Diario geostrategico, 20 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
– Chu Daye writes for Global Times: China will deepen energy cooperation with partner countries under the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) in the nuclear, new energy and smart energy sectors, as countries rise to climate challenges, Vice Premier Han Zheng said at the second Belt and Road Energy Ministerial Conference held in Qingdao, East China’s Shandong Province on Monday – China speeds up new-energy cooperation with BRI partners amid push for green development
– Lucas Engel, Reed Piercey, and Deborah Brautigam writes for East Asia Forum: Chinese President Xi Jinping invited the leaders of Germany and France to join a ‘quad’ of cooperation with African countries during a virtual summit on 5 July 2021. But why did Beijing suddenly propose this partnership? And is the move likely to bear fruit? – Why France and Germany won’t join China’s ‘Africa Quad’
– Shabnam Hasanova writes for The Jamestown Foundation: Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev’s interview with French television channel France 24 late last month (September 28) highlighted both current and future perspectives for bilateral relations between the two countries. At the same time, it sent a signal to Armenia, which has long presumed to have a much closer relationship with France (President.az, September 28) – Cautious Optimism in Azerbaijani-French Relations: The View From Baku
– Global Times writes: Chinese internet giant Alibaba on Tuesday unveiled its new chip for cloud computing, the company’s latest breakthrough in the core technology sector amid the nation’s push for technology self-reliance. The chipset launch will help boost the company’s cloud computing business, in which it already has the largest domestic market share, while catching up with global players like Amazon and Microsoft, analysts said – Alibaba unveils self-developed chip amid China’s push for tech self-reliance
– Global Times writes: China has signed an agreement with Russia on road transportation of dangerous goods, which will effectively boost bilateral trade in energy products, including liquefied petroleum gas and natural gas, according to a statement released by the Chinese Ministry of Transport (MOT) on Tuesday – China, Russia sign road transport deal in boost for bilateral energy trade
– Global Times writes: There appears to be light at the end of the tunnel for Chinese investors when it comes to entering the UK market ever since the relationship between China and the UK soured in about two years ago. Ahead of the Global Investment Summit held in London on Tuesday, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson said during an interview with Bloomberg that Britain will not “pitchfork away” every offer of Chinese investment – GT Voice: Does UK leader Johnson truly welcome Chinese investment?
– Frederick Kempe writes for Atlantic Council: The United States and China represent the most significant—and potentially most perilous—bilateral relationship in human history. Given that reality, neither side is managing their rising tensions with adequate skill or durable strategy. That’s the way Stephen Heintz of the Rockefeller Brothers Fund put it in a conversation with me a couple of days ago. It is also the subtext of conversations I’ve had with world leaders visiting Washington, DC, this past week for the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank meetings – We’re at the perilous beginning of an uncertain era in US-China relations
– Chi Jingyi writes for Global Times: China welcomes US companies to expand investment in China and deepen mutually beneficial cooperation, a senior Chinese official said on Monday, adding to growing positive signs for potential improvement in China-US trade ties and implementation of the China-US phase one trade agreement – China welcomes US firms to expand investment, official says amid rising positive signs
– Guo Yuandan and Liu Xuanzun writes for Global Times:
Right after China and Russia wrapped up a joint naval exercise in the Sea of Japan on Sunday, 10 powerful warships from the two countries switched to the next mission and sailed through the Tsugaru Strait into the Pacific Ocean on Monday in their first joint maritime patrol, which experts said on Tuesday could see the joint task force encircle Japan or approach the US. The joint patrol displays a high level of political and military mutual trust that exists between China and Russia in terms of safeguarding regional peace and stability, at a time when the US is ganging up with its allies like Japan and Australia and interfering in and destabilizing Asia-Pacific affairs – Chinese, Russian warships’ 1st joint patrol sails through Tsugaru Strait in line with intl law, ‘could feature encirclement of Japan or approach US’
– Aaron Boyd writes for Defense One: 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
