Showing posts with label USA. Show all posts
Showing posts with label USA. Show all posts

10 December 2018

G20 In Buenos Aires: End Of US-China Trade War? – Analysis

By Su-Hyun Lee and Chia-yi Lee*

The 2018 G20 Summit in Buenos Aires, concluded amidst rising tensions between the US and China over trade. The G20 leaders’ final declaration this year addressed important issues like digitalisation, infrastructure, food security, and migration, besides some concessions to the US in trade.

The Group of Twenty (G20) Leaders Summit for 2018 took place over the last weekend in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Leaders of 20 members (19 countries plus European Union) and invited countries and key International Organisations got together to discuss an array of global issues. On the sidelines, leaders also engaged in bilateral meetings to coordinate on issues of importance to their countries, including the significant meeting between the US President Donald Trump and the Chinese President Xi Jinping on trade.

9 December 2018

The America hawks circling Beijing

The epiphany that inspired Wang Xiangsui’s best known book came when he was a 41-year-old colonel in China’s air force, posted near the Taiwan strait.

It was March 1996 and the People’s Liberation Army had launched military exercises intended to intimidate Taiwanese voters ahead of their self-ruled island’s first presidential election. The Chinese government feared that Lee Teng-hui, the incumbent and eventual winner of the election, was determined to formalise Taiwan’s de facto independence.

As the crisis escalated, Mr Wang felt that Mr Lee was more worried about the exercises’ effect on Taiwan’s stock market than he was about the PLA missiles splashing down in the island’s territorial waters. If falling share prices made people feel poorer, Mr Wang reckoned, they might be less inclined to vote for Mr Lee.

8 December 2018

Mueller, Manafort And Assange – OpEd

By Margaret Kimberley

The Mueller investigation much more resembles a propaganda campaign whose goal is neither truth nor justice, but vilification of Russia in the pursuit of endless war.

Robert Mueller is the hero of the “resistance.” Yet the over the top Mueller love is a result of Democratic Party and corporate media gas lighting more than it is evidence of collusion with Russia. Well placed pundits and official mouthpieces say that the investigation of the president is winding down. But at the same time Mueller is winding things up with the help of his establishment partners as they try to prove the unprovable.

Mueller nullified his plea agreement with Paul Manafort, a man guilty of cheating on his taxes and having the bad sense to ally himself with Trump and company. Manafort was convicted of bank and tax fraud, not of colluding with the Russian government. He was stupid enough to contact witnesses before his trial and he ended up in jail for his trouble. The feds have already used asset forfeiture to take his fortune. It is difficult to believe that he would add to his troubles by lying to Mueller.

7 December 2018

Mark as favorite It’s still unclear what the US-China trade war is really all about

“Jaw, jaw is better than war, war” is one of those well known Winston Churchill quotes that Churchill apparently never said. (Or at least not exactly like that.) But it’s still a pretty catchy phrase and not a bad first instinct. So from that perspective, perhaps, the results from the US-China trade negotiations in Buenos Aires are to be welcomed. Talks resulting in an agreement for more talks over the next three months is a pretty good alternative to a severe intensification in the ongoing trade conflict between the nations.

So here we are: The American tariff rate on $200 billion in imports from China will stay at 10 percent rather than rising to 25 percent. And China, according to the Trump administration, will “purchase a very substantial amount of agricultural, industrial and energy, products.”

6 December 2018

Geoeconomics: the Chinese Strategy of Technological Advancement and Cybersecurity

By Anthea Roberts, Henrique Choer Moraes, Victor Ferguson

Various factors portend a movement toward a new Geoeconomic World Ordercharacterized by a relative convergence of economics and security and increasing use of “economic instruments to promote and defend national interests, and to produce beneficial geopolitical results.” In this context, much has been written about China’s use of its Belt and Road Initiative as an economic policy instrument with clear strategic implications, and possibly intent. In this post, we consider other elements of China’s geoeconomic strategy that relate to its pursuit of advanced technologies, its approach to cybersecurity and its efforts to localize data in support of what could be called “national security with Chinese characteristics.”

