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Defense & Security

Did Russia Achieve its Goals in the Sochi Summit?

President Putin’s Sochi Summit brought an unprecedented number of African leaders to Moscow, developing Russia’s prestige as a supplier of arms to the continent and rattling the U.S. foreign policy establishment.

Is U.S. Credibility Really in Danger?

Last month, the US moved its troops out on the Syrian-Turkish border out of the way of an impending Turkish incursion against Kurdish forces. Did the US lose its credibility as a result of this decision?

Beyond Migration: Humanitarian Assistance to the Northern Triangle

President Trump has tied humanitarian aid to migration outcomes in the Northern Triangle, yet foreign assistance affects underlying causes of migration to the United States. More importantly, predicating future aid on migration outcomes goes against fundamental humanitarian principles and US values.

Phones and Force: The Geostrategy of Smartphones in an Era of US-Chinese Competition

Smartphones will gain geostrategic significance. The Gulf States, through Apple and Huawei, have aligned with the United States and China, respectively. Their strategic importance makes them noteworthy test cases in the rising geostrategic significance of supply chains.

Conflicting Values in the Arctic: Examining Russian-Canadian Tensions through Election Interference

A forthcoming study from the University of Calgary predicts that Russian intelligence services may be interfering in the Canadian federal elections scheduled to take place at the end of October over concerns in the Arctic region.

Hurricane Season…Here We Go Again

The annual hurricane season is here and once again devastating the Caribbean. Regional enforcements and integration can help save lives in both the short and long-term.

Ethiopia’s Abiy One Year On

A year after his election Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy is being challenged to continue his role as a regional mediator while resolving ethnic tensions at home. How he responds to this popular ultimatum may well shape his legacy.

Maritime Security on the Korean Peninsula: The Story of the Northern Limit Line

North Korea denuclearization may provide a path to ending violent clashes along the Northern Limit line, a long disputed maritime demarcation between North and South Korea.

Shrimp vs. Whale: South Korea’s Response to Japan’s Trade Restrictions

Japan and South Korea are locked in a tit-for-tat trade dispute after Japan levied trade restrictions on Korea’s biggest industry. The new restrictions have galvanized the Korean people, fraying high-Level ties between the two nations and sparking the grassroots Boycott Japan Movement in South Korea.

Embracing Multilateralism in the DRC Ebola Crisis

The Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo is a humanitarian crisis that could spread, made worse by DRC’s instability. The UN – supported by Member States – is best positioned to address this crisis.

Pivot from the Middle East

Near the end of 2018, President Trump announced, via Twitter, that the United States would withdraw the roughly 2,000 troops it had deployed to Syria. It is believed that this apparent surprise announcement was a contributing factor in Secretary of Defense Mattis’s decision to resign. In addition to losing a Secretary of Defense, the decision…

On Removing Presidential First Use

The United States’ president can, without congressional permission or expert consultation, order the firing of nuclear weapons at any time and – so long as the nuclear football (a briefcase containing the nuclear codes and firing command) is present – from anywhere. The entire process, from the president opening the football to nuclear tipped missiles…

Russia and China Will Test the U.S. Navy in 2019

Russia and China, the near-peer competitors of the United States, ended 2018 with bold naval military actions, setting the stage for even more tension and possible international conflict in 2019. Whereas the U.S. Navy spent this past year recovering from challenges from within–especially the surprising and tragic collisions of 2017 involving the USS John S.…

Syrian Women and the Peace Process: An Argument for Inclusion

How lessons learned from Bosnia’s post-conflict reconstruction can be applied to Syria

Through the Looking Glass – ASEAN-EU Relations in a New Era

The Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) summit last October marked the 40th anniversary of the formal relations between the European Union (EU) and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). The biennial event, which gathered more than fifty heads of state, offers a unique platform for these two regional bodies to exchange their shared goals and differences.…

Actually a European Army Could Be in the UK’s Post-Brexit Interest

Back in 2016, during the campaign leading up to the United Kingdom’s referendum on EU membership, The Guardian published an article entitled “Is there a secret plan to create an EU army?” The article addressed Eurosceptic claims that the European Union was en route to the creation of unified armed forces, and that these plans…

Renewing US-Turkey Ties

The Middle East has been important to the United States’ strategy since the 1940s and throughout the Cold War. As a member of NATO, Turkey held a special place in the region as one of the United States’ closest allies. Turkish and American soldiers fought side by side in the Korean War, and Turkey has…

Russia’s Baltic Cyber Campaign Leaves NATO Endangered

Russia is constantly on the offensive in the Baltic region, seeking to undermine the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) through cyber intrusions and targeted disinformation efforts. To help bolster this front line and secure their own domains, the Baltic countries of Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania need to work together, sharing cyber capabilities and understanding. Russian…

President Trump’s Incoherent Foreign Policy Strains Alliances

“October surprises” are traditionally reserved for American election politics, but this October both the Saudi-Khashoggi Affair and the Trump administration’s withdrawal from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF) beg to redefine the phrase. While unconnected, both cases are the newest additions to the ongoing exhibition of a confounding U.S. foreign policy. An aggressive and inconsistent…

Living With a Nuclear-Armed Iran

Since becoming president, Donald Trump has sought to undo the Obama Administration’s policies towards Iran, especially regarding the Islamic Republic’s nuclear program. He has withdrawn the United States from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action and staffed the upper ranks of his administration with hawks, like Mike Pompeo and John Bolton, who have long seen…