Weekend Roundup: Putin Uses 21st Century Strategy to Restore Old Czarist Realm


Nathan Gardels is the editor-in-chief of Noema Magazine.

As a fragile cease-fire takes hold in Ukraine after nearly five months of carnage, Vladimir Putin’s long-term strategy has become clear. This week in The WorldPost Robert Coalson, writing from Prague, translates a recent essay by General Valery Gerasimov, the Russian military’s chief of general staff, that lays out a new type of integrated plan that combines outside military pressure, inside rebel uprising and coordinated propaganda to destabilize a country. In a WorldPost interview, former U.S. National Security Adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski argues that Putin’s intent is clear: to keep Ukraine outside the Western orbit and inside a Eurasian Union that is little more than a restored Czarist Empire. Julian Lindley-French and Jim Stavridis, who was Supreme Commander of NATO until last year, propose how NATO must be reshaped to meet Putin’s challenge. Writing from Moscow, Vasily Kashin laments the onset of a “senseless” new Cold War that he says will waste a generation of lives.

Writing from Beirut in the second installment of his essay on the roots of ISIS and its future impact on the Middle East, Alastair Crooke argues that the Islamic State’s ultimate aim is to replace the House of Saud as the new Emirs of Arabia. Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf, the cleric involved in the controversy over establishing an Islamic cultural center near the 9/11 Ground Zero site in New York, disassociates the teachings of Islam from ISIS. Husain Haqqani, the former ambassador of Pakistan to the U.S., argues that, in the wake of recent riots in Islamabad, the military has regained the upper hand — even without a coup. From Istanbul, WorldPost Middle East Correspondent Sophia Jones chronicles the struggle of a long-established Jewish shop to stay open amid mounting violence against minorities. She also documents the worldwide response to Israel’s recent land grab decision.

This week, our “Forgotten Fact“ column reminds readers that, despite all the attention on Iraq, Syria and ISIS, the U.S. is quietly pursuing a major counterterrorism effort in Africa.

The WorldPost China Correspondent Matt Sheehan reports on how Beijing’s plan for the nomination of a Hong Kong chief executive has fiercely divided public opinion. Anson Chan, who was chief secretary of Hong Kong from 1993 to 2001, worries that social turmoil will engulf that city-state unless Beijing changes course. Writing from Shanghai, constitutional scholar Tong Zhiwei argues that the prosecution of a former top Politburo member for corruption is establishing the rule of law in China. Writing from Tokyo, Toshiya Tsugami projects that Chinese President Xi Jinping’s crackdown on freedom of expression will inevitably impact relations with all of China’s neighbors.

On global issues, U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon declares that time is running out to tackle climate change, which will be the focus of the upcoming General Assembly meeting later this month. Former CIA operative Valerie Plame Wilson takes up the cause of zero nuclear weapons in a world that’s growing more dangerous by the day.

Futurist Stowe Boyd wonders what will become of our jobs when robots take over.

Finally, famed Bulgarian blogger Maria Popova offers her advice on how to “brainpick” the Internet and avoid information overload from the daily avalanche of data.


EDITORS: Nathan Gardels, Senior Advisor to the Berggruen Institute on Governance and the long-time editor of NPQ and the Global Viewpoint Network of the Los Angeles Times Syndicate/Tribune Media, is the Editor-in-Chief of The WorldPost. Farah Mohamed is the Managing Editor of The WorldPost. Kathleen Miles is the Senior Editor of the WorldPost. Alex Gardels is the Associate Editor of The WorldPost. Nicholas Sabloff is the Executive International Editor at the Huffington Post, overseeing The WorldPost and HuffPost’s 10 international editions. Eline Gordts is HuffPost’s World Editor.

CORRESPONDENTS: Sophia Jones in Istanbul; Matt Sheehan in Beijing.

EDITORIAL BOARD: Nicolas Berggruen, Nathan Gardels, Arianna Huffington, Eric Schmidt (Google Inc.), Pierre Omidyar (First Look Media) Juan Luis Cebrian (El Pais/PRISA), Walter Isaacson (Aspen Institute/TIME-CNN), John Elkann (Corriere della Sera, La Stampa), Wadah Khanfar (Al Jazeera), Dileep Padgaonkar (Times of India) and Yoichi Funabashi (Asahi Shimbun).

CONTRIBUTING EDITORS: Moises Naim (former editor of Foreign Policy), Nayan Chanda (Yale/Global; Far Eastern Economic Review) and Katherine Keating (One-On-One). Sergio Munoz Bata and Parag Khanna are Contributing Editor-At-Large.

The Asia Society and its ChinaFile, edited by Orville Schell, is our primary partner on Asia coverage. Eric X. Li and the Chunqiu Institute/Fudan University in Shanghai and Guancha.cn also provide first person voices from China. We also draw on the content of China Digital Times. Seung-yoon Lee is The WorldPost link in South Korea.

Jared Cohen of Google Ideas provides regular commentary from young thinkers, leaders and activists around the globe. Bruce Mau provides regular columns from MassiveChangeNetwork.com on the “whole mind” way of thinking. Patrick Soon-Shiong is Contributing Editor for Health and Medicine.

ADVISORY COUNCIL: Members of the Berggruen Institute’s 21st Century Council and Council for the Future of Europe serve as the Advisory Council — as well as regular contributors — to the site. These include, Jacques Attali, Shaukat Aziz, Gordon Brown, Fernando Henrique Cardoso, Juan Luis Cebrian, Jack Dorsey, Mohamed El-Erian, Francis Fukuyama, Felipe Gonzalez, John Gray, Reid Hoffman, Fred Hu, Mo Ibrahim, Alexei Kudrin, Pascal Lamy, Kishore Mahbubani, Alain Minc, Dambisa Moyo, Laura Tyson, Elon Musk, Pierre Omidyar, Raghuram Rajan, Nouriel Roubini, Nicolas Sarkozy, Eric Schmidt, Gerhard Schroeder, Peter Schwartz, Amartya Sen, Jeff Skoll, Michael Spence, Joe Stiglitz, Larry Summers, Wu Jianmin, George Yeo, Fareed Zakaria, Ernesto Zedillo, Ahmed Zewail, and Zheng Bijian.

From the Europe group, these include: Marek Belka, Tony Blair, Jacques Delors, Niall Ferguson, Anthony Giddens, Otmar Issing, Mario Monti, Robert Mundell, Peter Sutherland and Guy Verhofstadt.


The WorldPost is a global media bridge that seeks to connect the world and connect the dots. Gathering together top editors and first person contributors from all corners of the planet, we aspire to be the one publication where the whole world meets.

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