22 July 2022

It’s a 3-Horse Race for the Presidency in Sri Lanka

Krishan Francis

Sri Lanka’s prime minister and acting president, Ranil Wickremesinghe, will face two rivals in a parliamentary vote Wednesday on who will succeed the ousted leader who fled the country last week amid huge protests triggered by its economic collapse.

Wickremesinghe, a six-time prime minister, is a seasoned politician with wide experience in diplomatic and international affairs and has been leading crucial talks on an economic bailout package with the International Monetary Fund.

He is backed by members of the fragmented ruling coalition but is unpopular among voters, who view him as a holdover from the previous government that led the country into an economic catastrophe. The 73-year-old Wickremesinghe was appointed prime minister by deposed President Gotabaya Rajapaksa in May to help restore Sri Lanka’s international credibility.

Taliban 2.0: The End Game for Afghan Sikhs and Hindus?

Visakh Mathews and Sukanya Bali

It is unlikely that Afghan Sikhs and Hindus, age-old minority communities in Afghanistan, will survive the Taliban’s second time in power. The religious intolerance prevalent in Afghan society and rising security challenges posed by the Islamic State Khorasan (ISK), together with the exodus facilitated by the international Sikh NGOs, might end an era in Afghanistan sooner or later.

Historically, Hindus and Sikhs lived as merchants and traders. They were prominent money lenders in the Afghan economy. But prolonged conflict forced many to flee the country. According to some conservative estimates, the number of Sikhs and Hindus has reduced from a few hundred thousand during the 1980s to a few hundred during the American occupation.

Mapping Major Milestones in the Evolution of North Korea’s Cyber Program

Jason Bartlett

Pyongyang has been developing an offensive cyber program for over 35 years through domestic innovation and foreign assistance. During that time, North Korea has undergone major transformations in its cybercrime modus operandi, shifting from disruptive cyberattacks and cyber intrusions primarily targeting South Korean government agencies to hacking banks and cryptocurrency exchanges located both on and off the Korean Peninsula.

While there is a growing amount of research identifying past, present, and potentially future North Korean cyberattacks, there is relatively little investigation into the potential origins of the country’s cyber program. Understanding the evolution of North Korea’s offensive cyber program can provide countries like South Korea and the United States with valuable information that can help improve bilateral cybersecurity strategy, including the joint cyber-working group discussed in the May 2022 U.S.-ROK Summit with Presidents Joe Biden and Yoon Suk Yeol.

China’s ‘Zero COVID’ Policy Is Hurting Its Semiconductor Dreams

Zhenze Huang and Xiuqun Sun

Notwithstanding the alleviation of Shanghai’s rigid lockdown in early June, the market was obsessed with gloomy prognostications about the city and even the prospects for China’s national economy, especially the supply chain of major industrial sectors, such as integrated circuits (IC). In recent years, the Chinese government has been more ambitious than ever to revitalize its IC industry through the “nationwide system” in response to the fierce tech competition with the United States. Yet, there is no doubt that Beijing’s adherence to pursuing a “zero-tolerance” attitude toward local outbreaks has also heavily hit the development of high-end industries.

In the face of two urgent priorities, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) will need to make a strategic choice.

The “Nationwide System” and China-U.S. Tech Competition

With new contract, Army’s integrated EW and intel system for brigades reaches next phase


WASHINGTON: Lockheed Martin will start to deliver prototypes of a new brigade-level integrated electronic warfare and intelligence platform to the Army under a new $58.9 million contract award.

The July 13 award supports the manufacturing proof-of-concept phase for the Terrestrial Layer System-Brigade Combat Team (TLS-BCT), a suite of integrated sensors mounted onto a vehicle and designed to provide force protection and situational awareness tools, in addition to offensive EW and cyber capabilities to disrupt a targeted enemy’s systems.

According to an Army spokesperson, Lockheed Martin will build three TLS-BCT prototypes. The contract, awarded under an Other Transaction Agreement, runs through October 2023. TLS-BCT is managed by Program Executive Office for Intelligence, Electronic Warfare and Sensors.

