Politics and Strategy

Article

What a Failed Soviet Coup Can Teach Us About 21st-Century Populism

Author: Stephen Sestanovich
Washington Post

Twenty-five years ago this week, a group of Politburo hard-liners launched a coup against Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev. The effort to depose him provoked a gigantic popular protest and collapsed in just three days. With the failure of the coup, the communist system itself began to unravel. “The 20th century” — so claimed Boris Yeltsin, Gorbachev’s rival, rescuer and eventual successor — had “essentially ended.” People power had defeated the Soviet state.

See more in Russian Federation; Conflict Assessment; Diplomacy and Statecraft

Article

The Legal Legacy of Light-Footprint Warfare

Authors: Matthew C. Waxman and Jack Goldsmith
The Washington Quarterly

The expanded use of light-footprint warfare–including drones, cyber-operations, and Special Operations Forces–has established precedents constituting a remarkable legacy of presidential power to use military force, posing a distinctive challenge to U.S. democracy and military strategy ahead.

See more in United States; Wars and Warfare; Presidents and Chiefs of State