Special Reports

Special Reports provide in-depth analysis on a particular topic or issue and provide policy recommendations.

The Shanghai Cooperation Organization Will Not Fill Any Vacuum in Afghanistan

In recent weeks, observers worldwide have debated whether or not China will fill the multiple ‘vacuums’ that the withdrawal of U.S. troops has left in Afghanistan. Some expect Beijing to fill a "financial vacuum" by investing heavily in the...

Read more »

Zapad 2021 and Russia’s Potential for Warfighting

  According to press information, on 10 September 2021, the Russian Armed Forces plan to start the one-week-long active phase of this year’s annual strategic-level exercise (STRATEX), Zapad (West) 2021, a bilateral large-scale Russo-Belorussian strategic-level exercise, primarily in Belarus and Russia’s...

Read more »

Engaging Russia over Syria: Managing Peripheral Conflict and Narrowing Interests

  Executive Summary The United States is examining how to narrow core objectives in the Middle East to focus on improving military readiness and increasing the number of low-density, high-demand assets available for deployment in Asia and Europe. To...

Read more »

Where are the Carriers? U.S. National Strategy and the Choices Ahead

  Executive Summary As the United States seeks to prepare for a potential conflict with a peer-level adversary, the debate around the utility of the aircraft carrier—and its role in such a contingency—once again has resurfaced. Since the carrier’s...

Read more »

Forceful Displays and Soft Rhetoric: Central Asia’s Response to Developments in Afghanistan

The swift fall of the Afghan government and Taliban takeover over the past few weeks poses challenges for the countries to the north. Central Asian governments desire a stable and secure government in Afghanistan that can prevent the spillover...

Read more »

Russia’s Coercive Diplomacy: Why Did the Kremlin Mass Its Forces Near Ukraine This Spring?

  Introduction During March and April 2021, the Russian military conducted a large-scale buildup in its regions bordering Ukraine, including Crimea, which Russia annexed in 2014. Scores of videos appeared on TikTok, Telegram, Twitter, and other social media sites...

Read more »

Reframing Russia’s Afghanistan Policy

As the deadline for the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan looms, the Taliban has gone on the offensive, capturing over fifty additional districts in the country since May 2021. Several hundred Afghan soldiers have fled the country crossing to its...

Read more »

Reconceptualizing Lithuania’s Importance for U.S. Foreign Policy

  This report is part of FPRI’s collaboration with Eastern Europe Studies Centre in Vilnius, Lithuania and can also be viewed here   Executive Summary  During the immediate post-Cold War period, the importance of Lithuania, along with other Central-Eastern...

Read more »

How to Recalibrate U.S. Policy in the Middle East

  Executive Summary Changes in the Middle East have not been sufficiently accounted for in U.S. policy towards the region. Instead, policy has lagged, grounded in anachronism. This report provides five policy recommendations to fix this problem: focus Middle...

Read more »

Understanding Russia’s Cyber Strategy

The Russian Federation’s willingness to engage in offensive cyber operations has caused enormous harm, including massive financial losses, interruptions to the operation of critical infrastructure, and disruptions of crucial software supply chains. The variety and frequency of these operations,...

Read more »