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Letter from the Editor
Through the publication of the Strategic Trade Review, thematic projects, and training, the mission of the Strategic Trade Research Institute is to build networks of research and practice in the strategic trade field. The topic of emerging technologies has risen to the forefront of nearly every discussion in the export control, sanctions, and national security communities – and with that, a growing need has developed to address this topic in an inclusive manner that facilitates dialogue among and between different stakeholders. This issue of the Review is a step forward in sharing the latest research and analysis on emerging technologies with the broader global strategic trade community.
Dimensions of the current challenge have been addressed in previous Strategic Trade Review issues – how to control intangible technologies, how to assess risk, the use of catch-all controls, outreach to exporters, for example – but current discourse has framed these issues in a new light, that of a) trying to define emerging technologies and identify related threats and opportunities b) assessing the relationship between strategic trade controls and emerging technologies c) questioning existing national, regional, and international frameworks in light of the rapidly evolving nature of technology transfer. Simultaneously, technologies are also being explored as solutions to export control challenges. The current issue focuses on these themes through a diversity of articles tackling either the challenges – or solutions – brought about by technology in the strategic trade context.
This issue’s thematic focus is part of a broader initiative by the Strategic Trade Research Institute to make sense of competing narratives on emerging technologies and to extricate sound research-based policies and conclusions from conjecture. The strategic trade community should focus as much on the opportunities presented by technology as its challenges and recognize this moment as an opening to improve, if not revolutionize, existing governance frameworks. The technology-focused articles are also accompanied by a thorough exploration of the proliferation risks of the secondary market for controlled goods.
As the discussions surrounding these topics moves forward, I invite those practitioners and researchers working on challenging strategic trade topics to actively join the Strategic Trade Research Institute network by contributing to the journal and getting involved in our research, training, and publication activities.