In 2022, CNAS published 34 reports that provided new and in-depth analysis on the most pressing national security issues facing the global community now and tomorrow. Our most popular reports of the year covered topics from the enduring threat of Russia, to wargaming a CCP-driven conflict in Taiwan, to the importance of semiconductors, to envisioning a new American industrial policy.
The Center’s work and experts had a tangible impact on understanding the unfolding events around the globe, and how the United States can lead on challenges at home and abroad. Take a look back at CNAS’ most popular reports of the year, and get ready for a new year of innovative reports and analysis.
Most Popular Reports
Dangerous Straits: Wargaming a Future Conflict over Taiwan
The Gaming Lab at CNAS, in partnership with NBC’s Meet the Press, conducted a high-level strategic-operational wargame exploring a fictional war over Taiwan, set in 2027. The wargame sought to illuminate the dilemmas that U.S. and Chinese policymakers might face in such a conflict, along with the strategies they might adopt to achieve their overarching objectives. The game was intended to produce insights as to how the United States and its allies and partners could deter the PRC from invading Taiwan and could better position themselves to defend Taiwan and defeat such aggression should deterrence fail.
When the Chips Are Down: Gaming the Global Semiconductor Competition
Essential to the day-to-day functioning of modern society, semiconductors are increasingly at the center of a high-stakes competition between the U.S. and China. A virtual strategy game conducted by CNAS, and detailed in this report, has produced critical insights into the nature of U.S.-China strategic competition and global competition for semiconductors. Designed and conducted by the CNAS Gaming Lab, the exercise examined how China could influence Taiwan’s semiconductor industry and policy options that the United States and Taiwan could take to counter China’s predatory actions. The game featured three teams—the United States, China, and Taiwan—and envisioned a scenario in which a disruption created a global shortage in leading-edge chips.
Sanctions by the Numbers: Economic Measures against Russia Following Its 2022 Invasion of Ukraine
This edition of Sanctions by the Numbers provides a snapshot of U.S. and allied economic measures against Russia following its invasion and continued aggression toward Ukraine, an overview of the most sanctioned sectors of the Russian economy, potential obstacles to enforcing joint sanctioning actions against Russia, and an outlook on potential escalation or de-escalation with Moscow. This edition seeks to provide a holistic overview of the major sanctions actions and their impacts, with a focus on U.S. actions, but does not purport to list each of the hundreds of sanctions actions in detail.
Global Island: Sustaining Taiwan’s International Participation Amid Mounting Pressure from China
China under Chinese Communist Party General Secretary Xi Jinping has ramped up political, economic, and military pressure on Taiwan. The roots of Beijing’s pressure campaign, including Xi’s personal interactions with Taiwan policy, go back decades. But recent events have deepened and intensified China’s efforts, which include seeking to block Taiwan from engaging the rest of the world as part of a comprehensive strategy to force Taipei to move toward unification with the mainland on Beijing’s terms. A report from authors Jacob Stokes, Alexander Sullivan, and Zachary Durkee explores trends related to Taiwan’s international participation and offers a framework for how Washington, Taipei, and interested allies and partners can respond to growing pressure from Beijing.
Operationalizing the Quad
The Quad is becoming the principal multilateral group shaping the geoeconomic and technological future and the strategic orientation of the Indo-Pacific. Strengthening the Quad is a central pillar in the Biden administration’s strategic plan to compete more effectively with a rising China and to put forth a vision of a free, open, transparent, inclusive, and peaceful Indo-Pacific. A report from authors Lisa Curtis, Jacob Stokes, Joshua Fitt, and Andrew Adams lays out key issue areas and associated recommendations to strengthen the group.
Competitive Connectivity: Crafting Transatlantic Responses to China’s Belt and Road Initiative
While countries were initially eager to sign up for the initiative and take advantage of what China was offering, more recently the sheen has come off Belt and Road Initiative projects as they face mounting obstacles. Although the BRI has failed to achieve Beijing’s initial objectives, it could evolve in ways that present risks to the United States and European Union. A report from CNAS argues that while the U.S. and the EU on their own would not be able to match the scale of China’s global infrastructure investments, together they can a provide an alternative source of financing and manage these risks.
Long Shadows: Deterrence in a Multipolar Nuclear Age
While China and North Korea are making great strides in their nuclear arsenals, the United States and Russia remain in a league of their own and will continue to be so for the foreseeable future. U.S. officials need to carefully think through what it takes to bolster stability and strengthen deterrence against each rival individually, and then collectively what that amounts to. A report from authors Stacie Pettyjohn, and Jennie Matuschak examines the nuclear policies and postures of the United States and its three primary nuclear adversaries—China, Russia, and North Korea—and offers policy implications that can take advantage of American strengths to exploit its rivals’ weaknesses.
Assessing Russian State Capacity to Develop and Deploy Advanced Military Technology
Even before Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, many analysts and policymakers viewed Russia as a declining power. The war in Ukraine has only accelerated some of these trends, further reinforcing such views. Moving forward, as a result of its invasion of Ukraine, Russia will face new and more significant constraints on its ability to modernize its military. But it is too soon to count Russia out. Policymakers need a more nuanced assessment of the nature of the future Russian threat. A report from authors Michael Kofman, Richard Connolly, Jeffrey Edmonds, Andrea Kendall-Taylor, and Samuel Bendett argues that regardless of how the war in Ukraine develops, Russia’s largely modernized nuclear force will remain viable for the foreseeable future and could pose strategic dilemmas for the United States, especially if nuclear arms control collapses.
Reboot: Framework for a New American Industrial Policy
The relationship between American industry and the U.S. government must change. For decades, the U.S. government has maintained its Cold War approach, staying primarily hands-off as the private sector molded the economy and developed an integrated, globalized system. Now that the United States faces China—an economic, technological, and military power that is fully integrated into the globalized system, America’s economic and security toolkit is insufficient for the geopolitical competition the country faces. A report from authors Martijn Rasser, Megan Lamberth, Hannah Kelley, and Ryan Johnson illustrates current weaknesses and describes a framework comprised of six distinct yet connected actions that will form the foundation for future specific, actionable policy recommendations in subsequent reports.
The Tangled Web We Wove: Rebalancing America’s Supply Chains
The pendulum of globalization has swung too far. What the fallout of the ongoing pandemic makes clear is that decades of offshoring and cost-cutting in the pursuit of efficiency and a better bottom line have left the supply chains of the United States and its allies and partners unacceptably brittle. A report from authors Megan Lamberth, Martijn Rasser, Ryan Johnson, and Henry Wu offers actionable recommendations for policymakers to develop a comprehensive, proactive, and achievable U.S. supply chain strategy.
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