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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: James Andrew Lewis
  • Publication Date: 01-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: Recent legislative changes call for enhanced scrutiny on potential transfers of “emerging and foundational technologies.” These are broadly defined as technologies essential to U.S. national security. The Congressional intent is for agencies to develop a more specific list, with robotics and artificial intelligence as primary concerns. Developing this list raises several issues. These include how to determine the military utility of an emerging technology, how to control the diffusion of the technology, and how to manage the risks of increased control for American innovation. Enhancing controls on the transfer of emerging technologies is necessary for several reasons. First, the U.S. finds itself in a contest with China. China intends to eventually displace the U.S as a global leader in technology, part of its larger effort to expands its influence and power. China is a technological rival of a kind the U.S. has never had before, given the deep interconnections between the two economies. China is still dependent on the West for advanced technology and uses a combination of techniques to acquire it. The 2015 Obama-Xi agreement on commercial cyber espionage attempted to address the problem, but China now ignores that agreement. In this environment, strengthening oversight of technology transfers from the U.S. and its allies to China is essential. In particular, new rules are needed to review technology transfers through co-production, joint ventures, or intangible exports, as these have been a major source of China’s access to technology. Second, current controls on technology transfers do not adequately protect emerging and foundational technologies. The current technology transfer control system is too close to its Cold War roots. Thresholds were set by asking what was the state of the art, how close our Soviet competitor was to this, and whether a technology was “controllable” or if it had become a commodity or was widely available from foreign sources. These are no longer the right questions to ask. The approach needed now is whether we want to transfer a technology to China and whether an effort to prevent this would do more harm than good to America’s own technological capabilities. This calls the whole complex structure of precise control thresholds into question. Modernizing export controls will be difficult, but the proposed rulemaking offers an opportunity to begin the process of revision. Export controls have their background in the 20th Century, when two bifurcated economic blocs were in competition and where thresholds for controls could be set with a degree of precision. This is no longer the case. Attempting to layer a 20th century export control regime over the new dynamics of global trade and innovation will not adequately protect emerging technologies. Reform will necessarily be an iterative process, part of a larger restructuring of export controls for a new international environment. A key point to bear in mind is that since China is still dependent on advanced Western technology (and this is an unlikely change in the near future), access to western technology should be used to gain leverage in talks to change China’s aggressively mercantilist policies. This will be difficult, and it will take time, but a failure to confront China and bring about change will lead to the outcomes that technology controls seek to avoid. The goal is not to defeat or contain China, but to bring its practices in line with international expectations in ways that allow commercial relationships to continue without risk to national security.
  • Topic: Security, Industry, Emerging Technology
  • Political Geography: North America, United States of America
  • 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: Melissa Dalton
  • Publication Date: 01-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: Like it or not, countries beset by instability from terrorist organizations or contested by state-based adversaries will continue to pose national security challenges to the United States. In the face of these challenges and given political and budgetary constraints at home, the United States must be more selective in how it scopes and executes efforts to consolidate gains after military operations and build institutional resiliency against adversaries. The Trump administration released its Stabilization Assistance Review (SAR) framework on June 19, 2018, which is a strategic document to guide U.S. government efforts to maximize the effectiveness of stabilizing conflict-affected areas. Following the large-scale reconstruction efforts of the early 2000s in Iraq and Afghanistan, the SAR recognizes changing geopolitical realities and U.S. domestic political and budgetary constraints that will shape future stabilization efforts. This interagency framework, co-produced by the Department of State (DoS), the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), and the Department of Defense (DoD) provided the first-ever U.S. government unified definition of stabilization, recognized as an “inherently political endeavor involving an integrated civilian-military process to create conditions where locally legitimate authorities and systems can peaceably manage conflict and prevent a resurgence of violence.”2 The SAR defined roles for the key agencies involved in providing stabilization assistance to foreign countries. DoS is designated as the overall lead for stabilization efforts, formulating the political strategy. USAID is intended to be the lead implementor for non-security stabilization assistance, bringing considerable technical expertise. The SAR specifies that DoD is a supporting element in providing security-related stabilization assistance in support of civilian-led efforts. Other U.S. government departments and agencies may also play roles in stabilization under this organizational rubric. The SAR also highlighted the intended short-term nature of stabilization efforts, typically lasting between one to five years, agile, and adaptive to host country needs. Furthermore, the SAR underscored the need to coordinate and burden-share with allies and multilateral institutions in bolstering support for locally legitimate actors on the ground. The SAR rightly responds to U.S. taxpayer fatigue regarding previous U.S. reconstruction efforts in Iraq and Afghanistan by focusing on cost-effectiveness and allied support for future U.S. foreign assistance programs. However, stabilization efforts should also be placed in a broader context. Conflict in the twenty-first century has become increasingly localized in nature and often results in longer, more violent clashes between state and non-state actors. It is also characterized by state-based competitors, which can exploit localized conflict and undermine the institutions of allies and partners. Indeed, given the emphasis the Trump administration has placed on prioritizing great power competition in both the U.S. National Security and Defense Strategies, future stabilization policies also need to account for competition with U.S. adversaries such as Russia and China.3 Traditional conflict phases are also melding together, such that stabilization operations may well take place during active conflict than following a ceasefire or temporary cessation of hostilities and share strong characteristics with preventive activities. Planning for stabilization should be required at the outset of any military operation, reevaluated as the environment shifts during operations, and deployed in parallel as conditions permit.
  • Topic: Political stability, Conflict, Peace, Strategic Stability
  • Political Geography: North America, United States of America
  • Author: Anthony H. Cordesman
  • Publication Date: 01-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: The United States has now been continuously at war for more than seventeen years. It is still fighting an active war in Afghanistan, has yet to fully defeat ISIS in Syria and Iraq – much less establish a state of lasting security in either country – and is playing a role in low level conflicts against extremist and terrorists in many other parts of the world. The U.S. government, however, has never developed a convincing method of reporting on the cost of the wars, and its estimates are a confusing morass of different and conflicting Departmental, Agency, and other government reporting that leave major gaps in key areas during FY2001-FY2019. It has never provided useful forecasts of future cost, instead providing empty "placeholder" numbers or none. It has failed to find any useful way to tie the cost estimates it does release to its level of military and civil activity in each conflict or found any way to measure the effectiveness of its expenditures or tie them to a credible strategy to achieve some form of victory. The result is a national embarrassment and a fundamental failure by the Executive Branch and Congress to produce the transparency and public debate and review that are key elements of a responsible government and democracy.
  • Topic: Security, Military Strategy, Budget, Military Spending
  • Political Geography: North America, United States of America
  • Author: Howard Shaffer, Teresita Schaffer
  • Publication Date: 01-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: Bangladesh’s independence in 1971 shocked the world with its violence and the callousness of U.S. policy, inspired a unique Beatles concert, and became a feature in a major shift in relations among the United States, China, the Soviet Union, and India. But the Bangladesh movement did not arise in a vacuum. Instead, it grew out of the fragmented geographic, ethnic, and power structure left behind from its first independence movement, when the subcontinent was partitioned into India and Pakistan in 1947. After independence, Bangladesh was expected to be a “basket case.” Relatively successful economically, its political trajectory has been more volatile, albeit more promising than other countries studied for this project. However, many issues that shaped the Bangladesh movement—the second of the country’s two independence movements—still stalk Bangladeshi politics four decades after its bloody creation.
  • Topic: International Relations, Foreign Policy, Geopolitics, Independence
  • Political Geography: Bangladesh, Asia
  • Author: Terrance Lyons
  • Publication Date: 01-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: Eritrea’s saga of achieving independence in 1993 entails a brutal 30-year war and the mobilization of a remarkable national liberation movement. In the late nineteenth century, this small state in the Horn of Africa suffered under the colonial domination of the Italians, followed by Ethiopia’s imperialism and military rule. Self-determination, not secession, was sought by Eritrean nationalists because they never accepted colonial rule or Ethiopia’s sovereignty. After a war that included near victory in the mid-1970s, internecine splits, and a strategic retreat to a mountain redoubt in the far northwest, the Eritrean People’s Liberation Front (EPLF) defeated the Soviet-backed Ethiopian army and seized control of all of Eritrea in May 1991. The postwar independence era started with great hopes, a referendum in which 99 percent of the population voted in favor of independence, the conversion of the rebel movement into a ruling party, and the creation of a consultative process to write a new constitution. In 1998, however, a border war broke out with Ethiopia, resulting in the almost complete militarization of Eritrean society. In 2001, a group of leaders who played key roles in the liberation war demanded political reforms and were arrested by President Isaias Afwerki. Since then Eritrea has experienced the complete closure of political space, economic decline, international sanctions, and isolation. It ranks near the bottom of global assessments regarding democracy, human rights, religious freedom, and free media.
  • Topic: Nationalism, Military Strategy, Geopolitics, Independence
  • Political Geography: Africa, Eritrea
  • Author: Miks Muizarajs
  • Publication Date: 01-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: At the turn of the twenty-first century, a small half-island nation emerged from the chaos of conflict against monumental odds. Within just 15 years of independence, Timor-Leste managed to become the most democratic nation in Southeast Asia. Its success was possible due to the skill of its leaders, shifts in geopolitics, and unprecedented levels of international support. Leaders were able to unite East Timor’s ethnically and politically divided society and transform it into a powerful resistance network that coalesced military, clandestine, diplomatic, and activist efforts at a critical juncture in history. A successful campaign to win the hearts and minds of the global audience and the realignment of powerful interests after the Cold War culminated in considerable pressure on Indonesia to release its grip. Brief UN administration and considerable commitments from Australia, Portugal, the United States, and other nations to construct institutions and deploy troops helped prevent a return to violence. Timor-Leste’s savvy and dynamic leadership capitalized on this international support and managed to use its considerable oil reserves to overcome fragility. Despite centrifugal forces, the leadership continues to share aspirations of building a sovereign and prosperous nation.
  • Topic: Nationalism, Geopolitics, Independence, Resistance
  • Political Geography: Asia, Timor-Leste, Southeast Asia
  • Author: Daniel Serwer
  • Publication Date: 01-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: he modern Kosovo state is a product of Albanian nonviolent and violent rebellion, Serbian repression, the dissolution of socialist Yugoslavia, state collapse in Albania, NATO intervention, U.S. and EU support, Russian weakness, and UN administration. Without one or another of these ingredients, it might never have occurred, and certainly not in the surprising way that it did.
  • Topic: Nationalism, United Nations, Geopolitics, Independence, Resistance
  • Political Geography: Europe, Kosovo, Balkans
  • 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: Will Todman
  • Publication Date: 01-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: The United States government can neither engender new states nor prevent them from coming into being, but it does possess a range of policy tools to influence the trajectory of new or aspiring states. While U.S. history creates a certain amount of empathy for self-determination groups, as a general rule the U.S. government views most independence movements skeptically. This is appropriate, in part because few such movements are viable. Economies are small or fragile (or both), the cause enjoys limited internal support, or the forces arrayed against it are too massive. In addition, the United States is tied diplomatically to some 190 countries around the world, and it usually privileges intergovernmental ties over those with non-governmental groups. Supporting secession not only would threaten U.S. relations with countries fighting U.S.-backed movements, but also other countries that feared that the United States might come to support secessionists elsewhere. For the United States, some sort of decentralization or autonomy arrangement is often a less costly option. It is also more agreeable to partner governments and reduces the risk of regional instability. However, exceptions can occur when secessionist movements take root in countries where the United States has more difficult relations, or where repression of minority groups or some other humanitarian factor weighs heavily on the scale.
  • Topic: Diplomacy, Non State Actors, Governance, Self Determination, Humanitarian Crisis
  • Political Geography: North America, United States of America
  • 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: Jose Ignacio Hernandez G.
  • Publication Date: 01-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: Venezuela’s presidential crisis is caused by the absence of an elected president that can assume the presidency since January 10, 2019, the day that, according to the Venezuelan Constitution, a new presidential term began. Articles 230 and 231 of Venezuela’s constitution establish that the presidential term begins on January 10 of each term (the inauguration day). That day, according to the constitution, the elected president must assume the presidency through an oath presented at the National Assembly (the Venezuelan Congress. Nicolás Maduro is claiming that he is the elected president because the Venezuelan electoral authority (the National Electoral Council) proclaimed him as Venezuela’s president after the May 20 election. However, that election was convened by the illegitimate national constituent assembly that does not have the authority to organize elections according to the constitution. In addition, that process was organized in violation of several political rights, basically, due to the unconstitutional ban declared on the main political parties and leaders. Also, the May 20 election violated the principle of transparency during all the electoral cycle. Finally, Maduro´s regime used the complex humanitarian emergency as a political tool to exercise coercion over the voters. This is why the National Assembly declared such elections as non-existent. Also, more than 50 countries decided not to recognize that election. As a result, Nicolás Maduro cannot be recognized as the legitimately elected president in Venezuela, as was declared by the Lima Group in a statement dated January 4, 2019. Because of this, he is usurping the presidency of Venezuela, as a non-elected president in charge of the office.
