WORLD ROUNDUPRisks of Escalation in Ukraine | Defeating China’s Navy | Rare Ebola Outbreak, and more

Published 21 September 2022

·· Putin’s Energy War Is Crushing Europe
Factories, businesses, and families across Europe are battling for survival

··  Playing With Fire in Ukraine
The risk of catastrophic escalation should be taken more seriously

·· Colombia’s Peace Chief Meets with FARC Dissidents
Completing Colombia’s peace process

·· As Turkey Backs Azerbaijan’s Recent Strikes on Armenian Towns, Where Are Russia, the EU, and the U.S.?
The temptation to take full advantage of perceived military superiority

·· Defeat China’s Navy, Defeat China’s War Plan
U.S. needs a better strategy to defeat Chinas navy

·· Germany’s Energy Crisis Plan Contradicts Itself
You cannot conserve gas and subsidize it at the same time

··  Outbreak of Rare Ebola Strain Declared in Uganda
Existing vaccines unlikely to protect against new virus

Putin’s Energy War Is Crushing Europe  (Christina Lu, Foreign Policy)
The big question is whether it ends up undermining support for Ukraine.

Playing With Fire in Ukraine (John J. Mearsheimer. Foreign Affairs)
The underappreciated risks of catastrophic escalation.

Colombia’s Peace Chief Meets with FARC Dissidents  (Agence France-Presse / VOA News)
Colombia’s peace commissioner has met with leaders of a major dissident faction of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) in a possible step towards peace talks, both sides said in a published statement.
Latin America’s most fearsome guerrilla group, FARC signed a peace deal with the state in 2016 to end more than half a century of armed conflict.
But some guerrillas, unable to find a niche in civilian life, joined dissidents linked to the illegal trade in drugs and mining resources.

As Turkey Backs Azerbaijan’s Recent Strikes on Armenian Towns, Where Are Russia, the EU, and the U.S.?  (John E. Herbst, Just Security)
Azerbaijan’s Sept. 13 military strikes on Armenian border towns were just the latest reminder that “upper-handism” – the temptation to take full advantage of perceived military superiority – is alive and well in the south Caucasus. Armenia practiced “upper-handism“ for more than 20 years after its emergence as an independent state in 1991. With Russia’s backing, it enjoyed a military advantage over Azerbaijan that enabled it to maintain control not only over ethnic Armenian-populated Nagorno-Karabakh, but also roughly 20 percent of Azerbaijan’s territory. During this time, with rare exceptions, Yerevan showed no willingness to recognize Azerbaijan’s internationally recognized sovereignty over Nagorno-Karabakh.

Defeat China’s Navy, Defeat China’s War Plan  (Robert Haddick, War on the Rocks)
Washington has already lost the war for Taiwan — at least according to the most recent wargames organized by the Center for Strategic and International Studies. The think tank’s simulation of a conflict between the United States and China saw several U.S. aircraft carrier strike groups sunk, hundreds of U.S. combat aircraft destroyed, and thousands of U.S. military personnel lost in the war’s opening days.
These games, planned long before the most recent Taiwan crisis and set in 2026, add to decades of analyses of the Taiwan scenario conducted at war colleges and think tanks on both sides of the Pacific Ocean. Scheduled to be written up later this year, the games have reinforced at least one previously well-known conclusion: should the United States attempt to fight the battle for Taiwan relying mainly on military forces located west of Guam, U.S. losses will be severe. The United States and its allies might stalemate the People’s Liberation Army. But the cost could very well be too high for U.S. society to sustain. And if China’s leaders believe this, even wrongly, deterrence will collapse, and the risk of war will rise.
U.S. commanders in the Indo-Pacific will have to fight with the forces and weapons policymakers provide them. Recent wargames, like their predecessors, demonstrate the United States needs a better plan for defeating an attack on Taiwan. This means forces and concepts that match U.S. competitive advantages against China’s weaknesses while minimizing the number of forces U.S. commanders will have to position within range of China’s firepower. 

Germany’s Energy Crisis Plan Contradicts Itself  (Paul Hockenos, Foreign Policy)
The German government is desperately trying to conserve gas—and subsidizing its use.

Outbreak of Rare Ebola Strain Declared in Uganda  (Nicholas Bariyo, Wall Street Journal)
Uganda declared an outbreak of a relatively rare strain of the Ebola virus on Tuesday, raising concerns of a wider spread because existing vaccines are unlikely to provide quick protection against this version of the virus. A 24-year-old man who died Monday in central Uganda was found to have been infected with the Sudan strain of Ebola, said Diana Atwine, permanent secretary at Uganda’s Health Ministry.