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General Discussion / Exercise Pagsisikap 2022
« on: October 07, 2022, 10:05:54 AM »
“Fight as Trained”

Brooke’s Point, Palawan – At the break of dawn, the locals of Samariñana Beach were greeted for the first time by the presence of BRP TARLAC (LD601) commanded by COMMANDER EMERSON F OXALES PN(GSC) over the horizon as part of its participation in Exercise PAGSISIKAP 2022 as the Amphibious Task Unit from 26 September to 01 October 2022. The week-long annual unilateral exercise was programmed to enhance the Philippine Navy’s Fleet-Marine Capability emphasizing on surface and amphibious operations to demonstrate the Philippine Navy’s Capability Development.

The Training Activity was also an opportunity to evaluate existing Doctrines, TTPs, and measure BRP TARLAC’s Operational Readiness. It also tested the interoperability among other participating fleet and marine units deployed at Naval Forces West in Palawan. Exercise PAGSISIKAP 2022 also integrated PN Reservists as Force Multipliers and took part during the Civil Military Operations and Amphibious Demonstration Operations. During the Opening Ceremony, COMMODORE ROY VINCENT T TRINIDAD PN emphasized the importance of the exercise and said: “We must train as to fight and fight as trained”.

While at sea, BRP TARLAC (LD601) together with other units from the Philippine Fleet participated in serials which include: OOW Maneuvers, Gunnery Exercise, Flashing Light, Publication Exercise, and Amphibious Operations. BRP TARLAC (LD601) facilitated the Flashing Light Exercise and Publication Exercise to test the proficiency of fleet units to communicate and interpret tactical signals. CAPTAIN BRENDO J CASACLANG PN(GSC), Commander of Naval Task Force 45 and the Exercise Director said, “The final highlight of the exercise was the Amphibious Demonstration Operations wherein BRP TARLAC(LD601) prepared the Commander, Amphibious Force to carry out the Amphibious Demonstration Operations through the preparation of plans, execution of table top exercise, integration of Command and Control (C2), launching and recovery of the Advance Forces, Amphibious Assault Forces, and the Follow-on Forces displaying a high level of proficiency and regard to safety.”

The Exercise PAGSISIKAP 2022 concluded on 01 October 2022 aboard BRP TARLAC(LD601) with COLONEL REY M BES PAF(GSC), the Deputy Commander of AFP Western Command as the Guest of Honor. In his remarks, he commended the participants for their perseverance, from which the exercise derived its name. An enduring character that defines every Filipino’s success wherever and whenever in the world.


Naval Arms Exports - How Europe & Asia overtook the US & Russia

When we think of major naval powers, we usually think of the big players. The USA, the USSR/Russia & the PRC - but surprisingly enough, in recent times all of them have sold relatively few of their ships and submarines abroad.

How can it be that major naval powers, with significant military shipbuilding capacity, find themselves in this position?

Videos & Images / Rear Admiral Romulo Espaldon narrates his memoirs
« on: August 28, 2022, 07:56:15 PM »
[Video] Rear Admiral Romulo Espaldon

Rear Admiral Romulo Espaldon gives an overview of the AFP Southern Command and its accomplishments until his retirement in 1980, explains his policy of attraction which led around 40,000 rebels to return to the fold of the law, assumes responsibility for the death of Gen. Teodulfo Bautista in the October 10, 1977 Patikul Massacre, and narrates the risk that he took in accepting the surrender of the MNLF Magic Eight rebel commanders and their 2,000 followers on Panamao Beach in Jolo.

China / China's Weapons Exports and Private Security Contractors
« on: August 20, 2022, 07:43:45 AM »
China's Weapons Exports and Private Security Contractors
by Cortney Weinbaum, John V. Parachini, Melissa Shostak, Chandler Sachs, Tristan Finazzo, Katheryn Giglio
Military weapons exports are an important tool for projecting a country's influence around the world, and China has marketed and exported weapons to 38 countries from 2018 to 2021. In addition to exporting weapons, China has exported private security contractors (PSCs) to protect and secure its interests, such as mining facilities, ports, and infrastructure projects, in other countries. To illustrate the spread of China's global military and security influence, RAND researchers developed a map that shows which countries received Chinese weapons, PSCs, or both in 2018–2021. The researchers found that 48 countries received Chinese weapons or PSCs during those years, including 14 countries that received both. The map, along with a table that the researchers created, shows China's expansive influence across Asia and Africa and into Latin America. The tool also shows the types of weapon systems that each country purchased.

