Yes, believe me, I can really vindicate that headline.
Over the last year or so I've read a few think tank papers (I think from Rand, perhaps not) on Russia's evolving defense doctrine (sometimes called Next Generation Warfare, Hybrid Warfare or the Gerasimov Doctrine, after the current chief of the Russian General Staff). The gist of it is a move away from traditional war-fighting with tanks and ICBMs and aircraft carriers to something more like the asymmetric warfare we associate with small states or non-state actors. This is not surprising. As I explained in my earlier post, Russia purports to be and in some ways remains a Great Power but must do so on the back of an economy that is at best middling in global terms. For point of comparison: Russia's GDP by their official exchange rate is $1.325 Trillion. Compare that to South Korea ($1.77 Trillion), Brazil ($1.773 Trillion), Italy ($1.816 Trillion), United States ($17.95 Trillion). To live up to Russia's Great Power or even regional power pretensions means a dramatic rethinking of the terrain of warfare and defense and a radical expansion of what is considered legitimate war-fighting and what is considered a legitimate target.
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