By Mark B. Schneider, The Daily Beast: Putin’s Russia has been modernizing its strategic nuclear bomber strike capability for two decades. Initially, this involved upgrading the Soviet legacy Tu-95 and Tu-160 bombers plus a few newly produced Tu-160s with more advanced nuclear missiles. Not surprisingly, strategic nuclear upgrades were given first priority."
The Russian Understanding of War
By B.A. Friedman, Strategy Bridge: "The Russian invasion of Ukraine, the coercive annexation of the Crimea, and the ongoing support of proxy groups in Eastern Ukraine have induced seizures in western military thought, especially in the United States."
Russia's Tu-160: The Biggest, Fastest and Heaviest Bomber Ever to Fly
By John Doe, CNN: “Fastest bomber ever built. The largest bomber ever built. Heaviest bomber ever built. All of these monikers refer to the Tupelov Tu-160 “White Swan” (NATO reporting name “Blackjack”), a legacy Soviet airframe that has of late gotten a new lease on life.
"Guide to Tactics, or the Theory of the Combat"
By Olivia Garard, Strategy Bridge: "On War is not the only text Carl von Clausewitz wrote. An undercited and underread text is “Guide to Tactics, Or the Theory of the Combat.”"
By Emil Avdaliani, March 13, 2020
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: US-Iran relations reached a nadir following the killing by US drone strike of Quds Force commander Qassem Soleimani. As Iran’s isolation grows, its link to Russia is likely to strengthen. Moscow can use Iran’s geopolitical weakness to its own economic advantage by making large sales of Russian military hardware to the Islamic Republic and encouraging deeper cooperation between the Eurasian Economic Union and Tehran. At the same time, Russia will use the death of Soleimani to constrain Iranian troop activities on the Syrian battlefield and will generally limit Damascus’s dependence on Iran.
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By Loren Thompson, Forbes: "When future historians analyze U.S. security policies during the early decades of the 21st century, they may be hard-pressed to explain what policymakers were thinking."
By Alex J. Beckstrand, Strategy Bridge: "... How are American strategists and foreign policy thinkers performing with regard to these grand strategy principles?"
By Adam Lowther, Breaking Defense: "A low-yield submarine launched ballistic missile provides the United States with an independent credible capability the Russians actually fear."
Russia’s First Upgraded Borei-Class Ballistic Missile Sub
By Franz-Stefan Gady, The Diplomat: “The nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarine (SSBN) Knyaz Vladimir (Prince Vladimir), the Russian Navy’s first upgraded Project 955A Borei (A) II-class (“North Wind”) or Dolgorukiy-class boomer, will likely be commissioned in April or May of this year, according to a Russian defense industry source.
By Aaron Mehta, Defense News: "The Pentagon on Monday issued three contracts to start design work on mobile, small nuclear reactors, as part of a two-step plan towards achieving nuclear power for American forces at home and abroad."
The sheer density of protracted conflicts in the Black Sea region makes it particularly exposed to the geopolitical ambitions of regional and global powers. The rapid militarization in Russia-controlled territories in recent years has only added fuel to the fire, dramatically increasing security concerns and underscoring the need for the West and its allies in the region to address the so-called frozen conflicts.
Running around in circles: How Saudi Arabia is losing its war in Yemen to Iran
The Shift to Majoritarian Politics and Sectarianism in India: Domestic and International Responses
Roshni Kapur, Nazneen Mohsina
Saeed Ghasseminejad -- New York Post
The coronavirus has shattered any hope of the Iranian economy clawing out from under two years of deep recession. To the ruling regime’s chagrin, the virus has begun to adversely affect precisely those sectors that seemed poised for growth after weathering the return of US sanctions. According to the International Monetary Fund, the Iranian economy contracted 4.8 percent in 2018 and 9.5 percent in 2019. The closest thing to good news was that both the IMF and the World Bank forecasted zero growth in 2020. Read More
Sharpening the Iran File
Clifford D. May and Richard Goldberg — FDD's Foreign Podicy
The deal President Obama cut with Iran’s rulers provided them with billions of dollars and a “patient pathway” to the acquisition of nuclear weapons and the means to deliver them to targets anywhere on the planet. President Trump withdrew from that deal and, in its place, initiated a “maximum pressure” campaign of economic sanctions intended to change the regime’s behavior — if not change the regime itself. Listen Here
The UN’s Selective Outrage on Occupied Territories
Brenda Shaffer, Svante Cornell and Jonathan Schanzer — Real Clear World
Yesterday during remarks at the AIPAC annual conference, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo referred to the recent publication by the UN Human Rights Office of a database of companies that operate in the West Bank. Pompeo defined the report as “a real threat” that “only serves to facilitate the BDS movement and delegitimize Israel.” Pompeo declared that the United States will take actions on behalf of the “members of our business community that are being threatened by this release.” Read More
Bradley Bowman, Cleo Paskal and Major Liane "Trixie" Zivitski — Defense News
Due to American and Indian negotiators’ failure to reach a trade agreement, some media reports panned President Donald Trump’s visit last week to India as more show than substance. Yet a closer look at the U.S.-India defense deals finalized during the trip shows that the visit facilitated deeper security cooperation with a critical U.S. partner in Asia. Washington and New Delhi used the presidential visit to announce India’s decision to purchase more than $3 billion in defense equipment. Read More