Strategic Horizons: U.S. Military Must Prepare for China’s Rise—and Fall

For now, Russia’s revived aggression is dominating the news in the United States. Once the furor subsides, al-Qaida will likely regain most of the attention. But in the long term, these issues pale in importance to the challenge of China’s rising power and the danger that may come with a Chinese slow-down. For the U.S., the priority is maintaining maximum flexibility in case a declining China lashes out.

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Despite China’s Protests, U.S. Remains Adamant About Taiwan’s Defense

Three decades after the passage of the Taiwan Relations Act, the United States continues to augment Taiwan’s military capabilities—recent discussions have raised the possibility of the U.S. helping Taiwan to acquire U.S.-made frigates and a new indigenous type of diesel submarines. But China’s rising military capabilities place the island in an increasingly vulnerable position.

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Courting Disaster: Can Thailand’s Monarchy Survive Democracy?

By David Streckfuss
, on , Feature

When King Bhumibol Adulyadej of Thailand celebrated the 60th anniversary of his accession to the throne in June 2006, he seemed to be at the height of his popularity. Eight years later, many observers say that civil war in Thailand is no longer a remote possibility, the king’s nearly assured legacy seemingly squandered. The 82-year-old question of Thai constitutional monarchy might finally have come due: Who is sovereign—the people or the monarchy and the elite connected to it? more

Beating Expectations, China Moves Ahead With Substantive Economic Reforms

By Iain Mills
, on , Briefing

China’s leadership has long vowed to clean up the country’s bureaucracy and break up government monopolies. But the state apparatus has seemed unwilling or unable to push through substantive implementation measures—until now. Xi Jinping is undertaking the most sustained and well-strategized attack on vested interests in at least 15 years, in a campaign that may yield substantive progress on critical issues. more

Marked by Strong Opposition, India’s Election Brings No Guarantee of Change

By Prashanth Parameswaran
, on , Briefing

Over the next few weeks, more than 800 million Indians will vote in a general election in the world’s largest democracy. Early signs are that opposition candidate Narendra Modi will beat the ruling Congress party’s Rahul Gandhi. While this is testament to Congress’ poor performance during its decade in power, the election outcome—whatever that may be—could in fact bring more continuity than change for India. more

World Citizen: In India Election, Both Gandhi, Modi Weighed Down by Past

By Frida Ghitis
, on , Column

The sheer magnitude of the elections taking place in India make them historic and worthy of international attention. But even if the contest had more familiar proportions it would still constitute a major event in world affairs. The choice of India’s next leader is sending nervous chills down some people’s spines. The next government in New Delhi will have the power to shake up the world’s largest democracy. more

Modi Win in India Could Endanger Nepal’s Secular Transition

By Vishal Arora
, on , Briefing

Nepal is keenly watching India’s ongoing parliamentary elections, where the presumed victory of Hindu nationalist Narendra Modi is raising questions about the future of the Himalayan nation’s transition from a Hindu monarchy to a secular democracy. With opinion polls pointing to a BJP victory in India, royalist parties in Nepal could find regional support for their calls to return Nepal to its Hindu identity. more

Expanded Military Ties With China May Be of Limited Utility for U.S.

By Eric Auner
, on , Trend Lines

On a 10-day trip through Asia, U.S. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel sought to build military ties with allies and partners involved in the U.S. rebalance to the region. He also reached out to China, the presumptive main U.S. competitor in the region, and announced the need for a “new model” of military-to-military relations between the two nations. more

Strategic Horizons: In Ukraine, Russia Reveals Its Mastery of Unrestricted Warfare

By Steven Metz
, on , Column

Russia is on the hunt again, determined to engulf another part of Ukraine. Moscow’s complex, multidimensional offensive uses intimidation, misinformation and any organization or group that can serve its interests. For a beleaguered Ukraine, pressure is coming in many ways and from many directions. And that is exactly what Vladimir Putin intends. Moscow has adopted, even mastered, a form of unrestricted warfare. more

Australia’s Abbott Seeks to Balance Japan, South Korea and China on Asian Trip

By Roxane Horton
, on , Briefing

Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott came to power in 2013 declaring that Australia was “open for business” and promising to fast-track stalled free trade agreements with Japan, South Korea and China. Abbott pulled off an impressive feat in Asia last week as he embarked on a three-nation tour of those countries, forging free trade agreements and announcing closer security relations on each stop along the way. more

Global Insider: Iran-Pakistan Border a Major Concern in Bilateral Relationship

By The Editors
, on , Trend Lines

This month, four Iranian border guards were freed two months after being kidnapped and allegedly taken into Pakistan by an Iran-based Sunni militant group. In an email interview, Isaac Kfir, a senior researcher at Syracuse University’s Institute for National Security and Counterterrorism and a visiting assistant professor of law and international relations, explained the state of Iran-Pakistan relations. more

Appearance of Partisan Tensions Masks Broad Agreement on Missile Defense

By Eric Auner
, on , Trend Lines

Russian actions in Ukraine have injected new urgency, and partisan vitriol, into the debate over U.S. plans to deploy ballistic missile defense systems in Europe. But beneath the surface, many of the most fundamental issues relating to U.S. missile defense plans seem to be politically uncontroversial, even as technical experts continue to question whether U.S. systems will actually perform as designed. more