AROUND THE WORLD
Africa – Ukraine
- July 15, 2022. Valdai Discussion Club. Attitudes towards US military policy among Africans reveals the unsustainability of this approach to international affairs. These peoples know that the reckless approach by Washington and Wall Street will have a negative social impact on billions around the globe, writes Abayomi Azikiwe, Editor and Publisher of the Pan-African News Wire. Reactions in Africa to the Ukrainian Crisis
- July 14, 2022. Orkhan Baghirov, The Jamestown Foundation. In the first four months of 2022, Azerbaijan’s revenues from gas exports increased about 3.7 times and reached $4.18 billion (Marja, May 19). Revenues from oil exports, on the other hand, increased 50.3 percent in the same period. As a result, the positive balance of payments increased about 4.8 times and reached $1.57 billion in the first quarter of 2022 compared to the same period in 2021 (Marja, June 10). The Economic Implications of the Ukraine War on Azerbaijan
- July 12, 2022. Zsolt Darvas, Bruegel. Achieving the European Union’s climate goals and decoupling from Russian energy will require a massive increase in green public spending, which will be difficult when EU fiscal rules requiring fiscal consolidation are reinstated. Legal options for a green golden rule in the European Union’s fiscal framework
France – UAE
- July 15, 2022. Elvire Fondacci, HRW. French President Emmanuel Macron is preparing to welcome the President of the United Arab Emirates, Crown Prince Mohamed bin Zayed al Nahyan, to Paris July 18. That welcome should not include giving the crown prince a pass on the UAE’s atrocious human rights record. France’s Energy Plans Should Not Include Ignoring UAE Abuses
- July 15, 2022. Made Anthony Iswara, Fauzan Kemal Musthofa and Fitri Ayunisa, East Asia Forum. What’s cooking in 2022? In Indonesia, not oil. The world’s largest palm oil producer is currently experiencing a cooking oil shortage. When cooking oil prices skyrocketed in late 2021, officials and experts blamed rising global vegetable oil prices and hoarders for spiking the price, leading to the imposition of a month-long export ban. Indonesia’s farmers need protection from plummeting palm oil prices
Iran – Turkmenistan
- July 14, 2022. John C. K. Daly, The Jamestown Foundation. Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi met with the new leader of neighboring Turkmenistan, President Serdar Berdymukhammedov, for the first time on June 15, at the 6th summit of the Caspian Sea littoral states, in Ashgabat. As a consequence of their talks, the pair agreed to sign a cooperation agreement for the next 20 years. Even more significant, Iran stated its willingness to resume importing Turkmenistani natural gas via the long-dormant Korpeje–Kurtkui pipeline after paying off its outstanding $1.8 billion debt for previous deliveries dating back to 2016 (Nezavisimaya gazeta, June 15). Iran to Clear $1.8 Billion Gas Debt to Turkmenistan, Reopen Korpeje–Kurtkui Pipeline
NATO – Russia
- July 13, 2022. Andris Banka, RUSI. While neither side has officially withdrawn from the NATO-Russia Founding Act, in practical terms they are no longer constrained by it. NATO and the Schrödinger’s Cat
- July 15, 2022. Syed Fazl-e-Haider, The Interpreter. Pakistan is showing similar symptoms to those of Sri Lanka if economic and political challenges the country faces are seen in perspective. Is Pakistan heeding the warning signs from Sri Lanka?
