1 June 2022

Three possible futures for a frozen conflict in Ukraine

Mathew Burrows and Robert A. Manning

Three months into Russian President Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine, the prospects for a decisive Kremlin victory have evaporated. Yet even amid Russia’s battlefield failures, the heroic Ukrainian resistance, and abundant Western military aid, the tide has not completely turned.

In April, we laid out four scenarios for how the outcome of the war could reshape the world. At that time, it wasn’t necessarily evident that our slow-moving “frozen conflict” scenario, in which both sides struggle to make rapid or decisive advances, was the most likely to materialize. But this is where the conflict has been headed in recent weeks.

Also less evident at the time: the level of shock the war would inflict on the global economy, ushering in major food and energy crises. Depending on the duration of the conflict, these effects could prove even worse for the developing world than the 2008 financial crisis. And although the shock waves are hitting Europe harder than the United States, both are in economic trouble. (In Ukraine itself, the United Nations Development Programme has already estimated that the vast majority of Ukrainians will face “extreme economic vulnerability” by the end of the year if the war continues.)

Dan Rice, Special Advisor to Valeriy Zaluzhnyi

As Ukraine continues to repel a full-scale Russian invasion, unleashed more than 80 days ago, Dan Rice, a U.S. combat veteran, recently appointed Special Advisor to Commander-in-Chief Valeriy Zaluzhnyi, came to Ukraine to speak with the latter precisely about leadership and what it takes for an army to hold its ground in the face of a massive Russian force.

Dan Rice sat down with Ukrinform to share the things he learned from Ukraine’s commanders about the ongoing war, the weapons Ukraine needs to push the Russians back and eventually win, and the lessons that NATO armies can learn from Ukraine’s forces in terms of effectively repelling Russian aggression.


- How different is this war, as seen from the ground, from how it is perceived by the U.S. audience?

- You know it’s hard to really explain to somebody how this is total war. I mean this is a massive war. We’ve seen it on TV, I’ve been in a lot of combat zones, I’ve been in Iraq, Afghanistan, Yemen, Lebanon… This is different. This is total war against a sovereign nation, all those other wars were civil wars – this is an invading force that is morally bankrupt from the top to the bottom, taking on a smaller nation, underarmed, undermanned… Yet, the Ukrainian forces have really punched Putin in the nose. I think the battle of Kyiv will be taught in military history for years.

How India Influences the Quad

Akshay Ranade

The Quad is “a positive, constructive agenda so we don’t target a country or region for that. What we look forward to is that peace and stability in Indo-Pacific region should be adhered to.” So said India’s Ambassador to Japan S. K. Verma ahead of the recent Quad summit in Tokyo. This just reiterated the consistent Indian position that the Quad is not “against someone” (meaning China) but “for something.”

Since the re-emergence of the Quad in 2017, the grouping has been struggling to identify a foundational philosophy on which to build a sustainable framework. It has been an uphill battle to generate substance, even as the symbolism of the grouping generated curious debates within the strategic community. Recent developments, however, suggest that the Quad may finally be getting the much-needed direction to build a credible and sustainable framework.

From its rebirth in working-level meetings on the sidelines of some other multilateral engagements, the Quad has come a long way. Quad leaders have engaged in two summits this year, with the earlier one in March a virtual meeting occasioned by the Russian invasion of Ukraine and apparently divergent viewpoints on it within the Quad. The recently concluded in-person summit is another indication that Quad countries might have finally identified the “common denominator” in their individual policies in the region, enabling them to take the strategically significant grouping to its logical next level.

Heroes of the resistance who are sabotaging Putin's war machine by blowing up trains, stealing weapons and assassinating Russian officers, conscripts... and collaborators: IAN BIRRELL reveals the stirring fightback in Ukraine


The bomb, almost 2lb of high explosive, was hidden in a fuse box by the front door of the block of flats and detonated when Andrey Shevchik arrived on his usual Sunday morning visit to his mother.

