4 April 2024


Dada’s website https://www.strategicstudyindia.com/ is alive and kicking.

As on date it has total hits of 2,14,19,888. In the month of March 2024, it has consistently got more than 10,000 hits per day. The statistics is given below:-

Hits of Top ten countries for the month of March 2024 are given below:-
Hong Kong is a recent entry. Hits from China is surprising as my website is not accessible in China expect by Govt agencies or Think Tanks/universities. My coverage of China may have got their eye balls.

Nice to see India coming back in top ten lists.

Happy viewing.

                                                                --- Maj Gen PK Mallick, VSM (Retd)

Losing ground, operating in other countries: Will Hamas go the way of ISIS? - opinion


The shocking attack in Moscow on March 22, that claimed the lives of close to 150 people at the date of publication, brought ISIS back into the headlines. The Islamic State was physically eliminated in the Middle East in 2017 after the American coalition captured its two centers – Mosul in western Iraq and Raqqa in northern Syria. Despite the certain technical differences, ISIS and Hamas have quite a bit in common.

ISIS is a breakaway of al-Qaeda with the jihadist Wahhabi ideology and Hamas is a faction of the Muslim Brotherhood, both of which are interested in "returning" Islam to its alleged origins through jihad, the re-establishment of an Islamic caliphate, and the application of a strict interpretation of Sharia law. In order to achieve the goal, all means are sanctioned by both organizations: ISIS and Hamas do not see any moral problem in committing atrocities in the name of religion, because the "infidel" enemy is not a human being in their view, and spilling his blood is permissible.

ISIS lost its grip on its huge "caliphate" that existed between 2014-2017, as a result of the efforts of Kurdish and allied Arab fighters on the ground, alongside a US-led international coalition as well as Russian military support.

Most of Russia's contribution to the war against ISIS was fighting in Syria on behalf of Bashar Assad and the Syrian regime. Since then, ISIS has been out for revenge against both Russia and the US. But this does not prevent Russia's supporters in the Middle East from repeatedly repeating a conspiracy theory, according to which the US is using ISIS to destabilize the Middle East and to provide an excuse to keep American forces in Iraq and Syria. Even now, after the attack in Moscow, quite a few Arab commentators are repeating the theory that the US is behind the ISIS attack, to supposedly help Ukraine.

A Homeland Warning About ISIS-K

The U.S. homeland hasn’t suffered a terrorist attack from Islamic extremists in years, but that doesn’t mean the threat has gone away, and it may be increasing again. That was the warning Sunday from retired Gen. Frank McKenzie, who was in charge of U.S. forces in Afghanistan during President Biden’s withdrawal.

“We should believe them when they say that. They’re going to try to do it,” Gen. McKenzie told ABC News “This Week.” “I think the threat is growing.”

He said the threat began “to grow as soon as we left Afghanistan, it took pressure off ISIS-K. So I think we should expect further attempts of this nature against the United States as well as our partners and other nations abroad.” ISIS-K is the Afghan-based branch of Islamic State that has taken responsibility for the recent attack on a Moscow concert venue.

President Biden assured the American people when he left Afghanistan that the U.S. would retain an over-the-horizon ability to monitor terrorists there. But Gen. McKenzie said that isn’t true now: “In Afghanistan, we have almost no ability to see into that country and almost no ability to strike into that country.”

Seth Jones, of the Center for Strategic and International Studies, made the same point about the lack of U.S. capability to see in Afghanistan on the Journal Editorial Report on Fox News on Saturday.

The Biden Administration doesn’t want to talk about this for obvious political reasons, especially in an election year. All the more so when the porous southern U.S. border could be an avenue for terrorist infiltration. But it doesn’t enhance U.S. safety to hide the truth.

Former CENTCOM commander warns ISIS online radicalization among ‘most dangerous methods’ for attack


Retired Gen. Frank McKenzie, the former commander of U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM), warned Sunday that ISIS online radicalization poses a threat of future terrorist attacks after more than 130 people were killed in a Moscow attack last week.

Four gunmen killed 144 people in a concert hall in suburban Moscow last week. The gunmen were believed to have been affiliated with ISIS-K, the terrorist organization’s Afghanistan branch. Russian authorities arrested the gunmen from Tajikistan and their believed co-conspirators.

McKenzie said the attack was likely an action organized directly by ISIS-K but that online radicalization poses a threat to the future.

“Self-radicalization — radicalization in place, if you will, by people who have access to the internet abroad — may be one of the most dangerous methods that ISIS can use to generate attacks,” he said in an ABC “This Week” interview with Martha Raddatz on Sunday.

“Those attacks are generally not going to be well coordinated. They’re not going to be well planned. And they’re not going to be well supported,” he said. “But they can be very lethal, because there’ll be so hard to detect.”

The Moscow attack raised concerns that ISIS could be resurgent and ready to strike in Europe or even the U.S., though American intelligence leaders have assured the public that there is currently no threat.

“The Department of Defense has not taken its eye off of ISIS,” Pentagon press secretary Maj. Gen. Pat Ryder told reporters Thursday.

