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.

The Four Plus One and Global Mega Trends

CIMSEC – General John Allen outlines the threats the US will face in the future.

The Asia Pacific and Europe’s Maritime Security Strategy

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.

Baltic Grey Zone Threats on NATO’s Northern Flank

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.

The Case for a Constant NATO SCG Presence in the Mediterranean

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.

Arctic Security and Legal Issues in the 21st Century: An Interview with CDR Sean Fahey

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.

Why Mattis Headed East: Time For China Strategy

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?

America cannot disengage from the rest of the world

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.

A Bigger Problem than ISIS?

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.

Egypt’s Failed Revolution

New Yorker – President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi has unwittingly revealed more about his country’s political structures than anybody could have imagined.

After the Islamic State

New Yorker – As the caliphate crumbles, rival movements struggle for the soul of Sunni jihadism.

Dangerous Waters: the Situation in the Bab el-Mandeb Strait

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.

China’s Great Leap Backward

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 Lessons of Henry Kissinger

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.

US, Israel, and Seapower in the East Med

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.