This page collects links to products and other resources related to the Coalition Defense of Taiwan, a new collaboration between the Institute for the Study of War (ISW) and the American Enterprise Institute (AEI)

See ISW’s archive of interactive time-lapse maps of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. These maps complement the static control-of-terrain maps that ISW produces daily by showing a dynamic frontline. ISW will add new time-lapses to our on a monthly basis.

Click here to see ISW's Interactive Map. This map complements the static control-of-terrain maps that ISW daily produces with high-fidelity and, where possible, street-level assessments of the war in Ukraine.

The West should pay close attention to the Chinese military's preparations for urban combat, as these efforts will have profound effects on China's policy toward Taiwan and elsewhere. 

In this 2019 report, Nataliya Bugayova breaks down the trajectory of Russian foreign policy after the fall of the USSR. She argues that the US mistakingly believed that a brief period of non-assertive foreign policy from the mid-1980s to mid-1990s was the new norm for Russia.

Latest from ISW

Iran Update, March 28, 2023

IRGC Ground Forces Commander Brigadier General Mohammad Pakpour claimed foreign-backed threats are the source of unrest in Sistan and Baluchistan Province, possibly to set conditions to degrade Prominent Sunni Cleric Moulana Abdol Hamid’s anti-regime following in Zahedan. Pakpour claimed that foreign-backed “evildoers and enemies” were responsible for unrest in the province and threatened to deal “severely” with these actors in a speech to local clan leaders, scholars, and critics in Sistan and Baluchistan Province on March 28. The regime has both recently and historically blamed foreign actors to justify violently cracking down on domestic unrest. CTP has not observed any significant increase in violence in Zahedan that would warrant a regime security response. This suggests Pakpour’s statement referenced anti-regime protests inspired by Abdol Hamid, who has continuously criticized the regime during his Friday prayer sermons and generated significant in Zahedan, Sistan and Baluchistan Province throughout the past several months.

Russian Offensive Campaign Assessment, March 28, 2023

Wagner Group forces have likely taken the AZOM industrial complex in northern Bakhmut and continue to make gains within the city. Russian milbloggers widely claimed on March 28 that Wagner fighters have captured the AZOM complex and are working to clear the area of remaining Ukrainian forces. These claims are relatively consistent with available visual evidence of Russian presence in the AZOM complex. Geolocated footage posted on March 26 shows a military correspondent from Russian outlet RIA Novosti moving around the territory of the complex with apparent ease, indicating that Wagner likely controls enough of the plant to host media personalities in relative safety. RIA Novosti correspondent Sergei Shilov additionally visited AZOM on March 28 and indicated that fighting has now moved to the industrial zone south of AZOM. Several Russian milbloggers also claimed on March 28 that Wagner fighters have advanced closer to Bakhmut’s city center, taken control of the city market, and reached the Palace of Culture. These claims are plausible considering geolocated visual evidence of Wagner’s advances towards the city center posted on March 28, as well as combat footage of Ukrainian infantry engaging in small arms exchanges with Russian forces near the Palace of Culture and central market area in Bakhmut city’s center. Wagner is likely working to consolidate gains in northern and central Bakhmut to push towards the city center and expand its zone of control into western Bakhmut. ISW assesses that Russian forces have advanced into an additional five percent of Bakhmut in the last seven days and that they currently occupy roughly 65 percent of the city.