America is Losing the Shoe Race With China

James Andrew Lewis

China not only has more shoes, it is the world largest producer of shoes. How did The United States let this crucial industry, on which modern economies must stand, escape from its grasp?

A better question might be who cares. The number of shoes is not a good indicator of national power. In fact, no single technology is a good indicator of national power. The U.S. economy is vast, decentralized, continental in size, and is guided by actively competitive markets. It has been exceptionally innovative for decades. Leading in a single technology (like railroads in the 19th century or semiconductors today) reflects a common analytical error that misjudges how economies and technology actually create national power. The concept of a “race” itself is a questionable legacy of Cold War thinking – the Cold War had a finish line (identified by Eisenhower and Dulles at the onset), while the current situation does not.

Stories about the United States falling behind are so predictable that they form a literary genre. In 1957, the President’s Science Advisor predicted that Soviet performance in math and science education would give it global leadership in a decade. In 1969, the Departments of Treasury, Commerce and Agriculture warned President Nixon that a powerful new economic entity, the European Union, would displace the United States. Starting the 1980s, assorted pundits announced that Japan would dominate the global economy. And until recently, there were routine predictions that China would displace the United States, predictions that still make regular appearances.

These predictions have two things in common. First, they were wrong. Second, they were wrong because they counted the wrong things. They did not place their analyses in the context of larger national economies. Instead, they relied on picking illustrative metrics, usually proxy indicators that provide an indirect measurement of technological success. One recurring problem is the tendency to measure inputs rather than outcomes.

China Is Still Rising

Nicholas R. Lardy

For over two decades, China’s phenomenal economic performance impressed and alarmed much of the world, including the United States, its top trading partner. But since 2019, China’s sluggish growth has led many observers to conclude that China has already peaked as an economic power. President Joe Biden said as much in his State of the Union address in March: “For years, I’ve heard many of my Republican and Democratic friends say that China is on the rise and America is falling behind. They’ve got it backwards.”

Those who doubt that China’s rise will continue point to the country’s weak household spending, its declining private investment, and its entrenched deflation. Sooner than overtake the United States, they argue, China would likely enter a long recession, perhaps even a lost decade.

But this dismissive view of the country underestimates the resilience of its economy. Yes, China faces several well documented headwinds, including a housing market slump, restrictions imposed by the United States on access to some advanced technologies, and a shrinking working-age population. But China overcame even greater challenges when it started on the path of economic reform in the late 1970s. While its growth has slowed in recent years, China is likely to expand at twice the rate of the United States in the years ahead.


Several misconceptions undergird the pessimism about China’s economic potential. Take the widely held misconception that the Chinese economy’s progress in converging with the size of the U.S. economy has stalled. It is true that from 2021 to 2023, China’s GDP fell from 76 percent of U.S. GDP to 67 percent. Yet it is also true that by 2023, China’s GDP was 20 percent bigger than it had been in 2019, the eve of the global pandemic, while the United States’ was only 8 percent bigger.

This apparent paradox can be explained by two factors. First, over the last few years, inflation has been lower in China than it has been in the United States. Last year, China’s nominal GDP grew by 4.6 percent, less than the 5.2 percent that its GDP grew in real terms. In contrast, because of high inflation, U.S. nominal GDP in 2023 grew by 6.3 percent, while real GDP grew by only 2.5 percent.

Beijing’s Increasing Maritime Gray Zone Operations Around Taiwan’s Outlying Islands

John Dotson

Executive Summary:
  • On February 14, an incident occurred to the east of Taiwan’s Kinmen Island, in which an unidentified PRC small boat capsized while allegedly fleeing from an attempted inspection by the Taiwan Coast Guard. The incident resulted in the deaths of two of the four men aboard.
  • In the wake of the incident, the PRC government has accused—without evidence—Taiwan authorities of maliciously causing the accident. The PRC Coast Guard has stepped up its presence and “law enforcement” activities in the area and engaged in limited harassment of Taiwan vessels and incursions into waters declared restricted by Taiwan’s government.
  • Beijing appears to be leveraging the incident to create an “opportunistic crisis”—using the event as a pretext to further escalate “gray zone” operations intended to assert Beijing’s claimed sovereignty over both Taiwan and the waters of the Taiwan Strait.
On February 14, an incident occurred near Taiwan’s Kinmen Island (金門島) group that illustrated ongoing tensions between Taiwan and the People’s Republic of China (PRC) over issues of maritime administration. It also illuminated patterns in the PRC’s sustained and ongoing efforts to erode Taiwan’s sovereignty. According to the Republic of China (ROC) Coast Guard Administration, around 1:45PM local time the vessel CP-1051 confronted a “three no’s boat” (三無船舶)—meaning no name, no registration certificate, no registered homeport—at a point 1.1 nautical miles to the east of Jinmen’s Bei-ding Island (北碇島), and .86 nautical miles inside waters declared restricted by Taiwan’s government. In the ensuing chase, the boat capsized, resulting in the deaths of two of the four-man crew (ROC Coast Guard, February 14, February 20).

