Victory Day parade Moscow 2018.

The Durability of Russian Military Power: Moscow’s Prospects for Sustaining Direct Competition

May 25, 2018
Michael Kofman
This is a summary of an issue brief originally published by Oxford University's Changing Character of War Centre.

The author writes that although Western political analysis tends toward measuring state power via economic measures, Russia has shown that military power "remains an important instrument in international politics." Russia's success in restoring its military power gives it greater leverage on the international stage, and Moscow is increasingly using this threat of force to underwrite its foreign policy. Indirect competition, the author argues, is ineffectual without conventional military power behind it. Although many believe that Russia's economic, industrial and demographic trends are working against the country, the author argues that looking ahead by ten years and even more shows little promise of "severe shortages of either manpower, money or material." Although Russia does face challenges, these are not deterministic, but rather only "consequential, often resulting in cycles of stagnation and mobilization."

Read the full brief at Oxford University's Changing Character of War Centre.

Author

Michael Kofman

Michael Kofman is a senior research scientist with the CNA Corporation and a global fellow at the Woodrow Wilson International Center's Kennan Institute.

Photo by Kremlin.ru shared under a CC BY 4.0 license.