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Foreign affairs

The Longer Telegram: Toward a new American China strategy

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The Longer Telegram: Toward a new American China strategy
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Publication date: 
Thursday, January 28, 2021
Abstract in English: 
The single most important challenge facing the United States and the democratic world in the twenty-first century is the rise of an increasingly authoritarian and aggressive China under Xi Jinping. China has long had an integrated, operational strategy for dealing with the United States. The United States has so far had no such strategy with regard to China. This is a dereliction of national responsibility. US strategy and policy toward China must be laser-focused on the fault lines among Xi and his inner circle–aimed at changing their objectives and behavior and thus their strategic course. Communist Party elites are much more divided about Xi’s leadership and vast ambitions than is widely appreciated. The foremost goal of US strategy should be to cause China’s ruling elites to conclude that it is in China’s best interests to continue operating within the US-led liberal international order rather than building a rival order, and that it is in the Chinese Communist Party’s best interests to not attempt to expand China’s borders or export its political model beyond China’s shores.
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85
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All security is local: Arctic defense policies and domain awareness

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All security is local: Arctic defense policies and domain awareness
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Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Wednesday, March 30, 2022
Abstract in English: 
This report assesses the defense policies of Canada, Denmark, Finland, Norway, and Sweden as they apply to the Arctic. Russia’s annexation of Crimea, its militarization of the Kola Peninsula, and its opposition to the liberal international order forced Arctic states to revisit their defense policies. Some focused attention on the Baltic Sea. Others focused on territorial defense. Still others focused on the Arctic. By 2021, however, each state had a relatively well-defined defense policy for the Arctic. This report details each policy’s content, trends over time within each country, and areas of convergence or divergence across countries. The report then places the concept of domain awareness within the context of Arctic defense strategies. The report concludes with recommendations on acquiring and using manned and unmanned systems, data links, distributed basing, and military exercises to ensure a secure and stable Arctic.
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48
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Great power projection in the Middle East: The China-Russia relationship as a force multiplier

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Great power projection in the Middle East: The China-Russia relationship as a force multiplier
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Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Wednesday, March 16, 2022
Abstract in English: 
Russia and China are often mischaracterized as allies. There is a perception that their revisionist preferences for international order align, and that their desires for a less US-centered international order mean they are collaborating toward this end. The challenge they pose to the United States has been acknowledged by the Obama, Trump, and Biden administrations, and “great power competition”’ (GPC) or “strategic competition” has replaced counterterrorism at the center of US strategy. The Biden administration’s 2021 Interim National Security Strategy Guidance states that “we face . . . growing rivalry with China, Russia, and other authoritarian states.” It describes China as “the only competitor potentially capable of combining its economic, diplomatic, military, and technological power to mount a sustained challenge to a stable and open international system,” and Russia as “determined to enhance its global influence and play a disruptive role on the world stage.” The Pentagon’s “2+3” framework for GPC has China and Russia as the two primary threats, and North Korea, Iran, and terrorism as the three secondary threats, reinforcing a two-tiered system that implies that “China and Russia are similar threats while the others are lower in priority.” In the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), their behavior-tandem vetoes on Syria at the United Nations, mutual anger about Libya, arms exports to traditional US allies, and cooperating with Iran despite multilateral sanctions5—feeds into the perception that they have a coordinated agenda to push out the United States, or at least to challenge its preponderance there. In a February 2021 speech by General Kenneth F. McKenzie, commander of the US Central Command overseeing MENA and Central Asia, he noted that “the United States faces increasing competition in the region from Russia and China, both vying for power and influence through a combination of diplomatic, military, and economic means. This adds another layer of tension and instability to an already complex and challenging region.” This report provides a comparative analysis of the approaches that China and Russia have adopted to develop their regional presence in MENA across four realms of influence: political, economic, security, and public diplomacy.
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32
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Horn of Dilemmas - Toward a Transatlantic To-Do List for the Horn of Africa

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Horn of Dilemmas - Toward a Transatlantic To-Do List for the Horn of Africa
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Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Saturday, December 4, 2021
Abstract in English: 
The Horn of Africa is adrift. Turmoil in Ethiopia and Sudan is sending shock-waves through the broader region – with knock-on effects for European and American interests. While the African Union is in the lead to address these issues, transatlantic partners must coordinate and do their part to tackle the crises in Europe’s extended neighborhood. In the Horn of Africa, hope and havoc are next-door neighbors. It is a place where a new, young generation is fighting for democracy. It is an arena where regional and global powers compete for influence. And it is also a region where conflicts are threatening the very essence of statehood. In Ethiopia and Sudan, after 30 years of authoritarian rule, two democratic transitions have first blossomed and then faced backlash within a matter of just three years. War in Ethiopia, a derailed democratic transition in Sudan, an escalating border dispute between these two neighbors, and a conflict over the Nile waters between Egypt, Ethiopia, and Sudan represent only a shortlist of the Horn’s complex conflict network. Europe and the United States must develop a deeper understanding of the Horn of Africa’s conflict landscape and come to terms with the region’s intricate dilemmas. To start with, Europe and the US need to face two realities: first, conflict dynamics in the Horn of Africa impact their very own interests not least with regard to freedom of navigation, peace, security, good governance, and migration – although not to the same extent: Europe’s exposure to turmoil in the region is much more direct. Second, transatlantic partners are not the only external actors who take an interest in the Horn of Africa. Instead, the region is at the center of an intense geopolitical competition. To prevent further deterioration of the region’s conflicts, a coordinated transatlantic agenda is required.
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28
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Global Strategy 2022

