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  • Author: Jamal Saghir, Jena Santorn
  • Publication Date: 04-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: Urbanization is transforming the world. According to the 2017 Drivers of Migration and Urbanization in Africa report by the United Nations, more than half of the global population now lives in urban areas. This figure is projected to increase to 75 percent by 2050, at a growing rate of 65 million urban dwellers annually. Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) is often regarded as the world's fastest urbanizing region. Urban areas currently contain 472 million people, and will double over the next 25 years. The global share of African urban residents is projected to grow from 11.3 percent in 2010 to 20.2 percent by 2050. SSA’s 143 cities generate a combined $ 0.5 trillion, totaling 50 percent of the region’s gross domestic product (GDP). Urban centers play a critical role in fighting poverty and sustaining economic growth, and are often considered the future of prosperity in the developing world. While strategic urbanization is highly dependent on national macroeconomic policymaking, city governments, the private sector, development practitioners, and urban planners also have critical roles to play. Linking the urbanization management efforts of different stakeholders presents an opportunity for economic growth in a region undergoing an immense demographical shift.
  • Topic: Demographics, Migration, United Nations, Urbanization, Economic growth, Private Sector
  • Political Geography: Africa, Sub-Saharan Africa
  • Author: Nikos Tsafos
  • Publication Date: 05-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: The Issue Russian energy has divided the transatlantic alliance for over 60 years. Tensions normally just simmer, but they flare up when a new project is proposed, especially after a political crisis. In the 1960s, it was the prospect of increased Soviet oil exports following the Cuban missile crisis. In the 1980s, it was more Soviet gas for Western Europe after the Soviet Union had invaded Afghanistan and martial law had been declared in Poland. Today, it is the proposed Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline after Russia’s annexation of Crimea and its war against Ukraine (among other actions). Disagreements are natural in a broad alliance with diverse interests and perspectives. But it is now almost impossible to discuss Russian gas with any sense of calm (increasingly true for all things related to Russia). Russian initiatives are infused with perceptions and fears that range from the simple and legitimate to the obscure and far-fetched. In reality, arguments about Russian gas are rarely about Russian gas; they are about history, strategy, and geopolitics. Gas is just the spark. The end result is confusion and discord at a time when the transatlantic alliance has enough problems—without needing to add gas to the fire. It is time to separate Russian gas from the broader Russia agenda. Doing so will boost energy security, protect and strengthen the transatlantic alliance, and allow us to focus where the West can resist Russian power more meaningfully. This argument rests on three propositions. First, that energy does not give Russia as much power as we usually assume; second, that an antagonistic strategy is unlikely to be sustained or succeed in bringing about change, whether in energy or geopolitics; and third, that the best response to Russian gas is a set of policies that Europe should pursue anyway and that are unrelated to Russia. In short, we need to radically rethink Russian gas; how much it matters; and what the United States and Europe should do about it.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Energy Policy, Natural Resources, Gas, Transatlantic Relations
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, Europe, North America
  • Author: Andrew J. Stanley
  • Publication Date: 05-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: he United States and Canada are each other’s largest energy trading partners as measured by the value of energy commodity trade, which in 2017 stood at U.S.$95 billion. The energy relationship between the two countries extends beyond just the trade of commodities, encompassing a variety of common, though not always identical, economic, security, and environmental priorities. In March 2018, the CSIS Energy and National Security Program undertook a project with the Embassy of Canada in the United States to create a physical map depicting the U.S.-Canada energy trade relationship. The following CSIS brief explains the various aspects of the energy trade relationship using this map, as well as highlights some of the important issues in the development of this partnership moving forward.
