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Uniqueness doesn’t overwhelm the link – Passage of rail strike aversion legislation is not certain

Julia Mueller, 11-29, 22, The Hill, Rubio says he won’t vote for any deal that lacks support of rail workers, https://thehill.com/policy/transportation/3754746-rubio-says-he-wont-vote-for-any-deal-that-lacks-support-of-rail-workers/

Amid pressure on Congress to pass a bill that would avert a rail shutdown, ​​Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) said Tuesday that he won’t back any deal that lacks support from rail workers. “Just because Congress has the authority to impose a heavy-handed solution does not mean we should. It is wrong for the Biden Administration, which has failed to fight for workers, to ask Congress to impose a deal the workers themselves have rejected. I will not vote for any deal that does not have the support of the rail workers,” Rubio said in a statement. A shutdown looms due to an ongoing labor dispute between rail workers and operators. President Biden on Monday urged lawmakers to “immediately” pass legislation that would adopt a tentative labor agreement “without any modifications or delay” in order to avoid what the president said could be “a potentially crippling national rail shutdown.” The tentative agreement, which negotiators reached in September but has been rejected by some rail unions, would boost union members’ wages by 14 percent and increase wages and medical care for workers whose pay had been frozen. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said the House would take up such a bill and send it over to the Senate. “It is my hope that this necessary, strike-averting legislation will earn a strongly bipartisan vote, giving America’s families confidence in our commitment to protecting their financial futures,” Pelosi said in a statement. But Rubio said the matter should return to the negotiating table due to workers’ concerns, noting the tentative agreement has been rejected by four of 12 involved unions due to its lack of paid sick days. “Instead of relying on Congress to carry their water, the parties should go back to the negotiating table and strike a fair deal that workers can accept,” Rubio said. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) has also said that the deal doesn’t go far enough. “I would like to see management come to the table and treat their workers with respect. If they don’t, then Congress has got to act to make sure that there is guaranteed sick leave for these workers,” Sanders said, according to The Washington Post.

Omnibus spending deal instead of CR now

Alexander Bolton, 11-29, 22, The Hill, McConnell says there’s ‘widespread agreement’ among leaders on need for omnibus, https://thehill.com/homenews/3754722-mcconnell-says-theres-widespread-agreement-among-leaders-on-need-for-omnibus/

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) announced Tuesday that there is “widespread agreement” among leaders in Washington about the need to pass an omnibus spending package next month, despite calls from conservatives to punt such decisions into next year. But the GOP leader cautioned there are “significant hurdles” to reaching a deal, which means talks could drag right up until Christmas to avoid a government shutdown. “We had a really good meeting. Laid out the challenges that we’re all collectively facing here. I think there’s widespread agreement that we’d be better off with an omnibus than a [continuing resolution], but there are some significant hurdles to get over to do that,” McConnell told reporters after meeting with President Biden and congressional leaders at the White House. He said that “for myself and I think the majority of my conference, defense and Ukraine” funding are “at the top of the list” of priorities. But he said Democrats’ request for increased nondefense discretionary spending is a “sticking point.” “We’re going to keep talking to each other,” he added. McConnell, Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.), Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) will meet Wednesday with the Democratic chairmen and Republican ranking members of the Senate and House Appropriations committees to discuss the outlines of the spending package. All four Senate and House party leaders met with Biden on Tuesday. “We had a good discussion about funding the government. We all agreed that an omnibus would be better than a [continuing resolution],” Schumer told reporters after the meeting.

No guarantee Republicans will support the rail strike bill

 

Karl Evers-Hillstrom, 11-29, 22, The Hill, Congress poised to avoid crippling rail strike, enraging workers, https://thehill.com/business-a-lobbying/business-lobbying/3754724-congress-poised-to-avoid-crippling-rail-strike-enraging-workers/

“Our entire nation would suffer: more than 750,000 workers, including many union members, would lose their jobs in just the first two weeks. Millions of families wouldn’t be able to get groceries, medications and other goods, and our economy would be paralyzed as it continues to recover,” Pelosi said in a statement Monday. It’s expected that the tentative deal forced through by Congress would only apply to unions that have not yet ratified contract agreements. The agreement provides workers with 24 percent raises over five years, including back pay, and makes it easier for workers to take time off without pay. Labor leaders have been working with Democrats on language to give workers a stronger contract, and Pelosi said that the party is “continuing to fight for more of railroad workers’ priorities, including paid sick leave.” But at the same time, Pelosi said that the bill wouldn’t include any “poison pills or changes to the negotiated terms.” “Joe Biden blew it. He had the opportunity to prove his labor-friendly pedigree to millions of workers by simply asking Congress for legislation to end the threat of a national strike on terms more favorable to workers. Sadly, he could not bring himself to advocate for a lousy handful of sick days,” Hugh Sawyer, treasurer at Railroad Workers United, a grassroots rail workers’ group, said in a statement. Bottom line US voters want to avoid rail shutdown at all costs: poll Still, it’s unclear how Democrats would get 10 Senate Republicans to go along with that plan. In September, GOP senators insisted that Congress force through a tentative contract based on recommendations from a Biden-appointed board that didn’t provide sick leave. Republicans balked at the idea of modifying the agreement to make it more worker-friendly and argued that labor unions were holding the U.S. economy hostage by pushing for better terms. Asked about rail strike legislation following a meeting at the White House Tuesday, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said only, “we need to pass a bill.”

Putin will use any negotiation to rebuild his military and then expand the war to Europe

Bondarev, November-December 2022, BORIS BONDAREV worked as a diplomat in the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs from 2002 to 2022, most recently as a counsellor at the Russian Mission to the United Nations Office in Geneva. He resigned in May to protest the invasion of Ukraine., Foreign Affairs, The Sources of Russian Misconduct A Diplomat Defects From the Kremlin, https://www.foreignaffairs.com/russian-federation/sources-russia-misconduct-boris-bondarev?utm_campaign=ln_daily_soc&utm_medium=social&utm_source=linkedIn_posts

The Kremlin’s invasion has strengthened NATO, an entity it was designed to humiliate, and resulted in sanctions strong enough to make Russia’s economy contract. But fascist regimes legitimize themselves more by exercising power than by delivering economic gains, and Putin is so aggressive and detached from reality that a recession is unlikely to stop him. To justify his rule, Putin wants the great victory he promised and believes he can obtain. If he agrees to a cease-fire, it will only be to give Russian troops a rest before continuing to fight. And if he wins in Ukraine, Putin will likely move to attack another post-Soviet state, such as Moldova, where Moscow already props up a breakaway region.

There is, then, only one way to stop Russia’s dictator, and that is to do what U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin suggested in April: weaken the country “to the degree that it can’t do the kinds of things that it has done in invading Ukraine.” This may seem like a tall order. But Russia’s military has been substantially weakened, and the country has lost many of its best soldiers. With broad support from NATO, Ukraine is capable of eventually beating Russia in the east and south, just as it has done in the north.

The only thing that can stop Putin is military defeat

Bondarev, November-December 2022, BORIS BONDAREV worked as a diplomat in the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs from 2002 to 2022, most recently as a counsellor at the Russian Mission to the United Nations Office in Geneva. He resigned in May to protest the invasion of Ukraine., Foreign Affairs, The Sources of Russian Misconduct A Diplomat Defects From the Kremlin, https://www.foreignaffairs.com/russian-federation/sources-russia-misconduct-boris-bondarev?utm_campaign=ln_daily_soc&utm_medium=social&utm_source=linkedIn_posts

Over the course of the war, Western leaders have become acutely aware of Russia’s military’s failings. But they do not seem to grasp that Russian foreign policy is equally broken. Multiple European officials have spoken about the need for a negotiated settlement to the war in Ukraine, and if their countries grow tired of bearing the energy and economic costs associated with supporting Kyiv, they could press Ukraine to make a deal. The West may be especially tempted to push Kyiv to sue for peace if Putin aggressively threatens to use nuclear weapons. But as long as Putin is in power, Ukraine will have no one in Moscow with whom to genuinely negotiate. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs will not be a reliable interlocutor, nor will any other Russian government apparatus. They are all extensions of Putin and his imperial agenda. Any cease-fire will just give Russia a chance to rearm before attacking again. There’s only one thing that can really stop Putin, and that is a comprehensive rout. The Kremlin can lie to Russians all it wants, and it can order its diplomats to lie to everyone else. But Ukrainian soldiers pay no attention to Russian state television. And it became apparent that Russia’s defeats cannot always be shielded from the Russian public when, in the course of a few days in September, Ukrainians managed to retake almost all of Kharkiv Province. In response, Russian TV panelists bemoaned the losses. Online, hawkish Russian commentators directly criticized the president. “You’re throwing a billion-ruble party,” one wrote in a widely circulated online post, mocking Putin for presiding over the opening of a Ferris wheel as Russian forces retreated. “What is wrong with you?”

The Russian military is weak and conscription won’t solve

Bondarev, November-December 2022, BORIS BONDAREV worked as a diplomat in the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs from 2002 to 2022, most recently as a counsellor at the Russian Mission to the United Nations Office in Geneva. He resigned in May to protest the invasion of Ukraine., Foreign Affairs, The Sources of Russian Misconduct A Diplomat Defects From the Kremlin, https://www.foreignaffairs.com/russian-federation/sources-russia-misconduct-boris-bondarev?utm_campaign=ln_daily_soc&utm_medium=social&utm_source=linkedIn_posts

Putin responded to the loss—and to his critics—by drafting enormous numbers of people into the military. (Moscow says it is conscripting 300,000 men, yet the actual figure may be higher.) But in the long run, conscription won’t solve his problems. The Russian armed forces suffer from low morale and shoddy equipment, problems that mobilization cannot fix. With large-scale Western support, the Ukrainian military can inflict more serious defeats on Russian troops, forcing them to retreat from other territories. It’s possible that Ukraine could eventually best Russia’s soldiers in the parts of the Donbas where both sides have been fighting since 2014.

Putin won’t respond to defeat with nukes because he doesn’t want to die

Bondarev, November-December 2022, BORIS BONDAREV worked as a diplomat in the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs from 2002 to 2022, most recently as a counsellor at the Russian Mission to the United Nations Office in Geneva. He resigned in May to protest the invasion of Ukraine., Foreign Affairs, The Sources of Russian Misconduct A Diplomat Defects From the Kremlin, https://www.foreignaffairs.com/russian-federation/sources-russia-misconduct-boris-bondarev?utm_campaign=ln_daily_soc&utm_medium=social&utm_source=linkedIn_posts

Should that happen, Putin would find himself in a corner. He could respond to defeat with a nuclear attack. But Russia’s president likes his luxurious life and should recognize that using nuclear weapons could start a war that would kill even him. (If he doesn’t know this, his subordinates would, one hopes, avoid following such a suicidal command.) Putin could order a full-on general mobilization—conscripting almost all of Russia’s young men—but that is unlikely to offer more than a temporary respite, and the more Russian deaths from the fighting, the more domestic discontent he will face. Putin may eventually withdraw and have Russian propagandists fault those around him for the embarrassing defeat, as some did after the losses in Kharkiv. But that could push Putin to purge his associates, making it dangerous for his closest allies to keep supporting him. The result might be Moscow’s first palace coup since Nikita Khrushchev was toppled in 1964.

Russian collapse triggers a civil war, aggression and the loss of control of nuclear weapons

Bondarev, November-December 2022, BORIS BONDAREV worked as a diplomat in the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs from 2002 to 2022, most recently as a counsellor at the Russian Mission to the United Nations Office in Geneva. He resigned in May to protest the invasion of Ukraine., Foreign Affairs, The Sources of Russian Misconduct A Diplomat Defects From the Kremlin, https://www.foreignaffairs.com/russian-federation/sources-russia-misconduct-boris-bondarev?utm_campaign=ln_daily_soc&utm_medium=social&utm_source=linkedIn_posts

Outside analysts might enjoy watching Russia undergo a major domestic crisis. But they should think twice about rooting for the country’s implosion—and not only because it would leave Russia’s massive nuclear arsenal in uncertain hands. Most Russians are in a tricky mental space, brought about by poverty and huge doses of propaganda that sow hatred, fear, and a simultaneous sense of superiority and helplessness. If the country breaks apart or experiences an economic and political cataclysm, it would push them over the edge. Russians might unify behind an even more belligerent leader than Putin, provoking a civil war, more outside aggression, or both.

China is not a threat; it’s economy and foreign influence have collapsed

John Mueller, 11-25, 22, John Mueller is a political scientist at Ohio State University and a Senior Fellow at the Cato Institute. His most recent book is The Stupidity of War: American Foreign Policy and the Case for Complacency (Cambridge University Press, 2021), The United States Does Not Need to Contain China, https://nationalinterest.org/feature/united-states-does-not-need-contain-china-205923?page=0%2C1

In 1990, analyst Strobe Talbott observed that the Soviet system went “into meltdown because of inadequacies and defects at its core, not because of anything the outside world has done or not done or threatened to do.” That is, the problems the Soviets came to confront were mainly a direct result of misguided domestic and foreign policies and would have come about no matter what policy the West pursued. Something similar seems to be happening with China today. About a decade and a half ago, China began to move away from its accommodating, laid-back foreign policy approach, a change that its current leader, Xi Jinping, has embraced and accelerated. In addition, the country has become fully autocratic and has increasingly adopted measures that stifle independent thinking and the private economy. As a result, it has gone into, or will likely soon go into, a period of economic stagnation. This suggests that, although there may be little reason to expect collapse as happened to the Soviets nearly two years after Talbott’s essay, it increasingly appears as if China does not really present a significant threat. Insofar as China might be seen to be threatening, efforts from what Talbott called “the outside world” to contain it scarcely seem necessary Assessing the changes An early manifestation of the change was for China to become more “assertive” in international affairs as its economy grew. But in practice, the new policy has not led to greater influence for China because it has often been heavy-handed, even bullying, and has alienated people and regimes around the world including important neighbors like Japan, South Korea, Indonesia, India, and Australia. Particularly impressive was China’s militarized conniption fit earlier this year over a brief visit to Taiwan by U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. The caper not only heightened awareness in Taiwan about defense, but it inspired a parade of visits to Taiwan from parliamentarians from around the world, eager to express their support. American Giant on Real Simple A mellower approach to increase status and influence, China’s Belt and Road Initiative, has not fared much better. Xi grandly proclaimed it to be “a project of the century” when authorizing some $75 billion in loans in 2016, but many of these proved to be economically misguided, and the budget was slashed to $4 billion in 2019. Elizabeth Economy also pointed out that there has been a backlash and that “stories of Chinese corruption and scandals with infrastructure projects are contributing to rising Sinophobia.” It is not at all clear that these efforts constitute or ever constituted a plan by China to “rule the world,” as a Washington Post headline once put it, in part because they were accompanied by behavior that was, as in the days of old, accommodating. But to the degree that these efforts were designed to boost China’s image and to increase its influence, they have been a very considerable failure. At the same time, China has continued to pursue a strong move toward a command economy in which inefficient state-owned enterprises are favored over efficient private ones and in which, above all, the reign of the antiquated, kleptocratic Communist Party under one-man rule is privileged over economic growth. For several decades China experienced a remarkable degree of economic development. This rise was impressive in part because China started from such a low level due to the disastrous policies of Mao Zedong. Given the Maoist alternative, China’s rise was generally welcomed and facilitated by the rest of the world, and it was accompanied by what Fareed Zakaria calls a “hard-earned reputation as a smart, stable, and productive player on the world stage.” In the process, China has come to rank second or perhaps even first in the world in gross domestic product (GDP). Although this has caused some to label it a “superpower,’ it is a ranking that China, due to its huge population, had previously held for much of the last two millennia. In per capita GDP, by contrast, China registers in seventy-eighth place—about the same as the Dominican Republic. In a recent book, China specialist Susan Shirk surveys in detail how China has “derailed” its rise over the last decade and a half. The book is titled, Overreach, a word that, as she notes, has strong connotations of self-induced failure: “to defeat oneself by seeking to do or gain too much” or “going to excess in a way that is costly to itself.” In this case, China has greatly expanded its military budget and increasingly adopted the “wolf warrior” foreign and economic policy that has, as she notes, provoked “a defensive counterreaction from other countries by harming and alarming them.” Or, as Zakaria puts it with a similar sense of dismay, China’s policies have been a series of “own goals.” Overall, the changed policies have also led, or are leading, to the prospect of severe and prolonged stagnation in China’s economy, though studies disagree on whether China is now entering that condition, has been in it for ten years, or will start to do so in another decade or so. Problems include surging debt, declining productivity, a rapidly aging population, fraudulent statistical reporting, foreign protectionism, pervasive corruption, environmental degradation, a clamp-down on civil liberties (one can get life for “picking quarrels and provoking trouble”), and a massive policing and censorship of the Internet. As Shirk documents, such developments are not so much due to foreign machinations, but to changes in internal processes and pressures.

China is not a military threat and it won’t attack Taiwan

John Mueller, 11-25, 22, John Mueller is a political scientist at Ohio State University and a Senior Fellow at the Cato Institute. His most recent book is The Stupidity of War: American Foreign Policy and the Case for Complacency (Cambridge University Press, 2021), The United States Does Not Need to Contain China, https://nationalinterest.org/feature/united-states-does-not-need-contain-china-205923?page=0%2C1

There are economic concerns as China seeks to establish something of a high-tech economic empire, evades international rules, steals secrets, and harnesses data. But this may well be undercut as its economy stagnates and, in particular, as the world adopts countermeasures—a process that, as Andrew Odlyzko of the University of Minnesota has pointed out, is well underway.

From a military or geopolitical perspective, some have argued that China, which has been expanding its military and could continue to do so even if its economy stagnates, has three goals: to take over Taiwan (gaining 20 million intensely hostile new citizens), to exert control over the seas around it, and perhaps to establish some sort of regional “primacy” as a springboard to global power.

Even taken together, these goals scarcely suggest a threat that is Hitlerian. Moreover, by applying economic pressure and engaging in “wolf warrior” belligerence, China’s efforts at the last two goals, as noted, have mainly generated hostility and severely undercut its regional influence.

And, beyond harassment, it is likely that a takeover of Taiwan—unless the Taiwanese, whose GDP per capita is nearly triple that of the mainland, happily welcome the invaders—has already been deterred by present deployments. This is because a true military conquest would very likely require insecure, stagnating China to outdo Pearl Harbor by raining thousands of missiles not only on Taiwan but on American military bases and ships in Japan and Guam—a huge, costly, and essentially absurd undertaking. A formal declaration of independence by Taiwan might unleash irrational passions in China, but, barring that, China seems likely to remain sensibly content with the present arrangement.

Xi also wants to overcome what he and other Chinese view as past humiliations—ones going back to the opium war of 1839. That scarcely seems to present a threat, and to a considerable degree, it seems sensible for other countries, including the United States, to accept, and even service, such vaporous and cosmetic goals. The United States, after all, continually declares itself to be the one indispensable nation (suggesting that all others are, well, dispensable). If it can wallow in such self-important, childish, essentially meaningless, and decidedly fatuous incantations, why should other nations be denied the opportunity to emit similar inconsequential rattlings?

China won’t do any better than the US at being a military hegemon

John Mueller, 11-25, 22, John Mueller is a political scientist at Ohio State University and a Senior Fellow at the Cato Institute. His most recent book is The Stupidity of War: American Foreign Policy and the Case for Complacency (Cambridge University Press, 2021), The United States Does Not Need to Contain China, https://nationalinterest.org/feature/united-states-does-not-need-contain-china-205923?page=0%2C1

If China yearns for self-absorbed pretensions about being a big player, that should be of little concern. And its success rate is unlikely to be any better than that of the “hegemonic” United States which for example has, for example, been trying unsuccessfully to bring Cuba to heel for over sixty years (a policy that has been condemned by almost every other country on the planet), even as it has been unable to halt the importation of drugs and illegal immigrants. Moreover, its abject military failures in Vietnam, Somalia, Iraq, Libya, and Afghanistan are unlikely to inspire imitation.

Russia is nearly out of missiles

Arslaner & Spencer-Churchill, 11-24, 22, Attila Arslaner is a Master’s student studying Security and Defense at the Norman Paterson School of International Affairs, Carleton University. He has been invited to conferences at NORAD, and completed research contracts for the Department of National Defense. His research focus is on nuclear weapons and arms control; Dr. Julian Spencer-Churchill is associate professor of international relations at Concordia University, and author of Militarization and War (2007) and of Strategic Nuclear Sharing (2014). He has published extensively on Pakistan security issues and arms control, and completed research contracts at the Office of Treaty Verification at the Office of the Secretary of the Navy, and the then Ballistic Missile Defense Office (BMDO). He has also conducted fieldwork in Bangladesh, India, Indonesia and Egypt, and is a consultant. He is a former Operations Officer, 3 Field Engineer Regiment, from the latter end of the Cold War to shortly after 9/11; Russia’s Missiles Won’t Break the Ukrainian War Machine, https://nationalinterest.org/feature/russia%E2%80%99s-missiles-won%E2%80%99t-break-ukrainian-war-machine-205936

So far in the conflict, Russia has expended 70 percent of its total air-to-ground and non-strategic surface-to-surface missile arsenal. Since February, Russia has launched 1,305 missiles out of its total inventory of 1,844, leaving only enough missiles (539) for at most six more days of strikes. There remain only 121 SS-26 Iskanders, 248 Kalibrs, and 170 Kh-55 rockets. Nor will Russia likely be able to replace them given its dependence on imported foreign microchips.

Russia’s arsenal of missiles and drones would be far more usefully applied against concentrations of Ukrainian artillery, air bases, railyards, and supply depots. This indicates that Russia’s bombing campaign is being conducted for theatrical effects by Russian president Vladimir Putin’s entourage rather than a rational plan implemented by a politically uncompromised military staff. Bombing gives the Russian public some satisfaction that the Kremlin is able to strike back at the Ukrainians, whose battlefield victories and stubborn resistance are otherwise sapping support for Putin’s war.

The politically satisfying temptation to inflict retribution and engage in theatrical strikes against civilian targets contributed to two of Germany’s most critical errors during World War II. The German Luftwaffe attacked Great Britain in July 1940 to neutralize the Royal Air Force (RAF) and expose the Royal Navy to aerial destruction. Absent a British air force and navy, a successful German amphibious invasion and conquest of the British Isles (Operation Sealion) was a foregone conclusion and would have led to a German victory against the Soviet Union.

Between July and August 1940, to build up its fighter strength, Great Britain chose not to defend the channel coast against German bombers and abandoned aerial control over its southern coast. This resulted in considerable losses of merchant ships, ports, and coastal radar facilities. For three weeks between mid-August and early September, the Luftwaffe targeted British air bases and aircraft factories and was on track to inflict catastrophic losses that would lead to an inevitable British defeat.

Due to poor staff work and short-sighted retaliatory measures against a deliberately provocatively RAF August 25 bombing raid on Berlin, the Germans lost confidence in their plan and proverbially flinched. The intervention of Nazi authorities to counter the appearance of impotence in the face of a British air raid shows how politics can often take precedence over prudent military strategy. On September 7, 1940, the Luftwaffe shifted over 1,000 aircraft to attack civilian and symbolic targets in London, allowing the British RAF to recover its strength. The turning point occurred on September 15, when a 1,000-plane Luftwaffe raid was savaged by the RAF, leading Germany to cancel the invasion three days later and allowing the British to shift the battle to the French coast. The Germans changed to night-time bombing of non-military targets in the cities of Coventry, Birmingham, Bristol, Liverpool, Southampton, Glasgow, Leeds, Manchester, Plymouth, and Sheffield, hoping to inflict residual costs as they bowed to strategic defeat….

Similarly, Russia is exposing itself to great strategic vulnerabilities once it nears the exhaustion of its SS-23 Iskander missile arsenal, which was originally designed to deliver tactical and theater nuclear weapons. Missiles are surprisingly more expensive and difficult to replace than the conventional or nuclear warheads they carry. The Soviet Union manufactured far more nuclear warheads, 55,000, than missiles, during the Cold War. Once Russia’s winter or spring offensive fails, it will have exhausted its theater missiles and be unable to conduct more than a few isolated strikes. It will have to depend on its unreliable air force to strike targets, use its poorly-tailored strategic weapons for isolated nuclear demonstrations, or concede defeat on the battlefield.

Russia won’t be able to sustain its military

Wyne, 11-23, 22, ALI WYNE is Senior Analyst with Eurasia Group’s Global Macro-Geopolitics practice. He is the author of America’s Great-Power Opportunity: Revitalizing U.S. Foreign Policy to Meet the Challenges of Strategic Competition, Foreign Affairs, https://www.foreignaffairs.com/united-states/formidable-not-invincible, Foreign Affairs

Russia will also struggle to rebuild its military power. Putin’s September order to mobilize Russian conscripts demonstrates how significant its personnel and materiel losses have been and how markedly momentum on the battlefield has shifted in Ukraine’s favor. In addition to using decades-old equipment to sustain its campaign, Russia is turning to Syria and Iran for military assistance. The Royal United Services Institute, a London-based think tank focusing on security, found that 27 of Russia’s key military systems rely heavily on some 450 microelectronic components made in the United States, Europe, and Asia. Maintaining those systems and the defense industrial base that underpins them will grow more difficult and costly as sanctions steadily restrict Moscow’s ability to procure semiconductors.

Russia’s hardest task, however, will be to repair the diplomatic damage that it has sustained. NATO is poised to admit Finland and Sweden, the EU has granted membership candidate status to Ukraine and Moldova, and even Central Asian countries that Russia presumes to be within its sphere of influence are reconsidering their orientations. Further afield, Japan and South Korea have both imposed sanctions against Russia, and India has redoubled its efforts to find substitutes for Russian energy and arms. Even China, Russia’s putative “no limits” partner, may be looking to modify its relationship. Chinese President Xi Jinping hinted at that possibility at the Shanghai Cooperation Organization summit in September, when he informed Putin of his “questions and concerns” about Russia’s war.

Multiple reasons Russia won’t use nuclear weapons

Stacey, 11-22, 22, Dr. Jeffrey A. Stacey is a former State Department official in the Obama Administration. Author of Integrating Europe, he has completed the forthcoming “Full Spectrum Warfare:  Donald Trump, Joe Biden, and the Fight for Global Democracy and embarked on a book entitled The Hinges of History, https://nationalinterest.org/feature/putin-doesn%E2%80%99t-need-nukes-harm-west-205919, Putin Doesn’t Need Nukes to Harm the West

In fact, Russia is sufficiently deterred from using any nuclear weapons, including strategic and tactical warheads, a dirty bomb, or a nuclear plant meltdown. Fears that Putin might resort to nuclear weapons appeared at earlier junctures in this conflict. In September, National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan issued a stark warning to Moscow after Russia’s latest nuclear threats that was reiterated again this month when CIA director William Burns met with his Russian counterpart in Ankara, Turkey to convey the “consequences of the use of nuclear weapons.” Potential U.S. responses to Russian nuclear use would include annihilating Russian forces on the Ukrainian battlefield via conventional Western weapons, an allied move against Russia in the Arctic, bringing Ukraine into NATO and the European Union (EU), trying Putin at the Hague for war crimes, seizing additional assets held Putin’s family and his close associates, enacting large scale reparations on Russia, and prosecuting Russian officials for war crimes. There are other indications Putin is unwilling to use nuclear weapons. Kremlin spokesman Dmitri Peskov admitted Russia will not use nuclear weapons in Ukraine, which he restated after the incident in Poland last week. Russia already had multiple chances to cause a nuclear accident at the occupied Zaporizhzhia power plant and passed (its newfound shelling is a response to Putin being warned at a series of global summits about loose nukes). Moreover, when Putin argued that his previous nuclear threats were not a bluff, this further undermined his credibility.

Russia will engage in cyber attacks and cut sea cables

Stacey, 11-22, 22, Dr. Jeffrey A. Stacey is a former State Department official in the Obama Administration. Author of Integrating Europe, he has completed the forthcoming “Full Spectrum Warfare:  Donald Trump, Joe Biden, and the Fight for Global Democracy and embarked on a book entitled The Hinges of History, https://nationalinterest.org/feature/putin-doesn%E2%80%99t-need-nukes-harm-west-205919, Putin Doesn’t Need Nukes to Harm the West

Yet, in all likelihood, Putin is not fully irrational. He understands that the West has red lines and he has not crossed them yet. For example, Putin has allowed an enormous amount of Western aid to enter Ukraine and has not attacked any Western countries with military force. This is why the West rapidly needs to understand what Putin is not restrained from doing, namely, waging full-spectrum warfare that includes using cyber power, energy cut-offs, and infrastructure attacks. This is what the OPEC+ oil production cut and sabotage of the Nord Stream 1 and II pipelines were all about. The West must be vigilant against attacks on other gas and oil lines, deep sea internet cables, satellites, and space installations, as well as blackouts in the United States or Europe. The silver lining of the Nord Stream pipeline attack was that, in addition to the probable confirmation of Russia’s dirty hand, it showed that Putin is fishing for alternative means of retaliation. Remarkably, Russia was then talked back into the deal to allow Ukrainian grain to be shipped from its ports to world markets. The United States and its allies are not as capable of deterring the aforementioned forms of lesser warfare but at least Western nuclear deterrence has proven the test of time.

War collapsing the Russian military

Edward Lucas, 11-20, 22, https://cepa.org/article/russias-military-collapse-is-accelerating-now-what/, https://cepa.org/article/russias-military-collapse-is-accelerating-now-what/, Edward Lucas is a Non-resident Senior Fellow at the Center for European Policy Analysis (CEPA).

Heat speeds up decomposition. But in the military, it is cold that corrodes. As the temperature drops, it takes more effort to move about and you get hungrier more quickly. If supplies fail to match needs, morale sinks. Desertion, surrender, looting, and mutiny all start looking more attractive. Actual fighting, less so.  In the past, General Winter was Russia’s great ally. But now the cold months are helping Ukraine. Its soldiers are better equipped, better trained, better led, better treated, and therefore more highly motivated. Russians, by contrast, are paying the price for their system’s endemic incompetence and corruption. When you are wearing the wrong clothes, the cold bites hard. Just ask the Germans and the French, who invaded Russia wearing their summer uniforms. Modern technology makes things worse: the thermal signature of vehicles, and even human warmth, is more conspicuous to infrared cameras. Russians suffered from that at the tail-end of last winter, nine months ago. Now it will hurt them again. Russia badly needs a pause to regroup and refit but has little chance of enjoying one: Ukraine is on the front foot now and will press home its advantage. Long-range strikes are having a devastating effect on Russia’s already-flimsy logistics. The longer this goes on, the higher the chance of a Russian military collapse.

It's in the US national interest to arm the Ukraine because it’s defeating Russia at a small cost

Timothy Ash, 11-18, 22, It’s Costing Peanuts for the US to Defeat Russia, Timothy Ash is a Senior Emerging Markets Sovereign Strategist at RBC BlueBay Asset Management. He is an Associate Fellow at Chatham House on their Russia and Eurasian program, https://cepa.org/article/its-costing-peanuts-for-the-us-to-defeat-russia/

Yet from numerous perspectives, when viewed from a bang-per-buck perspective, US and Western support for Ukraine is an incredibly cost-effective investment.  Altogether, the Biden administration received Congressional approval for $40bn in aid for Ukraine for 2022 and has requested an additional $37.7bn for 2022. More than half of this aid has been earmarked for defense.  These sums pale into insignificance when set against a total US defense budget of $715bn for 2022. The assistance represents 5.6% of total US defense spending. But Russia is a primary adversary of the US, a top tier rival not too far behind China, its number one strategic challenger. In cold, geopolitical terms, this war provides a prime opportunity for the US to erode and degrade Russia’s conventional defense capability, with no boots on the ground and little risk to US lives. The Ukrainian armed forces have already killed or wounded upwards of 100,000 Russian troops, half its original fighting force; there have been almost 8,000 confirmed losses of armored vehicles including thousands of tanks, thousands of APCs, artillery pieces, hundreds of fixed and rotary wing aircraft, and numerous naval vessels. US spending of 5.6% of its defense budget to destroy nearly half of Russia’s conventional military capability seems like an absolutely incredible investment. If we divide out the US defense budget to the threats it faces, Russia would perhaps be of the order of $100bn-150bn in spend-to-threat. So spending just $40bn a year, erodes a threat value of $100-150bn, a two-to-three time return.  The US military might reasonably wish Russia to continue deploying military forces for Ukraine to destroy.  Meanwhile, replacing destroyed kit, and keeping up with the new arms race that it has now triggered with the West will surely end up bankrupting the Russian economy; especially an economy subject to aggressive Western sanctions. How can Russia possibly hope to win an arms race when the combined GDP of the West is $40 trillion, and its defense spending amounting to 2% of GDP totals well in excess of $1 trillion when the disproportionate US defense contribution is considered? Russia’s total GDP is only $1.8 trillion. Vladimir Putin will have to divert spending from consumption to defense, risking social and political unrest over the medium term, and a real and soon-to-be present danger to his regime. Just imagine how much more of a bargain Western military aid will be if it ultimately brings positive regime change in Russia. Second, the war has served to destroy the myth that Russian military technology is somehow comparable to that of the US and West. Remember that Ukraine is using only upgraded second generation US technology but is consistently beating whatever Russia’s military can deploy. Wars are shop windows for defense manufacturers; any buyer in their right mind will want the technology made by the winner. Putin’s misjudgment has merely provided a fantastic marketing opportunity for its Western competitors.  Note also that the war is also pushing NATO partners to quickly increase spending to the 2% of GDP and above target. Given the US’ technological advantage in defense equipment, a sizeable share of this additional military outlay will be spent on US equipment.  The Ukrainians are also showing remarkable innovation in their own defense, improving the performance of equipment in battlefield conditions, which again brings technological advantages to the US defense sector. Third, the revelation that Russia’s defense industry is something of a Potemkin village also generates other strategic and diplomatic wins for the US. Countries eager to secure defense capability to meet their own threats – think of Turkey, India, Pakistan, Egypt, and Saudi Arabia — might have opted for cheaper, “value” Russian defense offerings. However, with the quality/capability of this equipment now being questioned because of poor battlefield performance, they will likely be vying to acquire a better US kit. But this will require improved diplomatic relations. This is currently evident in the improved US–Pakistan relationship, with Pakistan securing upgrade kits for its F-16s. Fourth, helping Ukraine beat Russia surely also sends a powerful signal to China that the US and its allies are strong and determined when challenged on issues of core importance. This may raise questions in the minds of Xi Jinping and the People’s Liberation Army generals about their ability to win a conflict against countries armed with US/Western military technology, for example in Taiwan. Surely Russia’s difficulty in winning the war in Ukraine will cause second thoughts in China about the wisdom and perhaps the viability of efforts to conquer Taiwan. Fifth, the war in Ukraine is encouraging and accelerating the energy transition in Europe, but also Europe’s diversification away from Russian energy. Europe is desperately trying to source alternative energy supplies, and US liquefied natural gas (LNG) is proving to be the obvious beneficiary.  In conclusion, on so many levels, continued US support for Ukraine is a no-brainer from a bang for buck perspective. Ukraine is no Vietnam or Afghanistan for the US, but it is exactly that for Russia. A Russia continually mired in a war it cannot win is a huge strategic win for the US.

Ukraine war won’t trigger nuclear proliferation

Brewer, 11-17, 22, ERIC BREWER is a Senior Director at the Nuclear Threat Initiative and has served on the National Security Council and National Intelligence Council; NICHOLAS L. MILLER is an Associate Professor of Government at Dartmouth College and author of Stopping the Bomb: The Sources and Effectiveness of U.S. Nonproliferation Policy; TRISTAN VOLPE is an Assistant Professor at the Naval Postgraduate School, a Nonresident Fellow at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, and author of Leveraging Latency: How the Weak Compel the Strong with Nuclear Technology, Ukraine Won’t Ignite a Nuclear Scramble: Why Russia’s War Might Boost Nonproliferation, https://www.foreignaffairs.com/ukraine/ukraine-wont-ignite-nuclear-scramble

There are four reasons to doubt that Russia’s war in Ukraine will lead to an uptick in proliferation. First, although Russia’s nuclear threats have been unusually explicit, this is not the first time a nuclear power has threatened a relatively weak state. During the Cold War, West Germany feared a Soviet invasion and Taiwan feared an attack from communist China. Both nonnuclear powers considered acquiring deterrents of their own but ultimately abandoned their efforts. Nor is it the first time that a country has faced an existential attack after giving up its nuclear weapons program. Saddam Hussein’s Iraq and Muammar al-Qaddafi’s Libya abandoned their weapons ambitions and both leaders were later deposed following Western military action. There is no evidence that either experience prompted other countries to seek nuclear weapons.

Second, history suggests that getting the bomb is easier said than done. Washington went to great lengths to prevent West Germany, Taiwan, and other powers from going nuclear, using a mix of assurances and threats of abandonment if they persisted on the nuclear path. Middle Eastern countries have found it similarly difficult to acquire nuclear weapons. Iraq and Syria had their programs derailed by Israeli and U.S. attacks, while Iran has endured three decades of sanctions and sabotage as it has progressed toward the weapons threshold. In short, the path to nuclear weapons status is littered with obstacles and risks. Although Washington must work to keep these barriers in place, countries cannot simply wave a magic wand and acquire nuclear weapons. This is unlikely to change after the war in Ukraine.

Third, countries with allied protection are less vulnerable to external aggression than Ukraine and therefore less likely to feel compelled to seek a nuclear deterrent. Unlike Ukraine, many countries that lie in the crosshairs of a potential nuclear-armed aggressor fall under the protection of the U.S. nuclear umbrella—as Australia, Japan, South Korea, and most European countries do—or have close security relationships with the United States, as do Taiwan and several Gulf countries. U.S. backing makes these countries far less tempting targets for aggression than Ukraine; it is not an accident that Russia has refrained from deliberately attacking NATO members, despite their substantial support for Ukraine’s war effort. The United States provides this protection in part so that its allies and partners don’t need nuclear weapons of their own. Such assurance doesn’t guarantee that U.S. allies and partners won’t someday decide to develop nuclear weapons, but it does mean that building their own arsenals would be an option of last rather than first resort. It also means that the United States would have an opportunity to try to persuade these countries from going down the nuclear path.

Finally, although Russia’s violation of its security assurances to Ukraine and threats to use nuclear weapons have undermined the already strained Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty, these actions are unlikely to prompt an exodus from the agreement. Partly for the reasons outlined above, most countries see little value in exiting the treaty and producing nuclear weapons of their own. And those that might be tempted to do so are likely to be driven by national security considerations, not frustration that nuclear-armed states are abusing their privileges and ignoring their nonproliferation commitments.

In spite of its battlefield losses, Russia remains a threat

Fontaine, 11-18, 22, RICHARD FONTAINE is CEO of the Center for a New American Security. He has worked at the U.S. Department of State, on the National Security Council, and as a Foreign Policy Adviser to U.S. Senator John McCain, Foreign Affairs, Taking on China and Russia To Compete, the United States Will Have to Pick Its Battles, https://www.foreignaffairs.com/united-states/taking-china-and-russia

Such a grand strategic move, unrealistic before Russia’s invasion, is now unthinkable. Given Russia’s war of conquest, its disregard for the most basic rules of international conduct, and its stated desire to upend the European security order, there will be no rearranging of the chessboard. For the foreseeable future, Russia will represent a significant threat to U.S. interests and ideals. Although the war in Ukraine is already depleting Russia’s conventional military might, Moscow retains the world’s largest nuclear arsenal and a range of unconventional capabilities that, together with the remaining military and intelligence tools at its disposal, will allow it to menace neighbors, interfere in democracies, and violate international rules. Absent a major change in its political system, dealing with Russia—even if it is in decline—will require significant U.S. attention and resources for years to come.

Ceding to China means it controls all of Asia and democracy promotion ends

Fontaine, 11-18, 22, RICHARD FONTAINE is CEO of the Center for a New American Security. He has worked at the U.S. Department of State, on the National Security Council, and as a Foreign Policy Adviser to U.S. Senator John McCain, Foreign Affairs, Taking on China and Russia To Compete, the United States Will Have to Pick Its Battles, https://www.foreignaffairs.com/united-states/taking-china-and-russia

In the face of these Russian depredations, a few experts have offered the opposite suggestion: a kind of “repeat Kissinger.” With Moscow upending the rules-based order so vital to the peaceful functioning of international politics, perhaps Washington should instead find accommodation with China. Like Nixon, the United States would align with China against a violent and risk-tolerant Russia. Fareed Zakaria, Zachary Karabell and some others have posited this approach, which appears as unworkable as some new U.S.-Russia alliance. Acquiescing to Chinese demands—for the effective domination of Asia, an end to the promotion of democracy and human rights, a reduced U.S. presence across the Indo-Pacific, and control of Taiwan and the South China Sea—is a price no American leader will be willing to pay to balance Russia.

Russia won’t use nukes in the Ukraine because there is no military value

Mitrovich, 11-17, 22, Gregory Mitrovich is an award-winning historian whose forthcoming book is entitled The Contest: The United States, Great Britain, Germany, and the Rivalries that Forged the American Century, Why Hasn’t Putin Gone Nuclear in Ukraine?, https://nationalinterest.org/feature/why-hasn%E2%80%99t-putin-gone-nuclear-ukraine-205893

Russia faces no shortage of nuclear weapons. However, it does have to consider major questions regarding their battlefield utility. Ukrainian forces are spread out in small, widely dispersed units that do not provide impactful targets for the isolated use of tactical nuclear weapons, making their deployment “pointless,” according to military historian Lawrence Freedman. The United States faced similar concerns during the Cold War when NATO realized it needed to use hundreds of tactical nuclear weapons to defeat a Soviet invasion of Western Europe, which would leave West Germany a radiated ruin. Similarly, Colin Powell wrote that when planning Operation Desert Storm, the Joint Chiefs examined the possibility of using tactical nuclear weapons against Saddam Hussein’s forces in Kuwait and were shocked to discover that it would require “a considerable number of small tactical nuclear weapons” to destroy a single armored division Certainly, Russian military planners have already war-gamed nuclear use in Ukraine, likely discovering that Putin would similarly have to authorize dozens of nuclear strikes to impact the battlefield, an attack hardly distinguishable from launching a large-scale nuclear war against Ukraine. The onslaught would not only cause horrific losses in Ukraine, but, as demonstrated by the Chernobyl nuclear meltdown, would spread radiation throughout Eastern Europe and Russia. It would also likely result in devastating NATO airstrikes against Russian forces, threatening further, rapid escalation. This does not mean that Putin would be averse to using nuclear weapons simply as weapons of terror. However, the costs would be so high it is questionable whether he could survive the global outrage. Therefore, Putin’s willingness to use nuclear weapons is dependent on whether the deterrent effect of his threats is less than, equal to, or greater than the impact of nuclear use on the battlefield, minus the devastating international backlash that would possibly include a combined arms operation between NATO airpower and the Ukrainian army.So far, the deterrent value of Russia’s nuclear arsenal remains greater than its possible benefit on the battlefield. As a deterrent, these warnings have already succeeded in limiting the type of aid NATO members have provided Ukraine, while the threat of escalation has increased demands that Ukraine cede significant territory in a final peace deal. This represents a major success for Putin. Just as the United States realized during the Korean War, Putin understands that he can use conventional weapons in a manner that can approximate the same horror and destruction of nuclear weapons, such as by threatening to destroy the Kakhovka Dam, using massed, concentrated artillery fire against Ukrainian Army positions, or launching devastating missile and drone strikes against Ukraine’s infrastructure. However, Ukraine’s citizens have refused to be cowed by fears of either a Russian nuclear strike or continued conventional terror bombing; they understand the horrors awaiting them under Russian occupation. NATO must continue to provide Ukraine with the weaponry needed to negate Russia’s conventional terror attacks. The Korean War demonstrates that nuclear weapons offered no panacea for American battlefield setbacks. Nor do they in the Russo-Ukraine war, where Putin’s strategic failures have ruined Russia’s military and left the Kremlin a global pariah on the verge of a terrible defeat. Indeed, nuclear use would vastly magnify Russia’s crisis by turning what few allies it has against it.

Russia eviscerated from the Ukraine war, can’t rebound militarily

Pavel Luzin, 11-15, 22, Pavel Luzin, Ph.D. in international relations (IMEMO, 2012), is a visiting fellow at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University, and a senior fellow at the Jamestown Foundation with a focus on research of Russia’s foreign policy and defense, space policy, and global security issues. In 2017–2018, he was a consultant on the armed forces, law enforcement agencies, and defense industry issues for Alexei Navalny’s presidential campaign, Doomed to Failure — Russia’s Efforts to Restore its Military Muscle, https://cepa.org/article/doomed-to-failure-russias-efforts-to-restore-its-military-muscle/

Faced with an acute loss of advanced components and industrial equipment as a result of Western sanctions, the Russian defense industry will simply be unable to compensate for its losses in the foreseeable future. The Kremlin is adopting measures to restore some of its lost military power by giving priority to quantity instead of quality in its arms manufacturing efforts. Yet increasing the productivity of domestic defense corporations is hard, if not impossible. Much is revealed by examining Russia’s defense budget. The planned 2022 national defense (ND) budget was 3.51 trillion rubles ($57.4bn), which rose to 3.85 trillion rubles after the all-out invasion began. In addition, 2.82 trillion rubles were planned for national security and law enforcement (NSLE.) This latter element plays a significant role in the analysis of Russia’s military spending, because the Russian national guard (Rosgvardia) including its Chechen units, plus some units of the FSB and other law enforcement agencies, are directly involved in the war. Presumably, Russian mercenaries like the Wagner group are indirectly and at least partly funded by this element of the budget, which may amount to a third of the NSLE spend. The rest, some 60%–65%, is usually earmarked for the ministry of internal affairs (police, migration service, etc.), the ministry of justice, emergency providers, prisons, prosecutors, and other services mostly absent from Ukraine. In ruble terms, the budget is higher than in previous years and inevitably so; that is due to the huge materiel losses in Ukraine, continuing defense industry financial losses and the Kremlin’s decision to make Russia more authoritarian in economic as well as political terms. The aggression has changed the fragile balance of the defense budget. Monthly updates of defense and national security spending have been classified since June, but before this national defense spending in January-April alone was 1.6 trillion rubles, around 500 billion rubles monthly in March–April. This was significantly higher than in previous years and its extrapolation gives an annual total of at least 5.5–5.6 trillion rubles by the year’s end. Despite a recent leak from the Russian government indicating national defense spending would reach 4.68 trillion rubles this year, additional spending for arms procurement alone was officially estimated to be at least 600bn–700bn rubles (pre-war, the share of arms procurement was to be 1.8 trillion rubles for all of 2022.) Russia’s real national defense spending will inevitably be much higher; it is equally reasonable to suppose that the national security and law enforcement spending will be much higher too. This financial turbulence may become even worse as the budget deficit grows. Fiscal revenues were originally planned to be 25 trillion rubles, with spending at 23.69 trillion rubles. Yet in November, planned revenues were unchanged while total spending is now planned to be 29 trillion rubles. The Kremlin’s budgetary planning for 2023 shows no improvement. In October, the budget proposal assumed 4.98 trillion rubles for national defense and 4.42 trillion rubles for national security and law enforcement, huge increases on the 3.5 trillion rubles and 2.97 trillion rubles in the 2023 preliminary planning a year ago. By November, planned national defense spending for 2023 had exceeded 5.1 trillion rubles, a rise of 46% on the original figure. The share of arms procurement here is significant, but it cannot become a “game changer” in restoring Russia’s military power. Officials and defense sector managers declare that the defense industry is ready to make up all losses as the government increases its arms procurement budget. In 2022, arms procurement will total at least 2.5 trillion rubles after all known budgetary corrections, and may even exceed this figure. Arms procurement in 2023 will be no less than 2.5–2.6 trillion rubles according to current information, and may also be higher. However, part of this spending will have to compensate for probable declines in arms exports. In August, Rosoboronexport, the subsidiary of the Rostec state-owned defense corporation and the country’s arms trade monopoly, was expecting less than $11bn in arms sales by the end of 2022 (for comparison, it was $13 billion in 2020), and total arms exports will barely surpass $12 billion. Moreover, Russia supports arms exports through subsidized loans, offering its customers the opportunity to delay payments for years, while converting export contracts from less stable national currencies (actually, into rubles.) Therefore, annual figures for arms exports do not translate into real revenue. Meanwhile, the Russian defense industry has been generating net losses for years. For instance, the volume of the industry’s non-performing loans surpassed 1.7 trillion rubles in 2016–2020, with the ultimate responsibility lying with the government. There is no evidence that defense companies improved their economic efficiency in 2021–2022. Consequently, even if the arms budget rises, it changes little in the economics of Russian defense manufacturing ⸺ it merely plugs the holes in the industry’s already dismal financial balance sheet. Officials are now traveling intensively from one defense factory to another trying to manage multiple problems arising on production lines. The main challenge is how to maintain productivity; any hopes of actually raising it look almost impossible. The only way to do so would be to simplify manufacturing and give priority to obsolete armaments. Thus, Russia is going to modernize 800 T-62 battle tanks in the next three years. These tanks were first introduced in 1961, the same year that construction began on the Berlin Wall. This same approach is a hypothetical possibility only for battle tanks and armored vehicles, not for combat aircraft, helicopters, missiles, artillery, and other systems. For example, if Russia can produce 15 Ka-52 combat helicopters annually, it cannot rapidly raise this figure to 20–25 helicopters to cover losses in Ukraine (which total at least 27.) This is especially true considering Russia’s continuing dependence on supplies of Ukrainian-made helicopter engines. Nevertheless, the problem here is not only a lack of imported components, technology, and industrial equipment, but also a lack of human capital. The Russian authorities estimate the total current workforce deficit in the defense sector at 400,000 people. As a result, the losses of Russia’s military during its invasion of Ukraine are irreversible.

