18 March 2024

Hamas has been shattered. Now it is fighting to survive

Neri Zilber and Andrew England

On the 14th floor of Israeli military headquarters in Tel Aviv, high up in the defence minister’s office, a large pyramid adorns the wall made up of images of Hamas’s top ranks. The title: “Status of leadership assassinations.”

After five months of ferocious conflict in Gaza, those still alive greatly outnumber the mostly mid-ranking commanders whose fate is illustrated by a giant red X across their faces.

At the top — and still decidedly active — are Yahya Sinwar, Mohammed Deif and the handful of other leaders responsible for Hamas’s devastating October 7 attack that killed 1,200 people and triggered the war.

But the Xs on the pyramid are gradually spreading, just as Hamas’s fighting options appear to be dwindling. Israel is trying to confirm reports that Marwan Issa, the Hamas number-three in Gaza known as “the shadow man”, was killed in an air strike over the weekend.

Moreover, the quasi-state in Gaza that Hamas used to rule is wrecked, its forces are decimated, and the strip’s population is enduring a deepening humanitarian catastrophe.

Israel has yet to achieve all its wartime goals. But for Hamas, an Islamist militant group founded to destroy the Jewish state, victory now has largely narrowed to one thing: survival.

“Let’s assume that all of Gaza lies in ruins, and someone will stand there left from Hamas, a wounded soldier, and will raise a Hamas flag — they’ve won the war,” said Micha Kobi, a retired former senior official in Israel’s Shin Bet security agency. “That’s what they believe.”

That too is the challenge for Benjamin Netanyahu, who has repeatedly vowed to “eliminate” Hamas. As long as the group’s top leadership and fighters remain at large, the Israeli premier will fall short of his call for “total victory” — and risk being viewed as a failure by many in Israel.

It underscores the challenge the US, Qatar and Egypt face as they struggle to negotiate a deal to halt the fighting and secure the release of over 130 Israeli hostages still held in Gaza.

How Israel Mastered Information Warfare in Gaza

Alessandro Accorsi

The images of Hamas’s Oct. 7, 2023, attack on Israel—during which around 1,200 men, women and children were killed—instantly became the centerpiece of an intense information warfare campaign. For the first time since the Second Intifada, global public opinion was exposed to mass Israeli civilian casualties as images of atrocities committed by Hamas and other armed groups as well as Gazan civilians circulated widely on social media.

The images of Hamas’s Oct. 7, 2023, attack on Israel—during which around 1,200 men, women and children were killed—instantly became the centerpiece of an intense information warfare campaign. For the first time since the Second Intifada, global public opinion was exposed to mass Israeli civilian casualties as images of atrocities committed by Hamas and other armed groups as well as Gazan civilians circulated widely on social media.

Israel and pro-Israeli advocacy groups emphasized the horror of the massacre by distributing the images, mostly to western audiences , through paid advertisement videos on YouTube and X (formerly known as Twitter), in family-oriented videogames, and in screenings of a 45-minute supercut of the footage for select audiences, including in Washington, D.C. and Hollywood. The goal was not solely to raise awareness of the shocking events of Oct. 7, however. Instead, with the ads, the government claimed a right to defend its people and implied that the attacks extended a carte blanche for retaliation.

The use of social media as a tool of information warfare is not new in Israel. Since Israel’s Operation Cast Lead, which killed more than 1,000 Gazans in December 2008 and January 2009, a battle of narratives on social media has become an essential part of the fractious discourse between Israelis and Palestinians. Palestinians and their supporters started using social media to disseminate evidence—texts, photographs, and videos—of civilian deaths and widespread destruction in Gaza to mobilize global public opinion against Israel. And the Israeli government, Israelis, and their supporters started employing social media to counter the Palestinians and their supporters in the digital space.

Israel Needs a New Strategy

Dennis Ross

In February, Israeli military intelligence reportedly informed the country’s leaders that Hamas will survive as a terrorist group after the war. Despite this assessment, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu continues to declare that there will be “total victory” over Hamas, and that it will take “months, not years” to achieve.

In part, this is because October 7 changed Israel, inflicting trauma and hardening Israelis’ belief that they cannot live with Hamas in control of the Gaza Strip. Israel’s air and ground campaign into Gaza seemed designed to root Hamas out—a daunting task given its extensive labyrinth of tunnels and its cynical use of the entire population of the strip as its shield. The price Palestinians have paid is a terrible one, as Israel strives to make certain that Hamas can never again threaten it from Gaza—which, as Netanyahu has said, still requires Israel to send troops into the southern city of Rafah, on the border with Egypt. U.S. President Joe Biden has insisted that this movement must not take place until after there is a credible evacuation plan for the 1.3 million Gazans who are now crammed into this area.

