Unlike American presidential doctrines, Russian doctrines tend to go unnoticed by the western media or are often dismissed as propaganda. This is curious, as the Russians, and before this the Soviets, are not known for hyperbole in geopolitics as they are in the ideological arena. For example, the Brezhnev Doctrine, which condemned Eastern Europe to Soviet domination was brutally enforced by the Soviet military and KGB.Read more
Two distinguished politicians, one with a constituency of over one billion souls, the other a constituency of over one billion subjects, visited us this week. The pope’s souls, of course, are voluntary adherents to his cause, with the price of disobedience deferred until the disobedient enter another world; the subjects of the president of China find deviation punished more immediately.Read more
A photograph of a drowned 3-year-old boy washed up on a Turkish beach after his family failed to find refuge from the war in Syria seems to have finally gotten the world’s attention. The conflict has been an unfolding humanitarian catastrophe for more than four years. A quarter of a million are dead, and millions have been driven from their homes, either displaced within Syria or moved to flee abroad, where they take their chances on reaching shelter.Read more
While their fireworks have earned Carly Fiorina and Donald Trump the most attention after Wednesday night’s Republican debate in California, the winner for the most detailed and substantive performance may go to Marco Rubio.Read more
Senator Marco Rubio explained foreign policy in Russia and Syria concisely during Wednesday's Republican Debate. Putin is "trying to replace us as the single most important power broker in the Middle East and this president is allowing it." Watch the full clip here:Read more
The White House seems to think that Vladimir Putin’s Syria policy is a blunder of the first order.Read more
Weekend remarks concerning Russia's current activities in Syria by Gen. Philip Breedlove, commander of U.S. European Command and NATO's supreme allied commander, are far from reassuring. Speaking to reporters after NATO's Military Committee Conference in Istanbul on Saturday, Breedlove acknowledged, "We don’t truly understand yet what it is that Russia is going to do in Syria." He went on to say:We have heard everything from humanitarian operations to combat operations, so it remains to be seen what this will be in the end," Breedlove said. "What we are most concerned about is any operations that would continue to support the Assad Read more
It is late evening as we approach the second of three checkpoints on the road to the frontline city of Mariupol, in southeastern Ukraine. A vital port on the Azov Sea, Mariupol is heavily fortified by land and by sea.
“I try not to drive these roads after dark,” says Gena, who is taking me and my cameraman from Zaporizhia to visit the Jewish community of Mariupol. “It’s more dangerous at night.”Read more
In a speech today about the Iran deal at the Brookings Institution, Hillary Clinton mentioned Russia and Vladimir Putin. She defended her Russia Reset, and then said something strange:
"I don't admire very much about Mr. Putin, but the idea you can stand up and say 'I will be your next president," that does have a certain attraction to it."
For the last several weeks, Air Force Secretary Deborah James has been touting the deployment of F-22 Raptor fighters – the best plane America owns – to Germany as “the strong side of the coin” in an effort to reassure Eastern Europeans who have seen their air space increasingly violated by Russian jets. “Russia’s military activity in the Ukraine continues to be of great concern to us and our European allies,” she said.Read more
The latest salvo in a bizarre exchange of international sanctions has been fired. Russia has already taken its boycott of Western foodstuffs to theatrical extremes, bulldozing piles of cheese and destroying apples whose sole fault was their Polish origin. Now the government of Vladimir Putin seems to be turning on household cleansers as it tries to scour away the taint of Western business.Read more
"Russia is a friendly, European country,” said President Vladimir Putin in a 2001 address to the Bundestag in Berlin. Putin told German lawmakers he applauded European integration, believed in the unity of European culture, and was convinced that no one had benefited from Europe’s divisions in the past. Then last November, speaking again to Germans in an interview for ARD, German national television—in sports coat and open collar—the Russian president lauded dialogue and diplomacy when it came to the crisis in Ukraine.Read more
Traveling recently in what might be called “new frontline” states—Estonia, Ukraine, and Moldova—I was struck by the depth of concern I encountered about Russian propaganda. And not just propaganda aimed at the Russian population and neighboring countries. At a conference in Tallinn, a Politico reporter and experienced Russia hand who had just covered the parliamentary elections in Britain told me voters he’d interviewed in Wales and Scotland had brought up clearly identifiable pieces of propaganda spread by Russia’s state-owned global television and radio network, RT.Read more
Carly Fiorina, the former CEO of Hewlett-Packard and a Republican candidate for president, will address the Ronald Reagan Library in Simi Valley, California, on Monday evening on her foreign policy outlook. In her speech, Fiorina will discuss how as president she would broker a "new deal" with Iran, call for expanding defense spending, and address China, whom she calls "our rising adversary."
