Publications

June 22, 2021

How to Engage with China

Although consensus appears to have been reached in the United States on the adversarial nature of our relationship with China, opinions on how to engage—or disengage—with China are diverse. Secretary of State Antony Blinken says the U.S. – China relationship will be “competitive when it should be, collaborative when it can be and adversarial when it must be.” Is that a viable approach, or is it naïve?

June 14, 2021

Russia and Saudi Arabia: Old Disenchantments, New Challenges

The Joseph Biden administration can manage its recalibration of relations with Saudi Arabia without unwarranted fear that Riyadh will view Russia as a safe-harbor alternative to the United States on a myriad of state-to-state interactions that are most important to the Kingdom. While Russia’s transactional approach to foreign partners has at times given it advantages in some areas over the more value-based framework of U.S. foreign relations, there clearly have been limits to the Russian style of dealing with Saudi Arabia in this century.

June 14, 2021

Three Priorities for NATO Partnerships in a Contested World

Over the next twelve months, the allies will negotiate a new Strategic Concept that adapts NATO’s core tasks—collective defense, crisis management, and cooperative security—to this contested environment. It will be informed by the NATO 2030 Report, which characterized China as a full-spectrum rival and offered recommendations to strengthen NATO’s political dimensions and extend its global reach. The next Strategic Concept presents an opportunity to breathe new life into cooperative security by steering cooperation with non-member states toward these challenges. NATO should double down on what works—capacity-building—while expanding political consultations with partners and forging new frontiers in science and technology cooperation.

June 8, 2021

The PLA Beyond Borders: Chinese Military Operations in Regional and Global Context

No longer confined to China’s land territory or its near abroad, the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) is conducting increasingly complex operations farther and farther from China’s continental borders. Within Asia, the PLA now regularly operates into the far reaches of the South China Sea and deep into the Western Pacific, enforcing China’s territorial claims and preparing to counter U.S. intervention in a regional conflict. Beyond Asia, the PLA is present on the ground, at sea, or in military exercises with foreign partners across the Indian Ocean and into the Middle East, Africa, and Europe. Foreign militaries now regularly encounter the PLA, whether in tense incidents or friendly contacts, on their home turf and in the global commons.

June 7, 2021

Back from the Brink? Prospects for U.S.-Russia Relations

As the current American and Russian leaders, Joe Biden and Vladimir Putin, prepare for their first summit on June 16 in Geneva, prospects are slim for the kind of breakthrough achieved by Reagan and Gorbachev. Tensions remain high due to Russia’s 2014 annexation of Crimea and subsequent invasion of Ukraine; its interference in U.S. elections; its aggressive behavior in cyberspace—including the recent SolarWinds hack, which compromised a range of public and private sector entities across the West—and the sanctions that Washington imposed in response to all those activities. ...

June 2, 2021

Iran in Latin America: Malign Alliances, “Super Spreaders,” and Alternative Narratives

Iran's ongoing and multifaceted campaigns of disinformation and carefully curated messages—coordinated with Russian and Venezuelan state media companies and thousands of allied Internet and social media accounts—pose a strategic challenge to U.S. interests and regional efforts to promote stability, democratic values, and the rule of law.

May 27, 2021

A New Approach to Industrial Policy?

The concept of industrial policy has been neuralgic in the United States for quite some time. In recent years economic orthodoxy has argued that "the market" is the best mechanism to spur innovation. Our strategic competitors use state subsidies, restrictive and unfair trade practices, intellectual property theft, and abundant state research resources to catalyze technological innovation, and are threatening American security and economic interests. America has not always been adverse to industrial policy, and some are arguing for a new approach to industrial and innovation policy.

May 25, 2021

Arms Control in Today’s (Dis)Information Environment Part II

Dr. Justin Anderson's recent article is the second in a series of papers by Institute for National Strategic Studies (INSS) Fellows examining Arms Control in Today’s (Dis)information Environment. The goal of the series is to contribute to a discussion about how disinformation could play a role in future arms control treaties and agreements.

May 19, 2021

Managed Risks, Managed Expectations: How Far Will Targeted Killing Get the United States in Afghanistan?

The United States may be withdrawing from Afghanistan, but thus far al-Qaeda certainly hasn’t. The central instrument in the U.S. arsenal to prevent al-Qaeda from reemerging will inevitably be the monitoring and targeted killing of al-Qaeda operatives residing in or near Afghanistan.

May 19, 2021

Their Silent Intentions

The United States and its allies have recently come under relentless attacks in cyber space. While some of these attacks have been relatively harmless, some have been seriously consequential, and their potential to harm U.S. national security interests is growing. While cyberattacks are difficult to trace and attribute some retaliatory action must be taken as least to demonstrate credible deterrence. Kevin Mandia, the CEO of FireEye, refutes the argument that these attacks are benign, and that rather they signal our adversaries’ "silent intentions."