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Gross Domestic Expenditure on Research and Development: USA and China

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This week’s featured graphic charts the convergence of Chinese and US GDP expenditure on research and development. Does it suggest that the West is about to lose its edge in military technology? Michael Haas thinks so. Read his Strategic Trends 2019 chapter in on the eclipse of Western military technology superiority here to find out why.  For more CSS charts, maps and graphics on economics, click here.

The ‘Regime Security Dilemma’ in US–China Relations

Image courtesy of The White House/Flickr.

This article was originally published in The Strategist by the Australian Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI) on 21 March 2019.

Today’s debates on whether US–China relations are deteriorating towards a ‘new cold war’ often involve disagreement over the extent to which there’s an ideological dimension to this competition. By some accounts, it’s purely about power and security, resulting from the historical inevitability of rivalry, if not outright conflict, between rising and ruling powers near a moment of transition.

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A Middle Path? US Public Opinion and Grand Strategy

Image courtesy of Presidio of Monterey/Flickr.

This article was originally published by E-International Relations (E-IR) on 3 March 2019.

In recent years, a sharp debate dominates the scholarly literature on American foreign policy and grand strategy: should the United States retrench from the expansive commitments undertaken in the aftermath of World War II as a globe-spanning military superpower, or should it renew its efforts to pursue the present strategy of global leadership? This issue is not merely of parochial interest to academics; rather, it represents the key dilemma faced by Washington foreign policymakers in the aftermath of the 2016 election campaign and the changes brought by the anti-establishment Trump presidency. Both sides of this debate contend that the American public supports their preferred strategy. However, a closer examination of recent public opinion date actually shows that the American people favor a “middle path” rather than either of the two preferred grand strategies advanced by proponents of Global Leadership and Restraint, respectively.

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How US Military Aid Can Backfire

Image courtesy of the US Army/Flickr. (CC BY 2.0)

This article was originally published by Political Violence @ a Glance on 15 March 2019. 

Can military forces mitigate insurgent activity—“win hearts and minds”—by implementing small, localized aid projects? Evidence from the recent wars in Afghanistan and Iraq has provided contradictory answers to the question of aid’s ability to mitigate violence. Some research finds that aid projects increase the legitimacy of the state among civilians and, under specific circumstances, dampen violence. Other studies, however, show that aid projects provoke insurgent activity, even when delivered by non-military organizations.

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Defending America from Foreign Election Interference

Image courtesy of Element5 Digital/Unsplash

This article was originally published by the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) on 6 March 2019.

The United States needs to safeguard the democratic process against foreign interference. It should ensure both the technical integrity of the voting system and that voters are not subjected to foreign influence operations that violate campaign laws.

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