Preparing for War in Lithuania (Foreign Affairs)

U.S. Army Spc. Caleb Roberts fires an M9 Beretta pistol during the Mississippi National Guard's Best Warrior Competition at Camp McCain, Miss., Feb. 20, 2013. Roberts, with Detachment 1 of the 3656th Maintenance Company, was named Soldier of the Year.

“Visitors to Lithuania would be forgiven for failing to realize just how seriously its people take Russia. From Klaipeda to Vilnius, ordinary Lithuanians are preparing for the day that Russian President Vladimir Putin turns from Crimea and the civil war in eastern Ukraine toward them or their neighbors in Latvia and Estonia. Their jitters are understandable; every family in the Baltics has direct experience with Russian occupation. Jurgita Ludaviciene, a book editor, told me that when word of the Soviet invasion came in 1944, her grandfather—a reserve officer in the Lithuanian army—had only two hours to decide what to do. Since the Soviets would almost certainly have sent him to the Gulag, he fled west, leaving behind his wife and two daughters. They never saw him again.”

See the full article here. By Gregory Feifer

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Putin reveals secrets of Russia’s Crimea takeover plot (BBC)

Putin

“Vladimir Putin has admitted for the first time that the plan to annex Crimea was ordered weeks before the referendum on self-determination.

Crimea was formally absorbed into Russia on 18 March, to international condemnation, after unidentified gunmen took over the peninsula.

Mr Putin said on TV he had ordered work on “returning Crimea” to begin at an all-night meeting on 22 February.”

Read the full article here.

What does Vladimir Putin really want in Ukraine? (Reuters)

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This Reuters article contends that “Putin needs the bombastic oratory of war. With economic disaster looming in Russia, because of the West’s sanctions and plunging oil prices, his thinking may be that a threat of war can help justify his autocratic regime. The growing recession is forcing the Russian public to pay a high price for the annexation of Crimea.”

See the full article at: http://blogs.reuters.com/great-debate/2015/02/01/what-does-vladimir-putin-really-want-in-ukraine/

10 Wars to Watch in 2015 (FP)

This article contains an background on the precipitants of major conflict in the modern world, such as tension between the U.S. and Russia, competition over resources in the South China Sea, and policy lacking  a political end state in the fight against extremism.

 

The ten listed major conflicts are:

1. Syria-Iraq

2. Ukraine

3. South Sudan

4. Nigeria

5. Somalia

6. Democratic Republic of the Congo

7. Afghanistan

8.  Yemen

9. Libya

10. Venezuela

 

See the full article at:

FP.10 Wars to Watch in 2015.” December 2, 2015.