Articles

It is seductive to conclude that "hybrid war" is a creature of the 21st century in which technology now offers an alternative and indeed reinforcement to the blunter use of military force. Based on successful Russian encroachment into Ukraine and occupation of Crimea with hybrid war tactics, it is fair to ask if that could happen to the Baltic States. Consider Estonia as a candidate target for Moscow.

Read More

AFTER RUSSIAN democratic leader Boris Nemtsov was gunned down in Moscow last weekend, I posed this question at a Harvard Kennedy School conference: Is it possible that, in Vladimir Putin's highly controlled dictatorship, no one in the Russian government had anything to do with Nemtsov's murder?

We may never know the answer. Possible culprits range from Russia's security apparatus to one of the extreme nationalist movements emboldened by Putin's climate of fear and paranoia. In a cynical regime like Putin's, the last thing we should expect is for the truth to emerge. Indeed, Kremlin apologists pointed to all the usual suspects in the killing's aftermath — Chechen terrorists, the Ukrainian government, Russia's democratic opposition itself, and even the United States. The Kremlin knows what to do at a moment like this — bury the truth deep beneath the Russian tundra, where no one will ever find it.

Read More

The group that calls itself the Islamic State (IS) can't abide competition even from the mute remains of its region's fabled past.

An equal opportunity destroyer, IS has gone beyond lopping off the heads of live perceived enemies to demolishing priceless artifacts from ancient Mesopotamia that had survived previous waves of conquest.

Read More

For those of us old enough to recall the Vietnam War, fact and reality were obscured and mangled by successive White Houses anxious to reach the delusional "light at the end of the tunnel." Tragically, at the end of the tunnel lay a quagmire that consumed 58,000 American and countless Vietnamese lives. In the highly complex and complicated fight against the Islamic State (IS), are fact and reality similarly being distorted or ignored by the White House either because of lack of understanding of the conflict or other human error and misjudgment?

Read More

HE INVADED Crimea a year ago and then formally annexed it in a brazen, illegal act of aggression not seen in Europe since the Second World War. He sent thousands of Russian soldiers across the border to tilt the balance of Ukraine's civil war in favor of pro-Moscow separatists and then refused to own up to it in a Big Lie reminiscent of Stalin's days.

He gave rebels the sophisticated weapons that shot the Malaysian airliner out of the sky in July and have pulverized Ukrainian villages and towns.

Read More

Friction between the United States and Israel is not uncommon.

On issues ranging from the 1956 Suez war to the expansion of settlements in the occupied West Bank, the leaders of the U.S. and Israel have often clashed in ways that reflected different perceptions of their national interests.

Still, there is something particularly disturbing and counterproductive about the current disagreement over Iran.

Read More

This morning, a legend and giant in journalism died. There will be no more like him. Arnaud de Borchgrave would have been eighty-nine this Fall. And his career was the stuff of Hollywood movies not the least of which was marrying his stunning and glamorous wife Alexandra with more than enough of the "right stuff" to keep pace with her formidable and much admired husband and his extraordinary wit and sense of humor.

Born to Belgium aristocrats in Brussels in 1926, his parents were Countess Audrey Dorothy Louise Townshend, daughter of Major General Sir Charles Vere Ferrers Townshend, KGB, DSO, and Belgian Count Baudouin de Borchgrave d'Altena, head ofBelgium's military intelligence for the government-in-exile during World War II. De Borchgrave would renounce his title in 1951 for American citizenship.

Read More

Bottom Line Up Front:

• On February 7, Nigeria’s election commission announced a six-week postponement of the country’s tightly-contested presidential election (along with other federal and state polls); the decision came after the Nigerian military warned that it could not guarantee voter security in the four northeastern states hit hardest by the Boko Haram insurgency

Read More

The White House's National Security Strategy (NSS) was unveiled last Friday, the first since 2010. Against the backdrop of crises abroad and economic uncertainties at home, the NSS will attract little attention beyond Beltway policy aficionados. Despite the recurring mantra of American leadership, the NSS is long on ambition and citing lofty aims and very short on the substance of how to achieve them through well defined and thought out strategies.

Read More

With little fanfare, another taboo in U.S.-Iran relations has shattered.

Jim Slattery, a former six-term Democratic Congressman from Kansas, late last year became the first former or current American legislator to visit the Islamic Republic of Iran.

In Tehran to attend a conference on countering violent extremism, Slattery encountered a largely friendly reception from both officials and ordinary Iranians and came back equipped to present a more realistic and upbeat depiction of Iranians than is usually found on Capitol Hill.

Read More