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

Open newsletter – April 22, 2022

ACTA DIURNA (di Marco Emanuele)

Nessuno nega le ragioni della difesa e della sicurezza ma altra cosa, a ben guardare, è un mondo in riarmo. Tutto questo succede non solo a partire dalle armi, dalle tecnologie critiche, dagli eserciti ma, ciò che è peggio e che ci preoccupa, dalle parole e dalla carenza di relazione. Usiamo parole come armi e, pressoché a ogni latitudine (complice una pandemia che ci ha allontanati), abbiamo paura dell’incontro, preferiamo mantenere la distanza, non farci “contaminare” dall’altro. Mentre, paradossalmente, sentiamo il bisogno di uscire, di liberarci, di divertirci, dall’altro lato viviamo un bisogno malato di rinchiuderci, di elevare il livello dell’auto-referenzialità. Insomma, viviamo una fase storica della quale la spinta forte sull’immunizzazione è un tratto distintivo.

Mentre la pandemia sembrava rallentare, in Europa scoppiava la prima “guerra ibrida” del terzo millennio. Una guerra della quale si sta dicendo tutto e il contrario di tutto e nella cui analisi prevale la noia del pensiero lineare e mainstream. Chiunque pronunci una sillaba che si discosta dal copione scritto per i tanti attori che devono recitarlo (senza pensare) viene considerato un filo-aggressore. Eppure, anche se ci annoia dirlo perché è come stupirsi che esca l’acqua dalla doccia, ribadiamo che c’è un aggressore (Putin e il suo gruppo di potere) e un aggredito (il popolo ucraino).

Ciò che chiamiamo “occidente”, parte del mondo alla quale apparteniamo, è sostanzialmente disunito ma unito per coloro che hanno bisogno di credere che esista un bene distaccato dal male. Chi scrive non ha mai considerato Putin un sincero democratico, a differenza di altri che oggi lo condannano “senza se e senza ma” ma che, in anni vicini, lo consideravano partner strategico: al di là delle vittime (altre rispetto agli ucraini), in nome del “business as usual”.

Anche l’ONU si è svegliato in questi giorni. Tutti sembrano cercare punti di mediazione con l’autocrate (cosa si diranno nelle telefonate e negli incontri ?), alcuni sfilano a Kiev ma la politica non c’è, soprattutto quella europea.

Per concludere. Dall’Ucraina alle nostre parole, “riarmo” è la parola chiave. La nostra proposta è di dis-armarci e di ri-trovare l’umano che è in noi. Nessuno è innocente per la situazione del mondo che stiamo vivendo. Se qualcuno è più colpevole, nessuno può ergersi a giudice della Storia.



  • TECH




  • April 22. By Alexandre Dayant, The Interpreter. Australia’s election campaign has been consumed by the Solomon-China security pact in recent days. Labor has cried “Pacific stuff up”, mocking the Coalition government’s Pacific Step-up policy to strengthen neighbourhood ties. In turn, the Coalition has seized on past comments about foreign aid to the region by Labor’s deputy Richard Marles – a former Parliamentary Secretary for Pacific Island Affairs – that the “idea that Australia would win a bidding war with China is laughable”. (read more)
  • April 22. By , The Strategist. Thanks to the Covid-19 pandemic, we’re more aware of the weaknesses of globalisation and the flaws of managing supply and demand through just-in-time practices. The problem is clear for Australia’s policymakers, but the solution less so. Some hanker for a return to 1970s-style Australian manufacturing, forgetting it was an inefficient and highly subsidised artefact of an economic policy designed to manage unemployment. Others seek a return to globalisation, dismissing the sovereignty challenges of an increasingly complex and dangerous geopolitical world. (read more)


  • April 22. By Global Times. Price stability is priority for China’s monetary policy, central bank governor Yi Gang said in a video speech at the Boao Forum for Asia (BFA) annual conference 2022, adding that agricultural output and production and import of  energy such as coal, oil and gas are the focus of financial services. (read more)
  • April 22. By Global Times. The China Securities Regulatory Commission (CSRC) held talks on Thursday with investors stressing the need of a good market environment with stable expectations while ensuring sufficient competition and a sound legal system in place as the country is ramping up efforts to provide healthier and sustainable conditions for investors. (read more)

