24 September 2023

India Should Quit the BRICS


WASHINGTON, DC – The world’s most powerful leaders will soon meet in New Delhi, heralding the culmination of India’s G20 presidency. While the G20 has delivered very little since its early successes following the 2008 global financial crisis, there are two reasons why the group’s coming summit still matters for India.

First, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has turned the G20 presidency into a major domestic issue by involving all of India in the preparations. G20 posters featuring Modi are plastered across the country, signaling his intention to present India as a key player on the global stage. The more that Indians are persuaded their country is a vishwaguru (teacher to the world), the greater the ruling party’s chances in upcoming state elections and next year’s national elections.

Second, India now faces a big strategic choice, following the BRICS’ (Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa) decision to add Saudi Arabia, Iran, Ethiopia, Egypt, Argentina, and the United Arab Emirates. Until recently, the BRICS was anomalous in design and ineffective (and thus harmless) in operation.

But BRICS+ is more political in focus, more China-centric in leadership, and more anti-West in motivation. Its composition is shaping its character. The question for India, then, is whether it still makes sense to belong to such a grouping.

Fighting rages along Myanmar’s transport routes

Morgan Michaels

Opposition forces across the country launched multiple attacks on regime convoys and flotillas carrying supplies and reinforcements, as well as against infrastructure like bridges and railways. To secure its lines of communication, the regime deployed more firepower and sent advance units to raid and depopulate nearby communities. This month’s update looks at recent dynamics in the Dry Zone, Bago East, and Kayah, where fighting along vital transport routes continues to escalate.

Regime makes progress over Dry Zone resistance, although some units grow stronger

Widespread armed violence persisted across the Dry Zone, with regime units continuing their efforts to locate and destroy independent Local Defence Forces (LDFs).?

In July, the IISS described an ongoing shift in tactics away from the pervasive use of arson by regime forces. Instead, soldiers are increasingly employing more select forms of violence, drawing on improved intelligence to help them identify and kill resistance fighters and their supporters. Reports of raids, killings, and torture by regime forces continue even as the pace of village arson declines.

The number of successful raids against LDFs coupled with information from multiple sources suggest that the regime may be making progress in reducing the number of localised armed actors operating across the Dry Zone. Most LDFs continue to depend primarily on homemade weapons, restricting their ability to effectively defend against raids,

India In Myanmar: Limits Of Pragmatism

Dr. Bibhu Prasad Routray

Meandering in Myanmar

In a ‘successful secretive operation’ in August 2023, the Assam Rifles (AR) facilitated the return of over 400 Meitei civilians from Myanmar. [1] These people had fled Manipur across the India-Myanmar border to escape the ethnic violence between the Meiteis and the Kukis in the state that started on 3 May and had taken refuge in a monastery in Tamu. The AR Public Relations Officer (PRO) said that civil society groups on both sides of the border were involved in the operation.[2] Although no details regarding the involvement of the Myanmar authorities were provided, it is unimaginable that the relocation of the civilians in multiple batches could have occurred without the cooperation of the former. This incident can be cited as an example of India’s ability to elicit seamless and timely cooperation from Myanmar.

Such positive instances of cooperation, however, coexist with New Delhi’s growing frustration with the delays and lack of progress in its decades-old connectivity and infrastructure projects in Myanmar. On 16 July, during a meeting with his Myanmar counterpart, Than Swe, India’s external affairs minister, Subrahmanyam Jaishankar, flagged concerns about the movement of armed militants from Myanmar into Manipur. He told Tan Swe that Myanmar must avoid actions that can aggravate the situation along the ‘seriously disturbed’ Indo-Myanmar border areas. He urged stronger cooperation between both countries to address human and drug trafficking.[3] On 7 August,

Seller's Remorse: The Challenges Facing Russia's Arms Exports

Max Bergmann, Maria Snegovaya, Tina Dolbaia and Nick Fenton

Russia’s role as a major global arms supplier is under threat. This report analyzes how Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the concomitant Western sanctions have affected its status as one of the top suppliers in the global arms trade. The Russian arms export industry has been declining in its international competitiveness since the early 2010s due to previous packages of Western sanctions aimed at deterring third countries from purchasing Russian weapons, as well as the efforts by China and India to strengthen their domestic arms production. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February 2022 and the subsequent sanctions have aggravated these issues by straining Russia’s defense production capacity, negatively affecting the reputation of Russian arms, and complicating payment options for the Kremlin’s existing customers. Russia is struggling to meet its arms sales commitment to its partners, calling into question its reliability.

