Iron Troikas: The New Threat from the East   [open pdf - 439KB]

"In the aftermath of September 11, 2001, American security analysts preoccupied with global terrorism have ignored Russia as a security threat, but this is a mistake for two reasons. First, violence in the Caucasus, a demographic and health crisis, economic uncertainty, income inequality and a return to autocracy suggest a problematic future for Russia. Though deemed implausible, an imploded Russia would have massive security implications for the international community. But second, there is an existential threat posed by Russia which Janusz Bugajski has described in his book, 'Cold Peace: Russia's New Imperialism.' It involves Moscow's campaign to reassert its influence over the security policies of the countries in Central and Eastern Europe. The purpose of this monograph is to identify the -- actors and circumstances -- characterized as Iron Troikas which the Kremlin is employing to achieve these goals. The focus is on four U.S. allies in the East Baltic Sea Region (EBSR): the Baltic countries and Poland. Toward this end, the monograph will analyze three groups. The siloviki, the 'men of power' who represent the first component of Iron Troikas. Like President Vladimir Putin, they hope to create a strong state that will project Moscow's security interests in areas formerly dominated by the Soviet Union by exploiting Russia's massive energy wealth. The economic warlords, Mafia, and rogue military personnel who have exploited the collapse of the USSR and the drive toward privatization. Even if they are not working under the direction of the siloviki, they have advanced the Kremlin's goals in the EBSR. And the Old Nomenklatura and New Oligarchs in the EBSR countries, who provide a network of 'local' actors who aid and abet -- primarily in pursuit of economic and political advantage and not subversive goals -- Russian interests seeking to penetrate their societies."

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