Reflections on the Munich Security Conference and the First Anniversary of Russia’s War Against Ukraine

In mid-February, the German and Bavarian governments hosted the once-a-year Munich Security Meeting, wherever I had the opportunity to take part in conversations with global leaders on today’s pressing global safety worries. There had been numerous concerns on the agenda, like the worth of cooperation on emerging know-how troubles and the vital will need to protected our silicon offer chains. Even so, the predominant emphasis in Munich was on Russia’s war on Ukraine participants not only reviewed what we have discovered from the now calendar year-extensive war, but what demands to be carried out going ahead to assist Ukraine as well as make sure that the U.S. and its allies make applicable investments in the party of long term conflicts and crises, notably with regard to cybersecurity and provide chain resiliency.

To day, media protection of Ukraine has understandably targeted on the highly obvious actual physical injury wrought from Russian air and missile strikes. Less consideration has been paid to how Russia has sought, with blended achievements, to leverage its offensive cyber capabilities to complement its actions in the kinetic war. Even though Russian cyberattacks generated successes in the early levels of the invasion, discussions about cybersecurity relevant to the war generally skip the effective countermeasures implemented by the Ukrainian regime. Shut partnerships with Western allies and technology companies have enabled Ukraine to adeptly perform about and ward off destructive Russian action by leveraging created-in stability features in a wide wide variety of commercially obtained technologies and expert services, according to examination performed by Microsoft.

The use of these capabilities secured not only significant Ukrainian federal government units, but the devices of person people and wide swathes of the Ukrainian overall economy. The shift to cloud services companies, for instance, permitted Ukraine to acquire edge of the providers’ progressively advanced cyber protection and detection equipment. Designed-in security-by-design and style characteristics, like conclude-to-finish encrypted messaging bundled in cell gadgets and other engineering platforms, have held communications and details safe. This conflict carries on to highlight how valuable these offerings are to safeguarding governments, conclusion customers, and enterprises from cyberattacks initiated by point out actors or cyber criminals.

Also illuminated is the fragile nature of U.S. and European defense supply chains and the dangers of reliance on probably unfriendly international locations to underpin crucial twin-use technologies. Immediately after the Cold War, the peace dividend led to a remarkable downscaling of defense provide chains as militaries demobilized and downsized. The swift expansion of China’s military services capabilities, coupled with rising Russian and Chinese geopolitical ambitions and expanding collaboration, compels improved financial commitment by the United States and its allies in securing their protection-related supply chains. This needs boosting capacity to make and stockpile elementary provides these kinds of as ammunition, weapons platforms, and health-related materials, and bolstering the stability of the source chain for twin-use systems this sort of as chips and other pc hardware. A 12 months of supporting Ukraine with munitions has depleted U.S. stockpiles and is straining existing producing abilities, impacting the potential of the United States to meet the necessities of the latest U.S. protection strategy – fighting a major conflict though deterring one more conflict. As extended as source chains and stockpiles continue to be stretched, the United States will be hampered in its skill to answer effectively to world wide crises.

At the very same time, the dialogue at the Munich Security Conference clarified and underscored the urgency of continued financial investment in and enhanced motivation to stability-by-design and style to ensure much better insulation from upcoming cyber events. Discussions highlighted the need for more investments and coordination amid allies on defense generation and stockpiling, as perfectly as the will need for higher steadiness in technological know-how supply chains. These kinds of increased cooperation and coordination between the United States and its allies contribute to the defense of Ukraine as properly as our collective protection as we move into an ever more uncertain geopolitical threat surroundings.

To day, the lessons of the war in Ukraine underscore the urgent need for the United States, and its allies, in Europe and all-around the world, to make investments and establish resilience. This will have to be a collective work, with mutual assistance between the United States and its allies to collectively re-shore critical elements of our provide chain—or as quite a few of our allies have termed it, friendshoring. Ultimately, our means to effectively manage the dynamic protection issues of the 21st century will be largely dependent on achieving a resilient infrastructure, to involve crucial networks and source chains.

Initially published at The Chertoff Group