  • Topic: Energy Policy, Environment, Regional Cooperation, Trade
  • Political Geography: United States, Canada, North America
  • Author: Christopher K Johnson
  • Publication Date: 05-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: Nearly two weeks after the U.S. “Trade Avengers” unleashed during their visit to Beijing what one reasonably could call “trade shock and awe” with a very aggressive—if thoroughly researched and well-crafted—set of demands targeting the yawning U.S. trade deficit with China and the core of that country’s throaty industrial policy, China this week is taking its turn with the visit of Chinese Communist Party (CCP) Politburo member and Vice Premier Liu He, President Xi Jinping’s economic point man who is almost universally described as a thoughtful, pragmatic, and mild-mannered policy academic. In the interim, voices from a wide swath of official Washington have sounded the alarm about the dangers of Chinese influence operations and the presence of alleged subversives, while President Trump himself seemed to cast aside these growing concerns by suggesting via Twitter that he would ask the Commerce Department to overturn its action against the Chinese telecommunications firm ZTE—long a focus of the U.S. security community for suspected cyber espionage activity and irrefutable violations of U.S. law—in response to protests that reportedly emanated directly from President Xi. With such frenetically sustained action in such a short period of time, the fog of war seems particularly thick at the moment. As such, it seems like a good time to slow down and have a think about how we got here, what actually is going on, and, with a little bit of luck, perhaps think about some ways to craft a viable way forward. Just like milestone birthdays in one’s personal life, important political anniversaries also can incline the mind toward reflection. Next year, of course, marks the fortieth anniversary of the reestablishment of diplomatic ties between the United States and China. As such, much breath and a lot of ink have been devoted to analyzing the course of the bilateral relationship over that nearly half-century. Although certainly not a universal opinion, it seems fair, if perhaps overly reductionist, to suggest that the general conclusion among a substantial number of U.S. officials, policy analysts, and journalists has been that the consistent U.S. policy emphasis on engagement with China during those forty years was, at the end of the day, a sham. In this rendering, naïve groups of senior policymakers in succeeding U.S. administrations and in most of the U.S. China-watching community were hoodwinked by wily CCP leaders who talked the talk of integrating into the so-called U.S.-led rules-based international order, but all the while they had a secret master plan to instead subvert that order and challenge U.S. primacy throughout the globe. In a slightly less menacing (if no less absurd) version of this narrative, China was, indeed, headed generally toward this hoped for integration under the stewardship of deceased paramount leader Deng Xiaoping and his handpicked successors Jiang Zemin and Hu Jintao until Xi Jinping arrived and, through a ruthless consolidation of power, decided instead to change course in what now regularly is referred to in shorthand as Xi’s “authoritarian turn.” But this conclusion seems utterly wrongheaded when examined in the light of hard facts. On the Chinese side of the equation, for example, Deng Xiaoping may have appeared warm and cuddly when donning his cowboy hat during his famous 1979 visit to the United States, but he could be just as ruthless and grasping as any other authoritarian leader. Deng’s exceptionally courageous and dogged pursuit of the policies of reform and opening certainly are worthy of praise, but they cannot, and therefore should not, be separated from the fact that he was content to sit idly by as Chairman Mao’s loyal lieutenant as Mao decimated his political rivals during the Anti-Rightist Campaign (1957-59) and the Great Leap Forward (1958-62). Nor should we forget that Deng used every ounce of his massive personal prestige with the People’s Liberation Army to, with steely determination, rally his many reluctant commanders to execute the brutal Tiananmen crackdown of June 4, 1989. Similarly, Xi Jinping is no Jack-in-the-Box-like figure who has pulled a fast one with a sharp directional turn in the last couple of years made all the more stark after his sweeping consolidation of power at last fall’s 19th Party Congress. In fact, it is this author’s contention, as supported by a large body of written work and public commentary, that everything Xi has done over the last five years was abundantly clear, whether explicitly or in embryonic form—from the moment he was introduced to the world as China’s new top leader in the fall of 2012, as encapsulated in his call for his country to pursue the “China Dream” set on a foundation of “the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation.” This by no means suggests the United States should express support for, or even acquiescence in, Xi’s policies, but only that it should not be reacting with the borderline hysteria that now seems to be gripping Washington.
