Diario geostrategico, 8 novembre 2021
Buona lettura !
The Science of Where Magazine’s interviews:
– Governo dei dati tra geopolitica e tutela del cittadino. The Science of Where Magazine incontra Ivana Bartoletti, Global Chief Privacy Officer a WIPRO Technologies e Visiting Policy Fellow presso l’ Università di Oxford
– Tecnologia e responsabilità: uno snodo decisivo. The Science of Where Magazine incontra Federico Cabitza, Università di Milano-Bicocca
– Inside the ethics of artificial intelligence: for a decentralized approach. The Science of Where Magazine meets James Brusseau, Philosopher, Pace University
– 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
– Crisis Group: World leaders are meeting in Glasgow to talk about what to do to ameliorate the mounting climate crisis. In this Q&A, Crisis Group experts Ulrich Eberle and Andrew Ciacci explain why these discussions cannot neglect questions of war and peace. – Getting Conflict into the Global Climate Conversation
– Abdel Sayed, The Jamestown Foundation: The Taliban Interior Minister, Sirajuddin Haqqani, hosted a large reception for the heirs and families of hundreds of Taliban suicide bombers in the five-star Inter-Continental hotel in Kabul on October 19 (RFE/RL, October 19).  This first-ever public appearance for Haqqani also involved praise for the Taliban’s jihadist victory against the U.S. and its allies, and for the sacrifices of these suicide bombers. Haqqani further touched on the history of suicide attacks in Afghanistan and explained how his group, the Taliban’s most powerful faction called the “Haqqani Network,” commenced suicide attacks after 9/11. Lastly, Haqqani emphasized to the reception’s participants that the success of the Taliban government came at the cost of the blood of these martyrs. He then urged everyone to strive to preserve the Taliban government and solve all challenges facing it. This article summarizes the content and significance of the video of this reception, which reveals that the Haqqani Network under Sirajuddin introduced the tactic of suicide bombings in Afghanistan with al-Qaeda support, which caused devastating effects to the U.S. and its allies. – Inside Afghan Taliban Interior Minister Sirajuddin Haqqani’s Reception Honoring Suicide Bombers
– Lina Gong and S Nanthini, East Asia Forum: Between 2019 and 2020, Southeast Asia reported 530 natural hazards — from earthquakes to cyclones and floods. COVID-19 has significantly heightened the financial constraints on the disaster management sector, with only 38 per cent of UN appeals for emergency response funding met in 2021. With the likelihood of concurrent disasters only increasing, the pressure to finance ASEAN’s disaster management is increasing. – Financing ASEAN disaster management and resilience
– Robert F. Ichord, Jr., Atlantic Council: On the fourth day of the United Nations Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26), host United Kingdom, which has already almost entirely phased out its coal power fleet, announced that forty-six countries had pledged to close their coal power plants, with richer countries committing to doing so in the 2030s and developing countries in the 2040s. This follows on the agreement last week by the Group of Twenty (G20) nations to stop financing overseas coal plants and the existing efforts of the Powering Past Coal Alliance, which has expanded to forty-eight countries with the addition of twelve new members mainly from Europe. Although the significance of Thursday’s announcement was limited by the non-participation of China, India, the United States, and other key coal-consuming and producing countries, several other key coal-burning countries did join. – Bending the Asia-Pacific coal curve is critical to taming climate change. COP26 is making progress
– Soli Middleby, Anna Powles, Joanne Wallis, East Asia Forum: The announcement of the AUKUS trilateral security partnership with the United States and the United Kingdom on 16 September 2021 suggests that Australia has chosen its friends. Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison described it as a ‘forever partnership for a new time between the oldest and most trusted of friends’. The question is where Australia’s Pacific family sits relative to AUKUS. – AUKUS and Australia’s relations in the Pacific
– Sian Troath, The Interpreter: Last week in Australia news headlines brimmed with emotive accusations about a betrayal of trust levied against Prime Minister Scott Morrison. French President Emmanuel Macron had already said Australia’s decision to scupper the $90 billion submarine deal “broke the relationship of trust between our two countries” in a statement following an earlier phone call with Morrison. He also made it quite clear that it was up to Australia to seek to repair the relationship – only to deliver a stinging critique of Morrison at the G20 summit, claiming Morrison had lied to him. – Sinking trust
