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 ...
- 23.02.2015 20:59:00
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...
- 14.02.2015 21:08:00
... Republican mindset.
That mindset sets a fairly stark characterization: Russia is an aggressive and untrustworthy dictatorship that is an innate contradiction to American values. As such it will inevitably always be a threat to U.S. interests and global security. By all indicators, Russia is a threat not just to itself and its immediate neighbors but to the entire world, masking its own domestic failings and instabilities with an aggressive foreign policy that will never acquiesce to a more peaceful ...
- 07.02.2015 00:55:00
... dangerously myopic and unhealthy to base its own foreign policy on earning the ‘approval’ of another country. With ease the far more standard approach to foreign policy formulation is to determine a country’s own national interests and security dilemma and craft an independent position that can best achieve optimal goals for said country.
And that, not ironically, is what is being described above in America as a ‘shift’ away from craving attention to striving to exorcise ...
- 03.02.2015 00:20:00
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...
- 18.01.2015 18:34:00
... foreign-policy, intelligence, and global political layers of this decision, however, you don’t find a country in trouble or even incompetent. Rather, you find a cunning sense of strategic analysis that is built more upon long-term economic and national security priorities, which is an approach that woefully few Western countries ever find themselves in a position to emulate.
First, let’s break down the simple economic numbers: the budget for next year sees spending at roughly 230 billion USD ...
- 06.01.2015 19:02:00
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...
- 22.12.2014 22:41:00
So the United States Senate has released its report highlighting extreme and supposedly ‘abhorrent’ techniques used on terrorist targets after 9/11 to glean greater intelligence and information. Since that release there has been an orgy of oscillating condemnation/hand-wringing with rationalization/chest-beating, depending on 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...
- 15.12.2014 18:04:00
... mentioned above are quintessentially academic and best taught by terminally-degreed, full-time faculty dedicated to promoting them.
The even bigger danger: as more schools have tried to develop degree programs focused on intelligence and national security, they have followed the military-friendly school model, poaching retired IC professionals to fill their programs with adjunct, part-time faculty without surrounding them in an academic setting. This dominance by practitioners-as-teachers has ...
- 08.12.2014 06:59:00
... and therefore radically different conclusions about how we view and evaluate said communities. Below is a ‘case glance’ of the phenomenon utilizing the Russian Federation. Perhaps most interesting and fairly unexpected is how in terms of security affairs American understanding about Russia seems to be hurt more analytically by grand strategic culture and is often never analyzed from a perspective that emphasizes contemporary reality, purpose-based objectives and actual organizational ...
- 26.11.2014 18:37:00
... 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 Studies, who cogently brought to light over fifteen years ago how ultra-popular cultural theories were best utilized as supplements to traditional realist approaches and were not in fact capable of supplanting or replacing realist explanations ...
- 27.10.2014 01:40:00
... juggernaut overnight. As soon as developing states began to realize just how difficult steady, progressive, rational growth would be, they began finding ways to shortcut the journey. Soft spying became arguably the chief method in this new national security priority of economic development. Spy movies notwithstanding, the traditional methods of economic espionage truly read like a primer from Ian Fleming: planting moles and/or recruiting inside agents; surveillance; clandestine entry; bag drops ...
- 22.09.2014 04:36:00
... accommodate targeted killing as the best modern solution to this new threat that had become so powerful, unforeseeable, and undefined. The U.S. has a diplomatic habit of positioning its interests as something higher than pure foreign-policy and national security priorities. In so doing, it creates a de facto expectation whereby it has exclusive rights to exceptional behavior on the global stage. The obvious risk with such diplomatic calisthenics is that most other countries do not grant such exclusivity ...
- 16.09.2014 06:44:00
... Worse still is how incredibly infantile and cruel this line of argument is from NATO: there is no chance, NONE, that Ukraine will be invited to join the group. While Obama says officially to the microphones that all options will remain open for global security and peace, France and Germany are both formally opposed to offering membership to Ukraine. As long as that is the case, Obama’s comments are just empty gestures, more cruelty to Ukraine than deterrent to Russia. Does anyone in their right ...
- 09.09.2014 18:04:00
Imagine you are on a gameshow, and are asked the following question: in which year did the Russian language internet -- commonly known as Runet-- begin? The answer, you could assume, is 1990, with the creation of Relcom. Unless its 1983, that is, with the San Francisco Moscow Teleport. Which would mean you aren’t accepting the 1972 Express automated data network. In which case, you would also be ignoring the argument that really it’s simultaneously in 1835 and 4338.
These last dates...
- 02.09.2014 15:07:00
Times and trends keep changing and as of today, climate change has become a salient issue associated to human security. Lots of policies have been meted out on different sectors in Nigeria with little attention to climate change. In the world today, climate change is taking serious and nations strive to mitigate its effect and see how the changes can be managed....
- 30.08.2014 08:50:00
..., however, that the presence of these three primary obstacles to development can themselves have a destabilising effect on administrative legitimacy.
Let us now consider Russia. If one were to identify the most pressing current threats to Russian security, the list would be remarkably similar. Drug trafficking -- through Central Asia -- and Islamist terrorism -- from Central Asia -- pose the greatest threat to Russian national security in 2014. Central Asia is therefore a key focus of Russia’s ...
- 27.08.2014 12:32:00
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...
- 22.08.2014 20:17:00
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...
- 15.08.2014 18:09:00
... Wahhabists running Saudi Arabia have long harbored resentment and competition with Shias running Iran. Any potential Shia emergence in the Gulf would most certainly be considered anathema to the Saudis and a potential danger to their sovereign national security interests in the Gulf and beyond. So while it is undoubtedly at least partially true that Iran has been quietly trying to support the Houthis, you can equally bet the Saudis have taken every behind-the-scenes opportunity to work against the Houthis....
- 23.07.2014 18:13:00