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

Open newsletter – march 30, 2022 a.m.

IL NOSTRO TOPIC E’ LA “GEOSTRATEGIA DEL RISCHIO”

I rischi sono interrelati. Nessuna fonte di rischio può essere considerata a se stante ma va collocata all’interno del mosaico complesso delle dinamiche di realtà. Come facciamo ogni giorno, proponiamo alcune fonti (estrapolate dalla open newsletter che segue) per mostrare quanto la comprensione della interrelazione dei rischi debba andare di pari passo con la comprensione della trasformazione del rischio stesso. Il rischio si trasforma e ci trasforma. Il rischio non è solo in ciò che si vede e non può essere associato soltanto a un pericolo evidente o incombente. Il rischio è soprattutto carsico e “vive” nelle tensioni (sociali, economiche, geopolitiche) provocate dalle guerre (nei loro impatti diretti e indiretti) e dalla evoluzione della rivoluzione digitale (si pensi  alla partita strategica del “decoupling” tra Occidente e Cina), e nelle nuove forme (campi di competizione) della geopolitica (sempre più decisiva è la geopolitica delle “terre rare”).  Altresì, la trasformazione del rischio va calato nella ridefinizione (ongoing) dei rapporti di potere nella interrelazione sistemica planetaria (a esempio, come si collocherà strategicamente la Russia e come evolverà il complesso della globalizzazione ?)

 

TODAY:

  • AROUND THE WORLD (evolving worlds, ongoing relations, crisis, conflicts)
  • DEFENSE – MILITARY
  • GLOBAL ENERGY FORUM 2022
  • ON LIFE (technology, the future of the internet, cybersecurity, data)
  • RARE EARTH METALS
  • RUSSIA – UKRAINE (impact, reactions, consequences)

 

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

Africa 

  • From subsistence to disruptive innovation: Africa, the Fourth Industrial Revolution, and the future of jobs, March 29. By Louise Fox and Landry Signé. Improving employment opportunities in Africa is already a major development policy issue, and given the number of young Africans expected to enter the job market over the next two decades, it will undoubtedly remain a concern. Academic research and think tank reports tend to herald the technologies emerging in the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR; Schwab 2016) as game changers that can accelerate the economic transformation of developing countries, leading to the creation of wage jobs in expanding, higher-productivity sectors. African governments are being advised to organize and invest for this revolution by building labor force skills. Yet how realistic are these predictions for Africa? And what might be the consequences for inclusive development if Africans follow this advice? (read more)

India

  • Poor data hamstrings gender equity reporting in India, March 29. By Vikas Kumar, East Asia Forum. Achieving gender equity is a major development challenge facing countries such as India. The sex ratio — the ratio of the number of females per thousand males — is a key measure of the scale of the challenge. In the late twentieth century, there was a precipitous decline in the child sex ratio in India — from 962 in 1981 to 918 in 2011. (read more)

Nagorno Karabakh

  • Tensions Escalate in Karabakh as Azerbaijan Demands Withdrawal of Armenian Armed Groups, March 29. By Vasif Huseynov, The Jamestown Foundation. On March 26, the Ministry of Defense of Azerbaijan called on the Russian side to complete the withdrawal of “the remnants of the Armenian army and illegal Armenian armed detachments” from the Azerbaijani territories temporarily under the control of Moscow’s peacekeeping mission (Mod.gov.az, March 26). As Azerbaijan has always contended, the fourth article of the trilateral (Armenia, Azerbaijan, Russia) agreement that ended the Second Karabakh War (September 27–November 10, 2020) unequivocally mandates the withdrawal of Armenian military forces from the region in parallel with the deployment of peacekeeping units (President.az, November 10, 2020). This was at least the second instance since the war’s end that the Azerbaijani defense ministry had publicly appealed to Moscow to ensure the full implementation of this article (see EDM September 22, 2021). This time, however, the appeal occurred against a background of intense political and geopolitical significance. (read more)

