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United States Army War College

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Russia Studies

Added December 10, 2013
Type: Monograph
Politics and Economics in Putin's Russia. Edited by Dr. Stephen J. Blank.
View the Executive Summary

Is this the beginning of the end for Putin's system? The authors investigate the structural bases for Russia's domestic challenges, if not crisis.
Added November 06, 2013
Type: Letort Papers
Reforming the Police in Post-Soviet States: Georgia and Kyrgyzstan. Authored by Dr. Erica Marat.
View the Executive Summary

Both Georgia and Kyrgyzstan offer important guidelines for conducting successful police reform in a former Soviet state, advice that could be helpful to the Middle Eastern states currently undergoing rapid political transformation.
Added November 03, 2013
Type: Monograph
Central Asia After 2014. Edited by Dr. Stephen J. Blank.
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The papers collected here offer assessments of Sino-Russian rivalry, the U.S.-Russian rivalry, and a neglected but critical topic, Chinese military capability for action in Central Asia. All of these issues are essential for any informed analysis of the future of Central Asian security, as well as relations among the great powers in Central Asia.
Added July 12, 2013
Type: Letort Papers
Russian Interests in Sub-Saharan Africa. Authored by Keir Giles.
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Russia is intensifying its engagement with Southern Africa to meet both foreign policy and long-term economic objectives. This presents both potential opportunities and challenges for U.S. policy in the region - especially in those states where a preference for U.S. presence and influence is not axiomatic.
Added July 13, 2011
Type: Monograph
Russia in the Arctic. Edited by Dr. Stephen J. Blank.
The Arctic is the newest sphere of international competition for energy and security access. It pits Russia against the other Arctic states. These essays fully explore and analyze what is at stake here and what Moscow has done to increase its capability and influence in the Arctic.
Added June 15, 2011
Type: Monograph
Military Modernization and the Russian Ground Forces. Authored by Dr. Rod Thornton.
Russia’s political leaders are currently pushing a state- and society-wide process of modernization. How will the deeply conservative Russian military accept and implement those proposed changes?
Added June 09, 2011
Type: Monograph
The Russian Military and the Georgia War: Lessons and Implications. Authored by Dr. Ariel Cohen, Colonel Robert E. Hamilton.
In this monograph, the authors state that Russia planned the war against Georgia in August 2008 aiming for the annexation of Abkhazia, weakening the Saakashvili regime, and prevention of NATO enlargement. According to them, while Russia won the campaign, it also exposed its own military as badly needing reform. The war also demonstrated weaknesses of the NATO and the European Union security systems.
Added March 15, 2011
Type: Monograph
Russian Military Politics and Russia's 2010 Defense Doctrine. Edited by Dr. Stephen J. Blank.
These three papers illuminate the political struggles among the government and the military in Russia to forge a new defense doctrine and ultimately the 2010 doctrine itself. No analysis of Russian defense or security policy is complete without the understanding and analysis provided here.
Added January 25, 2011
Type: Monograph
Civil-Military Relations in Medvedev's Russia. Edited by Dr. Stephen J. Blank.
Civil-military relations in Russia are a critical topic in understanding the domestic and foreign policy trajectories of the Russian state. This monograph show how highly undemocratic, and even dangerous, the absence of those democratic controls over the military and the police forces in Russia, when taken together, comprise multiple militaries.
Added December 08, 2010
Type: Monograph
Russia's Prospects in Asia. Edited by Dr. Stephen J. Blank.
To what degree should we take Russia seriously as an important actor in Asia? The three chapters here, taken from an SSI conference in January 2010, actively debate the prospects for Russia as it makes its way in an increasingly complex Asian environment characterized by China’s rising power and multiple threats, such as proliferation in Korea and the Taiwan issue.
Added July 14, 2010
Type: Book
The Russian Military Today and Tomorrow: Essays in Memory of Mary Fitzgerald. Edited by Dr. Stephen J. Blank, Dr. Richard Weitz.
The essays in this volume represent both a memorial and an analytical call to action. Mary Fitzgerald of the Hudson Institute was one of the most brilliant and vivacious practitioners of the study of the Russian and Chinese militaries, whose insights helped not just to put those fields of study on the map, but also to influence U.S. military thinking.
