5 October 2023

The Story of One iPhone Factory Powering Apple’s Pivot to India

Billy Perrigo

Set back from a dusty highway in South India, three newly completed factory buildings rise up behind a black spiked iron fence. In their shadow, several yellow construction vehicles sit beside mounds of upturned soil and the skeleton of a half-built warehouse. On a May afternoon this year, a group of women in blue and pink uniforms hurried from one building to another over the din of traffic and construction.

This factory complex in Sriperumbudur, an industrial town in Tamil Nadu state, is one of Apple’s most important iPhone assembly hubs outside of China. It is operated by Foxconn, a Taiwan-based electronics manufacturing company. Three times per day, the gates to this factory open to swallow buses ferrying thousands of workers—around three-quarters of them women. These workers spend eight hours per day, six days per week, on a humming assembly line, soldering components, turning screws, or operating machinery. The factory is one of the biggest iPhone plants in India, with some 17,000 employees who churn out 6 million iPhones every year. And it’s fast expanding.

Most of the 232 million iPhones Apple sold in 2022 came from factories in China, with many of them originating from a single massive Foxconn facility in Zhengzhou. But shifting geopolitical tides have recently forced Apple to re-evaluate its exposure to China. First came the pandemic, when Beijing’s harsh lockdowns badly disrupted global supply chains. Now U.S. intelligence assessments,

Can the US compete with China's Belt & Road Initiative?

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Ten years after Chinese President Xi Jinping announced China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) in Kazakhstan and Indonesia, a new connectivity initiative was unveiled with great fanfare by the United States, India, and the Arab Gulf and European countries during the G20 meeting in New Delhi earlier this month.

Since the announcement was made without the presence of the Russian and Chinese presidents, it has stirred conflicting interpretations. Some see it as a potential alternative to BRI, while others, pointing to the failure of similar projects backed by Western powers in the past, view it as a paper tiger.

Details are still missing, but the project’s ambition is enormous. It follows a transregional approach as noted by the White House statement: “Through the India-Middle East-Europe Economic Corridor (IMEC), we aim to usher in a new era of connectivity with a railway, linked through ports connecting Europe, the Middle East, and Asia.”

The idea of this corridor dates back to 2021 and has also been discussed as part of the I2U2 group that includes India, Israel, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and the United States. Like the BRI, its design vision follows the corridor's logic. This is no surprise. “Corridorization” is the most significant spatial manifestation of infrastructural capitalism and geo-economics since the beginning of this century.

Impact of India-Mideast-Europe corridor extends far beyond countering China

Sabena Siddiqui

The recently announced India-Middle East-Europe Economic Corridor (IMEC) project linking India with markets in the Middle East and Europe was the highlight of the G20 summit this year. The new corridor represents half the global economy and 40% of the world’s population.

According to the memorandum of understanding signed on Sept. 9 by the European Union, France, Germany, India, Italy, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and the United States, the IMEC will include a multimodal rail channel employing both railway tracks and shipping routes over a distance of 5,000 kilometers (3,106 miles). In tandem, a network of undersea electrical cables and green energy pipelines will be laid between India and Greece.

Calling it “much more than just a railway or a cable,” European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen has described the new corridor as “a green and digital bridge across continents and civilizations.”

Consolidates India’s outreach

The project offers a number of benefits.

First, IMEC consolidates India’s geoeconomic outreach to the Middle East by cutting costs, as shipping containers can reach from the port in Mumbai to Dubai and onward to the port in Haifa in 40% less time.

Raising the Stakes: China's Mega Dam Project Heightens Tensions at the Roof of the World


