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Giudizio storico

Geostrategic environment (august 31, 2022)

TODAY IN EVIDENCE

  • In memory of Mikhail Gorbachev:

From Atlantic CouncilGorbachev could have taken Putin’s road. But he wanted better. – Atlantic Council

From The Strategist –  Gorbachev changed the world

From The InterpreterMikhail Gorbachev: The last revolutionary

WORLDS

Afghanistan

  • August 30, 2022. Valerie Insinna, Breaking Defense. Over the summer of 2021, battles against the Taliban took Afghan air force Col. Salim Faqiri and his UH-60 Black Hawk from Lashkar Gah to Kandahar to Kabul. One by one, he watched those cities fall. Even after Afghan President Ashraf Ghani fled the country on Aug. 15, Faqiri was committed to stay and fight on behalf of his country. ‘They forget us’: How an Afghan Black Hawk pilot saw his country collapse from the air
  • August 30, 2022. Madiha Afzal and Adrianna Pita, Brookings. “Eventually humanitarian assistance is just a Band-Aid. It’s not really a sustainable equilibrium that we’re in right now. . .There really needs to be a very clear conversation, a very difficult conversation of whether our policies are, in fact, hurting the Taliban or the Afghan people.”. One year after the U.S. troop withdrawal, Afghanistan faces a collapsed economy, humanitarian crisis, and a Taliban regime essentially unchanged from that of 1996-2001. Madiha Afzal discusses the Taliban’s restrictions on civil society, the segregation of women and girls from public life, and the need for more creative policies to alleviate Afghan people’s suffering without helping the Taliban. What’s happening in Afghanistan one year after the U.S. withdrawal?

Australia

  • August 31, 2022. , The Strategist. Australia, through its diverse communities, expansive geography and entrepreneurial spirit, maintains deep, yet often not well understood, regional connections beyond its borders. Why DFAT should get out of Canberra

China – ASEAN

  • August 31, 2022. Anyu Lee, Fujian Li, East Asia Forum. As countries sought quick access to medical devices during the COVID-19 pandemic, they ran into roadblocks associated with different regulatory standards. These differences hampered China’s ability to provide supplies in a global system dominated by US standards. E-commerce cooperation can harmonise China-ASEAN medical standards

China – Taiwan

  • August 24, 2022. Marcin Przychodniak, PISM. China treated the visit of Speaker of the House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi to Taiwan at the beginning of August as an expression of U.S. efforts to change the status quo in the region. The reaction of the Chinese authorities was calculated as a controlled escalation of tensions in the Taiwan Strait, but without the risk of direct military confrontation. Harsh rhetoric, military exercises around the island, and the limitation of dialogue with the U.S. confirmed the intention of China to take over Taiwan in the coming years. For the EU, this means the need to intensify support for Taiwan, including the development of political and economic contacts. PISM

Egypt

  • August 26, 2022. Sara Nowacka, PISM. In August, a year before the end of his term of office, Tarek Amer, head of the Egyptian Central Bank, resigned. This was a consequence of the deepening economic crisis caused by a decline in the country’s currency reserves and the impact of global problems on Egypt, which is dependent on food imports. Capital-intensive investments, mainly in the energy and real estate sectors, will exacerbate Egypt’s situation. Given the size of its population, economic collapse would have a significant destabilising impact on the EU’s southern neighbourhood. PISM

France – Indo Pacific

  • August 19, 2022. IISS.  France is looking to begin bolstering its presence in the Indo-Pacific with a new class of ocean patrol vessels but reconciling broader ambitions with available assets remains demanding. Hugo Decis ponders the scale of the challenge. France in the Indo-Pacific Expanded Horizons

Greenland

Iran – USA

  • August 30, 2022. Justin Katz, Breaking Defense. The US Navy’s 5th Fleet today announced it thwarted an attempt by an Iranian ship to seize an American unmanned surface vessel operating in the Arabian Gulf. Iranian ship intercepted while trying to detain American drone
  • August 30, 2022. Caitlin M. Kenney, Defense One. An American unmanned surface vessel in the Persian Gulf was almost taken in the dead of night Monday by an Iranian ship before U.S. Navy forces intervened, according to officials. The Saildrone Explorer USV was seen in international waters being towed behind the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Navy support ship Shahid Baziar around 11 p.m. local time “in an attempt to detain it,” a 5th Fleet statement said on Tuesday. Iranian Navy Tries To Steal US Unmanned Vessel At Sea

