2023年3月16日 星期四

What 70 Years of War Can Tell Us About the Russia-Ukraine Conflict 全球逾70年的衝突給俄烏戰爭的啟示

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2023/03/17 第424期 訂閱/退訂看歷史報份
紐時周報精選 What 70 Years of War Can Tell Us About the Russia-Ukraine Conflict 全球逾70年的衝突給俄烏戰爭的啟示
Amassing of Power By Supreme Court Alarms Scholars 美「帝王最高院」擺官威 學者憂違權力分立
What 70 Years of War Can Tell Us About the Russia-Ukraine Conflict 全球逾70年的衝突給俄烏戰爭的啟示
文/Max Fisher


Any Russian invasion of Ukraine was long expected to play out as a kind of postmodern war, defined by 21st-century weapons like media manipulation, battlefield-clouding disinformation, cyberattacks, false flag operations and unmarked fighters.


Such elements have featured in this war. But it is traditional 20th-century dynamics that have instead dominated: shifting battle lines of tanks and troops; urban assaults; struggles over air supremacy and over supply lines; and mass mobilization of troops and of weapons production.


The war's contours, now nearly a year into the fighting, resemble not so much those of any future war but rather those of a certain sort of conflict from decades past: namely, wars fought between nations in which one does not outright conquer the other.


Such conflicts have grown rarer in the period since 1945, an era often associated more with civil wars, insurgencies and American invasions that have quickly shifted to occupation.


But wars between nations have continued: between Israel and Arab states, Iran and Iraq, Armenia and Azerbaijan, India and Pakistan, Ethiopia and Eritrea. These are the conflicts that military historians and analysts, when asked to draw parallels with the Russian war in Ukraine, tend to cite.


"You have these big commonalities. In Korea, for example," said Sergey Radchenko, a Johns Hopkins University historian, referring to the Korean War. "Big conventional battles. Bombardment of infrastructure."


Every war is unique. But certain trends that have played out across this subset of conflicts, including in Ukraine, may help to shed light on what drives week-to-week fighting, what tends to determine victory or failure and how such wars typically end — or don't.


One after another, Radchenko said, such wars have started over fundamental territorial disputes that date back to the warring countries' founding and are therefore baked into both sides' very conception of their national identities. This makes the underlying conflict so difficult to resolve that fighting often recurs repeatedly over many decades.


Those wars have often turned, perhaps more than any other factor, on industrial attrition, as each side strains to maintain the flow of materiel like tanks and anti-aircraft munitions that keep it in the fight.



Amassing of Power By Supreme Court Alarms Scholars 美「帝王最高院」擺官威 學者憂違權力分立
文/Adam Liptak

美「帝王最高院」擺官威 學者憂違權力分立

The conventional critique of the Supreme Court these days is that it has lurched to the right and is out of step with the public on many issues. That is true so far as it goes.


But a burst of recent legal scholarship makes a deeper point, saying the current court is distinctive in a different way: It has rapidly been accumulating power at the expense of every other part of the government.


The phenomenon was documented last November by Mark A. Lemley, a law professor at Stanford University, in an article called "The Imperial Supreme Court" in The Harvard Law Review.


"The court has not been favoring one branch of government over another, or favoring states over the federal government, or the rights of people over governments," Lemley wrote. "Rather, it is withdrawing power from all of them at once."


He added, "It is a court that is consolidating its power, systematically undercutting any branch of government, federal or state, that might threaten that power, while at the same time undercutting individual rights."


The arguments last December over the role of state legislatures in setting rules for federal elections seemed to illustrate the point. The justices seemed ready to elevate their own role in the process, giving themselves the right to do something ordinarily forbidden: second-guess state courts' interpretations of state law.


In a similar vein, Justice Elena Kagan noted the majority's imperial impulses in a dissent from a decision in June that limited the Environmental Protection Agency's ability to address climate change.


"The court appoints itself — instead of Congress or the expert agency — the decision maker on climate policy," she wrote. "I cannot think of many things more frightening."


A second study, to be published in Presidential Studies Quarterly, concentrated on cases involving the executive branch and backed up Lemley's observations with data. Taking account of 3,660 decisions since 1937, the study found that the court led since 2005 by Chief Justice John Roberts has been "uniquely willing to check executive authority."


The executive branch in the Roberts court era won just 35% of the time in those cases, a rate more than 20 percentage points lower than the historical average.



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