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

Open newsletter – march 10, 2022 p.m.

BELT AND ROAD INITIATIVE

CHAD

CHINA

CHINA – LEAGUE OF ARAB STATES COUNCIL

CHINA – NEPAL

  • China and Nepal are friendly neighbors and development partners with a shared future. No matter whether it was after the catastrophic earthquakes or during the COVID-19 pandemic, China and Nepal have consistently helped each other out, reflecting the deep friendship between the peoples of the two countries. Zhao Yipu – Global Times – GT exclusive: China-Nepal relations are founded on mutual trust: President of Nepal

CHINA – TAIWAN

CHINA – USA

  • It seems that the US digital currency development policy is at a critical turning point. US President Joe Biden on Wednesday signed an executive order instructing the federal government to explore regulatory oversight of digital assets like cryptocurrencies and requiring research and development efforts into a potential “US Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC)”, AP reported. Global Times – GT Voice: Digital dollar coming, urged not to aim at hegemony

CHINA – USA – RUSSIA

  • Decisions undertaken by Washington and Beijing in the coming months could have outsized influence over the trajectory of US–China relations, and the entire international system, for coming decades. The more China clings to Russia following Russian President Vladimir Putin’s barbarism in Ukraine, the stronger calls will grow to treat China and Russia as interchangeable enemies bent on imposing their might-makes-right vision for the world. Ryan Hass – East Asia Forum – Ukraine an opportunity to test China’s strategic outlook

CYBER SECURITY

EUROPE – ISRAEL

  • The crisis over Ukraine in 2022 has illustrated just how important the diversification of the sources of European gas had become and the urgency of finding alternatives to Russian gas, if only to reduce Moscow’s leverage over Europe and the NATO alliance. The EU Foreign Policy Chief, Josep Borrell, was able to voice a united policy for Europe already in January 2022, before Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, based on his view that “we must reduce our dependency on Russian energy.”. Dore Gold – JCPA – Europe’s Rising Need for Israeli Gas Production

GERMANY – CHINA

  • German businesses are eagerly expecting proposals amid the ongoing two sessions that are highly related to China’s efforts to reduce carbon emissions by encouraging low-carbon technology and products.  Carbon neutrality or low carbon have become key phrases that appear frequently in proposals from deputies to the 13th National People’s Congress and members of Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference. Global Times: German firms eye opportunities from China’s decarbonization drive

IISS RIYADH DEFENSE FORUM 

  • New for 2022, the IISS Riyadh Defense Forum is a unique gathering of defence-procurement ministers, senior officers and officials, as well as the business community, to examine Middle Eastern defence policy and economics within a global context. IISS – IISS Riyadh Defense Forum

ISRAEL

  • The national home front exercise in November 2021 saw Israel’s national systems that manage the response by the home front to emergencies successfully address the challenge of working together in a multi-arena crisis environment. Its achievements are particularly noteworthy in the joint management, the definition of understandings between the Home Front Command and the National Emergency Authority after many years of disagreements, the promotion of a common digital system, and the exercise of operational plans and promotion of citizen awareness on the importance of personal defense. Meir Elran’s article “National Home Front Exercise 2021: More of the Same?” implies that the exercise realized only part of its potential and apparently did not advance readiness for a future emergency. However, and without disputing the important lacunae highlighted by Elran – which not only were not part of the goals of the exercise, but also cannot be addressed in a single exercise – this article discusses the importance of the exercise and its achievements. Liron Donnell – INSS – A Rising and Falling Alarm: A Strategy for a Joint Exercise in the Home Front Command

ISRAEL – TURKEY

  • For the first time in 15 years, the President of the state of Israel will make an official visit to Turkey. The announcement of this visit comes after four phone conversations between Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Israeli President Isaac Herzog. What explains the timing of the visit? What are the considerations of each country? and what are the Implications of the event? INSS conducted a virtual event that analyzed the relations between Israel and Turkey, which now are ripe for President Herzog’s trip to Turkey. INSS – Winds of Change: Where Are Turkey-Israel Relations Headed ?

