Friday, March 28, 2014

NBA Star Yao Ming Comes to Think Tank Land

The average height of people on think tank row will spike today as a 7-foot 6-inch sports star hangs out at the world's top think tank.

Former NBA star Yao Ming will speak at the Brookings Institution today (March 28) to mark the 35th anniversary of the establishment of US-China relations.

More specifically, he will be hosted by the think tank's John L. Thornton China Center and the China Institute for International Studies (CIIS), a top Chinese think tank.

Yao Ming will be on a panel with NBA Commissioner Emeritus David Stern.  The event will be broadcast live at 2pm and you can watch it here.

Stern and Ming will discuss the role that basketball has played in US-China relations.  A second panel will discuss US-China relations from the perspective of prominent young scholars from both countries.

Athletes or former athletes speaking at think tank events is extremely rare.  The US State Department, however, often touts sports diplomacy.

In 2008, at a dinner hosted by Brookings marking the 30th anniversary of the establishment of US-China diplomatic relations, Dai Bingguo cited Yao Ming as a "star popular among both countries."

In related China news at Brookings, it was announced last month that Cheng Li would be the new director of the John L. Thornton China Center, effective March 3.

Brookings launched the John L. Thornton China Center in 2006, with headquarters in Washington, D.C. and an office in Beijing in partnership with the School of Public Policy and Management at Tsinghua University.

In the recently released University of Pennsylvania think tank rankings, Brookings was rated as the top think tank in the world, and CIIS was rated as the 36th best think tank in the world.  CIIS was also ranked as the best think tank in China, and the third best among think tanks in Korea, India, Japan, and China.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Is the Traditional Think Tank Model Dead?

The traditional think tank model is dead according to Bruce Katz, Vice President and Director of the Metropolitan Policy Program at The Brookings Institution.

Here is more from Mr. Katz:
Through the 20th century, the think tank model was established and perfected: conduct research, write a memo, walk it to the U.S. Capitol, and watch it become law. Indeed, Brookings has a number of crowning achievements including aiding the formation of the Marshall Plan and proposing the creation of the Congressional Budget Office.
But that model has been seriously disrupted, forcing institutions like Brookings to adapt and evolve.
First, the locus of policy innovation has shifted from Washington DC to cities and metropolitan areas across the country. With Congress and the President mired in partisan gridlock, local leaders have been forced to grapple with super-sized national challenges — sluggish economic growth, rising inequality, the climate imperative — largely on their own. How are we at Brookings responding? By getting out of Washington DC and going to the places where innovative policy solutions are happening.

Second, the sources of productive investment are shifting from the public sector to a broader mix of public, private and civic investors. Over time, the federal government will be a less reliable investor in our economy. As federal funding shifts to mandatory programs like Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security, critical investments in national competitiveness like infrastructure, innovation and human capital will necessarily fail to keep pace with demand. As a result, think tanks will need to get smarter – a whole lot smarter – about how to design, finance and deliver what the nation needs to prosper. The search for capital will only be resolved by accessing a mix of public, philanthropic, and private funding and leveraging market mechanisms to the max.
Third, as policy work moves from the national to the local and from “public” to “public/private/civic,” new modes of communication must be maximized. In the past, the think tank model was to write a report and send it to the three networks. With technological innovation, the conduits for reaching key audiences have multiplied exponentially. Brookings has replaced the press release with a raft of new products in order to communicate our research to broader audiences — from interactive data visualizations and an iPad app, to long-form, narrative Brookings Essays.

Last year Mr. Katz and Jennifer Bradley, A Brookings Fellow, co-authored a book called "The Metropolitan Revolution: How Cities and Metros are Fixing our Broken Politics and Fragile Economy."

It should be noted that Mr. Katz is not the first one to note that the traditional think tank model is dead.  For example, in 2011, Dr. Andy Williamson said that the think tank model has passed its use by date.

Here is Enrique Mendizabal on a new think tank model.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Think Tank Report Sparked China Spy Concerns

It was just reported that the US National Security Agency (NSA) has been hacking into the networks of Huawei, the Chinese telecom giant.  And concerns about Huawei stem from an unlikely source - a think tank.

