This Week in Geopolitics, March 2017

Chinese Military Installations in the South China Sea

March 27, 2017

Much has been made in the mainstream media over China’s ongoing military buildup on reefs in the South China Sea. Chinese action has thus far been largely contained to two island groups: the Spratly Islands and the Paracel Islands.

What Past Empires Tell Us About the Future

March 20, 2017

Spanish essayist George Santayana once wrote, “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it,” but there is a problem with this famous and witty line. Studying history has little practical utility in averting past outcomes. We are doomed to repeat history whether we know it or not.

Taking Raqqa from the Islamic State

March 13, 2017

The United States, Turkey, and Russia have deployed forces to fight against the Islamic State in a run-up to the final battle for Raqqa. No one has made a definitive move. This is because the oncoming battle for control of the IS heartland is complicated by geography and the conflicting imperatives of regional and international actors expected to participate in the offensive.

The State of US State Exports

March 6, 2017

A domestic political battle is brewing in the United States between President Donald Trump’s administration and the Republican Party over the president’s economic plans. Trump’s key economic positions during his campaign included his opposition to free trade deals, his promise not to cut Social Security and Medicare, and his support of large-scale infrastructure spending. These are all positions that have clashed with general Republican orthodoxy. They were also the reason that some Bernie...