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

Open newsletter – April 29, 2022 a.m.

TODAY:

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

 

AROUND THE WORLD

India – Japan

  • April 28. By Akash Sahu, East Asia Forum. India and Japan seem to be checking all the right boxes to develop a deeper partnership. Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida visited India on 19 March 2022 and met Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the 14th India–Japan Annual Summit in New Delhi. While the two leaders discussed a wide range of issues at the event, economic cooperation was central. (read more)

Iran – Israel

  • April 28. By Al Monitor. Iran’s state-funded media called for a boost in anti-Israeli militancy as the “final battle” nears, with officials in Tehran meeting Hamas visitors and throwing rants at Arab states for normalization with Israel. (read more)

Iraq

  • April 29. By  Guillaume Decamme, Al Monitor. The Iraqi Communist Party may have seen its red star fade but it hopes to come back by advocating what remain radical ideas in the country: women’s rights and secular politics. (read more)

Israel

  • April 29. By Israel Hershkovitz, Al Monitor. Israel’s Economy Ministry plans to invest 70 million shekels to promote digital literacy in the ultra-orthodox and Arab sectors, with the goal of connecting these populations to the internet. (read more)
  • April 29. By Mazal Mualem, Al Monitor. The former prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu is crisscrossing the country, popping up at streets, sea-side promenades and camping sites in Likud-friendly environments. (read more)

Israel – Palestine

  • April 29. By Ahmad Melhem, Al Monitor. As soon as Friday’s prayer at Al-Aqsa Mosque, where some 150,000 Palestinians took part, was over on April 22, the crowds marched in the courtyards of the mosque. Hamas’ flag was predominantly present, pointing to the movement’s wide popularity in Jerusalem. (read more)

North Korea

  • April 29. By Al Jazeera. North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has called on the country’s military to “bolster up their strength in every way to annihilate the enemy” as new satellite imagery showed increased preparations for a possible nuclear test. Kim made the remarks during photo sessions with soldiers, broadcasters, and others involved in the vast military parade the country staged on Monday to mark the 90th anniversary of the army’s founding. (read more)

Pakistan

  • April 29. By Bilal Hussain, Al Jazeera. Despite its fast-shrinking foreign exchange reserves which will inhibit imports of essential fuel, cooking oil and pulses, Pakistan says it will not be in dire straits like neighbouring Sri Lanka and that it has a “strategy” to boost its reserves. “No chance of default, none,” said Pakistan’s finance minister Miftah Ismail in an interview with Al Jazeera. “Yes we have a strategy to increase our reserves and you will see that they will start to increase.”. (read more)