If Hamas is going to persist as a terrorist group in Gaza, as Israeli military intelligence forecasts, then Netanyahu must come to terms with the fact that no victory in the territory can be total. Similarly, while making sure that Hamas is not able to preserve its military presence in Rafah, Israel must also ensure that the border with Egypt is no longer a sieve through which huge amounts of material can be smuggled into Gaza. If nothing else, that imperative points to working out a joint regime or a coordinated approach with Egypt to stop the smuggling from the Sinai into Gaza. As such, Israel needs a strategy, not slogans, for ensuring that its military efforts (and achievements) in Gaza translate into a new political reality—a reality that means Israel will no longer be threatened from the strip.


The starting point for an effective strategy is framing the objective differently. It is time for Israeli leaders to recognize that they will never be able to eradicate or eliminate Hamas. As the United States discovered in its efforts to eradicate the Islamic State, or ISIS, one does not eliminate an ideology—however repugnant it may be. The United States defeated ISIS militarily, but it still keeps roughly 3,000 soldiers in Iraq and 900 in Syria to ensure that the group does not reconstitute itself.

The Day After—in Israel

Amos Yadlin

Since Hamas’s October 7 attack, Israel has found itself embroiled in a multifront war for the first time in nearly 60 years. It is fighting in Gaza, countering armed groups in the West Bank, and facing missile strikes from Iraq, Lebanon, Syria, and Yemen. Israel seems less safe than most Israelis assumed it to be on October 6—and its leadership must now reshape the country’s national security policies accordingly.

For the moment, Israel’s priorities are to secure the release of the remaining hostages, eliminate Hamas’s military capabilities, and ensure the safe return of hundreds of thousands of Israeli.

Is Iran Warming Up to a 'Second Israel' Across Its Border?

Tom O'Connor
As Iran becomes more deeply mired in the crises currently ravaging the Middle East, the Islamic Republic is eyeing greater cooperation with a fellow majority-Shiite Muslim neighbor it has long-accused of striking too-close-for-comfort ties with Tehran's top foe.

The Iranian gambit, improving relations with Azerbaijan despite Baku's growing partnership with Israel, would mark a significant shift in a region at the crossroads of continents and competing interests of major powers, including Russia and the United States. But deep-rooted frictions within the Caucasus and abroad still threaten to reignite rivalries and crush the burgeoning, fragile partnership between Baku and Tehran.

Just days after the war between Israel and the Palestinian Hamas movement in Gaza erupted last October, Iran signed a landmark agreement with Azerbaijan to establish a transit route, known as the Aras corridor, allowing Azerbaijan access to its exclave province of Nakhchivan via Iranian territory. The deal was viewed as a crucial step toward preventing a more controversial option, known as the Zangezur corridor, which would see Azerbaijan attempt to force a path through rival Armenia.

Azerbaijani and Israeli national flags are seen in front of the Israeli Embassy in Baku, Azerbaijan, on October 9, 2023. Iran is eyeing greater cooperation with Azerbaijan, who it has long accused of being too.

Already, the two South Caucasus rivals have clashed for decades over the separatist Nagorno-Karabakh region, home for more than three decades to the Armenia-aligned yet internationally unrecognized Artsakh Republic, which was dismantled last September amid decisive Azerbaijani victories, aided by both Israel and Turkey.

Iran, traditionally favoring Armenia, has moved to re-calibrate its approach. Amid the ongoing effort to improve relations with Baku in the wake of a deadly attack against Azerbaijan's embassy in Tehran in January of last year, Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian went as far as to declare "a new chapter" in the relationship between Iran and Azerbaijan during a meeting last Tuesday with his Azerbaijani counterpart Jeyhun Bayramov.

America's New Partner Against China Shows Off Aircraft Carriers

Aadil Brar

India has demonstrated the capability of two aircraft carriers operating together amid a complex geopolitical environment in the Middle East and the Indian Ocean.

The Indian navy showcased its two aircraft carriers, the Russian-origin INS Vikramaditya and the locally built INS Vikrant, during the end of February and into March.

In March, both carriers executed simultaneous launches of MiG-29K fighters from their decks, video footage showed. During the launches, the INS Vikramaditya also hosted the initial segment of the Indian navy's Biannual Naval Commanders' Conference.

The Indian navy has played an active role in the Red Sea in recent months, as Houthis continue to target cargo vessels. On March 6, the Indian navy rescued MV True Confidence, a Barbados-flagged and Greek-operated merchant vessel, which was targeted in a ballistic missile attack by Houthis.

The Iran-backed Houthis say they aim to blockade cargo shipments bound for Israel in support of Hamas fighters in the Gaza Strip. The Houthis oppose Israel and have said they are acting in solidarity with the Palestinian militant group Hamas fighting in the Gaza Strip. Since October, the Houthis have attacked cargo vessels linked to Israel, the United States, and its allies.

The Indian navy’s aircraft carriers, the Russian-origin INS Vikramaditya and the indigenous INS Vikrant, were on display on March 9 as part of the Navy Commanders' Conference, images by the Ministry of Defense show. India demonstrated the operations of its two aircraft carriers amid a complex geopolitical environment in the Indian Ocean and Middle East.

