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Cyber Security, Digital Transition, Technology Geopolitics & Worlds In-Defense In-Security Pensiero Strategico

Open newsletter – April 11, 2022 a.m.

TODAY:

  • AROUND THE WORLD
  • PERSPECTIVES
  • RUSSIA – UKRAINE (impact, reactions, consequences) 
  • TECH – DEFENSE – MILITARY – SECURITY – CYBER – SPACE

 

AROUND THE WORLD

Australia 

  • Australian election campaign kicks off with opposition ahead in polls, April 11. By , Reuters. Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s government could lose the federal election to be held on May 21, according to polls on Monday, even as they showed him consolidating his position as the country’s preferred leader on the first day of campaigning. A Newspoll survey conducted for The Australian newspaper showed Morrison gaining a point to 44%, while opposition leader Anthony Albanese falling 3 points to 39%, the largest lead the prime minister has held over his rival since February. (read more)

Bahrain – Iran – Israel

Balkans

Croatia

Fiji

France

Hong Kong

Indonesia

Iran – Middle East

Israel

Mexico

North Korea

Pakistan

  • Protests in Pakistan over Khan’s removal, Sharif set to be new PM, April 11. By Al Jazeera. The removal of Imran Khan as prime minister has set Pakistan on an uncertain political path, with his supporters taking to the streets in protest as the opposition prepares to install his replacement. Khan was brought down early on Sunday morning after 174 legislators in the 342-seat National Assembly – some belonging to his party and coalition – voted in a no-confidence motion moved by the opposition to depose him, two more than the required simple majority. (read more)
  • Political change in Pakistan as Shehbaz Sharif seeks to become PM, April 11. By  and , Reuters. Opposition politician Shehbaz Sharif submitted his nomination to be Pakistan’s next prime minister to the legislature on Sunday, his party said, after incumbent Imran Khan lost a no-confidence vote in parliament after nearly four years in power. (read more)
  • Evolving Political Crisis in Pakistan, April 8. By VIF. On April 3, 2022, parliament convened to vote, but Imran Khan survived after the deputy speaker of parliament dismissed the vote of no-confidence, citing foreign conspiracy. Khan took the unprecedented step to dissolve parliament and called for fresh elections. Meanwhile, opposition parties have approached the Supreme Court, claiming that the deputy speaker’s decision was unconstitutional. Pakistan is in the middle of a major political crisis. Join Dr Shalini Chawla Distinguished Fellow, at the Centre for Air Power Studies (CAPS), New Delhi and Aakriti Vinayak in this podcast as they discuss the evolving Political crisis in Pakistan. (read more)

Serbia

Sri Lanka

  • Sri Lanka’s surprise finance minister has a mountain to climb, April 11. By  and , Reuters. When former justice minister Ali Sabry visited Sri Lanka’s president last Monday, it was for talks amid an economic crisis that has brought thousands of protesters on to the street and left the island nation short of fuel, medicine and power. By the time Sabry left the meeting with Gotabaya Rajapaksa, to his surprise he was finance minister, thrust into the centre of a financial storm that will not be easy to calm. (read more)

USA – Indo Pacific – China

  • Trying to unscramble Asia’s economic interdependence with China, April 11. By East Asia Forum. The security thinking that’s now captured Washington calls on allies and partners everywhere ‘to reinforce, renovate and buttress a world order that favours freedom’. The US Indo-Pacific strategy is shaped around the idea of integrated deterrence which US Secretary of Defense, Lloyd Austin, says means ‘using every military and non-military tool in our toolbox, in lockstep with our allies and partners’. (read more)
  • A US Indo-Pacific framework that tries to build out China is unrealistic, April 10. By Mary E Lovely, East Asia Forum. When he withdrew the United States from the Trans-Pacific Partnership, former president Donald Trump tore up the playbook for American economic engagement with Asia. In February 2022, his successor, Joe Biden, offered his own strategy for the region — one that blends broadly defined security and commercial interests while sharing Trump’s refusal to engage in new comprehensive trade agreements. (read more)

