Tag Archives: Russia

All the Bad Options with North Korea

We should further step up our propaganda war via radio and social media against North Korea and its Chinese master. We should assist with an underground railroad to free North Korean slaves everywhere. Embolden the non-violent freedom fighter. And we … Continue reading

Posted in Asia Pacific, China, Defense and National Security, Foreign Policy, News and Analysis, Uncategorized Tagged , , , , , |

Eurocrats: Transparency vs. the Monet Method

Isn’t this obvious to everyone, including the Poles? One is afraid, however, that the refusal to recognize the reality of the European Union meted out to Poland its stinging slap on the face. Donald Tusk has been elected because his … Continue reading

Posted in Europe, European Union, Foreign Policy, News and Analysis Tagged , , , , , , , , , |

The Return of Mahan, Mackinder, and Spykman

Russia and Germany are signed on to Beijing’s project. They are both cooperating as well as investing in the “One Belt, One Road” project (OBOR) announced in 2013. Does this portend the awakening of Mackinder’s powerful Heartland thesis? The possible … Continue reading

Posted in China, Europe, Foreign Policy, News and Analysis, Russia & Eurasia Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

“Peace Through Strength” – the Realist and Reaganesque Essence of Trump’s Grand Strategy

Unlike his predecessor, and like President Reagan, President Trump undoubtedly believes in American exceptionalism and in standing behind our allies. Nevertheless, there is no question that he will pursue American national interests at the expense of universal or globalist visions … Continue reading

Posted in Defense and National Security, Foreign Policy, News and Analysis Tagged , , , , |

Putin Meddling in Eastern Europe and the Middle East

Will President-elect Trump confront the Russian psychological operations in Europe and Moscow’s meddling in the Middle East? Will the new administration be capable of strengthening the NATO alliance, thus keeping the Germans in and the Russians out? By Nicholas Dima … Continue reading

Posted in Foreign Policy Issues, Latin America, Middle East-North Africa, News and Analysis Tagged , , , , |

Beware of Greeks Bearing Gifts

May this complex situation in Europe, geographically so much closer to Russia, be a case in point? Russian modus operandi is radically different from the Western ideals of transparency and fair play. Open sources of influence alternate with semi-official or clandestine channels, just like in the case of email leaks during the presidential campaign in the U.S. Therefore, when a new American foreign policy is shaped and decisions are taken in 2017, one thing needs to be remembered: A gift needn’t be a token of friendship. Continue reading

Posted in Defense and National Security, Europe, NATO, News and Analysis, Russia & Eurasia Tagged , , , , |

Post-Soviet hacking attack: A reminder of hostile cyber-security threats

America’s enemies continue to wage cyberwar against us and are, apparently, getting better at it. If our government is unwilling to fight back and shore up our cyber-defenses, the least it could do is not to make the job of hostile hackers based in Russia, China, the Islamic Republic of Iran, or any other unfriendly state any easier than it already is. Continue reading

Posted in Defense and National Security, News and Analysis, Russia & Eurasia Tagged , , |

Is Turkey Changing Sides?

Alert and ready to act, Vladimir Putin is courting Erdoğan, while outmaneuvered the Obama administration appears paralized and in denial. The question is: Will the next U.S. administration regain its sense of mission? Continue reading

Posted in Europe, Foreign Policy, News and Analysis, Russia & Eurasia, Uncategorized Tagged , , , , , , , , |

Brexit Calls for U.S. to Reconsider Foreign Policy

With Germany economically dependent on the natural gas provisions from Russia, it is hard to expect any strong German support for NATO activities on the eastern flank. This is proven by the German reaction to the joint NATO war games, Anaconda 16, that are taking place in Eastern Europe. A NATO member, as it is, Germany denied the right of passage to the allied troops on their way to the games referring to them as “saber-rattling and warmongering.” The centers of power in Europe are shifting and Washington needs to choose its allies carefully. When we look at the map of Europe, it is quite clear that the new rampart of NATO is no longer Germany but Poland and the Baltic States. Continue reading

Posted in BREXIT, Europe, European Union, Foreign Policy, News and Analysis, Russia & Eurasia, Sovereignty Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Rule Britannia, and Now What?

