21 January 2021

US policy toward Afghanistan: Consider the trade-offs, including with other policy areas

Vanda Felbab-Brown

When it takes office on January 20, the Biden administration will face an urgent foreign policy choice: whether to abide by the U.S.-Taliban Doha agreement of February 2020 and withdraw the remainder of U.S. troops from Afghanistan by May 2021. The existence of diplomatic and legal wiggle-room in the agreement — based on so-called interconnectedness (i.e. binding linkages) among the four key points of the agreement and the interpretation of compliance — are tangential to how the Taliban will react. The decision about the May 2021 deadline will have a profound impact on U.S. policy in Afghanistan and beyond.

The decision comes, of course, amid a range of other crises on the new administration’s front burner. But the Afghanistan decision will operate on an extremely tight timeline. A North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) meeting of defense ministers takes place in the middle of February and, understandably, U.S. allies are clamoring to know more about the future of the U.S. military presence in Afghanistan. If the United States decides to keep forces there beyond May, will it seek to negotiate a time-limited extension with the Taliban, or simply force its continued military deployment on the Taliban? And for how long — the length of time it takes to achieve a peace deal that both the Afghan government and the United States like? Or will the United States try to keep an open-ended counterterrorism force in Afghanistan, perhaps even beyond an eventual peace deal?

NATO allies rightly want to avoid a U.S. military exit that fails to simultaneously lift their forces out, leaving them vulnerable without the logistics and intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) capabilities that the United States alone has brought to the war. Thus, the mid-February timeline is fundamental for NATO’s decisionmaking and forces. Unlike some other looming foreign policy challenges, Biden’s Afghanistan policy will be subject to intense political spotlight.

How America Can Shore Up Asian Order

By Kurt M. Campbell and Rush Doshi

Throughout the half century of Asia’s unprecedented rise, Henry Kissinger has been a pivotal figure, orchestrating the United States’ opening to China in the early 1970s and then going on to author tomes on Chinese strategy and world order. But at this transitional moment in Asia, Kissinger’s most relevant observations may be found in a more surprising place: a doctoral dissertation on nineteenth-century Europe that struggled to find a publisher when Kissinger wrote it, years before his rise to prominence.

That book, A World Restored: Metternich, Castlereagh and the Problems of Peace, 1812–22, explored how two European statesmen—one British, the other Austrian—worked to bolster fraying relations among leading continental states at the end of the Napoleonic Wars. Their efforts laid the groundwork for the continent’s so-called long peace—100 years of calm and prosperity between 1815 and World War I. The book’s insights have special resonance for today’s Indo-Pacific, with its intensifying great-power politics and strained regional order.

The Taiwan Factor in the Clarification of China’s U-shaped Line

He Xiaheng Derek

The territorial disputes in the South China Sea form one of the most contentious issues in international relations. The disputes involve complex and overlapping claims from seven parties around the maritime area: the mainland China (the People’s Republic of China, PRC), Vietnam, the Philippines, Malaysia, Indonesia, Brunei, and Taiwan (the Republic of China, ROC). The area is usually considered to consist of four main components: the Paracels, the Spratlys, the Pratas and the Scarborough Shoal. However, a key sticking point related to the dispute is China’s U-shaped Line (see Figure 1). So far, China has not provided an answer to the exact meaning of the Line which will have implications to future resolutions. Such vagueness has led to much international confusion and apprehension over the nature of China’s claim.

Chung (2016) asserts that “the PRC’s official ambiguity over the line’s meaning plays a significant role in perpetuating the dispute. No meaningful resolution can emerge if it is unclear what the PRC claims in the first place”. Miyoshi (2012) presents the challenge it poses to the international lawyers as it raises the question whether “it is possible or permissible at all to claim a sea area encircled by a series of dotted or broken lines instead of an unbroken line”.

Shadows on the Silk Road

By Paul Salopek

YANGON, Myanmar — The looming decline of the United States was revealed to me, five Novembers ago, at a truck stop in Uzbekistan. I was napping after a long day’s hike near the old trading city of Kokand when a brawl exploded. Drunks howled. Fists smacked flesh. Somewhere a window shattered. An anxious waitress poked her head into my curtained dining booth. She wanted to know if I had any sugar in my backpack for a homemade compress to stanch a client’s stab wound.

Amid the ruckus, I nearly missed the day’s big news. A Russian anchor was announcing it breathlessly from a television bolted to a wall: Donald J. Trump had been elected president of the United States.

