Backgrounders

Strategic Commodities 2.0: Global Tantalum Supply & Demand

cc Hi-Res Images of Chemical Elements, modified, https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Single_piece_of_tantalum,_about_1_cm_in_size..jpg

Next in our series on strategic commodities we examine tantalum, a conflict mineral with complex geopolitical ramifications for East Africa and beyond.

Backgrounder: China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC)

CPEC-Gwadar-Header

Assessing the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) after six years: Has the project's original ambition been realized?

The EU’s New ‘Eastern Question’: Refugees, Gas, and Neo-Ottoman Imperialism

Visit of Recep Tayyip Erdoğan to Azerbaijan, 2020, wikicommons President.az modified, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?title=Special:Search&title=Special:Search&redirs=0&search=erdogan&fulltext=Search&fulltext=Advanced+search&ns0=1&ns6=1&ns14=1&advanced=1&searchToken=97hcwm3ixpjnqdm83vmda7cn1#%2Fmedia%2FFile%3ARecep_Tayyip_Erdogan_2020_visit_to_Baku_with_Ilham_Aliyev_11.jpg

The ‘Eastern Question’ has re-emerged to haunt EU policymakers, and a proper answer requires a true understanding of region’s historical specificities.

The Wagner Group: Origins and Early Deployments

cc Kremlin.ru, http://en.kremlin.ru/events/president/news/60797, modified,

First in a two-part series, this backgrounder traces the origins and earliest deployments of Russia’s infamous mercenary outfit: the Wagner Group.

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?

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