While Moscow still retains its competitiveness in areas such as missile and air defense systems, aircraft, armored vehicles, naval systems, and engines, recent trends suggest that Russian arms exports in virtually all of these major weapons categories will decline. Available evidence also signals that Russia’s biggest customers,

Russia’s Krasukha EW System Forcing Ukrainian Fighter Jets To Abandon Missions After ‘Navigation Fails’

Vijainder K Thakur

According to the interlocutor, the Krasukha electronic warfare system can completely suppress the on-board electronics of Ukrainian fighter aircraft. As a result, Ukrainian Armed Forces aircraft return to base using landmarks since their navigation “fails.”

“Krasukha” can influence enemy electronics at a distance of up to 150 km.

On September 13, the RuMoD reported that Central MD’s Krasukha-S4 electronic warfare systems were forcing aerial targets flying at extremely low altitudes to evade radar and visual detection to gain hide and expose themselves to air defense (AD) systems.

Evidence suggests that Russia has stepped up the use of its vaunted Krashuka EW system, and it’s using the system far more aggressively.

As far back as June 2022, the RuMoD had reported that the Krasukha system was being used to prevent radar imaging of the battlefield by Ukrainian MALE drones, but there had been no reports of high-power jamming. Blinding of onboard avionics requires a lot of electrical power.
Understanding the Krasukha System

The Krasukha is a family of EW systems designed to electronically shield ground targets and aerial targets operating close to the ground, such as attack helicopters. The system prevents detection as well as attack by the adversary.

Russian Offensive Campaign Assessment, September 19, 2023

Riley Bailey

The Russian government quickly signaled on September 19 that Russian peacekeeping forces would not intervene in Azerbaijan’s military operation into Nagorno-Karabakh, despite Russia’s previous security ties to Armenia. The Azerbaijani Ministry of Defense (MoD) announced that Azerbaijani forces began a military operation into Nagorno-Karabakh on September 19.[1] Kremlin Spokesperson Dmitry Peskov claimed that the Russian military is in contact with Armenian and Azerbaijani officials “at the highest level.”[2] Russian Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Maria Zakharova issued a general statement calling on “all sides” to stop the bloodshed, claimed that the Russian peacekeeping contingent in Nagorno-Karabakh continues to fulfil its assigned tasks, and cited the trilateral Russian-Armenian-Azerbaijani agreements signed in 2020 and 2022 as a path toward peace.[3] Russian State Duma Defense Committee Chairman Andrei Kartapolov stated that the Russian peacekeeping contingent does not have the right to use weapons unless directly threatened.[4] A Kremlin-affiliated milblogger claimed that the Russian peacekeeping contingent lacks any protocols on the use of force or rules of engagement in Nagorno-Karabakh, and instead operates on the basis of the November 2020 Nagorno-Karabakh peace agreement.[5] Russian Security Council Deputy Chairperson Dmitry Medvedev and RT Editor-in-chief and Russian propagandist Margarita Simonyan (both notably nationalistic and extreme voices in the Russian government) claimed that Armenia is experiencing the repercussions of its recent efforts to align with the West and distance itself from Russia.

Russia-Ukraine conflict forces DOD to revise assumptions about cyber’s impact in war


Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February 2022 — and the subsequent year-and-half of combat — has made the Pentagon rethink the role cyber will play in war, namely, that there won’t be immediate payoff of effects.