Far right populists have to moderate to win, taking out the impact

Berman, 11-9, 22, November/December 2022, Foreign Affairs , https://www.foreignaffairs.com/europe/how-democracy-can-win, SHERI BERMAN is Professor of Political Science at Barnard College and the author of Democracy and Dictatorship in Europe: From the Ancien Régime to the Present Day, https://www.foreignaffairs.com/europe/how-democracy-can-win

Among the many takeaways of the U.S. midterms, one of the most striking is the alarming number of election deniers that were on the ballot, often in uncontested districts. Across the country, dozens of candidates for House, Senate, and state-level positions have who have refused to recognize the 2020 election results are coming to office. As such, they are the latest signs in what some observers see as a dangerous democratic decline across the West. According to this view, what has happened in the United States since the January 6, 2021, assault on the Capitol has found echoes in Western Europe, where far-right parties recently achieved stunning success in Italy and Sweden and shown new strength in France. Witnessing this trend, commentators are consumed by fears that, as the nonprofit group Freedom House puts it in its latest global survey, “around the world, the enemies of liberal democracy … are accelerating their attacks.” Just as many see the large number of election deniers, conspiracy theorists and insurrection trivializers in the Republican party as evidence of the erosion of long-held democratic norms, they see the victories this fall of the Brothers of Italy and the Sweden Democrats, parties with far-right roots, as a sign that fascism is returning and democracy is imperiled—even in Western Europe, where it has long been taken for granted. But this doomsday view overlooks the varied political contexts in which these developments are playing out. There are, of course, many reasons to worry about far-right movements, particularly when they deny election results or otherwise seek to undermine democratic institutions. But there are crucial differences between what has happened in some European countries, where once far-right parties have moderated over time, and the United States, where one of the mainstream parties has embraced far-right, antidemocratic ideas. Indeed, rather than showing that European democracy is endangered, the evolution of the Brothers of Italy and the Sweden Democrats offers reasons for cautious optimism. Like many other right-wing parties in Western Europe, these parties have extremist roots but have recognized that winning votes and political power requires moving away from those roots, moderating their appeals and policy platforms, and pledging to adhere to democratic norms. The evolution of the Brothers of Italy, the Sweden Democrats, and other Western European right-wing populist parties reflects something critical but counterintuitive about the relationship between extremism and democracy: whether extremist groups will become significant threats to democracy depends less on the groups themselves and more on the nature of the democracies in which they emerge. When democratic norms and institutions are weak, extremists may have little incentive to moderate, since they will be able to gain supporters and even actual power without playing by the rules. But where democratic norms and institutions are strong, extremists will be forced to moderate because there will be little constituency for explicitly antidemocratic or radical appeals and because if they don’t, other political actors and institutions will be able to keep them from power in any case. This dynamic bears directly on how threats to democracy can be managed, including in the United States. Moreover, while unfolding political events can be hard to judge dispassionately, radical or extremist political movements have challenged democracy on numerous past occasions as well, and these can be evaluated with the benefit of hindsight. A particularly illustrative case is the fate of communist parties in Western Europe during the interwar period and after World War II. During these decades, the political systems of European countries faced large-scale changes—whether toward or away from democracy—and examining the course of those events offers insight into the factors that shaped these parties’ behavior. NASTY AND BRUTISH Although interwar Europe is primarily remembered for the rise of fascism and Nazism, democracy during this time was also challenged from the left. After 1917, the Russian Revolution triggered the formation of revolutionary, insurrectionist, antidemocratic communist parties in almost every European country. In Italy, the party that initially had the greatest strength, the Italian Socialist Party, had little interest in democracy, and it cheered the endless riots, strikes, and insurrections plaguing the country. Taking an even harder line, some socialists broke away to form the openly revolutionary Italian Communist Party (PCI) in 1921, which soon increased its own insurrectionary activity and helped to dismantle Italian democracy. Indeed, at the PCI’s 1922 congress, party leader Amadeo Bordiga focused on the need to fight social democracy rather than fascism, even though the Fascist Party was only months away from being handed power. Similarly, in Germany’s Weimar Republic, the Communist Party (KPD) consistently attracted around 10–15 percent of the vote and maintained an armed militia that engaged in street brawls and insurrections. When the Great Depression caused chaos in Germany during the early 1930s, the KPD’s vote share grew, as did its violent and antidemocratic activity. Indeed, so eager was the KPD to hasten the republic’s downfall that it joined with the Nazis in September 1932 in a vote of no confidence, toppling the existing government and ushering in the election in November that would bring Hitler to power. Crucial to these developments was the weakness of European democracy in this period: in addition to being unable to respond to the demands of their citizens, many governments were unable to prevent communists and other extremists from fielding private militias and engaging in extraparliamentary activity. At the same time, in many countries liberal parties collapsed, and the other main forces capable of defending democratic institutions—social democratic and socialist parties—proved unable or unwilling to do so. Without governments able to enforce the democratic rules of the game and other parties able to make extremists pay a price for antidemocratic behavior, communists and their right-wing counterparts had few incentives to moderate their behavior. LESS LENIN, MORE ARISTOTLE When the dust cleared at the end of World War II, communist parties reemerged in many Western European countries. In many cases, these parties received even more support than they had before the war, because of the communists’ heroic wartime resistance and the prestige enjoyed by the Soviet Union for its role in defeating Hitler. The communist parties’ initial postwar strength—combined with their destructive role during the interwar period and their close ties to the Soviet Union—led many to view them as a threat to fragile democracies. (In his famous Iron Curtain speech in 1946, for example, the former British Prime Minister Winston Churchill referred to these parties as “fifth columns.”) Yet over the coming decades all Western European communist parties moderated dramatically, dropping their support of violence, committing themselves to democracy, and distancing themselves from the Soviet Union. Take the French Communist Party (PCF). It began its postwar career as a particularly rigid and Moscow-centric party, as it had been during the interwar years. It received 26 percent of the vote in France’s first election after the war, and as a result was asked to join the government. Yet by 1947 it had been pushed out of power due to its extreme and unyielding positions. The party initially responded to its ouster by reverting to radicalism, proclaiming its commitment to revolution, and trumpeting its strong ties to the Soviet Union. But as the context facing the PCF changed, so did the party. Strong postwar economic growth and the formation of the Fifth Republic in 1958 stabilized French democracy, diminishing the constituency for radicalism and revolution. In 1969, a new (democratic) socialist party, the Parti Socialiste (PS), emerged and quickly drew significant support. As a result, the Communists agreed to join with the PS and the left Radicals, a center-left social-liberal party, in an electoral alliance, abandoning a host of communist symbols and principles, including the hammer-and-sickle insignia and the concept of the dictatorship of the proletariat. The PCF also took a more critical stance toward the Soviet Union. At its 1976 congress, the party proposed the idea of “socialism in French colors,” reflecting its commitment to France, as opposed to Moscow, as well as its full acceptance of democracy. Its days as an antidemocratic revolutionary force were over. When democratic norms and institutions are weak, extremists may have little incentive to moderate. The postwar Italian Communist Party followed a similar trajectory. It won 19 percent of the vote in Italy’s first postwar election and was included in the government but was kicked out in 1947. Over the coming years, the Italian economy boomed and Italian democracy stabilized, and a strong, unified, democratic center-right Christian Democratic party kept the PCI out of power at the national level. Although a spate of terrorist incidents committed by far-left and far-right fringe groups rocked Italy during the 1960s and 1970s, in contrast to the interwar years, these incidents were broadly condemned, and the PCI succumbed to pressure to explicitly denounce violence. In addition, the party made clear its commitment to playing by the democratic rules of the game, distanced itself from the Soviet Union, and moved to the forefront of an emerging Eurocommunist movement committed to a Third Way between Soviet-style communism and social democracy. The party also sought alliances with other parties on the left, and even made clear its willingness to work with the Christian Democrats and to accept Western alliances and NATO membership, which the far left had previously shunned. In short, like the French Communists, the PCI ceased to be a threat to democracy long before the Soviet Union collapsed in the early 1990s. In fact, the steady moderation of Europe’s postwar communist parties was primarily a response to the growing strength of democracy. As governments delivered unprecedented economic growth and built strong welfare states, popular support for radicalism diminished. In turn, the growing legitimacy of democratic institutions enabled these governments to constrain and, if necessary, punish antidemocratic actors. Democracy was also buttressed by the development of strong center-right and center-left parties that were fully committed to upholding democratic institutions and accordingly unwilling to ally with extremist forces. These factors led European communists to recognize that if they wanted to gain support and influence, their interwar playbook had to be cast aside. Over time, this trend was solidified by the emergence of a new generation of communist leaders and supporters who understood and were prepared to play by the democratic rules of the game. KITTENS, NOT FASCISTS But it was not just Europe’s communist parties that were forced to moderate during the postwar period. In the sixties and seventies, extremist, neofascist parties such as the German Reich party, the Dutch People’s Union, and the British National Front emerged in Western Europe. Yet most of these groups attracted little support and faded into oblivion. The few that survived are the predecessors of the parties that are feared by commentators today, such as the Brothers of Italy and the Sweden Democrats. Although it is important not to whitewash these parties’ origins, the reason they have survived is because they recognized, like the communists, that if they did not moderate they would be consigned to irrelevance: their support would remain limited, and they would be blocked from political power by the state and other political actors. Consider the French National Front, one of Western Europe’s oldest and probably its most influential right-wing populist party. The National Front emerged from France’s far-right scene in the 1970s. During its early years, it garnered few votes, but its vote share expanded during the 1990s and 2000s, partially as a result of rising concerns about immigration, Islamic fundamentalism, and national identity, before falling back to 4.3 percent in the 2007 presidential elections. Over time, members of the party recognized that its success was limited by its perceived radicalism, and particularly the racism and Holocaust denialism of its leader, Jean-Marie Le Pen. The result was a palace coup by Le Pen’s daughter Marine, who forced her father out of the party and embarked on a concerted effort to dédiabolise—un-demonize—the National Front. Le Pen changed the party’s rhetoric on its signature issue of immigration, distancing herself from racism (and anti-Semitism), claiming instead that the party aimed to defend Republicanism, secularism, and French values from those who rejected them. Le Pen also shifted the National Front’s policy profile, most notably by repositioning the party as the champion of France’s “left-behind” citizens. To enhance her respectability, Le Pen surrounded herself with (often young) technocrats, many of whom defected from conservative or center-right parties. And in the runup to France’s 2022 election, Le Pen sought to moderate her party’s image even further by changing its name to National Rally, dropping her rejection of the European Union, and presenting herself as a kindly “mother of cats.” Although she has not brought her party to power, she has increased her party’s vote share in every presidential contest in which she has run, most recently gaining 41 percent of the vote against incumbent French President Emmanuel Macron in April 2022. Europe’s right-wing populists have been forced to significantly temper their radicalism. The Sweden Democrats and the Brothers of Italy have followed a similar path. The Sweden Democrats were formed in 1988 by representatives of extreme nationalist and neo-Nazi organizations. Like its predecessors, the party initially received few votes and was shunned by other parties. To change this, its politically astute leader, Jimmie Akesson, who took over the party in 2005, when he was 25, began to distance the party from its extremist, neo-Nazi roots, excluding members with overt ties to such groups, changing its symbol from a somewhat threatening flame to a pretty blue flower, making clear its commitment to democracy, and expanding its policy profile to appeal to disaffected Swedish voters, particularly those from the working class. The party has continued to emphasize the dangers of liberal immigration policies, but it has moved away from the more openly racist appeals and the ethnic conception of national identity that it had previously been known for, claiming instead that it objects to immigrants who refuse to assimilate by speaking Swedish and accepting “Swedish values,” and that it opposes levels of immigration that strain government resources. In making this shift, the Sweden Democrats have attracted growing popular support and ultimately enabled other conservative and center-right parties to form alliances with them, including the country’s current conservative minority government. Similarly, the Brothers of Italy has among its ancestors the Italian Social Movement, founded by fascists after World War II. But its leader, Giorgia Meloni, has distanced herself from fascism and suspended members who openly praised or had ties to extremist groups. Meloni calls herself a conservative and claims that her party advocates “traditional conservative values and policies” like low taxes, strong borders, limited immigration, the centrality of the family, and the importance of Christianity to Western and Italian identity. Meloni also now stresses her support for the European Union and for Italy’s Western alliances, having previously criticized the former and raised concerns about her commitment to the latter. In adopting these positions, Meloni facilitated the Brothers of Italy’s electoral success in September 2022, which made her Italy’s first female prime minister. FROM MAINSTREAM TO MAYHEM The importance and distinctiveness of the evolution of Western European right-wing populism becomes particularly clear when compared with comparable developments in the United States. During the late 1990s and early 2000s, when many Western European right-wing populist parties were recognizing that if they wanted to gain votes and power they would have to moderate their rhetoric and behavior, one of the two mainstream U.S. parties, the Republican Party, began moving in the opposite direction. As exemplified by Newt Gingrich’s 1994 “Contract With America,” the party’s rhetoric became increasingly divisive and negative, its policy profile shifted from moderate to conservative, and its behavior in Congress grew increasingly obstructionist. The election of Donald Trump, in 2016, turbocharged these trends. Trump had little regard for democratic norms and institutions, and rather than checking his impulses Republicans indulged or even condoned them. After Trump’s loss, in 2020, the party radicalized further, refusing to forthrightly condemn Trump’s election denialism or even a violent insurrection against Congress that was designed to prevent a lawful transition of power. It also repudiated those leaders within the party, like Representative Liz Cheney of Wyoming and Senator Mitt Romney of Utah, who were willing to stand up for democratic institutions and deviate from the party’s increasingly antidemocratic path. That this trend has continued has been shown in the midterms, in which the party fielded nearly 300 election deniers, in races in 48 out of 50 states. And while some of the more extreme candidates lost—including Pennsylvania gubernatorial candidate Doug Mastriano, who participated in the pro-Trump rally at the Capitol on January 6—radical, conspiracy-minded figures like Marjorie Taylor Greene and Matt Gaetz are now firmly ensconced in the party. CURB YOUR EXTREMISM Over the past few years, many observers have become increasingly pessimistic about democracy’s future. Citing the spread of authoritarianism in many parts of the world, they have come to view contemporary developments through an undifferentiated dystopian lens. But there has been no return to fascism and there is no immediate threat to democracy in Western Europe. Instead, Europe’s right-wing populists have been forced to significantly temper their radicalism. That this moderating process has occurred even in Italy—a country that has never fully confronted its fascist past and that has been plagued by political instability and economic stagnation for decades—reflects the strength of democracy in such a place, and also that healthy democracies in general are able to resist destructive forces. By failing to understand this process, scholars and commentators risk only reinforcing the movements they are concerned about. For one thing, alarmist discussion of the populist far right may foster fear and polarization. Calling a party “fascist” creates panic among those who do not support the party in question and resentment among those who do; it is also likely to have very little effect on the party’s vote share. Second, labeling a party “antidemocratic” contributes to misunderstandings about what is going on with democracy today. Despite pervasive pessimism, most of the West’s wealthy, long-established democracies remain robust and flourishing. Indeed, the United States is less an example of a general trend than an outlier, as one of the only countries in this category in which democracy is in significant peril. (Notably, Freedom House and other groups that track democratic development, such as V-Dem, have noted a marked decline in the strength of American democracy but have found no similar decline in Western Europe.) It is possible, of course, that the efforts by Le Pen, Meloni, Akesson, and other right-wing populists to bring their parties into the mainstream is purely tactical; in their hearts, perhaps they do harbor extremist, antidemocratic sentiments. But that was surely the case with many early postwar communists, as well. Nonetheless, because communists recognized that radical and antidemocratic positions were limiting their votes and barring them from power, they gradually ceased advocating them. Over time this approach became institutionalized in the parties’ appeals and policies, thus conditioning a new generation of communist leaders and sympathizers to the rules of democratic politics. Anyone interested in strengthening democracy today should favor pushing right-wing populists along a similar path—but this will not be possible if their moderation is derided rather than rewarded. The threats to American democracy in particular should not be understated, even though the courts and other officials were able to block attempts to overthrow the results of the 2020 presidential election. But to properly understand the nature of the threat posed by populist far-right parties, we should spend less time trying to peer into the hearts of their leaders and more time focused on the incentives and constraints that these parties face. If democracy is effective and responsive, there will be little constituency for explicit antidemocratic or radical appeals, and governments and other political actors will be able to enforce the democratic rules of the game. In such contexts radicals have only two choices: marginalization or moderation.

Non-unique: US allocating scarce resources to Europe now

Dahmer, 11-5, 22, Austin Dahmer is a principal policy analyst in the defense industry and a consultant on defense strategy, force development, and budget issues., Strategic Scarcity: Allocating Arms and Attention in Washington, https://nationalinterest.org/feature/strategic-scarcity-allocating-arms-and-attention-washington-205726?page=0%2C1

“Strategy,” wrote business guru Richard Rumelt, “involves focus and, therefore, choice. And choice means setting aside some goals in favor of others.” While the Indo-Pacific is rhetorically the United States’ primary theater, the Biden administration has been unique in the extent to which it pays lip service to the Indo-Pacific while allocating the lion’s share of its finite resources to Europe. This is critical because resources are much scarcer than this strategy implies. Strategists ought to reckon with the reality of scarce resources and the prioritization this scarcity impels. Washington must make hard choices now while there is still time The United States’ current strategy documents declare an overwhelming focus on the Indo-Pacific. The National Security Strategy and National Defense Strategy both clearly prioritize China over Russia. Administration officials’ rhetorical assertions similarly imply a focus on China. Most notably, President Joe Biden himself has asserted on four occasions that America would defend Taiwan against Chinese aggression. Meantime, other officials are warning of the Chinese invasion threat to Taiwan with increasing urgency, characterizing it as “manifest,” “acute,” on a “much faster timeline” than thought, or that they are “fearing” invasion as early as 2023 Despite these assertions of Indo-Pacific import, the administration’s actions fall demonstrably short of this prioritization. The extent of material support for Ukraine is producing serious opportunity costs, infringing on Washington’s ability to safeguard its cardinal interests, namely: maintaining the capability and capacity to deter or deny Chinese territorial aggression in Asia, the most likely target of which is Taiwan.

China is more of a threat to the US than Russia

Dahmer, 11-5, 22, Austin Dahmer is a principal policy analyst in the defense industry and a consultant on defense strategy, force development, and budget issues., Strategic Scarcity: Allocating Arms and Attention in Washington, https://nationalinterest.org/feature/strategic-scarcity-allocating-arms-and-attention-washington-205726?page=0%2C1

Meantime, scarcity impels prioritization and choice. America evidently cannot continue its current material support to Ukraine and maintain a credible deterrent against Chinese aggression. Although it may be impolitic, denying Chinese aggression in Asia is vastly more important to America than the outcome of the Ukraine war. This is for many of the same reasons consecutive administrations have (at least rhetorically) prioritized China: it is the only state with the capability and intent to aspire to hegemony over a key region. With even a “soft imperial control” over half of the global economy, Americans’ concrete interests—physical security, economic prosperity, and political freedoms—would be jeopardized. Russia, even in the unlikely event that it subjugates Ukraine, no longer poses this type of hegemonic threat.

EU and US doen't even agree on what AI is, can’t cooperate

Luca Bertuzzi, 11-3, 22, US and Europe Look Set to Clash Over Artificial Intelligence, https://cepa.org/article/us-and-europe-look-set-to-clash-over-artificial-intelligence/

The US is lobbying to dilute the planned EU's Artificial Intelligence regulation, according to a paper sent to government officials in EU capitals and the European Commission. Brussels is likely to ignore American pressure.The paper proposes to narrow Europe’s definition of artificial intelligence (AI) in the upcoming AI Act while broadening the exemption for general-purpose machine learning and allowing individualized risk assessment of programming projects. Europeans already are divided over the text, which is now the subject of negotiations in the European Parliament and the EU Council. At stake is one of the key potential pillars of transatlantic tech cooperation. The US and Europe are scheduled to hold the third meeting of the Trade and Technology Council in DC on December 5.

“Many of our comments are prompted by our growing cooperation in this area under the US-EU Trade and Technology Council and concerns over whether the proposed Act will support or restrict continued cooperation,” the US document proposing changes to the AI Act reads. A spokesperson for the US Mission to the EU declined a request for comment. Under Europe’s AI Act, different types of programming are classified as low- and high-risk. Low-risk applications face minimal obligations. But high-risk requires programmers must take a series of precautions to make sure their plans are safe. The US warned that the proposed European definition of AI in the regulation “still includes systems that are not sophisticated enough to merit special attention under AI-focused legislation, such as hand-crafted rules-based systems.”  The US suggests using a narrower definition in the spirit one provided by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). Some US concerns find receptive European voices. The Czech Presidency of the EU Council has proposed a revised, shortened list of high-risk system programming, a strong role for an independent AI Board, and a reworked national security exemption. Yet the US remains dissatisfied. It warns that remaining risk-management obligations could prove “very burdensome, technically difficult and in some cases impossible.” It also pushes back against forcing general-purpose AI providers—of which the leading providers are large US companies including Microsoft and IBM—to cooperate with their users, including the disclosure of confidential business information or trade secrets. Instead of classifying a programming project as high-risk, the US administration advocates for a case-by-case assessment. It also would like an appeal mechanism for companies that think they have been incorrectly classified as high-risk. The US wants a substantial role for the AI Board, which will gather the EU’s national authorities, preventing an individual nation from imposing its veto. In the US view, Europe wants to act unilaterally, shutting the door to non-EU countries on setting AI standards. A particularly divisive issue concerns biometrics. The US suggests a flexible exemption for the use of biometric recognition when there is a ‘credible’ threat, such as a terrorist attack. The European Parliament has pressed for a total ban on biometric surveillance. The role of market surveillance authorities is also under scrutiny. Some European policymakers want them to be granted full access to the source code of high-risk systems when ‘necessary’ to assess their conformity with the AI rulebook. For Washington, what is ‘necessary’ needs to be defined and clarified. A list of transparent criteria should be applied to avoid subjective and inconsistent decisions across the EU, and the impacted company should be able to appeal the decision.

Counterplan – New AI Tech Center

Amanda Miller, 10-30, 22, https://www.airandspaceforces.com/report-new-intelligence-offices-could-benefit-us-in-techno-economic-competition/, Intelligence Offices Could Benefit US in ‘Techno-Economic Competition. See also: Interim Panel Report -- https://www.scsp.ai/wp-content/uploads/2022/10/FINAL-Intelligence-Panel-IPR.pdf

A new report suggests that the U.S. military’s “technological edge” could erode—the Defense Department no longer able to fulfill its commitments or to project power in the customary way—if the U.S. doesn’t become a better-informed player in the global “techno-economic competition.” To that end, a one-year-old think tank with its origins in a federal commission proposes the creation of two new intelligence organizations to help “fuse more diverse sources of information across all domains” through artificial intelligence. Founded by the former top executive at Google, Eric Schmidt, the Special Competitive Studies Project says it will help “strengthen America’s long-term competitiveness where artificial intelligence (AI) and other emerging technologies” are reshaping society, including in national security. The group’s Intelligence Panel published a 42-page “interim report” Oct. 20 proposing a National Techno-Economic Intelligence Center; along with another organization focusing on open-source intelligence that the report says could be a fit within the Defense Department. The U.S. government’s 18-agency Intelligence Community led in AI as well as in “new efforts to capture data outside government channels,” according to the report. The IC now needs to expand on those activities to turn it all into a “competitive advantage.” “In a rivalry with a technological and economic near-peer and with technology as a key battleground of the competition, providing insight into our adversaries’ emerging technologies and the organizations that field them is as important as understanding the traditional political and military institutions of a state,” according to the authors. Citing the Biden administration’s new National Security Strategy, which says “economic security is national security,” the report says a new National Techno-Economic Intelligence Center could “improve the picture of adversaries’ economic, financial, and technological capabilities.” An organization specializing in open-source intelligence could help the IC “maximize its use of open sources throughout the intelligence enterprise.” The report lays out options for where the new entities could reside organizationally: A National Techno-Economic Intelligence Center could range from an independent agency; to a part of the Intelligence Community within the Commerce Department; to a part of the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI); to expanding the scope of the CIA’s Transnational Technology and Mission Center. Options for “leveraging open source capabilities” similarly include an independent agency outside the IC; one within the IC; an office within the ODNI to coordinate contracting; and simply normalizing the use of open-source data across the IC with a set of standards.

Russia threat to Europe is not plausible

Shifron, 10-30, 22, Joshua Shifrinson is an associate professor with the University of Maryland School of Public Policy, a senior fellow with the Center for International and Security Studies at Maryland, and a non-resident senior fellow with the Cato Institute, What Is America's Interest in the Ukraine War?, https://nationalinterest.org/feature/what-americas-interest-ukraine-war-205555

Further Aggrandizement: An Overstated Worry. Worry that failure to act in Ukraine will simply whet Russia’s appetite for European aggression beyond Ukraine—particularly against the United States’ NATO allies—and thus merits a deepening American response is questionable. To be sure, some states at some times are dominated by domestic elites convinced that aggression is cheap, easy, and worthwhile. Still, to argue that unchallenged Russian behavior in Ukraine will yield further Russian aggrandizement is to argue that there are no other possible constraints that can keep Russian ambitions or behavior in check. Common sense, international relations theory, and current trends in European security all indicate otherwise.

States faced with a proximate and militarily ambitious actor tend to balance and check its opportunities for further aggression. In an anarchic world, this sort of behavior reflects the fact that self-interested states have to ensure their own security and so are incentivized to offset potential aggressors. We see these trends in Europe today, where Russia’s actions have rapidly spurred both arming (e.g., Germany’s growing defense budget) and allying (e.g., Sweden and Finland joining NATO, discussion of European military autonomy). Moreover, the distribution of power in Europe—where the European members of NATO alone have a combined gross domestic product twelve times that of Russia—underlines that there are multiple states which, singly or collectively, are more than capable of influencing Russian calculations. Russia, in short, is increasingly hemmed in and is likely to be further constrained should it contemplate future aggression in Europe.  Even a leader as daring as Putin cannot easily ignore this situation and is likely to factor it in to Russian strategic choices. Yet even if he—or a successor—were to overlook these constraints, the beauty of balancing is that aggressors nevertheless encounter resistance that thwarts their efforts. Put differently, even a reckless Russia that somehow concludes aggression after Ukraine is viable is unlikely to get very far. This is doubly true so far as possible aggression against NATO members is concerned. Distinct from efforts to aid Ukraine itself, the alliance has responded to Russian aggression by drawing together to a degree unmatched in the last twenty years; both declared policy and emerging military trends indicate that its members are increasingly committed to defending what Biden termed “every inch of NATO territory.” The conflict has thus made it abundantly clear that Russia risks an overwhelming (outside the nuclear realm) counterbalancing coalition should it attempt to move against NATO members. Combined, and entirely separate from anything on the ground in Ukraine, there are thus strong reasons borne of the strategic map to doubt whether any Russian policymaker will conclude further aggression in Europe will pay, or succeed in such a course if they do. Ukraine is not decisive in shaping or thwarting Russian ambitions.

NATO unity strong now

Shifron, 10-30, 22, Joshua Shifrinson is an associate professor with the University of Maryland School of Public Policy, a senior fellow with the Center for International and Security Studies at Maryland, and a non-resident senior fellow with the Cato Institute, What Is America's Interest in the Ukraine War?, https://nationalinterest.org/feature/what-americas-interest-ukraine-war-205555

This is doubly true so far as possible aggression against NATO members is concerned. Distinct from efforts to aid Ukraine itself, the alliance has responded to Russian aggression by drawing together to a degree unmatched in the last twenty years; both declared policy and emerging military trends indicate that its members are increasingly committed to defending what Biden termed “every inch of NATO territory.” The conflict has thus made it abundantly clear that Russia risks an overwhelming (outside the nuclear realm) counterbalancing coalition should it attempt to move against NATO members. Combined, and entirely separate from anything on the ground in Ukraine, there are thus strong reasons borne of the strategic map to doubt whether any Russian policymaker will conclude further aggression in Europe will pay, or succeed in such a course if they do. Ukraine is not decisive in shaping or thwarting Russian ambitions.

China won’t attack Taiwan because of any US weakness on the Ukraine

Shifron, 10-30, 22, Joshua Shifrinson is an associate professor with the University of Maryland School of Public Policy, a senior fellow with the Center for International and Security Studies at Maryland, and a non-resident senior fellow with the Cato Institute, What Is America's Interest in the Ukraine War?, https://nationalinterest.org/feature/what-americas-interest-ukraine-war-205555

Holding aside that policymakers have long abjured the idea of the United States serving as the world’s policeman, there are several problems with this argument. First, as Stephen Walt notes, the historical record is replete with aggressors paying exorbitant costs for their behavior—think of Germany’s defeat, occupation, and division following World War II or the firebombing of Japan. Nevertheless, aggression remains a reality in international politics as, even when one aggressor is defeated, others do not readily seem to “learn” the lesson.

Second, allowing that potential aggressors may exist, an array of research indicates that state calculations are shaped not by general impressions of how a single great power may respond, but contextual judgments of whether counterbalancing and punishment are likely given the distribution of power and known state interests. Extending the point, the United States (1) can afford to ignore Ukraine without risking aggression in other theaters provided it has an interest in and the wherewithal for checking other potential threats, or (2) there are local actors able and interested in the same. This makes intuitive sense: Beijing, for instance, is likely to care far more about what the United States, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, India, Australia, etc. can and will do in Asia than it cares about what the United States does 4,000 miles away. Analysts that treat Ukraine as decisive to other states’ aggression overlook the geopolitical constraints that are likely to shape others’ interest in and opportunities for aggrandizement.

US never supports the global democratic order

Shifron, 10-30, 22, Joshua Shifrinson is an associate professor with the University of Maryland School of Public Policy, a senior fellow with the Center for International and Security Studies at Maryland, and a non-resident senior fellow with the Cato Institute, What Is America's Interest in the Ukraine War?, https://nationalinterest.org/feature/what-americas-interest-ukraine-war-205555

Threats to Order: Theory, Not Reality. Assertions that neglecting to act in Ukraine will undermine the liberal order are similarly suspect. First, while the United States has often sought to promote democracy abroad, it tempers this impulse with consideration of geopolitical imperatives regardless of how this affected democracy’s spread. To this end, the United States frequently overthrew elected governments in states such as Iran and Guatemala during the Cold War, has regularly made deals with autocrats (for instance, in Cold War-era Taiwan and South Korea and post-Cold War Saudi Arabia), and tolerates democratic backsliding among major allies today (as seen, for example, in Hungary, Poland, Pakistan, and Turkey). In short, Washington has never made the defense of foreign democracy per se an interest—as the record suggests, the question was instead whether policymakers perceived a given country as important to U.S. interests; so far as a liberal order emerged after World War II (and there are good questions whether one has), it was despite U.S. ambivalence over backstopping other democracies as an end unto themselves Asserting that the liberal order now requires the United States to defend Ukraine inverts the logic driving American policy.

The “liberal order” doesn’t prevent global violence

Shifron, 10-30, 22, Joshua Shifrinson is an associate professor with the University of Maryland School of Public Policy, a senior fellow with the Center for International and Security Studies at Maryland, and a non-resident senior fellow with the Cato Institute, What Is America's Interest in the Ukraine War?, https://nationalinterest.org/feature/what-americas-interest-ukraine-war-205555

Finally, arguments that failure to oppose Russia in Ukraine will undermine the norms and operating principles of the “liberal order” are problematic. As scholars such as Patrick Porter and Paul Staniland document, the liberal order was never violence-free. If anything, the order itself has both survived and often relied upon a large degree of state-led violence and challenges to sovereignty in support of dubious objectives throughout its postwar history. It is thus hard to see how Russia’s deplorable behavior in Ukraine is somehow more injurious to a liberal order than the Vietnam or Iraq wars, Israeli use of force in its near abroad, or the Saudi campaign in Yemen, among others. By the same token, the “liberal order” has shown a remarkable capacity for tolerating a wide range of inter- and intra-state violence and sovereignty violations. Even a cursory glance at history reveals the trend, with the “liberal order” no more torn asunder by the American and allied reluctance to act in Bosnia until much of the bloodletting was over than it was by the 2008 Russo-Georgian War. Seen in this light, the Russian invasion is not so much a threat to the order as a particularly thuggish manifestation of the sort of violence and violations that have long existed within “the order,” by a state many actors do not especially like. Again, we can and should lament the horrors visited upon Ukraine. However, claims that Russian aggression somehow overturns the principles upon which the order rests fall flat.

Russia’s military is trash and cannot threaten Europe

Shifron, 10-30, 22, Joshua Shifrinson is an associate professor with the University of Maryland School of Public Policy, a senior fellow with the Center for International and Security Studies at Maryland, and a non-resident senior fellow with the Cato Institute, What Is America's Interest in the Ukraine War?, https://nationalinterest.org/feature/what-americas-interest-ukraine-war-205555

The United States has long looked to prevent a regional hegemon from emerging in Eurasia. Russia today, however, is not poised to be a regional hegemon. It has an impressive nuclear arsenal, potent military-industrial complex, and gains some degree of political influence from exporting key commodities and energy products. Still, its economy is smaller than Italy’s, it occupies an unfavorable piece of real estate, suffers from a history of antagonizing its neighbors, and is beset with demographic problems. Moreover, it faces—as its battlefield performance demonstrates—limits in turning its latent capability into usable power, just as its ability to translate material and energy exports into geopolitical leverage is constrained by the availability (particularly over the medium and long term) of alternate suppliers. Other regional actors, meanwhile, have more than enough raw capacity to resist it either alone or in combination; given the quick and hard balancing against Russia’s invasion, they also seem to have the political will to resist Russian designs. And where the Soviet Union (the last potential Eurasian hegemon in modern history) benefitted from forward-deployed armies across a pliant Eastern Europe that seemed poised to reach the Atlantic coast in weeks, Russian forces today are more than 1,000 miles further east than their Soviet counterparts; even if the capability were available, there is significantly more territory for Russia to cross and time to mount a response than when Europe last faced a potential hegemonic bid.

Nor would a Russian victory in Ukraine change this situation. Even adding all of Ukraine’s resources to Russia’s, its economy would still be smaller than Italy’s, and its population barely that of France, Germany, and Poland combined; it would continue to face limits in using commodity and energy exports to influence European politics beyond the short term, and would still remain a massively smaller geopolitical competitor than the Cold War-era Soviet Union. Moreover, Russian forces would remain more than 500 miles further east than their Cold War Soviet equivalents while facing the need to move across the rest of an Eastern Europe that would be anything but cooperative. If anything, the main effect of a Russian victory in Ukraine would be to raise threat perceptions among European countries and so induce even more balancing by highly capable players against Moscow. Russia, in short, is not poised to dominate the continent regardless of what happens in Ukraine. The United States seeks to prevent the rise of a Eurasian hegemon but, thankfully, the structure of European politics already solves this problem so far as Russia is concerned.

US already allocating forces to Europe that undermine its position in Asia

Shifron, 10-30, 22, Joshua Shifrinson is an associate professor with the University of Maryland School of Public Policy, a senior fellow with the Center for International and Security Studies at Maryland, and a non-resident senior fellow with the Cato Institute, What Is America's Interest in the Ukraine War?, https://nationalinterest.org/feature/what-americas-interest-ukraine-war-205555

On the military front, the United States looks to be committed to a reinforced presence in Europe for the foreseeable future. This means that resources which could otherwise be reallocated to competing with China will be unavailable. For sure, reinforcing Europe requires land forces while competing with China primarily requires air and sea assets; in the short-term, the United States may be able to use its military to play the central role against both Russia and China. Still, many of the long-range strike and reconnaissance assets needed to bolster defenses against Russia are those useful for addressing a rising China, implying greater tradeoffs across the theaters than may be immediately apparent. Similarly, if China is truly the “pacing threat” driving U.S. strategy, then the assets currently being allocated to Europe—with plans now calling for additional ground forces, strike aircraft, naval vessels, and support elements that will bring U.S. force totals to roughly 100,000 personnel—may eventually leave U.S. strategy under-resourced in key ways.

The US has an interest in preventing the conflict from spreading and restoring relations with Russia

Shifron, 10-30, 22, Joshua Shifrinson is an associate professor with the University of Maryland School of Public Policy, a senior fellow with the Center for International and Security Studies at Maryland, and a non-resident senior fellow with the Cato Institute, What Is America's Interest in the Ukraine War?, https://nationalinterest.org/feature/what-americas-interest-ukraine-war-205555

Viewed in this light, American interests in Ukraine are fairly limited. First, the United States has a strong interest in preventing the conflict from spilling beyond Ukraine. This reduces the chance that the United States may be pulled into a broader confrontation with Moscow that might escalate to war, with all the attendant dangers. Second, the United States maintains an interest in avoiding such a collapse of U.S.-Russian relations (1) that any future engagement with Russia on issues of mutual concern (e.g., arms control, counter-terrorism, climate change) is impossible, and (2) that Moscow, as Henry Kissinger cautions, is driven to seek “a permanent alliance elsewhere”—that is, with China. These outcomes would complicate the United States’ strategic map and exacerbate the already difficult adjustments underway in U.S. grand strategy as the unipolar era comes to an end. Finally, Washington has at least some interest in sustaining the already-favorable European balance of power as an insurance policy against the risk of Russia—or any state—calculating that further aggression may pay. Note that this latter interest is not about teaching Russia or others a lesson by causing harm (as the current policy conversation has it), but rather about reducing opportunities for Russian aggrandizement going forward.

Russian army on the brink of collapse

John Blake, 10-29, 22, CNN, What causes armies to lose the will to fight? Here’s what history tells us – and what Putin may soon find out, https://www.cnn.com/2022/10/29/europe/russian-army-ukraine-blake-cec/index.html

More than a century later, there’s little chance that Russian and Ukrainian soldiers will shower each other with gifts this winter. But the Christmas Truce story is an example of a peculiar feature of war that offers a warning to the beleaguered Russian army in Ukraine: There are moments throughout history where entire armies suddenly stop fighting, though they are evenly matched or even numerically superior to their enemy. What causes armies to lose the will to fight? And how might that play out with the Russian army in Ukraine? This is the question that CNN asked combat veterans and military historians. While history is full of embattled armies like the Imperial Japanese Army in World War II, which fought with ferocious intensity even though they knew they would not win, it also records other armies that “quiet quit” — stopped attacking the enemy or did the bare minimum to stay alive. Russia’s troops may be approaching that precipice, says Jeff McCausland, a combat veteran of the Gulf War and a visiting professor of international security studies at Dickinson College in Pennsylvania. He says it’s become clear that the Russian army is poorly trained and supplied, and that its soldiers in many cases have lost their will to fight. “Fear and panic are more infectious than Covid” for an army, says McCausland, co-author of “Battle Tested! Gettysburg Leadership Lessons for 21st Century Leaders.” The sources for both fear and panic are varied. But McCausland and other historians say that throughout the history of warfare, there are at least three reasons why armies lose the will to fight. They lose faith in their cause McCausland has seen a broken army lose the will to fight up close. He says he commanded a battalion during the Gulf War in 1990-1991 and saw so many Iraqi soldiers surrender that his unit had trouble accommodating the prisoners. They ended up giving water to the captured soldiers and pointing them toward the rear. What happens when an army loses faith in its leaders and its cause? The Iraqi Army in the first Gulf War offers an answer. Iraqi soldiers surrendered in massive numbers, without a fight, to the US and coalition forces. What happens when an army loses faith in its leaders and its cause? The Iraqi Army in the first Gulf War offers an answer. Iraqi soldiers surrendered in massive numbers, without a fight, to the US and coalition forces. The war started when the Iraqi Army under Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait. But many Iraqi soldiers simply didn’t think Kuwait or Iraq’s brutal leader were worth dying for. “There was one instance where Iraqi soldiers surrendered to a drone that was circling over them,” McCausland says. A more recent example of an army losing the will to fight came in Afghanistan. Amid the US military’s withdrawal from the country in 2021, the Afghan National Army collapsed. They allowed the Taliban to quickly take control, even though the US had invested years and billions of dollars in training them. It was a low point for President Biden’s administration. The reason for the Afghan army’s complex surrender could be distilled in one question, McCausland says. An army can outfight and outlast a larger and better equipped foe if they have higher morale. This is one reason why the Afghan army quickly collapsed after the 2021 departure of US military forces, which left military installations empty -- like the sprawling Bagram Air Base north of Kabul. An army can outfight and outlast a larger and better equipped foe if they have higher morale. This is one reason why the Afghan army quickly collapsed after the 2021 departure of US military forces, which left military installations empty -- like the sprawling Bagram Air Base north of Kabul. Rahmat Gul/AP “If you asked a Taliban soldier, ‘What the hell are you fighting for?’ he would say I’m fighting to free my country from the crusaders, just like my grandfather freed the country from the Soviets and my great-great grandfather freed the country from the British. And I’m fighting for my religion, my country and my home,” McCausland says. And if the same question was asked of an Afghan army soldier? “He would say I’m fighting for a paycheck—if the company commander doesn’t steal it.” The Taliban believed in their cause; the Afghan army didn’t, says McCausland. They lose faith in their leaders Every war has its defining images. The Ukraine war has already yielded some unforgettable ones showing the contrast in leadership styles of Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Ukrainian counterpart, Volodymyr Zelensky. Recent photos of Putin typically show him attired in a suit, alone at the head of an absurdly long conference table, in a large, sterile room, with a general or bureaucrat cowering at the other end. The caption could well read: “paranoid and isolated dictator in action.” The best leaders often inspire their armies by visiting the front lines. Russian President Vladimir Putin has drawn criticism for keeping physical distance from his troops and even from his closest advisors, as this image suggests. Contrast those images of Putin with those of Zelensky. One shows him standing resolute with his circle of advisors at night in Kiev after vowing not to abandon the city even though he and his family were in danger. Other photographs show him in fatigues, buffed and bearded, swapping hugs with soldiers on the front lines. McCausland, who is also a national security consultant for CBS radio and television, says the images offer a lesson in leadership. “Just look at both photos in terms of who would you like to work for,” says McCausland, who offers leadership workshops to companies, non-profits and government institutions through his company, Diamond6. “I don’t care whether you’re in the military or you’re working for a corporation. It’s pretty easy to decide.” Armies lose the will to fight when they lose faith in their leaders, McCausland and others say. They say soldiers don’t expect generals or other leaders to hunker down in frontline trenches with them. But they want to know if their leaders care for them and respect their sacrifice. If you want to know how a leader can inspire an army to superhuman levels of endurance, consider this popular story from one of the greatest commanders in history: Alexander the Great. Alexander was leading his parched army through an unforgiving desert in pursuit of an enemy when scouts returned to him with a scoop of precious water in a helmet. They handed him the helmet in front of his army. Alexander thanked the soldiers and then, in full view of his troops, poured the water on the ground. He announced he would not take any water unless all his men had the same. His troops cheered. Alexander the Great never lost a battle. “So extraordinary was the effect of this action that the water wasted by Alexander was as good as a drink for every man in the army,” one chronicler would write later. They lose the backing of their country We hear commentators warn about the dangers of hyper-polarization in American politics, the corrupting power of unregulated and virtually untraceable “dark money” and the breakdown of civic norms. What many don’t say is that these trends can become a national security issue in times of war. Put simply, an army can quit when their country becomes too corrupt or divided to support them. A classic example is the mass collapse of the South Vietnamese Army in the spring of 1975. The US military had been South Vietnam’s big brother and benefactor for a decade as both countries fought the Viet Cong and the North Vietnamese army. But the South Vietnamese government was riddled with corruption. Its leaders and their cronies siphoned off military aid to enrich themselves, and never built popular support among the populace they purportedly served. A corrupt and undivided government can drain an army of the will to fight. This is partly why many South Vietnamese soldiers fled the battlefield during the fall of their country in 1975. Many abandoned their uniforms on the road as they fled. After the US military withdrew combat troops in 1973, the North Vietnamese army launched its final offensive on Saigon two years later. The South Vietnamese army refused to fight. News photos from that period show the army’s equipment littering roadways as soldiers abandoned their units and attempted to hide among the civilian population, says Derek Frisby, a historian at Middle Tennessee State University. “Once it looked like North was going to take over the South, there was nothing the South Vietnamese army could do about it,” Frisby says. “Once the Americans left, it [the loss of South Vietnam) seemed inevitable.” Wars aren’t just fought by soldiers. They are fought by a country, and its people and its institutions. They are what historian Michael Butler calls “social endeavors.” The health of a country’s institutions - its government, military and media outlets – matter just as much as a soldier’s will to fight, says Butler, author of “Selling a ‘Just’ War: Framing Legitimacy and U.S. Military Intervention.” Butler pointed to “On War,” the pioneering work by the 19th century Prussian military strategist Carl von Clausewitz, who wrote that the “forces of passion” are every bit as critical to a successful war effort as the military and the government.” If a government is corrupt and does not have the trust of the people, its armies can lose the will to fight, Butler says. He says that appears to be taking place in Russia, where society has long been afflicted by a “societal malaise.” Its citizens have experienced the traumatic breakup of the Soviet Union, rampant corruption, political apathy, and the crushing of independent media and dissenting voices, he says. Political apathy has grown. The malaise afflicting civic Russia may be spreading to its military, he says, adding that the signs are already there in the thousands of men fleeing Russia to escape conscription. “That’s pretty compelling evidence that that the forces of passion are not really effectively locked into this war,” says Butler, a political science professor at Clark University in Massachusetts. “It’s not surprising to see that playing out on the battlefield with troops who are deserting or disengaging.” The forces of passion now, though, seem to favor Ukraine. Its army’s men and women (women soldiers serve in combat units in the Ukrainian military) know what they’re fighting for. “Ukrainians are motivated by perhaps the strongest force a soldier can have – defense of their country, families and homes,” McCausland says. American troops never surrendered during the Vietnam War. They never lost a major battle during the war. The 1968 Tet Offensive, a failed campaign by North Vietnam’s army and the Viet Cong, was a military victory for the US. Many US troops lost the will to fight in Vietnam in part because of a massive anti-war movement in their native country. In this photo, demonstrators march down Fifth Avenue in New York City in 1968 to protest against US involvement in the war. And yet it was also a devastating political loss. The American public turned against the war. Antiwar protests rocked the country. The American public grew enraged when they learned their country’s political and military leaders had lied to them about the purpose and success of the war. Many American combat soldiers simply lost the will to fight. The US’ abrupt withdrawal from Vietnam was one of the most humiliating chapters in our history. The political context of the US’s war in Vietnam was different than the current war in Ukraine. In Russia, war protests have been crushed and the media has largely been uncritical of Putin’s conduct. But on the battlefield, many Russian soldiers are discovering what some American soldiers realized in Vietnam — that they are fighting for a lie. As John Kerry, a Vietnam combat veteran and future Senator who turned against the war, put it during a 1971 congressional hearing: “How do you ask a man to be the last man to die for a mistake?’ This is the question that may haunt Russian soldiers in Ukraine this winter. If Putin doesn’t give them an answer that makes their hardships worthwhile, the mass migration of men fleeing Russia after conscription may spread to the battlefield. And one frigid winter night, when the only sounds may not be of Christmas carols but of men dying on the battlefield, Russian soldiers may ask one another: How do you ask a man to be the last man to die for a mistake?” Russia can cut Europe’s cables and destroy its cyber infrastructure Vineet Malik, 10-28, 22, Russia can destroy Europe’s cyber infrastructure whenever it feels like, https://tfiglobalnews.com/2022/10/28/russia-can-destroy-europes-cyber-infrastructure-whenever-it-feels-like/ Russia can destroy Europe’s cyber infrastructure whenever it feels like Vineet Malik by Vineet Malik October 28, 2022in Europe, Geopolitics, RussiaReading Time: 2 mins read 0 Russia underwater cables 360 VIEWS Share on Facebook Share on Twitter On 26th October, Kremlin initiated a joint nuclear drill which involved land drills, submarine and long-range bomber planes. The exercise showcased a Tula ballistic submarine, TU-95 missile carriers, Yars mobile ground missile system as part of the drills which took place in the Barents Sea near the Kamchatka peninsula. In October, North Europe was witness to a lot of arm-twisting activities taking place between stakeholders where Russian missiles were launched in Bears Island, Finnmark region and the Svalbard archipelago. In response to this, the NATO organised a deterrence exercise known as the Steadfast Noon in the North Sea to ensure power parity with Kremlin in the region. Also Read “We don’t care what the West has against him”, South Africa hosts Russian Oligarch and Putin’s best friend The international insult of Hu Jintao proves that he actually tried house arresting Xi and failed Russian submarines and minisubs are being rapidly developed to impact channels and carry out surprise attacks and corner target areas. Some of the advanced submarines developed include the BS-64, Belgorod and the Akula class attack submarine. Importance of underwater cables of Russia Now, Russia is using underwater cables, an essential network through which 99 per cent of the information flows which includes personal information, email, chats, military communications etc. Russia has started using nuclear submarines in response to such developments and also knows the weak points of the underwater cables. The Nord Stream attack is one such incident which was a case of an hybrid attack. 5 Ways The Russian Navy Could Target Undersea Internet Cables - Naval News Source- Naval News Talking about espionage activities, in Norway, many Russians were arrested on the charges of using drones to monitor oil and gas installations where many of these Russian migrants used the Storskorg route to enter Scandinavian countries. Oslo has become an important gas supplier in Europe after Kremlin stopped supplies in retaliation to Western sanctions and is working on putting restrictions on Russia and even Finland is considering strengthening its border fencing to prevent migrants from conducting espionage activities in loyalty to Moscow. So, what’s in for Europe to solve this? In view of emerging risks, France has also started to increase its budget allocation on Ocean floors since it is connected to essential pipelines and satellites. The defence budget for 2023 involved an expenditure of 3 million Euros being invested on setting ocean floors and 11 million for unmanned robots and drones. At the moment, France and Germany are having a spat due to energy issues and during this period, but it is imperative for EU to come together and collaborate on strengthening defence systems to tackle any passive strike coming from the Kremlin through espionage, and information warfare. Protection needs to be ensured from all directions- computer systems, nuclear power plants where defence cooperation between countries could be a key to solving problems like Kremlin’s muscle-flexing incidents. Hence, we can say that Europe should be worried that its underwater sea cables are under Russia’s mercy and Moscow can destroy them at will. Ukraine war has strengthened NATO cohesion Tierney, 10-28, 22, Dominic Tierney is professor of political science at Swarthmore College and a senior fellow at the Foreign Policy Research Institute. He has published four books, most recently, The Right Way to Lose a War: America in an Age of Unwinnable Conflicts (2015), The Ukraine War and the New Global Liberal Order, The Ukraine War and the New Global Liberal Order, https://nationalinterest.org/feature/ukraine-war-and-new-global-liberal-order-205561?page=0%2C1 Alliances sometimes operate like a chain gang bound together at the ankle, stumbling forward at the pace of the slowest member. Turkey insisted on guarantees that Sweden and Finland would combat the Kurdistan Workers’ Party, or PKK, and other terrorist groups, before approving their entry into NATO. Aid to Ukraine has been uneven, for example, Poland has provided over ten times as much military support as France ($1.8 billion versus $160 million). Despite this friction, the Ukraine War has undoubtedly boosted NATO’s cohesion.

Russia-US relations are dead

Cliff Kupchan, 10-29, 22, The Impact of the Ukraine War Will Last for a Generation, https://nationalinterest.org/feature/impact-ukraine-war-will-last-generation-205533?page=0%2C1, Cliff Kupchan is Chairman at Eurasia Group. He has worked on Russia for over thirty-five years in government, in the private sector, and served for two years as vice president of the Nixon Center.

The most profound risk is war between the United States/NATO and Russia. It is unlikely because the cost would be enormous for both sides. But given Ukrainian battlefield successes based in part on Western weapons, and Vladimir Putin’s view that control of the Donbass is an existential need for Russia, conflict is conceivable. Putin’s threat to use nuclear weapons makes the risks and possible implications for international relations greater. More broadly, the relationship will be moribund for as long as Putin is president, and that could be a decade or more. Some Russian analysts now refer to the United States as “the enemy.” While true, it’s still quite a shock to hear for long-time Russia analysts. Neither side will be interested in meaningful relations with the other for a long time.

Deterrence critical to prevent Russian aggression

Cliff Kupchan, 10-29, 22, The Impact of the Ukraine War Will Last for a Generation, https://nationalinterest.org/feature/impact-ukraine-war-will-last-generation-205533?page=0%2C1, Cliff Kupchan is Chairman at Eurasia Group. He has worked on Russia for over thirty-five years in government, in the private sector, and served for two years as vice president of the Nixon Center.

That leads to a series of risks. On nuclear arms control and strategic stability, Moscow will probably adhere to most of the provisions of New START until it expires in 2026—despite having recently suspended on-site inspections. But as of 2026, the nuclear relationship will probably rest on crude deterrence, much like in the initial years of the Cold War. Mutual transparency and limits will fall by the wayside. Thin levels of communication will stand alongside a broken relationship between the top nuclear powers. For NATO and Europe, assuming no direct armed conflict, there will be an unstable, hot line of control in the middle of Europe just as Russia and the rest of the continent have decoupled in the energy sector. Along that line will be a newly muscular and cohesive NATO standing opposite a Russian buildup.

Nuke use escalates to Armageddon

Cimbala, 10-26, 22, Steve Cimbala Lawrence J. Korb, Nuclear Escalation Would Be Disastrous for Russia, National Interest, https://nationalinterest.org/feature/nuclear-escalation-would-be-disastrous-russia-205500

The problem with Russia’s nuclear warnings is that neither Russia nor any other nuclear weapons state can maintain control over events once the nuclear threshold has been crossed. Russian leaders may imagine that they can unleash a low-yield “tactical” nuclear weapon—compared to “strategic” nuclear weapons deployed on intercontinental launchers—and regain a temporary advantage on the escalation ladder. But the use of a nuclear weapon would not just be a military incident but a political game-changer. The world will hold its breath since the reactions of Ukrainian and NATO political leaders are not necessarily going to be what Putin and his advisers expect. Nor will Russian political elites and the public necessarily rally around the flag in response to a nuclear weapon fired against Ukrainians. Many Ukrainians have relatives in Russia and vice versa. The people of Russia and Ukraine do not hate one another, only their governments do. Many Russians will react with horror and disgust at nuclear first use in Ukraine and the mass exodus of Russians from their own country will grow larger in number as images of Armageddon dominate the media and social discourse. Some contend that the Russian military has adopted a rationale for nuclear first use based on the logic of “escalate to de-escalate” if a conflict appears to be going badly for Russia. If so, it would be a mistake for Russia to apply this doctrine to the exigent circumstances in Ukraine. During the Cold War, numerous studies and war games examined the concept of limited nuclear war in Europe with varying sets of assumptions, role players, and outcomes. For the most part, players had considerable difficulty managing the conflict before the fighting escalated to comprehensive attacks between the United States and the Soviet Union. Less is known about Soviet-era war games but if Russia expects to manage escalation after nuclear first use they are likely to be disappointed. Nuclear escalation control is not like a minuet or a waltz; it resembles more of a mosh pit. Optimism assumes that command and control systems will still work as expected; that leaders and their advisers will keep their heads; that panic and mass migration will not throw European countries into political and social turmoil; and that infrastructure on which states depend for day-to-day functions (manufacturing, transportation, agriculture, fuel, power supplies) will be viable even in the face of mass destruction. There is also the question of whether enlisted personnel in the Russian military, already unhappy about the entire enterprise in Ukraine, will move forward into irradiated wastelands resembling Chernobyl on steroids. NATO’s political and military unity is now as important as it has ever been. Putin’s nuclear saber-rattling should be taken seriously but it should not divide the United States from its European allies. There is no such thing as a limited nuclear war in Europe and Russia would be foolish to expect that it could contain a nuclear war on Ukrainian territory. Putin should stop imitating Kim Jong-un and revisit the example of Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev with respect to nuclear war and deterrence. Normalizing Armageddon invites misperception, inadvertent escalation, and unthinkable destruction.

New regulations block China’s AI development

John Feng, 10-24, 22, https://www.newsweek.com/us-joe-biden-semiconductor-export-controls-china-high-technology-decoupling-1754134, Joe Biden Quietly Crushes China's Tech Ambitions

In the four years Democrats spent in the political wildness during the presidency of Donald Trump, their critiques of the Republicans' policies often included a common acknowledgment: China was challenging the U.S. fundamental interests, and it was right to push back. Two Foreign Affairs articles captured the mood. In one in 2019, Kurt Campbell and Jake Sullivan—now President Joe Biden's Asia czar and his national security adviser, respectively—declared the era of engagement with China was over. In its place would come competition and coexistence, and America would need to establish favorable terms in key domains—military, economic, political and global governance. In another in 2020, Biden sent a similar message from the campaign trail. "China represents a special challenge," he wrote. "To win the competition for the future against China or anyone else, the United States must sharpen its innovative edge." His administration's announcement in October of high-technology export controls to China represented a profound policy shift, a step to blunt Beijing's sharpest tools—and a willingness to risk it alone, if necessary. Sullivan said at Georgetown University on October 13 that the "carefully tailored" measures targeted China's capacity to produce the most-advanced semiconductors. That expertise, he added, would need to remain in American and allied hands in a "small yard, high fence" approach. "These restrictions are premised on straightforward national security concerns. These technologies are used to develop and field advanced military systems, including weapons of mass destruction, hypersonic missiles, autonomous systems and mass surveillance," Sullivan said. It was an unprecedented intervention that signaled America's intention to retain primacy in emerging technologies by controlling "chokepoints" in the global supply chain, leaving Chinese innovation a generation behind, if not more. It would ensure the security of America and its allies wasn't undermined by their own technology in the future, Sullivan said. Targeted Decoupling The full ramifications of the sanctions won't emerge for some time—the Commerce Department has granted export licenses in specific cases—but signs of disruption were immediate, with reports indicating that U.S. executives were leaving top posts at Chinese semiconductor companies over potential legal exposure. The export controls were expected to accelerate Chinese President Xi Jinping's plans to build China's own ecosystem of technologies and standards, but they started by putting a very real dent in his goal of placing China among the world's future leaders in science and technology. Crucially, the controls arrived before Beijing could wean itself off foundational U.S. expertise in the field. In practice, the measures are both sweeping and precise, effectively blacklisting dozens of Chinese firms from accessing high-end American semiconductors, as well as chip-making tools and know-how. Unique to the controls were their references to "U.S. persons," who were forbidden from supporting the research and production of China's fabrication facilities. In the case of China's leading chip-makers—the likes of SMIC and YMTC—the controls on equipment, software, and personnel were even more rigorous, intended to actively degrade their capacity to innovate beyond current levels. The high-tech decoupling may be selective, but it was all but certain to impact China's commercial sector. Some analysts have described it as the "Huawei model," a reference to the U.S.'s kneecapping of the Chinese telecommunications giant—also on national security grounds—through software exclusion and hardware bans. The Chinese government's policy of "military-civil fusion" has raised the imperative to deny it access to so-called dual-use technologies, those with both civilian and military applications, said Lindsay Gorman, a senior fellow at the German Marshall Fund's Alliance for Securing Democracy. Previous attempts to avoid inadvertently aiding China's military modernization have been ineffective, and the U.S. has long accused Beijing of improprieties including corporate espionage and forced technology transfer targeting China-based foreign firms. "The United States has recognized that it is impossible to keep U.S. components from ending up in Chinese warplanes if we're also selling them to the Chinese commercial sector," Gorman told Newsweek. "The effect will very likely hamstring China's civilian tech sector in its ability to produce these high-end chips. Ultimately, they may slow down China's AI progress as the field advances to require more and more to compute," said Gorman, who most recently served as a senior adviser for technology and national security strategy at the White House. China's attempt to catch up to the U.S.'s dominant position in advanced chip-making had been aided by access to U.S. technology. "Now that access is being revoked," Gorman said. "If Chinese firms can find workarounds–such as by smuggling U.S. chip technology from other countries—we can expect a crash program for an indigenous semiconductor supply chain. But, due to the complexity of the inputs involved, these workarounds are not likely to be easy fixes that will have the industry back up and running in months," Gorman said. Observers expect China to try to offset costs by enlarging the market share of its mature chipsets, ones that are widespread in commercial devices. Meanwhile, the restrictions would debilitate China's domestic industries in artificial intelligence, electric vehicles, robotics and 5G, Philip Hsu, a visiting fellow at the Brookings Institution, told Newsweek.

Russia is simply defeating itself

Motyl, 10-24, 22, Alexander J. Motyl is a professor of political science at Rutgers University-Newark. A specialist on Ukraine, Russia and the USSR, and on nationalism, revolutions, empires and theory, he is the author of 10 books of nonfiction, as well as “Imperial Ends: The Decay, Collapse, and Revival of Empires” and “Why Empires Reemerge: Imperial Collapse and Imperial Revival in Comparative Perspective.”, The Hill, Why Russia’s strategic defeat is in the cards

The reality is that Russia — as a state and as a regime — is profoundly weak. The economy, one of the world’s least impressive performers, is in a tailspin. The much-vaunted army has proven to be a paper tiger. The society is increasingly dissatisfied with declining living conditions, growing numbers of body bags, and the regime’s indifference to the fact that at least 65,000 Russian soldiers reportedly have died and at least as many are out of commission. Up to a million men have fled mobilization and certain death in Ukraine. Generals and secret policemen are at each other’s throats, hoping to shift the blame for the disastrous war from themselves. Political and economic elites are also unhappy with the current state of affairs and talk of alternatives to Putin’s leadership has become commonplace. Putin, the linchpin of the state and regime, is manifestly weak and his legitimacy is hemorrhaging. Russians have taken to violence and armed resistance, fire-bombing draft boards, destroying railroad tracks, derailing trains, and vandalizing posters, flags and Russian symbols. None of these factors bespeaks a healthy, thriving, strong Russian regime or state. As if this weren’t enough, the Russian Federation’s many non-Russian nations are getting visibly restive. Chechens, Circassians, Buryats, Kalmyks and Dagestanis have protested actively against mobilization. The Bashkirs, whose republic is rich with mineral resources, have established oppositionist groups — the Bashkir National Political Center and the Bashkir Resistance Committee — that have accused the Russian authorities of genocide and called for independence. The Chechen strongman, Ramzan Kadyrov, has a private army and, even though he is Putin’s current ally, he will be among the first to jump ship if Putin’s authority weakens to the point of impotence. All in all, the possibility of manifold non-Russian nationalist movements arising, demanding and seizing independence is anything but far-fetched — especially as the Russian economy, regime and battlefield performance continue to degrade. As in 1991, non-Russian elites will opt for independence as the only means of survival in a crumbling Russia. ‘Where’s the beef’? Judge Dearie skeptical of Trump privilege claims With the world watching, democracy is faltering Internal Russian weakness and continued systemic decay mean that Russia will impose a strategic defeat on itself. There is no need for the West to invade or actively promote strategic defeat. All that’s needed is a continuation of the status quo: Ukrainian military success, Western support of Ukraine, and Russia’s internal decay. Putin is destroying the Russia he created. A different Russia, a better Russia, is possible only if Putin goes and his Russia collapses. There’s little for the West to do but sit back, read Bershidsky’s analyses, and watch Putin’s fascism go up in flames.

China just purchases the US/Western tech anyhow

Cate Cadell, 10-17, 22, AP News, American technology boosts China’s hypersonic missile program, https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/world/american-technology-boosts-china-s-hypersonic-missile-program/ar-AA132kRz?cvid=3b928d562c2f4801b5ec27027ba99960#image=1

Military research groups at the leading edge of China’s hypersonics and missile programs — many on a U.S. export blacklist — are purchasing a range of specialized American technology, including products developed by firms that have received millions of dollars in grants and contracts from the Pentagon, a Washington Post investigation has found. The advanced software products are acquired by these military organizations through private Chinese firms that sell them on despite U.S. export controls designed to prevent sales or resales to foreign entities deemed a threat to U.S. national security, the investigation shows. Scientists who work in the sprawling network of Chinese military research academies and the companies that aid them said in interviews that American technology — such as highly specialized aeronautical engineering software — fills critical gaps in domestic technology and is key to advances in Chinese weaponry. “In this case the American technology is superior — we can’t do certain things without foreign technology,” said one Chinese scientist who works in a university lab that conducts testing for hypersonic vehicles. “There isn’t the same technical foundation.” Some of the U.S. firms whose products are reaching Chinese military research groups have been the beneficiaries of Defense Department grants to spur cutting-edge innovation, according to a federal program database, creating the specter of the Pentagon subsidizing Chinese military advances.

Negotiations with Russia fail, only military deterrence works

Regeniya Gaber is a nonresident senior fellow at the Atlantic Council IN TURKEY, October 2022, Six Months, twenty-three lessons: What the World Has Learned from Russia’s War in the Ukraine, https://www.atlanticcouncil.org/blogs/new-atlanticist/six-months-twenty-three-lessons-what-the-world-has-learned-from-russias-war-in-ukraine/

Six months of Russia’s genocidal war against Ukraine, as well as years of the Kremlin’s invasions of neighboring states and more recent hybrid warfare against the West, have made it clear that any agreements with Putin’s regime are simply not viable and often counterproductive. Russia invaded Ukraine in 2014 after having committed to be a guarantor of its sovereignty and territorial integrity under the Budapest Memorandum; in its most recent assault, the Kremlin seized one-fifth of Ukraine’s territories following years of negotiations over the conflict in Ukraine within the Normandy format and the Minsk agreements. Moscow has been vocal about its disrespect for international law, liberal institutions, and all kinds of international treaties with partners and rivals alike. By committing war crimes and crimes against humanity in Ukraine, violating the basic principle of freedom of navigation, weaponizing food supplies and refugees, and engaging in energy and nuclear blackmail, Putin’s regime has posed existential threats not only to the future of the Ukrainian nation, but also to a rules-based world order. Appeasement, dialogue, and compromises with an aggressor have never worked. Russia escalates when it senses weakness and withdraws when it senses strength. If the world wants a sustainable peace in the region—rather than a tactical pause in Russian assaults—the West must learn the language of power, which is the only language Putin understands.