– Megan Eckstein writes for Defense News: The mashup of an Australian small boat designed for safety and an American sensors and communications suite that helped Marines secure the Kabul airport during the August evacuation may help fill a capability gap as the U.S. Marine Corps eyes distributed operations in the Pacific. Australia-based company the Whiskey Project is pitching its multimission reconnaissance craft (MMRC) as a way to meet the Marines’ needs to “sense first, see first and strike first” — in a craft with a low enough signature that it’s hard to detect, but has powerful organic and remote sensors and a communications package that can report back to decision-makers, company officials say – Australian small boat with US comms package in testing for Marine Corps urgent need
– Christine Parthemore and Andy Weber write for Defense News: The COVID-19 pandemic has been a wake-up call in terms of the security, economic and public health devastation infectious diseases can cause. In addition to the mass death and global disruption caused by the virus, and the indirect security consequences of those dynamics, there have also been direct consequences for security, including the sidelining of aircraft carriers, infection of heads of state and the quarantining of military leaders central to chains of command. For those tasked with addressing biological weapons threats, these effects continue to raise questions of whether some actors could be more likely to consider deliberately weaponizing diseases – The US must separate nuclear deterrence from biological weapons
– Seth J. Frantzman writes for Defense News: Smart Shooter is headed to France and Spain to pitch its fire control systems to governments interested in counter-drone technology and bolstering their homeland security forces. The Israeli company is known for its SMASH family of solutions, and has already arrived in Paris with its Smash 2000 Plus and Smash Hopper light remote-controlled weapon station. The company’s SMASH family of solutions can be integrated onto assault rifles, and the business specializes in what it calls “one shot, one hit” capabilities to confront small UAV threats, meaning that the system controls the fire of the rifle so that each shot is released when the moving target is in the sight – Israel’s Smart Shooter to pitch ‘one shot, one hit’ tech at European defense shows
– Mark Pomerlau writes for Defense News: Northrop Grumman executives say the company is now offering a next-generation signals intelligence architecture that has won at least one contract. Bill Thompson, director of Northrop’s signals intelligence operating unit, said the company wanted to update the legacy system it had been providing, the Airborne Signals Intelligence Platform – Northrop Grumman has developed a next-generation signals intelligence architecture
– Joe Gould writes for Defense News: U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and his Georgian counterpart on Monday signed an agreement to extend U.S.-led military training for the embattled Black Sea ally as part of the secretary’s trip through the region to reaffirm support for eastern allies on the front lines of Russian aggression. The action came on the first leg of Austin’s trip, ahead of visits to other Black Sea allies Ukraine and Romania to deliver a message of “unwavering” support for their sovereignty and territorial integrity in the face of Russian threats. Since Russia’s war with Georgia, it has had a 13-year grip on Georgia’s breakaway territories, South Ossetia and Abkhazia, that Austin decried on Monday – US, Georgia sign military training pact amid Russian threat on the Black Sea
– Al Monitor writes: Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said yesterday that the United States had offered to sell dozens of F-16 fighter jets and modernization kits to Ankara as compensation for Turkey’s costly expulsion from the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program – Erdogan says US, not Turkey, proposed F-16 sale
Digital Transformation-Emerging and Disruptive Technology:
– Nisha Holla and Vikas Kathuria write for ORF: Today, most global citizens have digital avatars and are active in cyberspace. Especially in the wake of the pandemic, almost all aspects of interaction and subscription of services have moved online. Digital technologies have fast-tracked inclusion in multiple geographies in the last decade, including most Asian nations. Amongst other benefits, technology inclusion has proven to be most helpful in humanity’s efforts to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) – Regulating Cyberspace — Perspectives from the private sector in Asia
– Martijn Rasser writes for ORF: Technologies, and the policies for their development, deployment, and use are at the centre of global statecraft and a key enabler for economic, political, and military power. Tech-leading countries and groupings such as China, the European Union (EU), India, Japan, South Korea, and the United States (US) seek to shape the global technological landscape to strengthen their economic competitiveness, secure their national interests, and promote their geopolitical aims. The answer, in part, has been a turn to techno-nationalist policies of reshoring manufacturing and supply chains and drives for greater self-sufficiency across a spectrum of key technology areas including semiconductors and critical minerals – The case for an alliance of Techno-Democracies
