14 September 2023

How India’s climate leadership is building a better future for al

  • India’s climate action is fundamental to the global fight against climate change.
  • Now, as it champions cooperative efforts, as president of the G20, the world’s most populous country has the chance to bring the international community closer together in accelerating climate action.
  • Strong public-private collaboration will be critical to supporting these efforts.
India is poised to be a global leader when it comes to economy, technology and trade. Now, it has an opportunity to seize the moment and help the world address climate change before time runs out.

How the Weaponization of the U.S. Financial System Contributed to Afghanistan’s Collapse

Timor Sharan

The collapse of the Afghan government to the Taliban and subsequent U.S. military withdrawal from Afghanistan in August 2021 marked the failure of two decades of fighting to root out terrorism and stabilize the country. In the aftermath of that disaster, the United States was quick to blame corrupt Afghan politicians for the Taliban’s return to power.

This narrative, however, misleadingly shifts the attention away from the root causes of the collapse and the failure of the United States to defeat the Taliban. The U.S. military’s strategy of using its financial might as a “weapons system” in the global “war on terror” contributed significantly to its own military failure and to the Afghan Republic’s downfall. By infusing billions of dollars into purchasing security and securing allegiances of local elites, media, civil society, and communities, the United States inadvertently created an ecosystem ripe for rampant corruption on an unprecedented scale.

Guiding Conflicting Factions Toward Addressing the Lachin Crisis

Fuad Chiragov

As tensions between Armenia and Azerbaijan flare up once again over the fate of Karabakh, temperate and reasoned discussion is required more than never.

At a juncture where sustainable peace seemed achievable, Armenian prime minister Nikol Pashinyan’s recognition of Karabakh as part of Azerbaijan—arriving finally two years after the end of the Second Karabakh War, with the mediation of Brussels and Washington—appeared to be a positive development. Regrettably, this promising trajectory now faces the risk of unraveling, jeopardizing all progress made after the recent escalation around Lachin Road and claims about humanitarian conditions.

Maldives: Presidential Election Heads For Run-Off

P. K. Balachandran

Neither incumbent President Ibrahim Solih nor challenger Mohamad Muizzu got 50% plus in the September 9 poll

In the Maldivian Presidential election held on September 9, neither incumbent President Ibrahim Solih nor his principal challenger, Dr.Mohamad Muizzu, got 50% plus votes to be elected President. Therefore, there will be a run-off, which is earmarked for September 30.

In the run-off, there will be only two candidates, namely, Solih and Muizzu, and in that election too, one of the two will have to get 50% plus votes to be declared elected President.

The Russians Are Getting Better

Margarita Konaev and Owen J. Daniels

Ukraine’s summer counteroffensive has moved more slowly than many of the country’s allies and supporters had hoped. The Ukrainian military has proved remarkably adept at rapidly incorporating new capabilities and technologies into its operations, fighting bravely and for the most part effectively against an enemy with superior numbers, little regard for its own losses, and no regard for the laws of war. Even so, progress has been gradual, and every piece of liberated territory has come at an immense cost. 


Riley Bailey

Ukrainian forces made confirmed advances in the Donetsk-Zaporizhia Oblast border area and in western Zaporizhia Oblast and made claimed advances south of Bakhmut on September 9. Geolocated footage published on September 9 shows that Ukrainian forces advanced northwest of Novomayorske (18km southeast of Velyka Novosilka) along the Donetsk-Zaporizhia Oblast border, where Russian sources claim fighting has intensified in recent days.[1] Additional geolocated footage published on September 9 shows that Ukrainian forces also advanced northeast and east of Novoprokopivka (13km south of Orikhiv) and west of Verbove (20km southeast of Orikhiv) in western Zaporizhia Oblast.[2] The Ukrainian General Staff reported that Ukrainian forces achieved unspecified successes south of Robotyne (10km south of Orikhiv).[3] A Kremlin-affiliated Russian milblogger claimed that Ukrainian forces forced Russian forces to withdraw from Andriivka (9km southwest of Bakhmut), and another prominent milblogger claimed that Andriivka is now a contested “gray zone.”[4] Ukrainian officials reported that Ukrainian forces also achieved unspecified success south of Klishchiivka.[5]

Ukrainian Main Military Intelligence Directorate (GUR) Spokesperson Vadym Skibitskyi reemphasized Ukraine’s right to target critical Russian strategic and military objects in rear areas. Skibitskyi stated on September 8 that Ukraine identifies and strikes the most critical Russian objects in Russian rear areas using drones, missiles, and agents on Russian territory.


