manufacturing, a comparative advantage in tech and IT, and a customized digital-based welfare system – have led to robust economic performance following the COVID-19 slump.

Yet the model that has driven India’s growth now threatens to constrain it. The main risks to India’s development prospects are more micro and structural than macro or cyclical. First, India has moved to an economic model where a few “national champions” – effectively large private oligopolistic conglomerates – control significant parts of the old economy. This resembles Indonesia under Suharto (1967-98), China under Hu Jintao (2002-12), or South Korea in the 1990s under its dominant chaebols.

Pakistan’s Army Chief Calls for Cooperation in Tackling TTP

Umair Jamal

The Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP)’s latest attack on the Sindh Police Force’s headquarters in Karachi has prompted concerns that the militant outfit has regained space beyond its traditional strongholds in the country’s tribal areas bordering Afghanistan.

Following the Karachi attack, the TTP warned of more attacks against Pakistan’s law enforcement agencies. “We want to warn the security agencies once again to stop martyring innocent prisoners in fake encounters otherwise the intensity of future attacks will be more severe,” the extremist group said in a statement.

The assault in Karachi comes weeks after a suicide bomber killed more than 100 people at a mosque in the northern city of Peshawar. The blast, which was claimed by a faction of the TTP, was one of the deadliest attacks on Pakistan’s security forces in recent years.

After the attack in Karachi, Pakistan’s new Chief of Army Staff Gen. Asim Munir visited the city and issued a noteworthy statement, indicating that the continuing political deadlock may dent the chance for a coordinated response against militancy. “Contrary to political and other distractions being faced by the public, security forces remain singularly focused on Counter Terrorism and Intelligence-based operations (IBOs) which are being conducted all over the country with pronounced success,” he said.

‘No Safe Space in Pakistan for Women’: Rape Case Roils Islamabad

Somaiyah Hafeez

Members of Women Democratic Front take part in a rally to condemn the incident of rape on a deserted highway, in Islamabad, Pakistan, Saturday, Sept. 12, 2020.Credit: AP Photo/Anjum Naveed

A recent rape case in Pakistan’s capital, Islamabad, sparked massive protests but the uproar soon hushed down – fury is hard to maintain. Meanwhile, developments in the case are nothing short of suspicious.

On February 2, a 24-year-old woman, with her male colleague, was walking in F-9 park, stretching about 750 acres, which is a central feature of the capital. Two armed men attacked them. The colleague was chased away, and the woman was raped at gunpoint.

When the woman tried to resist, her pleas were muzzled by the threat that if she protested, the men would bring “six to seven more people” to assault her.

The attackers then went on to warn her never to come to the park at night, that she shouldn’t have been in the park at that time. They gave her a 1,000 rupee note to not report the attack.

Why is Myanmar’s Air Force Bombing Civilian Targets?

Sribala Subramanian

On January 11, military jets conducted an air raid on a small settlement along Myanmar’s western border. The attack on Camp Victoria damaged a clinic, clearly marked with a red cross sign on the roof indicating a protected facility. Photos posted on social media show medical supplies spilling out of a structure whose corrugated metal walls had crumpled under the impact of the blast.

There were no injuries, but about 250 people fled across the border to the Indian state of Mizoram. “We didn’t think that such an inhuman act as a bomb blast on a civil hospital would happen,” said a doctor involved with the clinic. According to media reports, five fighter jets carried out the bombings over two days.

Why is Myanmar’s military attacking civilian targets?

The strike on Camp Victoria, located in Chin State, was the latest in a series of devastating air attacks across the country. Last September, children in a school compound in central Myanmar were mowed down by bullets fired from combat helicopters. A month later, an aerial attack on a concert in Kachin State killed 80 people. Myanmar’s government in exile, or NUG (National Unity Government), claims that of the 268 airstrikes carried out between October 2021 and September 2022, more than 70 percent targeted civilians. “There are not many countries that opt to employ their air power against their own citizens,” observed an Indian defense analyst.

