martedì, Giugno 25, 2024


Dentro una guerra che sta inevitabilmente trasformando l’architettura del mondo che conoscevamo, il fattore della deterrenza nucleare, oggetto del nostro topic di oggi, assume una rilevanza decisiva sia nel  dibattito tra esperti che nelle discussioni pubbliche. 

TOPIC – Following its unconscionable invasion of Ukraine, Russia has appallingly chosen to cast a nuclear shadow over the already unimaginable situation it created. While this is likely an ill-advised attempt to broadcast Russian strength as its invasion of Ukraine proceeds at a much less successful pace than he expected, Russian President Vladimir Putin’s irresponsible nuclear rhetoric and posturing are highly provocative and unprecedented. Russia’s brandishing of its nuclear capabilities when its security is not threatened is further evidence of an unsafe security environment that requires a continued commitment to a strong American nuclear deterrent. Doug Lamborn – Defense News – In the wake of Russia’s invasion, the US must refocus on nuclear deterrence




  • The rise of China as a global actor has sparked debate in the West over its nature and ultimate wider strategic political and military ambitions, including in the maritime and outer space domains. As global commons, these shared international spaces lie beyond the national jurisdiction of states and are governed by international treaties and frameworks. The potential economic and strategic benefits that lie within these two global commons are immense and, as technological advancements enable greater exploitation, have challenged existing frameworks and the rules that govern these spaces. The debate around how these spaces should be governed in the future, and the extent to which they should be conserved, therefore crucially includes the role that China plays and the norms that it is advocating. Veerle Nouwens – RUSI – A Transatlantic Approach to China in the Global Commons



  • China and Nepal are friendly neighbors and development partners with a shared future. No matter whether it was after the catastrophic earthquakes or during the COVID-19 pandemic, China and Nepal have consistently helped each other out, reflecting the deep friendship between the peoples of the two countries. Zhao Yipu – Global Times – GT exclusive: China-Nepal relations are founded on mutual trust: President of Nepal




  • It seems that the US digital currency development policy is at a critical turning point. US President Joe Biden on Wednesday signed an executive order instructing the federal government to explore regulatory oversight of digital assets like cryptocurrencies and requiring research and development efforts into a potential “US Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC)”, AP reported. Global Times – GT Voice: Digital dollar coming, urged not to aim at hegemony


  • Decisions undertaken by Washington and Beijing in the coming months could have outsized influence over the trajectory of US–China relations, and the entire international system, for coming decades. The more China clings to Russia following Russian President Vladimir Putin’s barbarism in Ukraine, the stronger calls will grow to treat China and Russia as interchangeable enemies bent on imposing their might-makes-right vision for the world. Ryan Hass – East Asia Forum – Ukraine an opportunity to test China’s strategic outlook



  • The crisis over Ukraine in 2022 has illustrated just how important the diversification of the sources of European gas had become and the urgency of finding alternatives to Russian gas, if only to reduce Moscow’s leverage over Europe and the NATO alliance. The EU Foreign Policy Chief, Josep Borrell, was able to voice a united policy for Europe already in January 2022, before Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, based on his view that “we must reduce our dependency on Russian energy.”. Dore Gold – JCPA – Europe’s Rising Need for Israeli Gas Production


  • German businesses are eagerly expecting proposals amid the ongoing two sessions that are highly related to China’s efforts to reduce carbon emissions by encouraging low-carbon technology and products.  Carbon neutrality or low carbon have become key phrases that appear frequently in proposals from deputies to the 13th National People’s Congress and members of Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference. Global Times: German firms eye opportunities from China’s decarbonization drive


  • New for 2022, the IISS Riyadh Defense Forum is a unique gathering of defence-procurement ministers, senior officers and officials, as well as the business community, to examine Middle Eastern defence policy and economics within a global context. IISS – IISS Riyadh Defense Forum


