WHO WE ARE:
Leni and Dr. Jiri Valenta are pictured holding the original, not yet published Russian manuscript, of the late Alexander Yakovlev, Mikhail Gorbachev's former chief advisor. Their September 2000 interview took place at Yakovlev's office in the former building of the Central Committee on Staraya Ploshad' [Old Square], now, as the sign reads, the "Administration of the President of the Russian Federation." Familiar with Jiri's book about the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia, 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.
JVLV INSTITUTE OF POST-COMMUNIST STUDIES AND TERRORISM
July 28, 2015: We have more on Trump, the leading GOP contender for the presidency, in our election section. Why we do we support him? Readers may find our reasons surprising. We are offering the candidate more wise counsel.
July 23, 2015: We have a new section at JVLV, "Election 2016." Articles on the candidates will be posted here, with our our main, though not only focus on foreign policy and strategies for dealing with the major threats that face our country. believe the most pressing and immediate ones are associated with Islamic terrorism, both Sunni and Shiite, and our open borders with dysfunctional state Mexico. We also have focused for a few years on Russia´s aggression in the Ukraine and its implications for the U.S. We started off by asking Donald Trump to apologize to Senator John McCain. Since he did so (sort of), we have posted a sampling of public reactions to their fracas. Additionally, you can scroll down and find our previous articles advising both Donald Trump and Jeb Bush.
July 17, 2015: Dr. Valenta was contacted by an Iranian journalist, Hamid Bayati, who interviewed him on American reactions to the Iran nuclear deal. His letter and Dr. Valenta´s responses are in our "Current News" section. A previous interview with Bayati on the Charlie Hebdo massacre was published in January in the Teheran Times.
July 4, 2015: Happy July 4, everyone! We have a great article in "Current News" and please don´t miss it. Undaunted by the mass hysteria, we are coming out strongly in defense of Donald Trump, perhaps the best presidential candidate we have for a variety of reasons. We set them forth in our open letter responding to one that he sent to us on July 2. We are not uncritical. But we appreciate his courage, his frankness and his ability, and have given him some positive advice.
June 29, 2015: "Tri-continent attacks Require New U.S. Strategy" explores the June 26 massacres in Tunisia and Kuwait and attack on a U.S. factory owner in France. The whole story, with some new insights, is in "Current News." In the face of current fears about a coming attack on July 4, we hope you will share with others the need for America to finally realize the proportions of the global threat. This article is also in our "Terrorism" section.
June 12, 2015: Jeb Bush needs a new advisory team. Read why in our "Current News" section, "Jeb Should be His Father´s Not His Brother´s Keeper." In our Russia section it´s "The Decisions Were Made;" Afghanistan and Iraq.
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.
Surely, these two Great Powers are the most important post-communist countries. While neither 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 groups include, but are not limited to Hezbollah and Hamas as well as Al Qaeda and its network of affiliates. 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 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.
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 paitning that Leni did of him shortly after his death in 2004 at the age of almost 101.
Nothing new. Churchill also mitigated the pain of the disastrous fall of Norway in 1940 by sending a joint task force of British commandos and Norwegian resistance fighters to Norway for a raid. But let´s get real. Ramadi was a symbolic as well as major defeat. Again we saw that Iraqi forces were unable to withstand the ISIS onslaught. Once again they ran and left the equipment we gave them. If ISIS decides to attack Baghdad they will come in our Shermans and Humvees.
Recall, this is the second fall of Ramadi in nine years, this important Anbar capital, which sits on the Euphrates River and on a strategic highway from Baghdad to Syria and Jordan. For ISIS, Baghdad is their Paris and the fall of Ramadi should ring bells and flash red lights throughout our national security establishment.
The defeat must suggest to our allies in the Middle East and Europe that we are not serious about winning the war. Will American boots on the ground come only after the fall of Baghdad? Imagine if Woodrow Wilson had continued to refuse sending boots to Europe as General Ludendorff’s 1018 offensive towards Europe was in progress.
A second reconquest will not be easy. During the Iraq War, we reconquered Ramadi with the surge, but only at the total wartime cost of over 4,000 Americans killed and thousands injured. Sacrifices will again be necessary. But we have to consider what´s at stake. The Ramadi catastrophe has serious repercussions on our efforts to contain our Great Power competitors, Russia and China. First regional: We cannot allow Ramadi to be liberated by pro-Iranian Shi-te militia, a move that would further strengthen Teheran´s control over Baghdad after their advances in Lebanon, Libya and South Yemen.
Second, global: Can you really expect Vladimir Putin will take us seriously and forge with us a lasting peace in the Ukraine and perhaps thereafter form a global partnership with us against the Islamists are conceived as losers the Middle East? Can we expect the pivot to the Far East to be taken seriously if we are unable, with our present declining naval forces, to deal with the war in the Middle East? In sum, Ramadi’s fall should be an awakening that the ISIS strategy, if we indeed have one, is unraveling and posing a threat to western civilization.
