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Giudizio storico

Geostrategic environment (august 30, 2022)

TODAY’S EVIDENCE

WORLDS

Afghanistan

  • August 30, 2022. Bill Roggio, Lieutenant General H.R. McMaster, FDD. Friend of the show LTG (Ret.) H.R. McMaster joins Bill once again to discuss America’s botched withdrawal from Afghanistan one year ago. Despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary — including an ongoing close relationship with al Qaeda — the United States designated the Taliban as “partners in peace” and handed the terrorist group keys to a state apparatus. Afghanistan fell and became the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan. But it didn’t have to. The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan Turns One
  • August 29, 2022. Bill Roggio, FDD. After the fall of the Afghan government and the Taliban seized control of Kabul on August 15, 2021, the remnants of the Afghan military regrouped in Panjshir and several neighboring districts in Baghlan. The Taliban defeated this last vestige of resistance by September 6, 2021. By the spring of 2022, resistance to the Taliban began to grow, primarily under the banner of the National Resistance Front. The Taliban has surged forces into Panjshir and neighboring districts to suppress the resistance, but so far has been unsuccessful in defeating it. Mapping the Fall of Afghanistan

Australia

  • August 30, 2022. , The Strategist. Dominating the debate on Australia’s defence-capability development is a long list of expensive new weapons to buy. But there are two broader issues to consider: the likely cost of development substantially exceeding the Defence Department’s planned appropriations and a dearth of ideas on how additional funding can be found against the backdrop of Australia’s high public debt and poor productivity performance. Some of the implications of those issues for the defence strategic review are examined in my Strategic Insight report released today. Defence spending and industry policies must reflect dangerous strategic circumstances
  • August 29, 2022. Melissa Conley Tyler, East Asia Forum. In his analysis of the early days of the Albanese Government, Allan Gyngell noted significant change in the Australian government’s approach to foreign policy. This might surprise those who watched an election campaign in which the Australian Labor Party (ALP) was at pains to show no difference in its substantive positions on national security and international relations to the Liberal–National coalition. Looking at the new government’s foreign policy, do we see changes of style or of substance? Albanese Government styles a new foreign policy direction

Australia – Asia

  • August 30, 2022. Peter Varghese, The Interpreter. The political philosopher Edmund Burke once observed that society was a contract across generations linking the past, present and future. Something similar can be said about Australia’s links to Asia: it is a story, shaped by the past, focussed on the present and vital for our future. Why engaging Asia matters even more

China – Indonesia

  • August 30, 2022. Evan A Laksmana, East Asia Forum. China is subjecting Indonesia to maritime grey zone tactics — competitive acts between states short of all-out warfare — in the North Natuna Sea. China pursues these objectives in the knowledge that Indonesia will fail to properly respond. Jakarta gets ‘grey-zoned’ by Beijing

Global South

  • August 30, 2022. Yaroslav Lissovolik, Valdai Discussion Club. The expanded format of the BRICS+ dialogue conducted by China in June 2022 as well as the rising number of large developing economies expressing willingness to join the BRICS core grouping sets the scene for more ambitious steps directed at strengthening South-South economic cooperation. Towards a Free Trade Area for the Global South

Kenya

North Korea

  • August 29, 2022. CSIS. No significant activity is observed at Tunnel No. 3 of the Punggye-ri Nuclear Test Facility. This is not unexpected as both the United States and South Korea assess that North Korea has finished all preparations for conducting a nuclear test at this tunnel. Road construction to Tunnel No. 4 remains suspended, and flood damage to the facility’s sole access road is observable, both likely a result of the heavy rains during the past two months. As a result of recent heavy rains and flooding over the summer, a new bypass was added to the facility’s sole access road connecting the Command Center to the nearby support facility, providing unobstructed access in case of future flooding.

Punggye-ri Update: Flood Mitigation

Russia

  • August 29, 2022. Defense News. The head of Russia’s weapons export branch said arms export revenue total in 2022 is likely to total about $10.8 billion, which would be roughly 26% lower than reported for 2021. Russia forecasts drop in arms export revenue

Russia – ASEAN

  • August 20, 2022. Ekaterina Koldunova, Valdai Discussion Club. Now, when the contours of the sanctions restrictions of the collective West in relation to Russia have taken their almost-complete shape, the need for a revision of the system of Russian foreign economic relations is becoming obvious. In the context of the forced break and undocking of many previously seemingly unshakable economic ties with the EU countries, Russian state and business structures have much more actively than before begun to pay attention to the geographically more distant, but so far politically relatively neutral nations of Southeast Asia, united as the ASEAN trade bloc . However, are there any real grounds that amid the new geo-economic and geopolitical conditions, Russia and the ASEAN countries will be able to build up economic cooperation, and perhaps even elevate it to a qualitatively new level? Russia-ASEAN: Limits and Opportunities of Economic Partnership

Russia – Ukraine (on the ground & impact)

