Informal Institute for National Security Thinkers and Practitioners


Quotes of the Day:

 "Often the oppressor goes along unaware of the evil involved in his oppression so long as the oppressed accepts it." 
- Martin Luther King, Jr.

"Change your life today. Don't gamble on the future, act now, without delay."
- Simone de Beauvoir

"You either support a peaceful transfer of power, or you do not."
-Anonymous

1. RUSSIAN OFFENSIVE CAMPAIGN ASSESSMENT, JUNE 9 (PUTIN'S WAR)
2. Russian gas deliveries to Europe via main routes remain steady
3. Ukraine fears a long war might cause West to lose interest
4. Uvalde school police chief defends Texas shooting response
5. Smartphones Blur the Line Between Civilian and Combatant
6. Henry Kissinger’s Long History of Appeasing Dictatorships
7. Chinese Pilots Sent a Message. American Allies Said They Went Too Far.
8. The Proposed 2023 Defense Budget Doesn’t Meet U.S. Security Goals
9. 3 foreigners who fought for Ukraine sentenced to death
10. The hotheads who could start a cold war
11. Putin undermined his own rationale for invading Ukraine, admitting that the war is to expand Russian territory
12. What the Ukraine war should teach China
13. Secretary Austin’s Meeting With People’s Republic of China (PRC) Minister of National Defense General Wei Fenghe
14. Pacific Allies Worry About Taiwan Invasion, Call for Closer US Cooperation
15. Biden nominates Marine general as next commander of US forces in Africa
16. How the Army once got its own soldiers stoned out of their minds
17. Russia and China’s War on the Dollar Is Just Beginning
18. A Long War in Ukraine Could Bring Global Chaos
19. Ordinary Ukrainians wage war with digital tools and drones
20. Why Japan Is Getting Tough on Russia Now
21. US on charm offensive to woo Marcos Jr
22. US Navy SEAL mini-sub built for South China Sea action 
23. A Ukraine Strategy for the Long Haul
24. Has China Lost Europe?




1. RUSSIAN OFFENSIVE CAMPAIGN ASSESSMENT, JUNE 9 (PUTIN'S WAR)





RUSSIAN OFFENSIVE CAMPAIGN ASSESSMENT, JUNE 9
Jun 9, 2022 - Press ISW

Karolina Hird, Kateryna Stepanenko, and Mason Clark
June 9, 6:45 pm ET
Click here to see ISW's interactive map of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. This map is updated daily alongside the static maps present in this report.
Russian forces are continuing to deploy outdated military equipment to Ukraine to replace losses. The Ukrainian Main Intelligence Directorate (GUR) reported on June 9 that Russian forces are mining Kherson Oblast with mines from the 1950s to defend against recent Ukrainian counterattacks in northwestern Kherson Oblast.[1] The GUR stated that Russian forces moved these mines from Russia’s Rostov Oblast to the Kherson area despite the fact the mines were meant to be destroyed. The GUR claimed that some of the mines detonated during the transportation processes and killed Russian sappers from the 49th Combined Arms Army. The GUR’s report is consistent with previous statements that Russian forces are moving old and obsolete equipment to Ukraine to make up for equipment losses, including deploying T-62 tanks to the Melitopol area and pulling MLRS and 152mm howitzers from storage in Irkutsk, Siberia.[2]
Russian military command continues to face pervasive issues with force generation. The Ukrainian Resistance Center reported that Russian officials in Luhansk Oblast have had to reduce their mobilization efforts due to widespread protests against aggressive mobilization efforts that have taken a toll on the labor market in Luhansk.[3] Attacks on Russian military recruitment offices are additionally continuing.[4] An unidentified assailant threw a Molotov cocktail at the military commissariat in Vladivostok, which is the eighteenth such reported attack on Russian territory since the beginning of the war. As Russian officials escalate mobilization efforts over the background of continued losses in Ukraine, they will continue to run the risk of instigating public dissent and pushback against such recruitment practices.
Key Takeaways
  • Russian officials are increasingly taking over governmental positions in occupied Ukrainian territory, advancing the Kremlin's likely efforts to annex occupied areas of Ukraine into Russia as an okrug (federal district).
  • Russian forces continued to fight for the Azot industrial zone in Severodonetsk under the cover of heavy artillery fire.
  • Russian forces made marginal gains north of Slovyansk but are likely to face difficulties assaulting the city itself because of the tactical challenges posed by crossing the Siverskyi Donets River.
  • Russian forces made incremental advances to the east of Bakhmut and will continue efforts to cut Ukrainian lines of communication to the northeast of Bakhmut.
  • Russian forces are likely engaged in limited fighting along occupied frontiers in northern Kharkiv Oblast.
  • Russian forces continue to focus on strengthening defensive lines along the Southern Axis and are intensifying ground attacks in northeastern Zaporizhia Oblast with the support of troop and equipment rotations.

We do not report in detail on Russian war crimes because those activities are well-covered in Western media and do not directly affect the military operations we are assessing and forecasting. We will continue to evaluate and report on the effects of these criminal activities on the Ukrainian military and population and specifically on combat in Ukrainian urban areas. We utterly condemn these Russian violations of the laws of armed conflict, Geneva Conventions, and humanity even though we do not describe them in these reports.
  • Main Effort—Eastern Ukraine (comprised of one subordinate and three supporting efforts);
  • Subordinate Main Effort—Encirclement of Ukrainian troops in the cauldron between Izyum and Donetsk and Luhansk Oblasts
  • Supporting Effort 1—Kharkiv City;
  • Supporting Effort 2—Southern Axis;
  • Activities in Russian-occupied Areas
Main Effort—Eastern Ukraine
Subordinate Main Effort—Southern Kharkiv, Donetsk, Luhansk Oblasts (Russian objective: Encircle Ukrainian forces in Eastern Ukraine and capture the entirety of Donetsk and Luhansk Oblasts, the claimed territory of Russia’s proxies in Donbas)
Russian forces continued to attack Ukrainian positions in Severodonetsk under the cover of heavy artillery fire on June 9. Ukrainian and Russian sources confirmed that Russian forces control all residential sectors of the city and that fighting is ongoing for the Azot industrial zone, where Ukrainian forces are embedded.[5] Russian forces continued unsuccessful efforts to take control of Toshkivka to drive north toward Lysychansk and avoid crossing the Siverskyi Donets River from within Severodonetsk.[6] Russian forces conducted heavy air and artillery strikes in and around Severodonetsk to support ground operations in the city.[7]

Russian forces continued efforts to advance on Slovyansk from the southeast of Izyum and made marginal territorial gains north of Slovyansk on June 9.[8] Russian forces are likely seeking to leverage their control of the area around Sviatohirsk to move southwards toward Slovyansk, but are unlikely to have seized the settlement as of June 9 due to Ukrainian resistance in the area and Russian milblogger Swodki claimed that Russian forces captured Pryshyb and Tetyanivka (both about 20 km north of Slovyansk) on June 9, though ISW cannot confirm this claim.[9] Russian efforts to move toward Slovyansk are likely hindered by the Siverskyi Donets River, which they will have to successfully cross to the north (around Sviatohirsk-Tetyanivka) and east of Slovyansk (around Raihorodok) in order to push toward the city.[10]
Russian forces continued ground, air, and artillery attacks east of Bakhmut and made incremental gains on June 9. The Ukrainian General Staff reported that Russian troops had partial success in Komyshuvakha (northeast of Bakhmut) and Roty (southeast of Bakhmut).[11] Russian forces additionally continued unsuccessful attacks on Nahirne and Mykolaivka.[12]

Supporting Effort #1—Kharkiv City (Russian objective: Withdraw forces to the north and defend ground lines of communication (GLOCs) to Izyum)
Russian forces continued to defend their occupied frontiers and fire on Ukrainian positions in northern Kharkiv Oblast on June 9.[13] The Ukrainian General Staff reported that Russian forces are focusing on engineering, fortification, and mining to strengthen their defensive lines north of Kharkiv City.[14] Russian Telegram channels additionally claimed that Russian troops re-took control of Ternova and Varvarivka, both settlements northeast of Kharkiv City near the international border.[15] While ISW cannot independently confirm the status of Ternova or Varvarivka, these claims indicate that Russian forces are still engaged in fighting along the frontline in northern Kharkiv Oblast.[16] Certain Russian sources indicated that Ukrainian forces may be conducting limited counterattacks in this area, which is consistent with Russian reports of continued positional battles in this area.[17]

Supporting Effort #2—Southern Axis (Objective: Defend Kherson and Zaporizhia Oblasts against Ukrainian counterattacks)
Russian forces focused on strengthening their defensive lines and firing on Ukrainian positions along the Southern Axis on June 9.[18] Deputy Chief of the Main Operations Department of the Ukrainian General Staff Oleksiy Gromov stated that Russian forces are conducting a positional defense in Zaporizhia and Mykolaiv Oblasts (using fortifications and attempting to hold all of their captured terrain).[19] Head of the Zaporizhia Regional State Administration Oleksandr Starukh reported that Russian forces in Zaporizhia have received 80 new tanks over the last month and that Rosgvardia units rotated out of the area and were replaced with forces from the Donetsk People’s Republic (DNR).[20] Russian troop rotations are likely meant to support operations in northeastern Zaporizhia Oblast along the Orikhiv-Huliapole line, where Russian troops have been conducting ground attacks and escalating hostilities to push toward the Zaporizhia-Donetsk Oblast borders.[21]

Activity in Russian-occupied Areas (Russian objective: consolidate administrative control of occupied areas; set conditions for potential annexation into the Russian Federation or some other future political arrangement of Moscow’s choosing)
Russian authorities are escalating efforts to consolidate governmental control of the Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics (DNR and LNR) and other occupied Ukrainian territories. Independent Russian news source Meduza cited unnamed Kremlin officials and claimed that the Kremlin hopes to unite the DNR, LNR, and occupied Kherson and Zaporizhia into a singular Russian okrug (federal district).[22] Meduza’s statement is consistent with reports that an increasing number of former Russian officials are ascending into senior positions within the governments of the DNR and LNR, including a former governor of Russia’s Kurgan Oblast taking on the role of first deputy chairman of the LNR and a former Russian transportation official ascending to the role of deputy prime minister of the DNR.[23] New Prime Minister of the DNR Vitaly Khotsenko, who was appointed to the position on June 8, announced that his government will synchronize DNR legislation with Russian legislation and Head of the DNR Denis Pushilin announced the DNR has partnered financially with Russia's state-owned Promsvyazbank.[24] Russian authorities likely established a civil-military administration in occupied parts of Kharkiv Oblast, which is analogous to the current Russian-backed military administrations in Zaporizhia and Kherson Oblasts.[25] Such efforts to consolidate governmental control of occupied areas through the direct installation of Russian leadership is a major indicator that the Kremlin is attempting to unify efforts to annex occupied regions directly into the Russian Federation.
[15] ttps://t.me/swodki/112921
[22] https://meduza dot io/feature/2022/06/09/kak-utverzhdayut-istochniki-meduzy-kreml-hochet-ob-edinit-okkupirovannye-territorii-ukrainy-v-novyy-federalnyy-okrug-v-sostave-rf



2. Russian gas deliveries to Europe via main routes remain steady




Russian gas deliveries to Europe via main routes remain steady
Reuters · by Reuters
June 10 (Reuters) - Russian gas delivery to Europe via the Nord Stream 1 pipeline across the Baltic Sea and through Ukraine remained stable on Friday morning, while eastbound flows rose along the Yamal-Europe pipeline to Poland from Germany, operator data showed.
Flows to Germany through the Nord Stream 1 were at 62,085,568 kWh/h on Friday morning, similar to levels above 61,000,000 kWh/h seen over most of Thursday.
Nominations for flows into Slovakia from Ukraine via the Velke Kapusany border point stood at 37 million cubic metres (mcm) per day, little changed from Thursday, data from the Ukrainian transmission system operator showed.
Russian producer Gazprom (GAZP.MM) said its supply to Europe through Ukraine via the Sudzha entry point was seen holding steady at 41.9 mcm, unchanged from the previous day.
Eastbound gas flows through Yamal-Europe pipeline to Poland from Germany rose in line with nominations.
Physical exit flows at the Mallnow metering point on the German border were at 3,473,701 kilowatt hours per hour (kWh/h) on Friday, up from levels over 2,820,000 kWh/h for most of Thursday, Gascade data showed.
Reporting by Susanna Twidale; editing by Jason Neely
Reuters · by Reuters



3. Ukraine fears a long war might cause West to lose interest

Ukraine, the US, and NATO must plan for this. It will happen. A​s General Mattis said, “The U.S. doesn't lose wars, it loses interest.” Ukraine will have to fight on even when Americans lose interest and American leadership will need to continue to support Ukraine because a Russian victory in Ukraine will have national security implications for the US and NATO. But again the bottomline is that policy makers and strategists must plan for when America loses interest.


Ukraine fears a long war might cause West to lose interest
AP · by COLLEEN BARRY and YURAS KARMANAU · June 10, 2022
KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — As Russia’s invasion of Ukraine grinds into its fourth month, officials in Kyiv have expressed fears that the specter of “war fatigue” could erode the West’s resolve to help the country push back Moscow’s aggression.
The U.S. and its allies have given billions of dollars in weaponry to Ukraine. Europe has taken in millions of people displaced by the war. And there has been unprecedent unity in post-World War II Europe in imposing sanctions on President Vladimir Putin and his country.
But as the shock of the Feb. 24 invasion subsides, analysts say the Kremlin could exploit a dragged-out, entrenched conflict and possible waning interest among Western powers that might lead to pressuring Ukraine into a settlement.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy already has chafed at Western suggestions he should accept some sort of compromise. Ukraine, he said, would decide its own terms for peace.
ADVERTISEMENT
“The fatigue is growing, people want some kind of outcome (that is beneficial) for themselves, and we want (another) outcome for ourselves,” he said.
An Italian peace proposal was dismissed, and French President Emmanuel Macron was met with an angry backlash after he was quoted as saying that although Putin’s invasion was a “historic error,” world powers shouldn’t “humiliate Russia, so when the fighting stops, we can build a way out together via diplomatic paths.” Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said such talk “can only humiliate France and every other country that would call for it.”
Even a remark by former U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger that Ukraine should consider territorial concessions drew a retort from Zelenskyy that it was tantamount to European powers in 1938 letting Nazi Germany claim parts of Czechoslovakia to curb Adolf Hitler’s aggression.
Kyiv wants to push Russia out of the newly captured areas in eastern and southern Ukraine, as well as retaking Crimea, which Moscow annexed in 2014, and parts of the Donbas under control of Kremlin-backed separatists for the past eight years.
Every month of the war is costing Ukraine $5 billion, said Volodymyr Fesenko, political analyst with the Penta Center think tank, and that “makes Kyiv dependent on the consolidated position of the Western countries.”
Ukraine will need even more advanced weaponry to secure victory, along with Western determination to keep up the economic pain on Russia to weaken Moscow.
“It is obvious that Russia is determined to wear down the West and is now building its strategy on the assumption that Western countries will get tired and gradually begin to change their militant rhetoric to a more accommodating one,” Fesenko said in an interview with The Associated Press.
The war still gets prominent coverage in both the United States and Europe, which have been horrified by images of the deaths of Ukrainian civilians in the biggest fighting on the continent since World War II.
The U.S. continues to help Ukraine, with President Joe Biden saying last week that Washington will provide it with advanced rocket systems and munitions that will enable it to more precisely strike key targets on the battlefield.
ADVERTISEMENT
In a New York Times essay on May 31, Biden said, “I will not pressure the Ukrainian government — in private or public — to make any territorial concessions.”
Germany, which had faced criticism from Kyiv and elsewhere for perceived hesitancy, has pledged its most modern air defense systems yet.
“There has been nothing like it, even in the Cold War when the Soviet Union appeared most threatening,” said Nigel Gould-Davies, senior fellow for Russia and Eurasia at the International Institute for Strategic Studies.
While he doesn’t see a significant erosion in the “emphatic support for Ukraine,” Gould-Davies said “there are hints of different tensions over what the West’s goals should be. Those have not yet been clearly defined.”
Europe’s domestic concerns are nudging their way into the discourse, especially as energy prices and raw materials shortages start to take an economic toll on ordinary people who are facing higher electricity bills, fuel costs and grocery prices.
While European leaders hailed the decision to block 90% of Russian oil exports by the end of the year as “a complete success,” it took four weeks of negotiations and included a concession allowing Hungary, widely seen as the Kremlin’s closest EU ally, to continue imports. Weeks more of political fine-tuning are required.
ADVERTISEMENT
“It shows that unity in Europe is declining a bit on the Russian invasion,” said Matteo Villa, an analyst with the ISPI think tank in Milan. “There is this kind of fatigue setting in among member states on finding new ways to sanction Russia, and clearly within the European Union, there are some countries that are less and less willing to go on with sanctions.’’
Wary of the economic impact of further energy sanctions, the European Commission has signaled it won’t rush to propose fresh restrictive measures targeting Russian gas. EU lawmakers are also appealing for financial aid for citizens hit by heating and fuel price hikes to ensure that public support for Ukraine doesn’t wane.
Italy’s right-wing leader Matteo Salvini, who has been seen as close to Moscow, told foreign journalists this week that Italians are ready to make sacrifices, and that his League supports the sanctions against Russia.
But he indicated that backing is not unlimited, amid signs the trade balance under sanctions has shifted in Moscow’s favor, hurting small business owners in northern Italy who are part of his base.
ADVERTISEMENT
“Italians are very available to make personal economic sacrifices to support Ukraine’s defense and arrive at a cease-fire,” Salvini said.
“What I would not like is to find us back here in September, after three months with the conflict still ongoing. If that is the case, it will be a disaster for Italy. Beyond the deaths, and saving lives, which is the priority, economically, for Italy, if the war goes on, it will be a disaster,” he said.
____
Barry reported from Milan. Angela Charlton in Paris, Lorne Cook in Brussels, Justin Spike in Budapest, Hungary, and Aya Batrawy in Dubai contributed.
___
Follow AP’s coverage of the Ukraine war at https://apnews.com/hub/russia-ukraine
AP · by COLLEEN BARRY and YURAS KARMANAU · June 10, 2022



4. Uvalde school police chief defends Texas shooting response
 
Can you defend the indefensible? I did not take my radios because I wanted to keep my hands free to be able to shoot the gunman. So I used my cell phone instead to communicate. 


