In a new policy briefing book, entitled The Biden Administration and the Middle East: Policy Recommendations for a Sustainable Way Forward, MEI scholars tackle a large number of country-specific and region-wide issue areas, laying out both the abiding U.S. interests and specific recommendations for Biden administration policies that can further U.S. interests amid a region in turmoil.
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Despite reforms, the Pentagon and Congress have failed to break out of a Cold War, central-planning model that has stifled innovation, writes William Greenwalt. A radical overhaul of the entire defense management system is now required. Time is of the essence.
By Jon Harper, National Defense Magazine: "A huge portion of U.S. defense spending is going to contractors and military personnel based in just a handful of states, according to data recently released by the Pentagon."
Notwithstanding the coronavirus pandemic and subsequent 3.5% contraction in global economic output in 2020, global defence-spending was resilient with real growth matching the higher rate achieved in 2019. However, even with a potential uplift in European spending, this increase could slow in 2021 as the defence budget of the United States flattens and growth in Asia-Pacific slows. Read Fenella McGerty's analysis in full.
By Erfan Fard, February 26, 2021
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: The rogue regime in Tehran is the primary source of turmoil and instability in the Middle East. The regime thirsts for ever more dominance across the region and beyond and employs a terrorist network to achieve that goal, even as it continues to move aggressively in its pursuit of nuclear weapons. The threat of Iran, combined with the withdrawal of US forces from Iraq and Syria, has prompted the creation of an anti-Iran coalition. It is now up to the Biden administration, which has no desire to become involved in a military conflict with Iran, to determine the best course of action in dealing with a regime that persistently challenges all accepted norms of behavior.
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Desmond Lachman | The National Interest
Today's global credit and asset bubble is premised on the assumption that US interest rates will remain at low levels indefinitely. This could change quickly if inflation fears due to the president's expansive stimulus package push rates up. The market for US government bonds could be an early signal of trouble ahead.
Desmond Lachman | The Hill
President Joe Biden has inherited a US and global economy in much worse shape than did President Donald Trump. As such, Biden cannot afford to repeat the same trade policy mistakes that the Trump administration made if he wishes to arrest the worldwide drift to protectionist policies that threaten US and global prosperity.
By James Holmes, 1945: “The question put to me for today is: what are some aspects of the Western way of maritime war that opponents can exploit?"
America’s Approach Towards Iran
By Ehud Eilam, Wavell Room: "What should President Biden’s strategy towards Iran look like? It is a crucial matter which might bring a nuclear arms race to the Middle East and maybe even a nuclear war. Israel and Arab states are also very concerned about Iran and about its regional ambitions and long-range missile project. All of that has to be addressed by negotiation while retaining a military option should the talks reach a dead end."
Global Defence-Spending on the Up, Despite Economic Crunch
By Fenella McGerty, IISS: “Notwithstanding the coronavirus pandemic and subsequent 3.5% contraction in global economic output in 2020, global defence-spending was resilient with real growth matching the higher rate achieved in 2019. However, even with a potential uplift in European spending, this increase could slow in 2021 as the defence budget of the United States flattens and growth in Asia-Pacific slows."
William C. Greenwalt and Dan Patt | Hudson Institute
The keystone of the Department of Defense’s (DOD) institutional architecture is not acquisition, but rather the budgeting process. Congress and the DOD need to cooperate to overhaul the resource-allocation process to allow the United States to compete with other nations such as China. Full Story
Oriana Skylar Mastro | The Lowy Institute