Russian Offensive Campaign Assessment, March 27, 2023

Rumors about the dismissal of Russian Eastern Group of Forces (Eastern Military District) Commander Colonel General Rustam Muradov on March 27 generated a muted and cynical response in the Russian information space. The milbloggers claimed that Russian military authorities dismissed Muradov from his position as Eastern Group of Forces commander, but ISW cannot currently verify these claims. Muradov took command of the Russian Eastern Military District (EMD) on October 6, 2022, and has overseen a series of disastrous offensive operations led by EMD elements in western Donetsk Oblast over the past five months. One milblogger claimed that Muradov is on “vacation,” which the milblogger noted is tantamount to resignation. Others claimed that Muradov’s removal is a positive step but stated that Muradov’s replacement is more important than his removal. Some milbloggers noted that Muradov was responsible for significant Russian military failures in western Donetsk Oblast, including the high casualties suffered in the assault against Pavlivka in October-November 2022 and the prolonged and failed effort to take Vuhledar. Independent Russian investigative outlet Vazhnye Istorii (iStories), citing sources close to the Russian General Staff, reported that the Russian General Staff accused Muradov of being inept due to battlefield failures and significant losses in western Donetsk Oblast, including the near obliteration of the Tatarstan ”Alga” volunteer battalion. One prominent milblogger claimed that military authorities are also considering dismissing Western Military District Commander Colonel General Yevgeny Nikiforov, whose forces operate along the Kupyansk-Svatove-Kreminna line in eastern Ukraine.

Iran Update, March 27, 2023

Iran and Lebanese Hezbollah have messaged that the Iran-led Axis of Resistance is prepared to continue escalating against American forces in eastern Syria. Iran uses the term “Axis of Resistance” to refer to the regional state, semi-state, and non-state actors with which Tehran cooperates to pursue its strategic objectives, including the Bashar al Assad regime, Lebanese Hezbollah, and various Iraqi, Syrian, and other proxy groups. The Iranian Advisory Center in Syria—likely a front for the IRGC Quds Force—issued a statement on March 24 warning the US that the Axis of Resistance has “the upper hand” in Syria and can retaliate against any US attacks. Supreme National Security Council (SNSC) Spokesperson Keyvan Khosravi echoed these remarks on March 25. Iranian state media and Lebanese Hezbollah-affiliated outlets have similarly emphasized in recent days that the Axis of Resistance is prepared to attack US forces in eastern Syria if the escalation cycle between them continues. The IRGC and Lebanese Hezbollah are responding to the series of attacks between the US and Iranian-backed forces that erupted in Syria on March 23-24 after Iranian-backed militants conducted a kamikaze drone attack on US forces in northeastern Syria, killing one American.

Russian Offensive Campaign Assessment, March 26, 2023

ISW is publishing an abbreviated campaign update today, March 26. This report discusses Russian President Vladimir Putin’s continued efforts to seek complete victory in Ukraine, which he appears confident that he can attain over time. Putin seems to reject the idea increasingly prevalent in Western discourse that the current military realities require or support a negotiated resolution of the conflict. Neither Ukraine nor the West has persuaded him that he must consider accepting any sort of off-ramp or compromise settlement. Putin instead remains focused on achieving his initial war aims through protracted conflict in which he wins either by imposing his will on Ukraine by force or by breaking Ukraine’s will following the West’s abandonment of Kyiv. Multiple successful Ukrainian counter-offensives are almost certainly necessary but not sufficient either to persuade Putin to negotiate on acceptable terms or to create military conditions on the ground favorable enough to Ukraine and the West that continued or renewed Russian attacks pose acceptable threats to Ukraine or NATO.

Russian Offensive Campaign Assessment, March 25, 2023

Russian President Vladimir Putin launched the predictable next information operation to discourage Ukrainian resistance and disrupt Western support for Ukraine as Russian offensives culminate and Ukraine prepares to launch counter-offensives in an interview with a state-owned Russian news channel on March 25.

Putin claimed that the West cannot sustain weapons provisions to Ukraine and exaggerated Russia’s potential to mobilize its own defense industrial base (DIB) to create the false impression that further Ukrainian resistance and Western support to Ukraine is futile. Putin claimed that Ukrainian forces expend up to 5,000 shells a day, while the United States produces an average of 14,000–15,000 shells a month. Putin alleged that planned Western defense production increases will not match Russian planned increases. Putin announced that Russia will build over 1,600 new tanks by the end of 2023 and that Russia will have more than three times the number of tanks as Ukraine at that time. Putin likely seized the opportunity to advance this narrative based on The Financial Times’s March 19 report that European arms manufacturers are “hobbled” by an explosives shortage. Putin argued that continued Western weapons provisions to Ukraine are merely an attempt to prolong the war.