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

Open newsletter – May 5, 2022

TODAY:

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

 

AROUND THE WORLD

Afghanistan

  • May 5. By , The Strategist. The Taliban’s recent ban on opium cultivation in Afghanistan, a repeat of previous attempts under Taliban rule up to 2001, shows how large-scale illicit drug economies are a fierce vector for organised crime and terrorism. The ban was announced last month in response to international demands for greater drug control in the country. It prohibits the buying, selling and use of a range of illicit drugs as well as alcohol. Taliban opium ban could lead to increase in organised crime and terrorism

Afghanistan – Pakistan

  • May 4. By VIF. Since the Taliban takeover in Afghanistan nearly nine months ago, the group’s governance has been marked by human rights violations, harsh restrictions on women, and the dominance of radical ideas. In this latest episode of the VIF podcast, we address the issue at hand and how the shift in the Pakistan government will have an impact on the Taliban. Joining the podcast is Michael Kugelman, Deputy Director of the Asia Program and Senior Associate South Asia at the Wilson Center. What does Taliban Governance mean for the region?

Arctic – NATO

  • May 4. By Neil Melvin, RUSI. The evolving role of NATO in the Arctic and High North is examined as the alliance looks to adapt its existing engagement and develop new responses to the fast-shifting regional security environment. Episode 25: NATO and Arctic Security

Australia

  • May 5. By Greg Earl, The Interpreter. Trade matters haven’t made much of an impact in Australia’s election campaign, not surprisingly overshadowed by Solomon Islands in the foreign affairs debate and now interest rate rises in the domestic debate. Economic diplomacy: Trade shifts challenge a new government
  • May 5. By Hugh Piper, The Interpreter. A returned Morrison government will see a Prime Minister at the height of his political powers, being just the second Australian leader this century to win two elections. Surprisingly, though, it’ll be on foreign policy that his government will need to spend much of its newfound political capital. Scott Morrison wins. So where to next for Australia in the world?
  • May 5. By Michael de Percy, John Poljak, The Interpreter. Energy security has been a global issue for some time, but only recently has it struck Australians as a day-to-day problem. Price hikes at the bowser and the shortage of AdBlue for diesel engines that preceded its fivefold price increase are constant reminders that energy security is not just the government’s problem. Energy security: Embracing technological neutrality

Australia – China – Solomon Islands

  • May 5. By , The Strategist. The timing of China’s announcement that it had sealed its controversial security agreement with Solomon Islands is significant, but not for the reason claimed by Home Affairs Minister Karen Andrews. Beijing was more concerned that America could upset its diplomatic coup in the Solomons than it was about influencing the result of Australia’s upcoming election. Australia’s thin red line on China in the Solomons

China – India

  • May 4. By  Antara Ghosal Singh, Stimson Center. The China-India border standoff that began in May 2020 continues to date at various friction points in the mountainous terrain of Ladakh in the Himalayas. A deadly clash between Indian and Chinese troops in the Galwan Valley in June 2020, which was the worst fighting in over four decades and resulted in fatalities on both sides, has come to define the crisis. Almost two years into the standoff, there is still little clarity on its fundamental cause. However, a close analysis of China’s domestic debates on India in the years preceding the Galwan clash and thereafter provides a clear understanding of the Chinese perceptions that underlay the border crisis. This analysis also offers clues on the way forward. The standoff reveals China’s policy dilemma over India. Beijing wants to effectively check a rising New Delhi by asserting its strength and psychological advantage in bilateral ties. But on the other hand, China is anxious about the impact of the current crisis on its regional and global geostrategic objectives. New Delhi should recognize its prominence in Chinese strategic debates and better leverage its position to shape Beijing’s behavior and extract benefits from it. China’s Evolving Strategic Discourse on India

China – Taiwan – Central and Eastern Europe

  • May 3. By Stimson Center. A discussion on how Taiwan and China engage economically with Central and Eastern European countries, and the increasing importance of Taiwan’s high-tech sector investments, especially the electronic manufacturing services and the semiconductor industry. As Taiwan and China court economic partners—Taiwan without having official diplomatic relations, for the most part—assessing the impact of this engagement is key to understanding how countries in Central and Eastern Europe decide to cooperate with China and Taiwan. Comparing Economic Engagement: Taiwan and China in Eastern Europe

