While we are still learning the details of last weekend’s mutiny by Yevgeny Prigozhin’s Wagner Group, there is understandable hope that the chaos in Russia might hasten the end of the war in Ukraine. But it is just as likely, perhaps more so, that the Wagner mutiny created conditions that could actually prolong the war.
Two factors will have significant implications for the future of France’s military intervention in the Sahel and the region’s fight against violent Islamist extremists: Niger’s emerging role as the linchpin of France’s reconfigured strategy and the diplomatic tensions that have emerged in recent years between Niger and Mali.
The short-lived Wagner mutiny in Russia last weekend may not demonstrate that President Vladimir Putin’s grip on power has been weakened. But it does demonstrate that the power of the Russian state he is gripping has been weakened and is an indication of how Putin’s regime is stoking dangerous tensions within Russia’s elite.
Germany’s recently released National Security Strategy serves as a roadmap for the so-called Zeitenwende, or turning point, in Berlin’s national security posture following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. But the painstaking effort that went into preparing it brought to light the challenges Germany faces in developing a “strategic culture.”
The current conflict in Sudan between the armed forces and the RSF paramilitary group is a security and humanitarian crisis. But more importantly, it is a political crisis, one that grows out of the failure to build a sustainable democratic transition after the removal of former dictator Omar al-Bashir from power in April 2019.
Almost two and a half years since the February 2021 coup, Myanmar’s military junta is losing control of much of the country. Having already lost large swathes of territory to ethnic militias and People’s Defense Militias, it now faces threats even in the biggest cities, where it had until recently maintained a degree of brutal control.
Ukraine has called for an ICC investigation into the bursting of the Kakhovka dam as an act of “ecocide.” But if the ICC does frame the intentional breaching of the dam as an attack on the natural environment rather than on civilians, the relevant rules of international law would not make such a prosecution a simple matter.
Since 2021, Benin has been battling a violent jihadist insurgency in the north of the country, fueled by a complex mix of political marginalization, religious ideology and intercommunal conflicts. Unfortunately, in doing so, it is repeating the same mistakes made over the past decade by its West African neighbors, Mali and Burkina Faso.
What happens in Ukraine will not stay in Ukraine. That is the essence of an argument commonly made for why the U.S. must support Kyiv in resisting Russian aggression: A failure to stop Russia will give other powers the impression that they can pursue their interests with aggressive impunity. But is that really the case?
Peace talks between the Ethiopian government and rebels from the country’s Oromia region ended in April without an agreement to halt their hostilities. Since the end of the Tigray war in November 2022, the fighting in Oromia has escalated. The stakes are high, raising questions about Ethiopia’s territorial integrity and stability.
A gathering crescendo of voices calling for Ukraine to join NATO had raised hopes among some observers that Kyiv might be offered membership at the alliance’s summit next month. Those hopes have been dashed by recent comments from French and German officials. But despite arguments to the contrary, Ukraine should join NATO immediately.