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

Open newsletter – May 3, 2022

TODAY:

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

 

AROUND THE WORLD

Central African Republic

  • May 3. By HRW. Forces in the Central African Republic, whom witnesses identified as Russian, appear to have summarily executed, tortured, and beaten civilians since 2019, Human Rights Watch said today. National authorities, the country’s Special Criminal Court (SCC), or the International Criminal Court (ICC), should investigate these incidents as well as other credible allegations of abuse by Russia-linked forces with a view to criminal prosecution. (read more)

China – Japan – RCEP

  • May 3. By Hiroaki Richard Watanabe, East Asia Forum. On 1 January 2022, the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) came into effect. RCEP has significant economic importance because it is the first comprehensive economic partnership in East Asia to include the three major countries in the region: China, Japan and South Korea. (read more)

Europe

  • May 2. By Max Bergmann, Pierre Morcos, CSIS. The reelection of Emmanuel Macron on April 24 has profound implications for the future of Europe. Much of the coverage of the election has understandably focused on the significance of the election for France domestically and the future of French politics. But much less attention has been paid to the impact of Macron’s victory on European security and transatlantic relations. (read more)

India

  • May 3. By HRW. Indian authorities are increasingly targeting journalists and online critics for their criticism of government policies and practices, including by prosecuting them under counterterrorism and sedition laws, ten human rights organizations said today on World Press Freedom Day. (read more)
  • May 2. By N. Sathiya Moorthy, ORF. As financial crises brew in India’s neighbouring nations, India should engage in new economic initiatives with these states to prevent the worsening of such crises. (read more)

Mexico

  • May 3. By HRW. Escalating violence against journalists in Mexico is seriously undermining press freedom, Human Rights Watch said today, on World Press Freedom Day. President Andrés Manuel López Obrador should take urgent steps to strengthen the federal government protection mechanism, stop official harassment of journalists who criticize the government, and ensure prosecutors end the near-total impunity for these crimes. (read more)

Nepal

  • May 2. By Hari Bansh Jha, ORF. With depleted forex reserves, rising imports, and soaring balance of payments imbalances, many fear that Nepal is heading towards a full-blown economic crisis. (read more)

Russia – Europe

  • May 2. By , Bruegel: The European Union’s plan to target Russian oil in the context of its latest sanctions package makes sense as a way to step up pressure on Moscow. Oil is a major source of hard currency for Russia, and since the introduction of financial sanctions has become a vital lifeline for the Russian economy and a crucial funding source for the war. (read more)
  • May 2. By Mateusz Kubiak, The Jamestown Foundation. On April 27, Russia’s Gazprom completely suspended natural gas supplies to Poland and Bulgaria under long-term contracts that were supposed to be valid through the end of 2022. The move was explained by Gazprom as a necessity, as the Russian gas importers in both countries (PGNiG and Bulgargaz, respectively) had refused to pay for the commodity in rubles, under the new financial terms the Kremlin is struggling to unilaterally impose on its European customers. To date, no other European country has faced similar supply problems from Russia, despite the fact that some have also publicly rejected Moscow’s gas-for-rubles scheme. (read more)