Europe

  • May 5. By Mark Leonard, Project-Syndicate, ECFR. Although Europe has begun to make up for years of neglect in terms of defence spending, it remains woefully ill-equipped to win over other countries through the power of attraction and persuasion. Each side in the European culture war is uniquely unappealing to billions of people around the world. Europe’s soft-power problem
  • May 4. By Ayaz Museyibov, The Jamestown Foundation. In early April, high-level Italian and French delegations traveled separately to Azerbaijan to discuss cooperation in the energy sector, including natural gas exports and “green” electricity generated from Caspian-basin wind (Minenergy.gov.az, April 28). The twin visits occurred against the background of mounting anxieties about the reliability of Russia as a source of natural gas as well as growing political pressure for the European Union to embargo energy purchases from Moscow to undermine the latter’s ability to finance its war of aggression against Ukraine. Such fears came true last week (April 27), when Russian Gazprom cut off Poland and Bulgaria from all gas purchases (see EDM, May 2). The EU bloc is heavily reliant on Russian gas volumes (45 percent in 2021—Iea.org, March 3), with some eastern members even more fully dependent (see EDM, February 7). Consequently, the European Commission has long sought to accelerate the diversification of the gas sources and routes to the EU in order to decrease this energy dependency ratio. The South Caucasus and Central Asia provide one such hope. The South Caucasus and Central Asia: Diversifying the EU Gas Market

Europe – Pacific Islands

Indonesia

  • May 4. By Fitri Bintang Timur and Jovita Komala, East Asia Forum. In February 2022, Indonesian Defense Minister Prabowo Subianto signed agreements with France to purchase 42 Dassault Rafale fighter jets and two Scorpene-class submarines. Soon after, the United States conditionally approved the sale of 36 F-15EX fighter jets. The aircraft alone will cost Indonesia US$22 billion. The country has been buying big since 2021 when it announced plans to acquire six FREMM- and two Maestrale-class frigates from Italy as part of a US$125 billion long-term modernisation plan. Indonesia’s defence shopping spree

Japan

  • May 5. By Willem Thorbecke, East Asia Forum. In March 2022, the Japanese real effective exchange rate reached its weakest level since January 1994. Matters could get worse, with analysts predicting a further 20 per cent depreciation. Given the effects of a fluctuating yen on the Japanese and other world economies, further depreciations are undesirable. Depreciating yen threatens Japan’s economy

Kazakhstan

  • May 5. By HRW. Kazakhstan has failed to properly investigate the deaths of over 200 people in protests and riots in January 2022, Human Rights Watch said today. Security forces detained several injured protesters who were receiving hospital treatment and are accused of torturing them. Kazakhstan: No Justice for January Protest Victims

Finland – Sweden – NATO

  • May 5. By , Project-Syndicate, The Strategist. Throughout the Cold War, ‘non-aligned in peace, neutral in wartime’ was not only Sweden’s security doctrine, but also helped shape the national identity and self-understanding of the Swedes. But Russia’s invasion of Ukraine may soon upend the country’s traditional non-aligned stance, by likely triggering both countries to apply for NATO membership. The end of Nordic neutrality

Germany

  • May 4. By Alexander Davydov, Valdai Discussion Club. It remains a mystery to the public how the government will carry out the rearmament, how it will affect the German military-industrial complex and what kind of equipment will be purchased from partners. The Chancellor’s silence irritates voters: already more than 60% of Germans consider Scholz to be an insufficient leader. Rearmament of Germany? Militarisation Without Strategy

Gulf

  • May 5. By Darya Dolzikova​ and Tobias Borck, RUSI. Hosts Darya Dolzikova and Tobias Borck wrap up this season of ‘Mind the Gulf’ podcasts with a discussion on the current state of the Iran nuclear negotiations and possible future trajectories with guests Dr Naysan Rafati (International Crisis Group) and Dr Cinzia Bianco (European Council on Foreign Relations). Episode 8: Where Are We Now and What Comes Next?