Added December 23, 2009
Type: Monograph
Medvedev's Plan: Giving Russia a Voice but not a Veto in a New European Security System. Authored by Dr. Richard J. Krickus.
The author revisits Medvedev’s proposal and, while some Western analysts deem the conflicting interests and value gap that separate the West from Russia to be overwhelming, others argue that the time has come to engage Russia in seeking a common security agenda in Europe. The most compelling question confronting those who favor a security partnership with Russia is: How to give Russia a voice but not a veto in a new European security system?
Added December 02, 2009
Type: Op-Ed
Resetting the Reset Button: Realism About Russia. Authored by Dr. Stephen J. Blank.
Each month a member of the SSI faculty writes an editorial for our monthly newsletter. This is the Op-Ed for the December 2009 newsletter.
Added September 16, 2009
Type: Monograph
Russian Elite Image of Iran: From the Late Soviet Era to the Present. Authored by Dr. Dmitry Shlapentokh.
Increasing numbers of Russian intellectuals became disenchanted with the West, particularly after the end of the USSR, and looked for alternative geopolitical alliances. The Muslim world, with Iran at the center, became one of the possible alternatives.
Added September 16, 2009
Type: Monograph
Escalation and Intrawar Deterrence During Limited Wars in the Middle East. Authored by Dr. W. Andrew Terrill.
This monograph seeks to analyze military escalation and intrawar deterrence by examining two key wars where these concepts became especially relevant—the 1973 Arab-Israeli War and the 1991 Gulf War against Iraq. A central conclusion of this monograph is that intrawar deterrence is an inherently fragile concept, and that the nonuse of weapons of mass destruction in both wars was the result of a number of positive factors that may not be repeated in future conflicts.
Added August 27, 2009
Type: Letort Papers
Mind-Sets and Missiles: a First Hand Account of the Cuban Missile Crisis. Authored by Mr. Kenneth Michael Absher.
A detailed chronology and analysis of the intelligence failures and successes of the Cuban Missile Crisis is provided.
Added March 11, 2009
Type: Monograph
Russia and Arms Control: Are There Opportunities for the Obama Administration? Authored by Dr. Stephen J. Blank.
As of September 2008, the Bush administration was contemplating not just a break in arms talks but actual sanctions, and allowed the bilateral civil nuclear treaty with Russia to die in the Senate rather than go forward for confirmation. Russian spokesmen make clear their belief that American concessions on key elements of arms control issues like missile defenses in Europe are a touchstone for the relationship and a condition of any further progress towards genuine dialogue.
Added March 04, 2009
Type: Book
Prospects for U.S.-Russian Security Cooperation. Edited by Dr. Stephen J. Blank.
The prospects for U.S.-Russian security cooperation lay buried under the wheels of Russia’s invasion of Georgia in August 2008. But ultimately, given Russia's power, standing, and nuclear capability, dialogue and cooperation will be resumed at some point in the future. Therefore, an analysis of the prospects for and conditions favoring such cooperation is an urgent and important task that cries out for clarification precisely because current U.S.-Russian relations are so difficult.
Added December 08, 2008
Type: Op-Ed
Russia Challenges the Obama Administration. Authored by Dr. Stephen J. Blank.
Each month a member of the SSI faculty writes an editorial for our monthly newsletter. This is the Op-Ed for the December 2008 newsletter.
Added August 06, 2008
Type: Monograph
China-Russia Security Relations: Strategic Parallelism without Partnership or Passion? Authored by Dr. Richard Weitz.
This report maintains that, although Chinese-Russian relations have improved along several important dimensions, security cooperation between Beijing and Moscow has remained limited, episodic, and tenuous. Nevertheless, U.S. national security planners should prepare for possible major discontinuities in Sino-Russian relations. American officials should pursue a mixture of “shaping and hedging” policies that aim to avert a hostile Chinese-Russian alignment while preparing the United States to better counter one, should it nevertheless arise.
Added November 05, 2007
Type: Monograph
The Eastern Dimension of America's New European Allies. Authored by Mr. Janusz Bugajski.
Without a realistic prospect for NATO and EU accession, Ukraine, Belarus, Moldova, and Georgia will become sources of domestic and regional instability and objects of Russia’s neo-imperialist ambitions that will undermine American and European strategic interests.
Added June 11, 2007
Type: Monograph
Ukraine's Military Between East and West. Authored by Professor Marybeth Peterson Ulrich.
