Monroe Doctrine, Venezuela & Russia


John R. Houk

© April 6, 2019

 

Nations recognizing presidential power (Maduro vs Guaidó) during the 2019 Venezuelan presidential crisis as of 28 February 2019:

 

Conservatives enjoy using the example of Venezuela as an example of the failures of Socialism as the dominant political doctrine of a nation.  But there is more than Socialism to add to Venezuela’s failure.

 

Not long ago Venezuela had a Presidential election in which Nicolás Maduro (Moros) – who succeeded Hugo Chavez upon his deathfraudulently won. Venezuela’s Nationally Assembly chose Juan Guaidó (full name: Juan Gerardo Guaidó Márquez) as interim President.

 

Most nations sided with Guaidó over Maduro but Maduro had the Venezuelan military behind him. And now the power of former Communist Russia is behind Maduro and sending military personnel to Venezuela. European powers sending their military to the North and South American continents has never set well with the U.S. government since official policy every American should have learned in some form of civics class – The Monroe Doctrine first voiced in 1823.

 

In case you  missed that class or are victimized by America’s current Leftist education system, here is a roughly 6-minute Youtube primer:

 

VIDEO: What is MONROE DOCTRINE? What does MONROE DOCTRINE mean? MONROE DOCTRINE meaning & explanation

 

Posted by The Audiopedia

Published on Feb 22, 2017

 

 

The Monroe Doctrine was a U.S. policy of opposing European colonialism in the Americas beginning in 1823. It stated that further efforts by European nations to take control of any independent state in North or South America would be viewed as “the manifestation of an unfriendly disposition toward the United States.” At the same time, the doctrine noted that the U.S. would recognize and not interfere with existing European colonies nor meddle in the internal concerns of European countries. The Doctrine was issued in 1823 at a time when nearly all Latin American colonies of Spain and Portugal had achieved or were at the point of gaining independence from the Portuguese and Spanish Empires.

 

President James Monroe first stated the doctrine during his seventh annual State of the Union Address to Congress. The term “Monroe Doctrine” itself was coined in 1850. By the end of the 19th century, Monroe’s declaration was seen as a defining moment in the foreign policy of the United States and one of its longest-standing tenets. It would READ THE REST

 

For greater detail on the emergence of the Monroe Doctrine, its historical application and eventual Latin American resentment:

 

 

 

 

America currently is fairly split between the GOP and Dems still under the influence of the Obama make-America-weak-again (MAWA treason) doctrine. MAWA links:

 

 

 

 

Yup, you would be correct. I blame Barack Hussein Obama for Russia having the cojones to send anything military to the Socialist-Marxist Nicolás Maduro the dictator of Venezuela.

 

Below is an Institute for the Study of War (ISW) analysis looking at Russia propping up the Maduro dictatorship seeing if President Trump will continue the Monroe Doctrine.

 

JRH 4/6/19

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Russia in Review: March 26 – April 4, 2019

 

By Darina Regio and Michaela Walker

April 5, 2019 2:06 PM

Institute for the Study of War

 

Russia in Review is a weekly intelligence summary (INTSUM) produced by the Institute for the Study of War (ISW). This ISW INTSUM series sheds light on key trends and developments related to the Russian government’s objectives and its efforts to secure them. Receive future Russia in Review INTSUM products via-email by signing up for the ISW mailing list.

Reporting Period: March 26 – April 4, 2019 (read the previous Russia in Review here)

Authors: Darina Regio and Michaela Walker

Key TakeawayRussia intensified its military support and extended its economic lifeline to the Nicolas Maduro regime in Venezuela. The Kremlin is reinforcing Maduro to protect Russian investments in Venezuela and confront the U.S. in the Western Hemisphere. Meanwhile, NATO is responding to Russia’s reinforced military posture in Eastern Europe.

The Kremlin is reinforcing Nicolas Maduro’s regime to contest the U.S. in South America and protect Russia’s investments in Venezuela. Russia has doubled down on its long-standing support of Maduro after Venezuela’s National Assembly, the official legislative body, declared Maduro’s rule to be illegitimate on account of a sham election in 2018. The National Assembly President Juan Guaido declared himself Interim President of Venezuela on constitutional grounds on January 23, 2019.[1] The U.S. and more than 50 other countries have recognized the decision. The Kremlin has condemned the transition as “colonial” and “aggressive.”[2] The Kremlin has blocked measures against Maduro in the UN Security Council and lauded Russia’s “strategic partnership” with Venezuela.[3]

Russia has intensified its effort to secure the regime in Venezuela militarily. Venezuelan officials stated on April 4 that they do not rule out the possibility of additional Russian military personnel arriving in Venezuela.[4] The Kremlin deployed 100 military advisors, including cybersecurity specialists, led by Russian Ground Forces Chief of Staff Col. Gen. Vasily Tonkoshkurov to Venezuela on March 23.[5] U.S. Special Representative for Venezuela Elliott Abrams stated that one of the force’s tasks is to repair Venezuela’s S-300 Surface-to-Air Missile Systems (SAMS).[6] The advisors are also likely tasked with reinforcing Maduro’s security. Russia also reportedly deployed 400 contractors from the private military company (PMC) Wagner Group to Venezuela in January 2019 to provide support and physical protection to Maduro.[7] Russia has relied on the Wagner Group to support its operations in Syria, Ukraine, and Africa. The Kremlin cannot afford to project significant military power into South America and is using limited tools, such as PMC and military advisors, to achieve its objectives.

The force marked the latest escalation in the military assistance provided to Maduro by the Kremlin. Venezuelan Defense Minister Vladimir Padrino Lopez inaugurated a helicopter flight simulator in Venezuela built in cooperation with Rosoboron export on March 29.[8] Lopez noted that Venezuela and Russia would open a similar flight simulator for Russian Su-30MK2 ‘Flanker-C’ fighter jets as well as a factory to produce AK-103 Kalashnikovs by late 2019. The plant is part of a long-delayed deal signed in 2006.[9] Russia also dispatched two nuclear-capable Tu-160 ‘Blackjack’ strategic bombers to Venezuela in December 2018.[10] Russia has sold at least $4 billion worth of military equipment to Venezuela since 2006, including 5,000 Man-Portable Air-Defense Systems (MANPADS), 23 Su-30MK2 ‘Flanker-Cs’, 10 Mi-35M ‘Hind-E’ attack helicopters, and at least three S-300VM SAMS.[11]

The Kremlin is also economically entrenched in Venezuela. Russia maintains large investments in Venezuela, particularly in the oil, gold mining, and military industrial sectors. The Government of Russia and Rosneft have lent Venezuela at least $17 billion since 2006.[12]Maduro most recently secured a $6 billion investment package in the oil and mining sectors after a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin in December 2018.[13] The deal occurred despite tensions between Rosneft and Venezuelan state-owned oil company Petroleos de Venezuela, S.A. (PDVSA) regarding faltering debt payments by Venezuela. Russia is a key exporter of wheat to Venezuela.[14] The Kremlin has also been working on a revival plan for Venezuela’s economy and proposed an informal draft for Maduro’s consideration in January 2019, shortly before the Maduro was faced with the opposition challenge.[15]

The Kremlin is providing other economic lifelines to mitigate international sanctions against Maduro. Russia reportedly converted 30 tons of gold stored on behalf of Venezuela into $1.2 billion in cash for Maduro in January 2019.[16] PDVSA moved its regional headquarters from Lisbon to Moscow in March 2019 and opened a bank account in Gazprom bank in Russia in February 2019 to circumvent European sanctions.[17] Rosneft has also stepped in to support oil production in Venezuela, providing valuable chemical thinners to dilute its heavy crude oil and tankers to ship the resulting product to refineries in India.[18]

The Kremlin aids Maduro in pursuit of Putin’s larger objectives, including the end of American hegemony and asserting Russia as a global power to be reckoned with. The Kremlin intends to prevent what it frames as an American attempt to overthrow Maduro’s regime.[19] Putin has a strong aversion to forced regime change – regardless of the circumstances – given his concerns about preserving his own regime. The Kremlin likely also views the preservation of Maduro’s regime as a potential long-term vector for influence in the Western Hemisphere. Russia engaged in a similar calculus with its support for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov stated that Venezuela would not become “another Syria” for Russia, and the Kremlin will likely use various means at a reasonable cost to ensure that Maduro’s regime stays in power.[20]

Meanwhile, Russia continues to reinforce its military posture in the European theater while portraying the U.S. as a disruptor of the international balance. The Kremlin is deploying anti-access, area-denial (A2AD) systems in the European part of Russia and holding sporadic military drills near NATO borders. The Russian Western Military District held an unannounced air defense exercise across five different regions bordering several NATO members on March 19.[21] The drills included more than 1,000 troops, 30 aircraft, and 20 S-300 surface-to-air missile systems. Russia’s 7th Guards Mountain Air Assault Division later held a major exercise involving 1,500 troops and 300 military vehicles on the occupied Crimean Peninsula on March 25.[22] Russia previously deployed additional S-400 SAMS to Ukraine’s Crimean Peninsula on February 8, Leningrad Oblast near St. Petersburg on March 12, and Kaliningrad Oblast between the Baltics and Poland on March 15.[23] Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu announced on February 4, 2019, that Russia will develop a land-based version of the naval intermediate-range Kalibr cruise missile and land-based launchers for hypersonic short- to medium-range missiles in response to the U.S. notice that it will withdraw from the Intermediate Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty in light of Russia’s long-standing non-compliance. Putin stated that Russia would deploy intermediate- or short-range missiles only in response to similar U.S. deployments.[24]The Kremlin conducts sporadic military drills in order to test responses from NATO and threaten the West’s partners. Russia will continue to call its actions a ‘symmetric’ response to the U.S. in order to justify further deployments on the European border.

NATO is responding to the changing Russian military posture by building up its military capabilities. The U.S. signed defense cooperation agreements with Lithuania on April 2 and with Hungary on April 4.[25] NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg announced that the alliance will increase its naval presence and activity in the Black Sea to protect NATO allies’ security interests.[26] The Permanent Representative of the U.S. to NATO Ambassador Kay Bailey Hutchison emphasized that NATO’s presence was intended to ensure safe passage of Ukrainian vessels through the Kerch Strait. Two ships from Standing NATO Maritime Group Two made port calls in Odesa on April 1 the day after Ukraine’s presidential elections, while a third arrived in Poti, Georgia.[27] Stoltenberg also announced that the alliance has committed to constructing a $260 million U.S. military equipment storage facility in Powidz, Poland. Stoltenberg confirmed that this project is intended to “underpin the increased U.S. presence in Poland.”[28] Russia is much less likely to carry out a conventional attack against NATO member states along its borders if it is clear that the U.S. will defend those states militarily and that it can readily do so. NATO member nations should be prepared for an increase in covert Russian operations as a result of a defensive NATO military buildup.


[1] Doug Stanglin, “U.S. Recognizes Venezuela Opposition Leader Juan Guaido as President; Russia Backs Maduro,” USA Today, January 23, 2019, https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/world/2019/01/23/venezuela-juan-guaido-declares-himself-president-amid-protests/2658642002/.
[2] [“Commentary of the Official Russian Foreign Ministry Representative M. V. Zakharova Regarding the U.S. Line with Respect to Venezuela,”] Russian Foreign Ministry, March 30, 2019, http://www.mid(.)ru/ru/maps/ve/-/asset_publisher/xF355DHtiSes/content/id/3595365; [“Russian Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Zakharova Media Presser Regarding Accusations of Russian Meddling in Venezuela’s Internal Affairs,”] Russian Foreign Ministry, March 26, 2019, http://www.mid(.)ru/ru/maps/ve/-/asset_publisher/xF355DHtiSes/content/id/3591552.
[3] [“Opening Remarks by Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov During Meeting with Venezuelan Executive Vice President Rodrigues, Moscow, March 1, 2019,”] Russian Foreign Ministry, March 1, 2019, http://www.mid(.)ru/ru/maps/ve/-/asset_publisher/xF355DHtiSes/content/id/3550044; Michael Schwirtz, “Russia Blocks Venezuela Measure at U.N, Calling It a U.S. Ploy for Regime Change,” The New York Times, February 28, 2019, https://www.nytimes.com/2019/02/28/world/americas/russia-venezuela-veto-united-nations.html.
[4] “Venezuelan Deputy Minister Says More Russian Troops Could Arrive – Interfax,” Thomas Reuters Foundation, April 04, 2019, http://news.trust.org//item/20190404095809-d5vel/.
[5] Matt Spetalnick, “Russian Deployment in Venezuela Includes ‘Cybersecurity Personnel’: U.S. Official,” Reuters, March 26, 2019, https://www.reuters.com/article/us-venezuela-politics-russians/russian-deployment-in-venezuela-includes-cybersecurity-personnel-u-s-official-idUSKCN1R72FX.
[6] “Briefing With Special Representative for Venezuela Elliott Abrams,” U.S. Department of State, March 29, 2019, https://www.state.gov/r/pa/prs/ps/2019/03/290780.htm.
[7] Maria Tsvetkova and Naton Zverev, “Exclusive: Kremlin-linked Contractors Help Guard Venezuela’s Maduro – Sources,” Reuters, January 25, 2019, https://www.reuters.com/article/us-venezuela-politics-russia-exclusive/exclusive-kremlin-linked-contractors-help-guard-venezuelas-maduro-sources-idUSKCN1PJ22M.
[8] Alec Luhn and Harriet Alexander, “Russia Opens Military Helicopter Training Center in Venezuela,” The Telegraph, April 2, 2019, https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2019/04/02/russia-opens-military-helicopter-training-centre-venezuela/.
[9] [“Kalashnikov Plant in Venezuela Will Be Finished by End of the Year,”] Interfax, February 18, 2019, https://www.interfax(.)ru/world/651019.
[10] Tom Phillips, “Venezuela Welcomes Russian Bombers in Show of Support for Maduro,” The Guardian, December 10, 2018, https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/dec/10/venezuela-russian-bombers-maduro.
[11] “SIPRI Arms Transfers Database,” The Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, March 11, 2019, https://www.sipri.org/; Girish Gupta, “Exclusive: Venezuela Holds 5,000 Russian Surface-to-Air MANPADS Missiles,” Reuters, May 22, 2017, https://www.reuters.com/article/us-venezuela-arms-manpads/exclusive-venezuela-holds-5000-russian-surface-to-air-manpads-missiles-idUSKBN18I0E9; “Venezuela Allocates $480m to Buy Sukhoi Aircraft from Russia,” Air Force Technology, November 01, 2015, https://www.airforce-technology.com/uncategorised/newsvenezuela-allocates-480m-to-buy-sukhoi-aircraft-from-russia-4708156/; “Upgraded ‘Hinds’ for Venezuela,” Air Forces Monthly, February 15, 2017, https://airforcesmonthly.keypublishing.com/2017/02/15/upgraded-hinds-for-venezuela/; “Venezuela: Military Alert Following the Political Crisis in the Country,” ImageSat International, https://imagesat.maps.arcgis.com/apps/Cascade/index.html?appid=1677a63fa94548ecae49bf1dae1d26bd.
[12]Anton Troianovski, “Russia Spent Billions to Build Influence in Venezuela. Now it Faces a Bet Gone Bad,” The Washington Post, January 25, 2019, https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2019/01/24/russia-spent-billions-build-influence-venezuela-now-it-faces-bet-gone-bad/?utm_term=.f7b04c1ca198.
[13] Corina Pons and Luc Cohen, “Venezuela signs oil, gold investment deals with Russia: Maduro,” Reuters, December 06, 2018, https://www.reuters.com/article/us-venezuela-russia/venezuela-signs-oil-gold-investment-deals-with-russia-maduro-idUSKBN1O51WX.
[14] Alexandra Ulmer and Marianna Parraga, “Exclusive: Rosneft’s Sechin Flies to Venezuela, Rebukes Maduro Over Oil Shipments,” November 24, 2018, https://www.reuters.com/article/us-russia-venezuela-exclusive/exclusive-rosnefts-sechin-flies-to-venezuela-rebukes-maduro-over-oil-shipments-idUSKCN1NT0TJ; Polina Devitt, “Russia Helping Venezuela with Wheat Supplies, Says Foreign Minister,” March 01, 2019, https://www.reuters.com/article/us-venezuela-politics-russia-wheat-idUSKCN1QI4EC.
[15] “Russia Offers Venezuela Plan on Revitalizing Economy – Deputy Finance Minister,” Sputnik, January 15, 2019, https://sputniknews(.)com/latam/201901151071490301-russia-venezuela-economy/.
[16] Irek Murtazin, [“Golden Flight,”] Novaya Gazeta, January 31, 2019, https://www.novayagazeta(.)ru/articles/2019/01/31/79378-zolotoy-reys; [“Another Mysterious Nordwind Airlines Flight Flew from Moscow to Venezuela, and Then to Africa,”] Novaya Gazeta, March 4, 2019, https://www.novayagazeta(.)ru/news/2019/03/04/149712-iz-moskvy-v-venesuelu-a-zatem-v-afriku-letal-esche-odin-zagadochnyy-reys-nordwind-airlines.
[17] Polina Ivanova and Maria Tsvetkova, “Venezuela to Move State Oil Firm PDVSA Office from Lisbon to Moscow,” Reuters, March 01, 2019, https://www.reuters.com/article/us-venezuela-politics-russia-pdvsa/venezuela-to-move-state-oil-firm-pdvsa-office-from-lisbon-to-moscow-idUSKCN1QI4BM; Corina Pons and Marianna Parraga, “Exclusive: Venezuela Shifts Oil Ventures’ Accounts to Russian Bank – Document, Sources,” Reuters, February 09, 2019, https://www.reuters.com/article/us-venezuela-politics-pdvsa-banks-exclus/exclusive-venezuela-shifts-oil-ventures-accounts-to-russian-bank-document-sources-idUSKCN1PY0N3.
[18] Mariana Zuñiga, Anthony Faiola and Anton Troianovski, “Mariana Zuñiga, Anthony Faiola and Anton Troianovski,” The Washington Post, March 29, 2019, https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/the_americas/as-maduro-confronts-a-crisis-russias-footprint-in-venezuela-grows/2019/03/29/fcf93cec-50b3-11e9-bdb7-44f948cc0605_story.html?noredirect=on&utm_term=.82716599f2c8.
[19] “We Won’t Allow a Color Revolution in Venezuela, Moscow Says,” The Moscow Times, February 15, 2019, https://www.themoscowtimes.com/2019/02/15/we-wont-allow-a-color-revolution-in-venezuela-moscow-says-a64509.
[20] [“Sergei Lavrov: Ukraine “Added Heat” in the Efforts of the United States to Punish Russia,”] Moskovskij Komsomolets, April 03, 2019, https://www.mk(.)ru/politics/2019/04/03/sergey-lavrov-ukraina-dobavila-zharu-v-staraniya-ssha-nakazat-rossiyu.html.
[21] [“More Than 30 Airplanes and About 20 Units of the S-300PM Air Defense Missile Systems of the Western Military District Involved in Exercise in 6 Russian Regions,”] Russian Defense Ministry, March 19, 2019, https://structure.mil(.)ru/structure/okruga/west/news/more.htm?id=12222184; “Russian S-300 Missile Systems Destroy Notional Enemy’s Aircraft in Drills,” TASS, March 19, 2019, http://tass(.)com/defense/1049302.
[22] Illia Ponomarenko, “Russian Airborne Forces Hold Large Offensive Drills in Occupied Crimea,” Kyiv Post, March 25, 2019, https://www.kyivpost.com/ukraine-politics/russian-airborne-forces-hold-large-offensive-drills-in-occupied-crimea.html.
[23] Yulia Krimova, “S-400 Exercises to Protect Crimea from Airborne Attack Began,” Rossiyskaya Gazeta, February 8, 2019, https://rg(.)ru/2019/02/08/reg-ufo/s-400-pristupili-k-ucheniiam-po-zashchite-kryma-ot-vozdushnyh-atak.html; “Regimental Set of S-400 Air Defense Systems Enters Duty in Russia’s West,” TASS, March 15, 2019, http://tass(.)com/defense/1048805; “New S-400 Unit of the Western Military District Began Their Military Service in Leningrad Oblast,” TASS, March 12, 2019, https://tass(.)ru/armiya-i-opk/6208057.
[24] “Meeting with Sergei Lavrov and Sergei Shoigu,” The Kremlin, February 2, 2019, http://en.kremlin((.))ru/events/president/news/59763.
[25] Sebastian Sprenger, “Lithuania is First Baltic Nation to Sign US Defense-Cooperation Pact,” Defense News, April 04, 2019, https://www.defensenews.com/global/europe/2019/04/03/lithuania-is-first-baltic-nation-to-sign-us-defense-cooperation-pact/; “United States and Hungary Sign Defense Cooperation Agreement,” U.S. Department of State, April 04, 2019, https://www.state.gov/r/pa/prs/ps/2019/04/290921.htm; “United States, Lithuania Sign Defense Cooperation Plan,” U.S. Department of Defense, April 02, 2019, https://dod.defense.gov/News/News-Releases/News-Release-View/Article/1803624/united-states-lithuania-sign-defense-cooperation-plan/.
[26] “Stoltenberg: NATO Coordinates Efforts to Support Ukraine in Black Sea,” Ukrinform, April 05, 2019, https://www.ukrinform(.)net/rubric-defense/2674814-stoltenberg-nato-coordinates-efforts-to-support-ukraine-in-black-sea.html; “NATO to Deter Russia in Black Sea with Heightened Surveillance, U.S. Says,” The Moscow Times, April 03, 2019, https://www.themoscowtimes.com/2019/04/03/nato-to-deter-russia-in-black-sea-with-heightened-surveillance-us-says-a65067.
[27] “NATO Ships Visit Odesa,” NATO Allied Maritime Command, April 01, 2019, https://mc.nato.int/media-centre/news/2019/nato-ships-visit-odesa.aspx; “SNMG2 Visits Georgian Port of Poti,” NATO Allied Maritime Command, April 01, 2019, https://mc.nato.int/media-centre/news/2019/snmg2-visits-georgian-port-of-poti.aspx.
[28] James Marson, “NATO Plans Facility in Poland to Store U.S. Military Equipment,” The Wall Street Journal, March 22, 2019, https://www.wsj.com/articles/nato-plans-facility-in-poland-to-store-u-s-military-equipment-11553271255.