How the Sino-Vietnamese War Was Purposefully Forgotten

Christelle Nguyen

In the novel “Reunions of Companions-in-Arms”(战友重逢)published in 2001 by Nobel prize laureate Mo Yan, the soul of a dead soldier, Qian Yinghao, bared his heart to a living comrade. Qian confessed his ambitions to become a wartime hero rather than a peacetime soldier. As a result, he was elated to be thrown to the frontline in what China called a self-defensive counterattack against Vietnam, a war in which both sides employed Chinese weapons. Being a combatant, he imagined, is glorious in various ways. Returning alive brings glory; if he was killed, his impoverished parents would earn extra money.

Yet, far from winning glory, Qian died without even having seen the southern enemy. The realization dawned upon him, and many other ghosts, that in this war most soldiers died in silence, and only a few were extolled as heroes. “Most people like you and I died in obscurity. Some of them froze to death, some starved to death, some drowned in the river, some were bitten to death by dogs, some died of disease…”

In response, his comrade said: “I am sad for you, not because you died, but because you died ingloriously. You had good military skills, good physical fitness, and a clear mind with heroic qualities, but died a soundless death.”

China’s Militarisation of Meteorological Balloons

Tilla Hoja, Albert Zhang & Masaaki Yatsuzuka

China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs was quick to claim that a spy balloon breaching U.S. territorial airspace and flying close enough to military sites to monitor them was ‘a civilian airship used for research, mainly meteorological, purposes’ that had accidentally wandered off course. Pentagon officials and the U.S. intelligence community dismissed that claim and linked the balloon to a ‘vast surveillance program’ run by the People’s Liberation Army Air Force, partly operating out of Hainan province on China’s south coast.

Beijing’s spy balloon is a clear example of an emerging technology developed for military and intelligence operations but that crucially evolved out of civilian and scientific programs. One company that is a strong candidate for contributing to the development of the balloon—and certainly works on similar technology that it supplies to the PLA—is a Shenzhen-based metamaterials company, Kuang-Chi, which has also been sanctioned by the U.S. government for human rights abuses in China.

Open-source documents and media reports about China’s balloon-technology programs contain sober lessons about Beijing’s incremental acquisition of foreign intellectual property and its technology partnerships with Western research institutions. This in turn highlights the difficulty in assessing dual-use technologies and serves as a reminder that Western countries need to review their scientific and commercial collaborations to ensure that those arrangements don’t allow an adversary to deploy those capabilities against their interests.

What If Xi Jinping Was Framed for the Chinese Balloon?

Simone Gao

As the Chinese spy balloon hovered over Montana, Secretary of State Anthony Blinken made the decision to postpone his scheduled visit to China. The stakes of that visit were already high, with the two sides expected to discuss the ongoing semiconductor chip embargo, Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy’s visit to Taiwan, the war in Ukraine, and more. Now, neither side will have that opportunity. President Joe Biden promises that the balloon incident will not ultimately weaken U.S.-China relations, but there is little doubt that domestic pressure to get tougher on the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has intensified.

By no stretch of the imagination does this look like what Xi Jinping would have wanted, especially at this juncture. Not long ago, the CCP had extended an olive branch to the United States and the West, hoping to improve relations in ways that would benefit Chinese trade with Europe and America and allow greater proximity to its greatest political rival. China’s ambassador to the United States, Qin Gang, had taken advantage of that emerging proximity, personally attending a Washington Wizards game and sending Chinese New Year greetings to the American audience before the game. Such efforts will now be put on hold following the balloon incident.

U.S.-China Strategic Competition and Japan's Role in 2023

Hiroyuki Suzuki

On January 20, 2023, the Biden administration entered its third year, continuing to place China as the top priority for its foreign policy. While Russia has become an urgent issue since its February 24, 2022, invasion of Ukraine, China remains the preeminent foreign policy concern for the Biden administration as reflected in the strong focus of domestic economic and industrial policy on countering China.

For context, on October 21, 2022, the White House released its National Security Strategy, referencing China as "the most consequential geopolitical challenge," deepening its strategy of countering China by strengthening relations with allied countries. In this regard, the Biden administration policy direction toward China has evolved over the past two years.

