As widely rumored, NATO's Afghanistan commander has asked President Obama for another sizable increase in troops, otherwise suffer "likely failure."

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Brent Scowcroft has issued a strong statement of support for President Obama's decision to scrap George Bush's planned missile shield in Poland and the Czech Republic in favor of a sea-based system.  General Scowcroft, however, elides the main point. While there may be a strong case in favor of the Aegis alternative, the announcement should have been delayed until some concessions were extracted from the Russians.

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Yesterday, I noted that Brent Scowcroft supports President Obama's missile defense decision.  Another distinguished member of our International Advisory Board,  Zbigniew Brzezinski, has voiced his support as well — albeit in an extremely colorful manner that's not particularly flattering to the president.

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While I remain highly critical of the optics of yesterday's decision to change course on missile defense in Eastern Europe, timed as it was on the 70th anniversary of Russia's invasion of Poland and coming after a year of bellicose actions from Moscow, it would be remiss not to point out that General Brent Scowcroft strongly disagrees.

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This summer’s dispute over undersea Caspian energy resources between Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan, as well as Ashgabat’s recently stated intention to bolster its maritime military capabilities, have seemingly thrown Trans-Caspian relations into a tailspin, jeopardizing plans for energy cooperation to supply the strategic Nabucco natural gas pipeline.

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President Obama's decision to abandon the missile defense systems in Poland and Czech Republic agreed to by his predecessor has created a firestorm of controversy, with quite different reactions in Russia, Eastern Europe, Western Europe, and domestically.

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Atlantic Council senior fellow David Phillips was interviewed by the Turkish newspaper Today's Zaman on recent developments in Turkish-Kurdish relations and in Turkey-Armenia relations.

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President Obama this morning announced the cancellation of the long-range missile defense system based in Poland and the Czech Republic agreed to by his predecessor in favor of a system of  sensors and interceptors based at sea.

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Try this as a thought experiment: imagine a dynamic modern Russia with a robust knowledge economy, diversified industry, and reasonably functioning legal system where starting a business –or adjudicating disputes -- is no more difficult than in say, Turkey or Malaysia. Not easy, is it? In fact, in a remarkable article published on Gazeta.ru, a Russian webzine, President Medvedev starkly outlines his country’s challenges and poses the question whether Russia can change enough to “own tomorrow.”

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Moscow Time

U.S. and Russian strategies in the space “east of Europe” and across the Eurasian plain are operating on two different timetables.

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