Washington poised to become New Delhi’s partner in the Indian Ocean
Not since the Cold War has the United States paid such close attention to the Indian Ocean. Now the competitor attracting Washington’s attention is China, not the Soviet Union, and its closest partner is India – a country with its own concerns about Chinese designs in the region. The consequence will be an abiding U.S. military, economic and diplomatic presence in the region.
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.
GIS Dossier: Modi’s India
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has harnessed identity politics to shake up India’s inefficient economy and turn it into a global player. At home and abroad, he has proved an adept operator. Geopolitically, Mr. Modi’s most important move is an increasingly obvious realignment with the U.S., as part of a long-term strategy to counter China’s bid for hegemony in Asia.
Opinion: Control of trade routes is decisive
China’s Belt Road Initiative (BRI) is at once a trading and a political strategy. By securing trade routes and enlisting allies, the Chinese are laying the groundwork for their long-term resurgence as Eurasia’s leading economic and political power. If it continues to stand aside from this process, Europe would be making a historic mistake.
Kim Jong-un’s potentially fatal strategy
North Korea's military provocations have goaded the U.S. into one of the largest concentrations of naval force since World War II. The move may ratchet up pressure on Kim Jong-un to moderate his behavior, especially if China joins in. But it also brings the world closer to a potentially disastrous nuclear exchange.
China hasn’t won yet in the South China Sea
Much has been made of China's increasing activity in the South China Sea, especially its reclamation of islands and other land features that it is converting into air bases and outposts. But while it has extended its military foothold, it is still far from securing several of its strategic objectives. In fact, some steps proved counterproductive and led to major setbacks.
Opinion: Military situation heats up on China’s perimeter
The main threat to world peace can be found not in Eastern Europe or the Middle East, but along a 6,000-mile stretch of land and sea on Asia’s eastern and southern rim. As China’s push for access to the sea runs up against a picket line of U.S. allies and bases, potential conflicts are brewing.
New hotspot: the Arctic
The Arctic could be far more dangerous than other potential flashpoints between Russia and NATO. For the Kremlin, military posturing in the Baltic, Ukraine and Syria is all about shoring up influence along its periphery. The Kola peninsula, by contrast, is of existential importance to Russia's nuclear deterrent and homeland security.
India raises its profile in Africa
India is taking keener interest in Africa as it tries to buttress its strategic position against Chinese encroachments in the Indian Ocean. Trade, investment and security cooperation are all expanding rapidly, especially in Mozambique, which New Delhi regards as a crucial bridgehead. But India is still a long way from matching China’s footprint on the continent.
Beijing’s dilemma in the South China Sea
Beijing is not going to back down after losing an international court case over its territorial claim to the South China Sea. The Chinese authorities have a long menu of policy options, including military escalation, economic pressure and diplomacy. Given the risks involved, they will probably be in no hurry to make a choice.