30 January 2019

Joyless growth in China, India, and the United States

Indermit Gill

During the last few weeks of 2018, I spent time in Washington, D.C., Beijing, and New Delhi, the capitals of the largest high-income, upper-middle income, and lower-middle income economies, respectively. This blog’s title conveys both my findings and my forecast for 2019: Upbeat economies, and downcast people.

Together the U.S., China, and India have more than 3 billion people, almost exactly 40 percent of the world’s population. With GDPs of $21 trillion, $13.5 trillion, and $3.9 trillion, their economies also add up to about 40 percent of global GDP. Adjusted by purchasing power, they’d add up to almost half (to obtain GDP adjusted by purchasing power, a rough rule of thumb today is to multiply India’s nominal GDP by 4, China’s by 2, and America’s trivially by 1). But their sway on the world’s morale may be even bigger. What happens in Europe and Japan now mostly affects the mindset of Europeans and the Japanese. What happens in the U.S., China, and India changes the mood of the world.

U.S. and Taliban Make Headway in Talks for Withdrawal From Afghanistan

By Rod Nordland and Mujib Mashal

KABUL, Afghanistan — American and Taliban negotiators are making headway on a deal in which the United States would withdraw troops from Afghanistan in return for a pledge by the Taliban not to allow the country to host terrorist groups like Al Qaeda, senior Taliban officials and Western diplomats said Thursday.

The possibility of an agreement came after a fourth day of face-to-face talks between a delegation led by the American peace envoy, Zalmay Khalilzad, and Taliban officials in Doha, Qatar, where the insurgents have long maintained an office.

But many of the details remained to be ironed out, including how many American troops would be pulled out and over what period of time.

Though Afghan officials did not publicly criticize the emerging outlines of the agreement, they said any end game to the war would have to be finalized in direct negotiations between the government and the Taliban, which the insurgents have so far spurned.

Need a Refresher on the War in Afghanistan? Here Are the Basics

By Daniel Victor

Even the most dedicated news junkies can find it difficult to keep up on the war in Afghanistan, now in its 18th year.

This guide is for those who could use a refresher on the conflict, in which more than 2,400 Americans have died. At least 62,000 Afghan soldiers and police officers have been killed since the war began, in 2001, and more than 24,000 civilians have died in the past decade.

Now, after nine years of intermittent peace efforts, American and Taliban officials have agreed in principle to the framework of a dealthat could lead to a full pullout of American troops in return for a series of concessions from the Taliban, the chief United States negotiator said on Monday.

A Step Closer to Peace in Afghanistan?


There is renewed hope for a settlement to the seventeen-year-old war in Afghanistan—although significant questions remain.

US Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad is reported to be making headway in his talks this week with the Taliban in Doha, Qatar. Although Khalilzad has consulted with most of the relevant Afghan and regional actors since last September, details of the full range of discussions are still sketchy as they may arouse undue suspicions or misunderstandings in Kabul and in other concerned capitals.

While the latest talks were held without key stakeholders, including the Afghan government and other non-Taliban political actors, they have reportedly centered—upon the Taliban’s insistence—on a timetable for the withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan and on a US demand that the Taliban renounce terrorist groups such as al Qaeda and the local version of Islamic State (IS-KP) and give an assurance not to provide a safe haven for other terrorist groups.

Ryan Crocker: The Taliban Will ‘Retake the Country’

By Michael Hirsh

Ryan Crocker is one of America’s most respected and honored diplomats, a recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom. In a foreign service career that spanned four decades, Crocker served as U.S. ambassador to Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, Syria, Kuwait, and Lebanon. As a political attache, he survived the 1983 embassy bombing in Beirut. In a conversation with Foreign Policy, Crocker discusses why he believes the Trump administration’s reported framework deal with the Taliban is a betrayal of the democratically elected Afghan government that Washington has spent nearly two decades propping up. He says it will leave the Taliban in control of Afghanistan—as the Islamist movement was when Osama bin Laden struck the United States in 2001.

Foreign Policy: What’s your reaction to the news that U.S. envoy Zalmay Khalilzad has reached a tentative framework agreement with the Taliban?

