Russia

Could the Arctic Thaw U.S.-Russia Relations?

Blake Franko

This week, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and his Russian counterpart, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, will be meeting in Alaska to discuss topics of mutual concern in the Arctic. After a tumultuous start to relations with the new administration, there could be…


Rising NATO Tensions and Russia’s Military Disneyland

Nicholas Varangis

Explosions send fire through the air, aircraft drone overhead, tanks rumble across the cratered ground, and machine guns chatter in murderous conversation on a chaotic battlefield. Yet the five thousand spectators watching the carnage make sure that this spectacle is not mistaken…


Book Review: @War: The Rise of the Military-Internet Complex

Albin Aronsson

Shane Harris, @War: The Rise of the Military-Internet Complex (Eamon Dolan/Mariner Books, 2015), 288 pp., $15.95. The fifth domain is here. The Pentagon recently added it to the other four domains of warfare, but cyber has been around for quite some time….


The NATO-Russia Exercise Gap… Then, Now, & 2017

Ian Brzezinski and Nicholas Varangis

Military exercises are a critical means of testing, refining and demonstrating readiness for combat operations. In February 2015, we published a chart comparing the magnitudes of military exercises conducted by NATO and Russia. The contrast was jarring, with Russian exercises dwarfing those of…


Russia Has Been Reading the Art of War

Blake Franko

Last week, the New York Times ran a news story on inflatable jets and missile launchers being added to the Kremlin’s arsenal. Using balloons as weapons of war may sound strange and lead one to think Moscow has concocted a novel method of…


The Lasting Impact of the AK-47

Blake Franko

A few days ago, fighters from the Free Syrian Army ran American special-operations forces out of a town near the Turkish border, hurling insults like “infidels,” “crusaders,” “dogs” and “pigs.” These fighters, who are actively benefiting from U.S. support, brandished the most…


How Karimov’s Death will Test Russia-China Relations

Blake Franko

Islam Karimov, the leader of Uzbekistan since 1989, has officially been pronounced dead, ending a days-long Schrödinger dilemma. The ensuing power vacuum and leadership scramble will lay bare the true nature of the indeterminate Russia-China nexus. Between the coup attempt in Turkey, Chinese…


What is Russia’s East Asian Arctic Strategy?

John-Daniel Kelley

The Kremlin’s Arctic strategy is far less confrontational and aggressive than initially perceived. Russia is leveraging its expertise in the region to foster better relations with East Asian states, as part of its own pivot to Asia. Over the last few years,…


Implications for Russia’s Syria Withdrawal

John-Daniel Kelley

The announcement of a withdrawal of most of the Russian military forces in Syria likely indicates the Kremlin’s willingness for a political solution to the conflict.  The US and its allies should use the resumption of the peace talks in Geneva to ensure Russian…


Good News NATO: Central Asia may be Russia’s Next Target

Blake Franko

Russian President Vladimir Putin’s intervention in Syria has been a nuisance to US policy makers’ plans for the Middle East: With Russian sorties now supporting government advances, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s hold on power appears secure. However, the Turkish shoot down of…