Will It Be Possible To Deter China Into The 2020s?
July 24th, 2014
China’s broad and accelerating modernization of its military forces, at first seeking to dominate the East Asian region and then to project power globally, sparks considerable anxiety over whether the United States, either alone or with allied support, can continue to deter China from using force to change what Beijing views as an unfavorable “status quo.” This anxiety is compounded by the fact that China is not just an emerging military superpower, but is also gaining economic superpower status which in the view of many helps to legitimize its quest for greater military power. China has used its military and economic power to threaten and constrain Taiwan in the 1990s and 2000s and continues to accumulate forces and capabilities for attacking or invading the island democracy. In the current decade China may decide it can use limited force against Japan and the Philippines to enforce maritime area claims, which would damage Washington’s regional military leadership while prompting many states to consider strategic deterrent capabilities. Into the 2020s and beyond it will no longer be a question of deterring Chinese military might in Asia alone, but also those Chinese forces that can be deployed globally to influence conflicts that would affect Western or democratic interests.
The Stillborn ‘New Russia’
July 17th, 2014
Four months ago, Vladimir Putin forcibly annexed Crimea, to the thunderous applause of most Russians. Russia, it was said at the time, was “rising” and “resurgent” and not to be denied its historical destiny as a great power. Moreover, the conventional wisdom held, this was just the beginning, with much greater expansion at the expense of Ukraine and perhaps other nations seemingly inevitable. Putin himself quickly confirmed this by dusting off a mythical “New Russia” (Novorossiya) construct, which held that nearly half of Ukraine was historically Russian land that needed to be reclaimed. “Ukraine had neither the moral nor the legal right,” said he, “to regions that belonged and belong to the Russian population.” And he continued, “It is not permissible that they will remain in a foreign state that is hostile to us.” Never mind that the population of this “Russian” land was never less than 70 percent Ukrainian until the end of the Russian empire. With large numbers of Russian troops massed at the border and a separatist rabble quickly formed in eastern Ukraine and supplied by Moscow, it did indeed look by late March as if Crimea was only a prelude to bigger and better things for Putin’s New Russia.
- Winning The Cross Straits Radar Race by Richard Fisher, Jr. [07.24.2014]
- Potential Indicators of China’s Next Generation Nuclear Submarines by Richard Fisher, Jr. [06.30.2014]
- The Advance of Radical Populist Doctrine in Latin America by Douglas Farah [05.23.2014]
- Shades of Berlin in the South China Sea by Richard Fisher, Jr. [04.11.2014]