Having inherited the policy dictate of “confrontation” with China from the previous administration, the Biden team initially commenced a policy realignment to likewise include “competition” and “cooperation”—the three C’s. However, the single principal focus that has emerged from the Biden administration is competition—specifically, “strategic competition.”
The Reduction of Bilateral Cooperation

The Persistence of Great-Power Politics

Emma Ashford

At the Munich Security Conference in February 2022, mere days before the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Annalena Baerbock, Germany’s newly minted foreign minister, argued that Europe faced a stark choice between “Helsinki or Yalta.” To one side was the 1975 conference in Finland, where 35 countries signed an agreement that recognized Europe’s post–World War II boundaries as final and called for the promotion of international cooperation and human rights; to the other was the 1945 summit in Crimea, where Western leaders betrayed the countries of eastern Europe by granting Stalin free rein in the region. The choice, Baerbock said, was “between a system of shared responsibility for security and peace’’ or “a system of power rivalry and spheres of influence.” By March, Ursula von der Leyen, the president of the European Commission, was claiming that the West had made the right decision in refusing to discuss the issues of NATO enlargement or of Ukrainian neutrality. “Putin is trying to turn back the clock to another era—an era of brutal use of force, of power politics, of spheres of influence, and internal repression,” she argued. “I am confident he will fail.”

Why Ukraine Supports Azerbaijan on Nagorno-Karabakh

David Kirichenko

The Nagorno-Karabakh conflict presents a diplomatic challenge for Ukraine as it seeks to balance its interests with its foreign policy priorities. Ukraine views conflicts in the post-Soviet space as remnants of the Soviet era, and the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict is no exception. However, the conflict also serves as a reminder of Ukraine’s ongoing war with Russia due to Russia’s repeated attempts to attack Ukraine’s sovereignty and borders. Therefore, Ukraine has been interested in supporting the preservation of Azerbaijan’s internationally recognized borders since 1991.

The conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh, also known as the Artsakh conflict, arose after the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991. Nagorno-Karabakh is an ethnic Armenian-majority region located within the borders of Azerbaijan. Ethnic Armenian forces in Nagorno-Karabakh declared independence from Azerbaijan in 1991, leading to a full-scale war between the two sides. A ceasefire was signed in 1994, but the conflict was never fully resolved, and tensions have remained high between the two sides.

The 2020 fighting saw Azerbaijan launch a military offensive to retake control of Nagorno-Karabakh with Turkish support. Ethnic Armenian forces could not hold off the Azerbaijan military, and Azerbaijan made significant gains in the region. A Russia-brokered ceasefire was signed in November 2020, but Azerbaijan had already secured control of much of Nagorno-Karabakh.

A Wake-Up Call for Green Energy Dreams

J. Peter Pham

Climate activists and other advocates for lowering carbon emissions sometimes make it seem as if the only thing standing between humanity and a bright green future is a lack of political will. So when President Joseph Biden hailed the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) in his State of the Union address as “the most significant investment ever to tackle the climate crisis…leading the world to a clean energy future,” many were delighted. Not to be outdone, a week later the European Parliament approved a law that effectively bans the sale of new gas and diesel automobiles within the European Union (EU) from 2035, the deadline it set for carmakers to achieve a 100 percent reduction in CO2 emissions from new vehicles sold.

Alas, what holds back these green dreams is not want of moral imagination, but material shortages of critical minerals—without which there is no transition to clean energy systems.

First, overlooked in most political—to say nothing of politicized—discussions of the energy transition are the wildly different material requirements of renewable energy systems vis-à-vis their conventional fossil fuel-powered predecessors. For example, an electric vehicle (EV) like the Tesla Model Y, the top-selling car in the category in America last year according to the Kelley Blue Book, needs six times the amount of minerals that would go into a conventional automobile. It’s wiring alone requires about 130 pounds of copper—roughly three times the amount of the metal that goes into a gas-powered car. An efficient electrical conductor, copper is also needed for the switch to solar- and wind-powered generation for homes and businesses, which will necessitate massive rewiring. If, as expected, demand doubles to about 50 million metric tons a year by 2035, there will be an annual shortfall of nearly 10 million metric tons under the most optimistic scenario. And that is just copper: according to the International Energy Agency, achieving the goal of net-zero emissions by mid-century enshrined in the EU Climate Law as well as in President Biden’s December 2021 executive order will cause the cumulative demand for the most common minerals used in EVs and battery storage—lithium, graphite, cobalt, and nickel—to grow thirty-fold over the next two decades.

