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Open newsletter – march 4, 2022

AZERBAIJAN – RUSSIA

The Jamestown Foundation

On February 22, just hours after Russian President Vladimir Putin recognized the independence of the Ukrainian separatist areas of Donetsk and Luhansk and two days before the Kremlin head launched his broad-scale re-invasion of Ukraine, Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev arrived in Moscow. There, he and Putin signed a 43-point agreement that gave the Azerbaijani leader three of the things he has sought the longest—formal Russian backing for Baku’s position on Karabakh, Moscow’s recognition of Azerbaijan as Russia’s primary and most reliable partner in the South Caucasus, and also Russian acceptance of Azerbaijan’s multi-vector foreign policy. As such, in Baku’s view of the document, this new agreement with Moscow will not threaten Azerbaijan’s relationships with Turkey, the European Union and the United States. Paul Globe: Aliyev Gains Putin’s Support on Karabakh and More—But at What Price?

BURKINA FASO

Al Jazeera

Burkina Faso’s military government has appointed an interim prime minister, according to a statement from its transitional president, Paul-Henri Sandaogo DamibaBurkina Faso military names interim prime minister

CHINA

Global Times

China on Friday began its annual two sessions, where national legislators and political advisors will discuss and decide on important matters of national concern, and amid sporadic domestic COVID-19 resurgence and major changes internationally this year, the legislative events, which have a broad domestic participation, will showcase the success of China’s whole-process people’s democracy, observers said. China kicks off two sessions with high-profile showcase of whole-process people’s democracy

CYBER SECURITY

Security Affairs

Researchers from Palo Alto Networks have analyzed more than 200,000 medical infusion pumps on the networks of hospitals and other healthcare organizations and discovered that 75% are affected by known vulnerabilities that could be exploited by attackers. Pierluigi Paganini: 75% of medical infusion pumps affected by known vulnerabilities

INDIA

Reuters

A regional Indian party has claimed it will unseat Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in provincial elections in Uttar Pradesh state, the most crucial test for Modi before a general election in two years. : Regional party claims it will beat Modi’s BJP in India’s biggest state election

INDO PACIFIC

The Strategist

The Indo-Pacific region is home to almost half of the world’s chronically hungry people and some of the food systems at most risk from the impacts of climate change. In ASPI’s 2035 climate scenario, the climate-related impacts on food production are severe. We’ve learned that the relationship between climate change and political, economic and social unrest throughout the region often runs through food systems.  and : Climate and food security in 2035

IRAN NUCLEAR DEAL

Al Jazeera

Iran’s foreign minister Hossein Amirabdollahian says he is ready to travel to Vienna to finalise an agreement on restoring the country’s 2015 nuclear deal with world powers as soon as all of its “red lines” are considered. Maziar Motamedi: Iran: JCPOA agreement possible as soon as ‘red lines’ considered

Reuters

Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian said on Friday the West’s “haste” to reach a nuclear deal “cannot prevent the observance of Iran’s red lines,” including economic guarantees. Iran foreign minister says nuclear deal subject to Tehran’s red lines

ISRAEL

Al Jazeera

Israel is keen on bringing in Ukrainian Jewish refugees for the purpose of maintaining Jewish demographic “supremacy” over the Palestinian population, academics and analysts say. Since the outbreak of the war with Russia on February 24, the Israeli government has called on Ukrainian Jewish refugees to immigrate to Israel and removed bureaucratic hurdles to secure their arrival as quickly as possible. Zena Al Tahhan: ‘A real opportunity’: Israel urges Ukrainian Jews to immigrate

ISRAEL – UAE

Reuters

Israel and the United Arab Emirates agreed a security arrangement that will allow Israeli airlines to resume a full schedule of flights to Dubai, the Shin Bet security agency said on Friday. Israel to resume all flights to Dubai with new security deal -security agency

KOREAS

Reuters

North Korea’s main nuclear facility is in full swing, a new report said on Friday, the latest evidence to highlight the challenges facing whoever wins next week’s presidential election in South Korea. and : S.Korea’s next president to face a N.Korea forging ahead in nuclear, missile production

LIBYA

Reuters

Libya’s new parliament-backed government said on Friday that an armed group linked to rival authorities had released two of its ministers held against their will, but tensions remained high between political factions. Libya ministers released as political factions jostle for power

