25 November 2020

Costly competition: India playing into China’s hands


Everything is going as China has wanted with its India strategy since April. The situation has been evolving as Beijing predicted.

In other words, whatever China wants India to do, India does.

Because of its opaque governance system, it is normally hard to predict China’s long-term strategy and its short-term tactics. To attempt to do so, one needs to depend on the Chinese state-run media. One may also rely on the reports of Chinese think-tanks and occasional writings in Chinese media.

However, in the case of India, China’s long-term strategy seems reasonably clear.

Beijing no longer considers India a competitor, because it its economy and military capabilities lag far behind China’s. But Beijing does sees India as a possible future rival. Therefore, it wants to create hurdles for India’s evolution as as a future competitor, say 30 years from now.

According to the projections of various international organizations, China’s rivalry will not be with the US but with India by 2050 or beyond. For example, the World Economic Forum has forecast that the Indian economy will surpass that of the US by 2030. However, Standard Chartered Bank recently revised its prediction that India would become the world’s second-largest economy by 2050.

Constitutional Issues in the Afghan Peace Negotiations: Process and Substance

BY: Barnett R. Rubin

The peace negotiations between the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan and the Taliban that began in September in Doha, Qatar, will almost certainly include revisiting the country’s constitution. Both sides claim to abide by Islamic law, but they interpret it in very different ways. This report examines some of the constitutional issues that divide the two sides, placing them within the context of decades of turmoil in Afghanistan and suggesting ideas for how the peace process might begin to resolve them.


Afghanistan has been at war since 1978, with ample participation by external actors. Current negotiations in Doha between the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan and the Taliban’s self-styled Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan aim to end the war by agreeing on a future political road map after the withdrawal of U.S. troops.

The constitution, rejected in its current form by the Taliban, will be a major subject of negotiation. 

CPEC Crisis: China plays hard as Pakistan spirals deeper into debt trap | Deep Dive

Saikiran Kannan

Political turbulence, foreign debt limits and the Covid-19 pandemic have all come together to slow down Chinese investment in Pakistan as Beijing holds off on projects under the $62 billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), including a $6.1 billion railway renovation plan.

The recent controversy is surrounding the Main Line 1, or ML-1, railway project, the largest in China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) in Pakistan, as Beijing is hesitant to finance it at the 1 per cent interest rate requested by Islamabad. With 2,655km of track, it connects Karachi in the South to Peshawar in the North. It also includes dualisation and upgrading of the railway track from Peshawar to Karachi.

Pakistan has now decided to seek $2.7 billion in loan out of the total estimated Chinese financing of about $6.1 billion.

The ministry of railways was in favour of making the request for full financing of $6.1 billion but due to overall debt sustainability fears, they decided to request for the loan across three phases, subject to China’s ratification.

Regional Responses to U.S.-China Competition in the Indo-Pacific

by Bonny Lin, Michael S. Chase, Jonah Blank, Cortez A. Cooper III

In long-term strategic competition with China, how effectively the United States works with allies and partners will be critical to determining U.S. success. To enable closer cooperation, the United States will need to understand how allies and partners view the United States and China and how they are responding to U.S.-China competition.

In this report, which is the main report of a series on U.S.-China competition in the Indo-Pacific, the authors define what U.S.-China competition for influence involves and comparatively assess U.S.-China competition for influence in six countries in Southeast Asia—Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam—as well as the roles of three U.S. allies and partners that are active in Southeast Asia—Australia, India, and Japan. The authors first explore why the United States is competing with China in the Indo-Pacific and what the two are competing for. They then develop a framework that uses 14 variables to assess relative U.S.-Chinese influence across countries in the Indo-Pacific. Drawing from interviews in all nine countries and data gathered, the authors apply this framework to assess how regional countries view U.S.-China competition in their respective countries and how China views competition in each of the regional countries. Finally, the authors discuss how the United States could work more effectively with allies and partners in Southeast Asia and beyond.

