If peace talks fail, the Russian military has several options to advance into Ukraine through northern, central, and southern invasion routes. But a Russian attempt to seize and hold territory will not necessarily be easy and will likely be impacted by challenges from weather, urban combat, command and control, logistics, and the morale of Russian troops and the Ukrainian population. The United States and its European allies and partners should be prepared for an invasion by taking immediate economic, diplomatic, military, intelligence, and humanitarian steps to aid Ukraine and its population and shore up defenses along the North Atlantic Treaty Organization’s (NATO) eastern flank.

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Dec 24, 2021

He committed empire’s greatest sin. He exposed it as a criminal enterprise. He documented its lies, callous disregard for human life, rampant corruption and innumerable war crimes. And empires always kill those who inflict deep and serious wounds.

Nov 30, 2021

By failing to offer realistic alternatives, the U.S. and Europe have left another region to the tender mercies of a predatory power.

Nov 15, 2021

The Chinese government’s violent oppression of the primarily Uyghur Muslim population in Xinjiang is no longer a secret. From forced sterilization of Uyghur women to the internment of millions in prison camps to the eradication and destruction of religious institutions, the Chinese Communist Party’s actions against the Uyghurs have been deemed worthy of the name genocide to many in the human rights community.

Sep 20, 2021

While political campaigns ostensibly center on the policy differences between candidates, years of research have shown people are often ultimately swayed by elusive feelings: attraction, anger, fear. 

But as Germany nears its most unpredictable election in years on September 26, millions of Germans are seeking to bypass such sentiments by using a digital survey: the Wahl-O-Mat

The Wahl-O-Mat — or Vote-O-Mat — is designed to strip away abstract emotions and guide voters to their candidates based solely on tangible policy preferences. Using a series of statements, the government-funded website matches voters with ideologically aligned candidates. Essentially, it eschews “Who would you rather have a beer with?” for “There should be a general speed limit on all Autobahnen: agree, neutral, disagree.”

While similar tools exist in other countries, Wahl-O-Mat has become a household name in Germany. Leading up to the country’s last federal election in 2017, the Wahl-O-Mat was used nearly 16 million times — about once for every four eligible voters. At that scale, it’s no exaggeration to say the site could potentially influence the course of an election. 

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Sep 12, 2021

President Biden moved to end the war in Afghanistan, but the proceedings against the remaining war-on-terror detainees, including the 911 suspects, drag on.

Sep 11, 2021

A small Hong Kong newspaper illustrates how Beijing uses the tools of a free society to suppress freedom itself.

Sep 4, 2021

YOU COULD use a single word as a proxy. “Latinx” is a gender-neutral adjective which only 4% of American Hispanics say they prefer. Yet in 2018 the New York Times launched a column dedicated to “LatinX communities”. It has crept into White House press releases and a presidential speech. Google’s diversity reports use the even more inclusive “LatinX+”. A term once championed by esoteric academics has gone mainstream…

Aug 29, 2021

On New Years Eve, just minutes before the dawn of 1992, the Soviet flag was lowered from the Kremlin for the last time.
Arguably the Cold War had been over for a few years already. Glasnost and perestroika had defanged the thorny grip of the KGB and made Soviet citizens less afraid of their own government. Summits - first with Ronald Reagan and later with George HW Bush - started both the Soviet Union and the United States down the path to massive nuclear disarmament. The Soviets started pulling troops out of Central Europe in 1989. In 1990 Soviet premier Mikhail Gorbachev blessed the American military effort to eject Soviet-backed Iraq from Kuwait. In 1991 constituent members of the USSR seceded - peacefully - from the Union.  
But flags matter. And the real date it was all over - truly over - was December 31, 1991.
In America the Cold War’s end was met with a bit of a jubilant shrug. We went on with our day.

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The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention wasn’t allowed to visit the city of Wuhan, China, or the Wuhan Institute of Virology in early 2020. We’ve been trying to find out why ever since. Had we encountered transparency rather than stonewalling, it wouldn’t have been necessary to put together the circumstantial pieces of the puzzle on our own.

Aug 15, 2021

Military officers like me thought we were building a capable Afghan security force. What did we get wrong? Plenty.

Aug 11, 2021

Myanmar has been under the thumb of army generals since the military coup there in February. But even before the coup, nearly 3 million Burmese were facing hunger.

Now, the United Nations World Food Program estimates that that number could more than double by October. To make matters worse, COVID-19 is spreading alarmingly fast there.

Aug 6, 2021

DESPITE THE REDACTIONS, the pseudonyms, and the thousands of unreleased pages, the Senate intelligence committee’s report into post-911 CIA torture – that is, the executive summary available to the public – is the most robust oversight ever conducted of any part of the War on Terror. The committee typically defends the agencies and activities it nominally oversees; remarkably, the torture investigation revealed the gruesome realities inside the CIA’s black sites. It demonstrated, with precision and rigor, how the CIA constructed a Big Lie, called “Enhanced Interrogation,” around its barbarism. 

But the committee’s lead investigator says that he could only investigate two of the three components of the torture program. The third is lost to history. 

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Jul 27, 2021

IN LATE MAY a throng of a hundred or so young men, most of them from African or Middle Eastern minorities, started fighting in a square in Hjallbo, a suburb of Gothenburg, Sweden’s second city. Members of rival gangs seem to have started the scrap over the theft of a moped. Two days later a man in a nearby grocery shop was shot in the back of the head, thought to be as an act of revenge for the gangland battle. Then a policeman in Biskopsgarden, another suburb of the city, was shot dead. A few days after that a man was murdered in a barber’s shop in Frolunda, yet another suburb. To add to this litany of recent criminal violence, two young children were lucky to survive last week after being caught in the crossfire of yet another gang shoot-out, this time in Visattra, on the edge of Stockholm, the capital.

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Jul 26, 2021

Last month, a key witness against Julian Assange admitted that his testimony was false. It’s further proof that this case has little to do with justice – but is a persecution designed to silence critical journalists.

Jul 20, 2021

Revelations about the use of spying tools sold to governments by NSO Group sparked furious political rows across the world on Monday after evidence emerged to suggest the surveillance firm’s clients may have sought to target their political opponents.

Amid growing concern over the apparent abuse of NSO’s powerful phone-hacking spyware, Pegasus, Amazon confirmed it already had cut some of its ties to the Israeli surveillance company. The stock price of Apple dipped amid worries about the privacy and security of its handsets.

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Created on Sep 15, 2020
By @gurlic