L. Todd Wood — Behind the Curtain - Washington Times
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L. Todd Wood — Behind the Curtain

L. Todd Wood

L. Todd Wood

L. Todd Wood, a graduate of the U.S. Air Force Academy, flew special operations helicopters supporting SEAL Team 6, Delta Force and others. After leaving the military, he pursued his other passion, finance, spending 18 years on Wall Street trading emerging market debt, and later, writing. The first of his many thrillers is "Currency." Todd is a contributor to Fox Business, Newsmax TV, Moscow Times, the New York Post, the National Review, Zero Hedge and others. For more information about L. Todd Wood, visit LToddWood.com.

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President Trump met with Chinese President Xi Jinping at at Mar-a-Lago resort Thursday in Palm Beach, Florida. The two are expected to discuss North Korea in their meeting. However, columnist L. Todd Wood notes in his column that South Korea has been absent from discussions involving North Korea. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

South Korea badly in need of a little Trump attention

- The Washington Times

There's been a lot going on in recent weeks with the Stalinist regime of North Korea and its quest for a nuclear arsenal to threaten the world. It is obvious the Trump administration intends finally to stop talking and start doing something about this festering geopolitical sore. As Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said this week after the latest North Korean missile test, "The United States has spoken enough about North Korea. We have no further comment."

The monument to the victims of the Chernobyl tragedy is in front of a new shelter installed over the exploded reactor at the Chernobyl nuclear plant, Chernobyl, Ukraine, Tuesday, Nov. 29, 2016. A massive shelter has finally been installed over the exploded reactor at the Chernobyl nuclear plant, one of the most ambitious engineering projects in the world. (AP Photo/Efrem Lukatsky)

Ukrainian corruption casts nuclear pall over Europe

In 2016, the No. 1 tourist destination of Ukraine was the lifeless town of Pripyat, evacuated after the deadly reactor meltdown at Chernobyl in 1986. Today, Ukraine relies on nuclear power for 53 percent of its power generation, but is risking another nuclear accident on a scale greater than Europe -- and the world -- could imagine.

Vice President Mike Pence spoke with NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg in Brussels this week. (Associated Press)

Trying to talk culturally suicidal Europe off the ledge

Europeans are acting as if they have a real attraction to suicide, as a culture and as a group of sovereign states. I watched and read several things this week that made me want to write on this subject. All of the incidents fall into a long-term pattern of self-hating groupthink and self-destruction.

Belarus's President Alexander Lukashenko speaks during a briefing in Minsk, Belarus, Friday, Feb. 3, 2017.  In a televised broadcast on Friday, Lukashenko asked the country's interior minister to press charges against Russia's top food safety official, alleging charges of "damaging the state" because Russia stopped the import of Belarusian products due to quality issues and suspicions that Belarus resells EU-made dairy products that are banned in Russia.  The Kremlin responded to the outburst, listing the loans and reduced taxes that Russia gave to Belarus.  (Maxim Guchek/BelTA Pool Photo via AP) **FILE**

Menacing Russia, cowering Belarus -- trouble in the Union State

Many in the West don't realize that after the fall of the Soviet Union, Russia and Belarus, its smaller neighbor to the west, set up their own mini-political combination, dubbed the "Union State." Belarus -- literally, "White Russia -- historically has been controlled by Moscow, with some periods ruled by Moscow's archrival throughout the ages, Poland.

Donald Lu

Soros-infected State Department plays political games in Albania

Any move by a U.S. diplomat meant to support only one party over another in a foreign country is anti-democratic, un-American and inconsistent with what the United States stands for. Creating a captive justice system for one party is the exact opposite of what was intended by Albania's judicial reforms.

U.S. Air Force Academy at the 2017 Inaugural Day parade. Cadets are not in sync.

Air Force Academy has leadership problem

I recently wrote an article on my shock, during my 30th reunion at the U.S. Air Force Academy, at the lack of discipline and training and how the academy no longer is focused on training warriors. "This is no longer a military academy, it's UCLA in uniforms," I wrote.

(Associated Press/File)

Behind White House denials, a Trumpian deal with Russia takes shape

I listened with curiosity to the news Thursday that sanctions on the Russian security services had been "eased" by the Trump administration. White House press secretary Sean Spicer described it as a "routine" course of events in the oversight of sanctions by the Treasury Department. I highly doubt that explanation. I think what we're seeing is that an archetypal Trump "deal" is in the works.

President Trump has pointed out that many of our NATO allies don't pay enough for the collective defense. (Associated Press/File)

Wily Trump treats NATO like a jealous girlfriend

I was reminded of our president's impressive bargaining skills once again when I opened an email just this morning from a successful and influential conservative friend of mine, who wrote, "I finally figured out Trump and NATO. He is treating the alliance like a jealous girlfriend. He wants them to pay more and just showing the consequences if they don't."

Moldovan President Igor Dodon attends a joint news conference with Russian President Vladimir Putin in the Kremlin in Moscow, Russia, Tuesday, Jan. 17, 2017. Moldova's new president, who is visiting Russia on his first trip abroad, is voicing hope for rebuilding "strategic" ties with Moscow. (Sergei Ilnitsky/Pool Photo via AP)

While elites fiddle, Russia advances in East Europe

Not many Americans can locate Moldova, a tiny former Soviet republic with a mostly ethnic Romanian population bordered by Ukraine and Romania, on a map. Even fewer could tell you that Moldova was once part of Romania and won its independence with the fall of the Soviet Union, only to have Russia carve out a separatist ethnic Russian enclave called Transdniester, complete with Russian troops and recognized as independent only by the Kremlin.

A Russian Marine aims his pistol during a Capability Demonstration at Manila's Rizal Park, Philippines on Thursday, Jan. 5, 2017. Russia is eyeing naval exercises with the Philippines and deployed two navy ships for a goodwill visit to Manila as Moscow moves to expand defense ties with the country. (AP Photo/Aaron Favila)

Pushing back when Russia tests its limits

- The Washington Times

Russian President Vladimir Putin learned a valuable lesson in 2013, when President Obama laid down his famous "red line" against chemical weapons use in Syria — a problem that Mr. Putin "solved" and thus headed off an American attack on Moscow's longtime ally.

Russian President Vladimir Putin, left, listens to Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu in Moscow, Russia on Thursday, Dec. 29, 2016. Putin is ordering to scale down the Russian military presence in Syria. Putin made the statement Thursday while declaring that a cease-fire in Syria brokered by Russia and Turkey will start at midnight. (Mikhail Klimentyev/Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP)

When the EU devil went down to Georgia

Ukraine aside, one of the most coveted areas of the former Soviet Union is the tiny but strategically located country of Georgia, on the doorstep to the Caucasus. And a tug-of-war between Brussels and Moscow in recent days shows the size of the stakes involved.

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko speaks during a media conference at the conclusion of an EU-Ukraine summit at the European Council building in Brussels on Thursday, Nov. 24, 2016. (AP Photo/Virginia Mayo)

Time is running out in Ukraine

Pro-Ukrainian demonstrators this week vandalized the Kiev branch of a Russian bank and the offices of a pro-Russia political movement. They also rifled through the offices of the Ukrainian envoy to the Trilateral Contact Group, the international body attempting to settle the conflict with pro-Russia separatists in the east. Vandals set fires, destroyed equipment and broke windows.