Movies and Chemistry: Keeping the Enchantment of Education

Several movies give you an “enchanting” back door or window into chemistry so that you can “beat” the tediousness of regular education and come into the field and its topics via these movies:

I.

The Man in the White Suit is a 1951 British comedy classic with Alec Guinness as a genius research chemist. He fiddles with his flasks and polymer and textile chemistry experiments until he invents a fabric that shows no wear and tear “forever.” This would seem like a great boon to humanity in its clothing needs but the chemist (“Sidney Stratton”) finds that both labor and management reject his discovery violently as it threatens jobs and profits. Textile or fabric polymer chemistry is at the heart of the plot.

Cry Terror! is a taut 1958 crime thriller movie with James Mason and Rod Steiger. The plot involves the terrorist threat of exploding a domestic airliner with a hidden RDX cache (a TNT successor) unless the demanded payment is made.

RDX was used by both sides in World War II. The U.S. produced about 15,000 long tons per month during WWII and Germany about 7,000 long tons per month. RDX had the major advantages of possessing greater explosive force than TNT, used in World War I and requiring no additional raw materials for its manufacture.

Semtex is a general-purpose plastic explosive containing RDX and PETN. It is used in commercial blasting, demolition, and in certain military applications.

A Semtex bomb was used in the Pan Am Flight 103 (known also as the Lockerbie) bombing in 1988. A belt laden with 700 g (1.5 lb) of RDX explosives tucked under the dress of the assassin was used in the assassination of former Indian prime minister Rajiv Gandhi in 1991.

The 1993 Bombay bombings used RDX placed into several vehicles as bombs. RDX was the main component used for the 2006 Mumbai train bombings and the Jaipur bombings in 2008. It also is believed to be the explosive used in the 2010 Moscow Metro bombings.

Traces of RDX were found on pieces of wreckage from 1999 Russian apartment bombings and 2004 Russian aircraft bombings. Further reports on the bombs used in the 1999 apartment bombings indicated that while RDX was not a part of the main charge, each bomb contained plastic explosive used as a booster charge.

Ahmed Ressam, the al-Qaeda Millennium Bomber, used a small quantity of RDX as one of the components in the bomb that he prepared to detonate in Los Angeles International Airport on New Year’s Eve 1999-2000; the bomb could have produced a blast forty times greater than that of a devastating car bomb.

In July 2012, the Kenyan government arrested two Iranian nationals and charged them with illegal possession of 15 kilograms (33 pounds) of RDX. According to the Kenyan Police, the Iranians planned to use the RDX for “attacks on Israeli, U.S., UK and Saudi Arabian targets.”

RDX was used in the assassination of Lebanese Prime Minister Rafic Hariri on February 14, 2005.

In the 2019 Pulwama attack in India, 250 kg of high-grade RDX was used by Jaish-e-Mohammed. The attack resulted in the deaths of 44 Central Reserve Police Force personnel as well as the attacker.

Semtex was developed and manufactured in Czechoslovakia, originally under the name B 1 and then under the “Semtex” designation since 1964, labeled as SEMTEX 1A, since 1967 as SEMTEX H, and since 1987 as SEMTEX 10. Originally developed for Czechoslovak military use and export, Semtex eventually became popular with paramilitary groups and rebels or terrorists because prior to 2000 it was extremely difficult to detect, as in the case of Pan Am Flight 103.

The Russian apartment bombings were a series of explosions that hit four apartment blocks in the Russian cities of Buynaksk, Moscow and Volgodonsk in September 1999, killing more than 300, injuring more than 1,000, and spreading fear across the country. The bombings, together with the Invasion of Dagestan, triggered the Second Chechen War. The handling of the crisis by Vladimir Putin, who was prime minister at the time, boosted his popularity greatly and helped him attain the presidency within a few months.

The blasts hit Buynaksk on 4 September and in Moscow on 9 and 13 September. On 13 September, Russian Duma speaker Gennadiy Seleznyov made an announcement in the Duma about receiving a report that another bombing had just happened in the city of Volgodonsk. A bombing did indeed happen in Volgodonsk, but only three days later, on 16 September. Chechen militants were blamed for the bombings, but denied responsibility, along with Chechen president Aslan Maskhadov.

A suspicious device resembling those used in the bombings was found and defused in an apartment block in the Russian city of Ryazan on 22 September. On 23 September, Vladimir Putin praised the vigilance of the inhabitants of Ryazan and ordered the air bombing of Grozny, which marked the beginning of the Second Chechen War. Three FSB agents who had planted the devices at Ryazan were arrested by the local police, with the devices containing a sugar-like substance resembling RDX.

II.

The movie Khartoum (1966) has General Charles Gordon traveling to Sudan in 1884 to quell the “mad mullah” the Mahdi. (Osama bin Laden of his day).
At the train station where General Gordon starts his trip, there’s a railway ad sign that promotes the use of “Wright’s Coal Tar Soap.”

This gives us a sign of the rise of the modern chemical industry.

III.

Think of “Sherlock Holmes” in terms of all the movies and TV series or the original stories and books:

Holmes has to explain to Watson how he survived the assassination attempt on him by Moriarty, “the Napoleon of Crime” who threw him off the Reichenbach Falls. Holmes explains that he faked Moriarty out and clung to a bush or something and was (obviously) not killed.

Holmes tells Watson what he does when he returns to civilization and travels and studies for some three years:

“I then passed through Persia, looking in at Mecca, and paid a short but interesting visit to the Khalifa at Khartoum, the results of which I communicated to the Foreign Office. Returning to France, I spent some months in a research into the coal-tar derivatives, which I conducted in a laboratory at Montpellier, in the south of France.”

The context implies the year 1894.

There is clear evidence that Mr. Holmes was deeply involved in the research of coal-tar derivatives as early as 1889 when the events of the Copper Beeches matter were transpiring.

We are told that on an evening in 1889, Mr. Holmes was seated in 221B Baker Street at the deal table loaded with retorts and test tubes. He was settling down to one of those all-night chemical researches in which he frequently indulged.

The research work was interrupted by a message of distress from Violet Hunter. Watson found that there was a train the next morning, and Holmes tells Watson:

“That will do very nicely. Then perhaps I had better postpone my analysis of the acetones as we may need to be at our best in the morning.”

It is clear that Holmes was engaged in coal-tar research long before his visit to Montpellier in the south of France.

The quotation from the Copper Beeches story refers to acetones, not to coal-tar derivatives.

“In the fractional distillation of coal-tar, the distillate separates into five distinct groups or layers, depending upon the stage of the process and the amount of heat applied. Category-one of the five includes benzene, toluene, xylenes and cumenes.

Acetones [dimethelketone-CH3COCH3] may be derived from the oxidation of cumene. And cumene [isopropylbenzene-C6H5C(CH3)2] is derived by distillation from the coal-tar naphtha fractions.”

Cumenes are derived from coal-tar, and acetones are derived from cumenes. Thus, a study of the acetones is, necessarily, research into coal-tar derivatives.

The rise of chemical engineering and organic chemistry are at the heart of the Sherlock Holmes stories.

Thus we can “climb” into chemistry via these books and movies and keep a feeling of enchantment as a kind of educational “shoehorn.”

Technology-Watching: Quantum Microchips Connected in Record-Breaking World First

[from UK Research and Innovation]

Researchers in the UK have successfully transferred data between quantum microchips for the first time.

This helps overcome a key obstacle to building a commercial quantum computer.

The milestone achieved by a team from the University of Sussex and Brighton-based quantum computer developer Universal Quantum, allows chips to be linked like a jigsaw.

On track to useful quantum computers

It means that many more qubits, the basic calculating unit, can be joined together than is possible on a single microchip. This will make a more powerful quantum computer possible.

The project, which has been backed by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), has also broken the world record for quantum connection speed and accuracy.

The scaling of qubit numbers from the current level of around 100 qubits to nearer 1 million is central to creating a quantum processor that can make useful calculations.

The significant achievement is based on a technical blueprint for creating a large-scale quantum computer, which was first published in 2017 with funding from EPSRC.

Within the blueprint was the ground-breaking concept successfully demonstrated with this research of linking quantum computing modules with electrical fields.

Unlocking UK potential

The UK is a leader in the global race to develop useful quantum computers, which represent a step-change in computing power.

Their development may help solve pressing challenges from drug discovery to energy-efficient fertilizer production. But their impact is expected to sweep across the economy, transforming most sectors and all our lives.

Potential to scale up

Winfried Hensinger, Professor of Quantum Technologies at the University of Sussex and Chief Scientist and co-founder at Universal Quantum said:

As quantum computers grow, we will eventually be constrained by the size of the microchip, which limits the number of quantum bits such a chip can accommodate.

