- By Yochi Dreazen
Yochi Dreazen is a Managing Editor for News at Foreign Policy. He is also writer-in-residence at the Center for a New American Security. His book about military suicide was published by Random House's Crown division in 2014.
Prior to joining Foreign Policy, Dreazen was a contributing editor at the Atlantic and the senior national security correspondent for National Journal. He began his career at the Wall Street Journal and spent 11 years at the newspaper, most recently as its military correspondent. He was born in Chicago, and later attended the University of Pennsylvania. At Penn, he edited the award-winning daily campus newspaper and graduated Magna Cum Laude in 1999 with degrees in History and English. He was hired by the Wall Street Journal immediately after graduation. Dreazen arrived in Iraq in April 2003 with the Fourth Infantry Division, and spent the next two years living in Baghdad as the Wall Street Journal's main Iraq correspondent.
Dreazen has made more than 12 lengthy trips to Iraq and Afghanistan and has spent a total of nearly four years on the ground in the two countries, mostly doing front-line combat embeds. He has reported from more than 20 countries, including Pakistan, Russia, China, Israel, Japan, Turkey, Morocco, and Saudi Arabia.
In 2010, Dreazen received the Military Reporters & Editors association’s top award for domestic military reporting in a large publication for a series of articles about military suicide and the psychological traumas impacting veterans of the two long wars. His writing has appeared in the Washington Post, Smithsonian, Tablet and the New Republic and he appears regularly on TV and radio programs such as NPR's Diane Rehm Show and PBS' Washington Week with Gwen Ifill. Dreazen gives frequent lectures about journalism, the wars and current events to both civilian and military audiences.
Dreazen lives in Washington with his wife, Annie Rosenzweig Dreazen, and their beloved Golden Retriever, Charlie.
This story has been updated.
NATO’s top official acknowledged in an interview that Russia’s annexation of Crimea had "established certain facts on the ground" that would be difficult to change and said the military alliance was increasingly concerned that Moscow might also invade eastern Ukraine.
In the interview, NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen told Foreign Policy that Russia’s sudden conquest of Ukraine’s Crimean peninsula was a "wake-up call" for the 28-member alliance, which had been established to counter potential Soviet aggression during the Cold War. Rasmussen said NATO was committed to protecting Poland and other Baltic members of the alliance from what he described as an increasingly aggressive and land-hungry Russian government.
Ukraine’s fragile central government has announced plans to withdraw all of its remaining troops from Crimea, a clear indication that Kiev has come to reluctantly accept that it can do nothing to halt or reverse the region’s absorption into Russia. NATO, Rasmussen said, was now worried that Russia was turning its gaze further eastward and potentially preparing to seize other portions of Ukraine.
"Our concern is that Russia won’t stop here," Rasmussen said. "There is a clear risk that Russia will go beyond Crimea and the next goal will be the eastern provinces of Ukraine."
A Russian invasion of eastern Ukraine, he added, "would have severe consequences." He declined to say what those might include, though, and stressed that NATO hadn’t begun discussing any military options and wanted to de-escalate tensions with Russia rather than continuing down a path that could lead to an armed confrontation with Moscow.
Rasmussen’s remarks come during at an unsettling time for the United States, Britain, and NATO’s other 26 members. It was just weeks ago that Russian President Vladimir Putin was welcoming tens of thousands of tourists to Sochi for the Winter Olympics. Today, Putin is at the center of a tense showdown with President Obama that has plunged U.S.-Russian relations to their lowest levels in decades.
"More or less we took for granted that the Cold War belonged to the past," Rasmussen said. "And while I’m not yet ready to call recent incidents a new Cold War, there are of course similarities that remind us of old-fashioned Cold War attitudes on the Russian side, and that is a matter of concern."
Russia’s invasion of Crimea has also focused new attention on NATO itself. Senior officials from both the Bush and Obama administrations have privately questioned its relevance in recent years and blasted the alliance’s European members for slashing defense spending and effectively turning the continent’s security over to the United States. European NATO members, in turn, have worried aloud that Obama’s stated goal of reducing U.S. defense spending and focusing more attention on Asia meant that the administration was not as firmly committed to the alliance as its predecessors had been.
Rasmussen said he was working to reassure Poland and other nervous Baltic members of the alliance, who share borders with Russia and wonder if they will be Putin’s next targets. The NATO chief said the alliance was committed to the defense of all of its members and would take strong, though unspecified, steps to protect the countries in the event of a Russian invasion. The Pentagon recently announced plans to move a dozen F-16s to Poland, and two NATO surveillance planes have begun flying over Poland and Romania to help the two countries better monitor their airspace and borders. Many Poles, though, say that the West isn’t doing remotely enough to deter Putin.