  • Topic: Security, Diplomacy, Global Political Economy, Trade Wars
  • Political Geography: United States, China, Asia, North America
  • Author: Seth G. Jones
  • Publication Date: 05-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: The Issue Some U.S. policymakers have argued that the United States should withdraw its military forces from Syria. But the United States has several interests in Syria: Balancing against Iran, including deterring Iranian forces and militias from pushing close to the Israeli border, disrupting Iranian lines of communication through Syria, preventing substantial military escalation between Israel and Iran, and weakening Shia proxy forces. Balancing against Russia, including deterring further Russian expansion in the Middle East from Syrian territory and raising the costs—including political costs—of Russian operations in Syria. Preventing a terrorist resurgence, including targeting Salafi-jihadist groups like the Islamic State and al Qaeda that threaten the United States and its allies. Our Recommendations: Based on U.S. interests in Syria, Washington should establish a containment strategy that includes the following components: Retain a small military and intelligence footprint that includes working with—and providing limited training, funding, and equipment to—groups in eastern, northern, and southern Syria, such as the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF). Coordinate with regional allies such as Jordan and Israel to balance against Iran and Russia and to prevent the resurgence of Salafi-jihadists. Pressure outside states to end support to Salafi-jihadists, including Turkey and several Gulf states. As the war in Syria moves into its seventh year, U.S. policymakers have struggled to agree on a clear Syria strategy. Some U.S. policymakers have argued that the United States needs to withdraw its military forces from Syria. “I want to get out,” President Trump said of the United States’ military engagement in Syria. “I want to bring our troops back home.”1 Others have urged caution, warning that a precipitous withdrawal could contribute to a resurgence of terrorism or allow U.S. competitors like Iran and Russia—along with their proxies—to fill the vacuum.2 In addition, some administration officials have argued that the Islamic State has been decimated in Syria and Iraq. The National Security Strategy notes that “we crushed Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) terrorists on the battlefields of Syria and Iraq.”3 But between 5,000 and 12,000 Islamic State fighters remain in Syria and continue to conduct guerrilla attacks, along with between 40,000 and 70,000 Salafi-jihadist fighters in Syria overall.4
  • Topic: Civil War, Terrorism, Military Strategy, Military Intervention
  • Political Geography: United States, Iran, Middle East, Israel, Syria
  • Author: Jon B. Alterman, Heather A Conley, Donatienne Ray
  • Publication Date: 05-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: U.S. strategy in the Eastern Mediterranean is long overdue for revision. Policies, priorities, and activities girded by U.S.-led alliance structures were developed to stabilize Europe and deter Soviet aggression at the dawn of the Cold War. Seventy years later, they are no longer fit for purpose. However, the region remains a linchpin for an array of vital U.S. interests. In the last decade alone, regional conflicts and state fragmentation have caused millions of migrants and internally displaced to flee their homes, creating one of the largest migration crises since World War II. The arrival of an unprecedented number of migrants has triggered political backlash and polarized domestic politics in Europe and in the Eastern Mediterranean. Many of the littoral states in the Eastern Mediterranean have faced destabilizing economic crises that have created deep political and strategic vulnerabilities. Significant natural gas deposits discovered off the coasts of Israel, Cyprus, and Egypt could boost regional economic prospects as a potential energy-producing region, but a divided Cyprus, historical animosities, as well as a lack of infrastructure connectivity hinder this regional economic potential.
