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Ambiente geostrategico: complessità, giudizio storico, scenari (8 agosto 2022) – Geostrategic environment: complexity, historical judgment, scenarios (8 august 2022)

Lavorare sull’evoluzione dell’ambiente geostrategico significa, al contempo, riflettere sui nuovi paradigmi di una politica dell’umanità e del pianeta (verso la ri-costruzione dello “spazio comune glocale”) e costruire giudizio storico “in progress”. La crescente complessità dell’ambiente geostrategico ci mostra un mondo che va ri-compreso nelle sue dinamiche sempre più incerte e imprevedibili e, soprattutto, ben diverse da quelle che conoscevamo nel secolo passato.

Costruire scenari è operazione che chiede sempre nuove competenze. La megacrisi de-generativa, da un lato, e l’impatto profondo della rivoluzione tecnologica ci pongono in una condizione politica del tutto inedita e ancora incompresa. Quando si osserva, a esempio, la competizione tra USA e Cina, la prospettiva cambia a seconda dell’approccio che si adotta. Qui l’utilizzo delle tecnologie diventa decisivo perché trasforma il senso stesso delle relazioni internazionali. E’ come se ci trovassimo dentro a due sistemi complessi che viaggiano paralleli: quello dei commerci e degli scambi (il capitalismo classico) e della sostenibilità (non solo ambientale) e quello di internet e delle nuove tecnologie. Mentre si dovrebbe lavorare per un patto strategico tra USA e Cina sulle grandi questioni globali, per quanto riguarda il sistema di internet e delle nuove tecnologie, nota Bremmer (Il potere della crisi, 2022), i due giganti si muovono ciascuna per proprio conto.

Guardando al sistema di internet e delle nuove tecnologie, che sta acquistando sempre più importanza, il tema strategico è quello della sua finalizzazione. E qui veniamo al nostro discorso sulla maggiore responsabilità delle democrazie. I sistemi autocratici come la Cina possono essere criticati ma non debbono essere demonizzati perché servono in funzione di una governance efficace delle questioni globali e per l’uscita progressiva dalla megacrisi de-generativa nella quale siamo immersi. Parlare di nuova “guerra fredda” tra Stati Uniti e Cina, che sarebbe molto più pericolosa della precedente tra Stati Uniti e URSS, è un errore strategico evidente. Oggi il mondo è inter-in-dipendente, non solo interrelato: è quel vincolo che chiama tutti i sistemi, soprattutto quelli più decisivi a livello internazionali, a trovare vie adeguate di collaborazione strategica. Le democrazie (chiamate a una vera auto-critica) possono essere ri-conosciute come portatrici di valori positivi e politicamente rappresentanti la prospettiva di un progresso giusto ed equo. La sfida è aperta ma, in assenza di auto-critica da parte del cosiddetto “mondo libero” (idea che sfiora il dogmatismo politico), il rischio di un continuo svuotamento dell’idea democratica è del tutto realistico.

Tra i tanti temi possibili in ambito tecnologico, è interessante guardare alla esportazione cinese delle tecnologie di sorveglianza. Nel 2019 il New York Times indagava sull’uso delle tecnologie di sorveglianza da parte cinese nello Xinjiang per monitorare la popolazione uigura; nel 2018, un rapporto di Freedom House indicava l’utilizzo di sistemi cinesi di” monitoraggio intelligente” da parte di Paesi tra i quali Emirati Arabi Uniti, Venezuela, Uzbekistan, Pakistan, Kenya e persino la Germania.

Pur se tali tecnologie di sorveglianza sono vendute anche da Paesi occidentali, è la configurazione democratica a fare la differenza e, auspicabilmente, a garantire una giusta finalizzazione delle stesse tecnologie. Va detto, altrettanto realisticamente, che le pratiche di sorveglianza di massa riguardano sia i regimi autocratici che quelli democratici: continuiamo a pensare che questi ultimi diano sempre maggiori garanzie rispetti agli altri.

Non ha senso, dunque, continuare a proporre strategicamente l’equazione “noi contro di loro”. Il nuovo contesto in formazione, da almeno tre decenni a questa parte, mostra l’incosistenza di alte mediazioni e di visioni politiche. Anché lavorare glocalmente sul futuro delle società aperte e sulla prospettiva della glocalizzazione, si è preferito insistere sulla immunizzazione e sulla difesa reciproca: se il mondo è pronto a scoppiare, e i segnali sono chiari, altrettanto abbiamo tutti gli strumenti per cambiare via. Verso nuovi futuri.

English version

Working on the evolution of the geostrategic environment means, at the same time, reflecting on the new paradigms of a politics of humanity and of the planet (towards the re-construction of the “glocal common space”) and building historical judgment “in progress”. The growing complexity of the geostrategic environment shows us a world that must be re-understood in its increasingly uncertain and unpredictable dynamics and, above all, very different from those we knew in the past century.

