The Buzz

The Kremlin’s New Divisions May Actually Reduce Russia’s Military Readiness

During a regular ministerial conference call, on May 4, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu clarified previously declared plans to counter the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). He noted, “The defense ministry is taking a number of measures to counteract the buildup of NATO forces in the immediate vicinity of Russian borders. Two new divisions will be set up in the Western Military District and one division in the Southern Military District until the end of the year” (TASS, May 4).

The U.S. Army’s Big Guns go to the South China Sea

Senior Army and Pentagon strategists and planners are considering ways to fire existing weapons platforms in new ways around the globe – including the possible placement of mobile artillery units in areas of the South China Sea to, if necessary, function as air-defense weapons to knock incoming rockets and cruise missiles out of the sky. 

U.S. Army’s Return to Mechanized Warfare

The Army’s “live-fire” combat exercises involve large-scale battalion-on-battalion war scenarios wherein mechanized forces often clash with make-shift, “near-peer” enemies using new technologies, drones, tanks, artillery, missiles and armored vehicles.

The Army is expanding its training and “live-fire” weapons focus to include a renewed ability to fight a massive, enemy force in an effort to transition from its decade-and-a-half of tested combat experience with dismounted infantry and counterinsurgency.

Can U.S.-Vietnam Relations Move Above and Beyond the China Challenge?

On Sunday, President Obama arrives for his first visit to Vietnam. It is surprising the trip has taken this long given the dramatic improvements the Obama administration has achieved in U.S.-Vietnam relations. As an element of its ‘pivot’ to the Asia-Pacific region, the United States has increased the strategic nature of its dialogue with Vietnam, enhanced cooperation on regional issues and expanded economic connectivity.

How Tocqueville Predicted The Rise of Trump

Several years ago, The Economist published an article about how China’s leaders were reading Alexis de Tocqueville’s Ancien Regime in earnest. China’s elites, keen to remain in power despite the significant disparities between those ruling and those ruled, were closely studying eighteenth-century France in order to avoid the fate of France’s ruling class.

Why Morocco Is Mad at the U.S. State Department

It is written in the Book of Proverbs that “Faithful are the wounds of a friend.” In other words, a true friend will tell another unpleasant truths, conveying things the other may not want to hear, but doing so for the sake of the other’s own good, which is valued more than even the friendship itself. However, this wisdom is predicated on the assumption that what is communicated is itself objectively true and not based on bias, much less animus.

Will the United States Soon End the Arms Embargo on Vietnam?

This weekend, President Obama will travel to Vietnam, making the third U.S. presidential visit to the country since the end of the Vietnam War. Obama’s trip, which will also include a stop in Japan, will encompass several priorities. He will try to reassure allies that the United States remains committed to the Trans-Pacific Partnership, even though the deal has stalled on Capitol Hill and could be rejected in Congress entirely.