Categories
Technology

Now I Know My ABCs: US-China Policy on AI, Big Data, and Cloud Computing

Image courtesy of M Woods

This publication was originally published by the East-West Center in September 2019.

Summary

Artificial Intelligence (AI), Big Data, and Cloud Computing (ABC) have generated unprecedented opportunities and challenges for economic competitiveness, national security, and law and order, as well as the future of work. ABC policies and practices have become contentious issues in U.S.-China bilateral relations. Pundits see a U.S.-China AI race and are already debating which country will win. Kaifu Lee, the CEO of Sinovation Ventures, believes that China will exceed the United States in AI in about five years.1 Others argue that China will never catch up.2 This essay focuses on two issues: the comparative ABC strengths of the United States and China in data and research and development (R&D); and the emerging ABC policies and practices in the two nations. Empirical analysis suggests that the United States and China lead in different areas. Compared to China’s top-down, whole-of-government, national- strategy approach, the U.S. ABC policy has been less articulated but is evolving.

Categories
Security Economy

The Larger Implications of the Oil Attacks in Saudi Arabia

Image courtesy of Planet.com. (CC BY-SA 4.0)

This article was originally published by Political Violence @ a Glance on 17 September 2019.

Drone attacks allegedly by Houthi rebels this past weekend on the Abqaiq facility and the Khurais oil field effectively knocked out five million barrels of processed crude oil from the world market. If this number doesn’t sound impressive, it amounts to about 5% of the world’s energy supply. Although the Iranian-supported Houthi rebels have been targeting Saudi Arabia in retaliation for their participation in the civil war in Yemen, this attack is different. Knocking out this critical facility will potentially cause prices to rise significantly for almost every commodity due to the reduction of global energy supplies. Since energy influences the price of transportation, which in turn influences the price of food and other commodities, this may cause prices of goods and services of all types to rise globally. Recent estimates suggest that the price of oil may rise from $60 to over $100 per barrel. That is an enormous shock that will be felt worldwide.

Categories
Conflict Peace

Afghan Peace Talks Are Damaged, But Not Yet Broken

Image courtesy of DVIDS/John Conroy

This article was originally published by the United States institute of Peace (USIP) on 10 September 2019.

USIP’s Andrew Wilder sees an urgent need to get the peace effort back on track.

President Trump’s weekend announcement of a halt to U.S. peace talks with Afghanistan’s Taliban—including a previously unannounced U.S. plan for a Camp David meeting to conclude that process—leaves the future of the Afghanistan peace process unclear. USIP’s Andrew Wilder, a longtime Afghanistan analyst, argues that, rather than declaring an end to the peace process, U.S. negotiators could use the setback as a moment to clarify the strategy, and then urgently get the peace process back on track before too much momentum is lost.

Categories
Intelligence

Transatlantic Intelligence Ties Remain Strong: Insulated against Political Turmoil

Image courtesy of The White House/Flickr.

This article was originally published by the Finnish Institute of International Affairs (FIIA) on 13 August 2019.

Headlines are rife with stories about political turmoil in transatlantic relations, and bitter disputes over trade and defence spending. Yet for the US Intelligence Community, ties with transatlantic partners have remained insulated against political differences. History shows that intelligence relationships follow their own logic.

Categories
Economy

Is China a “Currency Manipulator”?

Image courtesy of moerschy/Pixabay

This article was originally published by YaleGlobal Online on 13 August 2019.

Trade is complex: US tariffs targeting China could weaken the renminbi, allowing Chinese exporters to maintain profit levels and keep US import costs the same

At 5 am on August 5, the US president sent a message on Twitter accusing China of being a “currency manipulator,” describing this as a “major violation.” US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin followed with an official announcement later that day.