Shevchik, the leading Russian collaborator in his home town of Enerhodar, was left badly burnt with a broken collarbone and facial injuries. His two bodyguards were also wounded, but no other residents were around at the time of explosion.

‘The fact that no one else got injured tells us it was a targeted attack against a very specific person,’ said Dmytro Orlov, the town’s elected mayor. ‘They did not even call an ambulance, which indicates they had serious doubts about their security.’

He suggested the wounded 48-year-old man may have been taken more than 200 miles away for treatment in Crimea, the peninsula held by Russia for eight years.

Regime Change: Favorite Pastime Of United States – OpEd

Shabbir H. Kazmi

It may be recalled that when Imran Khan’s government was removed through ‘non-confidence vote’ he openly alleged that the United States was behind this. Although, the US administration categorically denies having played any role, many in Pakistan don’t accept the denials.

This morning I was lucky enough to find an article an article by by Lindsey A. O’Rourke published in The Washington Post as back as December 23, 2016 which stated that the United States tried to change governments of other countries 72 times during the Cold War era.

The CIA has concluded with “high confidence” that Russia intervened covertly during the presidential election to promote Donald Trump’s candidacy. They based this assessment on the discovery that Russian security agencies had hacked the Republican National Committee, the Democratic National Committee and the Hillary Clinton campaign — and had released selected Democratic documents to WikiLeaks to undermine Clinton’s candidacy.

Russia takes most of Sievierodonetsk city in eastern Ukraine

Pavel Polityuk and Max Hunder

KYIV, May 31 (Reuters) - Ukraine said on Tuesday that Russia had taken control of most of the eastern industrial city of Sievierodonetsk, a bombed-out wasteland whose capture Moscow has made the principal objective of its invasion.

Russia's all-out assault on the city in Ukraine's Luhansk province has been met by tough resistance from Ukrainian forces. Russian-backed separatists in Luhansk acknowledged that capturing the city was taking longer than hoped, despite one of the biggest ground attacks of the three-month-long war.

After failing to capture the Ukrainian capital Kyiv and being driven out of northern Ukraine, a Russian victory in Sievierodonetsk and across the Siverskyi Donets river in Lysychansk would bring full control of Luhansk, one of two eastern provinces Moscow claims on behalf of separatists.

Putin’s Hard Choices Why the Russian Despot Can Neither Mobilize Nor Retreat

Michael Kimmage and Maria Lipman

Russian President Vladimir Putin has landed in an unenviable position. His country has the resources to inflict damage on Ukraine in perpetuity. But because the first phase of the war has been so costly for Russia and because Ukraine’s military is mounting such stiff resistance, Russia faces serious difficulty achieving anything meaningful on the battlefield without committing much more manpower than it currently has available.

Calling up large numbers of reservists while putting Russian society openly on a war footing solves the problem in theory. But it is something for which the Russian public is fundamentally unprepared. To date, Putin has referred to the war in Ukraine as a “special military operation” and held only one mass rally in support of the war. Full-out mobilization, which would make war an inescapable fact of Russian life, would revolutionize the regime Putin has constructed since coming to power in 2000. Putinism has been a formula: the government discouraged people from meddling in politics, while leaving them mostly on their own, and the people readily surrendered their responsibility for decision making. In 2014, he could achieve his military aims in Ukraine without radically redefining Russian politics. That is no longer an option.

Paper Trail of Terror

Jonathan Schanzer

In autumn of 2017, my colleague Thomas Joscelyn was invited to visit the Central Intelligence Agency. It was a long time coming. He and our colleague Bill Roggio at FDD's Long War Journal had for years pushed the intelligence community to release the complete set of documents that American Navy SEALS captured at Osama bin Laden's compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan, on May 1, 2011. The al Qaeda leader was shot dead that night, ending a 10-year search for the man behind the 9/11 attacks.

The intelligence community released a handful of the documents in 2012. They released more in 2016 and 2017. But tens of thousands more remained classified. Joscelyn and Roggio, who had doggedly tracked al Qaeda for two decades, insisted there was no reason to withhold the files from the public.

