13 July 2023

Drone Intrusions Along the India-Pakistan International Border: Countering an Emerging Threat



Over the last three years, ceasefire violations and cross-border infiltrations have ebbed and flowed along the Line of Control (LoC) and International Border (IB) between India and Pakistan. In recent times, a new challenge has emerged in the form of drone intrusions along the International Border. This commentary describes the nature of the threat, the security risks posed, and the countermeasures deployed so far. It argues that this emerging threat needs more attention.


As the data in graphs 1 and 2 shows, out of the 492 total drone sightings observed on the India-Pakistan International Border from 2020 to 2022, 311 were in 2022, 104 in 2021, and 77 in 2020. Of these sightings, 369 took place in Punjab, 75 in Jammu, 40 in Rajasthan, and 8 in Gujarat.

Due to the increasing number of drone sightings, the threat level with regard to drones along the IB (Punjab, Rajasthan, and Gujarat) is significantly higher compared to the LoC (J&K). Traditionally, attempts to compromise the Indian Army’s robust anti-infiltration system along the LoC have proven challenging, and the harsh winter conditions in that region make infiltration difficult. However, both state and nonstate actors from Pakistan can use drones to minimize the risks involved for human infiltrators and maximize the intended negative impact. This use of drones highlights the shift toward unmanned methods with reduced logistical costs.

Surya Valliappan Krishna is associate director of projects and operations at Carnegie India.

Humanitarian Crisis: Alarming Increase In Civilian Casualties In Afghanistan Under Taliban Rule – OpEd

Muhammad Imran

Since the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan in August 2021, the country has witnessed a surge in violence and a disturbing rise in civilian casualties.

The United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) recently released a report revealing the devastating impact of the conflict on Afghan civilians. The data collected indicates that over 1,000 civilians have been killed and 2,679 wounded between August 15, 2021, and May this year. These figures shed light on the dire humanitarian crisis unfolding in Afghanistan, despite a reduction in casualties compared to previous years of war.

The majority of civilian deaths were caused by improvised explosive devices, including suicide bombings in public places such as mosques, educational institutions, and markets. While armed fighting has decreased since the Taliban assumed control, security challenges persist, particularly from the Islamic State Khorasan province. The report highlights that the Taliban is responsible for the majority of attacks, and the deadliness of these incidents has escalated, resulting in a higher number of casualties.

UNAMA’s report reveals that more than 1,700 casualties, including injuries, were attributed to explosive attacks claimed by ISKP. The Taliban has taken steps to combat ISKP cells through various raids, but the threat remains a significant concern. The presence of multiple armed groups adds to the complexity of the security situation, exacerbating the risks faced by Afghan civilians.

In addition to the violence, Afghanistan is grappling with a severe financial and economic crisis. Donor funding has drastically decreased since the Taliban assumed power, leading to a scarcity of resources for medical care, financial support, and psychosocial assistance for the Afghan population. The current Taliban-led government has struggled to provide essential services, further exacerbating the suffering of the Afghan people.

Despite initial promises of a more moderate administration, the Taliban has imposed strict rules reminiscent of their previous rule in the late 1990s. The ban on girls’ education after the sixth grade and the restrictions on women’s participation in public life and employment have sparked international condemnation. These measures have raised concerns about the violation of human rights, particularly women’s rights, and have hampered the progress made in previous years towards a more inclusive society.

The Asian ‘Tiger’ Economy That Never Quite Roared

Philip Heijmans and Chris Anstey

Amid all the buzz over friend-shoring and reworking global supply chains, India, Vietnam and Mexico get a lot of attention these days. One nation that doesn’t is Thailand. But it wasn’t always that way.

Four decades ago, Thailand was leaping ahead at a time when China was just starting to emerge from economic ruin. Global automakers were pouring in so much money that the Southeast Asian nation was dubbed the Detroit of Asia.

Thailand stood out for its political stability in a region still working through the ravages of war. A relatively stable exchange rate and attractive tax regime were further pluses. By 1990, it was racking up double-digit growth as a column in the New York Times proclaimed it the next “tiger” economy. There was, it said, “excitement of an emerging economic and political power in Bangkok.”

That exciting time seems long gone. More than 30 years and three military coups later, Thailand seems incapable of breaking out of its status as a middle-income country. Once way ahead of China in per-capita wealth, today it’s notably behind. The reversal of fortunes illustrates how trajectories can change thanks to self-made errors.

This week in the New EconomyChina ends crackdown on private-sector tech giants with big fines.

India’s push to boost rupee’s global role is off to a slow start.

Brazil moves ahead to overhaul complex, growth-damping tax code.

Turkey hikes taxes to pay for spending pledges and quake toll.

Zuma stymied green power. Now he pitches Belarus carbon in Africa.

To be sure, Thailand continues to pursue an export-led strategy. It still draws foreign direct investment (FDI), which relative to GDP hit 50% by 2017.

