1 October 2023

The Pakistan Army’s New Mission


OPINION — There is a lot that is wrong about the Pakistan army. It interferes in politics too much. It makes bad foreign policy choices. It blocks peace feelers with India. It accounts for too much of GDP. It is too deeply entrenched in the economy. Its human rights record is mixed. However, it is now the main institution holding Pakistan together. In a country with nuclear weapons the survival of a disciplined Pakistan army matters to all of us. Ironically it should matter to India most of all because the disintegration of Pakistan would provoke a regional catastrophe. Meanwhile there are significant changes happening in the army which could have major consequences.

The Pakistan army has decided that Imran Khan is unfit to be the next Prime Minister, so the former cricketer has been locked away and will play no part in the elections due to take place in the next few months. This is a big gamble by GHQ in Rawalpindi and the newish Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Asim Munir. On one level it seems to have paid off. There has been no repeat of the widespread rioting of 9th May even when Imran was sentenced in August. Whether his adoring followers, beset by inflationary pressures, will forget him remains to be seen. It is hard to imagine that a technocratic government or another lacklustre Sharif/Bhutto coalition (which anyway seems unlikely to hold together) will excite the population to go out and vote; so, the probability is that the next government will be elected by a feeble percentage of Pakistan’s burgeoning population.

Pakistan’s massive population growth is one of the factors putting the future of the state in peril. It currently stands at 241 million over six times its size at independence in 1947. The rate of growth places enormous pressures on services, particularly education where Islamist madrassas are only too happy to fill the void in the state system. Levels of unemployment are bound to stoke unrest as is the continuing rise of food prices. This is doubtless why the army is worried by a populist politician who, it believes, places personal popularity above sound governance.

American Tactics vs. Chinese Strategy


NEW HAVEN – The debate over the difference between tactics and strategy is as rich as it is enduring. In his seminal 1996 article in the Harvard Business Review, Harvard’s Michael Porter tackled this issue head on. While his focus was business, his arguments can be applied much more broadly – including to today’s Sino-American rivalry.

Porter differentiated between “operational effectiveness” and strategy, arguing that nimble companies had become well practiced in the former, but had dropped the ball on the latter. He also drew a sharp contrast between tactical tools – such as benchmarking, re-engineering, and total quality management – and competitive strategies aimed at “choosing a different set of activities to deliver a unique mix of value.”

Roughly 2,500 years earlier, Chinese military strategist Sun Tzu offered an equally profound perspective. In The Art of War, Sun wrote, “Strategy without tactics is the slowest route to victory,” stressing the complementarity of these two aspects of military decision-making. But Sun also counseled, “Tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat” – an admonition not to fixate on short-termism.

Notwithstanding Porter’s role in shaping the modern debate about strategy, today’s American body politic has little patience for long-term thinking. This was not always the case. George Kennan, first as a diplomat and later as an academic, devised the containment strategy that the United States used against the Soviet Union during the Cold War. Andrew Marshall, as the head of the Pentagon’s Office of Net Assessment, pushed the envelope on US military strategy. And Henry Kissinger, of course, was the ultimate practitioner of what has been dubbed “Grand Strategy.”

Huawei’s made-in-China smartphone has Washington scratching its head

Eduardo Jaramillo

Chinese companies that have received strategic investments from Huawei and Chinese government funds in recent years played a key role in Huawei’s new Mate 60 Pro smartphone, validating Beijing’s efforts to turbocharge its microchip industry in the face of American-led sanctions, according to industry analysts and Chinese corporate records examined by The China Project.

Most notably, China’s heavily subsidized flagship chipmaker, the Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corporation (SMIC), successfully manufactured the Mate 60’s processor, the Kirin 9000s. Upon investigation by research firm TechInsights, other components in the Mate 60 also were found to have been sourced from Chinese companies, whereas in previous Huawei models the components were supplied by American firms such as Qorvo and Skyworks Solutions.

The Mate 60 Pro’s 5G-speed radio frequency front-end module, the part of the phone that receives and transmits radio signals, was manufactured by Chinese firm Beijing OnMicro Electronics Co., a company that has seen investment from Huawei-owned Hubble Technology Venture Capital.