  • Topic: Imperialism, Military Strategy, Infrastructure, Fragile/Failed State, Military Intervention, Conflict
  • Political Geography: Africa, United States, Middle East, Israel, Egypt, Cyprus, Mediterranean
  • Author: Tom Karako
  • Publication Date: 05-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: Several decades ago, former Japanese Prime Minister Yasuhiro Nakasone once described his country as a “big aircraft carrier” from which to defend against Soviet aircraft.1 Although such an analogy fails to capture the richness and depth of the U.S-Japan alliance, it did say something important about Japan’s unique geographic and strategic position. Today’s air and missile threats in the Asia-Pacific region are different, as is the joint U.S.-Japanese defense posture to meet them. Given a handful of changes underway, however, one might instead say that Japan is shaping up to be a giant Aegis destroyer group of sorts. A vision of much more robust air and missile defense capability in the Asia-Pacific region hinges upon the forthcoming acquisition of Aegis Ashore sites in Japan. Japan’s intent to acquire two such sites was announced in December 2017, a decision supported by 66 percent of the Japanese population, according to one recent poll.2 But the potential significance of Japanese Aegis Ashore deployments has not yet been widely understood. Combined with military forces in other domains, these sites will be the foundation of more robust air and missile defenses against North Korea and form a base upon which to adapt to more sophisticated future threats, including China. Assuming the approval process for the foreign military sales comes along well, this development has broad implications for the United States and America’s allies.3 The road to more layered missile defense goes in part through Aegis Ashore, and the road to innovative Aegis Ashore deployments probably goes through Tokyo. The U.S. Navy’s Aegis Combat System has evolved considerably since the first Aegis ship deployed in 1984. Some 90 Aegis ships are currently operated by the United States, and five other countries have Aegis ships as well: Australia, Norway, South Korea, Spain, and Japan. The word “Aegis” refers to the shield of the ancient god Zeus, and Aegis ships have long provided fleet air defense, strike, and antisubmarine warfare. Over the past decade, 35 American and 4 Japanese Aegis ships have also acquired a ballistic missile defense mission. The most recent configurations are capable of executing the integrated air and missile defense (IAMD) mission, with simultaneous air defense and ballistic missile defense operations.
  • Topic: Defense Policy, Regional Cooperation, Military Strategy, Missile Defense
  • Political Geography: United States, Japan, China, Asia, South Korea, North Korea, Asia-Pacific
  • Author: Anthony H. Cordesman
  • Publication Date: 05-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: President Trump's cancellation of the summit with North Korea is a warning as to just how difficult it is to bring any kind of stability to the Korean Peninsula and Northeast Asia. It is also a warning that the U.S. cannot focus on the nuclear issue and ICBM, rather than the overall military balance in the Koreas and the impact that any kind of war fighting can have on the civil population of South Korea and the other states in Northeast Asia. The nuclear balance is an all too critical aspect of regional security, but it is only part of the story and military capability do not address the potential impact and cost of any given form of conflict.
  • Topic: Diplomacy, Regional Cooperation, Military Strategy, Conflict
  • Political Geography: United States, Japan, China, Asia, South Korea, North Korea
  • Author: Murray Hiebert
  • Publication Date: 05-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: The Issue Southeast Asia has come a long way since the devastating financial turmoil of 1997 and has set up mechanisms to avoid the next shock. But in case a future crisis hits, it would be useful for the U.S. government to say upfront if it would support International Monetary Fund (IMF) support. Some in the Trump administration have said they oppose IMF bailouts. The newest opportunity—and challenge—to Southeast Asia’s financial system is the bursting onto the scene of fintech firms. These companies are meeting the urgent needs of underserved populations. Yet their activities outstrip the ability of traditional regulators to govern their activities and protect consumers. China’s Belt and Road Initiative could play a mighty role in meeting infrastructure needs in Southeast Asia if it is done right. But so far Beijing has said little about what it envisions the impact of its projects to be. “Will that spending help people who need it most?” asks Jonathan Hillman of CSIS’ Reconnecting Asia Project. “Will it go into viable projects…? Will it help or hurt climate change?” “[I]n countries where public debt is already high, careful management of financing terms [for infrastructure projects] is critical,” IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde said during a conference in Beijing. “This will protect both China and partner governments from entering into agreements that will cause financial difficulties in the future.”
