jerryking + vladimir_putin   41

Opinion | Is Putin a C.I.A. Agent?
April 3, 2018 | The New York Times | By Thomas L. Friedman, Opinion Columnist.

if I were a Russian citizen, I’d be asking this question: Is Putin a U.S. agent?

Why? Because Putin has undertaken so many actions in recent years that contributed to the weakening of Russia’s economy and human capital base that you have to wonder whether he’s secretly on the C.I.A.’s payroll.

Beginning around 2007-08, Putin appears to have decided that rebuilding Russia by nurturing its tremendous human talent and strengthening the rule of law was just too hard — it would have required sharing power, holding real, competitive elections and building a truly diverse, innovation-based economy.

Instead, Putin decided to look for dignity for Russia in all the wrong the places: by tapping his oil and gas wells, not his people; by strengthening the Russian military, instead of the rule of law; and by enriching himself and his circle of oligarchs while wrapping himself in a cloak of Russian Orthodoxy and Russian nationalism that appealed to his base.....Putin consistently acts like a farmer who sells his most valuable beef in return for cubes of sugar. That is, he looks for short-term sugar highs to boost his popularity with his Russian nationalist base, because he is insecure, and pays for it by giving up real beef, leaving Russia weaker in the long term.

Beef for sugar — not a good trade....Putin’s long-range strategy — to bet against Mother Nature, human nature and Moore’s Law, all at once. He’s betting against Mother Nature — that the world will indefinitely remain addicted to his oil and gas in an age of disruptive climate change. He’s betting against human nature — that his young people won’t want to be free to realize their full potential, not just live off sugar-high memories of historical greatness. And he’s betting against Moore’s Law — that the steady growth of technology won’t empower Russia’s youth to connect and collaborate, and see through his charade.
Vladimir_Putin  Russia  Tom_Friedman  petro-dictators  petro-politics 
april 2018 by jerryking
First Skripal, Then NATO - WSJ
By Holman W. Jenkins, Jr.
March 13, 2018

London has long been a favorite place for Putin allies to stash their stolen wealth and conduct their rivalries. Since the attack last week on Sergei Skripal, a former head of Scotland Yard is now calling for investigation of 14 other mysterious, Russia-related deaths........ The West’s risk-aversion in dealing with Mr. Putin is understandable.
Russia  Vladimir_Putin  security_&_intelligence  United_Kingdom  risk-aversion 
march 2018 by jerryking
How Vladimir Putin mastered the cyber disinformation war
February 18, 2018 | FT | by Andrei Soldatov.

outsourcing cyber disinformation campaigns has become a tactic used by Russia to create plausible deniability and lower the costs and risks of controversial overseas operations. Today, Kremlin-backed cyber campaigns have an unorthodox chain of command. It is one in which non-state actors — primarily businessmen with personal ties to important figures in the Kremlin — call the shots, not, as in western cyber operations, the electronic and signals intelligence gathering wings of the army and government agencies.
Vladimir_Putin  Robert_Mueller  indictments  Russia  disinformation  persuasion  trolls  politics  delegitimization  destabilization  deception  cyber_warfare  information_warfare  Kremlin 
february 2018 by jerryking
Trump, Putin, and the New Cold War - The New Yorker
ANNALS OF DIPLOMACY
MARCH 6, 2017 ISSUE
TRUMP, PUTIN, AND THE NEW COLD WAR
What lay behind Russia’s interference in the 2016 election—and what lies ahead?
By Evan Osnos, David Remnick, and Joshua Yaffa
Vladimir_Putin  Cold_War  Donald_Trump  cyber_warfare  KGB 
march 2017 by jerryking
Trump Looks to Ex-Intelligence Officer, Putin Critic for National Security Council - WSJ
By FELICIA SCHWARTZ and PAUL SONNE
March 2, 2017

Ms. Hill is known in Washington policy circles for her clear-eyed view of Mr. Putin, viewing his background in the Soviet security services as critical to the way he approaches power politics and foreign policy. Ms. Hill’s selection was first reported by Foreign Policy.

