Nils Peterson on the People's Republic of China's theory of hybrid warfare.

Fred Kagan writes about why the positional war in Ukraine is not a stable stalemate and how the current balance could readily be tipped in either direction by decisions made in the West.

ISW and AEI’s Critical Threats Project have launched a high-fidelity interactive map of Israeli ground operations in the Israel-Hamas War.

By Mason Clark and Karolina Hird

The first installment of ISW's series on the structure and capabilities of the Russian Armed Forces.

Nataliya Bugayova, Kateryna Stepanenko, and Frederick W. Kagan explain why Putin invaded Ukraine and how the war must end.
October 1, 2023

Latest from ISW

Iran Update, November 28, 2023

Israel and Hamas both reported at least one violation of the temporary truce agreement in the Gaza Strip on November 28, but neither side escalated the situation to more general fighting across the strip. Both parties claimed that the other bore responsibility for the violations. Neither side indicated an intention to resume hostilities as a result of the violations, however. Israeli Army Radio reported that Palestinian fighters detonated three improvised explosive devices (IED) targeting Israeli forces in two separate attacks. Palestinian fighters detonated two remotely detonated IEDs targeting IDF soldiers boarding armored vehicles near Rantisi Hospital, which is along the agreed truce line, in one attack. Palestinian fighters also detonated one IED and fired small arms at Israeli forces in an unspecified location, according to Israeli Army Radio. Israel said the two attacks “slightly” wounded five Israeli soldiers. Hamas’ military spokesperson said that there was “field friction” in the northern Gaza Strip that was part of a “clear violation by [the IDF] of the truce agreement.” The spokesperson said Hamas remains committed to the pause in fighting.

Russian Offensive Campaign Assessment, November 28, 2023

Russian President Vladimir Putin reiterated a two-part conception of Russian identity in a speech on November 28: a “Russian nation” – claimed to include Russians, Ukrainians, and Belarusians – at the center of Russian identity; and a wider “Russian world” including other non-East Slavic ethnicities in both modern Russia and the former territory of the Soviet Union and Russian Empire.

Putin’s articulation of a Russian nation (including Ukrainians and dominated by Moscow) reiterates longstanding Kremlin justifications for its invasion of Ukraine and aggression toward its neighbors, and Putin’s claim that “western Russophobia” affects all the ethnicities in the Russian state is likely intended to rally support among Russian citizens who are not ethnically Russian for Putin’s war.

Iran Update, November 27, 2023

Hamas and Israel completed the fourth swap of Hamas-held hostages for Israeli-held prisoners on November 27 in accordance with their humanitarian pause agreement. Hamas released 11 Israeli hostages.Israel is set to release three women and 30 others, including minors, in exchange. Palestinian media sources, including Hamas-affiliated outlets, reported that Israel released some of the prisoners at the time of writing. The parties had delayed the exchange briefly, as Israel and Hamas disagreed on which hostages Hamas would release. Hamas had sent a list of hostages to be released to Israel on November 26 that Israel renegotiated on November 27, causing the delay.

Russian Offensive Campaign Assessment, November 27, 2023

A cyclone in the Black Sea and southern Ukraine caused infrastructure damage in many areas of coastal southern Russia and occupied Ukraine and is impacting the tempo of military operations along the frontline in Ukraine, but has notably not stopped military activity entirely. Despite the challenging weather conditions, both Russian and Ukrainian forces are continuing ground attacks throughout Ukraine, albeit at a slightly slower pace due to snow and resulting poor visibility. Russian milbloggers noted that heavy snow and winds have reduced visibility and complicated aerial reconnaissance and artillery correction in the Kherson direction, but noted that Ukrainian forces have taken advantage of low visibility conditions to consolidate positions on the east (left) bank of the Dnipro River. Challenging winter conditions will force both sides to rely more heavily on infantry-led ground attacks in the absence of aerial reconnaissance and artillery correction capabilities.

Russian Offensive Campaign Assessment, November 26, 2023

Russian forces conducted a series of Shahed drone strikes on Ukraine on the night of November 25-26. Ukrainian military officials reported that Russian forces launched nine Shahed-136/131 from Primorsko-Akhtarsk direction and that Ukrainian air defenses shot down eight drones. Ukrainian Joint Forces Commander Lieutenant General Serhiy Nayev, like other Ukrainian officials on November 25, continued to praise the actions of Ukrainian mobile fire groups in intercepting Russian drones. Nayev stated that mobile fire groups will receive foreign-made man-portable air-defense systems (MANPADS) in the near future.

Iran Update, November 26, 2023

Neither Israel nor Hamas claimed violations of the humanitarian pause in the Gaza Strip as they completed the third swap of Hamas-held hostages for Israeli-held prisoners on November 26. Israel and Hamas confirmed that Hamas released 17 hostages held in the Gaza Strip in exchange for Israel releasing 39 Palestinian prisoners. The hostages included the first American whom Hamas has released since the war began. Hamas also released a Russian citizen whom they claimed that they released because of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s support for the Palestinian cause. Russia hosted Hamas leadership in Moscow on October 26. Hamas separately said on November 26 that it seeks to extend the pause after the four-day period ends on November 27. Israeli Army Radio reported that there are efforts to extend the pause by an additional four days in return for Hamas releasing 40 hostages. This report is consistent with previous reports saying that Israel and Hamas agreed to extend the pause for 24 hours for every 10 hostages released by Hamas.