Montenegro’s NATO Membership a Threat to Whom?

Last week, Montenegro, that tiny mountainous country, population of about 662,000 on the Adriatic Coast between Bosnia and Albania, was invited to join NATO. The invitation had been nine years in the making. Whereupon the Kremlin threw a hissy-fit. Ever since this outsized reaction, I’ve been puzzling as to why the Kremlin should care whether NATO offers membership to a “mouse that roared” – especially one that should be of no consequence to almost anyone – except for possible smugglers and gun runners surreptitiously moving contraband and perhaps humans across the Adriatic to Italy or travel agencies bringing Europeans to its spectacular coast on holidays. The closest I can come to an answer – besides the well-known argument that the Russian Federation somehow thinks that not getting along with NATO is better for the country than working with NATO – is that Montenegro was one of the last parts of Yugoslavia to separate from the rump state of Serbia; that its multi-religious population includes a substantial Serbian minority (28.7%); and that Russia and Serbia still seem to retain a special relationship with Russia acting as the protector of the latter. Read more »

Turkey – Russia

Actually, it would be easy for the Russians to keep their two bases on the Mediterranean if that's their bottom line - as it should be. However, it would mean a focus on real ISIS targets while dropping their fealty to Assad (and other dictators) in return for retention of those bases. Moreover, Moscow could offer Assad and family a safe haven somewhere in Russia – complete with a luxurious villa on a coast – and turn its military's attention and fire power to its real enemy - and I don't mean Ukraine. Read more »

Victory for Putin, or Skewed Reporting?

Even during the darkest days of the Cold War, leaders of the US and the Soviet Union met to discuss areas of agreement and disagreement to keep international conflicts from escalating out of control. Such was Secretary John Kerry’s recent meeting with Vladimir Putin in Sochi – the intent of which, I think, was badly mischaracterized in Dale Herszenhorn’s report in the New York Times May 16, 2015. The headline of that article was “Kerry’s Visit Marks Diplomatic Victory, and Affirmation, for Putin.” Herszenhorn’s sources? Spokesmen – or quasi-spokesmen – for the Kremlin. Only many paragraphs down does he describe the reason for the visit from the US government perspective. . . Read more »

Whiskey on the Rocks, Kursk II or a Just Another Chimera?

Whether the “Hunt for Black October” as the most recent Russian submarine fiasco has been dubbed by FP turns out to resemble the comedic “Whiskey on the Rocks” episode or the Kursk’s tragic outcome remains to be seen. The best thing the Russians could do - if this is more than ahem, a chimera - is fess up, ask for assistance, take the crew and baby submarine home and leave a neutral neighbor’s territorial rocks and waters alone. Read more »

What We Are Reading … September 15, 2014

International News Coverage   Terrorism and Counterterrorism   Islamic State Crisis: World Leaders Pledge Iraq Support BBC Thirty countries have pledged to help Iraq fight Islamic State (IS) militants “by all means necessary”. US Won’t Rule Out Working with Iran Against ISIS Lori Hinnant and Lara Jakes / Associated Press Diplomats from around the world […]

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What We Are Reading … September 5, 2014

International News Coverage   NATO, Russia, and Ukraine   NATO Approves New Force Aimed at Deterring Russia John-Thor Dahlburg and Julie Pace / Associated Press Seeking to counter Russian aggression, NATO leaders approved plans Friday to create a rapid response force with a headquarters in Eastern Europe that could quickly mobilize if an alliance country […]

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What We Are Reading … August 26, 2014

Defeating the ISIL Threat – For Good Fadi Elsalameen / Huffington Post ISIL is barbaric and violent. The brutal murder of journalist James Foley last week showed the true realities of ISIL to an American audience, but throughout the region under their control, their unimaginable barbarism is prevalent.   Former NASA Chief Says Russia Holding […]

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Russia and Ukraine – a dangerous game’s unintended consequences

Whoever convinced Vladimir Putin that it would be a cup of afternoon tea by the samovar to send arms and irregulars into Ukraine in the name of "protecting" the greater Russian speaking population and then to hive off the country's east because its population would welcome them with rose petals and vodka should be off the Kremlin payroll. Read more »

What We Are Reading…June 10, 2014

Check out what the American Security Project is reading on June 10, 2014

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