What’s the Future for Aid to Ukraine?

Mark F. Cancian

Ukrainian resistance requires continuous aid from outside supporters, particularly the United States. So far that it has been forthcoming. However, as aid opponents increasingly call for negotiations, a political battle will be generated when currently appropriated aid runs out in the summer. Although supporters will likely prevail, there could be some shifts in policy, and the long term is uncertain. In any case, Ukrainian demands and exhaustion of inventories will prompt some shifts in composition.
Aid is critical for Ukraine's survival.

It is worth starting with the basics. Why is this aid needed? The answer is threefold. First, armies in conflict require a continuous flow of weapons and ammunition. For example, Ukraine reportedly fires 3,000 artillery rounds per day, or 90,000 per month. That is equal to the entire U.S. annual production in 2021. Ukraine's peacetime stocks probably lasted only a few weeks. Second, there is the need to replace lost equipment. According to unclassified sources, Ukraine has lost 457 of the 858 tanks it began the war with, 478 of 1,184 infantry fighting vehicles, and 247 of 1,800 pieces of artillery. Finally, Ukraine has likely doubled the size of its armed forces, and all these new units need equipment and training. Aid from the United States, NATO, and other global partners has allowed Ukraine to meet all these wartime demands. Without a continuing and high level of support, Ukraine's resistance would soon falter and collapse.

Deaths of Despair

Jon B. Alterman

For almost a decade, economists have been noting the rise of “deaths of despair” in portions of the American population. Among middle-aged, white, non-Hispanic men and women without a college education, the rates of suicide, drug addiction, and alcoholism have been rising, and life expectancy has been declining. The explanation the economists give is that these populations have been left behind as jobs and status have migrated from their communities to more highly educated and urban populations. They feel aggrieved, disenfranchised, disrespected, and preyed upon. A significant fraction has gone on to embrace conspiracy theories and radical politics.

While Middle Eastern politics are profoundly different from U.S. politics, it is worth considering whether economic change will drive the Middle East toward a period of greater polarization, and even violence. The common view is that the Arab Spring eviscerated both political Islam and broad democratization movements, leaving the region in a durably post-ideological phase. Yet, looking forward at trends in the region over the next decade or two, it is hard to be confident that a coming economic transformation will not have similar social consequences. In fact, many of them already may be emerging.

Seven ways Russia’s war on Ukraine has changed the world

Stuart Coles

President Vladimir Putin’s decision to launch a full-scale re-invasion of Ukraine one year ago was a global shock which ‘marked an abrupt end to 30 years of globalization and all the international co-operation that made that possible’ with serious implications for countries around the world, outlined Chatham House director Bronwen Maddox in her inaugural lecture.

Not only has the war threatened the stability of Europe but it has also impacted food and energy security globally including in the Middle East and Africa, creating shock waves in a world barely recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic.

1. Realignment – shifting alliances

Is China’s Huawei a Threat to U.S. National Security?

Noah Berman, Lindsay Maizland, and Andrew Chatzky


One of the world’s leading providers of fifth-generation (5G) mobile technology, Huawei is a Chinese telecommunications giant that has stoked fears of espionage and intellectual property theft in the United States and many other countries. In response, Washington and its allies have imposed sweeping restrictions on Huawei as part of a larger crackdown on Chinese technology companies.

Some experts warn that tensions between Washington and Beijing over technology could lead to a “digital iron curtain,” which would compel foreign governments to decide between doing business with the United States or China.

What is Huawei?

It is the world’s largest provider of 5G networks and a leader in sales of telecommunications equipment. Based in Shenzhen, China, Huawei sells its products domestically and internationally. In the United States, it has helped provide connectivity in rural areas of Alabama, Colorado, Oklahoma, and other states.

Ukraine Has Held Off Russia’s Invasion—So Far. Here’s How.

Thomas Graham

The war in Ukraine was not supposed to be raging a year later, with brutal fighting in the country’s south and east. Last February, the prevailing view in Russia and the West, and even among many Ukrainians, was that a Russian blitzkrieg would seize Kyiv, oust Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, and install a loyal puppet. Ukrainians could mount a widespread insurgency, but virtually no one expected them to withstand the initial assault and then engage Russia in large-scale conventional warfare, eventually regaining half the lost territory.

