Beijing has made no secret about its frustrations with the ruling of the Hague-based Court of Arbitration’s decision that China has no legal basis for territorial claims within the South China Sea’s nine-dash line. In the wake of the ruling, Chinese admiral Sun Jianguo warned of “disaster” for continued US military patrols through the region.
The first female president of the United States faces her first major international conflict: Seeking to consolidate the Slavic nations of Eastern Europe, Russia has seized the three Baltic states—Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia—all members of NATO. That requires a response beyond just a caustic tweet or sharply worded press release. For the first time since the Cuban missile crisis, there is serious talk of nuclear war.