Jason Willick

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Members of the Wagner Group stand on the balcony of the circus building in the Russian city of Rostov-on-Don on Saturday. (Roman Romokhov/AFP/Getty Images)

On Wednesday, a plane believed to be carrying Yevgeniy Prigozhin, the leader of the mercenary Wagner Group, crashed in Russia. According to Russia’s Ministry of Emergency, all 10 people on board were killed.

Prigozhin made global headlines in June, when he took over a regional capital in Russia and sent a column of soldiers to Moscow. He called off the apparent coup in the making on the same day, sending his forces back to their barracks. He had seemingly struck a deal with Russian President Vladimir Putin — but, as many commentators pointed out, that did not mean he was safe from reprisal by Russia or efforts to bring him to justice internationally.…  Seguir leyendo »

Gen. General Mark A. Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, on March 28 in D.C. (Matt McClain/The Washington Post)

As Ukraine’s counteroffensive struggles to make headway against fortified Russian lines, I found myself going back to remarks late last year by Gen. Mark A. Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

Milley spoke at the Economic Club of New York in November 2022 just as Ukrainian troops were completing the expulsion of Russian forces from the southern city of Kherson. Kyiv had stunned the world by repelling Moscow’s initial invasion — forcing Russia back to roughly the lines of control in place today — and the top U.S. general made news by floating a negotiated settlement to the war.…  Seguir leyendo »

A live-fire exercise conducted by Japan's Ground Self-Defense Force in a training area in May 2020. (Charly Triballeau/AFP/Getty Images)

There are two ways to think about Japan’s announcement this month that it will surge defense spending by more than 50 percent in the next five years and acquire advanced missiles that can strike the Eurasian mainland. The first is that it’s a victory for the U.S.-led world order, because China’s military advantage in the Western Pacific will narrow. The darker version is that it’s a recognition of the failure of the U.S.-led order, which aimed to suppress military competition in East Asia after World War II.

Both the optimistic and pessimistic perspectives reflect important realities, and history will decide which was more apt.…  Seguir leyendo »

President Donald Trump and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu attend the Abraham Accords signing ceremony on the South Lawn of the White House on Sept. 15, 2020. (Alex Brandon/AP)

“Israel is a speck on the map of the world”, Walter Russell Mead writes in his new book, “The Arc of a Covenant”, but “it occupies a continent in the American mind”. The Jewish state is a crucible for global contests over nationalism, religion and identity — and to the American liberal mind, its latest turn is a source of foreboding. But liberals are missing a point that hits closer to home.

Israelis this week voted out the centrist government headed by Prime Minister Yair Lapid, delivering a 64-seat majority (out of 120) to conservative and religious parties that support former prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu.…  Seguir leyendo »