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Only 0.5% of spending from the central government budget last year went to programs related to urban improvements and disaster management in quake-prone Turkey.
by Peter Berkowitz via Real Clear PoliticsIn the 1990s, then-Israeli Supreme Court President Aharon Barak led a constitutional revolution, arrogating to the judiciary virtually unchecked power to rule on an expansive array of public issues. Today, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s new coalition government is advancing proposals that promise to undo Barak’s constitutional revolution.
The two camps supporting the Netanyahu government’s judicial shake-up and those opposing it have resorted to aggressive words and threats.
Egypt is experiencing rising inflation and the depreciation of its currency, but the country’s stock exchange is doing well and the IMF recently agreed to a massive aid package.
Is the Pentagon Listening?
By Loren Thompson, Forbes: “Rumor has it that in the runup to release of the president’s fiscal 2024 budget request, the Department of the Navy is not faring well. It will not be allowed to request funding sufficient to maintain readiness while growing the fleet."
By Gustavo Arguello, Small Wars Journal: “The Army needs mentally and physically prepared Soldiers to meet operational environment demands across all war domains."
Can China Build a World-Class Military Using Artificial Intelligence?
By Koichiro Takagi, The War Zone: “Xi Jinping, at the 20th National Congress of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) on October 16, stated that China will more quickly elevate the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) to a world-class military."
By Harlan Ullman, Atlantic Council: “. . . few have questioned whether or not such an assault by China was feasible, what military capability would be needed for both the assault and subsequent occupation, what other options China has regarding assimilating Taiwan, and how such an operation might be prevented."
Seth Frantzman on Drones and the Transformation of Warfare by Marilyn Stern
Middle East Forum Webinar
January 30, 2023
Leon Aron | Politico
When it comes to regime change, domestic regime opponents and exiles have an important relationship. Leon Aron notes that this dynamic will influence whatever happens in the wake of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s ill-conceived invasion of Ukraine. Putin’s war has weakened him, yet opposition leaders inside Russia cannot do much to disseminate subversive revolutionary thoughts. Rather, millions of Russians visit the sites of self-exiled critical journalists and the US-funded Radio Liberty. Emerging from these writings, videos, and news reports is a vision of a post-Putin, post-authoritarian, democratic Russia. That, ultimately, is why Russia’s political exiles deserve the West’s admiration and help. Learn more here. >>
Biden’s Escalation in Ukraine Is About Diplomacy, Not Victory
Hal Brands | Bloomberg Opinion
The war in Ukraine is reaching a new phase, and US strategy is undergoing an important shift. Hal Brands notes that fears of a long war of attrition are causing the US to update its strategy in three ways. First, the war is better defining American war aims. Second, the US and its allies are sending Ukraine more sophisticated weapons. Third, President Joe Biden may not envision Ukraine liberating Crimea by force, but he has reportedly become supportive of strikes against Russian targets there. There is a unifying logic behind these decisions. The US does not want the war to drag on forever, so Biden aims to help Ukraine dial up the pressure on Russian forces and perhaps shift the lines further in Ukraine's favor. Continue here. >>
Derek Scissors | AEIdeas
Another Indian government budget, another set of predictions that it is India’s turn to shine. Derek Scissors explains that nothing in India’s current policies or performance suggests anything like durably fast growth leading to national prosperity. Instead, the Indian economy will muddle along with partial success marred by unwillingness to reform. The new budget itself belies optimism. As with labor mobilization, agricultural productivity, and infrastructure boosts, India’s fiscal “glide path” is stuck. With Chinese economic weakness on display in 2022 and the world slowing in 2023, India hype may intensify, and India will outperform. However, it is not on course to reach lofty long-term goals, chiefly because its politicians have long lacked the nerve for needed change. Learn more here. >>
Kori Schake | 49security
Military officials often mistake planning for strategy. Kori Schake explains that to make a good strategy, the German government must clearly identify its goals and not just narrow the scope of its tools to money. Repairing the military apparatuses that successive German governments have allowed to atrophy will be one crucial part of a German national security strategy. Another will be explaining how Germany will achieve energy independence while meeting its climate goals. Germany cannot remain a European leader without substantively contributing to the new demands posed by Europe’s current security crisis. Berlin needs to put ideas forward for how to restabilize Europe and deal with the political and human consequences of Russia’s depredations. Learn more here. >>
By Justin Katz, Breaking Defense: “RADM Fred Pyle said the service is "absolutely not" where it needs to be on ship cannibalization rates."
U.S. Worried About Iranian Military Presence in the Americas
By Margarita Arredondas, Atalayar: “Lula da Silva's government allows two Iranian warships to dock in Rio de Janeiro port."
Here Is a Novel Solution.
By Loren Thompson, Forbes: "When the Pentagon revised its defense strategy to focus on China in 2018, no military service moved faster than the Marine Corps to begin making changes."
Does Artificial Intelligence Change the Nature of War?
By Baptiste Alloui-Cros, Military Strategy Magazine: "In his book, ‘Men against Fire’, the American General S.L.A. Marshall designated the battlefield as ‘the epitome of war’[i], where everything that characterises the deep essence of war, as theorised by Clausewitz, comes into action."
By Stephen Blank, RealClearDefense: “Russia either has just launched its expected offensive or it is imminent. Yet Ukraine’s allies are still unable or unwilling to give it the full complement of what it needs to win."
Why the Liberal Hawks Rule the Roost
By Matthew Petti, The Critic: “Get ready for the next idiot crusade."
By Joseph S. Nye, The Strategist (ASPI): "In December, Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida announced the most ambitious expansion of military power in Japan since the creation of the country’s self-defence forces in 1954."
Decades-old political economic problems in Pakistan are coming to a head. The South Asian nation needs billions of dollars in financial assistance to avoid a default at a time when its usual patrons are disinclined to bail it out. Even if Islamabad dodges this bullet, it will have to massively overhaul the way it has managed the country.