What's going on in Ukraine, where the U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs Victoria Nuland was embarrassed by the Russkies releasing a presumably tapped phone call of her attempting to stage-manage Ukrainian affairs (e.g., heavyweight champ Vitali Klitschko should be kept out of any coalition government) and expressing short-temperedness with her putative E.U. allies?
The Game of the Great Powers. It's kind of like the Seahawks are winning 36-8, but even if they put in the reserves, the reserves are still going to try hard to run up the score even further. That's what they do. Ukraine may not strike you or me as hugely crucial to America's national interests, but if you are the State Department official in charge of Ukraine you still want to sack Peyton Manning (or the geopolitical equivalent).
Your Lying Eyes took a look at Ms. Nuland's background:
She got into the State Department during the Bush Administration, so she's probably not some wide-eyed liberal nut. In fact she's married to Robert Kagan - that's a familiar name, isn't it. Robert and brother Fred seem to have strategically implanted themselves in key policy-making positions within the Democratic and Republican party apparatus. Robert is embedded at Brookings, while Fred is ensconsed at AEI. It's a beautiful thing, America 2.0 (or is it 3.0 - can't keep track).
Her father-in-law is Yale historian Donald Kagan, author of a four-volume history of the Peloponnesian War from which neocons appear to have drawn remarkably wrong-headed lessons: e.g., a turning point in the war between Athens and Sparta was when the here-to-fore dominant Athenians decided to invade irrelevant Sicily, which turned out to be a vast waste of money and men. Athens ultimately lost the war. Back in 2002, the neocons, like all three Kagans, somehow deduced from this lesson of history that the New Athenians (us) should invade Iraq.
|Fred and Kim Kagan|
on the job for you and
me bringing democracy
Her brother-in-law Fred's wife is Kimberly Kagan, who is also a militarist pundit and adviser.
Nuland has had a long career in the Foreign Service and has worked for both Democratic and Republican administrations. During the Bill Clinton administration, Nuland was chief of staff to Deputy Secretary of State Strobe Talbott before moving on to serve as deputy director for former Soviet Union affairs. During the George W. Bush administration, she served as the principal deputy foreign policy adviser to Vice President Dick Cheney and then as U.S. ambassador to NATO. During the Barack Obama administration, she was special envoy for Conventional Armed Forces in Europe before assuming the position of State Department spokesperson in summer 2011, which she held until February 2013.
She was nominated to serve as Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs in May 2013 and sworn in to fill that role in September 2013.
So, if the 2016 election is between, say, Hillary Clinton and Paul Ryan, she won't be sweating about whether or not she'll have a job in 2017.
Considering their catastrophic track record on Iraq and their continued ascent in the stratosphere of power players, is there anything the Kagan-Nulands could screw up that would hurt their careers? (Other than publicly recanting and apologizing, of course.)