Wednesday, January 5, 2022

Russian Threats, China’s Rise, Afghanistan’s Collapse: Biden Enters 2022 Facing Crises Around World; Russia 'not bluffing' on NATO Rollback, Warns of ‘large-scale Conflict in Europe’; Top Russian Official Likens Ukraine Standoff to Cuban Missile Crisis, and related stories

AP Photo/Patrick Semansky
Russian threats, China’s rise, Afghanistan’s collapse: Biden enters 2022 facing crises around world:
Tens of thousands of Russian troops massed on Ukraine’s border have sparked fear of a potentially imminent war in Eastern Europe, while U.S.-China tension simultaneously soars amid warnings from Beijing that America will pay an “unbearable price” for supporting Taiwan.
Those are just two of the many foreign policy headaches facing the Biden administration at the start of 2022.
The full list is much longer: Taliban-controlled Afghanistan is teetering on the brink of collapse amid ongoing tumult from the disastrous U.S. military pullout; hopes for a new Iran nuclear deal are fading fast despite a difficult diplomatic push by America and its European allies; efforts to end North Korea’s nuclear program appear to be at a standstill; and, in Africa, Islamic terrorism is on the rise, prompting concerns the continent could be a breeding ground for attacks on the West.
From Asia to the Middle East, many of the most daunting national security challenges on President Biden‘s plate seemed only to grow more urgent during his first year in office, with critics charging that the president and his inner circle bungled several key decisions and irreparably damaged American credibility abroad.
Administration officials sharply dispute such characterizations, arguing the withdrawal from Afghanistan ultimately will benefit America, as will the end of formal combat operations in Iraq. --->READ MORE HERE
Russia 'not bluffing' on NATO rollback, warns of ‘large-scale conflict in Europe:
Russia will not drop a demand that NATO “be rolled back” to its 1997 boundaries, according to a senior Russian envoy, a requirement backed by the threat of “a large-scale conflict in Europe” arising out of Ukraine.
“We are not bluffing,” Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said Monday, per state-run TASS. “These are our real proposals. The West’s awareness of this needs to be facilitated, and we are going to make every effort to achieve it.”
Russian President Vladimir Putin has amassed military forces around Ukrainian borders, ostensibly due to the dangers presented by Ukraine joining NATO at some future date. Putin’s team, which oversaw the annexation of Crimea and the invasion of eastern Ukraine in 2014, portrays the latest round of tensions a consequence of NATO expansion over the last 25 years, raising the prospect of a major war in Europe.
“It is important to lower the degree of confrontation caused by the way our U.S. colleagues are looking after their Ukrainian proteges,” Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said in an interview published Sunday. "The course on dragging Kyiv into NATO with the prospect of deploying attack missile systems near our borders creates unacceptable threats to Russia’s security, thus provoking serious military risks for all parties involved, up to a large-scale conflict in Europe.” --->READ MORE HERE
Follow links below to related stories:

+++++Top Russian official likens Ukraine standoff to Cuban Missile Crisis+++++

Russia Warns of 'Colossal Mistake That Would Entail Grave Consequences' for US After Biden and Putin Hold Lengthy Call

Keeping an Eye on the Russian-Ukrainian Border…

US Sends 2 Spy Planes Over Ukraine To Assess Troop Build-Up On 'Both Sides'

Putin 'upping the ante' in tense Russia-Ukraine dispute, experts say

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