Top Stories from WashProfile

February 13, 2023 – Top Stories from Issue No. 07(952)

Featured topics in this issue: Congressional Research Service, Voter Rights in D.C.

Read these articles in Russian here.

The Art of Analysis
Interview with Stuart D. Goldman, Specialist in Russian and Eurasian Affairs, Foreign Affairs, Defense, and Trade Division, Congressional Research Service.

The “Last Colony”
In the U.S. there are about 600 thousand people who don’t have the same rights as other citizens of the United States. Ironically, it’s the residents of the U.S. capital - the town of Washington, part of the Federal District of Columbia. As a result, the politically disenfranchised Washington is occasionally referred to as the "last colony" or "the last plantation."

Transforming Washington
The United States Constitution grants Congressional voting representation to residents of the states. The District is not a state, it is a federal territory and in order to obtain equal voting rights it will be necessary to change the legal status of the District of Columbia.

The Post American World
We are entering a new "post-American" world order in which the role of the United States of America will be diminished, although not irrelevant, argues Fareed Zakaria who is a well known political analyst and is the Editor of Newsweek International. In his new book, The Post American World, he describes this phenomenon as the "Rise of the Rest" an increase of the economic, diplomatic, and social power in the rest of the world.

American Power and Goals
Much of Zakaria’s book focuses on the United States and its future, some comparison to the British Empire warrants careful analysis.

Measuring Power
While the United States remains the sole military superpower, in many other dimensions - industrial, financial, educational, social and cultural - the United States is no longer the dominant force.

Allies and Adversaries
A good part of Zakaria’s book is dedicated to the two most populated countries in the world - China and India. In the first, the author sees a rival of the United States in the second - an ally.

Production Worldwide
The rapid growth of industrial and agricultural production worldwide has created many serious problems and has raised a number of anomalies.


February 6, 2023 – Top Stories from Issue No. 05(950)

Featured topics in this issue: Central Asia, the Great Depression and Russia’s Economic Crisis

Read these articles in Russian here.

The “Great Game” is over
Interview with Frederick Starr, a Research Professor at the Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies, Johns Hopkins University. He is the founding chairman of the Central Asia-Caucasus Institute and Silk Road Studies Program. Starr is the author of 20 books and more than 200 articles on Central Asia, the Caucasus, and Russia.

The Reincarnation of the “New Deal”
Nations around the world are attempting to resolve the economic crisis in the same way: they are spending enormous budgetary funds in support of their national economies.

The Chronology of the Great Depression
The Great Depression of the 1920-1930's in many ways resembles the current economic crisis.
Ironically, one of its results was the emergence of a bipolar world. One of these poles became the United States.

The Depression Debate
The economic crisis afflicting the world economy in 2008 has been often compared to the Great Depression. Ironically, the causes of the Great Depression are still not entirely understood and to this day are actively debated by economists and historians. The outcome of the debate could have a profound effect on the way governments deal with the current economic crisis.

American Recovery and Reinvestment Plan
President Barack Obama proposed a major program of economic assistance designed to bring the U.S. economy out of the economic crisis.

Russia’s Economic Crisis
Interview with Andrei Piontkovsky, Executive Director of the Strategic Studies Center (Moscow), is a well-known political analyst in Russia, where he contributes regularly to such publications as Novaya Gazyeta and the Moscow Times.


January 22, 2023 – Top Stories from Issue No. 03(948)

Featured topics in this issue: Maritime Piracy

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Piracy in Focus: Perspective of a Political Analyst

Peter Chalk (Ph.D. in Political Science, University of British Columbia, Canada) is a senior political analyst at the Rand Corporation, dealing with transnational security threats, evolving trends in national and international terrorism, and international organized crime.

Piracy in Focus: Perspective of an Industry Professional

Gordan Van Hook is currently with Maersk Line, Limited as their Senior Director for Innovation and Concept Development. Recently retired from the US Navy after 29 years, Captain Van Hook is a third generation naval officer. He also holds an MS in Information systems from the Naval Postgraduate School and an MA in National Security Strategy from the Naval War College.

Battle for Somalia

The UN Security Council has rarely discussed the fight against international piracy. However, in December 2008 it adopted a resolution authorizing military action - including the conduct of ground operations - against pirates operating in the Horn of Africa.

Classification of Pirates and Attacks

In 2008, piracy attracted considerable attention. The scale of modern piracy is only the tip of the iceberg - many attacks by these sea robbers are never reported. There are different categories of pirates. The first group consists of ordinary criminals who commit primitive operations, such as steal anything. The second category includes members of organized criminal communities. The third group consists of representatives of paramilitary organizations.