China Leans Into RCEP Conclusion as Win

By Eleanor Albert

Earlier this week, 15 countries signed a free trade agreement, the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), at the 2020 ASEAN Summit virtually hosted by Vietnam. The deal, set to come into force within two years, brings together the 10 ASEAN member states – Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam – with major trading partners Australia, China, Japan, New Zealand, and South Korea. The trade bloc’s members account for around 30 percent of the world’s population and 30 percent of the world’s GDP.

The deal has been years in the making. Negotiations for RCEP first kicked off during the 2012 ASEAN Summit in Cambodia. As an Asian regional trade pact, some of RCEP’s membership overlaps with that the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP, previously TPP), with two notable exceptions: China is not part of the TPP, and the United States, which spearheaded the original TPP, is not part of RCEP. The membership rosters, along with the simultaneous and parallel negotiations between RCEP and TPP, fueled the sense that the two trade pacts were manifestations of competition between the United States and China in Asia – two influential actors in the region and the top two economies in the world vying to set trade rules for years to come.

Is Biden Preparing to Tweak the Indo-Pacific Strategy?

By Sebastian Strangio

During a recent series of phone calls with the leaders of close Asian partners and allies after his victory in the presidential election on November 3, U.S. President-elect Joe Biden reassured them that Washington was in it for the long haul in the Indo-Pacific region.

The fact that Biden used the phrase “Indo-Pacific” suggested a broad continuity with the Trump administration’s Free and Open Indo-Pacific (FOIP) strategy, itself a carbon copy of a concept authored by then-Japanese Prime Minister Abe Shinzo.

But he also appeared to introduce a subtle shift in language: instead of using the phrase “free and open” to describe Washington’s intentions for the Indo-Pacific region, Biden employed the formulation “secure and prosperous.”

The Shanghai Cooperation Organization: A Testbed for Chinese Power Projection

Will Green, Sierra Janik

This issue brief examines China’s efforts to use the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), an organization originally founded by China, Russia, and Central Asian countries, as a platform to project power and influence beyond China’s borders. The paper analyzes the power projection capabilities and diplomatic agreements China is developing through the SCO and assesses the implications of China’s efforts for the United States.


In 2001, Beijing established the SCO along with Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan with the stated objectives of combatting terrorism and instability, promoting border security, strengthening political ties, and expanding economic cooperation.1 The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) in particular feared that separatist movements in the minority-dominated autonomous region of Xinjiang could find support in the newly independent Central Asian states. 2 To shore up control in those areas, it made combating the perceived threats of “terrorism, separatism[,] and extremism” a central calling of the new organization. 3 Since that time, the SCO has evolved into an organization Beijing views as increasingly critical to its security interests. China has used the organization to extend its defensive perimeter into Central Asia, carrying out military exercises and developing key diplomatic relationships that facilitate power projection. In recent years, Beijing has leveraged these ties to deploy its security forces into the region to patrol beyond China’s borders. In the future, the PLA is likely to build on its experience in the SCO to extend its defensive perimeter elsewhere in Asia.

China Is Fishing for Trouble at Sea

By Blake Herzinger

The People’s Republic of China leads the world in illegal, unreported, and unregulated fishing (IUUF). With a fishing fleet that numbers up to 800,000 boats by some estimates, China depleted its own domestic fisheries long ago. Through generous subsidies and government direction, the Chinese Communist Party has subsequently incentivized part of its fleet to travel further afield to satisfy both China’s domestic consumption and the international market. Despite this, China has avoided any tangible consequences for its actions, while smaller states are strong-armed into compliance with international standards and maritime law. With a growing number of fishing-related policy announcements, it appears that the United States is preparing the groundwork for launching a new salvo in the U.S.-China competition as the time runs out for President Donald Trump’s administration.

Globally, economic losses from illegal fishing are difficult to quantify, but there is little disagreement that the overall economic loss totals tens of billions of dollars yearly, encompassing lost tax revenue, onshore fishing industry jobs, and depletion of food supplies. Much of that illegal catch comes from the exclusive economic zones of states such as Guinea, the Philippines, and North Korea that are impoverished and cannot exercise sufficient control of their maritime areas—the same states that Chinese fishermen often end up targeting. Fishery collapse due to overfishing in those areas poses a very real risk of food insecurity for millions in the developing world.

