29 April 2024

Pakistan’s ‘Illicit’ Connections With Chinese & Iranian Entities Irks The US; Washington Threatens Sanctions

Vaishali Basu Sharma

Meanwhile, Raisi concluded his three-day maiden trip to Pakistan on April 24 and had “productive” talks with the country’s top leadership to combat terrorism and strengthen trade ties.

When asked about Pakistan’s efforts to expand trade ties with Iran, US State Department’s Deputy Spokes­person Vedant Patel said, “Let me say broadly we advise anyone considering business deals with Iran to be aware of the potential risk of sanctions.”

Japan’s AI Diplomacy

Daisuke Akimoto

Prime Minister Kishida Fumio plans to participate in a ministerial council meeting of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) scheduled for May 2 to 3 in Paris. During the meeting, Kishida will reveal Japan’s plan to launch a “friends meeting on AI issues” – a new dialogue framework on governing artificial intelligence (AI) technology.

In recent years, the Japanese government has sought to establish a new global framework to discuss international regulations on the appropriate use of AI technology. Kishida’s participation in the ministerial meeting of the OECD can be regarded as the latest example of Japan’s AI diplomacy.

Xi and Blinken Trade Small Nods Over a Large Gap

Ana Swanson and Vivian Wang

The areas where the United States and China can work together seem to be shrinking fast, and the risks of confrontation are growing. But it was clear on Friday that both countries are trying to salvage what they can.

Preserving some semblance of cooperation — and the difficulty of doing so — was at the heart of a meeting between Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken and China’s leader, Xi Jinping, in Beijing on Friday. It was the latest effort by the rivals to keep communications open even as disputes escalate over trade, national security and geopolitical frictions.

China’s PLA Boosts Tibetan Recruitment To Fight India At LAC; Gets 1st Woman Fighter Pilot Of Tibetan Origin

Ritu Sharma

China has made it compulsory for every Tibetan family to send one member to the military. The move has come amidst rising tensions with India along the Line of Actual Control (LAC). India is home to thousands of Tibetan refugees and the Tibetan government in exile. The Buddhist spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, who fled Tibet, also resides in India.

After undergoing a loyalty test that includes learning the mainland Chinese language and accepting the supremacy of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) over any other belief, Tibetan youths are allowed to join the forces. This is one of the ways to quell the Tibetan rebellion.

China’s Intelligence Shakeup Boosts Information Warfare


IN A MAJOR SHAKEUP at the top of China’s intelligence and security apparatus, President Xi Jinping last Friday unexpectedly abolished its key eavesdropping and codebreaking agency, the Strategic Support Force (SSF) and replaced it with three new agencies put directly under the Chinese Communist Party’s military oversight body, the Central Military Commission.

It’s the rough political equivalent of President Biden abolishing the NSA and creating three new powerful spy agencies under the direct purview of the White House National Security Council.

A US strategy to trump China in SE Asia


The US can enhance trust and partnerships in Southeast Asia and change the region’s prevailing attitudes toward the great powers by focusing on three key pillars: intelligence-sharing, presence and multilateralism.

The region is home to key current and potential US allies and partners who are most vulnerable to Chinese influence and power projection, making perceptions particularly crucial during this time of great power competition.

What does Taiwan get from the foreign aid bill and why is the US economy among the biggest winners?

Jonathan Yerushalmy

Taiwan’s president Tsai Ing-wen has praised the US Congress for passing a sweeping foreign aid package this week which included arms support for the island, and has drawn the ire of China.

After months of delays and contentious debate, the bill was signed into law by Joe Biden on Wednesday. Described as $95bn in aid for Ukraine, Israel and Taiwan, the legislation actually contains provisions that broadly affect many parts of the Asia-Pacific, while also spending billions of dollars at home in America.

China’s Military-Civil Fusion Space Program

Ashwin Prasad and Rakshith Shetty

On April 17, NASA chief Bill Nelson cautioned that China’s “so-called civilian space program is a military program,” emphasizing that the United States is engaged in a space “race” with China. While NASA may have its reasons for securitizing this issue, one cannot overlook China’s rapid advancements in the space sector. China’s objective is to develop and acquire advanced dual-use technology for military purposes and deepen the reform of its national defense science and technology industries, which also serves a broader purpose of strengthening the country’s comprehensive national power.