Here is more from The New York Times:
Washington’s concerns about Huawei date back nearly a decade, since the RAND Corporation, the research organization, evaluated the potential threat of China for the American military. RAND concluded that “private Chinese companies such as Huawei” were part of a new “digital triangle” of companies, institutes and government agencies that worked together secretly.

The newspaper notes that the Air Force hired the RAND Corporation in 2005 to examine threats from Chinese networking firms.  That report noted that Huawei had "deep ties" with the Chinese military.

Here is a full copy of the RAND report published September 19, 2005, which is titled, "A New Direction for China's Defense Industry."  The report is part of a larger RAND Project AIR FORCE (PAF) study on Chinese military modernization.  PAF was established in 1946 by General H.H. "Hap" Arnold.

That report was written by Evan Medeiros, Roger Cliff, Keith Crane, and James Mulvenon.  Mr. Medeiros in now Senior Director for Asian Affairs at the National Security Council (NSC).  Roger Cliff, among other things, is a Nonresident Senior Fellow with the Asia Security Initiative at Atlantic Council.  Keith Crane is Director of the RAND Environment, Energy, and Economic Development Program.  James Mulvenon is Vice President for Intelligence at Defense Group Inc. (DGI).

Here is a link to some of RAND's more recent writings on China.

In fiscal year 2013, RAND received $36.5 million from the US Air Force.  In addition, it received $52.3 million from the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and related agencies, and $63 million from the US Secretary of Defense and other national security agencies.  RAND received $33.1 million from the US Army.  It also received funding from other federal agencies, the private sector, philanthropic organizations, universities, foundations, and state/local governments.

RAND currently has a staff of 1,700 in 43 countries who speak 59 languages.  Sixty-seven (67) percent of RAND's research staff hold Ph.D.'s.

RAND was just ranked as the 8th best think tank in the world by the annual University of Pennsylvania think tank rankings.  It was ranked as the 4th best think tank in the United States, after Brookings (#1), Carnegie Endowment for International Peace (#2), and Center for Strategic and International Studies (#3).

Monday, March 24, 2014

CAP Founder to Convene Meetings for Hillary Run

The founder of one of Washington's most powerful think tanks appears to be laying the groundwork for a Hillary Clinton presidential run in 2016.

Here is what The Wall Street Journal is reporting:
As Mrs. Clinton considers whether to run, people close to her are weighing in. John Podesta, a White House chief of staff to her husband and now a senior aide to President Barack Obama, has said he wants to begin a set of regular conversations among her top aides, aimed at thinking through a possible run, a person familiar with the matter said. Mr. Podesta wouldn't comment on the matter.
John Podesta, the founder of the think tank Center for American Progress (CAP), was the former Chairman of the Board of Directors at CAP, but he recently left that position after being tapped by President Obama to be the White House Counselor.  Tom Daschle recently replaced Podesta for that position.

Podesta was Counselor to Democratic Leader Sen. Tom Daschle back in the 1990s.  Podesta was also White House Chief of Staff under President Bill Clinton.

CAP was recently ranked as the 10th best think tank in the United States and the 30th best think tank in the world by the annual University of Pennsylvania think tank rankings.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Think Tank Quickies (#115)

  • Secretive Pentagon think tank knows no bounds.
  • Think tank director at CER: US and EU think tank failed to predict Russian takeover of Crimea.
  • Nominees for 2014 Chatham House Prize announced.
  • Recommendations of six think tanks on Iran, via National Security Network.
  • When think tanks are in the tank: Pressured to tow the White House line at CAP?
  • CAP urges President Obama to reject Keystone XL pipeline.
  • Former AEI scholar David Frum, who now sits on the boards of US think tank R Street and UK think tank Policy Exchange, named Senior Editor at The Atlantic. 
  • Cheng Li named Director of the John L. Thornton China Center at Brookings. 
  • William Wilson, former Chief Economist at Ernst & Young, tapped as Senior Research Fellow at Heritage Foundation's Asian Studies Center.
  • AEI Adjunct Scholar Ioana Petrescu to become Romania's next Finance Minister.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

The Most Powerful Woman Think Tanker?

