9 June 2022

Army’s Project Convergence Is Bringing AI and Mini-Drones to the Battlefield

Kris Osborn

There is a significant amount of evidence to suggest that the Army is now achieving breakthrough success with its long-standing vision and hope to truly network the force for high-speed, multi-domain attacks.

The service’s Project Convergence, a series of “learning” experiments in the desert that started in 2020, has been able to truncate sensor-to-shooter timelines to speeds the Army used to only dream of. Using AI-enabled computers to quickly analyze otherwise disparate pools of sensor data in milliseconds, these systems can recommend an optimal “shooter” ahead of or even inside of the enemy’s decision cycle. As a result, Project Convergence has been able to demonstrate massively accelerated warfare at what is called the “speed of relevance.”

Forward-operating mini-drones, for instance, were able to locate high-value target details at standoff distances before quickly transmitting targeting data to larger drones, helicopters, AI-enabled computers, and even ground-based armored vehicles, all in a matter of seconds. Senior Army weapons developers long familiar with the service’s ambitions and modernization efforts describe Project Convergence as a massive breakthrough.


James Lacey

After what was effectively a bloody, three-year master’s course on operational level warfare, the Red Army, in June 1944, unleashed an offensive—Operation Bagration—that in mere weeks tore apart three of the four armies comprising Germany’s Army Group Center. In a stunning display of its recently acquired competence, the Red Army proved it had fully absorbed the intricacies of operational warfare. Fortunately, for the fate of Ukraine, at some point in the decades since Bagration, the Russians appear to have forgotten all they had learned.

Just as Operation Bagration forced the world to take notice of the Red Army’s operational skills, the level of Russia’s military incompetence put on display for the past several months has equally stunned the world. What has gone wrong? Undoubtedly, there are many answers to this question. But please allow me to offer one essential item that likely lies at the root of Russian military ineptitude—Russia’s professional military education ceased taking the study of war seriously. The supposed experts of the new forms of war—hybrid warfare, conducted in the gray zone by little green men, with heavy doses of cyber and information operations—have forgotten how to execute more traditional forms of war.

America Is Waging A Technology War On Russia

Robert Farley

The Biden administration has taken drastic measures to limit the transfer of technology to Russia in the months since that country invaded Ukraine. This is not the first time that the United States has waged a war of technology against Moscow. Beginning in 1945, the United States engaged in a decades-long effort to restrict the Soviet Union’s access to the most advanced military and civilian technologies.

It isn’t quite correct to say that export controls were invented to contain the Soviet Union, but it isn’t quite wrong, either. Before World War II, efforts to control the export of military equipment were haphazard, and they did not generally focus on technology. In United States vs. Curtiss Wright, the ruling that the Roosevelt administration had the inherent authority to prevent the export of military technology to Bolivia created the basic legal foundation for export management. Beginning in 1935, the Neutrality Acts restricted U.S. arms exports to combatants, out of the belief that these weapons could spark or extend wars.

DOD Is Updating Its Decade-Old Autonomous Weapons Policy, but Confusion Remains Widespread

Gregory C. Allen

In November 2012, the Department of Defense (DOD) released its policy on autonomy in weapons systems: DOD Directive 3000.09 (DODD 3000.09). Despite being nearly 10 years old, the policy remains frequently misunderstood, including by leaders in the U.S. military. For example, in February 2021, Colonel Marc E. Pelini, who at the time was the division chief for capabilities and requirements within the DOD’s Joint Counter-Unmanned Aircraft Systems Office, said, “Right now we don't have the authority to have a human out of the loop. Based on the existing Department of Defense policy, you have to have a human within the decision cycle at some point to authorize the engagement."

He is simply wrong. No such requirement appears in DODD 3000.09, nor any other DOD policy.