Trump Was Cuba’s Perfect Storm. What Will Biden Bring?

In April 2018, Cuba experienced a watershed moment when Miguel Diaz-Canel was inaugurated as president. That marked the first time in nearly six decades that a Castro had not led the country. Diaz-Canel slowly moved to put his stamp on the nation, beginning with the adoption of a new constitution in April 2019 that includes some structural reforms, including the creation of a prime ministerial position, and some attempts to embed market economics within Cuba’s socialist state. But worsening U.S.-Cuba relations have jeopardized the effort.

Cuba enjoyed a surge in tourism when former U.S. President Barack Obama normalized relations between the two countries, but more systemic reforms were necessary even then to unleash the younger generation of Cuban entrepreneurs. Since his election in 2016, President Donald Trump has reversed many of the steps Obama took to relax U.S. policy on Cuba, tightening restrictions on commerce with military-owned businesses and on remittances and travel to Cuba by U.S. citizens.

Joe Biden’s Foreign Policy and Russia

Dmitri, Trenin

When Joe Biden said in 2011 that he had looked into Putin’s eyes and found that he had no soul, Vladimir Putin’s response was: “We understand one another.” With Biden elected the forty-sixth president of the United States, and Putin allowed under the recent constitutional amendments to stay in the Kremlin through 2036, this promises to be one of the coldest personal relationships between the U.S. and Russian leaders. In terms of foreign policy, President-elect Biden is often compared in Russia to his former boss Barack Obama, but although many of the people likely to get top positions at the National Security Council, the state and defense departments, and the U.S. mission to the UN are former members of the Obama administration, Biden’s foreign policy experience goes back much further. 

Biden meeting Gromyko (R) in 1988. Source: Eduard Pesov/TASSFor the seventy-eight-year-old, the Cold War is not something he learned about from books, like Obama, but something he lived through. Elected to the U.S. Senate in 1972, Biden visited Moscow in 1979, when the ill-starred SALT-2 treaty was signed, and then again nearly a decade later just after the signing of the INF agreement, which was canceled by Donald Trump last year. A photo taken during the latter trip of Biden with Andrei Gromyko, the patriarch of Soviet diplomacy who was then the nominal head of state of the USSR, has become a big hit on Russian social media since November 3. Therein lies a major distinction between Biden and Obama where it comes to Russia: for Biden, the present confrontation with Moscow is a postscript to the Cold War. And like the Cold War itself, it must be won by the United States. 

After RCEP’s Launch, the US Urgently Needs to Rejoin the TPP

By Ho-fung Hung

This past weekend saw the signing of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), a free trade pact among ASEAN, China, Australia, Japan, New Zealand, and South Korea. China took the lead in the negotiations leading to its launch, while India withdrew from RCEP in 2019, and the United States was never part of it. In a world of protectionism and tariffs, spearheaded by President Donald Trump’s termination of trade deals and his initiation of trade wars against U.S. allies and foes alike, RCEP looks like a restart of globalization under China’s leadership, after the U.S. surrendered the helm.

Compared to other regional trade agreements in place, like the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) or the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), the successor of the ill-fated Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), RCEP is seen as limited in breadth and depth. But it no doubt can serve as a baseline for further liberalization of trade and investment within the bloc. Such further liberalization is not guaranteed, however, as many participating countries in Southeast Asia are already wary of becoming too dependent on China, the group’s biggest economy. Many of these countries have territorial disputes with China in the East and South China Seas. They are well aware of China’s propensity to weaponize its market and use it to bully its trade partners.

How Trump’s Trade Wars Have Reshaped the Global Economy

Though it’s been overshadowed by the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, the U.S.-China trade war has not been definitively resolved. In January, the two countries hit the pause button on the on again, off again dispute, which began in 2018 when Trump launched a series of tit-for-tat tariff hikes over China’s unfair trade practices, including forced technology transfers and the theft of intellectual property. After several rounds of talks stalled over the course of the following 18 months, the two sides signed a limited “phase one” agreement in January, giving them more time to try to iron out their broader differences. But the terms of the stopgap deal, particularly China’s required purchases of a range of U.S. products and goods, were already going to be difficult to achieve under normal circumstances. The economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic has called them even further into question, with no guarantees for an agreement in broader “phase two” talks.

