International Security & Defense

297 Items

President Donald Trump meets with Chinese President Xi Jinping at the G20 Summit, Saturday, July 8, 2017, in Hamburg, Germany. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

AP Photo/Evan Vucci

Analysis & Opinions - London Evening Standard

Can America and China avoid going to war in the future?

| July 13, 2017

Less than three months after declaring that he had “great confidence” China would rein in North Korean belligerence, President Trump ranted on Twitter last week, “Trade between China and North Korea grew almost 40 per cent in the first quarter. So much for China working with us — but we had to give it a try!” Losing patience with China, Trump may take unilateral, even military, action against North Korea’s nuclear programme. Could this escalate into a second Korean War? 

USS Nimitz, USS Chosin, USS Sampson, and USS Pinkney in South China Sea.

U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class David Mercil

Analysis & Opinions - Herald Sun

Chinese Content to Play the Long Game

| July 11, 2017
As realistic students of history, Chinese leaders recognise that the role the US has played since World War II as the guardian of regional stability has been essential to China's rise. But they believe that as the tide that brought the US to Asia recedes, America must leave with it.

South Korean soldiers look at a map illustrating about the Korean War at the Korea War Memorial Museum in Seoul, South Korea, Friday, July 7, 2017. South Korea's new liberal President Moon Jae-in reiterated he's willing to meet North Korean leader Kim Jong Un even as he condemned the North's first intercontinental ballistic missile test-launch this week as a "reckless" move that incurred punishment by the international community. (AP Photo/Lee Jin-man)

AP Photo/Lee Jin-man

Analysis & Opinions - The Sunday Times

Donald Trump must threaten Kim Jong-un and pray he blinks

| July 09, 2017

"Since the election of Donald Trump as US president, the probability of a Sino-American conflict has soared. Last year Trump ran an aggressively anti-Chinese election campaign, repeatedly threatening to impose tariffs on Chinese imports. Trade is only one of several bones of contention. America remains committed to freedom of navigation in the South China Sea. China’s island-building programme is designed to make that sea Chinese in fact as well as in name. Trump is less committed than any US president since Richard Nixon to the 'One China' policy, which pretends that Taiwan is not an independent state."

Photo of troops during World War I.

Wikimedia Commons

Analysis & Opinions - USA Today

The 'Wonder Woman' guide to avoiding war with China: It might take a woman

| July 7, 2017

"Is war the natural condition of mankind? That question drives a deeper story line in the summer blockbuster 'Wonder Woman.' While she is stopping a massive German gas attack, Princess Diana also finds herself grappling with a fundamental question about the relationship between mass violence and human nature.

Wonder Woman's first face-off against a World War I villain, German Gen. Erich Ludendorff, takes a dark philosophical turn. 'Peace,' Gen. Ludendorff sneers, 'is only an armistice in an endless war.' Wonder Woman immediately identifies the author of the quote: the ancient Greek historian Thucydides. But she disagrees, arguing instead that war is a seductive spell on mankind, not a reflection of our inherent corruption."

Graham Allison writes that the dangerous dynamic of a rising power that threatens to displace a ruling power is Thucydides’ Trap. "It is one of history’s deadliest patterns. Over the past 500 years, this has occurred 16 times. In 12 cases, the outcome was war. Today, the contest between an irresistible rising China and an immovable America is the 17th case."

United States. Central Intelligence Agency. The Spratly Islands and Paracel Islands. Scale 1:2,000,000. Washington, D.C.: Central Intelligence Agency, 1992.

CIA map, 1992.

Report - Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School

Freedom of Navigation in the South China Sea: A Practical Guide

| June 2017

By virtue of geography, the South China Sea is home to some of the world’s most important shipping lanes. Ships carrying exports and imports between markets in Asia and in Europe, Africa, and the Americas must transit through the South China Sea; it is estimated that $5.3 trillion in trade passes through the region annually. Circumnavigating the region would involve both considerable expense and time delay in the delivery of goods. As a result, most nations have a direct stake in ensuring that freedom of navigation is respected in the South China Sea.

Unfortunately, however, the South China Sea is home to a number of longstanding territorial disputes. Brunei, China, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Taiwan, and Vietnam have overlapping sovereignty claims to various maritime features and areas of water in the South China Sea. Most of these territorial disputes center on features located in the Paracel and Spratly island groups.

Video - Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School

Graham Allison on Office Hours

| June 30, 2017

Graham Allison (@GrahamTAllison), who is stepping down as the Director of the Belfer Center, a position he’s held for the past 22 years, takes a moment to talk with Aroop Mukharji (@aroopmukharji) about his new book “Destined for War: Can America and China Escape Thucydides’s Trap.” Allison explains the big idea that is Thucydides’s Trap, what might spark war between America and China, and what he has in common with Queen Elizabeth II.

Audio - Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School

Graham Allison on Office Hours

| June 30, 2017

Graham Allison (@GrahamTAllison), who is stepping down as the Director of the Belfer Center, a position he’s held for the past 22 years, takes a moment to talk with Aroop Mukharji (@aroopmukharji) about his new book “Destined for War: Can America and China Escape Thucydides’s Trap.” Allison explains the big idea that is Thucydides’s Trap, what might spark war between America and China, and what he has in common with Queen Elizabeth II.

China's People's Liberation Army (PLA) Gen. Li Zuocheng, left, and U.S. Army Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Milley, center, review an honor guard during a welcome ceremony at the Bayi Building in Beijing. (AP Photo/Mark Schiefelbein, Pool)

AP Photo/Mark Schiefelbein, Pool

Analysis & Opinions - The Washington Post

Is war between a rising China and a dominant America inevitable? A thought experiment.

| June 28, 2017

Chinese analysts, from President Xi Jinping on down, have nominally rejected Allison’s pessimistic analysis. “There is no Thucydides Trap,” Xi has argued, claiming that he had devised an alternative “new type of great-power relations” that would avoid war by recognizing that each Asian giant had its own legitimate interests. More recently, he has shifted to arguing that “China and the U.S. must do everything possible to avoid [the] Thucydides Trap.”

teaser image

Testimony - Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School

Living in a Glass House: The United States Must Better Defend Against Cyber and Information Attacks

| June 12, 2017

Belfer Center Co-director Eric Rosenbach testified at a hearing on "Sponsored Cyberspace Threats: Recent Incidents and U.S. Policy Response" before the United States Senate Foreign Relations Committee's Subcommittee on East Asia, the Pacific, and International Cybersecurity Policy.

President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump pose for a photo with Chinese President Xi Jingping and his wife, Mrs. Peng Liyuan, Thursday, April 6, 2017, at the entrance of Mar-a-Lago in Palm Beach, FL (Official White Photo by D. Myles Cullen)

Official White Photo by D. Myles Cullen

Magazine Article - The Atlantic

What Xi Jinping Wants

| May 31, 2017

"Within a month of becoming China’s leader in 2012, Xi specified deadlines for meeting each of his 'Two Centennial Goals.' First, China will build a 'moderately prosperous society' by doubling its 2010 per capita GDP to $10,000 by 2021, when it celebrates the 100th anniversary of the Chinese Communist Party. Second, it will become a 'fully developed, rich, and powerful' nation by the 100th anniversary of the People's Republic in 2049. If China reaches the first goal— which it is on course to do—the IMF estimates that its economy will be 40 percent larger than that of the U.S. (measured in terms of purchasing power parity). If China meets the second target by 2049, its economy will be triple America's."