2 April 2023

The India-Pakistan Game: New Delhi Should Keep Playing to Win

Bashir Ali Abbas

The India-Pakistan relationship went into virtual dormancy in 2019. Since then, both states have been on divergent trajectories: India’s agency to influence global events has increased, just as Pakistan’s has decreased.

In recent times, there has been some advocacy for Indian non-engagement with Pakistan. This includes a recent article on this platform rationalizing India’s limited appetite for diplomacy with Pakistan. While this is true, I argue that it is this imbalance of agencies that should push India to engage Pakistan in the longer term – not on moral considerations, but in recognition of New Delhi’s stronger bargaining position. India can use its advantage to extract enduring political gains from Islamabad.

Pakistan’s abject economic distress is being compounded by a fierce internal security threat from the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), at a time when the Afghan Taliban are testing Pakistan’s patience at the Durand Line. Politically, former Prime Minister Imran Khan’s street power is probing the present politico-military establishment’s resolve everyday. This perfect storm has led to a discernible reduction in Pakistan’s ability to wield its geopolitical influence, and hence attract international attention on disputes with India.

However, the permanence of geography allows Pakistan to retain some agency in bilateral ties. Notably, the Pakistan Army has adhered to the renewed ceasefire at the Line of Control (LoC) since February 2021, despite opportunities to probe India during the latter’s skirmishes with China at the Line of Actual Control. This is significant considering that key Pakistan-facing units of the Indian Army have now pivoted to face China, effectively bringing the balance of forces at the LoC relatively closer to parity. Indian General Manoj Naravane, who oversaw this shift as the then-army chief, recently confirmed that reassuring Pakistan was part of New Delhi’s rationale for the rebalance.

Banning TikTok Would Close China’s Social Media Backdoor

Rachel Chiu

In mid-March, the White House issued a major ultimatum to TikTok’s parent company, ByteDance: divest from the popular social media app or risk fighting a national ban. It took the Biden administration too long to take action, but it is now following its predecessor’s lead and reinvigorating the pressure campaign that began in late 2020. Given TikTok’s record of censorship, legitimate espionage concerns, and the platform’s legal obligation to comply with an authoritarian regime that has, for decades, committed egregious human rights violations, it’s about time that Washington clamped down on the controversial company.

TikTok became a household name during the early days of the pandemic and has not waned in its global popularity, with its current user base exceeding one billion. The video-sharing platform has even prompted legacy competitors, like Instagram and YouTube, to roll out features that mimic the short-form content models that TikTok provides. In many ways, the app is an exemplar of innovation organically displacing dominant incumbents—the powerful “Big Tech”—in a market that many lawmakers believe has insurmountable barriers for new competitors. TikTok provides a conduit for free expression, a source of income for content creators, and a means by which users can find levity and entertainment. These are valuable societal benefits. Yet they do not negate nor supplant the company’s inseparable ties to the Chinese government.

As Representative Cathy McMorris Rodgers said during this week’s TikTok hearing, “ByteDance is beholden to the [Chinese Communist Party], and ByteDance and TikTok are one and the same.” Her statement is accurate: Article Seven of China’s National Intelligence Law, enacted in 2017, states that “any organization or citizen shall support, assist, and cooperate with state intelligence work according to the law.” This responsibility can manifest in a variety of forms. The state can require TikTok to grant access to user data, circulate disinformation, or modify the recommendation algorithms that filter content.

China’s Weapon of Choice in Taiwan

Chihwei Yu

While China has not given up the possibility of using military operations to resolve the conflict between Taipei and Beijing, it also acknowledges the potential interference from the United States and the high cost of military operations. Instead, Beijing’s preferred policy is to seek unification by hollowing out resistance within Taiwan.

When the Chinese Communist Party Central Committee was setting up its Taiwan Work Office (TWO) in the early 1980s, it chose officials with expertise in united front work and intelligence gathering. Many of them had personal connections or relatives in Taiwan. This has resulted in a path dependency where united front work remains a key part of China’s Taiwan policy.

