TOOLS OF RUSSIAN INFLUENCE: HOW PUTIN USES MILITARY-TECHNICAL COOPERATION, PROXIES, AND PEACEKEEPERS TO ACHIEVE HIS OBJECTIVES
Tice, Ryan S.
Moltz, James C.
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Under the leadership of Vladimir Putin, Russia has embarked on a massive military modernization program that it hopes will enable it to again compete with the United States as a global power. In particular, Moscow is using three rapidly deployable, low-cost military tools—military-technical cooperation, private military and security companies as proxy forces, and peacekeeping forces—to seize opportunities created by the changing geopolitical environment in order to expand Russia’s reach and influence. This thesis examines these tools across a number of cases in order to answer the following questions: How is Russia using these military tools to achieve its objectives? What trends can be identified across regions? What are the implications for U.S. foreign and security policies? This thesis finds that, on the whole, Moscow is using these tools with the primary tactical goal of projecting power and rapidly exploiting opportunities to influence the outcome of events on the ground in hopes of achieving strategic success for Russia. These three tools help Moscow project power and allow Russia to gain influence while preventing escalation into open confrontation with the United States or other military powers. In response, the United States and its partners should seek to expose these activities and engage with each other on areas of mutual interest to weaken the effects of these tools.
RightsThis publication is a work of the U.S. Government as defined in Title 17, United States Code, Section 101. Copyright protection is not available for this work in the United States.
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