Building scenarios is an operation that always requires new skills. The de-generative megacrisis, on the one hand, and the profound impact of the technological revolution place us in a completely new and still misunderstood political condition. When we observe, for example, the competition between the US and China, the perspective changes according to the approach we adopt. The use of technologies becomes decisive because it transforms the meaning of international relations. Two complex systems travel parallel: that of trade and exchanges (classic capitalism) and sustainability (not only environmental) and that of the internet and new technologies. While there should be work for a strategic pact between the US and China on major global issues, regarding the internet system and new technologies, Bremmer notes (The Power of Crisis, 2022), the two giants are each moving on their own.

Looking at the internet system and new technologies, which is gaining more and more importance, the strategic theme is that of its finalization. And here we come back to the greater responsibility of democracies. Autocratic systems such as China can be criticized but must not be demonized because they serve as a function of effective governance of global issues and for the progressive exit from the de-generative megacrisis in which we are immersed. Talking about a new “cold war” between the United States and China, which would be much more dangerous than the previous one between the United States and the USSR, is an obvious strategic mistake. Today the world is inter-in-dependent, not only interrelated: that constraint calls all systems, especially the most decisive ones at an international level, to find adequate ways of strategic collaboration. Democracies (called to a true self-criticism) can be recognized as bearers of positive values ​​and politically representing the prospect of just and equitable progress. The challenge is open but, in the absence of self-criticism from the so-called “free world” (an idea that borders on political dogmatism), the risk of a continuous emptying of the democratic idea is completely realistic.

Among the many possible topics in the technological field, it is interesting to look at the chinese export of surveillance technologies. In 2019, the New York Times investigated China’s use of surveillance technologies in Xinjiang to monitor the Uyghur population; in 2018, a Freedom House report indicated the use of Chinese “smart monitoring” systems by countries including the United Arab Emirates, Venezuela, Uzbekistan, Pakistan, Kenya and even Germany.

Even if these surveillance technologies are also sold by western countries, it is the democratic configuration that makes the difference and, hopefully, guarantees a just finalization of the same technologies. It must be said, equally realistically, that the practices of mass surveillance concern both autocratic and democratic regimes: we continue to think that the latter always give greater guarantees than others.

We continue to strategically propose, wrongly, the equation “us versus them”. The new context in formation, for at least three decades now, shows the inconsistency of high mediations and political visions. As well as working glocally on the future of open societies and on the prospect of glocalization, we have preferred to limit ourselves to insisting on immunization and mutual defense: if the world is ready to burst, and the signals are clear, we also have all the tools to change path. Towards new futures.

Riflessioni collegate

FROM GLOBAL THINK TANKS – DAILY NEWSLETTER

with The Science of Where Magazine

AROUND THE WORLD

Afghanistan

  • August 8, 2022. Kabir Taneja, ORF. A year ago, the Taliban took over Afghanistan as the U.S. completed its botched withdrawal from the country. Since then, other global crises, particularly Russia’s aggression against Ukraine, have moved the Afghan issue to the back of the world’s conscience. Afghanistan is now an Asian problem

Africa

  • August 5, 2022. Brian Ntwali, Acton Institute. While bilateral and multilateral talks are hitting impasses around much of the globe, “Agenda 2063: The Africa We Want” is a continental agreement that breaks the mold. For all its lofty ambitions, this blueprint aiming at “transforming Africa into the global powerhouse of the future” is paradoxically both a celebration of and a threat to the family. Expanding the welfare state in Africa is a threat, not a help

Australia

Cambodia – Japan

  • August 8, 2022. HRW. The Japanese government should press Cambodian authorities to stop using Japan-funded public buses to forcibly remove striking workers from picket lines in Phnom Penh, Human Rights Watch said today. The Cambodian government’s actions against workers have violated their basic rights to strike and to freedom of association and expression. Japan: Press Cambodia to End Trade Union Crackdown

Central African Republic

Central Asia

  • August 5, 2022.  Pravesh Kumar Gupta, VIF. Since its beginning in 2018, the Consultative Meetings of Central Asian leaders have contributed positively to Central Asia’s regional integration process. The idea was presented by the Uzbek President Shawkat Mirziyoyev with an intention to examine regional concerns and strengthen economic, trade, and security cooperation among the region’s countries. The fourth meeting of this format was held on July 21, 2022, at Cholpan Ata, Kyrgyzstan. The meeting was attended by the five heads of states of Central Asian nations. The presidents of Kazakhstan, Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, and Uzbekistan, Shawkat Mirziyoyev, arrived in Kyrgyzstan on July 20 while Tajik President, Emomali Rahmon and Serdar Berdimuhamedov of Turkmenistan arrived on July 21.  The Regional Integration in Central Asia