Russia – Asia

  • May 4. By Nikos Tsafos, CSIS. Europe’s desire to diversify from Russian natural gas is pushing Russia to look for new markets. Russia only started to supply gas to Asia in 2009, and the European market remains far bigger and far more lucrative. Russia could eventually build a sizable business geared toward Asian markets, but the shift will be neither immediate nor easy, and it will depend critically on foreign partners, including China. Can Russia Execute a Gas Pivot to Asia?

Russia – Ukraine

  • May 4. By Andrew Wilson, ECFR. Russia sees two types of sovereignty in its civilisational space. Full Westphalian sovereignty – which it believes it has and Ukraine does not. This means that defending Ukraine means defending its sovereignty in full. Inside the Russian geopolitical mind: Pseudo-justifications behind the war in Ukraine
  • May 4. By Kiel Institute for International Economics. Prof. Dr. Rolf J. Langhammer, trade expert at Kiel Institute, comments on the resilience of the Russian economy against the background of the discussion about an oil embargo. Russia is financially prepared for longer war—even in case of an oil embargo
  • May 4. By Grigory Ioffe, The Jamestown Foundation. In Warsaw, on April 26, the head of the non-governmental organization Belarusian Analytical Workroom, Andrei Vardomatsky, described the outcome of his group’s telephone poll of 1,000 Belarusians conducted in mid-March. Of those surveyed, just 24 percent pinned responsibility for sparking the war in Ukraine on Russia; 20 percent blamed the United States, 18 percent Ukraine, 12 percent the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), and 2 accused the European Union. In other words, 52 percent assigned culpability to the West and Ukraine. However, a slightly different line of questioning revealed that 50 percent disapprove of Russian actions, while 43 percent approve of them. By comparison, back in 2014, over 60 percent of Belarusians supported Russia’s annexation of Crimea, indicating that the current pro-Russia attitude in Belarus is lower than it was back in 2014. Perhaps of even greater importance, however, is the fact that only 11 percent of Belarusians would want the Belarusian Armed Forces to take part in this war, whereas 86 percent are against their military’s participation (Zerkalo, April 26). Belarus and the War: A Survey and a Morality Debate
  • May 4. By Sergey Sukhankin, The Jamestown Foundation. Russia’s aggression against Ukraine pushed the world’s largest, most advanced economies to introduce several rounds of economic sanctions against the Russian Federation (Meduza, March 8). Russia’s energy sector (a key pillar of the national economy) and fertilizers/agriculture (an essential, rapidly developing non–raw material sector) feature varying degrees of exposure to Western sanctions pressure; but in either case, a tightening of such punitive financial measures would greatly damage the Russian economy (see Parts One and Two in EDM, April 11, 20). A third key sector worth discussing in depth is Russia’s military-industrial complex (MIC), the central pillar of Russia’s war machine. The potential impact of international sanctions on the MIC, as analyzed by Russian sources, has tended to be misleading and is frequently deliberately distorted. The Economic Aspect of Russia’s War in Ukraine: Sanctions, Implications, Complications (Part Three)
  • May 4. By IAEA. The Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Rafael Mariano Grossi, today met with Alexey Likhachev, Director General of Russian state nuclear company Rosatom, and other senior Russian officials in Istanbul. Update 72 – IAEA Director General Statement on Situation in Ukraine
  • May 4. By Kateryna Stepanenko, Karolina Hird, and Mason Clark, ISW. Ukrainian defenses have largely stalled Russian advances in Eastern Ukraine. Russian troops conducted a number of unsuccessful attacks in Eastern Ukraine on May 4 and were unable to make any confirmed advances. Russian forces attacking south of Izyum appear increasingly unlikely to successfully encircle Ukrainian forces in the Rubizhne area. Ukrainian forces have so far prevented Russian forces from merging their offensives to the southeast of Izyum and the west of Lyman, Slovyansk, and Kramatorsk, as Russian forces likely intended. Russian Offensive Campaign Assessment, May 4
  • May 2. By Kiel Institute for the World Economics. This paper presents the “Ukraine Support Tracker”, which lists and quantifies military, financial and humanitarian aid to Ukraine in the context of the Russia-Ukraine war. This second version covers the period January 24 until April 23, 2022. We measure support from Western governments, namely by the G7 and European Union member countries. Private donations, help for refugees outside of Ukraine, or aid through non-governmental organizations are not included due to a lack of systematic data. To value in-kind support like military equipment or weapons, we rely on government statements as well as own calculations using market prices. Ukraine Support Tracker