While many government officials and cybersecurity experts have all acknowledged Russian missteps and flawed assumptions going into the war — to include how their application of cyber in the conflict underperformed — the Department of Defense has observed that cyber operations will not have the role previously thought.

“Cyber has an important role to play in conflict, it’s just not the role that I think we expected it to play at the outset of Russia-Ukraine. But we do expect cyber to play a significant role in a conflict, but it would not be a cyber by itself,” Mieke Eoyang, deputy assistant secretary of defense for cyber policy, told reporters Friday during a Defense Writers Group meeting. “One of the things that we have learned here is that the kinetic conflict is different than what we expected cyber to do on its own.”

The DOD’s 2023 cyber strategy, unveiled last week, notes that cyber capabilities by themselves are unlikely to deter adversaries. Rather, they are best used alongside other instruments of national power.

A Saudi-Israeli Deal Is Likely to Take Years, Not Weeks

Jon B. Alterman

American officials love diplomatic processes in the Middle East. From Camp David to Madrid, Oslo to Geneva, Shepherdstown and beyond, senior U.S. officials have tried for decades to pressure, seduce, and cajole Middle Eastern leaders. Sometimes those processes result in treaties, but more often, they don’t. Even so, the mere existence of a years-long process gives focus to U.S. policy and helps sustain senior officials’ attention.

The Biden administration’s efforts to broker a Saudi-Israeli agreement is only the most recent in a long line of U.S. diplomatic efforts in the Middle East. While hopes are running increasingly high, a substantial agreement is likely to take years. “Peace processing” is a good business in the Middle East, but expectations here are running far ahead of reality.

The New Crisis in Darfur

Alex de Waal

In 2003, mass atrocities in Sudan’s Darfur region shocked the world. A coalition of human rights organizations mobilized in response, accusing Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir and his Janjaweed militia of genocide. Although the United Nations did eventually dispatch troops to protect Sudanese civilians, the response was too slow.

Today, Sudan is again ravaged by war, and atrocities are happening on a comparable scale in Darfur. The Janjaweed’s successors are the Rapid Support Forces, and they are killing, raping and looting the same Darfuri communities. 

Chasing Water Security


Climate change is quickly reminding us that modern economies cannot function without water security, in all its varying forms. But, contrary to conventional wisdom, the best way to secure this crucial public good is to relearn past lessons, rather than to pursue radical new ideas.

LONDON – For decades, activists, scientists, and conservationists have warned that freshwater is at risk. Yet improving access to this essential natural resource remains exceedingly difficult. The 2023 United Nations Water Conference in March called for the international community to “act now with the speed and priority commensurate with the urgency of this crisis,” but it remains to be seen whether governments will follow through.

There is good reason to be concerned. More than half a million children under five die every year from preventable waterborne diarrhea, and they belong to a much larger population of over 800 million people who lack access to safe drinking water. Sufficient supplies of potable water and adequate sanitation are privileges benefiting only those living in rich countries, where it is a minor miracle that such services are universally available.

In Bid to Ditch Russian Gas, Europe is Cozying Up to Another Warlike Nation Attacking Disputed Territory

Jake Smith

In a bid to shift away from dependence on Russian oil and gas, the European Union (EU) has started importing gas from other international suppliers, including Azerbaijan, a country now attacking a region home to religious and ethnic minorities, according to The Wall Street Journal.

The EU cut Russian gas imports in half from 2021 to 2022 and replaced the loss with gas from other countries, including the U.K., Algeria, the U.S., Qatar and Azerbaijan, according to the WSJ. Azerbaijan has installed a resource blockade against Nagorno-Karabakh, a small region of Asia made up of mostly ethnic Armenians, and launched a full-scale military operation against the area on Tuesday, reportedly shelling villages and killing multiple civilians.

