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.
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.
As a fragile cease-fire takes hold in Ukraine after nearly five months of carnage, Vladimir Putin's long-term strategy has become clear. This week in The WorldPost Robert Coalson, writing from Prague, translates a recent essay by General Valery Gerasimov, the Russian military's chief of general staff, that lays out a new type of integrated plan that combines outside military pressure, inside rebel uprising and coordinated propaganda to destabilize a country. In a WorldPost interview, former U.S. National Security Adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski argues that Putin's intent is clear: to keep Ukraine outside the Western orbit and inside a Eurasian Union that is little more than a restored Czarist Empire. Julian Lindley-French and Jim Stavridis, who was Supreme Commander of NATO until last year, propose how NATO must be reshaped to meet Putin's challenge. Writing from Moscow, Vasily Kashin laments the onset of a "senseless" new Cold War that he says will waste a generation of lives. (continued)
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.
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.
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 decades, the United States has been the world's pre-eminent status quo power. The U.S. fought wars to reverse acts of aggression and restore the status quo in Kosovo and Kuwait. Now new aggressors believe they can threaten the status quo with impunity because the U.S. seems unwilling to stand up to them.
While NATO membership for Ukraine would almost surely make Russia more cautious in its treatment of that nation, the immediate risk of NATO membership is likely to make Russia much more aggressive in an attempt to prevent that from ever happening.
South American political elites seem to have jettisoned much of the high minded left idealism of past years in favor of crass economic interests. In a somewhat outlandish turn of events, Brazil has embraced Vladimir Putin, a figure who has desperately sought to end his country's political and diplomatic isolation.
What happens when the strategic fatigue of the West meets an energetic jihadist surge aimed at setting up a Syriaq Caliphate? That is the question The WorldPost asked our contributors to address this week. Writing from Beirut, the legendary former MI6 agent and "middleman of the Middle East," Alastair Crooke, examines the link between ISIS ideology and the puritanical Wahhabi sect of Islam that dominates Saudi Arabia. Graham Fuller, who was CIA station chief in Kabul at the time of the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in 1979 and later Vice-Chair of the CIA's National Intelligence Council, draws from his long experience to warn against a "tit for tat" response to the ISIS beheading of James Foley that would perpetuate instead of break the cycle of violence. Writing from Berlin, Joschka Fischer, who was Germany's foreign minister from 1998-2005, calls on Europe to help fill the vacuum in a brutal world as the U.S. tapers its power. Jane Harman, who for many years headed the House Intelligence Committee, laments a "feckless" U.S. Congress that has gone AWOL on American security policy. (continued)
Vladimir Putin appears steadfast in his determination to reclaim large sections of Ukraine -- in particular its industrial heartland -- through intimidation and violence, while denying any but humanitarian involvement there. This raises the question: Is Putin psychotic?
If western sanctions serve to increase ties between Russia and India, as well as Russia and China, it may be that the sanctions have backfired and strengthen rather than hurt Russia's standing in the world.
It may remain true that there is much the two countries could do together, particularly over the long term. But shared interests will not be enough to bring the two countries together again. For the problem in relations is grounded in each country's sense of itself and its role in the world.