Geopolitics & Worlds Global Topics In-Defense In-Security Pensiero Strategico

Open newsletter – march 14, 2022 a.m.


  • Opposition leader Anthony Albanese began his Lowy Institute speech last Thursday referring to Prime Minister John Curtin’s 1941 declaration that Australia ‘looked to America’ in our moment of deepest strategic danger. In 2022 we have no choice but to do the same because our developing khaki election could well produce Australia’s next wartime prime minister. Peter Jennings – The Interpreter – Urgent need for radical thinking on Australia’s defence


  • After a nearly five-year stagnation, India and Canada recently decided to reboot their trade negotiations during Canadian Trade Minister Mary Ng’s visit in India. The seeming normal interaction between countries, however, has been interpreted by some as engagement between “democratic nations” aiming to counter China. Global Times – GT Voice: Canada-India trade talks do not need biased ideological guise


  • Chad’s military government and dozens of opposition groups have started peace talks in Qatar as a first step towards ending a rebellion and holding elections. Some 44 armed rebel and opposition groups were invited to the Doha meeting – though some were missing at the opening on Sunday, which had already been delayed from February 27. Al Jazeera – Chad military gov’t, opposition groups hold peace talks in Qatar



  • Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis has kicked off his visit to Turkey during which he will hold talks with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Istanbul, a rare meeting between neighbours who have been at odds over maritime and energy issues, the status of Aegean islands and migration. The Greek prime minister kicked off his visit to Istanbul on Sunday by attending an Orthodox Christian service at the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople. Al Jazeera – Greek, Turkish leaders to meet in Istanbul


  • India is amongst the most technology-adept nations, a function of its people’s comfort with IT products and services as well as its late-mover advantage. It must now engage with a spectrum of evolving needs around law and regulation. This is necessary to accelerate population-scale opportunities and address widespread risks. Samir Saran – ORF – Time to reassess what is good, what is bad, and what is ugly about India’s tech regulations
  • This brief reviews the crucial role of India in global climate politics and highlights the country’s partnerships on sustainable energy in Africa through the India-led International Solar Alliance (ISA). The brief finds that, beyond contributing to climate change mitigation, India—through ISA, in particular—is helping ensure energy security and sustainable livelihoods in sub-Saharan Africa by providing poor communities access to natural, economic, human, and social capital. It calls for complementary initiatives from policymakers in Africa to align efforts towards ensuring sustainable livelihoods for the continent’s more than 1.33 billion people. Oluwaseun J. Oguntuase – ORF – India and the Global Commons: A Case Study of the International Solar Alliance
  • Three contemporary developments have challenged India’s engagement with the world and its security concerns in the past 24 months. The first was the decision by China’s Xi Jinping to pick a line from a map in imagined history and send 100,000 troops and more to alter the current political equation in the Himalayas. This was a whimsical and perverse exertion of power that resulted in a bloody clash and a still continuing face-off between Indian and Chinese troops. Xi’s actions then were no different from Vladimir Putin’s in recent days, both yearning for the expanse of empires past or even mythical. The global reaction, though ostensibly sympathetic to India, was timid when compared to the current aggressive response to a similar Russian effort to change the politics of Europe. Samir Saran – ORF – The world is in flux. Self-reliance is vital


  •  Iran should use the opportunity provided by instability in the global energy markets and push its demands in nuclear talks in Vienna, a majority of Iranian lawmakers have suggested. A statement signed by 160 of Iran’s 290 members of parliament was read out publicly on Sunday. It said Tehran should not bind itself by “fabricated deadlines” by the West and push for its demands in the talks in the Austrian capital. Maziar Motamedi – Al Jazeera – Oil concerns give Iran the upper hand in nuclear talks: Lawmakers


  • The Israel Defense Forces have beefed up their preparedness on the northern border after Iran announced the deaths of two Revolutionary Guards officers in a bombing allegedly by Israel of Iranian targets near Damascus International Airport. Israeli security sources said the two officers were involved in Hizbullah’s PGM precision-guided-missile project. Residents of southern Lebanon expressed fear that the Iranian response would be carried out by Hizbullah there. However, IDF sources believe the response could also come from pro-Iranian militias in Syria, Iraq, or Yemen using missiles or drones. Yoni Ben Menachem – JCPA – Iran Is Exploiting the War in Ukraine to Strengthen Its Presence in Syria


