Russia

  • Pence Takes Germany to Task Over Defense Spending

    US vice president also warns Turkey against purchase of Russian missile defense system

    US Vice President Mike Pence on April 3 chastised Germany for not spending enough on defense, warned Turkey against going ahead with the purchase of a Russian missile defense system, cautioned against the rise of China, and sought to reassure NATO allies that they will always have the United States’ support.


    US President Donald J. Trump has led the charge against NATO allies who do not meet the 2 percent of GDP defense spending target set at the Alliance’s Wales Summit in 2014. All allies are supposed to meet that goal by 2024. So far only seven of NATO’s twenty-nine member states meet that target; Germany is among those that lag behind.

    On April 3, the eve of NATO’s seventieth anniversary, it was Pence’s turn to take allies to task.


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  • How NATO Can Succeed in the Next Seventy Years

    Atlantic Council leadership and experts testified to members of Congress on April 2 about ways in which NATO, the military alliance that is celebrating its seventieth year this week, can better prepare for the future in the face of an evolving threat environment.


    “The future of NATO is not just a military future. It is about economic strength, it is about governance and rule of law… and it is about the ways in which we can and must be successful against the rise of these new autocracies,” retired Marine Corps Gen. James L. Jones, Jr., a former Supreme Allied Commander Europe and executive chairman emeritus of the Atlantic Council, told the House Foreign Affairs Committee.


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  • Reinvigorating NATO’s Nuclear Deterrence Posture Through Transparency

    After World War II, Europe sought to rebuild its decimated infrastructure and restore faith in European security. Despite having defeated Nazi Germany, the United States and its European allies were concerned about multiple events that were affecting regional stability across Western Europe (for example, civil war in Greece and a Soviet-sponsored coup in Czechoslovakia). The United States, led by President Harry S. Truman, responded by enhancing its partnerships with Western Europe with the goal of bolstering regional security. As a result, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) was created in 1949 with the purpose of “deterring Soviet expansionism, forbidding the revival of nationalist militarism in Europe through a strong [US] presence on the continent, and encouraging European political integration.”
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  • Russia Ups the Ante in Venezuela

    With the arrival of its troops and military advisers in Caracas this past weekend, Russia has upped the ante with the United States over how to deal with the crisis in Venezuela.


    While the United States — along with dozens of other countries — recognizes Juan Guaidó as the interim president of Venezuela, Russia has thrown its lot behind Nicolás Maduro.

    And so it was that two Russian military aircraft carrying advisers and troops — as many as 100 troops according to some accounts — arrived in Caracas on March 23.


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  • The Kremlin’s Top Eight Lies about Ukraine’s Presidential Race

    On March 31, Ukrainians go to the polls to elect their sixth president. An openly pro-Russian candidate is unlikely to win. However, Moscow is watching closely and cares about the outcome. What is it saying about the election? We analyzed the most widespread Kremlin manipulations about Ukraine’s presidential election on Russian state-controlled media in March. We selected examples from three Russian state-owned websites with high ratings: Channel One Russia, RT, and Ukraina.ru.


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  • Omega

    Editor’s note: This short story describes a hypothetical future war in Europe between Russian and NATO forces using advanced technology.
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  • The Real Russian Candidate in Ukraine’s Presidential Race

    On March 22, nine days before the Ukrainian presidential election, Ukraine’s pro-Russian presidential candidate Yuriy Boyko went to Moscow to meet Russian Prime Minister Dmitri Medvedev without prior announcement.

    It’s strange for a presidential candidate to visit a leader of a country with which it is at war, but that was only the beginning of this extraordinary meeting, much of which was broadcast on Russian state television. Everything was wrong with it.


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  • Mueller’s Findings: What Do They Mean for US Foreign Policy?

    Special Counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s long-awaited investigation has not found adequate evidence to prove US President Donald J. Trump or any of his aides colluded with the Russian government’s interference in the 2016 election. The investigation did not determine “one way or the other” whether Trump had illegally obstructed justice, according to a letter delivered to Congress by US Attorney General William Barr.


    Barr made a summary of Mueller’s findings public on March 24.


    “The investigation did not establish that members of the Trump Campaign conspired or coordinated with the Russian government in its election interference activities,” Mueller wrote in the findings released by the Justice Department.


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  • #StrongerWithAllies: Meet the Latvian Who Leads NATO’s Fight Against Fake News

    In the early 1980s, the KGB began spreading the conspiracy theory that the CIA was behind the AIDS epidemic.


    There were several variations of the fabricated tale. The main one was that CIA experiments to create an incurable disease for use as a biological-warfare agent got out of hand. The result, according to the storyline, was that AIDS infected unsuspecting Haitians and Africans whom the CIA was testing it on—and the disease spread across the world.

    It took a couple of years for this phony account to gain traction, giving scientists time to debunk it.


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  • Bad Advice

    Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko recently advocated building intermediate-range ballistic missiles and cruise missiles to target and presumably use against Russia. No doubt Poroshenko calculated that he might gain a political advantage during the final days of a tough campaign for reelection by adopting this hawkish stance. And he may have also thought it made military sense as well. It appeals emotionally to a population that has been fighting Russia for five years with little overt progress. And since this advocacy casts Poroshenko as an aggressive patriotic defender of Ukraine, this posture might conceivably yield him political dividends.

    However, it would be a disastrous decision for both strategic and operational reasons.


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