Issues / War & Peace

In the early 1990s, in the wake of the Soviet Union's collapse, the world was anticipating a "peace dividend" from the end of the cold war. In one part of the world, however, military spending was not slowing down.
Interpreting China's military expenditure has been a complicated issue with important regional implications. Although China publishes its official defense budget and provides justifications for increases in its military spending, most observers remain skeptical of the accuracy of the official figures and wary of the military modernization efforts. This skepticism has shaped the responses of other Asia-Pacific nations toward China's military modernization.
Upon replacing George W. Bush as US president, hopes were high that Barack Obama would oversee sweeping change in relation to US military policy. But far from seeing a reversal, such policy has in fact intensified, entirely at the expense of more progressive diplomatic and economically-based approaches.
The recent and highly unusual public launch of a "conference committee" of both houses of Congress to hash out differences in long-pending legislation to impose unilateral sanctions on Iran marks a new stage in the escalating debate over what to do about Tehran's nuclear programme.
The Pentagon's slow response to civilian deaths and subsequent cover-ups points to a much deeper problem in U.S. involvement in Afghanistan.
The U.S. military's Kooni Firing Range in the South Korean village of Maehyang-ri was closed in 2005, following a concerted effort by anti-base activists. Kageyama Asako discusses the lessons from Maehyang-re in the context of the Futenma relocation debate that is at the heart of current US-Japan conflict.
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