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  • Author: Nikos Tsafos
  • Publication Date: 01-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: On November 6, 2018, CSIS hosted a workshop on “Transportation in Emerging Economies.” The Chatham House Rule event convened representatives from government, international organizations, think tanks, academia, and private businesses. The group gathered to explore the economic, environmental, and social drivers of urban transportation and mobility in emerging economies. The focus was on the interplay between transportation and energy consumption and the potential to disrupt conventional modeling and planning with new, multi-modal transport policies and investments, new vehicle technologies, and changing business models. This workshop was part of CSIS’s ongoing work on energy and development. There were five main takeaways from that wide-ranging conversation.
  • Topic: Urbanization, Industrialization , Transportation, Emerging Powers
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Kimberly Flowers
  • Publication Date: 01-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: There has been strong bipartisan support for the United States to be a worldwide leader in addressing global food and nutrition security. Congressional champions are still needed, particularly under the Trump administration. Policymakers should elevate the issue within diplomatic and national security discussions, invest more in nutrition, better link humanitarian and agricultural development strategies, renew commitments to agricultural science, and scale up agricultural technologies.
  • Topic: Agriculture, Science and Technology, Food Security, Humanitarian Crisis
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Jonathan Hillman
  • Publication Date: 01-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: This report illustrates how states use foreign infrastructure to advance strategic objectives. Some avenues for influence are intuitive, while others require a more detailed understanding of how infrastructure projects are conceived, financed, built, and operated. With an eye toward illuminating current issues, this report draws from examples throughout history and shows how China is updating and exercising tactics used by Western powers during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. With developing Asia alone requiring $26 trillion in additional infrastructure investment by 2030, these issues, and the strategic implications they carry, are likely to intensify in the coming years.
  • Topic: Development, Infrastructure, Foreign Interference
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Will Todman
  • Publication Date: 01-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: The cases in this volume, like most histories, often seemed to hinge on specific individuals and events. While we could draw some conclusions, we did not see a large number of clear and obvious patterns. Part of the challenge was the specificities of the cases themselves. Confoundingly, factors that loomed large over one case were either marginal or absent in others. For example, Kosovo would not likely have gained independence and achieved its current level of stability if not for the vast amount of international support it received, and yet, Eritreans managed to win independence and then function as a stable independent state (at least for a time) with remarkably little international involvement. In other instances, factors that had strongly positive effects in one circumstance sometimes seemed negative in another. Natural resource revenues were key to Timor-Leste’s post-independence success, for example, but in South Sudan profits from oil fueled the very corruption and violence that ripped the country apart. Part of the challenge, as well, was sample size. The CSIS project design contained a limited number of case studies to allow their exploration in depth. But with fewer than ten countries under study, we could be confusing unusual outcomes for normal occurrences and have missed strong patterns that would have emerged had our project examined a much larger number of case studies. In order to explore whether a broader approach would tell us things that a case-study approach would miss, CSIS constructed a database of all the countries that gained independence since 1960 and then analyzed the database to measure statistical correlations between certain variables and new states’ relative levels of success.
  • Topic: Research, State Building, Academia, Survey, Database
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Jon B. Alterman
  • Publication Date: 01-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: The success of an independence movement is never preordained. Not only is independence itself an improbable endeavor in most cases, but the quality of that independence—whether most people are better off or worse off—varies considerably. Elements outside the movement’s control, including historical context, great power actors, or unpredictable events, are often the most important factors in determining its success.
  • Topic: Social Movement, State Formation, Revolution, Independence
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Anthony H. Cordesman
  • Publication Date: 01-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: It is far from clear that Al Qaida or ISIS can ever be fully defeated. The ISIS “caliphate” may be largely broken up, but substantial elements of both movements remain. New movements may emerge, and other movements may grow, and the demographic trends of Muslim-majority countries are a powerful warning that extremism may be a threat for decades to come.