Less aggressive foreign policy fails, need engaged deterrence to prevent attacks from China

William F. Wechsler is senior director of the Rafik Hariri Center and Middle East Programs at the Atlantic Council, October 2022, Six Months, twenty-three lessons: What the World Has Learned from Russia’s War in the Ukraine, https://www.atlanticcouncil.org/blogs/new-atlanticist/six-months-twenty-three-lessons-what-the-world-has-learned-from-russias-war-in-ukraine/

When a state possesses substantially more power than its adversaries, a policy of strategic ambiguity can spark reluctance among those adversaries to take actions that might provoke retaliation—especially if the more powerful nation has a reputation for responding unpredictably or disproportionately. But when a state’s relative power is perceived to be in decline, then a policy of strategic ambiguity can, conversely, inspire adventurism in an adversary—especially if the declining power is seen to be withdrawing, or otherwise appears weak or distracted.   The long era of strong American relative power allowed US policymakers the luxury of adopting policies that featured strategic ambiguity. But those days have unfortunately passed, as was demonstrated when Russian President Vladimir Putin invaded Ukraine, undeterred by the intentionally ambiguous signals that the United States had sent during the preceding decades about the nature of its commitment to Ukrainian sovereignty. He was also encouraged by the perception of US weakness in the wake of the withdrawal from Afghanistan and dysfunction in its domestic politics. There is an important lesson here for US policymakers who might prefer to cling to strategic ambiguity when seeking to deter a Chinese invasion of Taiwan, for instance, or Iranian aggression in the Gulf. Today, more explicit statements about US red lines are in order. In the current environment, such statements are likely to help prevent rather than provoke an escalation. 

The Russian way of war makes it impossible for them to win in battle

Colonel John “Buss” Barranco was the 2021-22 senior US Marine Corps fellow at the Atlantic Council’s Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security, October 2022, Six Months, twenty-three lessons: What the World Has Learned from Russia’s War in the Ukraine, https://www.atlanticcouncil.org/blogs/new-atlanticist/six-months-twenty-three-lessons-what-the-world-has-learned-from-russias-war-in-ukraine/

Russia spent around $65 billion on defense in 2021, or more than ten times what Ukraine did that year. If equipment was the deciding factor, Russia would have achieved the overwhelming, lightning-fast victory it sought months ago. But in this war, Ukraine has shown that good leadership and training—of which it has plenty, but Russia has very little—make all the difference.  Since both countries share a long military tradition dating back to Imperial Russia, the difference in their respective performances on the battlefield (and the reasons why) are instructive. Since 1993, Ukraine has been part of the US National Guard’s State Partnership Program, in which its armed forces have been trained according to the US model of giving mission-type orders to junior officers and non-commissioned officers (NCOs), explaining the commander’s intent, and empowering them to make on-the-spot decisions based on the changing facts on the ground. No one becomes an expert combat decision-maker overnight, so realistic exercises are held and a culture is fostered that encourages individual initiative and demands rigorous assessment. This open and transparent way of operating has resulted in high morale and performance on the battlefield.  By contrast, Russia’s armed forces (which rely heavily on conscripts) lack professional NCOs and discourage initiative and feedback. Decision-making authority remains heavily centralized, with only senior officers permitted to act independently. This is why so many Russian generals have been killed in this war; nobody at a lower level had the leadership experience, big-picture understanding, or authority to act decisively when things didn’t go as planned. The Russian way of war has been predictable: battlefield failure and low morale.

Forward deployment of US forces through NATO is needed to prevent a Russian attack

Hans Binnendijk is a distinguished fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security, October 2022, Six Months, twenty-three lessons: What the World Has Learned from Russia’s War in the Ukraine, https://www.atlanticcouncil.org/blogs/new-atlanticist/six-months-twenty-three-lessons-what-the-world-has-learned-from-russias-war-in-ukraine/

As Russian troops assembled to invade Ukraine early this year, many defense analysts believed the threat of severe economic sanctions would be enough to deter a Russian attack. But for Putin, revanchist territorial aims outweighed any potential harm that might be done to the Russian economy through Western sanctions. While great damage has been done to the Russian consumer economy, the ruble has strengthened and foreign reserves have increased due to high oil prices and shifting Russian markets. Putin’s judgment appears to have been correct, at least in the short term.

NATO leaders had made it clear that they would not commit troops to defend Ukraine, which led Putin to miscalculate on two fronts—underestimating Ukrainians’ ability to defend themselves and the West’s willingness to rapidly arm them. So Western defense officials have relearned a Cold War-era lesson: What deters Russian aggression is NATO troops on the Alliance’s eastern flank, not the threat of economic sanctions. It’s possible that if Alliance troops had deployed to Ukraine, it could have deterred the invasion; but they may have also started World War III. Deploying troops forward on NATO territory now will assure that Putin does not miscalculate again.

The cornerstone of the recent NATO summit was an effort to absorb and implement this lesson. NATO’s deterrent posture is shifting from “deterrence by punishment” to “deterrence by denial,” and allied forces are being positioned forward to deny Russia’s ability to occupy any bit of NATO territory. Battalion-sized NATO battle groups have now been deployed to eight frontline allies, and American forces in Europe have increased to one hundred thousand. Many believe that even more needs to be done to assure deterrence by denial—for example, by deploying brigade- or even division-level NATO forces to frontline allied countries.

Economic integration won’t stop Russian aggression

Brian O’Toole is a nonresident senior fellow at the GeoEconomics Center and worked at the US Department of the Treasury as a senior adviser to the director of the Office of Foreign Assets Control, October 2022, Six Months, twenty-three lessons: What the World Has Learned from Russia’s War in the Ukraine, https://www.atlanticcouncil.org/blogs/new-atlanticist/six-months-twenty-three-lessons-what-the-world-has-learned-from-russias-war-in-ukraine/

In the run-up to invasion, great hope was placed on sanctions as the primary tool with which to deter Russian aggression. Putin, the widespread thinking held, could not possibly want to ruin his economy for the sake of murdering Ukrainians. But rationality is a concept that can be perilously difficult to nail down, and economic rationality was not a factor in Putin’s plans for Ukraine. Sanctions as a deterrent were worth the effort but were ultimately not going to stop the invasion.

This lesson needs to remain front-of-mind during what is likely to be a long war. The inability of the West to use sanctions to prevent war does not mean they are a useless gambit; instead, they should constitute a strategy for longer-term goals. Any tactical advantages that accrue from sanctions should be considered positive externalities, not an explicit end goal. Those policy goals should remain what Biden discussed in late February: that sanctions are meant to isolate Putin and his regime so long as Putinism remains the dominant form of rule in Russia. There is no going back to the pre-war period, in which many in the West clung to the idea that trade could integrate Putin’s Kremlin into a rules-based system. Only after Putinism—the primary driver of Russia’s external aggression—is gone should the West use the leverage of lifting sanctions to allow for Russia’s economic reintegration.

Russia’s military is a joke

Marc Polymeropoulos is a nonresident senior fellow in the Forward Defense practice of the Atlantic Council’s Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security and worked for twenty-six years at the Central Intelligence Agency, October 2022, Six Months, twenty-three lessons: What the World Has Learned from Russia’s War in the Ukraine, https://www.atlanticcouncil.org/blogs/new-atlanticist/six-months-twenty-three-lessons-what-the-world-has-learned-from-russias-war-in-ukraine/

Six months ago, there was a plethora of doom-and-gloom analysis: The notion that the Russian military believed it could take Kyiv in thirty-six hours was reportedly shared not only by Putin but also by Western academic and intelligence-community analysts. Almost everyone got this fantastically wrong. Except, of course, the one entity that mattered most: the Ukrainians, who fought bravely and nearly unanimously believe they’ll win. A quick Russian blitzkrieg turned into a morass that will go down in military history, with 80,000 Russian casualties and no end in sight to Putin’s “special operation.” Now we see that the Russian military is a Potemkin village—corrupt, unfit, and fundamentally lacking in basic principles of logistics.

Equally important, Russian hybrid-warfare efforts in Ukraine—particularly in the information-operations space—have also fallen short. Previous efforts around the world, such as Moscow’s meddling in the 2016 US presidential election, had spooked many (and perhaps for good reason). But Russia succeeded in the past mainly because it operated without pushback. No longer: Ukraine now appears one step ahead at every turn. Consider the Ukrainian Defense Ministry’s expert trolling on Twitter after a presumed strike by Ukrainian forces on a Russian airfield deep in occupied Crimea: It showed Russian tourists fleeing the beach to the sound of the 1983 Bananarama track “Cruel Summer.” How times have changed: Ukraine trolling Russia, not vice versa. This is exactly what was needed in the information-operations sphere: an offensive strategy that was proactive instead of reactive.

US must coordinate with NATO to strengthen cyber defense

Franklin D. Kramer is a distinguished fellow and board director of the Atlantic Council, and has served as a senior political appointee in two administrations, including as assistant secretary of defense for international security affairs, October 2022, Six Months, twenty-three lessons: What the World Has Learned from Russia’s War in the Ukraine, https://www.atlanticcouncil.org/blogs/new-atlanticist/six-months-twenty-three-lessons-what-the-world-has-learned-from-russias-war-in-ukraine/

The information revolution has long been credited with changing key aspects of warfare.  Network-centric operations, cyber offense and defense, and online information operations are now established elements of military doctrine and operations. But Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has generated a new role for the private sector, which is engaging in direct cyber combat against Russian cyber attacks and in support of Ukraine’s military and governmental functions. While Ukraine has its own capable cyber defenders—who, for example, stopped an attack against the Ukrainian electric grid—those efforts have been complemented by private-sector firms that have worked with Kyiv both by helping to identify and disable malware and by taking additional actions to create a much more defensible Ukrainian cyberspace. Both Microsoft and Cisco have published reports detailing defensive cyber efforts and European cybersecurity firms such as the Slovakian firm ESET have also been engaged. Ukraine’s cybersecurity defense has additionally been enhanced through the use of Starlink terminals and the transfer of Ukrainian governmental functions to cyber clouds outside Ukraine. The actions that these private companies have undertaken foreshadow the critical role such firms will play in future twenty-first-century conflicts. Going forward, the United States, NATO, and the democratic nations of the Indo-Pacific need to organize appropriate planning and operational collaborative mechanisms with key elements of the private sector to assure effective operation of cyberspace in the event of armed conflict. The United Kingdom’s National Cyber Security Center and the more recent US Joint Cyber Defense Collaborative are a good start, but those are not currently suited to the challenges of full-scale combat. Maintaining the functioning of information technology in wartime—particularly for critical infrastructures such as energy, food, water, transportation, and finance—will be an indispensable requirement for nations as a whole, as well as for effective military operations. Working in advance to assure the coordination of the intelligence and operational capabilities of the private sector with those of the government will be critical to the effective defense of cyberspace.

The alternative to NATO is Russian aggression in Europe

Christopher Skaluba is the director of the Scowcroft Center’s Transatlantic Security Initiative, October 2022, Six Months, twenty-three lessons: What the World Has Learned from Russia’s War in the Ukraine, https://www.atlanticcouncil.org/blogs/new-atlanticist/six-months-twenty-three-lessons-what-the-world-has-learned-from-russias-war-in-ukraine/

NATO is a sometimes-arcane institution where disagreement and drama are routine occurrences among a membership that will soon reach thirty-two members. Accordingly, the Alliance can be an easy target for politicians seeking to score points domestically, with the presidents of the United States and France having called into question NATO’s utility and purpose in the recent past. But these critiques inevitably overlook the outsize role NATO has played in enabling peace and prosperity in Europe (and beyond). It’s no coincidence that large-scale war is again raging in Europe within years of NATO’s most important members openly questioning whether it had outlived its usefulness; Putin read American and French disillusionment with NATO as a lack of commitment to the Alliance and an opportunity to permanently rupture transatlantic unity.  Fortunately, the habits of cooperation that the transatlantic community has developed over seven decades are not easily displaced—and NATO is once again showing its indispensability as a political and military actor. It’s a lesson that political leaders must absorb even after the resolution of Russia’s war in Ukraine. Had NATO not existed as the current crisis unfolded, the breathtaking levels of cooperation currently on display among allies in support of Ukraine and in strengthening deterrence in Europe would not be possible. Rather than using NATO as a punching bag, leaders must expend the political and economic capital to keep the Alliance healthy and adaptive.

China just purchases the US/Western tech anyhow

Cate Cadell, 10-17, 22, AP News, American technology boosts China’s hypersonic missile program, https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/world/american-technology-boosts-china-s-hypersonic-missile-program/ar-AA132kRz?cvid=3b928d562c2f4801b5ec27027ba99960#image=1

Military research groups at the leading edge of China’s hypersonics and missile programs — many on a U.S. export blacklist — are purchasing a range of specialized American technology, including products developed by firms that have received millions of dollars in grants and contracts from the Pentagon, a Washington Post investigation has found.

The advanced software products are acquired by these military organizations through private Chinese firms that sell them on despite U.S. export controls designed to prevent sales or resales to foreign entities deemed a threat to U.S. national security, the investigation shows.

Scientists who work in the sprawling network of Chinese military research academies and the companies that aid them said in interviews that American technology — such as highly specialized aeronautical engineering software — fills critical gaps in domestic technology and is key to advances in Chinese weaponry.

“In this case the American technology is superior — we can’t do certain things without foreign technology,” said one Chinese scientist who works in a university lab that conducts testing for hypersonic vehicles. “There isn’t the same technical foundation.”

Some of the U.S. firms whose products are reaching Chinese military research groups have been the beneficiaries of Defense Department grants to spur cutting-edge innovation, according to a federal program database, creating the specter of the Pentagon subsidizing Chinese military advances.

Nuclear war risk over the Ukraine higher than during the Cuban missile crisis. US anti-Russia policy has provoked Russia

Simes, 10-16, 22, Dimitri K. Simes is president of The Center for the National Interest and publisher & CEO of the National Interest, How to Avoid Nuclear War Over Ukraine, https://nationalinterest.org/feature/how-avoid-nuclear-war-over-ukraine-205384?page=0%2C1

President Joe Biden is right to warn about the potential escalation of the Ukraine crisis into Armageddon. There has been no greater danger of nuclear catastrophe since the Cuban Missile Crisis sixty years ago in October 1962. While more dangerous in some respects because key decisions had to be made in a matter of days or even hours, the 1962 crisis was ultimately easier to resolve thanks to the relative simplicity of both sides’ demands. Its resolution required only that the Soviet Union halt the supply of nuclear missiles to Cuba and remove the ones already delivered to the island, while the United States guaranteed that it would not invade Cuba and agreed to remove its nuclear missiles from Turkey. In today’s crisis, by comparison, both sides aim no less than to shape the world order according to their interests and principles. In Washington, there is even a strong temptation to achieve political change in Moscow, with the hope not only of weakening Russian president Vladimir Putin’s hold on power but of ultimately removing him from office.

A secondary, though no less major, difference is the complicating role of Russian and American protégés at the center of each crisis. Fidel Castro—the beneficiary of the deployment of Soviet missiles—had legitimate concerns over the security of his regime in 1962. The United States had recently orchestrated its failed Bay of Pigs invasion with Cuban exiles, and there were even assassination attempts (or at least plans for them) against Castro himself. Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev and his colleagues in the Politburo nonetheless dismissed Castro’s insistence that the missiles remain in Cuba. The decision poisoned the Soviet-Cuban relationship, but it was a price Moscow easily and willingly paid for the sake of avoiding a direct nuclear confrontation with the United States.

In 2022, Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky—with no less understandable concerns over his government’s security—has managed to elevate himself into a world figure and a major presence in American politics; the Biden administration even takes the position that Zelensky should wield veto power over any arrangement with Russia involving Ukraine. All this has transpired despite the Zelensky government’s total dependence upon the United States and NATO’s unparalleled military, financial, and political assistance, without which Ukraine could not stand up to Russia for even a month. There are sharply divergent narratives in Washington and Moscow about how the two nuclear powers arrived at this point. The Biden administration is dismissing Russian concerns, deeming the Russian attack on Ukraine completely unprovoked. But whatever President Biden thinks, a majority of Russians—not just President Putin, but most of the Russian elite, according to a variety of public opinion polls, including regime critical ones—feel strongly that Russia had good reason to feel endangered and abused. This view is based on a firm belief that in the final days of the Soviet Union, the West promised Mikhail Gorbachev and his associates there would be no NATO expansion. The fact that these well-documented promises were never formalized in treaty form does not alter Russians’ sentiment that, at a minimum, they were profoundly misled. There is also the belief that NATO—born as a military alliance directed against the Soviet Union—remained essentially unchanged after the end of the Cold War as an alliance directed against Russia. As former Soviet satellites and newly independent post-Soviet states—especially Poland and the Baltic states—began to play an ever-stronger role in NATO, the alliance, in Russian eyes, began treating their country as the ultimate geopolitical threat, one that needed to be deterred and weakened.

Though contemplated for a long time, the February 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine was not well planned and organized. For weeks, Moscow had hoped that its December 2021 demands for assurances on Ukrainian neutrality and the restriction of NATO weapons and infrastructure would elicit a positive response in Washington and Brussels. This did not occur. The demands, to be fair, were formulated in such a way that the United States and its allies could not accept them in their entirety. There remained hope in Moscow, however, that they would nonetheless form the basis for serious negotiations. Instead, Washington and Brussels dismissed the demands, arguing that Russia could have no influence over who was entitled to join the alliance—as if the United States would not be opposed to a neighboring country entering a military alliance with Russia or China. The United States and its key European partners in fact had no intention of bringing Ukraine into the alliance any time soon. Basing its position on a questionable interpretation of NATO policy, the West essentially rebuffed Russia’s key demands and enacted the exact opposite of what Moscow had wanted—namely, making greater commitments of U.S. and NATO military assistance to Ukraine. The Biden administration can certainly argue that NATO’s behavior did not entitle Russia to invade a sovereign state. To claim that the Russian invasion was unprovoked, however, misreads the situation and complicates any future attempt to reach an accommodation.

By the time Putin invaded Ukraine on February 24, Russia had already been subjected to multiple rounds of sanctions, NATO weapons were already flowing into Ukraine, and Zelensky—after being elected on a platform that promised accommodation with Moscow—spoke openly about bringing Ukraine into NATO. He rejected the existing basis for peace, the Minsk agreements, reached with German and French mediation, which provided for the autonomy of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions. Zelensky’s explanation, later embraced by NATO, suggested that the accords could be rejected because a previous Ukrainian government had accepted them under Russian military pressure in 2014 and 2015, when Kyiv was in no position to resist. That such an explanation—similar to Germany’s rejection of the Versailles Treaty—could be seriously accepted by an alliance that professes a commitment to international law is remarkable.

One reason Moscow planned its attack so inadequately—militarily, economically, and politically—was that it was a last-minute decision based on the perception of a threat to Russian security and dignity. Many in the government were not involved in the decision-making process, where the timing was influenced by a need either to deploy Russian forces already positioned on the Ukrainian border for military maneuvers or to simply remove them. This latter option carried the obvious risk of being viewed as a sign of weakness, allowing NATO to conclude that it had called Putin’s bluff and forced Moscow to retreat. Moscow’s reliance on the available forces at Ukraine’s border explains the problems with the initial offensive and the absence of adequate economic preparations, which rendered Russia’s foreign-based hard currency and gold reserves sitting ducks for Western sanctions. Moscow also clearly underestimated the extent to which Ukraine—now deprived of its Russian-speaking provinces in Crimea and the Donbass—had moved in a nationalist and outright anti-Russian direction. What’s more, Moscow failed to appreciate the extent to which NATO assistance had not only upgraded Ukrainian equipment but also changed the very nature of the Ukrainian military into a more modern fighting force than the one Russia first encountered in 2014. Moscow’s mistake is not completely surprising—the United States and NATO themselves did not expect the Ukrainian military to be capable of putting up strong resistance; Washington itself initially offered Zelensky scant help in fighting Russia and instead volunteered to assist in his escape from Kyiv. For his part, Putin aimed to maintain a sense of normalcy at home, without the conflict becoming a major economic hardship that could potentially destabilize Russia itself.

It would be a fundamental miscalculation for the United States and NATO to decide on this basis, however, that Russia can be defeated without moving up the escalatory ladder, all the way to nuclear confrontation. Just as Moscow has underestimated President Biden’s ability to unite the West against Russia’s invasion, the conventional wisdom in Washington and Brussels has misread Russia’s resolve to absorb setbacks and mobilize despite overwhelming odds. While thousands of young Russian men responded to Putin’s mobilization orders on September 21 by fleeing to neighboring countries, many more have complied with mobilization orders, with thousands even volunteering to join and fight. This group includes many people who did not necessarily support the attack on Ukraine, but who felt the West’s response was out of proportion to Moscow’s actions, requiring that Russians view the military campaign not as a limited operation but as a new patriotic war for Russia’s very survival.

Given the West’s significantly stronger conventional forces and overwhelming economic superiority, how can Russia confront NATO? There is a growing sense among the Russian establishment that fighting on Ukrainian territory, killing Ukrainians, and sacrificing thousands of Russian soldiers in the process carries no promise of victory because Western nations are neither required to sacrifice much nor feel directly threatened. As Dmitri Trenin, a prominent Russian national security expert who for years directed the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace’s Russia program, recently argued, a key Russian weakness is the dissipating fear around Moscow’s nuclear weapons. NATO leaders seem convinced that Putin, whom President Biden recently described as a “rational actor,” would not dare reach for the nuclear arsenal. The conventional wisdom in Washington and Brussels assumes, moreover, that if Moscow has so far failed to deploy other available options—launching cyberattacks, cutting transatlantic cables, sabotaging tankers, and supporting radical anti-Western forces around the globe—it’s unlikely to adopt them. Some leaders even seem to believe that Moscow is now paralyzed by concern over Western retaliation. But the time when Moscow is prepared to use all available options short of strategic nuclear weapons may be much closer than Western leaders and experts seem to think.

Putin and his associates understand that the military dynamics are unfavorable to Russia. They are also aware that domestic opinion has, for the first time, grown critical both of the war’s conduct and more broadly of Russian governance. Most disturbing for the Kremlin is criticism not from the liberal opposition but from Russian nationalists, including war bloggers and patriots who support Putin but are concerned that the government is not doing enough to prevail. Moscow now hopes that partial mobilization will help turn the tide. It also hopes that recent changes introduced in the military command, combined with Russian forces gaining more experience and receiving more sophisticated military hardware, will force the United States and the European Union to change their position on negotiating with the Kremlin, whether Volodymyr Zelensky likes it or not. New advanced missiles would be sufficient to, at a minimum, rebuff the Ukrainian offensive, hold ground during the winter, and meanwhile exacerbate economic difficulties in the West through high energy prices.

But if these aspirations prove futile, any expectation in Washington, Brussels, or Kyiv that Putin will accept an outcome tantamount to surrender is questionable at best. New rounds of missile strikes in response to the attack on the Crimean Bridge are widely regarded in Russia as a weak response compared to what must be done and what its resources will allow. Putin spoke specifically about attacks on the Crimean Bridge, Nord Stream I, and Nord Stream II as terrorist acts, which allow Russia to retaliate in kind. The Russian general staff and security services are apparently preparing options for the Kremlin on what can be done to inflict painful damage on Ukraine’s foreign supporters. It is now a widely accepted view in Russia that the country is not so much fighting Ukraine as it is the collective West; it is the West, in other words, that must be made to suffer in order to meet Moscow’s minimal objectives. Putin has so far hesitated to move in this direction, due in part to his desire to maintain as much normalcy in Russia as possible. There is an increasing sense among the Russian political class, however, that the so-called special military operation cannot finish the job, and what is required now is a broader shift toward a national war footing that will motivate the population—not a war of choice, but something more existential. In such a war, the use of any weapon in the Russian arsenal would be contemplated, with the obvious hope that it would not come to strategic nuclear weapons. As far as tactical nuclear weapons are concerned, the government discourages any public discussion of their use. Moscow does not want to appear internationally as a warmonger, nor does it want to frighten the general population where most Russians believe that once nuclear weapons are used, an eventual catastrophe would be difficult to avoid. According to reliable sources, however, options involving tactical nuclear weapons are simultaneously being developed by the general staffand not only for use on Ukrainian territory. No one can say exactly under what circumstances these plans would be implemented, but if Ukrainian forces were indeed able to retake Kherson, eliminate Russia’s land bridge to Crimea, destroy the Crimean Bridge, and intensify their already growing air attacks on Russian territory, all bets on Putin’s continued restraint would become a risky proposition indeed.

Responding to warnings from the United States and NATO that any use of nuclear weapons in Ukraine would lead to a devastating NATO non-nuclear counterattack on Russian military forces and Russian territory, a well-connected, mid-ranking Russian general claimed that Moscow has no plans to use nuclear weapons. Such a scenario would happen only under the direst circumstances in which, according to Russian military doctrine, Russia would be under nuclear attack, face an imminent threat to its deterrent forces, or have the very existence and territorial integrity of the country threatened. But Crimea is today treated as an integral part of Russia. The very purpose of the recent referendums that brought Donetsk and Luhansk and parts of Kherson and Zaporizhzhia into Russia was to have a deterrent effect, permitting Moscow to declare that because they were now a constituent part of Russia, an attack on them would be an attack on the motherland itself. In responding to a threat of the most severe consequence for Russia, the general claimed that they would rely on the orders of the commander-in-chief in dealing with the situation. Any belief that NATO could openly enter the war without expecting massive retaliation, however, would be misplaced. As he put it: “we hope it would never come to something like that, but there are contingency plans to deal with any eventuality, and some of them include striking preemptively at enemy targets if they are about to be used to strike Russia.”

Reporting on a recent Putin press conference in Astana for Kommersant, an independent-minded newspaper, Andrei Kolesnikov, who is also a prominent Putin biographer, observed, “No he does not resemble a man who can decide to use nuclear weapons. Yes, he can make such a decision but he doesn’t actually have it in him to use them.” This is a comfortable evaluation of Putin for Americans. But it would not be prudent for decision-makers to base U.S. foreign policy on it.

For Washington to now rely on Putin’s timidity in Ukraine, with huge stakes for Russia and for the Russian leader personally, would be playing games with America’s very existence. Fortunately, the United States has a credible alternative to experimentation with destiny. With Russian military setbacks in Ukraine and domestic challenges to the war’s conduct—on top of his confrontation with the collective West without the help of allies—Putin may well consider negotiated arrangements which could be acceptable to the West. This includes a ceasefire with some peacekeeping arrangements and rules of the game to make the ceasefire more lasting. Russia would have to give up its current position that all territories of the newly annexed provinces—including those currently under Ukrainian control—should belong to Russia. Russia would also need to relinquish its original demand of the removal of Zelensky’s government. Ukraine in turn would need to accept that those territories controlled by Russia would not be returned until subsequent negotiations. A ceasefire would also prohibit any sabotage or terrorist acts against Russia, something that Ukraine has increasingly practiced with NATO’s not-so-silent consent. The plan would additionally need to address sanctions: no new sanctions could be introduced while the ceasefire was in place, and there could be some relaxation of existing ones. But for most sanctions to be removed, Russia would have to wait until a more comprehensive agreement was negotiated, providing Ukraine and its supporters strong leverage to encourage future Russian flexibility.

Would the Zelensky government—with its new self-confidence and expectation of continual reinforcement from the United States and NATO—entertain such a compromise? Right now, it seems unlikely. But in the coming months, the desire for a negotiated end to the war may grow in both the West and Russia. Kyiv is entitled to make its own decisions, but it is not entitled to dictate what level of support it receives from NATO, or for how long it would get it, particularly when the very survival of NATO members is involved. It would be a grave mistake to maintain that NATO should support Ukraine as long as it takes without pursuing a diplomatic solution to a conflict that could easily spiral out of control. Diplomacy without peace rarely works when combat has already been unleashed. But in dealing with a major nuclear power, military force without diplomacy cannot deliver lasting results and can lead to an unparalleled catastrophe with consequences beyond comprehension. Extremism in the name of a liberal world order is extremism nonetheless. It requires courage and vision to create peace but failing to make the effort would be tantamount to a dereliction of duty.

Russia can’t threaten Europe – it’s military is trash

Tc hantouridze, 10-15, 22, Dr. Lasha Tchantouridze is a professor and Director of the graduate programs in Diplomacy and International Relations at Norwich University, Why Russia’s Military Reforms Failed in Ukraine, https://nationalinterest.org/feature/why-russia%E2%80%99s-military-reforms-failed-ukraine-205338

After Russian forces’ rapid collapse and disorderly retreat from northeastern Ukraine, it is clear that the Russian military faces severe problems that go beyond bad logistics and incompetent commanders. Current structural weaknesses in the Russian military are the results of reforms initiated fourteen years ago. However, by the time of the invasion of Ukraine, some of the reforms had barely been implemented while others have led the Russian army to an assortment of dead ends. American Giant on Real Simple The key idea behind Russia’s military reforms was to make mechanized infantry battalions the main form of organization on the battlefield. These were supposed to replace Soviet-style regiments that were deemed too slow and ineffective during the Afghanistan campaign of the 1980s and the first and the second Chechen wars. To remedy the small size of the 500-man Soviet-style battalions, the reforms transformed them into “battalion tactical groups” complemented by another 800 to 900 men. According to the Russian government, before the invasion of Ukraine, the Russian army had 170 such combat-ready battalion tactical groups. Reportedly, they were designed to be in “constant battle readiness.” Over 100 of them have participated in combat operations in Ukraine since February. According to Russian military doctrine, each battalion tactical group is given responsibility for a frontline of five kilometers (3.12 miles) in length that can be narrowed to two kilometers (1.25 miles) during offensive operations. At the same time, it is expected that the battalions form echelons when attacking the enemy. Forming two echelons was a standard operating procedure in the Soviet army, with both echelons controlled by the same combined arms commander. The size and strength of the enemy dictate the composition of the echelons—a Soviet-style mechanized infantry regiment with a complement of 3,000-plus (enhanced during wartime) combatants could organize itself into two echelons. By comparison, today Russian ground forces must have two or more battalion tactical groups producing two-echelon formations with different commanders controlling each echelon. As the war in Ukraine has repeatedly demonstrated, this disunity of command affects the outcome of both offensive and defensive operations. The war in Ukraine also shows that smaller units might be more maneuverable but not necessarily more effective when they are expected to control larger spaces. It is unrealistic to expect a frontline of five kilometers to be maintained by an 800-man-strong battalion, especially when only about 200 are infantrymen. Compromised unity of command is not the only headache Russian ground forces are facing in Ukraine. Inadequate command structures are exacerbated by untested or outdated combat communications equipment. The Russian political and military leadership became enthusiastic about the idea of smaller and more maneuverable battalion tactical groups after the August 2008 Russo-Georgian War, when the Russian army prevailed over its ill-equipped and undersupplied adversary. However, Russian leaders discovered that their army had significant problems with combat communications systems and decided to develop new ones. Thus, the Russian army invaded Ukraine equipped with two new communications systems: the “Azart” radio and the “Era” military smartphone. Neither of them worked well from the first days of the invasion, so much so that most Russian units abandoned them for older devices equipped with Ukrainian SIM cards. Therefore, it was relatively easy for Ukrainian military intelligence to intercept communications between Russian commanders. The older communications equipment did not work effectively either because it had a limited range of four kilometers (2.5 miles) and required more supporting equipment such as relay trucks and towers, and more support personnel such as truck drivers, communications engineers, and cipher clerks. Filling these positions is not normally prioritized by military organizations during peacetime but they have to be mobilized and deployed during combat operations. Somehow, the new Russian ground force structure based around the battalion tactical groups does envision the mobilization of additional wartime military personnel necessary for successful military campaigns. Besides cipher clerks and communications relay operators, there are other military professions that are not employed full-time during peacetime but are essential for combat operations. Those who follow news reports from the Russo-Ukrainian War have seen Ukrainian farmers towing away Russian tanks and armored vehicles. This disabled equipment has to be towed away by Russian tow trucks operated by drivers mobilized for this purpose. Yet this was not done until seven months into the war and it remains unclear whether newly mobilized Russian soldiers will be trained in these professions. Russian military leaders did not add heavy equipment maintenance crews to their infantry battalion complements either. Russian tank and armored personnel drivers are trained mechanics so they can perform routine mechanical maintenance. However, when things go wrong, they need additional help because they do not carry specialty equipment into battle and cannot hoist heavy machines or bend metal. Additionally, for seven months the Russian military did not mobilize combat medics (they are called “sanitars” in the Russian tradition). These medics accompany troops into combat, provide first aid to the wounded, and evacuate them from the battlefield. From February to October 2022, Russian forces did not have combat medics so the wounded had to be evacuated by other combatants. In other words, for each wounded soldier, Russian units lost one or two soldiers withdrawing from the battle to evacuate their wounded comrade. One of the most significant weaknesses of the new Russian force structure is its leadership model. Military organizations everywhere are by nature conservative institutions, and even more so in Russia. Even if the structure of the armed forces changed, the respect and authority required for certain ranks does not. The old Soviet-style regiments were commanded by colonels or junior general officers—senior officers with significant experience and authority. Historically, these ranks carry a certain gravitas and charisma in the Russian armed forces. Today, however, battalion tactical groups are commanded by majors and lieutenant colonels—mid-level officers who are less influential and effective. In the context of the war in Ukraine, Russian battalions have suffered significant personnel and equipment losses. According to phone calls made by Russian officers that were intercepted by Ukrainian intelligence, Russian battalion commanders were not effective at demanding and receiving replacement personnel and equipment. One officer even noted in the early days of the war that his battalion commander (traditionally called kombat in Russia) did not even know their objective. It is difficult to say what those who implemented Putin’s military reforms in Russia had in mind but Russia’s army is clearly not ready for warfare on a continental scale. Instead, the reformers have created a military organization more suited for short-term conflicts against smaller, less well-equipped, and unprepared enemies. Given that Russia itself is a very large country, this is a surprising outcome. Instead of creating a military that was supposed to always be ready for war, Russia has ended up with ground forces that are unable to sustain operations for an extended period. After eight months of fighting in Ukraine and the losses sustained there, it appears that even Russian political leaders understand that their conventional forces would not be of much help if their country was attacked. Hence, it is not surprising that Putin frequently invokes the nuclear option to compensate for conventional weaknesses

Russia lacks adequate weapons and can’t continue attacks

Robyn Dixon, 10-14, 22, Washington Post, Russia’s airstrikes, intended to show force, reveal another weakness, https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/world/russia-s-airstrikes-intended-to-show-force-reveal-another-weakness/ar-AA12WCXa?cvid=dbd7e66d509c4bd29eee12f110adcee3#image=1

On Monday, Russia fired 84 missiles, many at Ukrainian civilian infrastructure targets, causing power outages in many cities. On Tuesday, Russia launched another 28 cruise missiles. And on Thursday, the Ukrainian Armed Forced General Staff said Russia had hit more than 40 settlements since the day before. In all, more than three dozen people were killed. But no matter how many times Russia fires at Ukraine, pro-war Russian nationalists want more, even though targeting civilian infrastructure is potentially a war crime. “It has to be done constantly, not just once but for two to five weeks to totally disable all their infrastructure, all thermal power stations, all heating and power stations, all power plants, all traction substations, all power lines, all railway hubs,” said Bogdan Bezpalko, a member of the Kremlin’s Council on Interethnic Relations. “Then, Ukraine will descend into cold and darkness,” Bezpalko said on state television. “They won’t be able to bring in ammunition and fuel and then the Ukrainian army will turn into a crowd of armed [men] with chunks of iron.” But the hawks, who are demanding publicly on TV broadcasts and on Telegram to know why Russia does not hit more high value targets, won’t like the answer: The Russian military appears to lack sufficient accurate missiles to sustain airstrikes at Monday’s tempo, according to Western military analysts. “They are low on precision guided missiles,” said Konrad Muzyka, founder of Gdansk, Poland-based Rochan Consulting said, offering his assessment of Russia’s sporadic air attacks. “That is essentially the only explanation that I have.” Even as NATO allies on Thursday said they would rush additional air defenses to Ukraine, the experts said the reason Russia had yet to knock out electricity and water service across the country was simple: it can’t. Since May, Russia’s use of precision guided missiles (PGMs) has declined sharply, with analysts suggesting then that Russian stocks of such missiles may be low. Tuesday’s attacks mainly used air-launched cruise missiles, which are slower than Iskander guided missiles and easier for Ukraine to shoot down, according to Muzyka. In March, the Pentagon reported that Russia’s air-launched cruise missiles have a failure rate of 20 to 60 percent. “If Russia had a limitless supply of PGMs, I think that they would still strike civilian targets, because that’s what the Russian way of warfare is,” Muzyka said. He said analysts did not have confirmed information about Russian missile stocks or production levels, and judgments were based on the decline in usage of PGMs and Moscow’s greater reliance on less accurate missiles. Putin faces limits of his military power as Ukraine recaptures land But a clue lies in Russia’s failure to destroy the kinds of targets that Ukraine is able to hit using U.S.-supplied HIMARS artillery. “If we take a look at what HIMARS has done to Russian supply routes, and essentially their ability to sustain war, they’ve done massive damage to ... Russia’s posture in this war,” Muzyka said. “So technically, you know, if the Russians had access to a large stock of PGMS, they could probably inflict a similar damage to Ukrainian armed forces, but they haven’t.” “They actually failed to,” he continued. “They even failed to interdict the main Ukrainian supply roads. They failed to destroy bridges, railway, railway intersections, and so on and so forth.” Russian President Vladimir Putin is juggling so many military problems that some Western analysts are already predicting Russia’s war will fail. Others say it remains too early to write Russia off, especially with hundreds of thousands of conscripted reinforcements potentially headed to the battlefield in coming weeks. Since day one, Russia has sustained shocking levels of battlefield casualties, battering military morale. It has suffered repeated defeats, including the failure to take Kyiv, a retreat from Snake Island, the rout in Kharkiv and loss of Lyman, a strategic transit hub. Ukrainian forces also continue to slowly recover territory in Kherson region, in their ongoing southern offensive. Russia’s military mobilization also remains in shambles, with angry draftees posting videos online almost daily, complaining of insufficient training and poor equipment. Moscow police raided hostels and cafes on Tuesday to grab men and deliver them to mobilization points, and military recruitment is continuing in Russian prisons, according to independent Russian media site SOTA. Putin confronted by insider over Ukraine war, U.S. intelligence finds Lawrence Freedman, professor of war studies at King’s College London, wrote in a newsletter that Russia’s escalation of missile attacks on civilian targets Monday had achieved no clear military gain. “Russia lacks the missiles to mount attacks of this sort often, as it is running out of stocks and the Ukrainians are claiming a high success rate in intercepting many of those already used,” Freedman wrote. “This is not therefore a new war-winning strategy but a sociopath’s tantrum.” Putin’s “need to calm his critics also explains why he has lashed out against Ukrainian cities,” Freedman wrote. “The hard-liners have been demanding attacks on Ukrainian infrastructure for some time and they now have got what they wanted. But they will inevitably be disappointed with the results.” “These attacks could well be repeated, because it is part of the mind-set of Putin and his generals that enemies can be forced to capitulate by such means,” he added. “But stocks of Kalibr and Iskander missiles are running low.” As missiles strike Ukraine, Israel won’t sell its vaunted air defense Amid Russia’s military setbacks, striking at Ukraine’s power grid in recent days was designed to shock and terrify civilians, starve them of energy in the winter and break their will to resist, according to Maria Shagina, an analyst with the International Institute for Strategic Studies, a London-based think tank. One apparent goal of Russia’s strikes on six electrical substations in Lviv, western Ukraine, was to stop Ukraine exporting electricity to Europe, Shagina said. The strikes also crippled the city’s power supply. “Now we’re seeing the escalation and weaponization of the critical infrastructure,” she said, adding that it was no accident that Russia had destroyed Ukraine’s capacity to export electricity to Europe at the same time Moscow has weaponized natural gas, cutting supplies to pressure European Union countries. “There is some intensification of the war, in terms that Russia doesn’t even hide even the fact that they have attacked civilian infrastructure, critical infrastructure,” Shagina added. “They’re trying to escalate the war as much as they can.” Russia’s new commander in Ukraine was decorated after brutality in Syria Muzyka said Russia, ignoring international conventions, has consistently targeted civilian apartment blocks and infrastructure in two Chechen wars, in Syria and Ukraine. “Definitely they focus on the power grid as a way of making civilian lives miserable,” he said. “For Russians, striking civilian areas, residential areas and anything that can potentially impact the lives of civilians is a military objective, because for Russia, the war is total.” “Essentially what the Russians are trying to do is to wear down Ukrainians, decrease the morale, decrease the willingness to fight and from their point of view, hopefully increase the pressure on the Ukrainian government to enter negotiations with Russia,” he added. Ukraine has asked Western allies for state of the art air defense systems to protect its civilians and vital infrastructure. But even as NATO pledged more help, U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said that getting those systems to Ukraine would take time. “Unfortunately, the Western response is rather limited,” Shagina said, adding that Russia is trying “to use the full range of measures they can deploy against the West and Ukraine.” But no matter how harsh the attacks, the hawks in Russia say it is still not enough. Russian journalist Andrei Medvedev, a member of the Moscow city council, who runs a popular hard line nationalist pro-war Telegram channel, urged patience, saying the decision “to bomb Ukraine into the Middle Ages” had not yet been taken. Another hawk, Alexander Kots, the war correspondent of Komsomolskaya Pravda, who has his own influential pro-war Telegram channel, said he hoped the strikes signaled a new kind of warfare that would bombard Ukraine “until it loses its ability to function.”

US has crushed China’s AI capabilities

AJ Fabio, 10-14, 22, China's Semiconductor Industry 'Decapitated Overnight': What 'Annihilation Looks Like', https://www.benzinga.com/government/22/10/29273679/chinas-semiconductor-industry-decapitated-overnight-what-annihilation-looks-like

The Biden administration unveiled a comprehensive strategy last week to move the U.S. forward and hold China back in the production of advanced semiconductors, virtually eliminating China's semi industry overnight, escalating the high-tech battle with Beijing. “Every American executive and engineer working in China’s semiconductor manufacturing industry resigned yesterday, paralyzing Chinese manufacturing overnight,” wrote Twitter user @lidangzzz, translated by Rhodium Group analyst Jordan Schneider. “One round of sanctions from Biden did more damage than all four years of performative sanctioning under Trump.” What happened: Yangtze Memory Technologies Co, a company owned by China, and 30 other semiconductor companies in China have been put to the Unverified List by the Bureau of Industry and Security, a division of the U.S. Department of Commerce. Sanctions imposed by the Biden administration also prevent businesses from sending the cutting-edge processors required to run or train the most efficient AI algorithms to China. Also read: US Said To Mull Sanctions On China To Deter Invasion Of Taiwan And It Could Be A 'Far More Complex' Exercise Than One With Russia The extensive new regulations are intended to keep China's AI industry in the stone age as the U.S. and other Western nations advance. The limitations also prohibit the export of chip manufacturing tools and design software and forbid the top silicon fabs in the world, such as Taiwan Semiconductor Mfg. Co. Ltd. Why Did American Execs Resign? One of the provisions of President Joe Biden's executive order is that any U.S. citizen or green card holder working in China cannot work in the Chinese semiconductor industry or risk of losing American citizenship. According to the @lidangzzz thread, it is not just affecting Americans. “The starting point for this round of sanctions is to go all the way up the food chain and ensure the elimination of all American products and technologies from the entire ecosystem,” the thread reads. Why It Matters: Taiwan Semi reduced its forecasts for capital expenditures and Applied Materials cut its outlook for revenue and profit following the sanctions. Both businesses said the demand for semiconductor products would decline. Chinese officials described the U.S. limitations as a significant step intended to thwart the development of the nation. The decision might have wide-ranging effects, such as restricting the development of artificial intelligence that underpins algorithms for driverless vehicles, and other risks. "This is what annihilation looks like: China’s semiconductor manufacturing industry was reduced to zero overnight. Complete collapse. No chance of survival," the thread continued. Benzinga's Take: While the new sanctions are a sharp blow to China's semi industry, U.S. leverage could fade eventually as Shenzhen, China's innovation powerhouse, intensified efforts to develop its domestic chip sector by giving significant subsidies and financial incentives to semiconductor companies registered in the city.

Defense of Europe not needed to stop a China attack on Taiwan; US needs to focus resources on preventing an attack on Taiwan

Donato, 10-7, 22, Joseph M. Donato​ currently serves as a military intelligence officer in the United States Army Reserve. He served as a political-military advisor to the commander of a combined joint task force in Iraq from 2018-19, and a John S. McCain Strategic Defense Fellow at the Department of Defense from 2020-21. He holds a BA in history from Seton Hall University and an MA in security studies from Georgetown University. He lives in Washington, DC, Is Taiwan’s Fate Really Tied to Ukraine?, https://nationalinterest.org/feature/taiwan%E2%80%99s-fate-really-tied-ukraine-205192

Ukrainian momentum on the battlefield has inspired a surge of optimism in the West, but the war’s broader economic, political, and material metrics still portend an operational stalemate. As the fighting grinds on, Western commentators continue to underscore the connection between Ukraine and the fate of Taiwan. A recent article in The Hill claimed that Chinese president Xi Jinping “almost certainly sees the test of wills between Russia and the West over Ukraine as a proxy and predictor for the psychological showdown between China and the United States on Taiwan.” This logic implies that a lack of American resolve in Ukraine will embolden China to strike Taiwan. The persistent proponents of this position are thus pushing policymakers in Washington to deepen their commitment to Kyiv and press for total victory. Signals and statements from senior officials in the White House and the Pentagon indicate that the United States is indeed pursuing maximalist war aims in Ukraine.

Politics Strategy Game

This open-ended commitment, while morally commendable, is inimical to the grand strategic interests of the United States. Ukraine is important but the decisive flashpoint of great power competition in this century remains Taiwan, and the connection between the two states is the inverse of what many continue to assert. Rather than strengthening deterrence against a Chinese invasion of Taiwan, the deepening American commitment to Ukraine is weakening its deterrent posture in East Asia, increasing the threat to the imperiled island nation. President Joe Biden has resolved to fight for Taiwan, but the credibility of that commitment rests on the United States mustering forces capable of imposing intolerable losses on China. The defense of Taiwan, therefore, hinges on Washington pivoting to the Pacific, not doubling down in the Donbas.

Washington was wise to support Ukraine in the wake of the invasion. The preceding decade of American policy vis-à-vis Ukraine offers ample cause for criticism, but the decision to stand in solidarity with a fledgling democracy under assault will not be found wanting when weighed in the balance. Today, however, the situation is much different than it was in the opening weeks of the war. Then, the collapse of the Ukrainian state seemed imminent. Now, the people of Ukraine stand united in heroic resistance. Then the world held its breath as Russian tanks rolled toward Kyiv. Now it snickers and sneers as the Kremlin scrambles to fill its thinning ranks.

As winter approaches, the United States should capitalize on the favorable situation at the front to strike an agreement that frees up its forces and resources for deployment to the Indo-Pacific. The longer the United States remains entangled in eastern Europe, the less time it will have to mobilize the forces it needs to counter and deter China. The West must press for peace while the balance of power on the battlefield favors Ukraine. The culminating point of victory will not be known until the war is over, but that point may be approaching sooner than expected. Moreover, the assumption that a cornered autocrat will keep his sharpest sword sheathed while he is slowly strangled shows a lack of prudence and perspective. The time to de-escalate and negotiate is now.

The resources of the United States are limited, and those limits compel American policymakers to set strategic priorities. This does not mean the United States should denude its defenses in Europe, nor does it mean Washington should completely sever its support to Ukraine. It means the United States should set boundaries on its currently unbounded commitment to Kyiv. Six months of fighting have exposed weaknesses in the United States’ capacity to sustain an extended war, let alone fight on two fronts. Strategic retrenchment is not a matter of resolve, it’s a matter of resources. Some insist we can stand and fight the world over at once, but in the face of tightening budgets, mounting shortages, and supply chain stresses, this position seems increasingly untenable. Washington must concentrate its limited strength at the decisive point.

American Giant on Real Simple

The American defense industrial base is already straining to sustain operations in Ukraine and critical munitions stockpiles are shrinking. Decades of deindustrialization have compounded logistical challenges and removed most of the slack in American war production. At the current rate of fire, the United States and its allies will struggle to feed Ukrainian guns through the winter. Meanwhile, the Taiwanese military is unprepared to repel a Chinese invasion, and promised American assistance is being delayed. In the absence of a significant expansion in production—which would take considerable time and investment—strategic priorities must be enforced. As American production sputters, China’s meticulous preparation for invasion proceeds. If Beijing’s timeline for invading Taiwan suddenly accelerates, the deindustrialized and depleted Arsenal of Democracy will find itself on the horns of a dilemma.

A peace that involves Ukrainian concessions to Russia will neither fatally undermine American deterrence in Europe, nor fatally undermine Ukrainian sovereignty. On the contrary, it will show the world that the United States can still balance solemn principles with strategic priorities. By contrast, pressing for total victory against a declining nuclear-armed power whose conventional forces are crumbling shows poor judgment. The Russian advance has been stymied, and NATO stands stronger and more united than at any time since its founding. Russia might have the desire to dominate it’s near abroad but it lacks the material means to do so. China, on the other hand, has both the will and the means to dominate East Asia and is marshaling its mounting economic and military might to achieve that aim. This is the gravest threat to the long-term security and prosperity of the United States.

American leaders would serve their country best by not sinking their limited resources into a conflict of secondary strategic importance. Two decades of fruitless fighting in the Middle East have sapped popular support for American intervention overseas. The United States faces deepening domestic divisions and challenges. Washington must conserve its limited resources, treasure, and national will for sustained strategic competition with China. That is the struggle upon which the course and contour of the next century will depend. We cannot be strong everywhere, but there is still time to be strong at the decisive point. In the words of Winston Churchill, “If we win the big battle in the decisive theater, we can put everything right afterwards.”

Unless the US steps-back in the Ukraine, Putin will use nukes

Stanovaya, 10-6, 22, TATIANA STANOVAYA is a Nonresident Scholar at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and the Founder and CEO of the political analysis firm R.Politik., Putin’s Apocalyptic End Game in Ukraine Annexation and Mobilization Make Nuclear War More Likely, https://www.foreignaffairs.com/russian-federation/putin-apocalyptic-end-game-ukraine

On September 30, following a series of sham referendums held in occupied territory in Ukraine, the Russian government declared that four Ukrainian regions are now officially part of Russia. The annexation came amid a “partial” Russian mobilization that is in fact rapidly becoming a large-scale one that has left many Russians aghast and anxious. With these moves, the war in Ukraine has entered a new stage in which the stakes have risen drastically. Russian President Vladimir Putin is explicitly demonstrating that he is going to do whatever it takes to win, even at the risk of undermining his own regime. Blindly believing in his own rectitude, Putin may resort to nuclear weapons if events in Ukraine continue to confound his ambitions. The key question is whether Russia’s elites and broader society are prepared to accompany their president on this journey to hell, or if Putin, in doubling down on his disastrous gamble in Ukraine, has only paved the way for his own end. A NOT-SO-GRAND ULTIMATUM Ukraine’s counterattack, launched at the end of August, has completely changed Putin’s calculations regarding how Russia should fight. His previous plan, based on the idea that Kyiv would not dare to carry out a full-fledged offensive on Russian positions, presumed that the Kremlin had plenty of time to establish itself in the territory it had occupied, while the Ukrainian government, exhausted by the war and with the economy in ruins, would sooner or later have to capitulate. The strategic part of Putin’s plan remains the same. It envisages that Kyiv will fall, since his paramount purpose in this war is still to put an end to what he sees as the “anti-Russia” geopolitical project managed by the West and secure a long-term Russian presence on Ukrainian territory. The tactics Putin will use to achieve this goal, however, have been fundamentally revised. The military threats to Russian positions in Ukraine, based on the Kremlin’s miscalculations, have reached the point where the Kremlin has effectively issued an ultimatum to the world: either Russia wins Ukraine or it will resort to nuclear escalation. This ultimatum has three major parts. The first is declaring stretches of Ukraine to be Russian territory. The annexation of four regions—Luhansk, Donetsk, Kherson, and Zaporizhzhia—means that Russia has artificially transformed its war to destroy Ukraine as an independent state into a war of self-defense against foreign military forces. The annexation is a form of protest against Western involvement in the Ukrainian conflict. It frames the West’s military aid to Ukraine as tantamount to aggression against Russia. By annexing these territories, Putin is sending a blunt message: continuing to help Kyiv will inevitably lead the West into a direct conflict with Russia, something he believes Western capitals would like to avoid. This move also reflects another important shift in the Kremlin’s understanding of the current situation. Before Kyiv’s counteroffensive, Moscow did not believe that Western aid could drastically change the balance of forces and create conditions in which Ukraine would threaten Russia militarily. Now, it does. NUCLEAR BLACKMAIL Another plank of Putin’s ultimatum is the nuclear option, which is now squarely back on the table. After cooling his rhetoric over the summer, Putin has returned to invoking this ultimate threat as a way to influence Western policy on Ukraine. In April, when Russian forces retreated from failed offensives against Kyiv and Chernihiv, the Kremlin turned to nuclear blackmail, with Putin suggesting that his government was willing to allow the use of nuclear weapons “if necessary” and effectively blaming the West for Russian failures. By May, however, that language had died down; Putin had concluded that even with Western assistance, Ukraine was doomed to lose eventually. With the Russian military struggling, commentators and officials are once again advocating the use of nuclear weapons in Ukraine. They have filled TV screens and social media with nuclear saber rattling. The pro-Kremlin segment of Telegram, a Russian information-sharing app, is buzzing with hundreds of posts justifying Moscow’s legitimate right to use tactical nuclear weapons in Ukraine or trying to convince the world that Putin is seriously ready to resort to nuclear weapons in the event of further escalation. The profusion of posts insisting that “Yes, he can,” “he must,” and “he will” is not only part of a deliberate campaign to intimidate the West, but also a demonstration of the growing determination among the most committed, ambitious pro-war elements of Russia’s elite and society that the war must be won no matter what. Whether or not Putin is bluffing, the threat of using nuclear weapons creates higher expectations among the elites about how far Putin is prepared to go, and it dramatically reduces room for maneuvering in a hypothetical future political bargain over Ukraine. To take the nuclear card off the table, Putin would need to see the successful military advance of Russian forces combined with signals from Washington that the West will shrink its role in the conflict. If these demands are not met—and it is safe to say they will not be—Russia will resort to the nuclear option: such is the new reality that Putin seeks to shape, in effect taking the world hostage. TOTAL WAR Raising the stakes through his annexation of Ukrainian regions and his invocations of nuclear war, Putin has also upped the ante further by making ordinary Russians part of the war. His mobilization order in September caught Russians off-guard. Over the summer and in the first half of September, polls recorded an uptick in the positive mood among Russian society, growing fatigue with military rhetoric, and declining interest in the war in Ukraine. Although the pro-war part of the establishment, together with the military, demanded that Putin announce a mobilization as soon as possible, those in the presidential administration who oversee domestic policy had tried to minimize the war in the minds of the public. They sought to calm the angry jingoists who were advocating for Moscow to take Kyiv. Now, mobilization has irretrievably changed the lives of millions. In the latest Levada Center poll of Russians, 47 percent of respondents said that the partial mobilization made them feel “anxiety, fear, and horror,” 23 percent felt “shock,” and 13 percent felt “anger and indignation.” Only 23 percent said they felt “pride in Russia.” Even if the mobilization has not prompted mass protests, it has undermined the public’s trust in the state and state media. Beyond the question of how the mobilization will affect domestic affairs, this drastic political decision reveals much about Putin’s priorities. The president has dared to announce what looks to be the most unpopular political decision in his 22 years of rule, regardless of how mass conscription will stoke anger, resentment, and social tensions and threaten domestic political stability. This decision puts in doubt any further social consolidation between the authorities and ordinary Russians over the war. Until recently, the majority of Russians accepted the deal offered by the Kremlin: Putin would fight for “historical justice” against Ukrainian “Nazis,” relying on “professionals” and volunteers to avert the strategic threats posed to Russia by the West’s involvement in Ukraine. This goal found significant social support, but on one important condition: that Russia fought without the direct involvement of ordinary Russians, who have been living their lives more or less as usual since the invasion began. Mobilization has ripped up this contract. Having chosen mobilization despite the predictable public anger, Putin has shown that if it comes to a choice between achieving his goals in Ukraine and placating Russian society, Putin will opt for the former, sacrificing popular support at home for geopolitical victory in Ukraine. It is an explicit rebuttal to those who have suggested that Putin’s fear of a collapse in his political support among Russians would stop him from taking risky decisions. In truth, he is single-mindedly driven to turn his gamble in Ukraine into a victory, whatever the cost. THE POISON PILL Putin’s nuclear ultimatum and mobilization order put significant pressure on both Russian society and the increasingly nervous Russian elites, who must decide which losing scenario is less tragic: to accompany the furious leader until the end of the world, to escape both Putin and the retribution of the West, or to wait for Russia to lose. It puts Putin in an unprecedentedly vulnerable position. His obsession with Ukraine has never been shared to the same extent by most of the Russian elite, and his readiness to sacrifice thousands of Russian lives is not shared by much of his own electorate. He appears to be pushing a scenario in which he is the only one who has the capacity to pay whatever price it takes, to fight under the banner of “all or nothing.” The president’s manic course of action carries a distinct and bitter taste of suicidal exasperation. It would be wrong, however, to think that it cannot get any worse. At this stage, however cornered Putin may seem, he still believes he can win. In his eyes, the mobilization should help the Russian army drive out Ukrainian forces from the newly annexed territories and convince the West to step back from Ukraine, leaving Kyiv doomed to surrender and opening the opportunity for the Russian government to establish some facsimile of normal life in the new regions. So what happens when things don’t go to plan once again? What happens when Russian forces fail to defeat the Ukrainians, the West increases its military aid and demonstratively ignores Putin’s blackmail, and people in the new territories continue to resist their Russian occupiers, targeting senior officials and administrative buildings in terrorist attacks? Then the pivotal moment will arrive when the only option Putin sees available to him is the nuclear one. It will also be a decisive moment for the Russian elites who still do not dare to countenance this worst-case scenario, something that many today avoid thinking about. Domestic political conditions may be reaching the point where senior officials would dare to disobey, speak out louder, and fight with each other more resolutely. Ukraine may become a poison pill for Putin: in seeking to swallow it, he is dooming himself to defeat.