In demonstrating that we can connect 2 quantum computing chips, a bit like a jigsaw puzzle, and, crucially, that it works so well, we unlock the potential to scale up by connecting hundreds or even thousands of quantum computing microchips.

Speed and precision

The researchers were successful in transporting the qubits using electrical fields with a 99.999993% success rate and a connection rate of 2424 transfers per second. Both numbers are world records.

Dr. Kedar Pandya, Director of Cross-Council Programmes at EPSRC, said:

This significant milestone is evidence of how EPSRC funded science is seeding the commercial future for quantum computing in the UK.

The potential for complex technologies, like quantum, to transform our lives and create economic value widely relies on visionary early-stage investment in academic research.

We deliver that crucial building block and are delighted that the University of Sussex and its spin-out company, Universal Quantum, are demonstrating the strength it supports.

Institute of Physics award winner

Universal Quantum has been awarded €67 million from the German Aerospace Center to build 2 quantum computers.

The University of Sussex spin-out was also recently named as one of the 2022 Institute of Physics award winners in the business start-up category.

“2022 Monkeypox Outbreak: Situational Awareness” with Syra Madad [Zoom]

[from Harvard Kennedy School’s Belfer Center, part of Harvard University]

Thursday, July 21, 2:30-4:00 PM EDT

RSVP (Required)

The 2022 Monkeypox outbreak continues to expand with case counts mounting in many countries. This seminar will cover where we are in the global fight against monkeypox, where we may be headed as a nation, and what we need to do right now to mitigate the growing threat of monkeypox. Join Belfer Fellow Dr. Syra Madad in conversation with Kai Kupferschmidt, Dr. Krutika Kuppalli, Dr. Anne Rimoin, Dr. Boghuma Kabisen Titanji, and Dr. Jay K. Varma.

About the Speakers

Dr. Anne Rimoin is a Professor of Epidemiology at the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health. She is the Gordon-Levin Endowed Chair in Infectious Diseases and Public Health. Dr. Rimoin is the director of the Center for Global and Immigrant Health and is an internationally recognized expert on emerging infections, global health, surveillance systems, and vaccination.

Rimoin has been working in the DRC since 2002, where she founded the UCLA-DRC Health Research and Training Program to train U.S. and Congolese epidemiologists to conduct high-impact infectious disease research in low-resource, logistically-complex settings.

Dr. Rimoin’s research focuses on emerging and vaccine-preventable diseases. It has led to fundamental understandings of the epidemiology of human monkeypox in post-eradication of smallpox, long-term immunity to Ebola virus in survivors and durability of immune response to Ebola virus vaccine in health workers in DRC. Her current research portfolio includes studies of COVID-19, Ebola, Marburg, Monkeypox and vaccine-preventable diseases of childhood.

Boghuma Kabisen Titanji (MD, MSc., DTM&H, PhD) is a Cameroonian born physician-scientist and Assistant Professor of Medicine at Emory University in Atlanta. She obtained her MD from the University of Yaoundé I in Cameroon and worked for two years after graduation as a medical officer, before pursuing post-graduate research training in London, United Kingdom. As an awardee of the prestigious Commonwealth Scholarship program, she obtained a Masters Degree in Tropical Medicine and International Health from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, a diploma in Tropical Medicine and Hygiene from the Royal College of Physicians and a Ph.D. in Virology from University College London. Dr. Titanji joined Emory University School of Medicine in 2016 where she completed a residency in Internal Medicine, on the ABIM research pathway and a fellowship Infectious Diseases. She has three parallel career interests: translational and clinical research in HIV and emerging virus infections, science communication, and global health. Her clinical focus is general infectious diseases and people with HIV. Her current research focuses on chronic inflammation as a mediator of cardiovascular disease in people with HIV. She is passionate about leveraging translational research to improve the care of people with HIV, global health equity and using science to influence health policy through science communication and advocacy.

Jay K. Varma, MD is a Professor of Population Health Sciences and Director of the Cornell Center for Pandemic Prevention and Response at Weill Cornell Medicine. Dr. Varma is an expert on the prevention and control of diseases, having led epidemic responses, developed global and national policies, and led large-scale programs that have saved hundreds of thousands of lives in China, Southeast Asia, Africa, and the United States. After graduating magna cum laude with highest honors from Harvard, Dr. Varma completed medical school, internal medicine residency, and chief residency at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine. From 2001-2021, he worked for the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention with postings in Atlanta, Thailand, China, Ethiopia, and New York City. From April 2020 – May 2021, he served as the principal scientific spokesperson and lead for New York City’s COVID-19 response. Dr. Varma has authored 143 scientific manuscripts, 13 essays, and one book.

Kai Kupferschmidt is a science journalist based in Berlin, Germany. He is a contributing correspondent for Science where he often covers infectious diseases. Kai received a diploma in molecular biomedicine from the University of Bonn, Germany and later visited the Berlin Journalism School. He has won several awards for his work, including the Journalism Prize of the German AIDS Foundation. Together with two colleagues he runs a podcast on global health called Pandemia [German]. He has also written two books, one about infectious diseases and one about the science of the color blue.

Krutika Kuppalli, MD, FIDSA is a Medical Officer for Emerging Zoonotic Diseases and Clinical Management in the Health Emergencies Program at the World Health Organization where she currently supports activities for the Monkeypox outbreak and COVID-19 pandemic. She completed her Internal Medicine residency and Infectious Diseases fellowship at Emory University, a Post-Doctoral Fellowship in Global Public Health at the University of California, San Diego and the Emerging Leader in Biosecurity Fellowship at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security. Dr. Kuppalli currently serves on the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene (ASTMH) Trainee Committee and is the Chair of the Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA) Global Health Committee.

Dr. Kuppalli was previously awarded the NIH Fogarty International Clinical Research Fellowship and conducted research in Southern India to understand barriers to care and how emerging infections impacted persons living with HIV/AIDS. She was the medical director of a large Ebola Treatment Unit in Sierra Leone during the 2014 West Africa Ebola outbreak, helped lead the development and implementation of pandemic response preparedness activities in resource limited settings, and has consulted on the development of therapeutics for emerging pathogens. Her clinical and research interests focus on health systems strengthening in resource limited settings, research and clinical care for emerging infections, outbreak preparedness and response, and policy. She has worked in numerous countries including Ethiopia, India, Sierra Leone, Uganda, and Haiti.

During the COVID-19 pandemic Dr. Kuppalli served as a consultant for the San Francisco Department of Health and helped develop and operationalize a field hospital. She served as an expert witness to the U.S. Congress, Financial Services Committee Task Force on Artificial Intelligence (AI) about how digital technologies may be leveraged for exposure notification and contact tracing to improve the pandemic response. She also collaborated with the Brennan Center for Justice to develop guidelines to inform “Healthy in-person Voting” in advance of the 2020 U.S. election and testified before the U.S. House Select Subcommittee regarding these recommendations. Prior to her position at WHO, she was the medical lead for COVID-19 vaccine rollout at the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) and helped coordinate vaccine education events for the staff and community and oversaw the reporting of adverse vaccine events.

Since joining WHO in August 2021, Dr. Kuppalli has been part of the WHO headquarters incident management team (IMST) for COVID-19, the clinical characterization and management working group for COVID-19, the COVID-19 therapeutics steering committee, and is the technical focal point for the post COVID-19 condition (Long COVID) steering committee. She is a member of the secretariat on the scientific advisory group on the origins of emerging and re-emerging infectious diseases (SAGO) which was convened by the Director General to understand and investigate the origins of SARS-CoV-2 and other novel pathogens. More recently since the development of the multi-country monkeypox outbreak she has been part of the IMST at WHO as one of the clinical management focal points. In this capacity she was part of the WHO core group that helped write the recently published Clinical Management and Infection Prevention and Control guidelines for Monkeypox and advising on the clinical endpoints for the global CORE therapeutics protocol.

Dr. Kuppalli is recognized as a scientific expert in global health, biosecurity and outbreak response. She was recognized by NPR Source of The Week early in the pandemic as an expert to follow and named to Elemental’s 50 Experts to Trust in a Pandemic. She has been a frequent contributor to numerous domestic and international media outlets including The New York Times, NPR, Reuters, The Washington Post, Vox, Stat News, San Francisco Chronicle, Forbes, NBC Bay Area, BBC News.

