• A Blueprint for a US Strategy in Asia

    The United States should update, revitalize, and defend the rules-based international order while considering “hard-headed” engagement with China, according to the latest in a series of Atlantic Council strategy papers.

    This “is not a strategy designed in Washington to be imposed on the region,” said Matthew Kroenig, a nonresident senior fellow in the Atlantic Council’s Brent Scowcroft Center on International Security.

    Kroenig, along with Miyeon Oh, a senior fellow in the Scowcroft Center, is the author of A Strategy of the Trans-Pacific Century: Final Report of the Atlantic Council’s Asia-Pacific Strategy Task Force.

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  • US and NATO Allies Grapple with Countering Russia’s Cyber Offensive

    NATO’s long-standing tactical advantage on the battlefield could be at risk as cyber adversaries probe for weak points in the U.S.-led security pact’s networks, a top alliance official said.
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  • Xi Seeks to Solidify Grip on China

    The National Congress of the Communist Party of China, which opened in Beijing on October 18, will solidify Chinese President Xi Jinping’s grip on Chinese politics and society, part of a plan to guide the Asian nation toward dominance on the world stage, potentially at the expense of the United States, according to Atlantic Council analysts.

    During a three-and-a-half-hour speech which opened the Congress, Xi lauded the economic, social, and political gains made during his first five-year term. He also laid out his vision for further progress.

    Hardline reforms and a political crackdown from Beijing have brought China to the cusp of what Xi deems “new era.”

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  • How US Army Europe’s Outgoing General Got the Pentagon’s Attention

    The resources didn’t match the mission, and it gnawed at Lt. Gen. Ben Hodges during the early days of his tenure commanding U.S. Army Europe.
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  • RT: A Low-Grade Platform for Useful Idiots

    RT is coming under increasing scrutiny for its role in the Kremlin’s disinformation campaign against the West. The US Justice Department is allegedly requesting that individuals associated with the network’s US branch, RT America, register as foreign agents. Nascent Congressional efforts to investigate and counter the Kremlin’s influence operations have also targeted RT.

    These are promising if still limited developments. RT unambiguously qualifies as a Kremlin disinformation outfit and as an instrument of hostile foreign influence intended to weaken Western nations and the transatlantic alliance. Numerous studies have robustly unmasked the network’s tactics and synchronization with the Kremlin’s political agenda.

    In January, the declassified intelligence report published jointly by the CIA, FBI, and NSA identified RT as a significant agent of influence during the 2016 presidential election. This assessment was based on the apparent social media success of RT’s pro-Trump and anti-Clinton coverage; the report cites that RT’s most popular video on Hillary Clinton, “How 100 Percent of the Clintons’ ‘Charity’ Went to [...] Themselves,” received more than nine million views on social media, while its most popular video on Donald Trump, “Trump Will Not Be Permitted to Win,” had 2.2 million views.

    Yet contrary to the judgments of the report, most experts agree that RT’s impact on public opinion is minimal.

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  • Cohen Quoted in Trend on Armenia and Azerbaijan

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  • Voting Machines: A National Security Vulnerability?

    The political instability that has resulted from Russian meddling in the 2016 US presidential elections has put the focus on voting machines as a national security vulnerability, Douglas Lute, a former US permanent representative to NATO, said at the Atlantic Council on October 10.

    “I don’t think I’ve seen a more severe threat to American national security than the election hacking experience of 2016,” said Lute. There is a “fundamental democratic connection between the individual voter and the democratic outcome” of an election, he said, adding: “If you can undermine that, you don’t need to attack America with planes and ships. You can attack democracy from the inside.”

    Russian President Vladimir Putin “added to the political gridlock in Washington today, all at very low cost to him,” said Lute. “In military terms, this is the classic definition of a threat.”

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  • Setting the Record Straight on Crimea

    It is ironic that Diane Francis views my characterizations of the Crimea annexation as touting the Kremlin line. Everything I've written about the Russian takeover of Crimea, from this March 2014 column comparing it with the Anschluss, to the October 4 column that displeased Francis, could land me in jail in Russia. Crimean Tatar activist Rafis Kashapov was sentenced to two years' imprisonment in 2015 for denying, as I consistently do, that Crimea is part of Russia.

    I acquired the freedom to write these columns by leaving my country. That was no small price to pay, so I'm disinclined to waste that freedom on the sloppy treatment of facts, which are often inconvenient to both sides of a conflict.

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  • Central and Eastern Europe’s Pushback Against Sanctions on Russia

    While the Kremlin’s hopes for a partial relaxation of US sanctions on Russia have all but evaporated due to increasing tension between Moscow and Washington, Russia can still count on friends and partners in Eastern Europe to promote sanctions relief. For example, in a speech to the Council of Europe on October 10, Czech President Miloš Zeman deemed the sanctions ineffective and the Russian annexation of Crimea “irreversible.”

    Early in the Trump presidency, the Kremlin thought it had a fair chance for a bargain with the United States leading to reduced sanctions. However, under the current circumstances, Russia’s best bet to achieve its aim is to go down the well-trodden path and focus on Europe. There, attitudes toward Russia have always been mixed, but there are many who continue to believe in engagement with the Kremlin.

    The United States’ shift to a hard line against Russia raised alarm among Washington’s European partners. For example, the German government had a sharp reaction to the round of sanctions imposed by the US Congress over Russian meddling in the US presidential elections in 2016.  However, the traditionally dovish Social Democrats would most likely not take part in Angela Merkel’s next cabinet, following their disastrous performance in the September 24 elections, and the pro-Russian voices in the Bundestag will weaken. 

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  • Vershbow Joins TRT World to Discuss US - Russia Disputes

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