Recently, both Syria and Afghanistan have seen battles that demonstrate anew the potential risks of seeking to defend exposed positions. Syrian leaders seem to have recognized that there are limits to the amount of territory its military can hold. Afghanistan's leaders would be well advised to come to the same conclusion.
Pakistan's security policies have experienced striking but underappreciated shifts since 2001 along three dimensions: aggressive behavior, strategic orientation, and self-examination. These shifts warrant a reexamination by international security analysts of their of assumptions about Pakistan and their theories of strategic stability and instability in South Asia.
Even if China really sees itself as undertaking legitimate activities to protect its rightful interests, it is not surprising that its rival claimants, as well as the United States and other countries in the region, see Beijing's island building activities as efforts to improve China's abilities to bully its neighbors.