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From global think tanks – July 11, 2022

with The Science of Where Magazine

AROUND THE WORLD

Australia – Japan

  • July 11, 2022. By , The Strategist. Before Shinzo Abe, Australia’s vital economic relationship with Japan had only small, slowly evolving defence, strategic and intelligence dimensions. By the time he finished as Japan’s longest-serving prime minister, Australia and Japan were quasi-allies. Abe changed Japan’s meaning for Australia
  • July 11, 2022. By David Walton, Daisuke Akimoto, The Interpreter. The assassination of former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has sent shockwaves around the world. Abe’s term as prime minister ended in August 2020, but he remained leader of the largest faction in the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) and a “king maker” within the party. Given the outpouring of grief within Japan, it is not surprising that the LDP was the recipient of a sympathy vote and an election victory in the Upper House vote held on Sunday 10 July. Abe Shinzo: Australia’s “best friend” in Asia

China

  • July 11, 2022. By Samyak Rai Leekha, ORF. The PRC’s recent tech crackdown destroyed capital, business, and industries. Since then, PRC tech companies have been coopted to advance PRC objectives abroad. Recently, PRC regulators announced conciliatory measures. This article analyses the end of the crackdown in light of the strategic role of technology services in the new generation of warfare. Reconciliatory dragon: Easing tech crackdown for strategic reasons
  • July 9, 2022. By Qingjiang Kong, Weihuan Zhou, East Asia Forum. China’s zero-COVID-19 policy has had profound impacts on global supply chains due to the large-scale lockdown of major cities that would have been unimaginable before the pandemic. COVID-19-related restrictions have caused a severe decline in China’s manufacturing capacity, logistics and human mobility, as well as business and consumer confidence. Supply chains catch a breath as China lifts zero-COVID

China – European Security System

  • July 11, 2022. By Valdai Discussion Club. China should understand that Washington’s ultimate goal is to systemically curb Beijing’s very ability to exercise its sovereignty as it sees fit. The pressure on China will be constant, writes Valdai Club expert Ivan Zuenko. China and the Crisis of the European Security System

Cuba 

  • July 11, 2022. By HRW. The Cuban government committed systematic human rights violations in response to massive anti-government protests in July 2021 with the apparent goal of punishing protesters and deterring future demonstrations, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today, the anniversary of the protests. Cuba: Crackdown on Protests Creates Rights Crisis

France – Pacific

  • July 11, 2022. By Denghua Zhang, Eric Frécon, The Interpreter. In recent years, France has stepped up its Pacific engagement. In October 2020, it appointed Christophe Penot as its first ambassador for the Indo-Pacific. It released an updated version of the Indo-Pacific Strategy in February 2022, pledging to strengthen relations with Pacific islands. In the same month, a ministerial forum for cooperation in the Indo-Pacific was hosted by France during its presidency of the European Union Council. The China factor in France’s growing engagement in the “peaceful sea”

India

  • July 11, 2022. By Sajusha Ashol, ORF. Medical procedures are often viewed purely as physiological issues. It would be naïve to do so, given how inextricably linked they are to policy, gender, class, and other social markers. Hysterectomies—the partial or complete surgical removal of one’s uterus (sometimes one’s cervix and surrounding tissues)—are no exception. After the Caesarean section, hysterectomy is the most commonly performed surgery amongst women globally. Several countries that used to have high record of hysterectomy surgeries are reporting a decline, however, cases in India are on the rise. This warrants an analysis of the prevalence, causes, and consequences of the procedure in the country. Hysterectomies in India: Prevalence, problems, and policies
  • July 11, 2022. By Aditya Bhan, ORF. The United Nations Population Fund describes demographic dividend as the potential for substantial national economic payoff in a period in which the working-age population is healthy, educated, and gainfully employed, with a low proportion of young dependents. India is said to have entered into 37 years, lasting from 2018 to 2055, due to a declining dependency ratio. Encashing India’s demographic dividend
  • July 11, 2022, By Yamini Jindal, ORF. Recent years have highlighted the global headwinds against China’s increasingly aggressive moves in the Indo-Pacific region. Vulnerabilities associated with an overdependence on the country for several critical goods, including electronics, have exacerbated prevailing anti-China sentiments. This has provided the impetus for diversifying electronics supply chains, an opportunity India is well positioned to leverage. This brief assesses India’s existing policy framework, which can enable its integration into electronics global value chains. Policy Imperatives for India’s Integration into Electronics GVCs

