May 282023

Homelessness bugs me.

New York. San Francisco. Ottawa. Ottawa!

What on Earth is going on? Seriously, when did we turn the dystopian vision of a crumbling society in Infocom’s classic 40-year old text adventure game, A Mind Forever Voyaging, into a reference manual on social governance?

The fact that in wealthy societies there are thousands living on the street, not by choice but out of necessity, is beyond shameful. And it’s not like we don’t understand the causes: the rising wealth and income gap, rapidly increasing real estate prices, the lack of affordable housing.

Especially that last one. The lack of affordable housing.

Because, you know, it is so hard to solve. I mean, maybe we need divine assistance, the help of space aliens, artificial intelligence or perhaps good old magic?

Oh wait. It *is* a solvable problem. And you don’t even have to turn into a full blown Marxist to find it. A proven solution can be found in decidedly capitalist Vienna. A solution that, apparently, has worked well for over 100 years.

Though I lived in Vienna in the 1980s, I never knew the nature and extent of its public housing program. Just the other day though I read about it in a Hungarian-language Facebook post that I decided to fact-check. Sure enough, it’s true. Vienna’s solution is real. It works and it works surprisingly well.

I barely finished reading this undated article (on a US government Web site no less) when a friend of mine also sent a link to another. This one was published in the The New York Times just a few days ago. They, too, praise Vienna’s ability to maintain high quality public housing for hundreds of thousands of their residents, with principles that were originally established all the way back in 1919.

So yes, it can be done. Maybe it is time for cities like our very own shiny Ottawa to wake up and get real. Instead talking about it, instead of using it as a political platform or a platform for pointless virtue signaling, instead of building shelters, instead of moaning about the homeless, instead of building subsidized housing from which you are rapidly booted (so that the project remains slum-like, with only low-income residents) perhaps it is time to learn from those damn Austrians.

I, for one, as an Ottawa taxpayer, would happily contribute more of my taxes if our fine city were to adopt a program like Vienna’s, aiming for a stable, long-term solution.

 Posted by at 8:33 pm
Apr 112023

So I am playing this iconic computer game, Bioshock, and its sequel Bioshock 2. The games are set in a magnificent underwater city that is in an advanced state of decay and societal collapse: a consequence of unconstrained, unregulated capitalism, Ayn Rand style. In the game’s universe, the city was created by a self-made billionaire in the wake of WW2 and the atomic attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. A way for the talented, the willing to escape from a world in which their wealth, the fruits of their labor were taken in the name of government, in the name of a deity, or in the name of the people. The founder’s name, not coincidentally, is a near anagram, a play on Ayn Rand’s name: Andrew Ryan.

As I watch the Twitter saga unfold, increasingly Andrew Ryan’s tragic (for that’s what it is, even if it is self-inflicted) fate reminds me of Elon Musk and his ever wilder shenanigans. And Twitter is beginning to feel like a digital equivalent of Ryan’s once striving city of Rapture: many of its corridors are now flooded, increasingly abandoned except for the remaining gene-altered freak show who still call Rapture home.

As of today, there’s a new alternative in addition to the decentralized world of Mastodon: Substack Notes. Will it be able to pick up the tab as Musk’s Twitter self-destructs? We shall see. Ironically, I would not even know about Substack Notes were it not for Musk’s tirade against it on, well, Twitter…

 Posted by at 10:39 pm
Apr 072023

Someone asked the other day, what benefit is there to NATO from Finland’s membership?

I think this meme sums it up nicely.

Yup, the Finns. Who managed to fight the USSR to a draw at the height of its military capabilities, even as the Red Army was steamrolling over the remains of the feared Wehrmacht. Yup, the Finns who share a border with Russia that is as long as all the previous NATO-Russia borders from Poland to Turkey, combined.

Thank you, Finland, for trusting the rest of us.

 Posted by at 10:59 pm
Apr 072023

Do people still pay attention to the Doomsday Clock, published by the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists?

Perhaps they should. Perhaps the fact that they don’t is a big part of the problem.

For here we are, in 2023, and the Doomsday Clock was just set to an unprecedented 90 seconds before midnight. Never before were we this close.

Ukraine, of course, is part of it, along with the recklessly irresponsible nuclear threats of Putin and his cronies. The use of nuclear power stations like Chernobyl and Zaporizhzhia as bargaining chips also represent a red line that should never have been crossed.

