Avoided the Fate of Russia's Military Contractors, So Far
China's approach to private security contractors is much more limited in scope and effects than Russia's use of private military contractors. But indicators suggest that Chinese planners see benefits in expanding and maturing China's use of private contractors, which creates the potential for dangerous results for China and the rest of the world. Read more »
Building Better Government Acquisition Programs: Q&A with William Shelton
A "Time Capsule" From Mont Pelerin, 1947
Seth J. Frantzman writes: Qatar plays a kind of double game, pretending that its interest is merely de-escalation, while also trying to be friends with all sides. […]The question for countries in the region and the US is whether Qatar’s double-game can also actually bring real results or if the talk of de-escalation is also a way to position Qatar as the key to every conflict so as to increase its power and profit. – Jerusalem Post
Dustin Walker writes: For too long, the Pentagon has moved too slowly to achieve its ambitions of a distributed and resilient force posture in the Indo-Pacific, with dangerous consequences for American security. Urgent change at a significant scale is required, and that starts with the secretary of defense declaring, “I am Spike.” – War on the Rocks
Erdoğan's Neo-Ottoman Ambitions Turning Eastward by Burak Bekdil
Turkey’s central bank continues window dressing with currency swaps
Hit by a foreign reserves drain, Turkey’s central bank eyes fresh currency swap deals, including with the central banks of Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Libya.
Why Putin Has Not Been Deterred
by Victor Davis Hanson via American Greatness
Exasperated Americans fear Vladimir Putin is deterred neither by sanctions nor by arms sales but follows only his own sense of cost-to-benefit self-interest.
How Russian moves in Syria are linked to Moscow's Ukraine strategy
Large-scale exercises in the Mediterranean are meant both to increase capabilities in Syria and to send a message to NATO.
Iranian Attacks in Iraq Reflect Weakness, Disarray by Jonathan Spyer
The Jerusalem Post
January 20, 2022
The Missing Component in US Counterterrorism Efforts in Africa
Michael Rubin | RealClearDefense
Éric Zemmour: France's Last Chance for Survival? by Guy Millière
Hal Brands argues in Foreign Affairs that America has become an "overstretched superpower." As threats from Russia and China mount, he thinks it's clear that the "relentless diplomacy" adopted by the Biden administration is not sufficient to protect American interests and credibility around the world. The US, Brands says, can do "more with less" by reevaluating its capacity to wage two wars at once.
Theodore Roosevelt: Back to the Badlands
Editorial of The New York Sun | January 21, 2022
Three steps to help defense innovation break free from its shackles
(Defense News) The United States simply cannot meet the national security challenges it faces over the next decade if the resource allocation process is not brought into the 21st century.
A Year of Unforced Errors for Biden in the Middle East
Jonathan Schanzer — The Dispatch
One year into his presidency, Joe Biden endeavors to pivot away from the Middle East. The Middle East simply won’t let him. Like his predecessors, the president continues to struggle with the right approach to this important and perilous region. To date, many of Biden’s approaches have amounted to unforced errors. A number of them are likely to haunt him. Afghanistan: Though the country is not technically not part of the Middle East, Biden’s disastrous withdrawal from Afghanistan last year continues to impact how states in that region view America’s role in their neighborhood. Read
US Sanctions Bosnian Serb Leader Dodik. The US Treasury Department imposed new targeted sanctions on Bosnian Serb leader Milorad Dodik and other officials for acts of corruption and destabilization in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The department also sanctioned media outlet Alternativna Television for links to Dodik. Bosnian Serb leaders have been working to withdraw Serbian territories from state institutions, reviving concerns of possible Bosnian disintegration.
Al Jazeera Politico Reuters
North Korea Says Hypersonic Missile Tested. North Korea claims it successfully launched a hypersonic missile on Wednesday as part of its “strategic” military modernization efforts, according to state media. It is the North’s second known test-launch of a hypersonic missile, with its first occurring last September. The launch indicates Pyongyang will continue to focus on military development rather than return to stalled disarmament talks. Associated Press Reuters Wall Street Journa
The new conquistadores U.S. adversaries are becoming South American hegemons
The Case For Colonialism In The Middle East
by Bruce Gilley via The Caravan Notebook
Modern European colonialism in the Middle East took many forms and intensities, making impossible any generalizations about its effects. Therefore, the dominant anticolonial mindset that grips studies of the region is misplaced. Any case for colonialism in the Middle East rests on evidence from places that were creations of colonialism or where deterioration of the colonial legacy has been directly proportional to the degree of postcolonial catastrophe.