In March 2021, the 14th five-year plan for China was passed by the National People's Congress in the Chinese Parliament. The plan established quantitative targets in various areas such as economy, trade, defence, science and technology, politics, social issues, culture, the environment, and other policy priorities. Unlike previous plans, this one includes a short section on "long-range objectives for 2035". The third section of the plan focuses on building a modern energy system, which involves constructing clean energy bases across China's administrative regions. One proposed project is to build a hub of renewable energy production in Nyingchi, consisting of hydropower, offshore wind power, and solar power plants. Out of five major “Modern energy System Construction projects”, the hydropower plant in the lower region of Yarlung Tsang Po (also known as the River Brahmaputra in India) is the most ambitious. It is anticipated to produce 60,000 MW, making it a giant hydropower plant. This is three times the current capacity of the world's largest power generation plant, Three Georges Dam, located on the Yangtze River, which has a capacity of 22,500 MW. According to Chinese media sources, the Dam will be built on Yarlung Tsang Po at the Great Bend, taking a "U" turn at Medog County before entering India's Arunachal Pradesh. Reports suggest that India is concerned about China constructing such a massive dam so close to its border (just 22 kilometres away), as it could reduce the natural flow of water downstream and potentially be used as a weapon against India by creating artificial floods. Experts are concerned that the construction of the giant Dam may cause significant harm to the environment and disrupt the livelihoods of individuals residing in the downstream area of the river in northeast India and Bangladesh.

Experts And Military Leaders Fear Ukraine Could Become The Next ‘Afghanistan’

John Rossomando

Calls are mounting for a special inspector general to monitor aid to Ukraine. Congress created a Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Relief (SIGAR) in 2009 to examine how recovery funds given to the Afghan government were being spent. Many are calling for a similar office to be created for Ukraine, in order to monitor corruption.

A piece written by Col. Patrick Sullivan, director of the Modern War Institute at West Point, says the answer to those calls should be yes.

“The recent removal of Ukraine’s defense minister reminds us of an important, if uncomfortable, reality—Ukraine has a corruption problem,” Sullivan writes. “It would also be a mistake to conflate the Ukrainians’ well-earned status as noble warriors for a righteous cause with nobility in the whole; righteousness and corruption can coexist. These are mistakes that the United States made in Afghanistan, an experience which shows the existential danger of repeating them in Ukraine.”

Sullivan contends that American leaders knew about the problem of corruption in Afghanistan from the beginning, just as they do in Ukraine. However, there does not seem to be any more urgency in the U.S. government to get a grasp on possible mishandling of relief funds or weapons than there was in Afghanistan.

New Mindsets Needed for an Era of Uncertainty

Evelyn Goh

EAST ASIA IS TODAY beset by a confluence of strategic challenges: How to minimize the risks while maximizing the benefits of China’s resurgence; how to cope with the rising uncertainties surrounding America’s commitment and reliability; and how to weather the storms of the Sino-US trade war, “de-risking” and decoupling.

In this rapidly evolving international order, allies and supporters of the United States that have prospered in recent decades of US primacy have had to rethink most radically their strategies and security policies, if only because their economic fortunes are now increasingly, equally, or mostly, vested in China. For Asia, the two decades of US hegemony after the Cold War ended (circa 1991-2008) were an “interregnum,” not the norm.​1 As I have argued elsewhere​2, we have now entered an “Age of Uncertainty,” characterized by:

a) The end of US hegemony, China’s ascendance, and the emergence or persistence of other secondary powers that have systemic effects (Russia, India, possibly other BRICS). This has renewed and expanded great power competition across the military, economic and political/institutional realms. The result is uneven power diffusion and a growing, deep-seated strategic uncertainty. Practitioners of strategy and security have to deal with “more actors, more factors, more vectors,” and many struggle to develop frameworks and modes of operation that can cope with these complex problems.​3 We see a great deal more self-help and ad hoc coalitions in the security realm, and in some places, a notable hankering after an idealized past (e.g. the need to “protect the liberal international order”).

Managing in the Middle: Japan’s Strategic Approach to US-China Rivalry

Ryo Sahashi

IN DECEMBER 2022, Japan revised its National Security Strategy and two other essential documents and introduced a major update to its security policy, including a significant increase in its defense budget and the introduction of a counter-strike capability. Prime Minister Fumio Kishida was considered a moderate, or so-called dove, in military affairs, but he inherited the security policy framework of former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who was assassinated six months earlier and was the architect of the new strategic approach.​1 Abe regarded it as necessary to preserve intra-party political balance and as a critical issue to be resolved under his leadership.

For Japan, the benefits of the alliance with the United States continue to outweigh the costs. This is due to the importance of ensuring traditional security through military alliances, with China and North Korea in mind, as well as the assessment that the continued involvement of the United States in the region is vital to the preservation of order.

