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Foreign affairs

The Future of US Global Leadership Implications for Europe, Canada and Transatlantic Cooperation

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Publication date: 
Tuesday, May 10, 2016
Abstract in English: 
Today’s global challenges are developing faster than ever as the world grows more interdependent. Advanced technologies are empowering individuals and organizations in new and unpredictable ways, creating new partnerships but also enabling the rise of new adversaries. A wide array of actors – from non-state groups to rogue states to revisionist powers – are testing these new tools. In parallel, the international system built in the second half of the 20th century is being challenged by emerging regional and global powers, while environmental and other transnational issues have become a determining factor in geopolitics. The resulting complexity and growing number of challenges have made the global security environment more difficult to navigate. It is in this context that the transatlantic relationship is evolving.
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20
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Alliance at Risk

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Friday, February 26, 2016
Abstract in English: 
Despite Russian aggression in Ukraine and growing threats along NATO’s southern flank, many European allies find it difficult to increase their defense capabilities and meet the commitments they made at the Wales Summit. To address this important challenge, the Atlantic Council produced its Alliance at Risk report, which draws together noted experts and former senior officials to examine the vulnerabilities in European defense and provide recommendations on the way forward. The project highlights six leading nations from NATO’s north, south, east, and west, which also serves to illuminate the many perspectives and diverse defense priorities that exists within the Alliance today.
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52
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Security and Public Order Report

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Thursday, February 18, 2016
Abstract in English: 
The security situation facing the Middle East is grave and appears to be trending toward greater violence and instability. The Middle East Strategy Task Force's Security and Public Order report, published in cooperation with the Brookings Institution, demonstrates that states of the region have tended to focus on traditional, external threats but the internal threats they face—from domestic unrest, state failure, and civil war—have become both more common and dangerous.

It is highly unlikely that these security problems will solve themselves or that regional states will be able to resolve them on their own. Given the ongoing importance of Middle Eastern energy resources to the international economy, the region’s central geographic location, its multiplicity of terrorist groups, and the extent of regional anger at numerous other countries for their predicament, it would be a mistake to assume that these security problems will not affect the wider world. Already the problems of terrorism and refugees generated by Middle Eastern upheaval have made many Americans, Europeans, Russians, and Middle Easterners want to take action themselves.
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48
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The Future of Capitalist Democracy UK–Japan Perspectives

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Monday, February 1, 2016
Abstract in English: 
Domestic political backlashes against inequality, corporate malfeasance and the stagnation of real incomes over the past decade are being reinforced by uncertainties about the durability of the post-Cold War international order. Russia’s military intervention in Ukraine, China’s strategic and territorial claims in the South China and East China seas, the rise of Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) and the Syrian civil war, the migrant crisis affecting Europe and the Mediterranean, and evolving threats to cyber security – all constitute serious challenges to the rules of the global game.
A natural, and perhaps inevitable, question that emerges in the light of such concerns is: ‘How can the United Kingdom and Japan work together to deal with these issues?’ This, however, is a question more appealing to diplomats than to scholars or journalists. We are sceptical about the idea that bilateral cooperation can play a significant role in these matters, even if we are not at all opposed to it. Rather, we feel – and our feeling was confirmed by the September discussions – that what is most valuable is to enhance British and Japanese awareness and understanding of each other’s perspectives and, in particular, of the differences in emphasis or priority seen in the two countries, and thereby to help each other promote solutions more effectively in multilateral forums.
This essay aims to contribute to that process. There is plainly a great deal of overlap and agreement between Japan and the UK on many issues. There is always a lot that each country can learn from the other. But it is in the differences – whether of perspective, of experience or of emphasis – that the most important learnings lie. This essay will therefore explore differences more zealously than it seeks similarities.
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30
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Munich Security Report 2015: Collapsing Order, Reluctant Guardians?

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Publication date: 
Monday, January 26, 2015
Abstract in English: 
this report described in the press release as "an annual digest on critical questions and important trends in the field of international security policy." The first section of the report focuses on the roles of international actors, Germany, United States, Europe, NATO, Russia, and emerging powers. The second section discusses three "hot spots"-- Ukraine, the Middle East, and Asia Pacific. The third section reviews major issues such as terrorism, energy security, and refugee crises, and the fourth section suggests additional reading and research materials.
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Munich Security Report 2016: Boundless Crises, Reckless Spoilers, Helpless Guardians

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Thursday, January 28, 2016
Abstract in English: 
This report compiles data, analyses and maps which illuminate major developments and critical challenges to international security. The MSR serves as a conversation starter for the 52nd Munich Security Conference (MSC) and as a background reading for MSC participants, but is also made available to security professionals and the interested public.

Among the key topics of this year’s edition are the crisis of the European security order, the war in Syria and the global activities of jihadist terrorist groups. Moreover, the report sheds light on the refugee crisis and the security implications of global climate and health policies.