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Publication date: 
Tuesday, February 8, 2022
Abstract in English: 
This paper offers a comprehensive strategy to manage and develop US relations with Russia over the next twenty years. This strategy seeks to thwart current Kremlin efforts to undermine the international system that the United States helped create after World War II and revise after the Cold War; to cooperate in the short and medium term on issues of mutual interest, in particular arms control; and to establish in the long term a broad cooperative relationship once Moscow recognizes that its own security and prosperity are best realized in partnership with the United States and the West.
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67
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Munich Security Report 2022

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Publication date: 
Monday, February 14, 2022
Abstract in English: 
2021 was clearly not a year for geopolitical optimism. Almost every month, a new crisis dominated the news, contributing to a sense that this mounting tide of crises
threatens to overwhelm us.
Against this backdrop, it is not surprising that in Europe and beyond, concern about a growing loss of control is prevalent. In fact, findings from the Munich Security Index 2022 not only reflect the high level of risk perceived by respondents in the G7 and BRICS countries; they also suggest the emergence of “collective helplessness” in the face of a plethora of crises that reinforce each other. Just like people can suffer from “learned helplessness” – a psychological term describing the feeling that nothing one does can effect positive change – societies, too, may come to believe that they are unable to get a grip on the challenges they are facing. Whether it is the seemingly endless pandemic, the increasingly tangible threat of climate change, the vexing vulnerabilities of an interconnected world, or increasing geopolitical tensions, all these challenges contribute to a feeling of a loss of control. Liberal democracies appear to feel particularly overwhelmed.
This perception is highly dangerous because it can turn into a self-fulfilling prophecy. Societies that have concluded that they cannot solve humankind’s most challenging problems might no longer even try to turn the tide. Will our stressed and overburdened societies end up accepting what they see as their fate, although they have the tools and resources to change it?
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182
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Smart Partnerships amid Great Power Competition: AI, China, and the Global Quest for Digital Sovereignty

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Publication date: 
Tuesday, January 12, 2021
Abstract in English: 
The report captures key takeaways from various roundtable conversations, identifies the challenges and opportunities that different regions of the world face when dealing with emerging technologies, and evaluates China’s role as a global citizen. In times of economic decoupling and rising geopolitical bipolarity, it highlights opportunities for smart partnerships, describes how data and AI applications can be harnessed for good, and develops scenarios on where an AI-powered world might be headed.
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20
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Towards a more resilient Europe post-coronavirus: Capabilities and gaps in the EU's capacity to address structural risks

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Publication date: 
Thursday, October 1, 2020
Abstract in English: 
The current coronavirus crisis emphasises the need for the European Union to devote more effort to anticipatory governance, notably through analysis of medium- and long-term global trends, as well as structured contingency planning and the stress-testing of existing and future policies. In order to contribute to reflection on and discussion about the implications of the coronavirus pandemic for EU policy-making, this paper builds on an initial 'mapping' of some 66 potential structural risks which could confront Europe over the coming decade. Taking 33 risks which are assessed as being more significant or likely, it looks first at the capabilities which the EU and its Member States already have to address those risks, and then looks at the various gaps in policy and instruments at the Union's disposal, suggesting possible approaches to overcome them in the short and medium terms.
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114
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Russian futures 2030 - The shape of things to come

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Tuesday, September 22, 2020
Abstract in English: 
This Chaillot Paper seeks to provide readers with ambitious foresight analysis and insights on how to be prepared for unexpected twists and turns in Russia’s future trajectory.
The opening chapter highlights a set of key megatrends that will shape how Russia evolves in the decade ahead. Subsequent chapters focus on key sectors and analyse critical uncertainties that will influence Russia’s future course of development. They cover state-society relations in the country; its economic development and the evolution of its military posture; as well as how Russia’s relations with the EU’s eastern neighbours and China may unfold by 2030. Each of these chapters presents three alternative future scenarios. While they zoom in on specific themes and sectors, the concluding section offers a panoramic view of the various possible futures – combining elements of all of the preceding chapters to produce three holistic snapshots of Russia in 2030.
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108
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Future of Consumption in Fast-Growth Consumer Markets: ASEAN

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Future of Consumption in Fast-Growth Consumer Markets: ASEAN
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Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Friday, June 5, 2020
Abstract in English: 
As this report is being published, the world is going through unprecedented times. COVID-19, a term that did not exist when this study was being undertaken over 2019, is now ubiquitous, even though the scale and nature of its global impact will not be known for months to come. As of the second quarter of 2020, a third of the global population has been under a lockdown, with over 200 countries affected by health and economic burdens in diverse ways. Businesses, governments and citizens across the world want to leave the humanitarian and economic crisis behind as soon as possible. To successfully navigate through the COVID crisis and a post-COVID world, a premium will be placed on innovation, the willingness of organizations to disrupt themselves, and active collaboration. In the context of this seismic change, the World Economic Forum Platform for Shaping the Future of Consumption aims to accelerate the responsible transformation of the consumption landscape by enabling consumer well-being, environmental sustainability, inclusive growth models, and trust and transparency among all stakeholders. The mission and transformation goals of the Future of Consumption platform developed three years ago are now more relevant than ever to ensure positive benefits for business and society, across developed and emerging markets. It is an imperative that we advance progress with speed to build a prosperous future for all. In a post-COVID era over the next decade, accelerated shifts in global forces, more than 1 billion first-time consumers and the Fourth Industrial Revolution will continue to change the landscape of consumption in the fast-growth consumer markets of China, India and the ASEAN region. Both business and political leaders will be required to adapt their strategies to the changing needs and demands of connected and empowered consumers. The Future of Consumption in Fast-Growth Consumer Markets, a multi-year project, has focused on the evolution of consumption in emerging markets that comprise more than 40% of the world’s population. Critical foresights on drivers of growth and levers of inclusivity can benefit global leaders as they grapple with similar issues.
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