A civil-military relations crisis in the U.S. is actually the latest in a recent series of similar crises affecting the world’s major powers, including Russia and China. That raises the question: Is this simply a random series of unconnected events that all just happen to center around defense ministers? Or is there a deeper cause?
Kyiv’s reaction to a recent report showing that an errant Ukrainian missile was likely responsible for a deadly strike on a Ukrainian town highlighted its defensiveness in response to human rights critiques of its war effort. While this is unsurprising and even understandable, it is not actually needed and may hurt more than it helps.
Many observers have turned a critical eye to pre-invasion predictions about Russia’s war on Ukraine, given how wrong they turned out to be. But the reason they were wrong is inherent to the nature of warfare itself. Our ability to accurately predict the course of a war is compromised by the inherent uncertainty of war.
In the two decades before invading Ukraine, as Russia attempted to project power around the globe, Moscow quietly boosted its military ties and diplomatic engagement in Southeast Asia. Now, however, that influence seems to be dramatically fading, largely cutting Moscow out of a critical region in global politics.
Last week, Armenia held joint military exercises with U.S. troops for the first time. Remarkable in and of themselves, the exercises were even more noteworthy because they followed a series of other recent developments that have underscored the degree to which Armenia’s relations with Russia have deteriorated in recent years.
Soon after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Georgia applied for membership in the EU. But it’s becoming increasingly unclear whether the current government under the Georgia Dream party is genuinely interested in joining the bloc. Some argue that, to the contrary, the party is intent on putting Georgia fully in Russia’s orbit.
In early June, Ukrainian forces launched a long-anticipated, large-scale counteroffensive into Russian-controlled territory in the eastern portions of Ukraine. From the beginning, the fog of war surrounding developments on the ground has been thick, raising understandable questions, perhaps most importantly: Is it succeeding?
A group of five will soon be a concert of eleven. At last week’s summit of the BRICS nations, Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa agreed to invite Ethiopia, Argentina, Iran, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates to officially join the group on Jan. 1, 2024. The expanded BRICS shows its members’ dissatisfaction with the Western-led economic and political order.