This fresh look at Ukraine’s movement toward the West since the Orange Revolution examines the progress and limitations of reforming its armed forces. The monograph applies defense reform roadmaps developed in the postcommunist Central European cases in order to suggest a framework to maximize the likelihood of success in Ukraine.
Added May 07, 2007
Type: Monograph
Russian-American Security Cooperation after St. Petersburg. Authored by Dr. Richard Weitz.
Considerable progress has been achieved during President Putin’s tenure in the areas of Russian-American security cooperation. The author assesses opportunities for further security cooperation between Russia and the United States, offering detailed policy suggestions in certain areas.
Added March 19, 2007
Type: Monograph
Georgia After the Rose Revolution: Geopolitical Predicament and Implications for U.S. Policy. Authored by Dr. Svante E. Cornell.
The author outlines the possibilities for conflict in post-revolutionary Georgia and the qualities that make it strategically important, not only for Washington and Moscow, but also increasingly for Europe.
Added March 08, 2007
Type: Monograph
Russia, the United States, and the Caucasus. Authored by Dr. R. Craig Nation.
Many factors have ensured that the Caucasus would become a source of significant international engagement and concern. While highlighting conflicting interests, the author explores areas of Russian and American shared priorities and mutual advantage that may provide a foundation for containing conflict and heading off further regional disintegration.
Added February 15, 2007
Type: Monograph
Russia and the European Union: The Sources and Limits of "Special Relationships". Authored by Dr. Cynthia A Roberts.
How best to engage an increasingly authoritarian Russia that is neither fully excluded nor embraced by the leading Euro-Atlantic institutions remains a critical unresolved security challenge nearly 20 years since the Cold War’s end. This analysis of the difficult engagement between Russia and the European Union reveals why shallow cooperation and costly standoffs characterize Russia’s troubled partnerships with the West.
Added January 31, 2007
Type: Monograph
Rosoboroneksport: Arms Sales and the Structure of Russian Defense Industry. Authored by Dr. Stephen J. Blank.
Although Russian observers believe that Washington imposed sanctions on Russian arms sellers and producers because of these firms’ arms sales to Venezuela. Sales to such dangerous states oblige us to analyze the Russian defense export program and the structure of its defense industry.
Added January 25, 2007
Type: Monograph
Russian Nonproliferation Policy and the Korean Peninsula. Authored by Dr. Yong-Chool Ha, Dr. Beom-Shik Shin.
Efforts to resolve the threat posed to Northeast Asia's security by North Korea's nuclear proliferation through six-party negotiations are proceeding with great difficulty. As in any multilateral process, a major problem is understanding the goals and perspectives of each of the participants.
Added December 12, 2006
Type: Monograph
Russian Defense Reform: Current Trends. Authored by Dr. Irina Isakova.
Since the fall of the Soviet Union, the topic of Russian defense policy has not received great attention. The rebuilding of Russian military strength is a high priority of President Vladimir Putin, and one to which he and his subordinates have devoted considerable time and resources. Therefore, inattention to Russian defense policy is unwise and even dangerous because it causes us to overlook potentially major changes not only in Russian policy, but in international affairs more generally.
Added December 06, 2006
Type: Monograph
Russia, Iran, and the Nuclear Question: The Putin Record. Authored by Dr. Robert O. Freedman.
This monograph demonstrates that Moscow, especially in the Putin era, has not been helpful with U.S. efforts to curb Iran's nuclear program. It also illustrates the dangers Moscow faces in pursuing such a pro-Iranian policy.
Added November 14, 2006
Type: Monograph
The NATO-Russia Partnership: A Marriage of Convenience or a Troubled Relationship? Authored by Dr. Stephen J. Blank.
Since 2002 Russia has embarked upon a relationship of partnership with NATO, but close examination of this partnership shows an enormous amount of Rusisan ambivalence and, indeed, growing resistance to many of NATO’s activities and programs. This growing ambivalence, and even estrangement, reflects both domestic Rusisan trends and the deterioration of East-West security ties.
Added November 08, 2006
Type: Monograph
Ukraine After the Orange Revolution: Can It Complete Military Transformation and Join the U.S.-Led War on Terrorism? Authored by Dr. Deborah Sanders.