The report was prepared in cooperation with numerous renowned partners, including Chatham House, the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS), IHS Jane’s, UNHCR and the Mercator Institute for China Studies.
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80
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No End of History: A Chinese Alternative Concept of International Order?

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Saturday, January 23, 2016
Abstract in English: 
There is no end of history. Francis Fukuyama’s famous claim has turned into quite the opposite. Today, liberal democracies and the Western concept of international order are being permanently challenged by an increase in political and economic crises, global and local dissent with established mechanisms of international affairs, and other political ideologies. These challenges increase the leverage of newly emerging actors such as China to push forward alternative ideas of international order.

Among all the different Chinese foreign policy initiatives announced by President Xi Jinping, China’s “One Belt, One Road” initiative clearly stands out. It is by far the most comprehensive and visible Chinese initiative of the last three years. China’s OBOR initiative is regarded as a vision for building up a comprehensive cultural, economic, and political network that promotes connectivity and cooperation between countries, regions, and cities along the Silk Road. Furthermore, the OBOR initiative is flexible, inclusive, and open. OBOR has the potential to grow into an alternative idea showing how the common space of international politics could be organized in the future. Consequently, OBOR challenges the still dominating Western vision of the international system and could effectively transform the existing structure of the current international order.

For this reason, this study aims to conceptualize China’s OBOR initiative in a broader context. Instead of only focusing on specific mechanisms linked to OBOR, such as, for example, the Asia Infrastructure Investment Bank, it develops an analytical approach that also highlights the various dimensions of China’s OBOR initiative.
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24
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Defense Modernization Plans through the 2020s

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Tuesday, January 26, 2016
Abstract in English: 
Since the enactment of the Budget Control Act (BCA) of 2011, much attention has been paid to the near-term effects of budgetary constraints on national defense. What has received less attention are the looming budgetary challenges defense faces beyond the BCA budget caps and the Defense Department’s five-year budget planning horizon. Many weapons programs will be at or near their peak years of funding requirements at roughly the same time in the 2020s, creating a modernization bow wave. Just as a large bow wave slows a ship by diverting its energy, carrying a large modernization bow wave is a drag on defense because it leads to program instability and inefficient procurement practices that weaken the buying power of defense dollars.

This report details the plans for major acquisition programs over the next fifteen years and explores the complicating factors that may make the situation more problematic for policymakers. It analyzes a range of options to mitigate the bow wave, including increasing the budget, cutting additional force structure, and making trades among major acquisition programs. The report finds that while none of the choices available are easy, it provides an opportunity for the new administration taking office in 2017 to better align modernization plans with defense strategy.
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42
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Asia-Pacific Rebalance 2025

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Wednesday, January 20, 2016
Abstract in English: 
In 2015, Congress tasked the Department of Defense to commission an independent assessment of U.S. military strategy and force posture in the Asia-Pacific, as well as that of U.S. allies and partners, over the next decade. This CSIS study fulfills that congressional requirement. The authors assess U.S. progress to date and recommend initiatives necessary to protect U.S. interests in the Pacific Command area of responsibility through 2025. Four lines of effort are highlighted: (1) Washington needs to continue aligning Asia strategy within the U.S. government and with allies and partners; (2) U.S. leaders should accelerate efforts to strengthen ally and partner capability, capacity, resilience, and interoperability; (3) the United States should sustain and expand U.S. military presence in the Asia-Pacific region; and (4) the United States should accelerate development of innovative capabilities and concepts for U.S. forces.
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290
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Friends, Foes, and Future Directions: U.S. Partnerships in a Turbulent World

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Publication date: 
Wednesday, January 6, 2016
Abstract in English: 
This report is the third in RAND's ongoing Strategic Rethink series, in which RAND experts explore the elements of a national strategy for the conduct of U.S. foreign and security policy in this administration and the next. The report evaluates three broad strategies for dealing with U.S. partners and adversaries in Europe, Asia, and the Middle East in a time of diminishing defense budgets and an American public preference for a domestic focus. The three strategies are to be more assertive, to be more collaborative, or to retrench from international commitments. All three of these alternative approaches are constrained and a balance will need to be struck among them — that balance may differ from region to region. In general, however, the United States may need to follow a more collaborative approach in which it seeks greater collaboration and burden sharing from strong partners who have until now not been pulling their weight. To further reduce risk, the United States should seek to prevent deeper security ties from developing between China and Russia. It should work closely with its most vulnerable partners not only to reassure them, but to coordinate crisis management with them to limit the risk of unwanted escalation of incidents. And it should sponsor new trilateral efforts to draw together partners in both Europe and Asia that face similar security, political, economic, societal, and environmental problems. Only by working together across regions can many of these challenges be effectively managed. Trilateralism might serve as a useful follow-on strategy to the pivot to Asia.
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184
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