16 November 2023

Gaza War Crimes Make A Mockery Of Western ‘Democracy’

Margaret Kimberley

The term “free world” was a mainstay of the cold war lexicon for decades. Although the United States and its NATO allies still portray themselves as paragons of free thought and action and declare anyone they don’t like as laggards in regard to human rights. They make quite a show of bragging about being democracies but their actions prove otherwise.

The U.S. and Israel continue their killing spree in Gaza which now totals 11,000 fatalities of men, women, and children. While the President of the United States claimed to have seen confirmation that Hamas beheaded children, Palestinians in their sorrow display the broken bodies of their children, some of them headless or limbless as Israel bombs homes, hospitals, and ambulances. The U.S. and the European Union are steadfast in their support of the bloodletting.

Of course most of the world has unambiguously condemned the ongoing crime. Millions of people have protested on every continent to express their outrage and revulsion as the sick plot to kill Palestinians en masse and force the survivors to leave their homes intensifies by the day.

Eight nations, including South Africa, Bolivia, and Colombia have cut diplomatic ties with Israel. In Washington DC, headquarters of the aiders and abettors of the genocide, an estimated 300,000 people took to the streets in just one protest. Similar numbers were seen in London and other European capitals.

Gaza: A Dark History Shared by Israelis and Palestinians

Martin Duffy

Conflict theorists invariably portray parties as proverbial “scorpions in the bottle” engaging in atavistic self-destruction. This theory was set out in Northern Ireland by the late John Darby where the 1998 Good Friday Agreement has (since) shown that antagonistic enemies may embrace peace. As someone who has served frequently in the Palestinian Authority and Gaza, I am mindful of how difficult it is to reach consensus about contentious political events. Often the best one can achieve is to listen to those contested voices, which is what I have done for this article. I do so in the knowledge that Gaza’s dark history is one which troubles the daily lives and tortured minds of Palestinians and Israelis alike.

During the 1948 war, large numbers of Palestinians fled to Gaza, which was then controlled by Egypt. In the 1967 Arab-Israeli war, Israel captured Gaza, the West Bank and East Jerusalem. The first Palestinian intifada erupted in Gaza in December 1987 as Hamas was founded. The Oslo peace process gave it limited autonomy in Gaza and parts of the occupied West Bank. Israel withdrew its troops and Jewish settlements from Gaza in 2005. Hamas has controlled Gaza since 2007, after winning a majority of seats in a Palestinian legislative.

My first assessment was that the Hamas attacks genuinely took all sides by surprise. Within a couple of days, by phone, I had participated in one-to-one or group interviews which included a contact in the press office of Hamas, a prominent Israeli peace activist, an experienced physician, and an IDF staffer. My intention was to try to establish a profile of personal experience on the ground. In particular, I wanted to have some sense of Hamas thinking. I wanted to assess if the Israeli peace movement could still be intact. Above all, I wanted to hear a medical voice.

Israel’s War In Gaza: Curtains Drawn On The India-Middle East-Europe Corridor Project?

Dr. Bibhu Prasad Routray

Discussions on the India-Middle Europe Corridor (IMEC) are expected to figure in the upcoming 2+2 dialogue between India and the US in New Delhi on 9-10 November. This will be the first occasion that the two partners of the ambitious project could draw the contours on the future of the project, after the 7 October attack carried out by Hamas on Israel and the subsequent war launched by Israel in Gaza.

The impact of the development in the Middle East, which has widened the faultlines between Israel and the Arab world, on the prospect of the IMEC’s fruition is significant. The project would invariably be delayed. Worse still, if not handled carefully, it may never see the light of the day.

Abraham Accords and the G20 Launch

Launched on the sidelines of the G20 summit in New Delhi in September 2023, with India, the U.S., Saudi Arabia, UAE, France, Germany, Italy and the EU signing the MoU, the IMEC is critically linked to the Abraham Accords, a series of agreements signed in the latter half of 2020, to normalize relations between Israel and several Arab states. It is also linked to the upgradation of the frosty relationship between U.S. President Joe Biden and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, from an awkward fist bump in 2022 to a firm handshake as they came together to announce the IMEC.

