The National Interest (185)

Silence Is Falling on the South China Sea

Jay Batongbacal Security, Asia Renewed Chinese beneficence has had its intended impact: by thawing formerly ice-cold ties, emphasizing cooperation 'in other areas' and drawing attention away from the maritime disputes. Philippine–China relations have taken a decidedly friendly turn since the South ...

Is the U.S. Air Force's B-21 Raider Too 'Stealth' ?

Kris Osborn Security, While the Air Force has revealed its first sketch or artist rendering of what the B-21 might look like, there has been little to no public discussion about what some of its new technologies may include. Secrecy and classification parameters of Air Forces' new ...

The U.S. Military Needs 'Second Strike Capability' in the Space and Cyber Arenas

Dave Majumdar Security, And Russia and China are the reasons.  The United States must develop some form of second strike capability' in domains such as space or cyber to help deter aggression in those arenas. The development of ballistic missile submarines helped to slow down nuclear escalation ...

The Battle of Dunkirk: The Real Turning Point of World War II?

Robert Farley Security, Europe Hitler lost perhaps his only chance to crush Churchill—and we're still fighting about it to this day. The seventy-seventh anniversary of the Dunkirk evacuation has already received a great deal of attention, in no doubt due to the pending release of Christopher ...

The Russian Military's Ultimate Goal: To Kill Its Enemies from Long-Ranges

Dave Majumdar Security, Europe Russia is not the USSR--but it is no longer weak.  The shape of Russia's military in 2035 will largely be determined by how successfully Moscow can transition from projects originally conceived by the Soviet Union into efforts that originated in today's Russian ...

This Is the Key to a Successful Trump Foreign Policy

Colin Dueck Security, Americas The United States should look to revive the art of deterrence to avoid open warfare. As President Trump returns from traveling to Europe and the Middle East, his administration will continue to rollout related defense and foreign-policy initiatives through multiple ...

How Financial Markets Are Handling Trump's Volatile Leadership

Samuel Rines Economics, Americas Financial markets may have overestimated the speed with which change would come to Washington. For eight years of on-and-off quantitative easing, the Federal Reserve held the undivided attention of markets. Now, the GOP is in power, and its long-heralded initiatives ...

Trump's Message to the Middle East Couldn't Be More Different from Obama's

Matthew RJ Brodsky Politics, Middle East Trump's promise that America would mind its own business stood in marked contrast to Obama's outstretched hand. President Trump marked another turning of the page from the Barack Obama years with his highly anticipated speech delivered in Saudi Arabia on his ...

Forget North Korea's Nuclear Arsenal. Its Chemical and Cyber Weapons Are Already a Threat.

Patrick M. Cronin Security, Asia Pyongyang's VX attack and cyber hijinks suggests a regime bent on acquiring multiple weapons of mass disruption and destruction. In reminding the world why Iran poses an array of threats to regional security, President Donald Trump preempted the argument of those who ...

Why China's Rise Is Built on Debt

Anthony Fensom Economics, Asia The shadow banking sector in China represents an Achilles' heel for policymakers in their desperate attempts to keep the economy on track. Beijing's belated efforts to cut its $27 trillion debt pile have sent financial markets tumbling. Can China succeed in winding ...

President Trump Isn't Budging on NATO

Nikolas K. Gvosdev Security, Europe Trump's priorities won't be well received by allies to the north or east—though members in the Mediterranean may think differently. Donald Trump will not be handled, interpreted or managed. That is the first conclusion I drew after his appearance at the ...

F-35 Joint Strike Fighter Soon to Be Armed with AIM-9X Missile and JDAM

Kris Osborn Security, The AIM-9X missile, which can also be fired at surface-to-air and air-to-surface, is currently in use on a number of existing fighter aircraft such as the Air Force's F-15E and F-16 and the Navy's F-18 Super Hornet. The Air Force expects to operationalize the F-35's latest ...

Manchester Terrorist May Have Made His Own Bomb

Russ Read Security, Europe The bomb appears to have been expertly made. It included metal nuts, nails and other forms of shrapnel included to ensure maximum damage to human targets. The tactic is common among jihadi groups. The terrorist responsible for Monday's bombing of Manchester Arena may ...

