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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