Despite this, it is worth asking whether Japan will simply go along with US military vigilance, economic statecraft and criticism of China over its harsh treatment of its own citizens as Washington’s strategy toward China evolves. If not, what different approach could Japan take, and how might that play out? In this essay, I examine Japan’s response to these questions, but more broadly, I discuss how like-minded liberal democracies deal with China. As the US-China rivalry expands in scope and scale, economic interdependence shrinks and regional integration suffers; are US middle-power allies losing their agency? For them, what are the relative benefits and risks of doubling down on an alliance with the US?

President's Commentary: China, Russia and the Urgency for Global Infrastructure Protection


Russian and Chinese aggression drive home the point: democracies need to work together to protect their critical infrastructures.

In May, the U.S. Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), National Security Agency and FBI, along with security agencies in Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the United Kingdom, issued a joint warning that China’s state-sponsored hacking group, Volt Typhoon, might be preparing a cyber attack against critical infrastructure systems. China responded with its usual tactic of denial, lies and propaganda.

Russia has been particularly brutal in its attacks against critical infrastructure targets in Ukraine, blocking grain shipments and bombing energy facilities, for example. Amnesty International in 2022 said that “the Russian army clearly intends to undermine industrial production, disrupt transportation, sow fear and despair and deprive civilians in Ukraine of heat, electricity and water as the cold grip of winter approaches.” And Poland recently felt the need to create a special forces combat team to protect its own critical infrastructure from Russia.

China-Linked Hackers Stole 60,000 U.S. State Dept. Emails in Microsoft Breach


Hackers linked to Beijing breached the email accounts of government officials this year and stole 60,000 emails from the U.S. State Department, a Senate staffer told Reuters Wednesday.

The emails were stolen from 10 State Department accounts, according to the source, who works for Senator Eric Schmitt and was present during a briefing by State Department IT officials. Nine of those accounts belonged to people working on East Asian and Pacific affairs and one on Europe, per an email containing briefing details from the staffer.

The hack was first reported in July, and compromised a Microsoft engineer’s device, per Reuters. The breach appeared to hone in on a select number of senior officials managing the U.S.-China relationship. According to the outlet, U.S. officials and Microsoft said that since May, Chinese state-linked hackers had accessed the email accounts at around 25 organizations, including the U.S. Commerce and State Departments. It is not clear what the content of the emails were.

Pentagon's Unclassified Cyber Strategy is Influenced by Russia-Ukraine War, China

Anastasia Obis

The Defense Department's unclassified summary of its 2023 cyber strategy presents a broad-ranging plan informed by the lessons learned from the Russia-Ukraine war, as well as the growing tensions between the U.S. and China in cyberspace.

"There are some shifts that reflect our real-world experience for the department in the time period between 2018 and 2023 to include our experiences of observing the conflict in Russia-Ukraine that have shaped and refined our understanding of the role of cyber in warfare, the ways in which we defend the homeland, and, of course, the importance of working on strengthening the cybersecurity of our partners and allies," Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Cyber Policy Mieke Eoyang told reporters at a roundtable organized by George Washington University.

The Pentagon's unclassified cyber strategy comes on the heels of the White House's national cybersecurity strategy implementation plan providing federal agencies with actionable steps to improve the nation's security posture. While it is unclear whether a similar implementation plan will follow the Pentagon's new cyber strategy, Eoyang said there are "mechanisms in the Department of Defense that we use to make sure that we are moving forward with that."

Some lessons learned from the Russia-Ukraine war include the importance of cloud migration, the impacts of satellite communications disruption, as well as people's ability to tell their story to the world during an armed conflict.

As China struggles to dig out of an economic hole, no one wants to seize the shovel

During past economic downturns, officials have been both swift and bold. This time not so much—because their hands are tied by knotty internal politics. We ask why Latin America makes for such a useful playground for Russian spies. And remembering Fernando Botero, a Colombian artist who never deviated from his not-quite-comically plump figures.

The Clash of Xivilizations?

Andrew Weaver

In March 2023, Chinese president Xi Jinping launched the “Global Civilization Initiative” (GCI), his third such effort to build an international “community of common destiny”—the Chinese president’s euphemism for a world order in which China predominates. By garnering international endorsements for the principle of “respect[ing] and support[ing] the development paths independently chosen by different peoples,” the GCI seeks to undercut the moral primacy of liberal democracies and legitimize autocratic governance models like Xi’s regime.

