10 September 2022

Force Deployment Without Antonovs: The Indirect Consequences Of The War In Ukraine

Sophia Wright

One of the most striking images of the early phase of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine was that of the world famous Antonov AN 225, destroyed, burned out and cleaved in two in its hangar at Hostomel airport. “Mriya” as it is known (dream in Ukrainian), had garnered an pseudo-cult following in the global aviation industry due to its status as the world’s largest aircraft. But its destruction also symbolised the end of a Western reliance on Antonov as a provider of large-scale logistical aircraft going back decades.

For over 20 years, NATO member states and other armed forces around the globe have been relying on Antonov aircraft for intercontinental logistics. Recent events in Ukraine are forcing Western powers to rethink logistical arms deployment, and move away from a decades-old reliance on large aircraft in order to make the best possible use of available airborne resources.

Antonovs: a key element of Western logistics

Western powers and the NATO alliance have been using Antonov aircraft for strategic logistical missions for some time now. Back in 2018, Antonov Airlines offered to step into provide any required additional support to the EU and NATO’s Strategic Airlift International Solution (SALIS) programme after the exit of Volga-Dnepr. In particular, the company promised a consortium of 10 countries guaranteed access to AN-124 aircraft for NATO and EU operations. The AN-124 has the capacity to travel 4,500 km at a height of up to 10,000m carrying a maximum load of 120t. The aircraft is 36m long and 4.4m high, meaning it can transport large, heavy armoured vehicles to and from theatres of operations.

Gorbachev Didn’t End the Cold War, Western Strength Did

Peter Huessy

With the passing of the former general secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, Mikhail Gorbachev, the Cold War is back in the news. Prior to his death, and certainly, in the wake of it, several commentaries have credited him for ending the Cold War.

This is a common narrative and was summed up by one former American president who said that Ronald Reagan “was smart enough to allow the Cold War to end,” reflecting the idea that the US had previously largely perpetuated the conflict with the former Soviet Union and not Moscow.

The end of the Soviet Empire didn’t “just happen” but was the direct result of an extraordinarily active and complex action plan put together and implemented largely by three world leaders: Ronald Reagan, president of the United States; Margaret Thatcher, prime minister of Great Britain, and Pope John Paul II, the leader of the Vatican and the Catholic Church worldwide.

Does Reducing Unemployment Through Government Spending Boost The Economy? – Analysis

Frank Shostak

Some experts hold that the key to economic growth is to strengthen the labor market, which is based on the view that because of the reduction in the number of unemployed workers, more individuals can afford to increase spending. As a result, economic growth follows suit.

The Expanding Pool of Savings—Not Declining Unemployment—Is the Key for Economic Growth

However, the key driver of economic growth is an expanding pool of savings, not the state of the labor market. Fixing unemployment without addressing the issue of savings will not increase economic growth.

The pool of savings funds the enhancement and the expansion of the infrastructure. An enhanced and expanded infrastructure permits an increase in the production of the final goods and services required to maintain and promote individuals’ lives and well-being.

Lessons For The West: Russia’s Military Failures In Ukraine – Analysis

Denys Davydenko, Margaryta Khvostova and Olga Lymar

Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine has been going on for almost six months. Enough time has passed that policymakers in the United States and the European Union should now be able to pinpoint the weaknesses of the Russian military. And they will need to do so if they are to determine how best to help the Ukrainian armed forces. The recent explosions at Saki air base in Crimea – a facility that is 225km away from the front line, in an area the Russians have declared to be shielded by their air defence system – show that Ukraine has found new ways to exploit flaws in Russia’s military machine. So, what should the West have learned about Russia’s motives, tactics, and strategy?

President Vladimir Putin’s use of inaccurate data often undermines his decisions. Putin’s wishful thinking about the power of the Russian military is reflected in his apparent expectation that it could conquer Ukraine with only 150,000 military personnel. This is significantly less than the 250,000 soldiers in the Ukrainian armed forces and far off the ratio of offensive to defence forces traditionally needed for a successful campaign – 3:1. Putin seems to have decided to launch the invasion based on the expectation that Ukrainian citizens would surrender without a fight and their political leaders would run away. Clearly, the data he drew on was deeply flawed. Several publicly available studies conducted shortly before the full-scale invasion showed that Ukrainians would resolutely take up arms to defend their homeland. But the Kremlin – like many Western experts – must have simply ignored them.

