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

... actions within the country as “barbaric”. Russia, never one to back down from a challenge, whether physical or verbal, responded rather forcefully through the personage of Maria Zakharova, the official spokesperson for the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Some of the highlights of her comments were rich in both imagery and dismissiveness: · When Samantha Power says something, then one wants to cry out in fear for the future of the world, considering this future is subject to these ...

Crosston Matthew
Опубликовано:
26.10.2016 17:14:00

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

... advance far enough so that it would stop losing national elections solely because of these two factors.[3] This was arguably the biggest lesson learned from the Democratic failure of 2004, when Vietnam war veteran, Purple Heart winner, and long-time Foreign Affairs Senate stalwart John Kerry lost to Bush, who had no such international military service accolades to lean on. While in the past Democrats could always criticize Republicans for being too eager to consider war (all stick, no carrot), the ...

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

... so-called ‘achievements’ both Egypt and Saudi Arabia became far more interested in acquiring drones for their militaries and sought the right technical/financial budgetary investment to develop their own programs. The basic principles of foreign affairs dictate that America could easily be sucked into regional conflicts where its interests figure prominently. It is inconceivable to think a ‘drone war’ between Iran and Saudi Arabia or Egypt would not end up being a major national ...

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

U.S.-Russia Relations: The Problem of Intellectual Insincerity

There are numerous think tanks, both in the United States and Russia, which are deeply concerned about the state of Russian-American relations. Places like the Moscow Carnegie Centre or the Brookings Institution in Washington DC are regular go-to places for the media when seeking expert opinion and analysis. However, these centers of independent knowledge production have had a decided slant in allocating blame for the poor bilateral relations to the Russian side, with the explanations ranging from...

Crosston Matthew
Опубликовано:
03.02.2015 00:20:00

The Price of Paris: Islamism and the Exploitation of Women

The events in Paris are unfortunately all too familiar in the 21st century. I think in some corners it is still perhaps a bit shocking that events like the storming of Charlie Hebdo and the killing of civilians do not actually take place more often than they do. In my line of work, this is the foundational conundrum of secret success: intelligence communities around the world actually do a stellar job of ferreting out literally hundreds, if not thousands of ideas, intentions, and full-on strategic...

Crosston Matthew
Опубликовано:
18.01.2015 18:34:00

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

Twisting in Our Own Tortured Noose: American Verbal Duplicity and Torture

... whom you speak with. What strikes me more is the whole surreal ridiculousness of this false debate. I say false debate because in some ways this just highlights how dementedly odd Americans can be about their own people, country, government, and its foreign affairs. Let's just break this down in simple terms: we are talking about torture. There really cannot be surprise at this as a revelation. Indeed, there have been so many innuendos, hints, semi-admissions, and quasi-reports over the last ...

Crosston Matthew
Опубликовано:
15.12.2014 18:04:00

Prisoners of Preconception: The Problems of Bias in American Intelligence

Anyone who has worked through post-mortems on the Iraq war is familiar with the pitfalls associated with ‘groupthink’ and preconceptions. Indeed, it is perhaps one of the few modern examples of consensus across American partisanship. Some have argued such assumptions emerged from an administration not interested in counter-arguments and alternative information. Others pointed to embedded preconceptions within the Intelligence Community itself, making it impossible to jump off the analytical...

Crosston Matthew
Опубликовано:
08.12.2014 06:59:00

Bears and Byzantium: How America Misreads Russian Strategic Thinking

Common complaints within Intelligence Studies about the examination of foreign intelligence communities, especially those not residing in the west, run the gamut from being too historically driven to being completely ahistorical and thus nothing more than a simple organizational review of facts and details to being too often inevitably compared against a standard framework that uses either the United States or the United Kingdom as the backdrop. While these analyses are all important, they have failed...

Crosston Matthew
Опубликовано:
26.11.2014 18:37:00

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

NATO: A Mighty Wind, Signifying Nothing

The surrealism of the Ukrainian conflict continued last week, with the 28 members of the NATO alliance meeting in a cozy golf resort in Wales, United Kingdom, to discuss all of the supposedly egregious and disconcerting Russian maneuvers against Ukraine and demanding that Russia stop inviting further sanctions and pressure against itself, as British Prime Minister David Cameron emphasized at the summit. All of this is well and good, of course, part of the pomp and circumstance of international organizations...

Crosston Matthew
Опубликовано:
09.09.2014 18:04:00

Obama v. Putin: A Tale of a Posturing President

Less than two weeks ago President Obama, sitting for an interview with The Economist magazine, basically went ‘old school’ on President Putin, dismissing his Presidency, his country, and the future of both. While his words were certainly blatant and blunt, what might be even more revealing is the subtle subtext hidden inside his cavalier attitude: apparently even Presidents are not above being petulant. There can be little debate about President Obama’s intent to insult and offend...

Crosston Matthew
Опубликовано:
22.08.2014 20:17:00

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

 

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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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