"Commending the brave and prompt response by the Indian Navy to recent incidents and developments in West Asia and the adjoining seas, the Raksha Mantri [the Hindi name for India's defense minister] exhorted the Commanders to remain poised for operations across the spectrum of conflict. He underscored the leadership role expected of the Indian Navy towards ensuring peace and prosperity in the Indian Ocean Region," India's Ministry of Defense said in a statement after the Naval Commanders' Conference.

China, Russia, Iran Join Forces for War Games Amid US-Houthi Clashes

Tom O'Connor

As the United States continues to conduct strikes against rebels targeting commercial vessels off the coast of the Arabian Peninsula, the naval forces of China, Russia and Iran have entered nearby waters to conduct joint exercises and showcase their maritime military prowess.

The drills, called "Maritime Security Belt-2024," began Tuesday in the Gulf of Oman and follow Tehran's calls to establish a "maritime security belt" among members of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), which is led by Beijing and Moscow, in a bid to counter the military influence of the U.S. and its allies at sea.

Reportedly acting as observers to the multinational maneuvers are fellow SCO members Kazakhstan, India and Pakistan, in addition to Azerbaijan, Oman and South Africa.

Ships involved in the exercises include the guided-missile destroyer Urumqi, the guided-missile frigate Linyi and the supply ship Dongpinghu of the Chinese People's Liberation Army Navy, as well as the Varyag guided-missile cruiser and Marshal Shaposhnikov frigate of the Russian navy. Up to 10 vessels and two helicopters were set to be supplied by Iran's naval forces, including the maritime branch of its Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC).

"The purpose of holding this exercise is to consolidate security and its foundations in the region," a report by the IRGC's official news site said on Tuesday, "and to expand multilateral cooperation among the participating countries to show their ability to jointly support world peace, maritime security, and to create a maritime group in the future."

"The goals of this drill," the IRGC report added, "include strengthening the security of international maritime trade, combating piracy and maritime terrorism, helping humanitarian measures such as exchange of information for maritime rescue operations and to exchange operational and tactical experiences."

Russia Profiting From Houthi Red Sea Attacks

Aila Slisco

Russia is reportedly profiting from Houthi attacks in the Red Sea as Moscow's war in Ukraine and Israel's war on Hamas both continue to rage.

The Houthis, an Iran-backed militant group based in Yemen, have been attacking the Red Sea's busy maritime shipping corridor since shortly after Israel launched its ongoing assault in Gaza following the surprise October 7 attack by Hamas.

Meanwhile, Russia has been heavily sanctioned since invading Ukraine on February 24, 2022. Many goods that normally traveled by ground through Russia on their way from Asia to Europe were shifted to the Red Sea route as a result.

The volatility prompted sea shipments to begin taking a far longer route, traveling from Asia to Europe by circumnavigating Africa via the Cape of Good Hope. The Financial Times reported on Monday that requests to instead ship goods through Russia by rail have soared.

A Chinese freight train is pictured in Barking, England, on January 18, 2017. The inset image features a cargo ship sinking in the Red Sea following a Houthi attack. Requests for commercial rail travel through.

While European Union (EU) sanctions prevent the transportation of goods through Russia by road, no such restrictions apply to rail travel, as long as the cargo does not originate in Russia.

America’s Leaders Don’t Understand Nuclear Weapons


Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine has laid bare several uncomfortable realities about nuclear weapons. By slamming the door shut on the post-Cold War holiday from history, the war has unquestionably ushered in a new era of great-power nuclear competition. Gone are the more tranquil days when Russia was considered a reliable arms-control partner, and China just a rudimentary nuclear power. Moscow now exhibits no inhibitions about rattling every nuclear saber at its disposal, and Beijing has undertaken a rapid nuclear expansion to advance its revisionist agenda in the Asia-Pacific and beyond.

But the Russo–Ukrainian War has also revealed another unpleasant reality closer to home: America’s nuclear rhetoric is woefully inadequate for a new era of great-power competition. U.S. leaders must redress the way they talk about nuclear war — or risk losing the public support required to compete in the nuclear shadow.

Take, for example, Donald J. Trump’s recent suggestion at a campaign rally that he might expose America’s European allies to Russian predations. The former president’s remark — which follows the recent revelation that Trump believes Americans risk nuclear war if they don’t reelect him — has provoked an open debate in Germany about the merits of an all-European nuclear arsenal. At a time when Washington would prefer Europe to focus on conventional capabilities, the allies are, instead, speculating about an independent nuclear deterrent to hedge against Trump 2.0.

Notwithstanding today’s hyper-partisan politics, however, America’s loose rhetoric is unquestionably a bipartisan affair. Consider President Biden’s invocations of World War III in response to Putin’s nuclear saber-rattling earlier in the Ukraine war. When Ukraine was gearing up for its 2022 counteroffensive, which would throw Russian lines into disarray, the White House refused to arm Kyiv with long-range weapons for fear of igniting an escalatory spiral. The nuclear specter undoubtedly shaped the Biden administration’s risk-aversion — with the president warning at the time, “We have not faced the prospect of Armageddon since Kennedy and the Cuban Missile Crisis.”

