David Ignatius

Nota: Este archivo abarca los artículos publicados por el autor desde el 1 de junio de 2007. Para fechas anteriores realice una búsqueda entrecomillando su nombre.

A quiet partnership of the world’s biggest technology companies, U.S. and NATO intelligence agencies, and Ukraine’s own nimble army of hackers has pulled off one of the surprises of the war with Russia, largely foiling the Kremlin’s brazen internet hacking operations.

Russia’s cyber-reversals haven’t resulted from lack of trying. Microsoft counts nearly 40 Russian destructive attacks between Feb. 23 and April 8, and Rob Joyce, the National Security Agency’s cybersecurity director, said the Russians had attempted an “enormous” cyber offensive. The Russians sabotaged a satellite communications network called Viasat in the opening days of the war, for example, with the damage spilling over into other European countries.…  Seguir leyendo »

A Russian serviceman keeps watch in front of a wheat field near Melitopol, Ukraine, on June 14. (Sergei Ilnitsky/EPA-EFE/REX/Shutterstock)

“When war is waged, people go hungry”, U.N. Secretary General António Guterres warned last month. That’s precisely what’s starting to happen as the war in Ukraine ravages the world’s food supplies.

Global food shortages are a largely invisible consequence of the Ukraine war, whose combatants happen to be two of the world’s largest grain exporters. The ripple effect in global markets is just beginning. But a senior White House official warns that unless steps are taken quickly, the war could trigger “a potential mass starvation event”.

The numbers are frightening. Samantha Power, the administrator of the U.S. Agency for International Development, estimates that the conflict has blocked export of 30 percent of the world’s wheat and barley.…  Seguir leyendo »

An aerial view shows destroyed houses after strikes in the town of Pryvillya at the eastern Ukrainian region of Donbas on June 14. (Aris Messinis/AFP via Getty Images) (Afp Contributor#afp/AFP/Getty Images)

Russian military advances in eastern Ukraine this month have raised growing concern in the West that the balance of the war is tipping in Moscow’s favor. But Biden administration officials think these fears are overblown, and that Ukrainian defenses remain solid in this ugly war of attrition.

“We share the concerns, but for now we believe the Ukrainians are well-positioned and equipped to hold off the advances, while the Russians have their own sustainment challenges”, a senior administration official told me Tuesday.

Ukrainian officials have argued that they need more heavy weapons, fast, to hold the line against the Russian offensive in Luhansk and Donetsk provinces in the east.…  Seguir leyendo »

Pro-Russian troops stand in front of the destroyed administration building of Azovstal Iron and Steel Works in Mariupol, Ukraine, on April 21. (Chingis Kondarov/Reuters)

Russian President Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine represents his version of what a U.S. official calls “Russian exceptionalism” — the idea that Russia is a unique Eurasian imperial system, historically sprawled across two continents, that can play by its own rules.

The official, who specializes in Russia, says Putin is riding the tiger — unleashing an extreme brand of Russian nationalism in taking his nation to war while simultaneously trying to unite the scores of non-Russian ethnic groups that make up the Russian Federation. Some analysts describe his approach as “Russian fascism”. The U.S. official noted that Putin has embraced the militarism of European fascist states of the 1930s, but not the ethnic hatred.…  Seguir leyendo »

As the war in Ukraine rages, a long-standing battle between Russia and the United States over cyberspace is also heating up, with a top Russian diplomat warning of “catastrophic” consequences if the United States or its allies “provoke” Russia with a cyberattack.

The “information space”, as the Kremlin likes to call it, has been a growing domain of U.S.-Russian conflict, not only in the Ukraine war, but in Russia’s hacking attacks against the presidential campaigns in 2016 and 2020 as well as the congressional elections in 2018. The two countries briefly seemed to be working together for common rules for cyberspace last year, but that cooperation has now exploded.…  Seguir leyendo »

Destroyed Russian tanks and military vehicles are seen dumped in Bucha outside Kyiv, Ukraine, on May 16. (Jorge Silva/Reuters)

Take a look at what Russians like to call the “correlation of forces” and you can see that there has been a significant change in the global balance of power: Simply put, the United States and its European allies are up, and Russia is down.

The evidence is as close as the morning headlines. Russia is failing in its reckless invasion of Ukraine. No matter how the war ends, the fact is that Russia appears unable to defeat a relatively small neighboring nation. Meanwhile, America and its allies are more united than they have been in years. And the NATO alliance is about to become significantly more powerful with the additions of Finland and Sweden.…  Seguir leyendo »

Women and children are seen in a refugee camp in al-Hol, Syria, on June 2, 2019. (Alice Martins/For The Washington Post)

Western disregard for the families of Islamic State fighters at the al-Hol refugee camp in northeast Syria is “unacceptable”, said the Swiss official who monitors compliance with international humanitarian law.

In a telephone interview Friday, Peter Maurer, president of the International Committee for the Red Cross, sharply criticized the unwillingness of some Western countries to repatriate their nationals or explain their status at al-Hol. He had just returned from a five-day visit to Syria to investigate conditions at the refugee camps and prisons there that house the remnants of the shattered ISIS caliphate.

