• ARGUMENT: CHINESE DRONESU.S. Reliance on Chinese Drones: A Sector for the Next CHIPS Act?

    More and more lawmakers from both parties are beginning to pay attention to the issue of drones and national security. Different bills seek to regulate federal agency procurement and use of certain foreign-made unmanned aircraft systems (UASs), or drones. Annie I. Antón and Olivia C. Mauger write that “Building on the bipartisan consensus to enact the 2022 Creating Helpful Incentives to Produce Semiconductors and Science (CHIPS) Act, there is a compelling case that UASs should be a next sector for similar action.”

  • QUAGMIRESWhat the Iraq War Can Teach the U.S. About Avoiding a Quagmire in Ukraine – 3 Key Lessons

    By Patrick James

    The Iraq and Ukraine wars have notable differences from a U.S. foreign policy perspective – chiefly, thousands of American soldiers died fighting in Iraq, while the U.S. does not have any ground troops in Ukraine. But assessing the Iraq War, and its long aftermath, can still help articulate concerns about the United States’ getting involved in intense violence in another faraway place.

  • CHINA WATCHIs Taiwan Prepared for a Potential Chinese Attack?

    By William Yang

    Leaked U.S. documents cast doubt on Taiwan’s air defense capability against potential attacks. Experts, however, say that the island has some robust defense systems.

  • CHINA WATCHChina’s Defense Spending Growth Continues Apace

    By David Uren

    China, India and Japan are leading a surge in military spending in the Asian region with geopolitical tensions pushing South Korea, Australia and Taiwan, among others, to follow suit. China’s military spending now exceeds the combined outlays of the next 25 biggest nations in the region, for which there are reliable estimates.

  • HYPERSONIC WEAPONSHelping the U.S. Fast-track Hypersonic Conventional Weapons

    Hypersonic weapons have been a top priority for modernizing the armed forces, with ultrafast, long-range and maneuverable munitions being touted as a revolutionary advance in modern warfare. The U.S. has fast-tracked their development and announced plans to field the first conventional hypersonic missile battery this year. Sandia National Lab is helping the U.S. achieve this goal.

  • ARGUMENT: CYBERWARAre We Asking Too Much of Cyber?

    Both cyber enthusiasts and skeptics may be asking too much of cyber. “U.S. cyber strategies should be more explicit about articulating not only the strategic benefits cyberspace offers but also its limitations,” Erica Lonegran and Michael Poznansky write. “More realism about cyberspace may help leaders truly integrate cyber capabilities.”

  • CHINA WATCHPentagon Leaks Suggest China Developing Ways to Attack Satellites – Here’s How They Might Work

    By Ian Whittaker

    The recent leak of Pentagon documents included the suggestion that China is developing sophisticated cyber attacks for the purpose of disrupting military communication satellites. Disruption of civilian satellite communication would be disruptive, but disruption of military communication would be much more dangerous and debilitating.

  • MILITARY EXPENDITUREWorld Military Expenditure Reaches New Record High as European Sending Surges

    Total global military expenditure increased by 3.7 per cent in real terms in 2022, to reach a new high of $2240 billion. Military expenditure in Europe saw its steepest year-on-year increase in at least 30 years. The three largest spenders in 2022—the United States, China and Russia—accounted for 56 per cent of the world total.

  • CRITICAL MINERALSMilitaries, Metals, and Mining

    By Fabian Villalobos and Morgan Bazilian

    The U.S. aerospace and defense industries need access to critical minerals. Securing these minerals today may be an even more-complex task than it was during the cold war: the task requires more than deploying audacious subterfuge, as the CIA did in the 1960s to get titanium out of the Soviet Union. These minerals are now very much in the public eye, and they are also needed for the clean energy technologies that will help combat climate change.

  • CHINA WATCHU.S., Taiwan Defense to Firms Explore Weapons Co-Production

    By Xiaoshan Xue

    Defense contractors from the U.S. and Taiwan will next month resume in-person conversations to explore possibilities of co-producing weapons, a move likely to ignite protests from China. The Taiwan-US Defense Industry Forum will meet on May 3 in Taipei, with a focus on co-production, integrating Taiwan’s industrial capabilities, and a range of defense cooperation issues.

  • CHINA WATCHThe U.S. Is About to Blow Up a Fake Warship in the South China Sea – but Naval Rivalry with Beijing Is Very Real and Growing

    By Krista Wiegand

    As part of a joint military exercise with the Philippines, the U.S. Navy is slated to sink a mock warship on April 26, 2023, in the South China Sea. For its part, China is holding its own staged military event involving actual warships and fighter jets deployed around Taiwan. More than a century after President Theodore Roosevelt made the United States the preeminent maritime power in the Pacific, that position is under threat. China is seeking to displace it. The next time a warship is blown up in the South China Sea, it may not be just a drill.

  • ARGUMENT: IRAQ REFLECTIONSIraq: Twenty Years On, Two Narratives Emerge

    Twenty years on, discussions of the U.S. invasion and occupation of Iraq offer two distinct yet incongruent narratives. Most, if not all, veterans of “Iraqi Freedom” tell an inward-facing story focusing on tactical and operational “lessons” largely devoid of political context. Meanwhile, Iraqi scholars and civilians look at the political and social upheaval, concentrating far more on the costs of war than on the supposed benefits of U.S. interventionism.

  • CRITICAL MINERALSThe Time to Prevent Shortfalls in Critical Materials Is Now

    By Doug Irving

    Rare earth elements are—despite their name—everywhere. They’re in your cellphone, your car, maybe even in a crown in your mouth. They’re in satellites, wind turbines, night-vision goggles, laser-guided missiles, and fighter jets. All of which makes China’s near-total domination of the rare earth market a matter of economic and national security concern.

  • CHINA WATCHA Balancing Act: What to Do About Taiwan

    If one of the world’s liberal democracies were to be taken over by a neo-totalitarian superpower, what would this imply for the future of freedom in Asia? What should we make of China’s claims about Taiwan? Should the U.S. replace its current policy of “strategic ambiguity” with a more explicit commitment to Taiwan’s defense?

  • IRAQ INVASIONThe Iraq Invasion, Twenty Years Later

    Last week marked the 20th anniversary of the United States-led invasion of Iraq. Code-named “Operation Iraqi Freedom” by the George W. Bush administration, the goal was to eliminate weapons of mass destruction, topple Saddam Hussein, and remake Iraq into a democracy. What lessons should we learn from the war and its aftermath?