US Naval War College Review – The geopolitics of the twenty-first century will look very different from that of the twentieth century, but does that mean that the lessons of the latter do not apply to the former? Will competition for oil be eclipsed by that for rare earth metals or lithium, such that the form but not the substance will change? Or does the possibility of achieving self-sufficiency in energy consumption through renewables offer an alternative to interstate resource competition or interdependence? Most importantly, does the challenge of climate change compel Americans to rethink their rivalry with China? Reading “The New Map” will stimulate thinking along these lines, but doing so is only the first step.
USNI News – The Department of Defense on Monday announced the completion of its Global Posture Review, which offers few changes in force lay down and includes a series of previously announced troop movements.
CIMSEC – In conclusion, the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue should focus the combined diplomatic, information, military, and economic power of its four member nations to promote maritime security in the Indo-Pacific by fostering and strengthening rising partners in the region while coordinating to detect, analyze, and interdict illicit maritime activity.
CIMSEC – Challenging threats to the rules-based order, no matter where they originate, is vitally important; but the United States also must cooperate with its adversaries, especially China and Russia, to secure the global commons and tackle other transnational threats, such as climate change and global pandemics.
The Strategy Bridge – While much analysis has focused on how fishing and other related maritime resource disputes play into great power competition and the national security implications for the U.S., comparatively little analysis has focused on the impacts of any disruption of not only the Chinese fishing fleet but China’s international food imports in the event of a Pacific conflict. Although China remains more vulnerable than the U.S. to food disruption in such a scenario, the ripple effects of a Pacific war will force China, regional actors, and even the U.S. to carefully manage national food policies, with drastic consequences should their attempts fail. In a future Pacific conflict, food policy and management by all parties is, to paraphrase Sir Michael Howard, a likely root of either victory or defeat for any unprepared participants.
The Atlantic – A cold war is already under way. The question is whether Washington can deter Beijing from initiating a hot one.
USNI Proceedings – What happens at sea will determine what happens on land across the region.
Modern War Institute – Political and defense leadership among the world’s most powerful democracies is coming to terms with the rise of China and what it means for our shared future. The United States, NATO, and Asian democracies should collectively harden infrastructure and supply chains to prepare for a generations-long standoff with an ambitious China that acts with strategic foresight and intends to increase its global influence and force projection.
CIMSEC – Perhaps the great irony of contemporary American political economy is that many of the proponents of MMT are also the biggest critics of the other aspects of U.S. power that make MMT possible.
1945 – James Holmes writes that Taiwan can take a pass on nuclear weapons—and husband defenses better suited to the strategic surroundings.
Modern War Institute – NATO is the most formidable military alliance in the world, capable of deploying and sustaining forces anywhere around the globe—an unprecedented degree of power projection. However, analyzing the contemporary geopolitical situation in the eastern Mediterranean shows that NATO is only one of the key players. Russia has strategically acquired the lion’s share of political and military influence in Syria and Libya, while also gradually empowering a potential rift in the alliance, enticing Turkey to change its course and drift away from the West. This fact is in stark contrast with basic NATO principles and goals, as dominance in the Mediterranean is critically vital to Europe’s stability and prosperity.
CIGI – Nuclear submarines are first among the pact’s initiatives. But security collaboration between Australia, the United Kingdom and the United States will also extend to advanced technology, cybersecurity and defence cooperation more broadly.
IISS – For European powers, AUKUS raises uncomfortable questions about their willingness and capacity to contribute to a hard-power response in the Indo-Pacific. As Tim Huxley and Ben Schreer argue, their policies of strategic ambiguity will become increasingly difficult to sustain.
War on the Rocks – To effectively defend its security interests and shape the strategic environment in the interim, Canberra needs a more active strategy to deter China’s gray-zone coercion now. The United States and Australia should pursue this together.
Nikkei Asia – The abrupt U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan, and the American public’s quickly fading support for military endeavors in the greater Middle East, could send the wrong message to Beijing and push it to take action in Taiwan, historian Niall Ferguson told Nikkei in an interview.
StrategyBridge – China is infusing support into the Pacific island countries via Belt and Road Initiatives, mainly infrastructure, revealing China’s desire to influence its security posture in the South Pacific. China, like the U.S., recognizes the strategic geographic value of the region and is actively investing in the region. This is a threat to the U.S. influence and values in the region.
New Statesman – For decades, the West has ignored the significance of China’s rise – but we must recognise that it will be instrumental in all our futures
Foreign Affairs – How Chinese Grand Strategy exploits U.S. power.
The Economist – A favourable geography gives the United States many advantages over its rivals, including the freedom to make calamitous mistakes.
War on the Rocks – What are the Chinese Communist Party’s intentions? Does it seek to turn China into the hegemon of Asia and a global superpower? Or does it just aim to stay in power by whatever means necessary? Unfortunately, U.S. policymakers and analysts haven’t come to an agreement on how to answer these questions. That’s a problem, because China’s intentions ought to shape how the United States develops its strategy toward the Indo-Pacific.
USNI Proceedings – Continental powers covet conquests; Maritime powers compound wealth.
War on the Rocks – Despite the Biden administration’s growing interest in Oceania, the U.S. government does not have a comprehensive strategy for the Pacific island nations, and time is running out.
War on the Rocks – The lack of convergence in the interests of Mauritius, the United Kingdom, the United States, and India has produced a stalemate over the status of the Chagos Archipelago.
Strategy Bridge – While a global superpower like the United States is capable of rapidly deploying small forces abroad, the logistical demands of sustaining such a force incurs greater costs and requires greater international acquiescence than that of a state within the same region. Thus, it remains an imperative that the United States cultivate and support regional allies as meaningful security partners, a fact made even more crucial as it enters a new era of great power rivalry.
StrategyBridge – The conventional wisdom in Washington today is that China is committed to achieving global supremacy. But that conventional wisdom is built on the dubious assumption that China’s economic growth of the past several decades will continue unabated into the future. The reality, however, is quite different. China is not destined to continue its meteoric rise as an economic power. Indeed, China’s economy is already beginning to stall. This being the case, China is unlikely to be able to pursue a revisionist policy of upending the liberal international order, even if the current leadership continues to pursue an assertive foreign policy while it is able to do so. But while the U.S. foreign policy establishment ought to plan for a period of turbulence as China’s leaders reluctantly come to grips with the reality of peak China, the more pressing need is to begin a conversation about the future of American grand strategy that takes as its jumping off point the fundamental reality that China’s rise is coming to an end.