 Posted by at 7:28 pm
Apr 072023

Computer games are often seen as a means to escape reality. But every so often, they come uncomfortably close to modeling reality.

Take Bioshock. In this game, the player explores in a glorious underwater metropolis… A metropolis founded by a billionaire who follows a version of Ayn Rand’s positivist philosophy. Fiction? As I walk around in that underwater city, now on the brink as its society collapsed due to extreme poverty, drug use, reckless medical experiments and worse, and as I listen to the rants of its founder, Andrew Ryan (a name that is an obvious play on Ayn Rand’s) I cannot escape the eerie sensation that I am listening to an alter ego of Elon Musk. While Ryan offers his “plasmids” for gene manipulation as he rants about the “parasites” (basically, anyone who needs any help from someone else), there’s Musk playing around the virtual metropolis of Twitter, now his personal playground, peddling his dogecoin (even swapping out Twitter’s logo for that stupid dog symbol) and labeling NPR as “state-affiliated media”.

And then there’s this classic text game, now nearly forty years old, from the legendary Infocom: A Mind Forever Voyaging. What an incredible experience it was to play that game, playing as an AI (!) protagonist, exploring simulations of a city ever further into the future, trying to find the causes of societal collapse. I read words like, “There is a factory on the eastern corner, and on the northern corner a boarded-up soup kitchen. To the west is a vacant lot, and south of here are some dilapidated apartments. The smell of stale urine wafts from a stairway leading down to a gloomy Tube station,” and suddenly I am reminded of very real images of present-day streets of San Francisco full of homeless tents, or the ever rising number of beggars at major intersections or downtown streets even here in shiny Ottawa. Please, folks, AMFV was supposed to be fiction, a cautionary tale, not a manual.

Homeless in San Francisco (2021)

Of course the Elon Musks of the world have a point: having grown up in a country with a communist regime, I know it only too well. But those who warn about the rising income and wealth gap, the vanishing of affordable housing must also be heard. Their concerns are real and pressing.

Perhaps, like Captain Kirk in the famous Star Trek episode, The Enemy Within, our societies also need both: a little bit of statist communism and a little bit of corporatist fascism to stay healthy, open, welcoming and, ultimately, stable and democratic?

 Posted by at 3:13 am
Apr 042023

For better or for worse, we are witnessing history in the making in the great United States.

What it will lead to, I don’t know. I am apprehensive.

 Posted by at 1:46 pm
Apr 032023

Mr. Trump arrived in New York. He will be indicted tomorrow.

Part of me responds with glee. This is, after all, a person of questionable morality (to say the least) who willingly encouraged his supporters to chant, “lock her up!” back during the 2016 campaign. What goes around comes around…

But then… what does it say about the future of US democracy? His supporters view it as a politically loaded, trumped (pun unintended) up charge. Politically biased prosecution may become the norm in American politics.

Khrushchev reportedly expressed pride in the fact that when he was removed from power, he was neither killed nor arrested. That represented a very notably break with Stalinism.

Arguably, Trump deserved this indictment. He is quite likely guilty of several of the criminal charges that have been, or will be, brought against him. In principle, he should not be treated any different froom other citizens. Yet it creates a precedent that can be dangerous.

 Posted by at 4:24 pm
Mar 142023

I know, I know. Hindsight is 20-20, and here I am, the Monday morning armchair quarterback, making sense of what happened to the US banking system this past weekend.

Then again, my excuse is that I am no expert (not even close) so what is hindsight in my case should have been foresight on behalf of those who do this stuff for a living. The fact that it wasn’t…

How do banks work? Say, you deposit $100,000, and the bank pays you 2% interest. So far so good. But the bank doesn’t just sit on your money. If they did, they’d be losing money by paying you interest. No, they lend that money to me, say, in the form of a mortgage at 5% interest. The difference, that 3%, is the bank’s profit.

Suppose one day unexpectedly you show up and tell the bank that you want to withdraw your money. The bank doesn’t have $100,000 cash. Nor can they call on the money they lent to me, since it is in the form of a long-term mortgage. What they can do, however, is sell my mortgage to another lender. For me, that mortgage is debt; for the bank, it’s an asset, worth good money. So they sell it to another bank, get the $100,000 cash and now they can honor your request to withdraw your funds.

