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HomeGeopolitical CompassThe AmericasA Strategy for Avoiding Two-Front War

A Strategy for Avoiding Two-Front War

Author: A.Wess Mitchell

Affiliation: The Marathon Initiative, former Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs (Oct. 2017 to Feb. 2019) U.S. State Department 

Organization/Publisher: National Interest

Date/Place: August 22, 2021/USA

Type of Literature: Article

Word Count: 5639 


Keywords: China, America, Russia, Two-front war


The author analyses the “simultaneity problem”, the possibility of a two-front war the US could encounter with China and Russia simultaneously. America has changed its grand strategy to laser focus on one major power: China. Today, for the US to return to a two-war standard to confront these two states would be extremely hard or impossible. The author argues that America should pursue a reorientation strategy and move Russia eastward, “to alleviate America’s simultaneity problem by giving Russia incentives to be less of a European power—and more of an Asian one”. Russia’s dependency on China as a source of capital, markets, and international political support has increased, by reason of this, Russia is unwilling to be a sidecar of China; thereby, America should close the doors to Russia’s enlargement in Europe. On the other hand, giving Russia incentives to be more of an Asian power can introduce new points of friction between Russia and China. For the author, the important component here is Europe, which he believes should hinder Russia’s Europe aims. Another significant strategy is the alignment of Russia with Asian states concerned about China’s rise. With the assistance of the US, a Russian-Japanese front vis-a-vis China can be established. But another challenge on America’s inability to face a two-front war is the budgetary problem. Accordingly, its strategies should be by more diplomacy through partnerships in the region.

By: Esra Ibrahimagaoglu, CIGA Research Intern



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