Tag: Ukraine

Feeling Feisty Over Foreign Policy Follies

 

POTUS 41 through 45In Realsville, President Trump has done more to check Russian imperial aggression than has any president since Reagan. Fact.* Deal with it.

And.

More

A Tale of Three Nukes

 

Maps of Ukraine, Libya, North KoreaI recently urged “Don’t Say You Want a Revolution,” reviewing the sad and terrible consequences of American presidents talking up “regime change” or “revolution” in other countries. As the people of 1956 Hungary and 1991 Iraq discovered, the United States does not back up such talk with our own blood and treasure, even when local people put their own fortunes, sacred honor, and lives on the line. Now let us shift perspective, from the people to the governing elite.

What lessons should Kim Jong-Un draw from recent history? Does U.S. policy, as it has actually played out, cut against North Korean denuclearization? What of the Khomeinist regime in Iran? Consider Libya and Ukraine as cautionary tales for other governments considering what to do with their own weapons of mass destruction (WMD) programs.

More

Member Post

 

The Russian Orthodox Church, headquartered in Moscow, is facing a challenge to its authority over Ukrainian congregations. My reading, of summary histories, of Russia, and of the Eastern Roman Empire (Byzantine Empire), suggests deep roots to such conflict. Church and state politics seem closely intertwined, at least where Moscow is concerned. Although both churches trace […]

Join Ricochet!

This is a members-only post on Ricochet's Member Feed. Want to read it? Join Ricochet’s growing community of conservatives and be part of the conversation. Get your first month free.

Member Post

 

Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America tackle four big stories today. First, they welcome the resignation of disgraced GOP Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens. After another Twitter slam against his attorney general, they wonder why President Trump doesn’t just fire Jeff Sessions if he hates him so much. They also discuss […]

Join Ricochet!

This is a members-only post on Ricochet's Member Feed. Want to read it? Join Ricochet’s growing community of conservatives and be part of the conversation. Get your first month free.

Carter Page: Perhaps an Idiot but No Dummy

 

Carter Page, the former Merrill Lynch banker, is no doubt very ambitious. He tried to leverage his degree, his business savvy and his Russian Rolodex to untold riches. And while his ambition and naiveté may have led him to be a recruitment target for Russian intelligence in 2013, he’s no dummy. He helped the FBI in their prosecution of Russian intelligence operatives and knew well that he was at least one of the “idiots” that Russian spies had targeted as a source of American intelligence. It defies all logic to assume that subsequent to his FBI cooperation, Page would allow himself to be targeted a second time as an intelligence source by Russian spies, or that Russia would attempt to recruit him. Page may be an idiot, even something of a Russian apologist and Putin fellow traveler, but he’s not stupid

Very early on, Obama and his inner circle were well aware of Page’s Russia background and cooperation with the FBI and the Justice Department. He was implicated in the Steele Dossier and claims these implications are entirely false. We know that this Dossier is uncorroborated and that it was paid by and prepared for the Clinton campaign and the DNC. Yet this Dossier was used to obtain warrants to surveil Page. Page has not been charged with any crime.

More

Stalin Lives: The Scouring of Crimea

 

Welcome to the 1930s, Comrade. The Ukrainian language is now forbidden in Crimea. That’s not all that the Russian government has forbidden there. The Ukrainian Orthodox and Catholic Churches are also forbidden. The forbidden list also includes Ukrainian political parties and Ukrainian-language media. History is repeating itself in the Russian ethnic cleansing of Crimea.

The ethnic cleansing is not restricted to Ukrainians. Crimean Tatars who returned to Crimea decades after the mass deportations ordered by Josef Stalin have been targeted as well. In 2016, the Russian government banned Crimean Tatar organizations. One activist, Ervin Ibragimov, was abducted in May 2016; his whereabouts are unknown to this day. Ukrainian activists have also been abducted and disappeared as well.

More

“Your Longest, and Your Worst, Day”

 

“If you threaten us, it will be your longest, and your worst, day.” — Jim Mattis.

The Russians’ longest day occurred on February 7, when 500 (including Russian mercenaries) launched an attack on a base housing Syrian opposition forces along with US military advisers.

More

Member Post

 

Reminder: Join Rob Long, Todd Feinburg, Mike Stopa and Michael in the Morning host Michael Graham for the Boston-area Ricochet Meetup on November 11, 2017 at the Tavern in the Square in Burlington, MA from 7-10 pm. Details here. Oooo…whatta title! More

Join Ricochet!

This is a members-only post on Ricochet's Member Feed. Want to read it? Join Ricochet’s growing community of conservatives and be part of the conversation. Get your first month free.

Member Post

 

In case you missed the recent, startling post over the weekend by @teunisdorlas called “The Ukraine”, it’s worth your time. https://ricochet.com/446503/ukraine/ More

Join Ricochet!

This is a members-only post on Ricochet's Member Feed. Want to read it? Join Ricochet’s growing community of conservatives and be part of the conversation. Get your first month free.

What Kind of Threat is Russia?

 

Victor Davis Hanson looks at the controversies around Donald Trump’s relationship with the Russian government and analyzes the trajectory of Washington’s relationship with Moscow.

More

Syria, Russia, and Trump

 

I’m not sure how much news about Aleppo is filtering through the non-stop election coverage. Although my sense was that Gary Johnson did, indeed, know what Aleppo was (and just flubbed the question through some kind of inattention), that kind of inattention is only possible if the subject just isn’t something you think about all that much.

