24 August 2023

The Term “Global South” Is Surging. It Should Be Retired.


The “Global South” is making a linguistic comeback.

The renewed currency of the catchall term—one of many that have been used colloquially to describe the world’s political and economic divisions—is unsurprising. Escalating geopolitical rivalry between the United States and China has revived bipolar dynamics reminiscent of the Cold War, when much of the world became pawns in a superpower competition. Moscow’s aggression against Ukraine has only intensified pressure on developing nations to pick a side between the democratic West and authoritarian China and Russia—a choice that many resist. Meanwhile, a succession of systemic shocks—including the coronavirus pandemic, economic fallout from Ukraine, and the deepening climate emergency—have underscored the gross inequities at the core of the world economy and the vulnerability of lower- and middle-income nations to political, economic, and ecological crises not of their own making.

Academic use of the term has exploded, and leaders of international organizations and major democracies are deploying the phrase with notable frequency. “Many countries of the Global South face huge debts, increasing poverty and hunger, and the growing impacts of the climate crisis,” UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres lamented last November, as the world’s population topped 8 billion. World Bank President Ajay Banga has used the term, as has U.S. President Joe Biden and his senior administration officials, including the national security adviser and the secretary of commerce. More significantly, some leaders of the very nations the label purports to describe have embraced it. Standing beside Biden at a June 22 White House press conference, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi declared that “lending a voice to the priorities of the Global South” is a central objective of India’s G20 chairmanship.

The phrase has once again become a convenient shorthand for a broad swath of nations seeking to overhaul the unjust structures of the global economy, hedge their strategic bets, and promote the emergence of a more multipolar system. But analysts and policymakers would be wise to invoke the term with greater restraint, both to avoid unwarranted generalizations and to steer clear of past mistakes.

The Digital Personal Data Protection Bill, 2023

Dr Gulshan Rai


India, currently, does not have a standalone law on data protection. The Information Technology Act, 2000 regulates the use of personal data. In the year 2017, Committee of Experts on Data Protection, chaired by Justice B. N. Srikrishna, was constituted by the Central Government to examine issues relating to data protection in the country. In July 2018, the said Committee submitted its report. The Personal Data Protection Bill, 2019 was introduced in Lok Sabha in December 2019 based on the recommendations of the said Committee. The Bill was referred to a Joint Parliamentary Committee which submitted its report in December 2021. In August 2022, the Bill was withdrawn from Parliament. In November 2022, a Draft Bill was released for public consultation. In August 2023, the Digital Personal Data Protection Bill, 2023 (“2023 Bill”) was introduced in Parliament.

The 2023 Bill provides for a legislative backing to the Supreme Court’s landmark judgement in Justice K. S. Puttaswamy (Retd) Vs Union of India Case (2017)[1]. A nine-judge bench of the Supreme Court unanimously held that Indians have a constitutionally protected fundamental right to privacy that is an intrinsic part of life and liberty under Article 21.

Given herein below are the key features of the 2023 Bill which have been provided in a questionnaire form for ease of understanding:

What is the applicability of the 2023 Bill?

The 2023 Bill will apply to the processing of digital personal data within India where the said data is collected in digital form or in a non-digital form and digitised subsequently[2]. It will also apply to the processing of personal data outside India, if it is for offering goods or services or profiling individuals in India[3].

What is outside the ambit of the 2023 Bill?

The 2023 Bill does not apply to personal data processed by an individual for any personal or domestic purpose; and personal data that is made or caused to be made publicly available by the data principal to whom such personal data relates; or any other person who is under an obligation under any law for the time being in force in India to make such personal data publicly available[4].

Tagore’s Ideas on Universalism, Cultural Distinction, and the Global

Pradip Kumar Datta

The early nineteenth century in India was a period when colonial rule consolidated itself. Simultaneously, it was a time of rich intellectual ferment among the colonial subjects. The latter worked broadly on religious lines, one ‘Hindu’, the other ‘Islamic’. It should be remembered that both traditions consisted of diverse strands of thought and practice, many of which contested one another. Although by the end of the century, there was a growth of secular concerns, I will frame Tagore’s thought by– to use an umbrella term for different trajectories of thought – the modern Hindu tradition. In general, however, I define Hindu thought by two elements. The first is its search for the distinctiveness of Hinduism as the basis of a philosophical, social, and cultural ethos, if not of social identity. This supplies the basis for a Hindu Nationalism which Bankim Chandra Chatterjee, the late nineteenth century pioneer of the Bangla novel and of the Bangla public sphere, evoked in some of his novels and theorised in his discursive writings. A second trajectory of Hindu thought moved towards a qualified universalism. Many Hindu thinkers tried to derive a spiritual universalism from mainly Brahminical texts. This was a move to counter the hegemonic idea of historical progress that both justified colonial domination and shaped the minds of vast sections of the educated among the colonised. With this rough sketch, let me quickly go through some facets of Rabindranath Tagore’s life.