Riley Bailey

Russian forces have reportedly made notable changes to their command and control (C2) in Ukraine to protect command infrastructure and improve information sharing, although Russian force deployments are likely still exacerbating issues with horizontal integration. Center for Security and Emerging Technology (CSET) Deputy Director of Analysis Magarita Konaev and CSET Fellow Owen Daniels stated on September 6 that Russian forces moved headquarters out of range of most Ukrainian strike systems and have placed forward command posts further underground and behind heavily defended positions.[1] It is unclear if Russian forces have employed this more protected command infrastructure throughout Ukraine and to what degree these defensive efforts have impeded Ukraine’s ongoing interdiction campaign.[2] Konaev and Daniels stated that Russian forces have improved communications between command posts and units at the front by laying field cables and using safer radio communications.[3] The Royal United Services Insitute (RUSI) stated on September 4 that Russian forces are also trying to improve signals through the wider use of application-based C2 services that require less training.[4] Konaev and Daniels noted that signals at the battalion level downward are still often unencrypted and that Russian personnel still frequently communicate sensitive information through unsecure channels.[5]

Konaev and Daniels concluded that Russian forces still face challenges creating a horizontally integrated command structure to share information across different units in real time, a challenge the Russian military previously identified which has been exacerbated by Russia’s current force structure in Ukraine.[6] The Russian force grouping in Ukraine is comprised of both regular and irregular units, often deployed together and separate from their respective parent formations, further complicating efforts to horizontally integrate units. Russian forces in

Recreating Western Deterrence

Michael Hochberg

The art of deterrence seems to have been lost here in the liberal-democratic West.

Certainly, the West failed egregiously in deterring Russian aggression against Ukraine – first in 2013 in Crimea, and then on February 24, 2022, after Valdimir Putin amassed troops on Ukraine’s borders. Economic blandishments and sanctions, it has become clear, are weak reeds when it comes to deterring autocratic governments from kinetic actions. In fact, economic sanctions can delay timely and coordinated Western actions aimed at deterrence, since international businesses and individuals benefiting from engagement will tend to lobby against anything that will disrupt their activities.

Deterrence is, in no small part, about fear. In an authoritarian regime, deterrence occurs in the mind of the autocrat. And the leaders of authoritarian states fear different things than the leaders of Western liberal states. Western leaders of commercial republics fear things like a declining economy, supply chain disruptions or inflated prices on ever scarcer goods–especially with the approach of elections. But such economic deterrents to action do not hold sway to the same extent over the imagination of authoritarian adversaries. Only in commercial republics, where leaders are answerable to citizenry, is the logic of economic hardship likely to lead to a loss of authority and status.

The Wagner Group’s Potential Replacement

Nicholas Chkhaidze

The death of Yevgeny Prigozhin and his right-hand man, Dmitry Utkin, can signify huge changes in the realm of private military companies (PMCs) in Russia. Particularly, there is a PMC that has been emerging and, now that the chain of command in Wagner has collapsed, at least temporarily, PMC Redut could and is willing to replace Wagner as a key instrument of the Kremlin’s hybrid and conventional warfare.

On top of that, the mercenary group is under the control of Russian Military Intelligence, which speaks volumes about Redut being completely loyal to the state institutions of Russia since they are also reliant on them for ammunition. Yet despite this, the group still has a significant degree of autonomy.

Part of China's economic miracle was a mirage. Reality check is next

Joe Cash

Chinese President Xi Jinping's first major reform plans a decade ago were also his boldest, envisaging a transition to a Western-style free market economy driven by services and consumption by 2020.

