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  • Commentary posted March 31, 2014 by Kim R. Holmes, Ph.D. Obama fails the Crimea Rorschach test

    Think of the Ukraine crisis as a Rorschach test. Russia has shown President Obama an inkblot that looks like a bear, and all he sees is a frightened rabbit. Vladimir Putin’s designs on Ukraine could not be clearer. Yet Mr. Obama clings to the notion that Moscow is motivated by weakness and fear. Russia is acting, he says, “not out of strength, but out of weakness,”…

  • Commentary posted March 30, 2014 by James Jay Carafano, Ph.D. Free nations should band together to promote shared values

    Americans wanted to know how the president planned to end the Great War and prevent the next one. And so, on September 27, 1918, Woodrow Wilson took to the stage of the Metropolitan Opera House. There, amid the beaux arts glitter and gilt, he declared that what the world needed was a League of Nations. The president expected it to be the speech of his life, but he was…

  • Issue Brief posted March 28, 2014 by James Jay Carafano, Ph.D., Nile Gardiner, Ph.D., Luke Coffey, Dakota Wood If Russia Attacks: How the U.S. Should Respond to Further Aggression Against Ukraine

    After Russia’s illegal invasion, occupation, and subsequent annexation of Crimea, there is a concern that Moscow will not stop until all of Ukraine is under Russia’s control. By invading Crimea, the regime of President Vladimir Putin has made it impossible any longer to consider Russia a responsible nation or suitable partner for the United States in solving regional and…

  • Commentary posted March 28, 2014 by James Jay Carafano, Ph.D. Five Reasons Cold War II Isn't Happening

    At a press conference in the Hague, President Obama dismissed the suggestion that Mitt Romney had been right in 2012 to peg Moscow as America’s top strategic challenge. "The truth of the matter is that America's got a whole lot of challenges,” Mr. Obama said. “Russia is a regional power that is threatening some of its immediate neighbors, not out of strength but out of…

  • Commentary posted March 28, 2014 by James Jay Carafano, Ph.D. Jet-setting Obama can't flee foreign policy failures

    Having done his darndest in The Hague, Barack Obama is taking his “cast of 100s” caravan to the sands of the Saudis. Riyadh may seem a strange place to end a European tour, but Mr. Obama often does the unexpected. What he does not do when travelling, however, is deal directly with the really bad stuff. Even at The Hague, as tens of thousands of Russian troops massed…

  • Issue Brief posted March 27, 2014 by Michaela Dodge U.S. Nuclear Weapons Policy: After Ukraine, Time to Reassess Strategic Posture

    Russia recently invaded Ukraine and annexed Crimea in blatant disregard of Ukraine’s territorial sovereignty. Russia’s willingness to challenge the status quo and its disregard for its arms control obligations have important implications for U.S. nuclear weapons policy. The U.S. can take many steps to improve and strengthen its overall nuclear posture regardless of…

  • Commentary posted March 27, 2014 by Luke Coffey After Crimea

    Not since the Cold War has Red Square hosted such an alarming spectacle. When Russian president Vladimir Putin gathered a crowd of thousands to celebrate his military annexation of Crimea last week, he demonstrated a now-familiar talent for merging stagecraft with statecraft. Flanked by four Jumbotrons and capped by the dubious proclamation “We are together,” Putin’s…

  • Commentary posted March 27, 2014 by Peter Brookes Will Putin’s bad-boy routine help Obama, Kerry see the light?

    If there’s one good thing to come out of the Crimea crisis so far – if that’s possible – it’s that Russia’s land-grab may have roused Team Obama from its strategic slumber about emerging big power threats. Startled by the Kremlin’s unexpected wake-up call, maybe now the White House will wipe away the “sleepies” and see the world as it is, rather than how Team Obama…

  • Backgrounder posted March 25, 2014 by Nile Gardiner, Ph.D., Jack Spencer, Luke Coffey, Nicolas Loris Beyond the Crimea Crisis: Comprehensive Next Steps in U.S.–Russian Relations

    After three months of mass street demonstrations, the Ukrainian people succeeded in ousting their corrupt and incompetent president, the Kremlin-backed Viktor Yanukovych. On February 22, the Ukrainian parliament acted in favor of the people it represents by granting amnesty to all political prisoners, bringing back the constitution of 2004 (which reduces the powers of the…

  • Commentary posted March 25, 2014 by Kim R. Holmes, Ph.D. A Cold War Lesson For Ukraine

    There's been a lot of talk about how Russia's invasion of Crimea means a return to the Cold War. History never repeats itself exactly (it merely echoes). But there are actually some lessons from the Cold War which could be applicable to the crisis in Ukraine. The first is that facts on the ground matter. The Soviet Union occupied half of Europe after World War II more or…

  • Issue Brief posted March 21, 2014 by Michaela Dodge U.S. Missile Defense Policy After Russia’s Actions in Ukraine

    Russia has invaded Ukraine and annexed Crimea in blatant disregard of Ukraine’s territorial sovereignty and international law. Russia’s crude steps carry important implications for U.S. missile defense policy. Currently, the Administration’s policy is not to affect the “strategic balance” with Russia in terms of ballistic missiles.[1] In reality, there is no strategic…

  • Commentary posted March 16, 2014 by James Jay Carafano, Ph.D. It's time to realize that Vladimir Putin can't be trusted

    Who killed Kennedy? The CIA. Who introduced AIDS to Africa? The CIA. Sure, it's crazy talk. But those stories were two of Moscow's most successful disinformation campaigns during the Cold War. And now Vladimir Putin is reviving these dirty tricks. That's the argument made in Disinformation: Former Spy Chief Reveals Secret Strategies for Undermining Freedom,…

  • Issue Brief posted March 12, 2014 by Luke Coffey Obama’s Meeting with Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk

    On March 12, the new interim Prime Minister of Ukraine, Arseniy Yatsenyuk, will meet with President Barack Obama at the White House. This will be the first such visit since the removal of Viktor Yanukovych’s government. In what is best described as a blatant disregard of Ukraine’s national sovereignty, Russian troops continue to occupy key sites across the Crimean…

  • Commentary posted March 10, 2014 by Peter Brookes What Putin sees when he looks to the West

    While we wring our hands over whether we have any options in preventing Crimea from being slowly -- but almost surely -- sucked into the Russian sphere of influence for good, the fact is that the Kremlin clearly thought it could get away with it. Why? Weakness. There’s no doubt that Russian President Vladimir Putin long ago sized up President Obama, including his…

  • Commentary posted March 8, 2014 by Nile Gardiner, Ph.D. The crisis in Ukraine — America can be deferential no more

    The Obama administration's Russian reset, designed by then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, was premised on the idea of Russia as a partner with the United States. Hand in hand, the former rivals would address the major international crises of the day. This initiative will be remembered as one of the biggest foreign policy follies of the modern era — a staggeringly…