Left unanswered by China watchers in the West, however, is how the Chinese party-state will implement this newest strategic initiative beyond the intercultural exchanges that Xi claimed would be the GCI’s primary focus. The following analysis of Chinese Communist Party speeches and state media about the implementation of the GCI reveals much on this score.

These Chinese Communist Party (CCP) statements indicate that while serving as a platform for some legitimate cultural exchanges, the Global Civilization Initiative will likely act as a benign front for expanding the CCP’s information and influence operations already working to control global public discourse on the party. Information operations will likely entail efforts to expand the global operations of state media companies and increase the export of CCP propaganda that celebrates the party’s governance model. Augmenting this global propaganda campaign will be CCP influence operations that recruit political and intellectual elites, primarily in the Global South, to promote policies within their home countries that align with China’s interests.

Iraq’s persistent fault line: The dangers of escalating tensions in Kirkuk

Hamzeh Hadad

For the past century, Kirkuk has been the site of ethnic tension. Particularly since the 2003 US invasion of Iraq, control of the disputed oil-rich province – which is populated by Kurds, Arabs, and Turkmen – has been one of the country’s most contentious and destabilising issues. The semi-autonomous region of Iraqi Kurdistan, led by the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG), asserts that Kirkuk should be part of its jurisdiction and claimed de facto control from 2014 to 2017. Meanwhile, the Iraqi constitution stipulates that Kirkuk’s status will be determined by a referendum after a census is held – but this is yet to happen. Instead, after the Kurdistan Democratic Party’s (KDP) failed independence referendum in September 2017, the central government placed Kirkuk under its direct control.

But hostilities have recently escalated following a shock decision last month by Iraqi prime minister Mohammed Shia al-Sudani to allow the KDP to resume control of their political offices and military base in Kirkuk city. Sudani’s decision sparked protests from Arab and Turkmen residents, which, in turn, led to counter-protests by Kurdish residents. Four people were killed in the unrest, prompting the Federal Supreme Court to pause its implementation. These events underscore the risks of Kirkuk’s unresolved status, which could be exacerbated by upcoming provincial elections in December and spread tensions to neighbouring Turkey and Iran – who have Kurdish populations – further heightening regional instability.

The U.S. Can Learn from Ukraine’s Theory of Victory


OPINION — Ukraine’s dogged defense against Russian aggression has enabled battlefield innovations that are transforming warfare as we know it—this much is obvious to most observers. Less well known, is Ukraine’s novel theory of victory: a smart and aggressive strategy of simultaneously winning a war and rejuvenating the economy and national infrastructure.

This evolution in thinking is about “resilience,” which focuses on prosperity in the present and future, as opposed to “reconstruction,” which focuses on restoration of the past.

Ukraine’s dual-pronged approach, if successful, is its fastest path to securing its borders and earning an enduring and prosperous peace.

Ukraine’s U.S. allies have not yet recognized today’s dynamic, blended, digital realities of society and conflict. The old thinking is perpetuated by ossified bureaucratic structures and norms unsuited for this new reality. Leaders who cling to a traditional, deeply bifurcated, sequenced concept of war and peace will be left behind in tomorrow’s asymmetrically lethal wars.

The nature of war has changed, and Washington must change with it.


Grace Mappes, Christina Harward, Angelica Evans, Kateryna Stepanenko, and Frederick W. Kagan

A prominent Russian milblogger and front-line unit commander claimed that Russian Airborne Forces (VDV) Commander Colonel General Mikhail Teplinsky “saved” the Russian 31st Guards VDV Brigade, which was fighting south of Bakhmut, mirroring claims made by a much smaller milblogger about VDV units in western Zaporizhia Oblast. Vostok Battalion commander Alexander Khodakovsky recalled a conversation with then-Commander of the 31st VDV Airborne Brigade Colonel Andrei Kondrashkin prior to Kondrashkin’s death around Bakhmut in mid-September, in which Kondrashkin revealed that his forces suffered personnel losses and that their motivation to fight dropped to a critical level.[1] Kondrashkin reportedly stated that the Russian military command demanded that his forces undertake “decisive actions,” while he knew that his personnel were suffering a critical lack of motivation. Khodakovsky noted that Kondrashkin refrained from raising his concerns to the military command and proceeded to blame his military failures on the lack of cohesion among Russian forces. Khodakovsky, in turn, noted that cohesion was not the problem, but rather that Kondrashkin needed to make a choice to either “waste” his troops in combat or protest the Russian military command’s order at the expense of his career. Khodakovsky observed that Kondrashkin never had a chance to make this choice because he sustained an injury in combat immediately after the conversation, and that Teplinsky “saved” the 31st VDV Brigade by taking the “remnants [of the brigade] under his wing” and giving them the opportunity to take a break from combat.

