US Opinion and Commentary

“VOA will present the policies of the United States clearly and effectively, and will also present responsible discussion and opinion on these policies.” — VOA Charter

Showing Archived Posts

The Kremlin’s Tragic Miscalculation

Posted November 4th, 2015 at 10:34 am (UTC-4)
Comments are closed

The truth is that the young democracies of Central and Eastern Europe sought to join the EU and NATO – and worked hard to gain membership – because they longed for peace, progress, and prosperity. It was those countries’ ambitions, not some vendetta against Russia, that drove EU and NATO enlargement.

Partition Syria to Crush the Islamic State

Posted November 2nd, 2015 at 12:32 pm (UTC-4)
Comments are closed

… [R]epresentatives of all the Syrian factions should assemble under United Nations auspices to design the future Syrian state. Given the differences among these factions, this process could take years. In the interim, each faction should govern the territory it holds …

The Myth­ of Putin’s Strategic Genius

Posted November 2nd, 2015 at 9:03 am (UTC-4)
Comments are closed

Five years ago, Russia was in a much stronger position, both at home and in the world. Today, Mr. Putin is playing defense, doubling down on bad decisions guided by an outdated theory of international politics.

Syria Talks Open As US Unveils Plan to Send Special Forces

Posted October 30th, 2015 at 3:05 pm (UTC-4)
Comments are closed

An odd coalition of players assembled in Vienna Friday to talk Syria. Among them: Iran. Many Syria watchers have argued Iran is necessary to a negotiated settlement, if one can be had in Syria. Another strange bedfellow is Russia, which, by marching into the quagmire so boldly, sparked a new U.S. strategy. Just hours after the Vienna talks began, we learned that President Barack Obama’s new take on Syria involves less than 50 Special Forces. While the White House spokesman won’t use the word “combat” to describe the Special Forces troops, Pentagon spokesman Col. Steve Warren said “we’re in combat” earlier this week. Indeed we are — standing uncomfortably next to some of America’s most historic foes.

A Radical Win-Win Solution for Syria

Posted October 29th, 2015 at 1:26 pm (UTC-4)
Comments are closed

Perhaps it’s time to use the UN for its founding purpose: to end the scourge of war. The other 192 UN member states … should suspend Syria’s UN membership, which can be done under Article 5 of the UN Charter. Then the territory should be placed under the auspices of the UN’s Trusteeship Council

How Putin’s Ukrainian Dream Turned Into a Nightmare

Posted October 29th, 2015 at 12:33 pm (UTC-4)
Comments are closed

Putin’s plans of weakening Ukraine have backfired. Ukraine is slowly getting stronger, while Russia is getting weaker. Time is, therefore, on the side of Ukraine and the West. They should avoid offering Putin any relief as long as Russian and proxy troops continue to occupy Ukrainian territory

How the West Propped Up Putin

Posted October 28th, 2015 at 2:42 pm (UTC-4)
Comments are closed

Physical and social insecurity are easy targets in fragile democracies, and throughout history, autocrats and military juntas have been empowered by the people’s call for order and a strong hand to steady a wobbly democratic regime. Somehow, people always forget that it’s much easier to install a dictator than to remove one.

Obama Just Fell for a Classic Russian Ruse

Posted October 27th, 2015 at 11:02 am (UTC-4)
Comments are closed

Putin’s offers of “cooperation” are aimed at weakening Western resistance to Russia’s rising influence in the region and more broadly. Russia’s increasing confidence is also reflected in its worldwide interest in critical undersea communications cables, implicitly threatening their destruction in time of war.

Reading Tea Leaves in Moscow, Damascus and Washington

Posted October 26th, 2015 at 4:28 pm (UTC-4)
Comments are closed

“The Russians are burning and flattening everything.” That’s how a commander in a U.S.-backed rebel militia describes Russia’s military involvement in Syria. And the commander dismisses Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov’s offer of Russia’s help for Syria’s “patriotic opposition” if only Russia knew their whereabouts. Moscow’s intentions — and Washington’s response — has many experts wondering how this will play out on and off the battlefield.

The West Should Take-On Putin’s P.R. Machine

Posted October 26th, 2015 at 2:45 pm (UTC-4)
Comments are closed

Freeze the assets of Putin’s state-funded RT cable network, not because of the odious things it spews but in compliance with two court rulings against the Russian government involving the multibillion-dollar Yukos oil company.

Jimmy Carter: A Five Nation Plan to End the Syrian Crisis

Posted October 26th, 2015 at 10:14 am (UTC-4)
Comments are closed

[Putin] replied that little progress had been made, and he thought that the only real chance of ending the conflict was for the United States and Russia to be joined by Iran, Turkey and Saudi Arabia in preparing a comprehensive peace proposal.

Frozen Russia

Posted October 23rd, 2015 at 9:43 am (UTC-4)
Comments are closed

Russian consumers are increasingly unhappy, but their discontent is being frozen in depression rather than manifested in social protest.

Obama’s Dangerous “No War, No Peace” Strategy in Syria

Posted October 19th, 2015 at 3:44 pm (UTC-4)
Comments are closed

It is unfortunate, if predictable, that much of Washington’s foreign policy elite would line up behind a confrontation with Russia over Syria. Americans perceive Russian President Vladimir Putin as an autocrat and a bully and are frustrated that he appears to have outmaneuvered the Obama administration.

Our Unused Strength

Posted October 19th, 2015 at 8:08 am (UTC-4)
Comments are closed

In many ways, and contrary to whatever Donald Trump may say, the next president will inherit an America in better shape — better positioned for world leadership — than the nation that George Bush bequeathed to Barack Obama.

US Shifts Strategy Again. This Time in Syria

Posted October 16th, 2015 at 1:35 pm (UTC-4)
Comments are closed

The Obama administration is pursuing a new tactic to defeat the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria. The shift to a “Syria First” strategy came after the United States ended its plan to train so-called “moderate Syrians,” an expensive strategy that produced few results. The idea goes something like this: by shifting America’s focus from Iraq to Syria first, Washington can battle IS independently of Iran, and hopefully set the stage for a post-Assad Syria. But there’s a hitch: Russia. President Vladimir Putin, a vocal supporter of the Syrian president, has made his presence known, complicating an already very complicated scenario for the United States.