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Posts published in “Political Analysis”

Poland Under Fire: What the Missile Crisis Teaches Us About NATO’s Response and the Containment of the Ukraine Conflict

On Tuesday, November 15, Poland reported two missile strikes against the town of Przewodów, located 6 kilometers away from the Ukrainian border. The strike resulted in two civilian casualties. While Russia was initially suspected, it has since been confirmed that the missiles were fired by Ukrainian air defenses against an incoming Russian missile. Regardless of the missile’s origin, we have never been closer to the risk of a global war since the start of the Ukrainian conflict.

Political Theater at the 20th National Congress of the Chinese Communist Party

Held from October 16 to 22, China’s 20th Party Congress was a series of political spectacles. President Xi Jinping cemented his status as Paramount-Leader-For-Life, after being confirmed as General Secretary for an unprecedented third consecutive term. This not only broke the two-term limit established four decades ago by Deng Xiaoping, but also made Xi  the first Chinese leader to rule for more than two consecutive terms since Chairman Mao. Xi ushered in a new guard to helm the Politburo Standing Committee, all promoted based on their personal loyalty, and ensured the systematic removal of any factional opposition within the upper echelons of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). Most publicized of all was the political farce that played out as former President Hu Jintao was physically removed during the closing ceremony  before the new leadership was announced, in front of a baffled audience of foreign media outlets and journalists.  The show of force and shift in new leadership firmly established Xi’s undisputed control over party and country, making the entire week-long affair seem less about confirming political appointments, and more of a coronation ceremony for Xi.

On Iran’s Ambitions, Gulf States and the US Keep Passing the Buck

Much of the Middle East is facing a crisis of indecision on Iran. Despite extensive reporting on Iran’s expansionist ambitions, the Islamic Republic has been making bold demands with the expectation of both Western and Arab acquiescence. Iranian proxy footholds have long eroded the sovereignties of sectarian states. Regional tensions have further deepened due to Tehran’s insistence that a renewed nuclear agreement must preclude the ability of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to investigate undisclosed uranium enrichment facilities.

Beijing – The Next Target of US Sanctions?

Vladimir Putin’s war on Ukraine has animated the use of economic sanctions in an unprecedented way. Strenuous US-China relations, exacerbated by Nancy Pelosi’s provocative visit to Taiwan, raise the question of whether Washington would impose similar measures on Beijing in the face of a military invasion of Taiwan.

A Fourth Taiwan Strait Crisis?

On August 4, 2022, the day following the official state visit by US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to Taiwan, the People’s Republic of China (PRC) responded by conducting the largest military exercises ever staged by the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) in the Taiwan Strait.