The Great Debate

Alexander Litvinenko and Karl Marx’s stepchildren

January 27, 2016
Marina Litvinenko, the widow of murdered KGB agent Alexander Litvinenko, attends a demonstration in support of Boris Nemtsov, former deputy prime minister of Russia and prominent critic of Vladimir Putin, outside the Russian Embassy in London March 01, 2015. Nemstov was murdered two days ago as he walked across a bridge near the Kremlin in Moscow. REUTERS/Neil Hall (BRITAIN - Tags: CRIME LAW POLITICS TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY) - RTR4RN56

Marina Litvinenko, the widow of murdered KGB agent Alexander Litvinenko. REUTERS/Neil Hall

China threatens sanctions against U.S. companies: Is this the future?

January 26, 2016
Shipping containers are seen piled up at a port in Qingdao, Shandong province December 10, 2013. China's leaders began mapping out their economic and reform plans for 2014 behind closed doors on Tuesday, and would have drawn confidence from data showing the economy has sustained momentum from a mid-year pick-up into the final quarter. Picture taken December 10, 2013. REUTERS/China Daily (CHINA - Tags: BUSINESS POLITICS) CHINA OUT. NO COMMERCIAL OR EDITORIAL SALES IN CHINA

Shipping containers piled up at a port in Qingdao, Shandong province December 10, 2013. REUTERS/China Daily

Are the Syrian Democratic Forces any of the above?

January 26, 2016
Kurdish fighters from the People's Protection Units (YPG), who are fighting alongside with the Democratic Forces of Syria, gather around the al-Khatoniyah lake area after they took control of it from Islamic State militants, near al Houl town in Hasaka province, Syria November 14, 2015. A U.S.-backed Syrian rebel alliance on Friday captured the town of al Houl in Hasaka province, which had been held by Islamic State militants, a spokesman for the Kurdish fighters, part of the grouping, said. It was the first significant advance against IS by the Democratic Forces of Syria, which was formed last month. REUTERS/Rodi Said - RTS730K

Kurdish fighters from the People’s Protection Units (YPG), who are fighting alongside with the Democratic Forces of Syria, gather around the al-Khatoniyah lake area of Syria after they took control of it from Islamic State militants, November 14, 2015. REUTERS/Rodi Said

A dangerous moment for Ukraine’s fragile ceasefire

January 25, 2016
Ukraininan President Petro Poroshenko (L) looks back, followed by Belarussian President Alexander Lukashenko and Russian President Vladimir Putin (R) after a meeting in Minsk, February 11, 2015. The leaders of France, Germany, Russia and Ukraine were due to attend a peace summit on Wednesday, but Ukraine's pro-Moscow separatists diminished the chance of a deal by launching some of the war's worst fighting in an assault on a government garrison.          REUTERS/Grigory Dukor (BELARUS  - Tags: POLITICS TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY)

Ukraininan President Petro Poroshenko (L) looks back, followed by Belarussian President Alexander Lukashenko and Russian President Vladimir Putin (R) after a meeting in Minsk, February 11, 2015. REUTERS/Grigory Dukor

The tragedy of Europe: Location, location, location

January 25, 2016
Migrants walk to cross the border with Austria in Hegyeshalom, Hungary, September 28, 2015. REUTERS/Leonhard Foeger  - RTX1SUP3

Migrants walk to cross the border with Austria in Hegyeshalom, Hungary, September 28, 2015. REUTERS/Leonhard Foeger

The two greatest threats to U.S.-Iran détente

January 22, 2016
EDITORS' NOTE: Reuters and other foreign media are subject to Iranian restrictions on their ability to report, film or take pictures in Tehran. A military vehicle carrying the Shahab 2 surface-to-surface missile drives past pictures of Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei (R) and Late Leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini during a parade to commemorate the anniversary of the Iran-Iraq war (1980-88), in Tehran September 22, 2011. REUTERS/Stringer (IRAN - Tags: POLITICS MILITARY ANNIVERSARY) - RTR2RNX4

A military vehicle carrying the Shahab 2 surface-to-surface missile drives past pictures of Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei (R) and Late Leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini during a parade to commemorate the anniversary of the Iran-Iraq war (1980-88), in Tehran September 22, 2011. REUTERS/Stringer

Quest to tear down statues over past racism is intellectually vapid

January 21, 2016
The statue of Cecil John Rhodes is bound by straps as it awaits removal from the University of Cape Town (UCT), April 9, 2015. UCT's Council voted on Wednesday to remove of the statue of the former Cape Colony governor, after protests by students. REUTERS/Mike Hutchings       TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY      - RTR4WMJ3

The statue of Cecil John Rhodes is bound by straps as it awaits removal from the University of Cape Town, April 9, 2015. REUTERS/Mike Hutchings

Podcast: Vladimir Putin and the petro states are slowly losing a key weapon

January 21, 2016
Participants: Jason Fields, Matthew Gault, Agnia Grigas

Since the breakup of the Soviet Union, Russia has used natural gas as a weapon against Ukraine and Europe as a whole. Threatening to turn shut off the pipes as the weather turns cold is a pretty effective way to influence foreign policy.

The Exchange: Garry Kasparov forecasts bloody regime change in Russia

January 20, 2016

Garry Kasparov, a Russian opposition leader who was ranked as the world’s best chess player for most of 20 years,  joins opinion editor Jason Fields to discuss Vladimir Putin’s Russia and the dangers of its global influence. The title of his new book – Winter Is Coming – is a conscious play on the famous Game of Thrones TV and book series and the sense of darkness stalking the world.

It’s Russia’s turn to learn that stealth warplanes are hard to do

January 20, 2016
axe-top!

Sukhoi T-50 fighter climbing after takeoff, 2011. Creative Commons

After confronting serious technical and economic difficulties, Russia has dramatically cut back its air force program to field its first radar-evading “stealth” fighter jet. By delaying large-scale acquisition of the Sukhoi T-50 fighter, the Kremlin is tacitly acknowledging a truth that the U.S. military learned decades ago — and that China might also learn in coming years: developing stealth fighters is hard.