9 June 2024

China's Most Advanced Stealth Fighters Deployed 150 Km From Sikkim

Vishnu Som

Satellite images gathered on May 27 show that China has deployed its most advanced J-20 stealth fighter jets less than 150 kilometres from the boundary with India in Sikkim.

The image (below) has been reproduced with permission from All Source Analysis, a firm that looks at Geospatial Intelligence, often from satellite imagery.

The image reveals the presence of six Chinese Air Force J-20 stealth fighters on the flight-line at a dual-use military and civilian airport which serves Shigatse, the second-largest city in Tibet. The airport lies at an altitude of 12,408 feet, making it among the highest airports in the world. A KJ-500 Airborne Early Warning and Control Aircraft is also visible.

The Indian Air Force (IAF), which is aware of the deployment of the J-20 fighters, has declined to comment on their presence at this time.

"The J-20 stealth fighter is China's most advanced operational fighter aircraft to date, and these aircraft are predominantly based in the eastern provinces of China," according VP for Technology and Analysis at All Source Analysis. "Seeing these aircraft appear at Shigatse in Tibet positions them on a deployment outside of their normal areas of operations and within proximity of the Indian border."

Trust Gaps And Tech Needs: The Puzzle Of India’s Defense Industry – OpEd

Girish Linganna

The Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) published its annual report on international armaments transfers for 2023 in March 2024. The much-anticipated lists of exporters and importers from SIPRI have raised a serious question about India’s ambitious claims regarding its expanding military-industrial complex.

According to government data, India’s arms exports for fiscal 2023-’24 totalled Rs 210.8 billion rupees (approximately $2.5 billion), representing a 32.5% increase from Rs 159 billion rupees in FY 2022-’23. According to SIPRI’s 2021 report, India achieved the 23rd position among the top 25 arms exporters. India anticipated that the success of its arms exports would enable it to reduce its reliance on foreign aid and boost the domestic arms industry in order to meet the military requirements of the Indian armed forces and sympathetic governments or friendly foreign countries.

Nevertheless, India was omitted from the top 25 arms exporters list in SIPRI’s 2022 report with the status unchanged in 2023 despite the increase in arms exports. In the interim, India maintained its status as the number one importer of arms, accounting for 9.8% of the total imports from 2019-’23, up from 9.1% of total global arms imports in 2014-’18. More than that, India’s imports went up by 4.7% from 2014-’18 to 2019-’23.

A systematic review of the extent of the Taliban and FARC’s involvement and profit from drug trade and methods of estimating income from the drug trade

Hamid Azizia & Caitlin Elizabeth Hughes


There has been longstanding attention to the nexus between terrorism and the drug trade, particularly the extent to which terrorist organisations profit from and are sustained by the drug trade (Paoli et al., Citation2022). This issue is becoming more important post-August 2021 when the Taliban gained control in Afghanistan - the world’s largest producer of opium. High-level policy debates have arisen about how this may impact the international drug trade and organised crime more broadly (The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime [UNODC], Citation2022). Concern over the transnational threat of the crime-terror nexus and its challenge to global peace and security have been reflected in the United Nations Security Councils’ resolutions as early as the 1990s and increasingly since the 9/11 attack in the United States (UNODC, Citation2001). For example, in Afghanistan, where over 80% of the world’s opium has been produced, many have argued that the opiate trade revenue has helped the Taliban to survive for over two decades (Freeman, Citation2011; Peters, Citation2009; SIGAR, Citation2018; UNODC, Citation2009, Citation2017a; UNSMT, Citation2015).

Freeman (Citation2011) classified terrorist organisations’ income sources into the following four categories: 1) state sponsorship; 2) revenue derived from licit activities and businesses; 3) income from organised crime and illegal activities; and 4) donations from individuals and institutions supporting a terrorist cause for political, economic, or religious interests. Freeman notes that while state sponsorship was a significant funding source for terrorist groups during the Cold War, it was substituted by organised crime by the end of the War. He further notes that revenues from the drug trade, kidnapping, extortion, and illegal exploitation of natural resources, among others, have helped several terrorist organisations to survive.