Climate Security in South Asia Proceedings of a Workshop

The South Asia region presents a confluence of major climate impacts and key security issues. From a weather and climate standpoint, the region experiences a wide range of hazards, such as the recent heatwaves, droughts, storms, and floods that have upended the lives and livelihoods of millions of people. From a demographic and socioeconomic standpoint, the region is experiencing rapid transformations and progress, even as fundamental challenges such as poverty and inequality persist. From a security standpoint, the region is the setting for a range of social and political dynamics that impact U.S. interests, including conflict at national and subnational levels; regional rivalries; and the imprint of global geopolitics.[read full description]

China Developing ‘Brain Control Weapons’ For Future Wars


It sounds like something that came out of a sci-fi movie, but Brain control weapons are slowly coming to life through Chinese research and the development of biotechnology that can disorient enemies and make them easier to subdue. These types of weapons can potentially change the way we traditionally think about warfare in the future, where enemies could have an influence on a soldier’s cognitive functions.

In 2021, the US government discovered that various Chinese companies were involved with developing biotechnology that can potentially alter human’s brain-function, more specifically the Chinese Academy of Military Medical Sciences and 11 other research and development institutions. As a result, 34 Chinese entities were added to the Federal Register’s blacklist as they were a threat to the national security of the United States.The Academy of Military Medical Sciences (AMMS) in Beijing (N509FZ, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons/Wikipedia)

Some of these entities include the Institute of Radiation and Radiation Medicine, the Institute of Basic Medicine; the Institute of Hygiene and Environmental Medicine, the Institute of Microbiology and Epidemiology, the Institute of Toxicology and Pharmacology, the Institute of Medical Equipment, the Institute of Bioengineering, the Field Blood Transfusion Institute, the Institute of Disease Control and Prevention, and the Military Veterinary Research Institute.

Other companies such as the China Electronics Technology Group Corporation 52nd Research Institute, Shaanxi Reactor Microelectronics Co. Ltd., and Shanghai AisinoChip Electronics Co., Ltd. were accused of supplying Chinese research institutions and the People’s Liberation Army with US-origin items that were vital with developing these biotechnology weapons. Some items of US origin were also used to support Iran’s missile and weapons programs. Similarly, companies from Turkey, Malaysia, and Georgia were also accused of supplying US-origin materials to Iran, which raises a security concern for the United States.

As China ramps up military activity, Pentagon looks to accelerate networked warfare tech and exercises


JOINT BASE PEARL HARBOR-HICKAM, Hawaii—The Pentagon is accelerating the development of new breakthrough technologies and ramping up exercises with regional partners as it prepares for an anticipated increase in aggressive military activity from China in the South China Sea.

The moves are designed to deter a Chinese invasion of Taiwan, which many experts believe is coming by 2027.

“Up until about maybe a year and a half ago, we never had a routine, consistent presence of the [Chinese] navy east of Taiwan. Now, they're there all the time,” one senior defense official told Defense One. Those sorts of stunts from China aren’t just to show force, the official said, but also an effort to exhaust Taiwanese defense capabilities and ability to respond.

“It's just wearing out Taiwan's air force for the air stuff and the navy for all of this contiguous presence, because you can't really let it go unchallenged,” the U.S official said. “The Chinese have a lot more airplanes and a lot more capability to fly all the time. It's just running the poor Taiwanese air force into the ground.”

China’s steadily increasing military maneuvers around Taiwan are, in part, a response to increased U.S. political interaction with Taiwan, including then-U.S. House speaker Rep. Nancy Pelosi’s, D-Calif., visit to Taipei in August 2022 and Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen’s meeting with current U.S. House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., in April.

“Between the beginning of August and the end of the year, I want to say that we're at about 200 centerline crossings,” or instances where Chinese vessels crossed into Taiwanese waters, the senior U.S. official said. “So a clear and deliberate escalation…as a signaling tool.”

The official expressed concern that China may attempt another bullying naval maneuver around Taiwan later this summer, in response to continued outreach to Taiwan from U.S. lawmakers.

‘Ukrainian strategy has become a model’: Taiwanese beef up military to face China threat

Amy Hawkins

For many people in Taiwan, the threat of conflict with China is a distant prospect that has been lingering in the air for some seven decades. Concern in the west that the Chinese Communist party, led by Xi Jinping in Beijing, is moving ever closer towards attempting to realise its goal of “reunifying” China and Taiwan, by force if necessary, can seem hysterical.

The only beneficiary of the increasing tension between China and Taiwan is the US, which is making money from selling arms to Taipei, jokes one resident of Kinmen, a small Taiwanese island a few miles from China’s eastern coastline.

One constituency for whom the threat of war is about to have very material consequences is young men. From 1 January 2024, men born after 2005 will have to complete one year of military service, up from the current four months. The extension was announced in December by President Tsai Ing-wen, who called it a “difficult decision” but one that was informed by lessons from Ukraine and the need to boost Taiwan’s defence capabilities. This year, the military also started to allow women to volunteer for the reserve forces for the first time.