China

  • August 4, 2022. Delhi Policy Group. The 16th round of Corps Commander level talks between India and China held on July 17 made little headway in resolving the outstanding border issues, including any forward movement in the disengagement process. The PLA, in a provocative show of force, tested an advanced Multiple Launch Rocket System (PHL-16 MLRS) that has a potential range of 500 Kms at an altitude of more than 5,300 metres close to the Indian border, with the capability of hitting critical Indian military bases. Meanwhile, reports indicated that China is planning to build a new highway titled G695 close to disputed border areas, running from Lhunze county in Tibet to Mazha county in Xinjiang. This highway, which runs close to border areas with India, is part of Beijing’s efforts to further strengthen its border posture.  China Monitor
  • August 2, 2022. Tianlei Huang and Nicholas R. Lardy, PIIE. China’s meager growth and high unemployment in the first half of 2022 is disproportionately due to weakness in private economic activity, which typically accounts for over two-thirds of China’s output and four-fifths of urban employment. Many small private firms and individual businesses are probably facing an existential crisis amid the widespread lockdowns under China’s zero-COVID policy. Those that have survived the lockdowns are probably holding off making major new investments. As China strives to stabilize employment and achieve the “best possible” growth results in the rest of this year, reviving the private sector is essential. Private firms bear the brunt of China’s weak growth

DR Congo

Europe

  • August 5, 2022. Manos Matsaganis, Georgios Manalis, Eliamep.  According to the European Commission’s summer forecast, inflation in Europe will peak in 2022 but will remain at high levels for 2023 as well. The largest price level increase for 2022 is faced in Central and Eastern European countries, indicating that the soaring energy prices in combination with the significant dependence on Russian energy sources together with the absence of viable alternative supply sources drive the phenomenon. The Baltic countries in particular are expected to experience the largest increase in the price level of more than 15% for 2022 (17% in Estonia and Lithuania, 15.5% for Latvia). Our country is slightly above the European average (8.3%) for the current year, expecting to close 2022 with a price level of 8.9%, while for 2023, the European Commission predicts a significant decline to 3.5 %. Combination of monetary and fiscal measures to face inflation

Europe – Germany – China

  • August 8, 2022. ifo Institute. A decoupling of the EU and Germany from China, which would result in retaliatory measures from the latter, would cost Germany almost six times as much as Brexit. This is the finding of a scenario analysis conducted by the ifo Institute on behalf of the Bavarian Industry Association (vbw). “De-globalization makes us poorer. Rather than turning away from important trading partners without good reason, companies should additionally source inputs from other countries in order to reduce one-sided and critical dependencies on certain markets and authoritarian regimes,” says Lisandra Flach, coauthor of the study. A Trade War with China Would Cost Germany Six Times as Much as Brexit

Germany

  • August 2, 2022. ifo Institute. The shortage of skilled workers has risen to a new high in Germany, affecting 49.7 percent of companies in July. This finding is based on data collected in conjunction with the ifo Business Survey since 2009. The new level is much higher than the previous record of 43.6 percent, which was set in April. “More and more companies are having to cut back on business because they simply can’t find enough staff,” says Stefan Sauer, a labor market expert at the ifo Institute. “In the medium and long term, this problem is likely to become more severe.”. Shortage of Skilled Workers in Germany Reaches an All-Time High
  • August 3, 2022. ifo Institute. The business situation for German automakers deteriorated in July, with the indicator falling to 20.5 points, down from 22.4 points in June. This is the result of the latest ifo survey. “Car manufacturers appear to have run out of options for passing on rising material costs to consumers,” says Oliver Falck, Director of the ifo Center for Industrial Organization and New Technologies. Price expectations plummeted to 38.6 points, down from 73.1 points in June. Situation for German Automakers Worsens Slightly

India

  • August 8, 2022. East Asia Forum. If there is a cliché that every observer of India strives — and usually fails — to avoid, it is Jawarhalal Nehru’s famous ‘tryst with destiny’. The phrase hints at the idea that India is too large and too populous to be a second-rank player in global affairs. India is entitled, as Minister of External Affairs S Jaishankar put it recently, ‘to weigh [its] own side’. Matching political will to geopolitical ambition in India
  • August 7, 2022.  Peter Drysdale and Charlie Barnes, East Asia Forum. India’s population of almost 1.4 billion, its economic progress and its geopolitical appeal as a balance to China’s power in Asia point to its potential as a leading global power. That is Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s declared ambition for his country. How India can realise its ambitions to become a great power

India & Brazil

  • August 8, 2022. Marianna Albuquerquem, Kartik Bommakanti, Danilo Marcondes, Abhijiy Mukhopadhyay, Lia Valls Pereira, Aarshi Tirkey, ORF. India and Brazil are celebrating 74 years of diplomatic relations in 2022. In more recent years, the two countries have elevated their relationship based on a common global vision, commitment to development, and shared democratic values. They established a strategic partnership in 2006, and sought to deepen it in 2020 by agreeing to an Action Plan to Strengthen the Strategic Partnership. Today the two countries work together in various international forums, including platforms such as BRICS, IBSA, G4, G20, BASIC, as well as the United Nations in the wider multilateral context; they engage in summit meetings, high-level visits, and exchanges. Trade and investment between them have grown over the years, as has cooperation in important areas such as bioenergy. India and Brazil in the Global Multilateral Order