  • Topic: Elections, Democracy, Constitution, Transition
  • Political Geography: South America, Venezuela
  • 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: Will Todman
  • Publication Date: 01-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: When President Trump declared on December 19 that U.S. troops in Syria were “all coming back and coming back now,” it plunged the future of the East of the country into uncertainty.1 Dynamics in Syria were already shifting against the Kurdish-led Autonomous Administration (AA) in Northeast Syria, as threats from Turkey and the regime increased. The impending withdrawal of U.S. forces eliminates the AA’s main source of leverage over the Assad regime and increases its vulnerability to the Turkish invasion President Erdogan has threatened. Scrambling to avoid conflict, AA officials have turned to Russia to mediate a political deal with President Assad, hoping to restore regime control to Syria’s eastern borders in exchange for self-administration.2 However, the lack of clarity over the timeline of the withdrawal means the United States maintains important influence in eastern Syria.3 Shaping the outcome of the Kurdish question at this critical juncture and preventing a new conflict in Northeast Syria are among the few remaining positive steps it can take in Syria. Although the Kurdish issue seems tangential to U.S. interests, the United States should invest in its diplomatic and military tools to facilitate a limited autonomy settlement in Northeast Syria when the area is formally reintegrated into Assad’s territory. To do so, the United States should work to discourage potential spoilers to such a deal and then forge an international coalition to act as guarantors to the agreement. Failing to secure an autonomy settlement could sow the seeds of long-lasting instability in Northeast Syria. The experience of autonomy has fanned the flames of Kurdish self-determination, and although the position of Syrian Kurds is now precarious, they are nonetheless stronger and more united than they ever have been. Throughout the conflict, they have won freedoms which Damascus long denied them and built a formidable army: the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) reportedly numbers over 60,000 troops.4 Such self-determination movements do not flare out so easily. A new CSIS edited volume, Independence Movements and Their Aftermath: Self-Determination and the Struggle for Success,” shows that from Bangladesh to East Timor, governments’ attempts to curb a minority’s rights have often accelerated their push for independence.5 A U.S. abandonment of Syrian Kurds without facilitating a negotiated settlement could therefore ignite another bloody, long-term struggle for self-determination in the Middle East, with wide-reaching regional implications.
  • Topic: Diplomacy, Governance, Self Determination, Settlements, Foreign Interference
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Syria, North America, Kurdistan, United States of America
  • 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: Sarah Baumunk, Richard Miles, Linnea Sandin, Mark Schneider, Mia Kazman
  • Publication Date: 01-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: 2019 will be another pivotal year across the map in the Western Hemisphere. The region continues to battle several ongoing challenges: the Venezuelan crisis, the U.S.-Mexico bilateral relationship under new Mexican president Andrés Manuel López Obrador, the rapid deterioration of Nicaragua, the fight for transparency in the Northern Triangle, and an uncertain economic horizon. Seven countries will hold national elections—Argentina, Bolivia, Canada, El Salvador, Guatemala, Panama, and Uruguay—each of which has the potential to affect domestic politics as well as geopolitical relations within the region.
  • Topic: Regional Cooperation, Governance, Elections, Leadership, Election watch
  • Political Geography: South America, North America
  • Author: Kathleen H. Hicks, Andrew Philip Hunter, Mark F. Cancian, Todd Harrison, Seamus P. Daniels
  • Publication Date: 01-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: Expectations have been building for the FY 2020 defense budget request, a budget that acting secretary of defense Shanahan has called the “masterpiece.” While the administration’s FY 2019 defense budget of $716 billion is fully funded through the remainder of the current fiscal year, a surprising number of statements on defense spending from the White House over the past several months have generated significant discussion and uncertainty around the FY 2020 request, calling into question whether or not it will be a masterpiece after all. In addition to waiting for the final topline figure, questions remain over how the budget will be composed, whether its priorities align with those of the National Defense Strategy (NDS), and how much detail it provides on the administration’s plans for national security space reorganization. The request also comes in the leadup to the debate over raising the Budget Control Act (BCA) budget caps for FY 2020 and FY 2021. As the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) works on finalizing the request, experts from the CSIS International Security Program outline what to look for in the FY 2020 defense budget below.
  • Topic: Defense Policy, Military Strategy, Military Affairs, Budget
  • Political Geography: North America, United States of America
  • 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: Gabriel Coll, Andrew Philip Hunter, Robert Karlen
  • Publication Date: 02-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: The U.S. military’s vertical lift fleet of helicopters and tiltrotors is aging. With the exception of V-22 Osprey, no completely new aircraft designs have been introduced since the 1980s. Even the V-22 made its first test flight back in the 1980s. And the U.S. Army, which has the largest helicopter fleet and traditionally takes the lead on vertical lift innovation, has not made substantial investments in Research & Development since the cancellation of RAH-66 Comanche. Today, there are ambitious plans to modernize the entire vertical lift fleet. However, much of the investment path ahead remains unclear. To make informed plans about the future, it is important first to understand how the United States arrived at its current state through past investments.
  • Topic: Science and Technology, Military Strategy, Military Affairs, Air Force
  • Political Geography: North America, United States of America
  • Author: Daniel F. Runde, Earl Anthony Wayne
  • Publication Date: 02-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: A precipitous U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan would endanger many of the social, political, economic, and health gains that have been achieved in Afghanistan over nearly 20 years. Afghanistan has a myriad of problems, including corruption, violence, and poverty, but these challenges often overshadow improvements in mortality rates, media and cellular access, tax collection, and women and girls’ education and political freedoms, among others. To prevent these gains from dissipating, the international community should encourage the Afghan government to meet certain governance benchmarks and continue on its path to self-reliance. The United States and its international allies should also consider a gradual withdrawal of troops, funding for the Afghan security forces, and economic assistance, based on a timeline that reflects facts on the ground and progress on peace negotiations.
  • Topic: International Cooperation, Military Strategy, State Building, Foreign Interference
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, Middle East
  • Author: Rachel Lutz Ellehuus, Ricklef Beutin, Quentin Lopinot
  • Publication Date: 02-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: For European countries and institutions as well as for transatlantic relations, 2019 will be a pivotal year. With several important leadership, policy, and structural transitions taking place in capitals and Brussels, there will be instability and uncertainty but from this could stem more positive dynamics. While the twists and turns of events remain unpredictable, what follows is a quick take on some of the most significant events on the European and transatlantic security and defense calendar for 2019 and the important stakes that are at play.
  • Topic: Regional Cooperation, European Union, Brexit, Regionalism
  • Political Geography: United Kingdom, Europe
  • Author: Richard Miles
  • Publication Date: 02-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: On October 23, 2018, with the sponsorship of Rassini, the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), in partnership with the Mexican Council on Foreign Relations (COMEXI), hosted a conference in Mexico City on innovation. CSIS invited experts and senior government officials from Mexico and the United States to discuss the state of innovation in Mexico, how to increase it, and what the new Mexican government should do to promote it.
  • Topic: Science and Technology, Governance, Innovation, Emerging Technology
  • Political Geography: North America, Mexico
  • Author: Andrew Philip Hunter
  • Publication Date: 02-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: Economics scholars and policymakers have rung alarm bells about the increasing threat of consolidation within industrial sectors. This paper examines the importance of industrial concentration in U.S. defense acquisition in two ways: first, a direct relationship between concentration and performance outcomes; and second, a mediating relationship, where concentration influences performance through reduced competition for defense acquisition. The study created a large contract dataset incorporating economic statistics on industrial sectors and analyzed it using multilevel logit models. The study finds that subsector concentration correlates with greater rates of termination. Contrary to the hypothesis, competition is associated with higher rates of termination, and only single-offer competition is significantly associated with lower rates of cost ceiling breaches. Taken together, the results are consistent with the literature on the risk of concentration’s connection with market power but also suggest that the mechanisms of competition are worthy of future study.
  • Topic: Monopoly, Private Sector, Industry, Defense Industry
  • Political Geography: North America, United States of America
  • 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
  • Author: Julie Howard, Emmy Simmons, Kimberly Flowers
  • Publication Date: 02-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: Feed the Future, the United States’ flagship global hunger and food security program, is beginning its second phase in 12 newly-designated target countries with a newly-added strategic objective: strengthening resilience. The changes reflect the evolving nature of the fight against hunger, which is now centered in countries that are confronting multiple risks—climate change, protracted conflicts, economic stresses and shocks, political disruption, and civil unrest. Nigeria, a new target country, serves as a powerful lens for examining these shifts and for identifying the risks and opportunities related to implementing long-term agriculture and nutrition programming in fragile countries. Feed the Future’s model of technical innovation, private sector partnerships, policy change, and capacity building can strengthen food and nutrition security in climate-affected and insecure environments, but a new and deep integration among development, humanitarian, and peace/security strategies and actions will be required. Today there are unprecedented levels of risk for millions of people and a rising demand for humanitarian resources. Humanitarian aid is finite, and different assistance models are needed to go beyond the provision of lifesaving support. To effectively counter the impacts of hunger, poverty, and malnutrition, greater attention needs to be directed at addressing the underlying causes that drive them.
  • Topic: Poverty, Food Security, Hunger, Humanitarian Intervention
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Nicholas Szechenyi
  • Publication Date: 02-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: This collection of essays is based on a dialogue organized by CSIS to examine national perspectives on Asianism (regional exceptionalism) and universalism (democratic norms) across Asia, as well as the role of regional democracies in developing a common understanding of rules and norms as the foundation for a more stable regional order. The volume includes essays analyzing normative debates in Japan, South Korea, India, Indonesia, and the United States and explores the potential for like-minded states in Asia to prioritize democracy promotion in foreign policy strategy.
  • Topic: Democracy, Norms, Universalism, Evolution
  • Political Geography: Asia
  • Author: Judd Devermont
  • Publication Date: 02-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: It is election season again in sub-Saharan Africa. Roughly every five years, the region faces a tidal wave of elections. In previous cycles, starting in the mid-1990s, the outcome was generally predictable. The ruling party leveraged its considerable advantages—including access to state resources—to secure another term. If the incumbent party rigged the poll, international monitors easily spotted the fraud and strenuously objected, even if to little effect. For the past two decades, five out of every six elections have produced the same result. This next batch of some two dozen elections will be different. A combination of demographic, technological, and geostrategic developments is disrupting the region’s electoral landscape. African leaders, opposition, and publics are adapting and writing a new playbook in the process. From street protests and parallel vote counts to election hacking and internet shutdowns, sub-Saharan African politics are becoming more competitive and more unpredictable. The case for democracy and improving the quality of elections is not simply a moral or altruistic one. U.S. national security objectives, including promoting prosperity and stability, are more achievable in democratic systems. Autocratic regimes, in contrast, worsen corruption, undercut sound economic management, and fail to produce long- term growth. Indeed, recent research indicates that Africa’s democracies grow at a faster rate than its autocracies, and this is more pronounced among countries that have been democracies for longer.1 Moreover, historically, democracies rarely have gone to war with one another. If the United States wants to advance its broad objectives in the region, it will need to reconceptualize its investments, partnerships, and interventions regarding elections.
  • Topic: Diplomacy, Elections, Democracy, Election Interference
  • Political Geography: Africa, North America, United States of America, Sub-Saharan Africa
  • Author: J. Stephen Morrison
  • Publication Date: 02-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: As President Trump and Kim Jong-un meet for their second summit in Hanoi, will there be serious consideration given to what concrete actions can be taken to protect and advance a health and humanitarian agenda that can directly benefit North Korea’s impoverished majority and reduce the threat of a runaway tuberculosis (TB) outbreak? Perhaps. Certainly, let’s hope so. There is much that can be done.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Health, Poverty, Humanitarian Crisis
  • Political Geography: Asia, North Korea, North America, United States of America
  • Publication Date: 02-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: The European Trilateral Track 2 Nuclear Dialogues, organized by the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) in partnership with the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI) and the Fondation pourla Recherche Stratégique (FRS), has convened senior nuclear policy experts from the United Kingdom, France, and the United States (P3) for the past ten years to discuss nuclear deterrence, arms control, and nonproliferation policy issues and to identify areas of consensus among the three countries. The majority of the experts are former U.S., UK, and French senior officials; the others are well-known academics in the field. Since the Dialogues’ inception, high-level officials from all three governments have also routinely joined the forum and participated in the discussions. The Dialogues have been unique in bringing U.S., UK, and French representatives into a trilateral forum for discussing nuclear policy. The United States, United Kingdom, and France hold common values and principles directed toward a shared purpose of global peace and security, as well as an understanding of their respective roles as responsible stewards of the nuclear order. Their sustained engagement will thus, irrespective of political shifts in any of the three countries, remain unique in the context of international alliances and partnerships and essential into the foreseeable future. In 2018, the group’s discussion addressed a range of issues in the Euro-Atlantic security environment and beyond, prompting agreement among the group’s nongovernmental participants to issue the following statement reflecting the consensus views of the undersigned. All signatories agree to this statement in their personal capacity, which may not represent the views of their respective organizations.