“Taiwan’s Ministry of National Defence has studied the Russia-Ukraine war very closely,” says Max Yu, a retired major general and former head of the cultural and psychological division of the defence ministry’s political warfare bureau. “Ukrainian soldiers’ defence strategy and how they defend their territory has become a model for Taiwan to follow.”
A man poses for photos with a pilot mascot at an army recruitment event in Taipei, Taiwan, this month. Photograph: Ann Wang/Reuters

While Taiwanese civilians can seem sanguine about the prospect of an attempted annexation by Beijing, politicians and military analysts are increasingly concerned that the island’s defences are not strong enough to repel an invasion from a more powerful aggressor. In the first half of this year, there were 854 People’s Liberation Army (PLA) incursions into Taiwan’s air defence identification zone, up from 555 in the same period in 2022, according to data compiled by defence analysts Gerald C Brown, Ben Lewis and Alex Kung, based on government statistics.

U.S. fighting China on the wrong battlefield

Grant Newsham & Cleo Paskal

While the U.S. has been focused on preparing for the kinetic warfare battlefield, China has been registering big wins on the political warfare battlefield. You can see it all over the Pacific Islands.


Exactly 79 years ago, on 9 July 1944, the American military secured the island of Saipan—a key component of Imperial Japan’s defence plan. Tens of thousands died in the battle, and the island was devastated.

Then it was rebuilt for war—with a massive effort to put in runways. Saipan and the neighboring island of Tinian, were soon among the busiest airports in the world, as waves of B-29s took off to bomb Japan—which was now in range—and markedly fewer B-29s returned.

On the top of Mount Tapochau, the highest point on the island, you can still see the scars seared in by the war. And from Mount Topachau, you can see the mismatched battlefield of the current cold war.

Out on the horizon, anchored off Saipan, are three U.S. Navy prepositioning ships, fully stocked and ready to respond to war and disaster. The kids of Saipan know that if they suddenly disappear from the horizon, something bad has probably happened. Yes, they respond to natural disasters, but they are also there, waiting, for “kinetic” conflict—a shooting war.

Meanwhile, also from Mount Tapochau, you can see the downtown hub of Garapan. The biggest building in downtown, by far, is the not quite finished massive Imperial Palace casino, backed by Chinese investors. Currently closed and being liquidated, the casino has wreaked havoc on the politics and economy of Saipan. And it’s still not over.


China’s Advances in Space Warfare Are Terrifying


The indefatigable Bill Gertz of the Washington Times has a page-one story highlighting a Mitchell Institute report that warns that the United States is falling behind China in “counterspace capabilities” that will be crucial to success in any future war.

To quote the report: “The U.S. advantage in space is at risk … [T]he United States must maintain its access to space capabilities that are now threatened by China. And the United States must have the potential to deny China access to the space capabilities it needs to threaten U.S. space and terrestrial forces and national interests.”

The Mitchell Institute report is authored by Charles S. Galbreath, a senior resident fellow for space studies at the Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies and a retired Space Force colonel. His 28-page paper is a siren call for the United States to wake up to the growing danger presented by China’s “alarming array of operational counterspace weaponry” that includes ground-based anti-satellite weapons, electronic warfare platforms, and killer satellites “capable of attacking U.S. assets in orbit. “China,” he writes, “has the most rapidly developing counterspace capabilities of any nation and is expanding its overall space program with the intent to surpass the United States.” (READ MORE: The Military Academies Have Turned Into Woke Wastelands)

Two recent novels about a future U.S.–China war — Ghost Fleet and 2034 — envision initial Chinese space and cyberattacks on U.S. communication and military satellites that prevent commanders in the field, at sea, and in the air from communicating with each other and with the Pentagon. The Mitchell Institute report notes that U.S. armed forces increasingly rely on space assets for many crucial missions, including satellite communications, position navigation and timing, intelligence surveillance and reconnaissance, warnings of missile attacks, and weather conditions. China, the report states, “now believes attacking U.S. space systems is essential to prevailing in a conflict with the United States and is actively fielding the most extensive collection of counterspace threats of any nation.” Meanwhile, due to what Galbreath calls a “decades-long view of the space domain an an operational sanctuary,” most of our space systems are “big, fat juicy targets for emerging Chinese … counterspace forces.”

