The documented threat assessments addressed here are clearly the culmination to date of a long-standing process by which the Russian military and government have forsaken the optimistic Westernizing postures and visions of the initial post-Soviet years and returned in many respects to assessments and demands for specific policies that evoke the Soviet mentality and period. The armed forces and the government have adopted a viewpoint that magnifies both the internal and external threats to Russia that they perceive and regard those threats as growing in number and saliency. This viewpoint is fundamentally at odds with both the post-1985 Soviet and Russian perspective and with Western perspectives on international security. The future course of Russian security policy is one of the most important and difficult questions in contemporary international affairs. This monograph addresses basic issues pertaining to Russia s future options for policymakers' consideration and reflection as the global debate over Russia s future direction under Vladimir Putin takes shape.