State Department Legal Adviser

REPRISE: The fatal flaws in U.S. thinking about responses to Russian aggression against Ukraine–UPDATED January 20, 2022

(Ignatius) 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 Schmitt 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.


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REPRISE: Overt Russian military invasion of the Ukraine underway; West must impose harsh stage 3 sanctions immediately

Putin has challenged directly the existing international political and legal order, upon which, incidentally, the world’s economic order rests.

Either Putin and Russia win, or the West and the other civilized countries of the world win.

It is that stark and simple.


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Overt Russian military invasion of the Ukraine underway; West must impose harsh stage 3 sanctions immediately

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Draft (developing) Richard Balmforth of Reuters reports tonight that President Petro Petroshenko plans to ask Russian President Vladimir Putin to withdraw his fighters from the…



Into the Abyss: Washington’s Fecklessness, Syria’s Fate—Obama’s Debacle in Syria — Update #20 (March 30)

Latest News Reports and Opinion Reuters reports from Beirut, (Reuters) – Syrian artillery hit parts of Homs city and at least 37 people were killed…


“The emperor has no clothes”: Foreign policy without a moral core—Obama’s Debacle in Syria — Update #19 (March 29)

Latest News and Opinion on Syria Dominic Evans (Beirut), “Assad says foreign aid to rebels must stop under peace plan,” Reuters, March 29, 2012 (8:54…


Obama’s New Year’s Resolutions for Foreign Policy in 2012

The Observer has been trying to get inside President Obama’s head for over two years. Recently, he may have succeeded, or had a very strange…