Trump’s unpredictable negotiating style and his willingness to brandish the threat of tariffs for leverage in trade talks was also unsettling to European officials, who have yet to start their own trade negotiations with the U.S. Trump has decried what he sees as unfair trade deficits with European Union countries, particularly Germany, and he imposed tariffs on steel and aluminum imports from some allies, without seeming to understand that the EU negotiates trade terms as a bloc. A U.S.-Europe trade war could do lasting damage to both sides.

Center for Security Studies, Georgetown University

Georgetown Security Studies Review, November 2020, v. 8, no. 2

You Can’t have Women in Peace without Women in Conflict and Security

Does Democratic Peace Theory Hold in Cyberspace?

Just Robots, Just Collection: The Implications of Lethal Autonomous Weapons Systems for Ethical Intelligence Collection

China’s Influence in Central and Eastern Europe, European Responses, and Implications for Transatlantic Security

Five Models of Strategic Relationship in Proxy War

The Critical Importance of Brown-Water Operations in the Era of Great Power Competition

For Armenians Fleeing Nagorno-Karabakh, ‘Losing It Is Everything’

By Liz Cookman

KALBAJAR, Azerbaijan—As a steady stream of cars piled high with belongings waited in long queues to exit Nagorno-Karabakh after six weeks of bitter fighting, a truck struggled past. It was burdened with an entire shop on top, corrugated roof intact and wires protruding from the side, lifted wholesale from where it stood, still unsure where it would end up.

People who could not afford to transport their livestock simply killed them, beheading chickens and gutting horses, the hot steam rising through the cold air. Others walked their herds for miles along narrow mountain roads, hoping they would not succumb to exhaustion or an oncoming car.

This was the tragic face of an exodus, a large-scale migration of people from a land that has literally changed owners overnight. Days after Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan announced an end to the war with Azerbaijan over this small, mountainous enclave, thousands of ethnic Armenians have been forced to flee their lands, which have been handed back to Azerbaijan.

Armenia and Azerbaijan end a 30-year conflict with a tense peace deal

THE TIMING was impeccable. On November 7th, as the world’s democratic leaders lined up to congratulate Joe Biden on his presidential victory, Turkey’s president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, called his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin. The two strongmen, overcome with nostalgia for imperial grand games, had some business to discuss. With America and Europe distracted by elections and the second wave of covid-19 for the past few weeks, they have been busily rejigging the political map of the south Caucasus, potentially shifting the balance of power in this strategic region at the crossroads of Europe, Asia and the Middle East for years to come.

The contours of the new political map began to emerge two days later with a peace settlement for the region’s longest-lasting unresolved conflict, in the area, once part of the Soviet Union, that is centred on Nagorno-Karabakh, a separatist ethnic-Armenian enclave inside Azerbaijan. In the early 1990s, Armenia, aided by Russia, captured the enclave which it considered essential to its identity and statehood, and occupied the seven adjacent districts that belonged to Azerbaijan. The conflict was semi-frozen but never resolved and drowned in diplomatic talk.

Israel in the Middle East: The next two decades

Natan Sachs and Kevin Huggard

Israel enters the 2020s looking toward its region from a position of confidence. Israel recently signed treaties to normalize relations with the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Bahrain, and begin a normalization process with Sudan, deepening and making public dramatic shifts in Israel’s regional position. Relative to its neighbors, Israel enjoys military prowess and economic strength, despite the heavy toll of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. In some ways, Israel has never been safer. Still, in a tumultuous region, several pillars of Israel’s successes rest on uncertain foundations. With a new administration in Washington, and as regional and global changes continue at a stark pace, new and emerging threats risks threaten to challenge Israel’s safety over the next two decades. In some instances, swift and decisive changes in policy are in order.

These threats will emerge on three levels: transnational trends which affect every country in the region; changes in the outlooks of important regional countries, whether partners of Israel — public or discrete — or its outright adversaries; and the trajectory of great power dynamics in the region, especially those involving the United States, Russia, and China.