Singapore

South Korea

  • May 5. By  Jong Eun Lee, East Asia Forum. On 9 March 2022, South Korea held a closely contested presidential election after months of volatile, acrimonious campaigns. Conservative People Power Party (PPP) candidate Yoon Suk-yeol was announced the winner with 48.56 per cent of the vote. Ruling Democratic Party candidate Lee Jae-myung was just 0.73 per cent behind, the closest margin ever in South Korean history. Continuity and change in South Korean politics

USA

  • May 5. By Eric Katz, Defense One. The Biden administration is slowly making progress in rebuilding the State Department after it was “decimated” by its predecessor, a top official told lawmakers on Tuesday, but lingering shortcomings are still preventing the agency from meeting the president’s goals.  ‘Decimated’ By Trump, State Dept. Is Falling Short of Some Key Biden Goals
  • May 4. By CSIS. Democracy is not inevitable or invincible. Sustaining it requires an informed and engaged public. On May 4, the CSIS Defending Democratic Institutions (DDI) Project will launch its new initiative, ‘Civics at Work.’ For the past few years the DDI team has worked on an initiative to reinvigorate civic education as a national security imperative. However, while it is important to make long-term investments in K-12 civics, the lack of civic literacy among adults presents a current threat to democracy that demands an urgent response. All Americans need to understand the fundamentals of our democratic republic and their role in sustaining it. ‘Civics at Work’ Launch Event
  • May 4. By Elaine Kamarck, Brookings. Conventional wisdom paints former president Donald Trump as the undisputed leader of the Republican Party. Is this true or is it a case of media exaggeration? Let’s have a careful look at the two large states that held their primaries on May 3—Indiana and Ohio. How strong is Trump? A look at the Indiana and Ohio primaries

USA – Iran

  • May 4. By Clifford D. May, FDD.  For months, the smart money has been betting that a nuclear deal between President Biden and Iran’s rulers was a sure thing. Mr. Biden had promised that any new agreement that would be “longer and stronger” than the deal President Obama concluded in 2015 and from which President Trump withdrew in 2018. But Iran’s rulers refused to go along. Deal or no deal

USA – Turkey

  • May 4. By Turkey’s 2017 purchase of Russia’s S-400 missile defense system notoriously turned it into a pariah on Capitol Hill, prompting Congress to lead the way in kicking Ankara of the F-35 stealth fighter jet program. But Turkey’s support for Ukraine, most notably via the export of armed drones and diplomacy with Russia, has presented Ankara with an opportunity to bolster its tarnished image in Congress. If it plays its cards right, the NATO ally could convince Congress to allow a roughly $6 billion purchase of 40 Block 70 F-16 fighter jets and approximately 80 modernization kits from Lockheed Martin to upgrade its existing fleet. Congress signals openness to Turkey F-16 sale amid Ukraine cooperation