Gordon G. Chang writes: The Chinese military, from all indications, is now building a nuclear “war-fighting” capability, probably hoping to intimidate others into submission. […]There is no defense against hypersonic glide vehicles. Soon, China will be able to drop a nuke on America in the blink of an eye. Americans think strategic nuclear weapons are unusable. Chinese strategists obviously do not agree. – Newsweek
Succeeding Xi Jinping by Nan Li
What to Expect When You’re Expecting a National Defense Strategy
by Thomas Spoehr, Bradley Bowman, Bryan Clark, and Mackenzie Eaglen
Algerian court sentences two ex-PMs
An Algerian court on Monday handed down additional prison sentences for two former prime ministers charged in a major corruption case. Ahmed Ouyahia and Abdelmalek Sellal were sentenced to six and five years, respectively, for money laundering, wasting public money and abuse of office. In December 2019, a court sentenced Ouyahia to 15 years in prison and Sellal to 12 years on charges of corruption in financing the election campaign of late President Abdelaziz Bouteflika. Mass protests erupted in 2019 against Bouteflika’s bid for a fifth term, forcing him to resign. Despite his exit from politics, Algerians continued to demand the trial of figures linked to the former regime. Read More
To Deter China, Relearn The Lost Art of Dissuasion
Threats of denial or punishment will not deter a peer adversary fighting at home.
AUKUS: Good Goals, Bad Implementation
Now begins the real work for the United States and its democratic allies: cooperating to strengthen their eroding deterrence in the Indo-Pacific
Nagorno-Karabakh: A year of US failure in the South Caucasus
Michael Rubin | The National Interest
Treat Pakistan like China on military and sensitive exports
Michael Rubin | Washington Examiner
Going Back to the Future on Defense Acquisition
By Christine Fox & Sarah Stevenson , Proceedings: "The U.S. Navy’s submarine community was in near-crisis; its long superiority in acoustics detection fading."
China Tests Both Taiwan and the U.S.
By Seth Cropsey & Harry Halem, RealClearDefense: "PLA incursions into Taiwanese airspace should come as no surprise to observers of international events. In 2020, PLA aircraft violated Taiwanese airspace 380 times on 91 separate days."
America Cannot Take On China and Russia Simultaneously
By David T. Pyne, The National Interest: “U.S. concerns about the risks of fighting a coming war with Russia and China are well-grounded, given it is unprepared to fight even a purely conventional war with them.”
The Inevitability of Tragedy
By Mark Schell, Strategy Bridge: “Few public figures generated as much controversy in the last half of the 20th century as Kissinger, a man admired by some and reviled by others for his substantial role in shaping U.S. foreign policy."
Five Eyes wide shut
Zack Cooper | Korea on Point
Leaders in Washington and Seoul must be realistic that adding South Korea to the Five Eyes is ultimately unlikely. Instead, Seoul’s best opportunity for closer intelligence sharing is with its neighbors in East Asia, not the Five Eyes countries.
AFTER MERKEL: GERMANY MOVES LEFT POLITICALLY; TUNISIA FEARS A COUP; US SPY-CRAFT NEEDS REFORM; HOW CHINA IS A DECLINING POWER
Coup fears grow as Tunisian president shores up power
President Kais Saied is facing a growing wave of opposition from civil society and political actors as he takes new powers and attempts to transform the political system.
Tunisia’s Saied Appoints Prime Minister. Tunisian President Kais Saied has appointed Najla Bouden Romdhane as Tunisia’s first female prime minister and has asked her to form a government. Bouden, a professor of geophysics who implemented World Bank programs in the education ministry, has little government experience. Her appointment comes as Saied continues to seize power and Tunisia faces a financial crisis. Al Jazeera France 24 New York Times Reuters
Tunisians protest president’s expansion of power
Thousands of Tunisians took to the streets on Sunday to protest the president’s recent power grab, calling on him to resign. Last week, President Kais Saied announced that he will rule by decree for two months, ignoring parts of the constitution. In July, Saied suspended parliament and ousted a number of Cabinet officials, including the prime minister, in response to sweeping protests against the government’s failure to address the coronavirus pandemic and mounting debt. Saied’s opponents have described these measures as a coup. The developments reflect the most serious political crisis in the North African country since the 2011 Arab Spring.