The United Nations Libya adviser Stephanie Williams said on Friday she had invited the parliament and High State Council to each nominate six members for a joint committee on Libya’s constitutional arrangements. U.N. Libya adviser seeks joint committee on constitution

NIGERIA

Al Jazeera

The Nigerian government has commenced the extradition request of the United States government for Abba Kyari, a highly decorated senior police officer. Deputy Commissioner Kyari is wanted in the United States in connection to fraud and identity theft. Patrick Egwu: Nigeria commences US extradition of officer linked to $1.1m fraud

RUSSIA – UKRAINE (impact)

Brookings

While the Russian assault on Ukraine advances through ground and air forces, there haven’t yet been significant cyberattacks on Ukraine’s infrastructure, intelligence, or communications systems. Brookings Fellow Jessica Brandt explains what we have seen so far in the way of cyber and information warfare, why Putin might have initially avoided larger-scale cyberattacks against Ukraine, and how technology companies and U.S. and NATO intelligence services have pushed back against the Kremlin’s disinformation campaigns. Jessica Brandt and Adrianna Pita: How is Russia conducting cyber and information warfare in Ukraine?

By the standards of today’s polarized politics, the unity members of Congress displayed on Ukraine at President Biden’s State of the Union address was extraordinary. The hall was dotted with the blue and gold colors of the Ukrainian flag, and the introduction of Ukraine’s ambassador evoked a prolonged and passionate ovation. William A. Galston: The invasion of Ukraine unites a divided America

The sanctions imposed on Russia are having a devastating effect on Russian financial markets. The ruble depreciated by 40 percent in the week leading up to March 1, and the central bank has doubled interest rates to 20 percent to support the currency. The stock market had to be closed after steep declines. The adverse effect of these sanctions on the Russian economy will build over time, despite Russia’s efforts to build a financial position resilient to external sanctions following those imposed after its annexation of Crimea in 2014. Gian Maria Milesi-Ferretti: Russia’s external position: Does financial autarky protect against sanctions?

The outpouring of support for beleaguered Ukraine is astounding: governments around the world are joining sanctions and shunning Russia. European governments, including many that previously favored neutrality or otherwise tread carefully with regard to Russia, are joining the opposition to Moscow, and many are sending military aid. Some individuals, however, are doing more and are heeding President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s call to join the fighting: “Anyone who wants to join the defense of Ukraine, Europe and the world can come and fight side by side with the Ukrainians against the Russian war criminals.” Ukraine’s foreign minister tweeted a call for an “international legion” to fight against Russia. Daniel L. Byman: Foreign fighters in Ukraine? Evaluating the benefits and risks

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is “undisguised terror,” as described by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. In a matter of days, hundreds of people have been killed, thousands are displaced, and hundreds of thousands are aiming to flee to border countries that accept refugees. Newborn babies are being placed in underground bunkers and men over the age of 18 are barred from leaving and asked instead to pick up arms and fight. There are images of courageous women staying in Ukraine to do the same. Rashawn Ray: The Russian invasion of Ukraine shows racism has no boundaries

As bad as things already are in Ukraine, they are probably about to get much worse, with the possible mass razing of cities and casualties on a scale not seen in Europe since the Balkans wars of the 1990s. The international community owes it to the people of Ukraine to attempt a final effort to end this conflict before complete catastrophe strikes, and should work to persuade Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy to pursue this kind of arrangement in the on-again/off-again peace talks with Russia. Michael E. O’Hanlon: A Hail Mary on Ukraine

Chatham House

As President Joe Biden delivered the State of the Union address, a Russian convoy was approaching the outskirts of Kyiv. Earlier in the day, a TV tower was attacked and missiles had descended on the graves of thousands of Jewish citizens killed by the Nazis. Such brutal attacks not only underscore Putin’s utter contempt for Ukraine’s sovereignty and disregard for civilian immunity, but also his rejection of the European security order and determination Ukraine would not join itLeslie Vinjamuri: US and Europe find unity but must move beyond the West

Corriere della Sera

L’iniziativa dell’Assemblea ha obbligato i Paesi incerti a venire allo scoperto. Ma con India e Cina tra gli astenuti c’è metà della popolazione mondiale. Massimo Gaggi: Putin, il fronte contrario: dalla Serbia all’Egitto, la mappa imprevista. L’Onu è centrale