Recently, several reports have triggered debates that bear similarities to what CCP did in the 1940s, where the Communists spread misinformation and fake news to crush the morale of their opponents. With military pressure looming in parallel, this effort may increase the possibility of CCP solving the Taiwan conflict peacefully, as their opponents become divided and it becomes easier for China to establish organizations that align with their policy.

The Background of the Taiwan Work Office

Before the “Message to Compatriots in Taiwan” was announced on New Year’s Day, 1979, China considered the cross-strait relationship to be in a state of war. The People’s Liberation Army (PLA) was still bombarding Kinmen up until that date (which also marked the normalization of China-U.S. relations).

Report: Chinese State-sponsored Hacking Group Highly Active

David Rising

A Chinese hacking group that is likely state-sponsored and has been linked previously to attacks on U.S. state government computers is still “highly active” and is focusing on a broad range of targets that may be of strategic interest to China’s government and security services, a private American cybersecurity firm said in a new report Thursday.

The hacking group, which the report calls RedGolf, shares such close overlap with groups tracked by other security companies under the names APT41 and BARIUM that it is thought they are either the same or very closely affiliated, said Jon Condra, director of strategic and persistent threats for Insikt Group, the threat research division of Massachusetts-based cybersecurity company Recorded Future.

Following up on previous reports of APT41 and BARIUM activities and monitoring the targets that were attacked, Insikt Group said it had identified a cluster of domains and infrastructure “highly likely used across multiple campaigns by RedGolf” over the past two years.

“We believe this activity is likely being conducted for intelligence purposes rather than financial gain due to the overlaps with previously reported cyberespionage campaigns,” Condra said in an emailed response to questions from The Associated Press.

Has Congress Learned the Lessons of the Iraq War?


The U.S. intervention in Iraq—one of the most disastrous U.S. foreign-policy decisions of the 20th century—commenced 20 years ago this month.

The costs of that conflict are still with us. A new report from the Costs of War Project estimates that the wars in Iraq and Syria have cost $3 trillion to date, including both U.S. government spending for waging the war as well as ancillary costs such as taking care of veterans of the conflict and interest on the debt generated by the funding of the war. Nearly 4,600 U.S. servicemembers died, and hundreds of thousands suffered physical or psychological injuries. Most devastating of all is the fact that up to 200,000 Iraqi civilians died as a result of the conflict.

While the ultimate decision to wage the war falls to the foreign policy team of George W. Bush, a majority of members of Congress bear a measure of responsibility for voting to authorize the administration to go to war. As the war dragged on and it became clear that it was not going to be the “cakewalk” that former Reagan administration official Kenneth Adelman famously claimed it would be, a larger core of members of Congress spoke out against the war, and it became an electoral issue in both the 2006 midterm elections and the 2008 presidential vote. But little was done to implement legislative reforms that might prevent the United States from launching such ill-conceived wars in the future.

This failure to take preventive action contrasts sharply with the array of actions taken by Congress in the wake of the Vietnam War in the 1970s. Congress passed reforms like the War Powers Resolution, which requires Congressional authorization of military action within 60 days of a deployment of U.S. troops overseas; the Arms Export Control Act, which for the first time gave Congress the power to veto major arms sales; and the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, which imposed penalties for bribery in the export of U.S. aircraft and military systems.

Nuclear Weapons in Belarus: History Repeats Itself

William Alberque

What Putin Said

On March 26, 2023, Russian President Vladimir Putin told Pavel Zarubin of the Rossiya-1 television network that Russia is preparing to deploy nuclear warheads on Belarusian territory. Putin made the statement as part of an appearance on the weekly show "Moscow. Kremlin. Putin.”

During the interview, Putin said that Russia’s intention to move nuclear weapons to Belarus is in response to the U.K. supplying Ukraine with Challenger II tanks with rounds made with depleted uranium cores—a claim that is quite unusual considering the USSR and Russia’s extensive experience with depleted uranium, as well as Russia’s long-standing criticism of the U.S. and NATO for stationing nuclear weapons on the territories of European states.

