Today’s advances in fifth-generation telecommunications (5G) promise a transformational technology that is critical to enabling the next industrial revolution. 5G will provide massive benefits for future economic development and national competitiveness, including certain military applications. 5G is far more than simply a faster iteration of 4G. The benefits include its high speed, low latency, and high throughput, which enable data flows at vastly greater speed and volume than today’s 4G networks. Future smart cities will rely on 5G, autonomous vehicles will depend on this increased connectivity, future manufacturing will leverage 5G to enable improved automation, and even agriculture could benefit from these advances. The advent of 5G could contribute trillions to the world economy over the next couple of decades, setting the stage for new advances in productivity and innovation.
The United States risks losing a critical competitive advantage if it fails to capitalize upon the opportunity and manage the challenges of 5G. Today, China seems poised to become a global leader and first mover in 5G. The United States may be situated in a position of relative disadvantage. The U.S. government has yet to commit to any funding or national initiatives in 5G that are close to comparable in scope and scale to those of China, which is dedicating hundreds of billions to 5G development and deployment. There are also reasons for serious concern about the long-term viability and diversity of global supply chains in this industry. Huawei, a Chinese company with global ambitions, seems to be on course to become dominant in 5G, establishing new pilots and partnerships worldwide. [Note: contains copyrighted material].
In the immediate aftermath of the Second World War, the United States and other leading democracies built an international system that ushered in an almost 70-year period of remarkable peace and prosperity. Founded on democratic and open-market principles, its institutions and rules have promoted global economic growth and development, lifted hundreds of millions out of poverty, and advanced the cause of freedom. After three decades of largely uncontested primacy, however, this rules-based system is now under unprecedented challenge, both from within and without. In March 2018, we launched an initiative under the auspices of the Atlantic Council aimed at revitalizing the rules-based international system and reinvigorating support for its core tenets. We were joined by a distinguished group of former officials and strategists in creating a Declaration of Principles for Freedom, Peace, and Prosperity—offering seven statements that we believe are foundational for a revitalized international system and reflect the common aspirations of the human spirit. The principles are intended to provide a clear and compelling statement of values—a “north star”—around which political leaders and the broader public can rally in demonstrating their support for the rules-based system. But principles alone are not enough. We need a new strategy—one ambitious enough to meet the moment, and one innovative enough to fit the challenges and opportunities of the 21st century. In this paper, Present at the Re-Creation, Ash Jain and Matthew Kroenig propose a visionary but actionable global strategy for revitalizing, adapting, and defending the rules-based international system. [Note: contains copyrighted material].
Global forced migration has important security, environmental, economic, political, and human rights implications that could lead to future global instability. Future trends in forced migration show increasing and deepening issues with significant global consequences. Although this phenomenon is disproportionately challenging the developing world, its implications are global. CSIS explored these implications in detail in its May 2018 report “Confronting the Global Forced Migration Crisis.” Building off its previous findings, CSIS releases this backgrounder, where it explores trends in forced migration and identifies innovative solutions to address future crises. [Note: contains copyrighted material].
The Black Sea region is a central locus of the competition between Russia and the West for the future of Europe. The region experienced two decades of simmering conflicts even before Moscow’s illegal annexation of Crimea in 2014, and Russia has used military force against other countries in the region four times since 2008. As participants at a March 2019 workshop in Bucharest, Romania, discussed, Russia is also using informational, economic, energy, and clandestine instruments to advance its goals of transforming the Black Sea, along with the Sea of Azov, into virtual internal waterways, where Russia can have the kind of freedom of action it has achieved in the Caspian Sea. While the Black Sea littoral countries want to protect themselves from Russian hostile interference, domestic political factors as well as the countries’ membership in or level of association with the European Union and NATO influence the degree of overlap and divergence in their interests. Under the circumstances, it is difficult for Western countries to craft and implement a coherent, sustainable strategy to protect common interests and counter malign Russian influence and intimidation, even as it is critical that they do so. [Note: contains copyrighted material].
This report concludes that international terrorists, domestic terrorists, school shooters, and gang members share some common factors that made them vulnerable to radicalization to violence. By focusing on the areas of commonality, it would be possible to further prevention efforts on all four types of violence rather than isolating initiatives. Efforts should focus on the personal, group, and community-level, aiming to provide early education, intervention, or off-ramping options. [Note: contains copyrighted material].
The evolution of advanced information environments is rapidly creating a new category of possible cyberaggression that involves efforts to manipulate or disrupt the information foundations of the effective functioning of economic and social systems. RAND researchers are calling this growing threat virtual societal warfare in an analysis of its characteristics and implications for the future.
To understand the risk of virtual societal warfare, the authors surveyed evidence in a range of categories to sketch out some initial contours of how these techniques might evolve in the future. They grounded the assessment in (1) detailed research on trends in the changing character of the information environment in the United States and other advanced democracies; (2) the insights of social science research on attitudes and beliefs; and (3) developments in relevant emerging technologies that bear on the practices of hostile social manipulation and its more elaborate and dangerous cousin, virtual societal warfare. The authors then provide three scenarios for how social manipulation could affect advanced societies over the next decade. [Note: contains copyrighted material].
Human Rights are part of the American DNA. Congress has long
advocated for human rights to play an integral role in U.S. foreign policy,
with significant success. However, rising authoritarianism and the gross human
rights violations taking place around the world call for immediate and stronger
U.S. leadership and Congressional action. To that end, the Human Rights
Initiative of CSIS worked with CSIS scholars, who developed recommendations
relevant to their expertise that identify how Congress can build on its past
human rights leadership to meet today’s challenges. [Note: contains copyrighted material].