Israel – Palestine

  • August 8, 2022. US Department of State. The United States welcomes the agreement today to bring an end to hostilities and restore calm in Gaza and Israel. The agreement will bring a welcome respite to Israeli and Palestinian civilians and permit deliveries of critical fuel and other supplies into Gaza. We express our condolences to the families of civilians who lost their lives or were injured. Welcoming the Ceasefire Agreement in Gaza and Israel
  • August 7, 2022. Udi Dekel, INSS. After two days of successful fighting by Israel against Islamic Jihad, with a string of impressive achievements, the principal risk now is that Hamas will decide to emerge from the sidelines and join the campaign. This turn of events would necessarily lengthen the campaign and widen its scope. Therefore, Israel should try to end the operation, while it retains the upper hand. Operation Breaking Dawn: Following the Successful Entry, an Exit Strategy is Required

Japan – China

  • August 6, 2022. Tadashi Iwami, East Asia Forum. On 19 April 2022, the governments of China and the Solomon Islands signed a security agreement. The Solomon Islands was the first Pacific island country to sign such a pact — and traditional powers in the Pacific region were swift in responding to the security deal. Japan’s media frets about Beijing’s Pacific footprint
  • August 5, 2022. Upamanyu Basu, East Asia Forum. The death of former Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe is a shocking loss for Japan. But Japanese democracy has remained strong, with voters turning up for the Upper House election to give the Kishida government an anticipated victory. Abe’s move to deviate from Japan’s pacifist policies to confront China’s nationalistic designs remains a strong legacy for the Kishida government to conserve. Abe’s legacy on Japan–China relations

Japan – South Korea

Kenya

  • August 5, 2022. Stefan Schott, FNF. George Wajackoyah is an enigmatic personality in many respects: former street child, taken in by the Hare Krishna, financed his studies as a night watchman and gravedigger, law professor with at least 16 university degrees and currently a presidential candidate in Kenya. Kenia: Presidential elections in Kenya

Latin America & The Carribean

Mediterranean

  • August 8, 2022. Abdel-Wahed Ouarzazi, FNF. The current inflationary trend is the result of a combination of factors such as production bottlenecks after the pandemic, the post-Covid rush for recovery and, above all, the war in Ukraine. Europe, the US and the various countries in the Mediterranean basin are proving unable to control this historic escalation in energy supply prices. war impact: Inflationary wave in the Mediterranean

Russia

  • August 3, 2022. Jakub Ferenčík, Europeum.  Disinformation and misinformation have been amplified in the digital age. In order to combat their increasing presence in our everyday lives, we have to first educate ourselves on what disinformation is. In this post, Jakub Ferencik looks at this question in some detail, primarily by analyzing Vladimir Putin’s usage of disinformation in politics. EU MONITOR: Putin’s Disinformation & Misinformation Campaign

Russia – Ukraine (on the ground & impact)

  • August 2, 2022. Aleksandre Tsereteli, FNF. The 21st century has brought significant new developments in warfare. Technological development, both intuitively and intentionally, led to upgrades in military operations and tactics. The Russian invasion of Ukraine is an evident demonstration of how new technologies have shifted traditional warfare. However, the concept of war did not change, as Clausewitz noted: “War is thus an act of force to compel our enemy to do our will”. The question is what kind of new technologies and tools are utilized in current warfare, and how these changes have altered the conventional thinking of an invasion campaign. Most importantly, whether the nature of war changed to achieve that same ultimate goal of compelling enemy to do our will. War in Europe: Use of Technologies in the Russia-Ukraine War
  • August 3, 2022. Lucas Sala and Mark Plant, CGD. Ukraine’s dire financing situation is front and center in the debate over how the world will weather the war being waged by Russia. The IMF will play an important role in extending credit to Ukraine directly, but the institution is also being used a conduit for other countries’ assistance. In this blog we urge the IMF to be more transparent about these operations, with an eye toward transparency for the large special drawing right (SDR) recycling to come soon. The IMF and Ukraine: More Transparency Would Help

Rwanda

  • August 8, 2022. HRW. The United States Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s planned visit to Rwanda from August 10 to 12, 2022, will come amid heightened concerns that the M23 armed group is, again, receiving Rwandan support for abusive operations in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Human Rights Watch said today. Blinken will also visit Congo where the M23 has expanded its control in the North Kivu province, in the eastern part of the country, targeting civilians with summary killings. Rwanda: Human Rights Should Be Priority on Blinken Trip

South China Sea

  • August 6, 2022. Maria Alynna Corinne M. Carlos, East Asia Forum. The South China Sea (SCS) is highly prized for its economic and strategic value. Competing claims over the maritime area have slowed multilateral cooperation among states and disputes have been counter-productive to resolving security concerns in the region. Beyond territorial borders, terrorism, transnational crime, and environmental degradation are rife in the SCS. In response, ASEAN claimant states should pursue minilateralism to achieve multilateral goals through smaller and more functional arrangements. Can minilateralism in the South China Sea finally generate progress?