Putin said the move was also in response to Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko, who had “long raised the question of deploying Russian tactical nuclear weapons on the territory of Belarus,” citing the example of the United States having “long placed their tactical nuclear weapons on the territory of their allied countries,” going on to list “Germany, Turkey, the Netherlands, Belgium, Italy and Greece." (It is widely known that NATO nuclear weapons are no longer stored in Greece.) The announcement coincided with Freedom Day, which is recognized by Belarusian dissidents as an alternative day of independence. The Belarusian Foreign Ministry, for its part, claimed on March 28 that it “is taking forced response actions to strengthen its own security and defense capability” in response to “unprecedented political, economic and informational pressure from the United States, Great Britain and their NATO allies, as well as the member states of the European Union.”

Take The Win And End The Ukraine War Now

Daniel Davis

The Wall Street Journal on Monday reported a number of military experts and international leaders saying they don’t know how to end the fighting on terms favorable to Kyiv once Ukraine’s upcoming spring or summer offensive concludes. They nevertheless signaled confidence Russia would not be able to win. An unemotional and balanced examination of the combat fundamentals at play, however, reveals a growing potential that Ukraine will struggle merely to hold what it has, let alone to defeat Russia.

Western leaders should start recalibrating their expectations in light of current trends. Persisting in the unchallenged view that Russia is going to lose the war could leave the West to be caught off guard if the Ukrainian offensive fails to materially degrade Russian positions.

French President Emmanuel Macron worries about what Putin might do if Russia were “humiliated” as a result of losing, and British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak declares the war is far more than just a war between Russia and Ukraine. It is, he says, “fundamentally a fight about the values that we believe about democracy, about the rule of law, territorial integrity, about freedom.”

Yet fundamentally, Sunak is not correct. Values, democracy, and rule of law are certainly critically important concepts, but in terms of winning a war, they are almost irrelevant. Combat fundamentals and military power reign supreme. If there is not a viable military path to success, then values become inconsequential.

Israel Is Somewhere It’s Never Been Before

Aaron David Miller and Daniel C. Kurtzer

It took three months, hundreds of thousands of Israelis in the streets, and a general strike that saw flights grounded at Israel’s main international airport and the country’s embassies and consulates around the world shuttered—but Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, once thought to be the savviest and strongest politician in the land, stumbled badly, perhaps fatally.

It’s hard to exaggerate the magnitude of Netanyahu’s strategic blunder in imagining he could unilaterally—even with a Knesset majority—destroy an independent judiciary and alter the character of the country. His preemptive firing of his defense minister, a career military man, for daring to speak out against the judicial reforms reinforced the impression that the prime minister has placed his personal politics above the security of the nation—an image reflected in the protests of thousands of Israeli military reservists.

Should Netanyahu push forward and replace his fired defense minister with a more compliant minister, one wonders whether many in the Israel Defense Forces would agree to follow the new appointee’s lead. The protests were given tremendous legitimacy as a result of the reservists’ participation and the pressure on the prime minister from the country’s intelligence and security chiefs.

In the end, some members of Netanyahu’s own Likud party and the ultra-religious parties in his governing coalition were also pressing him to stand down. Indeed, it appeared from the diverse makeup of the demonstrators—a veritable cross-section of Israeli Jews and some Israeli Arabs from all sectors of the public—that the prime minister was taking on Israeli society as a whole.

The Russo-Ukrainian War Through a Historian’s Eyes


There is a historical background to the Ukrainian crisis, and it is hotly disputed. Experts disagree on when Kyiv was founded, but in the ninth century, Varangians (Vikings) established a hold over the site, and the term Rus’ may be a Scandinavian word. Russian nationalist historians dispute this notion, insisting that Slavic tribes controlled the area and possibly built a fortress there.

Mongol and Tatar tribes held sway in the area, and by 1240, the Mongol Empire, with Genghis Khan’s cavalry at the fore, had conquered not just what is now Ukraine, but also the thickly forested areas to the north. Moscow fell in 1238. Tatar communities sprang up, then and later, and some still exist in northwestern Belarus and in Lithuania.