Russia – Ukraine

  • May 2. By Maj Gen P K Mallick, VSM, VIF. Since the early 90s, experts have been saying that the next war will be fought in cyberspace. A ‘cyber Pearl Harbour’ would meltdown government systems, cripple critical infrastructure and plunge modern militaries and societies into darkness. Modern warfare is highly dependent on technology, and it has not happened in Ukraine. This is a conventional war where bullets rather than bytes are raining down on combatants and civilians, causing devastation and misery. (read more)
  • May 2. By Xavier Vavasseur, Naval News. The Ministry of Defence of Ukraine (Міноборони) just released a dramatic video showing one of its TB2 unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) striking two assault boats of the Russian Navy. (read more)
  • May 2. By James Jeffrey, Defense One. The UN, although its members are divided on Ukraine, must play a bigger role in the Ukraine conflict, because the basic principle on which it was founded—prohibiting major powers from illegally invading other states—is being grossly violated for the first time since its founding. Its actions could include sending peacekeepers to guard a safe zone within Ukraine for millions of displaced people, but also more active peacemaking, securing a ceasefire, and pressing for war crimes accountability. (read more)
  • May 2. By IAEA. Ukraine informed the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) today  that there had been no significant developments related to nuclear safety and security in the country over the past 24 hours, Director General Rafael Mariano Grossi said. (read more)
  • May 2. By Valerie Insinna, Breaking Defense. It’s been two months since Russia began its unprovoked invasion in Ukraine, and a new phase of the war is starting as Russia turns away from its failed assault on Kyiv and begins to coalesce artillery and air support in the eastern Donbas region. (read more)
  • May 2. By Lee Ferran, Breaking Defense. Since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February, the US Department of Defense has transferred billions of dollars-worth of weapons and equipment to Ukrainian forces, from drones to artillery. (read more)
  • May 2. By Theresa Hitchens, Breaking Defense. When Russia invaded Ukraine in February, remote sensing firm BlackSky made a “business decision” to change the planned orbits of its two newest satellites to better keep tabs on the war — even though they were scheduled to blast off just about a month later, CEO Brian O’Toole told Breaking Defense. (read more)
  • May 2. By Yuri Lapaiev, The Jamestown Foundation. On April 22, General Rustam Minnekayev, the acting commander of the Central Military District, announced that one of the goals of the second phase of Russia’s “special military operation in Ukraine” is to gain full control of Donbas and Ukraine’s south. According to him, achieving this objective would “ensure a land corridor to Crimea, control over vital objects of Ukraine’s economy,” and grant Russia access to Transnistria, the separatist region of Moldova occupied by Russian “peacekeeping” forces since 1992 (Interfax, April 22; see EDM, April 28). (read more)
  • May 2. By Pavel K. Baev, The Jamestown Foundation. The deadlocked war with Ukraine has pushed Russia into an irreconcilable dilemma: it can neither accept reality nor keep denying it. This contradiction can be seen both in the official discourse on the unfolding disaster and the societal response to it. As one example, rampant patriotic mobilization persists alongside the pretense that normal life continues undisturbed. Likewise, there is the contrast between the climaxing intensity of official propaganda on the one hand, and the war (still being described as a “special military operation”) supposedly progressing according to plan, on the other hand. Finally, harsh repressions have discouraged anti-war protests, but the prevalent Russian attitude is actually confused indifference to rather than active support for the country’s brutal aggression against its neighbor (Meduza.io, April 24). The bottom line is that neither the hysterical drum-beating nor the cynical minding of one’s own business is sustainable for much longer. And the approaching celebrations of May 9 Victory Day could mark the point where the neither-war-nor-peace stance acquires a more definitively one-sided and perhaps more dangerous character. (read more)
  • May 2. By Kateryna Stepanenko, Karolina Hird, and Frederick W. Kagan, ISW. Russian forces did not conduct any confirmed ground attacks in Ukraine on May 2.The April 30 Ukrainian artillery strike on the Russian command post in Izyum may be continuing to disrupt Russian efforts on the Izyum axis. Russian troops on the Donetsk-Luhansk frontline and Southern Axis continued to regroup, likely in preparation for renewed offensives or to resist or reverse Ukrainian counter-offensives. (read more)

