Analysis + Opinion | 2021

People Liberation Army soldiers and tanks are shown during military disengagement at the India-China border in Ladakh. (Indian army/AFP/Getty Images)

Analysis + Opinion

March 3, 2021

China and India are pulling back from the brink. They’ve created a buffer zone and started talks.

M Taylor FravelThe Washington Post

The disengagement may be a sign of easing tensions along part of the India-China border dispute known as the western sector. Also called Ladakh or Aksai Chin, this area comprises roughly 12,7000 square miles (excluding areas of Pakistan-controlled Kashmir that India also claims as part of this sector). In multiple areas, China and India hold conflicting views of where the Line of Actual Control (LAC) lies, which creates numerous smaller disputes within the larger territorial conflict.

SOUDA BAY, Greece (Feb. 20, 2021) Gunner’s Mate 3rd Class Bradley Holloway, right, and Fire Controlman 2nd Class Matthew Hayes man a M2HB .50-caliber machine gun as the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Donald Cook (DDG 75) departs Souda Bay, Greece, Feb. 20, 2021.

Analysis + Opinion

February 25, 2021

A liberal case for seapower?

Jonathan Caverley and Sara McLaughlin MitchellWar on the Rocks

The Biden administration should not confuse Trump’s enthusiasm for ships with a coherent vision of the naval forces’ role in his “America First” approach to the world.  Jon Caverley and Sara McLaughlin Mitchell weigh in with their thoughts on maritime strategy.

PHILIPPINE SEA (Feb. 20, 2021) Marine machine gun teams fire 50-cal and M240 machine guns during a live-fire gunnery training exercise aboard amphibious transport dock ship USS New Orleans (LPD 18)

Analysis + Opinion

February 23, 2021

Don't knock yourself out: How America can turn the tables on China by giving up the fight for command of the seas

Paul van HooftWar on the Rocks

The United States should give up its quest for command of the maritime commons in the Western Pacific. In this piece, Paul van Hooft argues that the United States should not trap itself by framing the rise of China as an existential struggle between two titans that depends on the United States retaining command of the Western Pacific.

Senior Airman Josh Serafin, a B-52 Stratofortress crew chief with the 5th Aircraft Maintenance Unit, walks around the aircraft he maintains prior to crew startup at Minot Air Force Base, N.D. on January 26, 2017. It is not uncommon for temperatures in Minot to dip below minus 20, making maintenance efforts extremely difficult. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Brandon Shapiro)

Analysis + Opinion

February 22, 2021

Sole purpose is not no first use: Nuclear weapons and declaratory policy

Ankit Panda and Vipin NarangWar on the Rocks

Ankit Panda and Vipin Narang exaimine the debate on the US nuclear policy and the “no first use” pledge.  This essay was first published in War on the Rocks here.

President Biden with head of NATO

Analysis + Opinion

February 16, 2021

Can Europe defend itself?

Barry Posen joins the Eurasia Group Foundation’s Mark Hannah to discuss the future of the alliance and America’s security interests in Europe. They cover Posen’s recent piece for the journal Survival, in which he insists—and demonstrates how—Europe can defend itself.

Image of retro panel of nuclear current dials and readers

Analysis + Opinion

February 16, 2021

After the apocalypse: US nuclear policy

Inkstick Media

What should the Biden administration prioritize when it comes to US nuclear policy? Heather Williams and Vipin Narang are among the scholars requested to offer their recommendations.

Vladimir Putin videoconference with Ilham Aliyev

Analysis + Opinion

February 14, 2021

Russia’s new crises on the periphery

Carol SaivetzLawfare

Since the collapse of the Soviet Union in December 1991, Russia has sought to maintain its sway in the post-Soviet space despite numerous upheavals. Carol Saivetz explains in a recent article first published here in Lawfare.

Indian advocates from Punjab state attend a sit-in protest near New Delhi on Wednesday.

Analysis + Opinion

February 5, 2021

India’s farm protests turned violent last week. But why are farmers protesting in the first place?

Saksham Khosla and Aidan MilliffThe Washington Post

Farmers remain steadfast in their demands — a full repeal of the new laws. Union leaders promise to continue protests late into the year, and the government shows few signs of backing down from the broader agricultural policy agenda. The standoff will be another hard test of India’s ability to resolve political disputes through peaceful consensus-building.

Mahsa Rouhi

Analysis + Opinion

January 27, 2021

A Middle East Forum can help Biden succeed

President Joe Biden has yet to outline his overarching strategy for the Middle East. While some in the United States and abroad fret that Biden’s America will disengage from the region and create vacuums that adversaries will exploit the greater likelihood is that the new administration will neither be leaving nor leading in the Middle East.

President Trump at a campaign rally for Republican US Senate candidates in Dalton, Ga., on Jan. 5, 2021. (Erik S. Lesser/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock) (Erik S Lesser/EPA-EFE/REX/Shutterstock)

Analysis + Opinion

January 8, 2021

There is no legal way to stop Trump from ordering a nuclear strike if he wants to, expert says

Elizabeth N SaundersThe Washington Post

Vipin Narang comments on Speaker Pelosi's conversation with Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mark Milley and discusses the protocol for launching a nuclear strike.  “The United States is one of the only countries to have sole launch authority — even Russia does not. It is striking that the Russian system requires an additional vote to Russian President Vladimir Putin’s, but America’s does not.”