A Telegram channel that advocates for Teplinsky also amplified Khodakovsky’s account, claiming that Russian VDV forces – namely elements of the Russian 7th and 76th VDV divisions – are facing similar issues in western Zaporizhia Oblast.[2] The milblogger claimed that Teplinsky is no longer able to rescue these divisions, however, as he was quietly stripped of his responsibilities. ISW cannot confirm either Khodakovsky‘s or the pro-Teplinsky milblogger’s claims, but both narratives attempt to portray Teplinsky as a commander who values the wellbeing of his forces over his career –

Training Mind, Body, and Spirit: The Evolution of Military Boot Camps

Military boot camps go well beyond physical rigors.

Diving deeper into the world of military boot camps reveals an intricate web of lessons that go far beyond the physical. It’s a place that molds character, fosters teamwork, and lays the foundations for lifelong military learning.

Recruits at the U.S. Navy prepare for basic swim testing. 

It’s a well-rounded introductory school for warriors. It doesn’t just turn them into fighting machines but also into responsible, thinking, and empathetic soldiers ready to serve and lead.

The Mind as a Weapon

A strong body is an asset on the battlefield, but the mind commands the body. Military boot camps place immense emphasis on mental strength.

Recruits undergo problem-solving exercises and resilience training and are taught coping strategies for stress. Besides pushing the body to its limits, it’s also about preparing the mind for military life and combat challenges.

Lessons in Teamwork and Leadership

Ever heard the saying, “No man is an island”? Nowhere is this truer than in the military.

Military boot camps foster a spirit of camaraderie. From group drills to team-based problem-solving exercises, recruits learn early on that success is a collective effort.

Undersecretary of the Army directs review of electronic warfare portfolio


The undersecretary of the Army has directed a complete review of the service’s electronic warfare capabilities, DefenseScoop has learned.

In what is called a capability portfolio review, Gabe Camarillo has directed the Army to examine potential gaps and priority investments in its electronic warfare portfolio.

“Undersecretary Camarillo directed a review of the Army’s position within the Department of Defense’s electronic warfare efforts to identify gaps, priorities and investment opportunities,” an Army spokesperson told DefenseScoop. “As the Army shifts its focus from counterterrorism to large-scale combat operations, we will continue to assess and invest in capabilities to ensure the service effectively supports the Joint Force in any contingency operation.”

Following the Cold War and during the counterterrorism fight, the Army – along with much of the joint force – divested much of its electronic warfare capabilities. During those counter-insurgency fights, the Army used blunt jamming tools to thwart improvised explosive devices, which, in turn, inadvertently jammed friendly systems.

In the years since Russia first entered Ukraine in 2014, the Army has been rapidly seeking to modernize its arsenal to keep pace with Russia and other advanced actors across the world who have seized on America’s divestment in the spectrum and sought to bolster their own prowess and capabilities.

Joint Integration Emerging As the Solution for CJADC2

Bryan Clark & Dan Patt

After failing to deliver on its early ambitions of connecting every sensor with every shooter, the Pentagon’s Combined Joint All-Domain Command and Control, or CJADC2, initiative is making progress by flipping its original playbook and building a new team to run it. Rather than relying on top-down standards and requirements to produce a more interoperable and interchangeable force—an effort that could take decades—CJADC2 is knitting together specific systems needed to solve the real-world operational problems of today.

CJADC2 spent the last few years in the wilderness, suffering under a Joint Staff-led process that emphasized universal standards and requirements to drive jointness in the future force. Recently the Joint Staff added more process, mandating interchangeability with allies and partners and absorbing communications and computers under CJADC2’s purview. The growing breadth of CJADC2 threatened to render it a meaningless catch-all instead of a warfighting capability.

By stripping CJADC2 back down to its original purpose, the DoD appears to be regaining forward momentum. At its core, CJADC2 involves two functions: joint command and control (C2) and integration. Joint C2 formulates and executes plans, which against peer adversaries will increasingly depend on new concepts that orchestrate widely distributed units across domains. Joint integration composes systems from multiple services into the effects chains or mission threads needed to implement plans.

