Helene Cooper



Ukraine War, April 15, 2022 (I): Zelensky and CIA Director William Burns warn of potential Russian use of nuclear weapons; Russia sends diplomatic note warning West on supply of weapons; war is moving toward nuclear showdown

em>Developing Due to rapidly-breaking developments and in order to facilitate readers’ access to the latest dispatches, we are publishing this article as it is being…


March 19, 2022: Russia is winning the war in Ukraine; Biden’s confused policy to counter Russian aggression; Putin escalates with supersonic rockets; Russian barbarism in Mariupol; American diplomacy falters with India, UAE, South Africa and others; What’s the point of having nuclear weapons if we are resolved to never use them?

Developing To see a list of previous articles, enter “Ukraine” in the Search Box on the upper right, on The Trenchant Observer web site, and…


Ukraine Crisis, February 6, 2022: Facts on the ground indicate Russian invasion imminent, i.e., “could happen at any time”

Developing See, 1) Luke Harding and Richard Luscombe, “Russia has enough troops ready to take Kyiv, says former Ukraine defence chief White House believes Moscow…


Change Putin’s calculations: Put force back on the table, and begin active cyber-warfare measures to defend Ukraine

What can be done now to change Putin’s calculations, or to respond to an invasion?

The U.S. and NATO countries should begin active cyber-warfare countermeasures to help defend Ukraine from ongoing Russian attacks on its computer networks and infrastructure. In this realm, the  U.S. may have the most advanced capabilities, and should begin using them now. Above all, U.S. decision makers should avoid undue hesitance by  demanding absolute proof of attribution of the attacks. In a wartime setting, officials and nations may need to act in the absence of perfect information.

If Russia is not behind the attacks, who do U.S. analysts and policymakers think is? Nigeria? Lesotho? Fiji? It is immaterial whether the operators are Russian officials or others acting under their control.

Finally, in order to influence Putin’s calculations at this late stage in the game, NATO members should leave open the possibility of coming to Ukraine’s defense through the use of military force and active cyber-warfare measures, in exercise of the right of collective self-defense under Article 51 of the U.N. Charter, if Russia invades Ukraine and a major war develops.


The fatal flaws in U.S. thinking about responses to Russian aggression against Ukraine–UPDATED January 14, 2022

As far back as December 19, David Ignatius reported on a telltale fatal flaw in U.S. thinking about how it and NATO would respond to a Russian invasion of Ukraine.

He reported that American military advisors and policy makers were discussing how to provide assistance to Ukrainian “insurgents” or a Ukrainian “insurgency”. Ignatius on January 6 and David E. Sanger and Eric Schmittt on January 8 report that policymakers are still using the same terminology.

In doing so they have framed the question in a way which naively fails to take international law into account, much less to use it actively to achieve American deterrence goals, while employing a conceptual framework that assumes Ukrainian defeat. They are talking in terms of providing military assistance to “insurgents” after Russia has taken over Ukraine.

The conceptual framework assumes defeat, while completely ignoring international law and the U.N. Charter.

Story also availabe on Medium / James Rowles
See https://jamesrowles.medium.com/


Biden’s disastrous decision to withdraw all troops from Afghanistam–with links to best opinion pieces

The decision to surrender to the Taliban and abandon our Afghan allies and supporters is among the most craven and dastardly decisions in U.S. military and foreign policy history. One searches in history for a decision of such dishonorable magnitude.

The comparison that comes to mind is the agreement by Neville Chamberlain of England and Ėdouard Daladier of France with Adolf Hitler at Berchtesgaden in Bavaria in October, 1938. The agreement, known as the Munich Pact, has become synonymous with betrayal and appeasement

That will be Joe Biden’s legacy, unless he changes course, which seems unlikely.


International Law and the targeted killing of Qasem Soleimani

Developing The targeted killing of Qasem Soleimani (قاسم سلیمانی) in Bagdad on January 3, 2020 was a military action with strategic consequences. These include a…







No time for cowboys: U.S. preparation for reprisals against Libyan targets

News report WASHINGTON — The United States is laying the groundwork for operations to kill or capture militants implicated in the deadly attack on a…


President Morsi and Muslim Brotherhood express condolences for American losses in Benghazi, offer reassurances concerning defense of U.S. embassy in Cairo; Vienna Conventions require effective defense in all cases

In response to what was reported as a less than robust defense of the U.S. embassay in Cairo by Egyptian security forces on Wednesday, September…