How China Could Quarantine Taiwan: Mapping Out Two Possible Scenarios

Bonny Lin, Brian Hart, Matthew P. Funaiole, Samantha Lu, and Truly Tinsley


China has significantly increased pressure on Taiwan in recent years. China’s military frequently flies aircraft within the island’s air defense identification zone (ADIZ) and across the Taiwan Strait median line. In August 2022 and April 2023, China escalated in response to U.S.-Taiwan political engagements by staging unprecedented large-scale military exercises around Taiwan. China has also deployed its navy and coast guard in increasing numbers around Taiwan and its outlying islands.

Cross-Strait tensions further intensified in the wake of William Lai’s inauguration as Taiwan’s president on May 20, 2024. Three days after Lai delivered his inauguration address, China commenced two days of large-scale military exercises surrounding Taiwan, called “Joint Sword-2024A,” and accompanied them with “comprehensive law enforcement operations” (综合执法演练) involving China’s coast guard. Chinese officials stated that the drills were intended to “serve as a strong punishment for the separatist acts of ‘Taiwan independence’ forces and a stern warning against the interference and provocation by external forces.”[1]

What the West Can Learn From Singapore

Graham Allison

When asked whether the U.S. government works, most Americans say no. According to recent polling by Ipsos, more than two-thirds of adults in the United States think the country is going in the wrong direction. Gallup reports that only 26 percent have confidence in major U.S. institutions, such as the presidency, the Supreme Court, and Congress. Nearly half of Americans aged 18 to 25 say that they believe either that democracy or dictatorship “makes no difference” or that “dictatorship could be good in certain circumstances.” As a recent Economist cover story put it: “After victory in the Cold War, the American model seemed unassailable. A generation on, Americans themselves are losing confidence in it.”

Most Singaporeans have a very different outlook on their government, a managed political system that has elections but nonetheless facilitates the dominance of one party, the People’s Action Party. According to a Pew Research Center report, three-quarters of Singaporeans are satisfied with how democracy is working in their country. Moreover, 80 percent think their country is heading in the right direction—the highest number in any of the 29 countries surveyed in the May Ipsos poll.

China is tightening its grip on Hong Kong


Last week, seven dissidents were arrested by Hong Kong’s national-security police on charges of ‘offences in connection with seditious intention’. A further six were arrested later the same week for ‘advocating hatred’ against both the Hong Kong government and the CCP, while a seventh was arrested the following day for making ‘seditious’ online posts. An eighth – a 62-year-old man – was arrested this week.

The arrests demonstrate China’s ever-tightening grip on Hong Kong. They are the first known arrests under the newly enacted Article 23 legislation, marking a watershed for the city’s political climate. This new law was passed with terrifying swiftness in March this year, to the alarm of numerous human-rights defenders. It builds on the tyrannical ‘National Security Law’, which was imposed on Hong Kong by the Chinese government in 2020. For the foreseeable future, Hong Kong’s last embers of autonomy have been extinguished.

Among those detained was human-rights advocate Chow Hang-tung, who has been imprisoned since 2021 for organising a peaceful vigil for the 1989 Tiananmen Square massacre. The spiteful targeting of dissidents like Chow sends a clear message: no one is safe from the reach of this draconian law. Critics of the CPP’s takeover of Hong Kong’s can now face up to seven years in prison.

The People’s Republic of China’s View of Security

Scott D. McDonald


This project is based on the premise that to understand policy, we must understand how those making policy think. “Walking a mile in another man’s shoes” is not enough, we must try to see the world through the eyes of the decision-makers we aim to understand. Therefore, in asking how the People’s Republic of China (PRC) views security, we are neither trying to calculate force ratios nor analyze equipment. Rather, we are exploring the ends to which those items are employed and how those ends are conceived by the leadership in Beijing.

