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Tag Archives: conflict

America’s path to war with Russia

That’s the title of my feature with RealClearDefense, published this weekend. Full text follows here. The Biden administration has worked hard to keep Russia from treating America as a co-combatant in Ukraine. But that doesn’t mean NATO isn’t deeply embroiled in the fight. The level of support is extraordinary and increasing, including sanctions, intelligence sharing, weapons transfers, and money. Add to that the ever-heightening political rhetoric: “The United States is in this to win...

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Two articles on Russia and Ukraine

Between 1998 and 2003, Ksenia Yudaeva and Konstantin Sonin were colleagues, first at the Russian-European Center for Economic Policy and then at the Center for Economic and Financial Research and Development. After Russia invaded Ukraine in February 2022, Sonin (now a professor at the University of Chicago) reached out to Yudaeva (who today serves as the first deputy governor of the Central Bank). Fearing data insecurity on Facebook and Telegram, she asked him to install Signal....

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Will China invade Taiwan, and what (if anything) can the United States do about it?

Last week I wrote a long thread about whether and why China would invade Taiwan: Will China invade Taiwan? Did Biden’s remarks today make war more or less likely? I’ve been reading up on this a lot lately. Here’s a summary of the best things I read, and what could lead to a war. Mostly I’m reassured. But not entirely. A 🧵, obviously. pic.twitter.com/ooLwXItxgB — Chris Blattman (@cblatts) May 23, 2022 I’ll write up what the analysts and the theory say as a longer post this summer....

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Why I think the west should support Ukraine big time, but also why we shouldn’t ignore the risks

That is my op-ed today in the L.A. Times. I really do think the ruin of war is a useful lens to look at conflict. It also helps us see how this conflict might end, why it might end faster if NATO is unconditional in its support for Ukraine, and why I think that stance is worth the great risks it entails. First, the rest of the op-ed:Even Vladimir Putin, author of the world-changing conflict in Ukraine, tried to avoid war in his own insidious way. For two decades, he employed every underhanded...

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How much longer can Ukraine and Russia continue to fight, and what are the prospects for escalation versus stalemate?

Dmitri Alperovitch asks how Ukraine will pay for its war if it cannot export in this thread: Let’s talk about the state of the war and one of the most underreported yet crucially important issues: Russian blockade of Ukrainian ports and resulting strangulation of the country’s economy 🧵 — Dmitri Alperovitch (@DAlperovitch) April 30, 2022 The full thread is worth reading but here is the key part: Last week I pointed to Yuriy Gorodnichenko‘s estimate that Ukraine needed about 40-50% of...

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What are the prospects for a long war of attrition in Ukraine?

How long will the Russian war in Ukraine continue? The Russian aggression has no end in sight and so Ukraine should prepare for a war of attrition. In other words, it will be not only a fight of armed forces but also an economic competition. Who can procure more weapons? Who can muster more materiel? Who has larger reserves? That is UC Berkeley economist (and Ukrainian) Yuriy Gorodnichenko in Vox Ukraine. He writes about lessons from war mobilization of the US and European economies. But the...

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Why are so many African and Asian nations ambivalent about Russia’s invasion? International identity politics

Americans agree on few issues, but one thing they have come together on is condemnation of Russian aggression. Western Europeans too. But not so the rest of the world. To explain India’s muted diplomatic reaction, Western papers emphasize the fact that India gets most of its arms from Russia, but here is an interesting NPR panel broadening the view: FRAYER: And the news commentary here about sanctions and diplomacy is also often sympathetic to Russia. Listen to how one of India’s most...

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The new Kashmir: How I think the Russia-Ukraine conflict could play out

After reading many things, talking to colleagues knowledgable about Russia, thinking about parallels to other conflicts, and idly speculating about a place that five months ago I struggled to find on an unlabelled map, here are some thoughts. One plausible scenario is that we are looking at the next Kashmir—something that will soon evolve into a tense but durable “peace” without any real settlement, but at least one where few people are dying. For the next while there will be more fighting...

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The new Kashmir: How I think the Russia-Ukraine conflict could play out

After reading many things, talking to colleagues knowledgable about Russia, thinking about parallels to other conflicts, and idly speculating about a place that five months ago I struggled to find on an unlabelled map, here are some thoughts. One plausible scenario is that we are looking at the next Kashmir—something that will soon evolve into a tense but durable “peace” without any real settlement, but at least one where few people are dying. For the next while there will be more fighting...

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Our willing gullibility on war news

On Twitter, it makes me a little uncomfortable that some people seem to follow the trials and tribulations of the Russian army with the same sort of glee that they watch a rival sports team lose a streak of games. But I’m not surprised that partisanship bleeds over into jingoism. What does surprise me is the credulousness and enthusiasm with which so many people greet news that the Russian invasion is the result of bumbling leaders, inept bureaucracies, and hoodwinked soldiers. Yesterday...

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