Ultimately, Russia's annexation of Crimea leaves the US and European allies beholden to react according to Putin's continued re-imagining of territorial boundaries, without deference to the UN or the international community, at large.
Putin was wrong to invade Crimea, but he is hardly trying to retake Eastern Europe; in fact, his military is probably too weak even to take and hold the hostile western regions of Ukraine.
Cross-posted from DeSmogBlog In light of ongoing geopolitical tensions in Russia, Ukraine and hotly contested Crimea, three (yes, three!) U.S. Congre...
We are witnessing a reversion to tribalism around the world, away from nation states. The same pattern can be seen even in America -- especially in American politics.
While it may turn the stomachs of some to learn that American tax dollars are going to buy helicopters from the very same Russian arms exporter that has been supplying Assad's military in Syria, when it comes to decisions of military necessity, logic must occasionally prevail.
It's one thing to acknowledge, as Obama did from the beginning, that his goal of nuclear abolition was very blue sky, something that would not be accomplished in his lifetime. Frankly, I'd bet that it never happens. That it seems unrealistic does not mean that it is not a righteous goal.
Given Russia's use of natural gas exports to bully Ukraine and Western Europe in the current crisis, sanctions should be expanded to include companies working in Russia's oil and gas export sector.
Before our eyes, the post-Soviet international system in Eastern Europe, the Caucasus, and Central Asia is being overthrown. Nineteenth-century concepts of international order, based on zero-sum balance-of-power considerations and spheres of interest, are threatening to supersede modern norms of national self-determination, the inviolability of borders, the rule of law, and the fundamental principles of democracy. As a result, this upheaval will have a massive impact on Europe and its relations with Russia, for it will determine whether Europeans live by 21st century rules. Those who believe that the West can adapt to Russian behavior, as Putin's Western apologists suggest, risk contributing to further strategic escalation, because a soft approach will merely embolden the Kremlin.
Armed groups in Crimea abducted two political activists, held them for 11 days in secret detention along with several other detainees, ill-treated both, and badly tortured one of them. The activists gave Human Rights Watch detailed accounts of what happened to them in captivity.
If history is our teacher, what have we learned regarding the cold war? According to Chris Adams, a published cold war historian, we've much to learn ...
Who is to say that Mexican energy can't trade, without hinderance, to Ukraine directly? It's possible. And maybe probable if American LNG funneled through Pemex's subsidiaries to Ukraine is completely legal.
The West actually believes it will not make the same mistake that was made with the annexation of the Sudetenland in 1938 by Adolf Hitler under the pretext that in this region of Czechoslovakia, the majority of the inhabitants were of German race. Remorse certainly is quite praiseworthy. But it is too late to rewrite history. The situation before us today is not analogous to 1938, but rather to 1919. If there is something to remember, it is what the attempts to humiliate and isolate Germany after the First World War led to: the Germany of the Weimar Republic and the tragic Treaty of Versailles that led to Hitler's rise to power.
The annexation of Crimea by Russia is a fact. Neither the threat of sanctions prior to the Crimean referendum, nor the first actual sanctions after Putin signed the treaty accepting Crimea into the Russia, had any effect. These new sanctions announced Thursday are equally meaningless.
Dear President Obama: It is important to remember that whatever moral leverage you may have had in the court of world opinion has been sacrificed by the precedents set by previous American presidents who did not do what you say Mr. Putin should do -- obey international law.
It's never easy when a nation is divided by ethnic identity, something difficult to understand as an American. I can only empathize after a few weeks spent in Eastern Europe, having merely scratched the surface of identity conflicts in the region.