14 September 2020

India’s Ambitious Nuclear Power Plan – And What’s Getting in Its Way

By Niharika Tagotra

As India embarked on its commercial nuclear power production in 1969, its nuclear power program was conceived to be a closed fuel cycle, to be achieved in three sequential stages. These stages feed into each other in such a way that the spent fuel generated from one stage of the cycle is reprocessed and used in the next stage of the cycle to produce power. This kind of a closed fuel cycle was designed to breed fuel and to minimize generation of nuclear waste. The stage at which India is currently at in its nuclear power production cycle will be a major determinant of the future of nuclear power in India.

The three-stage nuclear power production program in India had been conceived with the ultimate objective of utilizing the country’s vast reserves of thorium-232. It is important to note that India has the world’s third largest reserves of thorium. Thorium, however, cannot be used as a fuel in its natural state. It needs to be converted into its usable “fissile” form after a series of reactions. To aid this and to eventually produce nuclear power from its thorium reserves, Indian scientist Dr. Homi J. Bhabha drew the road map of the three-stage nuclear program.

Large Population Decline Expected In China And India

by Katharina Buchholz
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While experts have long agreed that the world has already set the course for a future population decline, there has been disagreement about just how fast and where exactly the number of people on this Earth will shrink.

Medical journal The Lancet recently published research by the University of Washington suggesting that population decline could be more rapid than previously thought, especially in the world’s most populous nations China and India. The researchers assume that world population will peak already just after the middle of the century, earlier than projected by the U.N. Population Division. They pointed out that models of populations growth have proven to be very stable while those dealing with population decline were much less reliable.

In their base scenario, researchers assumed growing access to education and contraception for women would catapult Indian and Chinese fertility below replacement levels quickly, leading to population levels of just 1.1 billion and 731 million people in India and China in 2100, respectively. The researchers did not see the same factors at play in most African nations, where population growth would continue to 2100 and beyond, according to the model. This would make Nigeria the second-largest nation on Earth ahead of China by 2094.

Bangladesh’s Ambiguity on Religion Has Been Expensive for the Country

By Shafi Md Mostofa

Bangladesh declared itself a secular state with its birth in 1971. Secularism was chosen as one of the four pillars that were to guide official policy. To what extent Bangladeshi people were “secular” to begin with is a matter of considerable debate, although by secularism in Bangladesh one means pluralism of religious faiths as opposed to more expansive definitions of the term. Bangladesh’s polity could not come to a well-defined position as to what kind of state it would be.

Under Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman — Bangladesh’s first prime minister and considered father of the nation — secularism faced an initial setback when the Education Commission of 1973 found that the majority of the country’s citizens were in favor of religious education. From 1975 onward, after Bangabandhu’s term in office, Bangladesh has yet to fully settle on the principles that would govern it. This has led subsequent regimes to play around with political Islam as well as secularism.

The original constitution was changed in 1978 with installment of the phrase “absolute trust and faith in the Almighty Allah” by the Ziaur Rahman government in order to replace secularism as a state principle. Rahman’s government also built fraternal relationships with countries in the Middle East. The military dictator who followed Rehman, Hussain Muhammad Ershad, went one step further to declare Islam as the state religion in 1988. These military regimes resorted to religion to legitimize their power, which they had usurped unconstitutionally.

China Is Hostage to a Rules-Based Multilateral System


The broad campaign attacking China during a U.S. presidential contest, launched by the administration of President Donald Trump, has traction because of widespread popular support in the United States for disengaging with China. This has fostered a competition between Trump and Democratic nominee Joe Biden about who would be tougher in dealing with Beijing.

Disengagement, however, is not a realistic option—the costs are simply too great for both sides. But the path to better outcomes is exceptionally narrow, as the required compromises go against the instincts of both countries’ current leaders. The United States would have to concede that China’s rise necessitates a fundamental reset in great power relations, and China would need to moderate its behavior and ambitions.

From the U.S. side, any such reset will likely have to await the outcome of the elections, given the Trump administration’s reported intention “to leave a lasting legacy of ruptured ties between the two powers,” as the New York Times summarizes. Meanwhile, a change in Beijing’s trajectory would require Chinese President Xi Jinping to rethink whether he has overreached in his vision for China. If there is a basis for forging a more constructive relationship, it will likely come from China’s dependency on a rules-based multilateral system to become a more prosperous and innovative great power. By recognizing China’s needs, the United States can forge a new strategy of engagement that would benefit both nations.