As Moscow eventually emerged from the Tatar-Mongol yoke, Slavic groups and individuals, many of whom were rebelling against Muscovite feudal lords, settled in the plains to the south and established what became Cossack communities. Along with them, Slavic-speaking peasants established farms and settlements. Before and especially after 1569, a united Polish-Lithuanian kingdom controlled a feudal society in which Polish landlords ruled over peasants who toiled in their service. Jews settled in the townships and villages and served the lords as collectors of the peasants’ tribute while being exploited themselves. Ukrainian ethnonational consciousness evolved with the rebellion against the Polish lords, while the Jews were attacked as the middlemen who oppressed the peasantry.

Britain secures agreement to join Indo-Pacific trade bloc


LONDON — Britain will be welcomed into an Indo-Pacific trade bloc late Thursday as ministers from the soon-to-be 12-nation trade pact meet in a virtual ceremony across multiple time zones.

Chief negotiators and senior officials from member countries agreed Wednesday that Britain has met the high bar to join the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), four people familiar with the talks told POLITICO.

Negotiations are “done” and Britain’s accession is “all agreed [and] confirmed,” said a diplomat from one member nation. They were granted anonymity as they were unauthorized to discuss deliberations.

The U.K. will be the first new nation to join the pact since it was set up in 2018. Its existing members are Australia, Brunei, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, Vietnam and Canada.

Britain’s accession means it has met the high standards of the deal’s market access requirements and that it will align with the bloc's sanitary and phytosanitary standards as well as provisions like investor-state dispute settlement. The resolution of a spat between the U.K. and Canada over agricultural market access earlier this month smoothed the way to joining up.

Climate Change Advisory Opinion Requests: Risk and Reward

Melissa Stewart

On March 29, the U.N. General Assembly will consider a draft resolution on a “Request for an advisory opinion of the International Court of Justice (ICJ) on the obligations of States in respect of climate change.” The Republic of Vanuatu, along with a “Core Group” of states, has been spearheading the effort to bring the resolution to fruition over the past several years. The draft resolution has 105 co-sponsors (more than half the U.N. member states) and is all but guaranteed to pass.

Advisory opinions are not legally binding, including on the parties that request them. But they are “authoritative statements of law” with “legal effect” that influence state behavior in consequential areas such as when states believe they have the authority to use nuclear weapons. This particular advisory opinion has enormous potential to influence how states view their obligations under international law and, as phrased in the draft resolution, the potential “consequences” if they “have caused significant harm to the climate system.”

The potential ICJ advisory opinion is proceeding in parallel with two other advisory opinion efforts in international fora—one at the Inter-American Court of Human Rights and the other at the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea—to clarify the obligations of states in the context of climate change. The ICJ opinion is the most high-profile effort, but all have the potential to contribute to the development of international law and influence states’ behavior in terms of how they approach negotiations at the Conference of the Parties of the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change and interpret their obligations to protect the environment and ensure the promotion of human rights.

National Security AI and the Hurdles to International Regulation

Ashley Deeks

States are increasingly turning to artificial intelligence systems to enhance their national security decision-making. The real risks that states will deploy unlawful or unreliable national security AI (NSAI) make international regulations seem appealing, but approaches built on nuclear analogies are deeply flawed. Instead, and as I argue in this paper, regulation of NSAI is more likely to follow the path of hostile cyber operations (HCOs).

Efforts to develop new cyber norms teach us that reaching global agreement about what types and uses of NSAI are acceptable will be very difficult, absent an international crisis. Modest transnational work can be done in other ways, though, including in discussions among close allies. However, much of the work in establishing norms for the use of NSAI will, at least in the near term, take place domestically. In fact, for both HCOs and NSAI, there is likely to be a reduced emphasis on securing binding agreement about legal norms; instead, small groups of like-minded states will simply focus on developing their tools in a way that comports with their own values, while using levers such as espionage, covert action, sanctions, and criminal prosecution to slow and contest their adversaries’ perceived misuse of those tools.

The war of surprises in Ukraine

Rajan Menon

Some wars acquire names that stick. The Lancaster and York clans fought the War of the Roses from 1455-1485 to claim the British throne. The Hundred Years’ War pitted England against France from 1337-1453. In the Thirty Years’ War, 1618-1648, many European countries clashed, while Britain and France waged the Seven Years’ War, 1756-63, across significant parts of the globe. World War I (1914-1918) gained the lofty moniker, “The Great War,” even though World II (1939-1945) would prove far greater in death, destruction, and its grim global reach.

