Publications

April 29, 2022

America Needs a Comprehensive Compellence Strategy Against Russia

One month before the war started, FPRI’s Rob Lee argued that Moscow’s compellence strategy would include the use of military force directly against Kyiv or more likely by punitive raids deep into the eastern half of Ukraine. He argued, “By inflicting heavy losses on the Ukrainian military, taking prisoners of war, and degrading Kyiv’s defense capabilities, Russia could potentially alter Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky’s incentive structure sufficiently to induce painful concessions.” Despite Ukraine’s successful effort to turn back Russian forces around Kyiv, Russia’s compellence strategy has not yet failed. As a result, it needs to be undercut by NATO with a more comprehensive approach.

April 26, 2022

Empires of Eurasia: How Imperial Legacies Shape International Security

Dr. Jeffrey Mankoff, INSS-CSR Distinguished Research Fellow, has recently published a new book, Empires of Eurasia: How Imperial Legacies Shape International Security. How the collapse of empires helps explain the efforts of China, Iran, Russia, and Turkey to challenge the international order.

April 26, 2022

Central Asia Is Keeping a Nervous Eye on Russia’s War in Ukraine

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is upending the geopolitical calculations of states around the world. The fallout is especially complex for the post-Soviet states of Central Asia, which maintain extensive economic, political, cultural and other ties to both Russia and Ukraine. While Central Asia is far from the front lines of the ongoing war, and therefore less directly impacted than states like Moldova or Georgia, its leaders also face difficult decisions.

April 26, 2022

Russia's War in Ukraine: Identity, History, and Conflict

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine constitutes the biggest threat to peace and security in Europe since the end of the Cold War. On February 21, 2022, Russian president Vladimir Putin gave a bizarre and at times unhinged speech laying out a long list of grievances as justification for the “special military operation” announced the following day. While these grievances included the long-simmering dispute over the expansion of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and the shape of the post–Cold War security architecture in Europe, the speech centered on a much more fundamental issue: the legitimacy of Ukrainian identity and statehood themselves. It reflected a worldview Putin had long expressed, emphasizing the deep-seated unity among the Eastern Slavs—Russians, Ukrainians, and Belarusians, who all trace their origins to the medieval Kyivan Rus commonwealth—and suggesting that the modern states of Russia, Ukraine, and Belarus should share a political destiny both today and in the future.

April 12, 2022

Prospects for U.S.-Japan Cyber Cooperation: Critical Infrastructure Protection and Joint Operations Perspectives

The contemporary Indo-Pacific security environment is very challenging. It is complicated by the Taiwan issue, China's territorial friction with Japan, Philippines and India, North Korea's nuclear and missile development, and Russia's increased military activity. Critical infrastructure to support U.S. forces in Japan and joint operations between the Japan Self-Defense Forces and the American military are essential for the U.S. to deal capably with these and other pressing regional security issues. Japan must ensure its own resilience and improve its cyber capabilities, not just rely on the United States. The success or failure of cyber cooperation with Japan will undoubtedly be key to the realization of the U.S. Indo-Pacific strategy.

March 29, 2022

The Avoidable War: The Dangers of a Catastrophic Conflict Between the US and Xi Jinping’s China

While China has emerged as an economic superpower in the 21st century it has disappointed the expectations of some that it would become a ‘responsible stakeholder’ in the global, rules-based system. Under President Xi Jinping China has undergone an unprecedented military modernization and build-up to accompany its impressive economic and technological advances. President Xi has articulated a grand strategy that rightly or wrongly is interpreted by some as a plan for global dominance. China’s alignment with Russia described as a friendship with no limits poses a three-body problem for the liberal powers.

March 23, 2022

Were Drone Strikes Effective? Evaluating the Drone Campaign in Pakistan Through Captured al-Qaeda Documents

At a time when the United States seems likely to rely heavily on targeted killing as an instrument of counter-terrorism, scholars, policymakers, and other analysts remain divided over its utility. These disagreements have been especially pronounced in scholarship and commentary regarding the U.S. drone campaign in Pakistan.

March 10, 2022

Turkey’s Balancing Act on Ukraine Is Becoming More Precarious

Ankara faces growing pressure to pick sides between Kyiv and Moscow.

March 9, 2022

War: How Conflict Shaped Us

War has always been a force for change between countries and within society. The relationship between society and war is cyclical as war influences the language people use, how places are named, and encourages social changes. Despite being a mostly destructive force, war forces all individuals to contribute to their society: sometimes in non-traditional ways.

March 8, 2022

China's Military Strategy for a 'New Era': Some Change, More Continuity, and Tantalizing Hints

In 2019, China’s Central Military Commission adopted a new strategy for the People’s Liberation Army, titled the ‘military strategic guidelines for the new era.’ This was consistent with the past but framed by Xi’s political consolidation, growing threats from the United States and Taiwan, and a new military structure. This article documents the strategy and asks what would drive a more fundamental adjustment. It concludes that the strategy reflected a determination to focus the PLA on the necessary and the achievable, but a new direction could be influenced by changes in the strategic landscape, rapid modernization, or new operational concepts.