"Biden carries the future of democracy with him on his travels to Europe. He must rally European leaders, reinvigorate NATO..., and lead the G-7". And no doubt leap tall buildings with a single bound.
There are some serious dangers in this kind of hyperbolic heroic narrative 1/x
It relegates US allies to the role of adoring chorus or hapless clients. At best, this is infantilising ("you can't expect us to do things on our own", at worse alienating, esp since I think peak US hegemony has actually passed. 2/x
Like any cliffhanger TV series, it makes everything Exciting + Pivotal. Most i/nat diplomacy is about the incremental tending of relationships, not a momentary breakthrough. It creates pressure for sugar-hit initiatives + announcements that are often ill-thought-thru 3/x
And it inevitably reinforces the idea that the subsequent Biden-Putin summit is an epic personal clash, the Rocky IV of statesmanship. Of course there is a human dimension to such meetings, but framing it this way pushes both participants towards sterile posturing. 4/x
OK, end of my rant. I picked that quote from washingtonmonthly.com/2021/06/09/how… but i doesn't seem that atypical in the US media. 5/end

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More from @MarkGaleotti

16 Mar
This is pretty reprehensible, not just for humanitarian reasons, but also because it actually makes the whole 'Moscow's viral diplomacy' into a thing, without Moscow having to do anything. A short thread to vent and explain 1/
Of course Moscow is going to capitalise on the prestige of having come up quickly with a highly effective vaccine - just as, for example, the UK is happy to be identified with the _Oxford_/AstraZeneca one. All countries take victory laps for their successes, and often rightly 2/
Likewise, of course it will extract what political capital it can from gifting its allies, wooing the wavering, and tempting members of what it regards as a hostile bloc, the West. Better a policy based on trying to push vaccines than one based on hoarding and denial, surely 3/
Read 9 tweets
23 Jan
As dawn sweeps westwards across Russia and protesters and OMON get to do their thing, the q arises of just what constitutes ‘success’ for both #Navalny and the Kremlin. An early morning thread 1/
Obviously, one day of action will neither get Navalny free nor break his movement. Rather, it is about defining what kind of struggle this will be 2/
For Team Navalny, it is about the numbers coming out, the spread of places they come out, and at least as important, what kind of people come out. Can they use it to demonstrate a broadening of their support base? 3/
Read 17 tweets
29 Mar 20
1/ OK, time to make myself unpopular. Yes, in broad terms, #Russia considers itself at #politicalwar with the West, but so much of the overheated current coverage of a supposed use of #COVID19 in infowar is questionable + dangerous. A thread.
2/ Stop conflating Moscow + Beijing. #China is absolutely staging a coordinated disinformation campaign to minimise its responsibility for the pandemic. But the “China + Russia” formulation implying they are the same or coordinating just doesn’t work
3/ Yes, all kinds of toxic conspiracy theory in some of (state-ctrlld) Russian media. But that doesn’t mean it is Kremlin-mandated. These talking heads are paid controversialists who come up with all kinds of nonsense all the time on all subjects w/o any guidance
Read 8 tweets
9 Mar 20
A Presidential Decree has outlined the duties of the new role of deputy chair of #Russia’s Security Council, #Medvedev’s job. What can we learn from it? THREAD 1/?

There’s clearly an effort being made to make this look like a real job. He’ll be a part of the “development and implementation of foreign policy”, prepare an annual report on the state of national security, and monitor the implementation of presidential instructions. 2/?
He’ll also hold workshops + strategic planning meetings with other members of SovBez, liaise + generally be a presence. So far so good, + a genuine step up from what otherwise would be the main function, which would be simply to attend + sometimes chair SovBez formal meeting 3/?
Read 18 tweets
3 Dec 19
THREAD: I’m really quite uncomfortable with the tenor of today’s reporting about the supposed similarity between the leaked trade talk documents Labour revealed and Russian online intelligence tactics 1/
(Based on this report from Graphika: graphika.com/uploads/Graphi…) /2
1st, the Secondary Infektion case with which parallels have been drawn involved FALSE or MODIFIED materials being peddled online after a hack. I’ve seen no suggestions these documents were either (If they were, I’m sure by now the govt would be all over this) /3
Read 10 tweets
17 Nov 19
On the claims of #Russia's “unquantifiable” interference with the #Brexit referendum – a short thread following today's @thetimes report 1/
First of all, this is headline-making but inane: OF COURSE #Russia would have done what it could to push Brexit. For a country regarding itself at #politicalwar with the West (rusi.org/event/russian-…) then this is a no-brainer… 2/
It divides the UK and EU, it distracts from other issues (not least tying UK govt in knots for years), it spreads demoralisation. It’s a gift that keeps giving. 3/
Read 9 tweets

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