NATO vs. Warsaw Pact: How the Ultimate Cold War Showdown Could Have Killed Millions

Kyle Mizokami Security, Europe The plans for war were truly terrifying.  Guarding against these attacks and providing rear-area security were twelve brigade-sized units of West German reservists. Bonn also had three brigades of paratroops that could be quickly rushed to defend threatened areas. Air ...

ISIS-Linked Rebels Behead Philippine Police Chief, Slaughter Civilians

Ryan Pickrell Security, Thousands of people are fleeing.  Militants with ties to the Islamic State have taken control of a city in the southern Philippines. Violence erupted in Marawi after a botched raid to take down Abu Sayaff leader Isnilon Hapilon Tuesday. Government security forces battled ...

U.S. Lost Track Of Nearly $1,000,000,000 Of Arms Sent To Iraq

Saagar Enjeti Security, Middle East What could go wrong?  The Pentagon lost track of nearly a billion dollars worth of weapons bound for Iraqi Security Forces in the fight against ISIS, documents obtained by Amnesty International reveal. The weapons transfer program is a lynchpin of U.S. strategy ...

New Jersey Accidentally Got Told Nearby Nuclear Reactor Was About To Meltdown

Andrew Follett Energy, Fakenews.  New Jersey officials apologized Wednesday for accidentally broadcasting false alerts to residents that a nuclear power plant disaster was underway. State officials sent out a televised alert shortly before 9:00 p.m. Tuesday night that a Nuclear Power Plant Warning' ...

The Trump Administration's First FONOP in the South China Sea: Why Now?

Ryan Pickrell Security, Asia And how did China respond?  A U.S. Navy destroyer challenged China's contested claims to the South China Sea in the first freedom of navigation operation of the Trump administration. The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Dewey sailed within 12 nautical ...

Is the B-21 Stealth Bomber Too Secret?

James Hasik Security, How secret is too secret?  For Bloomberg Politics, Anthony Capaccio reports recently that the US Defense Department's Inspector General has opened an investigation, at the behest of the Congress, into whether the Air Force has imposed excessive secrecy on fundamentals of its ...

U.S. Air Force Working to Update 'Brain' of F-35 to Combat Russian and Chinese Stealth Fighters

Kris Osborn Security, The mission data files are being engineered to adjust to new threat and intelligence information as it emerges. The Air Force is accelerating development of a special, high-tech, on-board threat library for the F-35 designed to precisely identify enemy aircraft operating in ...

Trump's First NATO Summit: Don't Expect Much

Dov S. Zakheim Security, Europe National defense may be Trump's priority, but it is one that few Europeans share, and that even fewer are willing to pay for. When Donald Trump arrives at the NATO summit, it will have been hard on the heels of the release of his new budget for fiscal year 2018, which ...

How America Could End Up in an Unexpected War with China

Doug Bandow Security, Asia The Chinese are prepared to yield before superior force, but are not prepared to concede that America always will possess that edge. Three decades ago the People's Republic of China was an economic backwater. Today the PRC sports the world's second-largest economy. ...

7 Options For Taming Tyrannical North Korea

Barry Pavel, Robert A. Manning Security, Asia Pyongyang may think it can threaten—or even win—a limited nuclear war aimed at pushing Washington out of the Korean Peninsula. The relentless barrage of North Korean ballistic-missile tests , and a matching endless barrage of op-eds proposing ...

Rodrigo Duterte Is Key to China's 'Post-American' Vision for Asia

Richard Javad Heydarian Politics, Asia Dutertenomics' will require huge investment from abroad. Beijing is the perfect patron. The future of the Philippines is in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations and in Asia,' declared Philippine president Rodrigo Duterte during his early May keynote ...

Is the U.S. Navy Dying?

Dave Majumdar Security, Thanks to the U.S. Congress, that is the question.  The United States Navy is in a dire situation when it comes to the readiness of its aircraft, ships and submarines. The blame for the situation can be laid directly at the feet of the U.S. Congress, which has failed time ...