South Korea – Japan

USA

  • Climate change creates financial risks. Investors need to know what those are, March 29. By Michael Panfil and David G. Victor, Brookings. The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) voted recently to move a proposal forward that will require publicly traded companies to disclose the financial risks they face from climate change. These rules aim to bring corporate obligations for the disclosure of climate risk level with the requirements for disclosure of other forms of financial risk. Doing so is long overdue and a critical step to ensuring investors have access to information about the investment risks faced from climate. Those financial harms include “transition risks” stemming from shifts in innovation, technology, and competitive landscape as well as “physical risks”, such as more severe wildfires to more frequent flooding. (read more)
  • Independence and impact in contemporary America, March 29. By Vanessa Williamson, Brookings. From COVID-19 to climate change, addressing even the most obvious, urgent and universal crises facing the American people has increasingly seemed beyond the capacity of the U.S. government. At the same time, a radicalized Republican party, which has in recent decades benefited from the Constitution’s anti-majoritarian institutions to hold power, has now ceased to accept electoral defeats as legitimate outcomes. The dysfunction of U.S. governance presents a challenge for all organizations—in the media, in policymaking, and elsewhere—that seek to inform public debate and “aid constructively in the development of sound national policies,” as the Brookings Institution once put its mission. (read more)

DEFENSE – MILITARY

GLOBAL ENERGY FORUM 2022

  • Global Energy Forum – Atlantic Council. By Atlantic Council. The Atlantic Council Global Energy Forum is the premier international gathering of government, industry, and thought leaders to set the energy agenda for the year. This year’s Forum focuses on meeting short-term energy demand while not losing sight of crucial net-zero goals, and examine the geopolitical, energy market, and climate crises shaping the energy system. (read more)

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

  • The Two Technospheres, March 29. By CSIS. Decoupling of digital innovation, systems, and data flows between Western nations and China is a growing global issue with high potential to destabilize the digital world. Through a series of workshops and an analysis of existing efforts, the Multilateral Cyber Action Committee (MCAC) has provided an assessment on the current status of technology decoupling and the growing divergence of the Western and Chinese technospheres. The report provides a set of recommendations for action to mitigate the growing cybersecurity risks posed by technology decoupling. (read more)
  • Ethical AI development: Evidence from AI startups, March 29. By James BessenStephen Impink, and Robert Seamans, Brookings. Artificial Intelligence startups use training data as direct inputs in product development. These firms must balance numerous trade-offs between ethical issues and data access without substantive guidance from regulators or existing judicial precedence. We survey these startups to determine what actions they have taken to address these ethical issues and the consequences of those actions. We find that 58% of these startups have established a set of AI principles. Startups with data-sharing relationships with high-technology firms; that were impacted by privacy regulations; or with prior (non-seed) funding from institutional investors are more likely to establish ethical AI principles. Lastly, startups with data-sharing relationships with high-technology firms and prior regulatory experience with General Data Protection Regulation are more likely to take costly steps, like dropping training data or turning down business, to adhere to their ethical AI policies.  (read more)

RARE EARTH METALS

  • Chinese rare earth consolidation a cause for concern, March 30. By  Kristin Vekasi, East Asia Forum. The world needs more readily available rare earth metals. These metals are used in energy transition technologies such as electric vehicles and wind turbines, in most contemporary electronic gadgets, and in some defence applications. Over the coming decades, demand for rare earths is forecasted to increase by two to eight times over current supply. (read more)

RUSSIA – UKRAINE (impact, reactions, consequences)

