Archives: Asia

Subscribe to Asia RSS Feed

The Death of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi: One Week Later

One week ago, American special operations forces killed the leader of the Islamic State, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, in northwestern Syria. The next morning, President Trump described the operation in vivid detail and the story was later amplified with accounts from the Secretary of Defense and the National Security Advisor. While the Islamic State was a … Continue Reading

United States and European Union Impose Additional Sanctions in Response to Actions by Turkish Government

Introduction On October 14, 2019, President Trump issued an Executive Order Blocking Property and Suspending Entry of Certain Persons Contributing to the Situation in Syria. This Order provides authority for the imposition of sanctions (including secondary sanctions) on certain entities and individuals in response to Turkey’s military operations in Syria, which the Order states endanger … Continue Reading

It’s Worse Than You Think

The Syrian Civil War entered a new phase this week, with the US ending its support for the Syrian Democratic Forces (“SDF”) – a political movement of mixed ethnicities and religions organized around the Syrian Kurdish Democratic Union Party and its paramilitaries – in advance of a large-scale Turkish military operation in northeastern Syria. In … Continue Reading

Old Conflicts, New Technologies

In 2016 the United States Special Operations Command (“USSOCOM”) witnessed a technological development of grave significance for the future of global conflict. According to the then-Commanding General of USSOCOM, Americans had to contend with armed enemy aircraft during the Battle of Mosul. The United Kingdom at the height of its powers in the 19th century … Continue Reading

The Inevitability Challenge

The Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran has, on account of its dismal human rights record and decades of aggression towards its neighbors, earned the derision it often receives from American and allied and partner countries’ officials. This public condemnation, however, entered a somewhat new phase on August 30 when President Trump broadcast an … Continue Reading

An Alignment for Afghan Peace

It sounds like the start to a bad joke, but what do the Kremlin, the Chinese Communist Party, the Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran, the Taliban, al-Qa‘ida, the Haqqani Network, the Islamic State, the Pakistani intelligence services, exhausted members of NATO, nearly every Democratic candidate for president in the 2020 election, and the … Continue Reading

China in Africa: Recent Developments

In 1998, China announced its “go out” or “go global” policy aimed at encouraging its enterprises to invest overseas. In 2013 this policy was reinforced with China’s introduction of its One Belt, One Road (OBOR) or “Belt & Road” initiative, which seeks to enhance development and trade routes in the region, connecting China with other … Continue Reading

U.S.-China Trade Relations Heat Up Post Trump Visit

By official accounts, President Trump’s November visit to China went off well with positive atmospherics, including an unprecedented (for a foreign leader) dinner inside the Forbidden City and the signing of over $250 billion of commercial deals and two-way investment agreements. On the other hand, most western analysts have quickly pointed out that much of … Continue Reading

Russia and Iran Sanctions: Recent Developments

During the past two weeks, the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (“OFAC”) and the U.S. Department of State have taken a number of steps toward implementing aspects of the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (“CAATSA”), a major piece of sanctions legislation passed by the U.S. Congress in July and … Continue Reading

Developments in U.S. Iran Sanctions

Administration Also Revises Russia Sanctions, Terminates Most Sudan Sanctions On October 13, President Trump announced that he would no longer certify to Congress that the suspension of U.S. sanctions against Iran pursuant to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (“JCPOA”) is “appropriate and proportionate” to the steps that Iran has taken to terminate its illicit … Continue Reading

Tensions Heighten on the Korean Peninsula

Following President Trump’s call to China’s President Xi Jinping on February 9, it appeared that U.S.-China tensions, particularly over U.S. policy vis-à-vis Taiwan, had abated for the time being. Trump reaffirmed the U.S. “One China Policy” during the call, and Beijing celebrated that they were able to get Trump back on track on this issue … Continue Reading

Global Policy Watch: Tensions Building Up in Cross-Strait and U.S.-China Relations

Cross-Strait Relations In her year-end press conference on December 31, 2016, Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen focused on her administration’s domestic policy agenda but also noted Beijing’s increasing pressure on Taiwan since she took office on May 20. Beijing has cut off high-level communications between the two sides (while maintaining ties with the former KMT party), … Continue Reading