Misconceptions about DODD 3000.09 appear to extend even to high-ranking flag officers. In April 2021, General Mike Murray, the then-four-star commander of Army Futures Command, said, “Where I draw the line—and this is, I think well within our current policies—[is], if you’re talking about a lethal effect against another human, you have to have a human in that decision-making process.” Breaking Defense, a news outlet that reported on Murray’s remarks at the time, stated that the requirement to have a human in the decisionmaking process is “official Defense Department policy.”

Concurrent Crises in the Horn of Africa

Jacob Kurtzer and Sierra Ballard


The greater Horn of Africa, stretching from southern Ethiopia to northern Kenya and Somalia, is experiencing its worst drought in four decades. A fourth consecutive failed rainy season caused by the La Niña weather phenomenon has generated extreme drought conditions that have curtailed agricultural production, destroyed crops, and killed more than 3 million livestock, threatening the livelihoods and lives of millions of farmers and pastoralists. Across the region, more than 20 million people currently face starvation, and nearly 6 million children under the age of five are acutely malnourished. The number of individuals impacted by acute food insecurity will likely increase to over 25 million by mid-2022, hitting conflict-affected Ethiopia and Somalia the hardest, potentially leading to widespread malnutrition and starvation.

Droughts in the region are not new, but they are becoming more frequent and severe, resulting in longer-term impacts. Climate models forecast the upcoming October–December rains to underperform, meaning the region will likely see an unprecedented five-season drought. Rangelands are unable to recover from increasing drought cycles and pastoralist livelihoods may no longer be viable in many areas. The current drought is the latest of many crises afflicting the Horn, including the Covid-19 pandemic, devastating floods, and locust outbreaks.

Russia and China’s War on the Dollar Is Just Beginning

Axel de Vernou

One infallible trend that has persisted throughout history is the correlation between financial and geopolitical power. For a country to build up its military, pursue innovative technologies, and maintain a productive workforce, it must have a robust economic base. While admirals and advisers are increasingly highlighting the closing gap between Chinese and American military capabilities, the U.S. dollar remains dominant. Is this a fact that can be taken for granted, or does a Sino-Russian alliance pose a tangible threat to Washington’s financial hegemony?

The speed and scope of China’s rise has been the subject of fierce debate for many decades, but recent statements by U.S. officials have made it clear that the United States no longer enjoys the unparalleled geopolitical preeminence of the post-World War II years.

In September 2021, Pentagon software chief Nicolas Chaillan resigned from his role, citing his frustration that the Department of Defense was not doing enough to match Chinese advancements in software, artificial intelligence, and cyber capabilities. U.S. Navy Adm. John Aquilino warned members of the Senate Armed Services Committee several months earlier that U.S. maritime supremacy was slipping in the face of rapid Chinese development. More recently, during a speech outlining the Biden administration’s China strategy, Secretary of State Antony Blinken highlighted how Beijing is progressively building the “economic, diplomatic, military and technological power” to replace the U.S.-led, rules-based international order.

Russia’s War in Ukraine and Implications for Its Influence Operations in the West

Michaela Dodge

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on February 24, 2022, and its subsequent atrocities on Ukrainian territory have affected Moscow’s ability to successfully conduct influence operations in the West, but whether this will continue remains to be seen. Russia’s aggression made the execution of its influence operations more difficult, but the Kremlin will try to utilize the Ukrainian migration wave to other countries to stir discontent and plant divisive false narratives within western societies.

Russia’s War in Ukraine Makes Russia’s Influence Operations in the West More Difficult to Execute

Following Russia’s aggression in Ukraine, the European Union (EU) banned RT (formerly known as Russia Today) and Sputnik on the 27 countries’ territory. These so called news organizations, directly connected to the Russian government, were spreading “systematic information manipulation and disinformation” and their disinformation narratives were considered “a significant and direct threat to the [European] Union’s public order and security.”[1] Amid streaming platforms’ and technological companies’ efforts to comply with the EU’s ban by demonetizing and deplatforming[2] RT’s and Sputnik’s content, RT America laid off all of its staff and effectively shut down in the United States.[3] The Russian Federation used these channels to legitimize false narratives, disseminate fake news, and pollute the information environment in other countries.

