February 4 2014 image description
by: jmhumire 0 Comments

SHOWDOWN IN SOCHI: THE THREAT OF TERRORISM

Nearly seven years ago, Russian President Vladimir Putin successfully won the bid to host this week’s Winter Olympics in Sochi. For Putin, this is an opportunity to show off Russia as a leader on an international stage. For others, this may be a chance to send a message to the world.

In July of last year, Doha Umarov, leader of the al-Qaeda affiliated “Caucusus Emirate” terrorist group, released a statement vowing an attack on the Sochi games, which he called “Satanic dances on our ancestor’s graves.” Umarov also claimed responsibility for two major explosions in Volgograd in December 2013, calling them rehearsals for future Sochi attacks.

Responding to the current threats, Putin has deployed more than 40,000 additional security forces to Sochi, restricted automobile access to several sites, and has spent more than US $50 billion on the games. Despite these measures and precautions, however, many security experts remain concerned because these particular Islamist terrorists may be outside Putin’s sphere of influence.

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May 18 2012 image description
by: jmhumire 0 Comments

Putin skips the G8 summit — it’s time to re-set our relationship with Russia

The Russian “re-set button” that was grandly announced by President Obama and Secretary of State Clinton in 2009 was a unilateral gesture — and thus it’s no surprise the Bear is still smiling.

Now with President Putin’s unprecedented third term as Russia’s president underway and his decision to skip the G-8 Summit in Camp David on May 18-19, perhaps it’s time to re-think the whole thing.

First, though the idea might have sounded good to Americans who opposed President George W. Bush’s tough foreign policy after the terror attacks of September 11, 2001, the olive branch did not change Russia’s generally antagonistic posture towards its neighbors or the West. While Obama “hoped” to “change” the relationship, America instead found itself on the losing end of the new START agreement on nuclear arms reduction…. (more…)