China – India

  • April 22. By  Global Times. A Chinese delegation of eight companies with operations in India, including the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, CRRC India Pvt and Dongfang Electric International Corporation, attended a major investment and trade show in West Bengal in a move that could signal a warming up of economic ties following the visit of Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister, Wang Yi, to India last month. (read more)


  • April 22. By Ahmed Elleithy, Al Monitor. Egypt’s property developers have suspended sales as the market feels the pinch of a stronger dollar and the higher cost of building materials. The local real estate market is going through what analysts describe as repricing, citing high world prices of energy, freight and global economic uncertainty. (read more)


  • April 22. By , Project-Syndicate, The Strategist. Five years ago, when Marine Le Pen faced Emmanuel Macron in the televised debate ahead of the second round of the French presidential election, she flunked the test. Taking an overly aggressive tone from the start, she was clearly out of her depth on economic issues, fecklessly flipping through her notes. In front of more than 16 million viewers, she lost 30,000 votes a minute over the course of the 2.5-hour debate, ceding 6% of the support she had when the day began. A few days later, Macron won the election in a landslide, 66% to 34%. (read more)
  • April 21. By Donatienne Ruy, CSIS. On Sunday, April 24, the French people will head to the polls to choose a new president between incumbent centrist Emmanuel Macron (La République en Marche) and far-right leader Marine Le Pen (National Rally). On Wednesday, April 20, the two candidates faced off in a wide-ranging debate that offered one last opportunity to present their very different visions of France and Europe to the electorate. Though this contest mirrors the 2017 race, the political situation has changed and the outcome may too. The four days in between will be decisive for France, Europe, and the transatlantic relationship. (read more)

Germany – Egypt

  • April 22. By Adam Lucente, Al Monitor. The Egyptian government has obtained funding to rehabilitate its dam on the Nile River. Germany’s KfW Development Bank agreed to finance $28.3 million for a rehabilitation project of hydroelectric stations in the Aswan Dam in southern Egypt, Egypt’s Ministry of International Cooperation announced Wednesday in a tweet.

Israel – Palestine

  • April 22. By Al Jazeera. Israeli forces entered the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound in occupied East Jerusalem and injured approximately 30 Palestinians, including three journalists. The fresh raid took place on Friday morning, with Palestinians throwing stones at the Israeli police, who were dressed in full riot gear and entered the compound firing rubber bullets and stun grenades, according to journalists at the scene. (read more)


  • April 22. By HRW.  Southeast Asian governments should urgently revamp their response to Myanmar’s abusive junta by coordinating action with the broader international community, Human Rights Watch said today. Despite adopting a “five-point consensus” on the crisis a year ago, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) has failed to fulfill its pledges or take meaningful steps toward pressing the junta to end its human rights violations. (read more)


  • April 22. By Sebastian Castelier, Al Monitor. After two years of suspense, the Gulf state of Oman could pull the trigger next year. “Income tax is still on track,” a source at the sultanate’s National Program for Fiscal Balance told Al-Monitor on condition of anonymity. “We just finished the drafting of the law and we are doing some operational readiness. We expect the personal income tax to go live in 2023 [probably first half], provided that it receives all approvals including the royal decree.” Two additional sources at the program confirmed the statement. (read more)

Russia – Ukraine (impact, reactions, consequences)

