The United States of America is leading the way in anticipating the NATO countries in Brussels to meet the “security challenges of 2030”, placing the “first priority on China” and then Russia as its ally. Therefore, the White House issued a statement to express the issue, affirming:
“The countries of NATO and the United States of America will jointly launch a set of “ambitious” initiatives to ensure the preservation of the security of the alliance until 2030 and beyond, with full focus on the upcoming threats from Russia and China, as they are the most important challenges facing the countries of the alliance in the coming years”
The most prominent is the unanimity of the thirty members of NATO led by the United States of America, during the “Brussels” summit of the NATO leaders’ meeting in mid-June 2021, and their agreement in the statement of the NATO summit in June 2021, on:
“The necessity of reviewing “NATO’s strategic concept”, which will “guide its approach in an evolving strategic environment”, to include: the hostile policies and behaviors of both Russia and China and the security challenges that China poses to our security and prosperity”
Perhaps what is new in the “NATO” summit meeting in June 2021” is that explicit text issued in a clear public statement by the White House on China, and it is understood from it that “NATO and its members have become a security tool in Washington’s hands in order to move a proactive initiative expected by NATO against China and Russia”, which may represent a major shift in the path of the alliance and its strategic and defense objectives towards China, and we understand this by analyzing the approach of “NATO and its thirty members” in the recent period, as follows:
The declaration of the Secretary-General of NATO, “Jens Stoltenberg”, at the “NATO summit meeting in June 2021”, and his call by the leaders of the alliance countries during their summit in “Brussels”, the need to “establish a stronger common policy to counter the growing dominance of China”.
Secretary-General of NATO, “Stoltenberg” declared publicly and without substantiating his words with evidence, in echoing the same American security agenda towards China, by saying:
“China has the second largest defense budget in the world, the largest navy and invests massively in modern military equipment, and this “affects our security”
The most dangerous analysis for me remains, regarding what was announced by NATO Secretary General “Stoltenberg”, and his first talk about “liberal democratic values and ideology, as echoing the same tone of the American discourse toward China”, with his statement:
“China does not share our values, and we see this in the way it has cracked down on democratic protests in Hong Kong, persecuted minorities like the Uyghurs in western China, and used modern technology to monitor its population in an unprecedented way”
He also notes the leadership and leadership of “Stoltenberg”, as the most prominent leading official in NATO during the June 2021 summit, in an unprecedented way, to the approach of tightening the confrontation with China, by saying:
“All this “makes it important for NATO countries to develop their policy, and also to strengthen our policy when it comes to China”
We find that the “new approach of NATO’S confrontation and clashing against China” can be inferred by the strong assertion by NATO Secretary General “Stoltenberg” of the seriousness of the advanced confrontation with China, and the need for all NATO members to bear the financial burdens related to the “security joint defense of the NATO’s thirtyth members”, through the statement that says:
“The leaders of the alliance agreed on the 2030 strategy to meet the challenges of today and the future, and he said that the alliance is determined to defend itself in space, and it was agreed to increase the funding of all joint budgets of the alliance, not just the military ones”
NATO leaders emphasized the increasing intensity of China’s military influence, and its proximity to the “Euro-Atlantic region”, with “the Chinese and Russian navies carrying out several joint military exercises in the Mediterranean and Baltic seas”, as a sign of the flourishing of military cooperation between Beijing and Moscow.
Away from the Euro-Atlantic region, Beijing is working, according to multiple statements by the leaders of the “NATO” countries, to develop modern military capabilities, including: (long-range missiles, aircraft carriers, attack nuclear submarines), with potential security implications for NATO, given their world far range for their capabilities.
The fear behind “NATO” in its recent series of meetings of (China’s investments in space weapons as well), which may threaten any of (NATO satellites), and in addition to that, NATO countries are constantly exposed to electronic attacks launched by Chinese hackers.