A Pathway to Responsible Mining in Indian Country

Morgan Bazilian

The demand for minerals critical to both the energy transition and U.S. national security is growing rapidly. At the same time, the reliability of the global supply chain is being challenged by geopolitical events. The result is a growing call to bring more mining for these critical minerals back to the United States, where the vast majority of critical mineral reserves are located on or within 35 miles of Native American reservations.

Tribal communities are some of the poorest in communities in the United States. Even though they are collectively the largest landowners outside the federal government, Native Americans continue to experience persistent poverty by every measure. How can the United States have a legitimate critical minerals discussion knowing that its most vulnerable population sits on the largest concentration of mineral wealth left in this nation?

Historically, mining on tribal lands has been a tale of economic exploitation, abrogated agreements, stolen lands, environmental disasters, and life-altering health impairments inflicted on the Native American community. Indian country continues to grapple with the consequences to this day. On Navajo lands alone, nearly 30 million tons of uranium ore were extracted between 1944 and 1989. This has caused lingering health problems for the Navajo people, from both environmental contamination at the mine and mill sites, and from living in houses built with mine and mill waste.

Today, there is a generational opportunity to learn from this very difficult history and introduce a new age of equitable U.S. mining in partnership with tribal communities. Modern sustainable techniques can limit the physical impact of mining and processing activities, and new international protocols have been developed around the world, such as in Canada, to ensure local tribal communities are engaged throughout the process. Unlike most current policies in the United States, these protocols are mandated to seek the consent of local Indigenous peoples before regulatory approval is given.

Interview – Namrata Goswami

Dr. Namrata Goswami is an author, professor and consultant specializing in space policy, international relations and ethnic identity. She teaches at the Joint Special Forces University, Thunderbird School of Global Management, Arizona State University, and is a consultant for Space Fund Intelligence. She is a guest lecturer at Emory University for seminars on Technology, Society & Governance and India today. She was awarded the Minerva grant by the Office of the U.S. Secretary of Defense to study great power competition in outer space. In April 2019, Dr. Goswami testified before the U.S-China Economic and Security Review Commission on China’s space program. Her co-authored book, Scramble for the Skies: The Great Power Competition to Control the Resources of Outer Space was published in 2020 by Lexington Press; Rowman and Littlefield. She has been published widely, including in The Diplomat, the Economic Times, The Washington Post, Ad Astra, Asia Policy, Live Encounters Magazine, Cairo Review. She was invited in November 2019 to share about her life and her work at a Tedx event held at the Rosa Parks Museum, Montgomery, Alabama. She has appeared on CNN, BBC, Deutsch Welle, France24, and Channel 4, to share her research on space policy. She is currently working on two academic book projects, one on China’s Grand Strategy and Notions of Territoriality and the other on Spacepower Theory and Practice: Case Studies of U.S. China, India, Russia and Japan.

Where do you see the most exciting research/debates happening in your field?

The field that I specialize in is International Relations, with a specific focus on space policy, grand strategy, strategic culture and identity issues. The most exciting and necessary debates in the field of International Relations focus around ways to broaden its ontology and epistemology. This implies that the kind of methods we use to study reality is broadening, to include both quantitative and qualitative methods and processes but also, more importantly, multidisciplinary approaches to understand how states and their societies have evolved over history and what the future entails. International Relations theories like realism, liberalism, constructivism, and critical theory have interesting insights into how, for instance, even an issue like space norms is being conceptualized.

A turning point in Myanmar as army suffers big losses

Jonathan Head & Lulu Luo

The military-installed president of Myanmar has warned that the country is in danger of breaking apart if the government cannot control fighting which has broken out in Shan State.

Former General Myint Swe, who was appointed after a coup in 2021, was speaking at an emergency meeting held by the ruling military council to address a series of co-ordinated attacks by anti-military insurgents which have inflicted serious losses on the armed forces.

Three ethnic insurgent armies in Shan State, supported by other armed groups opposing the government, have overrun dozens of military posts, and captured border crossings and the roads carrying most of the overland trade with China.

It is the most serious setback suffered by the junta since it seized power in February 2021. After two-and-half years of battling the armed uprising it provoked with its disastrous coup, the military is looking weak, and possibly beatable.

