From the overview: "Russian foreign policy has taken an interesting turn during the administration of President Vladimir Putin. Following the proposed deployment of a strategic ballistic missile defense system in Central Europe, Mr. Putin threatened withdrawal from both the Conventional Forces Europe (CFE) and Intermediate Nuclear Forces (INF) treaty in addition to retargeting nuclear missiles to Poland and the United States. Beyond rhetoric, concrete acts of Russian aggression include attempting to claim resource rich elements of the Arctic region, resuming bomber patrols, and invading Georgian airspace culminating in the invasion of Georgia itself. While these seemingly hostile acts are occurring, a great deal of cooperation exists between the United States and Russia in the US-led global war on terrorism. On other fronts, such as relations with the Chinese and Iranian nuclear ambitions, Russian policies seem much more ambivalent and even contradictory. […] It is the thesis of this project that Russian foreign policy is best understood through an understanding of Russian domestic politics and the dominant interests that supports Mr. Putin's policies: the military, the oligarchs, the Russian popular nationalist imperative and Putin's political machine itself. This paper will begin with an overview of basic Russian strategic thinking, but will probe more into the construction of Russian ideas and how those ideas have been made manifest within the Russian political system."
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