China’s Bid to Write the Global Rules on Data Security

By Shannon Tiezzi

On September 8, speaking at an international seminar on digital governance, China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi unveiled a new “Global Initiative on Data Security.” In the words of Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian, the new initiative is an attempt at “contributing Chinese wisdom to international rules-making” on data governance.

The initiative, as outlined by Wang, involves eight points:

First, approach data security with an objective and rational attitude, and maintain an open, secure and stable global supply chain.

Second, oppose using ICT activities to impair other States’ critical infrastructure or steal important data.

Third, take actions to prevent and put an end to activities that infringe upon personal information, oppose abusing ICT to conduct mass surveillance against other States or engage in unauthorized collection of personal information of other States.

Fourth, ask companies to respect the laws of host countries, desist from coercing domestic companies into storing data generated and obtained overseas in one’s own territory.

China’s new economic strategy may not sit well with its people

David Uren
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China’s export machine has shifted up a gear, with global sales close to a record levels in July and August as its manufacturers respond to the demand generated by Covid-19 stimulus programs in Europe and the United States.

With global trade volumes facing a steep fall and prices also depressed, China’s share of world exports, which reached 13.5% last year, is likely closer to a record 16% now, which would be almost double the share of the US.

China’s imports are down because its own economy is still feeling the effects of the pandemic, so its surpluses are rising. China’s efforts to stimulate its economy have focused on supplying business credit, rather than supporting the incomes of displaced workers, which has been the primary response among most rich countries.

Leading trade economist Brad Setser, with the US Council on Foreign Relations, says that with rising exports and falling imports, China appears headed for a current account surplus of US$400 billion by the first quarter of next year, which he predicts will become a source of global friction.

Don’t Rely on Hope; Attack Huawei’s Value Chain

By Bryan Clark, Dan Patt

By any objective measure, the U.S. telecom industry is well behind its European and Asian counterparts in fielding gear that will power 5G networks. Continuing to cede the 5G infrastructure competition to foreign providers, especially market leader Huawei, poses significant risks to U.S. sovereignty and security even if Huawei's equipment isn't in U.S. networks. Unfortunately, the Trump Administration’s 5G strategy appears to rely primarily on the hope that American 5G competitors will naturally emerge from a combination of export controls and market forces.

The Administration may be right—eventually—but U.S. alternatives to Huawei are unlikely to mature before the company solidifies a dominant position in 5G. Instead, the U.S. government needs to mount a more proactive approach using its ongoing efforts in the Department of Defense to attack Huawei up and down the 5G value chain.

A good start, but not enough

Thanks to state financial and regulatory support and its fully integrated “turn-key” approach to network sales, Huawei has established itself as the leader in worldwide 5G deployments with about a third of the market. The company also embedded itself in the 5G ecosystem, making the largest contributions to 5G technical standards and receiving more 5G patents than any other company.

‘Decoupling’ the U.S. from China would backfire

David Ignatius

When John F. Kennedy ran for president in 1960, he claimed there was a dangerous “missile gap” between Russia’s arsenal and that of the United States. But once he took office in 1961, Kennedy learned that the imbalance was the opposite of what he had argued. Instead of the 200 or more Soviet intercontinental ballistic missiles that scaremongers had predicted, the Russians had just four.

Something similar may be happening now with the Trump administration’s claims that China poses a military and economic threat to the United States that’s so severe, Washington should begin “decoupling” its economic relationship with Beijing, especially in high-tech products.

President Trump amplified the China scare talk in remarks to reporters on Monday. “They’re building up a powerful military, and it’s very lucky that I’ve been building ours up because otherwise we’d be dwarfed right now by China,” he said. “If Joe Biden becomes president, China will own the United States.”

Trump called decoupling “an interesting word,” and implied he would pursue it in a second term: “Under my administration, we will make America into the manufacturing superpower of the world and we’ll end our reliance on China, once and for all, whether it’s decoupling or putting in massive tariffs.”

How a Rising China Has Remade Global Politics

As much as any other single development, China’s rise over the past two decades has remade the landscape of global politics. Beginning with its entry into the World Trade Organization in December 2001, China rapidly transformed its economy from a low-cost “factory to the world” to a global leader in advanced technologies. Along the way, it has transformed global supply chains, but also international diplomacy, leveraging its success to become the primary trading and development partner for emerging economies across Asia, Africa and Latin America.

