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My 2014 'McLaughlin Awards' Part 2

Chris Weigant | Posted 12.26.2014 | Politics
Chris Weigant

The Best Idea for 2014 was requiring police to wear body cameras. This idea was so good it actually cut across the lines of the protestors and the supporters of police. Many on both sides of that divide support the idea, for what boils down to the same reason: the camera doesn't lie.

Russia's Economy Headed For Even More Trouble

Reuters | Posted 12.26.2014 | World

By Darya Korsunskaya and Vladimir Abramov MOSCOW, Dec 26 (Reuters) - Slumping oil prices have put Russia's economy on course for a sharp recession ...

Putin Signs New Russian Military Doctrine

Reuters | Posted 12.27.2014 | World

MOSCOW, Dec 26 (Reuters) - Russian President Vladimir Putin has signed a new military doctrine, the Kremlin said in a statement on Friday. ...

Putin Scraps New Year's Holidays For Ministers

AP | NATALIYA VASILYEVA | Posted 12.25.2014 | World

MOSCOW (AP) — Russian President Vladimir Putin on Thursday scrapped New Year's holidays for government ministers because of the unfolding economic c...

Obama on a Roll

Joe Peyronnin | Posted 12.25.2014 | Politics
Joe Peyronnin

Even Obama's supporters sometimes express frustration because the president has refused to act for the sake of acting, shoot from the hip, or jump to conclusions. His approach, no matter the issue, has been measured, studied, thoughtful, cerebral and yes, lawyerly.

Three Offerings From the Geostrategic Santa Claus

Dr. Harlan K. Ullman | Posted 12.22.2014 | Politics
Dr. Harlan K. Ullman

A geostrategic Santa Claus has left three offerings. A similar query applies. Will these offerings turn out to be the equivalent of presents and opportunities? Or will they be lumps of coal signifying bad things?

Putin Cites Claim About U.S. Designs on Siberia Traced to Russian Mind Readers

The New York Times | Robert Mackay | Posted 12.19.2014 | World
Read More: Putin, World News

Speaking to reporters in Moscow on Thursday, Russia’s president, Vladimir V. Putin, claimed that economic sanctions were not primarily a response to...

Cuba Gives Obama a Chance for a Historical Achievement

Raghida Dergham | Posted 12.19.2014 | World
Raghida Dergham

President Barack Obama has rescued his legacy from oblivion through the Cuban gateway, having concluded that the nuclear negotiations with Iran and the Palestinian-Israeli peace process will hit the wall of Republican resistance in and outside Congress.

Even Russians Are Running From the Ruble

Sergei Guriev | Posted 12.18.2014 | World
Sergei Guriev

Given that the price of oil is likely to remain low, Asian financiers -- even the Chinese -- do not seem eager to refinance Russian companies, and sanctions are unlikely to be lifted.

The U.S., Cuba, and Strategic Foreign Policy

Daniel Wagner | Posted 12.19.2014 | World
Daniel Wagner

If you ask me, Obama's action on Cuba was a master stroke, and full of foresight. He has undercut Putin's ability to use Cuba as a pressure point against the U.S. going forward and has, in a single action, transformed a net negative for the U.S. and Cuba into a net positive for its government, people, and businesses.

Putin Accuses West Of Trying To Sideline Russia In Major Speech

AP | LAURA MILLS and VLADIMIR ISACHENKOV | Posted 12.19.2014 | World

MOSCOW (AP) — Sternly warning the West it cannot defang the metaphorical Russian bear, a confident-looking President Vladimir Putin promised Thursda...

Can Bosnia's Army Save the World?

Ambassador Muhamed Sacirbey | Posted 12.17.2014 | World
Ambassador Muhamed Sacirbey

Soldiers, officers and police that fought against each other two decades earlier are now working together in UN and NATO operations to keep or deliver peace.

Russians Feel a Tempest Brewing

Ivan Sukhov | Posted 12.17.2014 | World
Ivan Sukhov

In the life of any country a situation can arise that requires a clear choice between positive change or stagnation and decline. At such times, only the collective will of the people can generate sufficient will to begin the process of change. And yes, sometimes the awakening of national consciousness begins with struggling over a mountain of dirty and snowy slush on the side of the road.