Repairing the rift with Turkey

Michael E. O’Hanlon and Ömer Taşpınar

Can a Biden administration repair the U.S. relationship with Turkey — a geostrategically important NATO ally whose partnership with Washington gradually deteriorated in the past few years? Short of policy towards the big threats — Russia, China, North Korea, Iran—it is hard to think of a more important security issue facing the incoming team. Turkey can be a critical player in helping the U.S. handle — or, if we get it wrong, mishandle — the first and last of those other threats. The importance of this pivotal Muslim country between Europe and the Middle East is much greater than commonly perceived.

The temptation for the incoming administration will be to punish Turkey for its many transgressions. The autocratic ways of president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, his heavy-handed military reprisal against Syrian Kurds — critical U.S. allies in defeating the Islamic State — and his purchase of Russian missile defense systems have left Ankara with few friends in Washington. Clearly, Erdogan’s Turkey is a country to shunt aside as much as possible, no? Some would even have NATO’s other twenty-nine members kick Turkey out of the alliance, notwithstanding that there is no mechanism by which a NATO member can be expelled or even suspended.

Top 10 Emerging Technologies 2020

These are the most exciting technologies that emerged in 2020 and – according to our experts – have the greatest potential to positively transform society and industry. What opportunities will they unlock, what risks will they potentially pose?

Technology - an agent of change

Technological advances have always been key agents of change in how we work, interact and live. During the last two decades, the world has witnessed an unprecedent pace of technological innovation in all fields, from computing and artificial intelligence to biotechnology and nanotechnology. These technologies come with a potential to help us solve some of our most pressing global challenges, but also pose significant risks, if misused and mismanaged.

Every year, this publication brings together some of the world’s experts to inform decision-makers and the wider public about emerging technologies that have the potential to disrupt industry and society. This gives us chance to position ourselves to best capitalize on their promises and safeguard against potential risks.
2020's top challenges answered

A New U.S. Missile Defense Test May Have Increased the Risk of Nuclear War


The U.S. Missile Defense Agency (MDA) has confirmed that, for the first time, a Standard Missile 3 (SM-3) Block IIA interceptor successfully destroyed an intercontinental-range ballistic missile (ICBM) target in a test. With this milestone, the SM-3 Block IIA becomes only the second U.S. interceptor type to exhibit this capability. The consequences for strategic stability and future arms control are serious.

Since the late 1990s, U.S. homeland missile defense efforts have been scoped around defending the country from a “limited” ballistic missile threat from North Korea and Iran. Earlier post–Cold War efforts focused on a wider range of potential threats. Because Iran does not currently possess an ICBM capability, the nominal threat today concerns North Korea, which has conducted three ICBM tests involving two separate missile designs.

Beyond North Korea, however, Russia and China have long expressed concerns that the United States seeks to counter their capacity to use ICBMs against it. These concerns have intensified since the United States in 2002 withdrew from the 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty. The 2019 U.S. Missile Defense Review (MDR) notes that the United States “relies on deterrence” (as opposed to missile defense) to protect the homeland against “Russian and Chinese intercontinental ballistic missile threats.” But officials in both countries have expressed concerns that U.S. homeland missile defense efforts undermine their strategic nuclear deterrents.

Global Smart Weapons Market Report 2020-2025: Death by Algorithm - The $120.8 Billion Smart Weapons Market Brings Us Closer to that Reality - ResearchAndMarkets.com

DUBLIN--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The "Smart Weapons - Global Market Trajectory & Analytics" report has been added to ResearchAndMarkets.com's offering.

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Death by Algorithm! The $120.8 Billion Smart Weapons Market Brings Us Closer to that Reality

The global market for Smart Weapons is projected to reach US$120.8 billion by 2025, trailing a CAGR of 11.3% over the analysis period 2018 to 2025.

The projected growth will be driven by the escalating global arms race and the ensuing focus on defense spending by countries across the world. Defense spending have and will continue to be supported by rapidly mushrooming hotspots of terrorism, civil strife, cross-border hostilities, expansionist and aggressive protective economic policies; and spike in insurgency.

