International Security News

If China and the U.S. Wants the South China Sea Disputes to Cool Down

Oct 06, 2015
In May 2015, a CNN exclusive showed a US military surveillance aircraft overflying features at low altitude that China had expanded by land reclamation in the South China Sea. The Chinese navy warned the aircraft to leave the area eight times in response to the plane’s claim that it was overflying international airspace. The incident caused uproar in the West, which portrayed China as trying to claim international waters as its own sovereign territory. In China, the incident spurred warnings that if the US bottom-line is that China has to stop land reclamation, then a China-US war is inevitable.

Engaging Iran and Russia on Syria, the U.S. Has a Weak Hand

Sep 28, 2015
"But if we engage Mr. Assad’s two allies over his fate, we should be under no illusion on what the outcome is likely to be: a never-ending transition that keeps him in power (for a good while) and Russia and Iran as the key eternal actors in the Syrian drama," writes Aaron David Miller.

Why Putin’s Move into Syria May Be One Step Too Far

Sep 28, 2015
"Imperial overstretch serves as a recurring theme throughout Russian history. Putin’s grand U.N. pronouncements should not obscure the fact that he brings few deliverables — and multiple vulnerabilities — to the table," writes Will Pomeranz.

Are the U.S. and Russia Now on the Same Page About Syria?

Sep 18, 2015
"The issue with engaging Mr. Putin on Syria is not that the U.S. looks weak-–of course it does-–because Moscow has acted and Washington has not reacted. Far more concerning is that Mr. Putin appears to know what he wants: to prop up Mr. Assad, oppose the U.S., and pick up propaganda points abroad," writes Aaron David Miller.

Are there any reasons for hope in the Middle East? Maybe.

Aug 27, 2015
In the aftermath of the Iran nuclear agreement, there was a broad expectation, both in the region and beyond, that sectarian tensions and conflict would intensify and deepen the proxy battle between Iran and Saudi Arabia. In the United States, even some strong supporters of the nuclear deal emphasized that Washington needed to respond aggressively to the inevitable push by Tehran to expand its regional influence at the expense of traditional U.S. allies.

Did Hiroshima Save Japan From Soviet Occupation?

Aug 05, 2015
"Although the bomb did not make Stalin back off in Hokkaido, its implicit threat made superpower cooperation an increasingly remote prospect. Hiroshima, then, made the Cold War practically inevitable," writes Sergey Radchenko.

Will ISIS Infect Bangladesh?

Aug 04, 2015
"Thanks to increased counterterrorism efforts spearheaded by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, IS has few allies that can help it tap into Bangladesh’s large Muslim population. Pro-IS sentiment, simply put, is very weak in Bangladesh," write Atif Jalal Ahmad and Michael Kugelman.

Bending the Arc

Aug 03, 2015
"The ICC must look to the ICTY as a blueprint, gathering concrete and consistent support from international actors who can effectively pressure parties on the ground to cooperate," writes Jacqueline McAllister.

Subcommittee Hearing: Threats to Press Freedom in the Americas

Jul 31, 2015
Press Freedom in the Americas has been in a general decline for the past 15 years. According to Freedom House’s latest findings (2015), only 43% of the countries in the Americas are ranked as having ‘free’ press. The remaining countries fall in the range of ‘partly free’ (43%) and ‘not free’ (14%).

Iran’s President Rouhani: Assessing His First Two Years in Office

Jul 31, 2015
Two years into a term that promised to change the tone and substance of Iran’s politics and relationships around the world, a panel of experts gathered to assess President Rouhani’s performance beyond the nuclear deal. That’s the focus of this edition of REWIND.