Today is the 24th anniversary of the attempted coup against Mikhail Gorbachev. A group of military men who felt Gorbachev was destroying the Soviet Union tried to take charge while he was vacationing. They failed, but Gorbachev’s trajectory after this was all downhill until December 1991, when he declared the Soviet Union dissolved. Photo of Gorbachev returning to Moscow from house arrest in Crimea from here, where you can find more of the history.
Refreshing: an argument from Harvard’s Belfer Center that recent Russian-Ukrainian alarmism about dirty bombs is unfounded.
A couple of good background articles on Syria. A cautionary tale about brave words that the current crop of Republican candidates for president might heed. And another about macho actions, which the Republican Senate liked at the time.
It was Binyamin Netanyahu who wanted the world to control Iran’s nuclear program. Be careful what you wish for.
The US State Department released historical documents about the United States’ relationship with Israel on nuclear weapons. Those documents come as close as any before to saying that Israel has nuclear weapons. Further, there is an analogy to Iran’s situation: Today’s nuclear deal slows down Iran’s situation well short of building nuclear weapons. The documents, from 1969 to 1972, detail US attempts to dissuade Israel from putting nuclear weapons on missiles, much further down that road. Israel was also asked to sign the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty and refused. Iran signed the treaty, and part of the agreement is how it will implement that obligation. So were the documents released for a reason?
Long read: Damping down nuclear proliferation has been a large part of the United States’s grand strategy for a long time.