Why the Quad Won’t Ever Be an Asian NATO

By Andrew O'Neil & Lucy West

The most recent meeting of the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue on the sidelines of the East Asia Summit in Singapore last November suggests that the U.S., India, Japan and Australia regard the initiative as a geostrategic multiplier in the Indo-Pacific. Despite the evident convergence, there have been few signs of a genuine renewal of the Quad’s purpose since it was resuscitated in 2017 after a decade-long hiatus.

This is underscored by the absence of a unified declaration following the Quad’s meetings in 2017 and 2018. Although individual statements released by the four members after the meetings agreed on the importance of a free and open Indo-Pacific, they overlapped on few points of detail. And although Quad boosters assert that its foundations are stronger today than they were a decade ago, the absence of a single joint statement betrays the inherent limits of the initiative.

Why Taiwan Grew Rich While The Mainland Starved – OpEd

By José Niño*

Over the past few months, tensions between China and Taiwan have mounted. Chinese President Xi Jinping recently expressed his desire to unify the island nation with the Chinese mainland, and did not discard the option of using armed force to realize this goal.

Since end of the Chinese Civil War in 1949, which saw Taiwan break apart from the Chinese mainland, China has treated Taiwan as a rogue province and does not acknowledge its existence as an independent nation. Even in 2019, the two nations are still not on amicable terms. Taiwan recently ran large-scale military drills in preparation for a potential invasion by China. The Chinese Communist would love nothing more than to annex Taiwan and bring it within its political orbit. Taiwan, on the other hand, has a lot to fear about falling under Beijing’s thumb. The integrity of its relatively free economy could be at peril, along with its high standard of living.

China’s Shift to a More Assertive Foreign Policy

To commemorate the fifth anniversary of the China in the World podcast, Paul Haenle is interviewing five of the most respected Chinese international affairs scholars to discuss this important inflection point in U.S.-China relations. For the fourth episode in this series, Haenle spoke with Shi Yinhong, Director of the American Studies Institute at Renmin University and the Academic Committee of the School of International Relations.

Shi points to two important turning points in China’s shift to a more assertive foreign policy: the 2008 global financial crisis, which made it clear that China’s economic development was an important engine for global growth; and Xi Jinping’s rise to power, which signaled China’s more ambitious international approach. Shi says China has undertaken a number of new foreign policy initiatives with regard to the South China Sea, relations with Russia, and the Belt and Road Initiative. Despite these developments, China is now at a stage where it should assess the successes and failures of its recent policies. Beijing must be willing to be flexible and adjust its future international engagement to reflect the realities of the evolving geopolitical environment. At home, Chinese policymakers should implement much broader and deeper reforms to ensure stable economic and financial systems. This includes increasing market access, giving equal treatment to private and state-owned enterprises, and addressing core demands laid out in the USTR Section 301 Report. Time is running out, Shi argues, and China needs to act quickly before it becomes too difficult to implement further economic reforms. Shi says that there is a need for “prudent pessimists” to think through urgent issues in the bilateral relationship and keep it from continuing down a dangerous path.

From Asia to Africa, China’s “debt-trap diplomacy” was under siege in 2018

By Kari Lindberg & Tripti Lahiri

In 2013, China gave its financing of infrastructure around the world a new narrative, billing it as a modern-day Silk Road, a reinvention of historic trading routes between Europe and Asia. Last year, China’s lending got another new name, the rather unflattering “debt-trap diplomacy.”

In 2018—as the infrastructure plan formally known as the Belt and Road Initiative marked its fifth anniversary—the chorus around the threat of China’s “debt traps” grew louder.

The name surfaced in the title of a 2017 analysis by an Indian strategic commentator that argued China was offering funding for unsound projects to secure Chinese access to resources or local markets, rather than to help local economies, and as a result “countries are becoming ensnared in a debt trap that leaves them vulnerable to China’s influence.” At the close of that year, when a cash-strapped Sri Lanka handed over its China-financed port to a Chinese state-run company on a 99-year lease, the line of argument looked ominously prescient.

What Does Xi Want from Taiwan? (And What Can Taiwan Do About It?)

In a major speech in early January, China’s leader Xi Jinping called unification across the Taiwan Strait “the great trend of history,” and warned that attempts to facilitate Taiwan’s independence would be met by force. Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen immediately condemned Xi’s speech and countered that “Taiwan absolutely will not accept ‘one country, two systems,’” Beijing’s formula for governing Taiwan after a putative unification with the mainland.

