The CSS Blog Network

Denmark’s China Challenge

Image courtesy of M Woods

This article was originally published by the Danish Institute for International Studies (DIIS) on 29 October 2019.

A common refrain in Denmark is that China is too far away to be a threat to Danish economic, foreign and security policy interests. This is no longer the case. Danish policy-makers acknowledge that China’s rise as a global superpower presents Denmark with new challenges. However, transforming this strategic thinking into practice is no simple task.

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The Militarization of US Foreign Policy: Engagement with Europe Increasingly about Defense

Image courtesy of Jason Robertson/DVIDS

This article was originally published by the Finnish Institute of International Affairs (FIIA) in November 2019.

 The US Department of Defense is playing a predominant role in US foreign policy due to expanded mandates, large budgets and the disparagement of diplomacy by the Trump Administration. Defense relations may be the steadier foundation for transatlantic cooperation.

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The Risk of Selective Engagement in Relations between the EU and Russia

Image courtesy of GregMontani/jorono/Pixabay

This article was originally published by the Polish Institute of International Affairs (PISM) on 23 October 2019.

Since the Russian aggression in Ukraine, relations between the European Union and the Russian Federation have been at an impasse. The EU has limited cooperation with Russia to the principle of selective engagement. This model lacks precise definition and is not conditional on changes in Russian politics, so may weaken the EU’s external policy and threaten the bloc’s security.

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Europe’s “Just Do It” Moment

Image courtesy of GregMontani/Pixabay

This article was originally published by the Istituto Affari Internazionali (IAI) in October 2019.

It may strike as odd coming from this author, but this is no time for grand strategy. As the European Union enters a new cycle, it’s overarching priority in the world should be action.

The last five years have been formative as far as European foreign policy goes. They have set the foundations for a European defence union. Whereas the EU acronym soup of recent defence initiatives may appear obscure to outside observers, for a Union that has historically struggled to inch forward in this field, they are huge. Furthermore, the outgoing Commission and High Representative have triggered a fundamental change in the way the EU works in the world. While institutional silos still exist, joined-up foreign policy making and an integrated approach to conflicts are now part of the European foreign policy lexicon, and to an extent practice too.

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Make China Great Again: Xi’s Truly Grand Strategy

Image courtesy of Amber Smith/DVIDS

This article was originally published by War on the Rocks on 30 October 2019.

To the extent that any nation has a grand strategy, China surely does. The vision is no secret: Xi Jinping vows to make China great again. This resonates deeply: Since imperial decline in the First Opium War (1839 to 1842), every Chinese leader has sought the same, with broad popular support. Xi’s strategy for a modern China of unprecedented power and influence requires recapturing lost glories at home and abroad. It clearly entails reincorporating Taiwan, together with other unresolved island and maritime claims. China’s history and geography suggest that it now faces short-range opportunities and long-range challenges. China’s strategy thus has a broadly-defined arc that the United States should address with a strategy of “competitive coexistence” to safeguard American interests sustainably amid increasing Chinese assertiveness.

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