A New Word for the Administration
For Those Who Have Chosen Power and Profits over Patriotism
Remembering 'Strategic Review'
By Francis P. Sempa, RealClearDefense: “. . . Strategic Review published thousands of articles, editorials, and book reviews that informed its readers, including Presidents, Secretaries of Defense, and our nation's military leaders, about crucial U.S. national security policy issues fundamental approaches to understanding global affairs. ”
The Pentagon’s ‘Deterrence’ Strategy
Ignores Hard-Earned Lessons About the Balance of Power
By Mike Gallagher, The Washington Post: “The Biden administration’s chaotic withdrawal from Afghanistan has called into question the credibility of U.S. commitments and the state of conventional military deterrence. But even before the Afghanistan surrender, the Biden Pentagon was already wrestling with increasingly unfavorable military balances of power, particularly regarding China.”
AUKUS and the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons
By John Yoo & Ivana Stradner, RealClearDefense: "The Biden administration’s recent agreement to share nuclear technology with the United Kingdom and Australia has returned attention back to American policy on strategic nuclear weapons."
China's Risky Business Crackdown
by Raghuram Rajan via Project Syndicate
Like the earlier campaign against corruption, Chinese President Xi Jinping's effort to control China's private sector is agreeable in its stated intentions, but questionable in its implementation. Quite possibly, the campaign for "common prosperity" will undermine the economic sectors that China needs to reorient its growth model.
When Intelligence Is Not Serving Its Nation
Hoover senior fellow Amy Zegart in a recent opinion piece, argues that post-9/11 spycraft “does not serve America’s national security interests as it once did . . . [and] has taken time and talent away from [the CIA’s] original purpose of preventing strategic surprise.” What has happened, she explains, is an intermingling of the traditional Department of Defense warfighting function and the CIA intelligence-gathering role, resulting in an overly tactical focus of both. The consequences could be damning: “a diminished ability to understand, anticipate and counter longer-term threats—like China’s rise and Russia’s information warfare—that could threaten American lives and interests far more than today’s terrorist plots.” She recommends that the CIA regain “the balance between fighting the terrorist enemies of today and providing the intelligence to detect, understand and stop the enemies of tomorrow.” Zegart extends her argument and suggests, “The US intelligence community needs a radical reimagining to succeed,” which would include open-source intelligence, expanded talent, and evolved strategy.
When Intentions Fall Short
Research Fellow Joe Felter characterizes US involvement in Afghanistan as two wars, writing, “One was by necessity: safeguarding America from transnational terrorist attacks. The other was a war of choice: bringing greater freedoms and opportunities to Afghanistan.” John Yoo, visiting fellow, argues that the second mission, the one of choice, was a failure because it “was based on the assumption that any political and cultural environment would be receptive to the attractions of liberal democracy, capitalism, and international human-rights law. . . . But nothing in the political culture or traditions of Afghanistan . . . was favorable to such a radical constitutional transformation.” He suggests that US elites should finally learn “that external force rarely succeeds in bringing about the constitutional transformation of a society so long as it remains culturally resistant.”
Senior Fellow Peter Berkowitz offers an alternative conclusion to the belief that “promoting democracy and freedom are beyond America’s capabilities [and] imposing destabilizing practices and institutions on local populations have no place in a responsible US foreign policy.” Berkowitz argues that to secure “the conditions conducive to freedom at home,” US foreign policy must be grounded in America’s needs and priorities. It must also recognize that promoting democracy and promoting freedom are separable and distinct achievements and, in many cases, severely limited. Additionally, the US must improve its understanding of other nations’ cultures as well as rededicating itself to the principles of freedom on which the United States is based. Listen to senior fellows H. R. McMaster and Victor Davis Hanson discuss the “lost war” on Uncommon Knowledge
Caravan Notebook; HOOVER INSTITUTION ON WAR
The Race for Tech Superiority
As China modernizes its nuclear arsenal and the US reviews its nuclear posture, America should not lose sight of the bigger race, explains Rose Gottemoeller, research fellow. “China may be a rising nuclear power, but its bigger agenda is building up its science and technology prowess.” She suggests that nuclear weapons should not be the primary focus of our efforts and money, but instead “the new and emerging technologies that are rapidly maturing into military assets. Innovations in artificial intelligence, big data analysis, quantum computing and quantum sensing and biotechnology are where future defense capacity is being born. The Chinese have sworn to beat us at acquiring and exploiting every one of them.” She calls for US government research funds to “push the frontiers of science and innovation.” For more about risks being posed by collaborative research with authoritarian nations, see the China Global Sharp Power’s (CGSP) essay “Global Engagement: Rethinking Risk in the Research Enterprise.”