The government has responded with airstrikes and artillery bombardments, forcing thousands of people to leave their homes. But it has been unable to bring in reinforcements or recover the ground it has lost. Among hundreds of troops killed is believed to be the commander of government forces in northern Shan State, Brigadier General Aung Kyaw Lwin, the most senior officer killed in combat since the coup.

China is using the world’s largest known online disinformation operation to harass Americans, a CNN review finds

Donie O'Sullivan, Curt Devine and Allison Gordon

The Chinese government has built up the world’s largest known online disinformation operation and is using it to harass US residents, politicians, and businesses—at times threatening its targets with violence, a CNN review of court documents and public disclosures by social media companies has found.

The onslaught of attacks – often of a vile and deeply personal nature – is part of a well-organized, increasingly brazen Chinese government intimidation campaign targeting people in the United States, documents show.

The US State Department says the tactics are part of a broader multi-billion-dollar effort to shape the world’s information environment and silence critics of Beijing that has expanded under President Xi Jinping. On Wednesday, President Biden is due to meet Xi at a summit in San Francisco.

Victims face a barrage of tens of thousands of social media posts that call them traitors, dogs, and racist and homophobic slurs. They say it’s all part of an effort to drive them into a state of constant fear and paranoia.

Often, these victims don’t know where to turn. Some have spoken to law enforcement, including the FBI – but little has been done. While tech and social media companies have shut down thousands of accounts targeting these victims, they’re outpaced by a slew of new accounts emerging virtually every day.

Known as “Spamouflage” or “Dragonbridge,” the network’s hundreds of thousands of accounts spread across every major social media platform have not only harassed Americans who have criticized the Chinese Communist Party, but have also sought to discredit US politicians, disparage American companies at odds with China’s interests and hijack online conversations around the globe that could portray the CCP in a negative light.

Chinese Strategists Evaluate the Use of ‘Kamikaze’ Drones in the Russia-Ukraine War

Lyle Goldstein and Nathan Waechter

In shaping patterns of future warfare, there is little doubt that militaries across the world will be seeking to absorb the key lessons of the Russia-Ukraine War, ranging from the employment of tanks to the use of anti-ship cruise missiles and the ubiquitous drones. For the Chinese military, these lessons might even assume a greater importance, since the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) lacks recent major combat experience, and has also leaned heavily on Russian weapons and doctrine for its rapid modernization over the last few decades.

Chinese media coverage of the war in Ukraine has been extensive. The close nature of the China-Russia “quasi-alliance” means that Chinese military analysts have not engaged in the ruthless critiques of Russian military performance that have been commonplace in the West. Yet, Chinese military analyses are still probing deeply for lessons to understand the shape of modern warfare. They have taken particular interest in the U.S. employment of novel weapons and strategies.

Chinese Authorities Issue Arrest Warrants for Criminal Kingpins in Myanmar’s Kokang Region

Sebastian Strangio

Chinese police have issued arrest warrants for several members of a junta-aligned crime family that it believes is closely involved in online scamming operations in northeast Myanmar, as resistance forces continue to make gains across the region.

According to the CyberScamMonitor account on X (formerly Twitter), which cited warrants from the Wenzhou City Public Security Bureau in Zhejiang Province, Chinese police are seeking the arrest of a number of individuals in the Kokang Self-Administered Zone (SAZ), a sliver of territory along the Chinese border in northern Shan State.

Among them are Ming Xuecheng, a former official of the Kokang SAZ and a former member for the pro-military Union Solidarity and Development Party in the Shan State parliament. Warrants have also been issued for Ming Guoping, a brigade commander in the Kokang SAZ’s pro-junta Border Guard Force (BGF), and two other Ming family members from Zhenkang, which lies directly across the Chinese border from Kokang.

The warrants are a sign of the Chinese determination to eradicate Kokang SAZ’s destructive online scamming and “pig butchering” operations, which have trafficked thousands of people into forced servitude, as well as defrauding thousands of Chinese nationals of their savings.

These also signify in coded form Beijing’s tacit acceptance of the resistance offensive that has converged on Kokang since late October. Operation 1027, named after the date of its commencement, is being spearheaded by the Three Brotherhood Alliance, which includes the Myanmar National Democratic Alliance Army (MNDAA), the Ta’ang National Liberation Army (TNLA), and the Arakan Army (AA), has made swift gains across the region, overrunning more than 100 junta outposts, cutting trade arteries to China, and capturing at least four towns, including an important border crossing with China.

