domenica, Giugno 16, 2024


Diario geostrategico,  18 ottobre 2021

Buona lettura ! 


The Science of Where Magazine’s interviews:

– L’intelligenza artificiale contro le discriminazioni sul lavoro. The Science of Where Magazine incontra Keith Sonderling, Commissioner del U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission

– Per Italia e Germania, il futuro è nelle nuove tecnologie. Intervista esclusiva con l’Ambasciatore d’Italia a Berlino, Armando Varricchio

– Gathering strenght, gathering storms. Visions on artificial intelligence. The Science of Where Magazine meets Michael Littman and Peter Stone

Today’s Top:

– Brandon Paykamian writes for Government Technology: A team of researchers at Cornell Tech, Cornell University’s tech-focused research campus, has developed a forecast for how technologies like artificial intelligence could shape cities in the coming decade. After a year of work, the team released its first “Horizon Scan” report last week to discuss the potential risks and applications of recent advancements in urban tech – Cornell Researchers Analyze Major Trends in Urban Tech


– Abdulkader Sinno writes for East Asia Forum: Afghanistan has largely returned to Taliban rule after 20 years of US-led occupation. There are still bastions of resistance to undisputed Taliban control from the local branch of the so-called Islamic State militant group (IS-Khorasan or ISK), Panjshiri forces, Hazara militias and urban women protesting in the hope of preserving the limited emancipation they regained in the past two decades – Afghanistan’s Taliban-led future


– Zahir Sherazi writes for Al Jazeera: The withdrawal of US and NATO forces from Afghanistan is inevitably leaving a political vacuum in South and Central Asia. The question that many are asking is who will step in to fill it. Afghanistan’s immediate neighbours – Pakistan, Iran and China – all have special interests in the country that they are likely to pursue with renewed vigour – Will Afghanistan’s powerful neighbours engage the Taliban?


– Willy Wo-Lap Lam writes for The Jamestown Foundation: More evidence has emerged of a ferocious power struggle between China’s supreme leader, President Xi Jinping and powerful factions and personages including former Vice-President Zeng Qinghong and current Vice President Wang Qishan. Not-so-subtle instances of in-fighting among these influential figures and their cliques have emerged in the wake of the revelation last month by the semi-official NetEase and Sohu websites that several senior officials in the political-legal apparatus (政法系, zhengfa xitong), which includes the police, the secret police and the courts, had plotted “sinister and treacherous” (, bugui)  actions against a top party leader, generally thought to be Xi (See China Brief, September 23). (These articles have since been deleted from the Internet) – Early Warning Brief: Factional Strife Intensifies as Xi Strives to Consolidate Power


– Luke Hurst and Peter Cai write for East Asia Forum: In September 2021, Alpha Conde — the octogenarian president of Guinea — was toppled by the special forces he created. It is the latest episode of political instability in the West African state with not only rich resources but also a history of military coups. A Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson, in an unusual move, spoke against the military coup and urged the immediate release of the former president. This is a departure from Beijing’s cardinal foreign policy dictate of non-interference in other countries’ domestic affairs. China has a big stake in the country. Guinea is China’s biggest supplier of bauxite, a key raw material for the aluminium industry. But perhaps more importantly, Guinea is home to the world’s largest untapped iron ore deposit, Simandou – Simandou is China’s poisoned chalice



– Joanne Nicholson, Marigold Black, Peter Dortmans write for The Strategist:  In Australia, the prevailing view of mobilisation is that it is an activity associated with going to war. In the event of an armed conflict, the nation mobilises to support the Australian Defence Force. Against recent events, including the 2019–20 bushfires and Covid-19 pandemic, the ADF has mobilised to support the nation. As the range of potential hazards now encompasses high-end warfighting, grey-zone conflict, terrorism and organised crime, as well as domestic and offshore natural disasters, no single institution can sufficiently respond on its own – Australia needs to build total defence in the face of national crises

