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2012 Commentary and Blog Posts

  • Three portraits of Bashar al-Assad are lined up in Damascus, Syria

    Did Russia Just Throw Assad Under the Bus?

    Dec 13, 2012

    There's been no meaningful sign that the Russians are willing to withdraw valuable political, military, and economic support for Assad, says Andrew Weiss. We should not be surprised if Moscow's obstinance on Syria proves rather durable.

  • Vladimir Putin

    Russian Nuclear Exercises Display Putin's Misguided Priorities

    Oct 31, 2012

    By ignoring the country's real needs in favor of prestige-focused military spending Putin seems to run the risk of exacerbating public discontent rather than reassuring Russians of their global importance, writes Olga Oliker.

  • Free Pussy Riot demonstration in Berlin

    What Pussy Riot Teaches Us

    Aug 18, 2012

    The global attention drawn by Pussy Riot shows what is possible in an interconnected world, writes Olga Oliker. Opposition movements in Russia and elsewhere may take note and think about how to better harness such possibilities in the future.

  • Flag of Georgia the country

    Four Years on, Hard Feelings Linger Between Russia and Georgia

    Aug 9, 2012

    A normalized Georgia-Russia relationship remains in Georgia's, Russia's, and America's interest. Going forward, the U.S. can play a role by calibrating its own interaction with both states to promote improved relations between them, and avoid exacerbating tensions, writes Olga Oliker.

  • A U.N. vehicle damaged by an angry crowd in al-Haffeh, Damascus, June 13, 2012

    Violence in Syria Intensifies as UN Plans Action Group Meeting in Geneva

    Jun 28, 2012

    Violence in Syria has only intensified since the failed ceasefire, leading the UN to suspend its observer mission and prompting comparisons to the war in Bosnia in the 1990s.

  • Russia's President Vladimir Putin meets with U.S. President Barack Obama during the G20 summit in Los Cabos, Mexico, June 18, 2012

    Putin's Waiting Game

    Jun 19, 2012

    The most important yet overlooked aspect of the current situation may be the cynicism and casual indifference that Putin has displayed toward the U.S.-Russian relationship in the face of his much bigger problems at home, writes Andrew S. Weiss.

  • Secretary of Defense Leon E. Panetta attends the NATO Summit in Chicago, May 21, 2012

    Three Challenges Still Await NATO

    May 24, 2012

    Three challenges still await NATO: containing fallout from France's new policy, re-opening the Pakistan supply lines, and the need for Russian cooperation, writes Christopher S. Chivvis.

  • Russian President Vladimir Putin speaks during his news conference at the NATO summit in Bucharest April 4, 2008

    Putin's NATO Dis: Cold Winds from Moscow

    May 17, 2012

    The decision by Putin not to attend the NATO summit and the G-8 summit is a blow to the Obama administration's hopes of building closer ties to Russia and underscores that the effort to "reset" relations with Russia is likely to be slow and fraught with difficulties, writes F. Stephen Larrabee.

  • Vladimir Putin

    The Outlook for U.S.-Russian Relations in Putin's Third Term

    Apr 19, 2012

    A Congressional panel discussed the outlook for U.S.-Russian relations in Putin's third term on April 11, 2012.