Jeff Goodson says we’re in a New Cold War that requires strategic thinking “analogous” to Cold War containment. The Belt and Road initiative requires pushback because it’s “debt-trap diplomacy.”
Smart thinking isn’t the first thing that comes to mind when most people contemplate Washington. But while China puts lipstick on its trillion-dollar Belt and Road Initiative, smart thinking on what to do about it is starting to settle in.
He cites Burma as an example of the kind of State Dept./USAID “SWAT team” pushback needs to employ:
…at the tactical level, one of the best ideas in years has been operationalized by the U.S. Agency for International Development. Under the leadership of Administrator Mark Green, USAID recently pulled together a high-octane team of interagency technical specialists to help the government of Burma review plans for a multibillion-dollar Chinese-funded deep water port and industrial zone. As reported by the Wall Street Journal, the team included USAID and State Department economists, diplomats and lawyers working as a public investment planning SWAT team of sorts. UK and Australian expertise also worked on the effort.
Read the entire essay.