5 May 2020

After COVID–19: Manufacturing India’s New Economic Potential

By Akshobh Giridharadas and Vaman Desai

The COVID-19 pandemic has been unprecedented on many counts pertaining to public health, national security, and the global economy. Not since the Spanish Flu of 1918 has a pandemic brought economic powerhouses to such a standstill.

Even in its initial stages, when COVID-19 was myopically perceived as a China-specific problem, it was still a global conundrum — for as the finance adage goes, when China sneezes, the rest of the world catches a cold, alluding to China’s position as the factory of the world.

When supply chains in China are disrupted that means supply chains around the world are disrupted. An eclectic mix of companies have been extraordinarily affected as production and distribution networks have gone awry.

But in the midst of this pandemic, as industries stall, there could be another form of disruption, in the sense used in Silicon Valley to signify the winds of change. What winds of change blow toward India?

What the Indian military should be doing in COVID times

Bharat Karnad

Hard for one’s admiration for China’s single-minded drive to at all times advance its strategic interests come rain or shine or the corona virus, to not grow by leaps and bounds. Nothing diverts Beijing and the Chinese military in particular from flexing its muscle, asserting its rights and claims, and seeking to frighten the local opposition to get out of its way in a region it intends to dominate absolutely. Even as that country is fighting the COVID menace successfully — and why not? It created the corona bio-weapon, lost control over it, regained it, mounted an integrated scientific effort to tame it and will likely be the first to patent a vaccine and make oodles of money out of its sales worldwide — the PLA Navy did not forget its mission.

Two new “districts” were announced by Beijing a few days back to administer several rocky outcroppings that are being fashioned into man-made islands with dredged up sand, etc. in the disputed but appropriately named Mischief Reef area which Beijing claims in its entirety. Around the same time and a little to the west, a Chinese survey ship accompanied by an armed Chinese Coast Guard (CCG) vessel contested a Malaysian ship drilling for valuable seabed minerals within Malaysia’s Exclusive Economic Zone. Simultaneously, a large Vietnamese boat fishing offshore was rammed by a CCG corvette. But, last week when three US warships (America with a F-35B complement onboard, missile cruiser Bunker Hill, and missile destroyer Barry) in an expeditionary task group (detached from the carrier task force headed by the nuclear aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt, which lies anchored mid-Pacific in Guam owing to a coronavirus infected crew) turned up in the South China Sea in what is described as “security and stability operations”. And it exercised with an Australian warship (HMAS Parmatta), prompting Beijing sanctimoniously to urge the US and Australia to please “not disturb the peace” in the region! That’s chutzpah for you!

How is the coronavirus outbreak affecting China’s relations with India?

Tanvi Madan
Many Indians largely blame China for the origin of the coronavirus, and criticize its lack of disclosure, its influence on the WHO, and what are seen as its efforts to take diplomatic or commercial advantage of the crisis, writes Tanvi Madan. This piece originally appeared in ChinaFile.

China’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic has reinforced the skeptical perception of the country that prevails in many quarters in India.

The Indian state’s rhetoric has been quite measured, reflecting its need to procure medical supplies from China and its desire to keep the relationship stable. Nonetheless, Beijing’s approach has fueled Delhi’s existing strategic and economic concerns. These include overdependence on China for industrial inputs — India’s pharmaceutical sector, for instance, sources a majority of its Advanced Pharmaceutical Ingredients from China. Because of this crisis, the desire to boost domestic production or diversify India’s options will likely intensify.

Another government concern is Chinese entities’ taking advantage of the crisis — and China’s own seeming early recovery — for various objectives: (1) the acquisition of vulnerable Indian companies, (2) increasing its influence in India’s neighborhood, and (3) portraying its system and global and regional leadership role as more effective than others (including the U.S. and India).

Afghans Claim Foreign Combatants Fighting Alongside Taliban In Violation Of Peace Deal

Afghan officials say hundreds of foreign combatants are fighting alongside Taliban militants in a strategic northern province, a move that if proven true would violate the terms of the U.S.-Taliban peace agreement.

