In a recent official trip to China, Brazilian President Lula da Silva called for an end of the dominance of the US dollar in world trade, a message that has been echoed by the China, Iran, Russia, as well as other countries. This message reflects the acceleration of the trend towards fragmentation(or deglobalization) of the global economy and the Chinese-led challenge to the Bretton Woods US dollar-dominated global economic architecture, an architecture that looks increasingly frayed and rudderless.
This weekend I expected to be writing about the results of Secretary of State Anthony Blinken’s trip to China and prospects for the reopening of China’s post-Covid economy. Instead, Americans have been mesmerized by the week-long journey of a Chinese balloon, and I have been bombarded with questions about what it means. A symbol of both China’s rise and presence in the US, a white balloon galvanized the media in a way that a diplomatic visit would never have equaled.
The work argues that the problem is not the “lack of a strategy,” but ensuring that the strategies that we apply are appropriate, adequately resourced and coordinated, and the tools we use are up to the task. In addition to concisely stating the nature of the risks to the US and the region arising from some dimensions of PRC engagement, the recommendations advanced by the work include: (1) holding the line for Western corporations, strategic technologies and liberal institutions, (2) helping our partners to strengthen their institutions to get a better deal from their work with the PRC and other actors; (3) fixing, rightsizing and better coordinating our institutional tools for competing, (4) improving our data supported messaging, and (5) advancing clear new strategic concepts for the military as part of a whole of government response, coordinate with our likeminded allies.
The Caribbean in the Crossfire: Between Covid-19, Narcotics, China, and Russia’s Invasion of Ukraine
My newest work on how the combination of Covid-19, Russia's invasion of the Ukraine, PRC engagement in the Caribbean, and transnational organized crime dynamics, are gravely stressing and transforming the Caribbean.
Most Russian experts and military strategists I follow doubted Putin would invade Ukraine. I agreed with their rational arguments, but here we are. I’m reminded of the Haruki Murakami novel 1Q84. The heroine alights from her taxi and gradually discovers that she is living in a world where everything is almost the same, except there are two moons. Since Covid began, I doubt I’m alone in feeling that I have somehow gotten off at the wrong stop, and am living in a hellishly perverse alternative universe.