28 April 2024

Make No Mistake, Russia Values China Over India

Anita Inder Singh

“Russia has never hurt India’s interests,” India’s External Affairs Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar recently asserted on the sidelines of the Munich Security Conference. India and Russia have had a Treaty of Friendship since 1971 and a Special and Privileged Strategic Partnership since 2010. However, India must soon face some hard facts about its longstanding ties with Russia.

New evidence challenges the Pentagon’s account of a horrific attack as the US withdrew from Afghanistan

Nick Paton Walsh and Mick Krever

New video evidence uncovered by CNN significantly undermines two Pentagon investigations, the latest of which was released last week, into an ISIS-K suicide attack outside Kabul airport, during the American troop withdrawal from Afghanistan in August 2021.

The incident was a gruesome coda to America’s longest war, leaving dead 13 United States military service members and about 170 Afghans who were desperately seeking US help to flee the Taliban takeover of Kabul. 

Extreme Heatwaves in Bangladesh: The Environmental Governance Perspectives

Sharif Mustajib

Bangladesh has been facing increasing heat waves during summer for the last couple of years. 2024 is the hottest year yet, recording average temperatures of 40 to 42 degrees Celsius in all the districts. The population and biodiversity of the country are at stake due to such an unprecedented catastrophe.

According to news reports, at least four individuals have died from heatstroke, and millions of people have suffered several health implications, including vomiting, diarrhea, heat exhaustion, headache, pneumonia, shortness of breath, dehydration, etc. 

China’s Alternative Order

Elizabeth Economy

By now, Chinese President Xi Jinping’s ambition to remake the world is undeniable. He wants to dissolve Washington’s network of alliances and purge what he dismisses as “Western” values from international bodies. He wants to knock the U.S. dollar off its pedestal and eliminate Washington’s chokehold over critical technology. In his new multipolar order, global institutions and norms will be underpinned by Chinese notions of common security and economic development, Chinese values of state-determined political rights, and Chinese technology. China will no longer have to fight for leadership. Its centrality will be guaranteed.

Is the U.S. Preparing to Ban Future LNG Sales to China?

Gabriel B. Collins

A low-profile post by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) may point to a serious strategic change in U.S. policy in trade, energy, and relations with China. So far, the notice has received little or no public coverage or attention despite its potential ramifications—but, combined with other legislative and political signals, it could be a game-changer in the energy landscape.

China harbors ship tied to North Korea-Russia arms transfers, satellite images show

Michael Martina and David Brunnstrom

China is providing moorage for a U.S.-sanctioned Russian cargo ship implicated in North Korean arms transfers to Russia, according to satellite images obtained by Reuters, as U.S. concerns grow over Beijing's support for Moscow's war in Ukraine.

Britain's Royal United Services Institute (RUSI) think tank said the Russian vessel Angara, which since August 2023 has moved to Russian ports thousands of containers believed to contain North Korean munitions, has been anchored at a Chinese shipyard in eastern Zhejiang province since February.

The Last Lebanon War

AMIAD COHEN

I have recently concluded a four-month stint on IDF reserve duty in the north, returning home with a bitter sense of missed opportunity. The unprecedented attack by Iran on Israel on April 13 has only heightened this feeling.

When war erupted on Oct. 7, I was called up for reserve duty in Har Dov, in northern Israel, where I served as a tactical officer stationed on the Lebanese border. It was a stark contrast to my usual work at Herut, the Center for Israeli Liberty, but it provided me with a broader perspective and deeper strategic insight.

Assessment of Israeli Strike on Iran near Esfahan

David Albright, Sarah Burkhard, Victoria Cheng, Spencer Faragasso & Mohammadreza Giveh

The Institute acquired high-resolution Airbus Pleiades Neo satellite images of Iran’s Eighth Shekari Air Base taken shortly after the reported Israeli attack on the S-300 missile defense system deployed at the base. Figure 1 shows an April 19 image showing the damage to a S-300 mobile radar, deployed in a central position to the missile launchers, elevated on a mound. The attack shows the capability of Israeli stand-off weapons to target deep inside Iran, evading detection and air defenses, leaving Iran’s nuclear and military facilities more vulnerable to attack.

