7 November 2023

One month of Israel- Hamas Conflict : Review Of Situation

Rajiv Kumar Srivastava - Defence Commentator

Two ends of the spectrum

At the end of one month of Israel Hamas conflict, three interlinked issues are at the fore. Release of 242 hostages by Hamas, Relief material to Gaza and to initiate these two actions need for ceasefire or temporary halt of military operations by the Israeli Defence Force (IDF) in Gaza. These three issues have divided the world opinion vertically into two groups. No nation can put up a facade of being neutral. One side of the spectrum has terrorist activities of 07 October and on the other side of the spectrum is a retribution of IDF in terms of huge destruction, starvation and deaths of innocents.

This vexed and highly complicated development could be best understood by unsheathing different strategies adopted by both Israel and Hamas.

Hamas: Deep State Driving Five Strategic Aims

For Hamas entire conflict is a do-or-die situation. Hence they have a clear-cut strategy in place since the beginning. Most of the grand strategy of Hamas is shrouded in secrecy. Their Leadership, organisation, planner, weapon source, military training, preparation of defences, selection of target, funding and rationale for selection for date and time for launching terrorist operations on 07 October is not yet known. Their deep state has planned, appropriately built up stamina and directed entire operations for many years. Western media particularly Foreign Affairs gave out a very sketchy picture of their apex decision-making body, the Politbureau. Shein Bath, the Israeli intelligence unit by now must have build up its intelligence void to understand Hamas organisation at the street level of Gaza. So far it also emerges that underground tunnels particularly at Al Shifa Hospital in Gaza City is the headquarters of Hamas.

The nature of Hamas is not to fight a pitched conventional battle with the IDF and hence avoid battle and draw them to fight in built-up areas, a ground of their own choosing. More destruction by the IDF will draw more world sympathy to the Hamas. Therefore, Hamas is using hostages for their survival and as leverage for protracted conflict and asking for a ceasefire to release these hostages. Appropriate international pressure has been build up even through the United Nations wherein 120 nations called for an immediate halt to IDF operations. For a powerful army like IDF stalemate or Ceasefire is as good as defeat for them. Hence, Israel has not heeded to the world's opinion and rather expressed it publically. The partial opening up of the exit gate at Rafa into Ezypt to let a small quantity of relief material to enter Gaza and dual citizenship holders leave has mollified the opinion makers.

Hamas through a protracted battle appears to achieve multiple strategic goals Firstly, to gain support from the West Bank against Israel. Hamas has lost out to Al Fatah in the Western Bank and have only a token presence. So far, only sporadic violence has been reported at West Bank. If agitation happens then, Hamas will have a complete hold over Palestinian at Israel soil. They will be able to achieve the much-touted slogan of River to Sea, implying the Palestinian state from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea. . Secondly, it united the Islamic world, irrespective of Shia or Sunni orientation. In fact, IDF which enjoyed the reputation of one of the best and highly professional in the world, could be mauled and has taken them by surprise. Ironically, Egypt or Jordan while expressing solidarity with the Gaza cause will not accept refugees. Thirdly, the conflict took away attention as well as military resources away from Ukraine- Russian war with obvious advantage to Russia. Fourthly, It watered down American calculus of waging conflict at the South China Sea and deflected attention away from Taiwan as well and Fifthly, Israel's cabinet minster made nuclear reference for Gaza. His statement has taken the cat out of the bag and probably indicated Nuclear proliferation and the presence of nuclear bomb at their disposal. This is what the Islamic World wanted to know.

Israeli Strategy

Israel is working in close tandem with American. This unflinching support has made the situation different. Earlier on almost all the military conflict, America used to support IDF from outside and play the mediator role. Hamas and the deep state has not probably thought of this very fine-tuned close cooperation between the two countries. American lending troops and hardware for direct support will have far-reaching military consequences. Israeli military operations have been brilliantly planned to overcome the setback. Since 26 October onwards, they entered North Gaza from sea side which was least expected by Hamas as they were looking towards border with Israel. Entire tunnel network orientation has been towards West barring few opening towards sea for smuggling purposes.. Therefore, IDF progress on ground operations to isolate Gaza city has gone at very fast pace. from North West North and South directions. They have almost enveloped Gaza city . Gradually they are asking remaining Palestinian to move out and providing windows to open the road to South. Israel appears to be working at three different planes , at military level, political move to bring in Al Fatah control into Gaza and international mediators to get hostages released.

Firstly, At political level ,having surrounded Gaza city from all sides , IDF has effectively divided Gaza strip in to two halves. On 05 November. US Secretary of State visited Al Fatah headquarters at West Bank under information blackout . This visit gives out broad things to emerge in near future. It appears the Israel will hand over control of South Gaza to Al Fateh and concentrate on complete destruction of civilian administrative control and combat potential of Hamas in the Gaza city itself.