– Gatra Priyandita, Riyandita Benjamin Herscovitch, The Interpreter: Amid Jakarta’s diplomatic shots across Canberra’s bow over AUKUS, Foreign Minister Marise Payne is travelling in Southeast Asia to reassure the region. This move comes after a volley of increasingly pointed Indonesian concerns about the impact that Australia’s acquisition of nuclear-power submarines might have on regional security and non-proliferation. But despite the Australian Foreign Minister’s best efforts to ease fears in Jakarta and other regional capitals, AUKUS is just the tip of a deep and enduring divide between Australia and Indonesia over the future of power in the Indo-Pacific. – Indonesia-Australia: Deeper divide lies beneath AUKUS submarine rift
– Yuma Osaki, The Strategist: Amid global uncertainties, strengthening like-minded nations’ bonds to deal with those challenges is vital. In the Indo-Pacific region, cooperation between Australia and Japan has been where the action is. There are three defining challenges—the so-called three Cs—that these key US allies are facing: climate change, China and Covid-19. – Evolving Australia–Japan cooperation in dealing with the ‘three Cs’
– Bartosz Kowalski, Michal Slowikowski, The Jamestown Foundation: At the beginning of September, the Belarusian news outlet Nasha Niva revealed that due to Western sanctions on Belarusbank, China had not paid another tranche of credit ($103 million) for the construction of the $2 billion Slavkaliy potash mining and processing plant in Lyuban, Belarus. The project has been stalled since June and subsequently, subcontractors have begun to leave the construction site (Nasha Niva, September 1). The investment is being carried out with China’s active financial support. In 2015, during Xi Jinping’s visit to Belarus, the Chinese Development Bank agreed to provide $1.4 billion credit, guaranteed by the Belarusian government (Mofcom.gov.cn, May 12, 2015). Importantly, the Slavkaliy project is owned by the Russian oligarch Mikhail Gutseriyev, who was also sanctioned due to his close business and political ties with Belarus’s President Alyaksandr Lukashenka; Gutseriyev provided $600 million for the project (Official Journal of the European Union, June 21). – Western Sanctions on Belarus’s Potash Industry Test Beijing-Minsk Partnership
– Crisis Group: Deforestation has surged in Colombia since the FARC rebels put down their weapons following a 2014 ceasefire and 2016 peace accord. Other insurgents and criminal groups have stepped up economic activities – ranching, logging, mining and coca growing – that accelerate loss of woodland and jungle in areas the guerrillas once controlled. – A Broken Canopy: Deforestation and Conflict in Colombia
– John S. Van Oudenaren, The Jamestown Foundation: In early September, China’s National Radio and Television Administration (NRTA) issued a new regulatory notice on “Further Strengthening Management of Cultural Programs and their Staff.” The regulation directs media outlets to “resolutely reject persons who violate laws and morality” including those who exhibit “abnormal aesthetics” (畸形审美, jixing shenmei) (NRTA, September 2; China Law Translate, September 2). The notice offers only one example of “abnormal aesthetics”-“niangpao” (娘炮) literally “girlie gun”, derogatory cyberslang for men who do not display a traditional masculine aesthetic (sometimes translated as “sissy” or “girlie man”, see UPenn Language Log). Chinese broadcasters, online media outlets and individual performers quickly conformed to the NRTA’s guidance. For example, singer songwriter Cai Xukun (蔡徐坤) commonly known as “KUN” did a photoshoot where he swapped his trademark eyeliner and dyed hair for a manbun and a muscle shirt. The style change earned KUN praise in online media for looking “more masculine” and working to change his “negative image” as someone with a “girly” (娘, niang) style (Netease, September 16). – Chinese Government’s Push for Masculinity Targets Boy Bands, Online Influencers
– Chen Gang, East Asia Forum: At the United Nations General Assembly in September 2021, Chinese President Xi Jinping announced that China would not build new coal-fired power projects abroad. But concerns remain as to whether this promise is too little, too late for the world’s largest emitter to bend the carbon curve in time and meet the goals of the Paris climate agreement. – China’s coal commitments are not enough
