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Nolo Contendere
The Danger of Not Competing

Withdrawing from a contest isn’t always cost free. Allies are always watching.

Power Balancing
Emperor Nero’s Lesson on Ukraine

As the Romans knew, the secret to regaining influence over a teetering buffer state is: reputation, reputation, reputation.

Know Thy Enemy
How to Fight an Elusive Enemy

The problem of targeting an enemy that avoids battles is not new. Consider, for example, the Roman Empire’s 1st-Century war against Tacfarinas in North Africa.

Know Thy Enemy
Are Tyrants Only Local Thugs?

Mostly perhaps, but in the right circumstances they can pose a threat to international stability.

photo by Richard Westall, Wikimedia Commons
Know Thy Enemy
The Tyrant’s Hopelessness

The ancients knew: to understand a tyranny, you have to understand the tyrant’s soul.

© Getty Images
Smash & Burn
Putin’s Desire for Failure

By all appearances, Russia aspires to create a failed state on its own border. If this is the case, this also means the confrontation is less amenable to a diplomatic resolution.

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Ancient Wisdom
Know Thy Enemy

The modern Western penchant for trusting in the equal rationality of all is strategic folly. Aeschylus understood this well.

NATALIA KOLESNIKOVA/AFP/Getty Images
Russia and the West
The Geopolitical Nihilist

Putin’s Russia may be able to wreck the geopolitical status quo, but it doesn’t have the power to replace it.

Young cadets of the ‘Donetsk People’s Republic’ © Getty Images
The Best Defense
A Preclusive Strategy to Defend the NATO Frontier

In light of Russia’s recent moves, NATO would do well to rethink its defense-in-depth strategy in favor of a more forward-leaning posture.

MENAHEM KAHANA/AFP/Getty Images
The Revisionists
“Salami Slicing” and Deterrence

The question for NATO leaders is not only how to shore up the deterrence that remains, but how to restore the deterrence that has been lost.

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