According to the WSJ, Russia supplied 45% of the EU’s gas imports before it started throttling exports in March 2022 at the beginning of the Russia-Ukraine war. The EU scrambled to find new oil partners as the global energy crisis was further strained by COVID-19, which initially cratered natural gas prices and investments during the pandemic, leaving producers unprepared for distribution when lockdowns finally lifted.

“We started immediately to connect with our neighbors, particularly the ones with the quickest possibility to react, like Algeria,” Guido Brusco, CEO of Italian energy company Eni, said to the WSJ.

The Dollar’s Full-Spectrum Dominance


TORONTO – Many experts believe that the US dollar’s global hegemony, which has endured for nearly 80 years, is finally ending. This outcome is not impossible: economic crises, increased domestic polarization, and strong geopolitical headwinds could indeed culminate in the currency’s meltdown. But it is not likely.

Debates about the future of the international monetary system often fail to appreciate the greenback’s full-spectrum dominance, which requires understanding its role in public and private markets and the various incentives to hold dollars. So long as self-reinforcing synergies and forms of opportunism continue to prevail, narrowing the yawning chasm between the dollar and other currencies will remain difficult.

US-India Relationship Critical To Free, Open Indo-Pacific

Joseph Clark

A shared vision for a free and open Indo-Pacific bolsters the U.S.-India relationship as the two countries continue to strengthen defense ties, a senior Pentagon official said Tuesday.

Siddharth Iyer, the Office of the Secretary of Defense director for South Asia policy, said the defense partnership has experienced an “incredible and unprecedented amount of momentum” as evidenced by Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III twice traveling to India during his tenure and the “warmth and familiarity” between the two countries.

Iyer added that the U.S. and India have reached a “transformative stage in the relationship” as the Biden administration builds upon its progress in the region.

“This relationship is one of the top priorities for the department,” Iyer said. “Our belief is that getting the U.S. and India relationship right is not just necessary, it’s essential to achieving our strategy in the Indo-Pacific.”

“There’s a broad and deep commitment to making that happen,” he said.

During Austin’s most recent visit to India in June, Rajnath Singh, defense minister of India, finalised details on a roadmap to fast-track defense technology cooperation and co-production.

US Delivers Industrial-Size 3D Printers To Ukraine; Can Print Crucial Military Parts That Are Difficult To Obtain

Ashish Dangwal

William LaPlant, the US Under Secretary of Defense for Procurement and Maintenance, announced this delivery in August. He stated that Ukrainians completed training on operating these printers just last week.

During a speech at the Center for a New American Security, LaPlant stated, “Finally, last month we delivered these industrial 3D printers to them in Ukraine, and last week their training on working with this printer was completed.”

The official also mentioned the presence of a 3D printer as large as a truck. This massive printer allows Ukraine to manufacture all the required parts for various military applications, enhancing its self-sufficiency and operational capacity.

LaPlante pointed out that 3D printers on the Ukrainian side are a game-changer, as they expedite the restoration of frontline-damaged equipment and unlock fresh possibilities.

The official added that the capabilities of 3D printing are remarkable, and it extends beyond just speed. It enables the creation of parts that would be challenging or impossible to produce using traditional methods under normal conditions.

America Can’t Stop China’s Rise

Tony Chan, Ben Harburg and Kishore Mahbubani

There’s little doubt that the American government has decided to slow China’s economic rise, most notably in the fields of technological development. To be sure, the Biden administration denies that these are its goals. Janet Yellen said on April 20, “China’s economic growth need not be incompatible with U.S. economic leadership. The United States remains the most dynamic and prosperous economy in the world. We have no reason to fear healthy economic competition with any country.” And Jake Sullivan said on April 27, “Our export controls will remain narrowly focused on technology that could tilt the military balance. We are simply ensuring that U.S. and allied technology is not used against us.”

War Is Returning to Nagorno-Karabakh Because the World Did Nothing to Stop It

Hovhannes Nikoghosyan and Vahram Ter-Matevosyan

Open conflict has once again broken out in Nagorno-Karabakh. On Tuesday, the Azerbaijani defense ministry announced the beginning of a new military campaign, indiscriminately shelling the capital Stepanakert and other settlements.