Moreover, simply defining “security” is insufficient. If the goal is to understand how a state will craft policy, we must start from the conceptual foundations of its leaders and build up to the environment in which those concepts are applied. Consequently, our workshop was organized from the foundation up. We began by exploring the ideational sources of strategic thinking in the PRC to understand how policy makers conceive the world. From this basis, we then attempted to identify what the leadership considers to be their interests. This forms the basis of what the state will seek to pursue and protect. Once the interests are defined, it is possible to look for threats to those interests. However, even after dealing with threats, a state rarely feels completely secure. One of the ways it attempts to find security is by shaping the international environment to fit its concept of security. Once that is done, it is possible to consider the role a state would like in that world: one may feel secure enough to emulate Lichtenstein or chose to arm to the teeth and seek hegemony. States may answer these questions differently, and how they do will influence the policies chosen.

CMSI Translations #1: The “Cans” and “Cannots” of the Military Application of Artificial intelligence

Zhang Long

AI Can Disrupt the Form of War, But It Cannot Change the Essence of War

The form of war is the manifestation and overall state of war in different historical stages demonstrated through the progression of manufacturing and production in human society applied to the military domain. Major breakthroughs in science and technology and the landmark developments of cutting-edge weapons and equipment will subsequently lead to new changes in military organization, operational methods, and operational theories, culminating in overall changes in warfare, thereby creating a new form of war. At present, intelligent warfare is revealing new characteristics that disrupt previous forms of war. For example, intelligent military organizational form will be reshaped and restructured; leadership command systems will feature flat network aggregation, matrix interaction, and global coupling characteristics; scale and structure will be more streamlined and efficient, aggregated across multiple domains, and integrated; human-machine hybrid and unmanned swarm formations will become the primary method, while the proportion of intelligent unmanned operational forces continues to increase; the status and role of virtual space in the operational system will gradually increase; the geographic, physical, information, and cognitive domains will achieve deep integration and harmonization, with multi-domain and cross-domain [operations] becoming the basic forms of warfare; weapon systems without a center, or a weak center, or with a center, with hybrid compatibility between them, will become the development trend, which will completely change the human-centered control and decision-making model.

It is now obvious that AI technology is increasingly used in the military field, which has heightened the level of intelligent warfare. This in turn may cause a lowering of the threshold of war, a blurring of the appearance of war, and a diversification of the agents of war. However, any advancement in technological means cannot change the nature of war; nor can it change the basic laws and guidelines of warfare.

Russia and China, Nukes and Alliances

George Friedman

Last week, Moscow revived an oft-repeated threat to use nuclear weapons in Ukraine. Their use, of course, requires a few important things. They must be deliverable, and they must have a valuable target worth delivering to, ideally one that would inflict little collateral damage on untargeted or otherwise friendly cities. More important, they require a high degree of confidence in the attacking nation that its adversary cannot or will not retaliate with nukes of its own. The great unknowns are what the attacked country might do, the ability of the attacker to survive a response, and whether the initial strike would be sufficiently devastating. This uncertainty is precisely why there has not been a nuclear strike since Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

Russia’s threats, then, belie other intentions. Its primary intent is to raise the potential price of war in Ukraine beyond what the U.S. is prepared to risk. But given all the unknowns, Moscow has so far declined to execute a nuclear attack. Perhaps more interesting was China’s response. Beijing’s position on Ukraine has been measured. It abstained on the first U.N. vote to condemn the war, rather than voting with Russia. But as the conflict progressed, China’s position changed thanks to deteriorating relations with the United States and the need for an allied nation and new economic partner. Enter Russia, which by then realized that not only would it not overrun Ukraine quickly but it might not win the war at all. As with China, Russia’s main obstacle was the United States.

Edge compute-as-a-service? The Army is curious


After the Army’s network portfolio has dipped its toe in the water on two as-as-service models, it could be settings its sights next on applying the concept to edge computing, according to a top official.

As-a-service models are growing more attractive to the Army given the flexibility they provide. The department last year issued awards to two companies under a pilot effort for SATCOM-as-a-managed-service to help inform a potential way ahead and possibly broader strategy for as-a-service models. It’s also just beginning to kick off a radio-as-a-service pilot.

