Jeff M. Smith
Jeff M. Smith
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Pundicity: Informed Opinion and Review

Latest Articles

Trump Should Read India's Playbook for Taunting China
New Delhi has been poking at Beijing's One-China Policy for years without wrecking the relationship

December 20, 2016  •  Foreign Policy

Donald Trump's decision to break protocol and become the first president-elect in decades to speak by phone with a Taiwanese president was either a colossal blunder or a shrewd strategic coup, depending on which Beltway insider you ask.

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China's Drone Grab and the Dangers of 'Strategic Ambiguity'
A closer look at a recent military flashpoint between China and the United States.

December 20, 2016  •  The Diplomat

Last week the USNS Bowditch, an unarmed U.S. Pathfinder-class survey ship manned by a civilian crew, was shadowed by a PLA Navy (PLAN) Dalang-III-class salvage and rescue vessel as it operated 50 nautical miles (nm) northwest of the Philippines' Subic Bay.

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Waking the Beast: India's Defense Reforms Under Modi
Modi and Parrikar deserve credit for shaking things up, but much work remains to be done.

December 16, 2016  •  The Diplomat

With all due respect to Parrikar—who has been a breath of fresh air after the paralytic reign of his predecessor, AK "Mr. No" Antony—few in Washington or Delhi would agree. Fortunately, the reforms he and Prime Minister Narendra Modi have shepherded are steering India in the right direction.

When Modi assumed office in June 2014 he inherited a sluggish Leviathan of a defense bureaucracy and a military facing large (and widening) capacity gaps. By one estimate, India's military is "short of some 300 fighter jets, at least a dozen submarines, over 1,000 combat helicopters, seven frigates and perhaps 3,000 artillery guns."

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Why Duterte's Deals With China May Be Security Concerns
The president's recent agreements with China are already raising troubling questions that need answers.

November 2, 2016  •  The Diplomat

When Roridgo Duterte, the impish and combustible president of the Philippines, paid a state visit to China last month the press contextualized the trip as part of his jarring U-turn away from the U.S. alliance and toward China's lucrative embrace. That narrative, and Duterte's apparent determination to restructure the regional order, have received no shortage of coverage and analysis in The Diplomat and beyond.

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Assessing US-India Defense Relations: The Technological Handshake
A closer look at the second handshake that U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter referred to.

October 6, 2016  •  The Diplomat

In the words of U.S. Defense Secretary Ashton Carter, two "handshakes" now define the increasingly intimate Indo-U.S. defense partnership. The "strategic handshake" was examined in detail in my last article for The Diplomat. We will now turn our attention to the "technological handshake," shorthand for the growth in arms sales, technical cooperation, and defense co-production and co-development.

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