2021 Top Ten: Ideas
The intertwined need to confront China and climate change, turning the tables on Russian psyops, and more.
Here are some of the top commentaries from 2021:
The Autocrats Are Winning // Anne Applebaum: If the 20th century was the story of slow, uneven progress toward the victory of liberal democracy over other ideologies—communism, fascism, virulent nationalism—the 21st century is, so far, a story of the reverse.
The US Can’t Compete With China Without Tackling Climate Change // Sherri Goodman, Erin Sikorsky, Francesco Femia: Beijing is already working to turn the climate crisis to its advantage.
Joe Biden Really, Really, Really Should Accept Manchin’s Climate Deal // Robinson Meyer: If Democrats fail to pass a climate policy, they will all but guarantee that the world will warm by a dangerous amount and that the U.S. will surrender its technological advantage to China.
How Loitering Munitions Can Help Counter China // Ryan Brobst,Bradley Bowman,Maj. Lauren Harrison: “Suicide drones” are already tapped to fill various roles, but more are needed, and faster.
Don't Buy China's Hypersonic Head-Fake. Its Spaceplanes Are Racing Ahead. // Daniel Shats,Peter W. Singer: In the past five years, China’s spaceplane development has accelerated, adding breakthroughs, tests, and new industry players.
The US Must Turn the Tables on Russia’s Psyops // Ivana Stradner: A post-Cold War fixation on hard power has sapped us of the 21st century’s most potent force.
Trollfare: How to Recognize and Fight Off Online Psyops // Larissa Doroshenko,Josephine Lukito: It starts by understanding common tactics: distort, distract, dismiss, deny, and dismay.
Belarus’s Weaponized Migrants Offer a Primer on Gray-Zone Warfare // Elisabeth Braw: Western governments would do well to study Minsk’s actions—and prepare their populations to be on guard.
Defense One Radio, Ep. 92: Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin // Defense One Staff : Defense One's Tara Copp sat down with the SecDef as part of the Outlook 2022 event series.
Waiting for Attribution in Cyberspace: A Tragicomedy // Zhanna L. Malekos Smith: “We were so hopeful last March when the UN Open-Ended Working Group agreed to endorse all 11 of us voluntary, non-binding norms of responsible state behavior.”
NEXT STORY: Defense One Radio, Ep. 94: 2021, in review