The Inevitable Role of Clans in Post-Conflict Stabilization in Gaza
War on the Rocks
by Yaniv Voller
1d ago
“Palestinian tribes, clans and families are not an alternative to any Palestinian political system.” This statement was made not by a Palestinian government official or an expert advisor on democratic reforms in Palestine. Rather, it was made by representatives of Gazan clans and families themselves. This emphatic denial came in response to assertions that the Israeli government seeks to promote these clans as future proxies following the end of combat operations in the territory. The Israeli government has indeed considered this idea, which has in turn attracted fierce criticism fro ..read more
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Rewind and Reconnoiter: America’s Vital Interests in Georgia with Batu Kutelia, Shota Gvineria, and David H. Ucko
War on the Rocks
by Batu Kutelia, Shota Gvineria, David H. Ucko
2d ago
Welcome to Rewind & Reconnoiter. Each week, we’ll ask one of our authors to look back at an article they’ve written for War on the Rocks in light of a current news event. Did their argument hold up? Read more below to find out. *** In 2017, Batu Kutelia, Shota Gvineria, and David H. Ucko wrote “America’s Vital Interest in Georgia: The Case for Engagement” for War on the Rocks, in which they argued for greater U.S. engagement with Georgia as a reliable economic and military partner with which to counter Russian influence in the region. In response to Georgia’s passing of a Th ..read more
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On China: To Win or Not To Win
War on the Rocks
by Christopher Preble, Zack Cooper, Melanie Marlowe
2d ago
Melanie, Chris, and Zack debate Matt Pottinger and Mike Gallagher’s recent article about U.S. strategy toward China. They disagree about the Biden administration’s approach and whether the United States needs a final objective. Melanie questions those expressing condolences for the “Butcher of Tehran,” Chris cautions against a major security deal with Saudi Arabia, and Zack commends Tsai Ing-wen on eight years of steady leadership on cross-Strait issues. Episode Reading “Ebrahim Raisi: Who Was Iran’s Hardline President?”, AP, May 20, 2024. “President Ebrahim Raisi’s Mixed Legacy in Iran,” BBC ..read more
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Iran’s Nuclear Threshold Challenge
War on the Rocks
by Toby Dalton, Ariel Levite
2d ago
Iran is overtly inching closer to the possession of nuclear weapons, but thus far has refrained from crossing the line. Crucially, Iranian officials are already acting and speaking as if Iran has a threshold nuclear capability, claiming that they possess all the needed technical elements for nuclear weapons. Moreover, they are threatening to acquire nuclear weapons if attacked and expressing satisfaction at the deterrent effect they have already achieved. Tehran’s behavior raises acute (but not unprecedented) problems for the United States and the world: how to deal with a state that has succe ..read more
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In Brief: The Dismissal of Sergei Shoigu
War on the Rocks
by Alexandra Prokopenko, Janis Kluge, Maria Shagina, Dmitry Gorenburg, Julian Waller
3d ago
A lot happens every day. Alliances shift, leaders change, and conflicts erupt. With In Brief, we’ll help you make sense of it all. Each week, experts will dig deep on a single issue happening in the world to help you better understand it. *** Last week, Russian President Vladimir Putin reassigned Sergei Shoigu from defense minister to secretary of the national security council, effectively dismissing him from his post of twelve years. Putin picked Andrei Belousov, an economist and technocrat with no military experience, to take his place. Amidst a renewed Russian offensive ..read more
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India’s Engagement with the Middle East Reflects New Delhi’s Changing Worldview
War on the Rocks
by Chietigj Bajpaee
3d ago
In the early 1990s, India responded to the end of the Cold War with a new “Look East” policy, which it subsequently rebranded as “Act East” in 2014. Today, India has developed a “Think West” policy, focused on what those in the West call the Middle East. So which way is India thinking, looking, and acting today? Much as India’s “Look/Act East” policy reflected a shift in India’s worldview following the end of the Cold War, New Delhi’s reinvigorated engagement with the Middle East today reflects a deeper, ongoing shift in the country’s external engagement. This includes a more muscular The post ..read more
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The Case for a Prospective U.S. Cyber Force
War on the Rocks
by Erica Lonergan, Todd Arnold, Nick Starck
3d ago
 Imagine a scenario in which a junior Army captain is taking command of an airborne infantry company. This officer has never been to airborne or ranger school or completed an infantry field problem. But the officer has conducted countless offensive cyber operations, maneuvering through hostile networks to close with and destroy a digital adversary — and the Army has determined that kind of experience is the best preparation to lead an infantry company. Now imagine a different scenario. Google has just announced new minimum qualifications to be considered for an entry-level software engine ..read more
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Charting the Challenges in the Baltic Sea
War on the Rocks
by Julian Pawlak
4d ago
Editor’s Note: This is part of a short series examining maritime geography and strategic challenges in specific bodies of water, ranging from the Arctic Ocean to the Gulf of Guinea and the South China Sea. With Finland and Sweden joining NATO, there has been renewed focus on the strategic situation in the Baltic Sea. By joining the alliance, the two Scandinavian countries almost complete its encirclement of the Baltic and help consolidate allied defense efforts in the region. Yet the Russian Federation persists in the Baltic, and its influence remains threatening. Thus many of the optimistic a ..read more
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The Adversarial
War on the Rocks
by WOTR Staff
1w ago
Welcome to The Adversarial. Every other week, we’ll provide you with expert analysis on America’s greatest challengers: China, Russia, Iran, North Korea, and jihadists. Read more below. *** China On Monday, Lai Ching-te will be inaugurated as the new president of Taiwan. Lai’s victory in January and inauguration in May have long been marked on many calendars as potential flashpoints for a crisis, since leaders in Beijing have called Lai a “troublemaker” and threatened various escalations if he won election. But the truth is that Lai’s initial actions upon winning the presidency have been quite ..read more
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The Time for Europe to Step Up Is Now
War on the Rocks
by Jordan Becker, Douglas Lute, Andrew Webster
1w ago
When former U.S. President Donald Trump indicated earlier this year that he “would encourage” Russia to “do whatever the hell they want” to countries that are “delinquent,” presumably in terms of defense spending, allies expressed alarm. This trans-Atlantic burden-sharing kerfuffle is only unusual for the crassness of the language. U.S. concerns about European free-riding date back at least to the Eisenhower administration. The time has come for European allies to carry a larger share of the burden of European defense. The era when allies could obfuscate unequal burden-sharing by claiming, for ..read more
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