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Situation Report

A weekly digest of national security, defense, and cybersecurity news from Foreign Policy reporters Jack Detsch and Robbie Gramer, formerly Security Brief. Delivered Thursday.

Two men are seen from the back as they man a turret.
Two men are seen from the back as they man a turret.
A plane flies above buildings and a hillside.
A plane flies above buildings and a hillside.

How It All Fell Apart in Afghanistan

The top U.S. watchdog for the conflict has a new theory.

The U.S. Capitol is shown in the dark, surrounded by fog.
The U.S. Capitol is shown in the dark, surrounded by fog.

Biden’s Foreign Policy Set for Midterm Shake-Up

House Republicans are already planning a batch of investigations.

A person walks past an image of Kim Jong Un on a screen.
A person walks past an image of Kim Jong Un on a screen.

North Korea Goes Trigger Happy With New Missile Tests

The United States is warning that a nuclear strike would be game over for Kim Jong Un.

A missile is launched at night.
A missile is launched at night.

U.S. Gets Hypersonics Back on Track

The Pentagon tries to one-up China’s “Sputnik moment.”

A lectern is installed in front of 10 Downing Street pending a statement by prime Minister Liz Truss, on October 20, 2022 in London, England.
A lectern is installed in front of 10 Downing Street pending a statement by prime Minister Liz Truss, on October 20, 2022 in London, England.
Xi and Putin walk side-by-side near a military honor guard.
Xi and Putin walk side-by-side near a military honor guard.

Russia and China Threats Are Not the Same

Not all adversaries are created equal, Team Biden says.

Putin is seated and looks off in the distance.
Putin is seated and looks off in the distance.

Russia Is Losing Its Clout in Central Asia as Ukraine War Spirals

Central Asian powers are learning that Putin is not the tough neighborhood sheriff he claimed to be.

An aircraft carrier is pictured in water, with the NYC skyline in the background.
An aircraft carrier is pictured in water, with the NYC skyline in the background.

Britain’s Hard-Power Ambitions Face Soft-Power Headwinds

Aboard the HMS Queen Elizabeth, Britain’s role in the world faces changing tides.

A close-up of Putin's face from the side.
A close-up of Putin's face from the side.

Europe Struggles to See What’s Next for Russia

Putin’s fumbling war in Ukraine has weakened his grip on power, but it’s still not clear what that means.

Xi and Putin stand side by side in suits in front of flags.
Xi and Putin stand side by side in suits in front of flags.

Putin Panders to China

The Russian leader revealed that Xi has concerns over the war in Ukraine.

People in orange vests load missiles onto a fighter jet.
People in orange vests load missiles onto a fighter jet.

Taiwan’s New Status Quo

A top lawmaker says China’s game plan is to blockade the island and stop allies from helping out.

A person in a military uniform is seen in front of a destroyed building.
A person in a military uniform is seen in front of a destroyed building.

Why Is Putin Dodging the Draft?

The Russian leader is resisting calls for mass conscription amid his military’s costly quagmire in Ukraine.

Members of Ukraine's military attend a flag raising ceremony in Lviv, Ukraine, on Aug. 23.
Members of Ukraine's military attend a flag raising ceremony in Lviv, Ukraine, on Aug. 23.

U.S. Plays the Long Game in Ukraine

The biggest U.S. arms package yet is a sign that policymakers think the war isn’t ending anytime soon.

Biden sits at a table with other men in suits and face masks.
Biden sits at a table with other men in suits and face masks.

No Accountability on Afghanistan a Year Later

As blame games swirl in Washington, will anyone be held to account?

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Reporters’ Notebook — Winter and the War

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As Russia’s war in Ukraine continues into 2023, the weather will have an important impact. Ukrainians, of course, are more vulnerable than usual to power outages and energy shocks. But Rus...Show more

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Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi is likely the most popular elected leader in the world. No other politician has won so many votes in history. Few other incumbent leaders around the world...Show more

BRUSSELS, BELGIUM - JULY 15: EU Commissioner for European Green Deal - First Vice President and Executive Vice President Frans Timmermans talks to to media in the Berlaymont building, the EU Commission headquarter on July 15, 2021 in Brussels, Belgium. EU Commissioners talked about making transport greener. (Photo by Thierry Monasse/Getty Images)
BRUSSELS, BELGIUM - JULY 15: EU Commissioner for European Green Deal - First Vice President and Executive Vice President Frans Timmermans talks to to media in the Berlaymont building, the EU Commission headquarter on July 15, 2021 in Brussels, Belgium. EU Commissioners talked about making transport greener. (Photo by Thierry Monasse/Getty Images)

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