Ambiguous Ethical Situations and the Letter “A”

Daniel Pace

As a leader in the Special Forces, I frequently chew on how my organization makes ethical decisions, particularly when we are working in morally uncertain environments. What concerns me most is the potential disparity between what I think is ethical and what the folks that are executing my guidance think is ethical when I am not around. In my experience, units I have served in have tried to address this issue through large auditorium briefings from the JAG or Chaplain. Most of us on the ground-pounding side of the Army aren’t a very theoretical lot, so the briefings on Just War Theory or The Hague Convention frequently lead to dozing audiences, and the question and answer sessions at the end frequently end up with “you’ll know it when you see it” as the answer to the ever-present question: “how will I know if what I’m doing is immoral or illegal?” Unfortunately, the way I see it, the way the 15-6 officer sees it, and the way the guy that took the action rarely line up, resulting in undesirable consequences for everyone involved.

While chewing on this problem and thinking about how to improve moral agency in my unit, it occurred to me that at the unit level, the problem isn’t necessarily that I need to improve the quality of my troops’ moral education, but rather that I need to ensure we have a similar enough understanding of what moral and immoral decisions look like that I can trust them to execute on my behalf. For operational purposes, the disparity in our opinions is more important than the specifics of either of our interpretations.

Ukraine's mysterious battle to retake Kherson


Ukraine has been talking about launching a major counteroffensive in southern Kherson province since July, fighting to recapture at least the regional capital, Kherson City, from Russian invaders who seized the region soon after their Feb. 24 invasion. On Monday, Ukraine said the offensive had begun — then said little else.

Ukrainian forces "have started the offensive actions in several directions on the South front towards liberating the occupied territories," Nataliya Humeniuk, a spokeswoman for Ukraine's southern military command, told CNN. "All the details will be available after the operation is fulfilled." Yes, "there is news," she told The Wall Street Journal. "It has inspired everyone. We need to be patient."

By the end of the first week, it still wasn't clear how the battle was going — or even if this is the big counterpunch Ukraine has been telegraphing. Here's a look at what we know and what it could mean for the shape of the war:

The Era For Engagement With Russia And China Is Over

James Van de Velde

This spring, the Biden Administration acknowledged that it must re-write its National Security Strategy, which guides the country’s overall security strategy, no doubt in recognition that the U.S. grand strategy must be fundamentally revised. The revision is necessary given the invasion of Ukraine by Russia and a failed three-decade attempt to entice China to become a liberal democracy. That silence you continue to hear today is the United States’ new grand strategy, following the failure of the post-Cold War strategy of ‘engagement and enlargement’ toward Russia and China.

The Biden Administration’s first-ever National Defense Strategy (regardless of the classified specifics), sent to Congress in late March 2022, was likely short on both reform and big think. According to its unclassified Fact Sheet (no unclassified version has been published yet), it is purposefully noncommittal, once again calling China a ‘pacing threat’ and Russia an ‘acute’ and ‘near-term’ threat. Both seem understatements. Expect little change, therefore, to the updated, supposedly more thoughtful, and directive, National Security Strategy – whenever it appears.

Military reserves, civil defense worry Taiwan as China looms


TAIPEI, Taiwan (AP) — Chris Chen, a former captain in Taiwan's military, spent a lot of time waiting during his weeklong training for reservists in June. Waiting for assembly, waiting for lunch, waiting for training, he said.

The course, part of Taiwan's efforts to deter a Chinese invasion, was jam-packed with 200 reservists to one instructor.

“It just became all listening, there was very little time to actually carry out the instructions,” Chen said.

Russia's invasion of Ukraine has underscored the importance of mobilizing civilians when under attack, as Ukraine's reserve forces helped fend off the invaders. It has highlighted Taiwan's weaknesses on that front nearly halfway around the world, chiefly in two areas: its reserves and civilian defense force.