The Path to Maritime Piracy

The “Golden Age" of piracy is considered to be between 16-17th century, after that the problem began to fade. The disappearance of "classic pirates" and the revival of the "new piracy" are linked with the global technological, economic and political processes.

North Africa and Somalia - Comparison

The strategy of European powers in dealing with North African corsairs in the 16-19th centuries, echoes the actions undertaken by the international community today in trying to curb piracy of the coast of Somalia.

Barbary Wars

The original expansion of the US Navy was done in order to combat piracy. The first American military campaign was the attack on pirate bases in North Africa.

January 15, 2023 – Top Stories from Issue No. 01(946)

Featured topics in this issue: American Emigration and Presidential Inauguration

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The American Exodus

Each year numerous Americans leave the United States and resettle in countries across the globe. While immigration to the United States has been given a lot of attention, emigration from the United States is much less known about.

Soviet Americans

Interview with Timotheos Tzouladis, author of “The Forsaken: An American Tragedy in Stalin's Russia.” A graduate of Oxford, he subsequently pursued a career as a documentary filmmaker and television journalist whose work has appeared on NBC and National Geographic television. “In the Soviet camps, no photography was ever allowed, so it was only this kind of secondary form of documentation by taking pictures of the victims, and these pictures were in the archives and they had been stamped secret, for whatever reason, during the war. And that, for me, was perhaps the lowest moment but also the most insightful, because it gave a very clear meaning to what Stalinism was actually all about.”

Chronology of U.S. Emigration

Emigration from the United States has a long history. However, the number of people immigrating to the United States was almost always greater.

The Inauguration Ceremony

On Tuesday, January 20, Barack Obama will be inaugurated as the 44-th president of the Untied States. The inauguration ceremony is an all day event that has been perfected over the last century.

Presidential Inauguration in More Detail

The inauguration of an incoming president is a political tradition that dates back to the origin of the presidency itself. This is one of America’s oldest and most extravagant political traditions.

The Inaugural Address

The inaugural address of an incoming president is considered to be perhaps the most important aspect of the ceremony. A great deal of attention is given to its preparation because it has been traditionally used as a way to give clues about domestic and international objectives of the incoming president.


December 31 – Top Stories from Issue No. 92(944)

Featured topics in this issue: American New Year Traditions

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Dropping the Ball

The dropping of the ball in New York's Times Square is a tradition that has been around since 1907.

Watch Night Service

While the origin of this African American tradition is difficult to pinpoint, some trace it back to the gatherings on December 31, 1862, also known as “Freedom's Eve,” when African Americans awaited news that the Emancipation Proclamation had become law.

Auld Lang Syne

The history behind this popular New Year song

The New Year’s Night

Food, champagne, superstition and New Year’s resolutions are all part of celebrating the New Year in the United States.


December 26, 2022 – Top Stories from Issue No. 90(942)

Featured topics in this issue: Christmas, Santa Claus, and Unemployment

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Christmas in a Nutshell

Interview with Karal Ann Marling, a Professor Emeritus, a well-known specialist in American culture, and the author of many books, one of them is Merry Christmas! Celebrating America’s Greatest Holiday. Since 1977 she has been teaching at the University of Minnesota, where she was professor in both Art History and American Studies.

Christmas in the United States; Facts, Numbers and History

A poll conducted by Rasmussen Reports showed that 88% of Americans celebrate Christmas and for 64% of them Christmas is purely a religious holiday.

A Rare Profession

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, in November 2008, there were 7269 professional Santas working in the United States. These elite professionals were supplied by 464 companies.

Unemployment, Piecing the Puzzle

The U.S. Department of Labor released the latest unemployment statistics that place the unemployment rate at 6.7%.

Collecting the Unemployment Benefits

The unemployment insurance in the United States is tightly regulated by each state and the amount, eligibility, and the length of time varies considerably from state to state.

Unemployment Insurance and its Affect on the Economy

Some experts argue that unemployment insurance stimulates the economy; others disagree and assert that it does not. Experts on both sides of the debate present their findings.

Evolution of the Unemployment Benefits in the United States

A historic overview of the U.S. unemployment benefits, how the system evolved into what it is today, and what factors are responsible for the unique decentralization of the American system.


December 19, 2022 – Top Stories from Issue No. 88(940)

Featured topics in this issue: U.S. Automakers; Russia’s Financial Crisis

Read these articles in Russian here.