ELLE magazine has just published its "ELLE's Women in Washington Power List," and two think tankers made the list: Neera Tanden, President of Center for American Progress (CAP), and Capricia Marshall, Ambassador-in-Residence at Atlantic Council's Adrienne Arsht Latin America Center.

ELLE said that Tanden, who has served in both the Clinton and Obama administrations, is "the policy whisperer for progressives and was an architect of Obamacare."  In the interview, Tanden says that next on her to-do list is women's economic issues.

As for Marshall, ELLE notes that straight out of law school she started as Hillary Clinton's aide on Bill Clinton's first presidential campaign.  She later became White House social secretary under him and US chief of protocol for President Obama.  ELLE notes that she is a member of Hillary's inner circle.

Others on the ELLE power list include: Tulsi Gabbard, Cheryl Mills, Susan Collins, Illyse Hogue, Penny Pritzker, Cathy Lanier, Kim Kingsley, and Dana Bash.

Here is a previous Think Tank Watch post on women running think tanks.  Last year, Foreign Policy noted that 42 of the top 50 think tanks in the US are run by men.

As head of the current White House's de facto think tank, Tanden is arguably the most powerful think tanker in general (man or woman).

CAP was recently ranked as the 10th best think tank in the United States and the 30th best think tank in the world by the annual University of Pennsylvania think tank rankings.

Atlantic Council was just ranked as the 16th best think tank in the United States and #7 on the list of "think tanks to watch."

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Billionaire Named as Co-Chair of Brookings Board

Today the Brookings Institution announced that billionaire David Rubenstein has been elected co-chair of its Board of Trustees.  Rubenstein will serve as co-chair along with John L. Thornton.

Mr. Rubenstein was elected to the Brookings Board in 2009 and has served as vice chair since 2011.

According to Forbes, Rubenstein is ranked as the 520th wealthiest person in the world, with $3.1 billion.

Rubenstein serves with other billionaires on the Board at Brookings, including Phil Knight ($18.4 billion net worth), Haim Saban ($3.4 billion), Robert Bass ($2.8 billion), and Wilbur Ross ($2.8 billion)

The full Board of Trustees list can be found here.

Rubenstein, Co-founder and Managing Director of The Carlyle Group, is also on the Board of the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR).

Appropriately, Darrell West, Vice President and  Director of Governance Studies at Brookings, has just written a new book titled "Billionaires: Reflections of the Upper Crust."

Here is a previous Think Tank Watch post on which think tanks billionaires favor.

Ted Strickland to Head CAP's Lobbying Arm

Former Ohio Governor Ted Strickland said today (March 19) that he will become the President of the Center for American Progress Action Fund (CAPAF), the lobbying arm of the think tank Center for American Progress (CAP).  Strickland, who is a former Democratic congressman representing Ohio, will start his new position effective April 1, 2014.

Here is a CAPAF press release on the announcement, which also notes that Strickland will serve as Counselor to the Center American Progress.  CAPAF oversees the influential blog Think Progress and the CAP Action War Room, the group's advocacy communications hub.

Here is more on CAPAF and the Strickland move from the Huffington Post:
Strickland's move to CAP Action Fund ends a major shuffle of the organization's leadership. It also continues the tradition of attracting oft-rumored Democratic candidates to the powerful non-profit. When Strickland assumes the post on April 1, he will succeed Tom Perriello, a former congressman who chose to head the Action Fund amid speculation he'd run for Virginia governor. Perriello, who is leaving CAP Action Fund for the State Department, succeeded Jen Palmieri, who became communications director at the White House. Tara McGuinness, who was senior vice president of the Action Fund under Perriello, also departed for the White House.
The Action Fund may not be elected office. But it is an important piece of progressive real estate with the capacity to influence Democratic politics. ThinkProgress has more than 6 million unique readers per month, and its CAP Action War Room (under the Action Fund rubric) helps shape legislative debate on and off the Hill.
...Strickland's move to CAP Action is reminiscent of Jim DeMint leaving the Senate at the end of 2012 to take over the conservative Heritage Foundation. But Strickland is not in the Senate currently, and he's not taking over CAP itself, which remains headed by Neera Tanden. He also insisted he will use his perch in a less political fashion.

CAP has made other major personnel announcements this year, including naming Tom Daschle as Chairman of the Board of Directors of the think tank.