American Foreign Policy Could Use More Prudence

Richard Fontaine

During George H. W. Bush’s single term in the White House, the Berlin Wall fell and Germany reunified peacefully. The Warsaw Pact dissolved, the Soviet Union crumbled, and the Cold War ended. The American military ejected Manuel Noriega from Panama and liberated Kuwait from Saddam Hussein. The United States emerged as the world’s preeminent power after four decades of superpower standoff.

This outcome was the product of both long historical forces and key actors, including Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev. But it was not inevitable.

As the world order shifted dramatically, George H. W. Bush steered the ship of state with experience, expertise, and—though it launched a million gibes—prudence. America emerged from his tenure stronger than before, with its adversaries weakened or transformed. “I’m certainly not seen as visionary,” he wrote in his diary. “But I hope I’m seen as steady and prudent and able.” That oft-mocked prudence was key to Bush’s success.

North America Has a New Trade Pact. Now What?

The new trade agreement has been signed, but its ratification will likely be slow in all three countries.

Although the countries did not sign any binding deal on auto quotas, the Trump administration could take action that would effectively forestall U.S. automakers from moving production to Canada and Mexico.

The new NAFTA deal has shown that other countries negotiating new trade deals with the United States cannot expect Washington to lift tariffs it has already imposed on their products.

5 December 2018

The New 'Buy American' Movement

by Michael O'Hanlon 

How can an American consumer who is interested in supporting and shoring up U.S. manufacturing figure out what to buy? The good old days of looking for the “Made in America” tag never really worked very well except for when a person was shopping for clothes at a store, and those tags are pretty much over in this era of global supply chains. A recent Wall Street Journal article also documents the current deficiencies of this label as a guide to consumers, since it is often used fraudulently. Nor does it suffice to look for a name like General Electric or General Motors or Chevy, rather than Fiat or Mercedes or Honda, since the headquarters and home country of a given company may not tell a person much about where its factories are located and who works inside them.

Going forward, the U.S. government should fund and maintain an online database where consumers can seek information about domestic content on a plethora of different brands for many different types of goods. It might also include the foreign content of a product with specificity about the country of origin for those consumers who are not insistent on buying American goods all the time but who prefer to purchase goods produced largely in allied countries with shared labor and/or environmental standards.

In the Balance: The Future of America’s National Security and Innovation Ecosystem

By Robert D. Williams 

As the G20 summit in Buenos Aires gets underway, speculation continues to mountover whether U.S. President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping can achieve a breakthrough that would put a floor under U.S.-China trade tensions and the ever-deteriorating bilateral relationship. But a potentially more consequential discussion has already started in Washington that deserves more attention than it has received to date. This conversation, playing out in the ordinarily-mundane context of public comments on a Commerce Department advance notice of proposed rulemaking, carries significant implications not only for U.S.-China relations but for the broader future of U.S. national security and America’s economic competitiveness. The question boils down to whether the United States can figure out a way to protect strategically sensitive emerging technologies without undermining the economic ecosystem that gives rise to those technologies. It’s an innovation-security conundrum that implicates the very foundations of American economic and military power—and it’s not at all clear how this is going to turn out.

30 November 2018

Introducing the U.S. Army's New Plan to Wage War (Against Russia)

by Kris Osborn

Long-range surface-to-surface fires, many contend, could likely be of great significance against an adversary such as Russia - a country known to possess among most advanced air defenses in the world. Such a scenario might make it difficult for the US to quickly establish the kind of air supremacy needed to launch sufficient air attacks. As a result, it is conceivable that LRPF could provide strategically vital stand-off attack options for commanders moving to advance on enemy terrain.

The Army’s new “Vision” for future war calls for a fast-moving emphasis on long-range precision fire to include missiles, hypersonic weapons and extended-range artillery -- to counter Russian threats on the European continent, service officials explain.