– Conor McCutcheon, Savannah Billman, Johnsen Romero, Merle Kartscher, The Jamestown Foundation: Over the past two decades, China has continuously increased its presence in, and cooperation with, countries across the African continent. The magnitude of increase in Chinese aid, can be seen by tracking the increase in China’s total Official Development Assistance (ODA) commitments to Africa, which jumped from $2.6 billion in 2000 to $37.3 billion in 2014 (AidData, 2019). At the 2018 Forum on China Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) summit in Beijing, Chinese President Xi Jinping delivered a keynote speech which stressed the importance of complementary development for China and Africa, stating: “China believes that the sure way to boost China-Africa cooperation is for both sides to leverage its respective strength; it is for China to complement Africa’s development through its own growth, and it is for both China and Africa to pursue win-win cooperation and common development” (Xinhua, September 3, 2018). In particular, China’s investment in Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) efforts in Africa has steadily increased since 2000. Falling under the broad geopolitical agenda of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), China’s TVET programs in Africa seek to promote “win-win” cooperation that align Chinese business interests with individual African countries’ respective development conditions and goals. – China’s Vocational Education Workshops Seek to Strengthen Relations with Africa
– Roie Yellinek, The Jamestown Foundation: Much has been written about Confucius Institutes (CI) in the West, but this tool of Chinese influence does not receive much attention for its activities in the Arab world. This article aims to fill this gap. CIs, which operate in universities worldwide, are managed by the Hanban (汉办), the Office of Chinese Language Council International, which is a branch of the Chinese Ministry of Education. As of 2006, CI centers began to appear in Arabic speaking countries, and by 2021, China had established 550 CIs around the globe including 15 institutes operating in the Middle East. Although it should be noted that in 2006 the Hanban planned to run 1000 institutes by 2020, this goal has not been met (PRC Embassy Egypt, September 29. 2006). In 2007, the global head of CIs, Xu Lin, remarked that the CIs were “the ‘brightest brand’ in China’s soft power repertoire” – How Confucius Institutes in the Arab World Shape Positive Perceptions of China
– Atlantic Council: The arms race is on. The US Defense Department’s annual report on the Chinese military, released Wednesday, revealed a chilling reality: The People’s Liberation Army (PLA) could field one thousand nuclear warheads by 2030—and has the ability to deliver them. So what should the United States do to prepare for this fresh challenge from its chief geopolitical rival? Our experts weigh in. – China’s stunning military buildup – Atlantic Councils are causing both dire environmental harm and deadly ent steps to halt the damage.
– Daniel Gros, Project-Syndicate: This month represents an important milestone in the fight against global warming – and not only because of the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26) currently underway in Glasgow. Although many countries announced ambitious emissions-reduction targets in the run-up to the gathering, these often extend a generation into the future, to 2050 or even 2060 – What Europe’s Energy Crunch Reveals
– Melvyn B. Krauss, Project-Syndicate: The Greens and the Free Democratic Party, the kingmakers of Germany’s prospective three-party coalition government, favor confronting China over its human-rights abuses in Xinjiang and its crackdown in Hong Kong. Despite this, Germany’s authoritarian-friendly China policies are unlikely to change when Olaf Scholz, the Social Democratic Party leader who is expected to succeed outgoing Chancellor Angela Merkel, takes office. – Germany’s Chinese Kowtow
Global Topics-COP26-Climate Action-Climate Change-Ecological Transition-Education-Poverty:
– Joe Cerrell, Khalifa Al-Kuwari, Al Jazeera: With COP26 ongoing, much of the global climate discussion focuses on efforts to reduce and curb greenhouse gas emissions by turning to cleaner and more efficient energy. And rightly so – we have an opportunity to dramatically mitigate the damage that will be inflicted on our planet in the years to come. But as we continue to witness the devastating effects of climate change play out across the world, we need to pay closer attention to the solutions that will help us adapt to changes that are already taking place – and consider how to ensure that people everywhere have access to them. The global climate crisis already impacts many people who depend on agriculture to survive. – To fight poverty, we need more climate action
– Christina Kwauk, Brookings: The release of the 6th IPCC report on the physical science of climate change this year raised the alarm around the urgency to act on the climate crisis. Clearly, global leaders did not heed the previous five alarms nor did they listen to recent calls to increase the ambition of their efforts to reach net-zero emissions by 2050. They have also neglected their duties to build a climate resilient citizenry that is equipped with knowledge about and skills to act on the climate emergency, particularly in terms of climate change education (CCE). – Who’s making the grade on climate change education ambition?
