Foreign Policy & Security

Biden’s new Asia tsar understands the China challenge

Among Democrats, there is no American who knows more about Asia and is better known in Asia than Kurt Campbell. The news in recent days that President Joe Biden has appointed him as Co-ordinator for the Indo-Pacific, a new role within the National Security Council, is therefore very welcome. Campbell has effectively become Biden’s Asia tsar.

The appointment is good news for the UK and for the broader Western alliance. Campbell has a long history of engagement with Asia in both the Clinton and Obama administrations. He is credited with authoring Obama’s “pivot” to Asia and is considered to be a tough foreign policy realist who understands the shifting power dynamics of the Indo-Pacific region – and how America can work with allies to manage them. That is, after all, the single greatest foreign policy challenge facing the incoming Biden administration.

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A Very British Tilt

Policy Exchange has convened a distinguished international Indo-Pacific Commission of current and former political leaders, military leaders, and thought leaders to help frame the scope of what a new UK strategy in the Indo-Pacific should be. Chaired by Rt Hon Stephen J Harper, the 22nd Prime Minister of Canada, Policy Exchange’s Indo-Pacific Commission represents the UK, Canada, the US, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, South Korea, India, Sri Lanka and Indonesia. Each commissioner brought their particular expertise and experience to the Commission’s discussions and drafting, and this report reflects a broad consensus of views on Britain’s role in the Indo-Pacific region.

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Policy Exchange hosts the Colin Cramphorn Memorial Lecture

Policy Exchange was delighted to welcome Matthew Pottinger, Deputy National Security Advisor to the President of the United States, for the first of two Colin Cramphorn Memorial Lectures this year. He delivered his lecture, titled “The Importance of Being Candid: On China’s Relationship with the Rest of the World”, in Mandarin, speaking of a “new consensus” in the US, which bridges political divides and unites the whole of society, on the threat posed China’s “technologically enhanced totalitarianism”. Watch the speech here.

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Shinzo Abe and Japan’s Strategic Reset

On Friday 28 August 2020 Japan’s longest serving Prime Minster, Shinzo Abe, announced that due to deteriorating health conditions he had to step down. During his tenure, Abe arguably conducted the most significant strategic reset of Japanese foreign and security policy since the 1950s. This paper reviews how Abe brought about such changes and why these matter to the UK. Experts have already started to examine different aspects of Abe’s policy reforms, their shortcomings, and their impact in the foreseeable future. This paper benefits from this literature – which includes fair criticisms of Abe’s reforms but it also agrees that their most significant legacy rests on a strengthened international outlook. Yet, the paper seeks to draw specific attention to why and how Abe’s Japan should be a case of particular relevance to the UK.

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Policy Exchange hosts US Secretary of State and Foreign Secretary

Policy Exchange was delighted to welcome Hon Michael R. Pompeo, US Secretary of State, to speak on “The Future of the Special Relationship”, in conversation with Rt Hon Dominic Raab MP, the Foreign Secretary, at an event in Westminster. The discussion – which ranged from Brexit to the rise of China – was moderated by Dean Godson, Director of Policy Exchange. Watch the full video here, and read coverage in The Express

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Remaking the Case for NATO

Remaking the Case for NATO

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The UK cannot be complacent about the continuing existence of NATO: a world without the alliance would be even more fractious and less secure, while giving up on NATO would be “whimsical, reckless, self-harming and self-defeating”, argues a new Policy Exchange paper, Remaking the Case for NATO: Collective Security and the British National Interest ahead of this week’s crucial summit in Brussels.

Getting Over the Line: Solutions to the Irish border

Getting Over the Line: Solutions to the Irish border

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The Irish border is not the insoluble obstacle to Brexit negotiations that it has been made out to be and the UK can leave the single market and customs union while preserving a frictionless border in Ireland. This can be achieved by the use of new technology and in the context of a Free Trade Agreement between the UK and EU, in an arrangement that goes beyond the Customs Partnership and in no way threatens the Good Friday Agreement.

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The Good Friday Agreement is in relatively good health

The Good Friday Agreement is in relatively good health

20 years on from the Good Friday Agreement, Lord Bew – Emeritus Professor of Irish Politics, Queen’s University Belfast – finds the accord in relatively good health. Despite concerns generated by the UK’s decision to leave the EU, cross-party support for the Agreement has increased and there are signs that the DUP & Sinn Fein are gearing up to try to restore power sharing.

Time for political game-playing over the Irish border to stop

Time for political game-playing over the Irish border to stop

Policy Exchange’s Senior Fellow on EU Affairs Ray Bassett – himself a former senior Irish diplomat – argues that ‘any hard border in the Irish Sea and North/South would hurt Ireland a lot more than it would Britain’ and that Ireland’s interests are more aligned with the UK than EU. Consequently, he says Dublin should drop its efforts to keep Northern Ireland in the Customs Union.

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North Korea – Is there a military option?

North Korea – Is there a military option?

Leading South Korean General I-B Chun – former head of Korea’s Special Warfare Command – considered whether there is a military solution to the North Korean threat in an event at Policy Exchange. Chun warned that the North’s nuclear capability is not only directed at the United States; that we should all be worried about their cyber capability, indoctrination of children, that China would prefer a nuclear North Korea to a US-influenced state on its border. But he added: “I truly believe that my system of democracy, freedom, respect for human rights is far more powerful than any North Korean nuclear weapon.”

Chief of Defence Staff echoes Policy Exchange warning on undersea cables

Chief of Defence Staff echoes Policy Exchange warning on undersea cables

The Chief of the UK Defence Staff, Air Chief Marshal Sir Stuart Peach, has echoed Policy Exchange’s warnings about potential threats to the undersea communications cables that are vital to the internet and international commerce in the annual Chief of Defence Staff Lecture at the Royal United Services Institute. Sir Stuart’s comments come less than two weeks after the publication of our report Undersea Cables: Indispensable, insecure, which highlights that 97% of global communications and $10 trillion in daily financial transactions are transmitted by cables – but that those cables are highly vulnerable to attack from hostile states or terrorists.

New Anglo-American project launched with high-level conference in Washington

New Anglo-American project launched with high-level conference in Washington

Policy Exchange launched our new Anglo-American project with a high level conference in Washington to debate US-UK Relations in a Changing World. Both the US National Security Adviser Lt Gen HR McMaster and the National Security Adviser to the British Prime Minister, Mark Sedwill CMG, spoke at the event – the first time the two holders of these positions have appeared together in public. The event attracted widespread media coverage including from Bloomberg, Newsweek, ABC News, Voice of America, Washington Times, The National, Mail Online and the New York Times.

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NEW REPORT - Closing the COVID 19 Data Gap  Our Health and Social Care Unit has published a paper, authored by @Robert_WH_Ede and @SeanPhillips91, assessing the first phase of the vaccine rollout.

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NEW REPORT - Closing the COVID 19 Data Gap  Our Health and Social Care Unit has published a paper, authored by @Robert_WH_Ede and @SeanPhillips91, assessing the first phase of the vaccine rollout.

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