Uvalde school police chief defends Texas shooting response
AP · June 9, 2022
AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — The Texas school police chief criticized for his actions during one of the deadliest classroom shootings in U.S. history said in his first extensive comments, published Thursday, that he did not consider himself the person in charge as the massacre unfolded and assumed someone else had taken control of the law enforcement response.
Pete Arredondo, the police chief of the Uvalde school district, also told the Texas Tribune that he intentionally left behind both his police and campus radios before entering Robb Elementary School. An 18-year-old gunman killed 19 children and two teachers behind a locked classroom door that the chief said was reinforced with a steel jamb and could not be kicked in.
Poor radio communications is among the concerns raised about how police handled the May 24 shooting and why they didn’t confront the gunman for more than an hour, even as anguished parents outside the school urged officers to go in.
ADVERTISEMENT
Separately, The New York Times reported Thursday that documents show police waited for protective equipment as they delayed entering the campus, even as they became aware that some victims needed medical treatment.
Arredondo told the Tribune that from the hallway of the school he used his cell phone to call for tactical gear, a sniper and keys to get inside the classroom. He said he held back from the door for 40 minutes to avoid provoking gunfire and tried dozens of keys brought to him, but that, one-by-one, they failed to work.
“Each time I tried a key I was just praying,” he told the Tribune.
In the more than two weeks since the shooting, Arredondo’s actions have come under intensifying scrutiny from both state officials and experts trained in mass shooting responses. Steven McCraw, the head of the Texas Department of Public Safety, has said the school police chief, who he described as the incident commander, made the “wrong decision” to not order officers to breach the classroom more quickly to confront the gunman.
But Arredondo, who told the Tribune he believed that carrying radios would slow him down as he entered the school and that he knew that radios did not work in some school buildings, said he never considered himself the scene’s incident commander and did not give any instruction that police should not attempt to breach the building.
“I didn’t issue any orders,” Arredondo said. “I called for assistance and asked for an extraction tool to open the door.”
Arredondo has not responded to repeated interview requests and questions from The Associated Press.
Arredondo’s account and records obtained by the Times were published Thursday as law enforcement and state officials have struggled to present an accurate timeline and details. They have also made frequent corrections to previous statements, and no information about the police response has been formally released by investigators since the days that followed the attack.
According to documents obtained by the Times, a man who investigators believe to be Arredondo could be heard on body camera footage talking about how much time was passing.
ADVERTISEMENT
“People are going to ask why we’re taking so long,” said the man, according to a transcript of officers’ body camera footage obtained by the newspaper. “We’re trying to preserve the rest of the life.”
Sixty officers had assembled on the scene by the time four officers made entry, according to the report. The two classrooms where the shooting took place included 33 children and three teachers.
Not all the victims were found dead when officers finally went inside: one teacher died in an ambulance and three children died at nearby hospitals, according to the records obtained by the Times, which included a review of law enforcement documents and video that have been gathered as part of the investigation.
The family of Xavier Lopez, 10, said the boy had been shot in the back and lost a lot of blood as he waited for medical attention.
“He could have been saved,” Leonard Sandoval, the boy’s grandfather, told the newspaper. “The police did not go in for more than an hour. He bled out.”
The records obtained by the Times offered other new details, including that the gunman, Salvador Ramos, had a “hellfire” trigger device meant to allow a semiautomatic AR-15-style rifle to be fired more like an automatic weapon, but did not appear to have used it during the attack. Ramos had spent more than $6,000 amassing an arsenal of weapons that included two AR-15-style rifles, accessories and hundreds of rounds of ammunition, according to the documents.
ADVERTISEMENT
The Times reported that some of the officers who first arrived at the school had long guns, and that Arredondo learned the gunman’s identity while inside the school and attempted to communicate with him through the closed classroom doors.
Eva Mireles, one of the teachers who was killed, made a phone call to her husband, a Uvalde school district police officer, during the attack. The documents obtained by the Times show that Ruben Ruiz informed responders on the scene that his wife was still alive in one of the classrooms.
“She says she is shot,” Ruiz could be heard telling other officers as he arrived inside the school at 11:48 a.m., according to the body camera transcript obtained by the Times.
By 12:46 p.m., Arredondo seemed to give his approval for officers to enter the room, the Times reported.
“If y’all are ready to do it, you do it,” he said, according to the transcript.
About a week after the shooting, department of public safety officials said Arredondo was no longer cooperating with the agency and had not responded to interview requests from the Texas Rangers, the agency’s investigative unit.
ADVERTISEMENT
Arredondo’s attorney, George E. Hyde, told the Tribune for Thursday’s story that Arredondo could not do an interview on the day the Rangers asked because he was covering shifts for his officers. Hyde said Arredondo is willing to cooperate with the Rangers investigation but would like to see a transcript of his previous comments.
“That’s a fair thing to ask for before he has to then discuss it again because, as time goes by, all the information that he hears, it’s hard to keep straight,” Hyde said.
___
More on the school shooting in Uvalde, Texas: https://apnews.com/hub/uvalde-school-shooting
AP · June 9, 2022


5. Smartphones Blur the Line Between Civilian and Combatant

It is a brave new world. People have a right to resist and protect their country. They have a right to resist an illegitimate occupier of their country.

Study resistance here: https://www.soc.mil/ARIS/ARIS.html

For reference consider "Legal Implications of the Status of Persons in Resistance:"  https://www.soc.mil/ARIS/books/pdf/ARIS_Legal_Status-BOOK.pdf

Smartphones Blur the Line Between Civilian and Combatant
In Ukraine, civilians are valiantly assisting the army via apps—and challenging a tenet of international law in the process.
Wired · by Condé Nast · June 6, 2022
As Russia continues its unprovoked armed aggression, reports from Ukraine note that the smartphones in civilians’ pockets may be “weapons powerful in their own way as rockets and artillery.” Indeed, technologists in the country have quickly created remarkable apps to keep citizens safe and assist the war effort—everything from an air-raid alert app to the rapid repurposing of the government’s Diia app. The latter was once used by more than 18 million Ukrainians for things like digital IDs, but it now allows users to report the movements of invading soldiers through the “e-Enemy” feature. “Anyone can help our army locate Russian troops. Use our chat bot to inform the Armed Forces,” the Ministry of Digital Transformation said of the new capability when it rolled out.
Naturally, the Ukrainian people want to defend their country and aid their army in whatever ways they can. But certain uses of digital technology pose fundamental challenges to the traditional distinction between civilians and combatants in modern times.
Technically speaking, as soon as a user in a war zone picks up a smartphone to assist the army, both the technology and the individual could be considered sensors, or nodes, in the practice known as ISR—intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance. Inviting citizens to become a potential element in a military system, as the e-Enemy feature does, might blur the lines between civilian and combatant activity.
The principle of distinction between the two roles is a critical cornerstone of international humanitarian law—the law of armed conflict, codified by decades of customs and laws such as the Geneva Conventions. Those considered civilians and civilian targets are not to be attacked by military forces; as they are not combatants, they should be spared. At the same time, they also should not act as combatants—if they do, they may lose this status.
The conundrum, then, is how to classify a civilian who, with the use of their smartphone, potentially becomes an active participant in a military sensor system. (To be clear, solely having the app installed is not sufficient to lose the protected status. What matters is actual usage.) The Additional Protocol I to Geneva Conventions states that civilians enjoy protection from the “dangers arising from military operations unless and for such time as they take a direct part in hostilities.” Legally, if civilians engage in military activity, such as taking part in hostilities by using weapons, they forfeit their protected status, “for such time as they take a direct part in hostilities” that “affect[s] the military operations,” according to the International Committee of the Red Cross, the traditional impartial custodian of International Humanitarian Law. This is the case even if the people in question are not formally members of the armed forces. By losing the status of a civilian, one may become a legitimate military objective, carrying the risk of being directly attacked by military forces.
The most obvious way to resolve this confusion might be to accept that a user-civilian temporarily loses their protected civilian status, at least while using such an app. In some cases, this may be a minutes-long “status-switch,” as fast as picking up the smartphone from one's pocket, taking a photo, or typing a short message. It is not direct, sustained participation in the conflict but rather a sporadic one. The problem with this interpretation, however, is that it is not established, and not all sides will necessarily agree on it. The situation becomes even more complex if someone uses the app regularly. How would “regularly” even be measured? And how exactly would the parties to the conflict distinguish citizens accordingly? The power of certain smartphone uses to turn a civilian into a form of a “combatant” one minute, and back into a civilian the next, introduces unprecedented complications to the long-held laws of war.
This may seem negligible, as it is clear that Russian forces have already targeted civilians in many places in blatant violation of international humanitarian laws and human rights. But users voluntarily forfeiting civilian status via the use of a smartphone app could potentially make matters even more complicated, especially if and when a person in question is captured. Ordinary lawful combatants in captivity are considered prisoners of war—they cannot be lawfully prosecuted for war activity and should be guaranteed hygienic conditions, access to medicine, and food during captivity. But this might not be granted for “irregular” or “unlawful” combatants, who could also be put on trial. The principle of distinction means that people who engage in war activity also must distinguish themselves from civilians, for example by wearing a visible mark or a uniform. But even combatants who engage in espionage are not guaranteed to be protected as prisoners of war. What may happen to civilians who switch their status without indication is difficult to imagine.
This murkiness makes it essential that Ukraine be transparent with users about the actual and potential consequences of engaging with the app. Further, this issue begs for urgent assessment by scholars, policymakers, and military analysts. At a minimum, users should be made aware of the possibilities, including the potential loss of protected legal standing. Lines must be delineated—and quickly, not in 20 years, after the useless rounds of negotiations that have become something of a habit.
Already, there have been reports of Russian forces seeking smartphone devices, and even killing civilians spotted with phones. This is blatantly unlawful, but we must not conclude that this means there are no rules in times of international conflict. The rules that do exist should be upheld; and during an actual war, it may be unwise to contribute to the legitimization of the view that international laws governing wartime behavior are irrelevant. This could potentially lead to the future brutalization of the war on an even greater scale. Though it is of course understandable for Ukraine and its people to do everything in their power to defend their country, it may also be in the nation’s own best interest for it to stick to the widely accepted standards.
While it is clear that Ukraine faces an existential threat, and it must be expected to do everything possible with the resources it has at hand, its activities now could influence future models of conduct, and after some time, these could become global norms. The precedents set now may have consequences for future armed conflicts. That’s why it’s critical that this issue is recognized and seriously understood, assessed, and addressed. These novel uses of technology could signal the need to adapt the rules, or even to create a place for establishing new ones.
In the meantime, Ukrainians should be wary of having potentially risky material on their phones, for example, photos depicting military matériel. At the same time, however, they would be wise to maintain their smartphone contents as believably “real.” Upon inspection, war-related material may become dangerous and could compromise their status as noncombatants. While it is unlawful and illegal to harm civilians not taking an active part in an armed conflict, people in war zones should always err on the side of caution.
Personal technology’s role in conflict is challenging the notion of laws of war. Until countries or international bodies provide clarity on this issue, users should remain cautious. In the meantime, the Geneva Conventions mandate that if it’s unclear what a person’s status is, they should be treated as a civilian. Let’s hope all sides will respect that.
Wired · by Condé Nast · June 6, 2022


6. Henry Kissinger’s Long History of Appeasing Dictatorships

A strong critique to say the least.


Henry Kissinger’s Long History of Appeasing Dictatorships
He’s spent decades cultivating a friendship with Putin, but he’s also advocated for Iran and China.
thedispatch.com · by Ivana Stradner
(Photograph by Adam Berry/Getty Images.)
Speaking at the Davos, former U.S. Secretary of State and National Security Adviser Henry Kissinger counseled Ukraine to cede Russia territory in order to end the war. “Ideally, the dividing line should be a return to the status quo ante,” he said last month. “Pursuing the war beyond that point would not be about the freedom of Ukraine, but a new war against Russia itself.” Make no mistake: Kissinger is wrong. Rather than bring peace, his advice would spark future conflict by teaching Russia that aggression brings rewards. Kissinger’s remarks did not come from nowhere, however. He has spent more than two decades excusing Moscow’s abuse of its neighbors while forging a personal friendship with Vladimir Putin.
Kissinger has long been the prince of so-called “realism.” For decades before his secret 1971 visit, Communist China was an international pariah. Kissinger brokered rapprochement, however, to make common cause against the Soviet Union. He later argued China was simply the lesser of two evils. “The difference between [China] and the Russians is,” he quipped, “if you drop some loose change, when you go to pick it up, the Russians will step on your fingers and the Chinese won’t.”
After the Cold War, Kissinger began to advocate a far softer line toward the Russians. More than two decades ago, Kissinger said, “I believed that the Soviet Union should not abandon Eastern Europe so quickly.” Russian President Vladimir Putin seized upon the comment as intellectual sustenance. The two men then met regularly. Kissinger, who called Putin a “great patriot,” hosted the Russian leader at his house in New York for dinner. Putin reciprocated and flattered Kissinger for his knowledge of Russian culture and made him honorary professor of the Diplomatic Academy of Russia.
For Putin, Kissinger became a useful tool given the esteem with which so many in Washington held the former secretary. Before Russia’s invasion of Georgia, Kissinger characterized the Kremlin’s foreign policy under Putin “as driven in a quest for a reliable strategic partner, with America being the preferred choice” and urged America to “show greater sensitivity to Russian complexities.” When Putin invaded the former Soviet Republic in August 2008, Kissinger dismissed it as a “crisis,” not a war, and advised that “isolating Russia is not a sustainable long-range policy.” Kissinger’s trust in Putin appears to have colored President Barack Obama’s embrace of a “reset” with Russia that, in turn, allowed Russia to act with impunity and obscured the threat Putin posed.
In 2014, as Russia began its encroachment on Ukraine, Kissinger advised that “to Russia, Ukraine can never be just a foreign country.” The United States should be more deferential to Putin’s point of view, he warned, and “avoid treating Russia as an aberrant to be patiently taught rules of conduct established by Washington.” In effect, compromise with the Kremlin trumped the post-World War II European order, based on prohibiting armed aggression against sovereign neighbors.
Unfortunately, accommodating aggressive dictatorships is a staple of Kissinger’s wisdom. While he often warns about the dangers of a nuclear Iran, his policy prescriptions often undercut pressure on Tehran. In 2006, less than five years after George W. Bush labeled Iran as part of an “Axis of Evil,” Kissinger turned repeatedly to the Washington Post to urge compromise. Two years later, he suggested Washington could do business with Tehran. Iran’s state-controlled press headlined counsel that the Bush administration “should be prepared to negotiate about Iran.” Here, too, his soft spot for Russia undercut his analysis. He repeatedly argued, for example, that Russia would be America’s ally against Iran’s nuclearization. In reality, the Kremlin has been among its greatest facilitators.
If Kissinger undermined pressure against Iran’s leaders, his lackadaisical attitude toward China’s rise has been even more bizarre. A half-century ago, he ingratiated himself to Chinese Premier Zhou Enlai by badmouthing Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, leader of the world’s most populous democracy. To this day, Indians resent how he threw them under the bus less than a decade after China’s land grabs in Kashmir and Ladakh. Zhou, meanwhile, cultivated friends to be unwitting intelligence assets and agents of influence. As the Spectator observed in its exposé of Kissinger’s subsequent relationship with China, “The best agents … are the ones who don’t know they are agents.”
Kissinger’s friendship with China was multifaceted and profitable. Five years after leaving Foggy Bottom, Kissinger formed Kissinger Associates in part to facilitate the entrance of American business into China. He gathered top diplomats and national security officials and used his and their collective influence among the foreign policy and business elite—especially those who aspired a share of the China gold rush—to launder the Communist regime’s image. This was crucial in the aftermath of the 1989 Tiananmen Square pro-democracy uprising that China crushed. For a short time, there was bipartisan recognition of the threat an authoritarian China prosed. Behind the scenes, though, Kissinger urged George H.W. Bush to mute his response, avoid sanctions, and cease efforts to isolate China. Soon, American investment resumed.
Kissinger is not the first statesman to make moral compromises after leaving office. Former German Chancellor Gerhard Schröder famously joined Gazprom, the Russian energy firm, after leaving office, not only cashing in on his former office but also using his stature to downplay concerns about the Kremlin’s intentions. Kissinger might have served honorably, but it is time that Americans who prioritize democracy and liberalism ask whether Kissinger has effectively become the American Schröder.
Ivana Stradner is an adviser at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies. Michael Rubin is a senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute.
thedispatch.com · by Ivana Stradner


7. Chinese Pilots Sent a Message. American Allies Said They Went Too Far.


Excerpts:
The provocations in the Asia Pacific, and the rhetoric surrounding them, add to the growing tensions as China faces off against the United States and its allies.
In recent years, China has been increasingly assertive in the region, from building military infrastructure in the disputed South China Sea to sending ships and aircraft near islands claimed by both Japan and China. Last month, Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken called China the biggest challenger to the international order and said the United States would work with allies to curb its aggressive actions.
...
Canada said its CP-140 Aurora patrol craft had several troubling encounters with Chinese jets in international airspace while supporting the enforcement of United Nations sanctions imposed on North Korea. The Canadian crew was based in Kadena, Japan, during the monthlong mission, which ended on May 26.
Such work typically involves long, monotonous flights to monitor illicit trade, like clandestine fuel transfers at sea to circumvent U.N. restrictions on selling oil to North Korea.
China, as a member of the United Nations Security Council, supported the sanctions that the Canadians were helping to enforce, Professor Blaxland noted. He called China’s harassment of the surveillance flights “the application of a finely tuned set of double standards to threaten, cajole and punish Canada for complying with directives that it signed up to.”
The Chinese defense ministry accused Canada of using the U.N. mandate as an opportunity to monitor China, the North’s neighbor. Canada “stepped up close-up reconnaissance and provocations against China under the pretext of implementing the United Nations Security Council resolutions,” said Senior Col. Wu Qian, a ministry spokesman.
Chinese Pilots Sent a Message. American Allies Said They Went Too Far.
The New York Times · by Austin Ramzy · June 9, 2022
Australia and Canada said Chinese jets harassed their military planes, though Beijing says it was defending its security. A mishap over Pacific waters could have ominous repercussions.
Send any friend a story
As a subscriber, you have 10 gift articles to give each month. Anyone can read what you share.