The new phone’s radio frequency transceiver also was made domestically, as was its integrated circuit for power management, TechInsights Vice President Dan Hutcheson told The China Project.

CIA Builds Its Own Artificial Intelligence Tool in Rivalry With China

Source Link

US intelligence agencies are getting their own ChatGPT-style tool to sift through an avalanche of public information for clues. The Central Intelligence Agency is preparing to roll out a feature akin to OpenAI Inc.’s now-famous program that will use artificial intelligence to give analysts better access to open-source intelligence, according to agency officials. The CIA’s Open-Source Enterprise division plans to provide intelligence agencies with its AI tool soon. “We’ve gone from newspapers and radio, to newspapers and television, to newspapers and cable television, to basic internet, to big data, and it just keeps going,” Randy Nixon, director of the division, said in an interview. “We have to find the needles in the needle field.” It’s part of a broader government campaign to harness the power of AI and compete with China, which is seeking to become the global leader in the field by 2030. That US push dovetails with the intelligence community’s struggle to process the vast amounts of data that’s now publicly available, amid criticism that it’s been slow to exploit that source. The CIA’s AI tool will allow users to see the original source of the information that they’re viewing, Nixon said. He said that a chat feature is a logical part of getting intelligence distributed quicker. “Then you can take it to the next level and start chatting and asking questions of the machines to give you answers, also sourced,” said Nixon, whose division oversees intelligence drawn from publicly and commercially available sources.

US-China rivalry spurs investment in space tech

Jonathan Josephs

The US is "in a space race with China to go back to the moon", says Nasa chief Bill Nelson.

In a BBC interview, Mr Nelson says he wants to make sure "we get there first".

His comments revive memories of the 1960s and 1970s, when Nasa was in a space race with the Soviet Union. But half a century later, Nasa is employing private companies to do much more of the work.

Mr Nelson says they are crucial because it allows for the huge costs to be shared, and for Nasa to draw on "the creativity of entrepreneurs in the private sector".

He points to Elon Musk's SpaceX, which in 2021 was awarded a $3bn (£2.4bn) contract to build a lunar lander, and has also developed the most powerful rocket ever built.

Other private firms are also feeling the benefit of the space race. Earlier this year the agency signed a $3.4bn deal with Jeff Bezos' Blue Origin - also to build a lander, but for later moon landings.

Those are just two companies that are benefitting from billions of dollars of government funding. It's money that is being spent, in part at least, to try and keep ahead of China amid much broader tensions between the world's two biggest economies.

China and Syria announce 'strategic partnership' after its leaders met in Beijing

Scott Simon , Aya Batrawy

Syria's president visited China for the first time in nearly 20 years as he looks to end his international isolation and as Beijing seeks to deepen its influence in the Middle East.

10 Years On, Belt And Road Goals Shift With China’s Ambitions

Huang Yiyi

A decade ago, amid much fanfare, Chinese President Xi Jinping launched the Belt and Road program, a grand plan to build a global infrastructure and supply chains that would connect China to the rest of the world in a modern and many-pronged Silk Road – and hypothetically benefit everyone involved.

Next month, Beijing will host the third Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation, with confirmed attendance from a number of world leaders and representatives from 90 countries, state news agency Xinhua reported.

What started out as a way to boost trade ties, secure energy supplies and invest in global infrastructure has now branched out to include digital, health, cultural, security, and sustainable development projects, some of which have been dogged by labor issues and cost overruns.

Playing off the motif of the ancient trade route that linked China to the Mideast and Europe, Its components are many, and include the Digital Silk Road, the Silk Road on Ice, the Healthy Silk Road, the Space Silk Road, and the Green Silk Road.

In fact, today almost all of China’s overseas cooperation projects could be classified as part of the Belt and Road Initiative. Xi has termed it the “project of the century.”

Critics of how China uses its rising power are less sanguine. The United States has accused China of “debt diplomacy” – trapping nations with financial liabilities for major infrastructure projects they can ill-afford and which might be leveraged for Beijing’s political benefit.

What Does Huawei’s Homemade Chip Really Mean for China’s Semiconductor Industry?