  • Topic: Infrastructure, Global Political Economy, Integration, Economic Cooperation
  • Political Geography: United States, China, Asia, Southeast Asia
  • Author: Daniel F. Runde
  • Publication Date: 05-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: The size and scope of the global forced migration crisis are unprecedented. Almost 66 million people worldwide have been forced from home by conflict. If recent trends continue, this figure could increase to between 180 and 320 million people by 2030. This global crisis already poses serious challenges to economic growth and risks to stability and national security, as well as an enormous human toll affecting tens of millions of people. These issues are on track to get worse; without significant course correction soon, the forced migration issues confronted today will seem simple decades from now. Yet, efforts to confront the crisis continue to be reactive in addressing these and other core issues. The United States should broaden the scope of its efforts beyond the tactical and reactive to see the world through a more strategic lens colored by the challenges posed—and opportunities created—by the forced migration crisis at home and abroad. CSIS convened a diverse task force in 2017 to study the global forced migration crisis. This report is a result of those findings.
  • Topic: Migration, Immigration, Displacement, Humanitarian Crisis
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Amy Searight, Michael J. Green
  • Publication Date: 05-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: On August 21–22, 2017, the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) organized a conference in Sydney, Australia—Australia and the United States: An Alliance for the 21st Century—in cooperation with the United States Studies Centre (USSC) at the University of Sydney and the Perth USAsia Centre at the University of Western Australia. The conference was generously supported by a grant from the U.S. Department of State. This conference gathered together key thinkers from both countries at an important time for the Australia-U.S. alliance. The scope of cooperation between Australia and the United States has never been greater—extending well beyond traditional defense, intelligence, and diplomatic engagement—and the alliance enjoys healthy support among policymakers and the wider public in both countries. Bilateral economic, social, and cultural ties are broad and deep. The two countries are working closely together to defeat the threat posed by ISIL and other terrorist networks in the Middle East and globally, and to ensure the Asia-Pacific region remains stable and prosperous. Yet the Australia-U.S. alliance faces growing external and internal challenges. The United States, Australia, and other allies confront rising threats in Asia, Europe, and the Middle East, and globally from terrorism, financial instability, pandemic diseases, and other transnational challenges. Revisionist powers are seeking to reshape regional security dynamics and carve out spheres of influence, jeopardizing the liberal rules-based order that has supported American and Australian security and prosperity for more than half a century. The risks of miscalculation and conflict are growing, as is the prospect of proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. At the same time, allied resources available to meet these problems are constrained by slow economic growth across the developed world and the cost of supporting aging populations. Now, economic dislocation and stagnant wages are generating a wave of populist and protectionist sentiment in many parts of the world that risks undermining governance and a return to zero-sum, mercantilist economic policies—while U.S. political divisions and some policy choices are exacerbating allies’ concerns about the future of American global leadership. Many of these issues are playing out in the contemporary Australian debate, with a range of senior political figures and commentators calling for Australia to distance itself from the United States and recent opinion polls suggesting doubts about U.S. staying power as well as growing affinity for China. This is broadly consistent with polling from the region that suggests that China’s growing economic clout and military capabilities are driving expectations that China will supplant the United States as the predominant power in the Asia Pacific. These trends raise new questions about the future of the alliance in domestic, bilateral, and international contexts that we must address. They also highlight: the increasingly complex challenges facing U.S. and Australian alliance managers; the importance of not taking the alliance for granted; a requirement for fresh ideas about the alliance; and the need to engage a broader range of stakeholders, including a new generation of strategic thinkers in Australia and the United States. The Sydney conference brought together a group of about 40 participants—including 10 young next-generation leaders from Australia—for a two-day discussion on the opportunities and challenges facing the Australia-U.S. alliance across geopolitical, security, and economic issues. It focused on identifying key takeaways and formulating practical recommendations to improve the Australia-U.S. alliance’s capacity to adapt to changing dynamics, both globally and in the Indo-Pacific region, and to ensure support for the alliance well into the twenty-first century. Participation was by invitation and the discussions were off the record.
