THE INSTITUTE OF POST-COMMUNIST STUDIES AND OF TERRORISM

















WHO WE ARE:

 

 

Leni and Dr. Jiri Valenta are pictured holding the original, not yet published Russian manuscript, of the late Alexander Yak, Yakovlev allowed the Valentas to study his manuscript,   Omut Pamiati, Ot stolypina do putina [Maelstrom of mory:  From Stolypin to Putin],  in their hotel room during two days of interviews

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                 JVLV INSTITUTE OF POST-COMMUNIST STUDIES  AND TERRORISM 

 
CURRENT UPDATES


April 25, 2016: "TO WIN THE PRESIDENCY, TRUMP MUST FORGE A "TEAM OF RIVALS.'"  We show why Donald Trump is underestimated and should become the nominee of the Republican Party. He has shown some remarkable talents and the will to clean up the corruption of a "rigged system." We also suggest an interesting tactic used by a presidential forbear that might help his chances. Find this in our "Election 2016" section.


April 20, 2016: "ENDEMIC RUSSO-POLISH ENMITY AND NEED FOR UNTAINTED RUSSOLOGY" is a response to an article by Anne Applebaum in Politico.  In our view, she did not prove that Russian meddling was responsible for an adverse Dutch referendum on Ukraine's Association Membership in the EU.  Find this in Russia under "Great Powers" or "Ukraine" under "Post Communism II."


April 16, 2016:
"UKRAINE: A BRIDGE LINKING THE WEST AND RUSSIA?" Our article, an interview of Dr. Jiri Valenta by Professor Alexander Motyl, was  just published in the World Affairs Journal.  Let's start with what is not acceptable:  NATO membership for Ukraine and Georgia, as proposed by Zbigniew Brzezinski repeatedly before 2007.... After the Crimean invasion, Brzezinski turned to Finlandization as a neutrality model for Ukraine.  We have a better suggestion.  See our "Ukraine" section in the tab "Post-Communism II."  It's also in "Russia" under "Great Powers." 

April 11, 2016:   "CONGRESS SAY NO TO 18% POTUS PENSION PAY HIKE!"  We don't agree with the president that his performance, particularly in Cuba, merits the 18% pay hike he wants.  We think his he resoundingly  does not deserve it.  This is in "Current News" and our "Cuba" section.  Click on "Rogue States II."

April4, 2016:  "WHY PUTIN WANTS SYRIA."  Our analysis of Putin's intervention in Syria was published in the spring issue of the prestigious Middle East Quarterly.  We are the first to show the linkages with the invasions of Georgia and Ukraine.  We have demonstrated the invasion actually finds its roots in the 1991 fall of the Soviet empire.  Find out why in our Great Powers section (click on Russia).  It's also in our Ukraine and Syria tabs. 


Also find our essay review in the Aspen Review of Richard Pipes first ever biography of Alexander Yakovlev, "HOW WOULD YAKOVLEV ADVISE PUTIN TODAY ON UKRAINE AND ISIS?"  A  unique individual, Yakovlev led a double life as Gorbachev's chief adviser,  while seeking to destroy the Stalinist system from within.  His life story is essential for those who hope to someday see democracy come to Russia.  Why have you never heard of him?  Read our article in our Great Powers-Russia area. 



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This is a different website.  While there are numerous research platforms dealing either with the phenomena of post-communism or terrorism, as far as we know there is not one that focuses on both of them, including their past ties, current conflicts and interactions. In its pioneering effort, the  Institute of Post-Communism and Terrorism (JV & LV) seeks to fill the void, while providing a net assessment of the critical issues  impinging on America's vital national security. 

Our aim is to employ a historical perspective, drawing upon our extensive research and experience in analyzing the decade-long Soviet war in Afghanistan, revolutions in communist and post-communist countries, ongoing disputes and on site interviews with key players, past and present.  Whenever relevant, we also address issues of foreign policy-making, including our failures like Benghazi-gate.  By creating a database of relevant and unique material, we hope to provide  academics and governments with better tools and deeper insights than might otherwise be available.


The term “post-communist”  refers to the evolution of former communist regimes since the 1991 fall of the Soviet Union.  Before that, the communist system was characterized by four tenets;  a vanguard party having a monopoly on political power, other vertical structures, state planning in lieu of market forces, and an ideological alliance with other Leninist regimes in the interest of proletarian internationalism.  This term is  a shorthand for strategic alliance with the USSR.


In the post-Soviet era, most of the formerly communist regimes in Central Europe, the Baltics and parts of the Balkans, have morphed into  democratic and market-oriented states with horizontal structures (e.g. political parties). Their once strategic alliance with Russia has been replaced with membership in NATO.  A very few countries, such as North Korea, Cuba and Byelorussia, have preserved Leninist political structures.  Still others can be defined as hybrids, a category which includes China and Russia.  


Our aim is to employ a historical perspective, drawing upon our extensive research and experience in analyzing the decade-long Soviet war in Afghanistan, revolutions in communist and post-communist countries, ongoing disputes and on site interviews with key players, past and present.  Whenever relevant, we also address issues of foreign policy-making, including our failures like Benghazi-gate.  By creating a database of relevant and unique material, we hope to provide  academics and governments with better tools and deeper insights than might otherwise be available.


