Emile Simpson

Give Putin a Way Out

With Russian troops massing on the Ukrainian border, the talk of war is getting louder. But it doesn’t have to happen.

Massed on Ukraine's border today stand 20,000 Russian troops, some apparently wearing a blue peacekeepers' uniform with the "MC" insignia. This could be seen as a replay of April, when Russia positioned 45,000 men on the frontier, which after a tense stand-off was reduced to only 1,000 personnel by June. But today the pro-Russian separatists aren't ascendent; they're losing badly to the Ukrainian military. With the rebels' backs to the wall in the almost-encircled cities of Luhansk and Donetsk, there plainly is a risk of a Russian "peacekeeping" intervention, as Moscow's request for an urgent meeting of the U.N. Security Council on the humanitarian situation in east Ukraine suggests.

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The U.S.-Led International Order Is Dead

Long live a new era of America's halting involvement in a world not of its own making.

As ISIS forces sweep through Sunni Iraq, whether or not the United States will help Baghdad to bring back its provinces has overtaken "bring back our girls" in Nigeria as the central public concern of U.S. foreign policy.

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It's Not a Russian Invasion of Ukraine We Should Be Worried About

That's just a game Putin's playing. And it's a game we're losing.

The West is fixated on what Russian President Vladimir Putin really intends to do in eastern Ukraine: Will he invade or not? But strategy in conflict situations does not easily lend itself to identification of clear goals on either side, because the activity is reciprocal. Each side reacts to the other, so intentions and goals evolve.

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Snoozing in the Backseat

Britain has been irrelevant in Ukraine's crisis. If it leaves the EU, it will only become more insignificant.

Britain's Foreign Secretary William Hague turned up in Kiev on March 3, stating that the situation in Ukraine is the biggest European crisis of the 21st century. Historians can argue about whether Britain realized that too late, or better late than never. Because by March 4, Russian President Vladimir Putin already seemed to have achieved the optimal level of Western humiliation without over-extending his position: He had done enough to make his point about Russian influence in the Ukraine by sending troops into Crimea, but avoided any genuinely tough Western response, which a full-on invasion of eastern Ukraine might have triggered.

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Rand Paul Is Right

The United States needs to officially end the Iraq war -- or else acknowledge that it’s waging an endless and unwinnable fight.

There is no state between war and peace. So said Cicero, and now proclaims international law: Either there is an armed conflict or there isn't.

Yet when Cicero spoke those famous words, before the Roman Senate in 43 B.C., the empire had split into armed factions and his fellow senators had declared a state of "tumult" -- precisely the ambiguous state between war and peace Cicero claimed could not exist.

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