For Russia, the ability to develop a viable renewable energy sector carries a special significance.
If taking on some of the burden of fighting ISIS simultaneously allows Russia to maintain its single military base in the Middle East, more power to them. And if China wants to waste its money pouring sand onto reefs in the ocean off its coast, American taxpayers derive no benefit from trying to stop them.
Without relief, Europe may end up with another deluge of asylum seekers, this time from Ukraine. Already, Russia's occupation of nine percent of Ukraine has displaced 1.4 million internally and continuing military incursions will result in the dislocation of millions more.
"No," Assad-loyalists would rush to say when asked if the current Russian military build-up in Syria can be considered an "invasion" or indeed, a new foreign "occupation" of Arab lands.
The Russians apparently learned little from their miserable years in Afghanistan and now are heading for a debilitating exercise in futility that might distract them from their efforts to undermine NATO and destabilize parts of Eastern Europe.
The United Nations is the keystone of a collective security system that is straining to rise to the new challenges that confront the planet; the choice of the individual who will lead it is absolutely critical. Who will have the courage to reform the institution?
There appears to be a gaping flaw in Russia's agenda if, indeed, it is based on promoting the safety and security of the Syrian people. Putin's posturing on his Western flank over the last two years might reveal a renewed desire to protect regional strategic assets.
While the American media was enamored by the charismatic pope's "historic" visit to the United States (I seem to remember popes have visited before), more important earthly developments occurred.
Have no doubt, his trail is laced with destruction, he has also left his country with a terrible image world wide. He further damaged the weak European unity. He lacked the finesse to combine hard power with soft power, for it is the prior that he really understands. But he also understood that the disorderly way Europe has been tackling the crisis plays in his hand.
Information warfare requires an infrastructure of broadcasting, social media, and other communication assets that can direct messages to the same audiences the Russians target, but do so more effectively.
Obama's China syndrome is that he seeks both to engage China and to contain China. Both are appropriate and arguably quite necessary goals for American statecraft. But they presuppose a state of creative tension between the established superpower and would-be superpower.
Iranian officials' rhetoric and tone on the Yemen crisis has slightly changed. This change was initiated because of the shift in Iran's foreign policy regarding how to use "diplomacy" and the appropriate wording in order to achieve Tehran's ideological, geopolitical and economic objectives.
The last several weeks has seen some extraordinary developments in Russia's role in the Syrian Civil War. Russia has deployed 28 Suhkoi jet fighters, roughly two squadrons, in Syria. Originally believed to be SU-27s, NATO designation, "Flanker," satellite reconnaissance now indicates they are a mix of different variants.
What started as a civil war in Syria nearly five years ago has now evolved into an international crisis unmatched by any other since World War II. The global community now has a solemn obligation to end this humanitarian disaster, but it cannot do so unless all the powers affected by the conflict set aside their differences.
Italy is a country of contradictions. But then, everything and everyone who is even remotely interesting to me is a mix of old and new, good and bad, mild and passionate -- with every nuance of feelings and experiences in between.
The gravest threat to American global leadership is neither Russia nor China but continued interest group-driven congressional abandonment of the kind of balanced strategy that won the Cold War.