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  • Don't Let North Korean Missile Debate Obscure Real Issues

    North Korea unveiled a new missile during its April parade celebrating the 100th anniversary of the country’s founder, Kim Il-sung. The missile is assessed to be a new mobile intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM). Last year, then-Secretary of Defense Robert Gates first revealed the existence of a North Korean road-mobile ICBM. … More

    Don't Strand the Marines on the Beach

    The United States and Japan released a revised deployment plan for U.S. Marine Corps forces in the Pacific. It is an improvement over the 2006 Guam Agreement, but it still sacrifices alliance military capabilities for political expediency. The new plan is more flexible and operationally focused, since it maintains Marine … More

    North Korean Missile Launch Demands Strong U.S. Response

    North Korea will defy international pressure and launch its Unha-3 missile, perhaps as early as Wednesday night (Washington, D.C., time). Despite Pyongyang’s characterization of the forthcoming launch as that of a peaceful civilian satellite, it would clearly violate U.N. Security Council (UNSC) resolutions that preclude “any launch using ballistic missile … More

    Don’t Downsize U.S. Forces in Northeast Asia

    President Obama’s much-vaunted “Asia Pivot” provides a much-needed emphasis on a region that is critical to U.S. national interests. But the strategy is undercut by shortcomings in how—or whether—it will be implemented. Speak Boldly but Carry an Increasingly Smaller Stick Last November, President Obama resolutely promised that the U.S. “will … More

    Morning Bell: The Death of Kim Jong-il

    North Korea’s official media announced that Kim Jong-il, the country’s long-time leader, died on Saturday of “physical and mental overwork.” Although Kim had several health problems, particularly after a stroke in August 2008, he had appeared vibrant in recent meetings. As such, the surprise development raises concerns about its impact … More

    DEBATE PREP: Missile Defense Is Not Expendable

    Ballistic missiles pose an increasing risk to the United States and its allies, particularly as more nations strive to acquire nuclear weapons. The once exclusive nuclear weapons club now has nine members, and Iran is knocking on the clubhouse door. Altogether, at least 32 countries have ballistic missile capabilities. Defending … More

    New U.S.–Australia Military Arrangement Must Be Backed by Real Commitment

    On November 16, President Barack Obama and Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard announced their intention to increase U.S. Marine Corps and Air Force training in Australia. The expanded U.S. military presence is meant to enhance allied interoperability and reassure friends and allies in the region worried over an increasingly assertive … More

    No Breakthrough with North Korea

    Ambassador Stephen Bosworth was typically cryptic in his remarks after concluding two days of meetings last week with North Korean counterparts. Bosworth stated that the bilateral talks were “moving in the right direction [since] we have made some progress.” He added that the tone of the meetings was “positive and … More

    Free Trade Agreements Pass: Success Has Many Fathers

    Free trade advocates can finally rejoice in the long-overdue passage of free trade agreements (FTAs) with South Korea, Colombia, and Panama that will benefit U.S. businesses, workers, and consumers. The FTAs will generate an estimated $13 billion in new U.S. exports, a $12 billion increase in U.S. GDP, and 70,000 … More

    United States Affirms Military Realignment Plan in Japan

    During bilateral security talks, Washington and Tokyo affirmed their commitment to the 2009 bilateral Guam Agreement, which delineates the planned realignment of U.S. military forces in Japan. The June 21 Security Consultative Talks—comprised of Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Minister of Defense Toshimi Kitazawa, and … More