The Evolution of French Space Security

Makena Young

In the last decade, there has been an international resurgence of focus on space for commercial, civil, and military activities. Space is now a critical domain for many nations around the globe, and both individual countries and multinational coalitions have recently released space policies and strategies. European nations have taken a greater interest in space security by investing in space for national security purposes. Among them, France stands out.

The election of French president Emmanuel Macron in 2017 was an inflection point for France’s space security policy and ushered in a flurry of space strategy and policy documents, as well as military space programs. As France continues to bolster every aspect of its space policy, officials seem to be making their playbook public.

Dilemmas of Deterrence: The United States’ Smart New Strategy Has Six Daunting Trade-offs

Hal Brands and Zack Cooper


As the danger of war rises in the Western Pacific, the United States is racing to reset its military strategy. China’s astonishing military modernization—especially its arsenal of anti-access/area denial (A2/AD) capabilities—has fundamentally challenged the old U.S. approach, which focused on defeating aggression by projecting decisive power into the first island chain. In response, the Pentagon is attempting a great inversion: to defeat Chinese power projection against Taiwan or another target, it is emulating Beijing’s A2/AD strategy in hopes of making the Western Pacific a no-go zone for hostile forces.

This change, which some defense analysts have advocated for years, is a necessary response to China’s daunting capabilities. It is a smart effort to make the geography of the region, and the inherent difficulty of power projection, work for, rather than against, the United States and its allies. Speed is essential in making this shift: Even as the stated U.S. view is that conflict is “neither imminent nor inevitable” in the Taiwan Strait, numerous U.S. officials have warned that conflict could plausibly occur in the region this decade. This urgency is catalyzing constructive action across multiple U.S. alliances and every U.S. military service as they seek to make the strategy real in the limited time that may be left.

Every strategy brings dilemmas, though, and this strategy—call it “anti-access with American characteristics”—presents six crucial trade-offs the Pentagon and U.S. civilian leaders must address. Many of these challenges, moreover, must be confronted in coordination with U.S. allies and partners, but these conversations are not as advanced as they should be given the shrinking timeline and urgency of action. Strategy is the art of making hard choices, and the United States is only starting to reckon with the hard choices its new strategy involves.

Geopolitics in the C-Suite

Jami Miscik, Peter Orszag, and Theodore Bunzel

In late 1914, U.S. President Woodrow Wilson was facing pleas from a number of influential supporters who wanted him to make a public appeal to American manufacturers to stop selling arms to European countries—or even ban them from doing so. Wilson was seeking a way to end the war then raging in Europe, or at least slow it down, and he was sympathetic to the impulse. But in a response to one such plea, he explained his predicament. “The sales proceed from so many sources, and my lack of power is so evident,” he wrote, “that I have felt that I could do nothing else than leave the matter to settle itself.”

Wilson’s claims of presidential powerlessness sound odd today, during an era in which U.S. government intervention has become routine in a wide variety of economic activities relating to national security, even in peacetime. Contrast them, for example, with comments made last December by U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo, whose department has spent the past few years designing export controls intended to prevent American companies from aiding China’s advancement in critical technology such as artificial intelligence—and who had a stern warning for any U.S. firm that might try to cleverly circumvent those controls. “If you redesign a chip around a particular cut line that enables [China] to do AI, I’m going to control it the very next day,” she told a gathering of policymakers and executives.

The historical changes that took place in the century plus between Wilson’s comments and Raimondo’s were profound. But even though national security and foreign policy occasionally intruded on corporate America during that time, until very recently, few executives concerned themselves with geopolitics. In the post–Cold War world, with globalization on the march, the idea that national interests might be at odds with open markets and expanding trade came to seem alien to American executives.

But the changes that have roiled the geopolitical landscape in recent years have left an impression in C-suites around the United States. In a recent poll of 500 institutional investors, geopolitics ranked as the top risk to the global economy and markets in 2024. Part of this concern is driven by the quickening cadence of global conflicts, with ongoing wars in Ukraine and the Middle East and concerns about a crisis in the Taiwan Strait. More fundamentally, however, a tectonic shift is taking place, one that is forcing corporations to become actors on the geopolitical stage. As governments lean on economic restrictions and industrial policies to achieve geopolitical ends, corporations have increasingly become both the objects and instruments of foreign policy. Some of Washington’s main foreign policy priorities, such as encouraging resilient clean-energy supply chains or slowing down China’s technological advance, rely on thousands of individual corporate actors, whose interests do not always align with those of the U.S. government and who often possess an informational advantage over the public sector.

Climate Change and Military Power: Hunting for Submarines in the Warming Ocean

Climate change will have significant effects on military power, capabilities, effectiveness, and employment. Yet, scholars have paid little attention to this topic. We address this gap by investigating the effects of changing ocean conditions on anti-submarine warfare. Anti-submarine warfare capabilities exploit various physical phenomena to detect enemy submarines, principally underwater sound propagation. Underwater sound propagation depends on factors influenced by climate change, such as water temperature and salinity. Through ocean-acoustic simulations, we estimate the effect of climate change on the detection range of enemy submarines in the North Atlantic and in the Western Pacific. Our results show that, in most areas, the range of detection through underwater acoustics is contracting due to climate change.

