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Article

Why Exposing Putin’s Wealth Would Be Obama’s Best Revenge

Author: Stephen Sestanovich
Wall Street Journal

The Obama administration continues to search for some sort of payback against Vladimir Putin, so that Russia’s alleged interference in the U.S. election will not have been completely cost-free for the Russian president. Yet, by all accounts, President Barack Obama has rejected the idea of trying to expose the hidden wealth and financial shenanigans of the Putin inner circle. That, we are told, would be a big yawn: the Russian public just doesn’t care.

See more in Russian Federation; Corruption and Bribery; Politics and Strategy

Article

Race, Gender, Region: Understanding the Decline in U.S. Life Expectancy

Author: Thomas J. Bollyky
Council on Foreign Relations

Last week, the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS), part of the U.S. Centers of Disease Control and Prevention, released its 2015 mortality statistics, which showed U.S. life expectancy fell from 78.9 to 78.8 years over the prior year. It is worth putting these results in the context of long-term trends in U.S. life expectancy and comparing them to other nations. Three lessons emerge when you do.

See more in United States; Health

Op-Ed

'Responsibility to Protect?' Empty Words After Aleppo

Author: Gayle Tzemach Lemmon
cnn.com

"The duty to prevent and halt genocide and mass atrocities lies first and foremost with the State, but the international community has a role that cannot be blocked by the invocation of sovereignty."

The United Nations said that in 2005 about its "responsibility to protect." It's the concept that "if a State is manifestly failing to protect its populations, the international community must be prepared to take collective action to protect populations."

And here is what UN officials said this week when describing what is happening in Syria: "A complete meltdown of humanity in Aleppo."

See more in Syria; International Organizations and Alliances; Conflict Assessment

Article

Why Trump Should Support a Probe Into Russia’s Hacking

Author: Robert K. Knake
Politico

As reports increasingly indicate that Russia interfered with the U.S. presidential election to benefit Donald Trump, the president-elect has forcefully pushed back on the intelligence community. Admitting that Moscow played a role in the election, Trump believes, would delegitimize his victory, so he has doubled down on his position that Russia was not involved in the hacks on Democratic Party officials, writes Robert Knake. 

See more in United States; Russian Federation; Cybersecurity

Op-Ed

Rex Tillerson Could Be a Good Secretary of State— But Not in a Trump Administration

Author: Max Boot
Los Angeles Times

Exxon Mobil CEO Rex Tillerson is by all accounts a shrewd, pragmatic, and successful dealmaker. In another administration, he might have made an excellent secretary of State. Serving a president with a strong moral grounding and certain fixed principles, he might have been successful in sanding off the rough edges and making the compromises necessary to get things done. But under Donald Trump, a man of few if any discernible principles beyond a desire for self-aggrandizement, he would be a dangerous choice because his role will be not just to implement policy but—more than most previous secretaries of State—to shape it.

See more in United States; Presidents and Chiefs of State; Organization of Government