The Army is now thinking about the prospect of a compute-as-a-service effort as its next endeavor.

“Where we’re looking next with industry is a compute-as-a-service model,” Mark Kitz, program executive officer for command, control and communications-tactical, told DefenseScoop during an interview at the Army’s Technical Exchange Meeting in Philadelphia May 29. “Especially when you look at how fast industry moves in terms of size, in terms of compute power, we want to get to when you employ you get the best, smallest, fastest, easiest way to employ compute.”

D-Day 80th Anniversary: The Invasion That Changed the Course of World War II

Andreas Koureas

Now, almost eighty years ago, over 23,000 airborne troops landed in Nazi-occupied France with 132,450 Allied forces crossing the channel via sea; 6,833 vessels—including 1,213 warships—took part with over 14,000 sorties flown during the previous evening and D-Day itself; five beach areas were devised, with the First U.S. Army landing on two and the Second British Army landing on the other three. By the end of August, over 2 million men, 3 million tons of supplies and stores, and almost half a million vehicles had landed in Normandy.

But what led up to this moment was multiple years in the making. After the Dunkirk evacuation and the subsequent fall of France, Great Britain and its empire gallantly continued a lonely, year-long struggle as the only major power fighting German Nazism and Italian Fascism—until the Nazi invasion of the Soviet Union. Although no clear victory was in sight, and with the Britannic world overstretched—battling over the air of Western Europe, on land in North Africa, and at sea in the Atlantic and Mediterranean—Prime Minister Winston Churchill had always planned for a later liberation of Western Europe.

Israelis using gardening tools to fight wildfires sparked by Hezbollah rockets

Lucy Williamson

Three rusty water-trucks stand at the edge of Kibbutz Malkiya, on Israel’s border with Lebanon; little bigger than a family car, they look like something out of an old cartoon.

A collection of industrial leaf-blowers is stacked nearby.

“This is all we have,” resident Dean Sweetland explains. “We have just these - and the leaf-blowers - to blow the fire back onto the dead areas.”

Dean, a Londoner who moved to the kibbutz eight years ago, is one of a dozen residents left to tackle recent bushfires in the area, sparked by Hezbollah rockets from Lebanon.

“We’re on our own,” he says. “The flames can be six metres tall. Sometimes you just can’t get near it.”

He gestures to the leaf-blowers standing in the sun.

Examining the landscape of tools for trustworthy AI in the UK and the US

Salil Gunashekar, Henri van Soest, Michelle Qu, Chryssa Politi, Maria Chiara Aquilino, Gregory Smith

Over the years, there has been a proliferation of frameworks, declarations and principles from various organisations around the globe to guide the development of trustworthy artificial intelligence (AI). These frameworks articulate the foundations for the desirable outcomes and objectives of trustworthy AI systems, such as safety, fairness, transparency, accountability and privacy. However, they do not provide specific guidance on how to achieve these objectives, outcomes and requirements in practice. This is where tools for trustworthy AI become important. Broadly, these tools encompass specific methods, techniques, mechanisms and practices that can help to measure, evaluate, communicate, improve and enhance the trustworthiness of AI systems and applications.

Against the backdrop of a fast-moving and increasingly complex global AI ecosystem, this study mapped UK and US examples of developing, deploying and using tools for trustworthy AI. The research also identified some of the challenges and opportunities for UK–US alignment and collaboration on the topic and proposes a set of practical priority actions for further consideration by policymakers. The report's evidence aims to inform aspects of future bilateral cooperation between the UK and the US governments in relation to tools for trustworthy AI. Our analysis also intends to stimulate further debate and discussion among stakeholders as the capabilities and applications of AI continue to grow and the need for trustworthy AI becomes even more critical.