  • April 22. By Al Jazeera. The United States has disclosed details of its latest military aid package to be used by Ukraine’s forces in the country’s east after Russian forces this week launched a full-scale offensive in the region. The new $800m assistance package includes a new unmanned aerial weapons system, or drone, dubbed the Phoenix Ghost. (read more)
  • April 22. By Al Jazeera. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has said Russia’s government rejected calls for a ceasefire over the Orthodox Easter holidays. “Unfortunately, Russia rejected the proposal to establish an Easter truce. This shows very well how the leaders of this state actually treat the Christian faith, one of the most joyful and important holidays,” Zelenskyy said in his daily evening address on Thursday. (read more)
  • April 22. By Aisyah Llewellyn, Al Jazeera. Indonesia is “in consultation” with other members of the G20 amid growing calls for Russia to be barred from the economic forum’s November summit in Bali. Some members of the intergovernmental group of 19 countries and the European Union have been threatening to boycott the event if Russian President Vladimir Putin and delegates from Moscow are allowed to attend, leaving Indonesian President Joko Widodo, who is better known as Jokowi and holds the annual presidency this year, in a potentially fraught position. (read more)
  • April 22. By Donald Rothwell, The Interpreter. Russia’s ability to launch its so-called “special military operation” to undertake “denazification” in Ukraine has not so far faced international legal sanction. On 25 February, a draft UN Security Council Resolution was debated, but failed to win support after a Russian veto. Since then, the Security Council has not revisited the conflict other than a 5 April address by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. The UN General Assembly adopted a non-binding resolution on 2 March, but without Security Council backing, the resolution is primarily symbolic. (read more)
  • April 22. By Christopher Snedden, The Interpreter. Two factors – military materiel and energy opportunities – have been used to explain India’s muted criticisms of Russia and its equivocal support for Ukraine. Both positions, to non-Indians’ chagrin, are in India’s national interests. As India’s Defence Minister Rajnath Singh recently noted, India’s relationship with one country will not be at the expense of another. (read more)
  • April 22. By , The Strategist. Australia is Russia’s closest competitor in global markets and is the obvious winner as Russia loses sales under the impact of international sanctions. Since the beginning of the year, the average price of Australia’s biggest exports has soared by more than 50% as major manufacturing centres, led by China and Europe, scramble to secure supplies of mineral and energy resources. (read more)
  • April 22. By , The Strategist. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has shaken up friends and foes in the Middle East. They are engaged in reassessing their relationships with the United States and Russia. Whether this will lead to a more stable and secure Middle East is hard to tell, but, so far at least, some changes in Turkish–Israeli, Turkish–US and US–UAE relations are heading in the direction that the parties want. (read more)
  • April 22. By Fan Anqi, Global Times. Japanese Defense Minister Nobuo Kishi is planning to visit the US in early May for talks with his US counterpart Lloyd Austin on enhancing bilateral ties amid the ongoing tensions in the wake of the Ukraine crisis, as well as “an increasingly assertive China,” Kyodo News reported on Thursday citing sources familiar with the matter. (read more)
  • April 21. By Valerie Insinna. Breaking Defense. The latest $800 million arms package for Ukraine includes a unique new item — the Phoenix Ghost tactical drone, a never-before revealed system designed by the US Air Force that will now prove its mettle on the battlefields of Ukraine. (read more)
  • April 21. By Tara Copp, Defense One. Ukraine asked the U.S. for a new drone to fight Russia, so the U.S. Air Force delivered one for them: Phoenix Ghost, a new lethal aerial weapon that the Pentagon is reluctant to detail, except to say it will take on many of the qualities of the kamikaze Switchblade drones already in theater. (read more)
  • April 21. By John Nagl, Paul Yingling, Defense One. Ukraine’s brilliant and tenacious resistance on land, as well as the sinking of the Moskva in the Black Sea, have checked Russia’s offensive in Ukraine. Russian President Vladimir Putin would be wise to follow the advice of his countryman, chess grandmaster Garry Kasparov, and know when to stop. Instead, Putin appears intent on further escalation. In response to these events, Russia warned the United States to stop arming Ukraine, or face “unpredictable consequences.” Putin even went so far as to prescribe the weapons that the United States should not provide to the Ukrainian Army.  (read more)
  • April 21. By Richard D. Hooker, Jr., Atlantic Council. Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine is transforming Europe’s security architecture, as well as NATO’s strategic priorities and its defense and deterrence posture. Russia’s ruthless aggression and NATO’s response increase the possibility of purposeful or inadvertent escalation in Europe. Whether this takes the form of heightened conflict in Ukraine, increased tension across the whole or parts of NATO’s eastern flank—from Ukraine and the Black Sea to the Baltic Region and the High North—or in non-kinetic, subthreshold domains, understanding how these dynamics might degrade transatlantic stability is critical. This study will seek to identify key rungs on the escalation ladder around the war in Ukraine; assess how the current crisis might escalate inside Ukraine and across NATO’s eastern flank; explore how the US and NATO posture can prevent or limit escalation; and offer recommendations for how the United States and NATO can adapt their strategy, posture, and activities to manage escalatory dynamics. (read more)
  • April 21. By
  • April 21. By Giorgi Menabde, The Jamestown Foundation. On April 16, a multi-party delegation of the Georgian parliament, on a visit to Ukraine, traveled to the Kyiv suburb of Bucha, where, according to multiple Western governments and representatives of the International Criminal Court, the Russian occupying forces committed war crimes against the civilian population (see EDM, April 13). The speaker of the Georgian parliament, Shalva Papuashvili, was accompanied by the chairperson of Ukraine’s national legislature (the Verkhovna Rada), Ruslan Stefanchuk. All members of the Georgian parliamentary delegation from the ruling Georgian Dream party as well as from the opposition parties Lelo and Citizen expressed support for the Ukrainian people, who faced the “horror of an aggressive war” unleashed by the Russian authorities (, April 17). (read more)
  • April 21. By Paul Globe, The Jamestown Foundation. Since the beginning of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s large-scale and brutal re-invasion of Ukraine, the South Caucasus has inevitably received much less international attention. But tensions in the latter region have increased on three key levels: between Russia and the West, between Azerbaijan and Armenia, and between groups inside each of these two formerly warring South Caucasus countries. (read more)
  • April 21. By Pavel Luzin, The Jamestown Foundation. The Kremlin’s full-scale aggression against Ukraine, launched on February 24, became a game changer for the Russian space program. Western sanctions, adopted in response to the war, have thrown Russia’s space industry into turmoil: previous rounds of sanctions were painful, but they only limited Russia’s access to space-grade electronics and advanced industrial equipment; the current rounds, on the other hand, prevent such technology transfers completely. (read more)