While an invasion doesn’t appear imminent, China's recent large-scale military exercises in response to a visit by U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to Taiwan have made the government in Taipei more aware than ever of the hard power behind Beijing’s rhetoric about bringing the self-ruled island under its control.

How Europe Can Avoid a Deep Freeze

Susi Dennison

As the European summer draws to a close, almost all EU countries are facing some form of energy crisis. Following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the EU joined the United States and others in leveling sanctions and embargoes on Russian natural gas, even though many EU countries depend on imports of Russian energy. These measures have compounded skyrocketing prices, sharply raising the cost of living for many Europeans. Some European governments have already sought to reduce energy consumption—for instance, by limiting the use of air conditioning in public buildings and requiring shops to turn their lights off overnight. But the crisis will only get worse. Governments are scrambling to prepare for what will be a very tough winter.

Policymakers across the EU are focused on shoring up national supplies. EU states have made bilateral deals to secure energy from alternative providers, including Algeria, Canada, and Qatar. Governments are now discussing how to construct pipelines that would transport gas across southern and central European countries. And European officials are seriously considering how to make their countries more energy efficient. The EU Council agreed in July to an energy-saving plan that requires member states to reduce gas consumption by 15 percent by this winter. Some governments, including those in France, Italy, and Spain, have put in place targets for cuts, but other member states, such as Germany, have been reluctant to set out measures to do so.

Are the U.S. and Iran fighting a shadow war or on the verge of a diplomatic breakthrough? Maybe both.

Joshua Keating

F. Scott Fitzgerald once wrote that “the test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in the mind at the same time, and still retain the ability to function.” This is the sort of intelligence that might be required to understand the current state of relations between the U.S. and Iran: two countries that seem to be simultaneously drifting toward proxy war and toward a diplomatic breakthrough.

Both trends were in evidence on a single recent day. In the early-morning hours of Aug. 24, the U.S. launched two airstrikes in Syria targeting what the U.S. said were militant groups linked to Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC). That evening, three U.S. troops in Syria were injured in two separate rocket attacks, the latest in a series of attacks on U.S. personnel in Syria and Iraq that the U.S. has blamed on Iran-linked groups. The U.S. responded with Apache helicopter strikes that killed four militants and destroyed seven rocket launchers. Alongside this tit-for-tat U.S.-Iran violence, American ally Israel has carried out an increasing number of strikes against Iranian assets in Syria as well as a not-officially acknowledged but fairly obvious campaign of sabotage and assassination within Iran itself.

But while the rockets were firing Aug. 24, U.S. diplomats were sending a response to Iran’s latest comments on a draft agreement that would restore the 2015 Iran nuclear deal. There’s still considerable disagreement between the two sides — more recently, the U.S. State Department on Sept. 1 described Iran’s latest proposals as “not constructive” — but after months of deadlock, they are talking (via European intermediaries, that is) and there does appear to be some momentum toward an agreement.

Air denial: The dangerous illusion of decisive air superiority

Maximillian K. Bremer and Kelly A. Grieco

Of all the surprises Ukraine had in store for Russia’s invading forces, perhaps the biggest is Ukraine’s denial of air superiority to a larger and more technologically sophisticated Russian air force. Given that the Russians have shown themselves incapable of conducting complex air operations, it is tempting to conclude that the air war in Ukraine holds few lessons for the United States and other Western air forces. They would surely do better than the Russians in a war like Ukraine. This is a comforting conclusion for Western defense analysts: If Russian failure is mainly self-inflicted, then the air war in Ukraine does not challenge existing doctrine and expensive modernization priorities. Although comforting, such confidence is misplaced.

The air war in Ukraine is a harbinger of air wars to come, when US adversaries will increasingly employ defense in vertical depth, layering the effects of cyber disruptions, electromagnetic jamming, air defenses, drones, and missiles in increasing degrees of strength, from higher to lower altitudes. Even if high-end fighters and bombers manage to gain air superiority in the “blue skies,” the airspace below them remains contested. The “air littoral”—the airspace between ground forces and high-end fighters and bombers—then poses the more challenging and important contest for air control.

