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Commentaires au sujet de cette l'Ambassade

Showing comments 1–10 of 206, newest first.
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Mon, 28 Jul 2014 13:20 EDT
The United States has an interest in preventing the expansion of Russian influence in the region for both moral and strategic reasons. The spark for Russia’s current de-stabilization efforts was the Ukrainian, Moldovan, and Georgian peoples’ attempts to forge a closer relationship with the West and to create more decent governments at home. Despite Moscow’s threats, all three have pushed ahead with their EU association agreements, and all are pursuing political reform, even as Russia goes in the opposite direction.

Yet officials and analysts throughout the region speak of becoming warier about taking risks to support the U.S., as Georgia has done with support for U.S. operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, because they increasingly question Washington’s willingness to protect them
Mon, 28 Jul 2014 13:18 EDT
As with all other elements of the Russian military, the special forces deteriorated in the wake of the collapse of the Soviet Union. However, the Russian Army took advantage of the Chechen insurgency to reconstruct and redevelop its own commando/special forces capabilities. It has built these units into a formidable military and political tool, capable of having an impact on all areas of warfare. This reconstruction took place parallel to the expansion of Western special forces under the aegis of the War on Terror; indeed, NATO and Russian special forces sometime undertook joint training exercises to improve effectiveness.

As they now exist, Russian special forces represent a major problem for the West at all levels of escalation. In the event of conflict, we could expect Russian special forces to operate at various stages of the conflict, as they have during the Ukraine crisis. If war develops over a border dispute between Russia and one of the Baltics, we will undoubtedly find Russian special operators there ahead of us. In the case of general war, special forces may deploy from submarines or other vehicles to launch attacks throughout NATO’s depth.
Mon, 28 Jul 2014 13:16 EDT
mile Durkheim defined anomie as the condition whereby the behavior of an individual becomes radically out of sync with prevailing societal norms. Usually, any given society is able to regulate the actions of the individuals that exist within it. Norms, values, beliefs, expectations and the anticipation of sanctions—all of these factors combine to shape and constrain the behaviors exerted by individual actors. Logics of consequence and logics of appropriateness work in tandem. Anomie occurs when this ability of society to order the behavior of its members breaks down. Under a condition of anomie, individuals view society as an improper or illegitimate regulator of their actions. Individuals become laws unto themselves—and dangerously so.

Of course, the international system (“international society”) does not exert the same level of influence over states or their leaders as domestic societies do over individual human beings. Nevertheless, many scholars agree that a form of international society does exist—not least of all in the corpus of agreed upon public international laws that are supposed to regulate international conduct. Even beyond codified laws, certain standards of behavior are expected of sovereign states—that emissaries be afforded diplomatic immunity or that civilians not be targets during war, for example. States that fall short of these shared expectations suffer the consequences of being named, shamed, and potentially sanctioned and ostracized.
Mon, 28 Jul 2014 13:13 EDT
georgian CIA
Yesterday, hundreds of innocents from all over the world lost their lives in the skies over Ukraine. This horrible tragedy is a clear reminder of how very far from peace this part of the world remains.

Only one capital can end the needless conflict. It's not Washington. It's Moscow.

Before the downing of flight MH-17, many in DC had relegated the ongoing struggle in Ukraine to second-tier status among the growing ranks of global hot spots. Washington's attention had pivoted to places like Iraq, Israel and Texas.

Some who still followed the long game in Ukraine had even begun talking up long-term solutions to the conflict between Kiev and the Kremlin. One frequently mentioned model for ameliorating the situation was the Austrian State Treaty of 1955.

After World War II, the US, France, Britain and the Soviet Union occupied Austria. Ending the occupation took 10 years of what often seemed unending and intractable negotiations. Over that decade of diplomacy, war-torn Austria knew little peace. The Soviets routinely kidnapped people they didn't like. They underwrote a labor uprising in an attempt to topple the government. Sometimes they traded shots with Americans. And everybody spied on everybody.

Still, Austria managed to make remarkable progress over the course of the occupation. It established a stable, multi-party, democratic political system. With the aid of Marshall Plan, Austrians jump-started their economy. And with the covert assistance of the Americans, the government established a nascent military force capable of providing domestic security.

Then abruptly in 1955, Moscow decided it wanted a deal. The key to the settlement was an agreement that Austria would become a neutral state opting to join neither the West nor the Eastern bloc.

Both sides respected the deal. The occupying armies left. Austria became a nice and neutral state.

