International Security

The South China Sea in Strategic Terms

In recent years, U.S. military planners have shifted their focus from counterterrorism, low intensity conflict to great power, high intensity threats.  The most likely single scenario for a major military engagement against a great power adversary would be one against China centered on the South China Sea.  There are certainly other situations involving other challenges, but this is the most plausible and dangerous.  Any such assertion must rest on an understanding that critical U.S.

Geopolitical Implications of a New Era on the Korean Peninsula

The second summit meeting between the United States and the DPRK in Vietnam ended without a deal.
 
There is yet no roadmap on how denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula might be possible, nor is there a clear way for North Korea to be able to join the fold of the international community and have sanctions lifted. In short, a great number of uncertainties remain while hopes for peace continue to be strong.
 

Thinking Through the Unthinkable in Sri Lanka

More than a week after the Easter Sunday massacre in Sri Lanka, a devastatingly well-coordinated assault that targeted churches and hotels around the country, the shock still lingers.

It was by far the deadliest attack to strike Sri Lanka since the dark days of its brutal 26-year civil war, which ended in 2009. And it shattered the relative stability that had prevailed in the country in the subsequent decade.

Shifting Gears: Post-Hanoi, North Korea’s Kim Jong Un Turns Diplomatic Attention to Moscow

Next up on Kim Jong Un’s diplomatic checklist: Vladimir Putin.

The North Korean leader is expected to hold his first summit with the Russian president this week as he continues his campaign of international diplomacy.

The summit itself comes as no surprise. After all, Russia has long been a traditional, if largely absentee, ally of North; a Kim-Putin meeting was long overdue.

Where Does It Stand and Where Should It Shift? A South Korean Perspective on North Korea Nuclear Diplomacy

It’s the Economy, Stupid! A South Korean Version?

Politics in South Korea show a great deal of similarities with those of the United States. President Moon Jae-in has to confront the polarization of political parties and the press. The conservative opposition party is busy criticizing Moon for being weak on North Korea. The mainstream media is wasting no time in underscoring any sign of disagreements between Washington and Seoul.

Afpak File Podcast: Trilateral Tensions And Implications For Talks With The Taliban

In recent weeks, the fragile U.S.-Pakistan-Afghanistan triangle has suffered some body blows. First, Afghan national security adviser Hamdullah Mohib excoriated lead U.S. negotiator Zalmay Khalilzad, accusing him of trying to delegitimize the Afghan government.

Then, Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan publicly endorsed the idea of an interim government in Afghanistan. An incensed Kabul accused Khan of interfering in Afghan affairs, and the U.S. ambassador to Afghanistan expressed his displeasure as well.

The 2019 India-Pakistan Crisis

In February of 2019, India and Pakistan had their most serious confrontation in nearly twenty years.  Asia Program Deputy Director Michael Kugelman provided historical context and analysis in the days surrounding the crisis.

Video:

India-Pakistan and the Threat of War (Wilson Center NOW):

AfPak File Podcast: What's Behind Pakistan's Latest Crackdown Against Militants?

In recent days, Pakistani authorities staged a major crackdown on militant groups. Dozens of people were arrested and many facilities were shut down. However this wasn't the first time Pakistan has taken these types of actions, but many observers and analysts were struck by the large number of people targeted in this latest crackdown.

'A Stab in the Back' or 'A Pat on the Back?'

Experts and pundits in the United States and South Korea have been very busy analyzing the mystery of “Why No Deal in Hanoi.” Just as politics in America and South Korea are different, conclusions for why the summit broke down inside the two allies seem to be dissimilar as well.

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