We note here, NATO’s deliberate ignoring of the “Australian nuclear submarine deal” under American auspices through the (Aukus Defense Agreement), by criminalizing the leaders of NATO countries of Chinese nuclear arsenals and submarines, without any reference to the same nuclear submarine deal under Washington’s command and sponsorship Australia’s purchase of it, through a recent statement announced to NATO leaders, by saying:
“We are as NATO’S members are concerned about China’s stated ambitions and the development of its nuclear arsenal, which poses challenges to the foundations of the international order”
Here, we find a series of statements issued by “NATO’s high commands” without a declared clarification regarding “the direct danger of China to their security,” and this came through the signature of the leaders of the alliance in (the closing statement of the NATO summit in Brussels in June 2021), that:
“China’s stated ambitions and continued behavior pose challenges to the foundations of the rules-based international order, and in areas of importance to NATO’s security”
In a frank affirmation from NATO Secretary General “Stoltenberg” about (the importance of joint security coordination between NATO and the European Union to confront China), this was done through:
“NATO is committed to strengthening the partnership with the European Union and strengthening training with “Ukraine and Georgia”, and NATO will enhance its technological progress, and that the leaders of the alliance have agreed to launch a new defense project, and that the alliance is determined to defend itself in space”
Here, we can conclude, according to the previous analysis, that the tense relations between China and the United States of America, as it is the most prominent member of “NATO”, may cast the shadows of confrontation and escalation on the relations between NATO and Beijing, in (bearing directly by the thirty members of NATO for any possible consequences of confrontation and clash between China and the USA).
The analysis is also the most important here, with Washington pushing NATO members themselves to bear (the burdens of defending American ambitions to confront Chinese influence in its Asian areas of influence itself), through new statements from NATO, that the claims of Chinese sovereignty in the South and East China Seas and Taiwan, may lead to an unwelcomed conflict between Washington and Beijing, and the new assertion of NATO, that:
“If there is any conflict between China and the United States of America in the South China Sea and the Taiwan Strait, NATO allies on the other side of the Atlantic will not be safe”
In my personal opinion, that point and this statement is, in my analytical view, one of the most dangerous statements ever made by NATO and its 30 members, bearing the consequences of the confrontation with China on behalf of Washington, despite “that this Asian region is not located in the South China Sea in the main regions of the direct security and military influence of NATO for all of its 30 other members.
Internet of Military Things (IoMT) and the Future of Warfare
The Internet of Military Things (IoMT) is a class of heterogeneously connected devices employed for future warfare. It has wide applications in advanced combat operations and intelligence-oriented warfare. For example, it allows real-time connection among devices, such as between unmanned vehicles and a central command station. Likewise, it would enable a broader warfighting concept interpreted as Joint All Domain Command and Control (JADC2) by the United States (US) military. JADC2 is based on a similar network of sensors that connect all battlefield devices.
A majority of highly advanced military units have integrated IoMT into their battlefield operations to enhance their surveillance and response strategies. This concept offers multiple strategic options to militaries. For example, deployment of multiple sensors of IoMT across various domains (air, land, sea, space and cyber) can support data to acquire comprehensive situational awareness and understand the information ecosystem of the battlefield. This will ultimately speed up the Observe, Orient, Decide, Act (OODA) loop of decision-making and help in prompt and accurate planning and execution in future warfare.
IoMT can connect not only battlefield devices but also military troops through wearable devices. Under challenging terrains such as mountains, jungle or deserted terrains, wearable devices such as a jacket or a wristband can sense and track troops’ health status, weapon state, atmospheric conditions, relative locations and communicate all such information to the central command. The central command can analyse the tactical data of the soldiers to make decisions, based on incoming real-time information. It is expected that with the advancement of neural networks, wearable devices will also be able to evaluate the physical, psychological and emotional state of Air Force pilot. It is also anticipated that automated battleground devices, such as mechanised snipers would be equipped with IoMT. Such a sniper would have two units, a firing unit and a control unit. A webcam and a sensor would detect movement while the control unit would order fire.
Cloud computing would be essential for the storage of data gathered from multiple sensors of IoMT. A 5G connection would, therefore, be vital for data transfer through high bandwidth and low latency. Likewise, Artificial Intelligence (AI) and data analytics would be crucial for data processing.
