Phillips P. OBrien Profile picture
Professor of Strategic Studies, @univofstandrews; Author of The Strategists (Summer 2024): https://t.co/l2PkpyDtDw
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May 5 5 tweets 2 min read
The @CSIS Interpret China resource has assembled a number of very interesting sources on how the Chinese state is thinking about and reacting to the Russo-Ukraine War. It is a really helpful one-stop shop that anyone interested in the subject should examine.interpret.csis.org One report. by a leading Chinese scholar, talks about how Russia is trying to recalibrate its global relationships, and how the Chinese-Russian alliance, while strong, is no longer the "limitless" partnerships that was proclaimed before the invasion. interpret.csis.org/translations/t…
May 4 5 tweets 1 min read
And the battle lines have (at least temporarily) stabilized after all the doom and gloom of the last few weeks. No great Russian breakthroughs and exploitations, some small, incremental advances at very high cost. With Ukraine getting more ammunition, Russian losses might even rise. UK Intelligence estimates 465000 Russian casualties so far--an staggering figure. The Russians are generating soldiers, but losing them at an astounding clip. The disregard of the Russian leadership for their own people is one reason Ukraine must win.
Apr 16 6 tweets 2 min read
Hi All, just sent out this piece on the brutally simple lesson that we have seen in the last few days, one that Europe must learn from and prepare for immediately if the continent is not to be the plaything of nuclear powers. Image Non-nuclear Ukraine has been made to suffer at the hands of a nuclear power. Let’s hope it doesn’t happen to the continent as a whole.
Mar 8 5 tweets 2 min read
The Polish government now saying that they can conceive of NATO forces in Ukraine. War is a dynamic process and can lead to dramatic changes--its amazing that so many people cannot see that such a development is becoming more and more possible. Also important to see @sikorskiradek challenge Russian reflexive control. This is about European states saying to Russia that we dont accept the security paradigm you are trying to impose. Make Russia worry more. This is exactly what I said 4 days ago.
Feb 29 4 tweets 2 min read
Just sent out an update on the chance of European intervention for Ukraine, motivated by the deliberate statements of @EmmanuelMacron People who discount European intervention for Ukraine do not understand war. The longer they go on, the bloodier they become... Image the more state's contemplate actions that previously they never thought possible. As Russia slaughters hundreds of thousands and the war drags on, it is increasing the chances of intervention. Only a fool would deny that--and Macron is no fool Image
Feb 11 7 tweets 2 min read
Trump’s admission yesterday that he would be happy to encourage Putin to attack Europe should and all hopes that somehow the Republican Party is salvageable. As such I wrote a piece that the Dems should take 2 bold steps now to reach out to sane Repubs. substackcdn.com/image/fetch/f_…
Image Like FDR in 1940, in the Face of isolationists who were sympathetic to Hitler, the Dems should name two internationalist Republicans to the Cabinet. Second, they need to consider a unity ticket in 2024. Think Michelle Obama and Adam Kinzinger.
Feb 3 4 tweets 1 min read
So all you Republican supporters who say you are pro-Ukraine, speaker Johnson putting a bill forward specifically cutting Ukraine out. Stop pretending that you can support MAGA and be pro Ukraine The amazing thing is that there are large majorities in the House and the Senate that would support Ukraine aid, but Trump/Johnson/MAGA are so desperate to harm Ukraine and help Putin, that they are doing this. It’s not the border issue, it’s serving Putin’s interests
Jan 27 8 tweets 2 min read
Just sent out my weekend update (free as always). Starts with the situation for aid to Ukraine in the US Congress (crunch time in washington is getting crunchier) Image Then 2 more sections. One is on the unravelling of the Trump argument that we need to aid Taiwan not Ukraine (Trump admitted he wont fight for Taiwan, which rather destroys the point). The Pied Piper of US decline actually admitted something true. Image
Jan 3 4 tweets 2 min read
That Taurus on its own wouldn’t be a game changer is a specious argument. Having the range and accuracy advantage certainly could be, and Taurus would be a significant part of that. Also, if your criterion is to provide only game changing weapons, then Germany should not be providing much of the military equipment that it is. No vehicle is a game changer in this war, yet Germany provides them to Ukraine. Why can these non ‘game changers’ be sent?
