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How Democracies Can Win the Information Contest

by Laura Rosenberger and Lindsay Gorman 

Rosenberger wrote previously about the importance of democracies engaging in the information contest. Here, the coauthors address how to do so without playing autocrats’ game—the values and principles to guide a democratic approach, the steps to compete, and the ways democracies should structure themselves. How the contest is fought is vital to who wins.

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China’s Global Influence: Post-COVID Prospects for Soft Power

by Bates Gill 

Beijing has certainly ramped up its narrative battle, but its efforts face profoundly difficult challenges and are not even principally directed at international audiences, but rather at bolstering the CCP at home. They are also not “soft power” at all, having more to do with hard power inducements and threats than attraction and legitimacy.

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Geoeconomic Competition: Will State Capitalism Win?

by Geoffrey Gertz and Miles M. Evers 

Deep, extensive ties between the Chinese state and its private sector mean that the interests, knowledge, and capabilities of the Chinese government and firms are closely aligned. How can the United States compete while simultaneously preserving a vibrant private sector?  

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Facing Down the Sino-Russian Entente

by Jacob Stokes and Julianne Smith

To succeed in great power competition, Washington needs both to better understand the relationship between Beijing and Moscow and to extend its strategy beyond this strategic triangle by integrating three other powers into a strategic hexagon.

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Provocations

Rethinking Restraint: Why It Fails in Practice

by Michael J. Mazarr

In a remarkably wide-ranging article, Mazarr argues that although advocates of restraint deliver important warnings, the concept is limited by an overly binary conception of US policy, producing two essential flaws—one in diagnosis and one in prescription—that overlook the more complex, untidy realities of US policy where a potential solution lies.

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Asia’s COVID-19 Lessons for the West: Public Goods, Privacy, and Social Tagging

by Victor Cha

Among the successful lessons, Asian cases have commonly adopted high-tech means of contact tracing, but Western political leaders are struggling over the tradeoff between using these technologies and privacy rights. Safeguards can be implemented, however, and using “social tagging” technology may be the best way forward.

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Breaking through the Global Politics of Climate Change Policy

by Ramesh Thakur 

Growing public awareness will not solve climate change, but governments remain trapped in incremental measures. To enact meaningful global action, governments must overcome four key political hurdles to explore ways out of the “gaps trap” between need, commitments, and implementation.  

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Emerging Technologies

A Strategic Cyber No-First-Use Policy? Addressing the US Cyber Strategy Problem

by Jacquelyn Schneider

US cyber strategy has a hypocrisy problem: it expects its cyberattacks to deter others (defend forward) without triggering escalatory responses outside cyberspace, while it is unclear about what it considers off-limits. A strategic cyber no-first-use declaration, like the one outlined here, could help solve risks of inadvertent instability while allowing cyber operations to continue.

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Emerging Technologies and the Future of CBRN Terrorism

by Gregory D. Koblentz

Five emerging technologies fueling a new wave of the industrial revolution share seven worrisome characteristics and can be acquired by non-state actors for chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear (CBRN) weapons, which should be addressed proactively.

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Artificial Intelligence in Nuclear Warfare: A Perfect Storm of Instability?

by James Johnson

The inherently destabilizing effects of military artificial intelligence may exacerbate tension between nuclear-armed great powers, especially China and the United States, but not for the reasons you may think.

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Behind the Headlines

Insights from previous issues

The Changing Fundamentals of US-China Relations

by Evan S. Medeiros

US-China competition has become more of a condition than a strategy, leading the former NSC senior director for Asia to argue that calling for competition with China is not enough; the key debates are how the United States competes—with what tools, on what issues, and at what costs. From our Fall 2019 issue.

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The Lost Art of Long-Term Competition

by Hal Brands

Deeply versed in the challenges of long-term competition during the Cold War, the United States has had the luxury of neglecting this competency for more than a generation. Washington must reacquaint itself with 12 bedrock principles of long-term competition if it hopes to succeed in the geopolitical rivalries playing out today. From our Winter 2019 issue.

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Europe's Authoritarian Challenge

by Jessica Brandt and Torrey Taussig

Policymakers must cut through Russia’s and China’s distinct economic, political, information, and cyber tactics to see their cumulative and detrimental effects on European democracy. From our Winter 2020 issue.

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Economic Statecraft in the Age of Trump

by Daniel W. Drezner

A statecraft gap is emerging, with the United States getting worse at economic diplomacy just as other countries are getting better. The United States needs to develop a reliable doctrine on when to threaten networked sanctions, how to resist being the target of other actors’ efforts to weaponize interdependence, and how to use carrots as well as sticks. From our Fall 2019 issue.

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Presidential Alliance Powers

by Mira Rapp-Hooper and Matthew C. Waxman

The US president wields vast powers that can weaken alliances from within, undermining American treaty guarantees through action or inaction. Congress, however, can influence US alliance management and protect them from eroding. From our Summer 2019 issue.

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Perils of Polarization for US Foreign Policy

by Kenneth A. Schultz

The long-term trend of partisan polarization in US politics has made it more difficult for the United States to conduct foreign policy and wield its diplomatic and military power in the world. How can we mitigate the worst effects? From our Winter 2017 issue.

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