Georgia Wants Reassurance That America Will Help Deter Russia

Kenneth Yalowitz, William Courtney Security, Eurasia Georgians worry that Washington is averting its gaze, or might cut a deal with Moscow at their expense. Georgia and America are celebrating twenty-five years of diplomatic relations and remarkable partnership. Georgia is an emerging democracy in a ...

America's Most Powerful Aircraft Carrier Ever Is Close to Joining the U.S. Navy

Dave Majumdar Security, But what about the costs?  The new U.S. Navy aircraft carrier Gerald R. Ford got underway today for her acceptance trails, paving the way for the ship to be formally commissioned into service later this year. Only once the ship is commissioned will the massive carrier have ...

America's Military Is In Danger of Decline

Frederico Bartels Security, While this is a $54 billion increase over the spending levels mandated by the 2011 Budget Control Act, it is actually only a timid $16.8 billion increase over President Barack Obama's budget plan. President Donald Trump delivered his 2018 budget request to ...

2018: The Year the U.S. Military Goes 'Iron Man'?

Kris Osborn Security, Don't laugh, it could happen.  U.S. Special Operations Command Plans to Have Some Initial TALOS Iron Man suit Prototypes by 2018 U.S. Special Operations Command is making progress researching, developing and testing a next-generation Iron Man-like suit designed to increase ...

Costs of the Clenched Fist

Paul R. Pillar Iran, Middle East In his first inaugural address, one of President Barack Obama's messages to America's adversaries was that we will extend a hand if you are willing to unclench your fist.'  A few years later, the unclenching of Iran's fist was marked by the election of reformist ...

Donald Trump Is Right: Don't Let the ISIS 'Losers' Win

Christopher A. Preble Security, Europe And they won't stop me from enjoying Ariana Grande's music. As grieving parents and loved ones mourn the loss of innocent lives in Manchester, England, and pray for the recovery of those grievously wounded, the rest of the world ponders yet again the meaning of ...

Did Russia and China Already Make America's New Aircraft Carrier Obsolete?

Robert Farley Security, Thanks to A2/AD?  Plenty of world-beating weapons quickly become obsolete. The fast battleships of World War II went into reserve less than a decade after their commissioning. The early fighters and bombers of the jet age sometimes had even briefer lifespans. Aircraft ...

The U.S. Military's Greatest Fear: A War Against Russia AND China

Robert Farley Security, Would we win?  The United States can still fight and win two major wars at the same time, or at least come near enough to winning that neither Russia nor China would see much hope in the gamble. The United States can do this because it continues to maintain the world's most ...

Why the First Gulf War Was Really a Disaster

Robert Farley Security, Middle East The United States wrapped itself in knots for twelve years, until the George W. Bush administration determined to solve' the political problem by making it much, much worse. In the wake of the war, the near total consensus was that the conflict represented a huge ...

Why President Trump's Defense Budget Is Dead on Arrival

Mackenzie Eaglen Security, Trump seems unwilling to admit a bipartisan deal to modify the Budget Control Act is required to avoid the do nothing' label for Congress this summer. President Trump's first defense budget is a more muscular version of former president Obama's plans. It is a budget that ...

Duterte Tells Trump He Fears Kim Jong-un 'Might Just Go Crazy'

Ryan Pickrell Security, Asia The real North Korea nightmare.  President Donald Trump and President of the Philippines Rodrigo Duterte had an interesting discussion about the growing threat from North Korea in late April. What's your opinion of him, Rodrigo?' Trump asked, referring to North Korean ...

China's Imports Of North Korean Goods Drops To Near Three-Year Low

Ryan Pickrell Security, Asia While Chinese trade with North Korea has decreased in recent months, according to data which has been altered for political purposes in the past, trade was up significantly at the start of the year. China's imports of North Korean goods dropped to the lowest point in ...

Could U.S. Nuclear Weapons Be Hacked?