Last month, CAP announced that Chief of Staff and Senior Vice President Jessica O'Connell would be leaving the think tank to become the executive director of EMILY's List.  Lindsay Hamilton replaced her as Chief of Staff.

Strickland currently serves as a member of the Governors' Council at the Bipartisan Policy Center (BPC), a Washington, DC-based think tank.

CAP was recently ranked as the 10th best think tank in the United States and the 30th best think tank in the world by the annual University of Pennsylvania think tank rankings.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Can Think Tanks Find the Malaysia Airlines Flight?

Can think tanks, with thousands of smart people around the globe, help find missing Malaysia Airlines flight 370?

Following is a brief look at how think tankers around the world view the incident.

Brookings President Strobe Talbott notes that hijackers could have taken the plane, headed toward India, but crashed like UA Flight #93 on September 11, 2001.

Andrew Davies, a senior analyst at the Austrlian Strategic Policy Institute, says that even if the aircraft flew within the range of Australia's radar system, it's possible that it wouldn't have been picked up.

Ajai Sahni, executive director of India's Institute for Conflict Management, said it's amazing that an airplane could fly so far, over multiple overlapping jurisdictions, without being detected.

Nicholas Chan, socio-political analyst at Penang Institute, said that it has become increasingly possible that if we do not know what happened to MH370, we might never find it.

Ernest Bower, a Southeast Asia expert at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), said he thinks that Malaysia was defensive and embarrassed that its military and radar operations failed to track the plane.

The Heritage Foundation has a piece titled "Two Stolen Passports Were Used by Malaysian Airlines Passengers.  Here's How To Make Sure That Never Happens Again."

Here is a piece from Joshua Kurlantzick of Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) titled "Why Malaysia Will Say Almost Nothing About the Missing Plance."

It was recently noted that Islamic think tanks were set up in Malaysia under the leadership of former Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad, in what he called an "Islamicisation drive."

The world has 6,826 think tanks.  Malaysia has 18 think tanks.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Think Tank Quickies (#114)

  • Tips for a successful network of think tanks.
  • Applications now open for Prospect Magazine's 2014 think tank awards.
  • Hewlett Packard: Supporting think tanks as a team sport.
  • Helping think tanks communicate research.
  • Quoting a "centrist think tank scholar" anonymously.
  • On lobbying, think tanks, and Ukraine, via Eli Lake.
  • New tool tracking cash between conservative think tanks and donors.
  • FFF-UNDP Directory of Arab Think Tanks has been updated.
  • How do think tank economists haze each other?
  • Bruce Bartlett (flashback): The Alarming Corruption of the Think Tanks.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

AEI President's Powerful Friends

The American Enterprise Institute (AEI) has been on a roll recently, hosting high-level figures (Dalai Lama, Bill Gates) and scoring big bucks from friends and donors, among other things.

To add to that, Politico just wrote a piece about the so-called "Young Guns" of Congress (Eric Cantor, Kevin McCarthy, and Paul Ryan) as they jockey to prepare for potential changes to the power structure of the House.

The article notes tha AEI President Arthur Brooks "has become a key figure in [Eric] Cantor's policy world."  Cantor, who is currently the House Majority Leader, is the likely successor to House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) if he leaves Congress.

That would elevate Cantor to the most powerful House position and bring AEI even more influence in the halls of Congress.

Here is what Roll Call recently had to say about Brooks's relationships on Capitol Hill:
Brooks and his AEI colleagues make frequent trips to Capitol Hill for meetings, presentations and congressional hearings. He said he has forged relationships with influential House GOP lawmakers who “get” his message. Brooks referred to many of them by their first names: Eric, as in Majority Leader Cantor, for example, or Paul, as in Budget Chairman Ryan.

That familiarity might not extend itself in the reverse, however — at least not yet. In conversations with CQ Roll Call, many prominent House Republicans and their aides said the name “Arthur Brooks” was familiar but didn’t evoke any strong feelings other than that he and the AEI continued to do good work.

On March 5, 2013, Rep. Cantor spoke at AEI at an event titled "Making Life Work."  In 2012, Rep. Cantor gave an introduction at an AEI event launch of Brook's book "The Road to Freedom: How to Win the Fight for Free Enterprise."