Zakaria Sawda, the governor of the northeastern province of Badakhshan, said around 400 foreign militants, mostly from neighboring Tajikistan and Uzbekistan, had joined the Taliban and were fighting Afghan security forces in the province.

Sawda told RFE/RL that the Taliban and foreign fighters were attempting to create a large terrorist "hub" in Badakhshan, adding that it was a "serious concern."

Sawda's claims could not be independently verified. But if confirmed, the Taliban's actions would constitute a violation of the agreement the militant group signed with Washington in February.

Under that deal, the Taliban committed to severing ties with terrorist groups and preventing terrorists from using territory under its control to launch attacks against the United States and its allies, including the Afghan government.

Afghanistan: War in the Time of Coronavirus

By Ezzatullah Mehrdad

“It is a warzone, so coronavirus does not come here,” an Afghan solider, who serves in Ghazni, joked. “When it comes, we will hit it by cannon.”

You cannot shoot the coronavirus, target it with explosives, or dispatch a suicide bomber to hit it. Yet even while the invisible enemy, COVID-19, is spreading fast in Afghanistan, so is the war.

Since the United States signed a deal with the Taliban on February 29, the war has concentrated on rural areas of the country, away from public attention. In addition to sucking up massive amounts of resources, both human and financial, the continued conflict leaves Afghan service members stuck on the frontlines, where they cannot practice the social distancing necessary to slow the spread of COVID-19.

“They [the Taliban] have to cooperate and they have to come forward and they have to understand the gravity of the situation,” said Waheed Omar, advisor to President Ashraf Ghani. “For once, they should join [together] for the humanitarian cause. But I don’t think they understand either the gravity of the situation or value the issue of humanitarian assistance.”

Covid-19 and Competition for Influence in South Asia

by Nilanthi Samaranayake

Nilanthi Samaranayake (CNA) explains why assistance to the smaller South Asian countries will be important for showing U.S. interest in this region and demonstrating the superiority of the United States’ economic and governance model in a new era of great-power competition.

As Covid-19 overwhelms healthcare systems and paralyzes economies across Western Europe and the United States, concern is growing about the potentially devastating impact of the virus in the developing world. Countries in South Asia are especially vulnerable because of their high population density and insufficient government resources.

South Asia has a population of nearly two billion people. India and Pakistan have long dominated attention as the largest countries in the region and as nuclear weapons states. Both have instituted stringent measures to attempt to limit the spread of the virus. India is currently under a national lockdown in which air, bus, and train travel have been suspended. Partly as a result of these measures, there are concerns about disruptions to supply chains and access to food staples. Meanwhile, Pakistan is also under lockdown and is launching its largest social welfare effort ever at $1 billion.

Remdesivir Shows Modest Benefits in Coronavirus Trial

By Gina Kolata, Peter Baker and Noah Weiland
Source Link

Modest results from a federal trial of an experimental drug helped send the stock market soaring on Wednesday, another sign of the desperation for a viable treatment against the coronavirus.

Just before markets opened, Gilead, maker of the antiviral drug remdesivir, announced that it was “aware of positive data” about the drug’s performance in a federal trial, sending futures upward. Trading in the company’s shares was briefly halted.

Later, in a briefing at the White House, Dr. Anthony S. Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said the trial had shown that treatment with the drug could modestly speed recovery in patients infected with the coronavirus.

The improvement in recovery times “doesn’t seem like a knockout 100 percent,” Dr. Fauci conceded, but “it is a very important proof of concept, because what it has proven is that a drug can block this virus.”

What Caused the COVID-19 Testing Deficit?

CAMBRIDGE – The United States is the world’s richest country, and home to ten of the 20 largest diagnostics companies. And yet, it not only has suffered more deaths from COVID-19 than any other country, but also remains highly vulnerable to a continued escalation. The reason is simple: there are not enough diagnostic tests.