Sri Lanka

  • August 6, 2022. Soumya Bhowmick, ORF. The economic turmoil in Sri Lanka can be traced back to various mismanaged political moves that have snowballed into the massive crisis being witnessed in the country today. Be it the tax cuts in 2019, or the complete switch to organic farming in 2021 — with the added pressures of the pandemic, foreign debts, Chinese hegemony and the ongoing Ukraine–Russia conflict — the consequences of these policies have been disastrous for the Sri Lankan economy. How Sri Lanka’s tax cuts crippled its economy

Taiwan

  • August 7, 2022. Kalpit A Mankikar, ORF. One of the defining moments of the 20th century was US President Richard Nixon’s trip to Beijing in 1972. This marked an important realignment in the geopolitics of the region and eventually paved the path for China’s rise. That unprecedented American foreign policy initiative led to the coining of a new phrase ‘Nixon to China’. Now exactly, half a century later a new idiom ‘Pelosi to Taiwan’ could replace the old one. ‘Pelosi to Taiwan’ exposes China’s two-facedness on territorial integrity
  • August 8, 2022. , The Strategist. China’s live-fire drills surrounding Taiwan over the weekend simulated an economic blockade, with Chinese forces positioned to halt access to the island nation’s main ports. A blockade of Taiwan would cripple China’s economy
  • August 4, 2022. Chengxin Pan, East Asia Forum. When both US Democrats and Republicans think something is a good idea, it is safe to bet their rare agreement is on countering China. The latest bipartisan chorus in an otherwise bitterly divided Washington is their joint cheering for the Speaker of the US House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan. Pelosi’s Taiwan gamble heightens the risk

Turkey

USA

  • August 8, 2022. HRW. The United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination should recommend the United States government to take immediate, tangible measures to dismantle structural racism in the US, Human Rights Watch and the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) said today, releasing a joint report to the committee. US: Dismantle Structures of Racism Now
  • August 2, 2022. Jason Furman, Project Syndicate, PIIE. The US Federal Reserve tried hope as a macroeconomic strategy last year and ended up contributing to today’s rapid inflation. Now that it has accepted the need for monetary-policy tightening, it must stay the course until inflation is no longer fueling wage growth and feeding back into further increases in the price level. America’s Wage-Price Persistence Must Be Stopped
  • August 5, 2022. Karen Dynan  and Wilson Powell III, PIIE. The July 2022 US employment report surprised to the upside and depicts a labor market that is still very tight. Nonfarm payrolls rose 528,000, more than double the consensus forecast. The unemployment rate ticked down to 3.5 percent, matching the low seen in the robust pre-pandemic labor market. Average hourly earnings rose by 5.2 percent over the 12 months ending in July. Over the past 3 months—and adjusted for compositional shifts in the pool of workers—earnings also rose at an annual rate of 5.2 percent, up from 4.5 percent last month. These wage readings are well above what would be consistent with the Fed’s target of 2 percent inflation. No sign of inflation relief in July US jobs report
  • August 7, 2022. WRI. Today the U.S. Senate passed the Inflation Reduction Act, which includes unprecedented investments to tackle climate change, cut consumer costs, strengthen energy security and create good-paying jobs in the United States. The House of Representatives will consider the legislation on August 12, where it is expected to pass,  before it goes to President Joe Biden to sign into law. Once signed, the Inflation Reduction Act will become the most significant piece of climate legislation enacted in U.S. history. STATEMENT: U.S. Senate Passes the Inflation Reduction Act, Advancing Historic Climate Legislation to the House of Representatives
  • August 4, 2022. James (J.D.) Bindenagel, Dario Cristiani, Marta Prochwicz-JazowskaÖzgür Ünlühisarcıklı, GMF. The hearings of the Select Committee to Investigate the January 6 Attack on the US Capitol have captivated the public and drawn huge media attention in the United States. The testimony of witnesses who were present on the day and of those close to former president Donald Trump’s inner circle has painted an increasingly detailed picture of the chain of events and decisions leading to the unprecedented violent attack on the legislative branch of the US government. For American commentators who have been warning about the deterioration of democracy in their country, this has reinforced their calls for a full accounting of this historic event and for making those responsible accountable. Below, GMF analysts say how the January 6 hearings have been followed in four close transatlantic allies of the United States: Germany, Italy, Poland, and Türkiye. While the hearings have made headlines in these countries, the attention paid has not been as high as might have been expected and the reactions of their political class have varied. In Ankara, Rome, and Warsaw, the focus is almost fully on domestic politics with different elections looming, leaving little time for worrying about US politics. Europe’s View of the January 6 Hearings
  • August 2, 2022. Samuel Gregg, Acton Institute. In recent weeks, the New York Times has been running opinion pieces in which various columnists expound on a topic about which they have changed their views. On July 21 it was David Brooks’ turn to lay out his mea culpa. The subject turned out to be capitalism, or at least what Brooks believes to be some of the market economy’s undesirable side effects and what should be done about them. A Reply to David Brooks: Don’t apologize for capitalism
  • August 1, 2022. Rosolino Candela, Acton Institute. The case for international free trade, and the political role that the United States has played in shaping international trade policy, has consistently provoked controversy, particularly in recent years. However, since the Great Depression, the U.S. has nevertheless taken the lead in setting the agenda for a policy of freer trade across all nations. Restoring the Constitutional Case for Free Trade
  • August 3, 2022. Lee Drutman, New America. Lee Drutman co-authored a piece for Chicago Tribune discussing Viktor Orbán’s inspiration in the U.S. electoral system. Farbod Faraji and Lee Drutman: Hungary’s Viktor Orbán can thank the US for facilitating his rise to power
  • August 3, 2022. Lee Drutman, New America. Lee Drutman was mentioned in a Washington Post discussing the challenges of a new political party such as the newly formed: Forward Party.  A third party could be successful. But probably not this one