Russia – Ukraine

  • April 29. By Pierluigi Paganini, Security Affairs. OpRussia continues, less than a week after my last update Anonymous has hacked other Russian companies and leaked their data via DDoSecrets. (read more)
  • April 29. By Pierluigi Paganini, Security Affairs. Ukraine ‘s computer emergency response team (CERT-UA) announced that it is investigating, along with the National Bank of Ukraine (CSIRT-NBU), ongoing DDoS (distributed denial of service) attacks targeting pro-Ukraine sites and the government web portal. (read more)
  • April 28. By Congress on Thursday passed a bill that would enhance President Joe Biden’s authority to lend U.S. military equipment to Ukraine. The House passed the Ukraine Democracy Defense Lend-Lease Act, introduced by Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, by a 417-10 vote after the Senate unanimously passed the legislation earlier this month. (read more)
  • April 28. By As some Eastern European nations send their Soviet-era kit to help Ukraine defend itself against Russia’s attack, the new weapons those nations stand to get in return from the United States and its allies could shape the continent’s arsenal for years to come. The tactic of backfilling donated tanks in Poland, air defense gear in Slovakia or armored trucks in Slovenia, for example, is meant to beef up Ukraine’s resistance while offering European Union members a way to remain out of direct conflict. The transactions, many of which go unpublicized, add a new dynamic to an already volatile military procurement pattern in Europe that clashes with the bloc’s lengthy plans for collectively developed weapons. (read more)
  • April 28. By Greg Mills, RUSI. This imaginary memo reviews the Russia–Ukraine war at its current stage through the eyes of an advisor to the General Secretary. (read more)
  • April 28. By Chatham House. Russia has faced an unprecedented level of sanctions by the West covering the government itself, financial institutions, oligarchs associated with the Kremlin, and much more. But are these sanctions working? Can they really change anything on the ground in Ukraine? (more)
  • April 28. By Benjamin Jensen, CSIS. While most analysts are focused on Russian land operations in the Donbas region, the next phase of the war will likely be decided in western Ukraine along the network of roads, small airports, and rail lines connecting the nation to Europe. To survive, Ukraine needs massive shipments of ammunition and fuel, which Russia will increasingly attempt to interdict. If Ukraine can protect these lines of communication, Kyiv has a real chance to deny Russian military objectives and force a political settlement. (read more)
  • April 28. By Atlantic Council. They’re opening up the spigot. As US President Joe Biden requested a new $33 billion weapons and aid package for Ukraine on Thursday, Congress overwhelmingly approved a separate military-assistance program rooted in decades-old legislation that helped the United Kingdom battle the Nazis in its own hour of need. Taken together, the funding appeal and so-called Lend-Lease program—designed to clear the path for shipping more equipment to Ukraine—will send a clear message to Russia: The United States is serious about defending its partners. Our experts lend us their thoughts about the impact of these big moves. (read more)
  • April 28. By Kseniya Kirillova, The Jamestown Foundation. While continuing its armed assault on the battlefields of Donbas, the Kremlin is boosting its attacks against Ukraine on the information front as well. Russian propaganda’s continuing dehumanization of Ukraine and the West, which backs the Ukrainian defense efforts, is being used to justify increasingly radical methods in the Kremlin’s so-called “special military operation.”. (read more)
  • April 28. By Paul Globe, The Jamestown Foundation. Over the last 30 years, Moscow has frequently sought to use the Christian Turkic Gagauz in Moldova, along with separatist Transnistria, as leverage to prevent or reverse Chisinau’s moves toward further integration with Romania and Europe (see EDM, January 27). But in recent days, with growing signs that Moscow may extend its war in Ukraine into Transnistria—possibly recognizing the government there as independent or using that territory as the basis for an attack on Odesa—the significance of what Russia does with regard to Gagauzia has increased dramatically not only for Moldova but for the rest of the world. On the one hand, as Moscow is coming to recognize, the authorities in Transnistria are now a somewhat less enthusiastic partner for Moscow than they were in the past given the region’s trade with the European Union (see EDM, April 12). But on the other hand, if Moscow does seek to put the Gagauz in play in the current context, that will be an unambiguous sign that Putin’s war in Ukraine is only part of his plans for a much broader military offensive. And the countries around Russia’s periphery and in the West will have no choice but to respond. (read more)
  • April 28. By IAEA. The Director General of the International Atomic Energy Authority (IAEA), Rafael Mariano Grossi, today returned from Ukraine to the IAEA Headquarters in Vienna and held a press conference, where he briefed journalists on his visit to the Chornobyl nuclear power plant (NPP), including the results of initial radiation monitoring conducted by IAEA experts in the Chornobyl Exclusion Zone, and his talks with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy. (read more)
  • April 28. By Mason Clark, George Barros, and Kateryna Stepanenko, ISW. Russian offensive operations in eastern Ukraine made minor advances on April 28.Russian forces attacking southwest from Izyum likely seek to bypass Ukrainian defenses on the direct road to Slovyansk. Russian forces continued shelling and minor attacks along the line of contact in eastern Ukraine but did not secure any gains in the past 24 hours. Additional Russian reinforcements continue to deploy to Belgorod to support the Izyum advance. Ukrainian defenders in Mariupol’s Azovstal Steel Plant continue to hold out against heavy Russian artillery and aerial bombardment, including the likely use of multi-ton “bunker-buster” bombs against a Ukrainian field hospital. (read more)
  • April 28. By Dr. Emma L. Briant, Brookings. During this bloody war, the Kremlin’s strategy in the West seeks to benefit by exploiting our fears of censorship. Of course, this obscures the dark irony that Russia tolerates no dissent within its borders, blocking independent media and platforms like Facebook. Just as stark is the hypocrisy of its effort to energize concerns about Western imperialism while waging an aggressive imperialist war against its neighbor. (read more)

South Africa

  • April 28. By Sasha Erskine and Maria Sofia Reiser, RUSI. Corruption investigations in South Africa have energised a citizen-led accountability movement. (read more)

South Korea

  • April 29. By Martin Weiser, East Asia Forum. South Korea’s presidential election on 9 March 2022 was decided by the closest margin in the country’s history. Just a quarter of a million people — or 0.73 per cent of all voters — decided the election by casting their votes for the conservative candidate Yoon Suk-yeol. The centre-left candidate Lee Jae-myung came in second with 47.4 per cent of the vote, while third place went to progressive candidate Sim Sang-jung with 2.4 per cent. (read more)

Turkey

  • April 28. By Andrew Wilks, Al Monitor. Republican People’s Party head Kemal Kilicdaroglu has entered the running for the Turkish opposition’s presidential candidate. (read more)

Turkey – Saudi Arabia

  • April 28. By Robbie Corey-Boulet, Al Monitor. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan met with Saudi Arabia’s crown prince on Thursday to “develop” relations in his first visit since the 2018 killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi drove a wedge between the Sunni powers. (read more)