The Global South Knows the West Better Than the West Knows Itself

Judah Grunstein

This past weekend a friend from Paris came to visit us in the north of England for an unusual reason. Though we were all happy to spend time together, the main purpose of his stay was to get away from the punishing heat wave that was due to hit Western Europe. We took advantage of the pleasantly warm weather to show him some of the local attractions, including a visit to Hadrian’s Wall, which 2,000 years ago marked the northern boundary of the Roman Empire.

I jokingly referred to him as our first “climate refugee,” a nod to the well-established trope of describing events in the West with the language and frameworks often used to depict the Global South. Recent months and years have offered no shortage of opportunities to deploy the gimmick, from the scandals that drove British Prime Minister Boris Johnson from office to the senseless gun violence plaguing the United States.


Ajai Sahni

The targeted killing of Ripudaman Singh Malik once again exposes the ugly underbelly of Canada’s networks of crime and Khalistani terrorism, which have flourished under the benign neglect – indeed, the apparent complicity – of the country’s political leadership. Malik was one of the prime movers of the Air India bombings – Flight 182 which exploded in the air off the coast of Ireland, killing all 329 on board; and the Narita Airport incident, where two luggage handlers were killed while transferring baggage from a flight that originated in Vancouver, Canada, to Air India Flight 301, to Bangkok. He was acquitted after an utterly disgraceful investigation, where evidence was destroyed, a trail that led right up to the bombings was covered up, and witnesses were murdered. A subsequent commission of inquiry headed by John Majors concluded that a “shoddy investigation” and a “cascading series of errors” led to the acquittal.

Significantly, Malik’s killing comes after he had been turned by Indian intelligence in 2019, to repudiate his commitment to Khalistan and later to praise the Indian Government and Prime Minister Narendra Modi. He had also declared that ‘anti-India elements’ were also enemies of the Sikhs. He had named and attacked the Canada-based Hardeep Singh Nijjar, the ‘chief’ of the Khalistan Tiger Force (KTF), accusing him of ‘obviously working at the behest of some agencies of foreign government,’ a reference to Pakistan. These actions and statements facilitated his removal from an Indian blacklist, and repeated visits to his home town and to the Golden Temple at Amritsar. On January 23, 2022, at the Guru Nanak Sikh Temple in Surrey, Nijjar ranted against Malik for over an hour, describing him as a “Qaum da gaddaar” (traitor to the nation) and an “agent.” He added that Malik should be ‘taught a lesson.’ Several other Khalistani elements in Canada had spoken against Malik on a range of issues, including the ‘sacrilege’ of the ‘unauthorized’ printing and distribution of the Guru Granth Sahib, the Holy Book of the Sikhs. Given his history, of course, Malik is unlikely to have any dearth of those who would have wished him dead. An investigation is now underway, and unless we are to witness another “cascading series of errors,” it is possible that the perpetrator(s) will eventually be identified.

The Quad needs a futures focus


If there is a cumulative lesson from the past few years, it’s that the era of “polycrises” is firmly upon us. A polycrisis is defined as the net effect from the non-linear interaction of many systemic risks spanning several natural and human-designed systems. One is playing out right in front of our eyes, whereby the economic effects of Covid-19 have amplified – and in turn, have been amplified by – those flowing from Vladimir Putin’s naked aggression, seriously rattling global commodities markets. Coupled with the worsening effects of climate change, the two shocks, cutting across systems, could lead to a dramatic upsurge in global hunger, United Nations agencies warned last month. That, in turn, could potentially trigger serious social unrest across the world, analysts fear.

The salient point here is that public health experts have long warned of the growing risk of pandemics, international affairs analysts about Putin’s geostrategic ambitions, and climate experts about the worrying links between climate change and food insecurity. None of the events that have so far transpired individually should therefore come as a total surprise. What has been surprising is the inability of experts to see how all of the above could interact in the future to produce the effects we are witnessing.

Russia’s War Has Created Opportunities for Biden to Go Big

Dan Negrea

Europe’s largest country, Russia, has invaded its smaller neighbor Ukraine in what has become the biggest war in Europe in seventy-five years. Asia’s largest country, China, is tacitly supporting Russian president Vladimir Putin’s war and is increasingly aggressive itself: China has increased its military pressure on Taiwan, absorbed Hong Kong in violation of the 1984 Sino-British treaty, militarized the South China Sea, provoked several confrontations with the navies of neighboring countries, and killed twenty Indian soldiers in a 2019 land border clash.

