Patryk Babiracki: Showcasing Hard Power, Russia Reveals Her Longstanding Soft Spot

In recent months, Vladimir Putin has been playing hardball with the world. Yet Russia’s bullying and bravado can be seen as signs of a longstanding weakness.

Patryk Babiracki: Post-Soviet Ukraine: Not Unlike Postwar Poland. What Putin’s Russia (and the West) Can Learn from the Cold War

With oil prices falling, the ruble is tumbling down, and Russia’s immediate economic prospects are grim. But the Russian leaders’ political will to retain Ukraine is unlikely to disappear anytime soon. The lands that became modern Ukraine had been part of Russian empire for three and a half centuries. Vladimir Putin has shown inexhaustible energy in obstructing Ukraine’s rapprochement with the West; Ukraine’s prospective successes in integrating with the EU (or, in a more adventurous scenario, with NATO) would be a heavy blow to Russia’s prestige and to Mr. Putin’s ego. Therefore on the long run, it seems unlikely that any person or institution can prevent the Russian president and his cronies from wresting Ukraine back firmly into the Russian orbit.

Tanya Harmer: Thirty-Eight Years after Chile’s 9/11

For Chile, Latin America, & the world beyond, understanding what happened on 11 September 1973 has been a slow process of discovery, debate, & forensic science.

Shane Maddock on the Persistent Nuclear Myths of the Cold War

Shane Maddock, author of Nuclear Apartheid: The Quest for American Atomic Supremacy from World War II to the Present blogs for the Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations at In his most recent post, after the ratification of the New START treaty between the U.S. and Russia, Maddock addresses some Cold War-era myths …

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Obama and Afghanistan

Before we close up shop for the Thanksgiving holiday, I wanted to highlight some excellent commentary on President Obama’s impending decision about how to proceed with the war in Afghanistan. The President is scheduled to make an announcement next Tuesday, December 1, about his intentions for America’s next steps. Between now and then, we would …

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Obama’s foreign policy in light of ‘The American Ascendancy’

Today we welcome a guest post from Michael H. Hunt, author of The American Ascendancy: How the United States Gained and Wielded Global Dominance, a new paperback edition of which has just been published. In the book, Hunt gives a long historical view of what factors enabled the United States to evolve from colonial outpost …

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Zubok among Washington Post’s Best Books of 2008

The Washington Post published its Holiday Guide yesterday, featuring the Best Books of 2008. Included in “The World” section is Vladislav Zubok’s A Failed Empire: The Soviet Union in the Cold War from Stalin to Gorbachev. At the beginning of the year, Richard Rhodes reviewed Zubok’s book along with Melvyn Leffler’s For the Soul of …

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