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International Relations Foreign policy Finance Defense CSS Blog

The US National Defense and International Affairs Budget

This graphic outlines the US national defense and international affairs budget from 1990-2019. To find out more, click here to read Jack Thompson’s Strategic Trends 2018 chapter on how the US is struggling to manage external challenges as well as domestic constraints, such as the underfunding and mismanagement of the military and diplomatic corps.

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Security Nuclear CSS Blog

A New US President Offers Chances to Reduce NATO-Russia Tensions

Image courtesy of U.S. Embassy Kyiv Ukraine/Flickr.

Russian foreign policy needs to be understood and adequately addressed for diplomacy to have a chance for a comeback in NATO-Russia relations. Here, the election of Joe Biden as US president could serve to reverse the worrisome tendencies in US foreign policy under Trump and restore pragmatic dialog and direct military contacts with Moscow. Calls from expert communities for rebuilding the arms control architecture to reduce the risk of unintended incidents and escalation are growing louder.

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Nuclear CSS Blog

Arms Control Treaties, Nuclear Weapons, and Military Expenditure 1945-2020

This graphic depicts the stockpiles of nuclear weapons, arms control treaties and military expenditure in the United States of America and Russia between 1945 and 2020.

For a deeper look into arms control in Russia, the Russian government’s policy options in nuclear arms control & the differing conceptions of strategic stability in the 21st century of the USA, Russia, China, and Europe, read this issue of the Russian Analytical Digest here

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Diplomacy Politics CSS Blog

The Biden Administration’s Impulse to US-EU Cooperation on Libya

Image courtesy of Tech. Sgt. Brigitte Brantley/DVIDS.

The US has maintained a relatively passive approach to Libya under President Donald Trump, whose administration largely left the Libyan dossier to Egypt, several Arab Gulf states, Turkey, Europeans, and Russia. In 2021, however, America’s new leadership will probably try to assert US influence in the war-torn country more actively.[i] President-elect Joe Biden and those in his inner circle have vowed to push back against Moscow in various ways, which means Libya could be a growing point of contention between the incoming US administration and Russia. In any event, the Libyan crisis offers Biden an opportunity to demonstrate to Washington’s traditional Western allies that his administration is determined to reassert US leadership in the world and stand against President Vladimir Putin’s designs for Libya and, by extension, in the Middle East and Africa too. It is unclear, however, whether Biden’s plans for countering Moscow’s hand in Libya will be more rhetorical or strategic, and how far his administration would be ready to escalate US-Russia tensions in relation to Libya.

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Trade CSS Blog

Tariff Levels: US and Key Trading Partners

This graphic outlines the average tariff levels applied on all imports by the US and a selection of its key trading partners. For an analysis of the Trump administration’s trade policies and the weaponization of international trade, see Jack Thompson’s chapter for Strategic Trends 2019 here.