  • Topic: Security, Foreign Policy, Regional Cooperation, Counter-terrorism, Global Political Economy
  • Political Geography: United States, Australia, Asia-Pacific
  • Author: Olga Oliker
  • Publication Date: 06-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: Religious violence is surely as old as both faith and fighting themselves. In the Russian Federation, as elsewhere in the world, religious teachings and philosophies are used both to justify and combat violence. But what forms does this take, and with what implications for Russian society, Russian policy, and Russia's future? This volume examines the many ways in which religion and violence intersect in Russia, and offers recommendations for both policymakers and scholars as they chart paths forward. Presenting the results of original research by collaborative teams of Russian and western authors, it takes on topics from violent radical Islamic jihadism to religious propaganda employed by violent right-wing groups; from repression of religious communities to conflict within religious confessions. In each case, it offers not only new analysis, but prospective policy solutions to make Russia and Russians of all religions (and no religion) safer and more secure.
  • Topic: Religion, Violent Extremism, Violence, Repression, Jihad
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Eastern Europe
  • Author: Anthony H Cordesman
  • Publication Date: 06-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: The Iraqi election in May 2018 has both highlighted Iraq's political uncertainties and the security challenges the United States now faces in Iraq and the Middle East. What initially appeared to be a relative honest election gradually emerged to have involved massive potential fraud, and forced a manual recount of the results of a failed electronic voting system. Its results have cast Iraq's ability to form an effective post-ISIS government into serious doubt, along with its ability to carry our follow-up provincial and local elections in October. At the same time, even the initial results of the election raised serious concerns over the level of future U.S. confrontation with Iran. The United States faced grave uncertainties regarding Iran's influence in Iraq even when it seemed that Iraq's existing Prime Minister, Haider al-Abadi, was likely to win the election. The election's uncertain results, and U.S. withdrawal from the JCPOA nuclear agreement, now virtually ensure that a far more intense struggle for influence will take place in Iraq and the rest of the region.
  • Topic: Elections, Democracy, ISIS, Election watch, JCPOA
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq, Iran, Middle East
  • Author: Stephen Naimoli, Jane Nakano
  • Publication Date: 06-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: This report provides a summary of the discussion from a CSIS roundtable held on April 13, 2018, as part of the CSIS-Pertamina Energy Initiative. The discussion brought together government, industry, and policy experts to explore the outlook for the region’s energy mix out to 2040, the state of renewable energy in Southeast Asia, and its role in the region’s energy priorities. This was the first in a series of events that will be convened this year to examine the role of renewable energy in Southeast Asia and its security, economic, and political importance in the Indo-Pacific. Southeast Asia is one of the fastest-growing regions in the world. The region’s gross domestic product (GDP) grew 66 percent from 2006 to 2015, and if all 10 countries were one economy, it would be the seventh-largest in the world. This growth is projected to increase, averaging just over 5 percent annually from 2018 to 2022. With economic growth comes demand for energy. From 2000 to 2016, economic growth in Southeast Asia drove a 70 percent increase in primary energy demand. Governments in Southeast Asia have implemented a range of policies and incentives to ensure they meet their energy demand. Renewable energy (wind, solar, geothermal, and sometimes hydro and biomass) is capturing an increasing, although not dominant, amount of attention from policymakers, investors, and the private sector as an important part of meeting this demand. Renewable energy’s share of the electric power mix is driven by a range of factors—the economics of power generation, efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, energy security concerns, and concerns over local air pollution. While renewable energy is set to grow as a share of the region’s energy mix, there are indications that its potential contribution is much higher than is currently on track to be realized. Renewable energy increasingly competes on an economic basis in many countries against all fuels except coal, but sometimes political and socioeconomic factors stand in the way of improving their competitiveness in specific markets. The region is also attracting a great deal of outside investor interest. Countries from around the region and ever farther afield are investing in Southeast Asia’s energy sector because of the rapid growth experienced over the last decade and half, and their investment priorities, along with economics, shape their investment decisions in Southeast Asia. Energy policy and investment decisions are also being driven by the shifting nature of supply-and-demand balances in each country and the shifting domestic realities that come from becoming a net importer of specific fuels, such as in Indonesia. Many Southeast Asian countries have integrated low- or zero-carbon renewable energy into their energy planning efforts, and this report examines the dynamics of the power sector in Southeast Asia and how renewable energy competes with fossil fuel sources of electricity.
