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Westlake Legal Group > Posts tagged "Daniel Hoffman"

Daniel Hoffman: On Mother’s Day, let’s celebrate these virtues that make our nation strong

Westlake Legal Group daniel-hoffman-on-mothers-day-lets-celebrate-these-virtues-that-make-our-nation-strong Daniel Hoffman: On Mother's Day, let's celebrate these virtues that make our nation strong fox-news/tech/topics/fbi fox-news/tech/topics/cia fox-news/opinion fox-news/columns/mothers-day fox news fnc/opinion fnc fbc4d7b2-cef0-544a-9273-651025610a31 Daniel Hoffman article
Westlake Legal Group image Daniel Hoffman: On Mother's Day, let's celebrate these virtues that make our nation strong fox-news/tech/topics/fbi fox-news/tech/topics/cia fox-news/opinion fox-news/columns/mothers-day fox news fnc/opinion fnc fbc4d7b2-cef0-544a-9273-651025610a31 Daniel Hoffman article

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While serving in a Middle East war zone, my CIA colleagues and I were tasked with recruiting a sensitive source, whose reporting would later save U.S. lives. With the benefit of diverse skills and backgrounds, our group, which included analysts, collectors and disguise technicians, among others, designed a successful plan. We made secure contact with this high-value target and developed a clandestine relationship with him.

That sensitive operation, which went off without a hitch, reflected the ethos of inclusion. Striving for a 360-degree optic on the most complex challenges, stakeholders rally to ensure no key issue, viewpoint or analytical angle is neglected. Everyone’s input matters.

The best leaders for whom I worked enabled a diverse and inclusive environment because of their high moral and ethical standards and because they understood there was no better process for conducting espionage.

TREY GOWDY: WHY FAIRNESS MATTERS — ALWAYS

During the past quarter-century, in particular, these enlightened leaders demonstrated an increasingly serious commitment to promoting officers and selecting them for assignments based on their performance, absent discrimination based on race, ethnicity or gender.

The promotion of Gina Haspel to lead the CIA and Beth Kimber as the first woman deputy director for operations were long overdue and reflected the time it took to correct for past gender discrimination.

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It was not only progressive leaders who drove this transformational change but also junior female officers like Tracy Walder, author of the recently released “The Unexpected Spy,” whose extraordinary commitment and expertise helped shatter the CIA’s glass ceiling.

Overcoming floppy baby syndrome and being bullied as a child, Walder went straight to work at CIA after graduating from USC. The Oklahoma City bombing and 1997 Peter Bergen interview with Usama bin Laden sparked her interest in “being part of the solution” and led her to serve as an FBI special agent in Los Angeles after leaving CIA in 2004.

For Walder, serving at CIA was less of a job and more of a calling. When American Airlines Flight 77 crashed into the Pentagon, Walder recalled, “that plane might as well have crashed into the south side of my body.” She was working at CIA in the Counterterrorism Center (CTC) when Al Qaeda struck on Sept. 11. She later served for an extended period in Iraq. She spent her CIA career first targeting terrorists and then the weapons of mass destruction they sought to acquire.

If there is one thing I learned during my career at CIA, it’s that a person’s true character is revealed under the most stressful situations.

If there is one thing I learned during my career at CIA, it’s that a person’s true character is revealed under the most stressful situations. Some people remain composed and work the problem, while others lose control over their emotions.

Walder literally showed cool under fire, when she injured her back and had to undergo emergency medical treatment during combat. She deftly contended with the misogynist foreign intelligence officers with whom she worked on counterterrorism. An African liaison officer disdainfully called Walder “Malibu Barbie” and some of the European services showed no interest in her input until they realized she was such an authority on the subject.

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Walder, who poignantly recounts the strong bonds she enjoys with her mother in “The Unexpected Spy,” is now married and raising a daughter. She has been teaching at an all-girls school since leaving the FBI in 2010. She had always wanted to be a teacher but was drawn to public service out of patriotism and the intellectual challenge.

Serving in the crucible of post-9/11 CIA and FBI operations, Walder gained the experience, which makes her an exceptional role model.