3rd Harvard Korean Security Summit: “Korea—A Catalyst for Global Trends” [Zoom]

[from Harvard Kennedy School’s Belfer Center, part of Harvard University]

Tuesday, July 19Thursday, July 21

RSVP REQUIRED FOR EACH DAY

During July 19-21, 2022, the Korea Project will convene the 3rd Harvard Korean Security Summit. Our theme of “Korea—A Catalyst of Global Trends” explores how quickly various Korea-related functional issues play out with global implications. Korea cases provide unique insights into global trends ranging from ongoing efforts to change leader-level calculus (2017 Korean Missile Crisis) to the ROK’s designs for bolstering tech supply chain resilience to the DPRK’s expanding use of cryptocurrency theft for funding the regime.

Day 1: Tue., July 19, 2022 | 5:00 – 7:30 PM ET  (RSVP for Day 1)
Day 2: Wed., July 20, 2022 | 5:00 – 7:15 PM ET  (RSVP for Day 2)
Day 3: Thu., July 21, 2022 | 5:00 – 7:15 PM ET  (RSVP for Day 3)

Day 1 Agenda (Tuesday, July 19)

5:00 – 5:05 PM ET: Day 1 Overview

Dr. John Park (Director, Korea Project, Belfer Center, Harvard Kennedy School)

5:05 – 5:10 PM ET: Korea Foundation’s Opening Remarks

Dr. Geun Lee (President, Korea Foundation)

5:10 – 5:15 PM ET: Belfer Center’s Opening Remarks

Natalie Colbert (Executive Director, Belfer Center, Harvard Kennedy School)

5:15 – 5:20 PM ET: Congratulatory Remarks

The Honorable Dr. Park Jin (Minister of Foreign Affairs, Republic of Korea)

5:20 – 7:25 PM ET: Panel 1: Enhancing Security on the Korean Peninsula

Panelists

General (Ret.) Vincent Brooks (Senior Fellow, Belfer Center, Harvard Kennedy School & Former Commander, ROK-U.S. Combined Forces Command)

Emma Chanlett-Avery (Specialist in Asian Affairs, Congressional Research Service)

General (Ret.) Leem Ho-Young (President, Korea Association of Military Studies & Former Deputy Commander, ROK-U.S. Combined Forces Command)

Dr. Sue Mi Terry (Director, Hyundai Motor-Korea Foundation Center for Korean History and Public Policy, Wilson Center)

The Honorable Dr. Yoon Young-kwan (Former Minister of Foreign Affairs, Republic of Korea)

Moderator

Nick Schifrin (Foreign Affairs and Defense Correspondent, PBS NewsHour) – TBC

7:25 – 7:30 PM ET: Day 1 Wrap-Up

Dr. John Park (Director, Korea Project, Belfer Center, Harvard Kennedy School)

Day 2 Agenda (Wednesday, July 20)

5:00 – 5:05 PM ET: Day 2 Overview

Dr. John Park (Director, Korea Project, Belfer Center, Harvard Kennedy School)

5:05 – 5:15 PM ET: Day 2 Keynote Remarks

Tami Overby (Senior Director, McLarty Associates & Former President, U.S.-Korea Business Council)

5:15 – 7:10 PM ET: Panel 2: Building Mutual Prosperity Through Resilient Technology Supply Chains

Panelists

The Honorable Dr. Taeho Bark (Former ROK Minister for Trade & President, Lee & Ko Global Commerce Institute)

Ambassador Mark Lippert (Executive Vice President, Head of U.S. Public Affairs, and Chief Risk Officer, Samsung Electronics & Former U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of Korea)

Damien Ma (Managing Director, MacroPolo, Paulson Institute)

Naomi Wilson (Vice President of Policy, Asia, Information Technology Industry Council)

Moderator

Dr. Francesca Giovannini (Executive Director, Managing the Atom Project, Belfer Center, Harvard Kennedy School)

7:10 – 7:15 PM ET: Day 2 Wrap-Up

Dr. John Park (Director, Korea Project, Belfer Center, Harvard Kennedy School)

Day 3 Agenda (Thursday, July 21)

5:00 – 5:05 PM ET: Day 3 Overview

Dr. John Park (Director, Korea Project, Belfer Center, Harvard Kennedy School)

5:05 – 5:15 PM ET: Day 3 Keynote Remarks

Jean Lee (Host of BBC Podcast Series, The Lazarus Heist)

5:15 – 7:05 PM ET: Panel 3: Addressing North Korea’s Cybercriminal Statecraft Activities

Panelists

Jason Bartlett (Research Associate, Energy, Economics, and Security Program, Center for a New American Security)

Ashley Chafin-Lomonosov (DPRK Cybercrimes Expert, Chainalysis)

Saher Naumaan (Principal Threat Intelligence Analyst, BAE Systems Applied Intelligence)

David Park (Senior Policy Advisor, U.S. Department of the Treasury)

Moderator

Alex O’Neill (Coordinator, Korea Project, Belfer Center, Harvard Kennedy School)

7:05 – 7:10 PM ET: Day 3 Wrap-Up

Dr. John Park (Director, Korea Project, Belfer Center, Harvard Kennedy School)

7:10 – 7:15 PM ET: Closing Remarks

Consul General Kijun You (Korean Consulate General in Boston)

Speaker Biographies

Dr. Taeho Bark is the first president of the Lee & Ko Global Commerce Institute (GCI), newly established in September 2017. Together with the GCI team members working under his supervision, Dr. Bark monitors new developments and trends in global trade and investment, analyzes major international trade dispute cases and provides in-depth advice and strategic insights to Korean and foreign enterprises in connection with their trade and investment-related planning and concerns. Dr. Bark is an internationally renowned trade expert and, among other accomplishments, is a Seoul National University (SNU) Professor Emeritus, who has lectured extensively on international commerce and related subjects, and former Dean of the SNU Graduate School of International Studies (GSIS). In addition to his academic career, Dr. Bark has extensive experience serving as a public official working on trade policy and negotiation matters, having served with distinction as Minister for Trade of the Korean government (December 2011 – March 2013), as well as serving as the Ambassador-at-Large for International Trade and as the Chairman of the International Trade Commission of Korea.

Jason Bartlett is a Research Associate for the Energy, Economics, and Security Program at the Center for a New American Security (CNAS). He analyzes developments and trends in sanctions policy and evasion tactics, proliferation finance, and cyber-enabled financial crime with a regional focus on North Korea, Iran, and Venezuela. He also researches the U.S.ROK alliance and international security issues, such as North Korean military provocations and cybercrime. Lastly, Bartlett leads research and writing for the CNAS Sanctions by the Numbers series. Prior to joining CNAS, Bartlett worked at various nonprofit research organizations such as C4ADS, the Center for Strategic and International Studies, the Committee for Human Rights in North Korea, and the Asan Institute for Policy Studies in South Korea. He also spent several years volunteering at human rights-focused NGOs resettling North Korean defectors in the United States and South Korea. Bartlett was a 2018-2019 Boren Fellow and Critical Language Scholarship (CLS) recipient in South Korea for Korean language immersion through the U.S. Departments of Defense and State, respectively. He holds a master’s degree in Asian studies and a graduate certificate in refugee and humanitarian emergencies from the School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University. He received a B.S. in Spanish language and literature and a B.A. in international studies from SUNY Oneonta. He also graduated from the Korean Language Institute at Yonsei University in Seoul. Bartlett is fluent in Korean and Spanish. Outside of CNAS, Bartlett is a contributing author for The Diplomat, where he writes on the intersections of cyber, culture, and security in Asia. He is also a member of the North Korea Cyber Working Group at the Harvard Kennedy School’s Belfer Center. His commentary and analysis have appeared in The Wall Street Journal, Government MattersBusiness InsiderYahoo! FinanceThe Wire China, NK News, Inkstick Media, Radio Free Asia, Voice of America – Korean, The National Interest, and El País.

General (Ret.) Vincent K. Brooks is a career Army officer who retired from active duty in January 2019 as the four-star general in command of over 650,000 Koreans and Americans under arms. General Brooks is a 1980 graduate of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, which was the first class to include women. He led the 4,000 cadets as the cadet brigade commander or “First Captain.” A history-maker, Brooks is the first African American to have been chosen for this paramount position, and he was the first cadet to lead the student body when women were in all four classes. He is also the eighth African American in history to attain the military’s top rank – four-star general in the U.S. Army. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Engineering from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point; a Master of Military Art and Science from the prestigious U.S. Army School of Advanced Military Studies at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas; was a National Security Fellow at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government. General Brooks also holds an honorary Doctor of Laws from the New England School of Law as well as an honorary Doctor of Humanities from New England Law | Boston. He is a combat veteran and a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. In retirement, General Brooks is a Director of the Gary Sinise Foundation; a non-resident Senior Fellow at Harvard Kennedy School’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs; a Distinguished Fellow at the University of Texas, with both the Clements Center for National Security and also the Strauss Center for International Security and Law; an Executive Fellow with the Institute for Defense and Business; and the President of VKB Solutions LLC.

