For the Africa in Transition blog, CFR’s Michelle Gavin discusses the continental implications of Nigeria’s general elections.
David P. Goldman on the New, New Middle East: China, Iran, and Turkey
by Marilyn Stern
Middle East Forum Webinar
February 27, 2023
The Sino-American Rivalry In The Middle East: Why The United States Can’t Neglect The Middle East In Its Global Confrontation Against China
Writing in Foreign Affairs, Kori Schake criticizes President Joe Biden’s foreign policy and identifies what she says is “a troubling disconnect between the administration’s stated priorities and its conduct.” According to Schake, American leaders have failed to coordinate economic policy, defense spending, and diplomacy in support of their ambitious yet somewhat contradictory strategy for countering China.
Why Israel’s chaotic protests are proof that its democracy works
Is Israel’s democracy in danger? You betcha, but if you think the bad guy is Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu, think again. Usually, making sense of…
By Robert Wihtol, The Strategist (ASPI): “The ‘Malacca dilemma’ is generally considered to top China’s list of strategic concerns."
Incubators of Sea Power:
Naval Combat Training in the PLA Surface Fleet
By Ryan D. Martinson, CIMSEC: "Basic training conducted at Vessel Training Centers (VTCs) is essential to PLAN preparations for high-end conflict in maritime East Asia, which is the primary focus of China’s current military strategy."
PLA Information Warfare and Military Diplomacy:
A Primer on Modernization Trends
By Patrick Cunningham, Small Wars Journal: "The opening remarks of the 2022 National Defense Strategy (NDS) highlight the views held by many leaders within the United States on the current security environment: that “we are living in a decisive decade,” that the People’s Republic of China (PRC) “remains our most consequential strategic competitor” for the foreseeable future . . ."
Best Solution for U.S Military and Economy is More Domestic Energy Supply,
Not Disjointed Climate Lawsuits
By Robert Carey, RealClearDefense: ““While it is important to continue to look for ‘greener’ ways to fuel the military, the reality is the U.S. military must always take into account its enemies’ own fossil-fuel uses and potential superior deployment abilities because of those uses."
In a courageous 1933 lecture, Wilhelm Röpke explained the value of liberalism—a message still worth considering today.
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The First Minister thought the trans issue would pave the road to Scottish independence. Instead, it showed her the door.
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John Carroll's eulogies in honor of George Washington serve as a correction to the narrative of an anti-Catholic American Founding.
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Rep. Adam Smith: U.S. Military Readiness a ‘Huge Problem’
By Julia Mueller, The Hill: "“This is a huge problem. And we don’t have the industrial base. And we don’t have the ability to ramp up that industrial base.”"
Integrated Deterrence Requires a Unique Intelligence Mindset
By Itai Shapira, RealClearDefense: "The U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) is placing much emphasis on the concept of Integrated Deterrence, which should be executed through a ‘mindset of campaigning’ in the context of strategic competition."
The Federal Reserve Needs to Pause Raising Interest Rates
Desmond Lachman | 19fortyfive.com
When the Federal Reserve meets next week, it would do well to recall two of Milton Friedman’s fundamental economic teachings.
Jonathan Schanzer: The Abraham Accords and Jordan's Unsustainable Position
by Marilyn Stern
Middle East Forum Webinar
January 13, 2023
U.S. Defense Industry Unprepared for a China Fight
By Joe Gould, Defense News: “The U.S. defense-industrial base is not ready for a battle over Taiwan . . ."
National Strategy for Countering North Korea
By Robert Joseph, Robert Collins, Joseph DeTrani, Nicholas Eberstadt, Olivia Enos, David Maxwell & Greg Scarlatoiu, National Institute for Public Policy: "Since the emergence of the nuclear threat from North Korea in the early 1990s, the primary objective of U.S. policy has been to convince Pyongyang to abandon its nuclear weapons program."
Who Will Be the Next Turkish Opposition Party Leader Arrested?
The State Department’s Disingenuous Defiance of Congress on Somalia
Secure Communities: Stopping the Salafi-Jihadi Surge in Africa
Emily Estelle Perez | February 2023
This In Brief explains why the IMF bailout won’t be the end of Pakistan’s economic woes.
The Promise and Pitfalls of Underwater Domain Awareness, by Abhijit Singh
Steven B. Kamin, Carlos Arteta, and Franz Ulrich Ruch summarize the three types of shocks that drove US interest rate hikes in the past year, threatening the economic health of developing economies. Desmond Lachman warns that, contrary to popular belief among world leaders, China abandoning its zero-COVID policy is not enough to turn around its serious economic woes, which are bound substantially harm the global economy.
China's Balloon Reveals the Weaknesses in US National Security Decision-Making
by Lawrence A. Franklin
Iranian Nationalists Reject the Regime
It‘s no longer true that a Western military strike would lend the theocracy stronger domestic support.
Reuel Marc Gerecht | Senior Fellow
MARBURG VIRUS DOMINATES WEST AFRICA is the country’s first outbreak (WHO)
Saudi Nuclear Ambitions Could Upend the Middle East
And there are steps the U.S. can take to ward them off.
Andrea Stricker | Nonproliferation and Biodefense Program Deputy Director and Research Fello
When will Saudi Arabia Sign Peace with Israel?
Saudi Arabia's new policy, Vision 2030, requires a newer foreign policy on Palestinians
The Case for Japanese Land Power in the First Island Chain, by Yusuke Kawachi
How To Bring Innovation to America’s Nuclear Strategy
By Leonor Tomero, Defense News: "The United States should adopt a new nuclear strategy of innovation for deterrence resilience."