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Monroe Doctrine, Venezuela & Russia

John R. Houk

© April 6, 2019

___________________

Russia in Review: March 26 – April 4, 2019

 

2018 Institute for the Study of War- www.understandingwar.org

 

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A Crisis On Our Southern Border


Justin Smith addresses the idiocy of Left-Wing Dems relating to illegal immigration.

JRH 4/4/19

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A Crisis On Our Southern Border

Extraordinary Circumstances Require Extraordinary Measures

 

By Justin O. Smith

Sent 4/3/2019 9:55 PM

 

Our southern border is being breached and overrun at will, and there is a hard, factual crisis unfolding there, despite a temporary decline in illegal aliens captured at the border between 2006 and 2014 due to an economic downturn. Even some of the most hardcore anti-American Democrats and former Obama officials are hard-pressed to deny that this crisis actually exists, although it seems there isn’t any number of illegal aliens swarming across the border that is large enough to move them to act proactively to secure the border and ensure U.S. sovereignty, national security and the individual economic and physical safety and security of all Americans.

 

With illegal alien entries occurring at their highest rate since 2007, adding to the 30-40 million illegals already here, America has essentially lost effective control over the Mexican-U.S. border, and the current invasion of Illegal Aliens, coming in one massive caravan after another, is on track to push 1.5 million illegal aliens into America this year, in part by way of a semantic deception that calls them “refugees”. This deception is part and parcel of the Democratic Party’s agenda and it is ongoing and in opposition to a majority of Americans who want the illegals deported. Unfortunately, communist activist courts at the federal level, such as the 9th Circuit Court, have also made this next to impossible.

 

Between 2000 and 2006, there was a consistent flow of over one million Illegal Aliens into America, with one year hitting over 1.6 million. That was just the numbers that were detected and returned across the border. One must understand that similarly large numbers are going undetected.

 

Reported by the Department of Homeland Security on March 6th, America can see that in February 76,000 illegal aliens were caught at U.S. ports of entry; the Border Patrol has caught 268,000 illegal aliens since the beginning of the fiscal year, a 97% increase above last year’s numbers; apprehensions of Family Units and Unaccompanied Alien Children have increased 338%; just last month, the Customs and Border Protection agents seized the largest illegal shipment of fentanyl ever recorded — more than enough to kill 115 million Americans. With the detention facilities at 283% capacity, some illegal aliens were actually temporarily sheltered under a bridge in El Paso, Texas. And, it has recently also been revealed that 4000 illegal aliens were caught trying to cross in one day, on March 26th 2019.

 

Jeh Johnson, former Secretary of Homeland Security, recently stated: “I know that a thousand (a day) overwhelms the system. I cannot begin to imagine what 4,000 a day looks like, so we are truly in a crisis.”

 

Even Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vt), “Big Red” himself, had to reluctantly acknowledge that a crisis exists, but he hedged his words with the usual anti-American tripe, as he suggested that somehow it was the U.S. border policies that were less than humane. Sanders, a 2020 presidential candidate, told ‘Face the Nation’ there is a “terrible humanitarian crisis” at the southern border, as he added, “We need to make sure that our borders are secure, but also we need a humane policy at the border.”

 

Mark Morgan, Obama’s Border Patrol chief, told Maria Bartiromo (Mornings With Maria/Fox Business News): “It’s absolutely an emergency … ICE doesn’t have any more room. … (they) are having to release illegal aliens into … the United States … (and) because of our asylum laws, they step one foot on American soil, they are allowed in never to be heard from again.”

 

Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen says eighty percent of asylum seekers pass the first interview, although only 20 percent ever receive asylum. Nielsen further asserts the people refused asylum are “flat-out fraud[s]” or they are here for economic reasons or to be united with family.

 

It’s also worth noting, in 2018, the federal government reviewed tens of thousands of mostly Chinese immigrants’ asylum statuses. The government was primarily focused on “asylum mills” and groups of lawyers who bragged about coaching migrants from years ago, so they could “fraudulently obtain asylum in Manhattan’s Chinatown and in Flushing, Queens.”

 

These are the policies that allowed twice deported illegal alien Jorge Rios to keep returning to America. Rios, an illegal alien from Honduras, was recently arrested on March 31st for the murder of a New Jersey nanny. And if there’s blame to be placed, place it on Rios and the Democrats, such as Speaker Pelosi and Senator Chuck Schumer who have continuously pushed the Open Borders agenda for political gain,  and RINOs, such as Speaker Paul Ryan who kept diverting the President from the border emergency to keep the cheap labor pools growing, when the Republicans had the majority and could have done something effective; in some respects, both parties have failed the nation on this issue.

 

Recently, Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen implored Congressto act ASAP to give DHSGOV the authorities we need to protect children from the terrible journey, discourage illegal immigration, and secure our border“. She added, “Failure to act is putting lives at risk — especially children who are exploited … and … ‘recycled’ by smugglers / bad guys [who] know our outdated laws and [use] children as a ‘free ticket’ into America without a legal fix and additional resources, there will be no end to the crisis“.

 

Fortunately, President Trump’s National Emergency declaration withstood Democrat and RINO attempts to override it, in the face of such an obvious emergency. And for those who struggle with their native English language, in the manner of the Speaker and Senate Minority Leader, “emergency” is defined by Merriam-Webster as “an unforeseen combination of circumstances or the resulting state that calls for immediate actionan urgent need for assistance or relief.”

 

On Friday March 29th, President Trump noted that Mexico can stop illegal aliens from crossing our southern border, if they choose to do so. The President said: “If they [Mexico] don’t stop [illegal aliens], we’re closing the border. They’ll close it. And we’ll keep it closed for a long time. I’m not playing games.”

 

This was followed by the President’s orders to halt financial aid to these countries that are not discouraging the hordes of illegal aliens, such as El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras. On Saturday March 30th, the State Department acknowledged that it was moving to withhold approximately $700 million in aid to the three Northern Triangle Countries.

 

Virtually every single Democrat is mounting a hue and cry against cutting aid to these countries and closing the border, as they describe the economic damage it will do to the Northern Triangle Countries and Mexico, as well as our own. However, noting that these migrants were already facing “deplorable” conditions,  Kellyanne Conway stated: “This is a classic case of what may happen … versus what’s right in front of us. We are over the melting point.”

 

Several more caravans are forming to send 20,000 to 40,000 more illegal aliens to America, in the wake of the 8,000 member Honduran caravan that not so long ago refused Mexico’s offer of asylum and jobs. Just like Europe’s illegal aliens flooding their countryside hoping to make it to Germany or Great Britain, the Triangle Country illegals know where the largest welfare checks are to be found. America can’t afford either free immigration or a welfare state, and it won’t survive both.

 

Closing the border is a drastic measure that would have immediate consequences for trade and commerce between the United States and Mexico. Mexico is America’s third largest trading partner, with approximately $611 billion in cross-border trade last year, according to the Commerce Department.

 

For each complex problem there exists answers that are clear, simple and wrong, such as Democrats insistence that all who arrive at the border be given immediate entry and legal legitimacy too, even to the point of voting in U.S. elections without being a U.S citizen. These red, radical anti-American Democrats, such as Julian Castro, former mayor of San Antonio, Texas and a 2020 presidential candidate, would totally eradicate 8 U.S. Code 1325 if they could, which would decriminalize unlawful entry, failure to depart the country, fleeing immigration checkpoints, marriage fraud and commercial enterprise fraud. And obstinate as a rock, they refuse to even admit there is an obvious problem, as they turn a blind-eye to the endless stream of humanity, the dregs of Central America, trying to force their way into America, even as they wave foreign flags.

 

President Trump recognizes the crisis and a problem he says can be fixed by Congress “in 45 minutes”, and his recent actions have put all involved on notice that this problem will be resolved or the problem nations will suffer economically. So too will it bear some economic cost to America, but a little pain now is much preferable to the complete destruction of our nation later. He should absolutely refuse to surrender America’s immigration policies to anti-American Congressmen and foreigners, and he must pursue the complete closure of the southern border, if that’s what it takes to force Congress to come to its senses on this issue. Extraordinary circumstances require extraordinary measures, in the name of the security and sovereignty of the United States and humanity.

 

By Justin O. Smith

________________________

Edited by John R. Houk

Source links are by the Editor.

 

© Justin O. Smith

 

Do YOU Want European Multiculturalism?


Shrug Off Islamophobia & Xenophobia Accusations

 

 

John R. Houk

© March 30, 2019

 

Some fairly intuitive people have noticed what most would think an unusual cooperation between agendas related to Islam and Left-Wing ideology. I am certain more would publicly speak about this odd pattern of cooperation between Muslim Apologists and Leftist Multiculturalists except for the politically correct labeled fear: Islamophobia and Xenophobia.

 

Merriam-Webster on Islamophobia:

 

irrational fear of, aversion to, or discrimination against Islam or people who practice Islam

 

English Oxford Dictionary on Islamophobia:

 

Dislike of or prejudice against Islam or Muslims, especially as a political force.

 

On a personal level I do not an irrational fear or prejudice against Muslims or all things Islam. I do have a great cognitive understanding of how Islamic revered writings command Muslims to treat non-Muslim. Let’s look at a couple of examples that trust me are ONLY the tip of the iceberg against non-Muslims. Islamic scholar/expert Robert Spencer shows a Quranic surah used by apologists to prove how nice and peaceful Islam is contrasted with another surah that brings better context to the first:

 

In reality, Qur’an 25:68-70 warns Muslims not to kill the soul which Allah has forbidden to be killed”; it does not contain any blanket prohibition on killing someone. The Qur’an also tells Muslims to “kill them wherever you find them” (2:191); again, “kill them wherever you find them” (4:89); and “kill the polytheists wherever you find them” (9:5). So clearly killing is permitted, and indeed, commanded, under certain circumstances. (Does Allah really command Muslims to kill non-Muslims? By Robert Spencer; Jihad Watch; 4/4/18 5:34 PM)

 

For a deeper perspective on Islam and non-Muslims:

 

 

 

 

Then there are Leftists with a Multiculturalist agenda. These ideologues are Open Borders, One World Government and Marxist Cultural Utopian friendly folks. If you criticize Muslim migrants, Muslim immigrants or any immigrants that refuse assimilation into the nation and culture moving to then you practice Xenophobia.

 

English Oxford Dictionary on Xenophobia:

 

Dislike of or prejudice against people from other countries.

 

Cambridge Dictionary on Xenophobia:

 

extreme dislike or fear of foreigners, their customs, their religions, etc.

 

For the record I have no problem with foreigners coming to America for a new or better life. I do have a problem with foreigners moving to America desiring to impose cultural norms different from American culture and heritage. If a foreigner does not like America, for God’s sake don’t move here.

 

These thoughts were inspired by an email alert sent from Rachel Ehrenfeld via ACDemocracy. Ehrenfeld writes about European Union (EU) leadership and an apparent Open Borders Multiculturalism eradicating the separate natural cultures of Europe which is actually complying with an ongoing Islamic Dawah transforming Europe to an Islamic culture more and more every day.

 

This is meaning to America TODAY because of the Dem Party’s Open Borders Multiculturalist agenda is hauntingly similar to EU Multiculturalism.

 

JRH 3/30/19

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‘New Europe’ and the Islamist Agenda

 

By Rachel Ehrenfeld

March 29, 2019

American Center for Democracy & Economic Warfare (ACDemocracy)

 

migrants-immigratia

 

The European Union’s Progressive-Left post-nationalist leadership is set on challenging the sovereignty of nation-states, by eliminating borders and letting in millions of Muslims.   This policy has already contributed to moving the “old” European continent towards a new Europe, occupied by new people with a new culture. Apparently, opening the continent to millions of mostly unqualified migrants who refuse to assimilate, and who drain the coffers of their host countries, seems like the preferred solution to the negative birthrates among the Europeans.