How The US Coalition In The Red Sea Is Not Helping – OpEd

Greg Pence

Once again, the United States has formed a military alliance without the sanction of the UN Security Council. This alliance, dubbed “Operation Prosperity Guardian,” aims to ensure the freedom of navigation and counter the Houthis’ assaults. However, the shadow of past military endeavors in the Middle East looms large, casting doubt on the potential success of this coalition.

Historically, similar U.S.-led coalitions have not yielded the intended outcomes. For instance, the “Global War on Terrorism” saw the U.S. and its allies, particularly from Europe and NATO, engage in Afghanistan. 

Iran is weaker than we think Despite Obama's mistakes, Israel retains the upper hand

GRAND STRATEGY

It is only now, almost 16 years since Obama first entered the White House with the private determination to end Iran’s “death to America” hostility at all costs, that his Iran policy has achieved the exact opposite of what he had wanted: direct warfare, with US fighters intercepting Iran’s bombardment drones. All along, it was a policy that had two different faces: one perfectly reasonable, and the other perfectly delusional.

The goal of 100K artillery shells per month is back in sight, Army says

SAM SKOVE

The U.S. Army is on a path to triple its monthly production of 155mm shells following the passage of the Ukraine supplemental, its vice chief of staff said today.

“With the supplemental that just thankfully passed last night, we’ll be at 100,000 rounds by next summer,” Gen. James Mingus said at an event hosted by think-tank CSIS.

That’s more than three times the 30,000 shells that the service’s factories are expected to turn out this month, Mingus said, and will represent a sixfold increase since Russia launched its full-scale invasion of Ukraine in 2022.

War Unbound : Gaza, Ukraine, and the Breakdown of International Law

Oona A. Hathaway

Hamas’s attack on Israel and Israel’s response to it have been a disaster for civilians. In its October 7 massacre, Hamas sought out unarmed Israeli civilians, including women, children, and the elderly, killing close to 1,200 people and taking around 240 hostages. Israel’s subsequent air and ground campaign in Gaza has, as of March 2024, killed more than 30,000 people, an estimated two-thirds of whom were women and children. The Israeli offensive has also displaced some two million people (more than 85 percent of the population of Gaza), left more than a million people at risk of starvation, and damaged or destroyed some 150,000

EUROPE IS LEARNING THE WRONG LESSONS FROM THE CONFLICT IN UKRAINE

Sandor Fabian

For more than two years, Western observers have produced a seemingly infinite number of articles and reports trying to derive key lessons from the war in Ukraine and predict their implications for the future of warfare. Beyond the obvious but too often ignored fact that this war is a single and very unique case, drawing meaningful lessons has been further complicated by the fact that most of these studies suffer from confirmation bias due to their authors’ inability to abandon their Western, Clausewitzian analytical lenses and their apparent desire to keep such a theoretical paradigm alive and prove its universal relevance. 

The war in Ukraine could reach a decision point by the NATO Summit. Policymakers need to prepare now

Andrew A. Michta

Russia has launched its third major mobilization wave in anticipation of its upcoming spring/summer campaign to take more land in Ukraine. On March 31, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a decree to begin the next conscription drive, setting the target at 150,000 new inductees slated for military service. This came after a decision in July of last year by the Russian Duma to raise the maximum age of conscription from twenty-seven to thirty, significantly increasing the pool of available recruits. 

All Powers Great and Small

Shivshankar Menon

The borders that carve the world into today’s states may seem indelible, but expand the time frame, and the lines become much more fluid. It is hard to find an international boundary today that has not shifted in the last two centuries. States are born and disappear; great powers swell, shrink, and vanish. In 1910, roughly 80 percent of the planet belonged to just a handful of European empires—and much of the rest lay in the possession of the Ottoman and Qing dynasties.

Israel says it is poised to move on Rafah

Dan Williams

Israel's military is poised to evacuate Palestinian civilians from Rafah and assault Hamas hold-outs in the southern Gaza Strip city, a senior Israeli defence official said on Wednesday, despite international warnings of a humanitarian catastrophe.

A spokesperson for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's government said Israel was "moving ahead" with a ground operation, but gave no timeline.