But hopes of repeating the Austrian scenario in Ukraine are far-fetched. The situations are quite different.

Austria may have had its tense moments, but compared to the crisis wrought when Russia wrested Crimea from Ukraine, Cold War Austria looks like Disney world.

Further, Kyiv has an independent government that can't be dictated to by occupying powers.

Austria also had stable political, economic and security conditions before the deal was done in ‘55. In 2014 Ukraine, stable is where people keep their horses.

Finally, Moscow pretty much gave up meddling in Austria.

None of the prerequisites for peace are present in Ukraine.

The one power most capable of making the situation better is Russia. Putin could shut off and shut down the separatists. He could stop trying to undermine the political process. He could allow the Ukrainian economy to recover. He could stop using Ukraine as a pawn in his tip-for-tat power struggle with the West.

If Putin undertook all of these initiatives today, Ukraine could start treading the path taken by post-war Austria.

On the other hand, if there is just more war and less peace. If the skies of Ukraine remain no longer safe, then the world knows who to blame.

James Jay Carafano is vice president for defense and foreign policy studies at The Heritage Foundation.
Mon, 28 Jul 2014 13:09 EDT
f Scotland Goes
First the empire disappeared. Now Britain itself could crumble. Scottish independence would have global implicat
The belief that China is a global power is widespread, understandable, and wrong
Why the CIA helped sneak Boris Pasternak's Doctor Zhivago into the Soviet Union—and how the censors ultimately won.
The slippery, survivable French president once described as a combination of "Machiavelli, Don Corleone, Casanova and the Little Prince.
The turbulent life of the popular Austrian novelist who escaped the Nazis—but could not escape himself
The belief that China is a global power is widespread, understandable, and wrong.
Mon, 28 Jul 2014 13:03 EDT
Great War in the East China Sea: Why China and Japan Could Fight

How the unthinkable could happen in Asia—and the ramifications for America.
Hugh White
While speculation will continue on how collapse or unification scenarios may take place, there are many ways ROK and U.S. forces can plan for trouble on the Korean peninsula.
How Obama Is Driving Russia and China Together

James Burnham: Reagan's Geopolitical Genius

Afraid for the future of the West in the face of the Soviet threat, this former Trotskyite shaped Ronald Reagan's tough approach.
Britsh aire force
Mon, 28 Jul 2014 12:58 EDT
As they now exist, Russian special forces represent a major problem for the West at all levels of escalation. In the event of conflict, we could expect Russian special forces to operate at various stages of the conflict, as they have during the Ukraine crisis. If war develops over a border dispute between Russia and one of the Baltics, we will undoubtedly find Russian special operators there ahead of us. In the case of general war, special forces may deploy from submarines or other vehicles to launch attacks throughout NATO’s depth.
Hand of
Mon, 28 Jul 2014 12:52 EDT
Canadian Pole
Absent NATO, Europe couldn't defend itself."
With NATO, it won't.

"Americans are from Mars, Europeans are from Venus," political commentator Robert Kagan once said, but the dirty little secret is that Washington never wanted Europeans to get their act together on defense. From NATO's founding, American policymakers were concerned both with preventing Soviet domination of Europe and with preventing the emergence of a "third force" of Western European power divorced from Washington.

From at least the early 1950s, U.S. officials focused at least as much on containing Europe as on containing the Soviet Union. As Texas A&M political scientist Christopher Layne has written, NATO was designed with the purpose of preventing European defense cooperation. In 1952, U.S. Secretary of State Dean Acheson cabled instructions to the U.S. Embassy in Paris that NATO must be prioritized because it would "preclud[e] possibility of Eur Union becoming third force or opposing force."

Throughout the Cold War, American policymakers worked to ensure a weak Europe that depended on the United States for its security. As then-National Security Advisor McGeorge Bundy wrote to President John F. Kennedy in 1962, it would be better if the United Kingdom would spend its resources on conventional arms and "join with the rest of NATO in accepting a single U.S.-dominated [nuclear] force." The United States reacted angrily to French President Charles de Gaulle's Europe-centric policies and worked to scuttle the Franco-German Treaty of 1963 by intervening in German domestic politics to get the Bundestag to alter the treaty preamble in a way that reinforced NATO's -- U.S. -- primacy. At every turn, Washington opposed European security cooperation on the thinking that all decisions should go through the White House. As Acheson remarked, Washington did not "need to coordinate with our allies. We need to tell them."

