HCSS Digest

HCSS Digest | Week 7

February 19th 2021 - 12:00

From China with love, here’s your new HCSS Digest, answering all your questions about the future of NATO-Turkey relations, robotics and autonomous systems in the Dutch army, Biden’s foreign policy and more!

As the US retreats from its leadership role in Europe, Turkey has pursued an increasingly independent defense policy, producing tensions with fellow NATO allies. What does this mean for the future of NATO-Turkey relations? Find out in this new HCSS snapshot by Strategic Analysts Dorith Kool, Patrick Bolder and Colonel (ret.) Murat Dogan.

How will the Royal Netherlands Army deploy robotics and autonomous systems (RAS), now and in the future? Will humans still be needed in armed conflicts? And what is swarming? Future RAS commander Sjoerd Mevissen and HCSS Deputy Director Michel Rademaker answer all of these questions and more, in the latest episode of our BNR podcast De Strateeg.

A structural shortage of personnel is one of the main risks for the Dutch Defense organization. Automation, digitization and robotization offer a possible answer here. In a new report from HCSS and PwC Nederland, Frank Bekkers, Dorith Kool and Sanne Maas & Naveen Srivatsav of PwC identify the promising areas where technological solution can most increase labor productivity.

A visit to Russia by Josep Borrell, High Representative of EU for Foreign Affairs, turned into a complete humiliation last week. Or, as popular TV program Zondag met Lubach (starting at 4:52) quoted Han ten Broeke: we were ‘afgeplast’. And no, Han didn’t make up that word.

Deterrence is not only about stopping a nuclear bomb. It’s about shaping your opponent’s behavior. We need new concepts for Cross Domain Deterrence (CDD) to address today’s challenges. Read all about it in a piece by Tim Sweijs and Samuel Zilincik on the Essence of Cross Domain Deterrence.

HCSS Senior Strategic Analyst Laura Birkman participated in the Frontex seminar on the impact of climate change on migration, where she spoke on the links between climate-related risk and organized crime in Mali and Afghanistan.

Europeans do trust Biden, but we don’t trust America. And that trust won’t return anytime soon, Rob de Wijk wrote about the trans-Atlantic relationship in his weekly column for Trouw. The average European now has more confidence in the EU, than in the US.

"The best thing we have seen so far is that I haven’t checked Twitter for a while for messages by the American president”, Han ten Broeke commented during the Netherlands Atlantic Association debate on American Foreign Policy. Hopes run high that transatlantic relations under President Biden will quickly return to a state of pre-Trump ‘normalcy’. But how realistic is this assumption?

A professor of Chinese language and culture at Groningen University is contractually prohibited from "damaging the image of China" by the Confucius Institute, NOS revealed this week. "This agreement is not in line with academic freedom," Rob de Wijk commented, calling it naive to agree to the conditions. "What the Confucius Institute does is propagate the official vision of the Chinese Communist Party under the guise of language and cultural education,"

The news was picked up by other media as well, including Dagblad van het Noorden and ScienceGuide, which referenced the HCSS Checklist for Collaboration with Chinese Universities.

Oil prices rose due to severe weather conditions in Texas, but less quickly than expected. “There is still some overcapacity in the US,” HCSS energy expert Lucia van Geuns explained in het Financieele Dagblad. “The uncertain factor is how the weather will develop and how long it will take to repair the damage. Texas is not Siberia, where they have experience with these kinds of temperatures.” Nevertheless, Van Geuns expects that it will take at most a few weeks before everything is fully recovered. And on a global scale, there is no shortage of oil at all.

Both the US and the UK will have to deal with an EU that is rapidly turning into a geopolitical player, Rob de Wijk writes in a blog for The Alphen Group. “The debate on the vague concept of European Strategic Autonomy (ESA) is now embraced by what were staunch opponents to the idea such as the Netherlands.”

The energy transition is not going at the desired pace. According to HCSS energy expert Lucia van Geuns this is because of a serious lack of good alternatives, investment and good coordination, she told NH Nieuws.

HCSS is proud to welcome Helga Salemon as our new Subject Matter Expert. An experienced researcher of Russia and the post-Soviet states, Salemon's work focuses on Russia-China relations and she has a keen interest in the network of oligarchs around Putin and Russia’s geopolitical energy policy.

Last but not least: HCSS is very happy to welcome new PR Intern Simba Martens to the team!

Patrick Willemsen is the Communications Officer of HCSS, in charge of all communication, PR, publications, social media and press contacts, as well as special projects such as the BNR podcast De Strateeg.