David Hobbs

Limiting Putin’s Escalation Options

After Ukraine’s advances in the Kharkiv region in mid-September, what once seemed a remote prospect – the operational defeat of Russia’s forces in Ukraine – is looking increasingly plausible. But President Putin will seek to avoid that through escalation. But he is not holding all the cards; Ukraine and its supporters can take steps to …

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What President Putin Really Fears About NATO

President Putin knows perfectly well that NATO poses no military threat to Russia. But it is not a military threat that he fears. Finland and Sweden’s decisions to join NATO show just how severely President Putin’s invasion of Ukraine has backfired. President Putin might well have stalled Ukraine’s membership prospects, but these were long-term, even …

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Russian Guarantees to Ukraine

Russia tries to ignore that Russia itself – as well as the United Kingdom and the United States – signed an agreement to respect Ukraine’s borders, not threaten or use force against Ukraine, and refrain from using economic coercion against Ukraine.

Afghanistan and NATO: an Alarm Bell, not a Death Knell

The messy end to NATO’s engagement in Afghanistan underlines the need to press ahead with plans to adapt to the new era of strategic competition so that NATO remains as the central hub for defence and security cooperation among the Allies. The rapidity of the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan and the hasty evacuation from Kabul …

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The Integrated Review

On 16 March 2021, the government published “Global Britain in a Competitive Age”, the centrepiece of its long-awaited Integrated Review of Security, Defence, Development, and Foreign Policy It presents a “whole-of-government” and “whole-of-society” approach to national security and resilience, going well beyond traditional notions of defence and foreign policy.  The goal is to defend “our …

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