So far so good… but what happens if the county’s central bank raises interest rates rapidly? Say, in a short amount of time the central bank’s rate goes from a fraction of a percent to over 5%? When you come to our bank to withdraw your money, the bank tries to sell my 5% mortgage to another lender, but finds no buyers. Why would these other banks buy my 5% mortgage from our bank when they can invest their money in government bonds that have a 100% guarantee and now a yield better than 5%? Oops. You try to withdraw your money, but our bank is unable to oblige. When a bank cannot pay a depositor, it is big trouble. It basically means that the bank is going under.

When interest rates change slowly, gradually, this does not happen. Mortgages expire and need to be renewed at revised rates. The market adjusts. But when interest rates rise rapidly, the system cannot adjust. There is not enough time.

Central banks throughout the Western world have raised interest rates at a historically unprecedented pace in recent months, to fight inflation. Did they really not anticipate the consequences?

And now the reaction: some financial news sources suggest that, never mind further rate increases, the US Federal Reserve’s interest rate may actually come down next month. Now that worries me as it may be an overreaction. Overcompensating a controlled system can actually lead to even larger swings or oscillations.

What bothers me about this is that what I am describing here is not exactly ground-breaking revelation. Beyond the financial specifics, it is basic operations research, its modern roots dating back a century or so. Seriously, when they were raising interest rates as recklessly as they did, what were the central banks thinking? Were they truly not aware of these possible consequences? Or was fighting inflation so important that they opted to ignore the advice of their own knowledgeable experts?

 Posted by at 1:55 am
Feb 242023

A year ago today, the (almost) unthinkable happened: Russia launched a full-scale war of conquest against its neighbor Ukraine.

A residential building in Kyiv. From The New Yorker.

I say “almost” because, well, let’s face it, similar things did kind of happen in the past. Russia did, after all, launch a major war against Hungary’s revolutionary government in 1956, in a successful bid to crush the anti-Stalinist revolution and ensure that the country remains firmly in the East Bloc. A similar, albeit smaller-scale invasion took place in Czechoslovakia in 1968.

But still… what is happening in Ukraine is the worst Europe has seen since the end of WW2. And it is naked aggression, more reminiscent of Hitler’s attack on Poland than the USSR maintaining control of the East Bloc during the Cold War.

And it is evil. Let’s not mince words. The excuses are laughable. The aggression is inexcusable. And the war crimes and human rights violations are revolting.

Yet Ukraine stands. Against all odds.

Where this war leads, I have no idea. Frankly, I am surprised that a year later, it remains confined within Ukraine’s borders. Will it remain that way? Or is Ukraine the opening salvo in WW3?

I worry because way too many people now speak of WW3 as something that can be “won”. To be sure, I have no doubt that if WW3 comes, the West will win. But at what price? How many hundreds of millions will die?

Peace would be nice. But we must not confuse peace with appeasement. The world made that mistake in Munich in 1938 and paid dearly for it. Putin must not be rewarded for his aggression. Sometimes, strength is the best guarantee of peace, and signs of weakness invite conflict.

 Posted by at 10:08 pm
Feb 132023

In her famous 1984 song, German singer-songwriter Nena sang about 99 balloons that trigger World War III.

Here is the ending of the song, along with my less-than-perfect translation:

Neunundneunzig Jahre Krieg
Ließen keinen Platz für Sieger
Kriegsminister gibt’s nicht mehr
Und auch keine DüsenfliegerHeute zieh’ ich meine Runden
Seh die Welt in Trümmern liegen
Hab ‘n Luftballon gefunden
Denk’ an Dich und lass’ ihn fliegen
Ninety-nine years of war
Left no room for a victor
There are no more war ministers
Also no more fighter bombersToday as I took a stroll
Saw a world, ruined by war
There, I just found a balloon
Thinking of you, I let it fly soon

What can I say? A few more Chinese balloons over North America, a few more large-scale exchanges in Ukraine, and perhaps we’ll no longer need any war ministers anymore.

 Posted by at 6:39 pm
Dec 122022

Yes, I am rooting for Ukraine. I am not terribly fond of nationalism. I would love to live long enough to see a free and prosperous world in which national borders are a thing of the past, a quaint historical curiosity, nothing more. But that’s not the world we live in, and when a country attacks another in a form of naked territorial aggression, I root wholeheartedly for the defender.

In light of this, I was delighted to see that the supply of a particular brand of our favorite Hungarian Christmas candy (szaloncukor), which has been made in Ukraine for the past several years, remains uninterrupted.

