21st Century Security

Floating Solar: The Most Practical Green Technology?

June 28, 2022

Earlier this month, the US Army launched a large floating solar array at Camp Mackall on Fort Bragg in North Carolina— the country’s largest domestic military base. This launch marks a critical moment for floating photovoltaics (FPVs) which have yet to attract mainstream attention in the USA.

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The Roots of Putin's Strategic Fiasco in Ukraine

June 8, 2022

From many conversations held with Russian policymakers, we know that the vision which denies Ukraine peoplehood, and the Kremlin's resulting aggressions, are nothing new. This war's atrocities flow from the dark misapprehensions held by many Moscow elites concerning Russia's destiny, history and geopolitics.

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Is a Marshall Plan right for Ukraine?

June 7, 2022

Even before battlefields are silent, the battle for billions in Ukrainian reconstruction budgets has already begun. Top U.S. policy makers, including Secretary of Treasury Janet Yellen championed the initial assistance package to Ukraine, which passed (86-11) in the Senate on May 19.

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Kazakhstan Needs Stability And Economic Institutions To Develop Energy Resources

June 6, 2022

To understand the international agonies and opportunities that rising energy supply costs, exogenous shocks, increasing interest in renewables, and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine present, there is no better example than Kazakhstan. It is singularly damaged by the current crises while simultaneously having so much potential to benefit from the global need for energy.

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China’s Wind Power Push Threatens US Strategic Interests

May 23, 2022

Government priorities feature prominently in discussions over the transition to renewable energy. Enthusiasm may abound for wind power, but if the United States is serious about its future, it must address critical supply chain disruptions and market-distorting foreign competition.

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Profits Skyrocket for US LNG Companies

April 27, 2022

The United States is poised to become the world’s leading liquefied natural gas (LNG) exporter by the year’s end. The US Energy Information Administration forecasts the country will export a whopping 12.2 billion cubic feet per day (Bcf/d) average to surpass Australia and Qatar for the top spot.

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The U.S. Can Win Over Russia’s Neighbors

April 7, 2022

Vladimir Putin’s war against Ukraine has provided the U.S. with a critical opportunity to diminish Russia’s influence over its neighbors by giving them technical assistance, economic development and security that neither Moscow nor Beijing can.

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To Defeat Putin's Totalitarianism, Work With Russians

April 5, 2022

The White House walked back President Joe Biden's recent remarks in Poland calling for Russian strongman Vladimir Putin's removal from power. Coming from the American president, the statement was unnecessarily inflammatory amid a strategic environment fraught with dangers of unintended escalation.

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Putin’s War in Ukraine Forces New Energy Reality on Europe

March 28, 2022

During President Joe Biden's visit to Europe, the US has struck a deal with the EU to boost its liquefied natural gas (LNG) supply as the trade bloc seeks to reduce its dependence on Russian gas. The war in Ukraine highlighted the Old Continent's unsustainable Russian energy habit.

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A New President Could Change Turkmenistan’s Export Prospects

March 21, 2022

An impending political transition could alter Turkmenistan’s China-dominated foreign policy, one defined almost exclusively by energy exports and international seclusion.

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Can Energy Exports Save The Russian War Machine Facing Western Sanctions?

March 18, 2022

Last week President Joe Biden announced a complete ban on Russian oil and gas imports – the latest in a series of debilitating sanctions meant to punish Russian President Vladimir Putin for his crimes against Ukraine.

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The US Bans Russian Energy Imports – Symbolically

March 11, 2022

As Russia’s war in Ukraine intensifies, the Biden administration banned Russian oil and natural gas purchases. This move represents a departure from initial Western sanctions against the Kremlin, designed specifically to avoid interference in Russian energy flows – particularly to import-dependent Europe.

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Power Transition in Turkmenistan Could Mean Big Changes for Neighbors

February 25, 2022

The forthcoming political change will affect vast energy resources, especially natural gas, in Turkmenistan, one of the most isolated and impoverished countries in Eurasia.

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Political Risks and Hobbesian Warfare Complicate Libyan Gas Supply for Europe

February 11, 2022

Since 2011, Libya has been suffering from a Hobbesian state of the war of all against all. Chaos, violence, and warfare massively impaired the north African energy giant’s oil and gas supplies.

