RUSSIA GEORGIA WAR
Putin is trying to burnish his credentials as an international tough guy in Syria, fighting ISIS, or at least appearing to do so. In reality, he seems to be directing bombs against dictator Bashar al-Assad's beleaguered opposition these days. He's doing it, because that's just about all he can do these days.
Whether this ceasefire or some future one proves durable, Ukraine must eventually make some very difficult decisions concerning its future. Above all, it must figure out a way of exiting the steel trap that has clamped down on its nether regions. The Crimean peninsula has already been sliced off. Should Ukraine sever another one of its own limbs in order to survive?
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An election has a funny way of suspending our rationality abroad. Maybe there is something of Arab Spring fatigue setting in among Western policymakers. Still, one has to wonder that if this were not an election year whether there would have been a more forceful U.S. response to the bloodshed in Syria.