  • The national home front exercise in November 2021 saw Israel’s national systems that manage the response by the home front to emergencies successfully address the challenge of working together in a multi-arena crisis environment. Its achievements are particularly noteworthy in the joint management, the definition of understandings between the Home Front Command and the National Emergency Authority after many years of disagreements, the promotion of a common digital system, and the exercise of operational plans and promotion of citizen awareness on the importance of personal defense. Meir Elran’s article “National Home Front Exercise 2021: More of the Same?” implies that the exercise realized only part of its potential and apparently did not advance readiness for a future emergency. However, and without disputing the important lacunae highlighted by Elran – which not only were not part of the goals of the exercise, but also cannot be addressed in a single exercise – this article discusses the importance of the exercise and its achievements. Liron Donnell – INSS – A Rising and Falling Alarm: A Strategy for a Joint Exercise in the Home Front Command


  • For the first time in 15 years, the President of the state of Israel will make an official visit to Turkey. The announcement of this visit comes after four phone conversations between Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Israeli President Isaac Herzog. What explains the timing of the visit? What are the considerations of each country? and what are the Implications of the event? INSS conducted a virtual event that analyzed the relations between Israel and Turkey, which now are ripe for President Herzog’s trip to Turkey. INSS – Winds of Change: Where Are Turkey-Israel Relations Headed ?



  • The international community widely perceives North Korea to possess an offensive chemical weapons (CW) programme. However, detailed understanding and analytical assessment of its status, scope and scale is lacking, especially in the public domain. Although North Korea is notorious for being a hard target to assess, there are an increasing number of open source and commercially available tools – such as higher-resolution satellite imagery and remote sensing technologies – that researchers have used to gather data to inform assessments of North Korea’s nuclear weapons activities. However, the applicability and usefulness of these tools being applied to support critical assessment of a CW programme remains underexplored. Cristina Varriale and Sarah Clapham – RUSI – Remote Assessment of North Korea’s Chemical Weapons: Feasible or Not?


  • The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has trained scientists from six Latin American countries in using nuclear and related techniques to detect and contain a banana disease threatening a quarter of the global production of a crop that is providing jobs and nutrition for hundreds of millions of people around the world. The training included the development of genetic disease resistance in bananas. IAEA – IAEA Trains Latin American Scientists in Fighting Banana Disease
  • Ukraine informed the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) today that the Chornobyl Nuclear Power Plant (NPP) had been disconnected from the electricity grid and lost its supply of external power, two weeks after Russian forces took control of the site of the 1986 accident, Director General Rafael Mariano Grossi said. IAEA – Update 16 – IAEA Director General Statement on Situation in Ukraine



  • Russia’s VTB Bank will offer yuan savings accounts with a maximum interest rate of 8 percent to counter strict sanctions from the US and its allies, which seeks to isolate Russia from the US dollar dominated interbank communication system SWIFT, according to media reports. Global Times – Russian bank offers 8% interest rate for yuan deposits

RUSSIA – UKRAINE (reactions, impact, consequences)