For the past few weeks, aerial images and videos have shown that Azerbaijan has been amassing troops along the borders of Nagorno-Karabakh and of Armenia itself. The upside-down letter “A” on Azerbaijani military vehicles — a copycat of the Russian military’s insignia in Ukraine — looks like a threat to cut through Southern Armenia and secure the land corridor into Nakhchivan and to Turkey, which President Ilham Aliyev has been demanding since the end of the 2020 war.

Many international organizations, including the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), and foreign governments have condemned the dire humanitarian catastrophe in this breakaway region in the South Caucasus. Residents have been dying of malnutrition and shortages of medicine.

The ongoing blockade of Nagorno-Karabakh and its 120,000 inhabitants since December 2022, and regular ceasefire violations by Azerbaijan, prompted the former Prosecutor General of the International Criminal Court, Luis Moreno Ocampo, to call this a genocide under the UN’s 1948 Genocide Convention.

What is happening between Armenia and Azerbaijan over Nagorno-Karabakh?

Kevin Liffey

(Reuters) - Azerbaijan launched "anti-terrorist activities" in the Nagorno-Karabakh region on Tuesday, saying it wanted to restore constitutional order and drive out what it said were Armenian troops, a move that could foreshadow a new war.

Armenia and Azerbaijan have already fought two wars over Karabakh in the three decades since the Soviet Union they were both members of collapsed.

Here is a look at the history of the conflict and the latest developments.


Nagorno-Karabakh, known as Artsakh by Armenians, is a mountainous region at the southern end of the Karabakh mountain range, within Azerbaijan. It is internationally recognised as part of Azerbaijan, but its 120,000 inhabitants are predominantly ethnic Armenians. They have their own government which is close to Armenia but not officially recognised by Armenia or any other country.

Armenians, who are Christian, claim a long presence in the area, dating back to several centuries before Christ. Azerbaijan, whose inhabitants are mostly Turkic Muslims, also claims deep historical ties to the region, which over the centuries has come under the sway of Persians, Turks and Russians. Bloody conflict between the two peoples goes back more than a century.

Azerbaijan Unleashes Military Strikes Against Armenian Christians In Nagorno-Karabakh

Peter Pinedo

On Tuesday, Azerbaijan unleashed military strikes against an enclave of about 120,000 Armenian Christians in the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh region, shelling buildings and firing on Armenian military and civilian positions.

The Azeri government on Tuesday called their strikes “anti-terror measures” against “illegal Armenian military formations.” Azerbaijan said the attacks will not stop until the ethnic Armenians’ total surrender.

Armenia and Azerbaijan have been fighting over Nagorno-Karabakh since 1988. Today the region is internationally recognized as part of Azerbaijan, though it is made up almost entirely of Armenian Christians. The ethnic Armenians in Nagorno-Karabakh deny Azeri control of the region and claim self-sovereignty under the auspices of the “Republic of Artsakh.”

The breakaway state’s “Artsakh Defense Forces” have been reporting Azeri small-arms attacks on ethnic Armenian military and civilians for months.

The attacks appeared to escalate on Tuesday with the Azeri military unleashing artillery and mortar strikes on both military and civilian positions.

Canada's assassination charge against India puts Biden in a pickle


Canada has blamed the Indian government over the assassination of a Sikh leader in British Columbia in June, sparking a diplomatic crisis between the two countries and confronting the Biden administration with a difficult choice.

"Over the past number of weeks, Canadian security agencies have been actively pursuing credible allegations of a potential link between agents of the government of India and the killing of a Canadian citizen," said Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in Parliament on Monday.

"Canada has declared its deep concerns to the top intelligence and security officials of the Indian government,” he added. “Last week at the G20 I brought them personally and directly to Prime Minister Modi in no uncertain terms."

