US Opinion and Commentary

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Showing Archived Posts

To the Future President of the United States

Posted April 8th, 2016 at 4:24 pm (UTC-5)
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We understand that perspective is hard to come by at this stage of the race, and you are obsessively watching the polls and attempting to shape your image to a media ready to pounce on every slip. But the world is watching at a time of great uncertainty

The Indispensible NATO Alliance

Posted April 7th, 2016 at 4:10 pm (UTC-5)
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The kind of conventional military conflict that NATO was designed to deter — a Red Army invasion of Western Europe — is more of a danger now that at any time since the fall of the Berlin War. Russia under Vladimir Putin has rebuilt its military and has undertaken a series of invasion of its […]

Obama and NATO’s Stoltenberg Meet

Posted April 4th, 2016 at 4:23 pm (UTC-5)
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President Obama met with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg on Monday to discuss issues ranging from Ukraine to the Syrian refugee crisis

Nuclear Nightmares, From Bin Laden to Brussels

Posted April 1st, 2016 at 12:24 pm (UTC-5)
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We’re sure delegates from more than 50 nations are patting themselves on the back for all their progress over the past six years…. Our conclusion: There’s been progress, but it’s short of awesome.

How We Can Make Our Vision of a World Without Nuclear Weapons a Reality

Posted March 31st, 2016 at 2:06 pm (UTC-5)
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“I believe that we must never resign ourselves to the fatalism that the spread of nuclear weapons is inevitable.” President Barack Obama

How We Can Make Our Vision of a World Without Nuclear Weapons a Reality

Posted March 31st, 2016 at 11:24 am (UTC-5)
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Given the continued threat posed by organizations such as the terrorist group we call ISIL, or ISIS, we’ll also join allies and partners in reviewing our counterterrorism efforts, to prevent the world’s most dangerous networks from obtaining the world’s most dangerous weapons.

Thinking the Unthinkable

Posted March 30th, 2016 at 2:59 pm (UTC-5)
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In 1945, the United States dropped two nuclear bombs on Japan. It was devastating, historic and, ultimately, ended the Second World War. Some 70 years later, the frightening prospect of nuclear weapons falling into hands of terrorist organizations (think ISIS or the Taliban), who have proven their appetite for brutality again and again. On Thursday, President Barack Obama will host his fourth—and final—Nuclear Security Summit in Washington, where more than 50 heads of state will entertain that very notion, and how to ensure it never happens. Two key world figures are not attending: Russian President Vladimir Putin and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani. Iran’s absence appears more notable given the landmark nuclear deal with America and five other world powers. Experts say approaching such a terrifying possibility requires rethinking how we cope with the existence of nuclear arms. The Cold War mentality must make way for a far more fractured globe and the rise of ultra-fundamentalist Islam.

How Russia Is ‘Weaponizing’ Migration to Destabilize Europe

Posted March 25th, 2016 at 1:06 pm (UTC-5)
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[A]ccording to European officials, other migrants are traveling into the Nordic and Baltic states from Russia and are not fleeing the fighting in Syria, Iraq or Afghanistan, but rather have been living in Russia and are being encouraged by the Kremlin to join the tide in Western Europe.

Embracing Cuba

Posted March 18th, 2016 at 3:55 pm (UTC-5)
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In 1928, former President Calvin Coolidge visited Cuba. It would be 88 years until the next American presidential trip would take place, if nothing impedes President Barack Obama’s scheduled visit on March 21st. It’s hard to describe the historic nature of Obama’s move towards warmer relations with a country that was so strongly allied with the U.S.S.R. that former President John F. Kennedy and then Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev came dangerously close to war over the Cuban Missile Crisis. Fast forward to 2014, when President Obama announced his vision to embrace Cuba, whose long-time dictator Fidel Castro had become so ill, he handed power to his brother, Raul. There are signs of change in Cuba, but it is slow. According to human rights activists, there is a disturbing crackdown on political dissidents. Much work remains to improve the lives of ordinary Cubans. For Obama, the effort is worth spending some of his dwindling political capital before he vacates the Oval Office.

A Hollow Superpower

Posted March 18th, 2016 at 1:04 pm (UTC-5)
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Judging by the pictures on television, Vladimir Putin won a famous victory in Syria this week. After his unexpected declaration that the campaign is over, Mr Putin is claiming credit for a ceasefire and the start of peace talks…. Look closer, however, and Russia’s victory rings hollow.

The Obama Doctrine and Ukraine

Posted March 17th, 2016 at 1:17 pm (UTC-5)
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What should Washington do? It should keep providing Kyiv political support, and work with the European Union to offer additional financial assistance, provided that Ukraine accelerates reforms and anti-corruption measures. It should also provide additional military assistance.

Putin’s Surprise Syria Move Leaves World Wondering What He’ll Do Next

Posted March 16th, 2016 at 10:24 am (UTC-5)
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Critics sometimes rail at President Barack Obama for devising foreign policy largely on his own, but Obama is a model of consultative comity compared to Russian President Vladimir Putin. Last September, the Russian leader stunned Obama and everyone else by dramatically intervening in Syria’s civil war ostensibly to fight the Islamic State (ISIS) but actually to save embattled Syrian […]

Russian-Iranian Relations: Troubled Ties

Posted March 15th, 2016 at 2:54 pm (UTC-5)
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Despite their numerous anti-Western interests, Russia and Iran are not allies. Neither is willing to give up much of anything for the sake of good relations with the other. Washington, then, cannot expect that Tehran will consider binding any agreement reached with Moscow regarding the settlement of the conflict in Syria.

Putin’s Syria Surprise

Posted March 15th, 2016 at 1:30 pm (UTC-5)
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“I consider the objectives that have been set for the Defense Ministry to be generally accomplished.” The words of Russian President Vladimir Putin, who on Monday declared victory in Syria and announced his troops would withdraw. The unexpected decision coincided with the start of Syria peace talks in Geneva. Cagey as ever, it’s hard to read Putin’s motives. Was it getting too messy? Did he want to paint President Barack Obama as “weak?” Is he looking for support on the homefront? Or, was it all just to show the international community that Russia is, and will remain, a player? The only part of this that is known is that Putin has once again stunned his friends and foes.

The World Through Obama’s Eyes

Posted March 11th, 2016 at 4:23 pm (UTC-5)
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Fresh chum was tossed into Washington’s foreign policy fishbowl Thursday with publication of “The Obama Doctrine” by The Atlantic. Using President Barack Obama’s decision to back away from the red line he drew over Syria’s use of chemical weapons as a central theme, author Jeffrey Goldberg gave readers tremendous insight into Obama’s decision-making process and how he thinks U.S. muscle should be flexed. Goldberg reveals details of Obama’s sometimes curt interactions with his national security staff, his disdain for Washington’s think-tank establishment and his admission of failure with regards to Libya. It’s not a light read; more than 19,000 words (some of which are, shall we say, salty.) And thousands more words have already been written in reaction.