  • Topic: Arms Control and Proliferation, Diplomacy, International Cooperation, Nuclear Weapons, Military Strategy
  • Political Geography: United Kingdom, Europe, France, North America, United States of America
  • Author: James Andrew Lewis
  • Publication Date: 02-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: While China has made immense investments in science and technology, and while these are producing results, it is still dependent on Western technology. This is particularly true for semiconductors. China’s dependence on foreign semiconductors has worried Beijing for decades. China suspects that Western semiconductors contain “backdoors,” intentional vulnerabilities that can be exploited for intelligence and military purposes. In 2016, President Xi Jinping said, “the fact that core technology is controlled by others is our greatest hidden danger.” Vice Premier Ma Kai said at the 2018 National People’s Congress, “We cannot be reliant on foreign chips.”1 China intends to end this dependence, but despite 40 years of investment and espionage, it is unable to make advanced semiconductors. Along the way, there have been embarrassing frauds and expensive failures.
  • Topic: Science and Technology, Hegemony, Investment, Emerging Technology
  • Political Geography: China, Asia
  • Author: Seth G. Jones
  • Publication Date: 03-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: There is growing Iranian activism in the Middle East despite U.S. and allied efforts to weaken Iran’s economy and politically isolate Tehran. There has been an increase in the size and capabilities of militias supported by the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps-Quds Force in Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, and Yemen collectively. Iran is also working to establish a land bridge across the region. Nevertheless, Iran has weaknesses and vulnerabilities that can be exploited by the United States and its partners.
  • Topic: Defense Policy, Military Strategy, Military Affairs, Regional Power
  • Political Geography: Iran, Middle East
  • Author: Daniel F. Runde, David E. Spiro
  • Publication Date: 03-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: The fourth industrial revolution is underway, and technological changes will disrupt economic systems, displace workers, concentrate power and wealth, and erode trust in public institutions and the democratic political process. Up until now, the focus has largely been on how technology itself will impact society, with little attention being paid to the role of institutions. The relationship between societies and their institutions is changing, and countries will have to strengthen their capacities to avoid heightened social divisions. They must build resilience through gradual and intentional interventions designed for long-term, sustainable development. It is also essential that institutions work hard to build credibility and use available development tools, such as development finance institutions and foreign aid, to mitigate the risks of disruption. Countries and other stakeholders must pioneer these initiatives to successfully navigate the disruptions stemming from the fourth industrial revolution. The revision of existing models of education, skill development and investment and the integration of different stakeholders into the conversation will be critical in helping institutions play a productive role in rebooting the innovation agenda. This new report, Rebooting the Innovation Agenda, analyzes the need for resilient institution and the role they are expected to play in the fourth industrial revolution.
  • Topic: Development, Industrial Policy, Science and Technology, Foreign Aid, Industrialization
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Anthony H. Cordesman
  • Publication Date: 03-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: The analysis concludes that the sudden breakdown in the latest round of U.S.-Korean nuclear arms control talks in Vietnam should scarcely come as a surprise to anyone. Both sides sought too much too soon and did so despite a long history of previous failures. Heads of state engaged before their staffs had reached a clear compromise and did so seeking goals the other leader could not accept. It is not clear that an agreement was reachable at this point in time, but each side's search for its "best" ensured that the two sides could not compromise on the "good." This failure sent yet another warning that agreements like the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) nuclear arms agreement with Iran that offers major progress in limiting a nation's nuclear weapons efforts can be far better than no agreement, and of the danger in letting the perfect become the enemy of the good. The failed U.S. negotiations with Korea sends a warning that any set of compromises that preserves Iran's compliance with the JCPOA, and creates a structure where negotiation can continue, will be better than provoking a crisis with Iran that can end in no agreement at all and alienate America's European allies in the process.
  • Topic: Defense Policy, Arms Control and Proliferation, Diplomacy, Military Strategy, Denuclearization, JCPOA
  • Political Geography: Iran, Middle East, Asia, South Korea, North Korea, North America, United States of America
  • Author: Thomas G. Roberts
  • Publication Date: 03-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: Over 60 years ago, the Soviet Union used a derivative of its R-7 rocket—often called the world's first intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM)—to launch an artificial satellite into orbit, marking the first orbital space launch from the spaceport now known as the Baikonur Cosmodrome. Since then, launch vehicles have reached orbit from 27 spaceports around the world. With the rate of space launches projected to grow exponentially in the coming years, spaceports will become an increasingly important and potentially limiting factor in the global space industry. This report analyzes ground-based space launches from 1957 to 2018, including brief histories of all active and inactive orbital spaceports, 10 year launch records for the 22 spaceports still in use today, and the current status of several proposals to create new facilities capable of supporting orbital space launches. Ground-based spaceports are typically built in geopolitically favorable locations. Many spaceports are located in the most physically optimal regions available to operators, with geographic characteristics that include close proximity to the equator, opportunities for eastward or near-eastward launch, and favorable environmental factors. Historically, orbital space launch operations have been closely tied with ballistic missile research, leading several ICBM development and testing centers to later become spaceports. Due to the political risk associated with both missile development and orbital space launch testing, several spaceports were originally created such that their precise positions could remain ambiguous. In at least one case, a spaceport was created with the intention of being entirely secret—with its operator denying its existence for more than 15 years.
  • Topic: Defense Policy, Military Strategy, Space, Missile Defense
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Daniel F. Runde
  • Publication Date: 03-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: The fourth industrial revolution is underway, and technological changes will disrupt economic systems, displace workers, concentrate power and wealth, and erode trust in public institutions and the democratic political process. Up until now, the focus has largely been on how technology itself will impact society, with little attention being paid to the role of institutions. The relationship between societies and their institutions is changing, and countries will have to strengthen their capacities to avoid heightened social divisions. They must build resilience through gradual and intentional interventions designed for long-term, sustainable development. It is also essential that institutions work hard to build credibility and use available development tools, such as development finance institutions and foreign aid, to mitigate the risks of disruption. Countries and other stakeholders must pioneer these initiatives to successfully navigate the disruptions stemming from the fourth industrial revolution. The revision of existing models of education, skill development and investment and the integration of different stakeholders into the conversation will be critical in helping institutions play a productive role in rebooting the innovation agenda. This new report, Rebooting the Innovation Agenda, analyzes the need for resilient institution and the role they are expected to play in the fourth industrial revolution.
  • Topic: Industrial Policy, Democracy, Economic Inequality, Industrialization
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Nicole Davis, Christa Twyford Gibson, Jonathan Gonzalez-Smith
  • Publication Date: 03-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: Many international institutions—universities, foundations, companies, NGOs, and governments—would like to engage more deeply with the government of India to improve health outcomes. However, a lack of transparency, changing state-level priorities, and the absence of a single venue to learn about engagement opportunities holds back many potential partnerships. The Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) Wadhwani Chair in U.S.-India Policy Studies and Duke University’s Innovations in Healthcare have launched the “Indian States Health Innovation Partnership” to address this information gap and encourage subnational health care cooperation between Indian government entities and external partners. The primary goal of this project is to strengthen health outcomes in India by methodically identifying which Indian states are ripe for innovative partnerships with international institutions and broadcasting these opportunities publicly to spur future partnerships. In the first phase of this project, the team developed a clearer picture of India’s state-level health care reform priorities and identified specific areas for potential partnership across four categories: capacity building, organizational delivery, financing, and specific health conditions.
  • Topic: Health, Governance, Health Care Policy, Innovation, Public Health
  • Political Geography: India, Asia
  • Author: Mary Speck
  • Publication Date: 03-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: Illegal trade across the Haiti/Dominican Republic border has serious financial and security implications. Contraband undermines legitimate business on both sides of the border and deprives the public sector—especially the cash-strapped government of Haiti—of much-needed revenues. It also undermines rule of law and public security by fueling corruption and strengthening criminal organizations. After two research trips to both Haiti and the Dominican Republic, CSIS Americas has produced a summary report of the issue of illicit border trade between Haiti and the Dominican Republic, incorporating several case studies and policy recommendations for preventing further cross-border illicit trade and revenue loss.
  • Topic: International Trade and Finance, Regional Cooperation, Border Control, Illegal Trade
  • Political Geography: Caribbean, Haiti, Dominican Republic, North America
  • Author: Amy R. Beaudreault
  • Publication Date: 03-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: This policy primer on global nutrition outlines its role as a foundation for lifelong health, economic growth, and political stability and underscores the critical contribution of U.S. funding. The primer serves as a global nutrition 101 for policymakers with key terms, interventions, and target cohorts and a landscape overview of the priority issues in global nutrition, important players, and the U.S. government’s investments. The primer also identifies critical gaps including a $70 billion global funding gap toward the World Health Assembly’s stunting, anemia, exclusive breastfeeding, and wasting goals; data gaps in how best to reach adolescent girls during a critical growth period; and the lack of transparency of U.S. government nutrition investments and impact. The primer sets forth a proposal to increase the annual U.S. investment with specific ideas for how those additional resources can have impact programmatically and operationally, as well as in filling knowledge gaps.
  • Topic: Food, Food Security, Humanitarian Crisis, Nutrition
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Melissa Dalton, Hijab Shah
  • Publication Date: 03-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: The Syrian conflict has produced humanitarian consequences of harrowing and tragic proportions. With an estimated 500,000 Syrians killed, the war has prompted the world’s greatest refugee flow since World War II.1 There are 6.2 million internally displaced persons (IDPs) within Syria and 5.3 million refugees in neighboring countries (a total 13 million people affected—for context, the total population estimate for pre-war Syria was 20 million). From January to December 2018, there were an estimated 1.6 million population movements.2 Civilian protection is the most important focus for international humanitarian efforts given the complexity of the Syrian conflict, myriad state and non-state armed actors involved, and continuing incentives for parties to the conflict to use humanitarian access as a political tool.
  • Topic: Political Violence, Humanitarian Intervention, Conflict, Civilians
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Syria
  • Author: Seth G. Jones
  • Publication Date: 03-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: One of the most significant—and most disturbing—aspects of the Mueller report is the confirmation that Russia attempted to influence the 2016 election, based on the Special Counsel’s exhaustive collection and review of intelligence. This campaign by a foreign adversary represents a serious threat to U.S. national security and is reminiscent of Moscow’s actions during the Cold War. As this CSIS Brief highlights, Moscow has long conducted an “active measures” campaign against the United States, including trying to manipulate U.S. domestic politics. U.S. policymakers now need a forceful response to Russia’s intelligence campaign.
  • Topic: Intelligence, Law, Elections, Election Interference , Rigged Elections
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, North America, United States of America
  • Author: Tom Karako, Wes Rumbaugh
  • Publication Date: 03-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: Just over a year ago, then-Deputy Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan announced that the 2020 defense budget would be the “masterpiece” that would finally align Pentagon spending with the new direction of the National Defense Strategy.1 The release of the new budget follows the January 2019 release of the Missile Defense Review, which laid out the administration’s vision of how U.S. missile defense policy, programs, and posture should be adapted to contend with more challenging missile threats in an era of great power competition.2 At the review’s release, President Trump declared the “beginning of a new era in our missile defense program,” setting a goal to “detect and destroy any missile launched against the United States—anywhere, anytime, anyplace.”3 Unfortunately, neither the modest language of the Missile Defense Review nor the activities and funding levels in the proposed 2020 budget come anywhere close to achieving that goal. They specifically lack the programmatic and budgetary muscle movements to contribute meaningfully to overall U.S. deterrence and defense goals in relation to Russia and China. The Missile Defense Review nominally widens the scope of missile defense policy from a focus on ballistic missiles to countering the full spectrum of missile threats. Yet these new policy and budget proposals remain remarkably consistent with the program of record that preexisted the National Defense Strategy. Apart from steps within the services for incremental improvements to air defenses and some studies on countering hypersonic glide vehicles, the focus remains on the limited ballistic missile threats posed by otherwise weak rogue regimes.