DEFENSE – MILITARY – CYBER

  • May 5. By Jaspreet Gill, Breaking Defense. This week a top Google artificial intelligence expert pleaded his case on Capitol Hill for lawmakers to support the Defense Department’s artificial intelligence initiatives, specifically the new chief digital and AI officer (CDAO), before the US falls behind its adversaries. Google exec pushes lawmakers to support Pentagon’s AI efforts
  • May 5. By Christina Mackenzie, Breaking Defense. Breaking the self-imposed silence on what weapons it is providing to Ukraine, France confirmed on April 29 it is loaning 12 Caesar truck-mounted guns and gifting several tens of thousands of shells and Milan anti-tank missiles to Ukraine. For first time, France talks openly about sending weapons to Ukraine
  • May 5. By Patrick Tucker, Defense One. China is closely watching the war in Ukraine and “will likely use nuclear coercion to their advantage in the future,” Adm. Charles Richard, the head of U.S. Strategic Command, or STRATCOM, told lawmakers on Wednesday. “Their intent is to achieve the military capability to reunify Taiwan by 2027.”. China Likely to Use ‘Nuclear Coercion’ in Bid to Take Taiwan by 2027, STRATCOM Chief Says
  • May 5. By
  • May 5. By , The Strategist. A key challenge for the defence budget is inflation, which eats into not just the average Aussie family’s buying power, but also the government’s. The higher the rate of inflation, the more the defence budget will be eroded in real terms. Analysts in the US, where inflation is running at around 8%, have expressed concern about its impact on the nation’s defence budget. But Australia’s Department of Defence won’t be immune from inflation’s debilitating effects either. The corrosive effect of inflation on Australia’s defence budget
  • May 5. By The head of U.S. Strategic Command, which oversees the nuclear arsenal, warned Congress Wednesday that Washington faces a heightened nuclear deterrence risk when it comes to Russia and China. “We are facing a crisis deterrence dynamic right now that we have only seen a few times in our nation’s history,” Adm. Charles Richard told the Senate’s strategic forces panel. “The war in Ukraine and China’s nuclear trajectory — their strategic breakout — demonstrates that we have a deterrence and assurance gap based on the threat of limited nuclear employment.”. U.S. nuclear commander warns of deterrence ‘crisis’ against Russia and China
  • May 4. By Justin Bronk, RUSI. As the US Air Force looks to the E-7 Wedgetail as its next AWACS, the RAF needs to increase its own order to generate a viable long-term fleet. US Air Force Request for Funds to Buy E-7 Should Prompt a Rethink on RAF Fleet Size
  • May 4. By Stimson Center. As weapons flow around the world, transparency around where these weapons are from and where they are going remains elusive. Shrouded in Secrecy: Examining Key Challenges to Arms Trade Transparency
  • May 4. By CSIS. Lieutenant General Karsten Heckl, Commanding General, Marine Corps Combat Development Command, and the Deputy Commandant for Combat Development and Integration, Lieutenant General Heckl, discuss the status of Force Design 2030 and modernization efforts within the Marine Corps with Dr. Seth G. Jones, CSIS Senior Vice President and Director of the International Security Program, with introductory remarks from VADM Peter H. Daly, USN (Ret.), CEO and Publisher, United States Naval Institute. Maritime Security Dialogue: Force Design 2030 and Marine Corps Modernization Efforts
  • May 4. By Maj. Shane Praiswater, Defense One. As Russia’s Vladimir Putin continues to direct his military to commit war crimes and officials threaten the use of chemical weapons in Ukraine, the West’s angst over crossing a notional red line that would spark an escalation toward nuclear war has complicated the calculus over which weapons deliveries are more dangerous than others. These concerns are justified based on Russia’s irresponsible rhetoric, but some claims about an inevitable escalation lack academic rigor. How to Gauge the Risk of a Nuclear Escalation with Russia
