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 “The View from the Kremlin: Putin’s War on the West”
As Ukraine suffers, it is time to recognize the gravity of the Russian threat – and to counter it.
The Economist.|hig|12-02-2015|NA

”What Comes Next?”
Without military aid, Ukraine is lost. It may even be lost with aid. But it still matters for NATO and European security how Ukraine is lost.
By Andrew A. Michta, The American Interest. Michta is a professor of international studies at Rhodes College and an adjunct fellow at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.

“A Coup Against Putin?”
As Russia’s economy enters recession and its political stability starts to weaken, there is increasing speculation about the possibility of a regime change in the country.
By Donald N. Jensen, IMR (Institute of Modern Russia).  Jensen is a resident fellow of the Center for Transatlantic Relations.

“Russia’s War on Information”
Putin’s purge of independent media in Russia and his propaganda offensive abroad are key elements of his 15-year push toward authoritarianism, kleptocracy, and anti-Western policies that threaten Russia’s neighbors and, by extension, the United States and its allies.
By Matt Armstrong, War on the Rocks. Armstrong serves as a Governor on the Broadcasting Board of Governors and presently chairs a special committee examining the purpose and future of VOA. He is writing a book on the development of U.S. public diplomacy from 1917 to 1948.

“The Jihad Next Door”
The Syrian roots of Iraq’s newest Civil War. Just in case you missed it in June – this is the winner of the 2014 George Polk Award for foreign reporting.
By Rania Abouzeid, Politico.  Abouzeid is an independent journalist who has covered the Middle East and Pakistan for 15 years.

“Obama Asks Congress To Authorize U.S. War on Islamic State”
The president’s long-awaited request met swift resistance from Republicans, who want stronger measures than outlined in the plan, as well as from his fellow Democrats wary of another war in the Middle East.
By Patricia Zengerle, Reuters. Zengerle covers Congress for Reuters, focusing on foreign policy and national security.

“Egypt Avenges Mass Beheadings, Strikes ISIS in Libya”
The targeted attacks come a day after ISIS posts a video of 21 Egyptian Christians being marched to a beach in Libya, forced to kneel, and then beheaded.
The Jerusalem Post.

“How Many Fighters Does the Islamic State Really Have?”
Estimates of the number of militants in the ranks of the Islamic State are extraordinarily wide-ranging – between 9,000 and 200,000-plus. A systematic analysis reveals that the high-end figures are plausible.
Daveed Gartenstein-Ross, War on the Rocks. Gartenstein-Ross is a senior fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies and an adjunct professor with Georgetown University’s security studies program.

“Disillusioned Islamic State Fighters Claimed To Be Fleeing Raqqa”
A Syrian watchdog group – Raqqa Is Being Slaughtered, which reports on developments in the city ISIS calls the seat of its caliphate – says that disenchanted militants are fleeing to Turkey and trying to defect to other groups
Collen Curry, Vice News. Curry is a freelance reporter who writes for Vice Media.

“The Netanyahu Disaster”
The Israeli prime minister has two main tasks, and he’s failing at both.
Jeffrey Goldberg, The Atlantic. Goldberg is a national correspondent for The Atlantic and a recipient of the National Magazine Award for Reporting.

“The Afghanistan War Is Still Raging – But This Time It’s Being Waged by Contractors
The Department of Defense currently employs 39,000-plus contractors in Afghanistan while the U.S. mission there involves about 12,000 troops.
By Tim Shorrock, The Nation. Shorrock is the author of Spies for Hire: The Secret World of Intelligence Outsourcing.  He blogs at Money Doesn’t Talk It Swears.<

“Review of The Last Warrior: Andrew Marshall and the Shaping of Modern American Defense Strategy”
The recently retired Marshall has been an influential policy analyst for the Rand Corporation and the Pentagon since the 1950s. This respectful biography by two of his ex-staffers, Andrew Krepinevich and Barry Watts, credits Marshall with taking the long view and spotting strategic threats on the horizon.
By Laurence Barrett, the European Institute. Barrett is a former senior editor with Time magazine and the author of Gambling with History: Reagan in the White House.

“Op-Ed: It’s Not Too Soon To Judge George W. Bush’s Presidency on Key Issues”
The former president has often claimed it’s too early for historical judgments, but just by judging against Bush’s own forecasts, some of the most far-reaching and important initiatives of his presidency didn’t work — or turned out poorly.
By James Mann, Los Angeles Times. Former LA Times correspondent Mann is a fellow in residence at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies. His latest book, George W. Bush, is a biography of the former president.

“Embracing the Future: A Public Diplomacy Paradigm for Cuba”
A cultural agreement signed by U.S. and Soviet officials worked well during the Cold War, when distrust was maximal on both sides of the Iron Curtain.  A cultural agreement carefully conceived and well negotiated can benefit both parties, especially when radically different cultures and governments are involved.
By Patricia Lee Sharpe and Patricia H. Kushlis, WhirledView Blog. Bloggers Sharpe and Kushlis are former Foreign Service Officers, each with more than 20 years of public diplomacy experience.

“Can the Guy Who Brought You ‘Friends’ Win the Propaganda War Against ISIS and Putin?”
What former NBC head Andy Lack needs to do in his new job at the Broadcasting Board of Governors.
By Jenna McLaughlin, Mother Jones. McLaughlin is an editorial fellow with Mother Jones magazine in the Washington Bureau.

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