Secondly, At the military level, use high weightage as well a Sponge Bombs to effectively cut off tunnel web and force Hamas to restrict in to few portions of the tunnel and come out for fighting in the open. Media assessment on approx 15,000 terrorists strength of Hamas as well as Palestine International Jihad and similar unknown groups appears to be on higher scale. Their strength appears to be not more than four to five thousand spread in 70 to 80 km long web of tunnel below Gaza city . Their logistic backups will not last long. In desperation they may even kill few hostages.

Thirdly, At the international level, exert diplomatic pressure through Oman to get hostages released. Israeli External intelligence agency, Mossad Chief has been camping at Oman for the past one week.

Likely Conflict Trajectory in Coming Days

Hamas will retain the capability to fire rockets towards Israel from Gaza City and Southern part of the Gaza Strip. Will attempt to distract IDF from Gaza city and make efforts to keep its logistic sustenance Seek sympathy and support from Palestinian of West Gaza. Delay release of complete hostages citing the involvement of different groups operating alongside them. Continue to build up and draw world opinion on civilian destructions and call for a ceasefire. Longer the operation world attention will be drawn away from Ukraine and Taiwan.

IDF has already suffered 23 soldier casualties and the challenge to release hostages remains. Therefore, their actions in the next few days will give military lessons worthy to emulate by the professional armies of the world.

Israel uses F-35I to shoot down cruise missile, a first for Joint Strike Fighter


An Israeli Air Force F-35 Lightning II fighter jet performs during a graduation ceremony of Israeli Air Force pilots at the Hatzerim base in the Negev desert, near the southern city of Beer Sheva, on June 24, 2021. 

JERUSALEM — The Israel Defense Forces said that it used F-35I Adir fighter jets to shoot down a cruise missile this week, the first known cruise missile intercept by the American-made stealth fighter.

“In recent days, a cruise missile launched from the southeast toward Israeli airspace was detected by the IAF’s control and detection systems. After tracking the cruise missile’s trajectory, Adir fighter jets were scrambled and successfully intercepted the missile,” the IDF said today, while releasing video of the incident.

The cruise missile was likely launched from the Iran-backed Houthis in Yemen, although the IDF did not specify the launch site. While Israeli did not specify what weapon was used to intercept the incoming cruise missile, Israel’s F-35I variants are armed with both the AIM-9X Sidewinder and Aim-120 AMRAAM missiles.

Israel’s F-35s were declared operational in 2017 and they were used in combat in 2018 for the first time. Israel signed a deal to buy an additional 25 of the aircraft in July. The country will eventually have 75 of the fifth-generation aircraft.

The IDF also hold the title of the first known kill by an F-35, when in March 2021 it shot down two drones it says were launched from Iran.

Let Israel Win

Matthew Continetti

Why? Because calls for a ceasefire reward barbarism. The usual double standard is hard at work: Hamas terrorists spent years planning the murder of more than 1,400 Jews on October 7, and Hamas terrorists continue to hold hundreds of captives, including Americans, while shelling Israel with indiscriminate rocket fire. Yet it is somehow Israel's responsibility to exercise self-restraint.

This interpretation of the situation is entirely backward. Hamas could end all this tomorrow if it released the hostages, put down its arms, and surrendered. Hamas, not Israel, is the aggressor. Hamas, not Israel, is the "occupier" of the Gaza Strip. Hamas, not Israel, rejects international law. Hamas, not Israel, steals food, fuel, and water from civilians. And the fact that these words need to be written at all is evidence that the culture-producing institutions of the West—the media, the universities, cultural and political celebrities—are irreparably broken.

A ceasefire would be worse than useless. If Israel were to end combat operations now, with Hamas in control of the Gaza Strip and captives hidden in the maze of tunnels known as the Gaza Metro, then the terrorists will score a remarkable victory. Harassment and attacks on Jews worldwide will surge.

Hamas will regroup. Its strategy of using civilians as pawns in a chess match for global opinion will have proven effective once again. Its ranks will swell. It will plot its next move. "The Al-Aqsa Deluge"—Hamas's name for its October 7 crime against humanity—"is just the first time," Ghazi Hamad, a Hamas factotum, said on Lebanese television the other day. "And there will be a second, a third, a fourth."

The Case For A Full Israeli Victory over Hamas in Gaza

Lawrence J. Haas

Israel is facing all-too-predictable global pressure to scale back its military operation in Gaza to spare innocent lives and prevent a regional conflict that could draw in Iran, the United States, and other nations.

But critics have it backward. Those concerned about human rights and those seeking peace should be rooting for Israel’s full-scale destruction of Hamas—however long it takes or bloody it becomes. That may sound harsh, but it’s the only path to more human rights and more peace for both Israelis and Palestinians.

