Foreign Affairs Archive

Russo-Ukraine War Day 3: Ukrainian Success Risks Escalation to ‘Grozny Rules’

TLDRUpFront: Ukraine is holding its own as the Russian military continues to struggle. But President Putin appears ready to unleash "Grozny Rules": a systemic approach of targeting dense populated areas with conventional and unconventional attacks. Used in Aleppo, Syria, and Grozny, Chechnya the goal is to crush resistance from a standoff range without having to

Russo-Ukrainian War Day 2: Not the Invasion Putin Planned

TLDRUpFront: First 48hrs of shock & awe failed to deliver a knock-out blow to Ukrainian defenders, allowing them to slow Russian advances, inflict losses, and set up defensive positions in key cities. Russia will need to grind out advances in the north. However, if Putin’s goal is gaining a land-strip in the south – and

Russo-Ukranian War First Day

TLDRUPFront: The first day of full fighting shows that Ukraine is not simply going to collapse in the face of a multi-front Russian invasion. With over 500K+ combat troops between all sides now in the theatre, fierce fighting is occurring for control over airports, bridges, towns, and vital military targets.

Putin Cards on the Table for Invading Ukraine

TLDRUpFront: Over the course of a single day President Putin of Russia officiated a "discussion" of Russian national security advisors all advising him to do what he already wanted: recognize separatist republics of Donatesk and Luhansk as independent sovereign states under threat of genocide from Ukraine. By the end of the day he had set the

Putin Plays his Cards for Invasion

TLDRUpFront: Putin has four cards to play on the table creating a rhetorical pretext for invasion. Since the logistics are already in place - all that's left to do is watch for these four cards. 

Russia Draws its Hand for for Invasion (or more diplomacy)

TLDRUPFRONT: Russia's beginning to show its hand on what pretext for invasion, if they choose to, they'll be using over the next few days. And the cards in the hand signal their choice of scenario: diplomacy or one of five different military actions.

Six Scenarios for a Russian Escalation in Ukraine

TLDRUpFront: Eight years into the Russo-Ukrainian War an escalation to full-spectrum conventional operations appears likely. Russia's strategic goal in the region is to keep Belarus, Ukraine, and Georgia from ever being part of an economic or military bloc that can threaten it. Military buildup on Ukraine's borders now provides six potential scenarios to achieve this

‘Say my Name’ Navalny Puts Putin in Dictator’s Dilemma

TLDRUpFront: A mega-mullet overview of all the context you're missing on the Russian Navalny protests, Putin's hold power, and how a Dictator's Dilemma could expose a fracturing among the elites leading to a possible collapse of the regime in Russia in the next few years.

The 5-8 Year Itch: ISIS Returns to Baghdad

TLDRUpFront: ISIS conducted a complex attack in the center of Baghdad killing over 30 and wounding over 100. The time, location, and method all symbolize the deadly return to the city ISIS once terrorized putting an exclamation point on their operational recovery in Iraq. Widespread insurgency could come next.

InfoMullet: Principles of Unrestricted Warfare

TLDRUpFront: As China continues to exert pressure on multiple fronts its important to understand a tenet of their strategic doctrine. "Unrestricted Warfare" advances a state-actor strategy of asymmetric conflict based on the principle of additive complexity that seeks to cause a seizure of complex systems. The strategy seeks to bridge combat power disparity between two