No doubt on this Mother’s Day, the Walder family is celebrating motherhood and the extraordinary influence of mothers in our society. Not to take anything away from the pleasant, commercialized aspects of the holiday, including flowers, chocolates and cards, but in 2020 we would do well also to commemorate what makes our nation strong — meritocracy.

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“If you could do a brilliant job,” Walder writes of her time at CIA, “nothing outside of that — not race, religion, or sexual orientation mattered.”

This is not to say such best practices are even now uniformly followed in the CIA or FBI, but they are words to live by in the workplace and in our classrooms.

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Westlake Legal Group image Daniel Hoffman: On Mother's Day, let's celebrate these virtues that make our nation strong fox-news/tech/topics/fbi fox-news/tech/topics/cia fox-news/opinion fox-news/columns/mothers-day fox news fnc/opinion fnc fbc4d7b2-cef0-544a-9273-651025610a31 Daniel Hoffman article  Westlake Legal Group image Daniel Hoffman: On Mother's Day, let's celebrate these virtues that make our nation strong fox-news/tech/topics/fbi fox-news/tech/topics/cia fox-news/opinion fox-news/columns/mothers-day fox news fnc/opinion fnc fbc4d7b2-cef0-544a-9273-651025610a31 Daniel Hoffman article

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Daniel Hoffman: The coronavirus challenge – staying connected while keeping your distance

Westlake Legal Group daniel-hoffman-the-coronavirus-challenge-staying-connected-while-keeping-your-distance Daniel Hoffman: The coronavirus challenge – staying connected while keeping your distance fox-news/opinion fox-news/health/infectious-disease/coronavirus fox-news/health fox news fnc/opinion fnc e3111c9b-2497-578c-b656-71ae3a12e1fe Daniel Hoffman article
Westlake Legal Group image Daniel Hoffman: The coronavirus challenge – staying connected while keeping your distance fox-news/opinion fox-news/health/infectious-disease/coronavirus fox-news/health fox news fnc/opinion fnc e3111c9b-2497-578c-b656-71ae3a12e1fe Daniel Hoffman article

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The CIAs Directorate of Operations, where I served for many years, produces human intelligence, which involves gathering information clandestinely from sources. Imagine, for example, a CIA officer huddling with a source on a dark street in snowy Moscow or meeting a penetration of a terrorist group in the Middle East.

Source meetings involve the most intense personal interaction. The moment an individual agrees to become a CIA source, he is often facing some sort of a serious personal crisis. Working with the CIA appears to be the best decision to solve his problem. During clandestine meetings, CIA officers want to look their sources in the eye, while reassuring them about the risks they are taking by stealing secrets on our behalf and assessing the veracity of their reporting.

For these reasons we always sought to meet personally with sources. But sometimes the risk of conducting a meeting meant we needed another option. In these cases, we used covert communications or COVCOM, which allows CIA officers to maintain contact while practicing “physical” distancing from sources.

FORMER CDC CHIEF DR. TOM FRIEDEN: CORONAVIRUS INFECTION RISK MAY BE REDUCED BY VITAMIN D

When I served in overseas combat zones in the Middle East and South Asia, there were times when kinetic operations made it impossible to move safely in country. We did the next best thing and maintained contact with our sources via COVCOM.

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When I heard health professionals sensibly advising us how “social distancing” is the most effective means by which to limit the spread of the coronavirus I found myself remembering CIA COVCOM tradecraft, especially the three years I spent overseas in challenging war zone environments.

Schools and businesses are closed, and sporting events are canceled. People are strongly discouraged from getting within a few feet of one another, even outdoors.

We are in the incident-response phase, the so-called right of boom. A medical crisis is threatening citizens’ health and the healthcare system on which we will increasingly rely. And right now, the key to “flattening the curve” – that is extending the number of new cases over a longer time period – is keeping our physical distance from one another.

So to be more precise, we need to practice physical rather than social distancing.

Any of us could become infected with the virus, so all of us need to do our part to slow the virus’ transmission within our population by not becoming carriers. 

My wife, kids and I are not doing anything close to “social distancing.” We are in more regular contact with our family, friends, school teachers and colleagues by phone, Skype, Zoom and other social media connections than we arguably have ever been. Our family’s mental and physical health relies as much as anything on social contact. Our kids are enjoying no-contact bike riding and outdoor play with friends.