Thank you, nameless workers in that Ukrainian factory that manufactured these delicacies.

 Posted by at 12:43 pm
Nov 272022

Someone just sent me a YouTube link to a video, made in May 2022, showing some of the nightlife in a Tehran shopping district.

What I found especially interesting is the youth of the crowd, but also how ordinary, how “Western” most of them appeared. Were it not for the Persian script and the (rather loosely worn, I noted) headscarves, it could be a scene from any Western metropolis.

And not a single Muslim terrorist in sight! Scandalous, really.

No, I have no illusions about the ayatollahs’ regime. But looking at these scenes makes me wonder: how much longer will a population this young, this full of energy, endure being ruled by senile septuagenarian religious ultraconservatives?

 Posted by at 1:46 am
Nov 152022

CNN reports a Russian attack (likely unintentional, but an attack nonetheless) on a Polish farm, killing two.

That’s an attack on the territory of a NATO state.

 Posted by at 2:56 pm
Oct 242022

There are only about six days left of the month of October and I have not yet written anything in this blog of mine this month. I wonder why.

Ran out of topics? Not really, but…

… When it comes to politics, what can I say that hasn’t been said before? That the murderous mess in Ukraine remains as horrifying as ever, carrying with it the threat of escalation each and every day? That it may already be the opening battle of WW3?

Or should I lament how the new American radical right — masquerading as conservatives, but in reality anti-democratic, illiberal authoritarianists who are busy dismantling the core institutions of the American republic — is on the verge of gaining control of both houses of Congress?

Do I feel like commenting on what has been a foregone conclusion for months, Xi “Winnie-the-pooh” Jinping anointing himself dictator for life in the Middle Kingdom, ruining the chances of continuing liberalization in that great country, also gravely harming their flourishing economy?

Or should I comment on the fact that prevalent climate denialism notwithstanding, for the first time in the 35 years that I’ve lived in Ottawa, Canada, our air conditioner came online in the last week of October because the house was getting too hot in this near summerlike heat wave?

Naw. I should stick to physics. Trouble is, apart from the fact that I still feel quite unproductive, having battled a cold/flu/COVID (frankly, I don’t care what it was, I just want to recover fully) my physics time is still consumed with wrapping up a few lose ends of our Solar Gravitational Lens study, now that the NIAC Phase III effort has formally come to a close.

Still, there are a few physics topics that I am eager to revisit. And it’s a nice form of escapism from the “real” world, which is becoming more surreal each and every day.

 Posted by at 7:41 pm
Sep 302022

I cannot escape the sensation that the unthinkable is drawing closer and closer with the passing of each and every day.

Today, the Institute for the Study of War released a special update, titled Assessing Putin’s Implicit Nuclear Threats After Annexation.

They assess that “Putin likely intends annexation to freeze the war along the current frontlines” and that if successful, “the Kremlin could reconstitute its forces and renew its invasion“.

They stress that although Putin mentioned nuclear weapons as he did in past speeches, he was “avoiding making the direct threats that would be highly likely to precede nuclear use“.

Nonetheless, the situation is wide open for miscalculation. As the ISW asserts, Putin “likely incorrectly assesses that his nuclear brinksmanship will lead the United States and its allies to pressure Ukraine to negotiate“.

The ISW then informs us that they “cannot forecast the point at which Putin would decide to use nuclear weapons“. That language is perhaps scarier than intended and not just because it raises the obvious question, if they cannot, who can? But also because it may be an accurate reflection of reality, as the question is not “if” but “when”.

Concerning Putin’s efforts, the ISW states that “rushing thousands of untrained and unmotivated Russian men to the front will not meaningfully increase Russian combat power“. And that while “Europe is in for a cold and difficult winter, yet the leaders of NATO and non-NATO European states have not faltered“.

In short: Putin is maneuvering himself and the West into a situation with fewer and fewer options, none of which are palatable.

In the end, the ISW comes to a conclusion that I wholly agree with: “The more confident Putin is that nuclear use will not achieve decisive effects but will draw direct Western conventional military intervention in the conflict, the less likely he is to conduct a nuclear attack“. This is why the West must make it abundantly clear that such a conventional intervention is a foregone certainty if nuclear weapons are used.

Is this enough? I have no idea. But it is the one option that might yet help us avoid turning this mess into WW3. Otherwise, the unthinkable just might happen… not in years, not in months, but possibly within weeks or less.