Ashley Chafin-Lomonosov is a Cybercrimes Investigator with Chainalysis, the blockchain data company that serves the public and private sectors globally in order to enable investigations and compliance in the crypto space. Prior to joining Chainalysis, Ashley served in the U.S. government. She leverages the past 10 years of developing financial threat intelligence analysis skills to investigate nation state activity on the blockchain. She specifically focuses on East Asian issues, spending the majority of her time studying DPRK’s tactics, techniques, and procedures on the blockchain. Ashley holds a Master’s in Business Administration and a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism & Public Relations.

Emma Chanlett-Avery is a Specialist in Asian Affairs at the Congressional Research Service. She focuses on U.S. relations with Japan, the Korean Peninsula, Thailand, and Singapore. Ms. Chanlett-Avery joined CRS in 2003 through the Presidential Management Fellowship, with rotations in the State Department on the Korea Desk and at the Joint U.S. Military Advisory Group in Bangkok, Thailand. She also worked in the Office of Policy Planning as a Harold Rosenthal Fellow. She is a member of the Mansfield Foundation U.S.-Japan Network for the Future, Vice-Chair of the Board of Trustees of the Japan America Society of Washington, and the 2016 recipient of the Kato Prize. Ms. Chanlett-Avery received an M.A. in international security policy from the School of International and Public Affairs at Columbia University and her B.A. in Russian studies from Amherst College.

Natalie Colbert is the Belfer Center’s Executive Director. Before coming to the Belfer Center, Colbert served in the Central Intelligence Agency for 13 years. Most recently, she was Director of Analytic Resources and Corporate Programs for the Near East Mission Center, where she led strategic management of analytic personnel resources and created a career development seminar for mid-level analysts. Prior to this role, Colbert led multiple analytic teams to produce intelligence assessments covering fast-paced issues in the Middle East for the President and other customers in the policymaking, intelligence, and military communities. Colbert previously served as an intelligence analyst covering conflict zones in Africa and Latin America. Across her CIA career, Colbert has earned awards for leadership excellence and in 2021 received the Near East Mission Center Award for Excellence in Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. Colbert is a 2008 graduate of Harvard Kennedy School, where she earned a Master in Public Policy. She graduated in 2006 from New York University, majoring in International Relations and Francophone Studies.

Dr. Francesca Giovannini is the Executive Director of the Project on Managing the Atom at the Harvard Kennedy School’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs. In addition, she is a non-residential fellow at the Centre for International Security and Cooperation at Stanford University. Dr. Giovannini served as Strategy and Policy Officer to the Executive Secretary of the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO), based in Vienna. In that capacity, she oversaw a series of policy initiatives to promote CTBT ratification as a confidence-building mechanism in regional and bilateral nuclear negotiations, elevate the profile of CTBT in academic circles and promote the recruitment of female scientists from the Global South. Prior to her international appointment, Dr. Giovannini served for five years at the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in Boston as Director of the Research Program on Global Security and International Affairs. Working to leverage academic knowledge to inform better policies, she led and promoted countless academic research on issues such as bilateral and multilateral arms control frameworks, regional nuclear proliferation dynamics, and nuclear security and insider threats. With a Doctorate from the University of Oxford and two Masters from the University of California, Berkeley, Dr. Giovannini began her career working for international organizations and the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Dr. Geun Lee was appointed President of the Korea Foundation in September 2019. Prior to joining the Korea Foundation, he was a professor of International Relations at the Graduate School of International Studies, Seoul National University, and former Dean of Office of International Affairs, Seoul National University. From 2015 to 2016, he was visiting Super Global Professor at Keio University in Japan. He is also former Chair of the Global Agenda Council on the Future of Korea at the World Economic Forum (Davos Forum), and currently a member of the Global Future Council of the World Economic Forum. Before joining the faculty of Seoul National University, he served as a professor at the ROK Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ Institute of Foreign Affairs and National Security (which is now part of the Korea National Diplomatic Academy). He also served as President of an independent think tank, Korea Institute for Future Strategies from 2003-2007. His publications include “Clash of Soft Power between China and Japan,” “A Theory of Soft Power and Korea’s Soft Power Strategy,” “The Nexus between Korea’s Regional Security Options and Domestic Politics,” “U.S. Global Defense Posture Review and its Implications on the U.S.-Korea Relations.” He co-authored The Environmental Dimension of Asian Security. Dr. Lee received his B.A. in political science from Seoul National University, and M.A. and Ph.D. in political science from the University of Wisconsin at Madison.

Jean Lee is a veteran foreign correspondent and expert on North Korea. Lee led the Associated Press (AP) news agency’s coverage of the Korean Peninsula as bureau chief from 2008 to 2013. In 2011, she became the first American reporter granted extensive access on the ground in North Korea, and in January 2012 opened AP’s Pyongyang bureau, the only U.S. text/photo news bureau based in the North Korean capital. She has made dozens of extended reporting trips to North Korea, visiting farms, factories, schools, military academies, and homes in the course of her exclusive reporting across the country. During Lee’s tenure, AP’s coverage of Kim Jong Il’s 2011 death earned an honorable mention in the deadline reporting category of the 2012 Associated Press Media Editors awards for journalism in the United States and Canada. Lee also won an Online Journalism Award in 2013 for her role in using photography, video, and social media in North Korea. Lee is a native of Minneapolis. She has a bachelor’s degree in East Asian Studies and English from Columbia University, and a master’s degree from the Columbia Graduate School of Journalism. She worked as a reporter for the Korea Herald in Seoul, South Korea, before being posted with AP to the news agency’s bureaus in Baltimore, Fresno, San Francisco, New York, London, Seoul, and Pyongyang. Lee served as a Wilson Center Public Policy Scholar and Global Fellow before joining the Asia Program as Korea Center program director. She has contributed commentary and feature stories to the New York Times Sunday ReviewEsquire magazine, the New Republic and other publications. She appears as an analyst for CNN, BBC, NPR, PRI, and other media, and serves frequently as a guest speaker on Korea-related topics. She is a member of the National Committee on North Korea, the Council of Korean Americans, the Asian American Journalists Association, and the Pacific Council. She serves on the World Economic Forum’s Global Futures Council on the Korean Peninsula. She is co-host of the Lazarus Heist podcast on the BBC World Service.

General (Ret.) Leem Ho-Young is the President of the Korea Association of Military Studies, a nonprofit think tank operating under the auspices of the ROK Ministry of National Defense. He is also the Vice Chairman of the Korea Defense Veterans Association and Vice President of the Korea-U.S. Alliance Foundation. Previously, General Leem was the Commander of the Ground Component Command and Deputy Commander of the ROK-U.S. Combined Forces Command from 2016 to 2017. General Leem has served as the ROK Army’s Director of Audit and Inspection and the Director of Strategy and Planning for the ROK Joint Chiefs of Staff. He has been a lifelong Infantry officer since his graduation from the Korea Military Academy, Class Number 38.

Ambassador Mark Lippert has had a distinguished career in the U.S. government that spanned approximately two decades and included a series of senior-level positions across multiple agencies. From 2014-2017, he served as the U.S. ambassador extraordinary and plenipotentiary to the Republic of Korea, based in Seoul. He previously held positions in the Department of Defense, including as chief of staff to Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel (2013-2014) and as assistant secretary of defense for Asian and Pacific Security Affairs (2012-2013), the top official in the Pentagon for all Asia issues. Lippert also worked in the White House as chief of staff to the National Security Council in 2009. Lippert served in the uniformed military. An intelligence officer in the U.S. Navy, he mobilized to active duty from 2009 to 2011 for service with Naval Special Warfare (SEALs) Development Group that included deployments to Afghanistan and other regions. From 2007 to 2008, he deployed as an intelligence officer with Seal Team One to Anbar Province, Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. Earlier in his career, Lippert served as a staff member in the U.S. Senate, where he worked on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee for then-Senator Obama; the Senate Appropriations Committee State-Foreign Operations Subcommittee for Senator Leahy, and for other members of the Senate. His awards and decorations include the Bronze Star Medal for his service in Iraq, the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, and the Basic Parachutist Badge. He is also the recipient of the Department of Defense’s Distinguished Public Service Award and the Department of the Navy’s Distinguished Public Service Award. He graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Stanford University with a B.A. in political science and holds an M.A. in international policy studies from the same institution. He speaks Korean and also studied Mandarin Chinese at Beijing University.

