• Articles,  Publications,  War on the Rocks,  Wilson Center

    Open Letter in Support of Free Inquiry and Discussion

    WOTR STAFF We, the undersigned, watched with worry the recent flurry of media and social-media speculation about a possible appointment to the National Security Council. This concerned Matthew Rojansky, the Director of the Woodrow Wilson’s Kennan Institute, a leading national center dedicated to the study of Russia and Eurasia. The personal attacks on Mr. Rojansky were intended simultaneously to damage Mr. Rojansky’s reputation and to shut down policy debate. We see all of this as very dangerous. The media coverage and the social-media activity on this topic failed to meet the criteria of real journalism and of reasoned public debate. Baseless accusations were levied, some outlandish (of Mr. Rojansky as…

  • Articles,  Publications,  The Hill

    Urgent: Extend New START treaty with Russia now

    I was heartened to see the new Biden administration publicly announce its strong interest to immediately extend the strategic New START nuclear treaty with Russia that is set to expire next week, on Feb. 5. This came after Biden announced his commitment to philosophically and substantively reenter the multi-national world by rejoining The Paris Climate Accord and the World Health Organization. Undoubtedly the White House is consulting closely with our close NATO allies, who are almost certainly greatly relieved by President Joe Biden’s accession to office. Russian President Vladimir Putin has also stated several times Russia’s openness to extend the treaty. Other than the ongoing battle with the implacable Coronavirus and grappling with our…

  • Articles,  Publications,  The Hill

    Closing the remaining US consulates in Russia is shortsighted

    Lost in the swirl of American post-election chaos, culminating in the appalling storming of the U.S. Capitol, and the reported major Russian cyber hacks was Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s notification to Congress on Dec. 10 about the State Department’s decision to close its remaining two consulates in Russia. The U.S. Consulate General Vladivostok, in the Russian Far East (RFE) distantly located from Moscow, would be fully shuttered, while the other in centrally located Ekaterinburg, suspended. The cited staffing issues relate to the 2017 tit-for-tat downsizing of diplomatic personnel and missions in the U.S. and Russia, as well as related cost challenges. To be clear: This is a unilateral U.S. decision. It must be emphasized…

  • Articles,  Defense One,  Publications

    Donald Trump is No Jack Kennedy. Or Khrushchev.

    The president lacks the experience, character, credibility, and confidence to navigate our country through a Cuban Missile Crisis. We need Joe Biden. By CHARLIE MARTINEZ, NANCY SODERBERG and PETER ZWACK The world teetered on the brink of nuclear catastrophe 58 years ago this month. The 13-day Cuban Missile Crisis in late October 1962 tested the maturity and wisdom of the nuclear-armed United States and Soviet Union at a time when mutual distrust and suspicion ruled the day. One of us was a boy in Miami then and still has strong memories of how close we came to nuclear war. What ultimately saved us all was a deep appreciation by President…

  • Articles,  CNN,  Publications

    Two men whose fates differed under Trump’s twisted take on justice

    Rachel Vindman’s CNN interview on Monday was a tour de force of grace, courage and patriotism. After her husband, Lieutenant Colonel Alexander Vindman, testified during the House impeachment hearings in October 2019, the Vindmans became the target of vile threats and thuggish retaliation that no American family should have to endure. The most vocal detractor was President Donald Trump, who took aim at Vindman for daring to speak up. In the year since the impeachment hearings, the Vindman family has been harassed and threatened online and by mail by Trump supporters. “What happened to us could happen to anyone,” Rachel Vindman calmly warns listeners in a new political ad by The Lincoln Project, an anti-Trump Republican campaign organization.…

  • Articles,  National Interest,  Publications

    The Nuances of Navigating a Politically Charged Northeast Asia

    Seventy-five years ago, on Sept. 2, 1945, dignitaries from nine Allied Powers boarded the USS Missouri to bear witness to history. Three days earlier, the magnificent warship had entered Tokyo Bay. It was flying the same flag flown over the White House on December 7, 1941, the day of the surprise Japanese air attack on Pearl Harbor that catapulted the United States into World War II. Now, almost four years after the attack, a small Japanese delegation joined the gathering on the deck of the USS Missouri and, at the invitation of Gen. Douglas McArthur, two members signed a brief document proclaiming “unconditional surrender … of all Japanese armed forces.” In twenty-three minutes, with a few pen strokes and polite ceremony,…

  • Articles,  The Hill

    Why Are We Pulling Additional Forces Out of Germany?

    The Trump administration’s decision to unilaterally withdraw additional military forces from Germany is short-sighted and unsettling. Why now? And why during these so unsteady times? We’ve already drawn down so much in Europe and serious, unresolved threats clearly remain. Is this a carefully staffed policy decision or just planning by a small group of administration insiders? Why so little pre-coordination with host nations, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) or even our own military commands in Europe? And why is the White House in such a hurry to get this done by September? Is this, in part, a personal jab toward Germany? These military drawdowns, often involving moving families and shutting bases,…