We assiduously avoid physical contact outside our home. We’ve been extra careful because my wife, who has been battling cancer for three years, is in a high-risk category. She sits on our front steps or takes walks and converses with neighbors from a distance.

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Any of us could become infected with the virus, so all of us need to do our part to slow the virus’ transmission within our population by not becoming carriers. Reducing the number of people who will be infected is important for the health of our population writ large and our health system, which is at risk of overheating.

With so much uncertainty causing distress among our population, quality time together among family and friends, albeit at a physical distance, is at a premium.

There is a bitter irony that millennials, who are arguably the most sophisticated and regular users of social media, are showing the least respect for medical professionals and politicians from both sides of the aisle calling for physical distancing from one another.

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Socially, we need to converge even if we’re keeping our physical distance. At CIA, we always prepared for getting back to personal meetings after relying for as short a time as possible on COVCOM.

At some point, we will get back to enjoying one another’s company on our own terms, but for now, physical distancing is the key for each of us in staying in the fight against the coronavirus.

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Westlake Legal Group image Daniel Hoffman: The coronavirus challenge – staying connected while keeping your distance fox-news/opinion fox-news/health/infectious-disease/coronavirus fox-news/health fox news fnc/opinion fnc e3111c9b-2497-578c-b656-71ae3a12e1fe Daniel Hoffman article  Westlake Legal Group image Daniel Hoffman: The coronavirus challenge – staying connected while keeping your distance fox-news/opinion fox-news/health/infectious-disease/coronavirus fox-news/health fox news fnc/opinion fnc e3111c9b-2497-578c-b656-71ae3a12e1fe Daniel Hoffman article

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Daniel Hoffman: Olympians and kids with cancer — two groups of people who inspire us all

Westlake Legal Group Jessica-Rees Daniel Hoffman: Olympians and kids with cancer — two groups of people who inspire us all fox-news/opinion fox-news/health/medical-research/cancer-research fox-news/health/cancer fox-news/health fox news fnc/opinion fnc Daniel Hoffman article 617c2051-bc4f-5cd4-b239-d59f98eefe62

A few months ago, I met with Kaitlin Sandeno, the new manager of the International Swimming League’s D.C. Trident Team, for coffee in Washington, D.C. We expected our first face-to-face conversation to focus exclusively on the league’s upcoming inaugural swim season. Ledecky has many talented members on her team, including Olympian Katie Ledecky.

However, we both quickly realized we had something far more significant in common: family members and friends who are battling cancer.

In spite of back pain and upper respiratory problems, Sandeno demonstrated extraordinary perseverance, determination, and toughness as an athlete. At the 2000 Sydney Summer Olympics, Sandeno won a bronze medal in the 800-meter freestyle. In the 2004 Athens games, Sandeno won three more Olympic medals, including a gold medal in the 4×200 freestyle relay.

NANCY BRINKER, ERIC ROSENTHAL: THE UNSUNG HERO WHO BOOSTED CANCER AWARENESS WHEN IT WAS UNMENTIONABLE

She was naturally drawn to the brave children who suffer from cancer, who refuse to give up even under the most unimaginably trying of circumstances.

Sandeno is a national spokesperson for the Jessie Rees Foundation. Jessie was an 11-year-old junior Olympic swimmer who lost her fight with brain cancer 10 months after being diagnosed. While undergoing cancer treatment, she created JoyJars to provide comfort to young cancer patients. Filled with children’s toys and games, JoyJars are now distributed free of charge all over the world to children fighting cancer.

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The late coaching legend Jim Valvano said, “Cancer can take away all of my physical abilities. It cannot touch my mind, it cannot touch my heart, and it cannot touch my soul. And those three things are going to carry on forever.”

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In her all-too-short time on this earth, Jessie Rees made an extraordinary and lasting impact on compassionate care for children suffering from cancer.

Dedicated to providing care until there is a cure, the Jessie Rees Foundation gives new meaning to the maxim, “One team, one fight.” Caregiving for cancer, especially children battling the disease, draws families and friends together. Together they share the most sacred responsibility, but too often sadness and grief as well.