  • Topic: Defense Policy, Military Strategy, Budget, Missile Defense
  • Political Geography: North America, United States of America
  • Author: Sarah Ladislaw, Jesse Barnett
  • Publication Date: 03-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: The CSIS Energy Program conducted research, commissioned papers, held a workshop, and developed this report on the changing role of energy in the U.S. economy. The purpose is twofold: (1) improve understanding of how energy impacts the U.S. economy at multiple levels; and (2) evaluate the performance of policies designed to create economic opportunity in the energy sector.
  • Topic: Economics, Energy Policy, Renewable Energy
  • Political Geography: North America, United States of America
  • Author: Mark Sobel
  • Publication Date: 04-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: The Barack Obama administration’s efforts to secure Trade Promotion Authority (TPA), in conjunction with advancing the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), brought into focus a congressional push to associate currency provisions with U.S. trade agreements. Since that time, discussions on the association of currency provisions with trade deals have gained momentum and become a feature of U.S. foreign exchange policy, especially under the Donald Trump administration. What is the historical context for including currency provisions alongside or as part of trade deals in U.S. exchange rate policy? What has actually been done? Is including currency provisions alongside or in trade deals a good idea? How should this be best managed?
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, International Cooperation, International Trade and Finance, Exchange Rate Policy, Trans-Pacific Partnership
  • Political Geography: North America, United States of America
  • Publication Date: 04-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: The economic consequences of large-scale disease outbreaks can be enormous: pandemics could cause $570 billion per year in average economic losses over the coming decades. Health security threats have an especially destructive impact on development investments and GDP in low-income and lower-middle-income countries (LICs and LMICs): the 2014-2015 Ebola outbreak in West Africa wiped out nearly five years of existing investments in the region, gravely setting back the region’s future development prospects. By contrast, upgrading countries’ preparedness is relatively inexpensive and affordable; recent data demonstrates most countries would need to spend approximately $0.50-$1.50 per person per year to get an acceptable level of epidemic preparedness. The financing gap for preparedness is one of the starkest problems in health security, especially among LICs and LMICs. That gap is estimated at $4.5 billion per year. Investments in preparedness are cost-effective and affordable, but low-income and lower-middle-income country governments continue to underinvest at dangerously low levels. These governments bear lead responsibility for addressing financing gaps, but external funding can be catalytic. At present, there is no financing mechanism and no adequate incentive structure to motivate governments in high-risk countries to invest in preparedness, particularly when those investments compete with more visible priorities such as education, housing, transport infrastructure, and other pressing health needs. As a consequence, countries remain ill-prepared and vulnerable to the persistent threat of pandemics and large-scale disease outbreaks. The World Bank Group’s International Development Association (IDA) replenishment takes place every three years and presents a choice opportunity to make adjustments that reflect important emerging priorities. In the current IDA19 replenishment, stakeholders can take a major step towards closing the preparedness financing gap by incentivizing $1 billion or more per year in preparedness investments in LICs and LMICs.
  • Topic: Security, Health, Multilateralism, Public Health
  • Political Geography: North America, United States of America
  • Author: Todd Harrison, Kaitlyn Johnson, Thomas G. Roberts
  • Publication Date: 04-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: While the vulnerabilities of U.S. national security space systems are often discussed publicly, the progress other nations are making in counterspace systems is not as readily accessible. Space Threat Assessment 2019 reviews the open-source information available on the counterspace capabilities that can threaten U.S. space systems. The report is intended to raise awareness and understanding of the threats, debunk myths and misinformation, and highlight areas in which senior leaders and policymakers should focus their attention. Space Threat Assessment 2019 focuses on four specific countries that pose the greatest risk for the United States: China, Russia, Iran, and North Korea. A fifth section analyzes the counterspace capabilities of select other countries, including some allies and partners of the United States, and some non-state actors. This report is not a comprehensive assessment of all known threats to U.S. space systems because much of the information on what other countries are doing to advance their counterspace systems is not publicly available. Instead, it serves as an unclassified assessment that aggregates and highlights open-source information on counterspace capabilities for policymakers and the general public.
  • Topic: Security, Military Strategy, Space
  • Political Geography: North America, United States of America
  • Author: William Alan Reinsch, Jack Capotal, Madeleine Waddoups, Nadir Takarli
  • Publication Date: 04-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: In recent decades, supply chains have become more global while bilateral and regional free trade agreements (FTA) have continued to grow in popularity. For free trade agreements to operate as intended— that is, to provide benefits to the member countries—it must be possible for goods to be identified as products of an FTA member and therefore be eligible for preferential treatment. Free trade agreements also are expected to encourage manufacturers outside the agreement’s boundaries to locate production facilities within the countries party to the agreement to take advantage of the preferential treatment for goods produced there. Rules of origin codified in trade agreements play a crucial role in shaping global supply chains by setting out rules to ascertain the origin of a good. The newly negotiated U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) demonstrates the power of rules of origin to force the many businesses that depend on the current trade agreement to alter their supply chains and business models. Analyzing the new rules, the Scholl Chair in International Business finds that the USMCA will bring new costs to both parts and auto manufacturers and consumers and may provide a boon to North American steel and aluminum manufacturers.
  • Topic: International Cooperation, International Trade and Finance, NAFTA, Free Trade, USMCA, Supply Chains
  • Political Geography: Canada, North America, Mexico, United States of America
  • Author: Judd Devermont, Catherine Chiang
  • Publication Date: 04-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: Speaking at the United Nations General Assembly, President Nana Akufo-Addo of Ghana warned of the repercussions of escalating U.S.-China trade tensions on African nations. Although largely absent from the discourse surrounding the so-called “trade war,” sub-Saharan Africa has suffered from its impacts. Uncertainty hovering over global and African markets has already undermined investor confidence, triggering drops in commodity prices and local currencies. A slowdown in Chinese production and global growth could threaten to throw African markets further off balance. U.S. protectionist measures stand out for their repercussions on African economies and U.S.-Africa relations. Tariff tensions risk indirectly undercutting U.S. goals of promoting African self-reliance, increasing U.S.-Africa trade and investment, and countering China’s expanding influence on the continent.
  • Topic: Development, Hegemony, Conflict, Trade Wars
  • Political Geography: Africa, China, Asia, North America, United States of America
  • Author: Agnes Dasewicz, Todd Moss, Daniel F. Runde, Kate Steel
  • Publication Date: 04-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: The launch of the U.S. Development Finance Corporation (USDFC) in October 2019 is an extraordinary opportunity to accelerate capital flows into emerging and frontier markets in support of U.S. national security, development, and commercial objectives. The new agency is inheriting a fundamentally solid foundation to build upon from the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC). However, it would represent a tremendous missed opportunity if the USDFC merely replicated OPIC’s activities at a higher volume. This is especially the case for infrastructure finance, the sector where USDFC has the greatest potential to have impact.
  • Topic: Development, Infrastructure, Finance
  • Political Geography: North America, United States of America
  • Author: Richard Olson, Daniel F. Runde
  • Publication Date: 04-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: This brief presents a summary of key historical events in Afghanistan since 1989 and outlines a possible worst-case scenario following a U.S. and allied withdrawal from the country. The United States, Afghanistan, and its allies must work together in search for greater Afghan self-reliance, security, and stability in order to avoid a catastrophic scenario. Only then will Afghanistan be able to free itself of foreign presences and embark on its own journey to prosperity and self-reliance.
  • Topic: Military Strategy, Governance, Hegemony, Military Affairs, Foreign Interference
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, Middle East, North America, United States of America
  • Author: Rhys McCormick, Samantha Cohen, Gregory Sanders, Andrew Philip Hunter
  • Publication Date: 04-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: Defense Acquisition Trends, 2018: Defense Contract Spending Bounces Back is the latest in an annual series of report examining trends in what DoD is buying, how DoD is buying it, and whom DoD is buying from. This report analyzes the current state of affairs in defense acquisition by combining detailed policy and data analysis to provide a comprehensive overview of the current and future outlook for defense acquisition. This analysis will provide critical insights into what DoD is buying, how DoD is buying it, from whom is DoD buying, and what are the defense components buying using data from the Federal Procurement Data System (FPDS). This analysis provides critical insights into understanding the current trends in the defense industrial base and the implications of those trends on acquisition policy.
  • Topic: Defense Policy, Military Strategy, Private Sector, Military Contractors
  • Political Geography: North America, United States of America
  • Author: Daniel F. Runde
  • Publication Date: 04-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: As countries mobilize more resources to fund their governments and services, they can think more strategically about transitioning from a reliance on foreign aid to more mutually beneficial relationships with foreign countries. There are structural challenges to mobilizing domestic resources that long have been the focus of DRM efforts; however, addressing the political economy and structural challenges will be critical in the face of increased need and plateauing levels of foreign aid. It is critical that development approaches create the foundational capabilities and systems necessary to capitalize on political windows of opportunity.
  • Topic: Development, Political Economy, Tax Systems
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Anthony H. Cordesman
  • Publication Date: 04-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: It is brutally obvious from the proposed U.S. defense budget for FY2020 that the United States set broad goals in early 2018 for what it called a new national defense strategy that were not supported by meaningful plans, programs and proposed budgets. So far, the U.S. has not defined how it will implement any major elements of the broad concepts it chose to call a strategy, what force changes will need to take place and at what cost, and how this will affect America's strategic partners.
  • Topic: Military Strategy, Budget, Military Spending, Regionalism, Regional Power
  • Political Geography: North America, United States of America
  • Author: Matthew P. Goodman, Gordon de Brouwer, Shiro Armstrong, Adam Triggs
  • Publication Date: 04-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: The ongoing shift in global economic weight to the Indo-Pacific1 presents tremendous opportunities for the United States and Australia, along with risks and significant challenges. Both countries share a deep strategic interest in working together to keep Asian markets open, contestable, and rules-based. In doing so, Washington and Canberra can help maximize the prosperity and security of the American and Australian people, as well as those in the region. It is an opportunity too great to miss.
  • Topic: International Cooperation, International Trade and Finance, Economic Cooperation
  • Political Geography: Asia, Australia, North America, United States of America
  • Author: Getachew Diriba, Christian Man
  • Publication Date: 04-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed has been widely hailed for his promises to open political space, usher in economic liberalization, and remake the country’s poor record on human rights. However, to truly transform his country, Dr. Abiy must first transform agriculture, which is the nucleus of the Ethiopian economy and by far the largest employer. Drawing on interviews and focus groups with seventy stakeholders, this report examines the past wins, current endeavors, and future challenges of Ethiopia’s Agricultural Transformation Agency (ATA), a federal entity established in 2010 to drive fundamental changes for the country’s 15 million smallholder farmers. It highlights the relationship between the ATA and the Ethiopian Ministry of Agriculture, the importance of innovation in agricultural transformation, and the role donors like the United States government can play in supporting such-efforts for country-led development.
  • Topic: Agriculture, Development, Economics, Human Rights
  • Political Geography: Africa, Ethiopia
  • Author: Jonathan Hillman, Erol Yayboke
  • Publication Date: 04-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: Over the next 15 years, more hard infrastructure is projected to be built around the world than currently exists. This global build-out is already underway, and the changes it brings will only accelerate. Infrastructure projects, especially in the transport, energy, information and communications technology (ICT), and water sectors, have long been recognized as the backbone of modern economies. Going forward, emerging digital infrastructure, including fifth-generation (5G) networks, remote sensing, and other advanced technologies, will be especially critical. As our infrastructure is transformed, so will be the economies it fuels, the regions it connects, and the global commons it underpins. These trends are too powerful and potentially beneficial for the United States to stop, and too consequential to ignore.
  • Topic: Science and Technology, Infrastructure, Hegemony
  • Political Geography: North America, United States of America
  • Author: Melissa Dalton
  • Publication Date: 04-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: The United States increasingly relies on allies and partners to accomplish shared security objectives around the globe. In recent years, a greater emphasis has been placed from burden sharing to burden shifting—enabling allies and partners to assume responsibility for their own security challenges through security sector assistance. Burden shifting responsibly to allies and partners requires the United States to integrate oversight and accountability measures into the implementation of security sector assistance. Oversight and accountability mechanisms for security sector assistance allow the United States to better direct, track, and calibrate its assistance to partners to ensure the full scope of U.S. policy goals are met. However, amid reforms being undertaken by the U.S. government to adapt security sector assistance policy and processes, greater clarity is needed on how to connect policy goals of oversight and accountability to planning, operations, doctrine, and training across the security assistance enterprise. This study conducted by the CSIS Cooperative Defense Project builds upon its previous initiative, entitled Oversight and Accountability in Security Sector Assistance: Seeking Return on Investment, to assess the levels of progress on implementing reforms throughout the security sector assistance enterprise and developing an action plan that addresses specific issues along planning, operations, policy and doctrine, and training lines of effort.