Biden’s Foreign-Policy Problem Is Incompetenc

Stephen M. Walt

As the New York Mets compiled a record of 40 wins and 120 losses during their comically inept inaugural season, manager Casey Stengel famously lamented: “Can’t anyone here play this game?” I thought of Stengel’s remark when I learned that the temporary pier the United States had built to bring relief aid into Gaza had collapsed. It was an apt metaphor for the Biden administration’s handling of the whole Gaza conflict, as critics on social media were quick to point out. Constructing the pier was essentially an expensive PR stunt undertaken because U.S. officials were unwilling to force Israel to open the border crossings and allow sufficient relief aid for civilians facing a man-made humanitarian catastrophe. This largely symbolic effort managed to deliver about 60 truckloads of aid before rough seas damaged the structure and aid deliveries were suspended. Repairs are now underway and will reportedly take at least a week, and the cost of the whole operation is already hundreds of millions of dollars and rising.

One might see this sorry episode as just a small part of a larger tragedy, but I think it raises larger questions about American ambitions and pretentions. Foreign-policy experts in the United States obsess about preserving “credibility,” largely to justify spending vast resources on conflicts and commitments that are of minor strategic importance. In the 1960s and 70s, U.S. leaders understood that South Vietnam was a minor power of little intrinsic strategic value, yet they insisted that withdrawing short of victory would cast doubt on America’s staying power, undermine its credibility, and encourage allies around the world to realign toward the communist bloc. None of these gloomy forecasts came to pass, of course, but the same simplistic arguments get recycled whenever the United States finds itself in an unwinnable war for minor stakes.

Russians Bemoan 'Superior' Ukrainian Drone, EW Capabilities: ISW

David Brennan

Russia's ongoing offensive operations all along the front line in Ukraine have forced Kyiv onto the back foot in several key areas, but Moscow's commanders are reportedly struggling with Ukraine's deadly edge in the drone and electronic warfare capabilities.

The Institute for the Study of War (ISW) noted in its Tuesday evening update that "select Russian military commentators continue to complain about superior Ukrainian drone and electronic warfare (EW) capabilities on the battlefield, continuing to highlight the rapid and constant tactical and technological innovation cycles that are shaping the battlespace in Ukraine."

One Russian milblogger—a former instructor of a "Storm-Z" penal unit posting on a channel named "Philologist in ambush"—wrote on Telegram that drone use has been the "leading factor" in Ukraine's repelling of Russian assault operations "for many months."

The milblogger lamented Ukraine's "radical advantage in the number of not only the drones themselves, but also the number of operators," as well as the more advanced "organizational drone structures" of Kyiv's forces versus their Russian enemies.

Hezbollah is filling void left by Hamas, and gauging Israel's reaction - analysis


Hezbollah is intensely focused on Israel’s reactions to recent escalation by the terrorist group. It has increased the use of drones and anti-tank missiles over the last month, doubling the amount of attacks it has carried out. May saw a major escalation. Hezbollah is trying to fill the vacuum left by Hamas because Hamas is no longer capable of firing many rockets at Israel.

Hezbollah also wants to spread out its attacks more – it has sought to target the coast and the Golan. Their goal is to expand the war. Hezbollah’s attacks have also ignited fires.

But Israel is responding. Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Herzi Halevi, Defense Minister Yoav Gallant, and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu all traveled to the North in the last two days. They have a message of warning to Hezbollah. But the Lebanese-based terrorist group is used to this, though: It has been hearing such “warnings” for almost eight months.

Why Israel's Operation in Rafah Is Not Only Acceptable but Necessary | Opinion

Noa Tishby

The recent ruling by the International Court of Justice (ICJ) ordering Israel to halt its military operation in Rafah has amplified the terrorist-sponsored international pressure campaign on Israel. Sadly, this directive fails to consider several critical factors that make Israel's operation not only acceptable but necessary.

Sophisticated readers understand the military operation in Rafah in the context of the ongoing conflict between Israel and the violent Jihadi group Hamas, whose founding charter is committed to Israel's destruction. On Oct. 7, Hamas launched a devastating attack on Israel, killing more than 1,200 people, many of whom they raped and mutilated, and taking nearly 250 others hostage. This brutal assault necessitated a decisive response from Israel to protect its citizens and prevent further atrocities, as Hamas has vowed to attempt to repeat the attacks again and again.