A Chinese J-16 fighter jet, in an undated photo released by Taiwan’s defense ministry. Australia said a J-16 harassed one of its surveillance planes over the South China Sea last month.Credit...Taiwan Ministry of Defense, via Associated Press

By
June 9, 2022
HONG KONG — Chinese jets repeatedly buzzed a Canadian plane monitoring North Korea, sometimes coming so close that the pilots could see each other. Hundreds of miles to the south, a Chinese fighter plane sprayed metallic chaff in the path of an Australian surveillance craft, a maneuver that Australia called “very dangerous.”
To Chinese officials, these were reasonable responses to foreign military patrols that threatened China’s security. To the American allies, the Chinese pilots’ actions in recent weeks were worrying escalations, risking a midair collision or crash.
Such a mishap could trigger a broader conflict. “There are split-second differences between this being a passing headline and this being a major incident with enduring international ramifications,” said John Blaxland, a professor of security and intelligence studies at the Australian National University in Canberra.
The provocations in the Asia Pacific, and the rhetoric surrounding them, add to the growing tensions as China faces off against the United States and its allies.
In recent years, China has been increasingly assertive in the region, from building military infrastructure in the disputed South China Sea to sending ships and aircraft near islands claimed by both Japan and China. Last month, Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken called China the biggest challenger to the international order and said the United States would work with allies to curb its aggressive actions.
Beijing has denounced such efforts as attempts to thwart China’s rightful rise, saying it wouldn’t be constrained by American bullying. Last month, as President Biden visited the region, China and Russia sent bombers over the seas of northeast Asia in their first coordinated exercise since Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine. Chinese military aircraft regularly hold drills near Taiwan, the self-governing democracy that Beijing claims as its own.
The Russian attack on Ukraine has heightened concerns that China could similarly try to take Taiwan, potentially drawing the United States into a direct conflict over the island, which Mr. Biden last month promised to defend.
An image from a video released last month by Russia’s defense ministry, said to show a Russian Tu-95 bomber taking part in a joint exercise with China.Credit...Russian Defence Ministry, via Reuters
But the recent aerial encounters are a reminder of a more immediate potential flash point: a pilot’s misjudgment of a close encounter, which could trigger a deadly crash and an international incident.
It has happened before, as when a Chinese fighter jet collided with a U.S. Navy surveillance plane over the South China Sea in 2001. The Chinese pilot was killed, and the American EP-3E Aries II was forced to make an emergency landing on Hainan Island.
China held the American crew for 11 days. It allowed their release only after extensive negotiations and the release of a letter saying the United States was “very sorry” for the pilot’s death.
The incident has become a rallying point in China. The pilot, Wang Wei, was posthumously given the title “Guardian of Territorial Airspace and Waters,” and the date of his death, April 1, is still commemorated in extensive official propaganda.
Last year, the Communist Party tabloid Global Times interviewed an employee of the cemetery where Mr. Wang is buried, who said his grave was often covered with flowers and model aircraft left by mourners. She described reading the letter of one visitor who said he had joined China’s navy because of Mr. Wang.
“He wants to protect the country like Wang Wei,” said the worker, Shen Lu. “I think it is because the spirit of our heroes has been influencing our next generation.”
But such commemorations mean that a confrontational model of flying is held up for new Chinese pilots to emulate, said Collin Koh, a research fellow at the Institute of Defense and Strategic Studies in Singapore.
“These incidents amply showed there has been no attempt to try to rein in the pilots,” he said, referring to the recent aerial encounters. “I think they encourage it, and one way is through Wang Wei.”
Wang Wei, the pilot who died in a 2001 collision with a United States Navy plane, has been lionized in Chinese propaganda.
In confronting aircraft from Australia and Canada, China is challenging two close American allies. Each has its own difficult relationship with Beijing, and both are among the countries that the White House hopes will join a coordinated effort to constrain China.
Beijing appears intent on challenging those ties, pressing Washington’s allies to consider how closely they intend to follow its lead.
“Australia’s military planes have traveled thousands of miles to China’s door to conduct close reconnaissance in coordination with the United States’ Asia-Pacific strategy to threaten and deter China,” Song Zhongping, a Chinese commentator on current affairs, said in an interview.
“Australia must realize that it is not the U.S. military, and it cannot afford the cost of a military conflict with China or a mishap,” he added. “Australia must deeply realize that on this issue it is only a chess piece of the United States, a pawn.”
Russia-Ukraine War: Key Developments
Card 1 of 4
The battle for Sievierodonetsk. As vicious street-by-street combat continues in the eastern city, President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine has described the battle for its control as a crucial moment in the war. Last week, Ukrainian forces appeared to withdraw from Sievierodonetsk, only to later mount a counterattack.
Prisoners of war. Russian investigators said they had opened more than 1,100 cases into “crimes against peace” committed by the Ukrainian government, paving the way for what could turn into a mass show trial of hundreds of Ukrainian service members. Two Britons and a Moroccan who had fought for the Ukrainian armed forces, meanwhile, were sentenced to death by a court in Russia-occupied eastern Ukraine after being accused of being mercenaries.
Power consolidation. As Russia continues to pound towns and villages across eastern Ukraine, the Kremlin is trying to deepen its hold on occupied territory in the south, restoring rail links and other key infrastructure to secure a “land bridge” from Russia to the Crimean Peninsula.
E.U. membership for Ukraine. Ukraine’s prime minister said that the European Parliament recommended that Ukraine be granted candidate status for membership in the European Union. The E.U.’s decision on Ukraine’s candidacy, which is expected in late June, will put to the test the bloc as it tries to figure out ways to bind vulnerable countries like Ukraine, Moldova and Georgia to Europe without creating security risks.
Encounters between rival militaries in international waters and airspace are relatively common, as countries send ships and aircraft on training missions and to monitor other nations’ responses. Close shadowing and radioed warnings are part of the standard response.
But Australian and Canadian officials said the Chinese pilots’ actions last month went well beyond the norm.
The Australian military said one of its P-8 aircraft was carrying out routine maritime surveillance in the South China Sea when a Chinese J-16 fighter intercepted it and carried out a “maneuver which posed a safety threat.”
Richard Marles, Australia’s defense minister, told reporters that the Chinese plane fired flares, then cut in front of the aircraft. It released chaff, which contains metal used to throw off missiles, some of which was caught in the engine.
“Quite obviously, this is very dangerous,” Mr. Marles said.
China said the Australian plane had approached the Paracel Islands and ignored warnings to leave. The Paracels, which China calls the Xisha Islands, are a Chinese-held archipelago in the South China Sea that is also claimed by Vietnam and Taiwan.
“It is the Australia side that confuses black and white, repeatedly disseminates false information and instigates the hostility and confrontation,” said Senior Col. Tan Kefei, a spokesman for the Chinese defense ministry.
Canada said its CP-140 Aurora patrol craft had several troubling encounters with Chinese jets in international airspace while supporting the enforcement of United Nations sanctions imposed on North Korea. The Canadian crew was based in Kadena, Japan, during the monthlong mission, which ended on May 26.
The Canadian Navy frigate Winnipeg, accompanied by military aircraft, during a 2020 military exercise in the Asia Pacific.Credit...Royal Canadian Navy, via Via Reuters
Such work typically involves long, monotonous flights to monitor illicit trade, like clandestine fuel transfers at sea to circumvent U.N. restrictions on selling oil to North Korea.
China, as a member of the United Nations Security Council, supported the sanctions that the Canadians were helping to enforce, Professor Blaxland noted. He called China’s harassment of the surveillance flights “the application of a finely tuned set of double standards to threaten, cajole and punish Canada for complying with directives that it signed up to.”
The Chinese defense ministry accused Canada of using the U.N. mandate as an opportunity to monitor China, the North’s neighbor. Canada “stepped up close-up reconnaissance and provocations against China under the pretext of implementing the United Nations Security Council resolutions,” said Senior Col. Wu Qian, a ministry spokesman.
Joy Dong contributed reporting.
The New York Times · by Austin Ramzy · June 9, 2022


8. The Proposed 2023 Defense Budget Doesn’t Meet U.S. Security Goals


Excerpts:

With a growing defense strategy-resource mismatch, along with little current administration or Congressional support to resolve that mismatch by increasing the defense budget share, the time is past due for an open and honest roles and missions review of the armed forces. The last serious attempt was conducted in 1994-95. Such a review could be used to evaluate our current and projected defense capabilities in terms of the practical effects they contribute to meeting the needs of our strategy. It could then recommend shifts inside of the DOD to optimize defense capabilities given that current defense budget allocations are disconnected from the defense strategy.

Not all defense programs offer equal combat value. Too often a service is forced to reduce a highly effective existing capability in order to free up funding to achieve a needed future capability in that service, only to see less effective programs with similar missions survive in another service. Considering the dangers posed by growing threats the DOD can no longer afford to continue disjointed investment prioritization and force management. The best way to ensure defense strategy priorities are optimally addressed is to look beyond budget allocation from a service-centric perspective and instead consider how the American defense posture as a whole can best achieve desired national defense strategy objectives using a cost-per-effect perspective.

The DOD must seek to make far more informed decisions that will result in our warfighters having access to optimal capabilities, regardless of the service from which they might originate. Growing threats and insufficient defense resources to accomplish current assigned missions will require new budget apportioning aligned to meet those mission demands in the most effective and efficient way fashion possible.

The Proposed 2023 Defense Budget Doesn’t Meet U.S. Security Goals
Forbes · by Dave Deptula · June 10, 2022
Cover from FY23 DOD budget request
DOD
Will the president’s proposed 2023 federal budget allow the Department of Defense to satisfy the demands of the National Defense Strategy? The short answer is no—it is too small to pay for the necessary capabilities and capacity to deter and if necessary, defeat, challenges from major-power rivals China and Russia, as well as deal with those posed by Iran, North Korea, and global terrorism. Since the 2018 congressionally appointed bipartisan National Defense Strategy Commission, they and numerous other American defense leaders have repeatedly stated that meeting those goals will require between 3-5 percent real growth per year throughout much of the 2020s. The president’s proposed 2023 budget does not meet that target. In fact, when inflation is considered, proposed 2023 defense funding is down between 3-5 percent real growth compared to last year’s—not up.
The National Defense Strategy Commission explained today’s circumstances well when it concluded: “America is very near the point of strategic insolvency, where its ‘means’ are badly out of alignment with its ‘ends.’” Given the alarming threats posed by China, Russia, North Korea, and Iran, this danger is very real.
We have four plausible alternatives for resolving this discrepancy: one, significantly increase the defense budget (not likely); two, lower the expectations of the defense strategy (also not likely); three, accept the growing strategy-resource mismatch (potentially disastrous); or four, start evaluating defense capabilities and investing in terms of the desired effects they contribute to meeting the needs of our defense strategy. Options one and two are pragmatically and politically unrealistic. Option three is what we have been doing for the past two decades and is becoming untenable in the face of growing threat military capabilities–particularly those of China. Option four will be difficult, but it is entirely feasible.
Any discussion regarding defense budgets must begin with investment priorities. In the 2023 proposal, the actual DOD budget percentages are allocated among the armed services as follows: Navy 23.3; Army 23.0; DOD Agencies 22.1; Air Force 21.9; Marine Corps 6.5; Space Force 3.2. In DOD budget documents the cited Air Force number is a higher figure because of what is called “pass-through funding”—money that actually goes to other DOD agencies as a budget conveyance tool. In FY23, the pass-through in the Air Force budget amounts to over $40 billion.
To allow transparency for decision makers to better understand the fiscal predicament facing all the services, the pass-through must be removed from the Air Force budget and placed with the other DOD agencies where it belongs. The pass-through leads to inaccurate assumptions that have resulted in the Air Force being chronically underfunded for decades. In fact, the Air Force has been funded last relative to the Army and Navy for 28 years in a row (FY94 through FY21), and that last place position is repeated in the FY23 proposed budget. That neglect has resulted in the smallest, oldest, and least ready Air Force in its entire history. As a reference point, the youngest B-52—the mainstay of the U.S. bomber force—is over 60 years old.
The Air Force has many more mission demands than resources to accomplish them. Without a defense-wide approach to evaluate defense capabilities relative to meeting the needs of our strategy, the Air Force, and to a degree the other services, are obliged to do the only thing that they can do: accept significant risk in the near term by retiring current force structure to free up funds to invest in necessary future force capabilities.
For example, in the current 2023 future years defense plan (FYDP) the Air Force is planning to divest 1,463 aircraft, but only buy 467. The move will decrease its force by 996. That is about a 25 percent force structure reduction to a service that was already evaluated as ‘weak’ in a recent annual military assessment of the U.S. armed forces. The Navy will shed 24 ships over the same period. The Pentagon writ large is reducing personnel on the order of 25,000 just in 2023 alone. The end of the FYDP is 2027. This is the same year analysts anticipate that China will be fully capable of successfully assaulting Taiwan. With the path the President’s FY23 defense budget puts the nation on, will the Pentagon be better off or worse off in offering the President in 2027 options to defend Taiwan, or accomplish any other defense contingency?
With a growing defense strategy-resource mismatch, along with little current administration or Congressional support to resolve that mismatch by increasing the defense budget share, the time is past due for an open and honest roles and missions review of the armed forces. The last serious attempt was conducted in 1994-95. Such a review could be used to evaluate our current and projected defense capabilities in terms of the practical effects they contribute to meeting the needs of our strategy. It could then recommend shifts inside of the DOD to optimize defense capabilities given that current defense budget allocations are disconnected from the defense strategy.
Not all defense programs offer equal combat value. Too often a service is forced to reduce a highly effective existing capability in order to free up funding to achieve a needed future capability in that service, only to see less effective programs with similar missions survive in another service. Considering the dangers posed by growing threats the DOD can no longer afford to continue disjointed investment prioritization and force management. The best way to ensure defense strategy priorities are optimally addressed is to look beyond budget allocation from a service-centric perspective and instead consider how the American defense posture as a whole can best achieve desired national defense strategy objectives using a cost-per-effect perspective.
The DOD must seek to make far more informed decisions that will result in our warfighters having access to optimal capabilities, regardless of the service from which they might originate. Growing threats and insufficient defense resources to accomplish current assigned missions will require new budget apportioning aligned to meet those mission demands in the most effective and efficient way fashion possible.
Forbes · by Dave Deptula · June 10, 2022


9.  3 foreigners who fought for Ukraine sentenced to death



3 foreigners who fought for Ukraine sentenced to death
AP · by BERNAT ARMANGUÉ and YURAS KARMANAU · June 9, 2022
BAKHMUT, Ukraine (AP) — Two British citizens and a Moroccan were sentenced to death Thursday for fighting on Ukraine’s side, in a punishment handed down by the country’s pro-Moscow rebels.
The proceedings against the three captured fighters were denounced by Ukraine and the West as a sham and a violation of the rules of war.
Meanwhile, as the Kremlin’s forces continued a grinding war of attrition in the east, Russian President Vladimir Putin appeared to liken his actions to those of Peter the Great in the 18th century and said the country needs to “take back” historic Russian lands.
A court in the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic in Ukraine found the three fighters guilty of seeking the violent overthrow of power, an offense punishable by death in the unrecognized eastern republic. The men were also convicted of mercenary activities and terrorism.
Russia’s state news agency RIA Novosti reported that the defendants — identified as Aiden Aslin, Shaun Pinner and Brahim Saadoun — will face a firing squad. They have a month to appeal.
ADVERTISEMENT
The separatist side argued that the three were “mercenaries” not entitled to the usual protections accorded prisoners of war. They are the first foreign fighters sentenced by Ukraine’s Russian-backed rebels.
Ukrainian Foreign Ministry spokesman Oleh Nikolenko condemned the proceedings as legally invalid, saying, “Such show trials put the interests of propaganda above the law and morality.” He said that all foreign citizens fighting as part of Ukraine’s armed forces should be considered Ukrainian military personnel and protected as such.
British Foreign Secretary Luz Truss pronounced the sentencing a “sham judgment with absolutely no legitimacy.” Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s spokesman Jamie Davies said that under the Geneva Conventions, POWs are entitled to immunity as combatants.
Saadoun’s father, Taher Saadoun, told the Moroccan online Arab-language newspaper Madar 21 that his son is not a mercenary and that he holds Ukrainian citizenship.
Aslin’s and Pinner’s families have said that the two men were long-serving members of the Ukrainian military. Both are said to have lived in Ukraine since 2018.


The three men fought alongside Ukrainian troops before Pinner and Aslin surrendered to pro-Russian forces in the southern port of Mariupol in mid-April and Saadoun was captured in mid-March in the eastern city of Volnovakha.
Another British fighter taken prisoner by the pro-Russian forces, Andrew Hill, is awaiting trial.
The Russian military has argued that foreign mercenaries fighting on Ukraine’s side are not combatants and should expect long prison terms, at best, if captured.
In other developments, Putin drew parallels between Peter the Great’s founding of St. Petersburg and modern-day Russia’s ambitions.
When the czar founded the new capital, “no European country recognized it as Russia. Everybody recognized it as Sweden,” Putin said. He added: “What was (Peter) doing? Taking back and reinforcing. That’s what he did. And it looks like it fell on us to take back and reinforce as well.”
Putin also appeared to leave the door open for further Russian territorial expansion.
“It’s impossible — Do you understand? — impossible to build a fence around a country like Russia. And we do not intend to build that fence,” the Russian leader said.
ADVERTISEMENT
In other developments, French President Emmanuel Macron told Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy that France was ready to send more “heavy weapons” to Ukraine, according to Macron’s office. French officials did not elaborate on the weaponry. The phone conversation came after Macron angered Ukrainian officials by saying world powers should not “humiliate” Putin.”
Zelenskyy said the Ukrainian army continued to push Russian forces back from Kharkiv, the country’s second-largest city, which lies to the north of the Donbas. The transmission of Ukrainian television was restored after a TV tower was shelled.
“Hitting television centers, destroying communication channels, leaving people isolated – this is the tactic of the occupiers that they cannot do without, for openness and honesty also are weapons against all that the Russian state does,” he said late Thursday in his evening address.
On the battlefield:
— Fierce fighting dragged on in the city of Sievierodonetsk in a battle that could help determine the fate of the Donbas, Ukraine’s industrial heartland in the east. Moscow-backed separatists already held swaths of the Donbas before the invasion, and Russian troops have gained more.
ADVERTISEMENT
— Residents of Kharkiv reported what appeared to be cruise missile strikes. One hit a supermarket. Another hit a coke plant. No details were immediately available.
— Russian troops are trying to resume their offensive to completely capture the Zaporizhzhia region in Ukraine’s southeast, Ukrainian authorities said. Kyiv continues to hold the northern part of the region, including the city of Zaporizhzhia.
— Thirteen civilians were killed in Ukrainian shelling of the separatist-controlled city of Stakhanov in the Donbas, a pro-Russian separatist envoy said on social media. It was not immediately possible to verify the claim.
— Russia claimed it used missiles to strike a base west of the capital in the Zhytomyr region, where, it said, mercenaries were being trained. There was no immediate response from Ukrainian authorities.
___
Karmanau reported from Lviv, Ukraine.
___
Follow AP’s coverage of the Ukraine war at https://apnews.com/hub/russia-ukraine
AP · by BERNAT ARMANGUÉ and YURAS KARMANAU · June 9, 2022



10. The hotheads who could start a cold war


Excerpts:

China faces unwelcome choices, says Li Nan, an expert on North Korea at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences. He reports that North Korean officials yearn for a cold war in Asia, believing that Russia and China would take their side, wrecking the long-standing Chinese policy of seeking balanced relations with North and South Korea, which is an important Chinese trading partner. He says that China is anxious to avoid an ideological division of Asia, which would push South Korea and Japan even closer to America. Indeed, China still supports un sanctions on North Korea, insists Mr Li. In his telling, China sees Korean disarmament as an area for co-operation with America, but is losing hope that North Korea is a priority for Joe Biden, America’s president.
The prospect of North Korea fielding nuclear missiles that can hit far-off continents—a nightmare that brought China and the West together at the un as recently as 2017—is no longer enough to build trust. Meanwhile, the pla tries to use fear to put Western powers in their place and show that China plays by different rules. It is not a cold war yet. But hotheads are courting disaster. 

