Analysis + Opinion | 2022

 
BRAHMOS missile launchers

Analysis + Opinion

May 17, 2022

Enhancing strategic stability in Southern Asia

USIP

Over the past decade, long-standing disputes between the nuclear-armed states of Southern Asia have repeatedly veered into deeper hostility and violence. These regional developments reflect and reinforce new and significant geopolitical shifts, starting with the global strategic competition between China and the United States.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, left, and Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman speak before a meeting in Jiddah, Saudi Arabia, April 28, 2022.

Analysis + Opinion

May 17, 2022

Let’s not grant Saudi Arabia a blank check for American support

Trita Parsi and Steven SimonThe American Prospect

In the view of Saudi Arabia and Israel, the presumed benefits of a binding US defense commitment just weren’t worth the cost. Washington might want to take a page from their book and think twice before limiting its own military options and shouldering greater obligations as storm clouds gather in Europe and Asia.

War tank

Analysis + Opinion

May 13, 2022

The Russo-Ukrainian war’s dangerous slide into total societal conflict

Jonathan Shimshoni and Ariel E LeviteNational Interest

The crisis in and over Ukraine, which is deeply rooted in conflicting societal perceptions of NATO’s expansion and the Westernization of Ukraine, is now increasingly sliding into an actual major societal confrontation. The three main actors—Russia, Ukraine, and the West—are pursuing victory by impacting all three societies, aiming to undermine adversaries and mobilize their citizens and those of their allies.

John Tirman

Analysis + Opinion

May 10, 2022

The clashing narratives that keep the US and Iran at odds

Iran and the United States have sharply different national narratives, and that is one dominant reason why they have such difficulty talking to each other, much less agreeing on important matters like nuclear weapons. These narratives are, moreover, steeped in images and practices of violence, undermining any kind of conciliation.

US Vice President Kamala Harris

Analysis + Opinion

May 6, 2022

Why the US wants a ban on ASAT missile testing

Kunal SinghHindustan Times
Taylor Fravel

Analysis + Opinion

April 25, 2022

China and India need to reimagine what is possible on the border

Nayanima BasuThe Print

According to Taylor Fravel, China is now attempting to strengthen ties with India and a number of other developing countries as they have also not condemned Russia for its invasion of Ukraine.

Imran Khan

Analysis + Opinion

April 14, 2022

The American conspiracy against Pakistan that never existed

Maham JavaidBoston Globe

It took Imran Khan more than 20 years to become the prime minister of Pakistan. On Sunday, after a mere three and a half years in office, he became the first Pakistani prime minister to be voted out by a parliamentary no-confidence vote.

Erik Sand and Emily Holland

Analysis + Opinion

April 11, 2022

The latest round of sanctions on Russia

Erik Sand and Emily J Holland@ConvSix

Erik Sand PhD ’21, and research affiliate of CIS, discusses the impact of the latest round of sanctions on Russia. He is joined by his colleague Emily J Holland. Sand and Holland are assistant professors at the Naval War College.

Graphic picture of Putin with red handprint on face

Analysis + Opinion

April 10, 2022

Ukraine: Three divergent stands, three scenarios

Kunal SinghHindustan Times

The current war can end in three possible scenarios for Russian president Vladimir Putin. In each scenario, we will see that India and US interests are quite aligned.

A wall of gas masks.

Analysis + Opinion

April 7, 2022

The risk of Russian chemical weapons use

Doreen HorschigPolitical Violence at a Glance

Speculation that Russian President Vladimir Putin has or will use chemical weapons in Ukraine is growing. Russia’s efforts to block punishment for Syria’s use of chemical weapons confirms Putin’s sympathy for the weapons. And the Kremlin’s allegations of US chemical and biological weapons labs in Ukraine may end up serving as a pretense for Russia to use chemical weapons.

Picture of Putin

Analysis + Opinion

April 6, 2022

How the war complicates Biden's Iran diplomacy

John TirmanDAWN

One surprising aspect of the US-Russia relationship is how certain joint activities survived more general hostility, at least before Russia's invasion of Ukraine. One of those activities was diplomacy on the Iran nuclear program and efforts to restrain it, namely, the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, or JCPOA, the nuclear deal signed in 2015 from which Trump withdrew in 2018.

Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher

Analysis + Opinion

April 6, 2022

The Falklands War at 40: A lesson for our time

Robert RalstonResponsible Statecraft

This week marks the 40th anniversary of the Argentine invasion of the Falkland Islands (Islas Malvinas), sparking the beginning of a three-month long war with Great Britain. At a time when Europe is at risk of military conflict with Russia over Ukraine it is worth looking back at the lessons we can draw from this 40-year-old conflict.

A monument to an early Soviet Union-era tactical nuclear bomb in Moscow.Credit...Maxim Shipenkov/EPA, via Shutterstock

Analysis + Opinion

April 1, 2022

Why Putin went straight for the nuclear threat

Steven Simon and Jonathan StevensonNew York Times

Mr. Putin has presented strategists with a situation they haven’t really confronted: a rogue actor employing the threat of nuclear weapons for conquest rather than regime survival—the latter being a primary reason for countries like Iran, North Korea and Pakistan to build or deploy nuclear weapons.

The Russian Foreign Ministry headquarters in Moscow on Tuesday. Four more E.U. members announced they would expel Russian diplomats.Credit...Natalia Kolesnikova/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

Analysis + Opinion

March 29, 2022

Four EU countries expel dozens of Russian diplomats suspected of espionage.

Ada PetriczkoNew York Times

The authorities of Belgium, the Netherlands, Ireland and the Czech Republic announced on Tuesday that they were expelling a total of 43 Russian envoys, in what the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs said was a coordinated security effort to counter Russian espionage.

Ukrainian soldiers rest in Kyiv, Ukraine, after their day fighting out on the front lines north of the capital on Monday.Credit...Daniel Berehulak for The New York Times

Analysis + Opinion

March 28, 2022

A major Ukrainian internet provider reports a cyberattack.

Ada PetriczkoThe New York Times

Here’s what happened on day 33 of the war in Ukraine: President Biden said he was expressing his ‘moral outrage,’ not a policy change, when he said the Russian strongman should not be in power. Despite talk of Russia targeting the east of Ukraine, action on several battlefronts suggested a more dynamic and volatile situation.

U.S. troops based near Nuremberg, Germany, preparing earlier this month to transfer as part of NATO efforts to strengthen forces in Eastern Europe. Credit... Andreas Gebert/Reuters

Analysis + Opinion

March 24, 2022

NATO’s military presence in Eastern Europe has been building rapidly.

Ada PetriczkoNew York Times

Even before NATO officials announced plans on Wednesday to increase the alliance’s military strength in Eastern Europe, the allies had already stepped up the number of troops stationed in the region in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Headshots of Barry Posen and Stephen Rademaker

Analysis + Opinion

March 22, 2022

Ukraine war: Experts debate NATO's role

Barry Posen and Stephen RademakerMunk Debates

“For 20 years, we’ve basically dismissed Putin. We've treated Russian security interests as essentially a problem to be waved away. And we've continued in the direction that brought us here right now,” argues Posen. Rademaker disagrees, and explains that “what changed in Ukraine was a consequence of Russian policy, Russian bullying, and Russian mishandling of the relationship with their closest neighbor. That is not America's doing, that is not NATO's doing, that is Russia's doing.” 

war gaming table/board piece

Analysis + Opinion

March 21, 2022

Reviving war-game scholarship at MIT

Eyal HanflingMIT News

Political scientists are increasingly considering how the method of war gaming can be improved and used in research and pedagogy. For scholars of interstate war and nuclear weapons, war gaming is an especially promising research tool.

Volodymyr Zelenskyy paid a visit to the wounded defenders of Ukraine undergoing treatment at a military hospital. Credit: Україна

Analysis + Opinion

March 21, 2022

Here’s what Western leaders need to remember about Zelensky’s emotional appeals

Roger PetersenBulletin of the Atomic Scientists

The war in Ukraine is fought with bullets, bombs, and rockets—and also with images and words. At the center of this conflict, President Volodymyr Zelensky has strategically deployed the latter to trigger emotions among his fellow Ukrainians, Russian foes, and Western supporters.

screenshot of multiple cameras on tv show

Analysis + Opinion

March 21, 2022

Russian forces abducted four Ukrainian journalists, a union says.

Ada PetriczkoThe New York Times

Russian armed forces on Monday took four Ukrainian media workers from their homes in Melitopol, a city in southeastern Ukraine, the National Union of Journalists of Ukraine said in a news release.

