China's last major war experience gave it virtually zero lessons to apply to future armed conflict. At some point the People's Liberation Army (PLA) will need to test its new capabilities and the training it has honed over time. There are at least three reasons why Vietnam is likely in the PLA's crosshairs.
In early April, Japan deployed its Self-Defense Forces (SDF) abroad to join a multinational force not connected to the United Nations. This is the first time that SDF personnel will participate in overseas peacekeeping operations not under UN control. The difference may not seem important, but it is.
The Trump administration may be considering requiring host nations to subsidize the entire cost of the U.S. military presence and pay an additional 50 percent of that amount. This type of transactional foreign policy increases the risk that countries will rethink their agreements to host U.S. forces, and that could reduce the U.S. military's ability to operate globally.
The Trump administration announced a deployment of at least 5,200 active-duty troops to the U.S.-Mexico border. Is a military response of this size needed to address the situation on the southern border?
Debates about defense expenditure and concerns over the unity of NATO overshadowed decisions on defense and deterrence in Europe made during the recent NATO summit and European Council meetings. Both high-level events brought significant and tangible conclusions with potential impacts on defense, deterrence, and readiness in Europe.
The importance of military mobility has returned only recently to the international high-level agenda, specifically NATO and the European Union. The EU is expected to tackle the issue of military mobility during a European Council meeting in late June, and NATO will convene a summit in July.
Despite Abe’s legislative majority, it is unclear whether he has enough political capital to convince the public of the need for a constitutional revision on the Self-Defense Force. Japan’s security policies are heavily constrained by legal and normative constraints and Abe’s plan would likely do little more than codify the status quo.
Improving military mobility in Europe has recently gathered momentum. But due to the complexity of the issue, it remains to be seen what specific progress will be made by the NATO summit in July. The same goes for how new EU initiatives will complement NATO requirements.
Early identification and planning for medical support for EU-led military operations are vital to saving lives, treating injuries and keeping personnel healthy. Common standards would ensure high-quality and consistent medical support regardless of which country is providing it.
India and China have agreed to end a two-month border confrontation in the Doklam area claimed by both China and Bhutan. The immediate crisis seems to be over, but it offers insights into Chinese coercive strategies and how they may be thwarted.
After a decade of operating against Hamas in Gaza, the Israel Defense Force has learned many lessons about urban warfare against hybrid adversaries. The last confrontation teaches five basic lessons that apply well beyond Gaza.
Ensuring the strength of U.S. armed forces is critical to U.S. national security and the key source of strength is its people. True investment in personnel is a long-term legacy and an investment worthy of attention and policy debate to ensure the United States continues to recruit and retain the most effective fighting force in the world.
After 70 years, Japan may finally be on the cusp of acquiring its own military. Legally, that is. Prime Minister Abe has proposed a change to Japan's constitution to give legal standing to the Self-Defense Forces, and it's long overdue.
Being a proactive contributor to peace involves risk if a country is serious about gaining real-world experience. Pulling out of South Sudan deprives Japan's Self-Defense Force of crucial operational experience and sends a confusing message to the United States and the international community.