SPECIAL OPERATIONS: QUANTIFIED DETERRENCE AGAINST RUSSIAN AGGRESSION IN EASTERN EUROPE
Cooper, Steven M.
Doyle, Fray B.
Burks, Robert E.
Rothstein, Hy S.
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Russia threatens Eastern Europe, overtly and covertly, with offensive cyber-attacks, by shooting down aircraft, and through violations of international law such as the annexation of Crimea. The current economic sanctions are not deterring Russia from acting aggressively. Nuclear deterrence is not an appropriate or proportional deterrent of, or response to, these threats. The previous presidential administration held that Ukraine is not important enough to the United States to warrant conventional intervention. How can the United States military support a political warfare campaign to advance its national interests and deter Russia from advancing in Eastern European non-NATO states? This thesis examines how specific Title 10 authorities might allow an appropriate deterrent to such threats. With the absence of other options, United States Special Operations Forces are uniquely organized, trained, and equipped to operate in these environments and may provide a solution. In order to deter Russian aggression, selected Title 10 tasks require blending and assessing the following factors: strategy, tangible value at risk, tripwires, and risk of escalation. Special operations can help achieve deterrence against Russia.
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