The US and China have actively invested in IoMT. The US military has developed an integrated warfighting network that converges and combines all the data from IoMT sensors, radars, and satellites. This data is filtered to pinpoint critical data for successful missions. IoMT solutions have also been used to integrate the Army’s ballistic missile defence system and classified communication networks into one central hub to interact with and engage threats. US defence contractors such as Lockheed Martin, L3Harris and Northrop Grumman have worked on various elements of this integrated battle network.
Similarly, China has also shown great interest in IoMT. The model China has adopted to develop IoMT includes a high level of collaboration between academic and government research organisations, the private sector and defence industrial complexes. Like the US, China has also developed a strategic outline for integrated warfare. The Chinese National Defence White Paper (NDWP 2019) characterised future warfare as ‘Intelligent Warfare.’ A round of cutting-edge IoT technologies would drive the development of an intelligent military and ultimately create a modern military force for the future. This process is expected to be completed by 2035.
The Indian Army is using IoMT for communication purposes. It has been developing an LTE-based mobile communication grid with integrated IoMT sensors to provide a secure and failsafe communication system. This communication system would have layered security for voice, data and video, and protect the network from intrusions and interceptions. This communication system would be provided to formations and units along Pakistan and China’s border. For developing this IoT-based communication grid, the Indian military would choose only Indian vendors and those foreign companies who have registered offices with production, maintain and repair infrastructures in the country.
The IoT ecosystem in Pakistan is nascent as the country lacks the basic infrastructure to produce IoT devices on a large scale. Presently, small start-ups have been engaged in building IoT devices through outsourcing, mainly to China. These start-ups have developed wearable medical devices, smart home appliances, trackers for electric consumption, etc. IoMT devices require a large upfront budget; however, these applications offer long-term benefits. As Pakistan is heavily inclined towards developing its capacity in emerging technologies, IoMT should not be neglected as it could be a force multiplier that facilitates the network of communication and data transmission. Coupled with advancements in the telecom industry and 5G, IoMT can deliver effective and precise military capabilities that would help in tackling any future threat environment.
The Greatest Threats to U.S. National Security: Russia, China, and Iran/Terrorism
In May 2, 2022 testimony before the Senate Armed Services Committee, Defense Intelligence Agency Director Lt. Gen. Scott D. Berrier and Director of National Intelligence Avril D. Haines identified China, Russia, and Iran, as well as terrorist organizations, as the greatest threats to U.S. national security. Both China and Russia are nuclear powers and both have significant intelligence, cyber, and information warfare capabilities.
Russia’s threat to the United States includes: direct military conflict, cyber attacks, supporting separatists, threats to freedom of navigation, and territorial expansion. On November 15, a missile blast killed two people in Poland, near the Ukraine border. Russia was the primary suspect. President Joe Biden later told the Poles that the missile was part of a Ukrainian defense system. Whether the missile actually came from Russia directly or was the indirect result of Russian shelling, the incident underscores the danger Russia poses. A perceived attack on a NATO member could cause NATO to invoke Article 5, which states that an armed attack against one member is considered an attack against the entire alliance.
Moscow has repeatedly accused the U.S. and NATO of wanting to destroy Russia. Since the end of the Cold War, 13 countries have been admitted to NATO: the Czech Republic, Hungary, and Poland (1999); Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, Slovakia, and Slovenia (2004); Albania and Croatia (2009); and, in 2017, Montenegro. Consequently, Russia has been focused on maintaining its influence and control in former Soviet republics, including Ukraine, Belarus, and the Central Asian states.
Defeating the U.S. or breaking from a U.S.-led world order was a primary goal of the USSR and has carried over to modern Russia. Opposing Europe and the U.K. are secondary objectives, seen as a proxy for defiance against the U.S. One of the concerns of the Department of Defense is that Putin often uses threats, including the threat of nuclear war, to get what he wants. If his threats continue to go unheeded, there is the danger that he will finally act, launching a strike, to show that he is serious.
