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Walk the Line: Russia as the New Chair of the UN Security Council

October 1st began what could be one of the more interesting Chairships of the United Nations Security Council, with Russia taking over and being charged with a rather delicate balancing act: between conducting the numerous affairs expected to be covered by any standard Chair of the UNSC and deftly handling the ‘special’ relationship with the United States that has recently become woefully deficient. Even more intriguing, some of the most vivid recent examples of that degrading relationship...

Crosston Matthew
Опубликовано:
26.10.2016 17:14:00

The Donkey and the Elephant: American Presidential Politics, Russia, and 'None of the Above'

Whether one truly believes in the old adage that the President of the United States is the ‘leader of the free world’ and ‘the most powerful person on the global stage,’ it is unquestionable that whoever holds the Oval Office in the White House wields tremendous influence and impact far beyond the borders of America. As the world looks on with fascination in 2016 at the coming confrontation between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, questions remain as to which candidate is...

Crosston Matthew
Опубликовано:
30.06.2016 20:53:00

American Jihadi: Why Westerners Fight with the Islamic State

Media outlets and government circles both cringe and squirm when the subject of Westerners leaving the West to go fight in Syria and Iraq with the Islamic State arises. While acquiring data and calculating accurate numbers wildly diverges from source to source, there is no doubt that ANY number simply makes countries like the United States uncomfortable and perplexed: in short, how could anyone want to leave the land of the free, the tolerant, the open, the just and go fight for a group that represents...

Crosston Matthew
Опубликовано:
18.04.2015 17:10:00

The American UAV Attempted Apartheid

It is perhaps a misnomer to discuss future ‘blowback:’ there have been groups actively pursuing technological attacks on American targets simultaneously alongside the development of the U.S. drone fleet. Keep in mind blowback comes in forms other than just anger over actual attacks. There is growing dissent across the Middle East at what is perceived to be a total lack of transparency and scrutiny by the American public over its government’s use of drones. This concern was growing...

Crosston Matthew
Опубликовано:
05.04.2015 07:42:00

America's National Security Schizophrenia

There is no stronger example of the schizophrenic nature of American foreign policy toward Russia than comparing statements written in the formal National Security Strategy (NSS) of President Obama with actual testimony given by the Director of National Intelligence James Clapper. In 2010 the NSS asserted that the U.S. would endeavor to ‘build a stable, substantive, multidimensional relationship with Russia, based on mutual interests.’ What’s more, the NSS called Russia a 21st century...

Crosston Matthew
Опубликовано:
23.02.2015 20:59:00

Cold War Triumphalism and the Chicken-and-Egg Dilemma

There is a decided chicken-and-egg quality when trying to unravel Russian-American relations. The general pessimism and pejorative characterizations that come from the U.S. Congress clearly have a negative influence on Putin’s strident bravado and dismissive arrogance to the United States. What is perplexing is how this dilemma, which implies that it is difficult to figure out which truly came first, never seems to be an actual problem for American politicians: the Russian ‘corrupt and...

Crosston Matthew
Опубликовано:
14.02.2015 21:08:00

Keeping Russia the Enemy: Congressional Attitudes and Biased Expertise

America seems reluctant in accepting the fairly benign fact that countries do not like to be dictated to and thus misses opportunities for creating new dialogues. This is especially prominent in explaining the poor relationship at the moment with Russia. There seems to be an element of purposeful animosity in the way Russia is viewed, analyzed, and engaged, especially at the so-called expert level and most prominently within the now Republican-controlled United States Congress. Perhaps one of the...

Crosston Matthew
Опубликовано:
07.02.2015 00:55:00

The Saudi Bait-and-Switch

Western media members are currently basking in what to them seems to be a story of economic ‘come-uppance.’ Saudi Arabia announced that its 2015 budget will suffer from a significant economic shortage, resulting in a nearly $39 billion dollar deficit. Most in the West look at this fact curiously, mainly because it seems to be that Saudi Arabia is causing its own problem, by refusing to budge off of its own insistence at maintaining an oil production level of 30 million barrels per day...

Crosston Matthew
Опубликовано:
06.01.2015 19:02:00

Old American Punishment, New Russian Strength

On December 18 President Vladimir Putin gave his traditional end-of-year holiday speech. Think of it as a Russian version of the American State-of-the-Union address always given by our President. In it Putin expressed dismay and concern at the manner in which Russia’s “Western partners” were behaving, even going so far as to declare Western intentions as being purposely aimed at controlling Russian national resources and leaving Russia a de facto vassal state. He vividly used the...

Crosston Matthew
Опубликовано:
22.12.2014 22:41:00

American Failures with Grand Strategic Culture

This work is about how a specific conceptualization of ‘culture’ in intelligence studies, amongst scholars at first but subsequently practitioners as well, has taken on too powerful a role, one that has become too restrictive in its impact on thinking about other intelligence communities, especially non-Western ones. This restriction brings about unintentional cognitive closure that damages intelligence analysis. My argument leans heavily in many ways on the fine work of Desch in Security...

Crosston Matthew
Опубликовано:
27.10.2014 01:40:00

Soft Spying: The Love-Hate Relationship America has with Economic Espionage

Despite Hollywood romanticizing about Bonds and Bournes, one of the most prevalent forms of modern intelligence activity is also arguably the least emphasized: economic and industrial espionage. Aimed at garnering a financial and innovation advantage for countries seeking greater influence in a highly globalized world, this activity is not just about economic policy but serves as de facto proxy military rivalry: states maneuver to outperform, outwit, and ‘outstrategize’ across all spheres...

