Moldova

"Maybe it is a sin even to be a woman?" asked Maia Sandu.
I feel that we, the countries recently accepted to the European Union, are well positioned to help the aspiring, new democracies
Another one of the things I was told on first arriving in Moldova was, "Hey, it's just a half a dozen crooks over there, Igor
Once again Eastern Europe is the location of a geo-political struggle that could define Europe's security for a generation. Moldova, a small country with a long history of foreign meddling, is at the epicenter of Eastern Europe. It is time for policymakers in the West start giving this tiny country more attention.
Corruption diverts resources from the poor to the rich, leads to a culture of bribes, and distorts public expenditures, deterring foreign investors and hampering economic growth. But, in some ways, corruption is only a symptom.
Despite all the focus in Europe on refugees, terrorism and Brexit, there is one region which still requires the attention of both European elite as well as its society -- Eastern Europe. We are at risk of losing our focus in the region, and this could hurt countries that are attempting to finally shed their Soviet heritage.
The U.S. needs to rethink our overall nuclear strategy. Our current strategy is still based on fighting a nuclear war with Russia. We should refocus it, and stop spending billions on an obsolete U.S. nuclear arsenal and move at least part of those funds to preventing ISIS or any other group from getting their hands on radioactive materials. It's time to stop fighting Soviets and shift our funds to fighting the terrorists that truly threaten us. The risk of ISIS getting their hands on nuclear or radiological weapons is small, but it is not zero. And that is too big of a gamble to take when American lives are on the line.
We admit it: even though we love to travel more than anything else in the world, some places just rub us the wrong way.
Putin's support for Kadyrov should be conditional. However, Russia's reliance on the Chechen leader to provide security in the North Caucasus and to restrict ISIS's growth in that region makes it very difficult for Putin to change his Chechnya policy.
Americans shouldn't be expected to protect their rich cousins even if the latter were devoted to protecting each other. That the Europeans expect the U.S. to do their job is yet another reason for Americans to say no more.