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Latest Articles

Assessing US-India Relations: The Strategic Handshake
By Jeff M. Smith, The Diplomat, September 16, 2016

Last month, U.S. Defense Secretary Ashton Carter reflected on the remarkable progress he and his Indian counterpart, Manohar Parrikar, have overseen in bilateral defense ties over the last two years. With his gift for memorable analogies, Carter insisted the budding Indo-U.S. defense partnership was built atop two “important handshakes.” One was a “technological handshake,” a reference to the rapid growth in arms sales, co-development, and technology-sharing. A companion piece to follow this article will explore the technological handshake in greater detail, and the opportunities and challenges that lie ahead.

Accepting The Unacceptable
By James S. Robbins, U.S. News & World Report, September 14, 2016

The nuclear threat from North Korea continues to grow, despite numerous strong statements of concern from the United States. But Pyongyang knows that talk is cheap. The more powerful message from American inaction is: keep building. 

How Xi Jinping Undermines China
By Joshua Eisenman, Wall Street Journal, September 13, 2016

"We shall proceed with reform and opening up without hesitation," China's President Xi Jinping told his country's top leaders in August 2014 during a symposium marking the 100th anniversary of the birth of former leader Deng Xiaoping. At the time, this pledge appeared sincere. Since taking office in March 2013, Mr. Xi had consistently advocated a reform agenda intended to continue the economic restructuring and national revitalization that Deng had started in 1978. Now, two years later, and despite his consolidation of power, Mr. Xi's reforms are mired in a morass of bureaucratic hurdles and official foot dragging. 

The Uncomfortable Alliance
By Herman Pirchner, Jr., The Washington Times, September 6, 2016

Greater cooperation with Russia in the struggle to defeat the Islamic State terrorist group (ISIS) and other extremist elements in the Muslim World is now being urged by a number of prominent Americans. Russia and America both have a problem with Islamists, goes the argument, so we should work together to defeat the common enemy. 

Iran And The New Monroe Doctrine
By Ilan Berman, Foreign Affairs, September 2, 2016

In Washington, conventional wisdom has long held that Iran's presence south of the U.S. border constitutes little more than an axis of annoyance. In this telling, Iran's activities in Central and South America - from numerous commercial and trade deals with various nations to the establishment of cultural centers throughout the region - are disorganized, opportunistic, and ultimately of little consequence. 


Latest In-House Bulletins

Russia Reform Monitor - No. 2093
September 21, 2016

 Moscow, Ankara move closer;
Putin muzzles public opinion

Russia Reform Monitor - No. 2092
September 14, 2016

 Information dominance in the name of counterterrorism;

Kadyrov cleans house ahead of elections


China Reform Monitor - No. 1243
September 13, 2016

President Obama gets cold welcome in Hangzhou;
China and Japan competing for infrastructure projects in SE Asia

China Reform Monitor - No. 1242
September 9, 2016

China and Russia plan joint exercises in South China Sea;
Beijing pledges more "humanitarian" aid to Syrian military

 

Russia Reform Monitor - No. 2091
September 7, 2016

Moscow eyes the Middle East;
Military modernization above all
 


Latest Policy Papers

Strategic Primer - Drones
By Richard M. Harrison , June 20, 2016

Remotely Piloted Aircrafts (RPAs, or drones) are playing an increasingly important role in modern warfare, and performing a growing nunmber of surveillance and reconnaissance missions at home and abroad. This Primer describe how the United States, as well as our allies and our enemies, are using drones, discusses challenges posed by RPAs, and offers recommendations for future defense planning. 

 

Strategic Primer - Cybersecurity
By Richard M. Harrison , April 1, 2016

The goal of the new Strategic Primer initiative is to provide a concise, comprehensive overview of specific defense technology issues presented in a clear, direct, and graphical manner that serves as an accessible reference to policymakers. Volume 2 of the series focuses on Cybersecurity.

 

Cyber Threats in the Space Domain
By Eric Sterner and Jennifer McArdle , March 31, 2016

The ability to access and exploit space has long been woven into the fabric of American national power. It is a critical component of global political leadership, the economy, and military power. Unfortunately, those pillars are increasingly at risk. The spread of space technology to new international actors and the increasing sophistication of those capabilities have made it possible to threaten American space systems directly. The national security community is accustomed to analyzing these threats and vulnerabilities and is pursuing a reasonable mix of policies and programs to address them. (Whether those actions are sufficient is subject to debate). However, over the last decade space and cyberspace have grown increasingly integrated. This opens up new vulnerabilities in American space systems, and gives a greater number of actors the potential to exploit those vulnerabilities...