Putin's Multipolar World and What it Means for U.S. Strategy
Russian President Vladimir Putin’s overarching goal is to create a multipolar world in which Russia is a leading entity. He will attempt to do this by regaining his control over Ukraine, expanding his interests in the Middle East, strengthening partnerships with China and undermining the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). Putin is a strong believer in the Spheres of Influence concept in which larger nations will attempt to exert leverage over smaller nations to advance their own strategic interests. While Russia’s efforts may appear to be belligerently hostile to the Western world, they are not without reason. From Moscow’s doorstep, Russian strategic analysts have been observing the actions of what they feel is an unchecked NATO, beginning with its intervention in Bosnia and ending in the Libyan bombing campaign. Putin believes that by creating a multipolar world, Russia will be in a better position to resist NATO’s seemingly aggressive behavior. However, if he wants to solidify Russia’s position as a leader in a multipolar world, he will not only try to resist NATO but will also endeavor to create a rift in the alliance by attempting to demonstrate to its members Russian diplomatic and military superiority over the United States.