  • August 29, 2022. Kateryna Stepanenko, Grace Mappes, Angela Howard, Layne Philipson, and Frederick W. Kagan, ISW. Ukrainian military officials announced the start of the Ukrainian counteroffensive in Kherson Oblast on August 29. Ukrainian officials reported that Ukrainian forces have broken through the first line of defenses in unspecified areas of Kherson Oblast and are seeking to take advantage of the disruption of Russian ground lines of communication caused by Ukrainian HIMARS strikes over many weeks. Ukrainian officials did not confirm liberating any settlements, but some Russian milbloggers and unnamed sources speaking with Western outlets stated that Ukrainian forces liberated several settlements west and northwest of Kherson City, near the Ukrainian bridgehead over the Inhulets River, and south of the Kherson-Dnipropetrovsk Oblast border. The Russian Defense Ministry (MoD), Russian proxies, and some Russian milbloggers denounced the Ukrainian announcement of the counteroffensive as “propaganda.”. Russian Offensive Campaign Assessment, August 29
  • August 29, 2022. Kemal Derviş, Brookings. The Ukraine war and the world’s reaction to it will be a decisive factor in shaping the global political and economic order in the decade ahead. In particular, the Western allies’ actions, narratives, and planning regarding both Russia and the role of the Global South in Ukraine’s postwar reconstruction will indicate what their long-term strategic goals are. Does the West simply want to see Russia defeated and NATO enlarged and strengthened, or can it envisage a “victory” in Ukraine that lays the foundations for a world in which democracy is more secure and global governance more inclusive and effective? What are the West’s strategic goals in the Ukraine war?

USA

  • August 29, 2022. Brookings. Every day, the federal government enacts impactful policy changes through the executive branch and its agencies. The Brookings Center on Regulation and Markets Regulatory Tracker (“Reg Tracker”) provides background information and status updates on a curated selection of particularly important regulatory changes. Using our tracker, you can learn more about the background of different rules, discover the impact of potential regulations, and monitor a regulation’s progress through rulemaking. We include standard rules as well as guidance documents, executive orders, and other actions across ten key policy areas. While the relaunched Reg Tracker focuses on regulatory changes enacted under Biden, our previous entries tracking regulatory changes during the Trump administration can be accessed through the “Trump archives” checkbox. Tracking regulatory changes in the Biden era
  • August 29, 2022. Jon Valant, Brookings. This has been quite a time for U.S. public schools, from pandemic-induced shutdowns to clashes across the country over one issue after the next. In this context, it’s fair to wonder—and maybe worry about—how Americans’ attitudes toward public education might be changing. What if Americans sour on public education?
  • August 29, 2022. Courtney C. Radsch, Brookings. Big Tech has enabled unparalleled reach, engagement, and innovation in the news media even as the decoupling of advertising and journalism has threatened the very foundation of a commercial news model and ushered in the era of disinformation. Lawmakers in the U.S. now appear poised to join in efforts around the world aimed at rebalancing the codependent relationship between Big Tech and news publishers with the release of an updated Senate bill enabling small news organizations to negotiate compensation from tech giants like Meta and Google that appears to have bi-partisan and bi-cameral support. Frenemies: Global approaches to rebalance the Big Tech v journalism relationship

TOPICS

Cybersecurity

  • August 30, 2022. , Info Security. The UK’s main intelligence agency for dealing with cyber-threats is hoping to attract more female coders to its ranks with a new bootcamp course. UK Spies Fund New Course for Female Coders
  • August 29, 2022. , Info Security. In Ireland, despite widespread visibility of data breaches and security threats, strong data protection is often treated as an afterthought within many organizations. Recent studies have shown that more than half of Irish organizations anticipate a rise in breaches this year, but less than 40% claim a comprehensive understanding of their third-party risks. Meanwhile, businesses continue to create, share, store, use and manage an ever-increasing volume of sensitive digital information, raising the stakes and the surface of potential vulnerabilities.  #HowTo: Enhance Data Security and Privacy

Defense – Security

Global Economy

Global Energy 

  • August 2022. Steven Fries, PIIE. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Sixth Assessment Report on Climate Change Mitigation highlights the vast gap between climate change mitigation actions and climate stabilization goals. But its broad policy prescriptions are likely to leave policymakers pondering what specific actions to take. Informed by accumulating evidence on transforming aspects of energy systems like power generation from solar and wind resources and battery electric cars, this paper develops a more pointed energy reform strategy than that of the IPCC to deliver the necessary systemwide changes. It makes the case for two unorthodox policies. One is for governments to provide, in addition to R&D supports, market-creating supports for early deployment of low-carbon technologies in initial markets. The second is to sequence emissions pricing after innovation and market-creating supports and differentiate this pricing across key energy sectors rather than imposing one economywide price. Compared with a single price, targeting higher emissions pricing on sectors that are costlier to decarbonize still promotes cost-effective emission cuts but limits adverse distributional impacts. The paper also considers nonprice barriers to change and ways to coordinate domestic reforms across countries. A reform strategy to transform energy: From piecemeal to systemwide change
  • August 30, 2022. , The Strategist. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is the immediate cause of the global energy crisis, but the seeds were sown by years of weak investment in fossil fuels, partly reflecting concerns over climate change. The world’s energy woes aren’t over

Terrorism

  • August 29, 2022. Juan C. Zarate, FDD. Since 9/11, countering the financing of terrorism (CFT) has been a focus of U.S. and international security policy, and an evolving feature of the regulatory and risk environment for authorities and the private sector. In the wake of those terrorist attacks, the U.S. government led an aggressive effort to use all elements of national power to prevent further attacks and to disrupt and dismantle terrorist networks. The tools of economic coercion, financial regulation, and risk management were deployed deliberately to undermine the ability of terrorist actors to access capital and leverage the financial system. These measures ultimately were seen as a fundamental element of a preventative paradigm to disrupt terrorist plots, networks, and alliances—and their global reach. Countering the Financing of Terrorism: Law and Policy

In collaboration with The Science of Where Magazine