Following a recent MLI event discussing Russia's challenge to North American and European security, US Naval War College Professor Tom Nichols joined CPAC's Perspective with Alison Smith to dive deeper into the threat posed by Russia.

"It's a different kind of threat than the old Soviet Union," says Nichols. "The USSR had an ideology that it was trying to spread globally... The Russian threat is different."

According to Nichols, the threat that Russia poses to the West comes from what he defines as "a Mafia state that has decided to operate by its own rules as an anti-status quo power." As a result, the nature of the challenge that is posed by Putin's Russia is different.

"For example, the Putin regime, unlike the Soviet regime, is much more willing to reach out and commit acts of violence; not just against its own people at a very high level but against Westerners."

Perhaps most significantly, Nichols sees Putin as a poor strategist who has been emboldened to try out his worst (and most dangerous ideas) in large part due to a lack of American leadership.

The full episode of Perspective with Alison Smith may be watched here.