Rep. Ryan seems to like AEI's views.  For example, he recently quoted Charles Murray of AEI.

To be sure, AEI is not the only think tank that Cantor associates himself with.  For example, early this year, he spoke about the value of school choice at the Brookings Institution.

Arthur Brooks has been President of AEI since January 1, 2009.

AEI was just ranked as the 24th best think tank in the world by the annual University of Pennsylvania think tank rankings.  It was also ranked as the 11th best think tank in the US.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Threats to Close Brookings & RAND in Qatar

Saudi Arabia is furious at Qatar for its ties to the Muslim Brotherhood, and reportedly wants Qatar to expel two prestigious think tanks - Brookings Doha Center (BDC) and the RAND-Qatar Policy Institute (RQPI) - from the country.

Here are some more specifics:
Saudi Arabia has threatened to blockade its neighbouring Gulf State Qatar by land and sea unless it cuts ties with the Muslim Brotherhood, closes Al Jazeera, and expels local branches of two prestigious U.S. think tanks, the Brookings Doha Center and the Rand Qatar Policy Institute.
The threats against the television station Al Jazeera, Brookings Institute and the Rand Corporation, were made by the Saudi Foreign Minister Saud bin Faisal in a foreign minister's meeting of the Gulf Cooperation Council in Riyadh last week, according to a source who was present. Bin Faisal said only these acts would be sufficient if Qatar wanted to avoid "being punished."
News of the threats to shut down the Brookings and Rand Corporation think tanks in Doha will embarrass the U.S. president Barack Obama, who is due to visit Riyadh at the end of month. His Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker was in Abu Dhabi on Sunday, where she told AP that she will tell officials from the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia and Qatar that closer economic cooperation with Washington is a bridge to building deeper security ties.

On December 31, 2013, according to RAND's website, Qatar Foundation and RAND "wound up" the  RQPI partnership.  It says, however, that RAND "remains active in helping policy leaders throughout the Greater Middle East think broadly, plan systematically, and execute ideas effectively."

Here is more on RQPI and other think tanks in Qatar.  Here is more from the launching of RQPI in 2003.

RAND, of course, still has the RAND Center for Middle East Public Policy (CMEPP).

Here is a previous Think Tank Watch post titled "Brookings Slammed for Qatar Connection.Here is a link to the BDC.

Here is a previous Think Tank Watch post about various Qatari think tanks (including BDC and RQPI) appearing in Wikileaks documents.  One of the cables notes that Brookings and RAND opened shop in Qatar at the Qataris request.

Here is a previous Think Tank Watch post titled "Qatar Buying Influence at US Think Tanks?"

The Brookings Doha Center was just rated as the second best think tank in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), only behind Egypt's Al-Ahram Center for Political and Strategic Studies.  RAND-Qatar Policy Institute was rated as the 16th best think tank in the MENA region.  The Al-Jazeera Centre for Studies (in Qatar) ranked as the 6th best think tank in the MENA region.

Qatar has 10 think tanks, according to the recently released University of Pennsylvania think tank rankings.  Saudi Arabia has seven think tanks.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Think Tank for Name, Talk Circuit for Cash

Former Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, who recently joined the Brookings Institution as a Distinguished Fellow in Residence, will not be leaning on the venerable think tank for the majority of his cash intake during the next few years.

That is because Bernanke has started hitting the public speaking circuit, and it looks like he will bring in around $250,000 per speech, as he just did in Abu Dhabi this week with a 40-minute talk.  That conference, the Global Financial Markets Forum (GFMF), was sponsored by the National Bank of Abu Dhabi (NBAD).  It was noted that with that one speech, Bernanke exceeded his $199,700 annual salary as Fed Chairman in 2013.

With one or two speeches, he will likely exceed his annual salary at Brookings.

Former Treasury Secretary Larry Summers, who was just named as Board Chair at the Center for Global Development (CGD), was also speaking at the same Abu Dhabi event, but it is highly unlikely he was paid the same amount as Bernanke.

Bernanke is also writing a book, so he likely will receive a large cash advance.  Former Fed Chairman Alan Greenspan received an $8 million cash advance for his book.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Wilson Center Shutting Down Moscow Office

The Wilson Center has decided to shut down the Moscow office of the Kennan Institute, the oldest of the think tank's programs.