 

On August 30, 2010, as he was folding his tent near the Vatican, on his last visit to Rome, Italy, then Libya’s leader Colonel Muammar Gaddafi, forewarned: “Europe runs the risk of turning black from illegal immigration; it could turn into Africa. There is a dangerous level of immigration from Africa into Europe, and we don’t know what will happen. What will be the reaction of the white Christian Europeans to this mass of hungry, uneducated Africans? We don’t know if Europe will remain an advanced and cohesive continent or if it will be destroyed by this barbarian invasion.”

 

Kaddafi urged the Europeans, “imagine that this could happen, but before it does, we need to work together.” He proceeded to offer the Europeans a deal, asking for a modest fee of 5bn euros, to stop the mass migration to Europe, which as he predicted, are costing billions of euros annually.

 

Despite the already increasing number of African migrants and Middle Eastern refugees of the evolving Arab Spring, the Europeans accused Kaddafi of blackmail and dismissed his offer. A few years later, after more than 1million refugees flooded the continent, the EU caved in to Turkey’s Islamist President, Recep Tayyip Erdogan demands of more than 6bn euros, to temporarily prevent refugees from entering Europe.

 

In addition to Kaddafi’s “business proposal,” the Europeans overlooked Kaddafi’s public Dawah sermon, in which he called on Europe to convert to Islam. His handing out Korans to five hundred young Italian women, impressing upon them that “Islam is the “ultimate religion. If you want to believe in a single faith, then it must be that of Mohammed,” was dismissed as one of his publicity ploys, thus overlooking the significance of his performing the Islamic religious duty, the Dawah (calling on infidels to join Islam). Incredibly, European and other Western nations continue to ignore Islamic leaders calls on Muslims residing in the West to spread Islam.

 

Six months later, when Libyan Muslim Brotherhood-affiliated rebels joined the “Arab Spring,” NATO began its military intervention to depose Kaddafi. The chaos that ensued after his death in October 2011, created a vacuum that was swiftly filled by local and foreign jihadist groups, including al Qaeda and ISIS.

 

Libya’s coastline’s strategic importance as a step-stone to Europe was not wasted on ISIS. By 2015, ISIS has been shipping more than a million Muslim and African “refugees”  and to the Italian island of Lampedusa, just 162 nm from the Libyan coastline. It is unknown how many members/supporters of ISIS, al-Qaeda, and other jihadist groups arrived in Europe via Libya as “refugees.”

 

As the refugee crisis worsened, Turkey’s Islamist President, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who aspires to take over and Islamize Europe, demanded a hefty ransom and other political concessions in exchange of helping control the flood of refugees. The Europeans conceded to most of his demands.

 

European nations and central institution’ decades-long denial of the threats posed by radical Islam, have been focusing instead on alleged ‘root causes’ of Islamist terrorism, and on attempts to accommodate and appease them, by codifying the Islamic narrative, imposing political correctness with new draconian hate- speech laws, has played into the hands of the radicals who are set on expanding the Islamization of Europe.

 

Widely publicized declarations by Islamic religious and political leaders and activists that Islam is not merely a religion but also a universal political and social system are not new or secret. They are advertised in all languages on the Internet and on the social media pages of global radical Muslim organizations. The Facebook pages of Hizb ut Tahrir, for example, says: (quote) “Islam is the only system that united people of all races and religions in history and will unite them once more when it returns.”

 

You don’t have to take my word for it. Instead, take a look at our dedicated website news.acdemocracy.org, which provides original documentation of statement made by radical Islamists leaders, official representatives of major Muslim organizations, as well as political leaders in the West who support them.

 

Let’s begin with the Doha based Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi, the very influential spiritual leader for the worldwide Muslim Brotherhood – for many years he was on Interpol’s red alert, but last November was removed without an official explanation – who has issued many Fatwas on the duty of all Muslims to spread Islam. His fatwas have been published on his website; on Islam-online – the brotherhood’s official website, and for many years, he issued them on his widely watched TV program on al Jazeera.

 

According to Qaradawi, “Occupying Europe and defeating Christianity will become possible with the spread of Islam inside Europe until it becomes strong enough to take over the whole continent.”

 

After al -Qaeda attacked the U.S., Qaradawi explained that Islamizing Europe would be “the beginning of the righteous Caliphate’s return.”

 

Al-Qaradawi declared: “Islam will return once more to Europe as a conqueror and as a victorious power after it was expelled twice from the continent…I assume that next time the conquest [of Europe] will not be achieved by the sword [i.e., war] but by preaching (dawah) and spreading the ideology [of Islam]….The conquest of Europe …and the expansion of Islam will reach all the areas where the sun shines and the moon appears [i.e., the entire world.” Few, if any Europeans, took him seriously.

 

Instead, advancing the Islamist agenda seems to suit the Progressive-Left post-nationalist leadership everywhere. Like the Muslims, though for different reasons, they are set on challenging the sovereignty of nation states. Both aim at changing the European continent, by creating a new Europe, occupied by new people and a new culture. For the Europeans, opening the continent to millions of Muslims, who drain the coffers of their host country, seems as the solution to the negative birthrates among the Europeans. Oddly, they are convinced that the newcomers, as the old Europeans, would submit to Brussel’s dictates.

 

Why should they? The Europeans were never interested in assimilating Muslims. Instead, they talked about integration, which they miserably failed. They also failed to acknowledge the rise of radical Islam, especially in large concentrations of Muslim neighborhoods. And little attention, if any, has been given to the constant preaching by local Imams and Islamic scholars, many who visit Europe to inoculate the newly arrived, as well as the second and third generation of Muslim migrants against assimilation.

 

These preachers also warn against temptations readily available in Western secular societies, urging instead, to “spread the word of Allah.”

 

In September 2015, at the height of the refugee’s crisis in Europe, when more than 1 million refuges flooded Europe following the German Chancellor’s controversial decision of open border migration.   Fatima Benhatta, a Canadian representative of the U.K based international organization Islamic Relief, which has ties to Hamasissued the following statement on the Syrian mass immigration to Europe.

 

“…My prayer, O Allah, open their [European countries that welcomed Syrian refugees] breasts to [accept] Islam and provide them with the testimony [pledge of allegiance to Allah and Mohammad].  I swear by Allah that they deserve the prayer. What is the achievement of Syrians coming [to Europe]? Islam will be spread even more among them [Europeans], their [Muslims] ratio [in society] will increase and the Syrians will be victorious [conquering Europe], Allah Willing…” (archive)

 

Incidentally, Fatima is friendly with Canada’s Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, who on March 17, 2019, after the awful Christchurch terrorist attack on Muslims,  chose to visit a Muslim Community (SNMC) mosque in Ottawa to express his solidarity with the Muslim community. That mosque, however, is known for hosting a Saudi imam who prayed for killing Jews and Christians.

 

Also in late 2015, the popular Islamist activist Saeed Rageah, who was born in Somalia, raised in Saudi Arabia, and according to his online bio, “found his way to North America,” in the late 1980s’, visited  Sweden to address Muslim refugees and immigrants. In his speech, which was posted on YouTube-  Rageah enlightened his audience, saying: “The reason that Allah brought you here is so you can carry the message of Islam to the people. Why? Because each one of us has the responsibility to call people to Allah.”

 

Rageah has also delivered sermons calling on all Muslims living in the West, to Hire only Muslims: “Use only truck-and cab drivers that are Muslim! Use only doctors who are Muslim. — “If you want to do anything just ask if that individual is a Muslim or not. If he is not, then look for a Muslim, because I’m sure you’ll find a Muslim. I’m sure you’ll find a Muslim in that field…”

 

Shaikh Abdool Hamid, who like many other Islamic scholars from all over the world have been educated at Medina University, the Saudi version of the Patrice Lumumba Peoples’ Friendship University, in the former USSR.

 

Hamid is a popular lecturer who serves as Imam in several mosques in North America.  He regularly holds sermons calling to impose Islam, with instructions on how to advance the transformation of Western secular nations into an Islamic society.

 

He argues that while “it may seem from one perspective that Islam took over…it is really [taking] over in order to enhance the lives” of the people. He also calls on the newcomers to become politically active, because “changing society cannot happen unless we become involved in the political process.” The involvement in the political process, he explains, “is necessary to bring Sharia (Islamic Law) because Islam is universal.”

 

But what should be done to the infidels who reject the Invitation to Islam?

 

When such an invitation, the Dawah, does not convince all non-believers to convert, the Hadith provides the next step. According to the book “The Gardens of the Righteous” [Blog Editor: 346 pg PDF English translation via al Islam] – which was written by a Sunni scholar in the 13th Century, and published and distributed with modern commentary in the United States, and on social media by the Islamic Circle of North America, “Islam strives to achieve global dominance by jihad.,, Until Islam Becomes Victorious or We Die in the Attempt. ”

 

The Saudi Salman bin Fahed al-‘Auda, a member of the Muslim Brotherhood’s International Union for Muslim Scholars, who in 2017 was not allowed into Denmark and in September 2018 sentenced to death by a Saudi court, is famous for asserting that the solution to Islamic distress — that may bring about the fall of America and the Western world — “exists in one word which is Jihad.”

 

As al-Auda explains (quote) -“The West, and above all the United States, and Western culture, in general, are undergoing a historical process that is deterministic. This process leads to its total collapse, sooner or later.” He sounds like most Democrats turned progressive socialists’ Presidential candidates in the US…. Doesn’t he?

 

According to al-Auda and many other Salafi scholars – Jihad is intended to accelerate that collapse. And importantly, he reminds us that Jihad is fought not only on the battlefield.  “Weapons are not only the rifle, the bullet, the airplane, the tank, and the cannon. Not at all!When thinking about weapons to advance Jihad, think about the economy as a weapon, money is a weapon…”

 

Anyone critical of the Europeans’ open border policies, and the Islamization of Europe is labeled Islamophobe by the radical Left and leaders of wide-spread, well-funded Muslim organizations who use lawfare as an economic warfare against their critics.  Joining them are the leaders of the European Union, who willfully ignore the Islamic threat, in their haste to turn the European continent to a new, pinker version of the former USSR. The EU’s central bureaucracy delude itself into believing that they will be able to control the fast-growing radicalized Muslim population, as they have the secular Europeans.

 

Europe’s Left -leaning central institutions, and Europe’s leading Islamic organizations fight to protect their opacity. Both groups fear that transparency would foil their plans. Thus, they stigmatize their opponents as irrational and hate mongers to silence and abuse the legal system to punish them.

 

However, there is nothing irrational with those who dare to identify the threats posed by these two groups. The “Visegrad 4” – made of four Central European nations that for decades lived under Communism: Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, and Hungary, joined in opposition to the EU’s post-nationalist, no-borders, “New Europe”, pro -Muslim migration agenda.

 

The Polish government, which resists the EU dictated quota of Muslim refugees, has instead “rolled out the welcome mat” for some 2 million economic migrants from Ukraine, who are seeking” a better life after the Russian invasion of 2014.”

 

At the forefront of the opposition to the EU’s efforts to end its member nations’ sovereignty, and creating a “new Europeans” with masses of Muslim migrants/refugees, is Hungary’s outspoken Prime Minister Victor Orbán.

 

The Ottoman’s Empire’s 158 years rule over Hungary (1541-1699), has not been forgotten. And Mr. Orban seems intent on preventing the history of Islamic oppression from repeating itself. Despite EU threats and sanctions, he continues to argue that “Without the protection of our Christian culture, we are going to lose Europe, and Europe will no longer belong to the Europeans.”

 

Would Europe catch up with Poland and Hungary? Could Europe get its act together before it’s too late?

________________________

Do YOU Want European Multiculturalism?

Shrug Off Islamophobia & Xenophobia Accusations

John R. Houk

© March 30, 2019

_______________________

‘New Europe’ and the Islamist Agenda

 

Dr. Rachel Ehrenfeld is Founder and President of the New York-based American Center for Democracy, and the Economic Warfare Institute. Dr. Ehrenfeld has authored academic and policy papers and more than one thousand articles. Her books include FUNDING EVIL: How Terrorism is Financed – and How to Stop It (2011) • EVIL MONEY (HarperCollins, 1992,1994). Her latest book project is on The Economic Warfare against the U.S. from Within and Without. • NARCOTERRORISM (Basic Books, 1990, 1992).

 

Copyright © 2019 | The American Center for Democracy is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. Your contribution is tax-deductible to the fullest extent of the law.

 

HOW WE GOT HERE WITH RUSSIA


The Soviet Union and an overt Communist agenda managed by a Marxist-Leninist-Stalinist Russian government may have come to an end, BUT old guard Communists want to make Russia a global threat again. If you couple the Russian agenda with the American Left (you could say Socialist/Marxist) agenda, the United States of America is under threat from without and within.

 

Below is an Institute for the Study of War (UnderstandingWar.org) analysis of how Russia has arrived at its current state of existence.

 

(I have not included the table of contents, sponsor credits, author info, et al. I did include the rather lengthy End Notes section. For those other attributes you will have to click the ISW PDF link.)

 

JRH 3/14/19

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HOW WE GOT HERE WITH RUSSIA:

THE KREMLIN’S WORLDVIEW

 

By Nataliya Bugayova

March 2019

Institute for the Study of War [PDF]

 

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

 

The Kremlin’s increasingly assertive foreign policy, including its illegal occupation of Crimea in 2014 and its intervention in Syria in 2015, came unexpectedly to many in the West. . These events were nonetheless mere extensions of the worldview held by Russian President Vladimir Putin.. This worldview was built on more than two decades of compounded dissatisfaction with the West as well as Putin’s cumulative experiences in his ongoing global campaigns to achieve his core objectives: the preservation of his regime, the end of American hegemony, and the reinstatement of Russia as a global power.. Some of these ambitions were tamed, and others expedited, by external events, yet their core has remained the same and often at odds with the West.. The U..S.. believed that a brief period of non-assertive foreign policy from the mid-1980s to mid-1990s had become the new norm for Russia.. This period was not the norm but an anomaly.. Putin’s foreign policy has always been assertive, similar to Russia’s historic foreign policy.. The U..S.. may thus find itself once again surprised by Putin.. This paper examines the evolution of Russia’s foreign policy worldview since the collapse of the Soviet Union to help understand the likely next priorities of the Kremlin..

 

INTRODUCTION

 

The U.S. has routinely attempted to reset relations with Russia since the rise to power of Russian President Vladimir Putin in 2000. The Soviet Union’s collapse led legions of scholars and policy-makers to pivot towards the new issues of a post-Soviet Middle East, Europe, and Asia. An entire generation of Americans hardly thought about Russia. The Russian Federation was seen as a former foe that could be integrated—albeit uneasily—into the international system led by the U.S.

 

Yet Russia did not view the slate as clean. The Kremlin’s foreign policy narrative, by contrast, soon focused on America’s disregard for its interests and the need to achieve a multipolar international system free of U.S. hegemony. Putin has remained clear on these goals since his ascent to the Kremlin. Russia needed to recover from its weakened state, reestablish itself as a global power, and achieve a new world order that held up the Kremlin as an equal—not a dependent—to the U.S.

 

Putin’s twenty-year tenure in power has had a cumulative effect on his worldview. . His assertiveness has grown in step with his strengthened grip on domestic power and his growing perception that he faces only limited international pushback. His personal resentment of geopolitical slights has grown and fed back into Russia’s national security dialogue. The influence of other forceful national security leaders has also grown. Putin has responded to internal challenges by seeking foreign policy distractions. The direction of his aims has always been consistent even if the vigor and rancor with which they are pursued has increased.

 

Putin’s public tone has mirrored this evolution.. In 2000, Putin “did not see reasons that would prevent … cooperation with NATO under the condition that Russia would be treated as an equal partner” with the West.1 By 2007, he was openly attacking the unipolar world order of the post-Cold War: “It is a world in which there is one master, one sovereign … This is pernicious not only for all those within this system, but also for the sovereign itself because it destroys itself from within … The model is flawed because at its basis there is and can be no moral foundations for modern civilization.”2 By 2014, Putin was justifying action against this system: “There is a limit to everything … and with Ukraine, our Western partners have crossed the line.”3 The core concepts of his policy remained stable even as his rhetoric shifted from cautious outreach to direct criticism.

 

Putin’s worldview is Russia’s foreign policy. . The Kremlin’s foreign policy views largely predate the rise of Putin. Putin’s two decades in power, however, have enshrined his worldview as Russia’s. Putin’s Russia—unlike its predecessors—has no state machine or elite capable of balancing out his instincts and narratives. The Soviet Politburo typically served as a counterbalance to the rulers of the Soviet Union with the exception of Joseph Stalin. Imperial Russian had a base of influential elite that frequently shaped policy ideas with notable exceptions such as Peter the Great and Ivan the Terrible. Putin’s intimate circle of advisors is comparatively small with a contingent of military and security service leaders who have climbed with him for twenty years. Not all Russians accept (let alone support) all of these foreign policy ideas but their disagreement matters little among a population by-and-large focused on day-to-day issues. Putin’s and Russia’s foreign priorities, at least for the moment, are the same.

 

The line between narrative and belief has blurred over the last twenty years.. The Kremlin’s talking points are propaganda and it is easy to dismiss them as such. However, these narratives have been repeated and amplified for two decades. They have become self-sustaining and rebounded back into the national security debate. Even if Putin’s inner convictions differed from his rhetoric, he has imbued an entire generation—indeed, an entire national psyche—with a sense of grievance against the West. These narratives will thus inform the overall arc of the Kremlin’s foreign policy for years to come.

