The Building Blocks of Russia's Future Military Doctrine

by Eugene Rumer


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This report examines the fundamental factors that will determine the direction of Russia's security policy and military doctrine. The report argues that if Russia remains a truncated empire, neo-imperialism is likely to dominate its national security policy and military doctrine, which would be oriented toward reconstituting its internal empire and expanding through force and intimidation into its old spheres of influence in Eastern and Central Europe and Asia. However, the report also argues that the greatest threat to Russia's national security is from within (from both economic collapse and significantly diminished military capability) and that the path taken by Russia's political leaders toward resolving that crisis will determine its military doctrine and the face it presents to the outside world. The report concludes that given these uncertainties, U.S. policymakers have few, if any, options for significantly affecting the outcome of Russia's internal transformation. However, these uncertainties also underscore the importance of continuing U.S. involvement and military presence in Europe as a stabilizing force.

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