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Category: INSS Around the Web

Nov. 2, 2022

Can the West Manage Russia’s Decline?

Success in long-term great power competition with China requires that Washington address the strategic implications of Russian decline with a calculus befitting today’s multipolar environment.

Oct. 21, 2022

Addressing the Threats of Emerging Biotechnologies

We have noted with interest the pivot in U.S. biodefense programs published in National Defense recently as the United States and other nations strive to keep pace with emerging biotechnology capabilities that complicate the threat landscape. We support such activities and propose some additional approaches toward threat mitigation that we believe are critical to national and global biosecurity and defense.

Oct. 11, 2022

As Russia Reels, Eurasia Roils

In trying and failing to reclaim Russian imperial influence over Ukraine, Moscow is actively accelerating the decline of its influence throughout Eurasia, including the former Soviet countries of the South Caucasus and Central Asia. Perceiving the fragility of Russian power, governments across the region have begun creating facts on the ground in ways that Russia’s post-imperial power long prevented.

Sept. 19, 2022

Deconstructing the Collapse of Afghanistan National Security and Defense Forces

The rapid collapse of Afghan National Defense and Security Forces (ANDSF) in August 2021 was widely anticipated and due to its structural constraints and qualitative decline from 2018–21. This article provides a targeted analysis of ANDSF operational liabilities and qualitative limitations, referencing often overlooked statements by US and Afghan political and military officials, data from official US government reports, and prescient NGO field analyses. The painful ANDSF experience illuminates several principles that must be considered as US policymakers turn toward security force assistance for proxy and surrogate military forces in conflict with the partners of America’s emerging great-power geostrategic competitors—China and Russia.

Sept. 7, 2022

The East Wind Prevails? Russia's Response to China's Eurasian Ambitions

Deference to Chinese aspirations in Eurasia is integral to Moscow’s pursuit of closer relations with Beijing. Yet China’s pursuit of regional, and ultimately global, influence is at odds with Russia’s longstanding ambition to maintain post-Soviet Eurasia as a strategic glacis and sphere of ‘privileged interests’. Russia has consequently sought to shape and channel Chinese engagement in line with its own interests, with mixed results. Disappointments with the effects of Chinese economic and political influence on Russian equities, limits on Sino–Russian coordination, and the interest of Eurasia’s smaller states contributed to a growing wariness on Russia’s part. The 2022 invasion of Ukraine and attendant confrontation with the West have left Russia more dependent on China, even as China itself has become more realistic about the prospects for Eurasian integration.

Aug. 26, 2022

Deconstructing the Collapse of Afghanistan National Security and Defense Forces

The rapid collapse of Afghan National Security and Defense Forces (ANDSF) in August 2021 was widely anticipated and due to its structural constraints and qualitative decline from 2018–21. This article provides a targeted analysis of ANDSF operational liabilities and qualitative limitations, referencing often overlooked statements by US and Afghan political and military officials, data from official US government reports, and prescient NGO field analyses. The painful ANDSF experience illuminates several principles that must be considered as US policymakers turn toward security force assistance for proxy and surrogate military forces in conflict with the partners of America’s emerging Great Power geostrategic competitors— China and Russia.

Aug. 17, 2022

Pushing Back Against China's New Normal in the Taiwan Strait

The key question moving forward is how to prevent China from making a more aggressive posture against Taiwan the new normal. More frequent Chinese exercises and incursions close to Taiwan should be monitored and, if necessary, thwarted, countered, or disrupted. If Chinese exercises involve military aircraft venturing into Taiwan’s airspace, for example, Taipei and Washington should consider measures to warn or intercept the Chinese planes. In response to the threat of a quarantine or blockade, Taipei needs to invest in appropriate capabilities and increase stockpiles of critical resources. Finally, larger, more frequent Chinese exercises around Taiwan would make determining China’s intentions more difficult. The United States and Taiwan should refine their approach to strategic warning, identifying indicators that can differentiate between a Chinese military exercise and preparations for an actual attack.

Aug. 1, 2022

Chinese Perspectives on US Strategy in Asia, 2017-2021

The architects of US strategy in Asia have advanced a bold vision for a "free and open Indo-Pacific" but have paid less attention to China's views and responses. This article surveys perceptions of Chinese strategists toward the Trump administration's regional approach, arguing that China's analytic community came to see US strategy as largely focused on the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue.

July 15, 2022

The War in Ukraine and Eurasia's New Imperial Moment

Eurasia contains four states whose leaders portray their countries as the center of distinct regional orders, consciously evoking their imperial history as a justification to be something greater than ordinary states. China, Iran, Russia and Turkey are thus at least in part “revisionist” powers. Unless Russia’s imperial war in Ukraine is soundly defeated, the world should be prepared for further bouts of Eurasian empire rebuilding.

June 15, 2022

What Next in Ukraine?

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