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Weekly Roundup
Wars That Aren't Wars, Jets That Aren't Worth it, and Putin in a Tight Spot

Good afternoon, TAI readers! If you can tear yourself away from the World Cup final, here’s a look back at what you might have missed on the site during the past week:

How the definitions of war and peace are guiding the crisis in Ukraine: If it looks like a war, smells like a war, and involves hard power like a war, then it’s probably a war. But everybody still refuses to admit it, for a host of reasons.

We are seeing Iraqi weakness, not ISIS strength: The ISIS offensive has so far played to Iran’s advantage, but the dissolution of Iraq poses a much great and more longterm threat to Iran than to the U.S.

A hundred years on, World War I still matters: How geopolitical and military strategy has moved on in the last century, and how it has not.

The abortion debate is stuck in a rhetorical fog: Any definition of when personhood begins will be at least a little arbitrary, writes Peter Berger. And anyone who says otherwise is probably playing fast and loose with important words.

The rise of autocracy is enabled by Russia: According to Freedom House, four out of five people in formerly Soviet Union nations live under authoritarian rule.

The F-35 is a mess, but the real problem is even bigger than that: After hundreds of billions of dollars and several decades, the F-35 missed its big debut in England today. The jet is such a costly mediocrity because U.S. weapons procurement policy is stuck in WWII.

The Ukrainian army is still going strong, and it’s putting Putin in a tight spot: Putin’s strategy is to help the separatists enough that they don’t lose, but not so much that he triggers sanctions. Now that the Ukrainian army has taken back the border and some key cities, Putin must walk an even finer line.

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  • Breif2

    “The jet is such a costly mediocrity because U.S. weapons procurement policy is stuck in WWII.”

    If only!

    • Andrew Allison

      Ike was right about the military-industrial complex, which has metastasized into a mutual aid (in ripping off the taxpayer) society.

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