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

Open newsletter – April 19, 2022 p.m.

TODAY:

  • AROUND THE WORLD
  • CYBER – DEFENSE – MILITARY – SECURITY – SPACE – TECH
  • HORIZONS

 

AROUND THE WORLD

India

  • April 19. By Ramanath Jha, ORF. The normal governance construct of municipal corporations in India is a three-layered structure. At the apex is the municipal corporation, comprising all the elected councillors within the geographical area of the city. Each councillor, in addition to representing his or her electoral ward, performs the role of advising and voting on policy. (read more)
  • April 19. By Farha Irani, ORF. Evidence from several countries suggests that last-mile connectivity solutions—the transport options available to commuters from the origin of their journey to the point of accessing a public transit system—enhance citizens’ mobility and increase metro rail ridership. This brief evaluates India’s operational metro rail transit systems to identify the missing links in the provision and effective implementation of last-mile connectivity. It assesses India’s existing policies related to metro rail transit systems and several global practices to present a holistic view of last-mile connectivity initiatives. The brief offers specific recommendations for structured last-mile connectivity to improve the commuter experience and augment the sustainability gains from metro rail transit systems. (read more)

Iran – Middle East

  • April 19. By Michael Young, Carnegie Middle East Center. Karim Sadjadpour is a senior fellow at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, where he focuses on Iran and U.S. policy toward the Middle East. Recently, Sadjadpour wrote an article for Foreign Affairs magazine, titled “Iran’s Hollow Victory: The High Price of Regional Dominance,” in which he examined Tehran’s grand strategy, describing remarkable continuity in the way it has approached the United States and the Middle East. Diwan interviewed Sadjadpour in mid-April to discuss his article, but also to look more broadly at Iran’s position in the Middle East, especially as negotiations in Vienna over a revival of the nuclear deal appear to have hit an impasse. (read more)

Pakistan

  • April 19. By Abhishek Das, ORF. After weeks of high political drama, Imran Khan was ousted through a No-Confidence Motion (NCM) in the National Assembly of Pakistan. He followed suit of all the previous Pakistani PMs whose term ended prematurely and became the first-ever Pakistani Prime Minister to be ousted in such a manner. With him now gone, Combined Opposition Leader, Shehbaz Sharif, of Pakistan Muslim League (N) was selected, and he took oath as the next Prime Minister. This brief would explore those challenges that Shehbaz Sharif needs to address immediately. (read more)

Papua New Guinea

  • April 19. By Micheal Kabuni, The Interpreter. Papua New Guinea’s parliament has approved the creation of seven new districts just weeks ahead of the national elections scheduled for 11 June. This is the first time since the country’s independence in 1975 that the parliament has conducted such redistricting but the rush in this instance has exposed flaws in the decision. (read more)

Russia – Ukraine (impact, reactions, consequences)

  • April 19. By Maria Demertzis, Francesco Papadia, Bruegel. Russia’s Gazprombank has so far not been sanctioned by the European Union in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Gazprombank handles payments made by European gas importers, who would not be able to make euro (or dollar) payments for gas if it were sanctioned. The question however is whether the Russian state can access these payments made to Gazprombank and turn them into domestic currency to finance its current operations. (read more)
  • April 19. By Pravesh Kumar Gupta, VIF. Central Asia is geo-strategically significant for the Kremlin as the region border Afghanistan and Iran to the South, China to the East, and the Caspian Sea to the West. The Central Asian region is considered Russia’s sphere of influence, and Moscow is also the region’s security provider. Furthermore, Central Asian economies are heavily reliant on remittances from Russian Federation. Due to this complementarity, any geopolitical development that affects Russia also impacts Central Asian Republics. In the same way, the Russia-Ukraine conflict has major consequences for Central Asian countries. (read more)
  • April 19. By Amb Ashok Sajjanhar, VIF. Central Asia is Russia’s sphere of Influence, and Moscow is also the security provider in the region. In addition, Central Asian economies are highly dependent on remittances from the Russian Federation. Central Asia has been heavily impacted by the significant drop in the value of the Russian ruble as a result of Western sanctions. Their economies are extremely interlinked with Russia’s that when the ruble falls, their national currencies fall with it, and they are severely affected. Against this background, the Russia-Ukraine Conflict has serious repercussions for Central Asian nations. (listen to the podcast)
  • April 18. By VIF. The VIF Young Scholars Forum discussed ‘Impact of Ukraine War on Various Regions/ International Concerns’ in their weekly meeting on 08 April 2022. Scholars raised ramifications and responses to the Ukraine War as pertaining to their assigned field of study. (read more)
  • April 18. By Arvind Gupta, VIF. India abstained on the last UNGA resolution which suspended Russia from the Human Rights Council. Explaining India’s vote, the Indian ambassador strongly condemned civilian killings in Bucha while reiterating India’s unwavering commitment to Human Rights. India’s abstention should not be construed as supporting Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. (read more)
  • April 19. By Justin Bronk, RUSI. Compared to its initial operations around Kyiv and in the southwest of Ukraine, Russia likely has a measure of localised air superiority in Donbas. However, this is unlikely to produce decisive results on the battlefield. (read more)
  • April 19. By Peter Layton, The Interpreter. The war in Ukraine is entering its ninth week. Looking back, in the first three weeks, Russia tried to quickly impose regime change. This failed, leading to the Russian army adopting a wasteland strategy. This aimed to destroy Ukraine economically, devastate cities and towns, and create large refugee flows. Some 12 million people – about a quarter of Ukraine’s population – are now refugees, internally or externally. (read more)