The Ukraine war and its impact on Russian development of autonomous weapons

Samuel Bendett

Today’s discussion of Russian military drone and robotics capabilities—the use of unmanned and autonomous aerial, ground, and maritime systems—is generally conducted against the backdrop of such technologies’ performance in the Russia-Ukraine war. The pre-February 2022 discussions and deliberations across the Russian Ministry of Defense (MOD), its affiliated research and development institutions, and academies generally point to a common theme: such systems are supposed to safeguard soldiers’ lives and make military missions more effective. This reasoning led the Russian military to conceptualize the use of loitering munitions and aerial swarms, long-range combat and “loyal wingmen” drones that can operate autonomously, small aerial drones that can be launched from both piloted and uncrewed platforms, and other systems that target and overwhelm adversary weapons and defenses.

The Russian military and the country’s defense industry are also considering other concepts for Russia’s envisioned high-tech warfare—unmanned and autonomous ground vehicle (UGVs) that work together with unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), as well as numerous uncrewed maritime systems that work with ships and with other manned and unmanned assets. These research and development efforts paint a picture of a military seeking to combine legacy and modern systems in a networked environment, where artificial intelligence is not intended to replace humans but to make a human operator’s job more effective. Overall, the MOD envisioned this technology operating autonomously, where adversary tactics aim to negate the advantage and capabilities of such systems. The MOD’s plan to get to that point was and still is contingent on multiple factors, such as favorable economic-industrial conditions, continuous growth and development of domestic high-tech ecosystems, and a human-centric military that will be amenable to the introduction of such advanced technology in existing formations.

Airpower after Ukraine: The future of air warfare

“War is a harsh teacher,” Thucydides warned in ancient times. History has repeatedly borne out the truth of his dictum, and the war in Ukraine is no exception. The ongoing conflict ought to serve as a “wake-up call” for the United States: Despite Moscow’s numerical and fires advantage, Kyiv has proven a formidable opponent by combining old and new tactics and technologies, marking a crossroads for the future of airpower.

“Everyone is learning from the current events in Ukraine,” the chief of staff of the US Air Force, General Charles Q. Brown, Jr., acknowledged, but identifying the correct lessons from the war is no easy task. This task is further complicated by Russia’s failed air campaign, which provides a convenient rationalization for avoiding unpleasant truths. In 1914, the great powers went to war expecting it would be short and decisive, with their militaries extolling the advantages of offense in warfare. But nothing turned out as expected. The horrors of machine guns, massive artillery barrages, and static trench warfare awaited them. European armies had missed the warning signs from the American Civil War, the Boer War, and the Russo-Japanese War. We should not repeat this tragedy today.

Instead, the United States and other allied air forces ought to ask the tough questions: Does the war in Ukraine challenge existing assumptions about the future of war? And how might the United States and its allies need to rethink and adjust existing doctrine, operational concepts, and procurement priorities? These are high-stakes questions, the answers to which determine whether air forces anticipate change or get taken by surprise in tomorrow’s wars.

OSINT’s influence on the Russian air campaign in Ukraine and the implications for future Western deployments

Robin Kemp

On February 24, the day that Russia invaded Ukraine, Twitter user OSINTtechnical tweeted forty-eight times, highlighting battle damage assessments of Russian aircraft, confirming explosions at Melitopol airbase, and showing US B-52 and UK Typhoon air tracks over Poland. OSINTtechnical, like many others on Twitter, has provided live, detailed battlefield updates. From the comfort of an unclassified laptop, these citizen journalists have increasingly organized into online communities which, as coined by Bellingcat founder Eliot Higgins, are known as “public intelligence agenc[ies] for the people.” These amorphous, yet powerful public-run organizations have reported on Russian air activity with a level of detail and analysis traditionally reserved for state intelligence agencies. Indeed, governments recognize this and are increasingly turning to such organizations for support.

