"If Putin has lost Merkel—and it looks like he has—then Moscow may be a lot less cheery this holiday season. It’ll be tougher sledding for Putin in the days ahead."
"Much of the struggle to ensure the deal’s success will come after the ink is dry. A host of obstacles could undermine the future agreement’s sustainability, and even the most favorable deal reached by the end of the new extension period would represent the start of the real work rather than a victory."
"Alas, fiction can trump reality for only so long: North Korean nuclear tests belie the progress it made against the backdrop of diplomacy."
"Using defense-in-depth in today's NATO creates two serious problems, one military and one political. This means that NATO's conventional military strength- far larger than Russia's- is unlikely to deter a Russian attack."
"The only long-term peaceful solution is a change in Beijing's attitudes about national greatness. Such greatness must be equated with the impressive accomplishments of the Chinese people rather than dead-end revanchist claims of calcifying Chinese Communist Party."
"Strategically, Colby argued the U.S. must remain supreme in maritime Asia and retain the ability to project power in the region. This can be best achieved by building a robust defense posture immediately, instead of allowing U.S. capabilities to atrophy in the short-term and trying to play catch up later."
"Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel’s departure is not good news for a military already struggling to absorb ever more budget cuts on top of ever rising demands and a Pentagon bureaucracy unsure about itself while about to have its fourth change in command in six years."