– Peter Jennings writes for The Strategist: Xi Jinping is positioning the People’s Liberation Army to bring Taiwan under the control of the Chinese Communist Party. The Taiwanese assess perhaps a three-year time frame before an attack, while US Indo-Pacific Command in Honolulu considers a military assault in six years to be possible. If conflict breaks out, it will be large-scale and bloody. It will throw the world into two hostile camps—in effect, the democracies versus the authoritarian regimes. War over Taiwan will inevitably involve Australia – Stronger deterrence will avoid war over Taiwan

– East Asia Forum writes: The irate French reaction to the AUK/US defence deal provided plenty of fodder for the international media. Much has been made of Australia’s duplicitous treatment of France, whose officials were wilfully misled by Canberra about the cancellation of its contract with Naval Group to build Australia’s future submarine fleet. The damage to Australia’s image in Europe is non-trivial with ramifications beyond ties with Australia. Even the White House is dumping on its own ally in the press for how badly it handled the communication with Paris – The fault lines in Australian and Indonesian views of their strategic future

– Evan A Laksmana writes for East Asia Forum: AUKUS, the new trilateral security partnership between Australia, the United Kingdom and the United States that launched last month, has had a mixed reception. Some regional policymakers publicly and privately welcome a stronger presence, commitment and set of capabilities that could balance China. Others are concerned about regional tension and an arms race, while many more appear unsure one way or the other – AUKUS mixed reception a symptom of strategic fault-lines in Southeast Asia

– Katya Maruri writes for Government Technology: The State Risk and Authorization Management Program, or StateRAMP, launched in early 2021 with the aim of solving a problem many governments are encountering in the pursuit of securing their systems: How can they be sure third-party vendors are meeting cybersecurity standards? Modeled on the Federal Risk and Authorization Management Program (FedRAMP), which offers pre-verification services for companies looking to contract with federal agencies, StateRAMP hopes to make it easier for both states and private companies to work together – One Year In, StateRAMP Program Gets Off the Ground

– Aaron Boyd writes for Nextgov: An automated background investigations prototype developed by the Defense Digital Service is being retooled to focus instead on identifying insider threats, including a rebranding from the System for Automated Background Evaluation and Review, or SABER, to the System for Insider Threat Hindrance, or SITH. The agency had been developing a tool to automate the preliminary information gathering involved in background investigations as part of the wider Trusted Workforce 2.0 program. The new security clearance process includes automating the initial review and replacing the five- to 10-year reinvestigation process with continuous vetting – DDS Security Clearance Tool Evolves into ‘SITH’ Insider Threat Program

– Marian Baksh writes for Nextgov: The Treasury Department’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network is using a combination of greater ransomware disclosures and commercially available tools for blockchain analysis to figure out which cryptocurrency exchanges are facilitating payments to ransomware criminals. “This analysis allowed FinCEN to chart the flow of ransomware payments in [Bitcoin] to identify which [Convertible Virtual Currency] exchanges and services ransomware actors used to launder their proceeds,” reads a report Treasury released Friday – Treasury Analysis Identifies Cryptocurrency Exchanges Associated With Ransomware

– Brandi Vincent writes for Nextgov: U.S. Navy officials are developing next-generation autonomous underwater robots that generate virtually no radiated noise while navigating the ocean. To make the actuators—or components that move and help control the overall systems—they are drawing inspiration from the biology of creatures that inhabit waters where those futuristic vehicles will operate – Navy to Prototype Fish-Inspired, Autonomous Robots with ‘Self-Healing’ Parts

– Brandi Vincent writes for Defense One: The newly crafted Army Digital Transformation Strategy, or ADTS, marks a key component of the branch’s overarching modernization efforts that is meant to reform policies, advance technical capabilities and prepare personnel for the next era of conflict, senior defense officials confirmed. Army Chief Information Officer Dr. Raj Iyer announced the creation and impending release of the multi-year plan at the annual Association of the U.S. Army meeting in Washington on Wednesday. The strategy aligns with a broader culture and mindset shift, according to him, and is intended to transform the Army into a technology-driven, multi-domain operations force by 2028 – Army Gets Strategic About Going Digital

