Vietnam Arms Embargo Lifted, What Happens Now?

Over the weekend, I wrote an article laying out the drivers, policy options and geopolitical context of President Obama’s pending decision whether to lift the longstanding arms embargo prohibiting the sale of U.S. lethal weapons to Vietnam. While recognizing the push to fully lift the ban, I suggested that the President would likely take a…

Managing Expectations Ahead Of Obama’s Vietnam Trip

EXCERPT: Obama is unlikely to announce a “full and unconditional” lifting of the arms embargo while visiting Vietnam on May 23-25. A more likely outcome is a further easing of restrictions to broaden the types of U.S. weapon platforms that can be sold to Vietnam, but  still subject to approval on a case-by-case basis and…

Russia-Saudi Relations Still On Ice

Only weeks ahead of the upcoming OPEC meeting scheduled for June 2, Russia’s top oilman delivered what could be interpreted as OPEC’s eulogy. In an interview with Reuters published on May 10, Igor Sechin, who leads Rosneft as chairman of the board, said that OPEC “has practically stopped existing as a unified organization.” The even…

Russia’s South China Sea Conundrum

On April 29, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov held a joint press conference in Beijing during which they strongly opposed the deployment of a THAAD anti-missile defense system in South Korea by the United States as well as outside interference by non-claimants in the South China Sea (SCS) territorial…

Saudi Prince Sets Back Putin’s Middle East Agenda At Doha

The Doha “oil freeze” talks ended with the worst possible outcome—not in terms of the oil market but for regional geopolitics and Russia-Saudi relations. After running several hours overtime, negotiations ended without an agreement due to the inability of Russia and Saudi Arabia to agree on the language of a final draft. The failure to…

What To Expect At The Doha Oil Freeze Talks

Fifteen of the world’s largest oil producers from OPEC and non-OPEC countries will meet in Doha on April 17 to discuss a proposed “oil freeze.” Since the proposal was first announced in mid-February, the market has had knee-jerk responses to the latest headlines and announcements. Initially oil prices rebounded from a 12-year low to what…