High prices, Asian markets could blunt EU ban on Russian oil


BRUSSELS (AP) — The European Union’s groundbreaking decision to ban nearly all oil from Russia to punish the country for its invasion of Ukraine is a blow to Moscow’s economy, but its effects may be blunted by rising energy prices and other countries willing to buy some of the petroleum, industry experts say.

European Union leaders agreed late Monday to cut Russian oil imports by about 90% over the next six months, a dramatic move that was considered unthinkable just months ago.

The 27-country bloc relies on Russia for 25% of its oil and 40% of its natural gas, and European countries that are even more heavily dependent on Russia had been especially reluctant to act.

As The World Sanctions Russia, China Takes Note – Analysis

Yun Jiang

China is watching closely at how countries are reacting to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, in preparation for the day it might make its own military move on Taiwan. It is not only considering the military response, but also the economic response. Seeing the economic and financial pressure being applied to Russia, China will want to make its economy more resilient to similar sanctions.

One key lesson for Beijing is the importance of integrating with the world while depending less on the West — and where this isn’t feasible, such as in the high-tech sector, to continue to build self-reliance.

For China, the goal of economic self-reliance has always been central, albeit one that is in tension with its desire to benefit from economic integration with other countries. Even before Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, China has been taking steps to protect its financial system, including through alternative payment systems. The sanctions on Moscow have only validated Beijing’s approach.

India’s EO Satellites In The Indo-Pacific – Analysis

Chaitanya Giri

Two epochal developments – the Indo-Pacific region’s emergence as the fulcrum of the world economy and the mounting global climate crisis – are bringing new attention to a constellation of Earth-Observation (EO) satellites that are vital to managing economic life and coping with climate change. These two sets of issues have thrust India, which maintains the largest fleet of EO satellites in the Indo-Pacific, into a key leadership role in harnessing this technology for the benefit of the region and the rest of the world. The importance of these issues to the Indo-Pacific region, and to the global economy, is hard to underestimate. The region dominates the global manufacturing, maritime trade, and blue economies. Many of its nations are at the top or high in the rankings of countries on global gross domestic product. The region’s economic powerhouses, including the United States (U.S.), China, Russia, India, Japan, Taiwan, Australia, Indonesia, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait, United Arab Emirates, Iran, Vietnam, and South Korea, have an enormous trade footprint [1]. In addition, The Indo-Pacific is also home to the world’s tightest cluster of the human population – half of the world’s people live in an area commonly known as the Valeriepieris Circle, which is centered in the South China Sea and has a radius of about 4,000 kilometers [2].

The Fight of Our Lives


DAVOS – Since the last Davos meeting, the course of history has changed dramatically. Russia invaded Ukraine. This has shaken Europe to its core. The European Union was established to prevent such a thing from happening. Even when the fighting stops, as it eventually must, the situation will never revert to the status quo ante. Indeed, the Russian invasion may turn out to be the beginning of World War III, and our civilization may not survive it.

The invasion of Ukraine did not come out of the blue. The world has been increasingly engaged over the past half-decade, or longer, in a struggle between two diametrically opposed systems of governance: open society and closed society. Let me define the differences as simply as I can.

The Global Economy in Transition


NEW YORK – Recent conversations about the global economy and markets have been defined by a set of recurring questions. While there are many moving parts that are difficult to capture in a single clear picture, it is worth attempting to bring some of the biggest issues into better focus.

The first question is straightforward: Is a recession looming? With authoritative growth forecasts like those from the International Monetary Fund having been revised significantly downward, and likely to be downgraded further, there is good reason to worry. But a global recession – defined as two consecutive quarters of negative GDP growth – remains unlikely, though a major shock, such as a dramatic expansion of conflict or a sudden and significant disruption in a key market like energy, could change this outlook.

The Decline and Fall of Davos Man


BERLIN – “Davos Man” has had a grim 14 years. The late Harvard University political scientist Samuel P. Huntington popularized the term in 2004 to describe a new overclass of evangelists for globalization. Davos Man, he claimed, wanted to see national borders disappear and the logic of politics superseded by that of the market.

