Understanding a New Era of Strategic Competition PowerPoint Presentation

Understanding a New Era of Strategic Competition PowerPoint Presentation

2019-12-15 188K 188 0 0

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Understanding a New Era of Strategic Competition Michael J. Mazarr May 2019 Summary of Phase 1 Research This briefing transmits results of RAND research. It has not been cleared for public release, and its contents should not be cited or quoted ID: 770463

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Understanding a New Era of Strategic Competition Michael J. Mazarr May 2019 Summary of Phase 1 Research This briefing transmits results of RAND research. It has not been cleared for public release, and its contents should not be cited or quoted without permission of the authors.  The results presented here will be finalized after completion of RAND’s formal quality assurance review.

Defining “Competition” Poorly defined in international relations literature. Elements: Degree of perceived or measurable contention Participants seek power and influence, usually relative to one another Not always zero-sum, but generally involves pursuit of scarce goals, goods Formal or implied “rules of the game” tend to emergeThe mutual and interactive pursuit of power, influence, prosperity and status in a changing international context International Competitive Environment: Four Key Domains Assess role, interests, behavior of state and non-state actors, “great” powers and regional ones Military Economic Geopolitical Informational Interaction of issue areas a critical dynamic

Mental Models Likely Misleading Default analogies: Cold War 19 th Century Great PowersNeither of these historical cases offers a parallel for the emerging environment…Economic interdependenceGlobal infosphereInternational communityIncomplete multipolarityAsymmetric aggression Powerful nationalisms

How to Understand the Character of International Competition What is the Essential Character of the Competing Actors? What Do They Compete For?How Do They Compete?What is the Structure of the Competition? What Factors Moderate or Exacerbate Competition? (Not detailed in this brief ) In each area we assessed: Variables to assess the issue, derived from theory and history; andThe current status of the competition—its character and intensity.On the basis of all five, we offer initial hypotheses about the essential character of the emerging competition. Methodology Literature review and survey of lessons of international relations theory, including definitions of “competition,” with a special focus on national identity. Analysis of three comparative historical periods of rising competition. Survey of recent RAND studies on the interests, goals, character of major powers. Analysis of data on specific indicators (military spending, conflict, trade etc.).

What is the Essential Character of the Competing Actors? Variables Derived from Theory and History Key Questions Regime Type Is the country a stable democracy, an autocratic state, or a personalist dictatorship?Identity Does it have self-conceptions that generate both significant ambitions and a sense of “status dissonance”?RevisionismIn policy and behavior, is it determined to change the existing power relations and rules of the international system?Domestic InterestsDoes the constellation of domestic interest groups tend toward stability or aggression?Leader BeliefsWhat does the current leadership group believe about the country’s interests, goals, and means? Major Powers United States China India Russia Germany Japan Brazil Indonesia France United Kingdom Iran Key criteria: GDP; projected economic power in 2050; military expenditure; self-conception; regional ambitions and influence

Character of Competing Actors Variable China India GE JapanBrazilRussiaINDOIranFRUKRegime typeAutocratic, more personalistDemo-cracyDemo-cracyDemo-cracyDemo-cracyAutocratic, personalist Demo- cracy Theo- cratic Demo- cracy Demo- cracy Identity Grievance, expectation of regional hegemony Regional influence Status quo Status quo Status quo; mild regional ambitions Grievance / aggression, sphere of influence Status quo Regional ambitions Status quo Status quo Revis-ionism Moderate Moderate / Weak Weak Weak Moderate / Weak Strong Weak Moderate Weak Weak Domestic interests Increasing state control, personalist; checks weakening Multiple, stabilizing interests; even strong leader limited Weak coalitions, difficulty making decisive moves; EU focusStrong checks, constitu-tional and otherwise; post-Abe era soonMultiple checks; focus on economic issuesKleptocratic state; personalist structure, few checks, multiple actorsMultiple checks; focus on economy; non-alignedComplex set of domestic actors; some constraint Strong checks on radical policies; EU focus Brexit focus; strong checks in system Leader beliefsAmbitious, (over)- confidentAmbitiousbut rule-boundModerateModerate; limited goalsModerate, domestic focusParanoia, aggressionModerateSome desire for global roleAspires to EU leaderBrexit focus Basic lesson: Not a true multipolar “great power competition” … a handful of challengers vs. a largely status-quo core group

What Do They Compete For? Eight Categories from Theory and History Objective China India GE JapanBrazilRussiaINIranFRUKSecurity of State, Regime Economic Power, Health Regional Influence Status Shaping Rules Territorial Claims Resources Values / Ideology Strong competitive focus Weaker but significant competitive focus

