Is Japan Ready for the Quad? Opportunities and Challenges for Tokyo in a Changing Indo-Pacific

War on the Rocks – On Aug. 22, 2007, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe spoke in front of the Indian Parliament and articulated a vision for the Indo-Pacific region. He spoke of a “confluence of the two seas,” seeking to draw a strategic link between the Pacific and Indian Oceans. Abe posited that Japan and India had a shared responsibility, as maritime nations located at the opposite edges of the “two seas,” to ensure the maintenance of peace and prosperity anchored by democratic principles.

The Mystery of the Exiled Billionaire Whistle-Blower

New York Times Magazine – From a penthouse on Central Park, Guo Wengui has exposed a phenomenal web of corruption in China’s ruling elite — if, that is, he’s telling the truth.

Making China Great Again

New Yorker – As Donald Trump surrenders America’s global commitments, Xi Jinping is learning to pick up the pieces.

The Chinese Dream and Beijing’s Grand Strategy

CIMSEC – Xi has irreversibly moved China away from the legacies of Mao and Deng, and resolutely set the country on the continued path of the Chinese Dream – a strategic roadmap for national rejuvenation (grand strategy) that interlinks all ancillary strategies. The following discourse will explore the cohesive alignment of these strategies and the connected strategic themes pervasive throughout them.

What Putin Really Wants

The Atlantic – Russia’s strongman president has many Americans convinced of his manipulative genius. He’s really just a gambler who won big.

Estonia, The Digital Republic

The New Yorker – Its government is virtual, borderless, blockchained, and secure. Has this tiny post-Soviet nation found the way of the future?

China has a plan to rule the world

Washington Post – David Ignatius’ fascinating look at Chinese grand strategy.

Why Russia Is Sending Robotic Submarines to the Arctic

BBC – The harsh icy sea is one of Earth’s biggest gas and oil hotspots – and Russia’s sending its military to stake its claim.

The Indo-Pacific Concept: Retrospect and Prospect

CIMSEC – Since 2010, the concept of ‘Indo-Pacific’ has gained increasing prevalence in the geopolitical and strategic discourse, and is now being used increasingly by policy-makers, analysts and academics in Asia and beyond.

The North Korean Threat to China

Traditional Right – William Lind writes that “If we instead stand back a bit and look at the strategic picture, we quickly see that the North Korean threat to China is far greater than its threat to us.”

Xi has bolstered his power, but what will he do with it?

New Straits Times – Niall Ferguson on the events in Beijing last week.

Delaying Chinese Global Dominance

Global Guerrillas – What could be done to delay China’s One Belt One Road initiative? One solution is to mount a rearguard action — a method of delaying an advancing enemy when your forces are in retreat.

The Risk of Nuclear War With North Korea

New Yorker – On the ground in Pyongyang: Could Kim Jong Un and Donald Trump goad each other into a devastating confrontation?

The Law of the Sea with John Burgess

CIMSEC – Join us for the latest episode of Sea Control for a conversation with Professor John Burgess of the Fletcher School about the Law of the Sea and its enduring effects on maritime security.

Is The Arctic The Next South China Sea? Not Likely

Breaking Defense – Even if climate change melts new trade routes through the Arctic ice, as scientists predict, will it become as important and contested as the South China Sea, where China has built and fortified artificial islands to enforce centuries-old claims? Probably not, agreed every expert we consulted for this article.

The Arctic Could Be the Next South China Sea, Says Coast Guard Commandant

Defense One – Rich with energy resources, minerals and strategic positioning, the warming Arctic is ripe for territorial disputes, Adm. Zukunft warns.

China’s Cyber-Economic Warfare Threatens U.S.

US Naval Institute Proceedings – The People’s Republic of China (PRC) is executing a long-term, cyber-enabled economic campaign designed to capture and control key strategic industries. The campaign is more than just the theft of intellectual property or cyber espionage. According to recent testimony provided to the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission, it is a “centrally controlled national strategy designed to achieve economic, military, and diplomatic superiority”—a form of “unrestricted warfare.” Among the strategic industries targeted by the PRC, several are critical to the U.S. Navy. These include the semiconductor and associated industries, the undersea cable industry, and maritime shipbuilding. If the PRC is able to gain effective control of these sectors, it will have significant political, economic, and military leverage over the United States and its allies, and the ability of the Navy to execute its core functions will be in doubt.

An Unsung Foreign Service Hero

The American Interest – Robert D. Kaplan writes that some 10,000 Ethiopian Jews owe their lives to Jerry Weaver, a Foreign Service Officer who had swash and buckle to spare.

Developing the Five Power Defence Arrangements

Straits Times – The Five Power Defence Arrangements (FPDA) is a low-profile but important regional security institution established in 1971 between Australia, Malaysia, New Zealand, Singapore and the United Kingdom in the wake of the latter’s withdrawal of most of its military forces from “East of Suez”. Far from anachronistic, the FPDA has continued to fulfil vital security roles to the benefit of not only its members but also the wider security and stability of South-east Asia. But an important question for its member countries’ ministers when they hold their triennial meeting in Singapore on June 2, just before the 16th International Institute for Strategic Studies Shangri-La Dialogue, is how to develop the FPDA in the future.

China Tries To Encircle India. It Won’t Work

Forbes – China’s efforts to encircle India won’t work. That’s the message India and its allies, America and Japan are prepared to send to Beijing in a joint naval exercise.

How China’s ancient carrot-and-stick concept guides its rise, and why it has just 15 years to secure its place in the world

South China Morning Post – Howard French, American China watcher, talks about Xi Jinping, Donald Trump, and his new book looking at how the nation’s rise accords with a concept it has long taken for granted – tianxia.

Is China the World’s New Colonial Power?

New York Times Magazine – The rising superpower has built up enormous holdings in poor, resource-rich African countries – but its business partners there aren’t always thrilled.

Great Power Competition

CIMSEC – An interview with Lieutenant Jack McCain on his new book Angola, Clausewitz, and the American Way of War.