What explains Ukraine’s success is the country’s underestimated capabilities combined with Western support and Russian dysfunction.
Commander Zelenskyy

Zelenskyy personified the grit. His unvarnished nightly addresses from Kyiv turned him into a charismatic wartime leader who braced his country for the challenges ahead. His impassioned speeches to foreign audiences kept Ukraine in the world’s eye and persuaded Western leaders to provide ever-more sophisticated military equipment and other forms of assistance. His leadership, and battlefield successes, have convinced the overwhelming majority of Ukrainians that they can win the war. Such a victory is defined as liberating all territory seized by Russia in the last decade, despite the horrific losses of the past year—some 130,000 military and civilian casualties and a one-third plunge in economic output.

Chris Patten Says More…

Chris Patten: Rishi Sunak is highly intelligent, hard-working, decent, and no ideologue. He certainly represents a huge improvement over his two predecessors (though that is not a very high bar). Nonetheless, Sunak is not above reproach. In fact, he has been wrong about two of the biggest issues in contemporary British politics: he long supported Brexit, and he strongly favored Boris Johnson becoming Conservative Party leader and UK Prime Minister.

Sunak has inherited some awful problems. The British economy is in a miserable state, not least because the UK faces even worse inflation than other countries, owing not least to the policies of Johnson’s successor and Sunak’s immediate predecessor, Liz Truss. Meanwhile, the NHS, with an often badly paid and sometimes justifiably fractious workforce, is struggling to deal with a backlog of patients.

Above all, Sunak must cope with a divided Conservative Party, whose irresponsible right-wing faction is beyond satisfaction on any issue involving the European Union or sensible economic management. Intelligent policymaking – especially if it involves trying to achieve a decent working relationship with the EU – is threatened with sabotage. As a result, Sunak will be hard-pressed not only to unite his party, but also to run a sensible government between now and the next election, likely to come next year.

Ukraine Plots To Win 'War of Drones' Against Russia


As the one-year mark of the war launched by President Vladimir Putin approaches, Ukraine is appealing for hundreds of thousands of combat drones to assist in its grueling fight against Russia.

"They are the super weapon here," Anton Gerashchenko, an adviser to Ukraine's minister of internal affairs, told Newsweek on Friday.

"We will win faster and with fewer losses if we have tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands of reconnaissance and combat drones."

Gerashchenko's appeal comes amid an anticipated fresh onslaught by Russia this spring, and as Ukraine is set to receive dozens of advanced powerful new tanks from Western allies over the coming months, including 31 M1 Abrams tanks from the U.S., and 14 Leopard 2 tanks from Poland.

"Weapons are the only thing Russia understands. So, weapon supplies, ammunition supplies, training Ukrainian military are the base to de-occupy our territories and stopping the war," the official continued.

Nicola Sturgeon’s resignation is part of Britain’s great moderation

The image of Britain as a land of phlegmatic common sense has taken a beating in the past ten years. This is a country that voted to leave the European Union without any coherent plan to make the best of it; whose two main parties offered the electorate the choice of Boris Johnson or Jeremy Corbyn in 2019; and whose union has frayed in the face of successful nationalist movements in Scotland and Northern Ireland.

If one definition of populism is offering simplistic answers to complex questions, British politics has suffered as bad a case as anywhere in the rich world. Now, though, the pendulum is swinging back. The decision of Nicola Sturgeon, Scotland’s first minister, to resign as leader of the Scottish National Party (snp) is the latest evidence that Britain is rediscovering the virtues of moderation.

Ms Sturgeon has devoted her working life to the goal of Scottish independence . That is a legitimate political cause, though not one this newspaper supports, and she has been a talented advocate for it. Her failure to achieve it partly reflects the snp’s poor record of running Scotland’s devolved government. But it is also explained by the intemperance of her tactics.

She has taken to calling the barriers that prevent the snp from holding a second referendum on independence a “democratic outrage”. In fact, they are part of the constitution and have been upheld by the judiciary. She has proposed making the next election a de facto ballot on independence, with each vote for the snp counting as a vote to break away. On her watch, attitudes to independence have become a deeply tribal matter.

