Next Cold War

Next Cold War Roundup 11-23-15


Welcome to the Next Cold War Roundup, posted on Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 10 AM Eastern. You’ll find here what you won’t find in the mainstream news on issues of war and peace.


News & Analysis


Crimea in Dark After Power Lines Are Blown Up

MOSCOW — Saboteurs blew up the main power lines leading into Crimea early Sunday, plunging the disputed peninsula into darkness and prompting the Russian government to impose a state of emergency there.

Crimea without power after pylons blown up

Ukrainian authorities said they encountered activists blockading the site when they tried to repair the damaged pylons.


Crimean Tatars, an ethnic group native to the peninsula who oppose Russian rule, held a protest at the site of the broken power lines in Kherson region, Russia’s RIA news agency reported.

Damaged power lines in Kherson threaten the stable operation of Ukrainian nuclear power plants – “Ukrenergo”

[…] led to emergency disabling Ukrainian nuclear power plants. This was stated by Deputy Director […] “Ukrenergo” Yuri Kasich.

Middle East

Lavrov Says Preconditions on Assad Departure ‘Unacceptable’ for Joining Forces against IS

“It seems to me there are no longer any doubts that it is simply unacceptable to put forward any preconditions for joining forces in the fight against terror,” Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said after meeting his Lebanese counterpart Jebran Bassil in Moscow.


Andrew Bacevich:  A war the West cannot win

It’s past time for the West, and above all for the United States as the West’s primary military power, to consider trying something different.

Rather than assuming an offensive posture, the West should revert to a defensive one. Instead of attempting to impose its will on the Greater Middle East, it should erect barriers to protect itself from the violence emanating from that quarter. Such barriers will necessarily be imperfect, but they will produce greater security at a more affordable cost than is gained by engaging in futile, open-ended armed conflicts. Rather than vainly attempting to police or control, this revised strategy should seek to contain.

Lost on the ‘Dark Side’ in Syria

The full story of how the U.S. ended up allied with some Sunni extremists in Syria – while at war with others – is a convoluted tale dating back to President George W. Bush’s neocons venturing off into Vice President Cheney’s “dark side” to work with violent jihadists, writes British diplomat Alastair Crooke.


Foreign Policy

Western leaders agreed to extend Russia sanctions by six months: diplomat

Western leaders who met on the margins of last week’s Group of 20 summit in Turkey agreed to extend sanctions imposed on Russia for its intervention in Ukraine by six months until July of next year, a senior European diplomat told Reuters.

U.S. President Barack Obama, Germany’s Angela Merkel, Britain’s David Cameron, Italy’s Matteo Renzi and French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius, who represented President Francois Hollande at the summit, attended the brief meeting near the conclusion of the G20 meeting in Antalya.


Tomgram: Nick Turse, America’s Empire of African Bases

For a military that has stumbled from Iraq to Afghanistan and suffered setbacks from Libya to Syria, it’s a rare can-do triumph. In remote locales, behind fences and beyond the gaze of prying eyes, the U.S. military has built an extensive archipelago of African outposts, transforming the continent, experts say, into a laboratory for a new kind of war.

Social Media, Video, Podcasts



Chuck Hagel says pick an enemy: Assad or ISIS. He personally thinks ISIS is the real threat and advises teaming up with Russia to defeat the common enemy.  Hagel has not said much since he left the Sec Def position. This interview makes it pretty clear why he left (Obama admin’s conflicted political and military strategy, mainly, but one wonders if CIA backing Al Qaeda was problem for him too. He doesn’t say)





Thanks for reading. If there’s something you think should be added to the Roundup, feel free to contact me by email or on Twitter @joanneleon

Joanne Leon

Joanne Leon

Joanne is a blogger with focus on issues of war and peace, a mom, engineer, software developer and amateur photographer.