Israel – Turkey

Libya

  • August 31, 2022. The Libya Observer. Head of the Government of National Unity, Abdel Hamid Dbeibah, has stated that his government’s goal is elections, and that it is still waiting for the constitutional rule in order to conduct the important national due process. Dbeibah to Misrata notables: Elections are our goal
  • August 31, 2022. The Libya Observer. Spokesman for the Secretary-General of the United Nations, Stephane Dujarric, has called for the need for Libya’s neighbors to work together for the benefit of the Libyan people and not to exacerbate the division. Dujarric reiterated his call to the Libyan parties to protect civilians and refrain from taking any escalatory measures. He also said in a press briefing on Monday that the current Acting Head of Mission, Raisedon Zenenga, is responsible for the mission and is in contact with the various Libyan parties, pointing out that there is an ongoing process to appoint a new UN envoy to Libya, indicating that Secretary-General Antonio Guterres is seeking the approval of members of the Security Council to nominate his Special Representative in Libya.

Libya – Malta

  • August 31, 2022. The Libya Observer. The Oil and Gas Minister, Mohammed Aoun, has discussed with the Maltese Ambassador to Libya, Charles Saliba, offshore energy exploration activities exploring offshore areas between the two countries. During the meeting held in Tripoli, Saliba invited the Minister of Oil and Gas to visit Malta to discuss mechanisms of joint cooperation between the two countries. For his part, Aoun stressed the importance of Malta for the various activities of oil companies that run offshore operations.

Russia – Ukraine (on the ground & impact)

  • August 30, 2022. Vivienne Machi, Defense News.  The European Union is considering a new training mission aimed at providing more predictable and additional support to Ukraine in its defense against Russia. Europeans mull new training mission for Ukrainian army
  • August 30, 2022. Kateryna Stepanenko, Karolina Hird, George Barros, Grace Mappes, and Frederick W. Kagan, ISW. Ukrainian forces began striking Russian pontoon ferries across the Dnipro River on August 29, which is consistent with the start of the Ukrainian counteroffensive. The effects of destroying ferries will likely be more ephemeral than those of putting bridges out of commission, so attacking them makes sense in conjunction with active ground operations.Ukrainian military officials confirmed that Ukrainian forces destroyed a Russian pontoon-ferry crossing in Lvove, approximately 16km west of Nova Kakhovka on the right bank of the Dnipro River on August 29. Ukrainian and Russian sources have also reported that Ukrainian forces struck a pontoon crossing constructed out of barges near the Antonivsky Road Bridge. Russian Offensive Campaign Assessment, August 30
  • August 30, 2022. Richard D. Hooker, Jr., Atlantic Council. As Ukraine struggles to defend its sovereignty and retake Russian-occupied territory, modern weapon systems supplied by Western powers are badly needed but reorganizing Ukrainian ground forces is just as important. The Ukrainian military must reorganize to defeat Russia

South Africa – Just Energy Transition Partnership

  • August 30, 2022. Christopher Cassidy, Atlantic Council. The Just Energy Transition Partnership (JETP) with South Africa represents a novel attempt to support the energy transition in emerging economies. The $8.5-billion multinational venture aims to accelerate the phaseout of coal-fired power generation by incentivizing the flow of clean energy investments while addressing related social concerns, such as job displacement. But while the JETP entails a significant financial contribution to South Africa’s climate aims, its real benefit lies in the transformational energy sector reforms the government must enact to amplify its funding. The Just Energy Transition Partnership with South Africa will hinge on domestic reform

Syria

  • August 31, 2022. The Syrian Observer. Last Sunday, Christians in Idleb governorate celebrated the Feast of Saint Anna in the village of Yacoubiya for the first time since military factions took control of the area. Idleb Christians Celebrate St. Anna’s Day for First Time in 10 Years
  • August 31, 2022. The Syrian Observer. On Monday, UN envoy to Syria Geir Pedersen briefed the UN Security Council about the Syrian issue, during which he touched on the Syrian Constitutional Committee’s progress, and the obstacles that have caused its talks to be suspended. Pedersen on the Syrian Constitution: The Problem is in Essence, Not Place
  • August 31, 2022. The Syrian Observer. Syria’s permanent representative to the UN, Bassam Sabbagh, said that western states’ illegitimate coercive measures imposed on the Syrian people and politicization of the humanitarian and developmental act have caused big difficulties and challenges to Syria and its partners of UN agencies to improve the humanitarian and livelihood situation in the country. Syria: Western Coercive Measures on Syria Obstructs Humanitarian Work
  • August 31, 2022. The Syrian Observer. A member of Syrian government forces was killed on Monday night in the town of Tibah in the eastern countryside of Daraa Governorate, southern Syria. Syrian Government Member Killed In Syria’s Daraa
  • August 31, 2022. The Syrian Observer. Syria stressed that the practices of the United States, whose forces are illegally present on Syrian territory, along with the theft and illegitimate trafficking carried out by terrorist groups and the separatist QSD (Syrian Democratic Forces, SDF) militia, have caused huge losses and destruction in the sector of extraction, supply, distribution and investment of oil, gas and mineral wealth since 2011. Syria’s Losses in Oil & Gas at107.1 Billion Dollars- Foreign Ministry