Russia – Ukraine
- July 14, 2022. Kateryna Stepanenko, Layne Philipson, George Barros, and Frederick W. Kagan, ISW. Russia’s operational pause largely continued, with limited Russian ground assaults along the Slovyansk-Siversk-Bakhmut salient.Russian forces continued heavy shelling, missile attacks, and airstrikes all along the front line. The Russians will likely launch a larger-scale and more determined offensive along the Slovyansk-Siversk-Bakhmut line soon, but there are no indications yet of how soon that attack will begin or exactly where it will focus. Russian Offensive Campaign Assessment, July 14
- July 14, 2022. Paul Globe, The Jamestown Foundation. Faced with mounting combat losses in Ukraine and Russian President Vladimir Putin’s threat to expand the size of Russian forces there, the absence of a general mobilization plan undermines the Kremlin leader’s claims and could trigger more domestic opposition (Meduza, May 5). As such, Moscow is now turning to the regions and republics to procure more volunteers for the Russian army and to form regionally based battalions similar to what Ramzan Kadyrov has done in Chechnya. The center is devoting enormous resources to both now that the spring draft is ending, but problems persist with each approach. The recruitment effort outside Moscow and other major cities has not attracted as many as the center appears to have hoped, forcing Moscow to offer ever more generous pay packages and to extend the age range of those who can sign up. Furthermore, the new push for regions and republics to form their own military units, while popular in some quarters, is sparking concerns that such units could allow some federal subjects to become more independent in their actions as Chechnya has, or even lead to the transformation of a foreign war into a civil one. Moscow Turns to Regions to Replace Losses and Boost Forces in Ukraine
- July 14, 2022. John Kampfner, Chatham House. Under Boris Johnson, the UK liked to see itself as a country willing to ruffle feathers to get things done, and his foreign secretary Liz Truss extolled a more nimble ‘Global Britain’ by declaring in her Mansion House speech that the UK is prepared to ‘do things differently, to think differently and to work differently’. Will the next UK prime minister disrupt or cooperate?
- July 14, 2022. Russell Wheeler, Brookings. For much of U.S. history, frequent Supreme Court appointments by popularly elected presidents meant that Court decisions rarely countered, at least for very long, what one scholar referred to as “policy views dominant among the lawmaking majorities of the United States.” But justices’ lengthening tenure and aberrations in the appointment process have upset that analysis: two Clinton, Bush and Obama appointees, each in eight year presidencies, for example, then three Trump appointees in his four years in office. The abortion decision—“concern about the public’s reaction” and what difference Clinton’s election might have made
- July 14, 2022. Dany Bahar and Pedro Casas-Alatriste, Brookings. The recent tragedy of the death of over 50 migrants in an abandoned overheated truck in Texas forces us to reevaluate whether there is a better way for the United States—and there must be—to deal with the immigrants trying to reach the country. Who are the 1 million missing workers that could solve America’s labor shortages?
USA – Iran
- July 14, 2022. Emma Belcher, Tom Z. Collina, Defense One. Seven years ago this week, the Iran nuclear deal was agreed to by the United States, its allies, and Iran as a peaceful way to prevent Tehran from producing a nuclear weapon and to provide much needed sanctions relief for the Iranian people. The deal worked well until former President Trump, for purely domestic political reasons, recklessly abandoned it. Now Iran is on the brink of becoming a nuclear state. Drifting Toward Disaster As Iran Nuke Talks Stall
USA – Pacific
- July 14, 2022. Anna Powles and Joanne Wallis, The Strategist. On 13 July, US Vice President Kamala Harris addressed the 51st Pacific Islands Forum leaders’ meeting by video link. Harris’s speech was unexpected and unprecedented, since the US is a forum dialogue partner rather than a member. Pacific leaders had opted this year not to hold the traditional post-forum partners’ dialogue, at which partner states (including the US and China) meet with forum leaders after their leaders’ meeting. Pacific leaders wanted to ensure that there was ‘space’ to resolve issues and determine priorities without having to manage the demands and expectations of external partners. The US in the Pacific: delivering on commitments or déjà vu?
USA – Saudi Arabia
- July 14, 2022. Jacqueline Feldscher, Defense One. President Joe Biden on Thursday defended his upcoming controversial trip to Saudi Arabia as a broader effort to promote American security interests in the Middle East, deflecting criticism that his visit rewards the Saudi regime, diminishes efforts to advance human rights, and ignores the Saudi leader’s role in the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi. Biden Defends Saudi Trip To ‘Reassert’ US Influence Amid Human Rights Criticism
- July 14, 2022. Samantha Gross, Brookings. U.S. President Joe Biden will go to Saudi Arabia later this week to meet with leaders from the Gulf region. He has articulated his goals for the trip and my colleagues have written several enlightening pieces on its purpose and likely geopolitical outcomes (see here, here, here, and here). Biden’s trip to Saudi Arabia is unlikely to lower oil prices
- July 14, 2022. Elena Ianchovichina, Remi Jedwab, and Federico Haslop, Brookings. Although urbanization began many millennia ago, for most of human history cities were home to the few. At the beginning of the first industrial revolution in 1765, less than 10 percent of the population lived in urban areas and economic growth largely depended on the productivity of the rural workforce. Since then, urbanization has expanded at a steady and path-breaking rate in all regions, fueled by growing demand for urban workers and technological breakthroughs such as the construction of tall buildings. Are cities engines of production or consumption, and does it matter?