On human rights, Israelis deserve to live without fear of rocket attack, infiltration, and slaughter from across their border. But Gaza’s two million Palestinians also deserve peace as well as the prospect of a better life—both of which will remain elusive not because they live next to Israel but because they live under Hamas.

Hamas, the Palestinian branch of the Muslim Brotherhood movement, seized control of Gaza from the Palestinian Authority in a violent coup in 2007 and has ruled it since with an iron fist. It allows no elections; permits no free press; arrests, beats, and tortures its critics; and murders those suspected of collaborating, or seeking peace, with Israel.

Over the last sixteen years, Hamas has instigated multiple wars with Israel by launching thousands of rockets or attacking the Jewish state in other ways. It then hides its fighters (as it’s now doing) in hospitals, mosques, and other population centers in order to boost civilian casualties and turn global opinion against Israel after it responds and the deaths mount.

U.S. and Israel Split Over Gaza Goals, Muddying War’s Endgame

Tarini Parti

U.S. and Israeli interests in the ongoing Middle East conflict are diverging in both the short and long term, muddying the path to ending Israel’s war against militant group Hamas in the Gaza Strip.

Above all, Israel views Hamas as an existential threat and sees eradicating it as a crucial goal; anything short of that is a failure. The U.S. has committed to helping Israel defeat Hamas, but for President Biden, the threat goes beyond Hamas. His administration is trying to keep its allies united against Iran, Russia and China. Both countries want to avoid a larger regional war, but Israel is willing to take more risks in pursuit of defeating Hamas.

The ‘pause’ debate

In the immediate aftermath of the Oct. 7 attacks by Hamas, Biden made his staunch support for Israel clear, embracing Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on a trip to Tel Aviv, a rare presidential visit to a war zone. But in the days since, Biden, under pressure from critics in his own party, has repeatedly stressed in phone calls with Netanyahu that Israel should run its military campaign in accordance with international humanitarian law. The U.S. is also increasingly calling for a pause in the fighting to get humanitarian aid into Gaza and hostages safely out, though resisting calls for a full cease-fire.

Last Exit? A Three-State Solution to the Israel-Palestinian Dispute

Martin A. Smith

The current conflict between Israel and Hamas in the Gaza Strip has given a new lease of life – in the rhetorical realm at least – to international demands to finally bring to fruition the two-state solution to the Israel-Palestinian dispute, entailing the creation of a viable, sovereign Palestinian state in the West Bank and Gaza. To western and many other international observers this is the fairest and most rational solution to the conflict. The problem is that, seventy-six years after it was first put forward as the preferred choice of the international community (by the UN General Assembly in November 1947), there is still no convincing evidence that this option can be made to work, notwithstanding intense periods of tripartite diplomacy brokered by the US.

Partly in response to these serial failures there has been a revival of academic interest in a potential one-state solution. This harks back to the view advanced by Arab political leaders in British mandatory Palestine in the 1920s-1940s and the leaders of neighbouring Arab states, that the only just, fair and sustainable solution should be based on establishing a single, unitary democratic state of Palestine, governed by its (then-)Arab majority and with a pledge of full political, civil and religious rights for minority populations, including Jews. If the one-state option ever had a chance of being adopted, this effectively disappeared with the creation of the state of Israel in May 1948. Its current iteration, by definition, would require the Israeli state to be transcended by a binational or bicommunal entity granting equal rights to the five million Palestinians currently in the West Bank and Gaza. It thus stands no chance of being adopted by the current or any future Israeli government.

Gaza First: The Centrality of Gaza in Israeli-Palestinian Conflict Resolution

David J. Wilcox

The Gaza Strip has always been central to the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict. The Gaza Strip has long been connected to Palestinian nationalism; many leaders of Fatah came from there; Hamas emerged there; and it is where the First Intifada (1987-1993) began (Corbin, 19994, 11-12; See also Bar-On, 1996; Waage 2004). That said, unrest in the Gaza Strip has always been connected to broader unrest across the West Bank. For example, the tensions between 4-9 December 1987 that triggered the First Intifada started in the West Bank but escalated in Gaza (Nusseibeh, 2007, 265-266). Indeed, the future of Gaza has consistently been a starting point for negotiations aimed at resolving the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict (See Jensehaugen, 2018; Quandt, 2005; Waage, 2004).

While the outcome of the current confrontation between the State of Israel and Hamas is uncertain and unpredictable – indeed Israel is said not to have a plan for what will happen after – it seems clear that the future of the Gaza Strip will have to be examined afresh, both in terms of its political governance and invariable, its reconstruction. Indeed it has been recognised that status quo is now over.

In this article, I look back at the discussions that took place around the future of the Gaza Strip during the 1992-1993 Oslo Channel and draw out a number of key elements that should be considered afresh as part of a longer-term examination of what to do with the Gaza Strip following this current confrontation.