A Historical Overview of the U.S. And China Relations

John Mortensen

The United States and China first connected in 1784 when the American vessel, the Empress of China, docked in Guangzhou with Samuel Shaw aboard. But was this unofficial visit the true beginning of the intricate relationship between these future superpowers?

A historical overview of the U.S. and China relations reveals centuries of trade, diplomacy, and cooperation. However, challenges like spying, cyber threats, the Taiwan issue and the possibility of World War III have arisen. Effective negotiations and cybersecurity preparedness are essential for future stability and collaboration.

The history of U.S.-China relations offers a fascinating narrative. This article explores the evolution of their ties, examining the potential consequences of deteriorating relations and why cyberattacks might become their primary battleground in the future.

The Good Times: The Interesting Exchanges between U.S. and Chinese Citizens

Black and white illustration of a Chinese water landscape with ships and people.

China’s State Security Departments and Nationwide System

Mercy A. Kuo

The Diplomat author Mercy Kuo regularly engages subject-matter experts, policy practitioners, and strategic thinkers across the globe for their diverse insights into U.S. Asia policy. This conversation with Alex Joske ̶ senior risk advisor at McGrathNicol, former analyst at the Australian Strategic Policy Institute, and author of “Spies and Lies: How China’s Greatest Covert Operations Fooled the World“ (Hardie Grant Books, 2022) – is the 390th in “The Trans-Pacific View Insight Series.”

Explain China’s state security system structure and the role of provincial organs.

China’s state security system refers to the Ministry of State Security (MSS) and its network of regional agencies across China. The structure of this system follows the general pattern of the rest of the Chinese bureaucracy. The central agency – the Ministry of State Security – exercises some degree of coordination and leadership over counterparts at lower levels of the bureaucracy.

Every province of China has its own state security department that is a provincial government agency while also being part of the national state security system. This is very different to how intelligence work is done in the West, where it is generally the sole remit of federal or central governments.

The vast majority of China’s state security personnel are working in these provincial agencies. By extension, they probably carry out the majority of foreign intelligence operations. As I point out in my paper, most known examples of MSS operations were actually carried out by agencies such as the Shanghai State Security Bureau or Guangdong State Security Department.

Chinese military intelligence is also structured according to this pattern but divided by regional theater command rather than province.

Arab And Muslim Leaders Put Limited Influence And Differences On Display

James M. Dorsey

It took Arab and Muslim leaders 35 days of war to call an ‘emergency’ meeting to discuss Israel’s assault on Gaza. Their limited ability to influence developments was on public display when they finally gathered this weekend in the Saudi capital Riyadh.

So were the differences that raised questions about efforts in recent years to sustainably reduce regional tensions without resolving fundamental disputes and conflicts.

The joint summit of the Arab League and the 57-member Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), which includes all Arab states, was dominated by obligatory calls for an immediate ceasefire, unrestricted provision of humanitarian aid, the release by Hamas of 240, mostly civilian, hostages, and a resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, as well as condemnation of Israel’s conduct in the Gaza war.

Hypocritically, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, who waged a decade-long Russian and Iranian-backed war against rebels opposed to his regime in much the same way that Israel attacked Gaza, attended the Riyadh summit.

Arab states returned Mr. Al-Assad to the Arab fold as part of their effort to reduce regional tensions and ensure they don’t spin out of control. The Arab League suspended Syria in 2011 at the beginning of the civil war.

Sunni-Shia Conflict: History And Contemporary Challenges (Part I)

Matija Šerić

Traditional religious divisions regularly fuel conflicts in the Middle East. When it comes to the division of Muslims into Sunnis and Shiites, then not only the Middle East is divided, but also the Islamic world. The Sunni-Shia divide is very dangerous, as history shows again and again.

Along with all other factors (political, economic, cultural), disagreements between Sunnis and Shiites fueled the Arab Spring of 2011 and the consequent escalation of the bloody and long-running Syrian Civil War, as well as wars and violence in Iraq, Yemen and elsewhere. Thanks to the religious schism, the cracks between Sunni and Shiite countries have widened. Saudi Arabia and Iran have led two mutually conflicting Islamic blocs. The growing conflicts of Islamic factions have also fueled the rise of radical Islamic fundamentalists who pose a threat to the entire world such as Al-Qaeda, ISIS and Al-Nusra Front.

