Vladimir Putin now has his own private army to enforce policies he is borrowing from both Russia’s Soviet and czarist history.
The Praetorian Guard of the Roman Emperor became infamous as one of the ancient world’s most brutal military forces. Equal parts secret service, riot police and imperial bodyguard, this corps d’elite became a permanent force only after Caesar Augustus made himself sole master of the Roman world.
These handpicked soldiers were loyal first and foremost to the emperor. After the fall of Rome, the legacy of this imperial force inspired would-be emperors from Napoleon Bonaparte to Czar Peter the Great to create private armies.
A modern-day imperial strongman is resurrecting this idea once again!
U.S. diplomat Charles Hill was a senior adviser to former U.S. secretaries of state George Shultz and Henry Kissinger, and to Boutros Boutros-Ghali, the sixth Secretary-General of the United Nations. He has also penned two books: “Grand Strategies: Literature, Statecraft and World Order” and “Trial of a Thousand Years: World Order and Islamism.”
The Moscow Times talked to Hill about the impact of the Russian-Ukrainian crisis on today’s world system and the role other global and regional powers play in preserving — or undermining — the global order. Continue reading