Army's Israeli-made AVLBs now for inspection
By Priam Nepomuceno
July 14, 2022,

MANILA – The Philippine Army (PA) on Thursday said it will subject to a post-delivery technical inspection the two units of armored vehicle-launched bridge (AVLB) that were earlier shipped to the Batangas Port last July 12.

"The AVLBs will be inspected by the Technical Inspection and Acceptance Committee of the Department of National Defense’s Procurement Service before acceptance and deployment to the Army's engineer combat battalions," said PA spokesperson, Col. Xerxes Trinidad.

He added that these AVLBs were procured through a Philippine-Israel government-to-government deal, and are part of Horizon Two of the Revised Armed Forces of the Philippines Modernization Program.

"The assets will boost the capabilities of Army engineer combat battalions in supporting maneuver units by providing mobility during operations," Trinidad said.

The AVLB is a combat support vehicle, sometimes regarded as a sub-type of military engineering vehicle, designed to assist militaries in rapidly deploying tanks and other armored vehicles across rivers or other gap-type obstacles.

“These past 125 years, we have seen the Philippine Army grow into a professional and capable Army for our country. And as the Army’s modernization program progresses, we are looking at a very bright future for our land force,” said Army commander Lt. Gen. Romeo S. Brawner Jr. (PNA)

Germany, rearmament, and Ukraine - "Why 100 billion Euro may not fix the German military"

When Russia launched its February 24th invasion of Ukraine, Germany was one of the nations that experienced a dramatic, near overnight political shift.

Germany turned its eyes to rearmament after decades of reduced defence spending, while outside commenters criticised the limited number of heavy weapons the great Central European industrial power was able and willing to provide.

The reality is that Germany's military is both one of the best funded in the world, and also one of the least prepared for action with much of its military reduced to scrounging from other units while equipment is out for maintenance. It is a military hampered by deep budgeting and procurement difficulties that have caused its readiness rates and equipment to run down to dire levels.

German defence industry is among the world's best. It's capable of developing world beating products (especially when working with other European powers) but it operates at production levels, and in a procurement environment, that mean it has often been foreign militaries, not the Bundeswehr, that benefit most from German military-industrial potential.

In this video, I go through some history of how the Bundeswehr came to be so run down. I go after the myth that the Bundeswehr has been poorly funded (there's both a yes and no answer there) and go through some of the reasons I think Germany's planned 100 billion Euro equipment spend could go horribly wrong if proper reforms and plans aren't put in place.

To my German viewers, please take this as the friendly (if often critical) view of an ally across the sea.


Unveiling of Charlie Squad Vehicle © at Camp Aguinaldo Grandstand

[Video] Unveiling of Charlie Squad Vehicle © at Camp Aguinaldo Grandstand

Charlie Squad Vehicle promotional video

Squad Vehicle Charlie interactive 3D walk-around

This project might dovetail with recent reports of Japanese industrial assistance via technology transfers:

Japan offers strategic aid to PH
Frances Mangosing
June 16, 2022

MANILA, Philippines — Japan has offered to assist the Philippines develop its own military-industrial complex via strategic technology transfers and outright equipment donations, a source at the defense department told the Inquirer on Wednesday.

Tokyo is offering to help Manila develop its own armored vehicles, ammunition and satellites, among others, through a collaboration between and among Japanese and Philippine companies, the source said.

Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, for instance, has offered to transfer technology and work with a local counterpart to manufacture parts for an entire armored vehicle, he said.

Shades of the old Delta Motors M-1777 Mini Cruiser from the 1970s. Comments from the manufacturer indicate a civilian version also in the works.

Anos Research Manufacturing Facebook page
Anos Research Manufacturing Unveiled New Tactical Vehicle  - Defense Studies blog

AFP Organization, Services, and Units / 10th Field Artillery
« on: June 25, 2022, 07:08:28 PM »
Army activates new unit to operate Israel-made howitzers
By Priam Nepomuceno
June 24, 2022

MANILA – The Army Artillery Regiment (AAR) has activated a new unit, the 10th Field Artillery, which will operate the 12 newly-acquired 155mm self-propelled howitzers from Israel.

Philippine Army (PA) spokesperson Col. Xerxes Trinidad, in a statement Friday, said the 10th Field Artillery was activated during the AAR's 15th founding anniversary in Fort Magsaysay, Nueva Ecija on June 22.