USA – Georgia

  • April 28. By Giorgi Menabde, The Jamestown Foundation. On April 21, a United States Congressional delegation arrived in Georgia, as part of a wider European trip, to “discuss the strengthening of the Transatlantic alliance.” In addition to the South Caucasus country, the US lawmakers, all members of the Democratic Party, also visited France and Italy. The Congressional delegation was headed by the chair of the Appropriations Subcommittee on State and Foreign Operations, Senator Christopher Coons (Delaware). Other participants included Michigan Senator Gary Peters (the chairperson of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee), Senator Robert Casey (Pennsylvania), as well as Representatives Stephanie Murphy (Florida), Kathleen Rice (New York), David Cicilline (Rhode Island), and Theodore Deutch (Florida). They met in Tbilisi with Georgian government officials, the opposition and civil society leaders (Formulanews.ge, April 22). (read more)

Yemen

  • April 28. By Boshra Alhomaide, Al Monitor. Eight years have passed since the war in Yemen began, and women there continue to exist in dire situations in which they are faced not only with the hardships of displacement but also with threats, persecution, imprisonment and banishment from exercising their political rights. (read more)

CYBER – TECH

  • April 29. By Pierluigi Paganini, Security Affairs. Cybercrime gang FIN7’s badUSB attacks serve as a reminder of two key vulnerabilities present among all organizations. (read more)
  • April 29. By  Elon Musk’s $44bn bid to buy Twitter puts the world’s richest man in the crosshairs of censorship-prone governments such as China and India, raising questions about how the Tesla CEO might respond to demands to stifle dissent in countries where he does business. For Musk, with his diverse assets ranging from SpaceX to his signature company Tesla, controlling the levels of information that governments would like suppressed carries the risk of significant blowback for his brands. (read more)

DEFENSE – MILITARY – SPACE

  • April 28. By Patrick Tucker, Defense One. If Russia is defeated in its war against Ukraine, it will be thanks in no small part to publicly available satellite images. Pictures of Russian military movements and actions have helped mount defenses, expose Russian falsehoods and war crimes, and galvanize Ukrainian allies. But precisely because the recent explosion in space-generated intelligence is proving so valuable, industry and military officials are concerned about potential adversaries’ growing abilities to target satellites. (read more)
  • April 28. By Justin Katz, Breaking Defense. Nearly two months after landing a key contract with the US Air Force for the program dubbed 3DELRR, Lockheed Martin officials say they are in talks with multiple international customers to purchase the long-range air surveillance radar. (read more)
  • April 28. By Jaspreet Gill, Breaking Defense. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has given defense communities around the world the first real taste of what modern state-on-state warfare looks like, and everyone is looking for lessons learned — including US Cyber Command, according to its director of operations. (read more)
  • April 28. By Jaspreet Gill, Breaking Defense. The Defense Department in the next few months anticipates reaching initial operating capability for a new software tool viewed as a key enabler for collaboration between combatant commanders and mission partners, according to a top DoD IT official. (read more)
  • April 28. By Justin Katz, Breaking Defense. Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Michael Gilday today cast doubt on whether the Medium Unmanned Surface Vessel will have a place in the service’s fleet in the near future, citing work done by US 5th Fleet as having “changed my thinking on the direction of unmanned” ships. (read more)
  • April 28. By The U.S. Army this week finished evaluating a set of technologies that will better align soldier radios, satellite terminals, mission command software and more to help deliver the robust network the service is seeking. The completion of the critical design review for Capability Set ‘23 signifies the gear is relevant, conceptually sound and cost effective, among other considerations. It also cracks open the door for procurement. (read more)
  • April 28. By Joe Gould, Defense News. Canada’s defense minister said Thursday she’s close to offering a “robust” plan to modernize continental defenses under North American Aerospace Defense Command, something the U.S. wants in response to the complex hypersonic missile threat. “I have been entrusted to lead Canada’s efforts to strengthen continental defense and to deliver a robust plan on modernize NORAD, in collaboration with our American allies. And we will have more to say on this in the short term,” Canadian Defence Minister Anita Anand said after meeting with U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin at the Pentagon. (read more)
  • April 28. By Vivienne Machi, Defense News. The French Ministry of Defense has chosen Thales and CS Group to build deployable anti-drone systems and have them in place by 2023, ahead of the nation’s hosting of two major international sports events. The €350 million ($377 million) deal includes an initial six copies, with the option to acquire several dozen more at a later date. The ministry issued the procurement notification on April 26, spokesman Herve Grandjean told reporters during a Thursday press conference. (read more)
  • April 28. By Stephen Losey, Defense News. The U.S. Air Force’s secretive Next Generation Air Dominance future fighter program could be the most expensive aircraft program in history, with each piloted, sixth-generation aircraft expected to cost hundreds of millions of dollars. When asked about the price tag for NGAD during a Wednesday appearance before the House Armed Services Committee, Air Force Secretary Frank Kendall did not specify exactly how much an individual aircraft could cost, but said the service was talking about “multiple” hundreds of millions. (read more)
  • April 28. By Juliana Suess, RUSI. The concept of ‘New Space’ refers to the increasing commercialisation of the domain to smaller companies, at the expense of the previous dominance of state actors. But how have decreasing costs and greater accessibility changed the industry? (more)