Looking back, it seems almost farcical to view that gloomy afternoon in Central Asia as a portent of America’s coming age of toxic polarization, mobocracy and global retreat. But the impression has been tough to shake. Maybe it’s because I have spent the entire Trump administration stepping over the rubble of another once dynamic but collapsed experiment in multilateralism: the Silk Road.

I am walking across the world. Since 2013, I have been retracing, on foot, the pathways of the first Homo sapiens who roamed out of Africa during the Stone Age. Often, I write about what I see, using the deep past as a guide to navigate current events.

China 2020 exports up despite virus; surplus surges to $535B


BEIJING (AP) — China’s exports rose in 2020 despite pressure from the coronavirus and a tariff war with Washington, boosting its politically volatile trade surplus to $535 billion, one of the highest ever reported.

Exports increased 3.6% over 2019 to $2.6 trillion, an improvement on the previous year’s 0.5% gain, customs data showed Thursday. Imports edged down 1.1% to just over $2 trillion, but growth was strong in the second half after China became the first major economy to revive following the pandemic.

Exports to the United States rose 7.9% over 2019 to $45.2 billion despite tariff hikes on most Chinese goods by the Trump administration in a feud with Beijing over technology and security. Imports of U.S. goods rose 9.8% to $13.5 billion, boosted by Beijing’s promise as part of a truce in that conflict to buy more American soybeans, natural gas and other exports.

China’s exporters benefited from the relatively early reopening of its economy and demand for masks and other Chinese-made medical supplies.

Why China Should Re-Strategize its Wolf Warrior Diplomacy

David (Trace) Held III

“It was the rise of Athens and the fear that this instilled in Sparta that made war inevitable.”[1] Indeed, Thucydides’ observation of great power conflict over two millennia ago reigns true today, as the swift rise of the People’s Republic of China (PRC)’s economy and leverage within international institutions alarm the United States -– and thereby the Western society as whole – of its impending supplanting as the world’s hegemony. Since Covid-19’s global spread in particular, Chinese diplomats have confirmed the West’s apprehensions by indicating through online discourse and hard power initiatives that China possesses an amplifying “ambition and capability to reform the global governance system to reflect Beijing’s priorities and values.”[2] Yet, China does not desire direct confrontation with the West on all the fronts the diplomats expound. Rather, a proportion of China’s Wolf Warrior Diplomacy (WWD) – China’s aggressive foreign policy named after a recent action movie – stem from a Xi administration tactic to resolve domestic disputes. Nevertheless, continuing to employ this tactic will ultimately deliver disastrous consequences for Xi and could hinder the PRC’s ability to achieve both the domestic stability and reframing of international institutions it desires.

The New Challenge of Communist Corporate Governance

The Issue
The Chinese Communist Party (CCP or the “Party”) is currently strengthening the presence and powers of internal Party organizations located within Chinese companies to ensure greater oversight and influence over China’s commercial sector.

In addition, as part of what it calls the “modern enterprise system with Chinese characteristics,”1 the CCP is requiring that companies codify a role for these Party organizations in their corporate charters.

These new developments challenge traditional understandings of corporate autonomy, and by extension, how Chinese companies should be treated under existing international trade agreements and by the regulatory and investment review bodies of foreign governments. Because the CCP might well attempt to extend this push into foreign private companies operating in China, these new actions pose a very real threat to the operational independence of foreign-invested enterprises (FIEs).

One year into his reign, Oman’s sultan must renegotiate the social contract and prioritize diversification

Yasmina Abouzzohour

Oman’s is set to run out of its current oil and gas reserves in less than two decades, a highly problematic estimation. Indeed, hydrocarbons — which are the sultanate’s top exports (see Figure 1) — funded major infrastructural, educational, and healthcare development in the 1970s and 1980s, and generated 68% to 85% of yearly government revenues over the last 30 years (depending on fluctuations in oil and gas prices). The sultanate’s overreliance on oil has become even more problematic given the 2020 fall in global oil prices, which strained both the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) expansion and its fiscal and current account balances.

During his 50-year reign, the late Sultan Qaboos attempted to diversify the country’s economy away from natural resources. Ultimately, however, these attempts were unsuccessful. After ascending to the throne last year, Sultan Haitham pledged to address Oman’s economic challenges. Economic reform is more urgently needed in the sultanate compared to some of its Gulf neighbors, as its oil reserves are smaller and more geologically challenging.

