Links – October 28, 2016

One of the best articles on understanding Vladimir Putin that I have read. By Fiona Hill.

Putin’s Chaos Strategy Is Coming Back to Bite Him in the Ass. Also very good.

Russia is trying to hack the election. What should the US do? If you’ve been reading my comments, you already know this. And it looks like Putin realizes that Donald Trump is not going to win, so he seems to have been on good behavior in his speech at the Valdai Club. This is consistent with his “chaos strategy” and the tactical approach described by Fiona Hill.

Added later: Status issues between the United States and Russia.

Looks like the mess from Russia’s nuclear ships, in Andreyeva Bay, is being cleaned up.

Mikhail Gorbachev’s speech at a thirtieth anniversary observance of the Reykjavik talks, where he and Ronald Reagan almost agreed to eliminate nuclear weapons by the year 2000.  (Photo of Gorbachev from this link.)

I am deeply convinced that a nuclear weapon-free world is not a utopia, but an imperative necessity. We need to constantly remind world leaders of this goal and of their commitment.

As long as nuclear weapons exist, there is a danger that someday they will be used: as a result either of accident or technical failure, or of evil intent of man – an insane person or terrorist. We must therefore reaffirm the goal of prohibiting and eliminating nuclear weapons.

Gorbachev implicitly calls out the US more than Russia for a breakdown in communications, but the speech does not explicitly name either country as more responsible for today’s situation. Not possible to assess his feelings toward Putin.

A coalition of all democratic forces, Part I. Thinking about the stakes in this US election. Part II: If Clinton wins, we will need a government of national unity. Part III: If Trump wins.

What to do about Syria, part 387. Zack Beauchamp lays out the three issues that any plan for a no-fly zone or similar approach must deal with. Two more from John Allen Gay. Stephen Walt points out that confidence in the US by other countries is unlikely to be affected by staying out of Syria. Mike Benitez and Mike Pietrucha give much more detail on what a no-fly zone would entail. It’s easy to laugh at the Kremlin’s show of power with its one diesel aircraft carrier, but other ships in the group have serious capabilities.

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