19 May 2024

Harnessing Regional Potential By Facilitating Nepal-India-Bangladesh Hydropower Agreement – OpEd

Abdullah Sadi

Bangladesh is one of the most vulnerable countries to the impacts of climate change. Amid the global catastrophes caused by climate change and global warming, Bangladesh faces significant challenges mitigating the adverse effects of climate change. As a densely populated country with limited natural resources and growing energy demand, sustainable energy solutions offer a path forward, promising to address these challenges while fostering long-term development and environmental stewardship.

The rapid economic expansion in the last decade has led to a substantial increase in energy consumption. While Bangladesh’s total capacity surpassed 30,000 megawatts, the total electricity production is about 16,477 megawatts per day, according to the state Minister for Power, Energy and Mineral Resources Nasrul Hamid. Though the capacity increased, it’s struggling to fulfill the daily energy demand due to various reasons. Since 2022, the supply chain disruption brought on by the crisis in Ukraine has made energy security a primary concern for Bangladesh, with other developing and least developed countries. To manage the electricity demand-supply gap in future, Bangladesh plans to import 9,000 MW of electricity from neighbouring countries, seeking external sources to diversify its electricity supply and boost the proportion of renewable energy in its energy portfolio.

India and China: Trading With the Enemy

Shreya Upadhyay

Recent data from the Global Trade Research Initiative revealed a significant milestone: Chinese imports to India surpassed $100 billion in fiscal year 2024, solidifying China’s status as India’s largest trading partner. This revelation comes amid heightened tensions, notably exemplified by India’s deployment of a record number of troops to the Ladakh border in response to perceived Chinese threats, as stated by India’s External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar. United States intelligence agencies have warned of a potential armed conflict, as both nations bolster troop deployments along the disputed border.

The China-India relationship has been marred by sporadic conflicts largely stemming from disputes surrounding their 3,440 kilometer long border. India faces a triple challenge from China in Ladakh, Sikkim, and indirectly in Arunachal Pradesh, with China claims as its territory. In June 2020, the Galwan valley clash saw the opposing forces bludgeon each other with sticks and clubs; at least 20 Indian soldiers and four Chinese soldiers died in the melee.

Diplomatically, India has emphasized the urgency of addressing the border situation, advocating for a restoration of the status quo ante along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in eastern Ladakh. Despite military talks, tensions continue nearly four years later.

Russia Expands Oil Trade South via Afghanistan, Seeking Warm Water Ports

Sophia Nina Burna-Asefi

Last week, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, and Afghanistan announced plans to build a logistics center in Herat province in western Afghanistan, according to an interview given to Reuters by the Taliban’s Minister of Trade Nuruddin Azizi. As part of this agreement, the governments of the three countries will prepare a series of official plans for the creation of a new logistics hub within two months.

The answer to the important question of who will finance this logistics hub remains elusive. The proposed hub will operate as part of the wider International North-South Transport corridor (INSTC), a 7,200 kilometer intergovernmental transport project first established in 2000 by Iran, Russia, and India. The list of participants in INSTC later expanded to 14, including Oman, Turkey, Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan, Afghanistan, and Pakistan. Ukraine is also a member, although the current conflict has put a stop to its active participation.

How Myanmar Became The Opium Capital Of The World – Analysis

Hai Luong

The political, social and economic turmoil from the 2021 Myanmar coup has pushed many to turn to poppy farming as a survival pathway. Farmers in the country’s remote, mountainous areas have resorted to growing the cash crop, which is a raw ingredient for producing heroin.

Under the leadership of the Taliban, Afghanistan strictly prohibited the growing of poppy. This led to a 95 per cent decline in opium farming in Afghanistan after the country’s poppy fields were destroyed, creating a gap in the global poppy supply.

According to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime’s 2023 Southeast Asia Opium Survey, the land dedicated to opium farming was projected to be 47,100 hectares, an increase from 40,100 in 2022. Myanmar now has the largest volume of opium suppliers worldwide. The average estimated opium yield grew to 22.9 kilograms per hectare, surpassing the previous record of 19.8 kilograms per hectare set in 2022.