Private-Sector Opportunities – and Challenges – in the new $38.8 billion U.S.-Israel Military Assistance Package

Uncertainty surrounding the policies of the new administration is felt across industries. In particular, U.S. and Israeli defense industries are anxious for details of a ten-year, $38.8 billion military assistance package that was signed in Washington this past September. Whether the terms of the aid package are upended entirely or left mostly unchanged by the … Continue Reading

East Asia Watch: U.S. to Lift Sanctions on Myanmar

At his meeting with visiting Myanmar (Burma) State Counselor Aung San Suu Kyi on September 14, President Obama announced that he intends to issue a new Executive Order that will generally remove longstanding U.S. sanctions on Burma. Given further progress in Myanmar’s transition to a democracy, he argued that “it is the right thing to … Continue Reading

Japan and Africa: Turning a New Page

Is Africa becoming a strategic priority for Japan? The Sixth Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD VI), held in Nairobi, Kenya August 27-28, suggests that Japan is looking at Africa differently than in the past. For one, the five previous TICADs have been held in Japan; this is the first to be convened on … Continue Reading

G20 Meetings in Shanghai — Snoozer or Sleeper

Disappointment is the sentiment most expressed towards results of the February 26-27 meeting of G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors in Shanghai.  One former UK official calls G20 meetings a “damp squib” — no idea what that means, but it sounds about right.  Despite rising panic by the IMF, OECD and others about the … Continue Reading

United States, EU Implement Significant Iran Sanctions Relief

On January 16, 2016, the United States and the European Union (“EU”) significantly eased their sanctions against Iran, following verification by the International Atomic Energy Agency (“IAEA”) that Iran had carried out its commitments under the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (“JCPOA”), the multilateral agreement signed in mid-July 2015 in which Iran agreed to accept … Continue Reading

China, India and Japan Set to Host Major Summits To Further Strengthen Ties with Africa

In the midst of questions about how China’s economic health will impact Africa, the foreign ministers of China and South Africa have announced that the sixth Ministerial Meeting of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation will be upgraded to a summit. Nearly a decade after the first China-Africa Leaders summit which was held in Beijing, this … Continue Reading

China Sneezes: Could Africans benefit from a devalued yuan?

When China sneezes, does all of Africa catch a cold? Slower Chinese growth and a recently devalued currency will certainly impact Africa, whose largest trading partner is China. However, the impact of China’s recent currency devaluation will largely depend on country-specific factors. The Chinese government likely devalued its currency in August in part to combat … Continue Reading

China Issues Draft Network Security Law

Close on the heels of a sweeping new National Security Law, the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress released last month for public comment a very significant draft Network Security Law (“Draft Law”), also referred to as the draft Cybersecurity Law. Since it came into power in 2012, China’s current leadership has attached an … Continue Reading

MAT Tax Controversy Highlights Foreign Investment Challenges Faced by the Modi Administration

When Prime Minister Narendra Modi began his tenure at the helm of one of the world’s fastest growing economies, he made it a priority to attract foreign investors to continue India’s economic growth.  However, just one year after assuming office, Prime Minister Modi and his administration must confront the concerns of foreign investors, following the … Continue Reading

The United States and India Sign a 10-Year Defense Agreement and Set the Stage for Increased Defense Cooperation

On June 3, 2015, U.S. Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter and Indian Defense Minister Manohar Parrikar signed a 10-year defense framework agreement during Secretary Carter’s 10-day trip to the Asia-Pacific region, which included a stop in India.  This framework agreement comes at a time when the United States and its allies are stepping up defense … Continue Reading

After Turkey’s Election—What Next?

Since becoming Prime Minister in 2000, now-President Recep Erdogan has consolidated power and led his Justice and Development Party (AKP) to a 13-year majority position in the Parliament.  Yesterday, however, they got 41% of the vote, and failed to achieve an outright majority.  The reasons, implications and uncertainties this raises are very important.  How Erdogan … Continue Reading
LexBlog