The trouble is, deep inside I suspect Putin already knows that there are no good outcomes left for him personally. And this is why he may decide, like other pathetic despots have done throughout history, that if he must burn, the world must burn with him. The trouble is, unlike despots of the past, Putin indeed wields the power to burn much of the world.

 Posted by at 4:08 pm
Sep 262022

Putting aside Trumpism, woke-ism, the politics of the day, populism, the whole kaboodle, here’s something to contemplate.

Tonight, Russia is continuing its efforts to subjugate the independent nation of Ukraine, not refraining from committing serious, intentional, criminal acts against the country’s civilian population to further its goals.

Also tonight, the space agency of the United States, NASA, is conducting a ground-breaking experiment, the first of its kind testing a method that might one day avert a global disaster, protecting the entire planet from an asteroid impact.

DART: View of the asteroid Dimophos 20 minutes to impact

I think it speaks volumes about the different ways in which these countries see their respective roles in the world.

I almost long for Soviet times. The regime was assuredly brutal, but at least it professed to seek noble goals. Not anymore, I guess.

 Posted by at 7:18 pm
Sep 232022

I admit that to date, I only viewed the first season of Game of Thrones. One of these days, I’ll watch the rest but there’s so much good television and so little time… I don’t spend much time watching TV, so I am behind even with series that I really like. (Hint: haven’t yet finished the last season of The Sopranos.)

Yet… I get the catch phrase. Winter is coming. And yes, I am filled with a sensation of dread because winter, indeed, is coming. quite possibly the world’s worst winter since… 1914? 1939? 1941? Not sure.

For some reason, I keep thinking about a silly but perhaps relevant analogy: the flight envelope. Move too slow, your airplane falls out of the sky. Move too fast and your airplane is overstressed and disintegrates. The higher your altitude, the smaller the difference between the two, until eventually you run out of options: no matter what you do, you fall out of the sky. That was the tragic fate of AF447 over the Atlantic Ocean 13 years ago.

And I now feel that geopolitics is locked in a very similar pattern. With each and every passing day, our options are becoming more constrained. Take Putin’s nuclear threat, combined with the sham referenda he’s organizing in the occupied Ukrainian territories. He says he’s not bluffing. What if he means it? What are our options if he does deploy a tactical nuke in the battlefield?

There really are no good choices.

If we do nothing, that will only encourage him to go for more. The rest of Ukraine. Moldova. A Kaliningrad corridor. Perhaps the Baltic states since if NATO failed to respond to nukes in Ukraine out of fear of triggering a nuclear world war, he can count on NATO’s restraint in the Baltics, too. Where will he stop? Will he stop?

If we respond tit-for-tat, with a NATO tactical nuke, that risks escalation. The genie is now truly out of the bottle.

The best option I can think of is to use all of NATO’s might to do two things: 1) immediately establish a no-fly zone over all of Ukraine, and 2) use a direct, overwhelming conventional strike to annihilate the unit that launched the nuke.

This still carries the risk of escalation. But at least it would show that the West is not afraid to respond, it just calibrates its response appropriately: to deter, but not to escalate. And of course telegraph this well in advance, to make it clear to Putin that unlike him, the West really isn’t bluffing.

Yet I cannot escape the thought of that flight envelope. When the difference between your minimum speed and your top speed gets reduced to nothing, that means you have no good options left. Whatever you do, you fall out of the sky.

Winter is coming. A winter bringing with it the risk of escalation in Ukraine. A global food crisis as a result of the Ukraine war. An energy crisis (which may be mitigated but cannot be fully averted) in Europe. Growing tensions concerning Taiwan. A democracy crisis throughout the West as right-wing populism prevails and the rule of law suffers.

I am increasingly convinced that October 1962, the Cuban missile crisis, was a pleasant afternoon tea in a kindergarten, surrounded by friendly teddy bears, compared to what we now face, in the fall of 2022.

Back then, the choices were clear and the major players shared a common goal: avoid global confrontation.

Today? The choices are murky and we have leaders who built cults on the shared belief that they are all victims. That they have no choice but to defend themselves. From what, you ask? Well, how about defending yourself from the rule of law when you want to break it. Defending yourself from a country you attacked and tried to destroy or occupy. Defending yourself from a territory that does not want to live under your one-party totalitarian regime. Of course they do not see things this way. And that’s what make things scary.