  • NATO and the European Union Show Unity and Resolve in Brussels, March 29. By Pierre Morcos, Sean Monaghan, CSIS. The leaders of NATO and the European Union met in Brussels last week, along with G7 leaders, for an extraordinary trio of summits one month after Vladimir Putin began his invasion of Ukraine. While Russia continued its devastating assault across Ukraine, leaders from Europe, North America, and Japan reinforced their united front against Moscow’s war of aggression, repeating demands for Russia to end the conflict and withdraw its forces from Ukraine while increasing the economic and international pressure against the Kremlin. They also stood firm with the people of Ukraine, committing to further economic, humanitarian, and military support. (read more)
  • Ukraine, the Sanctions and the Future of Globalisation, March 29. By Valdai Discussion Club. In the world in the making, Russia cannot belong to Europe and Asia at the same time, at least not in the years to come. The US is skilfully taking advantage of the Ukraine war to tighten the grip on the EU, hence Russia has no choice but to redirect its agenda on three directions: domestically, Asia, the Global South (Africa plus Latin America), writes geopolitical analyst Emanuel Pietrobon. (read more)
  • What the Baltic presidents want the West to do now against Russia, March 29. By Nick Fouriezos, Atlantic Council. As Russia’s war in Ukraine drags on, it’s time to ramp up Western sanctions even further, draw a red line around the use of chemical weapons by Russian forces, and implement selective no-fly zones around sensitive sites, such as nuclear power plants. That’s according to the presidents of Lithuania, Estonia, and Latvia, who proposed a number of options to counter Russian aggression at an Atlantic Council Front Page event Tuesday. (read more)
  • Putin’s ruble ploy confirms that energy exports are his lifeline, March 29. By Charles Lichfield, Atlantic Council.  The West’s unprecedented sanctions against Moscow over its invasion of Ukraine are expected to shrink the Russian economy by up to 15 percent this year. However, the Kremlin’s response so far suggests that Russia still has tools at its disposal to help it defend against a total economic meltdown, unless its energy export revenue tap is turned off. (read more)
  • German defense minister: ‘We cannot look away or stand apart’ on Ukraine, March 29. By Brian McGee, Atlantic Council. Germany is committed to step up in global efforts to support Ukraine in its fight against Russia, German Minister of Defense Christine Lambrecht said at an Atlantic Council Front Page event Tuesday, as the conflict has provoked a broader reckoning about the country’s place in the world. (read more)
  • War Polarizes Belarusian Analysts and Belarusians Themselves, March 29. By Grigory Ioffe, The Jamestown Foundation. The Belarusian service of the Russian independent media outlet Mediazona, founded in 2014 and blocked by the Russian government on March 5, recently published an extensive interview with Yegor Lebedok, a military expert (Mediazona, March 24). Lebedok is a doctor of physics and a graduate of the Academy of Public Administration. On January 31, he was fired from the Belarusian research-and-development firm Optics, Optoelectronics and Laser Technology, where he headed a lab, for his anti-war pronouncements and analyses (Euroradio, January 31). (read more)
  • Moscow Mulling Wholesale Border Changes in Central Eastern Europe, March 29. By Paul Globe, The Jamestown Foundation. The most compelling reason why the international community is opposed to any border change is the capacity of changes in one border to spark consideration of changes in others, creating or at least exacerbating problems in the relations between existing countries. Until Russian President Vladimir Putin’s annexation of Ukraine’s Crimea in 2014 and his moves to absorb parts of Donbas now, there had been little serious talk about changing borders in Europe since the end of World War II (the breakup of several former Communist federations in the 1990s notwithstanding). But the Kremlin leader has opened the sluice gates with his latest actions; and now some in the Russian capital are mulling the possibility of wholesale border revisions across Central Eastern Europe. Even if none of these changes are in fact realized, the mere discussion of them will have the effect of heightening tensions in the region by spreading suspicions that their borders are at risk and the conviction that what had once seemed permanent may be anything but. (read more)
  • Lessons of sanctions on Russia for China, March 29. David Lubin, East Asia Forum. In sanctioning the Russian central bank, the United States and its allies have delivered a very substantial financial shock to Moscow. The power of the shock derives not so much from the sanctioning of a central bank — which is not new in itself, since the United States has previously sanctioned the central banks of Iran and Venezuela — but rather because of the number of participating countries. China will be watching closely. (read one)
  • The Russia-Ukraine war may be bad news for nuclear nonproliferation. March 29. By Michael E. O’Hanlon and Bruce Riedel, Brookings. As we watch with horror and sadness the extreme devastation associated with Russia’s ongoing attack on Ukraine — with perhaps 10 million displaced and up to 20,000  killed to date — another potential casualty of this conflict is the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and the general international effort to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons. (read more)
  • Russian Offensive Campaign Assessment, March 29. By Frederick W. Kagan, George Barros, and Kateryna Stepanenko, ISW. The Russians have not yet abandoned their attacks on Kyiv, claims by Russian Defense Ministry officials notwithstanding. Russian forces continued fighting to hold their forwardmost positions on the eastern and western Kyiv outskirts even as badly damaged units withdrew to Russia from elsewhere on the Kyiv and Chernihiv axes.The Russian high command has likely concluded that it cannot seize Kyiv and may not be able to move artillery closer to the center of the city. It may have decided to stop its previous practices of forcing units that have already taken devastating losses to continue hopeless offensive operations and of feeding individual battalion tactical groups into the battle as they become available rather than concentrating them to achieve decisive effects. Russian officials are likely casting these decisions driven by military realities as overtures demonstrating Russia’s willingness to engage in serious ceasefire or peace negotiations, possibly to conceal the fact that they have accepted the failure of their efforts on the Kyiv axis. (read more)