Rabindranath Tagore lived between the mid-nineteenth to the mid-twentieth centuries. He was and remains an iconic figure in the Indian subcontinent, especially in its eastern part. Besides being the first Asian to get the Nobel Prize, he was not just a poet, a composer and novelist, but also a playwright, actor, short-story writer, artist, peace activist, who also founded a global university. In addition, he was an original thinker. Born in 1861, a few years after the 1857 rebellion and the establishment of Her Majesty’s Government, the young Tagore grew up in conditions of Hindu cultural revivalism and contributed actively to it as a young person. This was to culminate in his celebration of Vedic ethical norms and then later in a whole-hearted involvement with what is accepted as the first popular movement against colonial authority. I am referring here to the Swadeshi movement that took place in the first decade of the twentieth century (see Sarkar 1973). Side-by-side Tagore also inherited a faith in the universalism of Vedantic ideas from his family. This was based on a conviction in the omnipresence of Brahman, which can be defined as an essential presence that permeates all of creation as well as the individual soul, which is cosmic and acosmic, the origin and the infinite. It is possibly the belief in spiritual universalism that made Tagore receptive to the sense of ‘global’ existence. Born in a wealthy family with immense cultural capital, Tagore also travelled to England as a youth. The journey allowed him to experience the global as a habitation that was based on differences. The youthful journey presaged his later years when he travelled across the globe to about twenty five countries, as a public intellectual spreading a message of global peace and cultural interconnectedness.

India’s Taste for Violence: Globalisation Beyond Commercialisation

Deep K. Datta-Ray

Globalisation is hopelessly parochial for being a by-product of European Liberalism. Dealing with a plethora of concerns including the dichotomy between individual and societal rights, Liberalism balances them via interests and contracts (see Chapters 2 and 3 in Mill 2004). Used to create equivalences, states deploy them to calculate how to barter, maximise, or reduce, some interests to secure others. This makes for a commercial form of globalisation. Ironically, this globalisation is also antithetical to every state’s primary interest: sovereignty. Commercialisation fragments sovereignty because interests make states dependent on each other. Dependency fosters equality as all states politick in terms of interest, but the price is high for states must hand over control to their contracting parties. Yet states willingly give up sovereignty because commercialisation is said to foster stability.

It is odd then that post-Cold War the votaries of globalisation as commercialisation, the Liberal West, NATO, kill more than any other country including China, Russia – or any other alliance (Datta-Ray 2018). This is because globalisation rides on offense (Locke 2003, 2.2.6) since interests and equivalences enable the calculation of the degree of violence required to secure interests. An instance of commercial politics is Mutually Assured Destruction (MAD), which uses threats to safeguard interests to deliver stability. Paradoxically, the interested parties’ very threatening to secure their interests is precisely what makes for instability: militarism and war. During the Cold War, Liberals waged proxy wars, but today they themselves kill and are killed, across the world (Dillon and Reid 2009).

Naturally, Liberals account for the paradox of globalisation as commercialisation triggering global chaos as originating outside commercial life. Rather than recognising globalisation is synonymous with instability, the logic of the market seeks to commercialise all life in a delusive hunt for stability. Commerce is therefore now not only the object, but its defence demands making it also the subject. The former is to create interconnected markets, but these are now being inserted into the ideas and concepts that organise us – to recreate us as globalised subjects.

The World Has No Choice But to Work With the Taliban

Graeme Smith and Ibraheem Bahiss

It has been two years since the Taliban retook control of Afghanistan. But earlier this summer, in a government office in Kabul overlooking a well-tended garden, a mid-level Taliban official lamented that the country remains locked in a political standoff. Regional and Western actors cannot agree about how to deal with the Taliban, he complained; even after the withdrawal of all foreign troops from Afghanistan, the West is still fighting a culture war. The United States and its allies want the Taliban to lift their restrictions on women’s rights, but the Taliban will not accept what they see as

Emergency Preparedness: What To Do IF The U.S. Goes to War With China

John Mortensen

The balance of power between the United States and China has long been a topic of global interest. As two of the world’s superpowers with intricate ties of trade, diplomacy, and military might, the specter of conflict, however distant, warrants thorough contemplation. What can you do in case of an all-out war between these two nations?