Damien Ma is Managing Director and co-founder of MacroPolo, the Think Tank of the Paulson Institute. He is the author or editor of the books, In Line Behind a Billion People: How Scarcity Will Define China’s Ascent in the Next DecadeThe Economics of Air Pollution in China (by Ma Jun), and China’s Economic Arrival: Decoding a Disruptive Rise, published by Palgrave Macmillan. He is also adjunct faculty at the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University. Previously, Ma was a Senior Analyst at Eurasia Group, the political risk research and advisory firm. At Eurasia Group, he mainly focused on the China and East Asian markets, covering areas that spanned energy and commodities and industrial policy to elite politics and U.S.-China relations. He also led work on analyzing Mongolian politics and its mining sector. His advisory and analytical work served a range of clients from institutional investors and multinationals to the U.S., Japanese, and Singaporean governments. Prior to joining Eurasia Group, he was a manager of publications at the U.S.-China Business Council in Washington, D.C., where he was also an adjunct instructor at Johns Hopkins SAIS. Early in his career, he worked at public relations firm H-Line Ogilvy in Beijing, where he served multinational clients. In addition, Ma has published widely, including in The AtlanticNew York TimesForeign AffairsThe New RepublicForeign Policy, and Bloomberg, among others. He has also appeared in a range of broadcast media such as the Charlie Rose Show, BBC, NPR, and CNBC. In addition to media appearances, Ma has keynoted or spoken at various industry, investor, and academic conferences, including CLSA and Credit Suisse Latin America. Ma was named a “99under33” foreign policy leader by the Young Professionals in Foreign Policy. He speaks fluent Mandarin Chinese.

Saher Naumaan is Principal Threat Intelligence Analyst at BAE Systems Applied Intelligence. She currently researches state-sponsored cyber espionage with a focus on threat groups and activity in the Middle East. Saher specialises in analysis covering the intersection of geopolitics and cyber operations, and regularly speaks at public and private conferences around the world, including SAS, Virus Bulletin, FIRST, and Bsides. Prior to working at Applied Intelligence, Saher graduated from King’s College London with a Master’s in Intelligence and Security, where she received the Barrie Paskins Award for Best MA dissertation in War Studies.

Alex O’Neill is Coordinator of the Korea Project and an Associate at the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs. He is also a Co-Founder of the Belfer Center’s North Korea Cyber Working Group. As Coordinator, Alex helps oversee all Korea Project events and initiatives, including the annual Harvard Korean Security Summit. He previously worked as Research Assistant to Prof. Matthew Bunn at the Belfer Center’s Project on Managing the Atom. Alex’s work focuses on North Korean financially motivated cyber operations, as well as links between North Korean and Russian-speaking criminals. His most recent research publication is “Cybercriminal Statecraft: North Korean Hackers’ Ties to the Global Underground.” Alex is a member of the Advisory Board of the International Refugee Assistance Project and of the Young Professionals Briefing Series at the Council on Foreign Relations. He speaks fluent Spanish and has advanced proficiency in Russian. Alex holds an M.Sc. in Russian and East European Studies from the University of Oxford and a B.A. in History from Yale University.

Tami Overby is Board Director for The Korea Society and Senior Director at McLarty Associates, where she advises clients on Asia and trade matters, with a particular focus on Korea. She has three decades of Asia work, including 21 years living and working in Seoul. Her most recent experience includes eight years leading the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Asia team while also serving as President of the U.S.-Korea Business Council. Ms. Overby’s extensive experience helps American companies compete and prosper in Asia. She attended many of the TransPacific Partnership (TPP) negotiating rounds, often leading the American business delegation to help ensure U.S. firms’ priorities were well understood by the negotiating partners. She oversaw the U.S. Coalition for TPP, an alliance led by the U.S. Chamber, the Business Roundtable, the National Association of Manufacturers, the Farm Bureau, and the Emergency Committee for Trade.

David Park is a Senior Policy Advisor in the U.S. Treasury Department’s Office of Terrorist Financing and Financial Crimes (TFFC). He advises senior leadership on policies and strategies that utilize Treasury’s tools to compete against China in the national security context, including in the technology, economy, and military spheres. He is also responsible for developing polices and strategies that seek to counter Chinese illicit financing, money laundering, financial crimes, corruption, and human rights abuses to advance U.S. national interests in the Indo-Pacific. Previously, David was the first U.S. Treasury Representative to Korea. While there, he advised U.S. government (USG) senior officials and agencies on North Korea sanctions, economy, and illicit financing and sought ways to work cooperatively with ROK institutions to enhance the USG’s pressure campaign on North Korea. Before his assignment to Korea, David was Senior Advisor to the Acting Assistant Secretary and Deputy Assistant Secretary (DAS) for TFFC, advising her on countering terrorist financing, proliferation financing, money laundering, corruption, and financial crimes issues. David began his Treasury career as a Policy Advisor, responsible for developing Treasury’s strategy and policy to counter North Korean illicit financing, financial crimes, and sanctions evasion. Before Treasury, David served in the Office of U.S. Senator Joe Donnelly as a Defense and Foreign Affairs Legislative Staffer. In this role, he advised the Senator on his Senate Armed Services Committee work and advanced U.S. national interests through the annual National Defense Authorization Act. David began his public service career as an officer in the U.S. Air Force. In the Air Force, he served with service members from all the service branches, the ROK Air Force in Korea, and NATO nations in Belgium. David earned his B.A. with honors from the University of California, Berkeley, MPA from the University of Oklahoma, and MA from The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University.

Dr. Park Jin is Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Korea. He previously served four terms as a Member of the National Assembly (16th, 17th, 18th, 21st), including as a member of the Science, Technology, Information and Communication Committee (2002-2004), a ranking member of the National Defense Committee (2004-2006), a member of the Intelligence Oversight Committee (2004-2006), a member of the Foreign Affairs, Trade and Unification Committee (2006-2010) and a ranking member of the Knowledge Economy Committee (2010-2012). He served as the Chairman of the Foreign Affairs, Trade and National Unification Committee from 2008-2010. In that capacity, he passed the KORUS FTA, Korea-EU FTA, North Korea Human Rights Act, ODA Law and PKO Law. He was also actively involved in parliamentary diplomacy with the U.S., the U.K., China, Japan, ASEAN, Central Asia, Israel and the Middle East. He previously served as the Presidential Secretary for Press Affairs and later Political Affairs under the Kim Young-sam administration (1993-1998) before being elected parliamentary member in August 2002 in Seoul. During his private life, Dr. Park led the Asia Future Institute (AFI), an independent policy think-tank established in 2013 and designed to conduct research on economic, political and strategic issues in Asia and promote Korea’s role in the Asia-Pacific region. He also served as the Chairman of Korea-America Association (KAA), which was created in 1963 to promote mutual understanding, friendship and cooperation between Korea and the United States. He served as a Global Fellow of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington D.C. from 2014 to 2021. Dr. Park also taught as an endowed Chair Professor at the Graduate School of International and Area Studies of Hankuk University of Foreign Studies. Previously he led the Korea-Britain Society as the Executive President (2007-2017). With great affection for the sea, he served in the Korean military as a Navy officer, Lieutenant JG (1980-1983) lecturing naval cadets in the Korean Naval Academy in Jinhae. Dr. Park graduated from the College of Law at Seoul National University (B.A.), Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University (MPA), New York University Law School (LL.M.) and received a doctorate degree (D. Phil.) in politics from St. Antony’s College, Oxford University.

Dr. John Park is Director of the Korea Project at the Harvard Kennedy School’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs. He is also a Faculty Member of the Committee on Regional Studies East Asia, an Associated Faculty Member of the Korea Institute, and a Faculty Affiliate with the Project on Managing the Atom. His core research projects focus on the political economy of the Korean Peninsula, nuclear proliferation, economic statecraft, Asian trade negotiations, and North Korean cyber operations. He previously worked at Goldman Sachs and The Boston Consulting Group. Dr. Park presented a TEDxPaloAlto talk in 2019 titled “How North Korea Inc. Evades Sanctions Through Innovation.” Dr. Park’s key publications include: “Stopping North Korea, Inc.: Sanctions Effectiveness and Unintended Consequences,” (MIT Security Studies Program, 2016 – co-authored with Jim Walsh); “The Key to the North Korean Targeted Sanctions Puzzle,” The Washington Quarterly (Fall 2014); “Assessing the Role of Security Assurances in Dealing with North Korea” in Security Assurances and Nuclear Nonproliferation (Stanford University Press, 2012); “North Korea, Inc.: Gaining Insights into North Korean Regime Stability from Recent Commercial Activities” (USIP Working Paper, May 2009); and “North Korea’s Nuclear Policy Behavior: Deterrence and Leverage,” in The Long Shadow: Nuclear Weapons and Security in 21st Century Asia (Stanford University Press, 2008). Dr. Park received his Ph.D. from the University of Cambridge, where he was a Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council Doctoral Fellow. He completed his pre-doctoral and post-doctoral training at the Harvard Kennedy School’s Belfer Center.