Imperative now are realistic assessments and bold actions. General David Petraeus should not be forgotten at this juncture. His crime was of the heart – sharing information with another patriotic military person. One wonders what he may know that it was necessary to silence him. But all efforts should not be spared to pardon him and make him a senior advisor to Ashton Carter. We´re sure David is aghast at the hare -brained thought of letting the Iranians help win back Iraq.
Meanwhile, the fall of Ramadi has resurrected the acrimonious debate over W´s 2003 invasion of Iraq, to the detriment of brother Jeb, who stumbled on a reporter´s question about what he would have done. To fellow Floridians, Jeb is one of our best governors; centrist and accomplished. But to be elected he needs to put his loyalty to the country before his loyalty to his brother and W´s close associate, Condi Rice. The stumble was not serious. But if we believe Don Rumsfeld´s, Dick Cheney´s and George Tenet´s recollections about Condi´s role in decision-making on Iraq, but also on North Korea, than bright and honorable Jeb, has to fully and irrevocably disassociate himself not just from his brothers policies, but from his brother´s team.
Although W acted remarkably well in the wake of 911 and in Afghanistan, NSA Rice, and some of her associates, continually failed him. Driven by her fight for turf, she did not anticipate 911, when repeatedly warned by the CIA Director, George Tenet and NSC anti-terrorist section head Richard Clarke, and she and her team rushed to war with Iraq. Her poor management is recalled by former Defense Secretary Don Rumsfeld and former Vice President Dick Cheney, her prevarications by reputable analyst Peter Bergen.
“The Decision Was Made,” Rice told Richard Haas. In July 2002, Haas, the current president of the Council on Foreign Relations, was the Director of the Policy Planning Council at the State Dept. He is not only formidable, but very honest. He was surely surprised when Rice told him additional vetting and discussion about the invasion of Iraq was not necessary by his Council. But it was! Condi and her team, engaged in group-thinking, did not examine the evidence for the invasion carefully enough and even at times, as Tenet revealed in his memoir, manipulated it. Finally it was she who okayed Malaki becoming Iraq´s Prime Minister., Yet Condi is back serving as Jeb´s influential advisor along with Paul Wolfowitz, another architect of Iraq´s disaster.
There is no doubt that, as ever, her ambitions are driving her to try to become a vice presidential candidate to Jeb. Big mistake! A great socialite and PR stunner for W, she can now be only a detriment to his brother as the national debate will again ensue as to who lost Iraq. Many will argue it was W and Condi. Hopefully Robert Gates, her present business partner, will not advise Rice to push her candidacy. The country and Jeb both need a clean sweep.
Meanwhile, the second catastrophe of Ramadi is on Obama. Had he left a residual force in the country, Ramadi would not have fallen. Had he taken the ISIS threat seriously a year ago, the catastrophe could have been avoided. Instead, as watchdog group Judicial Watch, has revealed, he knew that even while he was pushing his supposed decimation of Al Qaeda in 2012 to win an election, that ISIS planned to build a caliphate.
The president and his team now have to come to grips with the overall battlefield – the globe! What is missed by the White House? ISIS strategy in Europe is not a blitzkrieg with tanks but deadly selective attacks on the military and security personnel of the allied nations helping with our air campaigns in Syria and Iraq, as well as Jewish institutions. How many Americans know that NATO soldiers in various countries have been asked to live and appear anonymously without uniforms? ISIS is planning a similar strategy for America as the Texas incident suggests.
The remaining Jews of Europe are as much hated by ISIS as the large number of Christians in the Middle East. They Islamo-fascists don´t need a sophisticated network to recruit. Social media is sufficient unto the purpose. Immigration has to be regulated in such a way that it will not impinge on our national security particularly at our southern borders. As some of our generals warn,the open southern borders, are a natural ingress for terrorists. The time has come for this country to retake our borders!
We hope that Secretary Carter and the new chairman of the Joint Chiefs will prevail upon the president to augment our presence in Iraq beyond trainers and Special Forces. The perception of our allies must be changed dramatically. They have to know that we will not allow ISIS to hold Ramadi and Mosul and threaten Baghdad. In short, if you want to stop the rush of young Muslims to Syria, you have to win the war and retake Ramadi ASAP. Moreover, you cannot “downgrade” ISIS; you must destroy them.
We know that President Obama removed the bust of Winston Churchill from the Oval Office. Nevertheless, Churchill´s wisdom and spirit must remain with us. We must recognize the Islamo -fascist threat for what it is. We must send at least 10,000 troops, ground to air controllers, combat units and Special Forces to Iraq and develop effective public diplomacy to explain the need for a more assertive strategy to the American people and the world. To save western civilization in the nuclear age, they must finally understand the threat. To quote Winston, “This must be the beginning of the beginning.”
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