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  • Commentary posted March 19, 2015 by Peter Brookes Putin pushes envelope in Arctic

    If there is one thing you can say about Russian President Vladimir Putin, it’s that while he’s not always straightforward about his whereabouts (for 10 days), he’s straightforward about geopolitics. Indeed, about a year after carving Crimea from Kiev, Moscow is making waves in the ice floes at the top of the world in the Arctic with massive military maneuvers. Putin’s…

  • Commentary posted March 18, 2015 by Kim R. Holmes, Ph.D. Russia’s endgame and Obama’s end run in the Iran nuclear talks

    The Obama administration assumes that it needs Russia to get an Iranian nuclear deal. But behind-the-scenes happenings suggest that Russia has its own plans. That may explain why the administration is willing to bypass Congress to get a pact with Tehran. Russia and Iran have been moving closer in recent months. On Jan. 20, they signed a military cooperation agreement…

  • Commentary posted March 16, 2015 by Daniel Kochis Take Putin's World Cup Away

    The 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi turned the eyes of the world on Russia and its president, Vladimir Putin. Moscow's preparations for the invasion of Ukraine, which would begin three weeks later., were still hidden out sight. As the cameras followed every twist and turn of the bobsleds, every pike and puck of the freestyle skiers, Russian spetsnaz were secretly preparing…

  • Issue Brief posted February 12, 2015 by Luke Coffey, Nile Gardiner, Ph.D. The United States Must Be Ready to Send Weapons to Ukraine

    As Russian-backed forces make territorial gains in eastern Ukraine, and as a ceasefire agreement was reached in Minsk, Belarus, between Kyiv and Moscow, there is intense debate in Washington about whether to send weapons to the Ukrainian military. There is no reason to believe that the ceasefire agreement will last when many such agreements have failed in the past. At…

  • Commentary posted February 5, 2015 by Peter Brookes Time for ‘reset’ of Russian policy

    Our Russia policy continues to flounder, and if Team Obama wants to change that it’s going to have to start by ending its “softly-softly” approach to the bloody conflict in eastern Ukraine. With time of the essence, high-visibility diplomatic/security meetings this week in Europe involving U.S. officials provide an important opportunity to do just that. Why? Because…

  • Commentary posted January 2, 2015 by Peter Brookes 2015 promises world of flash points, surprises

    The Danish physicist Niels Bohr is supposed to have said something along the lines of: Prediction is very difficult, especially if it’s about the future. Roger that. But despite the warning’s obvious wisdom, busying ourselves in prediction is inescapable whether it’s in selecting a spouse for life or a rapid route to work in the morning. International security is no…

  • Issue Brief posted December 16, 2014 by Luke Coffey Russian Military Activity in the Arctic: A Cause for Concern

    While the West has primarily been focused on Russia’s recent actions in eastern Europe, Moscow has continued with its plans to militarize the Arctic. Russia’s strategic goals in the Arctic are to secure current and potential energy resources located in the region and to maintain military superiority above the Arctic Circle. Although the threat of armed conflict among the…

  • Issue Brief posted December 16, 2014 by Luke Coffey, Daniel Kochis Addressing Russia’s Continued Pernicious Actions Abroad

    Russia’s invasion and annexation of Crimea and its continued aggression against Ukraine are proof of what many already knew, the failed “Russian reset” policy is dead, and Russia’s actions continue to destabilize its neighborhood. In place of the reset, the U.S. needs to implement a comprehensive long-term strategy for addressing a revanchist Russia. To highlight the…

  • Commentary posted December 11, 2014 by Kim R. Holmes, Ph.D. With Putin’s Hand Getting Weaker, Time to Watch Out

    Russian President Vladimir Putin seems to have picked a bad time to try to restore the Russian empire. Collapsing energy prices are weakening the value of the ruble, causing inflation and depriving Mr. Putin of badly needed income. We might expect his troubles to curb his appetite for aggression. Alas, it has not. If anything, the former KGB operative is tightening the…

  • Issue Brief posted December 2, 2014 by Luke Coffey, Daniel Kochis Russia’s Provocations in the Nordic-Baltic States: The U.S. Needs a Strategy to Support the Region

    Russia’s aggressive posture against its neighbors has a profound impact on U.S. allies in the Nordic and Baltic region. The Baltic states are on NATO’s front line, and view Russia as an existential threat. Nordic states, especially non-NATO members Finland and Sweden, have felt Russian pressure this year. Lately, three issues have kept tensions running high in the region:…

  • Commentary posted December 1, 2014 by James Jay Carafano, Ph.D. Economy in Free Fall: Politically Isolated Putin's Troubles Grow

    “Saturday Night Live” often acts as a good barometer of what’s going on in the world.  Last week, its opening sketch nailed just how grumpy Americans are over President Obama’s executive action on immigration, which kicks the rule of law down the Capitol steps. But later in the show’s “Weekend Update,” a guest appearance by German Chancellor Angela Merkel (performed by…

  • Issue Brief posted November 26, 2014 by Luke Coffey Russia and the South Caucasus: A Situation the U.S. Cannot Ignore

    While the U.S. and NATO are focused on Russian activity in Central and Eastern Europe, there are three developments in the South Caucasus that merit closer attention: (1) recent political instability in Georgia; (2) possible Russian annexation of Georgian breakaway territories; and (3) increasing tensions between Armenia and Azerbaijan over the Armenian-occupied…

  • Issue Brief posted November 26, 2014 by Luke Coffey, Daniel Kochis Russia’s Invasion of Ukraine: The U.S. Needs a Strategy

    In November 2013, the former Ukrainian President, Viktor Yanukovych, postponed signing an Association Agreement with the European Union after receiving an ultimatum from Moscow to choose between closer ties with Europe or Russia. One year later, Yanukovych is out, a pro-Western government is in power, Russia has illegally annexed the Crimea, and the Ukrainian oblasts of…

  • Commentary posted November 18, 2014 by Theodore R. Bromund, Ph.D. Russia's Aggression Isn't Stopping in Ukraine

    NATO confirmed on Wednesday that Russian tanks were moving into rebel-controlled eastern Ukraine. But Russia's aggression under Vladimir Putin didn't begin in Ukraine and, unless the West stops vacillating, it won't end there, either. After the 2003 Rose Revolution, the nation of Georgia, in the Caucasus, became a staunch American ally. But in 2008, it was invaded and…

  • Commentary posted November 17, 2014 by Peter Brookes ‘Green Men’ Returning to Ukraine

    If you haven’t noticed, Team Obama’s policy of “isolating” Russia for its bad behavior in Ukraine isn’t going very well. Indeed, one could say the approach is not only failing, but terribly so. Russia’s on a roll. First, NATO reports that Russian forces — troops, artillery, tanks and air defense systems — recently moved across the border into Ukraine despite a September…