• BOOKSHELF: The Russia connectionRussia’s “Neo-Imperialism” Is a Product of Complex Factors

    By Simon Saradzhyan

    Since Russia’s intervention in Ukraine, there has been no shortage of commentaries, articles, papers and entire volumes by Western academics, think-tankers, former policy practitioners and journalists on how Russian President Vladimir Putin is rebuilding the Russian empire or how the Kremlin has never actually stopped building one. Still, there are some books on Russia’s external policies that I could not have missed, and Russian Imperialism Revisited by long-time Russia scholar Domitilla Sagramoso is one of them.

  • Western HemispherePresident Trump’s Foreign Policy Triumph in Guyana and South America

    By Deborah Misir

    President Donald Trump’s capable handling of the recent election crisis in Guyana has received little attention in the U.S. press; it deserves more.  Not only has the President protected U.S. strategic interests in the region, he has saved democracy in Guyana, enhanced US influence in the Caribbean and northeastern corner of South America, and is keeping up the pressure on the rogue dictatorships of Venezuela and Cuba.

  • CybersecurityPredicting the Likelihood of Cyberattacks Between Nations

    Where in the world might the next cyberattack between nations take place? A new online database developed by a team computer scientists and international studies students predicts that there is an “extremely high likelihood” of a Russian cyberattack on Ukraine. The second most likely? The United States against Iran.

  • China Reports Spike in U.S. Surveillance Flights

    By Ralph Jennings

    A reported spike in U.S. military flights over the seas near China reflects Washington’s drive to understand and deter Chinese expansion in contested waters, analysts say. U.S. military surveillance planes flew off China’s coast 60 times in September, more than in July or August, according to Chinese state-backed research organization South China Sea Strategic Situation Probing Initiative’s website.

  • China syndromeChina Expanding Detention Camp Network in Xinjiang

    China’s network of detention centers in the northwest Xinjiang region is much more extended than previously thought and has been expanded in recent years. The number of facilities where China is believed to have detained more than 1 million Uyghurs and other mostly Muslim Turkic-speaking minorities is around 40 percent greater than previous estimates and the network has been growing despite China’s claims that many Uyghurs have been released.

  • Hemispheric securityPandemic Crushes Guyana’s Dreams of Big Oil Profits as “Resource Curse” Looms over Oil-Producing Nations

    By Amy Myers Jaffe

    This year was supposed to bring great things for Guyana. ExxonMobil discovered massive oil deposits off the South American country’s Caribbean coast in 2015, and Guyana sold its first cargo of crude oil this February. But Guyana’s dreams of fabulous wealth this year have been dashed by COVID-19, which has delayed production and slashed oil demand. Compounding its coronavirus troubles, Guyana shows warning signs of the so-called “resource curse,” in which a country’s new oil wealth crowds out other productive economic sectors, breeds corruption and triggers political conflict. Very few petrostates have adequately diversified their economies. Exceptions include Malaysia and Dubai, which have both used oil wealth successfully to build a broader economic foundation and have avoided the dreaded “resource curse.” Those countries should be models for Guyana.

  • China syndromeU.S.-China Fight over Fishing Is Really about World Domination

    By Blake Earle

    China’s aggressive, sometimes illegal fishing practices are the latest source of conflict with the United States.

    China has the world’s largest fishing fleet. Beijing claims to send around 2,600 vessels out to fish across the globe, but some maritime experts say this distant-water fishing fleet may number nearly 17,000. The United States has fewer than 300 distant-water ships. Governments often use the fishing industry to advance their diplomatic agenda, as my work as a historian of fishing and American foreign relations shows. The United States used fishing, directly and indirectly, to build its international empire from its founding through the 20th century. Now China’s doing it, too.

  • China syndromeU.K. Nuclear Power: The Next Huawei?

