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China And America Clash On The High Seas: The EEZ Challenge
By Jeff M. Smith and Joshua Eisenman, The National Interest, May 22, 2014

During U.S Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel's recent trip to China, China's Minister of Defense, General Chang Wanquan, warned that Beijing would make "no compromise, no concession, [and] no trading" in the fight for what he called his country's "territorial sovereignty." Chang told Hagel: "The Chinese military can assemble as soon as summoned, fight any battle, and win." The comments come amid an escalating campaign by Chinese nationalists to alter the status quo in the Western Pacific that has raised alarm in capitals across the region.

Rouhani's Republic Of Fear
By Ilan Berman, National Review Online, May 22, 2014

Will the real Hassan Rouhani please stand up? Since his election last summer - and especially since the start of nuclear negotiations with the West last fall - Iran's new president has become a darling of the U.S. and European diplomatic set. The soft-spoken leader who now serves as Iran's political face is widely viewed as a "moderate" counterpoint to his firebrand predecessor, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, as well as a guarantor of a much-sought-after nuclear deal with the West.

Learning The Pentagon's Secrets For Business Success
By Ilan Berman,, May 21, 2014

Tucked away in a busy corner of the Pentagon is a little-known bureau known as the Office of Net Assessment. Headed by Andrew W. Marshall, the legendary nonagenarian strategist who has advised every American president since Richard Nixon, it serves as the U.S. military's in-house think tank on a broad range of foreign policy and defense issues. Its specialty, however, is a very specific discipline: the study of the different ways in which the United States can identify and exploit emerging trends in an increasingly complex geopolitical environment. 

Red Line Redux
By Lawrence J. Haas, U.S. News & World Report, May 20, 2014

The future path of U.S.-led nuclear negotiations with Iran, which have now reached a crucial stage, may be foreshadowed in the U.S. agreement with Syria to dismantle its chemical weapons program. Any U.S.-Iranian deal-making that follows the Syrian model, however, would prove nothing more than a pyrrhic victory, leaving the Middle East more dangerous and, ultimately, the United States less secure. 


U.S.-Turkey ties in danger: Column
By Ilan Berman, USA Today, May 13, 2014

 Remember the U.S.-Turkish alliance? Not long ago, President Obama was proclaiming that Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan was his favorite Middle Eastern statesman, and one of very few foreign leaders with whom he had forged a "bond of trust." Yet today, ties between Washington and Ankara are unmistakably on the downswing. The culprits are a quartet of issues that cumulatively have soured relations between Washington and Ankara — and which promise to keep the once-vibrant relationship at a low ebb, at least for the foreseeable future.

The Islamist Canaries In The Bruneian Mine Shaft
By Avi Jorisch, The Jerusalem Post, May 13, 2014

Human rights and liberal values are under threat in a small, little-known country most people would be hard-pressed to find on a map. Brunei Darussalam, following the radical vision of Usama bin Laden and his followers, became an Islamic state under strict Sharia law this past week, with punishments of death by stoning for adulterers and severing of limbs for thieves. Policymakers on both sides of the Atlantic have yet to focus on the challenges posed by radical Islamic regimes, much less tackle them effectively.

One-sided tactics show contempt for Israel
By Lawrence J. Haas, McClatchy-Tribune News Service, May 8, 2014

Recent Israeli-Palestinian peace talks raise questions as to why Washington invested so much in such a misbegotten venture, but they brought one salutary result - they laid bare the Obama Administration's hostility to the Jewish state

Disclosure: Iran's New Diplomatic Weapon
By Ilan Berman, The American, May 5, 2014

Give the Iranian regime credit for creativity. In the midst of extensive nuclear negotiations with the West, officials in Tehran have apparently hit upon a new way to play for time.

The Many Paradoxes Of The Ukraine Crisis
By Stephen Blank, The Huffington Post, April 30, 2014

The most recent developments in Ukraine as of April 25 betray a mounting series of dangerous paradoxes. First, Russian officials from Putin down have consistently denied reports of Russian troops either in Crimea or now Eastern Ukraine. But Putin in his call-in show on April 17 admitted that they were present in Crimea and even linked that presence to the subsequent referendum though he claimed it was a fully democratic exercise where nobody was intimidated. Meanwhile, despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary, Putin and his officials deny the presence of Russian forces in Eastern Ukraine.

Putin’s Glorified Version Of Russian Nationality
By Stephen Blank, The Moscow Times, April 28, 2014

 It seems more apparent that Russia's war against Ukraine also aims to impose a new ideological-political order in Russia if not the entire Commonwealth of Independent States. At home, this war has featured a massive, unrelenting propaganda offensive depicting Ukraine as a Hobbesian nightmare of civil anarchy and Russia as a unique Christian civilization under siege from the secularizing and nihilistic West. Russia explains the siege against it in geopolitical terms — as an effort to prevent the country from becoming a great power again. Russia also presents the attack in ideological terms— as an attempt to foist an alien and corrupt Western civilization and culture upon it.