– Pooja Haldea and Saksham write for ORF: Contrary to popular belief, the 1800’s Luddite Revolution was not just a fight against progress, but one for agency. Highly skilled weavers, including women, fought for autonomy and labour rights amidst the fear of their employment and agency being snatched away by machines. This new technology threatened to tip the balance of power in favour of the textile-mill-owning elites who controlled the means of production. Today, these old technology gods have been replaced by newer algorithmic ones. As Artificial Intelligence (AI)-powered machines take control of our decisions, it might already be too late to take back control of what makes us human—free will and autonomy. Be it users or citizens, almost all behaviours performed have a digital fingerprint. In the age of surveillance capitalism, the fight for free will is a losing battle. In a post-Cambridge Analytica world, algorithms challenge the bedrock of individual freedom and choices; preserving human choice would need to go beyond mere consent and focus on accountable regulatory mechanisms – When Algorithms decide and regulating those decisions
– Robert D. Atkinson and Jackie Wishman write for ITIF: The first industrial robots appeared in the early 1960s and were initially optimized for production lines. These days, innovation in robotics is progressing rapidly as sophisticated localization and mapping enables improved robotic mobility, and as new levels of flexible manipulation allow robots to perform more specialized tasks. Rob and Jackie sat down recently with Rian Whitton, a strategic technologies analyst at ABI Research, to discuss the evolution of robotics and the implications productivity – Podcast: The Evolution of Robotics and Prospects for Maximizing Adoption, With Rian Whitton
Ecological Transition-Climate Change:
– Anthony F. Pipa and Kaysle Brown write for Brookings: In November, at the COP26 U.N. Climate Change Conference, the U.S. will join the community of nations keeping alive the promise to meet the agreed target to limit global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius compared to preindustrial levels. The Biden administration will continue to work to reestablish U.S. leadership and increase global commitments for tackling climate change amid lingering skepticism from other countries. Its strategy for achieving its own ambitious target goes beyond a narrow focus on mitigation to include other important dimensions such as quality jobs, public health, and environmental justice. This offers an opportunity to leverage the areas of intersection and synergy between the U.S. climate agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to advance U.S. climate ambitions, both at home and abroad – Leveraging the Biden-Harris climate agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals
– Chad A. Smith and David M. Hart write for ITIF: To meet growing global demand for energy services while averting the worst consequences of climate change, the world must accelerate clean energy innovation. Western Europe contributes most to this global process. The United States has faltered. And China has a long way to go – The 2021 Global Energy Innovation Index: National Contributions to the Global Clean Energy Innovation System
– Pavel K. Baev writes for The Jamestown Foundation: In its multi-domain confrontation with the West, Russia presumes that the main driver is the rivalry with the United States, while typically portraying the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) as a sworn but disorganized enemy. However, it is in fact the European Union that is engaged in the most direct antagonism with Russia and regularly takes aim at the most rotten pillars of the corrupt autocratic regime upheld by President Vladimir Putin. Russian-US relations have remained on an even keel since Presidents Putin and Joseph Biden’s Geneva summit in mid-June; but the visit to Moscow last week (October 11–13) by Victoria Nuland, the Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs, reconfirmed—tense as her meetings in the Kremlin were—that (uneasy) stability (Rossiyskaya Gazeta, October 12; Kommersant, October 14; see EDM, October 14). And while NATO was the designated adversary in the recent Russian Zapad 2021 massive military exercises, tensions between Moscow and the transatlantic alliance have subsided since (see EDM, October 12). The EU, on the other hand, has meanwhile continued to tighten its sanctions against Belarus, Russia’s closest ally, and expand the bloc’s relations with Ukraine – The EU-Russia Antagonism Stretches From Ukraine to the Arctic
– Mohammed Hardan writes for Al Monitor: In coordination with the Directorate General of Development Agencies at the Turkish Ministry of Industry and Technology, the European Union announced Oct. 5 in the city of Urfa the launch of the ENHANCER project, developed by the International Center for Migration Policy Development (ICMPD). The project will award a grant of up to 30,000 euros (about $35,000) for Syrian businessmen in Turkey whose status is Under Temporary Protection – EU looks to boost Syrian businesses in Turkey
Future of Cities:
Helen Shwe Hadani, Jennifer S. Vey, Shwetha Parvathy, and Kathy Hirsh-Pasek write for Brookings: More than half of the world’s children are growing up in cities.
