Taiwan is where Russia’s war in Ukraine and China’s economic underperformance overlap and produce a dangerous resonance. The war may be far away from Taipei, but it brings material problems, like delays in deliveries of U.S. armaments, and disturbing changes in the regional security environment. The end of China’s fast-paced economic growth has resulted in political shifts… Read more »
China Adjusts Limits on Partnership With Russia
The Russian army’s ongoing struggle to capture Bakhmut might appear to be primarily a tactical episode in the larger geo-strategic picture of Russia’s war against Ukraine. However, it also affects the key political interactions shaping this picture, including the formally cordial, but in fact rather uneasy, relations between Moscow and Beijing.
Russia-Ukraine War Compels Japan to Reassess China Challenge, Shift Course on Security
Against the backdrop of the grisly Russia-Ukraine war, the security situation in East Asia may appear conducive to the continuation of the long peace that the region has enjoyed for decades. However, the devastating European war has cast a long shadow eastwards. While Russia’s military presence in Asia is deeply curtailed as most of its… Read more »
Putin’s War-Mongering Spectacle Reveals War Fatigue
As the one-year mark of President Vladimir Putin’s disastrous war against Ukraine neared, the Russian army failed to score anything resembling even a minor victory to provide the Russian leader with a talking point for his public performances. In his address to the Federal Assembly on February 21, Putin said nothing about the prospects of… Read more »
Before Decisive Battles, Russia’s War Against Ukraine Reaches a Political Culmination
As the one-year mark approaches, the Russo-Ukrainian war shows little movement along the battle lines but plenty of action along the political dimension, which may be approaching a culmination point. First came the meeting of Ukraine’s key supporters in the Ramstein format; then the meeting of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) defense ministers, to… Read more »
NATO Should Pursue Peace over Victory in Ukraine. Here Is Why and How.
In his foundational book on the causes of war, Kenneth Waltz observed that “[a]sking who won a given war […] is like asking who won the San Francisco earthquake. That in war there is no victory but only varying degrees of defeat is a proposition that has gained increasing acceptance in the twentieth century.” These… Read more »
Russia Seeks to Circumvent the Advancing Western Alliance in Africa
The broad coalition built last week for supplying main battle tanks to Ukraine signifies a new surge in strengthening the unity of the US-led Western alliance, and Russia has had no response to this upgrade. It will take a few months to train and equip new armored battalions in the Ukrainian army for breaking through… Read more »
Diplomacy Isn’t Delusional
Why it’s wise for Ukraine to engage with an adversary like Putin. Sven G. Holtsmark offers a rebuttal to our December Commonweal article in which we discussed possible negotiations over Ukraine by referencing an ancient Greek account of war on the island of Melos (also posted on the PRIO blog here and here). We appreciate Holtsmark’s engagement with our piece and… Read more »
Davos Meets Ramstein: Russia’s Global Standing Takes a Hit
Two events of profound, and maybe even decisive, importance for the outcome of the Ukraine war happened last week: the Davos gathering of the World Economic Forum and the meeting of top defense officials from some 50 members of the Western coalition at the Ramstein air base in Germany.
Ukraine Is Not Melos, and Russia Is Not Athens
Let’s keep Thucydides out of Russia’s war against Ukraine “Ukraine is confronted with a stark choice: fight on through a bitter winter with death raining from above, or initiate negotiations with Russia under unfavourable terms. Two-and-a-half millennia ago, the leaders of the Greek island of Melos confronted a similar choice.” The quote is from the… Read more »