Country Assessments

japan country assessment

Analysis

  • Japan narrowly retained first place, but overall scoring declined slightly
  • Improvements in indicators: UN Reporting because of better reporting, Legislative Oversight because of improved IGCC sourcing
  • Declines in indicators: Media Oversight due to secrecy law, Cyber Activities due to reduced disclosures, Website because of reporting fluctuations
  • Japan leads in numerous categories, but has room for improvement in Media Oversight, Legislative Oversight, and Cyber Activities disclosures
  • Increased defense spending and force buildup may affect perceptions under International Activities in future

US country assessment

Analysis

  • The United States ranked second overall, with little separating it with Japan, but exhibited a year-on-year decline
  • Improvements in indicators: White Paper due to inclusion of more detail in 2014 QDR, Website transparency is excellent
  • Declines in indicators: UN Reporting due to missing reports, Media Oversight due to RSF score change, Cyber Activities due to global surveillance revelations
  • Improvements can be made in credibility in Media Oversight and Cyber Activities, expand UN Reporting (Conventional Arms, NLDU, CBM) and include more details on command chains, unit locations, and armaments in white paper equivalent documents

ROK country assessment

Analysis

  • ROK retained third place, but is trending down from previous years
  • Improvements in indicators: Budget, Legislative Oversight due to Open Budget Index (OBI) changes, year-to-year reporting adjustments
  • Declines in indicators: Media Oversight due to RSF score changes, UN Reporting due to delayed reporting, Cyber Activities due to reduced disclosures
  • Could make improvements in UN Reporting (Milex, NLDU, CBM), more disclosures on military expenditure, press freedom, information on cyber doctrines, policies, and defensive measures

Russia country assessment

Analysis

  • Russia stayed in fourth place, but had largest year-on-year decline (7 percentage points)
  • Little change in five categories
  • Declines in indicators: Legislative Oversight due to increased perception of “rubber stamp” authority, International Activities due to unannounced missions, arms transfers and exercises, Cyber Activities due to Snake cyber weapon revelations
  • New white paper with more information on organization, missions, personnel, spending, procurement, armaments, and bases would assist score

china country assessment

Analysis

  • China ranked fifth, but is the only state whose score increased in latest index, closing on Russia
  • Improvements in indicators: UN Reporting due to increase in submissions; personnel figures included in White Paper and Website for first time
  • Declines in indicators: Six indicators declined with lowest scores on institutional-focused indicators—Budget, Media Oversight, and Legislative Oversight