During a disease outbreak, medicines and vaccines understandably get a lot of attention. But diagnostics are effectively a first line of defense against transmission, particularly for a disease like COVID-19, which can be spread by asymptomatic carriers. As the divergent experiences of the US and South Korea show, testing can be the difference between containment and catastrophe.

The COVID-19 outbreak began on a similar trajectory in both countries, with the number of confirmed cases increasing at a comparable rate. But South Korea’s government quickly took action to create a market for rapid innovation and fulfillment of testing demand, boosting its capacity to 15,000 tests per day and establishing drive-through centers to conduct them.

China's Supply Chain Threat to U.S. National Security

By Jim Banks

“You can’t get a product. You are not going to get a product for months.” That’s what Brian Edwards, a medical supplier in California, has been telling dozens of people per day when they call searching for critical medical supplies that, before this year, they took for granted would be in stock.

The Chinese government’s mismanagement of the novel coronavirus not only spread the virus worldwide, it shut down many supply chains that the U.S. and other countries had become accustomed to; indeed, that the U.S. deeply relied upon. As we consider how our post-pandemic country will look, we should be careful to avoid a repeat of these mistakes.

U.S. dependence on Chinese manufacturing was no accident. The Chinese government’s “Made in China 2025” strategy to consolidate manufacturing supply chains and impose itself as the world’s preeminent source of high-value manufactured goods has been well-known for years. While we have neglected to safeguard our industrial base, Beijing was aggressively subsidizing its country’s manufacturing plants and creating supply chains that maximized its economic and geopolitical leverage.

Why Was the U.S. So Late to Recognize the China Threat

By Bradley A. Thayer, Lianchao Han

The recent who-is-weak-on-China verbal war between Biden and Trump captures a fundamental issue in the 2020 race: how to confront China. The next administration’s China policy will be most critical for America’s future as well as the world’s because assumptions about China and the U.S. position in the world are in flux. 

Every state makes its foreign policy based on assumptions about its society and international politics. These assumptions are usually anchored in the past. While there is great value in learning from history, it is also true that conditions change, and what was true of the past is no longer.

During the Cold War, the U.S. foreign policy was largely based on assumptions that the Soviet Union's leaders were determined to spread communism worldwide; they possessed strategic patience and were adaptive in pursuing their goal. The USSR would never be America’s partner but a long-term rival, and therefore it must be contained. Moreover, U.S. decision-makers assumed that American society would fully support this approach. 

However, after the end of that confrontation, strategists like former National Security Advisor and Secretary of State Henry Kissinger falsely assumed that Communist China could be changed into a benign actor, even a “responsible stakeholder,” or strategic partner of the U.S. were the U.S. to engage with China, believing that China’s rise was a positive thing.

China and European Union flags

By Konstantin Zigar*

Political groups within the European Parliament have expressed concerns over Chinese authorities pressuring the European External Action Service. Unofficial information suggests that because of Chinese influence a report on disinformation spread by sources linked to China has been softened. These Chinese sources continuously praise steps taken by Beijing in fighting the Covid-19 pandemic; Beijing, however, argues that it itself is the real victim of disinformation.

There are ongoing discussions in Brussels about the likelihood of the External Action Service having succumbed to pressure from China, but there is no official proof for this. On 24 April, the External Action Service published a report on the newest disinformation trends, but the report seems to be missing several facts concerning China’s role in disinformation. These facts were present in the draft of the document which was previously leaked to the media.

The European Commission’s spokesman Peter Stano categorically denies this, saying that the leaked document was meant for internal use. Stano also stressed that Brussels is not afraid of calling things by their real names. “Every person interested in the truth can look at our three reports, as well as other publications available on our website. There, you will see that we are systematically collecting and analyzing trends, campaigns and specific examples, along with the actors engaged in disinformation campaigns against the European Union. Therefore, I completely and utterly reject any suspicions that we are giving into some sort of external pressure,” Stano commented.