But Beijing’s emergence as a global power has also created tensions. Early expectations that China’s integration into the global economy would lead to liberalization at home and moderation abroad have proven overly optimistic, especially since President Xi Jinping rose to power in 2012. Instead, Xi has overseen a domestic crackdown on dissent, in order to shore up and expand the Chinese Communist Party’s control over every aspect of Chinese society. Needed economic reforms have been put on the backburner, while unfair trade practices, such as forced technology transfers and other restrictions for foreign corporations operating in China, have resulted in a trade war with the U.S. and increasing criticism from Europe.

Meanwhile, China’s “quiet rise” has given way to more vocal expressions of great power aspirations and a more assertive international posture, particularly with regard to China’s territorial disputes in the South China Sea. Combined with Beijing’s military modernization program, that has put Asia, as well as the United States, on notice that China’s economic power will have geopolitical implications. Now the global spread of the COVID-19 pandemic has opened up opportunities for China to expand its influence, even as it has called into question both China’s credibility as a responsible stakeholder and the future of the supply chains that have fueled its economic success story.

To Keep Its Military Edge on China, The Pentagon Must Embrace Change

by Michael Rubin

During a debate just weeks before the 2012 presidential elections, then-Senator Barack Obama dismissed Governor Mitt Romney’s observation that the U.S. Navy had less ships at its disposal than it did during World War I. “You mentioned the Navy, for example, and that we have fewer ships than we did in 1916,” Obama said. “Well, Governor, we also have fewer horses and bayonets, because the nature of our military’s changed.”

Both candidates sought to score points against the other but, in reality, they were both right: If the United States is going to succeed, it needs to maintain both a qualitative military edge, and enough equipment and numbers to counter multiple adversaries simultaneously. During the Cold War, politicians accepted the United States should be able to fight two wars or on two fronts simultaneously. Historians may see Defense Secretary Robert Gates’ reversal of that a decade ago as akin to Great Britain’s interwar “ten-year rule” which left the British military unprepared to counter Nazi Germany’s rise. During the Cold War, for example, the United States faced one major competitor. Today, it faces a number of global and regional powers: China, Russia, Iran, North Korea, and Turkey, each of which seek to change the post-World War II liberal order.

There is growing recognition especially about the danger China’s rise poses. The coronavirus pandemic has renewed focus on the vulnerability of supply chains. China also leverages its industrial might in pursuit of military dominance. During his 2016 campaign, President Donald Trump promised a 350-ship Navy. He failed, but China built it.

Don’t let the United Arab Emirates play us the way Mohammed bin Salman did

Aaron David Miller, a senior fellow at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, was a State Department analyst, negotiator and adviser in Democratic and Republican administrations. He is the author of “The End of Greatness: Why America Can’t Have (and Doesn’t Want) Another Great President.” Richard Sokolsky, a non-resident senior fellow at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, was a member of the secretary of state’s Office of Policy Planning from 2005 to 2015.

The recent normalization of diplomatic relations between Israel and the United Arab Emirates is cause for celebration in a region where the flow of bad news never seems to end. It’s also an occasion for caution, particularly for an autocrat-friendly administration that has already been played by a ruthless and reckless Saudi crown prince.

The UAE’s Mohammed bin Zayed (also known as MBZ) isn’t Mohammed bin Salman (MBS). But before Washington and the chattering class start providing unconditional support to another Arab authoritarian, the United States should be clear about what it wants out of the relationship and how it should use the leverage it has with the UAE to achieve those outcomes. Otherwise, we could be setting ourselves up for yet another Middle East leader to play the United States for a fool, undermining both our values and our interests.

The Real World Capabilities of ISIS: The Threat Continues

By Anthony H. Cordesman

Politics are politics, but there are serious dangers in making claims about the ability to defeat terrorism in general – and ISIS in particular. One of the most critical limits to the way both Democratic and Republican Administrations have fought the “war” on terrorism is that they have treated it largely as a military struggle against individual terrorist and extremist movements, rather than as a broader campaign to deal with a range of threats that cannot be defeated without major successes against a wide range of constantly changing movements and without major efforts to reduce the causes of terrorism. 

