Military strategy

chess board

The Great Game With China Is 3D Chess

Washington’s new rivalry with Beijing isn’t a reprise of the Cold War. It’s much more complicated.

U.S. President Donald Trump prepares to present the Medal of Honor to Sergeant Major Thomas P. Payne on September 11, 2020 in Washington, D.C.

Will Trump Try to Bomb Iran Before He Leaves the White House?

This is a lame-duck presidency unlike any other and the potential for surprises—and conflict—are high.

A U.S. soldier stands guard as a Russian Mil Mi-24 helicopter gunship flies over the Syrian town of Al-Malikiyah near the Turkish border on June 3.

America’s Pullback Must Continue No Matter Who Is President

For all the talk of a new administration boldly reengaging with the world after four years of “America first,” Trump’s strategic retrenchment can only be the start.

The Chinese aircraft carrier Liaoning and other ships sail during a naval drill in the East China Sea in April 2018.

The Next Front in the India-China Conflict Could Be a Thai Canal

India is beefing up its island defenses as Beijing seeks a quicker route to the Indian Ocean.

A statue of the ancient Greek goddess Athena is illuminated under a full moon in central Athens on July 27, 2018.

Strategists Have Forgotten the Power of Stories

The arts are invaluable to national security policymakers facing an ever-changing future.

U.S. Army soldiers, part of the coalition against the Islamic State, at an air base northwest of Kirkuk, Iraq, before a planned pullout of U.S. forces, on March 29.

The Pentagon Tries to Pivot out of the Middle East—Again

Confusion over the removal of missiles and aircraft from Saudi Arabia could invite the aggression the United States is trying to avoid.

China's DF-41 nuclear-capable intercontinental ballistic missiles at a military parade on Tiananmen Square in Beijing on Oct. 1, 2019.

China’s Nuclear Arms Are a Riddle Wrapped in a Mystery

Beijing's plans to build new missiles, expand anti-satellite capabilities and increase nuclear material production far above civilian needs have the world guessing.

Protesters hold posters showing Iranian commander Qassem Suleimani during a protest outside the U.S. Consulate in Istanbul on Jan. 5.

The U.S. Can Deter Iran but Not Its Proxies

Rash action by Tehran-connected groups could provoke an escalatory cycle.

2020 Democratic presidential candidates.

The Fire in Syria Is Shedding Light on the United States

There’s only one positive aspect to the disaster in Syria: It’s forcing an overdue conversation about U.S. grand strategy.

U.S. troops land in Normandy, France, on D-Day, June 6, 1944.

The Lessons of 1944 Are in Jeopardy

Seventy-five years after D-Day, the United States should remember that on-the-ground leadership still works.

Chinese President Xi Jinping shakes hands with former United States Secretary of State Henry Kissinger at the Great Hall of the People on March 17, 2015 in Beijing, China. (Feng Li/Getty Images)

5 Very Important Things About the World Nobody Knows

The future will be determined by a handful of big questions that don’t yet have answers.

Finnish F-18 Hornet planes at Rovaniemi airport during a joint exercise between the Finnish and the Swedish air forces over the Arctic Circle on March 25, 2019.

Scandinavia Won’t Be Russia’s Next Target

Mikheil Saakashvili’s country was a victim of Putin’s aggression. Finland and Sweden won’t be.

A Ukrainian soldier stands guard

Russia’s Next Land Grab Won’t Be in an Ex-Soviet State. It Will Be in Europe.

First he came for Georgia, then for Ukraine. Vladimir Putin’s next target is likely to be a non-NATO nation in the EU.

Russian President Vladimir Putin delivers a speech under the rain during celebrations for Navy Day in Baltiysk in the Kaliningrad region on July 26, 2015.

Don’t Believe the Russian Hype

Moscow’s missile capabilities in the Baltic Sea region are not nearly as dangerous as they seem.

A screen shows visitors being filmed by AI security cameras with facial recognition technology at the 14th China International Exhibition on Public Safety and Security at the China International Exhibition Center in Beijing on Oct. 24, 2018.

Whoever Predicts the Future Will Win the AI Arms Race

China, Russia, and the United States are approaching the long-term strategic potential of artificial intelligence very differently. The country that gets it right will reap huge military benefits.

U.S. Marines patrol on April 1, 2009 through Now Zad in Helmand province, Afghanistan.

Why America Lost in Afghanistan

Successive U.S. administrations failed to heed the lessons of a forgotten counterinsurgency success story from Vietnam.

Russian President Vladimir Putin points at a map while inspecting the construction of a bridge across the Kerch Strait, linking Russia and the Crimean peninsula, while aboard a helicopter on March 18, 2016. (Mikhail Klimenty/AFP/Getty Images)

Goodbye Grotius, Hello Putin

Russia’s provocations in the Kerch Strait aren’t just a challenge to Ukraine. Like Beijing in the South China Sea, Moscow is seeking to undermine international maritime law.

A member of the Metropolitan Police SWAT team patrols a movie theater before a showing of the film "The Interview" on December 25, 2014 in Washington, DC.

In Cyberwar, There Are Some (Unspoken) Rules

A recent article argues that the lack of legal norms invites cyberconflict. But governments know the price of overreach and are refraining from unleashing their full capabilities.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and U.S. President Donald Trump walk along the Rose Garden colonnade as they arrive for a joint news conference at the White House, June 7, 2018 (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Don’t Let the U.S.-Japanese Alliance Get Out of Shape

Joint military exercises have kept the relationship strong despite Trump, but that could soon change.