People’s Liberation Army Rocket Force Order of Battle 2023

Decker Eveleth

The People’s Republic of China is currently in the process of radically expanding its arsenal of conventional and nuclear land-based missile launchers. Over the past decade China has doubled the number of combat missile brigades in the People’s Liberation Army Rocket Force (PLARF), and has unveiled a myriad of new capabilities, including missiles capable of firing both conventional and nuclear warheads, and missiles equipped with hypersonic glide vehicles designed to evade missile defenses. The technologies and deployment patterns of these weapons are important indicators of the direction of China’s force posture: they not only indicate China’s military capabilities, but also its fears and its conceptions about how future wars in the region will be conducted. Deployment of particular systems with certain capabilities to certain regions can inform us of what, how, and when China might strike certain targets, which in turn can help us understand what China prioritizes as a threat. The current expansion of China’s missile forces suggests a possible departure from China’s previously restrained second-strike nuclear posture to a posture capable of deterring at multiple levels of conflict and an increased shift towards nuclear warfighting. As the Sino-American relationship becomes increasingly volatile over the status of Taiwan, gaining accurate data on China’s conventional and nuclear missile forces becomes more important than ever.

Since China first established a ballistic missile force, that force has historically been quite small, kept at low levels of readiness, and constrained by a policy forswearing the first use of nuclear weapons. A little over a decade ago, China only possessed around 50 intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs), of which only the 18 DF-5 ICBMs in silos and 12 DF-31A mobile launchers could reliably reach the contiguous United States. 1 After Xi Jinping elevated China’s missile forces into a full branch of the People’s Liberation Army in 2015, the number of missile launchers deployed by the PRC has increased rapidly. The PLARF, responsible for the operation of all non-tactical ground-based surface-to-surface missile systems in China’s inventory, operates both conventional and nuclear missiles for a variety of strategic missions. This could include utilizing short, medium, and intermediate-range missiles to neutralize Taiwanese defensive installations, striking US warships at long-range while those warships are at sea or in port, or a retaliatory nuclear strike mission. The PLARF is now on track to deploy more than 1,000 ballistic missile launchers by 2028, including at least 507 nuclear capable launchers, 342 to 432 conventional launchers, and 252 dual-capable launchers. At least 320 solid-fueled fixed ICBM silos and 30 liquid-fueled fixed ICBM silos are currently under construction in addition to China’s growing arsenal of mobile ICBM launchers. And this tally does not even touch launchers operated by the People’s Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF) and the People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN).

As the West Bank burns, Palestinians are just a heartbeat away from civil war


To call the situation in Israel today “volatile” would be quite the understatement. Hamas is praising terrorists for their attacks against Israeli civilians in Tel Aviv. The Palestinian Authority is cutting off security coordination with Israel. A significant Israeli operation to clear terrorist strongholds in the West Bank has just been completed.

With the embers still burning in the Samarian Hills, the question is whether we are seeing the beginning of a Third Intifada.

But there is another shoe yet to drop. The death of the ailing 87-year-old President Mahmoud Abbas, whenever it happens, will make things significantly worse.

Abbas is an unpopular figure with his citizenry. Currently in the 18th year of his four-year term as president of the Palestinian Authority, he holds every major role in the Palestinian leadership, Fatah, the PLO and the security apparatus.

His passing will create a huge vacuum and a window of opportunity for a rogues gallery of characters who have been waiting in the wings to pounce. This includes Iranian-sponsored terrorists such as Hamas and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad, as well as supporters of convicted murderers such as Marwan Barghouti and a myriad of corrupt PA officials just waiting for the opportunity to line their pockets.

Unfortunately, the best and brightest of Palestinian society are not likely to accede to senior positions to lead their people to a better tomorrow.

The Washington Institute’s “Sudden Succession Series, Palestinian Politics after Abbas,” asks how the U.S. might “adjust to the new situation.” There is no reason for America to be reactive and wait for Abbas’s passing. A Third Intifada is already brewing, there has been an uptick in Iranian involvement in the West Bank, and rockets are being fired from the West Bank toward Israeli cities for the first time in nearly two decades. The PA has lost control of the cities of Jenin, Nablus and Tulkram to Iranian allies Palestinian Islamic Jihad, Lion’s Den and Hamas.

The Turkey-NATO Deal On Sweden Is A Disaster

Michael Rubin

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg announced that, just hours before NATO’s Vilnius Summit, he had finally done the impossible: Convinced Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to lift his veto on Sweden’s NATO accession.

President Biden’s team, working assiduously in the background, may want to share Stoltenberg’s supposed triumph.

They should not.

What NATO officials bill as a diplomatic masterstroke is actually a disaster in the making.

Put aside Turkey’s humiliation of Sweden and the erosion, at Erdogan’s behest, of free speech and democracy in that country. And put aside the hypocrisy of treating Kurds in Sweden as terrorists when Islamic State sympathizers in Turkey not only roam free but also populate Erdogan’s administration and Turkey’s intelligence service.

Rather, the problem appears to be a new quid pro quo.

Not only does Turkey now expect the lifting of most defense-related sanctions, but a Turkish official also said that Turkey now expects Europe to fast track its long moribund European Union accession process.