Defense News

The White House has formally asked Congress for $32.5 billion in pandemic relief and “critical assistance” to help Ukraine fight off a Russian invasion, with $4.8 billion for the Pentagon, as part of an updated supplemental spending request. Joe Gould: White House seeks new $10B Ukraine fund with half for Pentagon

“Give us the tools, and we will finish the job,“ spoke U.K. Prime Minister Winston Churchill in February 1941. Following this powerful speech, U.S. President Franklin Roosevelt proposed and Congress approved the lend-lease program. This provided the U.K. equipment and access to United States production capacity. This action was essential to stopping the Nazi advances. History often rhymes. Now, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy is making the same plea for equipment necessary to stop the advance of the Russian autocratic Army. Now is the time for another lend-lease program supporting Ukraine. Everett Pyatt: Transfer three A-10 aircraft squadrons to Ukraine now

Defense One

As Russia’s aerial attack on Ukrainian cities intensifies, U.S. European Command and Moscow have agreed to a deconfliction hotline to avoid any miscalculation that could drag both countries into a larger conflict. Tara Copp: US, Russia Agree to Deconfliction Hotline As Putin’s Attack On Ukraine Escalates

In a recent Facebook post, the Ukrainian Ministry of Defense called upon citizens in Kyiv to help monitor the city for Russian soldiers—and particularly people with drones. “Do you have a drone? Then give it to an experienced pilot! Or do you know how to fly a drone? Join the joint patrol with Unit 112 of the Kyiv City Special Brigade!” It’s a great idea with tactical and strategic implications—and the United States and allied countries should help by sending simple commercial drones and spare parts to Ukraine. It wouldn’t cost much either: cheap off-the-shelf drones available on Amazon can be less than $100 (though higher-end drones can easily run a few thousand dollars each). Zak Kallenborn: Send in the Quadcopters: Arm Ukrainian Citizens with Simple Drones

Global Times

The US has been spreading disinformation and using the Ukraine crisis to smear China. Its rumor mongering in order to shift its own responsibilities is hypocritical and despicable, a Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson said on Friday amid report that an anonymous US defense official criticized China for not condemning or imposing sanctions on Russia, and being reluctant to take part in a diplomatic solution to the Ukraine issue. Chinese FM questions US role in Ukraine crisis amid the latter’s smears on China

Project Syndicate – Brookings

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has exposed many grave weaknesses in the international order. One prominent flaw that needs addressing concerns the United Nations Security Council and its role in overseeing the multilateral system. Specifically, and underscoring a point we highlighted in our essay in a recent Brookings Institution report, the war in Ukraine has once again shown the veto power of the Security Council’s five permanent members to be a major stumbling block to peace. Kemal Derviş and José Antonio Ocampo: Will Ukraine’s tragedy spur UN Security Council reform?

Reuters

A growing number of Russians and Ukrainians are traveling to Mexico, buying throwaway cars and driving across the border into the United States to seek asylum, a trend that could accelerate as Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has forced more than a million people to flee their homes.  and : More Russians, Ukrainians seek asylum at U.S.-Mexico border

European Union officials are examining curbing Russia’s influence and access to finance at the International Monetary Fund following its invasion of Ukraine, six officials told Reuters.  and : Exclusive: EU may curb Russia’s rights in IMF

Images of cluster bombs and artillery strikes on Ukrainian cities this week have prompted the world’s top war crimes prosecutor to launch an investigation, with the support of dozens of nations opposed to Russia’s invasion and : ICC faces “myriad challenges” to prosecute war crimes in Ukraine

The war in Ukraine will cause more deaths and destruction over the coming days, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said on Friday, calling on Russia’s President Vladimir Putin to withdraw all troops from Ukraine without conditions. More deaths and more suffering expected in Ukraine in days to come, NATO says

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said on Friday the situation in Ukraine was worsening and it must not be allowed to escalate, adding Turkey would keep its air space open. Turkey says situation in Ukraine worsening, Turkish air space to remain open

Up to a dozen explosions were heard in downtown Kyiv on Friday morning and air raid sirens wailed, in an apparent sign Russian missile strikes on and around the capital were intensifying. : More explosions heard in Kyiv in sign assault is intensifying

