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February 11, 2016

Israel
Sharansky!

Today, February 11, marks the thirtieth anniversary of the liberation of Anatoly Shcharansky from the Soviet gulag. Shcharansky, now Natan Sharansky, was arrested in 1977 and sent to prison in 1978 f…

April 12, 2014

Human Rights
"To You, the Court, I Have Nothing to Say"

In July 1978, the Soviet dissident Anatoly Sharansky was sentenced in a Soviet court for the "crimes" of teaching Hebrew, seeking emigration to Israel, and being part of the human rights movement in …

November 4, 2014

United States
Cold-War-Memoirs Ten Cold War Memoirs Worth Reading

Yesterday, I posted a list of great histories of the Cold War. Those books provide an excellent analysis of the U.S.-Soviet superpower rivalry. Their great strength is their detachment—they are acade…

September 21, 2012

United States
President John F. Kennedy and Soviet minister of foreign affairs Andrei Gromyko meet in the Oval Office in March 1961. (Abbie Rowe. White House Photographs. John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, Boston.) TWE Remembers: Andrei Gromyko Tells a Lie at the United Nations

The UN General Assembly convened this week for its 67th session. Heads of state and foreign ministers will be giving speeches galore. Some will be good. Some will be awful. Most will be forgettable. …

October 23, 2012

United States
President John F. Kennedy signs Proclamation 3504 authorizing the quarantine of Cuba on October 23, 1962. (Abbie Rowe. White House Photographs. John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, Boston) TWE Remembers: The OAS Endorses a Quarantine of Cuba (Cuban Missile Crisis, Day Eight)

The first week of the Cuban missile crisis played out in secret. President John F. Kennedy and his advisers quietly evaluated the results of the U-2 overflights and formulated a response. But on Tues…

October 22, 2012

United States
JFK oval office TWE Remembers: John F. Kennedy Tells the World that Soviet Missiles Are in Cuba (Cuban Missile Crisis, Day Seven)

John F. Kennedy was a superb public speaker. His inaugural address is one of the best known and most frequently quoted speeches in American history. His press conference performance immediately after…

October 27, 2012

United States
A U-2 plane used during the Cuban Missile Crisis (Dino A. Brugioni Collection, The National Security Archive, Washington, DC). TWE Remembers: Black Saturday—Near Calamities Abound as JFK Offers Khrushchev a Deal (Cuban Missile Crisis, Day Twelve)

Murphy’s Law holds that if anything can go wrong, it will. On Saturday October 27, 1962, the twelfth day of the Cuban missile crisis, President John F. Kennedy might have been thinking about that fam…

October 22, 2012

Political History and Theory
Lessons From the Cuban Missile Crisis

The myth about how the United States won the Cuban missile crisis made it more difficult for presidents to do what common sense dictated, says CFR president emeritus Les Gelb.

March 15, 2012

United States
Russia's foreign minister Sergei Lavrov talks during the Arab League foreign ministers meeting, next to Arab League chief Nabil al-Arabi, at the organization's headquarters in Cairo, on March 10, 2012 (Asmaa Waguih/Courtesy Reuters). Middle East Matters This Week: Syria’s Regime Advances, Israel and Gaza Clash

Significant Middle East Developments Syria. As Syrians marked the one-year anniversary of the outbreak of protests in their country, Bashar al-Assad’s forces appeared to be gaining momentum. Over th…

March 5, 2012

Russia
lindsay_putin_20120305 Hello (Welcome Back): Vladimir Putin, Russian President

He’s baaaaaccck! Vladimir Putin, who stepped down in 2008 as Russia’s president after serving two terms, won yesterday’s Russian presidential election going away. He captured a reported 64 percent of…