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From global think tanks – July 13, 2022

With The Science of Where Magazine



Australia – China

  • July 12, 2022.  Xunpeng Shi, Qinhua Xu, Zha Daojiong, East Asia Forum. Despite the Labor Party’s recent federal election victory, challenges in the Australia–China relationship continue. Few, if any, of the political disputes that led to the diplomatic impasse show any signs of abating. Still, a change in government presents an opportunity to recalibrate the Australia–China relationship. But an ice-breaker is needed. A proactive offer from Australia to engage China on climate cooperation ought to be meaningful. Australia–China climate cooperation can thaw the diplomatic ice

Australia – Indo Pacific

  • July 13, 2022. James Chin, The Interpreter. Australian Foreign Minister Penny Wong has travelled non-stop, more or less, since her appointment on 23 May, having flown off to Tokyo for the Quad leaders’ summit one day after she was sworn in. Wong is clearly trying to “reset” ties with countries in the neighbourhood, i.e. the Indo-Pacific region. Wong’s own brand of diplomacy: will it work ?


  • July 12, 2022. Grigory Ioffe, The Jamestown Foundation. In-person polling in Belarus by opposition-minded sociologists has been considered taboo for quite some time. At the beginning of July 2022, the results of two national surveys, both using indirect polling techniques, were publicized: an online survey conducted in June 2022 by Ryhor Astapenia of Chatham House (, July 7) and a mid-May 2022 telephone survey conducted by Andrei Vardomatsky of the Belarusian Analytical Workroom (YouTube, July 6). Who Should Speak on Behalf of Belarusians?

France – Syria

  • July 13, 2022. Bénédicte Jeannerod, HRW. France’s repatriation of 35 French children and 16 women held in northeast Syria is welcome news. For these returnees, it means an end to hellish detention in camps for families of Islamic State (ISIS) suspects. But about 160 French children and 75 women are still arbitrarily held in the region in life-threatening, squalid conditions. About 60 French men suspected of ISIS links are detained in overcrowded prisons. France Repatriates 51 Women and Children from Camps in Syria


  • July 13, 2022. Ryosuke Hanada, The Interpreter. The ruling Liberal Democratic Party was victorious in Japan’s Upper House election held on Sunday, but it was the killing of former prime minister Abe Shinzo during a campaign speech two days before that will shape the immediate future for the country. Prime Minister Fumio Kishida described Abe’s shooting as “a cowardly and barbaric act”, and indeed, the cost is not only to Japan’s democracy but the Indo-Pacific region. Abe’s drive to “bring back Japan”


  • July 13, 2022. , The Strategist. When Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan’s government fell in a vote of no confidence in April, his detractors in the power elite claimed that the change of government would lead to improved ties with the world and an easing of the country’s economic crisis. Pakistan’s foreign policy reset hits a dead end


  • July 13, 2022. HRW. Poland’s Justice Ministry should drop all charges against the abortion rights activist Justyna Wydrzyńska and stop targeting reproductive rights defenders, Human Rights Watch said today. Wydrzyńska is accused of helping a woman in an abusive relationship access pills for a self-managed medication abortion in 2020. She is being prosecuted for assisting someone to have an abortion and illegally “marketing” medication without authorization. Poland: End Prosecution of Abortion Activist


