Contrary to appearances, the crisis in Ukraine might be on the verge of resolution. The potentially crucial move came today when interim President Oleksandr Turchynov said that he would be open to changing the country's political system from a republic, with power centered in the capital Kiev, to a federation with considerable autonomy for the regional districts.
Fred Kaplan discusses The Unknown Known, Errol Morris's new documentary about Donald Rumsfeld. The filmmaker's technique has limits "when confronting a figure so practiced in evasion and so averse to introspection."
Is the West about to go to war with Russia over the fate of Ukraine? The question should answer itself. I can't imagine many Americans or Europeans willingly spending "blood and treasure" to keep Moscow's mitts off of Kiev and Kviv. So why, then, did President Obama publicly warn Vladimir Putin that armed aggression against Ukraine would lead to "consequences"?
Bob Gates never thought he'd be Barack Obama's defense secretary. Now, in an exclusive interview, the most revolutionary Pentagon leader since Robert McNamara tells FP why he said yes, when he'll get out of Washington, and what legacy he hopes to leave behind.
Fred Kaplan is the "War Stories" columnist for Slate and the author of The Insurgents: David Petraeus and the Plot to Change the American Way of War (Simon & Schuster, 2013), 1959: The Year Everything Changed (Wiley, 2009), Daydream Believers: How a Few Grand Ideas Wrecked American Power (Wiley, 2008), and The Wizards of Armageddon (Simon & Schuster, 1983; republished by Stanford University Press, 1991).
Before Slate, he was a staff reporter for the Boston Globe, working as its Pentagon reporter (1983–91), Moscow bureau chief (1992–95), and New York bureau chief (1995–2002). In 1983, Dr. Kaplan was a lead member of the team that won a Pulitzer Prize for a special Sunday magazine on the nuclear arms race. From 1978 to 1980, he was foreign and defense policy aide to Representative Les Aspin in the U.S. House of Representatives.
He holds a BA from Oberlin College and a PhD in political science from Massachusetts Institute of Technology.