Megha Shrivastava

It’s been years since Huawei, one of China’s biggest technology giants and a source of national pride, became the focus of global attention due to allegations of national security risks. Since 2019, Huawei has faced several sanctions led by the United States, which cut off the company’s access to business and equipment from the U.S. and its allies. Huawei and China’s Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corporation (SMIC) both have been put on the United States’ Entity List, which is believed to have effectively restricted the flow of technology and high-end chips to these Chinese firms.

But in a significant development, Huawei has unveiled its new smartphone device, the Huawei Mate 60 Pro, which is believed to contain a 5G chip. The Kirin 9000S processor in the phone is powered by Huawei’s 7 nanometer (N+2) chip, which is designed by Huawei’s chip division HiSilicon and manufactured by China’s largest chip vendor, SMIC.

This development produced shockwaves among the Western media and pundits, who had anticipated a decline in China’s chip capability after the U.S. rolled out export control measures aimed at restricting chip supply to China in October 2022. Huawei’s 7nm (N+2) chip just lies behind the most advanced technology produced by global leaders Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) and Samsung. However, there are doubts about the efficacy of Huawei’s ability to produce chips on a mass scale without Western tools, and whether it truly demonstrates 5G capability on par with Apple’s technology.

The strategy of Chinese manufacturers lies in using lagging-edge technology to bounce up to leading-edge technology. China still has access to older technology, such as NVIDIA’s H800 chips and the tools for manufacturing lower-end (say 28 nm) chips.

Contextualizing the National Security Concerns over China’s Domestically Produced High-End Chip

Matthew Schleich and William Alan Reinsch

Huawei’s new smartphone, the Mate 60 Pro, has been shown to contain a powerful new chip, defying U.S. attempts to curb China’s semiconductor industry. In a device “teardown,” TechInsights and Bloomberg News found that the 7-nanometer (nm) chip was produced by China’s top domestic chipmaker, Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corporation (SMIC). News of the made-in-China chip broke just days after Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo’s trip to China, prompting National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan to announce that the United States would be seeking “more information” on the specifics of the new tech. At worst, the revelation of a domestically produced 7 nm chip shows that cracks can be found and exploited in the U.S.-led semiconductor blockade. Despite this episode, however, signs suggest that U.S. and allied export controls have limited China’s near-term ceiling in terms of manufacturing cutting-edge chips at scale. Secretary Raimondo confirmed these suspicions on Tuesday, saying that there was “no evidence” that China could produce these chips at scale.

Q1: How was the chip manufactured, and how does it compare to other models?

A1: According to TechInsights, a Canadian technology research firm, the Kirin 9000s—the chip found in the Huawei Mate 60 Pro—was produced by China’s SMIC. The “die,” or the physical semiconducting surface on which a computer chip is fabricated, showed “various identifying features” that point to fabrication by the Shanghai-based manufacturer. SMIC, along with other Chinese firms, are known to already possess deep ultraviolet (DUV) lithography capabilities, which allow chipmakers to print the integrated circuits onto semiconductors using beams of light. Although these DUV lithography machines are typically associated with the production of chips in the 28 nm to 14 nm range, they can produce 7 nm chips using a technique called “multi-patterning.” In essence, the chip is exposed to DUV lithography multiple times to create more detailed patterns down to the 7 nm level.

In the desert with the Israeli soldiers training on new Firefly loitering munition


JERUSALEM — This week the Israel Defense Forces said they used a “Maoz” drone to strike a target in Jenin, among the first uses of what’s known in English as the Spike Firefly loitering munition — a suicide drone that’s still being incorporated into IDF’s general combat capability.

The Firefly, made by Israeli defense giant Rafael, is for short-range combat and is aimed for the kind of urban or complex combat that Israel has faced on its borders and now in the West Bank. The way the IDF sees it, smaller loitering munitions like this may eventually be so ubiquitous for infantry units that they become similar to mortars or other standard weapons for platoons and companies.

Recently Breaking Defense got a chance to spend a day with an IDF officer who is training the next generation of soldiers on the Firefly. The training takes place at Mahane Tzor, a base in Israel’s Negev Desert.