“In the KGB, Putin learned how to probe people’s vulnerabilities, uncover their secrets, and use compromising information against them,” Ms. Hill wrote in a piece that appeared on Vox.com last summer. “In his view, other world leaders are essentially targets.”

Ms. Hill, currently at the Brookings Institution, previously served as an officer for the National Intelligence Council focusing on Russia and Eurasia. She co-wrote a book about Mr. Putin and his world view, and formerly worked at the Eurasia Foundation.
White_House  appointments  Europe  Russia  NSC  security_&_intelligence  women  U.S.foreign_policy  Brookings  think_tanks  Vladimir_Putin 
march 2017 by jerryking
Russia Looks to Exploit White House ‘Turbulence,’ Analysts Say - The New York Times
FEB. 27, 2017 | The New York Times | By NEIL MacFARQUHAR.

The Kremlin, increasingly convinced that President Trump will not fundamentally change relations with Russia, is instead seeking to bolster its global influence by exploiting what it considers weakness in Washington, according to political advisers, diplomats, journalists and other analysts.

Russia has continued to test the United States on the military front, with fighter jets flying close to an American warship in the Black Sea this month and a Russian naval vessel steaming conspicuously in the Atlantic off the coast of Delaware.....“They are all telling each other that this is great, he created this turbulence inside, as we wanted, and now he is focused on his domestic problems and we have more freedom to maneuver,” Mr. Venediktov said. “Let them deal with their own problems. There, not in Ukraine. There, not in the Middle East. There, not in NATO. This is the state of mind right now.”...“The main hope is that the U.S. will be preoccupied with itself and will stop pressuring Russia.”....Any turbulence that Russia foments also gives the Kremlin leverage that it can try to trade in the global arena at a time when it does not have much that others want....Analysts say the Kremlin is keenly aware that the tactic of creating and exploiting disarray can become self-defeating, in that prolonged instability in the world order could allow threats like the extremist group Islamic State to flourish.....The Middle East provides examples of both vectors, analysts say, a moment of chaos to exploit and concerns about achieving stability for the long-term future.
Russia  White_House  Kremlin  Vladimir_Putin  chaos  power  influence  statecraft  rogue_actors  geopolitics  Ukraine  improvisation 
february 2017 by jerryking
Review: ‘Winter is Coming’, by Garry Kasparov
NOVEMBER 8, 2015 | FT | Review by John Thornhill

‘Winter is Coming: Why Vladimir Putin and the Enemies of the Free World Must be Stopped’, by Garry Kasparov, Atlantic Books, £16.99; Public Affairs, $26.99

"The price of deterrence always goes up"

the real power of Kasparov’s book lies in his argument that the west must pursue a more assertive and moral foreign policy, something that has faded out of fashion. In his view, the most moral foreign policy is also the most effective. It enhances international security by insisting on observance of law....one of the most important aspects of any moral foreign policy is its consistency. Western leaders should keep talking about human rights issues in good times as well as bad. Otherwise, these issues become just another chip on the “geopolitical gaming table”. Those leaders should also insist on raising these subjects with strong autocracies, such as China, as well as the weak.

in Kasparov’s view, US President Bill Clinton squandered the chance to advance the international human rights agenda in the 1990s, as the west took a holiday from history. And today the west is too “uninformed, callous, or apathetic” to assert its influence and values.

He, rightly, argues that one of the most important aspects of any moral foreign policy is its consistency. Western leaders should keep talking about human rights issues in good times as well as bad. Otherwise, these issues become just another chip on the “geopolitical gaming table”. Those leaders should also insist on raising these subjects with strong autocracies, such as China, as well as the weak.
books  Russia  Vladimir_Putin  book_reviews  authors  writers  dictators  dictatorships  deterrence  dissension  Ukraine  human_rights  strategic_thinking  autocracies  chess  authoritarianism  foreign_policy  geopolitics  liberal_pluralism  rogue_actors  Garry_Kasparov  consistency  exile 
january 2017 by jerryking
Putin Sees a Happy New Year - The New York Times
By MICHAEL KHODARKOVSKYDEC. 26, 2016

