– 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.
– 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.
– 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.
– 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.
– Traditional Right – William Lind on what a new Korean War could look like…
– CIMSEC – An interview with Lieutenant Jack McCain on his new book Angola, Clausewitz, and the American Way of War.
– CIMSEC – General John Allen outlines the threats the US will face in the future.
– CIMSEC – In the aftermath of the July 2016 ruling by the United Nation’s Permanent Court of Arbitration that broadly found China’s demarcation claims in the South China Sea to be without legal merit, it became apparent that legal decisions alone would do little to influence the status quo. Considering The Hague’s ruling against the strategic backdrop of power politics in the Asia Pacific, the need for a global maritime presence became clear. This presence connotes a significant maritime challenge for the European Union (EU), which remains a peripheral actor in the maritime security of the Asia-Pacific as several major powers oversee the geopolitical reordering of this critical region.
– CIMSEC – The governments and peoples of the Baltic States recognize that, following Russia’s takeover of Crimea and intervention in eastern Ukraine, they are once again in the Kremlin’s sights facing the prospect of Russian destabilization and even outright invasion.
– CIMSEC – NATO should maintain a continuous Carrier Strike Group (CSG) presence in the Mediterranean. A CSG patrolling the Mediterranean, especially in the eastern Mediterranean near Tartus, would be an overt display to Russia that NATO has not forgotten about the Mediterranean.
– CIMSEC – The changing Arctic is a topic of increasing interest to the maritime security community. Rapidly receding sea ice and increasingly navigable waters combined with the promise of rich natural resource deposits have made investment in the Arctic – particularly military and infrastructure investment – a priority for Arctic nations and other parties that stand to benefit from the region. To discuss these issues and more, CIMSEC interviewed Commander Sean Fahey, USCG of the U.S. Naval War College Stockton Center for the Study of International Law for his expert insight on legal and security issues in the High North in the 21st Century.
– Breaking Defense – Why is newly confirmed Defense Secretary Jim Mattis making his first overseas trip to the Western Pacific to confer with two of America’s key allies, Japan and South Korea?
Gulf News – Robert D. Kaplan writes that its geography fiercely argues for a balance: Be wary of nation-building, but remember the global responsibilities of a maritime nation.
– New Yorker – The Mosul Dam is failing. A breach would cause a colossal wave that could kill as many as a million and a half people.
– New Yorker – President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi has unwittingly revealed more about his country’s political structures than anybody could have imagined.
– New Yorker – As the caliphate crumbles, rival movements struggle for the soul of Sunni jihadism.
– CIMSEC – On 25 October 2016, the Spanish-flagged merchant tanker Galicia Spirit came under fire when a rocket-propelled grenade (RPG) was fired at it from a small speedboat that had interdicted the vessel. The tanker was then attacked with small arms fire. The merchant vessel escaped catastrophic damage, and was able to continue its journey onward. However, only two days later, the liquefied natural gas (LNG) tanker Melati Satu was attacked in the same area, also with RPGs. The Tuvalu-flagged Melati Satu’s crew sent out a distress call, were rescued by a Saudi Arabian naval vessel, and were subsequently escorted to safety. Both ships had been traversing the Bab el-Mandeb strait between south-western Yemen and north-eastern Djibouti. This small waterway must be negotiated to access or egress the Egyptian-controlled Suez Canal, which sits at the northern end of the Red Sea.
– The Atlantic – James Fallows writes that China has become repressive in a way that it has not been since the Cultural Revolution. What does its darkening political climate—and growing belligerence—mean for the United States?
– The Atlantic – The legendary and controversial statesman criticizes the Obama Doctrine, talks about the main challenges for the next president, and explains how to avoid war with China.
– CIMSEC – Disengagement is always tempting for great powers. The “Weary Titans” of international politics have an ear for their politicians’ rhetoric of exhaustion and weariness. This encourages isolationism, the cutting of “entanglements,” and the desire to define “national interest” as purely homeland defense. But laying down our burdens rarely works. Enemies’ animosity and ambition is spurred, not deflected if states that benefit from the international order look the other way.
– New Yorker – Did an exiled cleric try to overthrow Erdoğan’s government?
– Washington Free Beacon – An interview with Robert D. Kaplan: What America can expect in an age of ‘great power anarchy’
– Der Spiegel – With its Maritime Silk Road, China is tapping the world’s oceans for its own strategic purposes. It’s a bold plan that is causing unease in India and the United States — and also has implications for Europe.
– CIMSEC – This article will argue that the convergence of new technologies is dramatically changing how we make things, what we make, and where we make them. These technologies plus trends in energy production, agriculture, politics, and internet governance will result in the localization of manufacturing, services, energy, and food production. This shift will significantly change the international security environment and in particular the role of the U.S. naval forces.
– The Economist – The ability to peer unhindered into the deep would reveal a host of wonders—and have huge practical consequences.