Tagged: Putin

Anniversary of two articles: Foresight in hindsight

This weekend marks the anniversary of two articles that I wrote concerning Russia. They were about the future, based on learning from the past. About foresight. They weren’t anything special, really. What made them significant was that they examined and interpreted facts that most people didn’t want to know or discuss. The first article, written in 1999 for Insight magazine,...

InFocus: America’s ‘provocative weakness’

The Jewish Policy Center ran my article, “America’s ‘provocative weakness,’” in the winter edition of its quarterly journal, InFocus. The piece relates to how US strategy toward dealing with Russia (presuming that there is a strategy), and important foreign policy positions concerning Iran, Syria, the Muslim Brotherhood and Europe, are playing into the Kremlin’s hands and giving Vladimir Putin an...

Investor’s Business Daily: The dangers of provocative weakness

US meekness in the face of Russian assertiveness is a danger to international stability and American security, because it can be misunderstood and unwittingly invite a mistaken response. “Provocative weakness is a state in which you look weak, and you inadvertently provoke Russia, and others who mean you ill, into thinking they can grab something for nothing.” That’s how American...

Cult of personality and satire surround Putin’s 60th birthday

The Russian government is outdoing itself with a Cult of Personality campaign to mark the 60th anniversary of strongman Vladimir Putin – an event that coincides with the sixth anniversary of the unsolved murder of Kremlin critic Anna Politkovskaya. The former KGB man, once known among his colleagues by the nickname “Stasi” for his work with the East German secret...

RFE/RL managers did more damage than KGB, Russian human rights figures say

Russia’s most distinguished human rights leaders blasted the managers of US government-sponsored broadcasting into the Russian Federation, saying that the managers did more harm than the KGB ever could. The unusual – and harsh – attack came after Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty President Steven Korn suddenly purged the Russian language service of its veteran correspondents, editors and announcers. Korn is...

Watching civil unrest is an important intelligence function

With Russians taking to the streets in unprecedented numbers since the last days of the Soviet Union, it’s important to analyze civil unrest so that our national leaders can exploit opportunities and influence events to change the corrupt and aggressive regime dominated by Vladimir Putin. There is excellent precedent for doing so. Monitoring civil unrest around the world can provide...

Russia creates too many questions about Polish plane crash

The Russian government’s actions raise too many questions about the April 10 airplane crash that killed many of the most anti-Russian leaders of Poland. My recent conversations with informed Polish sources reveal so many irregularities with how the Russian government handled the crash that nobody should presume that the disaster was accidental until all the facts are in. I knew...

Waller stands in for National Intelligence Officer at academic conference on Putin

[Institute of World Politics news release] Introduced by the moderator as “the only panelist who can say, ‘I told you so,’” Professor J. Michael Waller took part in a panel discussion on Russian politics as part of the annual convention of the American Association for the Advancement of Slavic Studies (AAASS, pronounced “triple-A, double-S”). The question put forth before the November 18 panel was, “Is...

Portrait of Putin’s past

Portrait of Putin’s Past Perspective, Vol. X, No. 3, January-February 2000 By J. MICHAEL WALLER American Foreign Policy Council Why is so little known about the KGB career of Russia’s acting President Vladimir Putin? Most reporting on both sides of the Atlantic is thinly sourced, if sourced at all, and often conflicting. Was Putin a professional foreign intelligence cadre officer...

Yeltsin keeps it all in ‘the family’ [On the rise of Putin]

by J Michael Waller, Insight, September 6, 1999 Boris Yeltsin has named the head of the secret police, Vladimir Putin, as his latest prime minister, raising fundamental concerns about the direction Russia is taking. As a KGB officer he oversaw the Stasi secret police in Communist East Germany. He led a crooked financial empire, some believe, before becoming head of...