Thousands of Russian private military contractors are reportedly fighting in Syria, and there are increasing reports about such contractors being killed in action. Despite a Russian ban on the use of mercenaries, Moscow has turned to private military contractors as part of its assertive foreign policy. In an email interview, Michael Kofman, a public policy scholar at the Woodrow Wilson Center’s Kennan Institute, discusses Russia’s use of contractors in Syria, and the risks and opportunities they pose for the Kremlin. WPR: Russia is reportedly using private military contractors in Syria. How do such contractors figure into Russia’s general operational approach, […]
War & Conflict Archive
Is Trump’s National Security Strategy a Useful Guide to the Biggest Threats in 2018?
A quick survey of the security landscape for 2018 leaves little doubt that the North Korean crisis will continue to be a U.S. national security priority. Some are hoping to dial back the momentum toward a showdown, urging the Trump administration to take a deep breath before making more rhetorical pronouncements. But there are ample signs that the big machine of the U.S. government is preparing for all contingencies, including military action. What about other threats? President Donald Trump’s new National Security Strategy, released last month, takes the longer view, and is helpful mainly in determining what is on his […]