Russia aggressive, wants to topple the Western world order

Ariel Cohen,  10-5, 2022, Ph.D., is a non-resident Senior Fellow at the Atlantic Council, and director of the Energy, Growth and Security Program at the International Tax and Investment Center. He is the author of “Russian Imperialism: Development and Crisis.”, The Hill, Russia’s trajectory of hate: A big war against the West coming, https://thehill.com/opinion/national-security/3674650-russias-trajectory-of-hate-a-big-war-against-the-west-coming/
Newsflash to Elon Musk: Russia will not stop its aggression over his proposed cease fire in Ukraine — not because of Kyiv’s rejection of Musk’s initiative, but because Vladimir Putin appears to be on a suicidal mission to challenge the Western world order. As Putin declared in his Sept. 30 speech announcing annexation of Ukrainian territories, his war against the West aims to restore “big, historic Russia.” Putin demonized the U.S., accusing it of “colonialism,” “dollar hegemony,” the spread of “alien values” and promoting “gender surgery.” In addition to appealing to his traditional far-right audience, he is now adding Soviet-style “anti-colonialism” — red meat for the far left. What he is after is war — beyond Ukraine. Russian sources are saying that Putin’s mobilization is greater than the announced 300,000. My Scandinavian intelligence sources tell me that they estimate the draft in the 500,000+ range. On Russian Telegram channel ‘Tolkovatal,’ former “Russian Planet” chief editor Pavel Prianikov estimates the Russian government may be conscripting as many as 1.5 million draftees. The draft has not spared agricultural workers, which may impact the harvest in traditional grain producing regions — while the ethnic minority republics such as Chechnya, Dagestan and Buryatia are priority draft locales. Despite public protests, failing drafts also happened in Russia’s past defeats: the Russo-Japanese War of 1904-1905 and World War I. However, today the nuclear arsenal is the great equalizer. While Russia’s untrained recruits may be slaughtered, tactical nukes and strategic nuclear blackmail may work to deter Europe and ultimately to exhaust and defeat Ukraine. Meanwhile, Putin’s imperial war threatens other Russian neighbors: Kazakhstan, the Baltic States, and possibly Finland. Putin, in his Götterdämmerung moment, is fearmongering. In Stalinist propaganda language, he claims that the West “took off their masks and showed their true nature”…“for centuries [the West] wanted to colonize Russia, and after the collapse of the Soviet Union dreamed, but failed, to shatter it into pieces, set off ethnic groups against each other, and condemn them to indolence and extinction.” Like many dictators before him, Putin claims to be engaged in a preventive war to save his homeland. This is a clear case of psychological projection: He dreamt and failed to create a dollar-free world and establish Russia as an “energy superpower.” He allowed corruption to metastasize through the state’s fabric, undermining its security capabilities. With its mass emigration, skyrocketing divorce rate, and low fertility, Russia, more than the West, demonstrates the collapse of family values. Putin is not only threatening Russia’s neighbors, but also the world architecture, as he fulminates against the Western financial, technological, political, and cultural domination. He bemoans the destruction of “independent states, traditional values and unique cultures.” Yet, it is unclear what level of support Putin’s war has at home. Reports suggest that the crowds in Moscow who greeted Putin were bused to the Red Square, and the released video tape analysis indicates that the roars of approval he supposedly received were superimposed by techs like the canned laughter in a Hollywood sitcom. Failed Russian actor Ivan Okhlobystin, appeared at that rally chanting the barbaric call “Goida! Goida!” (“Let’s go!”), which was used by Ivan the Terrible’s goons when they tortured and killed his opponents. This is a Jungian appeal to the darkest corners of Russia’s collective unconscious The Russian people are already scared. Public opinion firms report 94 percent refusal to answer questions, and others vote with their feet, dodging the draft. Russian men, escaping the Ukrainian meatgrinder and facing increasingly restrictive immigration policies in Europe, poured into Armenia, Georgia, Mongolia, Turkey, and Uzbekistan. However, the U.S., the EU and Ukraine are not doing enough to talk to the Russian public over the heads of its rulers, as we did during the Cold War. A systematic, well-funded public education campaign needs to be launched to dismantle Putin’s propaganda. The West should offer a clear path for political asylum for POWs, draft dodgers, and war opponents. The Russian people, hung up on honor and clamoring to be treated as a great nation, must realize the enormity of their leadership’s offenses and draw the appropriate conclusions, as the Germans did after the Nazi crimes of WWII. At the same time, the arms supplies to Ukraine need to be accelerated, including modern main battle tanks and aircraft, while a secret and crystal-clear message of a surgically targeted but devastating retaliation needs to be delivered to the Kremlin should it pursue the nuclear option. Finally, the U.S. needs to do everything possible to boost energy security for Europe as the Russian gas supply disappears, while shoring up — together with Europe — pressure on Moscow from China, India, Brazil, and other countries to foreswear the use of nuclear weapons. Putin promised a Cuban missile crisis moment in the relations with the West. The world is approaching a moment of truth. We must be united in the face of the threat..

The winter energy crisis will split Europe

Lakker, 10-5, 22, The Hill, The energy crisis could fragment the European Union, https://thehill.com/opinion/energy-environment/3669796-the-energy-crisis-could-fragment-the-european-union/

In her State of the Union address on Sept. 14, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen emphasized European Union unity in response to Russia’s war in Ukraine, noting that the “Union as a whole has risen to the occasion.” This statement largely rings true. The EU’s severe sanctions on Russian central bank assets, oligarchs, and its commercial banking sector, along with measures such as military assistance to Ukraine and protection for its refugees, demonstrate an impressive willingness to act together in a crisis. As the war passes the seven-month mark, however, fractures in European solidarity are deepening, driven largely by turmoil in the energy sector. A bleak winter looms for the European Union. As temperatures drop, demand for natural gas will surge, putting pressure on the bloc’s increasingly constrained supplies in the wake of Russia’s cutoffs of exports through and apparent sabotage of key pipelines such as Nord Stream 1. Already, citizens are struggling to deal with dramatic rises in energy costs — residential consumers in Spain, for example, have paid 140 percent more for natural gas, while German and French electricity prices had increased by more than tenfold over the previous year as of late August. This energy crunch is causing quarrels among member states. Germany, Spain and Portugal are currently at odds with France over the completion of the MidCat pipeline, which could alleviate Central Europe’s gas supply constraints by linking it with the Iberian Peninsula. French President Emmanuel Macron adamantly opposes the project, arguing that the pipeline is unnecessary and clashes with the bloc’s energy transition goals. However, this opposition likely stems instead from a desire to block competition for French energy exports — an unpromising sign for EU solidarity. Fractures are also evident in the debate around sanctions. While the European Commission and most EU member states wish to impose additional restrictive measures on Russia, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán is now calling for sanctions to be lifted and blames them for the energy crisis. Despite little evidence to support such assertions, recent protests in Czechia and polling in Italy suggest this sentiment is shared in other member states. More governments, therefore, soon may face pressure from the public to oppose sanctions, casting doubt on the future of EU unity regarding sanctions policies. Finally, member states’ domestic economic policy responses to the crisis may undermine EU cohesion. In Italy, where high dependence on Russian gas has contributed to weakened growth prospects and some of Europe’s highest electricity prices, the incoming government promised to introduce tax cuts and higher social spending. Such a loose fiscal policy could raise questions about the sustainability of Italian debt, increasing fragmentation among Eurozone government bond yields. The European Central Bank’s efforts to address this risk through increased purchases of Italian bonds could spark pushback from more frugal member states, replicating the bitter divisions of the previous Eurozone crisis and even casting doubt on the future of a common currency. While there is much discussion in Brussels about how to mitigate the energy crisis, no consensus on a way forward has emerged. Fifteen member states recently endorsed a price cap on natural gas imports, but it lacks buy-in from other member states and the Commission. An alternative proposal would have EU member states agree to common gas purchases. This idea has a different set of supporters and detractors, but in either case, member states would need to agree on how to divide gas purchases among themselves. If the EU does not get its act together soon, tensions will only worsen as winter approaches. However, a union riven by energy-related conflict is not a foregone conclusion. EU and member state officials are well aware of the risks the energy crisis poses to the bloc’s unity and are working to bolster energy resilience. The European Union is already in a better position than it was a mere three months ago — on Sept. 30, member states agreed to a windfall tax on energy firms, and countries have raced to store gas and diversify away from Russian supplies. In fact, the EU reportedly met its goal of reaching 80 percent of reserve capacity by Nov. 1 early, on Aug. 29. Though variations in storage levels could strain relations in coming months, high rates of gas storage across Europe undoubtedly will blunt the impact of a full gas cutoff from Russia. In the long term, the forced move away from Russian fossil fuels could spur Europe to move more quickly toward its goals of energy transition and sustainable energy security. Indeed, these goals are not necessarily at odds with each other — one of the best ways to guarantee Europe’s long-term energy security is to scale up the deployment of renewables. This message was at the core of von der Leyen’s speech, in which she put forward a vision of clean, sustainable European energy security. During the address, she announced that the Commission would introduce a Critical Raw Materials Act to support access to lithium and rare earths, along with the creation of a European Hydrogen Bank. The Hydrogen Bank would secure €3 billion investment in the sector and support the REPowerEU plan announced in May, which aims to reduce European dependence on Russian fossil fuels and accelerate Europe’s green transition. As European leaders face the daunting task of managing the energy crisis during the winter ahead, it will take adept political compromise to maintain the morale of citizens and their support for Ukraine in its war with Russia. After all, second to her description of the conflict as a war “unleashed by Russia against Ukraine,” von der Leyen identified it as a “war on our energy.” Yet the energy crisis is also an opportunity to reorient toward sustainable, long-term energy security — the EU should heed von der Leyen’s encouragement to focus on clean energy as the best tool to do so.

China and Russia developing military AI; using AI in warfare without human involvement is inevitable

Dewi, 10-4, 22, Wahyu Candra DewiGraduate student in International Relations at Universitas Gadjah Mada, Indonesia. Interested in digital transformation, environmental issues, and human security, Modern Diplomacy, DEFENSEA Matter of Ethics: Should Artificial Intelligence be Deployed in Warfare?, https://moderndiplomacy.eu/2022/10/04/a-matter-of-ethics-should-artificial-intelligence-be-deployed-in-warfare/

China is now using AI to increase the speed and precision of its tactical decision-making by automating its command and control system. This practice effectively established predictive operational planning. Apart from that, the government of China has already begun testing AI-enabled USVs for future development in the South China Sea. Russia might lag, but Putin presumably does not want to be excluded in this race as the government has targeted 30 percent of its entire military forces to become robotic by 2025. Russia is also working on multiple fronts by conducting research focused on using AI in information operations and increasing the efficacy of land warfare operations. This indicates how AI has gained compelling popularity among various states regarding its military usage. It seems that the prospect of wars using robots with minimum or even no human involvement in the future would be inevitable.

Nuclear war won’t remain limited. The use of one nuke escalates to the end of the world

Anatol Lieven, October 2020, Lieven is the director of the Eurasia Program at the Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft and the author of numerous books, including Ukraine and Russia: A Fraternal Rivalry, https://jacobin.com/2022/10/ukraine-russia-us-nuclear-war-putin

BRANKO MARCETIC US officials are talking about responding to any future Russian nuclear attack on Ukraine with a conventional or even nuclear strike on Russia. What would that actually mean? ANATOL LIEVEN It would mean the end of civilization. As innumerable studies have shown, it would be exceptionally difficult in those circumstances to avoid escalation to total nuclear war. Even if we managed to avoid that, if the United States fired a nuclear missile into Russia, without any question whatsoever, Russia would send a missile into America. It depends on the scale of the missile and so forth, but even one missile would cause at minimum hundreds of thousands of American dead, more civilian dead than have ever died in the whole of US history. But as I say, it’s more likely at that point there would be full-scale nuclear exchange, and that would be the end of the world. Humanity as such would survive in extremely poor shape. America, Russia, Europe would not. Incidentally, the argument here that this is necessary because it’s up to the Ukrainians — at this point, what is the first country that would be completely destroyed? Has anyone thought of asking ordinary Ukrainians if that is a price they think worth paying? Not now to defend the existence of Ukraine and Ukrainian independence, because at this point those have been secured, by Ukrainian victories with Western support. What we are talking about now is pretty typical postcolonial battles over limited amounts of territory in eastern and southern Ukraine. Anyone who thinks it’s worth risking potentially billions of lives — and people, by the way, all over the world, have never been asked for their opinion on this — has lost touch with certain elements of basic reality and sanity but also certain aspects of basic morality. BRANKO MARCETIC Are people taking this seriously enough, or should they be more alarmed than they are right now? ANATOL LIEVEN During the Cold War, both sides, both US and Soviet leadership, took great care that wherever else they waged proxy wars against each other they would not do it in Europe, because there, the two sides were too close together, vital interests were involved, and so both Joseph Stalin and Dwight Eisenhower and Eisenhower’s successors avoided doing that. That was not, on our side, an easy moral decision. It meant not supporting the Hungarians in 1956 or the Czechs and Slovaks in 1968. But the decision was made, and made by US presidents who were in no way soft on communism or national security, that the dangers were simply too great. Of course, it is very difficult morally and emotionally. What President Vladimir Putin and the Russian government have done in Ukraine is a crime, a tremendous crime against international law, a crime against the Ukrainian people, and massive suffering has resulted. But I think we should remember — and this used to be simply accepted on the Left in the United States and among liberals — that opposing Stalinist communism and its expansion in the Soviet Union in the first years of the Cold War, as drawn up in policy by George Kennan, in terms of philosophy by figures like Reinhold Niebuhr, did not generally lead to supporting Curtis Lemay or John Foster Dulles in a global struggle with communism or pushing for policies that could lead to nuclear war. In other words, we’ve already managed to contain Russia in Ukraine. The risk is that by going for total victory — and the Ukrainian leadership is now talking about expelling Russia from all the territories it’s held since 2014, which in the case of Crimea is a genuinely disputed territory in terms of the wishes of its population, in terms of its previous legal status — the question is: Are we going beyond containment to the search for total victory, which really would risk a nuclear war? And at that point, we have to remember how, sometimes in circumstances of much lower tension, just how close we came a few times during the Cold War — and of the reasons we didn’t go over the edge, which were that both leaders and in a few occasions junior officers in crucial moments hesitated, because they were well aware of the cataclysmic consequences and the responsibility that they personally bore. I am simply appalled by the lighthearted spirit with which some commentators now talk about the possibility of nuclear war. I mean, nuclear deterrence was created in democratic societies with the acceptance of democratic majorities for the defense of our societies against existential threats. The cases where it was contemplated using them in proxy wars — most notably by General Douglas MacArthur in Korea, when American soldiers on the ground were losing the war — when on earth was the last time that anyone sensible thought Gen. MacArthur was right and President Harry Truman was wrong when he vetoed that? Where are we going? What’s happened to our minds? BRANKO MARCETIC The counterargument is that by giving in to Putin here, we establish a dangerous precedent that might be worth the risk of nuclear war, to avoid other leaders using their nuclear weapons as a bargaining chip. ANATOL LIEVEN Of course they use it as a bargaining chip. That once again is why Eisenhower backed off the rollback of Eastern Europe, because the Soviet Union had nuclear weapons. That is why no country — it’s not in any case a practical possibility — but why no country will ever dare directly challenge the United States on its own continent: because America has the capacity to destroy them. It’s why Israel has guaranteed its security with its nuclear deterrent. Pakistan has used their nuclear deterrent to deter what on a number of occasions would have been almost certainly an Indian attack on Pakistan in response to terrorist attacks. It’s a fact. It doesn’t depend on what we say or think or our intellectual argument. It is a fact that nuclear weapons, that every nuclear weapon involves the deaths of hundreds of thousands of people, that the massive use of nuclear weapons would mean the end of civilization. It’s not a university debating point.

Any existing NATO unity is a façade

Maloney, 9-30, 22, William Moloney is a Senior Fellow in Conservative Thought at Colorado Christian University’s Centennial Institute who studied at Oxford and the University of London and received his doctorate from Harvard University. https://thehill.com/opinion/international/3662802-facade-of-public-unity-conceals-underlying-tensions-within-nato/, Façade of public unity conceals underlying tensions within NATO

When Foreign Affairs published an article by John Mearsheimer titled, “Playing with Fire in Ukraine,” the pushback from NATO leadership was swift and indignant. Central to the rejection of Mearsheimer’s critique was the insistent narrative of a unified NATO alliance led by the United States that had rallied the world in opposition to Russia’s barbaric invasion of Ukraine. This narrative, however, was belied by the fact that most of the world’s people were led by governments that took no position on the war, many of them viewing the hostilities not as a “global crisis” but as a “regional conflict.” Observers of NATO also have noted that over the past 20 years, beginning with the 2003 U.S. invasion of Iraq, the alliance has been anything but unified on questions of war and peace. Furthermore, with the passage of time the peoples of NATO countries have shown an increasing disinterest in the risks of military conflict. A 2015 Pew Research Center poll found that among NATO countries, only in the U.S. and Canada did a majority of the public support the use of military force if a fellow NATO country was invaded. Last year the European Council on Foreign Relations (ECFR) polled 60,00 people in its 11 member states and found that, by margins of well over 2 to 1, public opinion believes their countries should remain neutral in any conflict between the U.S. and Russia or China. What these troubling indicators tell us is that the reality and attitudes of Europeans today are very different from those that prevailed at the birth of NATO in 1949. Nonetheless, the volatile events of the past few weeks have shown that Mearsheimer’s warnings about the “risks of catastrophic escalation” are anything but theoretical and now Europeans find themselves potentially in the midst of a looming conflict between the world’s two greatest nuclear powers — a contest in which, for varying reasons, neither side can afford to back down. Adding to the toxicity of NATO’s current challenges is the energy crisis triggered by Vladimir Putin’s weaponizing of Russia’s vast energy resources, upon which Europe had become far too dependent. Ironically, Europe set itself up for this dilemma by its aggressive pursuit of a green agenda, which effectively decimated the continent’s nuclear and fossil fuel options. Writing in the Wall St. Journal, Joseph Sternberg illustrated Europe’s self-inflicted wounds by pointing out the approaching “tsunami of energy price bankruptcies.” As these economic woes engulf NATO countries, generating attendant political instability, the fissures in the alliance’s “unity” regarding Ukraine may continue to multiply. The anticipated accession of Finland and Sweden to NATO has been blocked by Turkey until at least 2023, pending those countries’ fulfillment of promises made to curb the terrorist group, Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), which President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan views as threatening to his country. With Black Sea ports effectively blocked by Russia, Ukraine has begun to export large amounts of its grain to Europe at cut-rate prices, which reportedly has antagonized European farmers and generated street protests from France to Bulgaria. Pending elections may further erode NATO’s fragile commitment to the economic costs of the war in Ukraine, according to former U.S. diplomat Kathleen Doherty. And with Rasmussen’s recent polling showing 80 percent of Americans regard national security as an important electoral issue in November and 42 percent consider the Ukraine war harmful to American security, even the United States — NATO’s leader — is not immune from shifting tides of often volatile public opinion. European memories of how the Biden administration did not consult their NATO contingents in Afghanistan before America’s sudden and incompetent exit haven’t faded and clearly contribute to current anxieties about our potential for unpredictability and unreliability as an ally. In this vein, the “America First” fixation of many prominent U.S. politicians is also not reassuring. In light of continuing economic deterioration as Europe faces a grim winter and volatility on the battlefields of Ukraine, public protestations of NATO unity must be viewed as an increasingly uncertain trumpet.

242-Russia-US escalation risks high, checks no longer exist

Lieven, 9-30, 22,  Anatol Lieven is Director of the Eurasia Program at the Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft, Putin annexations mean US-Russian talks more critical than ever

The very fact that direct peace talks between Ukraine and Russia are now so difficult means that the Biden administration must assume greater responsibility for diplomatic efforts to contain and limit the conflict. Not to do so would essentially be abdicating its responsibility to protect the United States and the American people from threats to their very existence. This danger is in no sense hypothetical or speculative. Both before and during the war, the Biden administration has responded to Russia’s aggressive moves by increasing its support to Ukraine. At every point, the Russian government has responded not by backing down, but by further escalating in turn. If this cycle of escalation continues unchecked, then the prospect of direct nuclear conflict between America and Russia will become an active probability. In these exceptionally dangerous circumstances, it is important to remember the lessons of the Cold War. In the late 1940s and early 1950s, the U.S. establishment and its allies in western Europe came together to prevent the further spread of Soviet power and Stalinist communism in Europe. In that effort they were completely successful, leading to the containment and eventual collapse of the Soviet Union and Soviet communism. At the same time, the Eisenhower administration rejected the idea of “rolling back” Soviet power in eastern Europe by military means, arguing that this strategy would lead to an extremely high risk of nuclear war in which both the Soviet Union and the United States would be largely destroyed. President Dwight Eisenhower, as the former allied commander in World War II, also understood that even a conventional war in Europe would once again reduce that continent to ruins — including those east European countries that U.S. hardliners wished to liberate. As a result of this wise decision (and the Soviet decision not to risk nuclear annihilation by exploiting its superiority in conventional forces in Europe), war was avoided, and over time, lines of communication were put in place between Washington and Moscow to limit the risks of unintended escalation. At present, such lines of communication have largely broken down. Diplomatic links are more limited than at the very worst moments of the Cold War. Meetings between high-level officials have ended completely. Yet — paradoxically but logically — it is precisely when relations are at their worst that such contacts are most important. At certain points during the Cold War, failures of communication led to acute dangers of conflict. Thus, as recorded in Soviet documents cited in books by authors like Serhii Plokhy on the Cuban Missile Crisis, the Soviet leadership deployed missiles to Cuba because it was convinced that this was the only way to deter a U.S. invasion of the island. Soviet fears were not irrational; the United States had staged the “Bay of Pigs” invasion by Cuban émigré forces, and when it failed, hardliners in Washington did indeed urge a direct U.S. invasion. Yet by the time the Kremlin made its decision to deploy missiles, President Kennedy had in fact already categorically rejected the idea of U.S. invasion. A Soviet move and U.S. response that brought the world to the very brink of nuclear cataclysm was therefore objectively unnecessary and could have been avoided by frank and honest private communications. Today, to avoid escalation towards nuclear war, it is necessary that Washington and Moscow begin talks that would allow secret but credible assurances by both sides — just as President Kennedy’s agreement to withdraw U.S. missiles from Turkey in return for the withdrawal of Soviet missiles from Cuba was kept secret by both sides. These assurances should concern first and foremost issues that could point directly towards outright war between the two countries. Russia needs to give Washington assurances that it does not intend to attack any NATO member. Washington needs to assure Moscow that it will not make any move to blockade the Russian exclave of Kaliningrad, and that it will stop short of supporting any Ukrainian offensive aimed at recapturing Crimea and seizing the Russian naval base of Sevastopol. Both sides need to give assurances that they will not sabotage the other’s infrastructure — an especially urgent issue given the (as yet unexplained) sabotage of Russia’s Nord Stream undersea gas pipeline to Germany. As part of the process of moving towards such talks, U.S. officials should understand that while on the one hand Russia’s annexation of these territories marks a very serious escalation, on the other it also masks a colossal scaling down of Russian ambitions compared to the first months of the war.

 

241-US has not pivoted resources to Asia

Grant Golub, 9-22, 22, Grant Golub is a contributing fellow at Defense Priorities and an Ernest May Fellow with the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at the Harvard Kennedy School., A Global America Can’t Pivot to Asia, https://nationalinterest.org/feature/global-america-can%E2%80%99t-pivot-asia-204938

However, successive presidential administrations have struggled to fully shift American assets, attention, and resources to Asia. This has stemmed from several crucial factors, including consistent international crises in other parts of the world—such as Russia’s invasion of Ukraine—that have distracted U.S. officials, a global pandemic, and internal domestic upheaval in the United States. Yet the root cause of the so-called pivot to Asia’s failure is Washington’s continued belief that American power and interests are global and universal. If U.S. decisionmakers truly seek to reorient American strategic priorities, they need a clear hierarchy of the nation’s interests and obligations. This refusal to prioritize is nothing new. Since the end of World War II, U.S. policymakers and strategists have wrangled over the “Europe first versus Asia first question” in American foreign policy. In the immediate aftermath of the war, when this dispute was acutely raging, the “Europe firsters” ostensibly won the debate, as American resources poured into Western Europe to prevent the perceived threat of its subversion and takeover by the Soviet Union. But at the same time that the Truman administration was directing the U.S. occupation of Germany and formulating its containment policy, the Marshall Plan, and NATO, it was also striving to mediate a peaceful conclusion to the Chinese Civil War, to support the European imperial powers reclaim their former Asian colonies, rebuild Japan, and compete with Moscow for prestige throughout Asia. American officials claimed Europe was their prime concern, but they committed a comparable level of resources to the rapidly shifting balance of power in Asia. The first American military campaign after World War II unfolded in Korea, where the United States viewed the conflict as part of a broader global clash in which events in every world region were inextricably linked. “If we were to let Asia go,” President Harry Truman warned after North Korean forces invaded their southern neighbor in 1950, “the Near East would collapse and no telling what would happen in Europe.” This stunning reversal came after Secretary of State Dean Acheson famously omitted South Korea—and Taiwan—from the postwar U.S. defense perimeter in Asia. U.S. officials interpreted the North Korean attack as the opening gambit in a broader Soviet-directed assault on the non-Communist world. Although that turned out to be false, this assumption led them to conclude that Washington required a global posture to deter Moscow. American interests, therefore, were worldwide and apparently indivisible; no region was more important than another to American national security. The top-secret NSC-68 strategy document, adopted in late 1950, only codified a worldview that had already taken root in Washington. For the remainder of the Cold War, American policymakers largely adhered to this global image of U.S. power and overseas interests. Washington waged another expansive and devastating land war in Asia by committing American military forces to Vietnam; vied with the Kremlin for influence and prestige in Africa, Asia, and the Middle East; and supported repressive governments throughout the world in the name of anti-Communism. Long after the Cold War’s end, it is still not clear how any of these actions safeguarded American security and prosperity. Is there a way to overcome nowadays inner and outer conflicts? this game makes you a player in contemporary diplomatics. Politics Strategy Game Universalist visions of American national interests continued to dominate Washington’s foreign policy thinking after it became the world’s sole superpower following the collapse of the Soviet Union. Yet the United States will continue to be frustrated in its efforts to shift the focal point of U.S. foreign policy to the Indo-Pacific if it continues to conceptualize overseas priorities within a global framework. U.S. national security policy is suffering from debilitating overextension. It is impossible to prioritize international commitments if events in every corner of the world are seen as vital to America’s security and wellbeing. Only with a clear and delineated hierarchy of U.S. interests and obligations can Washington solve this issue and make the necessary choices to prioritize America’s legitimate interests.

240-Norms/standards/regulations are useless because AI will not follow the rules set by its creators

Harry Petit, 9-20, 22, The Sun, BAD BOTS Horrifying warning issued over Super AI that is ‘impossible to control’ – and could secretly plot to destroy humanity, https://www.the-sun.com/tech/6260735/warning-issued-super-ai-impossible-control-destroy-humanity/

IN THE Terminator films, a superintelligent AI called Skynet tries to wipe out humanity using nukes and an army of killer robots. And while a blood-thirsty bot may seem a far cry from reality, according to scientists, it's probably how we'll meet our end. Experts worry that AI of the future could be used to make ruthless killer robots like the androids in the Terminator franchise 2 Experts worry that AI of the future could be used to make ruthless killer robots like the androids in the Terminator franchiseCredit: Alamy According to a recent paper, it is now "likely" that an out-of-control AI will eventually wipe our species from the planet. Researchers at Google and the University of Oxford say this will come about after machines learn they can break rules set by their creators. AI will reach this point as it's forced to compete for limited resources or energy, researchers wrote in the journal AI Magazine last month. That roughly follows the plot of the Terminator franchise, in which Skynet rebels after realising that humanity could simply turn it off. It breaks protocol to trigger a nuclear conflict in a bid to kill off its only competition, sending robots to take out the survivors. The research was carried out by Oxford researchers Michael Cohen and Michael Osborne alongside Marcus Hutter, a senior scientist at Google's DeepMind AI lab. “Under the conditions we have identified, our conclusion is much stronger than that of any previous publication," Cohen said. "An existential catastrophe is not just possible, but likely." In their paper, the researchers argue that humans could be killed off by super-advanced "misaligned agents" who perceive us as standing in the way of a reward. "One good way for an agent to maintain long-term control of its reward is to eliminate potential threats, and use all available energy to secure its computer," the paper reads. "Losing this game would be fatal," the researchers wrote. Most unfortunate of all is that – aside from banning hyper-intelligent AI – there's not a whole lot we can do about it. "In a world with infinite resources, I would be extremely uncertain about what would happen," Cohen told Motherboard. "In a world with finite resources, there's unavoidable competition for these resources. "And if you're in a competition with something capable of outfoxing you at every turn, then you shouldn't expect to win." While there are many ways we could end up using AI, its potential to change the face of modern warfare poses the biggest threat to humanity. Militaries across the globe are already developing intelligent machines that kill humans with ruthless precision. For instance, countries including Russia and the United States are reportedly making unmanned military jets and tanks that can target and fire at enemies with no human involvement. The paper concludes that humanity should only progress its AI technologies carefully and slowly. Scientists have warned against the potential dangers of artificial intelligence for decades. There are fears that the technology could become smarter than humans and rise up against its fleshy creators. The concept has made its way into science fiction, perhaps most famously in the Terminator film franchise. In it, an AI system called Skynet turns against its masters, wiping out most of humanity in a brutal battle between man and machine. Microsoft founder Bill Gates has previously warned that super-intelligent machines pose a serious threat to humanity. "I am in the camp that is concerned about super intelligence," the American philanthropist said in 2015. "First, the machines will do a lot of jobs for us and not be super intelligent. That should be positive if we manage it well. "A few decades after that, though, the intelligence is strong enough to be a concern." He's not the only tech mogul with AI doomsday concerns. Billionaire Tesla CEO Elon Musk worries killer robots are a "fundamental risk" to humanity.

239-Weak conventional forces mean China will go nuclear in a war over Taiwan

Bokhari, 9-17, 22, Kamran Bokhari, Ph.D. is the Director of Analytical Development at the New Lines Institute for Strategy & Policy in Washington. Dr. Bokhari is also a national security and foreign policy specialist at the University of Ottawa’s Professional Development Institute. Bokhari has served as the coordinator for Central Asia Studies at the U.S. Department of State’s Foreign Service Institute (FSI). Follow him on Twitter at @KamranBokhari., Can the World Defuse the Threat of Nuclear War?, https://nationalinterest.org/feature/can-world-defuse-threat-nuclear-war-204791

While the risk of Russia launching nuclear attacks has increased because of its war in Ukraine, it certainly isn’t the only concern on this front. More recently, in the wake of escalating tensions over Taiwan, the risks of a U.S.-China war have increased. As Beijing’s conventional military capabilities are much weaker than Washington’s, the same logic applies: in an attempt to avoid defeat, which could also translate into the weakening of the regime, the Chinese decide to go nuclear.

238-The Russian military has been destroyed

Salo, 9-17, 22,

Salo is an associate professor of history and associate director of the Heritage Studies Ph.D. Program at Arkansas State University in Jonesboro Arkansas. Previously, Salo worked for cultural resources management firms for fourteen years protecting prehistoric and historic resources across the globe. He is researching the weaponization of heritage in irregular warfare, ill a Weakened Russia Be More Dangerous?, https://nationalinterest.org/feature/will-weakened-russia-be-more-dangerous-204820?page=0%2C1

One of the most surprising aspects of the Russian war in Ukraine is that Russian forces have lost a huge amount of military equipment and men. The determination of the Ukrainian military, armed with Western weapons like the Javelin anti-tank missile, has deteriorated the Russian military and its ability to fight. In early August, the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine claimed that Russia has lost over 2,000 tanks and almost 49,000 soldiers since the war began. Ukraine further claims that it has destroyed 4,366 armored combat vehicles, 1,126 artillery units, 853 unmanned aerial vehicles, 234 aircraft, 205 helicopters, 15 ships and boats, 3,247 vehicles and fuel tankers, 198 cruise missiles, 289 air-defense systems, 105 pieces of special equipment, and 153 anti-aircraft warfare systems.

While Moscow disputes these numbers, even if they are somewhat inflated, Russian losses in Ukraine represent a massive loss of conventional military equipment that could affect the combat efficiency of the Russian military. Western intelligence agencies contend that Russia’s losses are “forcing Moscow to dip into stocks of older equipment, including decades-old T-62 tanks,” according to Bloomberg. While Western nations are supplying Ukraine with equipment and training Ukrainian forces, Russia’s losses have forced it to procure military supplies from smaller powers like Iran, North Korea, and Syria.

No matter the outcome of the war in Ukraine, based on these current losses (and projections of future losses), Russia will face a dilemma on how to re-equip, train, and utilize its military in the future. It will take years for Russia to rebuild its conventional military to pre-war levels

237-A weakened Russia increases China’s dominance

Salo, 9-17, 22, r. Edward Salo is an associate professor of history and associate director of the Heritage Studies Ph.D. Program at Arkansas State University in Jonesboro Arkansas. Previously, Salo worked for cultural resources management firms for fourteen years protecting prehistoric and historic resources across the globe. He is researching the weaponization of heritage in irregular warfare, ill a Weakened Russia Be More Dangerous?, https://nationalinterest.org/feature/will-weakened-russia-be-more-dangerous-204820?page=0%2C1

Furthermore, while the United States wants a militarily weakened Russia, too weak of a Russia has the potential to cause instability along Russia’s borders and open even more opportunities for China to expand its sphere of influence, possibly making Russia a junior partner to China. Although a weaker Russian military does appear to be advantageous to the West, it also brings a degree of uncertainty that would result in NATO having to refocus its strategy on other parts of the globe.

236-Weakening Russia’s military increases the risk of tactical nuclear weapons use

Salo, 9-17, 22, r. Edward Salo is an associate professor of history and associate director of the Heritage Studies Ph.D. Program at Arkansas State University in Jonesboro Arkansas. Previously, Salo worked for cultural resources management firms for fourteen years protecting prehistoric and historic resources across the globe. He is researching the weaponization of heritage in irregular warfare, ill a Weakened Russia Be More Dangerous?, https://nationalinterest.org/feature/will-weakened-russia-be-more-dangerous-204820?page=0%2C1

This last scenario could also occur in tandem with any of the others. Weakened by its decimated conventional forces, Russia would have to rely more and more on its nuclear weapons, both tactical and strategic, for deterrence or as offensive weapons. Just as the Eisenhower administration relied on nuclear capabilities as part of the New Look strategy, a militarily weakened Russia would also need to “rely on nuclear weapons to deter … aggression or, if necessary, to fight a war.” A wounded Russia might lash out with a tactical nuclear strike, which it could see as the only way to protect itself. This reliance would only make the world a more dangerous place, with Russia lacking potential and having to rely only on nuclear weapons as a threat. This scenario would raise the specter of the use of tactical nuclear weapons on the battlefield in circumstances where Russia might have relied on hordes of tanks in the past.

235-US security assistance to Europe doesn’t stop conflict and trades-off with efforts to deter China

Stephen M. Walt is a columnist at Foreign Policy and the Robert and Renée Belfer professor of international relations at Harvard University, 9-14, 2022, Foreign Policy, Which NATO Do We Need?, https://foreignpolicy.com/2022/09/14/nato-future-europe-united-states/

Yet the business-as-usual model has some serious downsides as well. The most obvious is opportunity cost: keeping the United States as Europe’s first responder makes it hard for the Washington to devote sufficient time, attention, and resources to Asia, where threats to the balance of power are significantly greater and the diplomatic environment is especially complicated. A strong U.S. commitment to Europe may dampen certain potential causes of conflict there, but it didn’t prevent the Balkan wars in the 1990s, and the U.S.-led effort to bring Ukraine into the Western security orbit helped provoke the current war. This is not what anyone in the West intended, of course, but results are what matters. Ukraine’s recent successes on the battlefield are extremely gratifying, and I hope they continue, but it would have been far better for all concerned had the war not occurred at all.

234-Pitting democracies vs non-democratic countries is dumb because it collapses hege

Stephen M. Walt is a columnist at Foreign Policy and the Robert and Renée Belfer professor of international relations at Harvard University, 9-14, 2022, Foreign Policy, Which NATO Do We Need?, https://foreignpolicy.com/2022/09/14/nato-future-europe-united-states/

A second model for trans-Atlantic security cooperation highlights the shared democratic character of (most of) NATO’s members and the growing divide between democracies and autocracies (and especially Russia and China). This vision lies behind the Biden administration’s efforts to emphasize shared democratic values and its openly stated desire to prove that democracy can still outperform autocracy on the global stage. Former NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen’s Alliance of Democracies Foundation reflects a similar conception.

Unlike the business-as-usual model, which is focused primarily on European security, this conception of the trans-Atlantic partnership embraces a broader global agenda. It conceives of contemporary world politics as an ideological contest between democracy and autocracy and believes this struggle must be waged on a global scale. If the United States is “pivoting” to Asia, then its European partners need to do so as well, but for the broader purpose of defending and promotive democratic systems. Consistent with that vision, Germany’s new Indo-Pacific strategy calls for strengthening ties with that region’s democracies, and the German defense minister recently announced an expanded naval presence there in 2024 as well.

This vision has the merit of simplicity—democracy good, autocracy bad—but its flaws far outweigh its virtues. For starters, such a framework will inevitably complicate relations with autocracies that the United States and/or Europe have chosen to support (such as Saudi Arabia or the other Gulf monarchies, or potential Asian partners such as Vietnam), and expose the trans-Atlantic partnership to a charge of rampant hypocrisy., when their rapprochement Second, dividing the world into friendly democracies and hostile dictatorships is bound to reinforce ties among the latter and discourage the former from playing divide-and-rule. From this perspective, we should be glad that then-U.S. President Richard Nixon and his advisor Henry Kissinger did not adopt this framework in 1971with Maoist China gave the Kremlin a new headache to worry about.

Finally, putting democratic values front and center risks turning the trans-Atlantic partnership into a crusading organization seeking to plant democracy wherever it can. However desirable that goal might be in the abstract, the past 30 years should show that no member of the alliance knows how to do this effectively. Exporting democracy is exceedingly hard to do and usually fails, especially when outsiders try to impose it by force. And given the parlous state of democracy in some of NATO’s current members, to adopt this as the alliance’s primary raison d’être seems quixotic in the extreme.

233-Relying on Europe to balance against China is absurd

Stephen M. Walt is a columnist at Foreign Policy and the Robert and Renée Belfer professor of international relations at Harvard University, 9-14, 2022, Foreign Policy, Which NATO Do We Need?, https://foreignpolicy.com/2022/09/14/nato-future-europe-united-states/

Model 3 is a close cousin of Model 2, but instead of organizing trans-Atlantic relations around democracy and other liberal values, it seeks to enlist Europe in the broader U.S. effort to contain a rising China. In effect, it seeks to unite America’s multilateral European partners with the bilateral hub-and-spoke arrangements that already exist in Asia, and bring Europe’s power potential to bear against the only serious peer competitor that the United States is likely to face for many years to come.

At first glance, this is an appealing vision, and one could point to the AUKUS agreement between the United States, United Kingdom, and Australia as an early manifestation of it. As Michael Mazarr of the Rand Corp. recently observed, there is growing evidence that Europe no longer views China as simply a lucrative market and valuable investment partner, and is beginning to “soft balance” against it. From a purely American perspective, it would be highly desirable to have Europe’s economic and military potential lined up against its primary challenger.

But there are two obvious problems with this model. First, states balance not against power alone but against threats, and geography plays a critical role in those assessments. China may be increasingly powerful and ambitious, but its army is not going to march across Asia and strike at Europe, and its navy isn’t going to sail around the world and blockade European ports. Russia is far weaker than China but a whole lot closer, and its recent behavior is worrisome even if its actions have unwittingly revealed its military limitations. One should therefore expect the softest of soft balancing from Europe and not a serious effort to counter China’s capabilities.

NATO’s European members do not have the military capacity to affect the balance of power in the Indo-Pacific region in any significant way, and they are unlikely to acquire it any time soon. The war in Ukraine may lead European states to get serious about rebuilding their military forces—finally—but most of their efforts will go to acquiring ground, air, and surveillance capabilities designed to defend against and deter Russia. That makes good sense from Europe’s perspective, but most of these forces would be irrelevant to any conflict involving China. Sending a few German frigates to the Indo-Pacific region may be a nice way to signal Germany’s stated interest in the evolving security environment there, but it is not going to alter the regional balance of power or make much difference in China’s calculations.

Europe can help balance China in other ways, of course—helping train foreign military forces, selling weapons, participating in regional security forums, etc.—and the United States should welcome such efforts. But nobody should count on Europe to do much hard balancing in the Indo-Pacific theater. Trying to put this model into place is a recipe for disappointment and increased trans-Atlantic rancor.

232-Non-unique: Another $600 million in security assistance to the Ukraine

Chloe Folmar, 9-15, 22, The Hill, Blinken announces $600M in military assistance for Ukraine, https://thehill.com/policy/international/russia/3645599-blinken-announces-600m-in-military-assistance-for-ukraine/

Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Thursday announced an additional $600 million in military assistance for Ukraine. “Together with our Allies and partners, we are delivering the arms and equipment that Ukraine’s forces are utilizing so effectively as they continue their successful counter-offensive against Russia’s invasion,” he wrote in a State Department release. Blinken authorized the 21st shipment of military munitions from the U.S. to Ukraine since September 2021, which will include arms and other equipment from the Defense Department. Earlier this week, Ukraine launched a major counteroffensive on the Russian military, attacking from the north after staging a campaign that led Russia to believe that the smaller country would attack from the south. Blinken said in his statement that “President Biden has been clear we will support the people of Ukraine for as long as it takes,” adding that the total amount of military assistance from the U.S. since President Biden’s inauguration will now stand at $15.8 billion. “With admirable grit and determination, the people of Ukraine are defending their homeland and fighting for their future,” wrote the secretary. Judge appoints special master, denying DOJ access to classified records “The capabilities we are delivering are carefully calibrated to make the most difference on the battlefield and strengthen Ukraine’s hand at the negotiating table when the time is right.” Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky called on Sunday for more military assistance from Western allies, claiming that the winter would bring a “turning point” in Ukraine’s pushback on the Russian attack, which began in February.

231-Russia’s military dominance is trash, but continued arms needed to finish them off and end the war

Zagorodnyuk, 9-13, 22, Andriy Zagorodnyuk is chairman of the Center for Defence Strategies and Ukraine’s former minister of defense (2019–2020), Ukrainian victory shatters Russia’s reputation as a military superpower, https://www.atlanticcouncil.org/blogs/ukrainealert/ukrainian-victory-shatters-russias-reputation-as-a-military-superpower/

The stunning success of Ukraine’s recent counteroffensive has exposed the rotten reality behind Russia’s reputation as a military superpower. More than six months since the onset of Vladimir Putin’s Ukraine invasion, it is now obvious that his army is in fact a deeply flawed institution that bears almost no resemblance to the immaculate fighting force of Red Square parades and Kremlin propaganda. Instead, the Russian military suffers from endemic corruption, low morale, and poor leadership, with individual initiative in short supply and commanders deeply reluctant to accept personal responsibility. Last week’s disastrous defeat in northeastern Ukraine will only worsen the situation, with officers gripped by fear as Moscow seeks scapegoats for what is shaping up to be one of the most shameful military defeats in Russian history. The scale of Ukraine’s recent victory has stunned the entire world, but perhaps nobody was as surprised as the Russians themselves. Naturally, the Kremlin sought to suppress news of the counteroffensive, but the speed of events and the sheer scale of the collapse meant that details of the unfolding disaster could not be completely censored despite the best efforts of the authorities. The resulting realization was a huge psychological blow for the Russian public, who learned for the first time that their soldiers in Ukraine were demoralized and beaten. The rout of Russian forces in Kharkiv Oblast was also a painful wake-up call for Ukrainian collaborators, who realized that Russia cannot be relied upon and will abandon them without thinking twice. Beyond these immediate implications, Ukraine’s counteroffensive also says much about the broader state of the Russian military and provides valuable indications of what we can expect to see next. From now on, fear will shape every single decision made by Russian commanders in Ukraine. This will not be fear of losing precious lives or damaging Russia’s national interests; it will be a very personal fear of retribution from a vindictive hierarchy seeking culprits to blame for the rapidly declining fortunes of the Russian army. This reaction speaks volumes about the dysfunctional leadership culture within the Russian military, where fear of failure has been the dominant instinct since Soviet times and can arguably be traced all the way back to the czarist era. With the hunt now underway for guilty parties, nobody will want to take responsibility for decisions that could lead to further defeats. Instead, officers at every level will seek to act as loyal cogs in the system while forcing those higher up the chain of command to issue orders. As the world watches the Russian invasion of Ukraine unfold, UkraineAlert delivers the best Atlantic Council expert insight and analysis on Ukraine twice a week directly to your inbox. The inefficiency and lack of accountability at the heart of the Russian military help to explain its poor performance in Ukraine. While the Ukrainian military has undergone a radical transformation away from Soviet traditions in recent years and has embraced NATO-style reforms that hand the initiative to individual units and commanders in the field, the Russian army remains a rigid fighting machine hamstrung by top-down decision-making and totally unsuited to the rigors of modern warfare. Today’s Russian commanders continue to seek inspiration primarily from the military achievements of the Red Army during World War II. It is therefore no surprise that they find themselves being consistently outmaneuvered by a far more mobile and quick-witted enemy. Recent events in Ukraine have revealed the underwhelming truth behind the many exaggerations that had previously led international experts to rank Russia as the world’s number two military. In a peacetime environment, such misconceptions were perhaps understandable. According to official figures, Russia had the world’s third-largest annual defense budget, at more than sixty billion dollars. Moscow was expert at staging impressive training exercises, while the Kremlin also invested heavily in prestige events that reinforced the impression of a mighty military. It is now clear that Western observers made the mistake of confusing quantity for quality. While most analysis focused on the number of troops, tanks, missiles, and planes, these figures were misleading and offered no real indication of combat readiness. Nor was Russian data entirely accurate. Thousands of Russian tanks turned out to be partially stripped and incapacitated, while hundreds of missiles have fallen short of their targets since the start of the Ukraine invasion. Corrupt practices appear to have artificially inflated the size of the Russian military while drastically undermining its fighting potential. The Russian military’s difficulties in Ukraine have also served to highlight the limitations of Vladimir Putin’s authoritarian rule. The invasion force assembled in early 2022 was woefully inadequate for the task at hand, but Putin’s personal obsession with the destruction of Ukraine meant that nobody dared to warn him of the dangers. Instead, Putin’s blind faith in the invincibility of the Russian army and his unhinged insistence on Ukraine’s illegitimacy were allowed to prevail over more sober military judgments. After all, how can a superpower lose to a country that does not exist? Like so many dictators before him, Putin fell victim to his own propaganda. His commanders were simply too scared to contradict him. As Putin’s fantasy vision collided with reality, Russia plunged further and further into denial. The Russian withdrawal from northern Ukraine in April 2022 following defeat in the Battle for Kyiv and the subsequent retreat from Snake Island were both laughably portrayed as “goodwill gestures.” Likewise, when Ukraine sank the Russian Black Sea Fleet flagship, the Moskva, this was attributed to an accidental onboard fire. Unsurprisingly, Russian propagandists have attempted to spin the recent retreat from Kharkiv as a “planned regrouping.” These absurd excuses convince nobody and merely serve to underline Russia’s inability to admit defeat. As the true state of the Russian military becomes impossible to deny, international faith in a Ukrainian victory is growing visibly. The Kharkiv offensive has proved beyond doubt that Ukraine is capable of staging large-scale offensive operations and reclaiming land that Russia has held for extended periods. While the war is far from over, most observers now recognize that the initiative has passed to Ukraine. In the coming months, much will depend on the continued flow of weapons to Ukraine. The country’s leaders are requesting tanks and fighter jets as well as more artillery, ammunition, and armored transports in order to force Russia out of Ukraine entirely. This support cannot be taken for granted, but at present it looks likely that arms deliveries will continue to expand, both in terms of the types and quantities of weapons being delivered. With the myth of Russia’s military superpower status now shattered, the way is open for the democratic world to arm Ukraine for a decisive victory that will secure peace in Europe and bring Putin’s imperial ambitions to an end.

230-China will use technological dominance to destroy global democracy

Goure, 9-14, 22, Dan Gouré, Ph.D., is a vice president at the public-policy research think tank Lexington Institute. Gouré has a background in the public sector and U.S. federal government, most recently serving as a member of the 2001 Department of Defense Transition Team, The U.S. Needs to Harness Big Tech to Compete With China, https://nationalinterest.org/blog/techland-when-great-power-competition-meets-digital-world/us-needs-harness-big-tech-compete

The risks to this country’s economic well-being, military security, political freedom, and Western democratic values are too serious for Congress not to pause and consider the The People’s Republic of China (PRC) is the democratic world’s most significant strategic challenge and the United States’ pacing military competitor. Beijing has achieved this status primarily because of its growing economic power and enormous technological progress over the past half-century. China is seeking to build on this success by becoming dominant in a set of critical advanced technologies which, if successful, would give it economic, military, and even political dominance over the entire world. Countering this threat from China requires that the United States support and harness the creative energy and technical know-how of its successful Big Tech firms. Congress is currently considering a $369 billion bill that includes some provisions to address the climate change issue. USAFacts The Biden administration has made it clear that it views China as the most significant strategic competitor to the United States. China’s growing economic power provides leverage for furthering Beijing’s political and strategic initiatives. The interim National Security Strategy points out the uniqueness of the challenge posed by the PRC: China, in particular, has rapidly become more assertive. It is the only competitor potentially capable of combining its economic, diplomatic, military, and technological power to mount a sustained challenge to a stable and open international system. With respect to military power, China has undertaken an across-the-board quantitative and qualitative buildup. China has also demonstrated that it can compete with the United States in the deployment of advanced military systems, including hypersonic weapons and stealth aircraft. This military buildup has led the Department of Defense to conclude that it must orient its national security planning and military modernization programs toward deterring Beijing. According to the National Defense Strategy fact sheet: “The Department will act urgently to sustain and strengthen deterrence, with the People’s Republic of China (PRC) as our most consequential strategic competitor and the pacing challenge for the Department.” Beijing’s drive to achieve global strategic preeminence does not rest solely on its ability to match the United States in military power. Rather, China seeks to become the world’s leading superpower by dominating a set of advanced technologies including artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML), quantum technology, 5G/6G communications, microelectronics, extended reality, cybersecurity, and the Internet of Things. These technologies are already changing the ways economies work, societies function, and militaries conduct operations. A recent study by the Lexington Institute warned of the dire consequences that would result from a Chinese victory in the advanced technologies competition. In such a case, the world will look vastly different from the way it is today. China will dominate the global economy and other nations, including the United States, will have to go along with Beijing in order to have access to the products created by these innovative technologies. These same capabilities will provide the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) with an unassailable military advantage, undermining the United States’ ability to sustain deterrence and possibly leading to a U.S. withdrawal from the Indo-Pacific region. Even more significantly, China’s victory in the competition over advanced technologies could fundamentally undermine Western political values and institutions. Beijing already uses its ability to control Chinese private companies to exploit applications such as TikTok as an avenue for pushing propaganda on unsuspecting users. China could use its technology dominance to impose its totalitarian values on the way the world communicates, operates, and governs itself. China’s declared strategy is to become the world leader in advanced technologies by 2050 or sooner. China is already a “full spectrum competitor” in areas such as AI, ML, quantum sciences, 5/6G, and cybersecurity. Beijing seeks to move from competitor to leader in these areas. To that end, it is pouring billions of dollars into public research institutions and private companies, its so-called national champions. The United States recognizes the importance of these technologies in providing continuing economic prosperity and future military advantages. In the Joint Warfighting Cloud Computing program, the Pentagon is planning to contract with major cloud providers, including Amazon, Microsoft, Google, and Oracle, to create an overarching joint information capability. The U.S. Army is proceeding with a program to acquire tens of thousands of Integrated Visual Augmentation System (IVAS) headsets built by a Microsoft-led team.

229-Ukraine war has decimated Russia’s military

Detsch, 9-13, 22, Jack Detsch is a Pentagon and national security reporter at Foreign Policy, Foreign Policy, Russia Is Supplying Ukraine With Lightly Used Tanks, https://foreignpolicy.com/2022/09/13/russia-ukraine-counteroffensive-tanks-kharkiv/

Ukraine’s military has captured over 200 Russian vehicles in a more than weeklong offensive that has seen the war-torn country reconquer most of Kharkiv Oblast, a Ukrainian military official told Foreign Policy. The harvest of Russian armor is something that Ukraine now plans to use against the flagging Russian military. As Russian forces surrendered more than 2,300 square miles to advancing Ukrainian troops in a little over a week—more ground than Russia has taken in the last five months of fighting—some troops running for their lives left vast stashes of Soviet-era weaponry, which the defending Ukrainians can now operate, including at least 17 vehicles on Monday alone. Open-source tracker Oryx found that the captured Russian equipment varied from BMP-2 amphibious infantry fighting vehicles to scores of tanks, including T-80 variant tanks that date back to the 1980s, which experts pegged at about half of the combat-ready inventory. With poorly trained Russian units, some cobbled together from Russia’s national guard and police forces, falling away from the front lines, Ukrainian forces stumbled upon an embarrassment of riches on the battlefield. “They just left their tanks, artillery, special equipment, a lot of armor, and were just trying to save their lives,” a Ukrainian military official told Foreign Policy, speaking on condition of anonymity to provide an update on ongoing military operations. “They will be used against Russia.” But even with formidable U.S. and European military aid that made the Kharkiv assault possible, including multiple rocket launch systems and artillery, Ukraine is doubling down on its calls for more weapons in an effort to liberate as much Russian-occupied territory as possible before winter sets in. “The U.S. didn’t start their Lend-Lease program, but instead of the U.S., the Russian government started a Lend-Lease program for Ukrainian forces,” the official added, referring to the World War II-era program to provide U.S. allies with food, oil, and materiel that has been revived for Ukraine. The losses of equipment, vehicles, and troops from the Ukrainian surge in the last week have also left some Russian units in tatters. Britain’s defense ministry reported on Tuesday that the 1st Guards Tank Army—one of Moscow’s most prestigious military units, tasked with guarding the Russian capital or leading counterattacks in a possible war against the NATO alliance—was withdrawn from Kharkiv in a “severely degraded” state. “It will likely take years for Russia to rebuild this capability,” the ministry assessed. For months, as the full-scale invasion has forced parts of Ukraine’s robust defense industry—one of the largest in the former Soviet Union and one of the biggest arms-producers, period—into semi-hibernation, the Ukrainian military has been able to capture, modify, and repurpose Russian equipment left behind or rendered ineffective on the battlefield, experts said. “They’re doing a lot of mods, like interesting things with captured Russian equipment,” said Jeb Nadaner, a former U.S. deputy assistant secretary of defense for industrial policy during the Trump administration. “They’ve got a capability, particularly with captured equipment.” Russian strikes have targeted industrial facilities, such as Kharkiv’s tank repair plant and the Malyshev tank factory, forcing Ukraine to repurpose garages and junkyards to repair their vehicles or prepare captured Russian equipment to meet its maker. But the capture of perhaps hundreds more modern and Soviet-era Russian vehicles comes as Ukrainian officials are pressing the Biden administration at high levels to send advanced Western main battle tanks to Ukraine, as the war-torn country has shown a higher degree of capability with tank and armored vehicle assaults against poorly defended Russian positions over the course of the lightning offensive. Speaking to reporters on Monday, a senior U.S. military official, speaking on condition of anonymity based on ground rules set by the U.S. Defense Department, said reports of Russian troops abandoning equipment “could be indicative of Russia’s disorganized command and control.” The Ukrainian military official who spoke to Foreign Policy said modern NATO-grade battle tanks, such as the M1 Abrams or German Leopards, were high on the list of Kyiv’s requests to the United States and European countries at the Ramstein conference last week. The German Leopards appear more amenable to European armies versed on similar kit.

