FlashBack: Andrew Cockburn: Game On: East vs. West, again (Jan. 2015)

By the 1990s, the neocon torch had passed to a new generation that thumped the same tub, even though the Red Menace had vanished into history. “Having defeated the evil empire, the United States enjoys strategic and ideological predominance,” wrote William Kristol and Robert Kagan in 1996. “The first objective of U.S. foreign policy should be to preserve and enhance that predominance.”

Achieving this happy aim, calculated these two sons of neocon founding fathers, required an extra $60–$80 billion a year for the defense budget, not to mention a missile-defense system, which could be had for upward of $10 billion. Among other priorities, they agreed, it was important that “NATO remains strong, active, cohesive, and under decisive American leadership.”

ACURA’s Anatol Lieven: Diplomats & experts: negotiate, or expect ‘drastic escalation’ by Russia

On Monday January 17, the Quincy Institute convened a small closed door working group of former American and British ambassadors and experts on Russia and Ukraine to discuss possible scenarios in the context of the present crisis between Russia and the West. Quincy senior fellow and ACURA board member Anatol Lieven chaired the meeting and summarizes its conclusions here.

Gordon Hahn: Putin’s ‘Military-Technical and Other Options if Strategic Stability and Ukraine Talks Fail

Last month, Russian President Vladimir Putin warned that should Russian-US and Russian-NATO negotiations fail to address Moscow’s concerns, Russia would undertake a ‘military-technical’ response to what it perceives as the growing threat to stability in Ukraine and along its border and its ally Belarus’s border with NATO. Leaving aside the difficulty of getting inside Putin’s head, it is extremely difficult to understand what Putin has in mind by this term.

ACURA’s Katrina vanden Heuvel: Stop the stumble toward war with Russia

When Putin demands that the United States agree not to make Ukraine or Georgia a member of NATO, State Department negotiator Wendy R. Sherman dismissed it as a “nonstarter,” declaring the United States “will not allow anyone to slam closed NATO’s open-door policy.”

That posture is foolish.

Massachusetts Peace Action: E. Martin Schotz, MD: Understanding and Resisting the New Cold War

We are constantly bombarded with messages telling us that if our country and our way of life are to survive we must weaponize, weaponize, weaponize…   We must recognize this as Cold War messaging to be resisted, and help others do the same.

ACURA ViewPoint: David C. Speedie: ‘There They Go Again’: The Chicken Hawks Take Flight At The Financial Times

An editorial in the January 9 Financial Times, “No reward for Putin’s aggression over Ukraine” evokes Ronald Reagan’s memorable and damaging words in a Presidential debate with Jimmy Carter: “There you go again” — in this case, with just one more opinion piece on the Ukraine situation that is one-sidedly incomplete.

MK Bhadrakumar: Putin draws the line for colour revolutions

The failed attempt by the Biden administration at regime change in a strategically located remote country sandwiched between Russia and China (which is manifold more strategic than Ukraine ever can be) exposes American diplomacy to ridicule in a vast region of Inner Asia. And it forecloses any best-laid plans by NATO to cross the Caspian ever.

This Wednesday: The Quincy Institute and ACURA: U.S-Russia Relations: Can ‘Strategic Empathy’ Be A Way Forward?

On January 19, from 12 – 1pm ET a panel co-sponsored by the Quincy Institute and ACURA will explore how the Biden team might scale back the escalatory approach and replace it with some simple strategic empathy. Joining us will be Gov. Jerry Brown, author and columnist Robert Wright, and Professor Nicolai Petro. Katrina vanden Heuvel will moderate. Register here:

U.S.-Russia Relations: Can ‘Strategic Empathy’ Be A Way Forward?



ACURA’s Anatol Lieven: Did this week’s US-NATO-Russia meetings push us closer to war?

A new war looks increasingly possible.

This war would be a disaster for all parties concerned: for NATO, whose military impotence would be cruelly emphasised; for Russia, that would suffer severe economic damage and be forced into a position of dependency on China with grave implications for Russia’s future; and above all for the thousands of Ukrainian soldiers and civilians who would lose their lives.

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