Will climate change have direct effects on military power, capabilities, effectiveness, and force employment? Will it strengthen some countries and weaken others? These are pressing policy questions that speak to important debates in the social sciences, such as over the impact of environmental factors on the international distribution of military power.1 Yet, despite the growing attention to climate change in the field of international relations, and the enduring debates about its implications for international security, scholars have paid little attention to how climate change directly affects military power and military operations. This neglect is particularly relevant when we consider that climatic and meteorological events have played an important role in international and military affairs, such as by contributing to the collapse of the Roman Empire, the defeat of the Spanish “Invincible Armada,” or the defeat of Napoleon at Waterloo.2 In this paper, we address these questions by investigating the effects of climate change on the oceans, and in particular on how sound travels underwater, thus contributing to the academic and public debate about the future of submarine warfare. As we show, climate change is going to affect the ability of submarines to hide from detection, with significant implications for military operations, military technology, and international security.

Submarines exploit the ocean to hide from enemy sensors such as human sight, infrared cameras, and radar systems, which makes them a very effective military platform. This is why submarines represent a particularly credible nuclear deterrent (in the form of ballistic-missile submarines), as well as a serious threat to military and civilian ships, because they can provide coastal defense, interdict strategic lines of communications, impose a naval blockade, and more generally threaten an adversary’s fleet. American naval power, for instance, is a function, at least in part, of the advanced anti-submarine warfare capabilities of the U.S. Navy. American anti-submarine warfare capabilities significantly degrade the effectiveness of one of the most serious threats for any navy: enemy submarines.3

Ukrainian drones and missiles strike Russian oil refineries

Ukraine has launched a barrage of drone and missile strikes against Russia, igniting two oil refineries.

The overnight attacks, some of which reached deep into Russian territory, hit refineries in towns hundreds of miles apart in the Nizhny Novgorod and Oryol regions. No casualties were reported, according to regional officials.

In Kstovo, a town located 828km (514 miles) from the Ukraine border in Nizhny Novgorod, a fuel and energy complex, reportedly owned by Lukoil – Russia’s largest privately-owned company – was attacked by drones, according to regional Governor Gleb Nikitin.

“The special services are working on the spot, using all the necessary force and means to localise the fire at one of the oil refining installations,” he said on the Telegram messaging app.

A drone also smashed into a refinery in the town of Oryol, some 160km (99 miles) from the Ukraine border, according to Andrey Klychkov, governor of the Oryol region.

An emergency services official quoted by Russian state news agency RIA Novosti said a tank containing petroleum products caught fire.

At least 17 people from high-rise buildings near the site of the drone crash were reported to have been evacuated to a temporary accommodation centre.

Will the US crack down on TikTok? Six questions (and expert answers) about the bill in Congress.

Sarah Bauerle Danzman , Meg Reiss, Kenton Thibaut, Graham Brookie & Rose Jackson

The clock is ticking. On Wednesday, the US House overwhelmingly passed a bill to force the Chinese company ByteDance to divest from TikTok, or else the wildly popular social media app would be banned in the United States. Many lawmakers say the app is a national security threat, but the bill faces an uncertain path in the Senate. Below, our experts address six burning questions about this bill and TikTok at large.

1. What kind of risks does TikTok pose to US national security?

Chinese company ByteDance’s ownership of TikTok poses two specific risks to US national security. One has to do with concerns that the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) could use its influence over the Chinese owners to use TikTok’s algorithm for propaganda purposes. Addressing this security concern is tricky due to legal protections for freedom of expression. The other risk, and the one addressed through the current House legislation, has to do with the ability of the CCP to use Chinese ownership of TikTok to access the massive amount of data that the app collects on its users. This could include data on everything from viewing tastes, to real-time location, to information stored on users’ phones outside of the app, including contact lists and keystrokes that can reveal, for example, passwords and bank activity.

This debate is not over free speech or access to social media: The question is fundamentally one of whether the United States can or should force a divestment of a social media company from a parent company (in this case ByteDance) if the company can be compelled to act under the direction of the CCP. We have to ask: Does the CCP have the intent or ability to compel data to serve its interests? There is an obvious answer here. We know that China has already collected massive amounts of sensitive data from Americans through efforts such as the Office of Personnel Management hack in 2015. Recent unclassified reports, including from the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, show the skill and intent of China to use personal data for influence. And the CCP has the legal structure in place to compel companies such as ByteDance to comply and cooperate with CCP requests.

America Has a Farming Crisis

Alexander Fabino

The United States lost 141,733 farms over the course of five years, in part due to a broken workforce system that has led to a worker shortage. But a report with 15 recommendations unanimously agreed upon by a bipartisan group of lawmakers aims to address that shortage, and it has immigration laws in its sights.

Amidst the decline of farms and workers across the U.S, the House Committee on Agriculture's bipartisan Agriculture Labor Working Group (ALWG), co-chaired by Eric Crawford from Arkansas and Donald Davis from North Carolina, has formulated a comprehensive proposal targeting the root of the crisis: overhauling the H-2A visa program.

