Freedom, Security, and Terrorism

America currently finds itself in the midst of a confused search for a central principle around which to organize its foreign and defense policies. For almost a half-century, until the collapse of the Soviet system in the early 1990's, containing communism was the core doctrine guiding US national security policies. The ``war on terrorism'' has come to serve as a handy substitute. But it fails to provide a solid (or particularly admirable) foundation upon which to base America's role in the world in the 21 st century.

The search for a new grand strategy, or at the very least a new organizing principle, is confounded by the revolutionary times in which we live--an unprecedented era of several simultaneous revolutions, all of which are epic and historic.

Globalization is internationalizing markets, finance, and commerce, while the information revolution is changing the way we work, learn, and communicate. Both revolutions are benefiting the developed, Western world but further dividing the ``haves'' from the ``have-nots,'' in this case those without finished products, services, or resources to trade or without access to new technologies.

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    China in the Lead?

    For four decades, China has achieved unprecedented economic growth under a centralized, authoritarian political system, far outpacing growth in the Western liberal democracies. So, is Chinese President Xi Jinping right to double down on authoritarianism, and is the “China model” truly a viable rival to Western-style democratic capitalism?

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    Whither the Multilateral Trading System?

    The global economy today is dominated by three major players – China, the EU, and the US – with roughly equal trading volumes and limited incentive to fight for the rules-based global trading system. With cooperation unlikely, the world should prepare itself for the erosion of the World Trade Organization.

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    The Globalization of Our Discontent

    Globalization, which was supposed to benefit developed and developing countries alike, is now reviled almost everywhere, as the political backlash in Europe and the US has shown. The challenge is to minimize the risk that the backlash will intensify, and that starts by understanding – and avoiding – past mistakes.

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    A Better British Story

    Despite all of the doom and gloom over the United Kingdom's impending withdrawal from the European Union, key manufacturing indicators are at their highest levels in four years, and the mood for investment may be improving. While parts of the UK are certainly weakening economically, others may finally be overcoming longstanding challenges.

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    The UK’s Multilateral Trade Future

    With Brexit looming, the UK has no choice but to redesign its future trading relationships. As a major producer of sophisticated components, its long-term trade strategy should focus on gaining deep and unfettered access to integrated cross-border supply chains – and that means adopting a multilateral approach.

  6. The Year Ahead 2018

    The world’s leading thinkers and policymakers examine what’s come apart in the past year, and anticipate what will define the year ahead.

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