Author: Jonah Bhide

Trump-Kim Summit: Is a No-Deal Better than a Bad Deal?

The promising romance between President Trump and Chairman Kim – falling in love in 2018 – seems to have experienced a flameout at the end of the Trump-Kim Summit in Hanoi last week.  After getting Chairman Kim to agree to denuclearization last year, President Trump seemed quite confident in reaching another productive deal.  A declaration ending the Korean War, test site dismantlements, sanction relaxation, a roadmap for denuclearization – each were in the cards for the second national leader-to-leader meeting in Hanoi. Instead, the talks ended without an agreement.  Even if he did so as a product of misread...

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Rearming A Forbidden Military: Japan’s Self-Defense Force & Constitutional Revisions

With a record $47bn defense budget, a total order of 150 F-35s coupled with the first aircraft carriers since 1945, and a House of Counsillors election in July, 2019 will be a busy year for Prime Minister Abe and his Liberal Democratic Party (LDP). These enhancements to the Japanese Self-Defense Forces (SDF), a military organization not directly permitted by the Japanese Constitution, accompany shifting power dynamics in Asia. For the past seven years, though, the LDP has sought constitutional amendments to the war-renouncing Article 9. These revisions cannot be treated separately from Japan’s military buildup of recent years; together...

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Iran Sanctions and the Public Opinion Battleground

Following its withdrawal from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action – commonly referred to as the Iran Deal – the Trump administration introduced a new wave of sanctions on Iran last Monday. The first wave of sanctions implemented this year targeted financial transactions with U.S. dollars, Iran’s automotive sector, and the purchase of commercial airplanes, and metals such as gold. This month’s second wave of “maximum pressure” primarily targets Iran’s oil exports. The renewed sanctions are supposedly not intended to spur regime change, but rather to cause a significant shift in key areas of Iranian foreign policy, specifically the...

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