The CSS Blog Network

Tacit Alliance: Russia and China Take Military Partnership to New Level

Image courtesy of Kremlin.ru. (CC BY 4.0)

This article was originally published by the Carnegie Moscow Center on 22 October 2019.

By cooperating with China in the military sphere, Russia loses virtually nothing in terms of security, while making life difficult for the United States, strengthening its relationship with a key partner, and gaining an economic advantage.

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Russian Defense Spending

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These graphics provide an overview of the trend in Russia’s defense spending, outlining spending between 2010 and 2018 as well as forecasts for the defense budget up to 2021. For an insight into the prospects for Russia’s defense spending and more, see ‘Russian Analytical Digest No. 237: Security Issues’.

It’s Time to Talk About A2/AD: Rethinking the Russian Military Challenge

Image courtesy of Dmitriy Fomin/Flickr. (CC BY 2.0)

This article was originally published by War on the Rocks on 5 September 2019. 

America’s strategy community has a problem that it likes to call “A2/AD,” and while the symptoms are very real, in the case of Russia strategists and planners have largely misdiagnosed the nature of the challenge. Anti-access and area denial, commonly known as A2/AD, is more than another defense community buzzword: It has become a deeply rooted way of talking about the military capabilities of adversaries that the United States considers to be relative peers. The term has enjoyed great utility as short-hand for a select grouping of adversary capabilities that pose major problems to America’s preferred way of conducting combat operations (unrestricted and uncontested). But when applied to Russia, the “A2/AD” frame has become dangerously misleading. Over time, anti-access and area denial has evolved from a vehicle for useful conversations about Russian conventional capabilities to a vision of a Russian doctrine or strategy for warfighting that frankly does not exist. The result is a general misreading of the Russian military’s operational concepts and strategy for large scale combat operations.

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After Crimea: Does NATO Have the Means to Defend Europe?

Image courtesy of Clayton Lenhardt/DVIDS.

This article was originally published by the European Council on Foreign Relations (ECFR) in April 2019.

Military spending may now figure in public conversation about NATO. But the alliance, at 70 years old, still lacks military capabilities strong enough to protect Europe from Russia

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Russian Armed Forces along Deterrence and Deniability

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This graphic maps how Russian armed forces’ capabilities relate to their deniability and the deterrence they provide. It also describes how Russia made use of these capabilities in Crimea and eastern Ukraine. To find out what Western planners and strategists have learned from the war in Ukraine, read Niklas Masuhr’s addition to the CSS Analyses in Security Policy series here.

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