Though this diffusion of intelligence capabilities has strategic benefits—highlighting Russian atrocities and countering disinformation, for example—this new paradigm in public intelligence analysis also raises concerns. Increased battlefield transparency can motivate combatants to behave ethically, but it can also unintentionally lead to reduced military effectiveness, stemming from constraints on decision making and a resultant narrowing of strategic options.
The open-source intelligence revolution

The Emergence of War in Plato’s Republic

Olivia Garard

Plato’s Republic is endlessly rich. Broadly, it begins when Socrates and his friend Glaucon are compelled to stay at Cephalus’ house in the Piraeus.[1] Remaining just outside Athens, the many—including Polemarchus, Thrasymachus, and Adeimantus, among others—debate questions of justice. When no satisfactory answers emerge, Socrates originates the great thought experiment—to construct a city in speech. Over the course of the dialogue, the imagined city undergoes numerous revisions as the founders identify and fulfill the imagined city’s needs. War, it turns out, is not a need, but a consequence. It is only after Glaucon’s “relishes” are admitted that Socrates finds cause for war. To what extent does war make the city possible?

After Glaucon and Adeimantus remain unpersuaded that justice is better than injustice, Socrates suggests that they “watch a city coming into being in speech.”[2] Socrates advises they look for justice in the city based on the explicit notion that it is easier to read bigger letters than smaller ones and the implicit supposition that a man can be considered a city writ large. Socrates and Adeimantus begin to construct the city.

A first, provisional city is set forth as the “city of utmost necessity,” which “would be made of four or five men.”[3] These individuals came together because each, independently, is insufficient, in that they are not self-sufficient and must rely on others. To satisfy all the basic provisions, however, Socrates revises the city, and more than four citizens are now required. The city becomes a “throng,” and in so doing, this city demands another.[4] The other city is created out of this city’s need for imports, which requires still more citizens, the creation of money, and even more citizens as sailors. Socrates continues to “fill out the city” until it is saturated and judged to be complete.[5] Life in the city is barely satiated—there is neither art nor education. All the citizens must do is regulate the city’s size, “keeping an eye out against poverty or war.”[6]

China accuses U.S. of cyberattacks on university that allegedly does military research

China on Monday accused Washington of breaking into computers at a university that U.S. officials say does military research, adding to complaints by both governments of rampant online spying against each other.

Northwestern Polytechnical University reported computer break-ins in June, the National Computer Virus Emergency Response Center announced. It said the center, working with a commercial security provider, Qihoo 360 Technology Co., traced the attacks to the National Security Agency but didn't say how that was done.

China and the United States are, along with Russia, regarded as global leaders in cyberwarfare research.

China accuses the United States of spying on universities, energy and internet companies and other targets. Washington accuses Beijing of stealing commercial secrets and has announced criminal charges against Chinese military officers.

The U.S. actions "seriously endanger China's national security," said Foreign Ministry spokesperson Mao Ning. She also accused Washington of eavesdropping on Chinese mobile phones and stealing text messages.

Seven Myths about the Iran Nuclear Deal

In 2015, President Barack Obama worked with three European powers, the European Union, Iran, China, and Russia to conclude the Iran nuclear deal, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). In 2018, President Donald Trump formally withdrew the United States from the deal. Instituting his policy of “maximum pressure,” Trump imposed crippling economic sanctions that punished Iran not just for its ongoing nuclear weapons program but also for, among other things, its regional aggression and support for terrorism worldwide.

Earlier in 2018, Israeli agents conducted a dramatic operation in Tehran, breaking into a secret warehouse and capturing a trove of Iranian nuclear files. These documents revealed a more advanced and comprehensive nuclear weapons program than had been previously known. The nuclear archive also showed Iranian officials’ plan for concealing nuclear weapons efforts under the guise of civilian research and development, and how Iranian officials systematically deceived the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

Waiting for Thermidor: America’s Foreign Policy Towards Iran

Reuel Marc Gerecht Ray Takeyh

THE BIDEN administration is stumped by Iran. Upon inauguration, President Joe Biden and the best and the brightest of the Democratic Party assumed that reviving the Iran nuclear deal would be simple. In one of the ironic twists of history, they are bedeviled by their predecessor Donald Trump. It was the Trump administration that designated the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), the muscle behind the theocracy, as a foreign terrorist organization.