The avoidance of responsibility by many European governments for their nationals at al-Hol is especially disturbing, given that many of these countries denounced the United States for holding al-Qaeda members and other detainees at Guantánamo Bay.…  Seguir leyendo »

A resident of Mariupol on May 12 sits outside a house heavily damaged during the Ukraine-Russia conflict. (Alexander Ermochenko/Reuters)

Many months of brutal fighting lay ahead in Europe and the Pacific when the United States gathered its partners at Bretton Woods, N.H., in July 1944 to plan the global order that would follow World War II. The Allies knew what institutions the world would need — the future International Monetary Fund, World Bank and United Nations — even before they could see the final victory.

The United States and its NATO partners need to show similar creative imagination now as the war in Ukraine grinds on. The West’s leaders may not be able to describe just how or when the awful battle will end, but they know the building blocks of the future: security, prosperity, law and order, democracy.…  Seguir leyendo »

Police detain demonstrators during a protest against the government of Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan in Yerevan, Armenia, on May 5. (Vahram Baghdasaryan/Photolure/AP)

In the shadow of the war in Ukraine, an unlikely peace process is taking shape to normalize relations between Armenia and its historic adversaries, Azerbaijan and Turkey. What is surprising about this diplomacy is that it appears to have the support of both the United States and Russia.

The negotiations are controversial in Armenia, which was battered by Azerbaijan in a bloody 2020 war over the disputed territory of Nagorno-Karabakh and still bears deep emotional scars from the 1915 genocide under the Ottoman Empire. Protesters in Yerevan have denounced Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan’s opening to Baku and Ankara and have called for his resignation.…  Seguir leyendo »

Members of the militia from the Donetsk People's Republic walk past damaged apartment buildings in an area controlled by Russian-backed separatist forces in Mariupol, Ukraine, on April 16. (Alexei Alexandrov/AP)

Take a careful look at presidential statements from Russia and the United States this week, and you’ll see that the leaders of the two countries appear to be clarifying their goals in Ukraine — as the war shifts to a concentrated, bitter fight for control of the eastern part of the country.

The latest statements by President Vladimir Putin and President Biden don’t preclude a dangerous escalation. But they do offer public descriptions of each side’s goals in ways that may reduce the risk of miscalculation — perhaps setting parameters for what Cold War strategists would have called an “agreed battle”.…  Seguir leyendo »

The al-Hol camp in Syria on June 2, 2019. (Alice Martins/FTWP)

The Islamic State, which seemed to be extinguished three years ago when its caliphate was crushed, is still smoldering red hot at a refugee camp here and a prison nearby. And the Syrian Kurdish militia that’s guarding the facilities says it badly needs help before there’s a new eruption.

The battle against ISIS, as the Islamic State is also known, is yesterday’s war, and it gets little public attention. But the danger of a resurgence was evident Wednesday when Gen. Michael “Erik” Kurilla, the new commander of the U.S. Central Command, toured the two facilities in northeast Syria. He’s the first senior military official to inspect either place.…  Seguir leyendo »

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, center, speaks with journalists in the recaptured Ukraine city of Bucha near Kyiv on April 4. (Ukrainian Presidential Press Service/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock)

With the second bloody round of the war in Ukraine about to begin, the West should step up its assistance and move quickly to provide Kyiv with heavier weapons to resist a savage new Russian assault on the southeastern part of the country.

The first round of the war produced a decisive defeat for Russian invaders who had hoped to capture Kyiv from the north and topple the government of President Volodymyr Zelensky. Russian troops were battered, and they retreated north this month, leaving a gruesome trail of dead Ukrainians in the cities they were forced to abandon.

Russia is now regrouping for a campaign to control a slice of Ukraine stretching from the Donbas in the east all the way to Odessa at the western edge of Ukraine’s Black Sea coast.…  Seguir leyendo »

As the Ukraine war nears a month of brutal fighting, Vladimir Putin is obsessed with Ukraine, angry at his generals, paranoid about enemies at home and abroad, and wrapping his bloody deeds in spiritual language almost mystical in its vision of Russia’s past and future.

Putin’s mind-set was on display at a stadium concert last week, as he invoked a Russian Orthodox warrior-saint who spoke of his own battles as “thunderstorms” that would “glorify Russia”.

“This is how it was in his time; this is how it is today and will always be”, Putin said of Fedor Ushakov, an 18th-century admiral reputed never to have lost a battle and canonized as a saint in 2001, shortly after Putin became president.…  Seguir leyendo »

This was Volodymyr Zelensky’s week. The Ukrainian president taught America and the world the truth of Napoleon’s admonition: “In war, moral is to physical as three is to one”.

Zelensky has taken the West with him, emotionally, to the barricades of Kyiv. He evokes the idealism of the popular uprisings that swept Europe in the 19th century and inspired Victor Hugo’s classic novel, “Les Miserables”. We know the rousing chorus of the musical version: “Do you hear the people sing? Singing a song of angry men? It is the music of a people who will not be slaves again!”

