By Hunter Stires, Proceedings: “The United States is devoting significant energy to preparing for great power war, but China is waging a maritime insurgency—and could win without firing a shot."
The Nonsense of “Neo-Ottomanism” by Nicholas Danforth
by Gary C. Gambill
May 31, 2020
By Kseniya Kirillova, Eurasia Daily Monitor: "Russian influence in Central Asia is not limited to increasing economic integration. As early as October 2015, experts at the Minsk Center for Strategic and Foreign Political Research insisted that Russia was preparing a destabilization scenario intended to encourage conflict among the key governments and forces of the region."
By Loren Thompson, Forbes: "Defense News reported this week that a Pentagon office has proposed reducing the number of aircraft carriers in the U.S. fleet from eleven to nine. That may not sound like much, but in operational terms it means that on a typical day the Navy would only be able to have two or three carriers forward deployed near global hot spots."
by Williamson Murray via Military History in the News
In the 1930s, the British military pundit B. H. Liddell Hart argued that Britain’s participation in the First World War with a massive commitment to France to fight the Germans had been a terrible mistake. Instead, he argued, Britain, as it had supposedly done in the eighteenth and early nineteenth century, should have committed minimal forces to the continent and used its army and navy to attack Germany on the periphery. Liddell Hart’s arguments represented a rephrasing of the “blue water” school in British strategic thinking which had argued that Britain should focus almost entirely on the Royal Navy to the exclusion of spending any resources or committing any troops on the European Continent.
Growing concern that U.S. power has been declining relative to that of Russia and China renews long-standing questions about how we should measure national power. Which nations have the most? Which are gaining and losing power, and when might these shifts portend conflict? Read more »
American interests will suffer if strategic competition in Iraq is abandoned. U.S. policymakers should pursue a commitment to Iraq before opportunities are lost. The best way to establish that commitment is through robust, long-term, small-footprint assistance to the Iraqi Army. Read more »
The “Quad” countries met with several non-Quad countries to help each other amid the coronavirus pandemic. For all the good that can come of these countries working together, the Quad Plus, if sustained, may eventually jeopardize the Quad's primary mission: to counter China's assertiveness in the Indo-Pacific. Read more »
by Michael R. Auslin via Real Clear Politics
A new poll by the Pew Research Center provides the clearest snapshot yet of the collapse in American views of China thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic. Taken March 3-29, the big takeaway from the survey of 1,000 adults is that 66% now have a negative view of China, compared with 26% favorable. That is a 20% jump in unfavorable ratings since 2017 and a 6% rise since last year.
By Michael Colebrook, Strategy Bridge: "History does not repeat itself. With the exception of general platitudes about the permanence of international tension and the sporadic recurrence of violent conflict, statements about historical patterns and cycles of warfare can at best lead to historiographical confirmation bias and, at worst, can prejudice policymakers into taking counterproductive and unnecessary escalatory measures."
By Samantha A. Taylor, War Room: "Many foreign policy and international relations experts are expressing concern about the future of the liberal world order."
Undersea Deterrence and Strategic Competition in the Indo-Pacific
By Rory Medcalf, The Strategist (ASPI): "Amid rapid geopolitical change at the start of the 2020s, unfolding now in the Covid-19 crisis, nuclear weapons manifest grim continuity with the previous century. Especially persistent is a capability that has existed since the 1960s: the deployment of nuclear weapons on submarines."
Getting the Pacific Deterrence Initiative Right
By Benjamin Rimland & Patrick Buchan, The Diplomat: “The PDI will undoubtedly set the groundwork for U.S. defense posture in Asia for the foreseeable future. Getting it right matters."
What We Can Learn Today From the Victory of the Osama bin Laden Raid
By William H. McRaven & Michael Leiter, The Washington Post: "For those of us who played a small part in the mission that led to bin Laden’s death, this anniversary reminds us of something else: how to best protect our country."