Today, Mr. Putin focuses the shrinking resources of a beleaguered Russian economy on the twin agendas of restoring Russia’s position among the world’s powers and undermining Western institutions. For him it is a zero sum game. Moscow can easily deploy thousands of hackers and trolls to achieve maximum disruption while Western democracies awaken too slowly to the dangers. And the dangers are grave. From state-sponsored mass doping in sports to corrosive business practices, from silencing political dissent at home to supporting brutal regimes abroad, Russia’s policies are rooted in deceit, graft and violence — a combination that presents an existential challenge to democracies.....This is not routine cyber intelligence, which many nations practice. Russia’s cyber activity seeks to confuse, destabilize and ultimately bring to power foreign governments pliant to Russia’s aims. That is an attack on the values and institutions of democratic societies, and, if successful, it achieves the same result as a military invasion to install a new government.
Russia  Vladimir_Putin  cyber_warfare  disinformation  destabilization  security_&_intelligence  propaganda  deception  zero-sum_games  offensive_tactics 
december 2016 by jerryking
Putin Is Waging Information Warfare. Here’s How to Fight Back. - The New York Times
By MARK GALEOTTIDEC. 14, 2016

the United States and its allies should pursue a strategy of deterrence by denial. Mr. Putin shouldn’t fear retaliation for his information warfare — he should fear that he will fail.

There are several ways to go about this. First, United States institutions need better cybersecurity defenses. Political parties and major newspapers are now targets just as much as the power grid and the Pentagon are. The government has to help provide security when it can — but people have a duty to be more vigilant and recognize that their cybersecurity is about protecting the country, not just their own email accounts. ....Finally, Mr. Putin’s own vanity could be turned into a weapon against him. Every time he overreaches, the American government should point it out. Every time he fails, we need to say so loudly and clearly. We should tell jokes about him. He can rewrite the record in Russia, but the West does not have to contribute to his mythmaking — and we should stop building him up by portraying him as a virtual supervillain.
cyberattacks  Vladimir_Putin  cyber_security  cyber_warfare  retaliation  security_&_intelligence  punitive  phishing  deterrence  economic_warfare  blacklists  retribution  disinformation  campaigns  destabilization  Russia  information_warfare  delegitimization  deception  overreach  power_grid 
december 2016 by jerryking
What Can the Next President Do About Russia? - WSJ
By ROBERT D. KAPLAN
Updated Oct. 16, 2016

Of the two great autocratic powers in Eurasia, Russia is emerging as a greater short-term threat than China. The Chinese hope to gradually dominate the waters off the Asian mainland without getting into a shooting war with the U.S. Yet while Beijing’s aggression is cool, Moscow’s is hot....Russia’s economic situation is much worse than China’s, and so the incentive of its leaders to dial up nationalism is that much greater. But the larger factor, one that Western elites have trouble understanding, cannot be quantified: A deeply embedded sense of historical insecurity makes Russian aggression crude, brazen, bloodthirsty and risk-prone. ....How does the U.S. build leverage on the ground, from the Baltic Sea to the Syrian desert, that puts America in a position where negotiations with Russia can make a strategic difference?....

For without the proper geopolitical context, the secretary of state is a missionary, not a diplomat. ...In the cyber domain the U.S. has not sufficiently drawn red lines. What kind of Russian hacking will result in either a proportionate, or even disproportionate, punitive response? The Obama administration seems to be proceeding ad hoc, as it has done with Russia policy in general. The next administration, along with projecting military force throughout the Russian near abroad, will have to project force in cyberspace, too.
Russia  Vladimir_Putin  Robert_Kaplan  threats  deterrence  nationalism  Baltics  NATO  U.S.foreign_policy  leverage  geopolitics  log_rolling  diplomacy  realism  balance_of_power  realpolitik  cyber_warfare  autocracies  insecurity  hacking  maritime  punitive  retribution  retaliation  South_China_Sea  ad_hoc  red_lines  China  autocrats 
october 2016 by jerryking
For Putin, Disinformation Is Power - The New York Times
AUG. 5, 2016 | The New York Times | By ARKADY OSTROVSKY.

