Russian Military Transformation: Goal in Sight?

Russian Military Transformation: Goal in Sight?
Russian Military Transformation: Goal in Sight?
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The Russian Armed Forces have been undergoing major structural reform since 2008. Despite change at the most senior levels of leadership, the desired endstate for Russia's military is now clear; but this endstate is determined by a flawed political perception of the key threats facing Russia. This monograph reviews those threat evaluations, and the challenges facing Russia's military transformation, to assess the range of options available to Russia for closing the capability gap with the United States and its allies.  NOTE: This monograph was completed 6 months before the Russian military demonstrated its new capabilities in Crimea and Eastern Ukraine in early-2014. Presciently, the authors had concluded with a warning that close attention to Russian military transformation and its eventual aims was essential both for Russia's immediate neighbors, and for the United States.

 is the director of the Conflict Studies Research Centre (CSRC), a group of deep subject matter experts on Eurasian security formerly attached to the United Kingdom (UK) Ministry of Defence. Now operating in the private sector, CSRC provides in-depth analysis on a wide range of security issues affecting Russia and its relations with overseas partners. After beginning his career working with paramilitary aviation in Russia and Ukraine immediately following the fall of the Soviet Union, Mr. Giles joined the BBC Monitoring Service (BBCM) to report on political and military affairs in the former Soviet space. While attached from BBCM to CSRC at the UK Defence Academy, he wrote and briefed for UK and North Atlantic Treaty Organization government agencies on a wide range of Russian defense and security issues. Mr. Giles’s work has appeared in a wide range of academic and military publications across Europe and in the United States. Uniquely, he is a double Associate Fellow of the Royal Institute of International Affairs (Chatham House) in London, UK, as well as a regular contributor to research projects on Russian security issues in both the UK and Europe.

ANDREW MONAGHAN is a Research Fellow in the Russia and Eurasia Programme at Chatham House and Academic Visitor at St Antony’s College, Oxford United Kingdom (UK). He is the Founder and Director of the Russia Research Network, an independent organization for the generation of information and expertise on Russian politics, security, and economic issues, based in London. In this capacity, he has served as an expert witness to the House of Commons Foreign Affairs Select Committee. Until late-2012, he directed Russian related research in the Research Division of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization’s Defense College (NDC) located in Rome, Italy. In this role, he was also the NDC’s senior researcher on energy security matters. Prior to that, he held positions as a Senior Research Associate at the Advanced Research and Assessment Group (ARAG), part of the Defence Academy of the UK, and a Visiting Lecturer in the Defence Studies Department of King’s College, London, the civilian academic arm of the Joint Services Command and Staff College at the Defence Academy. Dr. Monaghan holds an M.A. in war studies and a Ph.D. in Russian foreign policy (Russian perspectives of Russia-EU security relations) from the Department of War Studies, King’s College.

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The Strategic Studies Institute recommends this Letort Paper not only to scholars of Russia, but also to policymakers considering the range of challenges which the U.S. Army may be expected to face in the coming decades. Undergraduate students majoring in Russian and Eurasian studies may find this text about the military transformation of the Russian defense a welcome resource for a term paper.

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Defense Dept., Army, Strategic Studies Institute; and Army War College
  • Giles, Keir
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  • Letort Papers
  • Military History
  • Russia
  • Goal in Sight?
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