In China, a Web of Actors Weave Foreign Policy
By Carlo J.V. Caro, The Diplomat: "Beijing is often framed as a unitary actor, but the reality is that many actors influence policy decisions."
America’s Diplomatic Neglect Compounds Fighting in Somalia
Michael Rubin | 19fortyfive.co
Kitaneh Fitzpatrick, Zachary Coles, Annika Ganzeveld, Jonathan Baumel, and Frederick W. Kagan write: Former Iranian President Hassan Rouhani is positioning himself to reenter the public arena after a period of relative absence. Iran-backed militias have recently withdrawn from military positions in Deir ez-Zour Province and may redeploy to Aleppo Province.[…]Iranian media outlets recirculated Parliamentarian Shahryar Heydari’s January 15 announcement that Iran will soon receive an unspecified number of Su-35 fighter jets. President Ebrahim Raisi signed 20 agreements on Sino-Iranian in Beijing on February 14. – Institute for the Study of War
Younes Abouyoub writes: This changes the geopolitical balance and the close relationship that the United States, given its long-standing dependence on energy imports, had developed with MENA countries since World War II.[…]The turn of MENA energy-exporting countries towards the Asian market, with the growing economic and political power of states like China and India, has created new opportunities for exporters to impose themselves as major players as clean energy geopolitics grow in importance, thus mitigating as much as possible the potential loss in terms of geopolitical influence induced by the energy transition. – Middle East Institute
America and China: Whose Timeline Is It, Anyway?
Dustin Walker | Breaking Defense
Attempts to answer the question of whether and when China will invade Taiwan are clouding rather than clarifying America’s national security debate. Dustin Walker explains that it is past time for policymakers and military leaders to stop speculating about China’s timeline for war and focus on America’s timeline for deterring it. American leaders must recognize that the US has entered an indefinite window of concern in which the possibility of war with China and the plausibility of American defeat are present and future realities. This indefinite threat of war collapses and confounds America's decision making when it is creating strategies to combat the near-, medium-, and long-term threats. The Pentagon needs a cohesive strategy for mitigating risk across all time frames. Learn more here. >>
Intention, Not Capacity
The White House’s new way of seeing the Iranian bomb.
The Iran Nuclear Deal Isn’t Dead
The State Department is fighting to keep it alive, even if an agreement benefits Russia and China.
U.S. Begins Forging Rare Earth Supply Chain
By Mikayla Easley, National Defense Magazine: “. . . over the last three decades, Beijing has held an iron grip on the world’s supply chain for rare earth elements such that nearly all materials — no matter where in the world they are mined — travel to China for refinement"
Opposition to L3Harris-Aerojet Deal Part of Broader Anti-Trust Trend
From Army Technology: "The U.S. defense industry being almost totally controlled by five major companies is increasingly a point of regulatory and political contention.”
US-China Trade Sets Records
Derek Scissors | AEIdeas
We’re not standing up to China, and we’re not going too far. We’re not doing anything of consequence—as 2022 trade shows, again.
US Indo-Pacific Policy Prioritizes Security over Economics
Claude Barfield | East Asia Forum
Tyler Cowen on the State of the Great Stagnation, Pro-Progress Policy, Metascience, and More
James Pethokoukis | Faster, Please!
IRAN SMUGGLES AGENTS INTO U.S. New York Post
Israel’s Illiberal Judiciary
by ronen shovalSince Israeli elites cannot control society through the political process, they have looked for other ways.
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Why Do Iranians Hate the Mujahedin-e-Khalq So Much?
Michael Rubin | Washington Examiner
The Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) significantly escalated its attack campaign against the Pakistani state with a major suicide bombing targeting police in northwestern Pakistan on January 30 . READ MORE >>
SEE FULL UPDATE
Maps from the past week
See more maps tracking Salafi-Jihadi movements in Africa, the Middle East and Central/South Asia >
The Quiet War between Israel and Iran
Iran's Hegemonic Drive by Jonathan Schanzer
Middle East Quarterly
Winter 2023 (view PDF)
The China Syndrome
It is the Communist Party’s Maoist vision that is imploding from internal contradictions, not that of Western democracy.
Air Force Intel Officer Had Hundreds of Classified and Secret Files at His Florida Home
By Thomas Novelly, Military.com: "A retired Air Force intelligence officer accepted a plea deal with federal prosecutors last year admitting to illegally possessing hundreds of top secret and classified documents, according to court records filed Friday."
In an article in the Emirati daily Al-Arab, Lebanese columnist Khairallah Khairallah discusses the deep crisis Lebanon is experiencing and states that 2022 was one of the hardest years in its history. The Arabs, he adds, regard Lebanon as a failed state and an Iranian base hostile to all the countries in the region. The world likewise ascribes no importance to Lebanon, says Khairallah, seeing it as a country that is effectively ruled by Hizbullah. He states that Lebanon’s tragedy will only end when Iran’s Rule of the Jurisprudent regime ceases to exist and the region undergoes a profound transformation. – Middle East Media Research Institute
Simon Henderson writes: With former prime minister Imran Khan actively trying to undermine the present government of Shehbaz Sharif — whose brother Nawaz was overthrown in Musharraf’s initial 1999 coup — it can be difficult to work out Pakistan’s imminent future. […]One hope may be that Saudi Arabia will write an even larger check than currently half-promised. At best that would be a temporary solution. Musharraf’s life story encapsulates Pakistan’s struggle to relate to the U.S. and stop the nation from spiraling downward. – The Hill