Hi-Tech, High Risk? Russo-Chinese Cooperation on Emerging Technologies

Roman Kolodii, Dr Giangiuseppe Pili and Jack Crawford

Despite backing Moscow politically and diplomatically, Beijing has declared that it will not send weapons to Russia or Ukraine. Nonetheless, this has not dissuaded Chinese companies from reportedly supplying Russia with assault rifles, body armour and drones via clandestine shipments, nor has it impeded China’s collaboration with Russia on 5G and satellite technologies with abundant (and, often, already utilised) battlefield applications, particularly in Ukraine.

The Xi files: how China spies

Nigel Inkster

Most states spy. In principle there’s nothing to stop them. But China’s demand for intelligence on the rest of the world goes far beyond anything western intelligence agencies would typically gather. It encompasses masses of commercial data and intellectual property and has been described by Keith Alexander, a former head of America’s National Security Agency, as ‘the greatest transfer of wealth in history’. As well as collecting data from government websites, parliamentarians, universities, thinktanks and human rights organisations, China also targets diaspora groups and individuals.

​Instead of "EW Panacea," russians Decided They Need Mobile Units Against Drone Crews

Head of the russian Center for Integrated Unmanned Solutions (TsKBR), Dmitry Kuzyakin, claims that the russian invasion forces operating in Ukraine need to create "trained teams to combat FPV drones." In his opinion, "FPV countermeasures should be left to specialists" and for this, it is necessary to organize several mobile groups that will fight the operators of FPV drones in specific areas of the frontline.

As Russian Troops Broke Through Ukrainian Lines, Panicky Ukrainian Commanders Had No Choice But To Deploy One Of Their Least-Prepared Brigades

David Axe

This weekend, Russian drones and scouts surveilling the front line just west of the ruins of Avdiivka, in eastern Ukraine’s Donetsk Oblast, observed something strange. Ukrainian trenches just east of the village of Ocheretyne, previously manned by soldiers from the Ukrainian army’s elite 47th Mechanized Brigade, were empty.

Seizing the opportunity, the Russian army’s 30th Motor Rifle Brigade raced several miles along the railroad threading west from Avdiivka and captured most of Ocheretyne—and potentially also Novobakhmutivka, the village south of Ocheretyne.


Larry Lewis and Daphné Richemond-Barak

The killing of seven employees of World Central Kitchen in Gaza is as deplorable as it was avoidable. A substantial body of research suggests that technology can mitigate civilian harm in war, particularly mistakes that result in the deaths of humanitarian workers, but unfortunately few of the solutions it points to have been implemented.

World Central Kitchen has been a key player assisting the population of Israel and Gaza since the outbreak of hostilities on October 7, 2023. It had just delivered one hundred tons of food to Gaza when seven of its workers (from the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia, and Poland, along with one Palestinian staff member) were killed in an Israel Defense Forces strike.

America’s Economy Is No. 1. That Means Trouble.

Greg Ip

If you want a single number to capture America’s economic stature, here it is: This year, the U.S. will account for 26.3% of the global gross domestic product, the highest in almost two decades.

That’s based on the latest projections from the International Monetary Fund. According to the IMF, Europe’s share of world GDP has dropped 1.4 percentage points since 2018, and Japan’s by 2.1 points. The U.S. share, by contrast, is up 2.3 points.

Ukraine’s Supreme Commander Is Betting on Drones, Patience and Discipline

Stefan Korshak

Ukraine’s strategy of military counterpunching and making the Kremlin pay in blood for every meter gained seems to have become less crisis management, and more the basic structure of the Syrsky plan.

An ethnic Russian with a background in artillery, and old enough (59) to have fought in Afghanistan for the Soviet Union back in the 1980s, General Oleksander Syrsky on Feb. 8 took over the Armed Forces of Ukraine (AFU) under siege. He replaced Valery Zaluzhny, a general popular with troops and the public.

Russians Doubled Drones on Front Line in Past 3 Months – Ukrainian Pravd

Over the past three months, the Russians have at least doubled the number of drones they’re using on the Russo-Ukrainian front line, Ukrainian Pravda (UP) reported Thursday, April 25.

The number of Russian drones has doubled, and Ukraine’s jammers can’t cope

Not only has the number of drones doubled, but the Russians are modernizing them, making them harder to spot and destroy in time, UP reported, citing sources in the Ukrainian military.