But since the 2008 global financial crisis, politics has increasingly trumped economics, a trend that reached its apotheosis in 2016 with Donald Trump’s election in the United States and the Brexit referendum. Both events represented a backlash against Davos Man’s vision of a frictionless world governed (not run) as efficiently as possible by “multi-stakeholder processes.”

Moreover, at this year’s annual gathering in Davos, attendees had to confront an even bigger challenge than national politics: the return of geopolitics. The World Economic Forum’s theme was “History at a Turning Point,” in recognition of the fact that we have reached the end of the “end of history.” Although the WEF’s ethos is to promote cooperation in the pursuit of “one world,” the new agenda is necessarily focused on conflict and division.

Getting Deglobalization Right


DAVOS – The World Economic Forum’s first meeting in more than two years was markedly different from the many previous Davos conferences that I have attended since 1995. It was not just that the bright snow and clear skies of January were replaced by bare ski slopes and a gloomy May drizzle. Rather, it was that a forum traditionally committed to championing globalization was primarily concerned with globalization’s failures: broken supply chains, food- and energy-price inflation, and an intellectual-property (IP) regime that left billions without COVID-19 vaccines just so that a few drug companies could earn billions in extra profits.Politics

Among the proposed responses to these problems are to “reshore” or “friend-shore” production and to enact “industrial policies to increase country capacities to produce.” Gone are the days when everyone seemed to be working for a world without borders; suddenly, everyone recognizes that at least some national borders are key to economic development and security.

The Best Bad Option: The Case for Leaving Syria

Mark Bhaskar

The time has come for the United States to withdraw from Syria. Participation in the conflict has long lost its strategic value for Washington, given Syrian president Bashar al-Assad’s pyrrhic military victory and the territorial defeat of the Islamic State (ISIS) in March 2019. The United States lost its leverage to support a diplomatic resolution to the conflict when Turkey’s October 2019 military intervention catalyzed a U.S. withdrawal from all but a narrow strip of land containing the country’s oilfields, which is known as the Autonomous Administration of North and East Syria (AANES). The United States’ decision to arm the Syrian Kurds, who comprised about 10 percent of Syria’s pre-war population, has alienated the country’s majority Sunni Arab populace and temporarily brought together longtime historical foes Russia, Iran, and Turkey. The approximately 900 remaining American soldiers are increasingly vulnerable, surrounded by hostile Iranian proxy fighters to the west, south, and east, and to the north by Turkish mercenaries who engage in near-daily artillery exchanges with Washington’s Kurdish allies, the People’s Protection Units (YPG). Leaving Syria will not only save American lives but will also place U.S. adversaries in a quandary by removing the common enemy of the Syrian conflict.

Army Exploring New Tech to Charge Up Troops on the Go

Mikayla Easley

The Army is looking at new technology that harvests energy from a variety of sources — from the heat generated by a soldier’s body to the fuel already widely used in the service — to power troops on the go.

The Army envisions a future where soldiers will be carrying even more high-tech equipment that will require batteries or other power sources.

At the same time, the service is preparing to transition from large logistical footprints to operating in more distributed formations, said Lt. Col. Jon Villasenor, the lead and concepts director for the Army’s operational energy strategy, which is being drafted by Army Futures Command.

How war has changed Ukraine’s second city

Yulia rebenko’s hands were covered in blood; and unlike Lady Macbeth, she was not hallucinating. Quick thinking saved the first-year psychology student from probable death: she ran from her kitchen to the bathroom as soon as she heard the first thuds. By the time the artillery reached her flat on Shakespeare Street on the afternoon of May 26th, slicing through the сhestnut trees to land outside her window, Ms Rebenko was two walls away from the impact. She walked away with minor cuts. At least nine others ended up in the morgue. Dina Kirsanova, a shopkeeper at a milk kiosk near the 23 August metro station, the main target of the strikes, saw at least 15 missiles in the sky. Air defences intercepted most of them, she said, preventing even greater loss of life: “It’s beyond cruel. There are no military positions here. Just simple people, trying to survive.”