UK to spend 2.5% of GDP on defence by 2030, says Sunak

Elizabeth Piper

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said on Tuesday he would lift defence spending to 2.5% of GDP a year by 2030, saying the British arms industry must be on a "war footing" when the world is at its most dangerous since the Cold War.

Standing alongside NATO leader Jens Stoltenberg, Sunak said Britain would spend an additional 75 billion pounds ($93 billion)over six years to increase the production of munitions and drones, making Britain the second-largest defence spender in NATO.

Biden Has Allowed the Marine Corps to Become Irrelevant

GARY ANDERSON

Under President Biden and his woeful national security team the Marine Corps has fallen from the nation’s premier 911 force to a regional coastal artillery force concentrated on China and a light infantry force of marginal use in a conflict anywhere else. Moreover, our president and what passes these days for military leadership probably do not realize what they have done.


Facebook has ‘interfered’ with US elections 39 times since 2008

Brian Flood

Facebook has "interfered" with elections in the United States at least 39 times since 2008, according to a study by the Media Research Center.

Last month, MRC Free Speech America researchers found that Google "interfered" with elections in the United States 41 times over the last 16 years. The team then set its sights onto Facebook and concluded that although Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg appears to believe in free speech, his company’s actions prove otherwise.


In Ukraine, New American Technology Won the Day. Until It Was Overwhelmed.

David E. Sanger

The idea triggered a full-scale revolt on the Google campus.

Six years ago, the Silicon Valley giant signed a small, $9 million contract to put the skills of a few of its most innovative developers to the task of building an artificial intelligence tool that would help the military detect potential targets on the battlefield using drone footage.

Engineers and other Google employees argued that the company should have nothing to do with Project Maven, even if it was designed to help the military discern between civilians and militants.

The West Is Hastening Its Own Decline

BRAHMA CHELLANEY

Since Russia launched its full-scale invasion of Ukraine more than two years ago, the West has desperately sought ways to punish Russia without harming itself in the process. It has mostly failed.

So far, not even unprecedented sanctions have derailed Russia’s economy, let alone compelled the Kremlin to change its behavior. Instead, Russia has pivoted to a war economy: it now produces nearly three times as many munitions as NATO, including more missiles than it was producing before the war began.

World’s first full-fledged cyber war raging since 2022

DAVID KIRICHENKO

Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine in February 2022 marked the start of what should be termed – in view of the unprecedented scale and sophistication of the cyber operations that accompanied Russia’s military actions – the world’s first cyber war.

It gave the world insight into how cyber operations would be integrated with the physical battlefield going forward.

Moreover, Ukraine showcased to the international community not only the critical importance of robust cyber defenses but also the complexity involved in their implementation. 

AI Needs UN Oversight

PETER G. KIRCHSCHLĂ„GER

Many scientists and tech leaders have sounded the alarm about artificial intelligence in recent years, issuing dire warnings not heard since the advent of the nuclear age. Elon Musk, for example, has said that “AI is far more dangerous than nukes,” prompting him to ask an important question: “[W]hy do we have no regulatory oversight? This is insane.”

The late Stephen Hawking made a similar point: “Unless we learn how to prepare for, and avoid, the potential risks, AI could be the worst event in the history of our civilization. It brings dangers, like powerful autonomous weapons, or new ways for the few to oppress the many.”

The man who made Belleau Wood — and the Marine Corps — immortal

Claire Barrett

“I am up at the front and entering Belleau Wood with the U.S. Marines.”

And with that final dispatch, war correspondent Floyd Gibbons — armed with nothing but his pen and paper — strolled into a melee of artillery and machine gun fire.

This dispatch would later help to shape the ethos of the United States Marine Corps and more than a century on, define the public’s view of the “Devil Dogs.”

A seasoned reporter for the Chicago Tribune, the charismatic Gibbons had reported on the Pancho Villa expedition in 1916 and the sinking of the RMS Laconia in 1917 before accepting his latest assignment as one of only 36 American reporters officially accredited in World War I.

Space Force EW unit working to integrate new weapon systems, intel personnel

THERESA HITCHENS

The Space Force’s new(ish) Integrated Mission Delta (IMD) responsible for electromagnetic warfare (EW), Delta 3, is working to expand the portfolio of weapon systems within its area of responsibility, as well as to bring on board intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance experts from elsewhere in the service, according to the unit’s commander.