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Showing posts from March 5, 2014

Why Russians Are ‘Paranoid’

By Peter Hitchens

 - "Daily Mail" - Let us first raise the level of debate:

This will take a bit of muscular effort. For the level of some contributions is quite low. For instance, Mr ‘skh.pcola’ writes: ‘Herr Hitchens is an anachronism. He would have fit right in the gang with Neville and the other quislings back in 1939 or so. Idiots that don't learn from history doom the rest of us to repeat it. What a misanthropic microencephalitic moron Hitchens is.’

And I took part (at about 9.30 this morning) in a brief discussion on BBC Radio 5 Live, in which a listener raged for some time against Russia and Russians, diagnosing that country as ‘paranoid’(I do not know what her qualifications were to make this diagnosis).

By contrast, I would urge readers to study an article by Sir Rodric Braithwaite, the best ambassador this country ever sent to Moscow, profoundly knowledgeable about Russia, who is also more than fluent in Russian, and the author of ‘Afgantsy’, a fine study of the…

China's Proposed Military Reorganization

Beijing intends to reorganize China's seven military regions into five military zones tasked with overseeing domestic and international security issues. Each zone reportedly will be coordinated by a joint operations command with control over the army, navy and air force, as well as a strategic missile unit, in its area of responsibility. The effort is a key part of a broader reorientation of the Chinese military from a force focused largely on domestic defense and internal security to one better able to meet emerging external threats.

A Yomiuri Shimbun report released in January provides few details about the demarcation of the new military zones. At the core of the plan, however, three of the zones will be designed to cover the Yellow, East and South China seas and take over functions that currently fall across three military regions (Jinan, Nanjing and Guangzhou) within five years. Meanwhile, China's inland provinces will fall under the control of two additional zones coverin…

The European Union Reacts to the Crisis in Ukraine

German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier speaks to journalists in Switzerland on March 4 after meeting with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov. (PETER KLAUNZER/AFP/Getty Images)

Summary


The European Union is unlikely to approve substantial sanctions against Russia because it would go against the economic interests of most of its members. There will be a period of cold relations between EU members and Russia, but eventually EU members will return to their previous strategies of seeking a pragmatic relationship with Moscow.

The crisis in Ukraine is having political repercussions for most members of the European Union. In the west, countries such as Germany, France and the United Kingdom are trying to strike a balance between criticizing Russia's actions in Crimea and ensuring that their economic links with Moscow are unaffected. The crisis is reminding countries in Central and Eastern Europe such as Poland and Lithuania that their alliances with the European Union and NATO …