Iran

  • July 11, 2022. By Michael Segall, JCPA. After changes in the top leadership of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC)’s Intelligence Organization, the regime is stepping up its repression of its critics. Three prominent critics of Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei have been arrested, including a well-known politician and two prominent Iranian filmmakers, and more arrests are expected. The detainees are charged with harming national security. Regime opponents in Iran construed a statement in Khamenei’s speech for the annual day in honor of the legal system – ”The God of the 1980s is still the same God” – as a green light for the legal system and other institutions to crack down harder on the opposition. In Iran: A Wave of Arrests of the Regime’s Sharpest Critics

Israel – Hezbollah

  • July 11, 2022. By Udi Dekel, INSS. Israel is deterred, and as long as it does not respond to Hezbollah’s launch of UAVS at the drilling rig in the Karish gas field, Nasrallah, backed by Iran, will continue to test the limits of Israel’s restraint. Sometimes it is necessary to play different, surprising cards in order to return to previous rules of the game. Therefore, Israel should respond in the air campaign and attack the Hezbollah-operated air defense systems in Lebanon, even at the risk of escalation, which at the present time is likely to be limited. Hezbollah Challenges Israel: Time to Rethink the Policy of Restraint

Israel – Syria

Japan

  • July 11, 2022. By Rajaram Panda, ORF. The morning on 8 July began with the devastating news that the former Prime Minister of Japan Abe Shinzo, a true friend of India with whom the author had a chance to briefly interact at the India International Centre as a member in August 2007 when he visited India during his first term as Prime Minister and for who was greatly admired, was shot while delivering a speech ahead of the Upper House elections on 10 July. He was shot twice from behind and collapsed on the ground immediately. Abe was speaking near Yamato-Saidaiji Station at a rally in preparation of the elections. Though the initial reports said that Abe was in a state of cardiopulmonary arrest, it soon transpired that he had succumbed to the gunshot wounds at the Nara Medical University Hospital, where he was rushed to after the incident. Shinzo Abe: Tragic Departure of a Colossus – Part I
  • July 11, 2022, By Harsh V. Pant, Shashank Mattoo, ORF. Japan before Shinzo Abe seemed like a country adrift. Its economy, hamstrung by years of low growth and an aging population, was feared to be in terminal decline. China’s meteoric rise threatened its security and its once unquestioned status as a first-rank power in Asia. When the Fukushima nuclear disaster took place in 2011, the Japanese government —once respected and renowned for its competence — conspicuously failed to step up to the challenge. Abe leaves behind a formidable legacy
  • July 11, 2022. By , The Strategist. As Japan went to the polls for the half upper house election on 10 July, the shadow of former prime minister Shinzo Abe’s murder loomed over the result. His shocking death on Friday may have contributed to the higher voter turnout of 52% (compared to 48% last time), and exit polls will reveal the extent to which a sympathy vote mobilised voters. Will Abe’s security policy legacy endure without him?