  • Topic: Security, Energy Policy, Oil, Governance, Gas, Electricity, Renewable Energy, Industry
  • Political Geography: Indonesia, Asia, Southeast Asia, Indo-Pacific
  • Author: Haim Malka
  • Publication Date: 06-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: One year since a diplomatic crisis split the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), Morocco, Algeria, and Tunisia have maintained neutral positions towards the feud. In light of deepening ties between the Maghreb and GCC states—and the pressure by some Gulf regimes on their allies to choose sides—the Maghreb’s neutrality has been particularly notable. The ability of Maghreb governments to stay out of the crossfire of the intra-GCC conflict demonstrates pragmatism and confidence as well as the limits of GCC influence in the Maghreb. The stakes were different for each Maghreb country in pursuing neutrality on the Gulf rift. At stake for Morocco were billions of dollars in aid and investment promised by Saudi Arabia and the UAE, as well as diplomatic support for Morocco’s sovereignty over Western Sahara, Rabat’s top foreign policy priority. For cash-strapped Tunisia, Gulf aid and investment are critical, but aligning with either side in the Gulf dispute would have jeopardized its single most important political achievement in the post-Ben Ali era—the political compromise between the Ennahda and Nidaa Tounes parties. Algeria’s financial independence and mistrust of external intervention has made it the least susceptible to GCC intervention and influence. Conflict-torn Libya is an outlier, and for the foreseeable future will continue to be an arena for GCC intervention and proxy struggles. Gulf Arab-Maghreb ties will continue to matter for both sides. The Maghreb will continue to be dependent on Gulf aid and investment, and the Gulf will look to maintain strategic ties with its Maghreb partners. But moving forward, those ties will be shaped more by pragmatism and self-interest than political or ideological cohesion.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Diplomacy, Regional Cooperation, Economic Cooperation
  • Political Geography: Africa, Libya, Algeria, North Africa, Maghreb, Persian Gulf
  • Author: Lana Baydas
  • Publication Date: 06-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: As the July 2018 elections approach, Cambodian civil society has faced an uptick in attacks and restrictions on their operations and funding. The government has increasingly attempted to stifle dissent and incite the opposition’s demise. As civil society grapples with the effects, some organizations have begun to organize their response, while others increasingly give way to self-censorship. In response, the international community, donors, and civil society must take action in order to halt further precipitation into a one-party autocracy and to preserve the remnants of Cambodian democratic framework that still remain.
  • Topic: Civil Society, Democracy, Protests, Repression
  • Political Geography: Asia, Cambodia, Southeast Asia
  • Author: Seth G. Jones
  • Publication Date: 06-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: The Issue: Hezbollah and Iran have accumulated a substantial amount of weapons and fighters in Syria that pose a threat to the United States and its allies in the region. In response, Israel has conducted a growing number of strikes against Iranian, Hezbollah and other targets in Syria. An escalating war has the potential to cause significant economic damage, lead to high numbers of civilian casualties and internally displaced persons, and involve more countries in the region than did the 2006 Lebanon War. The stakes are high, making it critical for Washington to help prevent such an escalation.