If a U.S. China war starts, prioritizing communication, mobility, and extended emergency supplies is imperative. Creating an advanced emergency preparedness plan before problems strike by equipping yourself with water, food, stockpiling essential goods, solar-powered devices, a ready vehicle, and ensuring access to liquid cash are necessary.

In this article, we will summarize the relations between these two superpowers. We will offer detailed guidance on emergency preparedness strategies, ensuring you’re well-equipped should a conflict arise between the U.S. and China. Understanding the background and taking proactive steps are key to navigating potential challenges.

Benjamin Franklin on the U.S. 100 dollar bill and Mao Tse-tung on the Chinese 100 Yuan banknote.

The United States and China rank among the world’s foremost economic powers and possess unparalleled military prowess. Since World War II, the U.S. has been at the forefront of global military dominance, exemplified by the nuclear strikes on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

Through the years, the U.S. has consistently showcased its military strength, intervening in regions like the Middle East, Africa, South America, and Asia.The U.S. has solidified its military influence worldwide by establishing military bases and forging alliances with nations like those in NATO, Japan, and Taiwan.

Has China Peaked?

Ravi Agrawal

There’s been a spate of unflattering economic data out of China recently. Growth in the most recent quarter ending in June amounted to just 0.8 percent, dragged down by weak consumer spending. Trade flows have declined the most since the start of the pandemic. And rising geopolitical tensions have led multinational corporations to accelerate moves to shift their manufacturing and supply chains away from China.

China’s defense minister warns against ‘playing with fire’ on Taiwan during Russia meeting

Simone McCarthy

China’s defense minister Li Shangfu on Tuesday warned against “playing with fire” when it comes to Taiwan in a veiled jab at the United States as he addressed a security conference in Russia.

Speaking at the Moscow Conference on International Security, Li said attempts to “use Taiwan to contain China,” would “surely end in failure,” according to state-run news agency Xinhua.

Li’s comments echoed previous statements by Chinese officials but the location of his speech was significant and symbolic given Moscow’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine.

China’s ruling Communist Party claims the self-governing democracy of Taiwan and has vowed to take control of it, by force if necessary. It has repeatedly castigated American interactions with the island, with which Washington does not have official diplomatic ties, including for the sale of US arms to Taipei.

Li, who was sanctioned by the US in 2018 for purchases of Russian weapons, joined the Moscow security conference as he began a six-day trip to Russia and its close ally Belarus.

Senior defense officials from more than 20 “friendly states,” including Belarus, Iran and Myanmar will also attend the forum, Russian state media previously reported, citing Moscow’s defense ministry, which organizes the annual event. No Western countries were invited, state media said.

The visit is Li’s second to Russia since assuming his role as defense chief earlier this year. It comes as Beijing has continued to bolster its security ties with Moscow, despite its unrelenting assault on Ukraine, which has triggered a humanitarian disaster with global ramifications.

In a pre-recorded message to the same Moscow conference, Russian President Vladimir Putin accused the US of adding “fuel to the fire” of global conflicts, including through its support of Ukraine.

China has used similar rhetoric in its own official comments about the conflict, despite maintaining that it remains a neutral party and a proponent of peace.

Li on Tuesday also told attendees that China’s military was “a firm force in maintaining world peace,” and that Chinese leader Xi Jinping aimed to stabilize global security in “a world of chaos.”

Space race 2.0: Russia, India, China and the U.S. are heading for the lunar south pole

Tom Costello and Dareh Gregorian

The space race is back on, now with more countries competing.

Roughly six decades after the Soviet Union and the U.S. raced each other to get to the moon, a new competition has emerged. This time around, the focus is on the lunar south pole, where scientists have detected traces of water ice.

Russia last week launched its first moon-landing spacecraft in 47 years; it's expected to touch down in the area in the coming days. India isn't far behind, with the goal of having a lander touch down Aug. 23.

The U.S., meanwhile, is rushing to be the first country to land astronauts at the site, with a crewed mission planned for 2025. China also plans missions to the area, with and without astronauts, before the end of the decade.

The area is coveted because the water could be used for rocket fuel. It could also help establish a permanent base on the moon and serve as a launchpad to Mars and beyond.

NASA Administrator Bill Nelson said in an interview that the area is far more treacherous than the site of the first moon landing in 1969.

"It’s not like what you saw where Neil [Armstrong] and Buzz [Aldrin] were landing, constantly lit from the sun, a few craters here and there," Nelson said.