Xi's visit to Europe + Quantum technology + Hong Kong

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Xi Jinping’s early-May visit to France, Serbia and Hungary did little to ease tensions with the European Union, despite Beijing’s claim that it managed to “maintain friendship, promote solidarity and open up the future”. The Chinese president did score some wins on his first trip to Europe for five years, in part a result of choosing destinations likely to welcome him warmly. He was able to play up the stability of Europe-China relations and European divisions about the region’s stance towards Beijing – and give no ground on contentious issues. But this intransigence could yet burden the EU-China relations. The fact that Xi met Russia's president Vladimir Putin in Beijing only a few days after his return from Europe shows that tensions will likely remain high in EU-China relations.

French President Emmanuel Macron displayed a more reserved stance than the one he adopted during his visit to China last year, limiting Beijing's opportunity to leverage European strategic autonomy ambitions in an attempt to disrupt transatlantic ties. But in exchanges with Macron and EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, Xi stood his ground, flat out denying the existence of overcapacity issues in Chinese manufacturing and offering only a vague, non-public commitment to monitor China’s dual-use goods exports to Russia. But 37 signed agreements and a personal retreat with Macron allowed Beijing to claim the relationship with Paris had been “re-consolidated”.

China Has Gotten the Trade War It Deserves

Michael Schuman

Aglobal trade war is starting, and China is at the center of it. A reckoning for Beijing’s economic model, which is designed to promote Chinese industry at the expense of the rest of the world, has long been coming. China’s trading partners have had enough. The result will be a wave of protectionism, with potentially dire consequences for both China and the global economy.

The most obvious and dramatic evidence for this was unveiled yesterday by President Joe Biden, who announced that his administration would quadruple the existing tariffs on imported Chinese electric vehicles, to 100 percent. He will also hike tariffs on steel, aluminum, medical equipment, semiconductors, solar cells, and lithium batteries. The Chinese government instantly protested and threatened action of its own. “The United States should immediately correct its wrong practices,” the Chinese Ministry of Commerce said in a statement. “China will take resolute measures to defend its own rights and interests.”

Yet China’s leaders have no one to blame but themselves. They joined a global trading system and then gamed that system. Biden’s tariffs are the natural response, though not an entirely positive one. Protectionism raises costs, hurts consumers, shields unworthy companies from competition, and punishes worthier ones. Disputes over trade will only intensify the rivalry between the world’s two great powers.

Five real problems of China's computing power industr

Five real problems of the computing power industry have emerged (中国算力产业出现五个真问题)

Global computational resources are shifting significantly, placing China's computing industry at a crossroads. The industry, in its broadest sense, encompasses cloud computing providers, equipment service firms, and chip suppliers. Currently, the growth rate of intelligent computing power, such as GPUs, far outpaces that of general-purpose computing power, like CPUs, propelling the entire supply chain forward.

At this critical juncture, computational resources in China are becoming increasingly dispersed. Investment in data centres is surging, yet the growth rate of the public cloud market remains limited. Data from international market research firms IDC and Gartner indicate that the growth rate of China's public cloud market has fallen to a five-year low. In contrast, investment in data centres has reached a five-year high.

The procurement and research and development costs associated with AI computing power are high. Theoretically, centralizing computing power in the hands of cloud providers is the most economical, as public clouds can efficiently leverage economies of scale to reduce costs. However, there is a gap between theory and reality. Public clouds are perceived to have limited short-term growth potential. Locally deployed clouds (hybrid, private, and dedicated clouds) are expected to be the main drivers in the next 1-3 years.

Crink: the new autocractic 'axis of evil'


Britain faces "the most dangerous" years since the end of the Cold War, with an "axis of authoritarian states" colluding against the West, Rishi Sunak has warned.

The UK and its allies must belatedly acknowledge the growing collusion among China, Russia, Iran and North Korea, Rishi Sunak said during a speech yesterday. Echoing that warning, former Conservative leader Iain Duncan Smith told The Times that this axis is "determined to end Western values", which would mean "an end of human rights and the rule of law".

MPs cautioned last month that the UK and other Western governments needed to devise a strategy to deal with this increasingly "coordinated and assertive axis", said the i news site – or World War Three would be "inevitable".

What are the Crink nations?

The acronym Crink (China-Russia-Iran-North Korea) was coined last year by Peter Van Praagh, president of the Halifax International Security forum in Washington, following the Hamas attacks in October.

Putin and Xi deepen partnership and scold the United State

Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping agreed on Thursday to deepen their "strategic partnership" while scolding the United States for a series of moves that they said threatened their countries.

In a 7,000-word joint statement on "the deepening of the comprehensive partnership and strategic cooperation entering a new era," the two leaders noted positions in everything from economics and space to defence, Ukraine and Taiwan.

