As the only country to suffer the horrors of wartime atomic bombings, one would assume Japan would eagerly sign any treaty to ban such weapons. Why hasn't Japan signed the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, which took effect in January 2021?
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.
At least one million Uyghurs and other ethnic minorities have vanished into a sprawling network of camps and prisons in China's far west. Satellite images show brightly lit compounds, wall after wall of barbed wire, and a sudden rush to build what appear to be fortified preschools.
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.
Russia could blunder in Ukraine as Soviet rulers did in Afghanistan. Unlike then, however, a new Russian thrust into Ukraine could lead to early, heavy casualties. This could quickly bring home to the Kremlin the political costs of any incursion.
The American Rescue Plan is expected to cut child poverty in the United States by more than 40 percent. The benefits are important to families today and could be compounded over the hundred years these children are expected to live.
Sleep occupies a major part of a couples' shared experience. When we are well-slept we are happier, more empathic, better communicators, and better problem-solvers, all critical building blocks of healthy relationships.
Given the increased reliance on technology to support learning, now may be a good time for educational technology companies to start thinking more seriously about the data they collect and how they use it.
President Biden has proposed that the United States and Russia hold a summit in the coming months. If that happens, major gains may be out of reach at first. Some progress might be possible, but the risks may be greater than at most previous summits.
The April summit between U.S. President Joe Biden and Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga signaled a deepening in the U.S.-Japan alliance. It highlighted important new areas of cooperation and a concrete agenda for U.S.-Japan relations.
The result of a U.S. troop withdrawal from Afghanistan will be a blow to American credibility and a weakening of deterrence and the value of American reassurance elsewhere. It will also result in an increased terrorist threat emanating from the Afghan region, and the distinct possibility of a necessary return there one day under worse conditions.
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 pandemic has revealed telemedicine's potential to improve health care delivery and access. Telemedicine could help reach patients who would normally be excluded or alienated by the traditional structure of the health system.
Recently, Kim Jong-un admitted that North Korea is facing a dire situation. It was surprising that he would admit circumstances which at face value suggest major failures on his part. Why is Kim admitting that such circumstances are developing in the North now?
Coronavirus or not, Kim Jong-un's appetite for nuclear and missile bargaining with the United States remains intact. This likely spells further weapons demonstrations from North Korea, with potentially longer-range missile demonstrations to test Washington's resolve in its nuclear negotiations with Pyongyang.
President Biden and Prime Minister Suga appear to have established a warm, personal rapport while communicating a clear vision of the importance of working together to end the pandemic, combat climate change, preserve a free and open Indo-Pacific, and defend democracy.
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.
When summer programs are targeted to needs, intentionally designed, and well attended, they produce positive outcomes in math and reading. But these programs need federal support, and they require early planning.
Japan has been lukewarm in its response to global condemnation of China's crimes against humanity against the Uyghurs and other Muslim minority groups in Xinjiang. What options might President Biden have to encourage Japan to reconsider its position as he hosts his first in-person summit meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga?
Iran is blaming Israel for a blackout at one of its nuclear research facilities. This attack is likely to complicate nuclear diplomacy and further erode trust between Tehran and Washington. Also, it may only incentivize Iran to advance its nuclear program.
The ability to provide relatively low cost internet access outside of government control is both a challenge for authoritarian states and an opportunity for democracies. What are low-altitude, low-latency satellites and why are authoritarian states so concerned?
Even when relevant data is publicly available, U.S. intelligence analysts are not including it in their analytic products during their routine course of business. This willful ignorance of publicly available information is hurting U.S. national security.
Soon after he took office, Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin ordered a posture review to ensure that the U.S. global footprint is the right size to support U.S. strategy. Japan's continued importance to U.S. strategy and Tokyo's increased willingness to be more proactive in the security domain mean that Japan could see an uptick in U.S. military presence after this review is complete.
Key demographic trends in fertility, mortality, and migration are responsible for shifts in the overall structure of any population. COVID-19 has affected each of these, with potentially important implications.
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.
China pays U.S. scientists for their innovations in exchange for money and access to research laboratories and speaking and publication opportunities. They require the researchers to keep these agreements secret from their employers or the U.S. government. Perhaps it is time to codify scientific transparency into law.
Vaccine hesitancy appears to be one more hurdle in ending the COVID-19 pandemic. The CDC would typically lead a campaign to overcome it, but Americans' trust in the CDC has declined measurably. Health care professionals may be more effective messengers when it comes to COVID-19 vaccines.
Actively seeking out people with lots of contacts for vaccination could bring the epidemic under control much more quickly than vaccinating people at random. Vaccinating just 15% of the population would be enough to crush the epidemic—so long as it was the right 15%.
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.
The Biden administration's goal of renewed Japan–South Korea–U.S. trilateralism is laudable and promising, but substantial obstacles remain. The passage of time alone is not going to strengthen ties between South Korea and Japan. Washington may have to play a leading role if it wants to see relations between Seoul and Tokyo improve.
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.
Maintaining an adequate supply of teachers is a challenge and an area of significant concern. Rather than a one-size-fits-all approach, a set of interventions developed to target the preferences and expectations of specific groups of teachers is likely to be most effective.
Unpaid caregivers have been a critical part of the functioning U.S. economy, serving as the backbone of the health system, since long before the pandemic started. Adding them to the American Rescue Plan was an important step, but even after the pandemic is over, their financial security will need long-term protection.
The world is barreling toward a more volatile climate with infrastructure designed for the past. With infrastructure widely expected to be prioritized in Congress soon, every infrastructure bill is also a climate bill. It is critical that we make our infrastructure climate-safe.