by Tait Becker ’19
New Information Strains U.S./Russian Relations
ump, the release of potentially compromising information from the Putin administration has shed greater light on the adversarial relationship between the United States and Russia. While Russia has denied these allegations, there is still skepticism among many top U.S. officials as to the intent behind the release of these documents.
The confirmation hearings for President-elect Trump’s top advisors have also led to in-depth questioning about the relationship between the U.S. and Russia. Many Americans view Russia as a threat to the national security of the United States; the Trump administration, however, has expressed an interest in working with Russian President Vladimir Putin to redefine the relationship between these two countries.
China Heads for Dangerous Waters in SouthEast Asia
China’s increasing military presence in the Southeast Asian seas has sparked concern about the intentions of China in these areas. In 2016, the construction of “man-made” islands in these waters surprised many, as the legality of these actions still remains largely ambiguous. To many Americans, these actions show China’s disregard for the established laws that govern international waters. Earlier this week, the passage of Chinese ships through the Taiwan Strait has raised concerns that China will attempt to reintegrate Taiwan into their sphere of influence in an effort to greater concentrate their power in Southeast Asia.
United States Assists Japanese Defense Efforts
This past week, the United States sent $104 million worth of F-35s to Japan in an effort to display their ongoing support of Japan’s efforts to protect and defend itself from other countries within their region, specifically from North Korea. The efforts of North Korea to increase the capabilities of its nuclear program in the recent months has prompted the United States to reinforce its political alliance with Japan, especially since the country is located in a highly strategic area. Combined with the shady behavior of China this past week, the United States continues to work in an alliance with Japan in an effort to increase stability and security within the Southeast Asian region of the world.
ISIS Claims Responsibility for Turkish Shooting
Two weeks after a nightclub shooting rocked the city of Istanbul, the manhunt in search of the individual responsible for the shooting has finally concluded. The Islamic State publicly claimed responsibility for the shooting that left 39 people dead and nearly a dozen more injured. ISIS claims that this attack was carried out in retaliation for the Turkish military activities in Northern Syria over the past couple months.