Russia

Namejs versus Zapad: Military Exercises on Both Sides of the Frontline

Autumn is for military exercises. In September two major exercises have occurred in relative close geographic proximity, one in Latvia and the other in western Russia and Belarus. Latvia’s annual large-scale exercise Namejs 2021 kicked off on August 30...

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Foreign Competition in Guinea: The Scramble for Natural Resources

Often referred to as Guinea-Conakry to distinguish itself from nearby Guinea-Bissau and Equatorial Guinea, as well as the Pacific Island nation of Papua New Guinea, the West African nation of Guinea has an abundance of the world’s most valuable...

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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...

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Russia’s Forever Wars: Syria and the Pursuit of Great Power Status

September 2021 marks the sixth anniversary of the Russian Federation’s intervention in the Syrian civil war. A patient, flexible strategy set against irresolute and muddled Western strategies allowed Moscow to achieve its initial aim of preventing the fall of...

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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...

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Dueling Dyads: Conceptualizing Proxy Wars in Strategic Competition

Strategic competition with the Russian Federation and People’s Republic of China has become the new orienting challenge for the U.S. national security community. While many officials and writers envision strategic competition across many domains, the increased likelihood of proxy...

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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...

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What Will the Terrorism Landscape Look Like in a Taliban-Led Afghanistan?

The Taliban’s recent capture of Kabul has the group poised to take back control over Afghanistan. Without question, a Taliban-led Afghanistan is going to be a hospitable operating environment for terrorists, insurgents, and militias of various stripes. But not...

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Does the Biden Administration Have a Eurasia Policy?

In the six months since President Joseph Biden assumed office, the White House has sought to re-assert a set of coherent policies for approaching key U.S. interests in Eurasia: supporting nascent democracies and democratic movements; containing Russia’s nuclear and...

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The Arctic: Global Warming and Heated Politics

The Arctic, a vast sea historically trapped in ice for most of the year, has long been an object of fascination for explorers. The search for a shortcut from Europe to Asia began as early as the 15th century...

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