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Category: INSS Around the Web

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.

March 7, 2022

Can the West Apply Enough Pressure to End the War in Ukraine Without Further Provoking Vladimir Putin?

The U.S. and its allies should begin thinking now about what an acceptable diplomatic outcome would look like.

Feb. 10, 2022

Putin Likes to Talk About Russians and Ukrainians as "One People." Here's the Deeper History

For centuries, Moscow has worried that foreign powers are scheming to separate Ukraine from Russia.

Jan. 27, 2022

Regional Competition and the Future of Russia-Turkey Relations

Western observers are increasingly worried and puzzled by the apparent rapprochement between Vladimir Putin’s Russia and Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s Turkey, which is taking place despite an escalating Russo-Turkish competition for influence extending from North Africa through southeastern Europe and the Caucasus to Central Asia.

Jan. 26, 2022

Updating Defeat Mechanisms

“The advocates of Maneuver Warfare claimed all the positive virtues of operational art and castigated attrition as the artless application of raw force.”

Jan. 26, 2022

Great Power Competition and Beijing's Olympic Moment

Despite unmistakable structural similarities in the geopolitical environment, the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics that begin on February 4th will not become Berlin 1936. There will be no post-Olympic pause, no global goodwill bounce, and no thaw in Sino-American tensions after these Winter Olympic games because China does not aim for these outcomes.

Jan. 13, 2022

Turkey Could Lose Big in the Russia-Ukraine Standoff

Conflict could topple Ankara’s delicate balancing act between NATO and Russia.

Jan. 11, 2022

Defeat Mechanisms in Modern Warfare

This podcast explores the current debate about service and Joint operating concepts, starting with the Army’s multi-domain operations concept. It argues for adaptations to an old operational design technique—defeat mechanisms; updates to Joint and service planning doctrine; and discipline regarding emerging concepts. Rather than debate over attrition versus maneuver, combinations of a suite of defeat mechanisms should be applied to gain victory in the future.

Nov. 16, 2021

Russia in the Era of Great Power Competition

Russia has come to occupy an anomalous position in Western strategic thought. While former US president Barack Obama dismissed Russia as a “regional power” following its 2014 occupation of Crimea and invasion of eastern Ukraine, both the Trump and Biden administrations have identified Russia as one of the United States’ principal rivals in an era defined by strategic competition among great powers. To a significant degree, though, the United States continues to think about Russia as more of a disruptor than a true great power rival. Though widespread, that view misreads both the nature and the durability of Russian power and underestimates the extent to which Russia remains a potent competitor whose preferences Western leaders will have to take into account.

Nov. 3, 2021

Extending that "Loving Feeling" to Undersea Warfare

It is time to extend that “loving feeling” to submarine warfare — including, and perhaps especially, to the submarine forces of U.S. allies and partners in the Indo-Pacific region.