Australia is at risk of a fentanyl problem, but it is better prepared than North America. If the country can make the same kind of concerted effort it did to keep COVID-19 at bay, that could save thousands of lives.
This weekly recap focuses on Russian and Chinese campaigns to spread malign and subversive information on COVID-19, President Biden's address to Congress, the planned U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan, and more.
President Joe Biden addressed a joint session of Congress, summarizing his administration's early COVID-19 response and outlining plans that aim to loosen the pandemic's year-long grip on a weary nation. The speech reflected the fact that the United States faces policy challenges across a wide range of domains.
When Hurricane Maria hit Puerto Rico in September 2017, it peeled roofs from houses, turned roads into rivers, and left millions of people without electricity or safe drinking water. Marielena Lara, a senior physician policy researcher at RAND, was grateful to be part of the recovery planning.
The U.S. military will need to improve its software fluency if it wants to be dominant on the battlefields of the future. Ensuring that future leaders in the military develop cyber skills and the ability to interface with technical experts may be increasingly important.
The technological advances of recent decades that have made supply networks drastically more efficient, valuable, and essential to every element of our daily lives have also created a highly interdependent, largely unsecured portfolio of potential attack surfaces.
China and Iran made a deal in which China promised to boost its investment in Iranian infrastructure in exchange for a steady supply of oil. This uptick in Chinese influence does not necessarily erode U.S. power in the region. The United States may even find overlapping interests with China since both have a stake in containing conflicts and instability.
Lessons from the pandemic will be sorted through for years. But one thing seems very clear: The United States is not ready in a policy or infrastructure or even physical-capacity sense to respond to major shocks to its supply chains.
As climate change accelerates there is a growing disconnect between what our infrastructure systems can do and what we need them to do. Policymakers should view infrastructure investments as not simply hardware fixes and upgrades, but as efforts to close this gap.
The U.S. Capitol attack on January 6 has fueled momentum for new approaches and laws to counter attacks by domestic violent extremists. It will be crucial for policymakers to reckon with what new laws and law enforcement can achieve, and what they can get wrong.
As Congress and the White House debate how to assist the Postal Service, it will be important to understand the effects of proposed cost-cutting measures on mail delivery of vital services, smaller and rural communities, low-income communities, and the USPS's broader public safety and security functions.