All in Geopolitics

Analysis | Virtual Currencies are Handing North Korea an Economic Lifeline

North Korea's foundational ideology, 'Juche', is often loosely translated to 'self reliance', the commitment that North Koreans harvest their own collective success as a means of immunising the state from foreign pressure. Born from Juche, North Korea's wholesale rejection of international engagement has resulted in an inverted, seemingly impenetrable economy bolstered by illicit money and goods.

Analysis | Russia Faces Rising Costs 5 Years After Crimea’s Annexation

The Crimean Peninsula may have strategic significance for the Russian military, but Russian President Vladimir Putin can no longer play the Crimea card at home for political gain. Even though the 2014 annexation of Crimea resulted in a sharp increase in the Russian president’s approval ratings, five years on the matter has been overshadowed by widespread economic hardship.

Analysis | A Cocktail for Catastrophe: India and Pakistan Clash over Kashmir

Despite major conflicts between India and Pakistan, the one constant rule has been the sanctity of the de facto borders in the contested territory of Kashmir. Such an understanding has ensured that both nations, while heavily active on the border, dare not violate it whatsoever, to the extent that individuals meeting in border crossings into the region usually maintain cordial relations. However, India and Pakistan’s de facto policy on the Kashmir region has changed dramatically over the last few years, perhaps irrevocably.

Commentary | A Tale of Two Summits: Washington and Moscow Advance Opposing Visions for the Middle East

On the 14th of February, two conferences took place on the Middle East. One, featuring representatives from over 60 countries, took place in Warsaw under the leadership of the United States, with generous support from Poland. The other one was a trilateral summit at Sochi, featuring the leaders of Russia, Armenia and Turkey, and organized by Russia. These two summits provide a perfect example of the two approaches that major powers currently employ towards the region, as well as the sharp contrasts in the leadership and effectiveness of Russia and America in the region.

Analysis | China is not a Monolith; Neither is the Belt and Road Initiative

There is a growing tide of opinion in the U.S. that treats China’s Belt and Road Initiative as a grand strategy of epic economic and geopolitical proportions. It holds that China is “methodically assembling a network of client governments in hock to Beijing and advancing its military ambitions.” But China is not a monolith, and neither is the Belt and Road Initiative. BRI, in reality, is a brand — a grab-bag of initiatives and projects that numerous Chinese institutions independently design and advance.

Analysis | Trust But Verify: The Demise of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Force Treaty

The United States has officially announced that it is withdrawing from the Intermediate-range Nuclear Force Treaty in response to what it deems a “material breach” of the Treaty by the Russian Federation. Although the announcement marks the official loss of the Treaty, the unraveling of the INF has been years in the making. Although neither the United States nor Russia are yet able to agree upon who is to blame for the demise of the INF Treaty, there is no doubt that the next move is Moscow’s to make. 

Analysis | What is Security? Everything.

With a return to great power competition, national security priorities are shifting. States, rather than non-state actors like terrorist groups or insurgencies, are the primary security threat. The idea that security encompasses more than military and defense issues alone has returned. The security paradigm of the twenty-first century has expanded to nearly every facet of human life.

Analysis | Geopolitics in the Era of Connectivity: Beijing and Brussels Compete for Central Asia

Both Europe and China recognize the potential for economic growth at home and abroad by bringing the two ends of Eurasia closer together. Yet Beijing and Brussels have diverging views for Eastern Europe and Central Asia and are poised to compete for infrastructure investment. Connectivity — and the means to control it — is the new currency of geopolitics.