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NATORussiasanctionsUkraineVladimir PutinFriday, March 6, 2015

Why the U.S. Should Not Arm Ukraine Right Now

Why the U.S. Should Not Arm Ukraine Right Now March 6, 2015 Today, members of Congress and outside voices are continuing the push to send lethal aid to Kiev. These calls are ill-timed, especially while a tenuous ceasefire seems to have taken hold pursuant to the Minsk II agreement reached last month between European powers, Ukraine, and Russia. While the future of the ceasefire remains very much in doubt, a decision to send arms to Kiev now would carry more cost than benefits, undermining rather than protecting U.S. and European interests. Top costs include inducing Russian escalation, giving Putin political cover to violate the ceasefire, and undermining transatlantic unity in confronting Moscow’s aggression. Despite these costs, American arms will not empower Kiev to successfully resist… Read More ›

AUMFCubaIranIslamic StateRussiaUkraineFriday, February 20, 2015

Jeb Bush Lays out Limited Foreign Policy Vision

Jeb Bush Lays out Limited Foreign Policy Vision February 20, 2015 On Wednesday, Jeb Bush laid out the foreign policy framework for his anticipated presidential campaign in a speech at the Chicago Council on Global Affairs. Bush’s remarks covered a broad range of subjects, and while he identified many of the pressing international challenges facing the United States, his remarks lacked clarity or solutions. As the presidential race moves forward, the national security debate will require more depth of understanding on issues including resolving Iran’s nuclear program, addressing the threat from the Islamic State, the fighting in Ukraine, normalizing relations with Cuba, and ongoing Pentagon spending debates, and we will look for candidates that back up emerging positions with effective policies. Bush doesn’t seem to… Read More ›

diplomacyMilitaryRussiaUkraineFriday, February 6, 2015

Lethal Aid for Ukraine: Assessing Costs and Benefits

Lethal Aid for Ukraine: Assessing Costs and Benefits As Russia’s support for separatist forces in Eastern Ukraine and direct involvement in the conflict there continues to escalate, French President François Hollande and German Chancellor Angela Merkel are in Moscow in an effort to negotiate a ceasefire and diplomatic solution with their Russian counterparts. Meanwhile, with Vice President Joe Biden and Secretary of State John Kerry in Europe, there are reports that the United States is considering the provision of defensive arms to Ukraine should diplomacy not be immediately successful. Taking the step of providing arms to Ukraine has garnered increasing support from members of Congress and outside experts. While it is clear that the United States and Europe need to reinforce their response to Russia,… Read More ›

Ashton CarterGuantanamoIslamic StateOCO BudgetRussiaUkraineMonday, February 2, 2015

Top 5 Questions for Ashton Carter’s Confirmation Hearing

Top 5 Questions for Ashton Carter’s Confirmation Hearing Later this week, the Senate is scheduled to consider Ashton Carter’s nomination for Secretary of Defense. New leadership at the Pentagon provides an opportunity for policy changes that require careful thought and effective dialogue with Congress. The nomination hearing can begin this process by digging into some of the critical questions facing the Department of Defense and its role in foreign policy, including the future of Overseas Contingency Operations funding, fiscal discipline at the Pentagon, the way forward on the Guantanamo Bay detention facility, the fight against the Islamic State, and potential changes with U.S. involvement in the war in Ukraine. On these critical issues to the future of U.S. defense policy, key questions include: With the… Read More ›

AUMFCubaIranIslamic StateRussiaT-TIPTPPUkraineTuesday, January 6, 2015

Morning Briefing Interviews John Bradshaw on 2015 Foreign Policy Challenges

January 6, 2015 | POTUS, The Morning Briefing with Tim Farley John Bradshaw discussing foreign policy challenges of 2015 – reaching a nuclear deal with Iran, authorizing use of military force against the Islamic State, closing the Guantanamo Bay detention facility, U.S.-Russian relations and Ukraine, and trade – with Tim Farley on the Morning Brief. To view the original posting, click here.  Read More ›

