Kim Jong Il, the former leader of North Korea, once made 11 holes in one in a round of golf. On a well-publicized scuba dive, Vladimir Putin, Russia's president, happened to find two ancient artifacts. Iran's Supreme Leader claims the United States, Britain, and Israel created the Islamist rebels in Syria.
Dictators say a lot of crazy things. Some are silly, some are…
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…
“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…
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…
What’s at stake in Ukraine? If the actions of Western governments speak louder than words, the short answer is “not much.” The full range of sanctions on Russia has not yet been imposed, and there is a widespread reluctance to embrace Ukraine too closely.
But what if our reluctance is a mistake? We could end up undoing the entire post-Cold War order in Europe.
In the recent makeshift referenda in Donetsk and Luhansk unrecognized by the West, a small minority of eligible voters voted in favor of secession from Ukraine. Now, some Western politicians and analysts are wondering: If those people came out to vote for "independence," aren’t we obligated to consider their opinion when pondering the future of Ukraine?
The Kremlin and…
Vladimir Putin is the father of the most significant energy mix shift in Europe. Ukraine may be the straw that broke the back of the energy camel.
As a result, Russia is about to lose a lot of revenue. Talk about the unintended consequences.
Even before Putin occupied the Crimea and supported separatist insurgency in Eastern Ukraine, the EU Commission began to seek ways…
George Kennan was the State Department's top hand on Moscow. As the U.S.-Soviet alliance unraveled after World War II, no one seemed to understand the Kremlin better than Kennan.
One of his most insightful observations was cautionary: Do not think about the standoff with the Soviet Union as principally a military confrontation.
"[Y]ou didn't always have to occupy…
By any reasonable measure, Russia is getting the best of the West in the showdown over Ukraine. President Vladimir Putin's destabilization of that country continues apace while the United States and the Europeans are powerless to stop him, and all of this is happening despite the fact that by any reasonable measure Russia is weaker than the West. Its economy is much less…
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…
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…
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…
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…
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,…
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.
There’s no doubt that Russian President Vladimir Putin long ago sized up President Obama, including his…
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