Foreign and Defense Policy

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Russian President Vladimir Putin (L, front), Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov (R, front), Russian UN Ambassador Vitaly Churkin (L, back) and other members of the delegation attend the 70th session of the United Nations General Assembly at the U.N. headquarters in New York, September 28, 2015. Reuters

As Russian actions in Syria and Ukraine challenge US leadership around the globe, Vladimir Kara-Murza provides his vital perspective on the drivers of Putin’s foreign and domestic policy.

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The Russian Navy's large landing ship Novocherkassk sails in the Bosphorus, on its way to the Mediterranean Sea, in Istanbul, Turkey, October 8, 2015. REUTERS/Murad Sezer.

Russia mobilizes in Syria while China militarizes the South China Sea, filling a power vacuum created by an absent America.

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The Iranian general in charge of the Quds force reportedly lobbied for Moscow to intervene in Syria. According to Iraqi officials, he made this request during a meeting with Putin months ago.

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Cuba's President Raul Castro (C) stands as Colombia's President Juan Manuel Santos (L) and FARC rebel leader Rodrigo Londono, better known by the nom de guerre Timochenko, shake hands in Havana, September 23, 2015. Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos and the top commander of leftist FARC rebels shook hands and agreed to reach a final peace agreement within six months in Latin America's longest war. REUTERS/Alexandre Meneghini.

Colombia’s preliminary peace deal with the FARC is a major achievement, but the Santos administration must handle the issue carefully in the crucial months.

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Poland is taking its own initiative in building regional security cooperation as security guarantees from NATO and the United States diminish.

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Russia's President Vladimir Putin (2nd R) meets with Iran's President Hassan Rouhani (2nd L) on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly in New York, September 28, 2015. REUTERS/Mikhail Klimentyev.

Russia is in Syria at the behest of Iran as part of a new Russian-Iranian alliance to counter US influence in the region.

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Iranian-made missiles are pictured at Holy Defence Museum in Tehran September 23, 2015. REUTERS/Raheb Homavandi.

Iranian President Rouhani is finding the going rough as Iran’s conservatives look for ways to hammer him for caving to the Great Satan.

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Soldiers from the Saudi-led coalition secure a street in Yemen's southern port city of Aden September 26, 2015.   REUTERS/Faisal Al Nasser.

What the ISIS bombings in Aden make clear is that there’s a long fight ahead in Yemen.

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Department of Defense | Flickr

A chief concern for 2016 ought to be the development of and investment in the American military.

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Dragoons assigned to Bull Troop, 1st Squadron, 2d Cavalry Regiment participated in a live-fire exercise at Grafenwoehr Training Area located near Rose Barracks, Germany, Mar. 5, 2015. US Army | Flickr

Global powers don’t pivot: America needs a military with the capacity and capabilities to simultaneously protect its interests in Europe, East Asia, and the Middle East.

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Aaron Clamage

AEI’s new defense report, “To Rebuild America’s Military”, provides a plan for ensuring that the men and women of the armed forces are strong enough to defend their country and have what they need to accomplish their missions.

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