diplomacyRussiasanctionsUkraineWednesday, July 23, 2014

Increasing Pressure on Russia to Resolve the Ukraine Conflict

Increasing Pressure on Russia to Resolve the Ukraine Conflict July 23, 2014 Following the downing of Malaysian Airlines Flight 17 (MH17) in eastern Ukraine, the West faces challenges in coordinating a significant increase in pressure on Russia to bring an end to the regional conflict.  Thus far, relatively modest sanctions by the United States and Europe have been effective in imposing costs on the Russian economy and were likely a factor in the removal of Russian forces from the border and Moscow’s backing away from the threat of invading eastern Ukraine. Nonetheless, Russian support for separatists has continued to fuel the conflict. Short of an unlikely reversal of Russian policy, the United States should employ more assertive diplomatic measures. Perhaps the greatest challenge facing Washington… Read More ›

NATOOCO BudgetT-TIPUkraineWednesday, June 4, 2014

Challenges and Opportunities in Europe

 Challenges and Opportunities in Europe June 4, 2014 This week, President Obama is meeting with European leaders to discuss security and economic issues amidst continued uncertainty surrounding Ukraine’s future and recent European elections. The European tour offers the opportunity to further the kind of multilateral leadership the President reiterated during his foreign policy speech at West Point last week. And there’s no shortage of challenges. With uneasy NATO allies in Eastern Europe, the United States must offer right-sized reassurance to partners without unnecessarily provoking a Russian response. While this mark may have been hit by Obama’s announced $1 billion initiative to adjust U.S. military activity in Europe, follow-through will depend upon finding the right funding sources in the Pentagon’s half-a-trillion-dollar base budget. While Ukraine’s recent… Read More ›

NATORussiaUkraineFriday, May 2, 2014

A Bad Move: Further NATO Expansion | Bill French

By Bill French May 2, 2014 | The National Interest How to effectively respond to the crisis in Ukraine has elicited a fierce debate in Washington. Given the stakes, a carefully crafted, longer-term strategy is called for beyond near-term crisis management. But some of the proposals offered entail severe risks and self-defeating consequences. This is especially true of recently renewed calls for a fresh round of NATO enlargement ahead of the alliance’s summit this September in the United Kingdom. These calls appear to be more of a perpetuation of NATO enlargement’s post–Cold War inertia than a seriously thought out strategy that considers the balance of potential costs and benefits. At a minimum, proponents of enlargement have not met the burden of demonstrating its supposed positive… Read More ›

diplomacyRussiaUkraineFriday, April 25, 2014

Ukraine: Seeing Beyond the Current Crisis

Ukraine: Seeing Beyond the Current Crisis April 25, 2014 The deteriorating situation in eastern Ukraine and the possibility of Russian escalation highlights the need for a longer-term strategy for dealing with Moscow and assisting Kiev. Media reports indicate this is already underway in Washington. In developing longer-term strategy, however, it will be vital to get a number of key issues right – especially as some conservatives continue to offer unconstructive proposals. Most immediately, it will be vital to calibrate the degree of risk worth taking in dealing with Moscow over Ukraine that properly places the present regional crisis in its broader context. Right-sizing the extent of military responses by the U.S. and NATO will remain important to reassure allies without over-using military tools that ultimately… Read More ›

diplomacyRussiasanctionsUkraineWednesday, April 16, 2014

Economic Statecraft and Near-Term Options to Impose Costs on Russia

Economic Statecraft and Near-Term Options to Impose Costs on Russia April 16, 2014 The United States and Europe are likely to wait until after their talks in Geneva tomorrow with Russia and Ukraine before imposing additional sanctions on Moscow for its apparent covert involvement in the pro-Russian uprisings in eastern Ukraine. Nonetheless, a strong set of economic tools are available to impose costs on Russia as the West further adapts economic statecraft for disciplinary purposes towards Moscow. Because any such measures require joint U.S.-EU action to be successful – as with any other courses of action – the diplomatic challenges to sizably escalating economic costs on Russia are very real. Yet, recent comments by the British Foreign Minister indicate that Europe may be on track… Read More ›

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