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Can Qatar Come to Europe’s Energy Rescue?

January 28, 2022

As the risk of a conflict between Ukraine and Russia grows – one that would undoubtedly imperil European energy security – the Emir of Qatar is invited to visit President Biden at the White House at the end of this month to discuss opportunities for the country to supply liquified natural gas (LNG) to Europe.

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Western Reluctance on Nord Stream II Gas Pipeline, SWIFT Emboldens Russia

January 24, 2022

As the possibility of a Russian invasion of Ukraine grows ever more likely, Berlin’s hesitancy to impose sanctions on Nord Stream 2 and other pressure points, such as SWIFT bank transfer system, erodes deterrence, and may invite Russian aggression.

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Kazakhstan’s Stress Test: The January Tragedy and its Aftermath

January 24, 2022

In the first weeks of 2022, Kazakhstan experienced its most intense protests since the collapse of the Soviet Union. The causes of the turmoil in the country – like any major upheaval – are multi-faceted and were long in the making.

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Kazakhstan Crisis, Part 2: The Path Forward

January 20, 2022

Overcoming recent events in Kazakhstan will require wisdom and great diplomatic skills from the country’s leadership.

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Kazakhstan Crisis, Part 1: Drivers and Implications

January 19, 2022

As with any major social and geostrategic upheaval, the ongoing events in Kazakhstan are driven by several dynamics.

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Putin’s one-two punch European strategy to defeat America

January 6, 2022

On Jan. 9, the Biden administration will begin negotiations in Geneva over the “Putin Ultimatum,” two sets of demands presented to the U.S. and NATO. If accepted, they would destroy 30 years of post-Cold War European security policy while opening the path to Russian Empire 3.0 — the latest imperial iteration after the Romanoffs and the Soviets.

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Russian Aggression Puts Kyiv, Nord Stream 2 In Danger

December 10, 2021

Nord Stream 2 (NS2), Europe’s most contentious infrastructure project, seems to have survived the Putin-Biden teleconference and is likely to be approved by the German regulator. This outcome may be the purpose of the recent Russian troop mobilization. Europe’s and Germany’s dependence on Russian gas deepens and may appear irreversible, with long-term geo-strategic consequences the U.S. leaders and planners should take into account.  Yet, Russia’s clash with the West would incur very high costs on the Kremlin.

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Russia's Threats, Energy Crisis Put Ukraine on The Brink

December 1, 2021

Russia is escalating pressure on Ukraine, threatening to drag the U.S. and NATO into their worst confrontation with Moscow since the Cold War. A devastating combination of external and internal threats now imperil Ukraine's security, with energy playing a key part.

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Migrants And Gas: Russia Escalates Pressure On Poland And Ukraine

November 15, 2021

The United States recently reaffirmed its intent to support Ukrainian energy security amidst the near-certain completion of Nord Stream 2 (NS2) – Russia’s controversial pipeline, which will pump 55 billion cubic meters (bcm) of natural gas into Germany while increasing Europe’s dependence on Gazprom and entirely circumventing Ukraine. The $11bn project was completed in September and is now awaiting final approval from German regulators.

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The COP26 Postmortem: No Progress Without Buy-In From The World’s Top Polluters US And China

November 12, 2021

The 26th United Nations Climate Change Conference ended with hope and skepticism around the globe. Negotiators and national leaders have made pledges and proclamations aplenty — among them a vow to reverse deforestation within the decade — but it is undeniable that no pledge is set in stone, particularly when the signatories can hide behind (often intentionally) vague and non-binding language. Indonesia has already back-pedaled on its deforestation promise through a tweet from its Minister of environment Siti Nurbaya Bakar.

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OPEC Says To Biden: If You Want More Oil, Pump It Yourself

November 9, 2021

OPEC and its oil-producing partners have rebuffed President Joe Biden’s calls for increased production amidst rising fuel prices, retorting that if the United States believes the world’s economy needs more energy, then it has the capability to increase production itself. The OPEC+ alliance, made up of OPEC members led by Saudi Arabia and non-member top producers guided by Russia, approved an increase in production of 400,000 barrels per day for the month of December.

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