The long game: Why the US must rethink its cyber strategy


The massive SolarWinds hack sent shockwaves throughout the U.S. government and highlights some stark realities for the United States and its cyber-capabilities. With the intelligence community officially attributing the hack to Russia’s foreign intelligence service, the implications are profound. A foreign adversary’s ability to breach networks associated with crucial U.S. agencies, including the Departments of State, Defense, Homeland Security and more, and go unnoticed for nine months, is unprecedented and calls into question the effectiveness of U.S. cyber-defense. 

State-sanctioned cyberattacks and espionage are not new phenomena, but they have increased at an alarming rate in recent years. With broad vulnerabilities across all levels of government and society, the United States must reevaluate its approach to advancing its interests while also protecting itself in this emerging fifth domain of war.

The United States should pursue a revitalization of its military and diplomatic approaches to cyber-warfare. The U.S. government’s Cyber-Solarium Report asserts that the United States needs to actively “promote good behavior,” foster better cybersecurity in order to defend national networks and deprive enemies of procuring any benefits, and “maintain the capability, capacity, and credibility to retaliate” should a cyberattack happen. While the report states that the U.S. must “defend forward,” it is vague in defining a “proportional response to a cyberattack.” For example, could nuclear weapons, as some Pentagon officials suggested, be appropriate?

Biden, Kerry and the Pentagon Can Declare War on Climate Change

James Stavridis

In Germany a couple of years ago, I was at a small luncheon associated with the Munich Security Conference, an annual event sometimes referred to as the “Davos of geopolitics.” There were some dull comments by a few political leaders as guests sipped their wine. Then former U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry took the floor and addressed what he said — correctly — is the greatest long-term threat to global security: climate change.

Kerry electrified the room. In a short but emotional talk delivered without notes, he laid out the reasons he is passionate about reducing global warming and addressing the many challenges presented by the deterioration of the world’s climate. At the time, I thought how much I wished he had real influence on President Donald Trump’s administration, which had pulled the U.S. out of the Paris climate accords. 

America’s governors and mayors have a stake in US-China relations

Cheng Li and Xiuye Zhao

While the debate over the new U.S. administration’s China policy disproportionately centers on competition and issues of contention between Washington and Beijing, it is only fair to factor in the perspective of America’s state and local policymakers, who are keenly interested in the impact of the bilateral relationship on their states, counties and cities.

Conventional wisdom holds that a bipartisan consensus supports strategic rivalry between China and the United States, but local leaders in America are struggling to salvage the economic, educational and cultural ties with China that they have spent decades cultivating for their constituents.

During the Trump presidency, especially with its comprehensive decoupling with China over the last two years, bilateral relations have deteriorated at an astonishing rate. Yet subnational exchanges across the Pacific have largely survived and, in some cases, flourished.

For example, between the start of the trade war in mid-2018 and the halting of international travel in early 2020 because of the pandemic, three governors (all Republicans) undertook trade missions to China. The fact that governors in President Trump’s own party have not rallied behind his call to decouple with China shows that there is more than domestic politics at play.

The United States Needs a Democracy Summit at Home

By James Goldgeier and Bruce W. Jentleson

It seemed like something straight out of a dystopian movie. Incited by the outgoing president of the United States, insurrectionists waving Confederate and Trump flags broke through the barricades surrounding the U.S. Capitol, scaled the stairs, and stormed through the legislative branch complex, including the chamber where members had just been meeting to certify the presidential vote. The scenes at the heart of American democracy were hard to comprehend, and yet given the nature of Donald J. Trump’s presidency and its Republican enablers, few should have been surprised at the American carnage at the end of these four years.

Joe Biden will be inaugurated as president at noon on January 20, with the expressed hope of declaring that “America is back.” But the new president will face a world that has tremendous reservations about whether the country that has held the mantle of world leadership since World War II

The key trends to watch this year on nonstate armed actors

Vanda Felbab-Brown

As the international system experiences a multifaceted rearrangement of power distribution and modes of governance, challenges emanating from state actors like China and Russia are not the only issues to watch. Nonstate armed actors — militants, militias, and criminal groups — are acquiring increasing power at the expense of the state. This dynamic precedes the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, but has been exacerbated by it: More people around the world depend on illicit economies for basic livelihoods, and criminal and militant actors are empowered while governments are weakened. Unable to effectively confront nonstate armed actors, many governments will feel tempted or required to accommodate them, or attempt to coopt them. Governance by nonstate actors will deepen and expand.

