Post-Mattis uncertainty and the future of U.S. defense policy
Acting U.S. Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan is not expected to reverse his predecessor’s key Pentagon policies, such as Gen. James Mattis’ signature program to improve force readiness, but he will not be as effective as his predecessor in explaining the vagaries of U.S. policies to allies abroad. Also, President Donald Trump may find out that his ambitious plan for force strengthening and modernization proves even more difficult to push through Congress in the absence of a well-recognized figure at the Pentagon.
U.S. defense spending: A bellwether for Trump’s security policy
The Trump administration has signaled its plan to maintain “peace through strength” with significant increases in defense expenditures for 2018 and 2019. However, to sustain its readiness, the U.S. military says it needs much more. The White House faces a difficult political landscape, one that will likely resist further rises in defense spending. That means President Donald Trump’s plan to rebuild the military could stall.
GIS Dossier: Europe as a global player – the basics
As tensions increase within the transatlantic alliance, Europe has begun to reconsider its own place in the world. With the U.S. continuing a long-term strategic retrenchment, its allies across the Atlantic may need to grow beyond their role as Washington’s junior partners. From the migrant crisis to the Iran nuclear deal, from trade wars to dealing with Vladimir Putin, Europe is being forced to declare itself. Will it act like a great power or an imposter?
GIS Dossier: NATO’s strategic dilemmas
NATO’s expansion into Central and Eastern Europe following its Cold War victory touched a raw nerve in Moscow, as, historically, the vast Russian empire protected itself by maintaining a buffer zone of dependent or client states along its perimeter. Russia appeared to have swallowed the “loss” of the Baltic states in the 1990s, but it drew the line in Ukraine two decades later. The prospect of an independent Ukraine joining Western structures has triggered a Russia-West conflict that NATO finds among the toughest challenges it is facing anywhere today.
GIS Dossier: The South China Sea
The South China Sea is critical for global trade and security. Beijing’s moves to extend its influence throughout the sea have heightened tensions, risking conflict with neighbors and the United States. China’s global position, economic power and energy riches are all at stake. This survey presents GIS experts’ analyses and predictions for this crucial body of water.
Options for European defense
After three decades of continuous decline, European defense budgets are again on the rise. What kind of military capabilities will these investments provide? Money will only go so far without the right strategic choices.
Taxation horrors and Europe’s frustration
The European Union wants to create new, complicated systems to tax technology companies. Doing so will only harm its economy. Instead of engaging in an economic tit-for-tat with the United States, it should look at how Americans have fostered innovation and built tech giants. Good places to start include increasing investment in defense, reducing restrictive regulations and becoming less risk-averse.