PA Inspector General, Maj. Gen. Roy M. Galido, who represented Army commander Lt. Gen. Romeo S. Brawner Jr., headed the activation ceremonies.

”This newly activated unit will surely contribute to our continuing victory in the conduct of combined arms operations," he said in his speech.

The 10th Field Artillery will be led by Lt. Col. Chamberlain A. Esmino.

”As Artilyeros, let us not forget the characteristics that make you the best—speed and accuracy. Speed in providing the much-needed fire support to troops and accuracy in hitting only designated targets and avoiding collateral damage,” Galido added.

Earlier, the AAR announced that it had test-fired for the first time its newly-acquired Autonomous Truck Mounted Howitzer System (ATMOS) 155mm/52 caliber self-propelled artillery pieces.

Trinidad said the ATMOS 155mm howitzer system is a "shoot-and-scoot" weapon that can be rapidly deployed in rugged terrain.

"The weapon incorporates an 'inertial navigation system' (INS)-based gun-laying method and an automatic loader," he added.

The Army received 12 ATMOS howitzer units in December 2021 from Israeli defense company Elbit Systems.

As this developed, the Philippine Marine Corps (PMC) announced that it has activated its Shore-Based Air Defense System (SBADS) Battalion last June 22.

The event was headed by PMC Commandant, Maj. Gen. Nestor C. Herico.

“The shore-based air defense system is considered a significant part of all reliable coastal defense systems that protect strategic assets and infrastructures. This is to address the military’s gap relative to our capacity to defend our bases and new equipment against aggressors from the air. The SBADS will complement the efforts for sea lines of communications’ control, anti-access/area-denial, and coastal and island defense operations under our archipelagic coastal defense strategy," he added.

The SBADS Battalion is the second unit under the Coastal Defense Regiment after the Shore Based Anti-Ship Missile (SBASM) Battalion.

Defending Ukraine: Early Lessons from the Cyber War
Jun 22, 2022

This report offers five conclusions that come from the war’s first four months:

First, defense against a military invasion now requires for most countries the ability to disburse and distribute digital operations and data assets across borders and into other countries. Russia not surprisingly targeted Ukraine’s governmental data center in an early cruise missile attack, and other “on premise” servers similarly were vulnerable to attacks by conventional weapons. Russia also targeted its destructive “wiper” attacks at on-premises computer networks. But Ukraine’s government has successfully sustained its civil and military operations by acting quickly to disburse its digital infrastructure into the public cloud, where it has been hosted in data centers across Europe. 


Second, recent advances in cyber threat intelligence and end-point protection have helped Ukraine withstand a high percentage of destructive Russian cyberattacks. Because cyber activities are invisible to the naked eye, they are more difficult for journalists and even many military analysts to track. Microsoft has seen the Russian military launch multiple waves of destructive cyberattacks against 48 distinct Ukrainian agencies and enterprises. These have sought to penetrate network domains by initially comprising hundreds of computers and then spreading malware designed to destroy the software and data on thousands of others. 

Russian cyber tactics in the war have differed from those deployed in the NotPetya attack against Ukraine in 2017. That attack used “wormable” destructive malware that could jump from one computer domain to another and hence cross borders into other countries. Russia has been careful in 2022 to confine destructive “wiper software” to specific network domains inside Ukraine itself. But the recent and ongoing destructive attacks themselves have been sophisticated and more widespread than many reports recognize. And the Russian army is continuing to adapt these destructive attacks to changing war needs, including by coupling cyberattacks with the use of conventional weapons. 

A defining aspect of these destructive attacks so far has been the strength and relative success of cyber defenses. While not perfect and some destructive attacks have been successful, these cyber defenses have proven stronger than offensive cyber capabilities. This reflects two important and recent trends. First, threat intelligence advances, including the use of artificial intelligence, have helped make it possible to detect these attacks more effectively. And second, internet-connected end-point protection has made it possible to distribute protective software code quickly both to cloud services and other connected computing devices to identify and disable this malware. Ongoing wartime innovations and measures with the Ukrainian Government have strengthened this protection further. But continued vigilance and innovation will likely be needed to sustain this defensive advantage.