– Nathan Strout writes for Defense News:  The Air Force Research Laboratory signed a research agreement with a company pioneering orbital refueling stations for spacecraft, signaling the military’s interest in using the technology to keep satellites on orbit longer. While satellites frequently outlive their anticipated service lives, the finite amount of fuel they can carry often brings their orbital careers to an end. In recent years, companies have begun piloting and offering on-orbit services to provide supplemental fuel or towing services to further extend the lives of satellites. The most high-profile example is SpaceLogistics, a Northrop Grumman company that is currently using Mission Extension Vehicles that attach to satellites and act as a supplemental fuel source to maneuver through orbit – Air Force research lab signs agreement with ‘gas-stations-in-space’ company

– Stephen Losey writes for Defense News: The KC-46 Pegasus is now able to refuel the Air Force’s fourth-generation fighter jets during missions for U.S. Transportation Command, expanding the service’s air refueling capacity and the capability of its newest tanker. Air Mobility Command announced Friday the Pegasus has been approved to refuel all F-15 Eagle and F-16 Fighting Falcon variants during TRANSCOM-tasked missions under its third interim capability release approval – KC-46 gets new refueling approvals for TRANSCOM missions

– Burak Ege Bekdil writes for Defense News: Leading armored vehicles maker BMC, a Turkish-Qatari venture, is going through liquidity snags after a recent change in ownership, Defense News has learned. The company, which has a multibillion-dollar contract in its portfolio to produce the Altay, Turkey’s first new-generation, indigenous tank, is on a shrinking stage of unknown scale, company sources said, speaking on condition of anonymity while discussing internal details – Turkish-Qatari venture BMC facing liquidity challenges

– Rodger Shanahan writes for The Interpreter: The legal fallout from Islamic State’s short but bloody existence is both complex and enduring. For those Westerners who travelled to Syria and Iraq to join the jihadist project, which ended with the fall of Baghouz in southeastern Syria in March 2019, justice has taken different forms. Many were killed by Syrian or Iraqi government forces, in air strikes carried out by their own country or that of an ally, or by armed groups supported by the West. Those men and women that survived the five years of conflict have been variously detained, tried in foreign jurisdictions, had their citizenship stripped and been left to languish in identity limbo, or been deported and tried at home – Foreign fighters: The question of justice

– Marcus Hellyer writes for The Strategist: In my previous post, I looked at some of the issues involved in the Royal Australian Navy acquiring or leasing older nuclear-powered attack submarines from the UK to jump-start Australia’s own SSN program. In summary, a very small fleet of orphan vessels is a high-risk strategy. In this article, I’ll look at the US option. Trying to get some of the US Navy’s older boats, the Los Angeles class, might seem like a better bet than the Royal Navy’s Trafalgar class, as there are more of them and, even though they’re progressively being retired, a few at least are probably going to stay in service with the USN for some time –  Can Australia get second-hand nuclear submarines? The US option

– Patrick Tucker writes for Defense One: The U.S. Army intends to test an entire company of unmanned combat vehicles in simulated battle next year, a wargame that leaders called unprecedented and a big step toward refining the hardware and software that will one day enable wheeled robots to take the battlefield – US Army to Stage Largest Robot Tank Experiment Ever

Ecological Transition-Climate Change:

– Huw Slater writes for East Asia Forum: On 21 September 2021, China’s President Xi Jinping announced to the UN General Assembly that China would stop building new coal power plants abroad. The commitment aligns China with a global trend away from international financing of coal and is a significant step towards greening the Belt and Road Initiative – China steps towards a coal-free future

