If the sanctions against Russia persist for a long time, the Russian defense industry may again seek full autarky (with the exception of cooperation with companies of Israel, China, South Korea, and some other countries), which would have a negative impact on its innovative potential in the long term.
The analysis of the Russian Navy’s involvement in the Syrian campaign suggests two conclusions. The first one is rather optimistic: the Russian Navy has begun to recover after a long period of decline. The second one is less comforting: the Navy is already facing a shortage of ships of almost all major classes.
The Baltic Sea region is gradually becoming center stage in the clash of interests between Russia and NATO members. There is an obvious need for a document on mutual understanding between Russia and NATO to resolve dangerous incidents. The assessment of any actions of one party or another should be strictly legal.
Life is never dull. The results of the British referendum, hardly expected by anyone, came as a new wake-up call clearly signaling that there is not a place left on Earth where politics could be predictable. Now everyone is waiting with bated breath for the outcome of the presidential election in the United States where all think that Donald Trump simply cannot win, but are no longer certain.
As Russia begins to wind down its military operation in Syria, it is time to assess what it has taught us about how the Russian military operates.
The Russian military campaign in Syria has been a major military and political event with significant regional and global consequences. It is post-Soviet Russia’s first openly-conducted full-scale military operation abroad.
The fast build-up of China’s military power is a natural and inevitable process, albeit belated. China is only bringing its military capability into line with the scale of its economy, territory and population. More importantly, it is taking systematic and very costly efforts to make its armed forces ready for active combat operations in remote regions of the world.
There can be no return to the status quo ante. “Militant Russia” is here to stay. The U.S., EU and other powers will have little choice, regardless of current attitudes towards Putin and the regime, but to work towards a new modus vivendi with a stronger, more self-assured and demanding Russia.
Nearly a quarter of a century after US-led coalition forces relied extensively on information technology, hi-tech precision weapons and joined-up military doctrine to comprehensively defeat Saddam Hussein’s Iraqi army in Operation Desert Storm, the concept, implications and legacy of the so-called Revolution in Military Affairs remains both contested and indistinct.
Extremes in foreign policy and personal ambitions of those who make decisions at the “macro” level may push a feeble or even growing economy to the limit, thus causing its rapid destruction or plunging it into a period of degradation that may last for decades.
The Russian military campaign in Syria is a political landmark comparable to Crimea’s reunification with Russia or the conflict in Donbass.
Moscow's stance on the Syrian conflict reveals an ever-complicated web of alliances, armament and regional plays, widening the diplomacy gap between the United States and Russia on Middle East policy.
In the absence of a large number of allies, bases and airfields in various parts of the world, Russia’s capability for global presence and defending its national interests far from Russian borders is limited.
The World Ocean is a key space for international relations and military policies of the great powers. It depends only on Russia whether it becomes an active player in this space or a passive observer.
Tendencies will continue – a geopolitical shift towards Eurasia and the Asia Pacific Region; symbolic ‘sovereignization’ of Russia and its further distancing from the U.S. and Europe; and the erosion of a foreign policy consensus. The fourth edition of Putin’s foreign policy will most likely differ significantly from the previous three.
The political intrigue has another side to it, namely, the deterrence of China’s growing ambitions in the Korean peninsula and across the region. The minimum objective is to put Beijing in front of a stark choice: whether it prefers to team up with the North Korean “provocateurs” or with the “civilized community.” Whichever option the Chinese may choose, according to the American logic they will find themselves in the losing position.
At a roundtable event in Moscow, top experts debated the “hypocritical” and “insincere” foreign policies of both Russia and the West in the post-Cold War era.
Vladimir Putin has mentioned several times that the collapse of the Soviet Union was a geopolitical mistake. Although these words were often interpreted as his desire to constitute that country, there is little reason to believe this.
Contemporary international relations are experiencing a period of turbulence and transition from a unipolar world to a world with multiple centers of power with strengthened role of regionalization. In these circumstances relatively small states try to maximize the resource of geopolitical identity to conduct their foreign policies.
In the old days coal miners took a caged canary down into mines. If the canary suddenly dropped dead, that meant that the deadly gas, carbon monoxide, was slowly seeping into the shaft... An order of magnitude increase in killing rampages in America over the last several decades is like canaries suddenly starting to drop dead all around us. It is an early indicator of much worse troubles to come.
In the wake of the For Fair Elections protest movement in Russia in 2011-2012, the Kremlin initiated a new strategy of state-society relations that was aimed at diminishing the propensity for protest in the next election cycle.
Belarus’ traditional structural dependence on Russia is increasing, and Minsk’s freedom of maneuver continues to shrink.