In response to this much more dangerous geopolitical reality of a world beset by two powerful and aggressive dictatorships, countries around the world are making political U-turns to increase their security. The Biden administration should consider its own bold political moves to strengthen America’s security.

Satellites Will Defend America Against Incoming Hypersonic Missiles

Kris Osborn

Evolving missile technologies continue to complicate missile defense efforts. Enemy intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) stream through space along with decoys, debris, and countermeasures. Hypersonic missiles travel so quickly along the boundary of the earth’s atmosphere that it is nearly impossible to develop a continuous “track” as they transit from one radar aperture to another.

Missile defense technology has made staggering steps forward in recent years and is now poised for additional breakthroughs, yet an even newer paradigm is needed to counter an emerging generation of threats that includes hypersonic weapons, high-speed multiple re-entry vehicles, and advanced countermeasures that fly alongside ICBMs.

The U.S. ASAT Test Ban: Implications for Security

Steve Lambrakis

On April 18, 2022, Vice President Kamala Harris announced that the United States had adopted a unilateral ban on conducting direct-ascent anti-satellite (ASAT) missile testing. Harris called on other nations to make similar commitments and work together to establish a new international norm for responsible behavior in space, which would benefit all nations.[1] The Biden Administration’s fact sheet states that the one-sided ban on satellite destruction demonstrations would advance U.S. interests by addressing “the most pressing threats to the security and sustainability of space,” that is, long-lived space debris. It has been suggested that the declaration may have been timed to support discussions at an upcoming United Nations forum on norms of behavior in space.[2] The fact sheet cited the Chinese 2007 and Russian November 2021 tests involving destructive ASAT missiles, both of which created orbital debris that threaten to cause damage to satellites and the International Space Station for decades to come.[3] The announcement builds on the July 2021 memo issued by Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin announcing the Department would refrain from tests generating long-lived space debris.[4]

It is useful to note what the unilateral ban does not address. The ban does not impact the direct-ascent ASAT test plans of either Russia or China. It does not affect the development, testing, acquisition, or operation of Russian or Chinese ASAT weapons of any kind. The ban does not address space threats posed by other nations. The declaration also does not call for a treaty to prohibit the development or use of such weapons. In other words, this unilateral statement has no effect whatsoever on hostile counterspace weapon development activities or operations. Moreover, for the United States, the ban does not affect testing of ASAT weapons, other than direct-ascent missiles. Testing of non-kinetic (or non-destructive) weapons, such as terrestrial- or space-based directed energy weapons or jammers, is not addressed. The announcement is not a call to stop the testing of other types of ASAT weapons, to include co-orbital weapons, even though they might result in a collision that causes orbital debris — although one could imagine the political mountain Department of Defense officials would have to climb to justify the testing of any type of orbital debris-causing weapons. The politics surrounding this decision may present problems for other weapon programs and are addressed below.
Hope Seck

Russia suffered an embarrassing public setback in Ukraine’s Donbas region in May when its soldiers attempted to cross the Siverskyi Donets River and ended up taking a bath instead – reportedly losing a significant number of troops and tanks in the process. The U.S. Army, which coolly called out the failure not long after, is a recognized leader in proficient “wet gap” crossings. And now Army engineers are working to make its elite bridging technology even more dependable and effective.

The U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center, in partnership with Program Executive Office Combat Support, is now pushing the outer limits of vehicle weight load capacity for the Improved Ribbon Bridge, according to an announcement from the Army Corps of Engineers. The floating bridge, which has been used by both the Army and Marine Corps since 2003, is designed to carry 105 wheeled, or 85 tracked vehicles, according to published specifications. In extreme situations, that load can be increased to 110 wheeled or 90 tracked, with caution.