By 2030, up to 60 percent of the world’s urban population will be under 18 years old. Yet, children and families are often invisible to urban planners, developers, and architects when creating city-wide policies that impact transportation, air and noise pollution, and health and well-being. “The truth is that the vast majority of urban planning decisions and projects take no account of their potential impact on children and make no effort to seek children’s views…All too often, this is down to a simple lack of respect for children’s rights or abilities,” writes Tim Gill in his recent book “Urban Playground.” – Understanding child-friendly urban design
Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area:
– Global Times writes: The landmark Wealth Management Connect (WMC) pilot program in the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area (GBA) saw solid results on its first day of operations on Tuesday, with strong demand for cross-boundary wealth management products, marking another crucial development in the ever-closer financial cooperation in the GBA. The WMC was first announced in September to allow individual investors on the mainland and the Hong Kong and Macao special administrative regions (SARs) to make cross-boundary investments in a wider range of wealth management products – Landmark cross- boundary wealth management connect sees solid start
– Kannan Reghunathan Nair, Phan Xuan Dung write for East Asia Forum: Since the upgrade of bilateral relations to a ‘Comprehensive Strategic Partnership’ in 2016, India–Vietnam strategic coordination has continued to deepen — as reflected through increased defence and maritime security cooperation. But New Delhi and Hanoi’s economic ties are lagging behind, limiting their ability to address shared security and strategic concerns raised by China’s economic rise in India’s backyard and maritime assertiveness in the South China Sea – Rethinking India’s economic policy towards Vietnam
Rina Bassist writes for Al Monitor: Israeli Energy Minister Karin Elharar criticized Oct. 17 the attack last week by former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu over the new water deal signed between Israel and Jordan. Interviewed by the army radio station, Elharar accused Netanyahu of attempting to damage relations between the two countries. “The leader of the opposition is creating fake news and claiming that we are giving the water for free, which didn’t happen. There are no free gifts, but relations that need to be developed. This is a strategic asset to Israel,” noted Elharar – Israeli minister blames Netanyahu for jeopardizing ties with Jordan
– Aslan Doukaev writes for The Jamestown Foundation: The Cossack revivalist movement in southern Russia (and beyond) since the collapse of the Soviet Union is marked by two parallel tendencies. On the one hand, there is Cossack activism based on appeals to ancestral identity. This is geared not merely toward the revitalization of Cossack culture and way of life immortalized by Leo Tolstoy and Mikhail Sholokhov but also toward convincing the Kremlin that, despite the Soviet-era reprisals, the Cossacks are still a force to be reckoned with, and that they could serve as protectors of Russian interests, especially in frontier regions. “The main goal of Cossackdom in the North Caucasus is to serve as the guarantor of Russian presence in this geopolitically important region of the country,” the ataman (chieftain) of a Cossack organization in the southern Russian Republic of Karachaevo-Cherkessia said in an interview in early October (EADdaily, October 7) – Russia’s Cossacks: Strategic Asset or Financial Liability?