A mural that read “Glory to Ukraine” hung near Warsaw’s Poniatowski Bridge on Sunday.Credit...Maciek Nabrdalik for The New York Times

Analysis + Opinion

March 20, 2022

Poland will propose a NATO peacekeeping mission for Ukraine at the alliance’s meeting this week.

Ada PetriczkoThe New York Times

Poland will formally propose a plan to organize an international peacekeeping mission in Ukraine at an emergency NATO summit in Brussels on Thursday, an idea that is at odds with the alliance’s official stance and one the United States rejected on Sunday.

Pasha Lee, photographed in uniform shortly before his death.

Analysis + Opinion

March 19, 2022

Ukraine’s celebrities are dying in the war, adding an extra dimension to the nation’s shock.

Matthew Mpoke Bigg and Ada PetriczkoThe New York Times

The war is reducing the distance between famous and ordinary Ukrainians because so many non-celebrities are making heroic sacrifices, said Oleksandra Matviichuk, head of Ukraine’s Center for Civil Liberties. It has also made many people focus on issues of life and death that eclipse focus on fame.

A Russian air strike on March 16 destroyed a theater in Mariupol, Ukraine, where hundreds of residents were hiding in a bomb shelter. The plight of people across Ukraine underscores the gruesome fate that civilians have faced during wars throughout history. (Donetsk Regional Civil-Military Administration/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock)

Analysis + Opinion

March 18, 2022

Five books that illuminate the agony and uncertainty of civilians caught in wars

John TirmanThe Washington Post

War brutalizes ordinary people, and our instinct may be to turn our heads, if only for self-preservation. At great risk, these authors have taken it upon themselves to immortalize this grim reality, so the world will not look away.  John Tirman explores five books that show the plight of civilians in wars.

Ukrainian refugees arriving at the main rail station in Wroclaw, Poland, this month.Credit...Aleksander Kozminski/EPA, via Shutterstock

Analysis + Opinion

March 18, 2022

Aid organizations say they are seeing signs of trafficking of people fleeing Ukraine.

Ada PetriczkoThe New York Times

Multinational and nongovernmental aid organizations are sounding the alarm about a potential increase in cases of sexual exploitation, human trafficking and child abuse, as the number of vulnerable people fleeing the war in Ukraine continues to rise.  Neuffer Fellow

Traffic near the Polish-Belarusian border in Kuznica, Poland, last year. Credit Maciek Nabrdalik for The New York Times

Analysis + Opinion

March 14, 2022

In Poland, protesters demand a ban on road cargo traffic between the EU and Russia and Belarus.

Ada PetriczkoNew York Times

Protesters have blocked a border crossing between Poland and Belarus for several days, in an attempt to stop cargo trucks that some say are headed for Ukraine via Belarus with supplies for the Russian army.

School children learned to protect themselves in case of nuclear attack by practicing a duck and cover drill in the classroom of their school.

Analysis + Opinion

March 12, 2022

Ukraine war revives anxiety about nuclear conflict

Brian MacQuarrie and Maham Javaid The Boston Globe

Putin has placed his country’s nuclear arsenal, the world’s largest, on high alert. And he has warned the West that joining the war in Ukraine would bring “consequences such as they have never seen in their history,” a not-so-veiled threat of nuclear conflict.

President Biden talking

Analysis + Opinion

March 11, 2022

We call on Biden to reject reckless demands for a no-fly zone

The Guardian

A war that expands beyond Ukraine’s borders could also inflict damage across Europe and weaken America’s Nato allies. We call upon the administration to avoid such a gambit and continue to use appropriate diplomatic means and economic pressure to end the conflict.

Headshot of John Tirman

Analysis + Opinion

March 11, 2022

Republicans will quit any nuclear deal with Iran, scholar predicts

Mohammad MazhariTehran Times

John Tirman, executive director and principal research scientist at the Center for International Studies, predicts that Republicans will pull Washington out of any possible deal with Iran inked in Vienna.

 

 

Ukrainians who fled fighting in various parts of the country at the train station in Lviv, in western Ukraine, on Wednesday.Credit...Brendan Hoffman for The New York Times

Analysis + Opinion

March 10, 2022

More than 80,000 people have been evacuated from areas near Kyiv and the city of Sumy.

Ada PetriczkoThe New York Times

What happened on Day 15 of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine: At least three cities in western and central Ukraine were hit. In besieged Mariupol, bodies are now being buried in trenches. President Biden will call for suspending normal trade relations with Russia.