Nick Schifrin is the foreign affairs and defense correspondent for PBS NewsHour, based in Washington, D.C. He leads NewsHour’s foreign reporting and has created week-long, in-depth series for NewsHour from China, Russia, Ukraine, Nigeria, Egypt, Kenya, Cuba, Mexico, and the Baltics. The PBS NewsHour series “Inside Putin’s Russia” won a 2018 Peabody Award and the National Press Club’s Edwin M. Hood Award for Diplomatic Correspondence. In November 2020, Schifrin received the American Academy of Diplomacy’s Arthur Ross Media Award for Distinguished Reporting and Analysis of Foreign Affairs. Prior to PBS NewsHour, Schifrin was Al Jazeera America’s Middle East correspondent. He won an Overseas Press Club Award for his Gaza coverage and a National Headliners Award for his Ukraine coverage. From 2008-2012, Schifrin served as the ABC News correspondent in Afghanistan and Pakistan. In 2011, he was one of the first journalists to arrive in Abbottabad, Pakistan, after Osama bin Laden’s death and delivered one of the year’s biggest exclusives: the first video from inside bin Laden’s compound. His reporting helped ABC News win an Edward R. Murrow Award for its bin Laden coverage. He has a Master of International Public Policy degree from the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS), with a concentration in Strategic Studies.

Dr. Sue Mi Terry is Director of the Asia Program and the Hyundai Motor-Korea Foundation Center for Korean History and Public Policy at the Wilson Center. Prior to joining the Wilson Center, Dr. Terry served in a range of important policy roles related to both Korea and its surrounding region. Formerly a Senior Fellow with the Korea Chair at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), she served as a Senior Analyst on Korean issues at the CIA (2001-2008), where she produced hundreds of intelligence assessments – including a record number of contributions to the President’s Daily Brief, the Intelligence Community’s most prestigious product. She received numerous awards for her leadership and outstanding mission support, including the CIA Foreign Language award in 2008. From 2008 to 2009, Dr. Terry was the Director for Korea, Japan, and Oceanic Affairs at the National Security Council under both President George W. Bush and President Barack Obama. In that role, she formulated, coordinated, and implemented U.S. government policy on Korea and Japan, as well as Australia, New Zealand, and Oceania. From 2009 to 2010, she was Deputy National Intelligence Officer for East Asia at the National Intelligence Council. In that position, she led the U.S. Intelligence community’s production of strategic analysis on East Asian issues and authored multiple National Intelligence Estimates. From 2010 to 2011, Dr. Terry served as the National Intelligence Fellow in the David Rockefeller Studies Program at the Council on Foreign Relations in New York. Since leaving the government, Dr. Terry has been a Senior Research Scholar at Columbia University’s Weatherhead East Asian Institute (2011-2015), where she taught both graduate and undergraduate courses on Korean politics and East Asia. She holds a Ph.D. (2001) and an M.A. (1998) in international relations from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University and a B.A. in political science from New York University (1993).

Naomi Wilson serves as vice president of policy, Asia at the Information Technology Industry Council. Prior to joining ITI, Naomi served at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), where she most recently held the position of acting director for Asia-Pacific. In that capacity, she played a leading role on cybersecurity, law enforcement, and customs cooperation issues related to Asia and served as a senior advisor to Secretary Jeh Johnson. During her tenure at DHS, Naomi led development and implementation of priority policy initiatives for DHS engagement with China, including secretarial engagements and agreements. She worked closely with interagency colleagues to negotiate and implement agreements stemming from the September 2015 State visit between Presidents Barack Obama and Xi Jinping, including managing the U.S.China High-Level Dialogue on Cybercrime and Related Issues for DHS. Prior to joining DHS, Naomi served as a staffer on the Senate Committee on Homeland Security & Governmental Affairs and as a research assistant at the Center for Strategic & International Studies (CSIS). Naomi holds a Bachelor’s degree in English and Master’s in International Affairs & National Security. In 2011, she completed intensive Chinese language training at Peking University. Naomi speaks advanced Mandarin and French and is a native of Connecticut.

Dr. Yoon Young-kwan served as the inaugural Senior Visiting Scholar with the Korea Project at the Harvard Kennedy School’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs. He also served as the 2021 Kim Koo Visiting Professor at the Korea Institute at Harvard University. He is Professor Emeritus in the Department of Political Science and International Relations, Seoul National University. He served as Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade of the Republic of Korea from 2003 to 2004. Before he joined the faculty of Seoul National University in 1990, he taught at the University of California at Davis. He served as Korea’s Eminent Representative to, and co-chair of, the East Asia Vision Group II from September 2011 to October 2012. He has published several books and some 70 articles in the fields of international political economy, Korea’s foreign policy, and inter-Korean relations, some of which appeared in World Politics, International Political Science Review, Asian Survey, and Project Syndicate. Dr. Yoon received his doctoral degree from the School of Advanced International Studies at Johns Hopkins University.

Consul General Kijun You serves in the Korean Consulate General in Boston. His previous positions in the ROK Ministry of Foreign Affairs include: Director-General for International Legal Affairs; Deputy Director-General for International Legal Affairs; Minister-Counsellor, Korean Embassy in the Republic of Kenya; Counsellor, Korean Permanent Mission to the United Nations in New York; Director, Territory and Oceans Division, Treaties Bureau. Consul General You received his B.A. in French Language and Literature at Korea University, Master of Law from Korea University, LL.M. from the University of Edinburgh, and LL.M. from the London School of Economics and Political Science.

Precursors of Trumpism in American Culture: The Great Gatsby

Donald Trump’s brand of “nativist populism” is prefigured very clearly in the 1925 classic American novel The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald, the subject of several film adaptations. The anxiety in the Trump movement is called “The Great Replacement” (i.e., white people supplanted by minoritiesAmerican non-whites will “link up” with Mexicans and Chinese, stealing the place, property and role of white people). It has never occurred to these people that most of the world’s population is non-white. In The Great Gatsby, Tom Buchanan, Daisy’s husband, represents this anxiety.

He links these fears to the anxiety that “the sun is getting hotter.” (That is, he’s being threatened cosmically too, not only by racial demography.) His fears are not of “climate change,” based on something rational, but obsessive and maniacal “threat assessments.” They mirror the “irrational clusters of threats” of Trump and his voters, who “want to be paid in advance forever for their being white, Christian and American.” They demand “racial tenure.” This Tom Buchanan syndrome may be considered a type of “globalization backlash.”

Tom Buchanan lays it out in the novel:

“Civilization’s going to pieces,” broke out Tom violently. “I’ve gotten to be a terrible pessimist about things. Have you read The Rise of the Colored Empires by this man Goddard?…Well, it’s a fine book, and everybody ought to read it. The idea is if we don’t look out the white race will be — will be utterly submerged. It’s all scientific stuff; it’s been proved…This fellow has worked out the whole thing. It’s up to us, who are the dominant race, to watch out or those other races will have control of things…The idea is that we’re Nordics. I am, and you are, and we’ve produced all the things that go to make civilization—oh, science and art, and all that. Do you see?”

(The Great Gatsby, Chapter 1)

“…Nowadays people begin by sneering at family life and family institutions, and next they’ll throw everything overboard and have marriage between black and white.”

Flushed with his impassioned gibberish, he saw himself standing alone on the last barrier of civilization.

“We’re all white here,” murmured Jordan.

Angry as I was, as we all were, I was tempted to laugh whenever he opened his mouth. The transition from libertine to prig was so complete.

(The Great Gatsby, Chapter 7)

The Brexit phenomenon in the United Kingdom is not identical but does overlap (i.e., the “left behind” people in England want “historical ethnic-national tenure” and a kind of re-segregation).