KAZAKHSTAN

NUCLEAR

  • The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has trained scientists from six Latin American countries in using nuclear and related techniques to detect and contain a banana disease threatening a quarter of the global production of a crop that is providing jobs and nutrition for hundreds of millions of people around the world. The training included the development of genetic disease resistance in bananas. IAEA – IAEA Trains Latin American Scientists in Fighting Banana Disease
  • Ukraine informed the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) today that the Chornobyl Nuclear Power Plant (NPP) had been disconnected from the electricity grid and lost its supply of external power, two weeks after Russian forces took control of the site of the 1986 accident, Director General Rafael Mariano Grossi said. IAEA – Update 16 – IAEA Director General Statement on Situation in Ukraine
  • An International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) mission said that new and updated nuclear safety regulations in Pakistan have significantly updated and strengthened nuclear and radiation safety in the country. The team also noted a few areas where challenges remain, including for Pakistan to continue to focus on decommissioning, spent fuel management and radioactive waste disposal. IAEA – IAEA Mission Says Pakistan’s Regulatory Body Effective, Encourages Continued Focus on Radioactive Waste Management

RUSSIA – CHINA

  • Russia’s VTB Bank will offer yuan savings accounts with a maximum interest rate of 8 percent to counter strict sanctions from the US and its allies, which seeks to isolate Russia from the US dollar dominated interbank communication system SWIFT, according to media reports. Global Times – Russian bank offers 8% interest rate for yuan deposits

RUSSIA – UKRAINE (impact, reactions, consequences)

  • Former German Chancellor Gerhard Schröder is in Moscow to meet Russian President Vladimir Putin on Thursday as part of a mediation effort to end the war in Ukraine, people familiar with the matter told POLITICO.. Matthew Karnitschnig – Politico – Gerhard Schröder in Moscow to meet Putin in Ukraine peace bid
  • Vladimir Putin slipped a noose around the throat of independent Russian media last week, and with a few tugs has begun to choke the life from it. Jack Shafer – Politico – Opinion | Why Putin Can’t Win the Propaganda War at Home

