How Does Space Policy Directive-4 Reorganize U.S. Military Space Operations? (CSIS)

On February 19, 2019, President Trump signed a new Space Policy Directive, which directs the Department of Defense (DoD) to formally create a separate military service for space. This long-anticipated announcement endorses DoD to submit to Congress a request to stand up the U.S. Space Force.

Kaitlyn Johnson

China’s Nuclear Power Sector: What It Is and What It Is Not (Yet) (CSIS)

China’s recent, rapid expansion of its domestic nuclear power generation fleet sets it apart from most, if not all, of nuclear power-dependent economies around the world that have seen the zero-carbon source of electricity come under economic or social pressure.

Jane Nakano is a senior fellow with the Energy and National Security Program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, D.C.

Humanitarian Aid Ready to Enter Venezuela on February 23 (CSIS)

The Venezuelan crisis is moving at breakneck speed. After a nearly two-decade-long crisis, the international community is moving toward consensus: there is no more time to waste in Venezuela. In the United States, the Venezuelan crisis has historically been and should continue to be a bipartisan issue. The role of the international community is vital to help Venezuelans restore their democracy through legitimate and constitutional means. A concrete step in that direction is defying Nicolas Maduro by providing desperately-needed provision of humanitarian assistance—which is set by Juan Guaidó, the interim president, to enter the country on February 23.

Moises Rendon

Can Belarusian railways keep pace with the Fourth Industrial Revolution? (World Bank blogs)

If you were to take a train from the Belarusian capital of Minsk to any satellite town, it would likely be cheaper than commuting within the city itself. This sounds like a good deal for inter-city passengers, but it also underscores the challenges facing the long-term development of Belarus’ railway system.


Real exchange rates for economic development (VOX)

The role of exchange rate policies in economic development is still largely debated. This column argues that there are theoretical foundations for policies that guarantee competitive and stable real exchange rates. When there are constraints on the available set of policy instruments, the complementary use of competitive exchange rates with export taxes for traditional export sectors would result in effectively multiple real exchange rates. The empirical evidence suggests that both foreign exchange interventions and capital account regulations can be effectively used for maintaining competitive exchange rates and for dampening the effects of boom-bust cycles in external financing and the terms of trade on the exchange rate, thereby promoting growth and stability.

Martin Guzman, José Antonio Ocampo, Joseph Stiglitz

What’s Left of the Populist Left? (Project-Syndicate)

After decades of convergence by mainstream political parties around centrist neoliberalism, voters across Western democracies are desperate for a genuine choice, and left-wing movements are more than capable of offering them one. But if the left goes down the road of exclusionary nationalism, it will squander a historic opportunity.

Jan-Werner Mueller is a professor of politics at Princeton University. His latest book is What is Populism?