Balarus Army

Understanding Russia’s Actions in Belarus

Russia’s Coercive Mediation Strategy

October 2021, Number 11.04

“To make up for its economic weakness, Russia leverages its intelligence capabilities, experienced diplomats and broad diaspora to execute its strategies and tactics. Moscow uses hybrid warfare, reflexive control, active measures and coercive mediation to punch above its weight in international relations. Coercive mediation is a peace-building approach coined by David Lewis in his article, “Russia as Peacebuilder? Russia’s Coercive Mediation Strategy.” Lewis argues that for Russia, peace negotiations and coercive military actions are linked. He identified coercive mediation as a unique strategy that Russia uses to wield influence around the globe: Russia aims to be both negotiator and mediator to stop the fighting through a top-down approach, informed by power politics. The strategy stands in sharp contrast to the liberal peace-building model favored by the West...”

Excerpt from John Berger, “Russia’s Coercive Mediation Strategy,” per Concordiam: Journal of European Security Defense Issues 11, No. 4, 2021: 10-17.

Lt. Col. John Berger, U.S. Air Force, is a senior U.S. fellow at the Marshall Center. He is a C-17A instructor pilot with over 750 combat hours supporting Operation Enduring Freedom, Operation Iraqi Freedom and other contingency operations. He commanded the 321st Air Mobility Operations Squadron at Travis Air Force Base in California.

This article reflects the views of the author and are not necessarily the official policy of the United States, Germany, or any other governments.