"The parties reiterate their serious concern over the attempts of the United States to disrupt the strategic security balance in the region," a Russian version of the document said.

The West Doesn’t Understand How Much Russia Has Change

Alexander Gabuev

Vladimir Putin’s trip to Beijing this week, where he will meet with Xi Jinping and top Chinese officials, is another clear demonstration of the current closeness between Russia and China.

Yet many in the West still want to believe that their alliance is an aberration, driven by Mr. Putin’s emotional anti-Americanism and his toxic fixation on Ukraine. Once Mr. Putin and his dark obsessions are out of the picture, the thinking goes, Moscow will seek to rebuild ties with the West — not least because the bonds between Russia and China are shallow, while the country has centuries of economic and cultural dependence on Europe.

This wishful view, however appealing, overlooks the transformation of Russia’s economy and society. Never since the fall of the Soviet Union has Russia been so distant from Europe, and never in its entire history has it been so entwined with China. The truth is that after two years of war in Ukraine and painful Western sanctions, it’s not just Mr. Putin who needs China — Russia does, too.

How Will Taiwan’s New President Handle China?

Nick Frisch

On May 20, in a ceremony in Taipei, Lai Ching-te is scheduled to be inaugurated as the next leader of Taiwan. Currently vice president, Lai is taking over from President Tsai Ing-wen at a delicate moment in Taiwan’s relations with Beijing. The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) regards the self-ruling island of 23 million people as a renegade province to be unified with the mainland by force, if necessary. And although Taiwan has managed to maintain significant trade and interpersonal ties to mainland China while postponing discussions over its sovereignty, this ambiguous status quo has recently frayed amid political headwinds from both Beijing and Taipei. Chinese leader Xi Jinping has explicitly made taking Taiwan part of his plans to “rejuvenate” China. But Taiwan’s people are less interested than ever in unifying with the mainland.

When Lai, a known China skeptic, triumphed in January’s election, international headlines suggested that Taiwan’s voters had worsened this breach by keeping the presidency in the hands of the Democratic Progressive Party, to which Tsai and Lai both belong. The DPP has historically advocated that Taiwan alter its constitution to formally declare independence, although the party’s political candidates today say they have no plans to do so. Lai himself was once a vocal independence activist. As a result, CCP leaders in Beijing despise the DPP and Lai as irreconcilable separatists.

Putin Casts Russia and China as Defenders of Stability

Austin Ramzy

Russian President Vladimir Putin portrayed himself and Chinese leader Xi Jinping as defenders of global stability and equality between nations as the two met during a summit focused on resisting Western pressure in Beijing on Thursday.

“Our cooperation in world affairs today is one of the main stabilizing factors in the international arena,” Putin said as he and Xi spoke in front of reporters ahead of talks. “Together we uphold the principles of justice and a democratic world order reflecting the multipolar realities founded in international law.”

The two-day visit is Putin’s first trip abroad since he secured a rubber-stamp election victory in March. The Russian leader is seeking more of the Chinese support that has helped Russia resist Western efforts to isolate the country after it invaded Ukraine in 2022. The visit also gives him an opportunity to demonstrate to the Russian public that he still has powerful friends—a message often stressed by state media.

How Hamas Saved Egypt


Last fall, Egypt was on the brink of economic collapse. A decade of debt-fueled spending on a pharaonic-scale had emptied its Central Bank coffers. By February, Cairo’s public debt was 89% of its gross domestic product. External debt had soared to 46% of GDP. The pound, its currency, was one of the world’s worst performing. Unable to import supplies and repatriate profits, foreign companies were leaving, or threatening to leave Egypt in droves. Annual inflation was over 35%, and double that for some food staples. Egypt seemed on the verge of a sovereign default—its first ever.

Then came Oct. 7.

Officials, businessmen, and financial analysts say that however horrific the war has been for Israelis and for Palestinians in Gaza, Oct. 7 has helped save Egypt from economic ruin and growing political unrest. To be sure, Egypt is paying heavily for the ongoing Israel-Hamas war on its border. Its three main sources of revenue—hard currency from the Suez Canal, tourism, and remittances from Egyptian workers abroad—have plummeted by between 30% and 40%. But without Hamas’ horrific massacre, which killed 1,200 people and took another 240 hostage, and Israel’s much criticized retaliation in Gaza, Egypt would probably not have gotten the international financial lifeline that has rescued it yet again from economic ruin, just in time.