A farm worker labors in a field. A bipartisan group of lawmakers have introduced a proposal that would expand the current H2-A visa program to address the labor shortage on U.S. farms.

The H-2A visa program, designed to allow non-immigrant foreign workers entry into the U.S. for temporary agricultural jobs, falls short for many U.S. farmers, especially those in year-round operations like dairy and livestock. While it has seen a dramatic increase in usage, rising to 378,513 certified positions in fiscal year 2023, the program's seasonal limitation does not address the continuous labor needs of many agricultural sectors, according to the bipartisan lawmakers.

America Approaches the Crisis

George Friedman

We have recently discussed China’s problems, Russia’s ability to defeat Ukraine, the economic condition of Europe and the wars of the Middle East. All of these are extremely important, but none are as crucial as the United States, the country with the largest economy in the world and a military that, if fully deployed, can be decisive.

Some of you may recall our model of cycles, which is now signaling increasingly intense political, social and economic problems that will last until the election of 2028, when a new president will be elected and, regardless of his wishes, will dramatically shift the country’s direction. A few months ago, I thought we would not have to wait until 2028, but that the 2024 election might signal the shift. That isn’t happening. Or, to be precise, the historical model of change every 50 years is continuing. The last transitional moment was the Reagan presidency, which started 43 years ago.

To understand the coming changes, it is useful to think of the last cycle in the 1970s. That decade was marked by a war with significant impact on the American economy, combined with an oil embargo. President Richard Nixon ended the link between the dollar and gold, and massive unemployment, dramatic inflation and staggeringly high interest rates ensued. Exports from Japan shocked domestic auto manufacturers. Anger at the Vietnam War led to social conflict in the United States, with racial conflict turning into riots in Detroit in the late 1960s, and in 1970, campus riots at Kent State turned deadly when students were shot by the National Guard. In the end, the president resigned to avoid impeachment and possibly prison.

NATO vs. NATO: How a French Warship 'Sunk' A German Submarine

Stavros Atlamazoglou

Summary: In a riveting NATO wargame named Operation Nordic Response 2024, the French frigate Normandie achieved a simulated victory over a German submarine in Norway. This exercise underscored the critical importance of anti-submarine warfare capabilities. Despite facing a challenging environment in the Scandinavian fjords, the French crew, utilizing the Normandie's helicopter and sonar technologies, identified and "destroyed" the German sub, demonstrating the realism and value of such training exercises. This event, part of a series of drills in the Baltic Sea and Scandinavia, not only highlights the strategic importance of the region, given its proximity to Russian military bases but also reinforces NATO's commitment to interoperability and preparedness in the face of potential threats.

In a simulated clash reminiscent of World War Two, the French warship, the Normandie, managed to “sink” the German sub.

The exercise in Norway showed the importance of anti-submarine warfare drills.

The French warship did not have an easy job. In the days before the clash, the German submarine delivered an imaginary torpedo hit to the Italian aircraft carrier Giuseppe Garibaldi. In similar exercises, submarines have managed to penetrate the defenses of aircraft carriers and score hits against big flattops.

As soon as the French crew understood that an “enemy” submarine was in the area, it scrambled into action.

One of the newest warships of the French Navy, the Normandie launched its helicopter to help spot the submarine through sonar. It soon succeeded.

Government Use of Deepfakes

Daniel Byman, Daniel W. Linna Jr., and V. S. Subrahmanian

This paper examines several scenarios in which democratic governments might consider using deepfakes to advance their foreign policy objectives. It argues that officials should consider the following factors: (1) the likely efficacy of the deepfake, (2) its audience, (3) the potential harms, (4) the legal implications, (5) the nature of the target, (6) the goal of the deepfake, and (7) the traceability of the deepfake back to the originating democratic government. In general, the authors argue that deepfakes should not be used as they are likely to reduce the credibility of democratic governments if their use is discovered, though there may be rare circumstances when their use deserves serious consideration. This paper also proposes a process for approving or rejecting deepfakes that ensures that a wide variety of perspectives are brought to the table.

Advancing Digital Transformation and Digital Public Infrastructure: The Role of the Private Sector

Romina Bandura, Madeleine McLean, and Salome Girgvliani

Digital public infrastructure (DPI), a relatively new term that gained prominence during India’s G20 presidency, describes the network of digital building blocks that are needed to deliver public services across sectors. At the core of DPI are three components: a digital identification (ID), a payments system, and a data exchange platform. DPI is important because it can streamline government operations, enhance the delivery of public services, and foster socioeconomic opportunities, particularly in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). For example, a McKinsey study of seven countries found that implementing a digital ID can potentially boost GDP by 3–13 percent.

During the Covid-19 pandemic, countries that had robust DPI could make digital payments quickly and more efficiently. On average, these countries were able to reach 51 percent of their populations, compared to 16 percent in countries without DPI. The potential applications of DPI are vast and stretch across various domains, including healthcare, education, finance, and communication.

