Pacific Island Nations Want More U.S. Engagement

USNI News – Islanders have the impression they “have been tacked on at the end,” as an “afterthought” when the United States announces a strategy that covers Oceania.

National Security Risks Are Rising With Sea Levels

Bloomberg – A study says climate change will cause 1 million species to go extinct. It could also lead to war.

Persian Gulf is vital enough for US to go to war

The Hill – Would America fight if Iran closes the Persian Gulf to shipping? Confides the Magic 8-Ball: “Signs point to yes.” Presidential administrations of both parties long have reserved the right to use force in the Gulf region when vital diplomatic, economic or military interests are in peril. And they always seem to be in peril in the Gulf.

Hiding in Plain Sight: Chinese Expansion in Southeast Asia

War on the Rocks – Beijing’s geopolitical moves continue to obfuscate its larger designs, surprise observers, and render the United States and its allies reactive. The prospect of a Chinese naval base in Cambodia offers a case in point.

U.S. Advance and Russia’s Deep Concerns: The Operations Center in Ochakiv

USNI Blog – Russia has been carefully observing the activities of the U.S and British navies in the Black Sea region. It protested through diplomatic channels that the main thrust of Sea Breeze 2018, a Black Sea exercise with Ukraine, was anti-Russian. And according to the Russian Institute of Strategic Research, it was not a coincidence when after Sea Breeze 2017, the United States revealed plans to build a maritime operations center in Ochakiv, a small city located between Crimea and Odessa at the mouth of the Dnieper River.

China’s Arctic Policy and its Potential Impact on Canada’s Arctic Security

CIMSEC – China’s Arctic policy has to be examined in the context of its domestic politics and its geopolitical and geostrategic concerns.

The Great Game Moves to Sea: Tripolar Competition in the Indian Ocean Region

War on the Rocks – Three major powers — which together account for nearly half of the global economy — are vying for influence in the Indian Ocean arena. India, China, and the United States each view the region through their own geostrategic frameworks, ensuring intense jostling at best or conflict at worst. India has the “Security and Growth for all the Region” framework, a combination of its Act (or Look) East and the Think West policies. China has the Maritime Silk Road, which is half of the Belt and Road Initiative. The United States has the Indo-Pacific Strategy (also known as the Free and Open Indo Pacific), a natural successor to the Asia-Pacific rebalance.

Sister Islands in the Indian Ocean Region: Linking the Andaman and Nicobar Islands to La Reunion

War on the Rocks – History has time and again highlighted the importance of islands in establishing naval dominance. In the 21st century, maritime affairs have returned to prominence on the geopolitical stage. As countries debate an emerging security architecture in the Indo-Pacific, a key area is missing from the discussion: the role of islands. Much as they did in the past, islands will come to play a critical role in shaping the new order in the Indian Ocean region.

Niall Ferguson: This is what happens if China wins the new cold war

Financial Review – The winter of a new cold war is coming between the US and China, renowned Hoover Institution and Harvard historian Niall Ferguson warned this week. Winning it might decide the 2020 US election. Losing it might be the end of a US dollar-dominated global financial system, if not worse.

Is the United States about to lose control of its secretive Diego Garcia military base?

CNN – The secretive Diego Garcia military base may be 1,000 miles from the nearest continent, but it has all the trappings of a modern American town…

China’s Aging Population Is a Major Threat to Its Future

Time – Amateurs talk tactics, generals talk logistics – is China’s looming demographic crisis a reason why it is not a long term threat to the U.S.?

A New Cold War Has Begun

Foreign Policy – Robert D. Kaplan argues that the United States and China will be locked in a contest for decades. But Washington can win if it stays more patient than Beijing.

Why Russia is swallowing the Black Sea and won’t stop until it has ‘choked out Ukraine’

Army Times – The Kremlin has proved that geographic boundaries can be redrawn without much more than stern words from the West. But absent harsher measures and greater push-back, the former commander of U.S. Army Europe warns that the Russian Federation won’t let up.

Can China and the United States Avoid War?

USNI Proceedings – Former Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd —in his keynote address at the New China Challenge conference in October—considered the strategic competition between the United States and China. This article is adapted from his speech.

An Offbeat Take on Putin and the Sea of Azov

USNI Blog – What is Putin’s government up to? Oddly enough, counterinsurgent theory helps explain Russian motives and actions. So does thermodynamics.

Ukraine-Russia clash: Nato’s dilemma in the Black Sea

BBC – Does crisis beckon in the Black Sea? Could Russia and Nato even come to blows?

The Strategic Dimensions of the Sea of Azov

CIMSEC – The Sea of Azov is a tiny and small sea that historically has not often earned much strategic attention from the countries that possessed it. However, history reveals that the strategic importance of the sea periodically rises when at least two countries possess the shores of this sea.

China is a Funny Sort of Revisionist Power – A Conversation With Dean Cheng

War on the Rocks – What is the future of U.S.-Chinese relations? Will a rising China seek to overturn the U.S.-led international order? What is China doing inside the first island chain? In cyberspace? Orbital space? Is China more like Imperial Germany or is it more like France in the late 19th century? Dean Cheng and Brad Carson explore these questions and many more.

How the War in Yemen Became a Bloody Stalemate — and the Worst Humanitarian Crisis in the World

New York Times Magazine – Saudi Arabia thought a bombing campaign would quickly crush its enemies in Yemen. But three years later, the Houthis refuse to give up, even as 14 million people face starvation.

Britain’s Defence and the Arctic: A Timely Reminder

RUSI – The House of Commons Defence Committee has released a report looking at defence developments in the High North. It should serve as a timely reminder of defence priorities, both among decision-makers in London and the general public.

Peering through the Mists in the Arctic

USNI Blog – The Naval War College convened its second “Newport Arctic Seminar” this week to debate “principles of sea power” that ought to regulate interactions in the polar sea and along adjacent seacoasts…

President Trump is helping Beijing win in the South China Sea

Washington Post – Robert D. Kaplan says that there is a direct contradiction between Trump’s aggressive economic nationalism and his administration’s commitment to defend the South China Sea. The South China Sea is not the United States’ home waters; it is China’s. Geography still matters. And because the United States is so far away, its only hope is to offer an uplifting regional vision that anchors its military one.

China Sees Mixed Results in Quest for Indo-Pacific Air Access

War on the Rocks – Competition over critical infrastructure isn’t just confined to the maritime realm. In fact, access to airfields is just as essential to allow military aircraft to cover the vast distances across the Indian Ocean. This is why China and its competitors are paying ever more attention to securing access to airfields and to deny access to others.

How America Beat Queen Victoria’s Britain without Fighting

National Interest – America pushed Britain out of the Western Hemisphere, more or less, by the turn of the twentieth century. It did so by making itself the strongest contender in the New World, harnessing its burgeoning industrial might to build a navy able to command the waters Washington cared about most.