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China’s Belt and Road in Context

China’s Belt and Road Initiative turns five years old this fall, first unveiled by President Xi Jinping in a pair of speeches in late 2013. The infrastructure and connectivity initiative has proven far more ambitious, and far more controversial, than anyone could have predicted at that time. Under the BRI umbrella, China has already spent, pledged, or invested over one hundred billion dollars in infrastructure projects spanning the globe. However, since mid-2017, international concerns about the BRI—and the outgrowth of Chinese “sharp power”—have been mounting. The U.S., EU, India, Australia and others have criticized the BRI model—which they accuse of fueling corruption, failing to meet international standards, and leveraging “debt-trap diplomacy” for geopolitical ends--while beginning to promote their own infrastructure initiatives and visions for the region. Please join our expert panel as we examine the future prospects of the BRI, Chinese perspectives on the BRI at Five and changing international attitudes toward the initiative, and the evolving U.S. and allied policy responses.

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7/31/2020

Re-Designing the Marine Corps for Future War: Necessity or Madness?

General David H. Berger, Marine Corps Commandant, is aggressively pushing a dramatic redesign of the Corps for future war incorporating new missiles, advanced sensors, unmanned platforms, and hypervelocity weapons. HisForce Design 2030effort has drawn enthusiastic support from those who agree that the Corps must change to remain relevant on a more lethal battlefield. But it has generated an equally fervent amount of criticism from others who think the effort is overly focused on China—rendering the Corps irrelevant across a range of other potentially more likely scenarios. To achieve its vision, the Corps is doing away with tanks, reducing conventional artillery, shrinking units, and placing new demands on the Navy, already struggling to modernize its fleet. But it is adding anti-ship missiles, doubling-down on unmanned systems, and reenergizing a profound discussion about the importance of naval power.Will a redesigned Corps make it irrelevant for land operations against conventional militaries of larger state powers or irregular forces like terrorist groups? Or are General Berger’s designs essential to America’s future ability to conduct nearly any military operation in any theater against a host of potential enemies?Join us for an in-depth conversation about all of this with nationally recognized experts who hold informed opinions on both sides of this issue: Dr. Frank G. Hoffman, Lt. Col. USMCR (Ret.), Distinguished Research Fellow at the National Defense University, and Mark F. Cancian, Colonel, USMCR (Ret.), Senior Advisor, International Security Program, Center for Strategic and International Studies.