How significant was this exchange? What domestic favors motivated each leader’s combative rhetoric? What does public reaction after Xi’s speech mean for the significance of the 1992 Consensus—Beijing’s favored agreement, which states that both Taiwan and China are part of the same country, but allows each side to interpret what that country is—going forward? And what does the current state of Taiwanese politics augur for the future of cross-strait relations? —Brian Hioe

China 'compressing' technology gains: US official

WASHINGTON: China is making technological advances in a far shorter timeframe than it took the United States, rapidly narrowing the gap between the two countries, a senior US intelligence official said Tuesday (Jan 22).

Reaping the benefits of sending tens of thousands of students and researchers to the United States, and a determined policy to buy and steal US technology, Beijing has "compressed the timeframe" for catching up, and now has "remarkable" capabilities, the official told journalists on condition of anonymity.

That is one of the key challenges for the United States, according to the new US National Intelligence Strategy.

In unveiling the strategy, Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats said it sets a focus for the US intelligence community in a time of rapid technological change.

Europe’s Future Is as China’s Enemy

By Stephen M. Walt

If NATO were a listed stock, would now be a good time to short it? According to the New York Times, U.S. President Donald Trump has told his aides repeatedly that he would like to withdraw the United States from the alliance. The U.S. foreign-policy establishment promptly got the vapors at this news, with former Undersecretary of Defense Michèle Flournoy declaring that such a step “would destroy 70-plus years of painstaking work across multiple administrations, Republican and Democratic, to create perhaps the most powerful and advantageous alliance in history.” Even though NATO’s original rationale evaporated when the Soviet Union imploded, it continues to be the most sacred of cows inside America’s policy elite.

But Trump isn’t the real problem, even though his vulgar, vain, erratic, and needlessly offensive behavior has made a difficult situation worse and to no apparent benefit. Rather, the real problem began as soon as the Soviet Union collapsed because it removed the principle rationale for a deep U.S. commitment to European security.

Germany may pretend otherwise but it has reasons to fear a Europe without Britain

The best Brexit novel was written a little more than 50 years ago. It says something that John le Carré could take Britain’s desperation to join the European Economic Community (EEC) as the motor for the plot of A Small Town in Germany. Britain’s “ticket” into the EEC is threatened in the novel by a low-level German functionary at the British Embassy in Bonn who has stolen secrets that, if delivered into enemy hands, may sufficiently gall the West Germans into blocking Britain’s membership out of a lack of trust.

Le Carré knew his German politics. Even after Charles de Gaulle was out of the way, and Britain joined the EEC in 1973, successive German governments never fully trusted British motives for being there. For German politicians, the question was less whether or not Brexit would happen than which party would carry it out. Under first John Major and then Tony Blair, the UK refused to join the euro and lagged behind the integration project. Every British government has carried Brexit in its bloodstream.

Left Behind: How Privatization Disenfranchises the Poor and Endangers Democracies

In Democracies Are Fighting for Their Lives , Joergen Oerstroem Moeller described how democracies are under pressure. The following article is an analysis of how he came to that conclusion.

The Privatization of Online Money

1. Public services are dividing the nation instead of uniting it.

Public services used to serve a double purpose. The first one was to deliver electricity, water, transport, postal services, etc. These services could in principle be offered by the private sector, but that option was rejected in favor of uniform quality of services nationwide. Public services aimed to establish that all citizens were equal, connoting that national solidarity overruled a business model. Keeping the nation together legitimized that citizens in big cities paid more than the cost price and by doing so subsidized the periphery. On average, they were richer than their fellow compatriots, so it amounted to progressive taxation.

Donald Trump: Breaking With The Past (The Beltway Ain’t Happy)


President Trump is breaking with the past. He’s arguing that Washington must cut its losses, withdraw its forces, climb out of the Middle Eastern and Afghan money pits, and acknowledge that Seoul (with U.S. backing) won the war on the Korean Peninsula. Washington hates him for doing these things, but most Americans and future generations of Americans will love him for it.

The first quality of a great leader is the courage to break with the past when the facts change. For President Trump, facing facts means change. But real change—ending the Korean War, disengaging forces from Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan—is anathema to just about everyone inside the Washington Beltway.

