James Stavridis

The Seven Lessons of Counterinsurgency 101 in Ukraine

How to fend off the Russians, in seven simple steps.

Ukraine hangs at a precarious moment, twisting in an uncertain wind. Russian troops are still massed along the eastern border, and President Vladimir Putin seems intent on keeping his options open: Will he choose invasion, destabilization, or negotiation? The most likely path forward seems to be a Russian attempt to destabilize Ukraine through a covert campaign. The United States and its NATO allies should lean in to help the Kiev regime prepare to conduct counterinsurgency operations, given what appears to be obvious Russian support to violent separatists.

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The Missing Piece in Ensuring Afghanistan’s Peace

Much has gone right in Afghanistan. It’s more secure, stable, and even optimistic. But there's one final tweak needed before America says goodbye.

So now the United States approaches the endgame -- long predicted -- in Afghanistan.

While it is tempting at times to simply walk away, doing so serves no geopolitically sensible purpose, and indeed may be snatching certain defeat from the jaws of a very possible success.

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NATO Needs to Move Now on Crimea

Action may provoke -- but so does doing nothing.

Now that Vladimir Putin's Olympics are over, his gaze has turned inexorably to what he clearly regards as the premier foreign-policy priority of the Russian Federation: retaining determinative influence -- if not full control -- over Ukraine.

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The French Connection

Why it's time to build a new special relationship between Washington and Paris.    

Despite the headlines, French President François Hollande's state visit to Washington, which begins on Feb. 10, will focus heavily on international security issues. Europe is "our principal partner" in seeking global security, according to the Pentagon's strategic guidance. But across the continent, economic strains and disenchantment with military interventions are eroding the political will and defense investments needed to maintain and deploy capable forces. So the United States has a clear interest in supporting an ally that's bucking those trends.

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Cool War Rising

With Washington and Moscow caught in a deteriorating relationship, is conflict inevitable?

Rising tensions in the relationship between the United States and Russia are beginning to cause a "Cool War" -- a sort of Cold War-lite -- that threatens both Washington and the entire global geopolitical system. Without a functioning relationship between Washington and Moscow, the chances of solving major challenges -- from Iran to Syria, the Arctic to Afghanistan -- decreases dramatically. Rather than accept the arc of a deteriorating relationship, the United States should actively seek every possible zone of cooperation we can find with Russia, despite the frustrations and setbacks.

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