Global Topics-Transnational Organised Crime:
– Tuan N Pham, East Asia Forum: Transnational organised crime (TOC) is becoming an increasingly global problem that will require international and interagency coordination, network analysis and information sharing. Drug trafficking accounts for 30 per cent of the proceeds of TOC. It also includes a wide-range of other criminal activities such as human trafficking, arms trafficking, migrant smuggling, counterfeit goods, environmental crime, cybercrime, illegal unreported and unregulated fishing and money laundering. TOC groups seldom constrain themselves to just one criminal activity, instead maximising profit while minimising risk. – Countering transnational crime demands greater global cooperation
Global Topics-Virtual Health:
– Ann Aertz, Project-Syndicate: The COVID-19 pandemic has sharply accelerated the use of digital technologies in the health sector. For many who could no longer obtain in-person care, access to virtual health services became a matter of life and death. – Virtual Health for All
– Oleg Barabanov, Valdai Discussion Club: Recently, the Valdai Discussion Club organised a Russian-Chinese expert dialogue in partnership with CITIC Foundation for Reform and Development Studies of China, as well as the All-China Association for the Study of Political Science and the All-China Association for the Study of Russia, Eastern Europe and Central Asia; one of its sessions was devoted to democracy construction. – Non-Western Democracy and Its Interpretation
– Niranjan Sahoo and Ambar Kumar Ghosh, East Asia Forum: Emergency and disaster management demands a command-and-control approach. When COVID-19 swept the world in early 2020, most projected a difficult time ahead for countries with a federal system. Given the decentralised pathways, there were serious concerns about how diffused systems could handle a rapidly spreading viral pandemic. – COVID-19 exposes India’s fragile federalism
– Jacob Lees Weiss, The Jamestown Foundation: The Iranian Foreign Ministry warned on October 4 that its “strategic patience” with what it described as anti-Iranian terrorist groups operating in the Iraqi Kurdistan region had come to an end (Pars Today, October 5). The remarks followed threats by both Iran’s top military commander, Mohammad Bagheri, and minister of intelligence, Esmaeil Khatib, of intensified Iranian military activity in Iraqi Kurdistan if the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) and Iraqi government continued to refuse to confront these anti-Iran groups (Tehran Times, September 25). In recent years, Turkey has also intensified its military presence in northern Iraq to target the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) by establishing up to 40 military bases and pushing its buffer zone deeper into KRG territory (The New Arab, June 18).  Compared to this, Iran’s military footprint in Iraqi Kurdistan has remained low-profile. However, with Iran now mimicking the “either you do it, or we will” rhetoric used by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan regarding Turkey’s extensive military operations against the PKK, it appears that Iran could be laying the groundwork for a similar large-scale military intervention of its own in KRG territory (Shafaq, June 2). – Iran’s Impending Military Intervention In Iraqi Kurdistan: Catalysts and Unintended Consequences
– Saeid Jafari, Atlantic Council: The foreign policy of the Islamic Republic of Iran is going through tough times. Growing global dissatisfaction with Tehran’s approach to its nuclear program and delays in returning to the negotiations, as well as developments in Iran’s backyard, are undermining Iranian claims to successful “resistance” and rising influence. Since Ebrahim Raisi won the June 18 presidential election and took office in August, his administration has constantly stressed close relations with neighboring countries as a top priority. Raisi even when as far as to name Hossein Amirabdollahian as foreign minister, whose expertise is limited to Middle East affairs. – Iran’s Middle East influence may actually be declining
– Al Jazeera: Iraq’s prime minister has opened an investigation into violent protests against last month’s election. At least four people were killed on Friday after security forces opened fire to clear demonstrators in the capital, Baghdad. The rally was organised by the Fatah Alliance of pro-Iranian political groups, which has said the election was rigged. Early results showed that the Fatah Alliance had suffered heavy losses. The electoral commission began a recount and so far, the results have not changed. People are increasingly frustrated at Iraq’s political system. So what is next? – What’s next for Iraq after October’s election?