It’s tempting to view the recent attacks from within his own party on Trump’s decision to leave Syria or the public wounds inflicted on the president by an ungrateful national security advisor as unique in American history, but that’s not the case. In 1969, when President Richard Nixon first confided his intention to seek a rapprochement with China—three years before Nixon’s historic trip to Beijing—members of his own Administration were not enthusiastic.

DRC Elections and the Fate of the UN MONUSCO Mission

By Wilder Alejandro Sanchez

The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) held long-awaited general elections on 30 December to replace President Joseph Kabila, who has ruled the country for almost two decades. The results were controversial: opposition candidate Felix Tshisekedi was declared the winner, but another candidate, Martin Fayulu, has cried foul, stating that he is the rightful winner and that Tshisekedi’s victory is a result of a pact between him and Kabila. At the time of this writing the Constitutional Court has reportedly confirmed Tshisekedi’s victory.

While this new political crisis hits the African nation, one question that should be asked: What will be the future of the UN mission to the DRC, the United Nations Stabilization Mission in the DR Congo (MONUSCO)?

America’s Short-Lived Oil Resurgence

By Deepak Gopinath

NEW DELHI: Celebration of America’s reemergence as an oil superpower riding on shale oil production may be cut short.

Last year may well have been the high-water mark of US preeminence. Burgeoning shale oil production helped transform the United States into a net exporter of oil and fuels in November and pushed crude output to a record of almost 12 million barrels per day – more than Saudi Arabia or Russia – positioning it firmly on the path of energy independence. America’s newfound status as major oil producer and exporter translated into geopolitical influence, giving President Donald Trump a handy club to wield when pressuring OPEC and Russia to lower oil prices or more broadly pursuing US strategic interests.

UN Warns Of Confluence Of Significant Risks Threatening Global Development – Analysis

By Jaya Ramachandran

The convergence of several significant risks is endangering efforts to achieve the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development – the universally adopted plan containing 17 specific goals to promote prosperity and social well-being while protecting the environment, a new report has warned.

The risks with the potential to severely disrupt economic activity and inflict significant damage on longer-term development prospects include waning support for multilateral approaches; the escalation of trade policy disputes; financial instabilities linked to elevated levels of debt; and rising climate risks, as the world experiences an increasing number of extreme weather events.

“Alongside various short-term risks, there is an increasing urgency to deal with much more fundamental problems. What we have hitherto viewed as long-term challenges, such as climate change, have become immediate short-term risks,” Elliott Harris, UN Chief Economist and Assistant Secretary-General for Economic Development, said.

In Trump’s World, Nukes Are Self-Defense

By William Sposato

Facing the reality of a nuclear North Korea, worsening relations with ostensible ally South Korea, and an unpredictable partner in Washington, Japan’s government is ramping up its military defenses, shedding many of its postwar taboos. Could the ban on nuclear weapons also be sent to the scrap heap at the same time as the country gets a real army? The idea seems far-fetched, but Japan is increasingly alone in a fast-changing Asian security environment.

Since the advent of the atomic age, Japan has sat comfortably under the U.S. nuclear umbrella, a key element in a defense alliance that is often touted by both U.S. and Japanese officials as the strongest in the world. The treaty, first signed in 1951, provides U.S. security guarantees for a country that had renounced the use of force in its post-World War II constitution, which was largely drafted by Japan’s U.S. occupiers. In exchange, Japan is home to extensive U.S. military bases that have helped to project power into the center of East Asia. The alliance seemed unbreakable. But that was before Donald Trump became U.S. president—a leader ostensibly willing to put everything on the table, with a view of Japan seemingly stuck in the 1980s.

Why Tackling Global Economic Inequality Is Liberal Democracy’s Next Big Challenge

Hampton Stephens

Globally, economic inequality is on the rise, leading to social polarization, nationalism, violence, criminal behavior and the emergence of populist politics. 

Inequality became resurgent as an issue in U.S. politics after the global financial crisis. But it has a much longer and more prominent history in middle- and low-income countries, where economic inequality takes on additional importance because it is coupled with low average incomes and in many places extreme poverty. It’s hard to argue that income inequality is not an important problem where inequality exists alongside abject poverty. 

However, while it’s easy to be convinced that not much can be done about the causes of economic inequality, the best evidence available demonstrates that this way of thinking is wrong. Inequality cannot be completely controlled, but policymakers have a wide variety of tools at their disposal to produce changes in how the economic pie is divided.

