War on the Rocks – If the United States is to have a reasonable hope of winning a war, it needs to think very seriously about what it would be like to lose.
USNI Proceedings – Alfred Thayer Mahan and Sir Julian Corbett are as relevant today as ever.
War on the Rocks – In order to better position the United States for geopolitical competition in the region, the Biden administration should write and publish a new national security strategy for the Arctic.
USNI Proceedings – The United States was dragged, largely against its will, into international importance. It must not walk–or be pushed–away.
CIMSEC – NATO must find a solution to address the current limitations of its Black Sea maritime posture, in particular the Montreux Convention, but also the low capacity of Black Sea NATO navies and the lack of sufficient NATO maritime command and control in the region.
CIMSEC – It is clear that the status quo or retrenchment will have negative consequences for the United States, the region, and the world. It is equally clear that Washington must act now to turn the tides in the SCS and avert a dystopian future when Beijing exerts administrative control and jurisdictional authority of the strategic waterway.
The Spectator – Niall Ferguson states that “It is one thing to compete with China. I firmly believe we need to do that in every domain, from artificial intelligence to Covid vaccines. But the minute we start copying China, we are on the path to perdition.”
CIMSEC – “The Baltic Sea has grown to a never-seen strategic significance in the past years.” This is how Vice Admiral Andreas Krause, former Chief of the German Navy (2014-2021), described the current situation of what is sometimes referred to as a ‘flooded meadow’ in naval circles.
CIMSEC – Worldwide “Ocean Governance” asks the important question: “How can navies and coast guards better coordinate with local governments and international agencies in countering violence at sea? What lessons can be learned from instances of good onshore/offshore collaboration? How are governments working together across jurisdictions and in international waters to counter this threat?”
1945 – James Holmes writes that even seemingly objective imagery such as cartography can convey political messages as well as facts.
War on the Rocks – In trying to understand America’s “great power competition” with China, observers have offered a range of historical analogies. Graham Allison invoked the “Thucydides Trap,” referring to Athens and its war with Sparta, while a recent compilation asked, in reference to World War I, if a U.S.-Chinese clash could be the next great war. But perhaps the Napoleonic Wars offer a better analogy.
1945 – James Holmes asks – Riddle me this: does a contender intent on overthrowing the international system harbor “limited” or “unlimited” political goals?
The Atlantic – They’ve become a major military player—and maybe a substitute for strategic thinking.
War on the Rocks – In February 1946, the diplomat George Kennan — then serving as charge d’affaires at the U.S. Embassy in Moscow — authored a 5,000-word telegram analyzing the sources of Soviet conduct and laying out the case for what would become the Cold War strategy of containment. Seventy-five years later, as the United States enters a new era of great-power competition with the People’s Republic of China, War on the Rocks is pleased to publish a landmark essay in this same tradition by acclaimed international relations strategist and renowned Sinologist C. Lea Shea, drawing on his decades of scholarship and service in Democratic and Republican administrations alike.
War on the Rocks – In March, the South Atlantic witnessed an unusual scene: a U.S. ship turning around and sailing for home, having been refused docking rights and services by the Argentine Ministry of Foreign Affairs. From January to March, the U.S. Coast Guard deployed one of its newest cutters, the USCGC Stone, to the South Atlantic, with the mission to strengthen maritime security relations and help curb illegal fishing — predominately Chinese — off the South American coast. This was the Coast Guard’s first such regional deployment in over a decade, and its first three-quarters were a success, training and cooperating with the maritime forces of Guyana, Brazil, and Uruguay. In Argentina, however, the mission hit a snag when the government refused to provide the dock services that are routine for such a visit.The press paid little attention to this kerfuffle, but it was yet another sign that a tectonic shift is underway. In the South Atlantic, former U.S. security partners are building stronger ties with China, a shift that presents critical future risks for Washington and the inter-American community.
Bloomberg – Niall Ferguson writes that America is a diplomatic fox, while Beijing is a hedgehog fixated on the big idea of reunification.
Atlantic Council – Today the Atlantic Council publishes an extraordinary new strategy paper that offers one of the most insightful and rigorous examinations to date of Chinese geopolitical strategy and how an informed American strategy would address the challenges of China’s own strategic ambitions.
The Guardian – Critics warn of imperial fantasy but the economic and political forces pulling the UK back to the region are real
War on the Rocks – The U.S. Navy approach toward the Arctic appears to be fraught with contradiction. Its new strategic plan for the region, Blue Arctic: a Strategic Plan for the Arctic, was published in January 2021 and calls for a stronger U.S. footprint and greater influence in the region. In line with the tri-service maritime strategy, it highlights an increased urgency to strengthen Arctic deterrence without undermining stability, reducing trust, or triggering conflict. The Navy, however, seems to be pursuing the two main goals — deterrence and stability — with contradictory methods at times.
Foreign Policy – As Washington ramps up to defend democracy, Beijing is still motivated mostly by geography.
CIMSEC – The most significant foreign policy debate in Washington at the moment is how to frame the emerging strategic competition with People’s Republic China (PRC), with foreign policy elites arguing whether we are in a “cold war” with China or something entirely different. The stakes of the debate are considerable because it will decide how the United States develops policies for competing with the PRC and how it frames that competition with allies and partners.
1945 – James Holmes wants to know whether Communist China’s “involvement” in the Western Hemisphere might prompt political leaders in Washington DC to invoke the Monroe Doctrine to curtail such involvement.
1945 – James Holmes writes that consensus on principles, change in how principles are put into practice: that seems to be the American way.
CIMSEC – Arms races and military build-ups are a recurring phenomenon in global politics even today.