NATO – Indo Pacific

  • July 11, 2022. By , The Strategist. The central balance of international power this century will be set in the Indo-Pacific. So ends a 500-year stretch of history when the central balance was made in Europe and decided by the West. The United States played the decisive role in the last century as an Atlantic power; this century it’ll be as a Pacific power. NATO recognises global power shift to the Indo-Pacific

Russia – Ukraine

  • July 11, 2022. Rakesh Sood, ORF. The war in Ukraine has been underway for over four months. What began as a European conflict has had global repercussions. Of course, Ukraine and its people have borne the maximum brunt. More than five million Ukrainians have left the country and over eight million are internally displaced. Rising casualties and large-scale destruction have set back the country by decades. Recent estimates for rebuilding the destroyed cities and infrastructure are as high as $750 billion. Ending the Ukraine war in an imperfect world
  • July 11, 2022. By Crisis Group. In a special Hold Your Fire! episode to mark the end of Season Two, Richard Atwood speaks first to Olga Oliker, Crisis Group’s Europe and Central Asia director, for an update on the war in Ukraine, and then to Comfort Ero, its president and CEO, to reflect back on a rocky six months. Olga talks about the latest from the front lines in eastern and southern Ukraine. She and Richard discuss what is happening in Russian-occupied territories, whether Moscow’s goals in Ukraine have evolved, and potential scenarios for the months ahead. They look at the impact of Western sanctions on Russia and prospects for getting Ukrainian grain out of Black Sea ports. They also zoom out, and reflect on European security and relations with Russia more broadly. Season Finale: Ukraine and an Unsettling Few Months in Global Politics

Sri Lanka

  • July 11, 2022. By Sreeradha Datta, VIF. Last Saturday morning (9 July 2022) Sri Lanka faced a level of mayhem on the roads of not only Colombo but all of its major cities as that was most unprecedented but not truly unexpected. For a country that has struggled through ethnic stride, the social and political outbursts were first of its kind the nation witnessed. Over 100,000 Sri Lankans stormed the Presidential Palace of Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa while another set of protestors set Prime Minister Wickremasinghe’s private house on fire. The violence and outburst forced the President to declare he would step down on 13 July 2022, while Prime Minister Wickremasinghe also promised to step down making way for an all-party government to be formed. For now, the Speaker will take over as the President for the next 30 days when Parliament will vote for a new leader. Sri Lankan Leaders: Forcing the Hands of its Citizens

TOPICS

Cybersecurity

  • July 11, 2022. By , Info Security. French energy giant EDF has been placed under ‘enhanced attention’ by the UK’s Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR) after identifying shortfalls in its cybersecurity plans, according to reports this weekend.  EDF Under Scrutiny Over Cybersecurity Record
  • July 11, 2022. By , Info Security. A new study from Juniper Research suggests that total losses to online payment fraud will exceed $343bn globally over the next five years, driven largely by fraudster innovation in areas such as account takeover fraud and identity theft. This is despite widespread use of identity verification measures.  Online Payment Fraud to Top $343bn Over Next Five Years
  • July 11, 2022. By , Info Security. A recent advisory issued by combined international cybersecurity agencies Five Eyes warned that cyber-attacks against managed service providers (MSP) are increasing. With this trend expected to continue, MSPs need to take strategic action to reduce their risk of falling victim to a cyber intrusion. After all, since MSPs have privileged access to customers’ networks, successful attacks give hackers the green light to hit thousands of customers with ransomware in one blow.  HowTo: Level Up MSPs’ Cybersecurity
  • July 11, 2022. By , Info Security. French telecoms operator La Poste Mobile has alerted customers that their data may have been compromised in a ransomware attack that targeted the company’s administrative and management systems on July 4.  Ransomware Attack Hits French Telecoms Firm
  • July 11, 2022. By  Adam Mazmanian, Nextgov. A key lawmaker on the House Homeland Security Committee wants more details on what was breached and what was lost when the SolarWinds Orion platform was compromised in a supply chain attack. House Bill Tasks CISA With SolarWinds Report

