Brian Lee Crowley

To counter Russian disinformation, the West must rebuild its ability to mobilize ideas

After the Cold War, the West dismantled much of its capacity to oppose Russian propaganda and disinformation. Now our own complacency and an emboldened Vladimir Putin is leaving us prey to bad, damaging, mistaken, misleading and dangerous ideas as I write in an op-ed for the Ottawa Citizen that appeared on 21st March 2017. Time for the West to rise to Russia’s challenge once again. The alternative doesn’t bear thinking about, as Putin seeks to undermine the trust on which so much of the West’s institutions and prosperity rely.

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The Great Game and the Greek crisis

In the so-called Great Game, in which Western powers seek through espionage as well as soft and hard power to counter the influence of disruptors and adversaries like Russia, Greece is now an important pawn. There is little question that Greece has repeatedly abused its obligations to repay its vast debts. But, as I ask in my July 10th column for the Globe’s ROB, in a world where Russia seeks actively and unashamedly to extend its power and influence, can Western powers really afford to close the door on its troubled ally?

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D-Day, the Cold War and Putin’s challenge to the West

In the latest of my seemingly endless screeds for the Ottawa Citizen and other PostMedia newspapers today I mine the D-Day invasion and the West’s success in the Cold War for lessons to apply to Russian President Vladimir Putin’s challenge to the values of freedom, democracy and the rule of law. Relax, Mr Obama: We don’t have to engage the Russians militarily.  On the other hand, if we don’t show an unwavering willingness to do so if necessary, he will continue his campaign to re-create Russian greatness and a bi-polar world at our expense and that of weaker countries on his borders and perhaps farther afield. The longer we delay in responding decisively, the more emboldened he will become.

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Why Russia’s Crimea caper should matter to us

Much of the commentary I’ve read about Russia’s smash and grab of Crimea misses the point about why this kind of behaviour must engage the west’s attention. Much more is at stake than Neville Chamberlain’s famous “quarrel in a far-away country between people of whom we know nothing.” Read more in my latest column for the Ottawa Citizen and other Postmedia papers.

 

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Brian Lee Crowley