The Adversarial: December 21

The Adversarial

Welcome to The Adversarial. Every other week, we’ll provide you with expert analysis on America’s greatest challengers: China, Russia, Iran, North Korea, and jihadists. Read more below. *** Russia Optimism is oozing from the Kremlin. Any hopes that Ukraine’s disappointing counter-offensive would create an opening for negotiations have been dashed by the renewed hubris coming from the Kremlin. During President Vladimir Putin’s annual press conference session, he affirmed his maximalist war aims, and earlier, sipping champagne, he warned that Ukraine “has no future.” Putin thinks the war has turned firmly in Russia’s direction. First, Russia has shifted toward a war-like economy, with

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