Here is what Russia Beyond the Headlines (RBTH) reports today:
The Russian academic community reacted with shock and alarm to the recent decision by the Washington, DC-based Woodrow Wilson Center to shut down the Moscow office of the Kennan Institute.

Reports suggest that funding was an issue as well as the declining relations between the US and Russia.  The New York Times reported last month that the Institute would close this spring.  Here is what they had to say:
News of the closing, confirmed by the head of the Kennan Institute comes as a number of large United States aid and academic programs here that flowered after the collapse of the Soviet Union have been plagued by budget cuts and frigid relations between the two countries recently.

Various Russian academics who have received grants from the center recently published an open letter protesting the decision to close.

Here is more on the closing from The New York Times:
The process has been punctuated by political interventions like the expulsion of the United States Agency for International Development by the Russian government in 2012 and by a budget shortfall that forced the United States to defund grants for research and language study in former Soviet bloc countries last year.
Matthew Rojansky, the head of the Kennan Institute, said that while the center’s Moscow office had withstood police investigations under a new Russian law requiring certain nongovernmental organizations to register as “foreign agents,” the death of a major sponsor and the loss of United States government funding for research proved decisive.

Besides the Moscow branch, the Kennan Institute also has an office in Washington, DC and Kyiv, Ukraine.  Here is a link to the Russian site, and here is a link to the Ukrainian site.

Here is a 10-minute video about the Kennan Institute.  Here is what the Institute has to say about the crisis in Ukraine.

The Wilson Center has considered selling or stopping publication of the Wilson Quarterly, a well-known, 37-year-old magazine published by the think tank, due to budget constraints.

Here is an interesting fact about the Wilson Center that was just reported in CQ Weekly: Nearly 150 visiting scholars study at the Wilson Center each year.

The Wilson Center was just ranked as the 10th best think tank in the world by the annual University of Pennsylvania think tank rankings.  It was also ranked as the 6th best think tank in the United States.

Think Tank Quickies (#113)

  • Brookings video: How MTV's 16 and Pregnant Reduced Teen Births.
  • Heritage Foundation has given up on that boring "think tank" stuff.
  • Flashback: Koch brothers pour more cash into think tanks.
  • Atlantic Council: "Extraordinary crisis" needed to preserve "New World Order."
  • Student think tank to launch this year in London.  Name: London Forum for Science and Policy (LFSP).
  • FAIR: "Heritage Foundation: Where Have All the Scholars Gone?"
  • Chinese think tanks sinking?
  • Microsoft founder Bill Gates to speak at AEI on March 13. 
  • Rahm Emanuel speaks at Brookings. 
  • Two Chinese think tanks declare Beijing "nearly uninhabitable."

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Larry Summers to Become Board Chair at CGD

Former US Treasury Secretary Lawrence Summers has been tapped to be the next Board Chair of the think tank Center for Global Development (CGD).  He will succeed founding board chair Edward Scott Jr., who informed the board recently of his decision to step down, and proposed Summers as his successor.

Summers was a member of CGD's original board, and he is one of three former secretaries of the US Treasury who have served on CGD's board.  Timothy Geithner, a former US Treasury Secretary, is a former CGD board member.

The change in board leadership is effective May 1, 2014.

Summers is no stranger to think tank land. In fact, he is a prolific think tanker.  In late 2012 he was named as a Distinguished Fellow at the Center for American Progress (CAP).  He is also on the Advisory Council at The Hamilton Project, an economic policy project housed within the Brookings Institution.  He is also a member of the Board of Directors of the Peterson Institute for International Economics (PIIE).  Summers is also a member of the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR).

Think Tank Watch reported last year that Summers had wanted to become Chairman of the Federal Reserve and lobbied hard for that post (and embraced another think tank for his lobbying campaign), but was ultimately knocked out by a think tank dedicated to women's issues.

CGD was founded in 2001 by Edward Scott Jr., C. Fred Bergsten, and Nancy Birdstall, the current President of CGD.