Some believe elite athletes are one-dimensional, that they should not stray from their swimming, dribbling, catching or passing. But Sandeno proves that the very skills that enabled her to become a world champion swimmer also qualify her to be the most compassionate advocate

While doctors work on a cure, cancer patients rely on friends and family for their care. Especially when the patient needs a break, the Jessie Rees team steps in and keeps up the fight on their behalf until they are ready to keep fighting.

Sandeno has traveled extensively to children’s hospitals to provide kindhearted support and to spread Jim Valdano’s motto, “Never give up” (or NEGU).

According to the American Cancer Society, cancer is the second leading cause of death among children under 14 in the United States. Thanks to advances in treatment, more than 80 percent of children with cancer now survive five years or more. Like adult cancer patients, children undergo surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy. Unlike adults, lifestyle factors like smoking very rarely play a role in influencing children’s cancer risk.

The last thing children should be doing is fighting for their lives at such a young age.

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Some believe elite athletes are one-dimensional, that they should not stray from their swimming, dribbling, catching or passing. But Sandeno proves that the very skills that enabled her to become a world champion swimmer also qualify her to be the most compassionate advocate, standing shoulder-to-shoulder and supporting the most vulnerable of our population, who suffer so cruelly.

Here’s some well-deserved applause for the kinship between the sports world and children battling cancer. May they continue to draw strength and inspiration from one another.

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Westlake Legal Group Jessica-Rees Daniel Hoffman: Olympians and kids with cancer — two groups of people who inspire us all fox-news/opinion fox-news/health/medical-research/cancer-research fox-news/health/cancer fox-news/health fox news fnc/opinion fnc Daniel Hoffman article 617c2051-bc4f-5cd4-b239-d59f98eefe62  Westlake Legal Group Jessica-Rees Daniel Hoffman: Olympians and kids with cancer — two groups of people who inspire us all fox-news/opinion fox-news/health/medical-research/cancer-research fox-news/health/cancer fox-news/health fox news fnc/opinion fnc Daniel Hoffman article 617c2051-bc4f-5cd4-b239-d59f98eefe62

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Dan Hoffman: US will stay in Iraq to fight ISIS – Trump’s order to kill Soleimani benefits both countries

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6124381639001_6124379679001-vs Dan Hoffman: US will stay in Iraq to fight ISIS – Trump’s order to kill Soleimani benefits both countries fox-news/world/world-regions/iraq fox-news/world/terrorism fox-news/world/conflicts/iran fox-news/world fox-news/us/terror/counter-terrorism fox-news/us/military fox-news/politics/defense fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/opinion fox news fnc/opinion fnc Daniel Hoffman article 158a2dc7-a828-5fe3-986c-7436b6d68d76

America’s military involvement in Iraq and our fight against the ISIS terrorist group there is not over – despite initial concerns about U.S. troops being expelled from the country after President Trump ordered a drone strike that killed Iranian terrorist Gen. Qassem Soleimani in Iraq Jan. 3.

Soleimani’s fellow terrorist leader – Kataib Hezbollah militia head Abu Mahdi al Muhandis – was also killed in the U.S. strike, along with eight other terrorists.

Iraqi critics of the killings denounced the U.S. strikes as a violation of their nation’s sovereignty. And in the heat of the moment, Iraqi nationalist Muqtada al Sadr – who holds the most seats in Iraq’s Parliament – demanded that the remaining 5,000 U.S. troops in the country withdraw.

IRAN ROCKET ATTACK ON IRAQI MILITARY BASE INJURED 11 US SERVICE MEMBERS, OFFICIAL REVEALS

The second-largest faction in the Parliament – Hadi al Amiri’s Iranian proxy Badr Corps – joined with Sadr’s faction to pass a nonbinding resolution expelling U.S. troops. But significantly, lawmakers from Kurdish and Sunni parties abstained from the vote against the U.S. presence in Iraq.

While the U.S. media have shifted their focus to the impeachment trial of President Trump, you may have missed the fact that cooler heads now seem to be prevailing in Iraq. That’s very good news.

