With the slow progress of the Ukrainian counteroffensive this summer, observers expressed increased uncertainty regarding the conflict’s trajectory. This lack of advancement came amidst significant levels of aid from the United States and its European allies. Recent successes on the battlefield, however, now position the counteroffensive at a pivotal point. What lies ahead in this fight, and how should the United States aid Kyiv’s efforts against Russian encroachment? CNAS experts are sharpening the scope of what can be expected in Ukraine and how to address developments in the upcoming months. Read the latest edition of Sharper to explore their ideas and recommendations.
The Future of the Ukrainian Counteroffensive
Over the past several months, the world’s attention has been focused on the ongoing counteroffensive by the Ukrainian army. Many of Ukraine’s supporters had high hopes for this operation, with the United States and its European allies having provided unprecedented levels of military aid to Kyiv in preparation. Yet as the summer concludes without evidence of decisive territorial gains by Ukraine, perspectives on the conflict’s trajectory are becoming increasingly pessimistic. Nonetheless, some observers have pushed back against this narrative, noting Ukraine’s steady progress in the face of formidable challenges, and calling supporters to not give up hope. In this episode of Brussels Sprouts, hosts Andrea Kendall-Taylor and Jim Townsend are joined by Mike Kofman and Lieutenant General Mark Hertling to discuss the state of the Ukrainian counteroffensive.
How the Wagner Rebellion Impacts Putin’s War
Where is the war headed? Will Wagner’s forces reemerge on the battlefield? And has Putin been weakened by the most public mutiny in his time in power? For answers, Ravi Agrawal, Editor in chief of Foreign Policy spoke with Andrea Kendall-Taylor, Senior Fellow and the Director of the Transatlantic security program at the Center for a New American Security.
Perseverance and Adaptation: Ukraine’s Counteroffensive at Three Months
“This has become a war of tree lines, with shifts in the line often counted in hundreds of meters,” write Michael Kofman and Rob Lee for War on the Rocks. “Artillery fire and drones dominate the battlefield, as small groups of infantry advance through dense minefields, field by field, tree line by tree line. Progress has been fitful and slower than expected, as acknowledged by President Volodymyr Zelensky and now former Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov. However, Ukraine’s recent gains illustrate that it has worn down Russian defenses over time, leveraging an advantage in fires and long-range precision weapons to steadily press Russian forces back from their defensive positions. That said, Ukraine will need to both break through Russian lines and exploit that success to reach its objectives. Much could be decided in the coming weeks.”
In the News
Commentary and analysis from experts including Richard Fontaine, Paul Scharre, Samuel Bendett, Jim Townsend, Franz-Stefan Gady, and Michael Kofman.
About the Sharper Series
The CNAS Sharper series features curated analysis and commentary from CNAS experts on the most critical challenges in U.S. foreign policy. From the future of America's relationship with China to the state of U.S. sanctions policy and more, each collection draws on the reports, interviews, and other commentaries produced by experts across the Center to explore how America can strengthen its competitive edge.
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