Finding a Vaccine Is Only the First Step

By Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala

It is now abundantly clear that the world cannot fully emerge from its current state of novel coronavirus lockdown until a vaccine is found. Never before have so many lives, livelihoods, and economies depended so much on a single health intervention. But as scientists race to develop potential vaccine candidates, the international community must remember that the ultimate goal is not only to produce a safe and effective inoculation but to bring the pandemic to an end. And that can happen only after billions of doses are produced affordably and made available to everyone, particularly those in low-income countries.

An enterprise on this scale requires a new perspective: vaccines must be recognized as global public goods. Neither domestic agendas nor profit can be allowed to drive the effort for the largest vaccine deployment in history. Governments, pharmaceutical companies, and multilateral organizations must work together to develop, produce, and deliver the vaccine. Producing and distributing billions of doses of a new vaccine would be challenging at the best of times. Doing so during a pandemic will require an unprecedented global effort.


9 predictions for 2020–2029

Ben Longstaff

1. Federated learning

Value can be extracted from data by running algorithms over a centralised data set. As the amount of data continues to increase it is becoming more difficult to centralise the data.

In 2018 it was approximated that 2.5 exabytes (2,500,000,000 GB) of new data was created daily. 90% of all the data online was created in the last two years.

The solution to this is a new field of Machine Learning called Federated Learning. Instead of sending the data to the algorithm you send the algorithm to the data. You may have already experienced the benefits of Federated Learning without realizing it. When you type a message on your phone, you get three options for what the next word might be. These recommendations are generated by a Machine Learning model. Privacy laws stop Apple and Google from sending your private messages to their learning algorithms. Instead they use Federate Learning to train the model on your phone.

The benefit of user privacy comes at the cost of running the algorithm on the device. Federated learning lends itself to applications where privacy is a concern.


Why are US-Russia relations so challenging?

Angela Stent
Source Link

The Vitals

The United States’ relationship with Russia is today the worst that it has been since 1985. Moscow’s interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election and what appears to be its continuing attempts to affect the 2020 election campaign have made Russia a toxic domestic issue in a way that it has not been since the 1950s. Its annexation of Crimea and launch of an ongoing war in southeastern Ukraine, plus its support for Syria’s Bashar al-Assad in his brutal civil war, and for Venezuela’s Nicolas Maduro have raised tensions with the United States. President Trump came into office determined to improve ties with Russia. But the rest of the executive branch and the U.S. Congress have pursued tough policies toward Russia, imposing rafts of sanctions and expelling diplomats. The U.S. National Security Strategy declares Russia and China the two top threats to U.S. national security. At the best of times, U.S.-Russia ties are a mixture of cooperation and competition, but today they are largely adversarial.

Yet, as the world’s two nuclear superpowers, Russia and the United States bear a unique responsibility to keep the peace and discourage the proliferation of nuclear, biological, and chemical weapons around the globe. Moreover, there are global challenges such as terrorism, climate change, governing the Arctic, and dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic that necessitate working together. The challenge is to find an acceptable balance between cooperation and competition and to compartmentalize the relationship in a more effective way than at present.

The United States’ relationship with Russia is today the worst that it has been since 1985.

American Leadership Begins at Home

By Stacey Abrams

America’s leadership on the global stage has always been grounded not only in the power of our ideals but also in the power of our example. That power of example includes competence in harnessing resources and delivering solutions for citizens, and it is one reason why this moment is so consequential for the United States and for its friends and allies abroad. The struggle against the COVID-19 pandemic is an enormous test of a government’s ability to deliver solutions—and by extension, of a country’s ability to lead. It is a test that the United States is currently failing.