Taiwan’s Mainland Affairs Council (MAC, 大陸委員會) explained the ROC Coast Guard’s actions by stating that the PRC boat had resisted inspection and capsized while attempting to flee the area. Describing the background to the incident, MAC stated that:

Chinese Migrant Suddenly Found on California Military Base

Nick Mordowanec

The arrest of a Chinese national at a Marine Corps base in California is spurring many questions.

The presence of Chinese nationals on American soil has been on lawmakers' radar for months, given the recent influx of migrants at the southern and northern borders and exacerbated tensions with the Chinese Communist Party.

Republican Senators Joni Ernst and Marco Rubio are among nearly three dozen members of Congress who have requested visa changes through the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). They told Newsweek earlier this week that Chinese nationals' ability to enter U.S. territories like Guam through the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands without proper B-1 (business) or B-2 (tourism) visas should be immediately addressed with reform.

Mounted Border Patrol officers are seen before Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen inaugurates the first completed section of the border wall in California's El Centro Sector on October 26, 2018. On Friday, a Chinese national who was in the U.S. illegally was discovered at a Marine Corps base in the sector.

On Friday, Border Patrol chief agent Gregory Bovino wrote on X (formerly Twitter) that agents responded to a call from a Marine base about a Chinese national in the El Centro Sector "who entered the base without authorization, ignoring orders to leave."

"Subject was confirmed to be in the country illegally," Bovino wrote, along with an image of the suspect. "His purpose & intent behind his actions are still being investigated."

Test Run: Russia and China

Edward Lucas

The shameful dithering in Berlin, Washington DC, and other capitals impose a huge human and physical cost on Ukraine—and create great risks for everyone. Russia’s war machine will not stop until it is beaten. Either the West wins with Ukraine’s help, or we will be fighting Russia somewhere else later, on far worse terms.

That is daunting enough. But the threat from the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) is far greater. Russia chiefly seeks to rebuild a sphere of influence in its neighborhood. It can also stoke trouble far afield, notably in sub-Saharan Africa. But unlike its predecessor it does not aspire to global domination. The Soviet Union’s perennial insecurities, delusions of grandeur, and desire for recognition fuelled its quest for global power (outlined in a forthcoming book by the historian Sergey Radchenko). For Russia, with 140 million people and an Italy-sized GDP ($2 trillion), such ambitions would be fanciful.

The CCP leadership, like the Kremlin, wants more than anything else to stay in power. It deals ferociously and systematically with internal threats to its rule, with a surveillance state of unparalleled capability. Like the Kremlin, it also seeks to deal with external threats. But it does so on a far greater scale. Russia has had some modest successes in weaponizing its diasporas, notably in Germany and France. But the CCP, through its United Front Work Department, aims to control all diaspora activity everywhere. Moreover, through its enormous hauls of personal information, sifted and sorted by artificial intelligence to highlight patterns and anomalies, China has gained extraordinary insights into Western societies. No national government agency in a democratic country could do this with our personal data: the political, legal, and parliamentary constraints are too great. But the CCP can and does.

China decries U.S. ‘bullying.’ But, to many, China is the bully.

Ishaan Tharoor

At a regional security forum in the southern Chinese island of Hainan, Beijing laid out its vision for Asian peace and prosperity. But many onlookers interpreted the remarks made by Zhao Leji, the third highest-ranking official in the ruling Communist Party, as another tacit rebuke of the U.S. role in the region and an articulation of China’s hardening desire for a regional order free of U.S. involvement.

“Hegemonic and bullying acts are deeply harmful,” Zhao, a top leader of the Politburo and head of China’s rubber-stamp parliament, said while delivering a keynote speech at the annual Boao Forum. He did not mention the United States by name but was clearly gesturing to Washington’s open competition with China, tensions over strategic flash points in Asia and the ongoing trade wars pursued by successive U.S. administrations. “We must oppose trade protectionism and all forms of erecting barriers, decoupling or severing supply chains,” he added.

Speaking in slogans routinely put forward by Chinese officials, Zhao painted a rosy picture of Asian governments working in concert to resolve differences and ensuring the region does not become an “arena for geopolitical” rivalries. “We should jointly maintain security in Asia,” Zhao said. “We must always keep in our hands the future of lasting peace and security in Asia.”

A handful of world leaders were also in attendance, including Kazakhstan’s President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, Cambodia’s President Hun Sen, Sri Lanka’s Prime Minister Dinesh Gunawardena and the leaders of the tiny island nations of Nauru and Dominica.

Analysts present at the forum saw through Zhao’s rhetoric. “The Chinese are vehemently opposed to what they call ‘bloc confrontation’ but the truth is they are building their own sphere of influence in Asia,” Richard McGregor, senior fellow for East Asia at the Lowy Institute, an Australian think tank, told Bloomberg News. “Zhao was quite explicit about this, saying in particular that Asian countries should be jointly responsible for security in the region, a notion that excludes the U.S.”

Iran juggling a multitude of bad choices


Israel’s own April Fool’s Day prank was to eliminate one of Iran’s top commanders in Syria, Mohammad Reza Zahedi, by striking a building near Tehran’s embassy in Damascus, almost flouting international law protecting the inviolability of diplomatic missions.

