January 29 2015 image description
by: jmhumire 0 Comments

Ukraine Can’t Prosper While It’s Still Corrupt

My recent visits to Ukraine, other countries formerly in the Soviet sphere, and their neighbors have convinced me that Kiev presides over a nation in terrible shape, at least compared to its former comrades.

Infrastructure is crumbling, buildings are dilapidated and old Soviet-style jalopies carefully navigate pothole-strewn streets. And that just refers to areas outside the eastern war zone along the Russian border. The misery index is high nationwide, and Ukrainians understandably want better lives.

Kiev’s attempts to join the E.U. and NATO were desperate moves meant to pull the country out of abject poverty, risking all to break free from a new Iron Curtain of Russian economic and military dominance…. (more…)

August 20 2014 image description
by: jmhumire 0 Comments

As NATO withers, whither NATO?

As world leaders gather for the NATO summit in Wales during the first week of September, they’ll need to do some collective soul-searching on the alliance’s future.

NATO served its original purpose in preventing the Soviet Union from overrunning Western Europe, but the world isn’t much safer today. Everywhere we look, deadly threats abound — from radical Islamist terrorist groups and a future nuclear-armed Iran to a resurgent Russia focused on restoring an empire to the rise of China, and more.

Despite these shared security challenges, the continued alliance isn’t guaranteed as most member nations balk at budget expectations equaling 2 percent of national gross domestic product, while sharply disagreeing on policy matters, including what constitutes a mutual threat. Meanwhile, in an era of fiscal austerity, calls for isolationism on both sides of the Atlantic are growing louder…. (more…)