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May 20, 2024

As China ramps up disinformation, the U.S. is far too vulnerable

MAGA Republicans often raise the fanciful specter of foreigners voting in U.S. elections. That almost never happens, because only U.S. citizens can legally vote. But foreign countries enjoy considerable leeway to influence U.S. elections. Russia took advantage in 2016 to intervene on behalf of Donald Trump, helping him eke out a narrow victory. The Kremlin appears to be gearing up another pro-Trump campaign this year.

Washington Post

May 13, 2024

David Petraeus warns Israel’s ‘clear and leave’ strategy won’t work

From the start of Israel’s war in Gaza, President Biden and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu have been divided by a clash of counterinsurgency visions. Israel has been determined to destroy Hamas at all costs, while U.S. officials have worried that Israel was inflicting too many civilian casualties, was not doing enough to ensure the delivery of humanitarian aid and lacked a “day after” plan to stabilize Gaza after Hamas’s defeat. As one U.S. official told me, “The Israelis are showing how not to do counterinsurgency.”

Washington Post

May 13, 2024

Why Russian troops are suddenly able to advance toward Kharkiv

In war, you should always expect the unexpected. Ukrainian forces have been bracing for a spring or summer Russian offensive focused on the Donbas region of eastern Ukraine, to follow up on Russia’s February success in taking the town of Avdiivka. That attack might still come, but, in the meantime, Russian troops have mounted an unexpected cross-border assault in the Kharkiv region in the country’s northeast.

Washington Post

May 6, 2024

I’ve read student protesters’ manifestos. This is ugly stuff. Clueless, too.

The current protest movement is minuscule in comparison with the one a half-century ago. There is no military draft to galvanize student activism — this is Israel’s war, not America’s. But there is one glaring similarity between protests then and now: In both cases, the protesters’ ideological and behavioral excesses undermine the very causes for which they fight.

Washington Post

Apr 29, 2024

Why U.S. aid to Ukraine is still in jeopardy

U.S. allies had a collective freakout earlier this year when aid to Ukraine was stalled in Congress and former president Donald Trump threatened to let Russia “do whatever the hell they want” to NATO members that did not pay enough for their own defense. A European diplomat told me in March, “It is scary and should be scary.” After all, Europe had not faced the prospect of defending itself without significant help from the United States since 1945.

Washington Post

Apr 24, 2024

Weapons of War: The Race Between Russia and Ukraine

After a shamefully long delay, the U.S. Congress passed legislation that includes $61 billion for Ukraine on Tuesday, only days after CIA Director Bill Burns warned that Ukraine was in danger of “losing” the war this year without U.S. assistance. This aid should help fill critical ammunition shortfalls and allow the Ukrainians to hold the lines in the face of a looming Russian summer offensive.

Council on Foreign Relations

Apr 20, 2024

Having exhausted the other options, the House did the right thing on Ukraine

The last U.S. aid bill for Ukraine was approved in December 2022 when Democrats still controlled both houses of Congress. The Biden administration has been requesting another aid package, with growing urgency, since last August. Now, nearly four months after almost all U.S. aid shipments ran out, the Republican-controlled House finally approved on Saturday a $61 billion aid bill for Ukraine as part of a larger foreign-assistance package. This would seem to vindicate the aphorism (often wrongly attributed to Winston Churchill) that America can always be counted on to do the right thing after having exhausted all the alternatives.

Washington Post

Apr 19, 2024

Biden’s ‘bear hug’ with Israel pays off with a minimal strike on Iran

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel has become notorious for ignoring President Biden’s advice on dealing with the Palestinians. Israel was so slow to provide humanitarian aid to Gaza, the United States felt compelled to deliver its own assistance by air and sea. And Netanyahu has made it clear that, despite White House importuning, he will not allow the Palestinian Authority to govern Gaza after Hamas is gone. As for the West Bank, Netanyahu’s government gave the Biden administration the back of its hand in March by announcing the largest annexation of Palestinian land in decades while Secretary of State Antony Blinken was visiting Israel.

Washington Post

Apr 15, 2024

Trump’s ‘plan’ for Ukraine is even more preposterous than Nixon’s for Vietnam

When I read a recent news article by my Post colleagues headlined “Inside Donald Trump’s secret, long-shot plan to end the war in Ukraine,” my thoughts naturally turned to another election in which another Republican presidential candidate was widely reported to have a “secret plan” to end another war. Richard M. Nixon did not actually make that claim himself about the Vietnam War during the 1968 campaign. Instead, he made a vague promise to “end the war and win the peace in the Pacific” and let voters imagine he knew how do that.

Washington Post

Apr 14, 2024

Now it’s up to Israel: De-escalate or retaliate against Iran?

Disaster was narrowly averted on Saturday night in the long-standing conflict between Israel and Iran. Israel, aided by the United States and other allies, successfully repelled a massive Iranian drone and missile strike. But the reprieve might be short-lived.