  • Vice President Harris on Thursday met with seven displaced people from Ukraine in Warsaw, Poland; over a million people have fled Ukraine since Russia began its invasion of the country. Alex Gangitano – The Hill – Harris meets with Ukrainian refugees in Poland
  • For years, experts have been saying that the next war will be fought in cyberspace. A ‘cyber Pearl Harbor’ would melt down government systems, cripple critical infrastructure and plunge modern militaries and societies into darkness. It hasn’t happened in Ukraine, where bullets rather than bytes are raining down on combatants and civilians, causing devastation and misery. Rafal Rohozinski – IISS – The missing ‘cybergeddon’: what Ukraine can tell us about the future of cyber war
  • The Russian invasion of Ukraine constitutes a blatant violation of Article 2(4) of the UN Charter, which prohibits states from using force against the territorial integrity or political independence of another state. It also amounts to a crime of aggression. The action has led to UN resolutions against Russia and the establishment of a commission of inquiry, as well as the rapid commencement of an investigation by the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court into suspected war crimes. In addition, proceedings against Russia have begun in other international tribunals. The legal channels will not stop the advance of the Russian army, but they are important in terms of the message they send to Russia and the whole world. They demonstrate the isolation imposed on a state that decides to undermine the world order, even when that state is a superpower. Israel must not be seen as condoning Russian aggression, if only tacitly. In addition to the strategic cost with respect to its relations with its allies, primarily the United States, and potential – if inadvertent – support for accusations made against Israel as a lawless and aggressive state, sitting on the fence could put Israel on the wrong side of history. Moreover, such conduct is not in keeping with the values on which the State of Israel is founded. Pnina Sharvit Baruch, Ori Beeri – INSS – The Russian Invasion of Ukraine: Legal Aspects
  • The bitter hostilities between Russia and Ukraine are accompanied by widely reported instances of indiscriminate targeting by the Russian military forces of civilians and civilian centers as well as nuclear power plants, grave breaches of the Geneva Conventions, and the use of weapons outlawed by international law. Alan Baker – JCPA – The Russia-Ukraine War and Its Legal and Political Implications
  • The outpouring of solidarity and empathy for people fleeing the war in Ukraine is wonderful. Countries bordering Ukraine have opened their borders and practically waved people through. People have rushed to donate food and open their homes. The European Union as a bloc moved quickly to grant temporary protection to all Ukrainians and long-term foreign residents, invoking for the first time a 2001 directive that created a mechanism to give uprooted people the chance to stay, work, and put their children in school automatically – without the delays and bureaucracy of the normal asylum procedure. Judith Sunderland – Human Rights Watch – EU’s Generous Response to Ukraine Refugees Shows Another Way is Possible
  • The fallout from Russia’s invasion of Ukraine means that Afghanistan’s dire humanitarian and economic situation could worsen as food prices soar and foreign aid is diverted to help refugees in Europe. U.S. sanctions on Russian companies, growing supply chain issues and shifting global interest to Ukraine could compound the hunger crisis in Afghanistan, which has deepened since the Taliban toppled the U.S.-backed government last year. “It’s potentially apocalyptic,” said Graeme Smith, a senior consultant for the International Crisis Group. “A huge surge in food prices could really tip Afghanistan over the edge.”. More than half of Afghanistan’s population is currently not eating enough, according to the World Food Program, a United Nations agency. And one of the worst droughts in years has exacerbated Afghanistan’s hunger crisis. But the problem is not so much a lack of food as it is the ability to pay for it. Fluctuating border restrictions, ever-rising import costs and a cash shortage spurred by U.S. sanctions on the new Taliban government, have, in some cases, doubled or tripled the price of basic necessities in Afghanistan in the past year. Aqa Gul, an international trader based in Kabul, said that following Russia’s invasion, the prices of certain imported items such as milk biscuits and soap have climbed 10 percent. Nooruddin Zaker Ahmadi, the director of Bashir Nawid complex, a large import company in Afghanistan, said cooking oil prices have gone up 40 percent because of the war in Ukraine. Fuel prices have also climbed. The price hike on basic commodities has been especially alarming at the World Food Program, which hopes to deliver cash, wheat and other necessities to the approximately 23 million Afghans in need of some kind of food assistance. But with the increasing cost of essentials such as wheat and cooking oil, the W.F.P. will likely need an additional several million dollars on top of its $1.6 billion funding shortfall, from donors, said Hsiaowei Lee, the U.N. agency’s deputy country director for Afghanistan. Thomas Gibbons-Neff – The New York Times 
