Studies

GEOSPATIAL INTELLIGENCE: A Test Case For Washington’s Emerging Industrial Policy The commercial geospatial-intelligence industry is growing rapidly. However, most of the growth is happening outside the United States, where foreign providers are matching and surpassing the offerings U.S. companies. Geospatial intelligence (GEOINT) is imagery of activities in relation to the Earth’s geography, usually collected from satellites or aircraft. It is a “dual-use” technology in that it can be useful to both military and civilian users. As with many other industries where the U.S. was once dominant, foreign providers of GEOINT have increased market share in part by exploiting subsidies from their governments. China in particular is investing heavily in methods of collecting and analyzing GEOINT.
U.S. Postal Service Should Continue To Prefund Retiree Health Benefits One of the biggest myths about the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) is that its financial problems would be largely eliminated if it did not have to “prefund,” i.e., set aside money and invest it, for its generous retiree health benefits program. Even comedian John Oliver spoke extensively about this during a May 2020 HBO segment. Prefunding is synonymous with saving and investing for retirement. It is a responsible, time-tested, and essential practice to ensure today’s more than 600,000 postal employees and nearly 500,000 postal retirees receive low-cost, quality health care for years or even decades after they retire. As with quality pension plans for state government workers, money is put into a dedicated fund where the assets grow in value.
Why U.S. National Security Requires A Robust, Innovative Technology Sector Every nation strives for security. Although the phrase “national security” in common usage has military overtones, there are other elements as well—economic, demographic, cultural. For instance, energy security was a major concern of U.S. policymakers in recent decades, and environmental security related to climate change now garners similar interest. What every facet of national security has in common, though, is that it is shaped by technology. The wide oceans separating North America from the Eurasian land mass were once thought to confer military security on the republic, but long-range weapons altered the significance of distance. The rapid rise of formerly poor East Asian nations has been driven in large part by their mastery of technologies that did not exist two generations ago.
U.S. Postal Service’s Detour Decade: First-Class Mail Plummets, Package Volume Spikes Read the full report as a PDF here. Executive Summary The U.S. Postal Service’s (USPS) mail delivery standards and performance are under intense scrutiny as the election approaches and it recovers from a summer disruption. First-class mail delivered on ...
In Brief: The Logic of Aircraft Carrier Strike Groups Read the full report as a PDF here. This assessment provided the read-ahead for a recent carrier strike group working forum hosted by the Lexington Institute. The United States is the only nation in history that has sustained a fleet of large-deck, nuc ...
Building A More Credible And Capable NATO Deterrent In The East Executive Summary Read the full report here. The growing threat from Russia requires a new NATO strategy that directly addresses the range of challenges Moscow presents. NATO must continue to transition from a tripwire deterrent built around relatively ...
The Strong International Push for E-Commerce Shipping Reform The international postal system governing the shipment of small packages (4.4 pounds or less) is causing significant financial losses for many countries, distorting markets, and it must be fixed quickly. Postal officials in seven industrialized countries have offered these and other timely observations to the Lexington Institute over the past 10 days. At issue is the future of the Universal Postal Union (UPU), the United Nations specialty organization that sets rates and regulations for international mail and packages, through a process known as terminal dues. The current system enables small packages to be sent from China to the United States and other countries at a fraction of the price that it costs to send the same size package domestically.
The Amphibious Warfare Force: America’s First Line of Defense Executive Summary Click here to read the full report as a PDF. The return of great power competition and the emerging focus on multi-domain operations has altered the role of the Marine Corps and amphibious warfare fleet. New potential conflict scenari ...
Tanks: Vital to Defense Executive Summary Click here to read the full report as a pdf. In 2013, a year before Russia invaded Ukraine, the United States came within months of shuttering the last plant in the Western Hemisphere capable of building main battle tanks. The Obama A ...
How Electric Vehicles Can Support the Grid Executive Summary Click here to read the full report as a pdf. Many people recognize that electric vehicles benefit the environment, but fewer realize the electric grid can operate more efficiently with these cars. They are cheaper to maintain and oper ...
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