Washington Post

Apr 8, 2024

In the shadow war with Iran, Biden just scored an unheralded victory

Iran and its proxy groups did not launch an all-out assault against Israel and its allies, as Hamas leaders might have hoped, following Hamas’s brutal Oct. 7 incursion into Israel. But Hezbollah, which is trained and armed in Lebanon by Iran, did intensify its rocket attacks on northern Israel; the Houthis in Yemen did begin attacking shipping in the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden with drones and missiles; and other Iranian-backed proxy groups targeted U.S. military outposts in Iraq and Syria with a barrage of missile and drone strikes.

Washington Post

Apr 1, 2024

Only a leader like Sadat can end the Israeli-Palestinian conflict

Spending a recent week in Egypt made me realize what is desperately missing from the Israeli-Palestinian conflict: a peacemaker in the mold of Anwar Sadat.

The Egyptian president became a Nobel Peace Prize laureate and one of the greatest leaders of modern times by risking everything — including, as it turned out, his life — for peace. Even those of us too young to remember the events at the time can still thrill to Sadat’s dramatic visit to Israel in 1977 following four major wars between the two countries. This prepared the way for the 1978 Camp David Accords and the 1979 peace treaty between Egypt and Israel. It was the first time an Arab state recognized the Jewish state.

Washington Post

Mar 23, 2024

Putin fixates on imaginary foes while terrorists attack Moscow

There is some cruel irony in the fact that Russia, which has been the perpetrator of so many terror attacks in recent years from Syria to Ukraine, was itself struck by terrorists on Friday night. Heavily armed marauders attacked Crocus City Hall, a concert venue in Moscow, killing at least 133 people and injuring more than 100.

Washington Post

Mar 18, 2024

Musk is a MAGA megaphone and a federal contractor. That’s a problem.

Like a lot of other people, I don’t use my X account much anymore. I prefer to post on Threads, because X (formerly Twitter) has become such a cesspool of hate speech and conspiracy-mongering. The problem became especially acute following Hamas’s Oct. 7 attack on Israel when the platform was flooded with antisemitic and anti-Muslim misinformation. It’s like watching a once-nice neighborhood go to seed, with well-maintained houses turning into ramshackle drug dens.

Washington Post

Mar 11, 2024

Trump isn’t just pro-Russia. He’s also anti-Ukraine.

Ukraine’s ammunition is running low, and its front-line positions are in danger of crumbling before a looming Russian offensive. The Senate passed a bill that included $60 billion in desperately needed aidfor Ukraine, but House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.) still won’t give it a floor vote in the House. Why not? The explanation can be summarized in two words: Donald Trump. Johnson knows that the former (and possibly future) president’s most fervent followers stand ready to oust him if he dares to advance aid to Ukraine. If Nikki Haley were the presumptive Republican nominee, the aid package would have passed long ago.

Washington Post

Mar 4, 2024

Ukraine will lose only if MAGA Republicans cut off U.S. aid

In 1940 and 1941, America First isolationists argued that the United States should not help Britain resist the Nazi onslaught because it had no chance to prevail. “I have been forced to the conclusion that we cannot win this war for England, regardless of how much assistance we extend,” Charles Lindbergh said on April 23, 1941.

Washington Post

Feb 27, 2024

This U.N. agency aiding Ukraine refugees is an unheralded success story

Public opinion surveys suggest that, while nearly 60 percent of Americans have a favorable view of the United Nations, they are less supportive than the citizens of many other countries. Forty percent of Americans have an unfavorable impression of the global body compared with 25 percent of Britons and Germans.

Washington Post

Feb 16, 2024

Navalny stood against Putin’s evil. Will the GOP abandon the fight now?

Friday has been was a dark day for freedom. In eastern Ukraine, Russian forces are on the verge of taking the city of Avdiivka after a months-long fight, thereby bringing closer Vladimir Putin’s goal of fully annexing yet another Ukrainian province — Donetsk. And in a Russian penal colony north of the Arctic Circle, Russia’s foremost dissident, Alexei Navalny, was pronounced dead at age 47.

Washington Post

Feb 15, 2024

A Resilient Ukraine Faces Defeat if U.S. Aid Falters

A failure by the United States to continue military aid to Ukraine would spell disaster for Ukraine and its Western allies while emboldening Russia and other potential aggressors.

Council on Foreign Relations

Feb 12, 2024

Speaker Johnson should see what I just saw in Ukraine

KYIV — I wish House Speaker Mike Johnson and other MAGA Republicans who have been holding up desperately needed aid to Ukraine could see what I just saw there. In particular, I wish they had been with me on Wednesday morning in Dnipro, a bustling city of about 1 million people in eastern Ukraine. If they had been, they might be less willing to betray the people of Ukraine in their desperate struggle for survival against a barbaric invader.

Washington Post
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