It Is the Player, but Mostly the Game

Published by Lawfare


Earlier this summer, the United States offered to free convicted Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout in exchange for Moscow’s release of two American nationals: Women’s National Basketball Association star Brittney Griner and former Marine Paul Whelan. While it remains unclear whether the prisoner exchange will go through, Bout’s possible release is politically contentious—and understandably so. The proposed deal has raised questions about the proportionality of effectively swapping “a death-dealing arms merchant for an athlete who may have vaped,” as well as concerns about what impact Bout’s release could have on international security....