It’s a dusty and hot day when Breaking Defense meets Lt. Daniel Enis, who is heading up the training, at a mock urban warfare site. The drone course is three weeks and begins in a classroom, before entering the training area where the soldiers learn to actually fly the system. Everyone in the IDF who is using the FireFly have passed through this training at this facility.

“I train them how to use it in every situation, and I teach the commander at what points they need it, such as grave danger or in battle or when no other weapon suffices. It can be used against targets, such as an enemy in a room, so the operator and commander need to understand when to use it,” said Enis.

The Palestinian Dream Is Dying—and It's A Nightmare for Israel


Just 30 years after the Oslo Accords set the stage for the formation of the first autonomous Palestinian leadership body to be recognized by Israel, the Palestinian National Authority (PA) stands on the brink of collapse, with dwindling territorial control, deteriorating popular support and no clear successor for its aging longtime leader.

And while Israel has also played an influential role in cultivating the conditions that have undermined the West Bank-based government led by 87-year-old President Mahmoud Abbas, deep uncertainties lie over what may come next for the peoples on both sides of a conflict that has commanded international attention for three quarters of a century.

"This is the worst point that I've seen the PA since its creation," Ghaith al-Omari, a former Palestinian National Authority official who previously served as an advisor to its negotiating team and is now a senior fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, tells Newsweek.

"We often used to talk about the PA collapse as an abstract, a distant threat," he adds. "I think this is now a much more pressing concern. In many ways, we are witnessing the unraveling of the PA."

Ukraine Cyber Defenders Prepare for Winter

Mihir Bagwe

Ukrainian cyber defenders are girding for an onslaught of cyberattacks against energy and other critical infrastructure sectors as cold weather returns to the country, currently in its second year of fending off a Russian war of conquest.

That warning from the State Service of Special Communication and Information Protection of Ukraine comes as Kyiv has observed Russian state hackers also stepping up attacks against law enforcement in a likely bid to keep tabs on the gathering of evidence concerning war crimes, the agency said in a Tuesday report.

"Particularly in spring, we observed their particular focus in targeting of law enforcement and prosecutor general office. And our conclusion is that this activity is directly linked to their goal of finding information about prosecutions and about investigations on Russian cyber war criminals," SSSCIP Chief Digital Transformation Officer Victor Zhora told reporters during a Tuesday press conference. Besides spying on information submitted to international tribunals, Moscow may be attempting to get ahead of Ukrainian criminal prosecutors by shuttling suspected war criminals to Russia, Ukraine said.

A commission established by the United Nations Human Rights Council said Monday there is "continuous evidence" of Russian war crimes in Ukraine, including attacks against civilians and against the energy sector. Russia did not respond to the commission's findings, which include systematic torture and rape, Reuters reported. On Thursday, Russia resumed cruise missile attacks against the Ukrainian energy sector after a six-month lull, the news wire also reported.

It’s Time for the West to Embrace Ukraine’s Way of War, Not Doubt It


OPINION — Ukrainian forces have adapted. Ukraine’s military decision-making is sound. Now is not the time for Western doubt but for the West to embrace Ukraine’s way of war and commit to sustaining Ukraine’s initiative on the battlefield.

The summer 2023 Ukrainian counteroffensive faced a major challenge after Russia had months to build up its defenses in occupied Ukraine. The culmination of Ukraine’s 2022 counteroffensives — the first being the liberation of Kharkiv, followed by the Kherson offensive, attributable in no small part to the delayed provision of Western military aid — allowed Russia to build its defense in depth and prevented Ukraine from launching a third phase of its counteroffensive in winter 2022–2023.

But the Ukrainian forces have done what successful militaries do — they have adapted and are now advancing. Ukraine recognized the realities of Russian defenses much faster than Western policymakers, who were expecting a rapid Ukrainian breakthrough. ISW previously wrote in July that Ukrainian forces had adapted their tactics after they encountered initial setbacks and were increasingly successful in using small infantry assaults backed by precision fires to make inroads against Russian defenses.[1]

Ukraine’s ingenuity is yielding results. Ukraine maintains the battlefield initiative and its forces are advancing in Zaporizhia Oblast and near Bakhmut. Ukraine continues to liberate its territory and people and is slowly but steadily breaking through an incredibly formidable Russian prepared defense — and the Russian forces are unable to stop the advance, which is now moving in two directions.