Dec 16, 2023 4 tweets 2 min read
Just sent out the always free weekend update. This seems to have been important week in the European understanding that European states might soon be left on their mostly on their own to keep Ukraine supported. Across Europe there were new pledges including. Image Plus there was the EU move to formally start the accession process with Ukraine (plus Modova and Georgia). While the US seems to be dithering about how important a Ukrainian victory is for its security--Europe is not. Image
Dec 11, 2023 4 tweets 2 min read
This is shaping up to be the best few days for Ukraine for a while (or a catastrophe, but best is more likely). Signs are that a deal is very close on US aid. Zelensky and Macron discussed giving Ukraine new advanced firepower. And the Norwegians and U.K. have pledged more aid. It’s like everyone collectively is understanding what’s at stake and how it’s been screwed up until now
Dec 9, 2023 5 tweets 2 min read
Hi All, not to overload you with free content, but a few things have just appeared. Im delighted to say that @MBielieskov and I have released the next episode of our Ukraine-Russia War Talk podcast, and along with that Ive released by weekend update on s-stak. The podcast has three segments--we discuss what is happening on the battlefield first, then discuss some of the very prominent news stories of the week. Finally, we take on the very difficult question of what happens if the US cuts of military aid.
Nov 11, 2023 6 tweets 2 min read
Hi all, once again Im sending out my s-stack weekend update on Saturday. If I do it this way, it turns out that I have a little more time to rest (which is needed), Might do it more unless people object. Three big stories--preparing for a Russian air campaign, Crimea, Avdiivka Image Attacks are ramping up on Ukrainian power generation, tried to describe the good news and less good news from Ukraine's perspective. Also, once again Ukraine shows how to win a war at sea and isolate Crimea, but once again its shown it doesnt have enough weapons to do it properly
Oct 29, 2023 9 tweets 3 min read
Hi All--just sent out my weekend update on s-stak! Its free. Focussed on 3 stories this week--Avdiivka and relative losses, ATACMS arriving in too few numbers, and new speaker Mike Johnson (if Ukraine supporters arent worried, they sure as hell should be. Image If the Russians want to keep sending mass formations of troops and waste lots of equipment taking Avdiivka, the Ukrainians should let them. Maybe it becomes even more political and Putin is desperate to take it with the Russian presidential elections just over 4 months away.
Oct 17, 2023 4 tweets 2 min read
UKrainians (finally) get ATACMS and use them to devastating affect. Hit Berdyansk airfield and destroy a large number of helicopters, specialized equipment and personnel. Maybe the single most devastating attack on Russian aviation since the start of the war. I think we can say the following are true.
1) ATACMS would have been of massive value if given in large numbers BEFORE the counteroffensive.
2) Those who claimed they would not make much difference had no idea what they were talking about
Oct 15, 2023 4 tweets 2 min read
Just sent out my weekend update (its free) on s-stack. Concentrated on 3 things. First, the aid annoucements that came out this week and what they mean about the state of the war. Image Then the Russian offensive to take Avdiivka, which seems to have resulted in major Russian losses, and calls into question a growing narrative that the Russians are becoming much stronger and effective.
Sep 26, 2023 4 tweets 1 min read
I have to say that @andrewmichta is right on this. Foreign policy 'experts' sometimes drastically underestimate the impact of allies and partners in world politics, with their focus on the superpowers. The greatest difference in the Cold War might have been that the US had... strong Allies and the USSR had mostly oppressed ones. And today, the great US advantage in the competition in China is that US allies (NATO, Japan, South Korea, Australia) and partners such as Taiwan and even Vietnam, and together far more powerful than the equivalent for China.
Sep 17, 2023 6 tweets 2 min read
Hi everyone--just sent out my weekend update on sub stck! Its mostly about the war at sea--we have just seen a remarkable week which reveals that Ukraine, without a large warship worthy of the name, actually has the initiative in the Black Sea over the Russian fleet. Russian warships severely damaged in Sevastopol after Ukrainian attack The Ukrainians even seem poised to fully defy the Russian grain blockade, which has been a key element of Russian strategy to win the war. open.substack.com/pub/phillipspo…
Sep 2, 2023 4 tweets 1 min read
Latest piece out in the Atlantic. The GOP threat to NATO is real and growing. Differences over aiding Ukraine could explode as early as January 2025 if Trump or someone similar wins the US Election. The Republicans are definitely favouring anti Ukraine aid candidates. It’s not even close.
Sep 1, 2023 7 tweets 2 min read
If I may, I see a number of people saying now that the Ukrainians should be more receptive to criticism, that NATO can teach them, that they themselves have been critical of the counteroffensive, etc, etc. I think these comments miss the point. Ive spoken to Ukrainians... about this and while I in no way am speaking for them, I will try to summarize what I believe they were telling me (and it matches what Podolyak, Danilov, Zaluzhny and others have said in the past week).
Aug 30, 2023 4 tweets 1 min read
People may be asking why Ukraine can advance through the minefields now a little quicker. The minefields in and of themselves were never the problem--it was when the minefields were part of well staffed and supplied Russian lines that they were effective. It may be that the Ukrainian campaign against Russian artillery has been successful enough that it has allowed for the attrition of Russian forces to such a degree that the minefields are no longer being defended as they were. If so, it is no accident, it was the Ukrainian plan