I don’t know whether he’s typical of American voters. It’s not something the next president will be able to ignore, though, that’s for sure. Aleppo’s now a hellscape reminiscent of the Battle of Stalingrad. Even by the horrifying standards of the Syrian war, the past week’s events Aleppo represent a new level of depravity. Russian and Syrian government airstrikes killed more than 300 people, most of them civilians and many of them children; more than 250,000 civilians are trapped. They’re under attack by the Syrian military and by thousands of foreign militiamen commanded by Iranian Revolutionary Guards, Hezbollah fighters, and Russian ground troops; and they’re under bombardment by heavy Russian and Syrian air power — the most sustained and intense bombardment since the beginning of the war. A genuine Axis of Evil, if anything ever was, has emerged from this. Most of the civilians are, according to the Violations Documentation Center in Syria, being killed by Russians. I don’t know how reliable they are, so take this with the usual caveats:

More

Why Wars Break Out: Bucharest Declaration Edition

 
shutterstock_289742054
ID1974 / Shutterstock.com

Claire has started two excellent discussions here and here about the causes of war. I look forward to reading her argument in subsequent posts. But I also wanted to throw out my anticipatory two cents on the subject without being constrained by commenters’ 250-word limit. In the case of The Big One – China – the causes of war, if there is to be one, will be the same structural ones identified by Thucydides 2,500 years ago. Like Athens and Sparta, this is a paradigmatic case of rising and declining powers clashing. But in the case of lesser conflicts, one can never overestimate the role of ordinary human stupidity and inability to grasp the perfectly predictable consequences of foolish actions.

Consider the current situation in Europe. In April 2008, NATO held a summit in Bucharest, Romania. At the end of this summit — as is the custom for these kinds of things — NATO issued a lengthy declaration. Paragraph 23 of this declaration states, in full (emphasis added):

More

Nuclear Disarmament Doesn’t Pay

 

And the Ukraine example proves it, writes Andreas Umland in World Affairs Journal:

Not everyone in Europe agrees with German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s recent description of Russia’s annexation of Crimea as “criminal.” Across the EU, Kremlin lobbyists, America-haters, and those the Germans call Putinversteher (“Putin-understanders”) disseminate justifications and apologies for Russia’s absorption of the Black Sea peninsula and its hybrid war in the Donets Basin, also known as the Donbas. Such “explanations” partly succeed because most citizens of the West are, in fact, not particularly interested in Crimea, the Donbas, or Ukraine as a whole. First and foremost, EU citizens want calm. International law is not national legislation. Ukraine’s problems ultimately belong to the Ukrainians.

More

ISIS’ Other Victims

 

These monsters — we run out of words, don’t we? — have victimized so many more people this week than the maimed and murdered in France. So many desperate refugees — fleeing monsters like them — will now again drown in the sea, like they have been, or be shot at the borders, or returned to be imprisoned, starved, tortured, sold into sexual slavery, and barrel-bombed.

That so many in the US are now agitating not to accept refugees breaks my heart. You aren’t wrong about the security risk. But as someone whose entire neighborhood was just turned into an abattoir — as someone who could easily have been in any of those places — I still say: Find a way. We’re America. We’re this country, remember?

More

Member Post

 

On Monday, Vladimir Putin met briefly with Barack Obama at the United Nations because he was hungry and wanted to eat the president’s lunch, drink his milk shake, and then gobble up other nations for dessert. More

Join Ricochet!

This is a members-only post on Ricochet's Member Feed. Want to read it? Join Ricochet’s growing community of conservatives and be part of the conversation. Get your first month free.

The Strategika Podcast: Angelo Codevilla on Our Ambiguous Russia Policy

 

Codevillo-Angelo-bio-photoThings always get lively when Angelo Codevilla joins us on the Strategika podcast. In this installment, Angelo looks at the history of American policy towards Russia and Ukraine and argues that we’ve been weakened by a tendency to say one thing and do another. To hear his full diagnosis of the situation, listen in to the podcast embedded below or subscribe to Strategika in iTunes or your favorite podcast player.

More

The Strategika Podcast: Victor Davis Hanson on Understanding Putin

 

victor_davis_hansonAt the Hoover Institution, we’ve just released a new set of podcasts from our Strategika series on military history and foreign policy (subscribe to Strategika on iTunes here). We begin this series — which focuses on Russia and Ukraine — with a conversation with the great Victor Davis Hanson, who, amongst his many other accolades, chairs the Military History/Contemporary Conflict Working Group at Hoover that produces Strategika. In this episode, Victor attempts to get inside Vladimir Putin’s mind: analyzing his motivations, his ultimate goals, and the possible means of deterring him.

More

What Ukraine Should Do Now

 

Vladimir_Putin_12024In a new piece I have up at Forbes, I lay out exactly what’s at stake for the West with Vladimir Putin’s continued aggression in Ukraine. In short, Putin wants nothing less than to unravel NATO. The U.S. has been decidedly unhelpful in assisting Ukraine, even though our allies there are much more reliable than the ones we’ve been arming in Syria, Iraq, and Libya. So what should Ukraine do now? My suggestion:

If I were Ukraine, I might concede Donbass and Crimea on a de facto but not de jure basis. Russia will not let them go under present circumstances. Let the Donbass (or that part that it presently holds) be a problem for Russia and the separatists to contend with; don’t let its self-appointed leaders dictate Ukrainian policy. When the time is right, the Donbass can come back into the fold. I would maintain a formidable standing army to defend the remaining Ukrainian provinces that have come to hate Putin’s Russia with a vengeance. I imagine that Odessa, Kiev, Zaporozhe and Lviv will make short change of self-appointed Muscovites when they arrive to proclaim new people’s republics. Who knows? If active hostilities ended, maybe even Barack Obama would supply defensive weapons. He’s good at shutting the gate after the horse has bolted.

More