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March 8, 2022

Ukraine
Preventing a Wider European Conflict

To prevent Russia's ongoing invasion of Ukraine from escalating into a wider European conflict, Thomas Graham recommends that the United States bolster its deterrence efforts with NATO partners, whil…

Russian servicemen drive tanks during military exercises in the Leningrad Region, Russia.

April 14, 2022

Afghanistan
Countering a Resurgent Terrorist Threat in Afghanistan

With al-Qaeda and the self-proclaimed Islamic State in Khorasan growing in strength since the U.S. withdrawal, Seth Jones lays out a strategy for the United States to prevent a renewed terrorist thre…

A Taliban soldier manning a machine gun on the back of a vehicle in Kabul.

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.

November 8, 2017

Europe
The Unraveling of the Balkans Peace Agreements

Tensions are rising in the Balkans and the risk of renewed violence is growing, but the United States can help preserve peace and stability in the region.

Demonstrators storm into Macedonia's parliament in Skopje on April 27, 2017.

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.

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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September 23, 2015

Territorial Disputes
A China-Vietnam Military Clash

Introduction The risk of a military confrontation between China and Vietnam is rising. Although the two countries have enjoyed close party-to-party ties for decades, since 2011 they have both asse…

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March 10, 2016

Jordan
Growing Stress on Jordan

In 2013, the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) Contingency Planning Memorandum "Political Instability in Jordan" warned that the biggest threat to the stability of the Hashemite Kingdom stemmed from…

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June 15, 2017

Zimbabwe
The Day After in Zimbabwe

A 2015 CFR Contingency Planning Memorandum (CPM), “Political Instability in Zimbabwe,” highlighted the potential for violence in connection with leadership succession. The remarkable longevity of Rob…

Zimbabwe protest Mugabe

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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