Tuesday, May 10, 2022

UFO Congress, Putin vs. West

UFOs go to Congress. 5 questions which need answering.

In Victory Day speech, Putin seeks Russian unity for long term struggle against the West. The Russian leader appeared to suggest a sustained downturn in relations with the West.



Friday, May 6, 2022

NATO Ukraine, Russian generals

What NATO has learned from the war in Ukraine. The alliance is likely to adapt its tactics and strategy for contesting a prospective Russian invasion.

The U.S. shouldn't pretend it isn't helping Ukraine to kill Russian generals. It clearly is doing so. And is right to do so.



Wednesday, May 4, 2022

Javelins and China, Kim's message

Forget the Javelin shortages, the Pentagon and defense contractors aren't ready for China. The military procurement process remains a disaster in many cases.

Kim Jong Un fires an ICBM reminder into Biden's inbox. North Korea wants to remind the White House that it deserves attention and, it hopes, concessions.



Monday, May 2, 2022

Russia's nuclear rhetoric

Russia's nuclear rhetoric has a reality problem. The Russian federation would not be able to survive a nuclear war with the West. The West, however, likely would survive.



Wednesday, April 27, 2022

UK-US support for Ukraine, CCP tries to buy Forbes

In UK and US military support for Ukraine, a divergent tolerance for risk. Britain wants to maximize Russia's battlefield losses and is supporting Ukraine with weapons to that effect. The U.S. is taking a more cautious approach.

The Chinese Communist Party tries to gobble up Forbes media. Beijing has its eye on a prize of Western media credibility.

Monday, April 25, 2022

Putin vs. CIA, Russia explosions

Putin threatens CIA over seemingly Kremlin-imagined assassination plot. The Russian government accuses Ukraine and the CIA of plotting to assassinate a top Russian propagandist.

Russia explosions point to Ukraine's embrace of the British special forces' way of war. The Ukrainians are hitting Russia inside its own territory.



Friday, April 22, 2022

French election

Why I hope Emmanuel Macron beats Marine Le Pen on Sunday. Neither candidate is great but Macron would be far better for French - and U.S./global - interests.



Thursday, April 21, 2022

New Zealand

Jacinda Ardern reminds us why New Zealand should be suspended from Five Eyes. Wellington's relationship with Beijing is incompatible with Wellington's continued access to high grade US intelligence.



Wednesday, April 20, 2022

A Ukrainian deliberate withdrawal strategy?, Missile test appeasement

Two reasons why the Ukrainians may, if only temporarily, conduct deliberate withdrawals around the Donbas area of conflict. It would be about minimizing the risk of encirclement while exploiting Russian weaknesses.

Biden's Defense Department: Russian missile tests are good, U.S. missile tests are bad. The absurdity of this administration's nuclear appeasement is pretty astonishing.


 


Monday, April 18, 2022

Boris Johnson's Ukraine moment

As with Vladimir Putin, Boris Johnson senses destiny in Ukraine war. He sees this as a 1940 moment which offers both personal satisfaction and a step towards Britain's post-Brexit foreign policy identity.



Friday, April 15, 2022

Russian threats over arms supplies, CIA director's speech

Why the U.S. should reject Russian threats over Ukraine arms and Scandinavian accession to NATO. A confident U.S. can deter and defeat Russia and Russia knows it.

Putin, Beijing rules, and recruiting: decoding the CIA director's first public address. Bill Burns outlined his priorities for the intelligence agency.



Wednesday, April 13, 2022

Donbas offensive, Iran threats, Russia false flag terrorism

As Russian forces mass for Donbas-Dnipro offensive, Ukraine begs Biden for more long-range weaponry. The new steps taken on Wednesday are far from sufficient.

Iran reminds the U.S. that no restored nuclear accord will cool its assassination ambitions. A top IRGC general has claimed that killing every U.S. official would still not serve as revenge for Soleimani.

from Monday...

Raising specter of false flag attacks, Russia heightens Ukraine-related terrorism alert. References to apartment buildings do not suggest that Ukrainian terrorists should be of paramount concern.



Friday, April 8, 2022

Ukraine intelligence

Biden must go to Bucha. The leader of the free world must set a leadership example in support of the nation's history and highest values.