USA – China

  • August 4, 2022. Chicago Council on Global Affairs. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s controversial Taiwan trip came amid increasingly harsh warnings of retaliations from Beijing and escalating US-China tensions. Nonresident Senior Fellow Paul Heer joins Deep Dish to argue the importance of engagement with China as a necessary component of US foreign policy. If we do not pursue it, he says, we are missing opportunities for a more peaceful coexistence between both countries and the world.  Should the US Embrace or Reject Engagement with China?

USA – Indonesia – Russia/Ukraine

  • August 5, 2022. Ann Marie Murphy, East Asia Forum. To many Americans who view Russia’s invasion of Ukraine as an unprovoked war that must be opposed, Indonesia’s high levels of public support for Russia may be perplexing. But divergent US and Indonesian views should not come as a surprise. The United States and Indonesia tend to perceive international events — and one another — through distinct ideological and normative frameworks due to their different international positions and historical experiences. Ukraine war highlights differences between Indonesian and US foreign policy frameworks

USA – South Africa

  • August 8, 2022. US Department of State. The United States and South Africa enjoy a strategic partnership with a strong network of people-to-people relationships with businesses, non-governmental organizations, universities, cultural institutions, and individual citizens. As a global voice, strong and vibrant democracy, and a country built on its commitment to human rights, South Africa is a strategic partner of the United States, with strong collaboration in shared global and bilateral priorities, including health, climate, trade and investment, education, and digital economy. The United States and the Republic of South Africa

USA – Sub-Saharan Africa

  • August 8, 2022. US Department of State. Secretary Blinken travels to South Africa, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and Rwanda this week, where the United States has been deploying resources and working in partnership with African governments, institutions, businesses, scientists, and other leaders to prevent hunger and combat the global food security crisis while also addressing the increasing rates of malnutrition, which has hit the continent of Africa the hardest. U.S. Food Security Assistance to Sub-Saharan Africa

TOPICS

Climate change & Sustainability

  • August 4, 2022. ifo Institute. The business climate for microenterprises and solo self-employed persons in Germany is markedly worse, according to the latest index for this segment (“Jimdo-ifo Business Climate Index”). It plunged to minus 12.1 points (not seasonally adjusted) in July, down from minus 1.1 points in June. “Solo self-employed persons cannot escape the negative pull of the overall economy,” says Klaus Wohlrabe, Head of Surveys at ifo. “Pessimism is increasingly making inroads here as well.” Business Climate in Germany Falls to a Record Low for Solo Self-Employed Persons and Microenterprises
  • August 5, 2022. WRI. As part of the “Forum for Decarbonizing Transport” (under the NDC-Transport Initiative for Asia project, the NITI Aayog and WRI India hosted a webinar titled “Just Transition and Skill Development in the Electric Vehicle Industry”. In two sessions, the panelists highlighted the pressing need to support skilling, upskilling, and reskilling of the automotive sector workforce as the ongoing EV transition changes the nature of jobs in the industry. The panelists also stressed on the policy support needed to navigate the ongoing transition to ensure equitable and just outcomes. Just Transition and Skill Development in the Electric Vehicle Industry
  • August 4, 2022. Alissa Huntington and Eleanor Jackson, WRI. In collaboration with partners and communities, WRI’s Electric School Bus Initiative aims to build unstoppable momentum toward an equitable transition of the U.S. school bus fleet to electric by 2030, bringing health, climate and economic benefits to children and families across the country and normalizing electric mobility for an entire generation. The Electric School Bus Series explains how superintendents and fleet managers across the United States have pursued school bus electrification in their own communities. This edition covers the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians, a sovereign nation located in Cherokee, North Carolina, whose school bus contractor – Cherokee Boys Club – and Air Quality Program teamed up for their tribe’s three-phase electric school bus pilot. The Electric School Bus Series: How North Carolina’s Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians is Planning for Seven Generations of Sustainability
  • August 4, 2022. Carla WalkerLacey Shaver and Caitlin Macomber, WRI. As hubs of talent and innovation, American cities are uniquely positioned to fight climate change and improve the health, economy and well-being of their residents. The Biden administration’s Justice40 Initiative and funding available through the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) provide rare opportunities for cities to invest in these priorities and turn big ambitions into tangible progress. City leaders must lean into this moment and align their climate strategies with equity priorities, so they are fully equipped to receive and deliver these investments to their frontline communities through projects that center equity and drive decarbonization. But how ready are U.S. cities to do so, what challenges do they face, and what steps can they take now to prepare? How Prepared Are US Cities to Implement the Justice40 Initiative?
  • August 4, 2022. CMCC. Aridity conditions have now been mapped for the whole globe with a very high spatial resolution. This is a knowledge tool and database that helps detailed description and informed decisions to allow better land-use planning. Published in the Nature journal – Scientific Data with the contribution of the CMCC Foundation, the updated and improved database is presented in a study that paves the way for future aridity projections. The global map of aridity
  • August 6, 2022. ORF. Environmental and ecological challenges are increasingly growing in strength among the many non-traditional security threats manifest in the vast oceanic stretch of the Indo-Pacific region. These bear ramifications not only for the natural world, but also substantially impact socio-economic considerations, and even define strategic equations amongst countries. Accordingly, ‘Marine Ecology’ has been identified as one of the seven pillars in the India-led Indo-Pacific Ocean’s Initiative (IPOI), aiming to ensure the security and stability of the region’s maritime spaces. While several Indo-Pacific countries are collaborating with India in other areas of IPOI, such as security, infrastructure and resources, Australia has taken the lead in this domain. Australia–India Indo-Pacific Oceans Initiative: Regional Collaborative Arrangements in Marine Ecology Report Release
  • August 6, 2022. ORF. Over the years, oceans and marine ecosystems have been critical players in driving economic growth and development for countries across the globe. With a multitude of resources serving out various livelihood options, “Blue Economy” has been a great frontier of exploration and exploitation while at the same time demanding conservation and regeneration. One such critical marine space is the Bay of Bengal (BoB) region, extending into the wider Indo-Pacific. The implications of sustainable use of the blue economy, for advancing various developmental goals, loom large in this region. Therefore, there is an urgent need to identify focus areas located at the intersection of science and policy to enable effective governance of the Bay of Bengal Large Marine Ecosystem (BOBLME) for sustainable development. Blue Economy: Myriad Hues for Dispelling Development Blues

