As the British envoy just learned, loose lips sink diplomats

If the truth can set you free, then the British ambassador to Washington is now free as a bird. Unfortunately for him, he will no longer be soaring over America’s capital or hovering anywhere near the White House. In fact, the president made sure this British goose got cooked.

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Discretion is a key component of diplomacy, and Ambassador Kim Darroch was publicly discreet to a fault. But his private, privileged and personal observations — reserved for his ministry and his masters — now seem indiscreet because they were publicly leaked. Darroch this week resigned his Washington posting.

From Wikileaks to these recent diplo-leaks, timed and targeted news bombshells are blowing up traditional diplomatic relationships as well as politics as usual. Add indiscretion, incendiary responses, hyperventilating social media and a dash of bravado, and you have the makings of a massive diplomatic disruption between allies who for years have enjoyed a “special relationship.” It is not pretty. READ MORE

Putin’s power, arrogance lead to costly Russian miscalculation that unites West

Vladimir Putin has spent years trying to divide the West by undermining elections, invading neighbors and aggressively using Russian oil and gas as a ham-handed bargaining tool. These concerted and clever efforts have suddenly, however, revealed the New Putin: Despite his best efforts and plans, he’s become a uniter, not a divider of the West.

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Early 2018 had Putin heading towards a staggering, but not surprising, electoral victory against dead and disqualified opposition candidates. This dominance allowed Russia’s president to ride his eventual 76.6 percent final poll tally to a new level of cavalier confidence on the global stage. Political dominance at home and fawning support from President Trump gave him a delusional sense of invincibility. It led him to overreach and miscalculate.

Now, well over 20 Western countries have joined together to give Putin the one-finger salute for a U.K. chemical agent attack he is suspected of either directing or condoning. The targets in the assassination attempt in Salisbury were a former Russian spy, Sergei Skripal, and his daughter Yulia.  READ MORE