Looking for Trouble: Sources of Violent Conflict in Central Asia

This report offers a road map for understanding the most likely sources of violent conflict in the post-Soviet nations of Central Asia—ethno-nationalism and nativism, Islam and secularism, water resources and climate change, and labor migration and economic conflict. The analysis draws from emerging trends in the region and identifies the ways in which Central Asia’s geography and cultural place in the world interact with those trends. It suggests that the policy goals of the United States, Russia, and China in the region may be more compatible than is often assumed.

Central Asian states are multiethnic in their constitutions, yet a resurgence of nativism and nationalism are the most common drivers of large-scale violent conflict in the region.

Similarly, although all Central Asian states are avowedly secular, the region is experiencing an Islamic religious revival, pitting local Islamic tradition against versions of Islam from other parts of the world.

China Has Made Drone Warfare Global

By Michael C. Horowitz, Joshua A. Schwartz, and Matthew Fuhrmann

Drone warfare is one of the most important international security developments of the twenty-first century. The United States has conducted thousands of drone strikes, ranging from attacks on nonstate actors such as al Qaeda to the operation last January that killed Iranian Major General Qasem Soleimani. Turkey has employed armed drones domestically against the Kurdistan Workers’ Party, Nigeria against Boko Haram, and Iraq against the Islamic State (also known as ISIS). Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates have carried out deadly attacks in Libya and Yemen using drones. In just the last few weeks, Azerbaijan has used armed drones, arguably to great effect, in the war with Armenia, especially against tanks and artillery.

Armed drones are proliferating rapidly, and drone warfare is thus likely to become even more prevalent in coming years. Our research shows that 18 countries obtained armed drones from 2011 to 2019. By contrast, prior to 2011 just three countries

US Army Wants Data Analytics to Spot ‘Emerging Tech Leaders’


The Army plans to groom a new class of “emerging technology leaders” and wants to use data science and machine learning to identify the best soldiers for the job and where their talents are most sorely needed.

Fielding new technologies in the government and military space requires deep technical skills, an encyclopedic knowledge of federal policy and procurement and strong leadership willing to push through barriers and ensure sustained support. Having all these skills in one place usually requires a team of individuals. But having strong technologists in leadership roles can help bridge some of those gaps—especially between IT folks deep in the weeds and top brass floating high above.

Under a forthcoming solicitation under the Army’s Small Business Innovation Research, or SBIR, program, the branch will be asking small businesses for “solutions leveraging data science and/or machine learning techniques that will revolutionize how the Army recruits, develops, selects, and distributes talent across the force.”

How the Descendants of a 1950s Bomber Transformed China’s Strike Reach

By Rick Joe

Recent blurry pictures of an H-6N bomber hauling a massive missile in its ventral hardpoint have thrust the H-6K family of bombers – produced by Chinese aircraft maker Xi’an Aircraft Company (XAC) – back into the limelight again. In recent years, the modern H-6K family – including the H-6K, H-6J, and most recently the H-6N – have made headlines as instruments of Chinese signaling in the region, conducting flights around Taiwan, near Japan, and in the South China Sea as displays of political resolve. And of course, they have been a staple of Chinese military parades over the last decade as well.

The conventional configuration of the aircraft, a non-stealthy, subsonic airframe – and its heritage going back to a Soviet design from the early 1950s – may lead some to question its exact role in the 21st century. This piece will review the characteristics of the modern H-6K family, their present capabilities and role in the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) toolbox of strike options, as well as their future potential.

The U.S. Military Is 'Marginal' According to one Top DC Think Tank

by Rachel del Guidice

The military strength of the United States again is rated as only “marginal” in a new report from The Heritage Foundation, a status that a key Texas congressman says doesn’t serve the American people well.

“The fundamental point here is that we’re not where we should be,” Rep. Mac Thornberry, R-Texas, ranking member of the House Armed Services Committee, said of the 2021 Index of U.S. Military Strength during an event Tuesday marking its release at the think tank’s Capitol Hill headquarters.

“Or to put it another way, the federal government is not fulfilling its first responsibility to the American people and to future generations to provide for the common defense,” Thornberry said at the event, which was streamed online.

It’s not all bad news, he said, but there’s still a ways to go.