This act served as a clear warning: Iran must keep its allies and proxies in check, or risk Israel striking Iran without hesitation. It also served as a signal to Hezbollah militias in South Lebanon and the Houthis disrupting international trade in Yemen’s waters.

The attack occurred shortly after Turkey’s secular opposition won local elections, dealing a blow to President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. The result could potentially reshape Turkey’s political landscape, particularly since the opposition has traditionally been more pro-Israeli while Erdogan’s rule distanced Turkey from Israel.

Perhaps Israel’s challenge lies in the fact that it cannot afford to eradicate Hamas from Gaza only to have Hamas (or a similar group) resurface elsewhere, whether in the West Bank or within Islamic communities in the West, posing threats to Jews globally.

The pressing question now is: Will this situation lead to an escalation? If Iran responds, it risks direct involvement in a war it has sought to avoid so far, potentially leading to defeat. Alternatively, refraining from a response could invite a US attack against Iran for its active support of the Houthis. Tehran is facing tough choices.

In this context, Russian President Vladimir Putin may have an interest in extending the conflict to Iran. The Islamic terrorist attack in Moscow on March 22 has bewildered Russian security and tarnished Putin’s strongman image, casting a shadow on future developments in the war in Ukraine.

Against Escalation Management


If there’s one principle that’s come to guide the Biden administration’s approach to the war in Ukraine and indeed national security in general, it’s escalation management. That’s a bit of esoteric foreign policy jargon, but in ordinary words it means that the United States finely tunes its military aid to Ukraine so as not to provoke the Kremlin. Hence the tortured and tortuous internal debates inside the White House and U.S. government over whether or not the United States and its allies should provide Kyiv with this or that weapon system.

In other words, the Biden administration imagines they can control or manage the course of events in Ukraine—largely based on their own notions of what constitutes Vladimir Putin’s red lines in the war. Hence the State Department publicly declaring that it does not support Ukrainian drone strikes against Russian oil refineries, a continued (though weakening) refusal to provide Ukraine with longer-range ATACMS missiles, or the Pentagon saying that Ukraine should use its new F-16 fighters to “focus on Ukraine's defense of its sovereign territory within Ukraine's sovereign borders.” Sound military advice perhaps, but it’s counsel that nonetheless fits well within an overall Ukraine policy that’s overly concerned with the phantom menace of escalation with Moscow—a policy that’s more likely to bring about precisely the escalation it aims to avoid.

Much the same could be said of Yemen, where fear of a nuclear-armed rival cannot explain the tentative and indecisive series of U.S.-led strikes in response to Houthi attacks on commercial shipping in international waters. For all their very real differences, however, the cases of Ukraine and Yemen reveal much about the mentality of avoidance that’s seized a hold of America’s foreign policymakers. Reasonable concerns about conflict escalation merge with technocratic hubris to yield in a form of strategic paralysis that leaves America in the worst of both worlds: involved in conflicts without any goal save avoiding escalatory spirals and catastrophic scenarios that seem to exist largely in the heads of policymakers, foreign policy analysts, and think tank experts.

Reclaiming Israel’s Hybrid Character

Peter Berkowitz

Israelis from all walks of life believe that the Oct. 7 massacres changed something vital in them and in their country. The horrors of the recent past weigh on citizens’ hearts and minds. Daunting ongoing military operations in the south with Iranian-backed Hamas and in the north with Iranian-backed Hezbollah – along with the threat of intensifying fighting in both arenas as well as of battles to come elsewhere in the region amid Israel’s multi-front war with Iran – stir anxieties and fray nerves. And, keenly aware of the nation’s bitter internal divisions, the resurgence of antisemitism in the West, faltering international support, and deteriorating relations with the United States, Israelis fear for their nation’s future.

At the same time, post-Oct. 7 Israelis have demonstrated abiding pride in their country and have exhibited remarkable resilience in the face of mass atrocities the likes of which no nation under assault has ever before witnessed broadcast in real time on its television screens and smart phones. Within days of the jihadists’ invasion, more than 300,000 reservists in a country of 9.3 million people reported for duty. Citizens of every description volunteered – to prepare and deliver meals for the swollen military ranks; to care for grieving families whose loved ones had been butchered or kidnapped; to provide mental health and educational services for hundreds of thousands of displaced residents along the southern and northern borders who had been relocated to hotels around the country; and to pick fruits and vegetables in neglected fields and orchards. Israelis discovered following the Oct. 7 savagery a unity of purpose and dedication to the common good of which many in the Jewish state had not known they were still capable.

Plunged into a war widely seen in the country as posing an existential threat and occupied with countless acts of sacrifice, courage, and devotion, Israelis have had little opportunity to step back to consider the big picture. They have scarcely begun to delve into the origins of their post-Oct. 7 plight or explore the sources of their heroism. Until, that is, the Hebrew-language publication last week of “The Eighth Day: Israel After October 7th” by Micah Goodman.

