When it comes to our next Commander-in-Chief, we need a perspective broad enough to connect the dots between our energy use, climate change, and the instability we're already seeing around the globe.
People need to trust and feel confident about where they live. Conflicts overshadow the conditions necessary for creating opportunities in which people can support themselves.
It is to be hoped that a recent ceasefire between Ukraine and separatist rebels will hold, yet as tensions are ratcheted up few have given consideration to how military conflict could affect the local environment.
The year was 1983 and yours truly, who worked at the UN Secretariat in New York, was on the last day of his summer leave at home in Moscow. The whole leave was spent in the rustic countryside village far from the spoils of civilization.
I'm not saying a repeat of the Cuban Missile Crisis is likely, but given the consequences, how much risk is acceptable?
In his most recent presidential address to the federal assembly, Putin noted that the world supports Russia's "defense of traditional values" against the "so-called tolerance" that he accused of being "genderless and infertile."
Why be distracted by a ceasefire, or put energy into promoting a non-violent solution to the conflict in Ukraine? NATO, after all, is a military alliance and, as the saying goes, when all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail.
On Friday, Russia's Federal Security Service (the FSB) kidnapped an Estonian intelligence officer at gunpoint, using a smoke bomb and jamming Estonian radio communications. Moscow later claimed it had captured a spy.
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.