And that’s why I worry that winter, indeed, is coming, a kind of winter we have not seen in many generations, if ever.

From the opening scenes of the Fallout 3 computer game:

War. War never changes.
Since the dawn of human kind,
when our ancestors first discovered
the killing power of rock and bone,
blood has been spilled in the name
of everything: from God to justice
to simple, psychotic rage.

 Posted by at 5:54 pm
Sep 092022

In the wake of the passing of Elizabeth II, there are once again voices advocating that Canada should shed its “colonial past”, get rid of the institution of monarchy, and transform itself into a republic.

I think it’s an absolutely horrible idea. Why? Well… let me present the ten countries at the top of the 2021 Freedom in the World index:

Finland Parliamentary Republic
Norway Constitutional Monarchy
Sweden Constitutional Monarchy
New Zealand Constitutional Monarchy
Canada Constitutional Monarchy
Netherlands Constitutional Monarchy
Uruguay Presidential Republic
Australia Constitutional Monarchy
Denmark Constitutional Monarchy
Ireland Parliamentary Republic

Notice that seven out of these ten countries are constitutional monarchies (four of them, in fact, under the same monarch.)

Let me present, in contrast, the ten countries at the bottom of the list:

Central African Republic Presidential Republic
Tajikistan Presidential Republic
Somalia Parliamentary Republic
Saudi Arabia Absolute Monarchy
Equatorial Guinea Presidential Republic
North Korea Socialist Republic
Turkmenistan Presidential Republic
South Sudan Federal Republic
Eritrea Presidential Republic
Syria Presidential Republic

With the sole exception of Saudi Arabia (an absolute monarchy) all of them are republics.

I think these lists speak for themselves.

Thankfully, changing the Canadian constitution is a monumental task and I doubt any major political party would have the appetite to initiate something like this.

As for the “colonial past”, this excessive wokeness is beginning to sound almost as crazy as the convoy nutbags’ cries for “freedom”. Enough with the insanity already. Stop trying to turn this wonderful country into a battleground between two competing insane asylums.

 Posted by at 1:48 pm
Aug 292022

The reputable think tank, the Atlantic Council, published a list of 23 lessons from the Ukraine war.

The details are well worth reading, but I thought I’d post here a brief summary of the lessons themselves.

  1. Lesson for Western diplomacy: Don’t second-guess Ukrainians
  2. Lesson for global diplomacy: Putin’s regime can’t be trusted—and needs to be defeated
  3. Lesson for US foreign policy: The United States can no longer rely on strategic ambiguity
  4. Lesson for US national security: Washington must contend with Beijing, Moscow, and Tehran at the same time
  5. Lesson for military operations: Equipment doesn’t win wars. People do.
  6. Lesson for military planning: Nimble modern weapons can defeat larger, conventionally armed forces—especially when on the defensive
  7. Lesson for deterrence: Troop deployments work better than threats of economic sanctions
  8. Lesson for the global economy: The new tools of conflict are economic—and they are powerful
  9. Lesson for economic statecraft: Don’t separate sanctions from longer-term foreign-policy objectives
  10. Lesson for economic statecraft: Sanctions work, but they are messy and take time
  11. Lesson for wartime strategic communications: Influence operations are a day-in, day-out job
  12. Lesson for hybrid warfare: Don’t ignore the fundamentals
  13. Lesson for the energy sector: Decades of energy diplomacy can disappear with one brutal invasion
  14. Lesson for global intelligence: Russia is not ten feet tall
  15. Lesson for would-be invaders: You can’t hide preparations for a full-scale invasion
  16. Lesson for cybersecurity: The private sector should play a critical military-operational role in cyberspace
  17. Lesson for US homeland security: Ignoring the home front is a serious mistake
  18. Lesson for US assistance policy: Invest deeply in key resilient partners
  19. Lesson for NATO: The Alliance is a uniquely valuable institution that requires enduring political and financial investment
  20. Lesson for Ukraine: There’s no way back for relations with Russia
  21. Lesson for China: Today’s Ukraine is not tomorrow’s Taiwan
  22. Lesson for Middle East policymakers: America will always do the right thing, but only after exhausting all the alternatives
  23. Lesson for Germany and its allies: Seize this moment for a strategic reversal

I fear that there are many more lessons yet to come, some with potentially devastating consequences outside of the conflict zone.

 Posted by at 4:26 pm