India’s Ministry of External Affairs denounced the allegations as “absurd and motivated,” accusing Canada of harboring “Khalistani terrorists and extremists” who “continue to threaten India’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.” New Delhi expelled a Canadian diplomat on Tuesday in a tit for tat response to Canada’s expulsion of an Indian diplomat the day before.

Kim’s Tactical Mastery Outsmarts Beijing And Squeezes Washington

Collins Chong Yew Keat

Kim Jong un’s meeting with Vladimir Putin remains a strategic win for the former, in capitalising on Putin’s vulnerability and sending a message to Beijing and the West. Jong un actually has more options and more leverage over Moscow and Beijing, knowing that Moscow will need his weapons, and that the fulcrum of needs tilts towards the advantage of Pyongyang.

America’s heightened regional defence friendshoring, from the Camp David Summit to deeper presence in the Philippines, has further reinforced Pyongyang’s notion that Washington will never cease its target of upping the pressure on not only Beijing’s backyard, but with a closer eye to deterring Pyongyang. Moscow, sensing this inevitability, also capitalised by reaching out to Pyongyang with its offering of food and energy assurances, in return of greater long term returns.

Kim’s Brilliant Playcard

The key interest is in what gains could Kim extract from Putin, in the former trying to capitalise on the latter’s desperate need. Kim might press for a long term assurance in defence support, apart from the normal requests for satellite technology, food and energy aid. This might include greater high technology military assets including submarines and torpedoes, including advanced weapons and know-how in nuclear offensive weapons including nuclear armed submarines, all of which will be unlikely for Putin to easily commit, as the backfiring implications are simply too risky.

Ukraine War: The Unspoken Role Of Nuclear Weapons

Alessandro Gagaridis

The war in Ukraine has prompted much debate among specialists and the general public alike about the effectiveness of the numerous weapon systems used by both sides on the battlefield. Starting from the performance of Soviet-made tanks to the ongoing debate about the impact of F-16 Fighting Falcon fighter jets being supplied to Ukraine, the discussion on weaponry has become mainstream and military terms have become commonplace in the news and social media.

This discussion is a natural by-product of the ongoing war and part of the political debate surrounding it. However, it fails to mention one aspect that, albeit in an indirect and non-obvious manner, is of fundamental importance: the role of nuclear weapons in the war, which arguably overshadows that of all other hardware used on the frontline.

This might seem contradictory, considering that atomic weapons have not been used in the war and likely never will. Yet, it is just the counterintuitive consequence of the nuclear deterrence logic.

The United States and Russia, both involved in the war (even though the former is not a direct fighting party), dispose of the world’s largest nuclear arsenals roughly mirror each other. These are meant to ensure nuclear dissuasion, which is based on the concept of mutually assured destruction, or MAD for short: each side knows that, in the event of full-out war, the other is capable of annihilating its industrial-military and civilian-economic complex.

Elon Musk hasn’t betrayed Ukraine


It was September 2022, and Kyiv was determined to attack the Russian naval fleet at the Crimean port of Sevastopol. Their plan was straightforward: guided by SpaceX’s Starlink satellite system, six drone submarines would sneak through Russia’s defences and detonate their explosives. Starlink, owned by Elon Musk, had been providing communications services to Ukraine since the start of the war; there was every reason to believe the mission would be a success.

Except it wasn’t. In a new biography, Walter Isaacson writes that Musk, concerned the attack would make Starlink complicit in a major act of war and potentially prompt an escalatory Russian response (perhaps even a nuclear one), decided to secretly switch off Starlink’s coverage of Crimea.

Musk has since dismissed these claims, pointing out that Crimea was not covered by Starlink in the first place because of US sanctions on Russia (which included Crimea); he simply refused to act upon an emergency request by the Ukrainian government for the connection to be turned on for what Musk described as “a Pearl Harbor-type attack on the Russian fleet in Sevastopol”. “Our terms of service clearly prohibit Starlink for offensive military action, as we are a civilian system, so they were asking for something that was expressly prohibited,” Musk said.