American car manufacturers General Motors, Ford and Chrysler are asking the U.S. Congress for a $34 billion bailout to keep them from going bankrupt.

The “Big Three”

General Motors, Ford and Chrysler have struggled for quite some time, more about each company in this section.

To Bailout or not?

The argument for and against the bailout. Most Americans are opposed to baling out the “Big Three” and believe that it will not have a positive effect on the economy, the United Auto Workers feel differently.

The Government and the Economy, Laissez-Faire vs. Past Examples

Whenever possible the U.S. government tries not to intervene in business. Historically, however, the government sometimes steps in to save an industry. Past examples include: the railroad industry, aircraft and car manufacturers.

The “Samurai” vs. “Cowboys”

One reason the “Big Three” is on the ropes is due to the strong competition from the Japanese automakers. The history of this battle is outlined in this article.

Russia’s Financial Crisis, Rethinking the Future

Interview with Clifford Gaddy, a Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution, focusing on Foreign Policy, Global Economy and Development. Dr. Gaddy is an economist specializing in Russia, he is writing books on the political economy of Russian oil and gas and on the country’s long-term growth prospects. His earlier books include Russia’s Virtual Economy and The Siberian Curse.


December 12, 2022 – Top Stories from Issue No. 86(938)

Featured topics in this issue: Presidential Transition

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A Running Start

Interview with Stephen Hess, a Distinguished Research Professor at the George Washington University and a Senior Fellow Emeritus of Governance Studies at the Brookings Institution. He is a veteran staffer of the Eisenhower and Nixon administrations and a former advisor to Presidents Ford and Carter. Hess is the author of “What Do We Do Now? A Workbook for the President-elect” published by the Brookings Institution Press.

The Transition Period

Examines the U.S. presidential transition period between the November election and the January 20 inauguration, and briefly looks at every transition period in U.S. history since 1960. 

Selecting the Presidential Cabinet

One of the first things the President-elect must do is select his cabinet, which is comprised of fifteen ministers. In doing so, the President-elect must consider a number of important professional as well as personal factors.

Obama’s Team

According to the White House Transition Project, President-elect Obama has set a new record in naming the most important posts in his cabinet within 27 days after his election. The previous record was 39 days, set by George H. W. Bush in 1988. (The average is 48 days.)

Funding the Transition

Obama’s Presidential Transition will cost a record of $8.5 million. So where does the money come from? In the past, not only was this sum much smaller, but also the origin of funding was different.

The Senate Confirmation Process

After being selected by the President for a high ranking cabinet post, the candidates must undergo a Senate Confirmation Hearing. In an article published in the American Journal of Political Science, Nolan McCarthy and Rose Razaghian reveal that between 1885 -1996, over 3.5 thousand candidates were presented to the Senate for confirmation, only 55 were rejected.


December 5, 2022 – Top Stories from Issue No. 84(936)

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Featured topics in this issue: Terrorism; North Caucuses

Al Qaeda Ideology and the Mumbai Attack

Interview with Rohan Gunaratna, head of the International Centre for Political Violence and Terrorism Research at the Institute of Defence and Strategic Studies in Singapore. He has over 20 years of academic, policy, and operational experience in counter terrorism. Gunaratna is the author of 12 books, including an international bestseller Inside Al Qaeda: Global Network of Terror.

The Evolution of Terrorism, What to Expect Next

Interview with Paul Pillar is a Professor at Georgetown University; he retired in 2005 from a 28-year career in the U.S. intelligence community, in which his last position was National Intelligence Officer for the Near East and South Asia. He has also headed the Assessments and Information Group of the DCI Counterterrorist Center and from 1997 to 1999 was deputy chief of the center.

Lashkar-e-Taiba, the Mumbai Mastermind

The Mumbai attack was a departure from the usual way that terrorist attacks are carried out. Historically, if a new terrorist tactic is successful other terrorist groups adopt and utilize it.

The Future of Terrorism

Experts discuss the underlying causes of terrorism and offer an insight into its future.

In Search of Justice

U.S. laws allow Americans who were victims of terrorist attacks to seek compensation from organizations and governments deemed responsible, however, the effectiveness of the current system is limited. 

The North Caucuses: Prospect for Peace

Interview with Alexey Malashenko, a Scholar-in-Residence at the Carnegie Moscow Center, and a Professor at the Russian State University - Higher School of Economics.


