With the 2014 midterm elections less than two months away, it is difficult to open up a political website or listen to kibitzers on radio or cable television without hearing the latest horserace analysis.
The mayor of the Latvian capital city Riga, Nil Ushakov, stated yesterday in Moscow that for Latvia, "the best thing possible right now is President Vladimir Putin." His presence in Moscow and his comments about Putin illustrate how far the views of many Latvians diverge from the Western mainstream on relations between Russia and the West.
Obama's opponents have cynically treated these challenges as political footballs, sweeping them into their relentless narrative of a weak, vacillating and dangerous president and a feckless NATO. But NATO's leaders impressively rallied around the administration's plans, approving a sweeping series of actions that should -- but probably won't -- quiet the critics.
On the surface, this would seem to be a clear-cut case of animal cruelty. Those geckos are dead because of the actions of some humans. But I think this case actually resides in more of a gray area because I think the geckos were willing participants.
Largely an exercise in fantasy, like the longest-running science fiction show on the planet, NATO, since the end of the Soviet superpower erased the Cold War fear of a Red Army surge through the heart of Western Europe to the Bay of Biscay, has been an institution in search of a new mission and an accident waiting to happen.
There are numerous factors that have contributed to Putin's rise; but perhaps most pertinent is the psychological trauma Russians experienced, as their nation fell from world power status. There is no easy way to reconcile oneself to that reality
Russia's invasion of the Ukraine is following a time-honored pattern of Putin's foreign policy: foment dissent with separatists, destabilize your neighbor's regimes, and invade to conquer part of that country.
There's an opinion piece by Anne Applebaum making its way around the internet, "War in Europe Is Not a Hysterical Idea." In it she talks about looking at photographs of Polish families from the summer of 1939 and wishing they had dropped everything and RUN.
Given international realities, there may be no way to absolutely stop Iran, but any deal Washington agrees to will be far better than what current or additional sanctions would be able to achieve -- and Russia and China would never agree on more sanctions if a reasonable deal is on the table.
At stake is not only the happiness of the Ukrainian family but the happiness of the common Europe home. We can still avoid an Anna Karenina ending. There's still time to prevent the train wreck of a new Cold War.
Europe is surrounded by a ring of instability. With conflicts festering from Ukraine to Iraq to Libya, the perennially elusive question is what Europe stands for. How do its values, interests, and ambitions fit into an increasingly unruly world? The nomination of the new European foreign policy chief last weekend looks like yet another missed opportunity to provide an answer.
The new Indian Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, will be meeting with President Barack Obama on the 30th of September. Prime Minister Modi is arriving at a moment when India-America relations have been worse then ever in recent memory.
For some, nationalism can feel like all they have. Others turn to a gang, revenge, or a twisted form of Islam. None of this, of course, remotely excuses invasions, gang violence, massacres or terrorism. But it may be a warning that we can't just flatten the world. We also have to find ways to fill it up.
The first Cold War was the result of the total opposition of two systems. This likely second Cold War, meanwhile, is simply the result of conflicting U.S. and Russian interests. It is a conflict that has spiraled out of control due to serious political mistakes, arrogance and lack of foresight on both sides. How long will this second Cold War last, and how will it end? There is a widespread belief among Chinese experts that the Ukrainian crisis has given China a 10-year "strategic break" in its clash with the U.S. This view is likely close to the truth.
This dangerous 21st century will be safer if the West is strong together. A strong West means a strong and legitimate NATO built on strong and credible armed forces. Wales is the place and the time to act. It is also the place and the time for NATO to be radical. NATO needs to rediscover a shared level of ambition that has been notably lacking of late, something which Moscow has been all too happy to exploit.
General Valery Gerasimov writes about how "a perfectly thriving state can, in a matter of months and even days, be transformed into an arena of fierce armed conflict, become a victim of foreign intervention, and sink into a web of chaos, humanitarian catastrophe, and civil war." This is achieved, Gerasimov writes, by "the broad use of political, economic, informational, humanitarian, and other non-military measures applied in coordination with the protest potential of the population." The goal is "to create a permanently operating front through the entire territory of the enemy state."