Will the spirit of decentralization descend onto central and eastern Europe? That probably won’t happen right away because the denizens of the post-Soviet zone are too scared of the Russians to leave the imaginary security blanket of the EU behind. They keep forgetting that it is not the EU, but NATO that defends them. And there is no NATO without American leadership. Continue reading

Posted in BREXIT, Europe, European Union, Foreign Policy, News and Analysis, Sovereignty Tagged , , , , |

Counterintelligence as Strategic Communications

One may just as well quip that the Kremlin’s strategic messaging boils down to the slogan: “We beat Hitler, we fly the Sputnik, and we excel at ballet.” Unless we re-learn the lessons hard learned and quickly forgotten after the Cold War, we shall be duped over and over again. Continue reading

Posted in News and Analysis Tagged , |

Russia’s Opposition to U.S. Missile Defense in Romania

Moscow’s disinformation campaign is a form of psychological warfare intended to influence Romanian public opinion and ultimately government policy. Such PSYOPS are targeted squarely at Romania’s membership in NATO and the European Union, intertwining the factual with the fabricated, hoping to cause great anxiety among the populace. The narrative goes something like this: The West won the Cold War with the sacrifices of the East European patriots and nationalists. The God-fearing nationalists, however, were excluded from sharing in the fruits of the victory. Instead, the Godless internationalists are preferred by America and the West. In this way, Russia is trying now to turn the tables and attract those who perceive themselves abandoned by the West. Continue reading

Posted in Defense and National Security, Foreign Policy, News and Analysis, Russia & Eurasia Tagged , , , , , , , , , , |

A Little Publicized Meeting Took Place in Romania

The atmosphere of the Siania, Romania meeting was festive, and the event was apparently well-orchestrated. However, the main topic of the conference was both anti-West and anti-European Union. In her speech, for example, Marine Le Pen assured Romania that the country would be better off if it left the EU, which she described as ‘a drifting ship without a compass,’ and ‘a total failure.’ Le Pen questioned the EU’s future, calling it ‘a threat to its inhabitants.’ Instead, she proposed a Union ‘from the Atlantic to the Ural Mountains’… a Europe that would also include Russia. Continue reading

Posted in Europe, Foreign Policy, News and Analysis, Russia & Eurasia Tagged , , , , , , , , |

Trump’s Foreign Policy Speech: Did he Jump into Bed With Putin?

Despite the media buildup for the speech, it’s clear that on the matter of the US-Russian relationship Trump doesn’t represent a real change from the policies of the Obama/Hillary administration. A contest between Hillary and The Donald means the Russians emerge as the winners—no matter who wins. Another Russian reset is in the cards, compounding the American weakness that Trump says he wants to do something about. Continue reading

Posted in 2016 Presidential Campaign, China, Europe, Foreign Policy, Israel, Middle East-North Africa, News and Analysis, Russia & Eurasia, Southeast Asia, Uncategorized Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Squeezing the Buffer Zone between NATO and Russia

According to confidential sources leaked to the media, Russia is currently consolidating its military forces in Transdniestria. The Bucharest TV station Realitatea announced that Russia modernized, militarized, and expanded the Tiraspol Airport. Tiraspol is the capital of this republic. The landing strip of the airport was lengthened to 2,500 meters to accommodate big military planes while many new military barracks were built in the area. Continue reading

Posted in Europe, Foreign Policy, News and Analysis, Russia & Eurasia Tagged , , , , , |

Where is China in the Presidential Campaign?

The public needs to understand the larger strategic context of the 2016 presidential campaign, but is not getting enough information on the stump about the most important duty of the next president; keeping the United States the preeminent power in the world system as China (and Russia) mount new challenges. Continue reading

Posted in 2016 Presidential Campaign, China, Foreign Policy, News and Analysis, Russia & Eurasia Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Russia in Syria Reminds us of Soviet Actions in Cuba

Russian/Iranian actions in Syria represent a major gamble based on the perception of American weakness. An initial strong and swift response now will prevent the need for a riskier response in the future. Continue reading

Posted in Foreign Policy, Latin America, Middle East-North Africa, News and Analysis, Russia, Russia & Eurasia Tagged , , , , , , |

Consequences of Obama’s New Cuba Policy

The Castro regime is re-asserting its close relationship with and allegiance to Cuba’s old allies, Russia, Iran and Venezuela. Agreements between Castro and Putin call for more visits by Russian navy and air force to Cuba. Raul Castro continues to support Iran’s nuclear ambitions as well as to maintain his commitment to the survival of the Maduro regime in Venezuela. Continue reading

Posted in Foreign Policy, Latin America, News and Analysis Tagged , , , |

Cyber Statecraft: Developing a Strategy for Cybersecurity

Instead of waiting for the state to act, a bottom-up army of cyber warriors should be created. They should stand side-by-side with the marching National Guard and paramilitary organizations. If the government can’t protect us from cyber aggression by China, Russia, and others, including non-state agents – as evidenced most recently by the theft of over 20 million classified files by Beijing’s hackers – a U.S. cyber militia and a cyber tea party should rally to the rescue. Continue reading

Posted in Defense and National Security, Foreign Policy, News and Analysis Tagged , , , , , , |

Russia, NATO and the New Ukrainian Defense Policy

Ukraine is a struggling country caught between Russia and the European Union. Historically, the country has been associated for a long time with Moscow and its culture is split between the Russian-dominated East and the European-dominated West.