Fooling ourselves: the U.S. may regret political use of Ukraine intelligence. There is a hard balancing act to be performed in using intelligence to underline Putin's intentions and actions versus exaggerating the intelligence.



Thursday, April 7, 2022

Tuesday, April 5, 2022

WSJ piece on Marine reforms, Zelensky heartstrings strategy

Guest piece for the Wall Street Journal: The Marines ready for war. Gen. Berger's reforms are necessary to the effective evolution of the USMC for conflict with China.

Zelensky lobbies the West to do more on Ukraine. His strategy is to pull at Western sanction heartstrings even as his forces pull at Russian combat power



Monday, April 4, 2022

Kadyrov's angst, Sanctions dithering

In Ramzan Kadyrov's criticism, a window into Putin's growing crisis. The Chechen strongman is raising increasing complaints over the Kremlin's prosecution of the war.

Biden is dithering as allies push for sanctions response against Russia. The war crimes of Russian forces deserve a more rapid and robust U.S. response.



Friday, April 1, 2022

Solomon Islands

The Solomon Islands puts a China target on itself. The proximity of that nation to Australia and U.S. Navy lines of communication makes it a high value staging post for Beijing.



Thursday, March 31, 2022

Patrushev rising?

As Putin sours on Sergei Shoigu, hardliner tsar Nikolai Patrushev is likely to rise. The secretary of Russia's national security council is the Kremlin's leading hawk.



Wednesday, March 30, 2022

Russian deception over Ukraine, FIFA Iran World Cup

War and the pretense of peace: how Russia is trying to deceive everyone over Ukraine. Russia is playing mind games so as to attempt its restored control over the military, economic and political initiative.

FIFA should ban Iran from the 2022 World Cup. Iran's refusal to allow female spectators into its games is absurd, immoral and in overt contravention of FIFA warnings.



Tuesday, March 29, 2022

Orban re-election?, Ukraine deep battlespace

Vladimir Putin's voice in Europe, Hungary's Viktor Orban, faces re-election undeterred. Orban is the favorite in Sunday's parliamentary elections. The West should consider why he has support even as it hopes he'll be replaced

Ukraine needs weapons for the deep battlespace. As Russian forces struggle to maintain their offensives, the West should assist Ukraine in attacking Russian lines of communication.



Friday, March 25, 2022

Saudis

Saudi oil attack throws another molotov cocktail into Biden's Middle East strategy. Iran is ramping up the pressure and fraying longstanding U.S. alliances. Biden should take corrective action.



Thursday, March 24, 2022

Israel-Ukraine, Cyberwar

Why Israel cares more about its relationship with Russia than supporting Ukraine. Israel views Russian leverage over Iran as a preeminent concern.

How Biden can deter Russia from carrying out a major cyber-attack. Vladimir Putin must be made to understand that the U.S., not Russia, will shape the escalation curve.



Friday, March 18, 2022

Putin nuclear brinkmanship, Biden NATO, Star Trek

How to deter Putin's nuclear brinkmanship. The U.S. must show strategic clarity as to what will happen if Putin uses nuclear weapons over Ukraine.

Biden deserves credit for holding the NATO line. Russia is isolated, with even China now paying heed of the West's new unity.

President Stacey Abrams gives Star Trek its far left final frontier. The former Georgia gubernatorial candidate wins a 32nd century election.



Thursday, March 17, 2022

Putin initiative

A flustered Vladimir Putin seeks to regain the initiative in Ukraine. The Russian leader has some big problems, however.



Tuesday, March 15, 2022

Biden NATO

Biden should bring two key messages to NATO. The alliance will hold a special session at its headquarters in Brussels next Thursday.


Monday, March 14, 2022

China Ukraine, Pompeo costs, UK oligarchs

Why China is very unlikely to send military equipment to assist Russia in Ukraine. The risks to China's relationship with the European Union and Beijing's international prestige are likely too great.

Roman Abramovich's corruption genie is out of the Harbottle (+ Lewis). A reckoning for the intersection of corrupt Russians and London law firms has finally arrived.

from last week...

State Department memo outlines high cost of protecting Mike Pompeo in face of threats from Iran. The security tab runs in at $2 million per month.

