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Posts Tagged ‘Foreign Affairs’

The Global Economy’s Next Winners

Posted by hkarner - 28. Juni 2019

Date: 27-06-2019
Source: Foreign Affairs

What It Takes to Thrive in the Automation Age

By Susan Lund, James Manyika, and Michael Spence

Back in business: at an Amazon warehouse in Florence, New Jersey, August 2017

The countries that once led the world toward economic openness are retreating into protectionism. Over the past two and a half years, the United States has abandoned the Trans-Pacific Partnership and imposed tariffs on steel, aluminum, and a wide range of Chinese goods. The United Kingdom is in the process of leaving the world’s largest free-trade area. And rising nationalist sentiment is threatening to repeat these self-destructive acts elsewhere. The rich world is turning inward.

Its timing couldn’t be worse. Even as critics of free trade gain the upper hand, globalization, wholly of its own accord, is transforming in rich countries’ favor. Economic growth in the developing world is boosting demand for products made in the developed world. Trade in services is up. Companies are moving production closer to their customers so they can respond faster to changes in demand. Automation has slowed the relentless search for people willing to work for ever-lower wages. And the greater complexity of modern goods means that research, design, and maintenance are coming to matter more than production. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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The Surreal Contest to Succeed Theresa May

Posted by hkarner - 19. Juni 2019

Date: 18-06-2019
Source: Foreign Affairs By Tim Bale

Can Anyone Sort Out the Brexit Mess?

In April 1916, a group of Irish Republicans took over much of the center of Dublin and declared independence. The British government reacted swiftly. It sent thousands of troops to restore order, and, once the rebellion had been crushed, executed its ringleaders. Although the Easter Rising failed to end British rule, it did succeed in reinvigorating the Irish independence movement, an effort that culminated in the Irish Free State six years later. A few months after the uprising, the poet W. B. Yeats wrote that things were “All changed, changed utterly: A terrible beauty is born.”

In the wake of some of the worst election results it has ever experienced, the British Conservative Party, the country’s oldest and most successful political force, may be feeling as if it is trapped in Yeats’ poem. Nigel Farage’s upstart Brexit Party—a terrible beauty if ever there was one—humiliated the governing Conservatives at the European Parliament election last month and is now running ahead of the Tories in polls for the next general election. It is in this febrile atmosphere that the Conservatives are choosing their next leader and the country’s next prime minister, praying that he can turn things around. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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With Great Demographics Comes Great Power

Posted by hkarner - 16. Juni 2019

Date: 15-06-2019
Source: Foreign Affairs By Nicholas Eberstadt

Why Population Will Drive Geopolitics

Demographics may not be destiny, but for students of geopolitics, they come close. Although conventional measures of economic and military power often receive more attention, few factors influence the long-term competition between great powers as much as changes in the size, capabilities, and characteristics of national populations.

The United States is a case in point. In 1850, the United States was home to some 23 million people, 13 million fewer than France. Today, the U.S. population is close to 330 million, larger than the British, Dutch, French, German, and Italian populations combined. For more than a century, the United States has had the world’s largest skilled work force, and by measures such as mean years of adult schooling, it has long had among the world’s most highly educated populations. These favorable demographic fundamentals, more than geography or natural resources, explain why the United States emerged as the world’s preeminent economic and military power after World War II—and why it still occupies that position today. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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The Self-Destruction of American Power

Posted by hkarner - 13. Juni 2019

Date: 12-06-2019
Source: By Fareed Zakaria, Foreign Affairs

Washington Squandered the Unipolar Moment

Sometime in the last two years, American hegemony died. The age of U.S. dominance was a brief, heady era, about three decades marked by two moments, each a breakdown of sorts. It was born amid the collapse of the Berlin Wall, in 1989. The end, or really the beginning of the end, was another collapse, that of Iraq in 2003, and the slow unraveling since. But was the death of the United States’ extraordinary status a result of external causes, or did Washington accelerate its own demise through bad habits and bad behavior? That is a question that will be debated by historians for years to come. But at this point, we have enough time and perspective to make some preliminary observations.

As with most deaths, many factors contributed to this one. There were deep structural forces in the international system that inexorably worked against any one nation that accumulated so much power. In the American case, however, one is struck by the ways in which Washington—from an unprecedented position—mishandled its hegemony and abused its power, losing allies and emboldening enemies. And now, under the Trump administration, the United States seems to have lost interest, indeed lost faith, in the ideas and purpose that animated its international presence for three-quarters of a century.

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Democracy Demotion

Posted by hkarner - 13. Juni 2019

Date: 12-06-2019
Source: Foreign Affairs By Larry Diamond

How the Freedom Agenda Fell Apart

For three decades beginning in the mid-1970s, the world experienced a remarkable expansion of democracy—the so-called third wave—with authoritarian regimes falling or reforming across the world. By 1993, a majority of states with populations over one million had become democracies. Levels of freedom, as measured by Freedom House, were steadily rising as well. In most years between 1991 and 2005, many more countries gained freedom than lost it.

But around 2006, the forward momentum of democracy came to a halt. In every year since 2007, many more countries have seen their freedom decrease than have seen it increase, reversing the post–Cold War trend. The rule of law has taken a severe and sustained beating, particularly in Africa and the postcommunist states; civil liberties and electoral rights have also been declining.