Israel's killing of IRGC's Zahedi marks ends of an era for Iranian commanders - analysis


The death of Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps commander Mohammad Reza Zahedi in an airstrike in Damascus represents the end of an era for Iran. The era is encapsulated in a photo circulating on social media showing Zahedi, IRGC Quds Force commander Qasem Soleimani, Hezbollah leader Imad Mughniyeh, Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah and IRGC commander Ahmed Kazemi. Four of these men are now dead, leaving only Nasrallah.

This is symbolic because it shows how a whole generation of key operatives and allies of Iran have been killed. It is symbolic on a wider level because it shows how Iran may be losing its grip on Syria as its IRGC chain of command there suffers losses. The loss of Zahedi is being watched in the region. For instance, Al-Ain media in the UAE has an article examining the photo and noting that Nasrallah is the “last of them.”

“In the Iranian consulate strike, seven Iranian military advisers and officers were killed, the most prominent of whom was Mohammad Reza Zahedi, who served as Deputy Chief of Operations of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard, in addition to assuming command of its air and ground forces,” the report notes.

It also notes the fate of the others in the photo. For instance, Qasem Soleimani was killed in a US drone strike near Baghdad airport in January 2020. Soleimani had arrived for a meeting with Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, a leader of the Iranian-backed Kataib Hezbollah. Muhandis and Soleimani were driving in a convoy of vehicles when the drone targeted their vehicle and killed them. Kazemi, who is also in the photo, was killed in a plane crash in 2006. Mughniyeh was assassinated in Damascus in 2008.

Al-Ain says that Zahedi is the “fourth prominent leader of the Revolutionary Guards to be assassinated,” since December. Iran has blamed Israel for the attack. He was killed in an airstrike on a building next to the Iranian consulate. The building served as the “military headquarters of the Revolutionary Guards,” Al-Ain notes.

Shahed Drone Plant Deep Inside Russia Hit by UAV

Isabel van Brugen

Adrone attack on an industrial site in Russia's republic of Tatarstan, located more than 1,000 kilometers from the Ukrainian border, is reported to have struck a plant that produces Shahed kamikaze drones.

"Drone attacks took place against factories in Tatarstan at Yelabuga and Nizhnekamsk," the press service of the head of Tatarstan, Rustam Minnikhanov, said on Telegram on Tuesday.

The message said the strikes "did not cause serious damage and work at the factories was not affected." It added: "Unfortunately in Yelabuga, people were wounded."

A video shared by Russian Telegram channels on Tuesday appeared to show the moment a drone struck a site in Yelabuga, causing a huge fireball.

Russian state-run news agency Tass said six people were wounded, including two teenagers.

"In Yelabuga, Russia-occupied Tatarstan, a strange explosion took place today," Sergej Sumlenny, founder of the German think tank, the European Resilience Initiative Center, said on X, formerly known as Twitter, of the strikes. "Yelabuga is 1200 km from Ukraine, and is a home of a 'high-tech zone', reportedly drones production too."

Anton Gerashchenko, a former adviser to Ukraine's minister of internal affairs, shared footage of the strike on X, saying the area where it occurred houses "an assembly plant for the production of Iranian Shahed drones."

Ukraine hasn't claimed responsibility for the attacks, in line with its usual policy of refraining from commenting on strikes that take place on Russian soil. However, Ukraine's Minister of Digital Transformation Mikhail Fedorov said in an interview with Die Welt, published on Monday, that Kyiv has drones capable of striking targets more than 1,000 kilometers away.

Russia's Black Sea Fleet Suffered 'Bad Month'—Kyiv

Ellie Cook

Russia's Black Sea Fleet suffered a "bad month," Kyiv has said, after Ukrainian forces attacked a string of Russian vessels based around the Russian-controlled Crimean peninsula.

"The [R]ussian Black Sea Fleet continues to suffer," Ukraine's Defense Ministry said in a post to social media.

In early March, Ukraine used home-grown Magura V5 naval drones to target the Sergei Kotov patrol ship close to the Kerch Strait in eastern Crimea. The attacks damaged the vessel's stern, right and left sides before the ship sank, Ukraine said.

Later in the month, Kyiv's air force said its forces had struck three of Russia's landing ships, as well as the Ivan Khurs reconnaissance ship, in the Black Sea port of Sevastopol, where Russia partially bases its Black Sea Fleet. Ukraine said the four vessels were hit, but did not say they had been destroyed.

"Great job by the Ukrainian warriors," Kyiv said in the social media post. The Russian Defense Ministry has been approached for comment via email.

For more than two years, Ukraine has zeroed in on Russia's Black Sea Fleet, targeting —often successfully—high value vessels sailing or docked around Crimea. Moscow has controlled the territory, which it annexed from Ukraine, for a decade, and has used it to coordinate and launch attacks on the mainland. Kyiv has committed to reclaiming Crimea.

Donald Trump Voters Are Becoming More Conservative

Ewan Palmer

Nearly four in 10 people who voted for Donald Trump in 2020 said they have become more conservative in the past five years, according to a poll conducted exclusively for Newsweek.

A Redfield & Wilton Strategies survey of 1,500 eligible voters found that the ideology of 23 percent in total had drifted further to the right since 2019, including 37 percent of those who voted for Trump and his MAGA agenda at the last election.