The 60-point agenda was meant to fix an obsolete growth model better suited to less developed countries - however, most of those reforms have gone nowhere leaving the economy largely reliant on older policies that have only added to China's massive debt pile and industrial overcapacity.

The Case for Urgency Against China

Alexander Velez-Green

Policymakers often assume the United States can deter China from invading Taiwan or win if deterrence fails. But that is no longer a safe assumption. Indeed, it is very possible that the United States will be unable to deter China for the remainder of this decade. Worse still, there is a real chance the People’s Liberation Army will be able to defeat U.S. forces in a fight over Taiwan.

We are in this situation because Washington has consistently failed to prioritize investing in our ability to deter China. But now we have no other choice: If we wish to avoid war with China, or prevail if it comes, then we must urgently focus on strengthening deterrence in the Indo-Pacific by surging investments in the region, even if it means doing less elsewhere. This may not be the choice Washington wants to make, but we have spent decades deferring these investments—and now the bill is due.

China Blindsided by Historic Challenge To Belt and Road Project at G20


A landmark move to counter China's growing influence and boost global infrastructure development has been announced at the G20 summit.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and U.S. President Joe Biden co-chaired a special event on the Partnership for Global Infrastructure and Investment (PGII) and the India-Middle East-Europe Economic Corridor (IMEC) on September 9, 2023, during the summit in New Delhi, India. The event was attended by leaders from the EU, France, Germany, Italy, Mauritius, the UAE, Saudi Arabia, and the World Bank.

The PGII is an initiative designed to bridge the infrastructure gap in developing countries and accelerate progress towards global sustainable development goals. The IMEC, on the other hand, consists of an eastern corridor connecting India to the Arabian Gulf region and a northern corridor connecting the Gulf to Europe, including a railway and ship-rail transit network and road transport routes.

The US and Chinese air forces are rethinking whether it's possible to control the air

Michael Peck
  • Advanced sensors and long-range weapons are making air superiority harder to achieve.
  • The US and Chinese air forces are both thinking about how they'd try to control the air in a war.
The classic definition of air superiority comes down a simple proposition: Your air force can conduct its assigned missions while keeping an enemy air force from doing the same.

Iran’s New Patrons

Reuel Marc Gerecht and Ray Takeyh

On assuming power in 1979, Iran’s revolutionaries prided themselves on rejecting the global order. Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, the country’s first supreme leader, declared that his state would be “neither East nor West.” Khomeini viewed the United States as “the Great Satan”—the preeminent, spiritually corrupting imperial power that supported Westernizing despots in the Muslim world. But in his eyes, godless communism and the Soviet Union were just as baleful. “My dear friends, you should know that the danger from communist powers is not less than America,” he said in 1980.

All the Ways America Failed to Stop the 9/11 Terrorist Attacks


These are some of the most studied days in American history, and some of the saddest. From President George W. Bush receiving his first warning on August 6 until that Tuesday of September 11, 19 Middle Eastern men methodically moved forward towards implementing their diabolical plot: unmolested by any authorities, undetected by either intelligence agencies or airlines.

U.S. intelligence knew that something was coming—something big—but it was anything but methodical. Despite countless signs that some terrorist planning and preparations involved large commercial airliners, the CIA was never able to put the pieces together. But more important, neither the CIA nor the FBI (nor other agencies) effectively used the tools that were at their disposal. There was no nationwide manhunt, no definitive warning to airlines or airport security. The federal government moved forward—oblivious, lackadaisical, even incompetent—with leaders mostly on vacation and workers never able to assemble the mosaic.

Bracing for Trump 2.0

Daniel W. Drezner

For most countries, the Biden administration’s foreign policy represents a return to normality after the chaos of the Trump years. Long-standing allies and partners have seen their relationships strengthened. Autocrats no longer deal with a U.S. president who wants to emulate them. Great-power rivals face a United States that is dedicated to outcompeting them. For many observers, it is hard not to conclude that under President Joe Biden, the United States has returned to the postwar tradition of liberal internationalism. In this view, the Trump administration was an ephemeral blip rather than an inflection point. 

Are Western allies shifting the content of Ukraine war support?