“Gaza-First”: Gaza as A Negotiation Stepping-Stone

Will There Be a Wider War in the Middle East?

Ravi Agrawal

As Israel continues its war on Hamas, and as the number of civilian casualties in Gaza rises, neighboring countries are on edge. From Israel’s north, in Lebanon, the militant Islamist group Hezbollah has already launched a small number of rocket attacks, with “all options” on the table, according to a speech by the group’s leader, Hassan Nasrallah, on Friday. To the east, there’s Iran, which backs Hezbollah and also Hamas, and has been making ominous public statements against Israel. South of Israel, beyond Saudi Arabia, there’s Yemen: Evidence indicates that Houthi rebels there may have been responsible for an intercepted missile attack headed toward Israel. And meanwhile, to Israel’s southwest, there’s Egypt, which is worried about a potential influx of Palestinian refugees.

What to Know About U.S. Military Support for Israel’s Gaza Offensive


In the wake of Hamas’s deadly attacks on Israel on Oct. 7, the Israeli government has declared war on Hamas, dropping more than 6,000 bombs on Gaza. From the Gaza strip, Hamas militants have fired more than 7,000 rockets at Israel, many of which have been intercepted by the Iron Dome, Israel’s extensive air-defense system.

As Israel races through its stockpiles of ammunition and air defense interceptors, it will be heavily dependent on longstanding U.S. support to replenish its stockpiles. The U.S. has promised to surge its military support for Israel, even as criticisms mount over the Biden administration’s failure to prevent the biggest recipient of U.S. military aid from causing significant civilian casualties in its offensive.

Here’s what to know about the U.S.’s military support for Israel and how it is being used in Gaza.Demonstrators gather in support of the Palestinian people during an "International Day of Action for Palestine."Michael Nigro

What support does the U.S. provide to Israel?

Israeli–Palestinian conflict has no two-state solution

Bob Bowker

Recognition among Western governments of the scale of death and dispossession in Gaza has been widely accompanied by references to the need to return to a two-state solution to the Israeli–Palestinian conflict.

It’s a comforting sentiment. It was the default political answer in the United Nations to an intractable problem in the late 1940s. From the 1970s, it set an ambitious and positive framework for discussion of Middle East policy in Western capitals and, eventually, in the Arab world.

But it has no connection to contemporary realities. At best, the idea of two states has become, once again, an idea long ahead of its time.

A succession of Israeli prime ministers from the right has sought consistently to ensure that no Palestinian state would eventuate in what they call Judea and Samaria. Zionist leader Ze’ev Jabotinsky’s ideal of a metaphorical ‘iron wall’ to crush Palestinian irredentism has long been their guiding principle.

The idea of a Palestinian state being created alongside Israel always ran counter to the Likud vision of Israel extending from the Mediterranean to the Jordan River. (Indeed, a song popular among Likud supporters used to go further: harking back to Churchill’s creation in the 1920s of the Hashemite state east of the river, at the expense of Zionist wishes, it said: ‘The Jordan has two banks, and both of them are ours.’)

Why the U.S. Shouldn't Rely on Fancy Equipment to Beat China In a War

James Holmes

Here's What You Need to Remember: But by the same token certain mundane capabilities should rank high in the pecking order—and so must the humdrum platforms deployed to carry out missions deriving from those capabilities. Some everyday capabilities act as enablers, helping glamour platforms fulfill their potential. Others advance strategic purposes in their own right.

With apologies to Nassim Nicholas Taleb: never underestimate the impact—and value—of the highly mundane.

Seafaring folk, including yours truly, have a habit of falling in love with glitzy armaments and platforms such as aircraft carriers, stealth fighters, and destroyers festooned with sensors and missiles. The reasoning goes something like this: frontline vessels and aircraft do battle for command of sea and sky. Without them the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps may never win command. And if they cannot win command they cannot leverage command for operational and strategic effect. The sea becomes a bulwark against U.S. and allied strategy rather than an avenue into embattled zones. Maritime strategy falters.

By that logic it follows that top-end hardware should hold pride of place in budgetary deliberations and fleet design. The services should procure lesser implements on a not-to-interfere basis with capital ships. They should forego acquisitions of, say, unglamorous diesel attack submarines for fear of siphoning finite shipbuilding resources from nuclear-powered attack boats.

(This first appeared in 2018.)

The Looming China-Japan Face-Off


LONDON – I am an adviser to the Praemium Imperiale, a prestigious award established under the patronage of the Japanese imperial family to commemorate the centennial of the Japan Art Association’s establishment in the middle of the Meiji period. Since its inception in 1988, the award has been likened to a Nobel Prize for artistic fields such as painting, sculpture, and film.

Following this year’s ceremonies, I visited the foothills of Mount Fuji, whose snow-capped peak is occasionally visible from Tokyo. At this time of year, this region offers another breathtaking sight, as the slopes beneath the mountain’s summit are blanketed with fields of pampas grass that sway and rustle in the wind. It is one of Japan’s most famous tourist attractions.

