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Foreign affairs

Repairing the U.S.-Israel Relationship

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Publication date: 
Saturday, November 12, 2016
Abstract in English: 
“The U.S.-Israel relationship is in trouble,” warn Council on Foreign Relations Senior Fellows Robert D. Blackwill and Philip H. Gordon in a new Council Special Report, Repairing the U.S.-Israel Relationship. Significant policy differences over issues in the Middle East, as well as changing demographics and politics within both the United States and Israel, have pushed the two countries apart. Blackwill, a former senior official in the Bush administration, and Gordon, a former senior official in the Obama administration, call for “a deliberate and sustained effort by policymakers and opinion leaders in both countries” to repair the relationship and to avoid divisions “that no one who cares about Israel’s security or America’s values and interests in the Middle East should want.”
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59
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Estimates of Chinese Military Spending

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Wednesday, September 28, 2016
Abstract in English: 
There is no clear way to determine how much Chinese strategy shapes military spending versus how Chinese resources shape strategy; the two are always interdependent. An assessment of China’s defense spending does indicate, however, that Chinese economic growth has allowed it to finance a massive modernization program, and radically improve every aspect of its conventional and asymmetric warfare capabilities, including sea-air-missile-nuclear capabilities.
Although estimates of Chinese defense spending vary sharply, there is little controversy that China now dominates Asian military spending and is becoming the premier military power in Asia. This is partly driven by China’s perception of the potential threat from the U.S. and other Asian powers, but is also driven by the fact that China can now afford such efforts, support them largely with its own technology base, and cannot forget its recent past.
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47
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Global Risks 2035: The Search for a New Normal

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Publication date: 
Thursday, September 22, 2016
Abstract in English: 
What will the world be like in 2035? The forecast seems dire. In the four years since Global Trends 2030 was published, the biggest change in the world is the increased risk of major conflict. In 2012, a large-scale US/NATO conflict with Russia or China was close to unthinkable. Now, the post-Cold War security order has broken down, and the consequences are immense, potentially threatening globalization.
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86
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Toward global water security

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Publication date: 
Tuesday, August 23, 2016
Abstract in English: 
This report assesses the conditions under which a global Water Grand Strategy (WGS) might be created and implemented by stakeholders in the United States within the next one to two years. While numerous American organizations are addressing water challenges the world over, no explicit policy or vision coordinates their multiple endeavors. As a result, the United States does not maximize its influence in finding solutions to the world’s most pressing water challenges.
This report evaluates the need for a WGS and explores the possible ends of such a strategy. It summarizes what the United States is already doing in the water space,1 and identifies the current model’s strengths and weaknesses. It outlines a process for forging a “Whole of America” water strategy—a stakeholder-driven process—and addresses key implementation challenges.
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22
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A Global Strategy for the European Union’s Foreign And Security Policy

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Wednesday, June 29, 2016
Abstract in English: 
High Representative Federica Mogherini presented the EU Global Strategy on foreign and security policy to EU leaders meeting in Brussels at the EU summit on 28 June 2016.

Mogherini was mandated to prepare the new strategy by the European Council in June 2015 and invited to present it to leaders in June of this year. The strategy is the result of an open and transparent process: over the past year, extensive consultations took place with the EU Member States, the European institutions (including the European Commission and the European Parliament), and European civil society at large, including think thanks.

The strategy, under the title Shared Vision, Common Action: A Stronger Europe, has been elaborated under the leadership of the High Representative. It reflects the collective views expressed in the process and offers a strategic vision for the EU’s global role. In these challenging times, both for Europe and globally, the strategy highlights common ground and presents a common way forward.
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60
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Toward a New National Security Space Strategy: Time for a Strategic Rebalancing

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Publication date: 
Friday, June 17, 2016
Abstract in English: 
There are growing risks and threats to US satellites, civilian and military alike, and challenges to stated US goals in space. The question for the new administration, however, is whether hegemonic means to address those challenges are likely to achieve US goals. It is this paper’s assertion that they are not. Instead, a rebalancing of means used to address US goals in space is now necessary, based on a comprehensive assessment of the strategic space environment through the next ten to twenty years, toward ensuring that the ways and means being pursued to address those goals are in alignment. This assessment must extend beyond the Pentagon as well, to include the rapidly expanding cast of governmental and nongovernmental space actors. In particular, industry representatives should be brought into a process of dialogue with the national space security community to discuss priorities and concerns.
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70
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A “Great Wall of Sand” in the South China Sea?