Third, as a coalition of countries has come together to defend Ukraine, Russian intelligence agencies have stepped up network penetration and espionage activities targeting allied governments outside Ukraine. At Microsoft we’ve detected Russian network intrusion efforts on 128 organizations in 42 countries outside Ukraine. While the United States has been Russia’s number one target, this activity has also prioritized Poland, where much of the logistical delivery of military and humanitarian assistance is being coordinated. Russian activities have also targeted Baltic countries, and during the past two months there has been an increase in similar activity targeting computer networks in Denmark, Norway, Finland, Sweden, and Turkey. We have also seen an increase in similar activity targeting the foreign ministries of other NATO countries. 

Russian targeting has prioritized governments, especially among NATO members. But the list of targets has also included think tanks, humanitarian organizations, IT companies, and energy and other critical infrastructure suppliers. Since the start of the war, the Russian targeting we’ve identified has been successful 29 percent of the time. A quarter of these successful intrusions has led to confirmed exfiltration of an organization’s data, although as explained in the report, this likely understates the degree of Russian success. 

We remain the most concerned about government computers that are running “on premise” rather than in the cloud. This reflects the current and global state of offensive cyber espionage and defensive cyber protection. As the SolarWinds incident demonstrated 18 months ago, Russia’s intelligence agencies have extremely sophisticated capabilities to implant code and operate as an Advanced Persistent Threat (APT) that can obtain and exfiltrate sensitive information from a network on an ongoing basis. There have been substantial advances in defensive protection since that time, but the implementation of these advances remains more uneven in European governments than in the United States. As a result, significant collective defensive weaknesses remain.

Fourth, in coordination with these other cyber activities, Russian agencies are conducting global cyber-influence operations to support their war efforts. These combine tactics developed by the KGB over several decades with new digital technologies and the internet to give foreign influence operations a broader geographic reach, higher volume, more precise targeting, and greater speed and agility. Unfortunately, with sufficient planning and sophistication, these cyber-influence operations are well positioned to take advantage of the longstanding openness of democratic societies and the public polarization that is characteristic of current times.

As the war in Ukraine has progressed, Russian agencies are focusing their cyber-influence operations on four distinct audiences. They are targeting the Russian population with the goal of sustaining support for the war effort. They are targeting the Ukrainian population with the goal of undermining confidence in the country’s willingness and ability to withstand Russian attacks. They are targeting American and European populations with the goal of undermining Western unity and deflecting criticism of Russian military war crimes. And they are starting to target populations in nonaligned countries, potentially in part to sustain their support at the United Nations and in other venues.

Russian cyber-influence operations are building on and are connected to tactics developed for other cyber activities. Like the APT teams that work within Russian intelligence services, Advance Persistent Manipulator (APM) teams associated with Russian government agencies act through social media and digital platforms. They are pre-positioning false narratives in ways that are similar to the pre-positioning of malware and other software code. They are then launching broad-based and simultaneous “reporting” of these narratives from government-managed and influenced websites and amplifying their narratives through technology tools designed to exploit social media services. Recent examples include narratives around biolabs in Ukraine and multiple efforts to obfuscate military attacks against Ukrainian civilian targets.


Finally, the lessons from Ukraine call for a coordinated and comprehensive strategy to strengthen defenses against the full range of cyber destructive, espionage, and influence operations. As the war in Ukraine illustrates, while there are differences among these threats, the Russian Government does not pursue them as separate efforts and we should not put them in separate analytical silos. In addition, defensive strategies must consider the coordination of these cyber operations with kinetic military operations, as witnessed in Ukraine. 

New advances to thwart these cyber threats are needed, and they will depend on four common tenets and — at least at a high level — a common strategy. The first defensive tenet should recognize that Russian cyber threats are being advanced by a common set of actors inside and outside the Russian Government and rely on similar digital tactics. As a result, advances in digital technology, AI, and data will be needed to counter them. Reflecting this, a second tenet should recognize that unlike the traditional threats of the past, cyber responses must rely on greater public and private collaboration. A third tenet should embrace the need for close and common multilateral collaboration among governments to protect open and democratic societies. And a fourth and final defensive tenet should uphold free expression and avoid censorship in democratic societies, even as new steps are needed to address the full range of cyber threats that include cyber influence operations. 

An effective response must build on these tenets with four strategic pillars. These should increase collective capabilities to better (1) detect, (2) defend against, (3) disrupt, and (4) deter foreign cyber threats. This approach is already reflected in many collective efforts to address destructive cyberattacks and cyber-based espionage. They also apply to the critical and ongoing work needed to address ransomware attacks. We now need a similar and comprehensive approach with new capabilities and defenses to combat Russian cyber influence operations. 

