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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.

April 7, 2015

South China Sea
Conflict in the South China Sea

Territorial disputes in the South China Sea continue to be a source of tension and potential conflict between China and other countries in the region. Though the United States takes no position on so…

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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 19, 2021

China
Preparing for Heightened Tensions Between China and India

China-India tensions remain high. To reduce the threat of conflict, Daniel S. Markey recommends the U.S. boost aid to India and begin working with like-minded partners to develop a coordinated respon…

Soldiers stand on a snowy mountain on a sunny day next to a truck.

June 4, 2020

North Korea
Renewed Crisis on the Korean Peninsula

A renewed crisis on the Korean Peninsula could arise in the next twelve months. The United States should revamp UN sanctions and revitalize multilateral diplomacy in opposition to North Korea's nucle…

Kim Jong-un walks with men in military uniforms in front of military planes.

March 30, 2015

Venezuela
Political Crisis in Venezuela

Venezuela is in a state of protracted crisis. Since early 2014, public frustration has been steadily rising over shortages of basic consumer goods and skyrocketing inflation, which spiked above 68 pe…

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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.

September 6, 2012

Venezuela
Political Unrest in Venezuela

In March 2015, the author wrote an update to this memo to reflect recent developments in Venezuela. Read the update. Introduction In the coming months, Venezuela could experience significant po…

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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

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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