There is a Bear in the Woods: Resets and Returns 2009-2016

Tom Warwick Editor’s Note: This is the final installation in an ongoing series exploring the creation of “Putin’s Russia” and its place in the international community.  Click here to read the preceding entries. “I would be warned against using a … Continue reading There is a Bear in the Woods: Resets and Returns 2009-2016

There is a Bear in the Woods: A Common Cause 2000-2008

The relationship between Putin’s Russia and the West has been a series of ups and downs, resets and regrets.  While it has become rather cliche to use Prime Minister Winston Churchill’s quote about puzzles wrapped in enigmas, the lesser known half of this observation remains true today. As one navigates first through the relationship between Putin and the Bush Administration and, in the next series installation, the relationship between Putin and the Obama Administration one thing remains constant: the key to this puzzle is still Russian national interest. It is that national interest that has dominated Russia’s relationship with the West throughout the last two decades. Continue reading There is a Bear in the Woods: A Common Cause 2000-2008

There is Bear in the Woods: Putin’s Russia

As Putin stood in his Kremlin office in the winter of 2000 he faced a Russia close to anarchy and teetering on the edge of collapse.  The optimism of the past decade had collapsed along with the policies of the Yeltsin administration and the hope of a democratic Russia seemed further away than ever. Putin would respond to this crisis in a way that put his distrust, and quite frankly his disgust, for an open system fully on display. In just over a decade, Putin would replace the ‘wild west’ style of the Yeltsin years with a tightly controlled system of “vertical power.”  By consolidating power and persecuting his enemies, Vladimir Putin would elevate himself into the position of a 21st Century Czar and truly turn his country into “Putin’s Russia.” Continue reading There is Bear in the Woods: Putin’s Russia

Gambia Intervention: The Good, The Bad, The Ugly

Days after losing an election and promising to cede power, long-time ruler of the Gambia Yahya Jammeh retracted that promise, and The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), which is a sub-unit of the African Union, declared that if Jammeh did not resign his post by the planned inauguration date of the 19th, that they would authorize a military intervention to remove him by force. It is 90 days exactly since the original ultimatum deadline for Jammeh’s term, so now seems a natural time to look back at those events and examine the end results. Continue reading Gambia Intervention: The Good, The Bad, The Ugly

The Coming Storm: Climate Change Refugees

Much ado has been made about the refugee crisis because of unrest in the Middle East. According to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, an estimated 5,020,470 people are registered as Syrian refugees – a number higher than the population of any of the 116 smallest countries in the world. While that statistic is staggering, it is in no way the largest refugee crisis our world will face in the 21 century. Continue reading The Coming Storm: Climate Change Refugees

There is a Bear in the Woods: False Starts

On Christmas Day 1991, the eighth and final leader of the Soviet Union, Mikhail Gorbachev, resigned, declared his office extinct, and handed over all power to the Russian President. At 7:32pm, the Soviet Hammer and Sickle that flew over the Kremlin was lowered and replaced with the Russian tricolor. Overnight the world’s oldest, largest, and most powerful Communist state had ceased to exist. The future of this wayward state was now in the hands of Boris Yeltsin. Continue reading There is a Bear in the Woods: False Starts

Women and the Draft: Can we Require Only Males to Register?

Since the original Rostker case military policy concerning women in combat roles has shifted from blanket exclusion to the idea that if you can meet the standards you should be able get to perform the job. Which begs the question, are women and men still not “similarly situated” when it comes to exclusion from the draft? Continue reading Women and the Draft: Can we Require Only Males to Register?

FBB St. Patrick’s Day Special: Are we on the Brink of a United Ireland?

While the details of the final terms of the “Brexit” deal are yet to be seen, the uncertainty of what is to come has already resulted in major geopolitical shifts – both real and rumored. While some of these rumored shifts are more believable than others, there is one that stands out as particularly interesting given the events of the last century: the reunification of Ireland. Continue reading FBB St. Patrick’s Day Special: Are we on the Brink of a United Ireland?