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25 February 14
U.S.-Russian relations have come to a small moment of opportunity. U.S. Ambassador Michael McFaul is stepping aside just as Russia is flush with pride over the success of the Sochi Olympics.
10 February 14
Customer service has improved, there is less anti-Semitism and Russians are free to pray and leave the country if they want.
27 January 14
Shortly before his death in December at 94, Mikhail Kalashnikov, inventor of the AK-47, began to be wracked by spiritual doubts.
12 January 14
The closing ceremony for the Sochi Olympics will be Feb. 23, the day that marks the 70th anniversary of the deportation of Chechens, Ingush and others from their homelands in the North Caucasus. That choice was either an act of colossal ignorance or colossal arrogance.
18 November 13
Islamists may be fanatics, but they are not fools. They learn from past mistakes and work constantly to create new means of eluding existing security measures.
04 November 13
It is time to establish a Hitler Prize for acts of great political evil. Officials and terrorists would both be eligible.
21 October 13
Vacationing recently in the high Mojave desert with family and friends, we all drank a lot of water to stay hydrated. "Look!" said a vivacious French woman, pointing into her glass.
06 October 13
The first shots in the "Arctic Wars" were fired on Sept. 18. Eleven warning shots were fired by the Russian border guard at Greenpeace activists intent on placing a Save The Arctic banner on Russia's first offshore oil rig in the Arctic.
23 September 13
The Middle East in general and Syria in particular have provided such riveting political drama recently that even the whereabouts and actions of U.S. intelligence leaker Edward Snowden were knocked from the headlines.
09 September 13
When U.S. President Barack Obama dispatched his national security adviser, Tom Donilon, in March 2012 to confer with the newly re-elected President Vladimir Putin, Putin's first question was: "When are you going to start bombing Syria?"
26 August 13
The concept of "failed states" must now be supplemented with the concept of "failed democracies." Russia and Egypt are examples of countries where democratic elections led to undemocratic governments.
12 August 13
We rarely get the real story. The reasons range from deception to mere distraction.
29 July 13
Three young men, all connected to Russia, have changed the world we live in. Dzhokhar Tsarnaev is a villainous figure, Edward Snowden ambiguous and Alexei Navalny plainly heroic.
15 July 13
By offering Snowden asylum, Putin wanted to stick it to the U.S., while at the same time trying not to overly aggravate a country that is 10 times bigger.
01 July 13
We are all part of Edward Snowden's movie now. Although his story is as real as the prison cell he'll probably end up in, it still seems like a new form of entertainment, a mix of sci-fi and spy with the requisite exotic locales.
17 June 13
Sometime in the late '70s I was with a group of Soviet dissidents watching a doddering Leonid Brezhnev speak on television. Suddenly, one of them, a woman who had not fared well under his regime, exclaimed: "The poor man!"
29 April 13
After Boston, for some prospective terrorists the attraction and glory of a wild shoot-out and car-chase coupled with jihadist martyrdom will be irresistible.
24 March 13
When the Russians are building nuclear power stations in the middle of the Arctic, it causes a lot of concern — particularly considering the fact that they have historically equated caution with cowardice.
10 March 13
Two fears keeping China awake at night are a possible U.S. cyber counter-attack and the country's two restless minorities, the Tibetans and the Muslim Uighurs, who are struggling for autonomy or even independence.
25 February 13
Everyone is afraid of China. One reason is an instinctive reflex to avoid anything enormous moving at great speed. But even more important is that China's true intent can't be gauged.
11 February 13
The U.S. should seize the moral high ground in U.S.-Russian relations, engage Russia on Iran and Syria and develop a smart policy toward China and the Arctic.
27 January 13
Every self-respecting intelligence agency should have a full-time Putinologist. One reason is that President Vladimir Putin alone rules Russia. What he says goes.
15 January 13
President Vladimir Putin's initial response to the Magnitsky Act was right on the money: to accuse the U.S. government of monumental hypocrisy by focusing attention on Washington's record of torture and illegal rendition of terrorism suspects. That reaction also had the tit-for-tat structural symmetry that is standard in such cases.
18 November 12
The United States' best foreign policy is its own example. Millions around the world watched in admiration as the U.S. voted without strife or a whiff of corruption in the recent presidential election, with the loser conceding graciously.
06 November 12
Russia has failed to fashion a new identity for itself. It’s all about taking the money and running to Britain or the United States, if you can afford it.
22 October 12
Like the poor, spies are always with us. Everybody does it: Enemies spy on each other, but so do allies. During the Cold War, the Soviets were, of course, the most active in spying on the U.S., but the Israelis were right behind them in second place.
07 October 12
Last week, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg came to Moscow bearing gifts. He presented Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev with a T-shirt with Medvedev's Facebook address on it. In all the photographs of them together, both men looked genuinely happy, two fantastically successful nerds.
25 September 12
Russia has none of that blind emotional sense of the sacred that many Muslims feel for the Quran and the image of the prophet. That makes it a society with no clear sense of its own identity.
10 September 12
Sept. 11, 2001, was a failure not only of intelligence but also of imagination. No one had even conceived that terrorists could seize airplanes and fly them into buildings. So after the attacks, the Pentagon and CIA hired screenwriters to advise on the construction of worst-case scenarios.
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27 August 12
Ideally, the Olympics celebrate youth, energy and excellence. But, of course, the games are never free of economics and politics.