In naval deterrence, numbers matter
Chinese naval construction has far outpaced that of the United States for many years. By some measures, the lethality of its surface combatants is a match for comparable Western vessels – or even better. With the U.S. Navy already stretched thin in the East Asia, reliance on its traditional allies and long-time technological edge is not enough. There must be more hulls in the water.
Kim Watch: Army men
The impeachment of South Korea's president has Kim Jong-un looking longingly across the border. For now, the North Korean leader has busied himself with staging mock commando assaults on a replica of the presidential palace in Seoul. But he would clearly like to do much more.
What Russia’s military is good for
Russia’s military potential is dwarfed by the West’s, but it is surprisingly well-prepared for the limited wars it is most likely to fight. Key new technologies have been developed to keep NATO at arm’s length, but the Kremlin’s greatest edge may be its mindset.
The militarization of Northern Europe
The Baltic Sea and northern Scandinavia is rapidly turning into the most likely area of armed conflict between NATO and Russia. Northern Europe is to today’s confrontation with Russia what Central Europe once was during the Cold War with the Soviet Union. And that might be the good news.
Next U.S. president must address aging nuclear arsenal
The United States’ nuclear weapons systems are old, and getting older. How – or even whether – the country will take steps to maintain and modernize this force is one of the key unanswered questions for U.S. defense policy going forward. The issue has attracted scant attention from the politicians running for president, but nuclear policy will be a topic that the n...
Kim making a monkey out of China in the Year of the Monkey
The Chinese government must have expected that its trouble-bag of an ally, North Korea’s strongman Kim Jong-un, would pull some attention-grabbing stunt on the occasion of the Chinese and Korean New Year, which started on February 8 this year. Perhaps that was the reason why Wu Dawei, the Chinese foreign ministry special representative for Korean Peninsula affairs,...
Russia’s intervention in Syria shows need for new deal in Middle East
What will become of Syria in the medium term? After four years of civil war, it is certainly not possible just to wind the clock back and let President Bashar al-Assad govern as if nothing had happened. But it is equally impossible to imagine a ‘democratic’ and united Syria, because the fracture lines run too deep. It tak...
Crisis in Russia’s space industry
Repeated rocket launch failures, shady dealings and ‘moral decay’ are dealing a heavy blow to Russia’s space industry. National pride and billions of dollars are at stake. If Russia is going to retain its edge as leader in the multibillion-dollar global launch market and as a high-tech space power, it will have to put an end to shoddy engineering and get to grips w...