Gaming Major Power Rivalry and Climate Disasters Using Systems Tools

This paper documents a methodology for creating crisis-games that are designed to explore possible futures in the medium and long-term. It describes a four-step process in which security practitioners work on understanding threat systems, delve into the related underlying driving forces of the threats, create future scenarios in which these forces interact and play out, and explore these scenarios using adversarial crisis-games.

According to the authors, “While they have their limitations and are not an exact replica of reality, situational, role-playing crisis-games foster the application of creative and innovative thinking on challenges that cannot be analyzed using conventional statistical methods and provide the opportunity to investigate possible reactions. Before embarking on a potentially precarious course of action, it is useful to have insight into potential command and control issues, as well as actions that may escalate or de-escalate tensions and hostilities. Leaders need methods that not only provide systems-level knowledge, but which actively challenge assumptions, positions, expectations, perceptions, facts, and procedures to improve decision making in multidisciplinary, interagency, and complex settings.”

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Date: 2020/09/04

China’s Global Security Aspirations with Afghanistan and the Taliban

This paper details possible motives of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) in forming new partnerships with Afghanistan through a historic lens, amidst the effects of COVID-19 and the U.S. withdrawal.

Excerpt
As the U.S. plans its departure from Afghanistan, China is using the COVID-19 pandemic as a backdrop to build regional ties in meetings with Afghanistan, Nepal and Pakistan that aim to extend the BRI. Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said, “We will actively promote the building of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor and the Trans-Himalayan Connectivity network, support the extension of the corridor to Afghanistan, and further unleash the dividends of regional connectivity.” As the new heightened intelligence-sharing arrangement between China and Pakistan accelerates, Beijing’s influence in Afghanistan will also expand.

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Date: 2020/08/13

An International Biodefense Shield Alliance against Pathogens from China

This paper illustrates the need for the U.S. and regional partners to create a defensive, health-security, front line for disease surveillance and control.

Excerpt

There is a clear and simple correlation between population size and the occurrence of infectious disease. This places a country, such as China, in a natural, but dangerous and precarious position. Not only does China have a large population, with many of the world’s most populous cities, but its concept of personal space facilitates the rapid spread of disease, and it is connected by trade and travel to virtually every location on the planet. Other nations with large populations such as India pale in comparison to China’s global efforts in environmental exploitation and worldwide connectedness.

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Date: 2020/08/12

Before it’s Too Late: U.S. Maritime Grand Strategy in the Indian Ocean and the Arctic Ocean

This paper examines the actions of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) in the South China Sea as a means to predict their intent in the Indian and Arctic Oceans.

Excerpt

The CCP’s unlawful aggression and coercive actions during the COVID-19 global pandemic forebodingly highlight its determination to achieve its objectives at all costs. For example, the CCP recently abandoned its promises regarding Hong Kong by enacting security measures that effectively outlaw dissent and subject Hong Kong’s citizens to mainland China’s prosecution. China also enacted trade barriers to Australia for challenging the PRC’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition, China was recently accused of implementing forced sterilization of its minority Muslim populations. Finally, and perhaps most alarming, India asserts that China instigated the June 2020 border clash with India in the Galwan Valley that resulted in the death of 20 Indian soldiers.

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Date: 2020/08/12

Assessing the Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Terrorism and Counter-Terrorism: Practitioner Insights

This paper identifies the obstacles faced by terrorists as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, and includes results from a survey sent out to Comprehensive Security Responses to Terrorism (CSRT) alumni in July 2020.

Excerpt
The COVID-19 pandemic has had a profound impact on the world, with far-reaching social, political and economic consequences. Terrorists and security services alike have been forced to adapt. However, we still have relatively limited understanding of the changes that have occurred and what they mean for counter-terrorism (CT). This report presents the findings of an exploratory survey, completed by 100 security practitioners, in order to shed light on how terrorism and CT have been affected by the pandemic. Results suggest that, for the most part, terrorists appear to have gained relatively little in the short term. At the same time, although many practitioners have experienced additional challenges in CT, most of these problems have not been insurmountable. Looking to the future, there is significant concern that terrorism will increase in response to the social and economic fallout from the pandemic. As a result, most survey respondents agreed that countries will need to cooperate more closely with each other on CT, and that greater US support for CT in the Indo-Pacific will be needed.