The European Union will step up sanctions against Russia, foreign ministers gathered in Brussels said on Friday, but they resisted Kyiv’s calls for military action that would risk dragging the NATO military alliance into the war and : EU eyes more Russia sanctions, NATO wary of Ukraine calls for no-fly zone

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy appealed to Russians on Friday to stage protests over Russian forces’ seizure of the largest nuclear power plant in Europe. Ukraine’s president urges Russians to protest over attack on nuclear plant

The British government will soon put forward proposals to stop Russian oligarchs using its court system to sue those seeking to shine a light on corruption, Deputy Prime Minister Dominic Raab said on Friday. UK wants to stop Russians using its courts to sue those exposing corruption-minister

Britain will seize the properties of Russian oligarchs if there is the legal basis to do so, British Deputy Prime Minister Dominic Raab said on Friday. UK will seize Russian oligarch properties where there is legal basis-minister

Slovakia has registered 90,329 people crossing its border from Ukraine since the Russian invasion began on Feb. 24, police said on Friday. More than 90,000 cross into Slovakia from Ukraine since invasion

Any calls for NATO to enforce a no-fly zone in Ukraine would be irresponsible and could drag the military alliance into direct conflict with Russia, Lithuanian Prime Minister Ingrida Simonyte said on Friday. Calls for NATO no-fly zone in Ukraine ‘irresponsible’, Lithuania PM says

Belarus has strengthened its air defences along the perimeter of its border in line with an order from President Alexander Lukashenko, a senior military official said on Friday. Belarus strengthens air defences along border, Minsk says

Below are five facts about the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant in Ukraine, the biggest in Europe by capacity, which Russian troops have seized, according to the regional state administration. Five facts about Ukraine’s Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant

Most emerging Asian currencies and stocks weakened on Friday amid heightened investor anxiety after reports that Russian forces had attacked a nuclear plant in Ukraine, with the South Korean won leading the losses among regional units. : Asian currencies, stocks edge lower after Ukraine nuclear plant attack

China’s yuan edged up against the dollar Friday, continuing a slow march higher as tensions over the Ukraine crisis support safe-haven bids for the currency, but moves were kept in check ahead of an annual parliamentary meeting. China’s yuan ticks higher but weak fixing, firm dollar cap gains

Japanese government bond yields slid on Friday as investors scurried to the safety of debt in light of the escalating Russia-Ukraine conflict. JGB yields fall as investors seek safety amid escalating Ukraine crisis

Indian shares slumped on Friday to their lowest in seven months, tracking a sell-off in global equities, as a worsening Ukraine crisis sent oil prices surging and stoked inflation fears. : Indian shares hit 7-month low as Ukraine crisis escalates

Corporate actions to censure Russia after its invasion of Ukraine vary widely and include some measures required by law and some voluntary, with comments ranging from harsh condemnations to more measured promises to review business in the country. Factbox: Harsh words, tough action: how companies have rebuffed Russia

The Moscow branch of a Chinese state bank has seen a surge in enquiries from Russian firms wanting to open new accounts, a person familiar with the matter said, as the country’s businesses struggle with international sanctions after its invasion of Ukraine. and : Russian firms rush to open Chinese bank accounts as sanctions bite – sources

Top Chinese banks are rushing to ensure they can maintain business ties with Russian clients without running afoul of a barrage of Western sanctions, people with knowledge of the matter told Reuters. and : Analysis: Chinese banks scramble for ‘workarounds’ as Russia sanctions impinge

So far global companies, banks and investors have announced that they have exposure in some form to Russia of more than $110 billion. That number could rise. Data from research firm Morningstar, meanwhile, shows exposure from international funds to the tune of $60 billion in stocks and bonds. Factbox: Stranded assets: How many billions are stuck in Russia?