PERSPECTIVES

RUSSIA – UKRAINE (impact, reactions, consequences)

  • After the EU’s Russia coal ban, Germany grapples with oil and gas, April 11. By Cathrin Schaer, Al Jazeera. Some German power plant operators had been preparing for sanctions announced last week for several months already. It was because of suspicious Russian behaviour, they said. Late on the evening of April 7, the European Union announced a fifth packet of sanctions against Russia because of its invasion of Ukraine. Besides sanctioning individuals and restricting shipping, the EU’s packet included a ban on Russian coal imports from August onwards. (read more)
  • RUSI Reflects: Unity and Cohesion is NATO’s Strength, April 8. By RUSI. The Russian attack on Ukraine is the greatest threat to Euro-Atlantic security in decades, says Admiral Robert Bauer, Chair of the NATO Military Committee. In this week’s episode of RUSI Reflects, Admiral Bauer describes the main causes of NATO’s strength as the diversity of its allies and the unity of its values. (read more)
  • China Makes Semi-Secret Delivery of Missiles to Serbia, April 10. By Associated Press, VoA. Russian ally Serbia took the delivery of a sophisticated Chinese anti-aircraft system in a veiled operation this weekend, amid Western concerns that an arms buildup in the Balkans at the time of the war in Ukraine could threaten the fragile peace in the region. (read more)
  • China’s Diplomacy and the European Crisis, April 8. By Tang Bei, Valdai Discussion Club.  This article addresses the UN’s role in the Russia-Ukraine crisis, and how this event can provide an opportunity for China, together with its international partners, to improve the functioning of the United Nations. (read more)
  • NB65 group targets Russia with a modified version of Conti’s ransomware, April 10. By Pierluigi Paganini, Security Affairs. According to BleepingComputerNB65 hacking group is targeting Russian organizations with ransomware that they have developed using the leaked source code of the Conti ransomware. (read more)
  • Facebook blocked Russia & Belarus threat actors’ activity against Ukraine, April 10. By Pierluigi Paganini, Security Affairs. Facebook/Meta revealed that Russia-linked threat actors are attempting to weaponize the social network to target Ukraine. The company blocked about 200 accounts operated from Russia that were used to falsely report people for various violations, including hate speech, bullying, and inauthenticity, in an attempt to have them and their posts removed from the platform. (read more)
  • Zelensky on NATO: ‘no longer interested in their diplomacy’, April 10. By Monique Beals, The Hill. Ukrainian President Volodymr Zelensky, who has urged NATO to take stronger actions throughout Russia’s invasion, said in an interview that aired Sunday he is “no longer interested in their diplomacy.” (read more)
  • Why did the United States resettle only 12 Ukrainian refugees in March?, April 11. By  and , Reuters. U.S. President Joe Biden said last month that the United States would accept up to 100,000 Ukrainians fleeing Russia’s invasion, but lawmakers and advocates have urged the Democratic president to speed up refugee and visa processing. While several thousand Ukrainians have entered the United States via the border with Mexico and some on legal visas, only 12 Ukrainians came through the U.S. refugee program in March. (read more)
  • Russian Offensive Campaign Assessment, April 10. By Mason Clark, Kateryna Stepanenko, and Karolina Hird, ISW. Russian forces made territorial gains in Mariupol in the past 24 hours and continued to reinforce operations along the Izyum-Slovyansk axis but did not make other territorial gains. Russian forces bisected Mariupol from the city center to the coast on April 10, isolating the remaining Ukrainian defenders in two main locations: the main port of Mariupol in the southwest and the Azovstal steel plant in the east. Russian forces, including a convoy of hundreds of vehicles captured in Maxar Technologies imagery on April 8, continue to reinforce Russia’s offensive in Izyum to link up with Russian positions in Luhansk Oblast. (read more)
  • Chechen chief Kadyrov says Russian forces will take Kyiv, April 11. By Reuters. Ramzan Kadyrov, the powerful head of Russia’s republic of Chechnya, said early on Monday that there will be an offensive by Russian forces not only on the besieged port of Mariupol, but also on Kyiv and other Ukrainian cities. (read more)
  • Ukraine prepares for Russian assault, calls for more support, April 11. By , Reuters. Ukraine’s armed forces braced on Monday for a new Russian offensive as powerful explosions rocked cities in the south and east, while Austria’s leader planned to meet Russian President Vladimir Putin and call for an end to the conflict. (read more)