The evolution of DPI as a construct goes back to the initial days of digital technology; early examples of DPI include global positioning systems (GPS) and the internet. While predominantly focused on improving communication and data processing within specific sectors in the beginning, the scope of digital infrastructure has since expanded to encompass a comprehensive framework integrating various digital services and systems vital for public service delivery and social interaction. The importance of DPI has been particularly notable in the past two decades, going hand in hand with technological advancements. This evolution has been marked by the increasing integration of digital technologies into everyday life, transforming how governments and institutions manage resources and interact with citizens.

In this regard, the private sector—both through its companies and philanthropy—plays a pivotal role in the development and expansion of DPI. Companies add value not only through financial investments, but also through technological innovation, expertise, and strategic partnerships. More importantly, by establishing public-private partnerships (PPPs), companies can unlock capital and make public projects more efficient and innovative. The best outcomes are achieved when the public and private sectors collaborate to develop robust DPI.

Regulators Need AI Expertise. They Can’t Afford It


CHATGPT CAUGHT REGULATORS by surprise when it set off a new AI race. As companies have rushed to develop and release ever more powerful models, lawmakers and regulators around the world have sought to catch up and rein in development.

As governments spin up new AI programs, regulators around the world are urgently trying to hire AI experts. But some of the job ads are raising eyebrows and even chuckles among AI researchers and engineers for offering wages that, amid the current AI boom, look pitiful.

The European AI Office, which will be central to the implementation of the EU’s AI Act, listed vacancies early this month and wants applicants to begin work in the fall. They include openings for technology specialists in AI with a master’s degree in computer science or engineering and at least one year’s experience, at a seniority level that suggests an annual salary from €47,320 ($51,730).

Across La Manche, the UK government’s Department for Science, Innovation & Technology is also seeking AI experts. One open position is Head of the International AI Safety Report, who would help shepherd a landmark global report that stems from the UK’s global AI Safety Summit last year. The ad says “expertise in frontier AI safety and/or demonstrable experience of upskilling quickly in a complex new policy area” is essential. The salary offered is £64,660 ($82,730) a year.

Although the EU listing is net of tax, the salaries are far lower than the eye-watering sums being offered within the industry. Levels.fyi, which compiles verified tech industry compensation data, reports that the median total compensation for workers at OpenAI is $560,000, including stock grants, as is common in the tech industry. The lowest compensation it has verified at the ChatGPT maker, for a recruiter, is $190,000.

Why Walmart’s quick success in generative AI search should have Google worried

Michelle Castillo

Planning purchases for a special occasion like recent Super Bowl parties or Valentine’s Day celebrations might typically require consulting more than one online source — or the primary source of Google — but if Walmart has its way, that is going to change in the future.

Walmart is talking up its ability to use generative AI as a one-stop shop to search when you need to plan an event, rather than online destination to search for individual items. During a call with analysts after its February earnings, Walmart CEO Doug McMillon talked about the gen AI search capabilities in its app.

“The thing we’re most excited about that’s already happened is the way search has improved, and the way generative AI helped us really improve a solution-oriented search experience for customers and members,” McMillon said on the earnings call. “And it happened pretty quickly.”

It also adds to the questions about future use of a search engine like Google.

Walmart long ago established itself as a major tech player, successfully fending off years of anxiety over Amazon and remaining a leader in the retail space whose shares are now trading at an all-time high. The tech narrative is one the company has been spinning since it bought Jet.com, started by a former Amazon executive Marc Lore, noted Forrester vice president, principal analyst Sucharita Kodali. As a technology company, Walmart has to experiment a lot, and in the case of adding generative AI search capabilities, there’s a very low cost for failure, she said.

“It establishes them as an innovator in the space,” Kodali said. “They’re better to be a leader than a follower in their shoes. They’re operating from a position of strength.”

Experiments can go wrong, though, as happened to Alphabet recently when it launched the Gemini gen AI into the market before it was ready. In a rare public appearance, Google co-founder Sergey Brin said the company “messed up” with the launch, but he dismissed concerns about the company’s outlook.

An Overview of the NIST Cybersecurity Framework 2.0



At its core, the CSF 2.0 is structured around the CSF Core, Profiles, and Tiers, supplemented by a wealth of online resources:

The CSF Core outlines a set of cybersecurity activities and outcomes, categorized into five primary functions: Identify, Protect, Detect, Respond, and Recover. These functions provide a strategic view of the lifecycle of managing cybersecurity risk.

Profiles, another critical component, allow organizations to tailor the CSF to their specific needs, objectives, and risk appetite, facilitating a more effective and efficient approach to cybersecurity risk management.

Tiers, on the other hand, help organizations gauge their approach to managing cybersecurity risk and the processes in place to ensure risk is managed to an acceptable level.

The CSF 2.0 emphasizes the importance of communication and integration in cybersecurity risk management. It advocates for a shared understanding and approach to managing cybersecurity risk, not just within an organization but also in its interactions with third parties. This shared understanding is crucial for making informed decisions about cybersecurity expenditures and actions, ultimately enhancing an organization’s cybersecurity posture. The NIST Cybersecurity Framework 2.0 serves as a foundational resource for organizations seeking to navigate the complex landscape of cybersecurity risks. It encourages a proactive, nuanced approach to cybersecurity, emphasizing flexibility, adaptability, and continuous improvement.

