Ali Wyne

Photo of Ali Wyne
Policy Analyst
Washington Office

Education

S.B. in management science and political science, Massachusetts Institute of Technology; M.P.P., Harvard Kennedy School

Overview

Ali Wyne is a Washington, DC-based policy analyst at the RAND Corporation, a nonresident senior fellow at the Atlantic Council, and a nonresident fellow at the Modern War Institute.  He serves as rapporteur for a U.S. National Intelligence Council working group that analyzes trends in world order.

Wyne served as a junior fellow at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace from 2008 to 2009 and as a research assistant at the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs from 2009 to 2012.  From January to July 2013 he worked on a team that prepared Samantha Power for her confirmation hearing to be U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations.  From 2014 to 2015 he served on RAND's adjunct staff, working with the late Richard Solomon on RAND's Strategic Rethink series.

Wyne received dual degrees in management science and political science from MIT (2008) and earned his Master in Public Policy from the Harvard Kennedy School (2017).  While at the Kennedy School he served on a Hillary for America working group on U.S. policy toward Asia.

Wyne is a coauthor of Lee Kuan Yew: The Grand Master's Insights on China, the United States, and the World (2013) and a contributing author to Power Relations in the Twenty-First Century: Mapping a Multipolar World? (2017) and the Routledge Handbook of Public Diplomacy (2008).

Wyne is a term member of the Council on Foreign Relations, a David Rockefeller fellow with the Trilateral Commission, and a security fellow with the Truman National Security Project.

Concurrent Non-RAND Positions

Nonresident Senior Fellow, Atlantic Council's Brent Scowcroft Center on International Security; Nonresident Fellow, Modern War Institute

Selected Publications

Ali Wyne, "The Security Risks of a Trade War with China," Foreign Affairs, 0, 2018

Ali Wyne, "The crumbling postwar order," WorldPost, 0, 2018

Ali Wyne, "Charting China's Contradictions," Global Asia, 13(2), 2018

Ali Wyne, "Is America Choosing Decline?" New Republic, 0, 2018

Ali Wyne, "Next! How Superpowers Change Places," Los Angeles Review of Books, 0, 2018

Ali Wyne, "Did the United States Really Win the Cold War?" National Interest, 0, 2017

Ali Wyne, "Don't Conflate Greater Danger with Greater Complexity," New York Times, 0, 2016

Ali Wyne, "History Isn't a Playbook: Misguided Analogies and Great Power Competition," War on the Rocks, 0, 2016

Honors & Awards

  • Term Member, Council on Foreign Relations
  • David Rockefeller Fellow, Trilateral Commission
  • Security Fellow, Truman National Security Project

Commentary

  • Soldiers set off for a foot patrol after disembarking from a UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter in Afghanistan, September 4, 2018

    The Risks of Permanent War

    Why are we in Afghanistan? What interests justify our sacrifices? How will the war end? If the U.S. finds it challenging to answer such questions after nearly two decades, the coming years are unlikely to provide clarity. If a campaign has no end, it can have no objective; if it has no objective, it cannot be won.

    Sep 28, 2018 Just Security

  • Paper boats with flags of China, Japan, and the United States on a map of East Asia

    The Implications of U.S.-China Trade Tensions for Japan

    Washington and Beijing seem prepared to begin decoupling from one another economically, which puts Tokyo in a difficult position. Japan may have to devise new strategies not only for sustaining its growth, but also for insulating itself from the impact of deteriorating relations between the United States and China.

    Sep 18, 2018 Kyodo News

  • Eroding world map

    Taking Stock of a Shifting World Order

    The postwar order seems poised to continue eroding, without a clear alternative in the offing. It has often taken cataclysmic events to inaugurate new eras of geopolitical order, but one hopes that the postwar order will instead be reinvigorated through farsighted statecraft.