USA

  • April 19. By Courtney Bublé, Nextgov. The White House issued guidance to federal agencies on Monday outlining obligations to procure materials domestically for infrastructure projects. Included in the $1.2 trillion Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act was the bipartisan, “Build America, Buy America Act,” which applies “Buy America” to all taxpayer-funded infrastructure and public works projects. The new 17-page guidance, released by the Office of Management and Budget, furthers this act as well as aligns with the “Made in America” executive order that President Biden issued shortly after coming into office. (read more)

CYBER – DEFENSE – MILITARY – SECURITY – SPACE – TECH

  • April 19. Hans Binnendijk, Barry Pavel, Defense One. The prime ministers of Finland and Sweden have indicated that Vladimir Putin’s unprovoked and brutal attack on Ukraine is shifting the political balance in both nations in favor of both countries applying for NATO membership. They have seen in Ukraine that countries without an Article 5 collective defense pledge are vulnerable. The choice must be theirs to make, with no pressure from NATO members. (read more)
  • April 18. By Sameer Patil, ORF. On 6 April 2022, American cybersecurity firm, Recorded Future revealed that Chinese state-sponsored hackers had targeted India’s power grids in Ladakh. A part of China’s cyber espionage campaign, the sustained targeting of the power grids was possibly aimed at collecting information on India’s critical infrastructure or preparing for their sabotage in the future. What technical information the hackers had collected through this breach remains unknown. However, this targeting of the power grids and cyber-espionage campaign fits in the broader pattern of China’s systematic pursuit of offensive cyber operations against India for more than a decade. (read more)
  • April 19. By Demi Starks, Emma De Angelis and Edward Mortimer, RUSI. US federal attorney and former Army Judge Advocate, Jody Prescott, explores how security concerns are weaved together. (play the episode)
  • April 19. By John Breeden II, Nextgov. Having been a federal reporter for a long time, I was there when the federal government first started getting into social media. It wasn’t pretty. I wrote a lot of stories back then about the perceived dangers of social media, but not too many about how it could be an innovative way for agencies to connect with the public. Government was really slow in figuring out how to use social media as an effective communication and outreach tool. (read more)
  • April 19. By Associated Press, Defense News. A classified satellite for the U.S. National Reconnaissance Office was launched into space from California on Sunday. (read more)
  • April 19. By , The Strategist. A subset of a pro–Chinese Communist Party network, known for disseminating disinformation on US-based social media platforms, is breaking away from its usual narratives in order to interfere in the Quad partnership of Australia, India, Japan and the United States and oppose Japanese plans to deploy missile units in southern Okinawa Prefecture. (read more)
  • April 19. By , The Strategist. Once better known for its distinctive style of making potent coffee and its gelatinous confectionary cubes called Turkish Delight, these days Turkey is making a name for itself through a more deadly means: as a major global player in armed drone development. (read more)

HORIZONS

  • April 18. By Debosmita Sarkar, Preeti Kapuria, ORF. The Sixth Assessment Report (AR6) of the IPCC has estimated an average increase of the order of 1.09°C in global surface temperature over the last decade from the 1850–1900 levels. The AR6 Working Group II (WGII) makes an assessment of climate change impacts and risks as well as adaptations necessary in the context of non-climatic global concerns like biodiversity loss, natural resource extraction, ecosystem degradation, unbridled urbanisation and demographic shifts, rising inequalities, and the most recent COVID-19 pandemic. (read more)