• Articles,  New York Times

    New York Times Quote

    Brig. Gen. Peter Zwack, a retired Army officer who was the American military attaché in Moscow at the time of the visit, said Mr. Flynn was not blind to the pitfalls of forging closer ties to Russia. He saw areas of mutual interest, as did many others in the United States at the time, but was always firm in advancing the American position in areas where there was disagreement, General Zwack said. “There was nothing kumbaya about these talks at all,” he said. “It was a question of finding common ground on this big, complex, fractious and increasingly dangerous planet.” ——— Mark Mazzetti  New York Times 10/10/2017 Originally Published: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/01/10/us/politics/trumps-national-security-pick-sees-ally-in-fight-against-islamists-russia.html

  • Articles

    Charting a Course: Strategic Choices for a New Administration

    Chapter 11 | Russia By Peter B. Zwack, From Charting a Course / Published Dec. 12, 2016 U.S. and Western relations with Russia continue to deteriorate as Russia increasingly reasserts itself on the global stage. Driven by a worldview based on existential threats—real, perceived, and contrived—Russia, as a vast 11–time zone Eurasian nation with major demographic and economic challenges, has multiple security dilemmas both internally and along its vulnerable periphery that include uncertain borders to its south and far east. Exhibiting a reactive xenophobia curried from a long history of destructive war and invasion along most of its borders, the Soviet Union’s collapse in 1991, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization’s peaceful…

  • Articles,  NPR

    Russia Seen Moving New Missiles To Eastern Europe

    By Geoff Brumfield, NPR  In what could mark an escalation of tensions with the West, commercial satellite images suggest that Russia is moving a new generation of nuclear-capable missiles into Eastern Europe. Russia appears to be preparing to permanently base its Iskander missile system in Kaliningrad, a sliver of territory it controls along the Baltic coast between Lithuania and Poland. Arms control experts shared fresh satellite imagery with NPR, which they say provides evidence that the Iskander will soon be housed in the Russian-controlled enclave. The images show ground being cleared for tentlike shelters used at other Iskander bases, says Jeffrey Lewis, a nonproliferation expert at the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies. “The pattern, and…

  • Articles,  Defense One

    Breaking Down US-Russian Distrust With Time, Talk, and Meals

    A recent session of the long-running Dartmouth Conference shows how non-governmental dialogue can ease tense relations. I was a recent participant in the Dartmouth Conference, one of the few remaining Track 2 — that is, non-governmental — dialogues between the U.S. and Russia. Its results may be especially interesting in the wake of the recent victory of President-elect Donald Trump and for those paying close attention to the difficult relations between our two countries. The oldest dialogue of its kind, the Conference has for 56 years enabled senior American and Russian citizens to seek mutual solutions to our shared political and geostrategic challenges. The three-day symposium I attended in late October was the 146th…

  • Articles,  Washington Post

    A Bright Spot in U.S.-Russian Relations

    With the Trump administration soon entering office, it is important to highlight increasingly rare U.S.-Russian non governmental engagements. I recently participated in the Carnegie Endowment-supported “Task Force on Regional Conflicts.” The topic was Syria, the Middle East and Afghanistan. Its goal was to develop several joint recommendations to forward to each government for consideration. Delegations included ambassadors, businessmen and academics, and the participants all had worked on aspects of U.S.-Russian, Middle Eastern and Afghan affairs. A key observation was when groups armed with rigid talking points and preconceived, mistrustful perceptions initially meet, rarely is there any headway if the encounter is just for a few hours. For progress, such groups…

  • Articles,  CNN

    A Reawakening Nuclear Nightmare

    When lecturing, I often ask students and young officers if they have seen the movie “Dr. Strangelove.” About a third typically raise their hands. I then ask them what is the essence of good satire, and someone will eventually offer, “The truth?” As crazy as Stanley Kubrick’s atomic-age cautionary tale was, that was the tension-edged atmosphere those of us older than 40 grew up with and remember. Sadly, the dark cloud of nuclear Armageddon that had faded since the end of the Cold War following the break-up of the Soviet Union is looming once again. Earlier this week, Russia made international headlineswith the unveiling of its RS-28 Sarmat intercontinental ballistic missile…

  • Articles,  Defense One

    In Aleppo, Echoes of Guernica and Global Disorder

    Nearly 80 years ago, a shattered town rang a death knell for international order. We must not let it happen again. In 1937, the Third Reich’s expeditionary Condor Legion obliterated the Spanish town of Guernica. This cynical proxy bombing, immortalized in Picasso’s iconic painting, was an early death knell of the League of Nations, and came to symbolize the violent rending of the post-WWI international order. Today, nations must act so that Aleppo does not become a Guernica for our own age. The Russian and Syrian government assault on anti-regime rebels in Syria’s second-largest city goes far beyond any reasonable military action. This isn’t about the merits of the various rebel groups,…

  • Articles,  CNN

    CNN Video Transcript

    (BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Tensions between Washington and the Kremlin are at one of the most dangerous points since the cold war. Vladimir Putin’s government is furious over an incendiary story by a U.S. government funded news agency Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty reports two U.S. officials with diplomatic passports were drugged last year in St. Petersburg, Russia. The report sites a U.S. government official saying the two people were slipped a date rape drug at a bar and one of them had to seek treatment at a clinic. The State Department inquired about the alleged incident with the Russians. MARK TONER, U.S. STATE DEPARTMENT DEPUTY SPOKESMAN: We…

  • Articles,  WWLP

    Alleged drugging of U.S. diplomats in Russia

    Russian officials are now saying the same thing happens to their diplomats in the U.S. Brian Todd – (CNN) – Russia is angrily denying allegations that it was behind the possible drugging of two U.S. diplomats at a Russian bar. The allegations only spiking tensions between the U.S. and Russia. Tensions between Washington and the kremlin are at one of their most dangerous points since the cold war. Vladimir Putin’s government is furious, over an incendiary story by a U.S. government-funded news agency. Radio free Europe-radio liberty reports two U.S. officials with diplomatic passports were drugged last year in St. Petersburg, Russia. The report cites a U.S. government official, saying…