Cybersecurity – Defense – Security – Space

  • August 4, 2022. Institute for Security Studies. When violent extremists threatened Mozambique’s resource-rich Cabo Delgado province, the Institute for Security Studies (ISS) convened a team of its experts in maritime security, organised crime, violent extremism and governance. This multidisciplinary experience enabled the ISS to send early warnings before the conflict flared, and gave weight to the ISS argument that military responses must be supported by socio-economic development and humanitarian assistance. Spotlight: Multi-skilled ISS team informs responses to complex Cabo Delgado crisis
  • August 8, 2022. , Infosecurity. Suspected North Korea state hackers are targeting cryptocurrency workers with a new phishing campaign. North Korean Hackers Target Crypto Job Seekers
  • August 8, 2022. , Infosecurity. A zero-day vulnerability in Twitter’s code base was responsible for a major data breach that is thought to have affected 5.4 million users, the social media firm has revealed. Zero-Day Bug Responsible for Massive Twitter Breach
  • August 8, 2022. , Infosecurity. The NHS is battling a cyber-attack which has disrupted patient referrals, appointment bookings and other operations, according to reports. NHS Cyber-Attack Delays Ambulances
  • August 8, 2022. Naval News. On Aug. 3, the U.S. Navy recovered the F/A-18E Super Hornet aircraft assigned to Carrier Air Wing (CVW 1), embarked aboard USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75) that blew overboard due to unexpected heavy weather in the Mediterranean Sea July 8, 2022. U.S. Navy Recovers F/A-18E from Mediterranean Sea
  • August 8, 2022. Naval News. U.S. Navy’s Lewis and Clark-class dry cargo ship USNS Charles Drew (T- AKE -10) docks for repairs at the L&T shipyard in Kattupalli, Chennai, on 07 August 2022. This is the first U.S. Navy ship to be repaired and maintained at an Indian shipyard. USNS Charles Drew repair in an Indian Shipyard marks a first
  • August 8, 2022. Naval News. Luerssen Australia cuts the first steel of the 6th Arafura-class offshore patrol vessel, the future HMAS Carpentaria, in Henderson, Western Australia. Luerssen cuts the first steel of 6th Arafura-class OPV
  • August 8, 2022. Brent D. Sadler, Defense One. Recently, the Navy quietly submitted a report required by the fiscal 2022 defense authorization bill. Thes classified report apparently details the number and type of warships needed to execute the national defense strategy. Little is known of this Battle Force Ship Assessment and Requirement report other than a goal of 373 ships. The Navy’s Fleet Plan Has Two Strikes Against It
  • August 8, 2022. Joe Gould, Defense News. For Raytheon Technologies, it wasn’t one specific material that surged in price, causing headaches for the defense contractor. Defying fiscal disruption: Defense revenues on Top 100 continue to climb, despite supply chain turmoil
  • August 8, 2022. Marjorie Censer, Defense News. The war in Ukraine has sparked a global hunger for weapons that is likely to play out over years. In some cases, the war is pushing countries to turn to off-the-shelf systems rather than wait for programs already in development. As a result, this new wave of spending is likely to have major ramifications for the global defense industry in the coming years. The list is here: Find out how global defense companies performed in FY21
  • August 8, 2022. Burak Ege Bekdil, Defense News. Turkey’s defense and aerospace sales have increased tenfold over the last two decades, with the sector’s export business growing by nearly 1,200%, according to data released May 3 by one of the country’s industry umbrella organizations. Turkey’s defense industry eyes export expansion as government navigates geopolitical stage
  • August 8, 2022. Vivek Raghuvanshi, Defense News. India is preparing a new list of additional banned foreign-made defense materiel, according to the Society of Indian Defence Manufacturers, with the industry association providing its own input to the government. India’s private defense firms seek level playing field as MoD preps new arms embargo
  • August 8, 2022.
  • August 8, 2022. Byron Callan, Defense News. Defense News’ Top 100 list remains a valuable data set in assessing how global defense contractors have — or have not — changed. Absent are most major Russian contractors, and some others are regrettably not included, notably SpaceX, General Atomics and Edge Group. Also regrettable is that some firms do not appear to have responded to Defense News’ request for data.  Why most of the Top 100 saw defense revenue grow