Vladimir V. Putin told Larry King on CNN that his previous job as a K.G.B. officer had been like that of a journalist. “They have the same purpose of gathering information, synthesizing it and presenting it for the consumption of decision makers,”...During the Cold War, the Kremlin interfered in American politics for decades. The K.G.B.’s so-called active measures — subversion, media manipulations, forgery and the financing of some “peace” organizations — lay at the heart of Soviet intelligence.
disinformation  Vladimir_Putin  history  anti-Americanism  subversion  Donald_Trump  security_&_intelligence  Kremlin  WikiLeaks  propaganda  cyber_warfare  Cold_War  triumphalism  narratives  Dmitri_Medvedev  KGB  information_warfare  destabilization  deception 
august 2016 by jerryking
Why Putin would be behind the DNC computer hacking - The Globe and Mail
PATRICK MARTIN
The Globe and Mail
Published Saturday, Jul. 30, 2016

U.S. security experts have concluded with near certainty that it was two groups of hackers known in the cyberworld as Fancy Bear and Cozy Bear that penetrated the computer network of the Democratic National Committee several months ago and copied thousands of e-mails and other documents. These hackers, they say, can be traced to two of Russia’s security services: the GRU, run by Russia’s military, and the FSB, the main successor to the notorious KGB.

These operations would not have been conducted without the knowledge of Russian President Vladimir Putin, the one-time head of the FSB.

Such espionage is not totally unexpected, says David Kramer of Washington’s McCain Institute, a security-oriented “do tank” (as opposed to think tank). However, “weaponizing” the operation by releasing many of the documents through the whistle-blower website WikiLeaks, is “unprecedented,” he said.
Russia  U.S.  Donald_Trump  Hillary_Clinton  information_warfare  Vladimir_Putin  Campaign_2016  Patrick_Martin  hacking  data_breaches  cyber_security  hackers  WikiLeaks  security_&_intelligence  FSB  GRU  DNC  espionage 
july 2016 by jerryking
The new game | The Economist
Oct 17th 2015 |

America still has resources other powers lack. Foremost is its web of alliances, including NATO. Whereas Mr Obama sometimes behaves as if alliances are transactional, they need solid foundations. America’s military power is unmatched, but it is hindered by pork-barrel politics and automatic cuts mandated by Congress. These spring from the biggest brake on American leadership: dysfunctional politics in Washington. That is not just a poor advertisement for democracy; it also stymies America’s interest. In the new game it is something that the United States—and the world—can ill afford.
U.S.foreign_policy  politics  China  Russia  gridlocked_politics  network_density  Vladimir_Putin  Syria  Asia_Pacific  South_China_Sea  networks  power  NATO  influence  superpowers  indispensable  international_system  transactional_relationships  alliances  Obama 
october 2015 by jerryking
Desperate Putin, Russia on last gasp, strategist says - The Globe and Mail
BRIAN MILNER
Desperate Putin, Russia on last gasp, strategist says
SUBSCRIBERS ONLY
The Globe and Mail
Published Thursday, Jan. 15 201
Russia  Vladimir_Putin  downward_mobility 
january 2015 by jerryking
U.S. Scurries to Shore Up Spying on Russia - WSJ
By ADAM ENTOUS, JULIAN E. BARNES and SIOBHAN GORMAN CONNECT
Updated March 24, 2014

There were no Americans on the ground in Crimea to check reports of Russian military movements, U.S. officials say. The U.S. also didn't have drones overhead to gather real-time intelligence, officials say. That increased the U.S.'s reliance on satellite imagery and information gleaned from an analysis of social media, which was muddled by Russian disinformation. State Department officials declined to discuss any technical-intelligence activities.