The renewed attacks on Kharkiv come as part of what increasingly looks like a second phase of the war. After pulling back from Kyiv, the capital, and several other northern cities during April, Russia has been rebuilding its badly mauled forces, and concentrating its efforts in the east. The fiercest upsurge in the fighting is taking place in the province of Luhansk, part of the Donbas area, where Russia is hoping to take control of Severodonetsk and Lysychansk, the last towns of reasonable size that it does not hold there, and encircle its Ukrainian defenders. But it seems also to be pushing back farther north. On a rare trip outside Kyiv, President Volodymyr Zelensky visited Kharkiv and troops in the region on May 29th.

Russia or China? The U.S. Has a Choice to Make.

Zachary Karabell

In a speech on Thursday, Secretary of State Antony Blinken revealed the long-awaited outlines of the Biden administration’s official posture toward China. Rather than Vladimir Putin’s Russia, Mr. Blinken said, it is China that represents the most potent and determined threat to the American-championed world order.

Only China, he continued, has “both the intent to reshape the international order” and the power to do so, he said. The United States will seek to rally coalitions of other nations to meet Beijing’s challenge.

The writing had been on the wall. Just days earlier, President Biden pledged to defend Taiwan if China moved to seize the democratically ruled island, he met with regional allies, and his administration proposed a new plan to counter China’s growing economic clout in Asia.

But the intensifying fixation on China’s potential to disrupt the world order shrinks space for cooperation with Beijing and distracts from the real threat in the world: Russia.

Nagorno-Karabakh in the Shadow of Ukraine What Russia’s War Means for Armenia and Azerbaijan

Thomas de Waal

As the ripples of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine pulse outward, they have left one region especially volatile: the South Caucasus. The Ukrainian conflict has paradoxically raised the likelihood of both further fighting and a negotiated peace in this area between the Caspian and Black Seas. The region was the site of a brutal war in 2020 between Armenia and Azerbaijan over the disputed territory of Nagorno-Karabakh—an Armenian-populated enclave within Azerbaijan—and adjacent regions. The 44-day war left around 7,000 people dead and saw Azerbaijan inflict a crushing defeat on Armenia, reversing territorial losses it had suffered in fighting during the 1990s. The war also left unresolved questions, lingering disputes, and simmering tensions. In March, just as Ukraine used Turkish-made Bayraktar drones to repulse Russian forces, Azerbaijan used the same type of drones to strike Armenian troops in Karabakh.

America’s Interests in Ukraine

George Friedman

Nearly every time Russia has been invaded, it has been saved by its strategic depth. Russia can’t truly be defeated without first taking Moscow, and it is a long way to Moscow. From Napoleon to Hitler, invaders from the west had to try to reach the capital city before the brutal winter came – indeed, it helped to arrive before the rains of autumn choked the roads with mud. Russia must therefore keep the starting point of an attack as far away as possible and use its army to delay its advance as much as possible.

Thus is the strategic value of Ukraine to Russia. If Ukraine remains intact, and if it becomes a part of NATO, Moscow would be less than 300 miles (480 kilometers) from the attackers. Many argue that NATO has no intention of invading. I argue that nothing is less reliable than intentions. War planners must plan on capabilities, which are much slower to change than intentions. Considerations such as the rights of sovereign nations have historically always taken a back seat to the need to guarantee the security of a nation.

Companies Are Hacking Their Way Around the Chip Shortage

AS THE GLOBAL chip shortage stretches toward the two-year mark, manufacturers are pulling some unusual tricks to keep production lines moving. Carmakers are using semiconductors taken from washing machines, rewriting code to use less silicon, and even shipping their products without some chips while promising to add them in later. With the shortage of semiconductors now a new normal, everyone is being forced to adapt.

