The Future of America’s Contest With China

New Yorker – Washington is in an intensifying standoff with Beijing. Which one will fundamentally shape the twenty-first century?

Indo-Pacific Strategy: Shaping a Hybrid Regional Order

War on the Rocks – What does Japan want in the Indo-Pacific? It can be tough to tell, because at the moment, Tokyo seems to be pursuing incompatible aims. Japan is trying to check China geopolitically while deepening economic engagement. At the same time, it wants to deepen its strategic coordination with its closest security partners — the United States, Australia, and India — through the Quad, and it also wants to ensure the participation of a maximum number of countries in its Free and Open Indo-Pacific initiative.

Adm. Davidson, Indo-Pacific commander: ‘We’re not asking people to choose between us and China’

Defense News – Adm. Philip Davidson, the head of U.S. Indo-Pacific Command, spoke to Defense News earlier this month in an exclusive interview during the Reagan National Defense Forum about China’s tactics and the role of the United States in supporting regional allies.

A Bump in the Belt and Road: Tanzania Pushes Back Against Chinese Port Project

CIMSEC – China’s Maritime Silk Road ambitions suffered a setback after Tanzanian officials refused to budge over stalled negotiations to build what would be the largest deep-water port in Africa.

The Icebreaker Gap Doesn’t Mean America is Losing in the Arctic

War on the Rocks – Using relative icebreaker fleet sizes as a key metric for the state of strategic competition in the Arctic is flawed. While they are an important platform, icebreakers do little to create or address the most commonly identified defense challenges in the region. Instead, analysts should focus on the nature of the military risks in the Arctic, the role of allies and partners, and economic interests in a broader geopolitical context rather than comparing specific capabilities.

NATO North? Building a Role for NATO in the Arctic

War on the Rocks – A growing chorus is calling for NATO to take on a greater role in the Arctic to counter Russian aggression.

Exploring the Role Nuclear Weapons Could Play in Deterring Russian Threats to the Baltic States

RAND – The insights derived from the research highlight the reality that, even if NATO makes significant efforts to modernize its nonstrategic nuclear weapons, it would have much stronger military incentives to end a future war than Russia would. That is, Russia would still enjoy escalation dominance.

Top Military Officers Unload on Trump

The Atlantic – Mark Bowden writes that the commander in chief is impulsive, disdains expertise, and gets his intelligence briefings from Fox News. What does this mean for those on the front lines?

Is Russia Preparing For An Invasion of This Important Piece of the Arctic?

National Interest – More then Greenland, Donald President Trump should know that the real Arctic prize is Svalbard (formerly known as Spitsbergen). At least that’s what renewed murmurs of Russia seeking to invade the Svalbard archipelago highlight. And these rumors die hard. A Russian-annexed Svalbard is a peripheral fear, which is anchored by historical precedent.

Five Things To Do Now To Secure Alaskan Waters From China And Russia

Forbes – As both Russia and China encroach upon the Earth’s lightly-populated polar regions, both the North and South Poles are enjoying a resurgence of American interest.

Now is Not the Time for a FONOP in the Arctic

War on the Rocks – Russia and the United States have started a game of chicken in the Arctic that could lead to an unnecessary military conflict.

Welcome to the Arctic Wars

National Interest – Moscow does not fear Beijing’s keen interest in the Arctic and this may foreclose Washington’s plans to adopt a “wedge” strategy.

Donald Trump Must Know What Really Makes America a Superpower

National Interest – Not stealth fighters but allies. And in Asia, that will matter.

The U.S. Can’t Buy Greenland But Thule Air Base Is Set To Become More Vital Than Ever Before

War Zone – With Russia drastically expanding its capabilities above the Arctic Circle, the frigid base will be key to America’s own plans for the region.

Why the Senkaku / Diaoyu Islands are Like a Toothpaste Tube

War on the Rocks – Consisting of five core islands and several minor features in the East China Sea, the Senkaku/Diaoyu Islands (Japan calls them Senkakushotō, while the China uses the name Diaoyudao) are not much in terms of size — the biggest is only a bit larger than New York City’s Central Park. But they loom large as a potential cause of armed conflict — if not war – between the region’s major powers.

World War II Teaches Us How World War III Could Happen (And Would Be Hell)

National Interest – Bottom line, there’s a whiff of the 1930s in the air in East Asia today.

The South China Sea Is Overrated

USNI Proceedings – Assigning the South China Sea geostrategic importance based on its popular sea lanes or assumed oil and gas reserves is suspect.

How geopolitics make the U.S. Navy’s plans for major Arctic operations so complicated

Arctic Today – The U.S. Navy will conduct some kind of Arctic operations this summer — but it hasn’t said exactly what. Every option comes with potential issues.

Strategy on Top of the World Part 2: Regional Arctic Perspectives

CIMSEC – The High North will almost certainly be a zone of competition. If Russia can take a hegemonic role there, it will lean on its military presence and the relative lack of international rules and norms for it to control the region. The Chinese are not far behind. American absence from the Arctic has weakened its stance with respect to great power competition and serves to upend the Navy’s stated mission of freedom of navigation.

Mauritius Scores a Pyrrhic Victory in the Indian Ocean

War on the Rocks – In zealously pursuing an anti-colonial agenda, Mauritius and India may unintentionally hand the keys to the Indian Ocean to China, accelerating India’s southern containment and Mauritius’ neo-colonization as a Chinese vassal.

Strategy on Top of the World Part 1: The Outlook for Arctic Competition

CIMSEC – The Arctic, with great potential for development and cooperation, is also a theater of growing tension. For this reason, the U.S. must give much greater priority to the Arctic.

What Does Putin Really Want?

New York Times Magazine – Russia is dead set on being a global power. But what looks like grand strategy is often improvisation — amid America’s retreat.

China and Russia Want to Control the ‘World Island’

Bloomberg – Increasing military cooperation helps both sides now, but in the long run Beijing will rule.

From Engagement to Rivalry: Tools to Compete with China

Texas National Security Review – To arrive at a new consensus, the United States needs to address the weaknesses in Americans’ knowledge of China while rethinking the connections between the ways China is analyzed and how policy is made.

China’s Multifaceted Arctic Strategy

War on the Rocks – At the recent Arctic Council ministerial meeting in Finland, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo proclaimed that the Arctic “has become an arena for power and for competition.” He singled out China, saying, “China’s words and actions raise doubts about its intentions” in the region.