    By Jo Harper

    London’s relations with China — hailed as entering a “golden era” only four years ago — have deteriorated badly over the coronavirus crisis and the Hong Kong issue, hitting a nadir when the U.K. finally bowed to U.S. pressure to ditch Huawei’s involvement in its new-generation internet (5G) rollout. China warned the U.K. it would face “consequences if it chooses to be a hostile partner” after London announced its Huawei’s decision. Nuclear power, once a key part of the U.K. energy plans, faces rising costs, cheaper renewables, and domestic opposition – but it also finds itself at the center of a row between London and Beijing that could prove fatal.

  • ARGUMENT: China & IranThe Prospect of China-Iran Axis

    What will ties between China and Iran look like in the future? Amos Yadlin and Ari Heistein write that a recently leaked draft of a partnership agreement between Beijing and Tehran may provide some insight. The document outlines a framework for increased Chinese investment in Iran, strategic cooperation, and Iran’s integration in China’s Belt and Road Initiative. The potential agreement has rattled some in Washington, stoking concerns that America’s assertive foreign policy has solidified a dangerous alliance between key, anti-American powers in East Asia and the Middle East.

  • MigrationBrexit Uncertainty, Migration Decisions Spark Brain-Drain Worries

    A new study found that, over the last four years, the “collective uncertainty” triggered by Brexit has sparked major changes in migration decisions, equivalent to the impact of a serious economic or political crisis. The study reveals the U.K. is facing a potential brain drain of highly educated British citizens, who have decided to invest their futures in continental Europe. The study compares changes in migration and naturalization patterns of migrating U.K. citizens before and since the Brexit referendum. 

  • China syndromeThe Long Haul: China's Grand Strategy

    China has delineated specific objectives regarding economic growth, regional and global leadership in evolving economic and security architectures, and control over claimed territory. In several cases, these objectives bring China into competition, crisis, and even potential conflict with the United States and its allies. The authors of a new report on U.S.-China competition make the case that the kind of country China becomes, and the way that its military evolves, is neither foreordained nor completely beyond the influence of the United States or U.S. military.

  • Hemispheric securityGuyana: U.S. Imposes Sanctions as President Granger Refuses to Accept Election Defeat

    The United States has imposed sanctions on the current government of Guyana, led by President David Granger and his APNU party, after the refusal of Granger and his supporters to accept the results of the March election, which saw the opposition PPP, led by Irfaan Ali, winning the election by about 16,000 votes. Regional leaders called on Granger to respect the democratic process and step aside.

  • ArgumentBeware a China-Russia Nexus in Central Europe Amid US-EU Neglect

    Until recently, Russian and Chinese influence across Europe generally reflected their distinct strategic aims. But their interests increasingly converge. Common to both Vladimir Putin’s and Xi Jinping’s strategies is the decoupling of the United States and Europe. Jakub Janda and Richard Kraemer write that leaders on both sides of the Atlantic will have to act in concert – and fast – to forestall an even greater corrosion of the democratic norms that have kept the peace – or helped restore it, in the case of the wars in the former Yugoslavia – for three-quarters of a century.

  • Iran’s nukesU.S. Ending Sanctions Waivers on Iran's Civilian Nuclear Program

    The United States has announced it will end sanctions waivers that allow Russian, Chinese, and European firms to carry out civilian nuclear cooperation with Iran, effectively scrapping the last remnants of the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, a move dismissed by Tehran as “desperate.”

  • Iran’s nukesSnapback of Sanctions under the Terms of the Nuclear Deal Is Fully Justified Today

    By David Albright

    “If Iran today wants a serious discussion about sanctions relief, it should start by abandoning the key threat Tehran poses to international peace and security: its uranium enrichment program,” writes David Albright, a nuclear weapons expert and the president of the Institute for Science and International Security. “Instead, Iran holds its own people hostage over the deadly coronavirus outbreak in a cynical campaign for wholesale sanctions relief.” The willingness of Iran’s leadership to refuse epidemic aid and thus dramatically, and unnecessarily, increase the number of sick and dying Iranians; the willing of the leadership to intensify and deepen the severe economic deprivation and misery across the country – and do all that in order to grow an economically nonviable, menacing uranium enrichment program — “That alone should lead all to consider just what is the real purpose of Iran’s enrichment program,” Albright writes.