What’s the trouble with mercenaries? After returning home from Syria, private Russian fighters have called on President Vladimir Putin to normalize their legal status and afford them veteran benefits. Moscow has always had a hard time recognizing mercenary groups because they are, technically, illegal in Russia. And yet the military routinely uses them – most recently in Syria and Crimea – because they add another layer to the state security blanket. Putin is under pressure from his citizens for failing to solve a range of economic problems. He won’t want a group of private soldiers to pressure him too.
The ongoing trade wars began for a variety of reasons, but they couldn’t have happened without the executive authority afforded to the U.S. president to impose tariffs. Now, the U.S. Congress is preparing legislation to curb that authority. The proposed bill would require congressional approval for certain tariffs, particularly those levied in the name of national security.