Link to full report.

Self-Reliant Defense Posture / Japan offers strategic aid to PH
« on: June 19, 2022, 03:54:25 PM »
Japan offers strategic aid to PH
Frances Mangosing
June 16, 2022

MANILA, Philippines — Japan has offered to assist the Philippines develop its own military-industrial complex via strategic technology transfers and outright equipment donations, a source at the defense department told the Inquirer on Wednesday.

The strategic aid was among the matters discussed during working group-level talks on security cooperation between Defense Assistant Secretary Jesus Rey Avila and Takahiro Araki of Japan’s Ministry of National Defense in Tokyo this week.

Tokyo is offering to help Manila develop its own armored vehicles, ammunition and satellites, among others, through a collaboration between and among Japanese and Philippine companies, the source said.

Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, for instance, has offered to transfer technology and work with a local counterpart to manufacture parts for an entire armored vehicle, he said.

Japan also offered to donate to the Armed Forces of the Philippines an “over-the-horizon communication system,” a system composed of three batteries, which can cover the entire island of Luzon.

The source said Avila also met with the chief of staff of the Japan Self-Defense Air Force on air surveillance operations.

The talks were staged a few months after both countries agreed to expand defense cooperation.

The two countries’ foreign and defense ministers met in April to expand defense cooperation amid concerns over the situations in the East and South China Seas and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

It was the first “2+2” meeting between the two US allies.

Marine Corps to Join Exercise in Philippines for First Time
The South Korean Marine Corps will participate in a joint exercise in the Philippines this October for the first time.

Defense minister Lee Jong-sup held talks with his Filipino counterpart Delfin Lorenzana on Friday and agreed on the inclusion of the Korean Marine Corps as a part of enhanced security cooperation between the two nations.

Assessing that discussions with a Korean firm to build patrol frigates for Manila is progressing smoothly, Lee stressed that interoperability with Korean vessels will contribute to advancing the Philippine Navy's combat power.

Lorenzana thanked South Korea for its role in modernizing his country's military and expressed hope that defense sector cooperation will continue.

The two sides also noted bilateral trust, friendship and partnership ties developed over the years. They agreed to facilitate regular military exchanges including the resumption of a vice ministerial joint committee that has been postponed due to the pandemic.

Secretary Lorenzana also extended his congratulations on the launch of a new Korean government and expressed unwavering support for Seoul's denuclearization efforts.

General Discussion / Sanay Tudla II and SIMEX III
« on: May 30, 2022, 01:11:15 PM »
PAF ends 9-day gunnery competition
By Priam Nepomuceno
May 27, 2022,

MANILA – The Philippine Air Force (PAF) announced the conclusion of the nine-day gunnery competition tasked to test the skills and accuracy of its strike, monitoring and detection assets.

The event took place at the Col. Ernesto Rabina Air Base in Capas, Tarlac between May 16 to 24, PAF spokesperson Col. Maynard Mariano said in a statement Friday.

These exercises were formally known in PAF and military circles as "SANAY-TUDLA II" and "SIMEX III".

He said the gunnery competition was highlighted by the participation of the PAF's air defense, command, control, communications, computers, information/intelligence, surveillance, targeting acquisition and reconnaissance (C4ISTAR), search-and-rescue systems and surface strike-capable assets.

These assets were divided into two teams supported by other PAF units corresponding to their core systems under the Integrated Air Operation System, Mariano said.

"During the conduct of the exercise(s) the PAF utilized its air assets such as the FA-50PH of the 5th Fighter Wing; the AW-109AH, SF-260TP, T-129, and A-29B 'Super Tucano' of 15th Strike Wing; Bell-412 helicopters from the 205th Tactical Helicopter Wing; unmanned aerial vehicles from the 300th Air Intelligence and Security Wing; the S-76(i) and (W-3A) 'Sokol' helicopters from the 505th Search-and-Rescue Group; and radars from the 580th Aircraft Control-and-Warning Wing," he added.

The activity was viewed live at the PAF Control Center, Air Force Command Center and the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Command Operations Center along with other military command-and-control facilities.

"Combat air controllers of the 710th Special Operations Wing and direct air support forward teams were also the key players in the success of the activity. Critical to the activity was the connectivity provided by the 950(th) CEIS (Communications, Electronics, and Information System) Group," he said.

