Military strategy

Russian President Vladimir Putin points at a map while inspecting the construction of a bridge across the Kerch Strait, linking Russia and the Crimean peninsula, while aboard a helicopter on March 18, 2016. (Mikhail Klimenty/AFP/Getty Images)

Goodbye Grotius, Hello Putin

Russia’s provocations in the Kerch Strait aren’t just a challenge to Ukraine. Like Beijing in the South China Sea, Moscow is seeking to undermine international maritime law.

A member of the Metropolitan Police SWAT team patrols a movie theater before a showing of the film "The Interview" on December 25, 2014 in Washington, DC.

In Cyberwar, There Are Some (Unspoken) Rules

A recent article argues that the lack of legal norms invites cyberconflict. But governments know the price of overreach and are refraining from unleashing their full capabilities.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and U.S. President Donald Trump walk along the Rose Garden colonnade as they arrive for a joint news conference at the White House, June 7, 2018 (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Don’t Let the U.S.-Japanese Alliance Get Out of Shape

Joint military exercises have kept the relationship strong despite Trump, but that could soon change.

Donald Trump speaks during an event to announces a grant for drug-free communities support program, in the Roosevelt Room of the White House in Washington, DC, on August 29, 2018. (MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)

Planning for the Post-Trump Wreckage

When the president eventually exits the White House, the rest of us will quickly have to make sense of the world he's left behind.

The commander of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard's Quds Force, General Qassem Suleimani, attends celebrations marking the 37th anniversary of the Islamic revolution on February 11, 2016 in Tehran.

What Iran Really Wants in Syria

Misperceptions of Tehran’s true intentions could lead to disaster.

A U.S. Air Force F-15 fighter jet touching down at Gwangju Air Base in South Korea on Dec. 1, 2017. (Senior Airman Colby L. Hardin/U.S. Air Force via Getty Images)

What’s Driving the U.S. Air Force Pilot Shortage?

It’s not leadership or combat culture driving pilots out of the service.

A U.S. Army helicopter flies from Camp Shorab to Camp Bost on Sept. 11, 2017 in Helmand Province, Afghanistan. (Andrew Renneisen/Getty Images)

 The Afghan War Isn’t Being Won, Says New Pentagon Audit

A new summary of the country’s troubles by a special inspector general doesn’t paint an optimistic picture.

Russian President Vladimir Putin on a computer screen in an internet cafe in Moscow. (DENIS SINYAKOV/AFP/Getty Images)

I’m Sorry for Creating the ‘Gerasimov Doctrine’

I was the first to write about Russia’s infamous high-tech military strategy. One small problem: it doesn't exist.

US Secretary for Defense James Mattis in Brussels on February 14, 2018. (VIRGINIA MAYO/AFP/Getty Images)

The Military’s ‘Readiness’ Scam Worked Again

The Pentagon always complains for more money – and politicians always eventually give in.

A nuclear bunker in Northern Ireland on February 4, 2016. (Charles McQuillan/Getty Images)

The World Doesn’t Need Any More Nuclear Strategies

The Trump administration’s Nuclear Posture Review answers questions nobody should be asking.

Saudi Crown Prince Salman bin Abdulaziz meets Chinese President Xi Jinping after a welcoming ceremony at the Great Hall of the People on March 13, 2014 in Beijing, China. (Lintao Zhang/Getty Images)

What Would a Saudi-Iran War Look Like? Don’t look now, but it is already here

After eight years at Foreign Policy, here are the ten most popular Best Defense posts

U.S. Joint Forces Command Commander James Mattis speaks during the 2010 Atlantic Council awards dinner at the Ritz Carlton Hotel on April 28, 2010 in Washington, D.C. (Kris Connor/Getty Images)

The ouster of Mattis: Some follow-up details and a White House response

After eight years at Foreign Policy, here are the ten most popular Best Defense posts.

Edward III counting the dead after the battle of Crécy. (Wikimedia Commons)

Moral Repugnance: A Response to ‘Can’t Kill Enough to Win? Think Again’

There are multiple ways to describe retired Lt. Cols. David Bolgiano and John Taylor’s article in the December issue of Proceedings.

The nuclear football. (Wikimedia Commons)

It Is High Time to Do Away With the President’s Nuclear ‘Football’

The recent Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on nuclear weapons introduced some unsettling possibilities.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, U.S. President Donald Trump and Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull during the South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) summit in Manila on Nov. 13. (Jim Watson/AFP/Getty Images)

Australia Is Worried About America’s Ability to Lead

The West needs a strong, committed, engaged White House to hedge against China’s inexorable rise.

North Korean soldiers during a parade in Pyongyang on Oct. 10. (Ed Jones/AFP/Getty Images)

China Should Send 30,000 Troops Into North Korea

The only way to stand down from a nuclear confrontation is to reassure Kim Jong Un that the United States won’t — and can’t — invade.

The Ratification of the Treaty of Münster, 15 May 1648. (Rijksmuseum Amsterdam via Wikimedia Commons)

Edgar on Strategy (Part X): Build your approach on the understanding that the global state system is here to stay

While some arguments for the decline of the state are insightful and important, none of them have stuck.

A U.S. Marine stands guard Apr. 14, 1993 from his position on an armored personnel carrier at a check-point in Mogadishu. (Eric Cabanis/AFP/GettyImages)

Edgar on Strategy (Part IX): To what end? The frequently missing ‘why’ of strategy

Policymakers must articulate the “why” informing a strategy and periodically revaluate whether it is achievable and what ought to come next.

U.S. service members walk off a helicopter on the runway at Camp Bost on Sept. 11 in Helmand Province, Afghanistan. (Andrew Renneisen/Getty Images)

My time in the rotation helps show why our approach in Afghanistan is doomed

The U.S. military’s way of operating in Afghanistan is a recipe for failure.

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