  • Topic: Security, Defense Policy, Military Strategy, Hegemony
  • Political Geography: North America, United States of America
  • Author: Daniel F. Runde, Romina Bandura
  • Publication Date: 04-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: While other countries have ramped up their economic engagement with Africa via trade, investments, and private sector financing, the United States has remained, for the most part, disengaged. Though decades-long U.S. government initiatives in Africa are indicative of longstanding relations, the reality is that these initiatives have not been enough for the United States to compete in the changing development landscape. On December 13, 2018, the Trump administration launched the Prosper Africa initiative, which seeks to open markets for American businesses, grow Africa’s middle class, promote youth employment opportunities, improve the business climate, and enable the United States to compete with China and other nations who have business interests in Africa. This short report discusses some of the challenges and opportunities for U.S. engagement with the continent and presents a series of recommendations for the policymakers driving the Prosper Africa initiative forward.
  • Topic: International Cooperation, International Trade and Finance, Hegemony, Economic Cooperation
  • Political Geography: Africa, North America, United States of America
  • Author: Michael Matera, Pablo Souto, Silvina Vatnick
  • Publication Date: 04-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: Formal Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) membership facilitates the design and implementation of public policies, restrains the likelihood of abrupt changes in the rules of the game, lowers the cost of capital, enables harmonization of norms and practices with other countries aimed at fostering trade and investment flows, allows for an active participation in global development forums, and reinforces reputational effects that strengthen businesses’ and consumers’ confidence. However, these benefits can be taken advantage of by countries even before becoming a full OECD member, since the process of accession itself requires that candidate members of the OECD commit to a concrete action plan that serves to promote comprehensive reform of existing laws, regulations, and practices in a wide array of policy areas. Over the last few decades, Argentina’s institutional framework has been weak and ineffective and has failed in improving consistently the well-being of the population. President Macri identified the process of accession to the OECD as one of the key policy priorities of his government in order to begin addressing the country’s institutional weaknesses and to anchor a broad range of important structural reforms that had never been fully undertaken by previous governments. In June 2016, Argentina officially announced its intention to seek formal endorsement of its candidacy for OECD membership and thereby to officially initiate the accession process. In April 2017, Argentina’s minister of the treasury formally announced and presented the Argentina and OECD Action Plan to representatives of the OECD member countries. Since that time, this action plan has been advanced through a large number of policy actions, legal reforms, and analytical work undertaken by Argentine government institutions, both executive and legislative, in close coordination with the OECD Secretariat.
  • Topic: International Trade and Finance, Economic Cooperation, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, OECD
  • Political Geography: Argentina, South America
  • Author: Erol Yayboke, Melissa Dalton, MacKenzie Hammond, Hijab Shah
  • Publication Date: 04-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: The U.S. government has an opportunity to pursue effective and conflict-aware stabilization, building upon the U.S. Stabilization Assistance Review (SAR) framework signed in June 2018.1 The SAR clarified roles and streamlined priorities for stabilization assistance, though “implementation will require sustained leadership, an interagency roadmap, new processes, bureaucratic incentives, and a review of authorities and resources.”2 The SAR includes a unified U.S. government definition of stabilization that recognizes stabilization as an “inherently political endeavor involving an integrated civilian-military process to create conditions where locally legitimate authorities and systems can peaceably manage conflict and prevent a resurgence of violence.”3 CSIS has embarked on a study to examine how to operationalize and build upon the SAR framework. This brief serves as a companion to a brief published in January 2019 which called for a clearer and contextualized definition of stabilization success and well-delineated roles, goals, and leadership structures in the U.S. interagency. It emphasized the importance of local actors and called for a process-based approached to assessment, monitoring, and evaluation (AM&E).4 This brief builds on the first by focusing on the lessons learned from past stabilization efforts and by addressing a key element of successful SAR implementation: partnerships. Success requires deeper interagency coordination and substantive partnerships with international partners. Lastly, this brief addresses a fundamental challenge to SAR implementation: updating the U.S. government’s tools, authorities, and resourcing to increase chances of success.
  • Topic: Military Strategy, Humanitarian Crisis, Strategic Stability
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: William A. Carter, William Crumpler
  • Publication Date: 04-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: As the threat of cyberattacks has risen in recent years, financial institutions (FIs) and regulators have taken a range of steps to strengthen the security and resilience of the financial system to cyber threats. In the Asia-Pacific region (APAC), regulators have introduced a raft of new regulations and controls to bolster the resilience of FIs in their jurisdictions. While greater attention to—and engagement on—these issues is important, the development of new regulatory regimes across APAC has created challenges for multinational FIs and regulators, and could hinder the growth of the financial services and fintech industries within the region. We reviewed the cybersecurity requirements impacting the financial industry in five key jurisdictions, including the largest regional financial centers and consumer markets in APAC: Singapore, Hong Kong, Japan, China, and India. Through a combination of open-source research and on-the-ground interviews—with regulators; local, regional, and global FIs; policymakers; technology experts; and academics—we sought to understand the range of requirements and approaches from different regulators across the APAC region, and the ways in which they impact cyber risks to the regional financial system. Harmonizing regulators’ approaches to cybersecurity regulation in the region could help reduce systemic risks, improve regulatory efficiency, and make it easier for FIs across APAC to grow. This will not be easy and will require sustained engagement on multiple levels. Cyber threats are a transnational issue and will require a transnational response, particularly in highly integrated regions like APAC. Strengthening the security and resiliency of financial networks across the region will require looking at FIs from an enterprise perspective and understanding the cyber risks they face from the perspective of defenders, not the narrow lens of national borders. This will require principles-based approaches that allow for the wide range of business models and capacities of FIs and regulators across the region, and consolidated auditing, examination, and testing procedures to ensure that regulators have an accurate picture of the risks and controls at institutions under their care. Ultimately, regulators’ goals must be to ensure that strong security and resilience, not redundant compliance, is the focus for FIs.
  • Topic: Security, Cybersecurity, Financial Markets
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Suzanne Spaulding, Devi Nair, Arthur Nelson
  • Publication Date: 05-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: he U.S. justice system is under attack as part of a long-term Russian effort to undermine the appeal of democracy and weaken the West. Via multi-platform disinformation opera­tions, Kremlin-backed operatives work to exacerbate existent divisions within populations and increase overall mistrust and paranoia against democratic institutions. In the process, justice systems are portrayed as corrupt, inept, and hypocritical. This report describes the nature of this threat and proposes measures for countering it. The report focuses on activities by the Russian government, including the ways it feeds, is fed by, and amplifies domestic voices to weaken public confidence in the justice system. The insights gained by examining Russia’s efforts can and should inform our understand­ing of both threats from other nations and the challenges contemporary communications technologies pose to a healthy democracy generally.
  • Topic: Conflict, Justice, Judiciary, Foreign Interference
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, North America, United States of America
  • Author: Rachel Lutz Ellehuus
  • Publication Date: 05-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: The Arctic is a beautiful but demanding region. The sun sets in October and does not return until March; temperatures average 32 degrees Fahrenheit in the summer and -40 degrees Fahrenheit in winter; and infrastructure is limited or absent. It is a place of many contradictions, no more so than now, when economic activity is increasing and national, geostrategic interests are confronting established practices of international cooperation and rules and norms. Russian president Vladimir Putin’s speech at the Arctic International Forum in St. Petersburg earlier this month foreshadowed this confrontation. He portrayed Russia as a facilitator in the making the Northern Sea Route (NSR) “safe and commercially feasible” for all nations, even as Russia is acting in contravention of international law by charging application fees and harbor/navigation costs. (Russia views the NSR as an internal passage; the international community views it as an international passage.) Equally, though Putin has denied any military tension in the Arctic, Russia is sending new units and capabilities to the region, including a new Arctic rifle brigade and S-400 missile systems, and conducting live-fire naval drills. Three Arctic coastal nations and NATO members represented in the essays below—Canada, the Kingdom of Denmark, and the United States—are well aware of the contradictions, challenges, and opportunities presented by increased economic and military activity in the Arctic and are adjusting their strategies and resources accordingly. While each approach is unique, there are several common elements. These include an increased focus on maritime surveillance and situational awareness, investment in more sustainable, survivable platforms, and a doubling down on joint and whole-of-government approaches to reflect the multiple missions in the Arctic. Where there are differences, they mainly concern whether and how to address actions that challenge established norms and international law.
  • Topic: Environment, Territorial Disputes, Maritime
  • Political Geography: Arctic
  • Author: Heather A Conley, Matthew Melino
  • Publication Date: 05-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: The United States’ strategic position near Russia and neighboring Canada allows the U.S. access to the Beaufort Sea, the Chukchi Sea, and the Bering Sea and requires the United States to manage a lengthy maritime border with Russia that extends through the Bering Strait and Chukchi Sea into the Arctic Ocean as far as permitted under international law. The U.S. government has articulated its fundamental interest in the Arctic for more than 40 years in a series of government strategies: beginning with President Nixon’s 1971 National Security Decision Memorandum (NSDM-144), to Ronald Reagan’s 1983 National Security Decision Directive (NSDD-90), to President George W. Bush’s National Security Presidential Directive 66 and Homeland Security Presidential Directive 25, signed in 2009, and the 2016 Report to Congress from the Department of Defense on Strategy to Protect United States National Security Interests in the Arctic Region.1 Each document established broad guidelines for U.S. policy in the region that aligned with the geostrategic realities at the time.2
  • Topic: Security, Military Strategy, Territorial Disputes, Maritime, Strategic Interests
  • Political Geography: Arctic
  • Author: Anthony H. Cordesman
  • Publication Date: 05-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: This is the third report in a three-part survey of metrics that address the fighting in Iraq and Syria, the ongoing challenge of extremism, and the trends in key causes of that extremism and regional instability.
  • Topic: Violent Extremism, Political stability, Civil Unrest
  • Political Geography: Middle East, North Africa
  • Author: Daniel F. Runde, Mark L Schneider
  • Publication Date: 05-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: The Northern Triangle of Central America (NTCA), made up of El Salvador, Honduras, and Guatemala, has experienced overwhelming economic, political, and security challenges in recent years. A combination of domestic challenges, including anemic economic growth, high rates of violence, and few jobs in the formal economy, have had international repercussions, such as an influx of unaccompanied minors (UACs) entering the United States in the summer of 2014 and the ongoing migration crisis at the U.S.-Mexican border.1 The United States remains a major partner for these three countries, disbursing over $401 million in foreign aid in FY2018, with strong bipartisan support for approving appropriations of $1.8 billion for FY17-19.2The NTCA countries also attract considerable foreign direct investment (FDI), surpassing $3.1 billion in 2017.3 While the United States has always played a powerful role in the NTCA region, the coverage in Washington tends to be erratic in its grasp of Northern Triangle issues. The region is portrayed as having insoluble problems with little in the way of progress. There is neither a “magic bullet” nor an “out of the box” solution to the problems of the Northern Triangle. Most of the solutions are relatively straightforward but politically hard and involve a mixture of economic, development, political, and security reforms. The problems of the region are, in fact, solvable, but they require sustained attention from the United States, political will in the NCTA countries, including cooperation rather than obstruction from elites in these societies, and ultimately strong and inclusive economic growth to go with strengthened governance.