    Aug 31, 2018 Aus Politik und Zeitgeschichte

  • Chinese President Xi Jinping and Russian President Vladimir Putin attend a welcome ceremony outside the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, China, June 8, 2018

    A U.S.-Russia Partnership Against China Is Unlikely

    After Donald Trump's summit with Vladimir Putin in Helsinki in July, it might appear as if the U.S. and Russia are considering the formation of a partnership against China. But Russia seems more likely to try to expand the scope of its cooperation with China while also attempting to extract concessions from the United States.

    Aug 21, 2018 Lowy Institute

  • The U.S. Navy destroyer USS John S. McCain conducts a patrol in the South China Sea, January 22, 2017

    The Security Risks of a Trade War with China

    As U.S.-China trade tensions continue to rise, many observers are focused on the potential for a full-fledged trade war that could destabilize the world economy. But there are security concerns as well. A China less constrained by and invested in economic ties with the United States could pose a greater challenge to U.S. foreign policy.

    Aug 6, 2018 Foreign Affairs

  • Flags of the world

    Attempts to Order Geopolitics Have a Sobering History

    Past efforts to introduce world order have resulted less from foresighted statecraft than from cataclysmic upheavals such as World War II. If the current international system erodes, what might have to happen for a new one to emerge?

    Jul 25, 2018 The WorldPost (Washington Post)

  • Chinese President Xi Jinping speaks as China's new Politburo Standing Committee members meet with the press at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, China, October 25, 2017

    Book Review: Elizabeth Economy's The Third Revolution

    The United States' attitude towards China is undergoing a significant recalibration, perhaps the most fundamental since Beijing's crackdown at Tiananmen Square almost three decades ago. Harnessing its resurgence while tempering its revisionism will likely be Washington's most vexing long-term policy challenge.

    Jun 26, 2018 Global Asia

  • World flags

    The Need for Superpowers to Embrace a Vision of World Affairs

    A superpower promotes a conception of world affairs that attracts others, enabling it to advance its objectives and amplify its values far more than it could on its own. Washington has a significant edge over Beijing in this regard.

    Jun 21, 2018 The RAND Blog

  • Japan's Defence Minister Itsunori Onodera, U.S. Secretary of Defence Jim Mattis, and Australia's Defence Minister Marisa Payne meet on the sidelines at the IISS Shangri-la Dialogue in Singapore, June 2, 2018

    The Quad: Second Verse, Same as the First?

    Members of “the Quad”—an informal collaborative arrangement among the United States, Japan, India, and Australia—have proven incapable of adopting either a shared understanding of or unified policies toward China.

    Jun 15, 2018 The Diplomat

  • World flags

    Book Review: The Sovereignty Wars by Stewart Patrick

    “Sovereignty” is a complicated, multifaceted construct. The Sovereignty Wars is a timely and meticulous effort by author Stewart Patrick to clarify that concept, whose usage is a matter of both analytical interest and policymaking import.

    May 17, 2018 Strategy Bridge

  • Containers at the Yangshan Deep Water Port in Shanghai, China, April 24, 2018

    The Greater Danger of U.S.-China Trade Tensions

    Trade tensions between the United States and China could escalate into a full-blown trade war, with ramifications for economic ties and the global economy. The long-term danger, however, is that tensions could begin to undercut the interdependence that has been so essential to keeping strategic competition between the two giants in check.

    May 9, 2018 The Diplomat

  • Chinese President Xi Jinping delivers his speech at the closing session of the National People's Congress (NPC) at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, China, March 20, 2018

    Recalibrate, Rather Than Abandon, U.S. China Policy

    China does not necessarily seek to succeed the U.S. as the world’s superpower, especially if such a mantle would impose on it real and/or perceived obligations for steering global affairs. What is the verdict, then, on America’s China policy, and where should the two countries go from here?

    May 8, 2018 World Politics Review

  • An American flag after a sunset

    What Role Will the United States Play in the World?

    Under the leadership of President Trump, the United States is questioning the net strategic benefits of its participation in the postwar order as never before. Foreign policy priorities are increasingly disconnected from the day-to-day concerns of most Americans.

    Apr 30, 2018 World Economic Forum

  • U.S. Capitol Washington, D.C., with storm clouds

    Can Washington Successfully Prepare for the Future?

