• Articles,  INSS

    Russian Challenges from Now into the Next Generation: A Geostrategic Primer

    U.S. and Western relations with Russia remain challenged as Russia increasingly reasserts itself on the global stage. Russia remains driven by a worldview based on existential threats—real, perceived, and contrived. As a vast, 11-time zone Eurasian nation with major demographic and economic challenges, Russia faces multiple security dilemmas internally and along its vulnerable and expansive borders. Exhibiting a reactive xenophobia stemming from a long history of destructive war and invasion along most of its borders, the collapse of the Soviet Union, the enlargement of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, and perceived Western slights, Russia increasingly threatens others and lashes outward. However, time is not on Russia’s side, as it has…

  • Articles,  National Interest

    These Are the High Stakes of the NATO and Trump-Putin Summits

    Trump and America’s allies must stand firm while also not sleep-walking into war. The summit between President Donald Trump and Russian president Vladimir Putin scheduled for July 16 in Helsinki is now a certainty. While all such encounters between the United States and Russia carry strategic weight, this one is crucial. The Russian meeting is preceded by Trump’s fraught attendance at the July 11–12 North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) summit and a next-day visit to an uneasy United Kingdom. This means the Helsinki summit will climax what may prove to be the most-important six-day period so far this century. Every foreign power —not least, China—will watch closely. President Vladimir Putin’s …

  • Articles,  PRISM

    Russia’s Contradictory Relationship with the West

    Peter Zwack is the Senior Russia-Eurasia Research Fellow at the National Defense University’s Institute of National Security Studies. He is a retired U.S. Army Brigadier General and served as the U.S. Defense Attaché in Moscow, Russia from 2012 – 2014. Prelude: Recalling Operation Long Thrust On August 20, 1961, an American armored battle group of the 18th Infantry Regiment stationed in West Germany crossed the heavily militarized border at Helmstedt and rolled its way approximately 100 miles along the autobahn across Soviet-controlled East Germany into West Berlin. Too small to be an offensive threat, but formidable enough to be serious, Operation Long Thrust skirted the fine line between resolute deterrence…

  • Articles,  Defense One

    It’s High Time for US, Russian Militaries to Start Meeting Again

    It is increasingly dangerous in this cyber-fast world for the nuclear-tipped nations to have such a dearth of contact.  In January 2014, the U.S. and Russia’s highest military leaders and their staffs met in Brussels to discuss important security issues. The turmoil in Kyiv’s Maidan Square was intensifying, and the Sochi Olympics and Ukrainian President Yanukovych’s ouster were just weeks away. That was the last time senior U.S. and Russian military leaders met face-to-face — and the end of several years of active, though guarded, engagement between our militaries. It is of urgent importance, particularly in the wake of the horrific attacks in Paris, that our two countries reopen these…

  • Articles

    TORGAU ELBE

    By Peter B. Zwack – – Thursday, April 2, 2015 Seventy years ago this April 25, American and Soviet military met as wartime allies against Nazi Germany in the closing days of World War II in an obscure and now long-forgotten place on the Elbe River called Torgau. This was a truly special embrace of men in arms in a terribly costly but just war against the most hideous existential threat the modern world had ever known. It brought about a bond between wartime allies that shortly thereafter was lost and abandoned in the Cold War. It looks increasingly likely that we will not mutually commemorate the 70th anniversary of…