But this isn’t a musical.…  Seguir leyendo »

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky addresses the German parliament in Berlin on March 17. (Clemens Bilan/EPA-EFE/REX/Shutterstock)

This was Volodymyr Zelensky’s week. The Ukrainian president taught America and the world the truth of Napoleon’s admonition: “In war, moral is to physical as three is to one”.

Zelensky has taken the West with him, emotionally, to the barricades of Kyiv. He evokes the idealism of the popular uprisings that swept Europe in the 19th century and inspired Victor Hugo’s classic novel, “Les Miserables”. We know the rousing chorus of the musical version: “Do you hear the people sing? Singing a song of angry men? It is the music of a people who will not be slaves again!”

But this isn’t a musical.…  Seguir leyendo »

A woman walks outside a maternity hospital that was damaged by Russian shelling in Mariupol, Ukraine, on March 9. (Evgeniy Maloletka/AP)

As Russia rains relentless fire on Ukrainian cities, the country’s leaders have been pleading for more Western help. But the United States is rightly wary of a proposal to send the Ukrainians MiG-29 fighter jets — a move that would bring small benefits on the battlefield and entail large risks of a wider war.

The dilemma of how to help Ukraine without triggering a global conflict will only get more painful as Russian President Vladimir Putin keeps doubling down on his losing bet in Ukraine. The latest warning of Putin’s recklessness came from a senior British official, who warned Post journalists on Wednesday that “we’ve got good reason to be concerned about possible use of nonconventional weapons” by Russia down the road.…  Seguir leyendo »

NEAR THE UKRAINE BORDER — Javelin antitank missiles, the American-made weapons that can destroy Russian tanks, are stacked in steel racks awaiting quick shipment into Ukraine. A giant C-17 transport is parked on a nearby runway.

This is what American and NATO support for Ukraine looks like. Every day, 14 widebody jets are landing here to deliver Javelins, Stinger antiaircraft missiles and other weapons for the Ukrainians. A half-dozen of these daily arrivals are American planes.

Watching the Javelins move toward the battlefield Friday is the clearest demonstration of the delicate balance that the United States and its allies are trying to strike in the Ukraine war.…  Seguir leyendo »

Un hombre pasa frente a un vehículo dañado y escombros tras el bombardeo en Mariupol, Ucrania, el jueves 24 de febrero de 2022. El presidente de Rusia, Vladimir Putin, ordenó una andanada de ataques aéreos y con misiles contra Ucrania. (Sergei Grits/AP)

Cuando el presidente ruso Vladímir Putin inició su invasión total a Ucrania el jueves 24 de febrero, le puso punto final a la era post-Guerra Fría. Ahora hay que construir una nueva arquitectura para las relaciones globales, y su forma dependerá de si la brutal campaña de Putin tiene éxito o fracasa.

El ataque de Putin despertó los fantasmas de la guerra que habían perseguido a Europa durante un siglo. El mundo vio con horror cómo una fuerza de asalto masiva atacaba a Ucrania desde tres frentes con misiles, bombas, tanques y la magia electrónica de la guerra cibernética. Decenas de naciones condenaron la invasión, pero la desgarradora realidad es que Ucrania está luchando sola contra Putin.…  Seguir leyendo »

Un militar ucraniano se encuentra en la línea de separación entre el territorio controlado por Ucrania y controlado por los rebeldes cerca de Svitlodarsk, en el este de Ucrania, el 23 de febrero de 2022. Este jueves 24 de febrero, Rusia atacó a Ucrania. (Evgeniy Maloletka/AP Photo)

Para intentar contraatacar el descarado asalto de Rusia a Ucrania, el gobierno del presidente de Estados Unidos, Joe Biden, ha realizado un uso agresivo de estrategias de inteligencia. Pero cuidado: este es un juego de dos, y la historia muestra que los rusos son maestros despiadados de las operaciones encubiertas en esta región.

Las guerras de espionaje de Ucrania, hasta ahora, han tenido lugar principalmente en lo que a los rusos les gusta llamar el “espacio de información”. El desempeño de la Agencia Central de Inteligencia (CIA, por su sigla en inglés) y otras agencias de inteligencia de Estados Unidos ha sido impresionante.…  Seguir leyendo »

A vehicle damaged by Russian shelling in Mariupol, Ukraine, on Feb. 24. (Sergei Grits/AP)

When Russian President Vladimir Putin launched his all-out invasion of Ukraine on Thursday, he effectively ended the post-Cold War era. A new architecture for global relations must be built, and its shape will depend on whether Putin’s brutal campaign succeeds or fails.

Putin’s attack awakened the ghosts of war that had haunted Europe for a century. The world watched in horror as a massive assault force attacked Ukraine from three sides with missiles, bombs, tanks and the electronic wizardry of cyberwarfare. Scores of nations condemned the invasion. But the gut-wrenching fact is that Ukraine is fighting Putin by itself.

This conflict isn’t a case of sleepwalking toward war, as historians have described the blind march into World War I in 1914.…  Seguir leyendo »