Unintended Consequences: The High Costs of Data Privacy Laws

Alden Abbott Satya Marar

Democrats and some Republicans have swung behind bills to curtail “Big Tech” giants like Amazon, Google, and Facebook that depend on sensitive data from millions of Americans to support their businesses and market dominance. The latest example is the bipartisan draft of the American Data Protection and Privacy Act (ADPPA) before the House Committee on Energy and Commerce. It would set new federal data privacy standards enabling users to request correction or deletion of their data and requiring their explicit consent for data use or transfers. It would also minimize the amount of data companies collect, force companies to be more transparent about their algorithms, and ban practices like advertising targeted at minors.

These ideas sound appealing, and the bill contains some good policies. However, we can’t have this debate without acknowledging the compliance costs for all digital, data-dependent businesses—including those that present no real policy challenges and small, innovative startups.

A Changed and Changing Japan

The recent assassination of former Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe shocked Japan and its allies, but also highlighted the degree to which Japan’s position in the region and world has changed since Abe’s first premiership began in 2006. Upper house parliamentary elections in the wake of the assassination have given the ruling party a wide margin and the chance to revise Japan’s pacifist constitution. What is next for the political-military evolution of Japan, how are sanctions, military lessons, and economic pressure stemming from Ukraine changing East Asia, and what role will Japan play in the competition with China?

The Center for the National Interest invited two distinguished experts to discuss this issue.

Tsuneo “Nabe” Watanabe is a senior fellow of the Sasakawa Peace Foundation, an independent policy research organization in Tokyo. He joined the organization in 2016 after serving as a senior fellow and a director of foreign and security policy research at the Tokyo Foundation from 2009 to 2016. Previously, he served as a senior fellow at the Mitsui Global Strategic Studies Institute in Tokyo from 2005 to 2009. In 1995, Watanabe joined the Center for Strategic & International Studies in Washington, D.C. He served as a visiting research scholar, research associate, fellow, and senior fellow until 2005. He is currently an adjunct fellow of the CSIS.

Sri Lanka: The Way Forward

Donald Camp

Sri Lanka has collapsed economically and politically, and everyone should be worried about its future. There is no short-term solution that promises the nation’s people significant relief and no guarantees that the country will continue to rally together rather than descend into violence. The international community needs to work together to help Sri Lanka through an extended recovery period and give its citizens some confidence that a decent life will eventually return. It will be a test case as other countries face similar problems in the years ahead.

The country’s economic collapse is well-documented. Extreme mismanagement and corruption have drained the country’s reserves and ballooned its debt. This, combined with global inflation, food shortages, the onset of Covid-19, and the consequent collapse of the tourism industry, was a perfect storm that left Sri Lankan officials begging for lines of credit and emergency supplies of fuel, food, and fertilizer from its friends, especially India. A bloated civil service and military have exacerbated Sri Lanka’s plight. A country that had been doing well economically in recent years finds itself the international model of a bankrupt state.

Digital Dragnets: Examining the Government’s Access to Your Personal Data

Caitlin Chin

Chairman Nadler, Ranking Member Jordan, and distinguished Members of the Committee:

Thank you for inviting me to submit written testimony in advance of this week’s hearing on “Digital Dragnets: Examining the Government’s Access to Your Personal Data.” My name is Caitlin T. Chin, and I am a Fellow at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) in Washington, D.C. As CSIS does not take institutional policy positions, the views in this statement are my own and do not represent those of my employer.

The notion of privacy from the U.S. government is engrained within the Bill of Rights. The Fourth Amendment protects individuals from “unreasonable searches and seizures,” and requires government entities to obtain a warrant with “probable cause” to infringe upon their “persons, houses, papers, and effects.” To determine what constitutes an “unreasonable” search, courts have drawn a line where individuals may possess a “reasonable expectation of privacy.”1In this manner, the three branches of federal government have struck an ever-evolving balance between the country’s interest in protecting national security and an individual’s right to privacy.

NATO Force Planning: Rethinking the Defense Industrial Base

The Ukraine war has many lessons for NATO, but one of the key lessons is the need to rethink the linkage between its force planning and its defense industrial base. Some of these lessons reinforce the lessons of past national, NATO, and EU studies. Some illustrate the need to take a new approach to shaping the industrial base of NATO states and their strategic partners, and some are tied to the need to look beyond defense and to look at the national and collective trends in terms of grand strategy.

