In the geopolitical chess game surrounding the Ukraine invasion, no two pieces are more critical to America’s long term defense than China and Taiwan. And Joe Biden just moved a few steps beyond America’s longterm policy of “strategic ambiguity” and said outright that the US would intervene with its military to defend Taiwan. (“Strategic Ambiguity” is how I’ve been dealing with my daughter’s request to take her to the Olivia Rodrigo concert now that tickets are going for a few hundred a piece.)

+ “At the moment, anyone talking about an off-ramp in Ukraine—and many people are doing so, in governments, on radio stations, in a million private arguments—is using the term metaphorically, referring to a deal that could persuade Vladimir Putin to halt his invasion. Some believe that such an off-ramp could easily be built if only diplomats were willing to make the effort, or if only the White House weren’t so bellicose. It’s a nice idea. Unfortunately, the assumptions that underlie that belief are wrong.” In The Atlantic, Anne Applebaum explains why The War Won’t End Until Putin Loses.

+ “The first Russian soldier on trial for war crimes in Ukraine has been sentenced to life in prison for killing a civilian. Army sergeant Vadim Shishimarin, 21, pleaded guilty last week to fatally shooting an unarmed Ukrainian man in the earliest days of the war.” If taking responsibility and apologizing for murdering a single civilian in Ukraine gets one life in prison, what should Putin get?