Put another way, Turkey used its presence inside NATO to paralyze the institution and profit off its de facto veto. To lift that veto, Stoltenberg and National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan now want to empower Turkey to paralyze the European Union and erode its democratic orientation from inside. It is no secret, for example, that Germany often caves to Turkish blackmail because it fears not only that Erdogan will unleash the floodgates of refugees into the heart of Europe but also because German intelligence officers believe that Erdogan controls terror cells among the Turkish diaspora in the heart of Germany.

Out with the old, in with the new: Russia-Ukraine heavy weaponry balance may shift

Tuqa Khalid

The balance of firepower through heavy weaponry might be shifting in the Russian war on Ukraine for the first time in more than 16 months of conflict, as Moscow depletes its stocks while the West replenishes Kyiv’s.

Data and assessments by the Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW) and the global research institute International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) showed a narrowing in the gaps between the inventory stocks between Russia and Ukraine.

Prior to the war in 2021, Ukraine had 987 tanks, 773 Howitzers (155/ 152mm) and 354 MLRS, IfW reported adding that 286 more tanks would be delivered by allies, 177 Howitzers (155/ 152mm) and 23 MLRS.

Meanwhile, Russia’s pre-war stocks stood at 3,417 tanks, 2,304 Howitzers (155/ 152mm) and 1,056 MLRS.

Heavy weaponry stocks pledged and supplied by Ukraine’s Western allies between January 24, 2022 and May 31, 2023, amounted to 471 delivered tanks out of 757 committed, 379 Howitzers (155/ 152mm) delivered out of 556 committed, and 66 MLRS delivered out of 89 committed.

Meanwhile, pre-war Russia had 3,417 tanks, 2,304 Howitzers, and 1,056 MLRS. However, Russian forces are continuously losing equipment and weapons and the military industrial complex cannot possibly churn out new weapons on an assembly line fast enough to replace the lost equipment, which is why it has looked for cheaper alternatives that materialized through the Kamikaze Iranian-made Shahed drones.

On the other hand, pledges of aid and military packages are pouring from the West to Ukraine, helping it replenish its arsenal with a wide range of weapons to use in its counter-offensive to reclaim territory occupied by Russia.

Russia Loses 4 Tanks, 11 APVs and 20 Artillery Systems in a Day: Ukraine


Russian forces lost four tanks, 11 armored personnel vehicles (APVs) and 20 artillery systems on Saturday, July 8, according to Ukraine's military.

Moscow has now lost a total of 4,078 tanks, in addition to 7,964 APVs, since February 24, 2022, the General Staff of Ukraine's armed forces said on Sunday.

Newsweek could not independently verify these figures, and has reached out to the Russian Defense Ministry for comment via email.

According to Dutch open-source outlet Oryx, Russia has lost a total of 2,098 tanks since February last year, although this count is thought to be one of the lowest estimates of Russian tank losses. Experts previously told Newsweek that Ukraine's figure is realistic, albeit "staggering."

In an operational update posted on Sunday, Russia's Defense Ministry said Ukraine had lost 10,604 tanks and other armored combat vehicles in the same period. Newsweek has contacted the Ukrainian Defense Ministry for comment.

This comes after Kyiv marked the 500th day of full-scale war with Russia, with both sides losing a significant amount of military equipment over the course of the conflict.
A Ukrainian serviceman stands near a destroyed Russian tank in the northeastern city of Trostyanets on March 29, 2022. Russian forces lost four tanks, 11 armored personnel vehicles (APVs) and 20 artillery systems in the previous day, Ukraine's military said on Sunday.

Kyiv's forces are continuing to launch counteroffensive operations against Russian troops, the Washington-based Institute for the Study of War (ISW) think tank said on Saturday.

Ukraine carried out counteroffensive actions on "at least three" parts of the front line on Saturday, it said. Russian troops are concentrated in the southern Zaporizhzhia and Kherson regions to stop "the further advance of our troops," the Ukrainian military said on Sunday.

What realists get wrong about Ukraine’s counteroffensive

Lawrence Freedman

“Strategy is the art of making war upon the map.”

– Antoine-Henri Jomini

The Russo-Ukrainian War is all about territory. Russia wants to complete its occupation of the oblasts of Luhansk, Donetsk, Zaporizhzhia and Kherson; Ukraine seeks to liberate all occupied territories, including Crimea. This is what the game theorists call a “zero-sum game” – what one wins the others must lose. This feature of the war explains why a negotiated outcome is so difficult to achieve, why the current battles matter so much, and why those commenting on the war spend so much time staring at maps.

Another feature of the war is that the territory being vigorously defended is hard to take. The land that Russian forces are currently defending was mostly taken in the first month of the war. Since then, they have ceded much more than they have taken. The Russians have put enormous effort and resources into their offensives since April 2022, yet what has been gained, despite the enormously high cost, has been limited – especially since they have reduced the occupied cities to rubble in the process. This was the case with their most recent offensive, lasting from January to June, during which they wrecked the eastern towns of Soledar and Bakhmut. But largely failed elsewhere.

