Law of the Sea

  • Officers of the Vietnamese Marine Guard monitor a Chinese coast guard vessel in the South China Sea, about 130 miles offshore of Vietnam, May 15, 2014, photo by Nguyen Minh/Reuters

    Research Brief

    How and Why China Uses Gray Zone Tactics

    China uses a variety of gray zone tactics—coercive actions that are shy of armed conflict but beyond normal diplomatic and economic activities—to advance its objectives, particularly in the Indo-Pacific. Which tactics should the United States prioritize countering?

    Mar 30, 2022

  • Report

    Report

    Competition in the Gray Zone: Countering China's Coercion Against U.S. Allies and Partners in the Indo-Pacific

    This report examines how and why China uses gray zone tactics—coercive activities beyond normal diplomacy and trade but below the use of kinetic military force—against U.S. allies and partners in the Indo-Pacific.

    Mar 30, 2022

  • 24 Commando Royal Engineers delivering ice survey training to members of the U.S. Marine Corps during Winter Deployment 21 in the Arctic, February 24, 2021, photo by UK MOD/© Crown copyright 2021

    Commentary

    A United Strategy Could Reap Rewards for the United Kingdom in the High North

    The multifaceted nature of Arctic policies, stretching from climate security and scientific cooperation to economic development and conflict mitigation, may require a whole-of-government approach from the United Kingdom. Such an approach could be necessary for the United Kingdom to appear a credible partner to Arctic countries and other third parties.

    Feb 2, 2022

  • 30 Cdo RN, 30 Commando Royal Marines, Viking Squadron, Commando Logistic Regiment, Arctic, Armoured Support Group Royal Marines, Bardufoss, CETUS 20, Ex Cold Response, Norway, Personnel Carrier, Royal Marine Exercise, Royal Marine Unit, Snow and Ice Training, Viking, Weather, Climate, Snow, Snowing, Snowy, Cold, Freezing, Ice, Icy, Terrain, Environment, Landscape, Scenery, Wooded, Woods, Forest, International Training, Survival Training, Cold Weather Training, Arctic Survival Training, Action, Driving, Royal Navy, Royal Marines, Personnel, Non-Identifiable, Unit, 3 Commando Brigade, 3 Cdo Bde RM, Equipment, Vehicles, Viking (BvS10), Armoured Personnel Vehicle

    Research Brief

    UK Strategy for the High North: Navigating a changing environment out to 2050

    This report offers a perspective on how the UK could maximise its influence in the High North through enhanced cooperation across government and within multilateral fora in order to tackle environmental and geopolitical changes in the region.

    Feb 2, 2022

  • Report

    Report

    UK strategy for the High North: Policy Levers to Influence Developments out to 2050

    This report offers a perspective on how the UK could maximise its influence in the High North through enhanced cooperation across government and within multilateral fora in order to tackle environmental and geopolitical changes in the region.

    Feb 2, 2022

  • An illustration of a globe and climate control, image by T.L. Furrer/Adobe Stock

    Essay

    Manipulating the Climate: What Are the Geopolitical Risks?

    Geoengineering technologies that could block the sun's rays or siphon huge amounts of carbon from the air are not that far out of reach. Yet the international community has not established the kinds of guardrails you might expect for potentially world-changing technologies.

    Dec 29, 2021

  • Visualization

    Visualization

    Potential Drivers of Crises in the Arctic

    Historically in the Arctic, regional tensions have been resolved before turning into major crises. With the Arctic gaining more attention in recent years, are existing governance mechanisms enough to handle future diplomatic challenges?

    Sep 22, 2021

  • Topographic map showing Russia and the Arctic region, image by FrankRamspott/Getty Images

    Report

    Exploring Gaps in Arctic Governance

    Conditions in the Arctic region are evolving, driven by such factors as climate change, economics, and geopolitics. What are the risks that come with these changes—and how could governance in the Arctic adapt to mitigate them?

    Jul 27, 2021

  • An Indian Air Force Dassault Rafale fighter

    Report

    Regional Responses to U.S.-China Competition in the Indo-Pacific: India

    This report examines the potential benefits of, and potential impediments to, partnering more closely with India in long-term strategic competition with China.

    May 24, 2021

  • A U.S. Air Force F-16 Fighting Falcon fighter pilot flies alongside two Indonesian air force F-16 Fighting Falcon fighter pilots over the Sam Ratulangi International Airport in Manado, Indonesia

    Report

    Regional Responses to U.S.-China Competition in the Indo-Pacific: Indonesia

    In this report, the author examines whether and how the United States can increase its cooperation with Indonesia in order to manage China's rise as a strategic competitor to the United States in the Indo-Pacific region.