Russians Keep Warm

Jeff Danziger | Posted 12.17.2014 | World
Jeff Danziger


Russians Rush To Stores As Ruble Plummets

AP | NATALIYA VASILYEVA | Posted 12.17.2014 | World

MOSCOW (AP) — Russian consumers flocked to the stores Wednesday, frantically buying a range of big-ticket items to pre-empt the price rises kicked o...

Putin's Next Throw of the Dice -- Prepare for the Unexpected

Joergen Oerstroem Moeller | Posted 12.17.2014 | World
Joergen Oerstroem Moeller

The best hope for the West is to continue the sanctions, which combined with the falling oil price, may entice Putin to change track.

Can the West Stand Up to Illiberal States?

Chris Patten | Posted 12.16.2014 | World
Chris Patten

With the world's most successful democracies obsessed with recent failures, international politics has drifted toward more dangerous potential outcomes. Sensible deterrence, bold efforts to reform international institutions, and a readiness to fulfill responsibilities have all fallen victim to the West's exaggerated sense of failure and political stalemate.

Bad News For Putin

AP | JOSH BOAK & PAUL WISEMAN | Posted 12.15.2014 | World

JOSH BOAK & PAUL WISEMAN, AP Economics Writers WASHINGTON (AP) — The Bank of Russia has raised its key interest rate to 17 percent from 10.5 perc...

Bury Lenin's Body: The Symbol of Communism Should No Longer Mock Humanity

Doug Bandow | Posted 12.13.2014 | World
Doug Bandow

Someday Russians will be free. Not just from Communism, but also less forms of authoritarianism. Liberation will come only through the Russian people's own efforts, however, not from the West. Only they can make their own future. The day liberty arrives will be the real Russian Revolution.

In Response to Putin's New Cold War, the West Must Be Warm to the Russian People

Mikhail Khodorkovsky | Posted 12.11.2014 | World
Mikhail Khodorkovsky

The Russian people must not be pushed away from Europe.

USSR 2.0 From Grozny to Moscow

Evgeniya Melnikova | Posted 12.08.2014 | World
Evgeniya Melnikova

When the darkness came on the night of December 4th, Islamist militants attacked the capital of Chechnya-Grozny. They seized a publishing house and later moved to an empty school. At least 10 policemen were killed, about 28 were injured during a long shootout.

Congress to Obama: Need to Go Somewhere? Call Uber

John Blumenthal | Posted 12.05.2014 | Comedy
John Blumenthal

President Obama was in a quandary -- where oh where would he deliver his 2016 State of the Union Address?

Non-Dollar Trading Is Killing the Petrodollar -- And the Foundation of U.S.-Saudi Policy in the Middle East

Alastair Crooke | Posted 12.18.2014 | World
Alastair Crooke

This new oil price drop simply is crushing producers' currencies in foreign exchange markets. The combination of the petrodollar losing its ability to act as a store of value, combined now with exchange rate blues, may be the straw that breaks the producer "camel's back" in respect to OPEC and dollar denomination. Such a moment would seem ripe for Russia and Iran to begin a gradual challenge to Saudi's leadership of the OPEC cartel and to the dollar-denominated energy system, if enough OPEC members and other producers are prepared to rebel. Iran has been lobbying hard in this direction.

Russia Warns Of Recession In 2015

AP | NATALIYA VASILYEVA | Posted 12.02.2014 | World

MOSCOW (AP) — The Russian government has acknowledged that the country will fall into recession next year, battered by the combination of Western sa...

Russia Is Returning to Soviet Military Strategy

Alexander Golts | Posted 12.01.2014 | World
Alexander Golts

With oil prices falling, corrupt officials see defense spending as their last opportunity to pocket government funds -- and they have no intention of sharing that windfall with foreign defense industry competitors. Putin's recently announced policy of substituting Russian goods for previously imported products will enable those senior officials to siphon off a significant portion of budgetary funds.