Book Cover for Russia's Global Reach with a map of Russia in the ground.

Russia’s Global Reach: A Security and Statecraft Assessment

About This Volume

Edited by Graeme P. Herd


This book is dedicated to the memory of Dr. John Reppert (September 16, 1941  October 11, 2019) and Dr. Robert “Bob” Brannon (November 13, 1950  May 22, 2017). John was Dean of the College of International Security Studies at the George C. Marshall European Center for Security Studies (GCMC) twice, from 2003 to 2006 and April 2010 to September 2012. Bob was GCMC Dean from September 2012 to September 2016.

Before joining the GCMC, both served in leadership positions in Moscow, John as U.S. Defense Attaché to the Russian Federation and Bob as Naval Attaché. As Deans, as academics, and as old “Russia hands,” these leaders had the vision to constantly seek ways to further our understanding of Russian strategic behavior, with a view to identifying appropriate policy responses. We remember them with fondness and affection.


List of Contributors
Executive Summary: U.S. Policy Considerations

Section I: Introduction

Chapter 1     Understanding Russia’s Global ReachGraeme P. Herd

Section II: Regional Case Studies

Chapter 2     Russia-U.S. Relations: Towards a New Strategic RelationshipSuzanne Loftus

Chapter 3     Russia and European Great Powers: UK, France and GermanyPál Dunay

Chapter 4     Russia and the Arctic: High Ambitions, Modernized Capabilities and Risky SetbacksPavel Baev

Chapter 5     Russia and Latin America: Flexible, Pragmatic and CloseFabiana S. Perera

Chapter 6     Russia and China: Putin Turns to the EastWade Turvold, Michael B. Dorschner, and Michael Burgoyne

Chapter 7     Russia and Northeast Asia: Unrealized PotentialWade Turvold, Michael B. Dorschner, and Michael Burgoyne

Chapter 8     Russia and South Asia: India and PakistanJohn H. (Jack) Gill

Chapter 9     Russia and the Middle East: Opportunities and ChallengesGawdat Bahgat

Chapter 10   Russia and Africa: Expanding Influence and InstabilityJoseph Siegle

Section III: Russian Power Capabilities

Chapter 11    Russian Nuclear Instruments and Arms Control ApproachesPavel Baev

Chapter 12    Russia’s Economic Engagement: Realities, Pitfalls, and PerilsPál Dunay

Chapter 13    Russian Diplomacy and Conflict ManagementDavid Lewis

Chapter 14    Active Measures: Russia’s Covert Global Reach, Mark Galeotti

Chapter 15   Strategic Messaging: Propaganda and Disinformation EffortsDmitry Gorenburg 

Section IV: Conclusions

Chapter 16    Assessing Russian Statecraft and U.S. Policy Considerations, Graeme P. Herd


It is a distinct pleasure to take time to acknowledge the efforts of many individuals and teams who worked to see this book project to fruition. My apologies if I have inadvertently overlooked anyone, but know that I and the contributors are grateful nonetheless.

When conceptualizing the book in early 2020, Michael Burgoyne at APCSS and Joseph Siegle at Africa Center, were both present at the creation and my thanks to both for providing constructive feedback on the book’s structure and purpose. The Deans of the five regional centers supported this project from the outset, not least by encouraging their faculty to contribute. When COVID-19 hit in March 2020, the planned Workshop in support of this project was cancelled.  Thankfully, all contributors continued to work virtually on this project and should be applauded.

In mid-2020, Matt Sousa moderated three virtual presentations by Pavel Baev, David Lewis, and Mark Galeotti for GCMC FAOs and others, and my thanks to him, the presenters and Kailyn Manseau for organizing this troika. These presentations then became, respectively, Chapters 4, 13, and 14 of this book.

It is my pleasure to thank Martin Heli, an intern at the GCMC in November-December 2020, for reading through earlier drafts, checking links and offering comments. Pál Dunay, Mike Burgoyne, Wade Turvold, Joe Siegle, and David Lewis all offered valuable feedback on Chapter 16 and I am indebted to them for this.

On behalf of Suzanne Loftus, Pál Dunay and myself, let me express our thanks to the superb Research Library here at the GCMC, not least for the responsiveness of its staff to our research needs. 

My thanks also to Jeannie Callaghan, Chief, Publications and Evaluations at the Marshall Center, and her team, consisting of Rachel Ager, Missy Odom, and Westin Reuter. Their copy editing, formatting, and working with the contributors to find appropriate images to illustrate the text provided the curriculum user-friendly html version of this research. I am grateful that the DevOps team at the Marshall Center, consisting of Sherry Rivera, Martin Lubos, and Forrest Briggs, created the new section of our webpage that features this volume.  Thanks to James Schenk for creating our book cover and Rachel Ager for selecting the appropriate image.  Lastly, I appreciate the help of Dr. Kathryn Newton and Anthony Micchelli for supporting the production process of an advanced courtesy copy.