The State Department has designated the Islamic Republic a state sponsor of terrorism since 1984; no one serious in Washington doubts that the 2019 designation is factually correct. It is, however, politically inconvenient. Iran’s supreme leader, Ali Khamenei, apparently doesn’t care for the diplomatic legerdemain reportedly suggested by U.S. officials and European participants that would allow the White House and Khamenei to ignore this designation. The most embarrassing, if true, proposal would be for the United States to lift sanctions in exchange for a public promise by Tehran not to target Americans in the future. The Iranian foreign minister, Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, hardly a moderate, has suggested that the IRGC take one for the team since, in the end, it won’t really matter if the big sanctions on oil exports are lifted. So far, Khamenei has held firm, as has President Joe Biden.

Is nuclear war inevitable?

Joseph S. Nye

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and nuclear sabre rattling against the West have revived a debate about nuclear weapons. Last year, when a United Nations treaty to ban such weapons outright entered into force, none of the world’s nine nuclear-weapon states was among the 86 signatories. How can these states justify possessing weapons that put all of humanity at risk?

That is a pertinent question, but it must be considered alongside another one: if the United States were to sign the treaty and destroy its own arsenal, would it still be able to deter further Russian aggression in Europe? If the answer is no, one also must consider whether nuclear war is inevitable.

It’s not a new question. In 1960, the British scientist and novelist C.P. Snow concluded that nuclear war within a decade was ‘a mathematical certainty’. That may have been an exaggeration, but many believed Snow’s prediction would be justified if a war occurred within a century. In the 1980s, Nuclear Freeze campaigners like Helen Caldicott echoed Snow in warning that the build-up of nuclear weapons ‘will make nuclear war a mathematical certainty’’

Why the US is becoming more brazen with its Ukraine support


The Biden administration is arming Ukraine with weapons that can do serious damage to Russian forces, and, unlike early in the war, U.S. officials don’t appear worried about Moscow’s reaction.

In the past several months, Washington has detailed tranches of new drones, harder-hitting missiles and deadly rocket systems as part of billions of dollars pledged to the former Soviet country. The clear support is a far cry from the early days of the war, when the U.S. government seemed hesitant to list exactly what was being sent into Ukraine so as not to tip off or draw the ire of Moscow.

But that’s changed thanks to a struggling Kremlin that has failed to follow through with its threats.

“Over time, the administration has recognized that they can provide larger, more capable, longer-distance, heavier weapons to the Ukrainians and the Russians have not reacted,” former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine William Taylor told The Hill.

This Marine Officer Is Mad as Hell

Miles Lagoze

Former Lieutenant Colonel Stuart Scheller was the kind of infantry officer I probably would have loved as an enlisted Marine back in 2008. The officer who shuns bureaucracy and looks out for his Marines at all costs, even if it costs him his command and career. The officer who focuses on fighting wars instead of enforcing asinine rules and regulations. The kind of officer who embodies the mentality that a leader isn’t a leader until he earns that status from his men, that his identity isn’t real until it’s solidified in the hearts and minds of his Marines. It’s a powerful sentiment. And, based on his new memoir, “Crisis of Command” (Knox Press, 2022), it seems that Scheller succeeded in embodying this sentiment over the course of his 17 years in uniform.

Having been an enlisted Marine, I suspect Scheller is the kind of officer who wishes he had enlisted instead of being commissioned. It’s not uncommon. With those corporate, cushy desk jobs and promotion selection boards, officers place heavy emphasis on “professionalism” and the political skills required to maneuver a career through the appropriate checkpoints. These things never seemed to interest Scheller. After all, he abandoned his first career as a corporate accountant to join the Marine Corps in late 2004, shortly after the start of the Iraq War.

I Was Wrong. Now What?

Francis J. Gavin

I have a confession to make: I have been wrong quite a lot lately. I believed Vladimir Putin was pursuing a coercive bluff and would not invade Ukraine. I did not think Xi Jinping’s China would be so foolish as to crack down on Hong Kong. Donald Trump serving out his full four-year term shocked me as much as his election did. Uber struck me as an impractical fad that would never work out, and, in 2010, when a friend excitedly showed me an iPad he had purchased, I thought he had wasted his money. I also believed the Philadelphia Eagles’ 2018 Super Bowl victory was the start of a decades-long football dynasty.