Our country has faced national and international crises before, but never with a president as oblivious to the danger at hand. We are typically expected to lead close allies, like-minded states, and other democracies in critical global efforts, but our present national leadership has instead fumbled the defense at home, embracing half-truths and rejecting expertise, and adopted a dangerous go-it-alone approach abroad. Others have stepped into the breach, from American governors and mayors to the leaders of other democracies around the world, many of whom have made great strides in protecting their citizens despite having fewer resources and weaker infrastructures. But the United States finds itself in a dire predicament: it has the world’s highest death toll and greatest number of infections, its doctors are reusing medical gowns and nurses are wearing garbage bags, it has a shortage of ventilators, masks, swabs, and vials. The country that rescued Europe, defeated communism, and built the liberal international order daily fails the test of leadership, at the cost of tens of thousands of lives and of the United States’ place in the world.

Travails of an Interconnected World: From Pandemics to the Digital Economy

By Ariel E. Levite, Lyu Jinghua 

The novel coronavirus poses a grave threat to national economies, human society and our globalized international order that will not go away soon. It’s obviously essential to focus on managing the outbreak and restarting the global economy.

But at the same time, we ought to start thinking about some broader strategic lessons to draw from the pandemic. One of the most striking is how vulnerable our tightly intertwined and interdependent international system is. The world has quickly and extensively become addicted to huge benefits and conveniences associated with a global, generally open system. The system allows for the relatively free flow of goods and services, specialization, and decentralization. But this reliance carries important downsides; the coronavirus spread across the globe, and its impact unraveled important supply chains.

This carries an important lesson for the cyber domain. Our goal here is to draw an analogy between pandemics and cyberattacks to highlight some insights from the current crisis about cyber risks as well as potential remedies for these vulnerabilities.

Ukraine’s Road to Asia

By Dmytro Kuleba

After my appointment as the Foreign Minister, I announced that Ukraine’s upgraded strategy toward Asia would be among my top foreign policy priorities.

Since regaining its independence in 1991, Ukraine’s cooperation with Asia was developing in the ascending order. Today we enjoy excellent relations with the region. Thus, I am not talking about a start from scratch.

But it is high time to shift to the higher gear in Ukraine’s relations with Asia.

My official engagement with Asia in my new capacity started with courtesy phone calls to many of my counterparts. We took stock of our bilateral relations, discussed how to survive, and help each other in the time of global disruption amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

The outcome of every conversation I had was a mutual understanding that there’s an immense untapped potential for further development of bilateral trade, joint projects in hi-tech fields, or in infrastructure.

Indeed, we want to welcome more of Asia in Ukraine, and to see more of Ukraine in Asia.

Essay from "The New Normal in Asia" series

by Nicholas Eberstadt

Nicholas Eberstadt offers insights into the challenges to U.S. leadership in a post-pandemic world. This is the inaugural essay in the series “The New Normal in Asia,” which explores ways in which the Covid-19 pandemic might adjust, shape, or reorder the world across multiple dimensions.

Though we are as yet barely weeks into the Covid-19 pandemic, what should already be apparent is that it has precipitated the deepest and most fundamental crisis for Pax Americana that this set of global economic and security arrangements has faced in the past three postwar generations.

We are still very much in the “fog of war” phase of the calamity. The novel coronavirus and its worldwide carnage have come as a strategic surprise to thought leaders and political decision-makers alike. Indeed, it appears to be the intellectual equivalent of an unexpected asteroid strike for almost all who must cope in these unfamiliar new surroundings. Few had seriously considered the contingency that the world economy might be shaken to its foundations by a communicable disease. And even now that this has happened, many remain trapped in the mental coordinates of a world that no longer exists.

From Pandemics To The Climate Crisis – Analysis

By Darshan Joshi, REFSA*

There is a growing need for governments to balance economic needs and environmental concerns. An important lesson of COVID-19 is the need to coordinate mitigation and response frameworks to tackle issues that ultimately transcend national interests.

