Publications

Aug. 17, 2022

Pushing Back Against China's New Normal in the Taiwan Strait

The key question moving forward is how to prevent China from making a more aggressive posture against Taiwan the new normal. More frequent Chinese exercises and incursions close to Taiwan should be monitored and, if necessary, thwarted, countered, or disrupted. If Chinese exercises involve military aircraft venturing into Taiwan’s airspace, for example, Taipei and Washington should consider measures to warn or intercept the Chinese planes. In response to the threat of a quarantine or blockade, Taipei needs to invest in appropriate capabilities and increase stockpiles of critical resources. Finally, larger, more frequent Chinese exercises around Taiwan would make determining China’s intentions more difficult. The United States and Taiwan should refine their approach to strategic warning, identifying indicators that can differentiate between a Chinese military exercise and preparations for an actual attack.

Aug. 14, 2022

Crossing the Strait: China’s Military Prepares for War with Taiwan

Both the U.S. and Chinese militaries are increasingly focused on a possible confrontation over Taiwan. China regards the island as an integral part of its territory and is building military capabilities to deter Taiwan independence and compel Taiwan to accept unification. Based on original research by leading international experts, Crossing the Strait: China’s Military Prepares for War with Taiwan explores the political and military context of cross-strait relations, with a focus on understanding the Chinese decision calculus about when and how to use force, the capabilities the People’s Liberation Army would bring to the fight, and what Taiwan can do to defend itself.

Aug. 9, 2022

Lawfare in Ukraine: Weaponizing International Investment Law and the Law of Armed Conflict Against Russia’s Invasion

This paper explores Ukraine’s innovative use of international investment law to hold Russia financially liable for damages arising out of its 2014 invasion and occupation of Crimea, and how this use of “lawfare” strategy can be further leveraged considering Russia’s renewed military invasion of Ukraine in 2022.

Aug. 1, 2022

Chinese Perspectives on US Strategy in Asia, 2017-2021

The architects of US strategy in Asia have advanced a bold vision for a "free and open Indo-Pacific" but have paid less attention to China's views and responses. This article surveys perceptions of Chinese strategists toward the Trump administration's regional approach, arguing that China's analytic community came to see US strategy as largely focused on the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue.

July 15, 2022

The War in Ukraine and Eurasia's New Imperial Moment

Eurasia contains four states whose leaders portray their countries as the center of distinct regional orders, consciously evoking their imperial history as a justification to be something greater than ordinary states. China, Iran, Russia and Turkey are thus at least in part “revisionist” powers. Unless Russia’s imperial war in Ukraine is soundly defeated, the world should be prepared for further bouts of Eurasian empire rebuilding.

June 15, 2022

What Next in Ukraine?

Five experts outline possible military, political, environmental, and socioeconomic scenarios

May 31, 2022

How the al-Qaeda–Taliban Alliance Survived

Al-Qaeda’s interactions with the Taliban have often been marked by mutual suspicion and mistrust, but both groups have adopted robust and ultimately successful approaches to manage these tensions. In particular, the relationship survived turbulent episodes from 2001 to 2011, and the two groups coordinated during the run-up to the Doha Agreement. This suggests that although al-Qaeda’s relationship with the Taliban may remain fraught, it will endure. It is unclear whether the Taliban will allow the group to use Afghan territory to support transnational terrorist operations. But the Taliban will likely be unable or unwilling to constrain al-Qaeda’s regional and international ambitions, and therefore will probably be a highly unreliable partner in any effort mounted by outside powers to do so.

May 24, 2022

Gangs No Longer: Reassessing Transnational Armed Groups in the Western Hemisphere

Download PDFExecutive SummaryMS-13 (Mara Salvatrucha) in the Northern Triangle of Central America and the Primeiro Comando da Capital (PCC; First Command of the Capital), based in São Paulo, Brazil, are both tier-one criminal/political/military threats to the stability of the Western Hemisphere.1 These groups—no longer gangs but community-embedded

April 29, 2022

America Needs a Comprehensive Compellence Strategy Against Russia

One month before the war started, FPRI’s Rob Lee argued that Moscow’s compellence strategy would include the use of military force directly against Kyiv or more likely by punitive raids deep into the eastern half of Ukraine. He argued, “By inflicting heavy losses on the Ukrainian military, taking prisoners of war, and degrading Kyiv’s defense capabilities, Russia could potentially alter Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky’s incentive structure sufficiently to induce painful concessions.” Despite Ukraine’s successful effort to turn back Russian forces around Kyiv, Russia’s compellence strategy has not yet failed. As a result, it needs to be undercut by NATO with a more comprehensive approach.

April 26, 2022

Empires of Eurasia: How Imperial Legacies Shape International Security

Dr. Jeffrey Mankoff, INSS-CSR Distinguished Research Fellow, has recently published a new book, Empires of Eurasia: How Imperial Legacies Shape International Security. How the collapse of empires helps explain the efforts of China, Iran, Russia, and Turkey to challenge the international order.