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Center for Strategic & International Studies

Transatlantic Defense during Wartime

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Tuesday, September 5, 2023
Abstract in English: 
Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February 2022 set off a chain of events that has reverberated far beyond the borders of the conflict. Across Europe, a historic effort to rethink defense posture is underway as European states grapple with the implications of the conflict for their own security. Following the North Atlantic Treaty Organization’s (NATO) Vilnius summit this past July, the transatlantic alliance requires long-term defense industrial investments to sustain the collective defense of all member-states.
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75
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China's Strategy of Political Warfare

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Publication date: 
Wednesday, August 2, 2023
Abstract in English: 
China is conducting an unprecedented campaign below the threshold of armed conflict to expand the influence of the Chinese Communist Party and weaken the United States and its partners. This campaign involves sophisticated Chinese espionage activities, offensive cyber operations, disinformation on social media platforms, economic coercion, and influence operations targeting companies, universities, and other organizations. The scale of China’s actions in the United States is unparalleled. This report offers one of the most comprehensive analyses to date of Chinese political warfare activities and examines China’s main actions, primary goals, and options for the United States and its partners.
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145
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How 5G Will Shape Innovation and Security

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Publication date: 
Thursday, December 6, 2018
Abstract in English: 
The fifth generation of mobile network technologies, known as “5G,” promises greater speed, security, and capacity. 5G will underpin the internet economy and provide the backbone for the next generation of digital technologies. So, it is unsurprising that there is intense competition among companies and countries for 5G leadership. 5G will determine the direction the internet will take and where nations will face new risks and vulnerabilities. Who makes 5G technologies will affect security and innovation in an increasingly competitive technological environment. Decisions made today about 5G will affect national security and economic performance for decades to come. This is a competition among companies and groups of companies but also a competition between market-based and state-directed decisionmaking. The United States has relied on the former, China on the latter, and Europe falls somewhere in between. American technology remains essential for 5G mobile telecommunications. American companies have been strong performers in developing 5G technologies, but the United States and its allies face a fundamental challenge from China. The focus of competition is over 5G’s intellectual property, standards, and patents. Huawei, for example, has research programs to develop alternatives to American suppliers, and U.S. trade restrictions have accelerated China’s efforts to develop its own 5G industry. While American companies lead in making essential 5G technologies, there are no longer any U.S. manufacturers of core telecommunications network equipment.
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22
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The Future of Latin America and the Caribbean in the Context of the Rise of China

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Publication date: 
Wednesday, November 21, 2018
Abstract in English: 
There are numerous analyses about China and its future, as well as about Chinese engagement with Latin America. This report examines, in detail, how the growth of China, with its power and role in the global economy, is likely to transform Latin America and the Caribbean through economic, political, and other forms of engagement with the region. The report considers multiple scenarios regarding the future of China, the resolution of its security challenges, and possible departures from its current trajectory. It focuses primarily on the question of what Latin America and the Caribbean will look like if China succeeds in its ongoing economic and political engagement in the region.
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42
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Confronting the Global Forced Migration Crisis

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Tuesday, May 29, 2018
Abstract in English: 
The size and scope of the global forced migration crisis are unprecedented. Almost 66 million people worldwide have been forced from home by conflict. If recent trends continue, this figure could increase to between 180 and 320 million people by 2030. This global crisis already poses serious challenges to economic growth and risks to stability and national security, as well as an enormous human toll affecting tens of millions of people. These issues are on track to get worse; without significant course correction soon, the forced migration issues confronted today will seem simple decades from now. Yet, efforts to confront the crisis continue to be reactive in addressing these and other core issues. The United States should broaden the scope of its efforts beyond the tactical and reactive to see the world through a more strategic lens colored by the challenges posed—and opportunities created—by the forced migration crisis at home and abroad. CSIS convened a diverse task force in 2017 to study the global forced migration crisis. This report is a result of those findings.
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67
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Rebuilding Strategic Thinking

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Thursday, October 18, 2018
Abstract in English: 
Churchill is said to have commented after a particularly undistinguished meal: “The pudding [that’s dessert for us Americans] lacked a theme.” This is also true of the world before us today. If that world is less existentially dangerous than the height of the Cold War, it is scary in its shapelessness. Threats seem to emanate from everywhere, unpredictably, even at a luncheon in San Bernardino or a nightclub in Orlando. It is a world that cries out for old-fashioned strategic analysis as an input to strategy: What is important, what is less so? How do issues connect or relate to each other, and where are the trends taking us? Where and how should we intervene, and where should we disengage? What are the important investments to make? What should we be aiming for a decade hence?
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41
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Crossing Borders: How the Migration Crisis Transformed Europe’s External Policy

