Ukraine War, November 6, 2022 (III): Undisclosed White House back-channel conversations with Putin’s aides

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To see a list of previous articles, enter “Ukraine” in the Search Box on the upper right, on The Trenchant Observer web site, and you will see a list in chronological order.

To understand the broad context within which current developments in Ukraine should be considered,see

“Ukraine War, October 26, 2022: The context for analysis of current developments; The “dirty bomb” as a Russian propaganda distraction from current war crimes,” The Trenchant Observer, October 26, 2022.


1) Vivian Salama and Michael R. Gordon, “Senior White House Official Involved in Undisclosed Talks With Top Putin Aides; Jake Sullivan has had confidential discussions with Russian counterparts amid concerns over escalation and nuclear threat,” Wall Street Journal, November 6, 2022 (updated at 4:57 pm ET);


Urgent Democratic Leadership Meeting Needed on or soon after November 9!

We have spoken at length about the incompetence of President Biden’s foreign policy team, both here and in the Trenchant Observations newsletter on Substack.

Democratic leaders should meet on Wednesday, November 9, to demand the resignation of National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan, and also that of Secretary of State Antony Blinken.

This is the team that gave us the Afghanistan withdrawal decision, and who allowed Biden to broadcast that NATO would not use force if Russia invaded Ukraine.

The Biden administration has broken trust with its NATO partners and all the other members of the broad international coalition that is supporting Ukraine’s self-defense against Russian aggression and barbarism.

There will be time for more analysis later. What is absolutely clear already, now, is that Sullivan and Blinken must resign immediately or be fired.

Sullivan has betrayed all the other countries that support Ukraine.

If it weren’t for the mid-terms on Tuesday, we should all be ouside screaming at Biden, Sullivan, and Blinken in rage.

Democrats knew these guys were incompetent. Still, the incompetence they have just demonstrated should move us all to intense outrage.

The Trenchant Observer


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About the Author

James Rowles
"The Trenchant Observer" is edited and published by James Rowles (aka "The Observer"), an author and international lawyer who has taught International Law, Human Rights, and Comparative Law at major U.S. universities, including Harvard, Brandeis, the University of Pittsburgh, and the University of Kansas. Dr. Rowles is a former staff attorney at the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) of the Organization of American States OAS), in Wasington, D.C., , where he was in charge of Brazil, Haiti, Mexico and the United States, and also worked on complaints from and reports on other countries including Argentina, Chile, Uruguay, El Salvador, Nicaragua, and Guatemala. As an international development expert, he has worked on Rule of Law, Human Rights, and Judicial Reform in a number of countries in Latin America, the Caribbean, Africa, the Middle East, South Asia, and the Russian Federation. In the private sector, Dr. Rowles has worked as an international attorney for a leading national law firm and major global companies, on joint ventures and other matters in a number of countries in Europe (including Russia and the Ukraine), throughout Latin America and the Caribbean, and in Australia, Indonesia, Vietnam, China and Japan. The Trenchant Observer blog provides an unfiltered international perspective for news and opinion on current events, in their historical context, drawing on a daily review of leading German, French, Spanish and English newspapers as well as the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, and other American newspapers, and on sources in other countries relevant to issues being analyzed. Dr. Rowles speaks fluent English, French, German, Portuguese and Spanish, and also knows other languages. He holds an S.J.D. or Doctor of Juridical Science in International Law from Harvard University, and a Doctor of Law (J.D.) and a Master of the Science of Law (J.S.M.=LL.M.), from Stanford University. As an undergraduate, he received a Bachelor of Arts degree, also from Stanford, where he graduated “With Great Distinction” (summa cum laude) and received the James Birdsall Weter Prize for the best Senior Honors Thesis in History. In addition to having taught as a Lecturer on Law at Harvard Law School, Dr. Rowles has been a Visiting Scholar at Harvard University's Center for International Affairs (CFIA). His fellowships include a Stanford Postdoctoral Fellowship in Law and Development, the Rómulo Gallegos Fellowship in International Human Rights awarded by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, and a Harvard MacArthur Fellowship in International Peace and Security. Beyond his articles in The Trenchant Observer, he is the author of two books and numerous scholarly articles on subjects of international and comparative law. Currently he is working on a manuscript drawing on some the best articles that have appeared in the blog.