Russian relationships with the West: the implications for military reform
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This thesis examines the impact of NATO-Russia relations on the process of military reform in the Russian Federation. The military reform process within Russia that aims to create a lean, professional military that Russia can afford and that will better serve Moscow's defense needs is hampered by a lingering perception of a threat from the United States and NATO, despite significant evidence to the contrary. A reformed military would reduce the burden on Russia's economy and would be better matched to the immediate and future security needs of the Russian state. A cooperative relationship between Moscow and the West could help to ease the perception of a threat posed by NATO. This could encourage the creation of a Russian military capable of joint operations with Western militaries, especially in the realm of counter-terrorism and peacekeeping operations. A military reformed along these lines could serve as a cornerstone for a strengthened Russian democracy that would allow Russia to become, once again, a player on the world stage. A willingness by NATO and the United States to pursue increased military and political cooperation with Moscow offers an opportunity to influence positively the military reform process within Russia.
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