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The Look Ahead Series

The Look Ahead Series

Hudson Institute

The past year brought an array of challenges on domestic and global fronts: a once-in-a-century disruption caused by the coronavirus pandemic and subsequent economic fallout; social unrest across America’s cities; China and Russia’s increasingly provocative attacks on the sovereignty of other nations. With the breakneck speed of current affairs, what are the key trends, movements, ideologies, and alliances that will shape 2021 and beyond? What frameworks will provide a clear view of the challenges and opportunities of the next ten years?

Hudson created the Look Ahead Series to address these questions. The Look Ahead Series is a collection of policy memos examining the challenges that political, military, and business leaders must contend with today to ensure a secure, free, and prosperous world tomorrow.

Essays in this Series


The US-China Economic Competition: Economic Distancing, But on Whose Terms?

John Lee, Senior Fellow

John Lee challenges the widespread belief that economic decoupling began with the US. While many think that China is just now responding to US efforts to decouple supply chains, Beijing is well ahead of Washington and has indicated it seeks to build a vast Sinocentric order filled with submissive “strategic support states” to underpin a hierarchical Chinese order. The US must reframe its approach to China, realizing it is engaged in a broader multilateral contest, and not only a bilateral one.


The US Navy’s Accumulating Challenges

Seth Cropsey, Senior Fellow and Director of the Center for American Seapower

Seth Cropsey examines the US Navy’s current challenges and the perils to US national security posed by poor funding and unclear strategy. Drawing on the recent destructive fire on the Bonhomme Richard warship, Dr. Cropsey highlights the internal and external stresses facing the US Navy, and how an engaged, forward deployed maritime presence is key to preserving global freedom of navigation and maritime trade.


A US Trade Agenda for 2021: Bolstering Global Trade and Countering Chinese Economic Policy

Thomas J. Duesterberg, Senior Fellow

Thomas Duesterberg outlines trade priorities for the next administration and the key role of transatlantic and Southeast Asia trade alliances in countering China’s efforts to dominate key global markets. To avoid the continued routing of Chinese production to third countries like Vietnam, and to counter the growing reach of its Belt and Road program, the United States should consider joining the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership while bringing Southeast Asia into closer to alignment with the US-centered economic and political sphere. The United States must take steps to ensure its own economic sphere is large enough, with attendant economies of scale and access to needed human capital, to support its own market-oriented and democratically-governed system.


Reforming the US Military for a New Era

Bryan Clark, Senior Fellow & Director, Center for Defense Concepts and Technology
Timothy Walton, Fellow
Dan Patt, Adjunct Fellow

In the face of soaring national debt and an ongoing pandemic, the U.S. military's future will be shaped by growing resource constraints, declining recruitment and the threat of a stronger, more pervasive Chinese military presence around the world. In their new Look Ahead Series essay, Bryan Clark, Timothy Walton, and Dan Patt outline changes the U.S. Department of Defense should undertake to address these challenges through the development of a more affordable, agile, and technologically sophisticated U.S. military.

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