Currently, no world leader has a better record of using military power to advance its political ideology compared to Russian President Vladimir Putin. Be it his Georgie aggression of 2008, followed by Ukraine insurgency in 2014, Syria in 2015, and now again Ukraine in 2022, Putin has shown his resolve to fight militarily instead of using diplomacy to settle the conflict. And to everyone’s surprise, Putin has managed to put on an impressive show while demonstrating his military strength.
Russia’s Putin Keeps on Going to War and Keeps on Winning
Compared to the western world, Russia’s armament has only increased in the past decade, which can describe Russian behavior somehow.
Although Russia’s invasion of Georgia in 2008 lasted for as little as five days, it proved that even such a short time window is enough to humiliate any country.
There is a reason why Putin keeps on going into war without calculating the consequences of it, i.e., he keeps on winning these conflicts using the sheer force it has while the west is trying its best to refrain from armed conflict.
This encourages Russia to keep on exploiting the softness of subsequent US administrations, which helps it to achieve its political gains militarily.
Currently, the west, in general, does not consider Russia as its primary enemy not only because of energy dependency but also due to the very fact that Russia’s economy collapsed to sustain the pressure of the cold war and succumbing in front of unbearable torture it faced during the Cold War.
The West Perceived Putin Strategy Wrongly
Since the last decade, it is the firm belief of the west that now Russia’s only weapon is hybrid warfare which it deploys against its enemies in the form of cyberattacks, disinformation campaigns, covert operations, just to name a few tactics used in this sort of warfare.
However, this is not the only thing that Putin has been doing in recent times. The world kept on believing that the war was moving from its traditional form to modern warfare tactics like hybrid warfare.
However, Putin was not reluctant to stick to the rather old methodology, but in a new fashion. For instance, he relied on its hard power as equal to his other form of aggression.
This allowed him to become unpredictable and shock the world in numerous ways. At a time when the world was disarming, thinking that the era of diplomacy has started and hard power may not become relevant anymore, this thinking of Putin is assisting him in hitting his opposition hard.
Today the threat of a hard form of aggression against Europe is at least as equal as the threat of cyberwarfare, and the credit of this unpredictability goes to Putin.
Another strong weapon at Russia’s disposal is its belief that the west cannot go all out against its economy.
This was seen recently when the Biden administration refused to disenfranchise Russia from SWIFT Banking Network, thus allowing him to continue playing around.
This is due to the fact that Russia knows that the world is interconnected complexly, and any pressure on such a big country is likely to strain the resources of the whole world.
The oil and gas prices have already started jumping, and the world cannot risk going into all-out economic sanctions against Russia, which is helping Russia in guessing what could be the next move of the west.
Although the United States is stronger than Russia militarily, what matters at the end of the day is the resolve of any country to use that power for highly specific gains instead of keeping strongmen in barracks which America is doing.
The US is also paying a heavy price of undermining NATO over time. Donald Trump threatened to withdraw from NATO repeatedly, indicating that the alliance was no longer beneficial to the safety of the region.
However, now that futile strategy is unfolding, which is helping Russia to pursue its waring ambitions once again.