On Diplomats-in-Chief

Here is a question that has fascinates: how to account for the disastrous foreign policy of George W. Bush, when his foreign policy team returned to office in 2001 as the most credentialed and accomplished group of foreign policy professionals Washington had seen in the modern nat-sec era? How did the men and women who […]

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Why Banning All Party Members is Stupid

Image source The New York Times reports that the Trump administration is considering proposals to ban all members of the Communist Party of China, and their families, from obtaining a visa to visit the United States.[1]  If implemented, would this accomplish what the administration hopes it will? Does the administration even know what it hopes […]

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So Begins a New Age of Instagram Diplomacy

As it is New Year’s Day I originally planned on writing a reflection up on the books I read in 2019 or something of that sort. Then I saw this: True beauty always touches the deep heart. Beautiful Nepal with history, diversity and nature deserves a visit. Wish #VisitNepal2020 successful! @yogesbhattarai२०२० नेपाल भ्रमाण वर्ष सफलताको […]

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Do Mil-Mil Exchanges With the Chinese Do More Harm than Good?

The PLAN destroyer Xi’an berths in Pearl Harbor to take part in the June 2016 RIMPAC exercises.Original Source. Near the beginning of Ian Easton’s excellent new book, which I shall be reviewing for another publication, is an interesting story. It is commonly claimed that increased contact (or “exchange”) between those under Party employ and those serving […]

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Arms and Influence… and China

Last week’s post “China Does Not Want Your Rules Based Order” created a stir. Many who read it were inspired to write up their own view in response; some of these have been posted in the comments thread to the original post, others on Twitter, and yet others have been sent to me in more […]

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America Will Always Fail At Regional Expertise

I have argued before that any potential American foreign policy or ‘grand strategy’ that requires  statesmen with a nuanced understanding of a foreign region’s cultures, politics, and languages to implement it is doomed to fail. Regional acumen is a rare trait, and one I greatly admire. But it is rare for a reason. Regional acumen […]

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Wanted: A Stupid-Proof Strategy For America

. “Hadrian’s wall at Greenhead Lough” by Velella,Image Source: Wikimedia In a recent War on the Rocks piece Iskander Rehman argues that the United States should not favor a foreign policy of retrenchment because United States policy makers are simply too daft and out of touch with the world to play the part of a modern day Castlereigh: […]

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The Road to Beijing Runs Through Tokyo

Image Source. As much of the material here at The Stage narrates the history of Chinese warfare, diplomacy, and strategic thought or analyzes contemporary Chinese politics and international relations, I am occasionally asked a question that goes something like this: “Mr. Greer, if you had to recommend one book to help me understand how the […]

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Hard Truths and Hidden Gems at Shangri-La

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe delivers the keynote address at the 2014 Shangri-La Dialogue Image Source This weekend I finally had the chance to sit down and read the collected transcripts of the 2014 Shangri-La Dialogue. This year’s round of the Dialogue has garnered much more media attention than usual. The coverage has focused on the […]

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A Few Comments on China, Vietnam and the HYSY981 Crisis

A Chinese coast guard ship fires a water cannon at a Vietnamese vessel.Image Credit: AP News (16 May 2014) Over the last two weeks remarkable things have happened in the South China Sea. I assume that the readers of The Stage have read the relevant news reports; I will not copy them here. At the […]

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