Reinforcing Past Warnings and Lessons

The familiar lessons both reinforce the warnings of many past studies, and they show the steady growth in the urgency of ending the decline in capability and the need to tie national industrial bases and force planning together in some integrated approach to reshaping NATO forces. The war has already shown all too clearly that the following past warnings and lessons have become more urgent and that any attempt to reshape and modernize NATO must take these warnings and lessons into account:NATO’s defense industrial base is deeply divided by country and has far too many different weapons systems; munitions; C4I/battle management systems; and different needs for supply, maintenance, and combat reports.

Appendix A: The Changing Defense Industrial Base: Some Indicators

Anthony H. Cordesman

The following graphs and tables provide a wide range of examples of the forces now shaping the NATO and member countries’ national industrial bases. Many are drawn from the work of other analysts and institutions, and they often differ sharply in timeframe and definition. In most cases, they are dated and only provide a limited illustration of the problems involved in tying given trends together to deal with the full range of issues raised in the previous commentary, entitled, NATO Force Planning: Rethinking the Defense Industrial Base. and is available for download at https://www.csis.org/analysis/nato-force-planning-rethinking-defense-industrial-base.

These examples were taken from readily available material and are not presented in any clear order. They only cover a small fraction of the issues touched upon in the previous commentary and only present the more quantifiable aspects of a small portion of the work that has been done in the field.

Putin Thinks He’s Winning

Tatiana Stanovaya

That’s the line from President Vladimir Putin. The war in Ukraine, in its fifth month and with no end in sight, may be grueling. But senior Kremlin officials keep repeating that Russia, gaining the upper hand in Ukraine’s east, will achieve all its goals.

That might seem hard to believe. After all, Russia has been forced to retreat from Kyiv, experienced several military reversals, faced sanctions on an unprecedented scale and been subjected to a chorus of international condemnation. To call such a litany of difficulties and outright failures a success may be to court the charge of propaganda, hypocrisy or even self-delusion.

But it’s what the Kremlin seems to believe. Over two decades I have closely followed Mr. Putin’s words, behavior and decisions, forming a comprehensive picture of the president’s calculations. Based on his public rhetoric and policy moves and informal discussions with insiders, I have been able to work out — as far as is possible — the contours of the Kremlin’s current thinking. What is very clear is that in late May, the Kremlin came to the firm conclusion that it is winning this conflict in the long run. And Mr. Putin, in contrast to the early chaotic months, now has a clear plan.

Examining the intersection of data privacy and civil rights

Samantha Lai and Brooke Tanner

For historically marginalized groups, the right to privacy is a matter of survival. Privacy violations have put these groups at risk of ostracization, discrimination, or even active physical danger. These tensions have long pre-dated the digital age. In the 1950s and 1960s, the government used surveillance programs to target Black Americans fighting against structural racism, with the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s (FBI) Counterintelligence Program (COINTELPRO) targeting Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and members of the Black Panther Party. During the HIV/AIDs epidemic, LGBTQ+ individuals were fearful that with an employer-based healthcare system, employers would find out about a doctor’s visit for HIV/ AIDS and that individuals would then face stigma at work or risk losing their jobs.

Under modern-day surveillance capitalism, interested parties can collect and monetize online data at an unprecedented scale with little scrutiny or limitation. That is why the recent overturning of Roe v. Wade highlights the urgent and pressing need for comprehensive federal privacy legislation, particularly to reduce the potential for further exploitation and manipulation of individuals who seek fair reproductive rights. Further, Congress needs to find consensus around federal privacy legislation to address other surveillance and data collection concerns, in particular commercial surveillance practices that enable discriminatory advertising, racially biased policing, and the outing or surveillance of historically marginalized groups.

A German gas crisis will cause jitters across Europe

Constanze Stelzenmüller

“We just don’t know. Everything is possible.” This was German Economics Minister Robert Habeck’s succinct response to the question currently consuming his country’s government, industry and public: When the 10-day scheduled maintenance to the Nord Stream 1 pipeline ends on July 21, will the Russian state-controlled gas exporter Gazprom resume deliveries? Or will Vladimir Putin perform a gasectomy on Germany?