Of the catchier conflict names, my own favorite — though the Pig War of 1859 between the U.S. and Great Britain in Canada runs a close second — is the War of Jenkins’ Ear (1739-1748). It was named for Captain Robert Jenkins of the East India Company who, in 1738, told the British House of Commons that his ear, which he displayed for the onlooking parliamentarians, had been severed several years earlier by a Spanish coast guard sloop’s commander. He had boarded the ship off the Cuban coast and committed the outrage using Jenkins’s own cutlass. If ever there was cause for war, that was it! An ear for an ear, so to speak.

If I could give Russian President Vladimir Putin’s war on Ukraine a name for posterity, I think I’d call it the War of Surprises, because from the get-go it so thoroughly confounded the military mavens and experts on Russia and Ukraine. For now, though, let me confine myself to exploring just two surprising aspects of that ongoing conflict, both of which can be posed as questions: Why did it occur when it did? Why has it evolved in such unexpected ways?

The Biggest Battle in Ukraine

German Lopez

Early this month, the head of NATO warned that the fierce battle over the Ukrainian city of Bakhmut could end with a Russian victory within days. Three weeks later, his prediction has yet to come true. Ukraine and Russia are still fighting for control of the city.

The stalemate has come at great cost for both sides, particularly Russia. Ukrainian officials have estimated that for every one of their soldiers lost, Russia has lost seven. Russia tried to replenish its ranks by letting prisoners fight, but it has nearly exhausted the supply of those recruits as well.

The battle has also taken a heavy toll on munitions, vehicles and other military equipment — and has also taken a lot of time. The first time this newsletter mentioned Bakhmut was in July, when Russia increased its attacks near the city.

Russia could still capture Bakhmut, and some analysts expect it to do so. But for now, the battle over the city has become yet another example of Ukraine defying the odds and of Russia performing worse than many experts expected. Today’s newsletter will explain why both sides have put so much into Bakhmut — and why it could have important consequences for the broader war.

Ukraine Situation Report: Wagner Has Up To 36,000 Troops In Bakhmut Says Top U.S. General


The Wagner private military group has about 6,000 “actual mercenaries” fighting around the embattled city of Bakhmut with another 20,000 to 30,000 recruits “many of who come from prisons,” the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff testified before the House Armed Services Committee Wednesday.

“They are suffering an enormous amount of casualties in the Bakhmut area of Ukraine,” Army Gen. Mark Milley told the House Armed Services Committee. Ukrainian forces, he said, are inflicting “a lot of death and destruction on those guys.”

The “Ukrainians are doing a very effective area defense that has proven to be very costly to the Russians,” Milley said. “For about the last 20, 21 days, the Russians have not made any progress whatsoever. So it's a slaughter-fest for the Russians. They're getting hammered in the vicinity of Bakhmut. The Ukrainians have fought very, very well. That's also true across the entire frontline trace from Kreminna all the way down to Kherson. The Ukrainians have fought a remarkable defensive fight and the Russians have not achieved their strategic objectives.”

While Milley may have been generalizing — there may have been some small gains made by Russian forces during this time period — the Russian push in Bakhmut, he added, is not a separate battle, but part of their larger offensive that has sputtered.

“I think the Russian offensive began some time ago and in fits and starts and has not achieved the momentum and success that they expected to achieve.”

Could The U.S. Dollar Collapse?

Whoa, that’s a big statement. If you're someone from Argentina, Venezuela or Russia, you understand the realities of what can happen when your home currency fails. It’s a big deal, and it can cause immense financial damage to the economy and individuals.

But is it actually realistic to think that the U.S. Dollar, the world's reserve currency, could collapse too?

Look, we’ll cut to the chase. It’s unlikely. But, it’s not impossible. Nothing is in the world of money and finance. For investors, it’s important to understand the potential outcomes that could impact their finances, even if they’re unlikely.

So in this article, we’re going to walk you through what actually happens when a currency collapses, how it could impact investors, and what they can do to protect against it.