Guinea Junta Unveils ‘Transitional Charter’ Toward Elections. Guinea’s military government has presented a “transitional charter” to return the country to civilian rule late Monday. According to the charter, which was read on TV, coup leader Mamady Doumbouya will be president of the transition until new elections, which no member of the interim government will be allowed to run in. The document, however, does not outline how long the transition will last. Al Jazeera Reuters Washington Post
The U.S.- Australian Alliance needs a Strategy to Deter China's Gray-Zone Coercion
by Ashley Townshend, Thomas Lonergan, and Toby Warden
Tribes, Political Parties, and the Iraqi Elections: A Shifting Dynamic by Alison Pargeter
A reflection on the promise and limits of American power in Afghanistan.
READ MORE ›
Turkey: NATO's Pro-Russian, Taliban-Friendly Ally by Burak Bekdil
The Gatestone Institute
September 24, 2021
From The Middle East To The Sahel And Throughout Africa: How Russia Pushes Western Powers Towards The Exit
by Isabelle Lasserre via The Caravan
Sub-Saharan Africa, the Sahel, the Middle East, Afghanistan. Like an octopus, Russia has extended its tentacles to every crisis riddled corner, filling the void created by the withdrawal of Western forces. Occasionally partnering with Turkey to better share the imperial burden, Vladimir Putin has once again inserted Moscow as a major player on the international scene. To what extent can it take the place of democratic powers?
Why We Failed In Afghanistan
by John Yoo, Robert Delahunty via National Review
Following the ignominious end to a 20-year effort, American foreign-policy elites must reassess their ambitions and assumptions
After Withdrawal: How China, Turkey, and Russia Will Respond to the Taliban by Michael Kofman, Aaron Stein, and Yun Sun
Ten Things the United States Should Do to Combat Terrorism in the Sahel by Michael Shurkin and Aneliese Bernar
The Next Afghan Battle
Editorial of The New York Sun | August 31, 2021
The U.S. decision to withdraw from Afghanistan by September 2021 is provoking a victorious narrative among Salafi-jihadi clerics and some Shi’ite militants in Iraq as both groups exploit the withdrawal not only to motivate fighters to never abandon jihad or, in the case of the Shi’ite militias, to continue targeting the U.S. interests in the region, but also to discredit rival groups. – Middle East Media Research Institute
CHARLES FAIN LEHMAN, RAFAEL A. MANGUAL
Progressive Policies Won’t Stop the Crime Wave
An approach to crime-fighting that scorns policing and incarceration relies on empirical and conceptual errors.
Getting the Quad Right Is Biden’s Most Important Job
By James Mattis, Michael Auslin, and Joe Felter via Foreign PolicyJames Mattis, Michael Auslin, and Joe Felter write that the Biden administration is wise to continue with its predecessor’s vision for a free and open Indo-Pacific region by engaging in talks with fellow leaders of the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue (Quad), which includes Australia, India, and Japan. They list four ways in which cooperation can be strengthened in the informal Quad alliance: enhancing maritime security to deter Chinese aggression in the South and East China Seas; reducing dependency on China’s economy by building supply chains on the strengths of its members’ advanced free-market economies; achieving an edge in the next generation of telecommunications technology; and drawing on the diversity of the alliance to advance diplomacy with other nations in Asia.
Turkey Signals Sweeping Regional Ambitions
By Dr. James M. Dorsey, March 11, 2021
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: A nationalist Turkish television station with close ties to President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has dug up a 12-year-old map that projects Turkey’s sphere of influence in 2050 as stretching from southeastern Europe on the northern coast of the Mediterranean and Libya on its southern shore across North Africa, the Gulf, and the Levant into the Caucasus and Central Asia.