Since the fall of the USSR, there have been numerous opportunities for cooperation between the U.S., E.U. NATO, and Russia, including participation in joint military exercises and peacekeeping operations. Tensions, however, run deep, complicating attempts at relationship-building. In 1999, Russian and NATO forces nearly engaged in a firefight at Pristina Airport, at the end of the Kosovo War. In 2004, Russia accused the U.S. of supporting the revolutions in Ukraine and Georgia, and raised objections when the Bush administration positioned U.S. ballistic missile defense systems (BMD) in Poland and the Czech Republic. Russia then positioned its own missiles in Kaliningrad, the former East Prussia. In 2008, Russia opposed Kosovo’s declaration of independence from Serbia. In August 2008, Russia blamed the U.S for supporting Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili in a war against separatist South Ossetia. At one point, Georgian and Russian forces exchanged fire.
In 2014, NATO canceled all attempts to cooperate with Russia, in response to the invasion of the Crimea. Four years later, Russia attempted to assassinate Sergei Skripal, a British citizen living in the U.K.
The current invasion of Ukraine is making cooperation between the West and Russia less likely, while increasing the chance of war.
Ukraine became independent in 1991, shortly after the collapse of the USSR. In 2004, Viktor Yanukovich, a pro-Russian candidate, won a general election, which was presumed to have been rigged. In 2014, Russia backed separatists in the Donbas region, sparking off a conflict in which
an estimated 15,000 people died before the 2022 invasion of Ukraine. In 2019, pro-European candidate Volodymyr Zelenskyy was elected president of Ukraine, and the country began its pivot back to the West. In 2021, Zelenskyy asked President Biden to support Ukraine in joining NATO.
In December 2021, Russia began deploying troops close to its border with Ukraine. At the peak, 190,000 Russian soldiers were threatening Ukraine. Putin demanded that the U.S. remove its weapons from Eastern Europe. In response, the U.S. sent 3,000 troops to Poland and Romania. In February 2022, Russian-backed paramilitaries seized parts of Ukraine’s Donbas region. Shortly after, Putin recognized the region’s independence. Three days later, on February 24, 2022, Russia invaded Ukraine. Since the invasion began, the U.S., NATO and the E.U have been supporting the Ukrainian military with weapons, money, and intelligence.
Smaller nations, particularly in Southeastern Europe, are worried about being gobbled up, should Russia continue its expansion. Apart from the threat to U.S. interests in continental Western Europe, there is also the threat of Russia’s expansion into the Arctic, positioning submarines and missiles, which could potentially threaten shipping and freedom of navigation in the North Sea, as well as possible attacks on Canada, Alaska, and Scandinavia. Most recently, Finland and Sweden have been given permission to join NATO.
China seeks to surpass the U.S. militarily, economically, technologically, and in terms of global influence. The FBI identifies China as the greatest threat to the U.S. in terms of information warfare. China coopts U.S persons, politicians, academics, and businesspeople, to support legislation which is favorable to Chinese Communist Party. Beijing’s stated goal is to become the world’s number-one superpower, a goal they are slowly achieving through predatory lending to developing countries, systematic theft of intellectual property, as well as hacking and other cybercrimes.
U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin identifies China as the single greatest threat to the United States. While he also considers Russia a threat, he pointed out that China, unlike Russia, has the stated goal to remake the world order in their own image and that China has the economic and military capability to do so. The Department of Defense reported that, in China and Russia, the U.S. now faces two hostile nuclear powers.
Chinese President Xi Jinping has vowed to capture Taiwan, and has declared that China has the right to use force to do so. If he launches an invasion, given the ambiguity of the Taiwan Policy Act of 2022, it is unclear if Washington would go to war. President Biden, however, has publicly stated, on several occasions, that the U.S. would defend the island nation. Japan also identifies an attack on Taiwan as an attack on Japan, because a People’s Liberation Army (PLA) invasion of Taiwan is sure to violate Japanese air and sea space. If Japan is forced to defend itself, the U.S. is treaty-bound to join the fight. Consequently, Taiwan is the single most likely flashpoint for a war between the U.S. and China.
According to the Annual Threat Assessment of the U.S. Intelligence Community, published in February 2022, “Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), al-Qa‘ida, and Iran and its militant allies, will take advantage of weak governance to continue to plot terrorist attacks against U.S. persons and interests, including to varying degrees in the United States, and exacerbate instability in regions such as Africa and the Middle East.”
