by Jakub Grygiel via The Caravan
The reinsertion of Russia into the Eastern Mediterranean and the Middle East is one of the big stories of the past decade. Although Russia’s recueillement after 1991 resulted in its effective disappearance from the Middle East, her presence in the region is of course not a new reality in history. Tsars and Soviet leaders pushed their military might and political influence into the region for the last three centuries, clashing with various great powers, from the Ottoman sultanate to the British empire and the United States. But the speed at which the current Russian advance has occurred is surprising and troubling. Moscow has inserted an enormous level of instability and unpredictability to the already murky local power dynamics.
By Robert Cassidy, Modern War Instiute: "In most of the wars since World War II, American senior civilian and military leaders have exhibited an aptitude for tactics and an inaptitude for strategy. Both strategy and war are hard. But war without strategy is violence without reason."
by A. Wess Mitchell via The Caravan
In 1920, a young Winston Churchill wrote a memorandum to the Cabinet outlining his concerns about British policy in the Middle East. Britain was, he wrote, “simultaneously out of sympathy with all the four powers exercising local influence.” The Arabs, erstwhile allies in the war, were already unhappy with the emerging postwar settlement. The defeated Turks, Britain’s traditional regional ally, were resentful and looking for new partners. The Russians, under new Bolshevik leadership, were skillfully courting Turkey and Persia. And the Greeks wanted greater British backing against Turkey.
By Faith Stewart, RealClearDefense: "The last three American presidential elections have emphasized a commitment to “bringing troops home” and bringing an end to “endless wars.” While the sentiment is well intentioned, it is at best misinformed and at worst intellectually dishonest."
So Long As Iran Dominates the Middle East, a New Baghdadi Will Rise
By Tzvi Kahn, The Hill: "Iran’s efforts to achieve hegemony in the Middle East have entailed the brutal suppression of Sunni Arab populations. In Syria, the relentless atrocities of the Assad regime reflected those of ISIS itself. In Iraq, a pro-Tehran government marginalized Sunni Arabs and persecuted their leaders."
Is Russia the Middle East’s New Hegemon?
By Shlomo Ben-Ami, The Strategist (ASPI): “Brain wave-reading threat detectors can dramatically increase a soldier’s ability to spot danger.”
By Roger McDermott, Eurasia Daily Monitor: "The importance of this development cannot be underestimated, as it places the Russian military decision-making process and automated C2 beyond the existing capabilities of North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) militaries."
By Mike Pietrucha, War on the Rocks: “The Charge of the Light Brigade” provides a classic example of the subordination of military skill in favor of courage and stubbornness, seasoned with a generous measure of poor leadership and a dash of sheer chaos."
By Yuri Lapaiev, Eurasia Daily Monitor: "Besides improving its naval power, the Kremlin has tested various other means of exerting pressure in the Black Sea. One of these methods has been the periodic blocking of expansive maritime areas for allegedly military exercises."
The Great Game in the South Pacific
By Graeme Dunk, The Strategist (ASPI): "The Great Game was played by Great Britain and Russia throughout the 19th century and reflected the two powers’ political and strategic jostling for influence across Central Asia. It was essentially about geographic positioning, and a 21st-century version is now being played in the South Pacific."