Ratings agency S&P Global on Thursday cut Russia’s credit rating deeper into junk territory as fresh international sanctions triggered by its invasion of Ukraine, and the nation’s own protective measures, ramped up default risk. S&P drags Russia’s rating deeper into junk territory

Home rental company Airbnb Inc (ABNB.O) is suspending all operations in Russia and Belarus, Chief Executive Officer Brian Chesky said in a tweet on Thursday. Airbnb is suspending all operations in Russia and Belarus, CEO says

Asian equities and the euro weakened on Friday while oil prices jumped as investors took fright from reports of a nuclear power plant on fire amid fierce fighting between Ukraine and Russian troops. Anshuman Daga: Asia stocks hit 16-month low on Ukraine nuclear plant fire

Alphabet Inc’s (GOOGL.O) Google said on Thursday that it had stopped selling online advertising in Russia, a ban that covers search, YouTube and outside publishing partners. Paresh Dave: Google suspends all ad sales in Russia as censorship demands grow

Russia’s communications watchdog has restricted access to BBC Russian service as well as Radio Liberty and the Meduza media outlet, the RIA news agency reported on Friday. Russia restricts access to BBC Russian service and Radio Liberty – RIA

A fire that broke out in a training building near the largest nuclear power plant in Europe during intense fighting between Russian and Ukrainian forces has been extinguished, Ukraine’s state emergency service said on Friday. Ukrainians put out fire at nuclear complex after Russian attack – officials

RUSI

In the West, China’s views on Ukraine have largely been seen through the lenses that people want to interpret China’s actions. Some fear Beijing will use the opportunity to do something in Taiwan, while others instead suggest that this will lead to a fissure between China and Russia as Moscow tests the international order, recognises breakaway states and causes economic chaos – all things that logically irritate Beijing. Yet all of this stands apart from the fairly blank and often confusing response we have actually seen, where Chinese officialdom initially made statements which lacked internal coherence and seemed aimed at pleasing everybody, and then latterly took a posture of blaming the US. Beijing has aligned itself with Russia from the outset, though it has repeatedly softened its line to reflect a genuine concern about a potential catastrophic escalation, a desire to appear to be trying to do the right thing, and a likely genuine wish not to actively encourage Russian adventurism. Raffaello Pantucci: China’s Soft Shoe on Ukraine

Security Affairs

Avast has released a free decryptor for the HermeticRansom ransomware employed in targeted attacks against Ukrainian systems since February 23. Pierluigi Paganini: Avast released a free decryptor for the HermeticRansom that hit UkraineSecurity Affairs

The Jamestown Foundation

Based on the triumphalist posts to his Telegram channel, the first weekend of Russia’s re-invasion of Ukraine was victorious for the head of Chechnya, Ramzan Kadyrov. On February 25, the day after the breakout of mass hostilities, he presided over a rally in Grozny meant to demonstrate the strength of the kadyrovtsy, a highly trained security force de facto loyal to the Chechen leader; purportedly, over 10,000 men from the republic had “volunteered” to deploy to Ukraine (Grozny.tvT.me/skfo_telegraphTwitter.com/chambersharold8, February 25). Kadyrov even threatened to deploy an additional 70,000, if Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy did not bow to Russian President Vladimir Putin’s wishes (T.me/rian_ru, February 25). The chief mufti of Chechnya, Salakh Mezhiev, declared the operation a “jihad” (Kavkaz.Realii, February 28). Harold Chambers: Kadyrov’s Ukrainian Maskirovka

On February 24, Ukraine asked Turkey to close the Turkish Straits (the Bosporus and Dardanelles) to Russian warships under the 1936 Montreux Convention (Daily Sabah, February 24). The Straits connect the Mediterranean to the Black Sea, providing the only way in and out between the two bodies of water. Ruling that the conflict had turned into a full-fledged war, the Turkish administration invoked Article 19 of the Convention (Haberturk, February 24), and restricted the warring parties’ ships from passage. Any vessels organically belonging to Black Sea ports will be exempted from those limitations. Can Kasapoglu: Turkish Closure of the Straits Can Hurt Russia’s Syrian Route Should the War Prolong

