• China Extends Its Lead Over U.S. in Key Technologies

    Western democracies are losing the global technological competition, including the race for scientific and research breakthroughs, and the ability to retain global talent—crucial ingredients that underpin the development and control of the world’s most important technologies, including those that don’t yet exist.A new report from the Australian Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI) finds that China’s global lead extends to 37 out of 44 technologies that ASPI is now tracking. These findings should be a wake-up call for democratic nations, who must rapidly pursue a strategic critical technology step-up.

  • Needed: Ground Rules for the Age of AI Warfare

    The time has arrived form an international agreement on autonomous weapons. Lauren Kahn writes in Foreign Affairs that AI is at an inflection point: the technology is maturing and is increasingly suitable for military use, while the exact outlines of future AI military systems, and the degree of disruption they will cause, remain uncertain and, hence, can be, at least somewhat, shaped.

  • A Strait Too Far: How a Deliberate Campaigning Approach in the Pacific Can Make Beijing Think Twice

    Military planners say that March through May is one of two ideal windows of meteorological opportunity for cross-strait amphibious operations, with the other occurring in September and October.Benjamin Van Horrick writes that “for the U.S. joint force, the spring campaigning season in the Indo-Pacific is thus essential for strengthening regional partnerships, increasing multinational lethality, and instilling doubt in Chinese leaders’ minds about whether they could successfully invade Taiwan.”Van Horrick adds: “All of this means that with the right preparations, Washington does not have to be playing an away game.”

  • Taiwan: China Sees Invasion of Ukraine as “Test Case” for Its Own Designs

    For Taiwan, which has been under the threat of an invasion by China for decades, the fate of Ukraine is closely linked with its own. China views the war in Ukraine as a “test case” for its own designs on Taiwan, according to Taiwanese Deputy Foreign Minister Roy Chun Lee.

  • U.S. Reliance on Chinese Drones: A Sector for the Next CHIPS Act?

    More and more lawmakers from both parties are beginning to pay attention to the issue of drones and national security. Different bills seek to regulate federal agency procurement and use of certain foreign-made unmanned aircraft systems (UASs), or drones. Annie I. Antón and Olivia C. Mauger write that “Building on the bipartisan consensus to enact the 2022 Creating Helpful Incentives to Produce Semiconductors and Science (CHIPS) Act, there is a compelling case that UASs should be a next sector for similar action.”

  • What the Iraq War Can Teach the U.S. About Avoiding a Quagmire in Ukraine – 3 Key Lessons

    The Iraq and Ukraine wars have notable differences from a U.S. foreign policy perspective – chiefly, thousands of American soldiers died fighting in Iraq, while the U.S. does not have any ground troops in Ukraine. But assessing the Iraq War, and its long aftermath, can still help articulate concerns about the United States’ getting involved in intense violence in another faraway place.

  • Is Taiwan Prepared for a Potential Chinese Attack?

    Leaked U.S. documents cast doubt on Taiwan’s air defense capability against potential attacks. Experts, however, say that the island has some robust defense systems.

  • China’s Defense Spending Growth Continues Apace

    China, India and Japan are leading a surge in military spending in the Asian region with geopolitical tensions pushing South Korea, Australia and Taiwan, among others, to follow suit. China’s military spending now exceeds the combined outlays of the next 25 biggest nations in the region, for which there are reliable estimates.

  • Helping the U.S. Fast-track Hypersonic Conventional Weapons

    Hypersonic weapons have been a top priority for modernizing the armed forces, with ultrafast, long-range and maneuverable munitions being touted as a revolutionary advance in modern warfare. The U.S. has fast-tracked their development and announced plans to field the first conventional hypersonic missile battery this year. Sandia National Lab is helping the U.S. achieve this goal.

  • Are We Asking Too Much of Cyber?

    Both cyber enthusiasts and skeptics may be asking too much of cyber. “U.S. cyber strategies should be more explicit about articulating not only the strategic benefits cyberspace offers but also its limitations,” Erica Lonegran and Michael Poznansky write. “More realism about cyberspace may help leaders truly integrate cyber capabilities.”

  • Pentagon Leaks Suggest China Developing Ways to Attack Satellites – Here’s How They Might Work

    The recent leak of Pentagon documents included the suggestion that China is developing sophisticated cyber attacks for the purpose of disrupting military communication satellites. Disruption of civilian satellite communication would be disruptive, but disruption of military communication would be much more dangerous and debilitating.

  • World Military Expenditure Reaches New Record High as European Sending Surges

    Total global military expenditure increased by 3.7 per cent in real terms in 2022, to reach a new high of $2240 billion. Military expenditure in Europe saw its steepest year-on-year increase in at least 30 years. The three largest spenders in 2022—the United States, China and Russia—accounted for 56 per cent of the world total.

  • Militaries, Metals, and Mining

    The U.S. aerospace and defense industries need access to critical minerals. Securing these minerals today may be an even more-complex task than it was during the cold war: the task requires more than deploying audacious subterfuge, as the CIA did in the 1960s to get titanium out of the Soviet Union. These minerals are now very much in the public eye, and they are also needed for the clean energy technologies that will help combat climate change.

  • U.S., Taiwan Defense to Firms Explore Weapons Co-Production

    Defense contractors from the U.S. and Taiwan will next month resume in-person conversations to explore possibilities of co-producing weapons, a move likely to ignite protests from China. The Taiwan-US Defense Industry Forum will meet on May 3 in Taipei, with a focus on co-production, integrating Taiwan’s industrial capabilities, and a range of defense cooperation issues.

  • The U.S. Is About to Blow Up a Fake Warship in the South China Sea – but Naval Rivalry with Beijing Is Very Real and Growing

    As part of a joint military exercise with the Philippines, the U.S. Navy is slated to sink a mock warship on April 26, 2023, in the South China Sea. For its part, China is holding its own staged military event involving actual warships and fighter jets deployed around Taiwan. More than a century after President Theodore Roosevelt made the United States the preeminent maritime power in the Pacific, that position is under threat. China is seeking to displace it. The next time a warship is blown up in the South China Sea, it may not be just a drill.