Want to get exposure to assets outside the US, as well as within it? Q.ai’s Global Trends Kit invests in a wide range of different asset classes, all across the world. Every week our AI analyzes huge amounts of data, and predicts how these assets are likely to perform on a risk adjusted basis.

Enforcement of Cybersecurity Regulations: Part 2

Jim Dempsey

Across many issues and sectors, one tool for enforcing government standards is to require periodic external audits of regulated entities. As a 2012 study for the Administrative Conference of the United States found, “[T]hird parties are charged with assessing the safety of imported food, children’s products, medical devices, cell phones and other telecommunications equipment, and electrical equipment used in workplaces” and with ensuring that “products labeled as organic, energy-efficient, and water-efficient meet applicable federal standards.” Third-party programs have been seen as desirable because they extend the reach of regulators whose resources are limited, shifting some regulatory costs to private parties and thereby conserving governmental resources.

However, misunderstandings about third-party audits have been the downfall of many regulatory systems, from the building codes of New Zealand to the egregious failure of Enron’s auditors.

Not Really Third Party

In the context of assessing compliance with standards (whether financial, manufacturing, or cybersecurity), the term “third-party” is often misused. An internal audit is a first-party audit. A second-party audit is performed by or on behalf of an entity in a commercial relationship with the audited entity, such as when a clothing brand audits the factories it buys garments from for compliance with labor and safety laws. (These audits can be quite strict, because the reputation of the brand is on the line.) Strictly speaking, a third-party audit is conducted by an external auditor with no interest in the cost, timeliness, or outcome of the audit. A true third-party auditor is not paid by the auditee. Where the auditor is chosen and paid by the auditee, there may be little difference in incentive structure between an employee and a contractor. Many third-party audits, therefore, should really be thought of as first-party. Still, labeling any external audit as “third-party” persists.

Why Russian Space Satellites Are Failing in the Ukraine War


During the Cold War, Russia became the first nation to launch a satellite, and then a human being, into outer space. With more than 160 Russian satellites in orbit today, every Ukrainian city, tank, and howitzer should be exposed to the unrelenting gaze of orbital cameras.

But that’s not happening on the battlefield. While Ukraine’s military is reaping enormous benefits from commercial communications and photographic satellites, Russia is only getting meager rewards from its huge investment in military spacecraft, according to a Western expert.

“The Ukrainian army can use commercial systems to obtain images of any area in high detail at least twice a day in favorable weather conditions, whereas the Russian army can get an image of the same area approximately once in two weeks,” Pavel Luzin, a senior fellow at the Jamestown Foundation, wrote in a recent article for Riddle. In addition, “existing Russian satellites provide seriously inferior quality of imagery vis-à-vis American and European commercial satellites.”

GPS satellites have enabled Ukraine’s American-made HIMARS guided rockets to accurately target Russian supply depots and headquarters. SpaceX’s Starlink—which uses numerous low earth orbit satellites to provide connectivity through backpack-sized ground stations—became indispensable for Ukrainian military communications.

Russia's War in Ukraine: Examining the Success of Ukrainian Cyber Defences

With Russia’s war in Ukraine now in its second year, indications point towards Moscow preparing a renewed cyber offensive. However, a repeat of what transpired last February is unlikely. Russia’s cyber forces had reshaped their operational approach over the past year to better coordinate their actions and account for fighting a longer conflict. It is therefore important that specific drivers for Ukraine’s defensive success are identified, analysed and where appropriate, reinforced. The issue at hand is not just ensuring Western preparedness for future conflicts, but more urgently, to safeguard the continued success of Kyiv’s cyber defences.

Despite expectations to the contrary, cyber defence, not offence, has been the story of Russia’s war against Ukraine as it enters its second year. Shattering concepts of offence dominance, Kyiv’s cyber-defensive effort has shown that a strong and layered cyber defence can be mounted against a well-resourced and highly capable adversary. The preeminent question in policy debates has been: ‘How can other states replicate Ukraine’s success?’