– East Asia Forum: If there’s a silver lining for the Philippines’ beleaguered democracy, it’s that its increasingly autocratic president, Rodrigo Duterte, is limited to a single six-year term by the country’s constitution. – Media freedom is the lifeblood of Philippine democracy — and it’s under threat
– Danilo Araña Arao, East Asia Forum: By awarding of the Nobel Peace Prize to journalists Maria Ressa and Dmitry Muratov on 8 October 2021, the Norwegian Nobel Committee put the spotlight on the state of press freedom in the Philippines and Russia — and rightly so. – Press freedom is no joke in the Philippines
– Katja Yafimava, Carnegie Moscow Center: Moldova’s recent gas crisis, which left supplies in jeopardy for several weeks ahead of the winter until a new contract was agreed with Russia’s Gazprom to replace an expiring one, came as a surprise for many observers. Yet several unresolved issues had marred the Moldova-Russia gas relationship, notably accumulated debt, which played a major role in the crisis. – Moldova’s Gas Crisis and Its Lessons for Europe
– Stanislav Secrieru, Carnegie Moscow Center: The latest round in the gas battle between Russia and Moldova appears to be at an end. At the eleventh hour, the two sides signed a protocol and a new contract that will see Russia’s Gazprom continue to supply Moldova with gas for another five years. Yet if the post-Soviet history of relations between the two countries is anything to go by, it’s unlikely to be the last energy-related skirmish between Moscow and Chisinau. – How Long Will the Russia–Moldova Gas Truce Last?
– Christina Lai, The Jamestown Foundation: In September, China’s General Administration of Customs (海关总署通知, Haiguan zong shu tongzhi) imposed bans on Taiwan’s sugar apples and wax apples, claiming that harmful pests were found in produce imports on multiple occasions (SCMP, September 19; PRC Customs Notice, September 18). In response to China’s suspensions, Taiwan considered filing a formal complaint with the World Trade Organization (WTO) (Taipei Times September 20; PRC Customs Notice, February 26). In fact, this is not the first time that Taiwan’s tropical fruits have suffered from Chinese import restrictions. In February, Beijing also suspended the importation of Taiwanese pineapples using similar justifications (Reuters, February 26). Meanwhile, at the beginning of October, China greatly increased its military probing of Taiwan’s air defense identification zone (ADIZ) including the largest single-day incursion to date on October 4 involving 56 warplanes. (Taiwan News, October 4, 2021). The intensity and frequency of PLA Air Force incursions indicate that Beijing is flexing its muscles, and ability to project force around Taiwan’s airspace and maritime borders. – Power of the Weak: Taiwan’s Strategy in Countering China’s Economic Coercion
– Ardi Janjeva and James Sullivan, RUSI: A recent Financial Times report confirmed the procurement of a high-security cloud system by the UK’s intelligence community. The hosting of sensitive intelligence data on non-government systems is a significant pivot away from traditional practice, where the assumption is that in-house capabilities are relied upon to host sensitive data. The immediate concern about data sovereignty is slightly misleading, as it is most likely that the data is stored and processed on UK soil. However, this public-private partnership between the UK government and Amazon does raise questions relating to the UK’s current lack of sovereign cloud capability, incentives for future UK investment in research and development, and existing oversight mechanisms for big tech and cloud technologies. – UK Intelligence Agencies and the Commercial Cloud: What Does It All Mean?
