Strategic Sderzhivanie

Understanding Contemporary Russian Approaches to "Deterrence"

Published in: George C. Marshall European Center for Security Studies, Number 062 (September 2020)

Posted on RAND.org on September 16, 2020

by Samuel Charap

Read More

Access further information on this document at www.marshallcenter.org

This article was published outside of RAND. The full text of the article can be found at the link above.

There is a mismatch between the Western concept of deterrence and the Russian concept of sderzhivanie, and particularly strategic sderzhivanie. Strategic sderzhivanie encompasses the Western concepts of coercive statecraft, deterrence, compellence, and intra-war deterrence. It is a multi-domain, cross-cutting effort to shape the strategic environment to serve Russia's objectives using a range of both soft and hard power tools of statecraft in peacetime and during conflict. Grouping these disparate behaviors under a term that implies a defensive posture could create misperceptions in the Kremlin and enable destabilizing behavior.

This report is part of the RAND Corporation External publication series. Many RAND studies are published in peer-reviewed scholarly journals, as chapters in commercial books, or as documents published by other organizations.

Our mission to help improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis is enabled through our core values of quality and objectivity and our unwavering commitment to the highest level of integrity and ethical behavior. To help ensure our research and analysis are rigorous, objective, and nonpartisan, we subject our research publications to a robust and exacting quality-assurance process; avoid both the appearance and reality of financial and other conflicts of interest through staff training, project screening, and a policy of mandatory disclosure; and pursue transparency in our research engagements through our commitment to the open publication of our research findings and recommendations, disclosure of the source of funding of published research, and policies to ensure intellectual independence. For more information, visit www.rand.org/about/principles.

The RAND Corporation is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. RAND's publications do not necessarily reflect the opinions of its research clients and sponsors.