by Ariel Cohen
The Heritage Foundation
June 10, 2014
Backgrounder
Russia’s military occupation and absorption of Crimea shattered the two decades of post–Cold War peace in Europe. Twenty-two years after the collapse of the Soviet Union, Russia is rebuilding its military strength and is once again rising in regional influence. In the military, economic, and political spheres, Russia is preparing to project its power across Eastern Europe, the Caucasus, Central Asia, and the North Pacific. Most notably, Russia is also beginning to bolster its geopolitical presence and military might by expanding the Collective Security Treaty Organization. Russia’s resurgent assertiveness presents challenges for the U.S. and Western allies. It is vital that the Obama Administration increase intelligence gathering on Russian military modernization and strategic and tactical goals, programs, and plans. It is also crucial that U.S. military modernization continue—and that defense spending remain at 4 percent of gross domestic product.



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