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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Latest Foreign Policy & Security Publications

In Defence of Collective Security

In Defence of Collective Security

As Putin celebrates another election victory, today’s Labour party should remember that there can be no coherent response to the Russian provocation without an appreciation of how our collective security is underscored by NATO and the role Labour played in its creation. In a new essay, In Defence of Collective Security, Professor John Bew, Head of Policy Exchange’s Britain in the World project and an award winning biographer of Clement Attlee, argues that our current system of Western security, based on NATO, was painstakingly put in place by Attlee and Ernest Bevin and that the current Labour leadership betrays that legacy.

Beyond Brexit: Essential reading on international affairs and security in a changing world

Beyond Brexit: Essential reading on international affairs and security in a changing world

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Policy Exchange is delighted to announce that Professor John Bew, Head of Policy Exchange’s Britain in the World Project, has been appointed as a specialist adviser to the Foreign Affairs Committee’s inquiry into ‘Global Britain’. To mark that appointment, we publish a new reading list, Beyond Brexit: Essential reading on international affairs and security in a changing world, compiled by Professor Bew, Gabriel Elefteriu, Jamie Gaskarth and Patrick Porter.

Undersea Cables: Indispensable, insecure

Undersea Cables: Indispensable, insecure

We must do more to protect the indispensable yet insecure internet infrastructure provided by undersea cables, urges Rishi Sunak MP in a new report published by Policy Exchange, Undersea Cables: Indispensable, insecure. 97% of global communications and $10 trillion in daily financial transactions are transmitted not by satellites in the skies, but by cables lying deep beneath the ocean. Undersea cables are the indispensable infrastructure of our time, essential to our modern life and digital economy, yet they are inadequately protected and highly vulnerable to attack at sea and on land, from both hostile states and terrorists.

Latest Foreign Policy & Security Blogs

Democracy and Brexit

Democracy and Brexit

Reflecting on the Foreign Secretary’s speech at Policy Exchange last week, Director of Research and Strategy Rupert Oldham-Reid summarises the speech.

An American perspective on Pesco: The dangers of de-linking EU defence from NATO

An American perspective on Pesco: The dangers of de-linking EU defence from NATO

US Army officer T.S. Allen discusses the launch of the Permanent Structured Cooperation (Pesco) at last month’s European Council summit. While there may be benefits in terms of improvements in capabilities, there is a danger that Pesco represents a trend towards de-linking European defence from NATO in search of EU ‘strategic autonomy’.

Latest Foreign Policy & Security News

Niall Ferguson compares balance of power to Congress of Vienna at Policy Exchange’s Anglo-American conference

Niall Ferguson compares balance of power to Congress of Vienna at Policy Exchange’s Anglo-American conference

Professor Niall Ferguson, who spoke at the launch of Policy Exchange’s new Anglo-American project, argued that the best historical analogy for the current balance of powers is with the pentarchy of five great powers that dominated European (and hence world) affairs for a century after the Congress of Vienna of 1814-15. A modern pentarchy was created in the form of the permanent members of the UN Security Council. Professor Ferguson argues that “Whether or not these five great powers can make common cause once again is the great geopolitical question of our time.”

Western policy in Middle East fudges dangers of Islamism, says former UK Ambassador to Saudi Arabia

Western policy in Middle East fudges dangers of Islamism, says former UK Ambassador to Saudi Arabia

In the struggle against Islamist extremism, history matters. It is often under-appreciated how far the groups across the Islamist spectrum, from the Muslim Brotherhood to Daesh, are powered by a simplistic, yet powerful, historical narrative. In the inaugural Elie and Sylvia Kedourie Lecture, “The Importance of History: The Chatham House Version Revisited”, Sir John Jenkins – former UK Ambassador to Saudi Arabia, co-author of the UK Government’s review of British policy towards the Muslim Brotherhood and a Policy Exchange Senior Fellow – critiques the tendency towards shallow, one-dimensional thinking about the Middle East that infects much Western commentary and analysis on the region.

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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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