National Security Podcast: Great power competition with Ali Wyne – Policy Forum

In this episode of the National Security Podcast, Katherine Mansted speaks to Ali Wyne about why great powers compete, how China, Russia, and the United States are shaping the global system, and whether their behaviour is making the post-COVID-19 world more dangerous. Is competition between great powers destined to be fraught with the risk of [...]

Armenian-Azerbaijani Border Clashes: The Russian Dimension and Beyond – Jamestown

Following the outbreak of deadly Armenian-Azerbaijani border clashes on July 12 (see EDM, July 14, 16, 20 [1][2]), Russia’s state energy giant Gazprom reported that its local natural gas pipelines in Armenia were damaged, due to the shelling (TASS, RBC, July 14). Furthermore, the Moscow-led Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) announced a meeting, at the [...]

The Renewed Dependency on Mercenary Fighters – DER SPIEGEL

Increasingly, governments that are involved in military conflicts are turning not to their own countrymen, but are instead relying on foreigners who they pay as mercenaries. Countries like Turkey, the United Arab Emirates, Russia and Iran are ignoring other countries' borders and sovereignty, sending hired guns into foreign countries because they don't like the regime [...]

Putin’s Constitutional Tsarism | by Anastasia Edel | The New York Review of Books

... if history offers any lessons, this attempt at greatness will last no longer than the false covenants and official statues every autocracy erects, for they fail in their fundamental goal: improving the lives of the people. The legacy of Stalin and Lenin is not a socialist empire but the graves of millions, murdered and [...]

Disentangling the security traffic jam in the Sahel: constitutive effects of contemporary interventionism | International Affairs | Oxford Academic

Despite years of ongoing interventions by multiple external and regional actors, the security situation in west Africa's Sahel region is dramatically deteriorating. In this introduction to the special section of the July 2020 issue of International Affairs, we zoom in on four major external international intervention actors (France, the United States, the European Union and [...]

Who Guards the ‘Maritime Silk Road’? – War on the Rocks

As China expands its global maritime interests, all eyes are on its navy. But Western policymakers concerned over China’s military capabilities and expanding geopolitical role are missing another security solution altogether: Chinese private maritime security companies. Little is known about them, though it appears that the few companies with a public web presence primarily operate [...]

The Limitations of a NATO-Middle East Military Cooperation – Carnegie Endowment for International Peace

The U.S. government should realign its objectives towards the Atlantic Alliance in the Middle East with the reality of NATO’s regional engagement. Given the limitations of NATO’s military cooperation—however, small successes it has yielded—and its security assistance, it should not expect to decisively impact the military effectiveness of Middle Eastern partners. But NATO has and [...]

Looking at War Across 2,500 Years – The New York Times

I think the United States was right to invade Afghanistan after 9/11 (yet wrong to stay any longer than six months). But even as I differed with his words, I was glad to read them. Edstrom is asking hard questions that both the American people and their leaders have sidestepped for years. For example, he [...]