  • Topic: Regional Cooperation, Foreign Aid, Regionalism, Social Contract
  • Political Geography: Latin America, North America, Honduras, Guatemala, El Salvador, United States of America
  • Author: Mary Speck
  • Publication Date: 05-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: Mexican president Andrés Manuel López Obrador, commonly known as AMLO, assumed office in December 2018 with a robust electoral mandate having trounced traditional parties and secured a clear majority in the Mexican Congress. With approval ratings at about 80 percent, López Obrador seems so far to be satisfying his supporters’ expectations.1 To the delight of those disgusted with elite privileges, AMLO flies commercial (in coach), plans to sell the presidential plane, and slashed the salaries of top officials (including his own), putting their government vehicles up for auction.2 He has acted quickly to redistribute wealth by increasing pensions for the elderly, offering scholarships or apprenticeships to millions of young people, and providing additional subsidies to marginalized small farmers.3 López Obrador has also solidified labor union support by reversing some of his predecessor’s most controversial “neo-liberal” measures. He suspended an education reform enacted to improve the country’s underperforming public schools.4 And he has started to undo an energy overhaul designed to modernize the state-dominated oil industry, promising workers that he will rescue the heavily indebted government company, Petróleos Mexicanos or Pemex, by investing billions in a new refinery to make the country self- sufficient in gasoline.5 But the new president still faces his toughest challenge: reducing violence in a country plagued by some of the world’s most vicious criminal gangs. About 230,000 people were murdered between 2008 and 2017, more than double the number killed in the previous decade.6 This tsunami of violence continues to crest: during the first quarter of 2019 homicides have risen nearly 10 percent from the same period in 2018.7 On security, Mexico’s radical new president has thus far offered more continuity than change. He favors the same top-down, militarized approach that failed to curb violence over the past decade. The government’s marquee security reform is the creation of a national guard with at least 50,000 members recruited largely from the armed forces. Under fire from human rights defenders, López Obrado agreed to place the force under the Secretariat of Security and Civilian Protection, though its commander will be General Luis Rodriguez Bucio, an active duty officer who is in the process of retiring.8 López Obrador has taken steps to address past atrocities (appointing a special prosecutor to investigate the 2014 killing of 43 students) and to prevent future abuses (signing an agreement with the UN to oversee the guard’s human rights training).9 But critics worry that a force led by and recruited from the military will simply reproduce past patterns of repression, gang fragmentation, and dispersion, followed by violent escalation. An iron-fist approach to crime, moreover, fails to address Mexico’s fundamental problem: rampant impunity. Government victimization surveys suggest that authorities fail to investigate more than 90 percent of the crimes committed, often because citizens don’t bother to report crimes to state or municipal police regarded as incompetent, impotent, or corrupt.10 More than a decade of federal military intervention has undermined, not strengthened, the country’s approximately 345,000 state and local police.11 Poorly trained, under-resourced, and often under threat themselves, municipal and state authorities have little incentive to combat Mexico’s increasingly diverse and localized criminal gangs. López Obrador must grapple with the reality that federal power alone is unlikely to bring violence under control. There is no populist playbook for building effective police and an efficient, fair judicial system. The criminal groups operating in Mexico have proven remarkably resilient, surviving the killing or arrest of cartel leaders by morphing into smaller factions that not only produce and transport illegal drugs for sale in the US market but also steal gasoline, derail and rob rail cars, run illegal mining and logging operations, and hold entire communities hostage to extortion and kidnapping rings. The United States has a huge stake in Mexico’s success: the criminal organizations responsible for rising violence in Mexico have also fueled a U.S. drug epidemic resulting in 72,000 fatal overdoses during 2017 alone. U.S. agencies have worked closely with Mexican police and military forces to capture drug kingpins; Congress has also appropriated nearly $3 billion in equipment, training, and capacity building assistance.12 This is only a fraction of the approximately $14 billion Mexico spends each year. But by accepting shared responsibility for the illegal drug trade—long a Mexican demand—the United States has secured cooperation on security issues that would have been unthinkable less than a generation ago. This article examines the evolution of security policy under Presidents Felipe Calderón, 2006-2012, and Enrique Peña Nieto, 2012-2018. López Obrador could learn much from his predecessors’ failures. Calderón began his term with a frontal attack on drug cartels, though he came to understand that Mexico could not control organized crime without social programs and institutional reforms. Peña Nieto initially promised demilitarization and violence prevention, but soon abandoned these efforts, reverting again to military intervention. Neither president strengthened the country’s embattled state and local police who are responsible for enforcing the law after federal troops depart.
  • Topic: Labor Issues, Elections, Unions, Liberalism
  • Political Geography: North America, Mexico
  • Author: Heather A Conley, Matthew Melino
  • Publication Date: 05-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: Russian malign influence seeks to exploit every weakness and societal division within in a respective country. An adviser to Russian president Vladimir Putin, Vladislav Surkov, recently stated that “Foreign politicians talk about Russia’s interference in elections and referendums around the world. In fact, the matter is even more serious: Russia interferes in your brains, we change your conscience, and there is nothing you can do about it.” It must be understood that everything from religion, history, facts, information, racial and ethnic tensions, illicit financing, and institutional and economic weakness, can be weaponized. The mobilization of the Orthodox Church (in Montenegro through the Serbian Orthodox Church) is one such weapon in the Kremlin’s effort to resuscitate pan-Slavism and unite the Slavic world under Russian patronage. Doing so supports the Kremlin’s narrative that only Russian president Vladimir Putin is the true “defender of the faith,” and all that is culturally traditional and conservative. In effect, the Russian and Serbian Orthodox churches “interfere in [one’s] brain and alter an individual’s conscience” because the church touches many aspects of daily life, from the blessing of cars and homes to encouraging followers to fight against the decadence and liberalism of the West. The intermingling of financial support and the creation of outlets for the church’s charitable works can often be traced back to Russian ultra-nationalist oligarchs with close political and financial ties to the Kremlin. One particularly active figure in this space is Konstantin Malofeev who created the Charitable Foundation of St. Basil the Great, which is in part charged with spreading the Russian Orthodox faith. Mr. Malofeev’s spiritual adviser, Orthodox priest Bishop Tikhon, is also President Putin’s spiritual adviser. It is reported that Mr. Malofeev and Mr. Surkov also closely coordinate their activities. The Kremlin is also weaponizing history as it attempts to revitalize the historical role of the Russian Empire as the true defender and “protector” of its Slavic brethren in Montenegro from its clashes with the Ottoman Empire. Today, Russia defends its Slavic brethren from the West and makes powerful appeals to a common Slavic identity and Orthodox culture to wield greater influence in Montenegro.
  • Topic: NATO, International Cooperation, Hegemony, Foreign Interference
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, North America, Montenegro
  • Author: Amy Searight, Brian Harding, Kim Mai Tran
  • Publication Date: 05-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: The United States has long historic ties to the Pacific Islands, but for many decades this region has taken a back seat to other areas viewed by U.S. policymakers as holding greater strategic and economic weight. This has begun to change as Washington has started shifting its focus back to the Pacific Islands, reaching levels of political attention in recent months not seen since the end of the Pacific War in 1945. While the Pacific Islands are important for a range of reasons, not least their extreme vulnerability to the impacts of climate change, it has been China’s recent diplomatic and economic push into the region that has caused growing concern and renewed diplomatic attention in many capitals. The United States has long enjoyed strong ties and warm relationships with countries in the region, but the calls for significantly boosting levels of engagement, dialogue, and cooperation commensurate with the region’s strategic significance are new.
  • Topic: Diplomacy, International Cooperation, Alliance
  • Political Geography: North America, Asia-Pacific, United States of America
  • Author: Romina Bandura, MacKenzie Hammond
  • Publication Date: 05-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: In many countries, financing development challenges such as humanitarian disasters, communicable diseases, and basic social services have, until recently, relied heavily on foreign aid or official development assistance (ODA). The landscape has been slowly shifting towards a development approach that is more “demand-driven”: steered and owned by developing countries in partnership with donors. In many developing countries, especially low-income countries, foreign aid still plays a significant role in financing government priorities and will continue to play a crucial role in the years to come. Yet foreign assistance is not adapting to the changing landscape of developing countries, and there is some concern whether donors like the United States can deliver the level of flexibility and variety that countries are demanding. In order to ensure that low-income countries—particularly fragile and conflict-affected states—make progress, the United States and other donors will need to embrace new approaches and instruments to tackle persisting challenges. The report discusses the concept and importance of a demand-driven approach to development. It describes its progress and identifies the main challenges of operationalizing the concept. The paper covers the demand-driven approach from the perspective of the United States, presenting a set of recommendations to create a more effective framework for development partners. The aim of the paper is to spur dialogue across development actors (civil society, NGOs, the private sector, and developed and developing country governments) about the programmatic and policy changes that need to take place to fully adopt the principles of demand-driven development and ultimately drive greater success in development activities.
  • Topic: Development, Foreign Aid, Development Assistance
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Aaron Milner, Erol Yayboke
  • Publication Date: 05-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: There are not going to be driverless Ubers in Lagos anytime soon. Robots are not going to steal millions of jobs from American miners or factory workers. Nor will our genes be spliced with technological enhancements to defeat diseases and to supercharge our neurons. Not yet, at least. But we are beginning to see symptoms of the globally disruptive phenomenon known as the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR). Rapid periods of past technological industrialization have created tectonic shifts in societies throughout human history. Diverse technologies have grown and scaled to knock off behemoths and traditions to become the next giants themselves. Some of these technologies that will define next-generation human enterprise, connectivity, and lifestyles already are here, but they haven’t been scaled to everyday utilization. For example, the vertical lift technology for flying cars has been around for years, but the regulatory environment, legal considerations, and other issues currently outweigh the benefit to innovate. Just because society has these technologies does not mean they will roll out. There are growing speed bumps to technology around privacy, competition, and equitable access. Technologies’ dramatic impact on everyday life could take a long time, but just like previous revolutions, if we do not plan for these evolutions now, we won’t benefit from them in the future.
  • Topic: Industrial Policy, Science and Technology, Industrialization , Emerging Technology
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Publication Date: 06-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: In January 2019, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe called for the upcoming G20 summit in Osaka to “be the summit that [starts] world-wide data governance.” The rise of the data economy has driven unprecedented growth and innovation in recent decades but is also generating new policy challenges for global leaders. Figuring out how to govern the complex data ecosystem, both enabling its potential and managing its risks, is becoming a top priority for global policymakers. In partnership with the Omidyar Network, the CSIS Technology Policy Program and Project on Prosperity and Development developed a set of data governance principles for the G20 member states, which can inform the development of data governance frameworks around the world. Discussions of data governance are not happening in a vacuum. Laws, conventions, frameworks, norms, and protocols around data have existed for decades. Data governance is implicitly or explicitly wrapped up in existing governance mechanisms around privacy, digital trade and e-commerce, and human rights law. Few of these, however, anticipate emerging technology trends that have extended the reach of digital tracking into the physical world and have allowed us to derive detailed insight from the immense ocean of data generated by the digital economy. We set out to fill four key gaps in the existing global architecture of data governance. First is the need for consistency, interoperability, and coordination of the myriad international, regional, national, and local laws and regulations that impact data. The data ecosystem is fundamentally global and cross-functional, and gaps and inconsistencies between jurisdictions create uncertainty and limit the tools available to address harmful uses of data. Second, existing rules and frameworks and the current debate around data governance often focus almost exclusively on personal data and privacy with little thought to broader impacts of data, for example on competition, mobility, and trade. Third, most existing data governance frameworks, and much of the global debate around data governance, focus on controlling access to data instead of how it is used. Fourth, these debates are often framed around the rights and freedoms of data subjects at the expense of other stakeholders and society broadly. To address these gaps, we convened a series of multi-stakeholder meetings to help us identify a set of data governance principles that can be applied in a range of institutions, organizations and national and sub-national laws and regulations. Through this process, we developed ten principles, three core objectives, and seven essential mechanisms that can inform the development of consistent and effective data governance structures around the world. We have presented these principles in the form of a model G20 statement articulating the principles and the logic behind them.
  • Topic: International Cooperation, Governance, Digital Economy, Digitization
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Seth G. Jones
  • Publication Date: 06-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: Iran is engaged in a soft war, or jang-e narm, with the United States. Iran uses formal and informal means to influence populations across the globe and has expanded its information campaign utilizing the Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting, cultural centers, universities, and charitable foundations. But Iran’s authoritarian political system and attempts to control access to information make it vulnerable to a U.S. and Western information campaign. Iran’s weaknesses​ suggest that a major component of U.S. competition with Tehran should be ideological.
  • Topic: Military Strategy, Conflict, Ideology, Disinformation
  • Political Geography: Iran, Middle East, North America, United States of America
  • Author: Daniel F. Runde, Romina Bandura, Sundar R. Ramanujam
  • Publication Date: 06-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: The current technological revolution, more commonly referred to as “Industry 4.0” or “The Fourth Industrial Revolution – (4IR),” is rapidly disrupting and transforming economic institutions, social norms, and political systems.1 Globally, the interaction of different technologies such as automation, robotics, artificial intelligence, and others (Figure 1) can have a profound disruption in terms of the “velocity, scope, and systems impact.”2 The developing world has a unique opportunity to harness the potential of these transformations and increase global prosperity, efficiency, and quality of life.