The end result to date has been that the U.S. has sometimes won major victories at a military level, but all of the foreign terrorist movements the U.S. has targeted have survived or mutated into different organizations with different names. Worse, if one goes back to “9/11,” none of the fundamental causes which keep extremist and terrorist movements alive – and generate new threats – have been reduced.

The real record of the “war” on terrorism is all too clear in the MENA region, Sub-Saharan Africa, Afghanistan, Latin America, and Asia. Even when the U.S. makes major military progress against a given movement, the group either recovers or some new form of terrorism emerges in its place. The U.S. can sometimes work with its allies and strategic partners to limit the military capabilities of a given terrorist movement and to reduce or contain its ability to spread, but this is not a lasting defeat of terrorism. Worse, if the U.S. effort to contain a given movement weakens, terrorism and extremism are all too likely to return.

Tactical Successes Against Terrorist Movements Do Not Defeat Terrorism

The End of Hope in the Middle East

By Steven A. Cook
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Summer always seems to be the cruelest season in the Middle East. The examples include the June 1967 war, Israel’s invasion of Lebanon in 1982, the hijacking of Trans World Airlines Flight 847 in 1985, Saddam Hussein’s invasion of Kuwait in 1990, and the Islamic State’s rampage through Iraq in 2014. The summer of 2020 has already joined that list. But the world should also be attuned to another possibility. Given how widespread bloodshed, despair, hunger, disease, and repression have become, a new—and far darker—chapter for the region is about to begin.

Steven A. Cook is the Eni Enrico Mattei senior fellow for Middle East and Africa studies at the Council on Foreign Relations. His latest book is False Dawn: Protest, Democracy, and Violence in the New Middle East.

A little more than a decade ago, analysts imagined a region in which political systems were reliably authoritarian and stable. Since the Arab uprisings in 2011, the narrative has shifted to one of instability but with an expectation of an imminent new wave of democratization and further economic and political progress.

Those hopes are now gone. The Middle East has long faced challenges—foreign intervention, authoritarian leaders, distorted and uneven economic development, extremism, wars, and civil conflict. But this year has added to the mix a global pandemic and a wrenching global recession, resulting in a scale of crisis that exceeds any other time in history.

Will Either Macron or Erdogan Back Down in the Eastern Mediterranean?

Iyad Dakka 

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and French President Emmanuel Macron at a news conference in IstanbulFrench President Emmanuel Macron has clearly decided to up the ante in a standoff with Turkey in the Eastern Mediterranean, where France is backing Greece and Cyprus in their dispute with Ankara over natural gas reserves and maritime boundaries. First, Macron ordered a temporary reinforcement of French aerial and naval assets to the Eastern Mediterranean in mid-August, in response to Turkish ships resuming controversial gas exploration activities south of Cyprus. Then, he went as far as to frame his actions as a “red line policy” in order to show President Recep Tayyip Erdogan that he meant business.

Although France’s military escalation in the Eastern Mediterranean was largely symbolic, since it only committed two additional Rafale fighter jets and one naval vessel, it still raises the risks of a direct military clash between two NATO members. The French and Turkish navies, after all, nearly came to blows in June after a French ship under NATO command, which was enforcing a U.N.-imposed arms embargo on Libya, attempted to inspect a Tanzanian-flagged vessel that was being escorted by three Turkish warships off the Libyan coast.

All this has enraged Erdogan, who, in a thinly veiled reference to France, warned last month that “no one should think of themselves as a giant in the mirror.” Erdogan views France as a has-been power and an unwelcome meddler in an area outside its rightful sphere of influence. The tensions over waters in the Eastern Mediterranean also fit into Erdogan’s nationalist, neo-Ottoman narrative, which portrays Western countries as untrustworthy partners that seek to prevent Turkey’s rightful reemergence as a regional power.

Climate change will force millions of us to move, but where will we go?

After Hurricane Maria hit Puerto Rico in September 2017, thousands of people fled the island. The exact headcount, and how many of those moves were temporary or permanent, is hard to nail down. Budget data from cell phone records, federal aid requests, school enrollments, and other indicators tell a story of mass migration. Florida, especially the Orlando area, was by far the top landing spot. New York City and Philadelphia, both with strong existing Puerto Rican communities, were also popular.

But a less obvious metro area also drew in thousands of evacuees: Buffalo, New York.