The U.S. Failed to Restore Deterrence with Iran, But That’s Not Its Job

Doug Bandow

The world is at war, and it is Washington’s fault. At least, that is the opinion of many U.S. pundits.

For instance, Iran’s attack on Israel triggered a spate of articles calling it a failure of American deterrence. The Wall Street Journal’s Gerard Baker described the major escalation in the two governments’ long-running geopolitical contest as a decision “to ignore the warning from Joe Biden.” The Journal editorialized that deterrence failed not just once, but “again.”

By similar logic, Liam Collins of New America and Frank Sobchak of West Point argued that “deterrence failed in Ukraine.” At fault, they contend, were President George W. Bush in 2008 and President Barack Obama in 2014 for failing to respond to Moscow sooner. The Atlantic Council’s Mercedes Sapuppo also blamed the latter for not going to war over Crimea. Arizona’s ever-truculent Sen. John McCain condemned Obama for encouraging Russia by failing to bomb Syria.

John Bolton similarly faulted President Donald Trump for wanting to withdraw from Syria and President Joe Biden for withdrawing from Afghanistan. Rep. Michael McCaul, Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, also held the latter responsible for Russia’s invasion. Fiona Hill added “the withdrawal from Iraq, withdrawal from Syria, and the whole fraught history of United States interventions in the last two decades” as causes. Heritage Foundation President Kevin Roberts even blamed Biden’s “fold” on the Nord Stream II pipeline and “steadfast refusal to secure America’s borders.”

The Greater Middle East is a ticking time bomb -Part 1


The Greater Middle East is a ticking time bomb.

The region’s most apparent powder keg – the risk of a regional conflagration between Israel and Iran that could draw the United States and regional countries like Lebanon, Jordan, Syria, Yemen, and Gulf states into the conflict – is foremost on policy and opinion makers’ minds. So is the war in Gaza with its devastating humanitarian fallout.

Yet, simmering at the surface in Gaza and across much of the Middle East and North Africa is social, economic, and political anger and frustration that could erupt at any moment but may not immediately manifest itself publicly.

This two-part series explores developments autocratic Arab rulers and US policymakers ignore at their peril. This two-part series explores developments autocratic Arab rulers and US policymakers ignore at their peril. The series is based on an essay published in Horizons.

Part 1 looks at the region as a whole as well as Hamas’ standing in Gaza eight months into the war. Part 2 focuses on the war’s potential fallout in Jordan, Saudi Arabia, and Egypt.

The modern face of war: ‘Everything, everywhere, all at once’

Andrew Salmon

That was a key takeaway at least from a major security conference held here this week, with students of modern warfare noting that today’s current-generation, cross-domain conflict is — to borrow a phrase from Hollywood — “everything, everywhere, all at once.”

Adversarial states and non-state actors such as Islamic State and al Qaeda are deploying asymmetric assets that operate at low risk and low cost across new real and virtual battlefields, assets to which the U.S. and its allies have so far been unable to respond effectively, attendees at the annual Asan Plenum in Seoul heard.

While strategists in the U.S. and across the West promote the defense of the post-1945 “rules-based world order,” there are few or no rules or laws to govern emerging domains like cyberspace, outer space and “gray zone” tactics that stop short of actual shooting wars. A tradition-bound, high-cost U.S. military has not yet built effective tactical or sustainable technological counters to grey-zone tactics and low-tech, economical weapons, critics argue.

Army drafts new electronic warfare concepts for above and below division


The Army has drafted and presented new concepts of operations for its slew of electronic warfare equipment to senior leaders.

After divesting much of its capabilities after the Cold War and lacking any program-of-record offensive or defensive EW equipment during the post-9/11 wars, the Army is now poised to begin fielding a raft of capabilities to its forces and formations.

With the introduction of these new systems, the service needs concepts of operations for how those tools — which will include ground-based jammers for formations above and below brigade, backpacable jammers and airborne jammers — will be deployed and used within formations.

“The Army’s plan is to develop and employ integrated EW capabilities that provide ground commanders at echelon with the ability to see themselves, see the adversary, and affect the adversary through the” electromagnetic spectrum, Col. Gary Brock, Army capabilities manager for electronic warfare at the Cyber Center of Excellence, said in response to questions from DefenseScoop. “The overall objective is to develop EW capabilities that serve as a force multiplier to counter extant and emerging threats. We must take advantage of opportunities to detect, deny, deceive, disrupt, degrade, and destroy EMS capabilities upon which our adversaries rely, while also maintaining our own EMS awareness to ensure freedom of maneuver in contested and congested environments.”

