The Ukrainian government is now trapped by its own uncompromising—and increasingly indefensible—policy.
MK Bhadrakumar: On Finland’s Accession to NATO
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov warned on Tuesday that Finland’s NATO membership will force Russia “to take countermeasures to ensure our own tactical and strategic security,” as Helsinki’s military alignment is an “escalation of the situation” and an “encroachment on Russia’s security.”
On April 4, the Russian Foreign Ministry stated that Moscow “will be forced to take retaliatory measures of both military-technical and other nature in order to stop threats to our national security.”
Finland’s NATO membership would extend NATO’s frontline with Russia by 1,300 kilometers (length of border Finland shares with Russia), which will put more pressure on Russia’s northwestern regions.
Jonathan Feldman: Michael Kazin and The Pro-Militarism of Fools
Like many others, Kazin argues Ukraine war is simply triggered by Putin’s choices and has little to do with U.S. actions.
ACURA’s Anatol Lieven: Pentagon leak shows: US-NATO in it to win
The documents on the war in Ukraine leaked from the Pentagon and other U.S. security bodies only confirm what anyone paying attention already knew: that the United States and NATO are massively and critically involved in arming and training Ukraine, and providing detailed intelligence to the Ukrainian armed forces.
ACURA Statement on the Arrest and Detainment of Evan Gershkovich
The American Committee for US-Russia Accord condemns the arrest and detainment of the American journalist Evan Gershkovich by Russian authorities on espionage charges.
The arrest of Mr. Gershkovich is an affront to the values of free inquiry and will only increase the already dangerous level of tension between the United States and Russia.
We call for the unconditional release of Mr. Gershkovich. We further call for all parties to the conflict to engage in meaningful dialogue to put an end to this war which has cost the lives of so many.
Katrina vanden Heuvel, Editorial director and publisher of The Nation.
Ellen Mickiewicz, James R. Shepley emeritus professor of Public Policy and Political Science at Duke University
Jack F. Matlock, US Ambassador to the Soviet Union from 1987-1991
John Pepper, former Chairman and CEO of The Procter & Gamble Company
Nicolai N. Petro, Professor of Political Science at the University of Rhode Island
Cynthia Lazaroff, founder of Women Transforming Our Nuclear Legacy
Christopher Dyson, Executive Vice President of the Dyson-Kissner Moran Corporation
Bernadine Joselyn, a former US foreign service officer, served as Blandin Foundation’s founding director of Public Policy and Engagement
Krishen Mehta, Senior Global Justice Fellow at Yale University
David C. Speedie, former Senior Fellow and Director of the Program on U.S. Global Engagement at the Carnegie Council for Ethics in International Affairs
James W. Carden, former advisor to the US-Russia Bilateral Presidential Commission
VIDEO: ACURA’s Krishen Mehta: Why Much of the Global South Isn’t Automatically Supporting the West in Ukraine
On April 7th, ACURA’s Krishen Mehta discussed his important article entitled “Why Much of the Global South Isn’t Automatically Supporting the West in Ukraine,” which was published on February 28, 2023 in CounterPunch. https://www.counterpunch.org/2023/02/…
Krishen Mehta is a former partner at Price Waterhouse Cooper, and served in their New York, London, and Tokyo offices. While in Tokyo he was in-charge of the firm’s US tax practice in Asia, with oversight for offices in Japan, China, Singapore, Malaysia, and India. Krishen is currently a Senior Global Justice Fellow at Yale University, co-teaching a course on Global Trade, Tax, and Social Justice.
ACURA’s Nicolai N. Petro: My Remarks to Bank of America’s “Institutional Investors in EM Assets” Conference Call
Last week, the Financial Times reported that, “Bank of America cut short an online client conference on geopolitics and apologised to attendees after some balked at what they saw as pro-Russian comments about the war in Ukraine, according to three people who attended the event.
I should add that I received no remuneration for my efforts. I was sufficiently intrigued by the invitation letter, which said, in part, “We all understand complications behind any political forecasting, especially under current challenging conditions. However, I do think that in your research you take a view on the conflict from a very interesting angle, which could be interesting to discuss.”