DEFENSE – MILITARY – SPACE

  • May 3. By Naval News. Rohde & Schwarz Australia has signed a contract with BAE Systems Australia’s maritime division for the early design of an integrated communications system for the Royal Australian Navy Hunter Class Frigate Program. (read more)
  • May 2. By Juho Lee, Naval News. Lee Jong-seop, a member of the Presidential Transition Committee’s foreign and security policy team and the incoming President Yoon Suk-yeol’s nominee for the Minister of National Defense, expressed reservations about the South Korean aircraft carrier or CVX program on April 25 when asked by National Defense Committee member Kang Daesik. (read more)
  • May 2. By Jacqueline Feldscher, Defense One. Some lawmakers are urging their colleagues not to lose sight of the threats posed by China, voicing concern that the Pentagon is trying to “shortchange” its mission in the Pacific. (read more)
  • May 2. By Jennifer Hlad, Defense One. As the Pentagon focuses on eastern Europe and threats from China in the Pacific, Marines in the Middle East are reorganizing and readying themselves for the future—while keeping a wary eye on Iran. (read more)
  • May 2. By Mike Yeo, Defense News. An Australian tanker has refueled a Japanese fighter jet in the air for the first time as part of interoperability trials between the two Asia-Pacific nations. A Royal Australian Air Force KC-30A tanker aircraft was deployed to Japan April 4-27, during which it participated in a flight test engineering program with Japan Air Self-Defense Force Mitsubishi F-2 jets. (read more)
  • May 2. By Jen Judson, Defense News. Raytheon has run into problems building the first prototypes of the U.S. Army’s new air-and-missile defense radar that will replace the Patriot system’s sensor, but the service still aims to deliver four of them by the end of 2023. “The LTAMDS program continues to adjust schedules to mitigate system integration challenges and supply chain issues caused by COVID supply chain issues,” the Army’s Program Executive Office for Missiles and Space told Defense News in a statement. (read more)
  • May 2. By The Naval Postgraduate School and Microsoft have signed a cooperative research and development agreement to tackle four key technology areas where industry investments and naval operational needs may overlap. The agreement, announced publicly on May 2, covers work involving intelligent edge computing solutions and cloud-enhanced networks; gaming, exercising, modeling and simulation to improve military capability development and command decision-making; the development of a “campus of the future” at the school’s Monterey, California, campus; and establishing an infrastructure and processes that can rapidly transition research and development projects to the field. (read more)
  • May 2. By
  • May 2. By Agnes Helou, Breaking Defense. With the increased number of drone attacks in the Gulf, firms producing counter-drone solutions are searching for a strategy to penetrate the rich markets of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. (read more)
  • May 2. By Andrew Eversden, Breaking Defense. In the middle of the Utah desert, the US Army plans to test the efficacy of swarms of mini-drones that the service hopes will provide a ISR, targeting and battle damage assessments.  (read more)

HORIZONS

  • May 3. By Adriana Masgras, HRW. The United Nations Open-ended Working Group on Ageing (OEWG) held its annual meeting on older people’s rights in April. During the meeting, the group highlighted how low income in older age can limit older people’s enjoyment of their rights, including the rights to food, health, and to live independently, and be included in the community. (read more)
  • May 2. By Ben Cahill, CSIS. Cutting methane emissions from oil and gas will help slow the pace of global warming, and methane is firmly on the international climate agenda. But how will progress on methane rules and regulations spread beyond Europe and North America, especially to regions where state utilities and national oil companies (NOCs) play a prominent role? And how can global gas trade—especially the liquefied natural gas (LNG) sector—evolve in ways that lower methane emissions? This report outlines recent global, national, and sub-national efforts to curtail methane emissions from oil and gas. It analyzes how demand for cleaner, or “differentiated,” gas might develop, delving into the drivers for buyers and others in the gas ecosystem. It concludes with policy recommendations and suggested engagement strategies with global gas players. (read more)
  • May 2. By M Chatib Basri, East Asia Forum. At a time when the world desperately needs global cooperation due to the COVID-19 pandemic, increased geopolitical tension, economic nationalism, and fear of supply chain disruption are making it more difficult. (read more)
  • May 2. By John C. Austin, Brookings. This February, the European Commission released its Eighth Report on Economic, Social and Territorial Cohesion, detailing the impact and future challenges of the European Union’s decades-old program to invest in economically ailing regions within member countries. Overshadowed by Vladimir Putin’s war on Ukraine, the report was barely noticed in Europe, and certainly unnoticed in the U.S. (read more)

TECH & CYBER

  • May 2. By Darrell M. West, Brookings. Digital technology is expanding rapidly and high demand for these products is putting enormous demands on global supply chains. One area that has exhibited major bottlenecks is semiconductors, the computer chips that power the digital revolution. Everything from cars and manufacturing facilities to smart phones require chips, however, recent shortages in that area exacerbated by the pandemic and geopolitical tensions have slowed production and imperiled economic activity. (more)