The seven deadly contradictions of the Ukraine war

Gabriel Elefteriu

We owe one of the most insightful observations about human reasoning to F. Scott Fitzgerald. In a 1936 essay, The Crack-Up, he wrote, “the test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in the mind at the same time, and still retain the ability to function.”

By that measure, the Western debate on the Ukraine war is packed with geniuses. From the beginning we have been treated to mistaken assumptions wrapped in logical fallacies, inside contradictions. The net result is that in the third year of war Russia is on the offensive, well-supplied and well-armed, with no end in sight.

So, let us consider some of the key areas of fractured logic at play with respect to this conflict – the Seven Deadly Contradictions of the war.

Victory in Ukraine Starts with Addressing Five Strategic Problem

Benjamin Jensen and Elizabeth Hoffman

The most recent U.S. national security supplemental package to Ukraine, passed in April 2024, mandates the administration under President Joe Biden produce a strategy for continued U.S. support of Ukraine against Russian aggression. The strategy must “help Ukraine end the conflict as a democratic, independent, and sovereign country capable of deterring and defending its territory.” This white paper is intended to support the development of such a strategy by defining five key strategic problems: (1) integrating Ukraine into the European economic and transatlantic security order, (2) degrading Russia’s continued ability to bypass sanctions and access capital, (3) combating the resilience of Russian disinformation campaigns, (4) rethinking the arsenal of democracy, and (5) sustaining and strengthening Ukraine’s economy and democracy (Figure 1).

To succeed, the strategy must have bipartisan buy-in and be effectively messaged, both to the congressional committees of jurisdiction as required by statute and to the American people. Absent public support, Russia will win. The Russian regime possesses the key advantage of autocracies: the ability to play the long game, beholden not to the Russian people but rather to its political and military elites. Russian president Vladimir Putin is emboldened by the prospect of waning public support for Ukraine’s fight in the West. Rather than treat this as yet another time-consuming reporting requirement foisted upon overworked officials by Congress, the administration should seize the opportunity to craft a strategy that will lay the foundation for continued support for Ukraine for three to five years.

As Hamas returns to the north, Israel’s Gaza endgame is nowhere in sight

Loveday Morris, Shira Rubin and Hazem Balousha

It was last December when the Israeli military declared victory in the Jabalya refugee camp, saying it had broken Hamas’s grip on its traditional stronghold in the northern Gaza Strip.

“Jabalya is not the Jabalya it used to be,” Brig. Gen. Itzik Cohen, commander of Division 162, said at the time, adding that “hundreds of terrorists” had been killed and 500 suspects arrested.

Five months later, Israeli forces are back in Jabalya. Ground troops are pushing into the densely packed camp, backed by artillery and airstrikes — one in a string of recent “re-clearing” operations launched by the Israel Defense Forces against Hamas, whose fighters have rapidly regrouped in areas vacated by the IDF.

Israel’s fast-moving offensive in Gaza has given way to a grinding battle of attrition, highlighting how far it remains from its chief military aim — the complete dismantling of Hamas. As an adaptable militant organization that has easy access to recruits, an expansive tunnel network and is deeply embedded in the fabric of Gaza, Hamas has shown it can weather a protracted and devastating war.

The Gates of Gaza

Michael Doran & Can Kasapoğlu

On April 29, 1956, two assassins, an Egyptian and a Palestinian, ambushed Ro’i Rothberg, the security officer of kibbutz Nahal Oz. Luring him into the fields, they shot him off his horse, beat him, and shot him again, ending his life. They then dragged his lifeless body as a gruesome trophy back to Gaza, where it was desecrated. Unlike Iran and its proxies today, however, Gamal Abdel Nasser, who ruled Gaza at the time, did not ransom Israeli corpses. The day after Rothberg’s murder, the Egyptian authorities transferred his mutilated remains to United Nations mediators who, in turn, passed them back to Israel for burial.

Chief of Staff Moshe Dayan delivered the eulogy at the funeral. Steely-eyed and unsentimental, Dayan attributed Rothberg’s death to the victim’s own lack of vigilance, which, he suggested, was symptomatic of a laxness in the whole society. Craving peace and normalcy, the Israelis were allowing themselves to imagine that their neighbors shared the same aspirations. “Let us not cast blame on his murderers today,” Dayan said. “It is pointless to mention their deep-seated hatred for us.” There was nothing the Israelis could do to make the Gazans willingly accept the establishment of the Jewish State. “Ro’i [Rothberg]—the light in his heart blinded him to the gleam of the knife. The longing for peace deafened him to the sound of the murders lying in wait.”