  • July 12, 2022. Sergey Sukhankin, The Jamestown Foundation. While Western economic sanctions are aggravating Russia`s business climate and leading toward its largest economic crisis since 1991, Russia is hoping to cope with the impending crisis by replacing vestiges of its market economy with command-style administrative regulations and a planned economy (, July 3). While rumors about the inevitability of economic mobilization started to circulate in late spring, the first solid step in this direction was made in early July 2022, when a corresponding proposal was supported by both the chambers of the Russian Duma (Russia’s parliament) and the Federation Council (, May 22;, accessed July 12). Now, Russian President Vladimir Putin has to sign the decree (which is set to be drawn up shortly) to convert it into law. Russia Pushes for Economic Mobilization Amid War and Sanctions
  • July 12, 2022. Paul Globe, The Jamestown Foundation. Given how centralized the Soviet Union was and President Vladimir Putin’s Russia is today, the role regions within the Russian Federation have played in promoting Kremlin policies in neighboring countries is often overlooked. But in Soviet times, Moscow regularly employed regions and republics along the USSR’s Western border as agents to integrate Soviet bloc countries; similarly, it used better-off regions within the country to promote growth in less well-off areas. Now, Putin has assigned Russian regions in general and those bordering Ukraine and Belarus in particular an equally important role in providing assistance to parts of both countries: rebuilding Ukraine after the widespread destruction of the war and promoting region-to-region contact in support of Putin’s drive toward a possible union state with the two countries. Kremlin Faces Problems Having Russian Regions Integrate Ukraine and Belarus

Russia – Ukraine

  • July 12, 2022. Kateryna Stepanenko, Grace Mappes, George Barros, Layne Philipson, and Frederick W. Kagan, ISW. Russian forces remain in a theater-wide operational pause in Ukraine. Russian forces continue to regroup, rest, refit, and reconstitute; bombard critical areas to set conditions for future ground offensives; and conduct limited probing attacks. The Russian Ministry of Defense did not claim any new territorial control on July 12. ISW has previously noted that an operational pause does not mean a cessation of attacks. Current Russian offensive actions are likely meant to prepare for future offensives, the timing of which remains unclear. Russian Offensive Campaign Assessment, July 12


  • July 13, 2022.  Poh Lin Tan, East Asia Forum. In early 2023, Singaporean women aged 21–35 will be given the option to freeze their eggs under the Healthcare Services Act. These frozen eggs can be later used for in-vitro fertilisation (IVF) for married women, but questions remain as to whether this new policy will solve Singapore’s demographic problems. Can egg freezing crack Singapore’s demographic decline?

Sri Lanka


  • July 12, 2022. Kyle Danish, Joseph Majkut, CSIS. On June 30, the Supreme Court issued a decision in the case West Virginia v. EPA. The case had been brought to challenge the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) planned Clean Power Plan. At issue was the scope of EPA’s authority to regulate power plants. The decision carries implications for the broader federal approach to reducing greenhouse gas emissions. U.S. Supreme Court Constrains EPA’s Climate Authorities

USA – Mexico – Canada

  • July 12, 2022.  Jacob M. Kaufhold, Atlantic Council. The July 12 meeting between US President Joe Biden and Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador (better known as AMLO) provides an opportunity for the US-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA)—its progress, shortcomings, and future—to move to the top of the two countries’ shared agenda. AMLO’s US visit can get the USMCA back on track

