Putin’s Expansionist Gaze

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Herman Pirchner, Katherine Zimmerman, Qanta Ahmed, Bill Gertz

HERMAN PIRCHNER, founding President of the American Foreign Policy Council

  • Putin claims the right to use force in “New Russia,” even as a deal to remove occupying forces from Eastern Ukraine is being brokered
  • Echoes of World War II—Putin purportedly protecting ethnic Russians in Eastern Ukraine
  • How long would ordinary Ukrainian and Russian troops be willing to fight each other?

KATHERINE ZIMMERMAN, senior analyst at AEI and Al Qaeda Team Lead at AEI’s Critical Threats Project:

  • The significance of the video posted by Al Qaeda depicting a large public gathering of Al Qaeda leaders and fighters in Yemen
  • Did American intelligence know about the gathering? Why were there no drone strikes?
  • Al Qaeda is spreading, despite President Obama’s rhetoric on the terrorist group

QANTA AHMED, author of “In the Land of Invisible Women,” and featured interviewee in the film “Honor Diaries”

  • Debate over religious or cultural justification for female genital mutilation (FGM)
  • Increasing rates of FGM in the Muslim diaspora communities in the West
  • FGM, honor killings, child marriage, and gender inequality among particular Muslim cultures

BILL GERTZ, Senior Editor at the Washington Free Beacon:

  • Multiple low altitude flyovers of a U.S. Navy warship in the Black sea by a Russian fighter jet—referred to by the US only as “unprofessional”
  • Russia’s military build-up along Ukraine’s Eastern border
  • Russia’s denial of the “Open Skies” treaty which allows approved U.S. military over-flights throughout Russian airspace. Gertz has evidence that the US’s reason for the cancellation of a flight was untrue.
  • The Obama Administration’s refusal to provide Ukraine with lethal, non-lethal or force multiplying aid