Environment

Modi’s Religious Nationalism Hurts India’s Hindus, Too
China, Environment, Human Rights, Politics, Religion

Modi’s Religious Nationalism Hurts India’s Hindus, Too

An expert's point of view on a current event. Modi’s Religious Nationalism Hurts India’s Hindus, Too The motto of the modern Indian state, printed on every note and coin, is Satyameva Jayate, a Sanskrit phrase meaning “Truth Alone Triumphs.” But the current Indian government under Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has come to power on a dangerous lie that they have been selling to India’s Hindus: that in a country where they make up 80 percent of the population, Hinduism is under threat—and will only prosper if they support the ideology of Hindutva, or Hindu nationalism. I am a co-founder of a progressive Hindu organization, Hindus for Human Rights. Most of our board members and our sole staff member are Hindu Indians in the United States, and we have a d...
Biden Can’t Take Peace in Europe for Granted
China, Environment

Biden Can’t Take Peace in Europe for Granted

An expert's point of view on a current event. Biden Can’t Take Peace in Europe for Granted The Belarusian government’s hijacking of a flight from Greece to Lithuania is a reminder that Europe’s peace is precarious. Less than a decade after Russian forces shot down a passenger plane over Ukraine, killing 298 people and setting off a broader Russian invasion of Eastern Ukraine, the Kremlin’s allies in Minsk have endangered civilian air travel again. Russia and Belarus pose an ongoing menace to their neighbors. U.S. President Joe Biden’s administration is still developing its strategy toward U.S. allies in Central and Eastern Europe, but its needs to take the region more seriously. Part of the response must be to punish Belarus for the hijacking. But the United States can do more to support...
America, the Afghan Tragedy, and the Subcontinent
China, Environment, Politics, Religion

America, the Afghan Tragedy, and the Subcontinent

An expert's point of view on a current event. America, the Afghan Tragedy, and the Subcontinent Most Americans see U.S. President Joe Biden’s decision to withdraw U.S. forces from Afghanistan by September as closing the book on two decades of U.S. military intervention. The subcontinent, however, can’t forget the War in Afghanistan began long before the United States’ most recent involvement. It also can’t forget that Washington’s choices during more than four decades of war in Afghanistan have had—and continue to have—many unfortunate and unintended consequences for the region. Although the planned withdrawal leaves Afghanistan’s future open, it could lead to the next set of broader geopolitical shifts in the region. There is now a glimmer of hope that a normalization of relations betwe...
Wolf Warriors Killed China’s Grand Strategy
China, Environment

Wolf Warriors Killed China’s Grand Strategy

Sometime in 2020, China came unmoored from its grand strategy. Until then, Beijing’s diplomatic, military, and economic efforts were all directed toward national security. Learned observers could quibble about whether Beijing saw security as inseparable from hegemony; they could debate how productive China’s policies were. But the consistency of purpose underpinning China’s behavior was hard to miss. Of late, however, China has lost that purposefulness—one of the hallmarks of grand strategy. The predominant feature of Chinese conduct today is not grand strategy but a belligerent, defensive nationalism that lashes out without heed of consequences. Just why that breakdown has occurred is uncertain, but it is clear that the change has put both China and the world in jeopardy. China risks und...
‘Bunkerchan’ Is Trying to Deradicalize Online Nazis
China, Environment, Politics, Religion

‘Bunkerchan’ Is Trying to Deradicalize Online Nazis

An expert's point of view on a current event. ‘Bunkerchan’ Is Trying to Deradicalize Online Nazis “Dollars” is modest when asked what impact his forum has had on visitors from 4chan or 8chan. “I think that a solid 15% might learn something, think twice.” He gets a little more bullish: “Maybe as high as 30%.” Dollars, who asked to remain anonymous for his own safety, is a veteran of some of the most contentious sites on the internet. For more than 15 years, 4chan and its offspring have become renowned, and eventually infamous, for occupying prime internet real estate. The image boards offer all manner of community for millions of young men (and a few women) around the world. From porn to politics, anime to the occult, the image boards allow users to chat with each other and swap images,...
The Crisis in Space
China, Environment, Politics