  • President Biden’s State of the Union address, which called for the rest of the world to emerge stronger than Russia out of the Ukraine crisis, captures well an actual American strategy. The outcome of the crisis remains unknown, but the rules-based international collective security order, under American leadership, has done tolerably well in response so far. Still, the extraordinary economic and diplomatic isolation of Moscow, and beefing up of NATO’s eastern defenses, cannot guarantee that Russia will not eventually overrun Ukraine and create, with millions of Ukrainian refugees, an enormous financial crisis for the U.S. and European states. Ukrainians almost certainly will mount an insurgency, but while that will drive Moscow’s costs up, it is unlikely to force Russia to withdraw anytime soon. James Jeffrey – Defense One – Put US Boots in Ukraine to Defend a UN-Approved Security Zone
  • No one knows how far Russia’s Vladimir Putin will push his brutal attack on Ukraine. Western commentators initially assumed that Putin would allow the existence of a Ukrainian state, minus the Donbas, under a puppet government once Kyiv, Kharkiv, and Mariupol are conquered; Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy executed; and a wide coastal corridor between Crimea and Donbas region established. But after a March 3 call with Putin, French President Emmanuel Macron warned that the “the worst is yet to come” and that Putin’s objective is to take all of Ukraine and obliterate the nation. Just days later, Putin threatened to end Ukrainian statehood unless resistance stops. Sam J. Tangredi – Defense One – Establish a Zone of Peace in Western Ukraine
  • Britain has stepped up its supply of weapons to the Ukrainian military, adding Starstreak anti-air missiles to a list that already includes significant numbers of anti-tank weapons. Defence Secretary Ben Wallace told lawmakers Mar. 9 that the government was “exploring” the supply of Starstreak but later confirmed that the decision had already been taken in principle to provide the Thales UK-built, short-range weapon. Andrew Chuter – Defense News – Britain mulls giving ‘Starstreak’ air-defense weapons to Ukraine
  • War between Turkey’s two Black Sea partners has given an unexpected jolt to the country’s quest for new fighter jets and its domestic program to make new-generation aircraft. “The war has practically killed all potential Turkish-Russian deals in strategic weapons systems,” said a senior Turkish diplomat, who deals with NATO and security affairs and was not authorized to speak to the press. “This will be a de facto part of our proactive neutrality.” – Burak Ege Bekdil – Defense News – Russian invasion of Ukraine is reviving Euro-Turkish fighter efforts
  • Some Russian federal agencies’ websites were compromised in a supply chain attack, threat actors compromised the stats widget used to track the number of visitors by several government agencies. Threat actors were able to deface the websites and block access to them. Pierluigi Paganini – Security Affairs – Multiple Russia government websites hacked in a supply chain attack
  • It seems a lifetime ago, but in March 2021 the UK government published its Global Britain in a Competitive Age white paper, known colloquially as the Integrated Review. The inference behind the notion of integration was that the UK’s security, defence, development and foreign policy assets would act in concert and not in isolation from one another. As the only CEO of a major UK NGO who has also served in the Army, I welcomed the prospect that some of these barriers might be broken down. Major General (Retd) James Cowan CBE DSO – RUSI – The Ukrainian Crisis and the Integrated Review
  • Russia’s invasion of Ukraine reflects a failure of diplomatic endeavour in near impossible circumstances. Russia now finds itself an international pariah, President Putin is effectively an outlaw and European security is reeling. Diplomacy needs to resume quickly to chart a route out of the crisis and restore stability to a continent whose security landscape has changed dramatically. Peter Jones CMG – RUSI – Diplomacy’s End?