Defense, Military, Space

Energy

  • July 11, 2022. By World Nuclear News. Two applications have been submitted to Poland’s National Atomic Energy Agency (Państwowa Agencja Atomistyki, PAA) for the assessment of small modular reactor (SMR) technology. Copper and silver producer KGHM Polska Miedź SA’s application is based on NuScale’s VOYGR SMR power plant, while Orlen Synthos Green Energy’s application concerns GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy’s BWRX-300. Applications for SMRs submitted to Polish regulator : New Nuclear
  • July 11, 2022. By World Nuclear News. The International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER) project says that the impact of COVID-19 means that its current schedule, of first plasma in 2025 and the start of deuterium-tritium operation in 2035, will need to be delayed, with the new timetable to be finalised and announced after the appointment of a new director general. ITER fusion project preparing to outline revised timetable : New Nuclear

Global

  • July 11, 2022. By Renita D’Souza, ORF. Climate change is no longer a distant threat. The urgency of tackling it has become even more palpable as the disruption to life and the economy caused by it is expected to worsen in the future. An accurate assessment of the primary factors that are responsible for and drive this phenomenon will guide the formulation of both global and national climate policies. As the window for bending the temperature curve to 1.5 degrees Celsius is fast closing, the world needs to get its strategy for climate change mitigation right. This is incumbent on the Green House Gas (GHG) emissions peaking by 2025 and being halved by 2030 and reaching net zero by 2050. Population drives climate change: A myth or reality?
  • July 11, 2022. By Nilanjan Ghosh, ORF. There is no harm in reiterating that modern civilisation has witnessed exponential population growth: Today’s world population today is 1,860 times what it was around 12,000 years ago—roughly around 4 million which is tantamount to less than half of the population of London, one-fifth the population of Beijing, and almost one-eighth the population of Delhi. This sudden spurt in population growth from 1850 onwards has brought about various developmental challenges that can largely be theorised through the Malthusian creed that predicted the failure of food and natural resource systems to keep pace with the growth of the population. The Malthusian creed, however, has been challenged from various corners. The World Population Day 2022: A new development paradigm for a resilient future
  • July 11, 2022. By Shoba Suri, ORF. “The war in Ukraine has added to the disruptions caused by climate change, the coronavirus pandemic, and inequality to produce an “unprecedented global hunger crisis” already affecting hundreds of millions of people,” says UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres. Global Food Crisis:  A looming catastrophe
  • July 11, 2022. By Manoj Joshi, ORF. In March 2021, amid the COVID-19 crisis—well before the Ukrainian crisis—the United States (US) National Intelligence Council issued its decadal Global Trends report that looks at the world 20 years ahead. The Global Trends 2040 report represented a world already shaken in 2020 by the sudden onset of the COVID-19 pandemic and the peaking of the first phase of the strategic competition between China and the US. Given its style, the Global Trends report was balanced and thoughtful. Yet, it was difficult to read it without casting a sense of gloom, given the shocking impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Today, however, with the Ukraine war raging, that sense of gloom has deepened to alarm. The Ukraine war: A longer dystopian looms large
  • July 11, 2022. By East Asia Forum. Global uncertainties have given birth to pronouncements that range from nonsense to seriously dangerous such as that the WTO is dead and that globalisation has run its full course. The WTO is not dead, and neither is globalisation. Geneva keeps global governance alive with trade breakthrough
  • July 10, 2022. By Bernard Hoekman, East Asia Forum. After two COVID-19-related postponements, the World Trade Organisation (WTO) 12th ministerial conference (MC12) was held in Geneva from 12–17 June 2022. Expectations for a successful meeting were low given the Russian war with Ukraine, US–China geopolitical tensions and deep disagreements among WTO members that range from agricultural support policies to the US decision to block the operation of the Appellate Body in 2019. Green shoots for multilateral trade cooperation?
  • July 10, 2022. By Ken Heydon, East Asia Forum. World Trade Organisation (WTO) Director-General Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala says the measures agreed upon at the 12th WTO ministerial conference (MC12) on 12 June ‘will make a difference to the lives of people around the world’. She may be right on some specifics, but turning the MC12 into a game-changer for the trading order will require a level of political resolve from G20 leaders that so far is still lacking. G20 follow up needed to consolidate progress at WTO ministerial conference

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