– Brian Weeden writes for ORF: Commercial satellite servicing—commonly defined as the ability to reposition, refuel, repair, assemble, and remove satellites on or from orbit—is finally becoming reality. Long proposed as being “just around the corner”, satellite servicing has made significant technological leaps in the last decade and is now emerging as a potential new market for private sector space activities that could provide incredible benefits. Yet, for satellite servicing to mature and thrive, governments need to step up and play their part. They need to move past the standard talking points on dual-use technologies and get serious about putting in place the policies and regulations that will help advance satellite servicing in a positive manner – Time to get serious about commercial satellite servicing
– Alumenda Azácrate Ortega writes for ORF: Counterspace technology is not a new phenomenon. In 1958, only one year after the successful launch of the erstwhile Soviet Union’s satellite, Sputnik 1—the first artificial satellite to ever complete an orbit around the Earth—the first nuclear tests in outer space were conducted. This was a cause for concern for the international community, which aimed to ensure that outer space did not become a new stage for warfare. And yet, despite this, counterspace capabilities remain an issue that has never been properly regulated. This regulatory gap nowadays presents a greater danger than ever: The more important space technology becomes to humankind—particularly for military purposes—the more eager states would be to protect their space assets. As such, in recent years, some states have been increasingly investing in the development and testing of anti-satellite weapons (ASATs), creating an escalatory cycle that threatens to pave the way towards the weaponisation of space, and eventually could lead to it becoming a theatre of conflict – Return of ASATs and counterspace technologies: A slippery slope to weaponisation?
Elizia Volkmann writes for Al Monitor: When Najla Bouden was pronounced Tunisia’s first female prime minister in a decree by President Kais Saied on Sept. 29, her appointment was initially heralded as a milestone in Arab politics. Bouden is the first female prime minister not only in Tunisia but in the wider Arabic world. Until now, she will be joined by nine more female ministers in the 25-member cabinet. However, she will not have the executive control that previous heads of government wielded. Executive, legislative and judicial powers lie firmly in the hands of Saied under another decree made Sept. 22 – Activists call Tunisia’s first female prime minister mere distraction
– Amberin Zaman writes for Al Monitor: The leader of Turkey’s secular main opposition, Kemal Kilicdaroglu, delivered an Oct. 18 deadline over the weekend to members of Turkey’s sprawling bureaucracy. They needed to stop engaging in illegal, “mafialike” activities. If they ignored his calls, they would not be exonerated on the grounds that they were acting under orders from their superiors, Kilicdaroglu warned – Will Turkey’s opposition blow golden opportunity to beat Erdogan?
– Tonantzin Carmona writes for Brookings: As a result of the American Recovery Plan Act (ARP), many cities and counties are seeking to make transformative investments while prioritizing equity in the process. Naturally, the spending decisions local governments are making have received a lot of attention – Reimagining local public finance: Equitable reform of taxes, fines, and fees (brookings.edu)
– Louise Sheiner, Sophia Campbell, Manuel Alcalà Kovalski, Eric Milstein write for Brookings: Fiscal policy, including both automatic stabilizers and pandemic-related tax and spending legislation, played a significant role in cushioning the blows to the economy of COVID-19 in 2020 and 2021. The Hutchins Center Fiscal Impact Measure (FIM)—which measures how much federal, state, and local tax and spending policy adds to or subtracts from overall economic growth—shows that fiscal policy has boosted economic growth on average since the start of the pandemic, but will restrain growth going forward as the effects of the stimulus wane – How pandemic-era fiscal policy affects the level of GDP (brookings.edu)
– Navdeep Suri writes for ORF: The October 13 meeting in Washington DC between Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, UAE Foreign Minister, Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan and Israel’s alternate Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Yair Lapid was a reminder of the extent of transformation in West Asia since the announcement of the Abraham Accords on 14 August 2020. A press statement issued by the State Department said that Blinken ‘welcomed the warming relations between Israel and the UAE, including the opening of respective embassies, appointment of ambassadors, new direct flights, dozens of cultural exchanges, and burgeoning economic and business ties that have benefited the people of both countries and the region.’ – Did the US-UAE-Israel trilateral dialogue foreshadow a new Quad with India?