"The West's incremental approach to economic sanctions is working and will have a profound effect on the Russian economy, but it will take time. In the same instance, the political pressures to act credibly and decisively have grown. The disconnect between economic and political timelines calls for a reassessment, with an eye to policies that produce more visible, immediate costs for Russia," writes CFR's Robert Kahn in Fortune.
"The [EU] bloc's security may actually benefit from the ongoing instability in cases such as Ukraine, Mali and even Syria. The longer these conflicts absorb the energies of potential foes, ranging from Russian President Vladimir Putin to various Islamist radical groups, the less likely they are to menace the EU directly. Europeans have little or no appetite to get involved in these wars, leading critics to grumble that they refuse to fight for their interests. But it may be in Europe's interest to let others keep fighting," writes Richard Gowan in World Politics Review.
"Politically, Russia already posits itself as a go-to country for all those unhappy with U.S. global dominance. These countries are watching Russia's confrontation with the United States with keen interest, and are making conclusions for themselves. In particular, they look at what a country like Russia can get away with, and what cost it has to bear for that," writes Dmitri Trenin in the National Interest.
Explore CFR’s interactive on the Sunni-Shia Divide
Sectarian conflict is becoming entrenched in a growing number of Muslim countries. Tensions between Sunnis and Shias could reshape the future Middle East. Click on The Sunni-Shia Divide to learn more.