I compared Russia’s new National Security Strategy with the 2015 NSS and other recent RS strategies.The new NSS incorporates familiar concepts. It reads as very closed off: more survivalist in tone and all refs to cooperation with the West were deleted. Observations below. /
There’s been some reorganization throughout, and IMO not to the betterment of the document. What’s new in the 2021 NSS: ✅ 2/
✅ New ‘bottom line up front’ paragraph that is perhaps a mission statement of sorts: Russia is a sovereign state that has resisted external pressure, economic resilience in the face of sanctions 3/
✅ more emphasis on the well-being of Russian citizens and social cohesion. The ‘human potential’ of the Russian people seems to be a higher priority than in previous documents, and decrees, although this idea was certainly there before. 4/
✅ in this document it is claimed that there is no moral leadership in the world and the current leadership (“western liberal order”) lacks an “attractive ideological basis for the future world order.” 5/
✅ more is added about protecting Russian traditional values and how these values are under attack by the west. “Westernization” of culture is described specifically as a threat to Russian “cultural sovereignty” and this phrase: “ unified cultural space.” 6/
✅ more focused on information security and economic security and how hostile foreign powers are using these tools against Russia. These concepts are taken from recent strategies on those topics. 7/
✅ New addition of moral and psychological readiness of military personnel. This is not surprising given the changes to the General Staff in this regard. 8/
What was eliminated this time in the 2021 NSS 🚫: all references to cooperating with the United States Europe and NATO were deleted. Instead the document blames attempts to isolate Russia and use of double standards and how difficult that makes multilateral cooperation 9/
🚫 mentions of Ukraine were stripped out 10/
🚫 major changes to the strategic stability section compared to 2015. references deleted regarding a world free of nuclear weapons, predictability and strategic offensive arms and participating in arms control agreements 11/
🚫 deleted e “preservation of strategic stability “ section from 2015 (para 104+). Refs stripped on working with the United States and NATO, minimum sufficiency, reducing nuclear potentials, confidence building measures. Vaguely says these should be improved but specifics cut.12/
What’s essentially the same in the 2021 NSS:🔄 13/
🔄 Russia’s view that the transition to the multipolar (polycentric) world is happening now, and the world is in an unstable transitional period. Hegemons are declining and new powers are rising.(this is a long-standing view of Russian grand strategy). /14
🔄The world’s leaders [the West] are trying to isolate and punish Russia via containment. /15
🔄 Defense and military issues: no bombshells here. Per doc: Threats are intensifying from NATO, The defense technology sector must not be dependent on foreign components. Russia must maintain leader ship in new emerging areas [hypersonics?] /16
Final thoughts. Woven throughout the document is the idea that Russia is a survivor despite outside efforts to contain it economically, via information technology, cultural assault, falsification of history, etc. 17
references to cooperation with the west were stripped from this document, but that doesn’t match recent real world events. The presidential summit, MFA and even MOD willingness to restore basic ties and discuss strategic stability. The NSS seems maybe out of step a little? 18/
All in all, the document is consistent with other strategies. Some curious signals are present, but no major bombshells or strategic re-orientation can be found here. 19/end.

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More from @MassDara

8 Jan 20
I’m not an Iran expert. But I am a military analyst. When I see the impact points of Iran’s strike on Asad air base, I don’t see purely symbolic strikes designed to avoid casualties, as some have speculated. The strikes appear to target the base’s military capability.
The missiles struck equipment and storage buildings on the infrastructure (populated) side of the base. The impacts *are not* scattershot across empty fields or airstrips on the southern side of the base (image from December)
There aren’t public U.S. confirmations about the number of Iranian missiles launched that failed to arrive on target. Without knowing where other missiles would have landed, it’s hard to assess the full targeting strategy.
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