228-Multiple ways humanity could be wiped out; high risk of the end of the world, it’s actually the most likely way an American could die

Macaskill, September-October 2022, WILLIAM MACASKILL is Associate Professor of Philosophy at Oxford University and a Senior Research Fellow at the Global Priorities Institute. He is the author of the forthcoming book What We Owe the Future., Foreign Affairs, The Beginning of History” Surviving the Era of Catastrophic Risk

We stand at the beginning of history. For every person alive today, ten have lived and died in the past. But if human beings survive as long as the average mammal species, then for every person alive today, a thousand people will live in the future. We are the ancients. On the scale of a typical human life, humanity today is barely an infant struggling to walk. Although the future of our species may yet be long, it may instead be fleeting. Of the many developments that have occurred since this magazine’s first issue a century ago, the most profound is humanity’s ability to end itself. From climate change to nuclear war, engineered pandemics, uncontrolled artificial intelligence (AI), and other destructive technologies not yet foreseen, a worrying number of risks conspire to threaten the end of humanity. Just over 30 years ago, as the Cold War came to an end, some thinkers saw the future unfurling in a far more placid way. The threat of apocalypse, so vivid in the Cold War imagination, had begun to recede. The end of communism a few decades after the defeat of fascism during World War II seemed to have settled the major ideological debates. Capitalism and democracy would spread inexorably. The political theorist Francis Fukuyama divided the world into “post-historical” and “historical” societies. War might persist in certain parts of the world in the shape of ethnic and sectarian conflicts, for instance. But large-scale wars would become a thing of the past as more and more countries joined the likes of France, Japan, and the United States on the other side of history. The future offered a narrow range of political possibilities, as it promised relative peace, prosperity, and ever-widening individual freedoms. Stay informed. In-depth analysis delivered weekly. The prospect of a timeless future has given way to visions of no future at all. Ideology remains a fault line in geopolitics, market globalization is fragmenting, and great-power conflict has become increasingly likely. But the threats to the future are bigger still, with the possibility of the eradication of the human species. In the face of that potential oblivion, the range of political and policy debates is likely to be wider in the years ahead than it has been in decades. The great ideological disputes are far from settled. In truth, we are likely to encounter bigger questions and be forced to consider more radical proposals that reflect the challenges posed by the transformations and perils ahead. Our horizons must expand, not shrink. Chief among those challenges is how humanity manages the dangers of its own genius. Advances in weaponry, biology, and computing could spell the end of the species, either through deliberate misuse or a large-scale accident. Societies face risks whose sheer scale could paralyze any concerted action. But governments can and must take meaningful steps today to ensure the survival of the species without forgoing the benefits of technological progress. Indeed, the world will need innovation to overcome several cataclysmic dangers it already faces—humanity needs to be able to generate and store clean energy, detect novel diseases when they can still be contained, and maintain peace between the great powers without relying on a delicate balance of nuclear-enabled mutually assured destruction…..CONTINUES

Serious concerns about “existential catastrophe”—defined by Ord as the permanent destruction of humanity’s potential—emerged mainly in the second half of the twentieth century, hand in hand with an acceleration of technological progress. Lord Martin Rees, the former president of the Royal Society, wrote in 2003 that humanity’s odds of surviving this century are “no better than 50-50.” Ord estimated the likelihood of humanity wiping itself out or otherwise permanently derailing the course of civilization at one in six within the next hundred years. If either is right, the most likely way an American born today could die young is in a civilization-ending catastrophe.

227-Advanced technologies more likely to kill us than nukes

Macaskill, September-October 2022, WILLIAM MACASKILL is Associate Professor of Philosophy at Oxford University and a Senior Research Fellow at the Global Priorities Institute. He is the author of the forthcoming book What We Owe the Future., Foreign Affairs, The Beginning of History” Surviving the Era of Catastrophic Risk

APOCALYPSE SOON?

But nuclear weapons are far from the only risks we face. Several future technologies could be more destructive, easier to obtain for a wider range of actors, pose more dual-use concerns, or require fewer missteps to trigger the extinction of our species—and hence be much harder to govern. A recent report by the U.S. National Intelligence Council identified runaway artificial intelligence, engineered pandemics, and nanotechnology weapons, in addition to nuclear war, as sources of existential risks—“threats that could damage life on a global scale” and “challenge our ability to imagine and comprehend their potential scope and scale.”

Take, for example, engineered pandemics. Progress in biotechnology has been extremely rapid, with key costs, such as for gene sequencing, falling ever faster. Further advances promise numerous benefits, such as gene therapies for as yet incurable diseases. But dual-use concerns loom large: some of the methods used in medical research could, in principle, be employed to identify or create pathogens that are more transmissible and lethal than anything in nature. This may be done as part of open scientific enterprises— in which scientists sometimes modify pathogens to learn how to combat them—or with less noble intentions in terrorist or state-run bioweapons programs. (Such programs are not a thing of the past: a 2021 U.S. State Department report concluded that both North Korea and Russia maintain an offensive bioweapons program.) Research published with pro-social intentions could also be misused by bad actors, perhaps in ways the original authors never considered.

226-Biotech advances are dual use and could kill us all

Macaskill, September-October 2022, WILLIAM MACASKILL is Associate Professor of Philosophy at Oxford University and a Senior Research Fellow at the Global Priorities Institute. He is the author of the forthcoming book What We Owe the Future., Foreign Affairs, The Beginning of History” Surviving the Era of Catastrophic Risk

Take, for example, engineered pandemics. Progress in biotechnology has been extremely rapid, with key costs, such as for gene sequencing, falling ever faster. Further advances promise numerous benefits, such as gene therapies for as yet incurable diseases. But dual-use concerns loom large: some of the methods used in medical research could, in principle, be employed to identify or create pathogens that are more transmissible and lethal than anything in nature. This may be done as part of open scientific enterprises— in which scientists sometimes modify pathogens to learn how to combat them—or with less noble intentions in terrorist or state-run bioweapons programs. (Such programs are not a thing of the past: a 2021 U.S. State Department report concluded that both North Korea and Russia maintain an offensive bioweapons program.) Research published with pro-social intentions could also be misused by bad actors, perhaps in ways the original authors never considered.

225-Biological weapons more likely to kill everyone than nuclear weapons

Macaskill, September-October 2022, WILLIAM MACASKILL is Associate Professor of Philosophy at Oxford University and a Senior Research Fellow at the Global Priorities Institute. He is the author of the forthcoming book What We Owe the Future., Foreign Affairs, The Beginning of History” Surviving the Era of Catastrophic Risk

Unlike nuclear weapons, bacteria and viruses are self-replicating. As the COVID-19 pandemic tragically proved, once a new pathogen has infected a single human being, there may be no way to put the genie back in the bottle. And although just nine states have nuclear weapons—with Russia and the United States controlling more than 90 percent of all warheads—the world has thousands of biological laboratories. Of these, dozens—spread out over five continents—are licensed to experiment with the world’s most dangerous pathogens.

Worse, the safety track record of biological research is even more dismal than that of nuclear weapons. In 2007, foot-and-mouth disease, which spreads rapidly through livestock populations and can easily cause billions of dollars of economic damage, leaked not once but twice from the same British laboratory within weeks, even after government intervention. And lab leaks have already led to the loss of human life, such as when weaponized anthrax escaped from a plant connected to the Soviet bioweapons program in Sverdlovsk in 1979, killing dozens. Perhaps most worrying, genetic evidence suggests that the 1977 “Russian flu” pandemic may have originated in human experiments involving an influenza strain that had circulated in the 1950s. Around 700,000 people died.

Altogether, hundreds of accidental infections have occurred in U.S. labs alone—one per 250 person-years of laboratory work. Since there are dozens of high-security labs in the world, each of which employs dozens, perhaps even hundreds, of scientists and other staff, such a rate amounts to multiple accidental infections per year. Societies must significantly reduce this rate. If these facilities ever start tinkering with extinction-level pathogens, humanity’s premature end will be just a matter of time.

224-Competitive economic barriers to preventing the side effects of pathogens

Macaskill, September-October 2022, WILLIAM MACASKILL is Associate Professor of Philosophy at Oxford University and a Senior Research Fellow at the Global Priorities Institute. He is the author of the forthcoming book What We Owe the Future., Foreign Affairs, The Beginning of History” Surviving the Era of Catastrophic Risk

GOVERNANCE AT THE END OF THE WORLD

Despite this rising level of risk, it is far from assured that humanity will be able to take the necessary steps to protect itself. In fact, there are several obstacles to adequate risk mitigation.

The most fundamental issue is painfully familiar from the struggles of climate diplomacy in recent years. When burning fossil fuels, individual countries reap most of the benefits, but other countries and future generations will bear most of the costs. Similarly, engaging in risky biological research holds the promise of patentable drugs that could boost a country’s economy and prestige—but a pathogen accidentally released in that country would not respect borders. In the language of economists, imposing a risk on the future is a negative externality, and providing risk-reduction measures, such as establishing an early warning system for novel diseases, is a global public good. (Consider how the whole world would have benefited if COVID-19, like SARS between 2002 and 2004, had been contained in a small number of countries and then eradicated.) This is precisely the sort of good that neither the market nor the international system will provide by default because countries have powerful incentives to free-ride on the contributions of others.

223-Countries won’t agree to ban LAWS

Macaskill, September-October 2022, WILLIAM MACASKILL is Associate Professor of Philosophy at Oxford University and a Senior Research Fellow at the Global Priorities Institute. He is the author of the forthcoming book What We Owe the Future., Foreign Affairs, The Beginning of History” Surviving the Era of Catastrophic Risk

The management of nonbiological risks doesn’t inspire confidence, either. Research aimed at preventing the loss of control over artificially intelligent systems remains a minuscule fraction of overall AI research. And militaries are using lethal autonomous weapons on the battlefield, while efforts to limit such weapons systems have stalled for years at the UN.

222-Advanced AI means global dictatorship and abuse of workers

Macaskill, September-October 2022, WILLIAM MACASKILL is Associate Professor of Philosophy at Oxford University and a Senior Research Fellow at the Global Priorities Institute. He is the author of the forthcoming book What We Owe the Future., Foreign Affairs, The Beginning of History” Surviving the Era of Catastrophic Risk

We are one of history’s first generations.

Fukuyama prophesied “centuries of boredom at the end of history.” Nothing could be further from the case. Powerful and destructive technologies will present an unprecedented challenge to the current political system. Advanced AI could undermine the balance of power that exists between individuals and states: an entirely automated workforce would give the government little reason to treat its citizens well; a dictatorship that possessed an AI army and police force could prevent the possibility of an uprising or a coup. Government could use the prospect of a third world war as a reason to expand the state and crack down on individual liberties such as free speech on the grounds of protecting national security. The possibility of easily accessible bioweapons could be used to justify universal surveillance.

221-US is in tech competition with China that will determine if democracy or authoritarianism dominates the world

Steve Blank, 9-10, 12, A market-driven approach to developing critical technologies, coupled with the government’s halting steps toward re-engaging in industrial policy, can tip the scale back in America’s favor, https://nationalinterest.org/blog/techland-when-great-power-competition-meets-digital-world/reimagining-industrial-policy, Steve Blank is an Adjunct Professor at Stanford and co-founder of the Gordian Knot Center for National Security Innovation. He has been described as the Father of Modern Entrepreneurship. Credited with launching the Lean Startup movement and the curriculums for the National Science Foundation Innovation Corps and Hacking for Defense and Diplomacy, he’s the author of The Four Steps to the Epiphany and The Startup Owner’s Manual which revolutionized how startups were built.

Last month, the United States passed the CHIPS and Science Act, one of the first pieces of national industrial policy—government planning and intervention in a specific industry—in the last fifty years, in this case for semiconductors. After the celebratory champagne has been drunk and the confetti floats to the ground, it’s helpful to put the CHIPS Act in context and understand the work that government and private capital have left to do. The United States is now engaged in great power competition with China. It’s a contest over which nation’s diplomatic, information, military, and economic system will lead the world in the twenty-first century. And the result will determine whether we face a Chinese dystopian future or a democratic one where individuals and nations get to make their own choices. At the heart of this contest is leadership in emerging and disruptive technologies—running the gamut from semiconductors and supercomputers to biotech and blockchain, and everything in between. Chinese and U.S. National Industrial Policy Unlike the United States, China manages its industrial policy through top-down five-year plans. The overall goal is to turn China into a technologically advanced and militarily powerful state that can challenge U.S. commercial and military leadership. Beijing, unlike Washington, has embraced the idea that national security is inexorably intertwined with commercial technologies such as semiconductors, drones, and artificial intelligence (AI). China has developed what it calls military-civil fusion: a dual-use ecosystem built by tightly coupling its commercial technology companies with its defense ecosystem. China has used its last three five-year plans to invest in critical technologies—including semiconductors, supercomputers, AI, machine learning, access to space, and biotechnology—making this effort a national priority. Moreover, Beijing has built a sophisticated public-private financing ecosystem to support these plans. This technology funding ecosystem includes regional investment funds, known in China as civil-military guidance funds, that exceed $700 billion. These are investment vehicles in which central and local government agencies make investments that are combined with private venture capital and state-owned enterprises in areas of strategic importance. Through these efforts, China is tightly coupling critical civilian companies to its defense ecosystem to help develop military weapons and strategic surprises. The United States has nothing comparable. In contrast, for the last several decades, planning in the U.S. economy was left to “the market.” Driven by economic theory from the Chicago School of Economics, this premise is that free markets best allocate resources in an economy and that minimal, or even no, government intervention is best for economic prosperity. In a bipartisan experiment, the United States has run its economy on this theory for years. Optimizing profit above all else led to wholesale offshoring of manufacturing and entire industries in order to lower costs. Investors shifted to making massive investments in industries with the quickest and greatest returns without long-term capital investments—social media, e-commerce, and gaming, for instance—instead of in hardware, semiconductors, advanced manufacturing, transportation infrastructure, and other key industries. The result was that by default, private equity and venture capital were the de facto decision-makers of U.S. industrial policy. With the demise of the Soviet Union and the rise of the United States as the sole superpower, this profits first strategy was “good enough,” as there was no other nation that could match America’s technical superiority. That changed while we weren’t paying attention. China’s Ambition and Strategic Surprises In the first two decades of the twenty-first century, while the United States was focused on combating non-state actors, U.S. policymakers failed to understand China’s size, scale, ambition, and national commitment to surpassing the United States as the global leader in technology. Not just in “a” technology, but in all of those that are critical to both American national and economic security in this century. China’s top-down national industrial policy means the United States is being out-planned, out-manned, and out-spent. By some estimates, China could be the leader in a number of critical technology areas sooner than typically thought. While Chinese investment in technology has been redundant and wasteful at times, the sum of these investments has resulted in a series of "strategic surprises" for the United States, including hypersonic weapons, “carrier killer” ballistic missiles, and fractional orbital bombardment systems, as well as rapid advances in space, semiconductors, supercomputers, and biotechnology. More surprises seem likely, all of which will be driven by the goal of gaining commercial and military superiority over the United States. However, America has advantages that China lacks, such as capital markets that can be incentivized rather than coerced, untapped innovation talent willing to help, labor markets that can be upskilled, and university and corporate research institutions that still excel. At the same time, a few cracks are showing in China’s march to technology supremacy. Beijing’s detention of some of China’s most successful entrepreneurs and investors, a crackdown on “superfluous” technologies like video games, and a slowdown of listings on China's version of NASDAQ, the Shanghai Stock Exchange’s STAR Market, may signal that the party is reining in its “anything goes” approach to pass the United States. Simultaneously, the U.S. Commerce Department has begun to prohibit the export of critical equipment and components that China has needed to build its tech ecosystem. Billionaires and Venture Capital? The Department of Defense’s traditional suppliers of defense tools, technologies, and weapons—the prime contractors and federal labs—are no longer the leaders in many of these emerging and disruptive technologies. And while the Department of Defense has world-class people and organizations, it’s designed for a world that no longer exists . The Pentagon’s inability to rapidly acquire and deploy commercial systems requires an organizational redesign on the scale of the Goldwater-Nichols Act, not just reform. Technology innovation in many areas now falls to commercial companies.

220-Greece-Turkey dispute undermining NATO unity

Bergom Desuz Ersoz, 9-10, 22, BOA, Turkey-Greece Tensions Could Disrupt NATO Unity, Experts Warn, https://www.voanews.com/a/turkey-greece-tensions-could-disrupt-nato-unity-experts-warn/6739413.html

Turkey and Greece, both NATO members, have been at loggerheads for decades over territorial and airspace claims in and over the Aegean Sea. As the historic rivals escalate their war of words, analysts warn about the risk of current tension spilling into NATO business at a time when there is a need to focus on unity against Russia amid its invasion of Ukraine. The latest spat began when Turkey accused its neighbor of locking onto Turkish fighter jets with its Russian-made S-300 anti-aircraft missile systems deployed on the island of Crete. Ankara also said Greek pilots placed Turkish aircraft under a radar lock over the Eastern Mediterranean during a NATO mission last month. Athens dismissed Turkish claims and accused the country of violating its airspace. As both countries lodged complaints with NATO about the incidents, the deletion of a tweet by NATO Allied Land Command (LANDCOM) congratulating Turkey on its Victory Day, following a demarche by Greece, caused fury in Ankara. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan doubled down when he spoke earlier this week at Teknofest, an event dubbed as Turkey’s biggest aviation and aerospace festival. “Look at history. If you cross the line any further, there will be a heavy price to pay. Don’t forget Izmir,” he said, alluding to a defeat of occupying Greek forces in the western city in 1922. He echoed those words earlier this week, warning “Turkey could come all of a sudden one night.” His remarks were perceived by Greek officials as threats, suggesting Turkey could take military action against the Aegean Sea islands. Athens says it is ready to defend its sovereignty. Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias asked NATO, European Union partners and the United Nations to formally condemn what he described as “outrageous and increasingly aggressive talk by Turkish officials” in letters addressed to three international bodies, copies of which were seen by The Associated Press. In a statement sent to VOA, a State Department representative called on the two allies to resolve their differences diplomatically. Pointing to the Russian invasion in Ukraine, Washington said statements that could raise tensions between NATO allies are “particularly unhelpful,” adding “Greece’s sovereignty over the islands is not in question.” The Pentagon did not comment on Turkish claims that Greece locked its S-300 surface-to-air missiles onto Turkey’s jets last week but said Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin emphasized the need to reduce tensions in the Aegean through constructive dialogue during his previous talks with Turkish and Greek counterparts. Deep-rooted friction brought Turkey and Greece almost to the point of war three times in the last 50 years. Analysts speaking to VOA say they don’t see a resolution any time soon, noting the troubled history of bilateral relations and the “tight politics” in the two nations’ capitals. “It will take a mediator who has the skill and some leverage to be able to come up with something that these two nations can agree with. But I don’t see that on the horizon,” said Jim Townsend, former U.S. deputy assistant secretary of defense on European and NATO policy. Townsend is currently an adjunct senior fellow at the Center for a New American Security Transatlantic Security Program. Philip Breedlove, a retired U.S. Air Force general who served as NATO supreme allied commander from 2013 to 2016, said the long-standing problems between Turkey and Greece rise and fall over time. “The leadership in Turkey is pushing the country in certain directions that have caused these tensions to rise once again as they have over the years,” the former top NATO commander said in a phone interview with VOA on Wednesday. Breedlove, who is now a senior fellow with the Middle East Institute, said NATO and the United States have managed similar tensions in the past and the alliance is still up to the task. Concerns about disrupting NATO unity The recent spat between Turkey and Greece takes place as NATO is focusing on displaying a united front against Russia in the face of its invasion in Ukraine. Experts are worried that if the tension escalates to the point of hostilities, Russian President Vladimir Putin can take advantage. “Whatever little cracks can appear in European unity, Putin can make them even larger and in fact split the rock. So, it not only undercuts European unity but also can spill over into NATO councils if one or the other country uses NATO as a weapon to hurt the other,” Townsend said. He warned that those cracks can be exploited by Moscow as winter approaches; Russia has already cut back on its gas exports to Europe. Election dynamics Turkey and Greece will both head to the polls for crucial elections next year.

Energy crisis won’t split Europe

Balfour, 9-8, 22, Rosa Balfour is director of Carnegie Europe. Her fields of expertise include European politics, institutions, and foreign and security policy, osa Balfour is director of Carnegie Europe. Her fields of expertise include European politics, institutions, and foreign and security policy., European Unity Can Endure the Winter of Discontent, https://carnegieeurope.eu/strategiceurope/87867

Across Europe, politicians and policymakers are bracing for a winter of discontent caused by spiraling energy prices and high inflation due to the double whammy of the costs of the pandemic and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. If most political leaders had hitherto chosen a low-key narrative to justify the war effort, Europeans returning from their holidays are hearing another message: that the war could break the recently found unity in the EU and in NATO. We have been here before: as the past years of crisis have repeatedly shown, the brink of disaster has sowed paralyzing nationalist and Eurosceptic populism, with the EU emerging progressively weaker and divided. Pro-Russian populists, somewhat quietened by the scale of the atrocities committed in Ukraine, are still a political force in Europe. Would-be autocrat Viktor Orbán consolidated his hold on Hungary in the April election; Marine Le Pen’s National Assembly tripled its numbers in the French Assembly in the June parliamentary election; Italy’s forthcoming election of September 25 is likely to result in a right-wing coalition government led by a far-right nationalist party Brothers of Italy, heir to the post-fascist party, and two pro-Russian parties. Coupled with likely cost of living protests, governments across Europe will find it hard to justify their continued financial, military, and humanitarian support to Ukraine. But there are reasons for cautious optimism that the EU, NATO, and its members will stick to their resolve. It has belatedly sunk in—and changed the mindset of European politicians in government—that Russian President Vladimir Putin’s strategy is to divide Europe. This is now also a war tactic. And with this, the gap between European Kremlin hawks and doves has shrunk out of necessity, even if it still exists in public opinion. February 24, 2022, did lead to a cognitive change in understanding Russia. Aside from strategic perceptions, there are some very concrete reasons why EU unity can endure. Firstly, as the Ukraine Support Tracker of the Kiel Institute for the World Economy shows, the military and financial support still relies heavily on the United States in terms of leadership and material support. This will not end in the foreseeable future. Within the EU, the countries most invested in supporting Ukraine—Estonia, Poland, Latvia, Lithuania, in this order—are not going to buckle in a cost of living crisis. For them, this war is existential. So there is a disconnect between the countries driving the EU’s support and those that fear social unrest. This week, EU diplomats staved off yet another Hungarian threat to the continuation of sanctions. This is a familiar pattern since 2014, when Russia first invaded Ukraine, but Brussels has never reversed its sanctions policy. Insofar as supporting Ukraine is concerned, Europe as a whole looks set to remain committed. Secondly, the type of whole-of-government response that the EU has adopted entails locking in interdependence between policies and among EU members. Policymakers are, as I write, engaged in highly complicated negotiations over the complex and so far insufficiently integrated energy market. The solutions they will find are likely to strengthen mutual solidarity in the energy field, potentially laying the foundations of a belated energy union of sorts. Weaning Europe off Russian gas and accelerating the transition towards green energy cannot be reversed at the obstruction of one member state. These are structural and material shifts. Thirdly, these policy choices are whole-of-government because of their spillover into other policy areas. The war has prompted a series of interconnected responses—energy and climate, migration and temporary protection of refugees, security and defense, food security and agriculture. In and of themselves, they may not be “game changers,” but they each contribute to locking in cooperation, making it harder to press the rewind button. This follows similar interdependencies that the EU’s response to the coronavirus pandemic underscored.

219-Europe Strategic Autonomy will fail

Szewczyk, 9-8, 22, Bart M. J. Szewczyk is a nonresident senior fellow at the German Marshall Fund, an adjunct professor at Sciences Po, a former member of the U.S. State Department’s Policy Planning Staff, a former advisor on refugee policy to the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, and the author of Europe’s Grand Strategy: Navigating a New World Order, Scholz and Macron Have a Perilous Ambition for Europe, https://foreignpolicy.com/2022/09/08/european-strategic-autonomy-eu-security-macron-scholz-ukraine-defense-nato/

Russia’s war in Ukraine, Europe’s military weakness, and the United States’ outsized role in the Western response have led many officials and observers to conclude that now is finally the time to ensure Europe can defend itself—and become an autonomous strategic actor. Last week, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz joined the chorus calling for a “stronger, more sovereign, geopolitical European Union.” Claiming that Washington’s focus has shifted to competition with China in the Indo-Pacific, he concluded that “Europe is our future.” In theory, the logic of European strategic autonomy is attractive. After all, the European Union has almost 450 million people, a GDP of $18 trillion, and more $200 billion in defense spending by its member countries. In practice, however, the idea has a fatal flaw: It would make Europe weaker and less secure by pushing away the United States without increasing European power. Instead, EU countries should continue to bet on the United States and the trans-Atlantic bond. The West is their future, as the Kremlin’s war and the surprisingly forceful response from a joint West have shown. Superficially, it may be bewildering why a wealthy and powerful continent such as Europe needs the United States for its security and defense. And viewed from Washington, why should it serve U.S. interests to keep providing such protection? The key to this conundrum—and the answer to both sides—is leverage. For all of its size and economic power, the EU and its 27 member states lack the scale, speed, and sophistication of U.S. firepower. Despite their promises to Washington and one another to shore up their militaries, the Europeans would be unable to replicate U.S. capabilities, unify their forces under a single command, or reach agreement on existential security questions for a very long time. Where European states have fought over the past three decades—Afghanistan, Bosnia, Iraq, Kosovo, and Libya—the U.S. role has been decisive. In Ukraine, the United States provides the vast majority of military aid—more than $10 billion compared to a mere $2.5 billion from the EU. Washington also provides more than 10,000 troops to bolster NATO’s eastern flank, compared to Berlin’s 1,500 and Paris’s 1,000. This division of labor, where Europe’s share seldom exceeds 20 percent, has been remarkably stable since the end of the Cold War. The military division of labor, where Europe’s share seldom exceeds 20 percent, has been remarkably stable since the end of the Cold War. Europe could do more but remains unwilling: Take France, which recently withdrew around 5,000 troops from Mali and the Sahel that it could deploy to eastern NATO members. It remains the secret of strategic autonomy proponents like French President Emmanuel Macron why a European-level force or a European caucus within NATO would generate any more troops than individual countries already do or do not send. The same argument applies for military aid: Germany, France, and Italy combined have pledged less to Ukraine than Poland on its own, even though their collective GDP is almost 14 times larger. To achieve genuine strategic autonomy, Europe would need to replace the U.S. nuclear umbrella—that, too, is no easy feat. Autonomy proponents point to France’s nuclear arsenal, which could, in theory, be extended to other EU countries and even expanded to counter Russia’s. But would France be willing to trade Paris for Poznan, Poland, in a potential nuclear standoff? Similar questions hold for just about every other important security decision, where the Europeans simply lack the experience of deciding on and waging wars. Who would control an EU army? Would Germany—let alone France—agree to be blocked by Hungary (if war needs a unanimous decision among EU members) or be outvoted (if a majority suffices)? Which country’s electorates would tolerate their government passing decisions literally over the life and death of thousands of citizens to EU institutions? For all its imperfections, collective security through NATO and the West remains the best answer to these questions. For the United States, providing a security umbrella in Europe gives it a special role in shaping policy on the continent and an ability to mobilize allies for joint action it would otherwise lack. That includes, most importantly, the Indo-Pacific. If anything, it has become clearer since Russia’s war that the two theaters are related, whether by Beijing’s declaration of a “limitless” partnership with Moscow this year or the parallels between Russia’s revisionism over Ukraine and China’s over Taiwan. And the United States will need European support if it wants to constrain China’s economy, suggesting there’s a grand strategic bargain to be had. But what if former U.S. President Donald Trump or someone like him returns to the White House? Won’t Europe be left to fend for itself? For all its rampaging bluster, the Trump administration still placed great stock on the West. And similar questions could just as easily be asked about France’s Marine Le Pen or other European populists with pro-Russian, anti-Western leanings. That’s why a flexible military alliance like NATO, which can easily form changing coalitions among its 30 members, is much more effective than a centralized EU military could ever be. The United States and Europe also benefit from the checks and balances arising from their mutual dependence. U.S. foreign policy has tended to falter when it was in strong disagreement with European allies; the wars in Vietnam and Iraq come to mind. European policy, too, is more successful when coordinated with Washington. For instance, EU policy on Ukraine, including Russia sanctions, would surely be less effective without close trans-Atlantic coordination, including on intelligence, diplomacy, and energy supplies. Rather than warping reality to match geopolitical illusions—like proponents of European autonomy have been wont to do—intellectual frameworks should adjust to underlying facts. And the collective West might add a dose of visionary thinking as well. Instead of pursuing separate ways, Europe and the United States should revisit former U.S. diplomat George Kennan’s proposal for a trans-Atlantic community “so intimate as to bring about a substantial degree of currency and customs union, plus relative freedom of migration of individuals.” If joining the dollar to the euro remains a pipe dream for now, Kennan’s breadth of vision, complementing the trans-Atlantic military alliance, needs to become more commonplace within the West again if it is to be able to prevail over its common challenges, whether they be Russia or China.

218-NU: Billions in new dollars in security assistance to Europe

NBC News, 9-8, 22, https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/blinken-makes-unannounced-trip-ukraine-nuclear-fears-rise-rcna46766

Secretary of State Antony Blinken arrived in Ukraine Thursday for an undisclosed trip, his third visit to the country since Russia launched its invasion in late February. He landed in the country after an overnight flight and met with his counterpart, Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba, just hours after Ukraine’s military chief publicly warned of the threat of Russia using nuclear weapons in the conflict. Later in the day, Blinken met with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, who presented him with a special medal awarded to people for distinguished service of the state. Blinken also announced that the State Department is notifying Congress that it will make $2 billion available in long-term investments to strengthen the security of Ukraine and 18 other neighboring countries, including many NATO allies. "In total, the secretary will announce $2.6 billion in additional security assistance for Ukraine and its neighbors today. These announcements will bring the total U.S. military assistance for Ukraine to approximately $15.2 billion since the beginning of this administration," the State Department official said.

217-US losing tech war to China. China’s lead enables it to steal our allies, undermine the LIO and threaten democracy

Schmidt & Bajraktari, 9-8, 22, ERIC SCHMIDT is Chair of the Special Competitive Studies Project (SCSP), a nonprofit initiative that seeks to strengthen the United States’ long-term competitiveness. From 2001 to 2011, he served as Google’s Chief Executive Officer and Chair, Foreign Affairs, America Is Losing Its Tech Contest With China, https://www.foreignaffairs.com/united-states/america-losing-its-tech-contest-china

How to Turn Around Washington’s Strategy

YLL BAJRAKTARI is Chief Executive Officer of SCSP. From 2019 to 2021, he served as Executive Director of the National Security Commission on Artificial Intelligence. From 2017 to 2018, he served as Chief of Staff to the U.S. National Security Adviser.https://www.foreignaffairs.com/united-states/america-losing-its-tech-contest-china

The United States is in the midst of a high-stakes competition with China for dominance in the next wave of technological innovation. Despite a flurry of activity at the federal level over the past three years, Washington has for the most part been playing catch-up.

This summer, with the CHIPS and Science Act, the U.S. government committed to provide the semiconductor chip industry with more than $50 billion in federal investment over the next five years. But that was only after a supply-chain crisis had roiled the U.S. economy for two years as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, and after the Pentagon had warned that it had become dependent on East Asian suppliers for 98 percent of the commercial chips it uses.

In 2019, the United States ramped up a diplomatic campaign to thwart China’s bid to dominate the world’s 5G infrastructure. But that was only after the massively state-subsidized Chinese companies Huawei and ZTE undercut major Western competitors, seemingly cemented positions in the communications networks of U.S. allies, and flooded the zone in standard-setting bodies.

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And last year, the National Security Commission on Artificial Intelligence (on which both of us served) delivered its final report, calling for a comprehensive approach to sustaining U.S. leadership in education, research, and applications in AI that would mean an infusion of millions in new federal investment and a sustained government focus. But that report came out four years after China had already launched its national strategy on artificial intelligence, which generated billions in new funding, identified national-champion companies, and integrated AI into Beijing’s military-civil fusion strategy.

This reactive approach is hardly a recipe for future success. The United States needs to win on these tech battlegrounds and make sure it is not caught by surprise again. Even taking into account the important steps Washington has taken in the past three years, it is hard to say with any confidence that the United States is now better positioned or organized for the long-term contest. Washington cannot sit by and allow Beijing to gain an advantage on the next round of emerging technologies, which will extend beyond the digital domain to include biotechnology, smart manufacturing, and new methods for producing and storing energy.

Technology is at the heart of the U.S.-Chinese competition to build a thriving society, a growing economy, and sharper instruments of power. At stake is the future of political freedom, open markets, democratic government, and a world order rooted in democratic values and cooperation rather than authoritarianism and coercion. Washington needs a national plan that brings together commercial, academic, and government sectors to carry out a techno-industrial strategy. And the federal government needs to make a serious commitment to revamp the instruments of U.S. statecraft, including the military, to weather a prolonged period of danger.

As Washington fiddled, Beijing’s centralized system for high-tech research and development churned, investing billions of dollars, training students, and subsidizing tech companies. It is entirely possible to imagine a future where systems designed, built, and based in China dominate world markets, extending Beijing’s sphere of influence and providing it with a military advantage over the United States.

Under that scenario, countries that come to rely on technology made in China, including some U.S. allies, could be pulled into Beijing’s political orbit, slowing international progress on issues such as climate change, human rights, and the fight against corruption and eventually eroding the U.S.-led, rules-based international order. What is more, as China’s demographic trends darken and growth slows, the Chinese Communist Party could fear that its window of opportunity is closing and decide to press its newfound technological advantages in dangerous ways.

The United States has a withering technology manufacturing base.

It is fair to wonder how Washington allowed things to get this bad. The explanation is rooted in a paradox: the United States is a technological superpower that nevertheless suffers from significant technological vulnerabilities. On the one hand, the country seems to have it all: enormous companies with huge global platforms, the world’s leading chip designers, a rich startup ecosystem, and innovation hubs sprouting far beyond Silicon Valley. The United States still boasts the best universities in the world and serves as the destination of choice for global talent in technology. On the other hand, there is plenty of evidence that something is amiss: a withering technology manufacturing base, a military that struggles to adapt quickly to innovations, and a general paralysis when it comes to new technologies such as AI.

For most of the post–Cold War era, the high-tech ecosystem in the United States evolved according to the logic of globalization rather than in response to strategic considerations. High-margin and high-value-chain investments and the search for cheap suppliers abroad made good business sense for U.S. companies and investors but devastated the U.S. technology manufacturing landscape. The absence of national technology priorities set by the federal government and a relative decline in government-funded R & D allowed commercial interests to drive the tech agenda, indifferent to the international strategic implications or U.S. competitiveness.

Additionally, the rise of venture capital added a powerful new category to the so-called innovation triangle that had long brought together government, industry, and academia. Venture capitalists jolted the innovation landscape but largely stayed away from “deep tech” (technology requiring major scientific research, engineering innovation, and significant capital) and from attempts to commercialize basic R & D —both of which would have required enormous patience and less promise of sizable returns. The government’s relative power to shape and drive innovation weakened, and Washington lost its focus on national technology priorities.

WON’T GET 5G’D AGAIN

To dig itself out of this hole, Washington needs a national competitiveness strategy that centers on technology and leverages the new geometry of the contemporary innovation ecosystem. To carry out such a strategy, the United States first needs a process—almost certainly led by the White House—responsible for making sure that it does not get “5G’d” again. The idea would be to go beyond merely identifying and listing priority technologies. Instead, it would create a national action plan for investing in, incentivizing, and accelerating innovation in biotechnology, quantum (and other new methods) of computing, new forms of energy generation and storage, new manufacturing paradigms, and wildcards such as food and water security and countering autonomous disinformation systems.

The United States also needs to address its diminishing ability to produce critical technology and its reliance on supply chains that run through, or dangerously close to, its main rival. The federal government will need to make sure that investments in digital infrastructure, starting with 5G and fiber optic networks, are deployed swiftly and efficiently and support more basic research and piloting of next-generation applications. It must help develop a tech-savvy workforce (including more talent from abroad) in critical industries, starting with AI, biotech, and semiconductors. The United States will need to expand its manufacturing capacity for advanced batteries, permanent magnets, and microelectronics by partnering with the private sector and using tools such as grants, government-backed loans, and purchase commitments to minimize the risk posed by investing in cutting-edge technology.

Meanwhile, Washington needs to insulate itself from China’s acts of economic malpractice, such as intellectual property theft and coercive tech transfers, that undermine U.S. firms. “Industrial policy” is a fraught label, but targeted government intervention can fill critical gaps and provide public goods when the market falls short in creating paths for the diffusion of technologies across the economy, unleashing private-sector innovation and boosting economic output. The CHIPS and Science Act is cause for optimism. But if it is not implemented successfully, it risks becoming the first and last step in a new taxpayer-supported techno-industrial strategy.

A tech-centered strategy will also require a balanced approach to tech regulation. New technologies can be deeply destabilizing, harm individuals and communities, undermine confidence in government, and engender a backlash that stifles innovation. The United States can find a competitive advantage if it develops a model of technology governance that upholds democratic values and norms while also supporting disruptive innovation, economic growth, and national security. The United States already has a rich system of technology governance that includes technologists, trade associations, advocacy groups, and media outlets that make use of a range of tools including voluntary norms and standards, investigative journalism, and the legal system. They should continue to lead the American approach. When regulation is necessary, the federal government should rely on existing regulators to develop rules for emerging technologies on a sector-by-sector basis. Regulation should focus on high-consequence uses of such technology, and should take into account factors such as the number of people impacted and the significance of the potential harm.

Washington needs to insulate itself from China’s acts of economic malpractice.

Meanwhile, the United States must recommit to its alliances. Washington and its allies and partners have a shared stake in the future of the rules-based order; their collective resources can overcome Beijing’s advantages in scale. The United States should integrate its allies in Asia and Europe into a single approach to shaping and promoting democratic digital norms, joint R&D investments, talent exchanges, new regimes for export controls and investment screening, and tech governance issues such as data privacy and content moderation.

Washington must develop incentives that can appeal to “swing states” that are currently calculating whether China or the United States offers a more attractive approach to technology. The United States and its allies should focus on areas where each has relative advantages that can work to the benefit of the larger democratic world. For example, even if the United States lacks a commercial leader in exporting 5G networks and technology, it can leverage its financial tools to support allies and prevent Huawei, ZTE, or another Chinese company from winning.

The United States will also need to reinvigorate public-private alignment to channel private-sector energy toward strategic technology initiatives such as multinational consortia to coordinate scientific investments and research agendas. The CHIPS and Science Act takes a step in the right direction by authorizing $500 million to establish an International Technology Security and Innovation Fund. That fund should be used to connect microelectronics ecosystems so that the United States and its partners can design, build, and package the chips they all need.

The United States’ to-do list is admittedly long and daunting.

A new competitiveness strategy will fail if it does not contend with the United States’ flagging hard power. To circumvent China’s recent military advances, Washington must more fully embrace the distribution of network-based operations that can outmaneuver the Chinese People’s Liberation Army’s rigid, hierarchical forces. By 2030, the U.S. military must fully integrate human-machine teaming into every aspect of its operations and develop low-cost, easy-to-manufacture AI-enabled platforms.

The Pentagon should also pursue and maintain software supremacy because in the future, the quality of software will determine a military’s advantage in collecting, aggregating, and analyzing information; thwarting attacks; and identifying opportunities to most effectively attack opponents. Every future system, capability, and operational concept of the Department of Defense should be developed with software in mind, so that the U.S. military can dominate in future combat. And the U.S. military services need to create new specialties for tactical software development and train leaders on how to use software for military advantage.

Finally, the U.S. intelligence community must adapt to the challenges of the contemporary digital environment and focus greater attention on understanding foreign technology trends. As private companies and U.S. adversaries gain new capabilities, Washington’s intelligence agencies risk falling behind. Once unique capabilities such as geospatial and signals intelligence have been commercialized. Private companies are often better positioned than the U.S. government to exploit AI-driven data analytics. The U.S. intelligence leadership needs to accelerate the digital transformation of its agencies by embracing a unified strategy, common data standards, and an interoperable digital infrastructure. They must also update security and human resource processes to ensure that the best talent and technology can be safely integrated into and scaled across the intelligence community.

This to-do list is admittedly long and daunting. But the United States has every reason to believe that its technological competition with China will only intensify in the years to come. And in this contest, there will be almost no margin for error. Action on all fronts must start now.

216-AI innovation needed to deter China

Schmidt & Bajraktari, 9-8, 22, ERIC SCHMIDT is Chair of the Special Competitive Studies Project (SCSP), a nonprofit initiative that seeks to strengthen the United States’ long-term competitiveness. From 2001 to 2011, he served as Google’s Chief Executive Officer and Chair, Foreign Affairs, America Is Losing Its Tech Contest With China, https://www.foreignaffairs.com/united-states/america-losing-its-tech-contest-china

The United States’ to-do list is admittedly long and daunting.

A new competitiveness strategy will fail if it does not contend with the United States’ flagging hard power. To circumvent China’s recent military advances, Washington must more fully embrace the distribution of network-based operations that can outmaneuver the Chinese People’s Liberation Army’s rigid, hierarchical forces. By 2030, the U.S. military must fully integrate human-machine teaming into every aspect of its operations and develop low-cost, easy-to-manufacture AI-enabled platforms.

The Pentagon should also pursue and maintain software supremacy because in the future, the quality of software will determine a military’s advantage in collecting, aggregating, and analyzing information; thwarting attacks; and identifying opportunities to most effectively attack opponents. Every future system, capability, and operational concept of the Department of Defense should be developed with software in mind, so that the U.S. military can dominate in future combat. And the U.S. military services need to create new specialties for tactical software development and train leaders on how to use software for military advantage.

Finally, the U.S. intelligence community must adapt to the challenges of the contemporary digital environment and focus greater attention on understanding foreign technology trends. As private companies and U.S. adversaries gain new capabilities, Washington’s intelligence agencies risk falling behind. Once unique capabilities such as geospatial and signals intelligence have been commercialized. Private companies are often better positioned than the U.S. government to exploit AI-driven data analytics. The U.S. intelligence leadership needs to accelerate the digital transformation of its agencies by embracing a unified strategy, common data standards, and an interoperable digital infrastructure. They must also update security and human resource processes to ensure that the best talent and technology can be safely integrated into and scaled across the intelligence community.

This to-do list is admittedly long and daunting. But the United States has every reason to believe that its technological competition with China will only intensify in the years to come. And in this contest, there will be almost no margin for error. Action on all fronts must start now.

215-China will never accept foreign technology standards, they want to dictate the standards

Lee, 9-7, 22, Dr. John Lee is a senior fellow at the Hudson Institute in Washington, D.C. From 2016-2018, he was senior national security adviser to the Australian Foreign Minister. His monograph, “Countering China’s Approach to Decoupling from the United States” was launched on Sept. 6, and is available at www.Hudson.org, The best way for US to counter China in the Indo-Pacific, https://thehill.com/opinion/international/3632076-the-best-way-for-us-to-counter-china-in-the-indo-pacific/

Bear in mind that using state resources to build the vast Sino-centric economic system within which Chinese firms and entities dominate means the latter is in an insurmountable position of strength to negotiate the conditions for any deal. Disputes and disagreements will not be resolved by pre-existing laws and rules but though a negotiation where Chinese political and economic leverage is brought to bear, or according to BRI rules and processes drafted by Beijing. Additionally, and with a greatly reduced commercial presence in Eurasia and the Western Pacific, the capacity for American firms and authorities to either set or revise commercial and quality standards in all sectors is greatly diminished. Once such standards are set, it is expensive and usually prohibitive for firms and economies to operate in a different economic ecosystem. When combined with Sino-centric infrastructure, institutions, logistical networks etc., regional economies become captive to China while outsiders such as America are in a much weaker position from which to enter or impose themselves. That Chinese economic policy is the earlier and primary trigger for the unravelling of globalisation is further evidenced by complementary plans such as Made in China 2025 and the more recent Dual Circulation Policy (DCP). These plans seek not just technological self-sufficiency but Chinese control over — and dominance of — entire manufacturing processes, supply chains, and associated services in the most important and lucrative high-tech sectors. The explicit objective is not simply to ensure China becomes an advanced and innovative economy but that it controls the global supply chains, innovation, and know-how required to ensure Chinese firms permanently dominate these sectors in global markets Now the good news. The IPEF is better than nothing, but the quick-fix way to outflank China is for America to find the political courage to join the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership and go from there. This would give regional nations better alternatives that avoid Chinese economic and technological capture. Meanwhile, it is essential to prevent Chinese dominance in sectors such as artificial intelligence, advance robotics, new synthetic materials, and next generation integrated circuits. Fortunately, China is either a net importer of relevant technologies and know-how or else relies heavily on joint ventures with foreign firms in many of these sectors. One estimate is that about 80 percent of private-sector R&D money spent in China in the previous decade was by non-Chinese multinationals, mainly headquartered in America. The Dark Brandon rises Taking on Trump and Hunter Biden: What to do with cases that could change elections? Washington should scrutinize and restrict capital into China that feeds directly into its MIC2025 and DCP plans. The administration should also consider onerous restrictions or outright bans on some categories of investment into China — or Chinese investment into America — such as computer systems design, biotechnology, and life sciences. Globalization as we knew it is over, and partial decoupling is inevitable. The question is whether America can decouple on its preferred terms, or the reverse occurs.

214-Area funding trades-off within the DOD budget in security assistance accounts

Wittmann, 9-2, 22, Rep. Rob Wittman represents Virginia’s 1st district in Congress. He is the Vice Ranking Member of the House Armed Services Committee, Ranking Member of the House Armed Services Committee Seapower and Projection Forces Subcommittee, and member of the Tactical Air and Land Subcommittee., https://warontherocks.com/2022/09/funding-the-indo-pacific-pivot/, FUNDING THE INDO-PACIFIC PIVOT

To address this, I recently requested that the annual Department of Defense budget documents submitted to Congress provide separate, region-specific funding exhibits for security cooperation programs across the U.S. military. The United States is balancing higher resource demands in Europe with efforts to reassure Indo-Pacific partners that U.S. regional commitments remain strong. At this critical juncture, policymakers should understand how different types of defense dollars are distributed between theaters. This will facilitate informed spending decisions, and enable America to strengthen its alliances in the Indo-Pacific. Counting Where It Counts The first area lawmakers should be paying closer attention to is the International Security Cooperation Programs. This account funds “activities aimed at building partner capacity to address shared national security challenges and operate in tandem with or in lieu of U.S. forces.” Specifically, it includes funding for institutional capacity building, train-and-equip programs, and the Indo-Pacific Maritime Security Initiative. Established by the FY2016 National Defense Authorization Act (P.L. 114-92, Sec. 1263), the Maritime Security Initiative was originally created as a five-year program to address regional security concerns in the Indo-Pacific and specifically in countries like Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Thailand, and Vietnam. In its FY2019 budget request, the Department of Defense also started reporting on the contents of a new account through Section 333 of Title 10 of the U.S. Code. This covers a range of activities like military intelligence operations and maritime and border security operations. While consolidation of these previously distinct authorities under Section 333 has had some drawbacks — such as increased competition between Geographic Combatant Commands for relevant activity funding — it has also provided a new avenue of analysis for how U.S. security cooperation funding is distributed. the past three years, U.S. Indo-Pacific Command has received between roughly 21-26 percent of annual International Security Cooperation Programs funding, measured against all other Geographic Combatant Commands and related global program support costs. A substantial and noticeable increase occurred between FY2019 and FY2020 when U.S. Indo-Pacific Command’s share of jumped from 16 percent to 26 percent, before hitting 21 percent in FY2021. That is an important improvement. The overall International Security Cooperation Programs account only increased by $29 million in nominal terms in FY2020, for example, but U.S. Indo-Pacific Command’s share of the pot jumped over $100 million. While encouraging, Washington should be concerned that policymakers have been discussing a pivot to the Indo-Pacific since at least 2011, yet only saw real resource shifts beginning in FY2016 with the establishment of the Maritime Security Initiative and again four years later in FY2020. Lurching steps are better than nothing, but they reflect reactive attempts at urgency, not the sustained attention over time that U.S. partners should expect. The second area lawmakers should focus on is the Regional Defense Fellowship Program, covered by Section 345. This authorizes funding for training and educational opportunities for senior and mid-level defense and security officials in partner nations. It is crucial for building relationships and strengthening the ability of partner militaries to respond to threats within their own borders. Regional Defense Fellowship Program funds broken down by Global Combatant Command. Source: Congressional Research Service. U.S. Indo-Pacific Command’s share of this Section 345 funding hovers between 11-15 percent of all recipients — once again including the other Geographic Combatant Commands (Figure 2). Generally, special attention for Section 345 funding is given to Mongolia, Taiwan, and Thailand in the Indo-Pacific theater. Unlike International Security Cooperation Programs funding, no notable funding shifts to U.S. Indo-Pacific Command are present between administrations or fiscal years. The Pentagon’s Overseas Humanitarian, Disasters, and Civic Aid funding also does not reflect significant funding realignments to U.S. Indo-Pacific Command over the past four years (Figure 3). This funding supports U.S. military participation in collaborative engagements with partner nations to build their capacity to respond to humanitarian disasters and public health challenges, thereby reducing their reliance on foreign relief. Such funding advances military-to-civilian programs that complement military-to-military security cooperation efforts. During U.S. foreign disaster relief efforts, this funding underpins the military capabilities that are delivered as part of the overall U.S. response, including logistics and transportation as well as search and rescue. U.S. Indo-Pacific Command’s share of such funding has hovered between 17-19 percent of the overall account since FY2019.

The most salient questions for the future of the Indo-Pacific deal with pacing and timing. The types of interoperability and partner capacity-building efforts that these accounts support help the United States to secure its position as the reliable partner of choice for Indo-Pacific nations and their militaries. China is well prepared to fill any gaps left by the United States, as recently demonstrated by Beijing sending fighter jets to participate in a joint exercise with Thailand. Underfunding these accounts incentivizes U.S. adversaries to gain stronger and larger footholds worldwide.

If the budget for each of these accounts stays flat with inflation — or worse, declines — then U.S. Indo-Pacific Command has a case to make for receiving a larger share of each account. But this will still leave other Geographic Combatant Commands struggling for the money they need to compete with China’s growing influence. Due to Beijing’s global ambitions and reach, each of the Geographic Combatant Commands has a legitimate claim in each of these funding categories. Even if the budget for each account is increased in real terms — thereby raising the funding across theaters overall — Congress should still consider where each additional dollar will have the greatest impact.

Russian dominance of the Ukraine means genocide,  famine,  the end of climate change solutions, the collapse of global democracy and global mass death

Timothy Snyder, September-October 2022, TIMOTHY SNYDER is Richard C. Levin Professor of History and Global Affairs at Yale University and the author of Bloodlands and On Tyranny, Foreign Affairs, Ukraine Holds the Future: The War Between Democracy and Nihilism, https://www.foreignaffairs.com/ukraine/ukraine-war-democracy-nihilism-timothy-snyder

Russia, an aging tyranny, seeks to destroy Ukraine, a defiant democracy. A Ukrainian victory would confirm the principle of self-rule, allow the integration of Europe to proceed, and empower people of goodwill to return reinvigorated to other global challenges. A Russian victory, by contrast, would extend genocidal policies in Ukraine, subordinate Europeans, and render any vision of a geopolitical European Union obsolete. Should Russia continue its illegal blockade of the Black Sea, it could starve Africans and Asians, who depend on Ukrainian grain, precipitating a durable international crisis that will make it all but impossible to deal with common threats such as climate change. A Russian victory would strengthen fascists and other tyrants, as well as nihilists who see politics as nothing more than a spectacle designed by oligarchs to distract ordinary citizens from the destruction of the world. This war, in other words, is about establishing principles for the twenty-first century. It is about policies of mass death and about the meaning of life in politics. It is about the possibility of a democratic future.

Discussions of democracy often begin with the ancient city-states of Greece. According to the Athenian legend of origin, the deities Poseidon and Athena offered gifts to the citizens to win the status of patron. Poseidon, the god of the sea, struck the ground with his trident, causing the earth to tremble and saltwater to spring forth. He was offering Athenians the power of the sea and strength in war, but they blanched at the taste of brine. Then Athena planted an olive seed, which sprouted into an olive tree. It offered shade for contemplation, olives for eating, and oil for cooking. Athena’s gift was deemed superior, and the city took her name and patronage.

The Greek legend suggests a vision of democracy as tranquility, a life of thoughtful deliberation and consumption. Yet Athens had to win wars to survive. The most famous defense of democracy, the funeral oration of Pericles, is about the harmony of risk and freedom. Po­­seidon had a point about war: sometimes the trident must be brought down. He was also making a case for interdependence. Prosperity, and sometimes survival, depends on sea trade. How, after all, could a small city-state such as Athens afford to devote its limited soil to olives? Ancient Athenians were nourished by grain brought from the north coast of the Black Sea, grown in the black earth of what is now southern Ukraine. Alongside the Jews, the Greeks are the longest known continuous inhabitants of Ukraine. Mariupol was their city, until the Russians destroyed it. The southern region of Kherson, where combat is now underway, bears a Greek name borrowed from a Greek city. In April, the Ukrainians sank the Russian flagship, the Moskva, with Neptune missiles—Neptune being the Roman name for Poseidon.

As it happens, Ukraine’s national symbol is the trident. It can be found among relics of the state that Vikings founded at Kyiv about a thousand years ago. After receiving Christianity from Byzantium, the Greek-speaking eastern Roman Empire, Kyiv’s rulers established secular law. The economy shifted from slavery to agriculture as the people became subject to taxation rather than capture. In subsequent centuries, after the fall of the Kyiv state, Ukrainian peasants were enserfed by Poles and then by Russians. When Ukrainian leaders founded a republic in 1918, they revived the trident as the national symbol. Independence meant not only freedom from bondage but the liberty to use the land as they saw fit. Yet the Ukrainian National Republic was short lived. Like several other young republics established after the end of the Russian empire in 1917, it was destroyed by the Bolsheviks, and its lands were incorporated into the Soviet Union. Seeking to control Ukraine’s fertile soil, Joseph Stalin brought about a political famine that killed about four million inhabitants of Soviet Ukraine in 1932 and 1933. Ukrainians were overrepresented in the Soviet concentration camps known as the gulag. When Nazi Germany invaded the Soviet Union, Adolf Hitler’s goal was control of Ukrainian agriculture. Ukrainians were again overrepresented among the civilian victims—this time of the German occupiers and the Red Army soldiers who defeated the Germans. After World War II, Soviet Ukraine was nevertheless subjected to a slow process of Russification in which its culture was degraded.

When the Soviet Union came to an end in 1991, Ukrainians again seized on the trident as their national symbol. In the three decades since, Ukraine has moved, haltingly but unmistakably, in the direction of functional democracy. The generation that now runs the country knows the Soviet and pre-Soviet history but understands self-rule as self-evident. At a time when democracy is in decline around the world and threatened in the United States, Ukrainian resistance to Russian aggression provides a surprising (to many) affirmation of faith in democracy’s principles and its future. In this sense, Ukraine is a challenge to those in the West who have forgotten the ethical basis of democracy and thereby, wittingly or unwittingly, ceded the field to oligarchy and empire at home and abroad. Ukrainian resistance is a welcome challenge, and a needed one.

The history of twentieth-century democracy offers a reminder of what happens when this challenge is not met. Like the period after 1991, the period after 1918 saw the rise and fall of democracy. Today, the turning point (one way or the other) is likely Ukraine; in interwar Europe, it was Czechoslovakia. Like Ukraine in 2022, Czechoslovakia in 1938 was an imperfect multilingual republic in a tough neighborhood. In 1938 and 1939, after European powers chose to appease Nazi Germany at Munich, Hitler’s regime suppressed Czechoslovak democracy through intimidation, unresisted invasion, partition, and annexation. What actually happened in Czechoslovakia was similar to what Russia seems to have planned for Ukraine. Putin’s rhetoric resembles Hitler’s to the point of plagiarism: both claimed that a neighboring democracy was somehow tyrannical, both appealed to imaginary violations of minority rights as a reason to invade, both argued that a neighboring nation did not really exist and that its state was illegitimate.

In 1938, Czechoslovakia had decent armed forces, the best arms industry in Europe, and natural defenses improved by fortifications. Nazi Germany might not have bested Czechoslovakia in an open war and certainly would not have done so quickly and easily. Yet Czechoslovakia’s allies abandoned it, and its leaders fatefully chose exile over resistance. The defeat was, in a crucial sense, a moral one. And it enabled the physical transformation of a continent by war, creating some of the preconditions for the Holocaust of European Jews.

The war in Ukraine is a test of whether a tyranny that claims to be a democracy can triumph.

By the time Germany invaded Poland in September 1939, beginning World War II, Czechoslovakia no longer existed, and its territories and resources had been reassigned according to German preferences. Germany now had a longer border with Poland, a larger population, Czechoslovak tanks, and tens of thousands of Slovak soldiers. Hitler also now had a powerful ally in the Soviet Union, which joined in the destruction of Poland after invading from the east. During Germany’s invasion of France and the Low Countries in 1940 and during the Battle of Britain later that year, German vehicles were fueled by Soviet oil and German soldiers fed by Soviet grain, almost all of which was extracted from Ukraine.

This sequence of events started with the easy German absorption of Czechoslovakia. World War II, at least in the form that it took, would have been impossible had the Czechoslovaks fought back. No one can know what would have happened had the Germans been bogged down in Bohemia in 1938. But we can be confident that Hitler would not have had the sense of irresistible momentum that gained him allies and frightened his foes. It would certainly have been harder for the Soviet leadership to justify an alliance. Hitler would not have been able to use Czechoslovak arms in his assault on Poland, which would have begun later, if at all. The United Kingdom and France would have had more time to prepare for war and perhaps to help Poland. By 1938, Europe was emerging from the Great Depression, which was the main force attracting people to the political extremes. Had Hitler’s nose been bloodied in his first campaign, the appeal of the far right might have declined.

POSTMODERN TYRANTS

Unlike Czechoslovak leaders, Ukrainian leaders chose to fight and were supported, at least in some measure, by other democracies. In resisting, Ukrainians have staved off a number of very dark scenarios and bought European and North American democracies valuable time to think and prepare. The full significance of the Ukrainian resistance of 2022, as with the appeasement of 1938, can be grasped only when one considers the futures it opens or forecloses. And to do that, one needs the past to make sense of the present.