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Posted in Defense and National Security, Europe, Foreign Policy, News and Analysis, Russia & Eurasia, Ukraine and Crimea Tagged , , , , , , , , |

Romanians’ take on the elections in Moldova: The front line of the EU-Russia struggle for supremacy

The recent Moldovan parliamentary elections have proven that the fight for power between Russia and the West is slowly but surely intensifying. While the Moldovan people’s votes seem to have inclined towards the pro-EU parties, the preference was only a minor one, with pro-Russian parties obtaining only slightly less votes than their opponents. “No party appears able to form a government, although, after a partial count, the three pro-EU parties do have a narrow lead over their pro-Moscow rivals,” Euro News reported on December 1, the day after the election.

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Posted in Europe, Foreign Policy, News and Analysis, Russia & Eurasia Tagged , , , , , , |

The Ukrainian Crisis: Theory vs. History

John J. Mearsheimer’s geopolitical game theory tells him that the West has provoked Russia into invading Ukraine. Moscow behaves rationally, you see, and Washington should have understood that before it expanded NATO eastward and stepped on the Kremlin’s toes. It is logical and legitimate to defend one’s sphere of interest. Why provoke Moscow?

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Posted in Europe, Foreign Policy, News and Analysis, Russia & Eurasia Tagged , , , , , , , |

Putin’s Ukraine Policy is Dividing Europe

Western insistence that Kyiv choose between the EU and Russia, claims Putin, is responsible for breaking up the country. Yet despite all odds, on June 27, Ukraine, Moldova and Georgia signed association agreements with the EU.

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Posted in Europe, Foreign Policy, News and Analysis, Russia & Eurasia, Ukraine and Crimea Tagged , , , , , , , |

Ukrainian-Russian tensions: A major risk for European energy security

“The question of exports to Russia falls under [EU sanctions] stage three. About when to trigger stage three, if there is more destabilization we have agreed, also myself bilaterally with the U.S. President, that if [Ukrainian] elections take place we won’t trigger stage three. We see elections have taken place successfully…”

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Posted in Europe, Foreign Policy, News and Analysis, Russia & Eurasia, Uncategorized Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Is Putin ‘the’ Big Winner in EuroElections?

Both the French National Front and the UK Independence Party were big winners with 26% (25 seats) and 29% (24 seats) respectively. “The people have spoken loud and clear,” exclaimed Marine Le Pen. “They no longer want to be led by those outside our borders, by EU commissioners and technocrats who are unelected. They want to be protected from globalization and take back the reins of their destiny,”… Continue reading

Posted in Europe, Foreign Policy, News and Analysis, Russia & Eurasia Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Ukraine and U.S. Natural Gas Exports: Right Policy, Right Now

For perhaps the first time since the 2010 election inaugurated divided control of Capitol Hill, there was actual excitement about energy legislation as the House took up a bill to expedite the export of liquefied natural gas (LNG). It’s not that the House hasn’t passed dozens of bills to encourage domestic oil and gas production, or discipline extralegal rulemakings by the EPA – it surely has. Rather, it’s been the automatic DOA status of these measures in the Senate that’s made the movie seem old and predictable. Well, that may be changing.

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Posted in Defense and National Security, Energy Security, News and Analysis, Russia, Russia & Eurasia, Trade & Economics Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Putin’s military moves in Latin America

Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said he is seeking to establish a military presence in Venezuela, Nicaragua and Cuba. Now with Obama’s weak response to Russia’s annexation of Crimea from Ukraine, it may act as a stimulus for Putin’s further imperialistic moves.

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Posted in Foreign Policy, Latin America, News and Analysis, Russia & Eurasia Tagged , , , , , , , , , , |

Ukraine: A New Battleground Between Russia and the West

Ukraine is the biggest East European country; it represents the real core of Eastern Europe; and it is currently a bone of contention between Moscow and the West. With an area almost as big as France, a population of 46 million people, with good agricultural land and huge industrial complexes, Ukraine is a country of utmost importance.

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Posted in Foreign Policy, News and Analysis, Russia & Eurasia, Sovereignty, Ukraine and Crimea, Uncategorized Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Saakashvili, Exit Right: Will Georgia’s New Leadership Tilt Toward Moscow?