Saudi Arabia – Jordan

  • April 21. By Adam Lucente, Al Monitor. Saudi Arabia sent $50 million to Jordan today to help the fellow monarchy fund its budget, the official Saudi Press Agency reported. The money is the fourth installment out of five that Saudi Arabia agreed to send as economic aid to Jordan back in 2018. At the Makkah Summit that year, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Kuwait each agreed to send $50 million annually to Jordan, ultimately totaling $2.5 billion by 2023, according to the agency. (read more)


  • April 21. By John Villasenor and Sam Albright, Brookings. Hermès makes the very exclusive line of Birkin handbags, which routinely sell for prices exceeding—in many cases, far exceeding—$10,000. The company was therefore none too pleased when digital artist Mason Rothschild started selling nonfungible tokens (NFTs) in the form of digital images he termed MetaBirkins, each of which depicts a furry, artistically-colored Birkin-shaped handbag sitting atop a pedestal. In January, Hermès filed a trademark claim against Rothschild in a New York federal court. (read more)
  • April 21. By DW Rowlands and Hanna Love, Brookings. The rise in gun homicides in the United States is having reverberating political ramifications at the federalstate, and local levels, with many elected officials falling back into “tough on crime” policies to curb the violence. This punitive turn can be seen in President Joe Biden’s proposed federal budget, in which he calls for “more police officers on the beat” and allocates an additional $30 billion for state and local governments to support law enforcement. Many local leaders are mirroring this approach, centering their gun violence prevention strategies on increasing funding for police and rolling back criminal justice reforms. (read more)

USA – Australia

  • April 21. By John Schaus, Carolina Ramos, CSIS. New technologies are being developed—and old technologies are being employed in innovative ways—that force the United States and Australia to reexamine previous notions of what behaviors are judged as provocative or reassuring. Emerging technologies, such as missiles and missile defense, space, and autonomy and uncrewed systems, are introducing new dynamics to the Indo-Pacific region. These altered dynamics are bringing new considerations to classic problems, possess the potential to exacerbate Indo-Pacific regional tensions, and actively challenge policymakers to keep pace with rapid innovation trends. Most concerning, however, is that these technological changes are occurring within the context of an increasingly competitive Indo-Pacific region. (read more)