The Islamic schism, which has lasted for 14 centuries, is by no means the cause of all political, economic and other conflicts in the Middle East, but it is a very important factor that should not be ignored. In addition to the Sunni-Shia wars being waged in the Middle East, there are currently thousands of organized Sunni and Shia militants across Africa, the Middle East and Asia capable of causing serious conflict. Despite the messages of many Sunni and Shia clerics that tensions must be reduced and that we should turn to peaceful dialogue and suppress violence, many experts express concern that the division of the Islamic world will lead to new clashes that will pose a threat to international security.


Grace Mappes, Angelica Evans, Riley Bailey, Karolina Hird, and Frederick W. Kagan

Ukraine appears to be intensifying attacks against Russian military, logistics, and other high-profile assets in rear areas in occupied Ukraine and Russia. The Ukrainian Main Military Intelligence Directorate (GUR) reported on November 12 that Ukrainian partisans attacked a Russian military headquarters in occupied Melitopol, Zaporizhia Oblast on November 11, killing at least three Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) and Rosgvardia officers.[1] The GUR’s November 12 announcement follows a Ukrainian partisan attack against a former Luhansk People’s Republic (LNR) People’s Militia head on November 8; strikes against a Russian military base in occupied Skadovsk, Kherson Oblast and Black Sea Fleet assets in Crimea on November 9; and three rear-area strikes and partisan attacks in Russia on November 11.[2] Ukrainian forces have conducted a strike campaign specifically targeting occupied Crimea since summer 2023.[3]

The Russian government is attempting to downplay the extent of its efforts to strengthen control over the Russian information space. The Russian Ministry of Digital Development claimed on November 12 that it will only block specific virtual private network (VPN) services that an “expert commission” identifies as threats, likely aiming to prevent Russians from bypassing Russian censorship efforts and anonymizing themselves online.[4] The Ministry of Digital Development had responded to an inquiry from the “Novyi Lyudi” faction expressing concern over the Russian government’s efforts to restrict access to information on the internet and fears that the Russian government will simply identify all VPN services as threats and block them.[5] The Russian government recently announced a ban on services that provide virtual and temporary mobile numbers starting on September 1, 2024, and Russians can use these mobile numbers in conjunction with VPN services to form anonymous online personas to evade Russian censorship efforts.[6] The Russian government is very unlikely to allow any VPNs to operate within Russia that would allow Russians to bypass censorship efforts and remain anonymous from the Russian government.

After Winning Back Nagorno-Karabakh, What Will Azerbaijan’s Authoritarian Leader Do Next?

Joshua Kucera

Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev stood in the main square of the conquered capital of the disputed region of Nagorno-Karabakh on October 15. He raised the Azerbaijani flag up the pole, a symbolic completion of the country’s long-awaited victory over Armenian occupation.

Aliyev was being filmed but was entirely alone in the frame. “All the promises I made during the last 20 years and all the tasks I set before myself have been fulfilled,” he said into the camera.

It raised the question: If all the tasks have been fulfilled, then what now?

The quest to recapture Nagorno-Karabakh from the Armenian forces that occupied it since the early 1990s has represented the guiding light of Aliyev’s entire presidency; it is the issue to which all other priorities were to be subordinated.

“The struggle to restore independence, territorial integrity, and sovereignty has been the main motive in the last, more than 20 years, ever since our lands became occupied,” Elchin Amirbayov, a senior Aliyev envoy for special assignments, told RFE/RL. “Now the issue is over. We restored our pride. We also restored historical justice.”

The Ukraine War Is About Who Will Control the Future World Order

Alexandra Vacroux

“Supporting Ukraine’s ability to fight off Russian aggression and defend its sovereignty requires a worldwide commitment,” U.S. President Joe Biden declared in January 2023. The Biden administration sees the war in Ukraine as a challenge to the world order. When the U.S. refers to the “world order,” it is referring to the system of institutions and rules that have governed international relations since World War II – a system once characterized by the competition between the U.S. and the Soviet Union, and which the U.S. dominated for decades after 1991.