There is no quick path to peace in Ukraine

Gideon Rachman

There comes a point in many wars where the warring sides wonder what they have got themselves into. By some accounts, Vladimir Putin reached that stage in September. After a series of military setbacks, the Russian leader was showing anger — and even panic.

Putin is now said to have regained his equanimity. With the first anniversary of Russia’s invasion falling this week, it is the western alliance backing Ukraine that is having difficult debates.

At the public events at the Munich Security Forum, which took place over the weekend, western leaders exuded confidence and resolution. The broad messages could be summarised as “onwards to victory” and “unconditional support for Ukraine”.

But, in private, there is anxious discussion about a series of open questions. Which side has the initiative on the battlefield? Can Russia be forced to accept a peace on terms acceptable to Ukraine? If the war drags on, do Ukraine and its western backers have the necessary staying power?

Will Ukraine Become America’s ‘New Israel’?

Leon Hadar

Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskyy told reporters last year that he wanted his country to become a “‘big Israel’ with its own face” after the Russian invasion ends, stressing that security would likely be the main issue in Ukraine during the postwar period.

Zelenskyy, who is Jewish, was drawing supposedly some parallels between the future of Ukraine and contemporary Israel, where the images of soldiers and armed civilians are commonplace, and the government invokes security frequently.

The Ukrainian president stressed that his vision for his country’s post-conflict future included having armed forces in “all institutions, supermarkets, cinemas, there will be people with weapons.”

And he has on several occasions stressed the importance of maintaining close ties with Israel, which he hailed as a model for Ukraine.

“I am sure that our security issue will be number one in the next 10 years,” Zelenskyy said, dismissing the idea that postwar Ukraine would emulate a liberal European democracy such as Switzerland as a model. He said that the Ukrainian people “will be our great army.”

Biden’s Kyiv Visit Shows He’s a War President

Jacob Heilbrunn

With his dramatic trip to Kyiv, President Joe Biden directly escalated his confrontation with Russian president Vladimir Putin—and with his Republican detractors at home. Biden, you could say, is all-in on standing by Ukraine against Russia’s war of aggression. His visit not only to Kyiv but also to Warsaw, where he will deliver a speech about the conflict, marks a pivotal moment. More than ever, Biden is signaling that he is a war president.

Biden’s critics like to paint him as an old duffer who is out of touch with contemporary realities. Sen. Rick Scott (R-FL) recently referred to him as “confused.” But his audacious trip to Kyiv showed no confusion. It demonstrated real moxie. So much for “Basement Biden.”

Nor was this all. The trip also underscored Biden’s diplomatic savvy. As a product of the Cold War era, Biden knows that he, and he alone, can exercise the leadership to bolster the Western alliance, which buckled but never disintegrated during the standoff with the Soviet Union, no matter how much pressure the Kremlin exerted upon it. It’s back to the future. Once more, Moscow is attempting to fracture NATO in the hopes of creating its own, anti-Western new world order.

How Uncle Sam enlisted Big Tech to thwart Russia from launching catastrophic cyberwar

Ryan Lovelace

The U.S. intelligence community relied on American technology companies to battle Russian cyberattackers targeting Ukraine to prevent a catastrophic cyberwar capable of spreading across the Atlantic, The Washington Times has learned.

Details are still emerging about what the U.S. government described as a “power collaboration” teaming private companies, including Microsoft, with the National Security Agency against Russian cyberattackers. The NSA cybersecurity officials’ work with Microsoft and others was intended to stop Russia dead in its tracks before devastating attacks could eviscerate Ukrainian networks and serve as a launchpad for an assault on the United States, U.S. officials said.

NSA Cybersecurity Director Rob Joyce told The Times that the agency’s Cybersecurity Collaboration Center partnered with cybersecurity and information technology service providers to “identify and eradicate malicious operations in cyberspace.”

Nathaniel C. Fick, ambassador at large for cyberspace and digital policy, divulged Microsoft’s role in Ukraine during a German Marshall Fund event this month, but the depth of the collaboration with U.S. intelligence is just now being revealed. The company refrained from publicizing the work of the partnership in Ukraine.

