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Asia Pacific Pivot

Trump, Obama and the Missed Opportunity of Pearl Harbor's 75th Anniversary

William Bradley | Posted 12.08.2016 | Politics
William Bradley

How many generals are too many at the top tier of a presidential administration? What level of attention to the 75th anniversary of the attack on Pear...

Obama's Legacy in China: War or Peace?

Chi Wang | Posted 09.07.2016 | World
Chi Wang

Obama entered office on a peace platform, advocating a draw down on troops in the Middle East and winning the Nobel Peace Prize. Later actions emphasized this same message, such as his efforts to reopen ties with Cuba.

Washington's Pivot to Southeast Asia Needs Economic Ties

Jack Myint | Posted 05.24.2016 | Politics
Jack Myint

To sustain its efforts to counter China's growing influence in Asia, Washington must deepen its economic ties with Southeast Asia. Since 2011, President Obama has stated he intends to pivot American foreign policy towards Asia, the goal of which is essentially to "contain" China.

Obama Visits Hiroshima Amid Growing Risk of Nuclear War With China

Gregory Kulacki | Posted 05.24.2016 | Politics
Gregory Kulacki

Unfortunately, as the president ponders the past, his policies are increasing the risk that nuclear weapons may be used again in the future.

Trajectory of U.S. Policy in Vietnam Offers a Roadmap to a Possible Future in the Mideast

Ivan Eland | Posted 05.23.2016 | World
Ivan Eland

During the 1960s and early 1970s, U.S. leaders somehow thought the backwater country of Vietnam was strategic and became embroiled in a tar pit. The same is true today in the Middle East.

Island Diplomacy: China's Militarization of the South China Sea

David W. Kearn | Posted 02.23.2017 | World
David W. Kearn

The revelation of Chinese deployments of surface-to-air missiles (SAM) systems on an artificially "reclaimed" island in the Paracel island chain is tr...

The United States Should Peacefully Let China Rise

Ivan Eland | Posted 02.14.2017 | World
Ivan Eland

Overall, China is by no means militarily superior to the United States and will not be for a long time. However, the United States has invested in vulnerable aircraft carrier battle groups for global power projection, which waste many naval resources defending themselves from possible attacks from the air, sea, and undersea at the expense of projecting offensive power.

John Ford's Greatest Film at 70 (plus In Harm's Way at 50)

William Bradley | Posted 12.31.2016 | Entertainment
William Bradley

It was 70 years ago this holiday season that the film I think is legendary director John Ford's greatest -- greater even than The Grapes of Wrath or The Searchers -- was released to an American public just a few months removed from the largest war in world history.

Obama Gets It Right in the South China Sea

William Bradley | Posted 10.30.2015 | Politics
William Bradley

President Barack Obama sent the Navy in harm's way this week and it turned out fine. Having gotten what it's going to get, at least for now, from China, the Obama administration at last challenged China's absurd claim of sovereignty over far distant artificial islands it's built in the South China Sea.

Obama's China Syndrome

William Bradley | Posted 09.27.2015 | Politics
William Bradley

Obama's China syndrome is that he seeks both to engage China and to contain China. Both are appropriate and arguably quite necessary goals for American statecraft. But they presuppose a state of creative tension between the established superpower and would-be superpower.

V-J Day at 70: China Mangles History and Projects A More Doubtful Future

William Bradley | Posted 09.03.2015 | Politics
William Bradley

There were only a few things wrong with the massive parade today in Beijing celebrating the 70th anniversary of V-J Day, Victory over Japan Day. The folks doing the celebrating only tangentially represent the Chinese who most actively resisted the Japanese invaders. And the celebration itself, meant to signify China's emerging superpower status, fell a little flat.

State of Play: Our Far-flung Crises

William Bradley | Posted 06.25.2015 | Politics
William Bradley

The velocity of events and the fragmentation of the media culture are such that it can be difficult to keep up with how we're doing in various national security crises around the world. Here's the latest state of play on some of the most pressing.

Asia: On the Rocks

John Feffer | Posted 06.18.2016 | World
John Feffer

The U.S. inability to help resolve the myriad island disputes in Asia and its failure to overcome domestic resistance to the TPP suggest that a time will come quite soon when America no longer rules the waves in the Pacific (or has the hegemonic power to waive the rules).