USA – Europe – China

  • April 21. By Cui Fandi, Global Times. US Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman is expected to meet with EU partners on Thursday to discuss matters related to China in the third high-level meeting of the US-EU dialogue on China. (read more)


  • April 22. By Guo Yuandan and Liu Xuanzun, Global Times. One day ahead its 73rd founding anniversary on Saturday, the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Navy on Friday released a promotional video on China’s aircraft carrier program, in which it gave a very obvious hint that the country’s third aircraft carrier will be officially revealed soon. (read more)
  • April 21. By Justin Katz, Breaking Defense. The Navy awarded a contract worth up to $33 million to Bollinger Shipyards to finish the refurbishment of two Virginia-class submarine dry docks, a milestone the service says will be the “first large-scale capital equipment project” as part of the shipyard improvement program. (read more)
  • April 21. By Jaspreet Gill, Breaking Defense. The Pentagon is assessing whether to develop cloud service offerings to help contractors meet requirements for its cyber certification program, according to the Defense Department’s deputy chief information officer.(read more)
  • April 21. By Patrick Tucker, Defense One. Less has been said about the use of artificial intelligence in the Ukraine war than, say, anti-tank missiles, but the Pentagon is quietly using AI and machine-learning tools to analyze vast amounts of data, generate useful battlefield intelligence, and learn about Russian tactics and strategy, a senior Defense Department official said on Thursday. (read more)
  • April 21. By Marcus Weisgerber, Defense One. The Pentagon has restructured its industrial policy office, a move that elevates oversight of the defense industry at a time of widespread supply chain troubles in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. (read more)
  • April 21. By Patrick Tucker, Defense One. Space-based imagery from satellite companies like Planet has helped the international community prepare for and respond to Russia’s war on Ukraine. Planet on Thursday announced that they would launch 32  higher-resolution satellites in the first half of next year. (read more)
  • April 22. By Diana Stancy Correll, Defense News. The Navy has unveiled its new 30-year shipbuilding plan, which offers three different proposals for building up the fleet — but only one carves a pathway to 355 ships, which has been the sea service’s goal since 2016. The proposals, which do not differ until fiscal 2028, offer two scenarios for procurement under “a budget with no real growth,” while the third scenario provides options under an unconstrained budget. (read more)
  • April 21. By Jaroslaw Adamowski, Defense New. Lithuania’s Defence Ministry has kicked off negotiations to purchase more than 120 Boxer infantry fighting vehicles, with a signed contract expected this summer. Deliveries would take place between 2023 and 2024, the ministry said in a statement. (read me)
  • April 21. By Courtney Albon, Defense News. The Biden administration’s announcement Monday that it will no longer test destructive anti-satellite weapons sets the stage for “meaningful discussions” at a United Nations open-ended working group meeting next month to recommend principles of responsible behavior in space, Pentagon and Department of State officials said. (read more)
  • April 21. By Eying growing and distinct threats that may require the United States and Israel to conduct long-range airstrikes, both militaries urgently need to replace their aging aerial refueling fleets with the modernized KC-46A. The problem is the aircraft has been plagued by development challenges and delays. The good news is there are steps the U.S. and Israel can take together to avoid further delays and reduce the time it takes for Israel’s Air Force to use its KC-46s in real-world missions once the new tanker arrives. (read more)


  • April 21. By Ajay AgrawalJohn McHale, and Alexander Oettl, Brookings. New product innovation in fields like drug discovery and material science can be characterized as combinatorial search over a vast range of possibilities. Modeling innovation as a costly multi-stage search process, we explore how improvements in Artificial Intelligence (AI) could affect the productivity of the discovery pipeline in allowing improved prioritization of innovations that flow through that pipeline. We show how AI-aided prediction can increase the expected value of innovation and can increase or decrease the demand for downstream testing, depending on the type of innovation, and examine how AI can reduce costs associated with well-defined bottlenecks in the discovery pipeline. Finally, we discuss the critical role that policy can play to mitigate potential market failures associated with access to and provision of data as well as the provision of training necessary to more closely approach the socially optimal level of productivity enhancing innovations enabled by this technology. (read more)