Richard Thomas

More than 560 days since the large-scale invasion of Ukraine by Russia, with both sides having sustained hundreds of thousands of human and materiel casualties and slow progress being made in Kyiv’s long-awaited counteroffensive in the southeast, a definitive end to hostilities in the Ukraine-Russia war remains elusive.

From the early provision of anti-tank munitions, such as the UK’s NLAW, to the subsequent arming of the Ukrainian military under a combined armed doctrine to include artillery, guided rockets, armoured personnel carrier, infantry fighting vehicles, and main battle tanks, to Kyiv, the conflict has seen ever-greater commitments from Nato in its support of Ukraine’s fight against Russia.

Bihar School Girls Trash Officer's Car In Protest Over Lack Of Facilities

Manish Kumar

They claim they resorted to vandalism only after being beaten up by a woman police officer.

In an aggressive demonstration in Mahnar block of Vaishali district in Bihar, girl students of a government school vandalised the vehicle of an Education Department officer while protesting against the lack of facilities in their school.

Angry students damaged the car of the Block Education Officer. They claim they resorted to vandalism only after being beaten up by a woman police officer. After hearing the allegations against her, the woman police officer said her health was worsening.

They blocked the main road of Mahnar Mohiuddinagar near Madan Chowk and Patel Chowk. Security has been tightened in the area after the incident.

Re-Envisioning the Cyber Domain for Deterrence

Brendan Tower

Dispelling myths of an unfathomable cyber domain would allow the United States to build cyber deterrence and incrementally reshape cyberspace for stability. Stability in cyberspace occurs when cyber-criminals get apprehended and aggressor states get held accountable—both exceptions rather than the rule at present. The United States and like-minded partners should forge cyber deterrence by building resilience to attack, enhancing the capability to respond, and demonstrating a willingness to act. China’s manpower advantage extends to cyberspace and requires a technical and organizational offset if the United States expects to compete in cyberspace. Implementing tokenized internet access, avoiding splinter-net formation, creating a cyber reserve force, and delegating cyber-attack responses are concrete, tangible avenues the United States could take in securing this future. The establishment of a cyber reserve force, in particular, would provide critical cyber deterrence by distributing defensive and responsive cyber capabilities across the attack surface.

Shooting the Rain

Experts at a prominent government cybersecurity agency likened their defense attempts against cyber-attacks to shooting rain falling out of the sky—ineffective and overwhelming. President Biden lays out the challenge facing the United States in the cyber realm through the 2022 National Security Strategy (NSS): “Our societies, and the critical infrastructure that supports them, from power to pipelines, is increasingly digital and vulnerable to disruption or destruction via cyber attacks.”[1]

Why we need to be realistic about generative AI’s economic impact

Philipp Carlsson-Szlezak

Technology’s impact on productivity growth has been consistently overstated— are analysts repeating that mistake with generative AI?
Large productivity shifts are driven by cost reduction —generative AI can do this, but the likely macroeconomic impact should not be overstated.
Many firms will be losers as cost leaders reap the benefits, but the true winners will be consumers as technology drives down prices.

Will AI Benefit or Harm Workers?

Rose Khattar

Recent breakthroughs in artificial intelligence (AI)—particularly generative AI products such as ChatGPT, which had 100 million monthly active users in just two months—have resurfaced headlines of robots taking jobs. While the scale of disruption caused by the adoption of AI in the workplace remains unknown, the developers and users of AI should consider the impact this has on workers. Moreover, policymakers also have the capacity to shape the ways in which AI will affect workers—either through their action or inaction. Responding to the challenges and opportunities posed by AI, Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) recently launched a SAFE Innovation Framework that named security, including worker security, a key component of his policy objectives. Alongside this, the Biden administration is also in the process of developing its National AI Strategy—which, as the Center for American Progress has previously called for, must contain a plan to address economic and job impacts from the use of AI.

This article recommends that Congress and the Biden administration center the needs of workers as they respond to the development and adoption of AI tools and systems. Specifically, they should be designing policy solutions that seek to maximize the benefit to workers from technological change, including steering the generation of AI to augment rather than automate workers; preparing workers to adjust to AI adoption; and meeting the needs of displaced workers, including by strengthening the unemployment insurance (UI) system and adopting a jobs guarantee.