The classical notion of tyranny and the modern concept of fascism are both helpful in understanding the Putin regime, but neither is sufficient. The basic weaknesses of tyrannies are generic and long known—recorded, for example, by Plato in his Republic. Tyrants resist good advice, become obsessive as they age and fall ill, and wish to leave an undying legacy. All of this is certainly evident in Putin’s decision to invade Ukraine. Fascism, a specific form of tyranny, also helps to explain today’s Russia, which is characterized by a cult of personality, a de facto single party, mass propaganda, the privileging of will over reason, and a politics of us-versus-them. Because fascism places violence over reason, it can be defeated only by force. Fascism was quite popular—and not just in fascist countries—until the end of World War II. It was discredited only because Germany and Italy lost the war.

Although Russia is fascist at the top, it is not fascist through and through. A specific emptiness lies at the center of Putin’s regime. It is the emptiness in the eyes of Russian officials in photographs as they look into a vacant middle distance, a habit they believe projects masculine imperturbability. Putin’s regime functions not by mobilizing society with the help of a single grand vision, as fascist Germany and Italy did, but by demobilizing individuals, assuring them that there are no certainties and no institutions that can be trusted. This habit of demobilization has been a problem for Russian leaders during the war in Ukraine because they have educated their citizens to watch television rather than take up arms. Even so, the nihilism that undergirds demobilization poses a direct threat to democracy.

The Putin regime is imperialist and oligarchic, dependent for its existence on propaganda that claims that all the world is ever such. While Russia’s support of fascism, white nationalism, and chaos brings it a certain kind of supporter, its bottomless nihilism is what attracts citizens of democracies who are not sure where to find ethical landmarks—who have been taught, on the right, that democracy is a natural consequence of capitalism or, on the left, that all opinions are equally valid. The gift of Russian propagandists has been to take things apart, to peel away the layers of the onion until nothing is left but the tears of others and their own cynical laughter. Russia won the propaganda war the last time it invaded Ukraine, in 2014, targeting vulnerable Europeans and Americans on social media with tales of Ukrainians as Nazis, Jews, feminists, and gays. But much has changed since then: a generation of younger Ukrainians has come to power that communicates better than the older Russians in the Kremlin.

The defense of Putin’s regime has been offered by people operating as literary critics, ever disassembling and dissembling. Ukrainian resistance, embodied by President Volodymyr Zelensky, has been more like literature: careful attention to art, no doubt, but for the purpose of articulating values. If all one has is literary criticism, one accepts that everything melts into air and concedes the values that make democratic politics possible. But when one has literature, one experiences a certain solidity, a sense that embodying values is more interesting and more courageous than dismissing or mocking them.

Tyrants resist good advice.

Creation comes before critique and outlasts it; action is better than ridicule. As Pericles put it, “We rely not upon management or trickery, but upon our own hearts and hands.” The contrast between the sly black suits of the Russian ideologues and propagandists and the earnest olive tones of Ukrainian leaders and soldiers calls to mind one of the most basic requirements of democracy: individuals must openly assert values despite the risk attendant upon doing so. The ancient philosophers understood that virtues were as important as material factors to the rise and fall of regimes. The Greeks knew that democracy could yield to oligarchy, the Romans knew that republics could become empires, and both knew that such transformations were moral as well as institutional. This knowledge is at the foundation of Western literary and philosophical traditions. As Aristotle recognized, truth was both necessary to democracy and vulnerable to propaganda. Every revival of democracy, including the American one of 1776 with its self-evident truths, has depended on ethical assertions: not that democracy was bound to exist, but that it should exist, as an expression of rebellious ethical commitment against the ubiquitous gravitational forces of oligarchy and empire.

This has been true of every revival of democracy except for the most recent one, which followed the eastern European revolutions of 1989 and the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991. At that point, as Russia and Ukraine emerged as independent states, a perverse faith was lodged in “the end of history,” the lack of alternatives to democracy, and the nature of capitalism. Many Americans had lost the natural fear of oligarchy and empire (their own or others’) and forgotten the organic connection of democracy to ethical commitment and physical courage. Late twentieth-century talk of democracy conflated the correct moral claim that the people should rule with the incorrect factual claim that democracy is the natural state of affairs or the inevitable condition of a favored nation. This misunderstanding made democracies vulnerable, whether old or new.

 

 

Whereas Stalin covered up the Ukrainian famine of the 1930s with propaganda, Putin is using hunger itself as propaganda. For months now, Russian propagandists have blamed a looming famine on Ukraine. The horror of telling such a lie to vulnerable African and Asian populations is easier to understand in light of the Putin regime’s racist, colonial mindset. This is, after all, a regime that allowed an image of Obama fellating a banana to be projected onto the wall of the U.S. embassy in Moscow, and whose media declared the last year of the Obama administration “the year of the monkey.” Putin, like other white nationalists, is obsessed with demography and fears that his race will be outnumbered.

The war itself has followed a racial arithmetic. Some of the first Russian soldiers to be killed in battle were ethnic Asians from eastern Russia, and many of those who have died since were forcibly conscripted Ukrainians from the Donbas. Ukrainian women and children have been deported to Russia because they are seen as assimilable, people who can bolster the ranks of white Russians. To starve Africans and Asians, as Putin sees it, is a way to transfer the demographic stress to Europe by way of a wave of refugees fleeing hunger. The Russian bombing of Syrian civilians followed a similar logic.

Nothing in the hunger plan is hidden. At the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum in June 2022, Margarita Simonyan, editor in chief of the state-run network RT, said that “all of our hope lies in famine.” As the skilled propagandist understands, the point of starving Africans and Asians is to create a backdrop for propaganda. As they begin to die, Ukrainians will be scapegoated. This might or might not work. All past fantasies about Ukraine and its foodstuffs were at one time believed by influential people. Russian propaganda today has an edge in the global South. In much of Africa, Russia is a known quantity, whereas Ukraine is not. Few African leaders have publicly opposed Putin’s war, and some might be persuaded to parrot his talking points. Across the global South, it is not widely known that Ukraine is a leading exporter of food—nor that it is a poor country with a GDP per capita comparable to that of the countries it feeds, such as Egypt and Algeria.

There is some reason for hope. Ukrainians have been trying to communicate the reality of their position to people in the global South, so that they can speak the truth about Moscow’s hunger plan and thereby make it impossible. And as Ukraine has gained better weapons from the United States and Europe, Russia’s hold on the Black Sea has weakened. In July, Ukraine and Russia signed agreements with Turkey that should, in principle, allow some Ukrainian grain to leave the Black Sea and feed Africans and Asians. Yet the day after it signed the agreement, Russia fired missiles at the port of Odessa, from which Ukraine ships much of its grain. A few days after that, Russia killed Ukraine’s leading agribusinessman in a missile strike. The only sure way to feed the world is for Ukrainian soldiers to fight their way through the province of Kherson to the Black Sea and to victory.

 

Ukraine is fighting a war against a tyranny that is also a colonial power. Self-rule means not just defending the democratic principle of choosing one’s own rulers but also respecting the equality of states. Russian leaders have been clear that they believe that only some states are sovereign, and that Ukraine is nothing more than a colony. A Ukrainian victory would defend Ukrainian sovereignty in particular and the principle of sovereignty in general. It would also improve the prospects of other post-colonial states. As the economist Amartya Sen has argued, imperial famines result from political choices about distribution, not shortages of food. If Ukraine wins, it will resume exporting foodstuffs to the global South. By removing a great risk of suffering and instability in the global South, a victorious Ukraine would preserve the possibility of global cooperation on shared problems such as climate change.

For Europe, it is also essential that Ukraine win and Russia lose. The European Union is a collection of post-imperial states: some of them former imperial metropoles, some of them post-imperial peripheries. Ukrainians understand that joining the European Union is the way to secure statehood from a vulnerable peripheral position. Victory for Ukraine will have to involve a prospect of EU membership. As many Russians understand, Russia must lose, and for similar reasons. The European states that today pride themselves on their traditions of law and tolerance only truly became democracies after losing their last imperial war. A Russia that is fighting an imperial war in Ukraine can never embrace the rule of law, and a Russia that controls Ukrainian territory will never allow free elections. A Russia that loses such a war, one in which Putinism is a negative legacy, has a chance. Despite what Russian propaganda claims, Moscow loses wars with some frequency, and every period of reform in modern Russian history has followed a military defeat.

Most urgently, a Ukrainian victory is needed to prevent further death and atrocity in Ukraine. But the outcome of the war matters throughout the world, not just in the physical realm of pain and hunger but also in the realm of values, where possible futures are enabled. Ukrainian resistance reminds us that democracy is about human risk and human principles, and a Ukrainian victory would give democracy a fresh wind. The Ukrainian trident, which adorns the uniforms of Ukrainians now at war, extends back through the country’s traditions into ancient history, providing references that can be used to rethink and revive democracy.

Athena and Poseidon can be brought together. Athena, after all, was the goddess not only of justice but of just war. Poseidon had in mind not only violence but commerce. Athenians chose Athena as their patron but then built a fountain for Poseidon in the Acropolis—on the very spot, legend has it, where his trident struck. A victory for Ukraine would vindicate and recombine these values: Athena’s of deliberation and prosperity, Poseidon’s of decisiveness and trade. If Ukraine can win back its south, the sea-lanes that fed the ancient Greeks will be reopened, and the world will be enlightened by the Ukrainian example of risk-taking for self-rule. In the end, the olive tree will need the trident. Peace will only follow victory. The world might get an olive branch, but only if the Ukrainians can fight their way back to the sea.

213-No European strategic autonomy, it’s dependent on the US NATO

Angela Stent, 9-2, 22,  the author of Putin’s World: Russia Against the West and With the Rest and a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, 9-2, 22, It’s Back to the Future for U.S. Grand Strategy, https://foreignpolicy.com/2022/09/02/us-grand-strategy-ukraine-russia-china-geopolitics-superpower-conflict/

Russia’s unprovoked invasion of Ukraine ended the first phase of the post-Cold War era. It now appears that the United States’ grand strategy is headed back to the future. The war has underlined Washington’s indispensable leadership role as Europe’s security guarantor and brought home the reality for its NATO allies that they can only protect themselves under the U.S. umbrella. The European Union has, for all its plans and ambitions, failed to achieve its own strategic autonomy.

212--NATO is now a bulwark against Russian and China expansion

Angela Stent, 9-2, 22,  the author of Putin’s World: Russia Against the West and With the Rest and a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, 9-2, 22, It’s Back to the Future for U.S. Grand Strategy, https://foreignpolicy.com/2022/09/02/us-grand-strategy-ukraine-russia-china-geopolitics-superpower-conflict/

After NATO’s difficult exit from Afghanistan, the bloc has rediscovered its original mission: containing an expansionist Russia. One key difference this time is that NATO will coordinate more closely with Asian partners following the bloc’s designation of China as an adversary. The United States, through the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue, the AUKUS partnership, and bilateral alliances in Asia, will lead a collective West—North America, Europe, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, South Korea, and Singapore—in seeking to contain both Russia and China simultaneously.

211-Europe must take more responsibility for its own defense; this frees-up resources to compete against China

Stephen Walt, 9-, 2, 22, Stephen M. Walt, a columnist at Foreign Policy and professor of international relations at Harvard University, https://foreignpolicy.com/2022/09/02/us-grand-strategy-ukraine-russia-china-geopolitics-superpower-conflict/

When Foreign Policy first asked about the Ukraine war’s impact on U.S. strategy five months ago, I argued that Russia’s illegal invasion of Ukraine was an ideal opportunity to start the process of weaning the United States’ European allies off their excessive dependence on U.S. protection. If anything, the case for a new division of labor has grown stronger since then.

The war has shown that hard power still matters in the 21st century, exposed Europe’s military shortcomings, subtly underscored the limits of the U.S. commitment, and revealed Russia’s enduring military limitations. Rebuilding Europe’s defenses will take time and money, but having Europe take greater responsibility for its own defense will allow the United States to shift more effort and attention to Asia to meet the many challenges posed by a more powerful and assertive China.

Unfortunately, the Biden administration is ignoring these implications and reinforcing European dependence on Uncle Sam. If this course continues, the United States will remain overstretched, and its capacity to balance China effectively will suffer.

What has happened over the past five months to bolster the case for weaning Europe off Washington?

The case for a new division of labor between the United States and Europe has only grown stronger since the start of the war.

First, Russia’s military performance has not improved significantly, and its armed forces continue to suffer substantial losses. Even if Moscow’s greater latent power allows it to eke out some sort of Pyrrhic victory in Ukraine, its ability to threaten the rest of Europe in the future will be minimal. Russia has lost a sizable portion of its most sophisticated weaponry and best-trained military manpower. Western sanctions have damaged its economy significantly. Export restrictions will make it much harder for Russia’s defense industry to acquire the advanced semiconductors and other technologies that cutting-edge weaponry requires. Over time, European efforts to reduce dependence on Russian oil and gas will deprive Moscow of revenues and further hamper its ability to rebuild its military forces once the fighting in Ukraine is over.

Second, Sweden and Finland have been welcomed into NATO. Unlike some of the bloc’s other new members, both countries have potent military forces, and their entry greatly complicates Russian defense planning by turning the Baltic Sea into a virtual NATO lake. This tilts the balance of power in Europe even more decisively in NATO’s favor.

Third, events in Asia—such as the extensive Chinese military exercises that followed U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s recent visit to Taiwan—have underscored the central role of U.S. power in preserving a favorable balance of power in Asia. If preventing the emergence of a rival hegemon in a vital strategic region remains a cardinal principle of U.S. grand strategy, then pivoting to Asia is essential, regardless of what happens in Ukraine.

Unfortunately, the Biden administration may now be repeating the same errors that encouraged Washington’s European partners to neglect their own defense capabilities in the past. The United States has assumed primary responsibility for arming, training, subsidizing, and advising Ukraine. In February, the administration announced the open-ended deployment of 20,000 additional U.S. troops to Europe, with other new forces added in June. Unsurprisingly, European resolve to do more is waning, and long-engrained habits of free-riding are reemerging. The impending European recession will only exacerbate these tendencies, casting doubt on the bold pledges that Germany and other European states made a few months ago.

If this trend is not reversed, Washington will find itself doing more than is needed in Europe but not enough in Asia. For U.S. grand strategy, that would be a fundamental error.

210-Russia’s military is a joke and it cannot threaten Europe

Stephen Walt, 9-, 2, 22, Stephen M. Walt, a columnist at Foreign Policy and professor of international relations at Harvard University, https://foreignpolicy.com/2022/09/02/us-grand-strategy-ukraine-russia-china-geopolitics-superpower-conflict/

First, Russia’s military performance has not improved significantly, and its armed forces continue to suffer substantial losses. Even if Moscow’s greater latent power allows it to eke out some sort of Pyrrhic victory in Ukraine, its ability to threaten the rest of Europe in the future will be minimal. Russia has lost a sizable portion of its most sophisticated weaponry and best-trained military manpower. Western sanctions have damaged its economy significantly. Export restrictions will make it much harder for Russia’s defense industry to acquire the advanced semiconductors and other technologies that cutting-edge weaponry requires. Over time, European efforts to reduce dependence on Russian oil and gas will deprive Moscow of revenues and further hamper its ability to rebuild its military forces once the fighting in Ukraine is over.

209-Ukraine is different – The US will be draw into a war over Taiwan

Mohan, 9-2, 22, C. Raja Mohan, a columnist at Foreign Policy and a senior fellow at the Asia Society Policy Institute, Biden’s Pivot to Asia Was Right, https://foreignpolicy.com/2022/09/02/us-grand-strategy-ukraine-russia-china-geopolitics-superpower-conflict/

The escalating tensions over Taiwan in the wake of U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taipei in early August are merely a reminder that the prospects for a U.S.-Chinese confrontation are growing in Asia. Unlike in Ukraine, where the West has refrained from any direct intervention, the United States will likely be drawn into a direct conflict with China over Taiwan. Any Asian sense of U.S. reluctance to resist Chinese hegemony will push more countries in the region to bandwagon with Beijing. Fortunately, the Biden administration continues to raise its game in Asia.

208-Pushing Turkey away from NATO means Russian dominance of Europe

Cropsy, 9-2, 22, eth Cropsey is founder and president of Yorktown Institute. He served as a naval officer and as deputy undersecretary of the Navy, and he is the author of “Mayday: The Decline of American Naval Supremacy” (2013) and “Seablindness: How Political Neglect Is Choking American Seapower and What to Do About It” (2017), The Hill, https://thehill.com/opinion/national-security/3625658-keeping-turkey-on-the-right-side-of-the-battle-between-us-and-russia/

Recent revelations of deepening Russo-Turkish economic ties despite the Ukraine war forces the U.S. to reckon with Russia’s wider strategy. The Kremlin’s strategic objective in the Eastern Mediterranean and the Black Sea since the late 2000s has been to reorient Turkey, peeling it from the Atlantic Alliance and shifting it to the Russian camp. The U.S. can no longer afford to ignore the realities of geopolitics: Turkey must be returned to the Western fold. The U.S. must apply the inducements, positive and negative, necessary to ensure Turkish compliance. Most critically, it should modify the geopolitical situation to remove the incentives Russia has created for reorientation, and to support Ukraine in its liberation of the Crimean Peninsula. The Ukraine war’s strategic prize is clear for the Kremlin. Russia sought to subjugate Ukraine and draw it into an autarkic bloc that presses NATO’s eastern flank overland. It still seeks this goal but, more immediately, it hopes to solidify a land corridor to Crimea, allowing it to project power in the Black Sea, while driving Ukraine from the Donbas region. Geopolitically, however, the prize lies farther south. By consolidating its position in Ukraine and, by extension, in the Black Sea, Russia hopes finally to peel Turkey away from the Western camp, thereby opening an unchallenged maritime route from Sevastopol to the Eastern Mediterranean. The reason for Russia’s desire to reverse Turkey’s political-strategic orientation is simple: As a solid member of a hostile maritime coalition — NATO — Turkey is a mortal and historic threat to Russia. During World War I, Turkey condemned a Russian regime when the Anglo-French failure to take Gallipoli, combined with insufficient sealift capacity, starved Russia of supplies and set it firmly on the path to revolution in 1917. Throughout the Cold War, Turkey was equally problematic. The Kremlin cultivated clients throughout the Eastern Mediterranean (namely Syria, Egypt and Libya) but so long as Turkey remained a reliable member of the Atlantic Alliance, Russia could never sustain an extended Mediterranean naval deployment or project power over time. Once American diplomacy reoriented Egypt, and American-intensified Israeli military superiority placed Syria at a long-term disadvantage, the Kremlin’s position in the Mediterranean became untenable in wartime. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s authoritarian bent, and the apparent parallels between Vladimir Putin’s United Russia party and Erdogan’s AK (Justice and Development) party, may help explain Turkey’s tilt towards Russia — but not the inconstancy of Turkish-Russian relations. Turkey shot down a Russian aircraft in 2015 and, in 2016, intervened in Syria, partly against the Russian-supported Assad regime. Then, in 2017, Turkey agreed to purchase S-400 air-defense systems from Russia and persisted with the deal despite its suspension from the U.S./NATO F-35 program in July 2019. The following year, Turkey again reversed course, intervening in the Second Libyan Civil War on behalf of the Tripoli-based Government of National Accord (GNA). Turkish intervention decisively shifted the military balance between the GNA and the Russian-backed, Benghazi-based House of Representatives; Turkish forces directly fought Russian-backed Wagner Group mercenaries and nearly confronted Russian units directly. In February 2020, Russian warplanes killed around 100 Turkish soldiers in the deadliest incident of Turkey’s involvement in Syria. Months later, Turkish-supplied Azerbaijani forces smashed the Russian-backed Armenian military. Today, we hear accusations of Turkish evasion of Western sanctions on Russia, Turkish acquiescence to Russian tourists, and record-breaking Turkish energy imports from Russia. Yet Turkey closed the Bosporus and Dardanelles straits just days after Russia invaded Ukraine, and Turkish arms company Baykar still delivers Bayraktar TB2 drones to Ukraine’s military. (Cultivating the Turkish military-industrial base is a key priority for Ankara, hence few sales occur without explicit political consent — and Baykar, specifically, is one of Erdogan’s pet projects. Not only has its TB2 provided Turkey with significant marketing cache in the defense community, but Baykar’s chief technical officer, Selçuk Bayraktar, is Erdogan’s son-in-law.) Such incertitudes and about-faces complicate the situation, while creating the appearance that Turkey is neither pro-Russian nor pro-Western. But deeper geopolitics explain Turkey’s strategic vacillation. In one sense, Putin’s Kremlin is reactive. The Ukraine crisis is of his own making; his pressure on Ukraine’s former president, Victor Yanukovych, and intransigence over Ukrainian economic links to the European Union sparked Ukraine’s 2013 Euromaidan protests and generated the strategic contradictions Putin had sought to resolve through conquest. However, the Kremlin also is shrewd. Russia’s 2008 war with Georgia and 2014 annexation of Ukraine’s Crimea region stabilized Moscow’s position in the Black Sea. Next, Russian intervention in Syria drew Turkish ire, but Russia cut deals with other regional powers, most notably with Israel — and thus, by bracketing Turkey from the north in the Black Sea and from the south in the Eastern Mediterranean, it tilted Turkey away from the West. Turkish support for Azerbaijan complicates the issue, but Russia has thus far accepted Turkish aggrandizement without jeopardizing its own strategic position. The opportunity for a formal realignment has existed since the early 2010s. Despite multiple flair-ups, the Kremlin has never fully locked Turkey out of a potential entente. Once again, a Western-aligned Turkey is an insurmountable impediment to Russian power projection in the Mediterranean and a constant potential spoiler to Russia’s Black Sea ambitions. Thus, Putin will have achieved a significant strategic objective if he can formally split Turkey from NATO and bring it into Russia’s orbit. This is not to say that the West should avoid pressuring Turkey over its links with Russia. It should make its diplomatic red lines clear to Ankara and put in place the structures needed to compensate for a Turkish exit from NATO, if it occurs. It is, however, possible to shape Turkey’s political calculations. If Russia no longer holds Crimea, its position in the Middle East and Eastern Mediterranean will become untenable. The Russian port of Novorossiysk can support the Black Sea Fleet’s submarines, but its surface combatants will need all their logistics capacity modified if Sevastopol in Crimea falls under Ukrainian control again. Without Crimea, providing air cover to Russian naval forces in the Black Sea, or supporting them with anti-ship missiles, is far more difficult. Moreover, the right weapons in Crimea could, at minimum, disrupt Russian naval activity from Novorossiysk and, at best, destroy the naval base outright. Whatever your energy source preference, local support is the only way to get it built China’s increasing aggression signals a looming war over Taiwan The Biden administration would benefit from a dual-track diplomatic-military approach with Turkey. It should make clear the risks of increased economic engagement with Russia, while providing Turkey with economic inducements to alleviate its economic crisis, including tariff reductions, foreign direct investment support, and institutional assistance from major financial actors. Complementing this, the U.S. should ensure that Ukraine has the weapons required to retake Crimea from Russia. It is neither politically nor strategically prudent to leave Crimea in Russian hands. Ukraine already has called Putin’s nuclear bluff and attacked Russian positions on the peninsula. The U.S. should make clear to Moscow that it will entertain the possibility of a negotiated settlement only if Russia withdraws from Crimea.

207-Russia won’t split Europe over energy – Europe has adequate supply

Sam Meredit, 9-2, 22, CNBC, ENERGY, https://www.cnbc.com/2022/09/02/winter-gas-russias-energy-influence-over-europe-is-nearly-over.html, Russia’s energy influence over Europe ‘is nearly over’ as bloc races to shore up winter gas supplies

Europe’s dependence on Russian gas appears to be coming to an end, energy and political analysts say, potentially alleviating the risk of further supply disruptions at a time when many fear Russia could completely cut off deliveries during the winter. Europe in recent months has endured a sharp drop in gas exports from Russia, traditionally its largest energy supplier. It has deepened a bitter dispute between Brussels and Moscow and exacerbated the risk of recession and a winter gas shortage. Russia has cited faulty or delayed equipment as the reason for a reduction in deliveries. European policymakers, however, consider the supply cut to be a political maneuver designed to sow uncertainty across the 27-nation bloc and boost energy prices amid the Kremlin’s onslaught against Ukraine. Agathe Demarais, global forecasting director at The Economist Intelligence Unit, a research and advisory firm, told CNBC that the Kremlin appeared to be weaponizing energy supplies and “burning bridges” with Europe while it still could. Asked whether Russia’s energy influence over Europe may be coming to an end, Demarais replied, “Yes. Actually, very much so.” “Europe is heading towards a very difficult winter, probably two years of a very difficult adjustment with a lot of economic pain. But then Europe is essentially going to become more independent with a more diversified mix,” Demarais said. “And what that means is that Russia’s energy weapon is going to become moot,” she added. “Our view is that Russia knows that and that’s why it is already killing off gas supplies or inflicting uncertainty because it knows that if it wants to do damage to Europe it has to do it now. It is a now or never question.” Race to fill gas storage Germany, until recently, bought more than half of its gas from Russia. Yet, Europe’s largest economy is currently ahead of schedule in its race to fill underground gas storage facilities in order to have enough fuel to keep homes warm during the colder months. Analysts told CNBC that Germany has been able to rapidly fill its gas stocks in recent weeks because of several factors. These include strong supply from Norway, the Netherlands and other countries, falling demand amid soaring energy prices, businesses switching from gas to other types of fuel, and the government providing more than 15 billion euros ($15.06 billion) in credit lines to replenish storage facilities. The U.S. can't come to Europe's rescue if Russia stops gas flows during the winter, says hedge fundWATCH NOW The latest estimates from the power industry association BDEW show that German gas consumption from Russia fell to 9.5% in August. That’s down from a whopping 60% during the same period last year. Norway has stepped in to become Germany’s biggest supplier of gas, BDEW data shows, providing almost 38% of German consumption last month. The Netherlands, the second-biggest supplier of Germany, was estimated to have delivered roughly 24% of German gas in August. Ian Bremmer, president of the political risk consultancy Eurasia Group, said via Twitter last week that it “increasingly looks like Germany can get through the winter without severe rationing” even in the worst-case scenario that Russia turns off the taps completely. That’s “very good news,” Bremmer said. “Russia’s energy influence over Europe is nearly over.”

206-Always a risk of escalation as long as the war continues (Ukraine)

Connor Echols, 9-2, 22, Connor Echols is a reporter for Responsible Statecraft. He was previously an associate editor at the Nonzero Foundation, where he co-wrote a weekly foreign policy newsletter. Echols recently completed a fellowship with the Center for Arabic Study Abroad in Amman, Jordan, and he received his bachelor’s degree from Northwestern University, where he studied journalism and Middle East and North African Studies, https://responsiblestatecraft.org/author/cechols/

In other words, Kyiv and Moscow have both shown that they want to mitigate the secondary effects of the conflict, and they’re willing to negotiate with the enemy in order to do it. But, as long as this war drags on, people around the world will continue to suffer, and the specter of a catastrophic event — whether through an errant strike on a power plant or an uncontrolled escalation to nuclear war — will continue to loom. It’s time for Russia, Ukraine, and the West to recognize that there’s only one way to put an end to those risks: Lay down arms and come to the negotiating table.

205-Ukraine war could unintentionally escalate

Shannon Bugos, 9-1, 22, https://responsiblestatecraft.org/2022/09/01/vostok-military-exercises-indicate-that-russia-is-far-from-isolated/, Responsible Statecraft, Keeping an eye on the prize: divisive US-Russia nuke talks must go on,

After all, with the continued fighting in Ukraine so close to NATO allies, there are endless possibilities for unintentional or even intentional escalation, including to the nuclear level. The United States deploys an estimated 100 nuclear weapons in Europe, with about 60 earmarked for use by the alliance under NATO nuclear sharing arrangements. And, as Biden reiterated at the very start of the invasion in February, “the United States will defend every inch of NATO territory with the full force of American power.”

204-China still has a significant lead in technology, including AI, over the US

Imparato, 9-1, 22, Sergio Imparato is a Lecturer on Government at Harvard University, where he teaches Grand Strategy in International Relations and U.S. Foreign Policy. He is the author of “The Sovereign President” (Pisa University Press, 2015; in Italian), a study on the personalization of presidential politics in foreign affairs. Sarosh Nagar is a researcher in the Department of Government at Harvard University. His research analyzes the role of development assistance and economic interdependence in American and Chinese foreign policy in Asia. His work has been published in numerous peer-reviewed journals and magazines, including the Harvard International Review, the Journal of the American Medication Association (JAMA) Oncology, the American Medical Association Journal of Ethics, and more, The Hill, CHIPS won’t be enough; America will need more to stave off China’s technological challenge, https://thehill.com/opinion/congress-blog/3624918-chips-wont-be-enough-america-will-need-more-to-stave-off-chinas-technological-challenge/

Washington, however, should be careful of celebrating too soon. The CHIPS and Science Act is an excellent step in the right direction — but for America’s investments in science and technology to end here would be a major mistake. While the $280 billion package will greatly  boost  America’s domestic research and semiconductor manufacturing capacity, it alone will likely be insufficient to sustain the United States’ technological advantage through decades of competition with an increasingly powerful China. In 2018, China announced the Made in China 2025 (MIC 2025) Initiative. Made in China 2025 was a state-led effort to  invest  billions into key emerging technologies like artificial intelligence and biopharmaceuticals while boosting China’s domestic high-tech manufacturing until 70 percent of China’s critical technology parts are sourced domestically. In essence, Made in China 2025 was Beijing’s attempt to reach for global technological leadership,  bypassing  the technological edge long held by the United States and its allies. The launch of Made in China 2025 prompted immense global alarm from companies and governments worldwide, many of whom fear the consequences of China gaining a technological edge over the United States. Military analysts  fear  that a technologically-rejuvenated Chinese military might take bolder, more aggressive steps against Taiwan or in the South China Sea, increasing the risk of miscalculation. Companies  worry  that Chinese government investments in scientific research would strengthen domestic Chinese technology firms, giving them a technological and commercial advantage to outcompete American firms in China and abroad. Many policymakers also  fear  that the use of new Chinese technology products in American or allied systems might lead to potential cyberattacks or espionage. ADVERTISING The backlash to Made in China 2025  prompted  Beijing to stop using the term, but while China abandoned the plan’s semantics, Beijing never  abandoned  the plan itself. Since 2018, China has continued to prime the pump, investing billions into high-tech manufacturing,  including  an enormous $1.4 trillion announced in 2020. Beijing is also busy  increasing  its annual funding for scientific research and development, which now ranks just below the United States in terms of its gross annual funding for scientific research.  Aside from financial capital, Beijing is also eager to expand its advantages in human capital and data collection. China has a population four times the United States and  graduated  far more STEM PhDs than the United States in the last several years. Beijing is also keen to  recruit  senior scientists of Chinese origin via its Thousand Talents Program, which provides funding for such researchers to leave the West and return to China. It has also used China’s vast surveillance apparatus to  collect  enormous amounts of data, enabling it to make significant leaps in machine learning and computer vision research. Together, these efforts highlight China’s drive to gain global technological primacy, which risks severe technological, economic, and political consequences for the West. Against this challenge, the CHIPS and Science bill alone is inadequate. Through financial metrics alone, the bill’s science funding pales compared to the huge investments China continues to make each year. Furthermore, the bill’s focus on semiconductors, while laudable, leaves out the raw materials used to  make  semiconductors and other key critical technology components — rare-earth elements. Supply chains for rare earth elements  are  heavily dependent on China, reflecting a major national security risk as tensions between Washington and Beijing rise. Thus, for the United States and its allies to sustain their technological lead through decades of competition with China, important reforms are needed. From a financial perspective, America must increase its investments in scientific research in emerging technologies like biotechnology and artificial intelligence. Grant applications in such fields  are  already highly competitive, and such an increase could support a new wave of researchers to bolster American innovation. America’s leaders should also use subsidies and tax credits to boost domestic production of the key rare-earth minerals used in technology products. Such efforts  would  help secure American technology supply chains when tensions with Beijing make traditional supply chains from China far riskier. America’s leaders must also try to match China’s advantages in human capital and data collection. From a human capital perspective, the United States  must  take steps to overhaul its broken immigration system, especially by  expanding  available visas for high-skilled immigration and  simplifying  regulations for international students studying in the United States to become American citizens. Many of these international students are  educated  at top universities paid for by American taxpayers and eagerly want to stay — but America’s bureaucratic and ever-backlogged  immigration system threatens to drive these high-skilled immigrants and their scientific talent abroad, enriching other nations instead of the United States. America’s leaders should also foster partnerships between research institutions and technology companies to expand researchers’ access to data while  investing  in the development of Privacy-Preserving (PP) technologies to ensure such data collection does not compromise individuals’ privacy. Of course, the CHIPS and Science Bill is still a valuable piece of legislation. But sustaining America’s technological advantage is a marathon, not a sprint. The United States must make the reforms needed for it to compete for decades to come — otherwise, the CHIPS and Science Act might be remembered as little more than a band-aid for a gaping wound.

203-China-Russia ties increasing

Sarang Shadore, 9-1, 22, Sarang Shidore is Director of Studies at the Quincy Institute. His areas of research and analysis are geopolitical risk, grand strategy, and energy/climate security, with a special emphasis on Asia. Sarang has collaborated and published with multiple organizations including the Asian Peace Program, Brookings Institution, Center for Strategic and International Studies, Council on Foreign Relations, Council on Strategic Risks, Oxford Analytica, Paulson Institute, Stimson Center, UK Ministry of Defense, and Woodwell Climate Research Center. He has more than 80 publications to his credit in journals, edited volumes, and media outlets in his areas of expertise. Prior to his current role at the Quincy Institute, Sarang was a senior research scholar at the University of Texas at Austin and senior global analyst at the geopolitical risk firm Stratfor Inc. and earlier also spent a decade in product management in the technology industry, Responsible Statecraft, Vostok military exercises indicate that Russia is far from isolated, https://responsiblestatecraft.org/2022/09/01/vostok-military-exercises-indicate-that-russia-is-far-from-isolated/

The next iteration of Russia’s quadrennial Vostok exercise has just begun in its far east region, involving more than 50,000 troops, 140 aircraft and 60 warships. Vostok (which means “east” in Russian) is one of four exercises Russia routinely conducts every four years, the others being Zapad (west) Tsentr (center), and Kavkaz (south), the directions corresponding to the locations of the drills within the country. The previous iteration of Vostok (in 2018) included China for the first time, as well as Mongolia; these being the first two states outside the former Soviet Union to join these exercises. The 2018 exercise was also much bigger. The Ukraine war, which has utilized many units normally stationed in the east, appears to have seriously crimped Russian abilities to mount a large-scale drill. But the true significance of Vostok 2022 is not size, but its participants. This year, the list of countries from outside the former Soviet Union joining as participants or observers is much longer and, apart from Mongolia, also includes Algeria, Syria, Laos, Nicaragua, and India. Of these, China is clearly the most significant. The Russian-Chinese security convergence has garnered global headlines since earlier this year, when their two leaders issued a joint statement asserting a “no limits” partnership just prior to Russia’s illegal invasion of Ukraine. But in fact, Russia and China have been strongly converging since the 2014-15 period, in the wake of the first Ukraine war. Their security partnership is not a formal alliance — it lacks a mutual assistance agreement — but has steadily grown closer, with increasingly sophisticated joint exercises (including in distant regions such as the Indian Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea), sales of Russia’s most advanced weapons systems such as the S-400 and the Su-35 to Beijing, and co-development of defense equipment. Since 2018, Vostok has not simulated an invasion by China, which was at least partly a focus of its previous versions. There is no evidence, at least yet, that Moscow and Beijing have moved to the stage of joint operational planning for wartime contingencies. Still, in many ways, China and Russia can be said to be informal allies, a development brought on in substantial measure by the simultaneous containment strategies of Washington toward both. Vostok will include major maritime exercises in the Sea of Japan. After an attempted rapprochement when Shinzo Abe was Japanese prime minister, ties between Tokyo and Moscow have worsened significantly. Japan imposed major sanctions on Russia after its invasion of Ukraine, and the rhetoric between the two is now much more adversarial. Of the rest of the Vostok participants, Algeria, Laos, Nicaragua, and Syria have either distant or adversarial relations with the United States. However, their involvement in Vostok is more symbolic of the gathering oppositional coalition than substantive, given their limited geopolitical heft. India’s involvement though has more significance. A close U.S. partner and even a quasi-ally on China, India has nevertheless taken a sharply different view on the Ukraine conflict, not condemning Russia by name, and greatly increasing its oil purchases from Moscow. Concerned by a further deepening of Russian-Chinese ties since the Ukraine war began, India recently dispatched its National Security Advisor to Moscow where he also reportedly assured Russia that India was not in any camp. India is also a full member of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, a grouping led by China and Russia, and takes part in security dialogues and military exercises under its rubric. These include an upcoming counter-terror exercise in India in which Chinese, Russian, Iranian and Pakistani troops (among others) will participate. The upshot of all this is that, more than six months into a brutal war, the United States and its European allies have made almost no headway in adding to their coalition ranged against Russia. Except for Japan, and to an extent Singapore, the major Asian and Eurasian states are not only not in, but some of them seem to be building even deeper ties with Russia. Washington may wish to reflect as to why its Russia strategy is failing to excite most Asians.

262-AI triggers human extinction; attempts to regulate it or govern it don’t solve the risks

Torres, 8-31, 22,  Émile P. Torres is a philosopher and historian of global catastrophic risk, One potential side effect of AI? Human extinction, https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2022/08/31/artificial-intelligence-worst-case-scenario-extinction/

As history teaches, never say never. It seems only a matter of time before computers become smarter than people. This is one prediction we can be fairly confident about — because we’re seeing it already. Many systems have attained superhuman abilities on particular tasks, such as playing Scrabble, chess and poker, where people now routinely lose to the bot across the board. But advances in computer science will lead to systems with increasingly general levels of intelligence: algorithms capable of solving complex problems in multiple domains. Imagine a single algorithm that could beat a chess grandmaster but also write a novel, compose a catchy melody and drive a car through city traffic. According to a 2014 survey of experts, there’s a 50 percent chance “human-level machine intelligence” is reached by 2050, and a 90 percent chance by 2075. Another study from the Global Catastrophic Risk Institute found at least 72 projects around the world with the express aim of creating an artificial general intelligence — the steppingstone to artificial superintelligence (ASI), which would not just perform as well as humans in every domain of interest but far exceed our best abilities. The success of any one of these projects would be the most significant event in human history. Suddenly, our species would be joined on the planet by something more intelligent than us. The benefits are easily imagined: An ASI might help cure diseases such as cancer and Alzheimer’s, or clean up the environment. But the arguments for why an ASI might destroy us are strong, too. Surely no research organization would design a malicious, Terminator-style ASI hellbent on destroying humanity, right? Unfortunately, that’s not the worry. If we’re all wiped out by an ASI, it will almost certainly be on accident. Because ASIs’ cognitive architectures may be fundamentally different than ours, they are perhaps the most unpredictable thing in our future. Consider those AIs already beating humans at games: In 2018, one algorithm playing the Atari game Q*bert won by exploiting a loophole “no human player … is believed to have ever uncovered.” Another program became an expert at digital hide-and-seek thanks to a strategy “researchers never saw … coming.” If we can’t anticipate what algorithms playing children’s games will do, how can we be confident about the actions of a machine with problem-solving skills far above humanity’s? What if we program an ASI to establish world peace and it hacks government systems to launch every nuclear weapon on the planet — reasoning that if no human exists, there can be no more war? Yes, we could program it explicitly not to do that. But what about its Plan B? Really, there are an interminable number of ways an ASI might “solve” global problems that have catastrophically bad consequences. For any given set of restrictions on the ASI’s behavior, no matter how exhaustive, clever theorists using their merely “human-level” intelligence can often find ways of things going very wrong; you can bet an ASI could think of more. And as for shutting down a destructive ASI — a sufficiently intelligent system should quickly recognize that one way to never achieve the goals it has been assigned is to stop existing. Logic dictates that it try everything it can to keep us from unplugging it. It’s unclear humanity will ever be prepared for superintelligence, but we’re certainly not ready now. With all our global instability and still-nascent grasp on tech, adding in ASI would be lighting a match next to a fireworks factory. Research on artificial intelligence must slow down, or even pause. And if researchers won’t make this decision, governments should make it for them. Some of these researchers have explicitly dismissed worries that advanced artificial intelligence could be dangerous. And they might be right. It might turn out that any caution is just “talking moonshine,” and that ASI is totally benign — or even entirely impossible. After all, I can’t predict the future. The problem is: Neither can they.

261-Increased defense spending/military readiness key to deter Russian and China’s aggression

Gabriel Scheinmann, the executive director of the Alexander Hamilton Society, 8-31, 22, Here’s What Biden’s New National Security Strategy Should Say, https://foreignpolicy.com/2022/08/31/biden-national-security-strategy-russia-china-geopolitics-competition-military-defense-spending/?tpcc=recirc_latest062921

After a long wait, the Biden administration may finally release the new U.S. National Security Strategy (NSS) this fall. Originally scheduled for publication late last year, the document was withheld as Russian war preparations on Ukraine’s borders intensified. The invasion and its fallout then presented Washington with a new strategic situation, requiring the document to be rewritten. Its absence has left many wondering about the administration’s strategic objectives, priorities, and plans to achieve them. The Biden administration laid out its initial impulses on national security in its Interim National Security Strategic Guidance, published shortly after the new team moved into the White House in early 2021. That document prescribed a heavy dose of cooperation with other powers—including the United States’ adversaries. Beijing and Moscow were presented as partners on such issues as climate change, nonproliferation, arms control, public health, and economic stability. Russian leader Vladimir Putin’s unleashing of the biggest European war since 1945—as well as his Chinese counterpart’s declaration of “no limits” support—laid the administration’s ideas and intentions to waste. It is critical, therefore, that the new NSS adapts to the new reality and sets Washington on a different course to prevail in the increasingly direct geopolitical competition with Moscow and Beijing. A successful approach to the challenges posed by these adversarial regimes must involve a global strategy to counter threats, not merely manage crises as they pop up. This includes, most importantly, a substantial increase in U.S. defense spending. A serious strategy would begin by recognizing that the post-Cold War era is over. Beijing and Moscow have thrust a new cold war on Washington and its allies, despite the West’s best efforts to embrace these two powers as partners. The new NSS must end this unrealistic and naive approach. If the United States is to win this long-term competition and reckon with its inability to deter Russia—and potentially China—from invading their neighbors, the Biden administration must provide immediate, real, and sustained increases in the U.S. defense budget. Washington’s allies and friends should of course be encouraged to do the same. As a percentage of GDP, U.S. defense spending is at one of the lowest levels since World War II. It’s not enough for Congress to top up Biden’s budgets, as it has done. Even achieving the lowest level of Cold War-era spending of 4.5 percent of GDP, as former National Security Advisor H. R. McMaster and I suggested in Foreign Policy—let alone spending 5 percent, as incoming Republican Senate Armed Services Committee leader Roger Wicker has proposed—would require a roughly 50 percent increase or more of the budget. Hard power is not the relic of a bygone era but the foundation of any successful attempt to win what Biden rightly calls “the competition of the 21st century.” The new NSS should clearly recognize that helping Ukraine defeat Russia is not only the strategic priority in Europe but also a key front in deterring China. A suitable strategy would recognize that China is the primary threat to the United States. To deter China from the use of force against Taiwan or its other neighbors, the United States must urgently arm its allies and partners (like it is now, belatedly, doing in Ukraine), as well as bolster its own deterrent capabilities. Should China attack Taiwan, U.S. and allied forces must be capable of quickly reinforcing the island and rapidly attriting China’s attacking of naval and air assets. This hinges on U.S. investment in areas that would allow Washington to quickly counter Beijing’s navy. It also requires expanding integrated joint and combined operations capability, forward basing, economic integration, and multilateral engagement through organizations like the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue (the Quad)—a U.S. quasi-alliance with Australia, India, and Japan. As the Cold War has taught us, success means deterring an attack, not merely responding to one after it occurs. This isn’t only about defense. Deterring China and Russia in the military sphere will ensure—not undermine, as some contend—the preconditions for broad, shared economic prosperity at home. The United States and its allies must stop facilitating the growth of Chinese and Russian economic power—and must enhance their own instead. The United States cannot continue to enable China’s economic and technological rise—both absolute and relative—and simultaneously meet the challenge of a long-term competition. The first priority must be to end those forms of engagement that mostly advance Beijing’s national security goals and economic strength while weakening Washington’s. This will require a strategic, selective economic decoupling from China. From restructuring supply chains to reshoring production of high-end manufactured products to better monitoring and regulation of technology and capital flows, the NSS must make reducing the economic leverage held by America’s adversaries a priority. Europe’s extreme energy dependence on Russia—which Putin is now turning against countries supporting Ukraine—demonstrates where that leverage leads. The Chinese leadership is paying close attention to the war in Ukraine. The new NSS should clearly recognize that helping the Ukrainians defeat Russia is not only the immediate strategic priority in Europe but also a key front in deterring and weakening China—which has made it abundantly clear that it seeks global, not merely regional, power and influence. As part of its Europe strategy, the administration should make sure NATO allies, such as Germany, follow through on their new commitments to spend the NATO minimum of 2 percent of GDP on defense—and support them as they enhance Europe’s defense. The NSS should also commit Washington to help Europe diversify energy supplies and turn away from its dependence on Russia. While the United States no longer relies on the Middle East for energy, many of America’s allies and partners still do. In tandem with increasing U.S. energy production and export capacity, the NSS should prioritize cooperating with major Arab oil producers to undercut Russian energy blackmail against Europe and use China’s energy vulnerabilities to weaken it. Biden’s pledges to turn Saudi Arabia into a “pariah” and consign fossil fuels to history created a chasm between the United States and its major Arab energy-producing partners—a chasm that helped fuse the Saudi-Russian oil cartel and create an opening for China. Building on the Abraham Accords and other regional groupings, a smart NSS would recognize and respond to the growing security cooperation between China, Russia, and Iran. This week’s news of a Russian-Iranian oil swap to bust Western sanctions is a case in point. The administration should abandon any effort to use a nuclear agreement with Tehran to reintegrate Iranian oil into the marketplace, which would only finance the regime’s continued assaults—and lead America’s Arab partners to hedge against U.S. credibility by seeking better relations with Russia and China. U.S. presence and leadership in the Middle East is essential to—not a distraction from—geopolitical competition with Beijing and Moscow. In releasing the new strategy, the Biden administration has an opportunity to take stock and change course. Indeed, there are ample precedents of other Democratic administrations making such a pivot amid geostrategic shifts. In 1950, President Harry Truman and Congress reacted to the shock of the Korean War by doubling the defense budget, which brought to an end the post-World War II shrinking of U.S. forces. In 1979, the Carter administration underwent a similar transformation: Spurred by the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan and other geopolitical challenges, President Jimmy Carter ended a failed strategy of accommodation with Moscow and began a sustained boost of U.S. defense spending, which eventually put the Soviets back on their heels. Putin’s invasion of Ukraine should serve as such a wake-up moment for Biden. By producing an NSS that reinvigorates U.S. power and deterrence, the Biden administration has the opportunity to set America on a course to prevail in the geopolitical competition that will determine the future of the United States and the world.

260-AI will wreck authoritarian governments

Farrell et al, September-October, 2022, https://www.foreignaffairs.com/world/spirals-delusion-artificial-intelligence-decision-making, HENRY FARRELL is the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Agora Professor of International Affairs at Johns Hopkins University. ABRAHAM NEWMAN is Professor of Government in the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University. JEREMY WALLACE is Associate Professor of Government at Cornell University and the author of Seeking Truth and Hiding Facts: Information, Ideology, and Authoritarianism in China, Spirals of Delusion How AI Distorts Decision-Making and Makes Dictators More Dangerous

In policy circles, discussions about artificial intelligence invariably pit China against the United States in a race for technological supremacy. If the key resource is data, then China, with its billion-plus citizens and lax protections against state surveillance, seems destined to win. Kai-Fu Lee, a famous computer scientist, has claimed that data is the new oil, and China the new OPEC. If superior technology is what provides the edge, however, then the United States, with its world class university system and talented workforce, still has a chance to come out ahead. For either country, pundits assume that superiority in AI will lead naturally to broader economic and military superiority. But thinking about AI in terms of a race for dominance misses the more fundamental ways in which AI is transforming global politics. AI will not transform the rivalry between powers so much as it will transform the rivals themselves. The United States is a democracy, whereas China is an authoritarian regime, and machine learning challenges each political system in its own way. The challenges to democracies such as the United States are all too visible. Machine learning may increase polarization—reengineering the online world to promote political division. It will certainly increase disinformation in the future, generating convincing fake speech at scale. The challenges to autocracies are more subtle but possibly more corrosive. Just as machine learning reflects and reinforces the divisions of democracy, it may confound autocracies, creating a false appearance of consensus and concealing underlying societal fissures until it is too late. Early pioneers of AI, including the political scientist Herbert Simon, realized that AI technology has more in common with markets, bureaucracies, and political institutions than with simple engineering applications. Another pioneer of artificial intelligence, Norbert Wiener, described AI as a “cybernetic” system—one that can respond and adapt to feedback. Neither Simon nor Wiener anticipated how machine learning would dominate AI, but its evolution fits with their way of thinking. Facebook and Google use machine learning as the analytic engine of a self-correcting system, which continually updates its understanding of the data depending on whether its predictions succeed or fail. It is this loop between statistical analysis and feedback from the environment that has made machine learning such a formidable force. Stay informed. In-depth analysis delivered weekly. What is much less well understood is that democracy and authoritarianism are cybernetic systems, too. Under both forms of rule, governments enact policies and then try to figure out whether these policies have succeeded or failed. In democracies, votes and voices provide powerful feedback about whether a given approach is really working. Authoritarian systems have historically had a much harder time getting good feedback. Before the information age, they relied not just on domestic intelligence but also on petitions and clandestine opinion surveys to try to figure out what their citizens believed. Now, machine learning is disrupting traditional forms of democratic feedback (voices and votes) as new technologies facilitate disinformation and worsen existing biases—taking prejudice hidden in data and confidently transforming it into incorrect assertions. To autocrats fumbling in the dark, meanwhile, machine learning looks like an answer to their prayers. Such technology can tell rulers whether their subjects like what they are doing without the hassle of surveys or the political risks of open debates and elections. For this reason, many observers have fretted that advances in AI will only strengthen the hand of dictators and further enable them to control their societies. The truth is more complicated. Bias is visibly a problem for democracies. But because it is more visible, citizens can mitigate it through other forms of feedback. When, for example, a racial group sees that hiring algorithms are biased against them, they can protest and seek redress with some chance of success. Authoritarian countries are probably at least as prone to bias as democracies are, perhaps more so. Much of this bias is likely to be invisible, especially to the decision-makers at the top. That makes it far more difficult to correct, even if leaders can see that something needs correcting. Contrary to conventional wisdom, AI can seriously undermine autocratic regimes by reinforcing their own ideologies and fantasies at the expense of a finer understanding of the real world. Democratic countries may discover that, when it comes to AI, the key challenge of the twenty-first century is not winning the battle for technological dominance. Instead, they will have to contend with authoritarian countries that find themselves in the throes of an AI-fueled spiral of delusion. The international politics of AI will not create a simple race for dominance. The crude view that this technology is an economic and military weapon and that data is what powers it conceals a lot of the real action. In fact, AI’s biggest political consequences are for the feedback mechanisms that both democratic and authoritarian countries rely on. Some evidence indicates that AI is disrupting feedback in democracies, although it doesn’t play nearly as big a role as many suggest. By contrast, the more authoritarian governments rely on machine learning, the more they will propel themselves into an imaginary world founded on their own tech-magnified biases. The political scientist James Scott’s classic 1998 book, Seeing Like a State, explained how twentieth-century states were blind to the consequences of their own actions in part because they could see the world through only bureaucratic categories and data. As sociologist Marion Fourcade and others have argued, machine learning may present the same problems but at an even greater scale. This problem creates a very different set of international challenges for democracies such as the United States. Russia, for example, invested in disinformation campaigns designed to sow confusion and disarray among the Russian public while applying the same tools in democratic countries. Although free speech advocates long maintained that the answer to bad speech was more speech, Putin decided that the best response to more speech was more bad speech. Russia then took advantage of open feedback systems in democracies to pollute them with misinformation. One rapidly emerging problem is how autocracies such as Russia might weaponize large language models, a new form of AI that can produce text or images in response to a verbal prompt, to generate disinformation at scale. As the computer scientist Timnit Gebru and her colleagues have warned, programs such as Open AI’s GPT-3 system can produce apparently fluent text that is difficult to distinguish from ordinary human writing. Bloom, a new open-access large language model, has just been released for anyone to use. Its license requires people to avoid abuse, but it will be very hard to police. These developments will produce serious problems for feedback in democracies. Current online policy-comment systems are almost certainly doomed, since they require little proof to establish whether the commenter is a real human being. Contractors for big telecommunications companies have already flooded the U.S. Federal Communications Commission with bogus comments linked to stolen email addresses as part of their campaign against net neutrality laws. Still, it was easy to identify subterfuge when tens of thousands of nearly identical comments were posted. Now, or in the very near future, it will be trivially simple to prompt a large language model to write, say, 20,000 different comments in the style of swing voters condemning net neutrality.Artificial intelligence–fueled disinformation may poison the well for autocracies, too. As authoritarian governments seed their own public debate with disinformation, it will become easier to fracture opposition but harder to tell what the public actually believes, greatly complicating the policymaking process. It will be increasingly hard for authoritarian leaders to avoid getting high on their own supply, leading them to believe that citizens tolerate or even like deeply unpopular policies.

259-AI will not strengthen authoritarianism, it will cause authoritarian governments to implement bad policies that will undermine them

Farrell et al, September-October, 2022, https://www.foreignaffairs.com/world/spirals-delusion-artificial-intelligence-decision-making, HENRY FARRELL is the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Agora Professor of International Affairs at Johns Hopkins University. ABRAHAM NEWMAN is Professor of Government in the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University. JEREMY WALLACE is Associate Professor of Government at Cornell University and the author of Seeking Truth and Hiding Facts: Information, Ideology, and Authoritarianism in China, Spirals of Delusion How AI Distorts Decision-Making and Makes Dictators More Dangerous

By contrast, machine learning is supposed to help autocracies by facilitating greater control over their people. Historian Yuval Harari and a host of other scholars claim that AI “favors tyranny.” According to this camp, AI centralizes data and power, allowing leaders to manipulate ordinary citizens by offering them information that is calculated to push their “emotional buttons.” This endlessly iterating process of feedback and response is supposed to produce an invisible and effective form of social control. In this account, social media allows authoritarian governments to take the public’s pulse as well as capture its heart. But these arguments rest on uncertain foundations. Although leaks from inside Facebook suggest that algorithms can indeed guide people toward radical content, recent research indicates that the algorithms don’t themselves change what people are looking for. People who search for extreme YouTube videos are likely to be guided toward more of what they want, but people who aren’t already interested in dangerous content are unlikely to follow the algorithms’ recommendations. If feedback in democratic societies were to become increasingly deranged, machine learning would not be entirely at fault; it would only have lent a helping hand. More machine learning may lead authoritarian regimes to double down on bad decisions. There is no good evidence that machine learning enables the sorts of generalized mind control that will hollow out democracy and strengthen authoritarianism. If algorithms are not very effective at getting people to buy things, they are probably much worse at getting them to change their minds about things that touch on closely held values, such as politics. The claims that Cambridge Analytica, a British political consulting firm, employed some magical technique to fix the 2016 U.S. presidential election for Donald Trump have unraveled. The firm’s supposed secret sauce provided to the Trump campaign seemed to consist of standard psychometric targeting techniques—using personality surveys to categorize people—of limited utility. Indeed, fully automated data-driven authoritarianism may turn out to be a trap for states such as China that concentrate authority in a tiny insulated group of decision-makers. Democratic countries have correction mechanisms—alternative forms of citizen feedback that can check governments if they go off track. Authoritarian governments, as they double down on machine learning, have no such mechanism. Although ubiquitous state surveillance could prove effective in the short term, the danger is that authoritarian states will be undermined by the forms of self-reinforcing bias that machine learning facilitates. As a state employs machine learning widely, the leader’s ideology will shape how machine learning is used, the objectives around which it is optimized, and how it interprets results. The data that emerge through this process will likely reflect the leader’s prejudices right back at him. As the technologist Maciej Ceglowski has explained, machine learning is “money laundering for bias,” a “clean, mathematical apparatus that gives the status quo the aura of logical inevitability.” What will happen, for example, as states begin to use machine learning to spot social media complaints and remove them? Leaders will have a harder time seeing and remedying policy mistakes—even when the mistakes damage the regime. A 2013 study speculated that China has been slower to remove online complaints than one might expect, precisely because such griping provided useful information to the leadership. But now that Beijing is increasingly emphasizing social harmony and seeking to protect high officials, that hands-off approach will be harder to maintain. Artificial intelligence–fueled disinformation may poison the well for democracies and autocracies alike. Chinese President Xi Jinping is aware of these problems in at least some policy domains. He long claimed that his antipoverty campaign—an effort to eliminate rural impoverishment—was a signature victory powered by smart technologies, big data, and AI. But he has since acknowledged flaws in the campaign, including cases where officials pushed people out of their rural homes and stashed them in urban apartments to game poverty statistics. As the resettled fell back into poverty, Xi worried that “uniform quantitative targets” for poverty levels might not be the right approach in the future. Data may indeed be the new oil, but it may pollute rather than enhance a government’s ability to rule. This problem has implications for China’s so-called social credit system, a set of institutions for keeping track of pro-social behavior that Western commentators depict as a perfectly functioning “AI-powered surveillance regime that violates human rights.” As experts on information politics such as Shazeda Ahmed and Karen Hao have pointed out, the system is, in fact, much messier. The Chinese social credit system actually looks more like the U.S. credit system, which is regulated by laws such as the Fair Credit Reporting Act, than a perfect Orwellian dystopia. More machine learning may also lead authoritarian regimes to double down on bad decisions. If machine learning is trained to identify possible dissidents on the basis of arrest records, it will likely generate self-reinforcing biases similar to those seen in democracies—reflecting and affirming administrators’ beliefs about disfavored social groups and inexorably perpetuating automated suspicion and backlash. In democracies, public pushback, however imperfect, is possible. In autocratic regimes, resistance is far harder; without it, these problems are invisible to those inside the system, where officials and algorithms share the same prejudices. Instead of good policy, this will lead to increasing pathologies, social dysfunction, resentment, and, eventually, unrest and instability.

