Neutrality has Outlived its Usefulness: Finland and Sweden Pick a Side

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Finland and Sweden announced Sunday their intentions to apply for NATO membership, moves that represent a seismic shift in European security policy on Russia.

Top Gun No More: I was a Fighter Pilot. Today’s Remote Killing Machines Replaced...

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"Today, Air Force 'pilots' kill enemy combatants halfway around the globe from windowless, air-conditioned, shipping container modules in the Nevada desert."

Putin Whiffs at Victory Parade: Reality’s a Bitch

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Any claim to have achieved Kremlin objectives of uniting Ukrainian regions seized eight years ago would have been difficult to substantiate.

Macron’s Re-Election Makes Him Europe’s New De Facto Leader

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Mr. Macron won, yes. But France is still in trouble. However his is the last best hope for a unified European voice and strategy for halting Putin’s upending of the world order.

Why is the Biden Administration Slow-Walking Military Aid to Ukraine?

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Might all the whingeing and slow walking of support be a matter of policy, not pusillanimity or red tape?

War Crimes Trials are for Losers: Why Holding Putin Accountable is a Long-Shot

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Justice for war crimes is an issue that goes beyond the practical difficulty of arresting a head of state in his own country.

Alas, Little Chance of Canceling Putin (For Now)

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The stark reality of Russian domestic support in the face of unspeakable brutality and tens of thousands killed on both sides begs the question of what it will take to turn Russians against the war and its Kremlin instigator. 

Succession: Russia’s Troubled Leadership Transitions

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Russia's history is marked by violence and assassinations. Somehow, in some way, Russian politicians must find ways to enable the peaceful transfer of power.

Regime Change? Putin in the Hot Seat

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There are serious political conditions brewing that threaten 69-year-old Vladimir Putin's 22-year autocratic control over Russia.

Are Bans on Russian Vodka Hitting the Wrong Target?

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Stoli vodka, once known as Stolichnaya, has been hit by informal consumer boycotts and some government actions against Russian brands. But it's actually made in Latvia.

Longtime Putin Watcher: This will only End Badly

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He’s neither insane nor suicidal, just determined to go down in history as the leader who restored Russia’s imperial glory, whatever the cost to his own country. I hope I’m wrong about this.

The Shapeshifter World of Ukrainian Presidential Politics

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A lot of Ukrainian politics involves shape-shifting among Russian interests and Trump consultants such as Paul Manafort. Such is the story of Julia Tymoshenko, whom Zelenskiy defeated for the presidency in 2019.

Six Routes Out of the Ukraine War

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There are several win-win solutions, but Putin doesn't seem ready to negotiate and the Ukrainians are currently unlikely to make concessions after spilling this much blood.

Canada Drops Its Vexing, Burdensome Border-Crossing Requirements

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Vaccination rates in Canada have been higher than in America. But Canada still imposed vexing requirements for those crossing its borders. No more -- unless you are unvaccinated.

For Putin, Ukraine Is a Chance for a Soulless Leader to Reclaim Russia’s Soul

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Putin seems to think Russia has lost its soul and his destiny is to win it back—literally, by brute and extremely brutal force, inch by bloody inch across Ukraine.

Why Sanctions Haven’t Worked Before, and Why They May Well Work Against Putin

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This time U.S. and European private companies are taking similar actions, including Boeing and Airbus, both suspending their major operations and no longer providing parts, maintenance, and technical services to Russia airlines.  More evident on the streets of Moscow, the popular McDonalds, Starbucks, and multiple retail food outlets, plus noted credit card companies, are now closed. 

Women’s History Month Is Not the Same This Year, for Today We Are...

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When I mentioned Women's History Month to a friend recently, he reacted with healthy skepticism. He said, "I have to ask what do these months actually do?" It was an apt question.

Do We Need a Voice of America 2.0?

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Food for thought: is there a more effective way to leverage the enormous reach of digital media companies in time of conflict?

The Problem: Putin’s Brain or Putin’s Braintrust?

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Even in the case of a quasi-dictatorship like contemporary Russia, we find a circle of elite advisers around the president. We should pay more attention to this brain trust, and less to Putin’s brain.

Putin’s Blueprint to Autocracy (And a Warning to America)

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Putin has unchecked power after 22 years in the Kremlin during which he systematically dismantled institutions essential to freedom from tyranny.

Recalling the Goodwill Games: An Investment in Befriending Russia

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It just breaks my heart to see what’s happening now, in contrast to our Washington state people's hard work to make a positive and productive relationship with Russia.

Putin’s Ukraine Invasion: An Ominous WWI Parallel

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Germany was destined to undo what one of its politicians called Britain’s “intolerable hegemony” over the world. Substitute “America’s” and the words could be Xi’s or Putin’s.

Zelensky v. Putin: A Stark Contrast

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“The contrast between how Putin and Zelensky are presenting themselves in this war is striking and symbolic of what is happening on the ground.”

The Oligarchs who Didn’t Play by Putin’s Rules

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Putin then had the rebel oligarch arrested, put into a courtroom cage and sent to prison for ten years, and picked another oligarch (listed as being sanctioned) to take over the Yukos oil company.

The Global Click: Wars on Screens

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Something about the use of social media in Russia's invasion of Ukraine feels big and new. The scope is larger, the stakes are higher, and this conflict is already far more participatory from major segments of society.

Putin’s Invasion Targets Civilians and Intensifies Assault

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U.S. Rep. Adam Smith (D-WA), chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, warns that Putin is likely to escalate hostilities with “indiscriminate bombing” of the type that Russia used to destroy regime opponents and infrastructure in Chechnya and Syria.

Primer: Who are the Ukrainians?

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Ukraine’s mosaic of people lived between turbulent powers. 

We’re Wary of Hitler Comparisons. But Putin’s Parallels to the 1930s…

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We can only hope that Putin’s savage, unprovoked action does not lead to World War III which by miscalculation it could, with apocalyptic results.

Wakeup Call: Will Putin’s Invasion Convince us of the Stakes?

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So much of our national life and debate has been self-indulgent, stupid, and dangerous for so long. Can Putin do what the pandemic could not and wake us up?

Interfaith Prayer Service for Peace in Ukraine: Wednesday Evening at St. James Cathedral

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Seattle, though relatively unchurched, has a rich tradition of such interfaith services and marches in times of war and pain.