CGD was recently ranked as the 27th best think tank in the United States in the annual University of Pennsylvania think tank rankings.  CGD was also rated as the 4th best think tank in the world in terms of international development, only behind Brookings (#1), Center for International Development (#2), and Overseas Development Institute (#3).

View of Ukraine Crisis From Non-US Think Tanks

Here are views about what is happening in Russia, Ukraine, and Crimea from scholars at various non-US think tanks:

  • Chatham House analysis of the Ukraine crisis.
  • European Council on Foreign Relations (ECFR): How can the EU impose costs to Russia; and How to Help the Ukraine Help Itself.
  • Centre for European Policy Studies (CEPS): Ukraine - A Week of Testing Red Lines Ahead; and Ten Things You Should Know About Crimea.
  • Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI): Preventing a New Division of Europe; and Reducing Risks Arising from Developments in Ukraine.
  • International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS): Russia's Unclear Motives in Ukraine.
  • Royal United Services Institute (RUSI): Russia's Crimea Gamble - Another Reckless Putin Move.
  • Polish Institute of International Affairs: An American Strategy for Crimea.

Here is how a variety of top US think tanks view the situation.

While on the topic of Russia, here is a Moscow Times piece titled "The Rise and Fall of Russia's Economic Think Tanks."

And from Russia Direct: "Russian (think) thanks intervene in Ukraine.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Think Tanks Weigh in on Ukraine Crisis (Updated)

Here is a compilation of what various think tanks are saying about the Ukraine crisis:
  • Steven Pifer of Brookings: Ukraine's Perpetual East-West Balancing Act; and A Tour of the Biggest Stumbling Blocks Ahead.
  • Robert McMahon of CFR: Issue Guide - Crisis in Ukraine's Crimea.
  • Charles Kupchan and Whitney Shepardson of CFR: Ukraine's Road Ahead - Three Things to Know; Richard Haass of CFR: How to Respond to Ukraine's Crisis?
  • Bernard Gwertzman of CFR: Ukraine's New Era of Uncertainty.
  • Heather Conley of CSIS: The "Consequences" for Ukraine and the Transatlantic Partnership.
  • Andrew Kuchins and Jeffrey Mankoff of CSIS: Ukraine's February Revolution - What Next?; and US Credibility at Stake in Ukraine.
  • Leon Aron of AEI: How to Understand Putin's Ukraine Strategy; video with Leon Aron: Ukraine's Revolution - Toward Russia or the West?
  • Andrei Illarionov of Cato: Russia's Involvement with Ukraine.
  • Matthew Rojansky of Wilson Center: Ukraine's Oligarchs Need to Step Up; Ukraine Must Reject Roots of Violence (Rojansky and Mattison Brady).
  • Peter Brookes of the Heritage Foundation: Ukraine and Russia - Here's the Real Story. 
  • Anatol Lieven of New America Foundation (NAF): Why Obama Shouldn't Fall for Putin's Ukrainian Folly. 
  • David Satter of Hudson Institute: Ukraine's Revolutionary Lessons for Russia; Christopher Sands of Hudson: Domestic Politics and Ukraine.
  • Ian Brzezinski of Atlantic Council: Four Steps NATO can Take to Support Ukraine; Jason Healey of ACUS: How to Beat a Russian Cyber Assault on Ukraine. 
  • Richard Fontaine of Center for a New American Security (CNAS): US Should Resist, Reinforce and Reassure in Face of Ukraine crisis; and Julie Smith of CNAS: Transatlantic Unity Crucial But Thin on Ukraine; and Elbridge Colby of CNAS: The Return of History in Eastern Europe.
  • F. Stephen Larrabee on RAND Corporation: How the West Can Help End Violence in Ukraine.
  • Carter Page of Center for National Policy (CNP): There Will be Costs - Applying US Intervention Principles from Ukraine to North America; and Vaira Paegle of CNP: Ukraine - The Litmus Test of Russia's Neighborhood Policy and the West's Political Will.
  • Comprehensive analysis on Ukraine from the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace (CEIP).

Interesting fact: Ukraine has 47 think tanks and Russia has 122 think tanks, according to the most recent University of Pennsylvania think tank rankings.

Here is an interesting piece on defense-oriented think tanks in Ukraine.

Also, Find Policy now offers a search page focusing on Russian think tanks.