Why the US and China Can’t Get to Yes (Even When They Could)

Meicen Sun & Jacob Sotiriadis The Diplomat

For the first time in its history, the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit just ended without a formal leaders’ statement due to the widening standoff between the United States and China. Sources close to the negotiations blamed the discord on the “uncompromising approach” taken by both countries. The world is indeed reminded of what is at stake when its two largest economies fail to get to yes.

What 500 elections in 28 European countries can tell us about the effects of anti-immigration rhetoric

Elizabeth Dekeyser and Michael Freedman The Washington Post

As the midterms loom, President Trump and the Republican Party have ratcheted up their rhetoric on immigration. Monday, the Trump administration announced it would be sending 5,200 additional troops to the U.S.-Mexico border to prevent the Central American migrant caravan from crossing into the United States. Last week, the president claimed without evidence that “unknown Middle Easterners” were part of the caravan.

Authoritarian Nostalgia Among Iraqi Youth

Marsin Alshamary War on the Rocks

Scholars and policymakers should be concerned with how Iraq’s leadership vacuum and the accompanying authoritarian nostalgia will manifest itself in the future, particularly as Iraq’s youth reach the age of voting and political activism.

Japan’s pivot in Asia

Richard J. Samuels and Corey Wallace Oxford University Press Blog

Tokyo is wary of Trump’s treatment of traditional American allies in Europe and Asia, and it is apprehensive about what compromises Trump might make in search of a ‘deal’ with the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK.) Trump’s foreign policy behaviour makes strategic autonomy for some in Japan even more attractive.

A New Military Strategy for Japan

Eric Heginbotham and Richard Samuels Foreign Affairs

Japan confronts an increasingly difficult security environment. Despite the current media attention on North Korea, a very real but largely one-dimensional nuclear threat, Japanese strategists are concerned primarily with the broader and more multidimensional challenge posed by the rise of China and its territorial ambitions in the East China Sea.

What the G7 Fiasco Means for Japan

Mina Pollmann The Diplomat

Japan’s goals — maintaining the U.S.-Japan alliance and upholding the liberal international order — have never been more at odds.

Japan and the Shangri-La Dialogue

Mina Pollmann The Diplomat

At this year’s Shangri-La Dialogue, Japan could rest assured that – with the twin foci on reintroducing the “Indo-Pacific” concept and spotlighting Chinese rule-breaking behavior (as Ankit covers excellently here) – many of its concerns are shared by the rest of the region and the world. Maritime issues were front and center in many of Japan’s sideline meetings, including the trilateral meeting with the United States and Australia on Saturday and with the U.S. and South Korea on Sunday.

Between Two Caesars: The Christians of Northern Iraq

Roger Petersen and Matthew Cancian Providence

Religious and ethnic minorities live a precarious existence during civil wars. In a war between the incumbent state and an insurgent challenger, minority group leaders may pick one side over the other. However, if they choose the loser they will be open to charges of collaboration and become vulnerable targets of vengeance.

The Rise of Illiberal Hegemony

Barry R. Posen Foreign Affairs

Grand strategy is a slippery concept, and for those attempting to divine the Trump administration’s, its National Security Strategy—a word salad of a document—yields little insight. The better way to understand Trump’s approach to the world is to look at a year’s worth of actual policies.

With friends like these: Japan-ROK Cooperation and US Policy

Eric Heginbotham & Richard Samuels The ASAN Forum

Heginbotham and Samuels 1) briefly assess the record of security cooperation since North Korea’s 2006 nuclear test and how the discontinuation of the Six-Party Talks in 2009 highlighted the growing gravity of the threat, 2) examine several areas of underperformance, and 3) close by recommending measures that may, at the margins, improve the prospects for meaningful cooperation.

South Africa's Healthy Democracy: Why Zuma's Resignation Is a Good Sign

Daniel de Kadt, Evan Lieberman, and Philip Martin Foreign Affairs

Democracy in South Africa is in tatters. Or at least that’s the widespread view following President Jacob Zuma’s forced resignation on February 14, which ended his almost-nine-year tenure in office.