Does Russian Democracy Have a Future?

  • July 01, 1994
  • Dr Stephen J Blank, Dr Earl H Tilford Jr
  • Dr Stephen J Blank, Dr Earl H Tilford Jr

In 1854, on the eve of the Crimea campaign, Antoine Henri Jomini wrote, "The Russian Army is a wall which, however far it may retreat, you will always find in front of you." The political unrest and economic disarray that followed the collapse of the Soviet Union and the disintegration of the Communist Empire have altered, but not crippled, the formidable strength of the Russian military. While the forces of democracy and reform survived the elections of December 1993, the very strong support generated by ultra-nationalist Vladimir Zhirinovsky reminds us that the future of Russia is far from determined. In late January 1994, the Strategic Studies Institute, with the cooperation of the U.S. Army Center of Military History, hosted a Washington roundtable which addressed the impact of the December 1993 elections. Scholars from the Army, academia, and the strategic community met for a day of frank and sometimes spirited discussion. Each scholar was asked to provide a formal paper presenting his or her perspective on this subject. These proceedings are offered because the Strategic Studies Institute believes that Jomini's observations are as valid today as they were 160 years ago.