Regional Security

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The Economist: China's New Air-Defence Zone Suggests a Worrying New Approach in the Region

"China is eager to re-establish dominance over the region. Bitterness at the memory of the barbaric Japanese occupation in the second world war sharpens this desire. It is this possibility of a clash between a rising and an established power that lies behind the oft-used parallel between contemporary East Asia and early 20th-century Europe, in which the Senkakus play the role of Sarajevo."

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Afghanistan Analysts Network: A Yes, a Maybe and a Threat of Migration: The BSA Loya Jirga’s Last Day

Authors: Kate Clark, Gran Hewad, and Obaid Ali

"When asked if Karzai was concerned that the US might lose faith and withdraw altogether, the president's spokesman said: 'We don't believe there is a zero option.' This rock solid belief that the U.S. will not walk away from Afghanistan gives Karzai the confidence to hold out when the Americans, as well as everyone at the jirga...are pressing him to sign."

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New York Times: The World’s Wartime Debt to China

Author: Rana Mitter

"[R]ecently a new political openness within China itself has allowed a different picture of the war years to emerge. Chiang and Mao are long dead, and the Chinese government has been trying to claim a greater international role by reminding the world of the benefits of its past cooperation with the West."

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World Politics Review: A U.S. Strategic Pivot to Nowhere

Author: Steven Metz

"For the United States, Asia is both important and potentially dangerous. It represents 56 percent of global economic output and an equal percentage of total U.S. trade. Five of the world's most powerful militaries are involved there. Four of them have nuclear weapons. The six largest armies belong to Asia-Pacific powers. Three of the five deadliest wars in American history took place in part or wholly in that region."

See more in Asia and Pacific; Regional Security

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The Economist: APEC-ticism

Author: Nusa Dua

"When one of the 21's leaders, Barack Obama, fails to show up for their annual summit, it is taken as an important symbol of his administration's failure to live up to the promise implied in its much-touted "pivot" or "rebalancing" to Asia. It certainly is such a symbol; and the damage it has done to America's standing and credibility in the region may last rather longer than the memory of any concrete agreement that comes out of the summit itself."

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The Diplomat: The Battle for Influence in Southeast Asia

Author: Zachary Keck

"2013 is most significant for marking a return of Japan to the region. Although in the foreign policy context, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has been most notable for his historical comments, military ambitions and dispute with China over the Senkaku/Diaoyu Islands, his reassertion of Japanese influence in ASEAN will perhaps have the longest-lasting consequences of all."

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MIT Center for International Studies: Will Any Iraq Regionalization Strategy Work?

Author: John Tirman

John Tirman of the MIT Center for International Studies argues that a new engagement with the regional players in an effort end the Iraq war is inevitable. The idea of bringing in the neighbors to help stabilize and reduce the violence in Iraq is very attractive, and could contribute to a plausible exit strategy for the United States. The article discusses the merits of different versions of “regionalization”.

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CRS: Iraq: Regional Perspectives and U.S. Policy

Authors: Christopher M. Blanchard, Kenneth Katzman, Carol Migdalovitz, Alfred B. Prados, and Jeremy M. Sharp

Congressional Research Service report that provides information about the current perspectives and policies of Iraq’s neighbors; analyzes potential regional responses to continued insurgency, wider sectarian or ethnic violence, and long-term stabilization; discusses shared concerns and U.S. long-term regional interests; and reviews U.S. policy options for responding to various contingencies.

See more in Iraq; United States; Regional Security

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USIP: Jordan and Iraq: Between Cooperation and Crisis

A special report from USIP in a series looking at Iraq and its neighbours, on the role Jordan is playing in the effort to stabilize Iraq. USIP says Jordan wants a strong, stable, moderate, and unified Iraq. Having wrestled with the dilemmas of an assertive Iraq for many years, Jordan—like Iraq's other neighbors—now faces a myriad of challenges presented by a weak Iraq. The kingdom, for years a linchpin in the U.S. strategy to promote peace and stability in the region, is now less secure in the wake of the U.S.-led occupation of Iraq. Jordanian leaders worry that Iraq is becoming a haven for terrorist groups, a fear dramatically heightened by the November 2005 suicide bombings in Amman. Jordan also has an interest in the development of an Iraq that does not inspire radical Islamist politics in Jordan. Moreover, the kingdom is anxious about growing Iranian involvement in Iraqi politics, and—more broadly—increasing Iranian and Shiite influence in the region.

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United States Institute of Peace: Afghanistan and Its Neighbors: An Ever Dangerous Neighborhood

Author: Marvin G. Weinbaum

Report states that predatory neighbours have been a fact of life for the Afghan state throughout most of its history. The region's opportunistic states are liable to revive their interventions in Afghanistan in the event of a faltering Kabul government or an international community that reneges on its commitments to help secure and rebuild the country. Already there are some indications that the forbearance shown by neighbors in recent years may be flagging.

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