Renewing U.S. Economic Engagement with the Developing World

This report describes how the development landscape has changed in recent decades and how the United States has responded to this new environment. It presents some initial recommendations on the next steps that the United States needs to take to better engage in trade and investment with developing countries. This report complements and builds upon prior CSIS publications on the topic.

The development landscape has dramatically changed over the past 25 years. A set of countries once considered “poor” or “third world” have become more prosperous, freer, and healthier. These countries seek international economic engagement in the form of infrastructure investments, increased trade, and exchanges in science, technology, and innovation. As countries move up the prosperity ladder, they will need less foreign aid (i.e., official development assistance—ODA) and demand more participation as equal partners in a diversified global economy.

28 November 2018


Murtaza Hussain

HOW MANY PEOPLE have been killed in the post-9/11 war on terror? The question is a contentious one, as there has been no formal accounting for the deadly cost of the initial U.S. interventions in Iraq and Afghanistan, not to mention the secondary conflicts that continue to wreak havoc across the Middle East and the opaque, covert war still expanding across Asia and Africa.

But even as the U.S. government evades responsibility for the human cost of its overseas endeavors, some researchers are determined to keep count.

Brown University’s Costs of War Project this month released a new estimate of the total death toll from the U.S. wars in three countries: Iraq, Afghanistan, and Pakistan. The numbers, while conservatively estimated, are staggering. Brown’s researchers estimate that at least 480,000 people have been directly killed by violence over the course of these conflicts, more than 244,000 of them civilians. In addition to those killed by direct acts violence, the number of indirect deaths — those resulting from disease, displacement, and the loss of critical infrastructure — is believed to be several times higher, running into the millions.

23 November 2018

The End Of U.S. Naval Dominance In Asia

by Robert Ross

Editor’s Note: Although the Trump administration has made much of China’s rise when it comes to trade, the president should be focused more on the security implications. Robert Ross of Boston College points to the decline in U.S. naval strength in East Asia as a game-changer for the regional order. Ross argues that the Navy’s forward presence is strained, while China’s capabilities are growing steadily. U.S. allies are aware of this painful reality, and their willingness to trust America to protect them will decline.

Daniel Byman

The rapid rise of the Chinese Navy has challenged U.S. maritime dominance throughout East Asian waters. The United States, though, has not been able to fund a robust shipbuilding plan that could maintain the regional security order and compete effectively with China’s naval build-up. The resulting transformation of the balance of power has led to fundamental changes in U.S. acquisitions and defense strategy. Nonetheless, the United States has yet to come to terms with its diminished influence in East Asia.

U.S. Military Strategy Must Return to the Basics

by James Holmes

Nor is it any mystery why the report generated buzz. The commissioners postulate that “Americans could face a decisive military defeat” if the U.S. armed forces tangle with, say, Russia in the Baltic Sea or China in the Taiwan Strait. That’s dark language and marks quite a turnabout from the triumphalism of the post-Cold War years, when Americans talked themselves into believing history had ended in Western triumph underwritten by perpetual U.S. maritime supremacy .

But it’s also accurate language, and has been for some time. Think about the algebra of Eurasian warfare. Likely contingencies would pit a fraction of U.S. forces against the concentrated military might of Russia in the Baltic or China in the Taiwan Strait. The same would go for other hotspots. Decisive defeat is always a possibility when part of one force squares off against the whole of another on the latter’s home turf.

Welcome Back to History

Dunford Slams Google for Working with China, But Not U.S. Military

By Stew Magnuson

HALIFAX, Nova Scotia — Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Marine Corps Gen. Joseph Dunford —during a wide-ranging interview at the Halifax International Security Forum — took Google to task for its recent decision to withdraw from a Defense Department artificial intelligence initiative.

“I have a hard time with companies that are working very hard to engage in the market inside of China, and engaging in projects where intellectual property is shared with the Chinese, which is synonymous with sharing it with the Chinese military, and then don't want to work for the U.S. military,” he said Nov. 17.

