Understanding and Deterring Russia: U.S. Policies and Strategies, Hearing Before the Committee on Armed Services, United States House of Representatives, One Hundred Fourteenth Congress, Second Session, February 10, 2016 [open pdf - 3MB]
This is the February 10, 2016 hearing on "Understanding and Deterring Russia: U.S. Policies and Strategies" held before the House Committee on Armed Services. From the testimony of Evelyn Farkas: "Chairman Thornberry, Ranking Member Smith, Members of the Committee, Russia poses a geostrategic threat to the United States and our interests. Indeed, last week Secretary Carter ranked it first among the threats faced by our country. It is unfortunate and almost absurd in the 21st century to have Russia and the United States opposed to one another on fundamentals and most foreign policy issues. But the reality is that the Russian government is pursuing policies that run counter to U.S. national security interests and values. The Kremlin's objectives are clear: 1) Retain President Putin's position as the leader of the Russian Federation, preserving the autocratic political system and mafia-style crony economy that together comprise 'Putinism'; 2) Restore Russia's status as a great power; 3) Rewrite the international rules and norms to prevent intervention in states to protect its citizens; 4) Maintain political control of Russia's geographical periphery; and if possible, 5) Break NATO, the European Union and transatlantic unity. President Putin's drive to achieve these objectives has raised tension between Russia and the United States. To demonstrate Russia's great power, or 'equal among equals' status, Russia has worked not simply to balance U.S. power, but to check it. Divergent policies regarding democracy and sovereignty have become a greater obstacle to cooperative bilateral relations as the Kremlin implements its agenda. The United States advocates for democracies where civil society checks the powers of the state, and supports the rights of citizens to turn out their despots and vote in new leaders. Putin is incensed by Arab springs and European color revolutions; his latest military operation in Syria aims to protect the dictator from the people he has gassed, barrel bombed and forced to flee en masse." Statements, letters, and materials submitted for the record include those of the following: Evelyn Farkas, Fiona Hill, and James Stavridis.
H.A.S.C. No. 114-87
United States. Government Publishing Office: https://www.gpo.gov/