Turkey – NATO

  • August 30, 2022. Bradley Bowman, Sinan Ciddi, FDD. Turkey is at again, a NATO ally not acting like one. It’s admittedly not exactly new behavior for Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, but the actions over the last two weeks have been particularly troubling. Turkey’s Latest Move to Undermine NATO

USA 

USA – China

  • August 30, 2022.  Jeremy Mark, Atlantic Council.  A new US-China agreement giving American financial regulators greater access to the books of Wall Street-listed Chinese companies represents significant progress in a decade-long auditing dispute that threatened to disrupt US-China financial-market ties. But it’s unlikely to herald a return to business as usual, when huge share issues drove Chinese stocks to sky-high valuations. Deal or no deal, Chinese firms will still ditch Wall Street

TOPICS

Cybersecurity

Defense – Military – Security

  • August 30, 2022. Colin Demarest, Defense News. A s weeping study of the U.S. Army’s data and communications network modernization is underway, as the service seeks dominance in increasingly digital-first fights, according to Undersecretary Gabe Camarillo. US Army examining network portfolio in bid for digital dominance
  • August 30, 2022. Jaroslaw Adamowski, Defense News. In what could mark another major acquisition of South Korean weapons by Poland, the country’s Ministry of National Defence is mulling plans to purchase K239 Chunmoo multiple rocket launchers. The negotiations run in parallel with the country’s talks with the United States over a potential purchase of about 500 M142 High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems, or HIMARS. Poland eyes SKorean rocket launchers amid HIMARS talks with the US
  • August 30, 2022. Bryant Harris, Defense News. Nearly a dozen Dongfeng ballistic missiles flew over Taiwan earlier this month as China conducted its largest-ever military exercises in the nearby strait as a response to U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi visiting Taipei. Taiwan is buying US weapons, but Washington isn’t delivering them
  • August 2022. Atlantic Council. “War is a harsh teacher,” Thucydides warned in ancient times. History has repeatedly borne out the truth of his dictum, and the war in Ukraine is no exception. The ongoing conflict ought to serve as a “wake-up call” for the United States: Despite Moscow’s numerical and fires advantage, Kyiv has proven a formidable opponent by combining old and new tactics and technologies, marking a crossroads for the future of airpower. Airpower after Ukraine: The future of air warfare

Digital & Tech

  • August 25, 2022. Aleksandra Kozioł, PISM. Launched in March 2022, the Destination Earth initiative to create a digital model of the Earth confirms the importance of space technologies in the EU’s green and digital transformations. The consequences of climate change, such as droughts, fires, and floods, reduce the security of citizens and cause economic losses. The dissemination of applications using satellite data will increase the effectiveness of climate action and sustainable development in the EU. PISM
  • Augut 12, 2022. John Lee, Meia Nouwens, IISS. 6G wireless telecommunications is a key emerging technology that has already become a field for international strategic competition, most notably between the United States and China. By dramatically increasing capacity and lowering latency for wireless-data transmission, 6G promises to enable applications on new orders of magnitude or which are qualitatively new. These effects will translate into comparative national economic performance and into military capabilities available to states. Strategic Settings for 6G: Pathways for China and the US

Health

  • August 22, 2022. Claire Klobucista and Danielle Renwick, CFR. Polio, an infectious disease that can cause paralysis, is endemic in just two countries: Afghanistan and Pakistan. Why Hasn’t the World Eradicated Polio?
  • August 30, 2022. Eduardo Pedrosa, East Asia Forum. Before COVID-19 struck, there were warnings that the world was underprepared for a global pandemic. Since then, numerous reports have noted what needs to be done to avoid the tremendous cost to lives and livelihoods that the world has gone through. The common message is that being prepared is the most timely and cost-effective way to handle global health risks. Health cooperation is just what the doctor ordered

Nuclear weapons

  • August 30, 2022. CFR. After a month of negotiations, the tenth review conference (RevCon) of the parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) concluded on August 26 without a consensus final document, raising concerns about weakening efforts to promote nuclear nonproliferation, disarmament, and the peaceful use of nuclear energy. It also marked the first time two consecutive RevCons have failed to produce such a document. The Future of Nuclear Nonproliferation and Disarmament Is in Danger

In collaboration with The Science of Where Magazine