Graeme P. Herd
Garmisch-Partenkirchen, April 28, 2021

List of Contributors

Dr. Pavel K. Baev is a Research Professor at the Peace Research Institute Oslo (PRIO). He is also a Senior Non-Resident Scholar at the Brookings Institutions (Washington, DC) and a Senior Research Associate with the French International Affairs Institute (IFRI, Paris). Pavel specializes in Russian military reform; Russian conflict management in the Caucasus and Central Asia; energy interests in Russia’s foreign policy; and Russian relations with Europe and NATO.

Dr. Gawdat Bahgat is a professor at the Near East-South Asia Center for Strategic Studies (NESA) at the National Defense University in Washington, DC. He is the author of twelve books and more than 200 articles on the Middle East. His areas of expertise include energy security; proliferation of weapons of mass destruction; international political economy; Iran; and U.S. foreign policy.

Lt. Col. (ret) Michael Burgoyne joined the Daniel K. Inouye Asia-Pacific Center for Security Studies (DKI APCSS) in July 2016 as a military professor, where he currently focuses on Northeast Asian Security, Taiwan, and China. His experience in the Asia-Pacific includes most recently serving as the Army Programs Officer at the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT), Taipei. He is co-editor of China’s Global Influence: Perspectives and Recommendations.

Lt. Col. Michael Dorschner joined the Daniel K. Inouye Asia-Pacific Center for Security Studies (DKI APCSS) in 2019 as a military faculty member. As a U.S. Army Foreign Area Officer, he brings experience from living, studying, and working in a variety of positions around the Indo-Pacific region, with specific expertise in Northeast Asian security, Chinese relations, and security cooperation throughout Southeast Asia. His recent assignments included postings as the U.S. Defense Attaché at the U.S. Embassy in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia and as the Army Liaison Officer at the U.S. Consulate in Hong Kong.

Dr. Pál Dunay is Professor of NATO and European Security Issues at the George C. Marshall European Center for Security Studies (GCMC), Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany. Between 1996 and 2004 as well as between 2007 and 2014, he was course director of the nine-month-long International Training Course in Security Policy at the Geneva Centre for Security Policy. Between July 2004 and the beginning of 2007, he was a senior researcher at the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI). Between May 2014 and June 2015 and then again between January and September 2016, he was Director of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe’s Academy in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan. Pál’s research interests extend to various issues of European security with an emphasis on East-Central Europe and Eastern Europe, Central Asia, the OSCE, the legality of the use of force, and integration and disintegration in the post-Soviet space.

Dr. Mark Galeotti is director of the London-based consultancy Mayak Intelligence, an honorary professor at the University College London School of Slavonic and East European Studies, a senior associate fellow at the Royal United Services Institute, and a senior non-resident fellow at the Institute of International Relations Prague. He is an expert and prolific author on transnational crime and Russian security affairs.

John H. (Jack) Gill is an adjunct professor affiliated with the NESA Center and an associate fellow with the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS). A former U.S. Army South Asia Foreign Area Officer, he has been following South Asia security issues since the mid-1980s in positions at the Pentagon and Pacific Command. His publications on South Asia include the Atlas of the 1971 India-Pakistan War, chapters on Indian and Pakistani strategic affairs in the IISS Strategic Survey, and the National Bureau of Asian Research annual Strategic Asia, as well as chapters on U.S.-India military relations, the 1986-87 India–Pakistan Brasstacks crisis, and the 1999 Kargil War. He is also an internationally recognized military historian and has authored several books and numerous papers on the Napoleonic era.

Dr. Dmitry Gorenburg is Senior Research Scientist in the Strategy, Policy, Plans, and Programs division of CNA, where he has worked since 2000. Dmitry is an associate at the Harvard University Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies and previously served as Executive Director of the American Association of the Advancement of Slavic Studies (AAASS). His research interests include security issues in the former Soviet Union, Russian military reform, Russian foreign policy, and ethnic politics and identity. He currently serves as editor of Problems of Post-Communism and was also editor of Russian Politics and Law from 2009 to 2016. Dmitry received a B.A. in international relations from Princeton University and holds a Ph.D. in political science from Harvard University. He blogs on issues related to the Russian military at

Dr. Graeme P. Herd is Professor of Transnational Security Studies and Chair of the Research and Policy Analysis Department at the GCMC. Graeme directs a new monthly Russian Hybrid Seminar Series (RHSS), focusing on Russian risk calculus, red lines, and crisis behavior and the implications of this for policy responses. He has published nine books, written over seventy academic papers, and delivered over 100 academic and policy-related presentations in forty-six countries. He is currently writing a manuscript that examines the relationship between Russia’s strategic culture and President Putin’s operational code on decision-making in Russia today. He is also the editor of this volume.

