NBR Impact Update

March–May 2022

Dear NBR Board/Chairman’s Council/Advisors/President’s Circle Members,

My trip to Seoul in May is just behind me as I write this update on NBR’s impact from March through May 2022. As I’ve already shared with some of you, I had a great slate of official meetings, including with the vice minister of defense, director general for North America at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, president of the Korea National Defense University, and national assemblyman from the Pyeongtaek region (which includes the major U.S. base in-country, Camp Humphries).

Below please find my NBR Impact Update for the past quarter, which I encourage you to share with your own networks.

Bipartisan engagement on the Hill

“Thank you [NBR] for all the great work that you are doing on an area of the world that I think is absolutely critical to the United States and our future.”

Senator Dan Sullivan, R–Alaska
“I think it’s appropriate that we discuss what 2022 holds for energy and climate security this year at an institution like NBR that is focused on the Indo-Pacific region, because no other region will play as important of a role in determining the future of energy and climate security.”

Representative Juan Castro, D–Texas

Excerpts from Energy on the Hill 2022.

  • Just days after the election of South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol, NBR’s Josh Nezam held a bicameral briefing for congressional staff in conjunction with the House Foreign Affairs Committee that featured an expert panel on North Korea policy, South Korea’s foreign economic/technology policies, and alignment amid U.S.-China geopolitics.
  • NBR advisor John Park testified at a congressional hearing held by the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Asia, the Pacific, Central Asia, and Nonproliferation: The Way Forward on U.S. North Korea Policy.
  • Shali Chair Jonathan Greenert joined me for a meeting with Senator Joni Ernst to discuss emerging challenges in the Indo-Pacific and the senator’s work on the Senate Armed Services Committee.

The “bigger picture” on security issues

“Thank you very much [Nadège Rolland] for coming to Abidjan to present at our regional conference. I really appreciated your perspective and your ability to connect the dots for us. As practitioners, it’s frequently difficult to take the time to look at the bigger picture and we very much value your ability to do that for us.”

Amy Holman, Deputy Assistant Secretary, Bureau of African Affairs, U.S. Department of State

  • A Foreign Affairs article by Nadège Rolland drew on her NBR report “(In)Roads and Outposts: Critical Infrastructure in China’s Africa Strategy.”
  • A participant in a workshop NBR held on North Korea’s sanction evasion tactics with CRDF Global in Singapore for port and customs workers said that the material covered would be of great help in day-to-day work.
  • Continuing our collaboration with the Nakasone Peace Institute in Japan, we hosted a virtual conversation between Admiral Greenert and Admiral Takashi Saito on security developments in the Indo-Pacific.

Engagement abroad

“This report [on China’s digital ambitions] is one of the first times I have seen such a comprehensive framework applied to these issues.”

Tristan Dufes, Deputy Assistant Director, Defence Strategy, Directorate General for International Relations and Strategy, French Ministry of Armed Forces

  • An NBR team briefed the French Ministries of Foreign Affairs, Defense, and the Economy and Finance on the report “China’s Digital Ambitions.” In London, where former chief of MI6 Sir John Sawers joined as keynote speaker, NBR also briefed the members of the House of Commons and House of Lords (including Tom Tugendhat MP, chair of the House of Commons Foreign Affairs Committee), the UK Cabinet Office, Foreign Office, and Ministry of Defence. NBR held virtual events in Taiwan, South Korea, and Japan, and virtually briefed the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
  • A nonofficial track 1.5 strategic dialogue in Guam generated actionable policy recommendations for decision-makers in the U.S. government to strengthen relationships with allies and partners in the Pacific Islands.

Executive education & training the next generation

  • With former deputy assistant secretary of defense for China Chad Sbragia as course senior mentor, NBR hosted the second PLA Executive Education Course in Washington, D.C.
  • With the close of the academic year, all five Chinese Language Fellowship Program fellows have completed their year of language learning, and the 2022 Gorton Leaders Program fellows have finished their study of Senator Slade Gorton‘s work and leadership philosophy by meeting with experts on national security and policy.
  • Two new Undergraduate Diversity Fellowship awardees have been selected from a competitive and diverse applicant pool.

NBR’s Ellings-Korduba Research Fellowship Program is welcoming a new cohort of advanced undergraduate and graduate students and professionals this month for an eight-week period of study to better understand China and formulate effective policy.

Next week, NBR’s U.S.-ROK Next Generation Leaders Program will host its first in-person delegation to South Korea since October 2019! A group of rising Asia policy professionals will engage on trade and economic issues with representatives of the ROK and U.S. governments, private industry, media, and academic organizations.

Our commitment to educating and training the next generation of Asia specialists is an investment in our future that will carry forward our mission of bringing world-class scholarship to bear on the evolving strategic environment in Asia.

With gratitude for your ongoing support of NBR’s work on the critical issues that today’s leaders need to understand—in America and beyond,
Roy Kamphausen