  • Every morning since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, when markets open, analysts watch two things simultaneously: the advance of Russian troops on one screen and the value of the ruble on the other, two battle fronts in the same confrontation. Julia Friedlander – Politico – Opinion | The West Has Declared Financial War on Russia. Is It Prepared for the Consequences?
  • For almost two weeks, people across the world have seen photos and videos of Ukrainian civilians taking up arms alongside members of the military, determined to defend their country against Russia’s brutal invasion. Outside the view of the cameras, though, Ukraine is confronting Russia on a second front — in cyberspace. Elise Labott – Politico – ‘We Are the First in the World to Introduce This New Warfare’: Ukraine’s Digital Battle Against Russia
  • Welcome to the EU capital of Russian disinformation. To read and watch state-linked news in Hungary these days is to catch a steady stream of Kremlin-friendly framings, arguments and outright conspiracies about the war in Ukraine. The CIA helped install the current Ukrainian government in power. The U.S. prodded Russia into attacking Ukraine. Lili Bayer – Politico – Hungary has become the EU home of Kremlin talking points
  • Russia is banning exports of equipment, forestry products and other goods through the end of this year in response to western nations imposing sanctions against the country for its invasion of Ukraine.  Mychael Schnell – The Hill – Russia bans exports of equipment, forestry products through end of year
  • Russia has lost nearly as many soldiers in the first two weeks of its fight with Ukraine as the U.S. did in Iraq and Afghanistan since 2001.  Lexi Lonas – The Hill – Russia has lost nearly as many soldiers in Ukraine as US has in Iraq/Afghanistan since 2001
  • Goldman Sachs Group Inc. is leaving Russia following the nation’s invasion of Ukraine and subsequent sanctions imposed on Russia by the U.S. and its allies. Karl Evers-Hillstrom – The Hill –  Goldman Sachs to pull out of Russia
  • Vice President Harris on Thursday met with seven displaced people from Ukraine in Warsaw, Poland; over a million people have fled Ukraine since Russia began its invasion of the country. Alex Gangitano – The Hill – Harris meets with Ukrainian refugees in Poland
  • For years, experts have been saying that the next war will be fought in cyberspace. A ‘cyber Pearl Harbor’ would melt down government systems, cripple critical infrastructure and plunge modern militaries and societies into darkness. It hasn’t happened in Ukraine, where bullets rather than bytes are raining down on combatants and civilians, causing devastation and misery. Rafal Rohozinski – IISS – The missing ‘cybergeddon’: what Ukraine can tell us about the future of cyber war
  • The Russian invasion of Ukraine constitutes a blatant violation of Article 2(4) of the UN Charter, which prohibits states from using force against the territorial integrity or political independence of another state. It also amounts to a crime of aggression. The action has led to UN resolutions against Russia and the establishment of a commission of inquiry, as well as the rapid commencement of an investigation by the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court into suspected war crimes. In addition, proceedings against Russia have begun in other international tribunals. The legal channels will not stop the advance of the Russian army, but they are important in terms of the message they send to Russia and the whole world. They demonstrate the isolation imposed on a state that decides to undermine the world order, even when that state is a superpower. Israel must not be seen as condoning Russian aggression, if only tacitly. In addition to the strategic cost with respect to its relations with its allies, primarily the United States, and potential – if inadvertent – support for accusations made against Israel as a lawless and aggressive state, sitting on the fence could put Israel on the wrong side of history. Moreover, such conduct is not in keeping with the values on which the State of Israel is founded. Pnina Sharvit Baruch, Ori Beeri – INSS – The Russian Invasion of Ukraine: Legal Aspects
  • The bitter hostilities between Russia and Ukraine are accompanied by widely reported instances of indiscriminate targeting by the Russian military forces of civilians and civilian centers as well as nuclear power plants, grave breaches of the Geneva Conventions, and the use of weapons outlawed by international law. Alan Baker – JCPA – The Russia-Ukraine War and Its Legal and Political Implications
  • Russian authorities have arbitrarily arrested thousands of peaceful protesters at anti-war rallies across Russia, in line with their increasingly brutal crackdown on those who disagree with Russia’s military offensive in Ukraine. Human Rights Watch – Russia: Brutal Arrests and Torture, Ill-Treatment of Anti-War Protesters
  • Children’s lives and learning are at stake. On February 25, the day after Russia’s invasion, Ukraine’s Education Ministry announced “extraordinary holidays” and closed all schools across the country, with no notice of re-opening. The conflict instantly suspended the education of 5.7 million children between the ages of 3 and 17, many of whom had already missed out on months of education due to deadly attacks on schools in eastern Ukraine, or Covid-19 school closuresA million children have already fled the fighting in Ukraine, with many more scrambling for shelter within the country. Hye Jung Han – Human Rights Watch – Free the Data for Ukraine’s Children
  • On February 25, Russian military forces reached the outskirts of Sumy, a city in northeastern Ukraine about 30 kilometers from the Russian border. By that evening, they had encircled the city, isolating it from the rest of the country. Ida Sawyer – Human Rights Watch – Trying to Survive in a Besieged Ukrainian City
  • The outpouring of solidarity and empathy for people fleeing the war in Ukraine is wonderful. Countries bordering Ukraine have opened their borders and practically waved people through. People have rushed to donate food and open their homes. The European Union as a bloc moved quickly to grant temporary protection to all Ukrainians and long-term foreign residents, invoking for the first time a 2001 directive that created a mechanism to give uprooted people the chance to stay, work, and put their children in school automatically – without the delays and bureaucracy of the normal asylum procedure. Judith Sunderland – Human Rights Watch – EU’s Generous Response to Ukraine Refugees Shows Another Way is Possible
  • In an emergency session on March 2, 2022, the United Nations (U.N.) voted on a resolution to condemn Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Among other statements, the resolution “[d]eplores in the strongest terms the aggression by the Russian Federation against Ukraine, “[d]emands that the Russian Federation immediately cease its use of force against Ukraine and to refrain from any further unlawful threat or use of force against any Member State,” and “[d]emands that the Russian Federation immediately, completely and unconditionally withdraw all of its military forces from the territory of Ukraine within its internationally recognized borders.” – Abraham White and Leo Holtz – Brookings – Figure of the week: African countries’ votes on the UN resolution condemning Russia’s invasion of Ukraine

SOUTH KOREA

SRI LANKA

  • Sri Lanka has among the most restrictive abortion laws in the world, so Justice Minister Ali Sabry’s recent call for parliament to consider legalizing abortion in cases of rape is a significant development. The government should move promptly to reform the law and go further to uphold women’s equal rights by allowing all woman access to abortion. Meenakshi Ganguly – Human Rights Watch – Reform Sri Lanka’s Draconian Abortion Law

USA

  • Last year was the most expensive year to date for climate-related disasters in the U.S., with more than 20 extreme weather events causing losses of over $1 billion each. Two long-term trends are driving up this price tag: extreme weather events are becoming more intense, and the U.S. keeps building more—and more expensive—homes in risky locations. In 2018, 42% of the U.S. population lived in coastal shoreline counties (areas especially vulnerable to coastal storms and sea level rise), even though these counties constitute only 10% of the country’s land area. This raises the question: Why do people build and buy homes in places that face predictable and persistent risk from climate-related disasters? – Jenny Schuetz – Brookings – Home mortgage and insurance systems encourage development in climate-risky places, and we all pay the price