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Thursday, October 18, 2018
Abstract in English: 
Between 2014 and 2017, Europe saw its largest influx of migrants in decades, with 1.9 million arrivals to the continent (and thousands of lives lost at sea during the dangerous crossings of the Mediterranean Sea) and 3.6 million first-time asylum applicants across the 28 EU member states. The European Union and its member states have struggled to absorb this large influx of migrants and refugees and to manage the European Union’s external borders. As migration management has remained principally a national mandate, a delicate balance had to be found between the European Union and its member states to process asylum seekers, manage borders, and address the drivers of migration and instability in Europe’s neighborhood through policy and funding. This led to what is now called the “European migration crisis” of 2015 and 2016.
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81
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The Uncertain Trends in the “Wars” on Terrorism

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Wednesday, September 26, 2018
Abstract in English: 
Seventeen years after the start of the first major U.S. war on terrorism – and tens of thousands of casualties and more than two trillion dollars later – the U.S. still lacks a credible database on international terrorism. There is no common official database at the interagency level, there are deep disagreements over the size and success of given threats, and there are major gaps in coverage. Each “war” on terrorism has its own approach (and usually approaches) to estimating the threat and to judging what parameters are important. There are a wide range of databases outside the U.S. government, ranging from commercial efforts to academic and NGO assessments. They often sharply disagree, and many are clearly political or ideological in character. The closest thing to an official database is the one used by the U.S. State Department in its Country Reports on Terrorism and its Annex of Statistical Information. The report and annex provide an overview of the global trends in terrorism.
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103
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The Future of the United States and Europe: An Irreplaceable Partnership

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Friday, April 13, 2018
Abstract in English: 
The partnership between the United States and Europe has been an anchor of the world’s economic, political and security order for more than seven decades. The U.S. relationship with the European Union is the deepest in the world – but we should not take it for granted. Transatlantic relations are at a critical point in their history, and it is necessary to reassess their trajectory, as well as the prospects for EU-U.S. cooperation. In a new publication, CSIS, in partnership with Chatham House, assesses the top policy priorities on both sides of the Atlantic, identifying areas of potential cooperation as well as growing divergences to be managed. United States cooperation with Europe is essential to meeting global challenges – this is a conclusion that every U.S. administration has reached in the past 70 years. Our recommendations seek to strengthen that relationship and promote that community of democratic values that upholds the international order.
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51
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Rethinking Cybersecurity

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Tuesday, January 9, 2018
Abstract in English: 
Despite all the attention, cyberspace is far from secure. Why this is so reflects conceptual weaknesses as much as imperfect technologies. Two questions highlight shortcomings in the discussion of cybersecurity. The first is why, after more than two decades, we have not seen anything like a cyber Pearl Harbor, cyber 9/11, or cyber catastrophe, despite constant warnings. The second is why, despite the increasing quantity of recommendations, there has been so little improvement, even when these recommendations are implemented.
These questions share an answer: the concepts underlying cybersecurity are an aggregation of ideas conceived in a different time, based on millennial expectations about governance and international security. Similarly, the internet of the 1990s has become “cyber,” a portmanteau term that encompassed the broad range of global economic, political, and military activities transformed by the revolution created by digital technologies.
If our perceptions of the nature of cybersecurity are skewed, so are our defenses. This report examines the accuracy of our perceptions of cybersecurity. It attempts to embed the problem of cyber attack (not crime or espionage) in the context of larger strategic calculations and effects. It argues that policies and perceptions of cybersecurity are determined by factors external to cyberspace, such as political trends affecting relations among states, by thinking on the role of government, and by public attitudes toward risk.
We can begin to approach the problem of cybersecurity by defining attack. While public usage calls every malicious action in cyberspace an attack, it is more accurate to define attacks as those actions using cyber techniques or tools for violence or coercion to achieve political effect. This places espionage and crime in a separate discussion (while noting that some states use crime for political ends and rampant espionage creates a deep sense of concern among states).
Cyber attack does not threaten crippling surprise or existential risk. This means that the incentives for improvement that might motivate governments and companies are, in fact, much smaller than we assume. Nor is cyber attack random and unpredictable. It reflects national policies for coercion and crime. Grounding policy in a more objective appreciation of risk and intent is a first step toward better security.
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50
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