• A Proxy War in Ukraine Is the Worst Possible Outcome – Except for All the Others

    The United States and its European allies clearly said that they will not fight a war against Russia in Ukraine. Sam Winter-Levy writes that these statements obscured an important truth: The United States and its allies are already in the midst of a full-blown proxy war with Russia. “Western policymakers should not deceive themselves about just how ugly proxy wars tend to be… Ultimately, the only options worse than a proxy war are a cheap Russian victory in Ukraine — or a direct confrontation between Russia and the United States.

  • Ukraine War: Four Weeks On, Pt. 1

    The end of the war is not yet clear, but certain patterns have emerged which are as clear as they are surprising, chief among them the sheer breadth of Putin’s miscalculations. The Russian forces have not been well-prepared for war, and they are patently inadequate for occupation. Moreover, the Russian forces have suffered an astonishingly high rate of attrition. But even if Russia can no longer engage in maneuver warfare at scale with a reasonable hope of success, it can still inflict enormous damage on the civilian population and infrastructure by continuing, or escalating, its use of artillery, rockets, missiles, and aerial bombardment. 

  • Russia-Ukraine War Splits Germany's Far-Right

    The Russian invasion of Ukraine has left Germany’s neo-Nazis confused: Should they support the authoritarian Russian leader or far-right nationalists fighting on the Ukrainian side?

  • Jihadists, Far-Right Extremists Vex Russia–Ukraine War

    Jihadist militants from Chechnya have been helping Russia in its war in Ukraine, but the influx of jihadist militants does not constitute the bulk of foreign fighters who have joined the war. It is feared that the pro-Ukraine ‘International Legion’ is infiltrated by far-right extremist groups who support Ukraine’s own far-right organizations. One expert warns that the war “will almost certainly attract far-right extremists, who have long viewed [Ukraine] as an ideal training ground to gain combat experience for the eventual ‘race wars’ they anticipate waging back home.”

  • Ukraine Tactics Disrupt Russian Invasion: Western Officials

    Western defense officials say Ukraine has been employing agile insurgency tactics to disrupt Russia’s invasion, and in the suburbs northwest and east of Kyiv, to push their adversaries back. Hitting and ambushing Russian forces behind the contact lines with fast-moving units, often at night, has proven among its most effective field tactics.

  • Western Officials: Russia's Failures in Ukraine May Make Putin More Dangerous

    New intelligence estimates suggest that up to 20 percent of Russian troops sent into Ukraine have been killed, wounded or captured as Ukraine fights Moscow to a near standstill. Senior Western officials are increasingly alarmed that Russia’s losses in Ukraine are making President Vladimir Putin more dangerous, some going as far as to compare him to a caged animal ready to lash out.

  • What’s the Threat of Nuclear War Right Now?

    As Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered Russian troops to invade Ukraine on 24 February, he threatened any intervening country with “consequences you have never faced in history.” And during an interview Tuesday with CNN’s Christiane Amanpour, Putin’s chief spokesperson refused to rule out the possibility that Russia would consider using nuclear weapons. Is Putin serious? And if Russia did deploy nuclear weapons, what would that mean for the rest of the world?

  • Accelerating Production, Innovation for U.S. Nuclear Deterrent

    Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) and the Y-12 National Security Complex have teamed up to modernize legacy technology and production methods of crucial components for the U.S. nuclear deterrent. 

  • Russia’s Remaining Weapons Are Horrific and Confounding

    Along with concerns over the possible deployment of tactical nuclear weapons, the Biden administration is now warning that the Russian military may launch a chemical weapons attack in Ukraine. Harvard Kennedy School’s Matthew Bunn assesses threat, possible fallout of chemical attack in Ukraine, including the excruciating choices Biden and NATO would face.

  • Green Rare-Earth Recycling Goes Commercial

    Rare earths are essential ingredients in the magnets that power many technologies people rely on today, such as cell phones, computers, electric vehicles, and wind turbines. Researchers have  developed a novel way to extract rare earth elements (rare earths) from the high-powered magnets in electronic waste (e-waste).

  • History Never Ended: Ukraine and the Risk of Nuclear Escalation

    Putin has issued implicit and explicit nuclear threats, and has also raised the specter of chemical weapons. Together, these threats imply that Putin may seek deliberate escalation in order to limit NATO’s options. Putin’s assumption may be that the West won’t be prepared to risk escalation to a strategic nuclear exchange and will back down even in the face of a demonstrative use of a low-yield nuclear weapon, or large-scale use of chemical weapons against urban areas in Ukraine.

  • The Smaller Bombs That Could Turn Ukraine into a Nuclear War Zone

    The nuclear weapons in the arsenals of Russia and NATO countries have much smaller yields than the large bombs built during the Cold War. These warheads are even smaller than the bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. William Broad writes that it is this much lower yield which makes their use more thinkable.

  • Communication Breakdown: How Russia's Invasion of Ukraine Bogged Down

    Military fortunes can swing quickly, in even major offensives like the one launched by Russian President Vladimir Putin on February 24 to “demilitarize” and subdue Ukraine, but many Western military experts suggest that the Kremlin and its planners botched key aspects of the early weeks of the invasion: communication.

  • Drone Warfare Is Increasingly Sophisticated, Deadly

    Policymakers, legislators and military strategists must prepare for the consequences of other countries and actors such as the Islamic State using unmanned aerial vehicles, or drones, in the Ukraine-Russia conflict and others.

  • The False Promise of Arming Insurgents: America’s Spotty Record Warrants Caution in Ukraine

    Covertly coming to the aid of Ukrainian insurgents may appear to be the prudent choice for U.S. policymakers facing an array of unattractive options, but history suggests that this would be a risky gamble. The United States has a “remarkably poor” record for covertly backing insurgencies: “of 35 U.S. attempts to covertly arm foreign dissidents during the Cold War, only four succeeded in bringing U.S. allies to power,” Lindsey O’Rourke writes.