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Hertog has also funded the Hertog Global Strategy Initiative, a research program Columbia University that uses historical analysis to confront problems in world politics. Participants include high-ranking government officials, scholars, and graduate students.
The program's precocious focus on power, along with the glitzy insider connections, has caused jealousy and raised discussion even among supporters. "There ought to be a small safe place to have a conversation," says Scott Kleeb, who took the course the first year it was offered and just unsuccessfully ran as a Democrat for senator of Nebraska. "But the theatrics around it, the secret ties around it, can distract from the overall purpose. I don't want it to become another secret society," a kind of Skull and Bones for policy makers, he says.
The newly leaked emails reveal a clandestine network of Western agitators around the NATO military chief, whose presence fueled the conflict in Ukraine. Many allies found in Breedlove's alarmist public statements about alleged large Russian troop movements cause for concern early on. Earlier this year, the general was assuring the world that US European Command was "deterring Russia now and preparing to fight and win if necessary."
The emails document for the first time the questionable sources from whom Breedlove was getting his information. He had exaggerated Russian activities in eastern Ukraine with the overt goal of delivering weapons to Kiev.
One name that kept popping up was Phillip Karber, an adjunct assistant professor at Georgetown University in Washington DC and president of the Potomac Foundation, a conservative think tank founded by the former defense contractor BDM. By its own account, the foundation has helped eastern European countries prepare their accession into NATO. Now the Ukrainian parliament and the government in Kiev were asking Karber for help.
On February 16, 2015, when the Ukraine crisis had reached its climax, Karber wrote an email to Breedlove, Clark, Pyatt and Rose Gottemoeller, the under secretary for arms control and international security at the State Department, who will be moving to Brussels this fall to take up the post of deputy secretary general of NATO. Karber was in Warsaw, and he said he had found surreptitious channels to get weapons to Ukraine -- without the US being directly involved.
According to the email, Pakistan had offered, "under the table," to sell Ukraine 500 portable TOW-II launchers and 8,000 TOW-II missiles. The deliveries could begin within two weeks. Even the Poles were willing to start sending "well maintained T-72 tanks, plus several hundred SP 122mm guns, and SP-122 howitzers (along with copious amounts of artillery ammunition for both)" that they had leftover from the Soviet era. The sales would likely go unnoticed, Karber said, because Poland's old weapons were "virtually undistinguishable from those of Ukraine."
Karber noted, however, that Pakistan and Poland would not make any deliveries without informal US approval. Furthermore, Warsaw would only be willing to help if its deliveries to Kiev were replaced with new, state-of-the-art weapons from NATO.
Karber concluded his letter with a warning: "Time has run out." Without immediate assistance, the Ukrainian army "could face prospect of collapse within 30 days."
"Stark," Breedlove replied. "I may share some of this but will thoroughly wipe the fingerprints off."