Continue to full article ->
The United States’ Strategic Competition with China
Testimony by Matt Pottinger via US Senate Committee on Armed ServicesMatt Pottinger explains that following the Cold War, the United States replaced the Soviet Union as China’s primary security concern, leading Beijing to devise a grand strategy aimed at supplanting American power in Asia and dominating the global order to promote an authoritarian model of governance. He explains that, currently, Beijing is attempting to leverage its dominance in international production chains to pursue its political objectives. Pottinger advises that American policy makers adopt a counterstrategy against the policies that China initially set 30 years ago.
This would include addressing immediate challenges such as bypassing Beijing’s communication firewall and establishing common cause with China’s middle and entrepreneurial classes; ensuring that the financial activities of American citizens aren’t supporting China’s modernization of its military or Beijing’s human rights abuses; winning the race against China for supremacy in technological innovation; and increasing funding for Taiwan’s military to deter People’s Liberation Army aggression against the island nation.
7 Ways to Develop Comprehensive Diplomatic Strategy with Turkey
By Russell Berman and Dania Koleilat Khatib via National Interest
Russell Berman and Dania Koleilat Khatib write that President Biden’s upcoming meeting with Turkish leader Recip Erdogan is an opportunity that should not be squandered to repair bilateral relations and stabilize the NATO alliance. Berman and Khatib advocate that Biden should initiate a comprehensive strategy of reconciliation based on mutually beneficial exchanges and compromises. Such an approach, they believe, would help diffuse a range of potentially explosive issues, including the conflict between Turkish and Kurdish forces in Northeast Syria and Ankara’s decision to purchase S-400 missiles from Moscow.
The Sahelian Matrix Of Political Violence
by Heni Nsaibia, Clionadh Raleigh via The Caravan
The Sahel is one of the most active conflict theatres on the African continent and has become a major node in the "Global War on Terror'' over the past twenty years. After nearly a decade of foreign military intervention through overlapping counterterrorism, stabilization, and military and security training missions, the conflict is often referred to as a ''Forever War'' alongside other Western-led military interventions in the Middle East and Africa. As military campaigns in Iraq and Afghanistan draw to a close, attention is increasingly shifting to Africa as the next battlefront— where the Sahel remains a key geopolitical dilemma.
Biden's Emerging Foreign Policy L'Informale
February 19, 2021
The coronavirus pandemic underscores the catastrophic consequences of setting the Chinese Communist Party loose in the liberal international order — but many other unfamiliar new threats also lie in store, explain Dan Blumenthal and Nicholas Eberstadt.
Beijing’s misapplication of international law in the disputed waters is more complex than it seems, explains Oriana Skylar Mastro.
Russia seeks to outplay the US in Libya
While Russia's preferred candidates lost in last week's vote for interim leadership in Libya, Moscow still has a strategy for reinforcing its influence in the country.
Turkey’s risk grade far from safe
Turkey’s risk premium has sharply decreased over the past several months, but an array of economic and political factors threatens to undo the trend.
What’s next for Turkey in Libya after election of new interim leaders?
Universal goodwill messages to Libya’s new interim leadership indicate how complex the Libyan file has become for all foreign actors in the country ahead of potentially clamorous elections in December.
Russia, Iran compete for influence in Syria via private security companies
Private security companies in Syria with ties to Russian and Iranian forces are busily recruiting young men with attractive salaries.
Want to Redefine Readiness? Here's Where to Start // Seamus Daniels: Two Joint Chiefs are on the right track.
Pentagon Launches China Policy Review. President Biden launched a Department of Defense task force to evaluate the United States-China rivalry and produce comprehensive China policy recommendations in the next four months. Al Jazeera Axios South China Morning Post
DOD Budget Battles Loom Over Nukes. Progressive lobbyists and advocates for nuclear disarmament are pressuring the Biden administration to curtail the Air Force’s plans to upgrade its 400 Minuteman III nuclear missile arsenal. The fight over the 100 million dollar ‘Ground Based Strategic Deterrent Contract’ is expected to be the most contentious DOD budget fight this year. Politico
MULLAH'S IN IRAN NEED MONEY: EXTORTION RACKET BEGINS AGAIN & U.K. PM JOHNSON NEEDS PATHWAY OUT OF LOCKDOWN FAST
Joe Biden should reverse Trump’s decision on Somalia
Katherine Zimmerman | Critical Threats Project
The new Joe Biden administration should reverse the Donald Trump administration’s shortsighted 11th-hour decision to withdraw from Somalia to stave off a worst-case possibility.
