October 1, 2014

By Jack Caravelli

China and Iran last month conducted their first joint naval exercise, a pointed reminder of each nation’s intent to increase military cooperation. The exercise, held over four days in territorial and international waters around strategically important southern Iran, involved a Chinese frigate and a guided-missile destroyer, which first docked at the Iranian port Bandar Abbas. Several Iranian warships joined them later in the exercise.

Naval Exercise Shows Growing Chinese-Iranian Military Ties
Iran's shows off its naval troops in a parade last week on the anniversarfy of the Iran-Iraq war of the 1980s. Iran is increasing its military ties to China. (Behrouz Mehri/Getty Images)
China’s Xi Seeks to Offset Budding Japan-India Alliance
September 22, 2014
The first Chinese presidential visit to India in eight years is highlighting a growing pragmatism among Beijing’s neighbors, as old enemies look toward new trade while trying to deal with Chinese territorial aggression on both land and sea.

Chinese President Xi Jinping, who arrived in India on Wednesday, is trying to lure New Delhi away from developing too close a relationship with Tokyo, China’s archrival in the region. The recent, enthusiastic 5-day Japan-India summit sent a loud signal which was clearly heard in Beijing. [See New India-Japan Partnership Counters China’s Clout, Sept. 12.]

ISIS Beheading Plot Blocked Down Under, Resonates in US
September 22, 2014
SITUATION REPORT

A foiled ISIS plot to behead innocent Australians is the clearest indication to date of the terrorist group’s intention to commit acts of violence far beyond its borders and to retaliate against any nation that opposes its brutal form of Islam. The plot will strengthen the resolve of some U.S. politicians who are on the fence about to the United States posed by the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria.
Putin Imposes His Own Sanctions Against the West
September 19, 2014
Russian President Vladimir Putin is playing a strategic game over sanctions, as he retaliates against Western punitive measures imposed on Moscow over its aggression in Ukraine. But his sanctions against the West are like a double-edged sword. They damage domestic markets in both the West and in Russia because of lost trade.
Four Strategic Consequences of a ‘Yes’ Vote in Scotland
September 18, 2014
Scottish independence is hardly a simple matter of kilts and bagpipes and Braveheart shouting, “Freedom!” If Scottish voters Thursday approve a referendum to separate from England, they would wreak unprecedented damage on the United Kingdom.

A breakup of Britain would weaken the international security posture and diplomatic clout of both England and Scotland. Moving the Trident submarines would make NATO more vulnerable. A ‘yes’ vote would also encourage Europe’s other separatist movements and change the political makeup of England by making it a more conservative nation without the leftist Scots.
China’s Belligerence Threatens Reconciliation With Taiwan
September 17, 2014
China’s growing aggression toward Taiwan is undercutting the efforts of the democratic island nation to improve relations with the communist giant on the mainland. Taiwan President Ma Ying-jeou remains committed to developing close ties with China, and trade talks last week between the two nations appeared to have been an attempt to soothe tensions.

Kerry’s Denial of US Overture to Iran on ISIS Defies Belief
September 16, 2014
By Fred Fleitz

Secretary of State John Kerry’s awkward denial that the United States has not proposed “coordinating with Iran” against the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria suggests the Obama administration did, indeed, propose that and is now engaged in damage control after Iranian officials revealed the U.S. outreach.

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