The Next Mediterranean Front Line

War on the Rocks – From migration to energy and food security, the Mediterranean has emerged as an overlooked front in Russia’s war with the West. As its name suggests, the Mediterranean is a sea that sits between lands. For better or worse, it connects Europe, Africa, and the Middle East, transporting fuel, grain, and refugees from one shore to another. As such, it can serve as a source of stability for Europe or as a site of disruption for actors like Russia that seek to threaten that stability.

Why Erdogan Might Choose War With Greece

War on the Rocks – A myriad of issues divide Athens and Ankara, but Erdogan has now focused his rage upon Greece’s militarization of its Aegean islands. While the Greek military presence there has remained largely consistent over the last several decades, Ankara insists that it is in violation of the 1923 and 1947 treaties that established Greece’s sovereignty over the islands. 

Guarding the Pacific: How Washington Can Counter China in the Solomons and Beyond

War on the Rocks – The lesson of the last several years in clear: Beijing is determined to gain a foothold in the South Pacific, posing a direct threat to long-term U.S. and allied interests. Without a coherent strategy of denial and the projection of appropriate U.S. power across this region, fundamental American interests will be threatened. It is time for the United States to support a robust array of defense initiatives across Oceania, including in countries where we remain openly, and rightly, concerned about democracy. By increasing our presence in and political connections to this dynamic region, the United States is more likely to play a constructive role in promoting good governance than if it continues to cede the field to Beijing and its proxies. By deploying more resources now, Washington has the opportunity to prevent an entirely unnecessary strategic surprise in the future.

The Fourth Taiwan Strait Crisis is Just Starting

War on the Rocks – The Chinese military exercises that began on Aug. 3, 2022, have initiated the Fourth Taiwan Strait Crisis. The most immediate reason for this was Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taipei. But this is a bigger crisis, driven by bigger factors. There has been a steady erosion in Sino-American relations and — not unrelated — a shift in the nature of U.S.-Taiwan relations that Beijing finds deeply threatening. As a result, expectations of a rapid resolution to the crisis are chimeric, as too are blithe expectations of a quick return to the status quo ante.

General Anthony Zinni (ret) on Missed Opportunities, Integrated Deterrence, and Ill-Advised Red Lines.

CIMSEC – This is Part IV of our conversation series with General Anthony Zinni, USMC (ret.) on leadership, strategy, learning, and the art and science of warfighting. In this iteration, we focus on how the decline in strategic thinking following the end of the Cold War, which we discussed in Part I, helped lead to the situation in Ukraine, how to construct credible red lines, and what integrated deterrence may mean.

The Bay of Bengal Could Be The Key to a Free and Open Indo-Pacific

War on the Rocks – The Bay of Bengal now has considerable — and growing — strategic importance for Asia, and for the world as a whole. In many ways, the Bay of Bengal lies at the core of the Indo-Pacific region — a centerpiece of the broader Indo-Pacific concept and the place where the strategic interests of the major powers of East and South Asia intersect.

Jomini and Naval Special Operations Forces—An Applied-Competition Approach to Russia

US Naval War College Review – A version of Jomini’s campaigning theory, in combination with maritime special-operations capabilities, offers a convincing maritime approach for contesting Russia’s malign activity in Europe while remaining below the level of armed conflict and supporting a broader conventional effort to prepare a war-fighting environment by using irregular warfare to secure advantages prior to conflicts.

The Limits of Sea Power

US Naval War College Review – Sea powers have many handicaps that often are forgotten, resulting in a dangerous overestimation of their safety, influence, and staying power in a competitive world. A more clear-eyed assessment of sea power—one less enamored of the grandeur associated with naval might—reveals that often their hopes were unwarranted and ended up having tragic results.

China’s Role in the Exploitation of Global Fisheries

Congressional Research Service – China has emerged as the world’s largest exploiter of fisheries on a global, not just regional, scale. Chinese fleets are active in waters far from China’s shores, and the growth in their harvests threatens to worsen the already dire depletion in global fisheries. China leads the world in seafood production from aquaculture, inland (freshwater) fisheries, and marine fisheries. The expansion and modernization of fisheries is a key part of China’s broader industrial policy goals of upgrading their agricultural industries and improving domestic food security. China has developed the world’s largest fishing fleet of vessels operating in domestic and neighboring coastal inshore and offshore areas, as well as a distant-water fleet (DWF) active in many parts of the world. China is a major hub for value-added processing in seafood supply chains and it is the world’s largest seafood processor; much of what China processes is exported to other countries. China is also the largest importer and producer of fishmeal for use in aquaculture. The magnitude of China’s seafood production and consumption has implications for international trade, fisheries conservation and management, and allocation of fishery resources among fishing and coastal nations. Many in Congress are interested in China’s involvement in fisheries around the world because of efforts to conserve marine resources globally, and the fishing industry’s intersection with regional conflicts and transnational criminal activities that impact U.S. national security.