Reports & Papers

1737 Items

Staff assigned to Naval Medical Center San Diego’s Radiology Department monitor a patient during a brain MRI, Aug. 12, 2020.

DoD

Paper - Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School

The Department of Defense, Artificial Intelligence, and Healthcare

| Nov. 20, 2020

Through interviews with senior military leaders, technologists, medical professionals, and academia, the research examines the potential impacts of leveraging artificial intelligence and machine learning within DoD healthcare.

A view of the interior of the U.S. Capitol building

Benn Craig

Report

Building a 21st Century Congress: Improving STEM Policy Advice in the Emerging Technology Era

| November 2020

Many congressional personal offices and committees are already staffed by smart, public-spirited scientists and technologists, and Congress can draw on outside experts to inform its legislation and its hearings. But none of the interviewees for this report or our previous report, argued that the status quo worked as well as it should; no one thought that Congress had enough STEM expertise to effectively reckon with emerging technology issues. Everyone—from members of Congress to their staffers, from non-profit leaders to private sector professionals, from generalists to STEM professionals—thought that Congress can do better. 

Report - Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School

A U.S. Diplomatic Service for the 21st Century

Many of the most serious challenges the United States will face in 2021 and beyond will require our diplomats to take the lead. These include the return of great power competition, leading a global response to the pandemic and its consequences, supporting American companies overseas during a devastating recession, mounting a major effort on climate change, negotiating an end to the Afghan and Iraq wars, and helping American citizens in every corner of the world who need the support of their government. Morale in the State Department, however, is at an all-time low and efforts to promote greater racial and ethnic diversity have failed just when the country needs women and men of all backgrounds as our primary link to nearly every country in the world. There are challenges to be met inside the Foreign Service, including an honest self-assessment of the Service’s internal culture.

A satellite view of Little Diomede Island, Alaska, in the middle of the Bering Strait. 

CNES/Airbus via Google Earth, used with permission

Paper

Addressing Dramatic Changes in the Bering Strait Region Requires Governance Adaptations

| Nov. 12, 2020

The Arctic of today does not resemble the Arctic of fifty years ago, and the Arctic of 2070 will be different still, based on everything we know now. Warmer temperatures on land and in the ocean, retreating sea ice and glaciers, thawing permafrost, rapidly changing ecosystems, range expansion of novel species and stress in native species, changing ocean chemistry, and altered seasons all contribute to significant alteration of a region in an extremely compressed timescale. At the same time, globalization and the increasing international interest in the region add new pressures for access, development and geopolitical positioning in the Arctic. Concerns about the implications and impacts of that intensified engagement generate even more anxiety about the transformation to a brand-new Arctic in the 21st Century.

Report - Technology and Public Purpose

Building a 21st-century American Economy

| November 2020

As the world confronts systematic, interrelated challenges from a raging pandemic to devastating climate catastrophes to a growing chasm of inequality, the United States has the opportunity to make deep commitments to new technological foundations that will usher in the next industrial revolution and greater shared prosperity. Or, we can continue along a business-as-usual path, ceding global leadership and the associated economic value creation elsewhere.

A watchtower in the United Nations Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus' buffer zone in Nicosia, July 2019.

Photo by Author

Paper

The Modern Roots of the Graveyard for Diplomats: The Tripartite Conference on Cyprus in 1955

| October 2020

For nearly 60 years, attempts at finding a lasting political solution to the conflict in Cyprus have created an environment known as the “graveyard of diplomats” for practitioners of international relations.1 Hastily constructed by the British Royal Air Force in December 1963 because of intercommunal fighting between Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots, a demilitarized buffer zone, or “Green Line,” partitioned the two communities and has separated the island and its inhabitants ever since. Now, Cyprus hosts an amalgamation of different powers: two British sovereign bases which cover 98 square miles, the “Green Line” patrolled by the United Nations Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus (UNFICYP) spanning 134 square miles, a de facto state only recognized by Turkey called the “Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus” (TRNC) occupying one-third of the island, and the Republic of Cyprus which has de jure sovereignty over the entire island but is located in the southern two-thirds.

A 10 Squadron AP-3C awaits its crew as the sun rises over RAAF Base Edinburgh, Australia.

Wade Roberts

Paper

Winning Strategic Competition in the Indo-Pacific

| September 2020

The strategic competition in the Indo-Pacific involving the United States, Australia and the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) is arguably the most significant contemporary international relations issue. It spans all aspects of state power: hard, sharp and soft; diplomatic, information, military and economic; and all domains: air, sea, land, space, cyber, technology and innovation. But in their rush to recover ground perceived to be already lost to the CCP, neither the U.S. nor Australia have paused to devote sufficient attention to understanding the nature of strategic competition, to comprehend what winning it actually means, and therefore to grasp how best to approach it. As a result, they both continue to cede the initiative to the CCP, while it continues to compete on the terms most favorable to it.

Airport Traveler

Image by Joshua Woroniecki, Pixabay

Paper

Lessons Learned: Why the United States Needs a Counter-Pandemic Border Strategy

    Authors:
  • Robert Bonner
  • Gillian Horton
| Sep. 28, 2020

Although the COVID-19 pandemic is far from over, one thing is already clear: most nations, including the United States, have struggled to effectively contain the spread of this deadly new virus. Countries have adopted a wide range of unilateral measures to counter the pandemic with highly varying degrees of success; some have nearly contained the virus and have reduced the mortality rate, while others have continued to experience mounting loss of life and severe economic damage. The reasons for these varied outcomes are complex and include factors that cannot be controlled by governments battling the pandemic (e.g. the size and heterogeneity of the country) but other factors are squarely within a government’s power to control.

One striking difference between several of the governments that have been most successful against COVID-19 and those that have not is the effective use of border screening to slow down and contain the spread of the virus. Countries that implemented border screening measures up front, including New Zealand and Japan, have seen dramatically lower COVID-19 death rates1 and less immediate damage to their economies. While life in these countries has resumed some semblance of normalcy eight months into the pandemic, the United States continues to face staggering human and economic costs, including an unemployment rate more than twice what it was before the pandemic, an ongoing recession, and, at the time of writing, 200,000 Americans who have lost their lives.

Although no nation has developed a truly comprehensive border strategy for countering a global pandemic, the results from countries that acted swiftly in this regard are promising, and what we know about the spread of COVID-19 supports the idea that early mitigation at the border is critical. As seen in New Zealand, border screening of all arrivals coupled with aggressive contact tracing can prove highly effective when implemented in the early stages of a pandemic, before large-scale community spread occurs, and the United States should be prepared to take similar steps.

 

Social Distancing in Trader Joe's parking lot

Wikimedia CC/Strmsrg

Report - opcast.org

Epidemiological Modeling Needs New, Coherent, Federal Support for the Post-COVID-19 Era

    Authors:
  • Christine Cassel
  • Christopher Chyba
  • Susan Graham
  • Richard C. Levin
  • Ed Penhoet
  • William Press
  • Maxine Savitz
  • Harold Varmus
| Sep. 28, 2020

Epidemiological modeling is an important but under-supported field of science that lacks a clear home among the federal science-funding agencies. Additional basic research and translational work in the field is needed between pandemics, and greater operational capabilities are needed during epidemics. The authors of this report have identified here a series of actions that can strengthen modeling efforts and their operationalization, to make the country better prepared for the next pandemic.