Iran in Latin America: Threat or Axis of Annoyance?

Senior Fellow Douglas Farah's analysis of the debate over the level of threat posed by Iran's expanding diplomatic, trade and military presence in Latin America, and its stated ambition to continue to broaden these ties.read more

Chinese Naval Modernization: Altering the Balance of Power

Richard Fisher details China's naval modernization program and the potential impacts on U.S. interests in the Western Pacific.read more

Looking Forward

"Looking Forward" is an informal department of our website, usually written by
our Vice President Arthur Waldron, but to which colleagues and friends contribute as well, that seeks to tag, comment on or speculate about important developments before they hit the front pages, or to provide new points of view on existing issues. We call it "informal" because it is speculative, whereas for most of our work, the number one requirement is to find the facts and let the political chips fall where they may.

Thus we may look at rumors about proliferation or at new weapons, unconventional threats to our national security, environmental issues, energy, diseases, or give our thoughts about a well known issue. Our researchers travel, and often the column will reflect that. Thus Professor Waldron is spending a lot of time in Europe this semester, reading the European press (including the European Chinese-language press) and talking to European scholars and experts, and can be expected to send periodic sketches of what he has found.

Professor Waldron learned the rigorous techniques of simulation and gaming during his seven years at the Naval War College, but the tendency to try to look into the future--which seems strange, for he is after all a historian--may also be in the blood. His great uncle was, for many years, the anonymous author of "The Trader" column in Barron's Magazine, celebrated in his own time as the only Wall Street pundit who had called the great crash of 1929, the market bottom and the post-war recovery. Unfortunately, speculating on world affairs is far less remunerative.

As always, we invite serious comments from our readers about this column as well as our other offerings.

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The Chinese Stock Market
by Arthur Waldron, Ph.D

Published on May 13th, 2007
How will the Chinese stock market rally end? The answer is important not only for investors there, but for ordinary Chinese farmers who have never laid eyes on a stock certificate.  Chinese stocks are grossly overvalued. But a buying frenzy is driving them higher—a frenzy that reflects the fundamental irrationality of a system that now lets people earn money but closes off almost all avenues for investing it—except a swelling stock market bubble.  We know the bubble will burst. When it does, the fundamental bargain between the repressive Chinese government and its people—you let us rule and we will make you rich—may burst too. With unfathomable, but no doubt very serious, consequences.read more
After Iraq Part 3: American Eclipse
by Arthur Waldron, Ph.D

Published on December 16th, 2006
Quite unexpectedly American difficulties in Iraq are precipitating a shift in the entire world situation which though long in the making will nevertheless be disconcerting for all concerned.read more
After Iraq Part 2
by Arthur Waldron, Ph.D

Published on December 6th, 2006
The “After” in “After Iraq” seems to have drawn considerably closer in the three weeks since this column last addressed the issue. As American support for the war dwindles and even the administration seeks exits, the states in the region and beyond are taking America’s measure and positioning themselves for the post-American phase.read more
After Iraq
by Arthur Waldron, Ph.D

Published on November 16th, 2006
As the end game for Iraq approaches, the United States looks set for its second clear-cut military defeat (Vietnam was the first)—and all the consequences that will bring.  Many seem to believe that the relevant parallel is with Vietnam: that the situation after American withdrawal will be a quick victory by those we have opposed, followed by peace and stability, other than for those Iraqis foolish enough to have joined us. That is completely untrue. If anything, an American exit will make things even worse.read more
What Really Happens with North Korea?
by Arthur Waldron, Ph.D

Published on October 11th, 2006
The following comment, from Zhang Liangkui, a professor at the Central Party School in Beijing, is perhaps the most illuminating so far on North Korea’s nuclear test: “It was a stupid policy for China to view North Korea’s nuclear weapon as potential leverage against the US. Instead, the nuclear weapon will be mainly aimed at China.”read more
The Pentagon's Latest China Report
by Arthur Waldron, Ph.D

Published on May 24th, 2006
China’s military and strategic purpose is not to join the world that has made her rich as it is today, but rather to remake that world. That is the almost inescapable conclusion for anyone reading the just-released Pentagon report on Chinese military power.  China’s goal would seem to be tomake herself the greatest military power in Asia, able to intimidate or defeat any of her neighbors in actually conflict, and to deter the United States or anyone else from intervening.read more
Singapore Elections -- May 6
by Arthur Waldron, Ph.D

Published on May 3rd, 2006
1988, the year of Chiang Ching-kuo’s death, marked the end of the dynasty founded by Chiang Kai-shek, who had fled from China in 1975.  Now the Lee dynasty, which has ruled Singapore since it was expelled from Malaysia in 1965, looks to be on the way out as well: perhaps not immediately, but nevertheless facing the prospect of greater and greater weakness.read more
Notes from London
by Arthur Waldron, Ph.D

Published on March 21st, 2006
Plenty is being said, but very few people are asking the big and important questions about the future of the Middle East: not in Washington, and certainly not here in Europe, specifically London.read more
China’s New Navy
by Arthur Waldron, Ph.D

Published on December 15th, 2005
The latest Congressional Research Service report on the Chinese Navy requires the attention of everyone seriously interested in Asian and global security issues. It describes a new and increasingly powerful force, being created at a very rapid pace, the mission of which is not at all clear.read more
Russia: Looking Forward
by Arthur Waldron, Ph.D

Published on August 24th, 2005
One thing we do know about Russia: its governments plan strategic and foreign policy far ahead, and nearly always have. Failing to grasp this point, and imagining that they are reactive, or entirely driven by internal pressures, is a constant source of error.read more
Total Records: 33
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