NATO’s New Challenge in East Asia

June 16, 2021

US President Joe Biden used the occasion of his trip to Europe for the G7 summit to attend his first NATO meeting. His influence on the meeting appeared unambiguously when a communiqué by the NATO alliance designated China’s influence on the world stage as a military challenge.  NATO...

Expect an Uneven Rebound in MENA and Central Asia

May 20, 2021

Projections, no matter how well-grounded in analytics, are a messy business. Three years ago, COVID-19 was unheard of and then-US President Donald Trump’s politics caused uncertainty in international relations, with democracy in retreat across the world. Despite the best-informed...

Divide and Rule: What Drives Anti-Asian Resentment in America?

February 24, 2021

Donald Trump might have left the White House. His nefarious legacy, however, lingers on. A prominent case in point is the dramatic rise in the number of attacks on Asian Americans, ranging from verbal insults and harassment to physical assault to deadly acts of violence that has gone hand in hand...

Asia’s Lèse-Majesté Laws Are a Futile Attempt to Stifle Dissent

January 06, 2021

There are currently six countries in Asia with royal families: Japan, Malaysia, Cambodia, Bhutan, Brunei and Thailand. Each possesses unique lèse-majesté laws, which criminalize insults against the monarch and members of the royal family. In Malaysia, Cambodia and Thailand, a disturbing trend of...

The Road Leading to the India-China Standoff

December 02, 2020

The reason for the China-India standoff in the Galwan Valley may not be the oft-mentioned construction of the Darbuk-Shyok-Daulat Beg Oldie (DSDBO) road. The new thoroughfare improved Indian logistics in the Ladakh area, meaning that supplies and troops can be deployed with far greater speed....

In Asia, a New Kid on the Trade Bloc

November 16, 2020

History undergoes serious change thanks in particular to slow events that fly below the media’s radar. Focusing on dramatic, immediate events, the media tends to neglect the major shifts that unfold over time. Paradoxically, slowly developing events that often go unreported tell the true story...

Countering Insurgencies and Violent Extremism in South and Southeast Asia

September 01, 2020

Today, people’s rising aspirations often sit at odds with political stability. Impatience, dissent and violent protests can easily slip into insurgency and terrorism. Various state machineries stand guilty of weaponizing political disaffection in pursuit of political goals. These policies often...

How Global Britain Confronts the Asian Century

August 21, 2020

On February 3, Prime Minister Boris Johnson laid bare his long-awaited vision of a “global Britain” in a world after Brexit. Speaking amidst the imperial grandeur of Old Royal Naval College in Greenwich, Johnson’s message was that the United Kingdom, liberated from the...

What Lies Behind East Asia’s Mask Culture?

July 01, 2020

In East Asia, face masks are accessories akin to hats and scarves, a civilian, not a medical, accessory. People wear them for a variety of reasons: the smog, the cold, the sun, hay fever, unruly acne or to send a message usually transmitted via earbuds in North America: Don’t talk to me unless...

Can the US Help Central Asia Reclaim the Silk Road?

June 03, 2020

Everyone likes a snappy pop-cultural title with which to approach international politics and strategy because it makes relatable what is often viewed as an opaque process of the elites. Rudyard Kipling’s “Great Game” was a chessboard and originally referred to the various schemes and...

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