Geopolitics / North East Asia – Australia May Not Be Prepared for North-East Asia Conflicts

Epoch Times – Desmond Ball has spent over a quarter of a century as a special professor at the Australian National University’s Strategic and Defence Studies Centre. For Professor Ball, the recent Australian deployment of air power and military personnel to northern Iraq represents a familiar scenario – the Middle East has once again become a distraction from what is needed to defend Australian shores.

Geopolitics – Old world order is out

Geopolitics – Old world order is out – Robert D. Kaplan writes that there has been something both conclusive and convulsive — and yet sustaining — about the crisis in Ukraine that has caused people to believe we have entered a new chapter in international relations. As other commentators have noted, the old order has collapsed. By that they mean the period erstwhile labeled the post-Cold War.

Geopolitics – The Gift of American Power

Real Clear World – Robert D. Kaplan states that great powers are rarely appreciated in their own time, for the benevolent order they spread goes unacknowledged by those who benefit most from what they provide. Global civilization — and the system of legal norms that arises from it — survives to a significant extent because the American military remains robust and widely deployed. And that, in turn, is not a situation that is necessarily permanent, or one that can ever be taken for granted.

Geopolitics / Indian Ocean – Duqm could become the next Singapore

StratFor – Robert D. Kaplan writes that a noteworthy geopolitical shift is emerging that the media have yet to report on. In future years, a sizable portion of the US Navy’s forces in the Middle East could be spending less time in the Arabian Gulf and more time in the adjacent Indian Ocean. Manama in Bahrain will continue to be the headquarters of the Fifth Fleet. But American warships and their crews, as well as the myriad supply and repair services for them, could be increasingly focused on the brand new Omani port of Duqm, located outside the Arabian Gulf on the Arabian Sea, which, in turn, forms the western half of the Indian Ocean.

Geopolitics / Ukraine – Putin steals the CIA’s playbook on anti-Soviet covert operations

Washington Post – The West has made NATO’s military alliance the heart of its response to Russia’s power grab in Ukraine. But we may be fighting the wrong battle: The weapons Russian President Vladimir Putin has used in Crimea and eastern Ukraine look more like paramilitary “covert action” than conventional military force. Putin, the former KGB officer, may in fact be taking a page out of the United States’ playbook during the Ronald Reagan presidency, when the Soviet empire began to unravel thanks to a relentless U.S. covert-action campaign. Rather than confront Moscow head-on, Reagan nibbled at the edges, by supporting movements that destabilized Russian power in Afghanistan, Nicaragua, Angola and, finally, Poland and eastern Europe. It was a clever American strategy back then, pushing a wounded Soviet Union and opportunistically exploiting local grievances wherever possible. And it’s an equally clever Russian approach now, offering maximum gain at minimum potential cost.

A brilliant analysis by David Ignatius.