– Hsiao Chink Tang and Yuying Tang write for East Asia Forum: Chinese e-commerce has grown rapidly in recent years, but not without costs to the environment. Between 2010–2020, China’s retail e-commerce sales grew about 34-fold compared to the world average of ninefold, while the number of packages delivered in the country increased 36-fold to 83.4 billion. This growth has brought economic and environmental costs from traffic congestion, pollution and packaging waste, especially at the ‘last mile’ – Chinese firms leading the way on green package delivery

– Matthew E. Kahn and Somik V. Lall write for Brookings: Given that global greenhouse gas emissions are likely to continue to rise in the coming decades, we must invest in resilience. We have three different adaptation strategies. We can invest in self-protection to reduce our risk exposure; this includes migrating away from areas that are prone to hazards or taking proactive steps such as putting a home on stilts to reduce risk exposure. The second is to rely on government investment in spatial protection strategies such as seawalls and levees. A third strategy would be to purchase insurance to guarantee that we receive a payment if a disaster occurs – Enhancing climate change resilience through self-protection, public investment, and market insurance

Fragile States-Peacebuilding: 

– Bruce Jones and Alexandre Marc write for Brookings: This report is being released after the swift fall of Afghanistan to the Taliban in August marked an inglorious end to 20 years of American presence in that country. Events there may feel like a metaphor for a wider phenomenon of shifting Western attention away from fragile states; they should also serve as a cautionary tale – The new geopolitics of fragility: Russia, China, and the mounting challenge for peacebuilding

Future of Food-Trade:

– Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala writes for Project-Syndicate: World Food Day offers an important opportunity to recall how vital a role trade plays in shaping the production, availability, pricing, and quality of that food. In fact, no effort to create a more equitable and sustainable food system will be complete without concerted global action on trade – Trade and the Future of Food


– Amat Jeng writes for Al Jazeera: Almost five years ago, in December 2016, The Gambia brought authoritarian President Yahya Jammeh’s 22-year reign to an end through a democratic election. Since then, despite facing numerous obstacles and challenges, the West African country has managed to strengthen its democracy and widen its political space significantly. However, The Gambia’s democratic transition will face its toughest test to date on December 4, when the country holds its first presidential and parliamentary elections since the departure of Jammeh – The Gambia’s democratic transition is facing a litmus test

Global Hunger:

– Maximo Torero writes for Project-Syndicate: Saving the planet does not have to come at the expense of feeding the poor, and vice versa. If governments can implement a series of relatively low-cost initiatives with private-sector support, the world can still wipe out global hunger by 2030 without jeopardizing the fight against climate change – Ending Hunger Sustainably


– Alexey Mikhalevand and Artyom Lukin write for East Asia Forum: In June 2021, Ukhnaagiin Khurelsukh, the former chairman of the Mongolian People’s Party (MPP) and prime minister, became the sixth President of Mongolia. The run-up to the presidential election was turbulent even by the standards of modern Mongolian politics – Mongolia’s new president won’t affect ties with Russia


– Dominic Simonelli writes for The Strategist: With ASEAN toeing the line of non-interference, the Quad has its first major opportunity to prove its mettle and help end the violence in Myanmar. After a brief waltz with democracy, Myanmar once again descended into harsh military rule on 1 February. In the ensuing violence, the military, known as the Tatmadaw, has killed more than 1,100 Burmese, arrested thousands more and forced nearly 250,000 to flee the country. Increasing numbers of people are crossing the border between Myanmar and India to escape persecution, adding to the 980,000 Burmese Rohingya already seeking refuge in nearby countries – A Quad-led effort could help the people of Myanmar

Post-Pandemic World: 

Yaroslav Lissovolik writes for Valdai Discussion Club: The shock of the pandemic is changing the ways in which we think about the world and in which we analyze the future trajectories of development. The persistence of the Covid pandemic will likely accentuate this transformation and the prominence of the “green agenda” this year is just one of the facets of these changes. Market research as well as the numerous think-tanks will be accordingly re-calibrating the time horizons and the main themes of analysis. Greater attention to longer risks and fragilities is likely to take on greater prominence, with particular scrutiny being accorded to high-impact risk factors that have a non-negligible probability of materializing in the medium- to long-term. Apart from the risks of global warming other key risk factors involve the rising labour shortages, most notably in areas pertaining to human capital development – The Covid After-Effects and the Looming Skills Shortage


