In a recent essay, Justin Logan asks the fundamental question about U.S. alliance commitments: does the existence of such commitments automatically create an interest worth going to war over for the United States?
Explaining that no one in Washington sees any interest in going to war against Russia over the current crisis in Ukraine, Logan wonders whether the United States should contemplate doing so for countries where it has even smaller interests, such as the Baltic states, only because they, unlike Ukraine, are U.S. allies under the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). He argues that Washington would be misguided to waste blood and treasure just to honor what he refers to as a “sheet of paper,” and warns against the danger of forging alliances in places where there is no interest that warrants war.
MANILA, Philippines (AP) — The United States levied new sanctions Monday on seven Russian government officials, as well as 17 companies with links to Vladimir Putin’s close associates, as the Obama administration seeks to pressure the Russian leader to deescalate the crisis in Ukraine.
The U.S. sanctions were implemented in coordination with the European Union, which moved to slap visa bans and asset freezes on 15 individuals alleged to be involved with stoking instability in eastern Ukraine.
The propaganda war in the Ukraine crisis has spawned a renewal Russian nationalism, with members of the opposition and the intellectual class suddenly praising President Putin. Many in Russia are accepting the Kremlin’s official line uncritically.
Perhaps Alexander Byvshev was a little naïve. Maybe he thought his small village was somehow a safe haven from the world of global politics. But how wrong he was.
Byvshev, a German teacher in the district of Orlov, recently opened up his local newspaper, Sarya, or “the dawn,” only to find his name featured in a prominent slot. “In these troubled times, when enemies outside the country are showing their teeth and preparing to take the leap of death, you can find people who would like to undermine Russia from within,” the newspaper wrote. “People like A. Byvshev.”
Experts say Edward Snowden’s public questioning of Russian President Vladimir Putin suggested the former National Security Agency contractor is firmly in the Kremlin’s grasp.
They said it is hard to imagine that Snowden was not prompted and coached to pose his question about domestic surveillance in Russia to the country’s leader.
And the answer he got in return, they said — that none of Russia’s programs reached the size and scope of anything at the National Security Agency (NSA) — was most likely a lie.
“They’ve got him by the shorthairs,” said James Lewis, director of the strategic technologies program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.
“He knows from his NSA days that their surveillance system — their domestic surveillance system — puts ours to shame, and the fact that he’s calling in with these questions, he’s [got to be] sitting in the room with a guy with a gun.”
Four years after Barack Obama forced them to go Muslim, NASA has resurfaced as the Soothsayer, giving the world a blow-by-blow account on how society will collapse.
Bellying up to the front seat in the Doom and Gloom society, NASA claims the world as we know it will collapse because of “too much inequality and too few natural resources that could leave the West vulnerable to a Roman Empire-style fall”.
It’s back to the classroom for daydreaming NASA researchers because the world is more than just the West and third world countries have resources, too.
The sky is not falling and no one’s yet ducking for cover because they’ve all heard it before. Wasn’t it the Muslims, to insure trade routes went through the Middle East, who tagged the mighty Atlantic Ocean as the “green sea of darkness”?
NASA’s foray into social justice should be: “How minds rot when you’re stuck in front of a computer instead of space walking 101’ for all public school children.
With Obama sparring with Vladimir Putin over the recent annexation of Crimea, his administration is playing big footsie with Russia now that NASA is paying a whopping $424 million to get Obama-grounded astronauts back into space.
The Obama administration may be acting as if its rift with Russia won’t affect the attempt to broker a nuclear deal with Iran. It can hope against hope that Russia will forget its quarrel with the Americans and maintain solidarity with the U.S. and the European Union in the Iran talks and continue as if nothing has changed. But there’s little doubt that the open hostility between Washington and Moscow has reduced the already slim chances for a satisfactory P5+1 agreement with Iran. Since the diplomatic option that the president has defended so vigorously in recent months depends entirely on Russian cooperation including the enforcement of sanctions that Putin never really supported, the aftermath of the Crimea conflict has left the administration with little diplomatic leverage.
If so, where does that leave Israel?