Iran and the Rise of Cyber-Enabled Influence Operations

Iranian state actors have another weapon in their arsenal. Since June 2022, multiple Iranian state groups have deployed a new type of attack vector known as cyber-enabled influence operations (IO). This technique combines offensive computer network operations with messaging and amplification in a coordinated and manipulative fashion. The goal is to further geopolitical objectives by shifting the perceptions, behaviors, and decisions of their end targets.

Likely motivated by its inability to match the sophistication of past cyberattacks against the regime, Iran is leveraging cyber-enabled IO to boost, exaggerate, or compensate for shortcomings in its network access or cyberattack capabilities.

Keep reading to learn more about how the Iranians use this method and what the rise of cyber-enabled IO has taught us about broader trends in cybersecurity.

3 Examples Of Cyber-Enabled IO

Microsoft linked 24 unique cyber-enabled IO to the Iranian government last year, including 17 since June 2022. This is compared with just seven cyber-enabled IO in 2021, demonstrating Iran's increasing reliance on the technique.

Interestingly, the rise in these operations has also coincided with a decline in ransomware and wiper attacks by Iranian military affiliates — the most dominant being the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC). Instead, Iran is now leveraging low-impact, low-sophistication cyberattacks, such as defacements, to bolster its cyber-enabled IO. These attacks take less time and fewer resources, enabling Iran to dedicate more effort to multipronged amplification methods instead.

This trend can be seen in three key examples.

1. Bolstering Palestinian Resistance

In February 2022, the group known as Storm-1084 used destructive cyberattacks in concert with messaging that encouraged pushback against Israel's policies toward Palestinians. Believed to have Iranian ties, the group masked its attack as ransomware and included a ransom note that called Israel "an apartheid regime" that should "pay for occupation, war crimes against humanity, killing the people," including Palestinians.

2. Inciting Shi'ite Unrest in Bahrain

Also in February 2022, a cyber persona known as Al-Toufan took credit for defacing multiple Bahraini and Israeli websites. This attack happened in conjunction with the 12th anniversary of nationwide anti-government protests in Bahrain. Al-Toufan used these attacks to fan protests among the politically underrepresented Shi'ite majority in Bahrain by calling attention to poverty and inflation in the region.

The group replaced legitimate content on news and government websites with articles that criticized the regime. Sockpuppet Arabic-language social media accounts were later used to amplify the defacements. A similar attack happened in November 2022 when Cotton Sandstorm launched its first cyber-enabled IO against Bahrain’s parliamentary elections.

3. Countering Normalization Of Arab-Israeli Ties

Finally, in December 2022, a cyber persona known as Atlas Group (believed to be Cotton Sandstorm) took credit for hijacking an Israeli sports website. The group posted a message stating that Israelis were not welcome at the World Cup in Qatar or in any Muslim countries. This message was then amplified by sockpuppet accounts in an attempt to intensify Arab-Israeli animosity. Notably, Atlas Group launched its influence operation during the World Cup quarterfinals — one month after Israel and Qatar agreed to establish direct flights for the games.

Iran is likely to continue honing its cyber and influence capabilities in an attempt to match the sophistication of its adversaries' cyberattacks and retaliate against perceived threats to the regime. Additionally, new influence techniques will allow Iran to add to the amplification, realism, and ultimate effectiveness of its campaigns.

For the broader cybersecurity community, this underscores the importance of reliable, comprehensive threat intelligence. NATO member nations and European nations may be at heightened risk. Currently, Israel is the most targeted country, making up 23% of Iranian attacks. They are followed closely by the US (13%) and the United Arab Emirates (8%). By continuing to monitor Iranian attack trends, these and other target groups can better fortify their own protections.

From Political Islam to Muslim Democracy

Rached Ghannouchi

Ennahda, one of the most influential political parties in the Arab world and a major force in Tunisia’s emergence as a democracy, recently announced a historic transition. Ennahda has moved beyond its origins as an Islamist party and has fully embraced a new identity as a party of Muslim democrats. The organization, which I co-founded in the 1980s, is no longer both a political party and a social movement. It has ended all of its cultural and religious activities and now focuses only on politics.

Ennahda’s evolution mirrors Tunisia’s broader social and political trajectory. The party first emerged as an Islamist movement in response to repression at the hands of a secularist, authoritarian regime that denied citizens religious freedom and the rights of free expression and association. For decades, Tunisian dictators shut down all political dis­course in the country, forcing movements with political aims to operate exclusively as social and cultural organizations. But the revolution of 2010–11 brought an end to authoritarian rule and opened up space for open, free, and fair political competition.

