Russia

Green men cross red line

Featured image “Green men” — armed gunmen wearing green — were at the vanguard of Russia’s Crimea takeover. Now they are stirring the pot in Eastern Ukraine. Russia claims they are local protesters. In reality, as Max Boot says, they are Russian soldiers and intelligence operatives. The evidence is conclusive. According to the New York Times: Photographs and descriptions from eastern Ukraine endorsed by the Obama administration on Sunday suggest that many »

The Hillary-Boeing-Russia triangle

Featured image We will, I suspect, be reading other stories about Hillary Clinton like this one, if the mainstream media is willing to pursue them. From today’s Washington Post, under the headline “For Clinton and Boeing, a beneficial relationship”: On a trip to Moscow early in her tenure as secretary of state, Hillary Rodham Clinton played the role of international saleswoman, pressing Russian government officials to sign a multibillion-dollar deal to buy »

Russia Moves on Eastern Ukraine: What Is To Be Done?

Featured image Yesterday there was violence in eastern Ukraine, as armed men loyal to Russia seized police stations in several cities, and the Russian flag was raised in some locations. The video below shows pro-Russian forces taking control of the police headquarters in Kramatorsk. These were not a bunch of guys from the neighborhood; this was a military operation: Ukraine’s government sent special forces to resist these encroachments in several cities, and »

Predictable Headline of the Day

Featured image We were told a few days ago that we were going to be able to resolve the Ukrainian crisis through diplomacy, because John Kerry is on the job. From the Wall Street Journal this morning: Kerry’s Talks With Russia’s Lavrov Fail to Ease Ukraine Crisis You were surprised at this news?  Forget the text of the story (well okay, just this: “Mr. Kerry, in remarks after the negotiations, said he »

Should John Kerry be surprised that history has given us a back-kick?

Featured image Fareed Zakaria attacks those who criticized John Kerry’s assertion that changing borders by force, as Russia has done and may well do again, is 19th century behavior. Zakaria relies on statistics showing that wars between nations resulted in border changes more frequently in the 19th century than in the 20th, and have done so infrequently during the second half of the 20th century. He also points out that the occurrence »

More deep thoughts by Barack Obama

Featured image President Obama, fresh from dodging Jonathan Karl’s question about whether Mitt Romney was right in deeming Russia our number one geopolitical (Obama said “the number one national security threat to the United States” is a terrorist attack in this country, but that’s not a geopolitical threat), unloaded more fuzzy thinking on a group of students in Belgium. Obama declared: This is not another Cold War that we’re entering into. After »

Imperial trappings for an empty suit

Featured image When President Obama visited Russia in 2009, his hosts, as I reported at the time, found Obama laughably naive. Indeed, they were astonished to find an American president looking for things to give away to Russia in exchange for “good will.” The Russian leadership concluded, in the prophetic words of my source, that they could “steal Obama’s pants.” The Russians also had a good laugh at Obama’s imperial trappings. These »

World-Famous Bear Trainer Encounters Setback

Featured image Am I the only one who thinks that President Obama’s insistence that Russia seized Crimea out of weakness was one of the most embarrassing moments in recent diplomatic history? Michael Ramirez evaluates the great bear trainer’s performance. Click for larger file size: »

Nature abhorred power vacuum in the 19th century, apparently still does

Featured image The New York Times reports that Afghanistan has become the third nation to publicly back Russia’s annexation of Crimea. The other two are Syria and Venezuela. Irony abounds. Afghans, including President Karzai, fought a ten-year war against Soviet invaders and their unpopular puppets. The U.S. assisted the Afghans in that struggle. Later, of course, the U.S. liberated Afghanistan from the Taliban and installed Karzai as president. Yet now, when the »

Intelligence Failure Revisited, Part 2

Featured image Musing about Putin’s swallowing up Crimea back on March 5, we posited that perhaps our intelligence agencies just aren’t that intelligent.  There’s a real howler in the lede of today’s Wall Street Journal front page article about the matter: U.S. military satellites spied Russian troops amassing within striking distance of Crimea last month. But intelligence analysts were surprised because they hadn’t intercepted any telltale communications where Russian leaders, military commanders »

The weaker Ukraine is, the better for Obama

Featured image Russian troops are amassing on the Ukrainian border. Ukraine’s foreign minister warns that the chances for a war with Russia are “growing.” But still, the Obama administration has not provided weapons, ammunition, or any other kind of military aid to Ukraine despite that government’s request for such assistance, and won’t commit to providing it. Why? In my view, the answer is that President Obama wants Ukraine to be as militarily »

Puttin’ up with Putin

Featured image It is not difficult to get a fix on Barack Obama’s view of the world. It is the view of the leftover left that took the side of the Soviet Union in the Cold War. Obama seems not to have changed his views or to have learned anything since his days as a college student in which he performed as a “useful idiot” for the Soviet Union. A year ago, »

Obama presents false choice on Ukraine

Featured image President Obama declared today that the U.S. will not take military action in Ukraine. I think most of us had worked that out. “What we are going to do,” Obama declared “is mobilize all of our diplomatic resources to make sure that we’ve got a strong international coalition that sends a clear message.” The clear message will be this — please, please don’t invade more territory. In ruling out military »

Report: Susan Rice wants affirmative action towards Russia

Featured image To date, Team Obama’s response to Russia’s takeover of Crimea has been criminally lame. But now Susan Rice reportedly wants to take affirmative action. Unfortunately, the affirmative action she contemplates is affirmative action in the legal sense — affirmative action on behalf of women. The post of U.S. ambassador to Russia has been vacant for three weeks. Al Kamen of the Washington Post reports “we’re hearing that national security adviser »

Obama’s “hopey” Iran policy

Featured image Don’t look now, but negotiations with Iran over its nuclear program are about to begin again. The New York Times writes: Tensions between the West and Russia over events in Ukraine have cast a shadow over the second round of talks set to begin on Tuesday in Vienna on a permanent nuclear agreement with Iran. Although the talks have no direct connection to Ukraine, their success hinges on solidarity among »

Biden on the case

Featured image In the course of the Democratic primaries in 2008 Barack Obama provoked me into assessing his reading of the Cold War and the uses of diplomacy. I took a look in “The Kennedy-Khrushchev conference for dummies.” Meeting with JFK in Vienna in 1961 at the height of the Cold War, Khrushchev sized up Kennedy as a weakling and a lightweight. Kennedy lamented: “I never met a man like this,” Kennedy »

The 1930s are calling

Featured image Commentators with a cruel memory have recalled the moment from one of the 2012 presidential debates when President Obama cited Mitt Romney’s warning about the growing threat from Russia and dismissed it with a superficially sophisticated putdown: “The 1980s are now calling to ask for their foreign policy back.” When I hear President Obama threatening to impose consequences on Vladimir Putin et al., or imposing them, as he did today, »