Putin's Trap

Why Ukraine Should Withdraw from Russian-Held Donbas

Alexander J. Motyl
Figurines of former pro-Russian separatist commander Igor Strelkov from the collection entitled "Toy Soldiers of Novorossiya" on display at a workshop in Moscow, August 29, 2014.
Figurines of former pro-Russian separatist commander Igor Strelkov from the collection entitled "Toy Soldiers of Novorossiya" on display at a workshop in Moscow, August 29, 2014. (Sergei Karpukhin / Courtesy Reuters)
If Ukraine does manage to pacify the Donbas, it will be saddled with a devastated, unstable, and permanently insecure rust belt that will continue to do what it has done since independence in 1991: serve as a channel for Russian influence on Ukraine’s internal affairs and a home to political forces that oppose reform and integration with the West.
Snapshot

The New Davutoglu

Soner Cagaptay
Davutoglu’s foreign policy has dangerously exposed Turkey to regional threats, which will probably preoccupy him as he takes over the prime ministership.
Snapshot

Man Up

Ira Trivedi
In India, a sexual revolution is under way. Most often commented on are the changes it will bring for women -- an entire generation of educated women now has a say in marriage partners and life choices. But the definition of what it means to be a man in India is also changing, and one result of the turmoil is violence.
Capsule Review

Today's Book: Scorpion’s Sting

Walter Russell Mead
In The Scorpion’s Sting, Oakes surveys the legal doctrines that enabled President Abraham Lincoln to envision and then enact the Emancipation Proclamation.
Snapshot
Nate Schenkkan

The sanctions war between Russia and the West is hurting Russian consumers. But it is buoying the fortunes of several post-Soviet states hungry for Russian markets -- and advancing Putin's vision of a tighter Eurasian community. 

Review Essay
John Osburg

Will Chinese economic development ultimately lead to political development? In his new book, Age of Ambition, the journalist Evan Osnos discovers what might be the missing link: the emergence in Chinese society of a search for dignity.

A man takes a picture as he stands on a Soviet-style star re-touched with blue paint so that it resembles the Ukrainian flag.
Essay
John J. Mearsheimer

Conventional wisdom in the West blames the Ukraine crisis on Russian aggression. But this account is wrong: Washington and its European allies actually share most of the responsibility, having spent decades pushing east into Russia’s natural sphere of interest.

Snapshot
Mohsen Milani

It is not particularly surprising that the United States is on the verge of rapprochement with Iran. What is surprising, however, is how it's coming about -- not through negotiations over the fate of Tehran’s nuclear program, but as a result of the battle against ISIS.

Snapshot
Adam Heffez and Noam Raydan

Most people who look at war-torn Syria can’t help but see the tragedy. But some are starting to treat Syria as something else entirely: an investment opportunity.

Response
Agio Pereira

Over the years, more than a few armchair critics have prognosticated the demise of the Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste, also known as East Timor. But the nation builders themselves can't indulge notions of failure.

Discussion