From The National Interest

  • Get This: California to Consider Taxing Text Messages in 2019

    Joe Simonson


    Could it happen? 

    California regulators are currently contemplating whether residents would have to pay a fee on text messages from their cellphones.

    The proposed tax would help fund programs in the state that provides low-income Californians with phone service and will be discussed further during the January 2019 meeting by the California Public Utilities Commission.

    The rational from California regulators is this: Text messaging uses the same cell towers as phone...

  • Introducing China's QBZ-95-1 Assault Rifle: One of the Best on the Planet?

    Kyle Mizokami


    The QBZ-95-1 is a powerful and reliable, although slightly dated, weapon that was emblematic of the military revolution that began in China in the early 1990s and continues to this day.

    One of the most widely issued—but least known—infantry small arms is the QBZ-95-1 assault rifle. The QBZ-95-1 is the official rifle of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) and its various sub-branches, including the People’s Liberation Army Navy Marine Corps. Unorthodox in appearance, the...

  • The Deadliest Naval Anti-Ship Weapon Of The Last 75 Years (And Other Fascinating Maritime Facts)

    Tom Ricks, Task and Purpose


    Tom Ricks explains. 

    What has been the most effective naval anti-ship weapon over the last 75 years? Air to ship missiles? Bombs? Torpedoes? No no and no! It has been the good old anti-ship mine, reports Proceedings.

    - The U.S. Navy supply ships that tote oil, fuel, and water carry hoses that can stretch 8 miles inland.

    - The Navy has a SERE school in Maine, out in the hills near Rangeley. And a moron working there pulled a pistol on four instructors....

  • What Does Growing U.S.-China Rivalry Mean for America’s Allies in Asia?

    John S. Van Oudenaren

    Security, Asia

    Could they end up having to choose sides?

    At the recent G-20 summit in Argentina, President Donald Trump and Chinese president Xi Jinping reached a temporary truce, tapping the brakes on an escalating trade war, and opening a negotiating window to deal with major structural issues in the U.S.-China economic relationship. Despite this pause in tensions, an expert panel at the Center for the National Interest, which was comprised of Michael Green (Center for...

  • VIDEO: Watch This Reporter Almost Get Run Over By A Russian Tu-160 Bomber

    Task and Purpose, Jeff Schogol


    PROTIP: it is not a smart idea to walk on an active runway as planes are taking off or landing. 

    A Russian reporter nearly got her head taken off during a live shot of a Russian TU-160 bomber landing in Venezuela.

    Maria Finoshina of Russia’s RT cable news network was standing on the runway as one of the two bombers sent to Venezuela was about to touch down. As she walked toward the landing aircraft, one of the bomber’s wings narrowly passed above her...

  • Book Excerpt—On the Brink: Trump, Kim, and the Threat of Nuclear War

    Van Jackson

    Security, Asia

    With a look into North Korean strategic thought.

    Editor’s Note: The following is an excerpt from the new book On the Brink: Trump, Kim, and the Threat of Nuclear War by Van Jackson. You can purchase the full version here.

    North Korean Strategic Thought:

    Before turning to the evolution of Obama-era strategy toward North Korea, this chapter offers an essential primer on how North Korea thinks about coercion and its nuclear weapons—to the extent that we know—and the...

  • How North Korea Would Wage War Against America (Think Underground Air Bases)

    Kyle Mizokami

    Security, Asia

    And much more. 

    Pyongyang’s eventual defeat in any wartime scenario is a given, but its underground headquarters, fortifications and troop depots have the potential to not only enhance the Korean People’s Army’s ability to mount a surprise attack, but also to prolong the war, confounding the high-tech armed forces of its adversaries.

    North Korea, one of the most secretive countries in the world, is no stranger to building underground military facilities. Whether a...

  • Meet North Korea's 200,000 'Commandos' (And Their Quite Dangerous)

    Kyle Mizokami

    Security, Asia

    We explain their evolution. 

    Of North Korea’s two hundred thousand “commandos,” approximately 150,000 belong to light infantry units. Foot mobile, their frontline mission is to infiltrate or flank enemy lines to envelop or mount rear attacks on enemy forces. North Korea’s hilly terrain lends itself to such tactics, as does the network of tunnels that the country has dug that cross the DMZ in a number of places.

    One of the most vital parts of North Korea’s war...

  • Why Israel Doesn’t Crush Hamas

    Zaki Shalom, Jacob Aaron Collier

    Hamas, Israel

    Utilizing military means to bring about the downfall of Hamas might lead to a scenario that is highly dangerous to Israel’s national interests.

    In light of the escalating tensions between Israel and Hamas, many have speculated as to why Israel has not used its military superiority to simply crush the terror organization. After all, Israel boasts what is arguably the strongest and most technologically advanced military in the Middle East. On the...

  • Does the BJP’s Defeat Mean Victory for Secularism in India?

    Mohammed Ayoob

    Elections, India

    The Congress Party has demonstrated its rejuvenated political strength by defeating the BJP in three important state elections in the latter’s stronghold.

    In recent years India has assumed considerable strategic importance in American policy toward the Indo-Pacific (formerly Asia-Pacific) region. This is the result of its growing economic and military capabilities and the perception in Washington that it can act as a balancer to China’s rising power in the...

  • Red Star Over the Pacific: China's Rise and the Challenge to U.S. Maritime Strategy.

    Toshi Yoshihara, James Holmes

    Security, Asia

    Toshi Yoshihara and James Holmes present the second edition of their important work on this timely topic.

    Editor’s Note: The following is an excerpt of the second edition of Red Star Over the Pacific: China’s Rise and the Challenge to U.S. Maritime Strategy. You can purchase the full version here.

    China has a dream. Chinese Communist Party (CCP) officials tell us so. President Xi Jinping, who ranks first among them, made “Chinese Dream” his credo...

  • India has 140 Nuclear Warheads – And More Are Coming

    Michael Peck

    Security, Asia

    Should we worry? 

    India has 130 to 140 nuclear warheads—and more are coming, according to a new report.

    “India is estimated to have produced enough military plutonium for 150 to 200 nuclear warheads, but has likely produced only 130 to 140,” according to Hans Kristensen and Matt Korda of the Nuclear Information Project at the Federation of American Scientists. “Nonetheless, additional plutonium will be required to produce warheads for missiles now under development,...