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.
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.
For Those Who Have Chosen Power and Profits over Patriotism
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."
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.
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.
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
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.”
by Ashley Townshend, Thomas Lonergan, and Toby Warden
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The Gatestone Institute
September 24, 2021
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?