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The Real Reason America Needs the Trans-Pacific Partnership
Center for the National Interest • Wednesday, Oct 14

The agreement of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) is an accomplishment, and there will be benefits, but there is little, if any, reason to cheer at the moment. Estimates of the actual economic benefits vary but hover around 0.5 percent of GDP—cumulatively and over a multiyear period—for the United States. For the United States, the agreement is less about economic growth and more about laying the legal framework for trade in the Asia Pacific, and strengthening U.S. influence on...

Stop Calling Everything 'Cyber'
Center for the National Interest • Wednesday, Oct 14

For Washingtonians, being the butt of jokes from around the country is just another part of working inside the Beltway. But lately, the policy community has been playing right into the punch line with its continued use of the word “cyber” to refer to anything and everything network-based. While taking a certain amount of grief is part of the job description, Washingtonians should absolutely care about updating their jargon.Use of an outdated word undermines credibility,...

Old-School Killers: Fear China's Sea Mines
Center for the National Interest • Wednesday, Oct 14

In the closing phases of the Pacific War, American military strategists ingeniously combined two weapons systems, the revolutionary long-range B-29 bomber and the comparatively simple parachute-retarded influence sea mine with magnetic or acoustic exploders, to wreak havoc on the Japanese economy and Japanese morale. The effort to sow Japan’s waterways thoroughly with thousands of mines was named, aptly enough, Operation Starvation and this effort proved highly effective in helping...

Revealed: The Soviet Union's Space Cannon
Center for the National Interest • Wednesday, Oct 14

On June 25, 1974, the Salyut 3 space station and its two-cosmonaut crew blasted into space. On the surface, it seemed like just another space exploration mission. The Salyuts were the Soviet counterpart to America's Skylab, civilian spacecraft designed to conduct experiments, test what happens to the human body during long-duration spaceflight and, incidentally, to garner some Cold War propaganda points.But though the mission was called Salyut ("Salute"), it was just a cover name....

Will Tobacco Kill the Trans-Pacific Partnership?
Center for the National Interest • Wednesday, Oct 14

The TPP will liberalize trade in thousands of products by reducing tariffs, quotas, and other trade barriers. Increased trade in many of these products, particularly in the agriculture sector, will be controversial as protected domestic industries face new competitors. But one product in particular may play an outsized role in the U.S. political debate over TPP: Tobacco.Reports indicate that tobacco has been "carved out" of standard rules on foreign investment. This is sure to...

ISIS Is Coming: Why Militias in Libya Need to Unite—And Fast
Center for the National Interest • Wednesday, Oct 14

There is no proven playbook for negotiating the end of a multipolar civil war. The conundrum is further complicated when the negotiator has limited leverage and many parties genuinely believe they can secure their interests better through fighting than compromise.Grasping at straws after over a year of little progress, Bernardino Leon, the top UN Negotiator for Libya, unilaterally announced on October 9 the ministerial list of a Government of National Agreement (GNA) meant to reign...

Check your facts, not your privilege: The best of The Factual Feminist
American Enterprise Institute • Tuesday, Oct 13

AEI Resident Scholar Christina Hoff Sommers is back this week with a brand new season of her popular vlog The Factual Feminist. The new season will be featured both on the AEI blog and on YouTube. The Factual Feminist tackles the latest in gender-related news and studies to advocate for statistically-backed discussion and debate. The Factual Feminist has 40 episodes with over 4 million views and continues to grow – stay tuned for the Factual Feminist’s fresh take on hot...

Policies must be based on more than market moves
American Enterprise Institute • Tuesday, Oct 13

Sir,In making his case for a co-ordinated round of fiscal policy stimulus, Larry Summers attaches considerable weight to market signals (“The Big Read“, October 8). He urges policymakers to pay heed to the fact that the markets are now telling us with increasing force that we are in a very different world that urgently needs a strong policy response.Yet, with practically the same breath, Prof Summers reminds us that history tells us that markets are inefficient and are...

Chaos in House is good for GOP
American Enterprise Institute • Tuesday, Oct 13

REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst .US House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) (C) departs after his decision to pull out of a Republican caucus secret ballot vote to determine the nominee to replace retiring House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH), on Capitol Hill in Washington, October 8, 2015. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst .Many are bemoaning the “chaos” and “toxic crackup” in the GOP after House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy withdrew his candidacy for speaker. Here is what would have been worse:...

BCAS Member General Fusion Mentioned on CNN
American Security Project • Tuesday, Oct 13

Business Council for American Security member General Fusion was highlighted last week in CNN’s look at the “promise of nuclear fusion.” ITER – an international project – seeks to harness fusion energy. Meanwhile, billionaires have already begun investing in private companies running smaller projects, highlighting the enormous commercial potential fusion research can have in our society. For more information on ASP’s BCAS, contact: Maggie Feldman-Piltch |...

