March 4, 2022 | Foreign Podicy

Sailor, Soldier, Spy: Three Perspectives on Putin’s War on Ukraine


Vladimir Putin is waging a war of aggression, a war of conquest, an imperialist war. This should not come as a surprise. It’s long been evident that he views himself as a modern czar, a Caesar (which is where the word “czar” comes from), an emperor whose mission is to restore — and, if he can, enlarge — the ancient Russian empire which for a few decades was rebranded as the Soviet empire.

In 2008, he seized two provinces from neighboring Georgia. He began his war against Ukraine in 2014 by annexing Crimea and beginning a low-intensity, long-term conflict in the Donbas region of eastern Ukraine. Western leaders responded with a salad of carrots but not enough sticks to make a campfire.

To discuss what has happened, what is happening, and what should happen vis-à-vis Russia and Ukraine, Foreign Podicy host Cliff May is joined by a sailor, a solider, and a spy. (Maybe a tinker and a tailor will be invited next time.)

Rear Admiral (Ret.) Mark Montgomery, senior director of FDD’s Center on Cyber and Technology Innovation (CCTI), served for 32 years as a nuclear-trained surface warfare officer in the U.S. Navy.

West Point graduate Bradley Bowman, senior director of FDD’s Center on Military and Political Power (CMPP), served as an active-duty U.S. Army officer and Black Hawk pilot and staff officer in Afghanistan.

Reuel Marc Gerecht, senior fellow at FDD, served as a Middle Eastern specialist at the CIA’s Directorate of Operations.


Military and Political Power Russia Sanctions and Illicit Finance U.S. Defense Policy and Strategy