- July 14, 2022. Brookings. Achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) requires investments and policies that affect specific places, and there is increasing realization that overall global progress will depend in significant measure upon local leadership and action. In recognition of this, Brookings launched the SDG Leadership Cities Network in 2019 to highlight and support the impressive work of vanguard cities around the world in local implementation of the U.N. 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. SDG Leadership Cities Network and Toolkit
- July 15, 2022. Stephen Pritchard, Info Security. Falling cryptocurrency prices are putting pressure on crypto exchanges on the dark web and causing a “bank run,” security researchers have found. This is making it harder for threat actors to “monetize” their attacks, buy vulnerabilities or fund malware-as-a-service operations. Falling Cryptocurrency Market Stalling Cybercrime Activity
- July 15, 2022. Stephen Pritchard, Info Security. Enterprises are failing to plan properly for supply chain risks and cybersecurity threats from the wider digital ecosystem, a leading technology consultancy has warned. Firms Not Planning for Supply Chain Threats
- July 15, 2022. Stephen Pritchard, Info Security. Financial firms are failing to strengthen their authentication technologies, even after a breach, according to research into the industry. Financial Firms Failing to Fix Authentication Breaches
- July 14, 2022. Danny Bradbury, Info Security.
- July 14, 2022. Danny Bradbury, Info Security. The BlackCat ransomware group has deployed a new binary to help with its intrusion efforts, according to security company Sophos. The company has discovered it is using Brute Ratel, a penetration testing suite that includes remote access features for attackers. BlackCat Ransomware Group Deploys Brute Ratel Pen Testing Kit
- July 14, 2022. Stephen Pritchard, Info Security. The number of people falling victim to data breaches has fallen back from last year’s record high, according to the Identity Theft Resource Center (ITRC), a US-based non-profit that provides identity crime advice. Fewer Fall Victim to Data Breaches as Attackers Switch to Business in 2022
Defense, Military, Security, Space
- July 13, 2022. Thomas Withington, RUSI. The war in Ukraine shows that Russian ground-based air defence is capable of inflicting serious losses on an adversary. Defending Mother Russia’s Skies
- July 15, 2022. To Search for Alien Life, Astronomers Will Look for Clues in the Atmospheres of Distant Planets – and the James Webb Space Telescope Just Proved it’s Possible to do so NASA’s newest telescope is giving scientists another tool to study exoplanets.
- July 15, 2022. Jessie BurThe first pictures NASA released from the James Webb Space Telescope demonstrate—in brilliant color—the advancements made in the technology. Webb Proves a Remarkable Technological Successor to Hubble
- July 15, 2022. Naval News. Navantia has successfully carried out the integration of unmanned vehicles aboard a Meteoro-class offshore patrol vessel. This is the first time Navantia integrates unmanned systems aboard a Spanish Navy vessel. Navantia Integrates Unmanned Vehicles on Spanish Navy Vessel
- July 15, 2022. India Launches 4th Nilgiri-class P17A Frigate India’s shipbuilder Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineers Limited (GRSE) today launched the fourth Nilgiri-class (Project 17A) frigate for the Indian Navy, at its shipyard in Kolkata.
