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On November 11, 1918, World War One, the Great War, ended. Amid the chaos that followed—revolution, the fall of empires, and rise of nations—the United States attempted to build a rules-based world which favored freedom. American power had won the war, and President Woodrow Wilson was trying to shape a peace along the lines of what we now call a rules-based or “liberal” world order. Wilson’s Fourteen Points, presented the previous January, challenged the imperial, balance-of-power system of the European powers (on both sides) which had started the war, and at the same time took on Lenin’s revolutionary alternative. Wilson’s ideas were a rough draft of American Grand Strategy in what has been called the American Century.
US President Donald J. Trump confirmed on October 20 that the United States will withdraw from the Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF). The agreement, signed between the Soviet Union and the United States in 1987, sought to ban both countries’ armed forces from keeping ground-based nuclear missiles with ranges of 500 to 5,500 kilometers.
The West celebrated in 1989 as the Berlin Wall came down and again in 1991 as the Soviet Union dissolved—and the formerly “captive nations” of Central and Eastern Europe liberated themselves from communism and Soviet domination. Central Europe and the Baltic states acted decisively during this historic window of opportunity. They anchored themselves not only in the West, but in its institutions of NATO and the European Union (EU).

The path has been more difficult for Europe’s east.
Nothing much changes in Bosnia. A journalist colleague of mine used to quip that since 2006, the year when a major constitutional reform failed, he could write the same piece over and over again. The names, the issues, the concerns would be pretty much identical. The West continues to be outmaneuvered by cunning politicians beating the drum of nationalism to cling to power.

‘Our adversaries have demonstrated the capability and will,’ says US Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen

The United States’ top cybersecurity officials believe that the midterm elections in November are a potential target of foreign cyberattacks as “our adversaries have demonstrated the capability and will,” US Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen said at a conference hosted by the Atlantic Council in Washington on October 3.

“Our goal at the heart of it is to ensure that every American has assurance that their vote is counted and that their vote is counted correctly,” Nielsen said. She gave a keynote address as part of the Atlantic Council’s Global Forum on Strategic Communications and Digital Disinformation (StratComDC), a two-day conference convening global leaders in combatting disinformation and securing digital infrastructure, co-hosted by the United Kingdom’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office, the Embassy of Sweden, the Embassy of Lithuania, and Twitter.
Democracies around the world have a “growing vulnerability surplus” when it comes to protecting their societies against online disinformation and digital electoral interference, Sweden’s ambassador to the United States, Karin Olofsdotter, said on October 2.

Olofsdotter opened the two-day Global Forum on Strategic Communications and Digital Disinformation (StratComDC), hosted in Washington D.C. by the Atlantic Council’s Eurasia Center in partnership with the Embassy of Sweden, Lithuania’s Foreign Affairs Ministry, the United Kingdom’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office, and Twitter. The forum brought together leading experts from government, civil society, and business to discuss how to address online disinformation and organized foreign electoral interference campaigns.
US President Donald J. Trump on September 25 used his second address to the United Nations General Assembly to reaffirm his commitment to an America First approach to foreign policy.

“America will always choose independence and cooperation over global governance, control, and domination,” Trump told the gathering of world leaders at the opening of the 73rd session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York. He laid out his vision for US foreign policy, with an emphasis on protecting US sovereignty from global governance and rising globalization.
Patriarch Filaret, Patriarch of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church—Kyiv Patriarchate, is eager to get Washington’s support for the peaceful unification of two church factions, warning that Russia will use any hint of conflict as an excuse to expand its aggression in Ukraine.

For Filaret, the church issue is a key factor in the war in eastern Ukraine. In remarks at the Atlantic Council in Washington on September 19, he warned that to stop further aggression by Moscow, “we need to stop [Russian President Vladimir] Putin at Ukraine.”
Russia is using the same disinformation playbook to sow doubt about the attempted assassination of Sergei Skripal and his daughter as it did in the case of Alexander Litvinenko’s death, Marina Litvinenko, the slain Russian intelligence officer’s widow, said at the Atlantic Council in Washington on September 11.

Russian authorities are now “trying to use a case of Alexander Litvinenko to destroy the future case of Yulia and Sergei Skripal,” Marina Litvinenko said. Alexander Litvinenko died in London in November 2006 after being exposed to radioactive polonium-210, allegedly given to him in a cup of tea. Litvinenko had emigrated to the United Kingdom in 2000 after serving for almost two decades in Soviet intelligence and then eventually Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB).


    

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