The Crisis in Space

An expert's point of view on a current event. The Crisis in Space Last week, the entire globe nervously gazed skyward, awaiting the uncontrolled reentry of the core booster stage of Beijing’s Long March 5B rocket, which had been launched from China’s Wenchang Space Launch Center on April 29 to deliver a module of the planned Tianhe space station. While the probability that space debris strikes a populated area is always low, the chance is above zero—and it has happened before. This time, we were spared a calamity. China’s rocket debris reentered over the Indian Ocean and splashed down a few hundred miles west of the Maldives on Sunday. But the seriousness of the situation remains. A similar uncontrolled incident involving a Long March 5B was followed by reports that rocket debris had str...
Unified Threats Need Decentralized Deterrence
China, Environment, Politics

Unified Threats Need Decentralized Deterrence

Unified Threats Need Decentralized Deterrence Last month, the U.S. intelligence community released its worldwide Annual Threats Assessment. The report covered the usual range of risks facing the United States and the globe, from drug trafficking to regional instability to cyberattacks. Yet front and center in the intelligence community’s assessment—listed ahead even of pandemics like the coronavirus—were two key threats: “China’s Push for Global Power” and “Russian Provocative Actions.” China and Russia are increasingly aligned, forming an autocratic entente aimed squarely at the West. More concerning, the two revisionist powers are putting themselves on a war footing. A strategy of decentralizing U.S. deterrence can help defend the liberal international order against the threat of autoc...
The United Kingdom Dispatches HMS Queen Elizabeth to Confront China
China, Environment

The United Kingdom Dispatches HMS Queen Elizabeth to Confront China

The United Kingdom Dispatches HMS Queen Elizabeth to Confront China For more than 800 years, English naval ships have been launching from Portsmouth, bound for the world’s oceans. Last week, the Royal Navy opened a new era with the departure of a new aircraft carrier, HMS Queen Elizabeth, for the beginning of an seven-month deployment that will bring it to the Indo-Pacific, along with a strike group. There, the Royal Navy task force will participate in operations designed to ensure freedom of navigation and open seas. The reason? “We see China as being a challenge and a competitor,” said Britain’s first sea lord, Adm. Tony Radakin, during a visit with his U.S. counterpart, Adm. Mike Gilday, the chief of naval operations. Some might wonder why the British are sticking their toes into the ...
The Downside of China’s Online Muscle-Flexing
China, Environment

The Downside of China’s Online Muscle-Flexing

A weekly digest of the stories you should be following in China this week, plus exclusive analysis, written by Foreign Policy deputy editor and former Beijing correspondent James Palmer. Delivered Wednesday. The Downside of China’s Online Muscle-Flexing Welcome to Foreign Policy’s China Brief. The highlights this week: An offensive Weibo post triggers a backlash in India, what to believe about China’s population numbers, and regulators levy a $1.5 billion fine on the technology giant Tencent. If you would like to receive China Brief in your inbox every Wednesday, please sign up here. A Bad Post and a Bigger Problem Indians have reacted with anger and disgust after the powerful body that oversees China’s law enforcement agencies shared an offensive post on its official Weibo account t...
Tulipmania in Space
China, Environment

Tulipmania in Space

Tulipmania in Space A commercial space transportation company is about to go public with a valuation of around $1 billion, despite not yet providing commercial space transportation. Momentus of Santa Clara, California—which sells in-space shuttle services that help move satellites between orbits—is having what one might call a moment in the sunshine. And the 3-year-old start-up isn’t even unusual: Space is filling up with all manner of start-ups that resemble the flowers that once sparked a speculative bubble centuries ago. In fact, we’re approaching tulipmania in space. Between the first quarter of 2020 and the first quarter of this year, private-equity investors pumped $8.7 billion into space firms. That’s a 95 percent increase over the previous 12 months—and it took place during a rag...