NIST CSF 2.0 Core

The CSF Core:
  • Introduces the novel GOVERN Function, emphasizing the critical role of governance in cybersecurity risk management. This addition underscores the importance of establishing, communicating, and monitoring an organization’s cybersecurity strategy, policy, and expectations as foundational elements of a holistic cybersecurity program.
  • A forward-looking approach to cybersecurity, designed to resonate with those charged with operationalizing risk management within an organization. It is a testament to the framework’s adaptability, intended to be applicable across a diverse array of technological environments and future technological advancements. and
  • Serves as a compass for organizations navigating the complex and ever-evolving landscape of cybersecurity risks. It provides a structured yet flexible framework for understanding, assessing, and addressing cybersecurity risks in alignment with an organization’s specific needs and objectives.
NIST CSF 2.0 Profiles

The concept known as CSF Profiles, which serve as a pivotal mechanism for organizations to articulate and manage their cybersecurity posture. The essence of CSF Profiles lies in their ability to describe an organization’s current and/or target cybersecurity posture in terms of the CSF Core’s outcomes. This is not merely an exercise in compliance or a bureaucratic checklist; rather, it is a strategic approach that allows organizations to understand, tailor, assess, prioritize, and communicate their cybersecurity efforts in alignment with their unique mission objectives, stakeholder expectations, threat landscape, and requirements.

The IC OSINT Strategy 2024-20


OSINT is vital to the Intelligence Community’s Mission. OSINT both enables other intelligence collection disciplines and delivers unique intelligence value of its own, allowing the IC to more efficiently and effectively leverage its exquisite collection capabilities. As the open source environment continues to expand and evolve at breakneck speed, the ability to extract actionable insights from vast amounts of open source data will only increase in importance.

Rapid advances in artificial intelligence and machine learning present significant opportunities to capitalize on the value of OSINT. At the same time, the IC must be attuned to the risks in the open source domain, including the provenance and validity of information it obtains. To maintain an intelligence advantage in the open source environment, we must embrace new technologies and tradecraft to collect and evaluate open source data. At the same time, the IC must reimagine its relationships with industry and academia to leverage cutting-edge capabilities being developed and applied in the private sector. Because of the unclassified nature of open source information, OSINT presents a unique opportunity among collection disciplines to explore new partnership models to speed the adoption of new tools and tradecraft.

For the IC to surpass nation-state competitors that are making significant investments in the open source domain, we must build an integrated and agile OSINT community that can rapidly innovate as the open source environment evolves. The IC OSINT Strategy provides the framework for integrating OSINT more fully into IC workflows, tradecraft, and all-source analysis, while ensuring appropriate protections for privacy and civil liberties. To advance the OSINT discipline, the IC will streamline data acquisition, develop innovative technologies to collect and derive insight from open source data, strengthen the coordination of open source collection activities across the community, update and standardize OSINT tradecraft, and develop a highly skilled OSINT workforce. Through these efforts, we will work together to leverage the full power of OSINT to support IC analysts and operators and ensure the IC is poised to provide decision advantage for warfighters and national security policymakers.


Ken Klippenstein

SINCE RETIRING FROM the military last year, former Chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Army Gen. Mark Milley has become a senior adviser to JPMorgan Chase bank, joined the faculties of Princeton and Georgetown, and embraced the lucrative paid speaking circuit. From military pay of $204,000 a year, Milley is sure to skyrocket to compensation in the millions, especially because he is represented by the same high-powered speakers’ agency as Hillary Clinton, who faced criticism in 2016 for her paid speeches to investment bank Goldman Sachs.

Called “cashing in” by military officers, transitioning from capped government salaries to defense industry, private consulting for global risk management, or work with venture capital brings in lavish paydays. For retired generals, the invasion is swift. The recently retired chief of space operations for the Space Force, Gen. John W. “Jay” Raymond, for example, has joined the board of directors for aerospace companies Impulse Space and Axiom Space, as well as becoming senior managing director for investment firm Cerberus Capital Management. Gen. James C. McConville, who served as chief of staff of the Army before retiring last year, has joined the board of directors of drone manufacturer Edge Autonomy and aerospace investment firm AE Industrial Partners, as an operating partner.

Milley’s speaker’s agency, Harry Walker Agency is touting the retired general, who crossed swords with former President Donald Trump and continues to be a polarizing figure, for his insights on leadership and international conflicts. “His perspective is invaluable for audiences looking to understand the impact of current conflicts and managing risks on boards of directors and leadership teams who are responsible for making strategic decisions and identifying vulnerabilities,” the website says.

According to the speaker’s agency, Milley recently participated in a Q&A at a gathering of 160 CEOs organized by investment bank Moelis & Company, where he provided his “insider’s perspective on world affairs.”

The engagement has not been previously reported.