The Future of Cyberwar is being Shaped in Ukraine


OPINION — “We are one of the most wired modern militaries in the world. At a minimum, our own need to defend our systems to prevent cyber disruption to our own forces is going to play a large part in our war-fighting abilities.”

That was Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Cyber Policy Mieke Eoyang, speaking at the Center for a New American Security (CNAS) on Sept. 13, in a discussion focused on the recently released Summary of the 2023 Cyber Strategy of the Department of Defense (DoD).

Asked if the U.S. would ever fight a war again without a significant cyber component, Eoyang replied, “I doubt it.”

The hour-long CNAS session, that also included opening remarks by Eoyang’s boss, Assistant Secretary of Defense for Space Policy Dr. John Plumb, provided a handful of new insights into cyber’s expanding role in both the daily grey-zone battles against adversary nations and in the open war taking place in Ukraine, after Russia’s full-scale invasion in February 2022.

Plumb gave a brief history of the expanding role of cyber within DoD, along with some new information about recent cooperation between private industry and DoD in relation to the Russian war in Ukraine.

It was 2010, Plumb said, when DoD “was most concerned with the prospect of what senior leaders termed a ‘Cyber Pearl Harbor’ — a massive hack that would dismantle the U.S. power grid, transportation system, financial networks, and government.”

The End of Nagorno-Karabakh

Thomas de Waal

The third war over Nagorno-Karabakh, the long-disputed Armenian enclave within Azerbaijan, ended almost as soon as it began. At 1 PM on September 19, Azerbaijani forces began attacking the territory with artillery and drones in what it called an “antiterror” operation. Within 24 hours, the Karabakh Armenians, a population that has been pushed to the brink of famine by a months-long economic blockade, capitulated, leaving Azerbaijan in effective control of the territory.

The next phase of the tragedy is now unfolding. In scenes reminiscent of the Balkans in the 1990s,

America’s mini economic miracle may be fleeting


The American economy is estimated to have grown at a rate of 3 per cent or more this quarter, a pace as blistering as it was unforeseen. Economists had not predicted a recession before last year, but then most began to think a US downturn was inevitable, as a result of interest rate hikes. Instead, we got a mini growth miracle. So what happened?

Popular explanations include historically big spending by Joe Biden’s administration and America’s unsinkable consumers, encouraged by an oil price bonanza and the AI wave. Put these factors together and they go a long way to explaining the unusually light impact of Federal Reserve tightening so far. 

Last year, everyone was caught up in one story: the central bank’s interest rate hikes. These typically slow the economy and were indeed producing signs — including an inverted yield curve — that have reliably preceded recessions in the past. Tightening began in March last year, and while it normally takes around 18 months to materially cool the economy, the rate rises came so fast that most forecasters figured growth would slow sooner. 

That underestimated the unsinkable consumer. Since the last real recession, in 2008, Americans have reduced their debt burden and put their finances on a more solid footing. The share of debt they carry at fixed rates is up to around 90 per cent, from approximately 75 per cent. And tightening has not yet increased their interest payments — although the Fed may not have finished, according to signals last week. The average US mortgage holder is still paying 3.6 per cent, half the going rate on new mortgages. 

The Leadership Required To Take Full Advantage of Emerging Technology


In the prior 3 articles in this series, I have identified methods and culture needed to improve the ability of the government to take full advantage of emerging technology. The final element driving adoption of emerging technology within government is leadership. Without exceptional leadership at the right place and time, improvement in our ability to accomplish critical mission with new technology is not possible.

Leadership that creates positive permanent change is rare. I have experienced this leadership on a few occasions, far less than I wished. These leaders each had a number of qualities, to which I accredit their success; vision, awareness, and most importantly courage. History notes many examples of leadership that has created impactful change, some for a single event, others have put the world on a new path. As I have stated throughout this series, my intention in writing these papers is to inspire those who are still working inside government. Change can be accomplished from the bottom up, by those in a position to make it possible. Do not wait for department or political leadership to catch up with what needs to be done. Act with the abilities you have now. How do leaders leverage these critical qualities to ensure new technology is applied to make a strategic impact to the mission of the United States?