    Jan 21, 2021

  • In the foreground, an early warning aircraft from the Royal Australian Air Force

    Report

    Regional Responses to U.S.-China Competition in the Indo-Pacific: Australia and New Zealand

    In this report, the authors assess the perspectives of Australia and New Zealand as they implement their responses to China's more assertive foreign and security policy behavior in the Indo-Pacific and to a more competitive U.S.-China relationship.

    Dec 17, 2020

  • A U.S. pilot (right) gives a thumbs up to a Japanese pilot (left)

    Report

    Regional Responses to U.S.-China Competition in the Indo-Pacific: Japan

    This report assesses the prospects for deepening U.S.-Japan cooperation and coordination in Southeast Asia through 2030 to compete with China and identifies Japan's interests, initiatives, and areas of strength in the region.

    Nov 12, 2020

  • The guided-missile destroyer USS Dewey transits the Pacific Ocean while participating in Rim of the Pacific Exercise (RIMPAC)

    Report

    Regional Responses to U.S.-China Competition in the Indo-Pacific: Study Overview

    In long-term strategic competition with China, how effectively the United States works with allies and partners will be critical to determining U.S. success. The authors of this report define U.S.-China competition for influence and assess relative U.S.-Chinese influence in nine countries across the Indo-Pacific to gain insight into how the United States could work more effectively with allies and partners in Southeast Asia and beyond.

    Nov 12, 2020

  • A U.S. pilot stands next to a member of the Republic of Singapore Air Force

    Report

    Regional Responses to U.S.-China Competition in the Indo-Pacific: Singapore

    In this report, the authors assess the impact of the changes in China's strategic behavior and U.S.-China relations over the past decade on Singapore in terms of its security policies and relationships in the Indo-Pacific region.

    Nov 12, 2020

  • A U.S. sailor demonstrates patching a pipe leak during a damage control exchange during naval exchange activity Vietnam.

    Report

    Regional Responses to U.S.-China Competition in the Indo-Pacific: Vietnam

    This report explores Vietnam's perspective on rising U.S.-China competition by evaluating how Vietnam is responding to U.S. and Chinese influence in diplomatic and political, economic, and security and military domains.

    Nov 12, 2020

  • Journal Article

    Journal Article

    The Opening of the Transpolar Sea Route: Logistical, Geopolitical, Environmental, and Socioeconomic Impacts

    Climate models project that a seasonal shipping route via the North Pole may open by mid-century. This paper examines estimates of the route's opening, scenarios for its commercial and logistical development, regional geopolitics, and environmental and socioeconomic consequences.

    Sep 9, 2020

  • A woman walks past a portrait of Chinese President Xi Jinping, Shanghai, China March 12, 2020, photo by Aly Song/Reuters

    Commentary

    Don't Be Fooled by China's Mask Diplomacy

    China has provided coronavirus-related aid to hundreds of countries. This appears to be an effort to make the world forget its role in the COVID-19 crisis—and to take advantage of its neighbors' current distraction.

    May 5, 2020

  • A view shows JDC Hakuryu-5 deep water drilling platform in the South China Sea off the coast of Vung Tau, Vietnam, April 29, 2018, photo by Maxim Shemetov/Reuters

    Commentary

    Reviewing Vietnam's 'Struggle' Options in the South China Sea

    Once again, Chinese assertiveness against Vietnam in the South China Sea is on the rise. Vietnam has publicly protested each Chinese move, but these statements have yet to alter Beijing's bad behavior. Among its many options, Hanoi could look to Washington for further assistance.

    May 4, 2020

  • A Chinese flag flutters on a fishing boat while a China Coast Guard patrols at the disputed Scarborough Shoal April 5, 2017, photo by Erik de Castro/Reuters

    Commentary

    A Short History of China's Fishing Militia and What It May Tell Us

    China's armed fishing militia plays an instrumental role in Beijing's strategy to enforce its sovereignty claims in the South China Sea and East China Sea. Why did Beijing create a maritime militia to begin with and how has it evolved over time? What does this history suggest about its future?

    Apr 6, 2020

  • China Coast Guard ship seen from an Indonesian Naval ship during a patrol at Indonesia’s Exclusive Economic Zone sea north of the Natuna Islands, Indonesia, January 11, 2020, photo by M Risyal Hidayat/Antara Foto Agency/Reuters

    Commentary

    Why Is China Pressing Indonesia Again Over Its Maritime Claims?

    China sparked a major maritime confrontation with Indonesia near the South China Sea in December when dozens of Chinese fishing vessels, along with a coast guard escort, entered waters off the Natuna Islands. What drove Beijing to stake out its sovereignty claims against Indonesia at this particular time? And what can Indonesia and other regional neighbors expect of Chinese behavior going forward?

    Jan 16, 2020