The hotheads who could start a cold war
China’s deep distrust of America and the West is making it reckless
It is almost too polite to call the deepening rivalry between China and the American-led West a new cold war. The original cold war between America and the Soviet Union was grimly rational: a nuclear-armed confrontation between hostile ideological blocs which both longed to see the other fail. For all their differences, China and Western countries profit vastly if unevenly from exchanges of goods, people and services worth billions of dollars a year. Their respective leaders know that global problems from climate change to pandemics or nuclear proliferation can only be solved if they work together. Yet increasingly, interdependency is not enough to stop one side—often China, but not always—from starting reckless disputes rooted in suspicion of the other.
Listen to this story.
Enjoy more audio and podcasts on iOS or Android.
Listen to this story
Save time by listening to our audio articles as you multitask
A dismaying case in point involves fighter jets of China’s People’s Liberation Army (pla), which have in recent months staged dangerous, high-speed passes to intimidate Western military aircraft in international airspace near China. Chinese pilots have flown so close that diplomats from America, Australia and Canada have lodged formal complaints with officials in Beijing. Western governments recall the crisis caused by a Chinese pilot who died after colliding with an American spy plane over the South China Sea in 2001. Going public, Australia’s defence minister accused a pla jet of cutting in front of one of its maritime-surveillance aircraft in the same area on May 26th, before releasing “chaff”—tiny metal-coated strips meant to confuse radar—that were sucked into one of the Australian plane’s engines. For its part, Canada accuses Chinese fighter jets of endangering one of its maritime-patrol aircraft flying out of Japan. Canadian officials note that their plane was on a month-long mission to detect North Korean smuggling, including ship-to-ship fuel transfers at sea, in support of United Nations sanctions designed to deter North Korea from developing nuclear missiles. These are sanctions that China approved as a permanent member of the Security Council. China’s actions “are putting people at risk while at the same time not respecting decisions by the un”, said Canada’s prime minister, Justin Trudeau.
These mid-air interceptions are worrying evidence of the pla’s appetite for risk. But defences offered by the Chinese government point to a still larger problem. Chinese distrust of America and its allies is so deep that the two camps do not agree about even basic principles. When America and Western powers try to discuss rules to ensure safe encounters in international waters or skies, China’s response is to growl that foreign warships and planes should stay far from its shores. Its foreign ministry, which has promoted spokespeople who thrill nationalists with shows of contempt for the West, questions the legitimacy of surveillance missions, though these are normal for advanced armed forces, as when a Chinese spy ship loitered 50 nautical miles (93km) from an Australian military communications base last month. Zhao Lijian, a pugnacious foreign-ministry spokesman, said that Australia’s aircraft “seriously threatened China’s sovereignty and security”, and called China’s response “professional, safe, reasonable and legal”. The defence ministry accused Canada of using sanctions as a pretext for “provocations against China” and noted that un resolutions on North Korea offer no mandate for anti-smuggling operations.
Take a step back, and the row reveals how China and the West doubt one another’s sincerity when it comes to ridding the Korean peninsula of nuclear weapons. The un’s nuclear watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency, warned on June 6th that the first North Korean nuclear test since 2017 may be imminent, noting activity at a test site. Markus Garlauskas of Georgetown University in Washington was America’s national intelligence officer for North Korea from 2014 to 2020. He calls Chinese “obstructionism” over sanctions enforcement “exactly the wrong message” to send to North Korea at such a moment. Last month China and Russia vetoed an American-drafted un resolution tightening sanctions on North Korea after it tested ballistic missiles. Western diplomats worry that a rare area of agreement with China—a shared concern about a nuclear-armed North Korea— is crumbling.
Such mistrust is mirrored in China, whose diplomats scold America for failing to offer any incentives for North Korea to return to the negotiating table, after failed summit meetings between Kim Jong Un, the North Korean leader, and Donald Trump, the president at the time. Zhao Tong, a Beijing-based disarmament expert with the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, a research institute, reports that a growing number of Chinese scholars suspect that America “doesn’t want to resolve the North Korean nuclear problem”. Such scholars believe that America is using the threat from North Korea to rally South Korea and Japan behind its true goal, namely containing China, says Mr Zhao.
Close encounters of the reckless kind
China faces unwelcome choices, says Li Nan, an expert on North Korea at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences. He reports that North Korean officials yearn for a cold war in Asia, believing that Russia and China would take their side, wrecking the long-standing Chinese policy of seeking balanced relations with North and South Korea, which is an important Chinese trading partner. He says that China is anxious to avoid an ideological division of Asia, which would push South Korea and Japan even closer to America. Indeed, China still supports un sanctions on North Korea, insists Mr Li. In his telling, China sees Korean disarmament as an area for co-operation with America, but is losing hope that North Korea is a priority for Joe Biden, America’s president.
The prospect of North Korea fielding nuclear missiles that can hit far-off continents—a nightmare that brought China and the West together at the un as recently as 2017—is no longer enough to build trust. Meanwhile, the pla tries to use fear to put Western powers in their place and show that China plays by different rules. It is not a cold war yet. But hotheads are courting disaster. ■
Read more from Chaguan, our columnist on China:


11. Putin undermined his own rationale for invading Ukraine, admitting that the war is to expand Russian territory

Sweden beware.

Excerpts:
Speaking to students Thursday after visiting an exhibition about Peter the Great, Russia's first emperor credited with making the country a major power in the early 18th century, Putin compared himself to the ruler and said they were both destined to expand Russia.
"Clearly, it fell to our lot to return and reinforce [Russia] as well. And if we operate on the premise that these basic values constitute the basis of our existence, we will certainly succeed in achieving our goals," he said.
As well as seizing territory in a 21-year war with Sweden in the late 17th century, Peter also captured the territory of Azov from Crimean Tatars, who were aligned with Turkey, in 1696, and seized territory on the Caspian Sea from Persia in 1723.
"On the face of it, he was at war with Sweden taking something away from it," Putin said of Peter. "He was returning and reinforcing, that is what he was doing."


Putin undermined his own rationale for invading Ukraine, admitting that the war is to expand Russian territory
Business Insider · by Bill Bostock
Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow.
MIKHAIL METZEL/SPUTNIK/AFP via Getty Images
  • Putin said on Thursday that the Ukraine invasion is about expanding Russian territory.
  • Until now Putin had insisted that Russia was freeing Ukraine from so-called Nazis and preventing genocide.
  • Putin said it was his destiny to "return and reinforce" Russia as the 17th-century ruler Peter the Great did.
Russian President Vladimir Putin said publicly for the first time Thursday that his invasion of Ukraine is about expanding Russian territory, as Western leaders have long maintained.
To date, Putin has justified the invasion by saying, baselessly, that he is preventing Ukraine and what he described as a neo-Nazi government from committing genocide against ethnic Russians. He has also said that NATO's eastward expansion threatens Russia's national security.
Speaking to students Thursday after visiting an exhibition about Peter the Great, Russia's first emperor credited with making the country a major power in the early 18th century, Putin compared himself to the ruler and said they were both destined to expand Russia.
"Clearly, it fell to our lot to return and reinforce [Russia] as well. And if we operate on the premise that these basic values constitute the basis of our existence, we will certainly succeed in achieving our goals," he said.
As well as seizing territory in a 21-year war with Sweden in the late 17th century, Peter also captured the territory of Azov from Crimean Tatars, who were aligned with Turkey, in 1696, and seized territory on the Caspian Sea from Persia in 1723.
"On the face of it, he was at war with Sweden taking something away from it," Putin said of Peter. "He was returning and reinforcing, that is what he was doing."
In a tweet Friday, Mykhailo Podolyak, an advisor to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, said Putin's comments prove his "contrived pretexts of people's genocide" in Ukraine were false and demanded "immediate de-imperialization" of Russia.
Putin's attempts to expand Russian territory started long before his invasion of Ukraine on February 24.
Putin invaded Georgia in 2008 and is currently backing pro-Kremlin factions there. In 2014, it annexed the Crimean Peninsula from Ukraine and invaded the Donbas region of eastern Ukraine via proxies that same year.
Just two days before invading Ukraine, Putin said claims he wanted to restore the Russian empire were false.
However, Western leaders have long maintained that this was not the case.
"He has much larger ambitions than Ukraine. He wants to, in fact, reestablish the former Soviet Union. That's what this is about," President Joe Biden said on February 24, the first day of the invasion.
NOW WATCH: Popular Videos from Insider Inc.
Loading...
Business Insider · by Bill Bostock


12. What the Ukraine war should teach China


Excerpts:
If Russia has performed so poorly in Ukraine, how can the PLA—whose weaknesses, including politicisation and lack of combat experience, are even more pronounced—expect to win a war today, especially a large-scale conflict that draws in major powers like the United States? It doesn’t help that structural reforms capable of addressing the PLA’s most glaring weaknesses will be difficult, if not impossible, to implement. Depoliticising the military would entail the removal of the CCP’s organisational presence and the abolition of the political commissar system, neither of which is on the cards. And gaining real combat experience in peacetime is impractical.
The only feasible step China can take to bolster the PLA is to increase transparency considerably. If more media scrutiny had been allowed in Russia, the rot in its military would have been exposed—and probably addressed—long before it started a war that it can’t win, at least not in the quick and overwhelming manner the Kremlin expected. For Xi, the lesson is that Chinese officials must shine more light on one of the country’s most secretive institutions, precisely because they are unlikely to be satisfied with what they find.
What the Ukraine war should teach China | The Strategist
aspistrategist.org.au · by Minxin Pei · June 9, 2022

As Russia’s war on Ukraine enters its fourth month, the endgame remains murky. But one thing is clear: Russia’s military has taken a beating from Ukrainian forces that, at the start of the conflict, were thought to be no match for it. For China’s People’s Liberation Army, which shares many of the deficiencies that are undercutting Russia’s effectiveness on the battlefield, this should be a wake-up call.
One such deficiency is corruption. Of the world’s 20 largest economies, Russia rates the worst in this domain. Perhaps it shouldn’t have been surprising, then, that Russia’s military—long considered one of the world’s strongest—has been severely weakened by a variety of abuses. Judging by the number of senior generals arrested for corruption in China in the past decade, the rot inside the PLA may run just as deep.
Shortly after Xi Jinping came to power in November 2012, he launched an anti-corruption drive that, by the end of 2017, had ensnared more than 100 generals. Two former vice-chairmen of the Central Military Commission, which commands the PLA, were arrested for taking bribes in exchange for promotions. Another commission member died by suicide in 2017 while an investigation into his ties to the disgraced vice-chairmen was underway.
One might be tempted to think that Xi’s campaign purged the PLA of corruption. But that’s unlikely, given that the enabling conditions—including cronyism, secrecy and lack of oversight—have hardly been eradicated.
Beyond corruption, the PLA displays similar structural weaknesses to Russia’s military, such as an obsessive focus on hardware, lack of training that simulates real combat conditions, poor logistics and a persistent failure to develop joint operational capabilities. Like the Russian military, the PLA relies on a rigid top-down command structure that makes it difficult, if not impossible, for lower-level officers and soldiers to take the initiative in combat settings.
Another key weakness of the Russian and Chinese militaries is politicisation. In fact, heavily influenced by the culture of the Soviet Red Army, the PLA is even more politicised than today’s Russian military.
After the fall of the Soviet Union, the Russian military escaped communist party control and abolished the system of political commissars. As a result, politicisation is now personalistic in nature and resembles typical patronage systems, in which unqualified individuals are appointed to senior positions. In peacetime, the consequences might seem limited to weakened morale. But, as Russia has learned in Ukraine, war exposes the extent of incompetence that patronage allows.
This doesn’t bode well for China. The PLA is under the Chinese Communist Party’s full control, and its primary mission is to defend the CCP’s political monopoly. The political commissar system created by Leon Trotsky when he established the Red Army is alive and well in China, with the appointment and promotion of PLA officers determined not only by their professional qualifications, but also by their perceived loyalty to the CCP. Even junior officers are politically vetted before receiving commissions. The result is a confusing dual-command structure, which could hobble professional PLA soldiers’ ability to fight battles effectively, as it did to the Red Army in the early days of the Nazi invasion during World War II.
A final key weakness shared by the Russian military and the PLA is their lack of combat experience. Over the past three decades, Russia’s military has fought only relatively small wars, in Chechnya, Georgia, Ukraine and Syria. This clearly did not prepare it to invade all of Ukraine, as demonstrated by its recent decision to narrow its focus and objectives to the eastern Donbas region.
Here, too, China is worse off. The Chinese military hasn’t fought a real battle since its disastrous border war with Vietnam in 1979. So, while it has invested massively in military modernisation since the early 1990s, the PLA’s competence and capabilities in combat remain untested.
If Russia has performed so poorly in Ukraine, how can the PLA—whose weaknesses, including politicisation and lack of combat experience, are even more pronounced—expect to win a war today, especially a large-scale conflict that draws in major powers like the United States? It doesn’t help that structural reforms capable of addressing the PLA’s most glaring weaknesses will be difficult, if not impossible, to implement. Depoliticising the military would entail the removal of the CCP’s organisational presence and the abolition of the political commissar system, neither of which is on the cards. And gaining real combat experience in peacetime is impractical.
The only feasible step China can take to bolster the PLA is to increase transparency considerably. If more media scrutiny had been allowed in Russia, the rot in its military would have been exposed—and probably addressed—long before it started a war that it can’t win, at least not in the quick and overwhelming manner the Kremlin expected. For Xi, the lesson is that Chinese officials must shine more light on one of the country’s most secretive institutions, precisely because they are unlikely to be satisfied with what they find.
aspistrategist.org.au · by Minxin Pei · June 9, 2022


13. Secretary Austin’s Meeting With People’s Republic of China (PRC) Minister of National Defense General Wei Fenghe



Secretary Austin’s Meeting With People’s Republic of China (PRC) Minister of National Defense General Wei Fenghe
Release
Immediate Release
June 10, 2022

Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III met today with the People’s Republic of China’s (PRC) Minister of National Defense General Wei Fenghe on the margins of the Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore. Secretary Austin and General Wei discussed U.S.-PRC defense relations and regional security issues.
Secretary Austin discussed the need to responsibly manage competition and maintain open lines of communication. The Secretary underscored the importance of the People’s Liberation Army engaging in substantive dialogue on improving crisis communications and reducing strategic risk.
Secretary Austin discussed global and regional security issues, including the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea and Russia’s unprovoked invasion of Ukraine. The Secretary reiterated to General Wei that the United States remains committed to our longstanding one China policy, which is guided by the Taiwan Relations Act, the Three U.S.-China Joint Communiques, and the Six Assurances. The Secretary reaffirmed the importance of peace and stability across the Strait, opposition to unilateral changes to the status quo, and called on the PRC to refrain from further destabilizing actions toward Taiwan.



14. Pacific Allies Worry About Taiwan Invasion, Call for Closer US Cooperation

Excerpts:
Davis called for more burden-sharing with allies and joint development of capabilities to deter China instead of matching China “tank for tank” and “ship for ship.”
“What we need to be able to do is to build asymmetric counters that ultimately weaken and erode China’s ability to project power against us, against our allies, or to deter them from threatening Taiwan in the future,” he said.
Davis said Australian defense policy analysts are evaluating now how to deter China, and if deterrence fails, how to respond. A Chinese takeover of Taiwan will allow China to project power north to Japan, south to the Philippines, and deep into the Central Pacific, to Guam, he said.
“I would fully expect Australia to stand by America. At the same time, I fully expect [Chinese President] Xi to push forward and try to take Taiwan,” he said, describing what Australia believes would be a “protracted conflict” if China were to invade Taiwan.
“Losing Taiwan, I think, would be catastrophic,” he added. “That means talking to the Americans about things like B-21, NGAD, space … But there also has to be a defense diplomacy angle where we work together and strengthen those relationships.”