While Russia is dominating headlines with the Ukraine invasion and China’s economic, political, and military expansion is monitored by the media, as well as national security and military intelligence agencies, Iran and Iran-sponsored terrorism remains the third-largest challenge, according to the U.S. intelligence community. Iran’s threat to the U.S. and U.S. interests in Israel, Saudi Arabia, and the Middle East include direct missile attacks, cyber attacks, assassinations, and sponsorship of terrorist organization and proxy forces, as well as the increasing danger posed by Iran’s nuclear enrichment program.
Iran projects its own power in the Middle East and North Africa, eroding U.S. influence. In particular, Iran threatens U.S. military and civilians in the region, Israel, and U.S. oil-trade partner Saudi Arabia. Although the relationship between the United States and Saudi Arabia has been fraught with difficulties, Saudi Arabia is crucial to U.S. interests, because they are an important oil trade partner, a weapons trade partner, and they offer support for the internationalization of the U.S. dollar. Additionally, U.S. forces use Saudi Arabia as a base of operations to counter other threats in the region, such as Iran. As important as Saudi Arabia is to U.S. operations, they are not exactly a reliable ally. In October, OPEC, which is led by Saudi Arabia, refused a U.S. request to raise production volumes. Many in the U.S. Congress advised the president to stop providing Saudi Arabia with weapons, which would leave the kingdom vulnerable to an Iranian attack.
Saudi Arabia, which shares intelligence with the United States, warned in November 2022 of possible Iranian attacks on targets inside of the Saudi territory. Iran was also blamed for missile attacks on Saudi refineries in 2019. Iran backs Shia forces in Iraq, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, and Lebanon, which fight proxy wars against Western countries and Sunnis in the region. Iran supports terrorist groups, including Hammas, as well as Lebanese Hizballah, Shia militias in Iraq, the Huthis in Yemen, and provides direct support to the regime in Syria. Through their support of the Syrian government, Iran and Russia together are indirectly responsible for the deaths of over 400,000 Syrians.
Iran often engages in provocative actions against U.S. Navy vessels in the Persian Gulf and the Strait of Hormuz. Over the past three years, Iran’s Ministry of Intelligence has been responsible for cyber attacks, including attacks on Israeli water infrastructure in 2020, the Boston Children’s Hospital in 2021, and Albania’s government in 2022.
In September, Iran captured two U.S. Navy drones. In 2020, Iran launched missile attacks on Iraqi bases hosting U.S. forces. In August 2022, the U.S. Department of Justice formally charged a member of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps, Shahram Poursafi, with attempting to pay for the assassination of former U.S. National Security Advisor John Bolton and of a second individual, who authorities believe was former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.
Iran has also sold drones to Russia which are now being deployed in Ukraine. U.S. authorities believe that the August shipment of Mohajer-6 and Shahed-series drones to Moscow is the first of many planned transfers of Iranian unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) of various types to Russia. In October, Iran agreed to sell Russia surface-to-surface missiles, as well as more drones.
With over 3,000 missiles, Iran has the world’s largest arsenal of conventionally armed ballistic missiles, many of which are precision-guided, with ranges of up to 2,000 kilometers. And this does not include Iran’s growing supply of land-attack cruise missiles. While Iran does not possess nuclear capabilities yet, many of these missiles are capable of carrying a nuclear payload. For this reason, watchdog agencies keep a close eye on Iran’s nuclear development programs. In August 2022, Iran’s Revolutionary Guards Commander-in-Chief Hossein Salami threatened that there were “hundreds of thousands of missiles” pointed at Israel.
The threat from Iran has increased since anti-government protests started in September 2022. The government has reacted violently to the protests, killing at least 130 protesters. In October 2022, the country’s Supreme Leader, Ali Khamenei, publicly blamed the protests on the U.S. and Israel.
The Institute for Science and International Security monitors the threat posed to the U.S. from Iran. As of October 2022, the institute ranked the Iran threat as “high danger,” 130 out of a possible 180. The assessment is conducted across six dimensions, each of which is assigned a score of 0 to 30 points. Hostile actions scored 22 out of 30; hostile rhetoric, 28; lack of transparency in compliance with nuclear inspections, 17; nuclear breakout, 30; sensitive nuclear capabilities, 17; and beyond breakout, converting highly enriched uranium into nuclear weapons, scored 16. The institute concluded that Iran’s recent hostile actions and deeds, as well as speculation that they are closing in on nuclear weapons technology, have increased the threat level.
