Since the mid 1980s, China has embarked on a reassessment of its maritime interests and a transformation of its capabilities in the maritime arena. Beijing sees a more muscular blue-water capability to be an important tool to protect its expanding global economic interests, defend its regional territorial claims, and counteract the growing U.S. military presence in the Pacific...
The ongoing tension between Iraqi Shi'a cleric Muqtada al-Sadr on one side and Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Malaki and his Iranian backers on the other presents Western policymakers with a strategic opportunity to enhance Iraqi national identity while at the same time diminish Iranian influence on internal Iraqi affairs...
Iran's cultural and religious influence in Afghanistan is overestimated by the international community, especially the U.S., whose perception is shaped by a strategic blind spot created by the lack of direct contact with Iran...
The Shiite-led uprising in Bahrain, although diminishing in intensity since mid-2011, continues to defy resolution. At the same time, U.S. influence - and leverage - over the situation has steadily decreased...
The Afghan government and its partners - NATO and the International Security Assistance Force - face the challenge of developing cost-effective strategies for creating stability and commitment among young Afghan men, precisely the subset of the population from which the insurgency and criminal networks draw recruits.