Assured Resolve: Testing Possible Challenges to Baltic Security

Center for a New American Security – In the report, CNAS senior fellows Julianne Smith and Jerry Hendrix examine possible security challenges in effort to prepare the United States and Europe for future existential threats posed by Russia. Smith and Hendrix note that although Europe’s security situation was largely considered stable for much of the last 10 to 14 years, that premise no longer holds true.

Barack Obama’s Revolution in Foreign Policy

The Atlantic – Niall Ferguson writes that when you think you’re the smartest person in the room, it’s tempting to make up your own grand strategy.

Can ‘Quad Plus’ Flex Its Muscles Against China?

National Interest – It remains to be seen whether the four Quad countries will ever convene regularly at an official level to caucus on security matters…

America’s Post-Oil Grand Strategy

Thomas P.M. Barnett – Thomas P.M. Barnett’s latest opinion on what America’s grand strategy should be going forward.

Reinforcing Deterrence on NATO’s Eastern Flank: Wargaming the Defense of the Baltics

RAND – Russia’s recent aggression against Ukraine has disrupted nearly a generation of relative peace and stability between Moscow and its Western neighbors and raised concerns about its larger intentions. From the perspective of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), the threat to the three Baltic republics of Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania — former Soviet republics, now member states that border Russian territory — may be the most problematic of these. In a series of war games conducted between summer 2014 and spring 2015, RAND Arroyo Center examined the shape and probable outcome of a near-term Russian invasion of the Baltic states. The games’ findings are unambiguous: As presently postured, NATO cannot successfully defend the territory of its most exposed members. Fortunately, it will not require Herculean effort to avoid such a failure. Further gaming indicates that a force of about seven brigades, including three heavy armored brigades — adequately supported by airpower, land-based fires, and other enablers on the ground and ready to fight at the onset of hostilities — could suffice to prevent the rapid overrun of the Baltic states.

Europe’s New Medieval Map

Wall Street Journal – Robert D. Kaplan writes that if you look at any map of Europe from the Middle Ages or the early modern era, before the Industrial Revolution, and you will be overwhelmed by its dizzying incoherence — all of those empires, kingdoms, confederations, minor states, “upper” this and “lower” that. It is a picture of a radically fractured world. Today’s Europe is, in effect, returning to such a map.

Military to Military

London Review of Books – Seymour M. Hersh on US intelligence sharing with the Syrians in the Syrian war.

Why America isn’t winning its wars

Christian Science Monitor – It’s easy to blame presidents for a lack of strategy, but a growing number of officials are saying that the fault lies with a lack of vision in the Pentagon.

The Economics of War With China: This Will Hurt You More Than It Hurts Me

War on the Rocks – The robust trade relationship between the United States and China dwarfs the limited trade between the United States and the Soviet Union, leading many analysts to conclude that open conflict today is unrealistic because of a presumed equal economic impact on both sides. A cursory analysis reveals that the reality is entirely different: Sino–American economic ties are asymmetrically interdependent rather than mutually dependent. This would strongly favor the United States in any conflict.

Is China Pursuing Counter-Intervention?

Washington Quarterly – The term “counter-invention” has become burdened with conflated meanings and thus controversial in describing aspects of Chinese national and military strategy. Yet, the term should be retained although refined in two ways to help U.S. policymakers and planners devise appropriate responses to Chinese behavior aimed at undermining U.S. leadership in Asia.

Building a Mediterranean Arc of Stability for America’s Long War

USNI News – As it turns to rely on airpower for solutions to national security problems, the United States would be well served to reconsider the placement of additional overseas basing infrastructure on territories held by consistent and reliable allies. The reinforcement and expansion of existing airbases along NATO’s southern flank will greatly enhance our ability to respond to emerging threats and maintain a long-term presence at acceptable cost.

The Turkish-ISIS Alliance

Traditional Right – William Lind with an interesting insight on why did Turkey shoot down a Russian fighter-bomber.

The Key to Henry Kissinger’s Success

The Atlantic – The statesman understood something most diplomats don’t: history—and how to apply it.

The Thucydides Trap: Are the U.S. and China Headed for War?

The Atlantic – In 12 of 16 past cases in which a rising power has confronted a ruling power, the result has been bloodshed.

Yours, Mine, and Moscow’s: Breaking Down Russia’s Latest Arctic Claims

USNI – On August 4th, the Russian Federation’s Foreign Ministry reported that it had resubmitted its claim to a vast swath (more than 1.2 million square kilometers, including the North Pole) of the rapidly changing and potentially lucrative Arctic to the United Nations. In 2002, Russia put forth a similar claim, but it was rejected based on lack of sufficient support. This latest petition, however, is supported by “ample scientific data collected in years of arctic research,” according to Moscow.

Interview: Robert Kaplan

The Diplomat – Journalist and geopolitical analyst Robert Kaplan on the South China Sea, China and Asia’s future.

Tactical Nuclear Weapons and Deterrence

The Diplomat – Could tactical nuclear deterrence help prevent conflict in an Asian maritime context?

Interview with Robert D. Kaplan: The South China Sea and the Rise of China’s Commercial Empire

Liberty Web – An interview with Robert D. Kaplan.

Robert D. Kaplan: ‘The South China Sea is to China what the Greater Caribbean was to the United States’

Globe and Mail – An interview with Robert D. Kaplan.

The Art of Avoiding War

The Atlantic – Robert D. Kaplan on why it’s so hard to defeat an enemy that won’t fight you, and what this means for U.S. strategy on everything from the Islamic State to China.

Born Red

New Yorker – How Xi Jinping, an unremarkable provincial administrator, became China’s most authoritarian leader since Mao.

Trouble Ahead? Chinese-Korean Disputes May Intensify

National Interest – As Cold War glaciers melt, Chinese-Korean tensions may grow more pronounced.