Tunisia must seize the Nobel moment
Brookings Institution • Tuesday, Oct 13

The 2015 Nobel Peace Prize award to the Tunisian National Dialogue Quartet came as a surprise to many around the world, including in Tunisia. But despite some criticism of the Quartet both during and after Tunisia’s national dialogue, this award is well-deserved and it fits squarely into Alfred Nobel’s vision of rewarding those who have promoted peace and prevented conflict. Even as civil society is being stifled and silenced across the Middle East and North Africa (as well as...

Student teaching: Can we leverage the recent teacher “shortage” to students’ advantage?
Brookings Institution • Tuesday, Oct 13

A possible teacher shortage has been much in the news—in California, for instance, the number of new credentials has fallen by about half since 2004, while K-12 enrollment stayed roughly flat. (Take a look at Paul Bruno’s July Chalkboard.) Whether this is a transient, post-Great Recession blip, or if it’s a major trend is not yet clear. It’s hard to say just yet what fewer teacher candidates means for teacher quality, because we don’t know much about...

Does America want China arresting hackers?
Brookings Institution • Tuesday, Oct 13

On October 9, Ellen Nakashima and Adam Goldman of The Washington Post reported very significant news. “The Chinese government has quietly arrested a handful of hackers at the urging of the U.S. government … It is not clear if the hackers arrested were with the Chinese military, but they were accused of carrying out state-sponsored economic espionage.”It is unclear at this point if the arrested individuals are members of People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Unit...

An African take on the Sustainable Development Goals
Brookings Institution • Tuesday, Oct 13

A decisive triptych: FFD3 / Post-2015 / COP21 2015 is an unprecedented year for global decisionmaking. It is the culmination of three years of intergovernmental negotiations and the signing of three important agreements. First, the Addis Ababa Action Agenda, adopted at July’s Third International Conference on Financing for Development (FFD3), determined the magnitude for the realization of an ambitious Post-2015 Development Agenda. Then, on August 2, member states reached a...

A fairer approach to fiscal reform
Brookings Institution • Tuesday, Oct 13

Benefits for older Americans — especially through Social Security and Medicare — account for the largest part of federal spending today and for the lion’s share of the spending growth that will occur in coming decades without changes in policies. That growth is not surprising: With baby boomers moving into retirement, the number of beneficiaries of those programs is surging. Indeed, in the Congressional Budget Office’s current-law projections, all...

Research and development budget requests increase across federal agencies
Brookings Institution • Tuesday, Oct 13

2016 federal budget requests for research and development (R&D) efforts totaled nearly $146 billion, a six percent increase over the 2015 enacted levels. Defense efforts account for nearly half of the $146 billion. There is no set federal R&D budget. As noted in a Brookings paper titled The politics of federal R&D: A punctuated equilibrium analysis, “The budget process is decentralized and does not pit agencies against each other in a race for a bigger slice...

Sharifs and a Make-Believe
Carnegie Endowment for International Peace • Tuesday, Oct 13

On my way from Karachi airport to the city three weeks ago, I noticed large portraits of General Raheel Sharif at almost each crossing. That was a sign of a public-relations offensive that was as systematic in the media: One channel shows him comforting families of victims of terrorism, another broadcasts images of Raheel Sharif celebrating Eid al-Adha with soldiers in Khyber Agency.  Christophe Jaffrelot Nonresident ScholarSouth Asia Program ...

Raja-Mandala: Stumbling in the Neighborhood
Carnegie Endowment for International Peace • Tuesday, Oct 13

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj’s visit to Maldives over the weekend hopefully signals a much needed course correction in New Delhi’s neighbourhood policy. Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s impressive outreach to the neighbours when he took charge of Indian diplomacy in May 2014 has seen some unfortunate stumbles — in the Maldives, Nepal and Pakistan.Modi, it might be recalled, had cancelled his scheduled visit to the Maldives at the very last minute...

Cato Institute • Tuesday, Oct 13

If Hillary Clinton were to be elected president, what economic policies would she propose and what would be the effect on the economy? To try to get an answer, I have looked at her statements, her campaign website, and her Senate record. Mrs. Clinton has recognized the major economic problem of slow growth and stagnant incomes, and her economic platform is called, “A plan to raise American incomes.” Unfortunately, the plan is largely a list of feel-good statements with...

Better Data, More Light on Congress
Cato Institute • Tuesday, Oct 13

There’s an old joke about a drunk looking for his keys under a lamp post. A police officer comes along and helps with the search for a while, then asks if it’s certain that the keys were lost in that area. “Oh no,” the drunk says. “I lost them on the other side of the road.” “Why are we looking here?!” “Because the light is better!” In a way, the joke captures the situation with public oversight of politics and public policy. The field overall is poorly illuminated, but...


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