Apparently, not everyone thought so. [Read more…] about ACURA’s Nicolai N. Petro: My Remarks to Bank of America’s “Institutional Investors in EM Assets” Conference Call
Flashback: March 2022: ACURA’s Katrina vanden Heuvel: Russia, Ukraine, and the Need for Diplomacy in a Nuclearized World
Soon after the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Katrina vanden Heuvel was interviewed by Current Affairs magazine. “I think Putin has undermined Russian security with this act,” said vanden Heuvel. “It’s illegal and indefensible. There’s something really ill-considered—bloody, of course—and illogical in what he did. ‘Miscalculation’ is the word many use as they report on the Kremlin and what is happening in the corridors of power. Among well-established veteran journalists, Russian and American and British, there’s shock.”
Edward Lozansky: General Milley vs History
Joint Chief of Staff Mark Milley during his recent testimony on Capitol Hill called Ukrainians “the sons and grandsons of the people who fought against Stalin and Zhukov for 10 years, from 1945 to 1955.”
What General neglected to say was that the majority of Ukrainians were fighting on Stalin’s and Zhukov’s side, both before and after 1945, but some of them, mostly Nazi collaborators, indeed continued fighting against the USSR until its communist leader Nikita Khrushchev declared their amnesty in 1955.
ACURA ViewPoint: James W. Carden: German Rearmament and Its Critics
News came last week, courtesy of German Defense Minister Boris Pistorius, that Germany had completed a delivery of 18 Leopard 2 A6 main battle tanks to Ukraine. Still more, as Reuters reported on April 2, the German defense contractor Rheinmetall will set up a “military maintenance and logistics hub” in Satu Mare, Romania. What some might reasonably see as a major departure from Germany’s postwar foreign and defense posture is also the fulfillment of a promise German Chancellor Olaf Scholz made in his paradigm shifting Zeitenwende (“Turning Point”) speech of February 27, 2022. Speaking in the chamber of the Bundestag, Scholz proclaimed that…
We are living through a watershed era. And that means that the world afterwards will no longer be the same as the world before.The issue at the heart of this is…whether we have it in us to keep warmongers like Putin in check.That requires strength of our own.
Scholz went on to pledge €100 billion for “a special fund for the Bundeswehr” and to meet what had heretofore been a mysteriously unattainable target of two percent of German GDP on defense spending. [Read more…] about ACURA ViewPoint: James W. Carden: German Rearmament and Its Critics
Philip Pilkington: Assessing the Economic Value of Military Materiel
The war in Ukraine has exposed some serious misperceptions about the relative economic size and military power of major nations. Before the war, it was fashionable to say—usually sardonically—that Russia possessed an economy similar in size to that of Italy or smaller than that of Texas. “The Russian economy will be cut in half,” President Biden tweeted on March 26, 2022, “It was ranked the 11th biggest economy in the world before this invasion—and soon, it will not even rank among the top 20.”
The statistics that the president used for this comparison were nominal GDP numbers measured in U.S. dollars. It is unclear why the president’s economic advisers did not direct him to the purchasing-power-parity-adjusted (PPP) GDP metrics, which are the standard tool economists use to compare the relative size of national economies. That statistic would have showed that Russia’s economy is the sixth largest in the world—almost as large as Germany’s and well over twice as large as the economy of Texas
ACURA ViewPoint: David C. Speedie: Putin as Shakespearean Demon or Tragic Hero?
The Ukraine tragedy is a twofold thing. First, most obviously, there is the tragedy of the people killed or displaced, the damage to an already fragile economy and the widespread destruction of Ukraine’s physical infrastructure. Second, there is the tragic fact that it could all have been prevented.
This latter is an unfashionable point of view, to say the least. Inevitably, understandably, the daily diet of news in the Western press serves up images and reports of a grim, attritional struggle for ruined towns and territory, with back-and-forth “success”, a prevailing narrative of the heroic David (Ukraine) stoutly resisting the invading Goliath (Russia). The incremental nature of the war’s progress and the weapons with which it is fought suggest nothing less than the trench warfare of World War One. [Read more…] about ACURA ViewPoint: David C. Speedie: Putin as Shakespearean Demon or Tragic Hero?