Vision. Leaders must set a readily articulated vision to leverage new/emerging technology for mission. It is the “why” of what you do, a forever striving statement that really could never be achieved, or if it was, the reason for your organization would no longer exist. This is not/not writing a clever sentence at a facilitated offsite. Leaders need to engage teams with actions and words so that each member of the team fully understands and can articulate the future and how they personally are working to achieve it. This both focuses the team in a single direction and identifies to those outside the organization why your organizations’ actions are relevant. The objective is to create a wider scope and acceptance for change, and a base to both promote and defend the change being implemented. The best vision creates a readily relatable picture of what the future will be, and how elements of new technology will expand or improve mission. This should include new means to accomplish tasks within that mission, fundamentally better than current practice.

American Abrams tanks have arrived in Ukraine. Will they shift the balance?


BELFAST — At first glance the Monday announcement from Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy that the first US M1 Abrams main battle tanks have arrived in Ukraine ahead of schedule looks to offer much needed firepower for Kyiv to spur on a slow-moving counteroffensive.

But two defense analysts told Breaking Defense that while the arrival of the Abrams is surely a welcome sign to Kyiv and could help consolidate some gains, they alone are unlikely to significantly alter the strategic landscape any time soon compared to other main battle tanks already in service, including the German-made Leopard 2 and the British-made Challenger 2s. The Abrams also likely won’t have as much of an effect on the current fight as long-range fires and air defense, according to one of the analysts — at least until there’s a breakthrough in the Russian lines.

Abrams deliveries to Ukraine are “far more significant psychologically than perhaps physically,” said Hamish de Bretton-Gordon, former commander of the British Royal Tank Regiment.

He stressed that the tanks have arrived at a “really pivotal moment” where Russia’s position in Crimea “is becoming less tenable by the day” and pointed to events in Sevastopol, including Russia’s Black Sea fleet suffering submarine and ship losses and claims by Ukraine special forces that 34 Russian naval leaders and officers have been killed, all of which amounts to “very encouraging signs” in terms of progress toward a Ukrainian victory.

Ukraine Conflict: A Peace Proposal To Avert An All-Out War

Michael von der Schulenburg

At the end of August this year, four highly respected German personalities1 presented a peace proposal for ending the war in Ukraine through a ceasefire and subsequent peace negotiations: It is arguably the most comprehensive and groundbreaking peace proposal made by any government, international organization, or, as in this case, any private party since the war began 18 months ago.

This peace proposal comes at an extremely critical time in the Ukraine war. With a possible failure of the Ukrainian counteroffensive and the resulting weakening of the Ukrainian armed forces, NATO could be faced with the decision in the next few months, perhaps even in the next few weeks, to either further escalate the war against Russia or to go down the path of negotiations. However, a decision to continue the war carries the enormous risk that it could increasingly develop into a direct NATO-Russia confrontation.

This would not only result in further suffering for the Ukrainian population, but it would also bring the world one step closer to nuclear war. It is only to be hoped that reason will prevail and NATO, Ukraine, and Russia will opt for a ceasefire with immediate peace negotiations. The detailed German peace proposal has now shown the way to this end. It is, therefore, of utmost urgency to draw the attention of political decision-makers around the world to this peace proposal and win public support for it.

The African Union, China, Brazil, Mexico, and Indonesia have made peace proposals, and a peace proposal was earlier developed at the invitation of the Vatican. In addition, Turkey and Israel have undertaken laudable peace initiatives. However, the European Union, which should be most concerned about peace in Europe and is deeply involved in this war, has not yet proposed how to end this war through a political solution.

US Leadership in Artificial Intelligence Can Shape the 21st Century Global Order

Michael Frank

The United States’ postwar preeminence gave it incredible capability to impose its security interests on other countries who were eager to access the U.S. market. The definition of those interests in terms of a rules-based order – one that would protect the sovereignty of smaller countries and facilitate mutual economic growth – was a welcome deviation from historical norms, in which powerful states dictated terms to smaller ones and international economics was a zero-sum proposition.

