The Bear is Back
“Russia’s annexation of Crimea demonstrated to the world that the country is capable of using 21st century tactics at the operational level to achieve strategic level results. Through a combination of conventional and unconventional warfare, Russia caught the West off guard and achieved a relatively bloodless strategic victory in Ukraine. These events have left many of the United States’ European allies questioning the recent U.S. decision to refocus its overseas military priorities to the Asia-Pacific region, and have left Russia’s neighbors greatly concerned about the future intentions of an empowered Russia. The West’s response will largely depend upon opinions as to whether Crimea is an isolated event, a special circumstance unique to Ukraine, or the first demonstration of Russia’s willingness and ability to successfully operate militarily and geopolitically in the 21st century...”
Excerpt from Casey Benefield, “The Bear Is Back,” per Concordiam: Journal of European Security Defense Issues 5, No. 4, 2014: 34-39.
Maj. Casey Benefield is a U.S. Marine Corps foreign area officer stationed at the Marshall Center in Garmisch Partenkirchen, Germany. He holds a master’s degree in international security studies from the Naval Postgraduate School.
This article reflects the views of the author and are not necessarily the official policy of the United States, Germany, or any other governments.