China, North Korea pursue new targets while honing cyber capabilities

Clint Watts

In the past year, China has honed a new capability to automatically generate images it can use for influence operations meant to mimic U.S. voters across the political spectrum and create controversy along racial, economic, and ideological lines. This new capability is powered by artificial intelligence that attempts to create high-quality content that could go viral across social networks in the U.S. and other democracies. These images are most likely created by something called diffusion-powered image generators that use AI to not only create compelling images but also learn to improve them over time.

Today, the Microsoft Threat Analysis Center (MTAC) is issuing Sophistication, scope, and scale: Digital threats from East Asia increase in breadth and effectiveness, as part of an ongoing series of reports on the threat posed by influence operations and cyber activity, identifying specific sectors and regions at heightened risk.

These Technologies Could Defeat China's Missile Barrage and Defend Taiwan

Jim Mitre and Ylber Bajraktari
Source Link

Earlier this year, a group of experts from RAND and the Special Competitive Studies Project launched a new wargame effort around China's invasion of Taiwan—but unlike most D.C.-based wargames, this effort heavily involved members of the commercial technology sector, in order to understand what near-term capabilities might be brought to bear on a Taiwan scenario. In the exclusive analysis below, Jim Mitre of RAND and Ylber Bajraktari of SCSP lay out their key findings.

On July 6, as Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen visited China to build a “floor” under U.S.-China relations, 600 miles to the south Chinese leader Xi Jinping was focused on another pressing matter. Visiting the People's Liberation Army Eastern Theater Command, the unit responsible for the Taiwan Strait, Xi called on China's military to enhance war planning, and to raise the forces' capabilities to fight and win. The world, according to Xi, has entered a new period of turbulence, and China's security situation is facing rising uncertainty.

Musk refused Ukraine’s request to enable Starlink for drone attack


According to author Walter Isaacson, the report that Elon Musk disabled Starlink to thwart a Ukrainian submarine drone attack is incorrect. Musk did refuse to enable Starlink in the area near Crimea, however.

"To clarify on the Starlink issue: the Ukrainians THOUGHT coverage was enabled all the way to Crimea, but it was not," Isaacson wrote. "They asked Musk to enable it for their drone sub attack on the Russian fleet. Musk did not enable it, because he thought, probably correctly, that would cause a major war."

Planning for the Next War Must Be a Mixture of Art & Science

Patrick Piercey

Simple plans are the hardest to develop because they require critical thinking, creativity, and imagination to distill complex problems to their essence and develop approaches to solve them. Today, the national security environment is more complex and chaotic than in the late Cold War. The environment is characterized by great power competition and the increasing risk of great power conflict. The United States faces threats in more domains, including cyber and space, and the threats range from a multitude of state to nonstate actors. The nation, along with its allies and partners, is developing new resources and capabilities to counter these threats, but harnessing them effectively offers challenges.

Faced with growing complexity and chaos, can the U.S. military still develop and execute plans that are resilient and agile? With limited staff, time, logistics, and weapons, crafting perfect plans wastes resources, and the enemy gets a vote. “Understand the Adversary: Respect Their Intentions and Capabilities” is the first section in Naval History and Heritage Command’s paper on planning the Pacific war.1 Plans will be probed and tested by the enemy and, therefore, must be resilient and agile.

The Future of Warfare Lies Underground: How Armies Are Training to Fight in Caves, Tunnels, and Sewers

  • Armies around the world are zeroing in on underground complexes as future battlefields.
  • Subsurface warfare is stripped of luxuries like tanks and air support, but armies are bringing new tools to the fight.
  • Today, the U.S. Army is training to fight in caves, tunnels, sewers, and other underground complexes.
One of the oldest battlefields in the history of warfare is back.

The U.S. Army recently took part in an underground training exercise, called Exercise Warrior Shield, in March earlier this year. Soldiers practiced subterranean warfare tactics at training facilities in South Korea, including breaching entrances to underground buildings.