Kris Osborn Security, Air Force engineers say protection of computer networks is well established in many ways, but that the service needs to widen its scope with greater focus on IT dimensions to its nuclear arsenal's command and control apparatus. Modernizing computer networks for the nuclear ...

Why China's Slick Strategy to Dominate the South China Sea Is Working

Michael Vatikiotis Security, Asia And is unlikely to be challenged. A year ago, there were real fears that contested claims over tiny specks of coral in the South China Sea could spark a war in Southeast Asia involving China, the 10 ASEAN member states and the US. The risks greatly multiplied after ...

How America and Japan are Pushing Back Against China in the South China Sea

Kris Osborn Security, Asia In recent years, the Pentagon has sharply criticized Chinese moves to place weapons on dispute island areas of the South China Sea, a move which further complicated U.S.-China tensions in the highly-disputed region. US & Japan show force together in South China Sea to ...

Tsar Bomba: Russia's Insane 50-Megaton Monster Nuke Could Have Killed Millions

Paul Richard Huard Security, Europe But was just too big for military applications.  Maj. Andrei Durnovtsev, a Soviet air force pilot and commander of a Tu-95 Bear bomber, holds a dubious honor in the history of the Cold War. Durnovtsev flew the aircraft that dropped the most powerful nuclear bomb ...

Why the U.S. Navy Fears Russian and Chinese Submarines

Dave Majumdar Security, They can sink our carriers.  Even if the Navy did set the requirement for the number of SSNs at a higher level, it is not clear what the service can do to address the shortfall. Richardson said, for example, the service could look at further extending the lives of some of ...

After the Manchester Terror Attack: What Comes Next?

Freddy Gray Security, Europe This has brought security back to the forefront of Britons' minds. President Donald Trump has emerged as an unlikely source of comfort for many Brits today. America's commander in chief is widely regarded here, as everywhere else, as a dangerous fool—yet his response ...

The Trillions of Reasons Why America Is Headed for a Debt Crisis

Romina Boccia Economics, America's annual deficit—the difference between what the government spends and collects in taxes each year—is projected to rise steeply over the coming decade and to continue growing from there. A fiscal storm has been brewing over America for years, and things are only ...

This Is Why the United States Is No Longer a Military 'Hyperpower'

Dave Majumdar Security, Thanks, Russia and China.  The United States is no longer the hyperpower' it once was in the immediate aftermath of the Cold War and the collapse of the Soviet Union. Where once Washington held a position of complete dominance, the United States is now faced with competing ...

Why Do Russia, China, Iran and Cuba All Have in Common? Intelligence Services Gunning for America

Dave Majumdar Security, And new technology is helping their efforts.  Foreign intelligence services such as Russia's SVR and GRU are amongst the most dangerous threats facing the United States according to senior U.S. intelligence officials. While Russia and China are the two most dangerous and ...

Russia Fears NATO

Dave Majumdar Security, Europe Weapons Moscow won't want to face in a showdown.  The Boeing AH-64A Apache helicopter gunship was first introduced in 1986 as a weapon to blunt an anticipated Soviet armored spearhead punching through the Fulda Gap in what is now central Germany. The Apache ...

Is North Korea Using China's Satellites to Guide Its Missiles?

Peter J. Brown Security, Asia Is this possible?  As North Korea fires more missiles in its drive to build and test rockets to reach the US mainland, one issue largely overlooked is that satellites are among methods used to guide such weapons to their targets. Pyongyang doesn't have a satellite ...

China Isn't Rising—It's Merely Outlasting Other Nations

David C. Kang Politics, Asia China has been a hegemon and source of civilization for at least twenty centuries; its rise is not new. Does China's imperial past predict its future? Does Europe's past predict Asia's future? These are the wrong questions to be asking. Asia is much more than simply ...

Do Values or Interests Guide U.S. Policy? With China and North Korea, It's Hard to Tell.

Joseph A. Bosco Security, Asia Once, trade outweighed human rights. Now, it's outweighing security too. When Hillary Clinton made her first visit to China as secretary of state in 2009, she stressed the need for economic cooperation. But then she startled human-rights advocates by declaring that our ...