 

The following sections trace the articulation and evolution of this worldview since the fall of the Soviet Union. Americans tend to group the major events and thoughts of the past two decades into a series of historical periods such as the Cold War, the 1990s (prior to 9/11), and the administrations of George W. Bush, Barack Obama, and Donald Trump. Russians hold a different view of recent events. These divergent interpretations of history—often reflected in rhetoric—are crucial to understanding the antagonistic worldview of Putin vis-à-vis the U.S. and NATO.

 

The Evolution of the Kremlin’s Foreign Policy graph

 

1991 – 1999: THE YELTSIN PERIOD

 

Russian President Boris Yeltsin’s tenure focused on establishing post-Soviet Russia and putting it on a democratic trajectory amidst enormous internal challenges. Yeltsin became the first president of the newly-created Russian Federation after the dissolution of the Soviet Union at the end of 1991. Russia’s economy soon collapsed from the shock of a rapid attempted transition from centralized control to the free market. Millions fell into poverty. State structures, including law enforcement and the military, were greatly weakened. Criminality spread across the former Soviet Union. An economic oligarchy emerged as a small number of individuals rapidly accumulated vast wealth, often taking advantage of the privatization of undervalued state assets. Russia suffered several terrorist attacks originating from groups in the North Caucuses, particularly the Chechen Republic. Yeltsin launched a largely failed military campaign to regain control over these territories in 1994. Communist hardliners meanwhile continued their efforts to regain control of Russia. They attempted to seize power violently in 1993 and then peacefully in the 1996 Russian Presidential Election. They failed both times—but both failures came too close for comfort.

 

Russian President Boris Yeltsin worked to improve the relationship between Russia and the U.S. during his two terms in the Kremlin. However, assertive foreign policy narratives had already begun to reemerge in Russia by the mid-1990s.

 

Yeltsin initially prioritized strategic partnership with the U.S. … and broader integration with the West.. “We have left behind the period when America and Russia looked at each other through gun sights,” Yeltsin said in his historic 1992 Address to the U.S. Congress.4 Yeltsin’s Foreign Minister Andrey Kozyrev advocated for Russia to join the club of developed civilized democracies and practice equal cooperation with the former Soviet Union.5 Russia and the U.S. signed numerous bilateral cooperation agreements.6 Russia joined NATO’s Partnership for Peace, which aimed to build trust between NATO and the former Soviet Union. Russia withdrew all of its troops from Germany by 1994.7 Russia also engaged the West for help with its economic reforms.

 

Assertive foreign policy rhetoric began to reemerge in the context of the 1996 Russian Presidential Election.. Economic turmoil continued to grip Russia and Yeltsin’s political opponents blamed the West for the failure of liberal economic reforms. These voices argued that Russia had disregarded its national interests in its attempts to cooperate with the U.S. and that Yeltsin’s administration had made too many concessions—such as agreeing to curb its arms sales to Iran or failing to oppose the initial expansion of NATO—with little to show in return.8 Yeltsin, likely influenced by electoral pressures, appointed Russian Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR) Director Yevgeny Primakov as Russian Foreign Minister in 1996. Primakov criticized his predecessor for pursuing a “toothless” foreign policy that subordinated national interests to a desire to join the so-called “civilized world.”9 He claimed that Russia had become the “led” rather than the leader in foreign affairs.10 The Kremlin repeats these accusations to this day.11 Yeltsin also oversaw the passage of eased citizenship requirements for Russians outside of the Russian Federation that set the stage for later confrontations with neighbors in the former Soviet Union.12

 

Primakov refocused the conversation on national interests and introduced one of Russia’s first narratives regarding a multipolar world order. . He advocated for a multipolar international system that would not be dominated by the U.S.—a concept later embraced by Putin. He promoted a diversified foreign policy that called for expanded ties with India and China. Russia joined the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) in 1998. Primakov also stressed the need for Russia to abandon the role of a “junior” partner to the U.S. Current Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov credited the establishment of Russia’s independent foreign policy to Primakov in 2014, asserting that historians would ultimately term it the Primakov Doctrine.13

 

The Kremlin adopted a new and more assertive National Security Concept in 1997.. The document identified “NATO expansion as a national security threat” and warned that “other states are activating their efforts to weaken” Russia.14 The document also outlined more paternalistic policies towards the former Soviet Union. It included a passage prioritizing the “proclamation of the Russian language as the state language and the language of international communication of the people of Russia and the Commonwealth of Independent States as a critical factor towards unifying the people of multinational Russia.” The document nonetheless concluded that the main threats to Russia’s national security were predominantly domestic and non-military challenges.

 

Yeltsin and the U. .S. . suffered their biggest diplomatic divide over the intervention of NATO in Yugoslavia in 1999. . Yeltsin opposed airstrikes by NATO against Serbia during the Kosovo War and called on the U.S. President Bill Clinton not to “take this tragic step” in the Balkans.15 NATO nonetheless launched the operation in order to end human rights abuses by Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic—an ally of Russia—against ethnic Albanians in Kosovo. It occurred without authorization from the UN and over the protests of Russia. Yeltsin nonetheless responded within the framework of NATO by insisting upon the inclusion of the Russian Armed Forces in the subsequent international NATO Kosovo Force (KFOR).

 

Yeltsin and Primakov nevertheless recognized the continued importance of dialog with the U..S.. and NATO.. Yeltsin’s disagreement with the U.S. on Yugoslavia did not fundamentally affect other areas of relations between the U.S. and Russia. He signed several additional agreements with NATO including the 1997 Founding Act on Mutual Relations, Cooperation, and Security.16 He continued to stress the importance of cooperation with the U.S. and Russia’s aspiration to join the Group of Seven (or G7) in his national security address to the Russian Federal Assembly in 1996.17 Russia joined the G7 in 1997. Yeltsin maintained a warm personal relationship throughout his two terms in office with U.S. President Bill Clinton.18 Primakov also advocated throughout his life for international integration and cooperation with the West and NATO.19

 

Yeltsin and his foreign policy team did not yet operate within the framework of a grudge against the West.. They were largely pragmatic, sometimes confrontational, and increasingly assertive—but rarely bitter.20 Primakov laid out some of the most important theoretical bases of the policy later pursued by Putin but neither he nor Yeltsin acted on them seriously while in office. Russia remained too weak to pursue any of its emerging ambitions, especially after it suffered a major financial crisis in 1998.21 Yeltsin regardless was unlikely have turned hard against the U.S. His tenure was marked by a determination to build democratic institutions, integrate with the West, and prevent the return of the Communists.

 

1999 – 2002: THE EARLY PUTIN YEARS

 

Yeltsin resigned and appointed Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin as Acting President on December 31, 1999. Russia was still recovering from its financial collapse in 1998. Economic oligarchs were actively influencing the political processes of the Kremlin. Putin was leading a second campaign in Chechnya which started in 1999. Russia continued to suffer from deadly terrorist attacks, including a major hostage crisis in Moscow in 2002 that killed 130 individuals.

 

Russian President Vladimir Putin had already formed one of his key foreign policy narratives—the critique of American global hegemony and its disregard for Russia after the Cold War—before his rise to power. Referring to the 1999 Kosovo War, then-Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) Director Putin argued that “a group of countries is actively trying to change the world order that was established after World War II … The U.N. is being removed from the process of solving of one of the most acute conflicts” in Europe.22 Putin would continue to accuse “the so-called ‘victors’ in the Cold War” of trying to “reshape the world to suit their own needs and interests” throughout his terms in the Kremlin.23

 

Putin nevertheless focused on domestic affairs during his first years in office and revealed little animus against the West.. Putin viewed the weakness of the state and its internal economic turmoil as existential threats to Russia. “For the first time in the past two hundred to three hundred years, [Russia] is facing a real danger of sliding into the second and possibly third echelon of world states,” Putin wrote the day before his appointment as Acting President.24 He focused on rebuilding the economy and the strength of the government as well as consolidating his own grip on power. He prioritized strengthening law enforcement and security services, taming the oligarchs, eliminating political opponents, and regaining federal control over the Chechen Republic.

 

Putin’s initial advisory team would ascend to key roles in Russia’s national security and foreign policy debate. . Putin’s close circle of trusted military and intelligence officials brought with them a specific set of grievances and goals—first and foremost the restoration of domestic control and internal influence lost during the 1990s. Some of these early political officials would later play a key role in the development of foreign policy in the Kremlin:

 

  • Nikolai Patrushev replaced Putin as FSB Director in 1999. Patrushev currently heads Russia’s Security Council—the equivalent of the U.S. National Security Council (NSC).

 

  • Sergey Chemezov worked for Putin in Yeltsin’s Chemezov is currently the CEO of Rostec, a major state-owned defense-industrial conglomerate.

 

  • Igor Sechin served as Putin’s Chief of Staff when Putin was First Deputy Mayor of St. Petersburg. Sechin is currently the Executive Chairman of Rosneft, the state oil company.25

 

  • Sergey Naryshkin worked with Putin in the KGB and St. Petersburg. Naryshkin has held various roles in Putin’s Kremlin since 2004 and currently serves as SVR Director.26

 

  • Sergey Ivanov served as the head of Russia’s Security Council in 1999. Ivanov held various prominent roles in Putin’s Kremlin including Minister of Defense, First Deputy Prime Minister, and Chief of Staff of the Presidential Administration.

 

Putin viewed the Kosovo War as a precedent that threatened the sovereignty of Russia. . He feared that the West could support a similar unilateral declaration of independence by breakaway regions such as Chechnya and force a halt to military operation against extremists launching attacks in the heart of Russia. Putin was convinced that this threat would “not stop with Chechnya’s independence” and that “Chechnya would be used as a platform to attack the rest of Russia.” He warned that the precedent could spread to other territories such as Dagestan, Ingushetia, and Tatarstan, and ultimately threaten the core of the Russian Federation. “If we do not stop the extremists [in Chechnya], we are risking a second Yugoslavia across the entire territory of the Russian Federation—the Yugoslavization of Russia,” Putin asserted in 2000.27

 

The idea that Russia must “fight to exist”—one of the key tenets in Putin’s foreign policy—also emerged at this time. Putin believed that the U.S. provided covert support to terrorists in Chechnya in order to destabilize Russia.28 The West in turn criticized the ongoing military campaign in Chechnya for its brutality and high levels of civilian casualties.29 Putin believed that if he conceded to calls to decrease the intensity of his military operations, Russia would face disintegration. His broader narrative reflected a core fear of state collapse and loss of territory. This rhetoric also tied back into earlier sentiments within the Kremlin that Russia was weak after the dissolution of the Soviet Union and risked losing sovereignty to external forces—in particular, the U.S.30 It followed, according to this view, that Russia must assert itself on the global stage to maintain its independence. The Kremlin began to view a less active foreign policy as another sign of lost sovereignty, a view that persists to the present day.

 

Putin’s early relationship with the U. .S. . nevertheless largely followed the path set by Yeltsin and Primakov. . Putin noted the prospect of cooperating on an equal basis with NATO in 2000.31 He supported the U.S. counter-terrorism mission against al Qaeda after 9/11 and signed an agreement in 2002 establishing the NATO-Russia Council.32 He emphasized the pursuit of democracy and stressed that “Russia is a part of European culture.” He criticized the unilateral withdrawal of the U.S. from the 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty in 2002 but still signed a bilateral Strategic Offensive Reduction Treaty in 2003 (later superseded by the New START Treaty in 2011). He largely readopted Yeltsin’s 1997 National Security Concept in January 2000.33

 

 

Putin later adopted a new Foreign Policy Concept in June 2000. The document continued a trend of assertive rhetoric toward the former Soviet states. It called for creating “a friendly belt on the perimeter of Russian borders.”34 It also stressed the need to “strengthen Russian sovereignty and achieve firm positions in the world community, consistent with the interests of the Russian Federation as a great power, as one of the most influential centers of the modern world.”

 

2003 – 2004: ACCELERATION

 

Putin’s foreign policy experienced an inflection in 2003 and 2004. A series of external and domestic factors accelerated Putin’s ambitions and foreign pursuits. He became more assertive on the international stage as he began to solidify his grip on domestic power.

 

Putin established in this period a firm grip on the internal affairs of Russia.. Russia quickly repaid its outstanding debts to the West, meeting its obligations to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) by 2005 and the Paris Club by 2006.35 Both of these payments occurred ahead of schedule. The debt repayment was a point of personal pride for Putin that demonstrated the regaining strength and independence of Russia.36 Meanwhile, Russia was gradually restoring control over Chechnya after a military campaign that largely destroyed the regional capital of Grozny. Chechnya passed a constitution in 2003 that ostensibly granted broad autonomy to the Chechen Republic but preserved firm control from the Kremlin.

 

Putin also eliminated or otherwise subordinated rival powerbrokers during this period, mainly oligarchs with influence over the political process.37 Boris Berezovsky—one of Russia’s most powerful tycoons—fled to Britain in 2001. Mikhail Khodorkovsky—another powerful and influential oil baron—was imprisoned in 2003. The remaining oligarchs largely accepted Putin’s demand that they should not interfere in politics. Putin expanded the reach of the security services and strengthened the power of state. He further centralized power by eliminating the direct elections of regional governors in favor of presidential appointments in 2004.38

 

Putin began efforts to reintegrate former Soviet states into some form of political grouping led by Russia. . Putin pressured Ukraine to join the Common Economic Space—an integrated market for the former Soviet states that would later evolve into the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU).39 Ukraine entered the deal alongside Belarus and Kazakhstan in 2003.40 Ukraine later distanced itself from this process under pro-Western Ukrainian President Victor Yushchenko. The Kremlin also applied similar pressure to Georgia under Georgian President Eduard Shevardnadze.41 Shevardnadze had exercised a more independent foreign policy, including a stated intent to join NATO, which threatened the continued influence of Putin’s Russia.42

 

Putin’s ambitions to regain control over his perceived rightful sphere of influence accelerated after a series of global events in 2003 and 2004..

 

  • The 2003 U..S.. Invasion of Iraq and overthrow of Saddam Hussein struck several nerves with Russia. Putin held a strong aversion to forced regime change given his concerns about preserving his own regime. He was upset about a loss of influence in the Middle East due to the destruction of a former Soviet ally. He also resented the U.S. for acting over his objections and without explicit authorization by the UN (similar to the Kosovo War).

 

  • Putin was even more concerned by the “color revolutions” that saw a wave of peaceful protests against corrupt regimes in several former Soviet states, including Georgia’s 2003 Rose Revolution and Ukraine’s 2004 Orange Revolution. Putin accused the U.S. of instigating the revolutions and imposing “external governance” over these states.43 This perceived threat was deeply concerning to the Kremlin. It undermined the stated national security goal of creating a “friendly belt of neighbors” and presented a potential challenge to the regime itself. Putin held up the ‘color revolutions’ as an object lesson and a warning, stressing that the Kremlin “should do everything necessary so that nothing similar ever happens in Russia.”44 Putin internalized the notion of the “color revolution” as a method of covert destabilization by the West.

 

  • The Kremlin also criticized the expansion of NATO in 2004, when the alliance accepted seven new states in Eastern and Southern Europe. Russia remained more concerned, however, about its loss of control over the states of the former Soviet Union than the potential military threat from NATO. Putin stated at the time that the enlargement was “not a threat” to Russia but called it a “counterproductive” step that could not “effectively counter the main threats that we are facing today.”45 The Kremlin ultimately feared the emergence of widespread “anti-Russian rhetoric” as former Soviet states and clients moved towards NATO.46

 

The Kremlin nonetheless remained relatively moderate in its rhetoric against the West.. “It was difficult for us when the U.S. unilaterally withdrew from the ABM Treaty. It was difficult for us when, bypassing the UN Security Council, they started the war in Iraq. Nonetheless, our countries have managed … to prevent a return to confrontation … [through] common sense and the understanding that common strategic interests … outweigh any tactical differences,” stated Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov in 2004.47 Putin also stated at the time that the U.S. remained a priority partner of Russia on some of the most pressing global problems, such as the War on Terror.48 The relative calmness of this rhetoric belied the fact that Putin was preparing to start speaking and acting openly to counteract what he perceived as a growing disregard for his interests.

 

2004 – 2012: OPEN CONFRONTATION

 

Putin easily won reelection in the 2004 Russian Presidential Elections. Russia benefitted from high oil prices. Putin later (due to term limits) accepted the post of Russian Prime Minister in 2008. He nonetheless continued to largely dictate the policies of the Kremlin and Russian President Dmitri Medvedev. The Russian Constitution was modified to change the length of presidential terms from four to six years, effective after the departure of Medvedev.

 

“The United States has overstepped its national borders in every way” – Russian President Vladimir Putin, 2007

 

Putin increasingly pushed his foreign policy campaigns towards open confrontation in this period. He escalated his rhetoric against the U.S. and NATO. He simultaneously limited the civil liberties of Russians, presenting the measures as necessary to defeat subversion by the West.

 

The Kremlin launched a set of campaigns to regain control over former Soviet states..

