Perceptions that the United States has “Ukraine fatigue” may be more myth than reality. It could be years before any declines in the American public's support for Ukraine actually result in a change of policy.
The Ukraine war has created a unique set of circumstances that make a limited Russian attack against a NATO target plausible. If such an attack were to occur, how might the United States and NATO respond?
Religion is a visible force in the sociopolitical life of post-Soviet countries. Understanding how religion has contributed to peace or tensions in the region could inform policymakers and others working to bring stability to the former Soviet republics.
Russia's annexation of Crimea was a decisive use of military force toward political ends. But Russia benefited from favorable circumstances that make this hard to replicate. Moscow likely considers its campaign in Eastern Ukraine a strategic success but an unsuccessful operation.
The West needs to work more quickly and coordinate better to offset Russia's capabilities, aggressiveness, and success. Responding to Russia's hostile influence involves predicting Russia's targets, identifying the tools it's likely to use, and playing the long game rather than focusing on near-term events.
The Ukraine conflict has left every major actor involved worse off than it was before, and a resolution seems as elusive as ever. An inclusive dialogue on the regional order could be the first step toward defusing the conflict.
Perceptions of Russia as a military threat differ sharply across Europe. But European leaders generally agree that relations with Russia have changed irreparably, tensions are unlikely to recede anytime soon, and future actions toward Russia will depend on Moscow's behavior.
Russia is a declining economic power whose foreign policy has led to isolation and criticism. But Putin may have an inflated sense of Russia's importance and expect one-sided U.S. concessions. If so, diplomacy could run into headwinds early in the Trump administration.
The 2014 Maidan revolution created an opportunity for change in a system that had resisted it for 25 years. The Ukrainian security establishment has progressed since then, but its efforts have been insufficient to address the threats now facing the nation.
An assessment of Ukraine's security sector determines what different institutions need to do and where gaps exist. Roles and responsibilities need to be clarified, and coordination is needed among individual ministries and agencies.
As long as political will for military measures to contain and deter Russian aggression remains limited, sustaining sanctions against Russia remains the only option to deal with a nation that is determined to revise the post-Cold War political and economic settlement in Europe in its favor.
The U.S. and NATO response to Russia's more assertive policy in Europe since 2014 has focused heavily on deterring possible Russian threats to the Baltic region. As allies take steps to strengthen defense of the Baltic region, they need to pay increased attention to enhancing security and deterrence in the Black Sea area.
Seeking relief from Western sanctions, the Kremlin is waging a campaign of public distortion and intimidation to split Europe from America, and Europeans from each other. But many of its tactics are clumsy and self-defeating.
The Donbas occupation is straining Russia's economy, world power status, and relationship with the West. Only by pulling out of eastern Ukraine and reforming its economy can Russia gain broader acceptance and reach its potential as a great power.
Russian aggression in Ukraine and nuclear saber rattling are jeopardizing the very global nonproliferation efforts that this week's Nuclear Security Summit in Washington seeks to further. Moscow's actions deserve a stronger response than they have received.
Russia is losing ground in domestic politics, economics, and foreign policy. It could take steps to strengthen its position, such as withdrawing from Ukraine, privatizing inefficient state enterprises, and improving the investment climate.
Russia's attitude toward Ukraine is consistent with historical Russian (and Soviet) thinking about security interests and foreign policy. But these patterns are only a starting point for understanding recent events.