America's 5G Era

Jennifer Brookes, James Bonomo, Timothy M. Bonds

Fifth-generation (5G) wireless networking will increase the scale of wireless networks by an order of magnitude or more. Perhaps nothing exemplifies the future of the 5G era more than the ubiquitous surveillance that is gathering more and more-diverse data on people. Even before the 5G era, data were seen as a source of new economic value.

The number of automated sensors and devices connected to wireless networks will grow in the next few years by an order of magnitude or more. Increasingly, these networks will inform artificial-intelligence algorithms, which will then autonomously make decisions and take actions — with humans directly involved only infrequently. In this report, researchers discuss how the United States should seek to balance the potential gains of the 5G era with the potential loss of privacy and of control of personal data.

Avoiding a Return to War in Myanmar’s Rakhine State


Since independence in 1948, the Myanmar state has never been in full control of all the territory within its borders; at times, it has controlled little more than the major cities and key infrastructure, with the rest in dispute or in the hands of various non-state armed groups. Over the decades, some of these armed groups have created state-like enclaves in the country’s borderlands within which they provide services, issue laws, maintain law and order, collect taxes and do business. The United Wa State Army, the Kachin Independence Organisation and the Karen National Union are among those with well-developed governance systems, but even the smaller of Myanmar’s twenty-plus ethnic armed groups exert control over some territory.

Rakhine State has been an outlier. There, insurgency largely failed to take root and the state was firmly entrenched. Unlike most other minorities, the ethnic Rakhine attained high-ranking positions in both the military and the civil service, alongside the majority Burmans. But the Rakhine also harboured deep grievances toward the Burmans, dating back centuries to the conquest of the Arakan kingdom of Mrauk-U in 1784 by a Burman king, Bodawpaya. They pointed to Rakhine’s deep poverty as evidence of the Burman-dominated state’s neglect of the people of Rakhine, both Buddhist and Muslim.

Turkey’s Military Operations in Syria and Iraq

In the early hours of 18 April, Turkish Armed Forces (TAF) launched a military opera­tion inside Northern Iraq dubbed Claw-Lock. Simultaneously, Turkey intensified its military activities in Syria. Furthermore, on 23 May, President Tayyip Erdoğan an­nounced that Turkey will soon start a new military operation in Syria. These moves reflect Turkey’s new military strategy, based on area control, against the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK). So far, this new approach has yielded military success. How­ever, it is precisely military success that is reinforcing the tendency to deal with the Kurdish problem only in terms of security and military solutions and to rule out any long-term political solution to the problem. Europe should continue to support efforts towards seeking a solution that also addresses the political dimensions of the problem.

Claw-Lock is the latest in a series of cross-border operations by Turkey into Iraqi territory over the last three decades. These operations typically take place in spring, when climate conditions are more ben­eficial for military moves. Operations in spring also prevent the organisation and regrouping of the militants, who usually spend the winter passively waiting. This year Turkey is simultaneously attacking forces of the People’s Defense Units (YPG) in north-eastern Syria. Turkey’s Kurdish policy does not differentiate between Syria and Iraq, as Turkey considers them to be differ­ent theatres of the same struggle. During this struggle over the last years, Turkey has developed a new military approach with two geopolitical aims.

Western financial warfare and Russia’s de-dollarization strategy: How sanctions on Russia might reshape the global financial system


Since 2014, Russia’s de-dollarization plan has been guided by security and geopolitical considerations. By dumping the US dollar from its foreign currency reserves, Russia diverted from the traditional approach where liquidity and the credibility of the issuer determine the choice of currency.

In 2022, Russia has doubled down on its efforts to de-dollarize the economy. What started as de-dollarization in 2014, transformed into full-blown rouble-ization in 2022.

Following the dynamic of an emerging multipolar world order, the global financial system is also gravitating towards fragmentation and currency multipolarity. The overuse of sanctions could strengthen revisionist countries’ desire to increasingly conduct their trade in non-dollar currencies in an attempt to avoid US oversight.