In the early hours of February 24, President Vladimir Putin announced a “special military operation” in Ukraine, and tens of thousands of Russian soldiers and tanks poured into Ukraine, preceded by a massive cascade of sea-, land- and air-launched precision missiles aimed at airbases, radars and other vital infrastructure (see EDM, February 24). The Russian Ministry of Defense claims to have decimated Ukrainian military infrastructure and achieved complete air supremacy. According to the Ukrainian General Staff, by February 28, Russian forces launched some 113 long-range ballistic and cruise missiles at Ukraine. Still the small Ukrainian Air Force and anti-aircraft missile batteries are fighting back, boosted by a constant flow of weapons and supplies coming in from the West (UNIAN, February 28). The massive Russian invasion was accurately predicted by the United States. The Joseph Biden administration declassified much of the analytical intelligence material it was receiving without disclosing its sources and published it, apparently hoping this could distract and confuse decision makers in Moscow; but it failed to prevent the re-invasion (see EDM, February 24). Pavel E. Felgenhauer: Russia Never as Strong as It Looks

The Strategist

Military and humanitarian aid sent by friendly countries is reaching Ukrainians fighting the invading Russian forces, says the head of Ukraine’s diplomatic mission in Australia, Volodymyr Shalkivskyi. Brendan Nicholson: Ukrainian envoy to Australia says aid is reaching troops and they will fight on

Nuclear weapons have, since their inception, been a paradox: the mightiest of weapons that we dare never use. The nature of this paradox was best exemplified by the Cold War doctrine of MAD—mutual assured destruction. If both sides have vast arsenals of nuclear weapons, then both sides can destroy each other. Thus, using nuclear weapons becomes unthinkable because it would pointlessly lead only to an apocalyptic stalemate, and so no side would be crazy enough to try. But this theory doesn’t cover all the possibilities of nuclear conflict. John Storey: Putin’s MAD world

Two speeches given three days apart have delivered the inspiring sense of purpose and unity the world needs as it confronts the twin empowered autocrats ruling Moscow and Beijing. German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and US President Joe Biden have both risen to the demands of their time in leadership, overturning reservations many held about each before they took up their roles. : Two speeches in three days as the world changes

US Department of State

SUDAN

Brookings

Since the 2019 Sudanese Revolution that ousted the dictator Omar al-Bashir, the momentous role that women played to shape the historic event has attracted considerable international attention. These women, who came to be known as “Kandakat” after powerful Nubian queens, have achieved critical acclaim. Their protests in front of the Army Central Command were extraordinary in the face of the systematic 30 years of suppression of their human rights. The Public Order Law that al-Bashir passed in 1996 was not only detrimental to ethnic minorities, but also to women who became ultimate targets of gender-based violence, public flogging, imprisonment, harassment, and confiscation of the property of those who toiled to eke out a living in the market. Although what the world has found to be an astonishing feat—Sudanese women’s role in the revolution—it is by no means new in the world of women’s rights activism, their revolutionary zeal has, indeed, a long gestation period deeply steeped in history. Rogaia Abusharaf: The women of Sudan will not accept setbacks

TAIWAN

Global Times

As cross-Straits relations now face greater risks and more challenges from increasingly arrogant Taiwan secessionists and brutal interference from the US government, Zhang Lianqi, a member of the Standing Committee of the 13th Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) National Committee, said he will submit a proposal that suggests the country formulate a law on national reunification during the upcoming two sessionsCao Siqi and Fan Wei: Senior political advisor to propose law on natl reunification to deter Taiwan secessionists at two sessions

Reuters

The United States should formally recognise Taiwan as a country, former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Friday during a speech in Taipei. “The United States government should immediately take necessary and long overdue steps to do the right and obvious thing: that is to offer the Republic of China, Taiwan, America’s diplomatic recognition as a free and sovereign country,” Pompeo said in a speech organised by a Taiwan think-tank. Ben Blanchard: U.S. should recognise Taiwan, former top diplomat Pompeo says

TECHNOLOGY

Nextgov

Quantum technologies have the potential to produce breakthroughs in computing, sensing and communications during our lifetime. However, alongside the incredible opportunities they offer to enhance mission attainment, quantum technologies can introduce unprecedented threats. For example, federal consensus is growing that quantum computing will threaten mainstream encryption methods at the heart of our cybersecurity infrastructure by the end of the decade. Recent National Institute of Standards and Technology and Department of Homeland Security assessments highlight the potential difficulties of updating our nations’ cybersecurity posture before this threat fully emerges. JD Dulny and Jordan Kenyon: Preparing for the Quantum Revolution

