Alessandro Gagaridis

Alessandro Gagaridis holds a Master’s degree in “International Relations, Professional Focus Diplomacy and Conflict Resolution” from Université Catholique de Louvain (Belgium). He is a member of Wikistrat’s analytic community, and he also examined issues related with international affairs on his personal website (www.strategikos.it).

Can the U.S. Break China’s Rare Earth Monopoly?

A strip mine near Globe Arizona, circa 1990; cc Flickr Phillip Capper, modified, https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

Rare earths have emerged as a new variable in the US-China trade war. Is China’s near-monopoly on these strategic resources its ultimate trump card, or will US producers be able to diversify supply amid the new normal of bilateral tension.

Game of Straits: Chinese Military Bases and the SLOC Dilemma

People's Liberation Army (Navy) ship PLA(N) Qiandaohu (AO 886) (foreground) and Republic of Korea Navy ship ROKS Wang Geon (DDH 978) steam in close formation as two of 42 ships and submarines representing 15 international partner nations during Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) Exercise 2014. Twenty-two nations, 49 ships, six submarines, more than 200 aircraft and 25,000 personnel are participating in RIMPAC exercise from June 26 to Aug. 1 in and around the Hawaiian Islands and Southern California. The world's largest international maritime exercise, RIMPAC provides a unique training opportunity that helps participants foster and sustain the cooperative relationships that are critical to ensuring the safety of sea lanes and security on the world's oceans. RIMPAC 2014 is the 24th exercise in the series that began in 1971. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Shannon Renfroe/Released) https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:People%27s_Liberation_Army_(Navy)_ship_PLA(N)_Qiandaohu_(AO_886)_(foreground)_and_Republic_of_Korea_Navy_ship_ROKS_Wang_Geon_(DDH_978)_steam_in_close_formation_during_Rim_o.jpg

If Beijing is serious about securing the SLOC, the construction of new overseas military bases is a matter of ‘when,’ not ‘if.’

Backgrounder: EU Arm Sales to Asia

EurofighterTyphoon, cc Flickr Max Pfandl, modified, https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

With security planning and arms sales continuing to fall outside the purview of EU policy, various member states have been cashing in on the Asian arms race.

The EU & The South China Sea Dispute

Subi Reef in 2015, cc US Navy, modified, https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Subi_Reef_May_2015.jpg

The EU is walking a fine line on the South China Sea dispute, but can the policy hold over the long-term?

India’s Nuclear Submarine: The INS Arihant

A backgrounder on the Indian Navy’s nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarine: the INS Arihant.

Backgrounder: Japan’s Maritime Self-Defense Force Naval Build-Up

cc Flickr COMSEVENTHFLT, modified, https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/

The Abe government has opted for a two-track approach to naval modernization: balance against China’s growing capabilities and escape the military constraints of Japan’s post-war constitution.

Backgrounder: China’s PLA Navy Modernization

The Liaoning PLA NAvy aircraft carrier, cc Flickr Simon Yang, modified, https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/

Beijing has embarked on an ambitious naval modernization program intended to end the preponderance of US-Japan military power in East Asia.

Whither the US-Centered, Rule-Based World Order?

ATLANTIC OCEAN (July 28, 2017) An F/A-18F Super Hornet assigned to Air Test and Evaluation Squadron (VX) 23 approaches the aircraft carrier USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78). The aircraft carrier is underway conducting test and evaluation operations.(U.S. Navy photo by Erik Hildebrandt/Released) 170728-N-UZ648-093 Join the conversation:, https://www.flickr.com/photos/usnavy/35935346800/in/photolist-73xwQ3-bx8A7m-8bgZJZ-jGtJPV-8rFwu6-WKu3CQ-2bPge3b-6CYVDv-FjbmE-dq1KwF-Rz9xwb-fqWPet-WXvXgH-WCC7qw-VTgAR6-VHscgC-r69uHG-SMTp9i-afUB7x-pkLXJD-pkSCdZ-RNoCeE-XapLGv-S6favF-WphFgD-eX7i2e-WfVpyx-X7okFP-nYd9Zc-Wi7YwJ-WGnjWo-8E831P-34Ydj3-8bk4ff-VHWtSk-VQnRWU-RRGeMW-X7ouFx-7xWZ7b-RRGgvf-X7nTRH-bzyXYC-piQzBd

How long can a world order survive when its creator and primary benefactor is actively working to undermine it?

Is Another Russia-Georgia War Looming on the Horizon?

A Georgian ship sunk in the 2008 war, cc Flickr Gavin, modified, https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/

Another former Soviet republic is pushing for EU and NATO membership, stoking fears of another Ukraine crisis.

EU Takes Aim at Rule of Law Violators

Donald Tusk, CC Flickr EU2018BG Bulgarian Presidency, modified, https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

The EU is debating legislation that would freeze funding for member states that are backsliding on democratic norms. But will it come at the cost of widening the bloc’s internal divisions?

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