Strategic Posture Review: South Korea

South Korean army soldiers patrol along the demilitarized zone (DMZ) in Cheorwon, South Korea, May 13, 2014 (AP photo by Lim Byung-shik).

As a fully democratic and developed country, South Korea has realized its aspirations to become a major international player. Nonetheless, the persistent threat from North Korea, along with the challenge of having three of the world’s most powerful countries as neighbors, continues to constrain South Korea.

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Special Report

Zero Solutions: Challenges Mount for Erdogan's Turkey

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, center right, and Chief of Staff Gen. Necdet Ozel, rear left, on Victory Day in Ankara, Turkey, Aug. 30, 2014 (AP photo by Burhan Ozbilici).

Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s shift from the prime ministership to the presidency symbolizes a deeper shift for Turkey. While Erdogan has made progress towards peace with the Kurdish minority, he faces criticism for an increasingly autocratic ruling style, and Turkey’s international relations are under strain.

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Special Report

A Year of Conflict and Crisis for Africa

Rebels sit in the now-emptied hospital in Malakal, South Sudan, February 26, 2014 (AP Photo/Ilya Gridneff).
As President Barack Obama convenes a summit of nearly 50 African leaders in Washington focused mainly on economic opportunity, security and health crises continue to undermine the continent’s potential. But while Western powers continue to wield influence, it is increasingly Africa’s leaders who are driving events.
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Strategic Posture Review: Israel

Israel’s threat environment has changed dramatically in recent years, especially when compared to that which Israel faced when its defense doctrine was first articulated and its force structure was first conceived. This report will discuss these changes, identify the new challenges Israel faces, characterize the domestic environment affecting defense allocations and attempt to ascertain the implications of these factors for Israeli strategy. The conclusion will elaborate on the debate now taking place within the country’s defense community about the future doctrine and force structure of the Israel Defense Forces.
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Special Report

Syria's Spillover, Iraq's Nightmare

The ongoing civil war in Syria has spread across the Iraqi border in recent months, putting Iraq back at the center of the region’s security agenda. As the forces of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) take control over a large part of Iraq, the Kurdish population has become increasingly assertive in the pursuit of its own autonomy, and Iraq has once again become a policy challenge for Washington. This report examines the implications of the growing conflict for Iraq, the U.S., Syria and a potentially independent Kurdistan, drawing on articles published in the past year.
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Special Report

Nigeria’s Governance and Security Deficit

The mass kidnapping of schoolgirls by the militant Islamist group Boko Haram put an unwelcome spotlight on Nigeria. Though the attention is new, Nigeria’s security and governance deficits are not, with implications for the country's domestic politics and regional influence. The United States and international partners have a role to play in assisting Nigeria, particularly in terms of improving security, but ultimately it is how Nigeria rises to the challenges it faces that will determine the course of its future. This special report reviews those challenges, and the responses to them, through recently published articles.
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Strategic Posture Review: Russia

The past few years have seen a remarkable recovery of Russia’s international influence and ambitions. Rejecting an implicit offer of partnership with the West, the Russian government under President Vladimir Putin continues to pursue a separate agenda aimed at making Russia an important and independent pillar of the global order. Moscow may not yet aspire to become a global superpower and peer rival of the U.S. again, but Russian policymakers consistently challenge efforts to relegate Moscow to secondary status in Europe and East Asia. Nonetheless, a number of domestic and foreign factors will impact Russia’s strategic posture.
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Special Report

East Asia's Rising Tide

U.S. President Barack Obama’s recent trip through East Asia was only the latest reminder of the growing economic and geopolitical influence of the region’s rising powers. Now more firmly installed, the governments in China, Japan and South Korea have each begun to put their stamps on their countries’ strategies, as each country confronts the challenges posed by its neighbors and by relations with the United States. This special report examines the dynamic geopolitics of East Asia through articles published in the past 18 months.
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Special Report: The Ukraine Crisis’ Regional Fallout

The effects of Russia’s military takeover of Crimea are being felt far beyond Ukraine’s now-disputed borders. The crisis has put a spotlight on NATO, placing it once again at the center of European security discussions. For Russia, the move into Ukraine comes with great risk, as Moscow’s control of European energy supplies has weakened in recent years while a long-running military modernization program has yet to transform Russian forces. And in Washington, next steps depend on an assessment of exactly where U.S. interests lie. This special report reviews the key regional actors in the Ukraine crisis through recently published articles.
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Strategic Posture Review: Germany

Like all states, the Federal Republic of Germany’s strategic posture is shaped by the country’s history, geographic position and economic status. In the German case, however, the outcome is particularly peculiar—because all factors involved are rather unique. Combined, these factors have contributed to the so-called German Question: What is the proper strategic outlook for a state that overshadows all other European nations, yet is too weak to rule the continent, as two world wars have disastrously proved? As we see today, there is no ultimate answer to this question. It requires constant renegotiation and recalibration.
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