• How the U.S. Has Struggled to Stop the Growth of a Shadowy Russian Private Army

    Vladimir Putin has increasingly relied on the Wagner Group, a private and unaccountable army with a history of human rights violations, to pursue Russia’s foreign policy objectives across the globe. For nearly a decade, U.S. officials watched with alarm as this shadowy network of Russian mercenaries connected to the Kremlin wreaked havoc in Africa, the Middle East and most recently Ukraine.

  • Mysterious Death of Iranian Aerospace Engineer Fuels Speculation

    The mystery surrounding the death of Iranian aerospace engineer Ayoob Entezari has fueled speculation that he was the latest victim of assassination in the Islamic republic. His death came days after the mysterious death of Ali Esmailzadeh, a senior officer in the Quds Force, the overseas arm of Iran’s powerful Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC), the elite branch of the country’s armed forces.

  • Who Cares about a Midterm Election? Comparing Russia, Iran, and China’s Electoral Interference from Past to Present

    Midterm elections present a complicated target environment for foreign manipulators because, unlike presidential elections, there is no single candidate who can significantly alter U.S. foreign policy. But interference opportunities remain, and adversaries have the potential to advance their strategic objectives through a campaign meant to create further turbulence within U.S. democracy.

  • China’s Growing Agricultural Problems Pose Risks for the U.S.

    China is facing a growing demand on its agricultural production. The Chinese government has taken several domestic initiatives to address the growing problem, but it has also gone abroad to address its needs through investments and acquisitions of farmland, animal husbandry, agricultural equipment, and intellectual property (IP), particularly of GM seeds These efforts present several risks to U.S. economic and national security.

  • How a Fellow of Germany’s Humboldt Foundation Joined China's Military Commission

    Germany’s Humboldt Research Fellowships are very popular with visiting Chinese scientists. Back in China, some of them go on to do research for the Chinese military. According to the Max Planck Society, “around one-third” of all scientific management positions in China today are held by people who were trained in Germany.

  • European Academics Helping China's Military

    European researchers have cooperated with China’s National University of Defense Technology (NUDT). The NUDT’s purpose is to “Strengthen the Armed Forces and the Nation.” An investigation by 10 European news outlets has found nearly 3,000 scientific publications by researchers affiliated with European universities and their counterparts at military-linked institutions in China — most notably the NUDT.

  • Another Russian Tycoon Dies Under Suspicious Circumstances

    A former top manager of LUKoil has died under strange circumstances, the latest in a series of mysterious deaths of Russian businessmen since Moscow launched its unprovoked invasion of Ukraine on 24 February.

  • Undetected and Dormant: Managing Australia’s Software Security Threat

    At the same time as software has become integral to our prosperity and national security, attacks on software supply chains are on the rise. Software supply chain attacks are popular, can have a big impact and are used to great effect by a range of cyber adversaries.

  • Cornell University Profs Call for School to Halt, Reverse Its Growing Academic, Business Ties with China

    An event at Cornell University, organized by three professors, which called for the university to halt, and then reverse, its growing academic and business ties with China, reflected a broader trend of calls for colleges and universities to cut ties with and divest from Chinese groups linked to human rights abuses.

  • Research Exposes Long-Term Failure of Russian Propaganda in Ukraine's Donbas Region

    A study of the propaganda that flooded Donbas for years reveals a failure to build pro-Russian “in-group” identities in the region, despite Putin’s claims of support.

  • What Research Reveals About Disinformation and How to Address It

    Stanford scholars from across the social sciences are studying the threats disinformation poses to democracy. Here is some of their research.

  • Trump Appointee Twice Delayed Report on Russian Election Interference, Federal Watchdog Says

    A just-published DHS IG report says that a senior Trump appointee twice delayed the release of a report detailing Russia’s interference in the 2020 election, interference aimed to help the Trump campaign. Moreover, in order to dilute the significance of the information about Russia’s interference, other DHS officials added a so-called “tone box” describing efforts by Chinese and Iranian influence actors to promote unsubstantiated narratives questioning the mental health of then-President Donald Trump. With the exception of the added tone box itself, China and Iran are not mentioned in the report.

  • Russia’s Hybrid War in Ukraine

    Microsoft last week released a report which details a broad cyberattacks campaign by Russia in Ukraine, a campaign conducted in concert with kinetic military action. At least six Russian Advanced Persistent Threat (APT) actors and other unattributed threats, have conducted destructive attacks, espionage operations, or both, while Russian military forces attack the country by land, air, and sea.

  • Why Public Trust in Elections Is Being Undermined by Global Disinformation Campaigns

    Public trust in elections is being targeted around the world by a series of disinformation campaigns from a range of international players. There are often similar campaigns run by domestic political players, as has been the case, for example, in the United States, Brazil, and Mexico. These campaigns are giving rise to an increasing lack of trust in how votes are counted. The overall purpose is to create mistrust of the core institutions of liberal democracy, including parliaments, mainstream media, elections, and the judiciary.

  • Russian Trolls Tried to Distract American Voters with Entertainment

    In a finding that has implications for the 2022 midterm elections, Cornell researchers found Russia tried to distract liberal voters during the 2016 presidential campaign with a seemingly innocent weapon – tweets about music and videos – taking a page from its domestic disinformation playbook.