THE DEFENSE STRATEGIES OF CHINA AND RUSSIA: A STUDY OF EFFECTIVENESS
Young, Thomas D.
Jasper, Scott E.
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China and Russia are among the strongest military powers in the world. Both are improving their defense capabilities for different reasons: China aims to achieve hegemon status, and regaining superpower status appears to be Russia’s strategic end. Given the centrality of military prowess to China’s and Russia’s ambitions, a key component of each state’s strategic calculus is its defense strategy. Comprehending Chinese and Russian defense strategies and the relative effectiveness of those strategies is thus an essential part of understanding how these states likely perceive and assess the global security environment and how their ambitions could affect the international order. This thesis therefore investigates the following questions: What are the defense strategies of China and Russia, and are their defense strategies implemented effectively? This thesis addresses these questions by analyzing the published defense strategies of China and Russia and assessing these strategies against their defense expenditures. The research finds that China has been effectively implementing its defense strategy because its economy is robust enough to support the strategy and its one-party rule provides coherent objectives. The Russian defense strategy, by contrast, has not been implemented effectively due to the country’s inability to provide enough resources to achieve its objectives. Moreover, Russian defense strategy objectives conflict with one another.
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