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An American 圍棋: The New and Old Order of Things

Roots of Chinese Strategic Doctrine and Statecraft

Near the end of 2015, General Secretary Xi Jinping (习近平) announced a shift in the People’s Liberation Army’s (PLA-中国人民解放军)strategic doctrine, orienting the Chinese military toward achieving long term modernization goals. The Central Military Commission (CMC) has since restructured military organization within the services, command and control doctrine, and instituted new definitions of regional security theaters. Moreover, improvements in logistical connectivity, weapons systems, and quality of leadership will allow China greater joint operational capability, making possible more poignant regional power projection. As the latest Department of Defense China Military Power Report underscores, new reforms have been implemented to improve the PLA’s “ability to fight short-duration, high-intensity regional conflicts at greater distances from the Chinese mainland and strengthen the Chinese Communist Party’s control over the military.” Continue reading “An American 圍棋: The New and Old Order of Things”

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Semiotic Implications of Battle: U.S. Concepts of War and Interest in an Uncertain International Order

Oliver Thomas

Once the location of brutal warfare, the Pacific Command (USPACOM) region is at a point of relative peace. On June 23, American and Japanese service members gathered to pay their respects to lives lost at the Battle of Okinawa seventy-two years ago. As the region enjoys relative stability, it is a time to reflect on fundamental questions concerning America’s notion of “national interest,” the structuring the international order, and the changing role of the US military in East Asia. These questions are necessary if we want to avoid more tragedy and bloodshed like that which occurred during the island hopping campaign in World War II. Continue reading “Semiotic Implications of Battle: U.S. Concepts of War and Interest in an Uncertain International Order”

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Image by Amash, Restrained FP

The Case for a More Restrained Foreign Policy

Shawn McFall

Since the fall of the USSR in 1991, the foreign policy establishment has called upon the United States to lead from the front. Foreign policy experts preached that the United States could not take its ball and go home like it did after the First World War. The international community needed a leader. This train of thought in foreign policy has been predominate for the last 20 years. As a result, the U.S. has become the world’s policeman, acting on moral indignation instead of the best interest of the U.S. Continue reading “The Case for a More Restrained Foreign Policy”

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Duty to the East: Sustaining American Security Commitments in Asia

Oliver Thomas

United States Secretary of Defense, General James Mattis arrived in Singapore on June 2 for the Shangri-La Dialogue, an intergovernmental forum on the future of Asian security.

Mattis’s second trip to the Asia-Pacific undergirds a time of ambiguity, uncertainty and aggressive posture in the region. The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) continues to test new, more sophisticated ballistic missile variants. The People’s Republic of China (PRC) is expanding its sphere of influence though extensive infrastructure investment and shifts in the People’s Liberation Army strategic doctrine. President Rodrigo Duterte of the Philippines has shown repeated lapses in leadership as the country faces internal terrorist threats. Continue reading “Duty to the East: Sustaining American Security Commitments in Asia”

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Trump Orb, Riyadh

Trump and Iranian Relations

Shawn McFall

President Trump’s first stop on his international visit was in Saudi Arabia, where he was met with a hero’s welcome and was awarded the King Abdulaziz al Saud Collar, Saudi Arabia’s highest civilian honor.

While the media focused on the theatrics and the content of President Trump’s address on islamic terrorism, very little coverage was given to President Trump’s calling for the isolation of the Iranian nation. Trump’s statement was also reaffirmed by Saudi King Salman when he said:

“All nations of conscience must work together to isolate Iran, deny it funding for terrorism, and pray for the day when the Iranian people have the just and righteous government they deserve.’’ Continue reading “Trump and Iranian Relations”

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Theresa May Teaches a Crumbling World a Lesson on Statesmanship

Michael Lucchese

On June 8, British citizens will head to the polls to vote in a snap election called by prime minister Theresa May. While some American observers may be confused by it, May’s decision-making actually offers a model of contemporary statesmanship worthy of emulation. Continue reading “Theresa May Teaches a Crumbling World a Lesson on Statesmanship”

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Why Congress Should Not Declare War on ISIS

On March 25th, the New York Times editorial board wrote that Congress must declare war on ISIS.  The Times claims that Congress has refused to do its duty in the fight against ISIS. They went on to say that with the impending invasion of Raqqa, the US involvement in Syria would be questionable on constitutional grounds.

It seems as though the Times has rediscovered the War Powers Resolution after failing to make the same claim about President Obama’s illegal action in Libya.

Notwithstanding, it would be unwise for Congress to declare war on ISIS because the potential cost outweigh the potential benefits.    Continue reading “Why Congress Should Not Declare War on ISIS”

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Trump’s Refugee Ban: A Week Later

It’s been a week since President Trump unveiled his executive order banning refugees from seven majority-Muslim countries. Since its signing, it has been rightly criticized. In case you missed it, the ban was a bad idea and unreasonable. A generous description would stop at under-reviewed. From a political perspective, it was done in the least conscientious manner possible.

So, a week later, what’s missing from the story? I think it’s important to ask this question: Does anyone think Trump actually cares about the millions who are trying to escape the atrocities being committed by ISIS and in the Syrian conflict?

If not, why would he do the following? Reuters reports: Continue reading “Trump’s Refugee Ban: A Week Later”

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Russia Did it! What Exactly?

On Thursday of last week, the most senior members of the intelligence community testified to the Senate that Russia hacked the Democratic National Committee (DNC) and Hillary Clinton’s email in order to undermine the Clinton campaign and influence the election. The same officials also testified that the hacks were authorized from the highest levels of Russia’s government. Of course, none of this is new. The only problem is that President-elect Trump has denied Russia’s involvement despite knowledge to the contrary.

Yesterday, Trump finally conceded Russia might be behind the hacks. Nonetheless, the press and many elected officials are stunned and have been left with the task of answering the questions: What are the next steps, and what should we make of this? Continue reading “Russia Did it! What Exactly?”

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Romney for Secretary of State

This past weekend, Kellyanne Conway and Newt Gingrich made headlines for criticizing Mitt Romney. Both advised President-elect Trump against choosing the former Massachusetts Governor and 2012 Republican presidential nominee as his Secretary of State. Romney is currently being considered for the position, despite previously calling Trump a phony and a fraud. According to Conway,  his loyalty is in question because he “went out of his way to hurt Trump.”

Regardless of their past, Romney would make a great Secretary of State, and Trump would do well in choosing him. Continue reading “Romney for Secretary of State”

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