An example of such coordination is the similarity in policies used by governments around the world to stop the spread of COVID-19. The best practices, when a virus like COVID-19 is already globally prevalent, require governments to act uniformly so that they can curtail the virus everywhere it festers. Commitment to flattening the epidemiological curve through physical distancing, self-isolation and mass testing is imperative within individual countries, while travel restrictions should be used to limit cross-border transmission.

COVID-19 is a quintessential collective action problem where inaction on the part of one nation can create adverse consequences across the world. Acting in concert will minimise societal costs.

Global coordination can also ensure that scarce resources — like ventilators, testing kits and face masks — are allocated efficiently. Examples include the recent donations of medical supplies by Chinese institutions and companies to countries facing mass outbreaks. Such actions are mutually beneficial — only through the widespread eradication of COVID-19 can we limit its potential re-emergence.

From Pandemics To The Climate Crisis – Analysis

By Darshan Joshi, REFSA*

There is a growing need for governments to balance economic needs and environmental concerns. An important lesson of COVID-19 is the need to coordinate mitigation and response frameworks to tackle issues that ultimately transcend national interests.

An example of such coordination is the similarity in policies used by governments around the world to stop the spread of COVID-19. The best practices, when a virus like COVID-19 is already globally prevalent, require governments to act uniformly so that they can curtail the virus everywhere it festers. Commitment to flattening the epidemiological curve through physical distancing, self-isolation and mass testing is imperative within individual countries, while travel restrictions should be used to limit cross-border transmission.

COVID-19 is a quintessential collective action problem where inaction on the part of one nation can create adverse consequences across the world. Acting in concert will minimise societal costs.

Global coordination can also ensure that scarce resources — like ventilators, testing kits and face masks — are allocated efficiently. Examples include the recent donations of medical supplies by Chinese institutions and companies to countries facing mass outbreaks. Such actions are mutually beneficial — only through the widespread eradication of COVID-19 can we limit its potential re-emergence.

Harvard’s Fossil Fuels Formula: Engagement Before Withdrawal – OpEd

By Binoy Kampmark

“Know the true value of time; snatch, seize, and enjoy every moment of it,” urged the Earl of Chesterfield in a letter of advice to his son penned in 1749. “No idleness, no laziness, no procrastination: never put off till tomorrow what you can do today.” This has not tended to be the view of university governors the world over, notably in the field of ethical investments. The elite heavy weights have shown their flabbiness in the area, dragging in their approach to matters of environment and the climate. Money is just that; where it goes, in terms of investment, is of little moral consequence, lacking smell and ethical baggage. Industry is there to be, and here, the word is essential, engaged. 

Harvard University, one of the wealthiest teaching and research institutions on the planet with an endowment of $41 billion, is something of a specialist in this. In 2013, the university’s President Drew Gilpin Faust adopted the position of “engagement over withdrawal” on the subject of fossil fuel divestments. At the time, Faust considered any full divestment measure as unwarranted and unwise: the endowment fund was to be seen in purely self-beneficial terms, “a resource, not an instrument to impel social or political change.” 

Playing the fiddle of an amoral politician, Faust attempted different measures of dismissiveness and reassurance: climate change did pose “a serious threat to our future – and increasingly our present”, and the university would be incorporating “environmental, social and governance” into its investments, thereby aligning with “investors’ fiduciary duties”. Such an approach guaranteed an indefinite series of postponements on the matter.

Collapsing Oil Prices: A Window Of Opportunity For Manufacturing – Analysis

By Torfinn Harding, Radek Stefanski and Gerhard Toews*

Due to the collapse in the price of oil, oil-exporting economies are experiencing a huge loss of foreign revenues. This column argues that this may create a window of opportunity to transition away from resource dependence by expanding the tradable goods sector, hence diversifying the economies. Assuming symmetric economic responses for booms and busts and relying on estimates for unexpected giant resource discoveries which predict an appreciation of the real exchange rate and a contraction of the manufacturing sector, the current drop in the oil price may lead to a boom in manufacturing.

