China, Russia, Iran, Syria: An authoritarian axis rising?

Who are the members of this group? Today, it includes China, Russia, Iran, North Korea, Syria, and Venezuela.

Why does it exist? Fundamentally, this new axis signals growing anxiety on the part of its members that they are “behind the curve” of history. Simply put, these states are on the wrong side of history, politics and economics – and they know it.

Its members share certain characteristics that raise questions of how it is, precisely, that they and their peoples missed the curve in building democratic states and free markets.

Most worrisome of all: we see strong evidence that they actively coordinate their foreign policies. Such coordination appears to be a relatively recent development that coincides with Vladimir Putin’s return to Russia’s presidency.