To George Besch, that was no surprise. Besch is an urban planner who grew up in Buffalo and spent most of his career crossing the globe, helping local governments in Denmark, the UK, France, Australia, and India decide how to make better use of their land and natural resources. Decades ago, he realized that his hometown was naturally endowed with many of the environmental advantages other cities sought: abundant access to water and agricultural land, moderate weather, and at least 16,000 lots of underutilized or unoccupied urban space.

Narratives of Power and Prejudice: From Nixon to Trump

By Abhijnan Rej

Public memory in India when it comes to the country’s dealings with great powers is long. The past often rankles. The disastrous 1962 India-China war is one example; Richard Nixon’s 1971 attempt at gunboat diplomacy with India is another. The latter story is familiar to all interested in how the Cold War played out globally, the gist being this: In December 1971, a U.S. carrier strike group led by the USS Enterprise entered the Bay of Bengal as a warning to India, as India and Pakistan fought a war that led to the creation of a new nation, Bangladesh.

On the surface, this was a typical Cold War play as Nixon’s National Security Advisor Henry Kissinger saw it: Pakistan was a treaty ally of the U.S. and was the staging ground for Kissinger’s outreach to China. India, on the other hand, had entered into a “Treaty of Friendship and Cooperation” with the Soviet Union a few months before, in August. Kissinger worried that India was aiming to decimate Pakistan militarily, opening greater space in the region for the Soviets. Sufficiently spooked by the possibility, he also encouraged the People’s Republic of China – and this was before Nixon’s landmark 1972 visit – to open a front against India. Despite repeated warnings from the U.S. consul general in Dhaka, Archer Blood, that the Pakistan army was engaged in despicable atrocities inside its own country – albeit in the eastern, Bengali-speaking half – the Nixon administration continued to think of the crisis there in terms that look dreadfully simplistic in hindsight, not to mention completely off.

The Resilient Supply Chain Initiative: Reshaping Economics Through Geopolitics

By Amitendu Palit
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An indication of the likely shifts in the post-COVID19 global economic order is visible from the Resilient Supply Chain Initiative (RSCI) proposal mooted jointly by Australia, India, and Japan on September 1. Committed to building resilient supply chains in the Indo-Pacific in the aftermath of COVID-19 pandemic, the initiative is set to fundamentally reshape the geographical character of cross-border production networks in the region.

The COVID-19 pandemic has driven home the need to address weaknesses of several traditional supply chains. The imposition of lockdowns and halt in production across locations severely affected global distribution of inputs and final products. In the beginning, the effect was mostly confined to products sourced from China. With more countries pausing industrial production, other supply chains encountered severe disruptions.

Built over decades on principles of economic efficiency, regional supply chains were clearly incapable of handling exogenous shocks of the magnitude inflicted by COVID-19. The need for restructuring them, in order to make them more resilient to unexpected disruptions, has been a fundamental lesson imparted by the pandemic.

A New U.S. Foreign Policy for the Post-Pandemic Landscape

William J. Burns

It’s tempting to draw sweeping conclusions about what geopolitics will look like after the coronavirus pandemic. Some argue that we’re witnessing the last gasp of U.S. primacy, the equivalent of Britain’s 1956 “Suez moment.” Others argue that the United States, the main driver of the post–Cold War international order, is only temporarily incapacitated, with a president drunk at the wheel. Tomorrow, a more sober operator can swiftly restore its leadership.

There is a lot we don’t know yet about the virus or how it will reshape the international landscape. What we do know is that we have drifted into one of those rare periods of transition, with U.S. dominance in the rearview mirror and a more anarchic order looming dimly beyond. The moment resembles—in both its fragility and its geopolitical and technological dynamism—the era before World War I, which triggered two global military convulsions before statecraft finally caught up with the magnitude of the challenges. To navigate today’s complicated transition, the United States will need to move beyond the debate between retrenchment and restoration and imagine a more fundamental reinvention of its role in the world.

We have drifted into one of those rare periods of transition, with U.S. dominance in the rearview mirror and a more anarchic order looming dimly beyond.

The wreckage of the global pandemic surrounds us—with more than 650,000 people dead, the ranks of the hungry doubling, and the most severe economic crisis since the Great Depression raging. Well before the coronavirus hit, however, the liberal international order built and led by the United States was becoming less liberal, less ordered, and less American. The pandemic has accelerated that trend and aggravated preexisting conditions.