If current trends continue, the de-dollarization effort could gain ground and undermine the primacy of the US dollar.

Key China Excerpts from Big DIA Report: “Challenges to Security in Space: Space Reliance in an Era of Competition & Expansion”

Challenges to Security in Space was first published in early 2019 to address the main threats to the array of U.S. space capabilities, and examine space and counterspace strategies and systems pursued primarily by China and Russia and, to a lesser extent, by North Korea and Iran. This second edition builds on that work and provides an updated, unclassified overview of the threats to U.S. space capabilities, particularly from China and Russia, as those threats continue to expand.

China secretly building naval facility in Cambodia, Western officials say

Ellen Nakashima and Cate Cadell

China is secretly building a naval facility in Cambodia for the exclusive use of its military, with both countries denying that is the case and taking extraordinary measures to conceal the operation, Western officials said.

The military presence will be on the northern portion of Cambodia’s Ream Naval Base on the Gulf of Thailand, which is slated to be the site of a groundbreaking ceremony this week, according to the officials, who, like others, spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the matter’s sensitivity.

The establishment of a Chinese naval base in Cambodia — only its second such overseas outpost and its first in the strategically significant Indo-Pacific region — is part of Beijing’s strategy to build a network of military facilities around the world in support of its aspirations to become a true global power, the officials said.

China reveals new rapid-fire drone launch system


China has developed a new launch system that claims to put drones airborne quicker and safer, enabling a faster tempo of operations when using the weapon.

Last week, Chinese aerospace firm AVIC Chengdu Aircraft Industrial Group filed a patent for a drone launch system that catapults drones into the air without emitting light, sound or exhaust, potentially overcoming the limitations of traditional bungee catapults and rocket boosters.

Bungee catapults are limited to launching lighter drones and suffer from significant deceleration across the launch rail while the sudden jerking motion can damage drones’ sensitive electronics. Rocket boosters, meanwhile, create significant amounts of noise, smoke, light and sound, which may reveal drone launch locations and expose troops to danger.

Tell Everyone How to Measure Cyber Risk, DOD Begs NIST


It’s time the National Institute of Standards and Technology point to how organizations should be assessing the risk they’re associating with systems when deciding what security controls to implement for their protection, according to the Defense Department.

“Enhance Section 4.0 (Self-Assessing Cybersecurity Risk with the Framework) to integrate guidance on how [Special Publication 800-30, revision 1] can be leveraged to perform the risk measurement to assign a value,” wrote Michele Iversen, director of risk assessment and operational integration at DOD’s chief information office for cybersecurity. “It appears that [the Cybersecurity Framework] depends on measuring, or assessing risk, but [avoids] alignment to the NIST standard commonly used to assess cybersecurity risks.”

Iversen’s comment is in response to a request for information NIST issued toward a second update of the agency’s landmark cybersecurity framework. NIST on Friday released a summary of the comments it’s received—over 130, mostly from industry—since the request in February.

Engage, Isolate, or Oppose American Policy Toward the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan

James Dobbins, Andrew Radin, Laurel E. MillerRelated Topics:

With the American military withdrawal, the Taliban's seizure of control, and a developing humanitarian crisis, the United States faces a question of what policy it should pursue toward the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan. To inform U.S. policymakers, the authors of this Perspective identify the remaining American interests in Afghanistan — principally counterterrorism and humanitarian relief — and propose a framework to evaluate three different U.S. overall policy approaches: to engage with the Taliban, to isolate the regime, or to oppose the Taliban by seeking to remove them from power. The authors identify the conditions under which these policies may be most appropriate and how they would best serve U.S. interests. They conclude that engagement offers the only prospect of advancing American interests in the country. They caution, however, that isolation is the more usual U.S. response to an unwelcome change in regime. With its embassy closed and a comprehensive sanctions regime in place, this will become the default U.S. policy toward Afghanistan in the absence of contrary decisions.

