WORLD ROUNDUPWhat If Iran Already Has the Bomb? | Can a U.S.-China Military Hotline Stop the Downward Spiral? | Islamic Terrorism Is About to Return to Europe, and more

Published 28 May 2024

·  Can a U.S.-China Military Hotline Stop the Downward Spiral?
New communications channels between the superpowers are a hopeful sign

·  What If Iran Already Has the Bomb?
For the first time, Iranian officials are openly threatening to build a nuclear weapon—and even intimating that they already have

·  Democracies Aren’t the Peacemakers Anymore
How Washington can reclaim its diplomatic primacy in an authoritarian age

·  The Inevitable Role of Clans in Post-Conflict Stabilization in Gaza
The question of clans’ role in post-conflict Gaza has yet to gain any significant attention among policymakers outside of Israel and Palestine

·  Iran’s Near-Bomb-Grade Uranium Stock Grows, Talks Stall, IAEA Reports Say
Iran is enriching uranium to close to weapons-grade at a steady pace

·  Islamic Terrorism Is About to Return to Europe, the Possible Targets: the Paris Olympics and Euro 2024
The threat of terrorism has been there all along, but because of the attacks on October 7, 2023, it has taken off the media’s attention

·  The United States Is Expected to Lift Its Ban on the Sale of Offensive Weapons to Saudi Arabia
Lifting the ban would represent Washington’s latest move to improve U.S.-Saudi relations

Can a U.S.-China Military Hotline Stop the Downward Spiral?  (James Crabtree, Foreign Policy)
Behind the scenes at next month’s IISS Shangri La Dialogue in Singapore, however, attention will focus on developing military dynamics between the United States and China—and on the possible new military channel in particular. The idea of a direct link between INDOPACOM and the People’s Liberation Army has long been in the works. At their November 2023 meeting in Woodside, California, U.S. President Joe Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping agreed that a link should be established. U.S. Navy Admiral John Aquilino, who recently stepped down as INDOPACOM head, then tried repeatedly to set it up. Much to his evident frustration, China’s military never replied to his requests.
That may now change. Aquilino’s successor, U.S. Navy Admiral Samuel Paparo, took over last month. The arrival of a new commander, in combination with the upcoming defense ministers’ meeting in Singapore, should create space for high-level military-to-military dialogue to begin. It isn’t yet clear what format this dialogue would take, and even who the Chinese interlocutor would be.
This month, U.S. Assistant Secretary of Defense Ely Ratner spoke to his counterpart, Major General Li Bin in the Chinese Central Military Commission. According to the U.S. readout of the conversation, Ratner suggested that China’s Southern and Eastern theater commanders both be included in regular calls. But if there is to be only be one channel, the United States hopes it will be with China’s Eastern theater commander, who leads its military in the crucial areas around Taiwan, rather than its Southern theater command, which focuses on the South China Sea.

What If Iran Already Has the Bomb?  (Arash Azizi, The Atlantic)
There’s rarely a dull moment in Iranian affairs. The past few months alone have seen clashes with Israel and Pakistan, and a helicopter crash that killed Iran’s president and foreign minister. But spectacular as these events are, the most important changes often happen gradually, by imperceptible degrees. (cont.)