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

Open newsletter – march 29, 2022 a.m.

OUR MAIN TOPIC IS THE GEOSTRATEGY OF RISK

Una guerra trasforma il mondo. E’ il caso di ciò che sta accadendo in Ucraina. Gli impatti sono già molto evidenti perché la Russia è un player importante e decisivo. In più, nella interrelazione sistemica planetaria, augurarsi l’implosione della Russia è una intenzione del tutto suicida. Realismo impone uno sguardo complesso e sistemico e non appiattito sul presente, sull’imminenza. Siamo convinti che sia giusto imporre sanzioni al regime di Putin; ma, attenzione, va posto un limite. Non entriamo nel merito delle trattative diplomatiche e neppure della situazione sul campo perché la disinformazione regna sovrana da entrambe le parti. Ciò che sembra chiaro è il timore diffuso per ciò che potrebbe accadere. Dovremmo essere consapevoli che questa guerra va oltre il territorio dell’Ucraina; che mette in discussione (e dovrebbe porre in una luce critica) le scelte compiute negli ultimi decenni, almeno dalla caduta del muro di Berlino e dalla fine del totalitarismo sovietico; che rischia di provocare shock energetici e alimentari di grande portata; che, infine, ci chiama a guardare con occhi nuovi alla configurazione del mondo che vivremo nei prossimi decenni. 

TODAY:

  • AROUND THE WORLD (evolving worlds, ongoing relations, crisis, conflicts)
  • HORIZONS 
  • LOOK IN CHINA
  • ON LIFE (technology, the future of the internet, cybersecurity, data)
  • RUSSIA – UKRAINE (impact, reactions, consequences) 

 

AROUND THE WORLD (evolving worlds, ongoing relations, crisis, conflicts)

ASEAN – Myanmar

  • An Analysis of ASEAN’s Special Envoy Visit to Myanmar, March 28. By Cchavi Vasisht, VIF.  As Cambodia takes over as the Chair of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) in 2022, the visit of Cambodia’s Foreign Minister, Prak Sokhonn as ASEAN’s Special Envoy to Myanmar marks an important development in the current crisis-ridden country. For the first time, the Myanmar military hosted ASEAN delegates since it took power in February 2021. The previous visit scheduled for October 2021 by Brunei’s Second Foreign Minister, Erywan Yusof, was cancelled as the Myanmar military denied the envoy’s meeting with Aung San Suu Kyi. The article below explores the developments made by the regional organisation and the opportunities missed in the process. ASEAN’s role as the regional force has been limited and criticised by opposition forces, civil society groups and international groups. (read more)

Mexico – China

  • China-linked wildlife poaching and trafficking in Mexico, March 28. By Vanda Felbab-Brown, Brookings. Wildlife trafficking from Mexico to China receives little international attention, but it is growing, compounding the threats to Mexican biodiversity posed by preexisting poaching for other markets, including the United States. Since Mexican criminal groups often control extensive territories in Mexico which become no-go-zones for government officials and environmental defenders, visibility into the extent of poaching, illegal logging, and wildlife trafficking in Mexico is limited. It is likely, however, that the extent of poaching and trafficking, including to China, is larger than commonly understood. (read more)

Middle East

  • The Future of Youth in the Middle East, March 28. By John Bell, Valdai Discussion Club. The question of the future of youth in the Middle East can lend itself to inaccurate generalizations – even the categorization of youth as a politically distinct category is fraught with ambiguity. Furthermore, it is very difficult to generalize across a region with enormous diversity, the context is very different in Lebanon than in the Gulf, or elsewhere. (read more)

Pakistan 

  • Pakistan: The next great infrastructure connector, March 28. By Ali Jehangir Siddiqui, Atlantic Council. Pakistan sits at the crossroads of the abundant resources of Central Asia and the Middle East, and the lucrative markets of China and India. It therefore has the potential to play a significant connecting role, one that enables broader regional interdependency while boosting domestic economic prospects. Several projects in infrastructure and energy in recent years have already laid the groundwork for this transformation. But more can be done. Pakistan’s network, though rapidly advancing, is not yet ready to take on these responsibilities. However, there are considerable opportunities; from energy transportation and roadbuilding to digital connectivity and rail access, if Pakistan pursues significant infrastructure improvements, it has a chance to assume the mantle of the region’s great connector. (read more)

