In August, the U.S. military announced a plan to reduce civilian casualties, embedding it as a concern at every level of preparation and operations. But the U.S. has always professed to take civilian casualties seriously, which raises the question of why it is now issuing a formal plan to do so and what changes might result from it.
A suspected Russian intelligence operation on the soil of NATO ally Albania may have been the first direct confrontation between NATO and Russia since Putin’s forces invaded Ukraine six months ago. If so, it could force the United States to act in some manner, given its past promises to respond to a threat on NATO soil.
In the immediate aftermath of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, many military analysts found that their prewar predictions about the Russian military’s performance were wildly off the mark. Even if many had expressed doubts about Russia’s ability to sustainably achieve its strategic objectives in Ukraine, most experts shared the widespread expectation that the superior firepower and mobility of Russian forces’ combined arms operations would quickly overwhelm the Ukrainian military. In the months since then, endless post-mortems have dissected the particular Russian blunders and Ukrainian successes that determined the course of the war’s first weeks, and why military analysts were unable to [...]