Eleventh report of the Secretary-General on the threat posed by ISIL (Da’esh) to international peace and security and the range of United Nations efforts in support of Member States in countering the threat

1. In adopting its resolution 2253 (2015), the Security Council expressed its determination to address the threat posed to international peace and security by Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant1 (ISIL, also known as Da’esh) and associated individuals and groups and requested that I provide an initial strategic-level report on the threat, followed by updates every four months. In its resolution 2368 (2017), the Council requested that I continue to provide, every six months, strategic -level reports that reflect the gravity of the threat, and the range of United Nations efforts in support of Member States in countering the threat. 

2. This is my eleventh report on the threat posed by ISIL to international peace and security.2 The report was prepared by the Counter-Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate and the Analytical Support and Sanctions Monitoring Team, 3 in close collaboration with the Office of Counter-Terrorism, other United Nations entities and international organizations. 

3. Against the background of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, the report highlights a surge in ISIL activity in Iraq and the Syrian Arab Republic and among some of its regional affiliates. ISIL has not been able to reconstitute its external operations capability, and the measures of Member States aimed at reducing the spread of the virus appear to have temporarily reduced the risk of terrorist attacks in many States outside conflict zones. However, the pandemic’s impact on ISIL propaganda, recruitment and fundraising activities remains unclear. Socioeconomic fallout from the crisis could exacerbate conditions conducive to terrorism and increase the medium- to long-term threat, within and outside conflict zones.

Huawei ban could cost UK economy £18.2 billion due to 5G roll-out delay

Banning and removing Huawei from the UK’s 5G networks by 2027 risks severely delaying operators’ 5G roll-out plans. This could cost the UK economy £18.2 billion, and risk the country losing its current competitive advantage in 5G leadership, according to an independent report from Assembly Research.

The new report, commissioned by Huawei, builds upon the government’s own expectation of a 3-year delay to 5G roll-out. The removal of Huawei equipment sooner than 2027 would lead to a further delay to roll-out and higher cost to the UK economy.

The report states that of the potential £18.2bn economic impact, approximately £10 billion of productivity benefits would be lost entirely, while the mobile sector would miss out on the opportunity to generate about £4.7 billion and related industries would lose about £2 billion. The economy at large would miss benefits estimated around £1.5 billion, according to the report.

What Will the World Look Like in 2030?

Big demographic, economic and technological changes are coming — from an aging population in the U.S. and the rise of sub-Saharan Africa as a compelling middle-class market to automation causing “technological unemployment,” according to Wharton management professor Mauro Guillen.

In his new book, “2030: How Today’s Biggest Trends Will Collide and Reshape the Future of Everything,” Guillen discusses how these changes will affect us in the years to come. During a recent interview on the Wharton Business Daily show on SiriusXM, Guillen noted that while these trends have been gathering pace for years, the pandemic is accelerating many of them. (Listen to the podcast above.) Rising inequality across income, race and gender will demand urgent attention, and government policy making will need to become more innovative to address such challenges. Individual responsibility will play a role, too, in areas such as climate change, he says.

An edited transcript of the conversation follows.

Wharton Business Daily: Why did you write this book?

Mauro Guillen: Everyone sees change everywhere, and I think it’s important to figure out where are we going to be five to 10 years from now. How are consumer markets going to look? It’s extremely important for businesses and also for individuals – as investors, as savers and more generally as citizens – to figure out what the future’s going to look like.

Getting the Job Done: How Immigrants Expand the U.S. Economy

In the United States, the economic impact of immigration is a lightning-rod topic that sparks strong feelings on both sides. Opponents have long held that immigrants take away jobs from American citizens and lower wage standards. Proponents dismiss that idea, saying immigrants expand the economy through their hard work and determination. The truth is somewhere in the middle, according to new research from Wharton’s J. Daniel Kim.

To be sure, immigrant workers ramp up competition for jobs, creating a surplus in labor supply for some sectors. But immigrant entrepreneurs have a more profound impact on overall labor demand by starting companies that hire new workers, creating a positive ripple-effect on the economy.