A MIG-29 fighter jet of the Polish Air Force in Radom, Poland, in 2013.

Analysis + Opinion

March 9, 2022

Pentagon says Poland’s fighter jet offer is not ‘tenable.’

Ada PetriczkoNew York Times

The Pentagon on Tuesday rejected an offer from the Polish government to send its MiG-29 fighter planes to a United States air base in Germany for eventual use by Ukraine, a rare note of disunity between two NATO allies as they confront Russia.

Two men on the street outside a building with the exchange rate in neon signs

Analysis + Opinion

March 8, 2022

The Russian sanctions regime and the risk of catastrophic success

Erik Sand and Suzanne FreemanWar on the Rocks

Since the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Western governments have turned to economic sanctions as their principal response.  Erik Sand and Suzanne Freeman explore the potential consequences of sanctions and outcomes/responses by Putin and the West.

Refugees fleeing Russia's invasion of Ukraine in Lviv, March 2022 Kai Pfaffenbach / Reuters

Analysis + Opinion

March 8, 2022

How the war in Ukraine could get much worse

Emma Ashford and Joshua ShifrinsonForeign Affairs
Families fleeing Ukraine

Analysis + Opinion

March 8, 2022

For this border crisis, Poles extend a warm welcome, unlike last time.

Ada PetriczkoNew York Times

Years of nationalist, anti-refugee policies have left Poland with a fragmented immigration system. It’s now mostly up to citizens to handle what the UNHCR said was “the fastest growing refugee crisis in Europe since World War II."

Vladimir Medinsky gives a lecture on the 300th anniversary of the Russian Empire.  Text on the screen reads “Russia is a  multiethnic country.”

Analysis + Opinion

March 7, 2022

The ghosts of history haunt the Russia-Ukraine crisis

Elizabeth WoodBroadstreet

If we want to understand whether Putin has any commitment to these talks, we have to understand the view of both men (and many others) that Ukraine is not now nor should ever be an independent state.  And we have to wonder what it means that the man placed in charge of the negotiations from the Russian side has explicitly called the country he is negotiating with a “phantom.”

Barry Posen archived article image

Analysis + Opinion

March 4, 2022

From 1994: Posen's "A Defense Concept for Ukraine"

Barry PosenUkraine: Issues of Security

In 1994, SSP professor Barry Posen published "A Defense Concept for Ukraine" in the Russian language journal Ukraine: Issues of Security. Today, for the first time, Posen and SSP are publishing that plan in English. Given the ongoing war in Ukraine, and the apparent sturdiness of Ukrainian defense forces, it is a timely piece of analysis from the twilight of the Cold War.

Illustration of Putin with rockets

Analysis + Opinion

March 3, 2022

What Putin’s nuclear threats mean for the US

Caitlin TalmadgeWall Street Journal

Unfortunately for the US, Russia isn’t the only opponent that could use its nuclear arsenal as a shield for conventional aggression against third parties. China is in the midst of modernizing its nuclear forces, building better nuclear weapons in larger numbers than it ever has before.

Damage from a missile in an apartment building in Kyiv, Ukraine, Feb. 25.LYNSEY ADDARIO/NYT

Analysis + Opinion

March 1, 2022

Watching war in real time, one TikTok at a time

Maham JavaidThe Boston Globe

TikTok is undoubtedly playing multiple roles in this war. One of which is that the war and its accompanying acts of brutality are being documented and disseminated across the world.

People walking in front of the Russian Duma building in Moscow, on February 22.Credit...Sergei Ilnitsky/EPA, via Shutterstock

Analysis + Opinion

February 28, 2022

A few members of the Russian Parliament speak out against the war.

Ada PetriczkoThe New York Times

Three members of Russia’s rubber-stamp Parliament have criticized their country’s war in Ukraine, a rare episode of dissent from within the Russian establishment.  

Analysis + Opinion

February 28, 2022

Uncovering the strategic aspects of Sino-India ties

Sushant SinghCentre for Policy Research

In the third episode of a series, hosted by Sushant Singh (Senior Fellow, Centre for Policy Research), featuring leading experts on the various facets of Sino-India relations, Taylor Fravel discusses the strategic aspects of Sino-India relations.

