In an expanding competition with China for global leadership, economic threats will become more important than military ones. America is currently unprepared to confront these threats and just as we evolved to confront new threats after 9/11, our national security apparatus must now evolve. Two actions are needed for our national security to succeed in this economic competition. First, the intelligence community must make a significant investment in economic intelligence. Second, America must invest in a National Economic Defense Center modeled after the National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC), which would compile, analyze and coordinate responses to economic threats.
There is widespread recognition that the current national security competition with China is as much about the economy as it is about the military. Chinese gross domestic product (GDP) is on track to surpass America’s GDP. Moreover, the Chinese are better able to orchestrate their economic instruments for geopolitical purposes because they hardly recognize the public-private distinction. Chinese economic threats range across a spectrum from traditional economic competition, such as Made in China 2025, to geopolitical power plays like the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), to the outright systematic theft of U.S. intellectual property.
Read the full article in The National Interest.
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