Allies: Why Japan, Rather Than Israel, Should Be the New Britain

William Bradley | Posted 05.03.2015 | Politics
William Bradley

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's just completed trip to Washington, D.C. and California points up Japan's new status. Our bitter enemy of the mid-20th century is poised to become America's most important ally in the early 21st century.

Protests Growing in Okinawa Over U.S. Military Presence

Jon Letman | Posted 06.03.2015 | Hawaii
Jon Letman

As Americans, and especially as residents of Hawaii, the very least we can do is to recognize how our military presence impacts Okinawa's people and environment.

Obama Should Have Visited the Taj Mahal and Skipped Saudi Arabia

Ivan Eland | Posted 03.28.2015 | Politics
Ivan Eland

Since the time of Franklin D. Roosevelt, Saudi Arabia has enjoyed the protection of the United States in exchange for providing the world with cheap oil. And the wider Middle East has enjoyed excessive U.S. strategic and military interest for the same reason.

How the US Should Respond to Chinese Military Assertiveness in 2015

Samuel Ramani | Posted 03.08.2015 | Politics
Samuel Ramani

Recent events and lingering ambiguities surrounding the extent of China's military power, intentions and preparedness for conflict should implore the United States to devise a long-term strategy in the Pacific that synthesizes arms buildups with expanded economic investment and alliance consolidation.

Pivoting to Success: Is Obama's Progress in the Asia-Pacific and Elsewhere Enough?

William Bradley | Posted 11.21.2014 | Politics
William Bradley

With his eight-day tour of the Asia-Pacific, his affirmation of equality on the Internet, and his move to block mass deportations, President Barack Obama has some big post-election actions to point to as he seeks to rebound from the disaster of the mid-term elections.

Veterans Day: The Mission Must Merit the Sacrifice

William Bradley | Posted 11.10.2014 | Politics
William Bradley

Obama is far too smart a man to remain in denial. And far too smart not to know, for this Veterans Day, the consequences of his decisions with regard to U.S. military and covert interventions around the world.

Obama's Troublesome Distractions Won't Wreck His Asia-Pacific Pivot (But Not Because of Him)

William Bradley | Posted 10.21.2014 | Politics
William Bradley

One good thing for the president is that his Asia-Pacific Pivot -- heightened engagement with the rising region, and nascent superpower China -- hasn't been wrecked by the lengthening array of Obama administration distractions, including his troubled and tardy war against Isis.

Leon Panetta's Book, Barack Obama's Plight, and the Shreds of Statesmanship

William Bradley | Posted 10.13.2014 | Politics
William Bradley

President Barack Obama's got a lot of problems, some of his making, many not. The last thing he need is one of his former top officials feeding attack lines to his enemies. So naturally, that's what he has.

Obama: President Who Pledged to Disengage Places U.S. on Permanent War Footing in the Middle East

William Bradley | Posted 09.11.2014 | Politics
William Bradley

Obama defeated Hillary Clinton in the Democratic presidential primaries and took office on the premise that he would wind down America's role in Middle Eastern and Central Asian conflicts. But his legacy will be the contrary.

RIMPAC in the Rear-View Mirror

Jon Letman | Posted 10.04.2014 | Hawaii
Jon Letman

This year's RIMPAC (Rim of the Pacific) maritime military exercises have ended, and any attention we've given the biennial war games will quickly turn elsewhere. But before we let RIMPAC drop from view, it's worth pausing to consider what we've just witnessed (or not witnessed, since most of the RIMPAC takes place out of sight).

Even With California's Legislature on Summer Vacation, Things Keep Perking in Jerry Brown World

William Bradley | Posted 09.06.2014 | Politics
William Bradley

With the California legislature off on a month's vacation beginning with the 4th of July weekend, it's a period in California politics in which several matters are poised awaiting resolution; namely, policy on water, high-speed rail, and space, the state controller's race, and Governor Jerry Brown's future.

Is This What Terror War Success Looks Like?

William Bradley | Posted 08.28.2014 | Politics
William Bradley

What does success against jihadist terrorist groups look like? For all the talk of a Forever War, we might just have an answer now.