Review Essay—Back to the Future? History, Energy, Climate, and the Fate of Nations: “The New Map: Energy, Climate, and the Clash of Nations”

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.

Jewel of the Indo-Pacific: The Quad as a Maritime Security Diamond

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.

Beyond Competition: Why the US Must Cooperate With China and Russia For Maritime Stability

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.

A Gnawing Hunger: Food Policy and Great Power Conflict, A U.S.-China Case Study

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.

NATO in the Far East: Containing the Red Dragon

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. 

Navigating a Sea of Challenges: A New Approach For NATO in the Eastern Mediterranean

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. 

The Lion and the Mouse: The Need for Greater U.S. Focus in The Pacific Islands

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.

A Thorough Explanation of China’s Long-Term Strategy

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.

Remembering the Geography in Geopolitics and Indo-Pacific Discourse

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.

Offshore Balancing with Chinese Characteristics

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.