“There's desperation in the market,” says Bill Wiseman, a senior partner at the consulting firm McKinsey. “If you’re building a $350,000 mass spectrometer, and you can't ship it because you don't have a 50-cent chip, you’re pretty much willing to pay anything.”

The EU Needs to Aim Even Higher on Its Defense Transformation

Max Bergmann 

One of the biggest geopolitical questions raised by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is whether it will transform European defense. At first glance, the answer is obviously, yes. After all, Germany declared a zeitenwende, or turning point, announcing it would invest at least 100 billion euros in its military, while also pledging to meet NATO’s goal of spending 2 percent of GDP annually on defense. Other countries around Europe are similarly upping their defense budgets to meet or surpass the NATO goal. And the EU itself has allocated 2 billion euros to support the provision of security assistance to Ukraine.

Europe is suddenly taking defense very seriously and actually opening up its collective wallet. And that’s good news, as a militarily capable Europe could be a geopolitical game-changer, turning it from a security consumer into a security provider.

Russian Officials Talk About Unplugging the Country from the Internet. But Is That Possible?


Russian officials are talking about cutting their country off from the internet amid the international and domestic backlash to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. But would the systems developed to enable this self-isolation actually work?

“The state must control this area completely. Of course, not from the point of view of restrictions or some kind of totalitarian control, but from the point of view of the realization of national interests," Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said Thursday via the TASS state-media outlet.

Despite years of talk and research into essentially closing Russia off to all outside internet traffic, Zakharova said that “the ‘socket’ into which this ‘digital plug’ is plugged is located outside our homeland, very far away, and we do not control it.”

US Threatens China With ‘Military Action’ If It Breaches The Red Line; Can US Navy Fight PLA On Its Home Turf?

Prakash Nanda

But does America have the military superiority over China in this part of the world to deliver what President Biden pledged?

This is a question that many security analysts in the US are asking, given the fact that the US Navy, which has to play the most important role in case China attacks Taiwan, is undergoing structural changes because of budgetary constraints that many consider will weaken both its capacity and capability in the near term.

Critics are pointing out that given the current threat, the fleet is not growing fast enough to meet the potential challenge of fighting competitors like China and Russia.

The US Navy recently released its long-awaited 30-year shipbuilding blueprint, providing three options for future fleet force structure.

China’s ‘Revolutionary Design’ – PLA Navy Launched World’s 1st A.I-Powered Drone Carrier With Stunning Capabilities

Tanmay Kadam

China launched an unmanned ship, named Zhu Hai Yun, on May 18 that can be controlled remotely and navigate autonomously in open water and carry dozens of drones, submersibles, and other vessels for conducting ocean research, according to state-run Science and Technology Daily.

The ship is 88.5 meters long, 14 meters wide, and 6.1 meters deep, with a designed displacement of 2,000 tonnes. It can sail at 13 knots (24 km per hour), with a top speed of 18 knots (33 km per hour).

The expansive deck of the ship can carry dozens of unmanned vehicles, including drones, unmanned ships, and submersibles which are all part of the vessel’s Intelligent Mobile Ocean Stereo Observing System (IMOSOS) developed by the Southern Marine Science and Engineering Guangdong Laboratory (Zhuhai).

Afghanistan: A Junction of Asia’s Connectivity

Zobair Salahi

Historically, Afghanistan has been an important crossroads, connecting many civilizations in ancient times. Even today, the country is at the center of Asia’s connectivity, geopolitically located at the intersection between Central Asia, South Asia, and the Middle East. Known as the “heart of Asia” and sharing cultural practices and traditions with these regions, the country can play an essential role in regional and global politics, especially with concerns about a new “great game” narrative and the growing alignment between China and Russia.

Afghanistan has always been in an influential but volatile geopolitical location, connecting Central Asia, South Asia, and the Middle East. In ancient times, the country was at the crossroads of many civilizations as a junction on the Silk Road, linking the East to the West and Central Asia to the Arabian Sea and the Indian Ocean. More recently, Afghanistan has been directly or indirectly involved in global power politics ever since its establishment as a sovereign government. In the Great Game of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, it acted as a “buffer state,” a neutral ground in the rivalry between the Russian and British empires. During the Cold War, it played a pivotal role in the downfall of the Soviet Union.

