Having shorter-serving prime ministers tends to minimize Japan's ability to operate as a strategic player. If Suga's resignation is the start of a revolving door, then the implications for Japan's policies and the U.S.-Japan alliance could be significant.
Beijing and Islamabad share a long history of cooperation and have much in common on Afghanistan. Both are poised to benefit strategically from the Taliban's success. But the Taliban's resurrection almost certainly will add some stress to an otherwise positive and productive bilateral partnership.
If Japan acquired ground-based strike capabilities, it would have significant consequences for the U.S.-Japanese alliance. American and Japanese policymakers may need to have a new and expanded set of conversations about how such capabilities would be used and how the alliance could adjust to incorporate them.
This weekly recap focuses on how early mistakes led to America's failure in Afghanistan, the potential effects of critical race theory bans, an art installation that breaks down RAND data on income inequality, and more.
China and North Korea are seizing on the U.S. departure from Afghanistan to press their own political warfare messages. What can the United States do to mitigate the impact of the Taliban takeover on America's interests in the Indo-Pacific?
China is likely to recognize and legitimize the new leadership in Afghanistan within the coming weeks or months. Even if China has real concerns about the Taliban's willingness to keep its promises, the potential benefits are simply too great for Beijing to ignore.
This weekly recap focuses on the number of lives saved during the early U.S. vaccination effort, what leaving Afghanistan says about other U.S. commitments, global competition for virtual-reality dominance, and more.
The United States is a nation which sees that it is in its vital interest to deter autocrats from adventurism and challenges to the world order. Drawing lessons from the narrow case of Afghanistan to speak about broad U.S. resolve or credibility comes with an inherent risk that adversaries may choose to ignore at their own peril.
Given the potential value of virtual reality as a tool—and the increasing competition from China—the United States could focus more energy on advancing VR in a coordinated fashion. Otherwise, America risks missing an opportunity to excel internationally with a valuable and broadly applicable emerging technology.
As the Biden administration begins to define its approach to international trade, and the Suga administration looks to further tighten cooperation with the United States, it may be worth reconsidering the exclusion of cryptocurrency from the U.S.-Japan trade deal. Substantial economic equities are at stake for both sides.
The United States and Japan could be drawn into a conflict in the event of Chinese aggression against Taiwan whether they like it or not. Allied defense planning could consider how Japan might further reinforce deterrence and if necessary improve its ability to contribute to the common defense.