Ukrainians Increasingly Taking War Behind Russian Lines—and Moscow Is Worried

Paul Goble

Since Russian President Vladimir Putin launched his expanded war against Ukraine, it has been commonplace to predict the outcome depending on shifts in the frontlines. Many predict a Russian victory when Russian forces advance and a Ukrainian triumph when Ukrainian units press forward. Neither Russia nor Ukraine, however, will win or lose the war based solely on what happens at the front. Instead, both have sought to come out on top by bringing the war home to the other through attacks on population centers far beyond the lines. 

Ukraine pulls US tanks from front lines over Russian drone threats

Tara Copp

Ukraine has sidelined U.S.-provided Abrams M1A1 battle tanks for now in its fight against Russia, in part because Russian drone warfare has made it too difficult for them to operate without detection or coming under attack, two U.S. military officials told The Associated Press.

The U.S. agreed to send 31 Abrams to Ukraine in January 2023 after an aggressive monthslong campaign by Kyiv arguing that the tanks, which cost about $10 million apiece, were vital to its ability to breach Russian lines.

U.S. Won’t Suspend Aid, for Now, to Israeli Unit Accused of Abuses

Michael Crowley

The Biden administration, which has been under pressure for its support of Israel’s war in Gaza, will not withhold military aid from a troubled military unit accused of human rights violations in the West Bank, so long as Israel continues with steps to hold the members of the unit accountable.

In an undated letter, Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken told the House speaker, Mike Johnson, that the United States was working with Israel to address charges against the unit, the Netzah Yehuda battalion. 

US Issues Stark Warning to Israel Over 'Reckless' Plan

David Brennan

Advocates of further Israeli settlement in the occupied West Bank are again risking U.S. ire, as Israel's multifront war against Hamas and other regional militant groups—plus Iran—continues.

Channel 12 News reported this weekend that Israeli Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich—the leader of the far-right National Religious Party–Religious Zionism and a longtime advocate of Israeli settlements in the West Bank, which are considered illegal under international law—is pushing to legalize 68 outposts in the West Bank that were set up in contravention of Israeli law.

Marine Corps Force Design: In Defense of Chowder II

Gary Anderson

Ian Whitfield is a part time U.S. Army military police officer and a graduate student at Georgetown University. As a cop, he should know how dangerous it is to blunder into a family domestic dispute without knowing the culture he is encountering. Mr. Whitfield decided to weigh in on an internal Marine Corps dispute in a recent piece in this publication. He accuses a group of retired Marine Corps general officers calling themselves "Chowder II" of undermining the current Marine Corps' leadership and damaging the future recruiting efforts of the organization. I disagree with his analysis and would like to explain why.

Elon Musk vs the globalist censors


I’m in Australia at the moment, which means I am bound by Australian law. If I do something here that this great democratic nation has decreed to be a crime, I’m in hot water. And rightly so. Yet when I jet back to Britain in a week’s time, that will no longer be the case, right? Surely no Aussie lawmaker, no Aussie cop, no Aussie bureaucrat will enjoy jurisdiction over the behaviour of this free Brit some 10,000 miles away? Actually, they might, if Australia’s ‘eSafety commissioner’ has her way.

How Does SOF Incorporate Technology, Evolve, and Simultaneously Compete with 5 Threats Across 5 Domains


The Special Operations Forces Conference (SOFCON) is an annual event organized by the Jackson School of Global Affairs at Yale University. The conference brings together academic and government civilians, military representatives, and industry professionals to explore and address the evolving challenges and opportunities facing the Special Operations Forces (SOF) community. The conference aims to promote dialogue on the strategic role of SOF in countering major power rivals like China and Russia and delves into the optimal functions of SOF within national security strategies.

Scientists achieve 'world-first' technological breakthrough in quest to extract solar power from space: 'Harnessing the power of space to benefit life on Earth'

Jeremiah Budin

Here on Earth, the use of solar energy — a clean, renewable alternative to dirty energy sources like gas and oil — is on the rise, with an ever-increasing number of solar panels that harvest energy from the sun and turn it into electricity.

However, there may be a way to harvest even more energy from the sun by meeting it where it lives: in outer space. One U.K.-based startup, Space Solar, is attempting to place massive solar arrays in orbit to deliver gigawatts of clean energy back to our home planet, Interesting Engineering reported.

Maneuver, Position, Attrition


It is undeniably true that war is among man’s oldest preoccupations. The evidence is abundant that war is essentially as old as mankind’s political life, predating cities and sedentary society. It seems that man took recourse to organized violence almost as soon as he grew to a socio-political pattern of life, and from that early period much of human political and technical innovation was spurred on by the relentless drive to fight and win.