Military strategy

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The Fire in Syria Is Shedding Light on the United States

There’s only one positive aspect to the disaster in Syria: It’s forcing an overdue conversation about U.S. grand strategy.

U.S. troops land in Normandy, France, on D-Day, June 6, 1944.

The Lessons of 1944 Are in Jeopardy

Seventy-five years after D-Day, the United States should remember that on-the-ground leadership still works.

Chinese President Xi Jinping shakes hands with former United States Secretary of State Henry Kissinger at the Great Hall of the People on March 17, 2015 in Beijing, China. (Feng Li/Getty Images)

5 Very Important Things About the World Nobody Knows

The future will be determined by a handful of big questions that don’t yet have answers.

Finnish F-18 Hornet planes at Rovaniemi airport during a joint exercise between the Finnish and the Swedish air forces over the Arctic Circle on March 25, 2019.

Scandinavia Won’t Be Russia’s Next Target

Mikheil Saakashvili’s country was a victim of Putin’s aggression. Finland and Sweden won’t be.

A Ukrainian soldier stands guard aboard the military vessel "Dondass" moored in Mariupol, the Sea of Azov port on Nov. 27, 2018, after three Ukrainian navy vessels were forcibly seized off the coast of Crimea by Russian forces.

Russia’s Next Land Grab Won’t Be in an Ex-Soviet State. It Will Be in Europe.

First he came for Georgia, then for Ukraine. Vladimir Putin’s next target is likely to be a non-NATO nation in the EU.

Russian President Vladimir Putin delivers a speech under the rain during celebrations for Navy Day in Baltiysk in the Kaliningrad region on July 26, 2015.

Don’t Believe the Russian Hype

Moscow’s missile capabilities in the Baltic Sea region are not nearly as dangerous as they seem.

A screen shows visitors being filmed by AI security cameras with facial recognition technology at the 14th China International Exhibition on Public Safety and Security at the China International Exhibition Center in Beijing on Oct. 24, 2018.

Whoever Predicts the Future Will Win the AI Arms Race

China, Russia, and the United States are approaching the long-term strategic potential of artificial intelligence very differently. The country that gets it right will reap huge military benefits.

U.S. Marines patrol on April 1, 2009 through Now Zad in Helmand province, Afghanistan.

Why America Lost in Afghanistan

Successive U.S. administrations failed to heed the lessons of a forgotten counterinsurgency success story from Vietnam.

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

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