Ukrainian offensives have been more successful when facing Russian forces thinly spread and struggling with logistical and command difficulties; they have found it tougher advancing against well-prepared Russian defences. This is why there is so much anxiety surrounding the Ukrainian offensive, which has been under way for just over a month.

Signs of a top-rank military purge in Russia


Citing Russian media but identifying the Moscow Times, which is not official and often unreliable, the British Daily Mail has published a shock report about a radical change in Russia’s military leadership.

According to the story, as published, General Valery Gerasimov, chief of the General Staff of Russia’s armed forces, and Deputy Defense Minister Yunus-bek Yevkurov have been purged.

The story goes on to say that Gerasimov has been replaced by Colonel-General Mikhail Teplinskiy. A number of other news outlets claim “General Armageddon,” Sergey Surovikin, also is missing.

Meanwhile, Oleksiy Danilov, secretary of the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine and coordinator of the Staff of the Supreme Commander-in-Chief, claims that “Ukraine’s Defense Forces are fulfilling the number one task – the maximum destruction of manpower, equipment, fuel depots, military vehicles, command posts, artillery and air defense forces of the Russian army.”

Objective reports from the battlefield say that Ukraine has made very little progress and is losing more equipment and manpower than Russia. Moreover, it appears Russia has launched its own offensive operations in the north of Luhansk and is achieving success.

The story in the Daily Mail and Danilov’s curious statement may be part of the effort to jack up Ukraine’s prestige ahead of the NATO meeting in Vilnius. Ukraine is seeking NATO membership now, or short of that, an iron-clad security agreement.

US President Joe Biden says that the United States is considering offering Ukraine a security agreement like the one the US has with Israel. That US-Israel Agreement is not a pledge to defend Israel. Instead, it says that support for Israel “has been a cornerstone of American foreign policy.”

Imperialist Red Herring? NATO Expansion and the Ukraine War

Dr. Philip Dandolov

In the months preceding the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the topic of the increase in the number of European members of NATO received renewed attention among scholars of international relations. While a number of political realists have criticized the West for not taking sufficient measures to placate Russia due to supposedly adopting tone-deaf policies and failing to heed a purported warning pertaining to the military alliance’s continued eastward enlargement, which was issued by Putin in his 2007 speech at the Munich Security Conference, the actions undertaken and statements made by Russian officials since the start of the war have actually given further credence to the arguments of those experts on Russia, such as American historians Alexander Motyl and Timothy Snyder, who contend that the issue of NATO expansion is hardly tied to any legitimate Russian security concerns and largely constitutes a convenient “red herring” intended to justify other aims (quite likely inherently imperial in nature) that are to be achieved as a result of the war.

If we are to, as a starting point, briefly delve into the background when it comes to internal Ukrainian political dynamics in the late 2010s, it would be difficult to speak of a paradigm shift regarding Ukrainian approach to NATO membership after the inauguration of Volodymyr Zelenskyy in May 2019, which would have altered the international security landscape from the Russian perspective. Zelenskyy very much continued in his predecessor Petro Poroshenko’s footsteps, reiterating the latter’s commitment to put the issue to a referendum, so that Ukrainian citizens could make their own decision. One of the more decisive steps on the domestic scene that paved the way for Ukraine’s potential accession had in fact been taken in February 2019, three years prior to the invasion, at a time when Poroshenko (perceived to be more hardline than Zelenskyy in his attitude toward Russia) was still president – the Verkhovna Rada (the Ukrainian parliament) approved an amendment to the constitution that established membership in NATO and the European Union as strategic goals for Ukraine.

When examining the events after February 2022, one of the first major contradictions that emerges (if we are to accept Putin’s claim that preventing NATO expansion serves as the end-goal of the Russian policy aims) concerns the Russian leadership’s stark insistence to maintain control of the illegally occupied territories despite initial Ukrainian willingness to indulge Putin by abandoning the country’s quest for NATO membership.

NATO’s Next Decade

Anders Fogh Rasmussen, Dmytro Kuleba, Kristi Raik, Angela Stent, Liana Fix, Ulrich Speck, A. Wess Mitchell, Ben Hodges, Anne-Marie Slaughter, and Stefan Theil

What was NATO before Russia’s invasion of Ukraine? A Cold War relic in search of a mission, a drain on Washington as it pivoted to Asia, a needless irritant to a nonthreatening Russia—or so a chorus of academic and media pundits told us. French President Emmanuel Macron, Europe’s pundit-in-chief, famously summed up the mood by calling the alliance “brain-dead.”

Wagner PMC Exemplifies How Putin Has Destroyed Russian State – Analysis

Paul Goble 

Russian President Vladimir Putin has long promoted himself as the man who rebuilt the power of the Russian state after the chaos of the 1990s. However, the Wagner Group mutiny highlights why that rings false—not only because it was an armed challenge to Putin’s authority but also because the relationship between the Kremlin leader and Yevgeny Prigozhin, head of the Wagner “private military company” (PMC), is a model of how Putin has dealt with others in the Russian political elite across the board.

