International Security News

Deconstructing the U.S.-Russian Impasse Over Syria

Oct 13, 2015
Are the United States and Russia poised to act at cross-purposes with each other or is some kind of synergy possible?

Russian Military Action in Syria

Oct 08, 2015
Now that Russian military action in Syria is underway, we asked Kennan Institute Director, Matt Rojansky, to help us understand what they intend to achieve. Can Russia help bring an end to the ongoing conflict, or will the situation escalate due to Russian intervention?

Triple Threat: America, China and Russia on the Path to Conflict?

Oct 06, 2015
"The current conflict could prove to be as dangerous as the U.S.-Soviet confrontation that shaped the last century, and it will undoubtedly be far more complex. That is above all because of the massively increased power and yet still ambiguous intentions of a third key actor: China," writes Matthew Rojansky.

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.