  • August 8, 2022. Scott Sacknoff, Defense News. From a global economic perspective, 2021 will largely be remembered as the bridge between the pandemic disruption of early 2020 and operating in a challenging macroeconomic environment dominated by rising inflation, supply chain issues, the likelihood of a 2022 recession and frequent resurgences of pandemic variants. Companies operating in the defense sector have to navigate these issues as well, but the Russian invasion of Ukraine in February is of critical importance for its stability and will likely remain so for the better part of this decade. Even in a challenging period, publicly traded defense stocks thrive
  • August 2, 2022. Brig. Abhimanyu Ghosh (Retd.), Delhi Policy Group. Adversarial threat actors from China, North Korea, Pakistan and Russia have been persistent in targeting India. While a Pakistani hacker group targeted Indian educational institutions, Russian malware was used for a cyber-attack on Oil India’s (OIL) systems in Assam, with the hacker demanding a ransom of $75,00,000. Cyber Review
  • August 2, 2022. Bradley Reynolds, Johanna Ketola, FIIA. A common understanding of the OSCE and the security it seeks to promote has been in decline since 2008. The war in Ukraine and renewed Russian invasion in February 2022 have led many to ask how to sustain the OSCE going forward. The OSCE and a 21st century spirit of Helsinki
  • August 4, 2022. Rose Croshier, CGD. Every country must make tough choices when faced with finite resources. For low-income countries especially, addressing very immediate needs, like hunger, shelter, education, health, and security, can be perceived as competing directly with efforts to develop a space capability. As Col. Francis Ngabo from the Rwanda Space Agency put it during a recent panel, the question to some minds can come down to “space or hunger?”. Investing in Space and Addressing Basic Needs Can go Hand in Hand
  • August 6, 2022. Sameer Patil, ORF. The nuclear dynamics of Southern Asia are inextricably linked to the larger global scenario, which is today characterised by two interlinked aspects: An uncertain fate of the US–Russia arms control cooperation and the bleak prospect of nuclear disarmament. A nuclear arms race in Southern Asia?
  • August 6, 2022. Samir Bhattacharya, VIF. In his address to the Ugandan Parliament in July 2018, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi enunciated the ten guiding principles of India’s engagement with Africa and elucidated the importance of each principle. Principle number seven of India’s development cooperation articulated by PM Modi was explicit with regard to combating terrorism and promoting peacekeeping and cyber security. And true to his promise, in the last 4-5 years, security cooperation between India and Africa has emerged as a prominent area, offering unprecedented opportunities of collaboration. Given India’s long-standing partnership with Africa in defence sector and its bright prospects, the current article attempts to deep dive into the current levels of defence cooperation and evaluate the future course of action, optimising this collaboration for mutual benefit. Tracing the Future of India-Africa Defence Cooperation
  • August 8, 2022.  and , The Strategist. The government has announced a defence strategic review to ensure Australia ‘has the right capabilities that are postured to meet the growing strategic challenges that Australia and its partner countries will face in the world in coming years’. Earlier in this series, we looked at Australia’s transition in undersea warfare capability and highlighted the risks involved in that long process. One of the review’s highest priorities will be to address those risks. Can a new conventional submarine smooth Australia’s transition to a nuclear-powered fleet?

Global governance

  • August 8, 2022. Ronak Gopaldas, Institute for Security Studies. Expanding BRICS to create an alternative power bloc is enticing for many countries, but faces several practical limitations. More BRICS in the wall?
  • August 5, 2022. Chicago Council on Global Affairs. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and China’s economic and military rise signify the emergence of a new geopolitical order. In this era of revived great power competition, the United States faces adversaries increasingly willing and able to challenge its global interests and project their own influence. In lieu of our regular World Review panel, this is a replay of a conversation with experts from the United States, Asia, and Europe on what the war in Ukraine has revealed about the changing geopolitical order and whether further conflict is inevitable as the ambitions of the world’s powers collide. World Review: Russia, China, and the Battle for Global Dominance

Migration