November 28, 2022 – Top Stories from Issue No. 82(934)

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Featured topics in this issue: Thanksgiving and the Economic Outlook

The Financial Crisis: Causes and Consequences

Interview with Anders Åslund, senior fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics. He is also an adjunct professor at Georgetown University. Åslund also served as an economic adviser to the governments of Russia, Ukraine, and Kyrgyzstan. “This is the largest financial crisis in history. We would be very lucky if our GDP growth only falls by 10%, during the Great Depression the GDP growth of the United States fell by 33%. Of course we are not going to repeat the same mistakes, but most likely we will make various new ones.”

Thanksgiving: In Search of Origin

A Gallup poll showed that 27% of Americans consider Thanksgiving their favorite holiday, 63% percent prefer Christmas and 9% New Year. A little known fact is that the origin of Thanksgiving goes back even prior to the infamous 1621 celebration in Plymouth.    

Turkey Day

According to the Thanksgiving legend, during the first Thanksgiving celebration the Pilgrims and the Native Americans consumed four Turkeys. A poll by The National Turkey Federation showed that 88% of Americans consume Turkey on Thanksgiving.

Why Turkey is called Turkey?

The history behind the word and the bird, research reveals the answer. 

Black Friday

The day after the Thanksgiving and the start of the shopping season is always a good indicator of the state of the U.S. economy as well as the mood of the American shoppers.


November 21, 2022 – Top Stories from Issue No. 80(932)

Read these articles in Russian here.

Featured topics in this issue: Presidential Term Limits

Changing the Presidential Term Limits

During the period of 1992-2006, twenty-six presidents from around the world tried to change their presidential term limits. Countries such as France, Venezuela and Chile are just some examples.

The Origin of the U.S. Term Limits

According to the U.S. Constitution, the length of the presidential term is four years, and a person is not allowed to be president for more than two terms. In the history of the United States, 15 out of 43 presidents served two terms, with Franklin D. Roosevelt being the only exception.

The Significance of Presidential Term Limits

Interview with Gideon Maltz, an associate of the international law firm Hogan & Hartson, author of “The Case for Presidential Term Limits” published in the Journal of Democracy, Vol. 18, No. 1. “Every single consolidated democracy in the world has term limits. Strong democracies are always going to have it because it is pretty entrenched. The issue is what happens to these semi-democratic countries? They are much more malleable. If they feel like term limits are a core part of what it means to be called a democracy, then there is a good chance that some of them will go along. If they feel, however, that it’s not necessarily part of the definition, then it’s just another constraint that they might be willing to break.”

An International Overview

A rundown of presidential term limits from around the world, as well as a comparison of presidential power and electoral traditions worldwide.

The Presidential Library System

Formally established in 1939 when President Franklin D. Roosevelt donated his personal and Presidential papers to the federal government, the Presidential library system is a national network of repositories for preserving and making available the papers, records, collections and other historical materials of many Presidents.

The Presidential Library of George W. Bush

What can one expect to find in the Presidential Library of George W. Bush a decade from now? Perhaps much less than one could hope for.


November 7, 2022 – Top Stories from Issue No. 78(930)

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Featured topics in this issue: U.S elections and the future of the financial crisis

Unprecedented Elections

In a historic victory, Barack Obama was elected 44th president of the United States. This election, however, is remarkable for many reasons. New records were set regarding campaign spending, campaign length, voter turnout, advertising, and of course the presidential candidates themselves.

Stocks, Bonds and Elections

Presidential elections always have an effect on the economy. Traditionally, the Republican Party is often depicted as the party of business and a proponent of tax cuts, while the Democratic Party is usually portrayed as the party of social spending and higher taxes.

Playing the Stock Market

The economists have discovered numerous factors that for mysterious reasons appear to have an effect on the stock market and can perhaps be used to predict its future.

Where is the Crisis Heading?

Interview with Sebastien Gay, Professor of Economics at University of Chicago: “Like in any economic cycle, the period of recession might last for three to five years. In my opinion, the recession primary started when the prices of houses went down and the first mortgages started to fall. So, I would say, we are at the middle of this crisis toward the end and we still see a lot of turbulence on the stock market; therefore, we are definitely not out of it.”

The Electoral College in a Nutshell

Although the U.S. Presidential election took place on November 4, the name of the new U.S. President will not be officially announced until the Electoral College votes are counted.

A Controversial System

In the United States there has been a long debate surrounding the Electoral College. Over the past 200 years, more than 700 proposals for Constitutional amendments have been submitted to Congress designed to reform or eliminate the Electoral College, more than on any other subject.


October 30, 2022 – Top Stories from Issue No. 76(928)

Read these articles in Russian here.

Featured topics in this issue: Globalization of Organized Crime

Globalization and Organized Crime

Without a doubt globalization has integrated and transformed the world, unfortunately one of its greatest beneficiaries became organized crime.