– Sir David Omand GCB and Suzanne Raine, RUSI: On 19 September, Parliament’s Joint Committee on National Security Strategy reported on the UK’s national security machinery. It identified serious weaknesses in the government structures that deal with national security – as evidenced by the handling of the pandemic and the withdrawal from Afghanistan. – How to Unlock the National Security Strategy
– Atlantic Council: They took the long road. The US House of Representatives on Friday night passed a bipartisan bill to upgrade the nation’s roads, bridges, airports, public transit, broadband connections, drinking-water pipes, and more on Friday night, sending the package to US President Joe Biden’s desk after several months of wrangling. What does this soon-to-be law mean for the US economy and its place in the world? Are fears of inflation justified? What message does this send to China? Our crack economics team is here to break down what matters. – What will the infrastructure bill actually do?
– Patrick Tucker, Defense One: The United States needs a better strategy and more advanced tools for information operations, Lt. Gen. Dennis Crall, the Joint Staff’s chief information officer, said Thursday. The government has become slower and less confident in its approach, a reticence it can’t afford as artificial intelligence drastically increases the pace of messaging and information campaigns, said Crall, who is also the Joit Staff’s director for command, control, communications, computers, and cyber. – Joint Chiefs’ Information Officer: US is Behind On Information Warfare. AI Can Help
– Eric Posner, Project-Syndicate: “The ugly American,” the title of a novel published in 1958 by Eugene Burdick and William Lederer, entered the language to refer to boorish American officials abroad who sought to improve the lives of natives without taking the trouble to learn their language, culture, or needs. A long line of ugly Americans, mostly politicians and government officials from both parties, have believed that applying simple formulas based on idealized versions of US institutions – democracy, markets, and human rights – could convert long-suffering places like Afghanistan and Iraq into Western-style consumer utopias. Inevitably, these Americans caused more harm than good. – Facebook’s Foreign Disasters
– Julia Voo, East Asia Forum: In June 2021, the US Senate unanimously adopted the US$250 billion US Innovation and Competition Act (USICA) detailing how the US government plans to outcompete China technologically. While generous in its allocation of resources to address domestic challenges, USICA still falls short of protecting critical technology supply chains and generating innovation. – How USICA will boost US technological competitiveness
– Umar A Farooq, Middle East Eye: The Middle East has become one of the world’s most climate change-affected regions, with severe droughts, devastating wildfires, massive floods and pollution affecting millions of lives and making some areas nearly unliveable. Greenhouse gas emissions – a major cause of global warming – have tripled globally over the past three decades, with the Middle East and North Africa region, which stretches from Morocco to Iran, warming by twice the global average, with a rise of four degrees Celsius. – COP26: US military ‘one of the biggest polluters in the Middle East’
Western Indian Ocean:
– Sankalp Gurjar, RUSI: On 18 October, the foreign ministers of India, Israel, the US and the UAE held a meeting and formed a joint working group. The meeting discussed expanding political and economic cooperation between the four partners in West Asia and Asia more broadly. The discussion focused on areas such as climate change, maritime security, trade and energy cooperation, and public health. The coming together of these four partners is being dubbed as the ‘new’ Quad. – A New Quad in the Western Indian Ocean
– Richard Cincotta and Stephen Smith, Atlantic Council: The Western Sahel—a region stretching from Senegal and Mauritania to Mali, Burkina Faso, Niger, and Chad, and including the twelve sharia law states of northern Nigeria—is in a demographic impasse. Rather than yielding an economic dividend, the conditions spawned by the region’s persistently youthful, rapidly growing, high-fertility populations overwhelm the capabilities of state-run services, generate extensive urban slum conditions, slow if not stall economic and social progress, and aggravate ethnic tensions. Decades of exposure to these mutually reinforcing conditions have undermined the legitimacy of central governments and rendered the region’s states vulnerable to the spread of Islamic populism and regime instability. Due to the growth momentum of their youthful age structures, from now through the 2040-to-2045 period (the time horizon of this study), the region’s states will be driven to respond to the urgent needs to build infrastructure, increase agricultural productivity, maintain security, and generate jobs in their attempt to employ and politically pacify young-adult cohorts of unprecedented size who, each year, vie to enter the already underemployed Sahelian workforce. Yet these well-intentioned development efforts can never be sufficient unless the region’s governments prioritize policies and programs that address a key underlying impediment to development: sustained high fertility. – What future for the Western Sahel?
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