Saudis Expanding US Military Access to Airfields, Port, to Counter Iran // Katie Bo Williams: The year-old initiative is intended to give CENTCOM "more options" in a fight, general reveals.
The Forgotten People Fighting the Forever War // Jessica Donati, The Atlantic: A devastating incident in Afghanistan shows the perils of relying on Special Operations alone to fight the nation's battles.
Nuclear Extortion: Mullahs Want More Concessions from Biden
by Majid Rafizadeh
The Pernicious Effects of Popular Nuclear Mythology
by Stephen Blank and Peter Huessy
US War Surge Production Too Slow, CSIS Finds
The United States could not make enough military equipment fast enough to sustain its military in the event of a major war. While much thought has been given to how a great power conflict might erupt or play out, far less has been written on how the U.S. industrial base could sustain U.S. wartime equipment…
‘Made In USA’ Won’t Secure Supply Chain Vs. China: Solarium
Rather than try to mine strategic minerals, build key technologies, and develop high-tech talent entirely on its own, the US should work together with trusted allies like Australia, the Cyberspace Solarium Commission and other experts argue.
Johnson's Days Look Numbered Unless He Can End Lockdowns
By STEPHEN MacLEAN, Special to the Sun | January 18, 2021
Israel Is Facing a Domestic Existential Threat
By Maj. Gen. (res.) Gershon Hacohen, January 12, 2021
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: The Israeli government is living in denial about the growing violent anarchy in the Negev, the Galilee, and in certain cities. Putting a stop to this phenomenon, which is developing into an existential threat, requires an all-out effort to enhance the power of the military and the police alongside appropriate preparations by the State Attorney’s Office and the legal system to restore sovereignty and governance.
Continue to full article ->
Debating Yad Vashem
January 18, 2021
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: The recent attempt by PM Netanyahu to appoint former IDF general and cabinet minister Effi Eitam as chairman of the Yad Vashem Holocaust Remembrance Center has stirred a heated public debate about the Center’s depiction of the Holocaust in recent years and its implications.
Two BESA associates have joined the debate.
Continue to full article ->
Can Nigel Farage Reform the Tories After Brexit?
By STEPHEN MacLEAN, Special to the Sun | January 11, 2021
Intra-Party Feud Of the Democrats Is the Key Battle
By IRA STOLL, Special to the Sun | January 11, 2021
Israel's Supreme Court Vindicates MEF News from the Middle East Forum
Sunk Costs In Iraq And Afghanistan
by David R. Henderson via EconLog
Will Joe Biden have the guts and/or the sense to recognize sunk costs?
The Big Lesson Of 2020: Government Failure
by David R. Henderson via EconLog
The year 2020 gave us a huge amount of evidence about the relative merits of government intervention and free markets. The bottom line is that government failed massively and free markets triumphed spectacularly (with one major exception) within the constraints that government placed on them. The one apparent exception to government failure is Operation Warp Speed but, as we shall see, that apparent exception may not be an exception at all.
Experts note that if the US is serious about refocusing on great-power competition with China and Russia and away from the Middle East, then withholding high-end reinforcements from the Persian Gulf is the hard call American leaders need to make. This argument is dangerous, argues Fred Kagan in a Hill op-ed. The US cannot allow its policy on China and Russia to starve the Middle East of essential military resources amid a crisis. As long as the US has a diplomatic presence in the region, the US must continue to deter escalation and prepare to protect its people. Learn more here.
US-China competition may not be a “superpower marathon,” but a decade-long sprint. In an AEI report, Michael Beckley and Hal Brands argue that the US will need a “danger zone” strategy geared toward preventing China from achieving major gains that could alter the long-term balance of power with respect to technology and Taiwan. Washington must harden its base infrastructure in Asia, help Taiwan fight asymmetrically, take part in long-term endeavors to reform the World Trade Organization, and reinvest in the domestic foundations of American innovation.
Read the full report here.
