The Buzz

How Powerful Is America's Military Really?

Politicians are fond of telling Americans that they have the most powerful military in the history of mankind. However, they rarely can explain how they reached that conclusion.

As it turns out, despite the seemingly endless number of government and think-tank reports being published daily, there isn’t a single index measuring America’s military power. Until now, that is.

Confirmed: China Is Building 2nd Aircraft Carrier

The People’s Liberation Army (PLA) is building its second aircraft carrier, several senior Chinese military officials have confirmed, a Hong Kong daily is reporting.

On Monday, Taiwan Focus News Channel cited the Chinese-language The Hong Kong Commercial Daily in reporting that China has begun work on its second aircraft carrier, which will have a more advanced launch system the one currently used on China’s only aircraft carrier, the Liaoning.

Will the Next-Generation Stealth Bomber 'Ground' the Air Force?

From the time it came into being in 1948, the United States Air Force has had a state-of-the-art long-range bomber in its inventory. The first was the extraordinary B-36 Peacemaker—the name intending to signify its deterrent value rather than (just) being ironic—and the latest is the B-2 Spirit “stealth” bomber. There has been several notable aircraft, not least the B-52, which is now scheduled to have a service life in various versions of an astonishing 90 years.

Reality Check: China's Military Power Threatens America

In their writings on China’s military modernization, too many commentators fail to ground their views in the available sources. In most cases, this practice does no more than discredit the author, or the publication that gives him a forum; but when analysts responsible for writing national assessments are unversed in original writings, the consequences may be far graver.

Iran’s Overrated “Genius” Hasn’t Got Us Cornered

Ali Khamenei is, warns Ray Takeyh, “a first-rate strategic genius.” The Iranian leader, he argues, has bamboozled the West in the nuclear talks and is now on the verge of signing a nuclear deal that will allow him “to forge ahead with a nuclear program while safeguarding [his] regime and its ideological verities.” By attaining an agreement that “is technologically permissive and of limited duration,

Putin's Gambit

With the ceasefire in Ukraine showing early signs of holding, international attention will now intensify towards finding a diplomatic solution to the crisis facing the country. For Kiev and its Western backers, prospects are bleak for bringing about their desired settlement. But it will also not be easy for Vladimir Putin to convert his considerable short-term bargaining power into lasting strategic gains.

The New Battleground in the U.S.-Iranian Covert War

The emergence of cybersecurity as a global problem reveals that states are harnessing cyber technologies in the service of their respective national security and foreign policy interests. One question arising from this phenomenon is how the embrace of cyber means and methods might affect strategic and geopolitical competition among rival powers. Will the increasing exploitation of cyber technologies destabilize power politics given the technologies’ unique qualities? Or will these technologies become just another tool rivals use jockeying for international influence?