– Vita Spivak writes for Carnegie Moscow Center: While the world discusses the unprecedented rise in gas prices in Europe, another energy crisis is unfolding on the other side of Russia’s borders. In China, electricity shortages have forced several provinces to effectively introduce power rationing. At the end of September, the Chinese authorities asked the Russian power generator Inter RAO to increase supplies to China – What Does China’s Energy Crisis Mean for Russia?


– Paul Globe writes for The Jamestown Foundation: The Circassians, whom the Soviet and Russian states have subdivided into twelve different nations in order to control the North Caucasus, see the upcoming Russian census as their best chance in a long time to unite as one people by declaring a common nationality. Many specialists on the region say that most of those labeled as one of the twelve nations will this time choose to identify as Circassians. Previous Russian censuses have listed Kabards, Abdzakh, Shapsug, and Ubykh, which are Circassian subgroups, along with the all-encompassing Adyghe, meaning Circassians in their native language and sometimes its Russian translation Cherkess (Census 2010) – Circassians See Russian Census as Real Chance to Unite Their Nation


– Vitaly Yermakov writes for Valdai Discussion Club: How short memories are! There was an extreme glut of gas in Europe in the 2018-2020 seasons. Gas prices during summer of 2020 dropped to less than $65 per million cubic metre on the European gas hubs. Gazprom played the role of involuntary swing producer, adjusting its pipeline exports to accommodate the sharp decline in demand for its gas, plus the oversupply of LNG that had existed for several years. Making significant losses on its gas exports to Europe, especially on the route running via Ukraine, where transit tariffs are two times higher than on alternative routes, Gazprom refrained from launching a price war, and instead “waited out” the glut as a price taker, thus bearing both the volume risk and the price risk – The Rude Awakening: Europe Is Struggling to Secure Gas Supplies

– Mateusz Kubiak writes for The Jamestown Foundation: On October 6, Vladimir Putin held a publicly broadcasted meeting with Russian oil and gas industry representatives, discussing the skyrocketing global natural gas prices (, October 6). As expected, it focused on the dramatic situation in the European Union (EU), where numerous countries enter the heating season with insufficient gas stored. An increasing number of companies are forced to halt production or close their businesses. Unsurprisingly, the Russian government is trying to make an impression that it can rescue Europe from power outages during the winter. At the same time, its goals also look clear: secure regulatory approvals for the Nord Stream Two pipeline and change the EU’s stance on the long-term gas contracts and pace of green transformation – Russia hopes for a U-turn in the EU’s energy policy


Dmitri Trenin writes for Carnegie Moscow Center: One year after the end of Shinzo Abe’s long period of leadership, Japan has a new prime minister once again. The greatest foreign policy challenge the new Japanese government led by Fumio Kishida is facing is the intensifying confrontation between its large neighbor China and its main ally America. In addition to moves to energize the Quad group to which Japan belongs alongside Australia, India, and the United States, U.S. President Joe Biden’s administration has concluded a deal with Canberra and London to provide Australia with nuclear-powered submarines which in future could patrol the Western Pacific close to Chinese shores. The geopolitical fault lines in the Indo-Pacific region are fast turning into frontlines – Russia-Japan Relations: Were Abe’s Efforts In Vain?