Pacific Allies Worry About Taiwan Invasion, Call for Closer US Cooperation - Air Force Magazine
airforcemag.com · by Abraham Mahshie · June 9, 2022
June 9, 2022 | By
Share Article
America’s Pacific allies Japan and Australia want deeper cooperation with the U.S. in areas such as long-range weapons and military space activities with the goal of deterring a potential Chinese invasion of Taiwan and to prepare in the event of one.
“We need more conversation over our region,” said Japanese defense and air attache Maj. Gen. Hiroyuki Sugai on the sidelines of the China Aerospace Studies Institute (CASI) conference in Washington, D.C.
Japan’s geostrategic position as part of the so-called “first island chain,” bordering the East and South China Seas, means U.S. forces in Japan are close to Taiwan should an event arise. At the same time, hosting American bases would draw Japan into the conflict.
“Japan serves as the power projection platform for the U.S.,” Japanese Col. Kimitoshi Sugiyama, director of the Tokyo Center for Air and Space Power Strategic Studies, said in a CASI panel discussion May 17 on allies and partners. “Our interoperability is high, and we use the same effects and also conduct preparedness exercises.”
Sugiyama said Japan is deepening multilateral military operations with like-minded countries such as the United States and Australia in order to preserve a free and open Indo-Pacific. That includes closer space cooperation with the United States, he said.
Sugai said the U.S.-Japan alliance is a “challenge for China” in the event of a Taiwan invasion. But he warned that the Russia-Ukraine war highlights the need for further integration between the U.S. and Japanese air forces.
“Thinking about modern warfare, Ukraine is very important to understand what’s going on in case of the Taiwan Strait crisis,” Sugai explained, pointing to the use of unmanned aerial systems. “China is also studying the war in Ukraine because they use a similar weapon system as Ukraine is using on Russia, so they might see the advantage or disadvantage of their weapons.”
The situation in Ukraine might influence China’s thinking about an invasion of Taiwan, requiring attentive allied study and conversation.
“The Japanese air forces [are] studying how to use unmanned aircraft,” Sugai added.
The role of unmanned systems is vital to a Taiwan Strait scenario just as in Ukraine, where unmanned ISR aircraft are targeting Russian communication and other assets.
In many other areas, the U.S. and Japan are exercising together and sharing lessons learned, but UAS reviews are being done by the United States and Japan separately, highlighting an area that can be shared.
“We exchange our lessons learned,” Sugai said, hinting at deeper collaboration to come. “We regionally exercise in joint training with the U.S. Air Force, but in the near future we will discuss in more detailed conversations.”
Australian Calls to Share B-21 Technology
In September 2021, President Joe Biden announced the “AUKUS” arrangement made by Australia, the United Kingdom, and the United States to share nuclear-powered submarine technology and deepen military cooperation in other areas.
Malcolm Davis of the Australian Strategic Policy Institute praised the agreement but on a CASI panel repeatedly asked when it will include sharing of B-21 bomber and other new technologies, especially given Australia’s likely willingness to aid the United States in Taiwan’s defense.
“Australia is facing a much more serious challenge from China,” Davis said, citing the 2020 Australia Defence Strategic Update, the country’s version of the National Defense Strategy, updated every four years.
“The chances of major power war, including U.S.-China conflict, are considerably higher than previously,” Davis said, citing the report. “As a result, the traditional assumption that we would have 10 years’ warning time for such a conflict is no longer an appropriate basis for defense planning.”
CASI experts assumed China could be prepared for a Taiwan invasion as soon as 2025. Davis said strategists in Australia think about Taiwan as the “key scenario” to prepare for with the sophisticated military assets to defend its homeland and aid allies before then.
AUKUS, he said, gives Australia the opportunity, alongside the United Kingdom and the United States, “to play a much more forward and focused role in the Indo-Pacific as a frontline state, rather than being in a strategic backwater.”
The potential for conflict with China will require Australia to reconsider its force posture on the continent and requires domestic capabilities such as missile production and improved strike technology, he said.
China’s ongoing negotiations with the Solomon Islands for basing access is a “game changer” for Australia, he said.
“Australia’s eastern seaboard is now potentially under threat of direct attack from a hostile military power in a way that could hold at risk our key urban areas and many of our key military bases,” he said. “The key concern, obviously, is China’s intentions regarding Taiwan.”
Davis said that in 2021, Australia granted the U.S. military increased basing access, and he predicted that access and positioning of American troops and assets will grow in coming years. However, to defend the bases where U.S. troops might be stationed, Australia will need to develop anti-access/aerial denial capabilities, long-range missile defense systems, cyber warfare capabilities, and ways to defend its space architecture.
The long-range strike capability being debated in Australia of late, Davis said, is the B-21.
“There is a debate in Australia about what is the best approach to defending our continent as far forward as possible,” he said. “If the Americans are prepared to offer us [surface to surface missiles], surely we should be able to talk to them about [the] B-21.”
Davis called for more burden-sharing with allies and joint development of capabilities to deter China instead of matching China “tank for tank” and “ship for ship.”
“What we need to be able to do is to build asymmetric counters that ultimately weaken and erode China’s ability to project power against us, against our allies, or to deter them from threatening Taiwan in the future,” he said.
Davis said Australian defense policy analysts are evaluating now how to deter China, and if deterrence fails, how to respond. A Chinese takeover of Taiwan will allow China to project power north to Japan, south to the Philippines, and deep into the Central Pacific, to Guam, he said.
“I would fully expect Australia to stand by America. At the same time, I fully expect [Chinese President] Xi to push forward and try to take Taiwan,” he said, describing what Australia believes would be a “protracted conflict” if China were to invade Taiwan.
“Losing Taiwan, I think, would be catastrophic,” he added. “That means talking to the Americans about things like B-21, NGAD, space … But there also has to be a defense diplomacy angle where we work together and strengthen those relationships.”
airforcemag.com · by Abraham Mahshie · June 9, 2022



15. Biden nominates Marine general as next commander of US forces in Africa




Biden nominates Marine general as next commander of US forces in Africa
Defense News · by Bryant Harris · June 9, 2022
WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden on Thursday nominated Lt. Gen. Michael E. Langley to lead U.S. forces in Africa, teeing him up to become the first Black four-star Marine Corps general.
Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin announced the president’s decision to nominate Langley as head of AFRICOM. Langley currently heads Marine Forces Command and Marine Forces Northern Command and is the commanding general of Fleet Marine Force Atlantic in Norfolk, Virginia.
Langley has served in Afghanistan, Somalia and Okinawa. He also has worked at the Pentagon and CENTCOM, which oversees US forces in the Middle East.
Should the Senate confirm Langley, he will replace Army Gen. Stephen Townsend, who has led AFRICOM since July 2019.
AFRICOM oversees U.S. troops dispersed throughout Africa, including in conflicts zones such as Somalia, where Biden recently reinstated troops to expedite airstrikes for counterterrorism operations. The command is headquartered in Stuttgart, Germany.
Former President Donald Trump’s administration briefly sought to scale down the U.S. troop presence in Africa while merging AFRICOM with European Command (EUCOM), which is also based in Stuttgart. However, the plan stalled amid strong bipartisan rebuke in Congress.
The New York Times first reported last month that Langley would receive the nomination, and quoted former Defense Secretary James Mattis — himself a former four-star Marine general — effusively praising him.
“He’s a Marine’s Marine,” Mattis told the Times.
Separately, the Army has also tapped Lt. Gen. Darryl Williams to serve as the next commander of U.S. Army Europe and Africa. Should the Senate confirm him, Williams would become the first Black soldier to lead that command.
Williams will replace Gen. Christopher Cavoli, who was has been nominated to become NATO’s next supreme allied commander.
About Bryant Harris
Bryant Harris is the Congress reporter for Defense News. He has covered the intersection of U.S. foreign policy and national security in Washington since 2014. He previously wrote for Foreign Policy, Al-Monitor, Al Jazeera English and IPS News.


16. How the Army once got its own soldiers stoned out of their minds

Hmmm... sounds like the hallucinations I had in Ranger School. I think we caused many a break in contact in a night patrol when we thought the tree in front of us was just another Ranger student standing there. It is amazing the hallucinations you can have when you do not eat and sleep enough.

I guess we used to do some out of the box (or mind) thinking.

But on a serious note what is a tragedy is how we treated (or did not treat) soldiers who were test subjects.


How the Army once got its own soldiers stoned out of their minds
taskandpurpose.com · by Max Hauptman · June 9, 2022
SHARE
During the Cold War, an Army sergeant with a Combat Infantry Badge on his uniform stumbled through the woods and was apparently unable to comprehend a tree branch in front of him while being led around an obstacle course.
“No, I’m not cold at all,” said another soldier who was, to put it mildly, tweaking out of his mind while speaking to a couple of Army doctors, despite not seeming to know where he was. “I could run 100 miles right now.”
These were some of the test subjects from medical experiments conducted for two decades at the Edgewood Arsenal, a section of Aberdeen Proving Grounds in Maryland. And by “medical experiments” we mean that the Army spent years getting its soldiers high.
The study is the subject of the new documentary “Doctor Delirium and the Edgewood Experiments,” debuting this week on Discovery+.
The question at the heart of these experiments was, bluntly, can you fight a war if you are on a drug trip? Or, if you want to put it in language that’ll pass muster at a closed session in Congress: can psychochemical warfare be used to incapacitate enemy troops?
And in trying to figure that out, thousands of soldiers were used as test subjects while knowingly and unknowingly given a variety of substances, from tear gas to Phencyclidine (PCP) to psychoactive drugs including lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD) and 3-Quinuclidinyl benzilate, known as “BZ.”
“This was the Cold War, and I was assigned to the Cold War at its height,” says Dr. James Ketchum, an Army psychiatrist who oversaw many of the experiments, in archival footage.
Beginning in the early 1960s, BZ became a central focus of testing.
“It’s more like psychosis or delirium,” says one researcher of the effects of the drug.
In one test, four soldiers were given varying doses of the drug and spent the next several days trying — and generally failing — to perform basic tasks like donning a gas mask. One man stayed awake and suffered hallucinations the entire time, completely unable to function.
BZ was eventually weaponized, although it was never employed in combat and the military destroyed all stockpiles at the end of the Cold War. The testing continued until 1975 when the program was shut down amid congressional investigations.
The soldiers were generally recruited by being told that they would mostly be testing equipment for the U.S. Army Chemical Corps. Coupled with the promise of no guard shifts or weekend duty, it might seem like a nice way to spend a couple of months in the Army. While assigned to the temporary duty, as one soldier described it, certain names would be called for that day’s experiments. Because of the classified nature of the program, however, they were rarely told exactly what they were being exposed to.
This also meant that years later, these soldiers found it difficult or impossible to file medical claims with the Department of Veterans Affairs for the after-effects of the experiments.
At the time, the Feres Doctrine also prohibited service members from suing the government for negligence or wrongdoing.
In 2009, though, several of the Edgewood veterans filed a lawsuit against the Central Intelligence Agency, citing the government’s failure to follow the Nuremberg Code, a set of ethical guidelines for medical testing developed following the discovery of Nazi experiments conducted during World War II.
The court ultimately ruled in favor of the veterans, saying that they were eligible for full medical benefits and that the government had a duty to continue warning them of any potential side effects of the tests.
However, many of the test subjects interviewed in the documentary, say that it has still been difficult to get a clear picture of what was done to them. Many have likely never been contacted by the government, while others in the film showed consent forms with dates that don’t even match their service records.
In the archival interviews, Ketchum, who passed away in 2019, is more sanguine about the tests.
“I’ve got regrets about a number of things I’ve done,” says Ketchum. “But that would not apply to the work I did at Edgewood.”
The latest on Task & Purpose
Want to write for Task & Purpose? Click here. Or check out the latest stories on our homepage.

Max Hauptman has been covering breaking news at Task & Purpose since December 2021. He previously worked at The Washington Post as a Military Veterans in Journalism Fellow, as well as covering local news in New England. Contact the author here.

taskandpurpose.com · by Max Hauptman · June 9, 2022


17. Russia and China’s War on the Dollar Is Just Beginning


This is the real war. We must protect the dollar as the reserve currency. If not, our economic instrument of national power will collapse.

I wonder why it is only a rising sophomore at Yale who is writing about this. (Kudos to him).

Conclusion:

The United States has the tools to fight back against Chinese and Russian efforts to upend its financial hegemony but is unwilling to use them. Diplomatic visits to foreign countries to build economic relationships, like Biden’s recent visit to Asia, have happened far too infrequently during recent administrations. Excessive spending packages requiring the Federal Reserve to print preposterous amounts of money have sent the dollar spiraling out of control, diminishing the trust of countries that once confidently pegged themselves to the greenback. And most importantly, the United States has not done enough to counter China’s development, leading it to fail to match the digital yuan with a digital dollar and passively allow Sino-Russian ties to strengthen. If the United States wants to remain at the helm of the rules-based international order, it will need to address the serious efforts underway to undermine its global financial hegemony.

Russia and China’s War on the Dollar Is Just Beginning
If the United States wants to remain at the helm of the rules-based international order, it will need to address the serious efforts underway to undermine its global financial hegemony.
The National Interest · by Axel de Vernou · June 8, 2022
One infallible trend that has persisted throughout history is the correlation between financial and geopolitical power. For a country to build up its military, pursue innovative technologies, and maintain a productive workforce, it must have a robust economic base. While admirals and advisers are increasingly highlighting the closing gap between Chinese and American military capabilities, the U.S. dollar remains dominant. Is this a fact that can be taken for granted, or does a Sino-Russian alliance pose a tangible threat to Washington’s financial hegemony?
The speed and scope of China’s rise has been the subject of fierce debate for many decades, but recent statements by U.S. officials have made it clear that the United States no longer enjoys the unparalleled geopolitical preeminence of the post-World War II years.
In September 2021, Pentagon software chief Nicolas Chaillan resigned from his role, citing his frustration that the Department of Defense was not doing enough to match Chinese advancements in software, artificial intelligence, and cyber capabilities. U.S. Navy Adm. John Aquilino warned members of the Senate Armed Services Committee several months earlier that U.S. maritime supremacy was slipping in the face of rapid Chinese development. More recently, during a speech outlining the Biden administration’s China strategy, Secretary of State Antony Blinken highlighted how Beijing is progressively building the “economic, diplomatic, military and technological power” to replace the U.S.-led, rules-based international order.
If the United States was experiencing such dramatic military and technological setbacks compared to China, one would expect these trends to be reflected in the relative influence of each country’s currency. However, this has largely not been the case. The world economy still relies on financial institutions managed by the United States, and there is little indication that this will change anytime soon.

The share of foreign exchange transactions using the U.S. dollar remained stable for the two decades leading up to the 2020 pandemic-induced recession, hitting 88 percent in 2019. As countries turned inward and supply chains were disrupted during the global health crisis, U.S. budget deficits increased, making the dollar a less attractive currency worldwide. As a result, for the first time since 1997, the dollar's share of the world's currency reserves fell below 60 percent in 2020. While this seemed to presage the beginning of the end for American financial hegemony, the dollar has made a comeback driven by consumer spending and business investment, despite alarmingly high levels of inflation. Meanwhile, countries across the world continue to struggle with the economic impacts of the pandemic, as well as food shortages exacerbated by the war in Ukraine. As a result, when placed against other currency options, the value of the greenback has reached its highest level since 2002.
A large part of this success can be attributed to the U.S. dollar’s role as the world’s reserve currency. Countries continue to pay for their goods, commodities, assets, and debt obligations in dollars, requiring central banks across the globe to hold significant quantities of the greenback in their reserves. In the fourth quarter of 2019, $6.7 trillion was dispersed in the world’s central banks, providing Washington with a unique degree of bargaining power and influence abroad from the decisions that the U.S. Treasury makes domestically.
Preserving this privileged position comes with considerable advantages that will prove crucial during a great power struggle. The United States can borrow at lower rates than any other country, is always certain that other central banks will buy its bonds, and can direct transactions through American-led institutions. Although China has become more militarily and economically powerful, the yuan was only used in 2.7 percent of international payments in 2021, falling far behind 40.51 percent for the dollar and 36.65 percent for the euro.
Nonetheless, in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the tide seems to be turning—perhaps not permanently, but in a way that should concern American policymakers. The Sino-Russian alliance is attempting to attract other nations to an alluring alternative, with the ultimate aim of constructing a financial system wholly independent from Washington’s control. With Russia’s help, China is gradually seeking to undermine U.S. financial hegemony.
After Western countries united to sanction Russia following its war on Ukraine, one of Putin’s first responses was to force European countries dependent on Russian energy imports to pay in rubles or gold. Out of sheer necessity, many energy companies have accepted his mandate, forcing their euro payments to be converted to rubles before being stored in a separate account under their ownership. This entails a number of consequences.
Since the ruble’s price level has historically been strongly correlated with energy prices due to the importance of exports in Russia’s economy, the scarcity of oil and gas in global markets has led the ruble’s value to swell in a self-reinforcing cycle. The ruble, to the surprise of many Western analysts, has become one of the most successful currencies in the world as the Russian central bank does everything it can to stymie the flow of dollars and euros. Through capital controls and regulations requiring Russian investors to convert their surplus revenues into rubles, the value of the currency has rebounded and even exceeded its pre-war levels.
Moreover, the burden that the West will have to shoulder in accepting Putin’s system will become increasingly painful. If the ruble continues to appreciate over the next few months, Western countries will have to spend more to convert their currencies to rubles to pay for their indispensable energy imports. Not only does this raise the global demand for rubles, but it also demonstrates to other governments that the Russian currency is capable of resisting punishment from major Western countries.
Alongside these payments, Russia is working to build an alternative to the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (SWIFT). In 2014, the same year Russia annexed Crimea, the Kremlin established the System for Transfer of Financial Messages (SPFS), a ruble-based payment system that would act as an alternative to SWIFT. China followed suit one year later, rolling out the Cross-Border Interbank Payment System (CIPS).
Alone, each initiative is unlikely to undermine SWIFT’s global reach. The SPFS was certainly not able to prevent Russian citizens from withdrawing over one trillion rubles shortly after the announcement of the SWIFT sanctions in March. However, the Putin-Xi summit preceding the invasion and China’s refusal to explicitly condemn the Kremlin have underscored the degree of cooperation that these two authoritarian powers are prepared to undertake to challenge the West. For them to have any impact, one of their first targets will be the economic sphere, as it is a prerequisite to geopolitical influence.
Indeed, China and Russia have already discussed fusing their respective financial systems, with Moscow assuring Beijing that it is ready to use yuan in its foreign reserves to expedite the process. Paired with Russia’s elaborate transfer scheme for oil and gas payments, which will continue to function as long as European countries reason that they cannot cut their dependence on Moscow without suffering unacceptable financial setbacks, it becomes clear that authoritarian powers are aiming to subvert the global hegemony of the U.S. dollar.
China is ostensibly the greatest cause for concern, as it has effectively pursued the development of a digital yuan. An electronic currency detached from American financial oversight will facilitate the unfettered expansion of China’s Belt and Road Initiative because Washington will be unable to track the transactions made between Beijing and developing countries. To finance infrastructure projects in Latin America, Africa, or the Middle East, China will force foreign countries to make payments through an untraceable, hyper-centralized currency. The United States does not have this advantage with the dollar because, as the world’s reserve currency printed in a transparent and democratic country, information regarding its value and circulation is more easily accessible.
Finally, even without considering its digital form, the yuan is already threatening to replace the dollar in key markets that may have a tremendous impact on U.S. security. Frustrated by the Biden administration’s approach to bilateral relations, as well as other regional issues, Saudi Arabia is in talks with China to accept oil payments in yuan. Iran has been accepting yuan payments for its oil sales to China for the past decade due to U.S. sanctions. The yuan’s comparative stability might make it more favorable for commercial purposes and as a reserve currency. While American consumers and businesses have weathered the effects of an inflationary economy, less developed countries with dollars in their central bank reserves may not make it out of the current recession. These central banks could turn to the yuan as a substitute.
This is not to say that the dollar is in an ineluctable decline. Putin has expressed doubt about completely removing the greenback from Russia’s central bank. As of July 2021, China still held 50 to 60 percent of its foreign exchange reserves in dollar-denominated assets. Although Beijing is undoubtedly strengthening its military capabilities, it still has a ways to go before entirely subverting the dollar.
European countries that once dealt amicably with China have been antagonized as a result of the Xi-Putin summit and the country’s silence regarding the humanitarian crisis in Ukraine. This will hurt Chinese exports and prevent Beijing from trapping more governments in its economic web. In addition, the Belt and Road Initiative may not necessarily translate to an unquestionable success. If the United States is able to leverage its entrenched financial institutions, such as the Inter-American Development Bank, to create more capital in Latin America, for instance, China may struggle to offer a more attractive alternative.
If the United States wants to remain at the helm of the rules-based international order, it will need to address the serious efforts underway to undermine its global financial hegemony.
by
The United States has the tools to fight back against Chinese and Russian efforts to upend its financial hegemony but is unwilling to use them. Diplomatic visits to foreign countries to build economic relationships, like Biden’s recent visit to Asia, have happened far too infrequently during recent administrations. Excessive spending packages requiring the Federal Reserve to print preposterous amounts of money have sent the dollar spiraling out of control, diminishing the trust of countries that once confidently pegged themselves to the greenback. And most importantly, the United States has not done enough to counter China’s development, leading it to fail to match the digital yuan with a digital dollar and passively allow Sino-Russian ties to strengthen. If the United States wants to remain at the helm of the rules-based international order, it will need to address the serious efforts underway to undermine its global financial hegemony.
Axel de Vernou is a rising sophomore studying Global Affairs at Yale University. He is currently interning at the Hudson Institute.
Image: Reuters.
The National Interest · by Axel de Vernou · June 8, 2022

18. A Long War in Ukraine Could Bring Global Chaos




A Long War in Ukraine Could Bring Global Chaos
Kyiv has reason to hope it can prevail, but Vladimir Putin’s efforts to seed global economic trouble could weaken international support.


