21st Century Security

How to expel Russia from the UN

November 3, 2022

The war in Ukraine will have demonstrated the impotence of the United Nations if a permanent member of the Security Council with full veto power becomes a rogue state without consequence. For the havoc it created, Russia must now be evicted from the UN.

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China’s Energy Vulnerabilities Drive Xi’s Policies

October 19, 2022

Much of China’s economic planning and domestic policy is energy focused and rests on a proven trifecta the USA would be well advised to examine and emulate where possible. First, massive investments in nuclear power, uranium refining, and modular reactors are set to make China the leading nuclear power in Asia. Second, China’s massive investment and dominance in every step of the rare earth mineral supply chain, especially coltan and lithium, is helping China monopolize the energy infrastructure of the future. Thirdly and finally, large investments in hydroelectricity (although this cannot be practically emulated in the US for lack of capacity, environmental, and permitting reasons). China’s much-publicized investment in renewables complements this trifecta but doesn’t feature centrally in any energy plans.

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Russia’s trajectory of hate: A big war against the West coming

October 5, 2022

Putin, in his Götterdämmerung moment, is fearmongering. In Stalinist propaganda language, he claims that the West “took off their masks and showed their true nature” … “for centuries [the West] wanted to colonize Russia, and after the collapse of the Soviet Union dreamed, but failed, to shatter it into pieces, set off ethnic groups against each other, and condemn them to indolence and extinction.” Like many dictators before him, Putin claims to be engaged in a preventive war to save his homeland.

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A Tale of Good Intentions and Unexpected Consequences

September 8, 2022

Despite Francis Fukuyama's infamous opinion, history certainly did not end. The imperial collapse was an unintended consequence of Gorbachev's desire to humanize socialism and save the USSR. He utterly failed in both tasks, but Russia and other Soviet republics were liberated from the Communist nightmare, and the world gained 30 years of relative peace, which is now coming to an end.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.