 

  • Russia launched a major information campaign to restore its diminished political influence in Ukraine after the 2004 Orange Revolution. This campaign evolved into a decade-long effort to inflame domestic grievances and fuel popular sentiments against the West and the central government in Kyiv. The Kremlin would tap into this groundwork to launch its subversion campaign in Eastern Ukraine in 2014.

 

  • Russia also started a subversion campaign against the Baltic States following their accession to NATO. Russia launched a wave of cyberattacks on banks, media outlets, and government organizations in Estonia in 2007 shortly after the Government of Estonia decided to relocate a memorial to the Soviets from World War II. The Kremlin argued that the move dishonored the memory of Russia’s victory over Nazi Germany. Russia also applied other diplomatic pressures on the Baltic States, including a ban on certain imports from Latvia in 2006.49

 

  • The Kremlin framed the continued engagement of the U.S. and NATO with Ukraine and Georgia as national security threats to Russia.50 Russia invaded Georgia in August 2008 —four months after the 2008 NATO Bucharest Summit in which NATO signaled its ultimate intent to incorporate Georgia into NATO. Putin carved off the regions of South Ossetia and Abkhazia, and subsequently recognized their unilateral declarations of independence from Georgia (made possible by the continued presence of the Russian Armed Forces).

 

  • Russia continued to expand the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU), which now includes Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Armenia, and Kyrgyzstan as well as a free trade agreement with Vietnam. Putin also attempted to coopt Moldova, Ukraine, and Georgia into the EEU, although all three countries ultimately chose instead to sign association agreements with the European Union. Russia is still attempting to use the EEU as a tool to build regional influence and global credibility through agreements with states outside of the former Soviet Union such as Egypt.

 

Putin expanded on his narrative criticizing American hegemony and advocating for the return of a multipolar world.. Putin stated that “attempts to rebuild modern multifaceted civilization, created by God, according to the barracks-room principles of a unipolar world are extremely dangerous” during a visit to India in 2004.51 Putin later elaborated on this narrative at the 2007 Munich Security Conference. “We are seeing a greater and greater disdain for the basic principles of international law … The United States has overstepped its national borders in every way.”52 He accused the West of using international organizations as “vulgar instrument[s] designed to promote the foreign policy interests of one or a group of countries.” This rhetoric would become a central line of argument for the Kremlin. “The ambitions of one group have grown so much that they are presented as the opinions of the entire world community, which they are not,” Putin stated in 2014.

 

Putin also started to introduce aggressive rhetoric against NATO.. Putin stressed at the 2007 Munich Security Conference that NATO’s expansion was intended to encircle Russia.53 This statement was a departure from his initial reaction three years prior, in which he claimed that the enlargement of the alliance did not pose a national security threat to Russia. The context of this statement highlighted the increasingly combative tone adopted by Putin.

 

The intervention of NATO in Libya in 2011 further fueled Putin’s resentment of the West. .

 

Putin condemned international support for the intervention as a “medieval call for crusades.”54 He nonetheless ran into disagreement with then-Russian President Medvedev, who asserted that “all that is going on in Libya is connected with the outrageous behavior of Libya’s authorities and crimes that were completely against their own people.”55 Russia, possibly as a result of this internal debate, did not veto a resolution by the UN Security Council to impose a “no-fly zone” over Libya in 2011. The intervention eventually escalated into a full-blown military campaign that resulted in the overthrow and death of Libyan President Muammar Gaddafi.

 

Putin interpreted this incident as a betrayal at the hands of the West. Putin accused the U.S. and NATO of cynically manipulating the international system to impose regime change in Libya. “[The West] was [initially] saying ‘we do not want to kill Gaddafi’ and now even some officials are saying ‘yes, we are aiming to destroy Gaddafi.’ Who allowed [them] to do this? Was there a trial? Why have they decided to take up this right to execute a person?” Putin asked shortly before the death of Gaddafi in October 2011.56 The Kremlin also regretted its loss of political influence and multi-billion dollar industrial contracts in Libya.57 Medvedev later articulated the resulting grudge, stating that the shift from a limited intervention to protect civilians to the destruction of a sovereign government was “a cynical deception on the part of those who claim to be the world’s moral and political leaders … The cynical deception occurred at the [UN] Security Council’s roundtable. Its decisions were distorted and violated, while the so-called temporary military coalition usurped the powers of the United Nations.”58 Putin determined not to repeat this mistake and Russia began to consistently vote against UN Security Council resolutions aimed at addressing similar conflicts in Syria and the Middle East.59

 

The Kremlin also intensified its narrative about U. .S. . inference in the affairs of Russia. Russia. accused the West of using non-governmental organizations (NGOs) as covert means to orchestrate ‘color revolutions’ in the former Soviet Union.60 Putin claimed that external actors were financing political activities in Russia in 2005.61 He signed a new law on NGOs in 2006 that aimed to “deny registration to any organization whose goals and objectives…create a threat to the sovereignty, political independence, territorial integrity, national unity, unique character, cultural heritage, and national interests of the Russian Federation.”62

 

The Kremlin criticized democratization aid to the former Soviet Union—ironically at a time when the U.S. was considering cuts to such aid.63

 

Putin may have held genuine fears of a ‘color revolution’ in Russia but his public accusations also aimed to justify domestic oppression in the face of an external threat from the West. The Kremlin accused the U.S. State Department of interfering with its judicial system after the U.S. voiced concerns about the arrest of Khodorkovsky in 2003.64 This idea of malign foreign interference itself was not new. The 1997 Russian National Security Concept mentions the threat of “purposeful interference by foreign states and international organizations in the internal life of Russia’s peoples.” Russia’s assertion that foreign press statements constituted itself an interference in sovereign affairs, however, aligned with Putin’s larger effort to redefine state sovereignty as forbidding even international commentary on the internal affairs of Russia.

 

Putin was thus unimpressed by the announced “reset” of relations with Russia by U..S.. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in 2009.. U.S. President Barack Obama stated that the U.S. would abandon plans to build a missile defense shield in Eastern Europe in September 2009.65 Putin praised the decision but rejected the idea of any reset in relations. “We are not talking about ‘reset’ … The U.S. Administration offered us this term,” Putin stated in 2009 and 2012.66 The divergence in worldviews between the U.S. and Russia remained stark despite outreach from the West.

 

2012 – 2018: PUTIN’S COUNTEROFFENSIVE

 

Putin was reelected as Russian President in 2012. He continued to crack down on civil liberties and protests against his reelection. Russia’s economy was stabilizing. Russia was accepted to the World Trade Organization in 2011. The World Bank labeled Russia a high-income country in 2013.67 In 2014, Ukrainian President Victor Yanukovych suspended the signing of an association agreement with the European Union—sparking the Euromaidan Revolution. A series of protests forced Yanukovych to flee Ukraine. Meanwhile, the Syrian Revolution—part of the wider Arab Spring—descended into the Syrian Civil War. Russia interfered in both countries. The West began to impose sanctions on Russia for its violations of international norms. The Russian ruble collapsed due to the sanctions as well as a drop in global oil prices.

 

Putin won a third term as Russian President 2012. He moved quickly to regain and expand his domestic control and global influence.

 

Putin soon faced one of the most serious anti-regime protests during his time in office as mass demonstrations rallied against perceived electoral manipulation in the 2011 Russian Legislative Elections and 2012 Russian Presidential Elections. Thousands protested against Putin’s inauguration to a third presidential term in Bolotnaya Square in Moscow in May 2012. The Kremlin in turn detained hundreds of protesters and dozens of them in what became known as the ‘Bolotnaya Square’ Case. Street protests continued but largely died out by July 2013.

 

Putin continued to pressure civil society in the name of defending Russia against the West with the 2012 Foreign Agent Law.. The law, which granted him the authority to expel a number of American NGOs from Russia, was one of the first acts of his third term. The law was partly a response to the passage of the Magnitsky Act by the U.S. in 2012. The Magnitsky Act aimed to punish officials responsible for the death of Sergey Magnitsky, who died in prison in Moscow after investigating fraud involving Russian officials in 2009.

 

“No one listened to us then. So listen now” – Russian President Vladimir Putin, 2018

 

The 2014 Euromaidan Revolution in Ukraine was a major accelerant of Putin’s aggressive international agenda. . Euromaidan represented Putin’s fundamental fear of a loss of control over his neighbors—but also presented an opportunity for him to realize his long-standing foreign policy goals in the former Soviet Union. In February 2014, Putin deployed Russian Armed Forces to occupy the Crimean Peninsula of Ukraine. Russia subsequently organized an illegal referendum to annex Crimea. Putin sought in part to protect strategic naval basing for the Black Sea Fleet in Crimea, which had nowhere to go if Kyiv cancelled its deal with Russia. Putin also feared that the new Government of Ukraine would push to join NATO. He therefore engineered a separatist insurgency and military intervention in Eastern Ukraine aimed at asserting control over the politics of Kyiv. Putin framed external support to the protests as “crossing the line” by the West. “They have lied to us many times,” Putin said in his address on Crimea joining Russia to the Russian Federal Assembly in 2014. “[They have] made decisions behind our backs, informed us after the fact. This happened with NATO’s expansion to the East, as well as the deployment of military infrastructure at our borders. They kept telling us the same thing: ‘This does not concern you.’”68

 

Putin also launched a military intervention in Syria in September 2015. . He aimed to prevent a repeat of Iraq and Libya, where Russia inaction resulted in a loss of valuable clients in the Middle East. Putin did not intend to lose yet another one of Russia’s remaining allies whose ties dated back to the Soviet Union. He also sought the practical benefits of strategic air and naval basing on the Eastern Mediterranean Sea as well as expanded diplomatic leverage in the Middle East. The U.S. was not coherently pursuing a regime change against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, focusing instead on the narrow fight against ISIS in Iraq and Syria. Yet Putin rejected the nuances of this policy. He deployed combat aircraft and special forces to sustain an air campaign and ground assistance mission in support of Assad and his allies in Iran (including combat forces from the Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps and Lebanese Hezbollah). He framed his campaign as a fight against terrorism, posturing as an effective regional partner and peace-broker.69 The Kremlin nonetheless emphasized that Assad was the “only legitimate power” in Syria and legitimized its own military intervention as a formal request from the sovereign Government of Syria.70

 

Putin continued to frame his actions as a requirement for Russia’s sovereignty: “Sometimes I think, maybe it would be better for our bear to sit quiet, rather than to chase piglets in the forest and to eat berries and honey instead.. Maybe they will leave [our bear] in peace. They will not. Because they will always try to put him on a chain … They will rip out its fangs and its claws [i.e. nuclear weapons]. Once they’ve ripped out its claws and fangs, the bear is no longer needed. They will make a stuffed animal out of it… It is not about Crimea. We are protecting our sovereignty and our right to exist.”71 This sentiment reflects one of Putin’s earliest and core narratives—Russia must assert itself to maintain its sovereignty. Putin has similarly framed sanctions as an effort by the West to punish the growing “might and competitiveness” of Russia. The Kremlin often asserts that Russia has historically been punished when it “rose from its knees.”72 It argues that Putin is the subject of international scorn not because of his foreign interference but because of his resistance to the West. Putin also continued to accuse the U.S. of systematic interference in the domestic affairs of Russia. The latest Russian National Security Strategy identified “intelligence activity by special services and organizations of foreign states” as one of the top national security threats facing Russia.73 The U.S. is “all over our domestic policy, they’re sitting on our head, dangling their feet and chewing bubble gum,” Putin told Megan Kelly on NBC in 2017.74

 

  • Putin has argued that his regime is being scapegoated for domestic failings in the U..S.. and Europe.. The Kremlin accuses the West of using Russia to justify additional defense spending or their domestic and foreign policy failures.75 Putin condemned NATO for inventing “imaginary and mythical threats such as the Russian military threat … It’s pleasant and often profitable to portray yourself to be defenders of civilization from some new barbarians, but Russia doesn’t plan to attack anyone.”76 Putin has framed the passage of the Magnitsky Act as driven by a constant domestic pressure in the U.S. to adopt laws targeting Russia.77 He more recently has claimed that the U.S. used Russia as an excuse to justify its own unilateral and long-planned decision to suspend its participation in the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty in 2019.78

 

Putin has pushed a narrative of the accelerating decline of the West. . Putin attributes global trends, such as the rise of populism, to the failure of the current governance models in which citizens lose trust in their leaders and the value of democracy.79 “Even in the so-called developed democracies, the majority of citizens have no real influence on the political process and no direct and real influence on power,” Putin stated in 2016.80 He added that “it is not about populists … ordinary people, ordinary citizens are losing trust in the ruling class.” The Kremlin reinforces these attacks on democratic processes as part of its effort to protect its regime against an internal revolution as well as its global campaign to undermine rival democratic institutions in the West.

 

The Kremlin frames all of its campaigns as defensive measures that are part of an attempt to restore balance to international relations.. The Kremlin justifies its actions as a response to any number of provocations, escalations, and parallel actions by the U.S. and NATO.81 “Of course we should react to [NATO’s military buildup].

 

How? Either the same as you and therefore by building a multi-billion-dollar anti-missile system or, in view of our present economic and financial possibilities, by developing an asymmetrical answer … I completely agree if you say that the Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI) is not directed against us, just as our new weapons are not directed against you,” Putin stated in 2007.82 Putin often stresses that Russia is open to partnerships and never seeks confrontation with its “partners in the East or West.”83

 

2019 AND BEYOND

 

Vladimir Putin won his fourth term as Russian President in March 2018.

 

“No one listened to us then. So listen now,” he stated in his address to the Russian Federal Assembly in 2018 while showing a video of the new nuclear capabilities developed by Russia.84

 

Putin’s core objectives remain constant—the preservation of his regime, the end of American global hegemony, and the restoration of Russia as a mighty and feared force to be reckoned with on the international stage. Some of his foreign policy pursuits are purely pragmatic and aimed at gaining resources. Others are intended for domestic purposes and have nothing to do with the West.

 

Most are justified, however, as responses to alleged threats, aggressions, lies, and interference by the West.

 

Putin may believe that he is approaching his goal of a multipolar international system. “Everything is being restored, the world is becoming, if it has not already become, multipolar,” he stated in 2018.85 He has not yet offered the vision for his next goals in this new order, but they will almost certainly involve further reductions in the global operations of the U.S. and its allies.

 

CONCLUSION

 

Putin’s assertiveness has been accelerated or dampened by various factors over time, including his confidence in his domestic grip on power, his economic stability, his dependence on the West, and his perception of the available latitude to act freely on the world stage without major pushback.

 

The West’s actions were a factor—but not the core driver—in Putin’s foreign policy. The U.S. tried to improve relations with Russia several times after the collapse of the Soviet Union. Putin nonetheless became arguably most assertive during the Obama Administration even as the U.S took strong steps to make amends with Russia, including a halt to plans to build a missile defense shield in Poland. The West hesitated for years to impose penalties on Russia for its repeated violations of international laws and norms including its invasion of Georgia and its cyberattacks on Estonia. The West only gradually started to impose sanctions on Russia after persistent human rights violations such as the death of Sergey Magnitsky or undisputable aggression such as the occupation of the Crimean Peninsula. It wasn’t until the Kremlin’s interference in the 2016 U.S. Presidential Election that most Americans finally became cognizant of the full threat posed by Russia.

 

While the U.S. largely focused elsewhere, Putin escalated his global military posture, scapegoated his internal problems on the West, and used the myth of foreign interference to justify tighter controls over Russians in

 

Russia. Putin notably has almost never used similar rhetoric against China, which arguably presents one of the biggest national security challenges to Russia. China continues to expand its influence in places that Putin claims are beyond his ‘red lines’— the former Soviet Union and Russia itself. Yet Putin continues to condition his population to defend against NATO—an alliance that is currently struggling to persuade its members to devote two percent of their gross domestic products to military spending.

 

The West’s behavior has not altered the fundamental principles guiding Putin’s foreign policy thought, which has remained largely unchanged since 2000. Putin believes that Russia is a great power that is entitled to its own spheres of influence and deserves to be reckoned with in all key decisions. He asserts that the true deviation from the norm was Russia’s moment of weakness in the 1990s and that Russia is merely reemerging to its rightful place in the international system.

 

Many of Putin’s principles are incompatible with the rules-based order and worldview of the West.

 

Putin’s concept of national sovereignty, for example, is often at odds with the sovereignty of other nations. European states enjoy the sovereign right to join NATO. Many of them hold legitimate security concerns about a resurgent Russia. Putin, however, does not view many of these states as truly sovereign. The Kremlin often describes smaller states as externally governed or too weak to hold foreign policy agency. For this reason, it often perceives revolutions or significant internal inflections in the former Soviet Union and beyond as subversive actions by the West rather than popular movements fueled by legitimate grievances. The Kremlin believes that it must maintain control over its neighbors and preserve or expand its historic spheres of influence. Its rhetoric against NATO is less about its fear of a direct military threat and more about its fear of a loss of its power and influence. Putin often frames violations of others’ sovereignty as a defense of his own.

