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"This is not a mercenary job" — foreign volunteers on Ukraine's front lines | GZERO World

Foreign warriors make a “big impact” in Ukraine

In a forest outside of Kyiv, a small group of Ukrainian soldiers with machine guns pads around silently, listening intently and sniffing the tree trunks.

“If you walk past a tree and it smells like urine,” says Jay, 30, a stoutly built former special forces soldier from Denmark, “that’s because urine starts to release a gas roughly 15 minutes after someone pisses on the tree.”

Jay is giving combat training to the Ukrainian soldiers, and in this lesson, he is teaching them how to detect the presence of Russian troops and patrol frontline areas.

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How the Ukraine Paradox Explains Putin's Nuclear Calculus | GZERO World

Putin's nuclear calculus and the Ukraine Paradox

Immediately after Russia invaded Ukraine, the odds of Moscow using nuclear weapons were low because it seemed likely they'd overrun the country with conventional weaponry. New York Times national security correspondent David Sanger credits NATO.

"Without the NATO support, I don't think the Ukrainians would have held on," Sanger tells Ian Bremmer on GZERO World.

But now, he warns, we're dealing with the 'Ukraine Paradox': the more successful Ukraine gets, the more likely Vladimir Putin will consider using non-conventional weapons. Will that include nukes? Perhaps.

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Authoritarian Alliances & the Future of the Free World | GZERO World

Authoritarian alliances & the future of the free world

Elliot Ackerman's new book about the US exit from Afghanistan is called The Fifth Act.

But what comes next for America in the region?

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Is the US Military Investing in the Wrong Kinds of Weapons? | GZERO World

Is the US military investing in the wrong kinds of weapons?

In comparing the American military defense spending to China's, former US admiral and best-selling author James Stavridis is concerned that the US is too focused on legacy systems. In a conversation with Ian Bremmer on GZERO World, he discusses the role of the private sector in the development of US defense capabilities and the need to move towards higher end technologies, which he says China has already done. "They get to make decisions and move out with big land armies, tanks, aircraft carriers in ways we are retarded from doing by the messiness, as wonderful as it is, of our democratic system," Stavridis points out.

Watch the episode: What could spark a US-China war?

Will China Become the World’s Dominant Military Power? | GZERO World

Will China become the world’s dominant military power?

America's chief adversary on the global stage is no longer Russia. It's China—a country that has experienced astronomical growth in the last few decades, with an economy that's expanded by $12 trillion dollars in the last fifteen years alone. Much of that economic growth is going straight into military spending, with a defense budget that's seen a nearly seven-fold increase over the past twenty years. And yet, its military spending still pales in comparison to that of the United States. But despite all the money that both nations have pumped into fancy new battleships and armored tanks, they also understand that a key paradigm shift in 21st century warfare is already well underway: The decisive battles of the future will largely be fought—and won or lost—in cyberspace. Ian Bremmer explains where the US stands in this competition.

Watch the GZERO World episode: What could spark a US-China war?

How China Plans to Achieve Global Military Dominance | GZERO World

How China plans to achieve global military dominance

The US still enjoys military superiority over China, but for how long? Retired admiral James Stavridis believes it's important to understand how determined China is to establish global dominance. The Chinese defense budget is focused on strategic initiatives including offensive cyber, militarizing space and quantum computing. Furthermore, China's approach to education is intended to secure an advantage. "They're pumping out huge numbers of people with advanced degrees. They're investing government resources into the kind of R&D that we should be doing more of here in the United States," Stavridis tells Ian Bremmer in a GZERO World interview.

Watch the episode: What could spark a US-China war?

Is the US Military’s Reliance on Technology a Vulnerability? | GZERO World

Is the US military’s reliance on technology a vulnerability?

What happens to US defense systems in case of a cyber attack? "The American military needs a Plan B, because these exquisite systems upon which we have come to rely so deeply, because they were invulnerable fighting the Taliban, or fighting Al-Qaeda, they're not invulnerable anymore," argues Admiral James Stavridis (Ret.), who also served as NATO Supreme Allied Commander. He discusses the benefit of having analog alternatives for US military operations in a discussion with Ian Bremmer on GZERO World.

Watch the episode: What could spark a US-China war?

“We’re going to see a descent back into chaos” in Afghanistan | Rep. Mike Waltz | GZERO World

“We’re going to see a descent back into chaos” in Afghanistan: Rep. Waltz

Conservative Congressman Mike Waltz (R-FL) explains why he fears that a full US troop withdrawal from Afghanistan will create a power vacuum in Kabul, leading to chaos, destruction, and a national security threat for the US that will eventually require troops to be sent back in. Waltz, a former Green Beret who served multiple combat tours in Afghanistan and elsewhere, shares his concerns in a conversation with Ian Bremmer on GZERO World. He warns, "One of the things I don't know that everyone realizes is when the military goes, those contractors will go, the CIA, our eyes and ears on the ground will go." The interview on GZERO World airs on US public television starting Friday, April 23. Check local listings.

Watch the GZERO World with Ian Bremmer episode.

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