Even as I'm preparing to button up the manuscript for The Colder War and send it off to the publisher, events keep adding to the story, and I'm about to summarize the most recent. New events are sure to occur, so go to for the most recent updates.

On July 17, 2014, Flight MH17 from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur was shot out of the sky just east of Donetsk in Ukraine and about 50 kilometers from the border with Russia. As a result, 298 people died, apparently because pro-Russian separatists had acquired a Russian SA-11 (Buk) missile and mistook an airliner for a Ukrainian military plane. Russia denies any responsibility and blames Ukraine. Ukraine denies any responsibility and blames Russia.

The European Union and the United States have responded with more sanctions against Russia. But the new measures, like their predecessors, cut with a double-edged blade. The ruble's foreign-exchange value dropped by almost 10 percent—bad news for Russian consumers and for Russian companies that have borrowed in foreign currencies, but a bonanza for Russian exporters of natural gas, oil, and uranium, and anything else produced domestically.

The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) has been extending its ungentle control over much of Iraq. President Obama's removal of U.S. soldiers from the country left a power vacuum that ISIS is filling with the use of weapons and other military supplies left over from earlier U.S. involvement. The United States has just begun to respond, alarmed by ISIS's threat to Kurdistan and its oil fields, and to the last U.S. military base in Iraq.

Israel and Hamas have been battling each other in the Gaza Strip. The notable difference from the Gaza strife of 2008 is today's hostility toward Israel in European media and also in global social media like Facebook and even in the United States. Perhaps the world has forgotten, or would rather not consider, that Hamas's goal includes removing Jews, all of them, not just from Palestine but from the whole region.

While all of this adds to the story, it doesn't alter the story line. Every brick the United States throws at a Russian window bounces back. Every U.S. sanction against Russia offers a profit opportunity for a company or country that switches out of the dollar. Every U.S. criticism of Russia demonstrates its inability to do anything but criticize. Every futile U.S. effort to control events in the Middle East demonstrates that a promise of U.S. protection is a thin reason for a government to feel safe—especially if it is the government of Saudi Arabia.

The story isn't finished, but I thank you for reading the part I've set out. For readers of The Colder War, go to /colder war for updates and to subscribe to my free weekly e-letter. I hope you'll visit. You've already paid for the book, so the updates are free.


Vladimir Putin

Fennell, Thomas. Translation of Vladimir Putin's thesis "Mineral and Raw Materials Resources and the Development Strategy for the Russian Economy." The Atlantic, August 20, 2008. 08/putins-thesis-raw-text/212139/.

Goldman, Marshall L. Petrostate: Putin, Power, and the New Russia. New York: Oxford University Press, 2008. 8sk4C&printsec=frontcover&dq=petrostate&hl=en&sa=X&ei=HeDoU4bn G4-TyATIpYDoDA&ved=0CB4Q6AEwAA#v=onepage&q=petrostate&f= false.

Lynch, Allen. Vladimir Putin and Russian Statecraft. Washington, DC: Potomac Books, 2011. sec=frontcover&dq=vladimir+putin+and+russian+statecraft&hl=en&sa=X& ei=ft_oU-b2Eov-yQTO94DgDQ&ved=0CCYQ6AEwAA#v=onepage &q=vladimir%20putin%20and%20russian%20statecraft&f= false.

Putin, Vladimir. "A New Integration Project for Eurasia: The Future in the Making." Izvestia, October 3, 2011. -prime-minister-vladimir-putin-new-integration-project-eurasia-future -making-izvestia-3-.

Putin, Vladimir. "Russia and the Changing World." Moscow News, February 27, 2014.

Putin, Vladimir. "Russia in Focus—The Challenges We Must Face." Izvestia, January 16, 2012. -challenges-845/.


Bogetic, Zeljko, et al. "The World Bank in Russia—Russian Economic Report No. 18." World Bank, March 2009. siteresources.worldbank .org/INTRUSSIANFEDERATION/Resources/rerl 8eng.pdf

Donaldson, Robert H. "Boris Yeltsin's Foreign Policy Legacy." Presentation to the 41st Annual Meeting of the International Studies Association, Los Angeles, California, March 18, 2000. -donaldson/yeltsin.htm.

Graham, James. "The Collapse of the Soviet Union." History Orb. www . history orb .com/russia/intro .php.

"Prominent Russians: Peter the Great." Russiapedia; Russia Today,

"SCO to Admit New Members." Russian Radio, August 1, 2014. indian . ruvr. ru/2014_08_01 / S CO—admit-new-members/.

Yakovlev, Andrei. "State-Business Relations and Improvement of Corporate Governance in Russia." BOFIT Discussion Paper, 2008. suomenpankki .fi/bofit_en/tutkimus/tutkimusjulkaisut/dp/Documents/dp2608.pdf.

Khodorkovsky and Putin

Gessen, Masha. "The Wrath of Putin." Vanity Fair, April 2012. vanityfair .com/politics/2012/04/vladimir-putin-mikhail-khodorkovsky-russia.

The Great Game

Fromkin, David. "The Great Game in Asia." Foreign Affairs, Spring 1980. www


Anderson, Scott. "Putin: The Dark Rise to Power." GQ Magazine, September 6, 2009; reprinted by KavkazCenter. 2009/09/06/10979.shtml.

Oliker, Olga. "Russia's Chechen Wars 1994-2000." Monograph Reports, RAND Corporation, 2001.