June 9, 2022, 6:30 AM EDT

The war in Ukraine has become a brutal, grinding contest of attrition. As the conflict drags on, the question becomes, which side does time favor? Kyiv is betting that its leverage will increase as an isolated Russia comes face to face with economic and military ruin. Russian President Vladimir Putin’s wager is that he can devastate Ukraine even with a weakened army, while using the threat of global economic chaos to sever Kyiv’s lifeline to the outside world. Each side is trying to bleed and batter the other into submission, a dynamic that will fuel far-reaching instability — and present the US with nasty challenges.
In recent weeks, the fighting has occurred primarily in eastern Ukraine. Russia is using hellacious artillery barrages and methodical attacks to slowly seize more territory, in hopes of fully “liberating” the Donbas region. Ukraine is hanging on, inflicting terrible casualties while also suffering, by President Volodymyr Zelenskiy’s own admission, heavy losses.
Notwithstanding Russian territorial gains, Ukraine still has reason for optimism. Its military power is, in important respects, increasing, as Kyiv receives longer-range artillery and other sophisticated weapons from Western countries. Some of the world’s top intelligence services are also effectively working for Kyiv, providing information that helps Ukrainian military leaders anticipate the enemy’s blows and strike plenty of their own.
Russia’s military power, in contrast, will probably atrophy in a long war, because Russia’s economy and defense industry are subject to harsh sanctions, and the morale of its forces will fade as casualties mount. As long as Ukraine has most of the world’s advanced democracies behind it, it can plausibly hope to weaken and ultimately break the Russian army — and then perhaps recapture some of the territory Moscow has stolen.
Yet there are crucial caveats. One is the threat of “Zelenskiy fatigue” — the danger that Western leaders will tire of Kyiv’s requests for money and guns at a time when their own economies are weakening and their own arsenals are being depleted. A recent $40 billion US support package for Ukraine drew Republican criticism on these grounds. If the costs of the war keep rising, and if Zelenskiy keeps insisting that Ukraine will liberate all the territory Russia has taken since 2014, his foreign backers may come to see him as not an inspiration but a burden.
That prospect will interact with Putin’s strategy, which involves riding out sanctions while turning Ukraine into a disaster zone. The blockade of Ukraine’s Black Sea ports, especially Odesa, is making it prohibitively difficult to export wheat and other goods. The ongoing brutalization of the country has caused a catastrophic economic contraction. Russia may not be able to defeat Ukraine militarily, but it can wreck the economy and force Kyiv to make enormous demands on its international supporters for years to come.
Moreover, Putin is using the prospect of global economic carnage as a means of geopolitical coercion. If Ukraine can’t export wheat, countries around the world will suffer. High energy prices are exacerbating recessionary pressures in developed and developing economies alike. By inflicting enough pain, perhaps Putin can peel away reluctant members, such as Germany, from the democratic coalition and make Ukraine sue for peace. Global chaos could help Putin in other ways, too: The longer the war lasts, the higher the chance a major crisis over Iran or Taiwan will pull US attention elsewhere.
Indeed, whether or not this strategy succeeds, it will test Washington. In response to Moscow’s economic strangulation campaign, the US could use Russian state assets it has frozen to sustain and rebuild Ukraine. Yet that would unavoidably increase global fears about the weaponization of American financial dominance. The US could try to turn the tables on Putin by dialing up economic coercion of Russia. But this would probably require greater use of secondary sanctions — penalizing third parties that do business with Moscow — which would in turn cause greater friction with countries that rely on Russian oil or other exports.
Opinion. Data. More Data.
Get the most important Bloomberg Opinion pieces in one email.

Sign up to this newsletter
Perhaps most ticklish is the issue of restoring Ukraine’s ability to export (especially wheat) to the world. This is crucial to easing the economic shocks the war has caused. Yet it might require taking steps such as escorting Ukrainian ships, “re-flagging” them as American, or forcibly opening a secure land or maritime corridor — actions that would project US power into the heart of an ongoing war.
Rather than aiming primarily to deter Russia from attacking NATO countries, the US would then be trying to compel Russia to stop impeding Ukraine’s trade with the world. This could lead to a perilous moment, as success in relieving economic pressure from Russia could amount to the failure of Putin’s strategy for winning the war.
The conflict in Ukraine may seem to have settled into a violent equilibrium. But the turmoil that war produces, and the global dilemmas it presents, have only begun.
More from Bloomberg Opinion:
Want more Bloomberg Opinion? Click here. Terminal readers head to OPIN <GO>.
This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.
To contact the author of this story:
Hal Brands at Hal.Brands@jhu.edu
To contact the editor responsible for this story:
Mary Duenwald at mduenwald@bloomberg.net


19. Ordinary Ukrainians wage war with digital tools and drones

Whole of society fighting for a nation's survival.


Ordinary Ukrainians wage war with digital tools and drones
Data sharing is a valuable intelligence source — but civilians risk becoming targets
Financial Times · by John Thornhill · June 9, 2022
The writer is founder of Sifted, an FT-backed media company covering European start-ups
A column of Russian military vehicles outside Berezivka, 40km west of Kyiv, was identified, targeted and destroyed in late February, thanks to intelligence provided by a 15-year-old schoolboy.
Responding to the Ukrainian army’s appeals to help spot Russian troop movements, Andrii Pokrasa sneaked into a field one night and tracked down the column with his personal drone. His father entered the GPS co-ordinates into a social media app. Ukrainian artillery then pinpointed the Russian convoy. The experience was “very, very scary”, Pokrasa told Global News, but he was determined that the Russians would not occupy his town.
Pokrasa is one of about 1,000 civilian drone operators contributing to Ukraine’s extraordinarily courageous and ingenious defence. They do so at extreme personal risk. There have been several reports of Russian forces shooting civilians as suspected spies. Independent security experts have also warned about the dangers of blurring the lines between civilians and combatants, calling for the laws of war to be updated.
Once confined to the direct participants on a physical battlefield, war has insinuated itself into many other fields of human activity. Today’s battlefields, particularly in urban areas, are saturated with cameras, sensors and monitoring devices all generating data that can be analysed and exploited from anywhere in the world. Open-source intelligence agencies, such as Bellingcat and Witness, have been using this data, often shared on social media, to verify the claims of each side and investigate alleged war crimes.
Satellite images from Planet give an overview of a mass grave in Bucha, Ukraine © Planet
As well as Ukrainian civilians tracking Russian troop movements on the ground, some private sector satellite companies observe them from space. One is the San Francisco-based Planet, which operates a fleet of about 200 low earth orbit satellites. These tiny satellites photograph every point on the planet once a day, enabling the company to identify “patterns of life”. Most often that data is used for detecting river pollution, deforestation or urban sprawl. But during the war, Planet has given its geospatial data on Ukraine to Kyiv and Nato. It has also shared its imagery with several media outlets, including the FT.
The company argues that it has helped increase transparency, reduce insecurity and military miscalculation, assist humanitarian relief and counter disinformation. “It really is a different era,” says Will Marshall, co-founder of Planet. “Governments cannot get away with shit any more.”
But sharing such data involves moral and political choices. Marshall acknowledges that his company has a responsibility to ensure that its data is not used for sinister purposes. Planet’s ethics committee carefully scrutinises all potential customers. The company will never sell its data to Russian entities under sanctions, for example. “It is easy to say that technology is neutral and that we are not playing God. But we are playing God,” he says. “Ethics is complicated.”
Some efforts are being made to establish norms and standards to regularise open-source intelligence. Earlier this year, the Berkeley Protocol was published, outlining the procedures needed to turn open-source intelligence into legally admissible evidence when prosecuting war crimes. Governments are also considering how best to verify and disseminate such intelligence.
But observers draw a distinction between civil society organisations and companies that take responsibility for what they produce and share, and more informal groups of foreign hacktivists keen to help Ukraine. When they play defence, these “white hat” hackers can help to find and plug holes in Ukraine’s digital networks. But if they participate in disinformation campaigns or cyber attacks on Russian targets, there may be unpredictable results. They can be exploited by intelligence agencies pushing propaganda and criminal gangs set on extortion. They also run the risk of prosecution or revenge attacks.
“It is understandable why Ukrainians who are defending their homes and lives would reach for any possible tool to defend themselves,” says Ronald Deibert, director of the Citizen Lab at the University of Toronto. But that does not mean all norms and rules are suspended for everyone else: “If you’re going to get involved, you better understand the consequences.”
Technology has empowered civil society to challenge the state’s traditional monopoly on warfare. By creating an intelligence agency for the people, this development can bring real benefits and greater accountability. But we must also be alive to its dangers.
Financial Times · by John Thornhill · June 9, 2022


20. Why Japan Is Getting Tough on Russia Now



​As one of my friends and colleagues reminds me, the Kuril Islands /Northern Territories​ are some of the most important islands that seem to be overlooked by most people examining security in terms of geopolitics.

Why Japan Is Getting Tough on Russia Now
Kishida’s response to the war in Ukraine has been surprisingly robust.
thediplomat.com · by Tsuruoka Michito · June 3, 2022
Advertisement
One of the most remarkable outcomes to emerge from Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is Tokyo’s tough response. The Japanese government of Prime Minister Kishida Fumio has imposed an unprecedented level of economic sanctions against Russia, fully aligned with Japan’s G7 partners, including a freezing of the assets of Russia’s Central Bank and individual sanctions against President Vladimir Putin himself and those close to him. The measures represent a stark contrast to the response following the 2014 annexation of Crimea, when the Japanese government was led by former Prime Minister Abe Shinzo.
Tokyo also expelled nine Russian diplomats in April 2022 in response to revelations about mass killings in Bucha, a city on the outskirts of Kyiv. Tokyo’s series of tough actions have taken many Americans and Europeans – not to mentioned Japanese themselves – by surprise. Nor did Russia seem to have anticipated this.
There are four major factors driving Kishida’s robust response. First, the sheer scale of Russia’s actions – the destruction of Ukrainian cities, the large number of civilian casualties and mounting evidence of war crimes across the country – makes inaction impossible. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has been heavily reported in the Japanese media, with TV coverage daily since the aggression started. Kishida has repeatedly criticized the Russian aggression as something that “disrupts the very foundation of the international order.” There is no room even for the usual Russian-sympathizers to justify Moscow’s behavior this time. Ordinary pacifist-oriented Japanese have been shocked to see what the Russian forces are doing in Ukraine, and this has prompted public support for the Ukrainians.
Second, the link between the situation in Europe and that in East Asia is at the forefront of the minds of policymakers in Tokyo. Kishida argues that we need to prevent the “wrong message” from being delivered to the international community. In his Guildhall speech in London in May 2022, Kishida argued that “The invasion of Ukraine is a challenge that is not confined to Europe – it is a matter for the whole world, including Asia. Japan will work together with other nations and take actions with resolute determination so that we would not be sending out the wrong message to the international community; so that using force to unilaterally change the status quo shall never be repeated.” While he did not refer to China by name, there is no doubt that Kishida had China and a possible Taiwan contingency in mind.
In fact, there has been a lot of talk in Japan suggesting that Russia’s war against Ukraine would spur China to attempt to seize Taiwan by force. Beijing’s calculations are obviously more complicated than that; Xi Jinping needs to tread extremely cautiously this year ahead of the Party Congress, where he is expected to start an unprecedented third term in power. Moreover, Russia’s dismal military performance in Ukraine has shown how difficult it is to conduct such a major operation, while the high degree of unity that Europe, the United States and Japan have shown in their response is surely cause for concern in Beijing.
When it comes to the link between the war in Ukraine and Asia, Tokyo’s message is clear: In return for Japan standing so firmly with the West on this occasion, it expects the international community, particularly Europe and the United States, to stand equally firmly alongside Japan should any future conflict erupt in East Asia. In this context, Tokyo has also reached out to other countries in Asia in a bid to get more countries on board against Russia.
Third, Kishida’s response can also be seen as an antithesis to Abe’s reconciliatory approach to Moscow. Abe repeatedly avoided taking tough actions in response to Russian aggression, including the annexation of Crimea and the intervention in the Donbas region in 2014 and 2015, or its uses of the weapons-grade nerve agent called Novichok to kill a former spy in the U.K. and silence an opposition leader in Russia.
Instead, Abe consistently prioritized relations with Russian President Vladimir Putin and tried not to antagonize Moscow, hoping to be able to advance negotiations on the territorial dispute over the Northern Territories and a peace treaty. Simply put, Abe did not want his Russia agenda to be disrupted by what Putin was doing in other parts of the world. As a result, Tokyo imposed only nominal sanctions against the annexation of Crimea and took no action at all in response to the uses of Novichok.
Advertisement
Abe remains active in Japanese politics, and he and those who are close to him represent a challenges to Kishida’s power base within the ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP). While Kishida’s commitment to strong action against Russia is believed to be genuine, it has, at least inadvertently, turned out to be a way to differentiate himself from Abe and delegitimize his predecessor’s approach to Moscow.
Fourth, and quite importantly, his strong public support enables Kishida’ to take a tough position. A Kyodo poll in April shows that 73.7 percent of Japanese support tough economic sanctions against Russia, even if in incurs an economic cost for Japan. The overall approval rating of the government has also risen over the past few months, good news in the run-up to the Upper House election in July.
Looking ahead, there are two challenges that could make it increasingly difficult for the Kishida government to maintain its strong stance. First, the level of public and media interest in the war in Ukraine could wane over time. Indeed, signs are already emerging of a decline in public attention. Second, the economic cost associated with the sanctions on Russia will be increasingly felt by the public in the coming months, not least rising energy prices and increasing concerns about electricity supply during the hot summer months. Public opinion could shift at any time.
To ensure that Tokyo’s position is sustainable, Kishida will need to redouble his efforts in the coming months to expain why severe sanctions are not only for the sake of the Ukrainian people, but are also in Japan’s own interests, even if they do have implications for people’s daily lives.
TSURUOKA Michito is an associate professor at Keio University, Japan.
thediplomat.com · by Tsuruoka Michito · June 3, 2022


21. US on charm offensive to woo Marcos Jr




US on charm offensive to woo Marcos Jr
President-elect likely on his way to the White House while new security czar promotes ‘critical engagement’ with China

asiatimes.com · by Richard Javad Heydarian · June 10, 2022
MANILA – Weeks before his inauguration, Philippine President-elect Ferdinand Marcos Jr is meeting with global dignitaries, with an early emphasis on engagement with the West.
This week, the ex-dictator’s son met US Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman, who underscored shared the long-time allies shared democratic values and the pivotal role the US-Philippine alliance plays in upholding regional security.
The US diplomat gently raised human rights and democracy concerns in the Philippines by emphasizing while “[n]o nation has a perfect track record” the Biden administration is committed to “regularly engage with the Philippines to discuss human rights concerns and to advance human rights in our bilateral relationship.”

In the clearest indication yet that Marcos Jr is planning a visit to the White House, the first by a Filipino leader in a decade, Sherman emphasized that the new Philippine leader enjoys diplomatic immunity from any outstanding court cases in the US.
The Marcoses have faced multiple charges related to corruption and human rights abuses during Ferdinand Marcos Sr’s dictatorship years in the 1970s and 1980s.
For his part, Marcos Jr reassured his American guest that while he is committed to a diplomatic solution to the South China Sea disputes, he will “assert our territorial rights” and “talk to China consistently with a firm voice.”
Sherman was the third senior US official to have held conversations with the newly-elected Philippine leader, who earlier held a cordial phone conversation with US President Joseph Biden and, days later, personally met chargé d’affaires Heather Variava from the US embassy in Manila.
US Undersecretary of State Wendy Sherman was dispatched as part of the Biden’s charm offensive towards Marcos Jr. Photo: AFP / Pool / Andrew Harnik
After much speculation and delay, Marcos Jr also announced the new cabinet appointment of fiery academic Clarita Carlos as his new national security adviser. She has already vowed to pursue “critical engagement” with China and promised a more judicious approach to domestic security affairs.

By and large, the new Filipino president is pursuing more balanced relations with foreign powers through a network of trusted allies and advisors who are set to occupy key positions in his incoming administration.
As I wrote in these pages months earlier, the new Filipino president will likely recalibrate the Philippines’ tempestuous relations with major powers. On one hand, the Marcoses have had historically warm relations with China, which maintained robust diplomatic and investment ties with the notorious dynasty even after their fall from power in the mid-1980s.
Former Filipino dictator Marcos Sr was among the first US allies to establish formal diplomatic ties with Maoist China. In 1975, the Filipino strongman, along with his son and the rest of the family, personally visited Beijing and met Chinese leader Mao Zedong.
After spending a few years in exile, the Marcoses re-established themselves as the overlords of the northwestern province of Ilocos Norte, which became a key node in Chinese investment flows into the Philippines under the so-called Maritime Silk Road Initiative (MSRI).
Eager to revive the Philippines’ pandemic-battered economy and attract new large-scale Chinese investments, Marcos Jr has consistently emphasized his commitment to diplomatic engagement with Beijing. Yet, in deference to widespread anti-Beijing opinion at home, he has also struck a far more assertive stance on the South China Sea disputes.

Moreover, unlike the outgoing President Rodrigo Duterte, Marcos Jr holds no lifelong grudges against the West. He, his son, wife and much of his extended family were all educated in the West. In fact, just days after his election victory, Marcos Jr and his family visited Australia for a short vacation.
Crucially, Marcos’ cabinet appointments also reflect his preference for a different approach to foreign affairs than the outgoing Duterte. Shortly after securing the presidency, he walked back his earlier promise to hand his running-mate, incoming Vice-President Sara Duterte, the Department of National Defense (DND).
He also kept his relative, Jose Manuel Romualdez, as the Philippines envoy to Washington, while backing another cousin, Martin Romualdez, as the new Speaker of the House of Representatives.
He will likely keep traditionally-minded figures in charge of the defense and foreign affairs departments. Overall, Marcos Jr is interested in carving out his own foreign policy legacy, which transcends both the pro-Washington leanings of his liberal predecessors as well as the pro-Beijing sentiments of the outgoing president.
New Philippine leader Ferdinand ‘Bongbong’ Marcos. Photo: Twitter / Rappler
Sensing an opening under the new Philippine president, the Biden administration has been on an all-out charm offensive to keep a vital ally out of China’s embrace. US President Biden, for instance, was the first foreign leader to congratulate Marcos Jr in a phone conversation.

