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  • Author: David Tier
  • Publication Date: 04-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Connections
  • Institution: Partnership for Peace Consortium of Defense Academies and Security Studies Institutes
  • Abstract: Our world is on a trajectory leading to a point where terrorists will eventually acquire a nuclear weapon. It is only a matter of time. After the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, the United States recognized the lack of effectiveness of its previous intelligence and military efforts in deterring terrorists and sought an alternate way to defuse the radical Islamist threat. By continuing to advocate the use of military force in Iraq after weapons of mass destruction were not found, the U.S. pursued a strategy in line with the idealist school of thought by attempting to plant a democracy in the heart of the Middle East. Iraq became the centerpiece of the United States' ambitions to stop the region from exporting violence and terror, and attempted to transform it into a place of progress and peace. This effort was ambitious indeed, and many argued that these goals were be- yond the United States' ability to achieve. However, this strategy offered a possible solution to the endless cycle of violence across the Middle East and Africa and its continuing threat to U.S. national security. The current administration, in contrast, announced last year a "rebalance toward the Asia -Pacific region," ostensibly to counter the growing strength of China's military power. Like an ostrich sticking its head in the sand, this shift pivots the U.S. away from its true threat and increases the peril its citizens will face. The United States should focus its efforts on supporting democratization in troubled regions, and policy makers must counter those who criticize this strategy, including military-industrial complex advocates of the "pivot."
  • Topic: Islam
  • Political Geography: United States, Asia, Mumbai
  • Author: Rong Chen
  • Publication Date: 06-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Connections
  • Institution: Partnership for Peace Consortium of Defense Academies and Security Studies Institutes
  • Abstract: At the time of writing, the U.S. had its highest-ranking military delegation in over two years, led by the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Martin Dempsey, visiting Beijing. The mission was intended to conduct sensitive bilateral negotiations at the highest level in China, having been received by President Xi Jinping and members of China's Central Military Commission. This visit took place during a period of heightened tension in northeastern Asia, characterized by nuclear tests and other provocative actions of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), and the escalating territorial dispute between China and Japan over Diaoyu Island. It underscored the importance of Sino-U.S. bilateral relations, and encouraged students of the region to reflect on the strategic significance and policy implications of the U.S. pivot toward the Asia-Pacific, which is the key factor of the strategic context of the region.
  • Political Geography: United States, Japan, China, Asia, Korea, Island, Northeast Asia
  • Author: Jean-Marie Holtzinger
  • Publication Date: 09-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Connections
  • Institution: Partnership for Peace Consortium of Defense Academies and Security Studies Institutes
  • Abstract: This essay seeks to determine the nature of the strategic energy partnership between the Russian Federation and the People's Republic of China, focusing on oil and gas. In particular, it will attempt to answer the question of whether there is a real and valid strategic energy partnership between the two countries. Many joint declarations, statements, and treaties on the strategic partnership have offered evidence of the good relationship between the two countries. These have been reinforced in recent years through cooperation in different fields—economy, military, and energy—underpinned by an apparently common shared vision of the world. As far as the energy partnership is concerned, many advances have been achieved in the oil and gas sectors. This results from a complementary association of both actors that gives priority to market forces, since Russia is a major oil and gas producer and China, because of its growing economy, is a major consumer. However, this strategic energy partnership is limited in scope, and is very fragile for many reasons: the Russian domestic market is growing; Europe is a more attractive partner for Russian energy exports; Russia has fears regarding China's rapid expansion in economic and geopolitical power; China's tendency to engage in active diplomacy in all directions; and the influence of Japan and South Korea on the Asian market. All factors indicate that there is at present an energy partnership between the two countries, but that it seems to be more strategic for Russia than for China.
  • Topic: Disaster Relief
  • Political Geography: Russia, China, Europe, Asia