Russia's President Vladimir Putin (C), Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu (L) and head of the Russian army's main department of combat preparation Ivan Buvaltsev watch military exercises at the Kirillovsky firing ground in the Leningrad region, March 3, 2014. Photo: Reuters/Mikhail Klimentyev
Michael Kofman, War On The Rocks: A Comparative Guide To Russia's Use Of Force: Measure Twice, Invade Once
In the 20th century, the Soviet military’s penchant for area of effect artillery and armored firepower had earned it the reputation of a large hammer always in search of nails. This popularized impression stuck with Russia long after the Soviet Union’s demise, but today’s Kremlin employs military power in a much more nuanced manner to pursue its objectives. In recent conflicts, Russia has demonstrated a keen understanding of how to apply this instrument of national power to achieve desired political ends, doling out force in prescribed doses in the quest for decisive leverage. Although Russian military power remains a blunt force instrument, the state wields it more like a rapier, demonstrating discretion and timing.
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WNU Editor: This is one of the best analysis on how Russia employs its military to achieve its political ends in a long time.