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Russian President Vladimir Putin and Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Mohamed bin Zayed attend a welcome ceremony Russian President Vladimir Putin and Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan attend an official welcome ceremony in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, Oct. 15, 2019 (AP photo by Alexander Zemlianichenko).

The U.S. Desperately Needs a Strategy to Deal With Russia’s Mercenary Armies

Friday, Dec. 4, 2020

Reports this week that the United Arab Emirates is potentially financing Russian mercenaries in Libya affiliated with the notorious Wagner Group, according to a Pentagon watchdog, appear to be sending mini shockwaves through Washington. But the UAE has long had a fixation on mercenaries, and the fact that Russia is a regular supplier of soldiers of fortune should surprise no one. Much more worrying is the lack of policy coherence in Washington on what to do about it.

A seemingly insatiable appetite for proxy wars and hired guns has helped fuel the rise of these shadow armies. President-elect Joe Biden’s administration can quickly get at least one thing right by standing up a joint task force on the proliferation of privatized militaries and their implications for American national security. If Congress is smart, it will take aggressive legislative steps to ensure that happens. ...

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