USA

  • Why census undercounts are problematic for political representation, March 28. By Gabriel R. Sanchez, Brookings. The report last week from the U.S. Census Bureau confirmed what many experts and advocates have worried about over the past two years: Despite achieving an accurate overall estimate of the population, the 2020 census suffered from significant undercounts of racial and ethnic minorities. More specifically, there was a 3.30% undercount of the Black population, 4.99% undercount of the Latino population, and 5.64% undercount for American Indian/Alaskan Native populations who live on reservations or tribal lands. The Latino undercount in 2020 is three times the 1.54% undercount in 2010, a statistically significant difference. Given the significant consequences associated with the population numbers generated by the census, civil rights leaders are calling for changes to be made to the process—one that consistently diminishes the political influence of diverse communities who are hard to reach. (read more)
  • Why digital human capital is important in community building, March 28. By Karen MossbergerCaroline Tolbert, and Scott LaCombe, Brookings The pandemic revealed gaping disparities in broadband access and use in urban neighborhoods and rural communities alike. As residents were cut off from health information and telemedicine, students were unable to continue their studies online, citizens in need lacked access to government and nonprofit services, and furloughed employees were unable to search for work, the consequences weighed heavily in many communities. (read more)
  • Tech jobs spread out during the pandemic, but future dispersal isn’t guaranteed, March 28. By Mark Muro and Yang You, Brookings. The tech industry’s big, coastal “superstar” cities aren’t going anywhere. That’s the first takeaway from Brookings Metro’s new look at the geography of the tech sector as it has powered through the COVID-19 pandemic. (read more)
  • Fiscal policy and budget deficits following the pandemic, March 28. By Dave Skidmore, Brookings. In a panel discussion at the Brookings Papers on Economic Activity (BPEA) conference on March 25, three well-known economists—Greg Mankiw, Carmen M. Reinhart, and Phillip Swagel—explored the implications of interest rates and inflation for U.S. fiscal policy following the COVID-19 pandemic. (read more)

HORIZONS

  • Building Future-Proof Global Value Chains, March 29. Tanu M. Goyal, ORF. Recent global events have underscored the importance of economic integration even as they have exposed the fragility of global value chains (GVCs). The outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, for instance, highlighted the systemic risks to the functioning of GVCs. This brief explores the factors that impact the creation of production networks and recommends key methods to make GVCs more stable and sustainable to withstand potential shocks. (read more)
  • Meet the global leaders powering the world’s energy transition, March 28. By Atlantic Council. The return of pre-pandemic energy consumption. Threats of cyberattacks on critical infrastructure. And a generation-defining war in Europe with global repercussions. All have dampened hopes for a swift energy transition—but none have discouraged the world’s movers and shakers in the energy industry from finding solutions. The Atlantic Council’s sixth annual Global Energy Forum, which kicked off Monday in Dubai, is where they’ll discuss the tools, policies, and models essential to responding to these and other major trends in the sector. Check back here for the latest highlights from the event, which is hosted by the Atlantic Council’s Global Energy Center in partnership with the United Arab Emirates’ Ministry of Energy and Infrastructure and in conjunction with the 2022 World Government Summit. (read more)

LOOK IN CHINA

  • China Unveils its First Long-Term Hydrogen Plan. March 28. By Jane Nakano, CSIS. On March 23, the Chinese government released the country’s first-ever long-term plan for hydrogen, covering the period of 2021–2035. The plan laid out a phased approach to developing a domestic hydrogen industry and mastering technologies and manufacturing capabilities, while pointing to the country’s carbon peaking and neutrality commitments as an overarching driver. (read more)

ON LIFE (technology, the future of the internet, cybersecurity, data)

  • The promises and perils of new technologies to improve education and employment opportunities, March 28. By Annelies GogerAllyson Parco, and Emiliana Vegas, Brookings. Digital technologies are rapidly developing and transforming the way individuals work, learn, and participate in civic life. As digital innovations become more available and present opportunities to make quality learning and career opportunities more accessible across the globe, educational institutions, administrative data systems, and regulatory frameworks have struggled to adapt. Through research on the landscape of digital micro-credentials, we hope to provide insights and policy recommendations to decisionmakers and stakeholders, such as education and labor policymakers, to expand access to skills and quality jobs to the most disadvantaged learners and workers across the world. (read more)

RUSSIA – UKRAINE (impact, reactions, consequences) 