During my visit, the peaceful rustling of the grass was occasionally interrupted by the distant echoes of gunfire. It would not have felt out of place in Gaza and Ukraine. But what I heard was artillery and tank fire from a nearby training facility of the Japan Self-Defense Forces.

This incident underscored Japan’s historic security policy shift. Under the leadership of the late Abe Shinzō, Japan began to move away from its postwar pacifism and embraced rearmament. This reorientation accelerated under Abe’s successors, Yoshihide Suga and current Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, with Kishida unveiling a plan to double defense spending to 2% of GDP within the next five years.

Chinese Operational Art The Primacy of the Human Dimension

Rob Hafen

Chinese soldiers march past the six-centuries-old Tian’anmen Rostrum during a military parade on 3 September 2015 in Beijing to commemorate the seventieth anniversary of China’s victory against Japanese aggression. Although the modern Chinese military is considered to be a pacing threat by the United States, Chinese doctrine draws from over 2,500 years of military history and theory. (Photo by Imaginechina, Alamy Stock Photo)

American military colleges like the U.S. Army War College and Command and General Staff School spend a great deal of time studying the Western, or American, way of war. Although U.S. national security documents identify China as our pacing challenge and with over 2,500 years of Chinese military history and theory to draw from, the American military spends very little time learning about the Chinese way of war. At the Command and General Staff School, there is only one elective course on the Chinese way of war with a U.S. Indo-Pacific Command training scenario put in place for academic year 2024.

Opinion – Keep an Eye on Djibouti

Mukesh Kapila

Here is a quiz for our times. Think of a nation through the mouth of which passes 10–15 per cent of the world’s oil and commercial trade (20–25 per cent for Europe). Also, the undersea cables that transmit data between three continents including nearly all internet access to some territories. Besides being the life-giving conduit with 95% of goods to and from a giant landlocked neighbour. Further visualise that nation marooned within a tempestuous region of perpetually-conflicted neighbours. With piracy rampant along its 314 km waterfront. Finally, consider the cheek-by-jowl military bases of eight great powers in a tiny territory of 23,000 square km. This is Djibouti where, aeons ago, the earth split to create the Red Sea. It is still at the centre of tectonic shifts, but of the geo-political type. But this is not much talked about. Is Djibouti the calm centre of the violent political storms buffeting our world, or will it become the epicentre of the next global war?

The question stems from Djibouti’s location overlooking the Bab al-Mandab Strait that connects the Indian Ocean via the Gulf of Aden to the Red Sea and Mediterranean. The economic security of the world’s most populous regions from China and India to Middle East, Horn of Africa, and Europe depend on free passage across this 28 km wide chokepoint. It is a rough neighbourhood. Across the water is the Houthi-dominated part of Yemen, torn by a proxy war between Iran and Saudi Arabia. And bordering Djibouti are totalitarian Eritrea, dysfunctional Somalia, and restive Ethiopia. The longstanding conflicts within and across their borders are accompanied by massive human rights abuses, hunger, disease, and climate and environmental catastrophes. As well as population dislocations: some 5 million refugees and 16 million displaced.

Xi Jinping’s Civil Diplomacy Initiative: Origins, Purpose, and Challenges

Liye Hong

As China lifted its strict COVID-19 policy in December 2022, observers noted a shift in the course of Sino-US relations. Since early 2023, China and the US have been attempting to resume communications, a process that was compromised during the pandemic. However, the road to recovery in Sino-US relations has not been smooth. U.S. Secretary of State Anthony Blinken planned a visit to China in February, but the trip was canceled following a spy balloon incident in the same month. In response to this situation, the Chinese government deployed a strategy of civil diplomacy, seeking to expand its contacts with non-governmental organizations and ordinary citizens in the US. These signals from China should not be dismissed as mere flamboyant actions to burnish Xi’s personal image; they hold historical significance and have the potential to thaw the limitations that local governments and public institutions face in engaging with the U.S.

By the start of 2023, a surge was observed in informal dialogues between local Chinese officials and American bureaucrats, as well as interactions with US business leaders. Highlighting this shift, the Global Times, a prominent Chinese newspaper, underscored the significance of civil diplomacy on June 14. President Xi himself reinforced this perspective during his meeting with the Gates Foundation founders, Bill and Melinda Gates, on June 20, poignantly remarking that “the foundation of Sino-US relations lies with its people.”

This commitment to enhancing person-to-person connections manifested in several initiatives throughout the year. Tsinghua University, for instance, spearheaded a youth scholar exchange program with the US, marking a milestone as the first major exchange initiative since 2020. On August 20 and 31, Xi reaffirmed his stance on Sino-US relations by replying to letters written by students from US-China Youth and Student Exchange Association in Washington State and the grandson of Joseph Stilwell, a renowned American military general stationed in China during World War II.