MK Bhadrakumar: ‘Russia alone can already confront the entire West…’
America’s pundits have a problem comprehending equal relationships between two sovereign and independent nations.
VIDEO: Col. Douglas Macgregor Talks with Judge Andrew Napolitano
US foreign policy establishment tells the world ‘you’re either with us or against us,’ says Macgregor.
Lily Lynch: Estonia’s Hawk
In Europe, the face of steely resolve is female. While Olaf Scholz and Emmanuel Macron are ridiculed for their supposed weakness and unreliability, Sanna Marin of Finland and Annalena Baerbock of Germany are celebrated as the conscience of the continent, unflinching in response to Russian aggression.
ACURA Q&A: Sevim Dagdelen, MdB: On War, Peace, and Politics in Germany
Last week in Berlin I sat down with Sevim Dagdelen, a Member of the German Bundestag since 2005. She is the spokeswoman for the Left Party parliamentary group on the Bundestag’s Committee on Foreign Affairs, a deputy member of the Defense Committee and spokeswoman for international policy and disarmament.
From 2017 to 2020, she served on the executive committee of the Left Party parliamentary group as vice chair. She is a member of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly and a deputy member of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe.
Our conversation was wide-ranging, touching upon Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s Ukraine policy; the state of relations between the US and Germany; the Nord Stream 2 pipeline controversy; the influence of Transatlantic think tanks, among other topics.
The interview has been edited for length and clarity. – James W. Carden [Read more…] about ACURA Q&A: Sevim Dagdelen, MdB: On War, Peace, and Politics in Germany
Historian Peter Brandt Leads Call for Negotiations on Peace in Ukraine
On the occasion of the first anniversary of the Russian war of aggression against Ukraine on February 24, and in view of the daily growing numbers of death, pain and destruction, historian Prof. Dr. Peter Brandt, son of German Chancellor Willy Brandt, the creator of Ostpolitik, together with Reiner Hoffmann (former chairman of the German Trade Union Confederation ), Michael Müller (Federal Chairman of Naturefriends) and Reiner Braun (International Peace Bureau) took the initiative to formulate an appeal to Chancellor Scholz, to apply the successes and lessons learned from the European policy of détente, to join together with France in order to stop the war and “to win Brazil, China, India and Indonesia in particular for mediation in order to quickly achieve a ceasefire. This would be a necessary step to stop the killing and explore peace possibilities.”
The proposal received broad support und signatories from some 200 political, civil society and trade union leaders – including many who had themselves actively contributed to the development and implementation of the détente policies of Willy Brandt, Egon Bahr and Helmut Schmidt. – Wolfgang Biermann, Detente Now
[Read more…] about Historian Peter Brandt Leads Call for Negotiations on Peace in Ukraine
Connor Echols: Ex-CIA official: No way detained WSJ reporter is a US spy
The arrest shows that Moscow is “increasingly treating the United States as an open belligerent in a war against Russia,” according to George Beebe of the Quincy Institute, who previously led Russia analysis at the CIA.
ACURA’s Katrina vanden Heuvel: After the Iraq Debacle, Why Does the National Security Establishment Remain Unshaken?
The price for failing to hold the perpetrators of this debacle accountable is that their worldview still dominates America’s national security establishment.
Amanda Yee: Six think tanks and the military contractors that fund them
From producing reports and analysis for U.S. policy-makers, to enlisting representatives to write op-eds in corporate media, to providing talking heads for corporate media to interview and give quotes, think tanks play a fundamental role in shaping both U.S. foreign policy and public perception around that foreign policy. Leaders at top think tanks like the Atlantic Council and Hudson Institute have even been called upon to set focus priorities for the House Intelligence Committee. However, one look at the funding sources of the most influential think tanks reveals whose interests they really serve: that of the U.S. military and its defense contractors.