Insecurity for Others, or Security for Yourself?

Two weeks ago I wrote about US troops landing in Germany as they prepared for their deployment to the Baltic States and Poland as part of Operation Atlantic Resolve.  On Tuesday, the United States signed a defense cooperation agreement with the Baltic States and Poland to finalize American commitment to the region.  The US deployment involves 4,000 troops, including 87 tanks, 144 up-armored vehicles, aircraft, and an unknown number of U.S. Special Forces.  Additionally, Norway a NATO member, has also just received 300 U.S. Marines as part of a separate winter training operation to be held over the next year. Continue reading

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Why the GRU?

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After endless weeks of news stories dealing with ‘Russia’ and ‘hacking’ I was convinced that no other reporting could be done on the topic.  It wasn’t until I actually read the unclassified intel report released at the beginning of this month that something peeked my attention.  The most recent group who hacked into the DNC was the cyber security team subordinate to a Russian military intelligence agency – the GRU’s Fancy Bear team. Continue reading

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Keep an Eye on Belarus

In 2017, Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko could be an important factor in upcoming Eurasian affairs.  Belarus’ geographical position and historically pro-Russian policies has made the country a reliable partner for Moscow.  President Lukashenko has actually been referred to as the ‘last dictator in Europe’ by the Bush administration and scholars alike.  Secretary of State Rice gave Lukashenko the title of dictator because he “has stifled dissent, persecuted independent media and opposition parties and prolonged his power through fraudulent elections.”  President Lukashenko has been in office since 1994. Continue reading

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Energy as a Weapon

Russia has utilized the same strategy for decades in order to keep its influence among neighboring countries.  Russia’s strategy uses subsidized oil to lure economically weak states into business with Moscow.  Once a country gets accustomed to the cheap energy prices provided by Russian oil fields, they have no choice but to accept the influence and baggage that comes along with guaranteed cheap and reliable energy.  Such baggage includes a pro-Russian tilt to their domestic and foreign policy decisions or they may be ‘asked’ to participate in large joint military style exercises, such as the ‘Zapad’ drills held in Western Military District. Continue reading

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Putin-it into perspective

After listening to President-elect Trump’s cabinet picks describe Russia as a ‘great power’ I thought I would briefly outline Russia’s greatness. Continue reading

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Warm Water Interests or Weakness?

Russia’s borders stretch from the Baltic Sea in the West to North Korea, China, and Japan in the East.  Despite Russia’s continental presence in both Europe and Asia, it still suffers from a lack of warm water military ports.  Continue reading

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Minsk II Agreement or lack-thereof?

Minsk II, what is it and what is the status of the agreement? Continue reading

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Putin’s Pivot to Asia?

Recently, Vladimir Putin has made an interesting turn towards some of the United States’ partners in the Pacific. Continue reading

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The Shield

Recently, it was discovered that President Putin has secretly deployed 2 Iskander launching vehicles capable of deploying two 500-kilometer-range surface-to-surface missiles (SS-26) to his naval base in Latakia, Syria.  In addition to these launchers, the Kremlin has also deployed its preferred Anti-Access Area-Denial (A2AD) system the S-400.

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‘RIP’ Obama’s Legacy – Medvedev

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