The Case for Retaining the First-Use Doctrine for Nuclear Weapons (Dianne Pfundstein Chamberlain, The National Interest)

Although we may dislike the idea of launching a first strike, retaining the option to do so may be the best way to achieve strategic objectives.

Why modest broadband development steps mark a significant leap ahead (Stuart N. Brotman, Brookings)

In recent years, much of our domestic attention on broadband development has focused on residential service, with the National Broadband Plan goal of having 100 million Americans with 100 megabits per second (Mbps) network capability by the year 2020. This aspiration is supported by our nation’s status as one of five countries that I have termed top-tier Net Vitality global leaders (along with France, Japan, South Korea and the United Kingdom). Their prominence in broadband network metrics, along with achievements in other critical aspects of the broadband ecosystem -applications/content and devices – make them examples worth emulating.

Pension puzzles part I (Dick Startz, Brookings)

Everyone knows that teachers get great pensions and that those great pensions make up for the less-than-stellar salaries teachers earn. Everyone knows that taxpayers are getting stuck with a huge bill for said pensions and that the money paying for those pensions is money not going into direct education support. Well, the first thing everyone knows isn’t true and the second thing everyone knows doesn’t come close to describing how bad the situation really is.

The wisdom of mandatory grade retention (Brian A. Jacob, Brookings)

Last week, Michigan’s legislature passed a bill requiring schools to hold back third-graders who fall a grade-level behind in reading. If Governor Rick Snyder signs the bill, Michigan will become the 17th state to adopt such a policy.

How to make womenomics work (Nobuko Nagase, East Asia Forum)

According to the latest medium-term Japanese population projections by the National Institute of Population and Social Security Research, the number of people aged over 75 is expected to increase by 5.3 million from 2015 to 2025, while the working-age population, aged 20 to 59, will shrink by 5.3 million. Government policies to increase the wage income of women and facilitate better work–life balance will be crucial to managing this demographic change.

Reforming Myanmar: The Big Task to Develop Human Capital (Arunajeet Kaur, RSIS)

Myanmar’s capacity in managing skilled labour and human capital development is at a fledgling state. The country struggles to overhaul the education system to facilitate Myanmar’s integration into the open market economy.

Shanghai Cooperation Organisation: Risky Search For New Balance? (Aidar Amrebayev, RSIS)

The recent SCO summit in Tashkent may not only be a turning point in the regional configuration of forces. It could potentially affect the strategic balance in the world order.

Counter Terrorist Trends and Analysis (CTTA) – Volume 8, Issue 09 (Syed Huzaifah Bin Othman Alkaff, Muhammad Haziq Bin Jani, Paul Lushenko, Anthony Williams, Matan Uberman, Shaul Shay, Hamoon Khelghat-Doost, RSIS)

Defeating the so-called Islamic State (IS) and its global affiliates and supporters remains an on-going counter-terrorism challenge. So far, kinetic approaches have dominated the modus operandi of anti-IS coalitions and governments, with some success in recapturing lost territories, eliminating top IS leaders and incarcerating IS militants and operatives. More however needs to be done. The ideology of the group continues to resonate among numerous supporters and extremist groups in and beyond the Middle East, inspiring terrorist attacks with implications to national security and social cohesion.