Strategic Horizons: In Ukraine, Russia Reveals Its Mastery of Unrestricted Warfare

Russia is on the hunt again, determined to engulf another part of Ukraine. Moscow’s complex, multidimensional offensive uses intimidation, misinformation and any organization or group that can serve its interests. For a beleaguered Ukraine, pressure is coming in many ways and from many directions. And that is exactly what Vladimir Putin intends. Moscow has adopted, even mastered, a form of unrestricted warfare.

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Global Insights: Modernization Leaves Russia’s Military Improved but Limited

With Russian forces massed on the Ukrainian border, a key question is how effective Russia’s military has become after a half-decade of modernization efforts. The takeover of Crimea proceeded with little bloodshed, but any attempt to occupy more territory in eastern Ukraine would likely be met with resistance. Russia would probably still win, but the true strength of the Russian military remains uncertain.

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Pressure Mounts as Deadline for EU-Africa Trade Talks Looms

By Stephen R. Hurt
, on , Briefing

The first EU-Africa summit since 2010 was held in Brussels this month. Much of the media focus leading up to the summit was on Robert Mugabe’s failed bid to instigate a boycott of the meeting by African leaders. Beyond these headlines, however, trade relations between the two parties continue to be one of pressing importance, with negotiations for Economic Partnership Agreements one of the most divisive issues. more

The Realist Prism: West’s Tactical Blunders on Ukraine Go Unquestioned

By Nikolas Gvosdev
, on , Column

A Communist Party deputy who was attacked earlier this week as he addressed Ukraine’s parliament raised some uncomfortable points that Western policymakers need to consider about their response to the crisis in Ukraine. By driving Ukraine’s elected president out of office, protesters created the conditions for other aggrieved parties in Ukraine—and Russia—to use similar tactics to advance their own interests. more

NSA Leaks Fallout Will Fade Faster Than Hit to U.S. Pride

By James Andrew Lewis
, on , Briefing

Americans are having a hard time coming to terms with the effect of Snowden’s leaks and the damage they have done to America’s status in the world. In part, U.S. leaders do not want to admit that the leaks were merely the final straw for the growing discontent with American global leadership that predated Snowden and has many causes. The unipolar moment was never popular—the leaks confirm that it is over. more

Appearance of Partisan Tensions Masks Broad Agreement on Missile Defense

By Eric Auner
, on , Trend Lines

Russian actions in Ukraine have injected new urgency, and partisan vitriol, into the debate over U.S. plans to deploy ballistic missile defense systems in Europe. But beneath the surface, many of the most fundamental issues relating to U.S. missile defense plans seem to be politically uncontroversial, even as technical experts continue to question whether U.S. systems will actually perform as designed. more

Hungary Risks Putinization, Isolation After Orban Re-Election

By Andrew MacDowall
, on , Briefing

“The outcome of the elections is an obvious, unambiguous mandate for us to continue what we have begun.” So said Hungary’s populist Prime Minister Viktor Orban after his Fidesz party trounced the left-liberal opposition in an April poll that also saw the vote share of the far right top 20 percent. The continuation might entail more of Orban’s centralizing and nationalist policies, as well a tilt toward Russia. more

Global Insider: After Winning Big, Serbia’s Progressives May Take on Political Risks—and Rewards—Alone

By The Editors
, on , Trend Lines

Last month, Serbia held parliamentary elections in which the conservative and pro-EU Progressive party won a decisive majority in the legislature. In an email interview, Marlene Spoerri, U.N. officer at Independent Diplomat who has done research on democracy promotion and post-conflict statebuilding in the Western Balkans, explained what led to the victory and what comes next. more

Global Insider: Ukraine Crisis Forces Sweden to Re-Evaluate Defense

By The Editors
, on , Trend Lines

Russia’s annexation of Crimea has rekindled discussion in Sweden about raising military spending and, potentially, pushing for NATO membership. In an email interview, Jan Joel Andersson, senior research fellow and head of the North America Program at the Swedish Institute of International Affairs, explained Sweden’s defense posture and how it may change after the Ukraine crisis. more

The Realist Prism: U.S. Unwilling to Give or Take on Ukraine

By Nikolas Gvosdev
, on , Column

It was no surprise when last Sunday’s emergency meeting in Paris between U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov ended inconclusively. The U.S. is not prepared to cut a 19th-century-style deal with Moscow, but neither has it articulated a 21st-century response that would change Russia’s calculus. The U.S. seems unwilling to make a grand bargain or to reverse Russian gains. more

EU Takes Critical Next Step in Banking Union

By Milton Ezrati
, on , Briefing

The EU has at last proposed what it calls the “second pillar” of its banking union. The first pillar includes banking reform proposals aimed at reducing risk in the financial system. This next step proposes a mechanism should the authorities have to deal with bank failures. Matters on either proposal are far from settled. But there is no denying that Europe has taken significant steps toward financial security. more

Special Report: The Ukraine Crisis’ Regional Fallout

By The Editors
, on , Report

The effects of Russia’s military takeover of Crimea are being felt far beyond Ukraine’s now-disputed borders. The crisis has put a spotlight on NATO, placing it once again at the center of European security discussions. For Russia, the move into Ukraine comes with great risk, as Moscow’s control of European energy supplies has weakened in recent years while a long-running military modernization program has yet to transform Russian forces. And in Washington, next steps depend on an assessment of exactly where U.S. interests lie. This special report reviews the key regional actors in the Ukraine crisis through recently published articles. more