What Awaits Ukraine Once the War Ends? Prosperity, For One Thing

Jeffrey A. Sonnenfeld

Last week, three questions dominated the coverage of indefatigable Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky’s high-profile visit to the United Nations in New York and meetings with President Joe Biden and bipartisan legislators in Washington: How much longer will this war last? How will it end? And what are Ukraine’s prospects as a society afterward?

Freshly back from a visit to Kyiv sponsored by the Victor Pinchuk Foundation’s Yalta European Strategy forum, I have the answers–and they are surprisingly optimistic. No, Ukraine will not be a pathetic basket case reliant upon global generosity trapped in a forever war. Instead, it will be the world’s breadbasket, a beacon of art and culture, and a leader in technology. Yes, peace will likely be restored by January 2025–when Vladimir Putin discovers that the U.S. will remain steadfast in its support for freedom and democracy in Ukraine in the wake of our presidential election.

My conclusions are informed by a lifetime of studying history, economics, business, diplomacy, psychology, leadership, and management, as well as extensive economic research on the region. However, my best data comes from my first-hand conversations with President Zelenskyy, his leadership team, and the Ukrainian people he serves over the last 20 months during which I have worked assiduously in support of Ukraine’s struggle to defend itself as a sovereign, peaceful, democratic nation that is buffering the world from its oppressive, imperialistic, totalitarian neighbor.

Pro-Russian ex-PM Fico wins Slovak election, needs allies for government

Jan Lopatka and Jason Hovet

BRATISLAVA (Reuters) - Slovakia's leftist former Prime Minister Robert Fico beat his progressive rival in a parliamentary election after campaigning to end military aid to Ukraine, but he will need to win over allies to form the next government, nearly complete results showed on Sunday.

With 98% of voting districts reporting in the Saturday election, Fico's SMER-SSD party led with 23.37% of the vote. The liberal Progressive Slovakia (PS) followed with 16.86% and the HLAS (Voice) party, which could become the kingmaker for forming the next government, was third with 15.03%.

Former Fico colleague and leftist HLAS leader Peter Pellegrini kept his options open on future coalitions.

A government led by Fico and his SMER-SSD party would see NATO member Slovakia joining Hungary in challenging the European Union's consensus on support for Ukraine, just as the bloc looks to maintain unity in opposing Russia's invasion.

It would also signal a further shift in the region against political liberalism, which may be reinforced if conservative PiS wins an election in Poland later this month.

Fico's party is more nationalist and socially conservative, criticising social liberalism, which it says is imposed form Brussels. The PS is liberal on green policies, LGBT rights, deeper European integration and human rights.

Russian Soldiers Warn Ukraine 'Better Armed' After 1,000 Troops Lost


Russian soldiers warned that Ukrainian troops were "better armed" while fighting for control of a key village retaken by Kyiv this month in a new video that emerged on social media on Saturday morning.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said his military retook control of Klishchiivka, a town located southwest of Bakhmut, on September 17, marking a critical victory for Ukraine's latest counteroffensive. Launched in June, Ukraine's most recent effort at reclaiming captured territory appeared to move at a slower pace than the country's allies, which have provided it with substantial military aid, initially hoped for. But the victory in Klishchiivka provided Ukraine a much-needed boost in its counteroffensive that has since seen positive indicators.

Russian soldiers who fought for control of the city have now posted video to social media explaining the defeat. The video, which was recorded on September 19, was posted to X, the social media platform formerly known as Twitter, by the account @wartranslated on Saturday. The origins of the video remain unknown and Newsweek could not independently verify its authenticity.

In the video, a soldier reveals that at least 1,000—but potentially as many 1,200—troops were killed in the battle for Klishchiivka while also explaining Ukraine's weaponry advantage in combat.

US poses greatest threat to global cyberspace

Tang Qiaoying & Zhang Xinzhi

Recently, in response to the cyberattack incident on the Wuhan Municipal Emergency Management Bureau's Earthquake Monitoring Center, a joint investigative team composed of the National Computer Virus Emergency Response Center and 360 Security has made significant progress. They have discovered backdoor malicious software that exhibits characteristics associated with US intelligence agencies.

