Free | Reality Check

Crowded Waters in Southeast Asia

June 23, 2017 Jihadism in Marawi is actually a good thing for U.S. strategy in Asia.

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Watch List

Watch List Findings: June 24, 2017

Deep Dive

Iran and North Korea: Brothers in Nuclear Arms

June 22, 2017 Exactly how closely have the two countries helped each other develop their nuclear programs?

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Watch List: June 22, 2017

Free | Podcast

Sunni and Shiite Nations?

June 22, 2017

Jacob Shapiro and Kamran Bokhari discuss some recent anomalies in the Middle East and consider the relationship…

Free | Reality Check

A Shake-Up in the Saudi Royal Family

June 22, 2017 The kingdom is resilient, but it has never faced such daunting challenges.

Watch List

Watch List: June 21, 2017

Free | Friedman's Weekly

On Leadership, Virtue and Vice

June 21, 2017 In Britain, Theresa May failed to understand that leadership is more important than management.

Free | Reality Check

Calling China’s Bluff on North Korea

June 21, 2017 The U.S. is telling the Chinese that the time to act is now.

What We're Reading

What We’re Reading: June 20, 2017

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The Weekly Graphic

Patrolling the Seas in Southeast Asia

June 23, 2017 Cooperation among Southeast Asian states has never come easy, but the surge of Islamist militancy in the region is encouraging Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines to give it another try.

Recently, the three countries formally launched trilateral patrols in the Sulu and Celebes seas — a vast expanse that has become a hub of piracy, militancy and smuggling. They have discussed the possibility since 2016, when the Abu Sayyaf, a jihadist group aligned with the Islamic State, conducted a string of kidnappings in the Sulu Archipelago. Whatever differences that may have impeded the patrols, however, were put aside during the siege of Marawi city, a provincial capital in the restive Philippine region of Mindanao.

But the slow start to the patrols shows just how elusive integration has been in Southeast Asia. Historically, mountains and island chains, not to mention starkly divided ethnic communities, have tended to produce inward-looking countries too preoccupied by instability and too suspicious of foreign meddling to bother to assimilate. (Singapore is a notable exception.)

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