I helped create a 'cyber army' to help Ukraine defeat Russia. We can't fight with guns, but we can fight with our laptops.


On February 24 last year I woke up to the sounds of explosions and bombs in Kyiv. I went to the underground car park of my building and put a call out on Facebook asking for volunteers to be a part of a cyber army to help protect our country.

Within two hours we had more than 200 applications. People said, "we can't fight with a gun but we can fight with our laptops." By the next day we had more than 1,000 applications, mostly from people in the Ukrainian cybersecurity community.

I asked if they had any qualifications and what their skills were. I checked with someone from the Ukrainian cybersecurity community because I didn't want Russian agents infiltrating.

We started creating projects that we could help with and delivered them to the Ministry of Defense and National Security and Defense Council, along with information to help our government in an unofficial capacity.

A year on, we consider ourselves one of the four faces of war and national security: ground, air, sea and cyberspace

The unexpected ‘winners’ of the war in Ukraine: The people, companies and countries that have benefited from the turmoil

Joshua Keating

The losses from a year of war in Ukraine have been almost incalculable. Tens of thousands of Ukrainian civilians and soldiers have been killed, millions have been displaced, large portions of the country are under a brutal Russian occupation and the country’s infrastructure has been shattered. The war has contributed to a global food and energy crisis that has plunged many of the world’s most vulnerable people into a state of desperation. Hundreds of thousands of young Russian men have been sent off to fight in what some feel is a pointless and self-defeating war — and whatever they may feel, it’s a war from which many won’t return. The Kremlin’s rule has become far more brutal and autocratic, and hopes of peaceful coexistence between Russia and the West have been dashed for the foreseeable future.

On the global stage, Russia’s invasion has shattered long-standing geopolitical norms, diverted scarce financial resources from other pressing issues and renewed dormant fears of nuclear conflict. All told, the world is a more frightening and less stable place than it was a year ago.

But any event as globally disruptive as this war will have unexpected ripple effects and beneficiaries. The war in Ukraine is no exception. A number of companies, countries and individuals have profited financially or gained political advantage as a result of the war and its secondary effects — and are in a much stronger position than they were a year ago. That’s not to say they have cheered the events of the past year or pressed either side to continue fighting, only that they have reaped windfalls as a result of the Russian invasion and what has followed.

Tracking the Race to Develop Generative AI Technologies in China

Seaton Huang

Global interest in generative artificial intelligence (AI) has skyrocketed due to the emergence of ChatGPT, a web app that utilizes large language models (LLMs) in order to provide users on-demand information as directed. The OpenAI-developed chatbot has made headlines for a multitude of reasons, ranging from users reacting to its ability to simplify complicated tasks to investigations of its receiving funding from the likes of Microsoft. Excitement about the technology has sparked a major competition among Chinese companies to launch a viable competitor for the domestic market.

To be sure, China’s stringent regulations surrounding data security and censorship pose questions about the capabilities of AI generated content (AIGC) in the country. Although it is likely that localized versions of ChatGPT will differ from their U.S.-developed counterpart, Chinese firms’ recent activity suggests a belief that generative AI technologies will still be transformative to the country’s technology sector. So, in a sea of competitors racing to take the lead in the generative AI market in China’s private sector, what progress has been made?

JADC2 or How to Eat an Elephant: Six Principles for Success

William McHenry

The internet is the most complex network humanity has ever created. Joint All Domain Command and Control (JADC2), if fulfilled in the entirety of its purpose, has the potential to be humanity's second most complex network. The internet was built using a decentralized approach, allowing anyone meeting common standards to join, communicate, and share data. The internet would not be what it is today if early proponents and contributors had insisted that it be created top-down with proprietary components and differing standards.

Over the last several years, the Department of Defense (DoD) has invested billions of dollars to build a system of bespoke command and control networks that will eventually link sensors to shooters and provide a common operating picture for decision making. Initial efforts have not been well integrated across the Services. DoD and the separate Armed Services seem to have again taken an approach that will preclude the rapid adoption and expansion of JADC2.