Adding to the problem, democracies have been expiring in big and strategically important countries. Russian President Vladimir Putin, for example, has long been using the power granted to him through elections to destroy democracy in Russia. More recently, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has gone down a similar path. Elected executives have been the principal agents of democratic destruction in some countries; in others, the military has. The generals seized control of the government in Egypt in 2013 and in Thailand in 2014, and they continue to wield de facto power in Myanmar and Pakistan. Across Africa, the trend has been for elected autocrats, such as President Uhuru Kenyatta of Kenya and President John Magufuli of Tanzania, to manipulate elections, subvert independent institutions, and harass critics and political opponentsto ensure their continued grip on power. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Globalization’s Wrong Turn

Posted by hkarner - 12. Juni 2019

Date: 11-06-2019
Source: Foreign Affairs By Dani Rodrik

And How It Hurt America

Globalization is in trouble. A populist backlash, personified by U.S. President Donald Trump, is in full swing. A simmering trade war between China and the United States could easily boil over. Countries across Europe are shutting their borders to immigrants. Even globalization’s biggest boosters now concede that it has produced lopsided benefits and that something will have to change.

Today’s woes have their roots in the 1990s, when policymakers set the world on its current, hyperglobalist path, requiring domestic economies to be put in the service of the world economy instead of the other way around. In trade, the transformation was signaled by the creation of the World Trade Organization, in 1995. The WTO not only made it harder for countries to shield themselves from international competition but also reached into policy areas that international trade rules had not previously touched: agriculture, services, intellectual property, industrial policy, and health and sanitary regulations. Even more ambitious regional trade deals, such as the North American Free Trade Agreement, took off around the same time.

In finance, the change was marked by a fundamental shift in governments’ attitudes away from managing capital flows and toward liberalization. Pushed by the United States and global organizations such as the International Monetary Fund and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, countries freed up vast quantities of short-term finance to slosh across borders in search of higher returns. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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What’s Left of the Left?

Posted by hkarner - 4. Juni 2019

Date: 03-06-2019
Source: Foreign Affairs By Mitchell Abidor

The European Elections and the Rise of the Greens

For the past 29 weeks, every Saturday in France has centered on the demonstrations of the yellow vests. The left, the right, and the politically unclassified and unclassifiable have participated in these demonstrations, which have at times descended into violence on the part of either the demonstrators or the supposed forces of order. Whatever the politics of the participants, there has been one common denominator: bottomless hatred for French President Emmanuel Macron.

The right believes that Macron is turning France over to European bureaucrats and opening its doors to immigrants; the left views him as the president of the rich. To all who protest, and not only them, he is someone with no understanding of, or concern for, the average French citizen. And so, every week like clockwork, he has been reviled and insulted at weekend marches across France.

The European elections, which took place May 23–26, could not have come at a worse time for Macron. The elections would be a plebiscite on Macron’s rule, and the opposition saw them as a golden opportunity to humiliate him. The situation was ripe for a political turning, and the further growth of the far right seemed certain. A transformation of French and European politics was in the offing. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Killer Apps: The Real Dangers of an AI Arms Race

Posted by hkarner - 3. Mai 2019

Date: 01-05-2019
Source: Foreign Affairs by Paul Scharre

The nation that leads in the development of artificial intelligence will, Russian President Vladimir Putin proclaimed in 2017, “become the ruler of the world.” That view has become commonplace in global capitals. Already, more than a dozen governments have announced national AI initiatives. In 2017, China set a goal of becoming the global leader in AI by 2030. Earlier this year, the White House released the American AI Initiative, and the U.S. Department of Defense rolled out an AI strategy.

But the emerging narrative of an “AI arms race” reflects a mistaken view of the risks from AI—and introduces significant new risks as a result. For each country, the real danger is not that it will fall behind its competitors in AI but that the perception of a race will prompt everyone to rush to deploy unsafe AI systems. In their desire to win, countries risk endangering themselves just as much as their opponents. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Spies, Lies and Algorithms

Posted by hkarner - 21. April 2019

Date: 20-04-2019
Source: Foreign Affairs By Amy Zegart and Michael Morell

Why U.S. Intelligence Agencies Must Adapt or Fail

For U.S. intelligence agencies, the twenty-first century began with a shock, when 19 al Qaeda operatives hijacked four planes and perpetrated the deadliest attack ever on U.S. soil. In the wake of the attack, the intelligence community mobilized with one overriding goal: preventing another 9/11. The CIA, the National Security Agency, and the 15 other components of the U.S. intelligence community restructured, reformed, and retooled. Congress appropriated billions of dollars to support the transformation.

That effort paid off. In the nearly two decades that U.S. intelligence agencies have been focused on fighting terrorists, they have foiled numerous plots to attack the U.S. homeland, tracked down Osama bin Laden, helped eliminate the Islamic State’s caliphate, and found terrorists hiding everywhere from Afghan caves to Brussels apartment complexes. This has arguably been one of the most successful periods in the history of American intelligence.

But today, confronted with new threats that go well beyond terrorism, U.S. intelligence agencies face another moment of reckoning. From biotechnology and nanotechnology to quantum computing and artificial intelligence (AI), rapid technological change is giving U.S. adversaries new capabilities and eroding traditional U.S. intelligence advantages. The U.S. intelligence community must adapt to these shifts or risk failure as the nation’s first line of defense. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Back to Basics: How to Make Right What Trump Gets Wrong

Posted by hkarner - 17. April 2019

Date: 16-04-2019
Source: Foreign Affairs By Kori Schake

U.S. President Donald Trump’s sharp-elbowed nationalism, opposition to multilateralism and international institutions, and desire to shift costs onto U.S. allies reflect the American public’s understandable weariness with acting as the global order’s defender and custodian. Over the last three decades, post–Cold War triumphalism led to hubris and clouded strategic thinking. After the 9/11 attacks, Washington stumbled badly in Afghanistan and Iraq; more recently, Russia has reasserted itself in eastern Europe and the Middle East, and China’s economic and military power have significantly expanded. Even among Trump’s opponents, these developments have led many to conclude that the only solution is a fundamental rethinking of U.S. strategy. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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