Dr. David Lewis is Associate Professor of International Relations at the University of Exeter. David’s research interests include international peace and conflict studies, with a regional focus on Russia and other post-Soviet states. He is the author of numerous articles and books on Russia and Eurasia, including most recently Russia’s New Authoritarianism: Putin and the Politics of Order (Edinburgh University Press, 2020).

Dr. Suzanne Loftus is currently a Professor of National Security and the Deputy Chair of the Strategic Initiatives Department at the GCMC. Suzanne specializes in Russian foreign and domestic politics and transatlantic security. Prior to turning to academia, Suzanne worked at the United Nations and in the private sector in Geneva, Switzerland, where she also earned her Master’s degree in Business Management. She holds a doctorate in international studies from the University of Miami, where she also taught a number of classes in international relations and foreign policy. Along with her native English, she speaks French, Spanish, and Russian.

Dr. Fabiana S. Perera is an Assistant Professor at the William J. Perry Center for Hemispheric Defense Studies. Prior to joining the Perry Center, Fabiana was a Rosenthal Fellow at the Office of the Secretary of Defense, Under Secretary for Policy, Western Hemisphere Affairs. Fabiana has experience working in the public and private sectors. She worked as a research associate at Mitsubishi International Corporation focusing on Latin America and the energy and infrastructure sectors. She also has experience serving at the Department of Veterans Affairs and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). Her research and analysis have appeared in numerous publications including The Washington Post,, and War on the Rocks. Her research has been supported by numerous organizations including Columbia University’s Women in Energy program and George Washington University’s Center for International Business Education.

Dr. Joseph Siegle is the Director of Research at the Africa Center for Strategic Studies. His areas of expertise include the role of democratic governance in advancing security and development; strengthening institutions of accountability; stabilizing fragile states; and the role of external actors in Africa. He is the author of “Recommended US Response to Russian Activities in Africa,” part of the “Russia Strategic Intentions White Paper,” Strategic Multilayer Assessment (SMA) publication series, NSI, May 2019.

Wade Turvold joined the DKI APCSS in June 2019 after a thirty-year career in the U.S. Navy. He was privileged to serve in two educational assignments during this time, as the U.S. Navy Senior Service Representative and Director National Security Studies at the U.S. Army War College and the U.S. Navy Exchange Directing Staff at the Joint Services Command and Staff College, Defence Academy of the United Kingdom in Shrivenham, England.


When we survey the totality of Russian global activism, what is our assessment of contemporary Russian statecraft? The five U.S. Department of Defense Regional Centers collaborated to engage this strategic theme, resulting in this volume. The Centers are:

Africa Center for Strategic Studies
Daniel K. Inouye Asia Pacific Center for Security Studies
George C. Marshall European Center for Security Studies
Near East and South Asia Center for Strategic Studies
William J. Perry Center for Hemispheric Defense Studies

Drawing on their unique perspective of working with partner nations across the globe on a daily basis, these Centers are able to leverage their expertise to provide regionally-specific assessments of how well Russia aligns its ways and means with its strategic ends, when operating outside the borders of its historic 400-year-old empire. From this firm foundation we are well placed to identify policy implications and opportunities for the United States, its friends and allies, to engage Russia more effectively in each region and globally.  We present these results in our Executive Summary, which rests on the work of sixteen book chapters.

We very much appreciate the insights and analysis provided by Fabiana S. Perera from Perry Center, Wade Turvold, Michael B. Dorschner, and Michael Burgoyne from DKI APCSS, John H. (Jack) Gill and Gawdat Bahgat from NESA Center, Joseph Siegle from Africa Center and Pal Dunay, Suzanne Loftus, and Graeme P. Herd from our GCMC.  In addition, we sincerely thank Pavel K. Baev, Mark Galeotti, Dmitry Gorenburg, and David Lewis, each of these distinguished scholars are globally recognized experts on aspects of Russian strategic behavior.  Their thematic chapters ably assess Russian strategic behavior in a global context.

This book is available online, including as pdfs that can serve as curriculum in support of Regional Center programs and defense institution courses of friends and allies.  Shared research promotes discussion and exchanges of perspectives in teaching and seminars, increases knowledge, and strengthens networks. The Executive Summary provides an active and thoughtful Senior Leadership Seminar agenda.  I commend Jeannie Callaghan and her team here at the GCMC for a web design that facilitates such functionality in the service of our mission.

Building on the groundbreaking APCSS-led collaboration that resulted in the excellent assessment of China's global reach and activism, this GCMC-led effort provides a second volume to the series, on Russia. We look forward to subsequent collaborations that draw on regional center expertise to assess other evolving strategic trends in comparative perspective.

It is my pleasure to share this research and policy analysis with you all.

Keith W. Dayton, Lt. Gen, U.S. Army (ret.)
GCMC Director, March 22, 2021

The opinions expressed in this book are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the views or policies of the U.S. or any other government.