Maybe I am just especially bad at understanding how the world works, an interpretation my daughters might favor. I doubt, however, that this is the whole story. While I am humble enough to admit mistakes, I am immodest enough to think I am smart, thoughtful, and careful in my analyses. And there have been times when I have been right about important questions. I have long pushed back against two popular predictions that have surfaced regularly since I began my academic career: first, that the world is at a nuclear tipping point and the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty regime is close to collapse, and second, that the dollar is about to lose its leading position as a reserve currency. The number of nuclear weapons states has stayed the same since I first heard this warning 30 years ago, and the dollar is strong and more central to the international economy than ever. While I am not sure what my batting average is, I confess I am more likely to highlight when I am right than linger on my misjudgments, be it in the classroom, casual conversation, or scholarly footnotes.

Invest in the Future of Ukraine

Volodymyr Zelensky

I told the World Economic Forum in May that I plan great leaps ahead for the postwar Ukrainian economy. I committed my administration to creating a favorable environment for investment that would make Ukraine the greatest growth opportunity in Europe since the end of World War II.

Today, with the introduction of Advantage Ukraine, I am delivering on that promise. I invite foreign investors and companies with ambition to see the advantage in investing in the future of Ukraine, and to recognize the tremendous growth potential our country presents. We have already identified options for more than $400 billion of potential investment, which reach from public-private partnerships to privatization and private ventures. With the support of the U.S. Agency for International Development, we have formed a project team of investment bankers and researchers, appointed by Ukraine’s Economy Ministry, that will work with businesses interested in investing.

While Ukraine is recognized for its agriculture, the breadbasket of Europe, the nation is less well known for its leadership in science and technology. Our country has a growing, well-educated, English-speaking workforce with in-demand STEM capabilities. Today, Ukraine has more graduates with degrees in technology than most European countries, while 240,000 citizens are employed in the information-technology sector (this is forecast by the Ukrainian government to grow to 450,000 by 2024). Additionally, I am proud that Ukraine leads among central and eastern European countries in research and development and IT outsourcing.

The US military needs a lot more artillery shells, rockets, and missiles for the next war


The U.S. military needs to start buying munitions by the proverbial crapload if they want to be prepared for a war with Russia or China.

Back in February 2018, the Army asked Congress for money to buy about 150,000 shells for 155mm howitzers. That represented an 825% increase in the number of shells that the Army wanted to buy.

Events since then have shown that 150,000 shells will not get you far on a modern battlefield. Since February, the United States has provided Ukraine with up to 806,000 shells for 155mm howitzers and another 108,000 shells for 105mm guns, according to the Defense Department. That’s close to 1 million shells in roughly six months, and that figure does not include the precision-guided rockets for the 16 M142 High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems, or HIMARS, that the U.S. military has also given to Ukraine.

As of June, Ukrainian forces were firing up to 6,000 shells a day, prompting the Defense Department to provide the Ukrainians with the HIMARS as well as more precise 155mm rounds in an attempt to slow the rate at which the Ukraine was burning through its ammunition.

Afghanistan: ISIS Group Targets Religious Minorities

The Islamic State of Khorasan Province (ISKP), the Islamic State’s (ISIS) affiliate in Afghanistan, has repeatedly attacked Hazaras and other religious minorities at their mosques, schools, and workplaces, Human Rights Watch said Wednesday. The Taliban authorities have done little to protect these communities from suicide bombings and other unlawful attacks or provide necessary medical care and assistance to victims and their families.

Since the Taliban took over Afghanistan in August 2021, the Islamic State affiliate has claimed responsibility for 13 attacks against Hazaras and has been linked to at least 3 more, killing and injuring at least 700 people. The Taliban’s growing crackdown on the media, especially in the provinces,means additional attacks are likely to have gone unreported. The United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) reported that recent attacks by the group on Shia gatherings in Kabul killed and injured more than 120 people.

“Since the Taliban takeover, ISIS-linked fighters have committed numerous brutal attacks against members of the Hazara community as they go to school, to work, or to pray, without a serious response from the Taliban authorities,” said Fereshta Abbasi, Afghanistan researcher at Human Rights Watch. “The Taliban have an obligation to protect at-risk communities and assist the victims of attacks and their families.”