Much has changed in the past 80 years. The Cold War and the Soviet Union ended 30 years ago. China and India have become economic powerhouses. Developing economies and booming young populations in Africa, Asia, and South America mean that international relations is less and less about the ambitions of superpowers and more about groups of countries pursuing overlapping national interests together.

The war in Ukraine is the theater in which the United States and Europe are trying to assert their ability to continue setting the rules of the game. NATO allies want to keep Russia from expanding into Ukraine. They want to show Russia that if it tries to annex the territory of another country, there will be military and economic consequences. And they want to be the ones that decide what the rules of the game are going to be going forward.

The U.S. and its allies believe that they can supply Ukraine with enough weaponry to exhaust Russian military forces and materiel. Ukraine hopes that Western support intensifies enough and lasts long enough to push Russia out of the country. Russia believes that it can wait until the West is tired of supporting Ukraine and then move to control the country with a pro-Russian puppet government backed by Russian military might.

Cognitive Infrastructure Worldwide is Under Attack in “the Worst Cognitive Warfare Conditions since WWII”



OODA CTO Bob Gourley describes “a nation’s cognitive infrastructure as including “the mental capacities of the citizens and the decision-making ability of people, organizations, and our government.” Bob elaborates further in his framing of cognitive infrastructure: “It also includes the information channels used to feed decision-making capabilities and the education and training systems used to prepare people and organizations for critical thinking. In a free society, it is the job of the citizen to decide what their role is in the cognitive infrastructure.”

“The U.S-based efforts which most closely resemble the working definition of Cognitive Infrastructure Protection offered by Bob back in 2019 include the short-lived CISA website Rumor Control (to address disinformation associated with the 2020 United States presidential election) and the analysis and recommendations made by the recent Aspen Institute Commission on Information Disorder Final Report. To date, the problem continues to dwarf any viable holistic solutions and appropriate governmental responses of any scale.

It took from 2007 to 2018 for cybersecurity to get top billing in the creation of CISA. Is it time for the establishment of an independent National Cognitive Infrastructure Directorate?

Back in 2020, The Swedish government concluded it was time for just such a governmental entity. In May of 2021, Sweden committed to a new authority to develop and coordinate psychological defence, including “the establishment of a National Centre for Psychological Defence within the new authority whose main task will be to develop, coordinate and strengthen the national ability to identify, analyze and face undue information influence.” In October 2021, the Swedish Government “appointed a Director General of the Swedish Psychological Defence Agency, Henrik Landerholm. The agency will have a complex operation with contacts with both the military defence and civilian authorities.” The report which called for the establishment of the new agency also contained “a proposal that the authority should be an information-entitled total defence authority and thus be able to target signals intelligence.”


Nick Turse

This story was supported by the Pulitzer Center.

NEARLY A CENTURY ago in Nicaragua, American Marines in an armed propeller plane spotted a group of civilian men chopping weeds and trimming trees far below. Convinced that something nefarious was underway, they opened fire. The U.S. never bothered to count the wounded and dead.

Four decades later in Vietnam, American troops hovering above a group of woodcutters grew unnerved when the men, women, and children failed to look up. Without provocation, the Americans unleashed rockets and machine-gun fire. Eight of the nine civilians below were killed.

For hours in 2021, Americans peered down at a man driving through the Afghan capital of Kabul and convinced themselves that he was a terrorist. They launched a missile that killed him and nine other civilians, including seven children.

In each instance, Americans displayed clear signs of confirmation bias, in which people seek information that reinforces their preexisting beliefs. The same failings contributed to a 2018 drone strike in Somalia that killed at least three, and possibly five, civilians, including 22-year-old Luul Dahir Mohamed and her 4-year-old daughter Mariam Shilow Muse.

Ukrainian Military Officer Accused of Attack on Nord Stream Gas Pipeline

A Ukrainian military officer allegedly coordinated last year's attack on the Nord Stream natural gas pipeline, according to The Washington Post, citing anonymous sources in Ukraine and Europe.

No one has taken responsibility for the September 2022 explosions, off the Danish island of Bornholm, that damaged three out of four offshore natural gas pipelines running under the Baltic Sea and delivering Russian gas to Europe.