 

Putin also aims to delegitimize the concept of humanitarian intervention as articulated by the West. He places his principles of state sovereignty above humanitarian concerns and asserts that legitimate governments have the right to resolve their internal affairs independent of external pressure. The Kremlin often frames any Western attempts to criticize Russia’s human rights record or those of its allies and clients as interference in sovereign internal affairs.

 

Putin sometimes reverses this rule and justifies his external interference on general human rights grounds. Russia often reserves the right to act against foreign governments in order to protect ethnic Russians. A key example is the Crimean Peninsula. Russia intervened militarily and organized an illegal referendum to annex Crimea to Russia under the boot of the Russian Armed Forces. The referendum and subsequent occupation did not change Crimea’s status under international law—to this day, Crimea remains a legal part of Ukraine. Putin nonetheless defends his intervention as a necessary action to “defend” an “oppressed” population of Russians.

 

Putin’s seemingly facile and convenient rhetoric can be easy to dismiss as cynical. His rhetoric is not empty, however. It is a declaration of his key foreign principle, one that is at odds with the fundamental basis of the rules-based international order – namely, that only the mighty are truly sovereign..

 

It is also easy to imagine that miscommunication is the source of conflict between Putin’s Russia and the West. This idea is false. Bush, Obama, and Trump have all reached out to Putin, sought to accommodate his interests as they understood them, and tried to soften policies and language that might offend him. Yet the Kremlin has responded with increasingly resentful language and actions.

 

Putin does not trust statements from the White House. He views the U.S. as dismissive of Russia’s vital interests regardless of any changes in administrations or rhetoric. Putin fundamentally views the shape of the current international order as the primary challenge to his interests. He believes, as he has said over and over, that a global hegemony, by which he means a world order led by America, is unacceptable to Russia.

 

Putin is no mere opportunistic predator. He may not always have a clear plan and acts expediently at times, but he knows what kind of world he wants and, even more so, what kind he does not. He seeks a world without NATO, with the U.S. confined to the Western Hemisphere, with Russia dominant over the former Soviet Union and able to do what it likes to its own people without condemnation or oversight, and with the Kremlin enjoying a literal veto at the UN Security Council over actions that any other state wishes to take beyond its borders. He has been working towards such a world since the moment he took office. His most recent statements suggest that he thinks he is getting closer. If the West aims to avoid further strategic surprise and preserve the rule-based international order, it must understand this divergent worldview and accept that Putin, when it comes to his stated foreign policy goals and priorities, is often a man of his word.

 

ENDNOTES

 

Nataliya Gevorkyan, Natalya Timakova, and Andrei Kolesnikov, [First Person: Conversations with Vladimir Putin] (Moscow: Vagrius Press, 2000), http://lib(.)ru/ MEMUARY/PUTIN/razgowor.txt.

 

  1. Vladimir Putin, “Speech and Following Discussion at the Munich Security Conference,” Kremlin, February 10, 2007, http://en.kremlin(.)ru/events/ president/transcripts/24034.

 

  1. Vladimir Putin, “Address by the President of the Russian Federation,” Kremlin, March 18, 2014, http://en.kremlin(.)ru/events/president/news/20603.

 

  1. “Summit in Washington; Excerpts from Yeltsin’s Speech: ‘There Will Be No More Lies’,” Reuters, June 18, 1992, https://www.nytimes.com/1992/06/18/world/ summit-in-washington-excerpts-from-yeltsin-s-speech-there-will-be-no-more-lies.html.

 

  1. Marina Lebedeva, Ksenia Borishpolets, and Maksim Kharkevich, [Russia in Global Politics] (Moscow: Moscow State Institute of International Relations, 2013), pg. 27, https://mgimo(.)ru/upload/docs_3/Russia-v-global-politike.pdf.

 

  1. [“Russian-American Relations in 1992 – 1996: Reference,”] RIA Novosti, April 4, 2011, https://ria(.)ru/20110404/360851191.html; “Vancouver Declaration: Joint Statement of the Presidents of the United States and the Russian Federation,” U.S. Government Publishing Office, April 4, 1993, https://www.govinfo.gov/content/ pkg/WCPD-1993-04-12/pdf/WCPD-1993-04-12-Pg545.pdf; [“Gore-Chernomyrdin Commission,”] Kommersant, June 20, 1995, https://www. kommersant(.)ru/doc/112167.

 

  1. Rick Atkinson, “Russian Troops Leave Germany,” Washington Post, September 1, 1994, https://www.washingtonpost.com/archive/politics/1994/09/01/russian-troops-leave-germany/65e3176c-fbe6-47c4-979d-f5fdcb259f6c.

 

  1. John Broder, “Russia Ending Deal on Arms Negotiated by Gore,” New York Times, November 23, 2000, https://www.nytimes.com/2000/11/23/world/ russia-ending-deal-on-arms-negotiated-by-gore.html; [“Boris Yeltsin’s Visit to the U.S.,”] Kommersant, September 30, 1994, https://www.kommersant(.)ru/ doc/91124.

 

  1. Yevgeny Primakov, [A World Without Russia? The Consequences of Political Myopia] (Moscow: Rossiyskaya Gazeta, 2009), https://www.e-reading(.)club/chapter.php/98451/4/ Primakov_-_Mir_bez_Rossii__K_chemu_vedet_politicheskaya_blizorukost%27. html.

 

  1. [“Yevgeny Primakov: I Hope Putin Becomes President,”] Vesti, December 12,

2011, https://www.vesti(.)ru/doc.html?id=658070#.

 

  1. [“Putin Criticized Former Russian Foreign Minister Kozyrev,”] TASS, October 19, 2017, https://tass(.)ru/politika/4661540; Alexander Grishin, [“Former Russian Foreign Minister Pleased to Serve the United States,”] Komsomolskaya Pravda,

 

July 22, 2015, https://www.kp(.)ru/daily/26409/3284411/.

  1. [“Decree of the President of the Russian Federation #386,”] Kremlin, April 10, 1992, http://kremlin(.)ru/acts/bank/1184; [“Federal Law on the State Policy of the Russian Federation Regarding Compatriots Abroad,”] Kremlin, May 24, 1999, http://www.kremlin(.)ru/acts/bank/13875.

 

  1. Russia 24, [“Lavrov: Historians Will Formulate the ‘Primakov Doctrine’,”] YouTube, October 29, 2014, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wLiOIJ0HpR4.
  2. [“Presidential Decree on the Approval of the National Security Concept of the Russian Federation,”] Collection of Legislation of the Russian Federation, December 29, 1997, http://www.szrf(.)ru/szrf/doc. phtml?nb=100&issid=1001997052000&docid=1210NationalSecurityConcept.

 

  1. [“TV Address of Russian President Boris Yeltsin on March 24, 1999 Regarding the Threat of NATO Strikes Against Yugoslavia,”] Kommersant, March 25, 1999, https://www.kommersant(.)ru/doc/215535.

 

  1. “Founding Act on Mutual Relations, Cooperation, and Security Between NATO and the Russian Federation,” NATO, May 27, 1999, https://www.nato.int/cps/en/ natolive/official_texts_25468.htm.

 

  1. [“On National Security: Address of the Russian President to the Federal Assembly,”] Nezavisimaya Gazeta, July 14, 1996, http://www.rusconstitution(.)ru/ timestream/event/499/; Sergei Kortynov, [Conceptual Foundations of National and International Security] (Moscow: Higher School of Economics, 2007), https://textbooks(.)studio/uchebnik-mejdunarodnie-otnosheniya/poslaniya-natsionalnoy-bezopasnosti-prezidenta.html.

 

  1. Strobe Talbott, “Boris and Bill,” Washington Post, May 26, 2002, https://www. washingtonpost.com/archive/lifestyle/magazine/2002/05/26/boris-and-bill/ ba5a863c-ece7-4e67-bd74-f81c2982c938.

 

  1. [“Academic Hour,”] Kommersant, January 14, 2015, https://www.kommersant(.)ru/ doc/2645293; Chamber of Commerce and Industry of the Russian Federation, [“Yevgeny Primakov’s Presentation at the Meeting of the ‘Mercury Club’,”] YouTube, January 14, 2014, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2Yg375FTjYE.

 

  1. [“Man of Life: Yevgeny Primakov,”] Russia-1, https://russia(.)tv/brand/show/ brand_id/4981/.

 

  1. Sebastian Walsh, “A History of Debt Defaults: Russia 1998,” Financial News, July 27, 2011, https://www.fnlondon.com/articles/a-history-of-debt-defaults-russia-1998-20110727.

 

. Public Russian Television, [“The New FSB Director Vladimir Putin Gives an Interview: 1999,”] December 7, 2017, YouTube, https://youtu.be/JDb57RK5SgI.

 

  1. [“Meeting of the Valdai International Discussion Club,”] Kremlin, October 27, 2016, http://kremlin(.)ru/events/president/news/53151; [“Meeting of the Valdai International Discussion Club,”] Kremlin, October 24, 2014, http://kremlin(.)ru/ events/president/news/46860.

 

  1. Vladimir Putin, [“Russia at the Turn of the Millennium,”] Nezavisimaya Gazeta, December 30, 1999, http://www.ng(.)ru/politics/1999-12-30/4_millenium. html.

 

  1. Roman Anin, “The Secret of the St. Princess Olga,” OCCRP, August 2, 2016, https://www.occrp.org/en/investigations/5523-the-secret-of-the-st-princess-olga.

 

  1. [“Naryshkin Told How He Met Putin,”] RIA Novosti, December 9, 2018, https://ria(.)ru/20181209/1547687041.html.

 

  1. Gevorkyan, Timakova, and Kolesnikov, [First Person: Conversations with Vladimir Putin] http://lib(.)ru/MEMUARY/PUTIN/razgowor.txt.

 

  1. Mosaic, “The Putin Interviews—Oliver Stone Part 1 of 4,” YouTube, June 12, 2017, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QvlKSbYkTXI.

 

  1. “Chechens Fear Risks of Leaving—And Staying,” CNN, December 8, 1999, http://archives.cnn.com/1999/WORLD/europe/12/08/russia.chechnya.03/; Steven Greenhouse, “U.S. Sharply Rebukes Russia For Its Offensive

 

in Chechnya,” New York Times, April 12, 1995, https://www.nytimes. com/1995/04/12/world/us-sharply-rebukes-russia-for-its-offensive-in-chechnya.html; Vagif Guseynov, [“Evolving Western Positions Regarding the Chechen Crisis,”] Nezavisimaya Gazeta, February 29, 2000, http://www.ng(.)ru/ specfile/2000-02-29/15_evolution.html.

 

  1. Russia 24, [“Putin: Film by Andrey Kardashev. Full Video,”] YouTube, March 24, 2018, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y9Pu0yrOwKI; [“Putin: Russia Has Maintained Sovereignty and Made Breakthroughs in Important Areas,”] RIA Novosti, December 19, 2017, https://ria(.)ru/20171219/1511255375.html; [“2013: Vladimir Putin’s Red Lines,”] Rossiyskaya Gazeta, September 26, 2013, https:// rg(.)ru/2013/09/26/valdai.html; [“The Best Moments of Putin’s Interview,”] Argumenty i Fakty, March 14, 2018, http://www.aif(.)ru/politics/russia/ne_imeyu_ prava_slabost_proyavlyat_samye_yarkie_momenty_iz_intervyu_putina; DenTV, [“Alexander Dugin: Russians Are on the Verge of Losing Their Identity,”] YouTube, March 6, 2018, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q7dzL3IodxQ.

 

  1. Gevorkyan, Timakova, and Kolesnikov, [First Person: Conversations with Vladimir Putin] http://lib(.)ru/MEMUARY/PUTIN/razgowor.txt.
  2. “NATO-Russia Relations: A New Quality,” NATO, May 28, 2002,

https://www.nato.int/cps/en/natohq/official_texts_19572.htm.

 

  1. [“Presidential Decree on the National Security Concept of the Russian Federation,”] Kremlin, January 10, 2000, http://kremlin(.)ru/acts/bank/14927.
  2. [“Foreign Policy Concept of the Russian Federation,”] Nezavisimaya Gazeta, July 11,

2000, http://www.ng(.)ru/world/2000-07-11/1_concept.html.

  1. “Russia Paid Off IMF Debts,” UPI, February 1, 2005, https://www.upi(.)com/ Russia-has-paid-off-IMF-debts/66111107283700/; “Russia Pays Off Paris Club Debts,” BBC, August 25, 2006, http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/business/5271122. stm; [“Why Russia Had to Pay the Soviet Debts,”] TASS, August 21, 2017, https://tass(.)ru/ekonomika/4033459.

 

  1. [“Putin Talked About the IMF Debts of the Former Soviet Republics That Russia Paid Off,”] Lenta, June 13, 2017, https://lenta(.)ru/news/2017/06/13/debtimf/.
  2. David Filipov, “Russia Cracking Down on ‘Oligarch’ Empires,” Chicago Tribute, July 12, 2000, https://www.chicagotribune.com/news/ct-xpm-2000-07-12-0007120402-story.html; David Crouch, “Ousting the Oligarchs,”

 

The Guardian, May 31, 2005, https://www.theguardian.com/world/2005/ may/31/russia; Marshall Goldman, “Putin and the Oligarchs,” Foreign Affairs, November/December 2004, https://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/russia-fsu/2004-11-01/putin-and-oligarchs.

 

  1. [“Putin Cancelled the Elections of Governors,”] Korrespondent, December 12, 2004, https://korrespondent(.)net/world/109086-putin-otmenil-vybory-gubernatorov; Jeremy Bransten, “Russia: Putin Signs Bill Eliminating Direct Elections of Governors,” RFE/RL, December 13, 2004, https://www.rferl. org/a/1056377.html.

 

  1. [“On the Eve of Single Economic Space: Kuchma Against the Diplomats,”] Ukrayinska Pravda, September 17, 2003, https://www.pravda.com(.)ua/rus/ news/2003/09/17/4374367.
  2. [“Common Economic Space: Reference.”] RIA Novosti, January 1, 2012,

 

  1. https://ria(.)ru/20120101/529308191.html.

 

  1. Statement by President of Georgia Eduard Shevardnadze,” NATO, November 22, 2002, https://www.nato.int/docu/speech/2002/s021122h.htm; Jean-Christophe Peuch, “Georgia: Shevardnadze Officially Requests Invitation to Join NATO,” RFE/RL, November 22, 2002, https://www.rferl.org/a/1101463.html.

 

  1. Russia 24, [“Putin: Film by Andrey Kardashev. Full Video,”] YouTube, March 24, 2018, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y9Pu0yrOwKI; [“Putin Called External Control Humiliating for Ukraine,”] Lenta, August 17, 2015, https://lenta(.)ru/news/2015/08/17/putinobukraine/.

 

  1. [“Putin Said That the Authorities Will Not Allow ‘Color Revolutions’ in Russia,”] RIA Novosti, April 12, 2017, https://ria(.)ru/20170412/1492073208.html; Darya Korsunskaya, “Putin Says Russia Must Prevent ‘Color Revolution’,” Reuters, November 20, 2014, https://www.reuters.com/article/us-russia-putin-security-idUSKCN0J41J620141120.

 

  1. Glenn Kessler, “NATO Seeks to Soothe Russia,” Washington Post, April 3, 2004, https://www.washingtonpost.com/archive/politics/2004/04/03/nato-seeks-to-soothe-russia/2c46ac29-1b42-4121-8fc8-3fdf8302ee40; Seth Mydans, “Putin Doubts Expanded NATO Meets New Threats,” New York Times, April 9, 2004, https://www.nytimes.com/2004/04/09/world/putin-doubts-expanded-nato-meets-new-threats.html; [“Interview with Wall Street Journal,”] Kremlin, February 11, 2002, http://kremlin(.)ru/events/president/transcripts/21498.

 

  1. Vladimir Bogdanov, [“Growing Irritation in Moscow,”] Rossiyskaya Gazeta, March 30, 2004, https://rg(.)ru/2004/03/30/kreml.html.

 

  1. [“The Common Interests of Fighting Global Threats Outweigh Any Differences Between Russia and the United States,”] RIA Novosti, February 13, 2004, https://ria(.)ru/20040213/526860.html.
  2. [“Press Conference for Russian and Foreign Journalists,”] Kremlin, December 23,

2004, http://kremlin(.)ru/events/president/transcripts/22757.

  1. [“Onishchenko Discovered Carcinogens in Latvian Sprat,”] Lenta, November 9,

2006, https://lenta(.)ru/news/2006/11/09/sprots/.

 

  1. [“Putin Promises Substantive Support to Abkhazia and South Ossetia,”] Izvestia, April 3, 2008, https://iz(.)ru/news/422147#ixzz3aV2E3Gyz.
  2. [“Putin: Russia, India, and China Can Prevent the Creation of a ‘Unipolar World’,”] Lenta, December 4, 2004, https://lenta(.)ru/news/2004/12/04/putin.
  3. Putin, “Speech and Following Discussion at the Munich Security Conference,”

February 10, 2007, http://en.kremlin(.)ru/events/president/transcripts/24034.

  1. ibid.
  2. Isabel Gorst and Neil Buckley, “Medvedev and Putin Clash Over Libya,” Financial Times, March 21, 2011, https://www.ft.com/content/2e62b08e-53d2-11e0-a01c-00144feab49a.
  3. “Russia Did Not Veto in UN to Protect Libyan Civilians—Medvedev,” RT, March

21, 2011, https://www.rt(.)com/russia/medvedev-un-resolution-lybia/.