A graph in the Federal Network Agency’s latest supply status report shows how much gas is currently flowing in at three connector points for Russian gas on Germany’s eastern border: none. “The situation,” says the agency, “is tense and a worsening of the situation cannot be ruled out.”

That is a bit of an understatement. Nord Stream 1 supplies 58% of Germany’s annual gas needs. The benchmark European TTF gas price has already risen by more than 130% since the beginning of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on February 24, to more than €170 per megawatt hour. In late June, after Russia reduced supplies by 60%, Berlin triggered the second stage of its national gas emergency plan — one step away from gas rationing.

Inside Sri Lanka’s Devastating Economic Crisis

Devana Senanayake

COLOMBO, Sri Lanka—On June 21, tuk-tuks, motorbikes, cars, and buses lined up at a fuel station on the edge of Colombo’s Kurunduwatta, a neighborhood of tree-lined streets and old mansions. While the tuk-tuk drivers chatted with each other as they stood around near their three-wheelers, motorcyclists doom-scrolled on their phones, flies and mosquitoes buzzing around them in the scorching heat. They had all taken time out of their jobs and daily responsibilities to wait for hours—even days—to fill their tanks.

“We managed to survive the pandemic, but this is worse,” said Sarath Nanayyakara, a 61-year-old private school bus driver, who has been forced to sell valuables and take out loans to survive over the past couple of years. “If I work for two days, I have to stay in the queue for two more days to fill up the tank.”

“Out of my monthly salary of 50,000 rupees [$140], I currently spend 30,000 rupees on fuel,” said Morgan Anusha, a 28-year-old accountant who relies on her motorbike to get to work each day. Ruwan Chaminda, a 50-year-old tuk-tuk driver, also spends most of his earnings on gas. “I have two children, and one is still in school, so I have to support her,” he said as a nearby shop provided free coffee to those in line. “This is the only job I have done for 20 years, so I have to roll with it.”

Russian Sanctions Are Working but Slowly

Oleg Korenok, Swapnil Singh, and Stan Veuger

Four months into Russia’s brutal invasion of Ukraine, initial optimism about the effectiveness of the unprecedented sanctions imposed by the United States and its allies has started to fade. The ruble, which was trading at 75 rubles per dollar in January, collapsed to a low point of 135 in March. It has since recovered to 55, well above where it was prior to the invasion. Output, while not stellar by any means, has not collapsed either.

Does that mean the sanctions regime has been a failure? We do not believe so.

Any assessment of the sanctions and their effectiveness needs to take their indirect nature into account. While they were imposed in response to the Russian invasion, their nature is economic and thus slow-moving. Their effects cannot be expected to materialize on the same timeline as a military attack. Their point—besides deterring future aggressors and punishing Russian elites and their cronies—is to restrict economic activity. Reduced economic activity is then expected to translate to reduced military power.

Strategic Start-Ups: The UAE Is Betting Big on Semiconductors

Mohammed Soliman

From 5G to space to cyber, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) has been investing heavily in transforming itself into a regional tech power. The next geo-technology medium for the UAE is semiconductors, a strategic battleground in the U.S.-China tech Cold War. Leveraging its economic capabilities, the UAE entered the semiconductor space as the primary investor in the U.S.-based manufacturer GlobalFoundries (GF). While the semiconductors industry is one of the most capital-intensive industries globally, the UAE’s strategic investment in the sector is part of a larger Emirati strategy to pivot to deep tech and position the country as a global tech leader under Economic Vision 2030.

After years of investing in digital infrastructure, developing international relationships, and positioning the UAE as a go-to regional center for multinational tech companies, the Emirati government has built a platform for making the country a leading digital economy in the Middle East. When the rise of the Covid-19 pandemic caught the world by surprise, the UAE emerged as one of the most digitally-empowered economies, with the ability to mobilize and rapidly adjust to the needs of the moment. Digital requirements, such as a rapid transition to remote working and schooling, the implementation of advanced contact tracing mechanisms, and a digitally enforced lockdown, were much easier for the UAE than they were for countries that do not value tech and innovation or view it as a national security concern.