The United States and NATO, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, called it an act of sabotage, while Moscow said it was an act of international terrorism.

Germany, Denmark and Sweden have launched investigations into the Nord Stream explosions, which sent plumes of methane into the atmosphere in a leak that lasted several days.

Roman Chervinsky, a decorated 48-year-old colonel who served in Ukraine’s special operations forces, was the “coordinator” of the Nord Stream operation, according to people familiar with his role, The Washington Post reported Saturday.

Chervinsky, sources say, managed logistics and support for a six-person team that rented a sailboat under false identities and used deep-sea diving equipment to place explosive charges on the gas pipelines, The Washington Post reported.

The West Must Defeat Russia

Anne Applebaum

More than 21 months later, Russian forces have withdrawn from half the territory they occupied in February of last year. At least 88,000 Russian soldiers are likely deada conservative estimate—and at least twice as many have been wounded. Billions of dollars worth of equipment, Russian tanks, planes, artillery, helicopters, armored vehicles, and warships have been destroyed. If you had predicted this outcome before the war—and nobody did—it would have seemed fanciful. No one would have believed that Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, a professional comedian, could lead a country at war, that the democratic world would be united enough to help him, or that Russian President Vladimir Putin would endure such a humiliation.

Ukraine, the United States, and the European Union have achieved something remarkable: Working together, they have not only preserved the Ukrainian state, but stood up to a bully whose nihilism harms the entire world. Putin backs far-right and extremist movements in Europe, provides thugs to support African dictatorships, and colludes with China, Iran, Venezuela, and other autocracies. From the beginning, Putin hoped the war would demonstrate that American power and American alliances can be defeated, not only in Ukraine but everywhere else. He still does, and for this purpose the war remains useful to him.

The fighting creates food shortages in Africa, thereby generating more unrest and more demand for Russian mercenaries. The war stokes discontent in Europe as well, giving pro-Russian parties a boost. Americans and Europeans view turmoil in country after country as a series of isolated conflicts, but Putin doesn’t think that Ukraine and the Middle East belong to different, competing spheres. On the contrary, since the conflict in Gaza erupted, he has intensified his relationship with Iran, invited leaders of Hamas to Moscow, and attacked Israel because of its links with the U.S., hoping that the spread of violence will decrease Western support for Ukraine. Iranian drones have terrorized Ukrainian cities; Iran, in turn, distributes Russian weapons to its proxies. Hezbollah is thought to have Russian anti-ship missiles that it could use against U.S. warships in the Mediterranean at any minute.

The Clock Is Always Ticking


Perceptions of time directly shape the ways in which states generate military power. This has important consequences for the West’s ability to balance military power and liberal principles, notably pacing itself in the conduct of war.

Sten Rynning, Oliver Schmitt and Amelie Theussen, War Time (2021).

Time is an important factor in the current Israeli operation in Gaza.

There will come a point when diplomatic pressure from America and Europe may force a pause – or even cessation - in Israeli military operations in Gaza. In the 2021 Israel-Gaza crisis, after nine days of war, President Biden apparently informed the Israeli Prime Minister that: “Hey, man, we are out of runway here.” After Netanyahu insisted on continuing the war, Biden then informed him, “It’s over.” A ceasefire followed two days later.

Israel may have ‘more runway’ in this situation because of the horrendous attacks it suffered on 7 October, but that runway is not infinite. It will need to achieve its military objectives and set the foundations for longer term political goals before the strategic clock runs out. Time is a critical tactical and political resource for the Israelis.

As the growing ‘fatigue’ among Western citizenry with the war in Ukraine, and the increasing demands for a truce in Gaza demonstrate, in war and competition, the clock is always ticking. Beyond the Israeli operation in Gaza, the ability to exploit time is one of the most important considerations in the planning and execution of military and other national security activities.

It's Not Easy to Be Jewish on American Campuses Today

Bruce Hoffman

A Cornell University campus police officer and a state trooper sit parked outside the Center for Jewish Living on November 3, 2023 in Ithaca, New York, where a Unity Shabbat dinner was held. The university canceled classes after antisemitic threats appeared online. Credit - Matt Burkhartt—Getty Images

It’s not easy to be a Jew at an American university today. As one student tearfully explained to me, “We’re exhausted and we’re beleaguered and no one seems to understand.” University administrators have indeed mostly failed their Jewish students, staff, and faculty. Fears of imposing censorship and citing of First Amendment rights have allowed to circulate freely on campus Holocaust denial, the invocation of white privilege to dismiss antisemitism, and the rejection of the Jewish people’s inalienable right to self-determination.

