Putin’s decision to invade Ukraine shattered decades of international efforts to preserve peace in Europe. Almost overnight, Russia has gone from an important actor seeking to upend the international system to a pariah state, the subject of devastating economic sanctions and diplomatic isolation. And Putin’s growing willingness to employ indiscriminate violence in service of his geopolitical ambitions makes it even more crucial for the international community to remain unified in pressuring Moscow for an end to the bloodshed. USIP is committed to developing a new portfolio of analysis and research that addresses the threat Russia poses to both Ukraine’s sovereignty and the rules-based international system.
The United States needs as many friends as it can get in the intensifying struggle with China, Russia and Iran. But to build large and effective coalitions, it will need to be flexible. At the global level, where competition encompasses security, technology and commerce, it makes sense to appeal to universal principles rooted in the Western traditions of individual liberty and representative government. But at the regional level, especially in those places where most of the United States’ natural partners are not democracies, we will need to be pragmatic and appeal to the shared interests of preserving the independence and sovereignty of individual states against revisionist encroachments.
The conflict in the Middle East is helping divert attention away from Russia’s war in Ukraine. And despite rumors of peace talks, USIP’s Heather Ashby says neither side seems willing to budge: “I don’t think people should be optimistic that there will be negotiations … even with a third party trying to bring the sides together.”
Amid Russia’s ongoing war on Ukraine, Hamas’s terrorist attack on Israel and Israel’s military response in Gaza has significant and challenging repercussions for both countries and for U.S. support for Ukraine’s defense. Both Ukraine and Russia are seeking political and diplomatic support from the international community, which is watching closely to see who supports and who condemns Hamas and Israeli actions. At the same time, the war in Gaza threatens to take global attention and resources away from Ukraine’s efforts to defend itself. This change in focus could lead to a diminution of economic and military assistance for that embattled country.
Russia’s massive assault on an independent Ukraine menaces not only Eastern Europe, but the human effort, since World War II, to build global peace through the international rule of law. USIP provides analysis and support for policies that can help sustain the democracy, dialogue and diplomacy that will be required to ultimately defeat this threat.
Intensifying strategic competition has left U.S.-China ties at a historic low, and the resulting geopolitical tensions have turned Taiwan into a potential flashpoint for a military confrontation between the two great powers. Amid this complex diplomatic landscape, USIP is working to improve U.S. and Taiwanese officials’ decision-making during a potential crisis by convening “peace games” and “tabletop exercises”; to build a deeper understanding of China’s coercive strategies and capabilities; and to help policymakers develop strategies to deter Beijing from taking military action in the Taiwan Strait.