All tagged Defense Policy
The Crimean Peninsula may have strategic significance for the Russian military, but Russian President Vladimir Putin can no longer play the Crimea card at home for political gain. Even though the 2014 annexation of Crimea resulted in a sharp increase in the Russian president’s approval ratings, five years on the matter has been overshadowed by widespread economic hardship.
Despite major conflicts between India and Pakistan, the one constant rule has been the sanctity of the de facto borders in the contested territory of Kashmir. Such an understanding has ensured that both nations, while heavily active on the border, dare not violate it whatsoever, to the extent that individuals meeting in border crossings into the region usually maintain cordial relations. However, India and Pakistan’s de facto policy on the Kashmir region has changed dramatically over the last few years, perhaps irrevocably.
The United States has officially announced that it is withdrawing from the Intermediate-range Nuclear Force Treaty in response to what it deems a “material breach” of the Treaty by the Russian Federation. Although the announcement marks the official loss of the Treaty, the unraveling of the INF has been years in the making. Although neither the United States nor Russia are yet able to agree upon who is to blame for the demise of the INF Treaty, there is no doubt that the next move is Moscow’s to make.
With a return to great power competition, national security priorities are shifting. States, rather than non-state actors like terrorist groups or insurgencies, are the primary security threat. The idea that security encompasses more than military and defense issues alone has returned. The security paradigm of the twenty-first century has expanded to nearly every facet of human life.
Both Europe and China recognize the potential for economic growth at home and abroad by bringing the two ends of Eurasia closer together. Yet Beijing and Brussels have diverging views for Eastern Europe and Central Asia and are poised to compete for infrastructure investment. Connectivity — and the means to control it — is the new currency of geopolitics.
Terms like strategic autonomy and defense union have become commonplace in the face of wavering American commitments to NATO and the transatlantic alliance. The shift in the discussion hints at a move towards greater European collective action on the world stage. With the resurgence of China, the return of Russia, the retreat of the United States, and the rise of the rest, Europe needs to define its own grand strategy.
As ISIS crumbles in the Levant and the variety of anti-ISIS operations reach their crescendo, the Syrian civil war appears to have acquired yet an additional degree of complexity—Operation Olive Branch, a Turkish military campaign against Syrian Kurdish forces and the Syrian Democratic Forces.