BLUF

Although there is potential for conflict over Taiwan and Ukraine—COVID 19 remains the prime source of international instability.

Summary

This article from the Australian Institute of International Affairs (AIIA) provides a strategic update for the region.
Potential Chinese takeover of Taiwan
  • The Chinese mainland and the Taiwanese west coast are about 160 kilometres apart. 
  • Fleet transit time is about 5 hours. 
  • Nuclear submarines are on constant patrol. 
  • Achieving surprise would be challenging. 
  • Resupply from the Middle East would be difficult as crude oil tankers need to pass through two major chokepoints.
  • The AIIA concludes that an invasion of Taiwan by China unlikely. 
Russia annexing more of Ukraine*
  • 120,000 Russian troops are on Ukraine’s Border. 
  • President Putin is unpredictable.
  • Ukrainian Forces are backed by NATO and are on alert.
  • Putin might attempt to grab inadequately defended territory. 
  • Putin wants to rejoin the G-8 return and a summit with Biden.
Other Strategic Flashpoints