Has the Chinese century begun, or is trouble brewing on the horizon? In a new AEI video, Michael Beckley dives into the hard numbers to reveal China's challenges in the decades ahead. He concludes that as China’s economic growth slows, it will continue to crack down on domestic dissent and deter foreign rivals from exploiting their financial woes. The United States must firmly but patiently contain China with a careful blend of deterrence, reassurance, and damage limitation. Watch the video here.
If Beijing poses such a clear global threat, then why has Washington struggled to build a coalition to counter its rise? In a Foreign Policy op-ed, Zack Cooper and Hal Brands debunk the belief that a single alliance will emerge to counter China. Instead, the US must forge a geostrategic coalition of countries in the Indo-Pacific, an economic alliance, a technological alliance, and a governance coalition. Unless the US adopts a more sophisticated approach to coalition building, it will be stuck trying to re-create a world that no longer exists. Continue here.
BIDEN & CHINA
Joe Biden will rediscover Russia when he assumes the presidency. In a Dispatch op-ed, Leon Aron notes that Biden should beware of the pull to befriend or even change Russia. Attempting to change countries’ behavior from the outside usually fails. However, the US doesn’t have to wait for a regime change to moderate hostile policies. Joe Biden’s first priority in his discovery of Russia should be readying credible, quick, and robust responses. Learn more here.
Europe is divided by two different views on the threat Russia poses. In Sweden, increased preparedness for its aggression has produced larger defense budgets. In contrast, Germany and much of Western Europe seem far less concerned over such a “hard power” threat from Russia, explain Gary Schmitt and Craig Kennedy in a Hill op-ed. The new Joe Biden administration, with its clear desire to rebuild transatlantic ties, will look to Germany as the keystone to those efforts. Berlin could do well to look to Stockholm for an idea over what Washington could ask of its partners in Europe. Read here.
BIDEN & GERMANY
The Faultline Between Futurists and Traditionalists in National Security
by John Speed Meyers, David Jackson
Something Old, Something New
by Francis J. Gavin
Why Israel's Massive Radar Deal With Slovakia Matters by Seth J. Frantzman
The National Interest
January 14, 2021
Rwanda and the African Union: The Promise of Increased US-Africa Engagement
Featuring H. R. McMaster and Paul Kagame via BattlegroundsAfrican nations’ efforts to expand economic prosperity and defeat jihadist extremism underline the continent’s need for strong and stable governance, argues Rwandan president Paul Kagame in the latest episode of Battlegrounds, Hoover’s foreign policy video series hosted by Fouad and Michelle Ajami Senior Fellow H. R. McMaster.
Unresolved Border Dispute Escalates Tensions. Tensions between Ethiopia and Sudan continue to escalate following an ambush and military movements along the contested al-Fashaga frontier. Al-Jazeera
Mogadishu Siege Ends. Somali security forces ended yesterday’s hotel siege by al-Shabab militants. Five civilians were killed, including a former Somali Army general, along with four militants. Associated Press Al-Jazeera
Tigray Situation Continues to Deteriorate. Despite the capture or killing of significant TPLF leaders, fighting continues in Ethiopia’s Tigray region. Refugees have been caught in battles between government forces and rebel militants. Sudan, currently preoccupied with its own border dispute with Ethiopia, could be key to sustaining or inhibiting the TPLF’s cause.
AEI & TERROR & THE SAHEL: READ THE LATEST EDITION HERE
Vicious cycles: How disruptive states and extremist movements fill power vacuums and fuel each other
Russia crowds out Turkey in post-war Caucasus
Having brokered a cease-fire deal between Azerbaijan and Armenia, Vladimir Putin is now giving priority to the development of transport links in the conflict-ridden region.
Ethiopia’s worsening crisis threatens regional, Mideast security
With the Horn of Africa increasingly becoming an integral part of the Middle East’s security landscape, the fallout from Ethiopia's current crisis will have a significant impact on states of the region.
Nile dam talks hit yet another snarl
The latest round of talks between Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia over the controversial Nile River dam again collapsed amid Sudanese objections and calls for African Union experts to take on a greater role in resolving the dispute.
What can Turkey expect from Qatari-Gulf deal?
Turkey feels vindicated as al-Ula Declaration ends the blockade against Qatar.
