Donald Trump’s instantly-infamous interview with the New York Times was either evidence that he does not grasp basic principles of foreign policy, has little care for world order, or both. But the justified apoplexy, expressed by pretty much everyone …
Trump, Putin, and the GOP
One of the most remarkable things about the convention last night was that Governor Christie went after Hillary on Russia and Putin. I will quote him:
. . . she said our goal was to strengthen Russia.
Strengthen an adversary led by a …
On Syria, Turkey Bows to Putin’s Will
Syria’s Civil War is a Shakespearean mix of vicious brutality and unending political intrigue. And this week, Turkey added another plot twist. Speaking yesterday, Turkey’s recent-to-the-job prime minister, Binali Yildirim, announced: “I am sure that we will return …
Israel Looks to Russia as a Security Partner
The Middle East is undergoing its most consequential transition since the collapse of the Ottoman Empire in 1917. Failure of the Arab Spring has resuscitated the jihadist claim that only violence can produce change in a region that’s stagnant politically …
In my “Prague Journal” today, I have an item about a ceremony or rally I came across: to mark the end of World War II. It was largely a Communist rally, replete with hammers and sickles and red stars. But …
Did Britain Fall into Putin’s Trap in Prosecuting a Russian Dissident?
Vladimir Bukovsky’s name, like that of Alexander Solzhenitsyn and Andrei Sakharov, is synonymous with an almost unimaginable bravery and resilience in the face of Soviet totalitarianism. Born in 1942, Bukovsky was a founder of the dissident movement of the 1960s …
Putin’s Gun vs. Obama’s Pen
In international relations, an effective message needs both constructive content and form. Consider the latest messages by President Obama and Russia’s president, Vladimir Putin, on Syria.
On Tuesday, the Wall Street Journal reported the Obama administration’s warnings that …
Germany, Merkel and Russia
This long piece by Dustin Dehez on the relationship between Germany and Russia is well worth a read. It includes the useful German word Lebenslüge. It (basically) means a lifelong self-delusion.
Anyway, here’s an extract:
There is an …
Two “Brothers”: Pope Francis and the Chekist
The Pope’s decision to meet his “brother”, Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill in, delightfully, Havana (you can find some details here of the way that the persecution of Christians has spiked since last year’s Francis-brokered deal between the Cuban …
The Kremlin’s Selective Counterterrorism
To hear President Vladimir Putin tell it, his government is the proverbial tip of the spear in the global war on terror.
For months, Kremlin officials have taken great pains to style their intervention in Syria in grandiose terms — …
Why Russia’s Olympic Doping Scheme Merits Banning the Country from Rio
The legacy of the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics continues to evolve. Observers may remember that what started as a PR mess for its Russian hosts turned into a startlingly dominant display of athletic dominance by the conclusion of the games. The …
Deploying Troops to Eastern Europe, NATO Sends Russia the Right Message
‘The most significant reinforcement of our collective defense any time since the Cold War,” President Obama called it. A bit of an exaggeration, perhaps, but it was still an achievement: Last week’s NATO summit in Warsaw ordered the deployment …
Germany’s Foreign Minister: Playing Putin’s Tune
Well, this is just great.
In comments published Saturday, German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier sharply criticized recent NATO military exercises in eastern Europe, calling such drills counterproductive to security in the region. On June 7, NATO launched exercises codenamed “Anakonda-16,” …
Winter Is Coming — If We Let It
Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin are involved in something of a bromance. Putin has praised Trump; Trump has praised him back. “I’ve always felt fine about Putin,” says Trump. No doubt. That is one statement out of Trump you …
Global Magnitsky Act Set for Markup — and a Showdown
Earlier this month, I wrote about the curious case of the Global Magnitsky Act, which, shortly after being scheduled for markup in the House Foreign Affairs Committee in April, disappeared from the committee’s agenda. The original Magnitsky Act, which …
Russian Propaganda Mysteriously Stalls a Human-Rights Act in Congress
The Kremlin has a long reach. Late last month, it reached right into the halls of Congress.
In December 2012, President Obama signed into law the Sergei Magnitsky Rule of Law Accountability Act, which gives the federal government the ability to …
Russia and China Are on a Collision Course in Asia
Whether they realize it or not, China and Russia are on a collision course on the Asian continent that is bound to lead to bloodshed — or even a nuclear exchange in the worst-case scenario. At present, the two countries …
Putin’s Syria Red-Line Strategy
‘I saw a stone cold killer.” That’s former Defense secretary Robert Gates, on looking into Vladimir Putin’s eyes.
The histories of the Syrian civil war will record an abundance of bloody red lines. History will recall how Assad …
To Counter Putin, More Spending and More Resolve
According to the New York Times, President Obama will seek a $2.9 billion spending increase for U.S. military operations in Europe. The money will be spent pre-positioning U.S. armored units in Eastern Europe to deter Russian aggression.
This is …
It cannot be said enough that one of the more important reasons that democracy has failed to thrive (to put it mildly) in post-Soviet Russia has been the unwillingness to confront the realities of Soviet history.
Which brings me to …