New York Times Pushing the Envelope on Russia

If Wednesday morning’s passive-voice ("Russian hackers are accused of"), evidence-free New York Times article titled "Attempted Hack of R.N.C. and Russian Ransomware Attack Test Biden" has a familiar ring, look who wrote it. The senior author is David Sanger, the NYT’s chief Washington correspondent. Based on Sanger’s unenviable record, the story he wrote with Nicole … Continue readingNew York Times Pushing the Envelope on Russia”

Please! Someone Set Biden Straight on China ‘Squeezing’ Russia

President Joe Biden’s words about China at the Geneva summit shows him to be woefully misinformed about the "world correlation of forces" (to borrow from an old Soviet term). He appears to be stuck in a decades-old paradigm of Sino-Russian hostility, which President Richard Nixon was able to leverage into key arms control agreements with … Continue reading “Please! Someone Set Biden Straight on China ‘Squeezing’ Russia”

Will the MICIMATT Douse ‘Lightening Flashes of Trust’?

At President Putin’s press conference right after yesterday’s summit meeting with President Biden, Euronews journalist Galina Polonskaya asked Putin if he had reached "a new level of trust with the U.S. president." In response, Putin quoted Leo Tolstoy: "Tolstoy once said, there is no happiness in life, only lightening flashes (зарницы) of it – cherish … Continue reading “Will the MICIMATT Douse ‘Lightening Flashes of Trust’?”

Trust Lacking at Blah Summit

Aside from establishing face-to-face contact between the the two presidents, the Biden-Putin summit today met only the most modest expectations of those hoping for improved ties between the U.S. and Russia. By the same token, weapons makers and others profiteering on tension with Russia, and living in fear of a thaw in bilateral relations, can … Continue reading “Trust Lacking at Blah Summit”

Biden-Putin Summit: Boon or Bust?

Reading the tea leaves a week before Presidents Joe Biden and Vladimir Putin meet in Geneva puts a premium on the kind of media analysis we old-school Kremlinologists had to rely on back in the day. Not all rhetoric is equal though; it is just as important to make an honest attempt to reconstruct the … Continue reading “Biden-Putin Summit: Boon or Bust?”

Is the Biden-Putin Summit Doomed?

President Joe Biden’s advisers had best warn him that a shifting "world correlation of forces" (to borrow an old Soviet term) will form an influential backdrop to the U.S.- Russia summit planned for June 16 in Geneva. While China, of course, will not be taking part in the discussions, it will be very much there. … Continue reading “Is the Biden-Putin Summit Doomed?”

Will Biden Stay in Bibi’s Pocket?

Netanyahu’s own words, videotaped two decades ago, show his disdain for the malleability of former U.S. presidents. As it turns out, Netanyahu had good reason to hold them in contempt as he "maneuvered" around them to ensure unstinting American support for status-quo Israeli domination of the Palestinians. How about now? Will he see President Biden … Continue reading “Will Biden Stay in Bibi’s Pocket?”

Putin Isn’t Bluffing on Ukraine

Russian President Vladimir Putin’s stern warning earlier today not to cross what he called Russia’s "red line" needs to be taken seriously. The more so, as Russia builds up its military capability to respond to any provocations from hotheads in Ukraine and from those in Washington telling them they can give Russia a bloody nose … Continue reading “Putin Isn’t Bluffing on Ukraine”

Oh, No! Al-Qaeda Out of Cave on 9/12!

The current discussion on the planned withdrawal of U.S. and NATO troops from Afghanistan centers on a benighted belief that my former CIA analyst-colleague Paul Pillar exposed 12 years ago. Paul called it the "key tenet that Afghanistan must not be allowed to again become a haven for terrorist groups, especially al-Qaeda". With Sunday’s Washington … Continue reading “Oh, No! Al-Qaeda Out of Cave on 9/12!”

Biden and Blinken Blink on Ukraine

President Joe Biden has now taken a waiver on the "unwavering", full-throated support that he, Secretary of State Antony Blinken, and NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg had been giving to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. The recurring "unwavering" meme was played right up until late Tuesday after Biden’s telephone talk with Putin Tuesday. Zelensky’ earlier profession … Continue reading “Biden and Blinken Blink on Ukraine”