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ChinaCompetitivenessdiplomacyInternational EconomyNorth KoreaWednesday, July 10, 2013

U.S.-China Strategic and Economic Outlook

Today, the annual U.S.-China Strategic and Economic Dialogue (S&ED) introduces four top officials all new to their posts: Secretary of State John Kerry, Treasury Secretary Jack Lew, Chinese Vice-Premier Wang Yang and State Councilor Yang Jiechi. The dialogue highlights recent positive trends in complex security and economic relations between the two powers where enormous differences remain – cybersecurity, North Korea, maritime disputes, investment and financial policy –   though no concrete deliverables are likely. Security: signs of progress, difficult road ahead: Cybersecurity working group meets for first time as U.S. military leaders highlight enormous challenges. Politico reports, “top Obama administration officials met with Chinese leaders Monday for a special cybersecurity working group that preceded the official Strategic and Economic Dialogue…Senior administration sources told reporters after the… Read More ›

Competitivenessg8International EconomyT-TIPtradeTuesday, June 18, 2013

Transatlantic Trade and the Foundations of American Power

Yesterday, President Obama and some of his European counterparts officially announced their shared intent to move forward with negotiating the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) – a prospective free trade agreement between Washington and the EU’s 27 member states. The initiative represents the latest element in the administration’s strategy to support the economic foundations of American power and modernize U.S. national security strategy for the 21st century where competitiveness will sustain U.S. global leadership. The Partnership is intended as a high-standards agreement to help shape the norms in areas like tariff reduction, investment and complex, often burdensome regulations across markets. To make this promise a reality, TTIP negotiations will have to incorporate stakeholders from business, labor and civil society in innovative and effective ways. … Read More ›

ChinaCompetitivenessdiplomacyMilitarySouth China SeaThursday, June 6, 2013

Rightsizing Xi and Obama: What’s at Stake and Going Forward

On Friday and Saturday, President Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping will meet for an unprecedented two day summit in California. The summit is an opportunity to “rightsize” the relationship – not offering many concrete deliverables but building toward the blend of competition and cooperation that offers the best path toward a stable, prosperous and increasingly open Pacific future. Among the many important issues on the table, the four issues of cybersecurity, economic competition, military relations and China’s often serious disputes with American allies require the greatest clarity and care to set the stage for progress across the board.  Tackling cybersecurity:  What’s at stake: Sino-U.S. relations in cyberspace are perhaps the most immediate and sensitive issue confronting Xi and Obama. Chinese officials have pushed back… Read More ›

Asia RebalanceCompetitivenessWednesday, March 13, 2013

REPORT: Reshaping Pentagon Spending and Capabilities

Reshaping Pentagon Spending and Capabilities: Setting Priorities for the Future By Bill French March 2013 A NEW PHASE of the debate over Pentagon spending is on the horizon. On March 1, sequestration went into effect as mandated by the Budget Control Act (BCA) and as modified by the American Taxpayer Relief Act. Under sequestration, Pentagon spending is to be reduced by approximately $500 billion over the next decade. But whether or not sequestration is the mechanism of reductions, what the Pentagon needs now are choices about U.S. strategic priorities in order to guide allocating resources.  Therefore, whereas the debate prior to sequestration focused tightly on budgetary considerations, the next round of debate over funding for the Department of Defense (DoD) will likely focus on the… Read More ›

CompetitivenessMilitarysequestrationWednesday, February 20, 2013

Congressional Action Needed to Avert Sequestration

As the March 1 deadline for sequestration approaches, new reports highlight how nonstrategic across-the-board cuts would cause harm to America’s social wellbeing, economy and national security. Today the Pentagon previewed hundreds of thousands of civilian furloughs — mirrored in federal law enforcement, public health, social security and other domestic priorities. Congress must act to avoid sequestration – a mechanism that was never intended to go into effect. President Obama has again called on Congress to do just that and, if necessary, delay sequestration “not to kick the can down the road, but give them time to work together on a plan to finish job of deficit reduction in a sensible way.” While the focus on the impact of sequestration has been mainly on jobs, the more… Read More ›

CompetitivenessdiplomacyTuesday, January 22, 2013

Opportunities and Priorities for a Second Term

In his second inaugural address, President Obama laid out his vision for how the United States should lead in the world, with strength and justice together: But we are also heirs to those who won the peace and not just the war, who turned sworn enemies into the surest of friends, and we must carry those lessons into this time as well. We will defend our people and uphold our values through strength of arms and rule of law. We will show the courage to try and resolve our differences with other nations peacefully – not because we are naïve about the dangers we face, but because engagement can more durably lift suspicion and fear. America will remain the anchor of strong alliances in every… Read More ›

CompetitivenessMonday, November 12, 2012

Protecting American Power and Keeping the Pentagon on the Table

As Congress returns to work during its lame duck session, its top national security and economic priorities should be the same – setting our nation on a balanced path to fiscal health without the meat-axe, across-the-board spending cuts set to occur under sequestration. A balanced deal will protect the American economy – the foundation of American military power – and will keep Pentagon waste and misprioritization on the table to do so. Indeed, national security leaders agree that smartly reshaping Pentagon spending will leave America with the world’s strongest military and a strengthened global position. As Andrew Krepinevich, president of the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments, recently observed, “the British physicist Ernest Rutherford once declared to his colleagues, ‘We haven’t got the money, so we’ve… Read More ›

CompetitivenessWednesday, July 18, 2012

Scaremongers Charge the Hill

The National Security Network issued the following statement on Pentagon spending and the sequester: Defense contractors and some members of Congress have been spotlighting a “side show” aimed at preserving corporate profits over advancing a strategy to preserve US security. This week, an Aerospace Industry Association (AIA)-sponsored report and a congressional hearing with four top defense contractors are megaphoning an argument that sequestration would be devastating to defense jobs, with the implication that we should shelter Pentagon spending from deficit reduction plans. The reality is that economic and military security are inextricably linked and, as Chairman Martin Dempsey has pointed out, “we are only as strong as those three pillars – diplomatic, military and economic – can interrelate.” With this strategic imperative to preserve America’s economic… Read More ›

CompetitivenessdiplomacyIranTuesday, June 12, 2012

Cratering Consensus

The realities of a more interconnected world, and the ascendancy of U.S. policies based on pragmatic, results-based engagement with friends and opponents alike, have made election-year politics of national security more problematic for the U.S.  Candidates must show they understand how the global economy works, and how the U.S. can prosper and be secure within it. Elder statesmen such as Gen. Brent Scowcroft and former Senator Chuck Hagel have noted that now would seem exactly the wrong moment to bring into question U.S. support for Europe’s efforts to end economic crisis, or a strong international consensus – supported by our military – on seeking a negotiated end to the threat of an Iranian nuclear weapon.  But that is exactly what two leading Romney campaign advisers… Read More ›

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