Who’s Afraid of Budget Deficits?

By Jason Furman and Lawrence H. Summers

The United States’ annual budget deficit is set to reach nearly $1 trillion this year, more than four percent of GDP and up from $585 billion in 2016. As a result of the continuing shortfall, over the next decade, the national debt—the total amount owed by the U.S. government—is projected to balloon from its current level of 78 percent of GDP to 105 percent of GDP. Such huge amounts of debt are unprecedented for the United States during a time of economic prosperity.

Does it matter? To some economists and policymakers, the trend spells disaster, dragging down economic growth and potentially leading to a full-blown debt crisis before too long. These deficit fundamentalists see the failure of the Simpson-Bowles plan (a 2010 proposal to sharply cut deficits) as a major missed opportunity and argue that policymakers should make tackling the national debt a top priority. On the other side, deficit dismissers say the United States can ignore fiscal constraints entirely given low interest rates (which make borrowing cheap), the eagerness of investors in global capital markets to buy U.S. debt (which makes borrowing easy), and the absence of high inflation (which means the Federal Reserve can keep interest rates low).

In 5G Race With China, U.S. Pushes Allies to Fight Huawei

Jeremy Hunt, the British foreign minister, arrived in Washington last week for a whirlwind of meetings facing a critical question: Should Britain risk its relationship with Beijing and agree to the Trump administration’s request to ban Huawei, China’s leading telecommunications producer, from building its next-generation computer and phone networks?

Britain is not the only American ally feeling the heat. In Poland, officials are also under pressure from the United States to bar Huawei from building its fifth generation, or 5G, network. Trump officials suggested that future deployments of American troops — including the prospect of a permanent base labeled “Fort Trump” — could hinge on Poland’s decision.

And a delegation of American officials showed up last spring in Germany, where most of Europe’s giant fiber-optic lines connect and Huawei wants to build the switches that make the system hum. Their message: Any economic benefit of using cheaper Chinese telecom equipment is outweighed by the security threat to the NATO alliance.

The Pentagon’s Cybersecurity Is Falling Behind

Anthony Capaccio

The U.S. military’s cybersecurity capabilities aren’t advancing fast enough to stay ahead of the “onslaught of multipronged” attacks envisioned by adversaries, the Pentagon’s combat testing office is warning.

Despite some progress in fending off attacks staged by in-house “Red Teams,” the testing office said “we estimate that the rate of these improvements is not outpacing the growing capabilities of potential adversaries who continue to find new vulnerabilities and techniques to counter fixes.”

Automation and artificial intelligence are beginning to “make profound changes to the cyber domain,” a threat that the military hasn’t yet fully grasped how to counter, Robert Behler, the Defense Department’s director of operational test and evaluation, said in his annual assessment of cyber threats, which was obtained by Bloomberg News.

Preparing for the D-Day of technological change will be vital

John Thornhill

The commander of D-Day knew a thing or two about planning. After plotting the 1944 assault on Nazi-occupied France, Dwight Eisenhower would say: “Plans are useless, planning is essential.”

Eisenhower knew that in the heat of battle no plan would survive the first shot. But that did not mean that planning was a waste of time. If you failed to prepare then you were preparing to fail.

Eisenhower’s dictum is worth thinking about as we consider the possibility of mass technological unemployment. We have no idea how the future will pan out and therefore we can devise no sensible plan. But, given what we already know about the rise of the robots, it would be reckless not to plan for the possibility of extraordinary disruption.

Nonmanufacturing As An Engine Of Growth

Huiyu Li

In official statistics, manufacturing is the top contributor to U.S. productivity growth despite its shrinking share of employment. However, official numbers tend to understate growth among new producers that improve on existing producers, which is more prevalent outside of manufacturing. Accounting for such missing productivity growth shows that it plays a larger role in sectors such as retail trade and services. Also, the relative contribution of manufacturing to productivity growth has dropped significantly. These findings suggest that nonmanufacturing may be an increasingly important engine of U.S. growth.

Recent debates surrounding trade policies raise questions about the consequences for the U.S. economy, particularly for manufacturers. Manufacturing is widely believed to be the main engine of aggregate productivity growth (see, for example, Sharma 2018). This belief is driven in part by studies using official statistics that show manufacturing has played an outsized role in driving productivity growth, even as its share of employment has steadily shrunk in advanced economies since 2000 (see Santacreu and Zhu 2018).

