Cover: Russia's Global Interests and Actions

Russia's Global Interests and Actions

Growing Reach to Match Rejuvenated Capabilities

Published Jun 15, 2021

by Bruce McClintock, Jeffrey W. Hornung, Katherine Costello

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After the end of the Cold War, the United States enjoyed a unipolar moment. However, even at its lowest point, Russia never fully accepted the unipolar construct, and it has spent the last 25 years regaining the capability to influence actions beyond its own region. For the last decade, Russian interests have extended well beyond Russia's near abroad. Russia uses an approach based on opportunistic actions and pragmatic, transactional relationships to selectively reestablish its great power status. Russia is concentrating on its interests in the Middle East and North Africa, the Indo-Pacific, and the Arctic; it is also cultivating relationships in Africa and Latin America. Recognizing Russia's global interests and its opportunistic approach to bilateral relationships can help the United States implement its current global strategy while developing a more holistic global response that recognizes Russia's intentions and limited, albeit often effective, capabilities. The key is to focus U.S. actions on those areas and issues that are the highest priority for U.S. interests.

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The research described in this report was sponsored by the United States Army and conducted by the Strategy, Doctrine, and Resources Program within the RAND Arroyo Center.

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