Why China’s Involvement in the U.K. AI Safety Summit Was So Significant


As delegates from around the world and leaders from the tech industry gathered in the U.K. for the first ever AI Safety Summit, there appeared to be harmony between officials of historical rivals China and the U.S. On Wednesday, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo and Chinese Vice Minister of Science and Technology Wu Zhaohui shared a stage at the opening plenary of the U.K. AI Safety Summit.

Later that day, the U.S. and China were two of 29 countries to sign the Bletchley Declaration, which affirmed the risks AI poses and commits to international cooperation to identify and mitigate those risks, a crucial initial step to establishing regulation in the future.

But simmering beneath these shows of cooperation is an undercurrent of increasing tension between the two AI superpowers. Tech supremacy has been a hallmark of the tensions between the U.S. and China in recent years. In 2017, on the heels of an impressive breakthrough in artificial intelligence by Google Deepmind, China made AI progress a priority with its New Generation AI Development Plan. The plan set a timetable for the country to achieve certain milestones, including achieving “major breakthroughs” by 2025 and becoming a global leader in AI by 2030.

The launch of AI chatbot ChatGPT nearly a year ago has only sharpened the global focus on the technology. And concern in Washington that China could jump ahead on AI has led to restrictions on Chinese access to U.S. technology that could help its progress. On Oct. 17, the U.S. Department of Commerce announced a new set of restrictions that prevent the sale and resale of advanced AI chips and chip manufacturing equipment to China, updating rules imposed a year earlier. In response, China’s foreign ministry accused the U.S. of violating the principles of competition and a market economy, according to Reuters.



There’s “normal” nation-state spying, and then there’s the level of spying that China has engaged in for the last two decades. Using cyber espionage, aerial surveillance, and old-fashioned secret agents, the Chinese government not only conducts espionage for national security reasons, as many nations do, but also engages in intellectual property theft, duplicitous and exploitive partnerships, interference in democratic elections, engaging in international media manipulation, and undermining economic competition. Furthermore, China’s government does this through fear tactics particularly among Chinese nationals living abroad, that are contrary to the freedoms and rights guaranteed by the countries where these nationals live.

In October, leaders of the spy agencies that make up the Five-Eyes intelligence alliance — the U.S., the U.K., Canada, Australia, and New Zealand — met at Stanford University for a public meeting to discuss the “unprecedented threat” Chinese cybertheft presented. This was the first time all five of the leaders of the intelligence alliance have appeared together in public.

In an interview on 60 Minutes Christopher Wray (U.S.), Ken McCallum (U.K.), David Vigneault (Canada), Mike Burgess (Australia), and Andrew Hampton (New Zealand) agreed that world-changing technologies like artificial intelligence, synthetic biology, and quantum computing, among others, are falling into the wrong hands because they were stolen in a global espionage campaign by China. The heads of the organizations met at Stanford University near Silicon Valley, rather than Washington, DC, because technology companies are the primary target for Chinese hackers. They want to warn large companies as well as small start-ups that any of them could be the target of cyber theft.


Kateryna Stepanenko, Christina Harward, Riley Bailey, and Frederick W. Kagan

Russian sources claimed that Ukrainian forces conducted a missile strike on the Russian “Dnepr” Grouping of Forces headquarters in Kherson Oblast on November 1.[1] A prominent Russian milblogger claimed that Ukrainian forces launched Storm Shadow cruise missiles and Neptune anti-ship missiles targeting Strilkove, Kherson Oblast, on the Arabat Spit and that Russian air defenses only intercepted half of the missiles.[2] Multiple Russian sources claimed that Colonel General Mikhail Teplinsky, the recently named commander of the Russian “Dnepr” Grouping of Forces operating in the Kherson direction, was uninjured.[3] Russian opposition media outlet Astra reported that four Ukrainian missiles struck the “Aura” recreation center near Strilkove that served as the Russian Dnepr Grouping’s headquarters.[4]

Ukrainian forces recently advanced near Bakhmut and continued offensive operations in western Zaporizhia Oblast on November 2. Geolocated footage published on November 1 indicates that Ukrainian forces advanced further northeast of the railway line near Klishchiivka (7km southwest of Bakhmut).[5] The Ukrainian General Staff reported that Ukrainian forces continued offensive operations in the Bakhmut and Melitopol (western Zaporizhia Oblast) directions.[6]

The Russian information space’s reaction to Ukrainian Commander-in-Chief General Valerii Zaluzhnyi’s November 1 interview and essay about the current operational environment in Ukraine was relatively muted. Several Russian sources simply summarized Zaluzhnyi’s points, while others suggested that Zaluzhnyi was primarily acknowledging the superiority of Soviet-era military strategy over NATO doctrine.[7] Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov expressed disagreement with Zaluzhnyi’s conclusions and stated that the war has not reached a “dead end.”[8]

Reimagining Industrial Policy for a Technological Cold War

Steve Blank

Last month, the United States passed the CHIPS and Science Act, one of the first pieces of national industrial policy—government planning and intervention in a specific industry—in the last fifty years, in this case for semiconductors. After the celebratory champagne has been drunk and the confetti floats to the ground, it’s helpful to put the CHIPS Act in context and understand the work that government and private capital have left to do.