India and the Russia-Ukraine War: The Paradox of Military Dependence, Traditional Loyalty and Strategic Autonomy

[from India in Transition, published by the Center for the Advanced Study of India (CASI) of the University of Pennsylvania, by Arndt Michael]

India, long-established as the world’s most populous democracy, has been quite instrumental over the years in assisting various countries dealing with democratic struggles. This support has included a blend of bilateral and multilateral initiatives, and especially economic development projects. Yet, India’s recent attitude toward the Russian attack on Ukraine and its concomitant behavior in the United Nations Security Council (as a non-permanent member) seems to contradict its support of democracy. By abstaining, rather than explicitly voting in favor of UN resolutions condemning Russian aggression at the beginning of the war, India angered several UN member-countries.

In order to substantiate its abstention from voting, India felt compelled to issue a so-called “Explanation of Vote” (EoV). In it, India asked for a “return to the path of diplomacy” and an immediate cessation of “violence and hostilities.” Crucially, India stated in the EoV that “the contemporary global order has been built on the UN Charter, international law, and respect for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of states…all member states need to honor these principles in finding a constructive way forward. Dialogue is the only answer to settling differences and disputes, however daunting that may appear at this moment.” 

While these statements and the call for dialogue are in accordance with India’s professed stance toward the relevance and objectives enshrined in the UN Charter, the discrepancy between rhetoric and practice is still conspicuous. At first glance, a “good” relationship with Russia seems to be more significant than the expectations of the world-community as represented in the United Nations. And, more importantly, by abstaining, India seemingly violated one of its central foreign and strategic policies: to always strive for strategic autonomy.

However, from a strategic perspective, India is precisely replicating what it did when the Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan. For India, its own national security is at stake, as well as its current and future geostrategic influence in Asia and the world. The military dependence that currently exists between India and Russia is nothing short of gigantic and has created a dangerous conundrum. Since the “Indo–Soviet Treaty of Peace, Friendship and Cooperation” was signed in 1971, defense agreements and long-term supply contracts have been in place. And while India and Russia have shared a strategic relationship since October 2000, this was upgraded in December 2020 to a “Special and Privileged Strategic Partnership.” 

Although there was a marked reduction of Russian imports in past years, official data from the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) reveal that between 1996-2015, the Russian proportion of Indian military imports was almost 70 percent, and between 2016-20 it still hovered around 49 percent. In fact, 70 percent of all Indian military equipment currently in use has been directly produced in Russia, was manufactured with the majority of parts coming from Russia, or licensed by Russia. In 2020, this included the majority of Indian tanks, the only aircraft carrier (the INS Vikramaditya, a heavily modified Kiev-class aircraft carrier) with all of its combat aircraft MiG-29s, six frigates, four destroyers and the only nuclear-powered submarine. Additionally, eight out of fourteen Indian Navy submarines belong to the Russian Kilo-class. The Indian Air Force flies Sukhoi Su-30MKIs and Mil Mi-17s, which, respectively, constitute the largest share of the combat aircraft and utility helicopters, in addition to Russian tanker planes. India also just recently purchased the S-400 missile system.

Even though India has begun to reorient itself militarily toward other countries—the U.S., Israel, France and Italy—and has substituted foreign imports by slowly developing its own capabilities, a large number of new Indo-Russian projects are in the conceptual or implementation stages. In December 2021, in the frame of the so-called “2+2 Dialogue” (foreign and defense ministers), India and Russia began a new phase in their militarytechnological cooperation. Incidentally, India has used this very format for furthering cooperation in strategic, security and intelligence issues with four of its key strategic partners: Australia, the U.S., Japan and the newly added Russia. Russia and India agreed upon a further deepening of mutual military relations for ten years (until 2031). What is new is that next to the traditional purchase of Russian weapons systems, many common research projects and the development of new weapons systems—with their production taking place equally in both countries—have been agreed upon. This production includes new frigates, helicopters, submarines, cruise missiles and even Kalashnikovs

The depth of this mutual engagement, and especially India’s dependence, highlights a huge dilemma that might not only have drastic strategic consequences, but also long-lasting regional repercussions. The worldwide sanctions issued against Russia aim at the Russian economy and military. When it comes to the procurement of such crucial components as microchips or airline parts, Russia is soon expected to face shortages, essentially crippling its capacity to repair, construct, or have spare parts available (let alone construct new equipment). Unless other countries, such as China, circumvent international sanctions and step-in, the expected Russian inability to take care of its own military will have a spill-over effect. Russia is unlikely to be able to fulfill its contractual obligations toward India, and the lack of spare parts also has the potential to cripple India’s own military with regards to the Russian weapons equipment. The procurement agreements and common projects are, hence, all in jeopardy and India, now more than ever, depends on Russian goodwill. 

Next to military dependence, there are other concomitant effects in the economic and political sphere that influence Indian voting behavior. The worldwide sanctions have already led to dramatic increases in oil and gas prices, with India relying on imports of up to 80 percent. India will, therefore, have to pay much more for such crucial imports. Military imports from other countries aimed at substituting Russian equipment will also be much more expensive. All of this deals the Indian economy another blow—an economy that has been especially hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic. And politically, Indian hegemony in South Asia has been markedly under pressure, in no small part because of the ChinaPakistan axis. In the eyes of India, this axis poses a serious threat to an already highly volatile IndoPakistan relationship. In addition, the IndoChina relationship reached a new low in May 2020 when Chinese infrastructure projects along the Himalayan borderlands led to fighting and the killing of soldiers. In addition, the Chinese claims to the South China Sea are categorically disputed by India. Chinese overtures toward Sri Lanka, the Maldives, and especially Pakistan in the frame of the Road Initiative are also regarded with growing discontent, as India claims that China is following a policy of encircling India.

In its 75th year of independence, India is following a classic realpolitik in trying not to alienate Russia while pledging rhetorical support for Ukraine. The contradictory consequence is that Russia has now offered more discounted oil, gas, and investments, while at the same time, the UK has suggested its military relationship with India could be upgraded—and has offered weapons made in the UK. For the Indian political establishment, India cannot forgo Russian support, militarily or as a producer of cheap oil and gas. Going forward, India’s military will need to protect its national security and project Indian influence and power well beyond its borders.

Arndt Michael is a Lecturer in the Department of Political Science, University of Freiburg (Germany), author of the multi-award-winning book India’s Foreign Policy and Regional Multilateralism (Palgrave Macmillan, 2013), and co-editor of Indien Verstehen (Understanding India, Springer, 2016). His articles have been published in Asian Security, Cambridge Review of International Affairs, Harvard Asia Quarterly, India Quarterly and India Review.

World-Watching: Global Energy Tracker

[from the Council on Foreign Relations]

by Benn Steil and Benjamin Della Rocca

The Global Energy Tracker allows you to gauge trends in energy use across the globe through time.

The charts on the tracker page compile data on energy-consumption trends in seventy-nine countries going back to 1990. Each chart shows how much energy a given country consumes from nine different sources.

The charts display each country’s consumption data for each energy source by the amount of exajoules consumed, by exajoules consumed per capita, and as a share of that country’s total energy consumption. (Exajoules are a measure of energy; one exajoule is roughly equivalent to California’s annual electricity use.)

As the legend indicates, five energy sources covered by the trackercoal, oil, natural gas, biofuels, and other (unclassified)—emit high levels of carbon dioxide. Four others—solar, wind, nuclear, and hydroelectric—are low-carbon emitters.

Together, the charts reveal significant trends in global energy usage. They show, for example, that high-carbon energy sources—especially oil—are the world’s dominant source of power. On average, 83 percent of tracker countries’ energy comes from high-carbon sources, and 37 percent specifically from oil.

Low-carbon sources, however, are on the rise, particularly in developed countries. Since 2010, the United States’ low-carbon consumption share climbed from 12 to 16 percent, the United Kingdom’s from 10 to 19 percent, and Germany’s from 14 to 19 percent. China, the world’s largest energy consumer, saw its low-carbon share rise from 9 to 15 percent. Rapid cost declines for low-carbon sources such as wind and solar, beneficiaries of technological innovation, explain much of the change. Still, low-carbon power’s share has actually declined in some rich countries, such as Japan—where it has fallen from 18 to 11 percent.

Some tracker countries rely highly on low-carbon energy. Twenty-five percent of Canada’s energy and 29 percent of Brazil’s, for example, comes from hydroelectric—compared with 9 percent for tracker countries on average. France derives over a third of its energy from nuclear. Other countries remain heavy users of higher-carbon sources. China derives 56 percent of its power from coal—although that figure is down from 70 percent a decade ago.

View the Global Energy Tracker.

Education and the Historical Swirl: Part II

We concluded Part I on this topic with the following comments which we wish students to incorporate into their educations, irrespective of the major, field or concentration:

The gold standard itself, dominated from London led to intricate problems: Golden Fetters: The Gold Standard and the Great Depression, 1919-1939 (published in 1992) by Barry Eichengreen, the leading historian of monetary systems, shows the downstream pitfalls of the gold standard.