 

  1. Russia-1, [“Putin Against Killing of Gaddafi,”] YouTube, April 26, 2011, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OFBOxGdrXR8.

 

  1. Alexei Anishchuk, “Gaddafi Fall Cost Russia Tens of Billions in Arms Deals,” Reuters, November 2, 2011, https://www.reuters.com/article/russia-libya-arms-idUSL5E7M221H20111102.

 

  1. Tom O’Connor, “Russia Says U.S. and Allies Lied When They Attacked Libya, Now It’s Ready to Get Involved,” Newsweek, November 13, 2011, https://www. newsweek.com/russia-says-us-allies-lied-libya-ready-help-1213872.

 

  1. Peter Ferdinand, “The Positions of Russia and China at the UN Security Council in the Light of Recent Crises,” European Parliament, March 1, 2013, http://www.europarl.europa.eu/RegData/etudes/note/join/2013/433800/ EXPO-SEDE_NT%282013%29433800_EN.pdf.

 

  1. [“Patrushev Talks About Western Actions Against Russia,”] Pravda, May 5, 2005, https://www.pravda(.)ru/news/world/12-05-2005/56630-patrushev_zapad_ revoljucija_sng_lukashenko_belorussija_demping-0/.

 

  1. [“Putin Will ‘Order Music’ Himself,”] Polit, July 20, 2005, http://www.polit(.)ru/news/2005/07/20/musicputt/.

 

  1. Katherin Machalek, “Factsheet: Russia’s NGO Laws,” Freedom House, https://freedomhouse.org/sites/default/files/Fact%20Sheet_0.pdf.

 

  1. [“U.S. Will Teach Foreign Journalists How to Talk About Democracy,”] RBC, December 14, 2005, https://www.rbc(.)ru/ politics/14/12/2005/5703bb819a7947afa08c909d; Curt Tarnoff, “U.S. Assistance to the Former Soviet Union,” Congressional Research Service, April 14, 2005, https://www.everycrsreport.com/files/20050414_ RL32866_4df4f774f1d7136d7c55b5330924fb4f2a63a2d2.pdf.

 

  1. “Yukos: Russia Hits Back at U.S.,” CNN, November 1, 2003, http://www.cnn.com/2003/WORLD/europe/11/01/yukos/index.html.

 

  1. Luke Harding and Ian Traynor, “Obama Abandons Missile Defence Shield in Europe,” The Guardian, September 17, 2009, https://www.theguardian.com/ world/2009/sep/17/missile-defence-shield-barack-obama.

 

  1. Polina Khimshiashvili [“Putin Did Not Notice the ‘Reset’,”] Vedomosti, December 20, 2012, https://www.vedomosti(.)ru/politics

 

  1. World Bank, Country and Lending Groups, 2015, https://web.archive.org/ web/20140702131322/http://data.worldbank.org/about/country-and-lending-groups.

 

  1. Vladimir Putin, “Address by President of the Russian Federation,” Kremlin, March

18, 2014, http://en.kremlin(.)ru/events/president/news/20603.

 

  1. [“Putin Explained Troop Deployment to Syria,”] Moskovskij Komsomolets, September 30, 2015, https://www.mk(.)ru/politics/2015/09/30/putin-obyasnil-vvedenie-rossiyskikh-voysk-v-siriyu.html.

 

  1. [“Peskov: Russia Will Be the Only Country Operating in Syria on Legitimate Basis,”] Gordon, September 30, 2015, https://gordonua(.)com/news/worldnews/ peskov-rossiya-budet-edinstvennoy-stranoy-osushchestvlyayushchey-operacii-v-sirii-na-legitimnoy-osnove-100135.html.

 

  1. RT, [“Putin: The Bear Will Never Be Left Alone,”] YouTube, December 18, 2014, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8cwh5be7Jts.

 

  1. NTV, [“Vladimir Putin’s Press Conference 2018,”] YouTube, December 20, 2018, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ea1xHJhQl50.

 

  1. [“Presidential Decree #683: ‘On the National Security Strategy of the Russian Federation’,”] Rossiyskaya Gazeta, December 31, 2015, https://rg(.)ru/2015/12/31/ nac-bezopasnost-site-dok.html.

 

  1. “‘Take A Pill’: Putin Accuses U.S. Of Hysteria, Destabilizing The World,” RFE/ RL, June 2, 2017, https://www.rferl.org/a/st-pete-forum-putin-accuses-us-destabilizing-international-arena/28525266.html; Russia-1, [“Putin’s Best Moments with NBC’s Megyn Kelly,”] YouTube, June 4, 2017, https://www.youtube. com/watch?v=12s_n6F2ZEQ.

 

  1. [“Putin Believes That Anti-Russian Rhetoric May Decline in the U.S. After 2020,”] TASS, October 18, 2018, https://tass(.)ru/politika/5691040.
  2. “Meeting of the Valdai International Discussion Club,” Kremlin, October 27,

2016, http://en.kremlin(.)ru/events/president/news/53151.

 

  1. RIA Novosti, [“Putin About ‘Magnitsky Act’,”] YouTube, December 26, 2012, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V4TTRnZB9cI.

 

  1. RT, [“Putin Responded to Pompeo’s Ultimatum on the INF Treaty,”] YouTube, December 5, 2018, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ohONm97wt20.

 

  1. [“Putin: Most Citizens Do Not Have Influence Over Power in Democratic Countries,”] RIA Novosti, October 27, 2016, https://ria(.) ru/20161027/1480141794.html; NTV, [“Vladimir Putin’s Press Conference 2018,”] YouTube, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ea1xHJhQl50.

 

  1. [“Putin: Most Citizens Do Not Have Influence Over Power in Democratic Countries,”] RIA Novosti, October 27, 2016, https://ria(.)ru/20161027/1480141794.html.

 

  1. NTV, [“Vladimir Putin’s Press Conference 2018,”] YouTube, December 20, 2018, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ea1xHJhQl50.

 

  1. Putin, “Speech and Following Discussion at the Munich Security Conference,” February 10, 2007, http://en.kremlin(.)ru/events/president/transcripts/24034.
  2. Putin, “Address by the President of the Russian Federation,” March 18, 2014, http://en.kremlin(.)ru/events/president/news/20603.

 

  1. [“No One Listened to Us Then. So Listen Now,”] BBC, March 1, 2018, https://www.bbc.com/russian/news-43240396.

 

  1. “Meeting of the Valdai International Discussion Club,” October 18, 2018, http://en.kremlin(.)ru/events/president/news/58848

 

__________________

Edited from the PDF version by John R. Houk

 

1400 16TH STREET NW, SUITE 515 | WASHINGTON, DC 20036 | UNDERSTANDINGWAR.ORG | 202.293.5550

 

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A PEEK BEHIND THE CURTAIN


I usually don’t like sharing opinion pieces devoid of the sources of that opinion. I found a post contributed by Jonathan Moore posted on the MeWe Group MAGA – MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN. Directly after the post Moore included a video entitled, “SH0CKING BARACK OBAMA’S DIRTY SECRETS” dated 3/6/19. The entire post can be themed as the Leftist Deep State transforming America away from America’s roots. With Trump’s election this Deep State has been doing its utmost to overthrow the President with lies and false charges.

 

The title of the post is “A Peek Behind the Curtain”. I could not find such a title linked to Jonathan Moore. The title is a near cliché thanks to the movie The Wizard of Oz’s mysterious wizard location behind the curtain pretending to be the all-powerful Oz with the irony of being exposed by a little pooch. Trust me, if you Google “A Peek Behind the Curtain” you will discover a large amount of linked references. But again, I couldn’t find anything referenced to this MeWe post.

 

Yet you will undoubtedly recognize some of the referenced conspiracies if you get your info from other sources than the Mainstream Media

 

JRH 3/7/19

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A PEEK BEHIND THE CURTAIN

 

Posted by Jonathan Moore

March 7, 2019 11:19 AM

From MeWe Group: MAGA – MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN

 

What we all have to understand here is that if Hillary had won the election there would be no borders, illegals would be voting to decide the future of America, the military that was at its smallest level since WWI would be even smaller, Corporate taxes and Regulations would have continued and our American Companies and Corporations would still be heading for higher more profitable grounds in foreign countries which was Obama and the ‘Deep State’s’ way of redistributing the same Intellectual Property that China has been stealing for years, but doing it to redistribute American jobs, technology, and our free market know how to benefit not America or the American people, but the world!

President Trump has not thrown a ‘Huuuge’ wrench in the over plans of the world, but being attacked at every turn so when the 2020 elections come rolling around, that the Dems with the support of the Republican Leadership RINO’s use the same voter fraud strategy as they did in California that gave Pelosi the Gavel, and what I also have to believe is why the freshman House member’s outrageous proclamations of the way things will be that Americans, regardless of their political affiliation, would say no way, no how, and not in a million years, but when it does they have the perfect patsy to point their fingers at and say “I told you so,’ and point to every accusation that’s ever been made about this President whose given the American people that chance to glimpse behind that curtain to see whose controlling that ‘Great and Powerful Globalization OZ,’ and then declaring all of those fake reason for why they won the election, when we all know it was the constant trial and error that the Dems were experimenting with to fix the elections from as far back as Obama’s first term election back in 2007!

If you’ve been paying attention you would know it’s part of the intentional Obama and Hillary Alinsky and Cloward and Piven plans to convert America’s Constitutional Republic to a Karl Marx’s Socialist leading to Communist Nation with the end game being that long-awaited creation of a New World Order!

What we’re watching at our Southern Border plays right into Obama’s mentors at Ivy Leagues Columbia University Cloward and Piven, Alinsky’s disciples! We had testimony on the Hill yesterday of a slew of witnesses stating that the resources at the border to handle the onslaught of illegal immigrants that are invading our country is straining the capabilities of every agency involved!

The Cloward–Piven strategy is a political strategy outlined in 1966 by American sociologists and political activists Richard Cloward and Frances Fox Piven that called for overloading the U.S. public welfare system in order to precipitate a crisis that would lead to a replacement of the welfare system with a national system of “a guaranteed annual income and thus an end to poverty”. Does anybody see the parallels with what’s going on with illegals, the Democrats, and the Republicans quietly sitting on their hands in the shadows?

America’s version of the European Union known as the North American Union had already been on the drawing board for 5 years before Donald J. Trump came down that escalator to announce his Presidency, and then beating 16 other in the bag contenders who were also in line to inherit the next stage of the United Nations Agenda 21, the 100% funding by the American taxpayer of ‘Paris Accord,’ and just about everything else that have the same target date of ‘By 2030!’

The North American Union (NAU) is a theoretical economic and political continental union of Canada, Mexico, and the United States of America. The concept is loosely based on the European Union, occasionally including a common currency called the Amero or the North American Dollar.

the Obama administration a.k.a. ‘Deep State’ is pursuing a stealth bureaucratic methodology to establish a common North American border around the continent, encompassing the U.S., Canada and Mexico, while simultaneously moving to erase the borders between the U.S. and Mexico as well as between the U.S. and Canada. The dog and pony that’s going on at the border right now, and the attacks on President Trump, are all because if Hillary would had won none of this would be going on because the Borders would have been already wide open, and the real collusion and corruption that is being exposed by the first President in History to be living up to his Campaign promises would have been buried deep in the ‘Deep States’ basements along with our guaranteed Constitutional Individual rights which are now considered the ‘Cancer’ that needs to be eradicated from the World body so that the New World Order can finally rear its ugly head!

Under the Bush administration’s SPP, the U.S., Mexico and Canada organized some 20 different “shadow government” bureaucratic working groups composed of agency heads and undersecretaries in the three nations.

In our globalist existence, the authority for the US to initiate hostilities against another country comes from the UN, declared Obama and Panetta. If the executive branch can persuade or bribe the UN to give a war OK, Congress is no longer relevant.” – Paul Craig Roberts

 

VIDEO: SH0CKING BARACK OBAMA’S DIRTY SECRETS

 

Posted by EDWARD SNOWDEN

Published on Mar 6, 2019

 

Former CIA operative who has spoken out about the US deep state. Kevin Shipp is a retired CIA spook and whistleblower. He has exposed the US deep state and charged the CIA with systematically use of unconstitutional and illegal measures to terrorise employees to prevent them from becoming whistleblowers.

_____________________

Edited by John R. Houk

Source links are by the Editor

A peek inside Military Intelligence Ops.


Ted Belman of Israpundit posted a series of articles he stipulates was sent to him by “MIL-OPS INTELLIGENCE”. It seemed to me at least one theme of the combined articles was that America’s Intelligence Community shares an affinity with the American Left. The first article I found particularly disturbing was about former CIA Director John Brennan (a one-time CPUSA voter [perhaps at least a closet member] and rumored convert to Islam). That article shows Brennan to be an imbecile or an egregious traitor. Two extremes I do realize – you decide.

 

JRH 3/6/19

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A peek inside Military Intelligence Ops.

 

Posted by Ted Belman

March 5, 2019

Israpundit

 

This is a collection of articles which were, today supplied to me by MIL-OPS INTELLIGENCE who follow Israpundit daily. I am not sure how to describe them but they consists of senior military Intelligence specialists who continue to follow events in the Middle East. They are regular readers of israpundit Daily Digest and often circulate my posts.

 

All of the materials, below are unclassified.

 

These articles are:

1) examples of some of the robust exchanges that go on within the US intelligence community;

2) the personal opinions of the authors;

3) are distributed  for discussion.

4) None of the articles represent the official view of  any agency of the United States government.

 

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MIL-OPS INTELLIGENCE Friday, March 1, 2019

 

PENETRATIONS OF US INTELLIGENCE AGENCIES BY HOSTILE SPY SERVICES DURING  JOHN BRENNAN’S CIA DIRECTORSHIP CRIPPLE US OPERATIONS WITHIN CHINA, IRAN, RUSSIA LEBANON During John Brennan’s directorship of the CIA, many brave foreign nationals who risk their lives inside extremely brutal regimes to provide the United States with essential information have been detected, imprisoned,  tortured and executed. Public examples:

 

  1.     The loss of all recruited agents in China  [Between 20 and 30 of  the US   recruited agents in China were killed or imprisoned.] Media sources blamed the loss on a former CIA officer, Jerry Chung Shin Lee, who was arrested in January 2018 and is suspected of passing along their names to China

 

  1.     In  May 2011 , according to Iranian state media,  30 people were arrested as CIA spies and 42 others were suspected of involvement with U.S. intelligence. Insiders attribute this failure to information that  was  provided to Iran by Monica Witt, a former Air Force counterintelligence officer (and later an intelligence contractor) who defected to Iran 1n 2013 [where she is immune from any US criminal prosecution.]

 

Ms. Witt worked at the Air Force Office of Special Investigations from 2003-08 and then as a contractor, running an ultra secret Special Access Program, or SAP, until August 2010. The program gave her access to details about counterintelligence operations, true names of recruited agents, and identities of U.S. intelligence operatives in charge of recruiting foreign agents. Ms. Witt left the contractor in August 2010 for unspecified reasons.

 

Witt  provided Iran  with the details of a secret communications system American handlers use to talk to their recruited agents. Other texts reveal she “told all” to an Iranian ambassador in Central Asia. As she boarded the plane, she texted her handler: “I’m signing off and heading out! Coming home.” The FBI’s assistant director for national security, stated that Witt became an “ideological” defector after converting to Islam. Her actions, he added, inflicted “serious damage to national security.”

 

The FBI fumbled the case in 2012 by warning Ms. Witt she might be targeted for recruitment by Iranian intelligence. A trained counterspy, she knew that the tip-off meant she was under investigation and surveillance. It likely set in motion her flight to Iran a year later.

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Wednesday, February 13, 2019

 

SHOULD WASHINGTON HEED INTELLIGENCE ASSESSMENTS ABOUT NORTH KOREA?

by Peter Huessy   February 11, 2019

 

Pictured: U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un shake hands at their first summit in Singapore, on June 12, 2018. (Image source: White House/Wikimedia Commons)

 

United States intelligence chiefs told Congress on January 29 that Pyongyang is unlikely to give up its nuclear weapons in any deal with Washington. This assessment was made a month ahead of U.S. President Donald Trump’s February 27-28 second summit — to be held in Vietnam — with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, the purpose of which is to make strides in achieving the very denuclearization that FBI Director Christopher Wray, CIA Director Gina Haspel and Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats consider improbable.

 

One would have thought that if these intelligence chiefs disagreed with Trump’s efforts to reach a deal with North Korea, they would have presented an alternative. They might have explained what a deal with Pyongyang is liable to do to America’s relations with Japan and South Korea. They might have provided a future scenario for the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), which North Korea signed in 1968, then violated and withdrew from in 2003.

 

Trump might, however, actually be acting sensibly. During a speech on January 31 at Stanford University, the U.S. special envoy for North Korea, Stephen Biegun, said that when Secretary of State Mike Pompeo met with Kim in Pyongyang in October 2018, Kim committed for the first time to dismantling and destroying his plutonium and uranium enrichment facilities.