  • May 4. By Tara Copp, Defense One. Members of the Florida National Guard unit that was training Ukrainians in the days before Russia invaded are back at it, getting Ukrainian soldiers spun up on the new hardware the U.S. has sent to help them repel Putin’s attack on the Donbas region. Task Force Gator Back to Training Ukrainians as Battle Rages For the Donbas
  • May 4. By Jen Judson, Defense News. The Army secretary has issued a new directive on modernization that sets new boundaries around Army Futures Command and reasserts the role of the service’s acquisition shop. The directive rescinds the language of previous directives from 2018 and 2020 that establishes Army Futures Command as “leading the modernization enterprise.” It also says the Army’s science and technology arm will fall under the control of the Assistant Secretary of the Army (Acquisition, Logistics and Technology),or ASAALT, as opposed to under Army Futures Command. In new directive, US Army reins in Army Futures Command
  • May 4. By The Pentagon acknowledged this week a record 40-year-high inflation level is starting to affect contract negotiations, even resulting in a request to cancel a deal. In a May 2 letter submitted to Republicans in Congress who have criticized the Pentagon’s fiscal 2023 budget for underestimating inflation, Pentagon comptroller Mike McCord as well as the Army, Navy and Air Force secretaries wrote that “some large programs may be insulated from transient marketing pressures because of existing long-term purchase agreements.”. Pentagon says inflation has made one company request to cancel a long-term contract
  • May 4. By The flight schedule has slipped by a year for two prototypes competing for the U.S. Army’s Future Attack Reconnaissance Aircraft program, budget justification documents show. The pandemic had already delayed government testing of the first Improved Turbine Engine Program engine, but the Army was trying to keep its FARA program on track, even though prototypes depend on the integration of that engine to get airborne for a full-year flight test program. How much did engine delays set back the Future Attack Recon Aircraft program?
  • May 4. By
  • May 4. By Stephen Losey, Defense News. The Air Force last week tested its new ship-killing guided bomb by using it to destroy a full-scale target vessel in the Gulf of Mexico. An F-15E Strike Eagle from Eglin Air Force Base in Florida on April 28 released a GBU-31 joint direct attack munition, or JDAM, that had been modified to strike a maritime target, the Air Force said in a release. Air Force destroys target vessel with ship-killing JDAM
  • May 4. By Colin Demarest, Defense News. The U.S. must act to preserve its edge over rival nations on artificial intelligence and cybersecurity, starting by embracing a new leadership position at the Pentagon, industry executives told Congress this week. While the U.S. is ahead of China, Russia and other adversaries, deliberate and holistic efforts must be undertaken to maintain that lead, the officials with Alphabet Inc.’s Google and Microsoft Corp. said. Pentagon must advance AI to stay ahead of rivals, industry execs tell Congress
  • May 4. By The U.S. government has asked Taiwan to accept a delay in the delivery of mobile artillery systems caused by a production backlog, according to Taiwan’s Defense Ministry. But instead, the island nation is considering alternatives that it could quickly introduce into service. However, BAE Systems, which manufactures the M109A6 Paladin, told Defense News it has the capacity to build the systems for Taiwan. BAE Systems, Pentagon question reports of howitzer delay for Taiwan
  • May 4. By
  • April 28. By Stimson Center. When weapons or ammunition are diverted, how can affected parties respond? What measures can governments and other stakeholders take after discovering diversion to prevent its recurrence? Diversion and the ATT: Measures for Responding to Weapon and Ammunition Diversion