Space Force adding new cyber squads, improving satellite control


Space Force’s Delta 6 is responsible for cyber defense, but also operation of the aging Satellite Control System that manages US government satellites. (U.S. Air Force photo/Tech. Sgt. Julius Delos Reyes)

WASHINGTON: The Space Force’s Delta 6, responsible for protecting US military satellites from cyberattack, is adding four more squadrons — with the aim of providing each service mission area its own cyber group, Delta 6 Commander Col. Roy Rockwell said.

“So, the way we’re organizing is we’ll have a sovereign squadron for each mission area, and a delta is assigned to a mission area,” he told the Space Force Association Thursday. “Each of those deltas, outside of Delta 6 and 7, will have a cyber squadron assigned to protect those mission systems in their mission area.”

How to Break Russia’s Blockade of Ukraine’s Black Sea Ports

James Stavridis

When I was operations officer on an Aegis guided-missile destroyer in the late 1980s, we were given a mission in the Arabian Gulf. The Iranians, amid the so-called Tanker War with Iraq, were trying to close off the vital Strait of Hormuz.

The rest of the world needed to keep oil flowing, and chose a fairly dramatic solution: escorting convoys of oil tankers, which were flagged by the US, in and out of the tight waterway. Called Operation Earnest Will, it was mostly successful, running from the hot summer of 1987 to the fall of 1988. (Admittedly, there was a great tragedy during this time, the downing of an Iranian jetliner with 290 people killed.)

Earnest Will kept the oil flowing and took away leverage from the Iranians. My cruiser, the Valley Forge, had a successful deployment, and the mission had an important impact on global geopolitics and energy supplies.

Will Russia Launch a New Cyber Attack on America?

Dina Aldanova

Policy circles in Washington are now debating how Vladimir Putin might respond to a major contraction of the Russian economy and clear signs that Moscow is losing the war in Ukraine. Some posit that a cornered president, furious and facing a near defeat, might indeed respond brutally—moving the proxy confrontation of a new Cold War front to a cyber battlefield, where Russia has a greater advantage, and launching a massive cyberattack against the United States. However, several key factors call this thesis into question.

Similar to Iran and North Korea, Russia is known to be responsible for some of the most aggressive, large-scale cyberattacks. However, these cyber tactics have played a rather peripheral role, either in supporting conventional warfare or through disinformation campaigns that serve to spread chaos and panic among targeted societies. For the first time, a known state-backed attack occurred in 2007 and lasted for twenty-two days when the Russian military intelligence unit, the GRU, targeted Estonian commercial, government, and Domain Name System (DNS) servers, and online banking systems. The attacks fell under the Denial of Service (DoS) and Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) categories that include methods such as ping flooding, spam distribution, botnets, and phishing emails. In 2008, as a part of hybrid warfare amid the occupation of Abkhazia and South Ossetia, Russia defaced Georgian state websites. In 2015, following the annexation of Crimea and the occupation of eastern Ukraine, a GRU proxy group named Sandworm attacked the Ukrainian power grid and deprived more than 200,000 people of electricity for six hours. In 2017, the NotPetya malware attack directed at Ukraine had an unprecedented impact hitting major Western companies in Europe and the United States such as Mondelez International and Maersk, and even striking back at Russian oil company Rosneft. It paralyzed thousands of networks. The global cost the malware had provoked reached $10 billion—encapsulating the most consequential cyber attack in history. In addition, just a month ago, Russia unsuccessfully attempted to attack the Ukrainian power grid with advanced malware classified as a wiper. Overseas, a Russian group of hackers called FancyBear meddled with the United States 2015 presidential campaigns and 2016 federal elections at the county level. To this point, while the Russian cyber tactics are common and multifarious, they represent a secondary function in hybrid warfare that Moscow conducts along with disinformation campaigns and conventional military operations.