  • Topic: Terrorism, Violent Extremism, Syrian War, Hezbollah
  • Political Geography: United States, Iran, Middle East, Israel, Syria
  • Author: Heather A Conley
  • Publication Date: 06-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: On Friday, May 5, 2017—just two days before the second and final round of the French presidential elections—gigabytes of data hacked from Emmanuel Macron’s presidential campaign team were released online. Months earlier an orchestrated disinformation campaign against the Macron presidential campaign had already begun. The so-called Macron Leaks—a combination of real emails and forgeries—could have been yet another example of a long list of attempts by Russia to interfere in a high-stakes transatlantic election. But the 2017 French presidential election may be the exception that proves the rule: it is the most clearly failed attempt. The Kremlin neither succeeded in interfering with the presidential election nor in dividing French society. As the United States prepares to hold nationwide elections on November 6, 2018, the director of national intelligence, Dan Coats, has already warned in February of this year that “We expect Russia to continue using propaganda, social media, false-flag personas, sympathetic spokespeople and other means of influence to try to exacerbate social and political fissures in the United States.” Calling Russian influence “pervasive,” Director Coats further noted that “The Russians have a strategy that goes well beyond what is happening in the United States,” he said. “While they have historically tried to do these types of things, clearly in 2016 they upped their game. They took advantage, a sophisticated advantage of social media. They are doing that not only in the United States but . . . throughout Europe and perhaps elsewhere.” Because the United States is not well prepared for future elections, it is necessary to study the past. This is why the 2017 French presidential election is a particularly important election to study and why we highlight French scholar Jean-Baptiste Jeangène Vilmer’s groundbreaking report on the Macron Leaks.1 Drawing in part upon the work of CSIS visiting fellow Boris Toucas,2 Vilmer’s forthcoming report will examine what happened during the French presidential election; who orchestrated the affair; how it was successfully countered; and what lessons can be learned. This Brief, which is part of the forthcoming CSIS comprehensive report, sums up the main lessons learned. Myriad structural factors, luck, as well as effective anticipation and reaction by the Macron campaign staff, government and civil society, and especially the mainstream media, combined to successfully resist Russian malign influence.
  • Topic: Intelligence, National Security, Elections, Interference
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, Europe, France
  • Author: William Alan Reinsch, Jonathan Robinson
  • Publication Date: 06-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: Section 337 of the Tariff Act of 1930 has been a powerful tool for protecting U.S. intellectual property (IP) rights and the U.S. market from unfair competition for nearly 100 years. The statute empowers the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) to ban imports of goods that inappropriately use U.S. intellectual property. Since it was last amended in 1988, however, new issues have emerged with the law and the Commission’s role in enforcing its provisions. As the economy modernizes and intellectual property enters the digital realm, we examine the ITC and its role in enforcing IP rights and suggest possible ways the ITC can modernize its operations to better confront the challenges of the twenty-first century.
  • Topic: Intellectual Property/Copyright, Digital Economy, Trade, Modernization
  • Political Geography: United States, North America
  • Author: Anthony H. Cordesman
  • Publication Date: 07-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: The Trump Administration has adopted an "America First" strategy, and taken aggressive stands on NATO burden sharing, trade, the JCPOA nuclear agreement with Iran, and the treatment of refugees that have led many in Europe to question its support for NATO and the Transatlantic Alliance. At least some European security experts talk about the U.S. as it was backing away from the NATO alliance, and a split between the United States and Europe that will force Europe to create its own approach to creating military and other security forces. Many aspects of the Trump Administration's approach to foreign policy are as controversial in the U.S. as in Europe, and President Trump has proved to be an exceptionally volatile and combative leader who can express himself in extreme terms and suddenly change his positions. However, it but it is important to note the underlying realities that shape the new U.S. strategy, the U.S. military role in the NATO alliance, and Europe's own divisions and failures to create effective forces. The current tensions between the U.S. and given European powers should not lead Europeans - or Americans and Russians for that matter – to ignore the fact that the U.S. remains fully committed to a strong Transatlantic alliance, that its forces and capabilities are critical to European security, and the Trump Administration's FY2019 budget to Congress will greatly increase the contribution that U.S. forces make to NATO and Transatlantic Security.
  • Topic: Defense Policy, NATO, Regional Cooperation, Military Strategy
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe, North Atlantic, North America, Western Europe