The results also show that 19 percent of Trump supporters said they have become more liberal (11 percent) or more socialist (7 percent) in the past five years, suggesting that the presumptive Republican 2024 nominee could lose some of his support in his rematch against President Joe Biden in November's race. A total of 29 percent of Trump's supporters in 2020 said their political ideology has not moved.

When the results are broken down further, more than one third (37 percent) of Trump 2020 supporters said the former president's time in office affected their change in ideology over the past five years, with 22 percent citing Biden's current time in the White House.

Newsweek illustration. A poll has found 37 percent of those who voted for Trump in 2020 has become more conservative.

Other factors which Trump supporters have cited in the evolution of their political ideology in the past five years include inflation (36 percent), the cost of living crisis (33 percent) and immigration (32 percent), all of which are set to be hot topic issues in the 2024 presidential race.

The Saint of Sea Power

Matt Gobush

Step inside a traditionally built church and, in a sense, you’re boarding a capsized ship. The nave, or long expanse in the cruciform design where worshippers gather under a vaulted ceiling, derives its name from “naval” because its shape reminded church builders of an inverted ship’s hull.

Indeed, life at sea was a metaphor of the early church. Like Moses’ parting of the Red Sea, Jesus conquered primordial fears of the deep when he walked on water. He pledged to his disciples, “I will make you fishers of men” (Mark 1: 16-18). The ancient church adopted the fish as a shibboleth signifying their secret fellowship, an acrostic derived from the Greek for “Jesus Christ, God’s Son, Savior,” the initial letters of each word spelling “ichthys,” or fish. Such symbolism resonated in a world centered around the Mediterranean, Christianity’s cradle and the “lake” of the Roman Empire. Had the Romans not ruled the waves, the Jesus movement may never have spread with such success.

Scholar Suzanne Bowles (née Geissler) explores the interesting nexus between church and sea – and, more pointedly, sea power – in her telling of the life, career and faith of Admiral Alfred Thayer Mahan (1840-1914). I read God and Sea Power while crossing the North Atlantic this winter on the Queen Mary II, which only added to my appreciation for the daring project Bowles undertook in this spiritual travel log of America’s greatest naval historian and strategist.

Figuratively, I first met Mahan in Geopolitics 101 as an undergraduate at Georgetown University. Together with Halford J. MacKinder, he was introduced to me as a founding father of the discipline for his seminal 1890 work, The Influence of Sea Power on History. To Mahan were attributed reigning doctrines of maritime military strategy: the importance of achieving fleet superiority and concentration, of securing distant ports for naval resupply, and of protecting strategic sea lanes for commerce and communications, among others.

101st Airborne soldiers are first to receive new Next Gen Squad Weapon


Soldiers with the 101st Airborne at Fort Campbell, Kentucky are the first to receive the Army’s new Next Generation Squad Weapon (NGSW) system this week.

On Thursday, soldiers from the 1st Battalion, 506th Infantry Regiment were equipped with the NGSW ahead of April training where they will practice with new equipment, according to Army Futures Command. The training will involve a train-the-trainer course to prepare NCOs to conduct follow-on training across the company.

The Army also plans to field NGSW systems to a National Guard armored brigade in May.

The two NGSW rifles, which increase lethality at longer ranges, will be used by close combat forces which have historically sustained “80% of the casualties in combat,” according to Brig. Gen. Larry Burris, commander of the Army Infantry School and Army Maneuver Center of Excellence in a brief to reporters in 2022. Other forces will continue to use the M4 and the M249 weapons systems.

“For example, the company supply sergeant will continue to carry [an] M-4 or another weapon, not the Next-Gen Weapon,” Burris said.

The XM7 will be the new personal weapon for soldiers across the Army and replace the ubiquitous M4 rifle, which has designs originating from M16s used by Vietnam War soldiers. The XM250 will replace the M249 Squad Automatic Weapon, a 1980s-era gun.

The XM7 weighs around 8.4 pounds, which is slightly heavier than the M4, weighing about 7.3 pounds. The XM250 is about 12 pounds, significantly lighter than the SAW, which weighs approximately 18 pounds.

When it comes to firing, the XM7 and XM250 rifles are designed to use a larger and heavier bullet size “with improved armor-penetrating capabilities,” according to Fort Campbell’s public affairs.

Israel confronts sharp rise in cyber attacks from Iran and Hezbollah amid war

Omer Kabir

Israel experienced 3,380 cyber attacks from October 7th until the end of 2023, 800 of which had "significant potential for damage" according to the National Cyber Directorate’s annual report. This represents a 2.5 increase in cyber attacks compared to the same period in previous years.

"The war brought with it an increase in cyber attacks that intensified gradually, shifting from a focus on information theft to disruptive and damaging attacks," the report stated. "At the beginning of the war, the attacks were simple and unsophisticated, mainly aimed at creating public discord. Over time, they became more focused and aimed at effectively disrupting organizations. The attacks targeted essential organizations and aimed to create a wide impact by attacking prominent companies in the supply chain for many organizations. As the war progressed, more hackers were identified to be working for Iran and Hezbollah."

