A new report for the Pentagon prepared by more than two dozen national security experts warns that Russia is using a “zero-sum” strategy for worldwide dominance which includes the Russians winning at the expense of the United States.
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“Contrary to conventional analysis, after two decades under Vladimir Putin, Russia represents an ideological challenge to the West, not just a political and military rivalry. Although NATO continues to possess impressive overmatch against Moscow, that edge is dwindling, and Western vulnerabilities in certain military areas are alarming. Moreover, the unwillingness of Western experts and governments to confront the ideological — as well as political and military — aspects of our rivalry with Putinism means that the threat of significant armed conflict is rising.”
Putin’s overall strategy for worldwide dominance is composed of several objectives, the report warns:
- “Reclaim and secure Russia’s influence over former Soviet nations.”
- “Regain worldwide recognition as a ‘great power.’”
- “Portray itself as a reliable actor, a key regional powerbroker, and a successful mediator in order to gain economic, military, and political influence over nations worldwide and to refine the liberalist rules and norms that currently govern the world order.”
But perhaps most concerning for the U.S. and its allies is how Putin intends to achieve his objectives:
In order to achieve these objectives and advance its foreign policy, Russia has sought to master the art of “hybrid warfare” through “the use of paramilitary forces and other proxies, interference in political processes, economic and energy exploitation (particularly in Africa), espionage, and media and propaganda manipulation.”
Be sure and note this part of the strategy, which seems to be exactly what the Russians did in the 2016 U.S. election: “Interference in political processes.”
Can the United States hope to fight back against the Russian effort? Yes, but there’s one major stumbling block, the report notes:
“The U.S. is uniquely equipped to limit the success of this grand strategy, but that its ‘greatest weakness’ is a lack of coordinated efforts across government agencies.”
Anna Borshchevskaya, a contributing author to the report, warned that the U.S. has internal divisions which weaken its ability to effectively battle Russia abroad. She told Politico:
“We still have a story to tell but because we are so polarized and are doubting ourselves we have a narrative problem. Russia does not.”
The bottom line of the report could not be more chilling:
“Political objectives matter to the Kremlin in a zero-sum worldview. For Russia to win, the U.S. has to lose.”
Russia is not our friend, no matter how much President Donald Trump tries to cozy up to Putin. As long as Putin is the leader of Russia, they are our mortal enemies, and their goal is to utterly destroy us.
Featured Image Via the BBC