Tunisia’s new constitution, which Ennahda members of parliament helped draft and which was ratified in 2014, enshrines democracy and protects political and religious freedoms. Under the new constitution, the rights of Tunisians to worship freely, express their convictions and beliefs, and embrace an Arab Muslim identity are guaranteed, and so Ennahda no longer needs to focus its energies on fighting for such protections. Therefore, the party no longer accepts the label of “Islamism”—a concept that has been disfigured in recent years by radical extremists—as a description of its approach. In this new democratic stage of Tunisian history, the question is no longer one of secularism versus religion: the state no longer imposes secularism through repression, and so there is no longer a need for Ennahda or any other actor to defend or protect religion as a core part of its political activity.

China Doesn’t Compartmentalize

Taehwa Hong

The Biden administration has always tried—and mostly failed—to win Beijing’s support for what it believes should be natural areas of cooperation. From his first year in office, U.S. President Joe Biden sought to render climate change an engine for U.S-China cooperation. But two years of unilateral U.S. pleas bore few results. Despite multiple visits and statements by U.S. climate envoy John Kerry, Beijing explicitly responded that the issue cannot be separated from broader U.S.-China relations.

Ukraine’s counter-offensive is making progress, slowly

Ukraine has tried various approaches in the counter-offensive it launched on June 4th, but it is starting to figure out what works. “During the past two weeks we have seen things gradually tipping in Ukraine’s favour,” says Nico Lange, a Ukraine expert at the Munich Security Conference. The evidence from both satellite imagery and (mainly Russian) military bloggers is that slow progress is being made. Sir Lawrence Freedman, a British military strategist, agrees: “They’re doing stuff and they’re stretching the Russians.”

The successful strategy, says Ben Barry, a land-war specialist at the International Institute for Strategic Studies, a British-based think-tank, is a combination of the “deep battle and the close battle”. Ukraine is using its growing qualitative advantage in precision artillery shells to take out Russian batteries. Longer-range munitions such as himars and Storm Shadow missiles are hitting logistical hubs and command centres. Tweaked s-200 missiles, normally meant for air defence, were used on August 12th to attack the Kerch Bridge, which links Crimea to Russia.

Mr Lange points to Ukraine’s partial success around the village of Urozhaine in the Donetsk region, where with the help of newly-acquired cluster munitions the main Russian route of withdrawal has been turned into a deadly choke point. Alexander Khodakovsky, a Russian battalion commander in Urozhaine, complained this week via Telegram, a messaging app, that he was not getting reserve troops to stem a mounting disaster. This suggests that Russian forces in some areas are now too battered to provide reinforcements.

Adam Tooze: Why Russia’s Economy Is Performing Better Than the West Had Hoped

Cameron Abadi

Russia’s Central Bank took the extraordinary step of raising its key interest rate by 3.5 percentage points earlier this week. The move came after the value of the Russian currency had fallen to catastrophic levels; the ruble, prior to the interest rate hike, was worth less than 1 U.S. cent. The currency crisis, and the central bank’s response, offered a new window into an economy that, more than a year after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, was faring better than many in the West had hoped—but worse than many in Russia had imagined.

How innovation cells in Army combat units are harnessing soldiers’ ideas


Heads turned at Fort Irwin’s training ranges earlier this year when the 3rd Infantry Division arrived with quadcopters tethered to their Bradley Fighting Vehicles, providing extra eyes in the sky.

The Hoverfly drones weren’t provided by one of the Pentagon’s multi-year, billion-dollar initiatives. Instead, they were obtained through the 3rd ID’s Marne Innovations program, one of four cells established in various divisions to gather troops’ ideas and generate low-cost solutions.

In the past, the only way to bring a soldier’s idea to life would be “to go spend your own cash towards it,” said Maj. Ben Hall of the 101st Airborne Division’s EagleWerx.

Like the other cells set up since 2021—the 25th Infantry Division’s Lightning Labs and the 82nd Airborne Division’s Innovation Lab—Marne Innovations and EagleWerx tend to focus on efforts far smaller than a typical Pentagon program.

“We're not coming up with the next helicopter,” said Hall.

Still, the cells are moving forward on major products, from wheeled battery packs with enough charge for a house to sensors that measure mold in barracks.

The small teams of soldiers staffing the cells gather ideas from their division-mates via web form, email, and even just reaching out to former squadmates.

“We have a lot of connections back there, so it’s easy for us to just go back and be with our friends in the field or go and just talk to them and see what their problems are,” said EagleWerx’s Lt. Eden Lawson.

Soldiers may also find it easier to share problems with other soldiers from their unit rather than fact-finding missions from the Pentagon, said Capt. Christopher Flournoy of the 3rd ID.