In the post-Soviet era, most of the formerly communist regimes in Central Europe, the Baltics and parts of the Balkans, have morphed into  democratic and market-oriented states with horizontal structures (e.g. political parties). Their once strategic alliance with Russia has been replaced with membership in NATO.  A very few countries, such as North Korea, Cuba and Byelorussia, have preserved Leninist political structures.  Still others can be defined as hybrids, a category which includes China and Russia.  

Surely, the Great Powers are the most important post-communist countries.  While neither Russia nor China are democracies, they are stable countries slowly moving in the direction of reform. In Russia, the ideology of Leninism has been replaced by a return to the Orthodox, Eastern Christianity practiced under the tsars.  There is now a market in lieu of a planned economy, but the strategic parameters are defined and influenced by the state. 

China, maintaining formal Leninist structures, is more integrated than Russia into the global market, with
its own formidable, technological innovations.  Also spurred by its demographic growth and her huge investment in America's treasuries, China has become a dynamic member of the world capitalist system.

In terms of our research on post-communism, our main task is conflict avoidance and prevention in the vital interest of the U.S.  Thus we look at the sources of potential disputes between Russia and some of the former Soviet non-Russian republics in the Baltics and Caucasus.  Two of those in the Caucasus are still part of the Russian Federation; Chechnya and Dagestan.  At the present time we are doing on-site research in Central America on Cuba, Nicaragua and Venezuela and their interaction with rogue states North Korea and Iran.

Our other major focus is terrorism.  By this we mean violence perpetrated by rogue regimes and  national or transnational organizations, for religious and/or political reasons.  Ultimately, the most dangerous threat to our national security is the potential of these groups to unleash nuclear holocaust; something we must prevent at all costs.  Here lies a common interest we share not only with our allies, but also Great Powers Russia and China. 

Terrorist states and groups include, but are not limited to what we call the double-headed Hydra of Sunni and Shiite Islamic terrorism. One head mainly includes ISIS, Al Qaeda and their networks of affiliates. The other is terrorist state Iran and its proxies, Hezbollah, Hamas and Houthis. They are active in rogue states  Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Libya, Somalia, South Yemen, Chechnya and others.  All of these, despite NATO interventions in some cases, are facing war or civil war, instability, ethnic strife and growing terrorism. 

This is a lively site and we add to it almost daily, sometimes with important news items, also by publishing debates.  Politically independent and bipartisan, we strive to present different points of view despite our own opinions on various issues.  We also feature a holocaust-genocide section.  Having both had relatives who died in the holocaust, we seek to remind ourselves and our readers of past catastrophes and the dangers of WMD that we face daily. 

The principles of this site are internationally known scholar Dr. Jiri Valenta, and his wife and partner, Leni Friedman Valenta.  The author/editor of numerous books including the renowned, Soviet Intervention in Czechoslovakia, 1968;  Anatomy of a Decision, Dr. Valenta is a long standing member of America's foremost foreign policy think tank, the Council on Foreign Relations.  He is also the recipient of the Jan Masaryk medal from Czech Republic for furthering ties between Czech Republic and the USA.   The recipient of  numerous distinguished fellowships and grants, he is  an internationally known scholar anod educator and the author/editor of numerous books
 
Leni Friedman Valenta holds a three-year Masters in playwriting from the Yale School
o f Drama in playwriting, has authored plays and books with historical themes, operated her own writing service for many years, and has served as an official in New Jersey Democratic party politics. She has joined Dr. Valenta  in ongoing blogs with the Russian International Affairs Council and works with him on this website as well as on two major books. 

     Dr. Jiri Valenta and Leni Valenta can be reached at jvlv@jvlv.net.  We are on Twitter
     at
Valenta@JiriLeniValenta   We both have LinkedIn accounts.  

                                                 



Dr.  Jiri Valenta  dining with Boris Yeltsin, then a Soviet opposition leader, at his Moscow apartment, October 1989.  Yeltsin prepares to toast "to a clean and  sober life," the motto of his political enemies who briefly introduced a  disastrous Russian Prohibition.  Valenta amused Yeltsin by quoting the old adage,  "Prohibition is like communism.  It's a good idea but it cannot work." 



        
Building of the JVLV Institute of Post-Communist Studies and Terrorism

In general, this institute is a logical continuation of the work and products of a former organization, the Institute of Soviet and East European Studies (ISEES), which Dr. Valenta founded and supervised at the University of Miami from 1986-91.  ISEES, which sponsored dialogues and debates in addition to producing monographs and occasional papers, was abolished after the 1991 defeat of the putchists in Moscow, and with Dr. Valenta's transfer to a senior position in the Czech government as Director of the Institute of International Relations in Prague.    

 

 

Leni Valenta shakes hands with Gorbachev during a break at the inaugural meeting of his Association of the USA and Russia, Moscow, September 2000.

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This site is dedicated to our late patriarch, Herbert Friedman, the beloved father of Leni Friedman Valenta and father-in-law of Jiri.  A believer in international peace, he gave us the resources to conduct our work according to our own free will and conscience.  In his honor we have reproduced a large painting of him as a young man.   Leni created it shortly after his death in 2004 at the age of almost 101
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