Ukraine’s ability to contribute to the U.S.-led war on terror through the provision of niche capabilities such as peacekeeping troops is contingent on successful military transformation, democratic consolidation, and good relations with neighbors. However, a more democratic Ukraine with democratically controlled armed forces might be less willing and able to deploy peacekeeping troops into a complex theatre of operation.
Added May 08, 2006
Type: Op-Ed
Is Eurasia's Security Order at Risk? Authored by Dr. Stephen J. Blank.
Each month a member of the SSI faculty writes an editorial for our monthly newsletter. This is the Op-Ed for the May 2006 newsletter.
Added March 28, 2006
Type: Monograph
Iron Troikas: The New Threat from the East. Authored by Dr. Richard J. Krickus.
The author explains how the Russian leadership has exploited its energy assets to advance its security interests in the vital East Baltic Sea Region, particularly Poland and the Baltic countries.
Added February 01, 2003
Type: Monograph
Russia in Afghanistan and Chechnya: Military Strategic Culture and the Paradoxes of Asymmetric Conflict. Authored by Major Robert M. Cassidy.
The author uses a detailed assessment of the Russian experience in Afghanistan and Chechnya to draw important conclusions about asymmetric warfare. Even in this era of asymmetry, the U.S. Army exhibits a cultural preference for the "big war" paradigm. He suggests that the U.S. military in general, including the Army, needs a cultural transformation to master the challenge of asymmetry fully
Added April 01, 2002
Type: Book
Beyond Nunn-Lugar: Curbing the Next Wave of Weapons Proliferation Threats from Russia. Edited by Mr. Thomas Riisager, Mr. Henry D. Sokolski.
Originally commissioned by the NPEC as part of a study on the future of U.S.-Russian nonproliferation cooperation. It is different from other studies of U.S.-Russian cooperation because it relies on competitive strategies, which detail how best to pit one's strengths against a competitor's weaknesses in a series of moves and countermoves. The goal is to devise strategies that force one's competitor to spend more time and resources shoring up his weaknesses than in taking offensive action.
Added July 01, 2000
Type: Book
Threats to Russian Security: The View from Moscow. Authored by Dr. Stephen J. Blank.
The documented threat assessments addressed here are clearly the culmination to date of a long-standing process by which the Russian military and government have forsaken the optimistic Westernizing postures and visions of the initial post-Soviet years and returned in many respects to assessments and demands for specific policies that evoke the Soviet mentality and period.
Added March 01, 2000
Type: Monograph
European Security: Washington's Shaping Strategy in Action. Authored by Dr. Stephen J. Blank, Dr. Thomas-Durell Young, Dr. William T. Johnsen.
Notwithstanding the claims of some in the United States, European affairs continue to dominate U.S. foreign policy and strategic thinking. The end of the Cold War has not seen any blurring of the focus of U.S. officials on European affairs. Managing the implications of the break-up of the Soviet Union and the Warsaw Pact, the seemingly never-ending conflicts in the Balkans, increasing Western norms and institutions in Central and Eastern Europe, and expanding and reforming the North Atlantic Alliance are just some of the issues that require firm and consistent U.S. leadership.
Added March 01, 1998
Type: Book
Russia's Armed Forces on the Brink of Reform. Authored by Dr. Stephen J. Blank.
Despite over a dozen years of talk, the Soviet and now Russian military has not undergone a true military reform. What did happen was a form of degeneration and disintegration, but not a methodically planned and directed transformation and/or adaptation to new conditions. Consequently, defense policy, in all of its ramifications, has remained essentially unreformed and remains an impediment to Russia's accommodation to today's strategic realities.
Added December 01, 1997
Type: Book
Shadow Politics: The Russian State in the 21st Century. Authored by Dr. Peter J. Stavrakis.
In April the U.S. Army War College's Strategic Studies Institute hosted its Eighth Annual Strategy Conference at Carlisle Barracks, Pennsylvania. The theme for the 1997 Strategy Conference was "Russia's Future as a World Power." For two days, scholars, military professionals, and policymakers from the United States, Europe, and Russia engaged in a very useful exchange of ideas and viewpoints. Dr. Peter J. Stavrakis, of the Kennan Institute for Advanced Russian Studies, describes the emergence in Russia of a kind of oligarchic capitalism, controlled by old political elites, and thriving amidst an extra-legal "parallel shadow government."
