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Category: INSS Around the Web

June 15, 2022

What Next in Ukraine?

Five experts outline possible military, political, environmental, and socioeconomic scenarios

May 31, 2022

How the al-Qaeda–Taliban Alliance Survived

Al-Qaeda’s interactions with the Taliban have often been marked by mutual suspicion and mistrust, but both groups have adopted robust and ultimately successful approaches to manage these tensions. In particular, the relationship survived turbulent episodes from 2001 to 2011, and the two groups coordinated during the run-up to the Doha Agreement. This suggests that although al-Qaeda’s relationship with the Taliban may remain fraught, it will endure. It is unclear whether the Taliban will allow the group to use Afghan territory to support transnational terrorist operations. But the Taliban will likely be unable or unwilling to constrain al-Qaeda’s regional and international ambitions, and therefore will probably be a highly unreliable partner in any effort mounted by outside powers to do so.

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.

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 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.