As my Brookings colleagues and I address in more depth in a new series, these are key issues for the incoming Biden administration to watch.


The pandemic is weakening the governing capacity of governments in multifaceted ways, amplifying deep-seated trends in progress for the past two decades. It wiped out 20 years of poverty reduction efforts, with as many as 150 million people pushed into extreme poverty. These numbers may significantly underestimate the calamity, as COVID-19 persists longer and more intensely than many thought, and vaccine distribution is proving more difficult than hoped, even in economically and institutionally-advanced countries.

Women, Peace and… Continued Militarism? Revisiting UNSCR 1325 and Its African Roots

Nico Edwards

Women’s mobilisation for peace rests on a long and engaging history – however, it is a history most often told through the example of the creation of the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF) during a meeting at the Hague in 1915. Lost in such representations are the wide-ranging women-led struggles for peace emanating from the African continent, where gender activists have long emphasised the amplified effects of conflict and war on women and children, and demanded the advancement of women as integral to the promotion of peace and security (Badri and Tripp 2017; Hendricks 2017). Such feminist civil society mobilisation paved the way for the United Nations Security Council Resolution (UNSCR) 1325 on Women, Peace and Security (WPS) (Hendricks 2017; Olonisakin, Hendricks and Okech 2015), for the first time recognising the connections between women’s rights, gender inequality and the promotion of sustainable peace and security within the headquarters of international policymaking.

After first outlining Resolution 1325 and the WPS agenda, I then explore these normative policy frameworks in relation to the insights gained by feminist peace advocates and critical commentators from Africa and beyond. What is being said about the agenda two decades after its conception? Has it brought the international struggle for peace closer to the very women it was intended to serve – or, paradoxically, alienated them even further?

William Burns on Russia

Daniel Shapiro

This compilation of observations and policy ideas related to Russia by William Burns is part of Russia Matters’ “Competing Views” rubric, where we share prominent American thinkers’ takes on issues pertaining to Russia, U.S.-Russian relations and broader U.S. policies affecting Russia.

On January 11, President-elect Joe Biden selected William Burns to serve as his CIA director. Prior to his appointment, Burns served in the U.S. Foreign Service for 33 years, including in such roles as Deputy Secretary of State and as U.S. Ambassador to Russia. Following his retirement from the State Department in 2014, Burns was appointed president of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. Burns is also the author of "The Back Channel: A Memoir of American Diplomacy and the Case for Its Renewal," published in 2019.

This compilation is meant as a sampling of Burns’ views. All sections may be updated with new or past statements. The quotes below are divided into categories similar to those in Russia Matters’ news and analysis digests, reflecting the most pertinent topic areas for U.S.-Russian relations broadly and for drivers of the two countries’ policies toward one another.

China’s Debt Grip on Africa


LONDON – The pandemic is confronting highly indebted poor countries with a fateful dilemma. As Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, a Nobel Peace Prize laureate, lamented last April, leaders have been forced to choose whether to “continue to pay toward debt or redirect resources to save lives and livelihoods.” And when they choose the latter, it is often China – Africa’s biggest bilateral lender – to which they have to answer.

According to Ahmed, a moratorium on debt payments was essential to enable Ethiopia to respond to COVID-19. Such a moratorium would save Ethiopia – one of the world’s poorest countries – $1.7 billion between April 2020 and the end of the year, and $3.5 billion if extended to the end of 2022. An effective COVID-19 response, he noted, would cost $3 billion.

A debt moratorium did save Angola, at least for now. Along with Chad, the Republic of the Congo, Mauritania, and Sudan, Angola was under severe financial pressure, owing to the collapse in commodity prices triggered by the COVID-19 crisis. But, in September, Angola secured an agreement with three of its major creditors – including the China Development Bank (the CDB, to which Angola owes $14.5 billion) and the Export-Import Bank of China (EximBank, owed $5 billion) – to receive $6.2 billion in debt relief over the next three years.

Nonstate armed actors and illicit economies

The international system is experiencing a multifaceted rearrangement of the distribution of power and modes of governance. But the rise of geopolitical competition with China and Russia should not obscure the increasing power of nonstate armed actors — militants, militias, and criminal groups — at the expense of the state. This is a dynamic strengthened and shaped by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Focusing on nonstate armed actors and illicit economies is all the more important as they increasingly interact with the new global geopolitical landscape. The decisions the Biden administration will face soon after assuming office about a series of conflicts, nonstate armed actors, and illicit economies will profoundly shape U.S. security, domestic well-being, and international influence.