Supply Chain Resilience: 

 Diane Coyle writes for Project-Syndicate: It is unclear whether current widespread product shortages are merely a temporary disruption or evidence of a global production meltdown. But today’s supply shocks offer striking parallels with the 2008 global financial crisis, and may require a similarly bold policy response –  The Great Supply-Chain Massacre


– Patrick Hannahan, Jenny Perlman Robinson, Christina Kwauk write for Brookings: This report focuses on one of the scaling labs launched in Tanzania in 2018 in collaboration with the Campaign for Female Education (CAMFED). It examines the process of implementing, adapting, and scaling the Learner Guide Program, which delivers life skills and mentorship provided by local female secondary school graduates (Learner Guides) to secondary school students as part of an 18-month volunteer program, in collaboration with the Ministry of Education, Science, and Technology (MoEST) and the President’s Office, Regional Administration and Local Government (PO-RALG) – Improving learning and life skills for marginalized children


– Mohamed Ali Ltifi writes for Al Monitor: The rating agency Moody’s has recently downgraded Tunisia’s sovereign rating from B3 to Caa1, while maintaining the negative outlook. In an Oct. 14 statement, Moody’s said the negative outlook “reflects the risks associated with possible delays in the implementation of reforms as well as the financing which depends on them, which would lead to the melting of foreign exchange reserves.” – Tunisia’s political crisis forewarns economic collapse


Mucahid Durmaz writes for Al Jazeera: East Africa’s largest indoor arena in Rwanda; a national mosque in Ghana; an army base in Somalia; and an almost 400km-long railway project which would help give landlocked Ethiopia direct access to major trade routes through the port of Djibouti. These are just some of Turkey’s increasingly growing footprints across sub-Saharan Africa as Ankara has over the past two decades sought to present itself as an alternative player in a continent that has long witnessed fierce competition between traditional European powers and newcomers – As Erdogan set for another tour, Turkey deepens ties with Africa

USA-Indo Pacific:

– Henry Storey writes for The Interpreter: With the exception of India, the common thread linking the United States’ Indo-Pacific and broader China strategy so far has been the rallying of long-standing US allies. Early summits with President Moon Jae-in and former Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga are starting to bear results. South Korea is slowly starting to step up its regional engagement. Japan is getting increasingly serious about defending Taiwan – America’s doughnut shaped Indo-Pacific strategy

USA-Latin America-China:

– Al Jazeera writes: China has used its $1 trillion Belt and Road Initiative to expand its economic and diplomatic ties worldwide, including in Latin America – a region which the United States has long regarded as its back yard. Over the last 20 years, Beijing engagement has raised concerns in Washington about its influence. The Biden administration has sent officials to Latin America to scope out how it can deepen ties. Jimena Blanco, head of Americas Risk Insight at Verisk Maplecroft, explains how. And investors are pouring billions of dollars into educational apps. Gauthier Van Malderen, chief executive of Perlego, tells us why – Can the US wrestle back influence in Latin America from China?


 Pavel E. Felgenhauer writes for The Jamestown Foundation: US Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Victoria Nuland spent two days in Moscow meeting with top foreign policy officials at a pivotal moment in bilateral relations when peace and war seem to hang in the balance. Nuland was a lead US point person for the Ukrainian crisis from 2013 to 2017 as Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs and has since been seen in Moscow as a sworn enemy or Russophobe, guilty of engineering the overthrow of pro-Russian Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovych in February 2014. In 2019, it became known Nuland was blacklisted by the Russian authorities and banned from entering Russia. This made the planning of Nuland’s visit to Moscow a precarious business. The Russian government eventually agreed to issue her a visa, since Nuland today is a confirmed top State Department official, but also demanded and received in return a similar concession from Washington: a US visa for Russian foreign ministry’s arms control and disarmament expert Konstantin Vorontsov, who has been banned from visiting New York to participate in UN activities since 2019 (, October 14) – A War and Peace Visit to Moscow


– Bruce Pannier writes for RFE RL: As one of the top wheat importers in the world, Uzbekistan might have found an answer to some of its agricultural shortages by renting farmland in Russia. Uzbek Agriculture Minister Jamshid Hojaev discussed the topic via videoconference with Deputy Agriculture Minister Sergei Levin in early October, Uzbek and Russian media reported – Uzbekistan Looks To Rent Russian Farmland To Quell Wheat Shortage


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