Migrants seeking to enter Greece from Turkey, March 2020 Dimitris Tosidis / Xinhua / Eyevine / Redux

Analysis + Opinion

February 23, 2022

When migrants become weapons

Kelly M GreenhillForeign Affairs

Kelly M Greenhill explores how governments are using migrants and asylum seekers as "hybrid weapons" and explores the implications for this new era in international power politics. 

Russia and Ukraine flag with EU flag ripped in-between

Analysis + Opinion

February 22, 2022

Russia, Ukraine, and European security

Barry R PosenCATO

Barry Posen joined the show "Power Problems" hosted by CATO to discuss the crisis in Ukraine, the origins of the conflict, what diplomatic approaches are available, and how US strategy is pushing China and Russia together. 

Monument of Independence - a column with a figure of a woman with a branch of a guelder-rose on her hands. In the foreground the Ukrainian flag

Analysis + Opinion

February 19, 2022

To prevent war and secure Ukraine, make Ukraine neutral

Stephen Van EveraDefense Priorities

Stephen Van Evera lays out key points and argues that neutrality for Ukraine offers an answer to the intensified conflict with Russia. 

 Vladimir Putin, surrounded by top military officers and officials, tours a military flight test centre in Akhtubinsk on May 14, 2019. ALEXEY NIKOLSKY/AFP via Getty Images

Analysis + Opinion

February 19, 2022

Causing crisis works

Kelly M Greenhill and Joshua ShifrinsonForeign Policy

Greenhill and Shifrinson discuss a common theme developing where relatively week international actors escalate tensions and create a crisis—conventional, nuclear, and/or migration—and then offer to solve the problem in exchange for international concessions.

Ukraine and Russian flags on a cracked brick wall

Analysis + Opinion

February 15, 2022

Ukraine: Unleashing the rhetorical dogs of war

Barry R PosenJust Security

Barry Posen offers insight into the crisis at the Ukraine border and what might happen with a Russian invasion.

Ahmed Pesher said 23 members of his family were killed during fighting in March in Mosul, Iraq. A U.S. airstrike in the Islamic State stronghold allegedly killed more than 100 people. (Associated Press/File)

Analysis + Opinion

February 8, 2022

History as it happens: Invisible carnage

John TirmanWashington Times

Unlike in Korea, Vietnam and Cambodia, the US now subscribes to the notion of precision strikes that obviate the need for large-scale land invasions or carpet bombing in order to, for instance, assassinate the individual leaders of terrorist organizations hiding in lawless parts of Syria or Afghanistan. But the illusion of precision and expected failures in judgment in the “fog of war” has led to dozens of errant airstrikes, provoking an intense anti-American backlash among the populace.

Russian service members gather near armored vehicles during drills held by the Southern Military District at the Kadamovsky range in the Rostov region, January 27, 2022. (REUTERS/Sergey Pivovarov)

Analysis + Opinion

February 2, 2022

Putin’s misleading hairsplitting about who can join NATO

Polygraph.info

“While Russia should not be allowed to veto Ukraine’s hypothetical membership in NATO, there is, in fact, no NATO open-door policy — at least not on the unconditional terms that are often implied when that concept is invoked,” ... O’Hanlon and Van Evera argued that Article 10 is conditional: “New members can join NATO only if their membership would enhance regional security.”

President Putin and President Biden seated and talking

Analysis + Opinion

January 25, 2022

US public prefers diplomacy over war on Ukraine

Robert RalstonResponsible Statecraft

While surveys are snapshots in time and question wording varies from survey to survey, recent results suggest that the public prefers diplomacy to military action if Russia invades Ukraine.

The US flag against a stormy skycape

Analysis + Opinion

January 13, 2022

We need to think the unthinkable about our country

Jonathan Stevenson and Steven SimonNew York Times

Scholars of American politics need to pick up the torch from experts on the democratic decline in Europe, who first raised the alarm about growing dangers to American politics. The very process of intellectual interaction and collaboration among influential analysts of different political stripes could reconcile many of them to the undesirability of political upheaval, and thus decrease its likelihood. 

US troops in Afghanistan

Analysis + Opinion

January 2, 2022

Letting go of Afghanistan: Presidents Biden and Trump were right

Barry PosenThe National Interest

The carnival of recrimination that erupted since the collapse of the Afghan government serves mainly to cover the tracks of years of US mistakes and set the stage for future misguided interventions.