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Friday, July 8, 2016
Abstract in English: 
China has set new records in the ways, means and speed with which it has expanded its outposts in the South China Sea. Neighbouring states such as Vietnam have also extended their bases on small islands and reefs, but they have done so over many years and not within a few months. The total surface area created by China has been ironically dubbed “The Great Wall of Sand” by the commander of the US Pacific Fleet. Despite Beijing’s claims to the contrary, the expansions signal an emerging militarisation of the South China Sea, whose plentiful resources and energy deposits have long been viewed as potential causes of conflicts.

The South China Sea is currently one of the world’s most contentious zones. But the situation risks becoming even worse, despite the fact that all of the region’s states depend on stable and secure sea lines of communication. At its core, this is a regional conflict about sea routes, territorial claims and resources that primarily involves ASEAN states and China. Nevertheless, it also has global repercussions. First, it concerns a “superhighway of the sea”, on which almost a third of the world’s sea trade is transported. Any impediment to the shipping traffic would have a direct impact on world trade in general but also particularly on Japan and South Korea. Second, the South China Sea is closely connected to the rivalry between Bejing and Washington because important allies and partners of the US are involved in the dispute about China’s territorial claims. Third, it is a conflict about international norms and laws that calls into question a fundamental principle of the liberal world order: “freedom of the seas” versus exclusive maritime zones. This study addresses the main reasons, the development and the implications of the island dispute as well as ways of containing it both regionally and internationally.
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25
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Undersea Warfare in Northern Europe

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Thursday, July 21, 2016
Abstract in English: 
Russia is expanding its use of undersea warfare in a broader strategy of coercion aimed at its neighbors, NATO, and the United States. Suspected territorial incursions in the Baltic Sea and provocative patrols in the North Atlantic have not only caused alarm among NATO and partner nations, but have underscored the extent to which U.S. and European antisubmarine warfare capabilities have atrophied since the end of the Cold War.

In this report, the CSIS International Security Program analyzes Russian intentions and capabilities in the near to mid-term and the ability of NATO and partner nations to respond effectively to Russian activities in the undersea domain. The assessment identifies gaps in current Western organizations, capabilities, and posture and offers recommendations as to how NATO and partner nations can meet the Russian challenge in the undersea domain.
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62
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Evaluating Future U.S. Army Force Posture in Europe

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Wednesday, June 29, 2016
Abstract in English: 
This report focuses on recalibrating U.S. Army forces in Europe in light of the security challenges posed by a resurgent Russia and offers 37 recommendations for building and a credible and sustainable deterrence posture in Europe over the next decade. This report opens with a broad overview of the challenges posed by Russia and reviews past and current U.S. Army force posture in Europe. It then identifies and offers recommendations to address sustainment challenges for ongoing U.S. deterrence and reassurance efforts; tackling key military capability areas and gaps; realigning U.S. force posture in Europe; and strengthening civilian efforts and civil-military cooperation.

This report is the second phase of a two-phase study conducted by CSIS reviewing U.S. Army force posture in Europe in light of the recent changes to the regional security environment. The Phase I report (available here) was released in February 2016 and focuses on immediate steps to bolster deterrence and the implications for the Defense Department’s fiscal year (FY) 2017 budget request.
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93
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Pacific Alliance 2.0: Next Steps in Integration

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Wednesday, May 25, 2016
Abstract in English: 
The Pacific Alliance–an innovative pact among Chile, Colombia, Mexico, and Peru–has unprecedented opportunity to capitalize on political changes in Brazil and Argentina and move the region into a new era of regional integration. A new publication by the Atlantic Council’s Adrienne Arsht Latin America Center and the Bertelsmann Foundation, released just weeks ahead of the Alliance’s Sixth Presidential Summit in Chile, says that now is the moment for the Alliance to deepen engagement with Mercosur and build on efforts to strengthen financial market, energy, trade, and foreign policy coordination.
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27
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