North Korea Debuts New Solid-Fuel Missile

North Korea on Sunday launched a new ballistic missile, the Pukguksong-2. The launch represents not just a significant advancement for Pyongyang’s missile program, but the first foreign policy challenge for the Trump administration. North Korea-watchers had expected the regime to launch an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) in the wake of its leader Kim Jong Un’s […]

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Iranian Ballistic Missile Tests Since the Nuclear Deal

Since the July 2015 announcement of the nuclear deal known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), Iran has tested as many as 14 ballistic missiles. This number is based on aggregated open-source reporting, as no official government or United Nations numbers have been made available to the public. Although the deal did not address […]

Mattis to Shore up Asian Allies on North Korea Threat

Secretary of Defense James Mattis will travel to South Korea and Japan on February 1-4. His visit, the first of any Trump official overseas, comes at an important time. North Korea recently threatened to launch an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM). Meanwhile, the South Korea-Japan relationship has hit a rough patch, with South Korea protesting Japanese […]

Trump Needs a New Approach to Syria: Bottom-Up Defense

A draft executive order that awaits President Donald Trump’s signature directs the State Department and Pentagon to produce a plan, within 90 days, for providing safe zones in Syria. For more than six years policy experts have argued over possible solutions to stop the devastation and end the civil war. None found favor in Washington. Given the tumultuous […]

Iran’s Maritime Mirage

Iran is doing enough damage in the Middle East through unconventional methods without requiring a robust navy. That is why an idea floated by a key Iranian military leader to build naval bases in Yemen and Syria makes absolutely no sense. Mohammad Bagheri, the chief of Iran’s armed forces general staff, suggested last month that […]

Iran Tightens Military Ties with China

Iranian and Chinese security officials signed a military-cooperation agreement this week to establish a joint commission to boost defense ties. Since the 1979 Islamic revolution and the subsequent severing of U.S. military assistance, Tehran has relied on Chinese arms to supplement its defense industry. This week’s agreement, however, will significantly bolster ties that for decades […]

Iranian-backed Houthis Fire a Shot at the U.S. Navy

While the United States was fixated on the second presidential debate on Sunday night, one of its ships was under fire in the Middle East. Details remain few, but reports suggest that the Houthis, a Yemeni militant group backed by Iran, fired two anti-ship missiles at the USS Mason as it patrolled the Bab el-Mandeb […]

Discerning Iran’s Role in Expanding Houthi Rocket Capabilities

Yemen’s Houthi rebels tested a new rocket last Thursday, marking the fourth new projectile they unveiled this year. Dubbed the Somoud, or “steadfastness,” the projectile’s launch was broadcast late last week across Arab and Iranian media. While observers were quick to point fingers at Tehran, based on its established track record of arming the Houthis, […]