This series, part of Brookings’s Initiative on Nonstate Armed Actors, provides a comprehensive “briefing book” on some of the key issues, new trends, priority areas, and policy toolbox the Biden administration and others should consider in devising responses to conflicts, nonstate armed actors, and illicit economies around the world and in the United States.

Dmitry Medvedev: America 2.0. After the election

Dmitry Medvedev 

In his op-ed for TASS, Dmitry Medvedev focuses on the internal and external instability currently plaguing the United States

It is commonly acknowledged that the biggest economies have a major influence on political and social development of other countries. Crises that they periodically go through affect the global economy and consequently have impact on regional and national economies, as well as on political systems of countries that are sensitive to such impact. Yet, it is often overlooked that certain political events, such as elections, can also provoke serious crises in other countries. That is especially so when countries that have a direct influence on the fundamental global processes are concerned.

In this context, it is worth taking a look at the recent US presidential election. It is not that this presidential campaign, likely the most scandal-ridden in history, proved that the flaws in the US electoral system have a comprehensive nature. That is no news.

Remote Learning Is Here to Stay

by Heather L. Schwartz, David Grant, Melissa Diliberti, Gerald P. Hunter

School districts in the United States have approached reopening public schools during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic in notably different ways. The authors of this report developed a national picture of school districts' needs and approaches to school reopenings by fielding a survey to the new American School District Panel, which consists of leaders of more than 375 school districts and charter management organizations. The authors surveyed these individuals in fall 2020, asking them about areas in which districts need additional resources or guidance, anticipated challenges for the 2020–2021 school year, staff-related challenges, professional development, sources of input and influence on plans for the school year, and approaches taken to school operations. The authors looked at both focus districts (where at least 50 percent of students are Black or Hispanic/Latino or at least 50 percent of students qualify for free or reduced-price lunch) and nonfocus districts (all those remaining).

Key Findings

About two in ten districts have already adopted, plan to adopt, or are considering adopting virtual school as part of their district portfolio after the end of the COVID-19 pandemic. District leaders cited reasons related to student and parent demand for continuing various forms of online instruction in future years.

AI set to replace humans in cybersecurity by 2030, says Trend Micro

By Eileen Brown 

What do IT leaders believe the future of the profession will be, and what kind of threats will be most pervasive down the line?

Dallas, TX-based cloud security firm Trend Micro recently carried out new research which reveals that over two-fifths (41%) of IT leaders believe that AI will replace their role by 2030.

Its predictions report, Turning the Tide, forecasts that remote and cloud-based systems will be ruthlessly targeted in 2021.

The research was compiled from interviews with 500 IT directors and managers, CIOs and CTOs and does not look good for their career prospects.

Only 9% of respondents were confident that AI would definitely not replace their job within the next decade. In fact, nearly a third (32%) said they thought the technology would eventually work to completely automate all cybersecurity, with little need for human intervention.

Almost one in five (19%) believe that attackers using AI to enhance their arsenal will be commonplace by 2025

Escaping The Singularity: Why Artificial Intelligence Will Not Save The Planet

by Raul Diego

The National Artificial Intelligence Initiative Act became law on the first day of 2021, opening a backdoor to America’s largest corporations to shield their commercial interests behind the full might of the US government. Artificial intelligence has been touted as the next frontier in technological innovation by the world’s brightest minds and celebrity CEOs like Elon Musk, who predict a hyper-connected future where big data, smart infrastructure, and biology all fuse into what ‘futurist’ Ray Kurzweil and others call the technological singularity.

In his 1999 breakout best-seller titled ‘The Age of Spiritual Machines’, Kurzweil takes the concept first developed by mathematician Vernor Vinge about the merger of technology and human intelligence to an absurd conclusion based on a superficial understanding of mankind’s spiritual nature, in which machines achieve consciousness and co-exist side by side with living organisms in a bleak universe bereft of any connection to natural reality.

As we move into the second decade of the twenty-first century, the ideas Kurzweil brought into the mainstream are being aggressively pursued by Big Tech outfits like Google, which currently employs the author as a director of engineering, and have been enthusiastically embraced by important sectors of the global economy.

The dark side of open source intelligence


In May, a video of a woman flouting a national Covid-19 mask mandate went viral on social media in Singapore. In the clip, the bare-faced woman argues with passersby outside of a grocery store, defending herself as “a sovereign” and therefore exempt from the law. 

