Weekend Reading: October 10-12

October 10, 2014

Happy Friday! Lots of events continuing to run their course: Hong Kong, Ebola, ISIS, and Ukraine. These weekend reading recommendations should help you dig deeper into the issues.

Long-term thinking for U.S. strategy in Asia? Two papers came out this week discussing future military engagements in the region. Harry Kazianis published a China Policy Institute policy paper discussing Air-Sea Battle and how it matches up to China’s A2/AD strategy; and the Atlantic Council released Robert Manning’s US Extended Deterrence in Asia to 2025.

What’s the latest on Hong Kong? This week, as the protests continue (though with less steam), the analysts are out trying to figure out how the end game is shaping up. Jay Ulfelder offers a guide to how the Umbrella Revolution could win, according to scholars of unarmed insurrections.

More on Hong Kong? Dean Cheng discusses how Hong Kong is a test of Xi Jinping’s crisis management style.

Guns for Vietnam. The Obama administration lifted (in part) the U.S. ban on lethal arms sales to Vietnam, imposed at the end of the Vietnam War. Council on Foreign Relations Senior Fellow Joshua Kurlantzick argues that this is the right move.

Turkey’s indecision in the battle for Kobani. Soner Cagaptay, director of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy’s Turkish Research program, argues that Turkey still prioritizes ousting Assad over ISIS. Without U.S. and Kurdish commitments to Kobani, expect no material help from Ankara.

More on ISIS? Adam Elkus and Nick Prime argue that U.S. strategy should be one of “control” over ISIL.

Getting behind the Middle East headlines. Maybe this weekend you want to do some reading that transcends the news cycle. Try these two pieces. First, the Project on Middle East Political Science released a briefing Syria and the Islamic State including chapters from Daveed Gartenstein-Ross, Laurie Brand, Gregory Gause, and others. Second, Robert Worth reviews Juan Cole’s The New Arabs and Shadi Hamid’s Temptations of Power to find the pillars of despotism in the Middle East.

Ebola response. Brookings’ Fellow Witney Schneidman discusses the role that the private sector can play in controlling the spread of Ebola.

Mobilizing Ukrainians for military service. Vera Mironova and Sam Whitt ask the question, “What are young Ukranians fighting for?” In July 2014 they surveyed 100 young men who were enlisting at local army recruiting stations in Kharkiv. Their initial findings include infographics showing perceptions of Russian speakers’ goals and motivations, Putin’s responsibility, and the role of the West in dealing with Russia.