Nikolas K. Gvosdev, a contributing editor at the National Interest.
Moscow has used its new-found influence in the Middle East to thwart the U.S. effort to use Saudi Arabia as a pressure point against the Russian economy.
Vladimir Putin has to decide whether pride requires a Russian response, or whether he is willing to accept the current state of play and stop the cycle altogether.
Afghanistan cannot be viewed in zero-sum terms.
In Kiev, Mattis could provide no definitive answers to questions about what is likely to change.
The president, his national security team and Congress will have to work together to find the answers.
New sanctions on Russia are not a “fire and forgot” tool. They must be accompanied by a more comprehensive approach.
History shows that the lack of flexibility or graduation mechanisms in congressional sanctions can create unnecessary complications for the United States.
Nobody should expect major changes to happen overnight.
And they have options.
Without a clearly defined understanding of U.S. interests, the risk grows that the United States will stumble into a clash with Russia and Iran.
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