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Negotiating from Strength: Washington, Beijing and Climate Change

There is growing pressure for the Biden administration to de-escalate tensions with China for the sake of climate cooperation. In a letter published on July 8, climate organizations called on the United States to work on “environmental, human rights, social, and governance standards” with China to avert a new Cold War.

Enticing China to act in support of the Biden administration’s effort to reduce global carbon dioxide emissions will not succeed. China’s significance as the world’s greatest emitter of pollution and Chinese policymakers’ own view of climate change negotiations will render any cooperative strategy ineffective. As our primary strategic rival, China will likely only respond to pressure on climate.

Analysis

In Meeting With Erdogan, Biden Holds the Power

On the margins of the June 14 NATO summit in Brussels, U.S. President Joe Biden is set to hold his first meeting with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. The encounter comes at a sensitive time for Erdogan, whose country is teetering on the edge of a potentially catastrophic economic and political crisis. And Biden should use that to the United States’ advantage as he seeks to support democracy in Turkey.

Analysis

Afghanistan’s Terrorist Future

The most likely outcomes from the American withdrawal are bad. The worst-case-scenarios are catastrophic.

There’s much more that can be said about the decision and the process (or lack thereof) behind it. But given how unlikely the decision is to be reversed, it is worth considering what will happen to Afghanistan after the last American troops leave.

Analysis

America’s Nuclear Missiles Need Major Modernization

The proposed missile upgrade program saves money and deters nuclear war. While critics are right to note that the United States' current missiles are increasingly expensive to maintain, the answer is to act to modernize now before the costs increase even further, not to reduce this critical leg of the nuclear triad. Moreover, the redundancies of the three legs of the nuclear triad are there by design, ensuring the United States maintains its defense without risking an accidental nuclear strike.

Analysis

Starved for Talent: Reconciling American Immigration, AI, and Great Power Competition

The United States is in a competition for global talent, as the Fourth Industrial Revolution[i] reshapes much of the world. The United States must engage in a major new challenge– a holistic Artificial Intelligence international competition while addressing the age-old American conundrum surrounding immigration policy.  The job outlook for technical professionals, specifically those in the fields of Artificial Intelligence and Data Science, has never been brighter. These professionals have many opportunities where they can balance their desire for intellectual stimulation, impact, work culture, and compensation. For many organizations, the demand for AI talent greatly outstrips supply. This is in stark contrast to other sectors of the U.S. and global economy, which face the double challenges of a recession and the ongoing pandemic. Societal disruption from increasing automation looms as greater productivity continues to be achieved from a smaller workforce.

Analysis

Navigating the Shoals of Renewed American Naval Power: Imperatives for the Next Secretary of the Navy

This is a hell of a way to run a Navy. The Department of the Navy’s revolving door of senior civilian leadership over the past four years, including two secretaries and three acting secretaries, has done a disservice to U.S. national security. New leadership will soon arrive, but the department should not squander precious time on restarting strategic studies, force assessments, and process improvement programs. Instead, steady and strategic civilian leadership is required to make progress in the marathon implementation of integrated force redesign.

American naval power can be a guarantor of the most important sinews connecting the international global system, and a welcome and unobtrusive instrument of diplomacy. Simultaneously it can be an intimidating backstop of assurance and support to allies and partners, and a hammer of deadly force sharply wielded from great distances against adversary shores and objectives, only to recede back silently into the ocean’s vast expanse. But American naval power cannot be generated by a department unmoored from strategic clarity and purpose. After two decades of high operational tempo, strained readiness, and deferred decisions, the Navy and Marine Corps now are belatedly shifting the fleet design to confront China. China’s increasingly assertive authoritarian regime seeks to rapidly transform into a naval peer competitor and leverage its new maritime power to underpin its ambitions to go global. Instead of pining for decisive blue water confrontations, accepting remote deployments ashore, or succumbing to China’s version of a Fabian strategy, the department should prepare the Navy and Marine Corps with a force design, and the commensurate expertise, experience, and cunning to be effective in the most intense form of naval combat: “firing effectively first” in the rapid, complex, and congested littorals.