If Mr. Putin decided to launch a takeover, many U.S. intelligence analysts thought he would use troops participating in the military exercises. Officials now say they underestimated the quality of Russian forces inside Crimea....U.S. military officials also made urgent calls to their counterparts in Russia. Not surprisingly, Russian military officials offered little information. Some of them claimed to be surprised. "It was classic maskirovka," says a senior U.S. official, using the Russian word for camouflage. Spies use the word to describe Moscow's tradition of sophisticated deception tactics.
espionage  surveillance  sigint  Russia  Crimea  imagery  satellites  security_&_intelligence  warning_signs  Vladimir_Putin  disinformation  camouflage  deception  intelligence_analysts 
november 2014 by jerryking
The Revolt of the Weak - NYTimes.com
SEPT. 1, 2014 | NYT | By DAVID BROOKS.

there are certain unconscious habits and norms of restraint that undergird civilization. These habits and norms are now being challenged by a coalition of the unsuccessful.

What we’re seeing around the world is a revolt of the weak. There are certain weak movements and nations, beset by internal contradictions, that can’t compete if they play by the normal rules of civilization. Therefore, they are conspiring to blow up the rule book.....People who conduct foreign policy live today under the shadow of the postwar era. People instinctively understand that just after World War II, Harry Truman, George Marshall, Dean Acheson and others did something remarkable. They stepped outside the immediate crush of events and constructed a context in which people would live for the next several decades.

Some of the problems they faced did not seem gigantic: how to prevent a Communist insurgency from taking over a semi-failed government in Greece. But they understood that by projecting American power into Greece, they would be establishing certain norms and creating a framework for civilization.
Vladimir_Putin  Henry_Kissinger  George_Marshall  Harry_Truman  David_Brooks  ISIS  rogue_actors  U.S.foreign_policy  post-WWII  Dean_Acheson  diplomacy  asymmetrical  APNSA 
september 2014 by jerryking
MH17: Putin’s four big excuses - The Globe and Mail
Doug Saunders
MH17: Putin’s four big excuses Add to ...
SUBSCRIBERS ONLY
The Globe and Mail
Published Friday, Jul. 18 2014
Doug_Saunders  MH17  Vladimir_Putin 
july 2014 by jerryking
Brics Agree to Base Development Bank in Shanghai - WSJ
By JEFFREY T. LEWIS and PAULO TREVISANI CONNECT
Updated July 15, 2014

The Brics and other emerging-market countries have vast needs for financing of infrastructure projects, according to the chief executive of Brazilian development bank BNDES, who estimated the need for long-term project finance at about $800 billion.

The new institution, whose first chief executive will be from India, will start out with capital of $50 billion, to be paid in equally by all five Brics countries. Capital is planned to grow eventually to $100 billion, according to the memorandum released after the meeting in Brazil of the heads of government of the five countries.

The Brics have been trying for years to reform the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank, the backbone of the world's global financial structure, to give emerging markets more influence over those institutions, but with little success.

"In the IMF and the World Bank, the U.S. and a handful of allies really do make almost all the decisions, and the vast majority of the world…doesn't really have a voice," said Mark Weisbrot, co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research, in Washington, D.C. "The fund has lost most of its influence on the middle-income country in the last 15 years. This is part of the process of change in these international institutions."

The Brics countries on Tuesday called on the members of the IMF to implement reforms to the organization that were agreed on in 2010, and for members to agree to a new formula for voting rights at the IMF.

The World Bank finances development projects around the world, and the IMF is the lender of last resort to countries that don't have the dollars to pay their foreign debt. The IMF in particular is widely disliked among countries that need its help, because of the stringent budget control conditions it usually places on governments in return for its help.
economic_development  BRIC  Vladimir_Putin  IMF  World_Bank  infrastructure 
july 2014 by jerryking
Fareed Zakaria: China’s cyberespionage presents a 21st-century challenge -
May 22, 2014 | The Washington Post | By Fareed Zakaria.
...Vladimir Putin might be a 19th-century statesman, using old-fashioned muscle to get his way, but it has become clear that Chinese President Xi Jinping goes one step further, comfortably embracing both 19th- and 21st-century tactics....it’s also worth studying Xi’s speech in Shanghai, given the same day the deal was struck. The meeting was a gathering of an obscure Asian regional group, one that includes Turkey, Iran and Russia but not the United States. His message was that Asians should take care of their own security. ...

