- Privacy, Surveillance, & the Terrorist Trap, with Tom Parker
How can investigators utilize new technology like facial recognition software while respecting the rights of suspects and the general public? What are the consequences of government overreaction to terrorist threats? Tom Parker, author of "Avoiding the Terrorist Trap," discusses privacy, surveillance, and more in the context of counterterrorism.
- A Parting of Values: America First versus Transactionalism
"The existing divide in American foreign policy discourse has been the extent to which the U.S. must actively propagate and spread its values, or defend them or promote them even when there is no interest at stake," writes Senior Fellow Nikolas Gvosdev. How does American civil society demand consideration of moral and ethical concerns in the decisions both to go to war and how the war will be prosecuted?
- Soleimani and the Democratic Primary Electorate
In the aftermath of the U.S. drone strike on the commander of Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps, General Qassem Soleimani, senior fellow Nikolas Gvosdev studies the responses of the Democratic primary candidates. To what degree and scope do they see America's involvement and engagement in the world?
- A Russian Take on the Kurds and U.S. Foreign Policy
A Russian defense news site declared the United States an "unreliable ally" after the withdrawal of American troops from Northern Syria. Senior Fellow Nikolas Gvosdev connects this characterization to the need for leaders to connect a specific policy action to a larger, understandable narrative for the American public.
- Making AI Work, Ethically & Responsibly, with Heather M. Roff
Heather M. Roff, senior research analyst at the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Lab, thinks some researchers are having the wrong conversations about AI. Instead of wondering whether AI will ever be a moral agent, we should be focused on how to program the technology to be "morally safe, right, correct, justifiable." What are some practical uses for AI today? How can it be used responsibly in the military realm?
- What is the Status Quo for the Climate?
At various points in history, changes in climate contributed to the movement of people and the collapse of empires. How will the current changes in the global climate shape discussions about foreign policy?
- Beyond Trump
Some countries are now coming to the same conclusions reached by the U.S. Global Engagement program: the 2016 election was not a "blip," but represents a break with the past. "In other words, no foreign government should bank on getting a better shake post-Trump."
- Book Review: Northern Ireland’s Ghosts, Living in Plain Sight
Even though much of the fighting in Northern Ireland has subsided, how has the lack of true reconciliation in the region influenced its society? This book review of Patrick Radden Keefe's "Say Nothing: A True Story of Murder and Memory in Northern Ireland" was originally published by the Carnegie Corporation of New York and is reposted with kind permission.
- A New Era of Cyberwarfare, with Arun Vishwanath
When the United States launched a massive cyberattack against Iran last month, it heralded "a new age of Internet warfare," says cybersecurity expert Arun Vishwanath. How could cyber-based conflicts change the nature of the Internet? Why is the U.S. especially vulnerable to these threats? And what would a "digital Geneva Convention" look like?
- Eyes in the Sky: The Secret Rise of Gorgon Stare and How It Will Watch Us All, with Arthur Holland Michel
Arthur Holland Michel, founder of the Center for the Study of the Drone, traces the development of the Pentagon's Gorgon Stare, one of the most powerful surveillance technologies ever created. When fused with big-data analysis techniques, this network can be used to watch everything simultaneously, and perhaps even predict attacks before they happen. Can we capitalize on its great promise while avoiding its potential perils?
- The American Public and U.S. Global Engagement: Mid-2019 Snapshot, with Ali Wyne
Looking ahead to the 2020 election and the role that foreign policy will play on the campaign trail, Senior Fellow Nikolas Gvosdev talks with RAND's Ali Wyne about the dominant international relations narrative in Trump-era Washington: "great-power competition." With Russia and China as the main competitors, how should we differentiate between the two nations? What is the U.S. actually competing for? And what would "victory" look like?
- What Americans Want
The Center for American Progress has released their exhaustive survey of what Americans want in foreign policy and their results track closely with the conclusions reached by the U.S. Global Engagement study group. What remains to be seen, however, is whether the broad parameters of what Americans want in foreign policy will be taken up by any of the 2020 presidential candidates.
- The Generational Divide?
As Millennials and "Generation Z" begin to enter the ranks of both American politics as well as the expert community, it is uncertain if they will share the same assumptions about the role of the United States in international affairs, writes Nikolas Gvosdev.
- Back to Spheres of Influence?
National Security Adviser John Bolton's recent comments on Russia's interest in Venezuela bring back a concept prevalent in much earlier version of international affairs: spheres of influence. Was this a slip of the tongue or it could it set a precedent for other realms of U.S. foreign policy?
- How Safe Are We? Homeland Security Since 9/11, with Janet Napolitano
"Climate, cyber, then mass gun violence, sometimes motivated by terrorist ideology--and the ideology can most frequently be tied to far-right-wing extremism, sometimes tied to no ideology at all, sometimes tied to pathology. Those three things I think are the real risks that the Department [of Homeland Security] really should be focused on. In contrast, what is not a real risk is the conditions of the Southwest border."
- The New Rules of War: Victory in the Age of Durable Disorder, with Sean McFate
"Nobody fights conventionally except for us anymore, yet we're sinking a big bulk, perhaps the majority of our defense dollars, into preparing for another conventional war, which is the very definition of insanity," declares national security strategist and former paratrooper Sean McFate. The U.S. needs to recognize that we're living in an age of "durable disorder"--a time of persistent, smoldering conflicts--and the old rules no longer apply.
- The Enduring False Promise of Preventive War, with Scott A. Silverstone
Does preventive war really work? "In the vast majority of cases historically, what we see is the country that thought it was saving itself from a greater danger in the future actually creates this greater danger because you generate a level of hostility, a deepening rivalry, and a desire for revenge that comes back to haunt them," says Scott Silverstone. His advice: Hesitate. Before taking action, think through this "preventive war paradox."
- Toward a Human-Centric Approach to Cybersecurity, with Ronald Deibert
Discussions around cybersecurity often focus on the security and sovereignty of states, not individuals, says Professor Ronald Deibert, founder and director of University of Toronto's Citizen Lab. If you start from a "human-centric perspective," it could lead to policies focusing on peace, prosperity, and human rights. How can we work toward this approach?
- The Perfect Weapon: War, Sabotage, and Fear in the Cyber Age, with David Sanger
From the U.S. operation against Iran's nuclear enrichment plant, to Chinese theft of personal data, North Korea's financially motivated attacks on American companies, or Russia's interference in the 2016 election, cyberweapons have become the weapon of choice for democracies, dictators, and terrorists. "New York Times" national security correspondent David Sanger explains how and why cyberattacks are now the number one security threat.
- Global Ethics Weekly: U.S. Defense Policy After Mattis, with Asha Castleberry
National security expert and U.S. Army veteran Asha Castleberry makes sense of a busy and seemingly chaotic time for the Department of Defense in the wake of Secretary Mattis' departure. What should think about Trump's plans in Syria and Afghanistan? How is the U.S. planning to counter China in Africa? And has John Bolton actually been a moderating influence?