  • Can Russia return to the world stage, as other aggressor nations?, March 29. By Al Jazeera. The war in Ukraine has turned Russian President Vladimir Putin into a pariah – at least in the West. The United States is trying to remove Moscow from the Group of 20 (G20) block of nations and continues to penalise Russia with sanctions along with its European partners, which are simultaneously rushing to wean themselves from Russian oil. (read more)
  • Russia-Ukraine War: A Game of Vain Military Venture?, March 28. Lieutenant General (Retd) Gautam Banerjee, PVSM, AVSM, YSM, VIF. Traditionally, over the centuries, the Russians have been the pioneers of original military strategic thinking. Even the world’s leading military thinkers, mainly the Prussians/Germans and British, have been heavily influenced by the philosophies and doctrines of warfare as adopted by the Russian General Staff. Traditionally however, the Russians have not been keen to propagate their thinking to win adherents as the Americans do. No doubt in the present era, the Americans lead in military doctrinal field, but that lead comes mainly from their massive academic and industrial commitments to militarist theorising and its profound propagations across the globe. For them boosting massive numbers of ‘strategic think tanks’, all overflowing with serious as well as pretending ‘military theorists’ is a highly profitable business.[1] But looking beyond the surface, it becomes clear that most such military theories, including the most enchanting theories of ‘Revolution in Military Affairs’, ‘Psychotronic War’, ‘Hybrid Warfare’ etc., are germinated from original Russian thinking. (read more)
  • The coming of strategic autonomy in the Gulf, March 29. By  Kabir Taneja, ORF. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has brought to the forefront crevasses in the international order amidst a larger unfolding of great-power competition. While the US and the EU have acted in concert to isolate Russia on the world stage, others, such as India and the Gulf states are looking to try and maintain a level of neutrality. (read more)
  • Is Greater Eurasia Possible Without Europe: A Security Perspective?, March 28. By Wang Yiwei, Duan Minnong, Valdai Discussion Club.  It is up to European countries, including Russia, to talk through a future European security structure: even though strategically Russia can rely on its Asian partners, it cannot separate itself from Europe geographically. If Russia intends to promote Greater Eurasia eastward smoothly, European stability should be taken into consideration: cooperation with the Belt and Road Initiative, whose route goes to west, is also a major part of Greater Eurasia. (read more)
  • Saint Javelin of Limited Supply, March 28. By John Schaus, CSIS. The United States and other countries in NATO, the European Union, and around the world watched in disbelief as Russia steadily shelled Ukrainian towns—and its people—for a month. While the world watched, the flow of weapons to support Ukraine’s self-defense moved at a fast pace. The White House announced over $1 billion in assistance to Ukraine. Other countries have announced their own efforts to supply Ukraine with military equipment. The situation in Ukraine even caused Germany to revise both its military export policy and its national defense spending. (read more)
  • Rhetoric Versus Reality: The European Union and Imports of Russian Natural Gas, March 28. By Mateusz Kubiak, The Jamestown Foundation. On March 8, the European Commission announced plans to cut European Union imports of Russian natural gas by two-thirds by the end of 2022 (EurActiv—Polish service, March 9). Last year, Russia supplied EU consumers with 155 billion cubic meters (bcm) of gas. Moreover, the EU said it is working on a proposal to introduce a binding ban on all Russian energy resources supplies by 2027 (Twitter.com/vonderleyen, March 11). The strong rhetoric signals that, in the face of a Russian war of aggression against Ukraine, EU countries are fully committed to phasing out energy cooperation with Vladimir Putin’s Russia. However, this is only partially true. Indeed, at present, Russian gas flows to the European Union are rising, not declining, and only a few countries of the bloc would be ready to immediately cut their energy ties to Europe’s massive eastern neighbor. (read more)
  • Russia Redeploys Troops From Its Bases in Georgia to Ukraine, March 28. By Zaal Anjaparidze, The Jamestown Foundation. The Kremlin’s large-scale war against Ukraine has vividly demonstrated various weaknesses of the Russian military. And as Russian losses have mounted, speculation grew quickly about whether Moscow would seek to redeploy additional troops to the front lines from different regions, including Georgia. That possibility appears to have come to pass. (read more)
  • Russia’s Strategic Confusion in Ukraine Deepens and Widens. March 28. By Pavel K.Baev, The Jamestown Foundation. For at least the past 3 weeks of the 33-day-long war against Ukraine, it has been clear that the Russian offensive has lost momentum, with its key groupings of forces stuck in the suburbs of Kyiv, Kharkiv and Mykolaiv. The question that all concerned observers have been asking is what the ostracized Russian leadership will do in this unwinnable situation. Western leaders, led by United States President Joseph Biden, met together at three emergency summits in various formats last Thursday (March 24) to find ways to dissuade the Kremlin from seeking to break this deadlock through sharp escalation—perhaps even with the use of Russian nuclear weapons (Nezavisimaya Gazeta, March 24). On Friday, an ambivalent signal from the Russian top brass indicated that an answer involving de-escalation and a reduction of Russia’s over-ambitious goals was at least being considered in Moscow. (read more)