As Israel weighs a possible ground offensive in Gaza, there are valid reasons to worry about new fronts in the war—and a wider conflict—in the Middle East. And as the United States expends time, money, arms, and political capital on containing that crisis, it gives actors in other arenas an opportunity to further their own ends. Chief among those actors must be Russian President Vladimir Putin, who celebrated his birthday on Oct. 7, right as Hamas launched its brutal and shocking assault on Israel.
Ravi Agrawal is the editor in chief of Foreign Policy. Twitter: @RaviReports