  • Topic: Development, Science and Technology, Finance, Revolution
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Conor M. Savoy
  • Publication Date: 06-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: The rule of law plays a critical role in the functioning of a well-governed, stable country. Not only does it help to provide transparent and accountable governance and protection of minority and human rights, it is also necessary to create the conditions for private sector-led growth, job creation, and attracting foreign investment. It should come as no surprise that five of the eleven indicators used by the World Bank in its annual Doing Business report are related to the strength of legal institutions; without strong, impartial legal institutions and respect for the rule of law, private sector actors—local and foreign—cannot make the investments needed to grow economies and create employment opportunities.1 Rule of law, though, remains an area of limited investment by donors. Part of this stems from an overall lack of attention on good governance, but it also comes from a sense that genuine reform requires significant involvement in local politics, which is something that many donors have traditionally sought to avoid. There does, however, seem to be a window of opportunity to reexamine good governance and, by extension, the rule of law. Since the adoption of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in 2015, there have been several shifts that have created such an opening. First, the SDGs included Goal 16: Peace and Security that explicitly endorsed the need for good governance, rule of law, and strong institutions. SDG 16 represents a strong commitment on the part of the international community to supporting the creation of transparent and accountable governing institutions. Second, the 2015 Financing for Development conference held in Addis Ababa elevated the importance of domestic resource mobilization and private sector investment in creating sustainable sources of development finance.2 While strong rule of law is not sufficient on its own to mobilize these two pools of capital, it is necessary to ensure that countries can effectively utilize their own resources and investors can commit private capital securely. Third, USAID has launched a new policy framework called the Journey to Self-Reliance, which seeks to move developing countries along a path toward sustainability and off foreign assistance.3 Critical to USAID’s Journey to Self-Reliance is a country’s commitment and capacity—two areas that will require significant strengthening of governance and rule of law.
  • Topic: Human Rights, Governance, Economic Growth, Rule of Law
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Daniel F. Runde, Erol Yayboke, Sundar R. Ramanujam
  • Publication Date: 06-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: As the world continues to become interconnected, societies’ expectations for greater access to capital and human resources also continues to grow. Governments, multilateral organizations, the private sector, and the broader academic community are increasingly recognizing the need for high- quality infrastructure in middle- and low-income countries to foster trade and human interconnectivity. The idea that quality infrastructure is indispensable to technology and innovation-driven development is now almost universally leave poor people further behind. While estimates suggest that closing the infrastructure gap will require a worldwide annual infrastructure investment of $4 trillion until 2040, accepted. Additionally, there is a consensus between those in the donor community and in the developing world that accepts the evidence provided by a growing number of studies that infrastructure of subpar quality is a barrier to economic growth.
  • Topic: Development, Infrastructure, Finance, Sustainability
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Sarah Ladislaw, Jesse Barnett
  • Publication Date: 06-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: The CSIS Energy Program assessed the existing academic literature, commissioned new research papers, convened an expert summit, and compiled the findings to produce Energy in America: Energy as a Source of Economic Growth and Social Mobility. This report analyzes the ways energy contributes to the challenges and opportunities facing ordinary Americans, covering the impacts of production, distribution, and consumption of energy products in the United States. The report highlights the new, extra-energy objectives that energy policy is increasingly expected to advance and evaluates their historical efficacy. We conclude that while deliberate U.S. energy policy interventions have hitherto achieved mixed results, there are promising developments and best practices that decisionmakers ought to consider.
  • Topic: Development, Energy Policy, Economic Growth, Mobility
  • Political Geography: North America, United States of America
  • Author: William Alan Reinsch, Jack Caporal, Beverly Lobo, Catherine Tassin de Montaigu
  • Publication Date: 06-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: Trade policy is a signature issue for the Trump administration. With the 2020 election campaign shifting into high gear, candidates are being forced to talk about trade whether they want to or not. The president’s frequent comments about trade, along with his imposition of tariffs, are driving the American public to think more deeply about trade and raise their level of understanding of trade policy. For trade wonks, this is a good thing—more people talking and thinking about their favorite subject. For presidential candidates, however, it creates a dilemma: how to criticize the president without alienating the voters who seem to like his trade policy.
  • Topic: International Trade and Finance, Elections, Trade Policy, Domestic Policy
  • Political Geography: North America, United States of America
  • Author: Janet Fleischman
  • Publication Date: 06-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: Many of the fastest growing populations are in the world’s poorest countries, putting them at a critical threshold: either they will accelerate economic growth and innovation by investing in their burgeoning youth population or the rapid population growth coupled with a shortage of opportunities for young people will undermine advances in health, development, and ultimately security. These demographic trends, most notable in sub-Saharan Africa, are often referred to as a “youth boom” or a “youth bulge.” Given the enormous implications of these demographic shifts, U.S. assistance should promote young people’s health and development, with particular emphasis on empowering young women. Investments in human capital and gender equality would yield enormous benefits in improving health, reducing poverty, and increasing economic and political stability. Given that these goals align so strongly with U.S. national interests, they benefit from strong bipartisan support. The U.S. government has an important role to play in helping countries address these demographic issues by expanding access to adolescent health, voluntary family planning, HIV services, educational opportunities for girls, and youth employment, and ensuring the meaningful engagement of young people in program design and implementation. This builds on a remarkable legacy of U.S. engagement in many areas that could help countries to empower young people and build critical life skills and resilience. This paper outlines a number of policy options that Congress could undertake to advance these goals, including: establishing a youth health and empowerment fund within USAID to incentivize USAID missions to develop a cross-sectoral package of services to address both the root causes of the demographic trends and the immediate needs of young people; holding hearings on the demographic trends and their potential impact (both positive and negative) on U.S. health, development, and security goals for the region, to determine if a new, multi-sector approach is needed; ensuring that the new U.S. International Development Finance Corporation (IDFC) invests in women’s economic empowerment and health in developing countries; and requesting more in-depth analysis from the intelligence community examining how gender inequality and the demographic trends—including youthful age structure and rapid urbanization—in fragile states contribute to economic and political instability and pose threats to regional security.
  • Topic: Demographics, Economic Growth, Innovation, Empowerment
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Anthony H. Cordesman
  • Publication Date: 06-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: As the Secretary General’s Annual Report for 2018 makes clear, NATO has many productive initiatives underway that focus on its real security needs, and that will help deter Russia and deal with the key issues in its military readiness and force planning. In fact, some 90% of the Secretary General’s report focuses on such issues. At the same time, NATO does not issue any net assessments of the balance between NATO and Russia and its capability to deter and fight. It does not openly address any of the many national problems and issues in current force structure nation-by-nation strength and readiness, and it has no coherent force and modernization plans for the future.
  • Topic: NATO, Diplomacy, International Cooperation, Military Strategy, Military Spending, Alliance
  • Political Geography: Europe, North Atlantic, North America
  • Author: Brian Harding, Kim Mai Tran
  • Publication Date: 06-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: The post-World-War II era has seen extraordinary growth in international trade and the creation of regional and global trading frameworks spearheaded by the United States and anchored in the General Agreement on Tariffs (GATT) and the World Trade Organization (WTO). In recent years, frustration with the WTO’s stalled process had pushed U.S. policymakers to pursue regional and bilateral trade agreements. However, since president Donald Trump came to office in January 2017, U.S. trade policy has undergone a dramatic reorientation, creating enormous volatility and impacting global trade and supply chains. President Trump’s decision to pull out of the Transpacific Partnership (TPP) on the third day of his presidency, his focus on reducing bilateral trade deficits, and his interest in only forging new bilateral trade deals have had widespread implications for U.S.-Southeast Asia economic and political relations. In many ways, the United States is no longer a predictable trade partner for Southeast Asian countries, and the uncertainty stemming from U.S.-China trade tensions is further affecting U.S.-Southeast Asia trade relations. Meanwhile, Asian regional economic integration and regional trade architecture are moving ahead without the United States at the table.
  • Topic: Diplomacy, International Cooperation, Alliance, Economic Cooperation
  • Political Geography: Asia, North America, Southeast Asia, United States of America
  • Author: Kaitlyn Johnson
  • Publication Date: 06-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: In 2018, President Trump requested that the U.S. military restructure its space offices and personnel to create a U.S. Space Force. Since then three competing visions for how the Department of Defense (DoD) should be restructured to better support its national security space enterprise have been crafted: one from the DoD itself and two from either chamber of Congress. This brief compares these three legislative proposals to create a new military service for space.
  • Topic: Defense Policy, Military Strategy, Space, Space Force
  • Political Geography: North America, United States of America
  • Author: Tom Cullison, J. Stephen Morrison
  • Publication Date: 06-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: Protecting the homeland against biological threats begins with preventing those threats from reaching our shores. The Department of Defense (DOD) contributes to overall U.S. health security through programs specifically aimed at countering biological threats from all sources—through public health activities coordinated with civilian counterparts at home and abroad and through research and development of medical countermeasures aimed at protecting U.S. Forces against health risks throughout the world. Civilian and military scientists, public health experts, and disaster planners are somewhat familiar with DOD’s health security capabilities, yet most lack a clear understanding of the breadth, depth, and limitations of DOD’s capacities. A solid and consistent U.S. policy framework has steadily evolved over the past few decades that identifies health as a national security issue and calls for a broad-based, inclusive national response to addressing the issue of health security. Now is the time to more fully integrate DOD’s unique expertise and capabilities in a more cohesive and efficient manner. This paper provides a broad overview of DOD health security activities and capabilities and also offers select concrete recommendations for strengthening the coherence and integration of DOD activities, with a special emphasis on leadership, novel diseases and new dangerous forms of resistance, surveillance, building host country capacities, and expanded exercises.
  • Topic: Security, Defense Policy, Health, Civil-Military Relations
  • Political Geography: North America, United States of America
  • Author: Erol Yayboke, Sundar R. Ramanujam
  • Publication Date: 06-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: Thanks to the generous support and cooperation from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), the CSIS Project on Prosperity and Development releases this new essay anthology, Sharpening Our Efforts: The Role of International Development in Countering Violent Extremism. As policymakers confront the ongoing challenge of radicalization and violent extremism, it is important that stakeholders and counterterrorism strategists recognize the critical role for development and other non-kinetic approaches to counter violent extremism (CVE). To that end, this new anthology takes a multidimensional role mapping out the role of soft power institutions in enabling lasting peace, prosperity, and global security.
  • Topic: Development, Foreign Aid, Violent Extremism, Counter-terrorism
  • Political Geography: North America, Global Focus, United States of America
  • Author: Mark F. Cancian
  • Publication Date: 07-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: When the United States invaded Afghanistan after the attacks on September 11, 2001, and then overthrew the Taliban regime, senior military officers were not predicting that the United States would be militarily involved 18 years later. Yet, after expending nearly $800 billion and suffering over 2,400 killed, the United States is still there, having achieved at best a stalemate. This CSIS report concludes that the mission in Afghanistan expanded from a limited focus on counterterrorism to a broad nation-building effort without discussion about the implications for the duration and intensity of the military campaign. This expansion occurred without considering the history of Afghanistan, the Soviet experience, and the decades-long effort required in successful nation-building efforts. The report makes a series of recommendations: improving the dialogue between senior military and civilian officials about desired goals/end states and the implied intensity/duration of a military campaign; continuing the development of military strategists; revising military doctrine publications to include discussion of choices about goals/end states; and taking more seriously the history and experience of others.
  • Topic: Military Strategy, Conflict, Strategic Planning
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, Middle East, North America, United States of America
  • Author: Matthew P. Goodman
  • Publication Date: 07-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: The liberal international order set up under U.S. leadership at the end of World War II has produced enormous economic benefits for both the United States and the rest of the world. But recently, the order has been under severe strain, the result of shifting economic forces at home and challenges from new powers abroad. U.S. leadership remains critical to an international order that delivers broad-based prosperity for Americans and stability abroad. In a new essay collection, CSIS experts on economics, trade, energy, technology, and development share their thoughts on how the United States can reaffirm its leadership through smart policies both at home and abroad.
  • Topic: International Cooperation, International Trade and Finance, Economic Cooperation, Domestic Policy
  • Political Geography: North America, United States of America
  • Author: Seth G. Jones, Nicholas Harrington, Joseph S. Bermudez Jr.
  • Publication Date: 07-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: As tensions escalate between the United States and Iran in the Middle East, Russia is engaged in covert and overt cooperation with Iran in ways that undermine U.S. national security interests. This analysis of commercial satellite imagery at Tiyas Airbase in Syria indicates the scope and proximity of Russian and Iranian military ties. If Washington wants to contain Tehran and prevent further Iranian expansion, U.S. policymakers will need to increase pressure on Moscow to curb Tehran’s activities in countries like Syria.
