Tuesday, September 25, 2018
Security Challenges

An unorthodox view of the Israel-Palestine problem

By Michael Wolffsohn

First, the thesis: The twostate solution is not a solution. It only creates new problems. “Israel here, Palestine there” sounds good, and was recently repostulated by the United Nations, Barack Obama and John Kerry, but it won’t bring about the desired peace.

The goal: Individual and collective self-determination.

The premises: The configuration of states in the Middle East is crumbling. Contrary to what many choose to believe, individual politicians are …

An isolated Turkey is turning towards Russia and away from Europe and the US

By Özlem Topçu

Just a few years ago, observers and commentators could barely contain their enthusiasm. Turkey was long regarded as the only Muslim democracy in the Middle East, a “model state” proving that a predominantly Islamic country could in fact develop into a democracy. Its unique geographical situation also made it a great advantage for Western governments, because Turkey, since the founding of the republic, had seen itself as anchored in the …

The Trump administration adds uncertainty to the standoff in the South China Sea

By Carlyle Thayer

A new phase of strategic uncertainty has emerged in relations between China and the United States under the Trump administration on a number of issues, including maritime security in the South China Sea. Rising tensions create the prospect of a downturn in bilateral relations or, worse, a confrontation at sea or in the air over contested waters.

A review of the four major developments in the South China Sea in …

How can India raise the costs of Pakistan’s troubling actions towards its neighbor?

By Shashi Tharoor

Following the terrorist attack in Uri in September of last year, Indian commentators, in understandable outrage, suggested a number of rather dramatic courses of action against Pakistan. These ranged from “surgical strikes” against terrorist training camps in Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (POK) or even at Muridke, near Lahore, to the abrogation of the Indus Waters Treaty, with hopes of bringing the Pakistani economy to its knees.

However, the unpalatable truth is …

Is the Middle East becoming a zone full of half-forgotten, widely misinterpreted wars?

By Dan Smith

When Lord Louis MountbatteDn became Supreme Allied Commander, South East Asia Command in 1943, he visited various units of the 14th Army that later retook Burma from Japanese forces. On these visits, it is said that he made the same joke time and again: “I understand you believe you’re the forgotten army. That’s not true. The truth is nobody’s ever bloody well heard of you!” This being a British army, …

US-China relations in the year of living dangerously

US-China relations in the year of living dangerously
By Kevin Rudd

Chinese New Year in the Middle Kingdom is a time for celebration and relaxation with family and friends. Yet this year, many of Beijing’s decision-makers begin the Year of the Rooster with a deep sense of unease about the future. This is in part the product of uncertainty about future policy directions of the new Trump administration. Indeed, 2017 is shaping up as what I call the ‘year of living …

The Middle East in flux

By Volker Perthes

For decades, at least through the Cold War and into the US-led invasion of Iraq, the Middle East formed a highly conflicted, but rather durable “regional security complex” (Barry Buzan). It was defined by the geopolitical conflict between East and West, the region’s oil-dependent political economy, and rather stagnant political systems. Change was limited, but the “stability” the regional states seemed to provide was a false one at best. Seven …

Assessing the state of the Iran nuclear deal

By Seyed Hossein Mousavian

There has long been much handwringing in Washington over Iran’s ballistic missiles. They are portrayed as a threat to regional security developed with the aim of one day being armed with nuclear warheads. Yet those missiles form an integral part of Iran’s defensive military posture, which is fundamentally geared towards deterring attack.

When it comes to conventional military power, the regional balance is stacked against Iran to a staggering degree, …

Will ASEAN survive the new geopolitical competition between the US and China?

Will ASEAN survive the new geopolitical competition between the US and China?
By Kishore Mahbubani

US-China relations were always destined to end in difficult territory. Whenever the world’s number two power (today China) is about to overtake the world’s number one power (today USA), relations inevitably get difficult. However, the inherent difficulties are likely to be aggravated by the election of Donald Trump. He has shown virtually no diplomatic restraint in his criticism of China. It does not take a political genius to conclude that …