Oil-exporting countries suddenly seem a lot poorer than they were just a few months ago. The cratering of oil demand, due to anti-COVID-19 measures, and the ongoing oil price war jointly led – for the first time in history – to a negative oil price in the US on 20 April 2020. Between January and early April 2020, the Brent international oil price benchmark had fallen from $70 to approximately $20 per barrel (see Figure 1). The oil revenues of firms and governments in oil-exporting economies have thus plummeted together with the real income of the citizens of these economies. In Figure 2, we show how the drop in the price of oil between January and April 2020 affects the value of exports of three large oil exporters.

Landmines Of The Future Could Be Recharged Remotely By Drones

Kelsey D. Atherton
Source Link

Remote sensors exist where it is tedious, dangerous, or difficult for humans to regularly reach them. Those same characteristics make maintenance difficult, by design, and tax already-strained batteries to the edges of their lifespan. What if, instead of sending humans to maintain remote sensors, drones could fly close by and then, through radio waves, remotely recharge those same remote sensors?

With such a system, sensors placed in far flung corners of everything from crop fields to battlefields could be maintained by regular contactless charging from visiting drones.

“In the proposed approach, a UAV transmits radio frequencies to each sensor, which has an antenna for detecting the signals,” according to a summary in IEEE Spectrum of a recent study. “The signals are then conveyed to a rectifier, which converts the signals into electricity. This power can be used to charge the sensor and/or activate it.”

Germs: The Seventh Domain of Warfare

By Admiral James G. Foggo III, U.S. Navy
Source Link

Tune in to the U.S. Naval Institute Annual Meeting on 30 April at 4:00pm EDT to hear live remarks from Admiral Foggo followed by audience questions. Registration and details on joining the webcast are at www.usni.org/annualmeeting.

The world currently is gripped in the throes of what may be the most devastating pandemic since the influenza outbreak of 1918. Countries around the globe are fighting the coronavirus, an unseen but dangerous adversary. The number of cases—and fatalities—is growing exponentially, with the United States and NATO allies being particularly hard hit. The rapid spread of this virus, aided by our hyperconnected world, highlights a new domain of warfare—the pandemic. Even as we work to defeat COVID-19, we must be mindful that we may be entering a new era of pandemics, either introduced unwittingly or weaponized by enemies seeking to inflict damage. To protect our national security, we must improve our ability to fight pandemics—germs, the seventh domain of warfare.

In this new domain our great Navy will be challenged to adapt its warfighting skills, combining traditional elements of combat with innovative thinking to defeat an adversary unlike any we have seen in recent decades. Agile forces must be as ready to provide humanitarian assistance as they are to engage in traditional combat. As always, our brave men and women in uniform will be on the front lines—fighting the virus and rendering assistance all while maintaining combat readiness should an enemy attempt to exploit the pandemic. Our Navy must be on high alert. As Chief of Naval Operations Admiral Mike Gilday has noted, everyone has a role—no one sits on the bench.

Special Edition Magazine, Spring 2020: Beyond the Techlash


DETROIT – More than at any time in decades, reforms to both antitrust and labor law are being debated in law and policy circles. In the United States, a surge of worker organizing and collective action across a range of sectors – education, media, tech – has coincided with a wave of anti-monopoly initiatives. The emerging left wing of the Democratic Party champions both labor and anti-monopoly politics.

These two tendencies have arisen in response to the same decades-long trends: increasing economic inequality, the disempowerment of ordinary working people, and the unchecked concentration of power in the hands of a few individuals and corporations who are now making decisions on behalf of society as a whole. One key question, then, is to what extent the two reformist tendencies are compatible.

Some would argue that labor politics and anti-monopoly politics are at odds, or that labor law and antitrust law are opposed in principle. These claims are frequently rooted in memories of the mid-twentieth-century era of coordinated, oligopolistic industries with high union density. Antitrust skeptics’ implicit contention is that large firms in concentrated markets are more conducive to robust workers’ organizations.