U.S. must take the lead against Putin's oligarchs and their UK enablers. Britain's absurd defamation law is preventing more effective action against powerful vested interests.



Wednesday, March 9, 2022

Tchaikovsky

Don't cancel Tchaikovsky over Putin's invasion of Ukraine. There is a big difference between robust sanctions and the pointless eradication of culture.



Tuesday, March 8, 2022

China-Ukraine, Ukraine bioweapons fiction

Make China squirm over Ukraine. Beijing wants to have its European cake and allow Russia to eat Europe's democratic sovereignty. The U.S. should lead a global effort to prevent that outcome.

Russia invents a U.S.-Ukrainian bioweapons program. The absurdity of Russia's latest fiction is matched only by its lack of creativity



Monday, March 7, 2022

Bolton plot, Olaf and Narendra

Iran plotting assassination of Bolton, others, even as U.S. negotiates with Iran over restored nuclear deal. The nature of the IRGC's plots requires a robust confrontation.

Olaf Scholz's Russia invasion response inspires confidence, Narendra Modi's inspires concern. The split encapsulates the West's evolving security architecture



Friday, March 4, 2022

Hostomel, Russian oligarchs

In Hostomel losses, a microcosm of Russia's growing Ukraine crisis. The Russian military is losing entire units in the battle to secure the approaches to Kyiv. This incurs significant political as well as military costs.

Boris Johnson takes cautious stance in confronting Russian oligarchs. The UK government appears to fear losing out on the financial investments of pro-Putin oligarchs.

Thursday, March 3, 2022

Biden nuke test

Biden's foolish nuclear missile test cancellation. Strategic deterrence should not rest at the mercy of Vladimir Putin's mood swings. Indeed, it must not.



Wednesday, March 2, 2022

Russian defeat, Kyiv airlift

 A true Russian victory in Ukraine is now nearly impossible. The Russians lack the manpower, morale, logistics and freedom of action to sustain a course to victory.

Rightly rejecting a no-fly zone, the West should consider a humanitarian airdrop for Ukraine. The means of action are not prohibitive.



Monday, February 28, 2022

Ukraine nuclear

Why Russia is highly unlikely to launch a nuclear strike against Ukraine. It would risk Putin's hold on power and an escalation spiral with NATO



Friday, February 25, 2022

Charlie Wilson part deux

Ukraine is calling and it wants Charlie Wilson's war back. President Biden should issue a finding to allow the CIA to support an insurgency against Russian occupation forces.



Thursday, February 24, 2022

Sovcombank, Sanctions

Fearing sanctions over Ukraine, Sovcombank hires U.S. lobbyists to whitewash its profile. The bank's true nature is a little different.

Biden and the Western allies wobble on sanctions. While some responses to Putin's aggression have been announced, others remain uncertain.



Wednesday, February 23, 2022

War

 Russia declares war on Ukraine. What now? The invasion has begun. It is massive in scale and ambition.



China Initiative dies, U.S. reinforces Estonia, China-Russia partnership

Ending the China initiative, the Biden administration sacrifices U.S. security at the woke altar. The Chinese Communist Party is playing the U.S. government against the interests of the people.

Biden starts slow with U.S. sanctions but rightly reinforces Estonia. The NATO member ally is most vulnerable to invasion.

China and Russia align against the world. The two most powerful autocracies seek to dismantle the post-Second World War liberal international order.



Thursday, February 17, 2022

Russia-Kyiv, China demographics, Ukraine NATO?

How and why Russia is massing forces north of Kyiv. The Russians appear to be planning a rapid encirclement of the Ukranian capital.

China's demographic problem. Too few Chinese are having kids and the government has few means to address the issue. This crisis greatly undermines Xi Jinping's global ambitions.

Why Ukraine isn't joining NATO any time soon. The 30 current NATO members are very far from unanimous in support of Ukraine's candidacy and Russia's occupation of Crimea/Donbas looms large.



Wednesday, February 16, 2022

Britain and Russian money, China influence campaigns

 My guest essay for New Lines magazine: 

Britain's Russian money problem. The UK continues to prioritize access to Russian finance at the expense of security and political risks.