CISA Director: US has lessons to learn about anticipating threats, disruption

Jonathan Greig

LAS VEGAS — U.S. residents and businesses need to be better prepared for inevitable disruptions caused by cyberattacks, according to the head of the country’s cybersecurity agency.

Speaking alongside Ukrainian cybersecurity chief Viktor Zhora at the Black Hat cybersecurity conference, Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) Director Jen Easterly said Americans need to mirror Ukraine’s resilience in the face of an onslaught of damaging cyberattacks.

“We know, given the state of networks today — the connectivity, the interdependence, the vulnerabilities that persist because technology is not secure by design — we are very likely to see attacks that cause great disruption, so [we are] learning from you about the resilience of cyber, operational resilience of cyber,” Easterly said before turning to Zhora.

“[Ukrainians] have demonstrated, in a shining example of unity, how to fight on to be able to achieve victory,” Eastery said. “This is something Americans really need to stand firm on in the face of threats from adversary nations.”

Using the Colonial Pipeline incident and the alleged Chinese spy balloons as examples, Easterly went on to tell the crowd that she does not see the same level of resilience with Americans in terms of how the country responds to potential threats.

US launches first military unit for targeting enemy satellites

Vilius Petkauskas

The US Space Force activated its first targeting unit tasked with informing the military about target satellites, ground stations, and signals between the two: from analysis to physical engagement.

The new unit was named the 75th Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance Squadron (ISRS), and it was activated under Space Delta 7 ISRS. What’s important about it is that the 75th ISRS is the first so-called “targeting” unit in the Space Force.

According to US Air Force doctrine, targeting is the “process of selecting and prioritizing targets and matching the appropriate response.” While the Space Force is a separate branch of the US military, the nature of the definition smoothly transfers from aerial objects to satellites.

What will the unit do?

The 75th ISRS is tasked with targeting analysis, target development, and target engagement, a statement on the unit’s launch revealed. The ultimate goal of the squadron is to “prepare and present intelligence packages about a target and the system it is a part of.”

The new squadron will consider a spectrum of information about satellites and ground stations and signal the link between the two. A ground station is a critical base from which satellites are controlled, and their data relayed further.

For example, in late 2022, a group of Russian scientists published a paper exploring ways to compromise the Starlink constellation, deducing that physical attacks on Starlink ground stations are the most effective way to deactivate it.

The new Space Force unit should be able to provide intelligence on key enemy ground stations, with the aim to deactivate them in case of a confrontation.

40% of Workers Will Need New Job Training Due to AI: IBM

Pedro Solimano

Employees may now need to finally brush up on their AI prompting, per new research.

Due to the introduction of artificial intelligence (AI) and automation, a new report from IBM explains, roughly 1.4 billion people will be affected.

In fact, forty percent of workers will need new job skills over the next three years, according to a survey of thousands of C-suite executives.

The IBM report draws on two prior studies. One looked into a survey of 3,000 C-level executives across 28 countries, and the other assessed 21,000 workers in 22 nations.

Many respondents said they think AI will displace humans outright, with the report noting that “employees may think that, by partnering with AI, they are training their replacement.”

Conversely, 87% of executives believe job roles are more likely to be increased. “Generative AI will augment far more employees than it will replace,” said nine out of ten executives surveyed.

Generative AI refers to a subdivision of AI that creates new information alluding to previously made content. Some of the more popular generative AI tools are ChatGPT–which can create text-based content such as essays or poems–and Stable Diffusion, which works similarly but just for images.

The re-skilling needs are varied and, according to IBM researchers, highlight the volatility of the talent landscape.

The research highlights this by pointing out that executives now see the STEM field as less important, suggesting that these are not the most critical skills an employee needs.

Instead, executives are increasingly more focused on developing people skills such as communication and time management.

How to Prevent an AI Catastrophe Society Must Get Ready for Very Powerful Artificial Intelligence

Markus Anderljung and Paul Scharre

In April 2023, a group of academics at Carnegie Mellon University set out to test the chemistry powers of artificial intelligence. To do so, they connected an AI system to a hypothetical laboratory. Then they asked it to produce various substances. With just two words of guidance—“synthesize ibuprofen”—the chemists got the system to identify the steps necessary for laboratory machines to manufacture the painkiller. The AI, as it turned out, knew both the recipe for ibuprofen and how to produce it.

Unfortunately, the researchers quickly discovered that their AI tool would synthesize chemicals far more dangerous than Advil. 

