In this episode of Orion Talks, host Suat Cubukcu engages in a thought-provoking conversation with special guest Dr. Elena Pokalova, a Professor at the College of International Security Affairs (CISA) at the National Defense University. During the discussion, Dr. Elena Pokalova explained why the Wagner Group should be considered a quasi-state force rather than a mere private military contractor. Dr. Pokalova delved into the rationale behind Putin's preference for the Wagner Group's involvement in Africa, which departs from conventional diplomatic and military channels. She discussed the implications of Wagner's presence in African countries such as Libya, CAR, Sudan, and Mali, revealing potential instabilities in both the short and long term. The conversation extends to the aftermath of the Wagner Group's failed mutiny, investigating the reactions of African leaders and governments and potential shifts in engagement dynamics. Dr. Pokalova concludes with important policy recommendations for the US and its allies to effectively manage the aftermath of Wagner's rebellion and Russia's activities in Africa.
Dr. Elena Pokalova is a Professor at the College of International Security Affairs (CISA), National Defense University (NDU), Washington, DC. She is an expert in security issues, with a focus on terrorism, counterterrorism, and ethnic conflict.
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