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Global Insights

High-Profile Naval Visit Belies China’s Low-Profile Approach to Iran

Iran's President Hassan Rouhani, left, and Chinese President Xi Jinping before the opening ceremony at the fourth Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia (CICA) summit in Shanghai, China, May 21, 2014 (AP photo by Aly Song).
By Richard Weitz
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Two Chinese warships paid a port call to Iran over the weekend ahead of a four-day joint naval exercise with the Iranian navy this week. The visit highlights China’s ties with Iran, at a time when the outcome of international negotiations over Iran’s nuclear program remains uncertain. more

Diplomatic Fallout

Ebola Crisis Offers Ban Ki-moon a Last Chance to Lead

By Richard Gowan
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U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon revealed a new side to his character over the past week: Action Ban. A self-confessed fan of action movies, Ban must daydream of tackling threats with the speed and stern decisiveness of on-screen world leaders. Yet to date, he generally hasn’t done so. more

Strategic Horizons

U.S. Strategy for Defeating the Islamic State Group Won't Work

By Steven Metz
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President Barack Obama’s strategy for dealing with the Islamic State group appeals to a weary nation, but it is unlikely to work because it violates two cardinal rules of strategy: The resources are not commensurate with the objectives, and the coalition’s objectives are not in sync. more

Global Insights

Responding to Crises, SCO Finally Embraces Expansion

By Richard Weitz
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After years of stasis, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization at its latest summit finally agreed to consider expanding the organization’s membership, which has remained fixed since its foundation in 2001. But the group still faces several obstacles to expanding its role in Eurasia. more

Strategic Horizons

Assessing Obama’s Legacy in National Security Policy

By Steven Metz
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Obama’s national security legacy will be an important benchmark for future American national security strategy. If seen as a success, it will serve as a model. If seen as a general failure, it will offer a warning. Therefore it is important to begin thinking about it now. more