TECH – DEFENSE – MILITARY – SECURITY – CYBER – SPACE

  • Keeping a Hand on the Tiller: A Threat-Led Approach to Maritime Cyber Risk, April 8. By Jamie Collier and Thomas Scriven, RUSI. The pandemic has had a large impact on global supply chains. Ports and vessels have been especially impacted due to reductions in operations, crew disruption, and backlogs at crucial ports. As global supply chains continue to recover, there is an ongoing risk that maritime organisations will increase their risk acceptance in an effort to reach pre-pandemic levels as soon as possible. The cyber security of maritime organisations is therefore more critical than ever. This challenge must be met head on to protect not just the maritime sector, but also the far wider supply chain that remains highly reliant on cargo and shipping networks. (read more)
  • NPT’s Midlife Crisis, April 8. Rakesh Sood, Valdai Discussion Club. If the NPT has to retain political relevance, it has to adapt to the changed political realities of the 21st century and acknowledge the advances made in nuclear science and technology. Merely repeating the tired clichés of the past is clearly not enough. A new political convergence of interests has to be built if the NPT has to successfully overcome its midlife crisis. (read more)
  • An ASEAN-India Cybersecurity Partnership for Peace, Progress, and Prosperity: Report of the Third ASEAN-India Track 1.5 Dialogue on Cyber Issues, April 11. In 2020, an estimated 4.6 billion people in the world were online; India was home to 795 million of them, and 440 million users were in the countries of the ASEAN (Association of South East Asian Nations). The same year also saw a rapid increase in internet use, with the COVID-19 pandemic push bringing people online at an unprecedented scale amidst lockdowns and restrictions on movement. A surge in use of internet services has, however, exacerbated the already-intractable issue of the safety of data, people, livelihoods, and enterprises online. (read more)
  • Thinking outside the box on Southeast Asian maritime security, April 11. By Collin Koh, The Interpreter. The Southeast Asian maritime domain continues to be fraught. The Covid-19 pandemic brought about an observable increase in transnational crimes such as smuggling – at first, pandemic-related medical material, then later food – as well as illegal drug trading and human trafficking. Piracy and armed robbery against ships, a perennial maritime security challenge in Southeast Asia, remains a problem. In 2021, the Singapore Strait saw a six-year high in incidents, although most of them were not ship-jacking episodes and did not involve serious loss of property or casualties. And since the fall of Afghanistan to the Taliban in August 2021, Southeast Asia has been bracing for the possible spill-overs and growing threat of resurgent transnational terrorism. In the wake of Covid-19, Southeast Asian countries will continue to focus their energies on addressing these maritime security challenges. (read more)
  • Why it’s important for Australia to build sovereign capability in AI, April 11. By , The Strategist. Artificial intelligence is already ubiquitous in our lives and will be foundational to our future prosperity. In Australia, the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet has identified AI and machine learning as critical technologies of national interest. AI applications are wide-ranging and encompass many sectors, including agriculture, education, energy, finance, health care, manufacturing, transport and telecommunications. (read more)
  • Understanding global disinformation and information operations | The Strategist (aspistrategist.org.au), April 11. By  and , The Strategist. A new website launched by ASPI’s International Cyber Policy Centre is designed to identify nations using deception operations to manipulate potential adversaries, and their own populations. The Understanding Global Disinformation and Information Operations website provides a visual breakdown of the publicly available data from state-linked information operations on social media. ASPI’s information operations and disinformation team has analysed each of the datasets in Twitter’s information operations archive to provide a longitudinal analysis of how each country’s willingness, capability and intent has evolved over time. (read more)