Rafah is the last major stronghold of Hamas in the Gaza Strip. The city's strategic significance cannot be overstated, as it serves as a critical hub for Hamas's operations, including smuggling weapons and supplies through tunnels under the Philadelphi Corridor, which connects Gaza to Egypt. Policing Rafah is essential for Israel to dismantle Hamas's military infrastructure and sever its supply lines.

How the UN Got Away With Wildly Inflating the Casualty Numbers in Gaza—and the Media Bought It | Opinion

David Adesnik

On May 6, a U.N. office reported that more than 9,500 women and 14,500 children had been killed so far in Gaza. The office had been reporting similar figures for nearly two months. Yet on May 8, the reported numbers fell to fewer than 5,000 women and 8,000 children—a reduction of more than 11,000 fatalities over all.

The U.N. did not call attention to the change, which was buried in the fine print of one of its numerous updates on Gaza. But a handful of journalists noticed. The first wave of headlines put the U.N. on the defensive: "United Nations halves estimate of women and children killed in Gaza", "UN revises Gaza death toll," and more along those lines.

Had the U.N. quietly admitted that its casualty estimates were wildly off the mark? Was it absolving Israel of responsibility for 11,000 deaths that may not have happened?

The U.N. rejected such claims. Farhan Haq, a spokesman for the Secretary-General, insisted that nothing of significance had changed. There had been no reduction, he said, in the total number of dead or in the number of women and children who had lost their lives. Rather, the U.N.'s Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) had just chosen to present the data in a new and more accurate way.

Hezbollah Issues Israel-Gaza Warning

Marni Rose McFall

Hezbollah has issued a warning to Israel regarding the ongoing conflict in Gaza. Qassem stated that while Hezbollah does not intend to widen the war, it is prepared to engage in full-scale conflict if necessary.

This announcement comes amid heightened tensions and military engagements in the region.

Hezbollah issued the warning in response to Israel's war against Hamas. According to Palestinian officials, Israel's offensive in Gaza has killed over 36,000 people after Hamas and other militant groups launched an attack on southern Israel on October 7. This attack killed about 1,200 people and took 250 people hostage.

Israel's military actions in Gaza have triggered what groups including the United Nations have described as a humanitarian crisis.

Joe Biden Cuts Netanyahu Some Slack Over War in Gaza

Katherine Fung

President Joe Biden and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu have had a complicated and sometimes tense relationship over the years, but Biden has cut the Israeli leader some slack over the Gaza war.

Asked if Netanyahu bears some responsibility for Hamas' October 7 attack on Israel, Biden told Time magazine, "I don't know how any one person has that responsibility."

"He was the leader of the country, so therefore it happened," Biden said in the interview, published Tuesday. The president spoke to Time on May 28.

Last October, Hamas militants launched an unexpected attack on Israel, storming into the south of the country and killing 1,200 people and abducting about 250 others. Israel then began airstrikes on the Gaza Strip, and the conflict has escalated over the past eight months, with more than 36,000 Palestinians killed, according to Associated Press reports citing the Gaza Health Ministry.

Ukraine Strikes Into Russia With Western Weapons, Official Says

Maria Varenikova, Constant Méheut and Aric Toler

Just days after the Biden administration granted permission for Ukraine to fire American weapons into Russia, Kyiv took advantage of its new latitude, striking a military facility over the border using a U.S.-made artillery system, according to a member of Ukraine’s Parliament.

Yehor Chernev, the deputy chairman of the Ukrainian Parliament’s committee on national security, defense and intelligence, said on Tuesday that Ukrainian forces had destroyed Russian missile launchers with a strike in the Belgorod region, about 20 miles into Russia. Ukraine’s forces used a High Mobility Artillery Rocket System, or HIMARS, he said.

It was the first time a Ukrainian official has acknowledged publicly that Ukraine had used American weapons to fire into Russia since President Biden lifted the ban on such strikes. For months, the ban had stood as a red line the Biden administration would not cross out of concern about increasing tensions with a nuclear-armed nation.