Mastering The Challenges Of AI: Privacy, Security And Compliance Strategies

Funmipe “VF” Olofinlade

As a cybersecurity expert and AI advocate, I've witnessed AI's transformative potential and understand the challenges of safeguarding privacy and cybersecurity. This guide offers insights into ethical guidelines, legal considerations and incident response plans for CISOs to navigate AI in a way that responsibly integrates privacy principles into development best practices.

Prioritize cybersecurity risk mitigation strategies for AI systems.

Today's technology is confronted with AI privacy and security risks that arise from extensive data collection and vulnerabilities within AI systems. To ensure responsible deployment, it is imperative to conduct rigorous risk assessments and reinforce security mechanisms, thereby establishing robust privacy and security in AI systems.

Here are some strategies for AI model implementation:

• Implement AI model monitoring and security evaluations. By doing this, organizations can stay vigilant against potential threats, identify vulnerabilities and take corrective actions before significant damage occurs.

• Incorporate adversarial training during model construction. This approach helps the model recognize and defend against potential manipulations.

• Address the unique hazards of generative AI and chatbots. It's crucial to implement access controls, user monitoring mechanisms and language filters. These measures can effectively reduce malicious activities and safeguard users from potential risks.

DoD CDAO’s “Task Force Lima” to Explore Responsible Fielding of Generative AI Capabilities


Last week, “the Department of Defense (DoD) announced the establishment of a generative artificial intelligence (AI) task force, an initiative that reflects the DoD’s commitment to harnessing the power of artificial intelligence in a responsible and strategic manner.

Deputy Secretary of Defense Dr. Kathleen Hicks directed the organization of Task Force Lima; it will play a pivotal role in analyzing and integrating generative AI tools, such as large language models (LLMs), across the DoD.

Led by the Chief Digital and Artificial Intelligence Office (CDAO), Task Force Lima will assess, synchronize, and employ generative AI capabilities across the DoD, ensuring the Department remains at the forefront of cutting-edge technologies while safeguarding national security.’

The CDAO became operational in June 2022 and is dedicated to integrating and optimizing artificial intelligence capabilities across the DoD. The office is responsible for accelerating the DoD’s adoption of data, analytics, and AI, enabling the Department’s digital infrastructure and policy adoption to deliver scalable AI-driven solutions for enterprise and joint use cases, safeguarding the nation against current and emerging threats. (1)

“The CDAO, through its Algorithmic Warfare Directorate, will chair Task Force Lima in close collaboration with other Principal Staff Assistants that maintain key roles and responsibilities in AI adoption across the Department. This includes the Offices of the Under Secretary of Defense for Policy (OUSD(P)), the Under Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering (OUSD(R&E)), the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition and Sustainment (OUSD(A&S)), the Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence and Security (OUSD(I&S)), and the DoD Chief Information Officer (DoD CIO). Key roles and responsibilities include but are not limited to: 

Troops need improved cyber education, US Army leaders say

Colin Demarest

AUGUSTA, Ga. — Commanders and their troops need to be better educated about the application and limits of cyber in major military operations, U.S. Army officials said.

Attention paid to cyber as a formal discipline and general interest area has ballooned in recent years, in part because of its everyday consequences. Ransomware attacks have paralyzed critical infrastructure like hospitals and the Colonial Pipeline, misinformation has interfered with the stateside political process and the bloody Russia-Ukraine war has highlighted the threat of virtual destruction.

“Warfare is still — and we need only to take a look at Ukraine — a very violent endeavor. Cyber alone will not win a war,” Lt. Gen. Maria Barrett, the leader of Army Cyber Command, said Aug. 17 at the AFCEA TechNet Augusta conference in Georgia. However, “failure to defend the networks that our warfighters use absolutely will cause us to lose.”

Both Barrett and Maj. Gen. Paul Stanton, the commander of the Army cyber center of excellence, said early and continued learning is critical to cyber familiarity and proper employment down the line. Cyber specialists in the U.S. military guard valuable information, hunt and eradicate malware, expose hacker tools, disrupt foreign networks and more.

Barrett advocated for lessons on what’s “in the realm of possible” and for national training centers to increasingly incorporate topics such as offensive cyber, so-called information advantage and electronic warfare. She is set to speak to an Army commander course this week.

“The cyber terrain is changing beneath our feet,” she said. “There’s actually a lot of work being done right now, at all echelons, to get people comfortable with some of these topics and start training to them.”

Separately, a data and digital literacy curriculum is in development and will become part of the professional military education of every soldier, according to Stanton. The cyber center at Fort Gordon is tasked with training and developing highly skilled cyber, signal and electronic warfare troops.

