Increase in climate-related disasters sees number of severe natural disasters double in 20 years (UNDRR)

A new UNDRR report shows that natural disasters caused by climate-related events have doubled in the past twenty years, affecting billions of people and costing trillions of dollars. The report highlights the need for governments to plan to spend more to deal with the impact and consequences of natural disasters.

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Divided we stand: Democrats and Republicans diverge on US foreign policy (Chicago Council)

Based on the results of its 2020 Survey of American Public Opinion and US Foreign Policy, this Report from the Chicago Council on Global Affairs provides insight into the potential differences in US foreign policy settings depending on the outcome of the presidential election. The Report finds that there are profound differences between Democrats and Republicans on which foreign policy issues matter most today. And that they are even more sharply divided on how the United States should deal with these issues and engage the rest of the world.

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By 2030, US could be unable to shape when and why wars occur: RAND Corporation

Discussion around defence policy and spending tends to focus on the quantum, efficiency, and economic impacts and not on the implied end use: war. The Future of Warfare in 2030 looks at what war might mean in the near to medium term for the United States. Defence policy is put clearly in the context of war, and the issues surrounding conflict are explored. The study provides valuable inputs into US allies’ considerations of the consequences of following America into major power conflicts.

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One per cent of humanity displaced: UNHCR Global Trends report

The UNHCR’s Global Trends report brings together important information about the scale and changing nature of forced displacement. The Report describes a reality that solutions for refugees are in decline, at the same time that “we are witnessing a changed reality in that forced displacement nowadays is not only vastly more widespread but is simply no longer a short-term and temporary phenomenon”.

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Earth may temporarily pass dangerous 1.5℃ warming limit by 2024, new WMO report says

The Paris climate agreement seeks to limit global warming to 1.5℃ this century, a target likely to be exceeded by 2024. This first overshoot would be temporary – but it casts new doubt on whether Earth’s climate can be permanently stabilised at 1.5℃ warming. Modelling shows that if emission reductions are large and sustained, the Paris goals can still be met, and the most severe damage to the natural world, economy and people may be avoided. But worryingly, we also have time to make it far worse.

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National Cyber Power Index 2020: which is the world’s most powerful cyber nation? (Belfer Center)

Which is the most powerful cyber nation in the world? A recently published Belfer Center report, National Cyber Power Index 2020, is a new approach to conceptualizing and measuring cyber power at the country level – a multidimensional and disaggregated measure of national cyber power that reflects the complexity of the concept. The results provide a richly-layered and informative way of assessing the cyber capabilities of the studied countries.

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Debunking the myth of ‘Debt-trap Diplomacy’: how recipient countries shape China’s Belt and Road Initiative (Chatham House)

Critics of the BRI accuse China of pursuing a policy of ‘debt-trap diplomacy’: luring poor, developing countries into agreeing unsustainable loans to pursue infrastructure projects so that, when they experience financial difficulty, Beijing can seize the asset, thereby extending its strategic or military reach. This paper from the UK’s Chatham House demonstrates that the evidence for such views is limited.

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Primer on Hypersonic Weapons in the Indo-Pacific Region (Atlantic Council)

With Russia, China and the United States leading the development of operational hypersonic weapons, other Indo-Pacific states, including Australia, have indicated that they intend to do so in the intermediate future. This comprehensive Atlantic Council primer seeks to marry technological characteristics, geostrategic and military imperatives, and regional dynamics in order to provide a basis for further analysis about hypersonic development and application trajectories in the Indo-Pacific.

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The weaponisation of the US financial system (Jacque Delors Centre)

Author: Edward Knudsen | Jacque Delors Centre | 4 June 2020 In order to fulfil its ambition to become a credible geopolitical player and to defend its interests and values abroad, it is critical for the EU to be able to withstand extraterritorial sanctions Edward Knudsen argues that European economic autonomy depends on displacing the US from the central role in international finance and recommends a strategy for strengthening the euro as an international currency.

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Central Europe map

Voices of Central and Eastern Europe: Perceptions of democracy & governance in 10 EU countries (Globsec)

A survey of Central and Eastern European countries exposes the shallow roots of liberal democracy, with significant numbers indicating that they would trade off democratic freedoms for greater security, welfare, and preservation of traditional values. Authors: Dominika Hajdu and Katarina Klingová | Globsec | Published 23 June 2020 Only in 5 of 10 countries surveyed would more than 50% of the respondents choose liberal democracy over an autocratic leader. Globsec’s survey of 10 Central and

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