The veil comes off China's covert influence campaign. Beijing uses money, sex and ideology to undermine the democratic structures of other nations.



Tuesday, February 15, 2022

Biden's speech, Olaf Scholz in Moscow, Russian de-escalation?, Chinese fishing fleets

Biden delivers a strong speech on NATO, Ukraine, and American values. The president deserves credit for his address on Tuesday.

Olaf Scholz betrays Ukraine and the West. The German Chancellor is now calling for a treaty to limit Ukraine's sovereignty.

Cyberattacks, stock values, and Moldova: or how Russia is not de-escalating. Ukraine continues to face a serious and imminent threat of invasion. Putin simply appears to be centering the initiative back in his favor.

China's fishing fleets are destroying the world's oceans. Acting without regard for other humans or marine wildlife, they are destroying ecosystems and undermining sustainability.



Monday, February 14, 2022

Russia, Germany

No, Russia hasn't blinked, and why a Wednesday invasion of Ukraine is unlikely. Putin is trying to create space for the Russian markets to breathe. He's unlikely to attack according to Western schedules.

Why did the 82nd Airborne avoid German airspace? The latest influx of U.S. troops took longer - and cost more fuel - than needed. We deserve to know why.



Friday, February 11, 2022

Putin invasion indicators, Biden's doctrine

Putin has not yet ordered an invasion, but new indications suggest it is imminent. The movement of Russian forces towards Ukraine's immediate borders is of particular concern.

Biden's apparent 'leave Americans behind' doctrine. What on Earth is the president doing in pledging to Putin that he won't do anything to rescue Americans in Ukraine.



Thursday, February 10, 2022

Ukraine false flag, India-Russia-China

Decoding Ukraine's claim that it just prevented a Russian false flag attack. The plot, as described, seems credible and fits with Russian intelligence strategy.

How long can India tolerate Russia's partnership with China? The world's most populous democracy should weigh more carefully the risks of aligning itself with a partner of its greatest foe.



Wednesday, February 9, 2022

French and German air forces, Minsk III?, Taiwan

 Where are the French and German air forces? Why is it that the U.S. is providing the intelligence and surveillance aircraft with regards to Ukraine?

Time for Minsk III, or why Ukraine wary of a Minsk-ing of words. Kyiv rightly fears external pressure from both Putin and Macron to unilaterally accept the Minsk II protocols.

Why Taiwan faces disaster. The democracy does not have time or readiness on its side.



Tuesday, February 8, 2022

Hong Kong horror show, CCP, inc.

Xi Jinping has broken Hong Kong. The once great city is now a land of Covid lockdowns, Communist corruption, and absent freedom.

CCP, inc. loan shark to the world. China uses debt leverage to extract political fealty and advance its hegemonic agenda.



Monday, February 7, 2022

Ukraine escalation

U.S. ramps up intelligence activity as Russia takes added preparations for war. Surveillance flights are escalating and Belarus is issuing commitments to join any offensive against Ukraine.



Friday, February 4, 2022

China, Russia and the EU's choice

China endorses Russia on Ukraine. Will Europe wake up? The European Union needs to decide what's more important: car exports, or democratic values and its identity.



Thursday, February 3, 2022

Shoigu goes to Minsk

Russian defense minister's suspicious visit to Belarus. Sergei Shoigu's visit will raise Western intelligence concerns that he was delivering marching orders to Russian commanders and possibly also to Belarus.



Wednesday, February 2, 2022

Tucker Carlson/Ukraine, Baltic deployments?

What Tucker Carlson and Bill Maher get right, and wrong, about NATO, Ukraine, and America's role in the world. The U.S. need not always fight for freedom, but freedom matters and its expansion is manifestly in the U.S. national interest.

Avoiding the Baltics, Biden troop deployments evince hesitation, not resolve. Sending Vladimir Putin a message of deterrence means sending it in a manner and way that he must respect. This isn't that.



Tuesday, February 1, 2022

Orban-Moscow, Poland anti-air weapons

Mr. Orban goes to Moscow. The Hungarian prime minister gave Vladimir Putin his support on Tuesday.

As Biden hesitates, Poland joins anti-air Ukraine airlift. Poland will supply man-portable anti-air weapons to Kyiv.