Defense Gaps with China Can Be Closed with Commercial Software

David Pearah

The U.S. military faces a serious challenge. While China and other threats to American interests are becoming more acute, the defense budget and the size of the overall military are relatively static. Plans to field greater numbers of new, more capable platforms, like next-generation ships and aircraft, will take years to materialize. We need a shortcut. Better software that is commercially available might be the answer.

The Pentagon’s Problems…

Acquisition problems have been a long-term bugaboo of the Pentagon, leaving it with fewer planes, ships, and other weapons platforms than commanders and Congress say are necessary for today’s threats. For example, the Navy would like 321 to 372 manned ships for its current responsibilities. At present, it only has around 300. Air Force Secretary Frank Kendall looked back on the development of the F-35 fighter—over half a decade of development time and tens of billions of dollars—and characterized it as “acquisition malpractice,” promising to do better with a new bomber under development.

Additionally, the Pentagon faces these challenges during a period of major transition from a force geared toward the counterinsurgency campaigns of the 2010s to deterring major powers, especially China’s fast-growing military. Various officials predict that Beijing could attack Taiwan, likely drawing the United States into conflict, before the end of the decade.

The late Donald Rumsfeld caused controversy when he said “you go to war with the army you have.” He wasn’t actually lamenting the state of the U.S. military; rather, he was observing the fact that changing the composition of the military takes years, especially if change requires building new ships, planes, and other complex platforms.

Addressing the National Security Implications of AI

Benjamin Jensen

Chairman Warner, Vice-Chair Rubio, distinguished Members of the Committee, I am honored to share my views with you on what might be the central intelligence question facing our nation: how does artificial intelligence affect national security? The magnitude of the moment is clear, and both the Senate and the House are embracing their responsibility to create a national dialogue. As a citizen I thank you for that.

Today as part of this ongoing dialogue, I ask you to consider the often-invisible center for gravity for integrating new algorithms and enduring aspects of military theory and intelligence tradecraft. That center for gravity rests not just in lines of code, but in the people, the bureaucracy and the data infrastructure that turns any technology into strategic advantage.[1] Get the right people in place with permissive policies and provide them access to computational capabilities at scale and you gain a position of advantage in modern competition. Deny your adversaries the ability to similarly wage algorithmic warfare and you turn this advantage into enduring strategic asymmetry.

Artificial intelligence and machine learning (AI/ML) will be a critical capability for the nation going forward and central to integrated deterrence campaigns and warfighting. The general or spy who doesn’t have a model by their side in the 21st century will be blind man in a bar fight. Yet, that critical capability – strategic competition and war at machine speed directed by human judgment – rests on critical requirements.

The Biden Administration’s Implementation Plan for the National Cybersecurity Strategy

Eugenia Lostri, Stephanie Pell

The Biden administration released its National Cybersecurity Strategy (NCS) in March. The strategy outlined a broad plan for achieving two fundamental shifts intended to strengthen the cybersecurity posture of the United States over the long term. Specifically, the strategy seeks to ensure that the “biggest, most capable, and best-positioned entities” in both the public and private sectors “assume a greater share of the burden for mitigating cyber risk.” It also focuses on how to realign “incentives to favor long-term investments” to build “a future digital ecosystem that is more inherently defensible and resilient.” The path for realizing these outcomes manifests through five distinct but complementary pillars—defending critical infrastructure, disrupting and dismantling threat actors, shaping market forces to drive security and resilience, investing in a resilient future, and forging international partnerships to pursue shared goals.

As we’ve noted previously on Lawfare, the strategy lays out an ambitious plan for pushing the U.S. toward a more cyber-secure future, but many details were left to an implementation plan that was not released with the NCS. Those details are an important part of understanding and evaluating how the administration intends to achieve these shifts, which agencies will take the lead on various initiatives that align with the strategy’s five pillars, and where the administration believes that new legislation is needed to achieve the objectives of the five pillars.