The US Embassy in Manila, meanwhile, indicated its support for expanded trade and investment relations, in line with Marcos Jr’s indication he prefers “trade” rather than “aid” with the country’s former colonizer.
Ahead of her meeting with the new Philippine president, US Deputy Secretary of State Sherman met Philippine Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr to convey “gratitude for Secretary Locsin’s commitment and contributions to the alliance and the rules-based international order,” according to a statement by the US Embassy in Manila.
Despite Duterte’s multiple threats to nix his country’s military alliance with Washington, Locsin Jr, along with outgoing Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzen, played a crucial role in maintaining robust defense relations with the US in recent years.
During the Sherman meeting, Marcos Jr was accompanied by trusted advisors including Philippine Ambassador to the United States Romualdez, incoming Executive Secretary Rodriguez, as well as Foreign Affairs Undersecretary Theresa Lazaro, who will likely serve as an interim foreign policy chief.
“We have a very important ruling in our favor and we will use it to continue to assert our territorial rights. It is not a claim. It is already our territorial right,” Marcos told Sherman, referring to the Philippines’ 2016 arbitral tribunal ruling against China on its expansive claims in the South China Sea.
“We’re talking about China. We talk to China consistently with a firm voice,” he added, though emphasizing “We cannot go to war with them. That’s the last thing we need right now.”
Sherman is the highest-ranking US State Department official to visit the country since the Covid-19 pandemic began. In an interview with reporters after their meeting, Sherman reiterated the US government’s commitment to upholding freedom of navigation in the South China Sea.
“The Philippines has been a leader and a champion for upholding freedom of navigation in the South China Sea in the face of increasing encroachments,” Sherman said “The United States remains committed to standing with the government of the Philippines to uphold the rules and laws underpinning the international maritime order – and we have spoken up against infringements of the Philippines’ sovereign rights,” she said
On June 9, incoming National Security Adviser Carlos made headlines by saying the Marcos administration would pursue “critical engagement” with China. “Critical engagement with China would be the way to go and President Marcos already noted it will still be enhanced on all levels,” she said.
Chinese vessels anchored at the Whitsun Reef, around 320 kilometres (175 nautical miles) west of Bataraza in Palawan in the South China Sea. Photo: Handout / Satellite image ©2021 Maxar Technologies / AFP
Marcos earlier hailed Carlos for her expertise in foreign policy and international politics, which was further displayed when she served as a panelist at the SMNI presidential debate in March, the only debate Marcos participated in during the election period.
She also served as the first female civilian president of the National Defense College of the Philippines from August 1998 to October 2001.
On Tuesday (June 7), China’s Ambassador to the Philippines Huang Xilian said the differences between China and the Philippines can be managed through bilateral consultation and friendly communication.

Huang made the statement after the Department of Foreign Affairs summoned him last week due to the alleged harassment of a Philippine Coast Guard vessel conducting research activities in the disputed territory. He said they have been communicating with the Philippine government in a diplomatic and peaceful manner.
Follow Richard Javad Heydarian on Twitter at richeydarian
asiatimes.com · by Richard Javad Heydarian · June 10, 2022


22. US Navy SEAL mini-sub built for South China Sea action



US Navy SEAL mini-sub built for South China Sea action
New MK11 SEAL Delivery Vehicle signals doctrine shift from counterinsurgency and counterterrorism to great power competition
asiatimes.com · by Gabriel Honrada · June 10, 2022
Last month, the US Navy SEALs unveiled their new MK11 SEAL Delivery Vehicle (SDV), which is slated to replace the MK8 SDV in service since the 1980s.
Significantly, this capability upgrade may be part of a reorientation in the use of US Special Forces from counterterrorism and counterinsurgency to great power competition and could be deployed in any conflict in the South China Sea.
SDVs are small, free-flooding submarines that can transport a small team of well-equipped SEALs for infiltration, reconnaissance, direct action and other amphibious missions.

When being free-flooded, SEALs are surrounded by sea water during the entire mission while they breathe compressed air from the SDV’s life support systems or their own breathing apparatus.
The MK11 SDV reached initial operating capability (IOC) this summer, while its “next generation” isn’t scheduled to reach full operational capabilities until 2027. Before achieving IOC, the first five units delivered between 2018 to 2020 underwent thorough tests and alterations.
The MK11 features a digital life support system into which divers can plug into. It features an upgraded communications suite that allows diver-to-diver, diver-to-platform and platform-to-platform communications.
Compared to the MK8, which will be replaced on a one-to-one basis, the MK11s are twelve inches longer, six inches taller and wider, and 4,000 pounds heavier.
They could also be armed with Black Scorpion mini torpedoes. This would require installing five-inch launch tubes for six torpedoes on the port and starboard sides of the sub. However, arming a mini-sub with mini-torpedoes is not believed to have ever been tried before.

New MK11 could be used to deploy US Navy SEALs on seek and destroy missions. Image: Twitter
The MK11 follows a system-of-system approach to its design and is part of a larger system that includes new SEAL personal equipment, the MK11 SDV and the new Virginia and Columbia-class subs.
It is designed to be compatible with the latest SEAL personal equipment, such as jet boots, dive tablets and thermal suits, allowing operators to carry more equipment while having more space. That, in turn, will conceivably reduce crew fatigue, allow for longer missions and preserve operational effectiveness.
The MK11 is also designed to be compatible with upgraded Dry Deck Shelters (DDS) which may be installed in future units of the Virginia-class and Columbia-class subs, as the current Ohio-class subs are nearing the end of their service lives.
A DDS acts as a cylindrical garage for SEAL equipment, SDVs or underwater drones. Currently, the US is modernizing one of its six DDS units, extending it by 50 inches and allowing for remote control from the host submarine with the goal of increasing its payload volume by 30% and payload capacity to 300%.
It will also have remote operation capabilities from Virginia-class subs.

The MK11’s introduction indicates a major paradigm shift in US Special Forces doctrine. While being heavily engaged in counterterrorism and counterinsurgency from the late 20th to early 21st century, Special Forces capabilities are being built for future great power competition with China and Russia.
For the past two decades, US Navy SEALs were the spearhead for hunting down terrorists in land-based campaigns in Iraq and Afghanistan, but are now returning to their original maritime mission skill-set. As such, the US is gearing up its SEAL teams to be effective against great power rivals it considers to be near-peer adversaries.
As a niche but highly capable platform, the MK11 can stealthily transport SEAL teams close to enemy harbors, naval bases or other strategic targets.
In the South China Sea, for example, SEAL teams deployed to small islands could operate with a very small footprint and great mobility, making them especially difficult to detect and destroy.
SEAL teams deployed from the MK11 may move to destroy China’s anti-access/area denial (A2/AD) assets on its occupied sea features, including radar sites and missile batteries, and thus allow US and allied forces greater freedom of action in the disputed area.

The China-occupied Fiery Cross Reef in the South China Sea. Image: People’s Daily
The MK11 with its embarked SEAL team could be deployed to infiltrate enemy naval bases and sink hostile warships at port using limpet mines or mini-torpedoes. They could also perform small-scale sea denial missions by mining the approaches to enemy harbors and bases using various explosive devices.
Both the MK11 and its SEAL crew may also perform strategic reconnaissance missions, acting as covert eyes and ears for carrier battlegroups and assisting warships with over-the-horizon targeting for cruise missile strikes or airstrikes from carrier-based aircraft.
A MK11 or SEAL team stationed on or around one of the South China Sea’s many remote islands may be able to use advanced sensors to detect and transmit the location of passing Chinese warships to US and allied air, naval, and ground forces in the vicinity, which could then open fire on the target.
asiatimes.com · by Gabriel Honrada · June 10, 2022
23. A Ukraine Strategy for the Long Haul

For when the public loses interest?

Excerpts:
Publicly, U.S. officials should frame the war in Ukraine in terms of order, not democracy. Many of the world’s governments are not democratic, but they can relate to the importance of not being invaded. The model should be the Gulf War, when the United States garnered widespread international support for restoring Kuwait’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, not the 2003 Iraq war, when efforts to transform Iraq left the United States mostly isolated. At home and abroad, Biden should regularly make the case for why Ukraine matters: namely, that if grisly, unprovoked invasions became commonplace, the world would be less safe, less prosperous, and less able to contend with global challenges that affect everyone.
Ultimately, what is probably required to end the war is a change not in Washington but in Moscow. In all likelihood, given Putin’s deep investment in the war, it will require someone other than him to take steps that would end Russia’s pariah status, economic crisis, and military quagmire. The West should make clear that it is ready to reward a new Russian leader prepared to take such steps even as it keeps up the pressure on the current one.




A Ukraine Strategy for the Long Haul
The West Needs a Policy to Manage a War That Will Go On
By Richard Haass
June 10, 2022
Foreign Affairs · by Richard Haass · June 10, 2022
With Russia’s war against Ukraine having passed the 100-day mark, calls for the conflict to be brought to an end are multiplying in the United States and Europe. Italy has put forward a detailed peace plan, French President Emmanuel Macron has emphasized the importance of giving Russia an off-ramp, and former U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger has suggested that Ukraine ought to consider ceding territory to Russia in exchange for peace.
But wars end in only one of two ways: when one side imposes its will on the other, first on the battlefield, then at the negotiating table, or when both sides embrace a compromise they deem preferable to fighting. In Ukraine, neither scenario is likely to materialize anytime soon. The conflict has become a war of attrition, with Russian and Ukrainian forces now concentrated against each other in a relatively confined area. Diplomatically, the Ukrainians have little interest in accepting Russian occupation of large swaths of their territory. Russian President Vladimir Putin, for his part, has little interest in agreeing to anything that could be judged at home to constitute defeat. The inescapable conclusion, then, is that this war will go on—and on.
With victory and compromise both off the table for the foreseeable future, the United States and Europe need a strategy for managing an open-ended conflict. “Managing,” not “solving,” is the operative word here, because a solution almost certainly would require a fundamental change in Moscow’s behavior, caused either by widespread popular protest in Russia stemming from economic collapse or massive casualties or by Chinese pressure. No solution is likely to happen; it is more probable that one will have to await the emergence of a new Russian leader who is prepared to accept a truly sovereign Ukraine, and that, unfortunately, is beyond the West’s ability to bring about. What the West can do, however, is maintain and selectively ramp up its support to Ukraine, abide by the limits on its own direct military involvement, and increase the economic pressure on Russia. That would amount to a policy designed to deal with, rather than end, the war.
RUSSIA’S CHOICE
With regime change in Kyiv unattainable, Putin has reduced his ambitions, focusing on controlling a slice of the south and east of Ukraine in an effort to enlarge and connect the territories he took in 2014. What he has not given up, however, is his belief that Ukraine does not deserve to be a sovereign entity. As a result, it is difficult to imagine Putin ending the conflict. If Russian forces fare poorly in their ongoing offensive in the Donbas, he will be loath to accept what many might view as a defeat in a war he started. Doing so could render him vulnerable to internal challenge and could come to define his legacy. If, on the other hand, Russian forces gain the upper hand, Putin will see no reason to agree to a cessation of fighting.
Further dimming the prospects of peace is the unlikelihood that any of the developments that could change Putin’s calculus will materialize. Take, for instance, criticism within Russia of the war. Ukraine claims that 30,000 Russian soldiers have already been killed in battle, whereas other assessments suggest that the number is half as high. Whatever the precise figure, it is surely larger than the Kremlin had imagined. In a normal society, that would sap support for the war. But because the government can so effectively control information and crack down against its opponents, domestic criticism of the war has been relatively muted so far.

What if the economic pressure mounts? For now, the sanctions are nowhere near the point of threatening to bring down Putin. Higher oil prices and the emergence of buyers such as India have helped offset reduced sales to the West. Europe, for its part, continues to import Russian gas. If it stopped doing so, Russia would be hard-pressed to sell the gas to others, but Europe is likely to keep buying. Worried about their economies, European countries will resist cutting off imports until they can be assured of either alternative supplies of gas or substitute energy sources—all of which will take years to materialize.
Then there is the prospect of pressure from China, which has so far stood by Russia. If the West persuaded Beijing to distance itself from Moscow, then Putin might realize that his invasion was costing him a vital partner. The United States and Europe should do what they can to drive apart the two powers, including offering incentives to China while also warning it that continued support for Russia would lead to a further deterioration of U.S.-Chinese relations. But even if they tried, their efforts still might fail, as Chinese President Xi Jinping would be extremely reluctant to do anything that would lead to Russia’s defeat or that would suggest that he erred in associating China so closely with Russia.
THE VIEW FROM UKRAINE
Kyiv’s calculations are more complicated. Like any attacked country, Ukraine has been forced to set its war aims on the fly. Its government does not speak with a single voice, and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky himself has shifted his stance. At times, he has suggested that he would accept nothing less than the status quo that prevailed from 1991, when Ukraine became independent from the Soviet Union, to 2014. At other times, he has hinted that Ukraine could live with a return to a different status quo ante, the one that prevailed after 2014 but before the 2022 invasion, which would leave Russia in control of Crimea and some of the Donbas.
In determining whether to sue for peace, Ukraine has to consider a number of factors. The most pressing is the direct cost of war. So far, according to the UN, the country has suffered more than 3,000 civilian casualties and, according to Zelensky, is losing up to 100 soldiers a day. The Ukrainian economy is expected to shrink by 45 percent this year. More than 6.5 million Ukrainians out of a population of 44 million have fled the country since the war began. More than seven million are internally displaced. Such enormous costs are difficult to sustain.
Ukraine will probably not be able to restore the status quo that prevailed before this February.
Another factor for Ukraine to consider is the possibility that the military tide could turn. Although its forces have fared far better than expected, it cannot assume they will continue to do so. As Russia has concentrated its forces and firepower in a smaller part of the country, it has seen its fortunes improve. Scenarios in which Ukraine pushed Russian forces back to the border, a possibility that could prompt a desperate Putin to contemplate using weapons of mass destruction, seem much less likely than they did a month ago.
Further complicating Ukraine’s decision-making calculus is the uncertain staying power of the West. In the United States, bipartisan support for arming Ukraine is showing some fraying. The Republican Party is exhibiting classic signs of isolationism, with 11 Republican senators and 57 Republican members of the House of Representatives voting against the $40 billion aid package that was passed in May. Other leading Republicans, including former President Donald Trump and J. D. Vance, the Republican Senate candidate in Ohio, have argued that domestic needs should take precedence over helping Ukraine. On the Democratic side, higher gas prices, in part the result of the war, pose a serious political problem for the Biden administration. Other issues are crowding out Ukraine, with abortion, gun control, inflation, border security, and urban crime all competing for Americans’ attention. In Europe, there is growing concern about the long-term economic and security implications of isolating Russia, the potential that NATO could come into direct conflict with Russia if Putin widened the war , the influx of Ukrainian refugees, and rising energy prices.

Yet despite these considerations, Ukraine will almost certainly hold out. It will, for good and understandable reasons, resist giving up any territory. Ukrainians are confident in the strength of their military and its superior morale, and they believe that territorial compromise would merely feed Putin’s appetite. The brutality of the war has hardened public and elite opinion. Zelensky appears confident that he can maintain U.S. and European support. All of this strongly suggests Ukraine will persevere and refuse to accept peace at any price.
GIVE PEACE A CHANCE?
It is not surprising that the desire to end the war is increasing as its human, economic, and diplomatic costs mount. The most common proposed settlement is for Ukraine to cede some of the territory Russia currently occupies in exchange for Moscow agreeing to end hostilities. This “land for peace” approach has informed much of the diplomacy of the Middle East, ever since the 1967 Six-Day War, when the UN Security Council proposed that Israel give up territory it conquered in the war in return for peace with its Arab neighbors.
This framework has worked in several instances—nowhere more so than in the peace treaties Israel signed with Egypt and Jordan—but it is a bad fit for Ukraine. Whereas Israel relinquished territory that it had gained through war, Ukraine would be asked to cede territory it had lost in an unprovoked war against it. The power differential is also backward. It is one thing for a strong protagonist to cede land to gain peace, as was the case with Israel, but it is another thing for the weaker party to offer territory to the stronger party in the hope that the latter will at last be satisfied. That was the approach taken in Munich in 1938, when Adolf Hitler was given the Sudetenland, then part of Czechoslovakia, and it has been rightfully discredited ever since.
U.S. officials should frame the war in Ukraine in terms of order, not democracy.
Still, any participant in a conflict must constantly weigh the costs and benefits of continuing to wage war against those of laying down arms. Ceding territory for peace may or may not be an attractive option for Ukraine; the answer depends on which and how much territory, whether that territory might eventually be regained, and other features of the peace, including its permanence—all of which are hard to predict. The bottom line, however, is that it is nearly impossible to imagine Ukraine agreeing even temporarily to an outcome that left Russia in control of significantly more territory than it occupied before February. True, Ukraine has at times signaled its readiness to give up its ambitions of joining NATO and pledge its neutrality. But if the country did that, it would also insist that this be a well-armed neutrality, which would require continued Western military support—something that Russia would likely not accept. Nor is Russia likely to accept Ukrainian membership in the EU, a priority for Zelensky. It is also hard to imagine the two governments could agree on external security guarantees for Ukraine or the presence of troops from third countries, because such arrangements would lock in territorial arrangements that one side or the other might wish to revise.
The United States, for its part, has said that it is up to Ukraine to decide what it wants in a settlement. That stance is difficult to justify, given that Washington has far broader interests at stake than does Kyiv. The Biden administration has further muddied the waters by suggesting a range of different goals, from weakening Russia to achieving regime change. At the end of May, U.S. President Joe Biden sought to clarify his intentions, writing in a New York Times op-ed, “We want to see a democratic, independent, sovereign and prosperous Ukraine with the means to deter and defend itself against further aggression.”
This statement helps, but it does not end the confusion. The Biden administration has been reluctant to admit the uncomfortable truth that there is a trade-off at play in Ukraine. The United States has an interest in enforcing the norm that countries do not alter borders with force, but that interest conflicts with another: the desire to avoid a direct fight with a nuclear-armed great power. That is why the United States has refused to put boots on the ground, ruled out a no-fly zone over Ukraine, and declined to break Russia’s blockade of Ukrainian ports. Such restraint is wise, but what it adds up to is the reality that Ukraine will have to keep doing its own fighting—and that even with Western help, Ukraine will probably not be able to restore the status quo that prevailed before this February, to say nothing of the one that existed before 2014.
THE LONG VIEW
The West thus needs a strategy for the long haul. Such a strategy would reflect an understanding that policy to date has largely succeeded and that many of its features ought to be extended, but also that going forward, new elements will be required. While avoiding direct military involvement, the United States and Europe should keep providing Ukraine with the arms it needs (along with associated intelligence and training) so that it can frustrate Russian military actions and regain control of more of its territory. They should back Ukraine’s goal of restoring its full territorial integrity through an open-ended policy of sanctions and diplomacy while holding fast in their refusal to recognize any territory that Putin attempts to make part of Russia. They should welcome Norway and Sweden into NATO, either formally as full members or as de facto members covered by side assurances if Turkey continues its opposition. They should do all this because they must uphold a critical international norm: that borders cannot be altered by force.
Sanctions against Russia remain critical. None would be more effective than an eventual European cutoff of Russian gas. European countries must make it a priority to accelerate the development of alternative energy supplies. But in the meantime, they can apply tariffs to Russian oil and gas to reduce demand. European countries should also ready contingency plans for the possibility that Russia cuts gas exports to Europe in an effort to curtail arms shipments to Ukraine or weaken support for sanctions. The United States, Europe, and their partners in Asia, such as Australia, Japan, Singapore, and South Korea, should continue to provide Ukraine with financial support. Funds would help make up for the severe economic disruption the country has experienced and aid the millions of people displaced by the war.

