Ukraine

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 …

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

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 …

SCO Summit Did Not Show What You Think It Showed Continue Reading >>

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 …

Spasm Escalation: Russia’s Last Weapon has been Spent Continue Reading >>

P-8A flying over the ocean with warship below

The Mystery of the Moskva and Makarov

The Russian cruiser Moskva was attacked in the Black Sea on April 13th. There are unconfirmed reports also that the Russian frigate Admiral Makarov was attacked on May 6th.  As details emerge, four important questions arise: First, were these vessels, equipped with supposedly excellent air defense systems, caught by surprise …

The Mystery of the Moskva and Makarov Continue Reading >>

Russian Cruiser Moskva sinking

The War at Sea

Ukraine’s sinking of the Russian cruiser Moskva received significant attention in Western media. But there has been little investigation of the Ukraine war’s naval elements. Naval considerations motivated Russian intervention, while Russia’s naval supremacy has reduced Ukrainian freedom of action and shaped its strategic and operational decision making. Most critically, Russian naval losses will …

The War at Sea Continue Reading >>

Chinese DF-5 ICBMs pulled by truck

Going Vertical: Ukraine, Taiwan and the Nuclear Ploy

As the Ukraine war approaches its eighth week, it has become conventional wisdom that Russia’s debacle will serve as a cautionary tale for China vis-à-vis Taiwan. At minimum, the Communist Party of China (CPC) will conduct a thorough internal review of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA), ensuring it avoids the difficulties …

Going Vertical: Ukraine, Taiwan and the Nuclear Ploy Continue Reading >>

Soldier launching Switchblade 300

The Future of the Skies, Part I: The Switchblade Arrives in Ukraine

The war in Ukraine shows that the face of battle is changing in favor of small, less costly, and easily portable weapons that negate many of the advantages formerly held by large, complex, and expensive systems. The man-portable Javelin anti-tank missile is a good example. AeroVironment’s Switchblade is another. The …

The Future of the Skies, Part I: The Switchblade Arrives in Ukraine Continue Reading >>

View of street filled with destroyed Russian military vehicles

Russia a Third World Country?

In October 1985, Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev visited France where he met with French President François Mitterrand. In candid conversations, Gorbachev told Mitterrand that the USSR was a Third World country with nuclear weapons, a conclusion that startled Mitterrand and other Western leaders when Gorbachev’s description was privately circulated. How …

Russia a Third World Country? Continue Reading >>

Destruction in Mariupol during the 2022 Russian siege

Mariupol’s Fate is the Key to a Ukraine Deal

Mariupol, the city under siege in southeastern Ukraine on the Sea of Azov, is the key to a possible deal between Russia and Ukraine that will stop the fighting. The Russian assault on Mariupol has been notably ruthless and brutal. Mariupol has been holding out, but just barely. The Russians …

Mariupol’s Fate is the Key to a Ukraine Deal Continue Reading >>

Scroll to Top