hile Putin uses the whole spectrum of power tools, he forces us to ask questions about our own poor, soulless, haphazard, and anemic conduct. Why is it that we are so poorly equipped to use the whole set of power tools at our disposal to counter him? The West can do better.
It may sound like the old cold war policy of spheres of influence, but as we can see in the instance of Kirkuk, a strong Kurdistan seems to be the best insurance against making Iraq into a major outpost of Islamic extremism.
Moldova and Georgia are apparently ignoring Russian warnings not to sign an economic pact with the European Union. This despite the extreme turbulence in the Ukraine that has occurred since Ukraine ignored Russian objections to Ukraine's handling of its relationship with the European Union.
Details are slowly emerging from the after-party at last month's St. Petersburg International Economic Forum, where executives of Exxon, BP of Britain and Total of France signed a raft of new oil exploration deals with Russian oil companies.
What we got from Obama was a tunnel visioned view of history, even with regard to the historical event itself. And he completely missed the reality that events do not occur in isolation from one another.
The key question is why Ukrainians want to move toward Europe and away from Russia.What exactly does newly elected President Petro Poroshenko mean when he says that Ukraine needs to "bring in European values"?
Like most news coverage in general, most coverage of the Ukraine situation so far has been convoluted, disjointed, and missing the big picture. As a result, fears about Russia's propensity to invade other countries have been overblown.
To be honest, at the end of the day, based on what I know, and despite the flaws I see, the president's routine looks better than 90-percent of the workouts I see at the gym. Could it be better? Of course. But it's certainly a good starting point, and a lot better than what most of us are able to manage.
It has been a really tumultuous year for Ukrainians, but the events are part of a continued evolutionary process of a country shedding its Soviet past and transitioning toward a modern democracy. To more fully understand today's events, it's useful to take a step back and examine events in Ukraine from a more macro perspective.
Will Russian President Vladimir Putin get richer thanks to a sweetheart government coal deal in Montana?
With all due respect to Sen. McCain, I have a different take on this. I, too, am outraged by the lack of care that many of our veterans have received, but I'm not at all bewildered by it. In fact, I saw it coming for years.
Many presidents in the past have worked within a framework that helped guide all decisions on foreign policy. While at points appearing to try, President Obama has not developed such framework of his own.
The implications of America's empty threat of sanctions and false line drawing have not been lost on Russia or China. It appears that this is also the beginning of an era of decreased involvement of US on the world stage, especially in the East.
What we want from Russia boils down to one word -- respect. And what we hope is that our friends and partners in the West become more cognizant of how easily one might fall into the trap of Kremlin's narrative -- a narrative that attempts to deny Ukraine's right for self-determination.
Forging independent relations with Russia that are premised on common mineral fortunes and knowledge exchange will likely provide more opportunity for galvanizing positive change in the Kremlin.
Aside from the various economic and political similarities faced by both leaders, there's one thing that critics fail to remember when evaluating the current president: Obama's uncanny ability to emulate Ronald Regan.