The United States is now engaged in great power competition with China. It’s a contest over which nation’s diplomatic, information, military, and economic system will lead the world in the twenty-first century. And the result will determine whether we face a Chinese dystopian future or a democratic one where individuals and nations get to make their own choices. At the heart of this contest is leadership in emerging and disruptive technologies—running the gamut from semiconductors and supercomputers to biotech and blockchain, and everything in between.

Chinese and U.S. National Industrial Policy

Unlike the United States, China manages its industrial policy through top-down five-year plans. The overall goal is to turn China into a technologically advanced and militarily powerful state that can challenge U.S. commercial and military leadership. Beijing, unlike Washington, has embraced the idea that national security is inexorably intertwined with commercial technologies such as semiconductors, drones, and artificial intelligence (AI). China has developed what it calls military-civil fusion: a dual-use ecosystem built by tightly coupling its commercial technology companies with its defense ecosystem.

Why the Biden Administration Wants to Replace the Biggest, Most Dangerous Nuclear Bomb in Its Arsenal


President Biden’s administration is proposing taking older nuclear bombs and rebuilding them into new ones, so the Pentagon can replace the largest nuke in its arsenal.

The proposed B61-13 would replace a much bigger, more dangerous bomb, but would still have one of the largest yields in the American nuclear arsenal. The new bomb would follow two other nukes recently rebuilt from older weapons, the B61-12 gravity bomb and the W76-2 submarine missile warhead—all part of an effort to keep pace with nuclear-armed adversaries.

America’s Nuclear Bombs

America’s nuclear weapons are typically divided between warheads carried on missiles and aircraft-dropped gravity bombs. There are two serving types of gravity bombs, the B61 series developed in the 1960s by Los Alamos and the B83.

The B61 series bombs have a “dial-a-yield” control system that allows the explosive yield of the bomb to be adjusted to fit the mission requirements, from the equivalent of 300 tons (.3 kilotons) of explosive to 360,000 tons (360 kilotons). The bomb dropped on Hiroshima, Japan, was just 15,000 tons (15 kilotons). The B61 series can be dropped by the B-2 and B-21 bombers and F-35, F-15E, and F-16 fighters.

Robo-ship from US Navy task force launches missiles in Middle East region


A Lethal Miniature Aerial Missile System launches munitions from a MARTAC T-38 Devil Ray unmanned surface vehicle, attached to U.S. Naval Forces Central Command’s Task Force 59, during Exercise Digital Talon in the Arabian Gulf, Oct. 23. (U.S. Navy photo by Chief Mass Communication Specialist Justin Stumberg)

An unmanned surface vessel operated by Task Force 59 successfully hit a target boat with a “Lethal Miniature Aerial Missile System” during an exercise last week, according to U.S. Naval Forces Central Command.

The task force, which falls under 5th Fleet, has been using a variety of drones and artificial intelligence capabilities to perform intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance missions in the Middle East area of operations to monitor Iranian military assets and other activity. That includes unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), unmanned surface vessels (USVs), unmanned underwater vessels (UUVs) and AI tools to enable computer vision, anomalous behavior detection, multi-system command and control, and edge intelligence

Now, the unit is testing its ability to launch weapons from robo-ships.

During a live firing exercise in the international waters near the Arabian Peninsula on Oct. 23, the task force showed that it could use an unmanned surface vessel to launch a loitering munition and hit what it was aiming for.

Top Ukrainian general’s gloomy view of Russia war fuels military aid debate


A top Ukrainian general’s assessment that the war with Russia is a stalemate is fueling partisan passions as a debate on whether to bolster Kyiv with more weapons roils Congress.

The stunning admission by Gen. Valery Zaluzhnyy, commander in chief of Ukraine’s armed forces, is reverberating on Capitol Hill — where Republicans are arguing his comments are a reason to rethink America’s as-long-as-it-takes support for Kyiv. And that could make Ukraine’s uphill climb against Russia and in the halls of Congress even steeper.

Without a sudden boost in technological superiority, “there will most likely be no deep and beautiful breakthrough” against Russia, Zaluzhnyy told The Economist in an interview posted Wednesday night. The war is at a stalemate, he said, and took the blame for believing Russian President Vladimir Putin would change course after losing roughly 150,000 troops. “In any other country such casualties would have stopped the war.”

Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.), a skeptic of more aid to Kyiv, said that Zaluzhnyy’s candor blew a major hole in the administration’s Ukraine policy. Their pitch, Hawley contended, is “we need to keep funding Ukraine, in all aspects, not just militarily, we need to provide money for their pensions and all the rest so that it can remain a stalemate.”

“That naturally raises the question: What exactly is our endgame strategy?” he asked. “What’s the plan here? I don’t think they have a plan.”

Ukraine: 2024 headwinds


This week saw the US House of Representatives finally elect a new Speaker after a long and rancorous debate. A bill to fund continued American support for Ukraine’s war effort is now high on the agenda. But newly elected Speaker Mike Johnson has an inauspicious voting record on Ukraine assistance. In some respects, the election of a US Speaker who has opposed aid to Ukraine is a harbinger of the headwinds facing Kyiv as it plans for what will be a difficult 2024.

Politics will prove rough for Ukraine in the year ahead. Both the United States and Russia have elections in 2024. In Russia, Vladimir Putin will seek to demonstrate that Russian forces have made gains before the election, and this is what is partially driving the elevated levels of Russian offensive operations in Ukraine.

The US situation will be more complicated. There is growing partisanship over support for Ukraine. A recent survey conducted by the Chicago Council on Global Affairs shows that fewer Republicans than Democrats support ongoing assistance to Ukraine, and that this gap is expanding. Donald Trump, front-runner for the Republican nomination, admires Putin more than Ukraine’s Volodymyr Zelenskyy, and is unlikely to support large packages of military and financial support for Ukraine.

The massive consumption of munitions, equipment and other items such as personnel equipment and fuel was a huge surprise to the global arms industry.

Is America Really ‘Indispensable’ Again?

Michael Hirsh

Here we go again. The Republican Party, which has been a font of isolationist sentiment for more than a century, is once again splintering over U.S. commitments abroad. Even before Hamas started another war on Oct. 7, the GOP was backing away from Ukraine. Now the new House speaker, Mike Johnson, has opened up a fresh fissure by insisting on sending aid only to Israel for the moment—and making it contingent on domestic budget cuts—while Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell still wants to link that bill to Ukraine aid. But even McConnell now wants to tie this money to new funds for domestic border security.

Rage against the machine owners: Brian Merchant on Luddite lessons for 21st-century technology

Sara Goudarzi

A little more than two centuries ago in the English city of Nottingham, groups of cloth workers began destroying knitting frames and power looms. Manufacturers were using these machines to replace the skilled humans who had for generations made their living in the trade and were facing destitution. Soon, the breaking of machines spread to other parts of England, and the Luddite uprising became a cornerstone of the early Industrial Revolution, enraging the Crown and some of the elites.

Although the term “Luddite” has erroneously become a derogatory one to indicate a person against technology, those textile craftspeople were merely fighting for workers’ rights and livelihoods. It was an uprising not against progress but “against the first tech titans,” writes the Los Angeles Times’ technology columnist Brian Merchant in his new book Blood in the Machine: The Origins of the Rebellion Against Big Tech.

With a historical narrative that draws parallels to our current time, Merchant sets the record straight on a largely misunderstood group whose struggle can help us better understand how wealth and power can become concentrated in the hands of a few at the expense of many. And while the hostility might no longer be against the use of machines in the textile industry, the spirit of Luddism is alive and well with people fighting for the rights and protections of workers in the gig sector, individuals who are or stand to be affected by generative artificial intelligence, and those working under strict—and often questionable—management practices in factories, among others.

I spoke with Merchant about the power and influence of the original and current tech titans and what we can learn from the Luddite uprising regarding responsible deployment of technology.

Force Design 2030: Transforming to Irrelevance

Michael P. Marletto

As the United States Marine Corps seeks to organize, train, and equip itself for contending with existing and emerging twenty-first-century security challenges, it has become clear that the developers, advocates, and critics of Force Design (FD) 2030 have very different visions of the future global security environment.

The latest FD 2030 proponent to weigh in on the debate is defense analyst Dakota Wood with his article “The U.S. Marine Corps Has a Choice: Transform or Die.” An advocate for the FD 2030 initiatives, Wood argues that the FD 2030’s proposed technological, doctrinal, and organizational changes are necessary for the Marine Corps to maintain its relevance by developing unique capabilities that will differentiate it from the Army and special operations community.

The developers and advocates of FD 2030 are confident that they alone can successfully interpret military theory, history, technological advancements, and the global security environment. Furthermore, in a historical first, they believe they also have the absolute clarity to apply them to a future organization designed to fight and win as part of a joint force against a peer competitor, China, in the geographical confines of their choosing, the South China Sea and First Island Chain. Rather than engage in an open debate on the strengths and weaknesses of the FD 2030, they neither seek nor desire other viewpoints.