The Evolution of International Crime

Whereas prior to the 1970s criminal groups operated strictly along ethnic lines, during the1980s these groups began to actively cooperate with one another. The arrival of 1990’s unleashed a truly globalized criminal network.

The Global Criminal Enterprise

There are five major sectors of illegal business under the thumb of organized crime, according to some FBI estimates they amount to approximately one trillion dollars annually.

The Russian Mafia

Interview with Louise Shelley, professor of George Mason University and author of many books on organized crime. She discusses the strength of the Russian Mafia and whether it poses a threat to the United States. 

Relationship: Crime and the Economic Crisis

How does the state of the economy effect crime rates? On one hand, a bad economy is always bad for business, no matter whether it’s legal or illegal. On the other hand, faced with economic hardship, more people could be driven to commit crime. Experts debate the issue and present evidence to support their claims.

The U.S. Criminal Justice System

A comprehensive overview of the U.S. criminal justice system, the rights awarded to the defendant and the responsibilities and jurisdictions of various government agencies responsible for bringing criminals to justice.

October 24, 2022 – Top Stories from Issue No. 74(926)

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Featured topics in this issue: US Defense Budget

A Mysterious Budget

Fact: A half of the world defense budget belongs to the USA

Military Expenditures

Defense Budget is the only stable budget despite the economic crisis: little reductions are expected 

Metal’s exhaustion

Huge expenses are not enough to replace damaged in Iraq and Afghanistan US military equipment, however, it is crucial for the US military in order to perform its functions.   

Expert Analysis: Less for More

The US defense budget is now larger than it has ever been since the end of WWII. On the other hand, our forces are smaller than they’ve ever been since the end of WWII – we have the smallest Air Force, smallest Army, and the smallest Navy we’ve ever had since the end of WWII. We are quite literally getting less for more spending.  

Defense Strategy

Discussing the role of understanding of major challenges and goals when planning defense budget


October 17, 2022 – Top Stories from Issue No. 72(924)

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Featured Topic in this Issue: Presidential Debates

Third round of the presidential debates

Chances of Obama and McCain to win the White House

History of Presidential Debates. Fact check

Does winning the debates mean winning the election?

View on Presidential Debates

Honest political competition or just a necessity?  

Defining Debates

Debates as the defining moment in winning 1960, 1980, 1988, and 2000 elections

Expert Analysis: Russia’s Role in the World

Russian-US relationships after the 2008 elections: no need to expect any changes


October 10, 2022 – Top Stories from Issue No. 70(922)

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Featured Topic in this Issue: Post-election future

Election 2008 outcome:

Discussing future possible candidates to rule Defense and Diplomacy: the next Head of Department of State and Department of Defense

Barack Obama vs. John McCain

Foreign policy and the former Soviet republics

Bush’s heritage

Analysis of the economy at the end of Bush’s administration

George W. Bush

Public opinion

Expert Analysis: Rhythms of Eurasia

Russia’s political model – only open elections can define whether Russia stands on democratic or Eurasian platform. 



October 2, 2022 – Top Stories from Issue No. 68(920)

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Featured Topic in this Issue: Financial Bailout or “Rescue Plan”

$700 billion Bill

Overview of the American financial system and economical cycles through history

Monetary “injections” 

Two positive examples of how financial rescue plans work

US and the World

Analysis of economic, social, and other systems of 19 industrialized countries, including the US 

Expert Analysis: Pigmentocracy or Racism

Racism in Russia, the US, and the world through history to today.

Expert Analysis: secessionist movements

The future of secessionist movements and the role of countries such as US and Russia in developing new independent countries


September 26, 2022 – Top Stories from Issue No. 66(918)

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The Construction of Debt

How debt affects the lives of people and societies

Debt and Punishment

Evolution of borrowing and payback throughout history

Credit Card Mosaic

Analysis of the variety and availability of credit cards in the US

Personal Bankruptcy

Causes and consequences

Expert Analysis: secessionist movements

The future of secessionist movements and the role of countries such as US and Russia in developing new independent countries


September 19, 2022 – Top Stories from Issue No. 64(916)

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Expert Analysis: Echo of South Ossetia 

Possibility for a new Cold War and Russia’s role in the modern world order

Theories and causes of economic crashes

Random Walk Down the Wall Street

Real McCain

The Story of the Maverick

Double standard

McCain loves to say that he has always protected the US military’s needs and well being. However, this is true only when those bills were initiated by Senators from the Republican party.