USA – Middle East

  • July 12, 2022. Arie Egozi, Breaking Defense. As much as Washington has wanted to put the Middle East to the side in recent years, geopolitics always seem to bring things back to the region. With US warning about Iranian-Russian drone sales, Ukraine conflict comes to the Middle East
  • July 12, 2022. Josh Kirshner, Ian Byrne, Defense One. President Joe Biden can demonstrate that “America is back” in the Middle East when he arrives for the first time as president, but only if he brings the right message to achieve his important objectives. How Biden Can Win His Middle East Trip
  • July 12, 2022. CSIS. This week on Babel, Jon speaks with Gregory Gause, professor of international affairs at Texas A&M University and a longstanding expert on Saudi Arabia. They talk about President Biden’s upcoming trip to Saudi Arabia and what both sides hope to get out of the meeting, why Gause thinks that the United States should focus on order in the Middle East, and how the energy transition will impact U.S. engagement with the region. Then, Jon continues the conversation with Natasha Hall and Danny Sharp to break down how President Biden and U.S. officials are thinking about the president’s trip. Gregory Gause: President Biden’s Trip to Saudi Arabia
  • July 12, 2022. Natan Sachs, Brookings. President Biden’s first trip to the Middle East has received criticism, especially for its presenting an apparent about-face regarding Saudi Arabia. Not long ago, Biden himself called the kingdom a “pariah.” How can the president now attend a major conference hosted by Saudi Arabia’s King Salman and his son, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman? Still, Saudi Arabia is unlikely to make major shifts in its human rights policies or make a dent in global oil prices. Is the United States simply reverting to its old ways of backing oppressive regimes in the hope that this might advance its interests? Can Biden pivot to normalcy in the Middle East?
  • July 12, 2022. Shibley Telhami, Brookings. President Biden is gearing up for a high-profile mid-July trip to Israel, the West Bank, and Saudi Arabia — a trip that has generated debate about its purpose, wisdom, and utility. The president called Saudi Arabia a “pariah” state after the 2018 killing of Washington Post contributing journalist Jamal Khashoggi — and now risks angering many Americans by going there. It’s risky for Biden to go to the Middle East
  • July 12, 2022. Jonathan Panikoff, Atlantic Council. When he arrives in Riyadh this week, US President Joe Biden is poised to finally end the purgatory in which the US-Saudi relationship has languished since his inauguration. To many Americans, meaningful engagement with the Saudi government remains anathema given Saudi Arabia’s heavy-handed prosecution of the war in Yemen and the brutal murder of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi, both of which generated rare bipartisan condemnation. These events are stark reminders that whatever social progress Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS) has brought to his kingdom, the trademark characteristics of Saudi autocracy remain prominent. How to rescue and rebuild the US-Saudi relationship
  • July 12, 2022. Daniel B. Shapiro, Atlantic Council. Regional integration. It’s one of the overarching themes of US President Joe Biden’s trip to Israel and Saudi Arabia this week—and might sound out of place in the famously volatile and conflict-prone Middle East. But it shouldn’t: While previous US presidential trips have focused on resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, managing the Iran nuclear program, promoting democracy, or visiting troops in active conflict zones, something new is brewing in the Middle East.  Biden’s big chance to build a new coalition in the Middle East

USA – Syria




  • July 12, 2022. , Info Security. Cyber insurance companies are looking for new ways to assess risk as they grow increasingly wary of rising claims, said a report from cybersecurity company Panaseer released this week. Cyber Insurers Looking for New Risk Assessment Models
  • July 12, 2022. , Info Security. US government contractor Aerojet Rocketdyne has paid a $9m settlement after allegations that it misrepresented its compliance with US government security requirements. Aerojet Rocketdyne Pays $9m Settlement Over Whistleblower Allegations
  • July 12, 2022. , Info Security. Ransomware attacks on educational institutions have risen substantially in the last year, according to security company Sophos. The company’s State of Ransomware in Education 2022 report found that 56% of lower education respondents had been hit by ransomware in the past year, along with 64% of higher education institutions. That makes an average of 60% across the education sector overall, up from 44% in the previous year. Ransomware Attacks on Education on the Rise
  • July 12, 2022. Atlantic Council. As the US energy sector’s reliance on digitalization grows, its vulnerability to cyberattacks also increases. To better understand current and future threats, the Atlantic Council Global Energy Center convened the Atlantic Council Task Force on Cybersecurity and the Energy Transition to develop a cybersecurity framework designed to protect US energy infrastructure—and by extension, national security—against cyberattacks.  Securing the energy transition against cyber threats

Defense, Military, Space

Digital & Tech


  • July 12, 2022. World Nuclear News. South Korea’s new President Yoon Suk-yeol has encouraged a speedy restoration of the country’s “nuclear power plant ecosystem” – after Minister of Trade, Industry and Energy Lee Chang-yang set out plans, including the aim for work on the Shin Hanul 3 and 4 reactors to resume as early as 2024. South Korea aims to resume reactor construction by 2024 : Nuclear Policies