This liberal international order laid the groundwork for globalization, lifting hundreds of millions out of poverty and largely eliminating war between great powers. It ended the Cold War in the United States’ favor, with the Soviet Union unable to match the West’s relentless progress.

But there was a catch: in exchange for reaping the economic benefits of alignment with the United States, countries would have to align with U.S. security interests. That meant signing up to the U.S. foreign policy program of anti-communism and global strategic competition with the Soviet Union.

U.S. economic power often enticed countries to forsake independent strategic calculation. The United States’ share of global GDP at the outset of the Vietnam War was 38 percent. Many countries got rich on trade with the United States. As the late economist Richard N. Cooper argued, the overwhelming empirical evidence from the time was “that communism did not work well economically – it did not deliver significantly higher standards of living to ordinary people – as became evident especially with the growing contrast between East and West Europe, between North and South Korea, and between the People’s Republic of China and Taiwan and Hong Kong.” China itself would famously split from the Soviet Union and align itself with the economically superior United States, with fantastic results.

Modernizing Spectrum Allocation to Ensure U.S. Security in the Twenty-First Century

James Andrew Lewis and Clete Johnson

Spectrum policy is not a fight between commercial interests and national security. That binary frame is a false and dangerous dichotomy in the twenty-first century, when U.S. national security derives from economic strength and technological innovation as much as traditional sources of power.

As described in the first two white papers in this series, economic strength, technological leadership, and commercial vitality are fundamental to national security, particularly in the digital era, when 5G connects the cyber and physical domains as never before. China recognizes this, which is why it is seeking to dominate the technology of the twenty-first century. Earlier reports in this series discussed national security and global technological competition. This paper lays out specific recommendations for twenty-first century security change.

The ubiquitous connectivity that 5G provides is central to twenty-first century national security. That makes adequate radio frequency spectrum for commercially licensed 5G use—particularly the mid-band spectrum that is ideal for high-capacity, wide-area 5G deployments—also central to national security. This licensed spectrum will constitute the backbone of the 5G future. Presently, the United States has a significant shortage of licensed mid-band spectrum allocated to 5G when compared to China and other countries, and China is projected to further widen that disparity in the coming years.

This growing spectrum gap threatens to harm the United States in global technology development and threatens the assurance of a robust, trusted supplier base for the future connected world. The mid-band spectrum gap is a significant national security problem, as it could facilitate China’s ambitions to shape twenty-first century technologies and to establish a dominant position in global networks. This dominance could enable military and strategic superiority. If China leads the 5G era, its state-supported “national champion” tech companies will play a dominant role, and in that scenario, there are no weapons systems, technology bans, or mitigation strategies that could defend U.S. and allied security interests.

The Frontline States: Conversations and Observations About Russia's Other War in Europe

Philip Wasielewski

Key Points
  • From late June to mid-July 2023, I visited Georgia, Moldova, Hungary, Poland, and Lithuania on a research trip. The analysis and conclusions in this report are based, in part, on conversations with a wide variety of individuals from former government officials, university students, academics, and members of non-governmental organizations to ordinary citizens.
  • The Kremlin desires to reestablish a sphere of influence in former Soviet republics and Warsaw Pact states between the Black and Baltic Seas. To do so, it is fighting a conventional war in Ukraine and political wars elsewhere to remove Western influence and reestablish hegemony.Russia’s political warfare operations have a major flaw; they only offer people the past and not a future. However, US efforts against them could be more effective and citizens in frontline states facing Russian subversion have constructive criticisms to improve them. Resisting Russian subversion depends as much on the political health of the targeted state as Western countermeasures. Efforts to oppose backsliding on democratic norms are vital, even if they spark tensions with partners and allies.
  • Several countries in the region will hold elections between the fall of 2023 and 2025 that will determine their geopolitical orientation. If the war in Ukraine is a battle of modern weapon systems, these elections will be a war of ideas between East and West. It is important that the United States not cede the narrative for these elections to Moscow and work with allies and partners to counteract anti-Western propaganda.

