A hundred years ago, Austria started shelling Serbia to begin WWI. Today, Russia is shelling Ukraine. The West today is under siege, even if the battlefields seem far away. Those who seek destruction never cease until they win or are stopped, but the West wants to avoid conflict by hoping that it can talk away problems and threats.
The tragic shootdown of the Malaysia Airlines plane over Ukraine proved that the world cannot take freedom of the skies for granted. This new face of war will require an American military transformed to meet new threats. Much of that burden will fall on the Air Force.
Over the next decades, Japan will add to stability in Asia through a stronger economy, by working more closely with other Asian partners, and potentially helping take up any slack caused by a retrenchment of American forces due to shrinking defense budgets. All of this would be good for Asia.
After Chinese President Xi Jinping's trip to South Korea last week, "Beijingology" is in full swing. Analysts are trying to interpret the tea leaves of his visit. Is he showing anger toward North Korea? Driving a wedge between Japan and South Korea? Is he responding to U.S. pressure?
Put in the context of Japan's gradual security evolution over the past several decades, Shinzo Abe's push to revoke the country's ban on engaging in collective self-defense is neither a radical move nor one that threatens peace in Asia.
Indonesians on July 9 will vote in the third presidential election since the collapse of former President Suharto's regime in 1998. Their choice may determine whether Indonesia turns inward or continues to liberalize at home and abroad.