Security and Defense News

Obama Halts Troop Withdrawal From Afghanistan

Oct 15, 2015
Asia Program Senior Associate Michael Kugelman explains why he thinks President Obama’s decision to halt troop withdrawals from Afghanistan will have a positive impact.

An Update on the Colombian Peace Process with U.S. Special Envoy Bernard Aronson

Oct 14, 2015
We spoke with U.S. Special Envoy Bernard Aronson, following the announcement that the Colombian government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) had reached major breakthroughs on the outstanding issues in the peace process negotiations (transitional justice, disarmament, and a timetable for signing a final agreement). He provides context on how agreement was reached and what comes next.

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?

The Explosions in Turkey

Oct 13, 2015
"ISIS could have two goals, said Henri Barkey. It might want “revenge, and to punish Kurds” for its losses on the battlefield in the past year. “Goal No. 2 is to deliberately increase polarization between the A.K.P., the ruling party of the President, and the Kurds, the largest minority," commented Henri Barkey for this commentary written by Robin Wright.

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.

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.