 

Although the media has been highlighting the disagreement between Trump and the U.S. intelligence community as though it is a huge scandal, such disputes have occurred in the past.

 

The most notable example was President Gerald Ford’s Team B project, launched in May 1976, to challenge the conventional intelligence community assessments of the Soviet threat. George H.W. Bush, who was director of the CIA at the time, had approved the project, which enlisted a group of foreign policy and security professionals who strongly disagreed with the policy of détente. Team B was convinced that the Soviet Union was spending 40% of its GDP on defense, as opposed to the 5% projected by the U.S. intelligence community.

 

After Team B released its report, the CIA conceded that Soviet defense spending was probably higher than it had thought, but nevertheless pushed for détente, a policy Ford supported, as well as for peaceful coexistence between the U.S. and the U.S.S.R.

 

Ronald Reagan’s 1976 Republican Party primary campaign against Ford focused on this very issue, with Reagan taking a much harsher view of the Soviet Union and the battle against communism. As Reagan predicted, détente led not to peaceful coexistence with the Soviet Union, but to Soviet expansion. Still, Reagan lost the Republican primary to Ford, and Ford lost the presidential race to Jimmy Carter.

 

Upon assuming the presidency in 1980, Reagan reversed most of the policies of the previous decades, and went against the consensus of a majority of the U.S. intelligence community.

 

Reagan turned out, of course, to be right, while the conventional wisdom of economists and intellectuals, such as John Kenneth Galbraith — who considered communism to be superior to capitalism because it supposedly made better use of “manpower” — was revealed to be spectacularly wrong.

 

Another key fight between the administration in Washington and its intelligence community took place at the outset of Reagan’s presidency, when Secretary of State Alexander Haig accused the Soviet Union of “training, funding and equipping” international terrorists. Reagan backed up Haig on this assessment — much to the chagrin of the intelligence community, which held a different view.

 

Yet, as former U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates — who headed the CIA under President George H.W. Bush — revealed in his 1996 book, From the Shadows: The Ultimate Insider’s Story of Five Presidents and How They Won the Cold War, Haig and Reagan were not only correct; the extent to which the Soviets supported terrorism was even greater than they had thought.

 

In spite of the fact that Reagan ultimately won the Cold War – and the Soviet Union subsequently fell – his policies and extraordinary global achievements were partially discarded by the failures and laziness of the U.S. intelligence community. Starting in 1993, the US cut back excessively its military defenses. The US also failed to help Russia secure the Duma’s ratification of the 1993 Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START II), signed by Yeltsin and Bush but not ratified by the Senate. And the US allowed China both militarily and non-militarily to run rampant.

 

Almost worse, the intelligence community failed to recognize the rise of Islamic terrorism in Iran and elsewhere, which would culminate in the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.

 

These failures are not surprising, given the history of American intelligence assessments. In early 1950, for example, President Harry Truman was told by his intelligence chiefs that there would not be a North Korean invasion of South Korea. They reached this conclusion based on the assumption that North Korea could only invade South Korea with the help of the Soviet Union, and there appeared to be no sign of such assistance.

 

In June 1950, however, North Korea invaded South Korea, and an unprepared United States lost over 35,000 soldiers in the Korean War.

 

Whether Trump is able, through a combination of toughness and street-smarts, to succeed where others have failed with North Korea remains to be seen. What is clear, however, is that the U.S. intelligence community often has a terrible track record where threat assessments are concerned. Alarmingly, it would not be surprising they were wrong again today.

 

Dr. Peter Huessy is President of GeoStrategic Analysis, a defense consulting firm he founded in 1981, as well as Director of Strategic Deterrent Studies at the Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies. He was also for 20 years, the senior defense consultant at the National Defense University Foundation.

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Thursday, February 7, 2019

 

VALARIE JARRETT, OBAMA and the IRAN DEAL

 

We have been  tracking Valerie Jarrett from the time that  Jarrett  worked for Mayor Richard Joseph Daley’s Housing Authority where she functioned  as his personal bagman for donations from builders, architects, developers, etc. Subsequent to that Jarrett went into public housing development as a private developer.  Her group received generous  government funding. However, their  work was so shoddy that it had to be torn down.

 

We closely followed Jarrett’s  early involvement with Michelle Obama whom she employed in Chicago city government and then later Jarrett  hired  Michelle as a $300,000 a year VP for University of Chicago Hospital.   Jarrett was  the original discoverer  of Barak [sic] Obama  as a potential  political candidate  and  Jarrett raised significant funding for Obama  from the Muslim community.

 

Other participants in Valerie Jarrett’s Muslim brotherhood in group included Rashid Khalidi and Robert Malley.  A glimpse into the thinking of these key individuals was provided by the tape of the farewell banquet for Rashid Khalidi where the participants, including Barack Obama, participated in the  toast: “death to Israel”.  [Although the wording of the toast was clear on the tapes and  Obama is shown actively participating, it is impossible ,without further analysis of the acoustics and other  local factors, to determine whether the microphones  that clearly picked up the text of the toast were actually  tuned and located in a position where the reception was clear, but the acoustics of the room may have muffled the actual text…. and Obama’s claim that he never heard the wording might be, In fact, correct.]

 

During the Obama  presidential years Valerie Jarrett was a key  presidential assistant and Obama advisor at the  White House.  Although Pres. Obama promised the Jewish community that he would not in any way engage Robert Malley in anything to do with the Middle East, Obama later  not only  hired Robert Malley for the National Security Council staff, he actually placed  O’Malley in charge of the entire National Security Council Middle East effort.

Meanwhile,  Rashid Khalidi was a very frequent visitor to the White House  [presidential visitor logs].

 

For six months to a year prior to  the JCPOA  [Iran  deal] negotiations, Jarrett spent full time in Iran in  close discussions with the Iranian clerical leadership relating to not only the nuclear deal but also establishing Iranian leadership in the Middle East.   It was the content of these discussions that served as the directions for the US delegation. This was noted by Amir Hossein Motaghi when he  defected and publicly complained that Secretary of State Kerry and Wendy Sherman were  more enthusiastic  in supporting the maximum Iranian position than was the Iranian delegation.

 

Valerie Jarrett is now a full- time resident in the Obama post-president home [compound] in Washington DC with the announced function of  continuing Obama’s programs and legacies [which hopefully do not include  “death to Israel”].

++++++++++

Tuesday, January 8, 2019

 

ERDO?AN + Rep.  SCHIFF +NY TIMES + WASH POST JOIN TO DEMOLISH CURRENT SAUDI – ISRAEL COUNTER IRAN WORKING RELATIONSHIP 

 

Top intelligence sources revealed the concerted joint efforts by Recep Tayyip Erdo?an, and US leftists [Washington Post, New York Times, representative Adam Schiff, etc. ] to disrupt the current Saudi Arabian – Israeli working relationship to  forestall Iran’s  aggresive [sic] drive  to dominate the Middle East.

 

Question:
Is the murder of Jamal Khashoggi [K] a brilliant plot by Eerdo?an to in one swoop become a more favored US ally than Saudi Arabia, restore fundamentalist government to Saudi Arabia by eliminating Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman [MBS] and at the same time disrupting/destroying the US-Saudi-Israeli confluence which is the major obstacle to Iranian dominance of the Middle East?

 

Some factors for consideration:

 

Turkish tapes. Saudi Arabia was aware of the surveillance of their embassy in Turkey. Was the on the record on camera murder of K  engineered by fundamentalist enemies of  MBS    within the Saudi royal family/government?

 

If the purpose was to kill K, then a 15 man team was far too obvious for the mission. Further, a sniper operating at a distance from the embassy on a day other than K’s  visit would have easily accomplished the mission

 

If the mission was similar to other Saudi mission, to kidnap K, then his death might have been from natural causes, or  accidental, or part of a plot to embarrass  and entrap MBS.

 

Examination of K.s father’s political affiliation and business dealings show that he was deeply involved the most Islamic elements of Islam and the most” conservative” elements of the Saudi royal family/government.

 

Examination of  K’s  previous affiliationss [sic] show that he was deeply involved with the most Islamic elements of Islam and the most “conservative” elements of the Saudi royal family/government

 

Here  is today’s Washington Post’s assault on Saudi Arabia and on MBS

 

Saudi Arabia’s trial for Khashoggi’s murder is a travesty. Congress must insist on justice.

If the United States is to uphold its values by insisting on justice in the Khashoggi case, Congress must take the lead.

 

By Washington Post Editorial Board

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Tuesday, December 25, 2018

 

RUSSIA’S 2016 DISINFORMATION CAMPAIGN

 

Russia’s 2016 disinformation campaign targeted both pro-Trump and pro-Hillary supporters.

 

Russia spent just $6,000 in the last six weeks of the 2016 election on ads.

 

Russia spent only $4,600 on Google ads in the 2016 campaign.

 

The Russian influence in the 2016 election was minimal.

 

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

 

IS ADAM SCHIFF THE RUSSIAN MOLE? [Blog Editor: In an admittedly only a cursory search, this LINK is the only source close to Belman’s submitted articles.]

 

First, the Soviet Union and now the Russian government has sought to disrupt the American political process. Currently, they are succeeding beyond their wildest imagination thanks to representative Adam Schiff, a prominent leader of the let’s lynch Trump movement. Now that” Russian collusion” is fading as a possible pretext, Mr. Schiff must dream up some other ways to justify his committee’s fishing in these waters. His new patter also has to shed a semi-credible back glow on his earlier role as chief flogger of now-defunct Russian conspiracy theories.

 

 

Interpreting the Trump Meteor

 

By Holman W. Jenkins, Jr. Wall Street Journal   12-18-18

 

His survival fight may at least buy time for a few important lessons to sink in.

 

Recall that we started down today’s investigatory whirlpool as a direct result of Hillary Clinton and the Democrats’ seizing on Russia as an excuse for their loss to a president whom many considered a joke. Now poor Adam Schiff, incoming head of the House Intelligence Committee, is trying to catch up with the new Democratic theme: Mr. Trump’s real sin is not Russian collusion after all. It’s his tawdry but well-known business and personal life.

 

Not only must Mr. Schiff dream up some way to justify his committee’s fishing in these waters. His new patter also has to shed a semi-credible backglow on his earlier role as chief flogger of now-defunct Russian conspiracy theories.

 

Sadly, he would have benefited from an aide whispering in his ear when he was making his pitch to a New Yorker writer. “What should concern us most,” he explained to the magazine, “is anything can have a continuing impact on the foreign policy and national-security policy of the United States, and, if the Russians were laundering money for the Trump Organization, that would be totally compromising.”

 

Huh? For the Russians to be laundering money for him, Mr. Trump would need a large source of under-the-table cash from somewhere (his NBC show?). What the confused Mr. Schiff presumably means is that Mr. Trump was laundering money for Russians—i.e., selling them condos. Never mind that the entire Western financial system also participated in this business opportunity. Now it will be one more legal jeopardy in the swirl of investigations around the White House.

 

Still, the media will have to work hard to flap away the odor of selective prosecution. Mr. Trump was already an unusually heavily scrutinized figure. Now he’s attracting the kind of subatomic legal scrutiny reserved only for presidents of the opposite party when the press is inveterately hostile too. Example: the New York Times re-auditing his family’s heavily audited tax returns to find a welter of abuses that somehow escaped the IRS and New York tax department.

 

You can argue whether this is fair or wise, but that’s our system, and a U.S. political party was poorly advised to nominate somebody with Mr. Trump’s baggage in the first place.

 

This column has long maintained that a high-level Russian criminal conspiracy is the one thing investigators won’t find when loosed on Mr. Trump’s colorful business and personal history. I especially have to laugh over the somber and knowing suggestions that the Russians have “dirt” on Mr. Trump. Every third-tier swimsuit model and ex-Playmate from here to Las Vegas probably has dirt on Mr. Trump.

 

Michael Cohen’s reported admission that the Trump Organization was pursuing Russian opportunities well into 2016 campaign is a smoking gun, all right, but not of Russian collusion. Why did Mr. Trump run for president in the first place? To become more famous, to add gaudy luster to his brand. He had no expectation of winning. Of course he used the campaign spotlight to market himself for deals in which others would pay to use his name.

 

Winning was his big mistake, a colossal if propitious miscalculation. Nobody would care about Stormy Daniels if he weren’t president. His decades-long pursuit of a Trump Tower in Moscow would be a non-story. Nobody would be raking him over the emoluments coals for owning a hotel in Washington.

 

Unfortunately, it will also occur to Mr. Trump now that his best move is to cling to the White House at all costs. That’s because under Justice Department guidelines he can expect not to be indicted as long as he remains in office. I wonder if his Torquemadas have taken this into account.

 

The moment is turning weird. Even President Obama stepped forward to tidy up the scene by claiming that the inconvenient Trump boom is really the Obama boom. By all lights, the media should have treated this as laughable. Had a Republican leg of lamb been victorious on election night 2016, markets would have priced upward on the news that the Obama agenda was finished. Investors aren’t clairvoyant but they respond to unexpected information. And seldom in history have circumstances conspired to give so clear a verdict on an outgoing administration.

 

When it’s all over, this will be one lesson worth holding on to. Mr. Trump’s personal fight for survival is likely to dominate our politics for the foreseeable future. And yet if anything justified his election in the first place, it was the wake-up call from 63 million voters to America’s leadership class. Alas, it’s hard to listen to people like James Comey and Mr. Obama himself and not see our political system trying hard to expel Mr. Trump so it can go back to doing exactly what it was doing before he was elected.

______________________

Some Editing (much left untouched) by Blog Editor John R. Houk.

 

Copyright © 2017 [Mr. Belman should update his copyright] Israpundit – All Rights Reserved

 

USA Under Islam?


I haven’t posted an expose Islam piece in awhile. I’m a bit pressed for time so I’m reaching back a couple of days from my Facebook Group with the long unwieldy name to post a couple of Justin Smith observations (Social Media Jail Conversations for Conservatives & Counterjihadists — Feel free to join if you’ve come close to the edge of Facebook’s Community Standards Censorship).

 

As the Editor I took the liberty in making the title. I have a suspicion Justin’s thoughts on Islam may have appeared elsewhere under a different title, perhaps even on one of my blogs.

 

JRH 3/2/19

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*********************

USA Under Islam?

 

By Justin Smith

February 25, 2019 11:14 AM 

 

Islam cannot reform itself. It is structured precisely to reject any such attempts; several have been tried and failed from the 12th century to the present, all due to doctrines that block any reform, such as the doctrine of abrogation and the Muslims’ acceptance of their “prophet” as the highest example of the “perfect” man.

 

To attempt to reform Islam is to admit that Mohammed was flawed and so too is Islam, and this they will not and cannot do; it goes against everything they are taught from birth, and yet, the intelligent few independent thinkers that arise within its ranks, such as Ayaan Hirsi Ali and my dear friend Sam Solomon will escape its clutches from time to time.

 

Sam is now a nationally renowned author here in Nashville and a convert to Christianity who tours the nation speaking about the lies and fallacies in Islam and gives a comparative analysis translating the Arabic verses to English while explaining that Islam is not of the Word and the Abrahamic people of the Bible.

 

I feel confident in saying that no matter how hard modern day reformers such as Irshad Manji and Dr. Zuhdi Jasser try, they will NEVER be able to reform Islam, not in this lifetime and not in a thousand.

 

Just look at Turkey and all the reforms initiated in the early 1900s by Kemal Ataturk [Blog Editor: Armenian perspectiveGreek perspective] . Today we see them destroyed and Erdogan bringing back Islam in its most traditional form. Erdogan wants the old Turkish Ottoman Empire restored with himself as its Caliph [CBN, International Policy Digest & Breitbart].

 

Now look at Muslims in America, such as Representatives Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib. Omar has been in America for the past 28 years, from the age of eight, and yet she sounds more like a foreign agent advocating for the “Palestinian people” than any American citizen raised in Minneapolis, as she trashes the United States each time she makes a statement. Tlaib was born here in the U.S., but one would never know it by the way she celebrated her election to Congress by waving a “Palestinian” flag; and she too is an advocate for Palestine, as are most of her constituency in Michigan.

 

And so America must ask, “Why are we still allowing Muslims to enter our country?”

 

What is the endgame here, if not our own national suicide at the urging of America’s communists, who hide their politically correct tripe and their agenda behind a guise of diversity, multiculturalism and “humanitarian concern”?

 

The U.S. Constitution isn’t a suicide pact.

 

HALT ALL MUSLIM IMMIGRATION TO THE UNITED STATES NOW.

 

DEPORT ALL FOREIGN BORN MUSLIMS FROM OUR COUNTRY NOW (including Ilhan Omar).

 

DEPORT ALL U.S. CITIZENS WITH ANY TIE TO ISLAMIC TERRORISM, AND EXECUTE THE ONES WHO ARE CAUGHT IN REAL PLOTS TO COMMIT HEINOUS TERRORIST ATTACKS.

 

I hope I have made my position clear. I’ve mailed this to Congress and the President. You too should make Yourself clear to Your elected representatives.

 

~ Justin O Smith

______________________________

Edited by John R. Houk

Text embraced by brackets and source links are by the Editor.

 

© Justin O. Smith