The Russia-Ukraine war has provided the U.S. military with valuable lessons, and the Ukrainian army’s successes validate much of the U.S. military’s doctrine and operational art. Yet there is also cause for concern: The U.S. might be well-prepared for the kind of war Russia has fought in Ukraine, but it is poorly provisioned for it.
War & Conflict Archive
The news that Saudi Arabia and Iran reestablished diplomatic relations in a deal mediated by China startled observers around the world. Beyond the question of whether it will hold, the agreement raises another important question: Does it signify a shift by Saudi Arabia away from its alignment with the U.S. to one with China?
Saudi Arabia, Iran and China Offer the U.S. a Lesson in Pragmatism
Rather than signaling a definitive resolution of their broader conflict, Saudi Arabia and Iran’s agreement to reestablish diplomatic ties can be read as Riyadh’s response to what it sees as lukewarm support by the U.S. on countering Tehran. It is also a pragmatic move by China to safeguard its interests in the Middle East.
Despite the challenges that technological innovations like artificial intelligence and autonomous drones pose to governance and society, they will continue to emerge. In the absence of any global agreement, there is still an opportunity for governments to seize on the benefits these advances might bring, while encouraging their ethical and democratic use.
Estonian Prime Minister Kaja Kallas’ center-right coalition won a landslide victory in the country’s parliamentary election, with the Russia-Ukraine conflict a salient part of her campaign. The results were interesting not only because of Kallas’ sweeping win, but also for the drop in support for other established parties.
Hundreds of thousands of Israelis have joined large-scale, unprecedented protests against the government’s attempts to pass legislation that would undermine judicial independence and weaken vital checks and balances. The historic nature of the ongoing protests, and what they portend for the future of the Jewish state, is inescapable.
Washington’s seemingly unconditional support for Israel stretches back across presidential administrations, and one could be forgiven for thinking that the bond between the U.S. and Israel is “unbreakable.” But it does have limits. What would it take, then, for Israel to bring the era of unquestioned U.S. support to an end?
President Joe Biden’s first priority upon taking office was to reassure U.S. allies of America’s ongoing security commitments, promising that “America is back.” Despite some missteps along the way, that effort has paid off during the current standoff with Russia over Ukraine. But Biden still has a lot of work to do when it comes to shoring up America’s security partnerships to deal with a rising China.
European officials are whispering nervously about this week’s reports that a pro-Ukraine group, and not Russia, may have been behind the bombing of the Nord Stream pipeline. Should that be proven, it would create an immensely awkward diplomatic headache for Europe, particularly the countries through which the pipeline passes.
The European Union’s integration has often been driven by crisis. At the same time, not every problem confronting European policymakers has led to further integration. It is only when specific external threats become intertwined with tensions inside the EU that a moment of crisis can present policymakers with an existential choice.
Since taking office last year, South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol has worked to improve ties with both the U.S. and China, in part by trying to focus their energies on managing North Korea. But pressure is now mounting on Seoul to clarify where it stands in terms of its readiness to help defend Taiwan in the event of a Chinese attack.
Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni has largely chosen caution over confrontation in Rome’s foreign policy. But when it comes to Italy’s position on the war in Ukraine, and by extension its bilateral relationship with Russia, her administration’s emphasis on continuity seems to be diverging from domestic public opinion.
In January, the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists set their “Doomsday Clock” to 90 seconds before midnight, in an assessment of how close the world is to “global catastrophe”—the prospect of nuclear war. Three recent events over the past few weeks have reinforced the idea that the world is entering a dangerous era of nuclear risk.
Following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in 2022, Western governments realized that they had overestimated the power of the Russian state and underestimated the resilience of Ukraine’s. Governments must examine why certain flawed paradigms proved so persistent, in order to avoid similar miscalculations in the future.
Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February 2022 upended international politics, and seriously affected China’s strategic calculations. Beijing is now scrambling to limit the fallout of the conflict on its core strategic and economic interests, and with the prospects of a clear Russian victory waning by the day, China faces a dilemma.