How did it come to this?

There is first the obvious fact that, if Jews comprise only 2.4 percent of the United States population, Jewish students will invariably almost always be a minority on all but a few campuses. Even at universities where Jewish students comprise larger minorities, such as at Cornell, Columbia, and Tulane, they have often experienced the same opprobrium that has been seen on campuses across the country.

The relative paucity of Jewish students makes them a constituency that often receives only limited attention. At the university I teach at, Georgetown, for instance, the campus rabbi fought for years to get Kosher food in the dining hall. The consistent rebuff was that there were insufficient observant Jews on campus. Eventually, however, these entreaties succeeded and Kosher food became available. But the amount of effort and time it took underscores how challenging it can be at even the most inclusive and worldly campuses for such requests from Jewish students to be granted.

Security News This Week: Signal Is Finally Testing Usernames


Drones, hidden cameras, thermal vision scopes—these are just a few examples of the high-tech equipment recommended by the animal liberation group Direct Action Everywhere, according to a manual released by the organization this week. The document, which was reviewed by WIRED, is a rare glimpse into how the organization is using tech to target factory farms in often brazen operations that have rescued pigs, goats, ducks, and chickens.

Extremist groups are experimenting with generative AI to flood social media with propaganda and misinformation, researchers at Tech Against Terrorism have told WIRED. A new report from the group details how, in recent months, terrorists and other extremist organizations have been using artificial intelligence to manipulate imagery and thwart content moderation. As platforms have struggled to keep up with this flood of extremist content, a new tool called Altitude, built in collaboration between Tech Against Terrorism and Google, is seeking to address the problem. The tool centralizes the collection of verified terrorist content, allowing companies to easily vet posts shared to their platforms.

Israel is exacerbating the humanitarian catastrophe in Gaza by likely imposing devastating internet blackouts in the region. Last week, Israel reportedly imposed a full internet shutdown in the area as its troops moved into the Gaza Strip. After internet access was restored, the area suffered two additional connectivity blackouts. The most recent lasted for about 15 hours on Sunday as Israel was carrying out an intense operation to cut off Gaza City in the north from southern Gaza.

Safeguarding Human Invention in the Age of Artificial Intelligence

Alexander Kersten


On October 30, President Joe Biden issued the Executive Order on the Safe, Secure, and Trustworthy Development and Use of Artificial Intelligence. This comes at a time when artificial intelligence (AI)’s anticipated capabilities and applications are expected to have a tremendous impact on the future of U.S. competitiveness and national security. One area of concern relates to China’s ability to produce leading-edge chips that can enhance its AI capabilities. Recognizing this vulnerability, the United States in October 2022 announced unprecedented export controls targeting China’s military AI development by limiting its access to advanced semiconductors and the tools used to manufacture them. These controls were further refined on October 17, 2023.

Amid a contentious debate further muddied by misunderstandings about the technology’s current capabilities and fears that bad actors would weaponize it, this latest executive order has been noted most for its recommendations that AI firms conduct safety tests and share those results with the government, that standards and industry norms be established for this emerging area of critical technology, and that government agencies implement stricter changes in how these use AI.

Less discussed, however, has been the executive order (EO)’s introduction of a policy framework to assess the question of AI and inventorship, as well as patentable subject matter. The White House’s own pre-released fact sheet did not mention these aspects of the order, meaning that the many articles and commentaries written since also fail to discuss this important development in how the United States treats the question of AI and inventorship.

Discover what industry experts are saying about military satellites today

For a few days in October 2023, Silicon Valley became the heart of the military satellite community, as government officials, military officers and industry executives all descended on the MilSat Symposium.

The theme of the conference could best be summed up as “new”: a focus on new orbits, new partners, new ways to operate. It’s clear the US Space Force is trying to understand where and how it can expand its satellite communications options.

There’s no reporter better positioned to explain it all than Breaking Defense’s resident expert, Theresa Hitchens, who was on the ground at the show.