- July 15, 2022. Naval News. Sikorsky, a Lockheed Martin Company, delivered the third Low-Rate Initial Production (LRIP) CH-53K helicopter ahead of contract schedule to the U.S. Marine Corps. Sikorsky Delivers 7th CH-53K Helicopter to USMC
- July 15, 2022. Naval News. SEA Naval, the SEA Europe permanent working group representing the interests of European naval shipyards, warmly welcomes the recent coordinated adoption of EU policy documents regarding defence and security, including the Commission contribution to European defence and its related Roadmap on critical technologies for security and defence; the Strategic Compass for Security and Defence ; and the Joint Communication on the Defence Investment Gaps Analysis and Way Forward. SEA Naval Position Paper on EU Defence Policy Initiatives
- July 15, 2022. British Shipyard to Regenerate ex-Royal Navy MCM Vessel for Lithuania British shipyard, Harland & Wolff, has been awarded a £55 million contract to regenerate a former Royal Navy mine-hunting vessel, HMS QUORN.
- July 15, 2022. LIG Nex1 unveils Sea Sword-V USV for ROK Coast Guard LIG Nex1 showcased the new Sea Sword-V Unmanned Surface Vehicle (USV) for the ROK Coast Guard, during Korea Ocean Expo 2022 which was held in Incheon in June.
- July 15, 2022. Jeff Foust, Space News. Virgin Galactic announced July 14 plans to assemble a fleet of suborbital spaceplanes in a new factory in a suburb of Phoenix. Virgin Galactic selects Arizona for spaceplane manufacturing facility
- July 15, 2022. Andrew White, Breaking Defense. Project Mosquito, the Royal Air Force’s future uncrewed combat aircraft technology demonstrator, is dead. But the RAF is already moving forward with plans for what might come next, service officials said this week. The UK killed its Project Mosquito drone program, but a follow-on could come soon
- July 14, 2022. Theresa Hitchens, Breaking Defense. One of the top priorities for the new(ish) Space Force office charged with integrating acquisition programs is figuring out how to achieve the long-aspirational goal of having an “enterprise ground system” that standardizes its multiple ground stations for satellite command, control (C2) and operations, according to its director. Wrangling disparate ground systems is ‘major’ priority for Space Force integration office
- July 14, 2022. Justin Katz, Aaron Mehta, Breaking Defense. Greater coordination between European countries and their defense industries is necessary if they expect to continue supporting Ukraine in its fight against Russia while maintaining their own ammunition stockpiles, Dutch Defense Minister Kajsa Ollongren said today. Stockpile concerns rising in Europe amid efforts to help Ukraine: Dutch DefMin
- July 14, 2022. Theresa Hitchens, Breaking Defense. The Pentagon has taken the first steps toward a future “hybrid space architecture” comprising military and commercial satellites in multiple orbits, moving to design a foundational cyber-protected network integration capability — i.e., a hack-proof (or close to it anyway) “internet in space,” officials say. Into the ‘outernet’: Secure ‘internet in space’ key to future Space Force hybrid architecture
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- July 15, 2022. Caitlin M. Kenney, Defense One. The Army Brief: Healthcare transformation; Recommending military service; Missile defenses; and more…
- July 14, 2022. Patrick Tucker, Defense One. Self-driving vehicles, including the ones that the U.S. military is experimenting with, are still pretty bad at picking out small details as they move through the world, a limitation of the Light Detection and Ranging, or LIDAR, systems they use to perceive it. But a new technique that uses the peculiar behavior of photons to boost LIDAR resolution may allow such vehicles to better understand their surroundings—and even to recognize people and objects. Self-Driving Cars Could Soon See Much Better
- July 14, 2022. Lauren C. Williams, Defense One. The Coast Guard’s new commandant wants its leaders to use more data systems in operations to improve decision-making, even as the service contends with culture challenges and reports of harassment. New Top Coastie Wants More Data Tools to Help Leaders Make Decisions
- July 14, 2022. John Breeden II, Defense One. The advantages of installing 3D printing across the federal government could be huge, although the technology has been slow to reach that potential. That could finally be changing as the Navy has deployed the first 3D printer onboard a warship that is capable of printing reliable metal parts while underway at sea. Navy Prints Metal Parts on the High Seas
- July 15, 2022. Joshua Dunne, Jasmine Latimore, Yvonne Lau, Stephan Robin and Ben Stevens – The five-domains update
- July 15, 2022. Andrew Henderson, The Strategist. In 2017, an independent review of the capacity of Australia’s biosecurity system classified it as an essential national asset. The report stated that the system is built on shared responsibility—that is, the cooperation, investment and actions of all governments (state, territory and federal), industry bodies, exporters, importers, farmers, miners, tourists, researchers and the broader Australian community. Is Australia’s biosecurity system ready for foot-and-mouth disease?