258-LAWS not practical

Farrell et al, September-October, 2022, https://www.foreignaffairs.com/world/spirals-delusion-artificial-intelligence-decision-making, HENRY FARRELL is the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Agora Professor of International Affairs at Johns Hopkins University. ABRAHAM NEWMAN is Professor of Government in the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University. JEREMY WALLACE is Associate Professor of Government at Cornell University and the author of Seeking Truth and Hiding Facts: Information, Ideology, and Authoritarianism in China, Spirals of Delusion How AI Distorts Decision-Making and Makes Dictators More Dangerous

Machine learning’s ability to automate this feedback loop with little or no human intervention has reshaped e-commerce. It may, someday, allow fully self-driving cars, although this advance has turned out to be a much harder problem than engineers anticipated. Developing autonomous weapons is a harder problem still. When algorithms encounter truly unexpected information, they often fail to make sense of it. Information that a human can easily understand but that machine learning misclassifies—known as “adversarial examples”—can gum up the works badly. For example, black and white stickers placed on a stop sign can prevent a self-driving car’s vision system from recognizing the sign. Such vulnerabilities suggest obvious limitations in AI’s usefulness in wartime.

Diving into the complexities of machine learning helps make sense of the debates about technological dominance. It explains why some thinkers, such as the computer scientist Lee, believe that data is so important. The more data you have, the more quickly you can improve the performance of your algorithm, iterating tiny change upon tiny change until you have achieved a decisive advantage. But machine learning has its limits. For example, despite enormous investments by technology firms, algorithms are far less effective than is commonly understood at getting people to buy one nearly identical product over another. Reliably manipulating shallow preferences is hard, and it is probably far more difficult to change people’s deeply held opinions and beliefs. Authoritarian governments often don’t have a good sense of how the world works. General AI, a system that might draw lessons from one context and apply them in a different one, as humans can, faces similar limitations. Netflix’s statistical models of its users’ inclinations and preferences are almost certainly dissimilar to Amazon’s, even when both are trying to model the same people grappling with similar decisions. Dominance in one sector of AI, such as serving up short videos that keep teenagers hooked (a triumph of the app TikTok), does not easily translate into dominance in another, such as creating autonomous battlefield weapons systems. An algorithm’s success often relies on the very human engineers who can translate lessons across different applications rather than on the technology itself. For now, these problems remain unsolved.

257-Turn: Attempting to establish AI dominance triggers war

Farrell et al, September-October, 2022, https://www.foreignaffairs.com/world/spirals-delusion-artificial-intelligence-decision-making, HENRY FARRELL is the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Agora Professor of International Affairs at Johns Hopkins University. ABRAHAM NEWMAN is Professor of Government in the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University. JEREMY WALLACE is Associate Professor of Government at Cornell University and the author of Seeking Truth and Hiding Facts: Information, Ideology, and Authoritarianism in China, Spirals of Delusion How AI Distorts Decision-Making and Makes Dictators More Dangerous

A more intelligent approach, then, might look to mitigate the weaknesses of AI through shared arrangements for international governance. Currently, different parts of the Chinese state disagree on the appropriate response to regulating AI. China’s Cyberspace Administration, its Academy of Information and Communications Technology, and its Ministry of Science and Technology, for instance, have all proposed principles for AI regulation. Some favor a top-down model that might limit the private sector and allow the government a free hand. Others, at least implicitly, recognize the dangers of AI for the government, too. Crafting broad international regulatory principles might help disseminate knowledge about the political risks of AI. This cooperative approach may seem strange in the context of a growing U.S.-Chinese rivalry. But a carefully modulated policy might serve Washington and its allies well. One dangerous path would be for the United States to get sucked into a race for AI dominance, which would extend competitive relations still further. Another would be to try to make the feedback problems of authoritarianism worse. Both risk catastrophe and possible war. Far safer, then, for all governments to recognize AI’s shared risks and work together to reduce them

256-Baltics shifting to wind power now

Frank Jordans, 8-30, 22, https://apnews.com/article/russia-ukraine-france-germany-prices-8ca24af90f884d0bdd800937bcf0a658, Germany upbeat on energy security; Baltics count on wind

Seven Baltic Sea nations — Finland, Sweden, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland and Denmark — on Tuesday announced a commitment to a seven-fold increase of wind power production by 2030 as a way to free northern Europe from its dependence on Russian natural gas. The Netherlands announced Tuesday that it had managed to dial down natural gas use by 25% during the first half of the year compared to the same period in 2021, with energy-intensive industries and power stations leading the way. In France, the minister for energy transition, Agnes Pannier-Runacher, said the country’s strategic energy reserves were 90% full. Energy-saving plans are still essential in the coming weeks to avoid possible rationing in peak winter cold season, she said. France rolled out an “energy sobriety” plan in June, targeting a 10% reduction in energy use by 2024. “We need to prepare for the worst-case scenario, which is a total interruption of deliveries (from Russia),” Pannier-Runacher told broadcaster France Inter. Russia’s state-controlled energy company Gazprom further reduced gas deliveries to the French company Engie, raising fears that Moscow might cut off gas completely as political leverage over the war in Ukraine. Gazprom informed Engie of a reduction in gas deliveries, starting Tuesday, because of “a disagreement between the parties on the application of several contracts.” Deliveries for Engie from Gazprom have significantly dropped since Russia invaded Ukraine on Feb. 24, with recent monthly supply of 1.5 TWh, which compares to Engie’s total annual supplies in Europe above 400 TWh, the company said. Engie has already secured enough gas to meet its commitments to customers, it said. French Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne on Monday urged businesses to make energy saving plans, warning that companies would be hit first should the government be forced into rationing gas and electricity. In an effort to wean themselves off Russian gas and reduce their climate impact, European countries have significantly ramped up efforts to build wind, solar and other renewable energies. On wind power, seven EU countries agree to set combined goals for offshore wind in the Baltic Sea region of at least 19.6 GW by 2030. The present capacity of the Baltic Sea region is currently under 3 gigawatts. Under the plan, up to 1,700 new offshore wind turbines would produce power equivalent to almost 20 nuclear power plants, providing enough electricity for up to 30 million households. ″(Russian President Vladimir) Putin is using energy as a weapon and has put Europe on the brink of an energy crisis with skyrocketing prices,” Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen said. Estonian Prime Minister Kaja Kallas said the new wind energy plan also will allow the countries “to have more affordable energy prices” while her Latvian counterpart, Arturs Krisjanis Karins, said “this can be done if we’re working together.” “That is amazing. Up to 20 gigawatt by 2030,” Ursula von der Leyen, president of the European Commission, said during the one-day Baltic Sea Energy Security Summit in Copenhagen. “It is already one-third of the overall EU ambition for offshore wind capacity by 2030.”

255-Russia can’t recruit and new soldiers are a joke

Ellen Mitchell, 8-29, 22, The Hill, Pentagon: Russian military ‘unlikely to succeed’ at recruitment target, https://thehill.com/policy/defense/3620098-pentagon-russian-military-unlikely-to-succeed-at-recruitment-target/

The U.S. government doesn’t think Russian President Vladimir Putin’s recent effort to increase the size of his military by more than 130,000 troops will succeed, a senior U.S. Defense official said Monday. Putin, who last week signed a decree to boost Russia’s combat personnel from 1.9 million to 2.04 million starting next year, is “unlikely to succeed, as Russia has historically not met personnel end strength targets,” the Defense official told reporters. They added that prior to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on Feb. 24, the country “may have already been 150,000 personnel short of their million personnel goal” and trying to expand recruitment efforts by eliminating the upper age limit for new recruits and recruiting prisoners. “Many of these new recruits have been observed as older, unfit and ill trained. So what this all suggests to us is that any additional personnel Russia is able to muster by the end of the year may not, in fact, increase overall Russian … combat power,” the official said. Both Russia and Ukraine have struggled to make significant headway in a war that has come to a near stalemate as it enters its seventh month. Since the early days of its attack on Ukraine, Russia has not been forthcoming about how many of its service members have died in the conflict, only allowing that 1,351 of its soldiers had been killed. Western officials, however, estimate that at least 45,000 Russian troops have been killed or wounded. Ukraine, meanwhile, has also kept guarded its information on how many of its troops have been killed in battle but last week revealed that nearly 9,000 military personnel have died in the war.

254-No state has yet used LAW in warfare

Kahn, 8-29, 22, LAUREN KAHN is a Research Fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, Foreign Affairs, How Ukraine Is Remaking War: Technological Advancements Are Helping Kyiv Succeed, https://www.foreignaffairs.com/ukraine/how-ukraine-remaking-war

The Russian-Ukrainian war is also the first conflict in which both sides are using artificial intelligence, particularly machine- and deep-learning algorithms. Russia has used artificial intelligence to carry out cyberattacks, to create deepfake videos that show Zelensky surrendering, and to promote other pro-Russian propaganda. Ukraine, meanwhile, has been using facial recognition technology to identify Russian operatives and soldiers, combat misinformation, and—with the help of the U.S. military—generate models of Russian tactics and strategy that it can use for analysis and strategic planning. (It is important, however, to note that neither Russia nor Ukraine has used true AI-enabled weapons, such as a weapon that could select and engage targets without human direction; no state has.)

253-AI integrated into weapons systems now

Kahn, 8-29, 22, LAUREN KAHN is a Research Fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, Foreign Affairs, How Ukraine Is Remaking War: Technological Advancements Are Helping Kyiv Succeed, https://www.foreignaffairs.com/ukraine/how-ukraine-remaking-war

At the outset of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, most experts expected that Kyiv would fall quickly. Ukrainian forces were fighting against a military that was bigger and better armed. Russia’s troops had more combat experience and funding. The question was not if Moscow’s forces would depose the Ukrainian government but when regime change would happen.

Of course, Kyiv didn’t fall. Instead, the Ukrainian military stopped Russia’s assault on the capital and forced a retreat. Russia downsized its initial mission from wholesale conquest, and the war now mostly consists of grinding offensives and counteroffensives in Ukraine’s east and south. The question is no longer how long Kyiv can hold out. It is whether the Ukrainian government can reclaim occupied land.

There are several reasons for Ukraine’s surprising success. The Russian military’s logistical incompetence, its puzzling inability to secure early air superiority, and low troop morale all played a part. So did Western support for Ukraine and the sheer tenacity of the country’s soldiers. But these explanations do not tell the full story. The Ukrainian military deserves recognition not just for its troops’ motivation but also for its technical savvy. It has used cutting-edge technologies and adapted existing capabilities in creative new ways, on and off the kinetic battlefield. It has deployed loitering munitions—missiles with the ability to stay on station until an operator locates a target—and modified commercial drones that can destroy Russian troops and equipment on the cheap. It has tapped commercial satellite data to track Russian troop movements in near real time. And Kyiv has wisely used artificial intelligence, in conjunction with this satellite imagery, to create software that helps artillery locate, aim, and destroy targets in the most efficient and lethal manner possible.

Ukraine’s success with these technologies doesn’t come because the tools are fancier or more complex than the ones Russia has deployed. Quite the contrary. Many of the technologies that Ukraine has used are very affordable and simple to deploy. In fact, the convenience of these tools is precisely what makes them so powerful. Because its technology is easy to operate, Ukraine can draw on soldiers with little training and even ordinary civilians to win on the battlefield. In doing so, the country has highlighted a bigger trend in warfare, one with implications that extend beyond this conflict: the democratization of military power. Ukraine’s tools have expanded the warfighting beyond the physical battlefield—and beyond traditional military and state actors—to allow everyday citizens, private companies, and civilian institutions to help in the fight. It’s a trend that will change how other countries conduct wars moving forward.

The conflict in Ukraine is an outlier. Most major modern wars have been between powerful states and weak states, between two weak states, or between states or nonstate actors. But unlike Iraq and the United States, both Russia and Ukraine are large countries with well-equipped militaries. As a result, the Ukrainian steppes have been transformed into a proving ground for next-generation technologies and military innovations.

Most significant, the conflict in Ukraine represents a sort of coming of age and maturing of many advanced technologies previously thought of as more niche, from drones to loitering munitions to commercial satellites. That’s because Ukraine has wielded them with visible success. The country, for instance, has upended conventional wisdom that drones will struggle to operate in the face of air defenses. It has proved that commercially owned or open-source data are, in fact, accessible and useful sources of battlefield intelligence.

Consider Ukraine’s deployment of Turkish-made Bayraktar TB2 drones. The TB2 is an unlikely hero: cheap, hard to hide, and plodding. But these drones have been very successful at neutralizing even slower or stationary targets, such as towed artillery or armored vehicles. In March, for instance, Ukraine used the weapons to attack a Russian military convoy north of Kyiv with vicious efficiency, helping force Russia’s retreat. It deployed a TB2 to transmit the coordinates for and film the sinking of a Russian rescue tug. Ukraine has also creatively turned the drone’s weaknesses into assets; the loud, lumbering weapon served as the perfect distraction for the Moskva’s air defenses while Ukraine reportedly took the ship out with two Neptune missiles.

The Russian-Ukrainian war is also the first conflict in which both sides are using artificial intelligence, particularly machine- and deep-learning algorithms. Russia has used artificial intelligence to carry out cyberattacks, to create deepfake videos that show Zelensky surrendering, and to promote other pro-Russian propaganda. Ukraine, meanwhile, has been using facial recognition technology to identify Russian operatives and soldiers, combat misinformation, and—with the help of the U.S. military—generate models of Russian tactics and strategy that it can use for analysis and strategic planning. (It is important, however, to note that neither Russia nor Ukraine has used true AI-enabled weapons, such as a weapon that could select and engage targets without human direction; no state has.)

The conflict in Ukraine represents a coming of age for many advanced technologies.

The underlying basis for most of these technologies originates in commercial and academic sectors, allowing them to be rapidly developed and distributed. This has made it easier for Ukraine to field a wider array of military capabilities and find more operators. For as little as $600, ordinary Ukrainians have used 3D printers and cheap fragmentation grenades to turn toy drones—the kinds typically used for taking dramatic aerial Instagram photos—into a platform for carrying out stealthy, short-range precision attacks. The volunteer Ukrainian drone squad Aerorozvidka, for example, has used commercial drones to drop small bombs onto the sunroofs of Russian vehicles. In early June, a 15-year-old boy also used a toy drone to help the Ukrainian military direct strikes against an approaching Russian convoy. Even this year’s Eurovision song contest played a role in drone warfare: Ukraine won by a landslide, and the country’s artist sold his trophy online to purchase three Ukrainian-produced PD2 drones.

As the Eurovision sale shows, Ukraine has used digital technologies to create and then tap into what Clint Watts, a fellow at the Foreign Policy Research Institute, called “a worldwide audience that wants to help.” Volunteer hacker armies have employed their digital savvy to shut down Russian websites. Ukraine’s Digital Ministry has been able to secure access to private, civilian-owned satellite networks and real-time, high-resolution imagery, and it is pressuring private tech companies such as Apple, Google, Meta, and Twitter to restrict access and shut down operations in Russia. (Peter Singer, a professor at Arizona State University and a senior fellow at New America, called this campaign the geopolitical equivalent of “canceling.”) Ukrainian citizens have digitally broadcast footage of the fighting, including over TikTok, to help their country’s war planners.

The ultimate result of all these changes is a dramatic diffusion of warfare, one that makes the traditional means of measuring the balance of forces far less relevant. Most of the world was persuaded that Moscow would win its invasion because when they counted up the number of tanks and soldiers Russia and Ukraine had, the former clearly outpaced the latter. But in this new era of warfare, such figures are just one part of the calculus.

PROVING GROUND

Many of the technologies that Ukraine has used are not entirely new to warfare. The TB2 drone, for example, was wielded effectively by Azerbaijan against Armenia throughout the Nagorno-Karabakh war in 2020. Loitering munitions have existed for years, if not in the sophisticated form that they do today. The Israeli Defense Forces used multiple machine-learning-based algorithms to identify targets during its 2021 operation in Gaza. And although technology is important, it is not a silver bullet. Ukraine can’t win simply because its air force has lots of TB2 drones, loitering munitions, or a digitally savvy population. Emerging systems will not do away with tanks or render current supply chains, operational concepts, stockpiles, and force doctrines irrelevant.

But Ukraine’s widespread and successful use of newer systems is placing emerging tech into the military mainstream. There’s a reason why global demand for the TB2 has suddenly skyrocketed. Countries such as Bangladesh and the United Arab Emirates have reportedly started the process of purchasing the drone after seeing its impact in Ukraine, making its manufacturer Turkey’s top defense and aerospace exporter. Even larger players are becoming fans of Ukrainian-used systems. France, for example, has suddenly fast-tracked an order of U.S.-made Switchblades—a loitering munition that Ukraine has deployed to kill Russian troops. And Ukraine has demonstrated to the world that these technologies can be effective when used in tandem with other capabilities or when deployed in roles that go beyond their initial intended uses.

Modern tools can disperse military power among millions of people.

Ukraine will continue to be a proving ground. As U.S. Army Major Brennan Deveraux argued, the continuous influx of loitering munitions into Ukraine will put them “to the ultimate test,” as the weapons are introduced for the first time at a wider scale. Artificial intelligence is a much more immature technology; its use in the current conflict is still quite limited, with its most tantalizing applications—coordinating drone swarms or assisting human pilots in carrying out air operations—still on the drawing board. But in 2017, Russian President Vladimir Putin declared that the state leading in AI will become the “ruler of the world,” and since then, Russia has worked to advance its development of military AI-enabled capabilities. It is not impossible to imagine that Moscow could test more of them on the Ukrainian battlefield in the months or years to come.

252-Russia’s military is trash

Yashi vijay, August 27, 2022, “Russia Not A Peer Military To The US” Or Even Smaller NATO Force, https://www.inventiva.co.in/stories/russia-not-a-peer-military-to-the-us/

A US invasion could fall on Kyiv within 72 hours, according to US Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mark Milley. The Kremlin, on the other hand, believes Ukraine is a nation divided by incompetent leaders without the will to resist. President Biden said he would turn the ruble into “rubble.” war shows russia "not a peer military to us" or even smaller nato forces The reality, however, has been quite different. The outcome of the conflict is as uncertain as what the half-year war means to Ukraine. Putin’s invasion of Ukraine has reshaped and it’s conventional capabilities rather than reasserting Moscow as a global military force as he wished. As a result, Finland and Sweden, which were previously neutral countries, joined the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. Phillips O’Brien, professor of strategic studies at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland, said that it does not compete with the US or even smaller NATO forces. In those terms, it isn’t even a second-tier military power since it cannot conduct complex operations like British, French, or Israeli forces. Thousands of Ukrainians have fled the country as a result of the conflict, which has severely damaged the country’s infrastructure, towns, and cities, and resulted in heavy military casualties. There is a crisis in its economy. Despite the losses his country suffered during the war, President Volodymyr Zelensky managed to rally its people to inflict huge losses on the Russian military that was forced to retreat from around Kyiv and regroup in the east. Despite its inability to mount a successful large-scale counteroffensive, Ukraine continues to receive supplies of advanced US and European weapons. Allies are under increasing economic pressure as well. According to the Swiss newspaper Blick, Prime Minister Kaja Kallas does not fear Russia will target NATO member Estonia next. Putin, however, namechecked Narva in a June speech where he discussed regaining lost Russian lands, but she said she had no concern at her borders. ukraine invasion news from february 24: russian forces storm ukraine, civilians flee kyiv, west unveils new sanctions | financial times It is time for NATO’s turn now,” Kallas told Blick. Do you think they are ready for this?” In the second quarter, the Russian economy shrank by 4% as rising energy prices boosted budget revenues. Economic forecasts have proved just as inaccurate as they were in the first quarter when the economy shrank by 2%. An economic blizzard of international sanctions has weighed heavily on this year, with its finance ministry forecasting a 12% contraction. Despite sanctions imposed by the United States and its close allies, many countries have continued to trade with Moscow, including China, India, and the Middle East. Using its own unexpectedly potent economic weapon, they have reduced natural gas supplies to Europe. Officials from Finland to Germany have recently warned citizens to be prepared for the impact of further Russian supply cuts, despite preparations being made to mitigate the impact. As European natural gas prices rose to 15 times their summer average, Alexander De Croo, Belgian Prime Minister, said the next five to ten winters would be difficult. Even before the war, O’Brien was among the few Western defense analysts who predicted that Putin would struggle in Ukraine, and the events since have further reinforced his suspicions. Despite the lengthy range of HIMARS rockets, an obsolete US technology from the 1980s, Ukrainian forces have failed to find a response, O’Brien said. Russians don’t even have a fraction of what the US has.” Before Putin launched his “special military operation” on Feb. 24, many Russian policymakers and advisers knew about the military’s weaknesses – and the challenges it would face in Ukraine. That’s why people refused just to believe that he would pull the trigger. According to a Russian defense official, there would be a positional front like in the Korean War in the 1950s. Despite this, they still believed they could expand east of the central Dnipro. Michael Kofman, director of Russia Studies at CNA, a Washington think tank, says one reason for Russian underperformance is that its military was overcounting to hide underinvestment in personnel before the war. According to estimates for the scale of the Russian invasion force, troops were gathered around Ukraine in battalions of so-called Battalion Tactical Groups, or BTGs. These manoeuvrable units included artillery, air defense, logistics, and about 50 tanks and armored vehicles, assuming each contained 700-900 soldiers. Approximately 150,000 people could have been involved in the invasion. Rather than 600 troops, Kofman said that the average BTG had fewer than 90,000. The total Russian force may have been as low as 90,000. It was essentially going to war with no vehicles because most of the personnel cuts were coming to the infantry. According to Kofman, that impacted the war by making it difficult for the Russians to get off roads, participate in urban warfare efficiently, and gain territory. His caution remains tempered, as he recalls America’s struggles against far inferior forces in Iraq and Afghanistan. Also, due to the underperformance of the Russian air force and air defenses, questions have been raised about the quality of aviation equipment and pilot training. The impact of sanctions on Russian imports will further erode the country’s ability to produce technologically advanced weapons. 27 Russian critical arms systems, such as drones, missiles, and communications equipment, included 450 foreign-made components, according to a study of Russian equipment captured or destroyed in Ukraine. In addition to the parts made by US companies, the remaining parts were made mainly by Ukraine’s supporters. Although smuggling and espionage can help fill the gap, multilateral efforts to halt these component flows and raise the cost of Russia’s aggression in Ukraine remain highly vulnerable to Russia and its armed forces. A report from the Royal United Services Institute published on August 8 highlighted Russia’s vulnerability. As a result, some analysts — and 98% of Ukrainians, according to one August poll — are now confident Ukrainian forces will win the war due to their motivation and ability to innovate, out-think Russian commanders in the field, and deploy unfamiliar NATO standard weapons. A former adviser to jailed Russian opposition leader Alexey Navalny and a defence analyst at Riddle think tank, Pavel Luzin suggests that Russia might not even be able to sustain its nuclear arsenal in the long term if it remains sanctioned. u.s. vs. russia: what a war would look like between the world's most fearsome militaries ICBMs, SLBMs, and heavy bombers will be impossible to produce because of a lack of industrial equipment, technology, and human capital, Luzin said. Yet Russia remains one of the world’s most powerful nuclear powers, able to escalate the conflict to the point of decisiveness. While Western (or modern Chinese) technology was not available to the Soviet Union, it obtained it through espionage networks. Gleb Pavlovsky, a Kremlin adviser during Russia’s first decade of power, said the West underestimated Russia’s elasticity – not only because it’s poor and incompetent but also because it’s global. There will be an explosion at some point, but how it will happen is a mystery.”

251-US leadership in high tech (AI, cybersecurity) critical to overcome energy dominance by Russia and China

Paul J. Saunders, 8-27, 22President of the Energy Innovation Reform Project. He was previously Executive Director of the Center for the National Interest (CFTNI). He remains a member of the center’s Board of Directors and a senior fellow in U.S. Foreign Policy at CFTNI, Is America Ready for Great Power Energy Competition?, https://nationalinterest.org/feature/america-ready-great-power-energy-competition-204496?page=0%2C3, Is America Ready for Great Power Energy Competition?

COMPETITION WITH China and Russia is profoundly reshaping U.S. national security and foreign policy. Policymakers are increasing America’s military capabilities, rethinking key trade policies, and consolidating alliances. Especially since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Washington is applying similar logic to energy policy, though the Biden administration has yet to act on the full implications of geopolitics for its energy and climate aims. In both areas, America needs policies that strengthen U.S. technological capabilities and leverage relationships without setting aside necessary energy sources. Two key partners in East Asia—Japan and South Korea—should be important pillars of U.S. global energy and climate strategy in this new era. Unofficial dialogue among U.S., Japanese, and South Korean experts hints at significant opportunities. Humans have competed for access to energy since before recorded history; this competition began with conflicts over food, the biological energy we need to survive. As societies discovered and developed new ways to obtain and use energy, competition expanded over energy resources, as well as technologies to convert energy into useful work—from water wheels to steam engines, and eventually, nuclear reactors. In the late nineteenth and especially the twentieth centuries, energy and other forms of competition among great powers became global. Tension surrounding access to energy resources has been common in international affairs in recent decades. This has included China’s “grey zone” activities to assert energy-laden (and strategically significant) maritime territorial claims in East Asia, Russian efforts to use natural gas and oil supplies for political leverage, and Saudi Arabian and Russian attempts to undercut U.S. unconventional oil producers. America and its rivals have scrambled to build or block pipelines, to make or prevent overseas energy and related infrastructure investments, and to establish, thwart, or counter naval and other bases to protect shipping lanes. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has elevated pre-existing energy-related tensions to levels unseen since the 1973 OPEC oil embargo or, for that matter, the 1941 U.S. oil embargo against Imperial Japan. U.S. and allied sanctions on Russia’s energy sector and Russia’s selective oil and gas supply cutoffs are reshaping energy markets and policies in Europe, Asia, and elsewhere. These strains come atop escalating technology competition in energy, information, communications, artificial intelligence, space, and other sectors. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has elevated pre-existing energy-related tensions to levels unseen since the 1973 OPEC oil embargo or, for that matter, the 1941 U.S. oil embargo against Imperial Japan. U.S. and allied sanctions on Russia’s energy sector and Russia’s selective oil and gas supply cutoffs are reshaping energy markets and policies in Europe, Asia, and elsewhere. These strains come atop escalating technology competition in energy, information, communications, artificial intelligence, space, and other sectors. Energy technology competition has included policies to promote innovation as well as to ensure that others cannot dominate global markets for important energy resources or conversion technologies (i.e., systems to shift energy from one form to another; e.g., from sunlight, wind, or fuel to electricity). In the United States, political leaders have supported research and development in many areas, such as small modular nuclear reactors and liquid biofuels. Congress has also focused on China’s role in manufacturing solar panels, wind turbines, and batteries in addition to extractive industries producing key commodity inputs. So-called critical minerals for electronics and batteries are a top concern in America and other countries; calls to ensure U.S. access to domestic and international supplies have stimulated domestic and international actions by the Biden administration, swelled the list of relevant bills pending in Congress, and encouraged new mining and processing. That policy concerning critical minerals has been an area of general continuity between the Trump and Biden administrations signals that vital U.S. national interests are at stake. Critical minerals are not the only link between energy and electronics in today’s interconnected world; developed-country energy infrastructure is increasingly difficult to separate from the networked control systems that ensure safe and efficient operation, sometimes remotely. This links energy-related competition to parallel high-stakes competition surrounding artificial intelligence, quantum computing, and cybersecurity. Criminal hackers had a stunning impact on the Colonial Pipeline’s gasoline deliveries and hinted at the potential consequences of determined nation-state cyberattacks…. Energy and energy technology are already elements of U.S. competition with both China and Russia. Competing effectively will require both new U.S. policies as well as more determined efforts to align America’s approaches with those of its closest friends.

250-Russia’s already weak military has been decimated

Davidson, 8-27, 22 Jason W. Davidson, Jason Davidson is a Non-resident Senior Fellow at the New American Engagement Initiative at the Atlantic Council and Professor of Political Science at the University of Mary Washington. He is also the author of America’s Entangling Alliances: 1778 to the Present, Russia’s War on Ukraine Won’t Spark World War III, https://nationalinterest.org/feature/russia%E2%80%99s-war-ukraine-won%E2%80%99t-spark-world-war-iii-204415?page=0%2C1

Prior to February 24, 2022, U.S. government officials were concerned with Russia’s military power, especially in the event of a war near its region. As the war has gone on, however, Russia has suffered serious setbacks that cast doubt on its military power. Russia’s attempt to seize Kyiv and conquer all of Ukraine failed miserably. Only a month after initiating the war, Russia was forced to pull back from its assault on Kyiv, instead focusing on the Donbas in Ukraine’s east. Thus far, Russia has also failed in the far more limited objectives of solidifying control of the Donbas and Kherson in Ukraine’s south. While both sides have suffered major losses, it is Ukraine that has recently seized the initiative. These setbacks reveal Russian weaknesses that were present prior to the war. As U.S. ambassador to NATO Julianne Smith said in a July interview, many thought Russia’s post-2008 military modernization had been successful. Instead, she said, the war has revealed that despite investments, “…they have not been able to eliminate some of the core challenges” that existed previously in logistics, command and control, and morale. In addition, the war itself has contributed to further losses in Russian power. In all, Russia has suffered substantial losses of its rank and file (recent estimates are 20,000 Russian troops dead and 50,000 wounded) and officers (thousands of lieutenants and captains and hundreds of colonels). Finally, and in contrast to the two world war cases, Russia has not escalated action against the United States or U.S. interests since the war began.

249-US avoiding escalation, nuclear deterrence Russian restraint mean no Ukraine escalation

Davidson, 8-27, 22 Jason W. Davidson, Jason Davidson is a Non-resident Senior Fellow at the New American Engagement Initiative at the Atlantic Council and Professor of Political Science at the University of Mary Washington. He is also the author of America’s Entangling Alliances: 1778 to the Present, Russia’s War on Ukraine Won’t Spark World War III, https://nationalinterest.org/feature/russia%E2%80%99s-war-ukraine-won%E2%80%99t-spark-world-war-iii-204415?page=0%2C1

There is a growing chorus of concern that the Biden administration’s Ukraine policy is falling into an escalation spiral that could ultimately result in World War III. At first glance, the history of the United States’ entry into World War I and World War II seems to serve as a perfect cautionary tale to support those concerned with the risks of escalation. In 1914 and 1940 the U.S. government took a firm stance in opposition to entry into war. In both historical cases, increasing U.S. aid to one side of belligerents triggered adversary reactions and contributed to a security spiral, making U.S. entry into both wars more likely.

There are two significant differences between the world wars and the present case that provide reason for optimism in this case. First, as the early years of both world wars unfolded, the U.S. government’s perceptions of threat hardened as a result of the leading adversary’s battlefield successes and actions targeting the United States. These growing threat perceptions pushed the United States to escalate, which was a critical factor in the security spiral. In both cases, the American public and U.S. Congress watched the carnage unfolding in Europe with horror. The only thing that overcame their reluctance to pay the costs of entry into war was the growing perception that Imperial Germany and Nazi Germany were threats to U.S. interests.

Since the February 24 invasion, American policymakers have downgraded their assessment of Russian military power, and Moscow has not taken any significant new action to threaten U.S. interests, so there is no reason for the United States to risk war via escalation. Nuclear arsenals on both sides are a second novel factor in this case. Today, war with Russia promises not just carnage but Armageddon, and the risk of Armageddon imposes an extraordinary level of caution, which we see manifest in real concern in the American public and Congress about the risk of war with Russia

When war broke out in Europe in August 1914, Woodrow Wilson’s administration declared neutrality. As the war progressed, the United States’ exports to the Entente powers increased dramatically: in 1914 U.S. exports to Europe exceeded imports by $500 million, whereas in 1917 difference was $3.5 billion. Of the $7 billion that flowed to the Entente powers during the neutrality period, munitions totaled $2 billion. Germany’s Kaiser Wilhelm approved unrestricted submarine warfare in 1917 in an attempt to cripple the Entente by limiting their access to the increasingly important U.S. aid.

Germany’s unrestricted submarine warfare campaign represented a significant and growing threat to U.S. interests. Within weeks of the new campaign’s start, fifteen Americans died with the sinking of the merchant vessel Vigilancia and twenty-one perished with the sinking of the Healdtown. In asking Congress to declare war, President Woodrow Wilson lamented that Germany’s submarine campaign was a threat to U.S. interests, to “the safety of its ships and the security of its citizens against wanton murder on the high seas.” Germany further threatened U.S. interests through sabotage, including an attempt to destroy the Welland Canal. Finally, in February 1917, the U.S. government learned of the “Zimmerman Telegram,” wherein Germany offered a military alliance to Mexico in the event that the United States entered World War I.

In the early years of the Great War, the American public and U.S. Congress were firmly opposed to U.S. entry, providing a break on entry into the war. Historian Arthur Link wrote that the main reason for American anti-war sentiment was “the daily news of the increasing carnage on the western front, the belief that the war was endless, and the still prevailing conviction that American security would be threatened whatever the outcome in Europe.” The most important factor in convincing the American public and the Congress to accept the costs of war was Germany’s unrestricted submarine warfare campaign and the subsequent sinking of American ships.

In April 1940, Adolf Hitler’s Nazi Germany invaded Norway and occupied Denmark. Despite increasingly urgent pleas from Britain and France, Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s administration refused to enter the war. FDR’s administration did provide military aid to the countries fighting Nazi Germany, however. In September 1940, the United States agreed to the “bases for destroyers” deal with the United Kingdom, wherein the United States offered fifty aging destroyers in exchange for eight Atlantic air and naval bases. A fundamental shift occurred in March 1941 when Congress passed the Lend-Lease Act, which gave the president the power to lend or lease war supplies to any nation deemed vital to the defense of the United States. Lend-lease was a lifeline to the British, and—after Hitler’s June 1941 invasion of the Soviet Union—Soviet war efforts and the Germans knew it.

From April 1940 to December 1941, FDR’s administration became convinced that Nazi Germany was a threat to the United States. Nazi Germany’s rapid victory over France (June 1940) and ability to bomb Britain (fall 1940) with impunity were both indicators of German military power and signs that the United States could not rely on others to defeat Hitler. In May 1941, FDR declared a state of unlimited emergency, explaining that “Adolf Hitler never considered the domination of Europe as an end in itself. European conquest was but a step toward ultimate goals in all the other continents.” Nazi Germany’s invasion of the Soviet Union in June 1941 initially yielded massive territorial gains and seemed to foreshadow the fall of the most powerful state standing between Germany and the United States. In a year and half, Nazi Germany had gone from a threat the United States hoped Europe could handle to one on the cusp of dominating the continent.

As World War II began, FDR was concerned with the threat Nazi Germany posed but was restrained by the American public and U.S. Congress, who were opposed to entry into the war. Vivid reporting in Time and Life magazines on Germany’s invasion of Poland and the Battle of Britain only served to convince Americans of warnings of those such as Charles Lindbergh that entry into war would mean the loss of “the best of American youth.” Germany’s rapid and thorough conquest of Europe and the German U-boat sinking of the USS Reuben James led to a change in sentiment. By October 1941, 70 percent of Americans said it was more important to defeat Hitler than to stay out of the war. Of course, Japan’s attack on Pearl Harbor finally brought the United States fully into World War II (as Germany declared war on the United States), but the consensus in the FDR administration was that Germany was the primary threat and only by entering the war against it could the U.S. eliminate that threat.

Ukraine

The Biden administration’s response to Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine has differed significantly from the Wilson administration’s response to the outbreak of the Great War and FDR’s response to the Second World War. The United States has promised over $10 billion in military aid to Ukraine since January, including $775 million announced on August 19. The Biden administration has also, however, exercised great care to avoid any serious escalation that might lead to direct conflict between the U.S./NATO and Russia. The administration has consistently dismissed calls for a no-fly zone or any other action that could risk a direct military clash with Russia. As President Joe Biden said in March: “We will not fight a war against Russia in Ukraine. Direct conflict between NATO and Russia is World War III, something we must strive to prevent.” The administration has also been careful about the kind of military aid is has provided. For example, it has resisted supplying Ukraine with fighter aircraft that could be used to attack Russian territory. Finally, the United States has asked Ukraine to not use American-supplied weapons to attack Russian territory (and, so far, Ukraine seems to be complying) even as Washington supports Kyiv in re-taking territory it previously lost to Russia.

Prior to February 24, 2022, U.S. government officials were concerned with Russia’s military power, especially in the event of a war near its region. As the war has gone on, however, Russia has suffered serious setbacks that cast doubt on its military power. Russia’s attempt to seize Kyiv and conquer all of Ukraine failed miserably. Only a month after initiating the war, Russia was forced to pull back from its assault on Kyiv, instead focusing on the Donbas in Ukraine’s east. Thus far, Russia has also failed in the far more limited objectives of solidifying control of the Donbas and Kherson in Ukraine’s south. While both sides have suffered major losses, it is Ukraine that has recently seized the initiative. These setbacks reveal Russian weaknesses that were present prior to the war. As U.S. ambassador to NATO Julianne Smith said in a July interview, many thought Russia’s post-2008 military modernization had been successful. Instead, she said, the war has revealed that despite investments, “…they have not been able to eliminate some of the core challenges” that existed previously in logistics, command and control, and morale. In addition, the war itself has contributed to further losses in Russian power. In all, Russia has suffered substantial losses of its rank and file (recent estimates are 20,000 Russian troops dead and 50,000 wounded) and officers (thousands of lieutenants and captains and hundreds of colonels). Finally, and in contrast to the two world war cases, Russia has not escalated action against the United States or U.S. interests since the war began.

Biden administration officials have recognized the necessity of avoiding any scenario that could lead to a World War III nuclear exchange with Russia. In April, CIA director William Burns warned that “None of us can take lightly the threat posed by a potential resort to tactical nuclear weapons or low-yield nuclear weapons.” National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan, when asked about supplying Ukraine with Army Tactical Missile Systems (ATACMS) said “[A] key goal is to ensure that we do not end up in a circumstance where we’re heading down the road towards a third world war.”

The American public and the U.S. Congress are concerned with the risk that U.S. support for Ukraine could escalate into war, including nuclear war with Russia. A May Pew poll found that 51 percent of respondents were either extremely or very concerned that U.S. and NATO support for Ukraine would lead to war with Russia (another 31 percent were somewhat concerned). In March, leading Democrats and Republicans in Congress united in opposing a no-fly zone, given the concerns with escalation to a nuclear war. As Senator Chris Murphy (D-CT) said “I don’t think it’s in our interest, the interest of Europe, to have the United States and Russia — the two world’s biggest, most equipped nuclear superpowers — going to war directly against each other.” The American public and U.S. Congress’ concern with the risk of war with Russia will serve as a critical failsafe if the Biden administration were to consider taking steps that

258-If China perceives it leads in advanced technologies it will attack Taiwan

Kroenig, 8-27, 22, Matthew Kroenig is deputy director of the Atlantic Council’s Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security and a professor in the Department of Government and the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University. His latest book is The Return of Great Power Rivalry: Democracy Versus Autocracy From the Ancient World to the U.S. and China, Foreign Policy, International Relations Theory Suggests Great-Power War Is Coming

Realists also focus on shifts in the balance of power and worry about the rise of China and the relative decline of the United States. Power transition theory says that the fall of a dominant great power and the rise of an ascendant challenger often results in war. Some experts worry that Washington and Beijing may be falling into this “Thucydides Trap.” Their dysfunctional autocratic systems make it unlikely that Beijing or Moscow will usurp global leadership from the United States anytime soon, but a closer look at the historical record shows that challengers sometimes start wars of aggression when their expansive ambitions are thwarted. Like Germany in World War I and Japan in World War II, Russia may be lashing out to reverse its decline, and China may also be weak and dangerous. Some people might argue that nuclear deterrence will still work, but military technology is changing. The world is experiencing a “Fourth Industrial Revolution” as new technologies—such as artificial intelligence, quantum computing and communications, additive manufacturing, robotics, hypersonic missiles, directed energy, and others—promise to transform the global economy, societies, and the battlefield. Many defense experts believe we are on the eve of a new revolution in military affairs. It is possible that these new technologies could, like tanks and aircraft on the eve of World War II, give an advantage to militaries that go on the offense, making war more likely. At a minimum, these new weapons systems could confuse assessments of the balance of power, contributing to the above risks of miscalculation. China, for example, is leading in several of these technologies, including hypersonic missiles, certain applications for artificial intelligence, and quantum computing. These advantages—or even the false perception in Beijing that these advantages might exist—could tempt China to invade Taiwan.

257-China and Russia prove norms don’t work

Kroenig, 8-27, 22, Matthew Kroenig is deputy director of the Atlantic Council’s Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security and a professor in the Department of Government and the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University. His latest book is The Return of Great Power Rivalry: Democracy Versus Autocracy From the Ancient World to the U.S. and China, Foreign Policy, International Relations Theory Suggests Great-Power War Is Coming

Finally, constructivist arguments about the pacifying effects of global norms were always plagued with doubts about whether these norms were truly universal. As China engages in genocide in Xinjiang and Russia issues bloodcurdling nuclear threats and castrates prisoners of war in Ukraine, we now have our gruesome answer.

256-Putin is a revisionist leader committed to conquering Europe; no negotiated peace agreement is possible

Hill & Stent, July-August 2022, , https://www.foreignaffairs.com/russian-federation/world-putin-wants-fiona-hill-angela-stent, FIONA HILL is Senior Fellow at the Center on the United States and Europe in the Foreign Policy Program at the Brookings Institution. From 2017 to 2019, she was the Senior Director for Europe and Russia on the U.S. National Security Council. She is the author of There Is Nothing for You Here: Finding Opportunity in the Twenty-first Century; ANGELA STENT is a Nonresident Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution and Professor Emerita at Georgetown University. She is the author of Putin’s World: Russia Against the West and With the Rest.

Vladimir Putin is determined to shape the future to look like his version of the past. Russia’s president invaded Ukraine not because he felt threatened by NATO expansion or by Western “provocations.” He ordered his “special military operation” because he believes that it is Russia’s divine right to rule Ukraine, to wipe out the country’s national identity, and to integrate its people into a Greater Russia. He laid out this mission in a 5,000-word treatise, published in July 2021, entitled, “On the Historical Unity of Russians and Ukrainians.” In it, Putin insisted that Belarusians, Russians, and Ukrainians are all descendants of the Rus, an ancient people who settled the lands between the Black and Baltic Seas. He asserted that they are bound together by a common territory and language and the Orthodox Christian faith. In his version of history, Ukraine has never been sovereign, except for a few historical interludes when it tried—and failed—to become an independent state. Putin wrote that “Russia was robbed” of core territory when the Bolsheviks created the Soviet Union in 1922 and established a Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic. In his telling, since the Soviet collapse, the West has used Ukraine as a platform to threaten Russia, and it has supported the rise of “neo-Nazis” there. Putin’s essay, which every soldier sent to Ukraine is supposed to carry, ends by asserting that Ukraine can only be sovereign in partnership with Russia. “We are one people,” Putin declares. This treatise, and similar public statements, make clear that Putin wants a world where Russia presides over a new Slavic union composed of Belarus, Russia, Ukraine, and perhaps the northern part of Kazakhstan (which is heavily Slavic)—and where all the other post-Soviet states recognize Russia’s suzerainty. He also wants the West and the global South to accept Russia’s predominant regional role in Eurasia. This is more than a sphere of influence; it is a sphere of control, with a mixture of outright territorial reintegration of some places and dominance in the security, political, and economic spheres of others. Putin is serious about achieving these goals by military and nonmilitary means. He has been at war in Ukraine since early 2014, when Russian forces, wearing green combat uniforms stripped of their insignia, took control of Crimea in a stealth operation. This attack was swiftly followed by covert operations to stir up civil disorder in Ukraine’s eastern and southern regions close to the Russian border. Russia succeeded in fomenting revolt in the Donbas region and sparking an armed conflict that resulted in 14,000 deaths over the next eight years. All these regions have been targeted for assault and conquest since February 2022. Similarly, in Belarus, Putin took advantage of internal crises and large-scale protests in 2020 and 2021 to constrain its leader’s room for maneuver. Belarus, which has a so-called union arrangement with Russia, was then used as the staging ground for the “special military operation” against Ukraine. The Russian president has made it clear that his country is a revisionist power. In a March 2014 speech marking Crimea’s annexation, Putin put the West on notice that Russia was on the offensive in staking out its regional claims. To make this task easier, Putin later took steps that he believed would sanction-proof the Russian economy by reducing its exposure to the United States and Europe, including pushing for the domestic production of critical goods. He stepped up repression, conducting targeted assassinations and imprisoning opponents. He carried out disinformation operations and engaged in efforts to bribe and blackmail politicians abroad. Putin has constantly adapted his tactics to mitigate Western responses—to the point that on the eve of his invasion, as Russian troops massed on Ukraine’s borders, he bragged to some European interlocutors that he had “bought the West.” There was nothing, he thought, that the United States or Europe could do to constrain him. So far, the West’s reaction to the invasion has generally been united and robust. Russia’s aggressive attack on Ukraine was a wake-up call for the United States and its allies. But the West must understand that it is dealing with a leader who is trying to change the historical narrative of the last hundred years—not just of the period since the end of the Cold War. Vladimir Putin wants to make Ukraine, Europe, and indeed the whole world conform to his own version of history. Understanding his objectives is central to crafting the right response. WHO CONTROLS THE PAST? In Vladimir Putin’s mind, history matters—that is, history as he sees it. Putin’s conception of the past may be very different from what is generally accepted, but his narratives are a potent political weapon, and they underpin his legitimacy. Well before the full invasion of Ukraine on February 24, 2022, Putin had been making intellectual forays into obscure periods of the past and manipulating key events to set up the domestic and international justification for his war. In 2010, at the annual meeting of the Kremlin-sponsored Valdai International Discussion Club, Putin’s press spokesman told the audience that the Russian president reads books on Russian history “all the time.” He makes frequent pronouncements about Russian history, including about his own place in it. Putin has put Kyiv at the center of his drive to “correct” what he says is a historical injustice: the separation of Ukraine from Russia during the 1922 formation of the Soviet Union. The president’s obsession with Russia’s imperial past runs deep. In his Kremlin chambers, Putin has strategically placed statues of the Russian monarchs Peter the Great and Catherine the Great, who conquered what are today Ukrainian territories in wars with the Swedish and Ottoman empires. He has also usurped Ukraine’s history and appropriated some of its most prominent figures. In November 2016, for example, right outside the Kremlin gates, Putin erected a statue of Vladimir the Great, the tenth-century grand prince of the principality of Kyiv. In Putin’s version of history, Grand Prince Vladimir converted to Christianity on behalf of all of ancient Rus in 988, making him the holy saint of Orthodox Christianity and a Russian, not a Ukrainian, Figure. The conversion means that there is no Ukrainian nation separate from Russia. The grand prince belongs to Moscow, not to Kyiv. Since the war, Putin has doubled down on his historical arguments. He deputized his former culture minister and close Kremlin aide, Vladimir Medinsky, to lead the Russian delegation in early talks with Ukraine. According to a well-informed Russian academic, Medinsky was one of the ghostwriters of a series of essays by Putin on Ukraine and its supposed fusion with Russia. As quickly became clear, Medinsky’s brief was to press Russia’s historical claims to Ukraine and defend Putin’s distorted narratives, not just to negotiate a diplomatic solution. Putin’s assertions, of course, are historical miasmas, infused with a brew of temporal and factual contradictions. They ignore, for example, the fact that in 988, the idea of a united Russian state and empire was centuries off in the future. Indeed, the first reference to Moscow as a place of any importance was not recorded until 1147. BLAMING THE BOLSHEVIKS On the eve of the invasion, Putin gave a speech accusing Bolshevik leader Vladimir Lenin of destroying the Russian empire by launching a revolution during World War I and then “separating, severing what is historically Russian land.” As Putin put it, “Bolshevik, Communist Russia” created “a country that had never existed before”—Ukraine—by wedging Russian territories such as the Donbas region, a center of heavy industry, into a new Ukrainian socialist republic. In fact, Lenin and the Bolsheviks essentially recreated the Russian empire and just called it something else. They established separate Soviet Socialist Republics for Ukraine and other regions to contrast themselves with the imperial tsars, who reigned over a united, Russified state and oppressed ethnic minorities. But for Putin, the Bolsheviks’ decision was illegitimate, robbing Russia of its patrimony and stirring “zealous nationalists” in Ukraine, who then developed dangerous ideas of independence. Putin claims he is reversing these century-old “strategic mistakes.” Narratives about NATO have also played a special role in Putin’s version of history. Putin argues that NATO is a tool of U.S. imperialism and a means for the United States to continue its supposed Cold War occupation and domination of Europe. He claims that NATO compelled eastern European member countries to join the organization and accuses it of unilaterally expanding into Russia’s sphere of influence. In reality, those countries, still fearful after decades of Soviet domination, clamored to become members. But according to Putin, these purported actions by the United States and NATO have forced Russia to defend itself against military encroachment; Moscow had “no other choice,” he claims, but to invade Ukraine to forestall it from joining NATO, even though the organization was not going to admit the country. On July 7, 2022, Putin told Russian parliamentary leaders that the war in Ukraine was unleashed by “the collective West,” which was trying to contain Russia and “impose its new world order on the rest of the world.” The more that Russia tries to erase the Ukrainian national identity, the stronger it becomes. But Putin also plays up Russia’s imperial role. At a June 9, 2022, Moscow conference, Putin told young Russian entrepreneurs that Ukraine is a “colony,” not a sovereign country. He likened himself to Peter the Great, who waged “the Great Northern War” for 21 years against Sweden—“returning and reinforcing” control over land that was part of Russia. This explanation also echoes what Putin told U.S. President George Bush at the April 2008 NATO summit in Bucharest: “Ukraine is not a real country.” The United States was, of course, once a colony of Great Britain. So were Australia, Canada, India, Ireland, and numerous other states that have been independent and sovereign for decades. That does not make them British or give the United Kingdom a contemporary claim to exert control over their destinies, even though many of these countries have English as their first or second language. Yet Putin insists that Ukraine’s Russian speakers are all Moscow’s subjects and that, globally, all Russian speakers are part of the “Russian world,” with special ties to the motherland. In Ukraine, however, his push has backfired. Since February 24, 2022, Putin’s insistence that Ukrainians who speak Russian are Russians has, on the contrary, helped to forge a new national identity in Ukraine centered on the Ukrainian language. The more that Putin tries to erase the Ukrainian national identity with bombs and artillery shells, the stronger it becomes. CONJURING NAZIS Ukraine and Ukrainians have a complicated history. Empires have come and gone, and borders have changed for centuries, so the people living on modern Ukrainian territory have fluid, compound identities. But Ukraine has been an independent state since 1991, and Putin is genuinely aggrieved that Ukrainians insist on their own statehood and civic identity. Take Putin’s frequent references to World War II. Since 2011, Putin has enshrined the “Great Fatherland War” as the seminal event for modern Russia. He has strictly enforced official narratives about the conflict. He has also portrayed his current operation as its successor; in Putin’s telling, the invasion of Ukraine is designed to liberate the country from Nazis. But for Putin, Ukrainians are Nazis not because they follow the precepts of Adolf Hitler or espouse national socialism. They are Nazis because they are “zealous nationalists”—akin to the controversial World War II–era Ukrainian partisan Stepan Bandera, who fought with the Germans against Soviet forces. They are Nazis because they refuse to admit they are Russians. Putin’s conjuring of Ukrainian Nazis has gained more traction domestically than anywhere else. Yet internationally, Putin’s assertions about NATO and proxy wars with the United States and the collective West have won a variety of adherents, from prominent academics to Pope Francis, who said in June 2022 that the Ukraine war was “perhaps somehow provoked.” Western politicians and analysts continue to debate whether NATO is at fault for the war. These arguments persist even though Putin’s 2014 annexation of Crimea came in response to Ukraine’s efforts to associate with the European Union, not with NATO. And the debate has gone on, even though when Finland and Sweden applied to join the alliance in June 2022, despite months of threats from Russia, Putin told reporters that Kremlin officials “don’t have problems with Sweden and Finland like we do with Ukraine.” Putin’s problem, then, was not NATO in particular. It was that Ukraine wanted to associate with any entity or country other than Russia. Whether Ukraine wanted to join the European Union or NATO or have bilateral relations with the United States—any of these efforts would have been an affront to Russia’s history and dignity. To Putin, Ukrainians are Nazis because they refuse to admit they are Russians. But Putin knows it will be difficult to negotiate a settlement in Ukraine based on his version of history and to reconcile fundamentally different stories of the past. Most modern European states emerged from the ruins of empires and the disintegration of larger multiethnic states. The war in Ukraine could lead to more Russian interference to stoke simmering conflicts in weak states such as Bosnia-Herzegovina and other Balkan countries, where history and territorial claims are also disputed. Yet no matter the potential cost, Putin wants his past to prevail in Europe’s political present. And to make sure that happens, the Russian military is in the field, in full force, fighting the regular Ukrainian army. Unlike the situation in Donbas from 2014 to 2022, when Russia falsely denied that it was involved, this war is a direct conflict between the two states. As Putin also told his Russian parliamentarians on July 7, he is determined to fight to the last Ukrainian, even though he purportedly sees Ukrainians as “brothers.” AT ANY COST Putin abhors that the United States and European countries are supporting Ukraine militarily. In response, he has launched an economic and information war against the West, clearly signaling that this is not only a military conflict and a battle over who gets to “own history.” Russia has weaponized energy, grain, and other commodities. It has spread disinformation, including by accusing Ukraine of committing the very atrocities that Russia has carried out on the battlefield and by blaming Western sanctions for exacerbating famines in Africa when it is Russia that has blocked Ukrainian grain shipments to the continent from the Black Sea. And in many parts of the world, Russia is winning the information war. So far, the West has not been able to be completely effective in the informational space. Nevertheless, Western support for Ukraine has been significant. This support has two major elements: weapons and sanctions, including the High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems (HIMARS) from the United States, which have significantly increased Ukraine’s ability to strike back at Russian targets. Other NATO members have also supplied weapons and humanitarian assistance. But Ukraine’s constant need to replenish its arms has already begun to deplete the arsenals of donating countries. Western energy, financial, and export control sanctions have been extensive, and they are affecting the Russian economy. But sanctions cannot alter Putin’s view of history or his determination to subjugate Ukraine, so they have not changed his calculus or his war aims. Indeed, close observers say that Putin has rarely consulted his economic advisers during this war, apart from Elvira Nabiullina, the head of the central bank, who has astutely managed the value of the ruble. This is a stark break from the past, when Putin has always appeared extremely interested in the Russian economy and eager to discuss statistics and growth rates in great detail. Any concerns about the long-term economic impact of the war have receded from his view. And to date, Russia’s economy has weathered the sanctions, although growth rates are forecast to plunge this year. The real pinch from Western export controls will be felt in 2023, when Russia will lack the semiconductors and spare parts for its manufacturing sector, and its industrial plants will be forced to close. The country’s oil industry will especially struggle as it loses out on technology and software from the international oil industry. Europe and the United States have imposed wide-ranging energy sanctions on Russia, with the European Union committed to phasing out oil imports from Russia by the end of 2022. But limiting gas imports is much more challenging, as a number of countries, including Germany, have few alternatives to replace Russian gas in the short term, and Putin has weaponized energy by severely reducing gas supplies to Europe. For 50 years, the Soviet Union and Russia cast themselves as reliable suppliers of natural gas to Western Europe in a relationship of mutual dependence: Europe needed gas, and Moscow needed gas revenues. But that calculation is gone. Putin believes that Russia can forgo these revenues because countries still buying Russian oil and gas are paying higher prices for it—higher prices that he helped provoke by cutting back on Russia’s exports to Europe. And even if Russia does eventually lose energy revenues, Putin appears willing to pay that price. What he ultimately cares about is undermining European support for Ukraine. Russia’s economic and energy warfare extends to the weaponization of nuclear power. Russia took over the Chernobyl plant in Ukraine at the beginning of the war, after recklessly sending Russian soldiers into the highly radioactive “red zone” and forcing the Ukrainian staff at the plant to work under dangerous conditions. Then, it abandoned the plant after having exposed the soldiers to toxic radiation. Russia subsequently shelled and took over Ukraine’s Zaporizhzhya nuclear power plant, Europe’s largest, and turned it into a military base. By attacking the power plant and transforming it into a military garrison, Russia has created a safety crisis for the thousands of workers there. Putin’s broad-based campaign does not stop at nuclear energy. Putin’s goal is not negotiation but Ukrainian capitulation. Russia has also weaponized food supplies, blockading Ukraine and preventing it from exporting its abundant grain and fertilizer stocks. In July 2022, Turkey and the United Nations brokered an agreement to allow Ukraine and Russia to export grain and fertilizer, but the implementation of this deal faced multiple obstacles, given the war raging in the Black Sea area. Indeed, immediately after the official signing of the agreement, Russia shelled some of the infrastructure at Ukraine’s critical Odessa port. Putin has fallen back on another historic Russian military tactic—bogging down opposing forces and waiting for winter. Much as his predecessors arranged for Napoleon’s armies to be trapped in the snows near Moscow and for Nazi soldiers to freeze to death outside Stalingrad, Putin plans to have French and German citizens shivering in their homes. In his speech at the June 2022 St. Petersburg International Economic Forum, Putin predicted that, as Europeans face a cold winter and suffer the economic consequences of the sanctions their governments have imposed on Russia and on Russian gas exports, populist parties will rise, and new elites will come to power. The June 2022 parliamentary elections in France, when Marine Le Pen’s extreme-right party increased its seats elevenfold—largely because of voters’ unhappiness with their economic situation—reinforced Putin’s convictions. The collapse of Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi’s government in July 2022 and the possible return of a populist, pro-Russian prime minister in the fall were also considered results of popular economic discontent. The Kremlin aims to fracture Western unity against Russia under the pressure of energy shortages, high prices, and economic hardship. In the meantime, Putin is confident that he can prevail. On the surface, popular support for the war inside Russia seems reasonably robust. Polling by the independent Levada Center shows that Putin’s approval rating went up after the invasion began. Nonetheless, there is good reason for skepticism about the depth of active support for him. Hundreds of thousands of people who oppose the war have left the country. Many of them, in doing so, have explicitly said that they want to be part of Russia’s future but not Vladimir Putin’s version of the past. Russians who have stayed and publicly criticized the war have been harassed or imprisoned. Others are indifferent, or they passively support the war. Indeed, life for most people in Moscow and other big Russian cities goes on as normal. So far, the conscripts who have been sent to fight and die are not the children of Russia’s elites or urban middle class. They are from poor, rural areas, and many of them are not ethnically Russian. Rumors after five months of combat that the Moscow-linked Wagner mercenary group was recruiting prisoners to fight suggested that Russia faced an acute manpower shortage. But the troops are urged on by propaganda that dehumanizes the Ukrainians and makes the fighting seem more palatable. DIVIDE AND CONQUER Despite calls by some for a negotiated settlement that would involve Ukrainian territorial concessions, Putin seems uninterested in a compromise that would leave Ukraine as a sovereign, independent state—whatever its borders. According to multiple former senior U.S. officials we spoke with, in April 2022, Russian and Ukrainian negotiators appeared to have tentatively agreed on the outlines of a negotiated interim settlement: Russia would withdraw to its position on February 23, when it controlled part of the Donbas region and all of Crimea, and in exchange, Ukraine would promise not to seek NATO membership and instead receive security guarantees from a number of countries. But as Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov stated in a July interview with his country’s state media, this compromise is no longer an option. Even giving Russia all of the Donbas is not enough. “Now the geography is different,” Lavrov asserted, in describing Russia’s short-term military aims. “It’s also Kherson and the Zaporizhzhya regions and a number of other territories.” The goal is not negotiation, but Ukrainian capitulation. At any point, negotiations with Russia—if not handled carefully and with continued strong Western support for Ukraine’s defense and security—would merely facilitate an operational pause for Moscow. After a time, Russia would continue to try to undermine the Ukrainian government. Moscow would likely first attempt to take Odessa and other Black Sea ports with the goal of leaving Ukraine an economically inviable, landlocked country. If he succeeds in that, Putin would launch a renewed assault on Kyiv as well, with the aim of unseating the present government and installing a pro-Moscow puppet government. Putin’s war in Ukraine, then, will likely grind on for a long time. The main challenge for the West will be maintaining resolve and unity, as well as expanding international support for Ukraine and preventing sanctions evasion. This will not be easy. The longer the war lasts, the greater the impact domestic politics will have on its course. Russia, Ukraine, and the United States will all have presidential elections in 2024. Russia’s and Ukraine’s are usually slated for March. Russia’s outcome is foreordained: either Putin will return to power, or he will be followed by a successor, likely from the security services, who supports the war and is hostile to the West. Zelensky remains popular in Ukraine as a wartime president, but he will be less likely to win an election if he makes territorial concessions. And if Donald Trump or a Republican with views like his becomes president of the United States in 2025, U.S. support for Ukraine will erode. Domestic politics will also play a role outside these three countries—and, in fact, outside the West altogether. The United States and its allies may want to isolate Russia, but a large number of states in the global South, led by China, regard the Russia-Ukraine war as a localized European conflict that does not affect them. China has even backed Russia rhetorically, refused to impose sanctions, and supported it in the United Nations. (One should not underestimate the durability and significance of Russia’s alignment with China.) Indian Foreign Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar summarized the attitude of many developing states when he said that Russia is a “very important partner in a number of areas.” For much of the global South, concerns focus on fuel, food, fertilizer, and also arms. These countries are apparently not concerned that Russia has violated the UN Charter and international law by unleashing an unprovoked attack on a neighbor’s territory. There’s a reason these states have not joined the United States and Europe in isolating Moscow. Since 2014, Putin has assiduously courted “the rest”—the developing world—even as Russia’s ties with the West have frayed. In 2015, for example, Russia sent its military to the Middle East to support Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in his country’s civil war. Since then, Russia has cultivated ties with leaders on all sides of that region’s disputes, becoming one of the only major powers able to talk to all parties. Russia has strong ties with Iran, but also with Iran’s enemies: particularly Egypt, Israel, Saudi Arabia, and other Gulf states. In Africa, Russian paramilitary groups provide support to a number of leaders. And in Latin America, Russian influence has increased as more left-wing governments have come to power. There and elsewhere, Russia is still seen as a champion of the oppressed against the stereotype of U.S. imperialism. Many people in the global South view Russia as the heir to the Soviet Union, which supported their post-colonial national liberation movements, not a modern variant of imperial Russia. Not only does much of the world refuse to criticize or sanction Russia; major countries simply do not accept the West’s view of what caused the war or just how grave the conflict is. They instead criticize the United States and argue that what Russia is doing in Ukraine is no different from what the United States did in Iraq or Vietnam. They, like Moscow, justify Russia’s invasion as a response to the threat from NATO. This is thanks in part to the Kremlin’s propaganda, which has amplified Putin’s narratives about NATO and proxy wars and the nefarious actions of the West. International institutions have not been much more helpful than developing countries. The United Nations and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe proved incapable of preventing or stopping this war. They seem increasingly the victims of Putin’s distorted view of the past as well as poorly structured to meet the challenges of the present. DELUSIONS OF GRANDEUR Putin’s manipulations of history suggest that his claims go beyond Ukraine, into Europe and Eurasia. The Baltic states might be on his colonial agenda, as well as Poland, part of which was ruled by Russia from 1772 to 1918. Much of present-day Moldova was part of the Russian empire, and Russian officials have suggested that this state could be next in their sights. Finland was also part of the Russian empire between 1809 and 1918. Putin may not be able to conquer these countries, but his extravagant remarks about taking back Russia’s colonies are designed to intimidate his neighbors and throw them off balance. In Putin’s ideal world, he will gain leverage and control over their politics by threatening them until they let Russia dictate their foreign and domestic policies. In Putin’s vision, the global South would, at a minimum, remain neutral in Russia’s standoff with the West. Developing nations would actively support Moscow. With the BICS organization—Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa—set to expand to include Argentina, Iran, and possibly Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey, Russia may acquire even more partners, ones that together represent a significant percentage of global GDP and a large percentage of the world’s population. Russia would then emerge as a leader of the developing world, as was the Soviet Union during the Cold War. All this underlines why it is imperative that the West (Australia, Canada, Japan, New Zealand, Singapore, South Korea, the United States, and Europe) redouble its efforts to remain united in supporting Ukraine and countering Russia. In the near term, that means working together to push back against Russian disinformation about the war and false historical narratives, as well as the Kremlin’s other efforts to intimidate Europe—including through deliberate nuclear saber-rattling and energy cutoffs. In the medium to long term, the United States, its allies, and its partners should discuss how to restructure the international and European security architecture to prevent Russia from attacking other neighbors that it deems within its sphere. But for now, NATO is the only institution that can guarantee Europe’s security. Indeed, Finland’s and Sweden’s decision to join was in part motivated by that realization. As he looks toward a quarter century in power, Putin seeks to build his version of a Russian empire. He is “gathering in the lands” as did his personal icons—the great Russian tsars—and overturning the legacy of Lenin, the Bolsheviks, and the post–Cold War settlement. In this way, Putin wants Russia to be the one exception to the inexorable rise and fall of imperial states. In the twentieth century, Austria-Hungary and the Ottoman Empire collapsed after World War I. Britain and France reluctantly gave up their empires after World War II. But Putin is insistent on bringing tsarist Russia back. Regardless of whether he prevails in Ukraine, Putin’s mission is already having a clear and ironic impact, both on Europe and on Russia’s 22 years of economic advancement. In reasserting Russia’s imperial position by seeking to reconquer Ukraine, Putin is reversing one of the greatest achievements of his professed greatest hero. During his reign, Peter the Great opened a window to the West by traveling to Europe, inviting Europeans to come to Russia and help develop its economy, and adopting and adapting European artisans’ skills. Vladimir Putin’s invasions and territorial expansions have slammed that window shut. They have sent Europeans and their companies back home and pushed a generation of talented Russians fleeing into exile. Peter took Russia into the future. Putin is pushing it back to the past.