The caretaker prime minister of Iraq – Adil Abdul-Mahdi – has left it to his successor to deal with the issue of the U.S. troop presence in Iraq.

And after a 10-day hiatus, joint U.S.-Iraqi operations against ISIS have resumed. This is a positive development benefiting both our nations.

The bottom line: right now it doesn’t look like U.S. troops are exiting Iraq any time soon.

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And while the Democratic-controlled U.S. House of Representatives voted 224-194 Jan. 9 to approve a nonbinding resolution demanding that President Trump seek consent from Congress before taking new military action against Iran, there is no indication the Republican-controlled Senate will approve the measure.

Fortunately, no Americans were killed when Iran fired missiles Jan. 8 at two military bases in Iraq where U.S. troops were stationed, in a retaliatory attack for the Soleimani killing. However, the Defense Department announced Thursday that 11 U.S. military members were treated for symptoms of concussions resulting from the Iranian strikes.

Now the time is ripe for Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and his brave, talented Baghdad Embassy team to double-down on engaging, especially with the many Iraqis who see the value in repelling Iran’s effort to subjugate their country while carrying on the fight against the ISIS terrorists who threaten us all.

Trump’s strategic goal in taking out Soleimani – a mass murderer responsible for the deaths of more than 600 Americans and thousands of others – was to restore strategic deterrence in the U.S.-Iran relationship. The president made a calculated risk that Iran would not respond with a significant retaliatory attack.

Going forward, Iran’s leaders know they will be in our crosshairs if they plan attacks against the U.S., including our embassy in Baghdad. Soleimani was responsible for an attack in which Iranian proxy militia forces penetrated the U.S. Embassy compound in the Iraqi capital shortly before his death.

Rather than precipitating a U.S.-Iran war that neither the Trump administration nor the Iranian regime desires, the killing of Soleimani has the potential to bolster efforts both to thwart Iranian influence in Iraq and to counter ISIS.

The elimination of the so-called ISIS “caliphate” by U.S. and allied forces under President Trump’s leadership was a major accomplishment. But we learned from the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks on our country that terrorists can plot against our homeland from ungoverned space in failed states.

So we can’t afford to turn a blind eye to ISIS. The group is down but not out. There are reportedly 18,000 ISIS fighters still at large, threatening to melt into an insurgency in Iraq, as well as roughly 10,000 ISIS jihadists in detention.

U.S. forces need to continue the fight against ISIS to eliminate any remaining threat the group poses to Iraq and to prevent ISIS from threatening our own shores. This requires a modest ongoing presence in Iraq of deployed U.S. military, diplomats and intelligence officers who can leverage local partners in the fight against our common terrorist enemy.

How did we get to this point?

Following the overthrow of Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein in 2003 after the U.S. invasion of his country, Iran took advantage by directing its ally Syria to provide the Al Qaeda terrorist group with a safe haven to launch attacks on U.S. troops.

Iran also deliberately benefited from Al Qaeda’s attacks on defenseless Shiite civilians in Iraq, which drove them into the arms of Iran’s proxy militias and enabled the militias to grow stronger as a result.

Soleimani directed Iran’s penetration of Iraqi government ministries and Parliament. He created Iranian proxy militias in Iraq, which developed into the popular mobilization units charged with fighting ISIS. But these militias also pursued Iran’s sectarian agenda by exacting revenge against the disenfranchised Sunni population in Iraq, most notoriously in Mosul after it was liberated from ISIS control.

Iraq’s toxic cocktail of failed governance, endemic corruption and ethno-sectarian violence – of which Soleimani was the architect – created the petri dish in which ISIS grew with impunity.

Over the past few months, Soleimani, whom the Obama administration designated a terrorist, dialed up the intensity and frequency of attacks on Iraqi bases that house U.S. service personnel.

Iran sought to induce the U.S. to withdraw its military from Iraq even if it meant striking Iraqi military bases housing US service personnel. Iran’s goal was to shape Iraq’s domestic political future, especially following the resignation of Prime Minister Abdul-Mahdi in November. For now, Abdul-Mahdi continues in office in a caretaker role.

President Trump’s decision to eliminate Soleimani may indeed have opened a pathway to counter the two greatest threats to Iraq’s stability and sovereignty: ISIS and Iran.