- July 14, 2022. Anthony H. Cordesman, Grace Hwang, CSIS. NATO countries have already provided massive amounts of military aid to Ukraine, deployed additional forces to support the NATO countries that share a border with Russia, improved the Alliance’s ability to rapidly deploy forces forward in a crisis, and worked with key powers like Poland to strengthen its capabilities. NATO has accepted Finland and Sweden as future members of the Alliance, and it has made numerous other short-term adjustments to its force posture that enhance its deterrence and defense capabilities. The Need for a New NATO Force Planning Exercise
- July 14, 2022. Thomas Karako, Matthew Strohmeyer, Ian Williams, Wes Rumbaugh, Kenneth Harmon, CSIS. U.S. air and missile defense efforts have long been characterized by a striking dichotomy. Defenses for the homeland have largely focused on long-range ballistic threats, while cruise missile defense and other air defense efforts have focused on regional and force protection applications to the exclusion of the homeland. This compartmentalization assumes that battles in one place will only consist of certain parts of the threat spectrum, and battles elsewhere will consist only of others. That lingering dichotomy creates a vulnerability that near-peer adversaries now seek to exploit. In a sense, the homeland-regional dichotomy ignores the fact that North America is a region, too. As with any other region, attacks on assets in North America could be designed to shape the political and military calculus of U.S. policymakers. This report explores the strategic significance of air and missile defense for the homeland, considers principles informing defense design, and develops and costs an architecture based on those principles. North America Is a Region, Too
- July 14, 2022. Atlantic Council. How are European allies like the Netherlands adjusting their defense policy to better deter Russia and defend every inch of NATO territory? A conversation with Dutch Minister of Defense Kajsa Ollongren+
Digital & Tech
- July 13, 2022. Becca Trate and Daniel Castro, Center for Data Innovation. E-commerce has significantly improved the way consumers buy goods, allowing for more choice and convenience, but bad actors can exploit online marketplaces—e-commerce platforms that allow for third-party sellers—to introduce counterfeit goods that can threaten public health, safety, and national security, as well as cause economic harm to legitimate businesses and their workers. To address this problem, policymakers in both the United States and the European Union have worked with the private sector to identify best practices to combat the sale of counterfeit goods. Best Practices to Combat Online Sale of Counterfeits in the EU and US
- July 14, 2022. Yasmin Afina, Chatham House. The press has widely reported claims made by a Google engineer, recently placed on ‘administrative’ leave, that its AI chatbot called ‘has become sentient’ with an ability to express and share thoughts and feelings the same way a human child would. This claim has been met with interest from the public, but also a lot of scepticism. Intelligence is dead; long live Artificial Intelligence
- July 14, 2022. Sasha Erskine and Allison Owen, RUSI. Countries must secure new and emerging gateways that are used to circumvent sanctions, as North Korea’s exploitation of cryptocurrency continues. Compliance Harmony: How North Korean Cryptocurrency Abuse Is Expanding
- July 15, 2022. Brian Heater, TechCrunch. Drone delivery deployment happens in fits and starts. There are, after all, a number of hurdles – both regulatory and residential — a company has to clear. That’s why all parties tend to be slow and deliberate. While such slowed innovation isn’t always a sign of struggle, firms have certainly dealt with those, as well — including Amazon, which initially stumbled out the gate. Amazon’s drone delivery is coming to Texas
- July 15, 2022. Mary Ann Azevedo, TechCrunch. While credit cards are ubiquitous in the U.S., they are far less so across Latin America, where people — especially lower-income members of the population — have historically relied on cash for payments. Mexican fintech startup Stori reaches unicorn status with $50M equity raise
- July 15, 2022. Zaidat Ibrahim, Katie Siek and Alexander L. Hayes, Nextgov. Social media users posted ideas about how to protect people’s reproductive privacy when the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, including entering “junk” data into apps designed for tracking menstrual cycles. No, Submitting Junk Data to Period Tracking Apps Won’t Protect Reproductive Privacy