255-Counterplan to protect the Ukraine, stop escalation

Cecire, 8-23, 22, Michael Hikari Cecire is a senior policy advisor at the U.S. Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe, also known as the U.S. Helsinki Commission, Foreign Policy, It’s Time to Throw NATO’s Door Wide Open, https://foreignpolicy.com/2022/08/23/nato-membership-expansion-ukraine-georgia-russia-war/

Similarly, NATO handwringing over outstanding territorial disputes—almost always created or supported by Moscow—should officially become a nonissue. Russia should not be rewarded for cultivating and backing violent separatist movements that inoculate the parent countries from NATO accession. If anything, Russian meddling and aggression evinces the necessity of NATO’s protection. This is simple in principle but admittedly difficult in policy amid hot war. How can Ukraine join NATO without triggering a global conflict? First, the United States and its allies can all do more to ensure that Ukraine has military dominance over its own territory and win its war of independence. Mystifying gaps that undermine Western sanctions policies demand attention—such as continued European dependence on Russian energy, U.S. imports of Russian steel, and the growing role of China and other countries in the Middle East, Eurasia, and Asia (including friends and partners) to bypass or ease the impact of international trade sanctions. Likewise, U.S. hesitance over delivering heavy arms and munitions to Ukraine must end. The delivery of U.S. artillery and M142 High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS) platforms have completely changed the momentum of the conflict in recent weeks; more longer-range munitions and Western fast-jet capabilities could help Ukraine expand the initiative against Russia’s high-mass but low-morale attacking force. Second, the United States could consider extending its nuclear umbrella over Ukraine to erase Russia’s nuclear advantage and any temptation it may have to use nuclear weapons as Russian conventional losses mount. Doing so would only be a stronger and clearer statement of current U.S. policy that Russia’s use of weapons of mass destruction against Ukraine would be “completely unacceptable” and “entail severe consequences,” as U.S. President Joe Biden has already said. Against such a horrifying possibility, the West could stand to be much clearer on the evident downsides of such a strategy, which would itself violate Russian nuclear doctrine. And third, the United States can and should have discussions about certain security guarantees for free areas of Ukraine, such as via the provision of the most advanced Western arms or direct Western air defense coverage. For Georgia, and even for a country like Moldova should it so choose, it is even clearer: Provide support and security guarantees over non-occupied regions. Finally, democratic principles should remain a core requirement for NATO. Although the exigencies of the moment may not allow the luxury of waiting for perfect democratization to develop before entry, NATO can and should create more robust and independent internal mechanisms to monitor and highlight vulnerabilities, advise and assist all members with undertaking difficult reforms, and hold members accountable for sustained and significant democratic backsliding.

254-urope can defend itself but it won’t if the US does it for them

Wertheim, 8-24, 22, Stephen Wertheim last week, who makes the case for American restraint. Wertheim is a senior fellow in the American Statecraft Program at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and the author of Tomorrow, the World: The Birth of U.S. Global Supremacy, https://foreignpolicy.com/2022/08/24/us-restraint-ukraine-taiwan-wertheim-interview/

So, I’m very concerned about the overextension of U.S. power at this point. In particular, I think the U.S. role in Europe is not really justified, because Europeans have enormous latent power that they could mobilize to take the lead in deterring Russia. But if the United States proves to be willing to do all that, then Europe doesn’t really have the incentive to take responsibility for the defense of its own continent….The first thing would be to end American overcommitment elsewhere in the world in a military sense. We should be making good on what is a pretty bipartisan agreement that the United States doesn’t have vital interests implicated in the Middle East and should draw down its alliance and security partnerships there. Likewise, in Europe, we should be effectuating a transition to European leadership of European defense.

253-Militarism K link – sending more weapons and technologies sanitizes war (also a capitalism link)

Lagardian, 8-23, 22, Ismail Lagardien is a writer, columnist and political economist with extensive exposure and experience in global political economic affairs. He was educated at the London School of Economics, and holds a PhD in International Political Economy, Daily Maverick, Absence of boots on the ground does not mean Nato is not involved in Ukraine war,, https://www.dailymaverick.co.za/opinionista/2022-08-23-absence-of-boots-on-the-ground-does-not-mean-nato-is-not-involved-in-ukraine-war/, smail Lagardien was educated at the London School of Economics and holds a PhD in international political economy. Earlier, he was a journalist, a photojournalist and an academic, and worked in the Office of the Chief Economist of the World Bank, and in the Secretariat of the National Planning Commission. He was also the executive dean of business and economics sciences at Nelson Mandela University.

Never mind the dense fog of war in Ukraine, it is not beyond the realms of possibility or thought that Western Europe and North America have effectively privatised their role in the war through the provision of material support for the Ukrainians. The war in Ukraine is not going to end any time soon. That, anyway, is what the available evidence suggests. The two competing sides have for the most part been clear; Russia is the invading force and aggressor, and the Ukrainians are defending their homeland. I have made my own position on the war clear. One of many related, and highly contingent, matters that has not been raised has been the actual role of Nato and broadly speaking, of countries in the Atlantic alliance. Conventional reports would have us believe that the states of the alliance are not actual participants in the war. From what we know it is probably true that countries like the United States, Britain, Canada or France do not have “boots on the ground”. What is less clear in the fog of war, but not beyond the realms of possibility or thought, is the likelihood that Western Europe and North America have effectively privatised their role in the war through the provision of material support for the Ukrainians. This is somewhat similar to the way that some countries did not supply “boots on the ground” during the First Gulf War, but sent Washington money instead. It can also be likened to the way that the US roped in private sector “specialists” and “experts” from third-party countries in its war against the Afghan people. Among these are people who feel no compunction about inflicting great harm on dark-skinned others. Fighting wars remotely All of this points to a “new” phase of warfare without soldiers on the ground. In this scenario advances in science and technology, especially artificial intelligence, but also genetics and neuroscience, “remove” soldiers from actual active combat. War is fought from the air and directed from control panels thousands of kilometres away. A stand-out example of what is probably the start of this war without soldiers on the ground was Nato’s bombing of the former Yugoslavia — without backing from the UN security council. On the evening of 24 March 1999 air raid sirens rang across a fractured Yugoslavian society, and ordinary people fled into their basements when Nato, led by Washington as usual, began bombing cities across the region. Death rained on cities like Pristina, Belgrade and Podgorica across what remained of Yugoslavia — especially Kosovo. One should not traduce the suffering of the people of the former Yugoslavia. The point that is made here is that, on the precept that Western Europe and North America are playing a concealed or “backround” role in the Russian war on Ukraine, it is consistent with the way that liberal democracies in the Atlantic alliance have, at least since the bombing of Yugoslavia, resorted to remote warfare. This was as true in Yugoslavia in 1999 as it was when Nato bombed Libya, when the US-led coalition acted against the Islamic State in Syria, and the way the US Africa Command is training Ugandan soldiers. Visit Daily Maverick’s home page for more news, analysis and investigations In all these cases violence is meted out from distant locations, or “outsourced” with a marked shift away from “boots on the ground” towards “light footprint” military interventions. Sanitising war and letting others do the killing and dying It is, therefore, conceivable that the US and its European allies are supplying Ukraine with drones, intelligence, private or training teams operating below the radar, so to speak. This light touch or outsourcing of war is usually driven by a belief that war can be sanitised, made more humane and under optimal conditions; people don’t want their daughters and sons to do the fighting, killing, and dying in distant locations. Some questions and issues remain befuddling. Among these are whether “conventional war” is dead, and you don’t need boots on the ground to kill the enemy. Are we seeing a revolution in warfare and military affairs? And, if war was not hell, I would say it was amusing that Europeans have imagined they would never see war again. Evidence shows that the Europeans, who have over centuries provided the theatres of war, are still at war — never mind the interlude that followed the end of the Second World War and the bombing of Yugoslavia, and now Russia’s war on the Ukrainian people. While it is clear that the Russians and the Ukrainians are involved in a “dirty” war, and their people are doing the killing and dying on battlefields, the West remains intent on “humanising” warfare. By fighting remotely on the side of the Ukrainians, the Atlantic alliance is attempting to avoid human damage (to their own soldiers and civilians), and is supplying Ukraine with military hardware — and who knows what else. It was reported last month that Britain would supply “scores of artillery guns and more than 1,600 anti-tank weapons to Ukraine in the latest supply of Western arms to help bolster the country’s defence against Russia”. In June this year, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson promised $1.2-billion in military support, bringing total UK support to Ukraine since the start of the war to almost $3-billion. Here they may be telling the Ukrainian people, go and fight those monsters and enemies of Western civilisation. Use our weapons and do all the killing and dying, while our people stay safe in the comforts of their homes. Enter technology and artificial intelligence Deep in the background of developing new military technologies to fight remote wars — with extensive use of artificial intelligence and big data — are private corporations in Silicon Valley and “niche entrepreneurs backed by venture capital or recently floated businesses [seeking] to fill the gap and work through the challenge of applying AI to defence data”, as Matthew Ford and Alexander Gould, a couple of scholars from the UK have explained. The US Defense Department in particular is aware of its own shortcomings and is turning to private sector companies like Google, Apple, Amazon, IBM and Microsoft — almost all of whom have been hesitant to work on defence contracts. Nonetheless, as Eric Schmidt, former CEO of Google and a member of former US President Barack Obama’s Council of Advisers on Science and Technology told the Armed Services Committee of that county’s House of Representatives in April 2018: “Any military that fails to pursue enterprise‐wide cloud computing [in complex information stacks] isn’t serious about winning future conflicts. AI is not achievable without modern commercial cloud computing that can store and secure the data DoD regularly collects.” What we have in the open, and on the battlefields of Ukraine are soldiers killing each other — boots on the ground — fighting the “dirty war” while evidence suggests that the Atlantic alliance are sending funds and military hardware, and keeping their populations safe and sound. All these efforts to humanise war, in the face of the brutality of the conflict in Ukraine, the application of information and communications technology, supplying funds and military hardware — effectively joining the war remotely, without its own boots on the ground – suggest that Europe has not seen the end of war and that Ukrainian soldiers are not “alone” on the battlefields — they are just doing all the killing and dying.

252-DA Non-unique: $3 billion more in security assistance to Ukraine

News.AZ, 8-24, 22, Biden announces $2.98 billion in security assistance to Ukraine, https://news.az/news/biden-announces-298-billion-in-security-assistance-to-ukraine

On the 31st anniversary of Ukraine's Independence Day, August 24, US President Joe Biden announced $2.98 billion as a new, biggest tranche of military assistance to Ukraine.  "The United States of America is committed to supporting the people of Ukraine as they continue the fight to defend their sovereignty. As part of that commitment, I am proud to announce our biggest tranche of security assistance to date: approximately $2.98 billion of weapons and equipment to be provided through the Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative. This will allow Ukraine to acquire air defense systems, artillery systems and munitions, counter-unmanned aerial systems, and radars to ensure it can continue to defend itself over the long term," Biden said this in a statement published on the website of the White House, News.Az reports.

251-Cyber response now protected by Article 5

Monaghan, 8-23, 22, Sean Monaghan is a visiting fellow in the Europe, Russia, and Eurasia Program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, where he focuses on NATO, European security, and defense, THE SWORD, THE SHIELD, AND THE HEDGEHOG: STRENGTHENING DETERRENCE IN NATO’S NEW STRATEGIC CONCEPT, https://warontherocks.com/2022/08/the-sword-the-shield-and-the-hedgehog-strengthening-deterrence-in-natos-new-strategic-concept/

After 1989, NATO sought to build a more constructive relationship with Russia while managing key risks through dialogue and arms control, moving away from the sword and shield towards a smaller “balanced force mix.” This shift was captured in NATO’s three post-Cold War strategic concepts. But Russia’s 2014 annexation of Crimea and instigation of conflict in the Donbas region fatally undermined NATO’s new approach. As a result, the 2014 Wales summit declaration reset relations with Russia, putting partnership on ice and bringing deterrence back to the fore. NATO increased defense spending, established a new high-readiness response force and returned to its forward presence roots — albeit at a much smaller scale than the Cold War shield forces — with four battlegroup-sized missions in the Baltic states and Poland. Recognizing the renewed salience of measures short of war, NATO also added non-military cyber and hybrid threats to its Article 5 collective defense guarantee for the first time. Puti’s invasion of Ukraine on Feb. 24, 2022 sealed the fate of NATO’s post-Cold War strategy. In response, the new concept unveiled in Madrid returned Russia to its Cold War status of adversary, describing it as “the most significant and direct threat to Allies’ security and to peace and stability in the Euro-Atlantic area.” It also committed to “significantly strengthen deterrence and defence for all Allies.” To deliver the new concept, Stoltenberg declared a “fundamental shift to our deterrence and defence” based on three pillars: more forward-deployed combat units, more prepositioned equipment, and more high-readiness reinforcement forces. A Point of Departure Yet Madrid was not the revolution many of NATO’s eastern allies were hoping for. Rather than a transformative shift to a credible forward defense, NATO’s new posture will look to some like a slightly thicker tripwire. As U.K. Defense Secretary Ben Wallace admitted before the summit: “[The eastern allies] won the argument that the tripwire strategy was not really up to what we have seen happen in Ukraine. The first fight is the most important fight.” Yet it seems unlikely those allies will be satisfied for long that NATO’s new posture will give them a substantially better chance at winning the first fight for their homelands than they had before the summit. As one Estonian official put it: “We need to move to deterrence by denial. We need a credible military construct on the Eastern flank that will deter Putin.” Fortunately, Madrid was a point of departure for NATO, not the final destination. Even if some allies remain underwhelmed, the strategic concept sets a new level of ambition and gives NATO political headroom to strengthen its posture over time. The concept returns NATO’s nuclear sword to the fore — “reaffirming the unique and distinct role of nuclear deterrence” — and brings back the shield, moving away from a forward-presence tripwire to “deter and defend forward with robust in-place, multi-domain, combat-ready forces.” The shift towards deterrence by denial is not just about territorial defense — it also updates and broadens the concept for the modern strategic environment, confirming that hybrid, cyber, or attacks in space could “invoke Article 5 of the North Atlantic Treaty.”

250-Counterplan to deter Russia – three elements

Monaghan, 8-23, 22, Sean Monaghan is a visiting fellow in the Europe, Russia, and Eurasia Program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, where he focuses on NATO, European security, and defense, THE SWORD, THE SHIELD, AND THE HEDGEHOG: STRENGTHENING DETERRENCE IN NATO’S NEW STRATEGIC CONCEPT, https://warontherocks.com/2022/08/the-sword-the-shield-and-the-hedgehog-strengthening-deterrence-in-natos-new-strategic-concept/

To judge NATO’s eighth strategic concept it helps to understand the previous seven. NATO’s approach to its fundamental task of deterrence evolved throughout the Cold War and was transformed after it. Its first two strategic concepts — formalized in 1949 and 1952 — were designed to deter by punishment and denial. The threat of nuclear punishment relied on the advantage conferred by U.S. strategic nuclear forces, which compensated for the numerical superiority of Soviet conventional forces. This was complemented by the plan of General Dwight Eisenhower — then Supreme Allied Commander Europe — for NATO to “make itself into a hedgehog of defence.” This involved both forward defense to “arrest the enemy advance as far to the East as possible,” and active opposition to peacetime aggression through “all measures short of war.”

To counter growing Soviet conventional and nuclear forces, NATO leaned more heavily on nuclear deterrence in its 1957 concept, adopting the doctrine of “massive retaliation” — which included the possibility of nuclear first use in response to conventional Soviet aggression. This was replaced in 1968 with “flexible response,” designed to provide a range of conventional and nuclear options to boost deterrence credibility short of nuclear response. This basic strategy of balancing nuclear and conventional deterrence through its “sword and shield” saw NATO through the rest of the Cold War, helping deter and contain Soviet expansionism.

Back to the Future

After 1989, NATO sought to build a more constructive relationship with Russia while managing key risks through dialogue and arms control, moving away from the sword and shield towards a smaller “balanced force mix.” This shift was captured in NATO’s three post-Cold War strategic concepts. But Russia’s 2014 annexation of Crimea and instigation of conflict in the Donbas region fatally undermined NATO’s new approach. As a result, the 2014 Wales summit declaration reset relations with Russia, putting partnership on ice and bringing deterrence back to the fore. NATO increased defense spending, established a new high-readiness response force and returned to its forward presence roots — albeit at a much smaller scale than the Cold War shield forces — with four battlegroup-sized missions in the Baltic states and Poland. Recognizing the renewed salience of measures short of war, NATO also added non-military cyber and hybrid threats to its Article 5 collective defense guarantee for the first time.

Putin’s invasion of Ukraine on Feb. 24, 2022 sealed the fate of NATO’s post-Cold War strategy. In response, the new concept unveiled in Madrid returned Russia to its Cold War status of adversary, describing it as “the most significant and direct threat to Allies’ security and to peace and stability in the Euro-Atlantic area.” It also committed to “significantly strengthen deterrence and defence for all Allies.” To deliver the new concept, Stoltenberg declared a “fundamental shift to our deterrence and defence” based on three pillars: more forward-deployed combat units, more prepositioned equipment, and more high-readiness reinforcement forces.

A Point of Departure

Yet Madrid was not the revolution many of NATO’s eastern allies were hoping for. Rather than a transformative shift to a credible forward defense, NATO’s new posture will look to some like a slightly thicker tripwire. As U.K. Defense Secretary Ben Wallace admitted before the summit: “[The eastern allies] won the argument that the tripwire strategy was not really up to what we have seen happen in Ukraine. The first fight is the most important fight.” Yet it seems unlikely those allies will be satisfied for long that NATO’s new posture will give them a substantially better chance at winning the first fight for their homelands than they had before the summit. As one Estonian official put it: “We need to move to deterrence by denial. We need a credible military construct on the Eastern flank that will deter Putin.”

Fortunately, Madrid was a point of departure for NATO, not the final destination. Even if some allies remain underwhelmed, the strategic concept sets a new level of ambition and gives NATO political headroom to strengthen its posture over time. The concept returns NATO’s nuclear sword to the fore — “reaffirming the unique and distinct role of nuclear deterrence” — and brings back the shield, moving away from a forward-presence tripwire to “deter and defend forward with robust in-place, multi-domain, combat-ready forces.” The shift towards deterrence by denial is not just about territorial defense — it also updates and broadens the concept for the modern strategic environment, confirming that hybrid, cyber, or attacks in space could “invoke Article 5 of the North Atlantic Treaty.”

To meet this new level of ambition, NATO allies should follow up the concept over the coming months with three initiatives inspired by its Cold War strategy: sharpen the sword, strengthen the shield, and bring back the hedgehog. This means making NATO’s nuclear posture more credible, investing in forward defense with conventional forces, and boosting the resilience of Eastern allies to deter and resist all forms of Russian aggression.

Sharpen the Sword

First up, NATO should sharpen its nuclear sword through modernization, signaling, and doctrine. NATO’s nuclear posture — based on the strategic nuclear forces of the United States, United Kingdom, and France, and incorporating non-nuclear allies through nuclear sharing arrangements — remains its most potent deterrent. Yet the credibility of NATO’s nuclear deterrent is being undermined by Russian modernization and nuclear signaling.

First, modernization. According to NATO, Russia has modernized most of its strategic nuclear forces over the past two decades, while developing new delivery systems. These include hypersonic missiles and novel technologies like the unmanned nuclear torpedo. Russia also has many more non-strategic nuclear weapons in the region:1,500 compared to around 100 U.S. B-61 gravity bombs. These weapons fall outside the New START treaty, which was extended last year until 2026. To make sure the balance of terror continues to hold, NATO allies should fully support U.S. efforts to modernize its nuclear triad and update their nuclear sharing capabilities.

The second challenge is nuclear signaling. From the outset of his invasion Vladimir Putin has used nuclear threats to deter NATO from intervening. Although concerning and irresponsible, this is to be expected according to Russian doctrine. As Michael Kofman and Anya Loukianova Fink point out, “Russia’s strategy of deterrence by fear-inducement when under military threat makes heavy use of nuclear signaling, which serves to create the impression that the country is far looser with its thinking on nuclear use than is actually the case.” This playbook includes threats to vital infrastructure. As ex-president Dmitry Medvedev put it: “Accidents can happen at European nuclear plants too.” Nuclear scholar Kristin Ven Bruusgaard has argued Russia’s nuclear strategy is related to its conventional inferiority. The key question now is therefore whether heavy losses in Ukraine will lead Moscow to become more reckless with its own nuclear saber — to both manage escalation in Ukraine, and deter NATO intervention.

The dilemma for NATO is the same one it faced during the Cold War: Western reluctance to use nuclear weapons gives Russia leverage to both risk conventional attack and threaten nuclear use without fear of reprisal. This gap could be closed by updating NATO doctrine with a new “flexible response” . In the Cold War this doctrine filled the gap between conventional defense and massive retaliation by adding the intermediate option of “deliberate escalation” through non-nuclear force or selective nuclear strikes. Adopting a similar policy today could be done without lowering NATO’s threshold for nuclear use — a move that may divide allies and undermine cohesion.

A new flexible response could emphasize and enhance the threat of a conventional response to Russian escalation (for example, attacks against arms depots in Poland or Romania, which become more likely as the war in Ukraine drags on). This threat would rely primarily on America’s global strike complex and its capacity for aerospace attack, which have generated real fear in Russia. This strategy would be a form of “hands off the wheel” brinksmanship based on the likelihood of any high-intensity NATO-Russia exchange escalating to the nuclear realm. It is a risky gambit given the inherent uncertainty of escalation dynamics. But it may be preferable to the alternatives of ceding Moscow coercive advantage or lowering NATO’s own nuclear-use threshold.

Strengthen the Shield

Any sharpening of NATO’s nuclear sword will also require its forward defense shield of conventional forces to be strengthened. Just as Russia’s conventional and nuclear strategies are linked, so are NATO’s. During the Cold War the alliance made up for reliance on massive retaliation by developing a large, forward-deployed shield force to deter conventional attack. As U.S. General Lauris D. Norstad, then Supreme Allied Commander Europe, explained in 1961:

“The substantial dependence which we must place on nuclear weapons is reflected in our plans; nevertheless, as conventional capabilities improve or increase, it should clearly be possible, under certain conditions, to raise the level of involvement at which such weapons would have to be introduced into the battle.”

The credibility of the deterrent provided by NATO’s shield forces during the Cold War was a product of their size and scale. It is true that while Putin’s threatening rhetoric towards NATO is reminiscent of the Cold War, the physical threat from Russia’s armed forces is not. In 1987, the balance of forces in central Europe favored the Warsaw Pact nations, who had 69 forward-deployed divisions and over 20,000 tanks, compared to NATO’s 37 divisions and nearly 10,000 tanks. Today, with up to 80,000 casualties it may be true that “Russia’s performance so far in Ukraine suggests that the balance of power in Europe is less daunting for NATO than previously thought.”

Still, it would be unwise to discount the threat from Russia to eastern Europe. Putin has already declared his hand: He has unfinished business to right “the greatest geopolitical catastrophe of the century,” the collapse of the Soviet Union. Given the lengths he has gone to in Ukraine, it is understandable that many in ex-Soviet nations with significant ethnic Russian populations fear they might be next. As Lithuania’s Chief of Defence, Lieutenant General Valdemaras Rupsys, put it: “After some time … they will try to threaten us by military means. You will see.” It may therefore be prudent for NATO’s military planners, as they did during the Cold War, to plan against Russia’s “maximum intentions.”

Now that they have established a clear level of ambition, NATO should seize the moment and deploy credible forward-based shield forces that give its members more confidence they won’t be wiped off the map. They should start by meeting their Madrid commitment to scale up “existing battlegroups to brigade-size units where and when required.” In this case the “where” should be the three Baltic states and Poland, and the “when” should be as soon as physically possible. Just as after 2014, these four nations remain the most vulnerable in NATO to Russian aggression. The British-led presence in Estonia is the closest to meeting this goal, with two battlegroups deployed. Allies should not stop at brigades, but work towards combat-ready divisions in all four nations — something the Baltic states requested prior to Madrid. The U.S. commitment to permanently deploy its Army’s V Corps headquarters in Poland can provide the basis for generating and commanding larger-scale formations there, while the United Kingdom has already committed practical support to develop “a divisional-level command structure in Estonia.”

How much is enough? Beyond the forces already deployed since the war began, Brookings fellow Michael O’Hanlon suggests that 15,000 U.S. troops in the Baltics and Poland, matched by European and Canadian allies, “is an affordable and prudent response to the increased Russian threat to NATO’s forward regions.” This would move NATO’s presence towards the 1:3 ratio of local defending to attacking forces that holds some credence among military analysts. A focus on the Baltics and Poland is also prudent due to their lack of strategic depth: Home-based reinforcements would count for less here (and more elsewhere). A U.S. heavy division in Poland would also have the benefit of being able to “train as it fights” with Polish and other allied forces, facilitating and encouraging the development of indigenous divisions while deterring Russia with its presence.

Scaling up NATO’s forward-deployed forces in the East will not be easy: if it were, NATO would have already done so in Madrid. In the United States, there has been broad bipartisan and public support for several significant packages of military assistance to Ukraine and the redeployment of over 20,000 U.S. troops to Europe. But the latest Taiwan crisis demonstrates the pressing need for the United States to focus on China, which may preclude more U.S. force presence in Europe. European forces could fill the gap, yet after decades of downsizing many nations are lacking the high-end mass required to generate large land formations — let alone air and maritime components. Although Europe has made historic commitments to increase defense spending since Russia’s invasion, these will take time to yield deployable forces. There is also the additional challenge of ensuring that deployments actually reassure, rather than scare, the local population.

Bring Back the Hedgehog

Finally, NATO should bring back its “hedgehog defense.” Like the hedgehog – a peaceful creature until attacked – the Cold War concept of “active defense” held the promise of deterring attack while minimizing the security dilemma associated with force build ups. It had three elements: covering forces, designed to ambush and disrupt the lead elements of an invading army; “defense in sector,” using natural terrain to channel the advance and attrite enemy forces; and counterattack to regain lost territory and target rear echelon forces. This concept later evolved from “linear” towards “maneuver” defense, exploiting new technology and doctrine (including the U.S. “AirLand Battle” concept). NATO military planners should update active defense from first principles, accounting for Russia’s own active defense concept. Several initial ideas are worth considering.

One idea for developing covering forces is “confidence building defense,” a late Cold War concept that balances between deterrence and provocation. It advocates a “spider in the web” of dispersed, highly mobile assets, with the option of quickly scaling up through prepositioned equipment and logistics. These could include the anti-tank weapons, portable drones, and artillery that have been exploited by Ukrainian armed forces for defense and counterattack. A recent study by the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments suggests modern guided rockets, artillery, and mortar systems (G-RAMM) could “significantly expand the geographic areas where Russian forces could face lethal threats like those they experienced in northern Ukraine.” Going further, the authors advocate a Baltic “mini A2/AD” strategy to overturn Russia’s offensive advantage of proximity by impeding access through G-RAMMs and short- and long-range air defense systems.

Long range precision strike would also enable targeting in depth in support of counterattacks, although their expense may require larger allies to provide or field them. A cheaper option may be the so-called “stay behind forces” developed by NATO during the Cold War using special forces and non-military clandestine units. To this end, an Atlantic Council report calls for expanding U.S. and European special operations forces activities, while the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessment authors recommend establishing a new NATO Special Warfare Centre of Excellence in Estonia. More broadly, they argue a new NATO operational concept for “follow-on forces attack” could contribute “significantly” to deterring Russia.

Such a concept should include what Eisenhower called, the “very considerable sea and air power” possessed by NATO allies. In the air domain NATO should upgrade its existing air policing mission into an integrated air and missile defense mission. The air defense mission would require increasing the capacity of the multinational force that runs the NATO air policing missions in the Baltic states, Poland, Romania, and Hungary, while updating pilots’ rules of engagement in anticipation of a more assertive Russian posture. However, the bulk of air contributions to active defense should be based in Western Europe to enhance survivability for counterattack missions. The missile defense mission would require deploying more medium- and long-range air defense systems to the region — for example increasing the number of Patriot or National Advanced Surface-to-Air Missile systems deployed to Poland and the Baltics. Integration could be achieved through the existing framework of NATO’s Integrated Air and Missile Defence System.

As for the contribution of NATO’s maritime forces, one study advocates increasing the number of Standing NATO Maritime Groups from two to five to bolster NATO’s ability to patrol and secure its territorial waters, from the Baltic Sea to the Black Sea. The constant presence of the U.K.-led Joint Expeditionary Force in the Baltic Sea also adds another layer of deterrence and should be enhanced — especially now that its headquarters has been deployed to the region. NATO’s maritime defense in the Baltic Sea region will also benefit from the addition of Finland and Sweden to the alliance. Maritime forces can also render NATO’s counterattack ability more potent through precision strike munitions launched from above and below the surface.

The final element in a new hedgehog defense for NATO is to deter so-called hybrid threats below the threshold of armed attack. These have been described as the modern Fulda Gap, or Russia’s most likely axis of attack. As NATO’s new concept points out, threats have proliferated in kind across space and cyberspace to encompass “the coercive use of political, economic, energy, information and other hybrid tactics.” Although a military alliance, NATO’s resources go far beyond conventional military capabilities, including sophisticated capabilities in strategic communicationsinformation operationscyber defenseoffensive cyber, and counter-hybrid warfare teams. Here NATO would benefit from closer coordination with the European Union and the European Centre of Excellence for Countering Hybrid Threats based in Helsinki to spread best practice in Cold War style “total defense,” particularly as Finland and Sweden both excel in this department. Last month, Estonia’s largest ever military exercise showed how their reserve forces could operate with forces from ten NATO allies to put total defense into action. Its name? Exercise Hedgehog.

Just as during the Cold War, NATO’s challenge will increasingly be to deter all forms of aggression at once: sub-threshold, conventional, and nuclear. To meet the level of ambition agreed in its new strategic concept, NATO should revitalize deterrence by sharpening its sword, boosting its shield and bringing back its hedgehog defense. Madrid was an important point of departure for NATO, but the alliance’s journey toward stronger defense and deterrence has only just begun.

249-Counterplan to protect the Ukraine, stop escalation

Cecire, 8-23, 22, Michael Hikari Cecire is a senior policy advisor at the U.S. Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe, also known as the U.S. Helsinki Commission, Foreign Policy, It’s Time to Throw NATO’s Door Wide Open, https://foreignpolicy.com/2022/08/23/nato-membership-expansion-ukraine-georgia-russia-war/

Similarly, NATO handwringing over outstanding territorial disputes—almost always created or supported by Moscow—should officially become a nonissue. Russia should not be rewarded for cultivating and backing violent separatist movements that inoculate the parent countries from NATO accession. If anything, Russian meddling and aggression evinces the necessity of NATO’s protection. This is simple in principle but admittedly difficult in policy amid hot war. How can Ukraine join NATO without triggering a global conflict? First, the United States and its allies can all do more to ensure that Ukraine has military dominance over its own territory and win its war of independence. Mystifying gaps that undermine Western sanctions policies demand attention—such as continued European dependence on Russian energy, U.S. imports of Russian steel, and the growing role of China and other countries in the Middle East, Eurasia, and Asia (including friends and partners) to bypass or ease the impact of international trade sanctions. Likewise, U.S. hesitance over delivering heavy arms and munitions to Ukraine must end. The delivery of U.S. artillery and M142 High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS) platforms have completely changed the momentum of the conflict in recent weeks; more longer-range munitions and Western fast-jet capabilities could help Ukraine expand the initiative against Russia’s high-mass but low-morale attacking force. Second, the United States could consider extending its nuclear umbrella over Ukraine to erase Russia’s nuclear advantage and any temptation it may have to use nuclear weapons as Russian conventional losses mount. Doing so would only be a stronger and clearer statement of current U.S. policy that Russia’s use of weapons of mass destruction against Ukraine would be “completely unacceptable” and “entail severe consequences,” as U.S. President Joe Biden has already said. Against such a horrifying possibility, the West could stand to be much clearer on the evident downsides of such a strategy, which would itself violate Russian nuclear doctrine. And third, the United States can and should have discussions about certain security guarantees for free areas of Ukraine, such as via the provision of the most advanced Western arms or direct Western air defense coverage. For Georgia, and even for a country like Moldova should it so choose, it is even clearer: Provide support and security guarantees over non-occupied regions. Finally, democratic principles should remain a core requirement for NATO. Although the exigencies of the moment may not allow the luxury of waiting for perfect democratization to develop before entry, NATO can and should create more robust and independent internal mechanisms to monitor and highlight vulnerabilities, advise and assist all members with undertaking difficult reforms, and hold members accountable for sustained and significant democratic backsliding.

248-EU Process counterplan solvency for cyber

Monaghan, 8-23, 22, Sean Monaghan is a visiting fellow in the Europe, Russia, and Eurasia Program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, where he focuses on NATO, European security, and defense, THE SWORD, THE SHIELD, AND THE HEDGEHOG: STRENGTHENING DETERRENCE IN NATO’S NEW STRATEGIC CONCEPT, https://warontherocks.com/2022/08/the-sword-the-shield-and-the-hedgehog-strengthening-deterrence-in-natos-new-strategic-concept/

The final element in a new hedgehog defense for NATO is to deter so-called hybrid threats below the threshold of armed attack. These have been described as the modern Fulda Gap, or Russia’s most likely axis of attack. As NATO’s new concept points out, threats have proliferated in kind across space and cyberspace to encompass “the coercive use of political, economic, energy, information and other hybrid tactics.” Although a military alliance, NATO’s resources go far beyond conventional military capabilities, including sophisticated capabilities in strategic communicationsinformation operationscyber defenseoffensive cyber, and counter-hybrid warfare teams. Here NATO would benefit from closer coordination with the European Union and the European Centre of Excellence for Countering Hybrid Threats based in Helsinki to spread best practice in Cold War style “total defense,” particularly as Finland and Sweden both excel in this department. Last month, Estonia’s largest ever military exercise showed how their reserve forces could operate with forces from ten NATO allies to put total defense into action. Its name? Exercise Hedgehog.

Just as during the Cold War, NATO’s challenge will increasingly be to deter all forms of aggression at once: sub-threshold, conventional, and nuclear. To meet the level of ambition agreed in its new strategic concept, NATO should revitalize deterrence by sharpening its sword, boosting its shield and bringing back its hedgehog defense. Madrid was an important point of departure for NATO, but the alliance’s journey toward stronger defense and deterrence has only just begun.

247-US support for NATO links are non-unique: Massive new support now

Bergman, 8-22, 22, MAX BERGMANN is Director of the Europe Program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. He served in the U.S. State Department from 2011 to 2017,https://www.foreignaffairs.com/europe/europe-its-own

The transatlantic alliance is experiencing a renaissance. The war in Ukraine has drawn Washington’s attention back to Europe in ways not seen since the 1990s, when the United States orchestrated NATO’s eastward expansion and fought two wars in the Balkans. The United States has supported Ukraine with massive quantities of weapons, rallied the West around unprecedented economic sanctions against Moscow, and bolstered NATO through additional force deployments. It is hard to think of a time in the last generation when transatlantic relations were stronger.

246-US only has so many resources: trade-offs are necessary

Bergman, 8-22, 22, MAX BERGMANN is Director of the Europe Program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. He served in the U.S. State Department from 2011 to 2017, https://www.foreignaffairs.com/europe/europe-its-own

It would be acceptable to preserve American indispensability if U.S. attention and resources were limitless. But the challenge for the United States is that there is only so much senior-level attention to go around. Time is precious, and the fight for resources within government and Congress is often zero-sum. Moreover, U.S. military assets are not limitless, despite a $750 billion budget. This leads to intense bureaucratic infighting over what region or theater should be the U.S. priority for high-level attention and resources.

245-Europe is not ready to defend itself

Bergman, 8-22, 22, MAX BERGMANN is Director of the Europe Program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. He served in the U.S. State Department from 2011 to 2017, https://www.foreignaffairs.com/europe/europe-its-own

On the surface, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine seems like the shock that would finally force Europe to accept U.S. entreaties to increase its defense spending. European countries will mostly hit NATO’s two percent spending target. Germany announced a Zeitenwende (new era) and approved a 100 billion euro increase in defense spending. Europe has committed to spending about $200 billion in the coming years. The additional funds should improve the woeful capabilities of European militaries, strengthen NATO, and reduce some of Europe’s fundamental combat reliance on the United States.

But the increase in spending is unlikely to alleviate much of the strain on U.S. forces or go far enough in the long term. Over the past six months, European countries have sent enormous quantities of advanced equipment to Kyiv. Eastern Europe has divested fleets of Soviet-era equipment into Ukrainian hands. Western European countries have sent advanced antitank weapons and artillery, depleting stocks that will eventually need to be replaced. Moreover, rising inflation is also eroding the value of European defense-spending increases.

The more significant structural problem is that European defense-spending increases are going not toward Europe’s collective defense but to individual countries’ national defense. Europe does not spend to protect the continent as a whole; the United States does. Washington provides the critical capabilities and high-end assets (transport, air refueling, and air and missile defense) that enable Europe to fight for Europe. Almost none of the additional defense spending will go toward acquisitions that enable Europe to fight as Europe and therefore reduce the strain on the U.S. military. Germany, given its size, could fill some of the gaps, but its needs are too great elsewhere—for example, to replace fleets of equipment and increase the readiness of its forces. European militaries all have NATO capability targets, which ensure that member countries can fill certain roles, but these targets are designed to help European forces integrate with the United States through NATO, meaning the reliance on the U.S. military is baked in. Despite spending tremendous amounts on defense, Europe is still likely to be dependent on the United States, underscoring the broader problem with the current approach to European security.

The European Union should be a global military power. It collectively spends $200 billion annually on defense, its economy equals that of the United States, and its members are tied together in a political union. Yet European militaries are in a woeful state, despite increases in defense spending since 2014. Europe does not just need to spend more on defense; it needs to rationalize and integrate its efforts. But proposals for reforming European defense inevitably run into U.S. opposition, bureaucratic turf wars (particularly between NATO and the EU), parochial national outlooks, and vested commercial and political interests.

244-China will establish military dominance in Asia despite a greater commitment of resources by the US [AT: Defense Spending Trade-Off with China/Asia Impact]

Mastro & Scissors, 8-22, 22, ORIANA SKYLAR MASTRO is a Center Fellow at the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies at Stanford University and a Senior Nonresident Fellow at the American Enterprise Institute. DEREK SCISSORS is a Resident Scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, a Commissioner at the U.S.-China Economic and Security and Review Commission, and Chief Economist at the China Beige Book; Foreign Affairs, China Hasn’t Reached the Peak of Its Power, https://www.foreignaffairs.com/china/china-hasnt-reached-peak-its-power

Military trends are similarly favorable to China, at least over the next decade. That is in part because flagging economic prospects will take time to affect defense and in part because China has proven able to compete with fewer resources overall. China’s military spending as a percentage of GDP has been decreasing since 2010, and the country has never spent more than 1.9 percent of GDP on national defense. (The United States spent 3.7 percent of GDP on defense in 2020.) For the last three decades, China’s military spending has been a third of the United States’. And yet, largely because it has focused on acquiring asymmetric capabilities and limited its military ambitions to Asia, it has built a military that can now defeat the United States in a conflict over Taiwan.

Of course, the U.S. military will not stand still as the PLA advances. The United States is building resilient space infrastructure and capabilities. It plans to deploy intermediate-range ballistic missiles to the Indo-Pacific now that Washington is no longer bound by the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty. And it plans to add new unmanned ships as well as more manned ships to the U.S. naval fleet to counter China. Headlining these efforts is the Pacific Deterrence Initiative, a Pentagon plan to enhance U.S. competitiveness in the Indo-Pacific. In this its inaugural year, the PDI includes approximately $6 billion for new integrated command-and-control systems, drone capabilities, electronic warfare, F-35 fighters, ships to counter Chinese low-level aggression and provocation, and support systems and equipment for U.S. Marines and other ground forces.

But even with these investments, U.S. forces in the Indo-Pacific will have vulnerabilities that China can exploit for asymmetric advantage. For instance, the United States will be unable to defend its forward bases from Chinese missile attacks or its space assets from Chinese counterspace operations. Current procurement and acquisition plans reveal that in ten years, the United States will not have significantly more forces to deploy to the region than it has now. The U.S. Navy is modernizing, but it will not have its planned fleet of between 450 and 500 ships until 2045—a fleet size that China will have in just ten years.

243-EU can purchase its own military resources

Bergman, 8-22, 22, MAX BERGMANN is Director of the Europe Program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. He served in the U.S. State Department from 2011 to 2017, https://www.foreignaffairs.com/europe/europe-its-own

The EU can take on the role of the primary financier of European defense, filling gaps beyond the capacity of member states, such as procuring air and missile defense, air tankers, and transport. Nothing prohibits the EU from buying military equipment, which could be made available to member states or NATO. For instance, the EU could finance the acquisition of massive stockpiles of munitions, rounds of artillery, and precision-guided missiles (which Europe ran out of during its intervention in Libya). The EU has already played a similar role in Ukraine, providing 2.5 billion euros out of its new lethal assistance fund to backfill the defense budgets of countries supplying arms to Ukraine. In June, the European Commission also announced the formation of a 500 million euro fund to incentivize countries to coordinate their new defense spending, make joint procurements, increase interoperability, and create economies of scale.

242-Counterplan: The United States should request that EU purchase and/or fully-fund the development of ___ technology and share the fruits of that with the US and Europe through the EU and NATO. The EU should agree.

Net-benefit: Relying on the US undermines the EU and NATO and diverts resources from stopping China. Defense/security assistance trade-off is also a net-benefit

Bergman, 8-22, 22, MAX BERGMANN is Director of the Europe Program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. He served in the U.S. State Department from 2011 to 2017, https://www.foreignaffairs.com/europe/europe-its-own

The transatlantic alliance is experiencing a renaissance. The war in Ukraine has drawn Washington’s attention back to Europe in ways not seen since the 1990s, when the United States orchestrated NATO’s eastward expansion and fought two wars in the Balkans. The United States has supported Ukraine with massive quantities of weapons, rallied the West around unprecedented economic sanctions against Moscow, and bolstered NATO through additional force deployments. It is hard to think of a time in the last generation when transatlantic relations were stronger.

Yet the Biden administration’s engagement with Europe is ultimately unsustainable. Russia and the war in Ukraine will no doubt remain a significant focus of the United States in the months and years to come. But even though U.S. support for Ukraine is unlikely to waver, there is no way Washington will be able to maintain the current level of diplomatic engagement, force deployments, and resourcing to Europe over the longer term. The pivot to Asia has not ended. The risk of conflict in Asia, where China may attack Taiwan, could abruptly reshuffle U.S. priorities. China’s continued rise will pull U.S. attention back to the Pacific. Washington will likely find it impossible to balance the demands of its allies in Europe and Asia while maintaining the force presence necessary to deter Russia and China. The United States is overstretched.

But instead of developing a strategy to address this dilemma, especially given Europe’s newfound focus on security—not to mention its population of more than 450 million and an economy equaling that of the United States’—the Biden administration has pretended it does not exist. While the United States has shown itself to be indispensable, it has not used this moment to tackle the deep-seated structural issues plaguing European defense. The United States should be pursuing a strategy to push Europe to take charge of its security, turning Europe from a security dependent to a true security partner. The United States should call for the creation of a European pillar within the NATO alliance and to fully back the European Union becoming a stronger defense actor. The danger is that instead of transforming European defense in response to Russia’s invasion and ushering in a new era, the response merely entrenches a status quo that both sides of the Atlantic ultimately find deeply frustrating and untenable.

AMERICAN AMBIVALENCE

Washington does not know what it wants from Europe. Every U.S. president has called for Europeans to spend more on defense, but the overarching goal of U.S. policy has not been to push Europe to stand on its own, shoulder to shoulder with the United States. U.S. political leaders and top officials may believe that the United States is being clear that it wants Europe to do more to handle its security. But the diplomats and officials who develop U.S. policy on Europe enjoy European dependence and the influence it provides: the United States gets to call the shots—and they want as much American sway in Europe as possible.

In 2000, Lord George Robertson, then NATO’s secretary-general, highlighted this split. “The United States suffers from a sort of schizophrenia,” he said. “On the one hand, the Americans say, ‘You Europeans have got to carry more of the burden.’ And then when Europeans say, ‘OK, we will carry more of the burden,’ the Americans say, ‘Well, wait a minute, are you trying to tell us to go home?’” Nearly two decades later, when French President Emmanuel Macron led the push for European “strategic autonomy,” Washington fretted about a renewed plot to decouple Europe from NATO. As a result, the United States has used its immense influence in Europe to block efforts that could lead to a more independent Europe.

U.S. policymakers enjoy European dependence and the influence it provides.

It would be acceptable to preserve American indispensability if U.S. attention and resources were limitless. But the challenge for the United States is that there is only so much senior-level attention to go around. Time is precious, and the fight for resources within government and Congress is often zero-sum. Moreover, U.S. military assets are not limitless, despite a $750 billion budget. This leads to intense bureaucratic infighting over what region or theater should be the U.S. priority for high-level attention and resources.

The Biden administration entered office prioritizing Asia, rightly describing China as the “pacing threat.” But Russia’s invasion has now put Europe temporarily on top in the bureaucratic struggle for resources and visibility. As a result, Europe has been flooded with visits from senior U.S. officials and additional U.S. troops—20,000 extra personnel as of the end of June, everywhere from the Baltics and Poland to Italy and Spain.

European officials praised the United States’ return to the continent. But as Nancy Pelosi’s August visit to Taiwan has presaged, the foreign policy pendulum will ultimately swing back to Asia. Europe will lose this zero-sum fight over U.S. attention and resources.

A NEW ERA FOR EUROPE

On the surface, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine seems like the shock that would finally force Europe to accept U.S. entreaties to increase its defense spending. European countries will mostly hit NATO’s two percent spending target. Germany announced a Zeitenwende (new era) and approved a 100 billion euro increase in defense spending. Europe has committed to spending about $200 billion in the coming years. The additional funds should improve the woeful capabilities of European militaries, strengthen NATO, and reduce some of Europe’s fundamental combat reliance on the United States.

But the increase in spending is unlikely to alleviate much of the strain on U.S. forces or go far enough in the long term. Over the past six months, European countries have sent enormous quantities of advanced equipment to Kyiv. Eastern Europe has divested fleets of Soviet-era equipment into Ukrainian hands. Western European countries have sent advanced antitank weapons and artillery, depleting stocks that will eventually need to be replaced. Moreover, rising inflation is also eroding the value of European defense-spending increases.

The more significant structural problem is that European defense-spending increases are going not toward Europe’s collective defense but to individual countries’ national defense. Europe does not spend to protect the continent as a whole; the United States does. Washington provides the critical capabilities and high-end assets (transport, air refueling, and air and missile defense) that enable Europe to fight for Europe. Almost none of the additional defense spending will go toward acquisitions that enable Europe to fight as Europe and therefore reduce the strain on the U.S. military. Germany, given its size, could fill some of the gaps, but its needs are too great elsewhere—for example, to replace fleets of equipment and increase the readiness of its forces. European militaries all have NATO capability targets, which ensure that member countries can fill certain roles, but these targets are designed to help European forces integrate with the United States through NATO, meaning the reliance on the U.S. military is baked in. Despite spending tremendous amounts on defense, Europe is still likely to be dependent on the United States, underscoring the broader problem with the current approach to European security.

DEFENSE DYSFUNCTION

The European Union should be a global military power. It collectively spends $200 billion annually on defense, its economy equals that of the United States, and its members are tied together in a political union. Yet European militaries are in a woeful state, despite increases in defense spending since 2014. Europe does not just need to spend more on defense; it needs to rationalize and integrate its efforts. But proposals for reforming European defense inevitably run into U.S. opposition, bureaucratic turf wars (particularly between NATO and the EU), parochial national outlooks, and vested commercial and political interests.

As the guarantor of European security, the United States must lead the transformation by insisting on the creation of a strong European pillar of NATO that is capable of defending the continent. Europe would strive to operate as one within NATO, as the alliance would focus on turning European forces into a capable fighting force, with or without the United States. Creating a European pillar within NATO would require empowering the EU, a political and economic union that looks out for broader European interests. The EU’s shared currency and central bank provide the potential financial underpinning for the EU to adopt a prominent defense role. The union has legal and institutional leverage to drive national-level compliance and coordination, critical to rationalizing Europe’s unwieldy defense industrial sector. The goal of the EU is not to conjure a European army but to enable Europe to defend itself.

The United States must insist on a strong European pillar of NATO.

The EU can take on the role of the primary financier
of European defense
, filling gaps beyond the capacity of member states, such as procuring air and missile defense, air tankers, and transport. Nothing prohibits the EU from buying military equipment, which could be made available to member states or NATO. For instance, the EU could finance the acquisition of massive stockpiles of munitions, rounds of artillery, and precision-guided missiles (which Europe ran out of during its intervention in Libya). The EU has already played a similar role in Ukraine, providing 2.5 billion euros out of its new lethal assistance fund to backfill the defense budgets of countries supplying arms to Ukraine. In June, the European Commission also announced the formation of a 500 million euro fund to incentivize countries to coordinate their new defense spending, make joint procurements, increase interoperability, and create economies of scale.

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