Asked and answered: China’s strategy of political warfare

Lauren Adler

SGJ: There is almost every day a front-page story about Chinese activity in and around the U.S. homeland. But most of these stories are very compartmentalised and focus on only a piece of the broader issue. Some of these stories are about cyber, some of them are about espionage, and some are about Chinese police stations in cities like New York. We felt it was important to pull all of those different threads together into one study, and to examine the breadth of Chinese action.

It is important to do this now because in our interviews with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), they said from a counterintelligence perspective, this is the most aggressive period they have ever seen of Chinese activity. One official said to us, “The system is blinking red right now.”

LA: What is political warfare, and how is China using it?

SGJ: The term “political warfare” comes from the former U.S. State Department diplomat and Cold War historian George Kennan, and it refers to activities below the threshold of armed conflict. Political warfare includes cyber operations. It includes information and disinformation campaigns. It includes united front work, which involves efforts to expand influence in academic institutions and other locations. It also includes economic coercion, intelligence operations, and other activities. And these activities are largely designed to expand Chinese power, weaken the United States as part of balance of power competition, and, perhaps most importantly, preserve the rule of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).

LA: In the report, you note that the U.S. homeland is the primary target of China’s political warfare. What tactics is China likely to use against the U.S. homeland specifically?

SGJ: The interesting thing about Chinese tactics is they are so widespread. We identified nearly a dozen separate Chinese agencies, in addition to non-state actors—hacktivist organizations, for example—involved in conducting cyberattacks, human intelligence collection, influence, and disinformation and misinformation on social media platforms. There is influence on universities and within companies; we have seen, for example, extensive efforts to control the messages coming out of companies like the National Basketball Association, or what movie studios are producing in Hollywood.

Wagner Mercenaries: A Potential Lifeline for the Niger Junta

Dr. Scott N. Romaniuk & Dr. János Besenyő

There has been a dramatic increase in the sighting of Russian flags throughout Niger, especially in the country’s capital, Niamey. This phenomenon is observed among large-scale demonstrations, where fervent expressions of support for Russia, such as chants of “long live Russia” and “down with France, long live Putin” have been enthusiastically spoken.

The prevailing instability and upheaval can be predominantly attributed to the recent coup orchestrated by General Abdourahmane Tchiani, who assumed the position of head of state on July 28th. Ten days after the arrest of democratically elected president Mohamed Bazoum, the country witnessed a coup that shocked and surprised many people in Niger and beyond West Africa.

Over the past five decades, Niger has seen at least five successful coups, but there have also been numerous unsuccessful coup attempts. In the wake of an attempted coup in 2021, which took place just 48 hours before the planned inauguration of president-elect Bazoum, the nation’s longstanding period of democratic rule was nearly brought to an abrupt end, causing concerns about the potential for additional instability.

Increasing instances of terrorist and extremist acts

The geopolitical location of Nigeria assumes a pivotal role and gives rise to two noteworthy developments in the overarching narrative of the growing crisis. Firstly, the crisis has the potential to escalate into either a conflict across West Africa, or what some observers have referred to as ‘Africa’s world war.’ Secondly, Niger, situated in the Sahel region, occupies a pivotal position not only in terms of terrorism and violent extremism within western Africa but also within a continent that has emerged as a global focal point for terrorist activities and Islamic extremist violence.

Preparing for the Joint Battlespace: How the DoD Can Increase Transparency, Improve Decision-Making During JADC2 Planning

Amid an increasingly unpredictable battlespace, the Department of Defense is growing more dependent on cross-domain initiatives like Joint All-Domain Command and Control. But to synchronize and execute military capabilities across all domains, the DoD must ensure they are making the best use of taxpayer dollars by investing in technology and resources that align with this new approach to warfare.

“As we look at the global competition today with China, Russia and other actors, the pace and scale of the challenges is bigger now than it ever has been in our nation,” says Aaron Prupas, industry expert and retired Air Force major general. “The complexity is outpacing humans, so new tech should work at the speed of relevance for our decision-makers and planners.”

However, for an organization as large and multi-faceted as the DoD, existing silos and limited transparency is only exacerbated in the face of JADC2 — an effort that requires participation and collaboration from every employee, in every branch, at every level. With thousands of people supporting one cause, it’s all too easy for information to get lost in the fold, as a result individuals may not fully understand the impact of their decisions or how their role fits into the larger joint mission.

Confusion and uncertainty can lead to misaligned priorities and improper allocation of resources during the critical Planning, Programming, Budgeting and Execution process in which the military requests funding from Congress for various activities, including the technology and projects necessary to unify their missions.