Some Friday Links-How Will The West Hang Together?

A podcast from Via Media on the importance of Ukraine: ‘Sochi, Putin and Russia’s Ambitions

A brief summary:  Ukraine is caught between a domineering old lover and the warmth of his embrace, and a somewhat feckless new EU dating-circuit offering great membership benefits and opportunities.  Perhaps content to play both sides off one another, and deeply divided herself, Ukraine could use some U.S. diplomacy to help her lock-in longer-term commitments to the West while keeping her pride intact.

The game is afoot.

From Foreign Affairs: ‘After Disowning ISIS, al Qaeda is Back On Top:

‘In early February, al Qaeda’s central leadership announced that it had severed ties with the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS), an affiliate in Iraq and Syria. This step came at some cost of reputation for al Qaeda, but it will serve al Qaeda’s interests far better than maintaining a relationship with an affiliate that subverted al Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri and damaged the terrorist group’s image. Now that ISIS is disowned, its own reputation is in peril, with potentially devastating consequences. In the weeks and months to come, the United States would be wise to use the rift between al Qaeda and ISIS to promote its own interests in Syria and Iraq.’

And are we undergoing a serious recalibration of American public sentiment towards its political leaders and institutions, including the military?

Is the military sacrosanct, and/or will there always be a kind of moderate liberal-Left suspicion of all things military even when it’s discharged to fulfill moderate liberal-Left goals like human-rights and democracy promotion above all else?

Tom Ricks at Foreign Policy: ‘Where Is The Tipping Point For America’s Trust In The Military, And Are We Near It?’

The implication appears to be that no one blames the military for failing to achieve distinct victory. It leads one to wonder just what the American people will blame the military for. 

There’s a lot of ‘greatness’ bloat all throughout our government, and which we all have a hand in.