The NATO chief acknowledged that the current crisis was NATO’s biggest challenge in decades and cut to the heart of why the alliance had been created in the first place. Rasmussen said that he hoped it would lead European countries to sharply boost their defense spending, which he said had fallen to levels so low that they threatened the alliance’s future effectiveness.
"This is a wake-up call and also a wake-up call when it comes to defense spending," he said in the interview, noting that some European countries had slashed their spending by up to 40 percent. "If this trend continues, European allies will not be able to provide effective deterrence and collective defense. This trend must be reversed."
Rasmussen, a former prime minister of Denmark, said the current crisis was "surreal" for him on a personal level.
"I grew up in the shadow of the wall and the Iron Curtain, and in a way I couldn’t believe that it could be changed," he said. "Then suddenly, almost overnight, everything changed."
Now, he warned, things were at risk of changing again, this time for the worse.
"It is a Russian attempt to redraw the map and I would call it a kind of Russian revisionism which is unacceptable," he said. "It’s not an acceptable behavior in the 21st century."
Gordon Lubold is a national security reporter for Foreign Policy. He is also the author of FP's Situation Report, an e-mailed newsletter that is blasted out to more than 70,000 national security and foreign affairs subscribers each morning that includes the top nat-sec news, breaking news, tidbits, nuggets and what he likes to call "candy." Before arriving at FP, he was a senior advisor at the United States Institute of Peace in Washington, where he wrote on national security and foreign policy. Prior to his arrival at USIP, he was a defense reporter for Politico, where he launched the popular Morning Defense early morning blog and tip-sheet. Prior to that, he was the Pentagon and national security correspondent for the Christian Science Monitor, and before that he was the Pentagon correspondent for the Army Times chain of newspapers. He has covered conflict in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan and other countries in South Asia, and has reported on military matters in sub-Saharan Africa, East Asia and Latin America as well as at American military bases across the country. He has spoken frequently on the sometimes-contentious relationship between the military and the media as a guest on numerous panels. He also appears on radio and television, including on CNN, public radio's Diane Rehm and To the Point, and C-SPAN's Washington Journal. He lives in Alexandria with his wife and two children.| Situation Report |
Shane Harris is a senior staff writer at Foreign Policy, covering intelligence and cyber security. He is the author of The Watchers: The Rise of America's Surveillance State, which chronicles the creation of a vast national security apparatus and the rise of surveillance in America. The Watchers won the New York Public Library’s Helen Bernstein Book Award for Excellence in Journalism, and the Economist named it one of the best books of 2010. Shane is the winner of the Gerald R. Ford Prize for Distinguished Reporting on National Defense. He has four times been named a finalist for the Livingston Awards for Young Journalists, which honor the best journalists in America under the age of 35. Prior to joining Foreign Policy, he was the senior writer for The Washingtonian and a staff correspondent at National Journal.| Report |
Colum Lynch is Foreign Policy's award-winning U.N.-based senior diplomatic reporter. Lynch previously wrote Foreign Policy's Turtle Bay blog, for which he was awarded the 2011 National Magazine Award for best reporting in digital media. He is also a recipient of the 2013 Elizabeth Neuffer Memorial Silver Prize for his coverage of the United Nations.
Before moving to Foreign Policy, Lynch reported on diplomacy and national security for the Washington Post for more than a decade. As the Washington Post's United Nations reporter, Lynch had been involved in the paper's diplomatic coverage of crises in Afghanistan, Iraq, Lebanon, Sudan, and Somalia, as well as the nuclear standoffs with Iran and North Korea. He also played a key part in the Post's diplomatic reporting on the Iraq war, the International Criminal Court, the spread of weapons of mass destruction, and U.S. counterterrorism strategy. Lynch's enterprise reporting has explored the underside of international diplomacy. His investigations have uncovered a U.S. spying operation in Iraq, Dick Cheney's former company's financial links to Saddam Hussein, and documented numerous sexual misconduct and corruption scandals.
Lynch has appeared frequently on the Lehrer News Hour, MSNBC, NPR radio, and the BBC. He has also moderated public discussions on foreign policy, including interviews with Susan E. Rice, the U.S. National Security Advisor, Gerard Araud, France's U.N. ambassador, and other senior diplomatic leaders.
Born in Los Angeles, California, Lynch received a bachelor's degree from the University of California, Berkeley, in 1985 and a master's degree from Columbia University's Graduate School of Journalism in 1987. He previously worked for the Boston Globe.| The Cable |