UAE

Bloomberg, Al Jazeera

The United Arab Emirates is set for inclusion on a global watchdog’s “gray list” after some of its members indicated that the Gulf nation hadn’t made enough progress in tackling illicit financial flows, according to people familiar with the matter. Ben Bartenstein: Dirty money? UAE may be added to financial ‘gray list’ | Business and Economy News | Al Jazeera

UK

RUSI

The Ministry of Defence’s Climate Change and Sustainability Strategic Approach outlines an ambitious vision as to how Defence will achieve national environmental targets. But does the document provide the foundations for reducing Defence’s carbon emissions by 2050, and does the MoD estate hold the answer to success? Sarah Ashbridge and Major Alistair Beard: Greening Defence: The UK Armed Forces Strategic Approach to Climate Change

USA

Defense News

The Russian invasion of Ukraine should show American military and congressional leaders the importance of arming Taiwan before conflict erupts, one lawmaker contended in a March 3 hearing. Megan Eckstein: Congressman argues US deterrence strategy failed to protect Ukraine and could fail Taiwan too

The week-old Russian invasion of Ukraine has grabbed the world’s attention and caused many nations to rethink their defense priorities and commitments. But Air Force Secretary Frank Kendall said at a conference in Orlando Thursday the U.S. military will retain its focus on China as the country’s top challenge. Stephen Losey: Kendall: Despite Russian invasion, China remains military’s top challenge

The U.S. Navy didn’t sit tight when it reached a Pentagon goal to make 80% of its F/A-18E-F Super Hornets mission-capable. Megan Eckstein: Navy upping its aircraft goals beyond former defense secretary Mattis’ 80% readiness challenge

Defense One

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine will boost the Pentagon’s funding for next year, the chairman of the House Armed Services Committee predicted on Thursday. “Without question, it’s going to have to be bigger than we thought,” Rep. Adam Smith, D-Wash., said at an American Enterprise Institute event. “The Russian invasion of Ukraine fundamentally altered what our national security posture and what our defense posture needs to be. It made it more complicated and it made it more expensive. I don’t see much way to argue it.”. Jacqueline Feldscher, Marcus Weisgerber: Russia’s Invasion Will Boost 2023 Defense Budget, Top Democrat Says

Nextgov

New legislation introduced into Congress on Tuesday would allocate federal grants to state governments to provide a stronger cybersecurity curriculum to younger generations. Introduced by Congressman Andrew R. Garbarino, R-N.Y., the Cybersecurity Grants For Schools Act of 2022 would require the director of the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency to distribute federal funding to state and local schools, as well as financial aid to nonprofits, to better educate people about the cybersecurity landscape. The bill passed the House Committee on Homeland Security Wednesday.  Alexandra Kelley: Schools Would Receive Funding for Cyber Education Programs Under Bipartisan Bill

The federal IT dashboard, a one-stop site for federal technology spending and project information, is offline for updates and is expected relaunch in mid-March, according to a spokesperson for the General Services Administration. Adam Mazmanian: Modernized IT Dashboard Set to Launch mid-March

USA – AFGHANISTAN – CHINA

Global Times 

After the US decided to divert $7 billion in frozen Afghan assets, China called on it to immediately return the assets to Afghans in full. As of press time Friday, over 410,000 Chinese netizens have signed the joint letter by the Global Times (GT) urging the US to return assets in full to Afghans immediately and unconditionally. China urges US to return assets to Afghans in full; over 410,000 Chinese netizens sign GT’s joint letter

USA – CHINA

Defense News

The U.S. Navy sees the 2020s as presenting the “peak risk” for China making a move against Taiwan, driving the service’s effort to prioritize readiness over fleet size, the vice chief of naval operations told lawmakers Thursday. Adm. William Lescher told the House Armed Services Committee China clearly remains the pacing threat for the U.S. military. Megan Eckstein: Navy says China fight is most likely in 2020s, sharpening its focus on readiness

USA – RUSSIA

Defense News

The secretary of the U.S. Air Force said Thursday he’s not concerned about Russia’s decision to cut off the United States’ access to more RD-180 rocket engines. “I have not been informed at this point of any major launch concerns associated with that,” Frank Kendall told reporters during a media roundtable at the Air Force Association’s Air Warfare Symposium. Courtney Albon: US Air Force not concerned about Russia’s decision to halt rocket engine sales, support