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Hal Brands on the Politics of “America’s Absurd Pledge to Defend a Decaying Rust Bucket”

Chinese coast guard ship blocking a Philippine Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources' ship while its personnel aboard a rigid hull inflatable boat sailing past the Philippine ship as it neared the Chinese-controlled Scarborough Shoal in the disputed South China Sea. Ted ALJIBE / AFP

The confrontation between China and the Philippines over disputed territory in the South China Sea is getting very little attention in the United States, where everyone is much more focused on the war in Gaza and former President Donald Trump’s ongoing trial in New York.

But some prominent foreign policy scholars like Johns Hopkins University Professor Hal Brands are sounding the alarm about the importance of what’s going on to U.S. national security.

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