• Articles,  New York Daily News,  Publications

    Honor these U.S. and Soviet vets, coronavirus or not

    The crushing defeat of Nazi Germany 75 years ago was memorialized on April 25, 1945, by a gesture, a handshake between battle-hardened American and Soviet soldiers linking-up as wartime allies in the closing days of World War II. This special embrace as comrades-in-arms along the Elbe River at Torgau culminated a fleeting bond between soldiers sharing in an indescribably costly but just war against the most hideous existential threat the modern world had ever known. Shortly thereafter, this hard-earned soldiers’ bond was abandoned and lost in the Cold War; an unfortunate state-of-being that in fits and starts has carried on to this day. This year’s planned remembrance of that heady…

  • Articles,  Publications,  The Hill

    Take time to remember the handshake that changed the world

    As we strive worldwide to overcome the existential COVID-19 threat, we must not forget the anniversary of a major event 75 years ago that represented a jubilant but exhausted collective victory against another truly merciless foe. The link-up and famous WWII handshake between battle-hardened allied U.S. and Soviet forces on April 25, 1945, at the Elbe River near the small Saxon town of Torgau symbolized the culmination of a hard-fought, costly victory against the Third Reich. Their fateful encounter  split Nazi Germany in half; five days later Adolf Hitler shot himself in encircled Berlin. This remarkable moment signified the final chapter in the European theater of a brutally globalized military,…

  • Articles,  Publications,  The Hill

    Americans should consider this a preparation drill for ‘The Big One’

    COVID-19 has awakened the most primordial fears and concerns within most of us. It is stealthy, contagious and lethal. It is statistically certain to kill a proportion of our population. It has no borders, no antidote and can spread as fast as we travel. Fueled by 24/7 media coverage, this pandemic has focused us existentially in a way that only a nuclear crisis could. Despite current sorrows and hardship, has its malignant arrival now actually done mankind a favor? In 2005, concerned by the recently concluded SARs pandemic, my U.S. Army 66th Military Intelligence Group in Darmstadt, Germany, conducted a “what if” tabletop exercise about how to survive and manage during…

  • Articles,  Publications,  The Hill

    Stepping back from the brink — and what’s next — in Iran

    Iran inadvertently created an opening for Washington and Tehran to step back from the brink of all-out war by not killing U.S. personnel in its retaliatory missile strike Tuesday night into two U.S. and coalition populated Iraqi airbases. Tehran’s belated admission Friday of accidentally shooting down Ukraine Air Flight 752 hours afterward near Tehran’s Imam Khomeini Airport may also have created a slender opportunity to further deescalate this still-simmering crisis, which began five days earlier when a U.S. drone strike killed the powerful Iranian chief of the IRGC Quds force, Maj. Gen. Qassem Soleimani in Baghdad. I have no doubt that if the Iranian missile strike had killed Americans, a tremendous response…

  • Articles,  Publications,  The Hill

    Averting war in 2020

    In the first week of the new decade, we face another potential war in the Middle East. With last Friday’s early morning strike killing General Qassem Soleimani, the ruthlessly charismatic chief of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps, we have entered uncharted waters. While on first blush I supported the strike, since then I have felt considerable unease, wondering if we are ready to bear the brunt of inevitable “laws of unintended consequences.” It is as if we’ve taken a big stick and overwhelmingly batted down a hornet’s nest. The question now is how and where the many hornets will sting. That Iran and its proxies will retaliate is the only predictable aspect…

  • Articles,  The Hill

    Averting war in 2020

    In the first week of the new decade, we face another potential war in the Middle East. With last Friday’s early morning strike killing General Qassem Soleimani, the ruthlessly charismatic chief of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps, we have entered uncharted waters. While on first blush I supported the strike since then I have felt considerable unease, wondering if we are ready to bear the brunt of inevitable “laws of unintended consequences.”

  • Articles,  Publications,  The Hill

    Why NATO is worth preserving for US, Europe — and even Russia

    © Getty Images President Donald Trump is in London today for a short summit tomorrow with fellow leaders of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). Auspiciously it lands on the 70th anniversary year of NATO’s founding in the tense early days of the Cold War where it — along with the Marshall Plan — signaled a deep and long-term American commitment to Europe’s democracy-based freedom and stability. This investment allowed fellow democracies and peaceful nations to safely evolve, creating a global environment where U.S. interests and businesses could flourish. The summit comes at a pivotal time — accentuated by French President Emmanuel Macron’s recent declaration that the alliance was “brain-dead” — where the United…

  • Articles,  Blog,  Publications,  Washington Post

    Alexander Vindman: Soviet emigre and decorated U.S. Army officer wanted to be as American as can be. Now the president questions his motives.

    By Marc Fisher November 8, 2019 at 4:31 p.m. EST His father gave up everything to escape from communism, an overbearing government, anti-Semitism and the painfully narrowed opportunities that Jews faced in the Soviet Union. Alexander Vindman grew up in Brooklyn, determined to be as American as can be. Now Vindman is suddenly a crucial figure in a controversy that could lead to the impeachment of President Trump — hailed by many of Trump’s critics as a patriotic truth-teller yet dismissed by the president and some of his allies as a disloyal tattler who is somehow not fully American. Vindman and his identical twin, Yevgeny, were not quite 4 when they landed…