Dunford said he did not want to single out any specific company, but had been asked by an interviewer specifically about Google’s decision not to continue working with the Pentagon on its Project Maven AI initiative after a larger number of its employees objected to the program on moral grounds.

21 November 2018

The View From Olympus: Losing at the Moral/Strategic Level

Source Link

One of war’s few rules is that failure at a higher level negates the successes at lower levels. This led to Germany’s defeats in both World Wars; she usually won at the tactical and operational levels but lost at the strategic level. The result was lost victories.

To look at our own situation today, we need to add John Boyd’s three levels of war, physical, mental, and moral, to the classic levels of tactical, operational, and strategic. If we plot these categories on a grid, we see that the highest and most powerful level of war is the moral/strategic. If we look at what we are doing around the world, we see that at the moral/strategic level we are taking actions likely to result in our defeat.

20 November 2018

America’s Permanent-War Complex


What President Dwight D. Eisenhower dubbed the “military-industrial complex” has been constantly evolving over the decades, adjusting to shifts in the economic and political system as well as international events. The result today is a “permanent-war complex,” which is now engaged in conflicts in at least eight countries across the globe, none of which are intended to be temporary.

This new complex has justified its enhanced power and control over the country’s resources primarily by citing threats to U.S. security posed by Islamic terrorists. But like the old military-industrial complex, it is really rooted in the evolving relationship between the national security institutions themselves and the private arms contractors allied with them.

Report: America Could Lose a War Against Russia or China

by Jared Keller Task and Purpose

If the United States went to war with Russia or China tomorrow, the military would almost certainly suffer a ” decisive military defeat,” so far that the “security and wellbeing” of the U.S. “are at greater risk than at any time in decades,” according to an alarming new assessment of the Trump administration’s 2018 National Defense Strategy.

- The report, composed by a bipartisan National Defense Strategy Commission selected by Congress, suggests that a likely U.S. military campaign against the Russian military in Northern Europe or with China over the island of Taiwan would yield “enormous” losses of both military personnel and “capital assets” (ships, aircraft, and other vehicles) for the United States.

- The reason is simple: While the U.S. military has “eroded to a dangerous degree” since the end of the Cold War, the Russian and Chinese militaries have come to rival the Pentagon in capabilities previously possessed solely by the U.S., including precision strikes, integrated air defenses, cruise, and ballistic missiles, and “advanced cyber warfare and anti-satellite capabilities.”

Trump’s Protectionist Quagmire


US President Donald Trump's tariffs on imported steel are a perfect example of how protectionism can raise costs for consumers and producers, destroy jobs, and undermine domestic competitiveness. Now that he is considering additional tariffs on imported automobiles, a wide range of US industries should be very worried.

WASHINGTON, DC – After World War II, the United States led the world in reducing protectionist barriers and establishing an open, rules-based trade system. That effort resulted in a half-century of the most rapid economic growth in human history. But US President Donald Trump’s administration is now reversing that progress. The protectionism that Trump has unleashed is contagious and will likely spread well beyond the industries that he wants to insulate from foreign competition.

12 November 2018

What's the Future of U.S. Support for the Saudi War in Yemen?

In recent days, high-ranking U.S. officials made their strongest coordinated public call for a pause in the civil war that has been raging in Yemen since late 2014. Rising concerns in the public sphere and U.S. Congress about the length and humanitarian toll of the war are motivating this sterner posture. Ultimately, though, Riyadh views U.S. aid for the Saudi-led military coalition fighting Iranian-backed Houthi rebels as an important sign of alignment — the United States and Saudi Arabia share a common goal of containing Iran's influence in the Arabian Peninsula. The White House wants to continue extending its support to Saudi Arabia in Yemen to counter Iran and eliminate the missile threat posed by the Houthis. However, the civilian toll of combat and growing opposition will make that goal increasingly difficult to sustain politically.

What's Going on in Yemen?