As NATO prepares for its summit in Warsaw, the leaders of the Alliance’s 28 nations will try to put a good face on what is clearly a deteriorating security situation on the Continent. Government officials, diplomats and military leaders are wringing their hands at Russian President Vladimir Putin’s apparent ability to run rings around the United States and its allies. If Vladimir Putin, the ex-KGB spy, can dust off his former employer’s playbook on subversion and coercion, then perhaps Western strategists should dig through their bookshelves for strategies from the same era that worked against Moscow. Specifically, Western planners and decision makers need to resurrect the wisdom of the Yoda of the Pentagon, Mr. Andrew Marshall. It was under his leadership that the Office of Net Assessment developed an approach to competing against the Soviet Union at multiple levels and over the long-term, known as Competitive Strategies. What is needed now is a 21st Century Competitive Strategies Initiative that seeks to exploit the multiple weaknesses of a failing Russian state. I have written a commentary for The National Interest here.
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