The Great Debate

Vladimir Putin creates a new Praetorian Guard

April 29, 2016
An economy in deep trouble. A scandal involving billions in off-shore bank accounts and shell companies. Seemingly endless military entanglements. Sounds like a recipe to bring down any world leader. This week, War College looks at what makes Russian President Vladimir Putin the ultimate special case. PARTICIPANTS: Jason Fields, Mark Galeotti, Matthew Gault

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Who was pulling the strings when Ukraine unraveled?

April 15, 2016
When Ukraine pulled itself apart in 2014, the world was confused over who was doing the pulling. Was the takeover of Luhansk, Donetsk and other regional capitals all part of a Russian plan, or a local movement? This week on War College, we speak with Antony Butts. He was in Donetsk when it all went down and has a unique story to tell.

When will Russia break?

April 14, 2016
Policemen detain a woman during a protest against the sentencing of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny to five years in jail, in central Moscow, July 18, 2013. REUTERS/Grigory Dukor

Policemen detain a woman during a protest against the sentencing of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny to five years in jail, in central Moscow, July 18, 2013. REUTERS/Grigory Dukor

How the next U.S. president should manage Russia

April 13, 2016
A participant wears a sticker with the word "Obey!" during an opposition protest on Revolution square in central Moscow February 26, 2012. Thousands of Russians joined hands to form a ring around Moscow city centre on Sunday in protest against Vladimir Putin's likely return as president in an election next week.  REUTERS/Denis Sinyakov (RUSSIA - Tags: CIVIL UNREST ELECTIONS POLITICS) - RTR2YGW2

A participant wears a sticker with the word “Obey!” during an opposition protest on Revolution square in central Moscow February 26, 2012. REUTERS/Denis Sinyakov

Why China’s latest power play may roil Russia

April 12, 2016
Russian President Vladimir Putin (C) shakes hands with Afghanistan's President Hamid Karzai (L) as Chinese President Xi Jinping looks on during a group photo for the fourth summit of the Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia (CICA) in Shanghai, May 20, 2014. REUTERS/Ng Han Guan/Pool (CHINA - Tags: POLITICS) - RTR3PZF3

Russian President Vladimir Putin (C) shakes hands with Afghanistan’s President Hamid Karzai (L) as Chinese President Xi Jinping looks on during a group photo for the fourth summit of the Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia (CICA) in Shanghai, May 20, 2014. REUTERS/Ng Han Guan/Pool

World War Three may have already begun in Iraq and Syria

April 7, 2016
Soldiers take pictures as flame and smoke are seen following air bombardments during the Northern Thunder exercises, in Hafr Al-Batin, near Saudi Arabia's border with Iraq, March 10, 2016.    REUTERS/Abedullah al-Desori EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NO RESALES. NO ARCHIVE       TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY - RTSA6KG

Soldiers take pictures as flame and smoke are seen following air bombardments during the Northern Thunder exercises, in Hafr Al-Batin, near Saudi Arabia’s border with Iraq, March 10, 2016. REUTERS/Abedullah al-Desori

New threats rose as U.S. apathy became policy

April 4, 2016
Members of the Chinese team take part in the Open Water competition for pontoon bridge units as part of the International Army Games-2015 in the town of Murom, Russia, August 8, 2015. REUTERS/Maxim Zmeyev - RTX1NLEB

Members of the Chinese team take part in the Open Water competition for pontoon bridge units as part of the International Army Games 2015, in the town of Murom, Russia, August 8, 2015. REUTERS/Maxim Zmeyev

What is the best way to describe Vladimir Putin’s Russia?

March 18, 2016
A Tu-160 heavy strategic bomber flies during the Victory Day parade above Red Square in Moscow, Russia, May 9, 2015. Russia marks the 70th anniversary of the end of World War Two in Europe on Saturday with a military parade, showcasing new military hardware at a time when relations with the West have hit lows not seen since the Cold War. REUTERS/Grigory Dukor  TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY - RTX1C7AV

A Tu-160 heavy strategic bomber flies during the Victory Day parade above Red Square in Moscow, May 9, 2015. REUTERS/Grigory Dukor

Why oil collapse is forcing Saudi Arabia to cut back on its checkbook diplomacy

March 16, 2016
Yemeni soldiers trained in Saudi Arabia, hold their weapons as they wear uniforms provided by the Gulf states in Marib, Yemen October 15, 2015. Marib is a city that is heavily armed even by the standards of Yemen, where the ready availability of weapons helped start civil war and is now preventing anyone coming out on top. Yemenis often say there are three guns for every person, a boast that has become an urgent concern in a country where the United Nations says the humanitarian situation is "critical". Picture taken October 15, 2015. REUTERS/Angus McDowall - RTS4ZMB

Yemeni soldiers trained in Saudi Arabia, hold their weapons as they wear uniforms provided by the Gulf states in Marib, Yemen October 15, 2015. REUTERS/Angus McDowall

Russia drops the mic: Syria pullout comes at perfect moment

March 15, 2016
Russian Su-34 bombers, Su-27 fighters and MiG-29 fighters fly in formation above Red Square during the Victory Day parade in Moscow, Russia, May 9, 2015. Russia marks the 70th anniversary of the end of World War Two in Europe on Saturday with a military parade, showcasing new military hardware at a time when relations with the West have hit lows not seen since the Cold War. REUTERS/Host Photo Agency/RIA Novosti ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE HAS BEEN SUPPLIED BY A THIRD PARTY. IT IS DISTRIBUTED, EXACTLY AS RECEIVED BY REUTERS, AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS - RTX1C7WP

Russian Su-34 bombers, Su-27 fighters and MiG-29 fighters fly in formation above Red Square during the Victory Day parade in Moscow, Russia, May 9, 2015. REUTERS/Host Photo Agency/RIA Novosti