Saudi Arabia plans to spend $1 billion a year discovering treatments to slow aging

Antonio Regalado

Anyone who has more money than they know what to do with eventually tries to cure aging. Google founder Larry Page has tried it. Jeff Bezos has tried it. Tech billionaires Larry Ellison and Peter Thiel have tried it.

Now the kingdom of Saudi Arabia, which has about as much money as all of them put together, is going to try it.

The Saudi royal family has started a not-for-profit organization called the Hevolution Foundation that plans to spend up to $1 billion a year of its oil wealth supporting basic research on the biology of aging and finding ways to extend the number of years people live in good health, a concept known as “health span.”

The sum, if the Saudis can spend it, could make the Gulf state the largest single sponsor of researchers attempting to understand the underlying causes of aging—and how it might be slowed down with drugs.

China’s new vassal: Vladimir Putin


When Chairman Mao Zedong visited Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin in the winter of 1949, he was very much the junior supplicant. Stalin packed him off to wait for weeks in his snow-bound No. 2 dacha, 27 kilometers outside Moscow, where the humiliated and constipated Chinese leader grumbled about everything from the quality of the fish to his uncomfortable mattress.

When the two Communist leaders did get to business, Stalin bullied his way to a very favorable deal that put Mao on the hook to buy Russian arms and heavy machinery with a loan on which Beijing would have to pay interest.

Seven decades later, the power dynamics reveal a radical reset. Shortly before invading Ukraine, Russian President Vladimir Putin traveled to the Winter Olympics in Beijing to proclaim the “no limits” friendship with China’s Xi Jinping, but there’s no doubting who the real superpower is in that duo these days. China’s $18-trillion economy is now 10 times mightier than Russia’s. Beijing will hold nearly all the good cards in setting the terms of any financial lifelines from big brother.

M1A2 SEPv3 Abrams: Why There May Be No Better Tank Anywhere

Stavros Atlamazoglou

Why the M1A2 SEPv3 might be the best tank on Earth, as explained by one top military expert: Tanks are very much a part of modern warfare. The war in Ukraine has shown that beyond any doubt. They are more vulnerable—or at least their vulnerabilities have been exposed more broadly—than previously thought, but they are an integral part of combined arms warfare.

The U.S. military is fortunate to have a potent main battle tank arsenal. The U.S. M1 Abrams is the most advanced main battle tank in the world. And the M1A2 SEPv3 Abrams is the most advanced version of the weapon system.

The Latest Version of the Most Advanced Tank

Development of the M1A2 SEPv3 Abrams began in the middle of the previous decade, and the first tank was delivered to operational U.S. Army units in 2020.

The US–China battle for the semiconductor industry4 June 2022

Niky Brugnatelli

Technological innovation is one of the main fields of US–China competition. Competition in the semiconductor industry is a significant point of tension where the continued interference of US bureaucracies in the industry is a source of contention between the superpowers.

For Beijing, closing the technological gap with the most advanced countries is seen as a pathway to recovering great power status or the ‘Chinese Dream’. As the geopolitical context surrounding it becomes increasingly hostile, technological upgrading could guarantee China’s greater strategic autonomy by decreasing its technological dependence on more advanced countries. Semiconductors have become a prime example of China’s search for technological independence.

Shanghai neighborhoods return to lockdown a day after restrictions eased

Nectar Gan

(CNN)Multiple neighborhoods in Shanghai were placed back under lockdown only a day after city-wide restrictions were lifted, as China's stringent zero-Covid strategy continues to haunt the financial hub.

Shanghai lifted its two-month lockdown on Wednesday, allowing most of its 25 million residents to leave their communities. But nearly 2 million people were still confined to their homes in areas designated as "high risk" by the government.
At a news conference Thursday, Shanghai officials said seven new Covid cases were detected in the city's Jing'an and Pudong districts, resulting in four neighborhoods being swiftly sealed off and designated as "medium-risk areas" -- meaning residents will be confined to their homes for 14 days.

