Tag: Russia

What is the Russian Military good for?

The Russian military intervention in Syria—launched in a great rush just over a month ago — came as a surprise; perhaps not as shocking as the swift occupation and annexation of Crimea, but a surprise nevertheless. But does Russia’s ability to surprise and to project force in Syria prove, as Garret Campbell claims, that Western… Read more »

Russia’s Syrian Entanglement: Can the West Sit Back and Watch?

For observers who are confined by the boundaries of conventional strategic sense, every day of Russia’s military intervention in Syria brings fresh surprises. Indiscriminate strikes against Turkey-backed and CIA-trained opposition groups (which could not possibly be mistaken for ISIS) were followed by deliberate violations of Turkey’s airspace, and then by the spectacular cruise missile salvo… Read more »

How Russia and America make the same mistakes in Syria

  Russia’s apparent escalation in Syria is less dramatic than it seems, but it still represents another depressing development in the ongoing nightmare of the Syrian civil war. While it appears no Russian troops are engaged in fighting, the volume of military cargo delivered from Russia to Syria by sea and air has significantly increased in… Read more »

World War II Becomes a Chinese War

70 years ago, Japan signed an agreement of formal surrender on an American warship in Tokyo Bay. The anniversary of this event will be marked in Beijing today, September 3rd by a massive military parade in which Chinese and Russian soldiers march together. President Xi Jinping’s most important guest during the parade will be Russian… Read more »

Putin’s Pivot to Asia: Profit-Free, but Problem-Rich

The bilateral meeting in Beijing will be demonstratively cordial but loaded with mutual disappointment. Putin cannot fail to see that his hopes for harvesting rich dividends from closer Russian ties with China have failed to materialize and delivered him to a position of one-sided dependency. Xi, meanwhile, has few doubts about the trajectory of Russia’s… Read more »

Russia Insists on own Impunity, Gains Pariah Status

Exactly 40 years ago, the Soviet Union signed the Helsinki Final Act of the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe (CSCE), accepting commitments to respect the norms of international behavior and to observe the standards of human rights. The Kremlin had, in fact, no intention to relax domestic pressure on dissidents (who formed the… Read more »

How Long can Putin Continue doing Nothing?

Putin has always preferred to postpone decisions until the last possible moment and to keep his lieutenants and international counterparts in the dark about his intentions. This summer, however, he is arguably wasting time and maneuvering himself into a corner, from which the only escape will be jumping into another spasm of hostilities in eastern… Read more »

The China Factor in Russian Support for the Iran Deal

The United States needed Russian support to conclude the Iranian nuclear deal. As U.S. President Barack Obama acknowledged, “we would have not achieved this agreement had it not been for Russia’s willingness to stick with us.” But with U.S.-Russian relations at their lowest point since the end of the Cold War, Russian support came as… Read more »