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Yearly Vertical: The Cost Of Going Rogue

The Yearly Vertical: The Costs Of Going Roguei
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December 23, 2015
In many ways, 2015 was a sequel to 2014. If Russia went rogue last year, this year it was forced to come to grips with the cost of that course.
By Brian Whitmore

In many ways, 2015 was a sequel to 2014. If Russia went rogue last year, this year it was forced to come to grips with the cost of that course.

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Comment Sorting
by: Yoshua
December 30, 2015 14:58
The Wolfowitz Doctrine

Our first objective is to prevent the re-emergence of a new rival, either on the territory of the former Soviet Union or elsewhere, that poses a threat on the order of that posed formerly by the Soviet Union. This is a dominant consideration underlying the new regional defense strategy and requires that we endeavor to prevent any hostile power from dominating a region whose resources would, under consolidated control, be sufficient to generate global power.

Mikhail Khodorkovsky believes that Russia will survive a decade of stagnation before she collapses. After the collapse Russia will return to the "Golden Years" of the 90's. Despite Khodorkovsky's dual loyalty he might actually care for Russia. But he is intelligent enough to understand that you can't go against the West.
In Response

by: Neil Nelson from: UT, USA
December 30, 2015 23:23
Yoshua, the Wolfowitz Doctrine hearkens back to Machiavelli's Prince and unfortunately it becomes we have met the enemy and they are us. In order to create a global society we have to trust each other and that will require international law and global coordinated order. If we take the track that we must remain dominant against all others in that we are willing to subvert their potential then we can expect a similar opposing strategy. That does not mean we do not strive to be dominant by our own strength and good purpose but we can not merely oppose an effort toward dominance by others. Dominance in this sense is not that we can force our arbitrary will but that we can affect our opponents from our belief in their betterment. Of course what betterment means needs to be worked out, but that we honestly explain and strive for that goal is key.

Of course we still have the Putin throwbacks to nation philosophies of an older time, but our strength is not that we can alone defeat him, but that we work with other nations to isolate and deny this corrosive philosophy and its effects. It is that coordinated effort as the modern philosophy that defeats autocracy.

One very clear item is that the U.S. is in the world to stay. Every part of it is our concern.
In Response

by: Yoshua
December 31, 2015 13:00
With the end of the Cold War the U.S remained as the sole super power in the world and we entered the time of Pax Americana. America is today an empire, a modern empire, a global empire that the Romans could only dream of.

Russia has been criticizing the Unipolar world and been endorsing a Multipolar world of independent nations (Nationalism). Together with China they created the Shanghai Cooperation Organization and the BRICS as an alternative to American global dominance.

A decade of rising oil and commodity prices fueled by the Chinese "miracle economy" that enriched Russia, made this Multipolar world look as a vital alternative, especially after the financial crisis in the U.S and the Euro crisis in the EU.

Today we are in a conflict. The conflict is about power and dominance. America will win this conflict. We in Europe stand with America.

American and European International Banks are intertwined by ownership, they own and control the Transnational Corporations, that in their turn own the science, technology and the patents of the modern economy. The International Banks and the Transnational Corporations control today 80% of the global trade.

The TPP and the TTIP will consolidate the power of the International Banks and the Transnational Corporations.

by: Democracy from: Earth
December 30, 2015 20:29
Putin is a genious. Genious in a very bad way. He's a thug who got away with a murder and not just one.

He has faked it until he made it.

It says a lot about state of russian society that allows itself to be run by scumbags for almost a century now but that's the sad reality.

What's worse is the current free world leadership did buy the bluff of this petty criminal a.k.a. president of RF.

In the near future many will be put to shame for allowing such man to let do what he pleases with such a dangerous cost for so many.

by: Rob D. from: USA
January 01, 2016 11:35
Here one of the RFE/RL's trolls wrote "We in Europe stand with America." Most probably the troll himself has never lived in US. A small example of our American life... Nowadays if law enforcement forces catch you teaching your kids about U.S. lies they get department of children and families involved or they file some trumped up charge on the parents. I've seen this happen first hand. The child tells his friends that forcing them to be basically indoctrinated is wrong and the school finds out and now you are faced with a whole set of problems.

They assassinate whistleblowers and their families and smear there name. Or make life hell to those who speak out. So what is it that the world wants us to do? To rise up and have an armed rebellion? To protest in one of our pre ordered "protest zones"? No. Rebellion/ revolution right now will just make it worse and protesting is a waste of time in this country. There is not enough of us yet that know exactly what's going on, but I'm surprised on how many people are starting to get it.

I wouldn't be surprised if Russia takes an idea out of the U.S. playbook and fund regime change in the U.S.. we are faced with scary times today and I'm sorry it took us this long to start getting it. We can only spread the truth out...

by: Dana from: US
January 01, 2016 11:48
If you are a so-called "democrat" and still support Obama after he has killed hundreds of thousands of Iraqis, Syrians, tens of thousands of Libyans, thousands of Yemenis and Ukrainians, then I am very ashamed that I am a US citizen.... I don't care WHAT your favorite politician says, I care that he's a bloodthirsty war monger who is out to steal the world's natural resources. Outside of turning himself in to the Hague for war crimes trials there is NOTHING positive that Obama could possibly do or say that I want to hear about. I'm sick of him, and I'm even sicker of those who support him. I prefer to not associate with murderers and people who like them...
In Response

by: Neil Nelson from: UT, USA
January 02, 2016 04:01
Yes, I support Obama. It looks like you may be supporting Trump. Here are some RFERL links for Trump.

Trump Proposes Total Ban On Muslims Entering United States

Candidate Trump Offends, But Within U.S. Law

And then we have the Putin-Trump buddy pages.

Putin Says Trump 'Absolute Leader' In U.S. Presidential Race

U.S. Candidate Donald Trump Gives Putin 'A' For Leadership

by: James from: US
January 02, 2016 20:36
Let's be honest! Putin's transparent and open criticism of US-NATO global role, aims & tactics has great power in its clarity & directness. He is putting them ON NOTICE to reconsider the idiotic insanity of their suicidal warpath.
In Response

by: Neil Nelson from: UT, USA
January 04, 2016 02:34
What superlative criticisms do you have in mind? I am not seeing any at the moment.

It seems that what we are ON NOTICE about is killing his weaker Ukrainian neighbors in the Donbas, and bombing defenseless Syrian civilians.

by: Mamuka
January 02, 2016 22:47
This collection of snippets from Daily Verticals of 2015 shows that 2015 was the year that Putin suffered some body blows but held on to power. Vova maneuvered according to his own strategies and is still there. But something that was not mentioned in this "Best Of" video was the highway toll "Platon" story. I have long held that Putin will feel the most pressure when those around him are no longer able to collect enough in bribes, rents, and other forms of na levo income. The Platon system was a thinly veiled scheme to transfer wealth to one of Putin's inner circle... surprisingly open, perhaps even transparent. And the people stood up against it. If Putin's future efforts to keep his close circle in black caviar and fur meet with similar popular rejection, 2016 may be a more exciting year... and not in a good way, at least not for Russians.

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The Power Vertical is a blog written especially for Russia wonks and obsessive Kremlin watchers by Brian Whitmore. It offers Brian's personal take on emerging and developing trends in Russian politics, shining a spotlight on the high-stakes power struggles, machinations, and clashing interests that shape Kremlin policy today. Check out The Power Vertical Facebook page or