  • Topic: Security, Diplomacy, Intelligence, International Cooperation
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Iran, Middle East, North America, United States of America
  • Author: Anthony H. Cordesman
  • Publication Date: 07-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: It has been a long, grim war since the first U.S. troops appeared in Afghanistan on October 7, 2001. The fighting has now lasted close to 18 years, and the conflict has become one of the worst managed wars in American history. The effort to reinvent Afghan government as a functioning democracy has so far been an unstable nightmare mixing corruption and uncertain central leadership with power brokers, ex-warlords, and divided leadership. Efforts at economic growth and reform have fallen far short of their goals, vast sums have been wasted or lost through corruption, and the current Afghan economy now survives on the basis of outside aid and domestic narcotics exports. Major security efforts have at best produced an uncertain stalemate and one where the Afghan government increasingly seems to be losing control in the countryside in order to maintain its hold on major population centers. Three different Presidents have made major errors in overall strategy. President Bush gave priority to Iraq at the cost of giving the Afghan war proper attention and providing adequate forces to deal with the return of the Taliban. President Obama first authorized a surge — which wasted major resources in Helmand — and then called for a premature U.S. withdrawal based on totally unrealistic goals for Afghan force development. President Trump has adopted a strategy which has no clear political or economic element, and is unclear as to whether the U.S. is willing to keep supporting Afghan government military efforts or is giving priority to peace more as part of an effort to withdraw U.S. forces than to achieve a lasting and meaningful peace settlement. This report addresses the options for staying in Afghanistan, for reaching a cosmetic or real form of peace, and for some form of unilateral withdrawal. It describes the challenges in each area: the current stalemate in conflict and the debate over Afghan Government versus Taliban control, the critical problems in Afghan governance, the weaknesses in the Afghan economy, and the many remaining challenges in creating Afghan forces that can stand on their own. It addresses the challenges in cutting or removing U.S. land and air forces. Finally, it addresses critical problems in assessing and costing the current level of U.S. involvement in the war, and in estimating the future cost of supporting a peace or continuing the fighting.
  • Topic: Military Strategy, Public Opinion, Conflict, Peace
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, Middle East, Asia, Vietnam, North America, United States of America
  • Author: Stephen Naimoli, Kartikeya Singh
  • Publication Date: 07-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: In 2019, India completed its program to provide electricity connections to every village and every home in the country. However, even though millions more are now connected, problems remain, including unreliable supply of power and a lack of workforce capacity for utilities to serve an expanded customer base. While India’s central government sets national policy, India’s powerful states have jurisdiction over the power sector and are responsible for implementation of central government programs and policies. For foreign stakeholders interested in supporting India’s electrification agenda, this presents an opportunity for them to engage with states to help meet their energy access priorities. To identify key areas for international engagement, CSIS conducted a survey of government, civil society groups, and energy access practitioners in the Indian states of Assam, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha, and Rajasthan on their energy access priorities. Opportunities for collaboration include metering and bill collection, operations and maintenance, quality and reliability of supply, and off-grid technologies, including solar-powered pumps and other appliances.
  • Topic: Energy Policy, Infrastructure, Electricity, Renewable Energy
  • Political Geography: India, Asia
  • Author: Moises Rendon, Arianna Kohan
  • Publication Date: 07-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: Nicolás Maduro, following former president Hugo Chavez’s legacy, fostered the creation of a criminalized state in Venezuela that uses transnational organized crime as an instrument of state power.1 According to a research report published after five years of fieldwork, the Venezuelan state is part of a consortium of criminalized actors working in concert with other states and nonstate actors with shared objectives. This brief is meant to describe the ongoing criminal activities in Venezuela, including global money laundering, corruption, narcotrafficking, illegal mining, and the role of foreign nations and non-state actors in Venezuela. The breadth of these criminal activities helps demonstrate why the Maduro regime remains in power despite stiff international and domestic pressure. This brief provides specific policy recommendations for Venezuela’s interim government led by Juan Guaidó, as well as for the United States and other like-minded countries. These policy recommendations include prosecutions, sanctions, and the use of other tools that can help increase pressure on the Maduro regime more efficiently.
  • Topic: Law, Illegal Trade, Criminology
  • Political Geography: South America, Venezuela
  • Author: Anthony H. Cordesman
  • Publication Date: 07-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: It is all too tempting to focus narrowly on the maritime crisis in the Gulf, and the potential threat to the flow of petroleum and the world’s economy. This is where the daily headlines focus, and some form of threat is all too real. In practice, however, the U.S. already faces other threats in the region and from Iran, and at least one is potentially far more serious in grand strategic terms. These “other threats” include Yemen, Syria, and the failures of the Arab Gulf states to unite in creating an effective defense against Iran. Most importantly, they include the U.S. and Arab struggle with Iran for influence in the Gulf.
  • Topic: Energy Policy, Oil, Maritime, Conflict
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Iran, Middle East
  • Author: Anthony H. Cordesman
  • Publication Date: 07-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: For all the furor over Iran and the Gulf, or Britain and Brexit, the most important foreign news of the month is what would normally be a relatively obscure Chinese official document: China’s National Defense in the New Era. This White Paper was issued on July 22nd in both Chinese and English. Unlike China’s previous defense white papers — the most recent of which came out in 2015 and was blandly reassuring to the point of being vacuous — the new White Paper picks up the gauntlet that the U.S. threw down in its 2017 National Security Strategy and in 2018 National Defense Strategy. Both of these documents effectively made China the key objective in strengthening U.S. military forces and single it out as America’s primary strategic competitor. China’s National Defense in the New Era is a clear and detailed 51-page response to the massive shift in U.S. strategy from a focus on counterterrorism and extremism to competition and possible conflict with China and Russia. It flags the fact that America and China are now competing superpowers, and that China’s growing military forces are developing to the point where they will be able to challenge the United States. More than that, the detailed contents of the White Paper are a direct response to the official U.S. reports on Chinese Military Power issued by the Office of the Secretary of Defense and by the Defense Intelligence Agency.
  • Topic: Defense Policy, Intelligence, Military Strategy, Conflict
  • Political Geography: China, Asia, North America, United States of America
  • Author: Daniel Mahanty, William Meeker
  • Publication Date: 07-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: A troubling increase in violent attacks in Niger suggests that conflict could be spilling further into the interior of the country, placing a challenge before a Nigerien government under domestic and international pressure to respond, and putting stress on a largely military that is already stretched to its limits. As the government in Niamey along with its partners in Washington and Paris formulate strategies to contend with the violence, they would be well served to ensure that additional investments in military capacity are carefully balanced with an emphasis on accountability and governance, civilian protection, and finding appropriate channels to address conflict through localized political processes.
  • Topic: Governance, Political stability, Domestic Policy
  • Political Geography: Africa, West Africa
  • Author: Charles Carson, Jonathan Robinson
  • Publication Date: 07-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: In the United States, there is currently a dichotomy: employers are unable to fill manufacturing jobs, and yet there are hundreds of thousands of manufacturing workers looking for jobs. How can this be? Many point to a skills deficit across the U.S. workforce. Much like other aspects of daily life and the economy, technology is changing the way U.S. based companies manufacture goods for the global market. As technology permeates and alters the manufacturing industry, it has created a massive boost in manufacturing productivity, while simultaneously requiring fewer workers to maintain and increase production. For those still employed in the manufacturing sector, they also need to be better equipped with the skills to handle the new demands such advanced technology and techniques impose. This report analyzes different workforce development programs for advanced manufacturing across the nation, seeking to better understand what is required to educate and retrain the worker of the future.
  • Topic: Science and Technology, Labor Issues, Manufacturing, Skilled Labor
  • Political Geography: North America, United States of America
  • Author: Scott MacDonald
  • Publication Date: 08-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: Suriname is at a crossroads, politically and economically. Once one of the more isolated countries in the Western Hemisphere, it is increasingly being pulled into the region’s affairs. The process of change is coming from external and internal sources, ranging from the potential for major commercial oil finds in its offshore waters and migration of Chinese, Haitians, and Brazilians into the country to the looming 2020 elections and the need for better governance. Moreover, the geopolitical landscape facing Suriname in both the Caribbean and South America has changed, with the advent of what some analysts are calling a new Cold War between the United States on one side and China, Venezuela, and Russia on the other. Suriname has tremendous potential in terms of its development, but tough decisions sit on the horizon. Most Americans would be hard put to find Suriname on the world map. It was Fairfield University political science professor Ed Dew who noted in the preface of his 1994 book on Surinamese politics, “Not long ago, one of my friends said the problem with my work is that it is on a country that is ‘too far off the screen’ of international importance.” Although Dew wrote two books on Suriname, even he admitted that Suriname has been physically isolated, tucked as it is between French Guiana, Brazil, Guyana and the Atlantic Ocean, and largely covered by forests.1 Suriname has also been a bit of an odd man out from the rest of the Western Hemisphere. It is located in South America but is usually considered to be Caribbean. One of the country’s closest relationships has been with a non-Western Hemisphere nation, the Netherlands, its former colonial power. Last, but hardly least, Suriname is the only country in the Americas whose official language is Dutch.2 While it can be argued that some of these factors may explain a different path from South America or even the Caribbean, it can be argued that Suriname is no longer too far off the screen of international importance.
  • Topic: Energy Policy, International Trade and Finance, Oil, Regionalism
  • Political Geography: South America, Suriname
  • Author: Anthony H. Cordesman
  • Publication Date: 08-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: In fairness, peace almost always consists of a pause in the fighting that becomes a prelude to war. Taking modern Europe as an example, the Napoleonic wars were punctuated by failed peace attempts, and then led to the rise of Germany and a whole new series of wars with Austria, Denmark, and France. The repressive peace settlements following Europe’s upheavals in 1848 set the stage for decades of new rounds of conflict and revolution. World War I led to World War II, and then led to the Cold War and now to the Ukraine. Nevertheless, the current U.S. efforts to support peace negotiations in Afghanistan and the Middle East seem remarkably weak even by historical standards. In the case of Afghanistan, “peace” is being negotiated without even the same cosmetic level of local government participation that occurred in Vietnam. It is being negotiated when there is no political stability to build upon, and no apparent prospect that the coming election can bring real unity or effective leadership.
  • Topic: Diplomacy, Military Strategy, Conflict, Peace
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, Africa, Iraq, Middle East, Libya, Yemen, Syria, Gulf Nations
  • Author: Ian Williams
  • Publication Date: 08-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: Tensions with Iran are once again increasing. The slow implosion of the nuclear accord, Iran’s harassment of cargo ships, and the downing of a U.S. unmanned aircraft have made plain the risk of conflict between Iran and the United States. The dispute should also draw attention to the questionable preparedness of the United States and its allies to fight a war with Iran on short notice and deal with that war’s blowback across the Middle East and Europe. Regional missile defense architectures are an important part of that preparedness. Iran has the largest and most diverse supply of ballistic missiles in the Middle East region, and Tehran has shown an ability and willingness to use them in combat operations.1 Iran is also learning to employ other kinds of aerial threats, such as long-range cruise missiles and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). In a conflict with Iran, U.S. and allied forces would likely face a wide spectrum of air and missile threats. The biggest U.S. investment in Iran-centric missile defenses has been the European Phased Adaptive Approach (EPAA). EPAA is a phased buildup of U.S. missile defense assets in and around Europe to deter and, if necessary, limit damage from an Iranian missile attack on the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). Yet the EPAA architecture is heavily dependent on the nominal, unencumbered performance of a single radar deployed relatively close to Iran. This produces a single point of failure susceptible to malfunction or operator error. It also presents an Achilles’ heel that a determined or imaginative adversary could exploit. Iran certainly fits both descriptors. In 1958, strategist Albert Wohlstetter wrote that U.S. confidence in its nuclear second-strike ability was achieved only by “ignoring the full range of sensible enemy plans.”2 This same critical judgment should be applied to confidence in the EPAA as currently configured. Inasmuch as a sensible adversary such as Iran relies upon its missile forces to achieve its defense goals, it should be credited with the foresight to target single points of failure that would preclude the effective application of that missile force. Fortunately, there are practical steps that NATO and the United States can take to further adapt EPAA for greater resiliency. Upgrades to existing radars, the integration of allied radars into the missile defense mission, and the addition of air and space-based sensors would do much to improve EPAA’s capability and survivability, improving U.S. and NATO preparedness for an unexpected Middle East conflict.
  • Topic: Defense Policy, NATO, International Cooperation, Military Strategy, Missile Defense
  • Political Geography: Europe, Iran, North Atlantic, Middle East, North America, United States of America
  • Author: Seth G. Jones, Danika Newlee, Nicholas Harrington, Joseph S. Bermudez Jr.
  • Publication Date: 08-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: Tensions between Iran and the United States have heightened concerns about the threat to critical infrastructure in the Persian Gulf, including in Saudi Arabia. This report argues that while Saudi Arabia has vulnerabilities in its oil, desalination, electricity, SCADA, shipping, and other systems, Iran has thus far adopted a calibrated approach. Tehran has conducted irregular attacks to infrastructure using offensive cyber weapons, naval ships to impede oil tankers, and partners like the Houthis in Yemen. The United States should focus on deterring further Iranian escalation, refraining from actions that threaten the regime’s survival, and providing a political “off ramp” for Iran to de-escalate.
  • Topic: Energy Policy, Oil, Natural Resources, Infrastructure
  • Political Geography: Iran, Middle East, Saudi Arabia