Rostec State Corporation Promoting Development, Manufacturing and Exporting Military High-Tech Products
The Rostec State Corporation was established 15 years ago. Workers and foremen, researchers, engineers, designers and test operators, and all personnel of Rostec enterprises, on this important occasion.
There are thousands of people – highly qualified, unique specialists, some of them are one of a kind, of very different profiles who give their efforts, energy and talent to contribute to the industrial progress of our country and are directly engaged in resolving crucial state tasks in a number of priority high-tech areas.
These include aircraft building, automobile industry, radio electronics, engineering, chemistry, medicine, new materials and, of course, strengthening Russia’s defence capabilities since a significant share of the state defence order goes to Rostec enterprises, the largest corporation in the military-industrial sector.
The tangible results it achieves must continue to be among the corporation’s unquestionable priorities. It was established for this reason and generally to ensure, consolidate, preserve and thus guarantee the development of our technological, industrial and innovative potential.
The days when the corporation was being established and the way it proceeded underscore today that the decision of forming such an industrial powerhouse, a flagship of the Russian economy, and concentration of financial and managerial resources have fully justified themselves.
Yet we must keep moving forward, set new tasks and give proper responses to the most complicated challenges in defence and security, and global technological competition.
The key priority today, the number one task is to do everything possible to meet the needs of our Armed Forces, and crucially, the units and detachments engaged in the special military operation.
Production must be stepped up as well as deliveries of all required products; the state target tasks must be executed precisely, with high quality, and strictly on schedule. We spoke about this repeatedly, including yesterday at a meeting of the Russian Government Coordination Council.
Let me reiterate, we will promptly take any decisions to support our enterprises. Meanwhile, there are not doubtful about the people working there. Plants in Moscow, St Petersburg, the Urals, Siberia, the Far East and in dozens of the country’s regions are operating at maximum capacity working in several shifts.
Incidentally, under the current conditions, this definitely gives an unparalleled boost to the development of high-tech production, not just in the defence industry but also in related civilian sectors. Indeed, the people are working at full tilt following the example of our ancestors and great traditions of our gun-makers who proved with their work that Russian weapons are the weapons of victory.
The labour teams for this work, for such dedication, for their patriotic commitment to do everything for the defence of Russia, for enhancing its sovereignty so that our heroes, who are now fighting on the frontlines or are being trained in training camps, get all they need.
The heads of the enterprises must take additional measures of social support for the personnel and their families. This concerns, among other things, special incentives and bonus payments to the best specialists and workers.
The experience we have been getting during the special operation and countering modern Western weapons is very valuable and should be used to raise the quality, reliability and military characteristics of some of our weapons and Russian military goods.
In this context, close interaction of Rostec and all respective enterprises, design bureaus, corporations and scientific centres with Defence Ministry specialists is also important.
In addition, internal competition should be organised and encouraged – the domestic Russian competition between enterprises. Serial production must be launched of the best kinds of military equipment based on those which are now being used in the hostilities, which work and confirm their specifications.
Since its inception, Rostec was responsible for the design, production and export of high-tech products, both military and non-military. The work in major promising areas which ensure Russia’s technological sovereignty, must not only be continued but also intensified.
We obviously expect notable breakthrough results from Rostec in such areas as microelectronics and electronic components, aircraft building, equipment for 5G communication networks, and overall, in selecting, implementing and promoting Russian high-tech solutions in all areas which matter to our economy, determine modern living standards and remove dependency on imports.
We have everything in our hands for that: excellent, unique world-class scientific schools, innovative and ambitious groups of researchers and inventors, a powerful industrial base, qualified workers and a talented, strong and well-motivated youth.
A hefty part of this huge intellectual and manufacturing potential of the country is concentrated within the Rostec State Corporation management system. I firmly believe your results and new achievement will match the colossal scale of the strategic tasks for the country’s development.
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