Ariel Cohen

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When the Russian Foreign Ministry released its updated Foreign Policy Concept in February, codifying Russia’s global strategies, Washington yawned. Yet this document reveals much about the emerging “Putin Doctrine.” It further separates Russia from Western Europe and is especially critical of the United States. It also leaves no doubt: President Barack Obama’s “reset” policy cannot possibly survive his second term. Here’s the reality check.

Russia’s new foreign-policy doctrine is rooted in the Soviet and czarist past. To quote Alexander III, Russia has two allies: its army and its navy. The doctrine rejects any alliance membership — most of all NATO.

Unfortunately, this Putin-approved doctrine is likely to lead to further disagreements between Russia and the West, despite Obama’s continuing effort to reduce nuclear arms and stop ballistic missile defense modernization for Europe.…  Seguir leyendo »

As members of the Russian punk-rock band Pussy Riot appeal their two-year prison sentence for a political protest in Moscow’s Cathedral of Christ the Saviour, a pale of repression is settling over their country. This crackdown is wrapped in legislative garb, but the iron grip of authoritarianism is unmistakable.

Vladimir Putin’s tightening of the screws is a part of a broader pattern, which includes a return to confrontation with the United States and NATO. The United States must specifically recognize that its “reset” policy of see no evil, hear no evil has contributed to the trampling of human rights in Russia.…  Seguir leyendo »

December marks the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Soviet Union. It’s a fitting time, then, to take stock of what was achieved — and what failed — in Eurasia over the last two decades.

The Obama administration has tried to “reset” U.S. relations with Russia. But the recent threat by the Russian ambassador to NATO, Dmitry Rogozin, to shut down the U.S. supply line to Afghanistan is a reminder of just how deep go the roots of anti-Americanism, and how Russia is increasingly looking away from the West.

It didn’t have to be that way. The multi-faceted collapse of the Soviet empire and its communist ideology was quick by historic yardsticks.…  Seguir leyendo »

The recent Russian threats to cease crucial cooperation with the United States and statements by Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin and Dmitry Rogozin, Russia's special representative for missile defense cooperation with NATO, raised hackles in Washington. Mr. Putin called the United States a "parasite" on the body of the global economy, while Mr. Rogozin claimed that U.S. senators told him U.S. missile defense is aimed at his country.

Mr. Putin's statements are baffling, as the global economy needs consumer consumption for growth and the United States is by far the biggest consumer country. In fact, the U.S. trade deficit drives a lot of global growth.…  Seguir leyendo »

America has sacrificed a lot fighting the Taliban insurgency in Afghanistan - but we are not alone. The United States and our NATO allies are getting help from places many Americans can’t find on the map.

Late on July 5, an Azerbaijani tanker plane crashed in Afghanistan en route to U.S.-NATO Bagram Air Base with a load of fuel. The United States and NATO should mourn the nine crew members who were killed on board, but this accident also should serve as a reminder of the invaluable contributions and sacrifices this small, predominately Muslim country has made for NATO and American forces when other coalition allies have been pulling out of Afghanistan.…  Seguir leyendo »

Barack Obama's "reset" with Russia is looking flimsy in the wake of Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin's vitriolic reaction to events in Libya last week.

Frustration over American interventionism and lost revenues in arms trade and gas projects are behind Mr. Putin's ire. During the Cold War, the Soviet Union was one of the major arms suppliers to Libya and the Middle East writ large. Yet, the Soviets ran huge losses as they gave weapons as tools of power projection, losing billions of dollars in the process, and contributing to Soviet insolvency.

In 1991, after the Libyan involvement in the bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland, the U.S.…  Seguir leyendo »

President Obama has his hands full dealing with Russia. However, high on his agenda should be the release of Mikhail Khodorkovsky, Moscow's most famous prisoner.

Success there would demonstrate the administration's ability to promote freedom in Russia and around the world. It even might encourage the freeing of other political prisoners and a new wave of reforms that would make Russia a better partner for the U.S.

Who is Mr. Khodorkovsky? Until the fall of 2003, he was the richest man in Russia, owning a majority stake in the Yukos Oil Co. In just four years, Mr. Khodorkovsky transformed Yukos from a failing, state-owned behemoth into Russia's best-managed energy enterprise.…  Seguir leyendo »