miércoles, 5 de octubre de 2016

What´s next: how Putin sees Russia’s role in the world

6 Moves Putin’s Russia Could Make in Its Old Stomping Ground

by Luke Coffey

Russia’s invasion of eastern Ukraine and annexation of Crimea have left many wondering: Where next for Moscow?

While no one can read Russian President Vladimir Putin’s mind, we can examine historical precedent to construct feasible scenarios for future Russian action. 

Here, we’ll review six such scenarios, each reflecting three assumptions regarding how Putin sees Russia’s role in the world:

Assumption 1: The West today is dealing with an imperial Russia and not a Cold War Russia. Putin’s vision for Russia is closer to that of the czars than that of the rulers of the Soviet Union, meaning he is more interested in expanding Russian military, economic, and political influence than spreading an ideology.

Assumption 2: Putin is willing to use military force to protect “compatriots”—those loosely defined as ethnic Russians, Russian speakers, and other groups sharing cultural, religious, or historical ties to Russia but residing outside Russia’s contemporary borders.

Assumption 3: Given current geopolitical circumstances, it is unlikely (albeit not impossible) that Putin will risk a total war with the United States by invading a NATO member. Non-NATO options for intervention are available across Eastern Europe and Eurasia—options that would allow Putin to reveal the West as ineffectual and disunited without automatically triggering a full-scale war with the alliance.

So what are these non-NATO scenarios?

Some involve direct threats to U.S. national interests; others raise only indirect threats. However, all six share one common theme: Russia exerts influence beyond its present borders but still inside its old imperial frontiers.


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