This is a complex issue. The fog of war has been even thicker on the defensive side of the war, with many Ukrainian activities necessarily shielded from public view for operational security. Yet careful examination of the available evidence would suggest that the primary lessons lie less in what Ukraine has done and more generally in its superior capacity to adjust to various aspects of Russia’s cyber offensive. Institutional adaptations such as legislative change in Ukraine and measures taken to garner public- and private-sector support have driven much of Kyiv’s defensive success. At this stage of the war, it is uncontroversial to argue that Ukraine has decisively won the adaptation battle in cyberspace.

‘Stone Ghost’ secret intel network may expand to more nations: DIA

Courtney Albon

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency plans to upgrade its international intelligence-sharing system to allow more seamless collaboration with a broader coalition of allies.

DIA uses the top-secret system to communicate with and share intelligence among the U.S. and its Five Eyes partners — the U.K., Australia, New Zealand and Canada. Chief Information Officer Doug Cossa told reporters the agency will begin designing an upgrade to Stone Ghost in fiscal 2024 to allow information to be shared with more countries as needed.

“The idea is to add and remove coalitions based on the intelligence problem set that we’re uniquely focused on collectively,” Cossa said during a March 23 briefing at DIA headquarters in Washington. “That’s really where the focus of those modernization efforts will go: [H]ow do you add and remove partners on the fly?”

The agency has the ability to share information with other countries, but doing so requires a separate system. As the Defense Department’s lead organization for open-source intelligence, DIA processes an increasing amount of data, Cossa said, and being able to maintain that information seamlessly and quickly within a single network is important.

DIA operates more than a dozen international information systems, including Stone Ghost. Cossa said the agency is increasingly applying zero-trust principles to those networks — a cybersecurity approach that emphasizes regular validation that every user, function and piece of hardware that connects to a system is authorized.

From Ukraine to the Whole of Europe: Cyber Conflict Reaches a Turning Point

The third quarter of 2022 marked a turning point in cyber-attacks related to the conflict in Ukraine, with a clear transition from a cyber-war focused on Ukraine and Russia to a high-intensity hybrid cyber-war across Europe. The cyber-war is targeting Poland and the Baltic and Nordic countries in particular, with an increasing focus on critical national infrastructure in sectors including aviation, energy, healthcare, banking and public services.

From targeted destruction campaigns to guerrilla cyber-harassment, pro-Russian hacktivists are using DDoS1 attacks to make servers temporarily inaccessible and disrupt services. They are part of Russia's strategy to engage in information warfare as a way to wear down public and private organisations.

Eastern and Northern Europe on the front lines of the cyber conflict

A new attack geography has taken shape over the last 12 months. At the very beginning of the conflict, the majority of incidents only affected Ukraine (50.4% in the first quarter of 2022 versus 28.6% in the third quarter), but EU countries have seen a sharp increase in conflict-related incidents in the last six months (9.8% versus 46.5% of global attacks).

In the summer of 2022, there were almost as many conflict-related incidents in EU countries as there were in Ukraine (85 versus 86), and in the first quarter of 2023, the overwhelming majority of incidents (80.9%) have been inside the European Union.

Why Force Fails: The Dismal Track Record of U.S. Military Interventions

Jennifer Kavanagh and Bryan Frederick

American soldiers have been deployed abroad almost continuously since the end of World War II. The best-known foreign interventions—in Vietnam, Afghanistan, and Iraq—were large, long, and costly. But there have been dozens of other such deployments, many smaller or shorter, for purposes ranging from deterrence to training. Taken as a whole, these operations have had a decidedly mixed record. Some, such as Operation Desert Storm in 1991, which swept the Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein’s forces out of Kuwait, largely succeeded. But others—such as those in Somalia, Haiti, Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, and elsewhere—were disappointments or outright failures. It is these unsuccessful post–Cold War interventions that have engendered serious doubts among policymakers and the public about the role of force in U.S. foreign policy.