While U.S. doctrine holds that the individual Armed Services fight as a Joint Military Force with elements of Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Guardians and Marines fighting side by side, the Army (Overmatch), Navy (Convergence) and Air Force (Advanced Battle Management System (ABMS) have chosen to build separate, incompatible, and bespoke networks. While it is unrealistic and inefficient to dictate a common network architecture across the Services with their varying needs and mission sets, there are a set of expectations/standards that if followed, will allow JADC2 to come together in a decentralized manner to meet future mission sets. The expectations are:

Techno-Nationalism: An Industrial Policy for the Twenty-First Century

Jasper Hansen

Trade relations between China and the U.S. have strained markedly in the past few years, beginning with the trade war in 2018 under the Trump administration. Tariffs and other measures were intended to rectify the growing reality that China disproportionately benefits from the globalized trade system, thus challenging the United States as the world’s economic powerhouse. This economic success, coupled with China’s reluctance to assimilate into the U.S.-led order and adopt liberal institutions and values, has fueled growing geopolitical competition. Various popular theories, such as the notion that liberal reforms would inevitably arise in China through its integration with global markets, were incorrect. Rather, China has pursued an industrial policy and gained politico-economic strength by leveraging free-trade policies. The U.S. response has been to resurrect and bolster an industrial policy of its own to adapt to the new geopolitical environment that China has wrought.

Contrasting Approaches to Industrial Policy

In an article for Foreign Affairs, John M. Deutch and Ernest J. Moniz describe how a bipartisan shift in the United States towards industrial policy has come about as a result of the “Made in China 2025” report, released in 2015, which detailed Beijing’s plans to advance its domestic high-tech industry. While possessing a strong manufacturing industry for low-value goods, China’s high-tech industry is comparatively underdeveloped and has been (and remains to an extent) dominated by Western companies. Through state-funded R&D projects, China hopes to become a world leader in advanced sectors such as AI, green energy, and semiconductors. China’s plans to annually scale up its R&D spending may see it become the world’s largest spender on such, up from its current position as the twelfth largest spender globally, with R&D accounting for 2.55 percent of its GDP.

Measuring Assertiveness, Managing Crisis

Interview with Andrew Chubb

The South China Sea remains a hotly contested maritime domain. For more than a decade, China’s expanding presence has posed a challenge not only to the United States but more directly to Southeast Asian claimants such as the Philippines and Vietnam, which have primarily responded through political and diplomatic actions. Darlene Onuorah spoke with Andrew Chubb, author of the NBR Special Report “Dynamics of Assertiveness in the South China Sea: China, the Philippines, and Vietnam, 1970–2015,” to discuss lessons for preventing and managing crises in disputed areas of the South China Sea.

This interview is accompanied by an updated Maritime Assertiveness Visualization Dashboard (MAVD) featuring an interactive, time-sensitive map of the South China Sea and new visual attributes depicting varying levels and kinds of assertiveness between China, the Philippines, and Vietnam through time.

Why are your report’s findings on assertive state behavior in the South China Sea important right now? How can measures of assertiveness explain the current dynamics of contestation between the People’s Republic of China (PRC), the Philippines, and Vietnam?

Rethinking Risk in Great Power Competition

Peter C. Combe II , Benjamin Jensen , and Adrian Bogart

In the Future . . .Integrated deterrence and active campaigning will create new planning requirements for the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD). Great power competition and efforts to achieve a position of advantage short of triggering dangerous military confrontations will push the DOD to explore alternative methods for assessing risk to force and risk to mission.[1]
The national defense community will view risks as interdependent and adjust contingency plans according to real-time changes in the global security environment. A new risk assessment methodology that accounts for changing circumstances, uncertainty, and interdependent risks will enable the DOD to understand how militarized disputes and crises in one theater of operations create additional risks in other theaters.

These new approaches to globally integrated campaigning will integrate Bayesian reasoning and data science to modernize strategic analysis. The DOD will better integrate human capital, technological, and procedural improvements that embrace probabilistic and inductive reasoning. A Bayesian approach to risk assessment and communication will allow policymakers to view risk globally and holistically while having real-time updates to risk assessments that help combatant commanders determine how to reallocate resources across combatant commands (CCMDs) and invest in new capabilities.