The True Purpose of America’s Natural Gas Bounty

Scott Semet

The two giant oceans that protect the United States from enemies have also been an economic boon for America. For as the widespread use of fracking has yielded a surplus of cheap natural gas, the country’s oceans have made it difficult to export that gas abroad, leading to strong economic tailwinds. Yet today, as liquified natural gas (LNG) exports increase and gas production remains flat, domestic prices are set to rise, benefiting the gas industry while drastically increasing costs for all other businesses. The American people, already suffering from reckless fiscal and loose monetary policy and still reeling from the damage caused by Covid-19 and the response to it, will experience even higher inflation. Therefore, U.S. LNG export policy should be recalibrated to provide the greatest benefit to society as a whole—not used to further a political agenda.

Historically, Asia has been the top destination for U.S. LNG exports due to higher gas prices there. For exports to other regions to make economic sense, prices in those markets must rise. In Europe, limiting or eliminating abundant and cheap Russian pipeline gas supply will drive prices higher. Thus, the current political agenda certain countries are pursuing will benefit LNG exporters, despite that it will brutally hit European consumers and industry alike and have ripple effects across the planet.

The War in Ukraine Heightens U.S. Marines' Focus on Drones

Caleb Larson

In recognition of the threat armed unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) pose to troops on the battlefield, the Marine Corps is reckoning with how it will counter them.

The U.S. Marine Corps Program Executive Officer Land Systems is fielding a system called the Installation-Counter small Unmanned Aircraft Systems, or I-CsUAS. Composed of several tower components, the system will identify and track small UAVs to determine their point of origin and destroy them.

Though the Marine Corps already fields a similar counter-UAV system, the I-CsUAS adds machine learning and artificial intelligence into the mix and lowers the workload to the Marines operating the system—and the need for a counter-UAV system is great.

Can Google Maps Give Electric Vehicles Limitless Range?

Stephen Silver

Electric cars are becoming more and more popular, but one thing that has always kept people from buying such vehicles is something called “range anxiety”—the worry that the range of electric vehicles (EVs) won’t go far enough and the driver will be stuck without a charge.

This problem is expected to be mitigated over time, both by newer electric vehicles having wider ranges and more charging stations available. Tesla, the White House announced earlier this month, will make its charging stations available to non-Tesla cars later this year.

Last year, Google introduced a new feature, making it easier for electric vehicle owners to find charging stations.

No Pivot: The U.S. Can’t Take on China Without Europe

Axel de Vernou

NATO’s 2022 Madrid Summit performed an unprecedented regional balancing act by inviting Asian allies—Japan, Australia, New Zealand, and South Korea—to the table while focusing on the immediacy of Russia’s threat to a rules-based international order. Stopping short of calling China an adversary, NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg focused on the unsettling buildup of Chinese military forces, threats to Taiwan, Beijing’s implicit support of Russian war narratives, and the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) domestic surveillance system.

NATO’s 2022 Strategic Concept, which reaffirms NATO’s principles and guiding purpose, picks up where Stoltenberg left off by pointing to less visible trends seeping into Europe’s fabric. It does not shy away from discussing the subversive Chinese activities happening within NATO’s own borders, referring to “coercive tactics and efforts to divide the Alliance.”

How a Rising China Has Remade Global Politics

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

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

China’s Roadblocks to Becoming A Science Superpower


A future in which China is the world’s dominant scientific power fills the imagination of leaders in both East and West. In Beijing, China has entered its latest policy-planning period, the 14th Five-Year Plan. Building on strong performance in common science-and-technology indicators and advances in cutting-edge areas such as AI, quantum computing, and hypersonic flight, China is now striving to achieve two of the remaining milestones outlined in its 2016 Innovation-Driven Development Strategy: joining the front rank of innovative countries by 2035 and becoming a “global scientific great power” by 2050.

All this has animated calls for an American response to ensure the United States’ leading position in scientific and technological progress. Countless articles and reports frame it as a new “Sputnik Moment” and a key element of U.S.-China strategic competition. This has led to a host of new proposals and policy initiatives, ranging from increases in DoD research spending to the recent debate over the China competition bill in Congress.