According to the Directorate, several trends emerged during this period, including hospitals becoming central targets, attacks aimed at undermining the war effort and gathering intelligence, and a strengthening cooperation between Iran and Hezbollah.

Throughout 2023, the Directorate received 13,040 reports from citizens and organizations verified as cyber attacks, marking a 43% increase compared to 2022. However, 68% of the reports were received during the Gaza conflict. Of all the reports, 41% were attacks carried out over social networks, 25% were phishing attempts, 13% were via computer systems, 9% took advantage of computer system vulnerabilities, 3% were malware, 2% were disruptions to operational continuity, and 2% were communication disruptions. The remaining 4% were categorized as "other."

Industry Wants More Involvement in Army's Network Plans

Allyson Park

The Army is focused on building a resilient data network that can withstand contested and disrupted environments, but industry leaders say they need more access and engagement with the service to better meet its requirements.

Army Chief of Staff Gen. Randy George declared modernizing the unified network the service’s top priority during the Association of the United States Army’s annual conference in October.

Brig. Gen. Denise Brown, director of architecture, operations, networks and space, office of the deputy chief of staff, G-6, said then that the Army was consolidating 49 organizational networks down to 13. “And then we’re moving to centralized delivery of services” by Army Cyber Command as a single provider, which will reduce complexity at the combatant commands and free up soldiers to “focus on the warfighting.”

A unified data network is integral to the Army’s efforts to modernize command and control, and it is the “capability that delivers the resilient and secure communications to ensure that we have … secure access to our information,” Brown added.

Retired Army Maj. Gen. Clark LeMasters Jr., former managing director of logistics commodities and services transformation at Leidos, said the Army cannot function without a resilient network.

The network “touches everything we do: planning, deployment of military and across the commercial transportation networks, our supply chains, and it has to be there for us,” he said at a recent AUSA contested logistics forum.

Young Europeans do not want to fight Russia


Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk has stated that Europe is now in a “pre-war” state. “I know it sounds devastating,” the Prime Minister said, “especially for the younger generation, but we have to get used to the fact that a new era has begun.” This comes only three weeks after French President Emmanuel Macron floated the idea of deploying French troops to Ukraine.

There is no need to sugarcoat what these European leaders are saying: young people in Europe need to get ready to mobilise. Nor is there any need to sugarcoat how they come across: they are completely out of touch with reality.

This is shown clearly in the polling: only 17% of people would voluntarily fight, and another 14% would only fight if they had to. The rest would push against conscription. Clearly, Europe’s youth are not willing to put on their boots and march East to die under artillery fire in a trench.

We have all heard the historical folklore of how old men sent young men to die in the trenches of the First World War. Now we see the same impulse among some leaders in Europe. But they differ from their ageing predecessors in that they cannot actually send their sons to sacrifice themselves. It is all talk and they look deeply unserious.

Why are these leaders behaving so irresponsibly and hysterically? Simply put, they signed onto the war in Ukraine thinking it would be an easy win. They were told that the Russian army was weak and could easily be beaten if they poured arms and money into the country. They duly did so and the Russian army survived.

Geopolitics and the Moon

George Friedman

The moon will soon totally eclipse the sun – an event rare enough to be measured in centuries. This is a suitable occasion, then, to think about the moon, Earth and humanity. But I also have a more prosaic reason to do so: I am in the process of writing a book on the geopolitics of the moon, so the eclipse has given me an excuse to flesh out some early thoughts. (I assure you that, psychologically, writing for immediate public consumption is dramatically different from endlessly sawing away for the future.)

The primary issue at stake is the relationship of the moon to Earth. Indeed, the moon is intimately connected to Earth. Long ago, a planet roughly the size of Mars brushed by Earth, tore a large chunk of our planet away and placed it in orbit around Earth – or so the dominant theory goes. Though this seems cosmically unlikely, people who know about such things insist that it is true and that it undoubtedly affected the shape of Earth, its climate and perhaps even global agriculture.

The most striking theory is that the moon is filled with valuable minerals on which much of Earth’s economy is built. If it indeed struck Earth many years ago, it must be assumed that a substantial amount of Earth’s mineral structure was torn away with it. If this is true, the moon must be a mineral-rich planet and thus a foundation of wealth. It is known that the moon has substantial amounts of water, for the most part frozen, as well as the ability to capture enormous amounts of energy, radiated by the sun, that could drive industry on the moon and a great deal of Earth’s energy, assuming it is retransmitted to Earth.

The moon is also an excellent place from which to influence or even dominate Earth. It could become a military base from which a hostile enemy could bombard Earth with solar power or boulders procured from the surface of the moon. Equally important, it is an excellent defensive point with offensive weapons hidden beneath its crust, able to withstand attacks – even nuclear attacks – by digging into its surface. Rather than a vast wasteland, a well-defended lunar base would be able to intersect attacks in the Earth-moon area of space and protect mining and industrial installations.