The Pentagon’s Cybersecurity Is Falling Behind

Andrew Mayeda

The Trump administration will press China to prove it can keep promises in talks this week aimed at ending the trade war, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said, as the U.S. ratcheted up legal pressure on one of the biggest examples of Chinese technological might.

In a sign of the importance the White House is placing on the talks, President Donald Trump is expected to meet China’s top trade negotiator, according to Mnuchin at a briefing Monday in Washington. The round of talks Wednesday and Thursday will cover U.S. demands for structural changes to China’s economy and Beijing’s pledge to buy more American goods.

Chinese Vice Premier Liu He, the nation’s top trade negotiator, had already arrived in Washington by Monday local time, the state Xinhua News Agency reported Tuesday. PBOC governor Yi Gang and Vice Finance Minister Liao Min are among the delegation members, Xinhua said.

How the intel community could use machines and AI

By: Mark Pomerleau 

The intelligence community has unveiled its multi-pronged plan to compete in the increasingly digital and data-centric world.

The strategy, titled “Augmenting Intelligence using Machines (AIM)” and released Jan. 16, outlines how the intelligence community will adjust its investments, personnel and practices to better incorporate associated technologies

“To meet its vision of ensuring intelligence advantage, the IC must adapt to the rapid global technological democratization in sensing, communications, computing, and machine analysis of data,” Sue Gordon, principal deputy director of national intelligence, said in the document. “These trends threaten to erode what were previously unique [IC] capabilities and advantages; going forward, we must improve our ability to analyze and draw conclusions from IC-wide data collections at scale.”

Trouble Awaits Any Military Intervention in Venezuela

Many lower-level Venezuelan military personnel could desert their positions if ordered to crack down on opposition demonstrators.

At the same time, the country's armed forces could quickly muster a hasty defense to resist any outside intervention intent on overthrowing the government.

Any intervening force would face numerous challenges, including difficult terrain, logistical issues, guerrilla attacks and the prospect of fighting beleaguered but well-equipped Venezuelan forces.

With the United States and much of Latin America recognizing Venezuela's opposition leader Juan Guaido as interim president — declaring President Nicolas Maduro's government as "illegitimate" in the process — it appears that the country is heading toward a chaotic, violent transition of power. As the stakes rise, so does the possibility that Venezuela could witness an external military intervention (an option that Washington has so far refused to take off the table in its desire to see the back of Maduro), particularly if Caracas responds with mass violence against opposition protesters. But despite the weakened state of Venezuela's armed forces, any military intervention in the country is unlikely to be a simple and seamless affair.

Army Secretary Says Talent Reform Is Top Priority For 2020


Army Secretary Mark Esper addresses the Talent Management Task Force he created to overhaul the cumbersome, centralized military personnel bureaucracy.

PENTAGON: With equipment modernization now in overdrive, Army Secretary Mark Esper is shifting his focus to the human beings that will use the new weapons. In a media roundtable Thursday afternoon, he promised top-to-bottom reviews of both the Army’s cumbersome, centrally-managed personnel system – “my top priority for this year” – and how the force should reorganize for a major multi-domain war against Russia or China.

Esper outlined a long list of initiatives from recruiting to training to electronic warfare. But I’d identify three major lines of effort (my formulation, not his) that will run in parallel and then converge circa 2024, when a new breed of troops will man new kinds of combat units equipped with new technologies: talent & training, concepts & units, and money & modernization.

Climate Change Is a Threat to Military Security

This is a guest post by Benjamin Silliman, research associate for Energy Security and Climate Change at the Council on Foreign Relations. 

Earlier this month, the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) released a congressionally-mandated report detailing the challenges climate change poses to the U.S. military. Citing increased exposure recurrent flooding, drought, desertification, wildfires, and thawing permafrost, the report highlights how climate change affects U.S. military readiness to respond to national security emergencies.

The report includes a list of selected events where mission related activities at military installations were compromised due to environmental vulnerabilities as well as a brief list of policies taken to mitigate future damages. To quantify the extent to which the military is threatened by climate change, the report tracked seventy-nine priority American domestic installations chosen by their critical operational roles. While the public report was circumspect on details given the sensitive strategic nature of the subject, it did identify climate change as an important and tangible threat to the U.S. military.