Even so, U.S. decision-making still has a strong bias in favor of military intervention. When crises emerge, the pressure for a U.S. military response is often immediate, on the grounds that it is better to try to control the situation than to do nothing. But in many cases, the United States could likely have achieved its goals without intervening militarily. To explore how often U.S. military interventions have advanced U.S. objectives, we built a database of conflicts and crises that involved U.S. interests between 1946 and 2018. Conflict cases were drawn from the Uppsala Conflict Data Project and crisis cases came from the International Crisis Behavior data set. To identify cases involving U.S. interests, we looked for conflicts and crises that posed a direct threat to the U.S. homeland or to a U.S. treaty ally, occurred in a region of high strategic importance for the United States, or involved a large-scale humanitarian crisis. We then identified those conflicts and crises that prompted the deployment of U.S. military forces. To be counted as an intervention, the U.S. forces had to meet certain thresholds (at least 100 personnel for a full year, or a larger presence for a shorter time in the case of ground interventions). For each conflict or crisis, we also collected information on several outcome measures including conflict or crisis duration, intensity, changes in economic development and democratic institutions in the country affected by the conflict or crisis. Of the 222 conflicts and crises from 1946 to 2018 that involved U.S. interests, the United States chose to intervene on 50 occasions and not to intervene on 172.

How US trainers helped Ukraine reinvent its doctrine

Davis Winkie

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. — One of the U.S. Army’s smallest security assistance assets has had an outsized effect on the battlefield in Ukraine, and its role is expected to grow.

The service’s training partnerships with foreign nations range from deployments of security force assistance brigades to the Joint Combined Exchange Training events that Special Forces A-teams conduct around the globe. But only one office is regularly trains allies and partners on new capabilities: the Security Assistance Training Management Organization.

SATMO provides training on equipment sold to friendly nations, its commander Col. Andrew Clark explained in an interview. Its small teams are funded by the host nation and work under the U.S. State Department when teaching new technology, allowing flexibility compared to traditional Army cooperation efforts.

And in Ukraine, Clark said, his command’s doctrine advisory groups and trainers have helped Kyiv reinvent and reform its fighting style, force structure and professional military education. The post-Soviet nation’s existing warfighting playbook was dominated by Soviet- and Russian-influenced concepts.

Starting in 2016, SATMO advisers embedded in Kyiv and at Ukrainian bases, Clark said. “We were focused on bringing Ukraine to a NATO standard when it comes to doctrine and operations.”

8 Reasons Why Joint Endeavours Remain Elusive

Lt General Vijay Oberoi

India is perhaps the only country with a large military that is yet to adopt joint endeavours in the true sense, despite talking about it all the time. Despite everyone who matters endorsing the concept, the talk has not been translated into action. The main reasons for this state of inaction need to be highlighted before we proceed further. The important ones are:There is ‘comfort’ in the status quo, despite knowing that we are committing hara-kiri if we do not theaterise our military commands quickly.
Policy makers do not understand the difference between ‘coordination of operations’ and ‘being joint’.

The Indian Bureaucracy, which has the ears of the elected leaders, will lose its paramount position in the government, which it is loath to do, especially, as it has worked hard in becoming the premier officialdom of the country.

The three service chiefs, as well as the CDS, appointed by the government after agonising over the appointment for decades, do not want any reduction of their fiefdoms.

The Indian Air Force ideologues have learnt the wrong lessons on how air forces should operate, despite having little clout when compared to those from whom such wrong lessons have been learnt.

Japanese Defense Firms Unveil High-energy Laser Anti-drone Weapons

Takahashi Kosuke

For the first time, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) and Kawasaki Heavy Industries (KHI) have unveiled in public the prototypes of their respective laser systems to shoot down incoming hostile unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs).

Displayed at the DSEI Japan 2023 show, which was held in Chiba Prefecture from March 15 to 17, both systems marked a crucial advancement for Tokyo amid concerns that the Chinese military may launch a swarm attack by drones around the disputed Senkaku/Diaoyu Islands and major bases of the Self-Defense Forces (SDF) in case of emergencies in areas surrounding Japan.

MHI officials said that the company has repeatedly conducted outdoor field tests using the prototype of its laser energy-based counter-unmanned aircraft system (C-UAS) on Tanegashima in Kagoshima prefecture, an islet south of Japan’s southernmost main island, for the past two years.

At its booth at DSEI, MHI played a video showing a 10 kW (kilowatt) fiber laser that shoots down a flying drone 1.2 kilometers away in 2 to 3 seconds. MHI officials said the company plans to deliver the prototype to the Japanese Ministry of Defense (MoD) in December.