Asia

  • Trump Should Not Let North Korea Missile Report Get to Him

    Presidential anger would risk United States being blamed for Pyongyang’s actions

    A report released this week that exposes the existence of more than a dozen hidden missile bases in North Korea may not be news to intelligence services in Seoul and Washington, but the exposure has important political implications for US negotiations with the North, and indeed stability on the Peninsula. Equally, it highlights the power of crowdsourcing, open-source intelligence gathering, and analysis by the public at large. This, too, has implications for policy making well beyond the report’s findings.    

    The Washington Post reported on November 12 on how a small group of Korea experts pieced together publicly available satellite imagery and interviews with North Korean defectors and government officials to identify thirteen undeclared missile bases. They conclude more bases may be hidden. The Washington Post reported on July 30, 2018, that North Korea could be constructing new missiles at the same factory that produced its first intercontinental ballistic missiles capable of reaching the United States. 

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  • What a Little Girl and an Aging Pop Star Can Teach Us about Russian Propaganda

    Eight-year-old Nina never wanted to be a star on Russian state television. Nevertheless, the Kyiv native was the subject of a one-hour discussion on Russia’s First Channel, a popular national show. The topic was hot: a Ukrainian family wanted their daughter to be taught music in Ukrainian.
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  • Metzl Joins CNN to Discuss Singles Day and China's Economy


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  • The World Has Come Full Circle—And Taken a Turn For The Worse

    The guns of war at last fell silent at the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month of 1918. The Great War was over. The Armistice took effect. The war had lasted more than four years; it had caused the death of close to ten million combatants and more than half as many civilians. An entire generation of European youth, supported by comrades from the United States and around the world, had met the fate foreseen by the young New Yorker Alan Seeger, who had enlisted in the French Foreign Legion even before the formation of the American Expeditionary Force: “I have a rendezvous with death / At some disputed barricade /... It may be he shall take my hand / And lead me into some dark land / And close my eyes and quench my breath.” Seeger was killed in action on July 4, 1916.

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  • Skripal and Beyond: The Post-Election Russia Sanctions Landscape

    The US State Department made an important, if expected, announcement to Congress on November 6 that it was unable to certify that Russia had met the conditions in the Chemical and Biological Weapons Control and Warfare Elimination Act of 1991 (CBW Act) necessary to stave off a second round of sanctions. The notification drew relatively little domestic coverage—coming, as it did, during the fever pitch of the US midterm elections—but it did garner an angry statement from the Republican chair of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, Ed Royce, denouncing the department’s apparent lack of a timetable for imposing the next round of sanctions.

    Add Royce’s reaction to the draft bills that were simmering before the midterms recess, unease over the potential for another meeting between US President Donald J. Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin, and what is sure to be a swift reaction to Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ resignation on November 7, and the Trump administration did not get even twenty-four hours from the close of the midterm polls before letting Russia jump right back into the national conscience as a hot-button issue.

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  • Russia’s Dangerous New Front in Ukraine

    In response to Russia’s aggressive actions in the Sea of Azov, Ukraine has gone on high alert to boost its coastal defense positions and build up its naval presence.

    Since April 2018, under the pretext of protecting its illegally constructed Kerch Bridge and fighting what it calls Ukraine’s “state piracy,” Russia has been brazenly conducting ad hoc inspections of merchant vessels headed to and from Ukraine. The unreasonably low clearance of the bridge combined with inspection delays hurts Ukrainian ports in the Sea of Azov, already costing the economy over a billion hryvnias ($36 million). In addition, Russia has increased its military presence there to about 120 patrol boats and ships.

    This has caught Ukraine off guard.

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  • Manning Quoted in VOA on United States Rallying Southeast Asian Countries to Continue Maximum Pressure Campaign Against North Korea


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  • United States and China to Hold Delayed Security Dialogue on November 9

    Amid rising tensions between China and the United States, US Secretary of Defense James Mattis and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will “attempt to put a floor on the relationship” when they meet with Chinese officials in Washington on November 9, according to Robert A. Manning, a resident senior fellow with the Atlantic Council’s Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security.

    The two US officials will meet Chinese politburo member Yang Jiechi and Defense Minister Wei Fenghe as part of an annual framework to discuss security and political issues. Mattis was supposed to have this meeting in Beijing in October, but Chinese officials postponed it after the United States imposed sanctions on a Chinese company for purchasing weapons from Russia and Washington approved a $330 million military equipment deal with Taiwan.

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  • Brookie Quoted in Reuters on Russia's Influence Operations in US Midterm Elections


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  • Russia Shows its Military Might in the Black Sea and Beyond

    Since illegally annexing Crimea in 2014, Russia has drastically increased its military presence in the Black Sea region. The Kremlin’s dominance may be temporary given NATO’s greater capacities, but so far, NATO’s response has been limited.

    “Russia has practically covered all of the Black Sea region,” says Hryhorii Perepelytsia, the head of the Kyiv-based Foreign Policy Research Institute. “It can destroy targets—for instance, NATO ships—right at the entrance via the straits of Bosporus and Dardanelles.”

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