Publication:
TOWARDS A MODEL FOR ANTICIPATING RUSSIAN BEHAVIOR THROUGH THE LENSES OF REALISM AND HYBRID WARFARE

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Authors
Stephan, Ole
Subjects
Russia
hybrid warfare offensive realism
NATO
Ukraine
Crimea
Montenegro
Gibridnaya Voina
Maskirovka
Serbia
Pan-Slavism
SOF
GRU
FSB
KSST
NATO SOF
variables framework
Russian Foreign Policy
proxy forces
deception
deniability
information domain
use of force
Advisors
Sepp, Kalev I.
Burks, Robert E.
Hoffman, Frank G., National Defense University
Date of Issue
2019-12
Date
Dec-19
Publisher
Monterey, CA; Naval Postgraduate School
Language
Abstract
Since 2007, North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) member states have witnessed an increasingly assertive Russia that re-emerged as a military power during the brief war with Georgia in 2008, and succeeded in annexing Crimea in 2014. In this context, the terms “hybrid warfare” and “offensive realism” have become almost synonymous with Russia’s aggressive pursuit of its foreign policy goals. The international community and NATO did little to stop Russian interference in Crimea and, as recently as 2016 in Montenegro, seemed unable to detect any Russian action in advance. This thesis generates a model to help anticipate Russian behavior based on the independent variables of threat and opportunities, derived from a review of the literature on offensive realism and the intervening variable hybrid warfare. The variables embedded within a variables framework are then applied to two cases, Crimea and Montenegro, to analyze the behavior Russia employed to pursue its foreign policy goals. Patriotism, economics, and uncertainty about domestic, external, and regional actors are Russia's primary considerations when assessing the importance of a certain region to its foreign policy. Such considerations help determine whether Russia is responding to a perceived threat or an opportunity. Regardless of its scale, Russian hybrid warfare centers on leveraging violence implemented by a pool of diverse specialized Russian and external forces that enable deniability.
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Thesis
Description
Department
Defense Analysis (DA)
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Approved for public release; distribution is unlimited.
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