National Security & Defense

The Corner

The Putinologist

A year or two ago, I was talking with a colleague of mine about Europe — he is very, very knowledgeable on the subject. He said that if I wanted to find out about Russian influence in Europe — and worldwide, for that matter — I had to consult Mark Galeotti.

I never forgot it. And now I’ve done it. I’ve recorded a podcast — a Q&A — with Galeotti, here.

He is a historian and political scientist (British). He has taught and otherwise worked in many places. He is now in Prague, at the Institute of International Relations. He is a leading expert on transnational crime, or global crime — so much of which stems from Vladimir Putin’s Kremlin.

Galeotti talks with me about Putin. (The man has a “gut nationalism” that has been part of the Russian makeup for centuries. He also has a “Soviet nationalism,” as a KGB officer would.) Galeotti discusses the extent of the Kremlin’s mischief-making abroad.

It is important not to make too much of it — to attribute too much to it. It is also important not to make too little of it — to attribute too little to it. One wants to be wise, not paranoid or naïve.

Galeotti and I talk about Hungary, Germany, the United States, the Jihad, the social media — many things. Many things that are in our faces right now.

It’s nice to be in the hands of an authority — a man with all the relevant facts and a sober analytical mind. Such a man is Mark Galeotti, whom I commend to you. (Again, our podcast is here, and Galeotti blogs here.)

At the beginning of the podcast, I asked how he came to be interested in, and authoritative on, global crime. He started with a quip: His name, in Italian, means “convicts.” (Think of the English word — the British word — “gaol.”)

Most Popular

Film & TV

Why We Can’t Have Wakanda

SPOILERS AHEAD Black Panther is a really good movie that lives up to the hype in just about every way. Surely someone at Marvel Studios had an early doubt, reading the script and thinking: “Wait, we’re going to have hundreds of African warriors in brightly colored tribal garb, using ancient weapons, ... Read More
Law & the Courts

Obstruction Confusions

In his Lawfare critique of one of my several columns about the purported obstruction case against President Trump, Gabriel Schoenfeld loses me — as I suspect he will lose others — when he says of himself, “I do not think I am Trump-deranged.” Gabe graciously expresses fondness for me, and the feeling is ... Read More
Politics & Policy

Students’ Anti-Gun Views

Are children innocents or are they leaders? Are teenagers fully autonomous decision-makers, or are they lumps of mental clay, still being molded by unfolding brain development? The Left seems to have a particularly hard time deciding these days. Take, for example, the high-school students from Parkland, ... Read More
PC Culture

Kill Chic

We live in a society in which gratuitous violence is the trademark of video games, movies, and popular music. Kill this, shoot that in repugnant detail becomes a race to the visual and spoken bottom. We have gone from Sam Peckinpah’s realistic portrayal of violent death to a gory ritual of metal ripping ... Read More