WORLD ROUNDUPCoups in the Kremlin | China’s Threat to the World of Gaming | Thoughts About Lockdown Law, and more

Published 23 September 2022

··U.S. Imposes Sanctions on Iranian Morality Police
Iran’s morality policy in the crosshairs

··Regime Change in Russia?
Repressive regimes have been brought down in the past – will it happen now?

··Coups in the Kremlin
Russia’s past and Putin’s future

··Harnessing the Power of Science and Technology Communities for Crisis Response
Leveraging science and technology communities in crises

··The Truth About Putin’s Nuclear Threats
Putin’s nuclear threats are part of a preplanned strategy

··What Did the U.K. Public Really Think About Lockdown Law?
Reflecting on COVID regulations

··China’s Looming Threat to the World of Gaming
China trying to influence the world’s largest art form

··Who’s Winning the U.S.-China Trade War? No One
The truth is, both sides are losing

U.S. Imposes Sanctions on Iranian Morality Police  (Akmal Dawi, VOA News)
Treasury Department announced new sanctions against seven Iranian security and morality police officials on Thursday, accusing them of violating the rights of women, civil society activists and peaceful protesters.
The new sanctions target the head of Iran’s notorious morality police, Mohammad Rostami Cheshmeh Gachi, and the force’s director for Tehran, Haj Ahmad Mirzaei. Mirzaei has reportedly been suspended from his post following protests to the death of a young Iranian woman, Mahsa Amini, under his watch.

Regime Change in Russia?  (Newsweek / RAND)
Wstern leaders say that they do not seek regime change in Moscow. But in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine they aid Ukrainian freedom fighters and impose punishing sanctions. The West took similar measures in the 1980s to counter Soviet aggression. They may have helped bring down repressive rulers and usher in liberalizing change. They could do so again.

Coups in the Kremlin  (Sergey Radchenko, Foreign Affairs)
What the history of Russia’s power struggles says about Putin’s future.

Harnessing the Power of Science and Technology Communities for Crisis Response  (Patricia A. Stapleton et al., RAND)
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has to respond to crises generated by a variety of threats and hazards, such as natural disasters, terrorist attacks, and public health emergencies. When confronted with such challenges in the past, DHS has relied on scientific and technical advice and solutions to identify gaps in its processes and operations. By leveraging this technical advice and support, DHS seeks to improve its understanding of the homeland security threats that it manages and its mission effectiveness.
To enhance DHS’s ability to leverage science and technology communities to support the use of science, technology, innovation, and analytical capabilities during crisis response, RAND researchers conducted a literature review and discussions with subject-matter experts to understand how these capabilities have been used during past national security crises and how they could be used in the future. In this Perspective, the researchers offer a conceptual framework for employment of the science and technology communities’ capabilities during crisis response. They also present five imperatives that should be considered for providing technical support during a crisis and a concept for how to institutionalize that support. These critical elements form the basis for providing quality technical support to crisis leadership.

The Truth About Putin’s Nuclear Threats  (Andrey Piontkovsky, The Spectator)
For a long time now, the world has found itself in a state of mutually assured destruction. For this reason none of the nuclear powers have contemplated nuclear war, understanding that it would bring about not just an acceptable level of damage but destruction for all participants.
Putin and Patrushev [Nikolai Patrushev, head of the Russian security council] decided to use tactical nuclear weapons as their threat, and set themselves on a collision course with NATO. When that conventional superiority of NATO’s as they understood it to be manifested itself they would threaten to use tactical nuclear weapons and were convinced that the West would get scared, capitulate and step back.

What Did the U.K. Public Really Think About Lockdown Law?  (Joe Tomlinson, Prospect)
We spent the pandemic studying the public’s response to Covid regulations. Five lessons stand out.

China’s Looming Threat to the World of Gaming  (Sonny Bunch, The Bulwark)
Colin Moriarty on CCP efforts to influence the world’s biggest (at least in terms of dollars) art form.

Who’s Winning the U.S.-China Trade War? No One  (Michael Hirsh, Foreign Policy)
With no end in sight, nationalism is trumping economic wisdom as global recession looms.