Global Outlook

Curated expert opinion on intractable contemporary issues

Escalation and De-escalation in the Ukraine War

By Tobias Debiel and Herbert Wulf  |  15 March, 2022

Since 2021, at the latest, there has clearly been a perpetrator for the escalation in the Ukraine conflict: Russia's President Vladimir Putin. By his belligerent and cynical war rhetoric, he has frustrated the possibilities for peaceful settlement. Not only is the demilitarisation of Ukraine being sought, but the country is even being denied its right to exist. Added to this is the bizarre notion of "denazification" and a hint of threatening nuclear escalation should the West stand in the way of the invasion. Putin escalated, operationally and rhetorically, when he alerted of the so-called deterrence forces and equated the West's sanctions with a declaration of war.

Three Comments on Ukraine and Nuclear Risks

By Ramesh Thakur  |  14 March, 2022

Three overarching goals have informed the Asia Pacific Leadership Network's (APLN) approach to nuclear threats since its inception a decade ago: the imperative to hold firm against proliferation, the matching importance of credible steps toward disarmament, and defusing geopolitical tensions that heighten nuclear risks. All three are at play in Ukraine.

The Tragedy in Ukraine That Could Have Been Avoided

By Chung-in Moon  |  12 March, 2022

People may take various positions on what happened in Ukraine, but when it comes down to it, the most important – and tragic – fact is that all this destruction could have been avoided.

Russia’s Weekly Troop Losses in Ukraine Have Already Overtaken Soviet Casualties in Afghanistan

By Amin Saikal  |  11 March, 2022

Russia claims that the number of its soldiers killed and injured in the first six days of its invasion of Ukraine is a fraction of what Ukraine has said to be more than 5,000 dead and many more wounded. While neither side’s claims can be verified, even if we rely on official Russian figures, they are proportionally much higher than what the Soviet Union lost in Afghanistan over a decade in the 1980s. This raises serious questions about the ability and efficacy of the Russian military under Vladimir Putin in comparison to the forces his Soviet predecessors commanded during the Afghan war.

India’s Stake in the Ukraine Conflict

By Ramesh Thakur  |  10 March, 2022

On 25 February, the United Nations Security Council voted on a draft resolution condemning Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and calling on it to stop the attack and withdraw its troops. Sponsored jointly by the US and Albania, the resolution received the affirmative vote of 11 of the council’s 15 members. But it was defeated by the solitary negative vote of Russia (by chance the council president for February) as a veto-wielding permanent member. The three countries to abstain were China, India and the United Arab Emirates.

What Do We Know About Climate Change, Peace and Conflict?

By Tobias Ide  |  08 March, 2022

The impacts of climate change on peace and conflict are high on the agenda of policy makers and the general public. From UN Security Council debates about climate change and security to comics about the impact of drought on the Syrian civil war, interest in the topic has grown immensely in recent years. If challenges like the COVID-19 pandemic have taught us anything, it is the importance of science in addressing global problems. So, what is the scientific evidence on climate change, peace and conflict?

The views and opinions expressed in Global Outlook are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Toda Peace Institute.