  • 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 – Updated – Europe’s Rising Need for Israeli Gas Production


  • In the wake of the Ukraine conflict, Shinzo Abe, Japan’s former prime minister and now head of the largest faction of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), has suggested that Japan consider hosting US nuclear weapons facilities on Japanese soil, similar to some European nations, such as Germany, which have nuclear sharing arrangements with the United States. Purnendra Jain – The Interpreter – Ukraine war triggers debate on Japan’s nuclear option


On March 14, 2021, “Zarni” joined protests in Hlaing Tharyar, near Yangon, against the Myanmar military’s February 1 coup. The large protests were planned by factory workers, a large portion of the industrial area’s residents. Manny Maung – HRW – A Year On, No Justice for Myanmar Massacre


  • The Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC), a bilateral United States (US) foreign aid agency, was established by the US Congress in 2004. The primary aim of this programme has been to provide substantial assistance to low- and middle-income countries, with the reduction of poverty and economic aggrandisement. In this regard various sectors are targeted like education, health, road and transport infrastructure, energy and agriculture as specific pillars of development, targeted for financial support. Since 2019, the MCC has approved 37 compacts worth US$ 13 billion, encompassing 29 countries. Sohini Nayak – ORF – The Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC)’s Nepal compact finally ratified

RUSSIA – UKRAINE (impacr, reaction, consequences)

