Ilan Berman
Ilan Berman
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Pundicity: Informed Opinion and Review

Latest Articles

Rhetoric Versus Reality On Ukraine

January 26, 2015  •

To hear President Obama tell it, the West is winning in Ukraine. In his State of the Union Address last week, the President sounded downright triumphant in his description of the current situation in Eastern Europe. "We're upholding the principle that bigger nations can't bully the small—by opposing Russian aggression, supporting Ukraine's democracy, and reassuring our NATO allies," he insisted publicly. The real state of affairs, however, is markedly different. Now some eleven months old, the crisis in Ukraine is turning from a "frozen conflict" into a hot war, as Russia increasingly pushes the pace of hostilities despite having agreed to a ceasefire with Kyiv back in September.

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China's Newest Sphere Of Influence

January 23, 2015  •  Wall Street Journal Asia

You have to feel a bit sorry for the Obama administration. The White House in December announced plans to normalize diplomatic relations with Cuba, including establishing a U.S. Embassy in Havana and formally revisiting Cuba's status as a state sponsor of terrorism. The move was a clear effort by Washington to distinguish itself in a new international theater. But that gambit was soon eclipsed by another: In a meeting that could herald a significant shift in the Western Hemisphere's balance of power, China hosted a high-profile summit earlier this month with the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States, or Celac.

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Sony Hack Gives Cover To Iran

December 30, 2014  •  USA Today

In the wake of the hacking of Sony, all eyes are now on North Korea's disruptive online capabilities. But the cyberwarfare potential of another rogue state — Iran — is also growing, and it could soon constitute a major threat to the United States and its allies. That's the conclusion of a new report chronicling the past two years of Iranian activity in cyberspace. "Since at least 2012, Iranian actors have directly attacked, established persistence in, and extracted highly sensitive materials from the networks of government agencies and major critical infrastructure companies in the following countries: Canada, China, England, France, Germany, India, Israel, Kuwait, Mexico, Pakistan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, South Korea, Turkey, United Arab Emirates and the United States," notes the 86-page study, issued by California-based cybersecurity firm Cylance earlier this month.

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A North American Missile-Defense Alliance?

December 21, 2014  •  The National Interest

America's discussion about missile defense tends to be a one-sided conversation. More often than not, it revolves around what capabilities the United States has fielded to date, and what it plans to provide to its allies overseas. But in the not-too-distant future, the United States might be able to count on a new voice in the missile-defense debate, as political and intellectual shifts progressively nudge Canada into alignment on the need to defend North America against ballistic-missile attack.

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Rage Comes To Russia

December 8, 2014  •  Foreign Affairs

In recent months, discussions of Russia in Washington and European capitals have focused on the Kremlin's ongoing neoimperialist aggression against Ukraine. But Wednesday's coordinated terrorist assault on the Chechen capitol of Grozny—which left at least 20 dead and scores more injured—should refocus global attention on a problem that Russia itself increasingly is confronting: a resilient wave of radical Islam. Indeed, the Caucasus Emirate—the notorious al Qaeda–linked terrorist group that has claimed responsibility for the brazen December offensive in Grozny—has carried out a spate of attacks over the past year, including the high-profile bombing of a train station in Volgograd on the eve of the Sochi Olympics. Russian President Vladimir Putin might claim that his country has turned a corner in its fight against terrorism, but these attacks—and the overall security situation in the North Caucasus—paint a very different picture. And now, Russia's problem with radical Islam is poised to get much, much worse, for at least three reasons.

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Books by Ilan Berman

Cover of Implosion Cover of Winning the Long War Cover of Tehran Rising



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