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Iraqi protests over the past few months against Iranian influence led to the attacks on Iranian consulates in the Iraqi holy cities of Najaf and Karbala.

Because he is opposed to Iranian domination of Iraq, Sadr might see the value of an ongoing U.S.-Iraqi partnership in the fight against ISIS, especially if there is some prospect that Iraqi territory will not be used in a U.S-Iran proxy war.

Predicting the future – especially in the Middle East, where sectarian conflict has carried on for centuries – is fraught with difficulty.

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President Trump’s bold decision to target Soleimani has the potential to benefit U.S. national security by weakening Iran’s ability to conduct asymmetric warfare in the region and beyond, as well as reducing Iran’s pernicious influence in Iraq.

Those who are critical of Trump’s calculated risk in ordering the killing of Soleimani should ask this question: Would the Middle East’s future look brighter if the terrorist mass murderer was still alive and continuing to lead Iran’s vicious Islamic Revolutionary Guards Quds Force in deadly attacks?

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Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6124381639001_6124379679001-vs Dan Hoffman: US will stay in Iraq to fight ISIS – Trump’s order to kill Soleimani benefits both countries fox-news/world/world-regions/iraq fox-news/world/terrorism fox-news/world/conflicts/iran fox-news/world fox-news/us/terror/counter-terrorism fox-news/us/military fox-news/politics/defense fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/opinion fox news fnc/opinion fnc Daniel Hoffman article 158a2dc7-a828-5fe3-986c-7436b6d68d76  Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6124381639001_6124379679001-vs Dan Hoffman: US will stay in Iraq to fight ISIS – Trump’s order to kill Soleimani benefits both countries fox-news/world/world-regions/iraq fox-news/world/terrorism fox-news/world/conflicts/iran fox-news/world fox-news/us/terror/counter-terrorism fox-news/us/military fox-news/politics/defense fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/opinion fox news fnc/opinion fnc Daniel Hoffman article 158a2dc7-a828-5fe3-986c-7436b6d68d76

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Daniel Hoffman: Ukraine and Trump — The essential thing we can’t lose sight of in the midst of the politics

Westlake Legal Group Trump-Ohio Daniel Hoffman: Ukraine and Trump -- The essential thing we can't lose sight of in the midst of the politics fox-news/world/conflicts/ukraine fox-news/politics/executive/white-house fox-news/opinion fox news fnc/opinion fnc Daniel Hoffman article 1b498167-afab-553b-a5da-de4fd8c650b6

At this year’s U.N. General Assembly, President Trump plans to meet with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. Ukraine has been thrust prominently into the news during the past few days, following revelations about Trump’s July 25 telephone conversation with Zelensky, which focused on corruption and allegedly included references to Vice President Biden and his son Hunter.

While the Biden saga has now turned into an even bigger story the overarching foreign policy issue hanging in the balance is whether Zelensky can successfully reduce the endemic corruption, which calls into question Ukraine’s reliability as a trading partner and ally.

The recent election of Zelensky should be a source of optimism for the people of Ukraine and political leaders in the West. Both in his campaign and since taking office, President Zelensky has been clear that he will champion much-needed reforms within Ukraine. He has called for abolishing parliamentary immunity, ending the moratorium on private land sales and halting corporate raids by state law enforcement.

TRUMP’S UKRAINE CONTROVERSY CAST SPOTLIGHT ON HUNTER BIDEN’S BUSINESS DEALINGS

These serious initiatives demonstrate that an election result, which many viewed as a punch line (because Zelensky was a comedian before he won the presidency) is really no joke.

Ukraine is already seeing increased economic growth and future projections are also relatively upbeat. Meanwhile, Zelensky’s westward leaning government is giving member nations of NATO a cautious but legitimate sense of optimism. As a result, the International Monetary Fund is developing a new financial aid package to assist Ukraine.

Zelensky’s party dominated recent parliamentary elections, but the outlook for continued progress must be tempered.  A very real obstacle potentially stands in the way of success: Ukrainian oligarch Ihor Valeriyovych Kolomoysky.