In case after case, the Russian president has destroyed the institutions of the Russian state and replaced them with others based on personal ties and private understandings, a situation that has led some observers to describe the Putin regime as a failed state. This in turn amplifies worries about the coming post-Putin transition, where the absence of institutions linked together by law and transparent practice could easily lead to a war of all against all in which force alone will determine the outcome. (For a magisterial discussion of this, see Bugajski, Failed State: A Guide to Russia’s Rupture, 2022).

Most Western commentaries on the Wagner uprising have focused on the events themselves rather than on the ways in which the actions of both Prigozhin and Putin act as an X-ray into the inner workings of the current Russian system of power. On the contrary, an increasing number of Russian observers are focusing on precisely this aspect of the situation. (See, for example, Novayagazeta.eu, June 27; Reforum.io; Svoboda; Kasparov.ru, July 2). Perhaps the most thoughtful and comprehensive of these analyses is offered by Ilya Matveev, a Russian scholar who now teaches at the University of California, Berkeley, on the Important Stories portal (Istories.media, June 27). He argues that Prigozhin’s PMC and its actions are not some outlier in the Russian landscape as many think but rather highlight the ways in which, as a result of Putin’s pursuit of a personalist dictatorship, such organizations have displaced not only the Russian military but effectively destroyed the Russian state as such.

Assessing the Impact of Diverse Intermediate Force Capabilities and Integrating Them into Wargames for the U.S. Department of Defense and NATO

Krista Romita Grocholski, Scott Savitz, Sydney Litterer, Monika Cooper, Clay McKinney, Andrew Ziebell

Research QuestionsHow should the previously developed logic model for measuring the impact of NLWs be updated to address the strategic goals enumerated in DoD's 2022 National Defense Strategy (NDS)?

How should the logic model, metrics, and vignettes be adapted to address the needs of NATO, particularly expanding to include all IFCs (NLWs, EW, cyber defense, and IO) and incorporate NATO strategic goals?

How could IFCs be better integrated into wargames, as well as M&S?

The U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) and NATO need to be able to assess the tactical, operational, and strategic impact of intermediate force capabilities (IFCs) — a suite of capabilities that cause less-than-lethal effects and whose impact can be difficult to measure. IFCs include non-lethal weapons (NLWs), electromagnetic warfare (EW), cyber defense, and information operations (IO). NLWs include a highly diverse set of systems, including acoustic hailing devices, eye-safe laser dazzlers, flash-bang grenades, rubber bullets, millimeter-wave emitters that cause a temporary heating sensation, microwave emitters that shut down electronics, and entangling devices to stop vehicles or vessels.

The authors of this report build on a previous report in which they described a method measuring the impact of NLWs in the context of DoD strategic goals (Krista Romita Grocholski et al., How to Effectively Assess the Impact of Non-Lethal Weapons as Intermediate Force Capabilities, 2022). This report updates and expands the previous work to encompass all IFCs and to consider both DoD and NATO strategic goals. The authors present logic models (one for DoD and one for NATO) that link use of IFCs with direct outputs, higher-level outcomes, and strategic goals, and they provide vignettes and metrics that help to characterize when and how IFCs have an impact. The authors also discuss how IFCs can be better integrated into wargaming, as well as associated modeling and simulation (M&S), in ways that can facilitate understanding of them and contribute to their integration into DoD and NATO operations.

Key Findings

National Defense University PressJoint Force Quarterly (JFQ), 110, (3rd Quarter, July 2023)

Strategic Inflection Point: The Most Historically Significant and Fundamental Change in the Character of War Is Happening Now—While the Future Is Clouded in Mist and Uncertainty

A Framework for Lethal Autonomous Weapons Systems Deterrence

Cutting the Chaff: Overlooked Lessons of Military UAP Sightings for Joint Force and Interagency Coordination

Quantum Computing: A New Competitive Factor with China

An AI-Ready Military Workforce

Enhancing National Security: Increasing Female Faculty in Professional Military Education Would Strengthen U.S. Security

Why Military Space Matters

Improving Analytic Tradecraft: The Benefit of a Multilateral Foundational Training Model for Military Intelligence

The Purpose and Impact of the U.S. Military HIV Research Program

Special Operations Forces Institution-Building: From Strategic Approach to Security Force Assistance

Analyzing a Country’s Strategic Posture: Suggestions for Practitioners

Integrating Women, Peace, and Security Into Security Cooperation

The Exceptional Family Member Program: Noble Cause, Flawed System

The Civil War and Revolutions in Naval Affairs: Lessons for Today

Mission Assurance: Decisionmaking at the Speed of Relevance

Air University PressAEther: A Journal of Strategic Airpower and Spacepower Summer 2023, v. 2, no. 2

A Tactical Nuclear Mindset: Deterring with Conventional Apples and Nuclear Oranges

A Rational Choice? Russia’s Potential Use of Nonstrategic Nuclear Weapons

Talking Space: History, Strategic Communications, and Space Security

Violence, Culture, and a Path to Peace

Systematizing Supply Chain Warfare

A Case for an Independent Cyber Force

Army joins the social media war with psy-ops brigade

James Flint

James Flint does not work for, consult, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organisation that would benefit from this article, and has disclosed no relevant affiliations beyond their academic appointment.

