Security

US lawmaker wants to block F-35 sales to Turkey over embassy brawl

WASHINGTON — A Democratic lawmaker from Rhode Island is seeking to block the U.S. sale of Lockheed Martin-made F-35 fighter jets to Turkey over an attack on protesters outside the… Joe Gould and Valerie Insinna Defense News Rep. David Cicilline, a member of the Foreign Affairs Committee, has proposed the ban as an amendment to the 2018 National Defense Authorization Act, which was passed by the House Armed… The House is expected to take up the bill and deal with amendments ... Read More »

North Korean missile launch pits China and Russia against the US

Analysis There’s a saying in politics: “Never let a good crisis go to waste.” North Korea’s missile test is indeed a crisis — and a test of Donald Trump’s still-young presidency. Ben Knight  ABC But he is being outmanoeuvred by Russia and China, who have teamed up against the United States to achieve a mutual goal: weakening the US military presence on their doorstep. Both Russia and China have a land border with North Korea. For China especially, North Korea ... Read More »

We’re all sleepwalking towards conflict

This is not just another North Korean missile launch. The “successful” testing of a supposed inter-continental ballistic missile takes the Korean Peninsula one step closer to a… John Hemmings Telegraph, London The Canberra Times This time is different because it threatens a reaction from the US. The US closely monitors North Korea’s ability to strike cities on the west coast, and significant progress towards that goal is… Worryingly, the test also has the potential to bring Beijing and… We’re all ... Read More »

Nuclear Weapons: Who Has What at a Glance

At the dawn of the nuclear age, the United States hoped to maintain a monopoly on its new weapon, but the secrets and the technology for making nuclear weapons soon spread. Arms Control Association The United States conducted its first nuclear test explosion in July 1945 and dropped two atomic bombs on the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in August 1945. Just four years later, the Soviet Union conducted its first nuclear test explosion. The United Kingdom (1952), France (1960), ... Read More »

Russia’s ‘balanced’ approach to China, ASEAN has its limits

Moscow will remain friendly with ASEAN countries up to a point – its “strategic partnership” with Beijing is its clear priority Sergei Blagov Asia Times During recent top-level meetings at the Kremlin, Russia’s authorities have appeared keen, on the face of things, to continue balancing ties with China and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). However, Moscow’s “strategic partnership” with Beijing remains the… Following the Kremlin meeting between Russian President Vladimir Putin and… Russia’s ‘balanced’ approach… Read More »

North Korea’s missile program is no longer a distant threat

North Korea is claiming it now has the capability to hit the United States with a nuclear weapon, after testing another advanced missile on Tuesday. Harry J Kazianis Asia Times While such an assertion is hard to confirm so early after the test, one thing is clear: Pyongyang’s missile program is entering a critical phase and is no longer a distant threat. Initially, President Donald Trump gambled that personal diplomacy –buddying up to Chinese President Xi Jinping — would yield… ... Read More »

Why Iraq Needs a Cultural Surge

Iraq needs a new surge—one that is focused on the reconstruction of the country’s cultural heritage. Bartle Bull The National Interest IT IS no secret that the Islamic State brought many tragedies. Potentially the most consequential of these is that in Iraq the rule of the erstwhile caliphate encompassed perhaps the world’s single richest trove of cultural… Now, as ISIS territory disappears yard by yard from the Iraqi map, it is… Why Iraq Needs… Read More »

What does ‘the last chance’ really mean?

The imperial origins and neo-imperial purposes of a misleading mantra Klearchos A. Kyriakides Published in Agora Dialogue on 4 July 2017 Introduction  On 28 June 2017, the ‘Conference on Cyprus’ was ‘reconvened’ in the luxury Alpine resort of Crans Montana in Switzerland. In common with what occurred in connection with the ‘Conference on Cyprus’ held in Geneva on 12 January 2017, the ‘reconvened’ version has been accompanied by the widespread dissemination of a simple proposition: that the ‘Conference on Cyprus’ ... Read More »

Calls on surveillance partnership of intelligence agencies to respect strong encryption

Liberty Victoria is one of 83 organisations and experts from 5 nations demanding “Five Eyes” respect strong… On Friday 30 June 2017, 83 organisations and individuals from Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and the United States sent letters to their respective governments insisting that government officials defend strong… The letter comes on the heels of a meeting of the “Five Eyes” ministerial meeting in Ottawa, Canada last… Calls on surveillance… Read More »

Mauritius Sovereignty and the Endless Struggle Over the Chagos Archipelago

With a landslide victory of 94-15 (94 yes, 15 no) and 65 abstentions, the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) recently passed a resolution strongly backed by members of the Non-Aligned Movement and the… Etienne Lee  The McGill International Review Surprisingly, members of the EU have expressed a lack of support towards British sovereignty over the archipelago, with 22 EU nations including Germany and… It is only a matter of time before Britain loses its grip over the archipelago, as it ... Read More »

USS Stethem Conducts Freedom of Navigation Operation Past Triton Island in South China Sea

A U.S. destroyer came within 12 nautical miles of a Chinese holding in the South China Sea, a U.S. defense official told USNI News on Sunday… Sam LaGrone USNI News USS Stethem (DDG-63) passed by Triton Island in the Paracel Island chain on Sunday to test claims by not only Bejing but also Vietnam and Taiwan, the official confirmed to USNI… Since the Trump administration has begun testing excessive maritime claims in the South China Sea, Pentagon officials have repeatedly ... Read More »

China’s actions in South China Sea contradict its words

Human civilisation would be poorer if we were more forgiving of China’s provocations in the South China Sea (China not the only one to blame in South China Sea conflict, by Mr… Toh Cheng Seong The Straits Times Beijing’s reclamation of islands for military installations violates its commitment to the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (Unclos), its Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the… This is unlike the other countries, whose claims are largely in ... Read More »

Donald Trump and Thucydides’ Trap – a lesson or a lure?

Right now the single most influential historian in the world is probably Thucydides, an ancient Greek who wrote the definitive account of the Peloponnesian War between the city-states of Sparta and… Simon Caterson Daily Review But while a knowledge of the classical world is handy in discerning historical patterns and analogising international relations, how useful is it really in understanding the true nature of the… As we seek to learn all we can from the lessons of history, it is ... Read More »

What’s Behind the Syrian Chemical-Weapons Warning?

Assad may be hoping that another chemical-weapons attack in Idlib Province could dissuade further rebel advances. Matthew RJ Brodsky The National Interest From seemingly out of nowhere, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer released a brief and ominous statement late Monday evening regarding Bashar al… The United States has identified potential preparations for another chemical weapons attack by the Assad regime that would likely result in the… What’s Behind the… Read More »

Turkey’s Coming Chaos

President Donald Trump wasn’t wrong in May when he lauded Turkey as a “pillar in the Cold War against Communism” and “a bastion against Soviet… Michael Rubin AEI In a previous era, when land invasions were the great strategic worry, Turkey’s location — right between Eastern Europe and the Middle East — made its Incirlik Air Base an indispensable asset for the U.S… The nation also had a strong military of its own and an ideological willingness to… Turkey’s Coming… Read More »