By the early 1990s, Europeans -- in keeping with the edicts of the Maastricht Treaty that created the European Union in 1993 -- began working together on integrating their foreign and security policies. But at the 1998 NATO summit, Secretary of State Madeleine Albright neatly delineated the three things about European security cooperation that Washington would oppose. Labeling them the "Three D's," she said that Washington sought "no diminution of NATO, no discrimination, and no duplication" of the alliance's functions. This continued in the Bush administration, when in 2003 it called a special meeting with NATO to discuss European defense integration. At that meeting, U.S. Ambassador to NATO Nicholas Burns condemned European security cooperation as "one of the greatest dangers to the transatlantic relationship."

Aside from Washington, there are other obstacles to European defense cooperation. European nations disagree about burden-sharing and about the degree of integration that would be desirable. Germany prefers not to think about defense issues at all, which has driven the French and British, uncomfortably, to sign a set of bilateral defense treaties (the Lancaster House treaties) in 2010. Some of the more ambitious European proposals, such as "permanent structured cooperation," resemble the completion of the European state-building project, in that they involve folding national European militaries into something resembling a single European military. Washington should support more European defense integration, and a smaller role for itself in European defense matters.

NATO has produced some benefits, but the costs to the United States -- tens of billions per year, validating Russian nationalist narratives about the West, and infantilizing its European partners -- are often ignored. Washington should cut the Europeans loose, and encourage them to cooperate with each other on European security matters. With a combined GDP larger than the United States and a benign threat environment, Europeans are capable of defending themselves, but won't until Washington makes them.
Mon, 28 Jul 2014 12:50 EDT
Windows Products
Traditionally, the case for any alliance is that, as a whole, it is more powerful than the sum of its members. But the military contributions of NATO's European member states have not cleared that bar for some time. Consider Europe's contributions to the two most recent combat operations involving NATO forces.

While troops from some NATO countries have fought and died in disproportionately high numbers supporting the U.S. nation-building project in Afghanistan -- the only time Article V was ever invoked -- other NATO countries have placed national "caveats" on how their forces may be used. Frequently these were unofficial, but some gained notoriety. German troops, for example, were prohibited from leaving their bases at night. Other countries, like Italy, stipulated they would respond to requests to move their troops to areas where fighting was taking place within 72 hours. (This was later revised down to six hours.) And the list goes on. As a 2006 Congressional Research Service report noted, these caveats were "intended to preclude the affected units from participating in offensive combat operations or other operations that carry a high risk of casualties."

The Libyan "kinetic military action" was another illustration of NATO's combat readiness. Eight of the 28 NATO member states helped the United States oust dictator Muammar al-Qaddafi. But the group ran out of munitions while beating up on a Libyan military that had been mostly neutralized by American air power just days prior. This sorry performance inspired an internal NATO report lamenting that the alliance is "overly reliant" on the United States to prevail in even the simplest of conflicts.

The United States currently keeps its troops stationed in Europe -- the bulk of its NATO costs are in paying, equipping, and maintaining them -- in large part as a function of its Article V commitment to the alliance, which states that an attack on one member state will be treated as an attack on all. Washington presently accounts for more than 70 percent of overall NATO military expenditures, despite comprising roughly 56 percent of NATO's GDP. Although in 2006 all NATO members committed to spending at least 2 percent of their GDP on defense, currently only the United States, United Kingdom, France, and Greece are meeting that commitment.
Mon, 28 Jul 2014 12:48 EDT
Why Europeans can defend themselves, but won't until Washington makes them.
NATO is vital to Western security."
Only foreign policy elites believe that.

In April 1949, a dozen nations, including the United States, Great Britain, and France, signed the North Atlantic Treaty. The first secretary-general of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), Hastings Ismay, famously remarked that the alliance had three purposes, all in Europe: to keep the Russians out, the Americans in, and the Germans down.

NATO achieved this mission decades ago. Yet the alliance has continued to grow in the post-Cold War years: Today, it has 28 members, all but two of which are European. And while NATO struggles to find a precise mission in the absence of the Soviet threat, it maintains unparalleled popularity among foreign-policy elites in member states. It is like the third rail of national security policy -- only "unserious" people question NATO.

Two years ago, Philip Gordon, then-Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs, said, "NATO is vital to U.S. security." Former U.S. Ambassador to NATO Ivo Daalder claims it is "an alliance that is more needed by more people than ever." Charles Kupchan of the Council on Foreign Relations explains that the NATO wars in the Balkans, Afghanistan, and Libya "demonstrate NATO's utility and its contributions to the individual and collective welfare of its members."

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