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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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

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

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

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

Why — and how — Russia won in Syria

March 15, 2016
Russian President Vladimir Putin meets Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov at the Kremlin in Moscow, Russia, March 14, 2016.  REUTERS/Mikhail Klimentyev/Sputnik/Kremlin ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE HAS BEEN SUPPLIED BY A THIRD PARTY. IT IS DISTRIBUTED, EXACTLY AS RECEIVED BY REUTERS, AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS.      TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY      - RTX294ZD

Russian President Vladimir Putin meets Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov at the Kremlin in Moscow, Russia, March 14, 2016. REUTERS/Mikhail Klimentyev/Sputnik/Kremlin

Why a hope in the world since Biblical times is officially over

March 11, 2016
Migrants stand next to the Greek-Macedonian border fence, near the Greek village of Idomenii March 1, 2016. Macedonian police fired teargas to disperse hundreds of migrants who stormed the border from Greece on Monday as a deeply divided Europe traded barbs over the biggest humanitarian crisis in decades. As frustrations boiled over at restrictions imposed on people moving through the Balkans, migrants trapped on the Greece-Macedonia border tore down a metal gate in the barbed wire fence. REUTERS/Marko Djurica - RTS8QIB

Migrants stand next to the Greek-Macedonian border fence, near the Greek village of Idomenii March 1, 2016. REUTERS/Marko Djurica

Why the Syrian war will define the decade

March 3, 2016
Displaced people from the minority Yazidi sect, fleeing violence from forces loyal to the Islamic State in Sinjar town, walk towards the Syrian border on the outskirts of Sinjar mountain near the Syrian border town of Elierbeh of Al-Hasakah Governorate in this August 11, 2014 file photo. The Islamic State, which had declared a caliphate in parts of Iraq and Syria, prompted tens of thousands of Yazidis and Christians to flee for their lives during their push to within a 30-minute drive of the Kurdish regional capital Arbil.    REUTERS/Rodi Said/Files  (IRAQ - Tags: POLITICS CIVIL UNREST TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY)  ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS PICTURE IS PART OF PACKAGE '30 YEARS OF REUTERS PICTURES' TO FIND ALL 56 IMAGES SEARCH '30 YEARS'

Displaced people from the minority Yazidi sect, fleeing violence from forces loyal to the Islamic State in Sinjar town, near the Syrian border town of Elierbeh of Al-Hasakah Governorate, August 11, 2014. REUTERS/Rodi Said

When it comes to Russia, it’s Munich all over again – again

February 19, 2016
Civil defense members try to put out a fire after airstrikes by pro-Syrian government forces in the rebel held Douma neighborhood of Damascus, Syria, February 14, 2016. REUTERS/Bassam

Civil defense members try to put out a fire after airstrikes by pro-Syrian government forces in the rebel held Douma neighborhood of Damascus, Syria, February 14, 2016. REUTERS/Bassam

Podcast: Is the Syrian war partly an ad for Russia’s arms industry?

February 18, 2016

Russia has gone to great pains to display its refurbished and modern weaponry the last few years. First in Georgia, then in Ukraine and now in Syria. Pundits, journalists and bloggers have marveled at how far Moscow’s military has come after the decade of decay following the collapse of the Soviet Union.