In other words, the de facto emergence of Britain/London as the world commercial and policy center and the relation of this emergence to empire and international tensions and rivalries, means it is very problematical for any country to steer a course other than staying in tandem with British moods and ideologies, such as free trade. Any country by itself would find it difficult to have a more independent policy. (Friedrich List of Germany, who died in 1846, wrestles with these difficulties somewhat.) The attempts to find “autonomy and autarky” in the interwar years (Germany, Japan, Italy) led to worse nightmares. The world seems like a “no exit” arena of ideologies and rivalries.

The “crazy dynamics” and the semi-anarchy of the system, which continues to this day and is even worse, means that policy-making is always seen through a “dark windshield.”

History in the globalizing capitalist centuries, the nineteenth and the twentieth, is a kind of turbulent swirl and not a rational “walk.”

Here’s a bizarre but necessary comment on this sense of turbulent and surprising swirl propelling history forwards and backwards and sidewards at the same time:

The historian, Barry Eichengreen (mentioned above), is a distinguished analyst of world monetary systems at U.C. Berkeley and perhaps the leading expert today on the evolution of such systems.

From movies such as Shoah and Last of the Unjust by the great filmmaker Claude Lanzmann, we know that Barry Eichengreen’s mother was Lucille Eichengreen, a Jew born in Hamburg, Germany (1925) and deported to the Łódź Ghetto in Poland during World War II. She survived through many miraculous accidents and contingencies, then wrote about her experiences.

We get a deeper insight into “the way of the world” by seeing that the Holocaust itself has as a backdrop the anarcho-craziness of the world. The Fascists and Nazis were jumping from the “frying pan into the fire” by imagining that world conquest and world-murdering could “stop the world.” They and their favored populations could “get off” and step into a racial dreamworld. They were taking today’s concept of “gated community” and applying it to the “racial community” (Volksgemeinschaft, in German).

This led to the phenomenon depicted in Goya’s famous aquatint: The Sleep of Reason Produces Monsters.

The perceived madness of the world and the madness of leaders that this perception leads to have never been analyzed together.

The fact that the behavior of world leaders could be “crazy like a fox” (half-insane, half-opportunistic, or Machiavellian “clever”) is a complicating factor or twist from Mussolini until today.

Multiple Searchlights Give You Understanding

Naive views of world events and world history are mono-causal but the world is always “multifactorial.” The Left and the Right keep on pushing these “perfect myopia” analyses:

For example, in the movie masterpiece Reds from 1981, John Reed (played by Warren Beatty) keeps repeating that the cause of World War I is and will be J.P. Morgan’s loans and profits, a variant of “vulgar Marxism.”

We have already seen that one cannot understand World War I and the “winds of war” leading up to it without several layers of analysis including the globalization forces from 1870-1914 and the rise of an integrated Atlantic economy (Professor Jeffrey Williamson book); the rise of the Anglo-German antagonism (described in Paul Kennedy’s excellent book); the flow of loan capital and debts described in Herbert Feis’s classic, re-issued in 1965 and described here:

“This book, published for the Council on Foreign Relations, does not deal directly with the war or with its origins, but it has been included in this category because few books published in recent years have made more substantial contributions to the history of pre-war international relations in the broadest sense.

Feis’s book is the first adequate treatment of international loans in the years from 1870 to 1914, a subject the importance of which has long been recognized but the discussion of which has never got far beyond the stage of loose generalities. The scientific treatment of it involves a thorough command of the extensive literature of pre-war diplomacy as well as an intimate acquaintance with the sources of international finance.

So far as the reviewer can see, Feis has not missed anything of importance. He not only knows the material, but he knows how to use it; he understands the political motives and considerations which lay behind these financial transactions. A large part of the volume is taken up with a pioneer study of the character of British, French and German foreign investments and the general policies followed by the governments towards investments abroad. The remainder is devoted to a review of the major enterprises—the financing of Russia, the Balkan States, Egypt, Morocco, China and some of the less important countries. Other chapters deal with the vexed problems of Balkan and Asiatic railway. In many instances Feis’s treatment is the only adequate one in existence, but even in the larger sense the book is a reliable and thoroughly readable piece of research, one that no student of international relations can afford to overlook.”

(William L. Langer’s review of Europe: the World’s Banker, 1870-1914 by Herbert Feis)

On top of all this, we have the problem of parochial and tribal and personal “sleepwalking,” captured so well by Professor Christopher Clark:

The Sleepwalkers: How Europe Went to War in 1914 is historian Christopher Clark’s riveting account of the explosive beginnings of World War I.

The drastic changes in attitudes, society, values and mentalities is then captured, for post-World War I England, by Ford Madox Ford’s Parade’s End:

Parade’s End (1924-1928) is a tetralogy of novels by the British novelist and poet Ford Madox Ford (1873–1939). The novels chronicle the life of a member of the English gentry before, during and after World War I.

Only this type of “multifactorial” panorama—what we call “circum-spective intelligence” or “meta-intelligence”—can give you the multiple searchlights you need.

Where the searchlight views intersect is where understanding begins.

Everything else is monomaniacal cartooning à la the “simp” analysis of John Reed in the brilliant movie Reds, from 1981.

Climatology-Watching: Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research

[from Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research]

UK’s climate change readiness has made ‘significant progress’

by Renee Karunungan on May 4, 2022

There is significant progress in the UK for reporting and implementing climate change adaptation, according to a new study led by Tyndall UEA’s Katie Jenkins. Katie has created an Adaptation Inventory of adaptation actions happening based on official records of adaptation projects being implemented by both public and private sector, accompanied by  a systematic review of the peer-reviewed literature of adaptation case studies.

Adapting to climate change means taking action to prepare for and adjust to current and predicted effects of climate change. Adaptation plays an important role in managing past, present and future climate risk and impacts. However, there is an “adaptation gap” where the distance between existing adaptation efforts versus adaptation needs is widening, according to the United Nations Environment Programme’s Adaptation Gap Report. Tracking national adaptation plans is deemed critical to support future decision-making and drive future actions.

Studies of adaptation consider the UK at the forefront of adaptation planning, setting an early example with the Climate Change Act 2008 which contains a five-year cycle of adaptation planning, published as the UK Climate Change Risk Assessment. Evidence from the UK Climate Change Committee shows that adaptation action has failed to keep pace with increasing climate risks. 

According to the Committee’s assessment, adaptation planning for 2C and 4C global warming is not happening, and that the gap between future risks and planned adaptation has widened, delivering the minimum level of resilience.

Katie’s new Adaptation Inventory provides insight on what is currently being implemented, which helps policymakers and practitioners learn from existing knowledge and practical case studies.

“The Adaptation Inventory provides a consistent and easily searchable database which will continue to evolve. It can provide evidence on the specific types of adaptation implemented on the ground as well as provide more detailed insight into the specific examples of action being implemented. This has the potential to help and inform UK-based decision-making,” Katie said.

The Adaptation Inventory identifies and documents current and planned adaptation in the UK, and how it is being implemented through adaptation actions, the sectors where adaptation is occurring, and where the gaps remain. There were 360 adaptation actions identified in the Inventory, comprising 134 adaptation types. Out of these 360 adaptation actions, 80% have already been implemented.

The private sector accounts for 74% of the actions with water companies dominating. Regulatory frameworks, standards, and reporting requirements are key drivers required by water companies by the Regulator. For example, water companies are already required to plan their resilience to drought.

The most common types of adaptation actions are flood protection (12%), leakage reduction (4%), water metering (3%), property level flood protection (3%), operational improvements (3%), and back-up generators (3%). Most actions were categorized as structural and physical interventions. Other interventions were categorized as technological and ecosystem based. 

An example of a structural adaptation action is raising boat landings to address higher tides because of rising sea levels. For an example of technology, London Transport has installed air cooling units and mechanical chillers at two key busy tube stations to address heat stress. An ecosystem-based example  introduces barley straw to reservoirs to control blue green algae, more common with warmer summers.

The Adaptation Inventory also looks at the types of climate hazards being addressed. It found that 76% of the actions were in response to drought, 26% for extreme rainfall, 13% for flooding, and 11% for higher temperatures. One example of adaptation for drought is rainwater recovery using storage facilities available on the site, reducing the demand for fresh water during drought. For alleviating flooding, a water company is using afforestation. The London Underground has doubled the capacity of ventilation shafts on the Victoria line, which provide more air flow on hot days.