SUBSCRIBER+EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW – On the eve of a widely predicted Ukrainian offensive along a 900-mile front that includes a bevy of fixed Russian positions, the very nature of what is at stake for both Kyiv and its western allies is clear. The conflict, brought on by Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine last year, is not so much a regional war, security experts say, but rather a “regional war in the dimension of … [a] global conflict.” That’s what Cipher Brief Expert and retired four-star Gen. John Allen, former Commander of the NATO International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan, told Subscriber+Members during last week’s exclusive briefing. Allen detailed Russian tactics, broader implications of the war, new battlefield paradigms in both hybrid warfare and public-private partnerships, and the role of an increasingly-involved China.
The message Allen sought to convey both underlines the perils of a potential defeat, and the ripple effects that it could have for both the U.S. and its European allies. “Ukrainians are fighting and dying on the battlefield for their independence, for their very survival,” he said. “But in many respects, their sacrifices are our sacrifices.”
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