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Centripetal and Centrifugal Forces at Work in the Nation-State

Centripetal and Centrifugal Forces at Work in the Nation-State

"Here begins our tale: The empire, long divided, must unite; long united,  must divide. Thus it has ever been." This opening adage of Romance of  the Three Kingdoms, China's classic novel of war and strategy, best  captures the essential dynamism of Chinese geopolitics. At its ...

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Reads: 181

The Virtue of Subtlety: A U.S. Strategy Against the Islamic State

The Virtue of Subtlety: A U.S. Strategy Against the Islamic State

U.S. President Barack Obama said recently that he had no strategy as yet toward the Islamic State but that he would present a plan on Wednesday. It is important for a president to know when he has no strategy. It is not necessarily wise to announce it, as friends will be frightened and enemies ...

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Reads: 190

Ukraine, Iraq and a Black Sea Strategy

Ukraine, Iraq and a Black Sea Strategy

The United States is, at the moment, off balance. It faces challenges in the Syria-Iraq theater as well as challenges in Ukraine. It does not have a clear response to either. It does not know what success in either theater would look like, what resources it is prepared to devote to ...

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Reads: 266

Putin’s Ukraine Reset

The invasion of southeastern Ukraine is the latest indicator of how Russian president Vladimir Putin regards the "reset" of relations with the United States, Western Europe, and the entire world.

At least two columns of Russian armor and troops have been reported to have entered the Ukraine in ...

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Reads: 205

Iraq and Syria Follow Lebanon's Precedent

Iraq and Syria Follow Lebanon's Precedent

Lebanon was created out of the Sykes-Picot Agreement. This agreement between Britain and France reshaped the collapsed Ottoman Empire south of Turkey into the states we know today -- Lebanon, Syria and Iraq, and to some extent the Arabian Peninsula as well. For nearly 100 years, Sykes-Picot defined ...

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Reads: 399

Putin’s Pride – Danger for the World

As the Obama administrations draws down our forces to pre-WWII levels, and even front-line military officers are dismissed when in action against the enemy, Russia is doing something quite different. Russian president Vladimir Putin is proudly boasting of his nation's "offensive and defensive" ...

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Reads: 385

Europe's Malaise: The New Normal?

Europe's Malaise: The New Normal?

Russia and Ukraine continue to confront each other along their border. Iraq has splintered, leading to unabated internal warfare. And the situation in Gaza remains dire. These events should be enough to constitute the sum total of our global crises, but they're not. On top of everything, the German ...

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Reads: 228

Turkey's Geographical Ambition

Turkey's Geographical Ambition

Editor's Note: We originally ran this Global Affairs with Robert D. Kaplan column on May 1, 2013. We are republishing it in light of Recep Tayyip Erdogan's Aug. 10 election as Turkey's new president.

At a time when Europe and other parts of the world are governed by forgettable mediocrities, Recep ...

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Reads: 372

The End of Consensus Politics in China

The End of Consensus Politics in China

Chinese President Xi Jinping's anti-corruption campaign is the broadest and deepest effort to purge, reorganize and rectify the Communist Party leadership since the death of Mao Zedong in 1976 and the rise of Deng Xiaoping two years later. It has already probed more than 182,000 officials across ...

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