How We’ll Reach a 1 Trillion Transistor GPU


In 1997 the IBM Deep Blue supercomputer defeated world chess champion Garry Kasparov. It was a groundbreaking demonstration of supercomputer technology and a first glimpse into how high-performance computing might one day overtake human-level intelligence. In the 10 years that followed, we began to use artificial intelligence for many practical tasks, such as facial recognition, language translation, and recommending movies and merchandise.

Fast-forward another decade and a half and artificial intelligence has advanced to the point where it can “synthesize knowledge.” Generative AI, such as ChatGPT and Stable Diffusion, can compose poems, create artwork, diagnose disease, write summary reports and computer code, and even design integrated circuits that rival those made by humans.

Tremendous opportunities lie ahead for artificial intelligence to become a digital assistant to all human endeavors. ChatGPT is a good example of how AI has democratized the use of high-performance computing, providing benefits to every individual in society.

All those marvelous AI applications have been due to three factors: innovations in efficient machine-learning algorithms, the availability of massive amounts of data on which to train neural networks, and progress in energy-efficient computing through the advancement of semiconductor technology. This last contribution to the generative AI revolution has received less than its fair share of credit, despite its ubiquity.

Over the last three decades, the major milestones in AI were all enabled by the leading-edge semiconductor technology of the time and would have been impossible without it. Deep Blue was implemented with a mix of 0.6- and 0.35-micrometer-node chip-manufacturing technology. The deep neural network that won the ImageNet competition, kicking off the current era of machine learning, was implemented with 40-nanometer technology. AlphaGo conquered the game of Go using 28-nm technology, and the initial version of ChatGPT was trained on computers built with 5-nm technology. 

Lethal Autonomous Weapon Systems: A Gamechanger Demanding Regulation - OPINION

Zamzam Channa

In recent years, countries like the United States, the United Kingdom, India, Israel, Iran, South Korea, Russia and Turkiye have heavily invested in integrating Artificial Intelligence (AI) into their weapons platforms. The deployment of a Turkish-made Kargu-2 in Libya in 2020 marked the dawn of deployment of Lethal Autonomous Weapons Systems (LAWS) on the battlefield. The use of LAWS has raised serious concerns, as there is no existing international regulatory mechanism or legal framework to govern the development, deployment, and employment of such weapon systems.

The rise of AI in the military domain is rapidly changing the face of warfare, as AI-enabled weapon systems potentially diminish the meaningful role of human decision-making. As defined by Nils Adler (2023) in an article publish by Al Jazeera English “autonomous weapon systems can identify their targets and decide to launch an attack on their own, without a human directing or controlling the trigger.” There is a global consensus that “cutting-edge AI systems herald strategic advantages, but also risk unforeseen disruptions in global regulatory and norms-based regimes governing armed conflicts.”

Experts and scholars believe that AI-enabled weapon systems will have a major impact on warfare, as the full-autonomy of weapon systems would negate battlefield norms established over the course of centuries. According to the European Research Council (ERC), “militaries around the world currently use more than 130 weapon systems which can autonomously track and engage with their targets.”

Despite advancements in this domain, there is no globally agreed definition on what constitutes a lethal autonomous weapon system; the question of autonomy on the battlefield remains subject to interpretation. The US Department of Defense (DOD) defines LAWS as “weapon systems that once activated, can select and engage targets without further intervention by a human operator.” Such a concept of autonomy in weapon systems is also known as ‘human out of the loop’ or ‘full autonomy.’ In a fully autonomous weapon system, targets are selected by the machine on the basis of input from AI, facial recognition, and big data analytics, without any human crew.

Against All Odds, Army Making Solid Progress on Modernization

Merrick “Mac” Carey

Today the United States and the U.S. Army are once again positioning for a two-front war, as we did in the Spanish American war, World War Two, and during the Cold War. The U.S. is the chief outside architect of the assistance to Ukraine as it battles Russia. Meanwhile, we and our friends in Asia prepare for what many believe will be an inevitable clash of arms with China. Otto von Bismarck’s guiding strategy for the 19th century German Empire was to avoid a two-front war. But America keeps finding them. We could even get drawn into a three-front war if the gloves come off between Israel and Iran in the Middle East.

While some think the U.S. Army should not become a big player in the Western Pacific, we know from World War Two, Korea, and Vietnam how quickly our land component will be essential in what initially looks like a naval or air power campaign. The Army’s Big Six modernization efforts are already flowing into the Pacific basin. Long range fires, medium lift, and air defense place the U.S. Army in the Pacific sweet spot. Those missions are enormously needed. The new Army tiltrotor’s long range and flexibility will make it invaluable in both the first and second island chains of the Western Pacific. Land-based air defense is essential in a limited land geographic environment, as are long range fires. You cannot sink an island.

Army modernization and transformation are also helping our friends and allies overseas. Just when you thought insurgents and terrorists might be receding into the past, Gaza has exploded on the world scene to pull us back into a type of land conflict like those of the early 21st century.

Israel aligns nicely with U.S. Army modernization efforts, as the IDF needs to be more connected on the battlefield. U.S. Army modernization efforts are great timing for the Jewish State. The Israeli Army has always been a few steps behind the Air Force. Israeli land power is now catching up with similar requirements for precision fires, future vertical lift, and being connected in the network.