HORIZONS

  • May 5. By Genevieve Kotarska and Lauren Young, RUSI. On top of the toll on civilian life and the environment in the conflict zone, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine presents substantial geopolitical challenges for global cooperation on climate change. This conflict is yet another stark reminder of why international pledges to move away from non-renewable energy sources must become a reality. Green Insecurity: An Attack on Ukraine and Climate Change Cooperation
  • May 4. By Colin I. Bradford, Brookings. At this tense moment, it seems that the confrontational narratives driving the U.S.-China bilateral relationship now contain specifically conflicting perspectives on the future of the global order. Perspectives on the future of the global order
  • By Alan Wm. Wolff, PIIE. The negotiation of multilateral agreements has stalled at the World Trade Organization (WTO). The action is among groups of like-minded WTO Members, either regionally or in open plurilateral agreements (OPAs) in Geneva at the WTO. There is currently no consensus among WTO Members to include plurilateral agreements officially in the set of WTO agreements. Many additional challenges require multilateral—that is, global—agreements: the pandemic, food security, and climate change, among them. A breakthrough is needed to get WTO negotiations back on track. WTO 2025: Getting back to the negotiating table

TECH

  • May 5. By Philippe Lorenz, Stiftung Neue Verantwortung. Artificial intelligence (AI) has become an important strategic asset in foreign policy. As a general-purpose technology, AI can increase a state’s economic power and enhance its political influence. It has also become an element of protecting states’ national security and defense interests. Therefore, access to AI technologies and the ability to participate in AI innovation is key to increasing the economic competitiveness and sovereignty of states. Where companies gain importance within a country or region by virtue of their innovative capacity, technological dependencies can arise. At first, such dependencies on foreign AI technologies become visible in the private sector, but eventually, they can develop into political ones. Ultimately, this can lead to shifts in the global balance of power and result in geopolitical tensions. Analyzing Global AI Dependencies through Intellectual Property Rights
  • May 5. By Rahul Ray, ORF. The last few decades have witnessed a rise in the use and accumulation of data, often called ‘the oil of the 21st century’. Meanwhile, existing laws and regulations are inadequate in dealing with these changing data consumption patterns; this is true for India. Wrongdoings by tech companies can often go unpunished, including predatory pricing, abuse of dominance, and exclusionary conduct. This brief discusses India’s antitrust laws and regulations in the digital space, focusing on the Competition Commission of India (CCI) and the Indian Competition Act, 2002. Using the actions of Google and Microsoft as case studies, it examines the scope of “exclusionary conduct” in competition law. Competition Law in the Digital Space: A Study of Exclusionary Conduct by Tech Conglomerates
  • May 4. By Ashley Johnson, ITIF. At the start of President Obama’s first term, social media was still an emerging phenomenon. Facebook had reached its first 100 million users, Twitter was a nascent platform, and Instagram did not yet exist. Still, social media was already changing the way people communicated with one another on a massive scale, with the 2008 election dubbed “the Facebook election,” in part due to Obama’s enthusiastic and effective use of the platform in his campaign to raise funds and connect with voters. Obama’s Proposed Section 230 Reforms Would Have Unintended Consequences
  • May 4. By Alex He, CIGI. The next wave of economic prosperity is happening in the digital space through advances in telecommunications, data mining, artificial intelligence and the Internet of Things. Deciding how those technologies interact and the standards that all stakeholders must follow is determined by international standard-setting bodies, such as the International Organization for Standardization and the International Electrotechnical Commission. Top-tier corporations, mainly from the West, have dominated the standard-setting bodies, forcing the globe to adopt their technologies and license their patents. Paving the Digital Silk Road with China’s Standards
  • May 3. By Nigel Cory, ITIF. The emergence of COVID-19, and its dramatic economic impacts, have increased policymakers’ need for more frequent and detailed economic and trade data and analysis. The ability of statistical agencies to collect and analyze data in near real time and on a disaggregated basis (by specific geography or sector or product) is a major challenge facing every country, but it’s especially critical during times of crisis. The use of electronic data is even more important during a pandemic when agencies suspend face-to-face surveys and the in-store collection of prices, both of which form the basis for key economic indicators. At a time when statistics are most needed, many statistical systems around the world are struggling to compile basic statistics. Brazil’s Innovative Use of Electronic Invoices for Trade and Economic Analysis: Highlighting the Barriers and Bridges to Data Sharing and Data-Driven Trade and Economic Policy
  • May 2. By Robert D. Atkinson  Jackie Whisman, ITIF. The United States has been a leader in artificial intelligence (AI) since the 1950s. But AI and other advanced industry leadership in the United States has been threatened by increased competition with China. Rob and Jackie sat down with Arthur Herman, a senior fellow and director of the Quantum Alliance Initiative at The Hudson Institute, to discuss how AI leadership in the United States has eroded and what policymakers can do to save it for the future. Podcast: Back to the Future: Historical Lessons of U.S. AI Policy, With Arthur Herman
  • May 2. By Julie Carlson, ITIF. Don’t bite the hand that feeds you. This idiom conveys the idea that it is unwise to do harm to those on which you depend lest they withdraw their support. Contrary to a popular narrative, the hand feeding Amazon right now is not Amazon Web Services (AWS), Amazon’s cloud computing division. Rather, it is Amazon’s thriving third-party seller ecosystem. Third-party sales now compromise nearly 60 percent of sales on Amazon—up from just three percent when Amazon Marketplace launched in 2000. Don’t Bite the Hand That Feeds You: Amazon’s Self-Preferencing Paradox
  • May 2. By Julie Carlson, ITIF. Don’t bite the hand that feeds you. This idiom conveys the idea that it is unwise to do harm to those on which you depend lest they withdraw their support. Contrary to a popular narrative, the hand feeding Amazon right now is not Amazon Web Services (AWS), Amazon’s cloud computing division. Rather, it is Amazon’s thriving third-party seller ecosystem. Third-party sales now compromise nearly 60 percent of sales on Amazon—up from just three percent when Amazon Marketplace launched in 2000. Don’t Bite the Hand That Feeds You: Amazon’s Self-Preferencing Paradox