US Opinion and Commentary

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Patching Up Relations with Russia

Posted December 21st, 2016 at 10:56 am (UTC-5)
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NATO will celebrate its 70th birthday in 2019. Its original intent was to protect against a resurgence of Germany and to stymie the Communist bear. Times change and so must NATO. The United States and a new NATO must turn to de-escalating tensions with Russia.

U.S. Foreign Policy Under Donald Trump

Posted November 16th, 2016 at 4:10 pm (UTC-5)
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Before handing the keys to the White House to Donald Trump, Barack Obama is taking a final, presidential lap around the world.

Obama started his three country trip in the birthplace of democracy, Greece. Then it’s on to Berlin to thank Chancellor Angela Merkel for her support during his term. The pair will also meet with the leaders of Great Britain, France, Italy and Spain. Afterward, Obama flies to Peru for the annual Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit.

In each stop, American allies, and perhaps some foes, will seek reassurance from Obama about the future under a Trump presidency.

With names like former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani, former U.N. ambassador John Bolton, Senate Foreign Relations chairman Bob Corker and South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley floated as possible choices for Trump’s Secretary of State, there is no shortage of foreign policy speculation and suggestions.

Ukraine, 25 Years From Now

Posted September 15th, 2016 at 11:10 am (UTC-5)
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Russia’s false narrative of the history and destiny of the eastern Slavs as one in which all others must resign themselves to living under Muscovite hegemony must be constantly challenged and rebutted, especially in the West.

The Real Risk of Unintended U.S.-Russia Conflict

Posted July 27th, 2016 at 1:43 pm (UTC-5)
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It is only a matter of time before more such dangerous incidents between Russian and U.S. or NATO forces occur. The question then will be how well-equipped both sides are to manage the consequences. Judging by the state of the relationship overall, the answer is not very well at all.

The U.S. Can’t Ignore Russia, or its Increasingly Horrendous Behavior

Posted July 6th, 2016 at 11:26 am (UTC-5)
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The White House and State Department believe the only way to make progress in Syria is to work with Moscow, even if that means setting the isolation effort aside. That makes some sense, only if Russia actually honors its agreements in Syria and makes progress resolving the Ukraine crisis. But neither of these things is happening.

Putin’s Choice

Posted June 16th, 2016 at 3:25 pm (UTC-5)
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Putin has fallen into the same trap that lured Brezhnev, then left Gorbachev to pick up the pieces. The Russian system is vulnerable to shocks, both internal and external….it is becoming more obvious that, facing problems at home and pressures abroad, Russians in and out of government are starting to consider the country’s next stage.

The Resolve Behind Russia Sanctions Is Weakening

Posted May 31st, 2016 at 11:33 am (UTC-5)
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Each time the European Union’s sanctions against Russia come up for renewal, there’s speculation that some countries might break ranks and vote against the trade and financing restrictions. There will probably be no deserters this time around either; but a softening of the sanctions is on the cards in the near future.

Kerry & Lavrov: The Odd Couple of the New Cold War

Posted April 19th, 2016 at 4:30 pm (UTC-5)
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The two are “on very good terms,” Lavrov said last month, “but that does not mean that we should smile from ear to ear and express joy during each and every meeting to please Russian, American, and other journalists.”

A Pivotal Time for Ukraine: The U.S. Should Redouble Its Support

Posted April 18th, 2016 at 2:41 pm (UTC-5)
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Russia’s goals in Ukraine are both geopolitical and imperial. Without Ukraine, or at least without considerable influence in Ukraine, Russia sees itself only as an Asian power, not as a European power. Now is not the time for the United States to abandon the people of Ukraine.

The End of the American Empire

Posted April 12th, 2016 at 4:53 pm (UTC-5)
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Congress may be on strike against the rest of the government, but our soldiers, sailors, airmen, and marines remain hard at work….The major achievement of multiple interventions in the Muslim world has been to demonstrate that the use of force is not the answer to many problems, but there are few problems it cannot aggravate

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

The NATO Alliance Trump Doesn’t See

Posted April 4th, 2016 at 2:47 pm (UTC-5)
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Under the alliance’s tutelage, countries that might have lapsed into dictatorships or chaos instead became functioning democracies. To earn NATO security guarantees, or even a looser association as “partners for peace,” they granted rights to ethnic minorities, tolerated opposition media and cracked down on corruption.    

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.

Russian Adventurism and the U.S. Long Game

Posted March 3rd, 2016 at 4:28 pm (UTC-5)
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If the United States and its allies are not to be continually surprised, we will have to put more resources behind understanding what is happening inside Russia, as well as analyzing the complex of Russia’s interactions internationally.

Obama’s Implicit Foreign Policy

Posted February 26th, 2016 at 9:58 am (UTC-5)
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I have based my foreign policy on some tough realities that are hard to talk about because no American likes to hear about the limits of our power. But those limits have grown. American power in the 21st century cannot be what it was in 1945 — or even in 1990.