The investigative team has pointed out that this US action aims to steal earthquake monitoring-related data and has clear military reconnaissance objectives, posing a severe threat to our country's cybersecurity and national security. The aforementioned incident is just the tip of the iceberg of the US' large-scale global network monitoring and espionage activities. The US, known for its double standards and hypocrisy, represents the greatest threat to the strategic stability and peaceful development of global cyberspace.

The US is the full-fledged surveillance empire through extensive cyberattacks

The US has repeatedly carried out cyberattacks against China, systematically stealing critical data, thereby posing a grave threat to China's national security and public interests. According to a report from China's National Computer Virus Emergency Response Center, during the first half of 2021, the majority of captured samples of malicious computer programs in China originated from the US, accounting for 49% of the total.

The war of opportunity: How Azerbaijan’s offensive against Nagorno-Karabakh is shifting the geopolitics of the South Caucasus

Marie Dumoulin & Gustav Gressel

The Azerbaijani government justified its recent offensive against Nagorno-Karabakh as a response to “provocations”. But given Azerbaijan’s preparations, it seems likely the offensive was planned. For Baku, this is a war of opportunity: Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and its consequences, as well as Turkey’s support for Azerbaijan and Europe’s inattention, created a chance for Azerbaijan to regain control of Nagorno-Karabakh. These conditions make the current ceasefire precarious and call for renewed European engagement.

Conditions for conflict

The Russian-brokered ceasefire after the war in 2020 mandated an Armenian withdrawal from the occupied territories surrounding Nagorno-Karabakh, leaving the Armenian-populated Nagorno-Karabakh isolated. Russia sent paratroopers as “peacekeepers” to guard the remaining Armenian settlements around Stepanakert, the de facto capital of Nagorno-Karabakh, using the protection of the Armenian community as a pretext to justify its military presence. Azeri troops immediately cleansed the territory they had conquered of Armenian civilians and cultural and historical heritage, from churches to cemeteries. The agreement made Moscow the arbiter not only of Stepanakert’s survival, but also of two strategic routes: the Lachin corridor, connecting Armenia to Nagorno-Karabakh, which is secured by Russian forces; and a planned land connection between Azerbaijan and its enclave in Nakhichevan, which would also be protected by Russian forces.

Hard truths about Britain’s immigration crisis


It’s been a tough 10 days for Elton John. First, it was revealed that our Rocket Man is having to part ways with his beloved condo in Atlanta (on the market for a cool $5 million). Then, as if that weren’t stressful enough, Elton was forced to take on the entire British Government, leading the charge against the alleged homophobia unleashed by its Home Secretary.

Was Suella Braverman’s speech on Tuesday so outrageous? Was her suggestion that “many” asylum seekers pretend to be gay “homophobic”, or “dog-whistling”, or an “insult to refugees”? Did it have echoes of Enoch Powell?

Not really. For anyone who’s been paying attention to Europe’s immigration crisis, the only surprising thing about her speech was that it has taken so long for a politician to air the unsavoury truth about the mess in which we now find ourselves, and how we can possibly fix it.

Braverman wasn’t making a political point when she observed how Britain’s broken asylum system creates huge incentives for uncontrolled illegal migration, which, inevitably, has a serious “impact on social cohesion”. She was merely stating the truth. Once upon a time, this was an argument acknowledged by the Left. I’m old enough to remember when the Joseph Rowntree Foundation argued that “both our immigration and asylum systems make people destitute by design and need urgent reform”. It was this July.

Japan expanding its reach on the world stage


Japan has been striving toward making strategic use of the United Nations since 1956 when it became a member, to enhance its national interests and also to have a privileged place in international society. Last month, Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida visited New York to deliver a speech at the UN General Assembly (UNGA), which widely focused on the current issues surrounding the security environment.

Kishida focused on an attempt to renew cooperation to protect and strengthen human dignity across the world. He is a Hiroshima native who has made nuclear disarmament his “lifelong mission” and urged the heads of nuclear-weapon states to accelerate the transition to a nuclear-weapons-free world.

In order to achieve this, Japan is also committed to contributing 3 billion yen (US$20 million) to establish a new “Japan chair for a world without nuclear weapons” at overseas research institutes to overcome the contentious debate between academia and government on choosing deterrence or disarmament.