A group of more than two dozen national security experts authored a white-paper to warn that Russia is operating in a "zero-sum world view" where it isn't enough that Russia wins, the United States also has to lose.
"Contrary to conventional analysis, after two decades under Vladimir Putin, Russia represents an ideological challenge to the West, not just a political and military rivalry," the Pentagon report explained. "Although NATO continues to possess impressive overmatch against Moscow, that edge is dwindling, and Western vulnerabilities in certain military areas are alarming. Moreover, the unwillingness of Western experts and governments to confront the ideological — as well as political and military — aspects of our rivalry with Putinism means that the threat of significant armed conflict is rising."
Putin's strategy is made up of a series of concerning objectives:
- "Reclaim and secure Russia's influence over former Soviet nations."
- "Regain worldwide recognition as a 'great power.'"
- "Portray itself as a reliable actor, a key regional powerbroker, and a successful mediator in order to gain economic, military, and political influence over nations worldwide and to refine the liberalist rules and norms that currently govern the world order."
- In order to achieve these objectives and advance its foreign policy, Russia has sought to master the art of "hybrid warfare" through "the use of paramilitary forces and other proxies, interference in political processes, economic and energy exploitation (particularly in Africa), espionage, and media and propaganda manipulation."
The United States can limit Russia's success, but the Pentagon revealed that the "greatest weakness" is a lack of coordination across all government agencies. The report did not, however, specifically mention the White House as a concern for the lack of
In an interview with Politico, one contributing author to the report, Anna Borshchevskaya, explained the divide Trump has created abroad is making the United States weaker.
"We still have a story to tell, but because we are so polarized and are doubting ourselves, we have a narrative problem. Russia does not," she explained.