  • Sri Lanka has among the most restrictive abortion laws in the world, so Justice Minister Ali Sabry’s recent call for parliament to consider legalizing abortion in cases of rape is a significant development. The government should move promptly to reform the law and go further to uphold women’s equal rights by allowing all woman access to abortion. Meenakshi Ganguly – Human Rights Watch – Reform Sri Lanka’s Draconian Abortion Law


  • Artificial intelligence (AI) technologies have improved rapidly over the past decade, largely driven by advances in machine learning, which is closely related to data science and statistical prediction.[2] Several aspects of the health care system involve prediction, including diagnosis, treatment, administration, and operations. This connection between machine learning’s capabilities and needs of the health care system has led to widespread speculation that AI will have a large impact on health care. Avi Goldfarb and Florenta Teodoridis – Brookings – Why is AI adoption in health care lagging?


  • Last year was the most expensive year to date for climate-related disasters in the U.S., with more than 20 extreme weather events causing losses of over $1 billion each. Two long-term trends are driving up this price tag: extreme weather events are becoming more intense, and the U.S. keeps building more—and more expensive—homes in risky locations. In 2018, 42% of the U.S. population lived in coastal shoreline counties (areas especially vulnerable to coastal storms and sea level rise), even though these counties constitute only 10% of the country’s land area. This raises the question: Why do people build and buy homes in places that face predictable and persistent risk from climate-related disasters? – Jenny Schuetz – Brookings – Home mortgage and insurance systems encourage development in climate-risky places, and we all pay the price
  • Did the Federal Reserve wait too long to raise interest rates to restrain inflation?  Is the Fed’s new monetary policy framework working out as the Fed hoped it would? What are the biggest monetary policy challenges that the Fed faces in the next couple of years? David Wessel – Brookings – Three experts on the monetary policy challenges the Fed now faces
  • New bipartisan legislation focused on providing cellular and Internet connectivity in war zones was unveiled on Tuesday as U.S. lawmakers continue to respond to Russia’s war on Ukraine. Sponsored by Sens. John Cornyn, R-Texas, and Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., the Safely Accessing Telecommunications Act would allow the U.S. Departments of Defense and State to contract telecommunications companies to help provide internet and broadband access to regions in conflict. Alexandra Kelley – Nextgov –  New Bipartisan Bill Would Allow U.S. Govt To Provide Internet In War Zones
  • The House of Representatives’ Committee on Homeland Security advanced several new bills to the chamber floor late Tuesday, including one that focuses on training the public sector workforce on best practices in cybersecurity. Along with three other bills, the House committee passed the National Cybersecurity Preparedness Consortium Act of 2021. First introduced by Sens. John Cornyn, R-Texas., and Patrick Leahy, D-VT, the bill passed the Senate on March 7 in a 403-19 vote. Alexandra Kelley – Nextgov – House Committee Approves Cybersecurity Training Bill
  • The Navy is planning to submit to Congress a new 30-year shipbuilding plan with its fiscal 2023 budget request that once again is short on details, despite negative reactions when they did the same thing last year. Navy Secretary Carlos Del Toro said the maritime service is intentionally leaving its long-term plans vague to give “decision space” for leaders to meet unknown threats and needs that may arise. Critics, including top Republicans, have panned the move for preventing lawmakers from being able to critique the Biden administration’s plans. Del Toro said he favors transparency and clear definition of the Navy’s plans one decade out, but questioned the benefit of speculating too far into the future. Caitlin M. Kenney – Defense One – Navy’s New 30-Year Shipbuilding Plan Will Avoid Details–Again
  • The Pentagon could need more than the extra $5 billion it already asked Congress to approve if its mission supporting the Ukrainian military with weapons and equipment and helping secure NATO’s border in Eastern Europe continues, a top defense official said. “I do believe that we will probably need additional funding at DOD for this,” Pentagon Comptroller Mike McCord said Wednesday at the McAleese and Associates defense programs conference in Washington. Marcus Weisgerber – Defense One – Pentagon Could Need More Cash if Ukraine Support, NATO Border Mission Drags On
  • Lawmakers on Wednesday unveiled a $13.6 billion Ukraine aid package that took President Joe Biden’s request for weapons and training for Ukrainian forces and put it on steroids. Part of a sweeping $1.5 trillion measure to fund the federal government, the $13.6 billion package would buy $3 billion in new weapons for Ukraine, instead of the $1.5 billion in new weapons included in Biden’s $10 billion request. It’s a win for Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, who pleaded with U.S. lawmakers in a Zoom call Saturday for more support as his country fights a Russian invasion. Joe Gould – Defense News – Biden’s Ukraine aid package is getting super-sized by Congress
  • A federal spending package unveiled this week would give the U.S. Navy significantly more funding for ships and aircraft, after many lawmakers complained the Navy didn’t request enough money last spring. Ahead of a looming government shutdown later this week, the House of Representatives is voting on an omnibus spending package that includes $728.5 billion in military spending for the year, or 5.6% more for fiscal 2022 than was passed for FY21. The Senate would take up the bill following passage in the House. Megan Eckstein – Defense News – Spending bill would add five ships, 12 Super Hornets to Navy acquisition plans
  • The Pentagon’s effort to better connect sensors to shooters and shuttle data across the joint forces is inextricably linked with the high-stakes communication systems needed for nuclear warfare, and rightly so, the head of U.S. Strategic Command told Congress this week. A “great extent” of overlap between Joint All-Domain Command and Control, JADC2, and Nuclear Command, Control and Communications, NC3, is necessary for integration and other reasons, Adm. Charles Richard said March 8. Colin Demarest –  Defense News – How JADC2 is improving nuclear command and control


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