A wealthy former politician, Kolomoysky may not be a household name outside Ukraine. But he is infamous in Ukraine for having owned – and then lost to nationalization – the country’s largest bank, Privatbank. The lending institution was taken over at the instance of the Central Bank because of billions of dollars in unaccounted-for loans.  The U.S. attorney’s office in the northern district of  Ohio, along with the FBI are investigating Kolomoisky. Kolomoysky, who owns the 1+1 television channel on which Mr. Zelensky starred in his TV sitcom Servant of the People, has been exercising some influence on the staffing of the new Zelensky administration.

Kolomoysky has been accused of:

  • Effectively bankrupting PrivatBank, formerly Ukraine’s top bank, which was nationalized in 2016, something he is hoping to reverse with the help of a proposed $2 billion payment.
  • Persistently corrupt practices, including accusations by the previous government of embezzlementfraud, money laundering, extralegal practices and self-dealing.

In Ukraine, some of Kolomoysk’s associates have been inserted into prominent positions of power in government. This starts near the top with the hiring of Andriy Bohdan, Kolomoysky’s former lawyer, as chief of staff to President Zelensky. Critics have growing concerns that Kolomoysky will continue to bend policy to his favor by placing additional personnel in key positions. Kolomoysky allies hold key anti-corruption positions in government.

The Zelensky presidency has gotten off to a better start than many had anticipated. After all, he comes from a very non-traditional background that includes starring as a fictional president of Ukraine on TV. He would have been given the benefit of the doubt if he had stumbled soon after taking office, but he did not. Instead, his lack of political experience appears to be liberating him.

Perhaps the most iconic photo of President Zelensky shows him holding his two thumbs up in the air. It’s an image that presents optimism for the brighter future Ukraine dearly needs.  Mr. Zelensky appears to be standing firm against additional Russian interventionism, which U.S. and western allies support.

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But questions remain on the corruption front. In particular, accusations surrounding Kolomoysky – and accusations that Mr. Zelensky is a “puppet” of his oligarch associate and supporter – are inviting scrutiny and skepticism that could impede economic and political progress. Mr. Zelensky should consider the value of reassuring his voters and the world community about his political independence and dedication to economic reform.

Russia weaponizes corruption, using it as a means to gain influence over other countries. For Zelensky corruption is a national security issue of the highest priority.

Make no mistake, Kolomoysky and other Ukrainian oligarchs should have the opportunity freely and fairly within the bounds of Ukrainian law to pursue their business interests.

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Focused on getting the best return on our investment including the recent tranche of aid the U.S. approved, President Trump will surely be making his own assessment of whether Zelensky is truly committed to rooting out corruption.

Here’s hoping, amidst all the partisan scrum over the Biden story, that we will still keep our attention on holding Zelensky accountable for delivering the anti-corruption platform he promised during his campaign, and his country deserves.

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Westlake Legal Group Trump-Ohio Daniel Hoffman: Ukraine and Trump -- The essential thing we can't lose sight of in the midst of the politics fox-news/world/conflicts/ukraine fox-news/politics/executive/white-house fox-news/opinion fox news fnc/opinion fnc Daniel Hoffman article 1b498167-afab-553b-a5da-de4fd8c650b6  Westlake Legal Group Trump-Ohio Daniel Hoffman: Ukraine and Trump -- The essential thing we can't lose sight of in the midst of the politics fox-news/world/conflicts/ukraine fox-news/politics/executive/white-house fox-news/opinion fox news fnc/opinion fnc Daniel Hoffman article 1b498167-afab-553b-a5da-de4fd8c650b6

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Back from Iraq, Trump must devise a new strategy for conflicts there, in Syria and in Afghanistan

After meeting with U.S. troops in Iraq, President Trump faces the difficult task of coming up with a new strategy to deal with terrorists there, in Syria and in Afghanistan.

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_5983847367001_5983848587001-vs Back from Iraq, Trump must devise a new strategy for conflicts there, in Syria and in Afghanistan fox-news/politics/foreign-policy/middle-east fox-news/politics/executive/white-house fox-news/politics/defense fox-news/opinion fox news fnc/opinion fnc e66d4285-a8cc-5b76-83ad-1d9a69e4fdbb Daniel Hoffman article

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