Even before Ivanishvili assumed political power, parliament voted to shift many powers from the presidency itself and, in effect, gave Georgia a parliamentary form of government instead of a strong presidential system. More than a few Georgia-watchers speculate that this change was part of a master plan by Saakashvili to call the political shots as prime minister in the manner of Russia’s Putin between presidential stints. Continue reading

Posted in Foreign Policy, Russia & Eurasia Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Ramzan Kadyrov and the Chechen Political Landscape

In the 21st century, the pantheon of tyrants has reached proportions which are almost unimaginable by the standards of previous historical periods. It is not simply that there are so many in this era but, perhaps more notably, that today’s tyrants are both shameless and constantly in the public eye.

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Posted in Foreign Policy, Russia & Eurasia Tagged , , , , , , , , |

No Good Way in Syria’s Civil War

The United States has painted itself into a geopolitical corner over Syria. At the moment, Russia gloats, while China circles above, carrion-like, leaving America with no good moves. There is only lesser evil: in Syria, in the region, and on the global scene. Backing the Alawite-led Bashar al-Assad regime of the national socialist Baath Party is tantamount to restoring the hostile situation prior to the Arab Spring, including Iran’s nefarious influence in Lebanon with its proxy Hezbollah. Supporting the rebels means enabling the Sunnis in general, the Muslim Brotherhood and the al-Qaeda in particular. Make no mistake, the rebels do accept support from the royalist Gulf States, but it is not the sworn monarchists or military secularists doing battle against the Assad regime.

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Posted in Foreign Policy, Middle East-North Africa Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Chechens: Sochi or Syria?

In June of 2013, Doku Umarov, who considers himself leader of the Caucasus Emirate and is regarded as Russia’s most recent version of Osama bin Laden, resurfaced after a long period of self-imposed obscurity. The main purpose of his short video statement, which appeared on YouTube, was to offer condolences to the families of Islamic insurgents who died in a series of unsuccessful operations. Because he had not been seen since November 2012, there was speculation that he was dead or, at a minimum, irrelevant as Russia prepared to host the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics.

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Posted in Foreign Policy, Russia & Eurasia Tagged , , , , , , , , |

EU enlargement, Russia and U.S. policy

On November 27 and 28 representatives of the European Union will meet in Vilnius, Lithuania, to discuss the prospects of expanding its borders eastward. The enlargement will also bring with it the expansion of NATO, which makes Russia jittery and compels the United States to take a stand.

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Posted in Foreign Policy, Russia & Eurasia Tagged , , , , , , , , , |

The Eurasian Customs Union expands

The realization of Vladimir Putin’s “Eurasianist” agenda of reasserting Russian hegemony over the former Soviet Bloc has just scored a significant success. On May 31, the Central Asian post-Soviet republic of Kyrgyzstan joined the Eurasian Customs Union (ECU) — consisting of Russia, Belarus, and Kazakhstan—while Ukraine acquired observer status in the Kremlin-dominated body. This article will focus on the latter country.

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Posted in Europe, Foreign Policy, Russia & Eurasia Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Smolensk Report summarized: findings of the Macierewicz Commission

April 10, 2013 marked the third anniversary of the Katyn memorial flight that mysteriously crashed in Smolensk, Russia killing the President of Poland, his wife and 94 members of his pro-American government.

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Posted in Foreign Policy, Russia & Eurasia Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Russia’s aggressive war games threaten NATO borders

On April 22-24 the Russians and their Belarussian junior allies conducted war games right on the eastern border of Poland, which is also the eastern frontier of NATO. The successors of the Red Army—Russian airborne assault units and Belarussian special forces, to be more precise—rehearsed the scenario of a war with Poland on a military training ground in Brest, just across the river from the Polish-Belarussian border.

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Posted in Europe, Foreign Policy, Russia & Eurasia Tagged , , , , , , , , , |

Smolensk: An inconvenient tragedy

Three years have passed since the suspicious Smolensk Plane Crash of April 10, 2010. During this time, new developments in the case occurred and evidence continued to surface. Most disturbingly, these findings have anything but dispelled doubts about the veracity of the official, FSB/KGB-manufactured Moscow-Warsaw “pilot error” line.

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Posted in Foreign Policy, Russia & Eurasia Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

John Kerry’s first foreign trip: Much ado about nothing

On March 6, Barack Obama’s new Secretary of State, John Kerry—who succeeded Hillary Clinton as a result of the fallout following the terrorist attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi last September 11 — has returned home after an eleven-day nine-nation grand tour. During his first trip abroad as head of the Department of State, he visited the United Kingdom, Germany, France, Italy, Turkey, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and Qatar.

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