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The British Army is bringing in a new brigade, specialising in psychological warfare, and particularly the use of social media. Whereas the infantry, cavalry, artillery and engineers have been staple units of armies for hundreds of years, 77 Brigade will seek to influence operations in a rather different way.

The unit will be an operational body of as many as 1,500-2,000 men and women. Each brings their own specialism from sub-units allocated to the brigade from the Army, Navy and Air Force. Among them will be experts in psychological operations, media information operations and the stabilisation support group. These are groups mostly concerned with using words and ideas over violent means. Around 42% of the brigade will be made up of reserve “weekend warriors”.

The unit will carry out information operations through virtual domain mediums including social media but desk-based work may well be complimented by more hands-on soldiers, conducting civil affairs duties in the field. This is all part of “mastering a new kind of warfare”.

The brigade symbolises the recognition that hard power and military force are no longer the only tools needed in modern warfare. Factors such as security, law and order and development are frequently interrelated in a problematic nexus.

This became particularly clear during the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. Winning “hearts and minds” may have become a banality, but the way events are framed and presented to overseas populations, as well as the British public at home, is incredibly important. The appropriate story needs to reach the right audience. The new brigade is founded on lessons from these recent counterinsurgencies and irregular wars.

Managing Existential Risk from AI without Undercutting Innovation

Michael Frank

It is uncontroversial that the extinction of humanity is worth taking seriously. Perhaps that is why hundreds of (artificial intelligence) AI researchers and thought leaders signed on to the following statement: “Mitigating the risk of extinction from AI should be a global priority alongside other societal-scale risks such as pandemics and nuclear war.” The Statement on AI Risk and the collective gravitas of its signatories has demanded the attention of leaders around the world for regulating AI—in particular, generative AI systems like OpenAI’s ChatGPT. The most advanced AI regulatory effort is the European Union, whose parliament recently passed its version of the Artificial Intelligence Act (AI Act). The AI Act’s proponents have suggested that rather than extinction, discrimination is the greater threat. To that end, the AI Act is primarily an exercise in risk classification, through which European policymakers are judging applications of AI as high-, limited-, or minimal-risk, while also banning certain applications they deem unacceptable, such as cognitive behavioral manipulation; social scoring based on behavior, socioeconomic status or personal characteristics; and real-time biometric identification from law enforcement. The AI Act also includes regulatory oversight of “high-risk” applications like biometric identification in the private sector and management of critical infrastructure, while also providing oversight on relevant education and vocational training. It is a comprehensive package, which is also its main weakness: classifying risk through cross-sectoral legislation will do little to address existential risk or AI catastrophes while also limiting the ability to harness the benefits of AI, which have the potential to be equally astonishing. What is needed is an alternative regulatory approach that addresses the big risks without sacrificing those benefits.

Given the rapidly changing state of the technology and the nascent but extremely promising AI opportunity, policymakers should embrace a regulatory structure that balances innovation and opportunity with risk. While the European Union does not neglect innovation entirely, the risk-focused approach of the AI Act is incomplete. By contrast, the U.S. Congress appears headed toward such a balance. On June 21, Senate majority leader Chuck Schumer gave a speech at CSIS in which he announced his SAFE Innovation Framework for AI. In introducing the framework, he stated that “innovation must be our North Star,” indicating that while new AI regulation is almost certainly coming, Schumer and his bipartisan group of senators are committed to preserving innovation. In announcing the SAFE Innovation Framework, he identified four goals (paraphrased below) that forthcoming AI legislation should achieve:Security: instilling guardrails to protect the U.S. against bad actors’ use of AI, while also preserving American economic security by preparing for, managing, and mitigating workforce disruption.

ChatGPT unleashed an AI race, now regulators are struggling to hold on


PALO ALTO, U.S. -- Imagine a world where artificial intelligence surpasses human expertise in nearly every domain and can code in one day what the biggest tech companies in the world produce in years. Now, imagine that world becoming our reality within the next decade.

In a series of speeches delivered in 20 countries over the past month, this is what Sam Altman, CEO of the startup OpenAI, has been asking audiences as part of his effort to proselytize a global regulatory framework for artificial intelligence. His company helped start the AI craze in November with the launch of chatbot ChatGPT, which has demonstrated the huge potential of artificial intelligence.