Russia's New Doctrine: Two Views

  • July 01, 1994
  • Dr Michael M Boll, COL James F Holcomb Jr

The future direction of Russian security and defense policies is a fundamental issue in contemporary world politics. Future Russian policies will have a major impact on all nuclear issues; on bilateral relations with the United States; and on European, Middle Eastern, Central Asian, and Far Eastern security. One primary indicator of the direction of Russian policies is the new Defense Doctrine published in November 1993. This document has aroused much controversy and diverging assessments as to its significance. However, since it encompasses all the major issues in Russia's security and defense agenda, it is a major statement that is crucial to any understanding of Russian trends and policies. Because of the controversy over Russian doctrine, the Strategic Studies Institute, as part of its ongoing coverage of Russian defense and security policies, presents here two very different assessments of that doctrine to contribute to the debate over its meaning. The Institute is not offering an official interpretation of the new doctrine. While both authors work for the Defense Department, they differ in their assessments and are expressing only their personal opinions, not those of any government agency.