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Date: 2020/08/06

What States Say They Can Do and COVID-19 Status at Six Months

This paper reports finding a significant positive correlation globally between countries’ SPAR scores that indicate their capacities to deal effectively with public health risks and events and their COVID-related morbidity and mortality. Significance disappears in most cases when examined regionally. The authors offer minimal speculation as to the reasons for the unexpected finding, but sensibly suggest both additional factors, not currently assessed by SPAR, and further research.

Abstract
The International Health Regulations (IHR) is a critical legal tool that ensures and improves the capacity of all signatories, or States Parties, to prevent detect, assess, notify, and respond to public health risks and acute events of domestic and international concern. States Parties of the IHR assess their capacities and report annually to the World Health Assembly on the implementation status of these regulations using the Self-Assessment Annual Reporting Tool (SPAR). This paper examines the relationship between total average SPAR scores and COVID-19 morbidity and mortality. A positive significant correlation was observed between total average SPAR score and log values of COVID-19 cases and deaths per 100,000 population. Nevertheless, when examined by World Health Organization regions, this positive significant correlation remained only for a few, signalling that regional dynamics and factors may not be adequately captured by SPAR scores. In addition to the State Parties assessment, a community and civil society inclusive IHR monitoring mechanism is recommended for a more comprehensive assessment.

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Date: 2020/07/31

Security Implications of Mass Returning Migrant workers due to COVID-19 crisis

This paper details the challenges migrant workers face and the resulting security issues brought on by COVID-19.

Abstract:
The issue of mass returning migrant workers has broad implications for human, national and regional security domains that go well beyond increasing unemployment. This paper reports on the complex web of security challenges surrounding migrant labor, as identified by security practitioners from the region. Regional and international cooperation are required to effectively manage the system to lessen the shock created by the COVID-19 crisis and for the longer-term challenges. Short, medium and long-term best practices and recommendations are offered to address the security challenges generated by the mass return of migrant workers.

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Date: 2020/07/29

Strategic Competition: Why Pakistan Matters

This paper emphasizes the importance of the U.S. maintaining a strong relationship with Pakistan as strategic competition with China intensifies.

Excerpt:
It is worth noting that Pakistan remains vitally important to U.S. interests in the Indo-Pacific, not least because of its all-weather strategic cooperative partnership with China who regards it as an “element of its strategic competition with the United States and India.” The current state of U.S.-Pakistan relations is symptomatic of an increasing ambiguity that is counterproductive to advancing U.S. interests. To state the obvious, the more the U.S distances itself from Pakistan, a country not very long ago considered a “key U.S. ally in the region,” the more expedient it will be for China to pursue its global economic, political and military aspirations.

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Date: 2020/07/15

Why We Need a Regional Approach for Crisis Management with North Korea

This paper emphasizes the need for regional cooperation and the challenges involved in addressing crisis management in North Korea.

Excerpt:
While North Korea has an image of a “rogue state” that threatens neighboring countries with missiles and nuclear arsenals, we must not forget that North Korean people are experiencing starvation, malnutrition, poor health system, swine flu, flooding, drought, and land-slides, all of which will only be exacerbated in the wake of the global COVID-19 crisis. North Korea’s internal problems are expected to continue to grow in the foreseeable future and disasters experienced during the summer of 2020 will exacerbate current circumstances. Separating HADR from sanction issues and being proactive in providing assistance to a suffering population may prove to be the most effective strategy for engaging with Pyongyang.

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Date: 2020/07/15

The Intersection of Global Health, Military Medical intelligence, and National Security in the Management of Transboundary Hazards and Outbreaks

This paper identifies the many forms of evolving surveillance techniques that could be used for prevention and early warning of global pandemic outbreaks, and the resistance to such monitoring.

Excerpt:
The COVID-19 pandemic-induced, shocking collapse of national and international trade, air travel, and tourism have rocked the world, and brought into stark relief the need for better health and disease surveillance. We have witnessed the global economy brought to its knees by the rapid spread of infection, resulting in widespread illness and many deaths. The rise in nationalism and isolationism, political use of the blame game, along with locked-down peoples chafing against shelter-in-place, work, or travel restrictions, have caused further divisiveness.

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Date: 2020/07/01
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