Middle East

Israel lays groundwork for possible settlement expansion southeast of Jerusalem

Aug. 14, 2016 Yotam Berger The land east of the settlement of Efrat would expand ‘contiguity’ of the Gush Etzion bloc to the outskirts of Bethlehem. Israel is conducting a land survey between the settlement of Efrat and the area to its east with an eye toward declaring state land there, according to a document…

Putin deploys Russia’s most advanced air-defence missiles in Crimea as alarm grows war is imminent
Military

Putin deploys Russia’s most advanced air-defence missiles in Crimea as alarm grows war is imminent

World powers urged Russia and Ukraine to refrain from ratcheting up a confrontation over Crimea as President Vladimir Putin bolstered the disputed peninsula’s military with some of his army’s most advanced air-defence missile systems. The European Union said there was no independent confirmation of claims that Ukrainian agents had killed two Russian servicemen in Crimea….

Military

Escalation, Naval Deployments and Geopolitical Conflict in the South China Sea

August 16, 2016 Brian Kalman Introduction On July 12, 2016 the Permanent Court of Arbitration at The Hague ruled in favor of the Republic of the Philippines in its arbitration case against The Peoples Republic of China. The intervening weeks have seen a marked escalation in military deployments, activities and political rhetoric from China, the…

Australia becoming geopolitical flashpoint amid sharpening US-China rivalry
Opinion

Australia becoming geopolitical flashpoint amid sharpening US-China rivalry

A comment this week in the Financial Times entitled, “Why Australia’s luck may be running out,” is symptomatic of the growing attention being paid to Australia amid rising geo-political tensions in the Asia Pacific. Written by the FT’s chief foreign affairs commentator Gideon Rachman, the article underscores the dilemma facing the Australian ruling class as…

Japanese Coast Guard video claims to show hundreds of Chinese ships near disputed Senkaku Islands
Asia | Military

Japanese Coast Guard video claims to show hundreds of Chinese ships near disputed Senkaku Islands

Hundreds of Chinese vessels sailing close to the disputed Senkaku Islands in the East China Sea have reportedly been captured on camera by Japan’s Coast Guard. The aerial footage indicates the high level of tension in the area. The video, apparently shot from inside a low-flying patrol aircraft, has been released online by the Japanese…