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Blank Section (Placeholder)EssaysAnalysis and Commentary

A Rubicon

by Daniel E. Geer, Jr.via Aegis Paper Series
Friday, February 2, 2018

Optimality and efficiency work counter to robustness and resilience. Complexity hides interdependence, and interdependence is the source of black swan events.  The benefits of digitalization are not
transitive, but the risks are.  Because single points of failure
require militarization wherever they underlie gross societal
dependencies, frank minimization of the number of such single points
of failure is a national security obligation.  Because cascade
failure ignited by random faults is quenched by redundancy, whereas
cascade failure ignited by sentient opponents is exacerbated by
redundancy, (preservation of) uncorrelated operational mechanisms
is likewise a national security obligation.

Blank Section (Placeholder)Analysis and Commentary

A Migration System In The Making: Demographic Dynamics And Migration Policies In North America And The Northern Triangle Of Central America

via Analysis
Wednesday, October 11, 2017

In recent years, the three countries in North America (Canada, the United States and Mexico) and the three in the Northern Triangle of Central America (NTCA: Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras) have experienced large human mobility within the region. Traditionally dominated by South-North migration, with the US and Canada as the main destinations, this migration system is now more complex as it includes new flows, places of origin, and destinations. This study analyzes socioeconomic and demographic dynamics in the sending and receiving countries alongside the migration policies in the three main destinations to help understand (a) to what extent flows between and within North America and the NTCA may continue in the short term and (b) what changes in migrants profiles can be expected in the future.

EssaysBlank Section (Placeholder)Analysis and Commentary

Syria-Iraq: Limiting Iranian Influence Implies Returning To Realpolitik

by Fabrice Balanchevia Hoover Institution Press
Thursday, October 5, 2017

Destroying the Islamic State (IS) and limiting the influence of Iran is a difficult project. The United States has more capabilities in Syria than in Iraq to destroy IS and limit Iran. The Sunni Arab tribes of the Euphrates Valley no longer support the Islamic State and are ready to join those who will liberate them, which explains the effectiveness of the Syrian Democratic Forces (Kurdish-Arab) against IS. Thus the liberation of Raqqa could thus take place in fall 2017, provided Turkey does not launch an offensive against the Syrian Kurds.

Blank Section (Placeholder)EssaysAnalysis and Commentary

Nobody But Us

by Ben Buchananvia Aegis Paper Series
Wednesday, August 30, 2017

This paper examines how the NOBUS approach works, its limits, and the challenging matter of what comes next. Traditionally, signals intelligence is neatly bifurcated into offense and defense: intercept adversaries’ communication technology and protect one’s own. In the modern era, however, there is great convergence in the technologies used by friendly nations and by hostile ones. Signals intelligence agencies find themselves penetrating the technologies they also at times must protect. To ease this tension, the United States and its partners have relied on an approach sometimes called Nobody But Us, or NOBUS: target communications mechanisms using unique methods accessible only to the United States.

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How China’s Views on the Law of Jus ad Bellum Will Shape Its Legal Approach to Cyberwarfare

by Julian G. Kuvia Aegis Paper Series
Thursday, August 17, 2017

This paper concludes that the Chinese government has adopted a strict positivist reading of the UN Charter’s limitations on the use of force that brooks no exceptions for humanitarian interventions and with a narrowly construed exception for self defense. Since China has not shown any willingness to abandon this legal approach to the law of jus ad bellum codified in the Charter, it is unlikely that China will embrace the US legal approach to cyberwarfare. Rather, China will probably use its restrictive reading of the UN Charter to garner political support among other countries to criticize and deter offensive US cyberwarfare.  This sharp divide between the US and Chinese legal positions calls into question the efficacy of longstanding US government efforts to convince China to accept and apply international law to cyberwarfare.  

Fiscal policies and the prices of labor: a comparison of the U.K. and U.S.

by Casey B. Mulliganvia Springer Open
Friday, August 11, 2017

This paper measures the 2007–13 evolution of employment tax rates in the U.K. and the U.S. The U.S. changes are greater, in the direction of taxing a greater fraction of the value created by employment, and primarily achieved with new implicit tax rates. Even though both countries implemented a temporary “fiscal stimulus,” their tax rate dynamics were different: the U.S. stimulus increased rates, whereas the U.K. stimulus reduced them. The U.K. later increased the tax on employment during its “austerity” period. Tax rate measurements are a first ingredient for cross-country comparisons of labor markets during and after the financial crisis.

Long-Term Issues For Central Banks

by Jaime Caruana, Kevin Warshvia Bank for International Settlements
Wednesday, August 9, 2017

The global political, economic and financial landscape is constantly evolving. Some of the changes may prove short-lived. But others may be slow-moving and persistent, and only detectable over time as evidence accumulates. Although central banks’ day-to-day operations and policymaking tend to focus on near- or medium-term developments, longer-term trends and structural changes will at some point come into the picture – not least because of their impact on the economic relationships that are central to policy formulation and analysis.

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Keeping the Lights on at America's Nuclear Power Plants

by Jeremy Carl, David Fedorvia Hoover Institution Press
Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Jeremy Carl and David Fedor discuss American nuclear power plant closures in light of major economic and policy challenges. They show how cheap natural gas, electricity market flaws, and a failure to capture the public imagination threaten America’s near- and long-term nuclear viability.

Blank Section (Placeholder)EssaysAnalysis and Commentary

Appropriate Norms Of State Behavior In Cyberspace: Governance In China And Opportunities For US Businesses

by Mei Gechlikvia Aegis Paper Series
Thursday, July 27, 2017

Finding cybernorms that are acceptable to the United States and China, which have different ideologies and practices as well as enormous interests at stake, is challenging. This article identifies these developments in China - the new Guiding Cases System as well as foreign and domestic developments regarding facilitating everyone’s access to cyberspace - and discusses how they, together with the Shanghai Cooperation Organization’s growing significance in the international arena, call for more strategic thinking among US policymakers so that the United States can seize the new opportunities to engage meaningfully with China in establishing international norms for cyberspace.

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Encryption Substitutes

by Andrew Keane Woodsvia Aegis Paper Series
Tuesday, July 18, 2017

This paper argues that the “going dark” debate ought to be considered in context of the larger debate over government access to data. Encryption is not the only game in town: just as law enforcement can pursue a number of different alternatives to mandating encryption backdoors, so too can privacy advocates take steps beyond encrypting their data to ensure their privacy.  Acknowledging these substitutes—both for law enforcement and for privacy seekers—generates a number of insights. For example, comprehensive reform may make more sense than serial reforms, since it would allow for issue linkage and deal-making.

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