Ultimately, what is probably required to end the war is a change not in Washington but in Moscow.
The West should also attempt to restore grain exports from Ukraine, which are central to the world’s food security. If logistical constraints and Russian attacks limit what Ukraine can transport via rail and road to ports in Romania, then the United States and its European allies should consider providing Ukraine with enhanced means (most likely aircraft) to attack Russian naval vessels in the Black Sea. Putting together an international coalition to escort merchant ships as they leave Ukrainian ports is attractive in principle, but in practice it would likely prove impossible to organize and too risky to undertake.
Publicly, U.S. officials should frame the war in Ukraine in terms of order, not democracy. Many of the world’s governments are not democratic, but they can relate to the importance of not being invaded. The model should be the Gulf War, when the United States garnered widespread international support for restoring Kuwait’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, not the 2003 Iraq war, when efforts to transform Iraq left the United States mostly isolated. At home and abroad, Biden should regularly make the case for why Ukraine matters: namely, that if grisly, unprovoked invasions became commonplace, the world would be less safe, less prosperous, and less able to contend with global challenges that affect everyone.
Ultimately, what is probably required to end the war is a change not in Washington but in Moscow. In all likelihood, given Putin’s deep investment in the war, it will require someone other than him to take steps that would end Russia’s pariah status, economic crisis, and military quagmire. The West should make clear that it is ready to reward a new Russian leader prepared to take such steps even as it keeps up the pressure on the current one.

Foreign Affairs · by Richard Haass · June 10, 2022



24. Has China Lost Europe?

Good section heading: Power, not pragmatism.

Conclusion:
China’s failures in central and eastern Europe highlight the country’s increasingly ideological approach to foreign affairs under Xi Jinping. Most of these failures were self-inflicted. China has long been suspicious of Western alliances, such as NATO, but its decision to openly endorse the Russian position went a step further, essentially telling countries in the 16+1 to abandon one of their key foreign-policy priorities. People in the Chinese foreign policy establishment must have recognized how badly this would play in the region, but they were apparently unable to sway the Chinese leadership. Instead, Xi’s desire to strike a deal with Russian President Vladimir Putin, with whom he has strong personal relations, won out. This behavior is part of an overall sidelining of China’s foreign-policy experts in favor of ideologues closer to Xi.
In the economic sphere, investing in the less wealthy countries of Europe would have been a challenge under any circumstances. But China’s unwillingness to see troubled projects through to completion made the situation worse. Instead, the 16+1 summits continued, with the same broken goals listed on the organization’s Chinese website.
Beijing’s unyielding approach to Europe may not last forever. Analysts and officials in central and eastern Europe who have dealt with China say that its officials are now strong linguistically in the mosaic of languages and cultures that make up the region. And the Chinese leadership is persistent—although its ambassador’s visit to the region last month was considered a failure, Beijing is unlikely to give up. Success, however, will depend on a return to more pragmatic policies. And with Xi Jinping likely to take another five-year term at a key Communist Party meeting this autumn, that sort of course correction may have to wait.


Has China Lost Europe?

How Beijing’s Economic Missteps and Support for Russia Soured European Leaders
By Ian Johnson
June 10, 2022
Foreign Affairs · by Ian Johnson · June 10, 2022
In April and May, as Russia’s war in Ukraine entered its third month, China sent a special envoy to meet with officials in eight central and eastern European countries. The timing was not coincidental: in the two months since Russia had launched its invasion, China’s standing in Europe had sunk to new lows. European governments were dismayed by Beijing’s strengthened ties to Moscow and its tacit support for Russia’s aggression, and the Chinese leadership hoped to do damage control in a part of the continent where it believed it had special sway.
For a decade now, China has made the countries of central and eastern Europe one of its diplomatic focal points. Offering top-level access in Beijing and dangling huge trade opportunities, Chinese officials believed they could use this belt of smaller, post-communist governments as a counterweight to critical voices in the European Union and U.S. influence on the European continent. And with the war in Ukraine bringing a chill over China’s European relations, Beijing assumed that a series of brisk meetings in the region—including in Budapest, Prague, Riga, and Warsaw—would help turn the tables it its favor. But these efforts went nowhere. Instead, the Chinese ambassador and the rest of her delegation were rebuffed, with the Czech foreign ministry, for example, saying it used the meeting to express “reservations to current Chinese cooperation with Russia.”
Of the many important ripple effects of the war in Ukraine, the growing rupture between China and Europe is perhaps the least appreciated. In earlier years, the Chinese government viewed the European Union as an area of the world where it could pursue its economic interests with fewer of the geopolitical tensions that characterize its relations with Washington. And it set out to use what it saw as its special ties with a large group of countries in central and eastern Europe, in particular, to cement this business-over-politics approach. For European governments that, like China, had transitioned to capitalism in recent decades, China was a powerful new partner that held out the potential of large-scale investment in their economies. In return, Beijing hoped to find a backdoor to Europe’s vast markets, as well as gain new political leverage in its growing rivalry with the United States.
Today, however, Europe has become one of China’s biggest foreign-policy headaches. In part, the current situation is a result of economic miscalculations by both sides, which overestimated the potential benefits of the arrangement. But China’s increasingly rigid position on Taiwan has made things worse. The Chinese government has retaliated against Lithuania for giving a small amount of symbolic recognition to Taiwan; and over the past year, it has made threatening noises toward other European governments over the same issue. Amid these souring relations, China’s support for Russia in Ukraine has brought its European troubles to a head.
The stakes are not small. The war in Ukraine has exposed how few allies China has and how badly the Chinese leadership miscalculated in pursuing close ties with Russia. Beijing’s heavy-handed efforts to gain leverage in Europe have also backfired. Even as its economy and growing military strength guarantee it power and attention, its failed European project has underscored its inability to win durable partners among the advanced democracies—a pattern that seems likely to hinder its long-term influence in the world.
China’s Warsaw Pact
Beijing’s broader European strategy took shape a decade ago, when China launched its partnership with central and eastern Europe. Established in Warsaw in April 2012, the group quickly became known as the 16+1, because it consisted of China and 16 European countries: Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, North Macedonia, Montenegro, Poland, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, and Slovenia. (The group later grew to 17, when one country that wasn’t part of the old eastern bloc, Greece, joined in 2019. It fell back to 16 when Lithuania abandoned the pact in 2021.)

At the time, many China analysts saw this regional foray as a shrewd move—a successful prelude to its Belt and Road Initiative, which was launched the following year in an effort to promote Chinese business and political ties around the world. Under President Xi Jinping’s predecessor, Hu Jintao, China had sought to craft an image of itself as a peaceful, technocratic country whose main priority was integration into the global economy rather than projection of hard power. Despite China’s size and authoritarian political system, many European leaders—along with major European companies such as Volkswagen and Siemens—saw China as a largely forward-looking country that was providing access to a vast market. And China’s strategic goals, such as reunifying with Taiwan and expanding power into the South China Sea, were far away from Europe’s core interests.
For both China and its European partners, the 16+1 group also seemed to make sense historically: the world’s second-largest economy and its European partners shared a socialist heritage. All were in various stages of market-oriented economic reforms. Moreover, 11 of these small countries were members of the European Union, so China could gain a toehold in the world’s largest trading bloc without having to compete directly with western Europe’s advanced economies. Chinese-built factories in these countries would qualify as being inside the EU and hence given privileged access to the EU’s common market. And Beijing could more easily establish itself in these countries than in their more developed counterparts, such as Germany and Scandinavia.
Beijing saw Eastern Europe as a backdoor to Brussels.
The Chinese government also saw the 16+1 as a steppingstone to a broader economic deal with the EU itself. In 2013, the EU and China began negotiations for what became known as the Comprehensive Agreement on Investment. After years of discussions, the two sides finalized the deal in principle in 2020 with the aggressive backing of then German Chancellor Angela Merkel. On paper, it seemed that China might be on the road to a more long-term economic relationship with Europe.
By this point, however, the 16+1 had been hobbled by its poorly defined aims. For one thing, China and its European partners had entered the pact with radically different expectations. From the start, the project was largely a Chinese creation. China built a website to document the project and set up a secretariat staffed exclusively with Chinese foreign ministry officials. By contrast, many of the governments in the region saw the relationship as merely a way to gain Chinese investment and trade, but didn’t share Beijing’s goal of reorienting themselves away from Brussels. China’s official rhetoric about the pact, drawing on the vague and clichéd language of Chinese government discourse, did little to clarify the aims of the group, stating blandly that it was “based on traditional friendship and shared desire of all the participants for win-win cooperation and common development.”
Tangible results were correspondingly meager. A basic problem was China’s assumption that central and eastern European countries formed a coherent bloc. The region covered by the 16+1 stretched nearly 2,000 miles, from Estonia in the north to Greece in the south, and included countries with hugely different economic conditions. Five of the 16 countries—Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, North Macedonia, Montenegro, and Serbia—were not members of the EU and were largely poorer nations with lower standards of development.

What initially united these countries in agreeing to China’s overtures was the assumption that, in the aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis, a partnership with Beijing would mean an enormous injection of Chinese capital. The money would then revive old factories and projects that had found no Western investors. But few of these hopes have borne out. In 2013, for example, at a 16+1 summit in Bucharest, China, Hungary, and Serbia discussed a high-speed rail line between Belgrade and Budapest. The $3 billion project, advertised as the most important Belt and Road initiative in Europe, was heralded as a symbol of China’s new partnership. A decade later, however, the rail line is still unfinished and has been embroiled in charges of corruption and lack of transparency. As the Romanian scholar Andreea Brinza put it, the 16+1 quickly became “an annual summit featuring a plethora of unfulfilled promises and projects.”
Broken Promises?
According to Chinese figures, trade between China and its European partners grew eight percent a year between 2012 and 2020 and surged even more during the pandemic. But the growth was starting from a very low base, and the results have been extremely modest. According to the Czech researcher Richard Q. Turcsanyi, China still accounts for less than two percent of the central and eastern European region’s exports and nine percent of its imports; Chinese foreign direct investment has had an even smaller impact, making up less than one percent of total foreign direct investment. That, Turcsanyi has observed, means that central and eastern Europe “has the least Chinese presence when compared to any other region in the world when measured by its shares of economic interaction.” Given Beijing’s decade-long effort to cultivate the region, this is an astonishingly poor showing.
One reason the results were so dismal is that the Chinese approach left it up to Chinese companies to do the actual investing. Although many Chinese companies are state owned, they are still profit oriented. And for these enterprises, central and eastern Europe simply isn’t very attractive. Compared to western Europe, it is less densely populated, cities are dispersed across a large area, there is less infrastructure, and standards of living are lower. No wonder, despite Beijing’s rhetorical encouragement, few Chinese companies have taken up the call to invest in the region.
China’s anti-NATO rhetoric flies in the face of Europe’s security concerns.
Seen broadly, China’s mishaps in Europe reflect an approach to policymaking that make sense in the Chinese context but does not always play well overseas, especially in advanced democracies, where governments are more directly accountable to their electorates. Many initiatives in China are often showy affairs that start with a bang and report creatively produced statistics. They offer a statement of intent rather than concrete plans. Content is added later, sometimes years later, or never at all.
Another problem was China’s mercantilist approach to foreign policy and trade—basing foreign relations on calculations of economic gain. All countries do this to some extent, but China is unusual among major powers in relying so heavily on economic ties to shape its foreign relations. Meanwhile, the projects that China has announced have often turned into boondoggles or dead ends. Along with the high-speed rail project, these include a $15.6 billion expansion of the Cernavoda Nuclear Power Plant in Romania, for which the promised Chinese investment never materialized. In 2020, seven years after China had signed on to the deal, the project was taken over by a U.S. consortium. Partly because of the nuclear plant debacle, the Romanian government last year banned Chinese companies from participating in public infrastructure tenders. Other governments in the region have made similar moves, viewing Chinese bidding on contracts as harmful to their efforts to compete with more advanced industrial economies.
Arm-Twisting on Taiwan
But China’s eroding support in Europe has not been limited to economic failures. Many European governments have increasingly bridled at Beijing’s efforts to use its economic might to silence criticism of its own policies and human rights record. Nowhere has this coercive strategy been more pronounced than on the matter of Taiwan.
Consider the case of Lithuania. In deference to China, most countries in Europe and elsewhere have used the word “Taipei” to describe any Taiwanese representative offices in their countries, the idea being that it was acceptable to use the island’s capital rather than its proper name because the latter somehow implied statehood. When Lithuania decided to flout this convention last year—allowing Taiwan to open a representative office that featured “Taiwan” in its name—Beijing responded with a total economic ban on the country. It not only cut off Lithuanian exports to China but threatened to ban any product manufactured in another country if the item contained a Lithuanian component.
At first, it seemed that Lithuania would find few supporters in Europe for refusing to bow to Chinese demands. That was especially true after China threatened to sanction international companies that used components made in Lithuania. Some EU countries— including Germany, which has a large trade with China—put informal pressure on Lithuania to back down on its pro-Taiwanese stance. Gradually, however, European leaders found Beijing’s hardline behavior intolerable. In January 2022, Brussels launched a case with the World Trade Organization, accusing Beijing of engaging in discriminatory practices because it stopped clearing Lithuanian goods through customs and rejected import applications from Lithuania. It was amid these deteriorating relations that the war in Ukraine turned many European governments more decisively against China.
Russia Over Europe?
The Chinese government’s support for Russia in the lead-up to the invasion caught many European leaders by surprise. Just before the war began, China and Russia issued a joint communiqué that endorsed Russia’s call for NATO to be rolled back to 1997 borders. This action would have stripped countries such as the Czech Republic, Poland, Slovakia, and the Baltic states—all of them members of the 16+1 group that China was supposedly supporting—of NATO weapons and troops, leaving them as vulnerable as Ukraine.

Beijing’s behavior since the war began—repeating the Russian talking point that the invasion was provoked by NATO enlargement—has crystalized the growing unease in European capitals. In March, German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock said that the war showed that “one-sided economic alignments in fact make us vulnerable. Not just with regard to Russia.” European frustration with China boiled over after a summit in early April between senior Chinese leaders and the European Parliament. The EU’s top representative for foreign affairs, Joseph Borrell, called it a “dialogue of the deaf.” These sentiments have been especially strong among the members of the 16+1, many of which are now on the frontlines of the face-off with Russia and have themselves benefited from NATO security guarantees.
Several European countries have now openly embraced Lithuania’s outspoken position on Taiwan. One is the Czech Republic, which is also one of the wealthiest countries in the region. In April, Czech Foreign Minister Jan Lipavsky demanded greater scrutiny of China’s support for Russia, accused China of having “bullied” Taiwan, and called for closer Czech-Taiwan relations. Latvia, Lithuania’s close neighbor, has meanwhile called on Beijing to “use more leverage in order to stop Russia’s aggression against Ukraine.”
Notably, the 16+1 itself has seemed increasingly moribund. Last year, six member countries decided against having their heads of state attend a virtual summit with Xi Jinping, sending lower-level officials instead. This year, the 16+1 summit did not take place, possibly because of the war in Ukraine.
Power, Not Pragmatism
China’s failures in central and eastern Europe highlight the country’s increasingly ideological approach to foreign affairs under Xi Jinping. Most of these failures were self-inflicted. China has long been suspicious of Western alliances, such as NATO, but its decision to openly endorse the Russian position went a step further, essentially telling countries in the 16+1 to abandon one of their key foreign-policy priorities. People in the Chinese foreign policy establishment must have recognized how badly this would play in the region, but they were apparently unable to sway the Chinese leadership. Instead, Xi’s desire to strike a deal with Russian President Vladimir Putin, with whom he has strong personal relations, won out. This behavior is part of an overall sidelining of China’s foreign-policy experts in favor of ideologues closer to Xi.
In the economic sphere, investing in the less wealthy countries of Europe would have been a challenge under any circumstances. But China’s unwillingness to see troubled projects through to completion made the situation worse. Instead, the 16+1 summits continued, with the same broken goals listed on the organization’s Chinese website.
Beijing’s unyielding approach to Europe may not last forever. Analysts and officials in central and eastern Europe who have dealt with China say that its officials are now strong linguistically in the mosaic of languages and cultures that make up the region. And the Chinese leadership is persistent—although its ambassador’s visit to the region last month was considered a failure, Beijing is unlikely to give up. Success, however, will depend on a return to more pragmatic policies. And with Xi Jinping likely to take another five-year term at a key Communist Party meeting this autumn, that sort of course correction may have to wait.

Foreign Affairs · by Ian Johnson · June 10, 2022





De Oppresso Liber,
David Maxwell
Senior Fellow, Foundation for Defense of Democracies
Senior Fellow, Global Peace Foundation
Senior Advisor, Center for Asia Pacific Strategy
Editor, Small Wars Journal
Twitter: @davidmaxwell161
VIDEO "WHEREBY" Link: https://whereby.com/david-maxwell
Phone: 202-573-8647

V/R
David Maxwell
Senior Fellow
Foundation for Defense of Democracies
Phone: 202-573-8647
Personal Email: david.maxwell161@gmail.com
Web Site: www.fdd.org
Twitter: @davidmaxwell161
Subscribe to FDD’s new podcastForeign Podicy
FDD is a Washington-based nonpartisan research institute focusing on national security and foreign policy.

If you do not read anything else in the 2017 National Security Strategy read this on page 14:

"A democracy is only as resilient as its people. An informed and engaged citizenry is the fundamental requirement for a free and resilient nation. For generations, our society has protected free press, free speech, and free thought. Today, actors such as Russia are using information tools in an attempt to undermine the legitimacy of democracies. Adversaries target media, political processes, financial networks, and personal data. The American public and private sectors must recognize this and work together to defend our way of life. No external threat can be allowed to shake our shared commitment to our values, undermine our system of government, or divide our Nation."
Company Name | Website
basicImage