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April 11, 2012

South China Sea
Armed Clash in the South China Sea

In April 2015, the author wrote an update to this memo to reflect recent developments in the South China Sea. Read the update. Introduction The risk of conflict in the South China Sea is signif…

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April 16, 2014

Space
Dangerous Space Incidents

Introduction As space systems increasingly perform and support critical operations, a variety of plausible near-term incidents in outer space could precipitate or exacerbate an international crisi…

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July 28, 2015

Israeli-Palestinian Conflict
A Violent Uprising in the West Bank

Introduction There is growing risk of a violent uprising in the West Bank that could be costly to Israelis and Palestinians and harmful to U.S. interests. Violence could be ignited in various ways…

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October 9, 2015

Ukraine
Crisis Over Ukraine

In early 2014, Russia began supporting armed separatist forces in the eastern—predominantly Russian-speaking—part of Ukraine. Subsequent fighting was halted in September 2015 by a cease-fire agreemen…

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November 18, 2015

Territorial Disputes
Armed Confrontation Between China and India

Introduction The China-India relationship is remarkably stable in many ways. Bilateral summits and new multilateral groupings often bring the two Asian giants together in common cause. Both sides …

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March 17, 2016

Georgia
Renewed Confrontation in Georgia

Introduction Although the likelihood of a full-blown war between Russia and Georgia is low, one cannot rule out renewed confrontation between the two countries in the next twelve to eighteen month…

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February 15, 2018

Venezuela
A Venezuelan Refugee Crisis

In addition to a sharp economic downturn, Venezuela faces a humanitarian crisis. The United States can do little to prevent a downward spiral, but it should take measures to mitigate the political, economic, and humanitarian consequences of a potential mass emigration.

Colombian police officers stand in front of people lining up to try to cross into Colombia from Venezuela through   Simon Bolivar International Bridge in Cucuta, Colombia, on January 24, 2018.

February 26, 2019

China
Averting a Cross-Strait Crisis

Domestic politics in China, political trends in Taiwan, and changing U.S. policy toward Taiwan are increasing the risk of a cross-strait crisis in the coming months. The United States should take ste…

Taiwan's President Tsai Ing-wen visits the Sixth Army Command, ahead of Lunar New Year, in Taoyuan, Taiwan, January 25, 2019.

May 21, 2020

Conflict Prevention
Military Confrontation in the South China Sea

The trade war, fallout from COVID-19, and increased military activity raise the risk of conflict between the U.S. and China in the South China Sea. Here’s how the U.S. can prevent or mitigate a clash.

A woman on a naval vessel looks at the sea through binoculars.