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The Journal

The Constitution: Our First Alliance

On June 26, 1963, President John F. Kennedy boasted, “All — All free men, wherever they may live, are citizens of Berlin.” This extraordinary line in his Ich bin ein Berliner speech rested on a conviction that the American people “take the greatest pride, that they have been able to share … the story of...

No Time to Wait in Getting Digital Trade Right

On December 9, 2021, the United Kingdom signed a groundbreaking Digital Economy Agreement (DEA) with Singapore, marking the first-ever digital trade agreement signed by a European nation. British International Trade Secretary Anne-Marie Trevelyan boasted that the DEA would “slash red tape, cut costs and support well-paid jobs across the whole UK.” In effect, this agreement...

Why ISIL-Libya is Still a Threat

The internationally-recognized terrorist organization ‘ISIL-Libya’ (ISIL-L) presents a legitimate security threat in 2022 as the group reorients towards guerilla-warfare style fighting and maintains its ideological resilience, exploiting the tense political situation in Libya through coordination with criminal organizations.  Libya currently exists in a state of political and socioeconomic unrest, as it struggles to establish a...

Assessing the Strategy of Denial

Review of The Strategy of Denial by Elbridge A. Colby (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2021) The age of Washington’s post Cold-War global hegemony has come to an end, as the United States enters a new era of great power competition with China. Many key American allies are exposed to Chinese military power and...

Why Washington Must Abandon Strategic Ambiguity

With the rise of an authoritarian and aggressive People’s Republic of China (PRC), the security of the United States – and that of the liberal international order – is increasingly under threat. The greatest potential flash point in this new rivalry is the island-nation of Taiwan, formally the Republic of China. How the United States...

Taiwan is China’s COVID Antidote: Why an Invasion is Likely

一箭双雕: one arrow, two hawks. This chengyu, analogous to the Western idiom “kill two birds with one stone,” appears frequently in Chinese politics, recently used to describe Chairman Xi Jinping’s financial sector purge — a move to eliminate corruption and to quell political opposition. [1] Xi’s China faces two targets impeding its road to “great-power”...

What I Learned in Afghanistan

Review of The Afghanistan Papers: A Secret History of the War by Craig Whitlock (New York, NY: Simon & Schuster, 2021) One of the most vivid memories from my deployment to Afghanistan occurred on my first day. It was September 22, 2017, and I was with my infantry company in the base conference room listening...

Human Nature in Foreign Policy

International politics today is a source of anxiety and uncertainty. China’s rise to power and corresponding ambitions signals a return of great power competition, threatening the peace and stability of the American-led international order. To meet this moment, the American foreign policy community must first address a problem at the core of its field: the...

Mirror or Mirage: How the Cold War Relates to U.S.-China Relations

China’s rise over the past twenty years is the most consequential foreign policy challenge Washington has faced this century. Trade wars, diplomatic standoffs, and aggressive military posturing in the Indo-Pacific all point to intensifying economic and ideological conflict not seen since the Cold War. Naturally, it is tempting to look to that period of geopolitical...

Back in the USSR: Studying the Soviet Union Today

As Russia menaced Ukraine last year, I was learning about a time when Moscow was much more powerful than it is now. Taking a course on the Soviet Union was my attempt to understand the country Winston Churchill once called “a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma.” [1] The seminar spanned the Second...
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