Crosston Matthew
Опубликовано:
22.09.2014 04:36:00

Targeted Killings Coming Back to Haunt America

While most international organizations and foreign states have made attempts to explicitly fuse drones and targeted killing to already established norms, ethics, and rules of war, the United States has focused more on drones being something of a semi-covert tool of political means. In other words, drone war is not necessarily the exact same thing as conventional war. Once you blur the line on this basic fundamental categorization then nearly everything else becomes open to interpretation, including...

Crosston Matthew
Опубликовано:
16.09.2014 06:44:00

The Lost Generation: Why America Misreads Russia so Badly Today

2014 is starting to look and sound and feel an awful lot like 1964. If you find yourself sitting at home wondering how 50 years could go by with so much historical change and global shifting and yet still end up basically back at the starting point of a quasi-Cold War between the United States and Russia, then please allow me to offer one slightly unique explanation as to how this has all come to pass: it’s my fault. Well, alright, it’s not exactly my personal fault, for I am a member...

Crosston Matthew
Опубликовано:
15.08.2014 18:09:00

Saving Lives or Saving Face? Sanctions, Russia, and the West

New sanctions were levied against Russia on July 16th by both the United States and the European Union. America has taken the lead in explaining the sanctions, claiming continued unrest in Eastern Ukraine is primarily because of tacit Russian support behind-the-scenes. This new round is a bit broader than the original sanctions from a few months back that tried a new tactic of strategically targeting individuals. Basically it was one of the first examples of a state trying to make Putin’s personal...

Crosston Matthew
Опубликовано:
17.07.2014 18:57:00

The Fast and The Furious in Gas Geopolitics

The interplay between Ukraine and Russia when it comes to gas geopolitics goes far beyond economic negotiations and development. It lies at the heart of what has been fairly inaccurate or uninformed media reporting in the West. This aspect of the conflict has been so poorly documented in the West, while being exhaustively reported in Russia, that it is time to provide some English language background to this underappreciated aspect still powering the conflict in negotiations between Ukraine and Russia...

Crosston Matthew
Опубликовано:
19.06.2014 17:56:00

Spies Don't Tweet: Why Social Media is Only a Grassroots Tool

The Intelligence Community, regardless of regime type, has famously always tried to co-opt and ultimately adopt advancements and evolutions in technology, especially in terms of media. Newspapers, radio, and television have long been appropriated in order to influence, massage, and outright manipulate messages and events important to the national interest. Often the question is not so much whether a country’s intelligence community engages in such activity but rather how explicit and open will...

Crosston Matthew
Опубликовано:
21.05.2014 19:43:00

Obama: The Foreign Policy Closet Conservative

Analyzing President Obama’s foreign policy, or rather, analyzing the intellectual and positional evolution of his global positions is no easy task. It would not be hyperbole to say Obama came into office with the hopes and dreams of millions of Democrats and perhaps even the muted optimism of many moderate Republicans. In other words, hitting everything right on the mark was likely impossible. This only makes the present analysis more interesting, for the presidency of Obama has been marked...

Crosston Matthew
Опубликовано:
19.05.2014 20:29:00

Surrounded Tiger: The Indian Intelligence Condition

The complexity of India’s foreign policy and domestic power dilemmas has led to many Western states inaccurately judging the country’s approach to intelligence strategy. India’s intelligence challenges break down most effectively into the categories of domestic, regional, global, and emerging: Indian domestic aspects of security: Political fragmentation Domestic insurgency Indian regional aspects of security: Neighbor dysfunction New ethnic groups and movements Secessionists...

Crosston Matthew
Опубликовано:
03.05.2014 02:48:00

Cold War Residue in Syria

Though Syria has somewhat fallen off the media radar in the West because of a Malaysian plane crashing into the Indian Ocean and Crimean referendum consequences booming across Europe, an on-going conflict and crisis continues in a critically important region of the world. The problems in Syria remain poorly understood in the West across the board, but especially so when it comes to understanding Russian strategy on Syria vis-à-vis the United States. The common US position has simply dismissed...

Crosston Matthew
Опубликовано:
11.04.2014 05:56:00

Eco-Conflict and 'Green Spies'

Ecological dilemmas are moving beyond the realm of local environmental, health and human population studies to a more dangerous transnational aspect of globalization – intelligence operations. It is in opening up an interaction between environmental studies’ liberal domain and intelligence studies’ realist domain, projecting onto geopolitics, that ‘green security’ morphs into ‘ECOINT.’ While issues of water, energy, climate change, pollution, and deforestation...

Crosston Matthew
Опубликовано:
07.04.2014 17:54:00

 

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Poll conducted

  1. Korean Peninsula Crisis Has no Military Solution. How Can It Be Solved?
    Demilitarization of the region based on Russia-China "Dual Freeze" proposal  
     36 (35%)
    Restoring multilateral negotiation process without any preliminary conditions  
     27 (26%)
    While the situation benefits Kim Jong-un's and Trump's domestic agenda, there will be no solution  
     22 (21%)
    Armed conflict still cannot be avoided  
     12 (12%)
    Stonger deterrence on behalf of the U.S. through modernization of military infrastructure in the region  
     4 (4%)
    Toughening economic sanctions against North Korea  
     2 (2%)
 
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