Struggling to Find the Exit From War

George Friedman

French President Emmanuel Macron said last week that an off-ramp must be found for Russian President Vladimir Putin in Ukraine. This is not a novel idea. Negotiators know what they must have and what they must leave on the table for the other party. That’s the way it is done when passionate hatred doesn’t reign. Consider your friends’ divorce negotiations. The goal of each party was many times not to find a reasonable exit but rather to inflict as much pain as possible on the other one. A skillful lawyer might find an exit ramp and convince them to take it. But war can be more bitter than the angriest divorce. Taking the exit ramp can be seen as a betrayal of the dead. Ukrainians will point to their dead and be appalled by providing Putin with a gracious exit. Russia’s problem is even graver. In order to exit regardless of the ramp, they will be conceding that the invasion of Ukraine was a mistake. Sometimes it is easier to move beyond the dead than it is to admit error.

Any peace agreement founders on Putin’s miscalculation. He launched the war expecting Ukraine to be incapable of waging war, believing that NATO and Europe would refuse to form a united front, and miscalculating the economic power the United States might muster against Russia or the massive amount of weapons it was prepared to provide.

‘21st Century Security’ Becomes Lockheed Martin’s Driving Vision Of The Future

Loren Thompson

This year will see a modest top-line decline due to timing issues on major contracts, but the ValueLine investment survey figures that by 2025-27 corporate revenues will rise from $67 billion to $84 billion.

Meanwhile, Lockheed’s dividends per share continue their steady march upward, having more than doubled since Taiclet’s predecessor Marillyn Hewson took over the top job nearly a decade ago.

Lockheed remains the world’s largest producer of tactical aircraft, military space systems, and any number of other defense products, a status it is unlikely to relinquish for many years to come.

Judy Asks: Is Europe Serious About Defense?



Of course Europe is serious about defense. Or rather, a range of European countries are serious about defense. I can think of no country more committed to its territorial integrity than Finland. Italy patrols its mountains and its shores—and large parts of the Mediterranean, for the benefit not just Italy itself but the EU, as well. The UK punches far above its weight when it comes to defense and has, of course, taken a lead role in helping Ukraine be as well set up as it possibly can against Russia. And in the non-kinetic realm, Sweden is taking the lead in the extremely important defense against foreign influence campaigns.

The problem is, of course, that these are disparate efforts. But the problem surrounding “European defense” is also that expectations are constantly set far too high—by politicians and analysts. It’s (still) illusory to think that we would be able to pool these capabilities in a way that somehow complements NATO. The more we talk about “European defense” the more we set our often impressive national efforts up to look like a failure.

Time for a Firmer U.S. Stance on Saudi Arabia

Ali al-Ahmed

U.S. President Joe Biden has finally announced a nominee as his Ambassador to Saudi Arabia. Assuming the Senate confirms him, career diplomat Michael Ratney will take up his post in Riyadh at a low point in U.S.-Saudi relations.

Notwithstanding the meeting recently between CIA Director Bill Burns & Saudi Crown Prince Mohamed bin Salman, Saudi Arabia continues to reject U.S. appeals to increase oil production to lessen Americans’ pain at the gas pump. Gas prices have increased nearly 20% since the Russian invasion of Ukraine in April.

More ominously, Saudi Arabia has expanded defense cooperation with China. America's most formidable international competitor is helping the Kingdom to build its own domestic ballistic missile production capability. In his first trip outside the country since the Covid pandemic, President Xi Jinping is expected to travel to Riyadh in the near future. According to recent reports, his overtures to the Kingdom include promises of new weapons sales.

Europe’s Oil Embargo Is Not Enough


PARIS – Vladimir Putin needs petrodollars, and he needs them now. Many expected Russia’s president to issue a formal declaration of war on Ukraine, a move that would permit the full mobilization of Russia’s reserve forces. But while Putin may want to send more soldiers to Ukraine, he cannot afford to do so. Will the European Union’s newly announced oil embargo force him to wind down the invasion?

