Asia

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.

USAID and the Private Sector: Blended Finance Partnership to Combat Ocean Plastic Pollution (Launch Event)

The amount of plastic pollution flowing into the ocean is increasing at an alarming rate, creating an urgent challenge for the world’s environment and economy. On our current trajectory, by 2050 — pound for pound — there will be more plastic in the ocean than fish.

AfPak File: Assessing Afghanistan’s Recent Jirga

Last week, Afghanistan held a loya jirga to discuss possible ways forward in peace and reconciliation efforts. More than 3000 people attended the event, which yielded a 23-point resolution outlining a number of priorities, including a ceasefire.

However, many political opponents of Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, who organized the event, refused to attend. The Taliban, which also did not attend, rejected the idea of a ceasefire.

Disaster Security: Using Intelligence and Military Planning for Energy and Environmental Risks (Book Launch)

From glacier melt in the Andes and hurricanes in New York and Hawaii, to hybrid disasters, cyber operations, and geoengineering, the US military and intelligence community harnesses the foresight provided by scenarios, simulations, and disaster planning to anticipate environmental and security-related disasters.

Southeast Asia Stands to Gain Big on U.S.-China Frictions

The impact of the ongoing U.S.-China trade dispute has gone far beyond the borders of the two countries calling the shots. From the IMF to investment banks on Wall Street, voices cautioning against escalating tensions and the risks posed by failure to resolve differences have been loud and clear. The uncertainty alone caused by the growing tensions between Washington and Beijing have been destabilizing for the region. What has been less evident, though, is that Sino-U.S. trade friction have already begun to benefit Southeast Asia.

Dispatches: May 2019

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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.

The Normalization of Kim Jong Un – what Kim gains from visit to Russia

Just over a year ago, Kim Jong Un crossed the border into China on his armored train on his way to meet Xi Jinping in Beijing. It was the first time he had left North Korea since becoming leader, and his first meeting with another head of state.

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