– 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.
– Thomas PM Barnett – Thomas PM Barnett on how to become a grand strategist.
– New Yorker – How Xi Jinping, an unremarkable provincial administrator, became China’s most authoritarian leader since Mao.
– National Interest – As Cold War glaciers melt, Chinese-Korean tensions may grow more pronounced.
– The Atlantic – The Islamic State is no mere collection of psychopaths. It is a religious group with carefully considered beliefs, among them that it is a key agent of the coming apocalypse. Here’s what that means for its strategy—and for how to stop it.
– New Yorker – A look at how and why Libya has descended into chaos after the Arab Spring…and how some are trying to restore order.
– The Diplomat – What should be the factors informing U.S. strategy in the Arctic Ocean?
– New York Review of Books – Ahmed Rashid writes that the crisis ISIS has created for the West and the Arab world cannot be effectively addressed until there is a broader understanding of what ISIS wants. The first thing we need to recognize is that ISIS is not waging a war against the West…ISIS wants to destroy the near enemy, the Arab regimes, first. This is above all a war within Islam: a conflict of Sunni against Shia, but also a war by Sunni extremists against more moderate Muslims—between those who think the Muslim world should be dominated by a single strand of Wahhabism and its extremist offshoot Salafism and those who support a pluralistic vision of Muslim society. The leaders of ISIS seek to eliminate all Muslim and non-Muslim minorities from the Middle East—not only erasing the old borders and states imposed by Western powers, but changing the entire ethnic, tribal, and religious composition of the region.
– The Times Literary Supplement – Niall Ferguson’s take on Henry Kissinger’s new book “World Order”. Ferguson asks: Does America have a foreign policy? Is this a New World Disorder?
– BBC – The question is why the Saudis would risk the goodwill of other Opec members, simultaneously emasculating the organisation and undercutting their ability to use it in the future to serve their interests. The answer is to hurt Iran and Russia…
– Forbes – Robert D. Kaplan states the Realist’s Creed.
– Epoch Times – The world may be focused on the “war on terror”, but the arms build up in North-East Asia poses a far greater threat to global stability, says Professor Desmond Ball.
– American Enterprise Institute – A review by former Soviet official Yegor Gaidar on how the Soviet Union collapsed – a story of grain and oil.
– BBC – Lower oil prices, reflected in falling petrol prices at the pump, have been a boon for Western consumers. Are they also a potent US weapon against Russia and Iran?
– Epoch Times – Desmond Ball has spent over a quarter of a century as a special professor at the Australian National University’s Strategic and Defence Studies Centre. For Professor Ball, the recent Australian deployment of air power and military personnel to northern Iraq represents a familiar scenario – the Middle East has once again become a distraction from what is needed to defend Australian shores.
– StratFor – Robert D. Kaplan looks at Eastern Europe.
– New Yorker – Ambassador Michael McFaul was there when the promise of democracy came to Russia—and when it began to fade.
– CounterPunch – Excellent analysis by Patrick Cockburn on why the West’s war on terror has failed…
– War is Boring – Old alliance needs new ideas to combat Russian secret war or “maskirovka.”
– The Economist – Excellent and insightful analysis of China today: As China becomes, again, the world’s largest economy, it wants the respect it enjoyed in centuries past. But it does not know how to achieve or deserve it.
– Stratfor – Robert D. Kaplan on the current state of affairs in Eastern Europe.
– Geopolitics – Old world order is out – Robert D. Kaplan writes that there has been something both conclusive and convulsive — and yet sustaining — about the crisis in Ukraine that has caused people to believe we have entered a new chapter in international relations. As other commentators have noted, the old order has collapsed. By that they mean the period erstwhile labeled the post-Cold War.
– New York Review of Books – Ahmed Rashid on the current situation in Pakistan.
– Real Clear World – Robert D. Kaplan states that great powers are rarely appreciated in their own time, for the benevolent order they spread goes unacknowledged by those who benefit most from what they provide. Global civilization — and the system of legal norms that arises from it — survives to a significant extent because the American military remains robust and widely deployed. And that, in turn, is not a situation that is necessarily permanent, or one that can ever be taken for granted.
– Global Guerrillas – John Robb’s interesting take on Russia’s grand strategy – Russia is an energy company with all the trappings of nation-state…Everything Russia does militarily is aimed at expanding it’s energy interests.