...Cyberattacks are part of a new, messy, chaotic world, fueled by globalization and the information revolution. In a wired, networked world, it is much harder to shut down activity that blurs the lines between governments and private citizens, national and international realms, theft and warfare. And it certainly will not be possible to do so using traditional mechanisms of national security. Notice that Washington is using a legal mechanism (which will be ineffective and largely symbolic) for what is really a national security issue.

The Sino-Russian gas deal reminds us that traditional geopolitics is alive and well. Washington knows how to work its way in that world with its own alliances and initiatives. But cyberespionage represents a new frontier, and no one really has the ideas, tools or strategies to properly address this challenge.
Fareed_Zakaria  challenges  cyber_security  cyber_warfare  espionage  Vladimir_Putin  Russia  China  geopolitics  security_&_intelligence  natural_gas  21st._century  industrial_espionage  petro-politics  realpolitik  Asia  Xi_Jinping  statesmen  cyberattacks  cyberespionage 
may 2014 by jerryking
Go Ahead, Vladimir, Make My Day - NYTimes.com
APRIL 12, 2014

Continue reading the main story
[Thomas L. Friedman]

check out Opower, which just went public. Opower works with utilities and consumers to lower electricity usage and bills using behavioral economics, explained Alex Laskey, the company’s co-founder, at their Arlington, Va., office. They do it by giving people personalized communications that display in simple, clear terms how their own energy usage compares with that of their neighbors. Once people understand where they are wasting energy — and how they compare with their neighbors — many start consuming less. And, as their consumption falls, utilities can meet their customers’ demand without having to build new power plants to handle peak loads a few days of the year. Everybody wins. Opower just signed up the Tokyo Electric Power Company and its 20 million homes.

Putting all its customers together since it was founded in 2007, said Laskey, Opower has already saved about “4 terawatt hours of energy” and expects to be soon saving that annually. The Hoover Dam produces about 4 terawatts hours of energy a year. So we just got a new Hoover Dam — for free — in Arlington, Va.

Thomas L. Friedman
Vladimir_Putin  natural_gas  climate_change  Ukraine  pipelines  Tom_Friedman  embargoes  behavioural_economics 
april 2014 by jerryking
Gazprom to Ukraine: Pay up or else
Apr. 11 2014 | - The Globe and Mail | CARL MORTISHED.
Ukraine  Gazprom  Europe  Vladimir_Putin  natural_gas  pipelines  EU 
april 2014 by jerryking
The end of our illusions about Russia - The Globe and Mail
Jeffrey Simpson

The Globe and Mail

Published Wednesday, Mar. 26 2014,

"Russia can neither be ignored nor ostracized, no matter how chauvinistic its behaviour, nor should it necessarily be feared. Russian chauvinism has always been one-part nationalism, one part awareness of internal weakness, which is why Russia’s historical relations with the countries of Western Europe have oscillated between co-operation and confrontation."....What Russia wanted, and still wants, is a sphere of uncontested influence. When the West, possessed of a post-Cold War triumphalism, would not grant that sphere, as Vladimir Putin and his cronies defined it, Russia rebelled.
Russia  Ukraine  Vladimir_Putin  Jeffrey_Simpson  post-Cold_War  triumphalism  chauvinism 
march 2014 by jerryking
Josef Joffe: Dear Vladimir: Congratulations. You Read My Book - WSJ.com
By
Josef Joffe
March 6, 2014 | WSJ |

Be both ruthless and prudent—just what I prescribed in "The Prince." You Russians have distilled my wisdom into a pithy phrase: Kto kovo—who dominates whom? And you have beautifully executed my central idea. I never preached violence to the max, but the "economy of force"—how to get more with less. The Crimean caper was a masterpiece of smart power politics.

