Articles and Posts by Seth Cropsey

This is the author archive page for Yorktown Institude president and founder Dr. Seth Cropsey. To email him directly, click here.

Putin’s Final Goal in Ukraine Has Demonstrably Shifted, As Has His Escalation Calculus

Vladmir Putin’s September 21 Speech — alongside Russian mobilization and sham referenda in Ukraine’s occupied east and south — demonstrates that the Russian leader’s immediate war aims have shifted. As always, Putin seeks to let the context shift, grab what he can, and await a better set of circumstances. Putin’s …

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Photo: Kremlin Pool / Sputnik / Sergei Bobylev

SCO Summit Did Not Show What You Think It Showed

Last week, Vladimir Putin and Xi Jinping met in person for the first time since February 4. When they spoke more than six months ago, the mood appeared rather different. On that occasion, the two kindred authoritarians produced a Joint Declaration proclaiming a “partnership without limits” and presented the outlines of …

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Crew members board the USS Delaware nuclear submarine during a commissioning ceremony at the Port of Wilmington, Del., April 2.

Delayed Repairs Shrink the U.S. Navy Submarine Fleet

The U.S. Navy’s submarine fleet, America’s essential war-fighting instrument in the Indo-Pacific, is about three-fifths the size it should be, chiefly because of maintenance and production delays. This comes amid stepped-up threats to Taiwan by China. Contesting such an assault would require a submarine force at maximum strength. Congress and …

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Wissam Al-Okaili/Reuters

Iraqi Unrest Is an Opportunity to Weaken Iran

A major crisis has begun in Iraq, as Iran seeks to maintain its influence in the country despite its eroding strategic position. Opportunities to reverse strategic trends are difficult to anticipate. But there is now a clear opportunity to curb Iranian power, and quietly and carefully, the U.S. should seize on …

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Putin and Xi at Beijing Olympics

Spasm Escalation: Russia’s Last Weapon has been Spent

Russia has its back against the wall. Western analysts have missed this fact. Indeed, they have completely misinterpreted Russia’s “escalation ladder,” the technical term for the set of responses Russia sees at each stage of the Ukraine war. The “gas weapon” that Russia has just employed, a full supply cut, signals the Kremlin’s …

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Putin and Erdogan

Keeping Turkey on the Right Side of the Battle between US and Russia

Recent revelations of deepening Russo-Turkish economic ties despite the Ukraine war forces the U.S. to reckon with Russia’s wider strategy. The Kremlin’s strategic objective in the Eastern Mediterranean and the Black Sea since the late 2000s has been to reorient Turkey, peeling it from the Atlantic Alliance and shifting it to the …

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Blinken

Geopolitical Linkage of Anti-US Powers

US President Joe Biden’s administration appears keen on rejoining the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), the Barack Obama administration’s so-called “Iran deal” that notionally guaranteed Iran would not produce nuclear weapons. A deal remains unlikely. Nevertheless, the very fact that the Biden administration has doggedly pursued the chimerical agreement for …

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PLA anti-aircraft

After the Next War

The Fourth Taiwan Strait Crisis is in full swing. The PLA has continued its military exercises after Speaker Pelosi’s departure from Taiwan, the PRC has imposed targeted sanctions upon Taiwan. Beijing’s diplomatic service and propaganda outlets compete to emphasize the overwhelming response that Taiwan and the West will suffer if …

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Artillery shells

All Elements of National Power

A pivotal issue in Ukraine’s defense is the West’s—and the U.S.’ in particular—ability to provide weapons and ammunition swiftly enough to defeat Russia. As Western arms shipments continue, the Ukrainian military will become more capable. Several thousand Ukrainians are now training in the UK and Eastern European NATO states, learning …

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