Egypt seeks to bypass Turkish presence in Senegal
In an attempt to counter Turkey’s expansion in West Africa, Egypt and the UAE seek to consolidate their ties with Senegal, the gateway to West Africa, by pushing forward new investments in the African country.
The Taliban is using magnetic ‘sticky bombs’ to assassinate Afghan officials
(Task & Purpose) Magnetic bombs have killed at least 10 Afghan government officials in the last several weeks.
THOR: Air Force tests counter-drone microwave in Africa
(Breaking Defense) The Air Force is testing its prototype drone-killing microwave, the Tactical High Power Microwave Operational Responder (THOR), “in a real-world setting” in Africa, says Richard Joseph, the Air Force’s chief scientist.
10 years on, Tunisian emotions mixed in birthplace of Arab Spring
(Al-Monitor) Ten years after the first Arab Spring protests erupted in the central Tunisian city of Sidi Bouzid, the locals are still suffering economic hardships amid a lack of government support.
AEI's favorite books of 2020
John Konicki | AEIdeas
Chinese Military Bases in The Caribbean? by Lawrence A. Franklin
The Case for a Quadripolar World
Daron Acemoglu offers an imperfect but preferable alternative to the emerging Sino-American hegemonic rivalry.
The Infrastructure Spending Challenge
Kenneth Rogoff cautions against the view that large investment projects will necessarily boost long-term growth.
"U.S. launches airstrikes as it argues Shabaab is ‘contained’ in Somalia,"
Bill Roggio and Caleb Weiss, FDD's Long War Journal
Michael Rubin writes: That Pakistan should have relations with communist China is not the problem. After all, it was through Pakistan’s offices that Nixon-era “Ping Pong” diplomacy and Secretary of State Henry Kissinger’s secret trip to Beijing became possible. There is a qualitative difference, however, between maintaining good neighborly relations and the wholesale betrayal of both Pakistani sovereignty and, given the ongoing genocide against the Uyghurs, Islam as well. Perhaps not since Vidkun Quisling has there been a politician who has so willingly and enthusiastically sold out his country’s sovereignty. Sharif came close, but Khan has surpassed even his example. – The National Interest
Mike Rogers writes: We should realize the diversity and challenges of these countries in Africa, and use all the levers of statecraft to enable economic development, build stronger education and health systems, and end political corruption. So a smart and comprehensive foreign policy toward Africa must be part of our national security and economic strategy. At the end of the day, it is part of the great power competition that the United States must win. – The Hill
China's Military Incursions Around Taiwan Aren't A Sign Of Imminent Attack
by Kharis Templeman via The Diplomat
Instead, China’s military bravado represents the end state of a failed strategy.
Last week, Armenia accepted a Russia- and Turkey-backed cease-fire, ending the 45-day war with Azerbaijan. Many are outraged, but the anger is warranted, notes Michael Rubin in a National Interest op-ed. Armenia lost much of southern Nagorno-Karabakh. Moreover, the deal calls for the deployment of Russian and Turkish troops along the lines of control. For now, Azerbaijan might celebrate, and Armenia will lick its wounds, but by engaging in ethnic cleansing, Azerbaijan has set the stage for a new chapter in the conflict. Read more here.
Iran's Advances in Latin Americaby Gabriel Andrade
Middle East Quarterly
Fall 2020 (view PDF)
Hoover Institution Press Releases A Hinge Of History: Governance In An Emerging New World, By George P. Shultz And James Timbie
via Hoover Daily Report
The Hoover Institution has published A Hinge of History: Governance in an Emerging New World by Thomas W. and Susan B. Ford Distinguished Fellow George P. Shultz and Annenberg Distinguished Visiting Fellow James Timbie.
America Must Reshape Its Future With Nagorno-Karabakh
by Russell A. Berman via National Interest
The Nagorno-Karabakh conflict may yet provide America an opening for an indirect approach to Turkey, while also pushing back against Russian expansionism.
Salafi-jihadi militants are exploiting the growing security vacuum in Ethiopia. Ethiopia’s intelligence service claimed to have arrested 14 militants linked to either al Qaeda affiliate al Shabaab or the Islamic State on November 14 for plotting attacks across Ethiopia, including in the capital.
READ THE LATEST EDITION HERE
Pacific Century: Look, Up In The Sky
interview with Kenneth Wilsbach via The Pacific Century
America’s Air Chief in the Pacific Talks About China.