Grab opportunities when you saw them. First, you calculated the "correlation of forces," to use a Soviet term....Then, you assessed political geography correctly. The rule is never to take on a superior enemy like the West on his own turf. You test his mettle on his periphery...Next, factor in geography proper. Globally, the West is far superior to Russia, but regionally, you were the Man. You had the "interior lines," as the great Prussian strategist Carl von Clausewitz put it; the West was a thousand miles away. And your troops were already in place in Crimea—tanks, planes and all....Now to the balance of interests, a more subtle concept. The EU has been contesting you over Ukraine, but more as a confused afterthought. Your country had more compelling fish to fry: Ukraine as former Russian heartland plus an ethnic majority in Crimea, a strategic gem that Khrushchev had absentmindedly given away to Ukraine 60 years ago.

So you also held the psychological advantage that comes with having more skin in the game. Khrushchev blithely ignored the balance of interests in the Caribbean. Otherwise he would not have moved his missiles into Cuba in 1962, 90 miles off the U.S. coast.....Best of all, you are a true Machiavellian when it comes to the economy of violence. Just enough, never too much, and with minimal risks. So you didn't grab eastern Ukraine, which might have really riled the West and triggered a costly insurgency. You merely harvested the low-hanging fruit of Crimea, and with a fabulous profit. ....Here, my pupil, beckons the biggest payoff. You need not fear the democratic contagion of the Maidan spilling over into your own country. Not for a long time.

What a boost to your "street cred" in the rivalry of nations! With a small investment, you have amassed what Mr. Obama no longer has and what the Europeans lost long ago: a reputation for ruthlessness and the readiness to use force.

Power is when you don't have to wield it—when you don't have to threaten, let alone execute, to get your way.....We live in a split world. In Asia and Africa, mayhem is as present or possible as ever. Call this the "Damascus-Pyongyang Belt." Yet in the "Berlin-Berkeley Belt," force as a tool of statecraft has virtually disappeared....the U.S.—is now loath to resort to the ultima ratio. And that offers you wondrous opportunities. When the supply of force contracts, even a little bit goes a long way, as you have proved in Crimea.
Niccolò_Machiavelli  Vladimir_Putin  Crimea  Russia  hard_power  power  influence  statecraft  geopolitics  Ukraine  improvisation  rogue_actors  skin_in_the_game  political_geography  ruthlessness  large_payoffs  Carl_von_Clausewitz  strategic_geography 
march 2014 by jerryking
Why Putin Doesn’t Respect Us - NYTimes.com
MARCH 4, 2014 | NYT |Thomas L. Friedman.

The Soviet Union died because Communism could not provide rising standards of living, and its collapse actually unleashed boundless human energy all across Eastern Europe and Russia. A wise Putin would have redesigned Russia so its vast human talent could take advantage of all that energy. He would be fighting today to get Russia into the European Union, not to keep Ukraine out....I don’t want to go to war with Putin, but it is time we expose his real weakness and our real strength. That, though, requires a long-term strategy — not just fulminating on “Meet the Press.” It requires going after the twin pillars of his regime: oil and gas. Just as the oil glut of the 1980s, partly engineered by the Saudis, brought down global oil prices to a level that helped collapse Soviet Communism, we could do the same today to Putinism by putting the right long-term policies in place. That is by investing in the facilities to liquefy and export our natural gas bounty (provided it is extracted at the highest environmental standards) and making Europe, which gets 30 percent of its gas from Russia, more dependent on us instead. I’d also raise our gasoline tax, put in place a carbon tax and a national renewable energy portfolio standard — all of which would also help lower the global oil price (and make us stronger, with cleaner air, less oil dependence and more innovation).
Crimea  Tom_Friedman  oil_industry  Vladimir_Putin  long-term  natural_gas  disrespect 
march 2014 by jerryking
Putin’s autocracy has a shaky foundation: oil - The Globe and Mail
CHRYSTIA FREELAND | Columnist profile
From Friday's Globe and Mail
Published Thursday, Sep. 29, 2011
Chrystia_Freeland  Russia  Vladimir_Putin  Dmitry_Medvedev  oil_industry  autocracies  petro-politics 
october 2011 by jerryking
Putinism's Piranha Stage - WSJ.com
* JUNE 9, 2009

Putinism's Piranha Stage
Russia's prime minister turns on his loyal friends.

*
By BRET STEPHENS
Vladimir_Putin  Russia  Bret_Stephens 
june 2009 by jerryking

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