Pacific Trident III:  The Strengths and Weaknesses of the U.S. Alliance System Under Gray Zone Operations

This paper looks at how tabletop exercises (TTX) are used to train participants on crisis management.  The TTX, Pacific Trident III,” was created and run by Sasakawa Peace Foundation USA (Sasakawa USA), a think tank based in Washington D.C.

Excerpt:
The tabletop exercise utilized two different crises at the same time, challenging the United States and allied players as to which was the ‘real’ crisis, and which merited prioritization. Also, both crises involved gray zone tactics (operations other than war) to achieve their objectives. In many ways, the fact that there were two gray zone operations at the same time showed the alliance system’s strengths and exposed some of its weaknesses.

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Date: 2020/06/26

Policy Guidance for Pakistan’s Oscillation Response to COVID-19

In this paper, Asma Khawaja and Dr. Deon Canyon detail how shifting policy guidance affected Pakistan’s response to COVID-19, including the women’s role in a patriarchal society.

Excerpt:
Although the government of Pakistan took immediate measures to cope with the pandemic, such as the release of funds, establishment of quarantine centers, hiring of medical staff, and acquisition of testing kits and medicines, they faced major challenges every step of the way. A lack of facilities, equipment and supplies in hospitals, poor health system infrastructure, corruption of officials, and inconsistent implementation of government policies for managing people at borders and airports all resulted in the rapid spread of COVID-19 throughout the nation.

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Date: 2020/06/25

A Health Security Pandemic Checklist for Developing Nations and Donors

In this paper, the authors provide a checklist for some of the measures that were proven effective during the COVID-19 pandemic and how developing countries may apply those measures to local conditions.

Excerpt:
The COVID-19 pandemic presents as a global, complex, public health emergency that varies in impact due to geography, variations in virulence over time and space, response preparation times, available resources, culture, religion, and a host of other possible confounders. Response systems that have shown encouraging quantitative results in one nation may thus be ineffective, or even counterproductive in other places. Developed nations have responded in a variety of ways with mixed results. They thus do not have much to teach developing nations that would assist them in their preparations for the current global pandemic. There are too many variables in play. One might argue that the more serious effects of COVID-19 infection are experienced by those who manifest comorbidities associated with more affluent developed nations such as, diabetes, obesity, and heart conditions. If this is a disease of affluence rather than poverty, draconian policies will be less cost-effective in developing nations.

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Date: 2020/06/12

Structuring ASEAN military involvement in disaster management and the ASEAN Militaries Ready Group

This paper explores the most recent efforts by the ASEAN Defence Ministers Meeting Plus (ADMM-Plus) Experts Working Group on HADR 2017-2020 to support ASEAN’s response capacity with the development and adoption of SOPs for an ASEAN Militaries Ready Group (AMRG).

Excerpt:
It is clear from the ambitious vision of the One ASEAN, One Response declaration that ASEAN will continue to play an important role in international disaster response and even in conflict and peacekeeping. This vision is articulated in a provision of the foundation documentation for the AMRG which outlines the possibility of the AMRG to serve as a preventive or even peacekeeping mechanism in addition to being reactive towards a crisis. It remains to be seen whether this ambition will move forward.

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Date: 2020/06/10

Urgent Policies Required to Grant Public Access to Protected Health Information during Emergency Disease Outbreaks and Pandemics

This OpEd discuss the pros and cons of using tracking apps to stay ahead of disease outbreaks, such as the COVID-19 pandemic.

Excerpt:
While some believe that contact tracing apps produce benefits as soon as users increase above 10 percent of a population, there remain PHI-related shortcomings in these approaches because such apps do not actually measure the circumstances that are known to be important in COVID-19 transmission. This lack of accuracy in granular data makes it difficult for both disease managers and individuals to benefit. Apps with inappropriately short infection-interaction algorithms will show too many people as possibly infected (as has possibly been the case in Singapore), while apps with inappropriately long infection-interaction algorithms will likely flag too few potential viral exposures.

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Date: 2020/06/10

Why is China on a Hyper-Aggressive Streak during a Global Pandemic?

In this OpEd, Dr. Srini Sitaraman offers three explanations as to why China is engaged in hyper-aggressive behavior in the midst of a global pandemic.

Excerpt:
As the tensions surrounding China’s accountability in the cause and origins of the COVID-19 continue to mount, China has instigated a global campaign of aggressive rhetoric termed—Wolf Warrior Diplomacy and increased its assertiveness in taking advantage of countries distracted by the global pandemic. Beijing has commenced a violent political crackdown in Hong Kong completely overturning the One-Country, Two-Systems Model to crush all forms of democracy in Hong Kong.

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Date: 2020/06/09

China’s Salami Slicing Tactics and the Latest India-China Border Standoff

In this OpEd, Dr. Srini Sitaraman discusses India’s strategy for dealing with the increasing border incursions committed by China while minimalizing the effects of COVID-19 and what is required for de-escalation.

Excerpt:
At its heart, the People’s Republic of China is a territorially revisionist, expansionist, and hegemonic state and it will not stop until it achieves the goals of capturing all of the land and sea areas over which it believes it has “historic rights.” Beijing has particularly turned to an aggressive maritime posture in the South China Sea and has increased its infrastructure construction along the LAC and increased the frequency of incursions into areas that are generally accepted as being within Indian control.

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Date: 2020/06/09

The Post-COVID19 World: Globalization with Different Characteristics

This OpEd speculates on how trade strategies combined with US-China strategic competition and the ongoing economic decoupling of the world’s top two economies may redefine the nature of post-COVID19 globalization.

Excerpt:
For the first time in recent history, a decoupling process features two countries upholding opposing political ideologies that inform their respective visions of world order. In effect, the economic decoupling also draws an ideological line of separation between the US and China.

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Date: 2020/06/09

The Nexus Between the COVID-19 Pandemic, International Relations, and International Security

Excerpt:

The extent to which other related global relationships, national entities, and supranational organizations have performed in the current case will only be clear in retrospect: it will quite possibly emerge that a combination of right- and left-wing polices – cherry-picking elements of travel and visa restrictions, greater health security and diplomacy investments, and other defensive and protective policy aspects from the two highly divergent sets of agendas — will be the guiding paradigm for the decades to come. Despite the mutual antipathy between contemporary political perspectives in the United States, there are elements of each agendas — what has been called bipartisanism, or post-partisanship — that will be crucial to the future of humanity. Taking this forward in a proactive, positive, and productive manner requires that neither side be vilified.

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Date: 2020/05/26

Five Coronavirus Success Stories: Different, But the Same

In this paper, Dr. Virginia Bacay Watson highlights the steps taken by five countries to minimize the spreading of COVID-19 through a common thread of effective preparation, quick actions and effective, trusted leadership, despite different approaches.

Excerpt:
All told, the quick, early, and decisive actions of the governments of Germany, New Zealand, South Korea, Taiwan and Vietnam enabled them to manage the coronavirus spread. A legacy of a robust health-care infrastructure provided a point of departure for assessing additional requirements and priorities in both Germany and Taiwan. A legacy of experience and lessons learned with the MERS and/or SARS epidemics allowed South Korea and Taiwan to activate existing mechanisms already in place. The public-supported “go early, go hard” strategies of New Zealand, Taiwan and Vietnam accounted for a low number of cases at the onset. In all of the cases, leaders fully appreciated the severity of the situation and quickly developed responses that were timely and appropriate.

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Date: 2020/05/20
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