China’s Belt and Road Runs Aground in the Philippines

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte and People’s Republic of China President Xi Jinping shake hands prior to their bilateral meetings at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on October 20. Photo by King Rodriguez/PPD, cc Philippine government, modified,

Lacking the mega-projects seen in mainland Southeast Asia, Beijing’s infrastructure plans in the Philippines have been noticeably smaller in scale and focused more on local connectivity.

Sudan: Post-Revolution Political Order under Strain

English: Sudanese soldeirs stand guard around armoured military vehicles as demonstrators continue their protest against the regime near the army headquarters in the Sudanese capital Khartoum, cc Agence France-Presse, modified,

An apparent coup attempt illustrates ongoing challenges faced by the civilian-military transitional order in realizing the promise of Sudan’s 2019 revolution.

Afghanistan’s Fate Will Be Shaped by Geoeconomics

Operation Enduring Freedom

Three geoeconomic factors will determine the future of Taliban-controlled Afghanistan: opium, natural resources, and regional trade networks.

Is the Australia-UK-USA Trilateral Security Partnership (AUKUS) a Gamechanger?

Pictured is HMS Ambush returning to HMNB Clyde in Scotland., cc Flickr Defence Images,

The pact is notable in its shift from style to substance in US-led efforts to counter China in the Indo-Pacific.

What Does a Taliban-Controlled Afghanistan Mean for India’s Foreign Policy?

cc G20 Argentina, modified,

The Taliban takeover of Afghanistan reshuffles the geopolitical deck in Central Asia, leaving India with what appears to be a losing hand.

Global Forecast (9-6-2021)


New dreams of an EU army, a humanitarian disaster brews in Ethiopia, and the contest to replace Suga Yoshihide heats up in Japan.

Kazakhstan Moves to Ease Water Conflict in Central Asia

A boat near the shrinking Aral Sea, Uzbekistan; cc Anton Ruiter, Flickr, modified,

A new proposal from President Tokayev takes aim at one of the most pressing, albeit often understated, issues facing the region.

Strategic Commodities 2.0: Global Uranium Supply & Demand

cc Achilaos, wikicommons, modified,

Next in our series on strategic commodities we examine uranium, a key input in nuclear power generation that was included on the US Interior Department’s list of critical minerals.

Gauging the Taliban’s Stockpile of US-Supplied Weaponry

Taliban fighters in a US-supplied Humvee; modified, cc VOA,,_August_2021_(cropped).png

Thanks to billions in US-supplied arms, Taliban-controlled Afghanistan is now a preeminent military power in Central Asia.

COVID-19: Mu and C.1.2 Variants

cc Guilhem Vellut, Flickr, modified,

Two new variants have been identified, one of which has been dubbed a variant of interest by WHO. But can they put a dent in Delta’s global dominance?

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