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A Return to Great Power Competition

The Fletcher Forum‘s Summer 2020 volume features four pieces about the return to the great power competition. Access the full volume here.

“The first of our contributors, SASCHA-DOMINIK DOV BACHMANN, DOOWAN LEE, AND ANDREW DOWSE assess the virus directly in a Perspective which covers China and Russia’s use of COVID-19 as a weapon in an increasingly convergent toolkit for information warfare. An interview with CLINT WATTS similarly explores the recent evolution of information warfare, explaining disinformation-as-statecraft from the perspective of his many years of government service.

In an assessment of soft power theaters, DOUGLAS FARAH and CAITLYN YATES write of the “new normal” that characterizes modern Great Power competition in Latin America, arguing that while the region is accustomed to incursions by Russia and the U.S., China’s entry has benefited directly from clash-induced fatigue. WENDY ROBINSON assesses how China’s “Trojan Dragon” Balkan strategy may find it must clash or reconcile in some way with the European Union’s desire to pull the region more firmly into its orbit.

Finally, and turning partially to the United States, the illustrious Ambassador THOMAS PICKERING (ret.) unpacks the changing state of U.S.-Russia relations, explaining that while there are parallels between the Cold War and current affairs, there is still fertile ground for both mutual cooperation and diplomacy. An interview with Fletcher’s own former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General JOSEPH DUNFORD (ret.), imparts characteristically different wisdom on the changing nature of military and technological competition from the American perspective. Finally, ALI WYNE resoundingly deconstructs the phrase itself, writing that Great Power competition may offer entirely unhelpful guidance to the United States as the tectonics of global politics shift ever further away from its shores.”

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