- July 15, 2022. World Nuclear News. The first safety-related concrete has been poured for the nuclear island of unit 3 at the Haiyang nuclear power plant, the Shanghai Nuclear Engineering Research and Design Institute (SNERDI) has announced. It marks the official start of construction of the first of two CAP1000 pressurised water reactors planned as Phase II of the site in China’s Shandong province. Construction starts on third Haiyang unit : New Nuclear
- July 14, 2022. Florentine Koppenborg, East Asia Forum. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has shocked global energy markets and caused rising fuel prices. Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida has called for more nuclear reactors to be restarted. For the first time since the 2011 Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster, a slim majority of Japanese citizens favour restarting the country’s nuclear reactors. Nuclear revival won’t rid Japan of its energy crisis
Health & Digital
- July 14, 2022. Shania Kennedy, Health IT Analytics. The Indiana Training Program in Public and Population Health Informatics, a collaboration between Indiana University (IU) and the Regenstrief Institute, has been awarded a five-year continuation of funding totaling $2.5 million from the National Library of Medicine (NLM), part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Public, Population Health Informatics Program Nabs $2.5M to Expand Training
- July 14, 2022. Shania Kennedy, Health IT Analytics. Google Cloud and New York-based Northwell Health announced a collaboration to accelerate the health system’s digital transformation using cloud technology and artificial intelligence (AI), with the aim of improving patient care, clinician experience, and operational efficiency. Google, Northwell Health Partner to Boost Patient Care, Clinician Experience
- July 13, 2022. Klaas Lenaerts, Simone Tagliapietra, Georg Zachmann, Bruegel. At the 26-28 June G7 summit in Bavaria, leaders said they would consider a price cap on Russian oil, to cut Putin’s oil rent while minimising the negative impacts on the global economy. This blog post discusses this proposal and how it might work, notably to help understand whether this could improve the current western embargo regime. A possible G7 price cap on Russian oil: issues at stake
- July 12, 2022. Emmanuel Mourlon-Druol, Aliénor Cameron, Bruegel. Brexit and the rise of China as a leading international economic power have revived discussions about the geography of banking centres. This paper analyses the geographical evolution of banking centres since the 1970s, based on a database constructed from a ranking of the top banks in the world created by The Banker magazine, a UK-based monthly publication specialised in international financial affairs. We describe both how the database was created and the ways in which it can be used to inform policy on money and capital markets. We address why the data can be used to proxy the size of International Financial Centres (IFCs) and the methodological limitations it may present. We find that banking consolidations and the evolution of the legal framework are more central to the changing geography of banking centres than economic and financial crises. We also highlight that, despite major shifts in global economic power, leading banking centres are hard to replace. Mapping banking centres globally since 1970
- July 15, 2022. HRW. Countries should take concrete steps to demonstrate that justice for serious crimes matters, regardless of where abuses are committed and by whom, Human Rights Watch said today. To mark International Criminal Justice Day on July 17, 2022, Human Rights Watch created a social media initiative outlining five concrete actions that governments can take to bolster the international justice system worldwide. Support Justice for Serious Crimes Globally
- July 15, 2022. David Engel, The Strategist. The G20 foreign ministers’ meeting on 8 July in Bali was almost certainly a harbinger of the G20 leaders’ meeting scheduled for later this year, and a graphic illustration of why the G20 in the current circumstances is both teetering on the brink of pointlessness and incidentally irreplaceable. G20 foreign ministers’ meeting: almost pointlessness but irreplaceable in the margins
- July 14, 2022. Reeve T. Bull, Brookings. In the run-up to the 2016 election, an interesting shift in the political narrative took place. International trade, which had not been much of an issue for decades and had largely been embraced by both parties, suddenly become a major topic. Two of the leading presidential candidates, Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders, made opposition to new trade agreements a central part of their campaign platforms. Improving international regulatory cooperation in an age of trade skepticism