Security and Defense News

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?

Betting on the Reform and the Reformers in Iran

Oct 07, 2015
"Driven on one hand by a profound sense of insecurity and a deep sense of entitlement, if not grandiosity, on the other, Iran’s desire for a putative nuclear weapon isn’t some discretionary foreign-policy option. As an aspiring great power in its region, nuclear weapons threshold status may actually be central to its own sense of identity at home and to the tools it needs to navigate the harsh world it sees abroad." writes Aaron David Miller and Jason Brodsky

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.

History Repeating: The Kremlin's Fight for Relevance

Oct 05, 2015
"The Kremlin does not feel it owes an explanation to its domestic audience as to why Russia is suddenly at war in the Middle East. The conflict is presented as a media event that should not bother the population in any real way," writes Max Trudolyubov.

Vladimir Putin’s Upper Hand on Syria

Sep 30, 2015
"Against the backdrop of U.S. policy that has been unable or unwilling to defeat Islamic State or Mr. Assad, Mr. Putin saw an opportunity for a limited investment that would yield maximum returns," writes Aaron David Miller.

Obama and Putin at Odds Over Syria

Sep 30, 2015
To no one’s surprise, the recent meeting between Presidents Obama and Putin ended with them at odds over Syria and other issues. Will Pomeranz provides analysis.

Iran’s Nuclear Chess Continued: Reviewing The Deal

Sep 29, 2015
Robert Litwak, an internationally recognized expert on nonproliferation, has been following the saga of Iran’s nuclear program since the beginning. His insightful book, “Iran’s Nuclear Chess,” has been updated now that a deal has been struck. In this interview, he spoke about the latest developments, and in reviewing the deal, he covers fears and hopes on both sides of the equation.

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.