He said the "SANAY-TUDLA II" and "SIMEX III" showcased the delivery of secured and near-real-time "common operational picture" through a live voice, video and data feeds from sensors to shooters and to decision-makers in all command-and-control centers of the PAF.

The event was witnessed by AFP acting chief-of-staff Air Force Lt. Gen. Erickson R. Gloria, PAF chief Lt. Gen. Connor Anthony Canlas Sr., and other ranking military officials. (PNA)

General Discussion / PAF probes crash-landing of Hermes 900 drone
« on: May 29, 2022, 06:46:27 PM »
PAF probes crash-landing of Hermes 900 drone
By Priam Nepomuceno
May 29, 2022

MANILA – The Philippine Air Force (PAF) said it is now conducting investigations to determine the exact cause of the crash-landing of its Hermes 900 unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) while about to land at the Lumbia Airport, Cagayan De Oro City Saturday.

PAF spokesperson Col. Maynard Mariano, in a statement forwarded to reporters Saturday night, said the UAV took off at around 9:30 a.m. to perform a functional check flight (FCF).

"Upon takeoff, the UAV proceeded to 5NM (five nautical miles) east of Lumbia and ascended to 10,000 ft. After finding the FCF procedure to be satisfactory, the pilots declared the termination of test and started to descend 5000 ft 1.5 miles east of Lumbia Airport," he added.

At around 11:46 a.m., communication with the UAV was cut.

"All emergency procedures were performed, and field service representatives were called for troubleshooting," Mariano said.

He added that the Hermes 900 UAV crash-landed in a vegetated area where it was last confirmed to have lost contact.

"No civilian casualties and damage of properties were reported. The Command will be conducting a thorough investigation to determine the cause of such incident," Mariano said.

Mariano said the UAV, which is the same size as a small trainer plane, is still recoverable.

“As of the moment, the recovery is ongoing. The aircraft suffered considerable damage but was recoverable," he added

In Sri Lanka, Organic Farming Went Catastrophically Wrong
March 5, 2022, 7:00 AM

Faced with a deepening economic and humanitarian crisis, Sri Lanka called off an ill-conceived national experiment in organic agriculture this winter. Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa promised in his 2019 election campaign to transition the country’s farmers to organic agriculture over a period of 10 years. Last April, Rajapaksa’s government made good on that promise, imposing a nationwide ban on the importation and use of synthetic fertilizers and pesticides and ordering the country’s 2 million farmers to go organic.

The result was brutal and swift. Against claims that organic methods can produce comparable yields to conventional farming, domestic rice production fell 20 percent in just the first six months. Sri Lanka, long self-sufficient in rice production, has been forced to import $450 million worth of rice even as domestic prices for this staple of the national diet surged by around 50 percent. The ban also devastated the nation’s tea crop, its primary export and source of foreign exchange.

By November 2021, with tea production falling, the government partially lifted its fertilizer ban on key export crops, including tea, rubber, and coconut. Faced with angry protests, soaring inflation, and the collapse of Sri Lanka’s currency, the government finally suspended the policy for several key crops—including tea, rubber, and coconut—last month, although it continues for some others. The government is also offering $200 million to farmers as direct compensation and an additional $149 million in price subsidies to rice farmers who incurred losses. That hardly made up for the damage and suffering the ban produced. Farmers have widely criticized the payments for being massively insufficient and excluding many farmers, most notably tea producers, who offer one of the main sources of employment in rural Sri Lanka. The drop in tea production alone is estimated to result in economic losses of $425 million.

Human costs have been even greater. Prior to the pandemic’s outbreak, the country had proudly achieved upper-middle-income status. Today, half a million people have sunk back into poverty. Soaring inflation and a rapidly depreciating currency have forced Sri Lankans to cut down on food and fuel purchases as prices surge. The country’s economists have called on the government to default on its debt repayments to buy essential supplies for its people.

The farrago of magical thinking, technocratic hubris, ideological delusion, self-dealing, and sheer shortsightedness that produced the crisis in Sri Lanka implicates both the country’s political leadership and advocates of so-called sustainable agriculture: the former for seizing on the organic agriculture pledge as a shortsighted measure to slash fertilizer subsidies and imports and the latter for suggesting that such a transformation of the nation’s agricultural sector could ever possibly succeed.


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