May 24, 2023
Sharper: American Power & Purpose
Analysis from CNAS experts on the most critical challenges for U.S. foreign policy.
Today, new questions arise about the intent and impact of American power. Adversaries and competitors, allies and partners, and the American people are evaluating America’s position in the global order. CNAS experts are sharpening the conversation around the United States' role in security and leadership amid global crises. Continue reading this edition of Sharper to explore their ideas and recommendations.
Rising to the China Challenge: Renewing American Competitiveness in the Indo-Pacific
The United States and China are locked in strategic competition over the future of the Indo-Pacific—the most populous, dynamic, and consequential region in the world. At stake are competing visions for the rules, norms, and institutions that will govern international relations in the decades to come. In this congressionally mandated report, authors from across the center prescribe a comprehensive approach to competition with China and offers nearly 100 specific, actionable policy recommendations across seven critical vectors of American competitiveness.
Crafting a U.S. National Technology Strategy
Technology will shape the future of political, economic, and military power. But for years, America’s technology policymaking has been passive and piecemeal—putting long-term American innovation and technological leadership at risk. The United States needs a national technology strategy. A new video explainer from CNAS explores recommendations to protect America’s standing as the world’s leading technology power and ensure that future technologies are consistent with democratic values.
Tabletop Exercise for the House Select Committee on the CCP
On April 19, the CNAS Defense Program and Gaming Lab ran a tabletop exercise that explored a confrontation with China over Taiwan for the House China Select Committee. With Stacie Pettyjohn leading, Becca Wasser and Andrew Metrick played the role of China against lawmakers acting as advisors to the president in this fictional exercise set in 2027. This exercise offers a unique form of analysis that can help inform decision-makers on strategies for strengthening deterrence in the region.
The U.S. intelligence community has assessed that climate change will increasingly exacerbate risks to U.S. national security interests as geopolitical instability and tensions rise. To discuss the acute impact of these risks, CNAS hosted a virtual event on climate and national security on Thursday, October 13, 2022 focusing on the geostrategic and operational impacts of climate change on U.S. national security interests.
2023 CNAS National Security Conference | American Power & Purpose
Join us on June 6 and 8 for two full days of virtual panels and fireside conversations that are free and open to all. CNAS experts will be joined by guests Jens Stoltenberg, Secretary General of NATO, Julianne Smith, U.S. Ambassador to NATO, Bonnie Jenkins, Under Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security Affairs, and Senator Joni Ernst. Register today to examine the purpose and future of American power by exploring bold policy ideas, convening dynamic discussions and hosting talks by key policymakers and leading experts.
What a Debt Default Would Mean for National Security
"Faced with China’s geopolitical challenge, Washington has boosted its defense budget, stimulated domestic innovation, built new international partnerships, and moved to protect its technological lead," observes Richard Fontaine in The Hill. "These steps have won broad support in both parties and across very different presidential administrations, and for good reason: A more powerful United States, working ever more closely with likeminded partners, is best placed to engage in long-term competition with Beijing. In this context, the possibility of a default on U.S. debt—which Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen warns could occur as soon as June 1—seems utterly mystifying. Defaulting on the nation’s debt threatens catastrophic economic consequences and would seriously harm national security. It’s hard to think of a single American action that would more effectively reduce its global standing, influence and power—and boost those of its chief competitor."
Chinese Data Restrictions Undermine U.S.-China Stability
"Beijing has cut off overseas access to Chinese data sources in response to U.S. think tank reports that have “rattled China’s leadership,” according to the Wall Street Journal," writes Paul Scharre in The Messenger. "The Center for a New American Security, a bipartisan Washington-based think tank whose research I lead, was one of the organizations whose analysis reportedly provoked Beijing’s ire. This step to restrict data access is part of a larger crackdown by China’s leaders on information coming out of China. These moves make the United States and China both less safe. As Washington and Beijing view each other with increasing hostility, the two nations need more information and dialogue—not less—to manage the growing risks of U.S.-China competition."
Getting to Ground Truth on the Reach of Domestic Violent Extremist Groups into the Military, Veteran, and Law Enforcement Communities
"Transitioning service members and law enforcement officers should be educated about DVE recruitment trends, specifically in order to gain awareness that they may be targets of recruitment by DVE organizations," argue Katherine L. Kuzminski, Carrie Cordero and Arona Baigal in Lawfare. "They should further be connected with resources and networks intended to reintegrate them into their communities when their tour in public service ends. Top-down initiatives are undoubtedly important for countering DVE within the military, veteran, and law enforcement communities. But perhaps the most critical of our findings is the need for existing professional ethics to be reinforced by their members. Existing professional military education and law enforcement in-service training should provide opportunities to remind those who are currently serving of the oath they took to defend the Constitution and the nation."
In the News
Featuring commentary and analysis from experts including Paul Scharre, Katherine Kuzminski, Andrea Kendall-Taylor, Lisa Curtis, Dr. Duyeon Kim, and Jon Wolfsthal.
About the Sharper Series
The CNAS Sharper series features curated analysis and commentary from CNAS experts on the most critical challenges in U.S. foreign policy. From the future of America's relationship with China to the state of U.S. sanctions policy and more, each collection draws on the reports, interviews, and other commentaries produced by experts across the Center to explore how America can strengthen its competitive edge.
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