Steele, Jonathan. "It's Over, and Putin Won." The Guardian, September 29, 2008. Chechnya.


Cohen, Stephen F. "Distorting Russia." The Nation, March 3, 2014. www

Emmerson, Charles. "Ukraine and Russia's History Wars." History Today, March 4, 2014. 99s-history-wars.

Gaouette, Nicole. "Putin's Motives Rooted in History Remain a Mystery Abroad." Bloomberg, March 18, 2014. -17/putin-s-motives-rooted- in-history-remain-a-mystery-abroad.html.

Goodman, Amy, and Juan Gonzalez. "We Are Not Beginning a New Cold War, We Are Well into It: Stephen Cohen on Russia-Ukraine Crisis." Democracy Now!, April 18, 2014; reprinted by Truth Out. item/23171-we-are-not-beginning-a-new-cold-war-we-are-well-into-it -stephen-cohen-on-russia-ukraine-crisis.

Putin, Vladimir. "Vladimir Putin Talks to Reporters about Ukraine." World News Daily, Information Clearing House, March 8, 2014. information clearinghouse. info/article37889. htm.

Color Revolutions and the Role of NGOs

Wilson, Jeanne L. "Colour Revolutions: The View from Moscow and Beijing." Wheaton College, Norton, Massachusetts, workshops/Jeanne_Wilson_paper.pdf

The Middle East

Fildis, Ayse Tekdal. "The Troubles in Syria: Spawned by French Divide and Rule." Middle East Policy Council, Winter 2011. -policy-archives/troubles-syria-spawned-french-divide-and-rule.

"The History of Saudi Arabia." Royal Embassy of Saudi Arabia, Washington, DC. information/history, aspx.

"Iran History." Pars Times—Greater Iran and Beyond,

Scheinmann, Gabriel. "The Map That Ruined the Middle East." The Tower, July 2013.

StevenAU. "Wahhabi Islam: General Overview." Free Republic, July 17, 2004.

Valdes, Juan Jose, Lauren E. James, and Eve Conant. "Iraq: 1,200 Years of Turbulent History in Five Maps." National Geographic, July 2, 2014.

Various articles on Afghan history. Afghanistan Online, history/.

"What Is the Difference between Sunni and Shiite Muslims—And What Does It Matter?" History News Network, October 5, 2005. article/934.


"Excerpt GEAB 72 (February 2013)—2013-2015: The End of the Petrodollar's Rule over the World." GlobalEurope Anticipation Bulletin, February 15, 2013. -of-the-petrodollar-s-rule-over-the-world_al4922.html.

Kaplan, Robert D. "The Geopolitics of Energy." Forbes, April 4, 2014. energy/.

Mitrova, Tatiana. "The Geopolitics of Russian Natural Gas." Harvard University's Belfer Center and Rice University's Baker Institute Center for Energy Studies, February 2014. -GeoGasRussia-022114.pdf.

"Oil History Timeline." Oil 150.

Saul, Jonathan, and Parisa Hafezi. "Exclusive: Iran, Russia Negotiating Big Oil-for-Goods Deal." Reuters, January 10, 2014. 2014/01/10/us-iran-russia-oil-idUSBREA090DK20140110.

Terentieva, Alexandra. "Russia Goes Uranium Mining around the World." Global Geopolitics and Political Economy, March 31, 2010. globalgeo -world/.


Cohen, Benjamin. "Bretton Woods System." Prepared for the Routledge Encyclopedia of International Political Economy, faculty/cohen/inpress/bretton.html.

"The History of Money." Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, https://

McLeay, Michael, Amar Radia, and Ryland Thomas. "Money Creation in the Modern Economy." Bank of England, Quarterly Bulletin 2014 Ql. qbl4qlprereleasemoneycreation.pdf

Oweiss, Ibrahim M. "Economics of Petrodollars." Address before the Conference on the World Monetary Crisis, Arden House, Harriman Campus, Columbia University, New York, March 1—3, 1974. imo3/petrod/petro2. htm.

Robinson, Jerry. "The Rise of the Petrodollar System: 'Dollars for Oil."' Financial Sense, February 23, 2012. -robinson/the-rise-of-the-petrodollar-system-dollars-for-oil.

Threats to Dollar Hegemony

"China and Russia Abandon the Dollar in New Bilateral Trade Agreement." Daily Mail UK, November 25, 2010. -1332882/China-Russia-abandon-dollar-new-bilateral-trade-agreement, html.

MacLucas, Neil, and Richard Silk. "Swiss, Chinese Central Banks Enter Currency Swap Agreement." Dow Jones Business News, July 21, 2014. -agreement-20140721-00068.

Robinson, Jerry. "Preparing for the Collapse of the Petrodollar System." Jerry Robinson's FTMDaily, -the-petrodollar-system/.

"Russia Prepares to Attack the Petrodollar." Voice of Russia, April 4, 2014. http: / / voiceofrussia. com/2014_04_04/Russia-prepares-to-attack-the -p etro dollar-2335/.

Soldatkin, Vladimir, and Florence Tan. "UPDATE1—Russian Oil Firm Says Asian Buyers Willing to Use Euros." Reuters, April 10, 2014.


Zhu, Grace. "BRICS Create $100 Billion Emergency Reserve Fund." Dow Jones Business News, July 15, 2014. -billion-emergency-reserve-fun d-20140715-01338.

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