  • Several leading foreign tech companies have withdrawn from Russia or suspended operations in the two weeks since Russia’s full-scale invasion in Ukraine, exacerbating the risk of isolation from the global internet for the country’s residents. HRW – Russia: With Tech Firms Pulling Out, Internet Spiraling into Isolation
  • Critical infrastructure is a privileged target for almost any kind of threat actor, the ongoing Russia-Ukraine cyber conflict is posing them at risk. Piierluigi Paganini – Security Affairs – Russia-Ukraine cyber conflict poses critical infrastructure at risk
  • There seems to be no country in Europe where the Russian invasion of Ukraine has caused a greater systemic upheaval than in Germany. The invasion roused Germany from the illusions that have guided its dealings with Russia since the 1970s – the “Ostpolitik” (eastern) policy. The collapse of the Soviet Union, the unification of Germany, and the (apparent) disappearance of the Soviet threat created a sense of the end of history and the victory of the liberal West. Enjoyment of the “fruits of peace” became the motto of German policy, bringing with it dependence on Russia, the United States, and China. Without the invasion of Ukraine it is doubtful whether Germany would have taken the decision to bring about a paradigm shift in its security, arms exports, and energy policies. While this shift was announced by Chancellor Olaf Scholz in a speech at the Bundestag, it remains to be seen whether his determination will translate into action and be implemented over the long term. Shimon Stein – INSS – Germany and the Ukraine Crisis: End of the Age of Illusions
  • It isn’t yet enough. The impressive deliveries of defensive weapons to Ukraine’s military, though crucial to the country’s remarkable resistance, have failed to stop Russian President Vladimir Putin’s mounting air strikes on civilian targets and urban centers. The unprecedented economic and financial sanctions on Russia, though historic in their scope, have been insufficient to deter him from escalating his grinding war on Ukraine.  Frederick Kempe – Atlantic Council – The Western response to Putin’s war has been remarkable. But it’s not enough
  • Ramzan Kadyrov, the leader of Russia’s Chechnya region and ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin, has claimed that he travelled to Ukraine to meet Chechen troops fighting alongside Russian forces. Chechen television channel Grozny posted a video on its Telegram social media channel earlier on Sunday that showed Kadyrov in a darkened room in military uniform discussing with Chechen troops a military operation they said took place 7km (4.3 miles) from the Ukrainian capital, Kyiv. Al Jazeera – Chechen leader Kadyrov claims he travelled to Ukraine
  • Russia’s finance ministry has accused foreign countries of wanting to force Russia into an “artificial default” through unprecedented sanctions over its war in Ukraine and said it would meet its debt obligations. “The freezing of foreign currency accounts of the Bank of Russia and of the Russian government can be regarded as the desire of a number of foreign countries to organise an artificial default that has no real economic grounds,” Finance Minister Anton Siluanov said in a statement on Monday. Al Jazeera – Russia accuses West of seeking ‘artificial default’ over Ukraine | Russia-Ukraine war News
  • Russian and Ukrainian officials are set to hold a new round of talks as Moscow’s invading forces show no sign of easing their onslaught across Ukraine, edging closer to the capital, Kyiv, and maintaining their relentless bombardment of the besieged southern port city of Mariupol. The two sides’ representatives will meet via videoconference on Monday, a Ukrainian presidential adviser and a Kremlin spokesman said. According to Ukrainian negotiator David Arakhamia, the talks will begin at 08:20 GMT. Al Jazeera – Ukraine-Russia talks to continue as Moscow steps up onslaught
  • The Russia-Ukraine conflict has resulted in a rift in global fertilizer supply chains, with both countries moving to suspend their fertilizer exports, inevitably putting upward pressure on China’s potash fertilizer market that remains reliant on imported potash, industry analysts said on Sunday. Global Times – Russia-Ukraine conflict affects fertilizer market, but overall impact on China ‘limited’
  • Much is being written about Russia’s invasion of the Ukraine, and much more will surely be said in the months and years ahead of this potentially epoch-defining event. But some of the most insightful and almost prescient analyses were made well before the conflict, such as in Larry Diamond’s excellent 2020 book, Ill winds: Saving democracy from Russian rage, Chinese ambition, and American complacency. Diamond, a professor at Stanford University, documents the political transformation of the world through the “third wave of democratisation”, beginning in the 1970s and 1980s, followed by a big bang after the fall of the Berlin wall, with the democratisation of central and eastern Europe. But then began a global democratic recession. John Wesr – The Interpreter – Saving democracy from Russian rage
  • Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has overturned the post-1945 international system.  Attention has focused on the sea change in European attitudes to security threats, the defence spending that Russia’s aggression has produced, and the sobering challenge Russia’s invasion poses to accepted international rules and norms. But the Ukraine crisis has wider implications, affecting the Indo-Pacific region. Ian Hill – The Interpreter – What the Ukraine crisis means for the Indo-Pacific
  • Russia grinds towards military objectives in Ukraine as the first smartphone war confounds and surprises. Networked warfare meets networked people. The fog of war turns to patches of mist. Modern weapons with all the sensors of a smartphone offer the military new ways of fighting, while digital citizens use new ways of seeing and acting to shift the war calculus. – The Strategist – Smartphones, digital citizens and open secrets in Russia–Ukraine war
  • At least 85 children have died in Russia’s war on Ukraine as of Sunday morning, according to the office of Ukraine’s attorney general. Most of the children were killed in the regions of Kyiv, Kharkiv, Donetsk, Sumy, Kherson, Mykolaiv and Zhytomyr, according to the attorney general’s statement. Monique Beals – The Hill – At least 85 children killed so far in Ukraine war: attorney general
  • The Biden administration isn’t happy that Beijing is taking Moscow’s side after the unprovoked attack on Ukraine — and it’s going to tell them that face to face. National security adviser Jake Sullivan will meet in Rome on Monday with China’s top diplomat, Yang Jiechi, to discuss Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine. The meeting is a long-planned follow-up to President Joe Biden’s virtual meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping in November, a source familiar with the situation told reporters Saturday. Phelim Helim – Politico – Jake Sullivan and China’s Yang Jiechi to discuss Russia-Ukraine on Monday
  • Russia’s brutal invasion of Ukraine has inflicted a devastating toll, one measured in lives lost and cities destroyed. The response from much of the world has been swift and nearly unprecedented: not only through materiel support for Ukraine but also a suite of economic sanctions designed to disconnect Russia from the world economy. East Asia Forum – Avoiding a Ukraine-induced global food crisis will take global leadership
  • The Russian invasion of Ukraine and the widespread devastation of the country raise the spectre of another world food crisis. Asia suffered badly during the last food crisis in 2007–08, mostly because of panicked behaviour in the region’s rice markets. Peter Timmer – East Asia Forum – Ukraine crisis feeds fears of another food crisis


  • The jailing of a prominent lawyer on March 2, 2022, for arguing with police officers is an alarming new step in the confiscation of civil liberties since President Kais Saied seized extraordinary powers on July 25, 2021, Human Rights Watch said today. Abderrazak Kilani, a former government minister and head of the national bar association, is one of the most prominent Tunisians to be put behind bars for his peaceful expression since the ouster of the authoritarian President Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali in 2011. HRW –  Tunisia: Military Court Jails Prominent Lawyer