You can watch her speech live at 9 pm ET here. Fiorina's remarks as prepared for delivery are below:Read more
Religious conservatives are fighting back against allegations of homophobia.
The World Congress of Families (WCF) is “an international network of pro-family organizations, scholars, leaders and people of goodwill from more than 80 countries that seek[s] to restore the natural family as the fundamental social unit and the ‘seedbed’ of civil society.”Read more
Secretary of State John Kerry defended the Obama administration's decision to take the Iran deal to the United Nations before the U.S. Congress votes on it. Kerry made the remarks in an interview this morning on ABC News:
The ABC reporter, Jon Karl, asked, "But the bottom line, the UN is going to vote on this before Congress gets to vote on this?"Read more
Earlier today, the Senate Armed Services Committee held a hearing to consider whether President Obama's pick to be the next chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Joseph F. Dunford, Jr., should be advanced to the Senate for a confirmation vote.
At that hearing, Gen. Dunford informed the committee:
"My assessment today is that Russia presents the greatest threat to our national security"Read more
A Kiev-based Ukrainian friend, after meeting a delegation of young Russians, emails me: "totally terrible, young Russian diplomats. Manipulation, propaganda, gloating over victory in Eastern Ukraine, this new generation even worse than before. We will have big trouble with Russia for a very long time."Read more
Vladimir Kara-Murza, a vocal critic of Vladimir Putin’s Kremlin, collapsed in Moscow on Tuesday. A friend of Boris Nemtsov, the Russian dissident murdered in February, the 33-year-old showed no previous signs of illness.Read more
Russian foreign minister Sergey Lavrov told Bloomberg that the Russian reset was an "invention of Hillary Clinton" and the Obama administration.
"Well, if you take the original reset, it was not our invention, it was the invention of Hillary Clinton and Obama administrations because with their predecessors, George Bush Jr., Vladimir Putin had very good personal relations," said Lavrov.Read more
Has NATO become a paper tiger, trying (and failing) to stand up to a resurgent Russian bear? A speech by NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg at the Center for Strategic and International Studies on Wednesday addressed this issue, discussing both the challenges facing the 66-year-old alliance, and Stoltenberg’s vision for its future in what he termed a “changed” security environment.Read more
It’s an especially tense time for the Baltic states and Russia’s other Western-leaning neighbors. Wariness with regard to Vladimir Putin and long-term Russian intentions toward the “near abroad” has long been the norm here, well before the 2007 cyberattack on Estonia and Russian military action against Georgia in 2008. But with the annexation of Crimea and military intervention in eastern Ukraine, general wariness has given way to focused concern about the new threat Russia poses.Read more
When Hillary Clinton first ran for president eight years ago, it was not hard to anticipate problems inherent in the Clintons’ wielding political power while also accepting foreign contributions to the Clinton Foundation. “If Hillary became president,” one prominent Democrat observed, “I think there would be all these questions about whether people would try to win favor with her by giving money” to the Clinton Foundation.Read more
Last year Hillary Clinton called the Russia "reset" policy "totally transactional." The comments seem to take on a new meaning after last week's news about Clinton helping to approve the sale of uranium company to the Russians.
“When the Obama administration came into office, it was only months after Russia had invaded Georgia and taken over two provinces, which they declared independent states, which are totally dependent upon Russia," said Clinton.Read more
A month and a half has passed since Boris Nemtsov, the Russian political activist who rose to prominence as a dynamic young reformer in the 1990s and later became one of the fiercest critics of Vladimir Putin’s authoritarian rule, was shot dead a few blocks from the Kremlin. The shocking murder, which quickly raised questions about the Putin regime’s culpability, has largely faded from the headlines in the Western press.Read more
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