Backgrounders

Biden’s Day One Executive Actions Take Aim at Key Planks of Trump Era

cc Flickr Matt Johnson, modified, https://www.flickr.com/photos/cornstalker/48309270832/in/photolist-2gAVD9C-DpiEz2-2gAV4zs-DRR3Pu-DbQdQG-DpiG8c-Dj8tRB-DARar6-DoUsb4-2gAVCSR-DARcgP-2hTb3rH-2gAVD61-2gAVDh8-2gAV5e8-2gAV5MH-2gAVDKY-2gAVDvu-2gAV5xp-2gAV5Bs-djLepK-2gAV64e-djLcMM-2gAVDFp-2gAV5jo-Lip31W-2gAV4QT-2hT9Ttt-2gAV5SC-D1sgbC-2gAVEhp-2gAV5WA-D1wyip-DFnJye-Dh8Qqq-2hTb3BT-2hT9YmE-Eau2mp-Duw8Yx-E4JXUG-e3q1ox-DjpQy6-EiJ8yT-2jxKqwd-DcXjTU-E7C88m-2hTb17Y-DGrkwE-Di1dDH-DqAkjB

In what seems to be an emerging norm for the executive branch, US President Joe Biden has wasted no time in dismantling key planks of his predecessor’s agenda.

Warfare Evolved: Drone Swarms

cc Flickr, modified, Greg Goebel, https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/

The advent of drones may have revolutionized modern warfare, but the disruptions are only getting started.

Backgrounder: Geopolitics of the Eastern Mediterranean Conflict

Santorini, Maggie Meng, CC Flickr, Modified, https://www.flickr.com/photos/snowfish2014/14210200684/in/

Who is backing who in simmering geopolitical tensions over energy deposits in the Eastern Mediterranean?

Warfare Evolved: Quantum Radar

cc Flickr Air Combat Command United States Air Force, modified, https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/, WHITEMAN AIR FORCE BASE, Mo. – As a B-2 Stealth Bomber takes off, you can see the heat coming off the runway during the cold winter day, January 5. The B-2 is part of the 509th Bomb Wing arsenal of 20 stealth bombers with a conventional and nuclear mission. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Carlin Leslie)

The next great leap in radar technology threatens to render strategic standards like stealth technology and signal jamming irrelevant.

Strategic Commodities 2.0: US Lithium Production

Lithium brine pools at Silver Peak, Nevada. cc Flickr Coordenação-Geral de Observação da Terra/INPE, modified, https://www.flickr.com/photos/observacao-da-terra/30472813037/in/photolist-63T9D2-2haMFur-2hHPypj-2haNErD-2hqfRnp-2hrHEYA-2hHNyyf-2hujwGZ-T258uS-2hqbYYg-T258A3-NqM8Ee-aCj9u6-aCjb2Z-hogAQL-8qNChk-8qNC4p-8qRJmm-8qRTT9-8qRUiL-8qRU5f-8qNNbt-8qRUbd-8qRUHm-8qNBJe-8qNNkK-8qRTYL-8qRUMs-8qRJ41-8qNBXk-8qRJJf-8qNCrg-aCmPC7-aCjavr-2iTAFMj

US battery giants have long been reliant on foreign lithium supply for their production. But this is now changing.

Why Protectionism Could Not Solve Trump’s Trade Deficit

cc Flickr The White House, modified, https://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/mark/1.0/

President Trump came to power on a platform of reducing the trade deficit, yet in 2020 the gap remains wide as ever. What went wrong?

The Wagner Group: Intrigue, War, and Resource Extraction in Africa and Beyond

cc Flickr, Kevin Rheese, modified

After initial deployments in Ukraine and Syria, the African continent has become the main theater for Wagner Group operations.

Backgrounder: Evolution of Organized Crime in Mexico

Ceremonia de presentación y abanderamiento de la Nueva División de Gendarmería de la Policía Federal. Ciudad de México. 22 de agosto de 2014., Presidencia de la República Mexicana, modified, https://www.flickr.com/photos/presidenciamx/14817406378/in/photolist-ozn5FL-ozn5q5-oPPEB3-oRPywS-oRPDQN-ozmDBP-ozn9eN-oPPKcW-JvZhiW-JvZhsU-JvZhAQ-JvZhoL-oPPJLf-oRPACA-oznwTK-oRzEnr-oRzEzR-oznAex-oPPJ81-oPPGLU-oznxJc-oznz4X-ozmDwZ-ozmTry-oRzEqT-oRPyS1-ozn93q-ozn7pA-oPPJ9d-oPPEys-oPPFtU-ozmSym-oPPJpo-oRPAxW-oznwXT-oRPz5W-oRPAyC-ozn9bS-oPPDWW-oRzChe-ozn8VG-oRzDeV-oRPBt3-oRzDAM-oRPBL7-oRPyBG-oPPFTb-oznw4D-ozn9CJ-oRzDTv

Ad hoc policy responses on either side of the US border are frequently powerless in the face of the geopolitical, economic, and political forces fueling the rise of organized crime in Mexico.

Timeline: The Downward Spiral of China-Australia Relations

Prime Minister and Andrew Robb signing the Free Trade Agreement with Chinese President Xi and Minister for Commerce Gao Hucheng., 2014, cc Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade website – www.dfat.gov.au, modified 0 https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Abbott_and_Robb_signing_the_Free_Trade_Agreement_with_Chinese_President_Xi_and_Minister_for_Commerce_Gao_Hucheng_November_2014.jpg

Chronicling the events that led to the present low point in China-Australia relations.

Warfare Evolved: Hypersonic Missiles

cc Flickr Naval Surface Warriors, modified, PACIFIC OCEAN (Sept. 18, 2018) A Tomahawk cruise missile launches from the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Shoup (DDG 86) during a live fire exercise, part of Valiant Shield ’18 in the Pacific Ocean Sept. 18, 2018. Valiant Shield is a U.S. only, biennial field training exercise (FTX) with a focus on integration of joint training in a blue-water environment among U.S. forces. This training enable real-world proficiency in sustaining joint forces through detecting, locating, tracking, and engaging units at sea, in the air, on land, and in cyberspace in response to a range of mission areas. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class William Collins III)

Gauging the strategic impact of a new generation of missiles that defy all known manners of conventional interception.

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