Lithuanians protesting against the Russian invasion of Ukraine, February 2022. 

Lazarus Group: hackers from country with no internet threaten defi

Anna Kharitonova & Lena Bozhkova

While not much is known about the Lazarus Group, researchers have attributed numerous cyber attacks to them over the past decade, as well as ties to Russia.

The most notorious crimes of Lazarus Group

The Lazarus Group (also known as the Guardians of Peace or the Whois Team) is a cybercriminal group with an unknown number of hackers.

One of the earliest attacks is known as “Operation Troy”, which took place from 2009–2012. In 2014, Lazarus attacked Sony Pictures Entertainment and stole over 276 thousand company files, immediately appearing on WikiLeaks. The stolen documents reveal the company’s immediate plans, the actors’ fees and working conditions, and most importantly, shed light on how Sony lobbies its interests in the government.

Kaspersky Lab reported in 2017 that Lazarus tended to focus on espionage and cyberattacks while a subgroup within their organization. Kaspersky called it Bluenoroff.

In February 2017, North Korean hackers stole $7 million from the South Korean exchange Bithumb. Youbit, another South Korean crypto platform, filed for bankruptcy in December 2017 after 17% of its assets were stolen in cyber attacks.

Exponential Technologies Will Require a “New Paradigm of Trust”


We continue to explore the trust threats and emerging trust wars – with an eye towards identifying solutions that help alleviate these risks. We continue to ask the question: How do we maintain societal trust as individuals migrate from platform to platform, identities get impersonated, and technologies like ChatGPT and Midjourney produce conversations and images indistinguishable from the truth through malicious prompts or hallucinations?

By 2025, automation has the potential to displace 85 million jobs…On a more hopeful note, the authors also argue that the robot revolution is expected to create 97 million new jobs at the same time. The resulting job balance may be positive, but these drastic shifts in the labor market should offer both hope and caution; they will impact each nation’s economy significantly, and alter the demand for skills in employees, but may also stir social structures and affect citizens’ trust in their respective governments, public institutions, and the private sector.

In essence, respective governments, nations, and markets that equip their citizens for the upcoming skills-transition will be most successful. Those nations and companies that fail to plan ahead and adapt their education plans will risk falling behind. For example, low-wage workers may need to shift to occupations in higher wage brackets and require different skills to remain employed – with analytical thinking, creativity, and flexibility being among the most sought-after skills of the future.

In this vein, the Swiss apprenticeship model becomes a model for others. Switzerland’s dual system combines learning on the job – and being paid a learning wage – with one to two days of theory at school. With 230 vocational professions to choose from, ranging from catering to high-tech industries, around two-thirds of Swiss school leavers opt for an apprenticeship.

Connect everything? Leaders need to get specific first


No one can build the “connect everything” networks that Pentagon leaders envision without a whole lot more talk about what, exactly, that means, says the general in charge of the Air Force’s contribution.

“I think where the communication breakdown happens is when we're not specific about the things that we want to do for operational outcomes,” said Brig. Gen. Luke Cropsey, the program executive officer of the Air Force’s integrated tech office. “You actually need the particular [language] to say, ‘For this target to get prosecuted, I need the following things to happen at the following rate of speed with the following information.’”

Cropsey is in charge of developing the Advanced Battle Management System, his service’s next-gen command-and-control effort and its contribution to the Pentagon’s “connect-everything” vision called Combined Joint All Domain Command and Control, or CJADC2. He says that discussions of wide-scale interconnectivity need to be more concrete and realistic.

“Historically, we've talked about this as kind of an abstraction. We've got this thing that we're calling the Advanced Battle Management System…we've got this thing called the [Department of the Air Force] Battle Network. And it's going to connect all these things all over the place and all the time and it's gonna be amazing. I'm not actually sure what that is,” he said. “There's a lot of swirl that happens in the background. Well, how much AI do I need? How much comms do I need? How fast does the data have to move? Where does it need to go?”

Engineers need specific answers before they can build actual systems. But getting them isn’t easy.