Added October 01, 1997
Type: Book
The United States and Russia into the 21st Century. Authored by Dr. R. Craig Nation, Dr. Michael McFaul.
In late April 1997, the U.S. Army War College's Strategic Studies Institute hosted its Eighth Annual Strategy Conference. The topic for this year's conference was Russia's Future as a World Power. The concluding panel for this conference, The United States and Russia into the 21st Century, included the following two papers.
Added June 01, 1997
Type: Book
The Crisis in the Russian Economy. Authored by Dr. Vitaly V. Shlykov.
Retired Soviet Army Colonel Vitaly Shlykov presents a brutally honest appraisal of the harsh realities that are a part of today's Russia. This report was presented at the Army War College's Eighth Annual Strategy Conference, "Russia's Future as a World Power," held at Carlisle Barracks, Pennsylvania, April 22-24, 1997. Colonel Shlykov's paper is even more sobering when one considers that the October Revolution of 1917 began in the bread lines of Petrograd and Moscow.
Added June 01, 1997
Type: Book
The Russian Military in the 21st Century. Authored by Dr. Alexei G. Arbatov.
In April 1997, the U.S. Army War College held its Eighth Annual Strategy Conference, the topic of which was "Russia's Future as a World Power." Most of the speakers discussed various aspects of the many crises besetting Russia, and there were differing views on whether Russia would be able to surmount those crises and make the transition to a politically stable democracy and a market economy.
Added April 01, 1997
Type: Book
Why Russian Policy is Failing in Asia. Authored by Dr. Stephen J. Blank.
Since its inception as a state, Russia has been both a European and an Asian power. Although Russia today, as was true during much of its history, is torn by an identity crisis over where it belongs, its elites have never renounced Russia's vital interests in Asia and the belief that it should be recognized as a great power there. However, that belief and Moscow's ability to sustain it are now under threat, due, as Dr. Stephen Blank's thorough analysis informs us, to the ongoing failures of Russian policymakers to come to grips with changed Russian and Asian realities.
Added March 01, 1997
Type: Book
The Dynamics of Russian Weapon Sales to China. Authored by Dr. Stephen J. Blank.
Russia has recently sold or transferred many military weapons or technologies to China. Russian state policy has also officially joined with China in a relationship described as a strategic cooperative partnership.
Added May 01, 1996
Type: Book
Russian Security Policy in the Asia-Pacific Region: Two Views. Authored by Major General (Retired) Anatoly Bolyatko, Peggy Falkenheim Meyer. Edited by Dr. Stephen J. Blank.
In May 1995, the British Ministry of Defence, the Strategic Studies Institute of the U.S. Army War College, the RAND Corporation, the Institute for National Security Studies of the U.S. Air Force Academy, and King's College, London, hosted a conference at King's College on "Russian Defense and Security Policy."
Added August 01, 1995
Type: Book
Russian Defense Legislation and Russian Democracy. Authored by Dr. Stephen J. Blank.
As recent events demonstrate, Russia's political system has yet to stabilize. This is particularly the case with civil-military relations for, as the course of the Chechnya invasion reveals, control by the government over the military is erratic and the military is all too often politicized.
Added March 01, 1995
Type: Monograph
Energy, Economics, and Security in Central Asia: Russia and Its Rivals. Authored by Dr. Stephen J. Blank.
The collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 led to the creation of five new states in Central Asia. These states: Kazkahstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Kyrgyzstan, have become both the object of international rivalries in Central Asia and the sources of new political forces as they act to enlarge their independence in world politics.
Added January 01, 1995
Type: Book
Russia's Invasion of Chechnya: A Preliminary Assessment. Authored by Dr. Stephen J. Blank, Dr. Earl H. Tilford, Jr..
On December 11, 1994, Russia invaded the secessionist republic of Chechnya in the North Caucasus. The aim was to suppress the republic's government, led by General Dzhokar Dudayev, compel it to accept Moscow's authority, and to force it to renounce its bid for independence and sovereignty.
Added September 01, 1994
Type: Book
Russian Policy and the Korean Crisis. Authored by Dr. Stephen J. Blank.
North Korea's nuclear program is the greatest current threat to U.S. and Northeast Asian security. The outcome of negotiations over this program will have a tremendous impact on the future of the Korean peninsula and on the vital interests of the United States and neighboring states to North and South Korea: China, Japan, and Russia.