Hezbollah Strikes Israel After Death Of Senior Field Commander

Najia Houssari

Lebanon’s Iran-backed Hezbollah group said it launched dozens of rockets at military positions in northern Israel on Wednesday in response to the assassination of its senior field commander, Hussein Ibrahim Makki.

Israel and Hamas ally Hezbollah have exchanged near-daily fire since the Palestinian group’s Oct. 7 attack on southern Israel.

Israel claimed Makki was considered close to Mohammad Reza Zahedi, a senior figure in Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard who was assassinated by Israel in Damascus last April.

Hezbollah said it attacked “the headquarters of the 91st Division in the Biranit Barracks with heavy Burkan missiles, achieving a direct hit and destroying part of it, and the headquarters of the Air Surveillance Unit at Meron Base with tens of Katyusha rockets, heavy missiles, and artillery shells, hitting its previous and newly acquired equipment, and disabling part of it completely.”

The Decline Of The US Will Be Unlikely: Lessons From The Gilded Age – Analysis

Kung Chan and Zhijiang Zhao

With the current surge of anti-globalization, the world is witnessing significant structural changes. An interesting question arises: as the overall global market space may fracture into regional or relatively independent market spaces, giving rise to different regional hegemonies. By then, will a return to isolationism lead the U.S. toward decline? ANBOUND’s founder Mr. Kung Chan believes that answering this question requires examining the Gilded Age in American history, and the outcome may be quite the opposite.

The Gilded Age generally refers to the period from the 1870s to 1900, which was the time between the end of the American Civil War and the beginning of the U.S. overseas expansion. The term “Gilded Age” is derived from Mark Twain’s novel of the same name. Twain’s satire describes the superficial economic growth of the U.S., along with corruption and social inequality, reflecting the myth of wealth in the U.S. during this period. In this era filled with speculation and wealth accumulation, the American economy witnessed tremendous wealth generated in industries such as railways, steel, and oil, giving rise to many well-known industrial magnates of the time, such as railroad tycoon Cornelius Vanderbilt, oil tycoon John D. Rockefeller, and steel tycoon Andrew Carnegie.

Defining Success in Ukraine


Three months ago, I wrote a column titled “Will Ukraine Survive?” The answer (thankfully) for the next year is “yes,” owing to Ukraine’s willingness to fight and sacrifice and the resumption of substantial US military aid.

At the same time, Russia has launched a new offensive in the northeast that threatens Kharkiv (Ukraine’s second-largest city), is girding for a protracted war, and has largely reconstituted its forces. This raises an important question: With the new tranche of aid in hand, what should Ukraine and its backers in the West seek to achieve? What should constitute success?

Some answer that success should be defined as Ukraine recovering all of its lost territory, to re-establish its 1991 borders. US National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan has expressed the view that 2025 could be the time for Ukraine to once again mount a counter-offensive against Russian troops.


Zachary Szewczyk

In 2019, Rudy Guyonneau and Arnaud Le Dez captured a common fear in a Cyber Defense Review article titled “Artificial Intelligence in Digital Warfare.” “The question of AI now tends to manifest under the guise of a mythicized omniscience and therefore, of a mythicized omnipotence,” they wrote. “This can lead to paralysis of people fearful of having to fight against some super-enemy endowed with such an intelligence that it would leave us bereft of solutions.” With the release of ChatGPT in 2022, it looked like that fear had come true. And yet the reality is that AI’s use as an offensive tool has evolved incrementally and not yet created this super-enemy. Much of AI’s real value today lies in the defense.

As Microsoft and OpenAI recently explained, today we see threat actors using AI in interesting but not invincible ways. They found five hacker groups from four countries using AI. At first, the groups used large language models for research, translation, building tools, and writing phishing emails. Later, Microsoft saw the tools suggesting actions after a system had been hacked. Although some argue that modern models could take on more, that seems premature. In stark contrast to fear that AI would unleash a wave of robot hackers on the world, these actors used it for mundane tasks. Defensive cyber forces, on the other hand, could use AI technology that exists today to meaningfully improve cyber defenses in four key ways: accelerating the pace of analysis, improving warning intelligence, developing training programs more efficiently, and delivering more realistic training scenarios.