How Do They Compete? Tools and Techniques from Theory and History US CH IN GE JABRRUINDOIRFRUKMilitary power used for coercion, assurance, or direct action / aggression Formal alliances Formal regional and international organizations; informal partnerships State-led trade policies Economic measures to weaken or strengthen an adversary/partner Investments in technology Diplomacy to shape international environment Embedding influence in rules, institutions Information / public diplomacy campaigns Gray zone campaigns Clandestine activities; “active measures” Intelligence activities Territorial aggrandizement Tool, technique at center of national strategies Partial use of tool, technique

Great Power Rivalry Cold War Rivalry Emerging 21 st Century Structure The Structure of the Emerging Competition Multipolar with constant balancing Competition for territory, status Often zero-sum Military tool ultimate arbiter Bipolar with constant adventurism Often perceived as zero sum Ideological competition Military threat constant; nuclear deterrence key Multipolar within U.S.-led order But demand for status by many powers Economic primacy, status, limited territory as goals Non-military tools predominate

Great Power Rivalry Cold War Rivalry Emerging 21 st Century Structure The Structure of the Emerging Competition Multipolar with constant balancing Competition for territory, status Often zero-sum Military tool ultimate arbiter Bipolar with constant adventurism Often perceived as zero sum Ideological competition Military threat constant; nuclear deterrence key Multipolar within U.S.-led order But demand for status by many powers Economic primacy, status, limited territory as goals Non-military tools predominate

Great Power Rivalry Cold War Rivalry Emerging 21 st Century Structure The Structure of the Emerging Competition Multipolar with constant balancing Competition for territory, status Often zero-sum Military tool ultimate arbiter Bipolar with constant adventurism Often perceived as zero sum Ideological competition Military threat constant; nuclear deterrence key Multipolar within U.S.-led order But demand for status by many powers Economic primacy, status, limited territory as goals Non-military tools predominate

Essential Character: Degree of Competition Extreme, zero-sum, seek end of competitor’s system Near-complete overlap of interests; security community Intense, non-zero sum; some rules Significant contestation of norms, influence Cold WarEuropean UnionHighly compartmentalized competition amid rules / cooperation Pre-WW1 Great Powers US-Japan 1980s Vienna System Cold War: Competition everywhere; systemic clash Post- Cold War: U.S. ideas hardly contested; “end of history” Emerging era: How much contestation, on what issues?

Degrees of Revisionism: Great Power Revisionist Behavior Major powers that engage in each category of revisionist / contestation activities As perceived by others, especially Russia, China, Iran and DPRK Basic lesson: Preferred revisionism is limited and below the threshold of major war

Mapping the Competition: Not One Competition But Many …

Hypotheses on the Character of the Emerging Competitive Era 1 The emerging competition is not generalized but rather likely to be most intense between a handful of specific states with status grievances and countervailing regional and global coalitions. 2 The hinge point of the competition will be the relationship between the architect of the rules-based order (the U.S.) and the leading revisionist peer competitor who is involved in the most specific disputes (China). 3Global patterns of competition are likely to be complex and diverse, with distinct types of competition prevailing in different issue areas.4The current competition is focused on status grievances or ambitions, economic prosperity, regional influence, and technological advantage rather than conquest. The leading objective may be the commitment by several major powers, spurred by identity-fueled nationalism, to recapture their “rightful place” in world politics.5The competition is likely to be most intense and persistent in non-military areas of national advantage—and the targeting of other societies with such means creates intense escalatory risks. 6 Two flashpoints for the emerging competition lie in regional territorial and influence claims and in the growing tendency of authoritarian states to seek to extend their political reach and control beyond their borders. 7 The post-war multilateral order provides the essential framework for the emerging competition. In that context, a persistent and critical U.S. competitive advantage is the structure of alliances, regional organizations and global institutions that draw together like-minded democracies and other status quo powers. 8 The emerging era is likely to involve a drawn-out combination of contestation, competition and cooperation in which “winning” or “victory” is the wrong mental model.

Strategic Concepts for an Era of Intensified Competition: A New Mindset Linear Concept of Competition Competition in a Complex System World We Aim to Create Direct, specific policies to “solve” discrete problems or challenges in ways that produce a desired future (though often the mechanism by which they do that—the theory of success—is implicit) Actions that shape the dynamics of the context ( gestalt ) that indirectly generates the future we are trying to create Policies designed as inputs that affect and shape the dynamics in a complex adaptive system “Gestalt”: Whole that is greater than sum of its parts e.g. capability investments Regional deterrence Larger actions, themes, realities that shape state perceptions of their interests and goals Cold War example: U.S. building of institutional order, alliances, trade networks created “gestalt” context that shaped state behavior more than any specific policy—and enveloped the USSR


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