“The problem with the ongoing discussion is that it’s largely one-sided,” Kim said in a recent interview with the Wharton Business Daily radio show on SiriusXM. (Listen to the podcast at the top of this page.) “To be fair, both forces here simultaneously exist. In order for us to have a systematic understanding of the role of immigration on job creation, you need to take both accounts together. And this is what we do in the study.”

Kim is co-author of “Immigration and Entrepreneurship in the United States,” along with Pierre Azoulay, professor at MIT’s Sloan School of Management and associate with National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER); Benjamin F. Jones, professor at the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University and an associate with NBER; and Javier Miranda, economist with the U.S. Census Bureau. In their research, the scholars use comprehensive administrative data from 2005 to 2010 on all new firms in the U.S., the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2012 Survey of Business Owners, and data on firms listed in the 2017 edition of the Fortune 500 ranking to paint a more accurate picture of the economic impact of immigrants in America.

Don’t Trust Boris Johnson’s Britain

By Garvan Walshe

Back from the summer holidays, some London-based Brexit commentators quickly raised hopes for a deal with the EU. Mujtaba Rahman of the Eurasia Group wrote on Twitter: “The only Q that matters is whether @BorisJohnson believes an EU deal is in his political interest … I remain of the view that’s the case. I don’t buy the idea they’ve given up.”

Even an incendiary interview in the Mail on Sunday, in which Britain’s Chief Brexit negotiator David Frost asserted that his EU interlocutor Michel Barnier was being abandoned by his native France, didn’t move them.

Yet Another Opposition Leader Targeted in Belarus
Maria Kolesnikova is a former musician who rose to prominence in recent protests.

A government minister declared bluntly in the House of Commons that the government intended to “break international law.”

Some said the noises from Downing Street were a “cry for help.” But if that was the bait, then came the switch. The U.K. government announced on Tuesday that it would pass legislation to unilaterally override the Withdrawal Agreement. And it wasn’t just any bit, but the most contentious part of the 177-page text: the Ireland/Northern Ireland protocol.

To Succeed in Its Cybersecurity Mission, the Defense Department Must Partner With Academia (For Real)

By Monica M. Ruiz, Jacquelyn G. Schneider, Eli Sugarman 

In 2018, the U.S. Department of Defense unveiled an ambitious new cyber strategy to expand the department’s cyber missions and capabilities. The strategy leaned on partnerships to achieve two important objectives: (a) to help the department recruit top talent and (b) to invest in the best cyber capabilities. In stressing the importance of partnerships for the strategy, Maj. Gen. Charles Moore, director of operations at Cyber Command, noted, “we can’t be successful in executing our mission against any of our adversaries if we are not working very closely with our interagency partners, with our friends and allies around the globe, with industry and academia, etc.”

Moore’s comments are revealing. While the Defense Department often lists academia as part of important partnerships, this relationship is always the coda in the partnership list—right before the “etc.” As such, it’s no surprise that the department spends very little budget dollars or bureaucratic time on academic engagement. This is a missed opportunity.

This is not to say that the Defense Department has done no engagement with academia. The department first highlighted academia in its first cyber strategy in 2011, and over the past decade the department has invested in cybersecurity programs at the armed forces services academies, increased the focus on cyber within the Professional Military Education (PME) institutions, provided scholarships for cyber education, partnered with academic institutions to run cyber hack-a-thons, and both Cyber Command and the National Security Agency (NSA) host “scholars in residence” and support cyber initiatives at university affiliated research centers.

How to forecast armies’ will to fight

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In june 2014 around 1,500 partisans of Islamic State (is) attacked Mosul, a city in northern Iraq. They were outnumbered almost 15 to one by government troops defending the place. The result was a rout. But not in the direction those numbers might have suggested. In the face of the enemy, the government soldiers ran away. Reflecting shortly thereafter on America’s failure to foresee what would happen, James Clapper, then Director of National Intelligence (and thus America’s top spy) described a force’s will to fight, or lack thereof, as an unpredictable “imponderable”.

Many in the past have felt the same. Military history is, as a consequence, littered with disastrously wrong assumptions about belligerents’ will to fight. America, for instance, famously underestimated the determination of Vietnam’s National Liberation Front when it involved itself in that country’s civil war in the 1960s and 1970s. Similarly, in 1916, during the first world war, Germany underrated France’s will to defend its fortress at Verdun against what the Germans hoped would be a war-winning assault. Casualties in that battle exceeded 300,000 on each side.