  • Topic: Terrorism, Violent Extremism, Al Qaeda, ISIS, Militant Islam
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: James Andrew Lewis, William Crumpler
  • Publication Date: 01-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: As cyber threats continue to grow in sophistication, organizations face a persistent challenge in recruiting skilled cybersecurity professionals capable of protecting their systems against the threat of malicious actors. With cybercriminals now responsible for billions in losses per year and state-sponsored hacking groups posing an ever-greater threat, the need for individuals capable of securing networks against attackers has never been greater. However, education and training institutions in the United States have so far found it difficult to keep pace with the growing need for cyber talent. This paper highlights the gaps that exist in the nation’s current cybersecurity education and training landscape and identifies several examples of successful programs that hold promise as models for addressing the skills gap. It then highlights recommendations for policymakers, educators, and employers. A recent CSIS survey of IT decisionmakers across eight countries found that 82 percent of employers report a shortage of cybersecurity skills, and 71 percent believe this talent gap causes direct and measurable damage to their organizations.1 According to CyberSeek, an initiative funded by the National Initiative for Cybersecurity Education (NICE), the United States faced a shortfall of almost 314,000 cybersecurity professionals as of January 2019.2 To put this in context, the country’s total employed cybersecurity workforce is just 716,000. According to data derived from job postings, the number of unfilled cybersecurity jobs has grown by more than 50 percent since 2015.3 By 2022, the global cybersecurity workforce shortage has been projected to reach upwards of 1.8 million unfilled positions.4 Workforce shortages exist for almost every position within cybersecurity, but the most acute needs are for highly-skilled technical staff. In 2010, the CSIS report A Human Capital Crisis in Cybersecurity found that the United States “not only [has] a shortage of the highly technically skilled people required to operate and support systems already deployed, but also an even more desperate shortage of people who can design secure systems, write safe computer code, and create the ever more sophisticated tools needed to prevent, detect, mitigate and reconstitute from damage due to system failures and malicious acts.”5 At the time, interviews indicated that the United States only had about 1,000 security specialists with skills and abilities to take on these roles, compared to a need for 10,000 to 30,000 personnel. In the nine years since that report, these challenges have persisted. In 2016, CSIS found that IT professionals still considered technical skills like intrusion detection, secure software development, and attack mitigation to be the most difficult to find skills among cybersecurity operators.6 A 2018 survey of California businesses revealed that a lack of required technology skills was one of the greatest challenges facing organizations when hiring cybersecurity candidates.7 These challenges were particularly acute for mission critical job roles, with over a third of organizations reporting a lack of technology skills in candidates for vulnerability assessment analyst positions and half of employers reporting deficiencies for cyber defense infrastructure support candidates. Employers today are in critical need for more cybersecurity professionals, but they do not want more compliance officers or cybersecurity policy planners. What organizations are truly desperate for are graduates who can design secure systems, create new tools for defense, and hunt down hidden vulnerabilities in software and networks.8
  • Topic: Security, Science and Technology, Cybersecurity, Information Technology
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Brian Katz
  • Publication Date: 01-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: The Islamic State’s march across Syria and Iraq in 2014 and ensuing expansion via global affiliates posed a vexing challenge for the United States and key allies. The Islamic State sought not only to seize, govern, and defend territory as part of its so-called caliphate, but also to leverage these safe havens to build transnational terrorist networks. Countering the Islamic State would thus require large-scale ground operations to conquer the Islamic State proto-states and defeat its military forces, but the need to do so urgently and expeditiously to prevent external terrorist attacks. But who would conduct such a ground campaign? The Islamic State ’s expansion coincided with a shift in U.S. and allied military strategy: the adoption of the “by, with, and through” model for major counterterrorism (CT) operations. Rather than committing large numbers of ground forces, Western strategy would center on training, advising, and assisting host-nation militaries to serve as the main combat element. With small numbers of special operations forces (SOF) and key enablers such as intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) and close air support, Western powers could bolster the battlefield effectiveness of local forces while limiting their own troop commitments. A national army like the Iraqi Security Forces was a natural host-nation partner. But what if there is no state with whom to partner? This paper will examine the recent history of partnering with non-state actors for CT operations where the United States and allies were unable or unwilling to work “by, with, and through” the host-nation.
  • Topic: Terrorism, Military Strategy, Non State Actors, Counter-terrorism, Islamic State
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Katherine E. Bliss
  • Publication Date: 01-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: Gavi, The Vaccine Alliance, is making good progress toward meeting its current targets and is adapting its programs to continue delivering lifesaving products to the world’s poorest populations in the face of significant external pressures and challenges. However, as Gavi looks ahead to its next strategic phase and considers how conflicts and humanitarian crises, climate change, urbanization, and population growth will affect its work, it will need to evolve its partnership model and market-shaping approaches to ensure that the large numbers of poor children, including, potentially, many who live in non-eligible countries, are fully immunized. The Alliance highlighted its accomplishments and challenges faced thus far during the 2016-2020 work phase at a mid-term review held December 2018 in Abu Dhabi. The more than 300 participants included heads of state and ministers of health, as well as representatives of vaccine manufacturers, private sector organizations, donor governments, and implementing agencies. Over plenaries, panels, and breakaway sessions the diverse mix of Gavi partners considered ways to make the Alliance more effective in a changing geopolitical environment as it gears up for its next replenishment, to be held in 2020.
  • Topic: Public Health, Vaccine, Medicine , Immunization
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Sarah Minot Asrar
  • Publication Date: 02-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: Meeting the security challenges of the future will require a sustained effort over the long-term by a multidisciplinary cadre of nuclear experts who are equipped with critical knowledge and skills. The Project on Nuclear Issues (PONI) runs two signature programs – the Nuclear Scholars Initiative and the Annual Conference Series – to engage emerging nuclear experts in thoughtful and informed debate over how to best address the nuclear community’s most pressing problems. The papers included in this volume comprise research from participants in the 2018 Nuclear Scholars Initiative and the PONI Conference Series. These papers explore such topics as the impacts of emerging technologies and capabilities, deep-diving on nuclear strategy and national policies, proposing paths forward for addressing proliferation challenges, and enhancing arms control in contentious environments.
  • Topic: Security, Arms Control and Proliferation, Energy Policy, Environment, Nuclear Weapons
  • Political Geography: Global Focus