    The impossibility of predicting the future does not remove the need to mull the uncertain. Policymakers should build in windows of time to think imaginatively about the pursuit of America's strategic objectives, and take a bird's-eye view of the role America can and should play in shaping an increasingly complex, chaotic world.

    Apr 6, 2018 The National Interest

  • U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson (R) meets with Chinese State Councilor Yang Jiechi  at the State Department in Washington, U.S.,  February 8, 2018

    Book Review: Safe Passage: The Transition from British to American Hegemony

    In Safe Passage: The Transition from British to American Hegemony Kori Schake discusses the world's peaceful transition from British Empire to United States preeminence. She also considers the implications of her analysis for the present dynamics between a preeminent United States and a resurgent China.

    Mar 7, 2018 Los Angeles Review of Books

  • Trade ministers and delegates from the remaining members of the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) attend the TPP Ministerial Meeting during the APEC 2017 in Da Nang, Vietnam November 9, 2017

    The Danger of Might Without Power

    A more forceful U.S. posture in the Asia-Pacific would likely strengthen America's long-term position in the region. The effort should rehabilitate key bilateral alliances, especially with Tokyo and Seoul, and compete with or at least supplement the roster of economic initiatives that China is advancing across the region.

    Feb 28, 2018 Lowy Institute

  • A U.S. Marine with a Marine special operations team assists with security during a construction project for an Afghan Local Police checkpoint in Helmand province, Afghanistan, March 30, 2013

    In Afghanistan, A Protracted Stalemate

    The United States has been at war in Afghanistan for over 16 years, at a cost of over $1 trillion. But the Taliban now controls more territory than at any point since the U.S.-led invasion. This should give pause to observers who believe that the United States is, or will soon be, poised to turn the tide in Afghanistan.

    Feb 26, 2018 The National Interest

  • Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe (center) is welcomed by European Council President Donald Tusk (left) and European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker at a European Union-Japan summit, Brussels, Belgium, July 6, 2017

    Economic Multilateralism and Regionalism

    The trend toward economic multilateralism and regionalism is accelerating. Japan finalized a free-trade agreement with the EU that will encompass some 600 million people and 30 percent of GWP. The U.S. has benefited from bilateral agreements, but would do well to revisit its posture toward multilateral and regional currents.

    Jan 5, 2018 The Diplomat

  • U.S. President Donald Trump and U.S. first lady Melania visit the Forbidden City with China's President Xi Jinping in Beijing, China, November 8, 2017

    Sustaining America's Economic Strength in the Asia-Pacific: A Narrowing Window of Opportunity

    Ali Wyne urges President Trump to reassure U.S. allies that the United States has both the capacity and the willingness to maintain an enduring presence in the Asia-Pacific. That reassurance must be grounded in credible geo-economic pledges.

    Nov 8, 2017 Atlantic Council

  • Robots working with cardboard boxes on a conveyer belt

    AI's Promise and Risks

    Artificial intelligence seems to be advancing faster than efforts to understand its potential consequences, good and bad. And discussions about AI often veer toward extremes. More balanced, rigorous analysis is needed to help shape policies that mitigate AI's risks and maximize its benefits.

    Oct 24, 2017 TechCrunch

  • Connections drawn over a world map

    Book Review: 'The Chessboard and the Web,' by Anne-Marie Slaughter

    Few quests in international relations scholarship are as imperative and vexing as that of rethinking power — how it is defined, who wields which types, and what strategies different actors pursue to accumulate it. Slaughter's new book is a significant contribution to that end.

    Sep 22, 2017 New Republic

  • An exhibit on the Cuban Missile Crisis at the John F. Kennedy Library in Boston, December 18, 2014

    Greater Disorder Does Not Imply Greater Insecurity

    President Obama observed in June that the world is less violent than it has ever been. While his proposition may seem incongruous with the present crises across Eurasia, the evidence suggests that the world is indeed becoming more secure.

    Jan 7, 2015 The American Interest