Already, the Kremlin has toned down its propaganda. There is no more talk of taking Kyiv. Putin’s only goal now, apparently, is to occupy the eastern Donbas region. But even there, Putin is not guaranteed victory, as that is where Ukraine has launched its so-called Joint Forces Operation, which includes its best-trained military units – increasingly armed with advanced Western military equipment.

Two Turkey Experts on Why Erdoğan Is Rejecting NATO Expansion


In a video posted to Twitter on Thursday, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said he would oppose Finland’s and Sweden’s bids to join NATO, citing concerns over combating terrorism. Since expansion requires unanimous support from all thirty members, the bids—prompted by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine—now face an uncertain future. Below, Carnegie Visiting Scholars Marc Pierini and Sinan Ülgen discuss Turkey’s motivations and the alliance’s options.

Why is Turkey objecting to Finland and Sweden joining NATO? Was this move expected?

Marc Pierini: The objection surprised NATO partners, since prior discussions didn’t signal much divergence on the subject, especially as it was discussed between the Finnish and Turkish presidents. And Ankara had been supportive of NATO’s earlier statements on expansion.

Stagflation Risk Rises Amid Sharp Slowdown in Growth

WASHINGTON, June 07, 2022—Compounding the damage from the COVID-19 pandemic, the Russian invasion of Ukraine has magnified the slowdown in the global economy, which is entering what could become a protracted period of feeble growth and elevated inflation, according to the World Bank’s latest Global Economic Prospects report. This raises the risk of stagflation, with potentially harmful consequences for middle- and low-income economies alike.

Global growth is expected to slump from 5.7 percent in 2021 to 2.9 percent in 2022— significantly lower than 4.1 percent that was anticipated in January. It is expected to hover around that pace over 2023-24, as the war in Ukraine disrupts activity, investment, and trade in the near term, pent-up demand fades, and fiscal and monetary policy accommodation is withdrawn. As a result of the damage from the pandemic and the war, the level of per capita income in developing economies this year will be nearly 5 percent below its pre-pandemic trend.

Optimizing U.S. Strategic Policy: A Regional Approach to Ethiopia

Andrew Lund and Will Turner

The world order that emerged after the collapse of the Soviet Union is fading. The economic, political, and security interests of the United States are being challenged globally. Between the war in Ukraine, heightened tensions in the South China Sea, hostile rhetoric and behavior from North Korea and Iran, and a “wildfire of terrorism” in Africa, policy development and resource management have become a bewildering exercise.[1] Within such a complex environment, the U.S. risks being caught off-guard by regions lower in policy priority that hold enormous potential to increase global instability.

Given this global context, the Horn of Africa’s chronic cycles of violent conflict and drought remain an enduring challenge to U.S. unilateral engagement. Government policies and military interventions confronting these related issues are further constrained by the larger regional humanitarian crisis. The U.S. government’s approach to the unresolved conflict and weaponization of hunger in Ethiopia highlights these dilemmas, frustrating interventions rather than resolving them. Nonetheless, the U.S. is uniquely postured to leverage its diplomatic and humanitarian mechanisms.

Protectionism Threatens The Climate Transition – Analysis

Ken Heydon

Trade is a key multiplier in spreading the technology vital to the climate transition. But protectionist tendencies embedded in the implementation of the climate transition pose a major threat to the global trading system.

Technological innovation — backed by a carbon tax to make it competitive — is the essential requirement for transition to net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. And trade, by stimulating competition, is a catalyst of innovation.

Three areas of technological transformation stand out. Australia and its Asia Pacific neighbours have a stake in each of them.

The first is solar photovoltaic technology that uses solar panels to convert sunlight into electricity. Over the past decade, solar photovoltaic has become a pillar of the low-carbon sustainable energy system with installed capacity increasing 100-fold and costs declining by 77 per cent. Some 40 per cent of the decline in the cost of solar photovoltaic modules since 2001 is attributable to trade.