Following her arrest later that day, internet detectives took matters into their own hands to ensure that justice was served. They soon identified the woman as the CEO of a digital security firm. Within hours, social media users had posted her personal information and the names and photographs of her employees. 

The only problem was, they got the wrong person. Internet sleuths mistook the woman for business executive Tuhina Singh, but two days after the incident, she was identified at a court appearance as Paramjeet Kaur, a physiotherapist. The damage had already been done: false accusations against Singh had prompted a torrent of racist and xenophobic comments online.

Social media companies need better emergency protocols

Daniel L. Byman and Aditi Joshi

Online vitriol, especially in the hands of widely-followed, influential, and well-resourced politicians and governments, can have serious — and even deadly — consequences. On January 6, 2020, President Trump tweeted false claims of election fraud and seemingly justified the use of violence as his supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol. Although an in-person speech appeared to most directly trigger the violence, Trump’s social media presence played a large role in the mob’s actions. For weeks after losing the 2020 election, President Trump tweeted false claims of election fraud and encouraged supporters to descend on Washington, D.C. on January 6, refuse to “take it anymore,” and “be strong.” On the day of the assault, a tweet that Vice President Mike Pence “didn’t have the courage to do what should have been done” was followed by messages from Trump’s supporters on the social networking platform Gab calling for those in the Capitol to find the vice president, as well as in-person chanting of “Where is Pence?” Leading up to and during the outbreak of violence, various social media platforms helped the mob assemble at the right place and time, coordinate their actions, and receive directions from the president and one another.

As we argued in a recent article for the journal Survival, abuse of social media is not confined to terrorist groups like the Islamic State. Social media companies should also develop emergency protocols to counter the exploitation by malign agents and states that seek to foment violence.

NGOs, Disarmament, and Limits on War Violence

Margarita H. Petrova

Although the role of NGOs in global governance is often associated with their work on environmental protection or human rights (Ruhlman 2019), from early on they have also been closely involved in hard security issues, such as those pertaining to the conduct of war and the imposition of weapons limitations or prohibitions. This article briefly examines the wide-ranging contributions that NGOs have made in this area: from providing relief in warzones and post-conflict settings, advocating for disarmament or the adoption of international legal norms regulating the conduct of armed conflict, providing legal expertise and drafting treaty texts, to monitoring state and non-state actors’ compliance with established norms. For an extended review of NGO roles in disarmament, see Petrova (2019), “NGOs and Peace” in Thomas Davies (ed.) Routledge Handbook of NGOs and International Relations.

In 1863, Henry Dunant, having witnessed a few years earlier the horrific suffering of wounded soldiers many of whom perished for lack of medical care after the battle of Solferino, created the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) as an organization to coordinate medical relief by volunteer national societies and to advocate for a treaty that would allow Red Cross members to provide medical relief on the battlefield (Finnemore 1996; Forsythe 2005). Over time, the ICRC has expanded its work to humanitarian assistance and protection of victims of international and internal armed conflict, most recently turning its attention to situations of urban violence (Forsythe & Rieffer-Flanagan 2007; Bradley 2016, 2020). In the 20th century, more medical relief organizations, such as Doctors Without Borders and Doctors of the World, emerged, and in the late 1980s and early 1990s, a host of NGOs were set up for the specific purpose of mine clearance and mine victim rehabilitation in the wake of conflicts in Angola, Cambodia, Mozambique, and Colombia (Rutherford 2011).

Space Force Reaches Out To New Partners– Eye On China


WASHINGTON: The Space Force is looking for “opportunities” to build ties with nations in the Western Pacific and Indian Ocean region, says Vice Chief DT Thompson. And while he didn’t spell it out, it isn’t hard to extrapolate that the focus on that part of the world has everything to do with China.

“In addition to the military aspects of our partnerships on the need to deter hostile action, is also the need to partner with nations who want to exploit for peaceful purposes and bring stability to the domain,” Thompson told the Association of Old Crows (AOC) today. “We see nations who want to grow and evolve their space capabilities — who want to use them for economic purposes; who want to use them for civil and public safety purposes, who also want to use them for national security purposes — and we see a lot of common ground with them and a lot of common interests.”

Thompson said there is “an absolute demand for expanding our engagement with with close partners we’ve had in space over the years, but also expanding that not just to include allies and partners in other areas, but I will say to look for opportunities for partnerships in space that we may not have had or enjoyed in the past, even in other domains.”