First Principles for Ensuring American AI Leadership

Joseph F. Dunford & Frances Townsend , Michael Morel

The United States and China are locked in a high-stakes competition for global technological leadership. Central to this contest is artificial intelligence (AI), a domain not merely of public interest but of profound strategic importance. AI holds the potential to redefine national security paradigms, fuel economic engines, and propel the influence of democratic – or authoritarian – principles across the globe, depending on which country wins the tech race.

As AI has catapulted into the limelight, divergent approaches to its governance have crystallized. To date, the United States, alongside nations such as the UK and Canada, has advocated for a framework of voluntary and adaptable standards designed alongside key allies and industry leaders. This approach aims not only to harness AI’s transformative potential but also to mitigate its risks through collaborative engagement.

On the other hand, the European Union (EU), with its rushed enactment of the EU AI Act, and China, with its authoritarian conventions, chart an alternate course that prioritizes control and regulation.

How to Lead an Army of Digital Sleuths in the Age of AI


TEN YEARS AGO, Eliot Higgins could eat room service meals at a hotel without fear of being poisoned. He hadn’t yet been declared a foreign agent by Russia; in fact, he wasn’t even a blip on the radar of security agencies in that country or anywhere else. He was just a British guy with an unfulfilling admin job who’d been blogging under the pen name Brown Moses—after a Frank Zappa song—and was in the process of turning his blog into a full-fledged website. He was an open source intelligence analyst avant la lettre, poring over social media photos and videos and other online jetsam to investigate wartime atrocities in Libya and Syria.

In its disorganized way, the internet supplied him with so much evidence that he was beating UN investigators to their conclusions. So he figured he’d go pro. He called his website Bellingcat, after the fable of the mice that hit on a way to tell when their predator was approaching. He would be the mouse that belled the cat.

Today, Bellingcat is the world’s foremost open source intelligence agency. From his home in the UK, Higgins oversees a staff of nearly 40 employees who have used an evolving set of online forensic techniques to investigate everything from the 2014 shoot-down of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 over Ukraine to a 2020 dognapping to the various plots to kill Russian dissident Alexei Navalny.

Global AI governance: barriers and pathways forward

Huw Roberts, Emmie Hine, Mariarosaria Taddeo, Luciano Floridi

Late 2022 and early 2023 saw the commercialization of powerful new artificial intelligence (AI) technologies such as OpenAI's ChatGPT. These systems have numerous benefits, including improving business efficiency and enhancing consumer experiences, but also pose significant risks. They threaten national security by democratizing capabilities that could be used by malicious actors; facilitate unequal economic outcomes by concentrating market power in the hands of a few companies and countries, while displacing jobs in others; and produce societally undesirable conditions through extractive data practices, reinforcing biased narratives and environmentally harmful compute requirements.

These risks transcend national borders and have reinvigorated calls for stronger global AI governance, understood here as the process through which diverse interests that transcend borders are accommodated, without a single sovereign authority, so that cooperative action may be taken in maximizing the benefits and mitigating the risks of AI.2 The United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres, British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and OpenAI CEO Sam Altman have all argued for the creation of a new international AI body modelled on existing institutions like the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). A new-found emphasis on global AI governance is promising, but this type of ambitious governance proposal is generally misaligned with current geopolitical and institutional realities, raising questions over desirability and feasibility.

Employees Say OpenAI and Google DeepMind Are Hiding Dangers From the Public


A group of current and former employees at leading AI companies OpenAI and Google DeepMind published a letter on Tuesday warning against the dangers of advanced AI as they allege companies are prioritizing financial gains while avoiding oversight.

Thirteen employees, eleven of which are current or former employees of OpenAI, the company behind ChatGPT, signed the letter entitled: “A Right to Warn about Advanced Artificial Intelligence.” The two other signatories are current and former employees of Google DeepMind. Six individuals are anonymous.

The coalition cautions that AI systems are powerful enough to pose serious harms without proper regulation. “These risks range from the further entrenchment of existing inequalities, to manipulation and misinformation, to the loss of control of autonomous AI systems potentially resulting in human extinction,” the letter says.